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Jeremiah 2:20

Context
The Lord Expresses His Exasperation at Judah’s Persistent Idolatry

2:20 “Indeed, 1  long ago you threw off my authority

and refused to be subject to me. 2 

You said, ‘I will not serve you.’ 3 

Instead, you gave yourself to other gods on every high hill

and under every green tree,

like a prostitute sprawls out before her lovers. 4 

Jeremiah 2:33

Context

2:33 “My, how good you have become

at chasing after your lovers! 5 

Why, you could even teach prostitutes a thing or two! 6 

Jeremiah 2:36

Context

2:36 Why do you constantly go about

changing your political allegiances? 7 

You will get no help from Egypt

just as you got no help from Assyria. 8 

1 tn Or “For.” The Hebrew particle (כִּי, ki) here introduces the evidence that they had no respect for him.

2 tn Heb “you broke your yoke…tore off your yoke ropes.” The metaphor is that of a recalcitrant ox or heifer which has broken free from its master.

3 tc The MT of this verse has two examples of the old second feminine singular perfect, שָׁבַרְתִּי (shavarti) and נִתַּקְתִּי (nittaqti), which the Masoretes mistook for first singulars leading to the proposal to read אֶעֱבוֹר (’eevor, “I will not transgress”) for אֶעֱבֹד (’eevod, “I will not serve”). The latter understanding of the forms is accepted in KJV but rejected by almost all modern English versions as being less appropriate to the context than the reading accepted in the translation given here.

4 tn Heb “you sprawled as a prostitute on….” The translation reflects the meaning of the metaphor.

5 tn Heb “How good you have made your ways to seek love.”

6 tn Heb “so that even the wicked women you teach your ways.”

7 tn Heb “changing your way.” The translation follows the identification of the Hebrew verb here as a defective writing of a form (תֵּזְלִי [tezÿli] instead of תֵּאזְלִי [tezÿli]) from a verb meaning “go/go about” (אָזַל [’azal]; cf. BDB 23 s.v. אָזַל). Most modern English versions, commentaries, and lexicons read it from a root meaning “to treat cheaply [or lightly]” (תָּזֵלִּי [tazelli] from the root זָלַל (zalal); cf. HALOT 261 s.v. זָלַל); hence, “Why do you consider it such a small matter to…”

8 tn Heb “You will be ashamed/disappointed by Egypt, just as you were ashamed/ disappointed by Assyria.”



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