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Jeremiah 34:11

34:11 But later 1  they had changed their minds. They had taken back their male and female slaves that they had freed and forced them to be slaves again. 2 

Jeremiah 34:16

34:16 But then you turned right around 3  and showed that you did not honor me. 4  Each of you took back your male and female slaves whom you had freed as they desired, and you forced them to be your slaves again. 5 

1 sn Most commentators are agreed that the incident referred to here occurred during the period of relief from the siege provided by the Babylonians going off to fight against the Egyptians who were apparently coming to Zedekiah’s aid (compare vv. 21-22 with 37:5, 7). The freeing of the slaves had occurred earlier, under the crisis of the siege while the people were more responsive to the Lord due to the threat of destruction (cf. v. 15).

2 tn Heb “they had brought them into subjection for male and female slaves.” However, the qualification of “male and female” is already clear from the preceding and is unnecessary to the English sentence.

3 sn The verb at the beginning of v. 15 and v. 16 are the same in the Hebrew. They had two changes of heart (Heb “you turned”), one that was pleasing to him (Heb “right in his eyes”) and one that showed they did not honor him (Heb “profaned [or belittled] his name”).

4 sn Heb “you profaned my name.” His name had been invoked in the oath confirming the covenant. Breaking the covenant involved taking his name in vain (cf. Exod 20:7; Deut 5:11; Jer 5:2). Hence the one who bore the name was not treated with the special honor and reverence due him (see the study note on 23:27 for the significance of “name” in the OT).

5 tn Heb “and you brought them into subjection to be to you for male and female slaves.” See the translator’s note on v. 11 for the same redundant repetition which is not carried over into the contemporary English sentence.

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