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Jeremiah 34:3-5

34:3 You yourself will not escape his clutches, but will certainly be captured and handed over to him. You must confront the king of Babylon face to face and answer to him personally. 1  Then you must go to Babylon. 34:4 However, listen to what I, the Lord, promise you, King Zedekiah of Judah. I, the Lord, promise that 2  you will not die in battle or be executed. 3  34:5 You will die a peaceful death. They will burn incense at your burial just as they did at the burial of your ancestors, the former kings who preceded you. 4  They will mourn for you, saying, “Poor, poor master!” 5  Indeed, you have my own word on this. 6  I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 7 

1 tn Heb “Your eyes will see the eyes of the king of Babylon and his mouth will speak with your mouth.” For this same idiom in reverse order see 32:4 and consult the translator’s note there for the obligatory nuance given to the verbs.

sn For the fulfillment of this see Jer 52:7-11.

2 tn Heb “However, hear the word of the Lord, Zedekiah king of Judah, ‘Thus says the Lord to you, “You will not die by the sword.”’” The translation has tried to avoid the complexity created by embedding quotes within quotes and has used the first person address within the Lord’s speech as has also been done elsewhere.

3 tn Heb “by the sword.”

sn The contrast is between death in battle or by execution and death in the normal course of life. Zedekiah was captured, had to witness the execution of his sons, had his eyes put out, and was taken to Babylon where he died after a lengthy imprisonment (Jer 52:10-11).

4 tn Heb “And like the burning [of incense] for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so will they burn [incense] for you.” The sentence has been reversed for easier style and the technical use of the terms interpreted.

sn For the custom referred to compare 2 Chr 16:14; 21:19.

5 sn The intent of this oracle may have been to contrast the fate of Zedekiah with that of Jehoiakim who was apparently executed, went unmourned, and was left unburied (contrast Jer 22:18-19).

6 tn Heb “For [or Indeed] I myself have spoken [this] word.”

7 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

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