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Jeremiah 38:2-3

Context
38:2 “The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. 1  Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians 2  will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 3  38:3 They had also heard him say, 4  “The Lord says, ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon. They will capture it.’” 5 

Jeremiah 38:17-18

Context

38:17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 6  says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared 7  and this city will not be burned down. Indeed, you and your whole family will be spared. 38:18 But if you do not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians 8  and they will burn it down. You yourself will not escape from them.’” 9 

1 tn Heb “by sword, by starvation, or by disease.”

2 tn Heb “those who go out to the Chaldeans.” For the rendering “Babylonians” for “Chaldeans” see the study note on 21:4.

3 tn Heb “his life will be to him for spoil and he will live.” For the meaning of this idiom see the study note on 21:9. The words and “he will live” have been left out of the translation because they are redundant after “will live” and “they will escape with their lives.”

sn See Jer 21:9 for this prophecy.

4 tn The words “They had also heard him say,” are not in the Hebrew text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity so as to avoid any possible confusion that might be created by saying merely “And the Lord says,” without any introduction.

5 sn See Jer 21:10; 32:28; 34:2; 37:8 for this same prophecy. Jeremiah had repeatedly said this or words to the same effect.

6 tn Heb “Yahweh, the God of armies, the God of Israel.” Compare 7:3 and 35:17 and see the study note on 2:19.

7 tn Heb “Your life/soul will live.” The quote is a long condition-consequence sentence with compound consequential clauses. It reads, “If you will only go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, your soul [= you yourself; BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a] will live and this city will not be burned with fire and you and your household will live.” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style. The infinitive absolute in the condition emphasizes the one condition, i.e., going out or surrendering (cf. Joüon 2:423 §123.g, and compare usage in Exod 15:26). For the idiom “go out to” = “surrender to” see the full idiom in 21:9 “go out and fall over to” which is condensed in 38:2 to “go out to.” The expression here is the same as in 38:2.

8 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

9 tn Heb “will not escape from their hand.”

sn Zedekiah held out this hope of escape until the end and attempted to do so but was unsuccessful (cf. 39:4-5).



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