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Jeremiah 3:1

Context

3:1 “If a man divorces his wife

and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife,

he may not take her back again. 1 

Doing that would utterly defile the land. 2 

But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 3 

So what makes you think you can return to me?” 4 

says the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:22

Context

3:22 Come back to me, you wayward people.

I want to cure your waywardness. 5 

Say, 6  ‘Here we are. We come to you

because you are the Lord our God.

1 tn Heb “May he go back to her again?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer.

sn For the legal background for the illustration that is used here see Deut 24:1-4.

2 tn Heb “Would the land not be utterly defiled?” The stative is here rendered actively to connect better with the preceding. The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.

3 tn Heb “But you have played the prostitute with many lovers.”

4 tn Heb “Returning to me.” The form is the bare infinitive which the KJV and ASV have interpreted as an imperative “Yet, return to me!” However, it is more likely that a question is intended, expressing surprise in the light of the law alluded to and the facts cited. For the use of the infinitive absolute in the place of a finite verb, cf. GKC 346 §113.ee. For the introduction of a question without a question marker, cf. GKC 473 §150.a.

5 tn Or “I will forgive your apostasies.” Heb “I will [or want to] heal your apostasies.” For the use of the verb “heal” (רָפָא, rafa’) to refer to spiritual healing and forgiveness see Hos 14:4.

6 tn Or “They say.” There is an obvious ellipsis of a verb of saying here since the preceding words are those of the Lord and the following are those of the people. However, there is debate about whether these are the response of the people to the Lord’s invitation, a response which is said to be inadequate according to the continuation in 4:1-4, or whether these are the Lord’s model for Israel’s confession of repentance to which he adds further instructions about the proper heart attitude that should accompany it in 4:1-4. The former implies a dialogue with an unmarked twofold shift in speaker between 3:22b-25 and 4:1-4:4 while the latter assumes the same main speaker throughout with an unmarked instruction only in 3:22b-25. This disrupts the flow of the passage less and appears more likely.



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