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Jeremiah 44:4-5

44:4 I sent my servants the prophets to you people over and over 1  again warning you not to do this disgusting thing I hate. 2  44:5 But the people of Jerusalem and Judah 3  would not listen or pay any attention. They would not stop the wickedness they were doing nor quit sacrificing to other gods. 4 

1 tn See 7:13 for an explanation of this idiom and compare 7:25; 25:4; 26:5; 29:19; 35:15 for similar references to the persistent warnings of the prophets.

2 tn Heb “sent…over again, saying, ‘Do not do this terrible thing that I hate.’” The indirect quote has been used to shorten the sentence and eliminate one level of embedded quotes.

sn This refers to the worship of other gods mentioned in the previous verse.

3 tn There appears to be a deliberate shift in the pronouns used in vv. 2-5. “You” refers to the people living in Egypt who are being addressed (v. 2) and to the people of present and past generations to whom the Lord persistently sent the prophets (v. 4). “They” refers to the people of Jerusalem and the towns of Judah who have suffered disaster (v. 2) because of the wickedness of sacrificing to other gods (vv. 3, 5). The referents have been explicitly identified in the translation for the sake of clarity.

4 tn Heb “They did not listen or incline their ear [= pay attention] by turning from their wickedness by not sacrificing to other gods.” The לְ (lamed) + the negative + the infinitive is again epexegetical. The sentence has been restructured and more idiomatic English expressions have been used to better conform with contemporary English style but an attempt has been made to retain the basic relationships of subordination.

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