Jeremiah 48:30

48:30 I, the Lord, affirm that I know how arrogant they are.

But their pride is ill-founded.

Their boastings will prove to be false.

Jeremiah 50:36

50:36 Destructive forces will come against her false prophets;

they will be shown to be fools!

Destructive forces will come against her soldiers;

they will be filled with terror!

tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

tn The meaning of this verse is somewhat uncertain: Heb “I know, oracle of the Lord,/ his arrogance and [that it is?] not true; // his boastings accomplish that which is not true.” Several of the modern English versions and commentaries redivide the verse and read something like, “I know his insolence…his boastings are false; his deeds are false (NRSV, REB).” However, the word translated “deeds” in the last line is a verb in the third person plural and can only have as its logical grammatical subject the word “boastings.” The adjective כֵּן (ken) + the negative לֹא (lo’) is evidently repeated here and applied to two different subjects “arrogance” and “boasting” to emphasize that Moab’s arrogant boasts will prove “untrue” (Cf. HALOT 459 s.v. II כֵּן 2.c for the meaning “untrue” for both this passage and the parallel one in Isa 16:6). There is some difference of opinion about the identification of the “I” in this verse. Most commentators see it as referring to the prophet. However, F. B. Huey (Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 395) is probably correct in seeing it as referring to the Lord. He points to the fact that the “I” in vv. 33, 35, 38 can only refer to God. The “I know” in v. 30 also clearly has the Lord as its subject. There are other cases in the book of Jeremiah where the Lord expresses his lament over the fate of a people (cf. 14:1-6, 17-18).

tn The meaning and the derivation of the word translated “false prophets” is uncertain. The same word appears in conjunction with the word for “diviners” in Isa 44:25 and probably also in Hos 11:6 in conjunction with the sword consuming them “because of their counsel.” BDB 95 s.v. III בַּד b sees this as a substitution of “empty talk” for “empty talkers” (the figure of metonymy) and refer to them as false prophets. KBL 108 s.v. II בַּד emends the form in both places to read בָּרִים (barim) in place of בַּדִּים (baddim) and defines the word on the basis of Akkadian to mean “soothsayer” (KBL 146 s.v. V בָּר). HALOT 105 s.v. V בַּד retains the pointing, derives it from an Amorite word found in the Mari letters, and defines it as “oracle priest.” However, G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 368) call this identification into question because the word only occurs in one letter from Mari and its meaning is uncertain there. It is hazardous to emend the text in two places, perhaps even three, in light of no textual evidence in any of the passages and to define the word on the basis of an uncertain parallel. Hence the present translation opts here for the derivation and extended definition given in BDB.

tn This translation follows the suggestion of BDB 383 s.v. I יָאַל Niph.2. Compare the usage in Isa 19:13 and Jer 5:4.

tn The verb here (חָתַת, khatat) could also be rendered “be destroyed” (cf. BDB 369 s.v. חָתַת Qal.1 and compare the usage in Jer 48:20, 39). However, the parallelism with “shown to be fools” argues for the more dominant usage of “be dismayed” or “be filled with terror.” The verb is found in parallelism with both בּוֹשׁ (bosh, “be ashamed, dismayed”) and יָרֵא (yare’, “be afraid”) and can refer to either emotion. Here it is more likely that they are filled with terror because of the approaching armies.