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Jeremiah 51:9

Context

51:9 Foreigners living there will say, 1 

‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed.

Let’s leave Babylonia 2  and each go back to his own country.

For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions.

It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’ 3 

Jeremiah 51:64

Context
51:64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the judgments 4  I am ready to bring upon her; they will grow faint.’”

The prophecies of Jeremiah end here. 5 

1 tn The words “Foreigners living there will say” are not in the text but are implicit from the third line. These words are generally assumed by the commentaries and are explicitly added in TEV and NCV which are attempting to clarify the text for the average reader.

2 tn Heb “Leave/abandon her.” However, it is smoother in the English translation to make this verb equivalent to the cohortative that follows.

3 tn This is an admittedly very paraphrastic translation that tries to make the figurative nuance of the Hebrew original understandable for the average reader. The Hebrew text reads: “For her judgment [or punishment (cf. BDB 1078 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 1.f) = ‘execution of judgment’] touches the heavens, and is lifted up as far as the clouds.” The figure of hyperbole or exaggeration is being used here to indicate the vastness of Babylon’s punishment which is the reason to escape (vv. 6, 9c). For this figure see Deut 1:28 in comparison with Num 13:28 and see also Deut 9:1. In both of the passages in Deut it refers to an exaggeration about the height of the walls of fortified cities. The figure also may be a play on Gen 11:4 where the nations gather in Babylon to build a tower that reaches to the skies. The present translation has interpreted the perfects here as prophetic because it has not happened yet or they would not be encouraging one another to leave and escape. For the idea here compare 50:16.

4 tn Or “disaster”; or “calamity.”

5 sn The final chapter of the book of Jeremiah does not mention Jeremiah or record any of his prophecies.



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