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(0.09) (1Th 5:27)

tc Most witnesses, including some significant ones (א2 A Ψ 33 1175 1241 1505 1739 1881 2464 M ar vg sy bo), read “holy” before “brothers [and sisters]” (ἁγίοις ἀδελφοῖς, hagiois adelphois). It is possible that ἁγίοις dropped out by way of homoioteleuton (in majuscule script the words would be written agioisadelfois), but it is equally possible that the adjective was added because of the influence of ἁγίῳ (hagiō) in v. 26. Another internal consideration is that the expression ἅγιοι ἀδελφοί (hagioi adelphoi, “holy brothers”) is not found elsewhere in the corpus Paulinum, though Col 1:2 comes close. But this fact could be argued either way: It may suggest that such an expression is not Pauline; on the other hand, the unusualness of the expression could have resulted in an alteration by some scribes. At the same time, since 1 Thessalonians is one of the earliest of Paul’s letters, and written well before he addresses Christians as saints (ἅγιοι) in 1 Corinthians for the first time, one might argue that Paul’s own forms of expression were going through something of a metamorphosis. Scribes insensitive to this fact could well impute later Pauline collocations onto his earlier letters. The internal evidence seems to support, albeit slightly, the omission of ἁγίοις here. Externally, most of the better witnesses of the Alexandrian and Western families (א* B D F G 0278 it sa Ambst) offer sufficient diversity for the shorter reading. Although the rating of “A” in UBS4 and UBS5 for the omission seems too generous, this reading is still to be preferred.

(0.09) (Col 1:22)

tc Some of the better representatives of the Alexandrian and Western groups have a passive verb here instead of the active ἀποκατήλλαξεν (apokatēllaxen, “he has reconciled”): ἀποκατηλλάγητε (apokatēllagēte) in P46 B, ἀποκατήλλακται [sic] (apokatēllaktai) in 33, and ἀποκαταλλαγέντες (apokatallagentes) in D* F G. Yet the active verb is strongly supported by א A C D2 Ψ 048 075 0278 1175 1505 1739 1881 2464 M al lat sy. Internally, the passive creates an anacoluthon in that it looks back to the accusative ὑμᾶς (humas, “you”) of v. 21 and leaves the following παραστῆσαι (parastēsai) dangling (“you were reconciled…to present you”). The passive reading is certainly the harder reading. As such, it may well explain the rise of the others. At the same time, it is possible that the passive was produced by scribes who wanted some symmetry between the ποτε (pote, “at one time”) of v. 21 and the νυνὶ δέ (nuni de, “but now”) of v. 22: Since a passive periphrastic participle is used in v. 21, there may have been a temptation to produce a corresponding passive form in v. 22, so that the ὑμᾶς of v. 21 functioned as subject by way of constructio ad sensum. Since παραστῆσαι occurs ten words later, it may not have been considered in this scribal modification. Further, the Western reading (ἀποκαταλλαγέντες) hardly seems to have arisen from ἀποκατηλλάγητε (contra TCGNT 555). As difficult as this decision is, the preferred reading is the active form because it is superior externally and seems to explain the rise of all forms of the passive readings.

(0.09) (Rom 3:20)

tn Grk “because by the works of the law no flesh is justified before him.” Some recent scholars have understood the phrase ἒργα νόμου (erga nomou, “works of the law”) to refer not to obedience to the Mosaic law generally, but specifically to portions of the law that pertain to things like circumcision and dietary laws which set the Jewish people apart from the other nations (e.g., J. D. G. Dunn, Romans [WBC], 1:155). Other interpreters, like C. E. B. Cranfield (“‘The Works of the Law’ in the Epistle to the Romans,” JSNT 43 [1991]: 89-101) reject this narrow interpretation for a number of reasons, among which the most important are: (1) The second half of v. 20, “for through the law comes the knowledge of sin,” is hard to explain if the phrase “works of the law” is understood in a restricted sense; (2) the plural phrase “works of the law” would have to be understood in a different sense from the singular phrase “the work of the law” in 2:15; (3) similar phrases involving the law in Romans (2:13, 14; 2:25, 26, 27; 7:25; 8:4; and 13:8) which are naturally related to the phrase “works of the law” cannot be taken to refer to circumcision (in fact, in 2:25 circumcision is explicitly contrasted with keeping the law). Those interpreters who reject the “narrow” interpretation of “works of the law” understand the phrase to refer to obedience to the Mosaic law in general.

(0.09) (Joh 21:19)

sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. The phrase by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God almost certainly indicates martyrdom (cf. 1 Pet 4:16), and it may not predict anything more than that. But the parallelism of this phrase to similar phrases in John 12:33 and 18:32 which describe Jesus’ own death by crucifixion have led many to suggest that the picture Jesus is portraying for Peter looks not just at martyrdom but at death by crucifixion. This seems to be confirmed by the phrase you will stretch out your hands in the preceding verse. There is some evidence that the early church understood this and similar phrases (one of them in Isa 65:2) to refer to crucifixion (for a detailed discussion of the evidence see L. Morris, John [NICNT], 876, n. 52). Some have objected that if this phrase does indeed refer to crucifixion, the order within v. 18 is wrong because the stretching out of the hands in crucifixion precedes the binding and leading where one does not wish to go. R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:1108) sees this as a deliberate reversal of the normal order (hysteron proteron) intended to emphasize the stretching out of the hands. Another possible explanation for the unusual order is the Roman practice in crucifixions of tying the condemned prisoner’s arms to the crossbeam (patibulum) and forcing him to carry it to the place of execution (W. Bauer as cited by O. Cullmann in Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr [LHD], 88).

(0.09) (Joh 17:3)

sn This is eternal life. The author here defines eternal life for the readers, although it is worked into the prayer in such a way that many interpreters do not regard it as another of the author’s parenthetical comments. It is not just unending life in the sense of prolonged duration. Rather it is a quality of life, with its quality derived from a relationship with God. Having eternal life is here defined as being in relationship with the Father, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent. Christ (Χριστός, Christos) is not characteristically attached to Jesus’ name in John’s Gospel; it occurs elsewhere primarily as a title and is used with Jesus’ name only in 1:17. But that is connected to its use here: The statement here in 17:3 enables us to correlate the statement made in 1:18 of the prologue, that Jesus has fully revealed what God is like, with Jesus’ statement in 10:10 that he has come that people might have life, and have it abundantly. These two purposes are really one, according to 17:3, because (abundant) eternal life is defined as knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son. The only way to gain this eternal life, that is, to obtain this knowledge of the Father, is through the Son (cf. 14:6). Although some have pointed to the use of know (γινώσκω, ginōskō) here as evidence of Gnostic influence in the Fourth Gospel, there is a crucial difference: For John this knowledge is not intellectual, but relational. It involves being in relationship.

(0.09) (Joh 15:12)

sn Now the reference to the commandments (plural) in 15:10 have been reduced to a singular commandment: The disciples are to love one another, just as Jesus has loved them. This is the “new commandment” of John 13:34, and it is repeated in 15:17. The disciples’ love for one another is compared to Jesus’ love for them. How has Jesus shown his love for the disciples? This was illustrated in 13:1-20 in the washing of the disciples’ feet, introduced by the statement in 13:1 that Jesus loved them “to the end.” In context this constitutes a reference to Jesus’ self-sacrificial death on the cross on their behalf; the love they are to have for one another is so great that it must include a self-sacrificial willingness to die for one another if necessary. This is exactly what Jesus is discussing here because he introduces the theme of his sacrificial death in the following verse. In John 10:18 and 14:31 Jesus spoke of his death on the cross as a commandment he had received from his Father, which also links the idea of commandment and love as they are linked here. One final note: It is not just the degree or intensity of the disciples’ love for one another that Jesus is referring to when he introduces by comparison his own death on the cross (that they must love one another enough to die for one another) but the very means of expressing that love: It is to express itself in self-sacrifice for one another, sacrifice up to the point of death, which is what Jesus himself did on the cross (cf. 1 John 3:16).

(0.09) (Joh 8:12)

sn The theory proposed by F. J. A. Hort (The New Testament in the Original Greek, vol. 2, Introduction; Appendix, 87-88), that the backdrop of 8:12 is the lighting of the candelabra in the court of women, may offer a plausible setting to the proclamation by Jesus that he is the light of the world. The last time that Jesus spoke in the narrative (assuming 7:53-8:11 is not part of the original text, as the textual evidence suggests) is in 7:38, where he was speaking to a crowd of pilgrims in the temple area. This is where he is found in the present verse, and he may be addressing the crowd again. Jesus’ remark has to be seen in view of both the prologue (John 1:4, 5) and the end of the discourse with Nicodemus (John 3:19-21). The coming of Jesus into the world provokes judgment: A choosing up of sides becomes necessary. The one who comes to the light, that is, who follows Jesus, will not walk in the darkness. The one who refuses to come, will walk in the darkness. In this contrast, there are only two alternatives. So it is with a person’s decision about Jesus. Furthermore, this serves as in implicit indictment of Jesus’ opponents, who still walk in the darkness, because they refuse to come to him. This sets up the contrast in chap. 9 between the man born blind, who receives both physical and spiritual sight, and the Pharisees (John 9:13, 15, 16) who have physical sight but remain in spiritual darkness.

(0.09) (Joh 7:53)

tc This entire section, 7:53-8:11, traditionally known as the pericope adulterae, is not contained in the earliest and best mss and was almost certainly not an original part of the Gospel of John. Among modern commentators and textual critics, it is a foregone conclusion that the section is not original but represents a later addition to the text of the Gospel. B. M. Metzger summarizes: “the evidence for the non-Johannine origin of the pericope of the adulteress is overwhelming” (TCGNT 187). External evidence is as follows. For the omission of 7:53-8:11: P66,75 א B L N T W Δ Θ Ψ 0141 0211 33 565 1241 1424* 2768 al. In addition codices A and C are defective in this part of John, but it appears that neither contained the pericope because careful measurement shows that there would not have been enough space on the missing pages to include the pericope 7:53-8:11 along with the rest of the text. Among the mss that include 7:53-8:11 are D M lat. In addition E S Λ 1424mg al include part or all of the passage with asterisks or obeli, 225 places the pericope after John 7:36, ƒ1 places it after John 21:25, 115 and a few others after John 8:12, ƒ13 after Luke 21:38, and the corrector of 1333 includes it after Luke 24:53. (For a more complete discussion of the locations where this “floating” text has ended up, as well as a minority opinion on the authenticity of the passage, see M. A. Robinson, “Preliminary Observations regarding the Pericope Adulterae Based upon Fresh Collations of nearly All Continuous-Text Manuscripts and All Lectionary Manuscripts containing the Passage,” Filologia Neotestamentaria 13 [2000]: 35-59, especially 41-42.) In evaluating this ms evidence, it should be remembered that in the Gospels A is considered to be Byzantine (unlike in the epistles and Revelation, where it is Alexandrian), as are E F G (mss with the same designation are Western in the epistles). This leaves D as the only major Western majuscule witness in the Gospels for the inclusion. Therefore the evidence could be summarized by saying that almost all early mss of the Alexandrian text-form omit the pericope, while most mss of the Western and Byzantine families include it. But it must be remembered that “Western mss” here refers only to D, a single witness (as far as Greek mss are concerned). Thus it can be seen that practically all of the earliest and best mss extant omit the pericope; it is found only in mss of secondary importance. But before one can conclude that the passage was not originally part of the Gospel of John, internal evidence needs to be considered as well. Internal evidence in favor of the inclusion of 8:1-11 (7:53-8:11): (1) 7:53 fits in the context. If the “last great day of the feast” (7:37) refers to the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles, then the statement refers to the pilgrims and worshipers going home after living in “booths” for the week while visiting Jerusalem. (2) There may be an allusion to Isa 9:1-2 behind this text: John 8:12 is the point when Jesus describes himself as the Light of the world. But the section in question mentions that Jesus returned to the temple at “early dawn” (῎Ορθρου, Orthrou, in 8:2). This is the “dawning” of the Light of the world (8:12) mentioned by Isa 9:2. (3) Furthermore, note the relationship to what follows: Just prior to presenting Jesus’ statement that he is the Light of the world, John presents the reader with an example that shows Jesus as the light. Here the woman “came to the light” while her accusers shrank away into the shadows because their deeds were evil (cf. 3:19-21). Internal evidence against the inclusion of 8:1-11 (7:53-8:11): (1) In reply to the claim that the introduction to the pericope, 7:53, fits the context, it should also be noted that the narrative reads well without the pericope, so that Jesus’ reply in 8:12 is directed against the charge of the Pharisees in 7:52 that no prophet comes from Galilee. (2) The assumption that the author “must” somehow work Isa 9:1-2 into the narrative is simply that—an assumption. The statement by the Pharisees in 7:52 about Jesus’ Galilean origins is allowed to stand without correction by the author, although one might have expected him to mention that Jesus was really born in Bethlehem. And 8:12 does directly mention Jesus’ claim to be the Light of the world. The author may well have presumed familiarity with Isa 9:1-2 on the part of his readers because of its widespread association with Jesus among early Christians. (3) The fact that the pericope deals with the light/darkness motif does not inherently strengthen its claim to authenticity because the motif is so prominent in the Fourth Gospel that it may well have been the reason why someone felt that the pericope, circulating as an independent tradition, fit so well here. (4) In general the style of the pericope is not Johannine either in vocabulary or grammar (see D. B. Wallace, “Reconsidering ‘The Story of the Woman Taken in Adultery Reconsidered’,” NTS 39 [1993]: 290-96). According to R. E. Brown it is closer stylistically to Lukan material (John [AB], 1:336). Interestingly one significant family of mss13) places the pericope after Luke 21:38. Conclusion: In the final analysis, the weight of evidence in this case must go with the external evidence. The earliest and best mss do not contain the pericope. It is true with regard to internal evidence that an attractive case can be made for inclusion, but this is by nature subjective (as evidenced by the fact that strong arguments can be given against such as well). In terms of internal factors like vocabulary and style, the pericope does not stand up very well. The question may be asked whether this incident, although not an original part of the Gospel of John, should be regarded as an authentic tradition about Jesus. It could well be that it is ancient and may indeed represent an unusual instance where such a tradition survived outside of the bounds of the canonical literature. However, even that needs to be nuanced (see B. D. Ehrman, “Jesus and the Adulteress,” NTS 34 [1988]: 24-44).sn Double brackets have been placed around this passage to indicate that most likely it was not part of the original text of the Gospel of John. In spite of this, the passage has an important role in the history of the transmission of the text, so it has been included in the translation.

(0.09) (Luk 22:44)

tc Several significant Greek mss (P75 א1 A B N T W 579 1071*) along with diverse and widespread versional witnesses lack 22:43-44. In addition, the verses are placed after Matt 26:39 by ƒ13. Floating texts typically suggest both spuriousness and early scribal impulses to regard the verses as historically authentic. These verses are included in א*,2 D L Θ Ψ 0171 ƒ1 M lat Ju Ir Hipp Eus. However, a number of mss mark the text with an asterisk or obelisk, indicating the scribe’s assessment of the verses as inauthentic. At the same time, these verses generally fit Luke’s style. Arguments can be given on both sides about whether scribes would tend to include or omit such comments about Jesus’ humanity and an angel’s help. But even if the verses are not literarily authentic, they are probably historically authentic. This is due to the fact that this text was well known in several different locales from a very early period. Since there are no synoptic parallels to this account and since there is no obvious reason for adding these words here, it is very likely that such verses recount a part of the actual suffering of our Lord. Nevertheless, because of the serious doubts as to these verses’ authenticity, they have been put in brackets. For an important discussion of this problem, see B. D. Ehrman and M. A. Plunkett, “The Angel and the Agony: The Textual Problem of Luke 22:43-44, ” CBQ 45 (1983): 401-16.

(0.09) (Luk 5:27)

sn The tax booth was a booth located at a port or on the edge of a city or town to collect taxes for trade. These taxes were a form of customs duty or toll applied to the movement of goods and produce brought into an area for sale. As such these tolls were a sort of “sales tax” paid by the seller but obviously passed on to the purchaser in the form of increased prices (L&N 57.183). The system as a whole is sometimes referred to as “tax farming” because a contract to collect these taxes for an entire district would be sold to the highest bidder, who would pay up front, hire employees to do the work of collection, and then recoup the investment and overhead by charging commissions on top of the taxes. Although rates and commissions were regulated by law, there was plenty of room for abuse in the system through the subjective valuation of goods by the tax collectors, and even through outright bribery. Tax overseers and their employees were obviously not well liked. There was a tax booth in Capernaum, which was on the trade route from Damascus to Galilee and the Mediterranean. It was here that Jesus met Levi (also named Matthew [see Matt 9:9]) who, although indirectly employed by the Romans, was probably more directly responsible to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee appointed by Rome. It was Levi’s job to collect customs duties for Rome and he was thus despised by his fellow Jews, many of whom would have regarded him as a traitor.

(0.09) (Mar 7:4)

tc Several significant witnesses (P45vid א B L Δ 28*) lack “and dining couches” (καὶ κλινῶν, kai klinōn), while the majority of mss (A D W Θ ƒ1,13 33 M latt) have the reading. Although normally the shorter reading is to be preferred, especially when it is backed by excellent witnesses as in this case, there are some good reasons to consider καὶ κλινῶν as authentic: (1) Although the addition of κλινῶν could be seen as motivated by a general assimilation to the purity regulations in Lev 15 (as some have argued), there are three problems with such a supposition: (a) the word κλίνη (klinē) does not occur in the LXX of Lev 15; (b) nowhere in Lev 15 is the furniture washed or sprinkled; and (c) the context of Lev 15 is about sexual impurity, while the most recent evidence suggests that κλίνη in Mark 7:4, in keeping with the other terms used here, refers to a dining couch (cf. BDAG 549 s.v. κλίνη 2). Thus, it is difficult to see καὶ κλινῶν as a motivated reading. (2) κλίνη, though a relatively rare term in the NT, is in keeping with Markan usage (cf. Mark 4:21; 7:30). (3) The phrase could have been dropped accidentally, at least in some cases, via homoioteleuton. (4) The phrase may have been deliberately expunged by some scribes who thought the imagery of washing a dining couch quite odd. The longer reading, in this case, can thus be argued as the harder reading. On balance, even though a decision is difficult (especially because of the weighty external evidence for the shorter reading), it is preferable to retain καὶ κλινῶν in the text.

(0.09) (Mar 2:14)

sn The tax booth was a booth located at a port or on the edge of a city or town to collect taxes for trade. These taxes were a form of customs duty or toll applied to the movement of goods and produce brought into an area for sale. As such these tolls were a sort of “sales tax” paid by the seller but obviously passed on to the purchaser in the form of increased prices (L&N 57.183). The system as a whole is sometimes referred to as “tax farming” because a contract to collect these taxes for an entire district would be sold to the highest bidder, who would pay up front, hire employees to do the work of collection, and then recoup the investment and overhead by charging commissions on top of the taxes. Although rates and commissions were regulated by law, there was plenty of room for abuse in the system through the subjective valuation of goods by the tax collectors, and even through outright bribery. Tax overseers and their employees were obviously not well liked. There was a tax booth in Capernaum, which was on the trade route from Damascus to Galilee and the Mediterranean. It was here that Jesus met Levi (also named Matthew [see Matt 9:9]) who, although indirectly employed by the Romans, was probably more directly responsible to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee appointed by Rome. It was Levi’s job to collect customs duties for Rome and he was thus despised by his fellow Jews, many of whom would have regarded him as a traitor.

(0.09) (Mat 9:9)

sn The tax booth was a booth located at a port or on the edge of a city or town to collect taxes for trade. These taxes were a form of customs duty or toll applied to the movement of goods and produce brought into an area for sale. As such these tolls were a sort of “sales tax” paid by the seller but obviously passed on to the purchaser in the form of increased prices (L&N 57.183). The system as a whole is sometimes referred to as “tax farming” because a contract to collect these taxes for an entire district would be sold to the highest bidder, who would pay up front, hire employees to do the work of collection, and then recoup the investment and overhead by charging commissions on top of the taxes. Although rates and commissions were regulated by law, there was plenty of room for abuse in the system through the subjective valuation of goods by the tax collectors, and even through outright bribery. Tax overseers and their employees were obviously not well liked. There was a tax booth in Capernaum, which was on the trade route from Damascus to Galilee and the Mediterranean. It was here that Jesus met Matthew (also named Levi [see Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27]) who, although indirectly employed by the Romans, was probably more directly responsible to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee appointed by Rome. It was Matthew’s job to collect customs duties for Rome and he was thus despised by his fellow Jews, many of whom would have regarded him as a traitor.

(0.09) (Nah 1:8)

tc Heb “her place.” Alternately, some ancient versions read “his adversaries.” The MT reads מְקוֹמָהּ (meqomah, “her place”). This is supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls (מקומה, “her place,” found in 4QpNah) and Symmachus (τῆς τόποῦ αὐτοῦ, tēs topou autou, “her place”). The reading of the LXX (τούς ἐπεγειρουμένους, tous epegeiroumenous, “those who rise up [against Him]”) and Aquila (ἀντισταμενῶν, antistamenōn, “adversaries”) reflect מְקּוֹמיהוּ or מְקִימיהוּ or מְקִּמָיו (“his adversaries”), also reflected in the Vulgate and Targum. Some scholars suggest emending the MT in the light of the LXX to create a tight parallelism between “his adversaries” (מקומיו) and “his enemies” (וְאֹיְבָיו, veʾoyevayv) which is a parallel word pair elsewhere (Deut 28:7; 2 Sam 22:40-41, 49; Mic 7:6; Ps 59:2). Likewise, Tsumura suggests emending the MT because the text, as it stands, does not have a clear parallel word for “his enemies” (וְאֹיְבָיו)—emending the MT’s מְקוֹמָהּ (“her place”) to מקומיו (“his adversaries”) would result in a parallel word (D. T. Tsumura, “Janus Parallelism in Nah 1:8, ” JBL 102 [1983]: 109-11). The BHS editors propose emending the MT in favor of the Greek tradition. The English versions reflect both textual traditions—several follow the MT with “her place” and “its site” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NJPS), while others adopt the LXX reading and emend the Hebrew, resulting in “his adversaries” (NRSV) or “those who defy him” (NJB). The MT makes sense as it stands, but the proposed emendation is attractive and involves only the common confusion between ה and יו.

(0.09) (Joe 1:1)

sn The dating of the book of Joel is a matter of dispute. Some scholars date the book as early as the ninth century b.c., during the reign of the boy-king Joash. This view is largely based on the following factors: an argument from silence (e.g., the book of Joel does not mention a king, perhaps because other officials de facto carried out his responsibilities, and there is no direct mention in the book of such later Israelite enemies as the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians); inconclusive literary assumptions (e.g., the eighth-century prophet Amos in Amos 9:13 alludes to Joel 3:18); the canonical position of the book (i.e., it is the second book of the Minor Prophets); and literary style (i.e., the book is thought to differ in style from the postexilic prophetic writings). While such an early date for the book is not impossible, none of the arguments used to support it is compelling. Later dates for the book that have been defended by various scholars are, for example, the late seventh century or early sixth century or sometime in the postexilic period (anytime from late sixth century to late fourth century). Most modern scholars seem to date the book of Joel sometime between 400 and 350 b.c. For a helpful discussion of date see J. A. Thompson, “The Date of the Book of Joel,” A Light unto My Path, 453-64. Related to the question of date is a major exegetical issue: Is the army of chapter two to be understood figuratively as describing the locust invasion of chapter one, or is the topic of chapter two an invasion of human armies, either the Babylonians or an eschatological foe? If the enemy could be conclusively identified as the Babylonians, for example, this would support a sixth-century date for the book.

(0.09) (Lam 4:14)

tn The grammar is uncommon. The MT has the preposition ב (bet, “in,” “by,” “with,” “when,” etc.), the negative particle לֹא (loʾ), and then a finite verb from יָכַל (yakhal, Qal imperfect third person masculine plural): “in not they are able.” Normally יָכַל (yakhal) would be followed by an infinitive, identifying what someone is or is not able to do, or by some other modifying clause. לֹא יָכַל (loʾ yakhal) on its own may mean “they do not prevail.” The preposition ב (bet) suggests possible dependence on another verb (cf. Jer 2:11, the only other verse with the sequence ב [bet] plus לֹא [loʾ] plus finite verb). The following verb נָגַע (nagaʿ, “touch”) regularly indicates its object with the preposition ב (bet), but the preposition ב (bet) is already used with “their garments.” If both are the object of נָגַע (nagaʿ), the line would oddly read: “they touched what they could not, their garments.” The preposition ב (bet) can also introduce temporal clauses, though there are no examples with לֹא (loʾ) plus a finite verb. BDB 89 s.v. בְּ III 1.b states that בְּלֹא can mean “without.” BDB 407 s.v. יָכֹל Qal 1.e says that the sequence “they are unable, they touch” equals “they are unable to touch.” In Jer 49:10 the meaning of יָכַל (yakhal) is completed by a finite verb (though it is not governed by the preposition ב [bet]). If so here, then we may understand: “without people being able (יָכַל, yakhal) to touch their garments.” See GKC, 120g. This gives the picture of blind people stumbling about while others cannot help because they are afraid to touch them due to possible defilement themselves.

(0.09) (Lam 2:13)

tc The MT reads אֲעִידֵךְ (ʾaʿidekh), Hiphil imperfect first person common singular + second person feminine singular suffix from עָדָה (ʿadah, “to testify”): “[How] can I testify for you?” However, Latin Vulgate comparabo te reflects the reading אֶעֱרָךְ (ʾeʿerakh), Qal imperfect first person common singular from עָרַךְ (ʿarakh, “to liken”): “[To what] can I liken [you]?” The verb עָרַךְ (ʿarakh) normally means “to lay out, set in rows; to get ready, set in order; to line up for battle, set battle formation,” but it also may denote “to compare (as a result of arranging in order), to make equal” (e.g., Pss 40:6; 89:6 [7 HT]; Job 28:17, 19; Isa 40:18; 44:7). The BHS editors suggest the emendation, which involves simple orthographic confusion between ר (resh) and ד (dalet), and deletion of י (yod), which the MT could have added to make sense of the form. The variant is favored based on internal evidence: (1) it is the more difficult reading because the meaning “to compare” for עָרַךְ (ʿarakh) is less common than עָדָה (ʿadah, “to testify”), (2) it recovers a tight parallelism between עָרַךְ (ʿarakh, “to liken”) and דָּמָה (damah, “to compare”) (e.g., Ps 89:6 [7 HT]; Isa 40:18), and (3) the MT reading, “How can I testify for you?” makes little sense in the context. Nevertheless, most English versions hold to the MT reading: KJV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NIV, TEV, and CEV. This textual emendation was first proposed by J. Meinhold, “Threni 2, 13, ” ZAW 15 (1895): 286.

(0.09) (Jer 51:20)

tn Or “Media.” The referent is not identified in the text; the text merely says, “You are my war club.” Commentators in general identify the referent as Babylon because Babylon has been referred to as a hammer in 50:23, and Babylon is referred to in v. 25 as a “destroying mountain” (compare v. 20d). However, S. R. Driver, Jeremiah, 317, n. c maintains that v. 24 speaks against this. It does seem a little inconsistent to render the vav consecutive perfect at the beginning of v. 24 as future while rendering those in vv. 20b-23 as customary past. However, change in person from second masculine singular (vv. 20b-23) to the second masculine plural in “before your very eyes,” and its position at the end of the verse after “which they did in Zion,” argue that a change in address occurs there. Driver has to ignore the change in person and take “before your eyes” with the verb “repay” at the beginning to maintain the kind of consistency he seeks. The vav (ו) consecutive imperfect can be used for either the customary past (GKC 335-36 §112.dd, with cross reference back to GKC 331-32 §112.e) or the future (GKC 334 §112.x). Hence the present translation has followed the majority of commentaries (and English versions like TEV, NCV, CEV, NIrV) in understanding the referent as Babylon and v. 24 as a transition to vv. 25-26 (cf., e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 356-57, and J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 756-57). If the referent is understood as Media, then the verbs in vv. 20-23 should all be translated as futures. See also the translator’s note on v. 24.

(0.09) (Jer 51:5)

tn Or “all, though their land was…” The majority of the modern English versions think the land here refers to the land of Israel and Judah (the text reads “their land,” and Israel and Judah are the nearest antecedents). In this case, the particle כִּי (ki) is concessive (cf. BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.c[b]). Many of the modern commentaries understand the referent to be the land of the Chaldeans/Babylonians. However, most of them feel that the line is connected as a causal statement to 51:2-4 and see the line as either textually or logically out of place. However, it need not be seen that way. It is parallel to the preceding and gives a second reason why they are to be destroyed. It also forms an excellent transition to the next lines, where the exiles and other foreigners are urged to flee and not get caught up in the destruction that is coming “because of her sin.” It might be helpful to note that both the adjective “widowed” and the suffix on “their God” are masculine singular, looking at Israel and Judah as one entity. The “their” then goes back not to Israel and Judah of the preceding lines but to the “them” in v. 4. This makes for a better connection with the following and understands the particle כִּי in its dominant usage, not an extremely rare one (see the comment in BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.c[b]). This interpretation is also reflected in RSV.

(0.09) (Jer 49:1)

sn Ammonites. Ammon was a small kingdom to the north and east of Moab that was in constant conflict with the Transjordanian tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh over territorial rights to the lands north and south of the Jabbok River. Ammon mainly centered on the city of Rabbah, which is modern Amman. According to Judg 11:13, the Ammonites claimed the land between the Jabbok and the Arnon, but this was land taken from them by Sihon and Og, and then taken from Sihon and Og by the Israelites. The Ammonites attempted to expand into the territory of Israel in the Transjordan in the time of Jephthah (Judg 10-11) and the time of Saul (1 Sam 11). Apparently when Tiglath Pileser carried away the Israelite tribes in Transjordan in 733 b.c., the Ammonites took over possession of their cities (Jer 49:1). Like Moab they appear to have been loyal to Nebuchadnezzar in the early part of his reign, forming part of the contingent that he sent to harass Judah when Jehoiakim rebelled in 598 b.c. (2 Kgs 24:2). But along with Moab and Edom they sent representatives to plot rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar in 594 b.c. (Jer 27:3). The Ammonites were evidently in rebellion against him in 588 b.c. when he had to decide whether to attack Rabbah or Jerusalem first (Ezek 21:18-23 [21:23-28 HT]). They appear to have remained in rebellion after the destruction of Jerusalem because their king Baalis was behind the plot to assassinate Gedaliah and offered refuge to Ishmael after he carried it out (Jer 40:13; 41:15). According to the Jewish historian Josephus they were conquered in 582 b.c. by Nebuchadnezzar.



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