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(0.50) (Isa 34:16)

sn It is uncertain what particular scroll is referred to here. Perhaps the phrase simply refers to this prophecy and is an admonition to pay close attention to the details of the message.

(0.49) (Joh 12:16)

sn The comment His disciples did not understand these things when they first happened (a parenthetical note by the author) informs the reader that Jesus’ disciples did not at first associate the prophecy from Zechariah with the events as they happened. This came with the later (postresurrection) insight which the Holy Spirit would provide after Jesus’ resurrection and return to the Father. Note the similarity with John 2:22, which follows another allusion to a prophecy in Zechariah (14:21).

(0.49) (Zec 9:9)

sn The NT understands this verse to be a prophecy of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and properly so (cf. Matt 21:5; John 12:15), but reference to the universal rule of the king in v. 10 reveals that this is a “split prophecy,” that is, it has a two-stage fulfillment. Verse 9 was fulfilled in Jesus’ earthly ministry but v. 10 awaits a millennial consummation (cf. Rev 19:11-16).

(0.49) (Jer 28:17)

sn Comparison with Jer 28:1 shows that this whole incident took place in the space of two months. Hananiah had prophesied that the captivity would be over before two years had past. However, before two months were past, Hananiah himself died in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of his death. His death was a validation of Jeremiah as a true prophet. The subsequent events of 588 b.c. would validate Jeremiah’s prophecies and invalidate those of Hananiah.

(0.49) (Jer 26:22)

sn Elnathan son of Achbor was one of the officials who urged Jeremiah and Baruch to hide after they heard Jeremiah’s prophecies read before them (Jer 36:11-19). He was also one of the officials who urged Jehoiakim not to burn the scroll containing Jeremiah’s prophecies (Jer 36:25). He may have been Jehoiakim’s father-in-law (2 Kgs 24:6, 8).

(0.49) (Isa 13:22)

sn When was the prophecy of Babylon’s fall fulfilled? Some argue that the prophecy was fulfilled in 689 b.c. when the Assyrians under Sennacherib sacked and desecrated the city (this event is alluded to in 23:13). This may have been an initial phase in the fulfillment of the prophecy, but the reference to the involvement of the Medes (v. 17) and the suggestion that Babylon’s demise will bring about the restoration of Israel (14:1-2) indicate that the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians in 538 b.c. is the primary focus of the prophecy. (After all, the Lord did reveal to Isaiah that the Chaldeans [not the Assyrians] would someday conquer Jerusalem and take the people into exile [see 39:5-7].) However, the vivid picture of destruction in vv. 15-22 raises a problem. The Medes and Persians did not destroy the city; in fact Cyrus’ takeover of Babylon, though preceded by a military campaign, was relatively peaceful and even welcomed by some Babylonian religious officials. How then does one explain the prophecy’s description of the city’s violent fall? As noted above, the events of 689 b.c. and 538 b.c. may have been merged in the prophecy. However, it is more likely that the language is stylized and exaggerated for rhetorical effect. See Isa 34:11-15; Jer 50:39-40 (describing Babylon’s fall in 538 b.c.); 51:36-37 (describing Babylon’s fall in 538 b.c.); Zeph 2:13-15; the extra-biblical Sefire treaty curses; and Ashurbanipal’s description of the destruction of Elam in his royal annals. In other words, the events of 538 b.c. essentially, though not necessarily literally, fulfill the prophecy.

(0.43) (Jer 48:45)

sn This verse and the next are an apparent adaptation and reuse of a victory song in Num 21:28-29 and a prophecy in Num 24:17. That explains the reference to Sihon, the Amorite king who captured Heshbon and proceeded from there to capture most of northern Moab (the area between Heshbon and the Arnon), which has been referred to earlier in this prophecy. This prophecy appears to speak of the destruction of Moab, beginning from the same place, under the picture of a destructive fire that burns up all the people. The fire is a reference to the conflagrations of war by which the enemy captures the cities, sets them on fire, and burns all the people in them. What Sihon once did (Num 21:28-29), and what Balaam prophesied would happen to Moab in the future (by David? Num 24:17), are being reapplied to a new situation.

(0.43) (Jer 47:1)

sn The precise dating of this prophecy is uncertain. Several proposals have been suggested, the most likely of which is that the prophecy was delivered in 609 b.c. in conjunction with Pharaoh Necho’s advance into Palestine to aid the Assyrians. That was the same year Josiah was killed by Necho at the battle of Megiddo and four years before Necho was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, the foe from the north. The prophecy presupposes that Ashkelon is still in existence (v. 5); hence it must be before 604 b.c. For a fairly complete discussion of the options see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 299-300.

(0.43) (Jer 1:12)

sn There is a play on the Hebrew word for “almond tree” (שָׁקֵד, shaqed) and the word “watching” (שֹׁקֵד, shoqed). The vision is not the prophecy but is simply the occasion for the prophecy. Getting Jeremiah to say shaqed (almond tree) becomes the occasion for God to announce he is shoqed (watching). The verb refers to someone watching over someone or something in preparation for action. Compare Jer 1:13-14 and Amos 7:7-8; 8:1-2, which each follow the formula of God asking the prophet what he sees and then giving a prophecy based on a sound play. Here the play on words announces the certainty and imminence of the Lord carrying out the covenant curses of Lev 26 and Deut 28 threatened by the earlier prophets.

(0.42) (Jer 51:1)

sn Heb “the people who live in Leb Qamai.” “Leb Qamai” is a code name for “Chaldeans” formed on the principle of substituting the last letter of the alphabet for the first, the next to the last for the second, and so on. This same principle is used in referring to Babylon in 25:26 and 51:41 as “Sheshach.” See the study note on 25:26, where further details are given. There is no consensus on why the code name is used. The terms Babylon and Chaldeans (= Babylonians) have appeared regularly in this prophecy or collection of prophecies.

(0.42) (Jer 50:17)

sn If the prophecies mentioned in Jer 51:59-64 refer to all that is contained in Jer 50-51 (as some believe), this would have referred to the disasters of 605 b.c. and 598 b.c., as well as all the harassment that Israel experienced from Babylon up until the fourth year of Zedekiah (594 b.c.). If, on the other hand, the prophecy related in 51:59-64 refers to something less than this final form, the destruction of 587/6 b.c. could be included in 50:17 as well.

(0.42) (Ecc 8:1)

tn Or “the explanation.” The noun פֵּשֶׁר (pesher) denotes “solution; explanation; interpretation; meaning” (HALOT 982-83 s.v. פֵּשֶׁר; BDB 833 s.v. פֵּשֶׁר). The Hebrew term is an Aramaic loanword from פִּשְׁרָא (pishraʾ, “diagnosis; meaning; solution”). The Aramaic noun פְּשַׁר (peshar, “interpretation of a dream or prophecy”) and verb פְּשַׁר (peshar, “to interpret a dream or prophecy”) reflect a later meaning not present in Ecclesiastes, but current at the time of Daniel (Dan 2:5-7; 4:3, 15, 16; 5:12, 15, 16; 7:16) and Qumran (e.g., 1QpHab).

(0.42) (Num 22:5)

sn There is much literature on pagan diviners and especially prophecy in places in the east like Mari (see, for example, H. B. Huffmon, “Prophecy in the Mari Letters,” BA 31 [1968]: 101-24). Balaam appears to be a pagan diviner who was of some reputation; he was called to curse the Israelites, but God intervened and gave him blessings only. The passage forms a nice complement to texts that deal with blessings and curses. It shows that no one can curse someone whom God has blessed.

(0.40) (Jud 1:4)

tn Grk “people.” However, if Jude is indeed arguing that Peter’s prophecy about false teachers has come true, these are most likely men in the original historical and cultural setting. See discussion of this point in the note on the phrase “these men” in 2 Pet 2:12.

(0.40) (1Ti 1:18)

sn The prophecies once spoken about you were apparently spoken at Timothy’s ordination (cf. 1 Tim 4:14) and perhaps spoke of what God would do through him. Thus they can encourage him in his work, as the next clause says.

(0.40) (Act 2:18)

sn The words and they will prophesy in Acts 2:18 are not quoted from Joel 2:29 at this point but are repeated from earlier in the quotation (Acts 2:17) for emphasis. Tongues speaking is described as prophecy, just like intelligible tongues are described in 1 Cor 14:26-33.

(0.40) (Joh 11:52)

sn The author in his comment expands the prophecy to include the Gentiles (not for the Jewish nation only), a confirmation that the Fourth Gospel was directed, at least partly, to a Gentile audience. There are echoes of Pauline concepts here (particularly Eph 2:11-22) in the stress on the unity of Jew and Gentile.

(0.40) (Luk 1:67)

sn Prophesied. The reference to prophecy reflects that Zechariah is enabled by the Spirit to speak God’s will. He does so in this case through a praise psalm, which calls for praise and then gives the reason why God should be praised.

(0.40) (Eze 34:24)

sn The messianic king (“David”) is called both “king” and “prince” in 37:24-25. The use of the term “prince” for this king facilitates the contrast between this ideal ruler and the Davidic “princes” denounced in earlier prophecies (see 7:27; 12:10, 12; 19:1; 21:25; 22:6, 25).

(0.40) (Eze 21:21)

sn Mesopotamian kings believed that the gods revealed the future through omens. They employed various divination techniques, some of which are included in the list that follows. A particularly popular technique was the examination and interpretation of the livers of animals. See R. R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, 90-110.

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