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(0.25) (Jer 25:13)

tn Or “I will bring upon it everything that is to be written in this book. I will bring upon it everything that Jeremiah is going to prophesy concerning all the nations.” The references to “this book” and “what Jeremiah has prophesied against the nations” raise issues about the editorial process underlying the current form of the Book of Jeremiah. As the book now stands, there is no earlier reference to any judgments against Babylon or any book (really “scroll”; books were a development of the first or second century a.d.) containing them. A common assumption is that this “book” of judgment refers to the judgments against Babylon and the other nations contained at the end of the book of Jeremiah (46:1-51:58). The Greek version actually inserts the prophecies of 46:1-51:58 here (but in a different order) and interprets “Which (= What) Jeremiah prophesied concerning all the nations” as a title. It is possible that the Greek version may represent an earlier form of the book. At least two earlier forms of the book are known that date roughly to the period dealt with here (Cf. 36:1 with 25:1 and see 36:2, 4 and 36:28, 32). Whether reference here is made to the first or second of these scrolls, and whether the Greek version represents either, is impossible to determine. It is not inconceivable that the referent here is the prophecies that Jeremiah has already uttered in vv. 8-12 and is about to utter in conjunction with the symbolical act that the Lord commands him to perform (vv. 15-26, 30-38), and that these are proleptic of the latter prophecies which will be given later and will be incorporated in a future book. That is the tenor of the alternate translation. The verb forms involved are capable of either a past/perfect translation or a proleptic/future translation. For the use of the participle (in the alternate translation = Heb “that is to be written”; הַכָּתוּב, hakkatuv) to refer to what is proleptic, see GKC 356-57 §116.d, e, and compare usage in Jonah 1:3 and 2 Kgs 11:2. For the use of the perfect to refer to a future act (in the alternate translation “is going to prophesy,” נִבָּא, nibbaʾ), see GKC 312 §106.m and compare usage in Judg 1:2. In support of this interpretation is the fact that the first verb in the next verse (Heb “they will be subjected,” עָבְדוּ, ʿovdu) is undoubtedly prophetic [it is followed by a vav consecutive perfect; cf. Isa 5:14]). Reading the text this way has the advantage of situating it within the context of the passage itself, which involves prophecies against the nations and against Babylon. Babylon is both the agent of wrath (the cup from which the nations drink, cf. 51:7) and the recipient of it (cf. v. 26). However, this interpretation admittedly does not explain the reference to “this book,” except as a proleptic reference to some future form of the book, and there would be clearer ways of expressing this view if that were what was definitely intended.

(0.25) (Jer 22:13)

sn This was a clear violation of covenant law (cf. Deut 24:14-15) and a violation of the requirements set forth in Jer 22:3. The allusion is to Jehoiakim, who is not mentioned until v. 18. He was placed on the throne by Pharaoh Necho and ruled from 609-598 b.c. He became a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar but rebelled against him, bringing about the siege of 597 b.c., in which his son and many of the Judean leaders were carried off to Babylon (2 Kgs 23:34-24:16). He was a wicked king according to the author of the book of Kings (2 Kgs 23:37). He had Uriah the prophet killed (Jer 26:23) and showed no regard for Jeremiah’s prophecies, destroying the scroll containing them (Jer 36:23) and ordering Jeremiah’s arrest (Jer 36:23).

(0.25) (Jer 20:6)

sn As a member of the priesthood and the protector of order in the temple, Pashhur was undoubtedly one of those who promulgated the deceptive belief that the Lord’s presence in the temple was a guarantee of Judah’s safety (cf. 7:4, 8). Judging from the fact that two other men held the same office after the leading men in the city were carried into exile in 597 b.c. (see Jer 29:25-26 and compare 29:1-2 for the date and 2 Kgs 24:12-16 for the facts), this prophecy was probably fulfilled in 597. For a similar kind of oracle of judgment see Amos 7:10-17.

(0.25) (Jer 18:8)

tn There is a good deal of debate about how the word translated here “revoke” should be translated. There is a good deal of reluctance to translate it “change my mind” because some see that as contradicting Num 23:19 and thus prefer “relent.” However, the English word “relent” suggests the softening of an attitude but not necessarily the change of course. It is clear that in many cases (including here) an actual change of course is in view (see, e.g., Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9; Jer 26:19; Exod 13:17; 32:14). Several of these passages deal with “conditional” prophecies, where a change in behavior of the people or the mediation of a prophet involves the change in course of the threatened punishment (or the promised benefit). “Revoke” or “forgo” may be the best way to render this in contemporary English idiom.

(0.25) (Isa 44:25)

tc The Hebrew text has בַּדִּים (baddim), perhaps meaning “empty talkers” (BDB 95 s.v. III בַּד). In the four other occurrences of this word (Job 11:3; Isa 16:6; Jer 48:30; 50:36) the context does not make the meaning of the term very clear. Its primary point appears to be that the words spoken are meaningless or false. In light of its parallelism with “omen readers,” some have proposed an emendation to בָּרִים (barim, “seers”). The Mesopotamian baru-priests were divination specialists who played an important role in court life. See R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, 93-98. Rather than supporting an emendation, J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 2:189, n. 79) suggests that Isaiah used בַּדִּים purposively as a derisive wordplay on the Akkadian word baru (in light of the close similarity of the d and r consonants).

(0.25) (2Ch 18:14)

sn One does not expect Micaiah, having just vowed to speak only what the Lord tells him, to agree with the other prophets and give the king an inaccurate prophecy. Micaiah’s actions became understandable later, when we discover that the Lord desires to deceive the king and lead him to his demise. The Lord even dispatches a lying spirit to deceive Ahab’s prophets. Micaiah can lie to the king because he realizes this lie is from the Lord. It is important to note that in v. 13 Micaiah only vows to speak the word of his God; he does not necessarily say he will tell the truth. In this case the Lord’s word is deliberately deceptive. Only when the king adjures him to tell the truth (v. 15), does Micaiah do so.

(0.25) (1Ki 22:15)

sn “Attack! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” One does not expect Micaiah, having just vowed to speak only what the Lord tells him, to agree with the other prophets and give the king an inaccurate prophecy. Micaiah’s actions became understandable later, when it is revealed that the Lord desires to deceive the king and lead him to his demise. The Lord even dispatches a lying spirit to deceive Ahab’s prophets. Micaiah can lie to the king because he realizes this lie is from the Lord. It is important to note that in v. 14 Micaiah only vows to speak the word of the Lord; he does not necessarily say he will tell the truth. In this case the Lord’s word itself is deceptive. Only when the king adjures him to tell the truth (v. 16), does Micaiah do so.

(0.25) (Num 24:17)

sn This is a figure for a king (see also Isa 14:12) not only in the Bible but in the ancient Near Eastern literature as a whole. The immediate reference of the prophecy seems to be to David, but the eschatological theme goes beyond him. There is to be a connection made between this passage and the sighting of a star in its ascendancy by the magi, who then traveled to Bethlehem to see the one born King of the Jews (Matt 2:2). The expression “son of a star” (Aram Bar Kochba) became a title for a later claimant to kingship, but he was doomed by the Romans in a.d. 135.

(0.25) (Oba 1:16)

tn The identification of the referent of “you” in v. 16a is uncertain. There are three major options. First, on the surface, it would appear to be Edom, which is addressed in v. 15b and throughout the prophecy. However, when Edom is addressed, second person singular forms are normally used in the Hebrew. In v. 16a the Hebrew verb “you drank” is a plural form שְׁתִיתֶם (shetitem), perhaps suggesting that Edom is no longer addressed, at least solely. Perhaps Edom and the nations, mentioned in v. 15a, are both addressed in v. 16a. However, since the nations are referred to in the third person in v. 16b, it seems unlikely that they are addressed here. A second option is to take the final mem (ם) on the Hebrew verb form (שְׁתִיתֶם) as an enclitic particle and revocalize the form as a singular verb (שָׁתִיתָ, shatita) addressed to Edom. In this case v. 16a would allude to the time when Edom celebrated Jerusalem’s defeat on Mount Zion, God’s “holy hill.” Verse 16b would then make the ironic point that just as Edom once drank in victory, so the nations (Edom included) would someday drink the cup of judgment. However, this interpretation is problematic for it necessitates taking the drinking metaphor in different ways (as signifying celebration and then judgment) within the same verse. A third option is that the exiled people of Judah are addressed. Just as God’s people were forced to drink the intoxicating wine of divine judgment, so the nations, including those who humiliated Judah, would be forced to drink this same wine. However, the problem here is that God’s people are never addressed elsewhere in the prophecy, making this approach problematic as well.

(0.25) (Isa 10:28)

sn Verses 28-32 describe an invasion of Judah from the north. There is no scholarly consensus on when this particular invasion took place, if at all. J. H. Hayes and S. A. Irvine (Isaiah, 209-10) suggest the text describes the Israelite-Syrian invasion of Judah (ca. 735 b.c.), but this proposal disregards the preceding context, which prophesies the destruction of Assyria. Some suggest that this invasion occurred in conjunction with Sargon’s western campaign of 713-711 b.c., but there is no historical evidence of such an invasion at that time. Many others identify the invasion as Sennacherib’s in 701 b.c., but historical records indicate Sennacherib approached Jerusalem from the southwest. J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 1:274-75) prefers to see the description as rhetorical and as not corresponding to any particular historical event, but Hayes and Irvine argue that the precise geographical details militate against such a proposal. Perhaps it is best to label the account as rhetorical-prophetic. The prophecy of the invasion was not necessarily intended to be a literal itinerary of the Assyrians’ movements; rather its primary purpose was to create a foreboding mood. Geographical references contribute to this purpose, but they merely reflect how one would expect an Assyrian invasion to proceed, not necessarily how the actual invasion would progress. Despite its rhetorical nature, the prophecy does point to the invasion of 701 b.c., as the announcement of the invaders’ downfall in vv. 33-34 makes clear; it was essentially fulfilled at that time. For further discussion of the problem, see R. E. Clements, Isaiah (NCBC), 117-19. On the geographical details of the account, see Y. Aharoni, Land of the Bible, 393.

(0.22) (Joh 20:22)

sn He breathed on them and said,Receive the Holy Spirit.” The use of the Greek verb breathed on (ἐμφυσάω, emphusaō) to describe the action of Jesus here recalls Gen 2:7 in the LXX, where “the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” This time, however, it is Jesus who is breathing the breath-Spirit of eternal life, life from above, into his disciples (cf. 3:3-10). Furthermore there is the imagery of Ezek 37:1-14, the prophecy concerning the resurrection of the dry bones: In 37:9 the Son of Man is told to prophesy to the “wind-breath-Spirit” to come and breathe on the corpses, so that they will live again. In 37:14 the Lord promised, “I will put my Spirit within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you in your own land.” In terms of ultimate fulfillment the passage in Ezek 37 looks at the regeneration of Israel immediately prior to the establishment of the messianic kingdom. The author saw in what Jesus did for the disciples at this point a partial and symbolic fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy, much as Peter made use of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 in his sermon on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:17-21. What then did Jesus do for the disciples in John 20:22? It appears that in light of the symbolism of the new creation present here, as well as the regeneration symbolism from the Ezek 37 passage, that Jesus at this point breathed into the disciples the breath of eternal life. This was in the form of the Holy Spirit, who was to indwell them. It is instructive to look again at 7:38-39, which states, “Just as the scripture says, ‘Out from within him will flow rivers of living water.’ (Now he said this about the Spirit whom those who believed in him were going to receive; for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”) But now in 20:22 Jesus was glorified, so the Spirit could be given. Had the disciples not believed in Jesus before? It seems clear that they had, since their belief is repeatedly affirmed, beginning with 2:11. But it also seems clear that even on the eve of the crucifixion, they did not understand the necessity of the cross (16:31-33). And even after the crucifixion, the disciples had not realized that there was going to be a resurrection (20:9). Ultimate recognition of who Jesus was appears to have come to them only after the postresurrection appearances (note the response of Thomas, who was not present at this incident, in v. 28). Finally, what is the relation of this incident in 20:22 to the account of the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2? It appears best to view these as two separate events which have two somewhat different purposes. This was the giving of life itself, which flowed out from within (cf. 7:38-39). The giving of power would occur later, on the day of Pentecost—power to witness and carry out the mission the disciples had been given. (It is important to remember that in the historical unfolding of God’s program for the church, these events occurred in a chronological sequence which, after the church has been established, is not repeatable today.)

(0.20) (2Pe 1:19)

sn The reference to the morning star constitutes a double entendre. First, the term was normally used to refer to Venus. But the author of course has a metaphorical meaning in mind, as is obvious from the place where the morning star is to rise—“in your hearts.” Most commentators see an allusion to Num 24:17 (“a star shall rise out of Jacob”) in Peter’s words. Early Christian exegesis saw in that passage a prophecy about Christ’s coming. Hence, in this verse Peter tells his audience to heed the OT scriptures which predict the return of Christ, then alludes to one of the passages that does this very thing, all the while running the theme of light on a parallel track. In addition, it may be significant that Peter’s choice of terms here is not the same as is found in the LXX. He has used a Hellenistic word that was sometimes used of emperors and deities, perhaps as a further polemic against the paganism of his day.

(0.20) (Mar 14:68)

tc Several significant witnesses (א B L W Ψ* 579 892) lack the words “and a rooster crowed.” The fact that such good and early Alexandrian witnesses lack these words makes this textual problem difficult to decide, especially because the words receive support from other witnesses, some of which are fairly decent (A C D Θ Ψc 067 ƒ1,13 33 [1424] M lat). The omission could have been intentional on the part of some Alexandrian scribes who wished to bring this text in line with the other Gospel accounts that only mention a rooster crowing once (Matt 26:74; Luke 22:60; John 18:27). The insertion could be an attempt to make the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in 14:30 more explicit. Internally, the words “and a rooster crowed” fit Mark’s Gospel here, not only in view of 14:30, “before a rooster crows twice,” but also in view of the mention of “a second time” in 14:72 (a reading which is much more textually secure). Nevertheless, a decision is difficult.

(0.20) (Mat 13:35)

tc A few significant mss (א* Θ ƒ1, 13 33) identify the prophet as Isaiah, a reading that is significantly harder than the generic “prophet” because the source of this prophecy is not Isaiah but Asaph in Ps 78. Jerome mentioned some mss that had “Asaph” here, though none are known to exist today. This problem is difficult because of the temptation for scribes to delete the reference to Isaiah in order to clear up a discrepancy. Indeed, the vast majority of witnesses have only “the prophet” here (א1 B C D L W Γ Δ 0233 0242 565 579 700 1241 1424 M lat sy co). However, as B. M. Metzger points out, “if no prophet were originally named, more than one scribe might have been prompted to insert the name of the best known prophet—something which has, in fact, happened elsewhere more than once” (TCGNT 27). In light of the paucity of evidence for the reading ᾿Ησαΐου, as well as the proclivity of scribes to add his name, it is probably best to consider the shorter reading as authentic.

(0.20) (Mat 1:23)

sn A quotation from Isa 7:14. It is unclear whether the author is citing the MT or the LXX. The use of the word παρθένος (parthenos, “virgin”) may be due to its occurrence in the LXX, but it is also possible that it is the author’s translation of the Hebrew term עַלְמָה (’almah, “young woman”). The second phrase of the quotation is modified slightly from its original context; both the MT and LXX have a second person singular verb, but here the quotation has a third person plural verb form. The spelling of the name here (Emmanuel) differs from the spelling of the name in the OT (Immanuel) because of a different leading vowel in the respective Greek and Hebrew words. In the original context, this passage pointed to a child who would be born during the time of Ahaz as proof that the military alliance of Syria and Israel against Judah would fail. Within Isaiah’s subsequent prophecies this promise was ultimately applied to the future Davidic king who would one day rule over the nation.

(0.20) (Hab 2:4)

tn Or “loyalty”; or “integrity.” The Hebrew word אֱמוּנָה (ʾemunah) has traditionally been translated “faith,” but the term nowhere else refers to “belief” as such. When used of human character and conduct it carries the notion of “honesty, integrity, reliability, faithfulness.” The antecedent of the suffix has been understood in different ways. It could refer to God’s faithfulness, but in this case one would expect a first person suffix (the original form of the LXX has “my faithfulness” here). Others understand the “vision” to be the antecedent. In this case the reliability of the prophecy is in view. For a statement of this view, see J. J. M. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (OTL), 111-12. The present translation assumes that the preceding word “[the person of] integrity” is the antecedent. In this case the Lord is assuring Habakkuk that those who are truly innocent will be preserved through the coming oppression and judgment by their godly lifestyle, for God ultimately rewards this type of conduct. In contrast to these innocent people, those with impure desires (epitomized by the greedy Babylonians; see v. 5) will not be able to withstand God’s judgment (v. 4a).

(0.20) (Joe 2:28)

sn This passage plays a key role in the apostolic explanation of the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2:17-21. Peter introduces his quotation of this passage with “this is that spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16; cf. the similar pesher formula used at Qumran). The New Testament events at Pentecost are thus seen in some sense as a fulfillment of this Old Testament passage, even though that experience did not exhaustively fulfill Joel’s words. Some portions of Joel’s prophecy have no precise counterpart in that experience. For example, there is nothing in the events recorded in Acts 2 that exactly corresponds to the earthly and heavenly signs described in Joel 3:3-4. But inasmuch as the messianic age had already begun and the “last days” had already commenced with the coming of the Messiah (cf. Heb 1:1-2), Peter was able to point to Joel 3:1-5 as a text that was relevant to the advent of Jesus and the bestowal of the Spirit. The equative language that Peter employs (“this is that”) stresses an incipient fulfillment of the Joel passage without precluding or minimizing a yet future and more exhaustive fulfillment in events associated with the return of Christ.

(0.20) (Jer 49:11)

tn Or “Their children and relatives will all be destroyed. And none of their neighbors will say, ‘Leave your orphans with me, and I’ll keep them alive. Your widows can trust in me.’” This latter interpretation is based on a reading in a couple of the Greek versions (Symmachus and Lucian) and is accepted by several modern commentaries (J. Bright, J. A. Thompson, W. L. Holladay, and G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers). However, the majority of modern English versions do not follow it, and, lacking any other Hebrew or versional evidence, it is probably an interpretation to deal with the mitigation of what seems a prophecy of utter annihilation. There have been other cases in Jeremiah where a universal affirmation (either positive or negative) has been modified in the verses that follow. The verb in the second line תִּבְטָחוּ (tivtakhu) is highly unusual; it is a second masculine plural form with a feminine plural subject. The form is explained in GKC 127-28 §47.k and 160-61 §60.a, n. 1 as a pausal substitution for the normal form תִּבְטַחְנָה (tivtakhnah), with a similar form in Ezek 37:7 cited as a parallel.

(0.20) (Jer 46:1)

sn Jeremiah was called to be a prophet not only to Judah and Jerusalem but to the nations (1:5, 10). The prophecies or oracles that are collected here in Jer 46-51 are found after 25:13a in the Greek version, where they are also found in a different order and with several textual differences. The issue of which represents the original writing is part of the broader issue of the editorial or redactional history of the book of Jeremiah, which went through several editions, two of which are referred to in Jer 36, i.e., the two scrolls written in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (605 b.c.). A third edition included all the preceding plus the material down to the time of the fall of Jerusalem (cf. the introduction in 1:1-3), and a fourth included all the preceding plus the materials in Jer 40-44. The oracles against the foreign nations collected here are consistent with the note of judgment sounded against all nations (including some not mentioned in Jer 46-51) in Jer 25. See the translator’s note on 25:13 for further details regarding the relationship that the oracles to the foreign nations may have to the judgment speeches in Jer 25.

(0.20) (Jer 30:2)

sn Reference is made here to the so-called “Book of Consolation,” which is the most extended treatment of the theme of hope or deliverance in the book. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet both of judgment (tearing down and destroying) and of deliverance (replanting and rebuilding; see Jer 1:10). Jeremiah lamented that predominantly he had to pronounce judgment, but he has periodically woven in prophecies of hope after judgment in 3:14-18; 16:14-15; 23:3-8; 24:4-7; 29:10-14, 32. The oracles of hope contained in these chapters are undated, but reference is made in them to the restoration of both Israel, which had gone into exile in Assyria in 722 b.c., and Judah, which began to be exiled in 605 and 597 b.c. Jeremiah had already written as early as the reign of Zedekiah about the exiles, who were the good figs and were to experience the “good” of restoration (24:4-7; 29:10-14), and he had spoken of the further exile of those who remained in Judah. So it is possible that these oracles fit in roughly the same time frame as chapters 27-29.

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