New English Translation
Jeremiah Buys a Field
32 In the tenth year that Zedekiah was ruling over Judah the Lord spoke to Jeremiah.[a] That was the same as the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
2 Now at that time,[b] the armies of the king of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem.[c] The prophet Jeremiah was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse[d] attached to the royal palace of Judah. 3 For King Zedekiah[e] had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, “Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the Lord says, ‘I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it.[f] 4 King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians.[g] He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face.[h] 5 Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him.[i] I, the Lord, affirm it![j] Even if you[k] continue to fight against the Babylonians,[l] you cannot win.’”
6 So now, Jeremiah said, “The Lord’s message came to me,[m] 7 ‘Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, “Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled[n] as my closest relative to buy it.”’[o] 8 And then my cousin Hanamel did come to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse in keeping with the Lord’s message. He said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.’ When this happened, I recognized that the Lord had indeed spoken to me. 9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver and gave it to him to pay for it.[p] 10 I signed the deed of purchase,[q] sealed it, and had some men serve as witnesses to the purchase.[r] I weighed out the silver for him on a scale. 11 There were two copies of the deed of purchase. One was sealed and contained the order of transfer and the conditions of purchase.[s] The other was left unsealed. 12 I took both copies of the deed of purchase[t] and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. I gave them to him in the presence[u] of my cousin[v] Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase, and all the Judeans who were housed in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 13 In the presence of all these people I instructed Baruch, 14 ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[w] says, “Take these documents, both the sealed copy of the deed of purchase and the unsealed copy. Put them in a clay jar so that they may be preserved for a long time to come.”’[x] 15 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[y] says, ‘Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’[z]
Jeremiah’s Prayer of Praise and Bewilderment
16 “After I had given the copies of the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, 17 ‘Oh, Sovereign Lord,[aa] you did indeed[ab] make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength.[ac] Nothing is too hard for you! 18 You show unfailing love to thousands.[ad] But you also punish children for the sins of their parents.[ae] You are the great and powerful God whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[af] 19 You plan great things and you do mighty deeds.[ag] You see everything people do.[ah] You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do.[ai] 20 You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt that have had lasting effect. By this means you gained both in Israel and among humankind a renown that lasts to this day.[aj] 21 You used your mighty power and your great strength to perform miracles and amazing deeds and to bring great terror on the Egyptians. By this means you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt.[ak] 22 You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors.[al] You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey.[am] 23 But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do.[an] So you brought all this disaster on them. 24 Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city[ao] in order to capture it. War,[ap] starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians[aq] who are attacking it.[ar] Lord,[as] you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place.[at] 25 The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians.[au] Yet, in spite of this,[av] you, Sovereign Lord,[aw] have said to me, “Buy that field with silver and have the transaction legally witnessed.”’”[ax]
The Lord Answers Jeremiah’s Prayer
26 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah: 27 “I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me.[ay] 28 Therefore I, the Lord, say:[az] ‘I will indeed hand[ba] this city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army.[bb] They will capture it. 29 The Babylonian soldiers[bc] that are attacking this city will break into it and set it on fire. They will burn it down along with the houses where people have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops.[bd] 30 This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me[be] from their earliest history until now[bf] and because they[bg] have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done.[bh] I, the Lord, affirm it![bi] 31 This will happen because[bj] the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now.[bk] They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove[bl] it from my sight. 32 I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness—they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem have done this wickedness.[bm] 33 They have turned away from me instead of turning to me.[bn] I tried over and over again[bo] to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction.[bp] 34 They set up their disgusting idols in the temple that I have claimed for my own[bq] and defiled it. 35 They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech.[br] Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do. It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.’[bs]
36 “You and your people[bt] are right in saying, ‘War,[bu] starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.’[bv] But now I, the Lord God of Israel, have something further to say about this city:[bw] 37 ‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I have exiled[bx] them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God.[by] 39 I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for[bz] their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. 40 I will make a lasting covenant[ca] with them that I will never stop doing good to them.[cb] I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that[cc] they will never again turn away[cd] from me. 41 I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them[ce] firmly in the land.’
42 “For I, the Lord, say:[cf] ‘I will surely bring on these people all the good fortune that I am hereby promising them. I will be just as sure to do that as I have been in bringing all this great disaster on them.[cg] 43 You and your people[ch] are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians.[ci] But fields[cj] will again be bought in this land.[ck] 44 Fields will again be bought with silver, and deeds of purchase signed, sealed, and witnessed. This will happen in the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, the towns in Judah, the southern hill country, the foothills,[cl] and southern Judah.[cm] For I will restore them to their land.[cn] I, the Lord, affirm it!’”[co]
- Jeremiah 32:1 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of…” See 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1; 30:1 for this same formula.sn The dating formulas indicate that the date was 588/87 b.c. Zedekiah had begun to reign in 598/97, and Nebuchadnezzar had begun to reign in 605/604 b.c. The dating of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule here includes the partial year before he was officially crowned on New Year’s day. See the translator’s note on 25:1 for the method of dating a king’s reign.
- Jeremiah 32:2 sn Jer 32:2-5 are parenthetical, giving the background for the actual report of what the Lord said in v. 7. The background is significant because it shows that Jeremiah was predicting the fall of the city and the kingdom and was being held prisoner for doing so. Despite this pessimistic outlook, the Lord wanted Jeremiah to demonstrate his assurance of the future restoration (which has been the topic of the two preceding chapters) by buying a field as a symbolic indicator that the Israelites would again one day regain possession of their houses, fields, and vineyards (vv. 15, 44). (For other symbolic acts with prophetic import see Jer 13, 19.)
- Jeremiah 32:2 sn According to Jer 39:1 the siege began in Zedekiah’s ninth year (i.e., in 589/88 b.c.). It had been interrupted while the Babylonian army was occupied with fighting against an Egyptian force that had invaded Judah. During this period of relaxed siege Jeremiah had attempted to go to his hometown in Anathoth to settle some property matters, had been accused of treason, and been thrown into a dungeon (37:11-15). After appealing to Zedekiah, he had been moved from the dungeon to the courtyard of the guardhouse connected to the palace (37:21), where he remained confined until Jerusalem was captured in 587/86 b.c. (38:28).
- Jeremiah 32:2 tn Heb “the courtyard of the guarding” or “place of guarding.” This expression occurs only in the book of Jeremiah (32:2, 8, 12; 33:1; 37:21; 38:6, 12, 28; 39:14, 15) and in Neh 3:25. It is not the same as an enclosed prison, which is where Jeremiah was initially confined (37:15-16; literally a “house of imprisoning” [בֵּית הָאֵסוּר, bet haʾesur] or “house of confining” [בֵּית הַכֶּלֶא, bet hakkeleʾ]). It is said to have been in the palace compound (32:2) near the citadel or upper palace (Neh 3:25). Though it was a place of confinement (32:2; 33:1; 39:15), Jeremiah was able to receive visitors, e.g., his cousin Hanamel (32:8) and the scribe Baruch (32:12), and conduct business there (32:12). According to 32:12 other Judeans were also housed there. A cistern of one of the royal princes, Malkijah, was located in this courtyard, so this is probably not a “prison compound,” as NJPS interpret, but a courtyard adjacent to a guardhouse or guard post (so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 151, and compare Neh 12:39, where reference is made to a Gate of the Guard/Guardhouse), used here for housing political prisoners who did not deserve death or solitary confinement, as some of the officials thought Jeremiah did.
- Jeremiah 32:3 tn Heb “Zedekiah king of Judah.”
- Jeremiah 32:3 tn The translation represents an attempt to break up a very long Hebrew sentence with several levels of subordination and embedded quotations and also an attempt to capture the rhetorical force of the question “Why…?” which is probably an example of what E. W. Bullinger (Figures of Speech, 953-54) calls a rhetorical question of expostulation or remonstrance (cf. the note on 26:9 and also the question in 36:29; in all three of these cases NJPS translates, “How dare you…?” which captures the force nicely). The Hebrew text reads, “For Zedekiah king of Judah had confined him, saying, ‘Why are you prophesying, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I am giving this city into the hands of the king of Babylon and he will capture it’”?’”
- Jeremiah 32:4 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.
- Jeremiah 32:4 tn Heb “his [Zedekiah’s] mouth will speak with his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] mouth, and his eyes will see his eyes.” The verbs here are an obligatory imperfect and its vav consecutive perfect equivalent. (See IBHS 508-9 §31.4g for discussion and examples of the former and IBHS 528 §32.2.1d, n. 16, for the latter.)
- Jeremiah 32:5 tn This is the verb (פָּקַד, paqad) that has been met with several times in the book of Jeremiah, most often in the ominous sense of “punish” (e.g., 6:15; 11:22; 23:24), but also in the good sense of “resume concern for” (e.g., 27:22; 29:10). Here it is obviously in the ominous sense, referring to his imprisonment and ultimate death (52:11).sn Cf. Jer 34:2-3 for this same prophecy. The incident in Jer 34:1-7 appears to be earlier than this one. Here Jeremiah is confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse; there he appears to have freedom of movement.
- Jeremiah 32:5 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 32:5 sn The pronouns are plural here, referring to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah had counseled that they surrender (cf. 27:12; 21:8-10) because they could not succeed against the Babylonian army, even under the most favorable circumstances (37:3-10).
- Jeremiah 32:5 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.
- Jeremiah 32:6 sn This verse resumes the narrative introduction in v. 1, which was interrupted by the long parenthetical note about historical background. There is again some disjunction in the narrative (compare the translator’s notes on 27:2 and 28:1). What was begun as a biographical (third person) narrative turns into an autobiographical (first person) narrative until v. 26, where the third person is again resumed. Again this betrays the hand of the narrator, Baruch.
- Jeremiah 32:7 tn Heb “your right.” The term מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) here and in v. 8 refers to legal entitlement to the option to purchase a property (BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 5; cf. Deut 21:17).
- Jeremiah 32:7 sn Underlying this request are the laws of redemption of property spelled out in Lev 25:25-34 and illustrated in Ruth 4:3-4. Under these laws, if a property owner became impoverished and had to sell his land, the nearest male relative had the right and duty to buy it so that it would not pass out of the use of the extended family. The land, however, would not actually belong to Jeremiah because in the Year of Jubilee it reverted to its original owner. All Jeremiah was actually buying was the right to use it (Lev 25:13-17). Buying the field, thus, did not make any sense (thus Jeremiah’s complaint in v. 25) other than the fact that the Lord intended to use Jeremiah’s act as a symbol of a restored future in the land.
- Jeremiah 32:9 tn Heb “I weighed out the money [more literally, “silver”] for him, seventeen shekels of silver.”sn Coins were not in common use until the postexilic period. Payment in gold and silver was made by cutting off pieces of silver or gold and weighing them in a beam balance using standard weights as the measure. A shekel weighed approximately 0.4 ounce or 11.4 grams. The English equivalents are only approximations.
- Jeremiah 32:10 tn The words “of purchase” are not in the text but are implicit. The qualification is spelled out explicitly in vv. 11-13. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity. An alternative translation would be, “I put the deed in writing.” However, since the same idiom כָּתַב בְּסֵפֶר (katav besefer) is used later in v. 12 with respect to the witnesses, it is likely that it merely refers to signing the document.
- Jeremiah 32:10 tn The words “to the purchase” are not in the text but are implicit in the idiom “I had some witnesses serve as witness.” The words are supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Jeremiah 32:11 tn There is some uncertainty about the precise meaning of the phrases translated “the order of transfer and the regulations.” The translation follows the interpretation suggested by J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 237; J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 586, n. 5; and presumably BDB 349 s.v. חֹק 7, which defines the use of חֹק (khoq) here as “conditions of the deed of purchase.”
- Jeremiah 32:12 tn Heb “the deed, the purchase.” This is a case of apposition of species in place of the genitive construction (cf. GKC 423 §131.b and compare the usage in Exod 24:5).
- Jeremiah 32:12 tn Heb “I took the deed of purchase, both that which was sealed [and contained] the order and the regulations and that which was open [i.e., unsealed], and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch…in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and in the presence of…and in the presence of….” It is awkward to begin a sentence with “I took…” without finishing the thought, and the long qualifiers in v. 12 make that sentence too long. The sentence is broken up in accordance with contemporary English style. The reference to the “deed of purchase” in v. 12 should be viewed as a plural consisting of both written and sealed copies, as is clear from v. 11 and also v. 14. Part of the confusion is due to the nature of this document that consisted of a single papyrus scroll, half of which was rolled up and sealed and half of which was left “opened” or unsealed. J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 237-38) is probably incorrect in assuming that the copies were duplicate, since the qualification “containing the order of transfer and the regulations” is only applied to the appositional participle, “the sealed one [or copy].”sn Aramaic documents from a slightly later period help us understand the nature of such deeds. The document consisted of a single papyrus sheet divided in half. One half contained all the particulars and was tightly rolled up, bound with strips of cloth or thread, sealed with wax upon which the parties affixed their seal, and signed by witnesses. The other copy consisted of an abstract and was left loosely rolled and unsealed (i.e., open to be consulted at will). If questions were raised about legality of the contract, then the sealed copy could be unsealed and consulted.
- Jeremiah 32:12 tc The translation follows a number of Hebrew mss and the Greek and Syriac versions in reading “the son of my uncles (= my cousin; בֶּן דֹּדִי, ben dodi).” The majority of Hebrew mss do not have the word “son of (בֶּן).”
- Jeremiah 32:14 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study notes on 2:19.
- Jeremiah 32:14 tn Heb “many days.” See BDB s.v. יוֹם 5.b for this usage.
- Jeremiah 32:15 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study notes on 2:19.
- Jeremiah 32:15 sn The significance of the symbolic act performed by Jeremiah, as explained here, was a further promise (see the “again” statements in 31:4, 5, 23 and the “no longer” statements in 31:12, 29, 34, 40) of future restoration beyond the destruction implied in vv. 3-5. After the interruption of exile, normal life of buying and selling of fields, etc. would again be resumed, and former property rights would be recognized.
- Jeremiah 32:17 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” For an explanation of the rendering here see the study note on 1:6.sn The parallel usage of this introduction in Jer 1:6; 4:10; 14:13 shows that though this prayer has a lengthy introductory section of praise in vv. 17-22, this prayer is really one of complaint or lament.
- Jeremiah 32:17 tn This is an attempt to render the Hebrew particle normally translated “behold.” See the translator’s note on 1:6 for the usage of this particle.
- Jeremiah 32:17 tn Heb “by your great power and your outstretched arm.” See 21:5; 27:5; and the marginal note on 27:5 for this idiom.
- Jeremiah 32:18 tn Or “to thousands of generations.” In Exod 20:5-6; Deut 5:9-10; Exod 34:7 the contrast between showing steadfast love to “thousands” and the limitation of punishing the third and fourth generation of children for their parents’ sins has suggested to many commentators and translators (cf., e.g., NRSV, TEV, NJPS) that reference here is to “thousands of generations.” The statement is, of course, rhetorical, emphasizing God’s great desire to bless as opposed to the reluctant necessity of punishing. It is part of the attributes of God spelled out in Exod 34:6-7.
- Jeremiah 32:18 tn Heb “pays back into the bosom of their children the sin of their parents.”
- Jeremiah 32:18 tn Heb “Nothing is too hard for you who show…and who punishes…the great [and] powerful God whose name is Yahweh of Armies, [you who are] great in counsel…whose eyes are open…who did signs…” Jer 32:18-22 is a long series of relative clauses introduced by participles or relative pronouns (vv. 18-20a) followed by second person vav consecutive imperfects carrying on the last of these relative clauses (vv. 20b-22). This is typical of hymnic introductions to hymns of praise (cf., e.g., Ps 136), but it is hard to sustain the relative subordination that all goes back to the suffix on “hard for you.” The sentences have been broken up, but the connection with the end of v. 17 has been sacrificed for conformity to contemporary English style.
- Jeremiah 32:19 tn Heb “[you are] great in counsel and mighty in deed.”
- Jeremiah 32:19 tn Heb “your eyes are open to the ways of the sons of men.”
- Jeremiah 32:19 tn Heb “giving to each according to his way [= behavior/conduct] and according to the fruit of his deeds.”
- Jeremiah 32:20 tn Or “You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt. And you continue to do them until this day both in Israel and among mankind. By this means you have gained a renown…” The translation here follows the syntactical understanding reflected also in NJPS. The Hebrew text reads, “You did miracles and marvelous acts in the land of Egypt until this day and in Israel and in mankind, and you made for yourself a name as this day.” The majority of English versions and commentaries understand the phrases “until this day and in Israel and in mankind” to be an elliptical sentence with the preceding verb and objects supplied, as reflected in the alternate translation. However, the emphasis on the miraculous deeds in Egypt in this section, both before and after this elliptical phrase, and the dominant usage of the terms “signs and wonders” to refer to the plagues and other miraculous signs in Egypt, call this interpretation into question. The key here is understanding “both in Israel and in mankind” as an example of a casus pendens construction (a dangling subject, object, or other modifier) before a conjunction introducing the main clause (cf. GKC 327 §111.h and 458 §143.d and compare the usage in Jer 6:19; 33:24; 1 Kgs 15:13). This verse is the topic sentence, which is developed further in v. 21, and initiates a narrative history of the distant past that continues until v. 22b, where reference is made to the long history of disobedience that has led to the present crisis.
- Jeremiah 32:21 tn Heb “You brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders and with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror.” For the figurative expressions involved here see the marginal notes on 27:5. The sentence has been broken down to better conform to contemporary English style.
- Jeremiah 32:22 tn Heb “fathers.”
- Jeremiah 32:22 tn For an alternative translation of the expression “a land flowing with milk and honey,” see the translator’s note on 11:5.
- Jeremiah 32:23 tn Or “They did not do everything that you commanded them to do.” This is probably a case where the negative (לֹא, loʾ) negates the whole category indicated by “all” (כָּל, kol; see BDB 482 s.v. כֹּל 1.e(c) and compare usage in Deut 12:16 and 28:14). Jeremiah has repeatedly emphasized that the history of Israel since their entry into the land has been one of persistent disobedience and rebellion (cf., e.g. 7:22-26; 11:7-8). The statement, of course, is somewhat hyperbolical, as all categorical statements of this kind are.
- Jeremiah 32:24 tn Heb “Siege ramps have come up to the city to capture it.”
- Jeremiah 32:24 tn Heb “sword.”
- Jeremiah 32:24 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.
- Jeremiah 32:24 tn Heb “And the city has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans, who are fighting against it, because of the sword, starvation, and disease.” The verb “has been given” is one of those perfects that view the action as good as done (the perfect of certainty or prophetic perfect).
- Jeremiah 32:24 tn The word “Lord” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation as a reminder that it is he who is being addressed.
- Jeremiah 32:24 tn Heb “And what you said has happened, and, behold, you see it.”
- Jeremiah 32:25 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.
- Jeremiah 32:25 tn Heb “And you, Lord Yahweh, have said to me, ‘Buy the field for…,’ even though the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians.” The sentence has been broken up and the order reversed for English stylistic purposes. For the rendering “is sure to fall into the hands of,” see the translator’s note on the preceding verse.
- Jeremiah 32:25 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” For the rendering of this title see the study note on 1:6.
- Jeremiah 32:25 tn Heb “call in witnesses to witness.”
- Jeremiah 32:27 tn Heb “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” The question is rhetorical expecting an emphatic negative answer (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 949, citing the parallel in Gen 18:14). The Hebrew particle “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh) introduces the grounds for this rhetorical negative (cf. T. O. Lambdin, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, 170, §135 ), i.e., “Since I am the Lord, the God of all mankind, there is indeed nothing too hard for me [or is there anything too hard for me?].”sn This statement furnishes the grounds both for the assurance that the city will indeed be delivered over to Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 28-29a) and that it will be restored and repopulated (vv. 37-41). This can be seen from the parallel introductions in v. 28: “Therefore the Lord says” and “Now therefore the Lord says.” As the creator of all and God of all mankind, he has the power and authority to do with his creation what he wishes (cf. Jer 27:5-6).
- Jeremiah 32:28 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the speech has already been introduced as first person, so the first person style has been retained for smoother narrative style.
- Jeremiah 32:28 tn Heb “Behold, I will give this city into the hand of…”
- Jeremiah 32:28 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.
- Jeremiah 32:29 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.
- Jeremiah 32:29 sn Cf. Jer 19:13.
- Jeremiah 32:30 tn Heb “that which is evil in my eyes.” For this idiom see BDB 744 s.v. עַיִן 3.c and compare usage in 18:10.
- Jeremiah 32:30 tn Heb “from their youth.”sn Cf. Jer 3:24-25 and 11:21. The nation is being personified, and reference is made to her history from the time she left Egypt onward (cf. 2:2).
- Jeremiah 32:30 tn Heb “the people of Israel.” However, since “people of Israel” has been used in the preceding line for the northern kingdom as opposed to the kingdom of Judah, it might lead to confusion to translate literally. Moreover, the pronoun “they” accomplishes the same purpose.
- Jeremiah 32:30 tn Heb “by the work of their hands.” See the translator’s note on 25:6 and the parallelism in 25:14 for this rendering rather than referring it to the making of idols as in 1:16 and 10:3.
- Jeremiah 32:30 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 32:31 tn The statements in vv. 28-29 regarding the certain destruction of the city are motivated by three parallel causal clauses in vv. 30a, 30b and 31, the last of which extends through subordinate and coordinate clauses until the end of v. 35. An attempt has been made to bring out this structure by repeating the idea “This/it will happen” in front of each of these causal clauses in the English translation.
- Jeremiah 32:31 tn Heb “from the day they built it until this day.”sn The Israelites did not in fact “build” Jerusalem. They captured it from the Jebusites in the time of David. This refers perhaps to the enlarging and fortifying of the city after it came into the hands of the Israelites (2 Sam 5:6-10).
- Jeremiah 32:31 tn Heb “For this city has been to me for a source of my anger and my wrath from the day they built it until this day, so as remove it.” The preposition לְ (lamed) with the infinitive (Heb “so as to remove it”; לַהֲסִירָהּ, lahasirah) expresses degree (cf. R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 37, §199, and compare usage in 2 Sam 13:2).
- Jeremiah 32:32 tn Heb “remove it from my sight 32:32 because of all the wickedness of the children of Israel and the children of Judah that they have done to make me angry, they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The sentence has been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style, and an attempt has been made to preserve the causal connections.
- Jeremiah 32:33 tn Heb “they have turned [their] backs to me, not [their] faces.” Compare the same idiom in 2:27.
- Jeremiah 32:33 tn For the idiom involved here see the translator’s note on 7:13. The verb that introduces this clause is a Piel infinitive absolute that is functioning in place of the finite verb (see, e.g., GKC 346 §113.ff and compare usage in Jer 8:15 and 14:19. This grammatical point means that the versions cited in BHS fn a may not be reading a different text after all, but may merely be interpreting the form as syntactically equivalent to a finite verb, as the present translation has done.).sn This refers to God teaching them through the prophets whom he has sent, as indicated by the repeated use of this idiom elsewhere in 7:13, 25; 11:7; 25:3, 4; 26:5, 19.
- Jeremiah 32:33 tn Heb “But they were not listening so as to accept correction.”
- Jeremiah 32:34 tn Heb “the house that is called by my name” (cf. 7:10, 11, 14, and see the translator’s note on 7:10 for the explanation for this rendering).
- Jeremiah 32:35 sn Cf. Jer 7:30-31; 19:5; and the study notes on 7:30. The god Molech is especially associated with the practice of child sacrifice (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10). In 1 Kgs 11:7 this god is identified as the god of the Ammonites, who is also called Milcom in 1 Kgs 11:5 and 2 Kgs 23:13. Child sacrifice, however, was not confined to this god; it was also made to the god Baal (Jer 19:5) and to other idols that the Israelites had set up (Ezek 16:20-21). Yet this behavior was strictly prohibited in Israel (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut 12:31; 18:10). It was this practice, as well as other pagan rites that Manasseh had instituted in Judah, that ultimately led to Judah’s demise (2 Kgs 24:3-4). Though Josiah tried to root these pagan traditions (2 Kgs 23:4-14) out of Judah, he could not do so. The people had only made a pretense of following his reforms; their hearts were still far from God (Jer 3:10; 12:2).
- Jeremiah 32:35 tn Heb “They built high places to Baal, which are in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, to cause their sons and daughters to pass through [the fire] to Molech, [a thing] which I did not command them and [which] did not go up into my heart [= “mind” in modern psychology], to do this abomination so as to make Judah liable for punishment.” For the use of the Hiphil of חָטָא (khataʾ) to refer to the liability for punishment, see BDB s.v. חָטָא Hiph.3 and compare the usage in Deut 24:8. Coming at the end as this does, this nuance is much more likely than “cause Judah to sin,” which is the normal translation assigned to the verb here. The particle לְמַעַן (lemaʿan) that precedes it is here once again introducing a result and not a purpose (compare other clear examples in 27:10, 15). The sentence has been broken down in conformity to contemporary English style, and an attempt has been made to make clear that what is detestable and not commanded is not merely child sacrifice to Molech but child sacrifice in general.
- Jeremiah 32:36 tn Heb “you.” However, the pronoun is plural and is addressed to more people than just Jeremiah (v. 26). It includes Jeremiah and those who have accepted his prophecy of doom.
- Jeremiah 32:36 tn Heb “sword.”
- Jeremiah 32:36 sn Cf. Jer 32:24, 28. In 32:24 this is Jeremiah’s statement just before he expresses his perplexity about the Lord’s command to buy the field of his cousin in spite of the certainty of the city’s demise. In 32:28 it is the Lord’s affirmation that the city will indeed fall. Here, the Lord picks up Jeremiah’s assessment only to add a further prophesy (vv. 37-41) of what is just as sure to happen (v. 42). This is the real answer to Jeremiah’s perplexity. Verses 28-35 are an assurance that the city will indeed be captured and a reiteration again of the reason for its demise. The structures of the two introductions in v. 28 and v. 36 are parallel and flow out of the statement that the Lord is God of all mankind and nothing is too hard for him (neither destruction nor restoration [cf. 1:10]).
- Jeremiah 32:36 tn Heb “And now, therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city, which you [masc. pl.] are saying has been given [prophetic perfect = will be given] into the hand of the king of Babylon through sword, starvation, and disease.” The translation attempts to render the broader structure mentioned in the study note and break the sentence down in a way conforming more to contemporary English style and leading into speech that does not begin until the next verse. As in verse 28, the third person introduction has been changed to first person for smoother narrative style in a first person speech (i.e., vv. 27-44 are all the Lord’s answer to Jeremiah’s prayer). The words “right in” added to “are saying” are intended to reflect the connection between v. 28 and the statement here (which is a repetition of v. 24). That is, God does not deny that Jeremiah’s assessment is correct; he affirms it but has something further to say in answer to Jeremiah’s prayer.
- Jeremiah 32:37 tn Though some of the people have already been exiled (in 605 and 597 b.c.), some have not yet been exiled at the time this prophecy is given (see study note on v. 1 for the date).
- Jeremiah 32:38 sn The covenant formula setting forth the basic relationship is reinstituted along with a new covenant (v. 40). See also 24:7; 30:22; 31:1; and the study note on 30:22.
- Jeremiah 32:39 tn Heb “I will give to them one heart and one way to [= in order that they may] fear me all the days for good to them.” The phrase “one heart” refers both to unanimity of will and accord (cf. 1 Chr 12:38 [12:39 HT]; 2 Chr 30:12) and to singleness of purpose or intent (cf. Ezek 11:19 and see BDB 525 s.v. לֵב 4, where reference is made to “inclinations, resolutions, and determinations of the will”). The phrase “one way” refers to one way of life or conduct (cf. BDB 203 s.v. דֶּרֶךְ 6.a, where reference is made to moral action and character), a way of life that is further qualified by the goal of showing “fear, reverence, respect” for the Lord. The Hebrew sentence has been broken up to avoid a long complex sentence in English, which is contrary to contemporary English style. However, an attempt has been made to preserve all the connections of the original.sn Other passages also speak about “single-minded purpose” (Heb “one heart”) and “living in a way that shows respect for me.” Deut 30:6-8 talks of a circumcised heart that will love him, obey him, and keep his commands. Ezek 11:20-21 mentions the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a single-minded, “fleshy” heart and a new spirit that will follow his decrees and keep his laws. Ezek 36:26-27 describes the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a new, “fleshy” heart; a new spirit; and an infusion of God’s own spirit so that they will be able to follow his decrees and keep his laws. Jer 24:7 promises the giving of a (new) heart so that they might “know” him. And Jer 31:33 tells of God writing his law on their hearts. All this shows that there is a new motivation and a new enablement for fulfilling the old stipulations, especially that of whole-hearted devotion to him (cf. Deut 6:4-6).
- Jeremiah 32:40 tn Heb “an everlasting covenant.” For the rationale for the rendering “agreement” and the nature of the biblical covenants, see the study note on 11:2.sn For other references to the lasting (or everlasting) nature of the new covenant, see Isa 55:3; 61:8; Jer 50:5; Ezek 16:60; 37:26. The new covenant appears to be similar to the ancient Near Eastern covenants of grant, whereby a great king gave a loyal vassal a grant of land or dynastic dominion over a realm in perpetuity in recognition of past loyalty. The right to such was perpetual as long as the great king exercised dominion, but the actual enjoyment could be forfeited by individual members of the vassal’s dynasty. The best example of such an covenant in the OT is the Davidic covenant, where the dynasty was given perpetual right to rule over Israel. Individual kings might be disciplined and their right to enjoy dominion taken away, but the dynasty still maintained the right to rule (see 2 Sam 23:5; Ps 89:26-37; and especially 1 Kgs 11:23-39). The new covenant appears to be the renewal of God’s promises to Abraham always to be the God of his descendants and to have his descendants as his special people (Gen 17:7), something they appear to have forfeited by their disobedience (see Hos 1:9). However, under the new covenant he promises never to stop doing them good and grants them a new heart, a new spirit, the infusion of his own spirit, and the love and reverence necessary to keep from turning away from him. The new covenant is not based on their past loyalty but on his gracious forgiveness and his gifts.
- Jeremiah 32:40 tn Or “stop being gracious to them” or “stop blessing them with good”; Heb “turn back from them to do good to them.”
- Jeremiah 32:40 tn Or “I will make them want to fear and respect me so much that”; Heb “I will put the fear of me in their hearts.” However, as has been noted several times, “heart” in Hebrew is more the center of volition (and intellect) than the center of emotions as it is in English. Both translations are intended to reflect the difference in psychology.
- Jeremiah 32:40 tn The words “never again” are not in the text but are implicit from the context and are supplied not only by this translation but by a number of others.
- Jeremiah 32:41 tn Heb “will plant them in the land with faithfulness with all my heart and with all my soul.” The latter expressions are, of course, anthropomorphisms (see Deut 6:5).
- Jeremiah 32:42 tn Heb “For thus says the Lord.” See the translator’s notes on 32:27, 36.
- Jeremiah 32:42 tn Heb “As I have brought all this great disaster on these people, so I will bring upon them all the good fortune that I am promising them.” The translation has broken down the longer Hebrew sentence to better conform to English style.sn See the same guarantee in Jer 31:27.
- Jeremiah 32:43 tn Heb “you.” However, the pronoun is plural and is addressed to more people than just Jeremiah (v. 26). It includes Jeremiah and those who have accepted his prophecy of doom.
- Jeremiah 32:43 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.
- Jeremiah 32:43 tn The noun is singular with the article, but it is a case of the generic singular (cf. GKC 406 §126.m).
- Jeremiah 32:43 tn Heb “Fields will be bought in this land of which you [masc. pl.] are saying, ‘It will be desolate [a perfect of certainty or prophetic perfect], without man or beast; it will be given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’” The original sentence has been broken down to better conform to contemporary English style.
- Jeremiah 32:44 sn The foothills (שְׁפֵלָה, shephelah) are the region between the Judean hill country and the Mediterranean coastal plain.
- Jeremiah 32:44 tn Heb “They will buy fields with silver and write in the deed and seal [it] and have witnesses witness [it] in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem, in the towns in Judah, in the towns in the hill country, in the towns in the Shephelah, and in the towns in the Negev.” The long Hebrew sentence has again been restructured to better conform to contemporary English style. The indefinite “they will buy” is treated as a passive. It is followed by three infinitive absolutes that substitute for the finite verb (cf. GKC 345 §113.y). Such substitution is a common stylistic feature of the book of Jeremiah.sn For the geographical districts mentioned here compare Jer 17:26.
- Jeremiah 32:44 tn Or “I will reverse their fortunes.” For this idiom see the translator’s note on 29:14 and compare the usage in 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23.
- Jeremiah 32:44 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”