New English Translation
Jeremiah is Charged with Deserting, Arrested, and Imprisoned
11 The following events also occurred[a] while the Babylonian forces[b] had temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem because the army of Pharaoh was coming. 12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the territory of Benjamin. He wanted to make sure he got his share of the property that was being divided up among his family there.[c]Read full chapter
- Jeremiah 37:11 tn The words “The following events also occurred” are not in the text. They are a way to introduce the incidents recorded in 37:11-21 without creating a long, complex sentence in English as the Hebrew does. The Hebrew of vv. 11-12a reads, “And it was/happened while the army of the Chaldeans had taken themselves up from against Jerusalem because of Pharoah's army, Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to take part…” For the rendering “temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem,” see the translator’s note on v. 5. The words “was coming” are not in the text either but are implicit and have been supplied in the translation for clarity and smooth English.
- Jeremiah 37:11 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for the rendering “Babylonian.” The word “forces” is supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Jeremiah 37:12 tn The meaning of this last sentence is somewhat uncertain. The Hebrew expression here occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible, and its meaning is debated. The verb is pointed as a shortened form of the Hiphil infinitive construct of חָלַק (khalaq; see GKC 148 §53.q for explanation of the phenomenon and other examples). There are, however, no other examples of the use of this verb in the Hiphil. BDB 324 s.v. חָלַק Hiph defines it as “receive a portion,” explains it as a denominative from חֵלֶק (kheleq, “portion”), but says that the form is dubious. KBL s.v. חָלַק Hif defines it as “take part in dividing,” but that does not fit the prepositional phrase that follows (מִשָּׁם, misham, “from there”) as well as “to receive a portion.” The Greek version did not understand this of dividing property but of conducting business. Later revisions of the Greek and the Latin version, however, did understand it of “taking a share.” The translation of BDB has been expanded to better reflect the probable situation. For the noun עַם (ʿam) with the meaning of “family,” compare the usage in Job 18:19. For a fuller discussion of the probable situation, see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 633-34.sn Though some commentators disagree, this transaction should not be viewed as subsequent to the transaction recorded in Jer 32 and seen as an attempt to take possession of a field that he had already bought. The transaction in Jer 32 took place sometime later after he had been confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse (compare 32:2 with 37:21) and involved his buying a near relative’s field. The word used here refers to “getting one’s own share” (compare 1 Sam 30:24 and Josh 15:13; see also Mic 2:4), not taking possession of someone else’s. “There” refers to the territory of Benjamin just mentioned, but more specifically to Jeremiah’s hometown, Anathoth (cf. 1:1).