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17 The Lord says,[a]

“Yes indeed,[b] I am sending an enemy against you
that will be like poisonous snakes that cannot be charmed away.[c]
And they will inflict fatal wounds on you.”[d]

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  1. Jeremiah 8:17 tn These words, which are at the end of the Hebrew verse, are brought forward to show at the outset the shift in speaker.
  2. Jeremiah 8:17 tn Heb “Indeed [or For] behold!” The translation is intended to convey some of the connection that is suggested by the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) at the beginning of the verse.
  3. Jeremiah 8:17 tn Heb “I am sending against you snakes, poisonous ones which cannot be charmed.” In light of the context, literal snakes are scarcely meant. So the metaphor is turned into a simile to prevent possible confusion. For a similar metaphorical use of animals for enemies see 5:6.
  4. Jeremiah 8:17 tn Heb “they will bite you.” There does not appear to be any way to avoid the possible confusion that literal snakes are meant here except to paraphrase. Possibly one could say, “And they will attack you and ‘bite’ you,” but enclosing the word “bite” in quotations might lead to even further confusion.