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16 But for now I, the Lord, say:[a] “I will send many enemies who will catch these people like fishermen. After that I will send others who will hunt them out like hunters from all the mountains, all the hills, and the crevices in the rocks.[b] 17 For I see everything they do. Their wicked ways are not hidden from me. Their sin is not hidden away where I cannot see it.[c] 18 Before I restore them[d] I will punish them in full[e] for their sins and the wrongs they have done. For they have polluted my land with the lifeless statues of their disgusting idols. They have filled the land I have claimed as my own[f] with their detestable idols.”[g]

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  1. Jeremiah 16:16 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” The Lord has been speaking; the first person has been utilized in translation to avoid a shift that might create confusion.
  2. Jeremiah 16:16 tn Heb “Behold, I am about to send for many fishermen, and they will catch them. And after that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the cracks in the rocks.”sn The picture of rounding up the population for destruction and exile is also seen in Amos 4:2 and Hab 1:14-17.
  3. Jeremiah 16:17 tn Heb “For my eyes are upon all their ways. They are not hidden from before me. And their sin is not hidden away from before my eyes.”
  4. Jeremiah 16:18 tn Heb “First.” Many English versions and commentaries delete this word because it is missing from the Greek version and is considered a gloss added by a postexilic editor who is said to be responsible also for vv. 14-16. However, the reading of the MT is well attested, being supported by the other ancient versions. The word here refers to order in rank or order of events. Compare Gen 38:28 and 1 Kgs 18:25. Here allusion is made to the restoration previously mentioned. First in order of events is the punishment of destruction and exile, then restoration.
  5. Jeremiah 16:18 tn Heb “double.” However, usage in Deut 15:18 and probably Isa 40:2 argues for “full compensation.” This is supported also by usage in a tablet from Alalakh in Syria. See P. C. Craigie, P. H. Kelley, J. F. Drinkard, Jeremiah 1-25 (WBC), 218, for bibliography.
  6. Jeremiah 16:18 tn Heb “my inheritance.”sn For earlier references to the term used here see Jer 2:7, where it applies as here to the land, Jer 10:16 and 12:8-9, where it applies to the people, and Jer 12:7, where it applies to the temple.
  7. Jeremiah 16:18 tn Many of the English versions take “lifeless statues of their detestable idols” with “filled” as a compound object. This follows the Masoretic punctuation but violates usage. The verb “fill” never takes an object preceded by the preposition בְּ (bet).