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21 While you were feeling secure I gave you warning.[a]
But you said, ‘I refuse to listen to you.’
That is the way you have acted from your earliest history onward.[b]
Indeed, you have never paid attention to me.
22 My judgment will carry off all your leaders like a storm wind![c]
Your allies will go into captivity.
Then you will certainly[d] be disgraced and put to shame
because of all the wickedness you have done.
23 You may feel as secure as a bird
nesting in the cedars of Lebanon.
But O how you[e] will groan[f] when the pains of judgment come on you.
They will be like those of a woman giving birth to a baby.”[g]

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  1. Jeremiah 22:21 tn Heb “I spoke to you in your security.” The reference is to the sending of the prophets. Compare this context with the context of 7:25. For the nuance “security” for this noun (שַׁלְוָה, shalvah), rather than “prosperity” as many translate, see Pss 122:7; 30:6; and the related adjective (שָׁלֵו, shalev) in Jer 49:31; Job 16:2; and 21:23.
  2. Jeremiah 22:21 tn Heb “from your youth.” Compare the usage in 2:2 and 3:24, and see a similar idea in 7:25.
  3. Jeremiah 22:22 tn Heb “A wind will shepherd away all your shepherds.” The figures have all been interpreted in the translation for the sake of clarity. For the use of the word “wind” as a metaphor or simile for God’s judgment (using the enemy forces), see 4:11-12; 13:24; 18:17. For the use of the word “shepherd” to refer to rulers/leaders, see 2:8; 10:21; 23:1-4. For the use of the word “shepherd away” in the sense of carry off/drive away, see BDB 945 s.v. רָעָה 2.d and compare Job 20:26. There is an obvious wordplay involved in two different senses of the word “shepherd,” one referring to their leaders and one referring to the loss of those leaders by the wind driving them off. There may even be a further play involving the word “wickedness,” which comes from a word having the same consonants. If the oracles in this section are chronologically ordered, this threat was fulfilled in 597 b.c. Then many of the royal officials and nobles were carried away captive with Jehoiachin (see 2 Kgs 24:15), who is the subject of the next oracle.
  4. Jeremiah 22:22 tn The use of the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is intensive here and probably also at the beginning of the last line of v. 21. (See BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e.)
  5. Jeremiah 22:23 tn Heb “You who dwell in Lebanon, you who are nested in its cedars, how you….” The metaphor has been interpreted for the sake of clarity. The figure here has often been interpreted of the people of Jerusalem living in paneled houses or living in a city dominated by the temple and palace, which were built from the cedars of Lebanon. Some even interpret this as a reference to the king, who has been characterized as living in a cedar palace, in a veritable Lebanon (cf. vv. 6-7, 14 and see also the alternate interpretation of 21:13-14). However, the reference to “nesting in the cedars” and the earlier reference to “feeling secure” suggest that the figure is instead like that of Ezek 31:6 and Dan 4:12. See also Hab 2:9, where a related figure is used. The forms for “you who dwell” and “you who are nested” in the literal translation are feminine singular participles, referring again to personified Jerusalem. (The written forms of these participles are to be explained as participles with a hireq campaginis according to GKC 253 §90.m. The use of the participle before the preposition is to be explained according to GKC 421 §130.a.)
  6. Jeremiah 22:23 tn The verb here should be identified as a Niphal perfect of the verb אָנַח (ʾanakh) with the א (aleph) left out (so BDB 336 s.v. חָנַן Niph and GKC 80 §23.f, n. 1). The form is already translated that way by the Greek, Latin, and Syriac versions.
  7. Jeremiah 22:23 sn This simile has already been used in Jer 4:31 and 6:24 in conjunction with Zion/Jerusalem’s judgment.

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