New English Translation
10 Then tell them,[a] ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[b] says, “I will bring[c] my servant[d] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will set his throne over these stones that I[e] have buried. He will pitch his royal tent[f] over them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt. Those who are destined to die of disease will die of disease. Those who are destined to be carried off into exile will be carried off into exile. Those who are destined to die in war will die in war.[g] 12 He will set fire[h] to the temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn their gods or carry them off as captives.[i] He will pick Egypt clean like a shepherd picks the lice from his clothing.[j] He will leave there unharmed.[k]Read full chapter
- Jeremiah 43:10 sn This is another of those symbolic prophecies of Jeremiah that involved an action and an explanation. Cf. Jer 19 and 27.
- Jeremiah 43:10 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel.” Cf. 7:3 and see the study note on 2:19 for explanation of the translation and significance of this title.
- Jeremiah 43:10 tn Heb “send and take/fetch.”
- Jeremiah 43:10 sn See the study note on Jer 25:9 for the use of this epithet for foreign rulers. The term emphasizes God’s sovereignty over history.
- Jeremiah 43:10 tn The Greek version reads the verbs in this sentence as third person (“he will set”) and second person (“you have buried”). This fits the context better, but it is difficult to explain how the Hebrew could have arisen from this smoother reading. The figure of substitution (metonymy of cause for effect) is probably involved: “I will have him set” and “I have had you bury.” The effect of these substitutions is to emphasize the sovereignty of God.
- Jeremiah 43:10 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. The word here (שַׁפְרִירוֹ [shafriro] Qere, שַׁפְרוּרוֹ [shafruro] Kethib) occurs only here in the Hebrew Bible. According to the lexicons it refers to either the carpet for his throne or the canopy over it. See, e.g., HALOT 1510 s.v. שַׁפְרִיר.
- Jeremiah 43:11 tn As in 15:2, the Hebrew is very brief and staccato-like: “those to death to death, and those to captivity to captivity, and those to the sword to the sword.” As in 15:2, most commentaries and English versions assume that the word “death” refers to death by disease. See the translator’s note on 15:2 and compare also 18:21, where the sword is distinctly connected with “war” or “battle” and is distinct from “killed by death [i.e., disease].”
- Jeremiah 43:12 tc The translation follows the Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions. The Hebrew text reads, “I will set fire to.” While it would be possible to explain the first person subject here in the same way as in the two verbs in v. 12b, the Hebrew text in transmission may have undergone a metathesis of two letters, י (yod) and ת (tav). The Hebrew reads הִצַּתִּי (hitsatti), and the versions presuppose הִצִּית (hitsit).
- Jeremiah 43:12 tn Heb “burn them or carry them off as captives.” Some of the commentaries and English versions make a distinction between the objects of the verbs, i.e., burn the temples and carry off the gods. However, the burning down of the temples is referred to later in v. 13.sn It was typical in the ancient Near East for the images of the gods of vanquished nations to be carried off and displayed in triumphal procession on the return from battle to show the superiority of the victor’s gods over those of the vanquished (cf., e.g., Isa 46:1-2).
- Jeremiah 43:12 tn Or “he will take over Egypt as easily as a shepherd wraps his cloak around him.” The translation follows the interpretation of HALOT 769 s.v. II עָטָה Qal, the Greek translation, and a number of the modern commentaries (e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 671). The only other passage where that translation is suggested for this verb is Isa 22:17, according to HAL. The alternate translation follows the more normal meaning of עָטָה (ʿatah; cf. BDB 741 s.v. I עָטָה Qal, which explains “so completely will it be in his power”). The fact that the subject is “a shepherd” lends more credence to the former view, though there may be a deliberate double meaning playing on the homonyms (cf. W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:302).
- Jeremiah 43:12 tn Heb “in peace/wholeness/well-being/safety [shalom].”