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“If you, Israel, want to come back,” says the Lord,

“if you want to come back to me,[a]
you must get those disgusting idols[b] out of my sight
and must no longer go astray.[c]
You must be truthful, honest, and upright
when you take an oath saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’[d]
If you do,[e] the nations will pray to be as blessed by him as you are
and will make him the object of their boasting.”[f]

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  1. Jeremiah 4:1 tn Or “If you, Israel, want to turn [away from your shameful ways (those described in 3:23-25)]…then you must turn back to me.” Or perhaps, “Israel, you must turn back…Yes, you must turn back to me.”
  2. Jeremiah 4:1 tn Heb “disgusting things.”
  3. Jeremiah 4:1 tn Or possibly, “If you get those disgusting idols out of my sight, you will not need to flee.” This is less probable because the normal meaning of the last verb is “to wander,” “to stray.”
  4. Jeremiah 4:2 tn Heb “If you [= you must; see the translator’s note on the word “do” later in this verse] swear/take an oath, ‘As the Lord lives,’ in truth, justice, and righteousness…”
  5. Jeremiah 4:2 tn 4:1-2a consists of a number of “if” clauses. Some are formally introduced by the Hebrew particle אִם (ʾim), while others are introduced by the conjunction “and.” Another conjunction (“and” = “then”) with a perfect in 4:2b introduces the consequence. The translation “You must…. If you do,” was chosen to avoid a long and complicated sentence.
  6. Jeremiah 4:2 tn Heb “bless themselves in him and make their boasts in him.”