1 Kings 4
New International Version - UK
Solomon’s officials and governors
4 So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 2 And these were his chief officials:
Azariah son of Zadok – the priest;
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha – secretaries;
Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud – recorder;
4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada – commander-in-chief;
Zadok and Abiathar – priests;
5 Azariah son of Nathan – in charge of the district governors;
Zabud son of Nathan – a priest and advisor to the king;
6 Ahishar – palace administrator;
Adoniram son of Abda – in charge of forced labour.
7 Solomon had twelve district governors over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year. 8 These are their names:
Ben-Hur – in the hill country of Ephraim;
9 Ben-Deker – in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Bethhanan;
10 Ben-Hesed – in Arubboth (Sokoh and all the land of Hepher were his);
11 Ben-Abinadab – in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);
12 Baana son of Ahilud – in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across to Jokmeam;
13 Ben-Geber – in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead were his, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities with bronze gate bars);
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo – in Mahanaim;
15 Ahimaaz – in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);
16 Baana son of Hushai – in Asher and in Aloth;
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah – in Issachar;
18 Shimei son of Ela – in Benjamin;
19 Geber son of Uri – in Gilead (the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and the country of Og king of Bashan). He was the only governor over the district.
Solomon’s daily provisions
20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. 21 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River Euphrates to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon’s subjects all his life.
22 Solomon’s daily provisions were thirty cors[a] of the finest flour and sixty cors[b] of meal, 23 ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. 24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River Euphrates, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig-tree.
27 The district governors, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king’s table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.
29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite – wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.[e]
1 Kings 4
New English Translation
Solomon’s Royal Court and Administrators
4 King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 2 These were his officials:
Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, wrote down what happened.[a]
Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records.
4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of[b] the army.
Zadok and Abiathar were priests.
5 Azariah son of Nathan was supervisor of[c] the district governors.
Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to[d] the king.
6 Ahishar was supervisor of the palace.[e]
7 Solomon had twelve district governors appointed throughout Israel who acquired supplies for the king and his palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year. 8 These were their names:
Ben Hur was in charge of the hill country of Ephraim.
9 Ben Deker was in charge of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan.
10 Ben Hesed was in charge of Arubboth; he controlled Socoh and all the territory of Hepher.
11 Ben Abinadab was in charge of Naphath Dor. (He was married to Solomon’s daughter Taphath.)
12 Baana son of Ahilud was in charge of Taanach and Megiddo, as well as all of Beth Shean next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah and on past Jokmeam.
13 Ben Geber was in charge of Ramoth Gilead; he controlled the villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan, including sixty large walled cities with bronze bars locking their gates.
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo was in charge of Mahanaim.
15 Ahimaaz was in charge of Naphtali. (He married Solomon’s daughter Basemath.)
16 Baana son of Hushai was in charge of Asher and Aloth.
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was in charge of Issachar.
18 Shimei son of Ela was in charge of Benjamin.
19 Geber son of Uri was in charge of the land of Gilead (the territory which had once belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites and to King Og of Bashan). He was sole governor of the area.
Solomon’s Wealth and Fame
20 The people of Judah and Israel were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore; they had plenty to eat and drink and were happy. 21 (5:1)[h] Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River[i] to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime.[j] 22 Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed[k] thirty cors[l] of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 23 ten calves fattened in the stall,[m] 20 calves from the pasture, and 100 sheep, not to mention rams, gazelles, deer, and well-fed birds. 24 His royal court was so large because[n] he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah[o] to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors.[p] 25 All the people of Judah and Israel had security; everyone from Dan to Beer Sheba enjoyed the produce of their vines and fig trees throughout Solomon’s lifetime.[q] 26 Solomon had 4,000 stalls[r] for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 27 The district governors acquired supplies for King Solomon and all who ate in his royal palace.[s] Each was responsible for one month in the year; they made sure nothing was lacking. 28 Each one also brought to the assigned location his quota of barley and straw for the various horses.[t]
29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding[u] was as infinite as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon was wiser than all the men of the east and all the sages of Egypt.[v] 31 He was wiser than any man, including Ethan the Ezrahite or Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the neighboring nations.[w] 32 He composed[x] 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 33 He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant,[y] from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing[z] animals, birds, insects, and fish. 34 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom;[aa] they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.
- 1 Kings 4:3 tn Heb “were scribes”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “secretaries”; TEV, NLT “court secretaries.”
- 1 Kings 4:4 tn Heb “was over.”
- 1 Kings 4:5 tn Heb “was over.”
- 1 Kings 4:5 tn Heb “close associate of”; KJV, ASV, NASB “the king’s friend” (a title for an adviser, not just an acquaintance).
- 1 Kings 4:6 tn Heb “over the house.”
- 1 Kings 4:6 tn Heb “was over.”
- 1 Kings 4:6 sn The work crews. This Hebrew word (מַס, mas) refers to a group of laborers conscripted for royal or public service.
- 1 Kings 4:21 sn Beginning with 4:21, the verse numbers through 5:18 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 4:21 ET = 5:1 HT, 4:22 ET = 5:2 HT, etc., through 5:18 ET = 5:32 HT. Beginning with 6:1 the numbering of verses in the English Bible and the Hebrew text is again the same.
- 1 Kings 4:21 tn Heb “the River” (also in v. 24). This is the standard designation for the Euphrates River in biblical Hebrew.
- 1 Kings 4:21 tn Heb “[They] were bringing tribute and were serving Solomon all the days of his life.”
- 1 Kings 4:22 tn Heb “the food of Solomon for each day was.”
- 1 Kings 4:22 tn As a unit of dry measure a cor was roughly equivalent to six bushels.
- 1 Kings 4:23 tn The words “in the stall” are added for clarification; note the immediately following reference to cattle from the pasture.
- 1 Kings 4:24 tn Heb “because.” The words “his royal court was so large” are added to facilitate the logical connection with the preceding verse.
- 1 Kings 4:24 sn Tiphsah. This was located on the Euphrates River.
- 1 Kings 4:24 tn Heb “for he was ruling over all [the region] beyond the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kingdoms beyond the River, and he had peace on every side all around.”
- 1 Kings 4:25 tn Heb “Judah and Israel lived securely, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan to Beer Sheba, all the days of Solomon.”
- 1 Kings 4:26 tn The Hebrew text has “40,000,” but this is probably an inflated number (nevertheless it is followed by KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV, TEV, CEV). Some Greek mss of the OT and the parallel in 2 Chr 9:25 read “4,000” (cf. NAB, NIV, NCV, NLT).
- 1 Kings 4:27 tn Heb “everyone who drew near to the table of King Solomon.”
- 1 Kings 4:28 tn Heb “barley and straw for the horses and the steeds they brought to the place which was there, each according to his measure.”
- 1 Kings 4:29 tn Heb “heart,” i.e., mind. (The Hebrew term translated “heart” often refers to the mental faculties.)
- 1 Kings 4:30 tn Heb “the wisdom of Solomon was greater than the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.”
- 1 Kings 4:31 tn Heb “his name was in all the surrounding nations.”
- 1 Kings 4:32 tn Heb “spoke.”
- 1 Kings 4:33 tn Heb “he spoke about plants.”
- 1 Kings 4:33 tn Heb “he spoke about.”
- 1 Kings 4:34 tn Heb “the wisdom of Solomon.”
1 Kings 5
New International Version - UK
Preparations for building the temple
5 [a]When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David. 2 Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:
3 ‘You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. 4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. 5 I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, “Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.”
6 ‘So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians.’
7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, ‘Praise be to the Lord today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.’
8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon:
‘I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and juniper logs. 9 My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea, and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household.’
10 In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted, 11 and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors[b] of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths[c][d] of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year. 12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
13 King Solomon conscripted labourers from all Israel – thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labour. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, 16 as well as thirty-three hundred[e] foremen who supervised the project and directed the workers. 17 At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. 18 The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.
- 1 Kings 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1-18 is numbered 5:15-32.
- 1 Kings 5:11 That is, probably about 3,250 metric tons
- 1 Kings 5:11 Septuagint (see also 2 Chron. 2:10); Hebrew twenty cors
- 1 Kings 5:11 That is, about 440,000 litres
- 1 Kings 5:16 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 2:2,18) thirty-six hundred
1 Kings 5
New English Translation
Solomon Gathers Building Materials for the Temple
5 (5:15)[a] King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers[b] to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place. (Hiram had always been an ally of David.) 2 Solomon then sent this message to Hiram: 3 “You know that my father David was unable to build a temple to honor the Lord[c] his God, for he was busy fighting battles on all fronts while the Lord subdued his enemies.[d] 4 But now the Lord my God has made me secure on all fronts; there is no adversary or dangerous threat. 5 So I have decided[e] to build a temple to honor the Lord[f] my God, as the Lord instructed my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, is the one who will build a temple to honor me.’[g] 6 So now order some cedars of Lebanon to be cut for me. My servants will work with your servants. I will pay your servants whatever you say is appropriate, for you know that we have no one among us who knows how to cut down trees like the Sidonians.”
7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very happy. He said, “The Lord is worthy of praise today because he[h] has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.” 8 Hiram then sent this message to Solomon: “I received[i] the message you sent to me. I will give you all the cedars and evergreens you need.[j] 9 My servants will bring the timber down from Lebanon to the sea. I will send it by sea in raft-like bundles to the place you designate.[k] There I will separate the logs[l] and you can carry them away. In exchange you will supply the food I need for my royal court.”[m]
10 So Hiram supplied the cedars and evergreens Solomon needed,[n] 11 and Solomon supplied Hiram annually with 20,000 cors [o] of wheat as provision for his royal court,[p] as well as 120,000 gallons[q] of pure[r] olive oil.[s] 12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he had promised him. And Hiram and Solomon were at peace and made a treaty.[t]
13 King Solomon conscripted[u] work crews[v] from throughout Israel, 30,000 men in all. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men per month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, and then spent two months at home. Adoniram was supervisor of[w] the work crews. 15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers[x] and 80,000 stonecutters[y] in the hills, 16 besides 3,300 officials[z] who supervised the workers.[aa] 17 By royal order[ab] they supplied large valuable stones in order to build the temple’s foundation with chiseled stone. 18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s construction workers,[ac] along with men from Byblos,[ad] did the chiseling and prepared the wood and stones for the building of the temple.[ae]
- 1 Kings 5:1 sn The verse numbers in the English Bible differ from those in the Hebrew text (BHS) here; 5:1-18 in the English Bible corresponds to 5:15-32 in the Hebrew text. See the note at 4:21.
- 1 Kings 5:1 tn Heb “his servants.”
- 1 Kings 5:3 tn Heb “a house for the name of the Lord.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor. The “name” of the Lord sometimes designates the Lord himself, being indistinguishable from the proper name.
- 1 Kings 5:3 tn Heb “because of the battles which surrounded him until the Lord placed them under the soles of his feet.”
- 1 Kings 5:5 tn Heb “Look, I am saying.”
- 1 Kings 5:5 tn Heb “a house for the name of the Lord.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor. The “name” of the Lord sometimes designates the Lord himself, being indistinguishable from the proper name.
- 1 Kings 5:5 tn Heb “a house for my name.”
- 1 Kings 5:7 tn Or “Blessed be the Lord today, who….”
- 1 Kings 5:8 tn Heb “heard.”
- 1 Kings 5:8 tn Heb “I will satisfy all your desire with respect to cedar wood and with respect to the wood of evergreens.”
- 1 Kings 5:9 tn Heb “I will place them [on? as?] rafts in the sea to the place where you designate to me.” This may mean he would send them by raft, or that he would tie them in raft-like bundles, and have ships tow them down to an Israelite port.
- 1 Kings 5:9 tn Heb “smash them,” i.e., untie the bundles.
- 1 Kings 5:9 tn Heb “as for you, you will satisfy my desire by giving food for my house.”
- 1 Kings 5:10 tn Heb “and Hiram gave to Solomon cedar wood and the wood of evergreens, all his desire.”
- 1 Kings 5:11 sn As a unit of dry measure a cor was roughly equivalent to six bushels.
- 1 Kings 5:11 tn Heb “his house.”
- 1 Kings 5:11 tc The Hebrew text has “twenty cors,” but the ancient Greek version and the parallel text in 2 Chr 2:10 read “20,000 baths.” sn A bath was a liquid measure roughly equivalent to six gallons (about 22 liters), so this was a quantity of about 120,000 gallons (440,000 liters).
- 1 Kings 5:11 tn Or “pressed.”
- 1 Kings 5:11 tn Heb “and Solomon supplied Hiram with 20,000 cors of wheat…pure olive oil. So Solomon would give to Hiram year by year.”
- 1 Kings 5:12 tn Heb “a covenant,” referring to a formal peace treaty or alliance.
- 1 Kings 5:13 tn Heb “raised up.”
- 1 Kings 5:13 sn Work crews. This Hebrew word (מַס, mas) refers to a group of laborers conscripted for royal or public service.
- 1 Kings 5:14 tn Heb “was over.”
- 1 Kings 5:15 tn Heb “carriers of loads.”
- 1 Kings 5:15 tn Heb “cutters” (probably of stones).
- 1 Kings 5:16 tc Some Greek mss of the OT read “3,600”; cf. 2 Chr 2:2, 18 and NLT.
- 1 Kings 5:16 tn Heb “besides thirty-three hundred from the officials of Solomon’s governors who were over the work, the ones ruling over the people, the ones doing the work.”
- 1 Kings 5:17 tn Heb “and the king commanded.”
- 1 Kings 5:18 tn Heb “builders.”
- 1 Kings 5:18 tn Heb “the Gebalites.” The reading is problematic and some emend to a verb form meaning, “set the borders.”
- 1 Kings 5:18 tc The LXX includes the words “for three years.”
New International Version - UK
31 ‘At that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.’
2 This is what the Lord says:
‘The people who survive the sword
will find favour in the wilderness;
I will come to give rest to Israel.’
3 The Lord appeared to us in the past,[a] saying:
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
4 I will build you up again,
and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.
Again you will take up your tambourines
and go out to dance with the joyful.
5 Again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them
and enjoy their fruit.
6 There will be a day when watchmen cry out
on the hills of Ephraim,
“Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.”’
7 This is what the Lord says:
‘Sing with joy for Jacob;
shout for the foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
“Lord, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.”
8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north
and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
expectant mothers and women in labour;
a great throng will return.
9 They will come with weeping;
they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
and Ephraim is my firstborn son.
10 ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;
proclaim it in distant coastlands:
“He who scattered Israel will gather them
and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.”
11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob
and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord –
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,
the young of the flocks and herds.
They will be like a well-watered garden,
and they will sorrow no more.
13 Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance,
and my people will be filled with my bounty,’
declares the Lord.
15 This is what the Lord says:
‘A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.’
16 This is what the Lord says:
‘Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,’
declares the Lord.
‘They will return from the land of the enemy.
17 So there is hope for your descendants,’
declares the Lord.
‘Your children will return to their own land.
18 ‘I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning:
“You disciplined me like an unruly calf,
and I have been disciplined.
Restore me, and I will return,
because you are the Lord my God.
19 After I strayed,
after I came to understand,
I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.”
20 Is not Ephraim my dear son,
the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him,
I still remember him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
I have great compassion for him,’
declares the Lord.
21 ‘Set up road signs;
put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway,
the road that you take.
Return, Virgin Israel,
return to your towns.
22 How long will you wander,
unfaithful Daughter Israel?
The Lord will create a new thing on earth –
the woman will return to[b] the man.’
23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘When I bring them back from captivity,[c] the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: “The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.” 24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns – farmers and those who move about with their flocks. 25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.’
26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.
27 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,’ declares the Lord. 29 ‘In those days people will no longer say,
“The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”
30 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes – their own teeth will be set on edge.
31 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
‘when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[d] them,’[e]
declares the Lord.
33 ‘This is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,’ declares the Lord.
‘I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbour,
or say to one another, “Know the Lord,”
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,’
declares the Lord.
‘For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.’
35 This is what the Lord says,
he who appoints the sun
to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea
so that its waves roar –
the Lord Almighty is his name:
36 ‘Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,’
declares the Lord,
‘will Israel ever cease
being a nation before me.’
37 This is what the Lord says:
‘Only if the heavens above can be measured
and the foundations of the earth below be searched out
will I reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all they have done,’
declares the Lord.
38 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.’
New English Translation
Israel Will Be Restored and Join Judah in Worship
2 The Lord says:
“The people of Israel who survived
death at the hands of the enemy[c]
will find favor in the wilderness
as they journey to find rest for themselves.
3 In a faraway land[d] the Lord will manifest himself to them.
He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.
That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.[e]
4 I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel,[f]
so that you will once again be built up.
Once again you will take up the tambourine
and join in the happy throng of dancers.[g]
5 Once again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria.
Those who plant them
will once again enjoy their fruit.[h]
6 Yes, a time is coming
when watchmen[i] will call out on the mountains of Ephraim,
“Come! Let us go to Zion
to worship the Lord our God!”’”[j]
7 Moreover,[k] the Lord says:
“Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.
Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations.[l]
Make your praises heard.[m]
Then say, ‘Lord, rescue your people.
Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’[n]
8 Then I will reply,[o] ‘I will bring them back from the land of the north.
I will gather them in from the distant parts of the earth.
Blind and lame people will come with them,
so will pregnant women and women about to give birth.
A vast throng of people will come back here.
9 They will come back shedding tears of contrition.
I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance.[p]
I will lead them besides streams of water,
along smooth paths where they will never stumble.[q]
I will do this because I am Israel’s father;
Ephraim[r] is my firstborn son.’”
10 Listen to the Lord’s message, O nations.
Proclaim it in the faraway lands along the sea.
Say, “The one who scattered Israel will regather them.
He will watch over his people like a shepherd watches over his flock.”
11 For the Lord will rescue the descendants of Jacob.
He will secure their release[s] from those who had overpowered them.[t]
12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion.
They will be radiant with joy[u] over the good things the Lord provides,
the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil,
the young sheep, and the calves he has given to them.
They will be like a well-watered garden
and will not grow faint or weary any more.
13 The Lord says,[v] “At that time young women will dance and be glad.
Young men and old men will rejoice.[w]
I will turn their grief into gladness.
I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.
14 I will provide the priests with abundant provisions.[x]
My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.”
15 The Lord says:
“A sound is heard in Ramah,[y]
a sound of crying in bitter grief.
It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.”[z]
16 The Lord says to her,[aa]
“Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears.[ab]
For your heartfelt repentance[ac] will be rewarded.
Your children will return from the land of the enemy.
I, the Lord, affirm it![ad]
17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity.[ae]
Your children will return to their own territory.
I, the Lord, affirm it![af]
18 I have indeed[ag] heard the people of Israel[ah] say mournfully,
‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke.[ai]
You disciplined us and we learned from it.[aj]
Let us come back to you and we will do so,[ak]
for you are the Lord our God.
19 For after we turned away from you we repented.
After we came to our senses[al] we struck our thigh in sorrow.[am]
We are ashamed and humiliated
because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’[an]
20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.
They are the children I take delight in.[ao]
For even though I must often rebuke them,
I still remember them with fondness.
So I am deeply moved with pity for them[ap]
and will surely have compassion on them.
I, the Lord, affirm it![aq]
21 I will say,[ar] ‘My dear children of Israel,[as] keep in mind
the road you took when you were carried off.[at]
Mark off in your minds the landmarks.
Make a mental note of telltale signs marking the way back.
Return, my dear children of Israel.
Return to these cities of yours.
22 How long will you vacillate,[au]
you who were once like an unfaithful daughter?[av]
For I, the Lord, promise[aw] to bring about something new[ax] on the earth,
something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’”[ay]
Judah Will Be Restored
23 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[az] says,
“I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.
When I do, they will again say[ba] of Jerusalem,[bb]
‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,
the place where righteousness dwells.’[bc]
24 The land of Judah will be inhabited by people who live in its towns,
as well as by farmers and shepherds with their flocks.[bd]
25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary
and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint.[be]
26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep
when I wake up and look around.’[bf]
Israel and Judah Will Be Repopulated
27 “Indeed, a time is coming,”[bg] says the Lord,[bh] “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah.[bi] 28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished and brought disaster. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted.[bj] I, the Lord, affirm it![bk]
The Lord Will Make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah
29 “When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’[bl] 30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb.[bm]
31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord,[bn] “when I will make a new covenant[bo] with the people of Israel and Judah.[bp] 32 It will not be like the old[bq] covenant that I made with their ancestors[br] when I delivered them[bs] from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,”[bt] says the Lord.[bu] 33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel[bv] after I plant them back in the land,”[bw] says the Lord.[bx] “I will[by] put my law within them[bz] and write it on their hearts and minds.[ca] I will be their God and they will be my people.[cb]
34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me.[cc] For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,”[cd] says the Lord. “For[ce] I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”
The Lord Guarantees Israel’s Continuance
35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel.
He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day
and the moon and stars to give light by night.
He promises it as the one who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll.
His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[cf]
36 The Lord affirms,[cg] “The descendants of Israel will not
cease forever to be a nation in my sight.
That could only happen if the fixed ordering of the heavenly lights
were to cease to operate before me.”[ch]
37 The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all that they have done.[ci]
That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured
or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,”[cj]
says the Lord.[ck]
Jerusalem Will Be Enlarged
38 “Indeed a time is coming,”[cl] says the Lord,[cm] “when the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt as my special city.[cn] It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate.[co] 39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah.[cp] 40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown,[cq] and all the terraced fields[cr] out to the Kidron Valley[cs] on the east as far north[ct] as the corner of the Horse Gate,[cu] will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord.[cv] The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”
- Jeremiah 31:1 sn This verse repeats v. 22 but with specific reference to all the clans of Israel, i.e., to all Israel and Judah. It functions here as a transition to the next section, which will deal with the restoration of Israel (31:3-20) and Judah (31:21-25) and their reunification in the land (31:27-29) under a new covenant relation with God (31:31-37). See also the study note on 30:3 for further reference to this reunification in Jeremiah and the other prophets.
- Jeremiah 31:1 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:2 tn Heb “who survived the sword.”sn This refers to the remnant of northern Israel who had not been killed when Assyria conquered Israel in 722 b.c. or who had not died in exile. References to Samaria in v. 5 and Ephraim in vv. 6, 9 make clear that northern Israel is in view here.
- Jeremiah 31:3 tn The first word מֵרָחוּק (merakhoq, “distant”) can mean at a distance in location or time (2 Kgs 19:25). While built from the preposition מִן (min, “from, of, since, than”) and the adjective רָחוּק (rakhoq), “far, distant”), the pieces work as one unit and typically do not mean “from a distant place,” as is especially evident when one stands at a distance (Exod 2:4) or goes to a distant place (Isa 22:3). Both options, location and time, are possible here. Either the Lord appears at a distant place (where the exiles are), or, understanding the verb as past time, he appeared long ago. In the latter view, this is probably reminiscent of God’s appearance at Sinai, reminding the people of the eternal love he covenanted with them, on the basis of which he maintains his faithful love to and will restore them.
- Jeremiah 31:3 tn Or the translation of verses 2-3 could be, “The people of Israel who survived the onslaughts of Egypt and Amalek found favor in the wilderness as they journeyed to find rest. At that time long ago the Lord manifested himself to them. He said, ‘I have…That is why I have drawn you to myself through my unfailing kindness.’” There is debate whether the reference here is to God’s preservation of Israel during their wandering in the Sinai desert or his promise to protect and preserve them on their return through the Arabian desert on the way back from Assyria and Babylon (see e.g., Isa 42:14-16; 43:16-21; Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8). The only finite verbs in vv. 2-3a before the introduction of the quote are perfects, which can denote either a past act or a future act viewed as certain of fulfillment (the prophetic perfect; see GKC 312-13 §106.n, and see examples in Jer 11:16; 13:17; 25:14; 28:4). The phrase at the beginning of v. 3 can either refer to temporal (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.b, and Isa 22:11) or spatial distance (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.a, and Isa 5:29; 59:14). The verb in the final clause in v. 3 can refer to either the extension of God’s love, as in Pss 36:10 and 109:12 (cf. HALOT 645-46 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.3), or the drawing of someone to him in electing, caring love, as in Hos 11:4 (cf. BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.1). The translation has opted for the prophetic reference to future deliverance because of the preceding context, the use of מֵרָחוֹק (merakhoq) to refer to the far-off land of exile in Jer 30:10; 46:27; and 51:50, and the reference to survivors from the sword being called on to remember the Lord in that far-off land in 51:50.
- Jeremiah 31:4 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.”sn For the significance of this metaphor see the note on Jer 14:17. Here the emphasis rests on his special love and care for his people and the hint (further developed in vv. 21-22) that, though they are guilty of sin, he views them like an innocent young virgin.
- Jeremiah 31:4 sn Contrast Jer 7:34 and 25:10.
- Jeremiah 31:5 sn The terms used here refer to the enjoyment of a period of peace and stability and to the reversal of the curse (contrast, e.g., Deut 28:30). The Hebrew word translated “enjoy its fruit” is a technical one that refers to the owner of a vineyard getting to enjoy its fruit in the fifth year after it was planted, the crops of the first three years lying fallow, and those of the fourth being given to the Lord (cf. Lev 19:23-25).
- Jeremiah 31:6 sn Watchmen were stationed at vantage points to pass on warning of coming attack (Jer 6:17; Ezek 33:2, 6) or to spread the news of victory (Isa 52:8). Here reference is made to the watchmen who signaled the special times of the year, such as the new moon and festival times, when Israel was to go to Jerusalem to worship. Reference is not made to these in the Hebrew Bible, but there is a good deal of instruction regarding them in the later Babylonian Talmud.
- Jeremiah 31:6 sn Not only will Israel and Judah be reunited under one ruler (cf. 23:5-6), but they will share a unified place and practice of worship once again, in contrast to Israel using the illicit places of worship, illicit priesthood, and illicit feasts instituted by Jeroboam (1 Kgs 12:26-31) and continued until the downfall of Samaria in 722 b.c.
- Jeremiah 31:7 tn See the translator’s notes on 30:5, 12.
- Jeremiah 31:7 tn Heb “for the head/chief of the nations.” See BDB 911 s.v. רֹאשׁ 3.c, and compare usage in Ps 18:44 referring to David as the “chief” or “foremost ruler” of the nations.
- Jeremiah 31:7 tn It is unclear who the addressees of the masculine plural imperatives are in this verse. Possibly they are the implied exiles, who are viewed as in the process of returning and praying for their fellow countrymen.
- Jeremiah 31:7 tc Or “The Lord will rescue his people. He will deliver those of Israel who remain alive.” The translation used in the text follows the Hebrew: “Rescue your people, O Lord, the remnant of Israel.” The alternate translation, which is preferred by several modern English versions (e.g., REB, TEV) and a majority of modern commentaries (see, e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 569; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 273, n. s-s), follows the reading of the Greek version and the Aramaic Targum and appears more appropriate to the context of praise presupposed by the preceding imperatives. The difference in the two readings are the omission of one vowel letter and the confusion of a final ךְ (kaf) and a וֹ (holem-vav), which are very similar in form. (The Greek presupposes הוֹשִׁיעַ יְהוָה אֶת־עַמּוֹ [hoshiaʿ yehvah ʾet ʿammo] for the Hebrew הוֹשַׁע יְהוָה אֶת־עַמְּךָ [hoshaʿ yehvah ʾet ʿammekha].) The key to a decision here is the shift from the verbs of praise to the imperative “say,” which introduces the quotation; there is a shift from praise to petition. The shift in mood is not uncommon, occurring, for example, in Pss 118:25 and 126:4; it is the shift in mood from praise for what has begun to petition for what is further desired. It is easier to explain the origin contextually of the Greek and Targum than it is the Hebrew text; thus the Greek and Targum are probably a secondary smoothing of the text (this is the decision of the D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:263). The mood of prayer also shows up in v. 9 and again in vv. 17-18.
- Jeremiah 31:8 tn The words “And I will reply” are not in the text, but the words of vv. 8-9 appear to be the answer to the petition at the end of v. 7. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Jeremiah 31:9 tn Heb “They will come with weeping; I will bring them with supplication.” The ideas of contrition and repentance are implicit from the context (cf. vv. 18-19) and are supplied for clarity.
- Jeremiah 31:9 sn Jer 31:8-9 are reminiscent of the “New Exodus” motif of Isa 40-66, which has already been referred to in Jer 16:14-15 and 23:7-8. See especially Isa 35:3-10; 40:3-5, 11; 41:17-20; 42:14-17; 43:16-21; 49:9-13. As there, the New Exodus will so outstrip the old that the old will pale in comparison and be almost forgotten (see Jer 23:7-8).
- Jeremiah 31:9 sn Ephraim was the second son of Joseph, who was elevated to a place of prominence in the family of Jacob by the patriarch’s special blessing. It was the strongest tribe in northern Israel, and Samaria lay in its territory. It is often used as a poetic parallel for Israel, as here. The poetry is not speaking of two separate entities here; it is a way of repeating an idea for emphasis. Moreover, there is no intent to show special preference for northern Israel over Judah. All Israel is metaphorically God’s son and the object of his special care and concern (Exod 4:22; Deut 32:6).
- Jeremiah 31:11 sn Two rather theologically significant metaphors are used in this verse. The Hebrew word translated “rescue” occurs in the legal sphere for paying a redemption price to secure the freedom of a person or thing (see, e.g., Exod 13:13, 15). It is used metaphorically and theologically to refer to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Deut 15:15; Mic 6:4) and Babylonian exile (Isa 35:10). The word translated “secure…release” occurred in the sphere of family responsibility when a person paid the price to free an indentured relative (Lev 25:48, 49) or restore a relative’s property seized to pay a debt (Lev 25:25, 33). This word, too, could describe metaphorically and theologically Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Exod 6:6) or Babylonian exile (Isa 43:1-4; 44:22). These words are traditionally translated “ransom” and “redeem” and are a part of traditional Jewish and Christian vocabulary for physical and spiritual deliverance.
- Jeremiah 31:11 tn Heb “from the hand/power of the one too strong for him.”
- Jeremiah 31:12 tn Reading a Qal perfect from the root II נָהַר (nahar; so KBL 509 s.v., and HALOT 639 s.v.) rather than I נָהַר (so BDB 625 s.v.).
- Jeremiah 31:13 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” This phrase has been brought up to the beginning of v. 13 from the end of v. 14 to introduce the transition from third person description by Jeremiah to first person address by the Lord.
- Jeremiah 31:13 tc The translation follows the reading of the LXX (Greek version). The Hebrew reads, “will dance and be glad, young men and old men together.” The Greek version presupposes a Qal imperfect of a rare verb (יַחְדּוּ [yakhdu] from the verb חָדָה [khadah]; see BDB 292 s.v. II חָדָה Qal), as opposed to the Hebrew text, which reads a common adverb יַחְדָּו (yakhdav). The consonantal text is the same, but the vocalization is different. There are no other examples of the syntax of the adverb used this way (i.e., of a compound subject added to a third subject), and the vocalization of the Hebrew text can be explained on the basis of a scribe misvocalizing the text based on his greater familiarity with the adverb.
- Jeremiah 31:14 tn Heb “I will satiate the priests with fat.” However, the word translated “fat” refers literally to the fat ashes of the sacrifices (see Lev 1:16; 4:2 and cf. BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 2). The word is used more abstractly for “abundance” or “rich food” (see Job 36:16 and BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 1). The people and the priests were prohibited from eating the fat (Lev 7:23-24).
- Jeremiah 31:15 sn Ramah is a town in Benjamin approximately five miles (8 km) north of Jerusalem. It was on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem. Traditionally, Rachel’s tomb was located near there at a place called Zelzah (1 Sam 10:2). Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, had been very concerned about having children because she was barren (Gen 30:1-2). So she went to great lengths to have them (Gen 30:3, 14-15, 22-24). She was the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh, which were two of the major tribes in northern Israel. Here Rachel is viewed metaphorically as weeping for her “children,” the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, who had been carried away into captivity in 722 b.c.
- Jeremiah 31:15 tn Or “gone into exile” (cf. v. 16), though some English versions take this as meaning “dead” (e.g., NCV, CEV, NLT), presumably in light of Matt 2:18.
- Jeremiah 31:16 tn The words “to her” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Jeremiah 31:16 tn Heb “Refrain your voice from crying and your eyes from tears.”
- Jeremiah 31:16 tn Heb “your work.” Contextually her “work” refers to her weeping and refusing to be comforted, that is, signs of genuine repentance (v. 15).
- Jeremiah 31:16 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:17 tn For this nuance for the Hebrew word אַחֲרִית (ʾakharit) see BDB 31 s.v. אַחֲרִית d and compare usage in Psalms 37:38 and 109:13. Others translate “your future,” but the “future” lies with the return of her descendants, her posterity.
- Jeremiah 31:17 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:18 tn The use of “indeed” is intended to reflect the infinitive absolute, which precedes the verb for emphasis (see IBHS 585-86 §35.3.1f).
- Jeremiah 31:18 tn Heb “Ephraim.” See the study note on 31:9. The more familiar term is used, with the term “people” added to it, and plural pronouns replace first person singular ones throughout the verse to aid understanding.
- Jeremiah 31:18 tn Heb “like an untrained calf.” The metaphor is that of a calf that has never been broken to bear the yoke (cf. Hos 4:16; 10:11).sn Jer 2:20 and 5:5 already referred to Israel’s refusal to bear the yoke of loyalty and obedience to the Lord’s demands. Here Israel expresses that she has learned from the discipline of exile and is ready to bear his yoke.
- Jeremiah 31:18 tn The verb here is from the same root as the preceding and is probably an example of the “tolerative Niphal,” i.e., “I let myself be disciplined/I responded to it.” See IBHS 389-90 §23.4g and note the translation of some of the examples there, especially Isa 19:22 and 65:1.
- Jeremiah 31:18 tn Heb “Bring me back in order that I may come back.” For the use of the plural pronouns see the marginal note at the beginning of the verse. The verbs “bring back” and “come back” are from the same root in two different verbal stems. In the context they express the idea of spiritual repentance and restoration of relationship, not physical return to the land. (See BDB 999 s.v. שׁוּב Hiph.2.a for the first verb and 997 s.v. Qal.6.c for the second.) For the use of the cohortative to express purpose after the imperative, see GKC 320 §108.d or IBHS 575 §34.5.2b.sn There is a wordplay on several different nuances of the same Hebrew verb in vv. 16-19. The Hebrew verb שׁוּב (shuv) refers both to their turning away from God (v. 19) and to their turning back to him (v. 18). It is also the word that is used for their return to their homeland (vv. 16-17).
- Jeremiah 31:19 tn For this meaning of the verb see HAL 374 s.v. יָדַע Nif 5 or W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 129. REB translates, “Now that I am submissive,” relating the verb to a second root meaning “be submissive.” (See HALOT 375 s.v. II יָדַע and J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament, 19-21, for evidence for this verb. Other passages cited with this nuance are Judg 8:16; Prov 10:9; Job 20:20.)
- Jeremiah 31:19 sn This was a gesture of grief and anguish (cf. Ezek 21:12 [21:17 HT]). The modern equivalent is “to beat the breast.”
- Jeremiah 31:19 tn Heb “because I bear the reproach of my youth.” For the plural referents see the note at the beginning of v. 18.sn The expression the disgraceful things we did in our earlier history refers to the disgrace that accompanied the sins that Israel committed in her earlier years before she learned the painful lesson of submission to the Lord through the discipline of exile. For earlier references to the sins of her youth (i.e., in her earlier years as a nation) see 3:24-25; 22:21; 32:29. At the time that these verses were written, neither northern Israel or Judah had expressed the kind of contrition voiced in vv. 18-19. As one commentator notes, the words here are both prophetic and instructive.
- Jeremiah 31:20 tn Heb “Is Ephraim a dear son to me or a child of delight?” For the substitution of Israel for Ephraim and the plural pronouns for the singular, see the note on v. 18. According to BDB 210 s.v. הֲ 1.c the question is rhetorical, having the force of an impassioned affirmation. See 1 Sam 2:27 and Job 41:9 (41:1 HT) for parallel usage.
- Jeremiah 31:20 tn Heb “my stomach churns for him.” The parallelism shows that this refers to pity or compassion.
- Jeremiah 31:20 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:21 tn The words “I will say” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to mark the transition from the address about Israel in a response to Rachel’s weeping (vv. 15-20) to a direct address to Israel that is essentially the answer to Israel’s prayer of penitence (cf. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 121.)sn The Lord here invites Israel to stop dilly-dallying and prepare themselves to return because he is prepared to do something new and miraculous.
- Jeremiah 31:21 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.” For the significance see the study note on 31:3.
- Jeremiah 31:21 tn Heb “Set your mind to the highway, the way which you went.” The phrase “the way you went” has been translated as “the road you took when you were carried off” to help the reader see the reference to the exile implicit in the context. The verb “which you went” is another example of the old second feminine singular, which the Masoretes typically revocalize (Kethib הָלָכְתִּי [halakhti]; Qere הָלָכְתְּ [halakhet]). The vocative has been supplied in the translation at the beginning to help make the transition from third person reference to Ephraim/Israel in the preceding to second person in the following and to identify the referent of the imperatives. Likewise, this line has been moved to the front to show that the reference to setting up sign posts and landmarks is not literal but figurative, referring to making a mental note of the way they took when carried off so that they can easily find their way back. Lines three and four in the Hebrew text read, “Set up sign posts for yourself; set up guideposts/landmarks for yourself.” The word translated “telltale signs marking the way” occurs only here. Though its etymology and precise meaning are unknown, all the lexicons agree in translating it as “sign post” or something similar, based on the parallelism.
- Jeremiah 31:22 tn The translation “dilly-dally” is suggested by J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 276. The verb occurs only here in this stem (the Hitpael) and only one other time in any other stem (the Qal in Song 5:6). The dictionaries define it as “to turn this way and that” (cf., e.g., BDB 330 s.v. חָמַק Hithp.). In the context it refers to turning this way and that looking for the way back.
- Jeremiah 31:22 sn Israel’s backsliding is forgotten and forgiven. They had once been characterized as an apostate people (3:14, 22; the word “apostate” and “unfaithful” are the same in Hebrew) and figuratively depicted as an adulterous wife (3:20). Now they are viewed as having responded to his invitation (compare 31:18-19 with 3:22-25). Hence they are no longer depicted as an unfaithful daughter but as an unsullied virgin (see the literal translation of “my dear children” in vv. 4, 21 and the study note on v. 4.)
- Jeremiah 31:22 tn Heb “For the Lord will create.” The person has been shifted to avoid the possible confusion for some readers of a third person reference to the Lord in what has otherwise been a first person address. The verb “will create” is another one of the many examples of the prophetic perfect that have been seen in the book of Jeremiah. For the significance of the verb “create” here, see the study note on “bring about something new.”
- Jeremiah 31:22 sn Heb “create.” This word is always used with God as the subject and refers to the production of something new or unique, like the creation of the world and the first man and woman (Gen 1:1; 2:3; 1:27; 5:1), the creation of a new heavens and a new earth in a new age (Isa 65:17), or the bringing about of new and unique circumstances (Num 16:30). Here reference is made contextually to the new exodus, that marvelous deliverance which will be so great that the old will pale in comparison (see the first note on v. 9).
- Jeremiah 31:22 tn The meaning of this last line is uncertain. The translation has taken it as proverbial for something new and unique. For a fairly complete discussion of most of the options see C. Feinberg, “Jeremiah,” EBC 6:571. For the nuance of “protecting” for the verb here see BDB 686 s.v. סָבַב Po‘ 1 and compare the usage in Deut 32:10.
- Jeremiah 31:23 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel.” See 7:3 and the study note of 2:19 for the rendering of this title and an explanation of its significance.
- Jeremiah 31:23 tn Heb “They [i.e., people (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will again say in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes.” For the meaning of the idiom “to restore the fortunes” see the translator’s note on 29:14.
- Jeremiah 31:23 tn The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text, but the idea is implicit in the titles that follow. The words have been supplied in the translation for clarity, to aid in identifying the referent.
- Jeremiah 31:23 sn The blessing pronounced on the city of Zion/Jerusalem by the restored exiles looks at the restoration of its once exalted state as the city known for its sanctity and its just dealing (see Isa 1:21 and Ps 122). This was a reversal of the state of Jerusalem in the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah, where wickedness, not righteousness, characterized the inhabitants of the city (cf. Isa 1:21; Jer 4:14; 5:1; 13:27). The blessing here presupposes the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the temple, which gave the city its sanctity.
- Jeremiah 31:24 tn The translation “those who move about with their flocks” is based on an emendation of the Hebrew text that reads a third plural Qal perfect (נָסְעוּ, naseʿu) as a masculine plural Qal participle in the construct (נֹסְעֵי, noseʿe), as suggested in BHS. For the use of the construct participle before a noun with a preposition, see GKC 421 §130.a. It is generally agreed that three classes of people are referred to here: townspeople, farmers, and shepherds. But the syntax of the Hebrew sentence is a little awkward: “And they [i.e., “people” (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will live in it, Judah and all its cities [an apposition of nearer definition (GKC 425-26 §131.n)], [along with] farmers and those who move about with their flocks.” The first line refers awkwardly to the townspeople, and the other two classes are added asyndetically (i.e., without the conjunction “and”).
- Jeremiah 31:25 tn The verbs here again emphasize that the actions are as good as done (i.e., they are prophetic perfects; cf. GKC 312-13 §106.n).sn For the concept here compare Jer 31:12, where the promise was applied to northern Israel. This represents the reversal of the conditions that would characterize the exiles according to the covenant curse of Deut 28:65-67.
- Jeremiah 31:26 tn Or “When I, Jeremiah, heard this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very pleasant.” The text is somewhat enigmatic. It has often been explained as an indication that Jeremiah had received this communication (30:3-31:26) while in a prophetic trance (compare Dan 10:9). However, there is no other indication that this is a vision or a vision report. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 124, 128-29) suggest that this is a speech of the restored (and refreshed) exiles like that which is formally introduced in v. 23. The speech here, however, is not formally introduced. This interpretation is also reflected in TEV and CEV. It is accepted here as fitting the context better and demanding less presuppositions. The Hebrew text reads literally, “Upon this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was sweet to me.” Keown, Scalise, and Smothers have the best discussion of these two options as well as several other options.
- Jeremiah 31:27 tn Heb “Behold days are coming!” The particle “Behold” is probably used here to emphasize the reality of a fact. See the translator’s note on 1:6.sn This same expression is found in the introduction to the Book of Consolation (Jer 30:1-3) and in the introduction to the promise of a new covenant (31:31). In all three passages it is emphasized that the conditions apply to both Israel and Judah. The Lord will reverse their fortunes and restore them to their lands (30:3), increase their numbers and build them up (31:27-28), and make a new covenant with them involving forgiveness of sins (31:31-34).
- Jeremiah 31:27 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:27 tn Heb “Behold, the days are coming and [= when] I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of people and of animals.” For the significance of the metaphor see the study note.sn The metaphor used here presupposes that drawn in Hos 2:23 (2:25 HT), which is in turn based on the wordplay with Jezreel (meaning “God sows”) in Hos 2:22. The figure is that of plant seed in the ground that produces a crop; here what are sown are the “seeds of people and animals.” For a similar picture of the repopulating of Israel and Judah, see Ezek 36:10-11. The promise here reverses the scene of devastation that Jeremiah had depicted apocalyptically and hyperbolically in Jer 4:23-29 as judgment for Judah’s sins.
- Jeremiah 31:28 tn Heb “Just as I watched over them to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and demolish and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant.” The words here repeat those of 1:10 and 1:12.
- Jeremiah 31:28 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:29 tn This word only occurs here and in the parallel passage in Ezek 18:2 in the Qal stem and in Eccl 10:10 in the Piel stem. In the latter passage it refers to the bluntness of an ax that has not been sharpened. Here the idea is of the “bluntness” of the teeth, not from having ground them down due to the bitter taste of sour grapes, but from the fact that they have lost their “edge,” “bite,” or “sharpness” because they are numb from the sour taste. For this meaning for the word see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:197.sn This is a proverbial statement that is also found in Ezek 18:2. It served to articulate the complaint that the present generation was suffering for the accrued sins of their ancestors (cf. Lam 5:7) and that the Lord was hence unjust (Ezek 18:25, 29). However, Jeremiah had repeatedly warned his own generation that they were as guilty or even more so than their ancestors. The ancestors were indeed guilty of sin, but the present generation had compounded the problem by their stubborn refusal to turn back to God despite repeated warnings from the prophets, and hence God would withhold judgment no longer (cf. especially Jer 16:10-13 and compare Jer 7:24-34; 9:12-16 (9:11-15 HT); 11:1-13).
- Jeremiah 31:30 sn The Lord answers their charge by stating that each person is responsible for his own sin and will himself bear the consequences. Ezek 18 has a more extended treatment of this and shows that it extends not just to the link between parents and children but to that between former and future behavior of the same individual. To a certain extent the principle articulated here is anticipatory of the statement in v. 34 that refers to the forgiveness of former sins.
- Jeremiah 31:31 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:31 tn Or “a renewed covenant” (also in vv. 22-23).
- Jeremiah 31:31 tn Heb “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
- Jeremiah 31:32 tn The word “old” is not in the text but is implicit in the use of the word “new.” It is supplied in the translation for greater clarity.
- Jeremiah 31:32 tn Heb “fathers.”sn This refers to the Mosaic covenant, which the nation entered into with God at Sinai and renewed on the plains of Moab. The primary biblical passages explicating this covenant are Exod 19-24 and the book of Deuteronomy; see as well the study note on Jer 11:2 for the form this covenant took and its relation to the warnings of the prophets. The renewed document of Deuteronomy was written down, and provisions were made for periodic public reading and renewal of commitment to it (Deut 31:9-13). Josiah had done this after the discovery of the book of the law (which was either Deuteronomy or a synopsis of it) early in the ministry of Jeremiah (2 Kgs 23:1-4; the date would be near 622 b.c., shortly after Jeremiah began prophesying in 627 [see the note on Jer 1:2]). But it is apparent from Jeremiah’s confrontation with Judah after that time that the commitment of the people was only superficial (cf. Jer 3:10). The prior history of the nations of Israel and Judah and Judah’s current practice involved persistent violation of this covenant despite repeated prophetic warnings that God would punish them for it (see especially Jer 7, 11). Because of that, Israel had been exiled (cf., e.g., Jer 3:8), and now Judah was threatened with the same (cf., e.g., Jer 7:15). Jer 30-31 look forward to a time when both Israel and Judah will be regathered, reunited, and under a new covenant that includes the same stipulations but with a different relationship (v. 32).
- Jeremiah 31:32 tn Heb “when I took them by the hand and led them out.”
- Jeremiah 31:32 tn Or “I was their master.” See the study note on 3:14.sn The metaphor of Yahweh as husband and Israel as wife has been used already in Jer 3 and is implicit in the repeated allusions to idolatry as spiritual adultery or prostitution. The best commentary on the faithfulness of God to his “husband-like” relation is seen in the book of Hosea, especially in Hos 1-3.
- Jeremiah 31:32 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:33 tn Heb “with the house of Israel.” All commentators agree that the term here refers to both the whole nation, which was divided into the house of Israel and the house of Judah in v. 30.
- Jeremiah 31:33 tn Heb “after those days.” Commentators are generally agreed that this refers to the return from exile and the repopulation of the land referred to in vv. 27-28 and not to something subsequent to the time mentioned in v. 30. This is the sequencing that is also presupposed in other new covenant passages such as Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28.
- Jeremiah 31:33 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:33 tn Heb “‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after these days:’ says the Lord, ‘I will….’” The sentence has been reworded and restructured to avoid the awkwardness of the original style.
- Jeremiah 31:33 tn Heb “in their inward parts.” The Hebrew word here refers to the seat of the thoughts, emotions, and decisions (Jer 9:8 [9:7 HT]). It is essentially synonymous with “heart” in Hebrew psychological terms.
- Jeremiah 31:33 tn The words “and minds” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to bring the English psychology more into line with the Hebrew, where the “heart” is the center both of knowing/thinking/reflecting and deciding/willing.sn Two contexts are relevant for understanding this statement. The first context is the Mosaic covenant, which was characterized by a law written on stone tablets (e.g., Exod 32:15-16; 34:1, 28; Deut 4:13; 5:22; 9:10) or in a “book” or “scroll” (Deut 31:9-13). This material could be lost (cf. 2 Kgs 22:8), forgotten (Hos 4:6), ignored (Jer 6:19; Amos 4:2), or altered (Jer 8:8). The second context is the repeated fault that Jeremiah has found with their stubborn (3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17), uncircumcised (4:4; 9:26), and desperately wicked hearts (4:4; 17:9). Radical changes were necessary to get the people to obey the law from the heart and not just pay superficial or lip service to it (3:10; 12:2). Deut 30:1-6 and Ezek 11:17-20 with 36:24-28 speak of these radical changes. The Lord will remove the “foreskin” of their heart and give them a circumcised heart, or take away their “stony” heart and give them a new heart. With this heart they will be able to obey his laws, statutes, ordinances, and commands (Deut 30:8; Ezek 11:20; 36:27). The new covenant does not entail a new law; it is essentially the same law that Jeremiah has repeatedly accused them of rejecting or ignoring (6:19; 9:13; 16:11; 26:4; 44:10). What does change is their inner commitment to keep it. Jeremiah has already referred to this in Jer 24:7 and will refer to it again in Jer 32:39.
- Jeremiah 31:33 sn Cf. Jer 24:7; 30:22; 31:1; see the study note on 30:2.
- Jeremiah 31:34 tn Heb “teach…, saying, ‘Know the Lord.’” The indirect quote has been chosen for stylistic reasons, i.e., to better parallel the following line.sn As mentioned in the translator’s note on 9:3 (9:2 HT), “knowing” God in covenant contexts like this involves more than just an awareness of who he is (9:23 [9:22 HT]). It involves an acknowledgment of his sovereignty and wholehearted commitment to obedience to him. This is perhaps best seen in the parallelisms in Hos 4:1 and 6:6, where “the knowledge of God” is parallel with faithfulness and steadfast love and in the context of Hos 4 refers to obedience to the Lord’s commands.
- Jeremiah 31:34 sn This statement should be understood against a broader background. In Jer 8:8-9 class distinctions were drawn, and certain people were considered to have more awareness and responsibility for knowing the law. In Jer 5:1-5 and 9:3-9 the sinfulness of Israel was seen to be universal across these class distinctions, and no trust was to be placed in friends, neighbors, or relatives because all without distinction had cast off God’s yoke (i.e., refused to submit themselves to his authority).
- Jeremiah 31:34 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) that introduces this clause refers not just to the preceding clause (i.e., that all will know the Lord) but to all of vv. 31-34a (See BDB 474 s.v. כִּי 3.c).
- Jeremiah 31:35 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for this title. In the Hebrew text the verse reads, “Thus says the Lord, who provides the sun for light by day, the fixed ordering of the moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar, whose name is Yahweh of armies, ‘…’” (In Hebrew Lord is the same word as Yahweh.) The hymnic introduction to the quote, which does not begin until v. 36, has been broken down to avoid a long, awkward sentence in English. The word “said” has been translated “made a promise” to reflect the nature of the content in vv. 36-37. The first two lines of the Hebrew poetry are a case of complex or supplementary ellipsis, where the complete idea of “providing/establishing the fixed laws” is divided between the two lines (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 110-13). The necessity for recombining the ellipsis is obvious from reference to the fixed ordering in the next verse. (Some commentators prefer to delete the word as an erroneous glossing of the word in the following line (see, e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 277, n. y).
- Jeremiah 31:36 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:36 tn Heb “‘If these fixed orderings were to fail to be present before me,’ oracle of the Lord, ‘then the seed of Israel could cease from being a nation before me forever [or more literally, “all the days”].’” The sentence has been broken up to conform more to modern style. The connection has been maintained by reversing the order of condition and consequence and still retaining the condition in the second clause. For the meaning of “cease to operate” for the verb מוּשׁ (mush), compare the usage in Isa 54:10; Ps 55:11 (55:12 HT); and Prov 17:13, where what is usually applied to persons or things is applied to abstract things like this (see HALOT 506 s.v. II מוּשׁ Qal for general usage).
- Jeremiah 31:37 sn This answers Jeremiah’s question in 14:19.
- Jeremiah 31:37 tn Heb “If the heavens above could be measured or the foundations of the earth below be explored, then also I could reject all the seed of Israel for all they have done.”
- Jeremiah 31:37 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:38 tc The words “is coming” (בָּאִים, baʾim) are not in the written text (Kethib) but are supplied in the margin (Qere) in several Hebrew mss and in the versions. It is part of the idiom that also occurs in vv. 27, 31.sn On this idiom compare vv. 27, 31.
- Jeremiah 31:38 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:38 tn Heb “the city will be built to [or for] the Lord.” The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity. However, the word occurs in a first person speech, so the translation has accommodated the switch in person as it has in a number of other places (compare also NIV, TEV, ICV).
- Jeremiah 31:38 tn The word “westward” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to give some orientation.sn The Tower of Hananel is referred to in Neh 3:1; 12:39; Zech 14:10. According to the directions given in Neh 3, it was in the northern wall, perhaps in the northeast corner, north of the temple mount. The Corner Gate is mentioned again in 2 Kgs 14:13; 2 Chr 25:23; 26:9; Zech 14:10. It is generally agreed to have been in the northwest corner of the city.
- Jeremiah 31:39 tn The words “west” and “southward” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give some orientation.sn The location of the Hill of Gareb and the place called Goah are not precisely known. However, it has been plausibly suggested from the other localities mentioned that the Hill of Gareb is the hill west of the Hinnom Valley mentioned in Josh 15:8. The location of Goah is generally placed south of that near the southwest corner of the Hinnom Valley, which is referred to in the next verse (Jer 31:40).
- Jeremiah 31:40 sn It is generally agreed that this refers to the Hinnom Valley, which was on the southwestern and southern side of the city. The people of Jerusalem had burned their children as sacrifices here. The Lord had said that there would be so many dead bodies here when he punished them that they would be unable to bury all of them (cf. Jer 7:31-32). The reference in v. 40 may be to those dead bodies and to the ashes of the cremated victims. This defiled place would be included within the holy city.
- Jeremiah 31:40 tc The translation here follows the Qere and a number of Hebrew mss in reading שְׁדֵמוֹת (shedemot) for the otherwise unknown word שְׁרֵמוֹת (sheremot), which may exhibit the common confusion of ר (resh) and ד (dalet). The fields of Kidron are mentioned also in 2 Kgs 23:4 as the place where Josiah burned the cult objects of Baal.
- Jeremiah 31:40 sn The Kidron Valley is the valley that joins the Hinnom Valley in the southeastern corner of the city and runs northward on the east side of the city.
- Jeremiah 31:40 tn The words “on the east” and “north” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give orientation.
- Jeremiah 31:40 sn The Horse Gate is mentioned in Neh 3:28 and is generally considered to have been located midway along the eastern wall just south of the temple area.
- Jeremiah 31:40 tn The words “will be included within this city that is” are not in the text. The text merely says that “The whole valley…will be sacred to the Lord.” These words have been supplied in the translation because they are really implicit in the description of the whole area as being included within the new city plan, not just the Hinnom and terraced fields as far as the Kidron Valley.sn The area that is here delimited is larger than any of the known boundaries of Jerusalem during the OT period. Again, this refers to the increase in population of the restored community (cf. 31:27).
New International Version - UK
Jesus restores a demon-possessed man
5 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!’ 8 For Jesus had said to him, ‘Come out of this man, you impure spirit!’
9 Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’
‘My name is Legion,’ he replied, ‘for we are many.’ 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, ‘Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.’ 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man – and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[b] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’ 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed round him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned round in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’
31 ‘You see the people crowding against you,’ his disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, “Who touched me?”’
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’
36 Overhearing[c] what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
New English Translation
Healing of a Demoniac
5 So[a] they came to the other side of the lake, to the region of the Gerasenes.[b] 2 Just as Jesus[c] was getting out of the boat,[d] a man with an unclean spirit[e] came from the tombs and met him.[f] 3 He lived among the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For his hands and feet had often been bound with chains and shackles,[g] but[h] he had torn the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Each night and every day among the tombs and in the mountains, he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him. 7 Then[i] he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave me alone,[j] Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I implore you by God[k]—do not torment me!” 8 (For Jesus[l] had said to him, “Come out of that man, you unclean spirit!”)[m] 9 Jesus[n] asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion,[o] for we are many.” 10 He begged Jesus[p] repeatedly not to send them out of the region. 11 There on the hillside,[q] a great herd of pigs was feeding. 12 And the demonic spirits[r] begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.” 13 Jesus[s] gave them permission.[t] So[u] the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake, and about 2,000 were drowned in the lake.
14 Now[v] the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind—the one who had the “Legion”—and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demon-possessed man reported it, and they also told about the pigs. 17 Then[w] they began to beg Jesus[x] to leave their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat the man who had been demon-possessed asked if he could go[y] with him. 19 But[z] Jesus[aa] did not permit him to do so. Instead, he said to him, “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you,[ab] that he had mercy on you.” 20 So[ac] he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis[ad] what Jesus had done for him,[ae] and all were amazed.
Restoration and Healing
21 When Jesus had crossed again in a boat[af] to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he was by the sea. 22 Then[ag] one of the synagogue leaders,[ah] named Jairus,[ai] came up, and when he saw Jesus,[aj] he fell at his feet. 23 He asked him urgently, “My little daughter is near death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be healed and live.” 24 Jesus[ak] went with him, and a large crowd followed and pressed around him.
25 Now[al] a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage[am] for twelve years.[an] 26 She had endured a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet instead of getting better, she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,[ao] 28 for she kept saying,[ap] “If only I touch his clothes, I will be healed.”[aq] 29 At once the bleeding stopped,[ar] and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Jesus knew at once that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you and you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But[as] he looked around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.[at] Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35 While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s[au] house saying, “Your daughter has died. Why trouble the teacher any longer?” 36 But Jesus, paying no attention to what was said, told the synagogue leader, “Do not be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James,[av] and John, the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the synagogue leader where[aw] he saw noisy confusion and people weeping and wailing loudly.[ax] 39 When he entered he said to them, “Why are you distressed and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep!” 40 And they began making fun of him.[ay] But he forced them all outside,[az] and he took the child’s father and mother and his own companions[ba] and went into the room where the child was.[bb] 41 Then, gently taking the child by the hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” 42 The girl got up at once and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). They were completely astonished at this.[bc] 43 He strictly ordered that no one should know about this,[bd] and told them to give her something to eat.
- Mark 5:1 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a summary and transition in the narrative.
- Mark 5:1 tc The textual tradition here is quite complicated. Most later mss (A C ƒ13 M syp,h) read “Gadarenes,” which is the better reading in Matt 8:28. Other mss (א2 L Δ Θ ƒ1 28 33 565 579 700 892 1241 1424 al sys bo) have “Gergesenes.” Others (א* B D latt sa) have “Gerasenes,” which is the reading followed in the translation here and in Luke 8:26. The difference between Matthew and Mark (which is parallel to Luke) may well have to do with uses of variant regional terms.sn The region of the Gerasenes would be in Gentile territory on the (south)eastern side of the Sea of Galilee across from Galilee. Matthew 8:28 records this miracle as occurring “in the region of the Gadarenes.” “Irrespective of how one settles this issue, for the [second and] Third Evangelist the chief concern is that Jesus has crossed over into Gentile territory, ‘opposite Galilee’” (J. B. Green, Luke [NICNT], 337). The region of Gadara extended to the Sea of Galilee and included the town of Sennabris on the southern shore—the town that the herdsmen most likely entered after the drowning of the pigs.
- Mark 5:2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:2 sn See the note at Mark 1:19 for a description of the first-century fishing boat discovered in 1986 near Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
- Mark 5:2 sn Unclean spirit refers to an evil spirit.
- Mark 5:2 tn Grk “met him from the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.” When this is converted to normal English word order (“a man met him from the tombs with an unclean spirit”) it sounds as if “with an unclean spirit” modifies “the tombs.” Likewise, “a man with an unclean spirit from the tombs met him” implies that the unclean spirit came from the tombs, while the Greek text is clear that it is the man who had the unclean spirit who came from the tombs. To make this clear a second verb, “came,” is supplied in English: “came from the tombs and met him.”
- Mark 5:4 tn Grk “he had often been bound with chains and shackles.” “Shackles” could also be translated “fetters”; they were chains for the feet.
- Mark 5:4 tn Grk “and.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
- Mark 5:7 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 5:7 tn Grk “What to me and to you?” (an idiom). The phrase τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί (ti emoi kai soi) is Semitic in origin, though it made its way into colloquial Greek (BDAG 275 s.v. ἐγώ). The equivalent Hebrew expression in the OT had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12, 2 Chr 35:21, 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his own, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13, Hos 14:8). These nuances were apparently expanded in Greek, but the basic notions of defensive hostility (option 1) and indifference or disengagement (option 2) are still present. BDAG suggests the following as glosses for this expression: What have I to do with you? What have we in common? Leave me alone! Never mind! Hostility between Jesus and the demons is certainly to be understood in this context, hence the translation: “Leave me alone….”
- Mark 5:7 sn Though it seems unusual for a demon to invoke God’s name (“I implore you by God”) in his demands of Jesus, the parallel in Matt 8:29 suggests the reason: “Why have you come to torment us before the time?” There was an appointed time in which demons would face their judgment, and they seem to have viewed Jesus’ arrival on the scene as an illegitimate change in God’s plan regarding the time when their sentence would be executed.
- Mark 5:8 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:8 sn This is a parenthetical explanation by the author.
- Mark 5:9 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:9 sn The name Legion means “thousands,” a word taken from a Latin term for a large group of soldiers. The term not only suggests a multiple possession, but also adds a military feel to the account. This is a true battle.
- Mark 5:10 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:11 tn Grk “mountain,” but this might give the English reader the impression of a far higher summit.
- Mark 5:12 tn Grk “they”; the referent (the demonic spirits) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:13 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:13 sn Many have discussed why Jesus gave them permission, since the animals were destroyed. However, this is another example of a miracle that is a visual lesson. The demons are destructive: They were destroying the man. They destroyed the pigs. They destroy whatever they touch. The point was to take demonic influence seriously, as well as Jesus’ power over it as a picture of the larger battle for human souls. There would be no doubt how the man’s transformation had taken place.
- Mark 5:13 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate a conclusion and transition in the narrative.
- Mark 5:14 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate a transition to the response to the miraculous healing.
- Mark 5:17 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 5:17 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:18 tn Grk “be,” that is, “remain.” In this context that would involve accompanying Jesus as he went on his way.
- Mark 5:19 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
- Mark 5:19 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:19 sn Jesus instructs the man to declare what the Lord has done for him, in contrast to the usual instructions (e.g., 1:44; 5:43) to remain silent. Here in Gentile territory Jesus allowed more open discussion of his ministry. D. L. Bock (Luke [BECNT], 1:781) suggests that with few Jewish religious representatives present, there would be less danger of misunderstanding Jesus’ ministry as political.
- Mark 5:20 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “So” to indicate the conclusion of the episode in the narrative.
- Mark 5:20 sn The Decapolis refers to a group of towns (originally consisting of ten; the Greek name literally means “ten towns”) whose region (except for Scythopolis) lay on the east side of the Jordan River. Although frequently seen as a league of independent city states organized by the Roman general Pompey, contemporary sources do not support such a view. Rather their unity came from their Greek (Hellenistic) culture and religions, which set them apart from surrounding areas.
- Mark 5:20 sn Note that the man could not separate what God had done from the one through whom God had done it (what Jesus had done for him). This man was called to witness to God’s goodness at home.
- Mark 5:21 sn See the note at Mark 1:19 for a description of the first-century fishing boat discovered in 1986 near Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
- Mark 5:22 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 5:22 tn That is, “an official in charge of the synagogue”; ἀρχισυνάγωγος (archisunagōgos) refers to the “president of a synagogue” (so BDAG 139 s.v. and L&N 53.93; cf. Luke 8:41). sn The synagogue was a place for Jewish prayer and worship, with recognized leadership. See also the note on synagogue in 1:21.
- Mark 5:22 tc Codex Bezae (D) and some Itala mss omit the words “named Jairus.” The evidence for the inclusion of the phrase is extremely strong, however. The witnesses in behalf of ὀνόματι ᾿Ιάϊρος (onomati Iairos) include P45 א A B C L M lat sy co. The best explanation is that the phrase was accidentally dropped during the transmission of one strand of the Western text.
- Mark 5:22 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:24 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 5:25 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
- Mark 5:25 tn Grk “a flow of blood.”sn This probably refers to a chronic vaginal or uterine hemorrhage which rendered the woman ritually unclean, thus limiting her social contacts and religious participation (see further J. Marcus, Mark 1–8 [AYB], 357).
- Mark 5:25 sn This story of the woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years is recounted in the middle of the story about Jairus’ daughter. Mark’s account (as is often the case) is longer and more detailed than the parallel accounts in Matt 9:18-26 and Luke 8:40-56. Mark’s fuller account may be intended to show that the healing of the woman was an anticipation of the healing of the little girl.
- Mark 5:27 tn Grk “garment,” but here ἱμάτιον (himation) denotes the outer garment in particular.
- Mark 5:28 tn The imperfect verb is here taken iteratively, for the context suggests that the woman was trying to muster up the courage to touch Jesus’ cloak.
- Mark 5:28 tn Grk “saved.”sn In this pericope the author uses a term for being healed (Grk “saved”) that would have spiritual significance to his readers. It may be a double entendre (cf. parallel in Matt 9:21 which uses the same term), since elsewhere he uses verbs that simply mean “heal”: If only the reader would “touch” Jesus, he too would be “saved.”
- Mark 5:29 tn Grk “the flow of her blood dried up.”sn The woman was most likely suffering from a vaginal or uterine hemorrhage, in which case her bleeding would make her ritually unclean.
- Mark 5:32 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
- Mark 5:34 tn Or “has delivered you”; Grk “has saved you.” This should not be understood as an expression for full salvation in the immediate context; it refers only to the woman’s healing.
- Mark 5:35 sn See the note on synagogue leaders in 5:22.
- Mark 5:37 tn Grk “and James,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
- Mark 5:38 tn Grk “and,” though such paratactic structure is rather awkward in English.
- Mark 5:38 sn This group probably includes outside or even professional mourners, not just family, because a large group seems to be present.
- Mark 5:40 tn Grk “They were laughing at him.” The imperfect verb has been taken ingressively.
- Mark 5:40 tn Or “threw them all outside.” The verb used, ἐκβάλλω (ekballō), almost always has the connotation of force in Mark. The typical “put them all outside” is somewhat understated in the context; given the raucous nature of the crowd in v. 38, forceful activity was probably required in order to evict them.
- Mark 5:40 tn Grk “those with him.”
- Mark 5:40 tn Grk “into where the child was.”
- Mark 5:42 tn The Greek word εὐθύς (euthus, often translated “immediately” or “right away”) has not been translated here. It sometimes occurs with a weakened, inferential use (BDAG 406 s.v. 2), not contributing significantly to the flow of the narrative. For further discussion, see R. J. Decker, Temporal Deixis of the Greek Verb in the Gospel of Mark with Reference to Verbal Aspect (SBG 10), 73-77.
- Mark 5:43 sn That no one should know about this. See the note on the phrase who he was in 3:12.