Jeremiah 27

 

בְּרֵאשִׁית מַמְלֶכֶת יְהֹויָקִם בֶּן־יֹאושִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה הָיָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֶל־יִרְמְיָה מֵאֵת יְהוָה לֵאמֹר׃   27:1

Jere. 27:1   In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word occurred to Jeremiah from the Lord saying,

See Jere. 26:1.  We shall find later that the narrative of this chapter is not continuous and that some of it takes place at a later time.

כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה אֵלַי עֲשֵׂה לְךָ מֹוסֵרֹות וּמֹטֹות וּנְתַתָּם עַל־צַוָּארֶךָ׃   27:2

Jere. 27:2   Thus said the Lord to me:  “Make bands and bars for yourself and put them on the back of your neck.”

וְשִׁלַּחְתָּם אֶל־מֶלֶךְ אֱדֹום וְאֶל־מֶלֶךְ מֹואָב וְאֶל־מֶלֶךְ בְּנֵי עַמֹּון וְאֶל־מֶלֶךְ צֹר וְאֶל־מֶלֶךְ צִידֹון בְּיַד   27:3 מַלְאָכִים הַבָּאִים יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֶל־צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה׃

Jere. 27:3   “Then you shall send them to the king of Edom and to the king of Moab and to the king of the children of Ammon and to the king of Tyre and to the king of Zidon in the hand of the messengers coming to Jerusalem, to Zedekiah, king of Judah,

וְצִוִּיתָ אֹתָם אֶל־אֲדֹנֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ אֶל־אֲדֹנֵיכֶם׃   27:4

Jere. 27:4   and you shall give them orders for their masters saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, God of Israel:  ‘Thus you shall say to your masters:

אָנֹכִי עָשִׂיתִי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֶת־הָאָדָם וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי הָאָרֶץ בְּכֹחִי הַגָּדֹול וּבִזְרֹועִי   27:5       הַנְּטוּיָה וּנְתַתִּיהָ לַאֲשֶׁר יָשַׁר בְּעֵינָי׃

Jere. 27:5   ‘I made the earth, man and beast that are on the surface of the land, by My great power and by My outstretched ‘arm,’ so I can give it to whoever is right in My ‘eyes.’’

וְעַתָּה אָנֹכִי נָתַתִּי אֶת־כָּל־הָאֲרָצֹות הָאֵלֶּה בְּיַד נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל עַבְדִּי וְגַם אֶת־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה   27:6 נָתַתִּי לֹו לְעָבְדֹו׃

Jere. 27:6   ‘And now I give all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, My servant; and also the animals of the field I give to him for his service.’

Here the name of Nebuchadrezzar changes to Nebuchadnezzar,  Strange, indeed!  I imagine there may be three explanations for this strange modification:  (1) Nebuchadrezzar changed his name himself, or (2) the Lord changed it now that it is known that he is to be God’s servant in this mighty saga, or (3) someone wrote this chapter (and the next two in which the name appears eight more times) later in time and by then the king’s name was remembered only as Nebchadnezzar.  We will see later that the third explanation may be the most likely.  As a trivial point of interest, the name spelled with an “r” appears for the first time in Jeremiah in Chapter 21 and occurs 28 more times trhoughout the rest of Jeremiah.  It also appears three times in Ezekiel.

                                                                                                                   [Return to Jere. 32:1]

וְעָבְדוּ אֹתֹו כָּל־הַגֹּויִם וְאֶת־בְּנֹו וְאֶת־בֶּן־בְּנֹו עַד בֹּא־עֵת אַרְצֹו גַּם־הוּא וְעָבְדוּ בֹו גֹּויִם רַבִּים   27:7    וּמְלָכִים גְּדֹלִים׃

Jere. 27:7   ‘And all the nations shall serve him and his son and the son of his son, until the time of his land comes, also he and his servants with him, many nations and great kings.’

וְהָיָה הַגֹּוי וְהַמַּמְלָכָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יַעַבְדוּ אֹתֹו אֶת־נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִתֵּן   27:8               אֶת־צַוָּארֹו בְּעֹל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל בַּחֶרֶב וּבָרָעָב וּבַדֶּבֶר אֶפְקֹד עַל־הַגֹּוי הַהוּא נְאֻם־יְהוָה עַד־תֻּמִּי אֹתָם בְּיָדֹו׃

Jere. 27:8   ‘Now the nation and the kingdom may be that will not serve him -- Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon -- and that will not put its neck in the yoke of the king of Babylon; with sword and with famine and with pestilence I shall visit upon that nation,’ declares the Lord,’ until I destroy them by his hand.’

וְאַתֶּם אַל־תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל־נְבִיאֵיכֶם וְאֶל־קֹסְמֵיכֶם וְאֶל חֲלֹמֹתֵיכֶם וְאֶל־עֹנְנֵיכֶם וְאֶל־כַּשָּׁפֵיכֶם   27:9              אֲשֶׁר־הֵם אֹמְרִים אֲלֵיכֶם לֵאמֹר לֹא תַעַבְדוּ אֶת־מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל׃

Jere. 27:9   ‘So you must not listen to your prophets or to your diviners or to your dreams or to your soothsayers or to your sorcerers that they are speaking to you saying, ‘You should not serve the king of Babylon,’

כִּי שֶׁקֶר הֵם נִבְּאִים לָכֶם לְמַעַן הַרְחִיק אֶתְכֶם מֵעַל אַדְמַתְכֶם וְהִדַּחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם וַאֲבַדְתֶּם׃   27:10

Jere. 27:10   for they are prophesying falsehood to you so as to remove you from your soil and I should drive you out and you should perish.’

וְהַגֹּוי אֲשֶׁר יָבִיא אֶת־צַוָּארֹו בְּעֹל מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וַעֲבָדֹו וְהִנַּחְתִּיו עַל־אַדְמָתֹו נְאֻם־יְהוָה וַעֲבָדָהּ וְיָשַׁב   27:11 בָּהּ׃

Jere. 27:11   ‘But the nation that does bring its neck into the yoke of the king of Babylon and serves him, then I will let it remain on its soil,’ declares the Lord, ‘so it can till it and dwell on it.’”

וְאֶל־צִדְקִיָּה מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה דִּבַּרְתִּי כְּכָל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לֵאמֹר הָבִיאוּ אֶת־צַוְּארֵיכֶם בְּעֹל מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל   27:12 וְעִבְדוּ אֹתֹו וְעַמֹּו וִחְיוּ׃

Jere. 27:12   And to Zedekiah, king of Judah, I spoke according to all these words saying, “Bring your necks into the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, that you should live.”

Now Zedekiah did not become king until about eleven years after the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign.  So some part of this chapter -- or at least this verse -- was written after the first verse, perhaps any time between 606 BCE and before 586 BCE when the Temple was destroyed, or possibly even later.  This may also help explain the change in the name of the king of Babylon in v. 27:6 above.

לָמָּה תָמוּתוּ אַתָּה וְעַמֶּךָ בַּחֶרֶב בָּרָעָב וּבַדָּבֶר כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה אֶל־הַגֹּוי אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יַעֲבֹד אֶת־מֶלֶךְ   27:13 בָּבֶל׃

Jere. 27:13   Why should you die, you and your people, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the Lord has spoken concerning the nation that does not serve the king of Babylon?

וְאַל־תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל־דִּבְרֵי הַנְּבִאִים הָאֹמְרִים אֲלֵיכֶם לֵאמֹר לֹא תַעַבְדוּ אֶת־מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל כִּי שֶׁקֶר הֵם   27:14 נִבְּאִים לָכֶם׃

Jere. 27:14   So you must not listen to the words of the prophets speaking to you saying, “You should not serve the king of Babylon,” for they are prophesying falsehood to you.

כִּי לֹא שְׁלַחְתִּים נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְהֵם נִבְּאִים בִּשְׁמִי לַשָּׁקֶר לְמַעַן הַדִּיחִי אֶתְכֶם וַאֲבַדְתֶּם אַתֶּם   27:15       וְהַנְּבִאִים הַנִּבְּאִים לָכֶם׃

Jere. 27:15   “For I have not sent them,” declares the Lord, “so they are prophesying falsely in My name so as to drive you out that you should perish, you and the prophets prophesying to you.”

וְאֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים וְאֶל־כָּל־הָעָם הַזֶּה דִּבַּרְתִּי לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אַל־תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל־דִּבְרֵי נְבִיאֵיכֶם   27:16 הַנִּבְּאִים לָכֶם לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה כְלֵי בֵית־יְהוָה מוּשָׁבִים מִבָּבֶלָה עַתָּה מְהֵרָה כִּי שֶׁקֶר הֵמָּה נִבְּאִים לָכֶם׃

Jere. 27:16   And I spoke this to the priests and to all the people saying, “Thus says the Lord:  ‘You must not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you saying, ‘Behold, the vessels of the house of the Lord are being returned from Babylon quickly now,’ for they are prophesying falsehood to you.’”

אַל־תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֲלֵיהֶם עִבְדוּ אֶת־מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וִחְיוּ לָמָּה תִהְיֶה הָעִיר הַזֹּאת חָרְבָּה׃   27:17

Jere. 27:17   You must not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon that you would live.  Why should this city become a desolation?

וְאִם־נְבִאִים הֵם וְאִם־יֵשׁ דְּבַר־יְהוָה אִתָּם יִפְגְּעוּ־נָא בַּיהוָה צְבָאֹות לְבִלְתִּי־בֹאוּ הַכֵּלִים הַנֹּותָרִים   27:18 בְּבֵית־יְהוָה וּבֵית מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וּבִירוּשָׁלִַם בָּבֶלָה׃

Jere. 27:18   Yet if they are prophets and if there is the word of the Lord with them, let them now intercede with the Lord of hosts so that the vessels remaining in the house of the Lord and of the house of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem are not brought to Babylon.

כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות אֶל־הָעַמֻּדִים וְעַל־הַיָּם וְעַל־הַמְּכֹנֹות וְעַל יֶתֶר הַכֵּלִים הַנֹּותָרִים בָּעִיר   27:19 הַזֹּאת׃

Jere. 27:19   For thus says the Lord of hosts about the columns and about the sea and about the pedestals and about the rest of the vessels remaining in this city,

אֲשֶׁר לֹא־לְקָחָם נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל בַּגְלֹותֹו אֶת־(יְכָונְיָה) [יְכָנְיָה] בֶן־יְהֹויָקִים מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה   27:20 מִירוּשָׁלִַם בָּבֶלָה וְאֵת כָּל־חֹרֵי יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם׃

Jere. 27:20   that which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, did not take in his carrying away Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem.

Now the name of Jeconiah is misspelled (in the parentheses) according to five other places where his name is mentioned in the bible (two more in this book, one in Esther, and two in 1Chronicles).  The corrected spelling is in the brackets.                                                                       [Return to Esth. 2:6]

כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל־הַכֵּלִים הַנֹּותָרִים בֵּית יְהוָה וּבֵית מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה   27:21 וִירוּשָׁלִָם׃

Jere. 27:21   Indeed, thus says the Lord of hosts, God of Israel, about the vessels remaining of the house of the Lord and of the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem:

בָּבֶלָה יוּבָאוּ וְשָׁמָּה יִהְיוּ עַד יֹום פָּקְדִי אֹתָם נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְהַעֲלִיתִים וַהֲשִׁיבֹתִים אֶל־הַמָּקֹום הַזֶּה׃   27:22

Jere. 27:22   “To Babylon they shall be carried and there they shall be until the day of My attending to them,” declares the Lord, “when I shall raise them and return them to this place.”

 

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