Lectionary Year B
January 5, 2003
Jeremiah 31:7-14

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation

A. Comparing Translations

(JFC) The Contemporary English Version and the New Revised Standard Version differ some:

9a They will weep and pray as I bring them home. - CEV
With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back. - NRSV

10a Listen to me, you nations close by or across the sea. - CEV
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it to the coastlands far away. - NRSV

11 I will rescue them from enemies who could overpower them. - CEV
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. - NRSV

12c I'll give them grain . . . - CEV
over the grain, . . . - NRSV

d Israel will be prosperous and grow like a garden with plenty of water. - CEV
their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. - NRSV

14 I will bless the people with more food than they need, and the priests will enjoy the choice cuts of meat. - CEV
I will give the priests their full of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, says the Lord. - NRSV

B. Textural Criticism

(JFC) 7 For the second person ^M.[;-ta,, the Septuagint and the Targum have a first person, wOM.[;-ta, making it "my people" rather than "your people". Which would Jeremiah more likely say in these conditions? The rest of the alternatives the redactions offer this passage seem to favor the printed text.

8 For x;SepiW rWE[i ~B, "among them the blind and the lame," the Septuagint reads xS;p, d[eAmB., "in his wood/thicket/forest he breaks forth in singing". Seems at least unnecessary if not unintelligible to follow the Septuagint, even if the Latins do, too. More significantly, the editors of BH3 with the conjunction into the next verse, read hnehi, instead of aWh, making it say, "prepare a dwelling" instead of "himself", emphasized. It certainly seems, yet again, the redaction is unnecessary if not non-sensical.

12 For !g"D', "wheat, cereal or grain", the Septuagint and Latins have, #r,a,me, "land, tribal territory,", which expands the meaning into a larger panorama, which might be desirable and, therefore, perhaps original. We'll see later in the study. Then, more significantly, the Septuagint, the Latins, the Targum and the Vulgate have rh;b., "best, chosen, elect, choice" for ~Arm.bi, "height, high place", which might have been original, but it is too early in this study to decide. The editors suggest probably ~yrihb,, "in the best", etc. or delete !AYci. None of these alternatives seems acceptable yet. Then the Septuagint has w[sper xu,lon e;gkarpon, for hw, which leaves it indecipherable, so to be rejected, as are the rest of the similarly departures.

C. Rough Translation

(JFC) 7 Yea/Indeed thus says Yahweh, "Give a ringing cry (in joy and exaltation) unto Jacob joy/mirth/gladness and neigh (figuratively of men as stallions) and in/to the chief/head of the nations cause to hear/proclaim boast/praise and say, 'deliver Yahweh Your people/nation the remnant of Israel'." 8 See/Behold I am bringing/leading them from the land of the north and I am gathering together from out of the extreme sides/flanks of the land/earth among them blind and lame pregnant and giving birth together an assembly great return (imperative) them/they/ the same (adverb). 9 In weeping they shall come and with supplication I brought them along I caused them to walk toward the valley of waters in a way right/correct/straight not will they stumble in it For I am to Israel like a father and Ephraim my first-born is he. 10 Hear the word of Yahweh people/nation and tell/declare to the shores/islands/regions/coasts from/out of a distant country and say, "The scattering one of Israel shall gather together he is keeping guard/watch/charge of like grazing his flock. 11 For has ransomed/delivered/redeemed Yahweh Jacob and has ransomed/redeemed from a hand strong from it/him. 12 Be coming [qal, perfect, plural] and singing [piel, perfect, plural] in the height of Zion and they will be shining/beaming unto the good of Yahweh upon/unto/toward grain/wheat/cereal/corn and upon/unto/toward wine and upon/unto/toward fresh/shinning oil and upon/unto/toward off-spring of sheep/goats and herd/cattle and he shall be becoming a soul/self garden watered and not will they cause to add languish/becoming faint yet/still/while. 13 Then will rejoice a virgin in dancing and youths and elderly together I will be overturning/overthrowing and their mourning to joy/gladness/exultation and I shall be comforting them and causing them to rejoice from it. 14 And I shall satisfy (the) soul/life/spirit of (the) priests of blessing my people (by) my goodness they will be satisfied, Word of Yahweh.

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