Thursday, 2 February 2017

Jeremiah 34

This chapter is a verse turner, like a novel that is a page turner but for a slow reader. The JB has the heading 'Miscellaneous Passages'. Curious. It may be miscellany in someone's idea of collation, but it is not irrelevant. [I see it shares 69% of its words with chapter 21, there is some follow on with this chapter I suspect.] Where it fits in the history of Judah and Jerusalem, I don't know exactly, but the issue of freedom, and reversal of promise, and destruction, is relevant to us. The negative example of this period of exile, and here the moments preceding it, are vividly and emotionally told through the prophetic formulas.

We could apply it to our own situation with a little effort. Did we promise something, and then draw back from the act of justice? I am struck by verse 17. I have put in an ellipsis (as a stop) so that you stop and don't finish the sentence... My reading is not negative but positive: the command to free the slaves every seven years can be seen as protecting the freedom of everyone. We don't observe Sabbath year or Jubilee. I remember being mystified by them when I first read of them. They seem totally unworkable - but the principle is very clear here. As for the continuing sentence, that G-d is free to leave us to the consequences of our own injustice and rebellion, well, I'll leave that one alone...

What kind of story and example would I provide if I had to save the world, and I was prevented from actually being the single solution to all the world's motivational problems? How many generations would it take for justice to emerge? What would be my fullness of time?

But as for saying, 'Only I can fix it.' Well, that is just nonsense. And anyone who believes such of itself or of any other earthling is deep into idolatry.

Today's idolatry is exactly like the idolatry of then - Mammon - what else are slaves good for?
Mammon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell
From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts
Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold,
Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd
In vision beatific: [Paradise Lost, Book 1 678-684]

This is really fine stuff! Here's a bit of his speech in Book 2. Too funny for words - I can so identify with such a resolve against authority. (Remember the final edict of forced service in Esther 10:1). 

Suppose he should relent
And publish Grace to all, on promise made
Of new Subjection; with what eyes could we
Stand in his presence humble, and receive
Strict Laws impos'd, to celebrate his Throne
With warbl'd Hymns, and to his Godhead sing
Forc't Halleluiah's; while he Lordly sits
Our envied Sovran, and his Altar breathes
Ambrosial Odours and Ambrosial Flowers,
Our servile offerings.  [Paradise Lost, Book 2 237-246]

Jeremiah 34 Fn Min Max Syll
הַדָּבָ֛ר אֲשֶׁר־הָיָ֥ה אֶֽל־יִרְמְיָ֖הוּ מֵאֵ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה
וּנְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּ֣ר מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֣ל ׀ וְכָל־חֵיל֡וֹ וְכָל־מַמְלְכ֣וֹת אֶרֶץ֩ מֶמְשֶׁ֨לֶת יָד֜וֹ וְכָל־הָעַמִּ֗ים נִלְחָמִ֧ים עַל־יְרוּשָׁלִַ֛ם וְעַל־כָּל־עָרֶ֖יהָ לֵאמֹֽר
1 The word that happened to Jeremiah from Yahweh,
when Nebukadretsar king of Babel, and all his force, and all the kingdoms of earth governed by his hand, and all the peoples, fought over Jerusalem and over all her cities, saying,
3c 4B 16
כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הָלֹךְ֙ וְאָ֣מַרְתָּ֔ אֶל־צִדְקִיָּ֖הוּ מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה
וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֗יו כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה הִנְנִ֨י נֹתֵ֜ן אֶת־הָעִ֤יר הַזֹּאת֙ בְּיַ֣ד מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֔ל וּשְׂרָפָ֖הּ בָּאֵֽשׁ
2 Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Go, and you say to Zedekiah king of Judah,
and say to him, Thus says Yahweh, Note me well, giving this city into the hand of the king of Babel, and he will incinerate it in the fire.
3e 4C 27
וְאַתָּ֗ה לֹ֚א תִמָּלֵט֙ מִיָּד֔וֹ כִּ֚י תָּפֹ֣שׂ תִּתָּפֵ֔שׂ וּבְיָד֖וֹ תִּנָּתֵ֑ן
וְֽ֠עֵינֶיךָ אֶת־עֵינֵ֨י מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֜ל תִּרְאֶ֗ינָה וּפִ֛יהוּ אֶת־פִּ֥יךָ יְדַבֵּ֖ר וּבָבֶ֥ל תָּבֽוֹא
3 And you, you will not escape from his hand, for arrested, arrested you will be, and into his hand given.
And your eyes, the eyes of the king of Babel, will see, and his mouth, your mouth will address, and Babel you will enter.
3d 4C 22
אַ֚ךְ שְׁמַ֣ע דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה צִדְקִיָּ֖הוּ מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה
כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ עָלֶ֔יךָ לֹ֥א תָמ֖וּת בֶּחָֽרֶב
4 C Surely hear the word of Yahweh, Zedekiah, king of Judah.
Thus says Yahweh against you, You will not die by the sword.
3e 4C 16
בְּשָׁל֣וֹם תָּמ֗וּת וּֽכְמִשְׂרְפ֣וֹת אֲ֠בוֹתֶיךָ הַמְּלָכִ֨ים הָרִֽאשֹׁנִ֜ים אֲשֶׁר־הָי֣וּ לְפָנֶ֗יךָ כֵּ֚ן יִשְׂרְפוּ־לָ֔ךְ וְה֥וֹי אָד֖וֹן יִסְפְּדוּ־לָ֑ךְ
כִּֽי־דָבָ֥ר אֲנִֽי־דִבַּ֖רְתִּי נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה
5 In peace you will die, and as the incinerations of your ancestors, the former kings which were before you, so they will incinerate for you, and, Alas Lord, they will wail for you.
For a word, I, I have spoken, an oracle of Yahweh.
3e 4C 42
וַיְדַבֵּר֙ יִרְמְיָ֣הוּ הַנָּבִ֔יא אֶל־צִדְקִיָּ֖הוּ מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה
אֵ֛ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה בִּירוּשָׁלִָֽם
6 And Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah,
all these words in Jerusalem.
3d 4B 20
וְחֵ֣יל מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֗ל נִלְחָמִים֙ עַל־יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וְעַ֛ל כָּל־עָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָ֖ה הַנּֽוֹתָר֑וֹת
אֶל־לָכִישׁ֙ וְאֶל־עֲזֵקָ֔ה כִּ֣י הֵ֗נָּה נִשְׁאֲר֛וּ בְּעָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָ֖ה עָרֵ֥י מִבְצָֽר
7 And the force of the king of Babel fought over Jerusalem and over all the cities of Judah that remained,
to Lachish and to Azeiqah, for behold, of the cities of Judah, these enclosed cities were residue.
3d 4B 26
הַדָּבָ֛ר אֲשֶׁר־הָיָ֥ה אֶֽל־יִרְמְיָ֖הוּ מֵאֵ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה
אַחֲרֵ֡י כְּרֹת֩ הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ צִדְקִיָּ֜הוּ בְּרִ֗ית אֶת־כָּל־הָעָם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּירֽוּשָׁלִַ֔ם לִקְרֹ֥א לָהֶ֖ם דְּרֽוֹר
8 The word that happened to Jeremiah from Yahweh.
After this, king Zedekiah had cut a covenant with all the people that were in Jerusalem, to proclaim to them liberty.
3d 4B 16
לְ֠שַׁלַּח אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־עַבְדּ֞וֹ וְאִ֧ישׁ אֶת־שִׁפְחָת֛וֹ הָעִבְרִ֥י וְהָעִבְרִיָּ֖ה חָפְשִׁ֑ים
לְבִלְתִּ֧י עֲבָד־בָּ֛ם בִּיהוּדִ֥י אָחִ֖יהוּ אִֽישׁ
9 ~ That each set loose its male slave, and each its female slave, the Hebrew male, and the Hebrew female, to be free,
that none among the Judeans be a slave among them. Each is their kin.
3c 4B 23
וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ֩ כָל־הַשָּׂרִ֨ים וְכָל־הָעָ֜ם אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣אוּ בַבְּרִ֗ית לְ֠שַׁלַּח אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־עַבְדּ֞וֹ וְאִ֤ישׁ אֶת־שִׁפְחָתוֹ֙ חָפְשִׁ֔ים לְבִלְתִּ֥י עֲבָד־בָּ֖ם ע֑וֹד
וַֽיִּשְׁמְע֖וּ וַיְשַׁלֵּֽחוּ
10 And all the nobility heard, and all the people that had entered into the covenant, to set loose each its male slave and each its female slave to be free, that none be a slave among them any more.
And they heard, and they set them loose.
3e 4C 40
וַיָּשׁ֙וּבוּ֙ אַחֲרֵי־כֵ֔ן וַיָּשִׁ֗בוּ אֶת־הָֽעֲבָדִים֙ וְאֶת־הַשְּׁפָח֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר שִׁלְּח֖וּ חָפְשִׁ֑ים
וַֽיִּכְבְּשׁ֔וּם לַעֲבָדִ֖ים וְלִשְׁפָחֽוֹת
11 But they turned back afterwards, and made their male slaves and their female slaves return, that they had set loose to be free,
and they took control of them as male slaves and as female slaves.
3e 4A 28
וַיְהִ֤י דְבַר־יְהוָה֙ אֶֽל־יִרְמְיָ֔הוּ מֵאֵ֥ת יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר 12 And the word of Yahweh happened to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 3e 4C 17
כֹּֽה־אָמַ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
אָנֹכִ֗י כָּרַ֤תִּֽי בְרִית֙ אֶת־אֲב֣וֹתֵיכֶ֔ם בְּי֨וֹם הוֹצִאִ֤י אוֹתָם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם מִבֵּ֥ית עֲבָדִ֖ים לֵאמֹֽר
13 Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel,
I myself cut a covenant with your ancestors on the day I brought them out from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude, saying,
3e 4C 11
מִקֵּ֣ץ שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֡ים תְּֽשַׁלְּח֡וּ אִישׁ֩ אֶת־אָחִ֨יו הָעִבְרִ֜י אֲשֶֽׁר־יִמָּכֵ֣ר לְךָ֗ וַעֲבָֽדְךָ֙ שֵׁ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֔ים וְשִׁלַּחְתּ֥וֹ חָפְשִׁ֖י מֵֽעִמָּ֑ךְ
וְלֹֽא־שָׁמְע֤וּ אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶם֙ אֵלַ֔י וְלֹ֥א הִטּ֖וּ אֶת־אָזְנָֽם
14 At the end of seven years, you will set loose, each, its kin, the Hebrew that was sold to you, and who has served you six years and you will set it loose to be free from you.
And your ancestors did not hear me and they did not bend their ear.
3e 4C 39
וַתָּשֻׁ֨בוּ אַתֶּ֜ם הַיּ֗וֹם וַתַּעֲשׂ֤וּ אֶת־הַיָּשָׁר֙ בְּעֵינַ֔י לִקְרֹ֥א דְר֖וֹר אִ֣ישׁ לְרֵעֵ֑הוּ
וַתִּכְרְת֤וּ בְרִית֙ לְפָנַ֔י בַּבַּ֕יִת אֲשֶׁר־נִקְרָ֥א שְׁמִ֖י עָלָֽיו
15 And you were turned, you were, today, and you had done what is upright in my eyes, to proclaim liberty each to his associate,
and you had cut a covenant in my presence in the house that is called My Name Is On It,
3e 4C 28
וַתָּשֻׁ֙בוּ֙ וַתְּחַלְּל֣וּ אֶת־שְׁמִ֔י וַתָּשִׁ֗בוּ אִ֤ישׁ אֶת־עַבְדּוֹ֙ וְאִ֣ישׁ אֶת־שִׁפְחָת֔וֹ אֲשֶׁר־שִׁלַּחְתֶּ֥ם חָפְשִׁ֖ים לְנַפְשָׁ֑ם
וַתִּכְבְּשׁ֣וּ אֹתָ֔ם לִֽהְי֣וֹת לָכֶ֔ם לַעֲבָדִ֖ים וְלִשְׁפָחֽוֹת
16 And you turned and profaned my name, and made each its male slave and each its female slave to return, whom you had set loose to be free for themselves,
and you took control of them to become yours as male slaves and as female slaves.
3e 4C 34
לָכֵן֮ כֹּה־אָמַ֣ר יְהוָה֒ אַתֶּם֙ לֹֽא־שְׁמַעְתֶּ֣ם אֵלַ֔י לִקְרֹ֣א דְר֔וֹר אִ֥ישׁ לְאָחִ֖יו וְאִ֣ישׁ לְרֵעֵ֑הוּ
הִנְנִ֣י קֹרֵא֩ לָכֶ֨ם דְּר֜וֹר נְאֻם־יְהוָ֗ה אֶל־הַחֶ֙רֶב֙ אֶל־הַדֶּ֣בֶר וְאֶל־הָרָעָ֔ב וְנָתַתִּ֤י אֶתְכֶם֙ לְזַעֲוָ֔ה לְכֹ֖ל מַמְלְכ֥וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ
17 Therefore thus says Yahweh, You yourselves did not hear me. In proclaiming liberty, each to its kin, and each of you to its associate.
Note me well, I am proclaiming your liberty, an oracle of Yahweh, ... to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine, and I will consign you to be unnerved for all the kingdoms of the earth.
3e 4C 29
וְנָתַתִּ֣י אֶת־הָאֲנָשִׁ֗ים הָעֹֽבְרִים֙ אֶת־בְּרִתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֤ר לֹֽא־הֵקִ֙ימוּ֙ אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֣י הַבְּרִ֔ית אֲשֶׁ֥ר כָּרְת֖וּ לְפָנָ֑י
הָעֵ֙גֶל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּרְת֣וּ לִשְׁנַ֔יִם וַיַּעַבְר֖וּ בֵּ֥ין בְּתָרָֽיו
18 And I will give everyone who passed through my covenant, who has not placed the words of the covenant which they cut in my presence,
the calf that they cut in two, and passed through between its sections,
3e 4C 33
שָׂרֵ֨י יְהוּדָ֜ה וְשָׂרֵ֣י יְרוּשָׁלִַ֗ם הַסָּֽרִסִים֙ וְהַכֹּ֣הֲנִ֔ים וְכֹ֖ל עַ֣ם הָאָ֑רֶץ
הָעֹ֣בְרִ֔ים בֵּ֖ין בִּתְרֵ֥י הָעֵֽגֶל
19 The nobility of Judah, and the nobility of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land,
who passed between the sections of the calf,
3e 4B 27
וְנָתַתִּ֤י אוֹתָם֙ בְּיַ֣ד אֹֽיְבֵיהֶ֔ם וּבְיַ֖ד מְבַקְשֵׁ֣י נַפְשָׁ֑ם
וְהָיְתָ֤ה נִבְלָתָם֙ לְמַֽאֲכָ֔ל לְע֥וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וּלְבֶהֱמַ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ
20 And I will give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their cadaver,
and their corpses will be as food to the fowl of the heavens and to the beasts of the earth.
3e 4C 18
וְאֶת־צִדְקִיָּ֨הוּ מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֜ה וְאֶת־שָׂרָ֗יו אֶתֵּן֙ בְּיַ֣ד אֹֽיְבֵיהֶ֔ם וּבְיַ֖ד מְבַקְשֵׁ֣י נַפְשָׁ֑ם
וּבְיַד חֵ֚יל מֶ֣לֶךְ בָּבֶ֔ל הָעֹלִ֖ים מֵעֲלֵיכֶֽם
21 And Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his nobles, I will give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their cadaver,
and into the hand of the forces of the king of Babel, those ascending away from you.
3e 4C 29
הִנְנִ֨י מְצַוֶּ֜ה נְאֻם־יְהוָ֗ה וַהֲשִׁ֨בֹתִ֜ים אֶל־הָעִ֤יר הַזֹּאת֙ וְנִלְחֲמ֣וּ עָלֶ֔יהָ וּלְכָד֖וּהָ וּשְׂרָפֻ֣הָ בָאֵ֑שׁ
וְאֶת־עָרֵ֧י יְהוּדָ֛ה אֶתֵּ֥ן שְׁמָמָ֖ה מֵאֵ֥ין יֹשֵֽׁב
22 Note me well, a command, an oracle of Yahweh. And I will have them return against this city, and they will fight against it and conquer it, and he will incinerate it in the fire,
and the cities of Judah I will consign to desolation, without inhabitant.
3c 4C 36

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