Monday, April 16, 2018

Jeremiah 9

I hope you are ready for the remainder of this ride. I did not deliberately save chestnuts till last, but in the last glow of the fire, 180 or so chapters, the equivalent of three big books remaining, there are definitely some chestnuts and this chapter is one of them.

The key in this chapter is in the identification of Yahweh with the land and the people. The sorrow is tangible. The one who is, who was, and who is to come has already become incarnate in the object of its supra-personal love. Take it here as a supra-personal pronoun. JB makes it read so smoothly with omissions based on LXX and correction of the Hebrew, that it has lost the identity foreshadowing the incarnation in this passage.

Don't take my limited and awkward word for it. Read and imagine... No more secondhand God, as Bucky Fullerton said.

There is quite an emotional content in this chapter. Much of it was straightforward Hebrew, smooth without having to stir it. Verses 16-19 are all feminine plural.

Jeremiah 9 Fn Min Max Syll
מִֽי־יִתְּנֵ֣נִי בַמִּדְבָּ֗ר מְלוֹן֙ אֹֽרְחִ֔ים וְאֶֽעֶזְבָה֙ אֶת־עַמִּ֔י וְאֵלְכָ֖ה מֵֽאִתָּ֑ם
כִּ֤י כֻלָּם֙ מְנָ֣אֲפִ֔ים עֲצֶ֖רֶת בֹּגְדִֽים
1 Who will give me in the wilderness, lodging for wayfarers, that I might forsake my people, that I might go from them,
for all of them are adulterers, a conclave of the treacherous.
3e 4C 24
12
וַֽיַּדְרְכ֤וּ אֶת־לְשׁוֹנָם֙ קַשְׁתָּ֣ם שֶׁ֔קֶר וְלֹ֥א לֶאֱמוּנָ֖ה גָּבְר֣וּ בָאָ֑רֶץ
כִּי֩ מֵרָעָ֨ה אֶל־רָעָ֧ה ׀ יָצָ֛אוּ וְאֹתִ֥י לֹֽא־יָדָ֖עוּ נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה
2 And they direct their tongues like their bows, falsehood and not for faithfulness are they valiant in the land,
because from evil to evil they emerge, and me they do not know, an oracle of Yahweh.
3c 4C 23
20
אִ֤ישׁ מֵרֵעֵ֙הוּ֙ הִשָּׁמֵ֔רוּ וְעַל־כָּל־אָ֖ח אַל־תִּבְטָ֑חוּ
כִּ֤י כָל־אָח֙ עָק֣וֹב יַעְקֹ֔ב וְכָל־רֵ֖עַ רָכִ֥יל יַהֲלֹֽךְ
3 C Each your associate watch, and over any kin do not trust,
for every sibling will supplant a heel, and every associate is a walking scandal-monger.
3e 4C 17
16
וְאִ֤ישׁ בְּרֵעֵ֙הוּ֙ יְהָתֵ֔לּוּ וֶאֱמֶ֖ת לֹ֣א יְדַבֵּ֑רוּ
לִמְּד֧וּ לְשׁוֹנָ֛ם דַּבֶּר־שֶׁ֖קֶר הַעֲוֵ֥ה נִלְאֽוּ
4 And each jests with its associate and truth they do not speak.
They have taught their tongues a false word, impatient to be perverse.
3c 4C 18
14
שִׁבְתְּךָ֖ בְּת֣וֹךְ מִרְמָ֑ה
בְּמִרְמָ֛ה מֵאֲנ֥וּ דַֽעַת־אוֹתִ֖י נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה
5 Your settlement is in the midst of deceit.
In deception they were unwilling to know me, an oracle of Yahweh.
3d 4B 7
14
לָכֵ֗ן כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת הִנְנִ֥י צוֹרְפָ֖ם וּבְחַנְתִּ֑ים
כִּֽי־אֵ֣יךְ אֶעֱשֶׂ֔ה מִפְּנֵ֖י בַּת־עַמִּֽי
6 Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts, Note me well refining them and hovering over them.
For how will I act facing the daughter of my people?
3e 4C 17
10
חֵ֥ץ שָׁח֛וּט לְשׁוֹנָ֖ם מִרְמָ֣ה דִבֵּ֑ר
בְּפִ֗יו שָׁל֤וֹם אֶת־רֵעֵ֙הוּ֙ יְדַבֵּ֔ר וּבְקִרְבּ֖וֹ יָשִׂ֥ים אָרְבּֽוֹ
7 f A malleable arrow, their tongue of deceit has spoken.
With its mouth, peace with its associate it speaks, but within it, set up, they lie in wait.
3d 4C 10
18
הַעַל־אֵ֥לֶּה לֹֽא־אֶפְקָד־בָּ֖ם נְאֻם־יְהוָ֑ה
אִ֚ם בְּג֣וֹי אֲשֶׁר־כָּזֶ֔ה לֹ֥א תִתְנַקֵּ֖ם נַפְשִֽׁי
8 About these things will I not visit among them? An oracle of Yahweh.
Without fail, with a nation that is like this, will my integrity not be avenged?
3e 4C 12
14
עַל־הֶ֨הָרִ֜ים אֶשָּׂ֧א בְכִ֣י וָנֶ֗הִי וְעַל־נְא֤וֹת מִדְבָּר֙ קִינָ֔ה כִּ֤י נִצְּתוּ֙ מִבְּלִי־אִ֣ישׁ עֹבֵ֔ר וְלֹ֥א שָׁמְע֖וּ ק֣וֹל מִקְנֶ֑ה
מֵע֤וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ וְעַד־בְּהֵמָ֔ה נָדְד֖וּ הָלָֽכוּ
9 Over the hills I will bear weeping and moaning, and over the haunts of the wilderness, a dirge, for they are charred. Nary a person is passing by, and they do not hear the voice of livestock.
The fowl of the heavens and even the beast have fled. They are gone.
3c 4C 34
15
וְנָתַתִּ֧י אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַ֛ם לְגַלִּ֖ים מְע֣וֹן תַּנִּ֑ים
וְאֶת־עָרֵ֧י יְהוּדָ֛ה אֶתֵּ֥ן שְׁמָמָ֖ה מִבְּלִ֖י יוֹשֵֽׁב
10 And I have given Jerusalem to rubble, a habitation of dragons.
And the cities of Judah I will consign to desolation, nary an inhabitant.
3c 4B 16
16
מִֽי־הָאִ֤ישׁ הֶֽחָכָם֙ וְיָבֵ֣ן אֶת־זֹ֔את וַאֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֧ר פִּֽי־יְהוָ֛ה אֵלָ֖יו וְיַגִּדָ֑הּ
עַל־מָה֙ אָבְדָ֣ה הָאָ֔רֶץ נִצְּתָ֥ה כַמִּדְבָּ֖ר מִבְּלִ֖י עֹבֵֽר
11 Who is the shrewd person that will understand this, and to whom did the mouth of Yahweh speak, to make it clear?
Against what has the land perished, charred like the wilderness, nary a passer-by?
3c 4C 25
16
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֔ה עַל־עָזְבָם֙ אֶת־תּ֣וֹרָתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לִפְנֵיהֶ֑ם
וְלֹא־שָׁמְע֥וּ בְקוֹלִ֖י וְלֹא־הָ֥לְכוּ בָֽהּ
12 And Yahweh said, It is over their forsaking my instruction that I gave before them,
and they do not hear with my voice, and they have not walked in it.
3e 4B 20
12
וַיֵּ֣לְכ֔וּ אַחֲרֵ֖י שְׁרִר֣וּת לִבָּ֑ם
וְאַחֲרֵי֙ הַבְּעָלִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לִמְּד֖וּם אֲבוֹתָֽם
13 But they walk after the stubbornness of their heart,
and after the Baalim which their ancestors taught them.
3e 4B 11
14
לָכֵ֗ן כֹּֽה־אָמַ֞ר יְהוָ֤ה צְבָאוֹת֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הִנְנִ֧י מַאֲכִילָ֛ם אֶת־הָעָ֥ם הַזֶּ֖ה לַֽעֲנָ֑ה
וְהִשְׁקִיתִ֖ים מֵי־רֹֽאשׁ
14 Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, Note me well feeding them, this people, with wormwood,
and irrigating them with the waters of gall.
3c 4C 30
6
וַהֲפִֽצוֹתִים֙ בַּגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹ֣א יָֽדְע֔וּ הֵ֖מָּה וַֽאֲבוֹתָ֑ם
וְשִׁלַּחְתִּ֤י אַֽחֲרֵיהֶם֙ אֶת־הַחֶ֔רֶב עַ֥ד כַּלּוֹתִ֖י אוֹתָֽם
15 And I will disperse them among the nations whom they and their ancestors have not known,
and I will send after them the sword, till I have consumed them.
3e 4C 19
18
כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת הִתְבּֽוֹנְנ֛וּ וְקִרְא֥וּ לַמְקוֹנְנ֖וֹת וּתְבוֹאֶ֑ינָה
וְאֶל־הַחֲכָמ֥וֹת שִׁלְח֖וּ וְתָבֽוֹאנָה
16 C Thus says Yahweh of hosts, Understand and call for those who sing dirges that they may come,
and to the wise send that they may come.
3d 4C 21
12
וּתְמַהֵ֕רְנָה וְתִשֶּׂ֥נָה עָלֵ֖ינוּ נֶ֑הִי
וְתֵרַ֤דְנָה עֵינֵ֙ינוּ֙ דִּמְעָ֔ה וְעַפְעַפֵּ֖ינוּ יִזְּלוּ־מָֽיִם
17 And let them move swiftly, and lift up over us, moaning,
and bring down our eyes in tears, and to our eyelids flowing waters.
3e 4C 13
17
כִּ֣י ק֥וֹל נְהִ֛י נִשְׁמַ֥ע מִצִּיּ֖וֹן אֵ֣יךְ שֻׁדָּ֑דְנוּ
בֹּ֤שְׁנֽוּ מְאֹד֙ כִּֽי־עָזַ֣בְנוּ אָ֔רֶץ כִּ֥י הִשְׁלִ֖יכוּ מִשְׁכְּנוֹתֵֽינוּ
18 B For the voice of moaning was heard from Zion, How we are devastated.
We are very ashamed, for we have forsaken the land, for they have cast down our dwelling-places.
3d 4C 13
18
כִּֽי־שְׁמַ֤עְנָה נָשִׁים֙ דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה וְתִקַּ֥ח אָזְנְכֶ֖ם דְּבַר־פִּ֑יו
וְלַמֵּ֤דְנָה בְנֽוֹתֵיכֶם֙ נֶ֔הִי וְאִשָּׁ֥ה רְעוּתָ֖הּ קִינָֽה
19 For hear, women, the word of Yahweh, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth,
and teach your daughters moaning, and each woman her associate, a dirge.
3e 4C 19
18
כִּֽי־עָ֤לָה מָ֙וֶת֙ בְּחַלּוֹנֵ֔ינוּ בָּ֖א בְּאַרְמְנוֹתֵ֑ינוּ
לְהַכְרִ֤ית עוֹלָל֙ מִח֔וּץ בַּחוּרִ֖ים מֵרְחֹבֽוֹת
20 For death has gone up in our windows, entering into our citadels,
to cut off infants from outside, youths in their prime from the plazas.
3e 4C 16
13
דַּבֵּ֗ר כֹּ֚ה נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה וְנָֽפְלָה֙ נִבְלַ֣ת הָֽאָדָ֔ם כְּדֹ֖מֶן עַל־פְּנֵ֣י הַשָּׂדֶ֑ה
וּכְעָמִ֛יר מֵאַחֲרֵ֥י הַקֹּצֵ֖ר וְאֵ֥ין מְאַסֵּֽף
21 Speak thus, An oracle of Yahweh, and the corpses of the human will fall as compost on the surface of the field,
and as the bale after the reaper, and there is none gathering.
3d 4C 24
15
כֹּ֣ה ׀ אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֗ה אַל־יִתְהַלֵּ֤ל חָכָם֙ בְּחָכְמָת֔וֹ וְאַל־יִתְהַלֵּ֥ל הַגִּבּ֖וֹר בִּגְבֽוּרָת֑וֹ
אַל־יִתְהַלֵּ֥ל עָשִׁ֖יר בְּעָשְׁרֽוֹ
22 B Thus says Yahweh, Let not one who is shrewd boast in his shrewdness, nor let the valiant boast in his valour.
Let not one who is rich boast in his riches.
3e 4C 27
9
כִּ֣י אִם־בְּזֹ֞את יִתְהַלֵּ֣ל הַמִּתְהַלֵּ֗ל הַשְׂכֵּל֮ וְיָדֹ֣עַ אוֹתִי֒ כִּ֚י אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה עֹ֥שֶׂה חֶ֛סֶד מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה בָּאָ֑רֶץ
כִּֽי־בְאֵ֥לֶּה חָפַ֖צְתִּי נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה
23 B In contrast, in this let the one who boasts, boast the insight that he knows me, that I am Yahweh, doing the kindness of judgment and righteousness in the land,
for in these I have delight. An oracle of Yahweh.
3d 4C 36
11
הִנֵּ֛ה יָמִ֥ים בָּאִ֖ים נְאֻם־יְהוָ֑ה
וּפָ֣קַדְתִּ֔י עַל־כָּל־מ֖וּל בְּעָרְלָֽה
24 Behold days are coming, an oracle of Yahweh,
and I will visit all those snipped in the foreskin.
3d 4B 10
10
עַל־מִצְרַ֣יִם וְעַל־יְהוּדָ֗ה וְעַל־אֱד֞וֹם וְעַל־בְּנֵ֤י עַמּוֹן֙ וְעַל־מוֹאָ֔ב וְעַל֙ כָּל־קְצוּצֵ֣י פֵאָ֔ה הַיֹּשְׁבִ֖ים בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר
כִּ֤י כָל־הַגּוֹיִם֙ עֲרֵלִ֔ים וְכָל־בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עַרְלֵי־לֵֽב
25 Over Egypt, and over Judah, and over Edom, and over the children of Ammon, and over Moab, and over every outskirt quarter inhabiting in the wilderness,
because all the nations are fore-skinned, and all the house of Israel are fore-skinned of heart.
3e 4C 36
17

What's left to do?