New English Translation
37 Destructive forces will come against her horses and her[a] chariots.
Destructive forces will come against all the foreign troops within her;[b]
they will be as frightened as women![c]
Destructive forces will come against her treasures;
they will be taken away as plunder!
- Jeremiah 50:37 tn Hebrew has “his” in both cases here whereas the rest of the possessive pronouns throughout vv. 35-37 are “her.” There is no explanation for this switch unless the third masculine singular refers as a distributive singular to the soldiers mentioned in the preceding verse (cf. GKC 464 §145.l). This is probably the case here, but to refer to “their horses and their chariots” in the midst of many references to “her” might create more confusion than what it is worth to be that precise.
- Jeremiah 50:37 tn Or “in the country,” or “in her armies”; Heb “in her midst.”
- Jeremiah 50:37 tn Heb “A sword against his horses and his chariots and against all the mixed company [or mixed multitude] in her midst, and they will become like women.” The sentence had to be split up because it is too long, and the continuation of the second half with its consequential statement would not fit together with the first half very well. Hence the subject and verb have been repeated. The Hebrew word translated “foreign troops” (עֶרֶב, ʿerev) is the same word that is used in 25:20 to refer to the foreign peoples living in Egypt, and in Exod 12:38 for the foreign people that accompanied Israel out of Egypt. Here the word is translated contextually to refer to foreign mercenaries, an identification that most of the commentaries and many of the modern English versions accept (see, e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 355; NRSV; NIV). The significance of the simile “they will become like women” has been spelled out for the sake of clarity.