New English Translation
23 [a] The Lord says,
“Wise people should not boast that they are wise.
Powerful people should not boast that they are powerful.[b]
Rich people should not boast that they are rich.[c]
24 If people want to boast, they should boast about this:
They should boast that they understand and know me.
They should boast that they know and understand
that I, the Lord, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth
and that I desire people to do these things,”[d]
says the Lord.
- Jeremiah 9:23 sn It is not always clear why verses were placed in their present position in the editorial process of collecting Jeremiah’s sermons and the words the Lord spoke to him (see Jer 36:4, 32 for reference to two of these collections). Here it is probable that vv. 23-26 were added as a further answer to the question raised in v. 12.
- Jeremiah 9:23 tn Or “Strong people should not brag that they are strong.”
- Jeremiah 9:23 tn Heb “…in their wisdom…in their power…in their riches.”
- Jeremiah 9:24 tn Or “fairness and justice, because these things give me pleasure.” Verse 24 reads in Hebrew, “But let the one who brags brag in this: understanding and knowing me, that I, the Lord, do faithfulness, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for/that I delight in these.” It is uncertain whether the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) before the clause “I delight in these things” is parallel to the כִּי introducing the clause “that I, the Lord, act…,” or whether it is causal, giving the grounds for the Lord acting the way he does. In light of the contrasts in the passage and the emphasis that Jeremiah has placed on obedience to the covenant and ethical conduct in conjunction with real allegiance to the Lord, not mere lip service, it is probable that the clauses are parallel. For the use of כִּי to introduce clauses of further definition after a direct object, as here, see GKC 365 §117.h and see BDB 393 s.v. יָדַע Qal.1.a. For parallels to the idea of Yahweh requiring these characteristics in people, see Hos 6:6, Mic 6:8.