New English Translation
21 This day[a] I have told you what he said.[b] But you do not want to obey the Lord your God by doing what he sent me to tell you.[c] 22 So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”Read full chapter
- Jeremiah 42:21 tn Or “Today.”
- Jeremiah 42:21 tn The words “what he said” are not in the text but are implicit and seem necessary for clarity.
- Jeremiah 42:21 tn Heb “But you have not hearkened to the voice of [idiomatic for “obeyed”; see BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Qal.1.m] the Lord your God, namely [cf. BDB 252 s.v. וְ 1.b] in regard to [cf. BDB 514 s.v. לְ 5.f(c)] all about which he has sent me to you.” Because they have not yet expressed their refusal or their actual disobedience, several commentaries, sensing this apparent discrepancy, suggest that 42:19-22 are to be transposed after 43:1-3 (see, e.g., BHS note 18a; W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:275; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 252, 256, 258). However, there is no textual evidence for the transposition and little reason to suspect an early scribal error (in spite of Holladay’s suggestion). It is possible that Jeremiah here anticipates this answer in 43:1-3 through the response on their faces (so Bright, 256; F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 361). G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 249) also call attention to the stated intention in 41:17 and the fact that the strong warning in 42:15-17 seems to imply that a negative response is expected). The use of the perfect here is perhaps to be related to the perfect expressing resolve or determination (see IBHS 489 §30.5.1d). It seems conceivable that these two verses are part of a conditional sentence that has no formal introduction, i.e., “And if you will not obey…then you should know for certain that…” For examples of this kind of conditional statement with two clauses introduced by vav (ו), see Joüon 2:628-29 §167.b, and compare Jer 18:4 and Judg 6:13.