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27 Kill all her soldiers.[a]
Let them be slaughtered.[b]
They are doomed,[c] for their day of reckoning[d] has come,
the time for them to be punished.”
28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon.
They are coming to Zion to declare there
how the Lord our God is getting revenge,
getting revenge for what they have done to his temple.[e]
29 “Call for archers[f] to come against Babylon!

Summon against her all who draw the bow.
Set up camp all around the city.
Do not allow anyone to escape!
Pay her back for what she has done.
Do to her what she has done to others.
For she has proudly defied me,[g]
the Holy One of Israel.[h]

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  1. Jeremiah 50:27 tn Heb “Kill all her young bulls.” Commentators almost universally agree that “young bulls” is figurative here for the princes and warriors (cf. BDB 831 s.v. פַּר 2.f, which compares Isa 34:7 and Ezek 39:18). This is virtually certain because of the reference to the time coming for them to be punished; this would scarcely fit literal bulls. For the verb rendered “kill” here, see the translator’s note on v. 21.
  2. Jeremiah 50:27 tn Heb “Let them go down to the slaughter.”
  3. Jeremiah 50:27 tn Or “How terrible it will be for them”; Heb “Woe to them.” See the study note on 22:13; compare usage in 23:1 and 48:1.
  4. Jeremiah 50:27 tn The words “of reckoning” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
  5. Jeremiah 50:28 tn Heb “Hark! Fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, vengeance for his temple.” For the meaning “Hark!” for the noun קוֹל (qol), see BDB 877 s.v. קוֹל 1.f and compare the usage in Jer 10:22. The syntax is elliptical because there is no main verb. The present translation has supplied the verb “come,” as many other English versions have done. The translation also expands the genitival expression “vengeance for his temple” to explain what all the commentaries agree is This verse appears to be a parenthetical exclamation of the prophet in the midst of his report of what the Lord said through him. He throws himself into the future, sees the fall of Babylon, and hears the people reporting in Zion how God has destroyed Babylon to get revenge for the Babylonians destroying his temple. Jeremiah prophesied from 627 b.c. (see the study note on 1:2) until sometime after 586 b.c., after Jerusalem fell and he was taken to Egypt. The fall of Babylon occurred in 538 b.c., some fifty years later. However, Jeremiah had prophesied, as early as the first year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (605 b.c.; Jer 25:1), that many nations and great kings would come and subject Babylon, the instrument of God’s wrath—his sword against the nations—to bondage (Jer 25:12-14).
  6. Jeremiah 50:29 tn For this word see BDB 914 s.v. III רַב, compare usage in Prov 26:10 and Job 16:12, and see the use of the verb in Gen 49:23. Based on this evidence, it is not necessary to emend the form to רֹבִים (rovim), as many commentators contend.
  7. Jeremiah 50:29 tn Heb “for she has acted insolently against the Lord.” Once again there is the problem of the Lord speaking about himself in the third person (or the prophet dropping his identification with the Lord). As in several other places, the present translation, along with several other modern English versions (TEV, CEV, NIrV), has substituted the first person to maintain consistency with the context.
  8. Jeremiah 50:29 sn The Holy One of Israel is a common title for the Lord in the book of Isaiah. It is applied to the Lord only here and in 51:5 in the book of Jeremiah. It is a figure where an attribute of a person is put as a title of a person (compare “your majesty” for a king). It pictures the Lord as the sovereign king who rules over his covenant people and exercises moral authority over them.

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