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20 So, the Sovereign Lord[a] says, my raging fury will be poured out on this land.[b] It will be poured out on human beings and animals, on trees and crops.[c] And it will burn like a fire that cannot be extinguished.

21 “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,[d] says to the people of Judah:[e] ‘You might as well go ahead and add the meat of your burnt offerings to that of the other sacrifices and eat it, too![f] 22 Consider this:[g] When I spoke to your ancestors after I brought them out of Egypt, I did not merely give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices.

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  1. Jeremiah 7:20 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.
  2. Jeremiah 7:20 tn Heb “this place.” Some see this as a reference to the temple, but the context has been talking about what goes on in the towns of Judah and Jerusalem, and the words that follow, meant as a further explanation, are applied to the whole land.
  3. Jeremiah 7:20 tn Heb “the trees of/in the field and the fruit of/in the ground.”
  4. Jeremiah 7:21 tn Heb “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel.”sn See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3.
  5. Jeremiah 7:21 tn The words “to the people of Judah” are not in the text but are implicit in the shift in addressee between vv. 16-20 and vv. 21-26.
  6. Jeremiah 7:21 tn Heb “Add your burnt offerings to your [other] sacrifices and eat the meat!” See the following sn for explanation. This is an example of the rhetorical use of the imperative for a sarcastic challenge. See GKC 324 §110.a; cf. Amos 4:4, “Go to Bethel and sin!”sn All of the burnt offering, including the meat, was to be consumed on the altar (e.g., Lev 1:6-9). The meat of the other sacrifices could be eaten by the priest who offered the sacrifice and the person who brought it (e.g., Lev 7:16-18, 32). Since, however, the people of Judah were making a mockery of the sacrificial system by offering sacrifices while disobeying the law, the Lord rejected the sacrifices (cf. 6:20). Since they were violating the moral law, they might as well go ahead and violate the cultic law by eating the meat dedicated to God because he rejected it anyway.
  7. Jeremiah 7:22 tn Heb “For.” But this introduces a long explanation about the relative importance of sacrifice and obedience.

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