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its general sense, whether in more diffuse or concise form, his work is plainly little adapted to give the material of an independent Hebrew text. Instead of two texts we have but one Hebrew recension and an utterly untrustworthy version, which can only serve at best as a secondary or tertiary source in settling the text . For, of course, the inaccuracy of the LXX does not exclude the supposition, that in some cases the correct reading, which the Masor. text may have lost, may have been preserved there. In the same way the Greek text will be free from later additions which may have gained a place in the Masoretic. But just in this respect the arbitrary way in which the translator adapts the extent of the discourse to Hellenistic style, not to the original text, does not create a favourable impression. In his version he often has unmistakeable gaps like ii. 1 f., vii. 2, ix. 16, xvi. 5 ; whereas elsewhere, although more rarely, he enlarges in the way of gloss {eg. iii. 19, iv. 2, v. 18, vii. 4, 9, viii. 21, xix. 3, etc.). But in most of the cases in which he presents a briefer wording, it is impossible to suppose that a later copyist would find need to make enlargements (see Graf, p. xliii . f.). It is much easier to find motives for abbreviation. Thus, the Greek translator is fond of omitting obscure, unintelligible words and clauses, or such as tally with the halting style of Jeremiah, but might seem superfluous and difficult to the Hellenist; and further, such verses as were already contained in the book; e.g. xvii . 1-5a is wanting in LXX, partly on account of the difficulty of vv. 1, 2, partly on account of the repetition of xv. 13, 14 in vv. 3, 6. Also where the translator stumbled at the contents, he omitted, as xxxiii. 14-26, where also repetitions were to he avoided. Briefly, the motive of the abbreviating translator is everywhere not hard to discover; and therefore in reference to this different extent of the two texts we may not speak of two recensions, since the difference is to be put down exclusively or preponderantly to the account of the free course pursued by the Alexandrian.

Another main point is the different position of the foreign oracles. This position is by no means more original in the LXX. The arrangement of the oracles respecting foreign nations is just as appropriate to the contents in the Masoretic text as in the Alexandrine it is inappropriate. Moreover, the inserting of this group after xxv. 13, cutting ch. xxv. asunder in a clumsy way, is now scarcely defended by any one as original, certain though it is that in the earliest editions of the book most of the oracles respecting foreigners now found at its close must have been found in the immediate neighbourhood of ch. xxv. The oracles in xlvi.-xlix. scarcely stood before ch. xxv., as Ewald would wrongly infer from ch. xxv. "these nations," but rather at the close. (Kiihl would insert them after xxv. 29, so that vv. 30-38 would form a "resuming argument.") The LXX were led to their insertion by the words, not wrongly (so also Bleek), taken as heading: a iirpoip^Tevae 'Iep. iirl rk tdvi); but these are a gloss, and apply primarily to the remainder of ch. xxv., see on xxv. 13. This peculiarity, therefore, establishes no claim of the LXX text to pass as an original version on an equal footing with the Masoretic.

The question remains whether the Greek text is superior to the Masoretic in particular details, so that it may be used at least in certain passages for restoring the original text . An affirmative answer may be given. Passages like xi. 15, xxiii. 33 are decisive; here the Greek reading proves itself better in a characteristic way. As by the passages named the actual, although occasional, superiority of the LXX text is proved, so also passages like viii. 3, ix. 21 (in both cases words to be erased after LXX), xiv. 4, xvil 19, xli. 9, xlii. l,xlvi. 17, may be safely corrected. Only the authority of that translation is never a sufficient ground for altering the text, unless its character or contents imperatively demand a change.


Calvini Preelections in Jeremiam et Thren., Genev. 1563. Ferd. Hitzig, Der Prophet Jeremias, Leipzig 1841, 2 Aufl. 1866.

Heinr. Ewald, Jeremja u. Hezeqiel, Gottingen, 2 Aufl. 1868. Translated into English.

Wilh. Neumann, Jeremias von Anathoth, 2 Bde., Leipzig 1856-58.

C. H. Graf, Der Proph. Jeremia, Leipz. 1862.

Ed. Nagelsbach, Der Proph. Jeremia (Lange's Bibelwerk), 1868. Translated.

C. F. Keil, Komm. uber den Proph. Jeremia u. die Klagell., Leipz. 1872. Translated in Clark's series.

T. K. Cheyne, Jeremiah, 2 vols., Pulpit Comm.

T. K. Cheyne, Jeremiah, his Life and Times, Nisbet & Co.

Streane, Comm. on Jeremiah, Cambr. Bible for Schools.

The Text of Jeremiah; A Critical Investigation of the Greek and Hebrew. With the Variations in the LXX. retranslated into the Original and Explained. By G. C. Workman, MA. T. & T. Clark.


Jeremiah's Call To The Prophetic Office, Ch. I.

I. 1. The discourses of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2. to whom the word of Yahveh came in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, 3. and came in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

4. And the word of Yahveh came to me thus: 5. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou earnest forth from the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet to the nations. 6. Then I said: Ah, my Lord, Yahveh, behold, I cannot speak; for I am a

Chapter I.

Vv. 1-3. Heading, see p. 23. On the prophet's name and descent, as well as on the three kings mentioned, see p. 1. Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin are omitted, because they only reigned three months each, 2 Kings xxiii. 31, xxiv. 8. In the same way the prophet's labour after the destruction of the kingdom of Judah (chs. xl.-xlv., etc.) is not taken into account, because with that event, concluding the Jewish era, Jeremiah's labour for the whole people also ceased, and the later discourses are more supplementary in character, and perhaps were added as an appendix to the book. Cf. on xl . 1. Ver. 3. Dmy until and inclusive of the eleventh year, which certainly, as we are afterwards reminded, was not completed, lii. 12, 27. Ver. 4 falls, of course, in the thirteenth year of Josiah; cf. xxv. 3. Observe in rwi the objective character of the prophecy. Ver. 5. Kethib, probably T«vt< from ira=W, to form (1 Kings vii. 15); Keri, from imperf. lift Ver. 6. ij0, LXX nunpof, too young. Cf. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3 of Josiah in his sixteenth year. Jeremiah youth. 7. Then Yahveh said to me: Say not, "I am a youth ;" for to whomsoever I shall send thee thou shalt go, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8. Be not afraid of them, for I am with thee to deliver thee, says Yahveh. 9. Then Yahveh stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and Yahveh said to me: Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10. Behold, I have set thee this day over the nations and over the kingdoms to pluck up and to pull down, and to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.

11. Then the word of Yahveh came to me thus: What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said: I see an almond-rod. 12. Then Yahveh said to me: Thou hast rightly seen; for I will watch over my word to perform it.

13. And the word of Yahveh came to me the second time

may have been twenty years old. Ver. 7. LXX vph;

not directly hostile, but = i>K. Ver. 9. WU and TnpBn, ver. 10, perfects of the completed act as in covenants, etc., with secondary idea of firm assurance (Ges. § 126. 3c; Eng. ed. § 124): I herewith put. Ver. 10. TmpBn, Hiphil, to appoint as TpB, overseer. The prophet is to use God's word as a power to chastise and bless. Observe the energy of that word: he that utters it destroys or builds therewith; cf. v. 14. ETU (opposite of yB3, cf. xxiv. 6), to pluck up, of plants; applied to nations (Deut. xxix. 27): to drive them out of the country, in which they are rooted. JTU, to pull down, like Din of buildings, statues, and the like (opposite of ru3). Exceptionally dagesh lene is wanting, for pn3^ Bnn3^, Ges. § 45. 2. Ver. 11. 1j?C, watchful (from IpC), the almond-tree is so called because it blossoms first, waking up from its winter-sleep (Pliny, Hist. Nat. xvi. 42). Hence a rod or branch of this tree appears here as a half-linguistic, half-figurative symbol (cf. xix. 1, 7) of the restless vigilance with which the Lord will carry on the fulfilment of His word, as ver. 12 explains; cf. invigilare alicui rei. The linguistic allusion cannot be rendered, since "Wachholder" =juniper (Ewald), gives the word-play but not the right figure. Ver. 12. mtrn, Ges. § 142. 2; Eng. § 139. Ver. 13. A caldron kindled (Job xli. 12), i.e. one around which the flame is already kindled, so that the boiling contents soon run over. The caldron (of metal, after Ezek. xxiv. 11) is not Judah = Jerusalem (as in Ezek. xxiv. 3 ff.), but the hostile power from the

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