Jeremiah 31:27-34

Jeremiah 31:27-34
Ordinary C47


27 The daysA are surelyB coming,C saysD the Lord,E

Notes on verse 27a

A “days” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
B “surely” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
C “coming” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
D “says” = neum. From na’am (to speak a prophecy; properly, to whisper, which implies saying an oracle). This is an utterance or speaking an oracle.
E “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

when I will sowF the houseG of IsraelH and the house of JudahI with the seedJ of humansK and the seed of animals.L 

Notes on verse 27b

F “sow” = zara. This is to sow or scatter seed, conceive or yield. It can also refer to a sower. Figuratively, this can refer to other forms of dissemination.
G “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
H “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
I “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
J “seed” = zera. Related to “sow” in v27. From zara (see note F above). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
K “humans” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
L “animals” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.

28 AndM just as I have watchedN over them to pluck upO and break down,P to overthrow,Q

Notes on verse 28a

M {untranslated} = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v27. See note E above.
N “watched” = shaqad. 12x in OT. This is to watch, be alert, remain awake, be on guard for good or evil reasons.
O “pluck up” = nathash. This is 21x in OT – 13 in Jeremiah. It is to pull up or pluck out, destroy, or tear away.
P “break down” = nathats. This is to pull down, demolish, break down, raze, overthrow.
Q “overthrow” = haras. This is to break down, throw down, ruin, overthrow, or destroy. It is breaking down in pieces.

destroy,R and bring evil,S soT I will watch over them to buildU and to plant,V says the Lord. 

Notes on verse 28b

R “destroy” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.
S “bring evil” = ra’a’. This is to be evil, bad, afflict. Properly, it means to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces. Figuratively, it is to cause something to be worthless. It is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense – something that displeases, does harm or mischief, punishes or vexes.
T “so” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
U “build” = banah. Related to “house” in v27. See note G above.
V “plant” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.

29 In those days they shall no longer say:

“The parentsW have eatenX sour grapes,Y
    and the children’sZ teethAA are set on edge.”BB

Notes on verse 29

W “parents” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
X “eaten” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
Y “sour grapes” = boser. 4x in OT. Perhaps from beser (unripe grape; root may mean to be sour). This is an unripe or sour grape.
Z “children’s” = ben. Related to “house” in v27 & “build” in v28. From banah (see note G above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
AA “teeth” = shen. From shanan (to sharpen, point, pierce; figuratively to teach). This is a tooth, ivory, something sharp, or, figuratively, a cliff.
BB “set on edge” = qahah. 4x in OT. This is to be dull or set on edge.

30 But allCC shall dieDD for their own sins;EE the teeth of the oneFF who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will makeGG a newHH covenantII with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 

Notes on verses 30-31

CC “all” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
DD “die” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
EE “sins” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
FF “one” = kol + adam. Kol is. from kalal (to complete). This is all or every. Adam is the same as “humans” in v27. See note K above.
GG “make” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
HH “new” = chadash. From chadash (to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild). This is something fresh or new.
II “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.

32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestorsJJ whenKK I tookLL them by the handMM

Notes on verse 32a

JJ “ancestors” = ab. Same as “parents” in v29. See note W above.
KK “when” = yom. Literally, “in the day.” Same as “days” in v27. See note A above.
LL “took” = chazaq. This is to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden.
MM “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

to bringNN them out of the landOO of EgyptPP—a covenant that they broke,QQ though I was their husband,RR says the Lord. 

Notes on verse 32b

NN “bring” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
OO “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
PP “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
QQ “broke” = parar. This is to break, defeat, frustrate, cast off, clean, cease.
RR “was…husband” = baal. 15x in OT. This is to marry, master, become a husband, have power over.

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will putSS my lawTT withinUU them,

Notes on verse 33a

SS “put” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
TT “law” = torah. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach). This is law, instruction, teaching, or statute. It can also refer to the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.
UU “within” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.

and I will writeVV it on their hearts,WW and I will be their God,XX and they shall be my people.YY 

Notes on verse 33b

VV “write” = kathab. This is to inscribe, write, record, or decree.
WW “hearts” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
XX “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israel” in v27. See note H above.
YY “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

34 No longer shall they teachZZ one another or say to each other,AAA “KnowBBB the Lord,” for they shall allCCC know me,

Notes on verse 34a

ZZ “teach” = lamad. Properly, this refers to goading (using a pointed stick to guide or prod one’s flock). By implication, it means teaching or instructing.
AAA “one another…each other” = ish + et + rea + ish + et + ach. Literally, “a man his neighbor and a man his brother.” Ish is the same as “all” in v30. See note CC above. Rea is from raah (to associate with). This is the same as neighbor in Leviticus 19:18 “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is friend, companion, fellow, neighbor. It is someone with whom you associate, whether more or less close. Ach is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.
BBB “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
CCC “all” = kol. Same as “one” in v30. See note FF above.

from the leastDDD of them to the greatest,EEE says the Lord, for I will forgiveFFF their iniquityGGG and rememberHHH their sinIII no more.

Notes on verse 34b

DDD “least” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.
EEE “greatest” = gadol. From gadal (to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
FFF “forgive” = salach. This is to forgive or spare.
GGG “iniquity” = avon. Same as “sins” in v30. See note EE above.
HHH “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
III “sin” = chatta’ah. From chata’ (to miss or go wrong and so to sin, bear the blame; it can also include the sense of forfeiting or lacking). This is sin itself as well as punishment for sin. It is sometimes used specifically to refer to sin that is habitual.

Image credit: “Black Mended Heart Necklace” by rubygirl jewelry, 2008.

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