Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Ordinary C43


8:18 My joy is gone; A griefB is upon me;
    my heartC is sick.D

Notes on verse 8:18

A “joy is gone” = mabligith. 1x in OT. From balag (to smile, be cheerful, comfort, regain strength, become desolate; to break from in a positive or negative way). This is smiling, healing, or desolation.
B “grief” = yagon. 14x in OT. From yagah (to suffer, grieve, afflict). This is grief or sorrow.
C “heart” = 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.
D “sick” = davvay. 3x in OT. From davah (to be sick or unwell). This is faint, sick, or troubled.

19 Listen!E The cryF of the daughterG of my peopleH

Notes on verse 8:19a

E “listen” = 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!
F “cry” = qol + shavah. Qol is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on. Shavah is 11x in OT. From shava (crying or shouting aloud; seeking freedom from some kind of trouble). This is cry, cry for help.
G “daughter” = bat. From ben (son literal or figurative; also, grandson, subject, nation); from banah (to build or obtain children). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
H “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.

    from far and wideI in the land:J
“Is the LordK not in Zion?L
    Is her KingM not in her?”

Notes on verse 8:19b

I “far and wide” = merchaq. 17x in OT. From rachaq (to widen, become distant, cast, or remove in a literal or figurative sense). This is far away, somewhere remote, last.
J “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
K “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.
L “Zion” = Tsiyyon. Related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. Zion can refer to a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people.
M “King” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.

(“Why have they provoked me to angerN with their images,O
    with their foreignP idols?”)Q

Notes on verse 8:19c

N “provoked…to anger” = kaas. This is to provoke, be angry, grieve, trouble.
O “images” = pasil. From pasal (to hew, carve; used for wood or stone). This is an idol or other image.
P “foreign” = nekar. From the same as neker (misfortune, disaster). This is foreign or something that is foreign i.e. strange.
Q “idols” = hebel. This is emptiness, vapor, breath. It can refer to something that is fleeting or futile, worthless or a delusion. Something that is passing and so does not satisfy. This is related to the root for the name “Abel.”

20 “The harvestR is past,S the summerT is ended,U
    and we are not saved.”V

Notes on verse 8:20

R “harvest” = qatsiyr. From qatsar (to cut down, be short, reap, curtail; used especially for harvesting grass or grain; figuratively, to be discouraged or grieve). This is branch, harvest, one who harvests. Properly, this means severed, reaped. It is the crop being harvested, the time of harvest or the one who harvests. It can also be a bough.
S “is past” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
T “summer” = qayits. From quts (summer, clip off). This is fruit, harvest, or summer – the dry season.
U “is ended” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
V “saved” = yasha. To deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free.

21 For the brokennessW of the daughter of my people I am broken,X
    I mourn,Y and horrorZ has seizedAA me.

Notes on verse 8:21

W “brokenness” = sheber. From shabar (break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear; bursting in a literal or figurative sense). This is a fracture, breach, collapse, brokenness, ruin, affliction, bruise. It can also be an interpretation of a dream or a vexation.
X “am broken” = shabar. Related to “brokenness” in v8:21. See note W above.
Y “mourn” = qadar. 17x in OT. This is to be dark, grow black. It can be ashy or otherwise having a dark color. It can also imply mourning, wearing sackcloth.
Z “horror” = shammah. From shamem (to be appalled, astonished; to stun or devastate, be destitute). This is desolation, horror, dismay, waste, astonishment.
AA “seized” = chazaq. This is to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden.

22 Is there no balmBB in Gilead?CC
    Is there no physicianDD there?
Why then has the healthEE of the daughter of my people
    not been restored?FF

Notes on verse 8:22

BB “balm” = tsori. 6x in OT. Root might be to crack as under pressure, to leak. This is gum from the balsam tree – perhaps commiphora gileadensis. See &
CC “Gilead” = Gilad. From gala (to lay bare, quarrel, expose) OR from gal’ed (heap of testimony); {from gal (wave, billow, rock pile; something rolled; a spring of water); {from galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense)} + ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve)}}. This is Gilead, meaning “perpetual fountain” or “heap of testimony.” See
DD “physician” = rapha. Properly, this is to repair by stitching – figuratively this means to heal or cure. It can also mean to make whole.
EE “health” = arukah. 6x in OT. From arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out). This is restoration, healing, repair, wholeness. It can be literal or figurative.
FF “restored” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.

9:1 O that my headGG wereHH a spring of waterII
    and my eyesJJ a fountainKK of tears,LL

Notes on verse 9:1a

GG “head” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
HH “were” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
II “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
JJ “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
KK “fountain” = maqor. 18x in OT. From qur (to dig, destroy, wall up). This is a spring or fountain. Properly, it is a site that was dug and so it is used for a wellspring. It also refers to natural water sources. It can be used of tears, blood, female genitalia. Figuratively, it can be offspring, posterity, wisdom, or happiness.
LL “tears” = dimah. From dema (juice, liquor); from dama (to weep). This is tears from weeping.

so that I might weepMM dayNN and nightOO
    for the slainPP of the daughter of my people!

Notes on verse 9:1b

MM “weep” = bakah. This is to weep, complain, or lament.
NN “day” = yomam. From yom (day, age, daily, each, today). Root may mean to be hot. So, this is day as the hours that are hot. This can be daytime in a literal or figurative sense.
OO “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
PP “slain” = chalal. From chalal (to pierce, to wound; figuratively, making someone or something profane or breaking your word; to begin as though one opened a wedge; to eat something as a common thing). This is to pierce, profane or pollute. It can also refer to slain or deadly.

Image credit: “Lamentation” by Käthe Kollwitz, between 1938 and 1940.

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