Jeremiah 20:7-13

Jeremiah 20:7-13
Proper 7A


O Lord,A you have enticedB me,
    and I was enticed;
you have overpoweredC me,
    and you have prevailed.D

Notes on verse 7a

A “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.
B “enticed” = pathah. This is to be wide, open, or roomy. Figuratively, it can mean to be simple. Alternately, it can mean to delude, deceive, entice, or flatter.
C “overpowered” = chazaq. This is to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden.
D “prevailed” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.

I have becomeE a laughingstockF allG dayH long;

Notes on verse 7b

E “become” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v7. See note A above.
F “laughingstock” = sechoq. 15x in OT. From sachaq (to laugh, celebrate, joke, mock, scorn. This is laughing, whether for joy or scorn. It can imply plays or holding a contest). This is laughter, enjoyment, joke, sport, or mocking. It can be laughter from joy or for scorn.
G “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
H “day” = 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.

    everyoneI mocksJ me.
For wheneverK I speak,L I must cry out;M

Notes on verses 7c-8a

I “everyone” = kol. Same as “all” in v7. See note G above.
J “mocks” = laag. 19x in OT. This is to mock, deride, or laugh. It can also mean to stammer or speak incomprehensibly as though one were imitating a foreigner. So, it can be scorn or mock.
K “whenever” = day. This is enough, plenty, overflow, or ability.
L “speak” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
M “cry out” = zaaq. This is to cry or call out. It can be a call to assemble or gather together. By analogy, this could refer to a herald who announces a public gathering. It could also be a shriek from pain or danger.

    I must shout,N “ViolenceO and destruction!”P

Notes on verse 8b

N “shout” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
O “violence” = chamas. From chamas (to violate, do violence, to wrong; implies mistreatment). This is violence, cruelty, damage, wrong, injustice, or unrighteous. Violence implies a wrong done. The term is also used to describe unjust gain.
P “destruction” = shod. From shadad (to ruin, assault, devastate, oppress, destroy completely; properly, it is being burly; figuratively it is something that is powerful). This is violence, devastation, ruin, or oppression.

For the wordQ of the Lord has become for me
    a reproachR and derisionS all day long.

Notes on verse 8c

Q “word” = dabar. Related to “speak” in v8. From dabar (see note L above). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
R “reproach” = cherpah. From charaph (to expose and so figuratively to reproach, defame, carp at, defy). This is reproach, rebuke, shame, or disgrace. It can also refer to genitals.
S “derision” = qeles. 3x in OT. From qalas (to mock, scorn, ridicule). This is derision or a laughingstock.

If I say, “I will not mentionT him
    or speak any moreU in his name,”V

Notes on verse 9a

T “mention” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
U “any more” = od. From ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is still, yet, again, more.
V “name” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.

then withinW me there isX something like a burningY fireZ

Notes on verse 9b

W “within” = 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.
X “is” = hayah. Same as “become” in v7. See note E above.
Y “burning” = ba’ar. This is to burn, consume, heat, remove. It can also be to consume by a fire or through eating, being brutish or wasting.
Z “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.

    shut upAA in my bones;BB
I am wearyCC with holding it in,DD
    and I cannot.EE

Notes on verse 9c

AA “shut up” = atsar. To inclose, restrain, keep, hold back, or prevail. It can also mean to maintain, rule, or gather together.
BB “bones” = etsem. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is self, life, strength, bone, or substance.
CC “am weary” = laah. 19x in OT. This is to be weary or exhausted, parched, faint, or tired. It could also mean to be impatient, or have a hard time. Figuratively, this could refer to being grieved or disgusted. This is the root verb that Leah comes from.
DD “holding…in” = kul. This is to hold in. So, it can be to contain, measure, guide, or feed. It can also mean to be able to or sustain.
EE “cannot” = lo + yakol. Yakol is the same as “prevailed” in v7. See note D above.

10 For I hearFF manyGG whispering:HH

Notes on verse 10a

FF “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
GG “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
HH “whispering” = dibbah. 9x in OT. From dabab (to glide, flow gently, move slowly, speak). This is flowing so it can mean whispering, bad report, slander, or infamy.

    “TerrorII is all around!JJ
DenounceKK him! Let us denounce him!”
    All my close friendsLL

Notes on verse 10b

II “terror” = magor. 8x in OT. From gur (to quarrel, stir, attack). This is fear, panic, or terror.
JJ “all around” = sabib. From sabab (turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch; to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense). This is a circuit or a circle. It could refer to an environment, one’s neighbors, or a circular path round about.
KK “denounce” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
LL “close friends” = enosh + shalom. Literally, “man of peace.” Enosh is from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is human, humankind, another. It is mortal. Shalom is from shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).

    are watchingMM for me to stumble.NN
“Perhaps he can be enticed,
    and we can prevail against him
    and takeOO our revengePP on him.”

Notes on verse 10c

MM “watching” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
NN “stumble” = tsela. 3x in OT. From tsala (to limp, to curse); perhaps from tsela (rib, side, leaf, plank, side of a person or object; quarter of the sky). This is limping, halting, or stumbling. Figuratively, this is adversity.
OO “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
PP “revenge” = neqamah. From naqam (a quarrel or vengeance); from naqam (to avenge, punish, have a grudge, execute). This is vengeance, or revenge – whether the act of vengeance or the drive towards vengeance.

11 But the Lord is with me like a terrifyingQQ warrior;RR
    thereforeSS my persecutorsTT will stumble,UU
    and they will not prevail.

Notes on verse 11a

QQ “terrifying” = arits. From arats (to tremble, dread, stand in awe, oppress, harass). This is awe-inspiring or terror-inducing, ruthless, tyrant, oppressor, violent, powerful.
RR “warrior” = gibbor. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or be insolent). This is strong, mighty, or powerful. This can imply a warrior, hero, or tyrant.
SS “therefore” = 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.
TT “persecutors” = radaph. This is to chase after, pursue, hunt, or persecute. It is running after someone or something, generally with hostile motives.
UU “stumble” = kashal. This is to stumble, fail, be weak or decayed, be overthrown, to totter. It can refer to weak legs or ankles so it is falter, faint, or fall.

They will be greatlyVV shamed,WW
    for they will not succeed.XX
Their eternalYY dishonorZZ
    will never be forgotten.AAA

Notes on verse 11b

VV “greatly” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
WW “shamed” = bosh. Properly, this means to be pale, which implies shame, disappointment, or confusion.
XX “succeed” = sakal. This is to consider or be prudent and so it can mean to instruct or be an expert. It can also mean dealing prudently, which implies success and prospering. This verb presumes intelligence of the subject. In one form of the verb, it can mean laying cross-wise.
YY “eternal” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
ZZ “dishonor” = kelimmah. From kalam (bearing shame, bringing dishonor or disgrace, humiliate insult, taunt, embarrass, reproach; properly to wound in a figurative sense). This is insult, disgrace, dishonor, humiliation, shame, or reproach.
AAA “forgotten” = sakach. This is to misplace or forget. It can be to lose something because of not paying attention.

12 O Lord of hosts,BBB you testCCC the righteous;DDD

Notes on verse 12a

BBB “hosts” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.
CCC “test” = bachan. This is to examine, test, or prove – as one tests metals. It can also be used literally or figuratively for investigating or trying.
DDD “righteous” = tsaddiq. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.

    you seeEEE the heartFFF and the mind;GGG
let me see your retributionHHH upon them,

Notes on verse 12b

EEE “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
FFF “heart” = kilyah. Perhaps from keli (something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument; also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture); from kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is inward parts, such as kidney or heart. It can also be inmost being as feelings, mind, or within.
GGG “mind” = leb. Same as “within” in v9. See note W above.
HHH “retribution” = neqamah. Same as “revenge” in v10. See note PP above.

    for to you I have committedIII my cause.JJJ
13 SingKKK to the Lord;
    praiseLLL the Lord!

Notes on verses 12c-13a

III “committed” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.
JJJ “cause” = rib. From rib (properly to toss or grapple; used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes; used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case). This is strife or dispute – whether a personal one or one in a court of law.
KKK “sing” = shir. From shir (song, singer). This is to sing. It could also refer to one who is singing or leading others in song.
LLL “praise” = halal. This is to be clear – it originally referred to a sound, then a color. It was to shine and then make a show or boast then to rave. In a causative sense it came to mean celebrate, give glory, sing praise, or be worth of praise. Because of the celebratory nature of the word, it could also mean to give in marriage. This is where Hallelujah comes from.

For he has deliveredMMM the lifeNNN of the needyOOO
    from the handsPPP of evildoers.QQQ

Notes on verse 13b

MMM “delivered” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
NNN “life” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
OOO “needy” = ebyon. From abah (to consent, obey, want, yield, accept). This is needy, poor, beggar. Someone who is wanting.
PPP “hands” = 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.
QQQ “evildoers” = 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.

Image credit: “despair” by David DeHetre, 2010.

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