Jeremiah 25:9

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Lostntym8
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Jeremiah 25:9

Postby Lostntym8 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:21 pm

In Jeremiah 25:9 a friend of mine is making a grammatical argument that the Hebrew pronoun for “these” (eœllæœ) in reference to “the nations round about” cannot be in reference to all the nations later listed in verses 19-26. I asked why this can’t be a cataphoric use of the pronoun and he provided the response below. What are your opinions on his argument?

Jeremiah 25:9 here I am sending and I will take all the families of the north,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even [sending] to Neb·u·chad·rezʹzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will devote them to destruction and make them an object of astonishment and something to whistle at and places devastated to time indefinite.


The Hebrew demonstrative pronouns are zæœ/zoœt≈ (this) and ’eœllæœ (these). In addition, the third person personal pronoun huœ’ (he) can be used as a demonnstrative. When the personal pronoun is used as a demonstrative, the reference in most cases is past. When the demonstrative pronouns are used, the reference can be past or future.   However, when the substantive that is determined by the demonstrative pronoun is an entity of long existence, such as nations, gates, and the temple, the reference is always past, if the context explicitly does not show that this is not the case. I have several examples in my study.

Jeremiah's prophecy consists of a great number of messages from Jehova, expressed with the words, "Thus says Jehovah." The first two verses in Jeremiah, chapter 25, show that the following message is directed to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah condemns this people in verses 3-7. Then, in verses 8-14 are the words of Jehovah toward the people of Judah and Jerusalem. In verses 15-26 we find Jehovah's words to the nations to whom he will send Jeremiah.  It is important to note that verses 8-14 and verses 15-26 are two different messages from Jehovah with two different adressees, and expressed by different times. The word ’eœll朠in "all these nations" in 25:9 shows that the identidy of "these nations" were known by the addresses. Because the message from Jehovah in veerses 15-26 was not yet given, the nations in these verses cannot be the reference for the nations in vv. 9. 11.. 

As I argue in detail in my study that there is no antecedent to "all these nations" in the first 24 chapters of Jeremiah.  The only antecedent  to "all these nations" that can be found before 25:9-14, is found in 25:2-3 "the people of Judah and Jerusalem."  Here the word  ‘aœm  is used, and both words (‘aœm and goœy) have the refenece ("people/nation"). When the plural form goœyim is used in 25:9, 11, the clans and tribes of Judah could be the reference—there were people of all 12 tribes in Judah.
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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby SteveMiller » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:39 pm

Lostntym8 wrote:In Jeremiah 25:9 a friend of mine is making a grammatical argument that the Hebrew pronoun for “these” (eœllæœ) in reference to “the nations round about” cannot be in reference to all the nations later listed in verses 19-26. I asked why this can’t be a cataphoric use of the pronoun and he provided the response below. What are your opinions on his argument?

Jeremiah 25:9 here I am sending and I will take all the families of the north,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even [sending] to Neb·u·chad·rezʹzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will devote them to destruction and make them an object of astonishment and something to whistle at and places devastated to time indefinite.


The Hebrew demonstrative pronouns are zæœ/zoœt≈ (this) and ’eœllæœ (these). In addition, the third person personal pronoun huœ’ (he) can be used as a demonnstrative. When the personal pronoun is used as a demonstrative, the reference in most cases is past. When the demonstrative pronouns are used, the reference can be past or future. 
 
I take it that when you say "past", you mean refers backward in the text (anaphoric), and "future" means referring forward in the text (cataphoric).

Lostntym8 wrote:However, when the substantive that is determined by the demonstrative pronoun is an entity of long existence, such as nations, gates, and the temple, the reference is always past, if the context explicitly does not show that this is not the case.

This doesn't make much sense to me. It is ilke saying, XXX is true unless it is not true.

Lostntym8 wrote:I have several examples in my study.

Jeremiah's prophecy consists of a great number of messages from Jehova, expressed with the words, "Thus says Jehovah." The first two verses in Jeremiah, chapter 25, show that the following message is directed to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah condemns this people in verses 3-7. Then, in verses 8-14 are the words of Jehovah toward the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

vv8-14 are spoken to Judah and Jerusalem, but the word concerns others also.
v9 after saying ‎ עַל־הָאָ֤רֶץ הַזֹּאת֙ וְעַל־יֹ֣שְׁבֶ֔יהָ upon this land and upon her inhabitants, which is Judah
he adds ‎ עַ֛ל כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֖לֶּה סָבִ֑יב and upon all these the nations round about, referring to the nations around Judah.
Judah is never referred to as goyim, plural. If your friend or anyone has an example please supply it.
v12 refers to God's judgment on Bablyon
v13-14 refers to God's judgment to all nations that mistreat Judah, including Babylon.

Lostntym8 wrote:In verses 15-26 we find Jehovah's words to the nations to whom he will send Jeremiah.  It is important to note that verses 8-14 and verses 15-26 are two different messages from Jehovah with two different adressees, and expressed by different times. The word ’eœll朠in "all these nations" in 25:9 shows that the identidy of "these nations" were known by the addresses. Because the message from Jehovah in veerses 15-26 was not yet given, the nations in these verses cannot be the reference for the nations in vv. 9. 11..

Yes, 15-26 is addressed to the nations, whereas 8-14 is to Judah.
The message to Judah transitions into the message to the nations.
Yes the identity of "all these nations round about" is known. It is the nations round about Israel.
I don't have a difficulty with "these" pointing forward to the nations listed in 15-26.
I do have a huge difficulty with making "all these nations round about" refer to Judah.

Lostntym8 wrote: 

As I argue in detail in my study that there is no antecedent to "all these nations" in the first 24 chapters of Jeremiah.  The only antecedent  to "all these nations" that can be found before 25:9-14, is found in 25:2-3 "the people of Judah and Jerusalem."  Here the word  ‘aœm  is used, and both words (‘aœm and goœy) have the refenece ("people/nation"). When the plural form goœyim is used in 25:9, 11, the clans and tribes of Judah could be the reference—there were people of all 12 tribes in Judah.

I take your friend's word for it that there is no antecedent for "all these nations" chapters 1-24. Judah and Jerusalem cannot be the antecedent for "all these nations" either. The reference is forward. Not a problem.
Your friend needs to produce examples where Judah (or Israel) is referred to as "all the nations" or even just "nations".
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
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Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby R.J. Furuli » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:37 am

Dear Steve,

I have some comments on Jeremiah 25:9

The NIV says:
“Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, 9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations.”

The rendering “all the surrounding nations” violates the Hebrew syntax. The word sabib (surround, round about) is an adverb and not an adjective, and it does not modify goyim (nations), but it modifies “all these nations.” In NIV it functions as an adjective in the phrase “surrounding nations.” But the syntax requires that sabib is an adverbial of place that shows where “all these nations” are. The word sabib can refer to something that surrounds an object, but it can also refer to something that is round about inside an object. Because of the Hebrew syntax, the vague "round about" should be used. The context does not point to and object that the nations surround. So, the literal translation must be “all the nations round about.” This means that “all these nations can be inside Judah or outside Judah; the text is ambiguous.

When we try to find who these goyim are and where they are, there is one error that is easily made, namely, that the word goyim must refer to pagan nations outside Judah. It is true that goyim often refers to pagan nations, but it also refers to Israel and Judah. Some examples are:

1) To Abraham it was said, “I will make you a great nation (goy).” (Genesis 12:2)
2) The father of the nation of Israel went down to Egypt, and it was said about him: “But there he became a great nation (goy). (Deuteronomy
26:5)
3) In connection with the covenant at Sinai, it was said to Israel: “You will become to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (goy). (Exodus
19:6)
4) Jeremiah refers to the people in Jerusalem and Judah with the word "goy." (5:9, 29; 9:9(8))
5) The plural form goyim is used in Ezekiel 2:3: “And he said to him: ‘I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to rebellious nations (goyim) that have rebelled against me.”
The plural form in example 5) is particularly important, because it refers to the clans and tribes of the Jews as goyim.

Jeremiah tells that he received a great number of different messages from God, and Jeremiah had to tell these messages to the people. The message containig 25:9 starts in 25:1 and ends in verse 14. The next message from God begins in 25:15 and ends in verse 38. This means that we should look for the antecedent of “all these nations” in 25:1-8, and not in a following message from God that has nothing to do with the message in 25:1-14. The message in 25:1-14 is directed towards “all the people of Judah” (25:1), while the message in 25:15-38 is directed to “all the nations (goyim) to whom I send you” (25:15), that is, to the nations outside Judah. This difference strongly suggests that we must look for the antecedent of “all these nations” in 25:1-8, and not in 25:15-38, a message that Jeremiah had not yet received when he received the message in 25:1-14. There is one good candidate for this antecedent, namely “all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (25:2) These people included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin as well as the Levites, and some persons from each of the other tribes. The plural word goyim could refer the clans and the tribes of the people living in Judah, just as the word does in Ezekiel 2:3.

In the LXX, the Greek word kuklos “cycle, course, circle” corresponds to the Hebrew sabib. While sabib has no anchoring point in 25:9 showing that it is around something, the Greek kuklos is modified by the feminine personal pronoun autes in genitive—meaning "her kuklos." The antecedent of the pronoun autes is ge (land or earth). But what does the "cycle, course, circle" of the land refer to? NETS has the rendering “all nations around it (it = the land),” and this is a good rendering that does not violate the grammar.

However, kuklos is used as an adjective with preceding article, and The Greek-English Lexicon of Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich says: “Preceded by the art. and used as an adj., around, nearby.” Two examples are given: “into the farms nearby.” (Mark 6:36) and “into the villages around here.” (Luke 9:12). This indicates that kuklos needs not refer to nations that surrounded the land, but can refer to “all these nations” around inside the land.

The Syriac construction is similar to the Greek construction with one exception. The word hadra’ (circle, circumjacent places, suburbs, surroundings) has the prefixed preposition be (in, inside). This is very important, because the preposition shows explicitly that the peoples/nations (‘amema’, plural) are inside “her hadra’” (her = the land) “her circumjacent places, suburbs, surroundings.” This excludes the view that the peoples/nations refer to the surrounding nations.

Linguistically, the three versions point in different directions. The Hebrew text is indifferent as to whether the peoples/nations surround Judah or are inside Judah. The LXX does not explicitly show that the peoples/nations are surrounding Judah. But this is the most likely interpretation. The Syriac Peshitta explicitly excludes the view that the peoples/nations are surrounding Judah—they must be inside Judah. Contextually, as I have shown, there are strong arguments in favor of the peoples/nations being identical with the people of Judah, thus being inside Judah.


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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:35 pm

Hi, Rolf.

I'm not sure what the point is that you're trying to make when you say that סָבִיב sāḇîḇ isn't an adjective. We're all aware that it isn't. That doesn't mean that it doesn't identify the phrase כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֖לֶּה kol-haggôyim hāʾḗleh. Why? It tells where they are, which is an adverbial concept.

There is no better way in Hebrew to say "the nations that are around [you/them]" except as it is written here. Unless, that is, we attach the preposition מִ־ to this adverb. This is how the word is used. It certainly means what it's been translated to mean in the NIV. There's no doubt about it.

Regards,
Jason
Last edited by Jason Hare on Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby R.J. Furuli » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:52 pm

Dear Jason,

I have a question about syntax: In Jeremiah 25:9, does סָבִ֑יב modify, or refer to only הַגּוֹיִ֥ם ?
Or does סָבִ֑יב modify, or refer to כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֖לֶּה?

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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:55 pm

R.J. Furuli wrote:Dear Jason,

I have a question about syntax: In Jeremiah 25:9, does סָבִ֑יב modify, or refer to only הַגּוֹיִ֥ם ?
Or does סָבִ֑יב modify, or refer to כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֖לֶּה?

Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
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Think of the Greek οἱ νῦν or οἱ πάλαι. These words (νῦν and πάλαι) are not adjectives. They do not have forms that correspond to the various cases. However, they are certainly used like adjectives - here in a substantival sense. They mean "the people of today" and "the people long ago," respectively. Adverbs can be inserted into noun phrases right and left in Greek. Why not in Hebrew? This, of course, happens!

No, סביב [sāḇîḇ] is not "modifying" the noun phrase in the most direct sense. However, it certainly acts like an adjective, as if there were a missing verb. "All these nations [which are] around [them]." Notice that סביב can indeed take personal endings and must be understood in that way. We should read it as if it were כל הגוים האלה [אשר] סביב[ם]‏ [kol-haggôyim hāʾḗleh (ʾăšer) səḇîḇ(ām)], with at least a relative particle inserted, if not also the mem added at the end. This is what is going on in the mind with such a construction, though the construction itself doesn't require any additional pieces. It's completely fine as-is.

The adverb would clearly be outside of the noun phrase and "modifying" the entire phrase (כל הגוים האלה) and not just the head noun (גוים). It is telling where (adverbial) "all these nations" are that are being mentioned.

Regards,
Jason
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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:19 pm

You will, Rolf, also notice the close relationship between adverbs and prepositions, as even Smyth says:

Smyth Greek Grammar §1636.a
All prepositions seem to have been adverbs originally and mostly adverbs of place; as adverbs they are case-forms. Several are locatives, as περί.


The same relationship exists in Hebrew, in which סביב means "around" as an adverb, but it may also take an object, functioning as a preposition:

a. סביב הבית [səḇîḇ habbáyiṯ] "around the house" / סביב העולם [səḇîḇ hāʿôlām] "around the world"
b. סביבי [səḇîḇî] "around me" / סביבם [səḇîḇām] "around them"

The expression מסביב [missāḇîḇ] can mean "from all around," which is also an adverbial expression.

1 Sam. 12:11
וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יַהְוֶה֙ אֶת־יְרֻבַּ֣עַל וְאֶת־בְּדָ֔ן וְאֶת־יִפְתָּ֖ח וְאֶת־שְׁמוּאֵ֑ל
וַיַּצֵּ֨ל אֶתְכֶ֜ם מִיַּ֤ד אֹֽיְבֵיכֶם֙ מִסָּבִ֔יב וַתֵּֽשְׁב֖וּ בֶּֽטַח׃

"... and he shall save you from the hand of your enemies from all around..."

Would you not attach מסביב in this verse to אויביכם in the same verse? Surely you wouldn't detach it just because it's an adverbial! I can see no such justification.

Regards,
Jason
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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby Jason Hare » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:31 am

I'm gonna give this chapter a fresh reading or two today and see if I come up with some other way of understanding it. On first reading, I understood it as saying that YHWH was sending destruction on the land (Israel) and all of the nations that surround it. I've been batting it around as to whether or not סביב might be modifying והבאתים - as in "I will bring XXX around." It seems odd to me, since it's circumlocutious. We would expect a verb with surrounding in the meaning rather than הביא and סביב. It feels weird, but I'm kicking it around in my head as a possibility.

If you take the trope seriously, סביב isn't really part of the phrase ועל כל הגוים האלה - because tipcha is a disjunctive accent. The etnachta is still part of the major trope phrase, but it isn't bound within that specific word group. That's how I understand the trope to work, anyway.

Anyway, it's an interesting verse.
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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby S_Walch » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:15 am

FWIW, the LXX translates the phrase in question as follows:

καὶ ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τὰ κύκλῳ αὐτῆς
and against all the nations surrounding her/it

Presuming that would be: ועל כל הגוים האלה סביב[ה]‏
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Re: Jeremiah 25:9

Postby Jason Hare » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:56 am

S_Walch wrote:FWIW, the LXX translates the phrase in question as follows:

καὶ ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τὰ κύκλῳ αὐτῆς
and against all the nations surrounding her/it

Presuming that would be: ועל כל הגוים האלה סביב[ה]‏


That makes sense, too, given that the ה represents הארץ.

I checked a Hebrew commentary here in Israel (by Steinsaltz), and it does the following to fill in the blanks:

ועל כל הגוים האלה [שבכל האזור] סביב

Translation: And on all these nations [which are in all the] surrounding [area].

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