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Jeremiah 4:17-19 New English Translation (NET Bible)

17 They will surround Jerusalem[a]
like men guarding a field[b]
because they have rebelled against me,”
says the Lord.
18 “The way you have lived and the things you have done[c]
will bring this on you.
This is the punishment you deserve, and it will be painful indeed.[d]
The pain will be so bad it will pierce your heart.”[e]

19 I said,[f]

“Oh, the feeling in the pit of my stomach![g]
I writhe in anguish.
Oh, the pain in my heart![h]
My heart pounds within me.
I cannot keep silent.
For I hear the sound of the trumpet;[i]
the sound of the battle cry pierces my soul![j]


  1. Jeremiah 4:17 tn Heb “will surround her.” The antecedent is Jerusalem in the preceding verse. The referent is again made explicit in the translation to avoid any possible lack of clarity. The verb form here emphasizes the fact as being as good as done (i.e., it is a prophetic perfect).
  2. Jeremiah 4:17 sn There is some irony involved in the choice of the simile since the men guarding a field were there to keep thieves from getting in and stealing the crops. Here the besiegers are guarding the city to keep people from getting out.
  3. Jeremiah 4:18 tn Heb “Your way and your deeds.”
  4. Jeremiah 4:18 tn Heb “How bitter!”
  5. Jeremiah 4:18 tn Heb “Indeed, it reaches to your heart.” The subject must be the pain alluded to in the last half of the preceding line; the verb is masculine, agreeing with the adjective translated “painful.” The only other possible antecedent, “punishment,” is feminine.
  6. Jeremiah 4:19 tn The words “I said” are not in the text. They are used to mark the shift from the Lord’s promise of judgment to Jeremiah’s lament concerning it.
  7. Jeremiah 4:19 tn Heb “My bowels! My bowels!”
  8. Jeremiah 4:19 tn Heb “the walls of my heart!”
  9. Jeremiah 4:19 tn Heb “ram’s horn.” But the modern equivalent is “trumpet” and is more readily understandable.
  10. Jeremiah 4:19 tc The translation reflects a different division of the last two lines than that suggested by the Masoretes. The written text (the Kethib) reads “for the sound of the ram’s horn I have heard [or “you have heard,” if the form is understood as the old second feminine singular perfect] my soul” followed by “the battle cry” in the last line. The translation is based on taking “my soul” with the last line and understanding an elliptical expression “[to] my soul the battle cry.” Such an elliptical expression is in keeping with the elliptical nature of the exclamations at the beginning of the verse (cf. the literal translations of the first two lines of the verse in the notes on the words “stomach” and “heart”).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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