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Jeremiah 8:20-22 New English Translation (NET Bible)

20 They cry,[a] ‘Harvest time has come and gone and the summer is over,[b]
and still we have not been delivered.’
21 My heart is crushed because my dear people[c] are being crushed.[d]
I go about crying and grieving. I am overwhelmed with dismay.[e]
22 There is still medicinal ointment[f] available in Gilead!
There is still a physician there![g]
Why then have my dear people[h]
not been restored to health?[i]


  1. Jeremiah 8:20 tn The words “They say” are not in the text; they are supplied in the translation to make clear that the lament of the people begun in v. 19b is continued here after the interruption of the Lord’s words in v. 19c.
  2. Jeremiah 8:20 tn Heb “Harvest time has passed, the summer is over.”sn This appears to be a proverbial statement for “time marches on.” The people seem to be expressing their frustration that the Lord has not gone about his business of rescuing them as they expected. For a similar misguided feeling based on the offering of shallow repentance, see Hos 6:1-3 (and note the Lord’s reply in 6:4-6).
  3. Jeremiah 8:21 tn Heb “daughter of my people.” For the translation given here see 4:11 and the note on the phrase “dear people” there.
  4. Jeremiah 8:21 tn Heb “Because of the crushing of the daughter of my people I am crushed.”
  5. Jeremiah 8:21 tn Heb “I go about in black [i.e., mourning clothes]. Dismay has seized me.”
  6. Jeremiah 8:22 tn Heb “balm.” The more familiar “ointment” has been used in the translation, supplemented with the adjective “medicinal.”sn This medicinal ointment (Heb “balm”) consisted of the gum or resin from a tree of uncertain identification thought to have medicinal value (see also Jer 46:11).
  7. Jeremiah 8:22 tn Heb “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” In this context the questions are rhetorical and expect a positive answer, which is made explicit in the translation.sn The prophet means by this metaphor that there are still means available for healing the spiritual ills of his people, mainly repentance, obedience to the law, and sole allegiance to God, and still people available who will apply this medicine to them, namely prophets like himself.
  8. Jeremiah 8:22 tn Heb “daughter of my people.” For the translation given here see 4:11 and the note on the phrase “dear people” there.
  9. Jeremiah 8:22 tn Or more clearly, “restored to spiritual health”; Heb “Why then has healing not come to my dear people?”sn Jeremiah is lamenting that though there is a remedy available for the recovery of his people, they have not availed themselves of it.
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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