Jeremiah 8 v8b

Greg Jordan jordan at
Mon Jul 23 22:38:06 EDT 2001

OK - I'll offer what seems to be the opposing viewpoint:
the phrase in question seems straightforward: "the lying pen of the
scribes has made a lie" (paraphrase). In context, the lie that is penned
must be the th-r-th y-h-w-h, the law or traditions of Yahweh that were
written down by the scribes who reject Jeremiah's dh-bh-r y-h-w-h (Yahweh 
prophecy), v. 9.
Some people believe the false law referred to is the Priestly
(P) redaction or supplements to the Deuteronomic law (possibly authored by
Jeremiah himself). For example, Jeremiah 7:22 "For when I brought your
forefathers out of Egypt, I did not command or tell them about burnt
offerings or sacrifices" (7:22). This argument is in _Who Wrote the
Bible?_ and Doorly's _The Religion of Israel_.
It seems to me, especially if the prophets are post-Exile, that the false
law could just as well be the traditions of the Yahweh temple cult before
the Exile, when it was still imagistic and polytheistic, before the
iconoclasm of the Exilic returnees. For example, Jeremiah asserts that
Yhwh never commanded or wanted children sacrificed to him (7:31), which
Jerusalem priests were apparently asserting. Jeremiah and the Deuteronomic
and the Priestly Code are all of one mind in condemning child sacrifice.

Greg Jordan
University of South Florida
jordan at

> >What is the best grammatical, contextual and literal
> >translation of Jeremiah 8v8b? I know this is more than
> >one question but I'm hoping to get as many views as
> >possible.
> >This seems a controversial text to construct and has
> >many variant translations. ''Surely, behold'' seems
> >straight forward but, ''l$qr '&h '+ $qr sprym" seems
> >unclear.
> >This verse is used by some to suggest that Jeremiah
> >believed the Torah to contain scribal errors.
> >p.s Can anyone suggest further reading on the Old
> >Testament that deals in depth with the variously held
> >views of the history of the text itself.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list