[b-hebrew] Prophetic Perfect? Jer. 50.

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Thu May 20 21:54:56 EDT 2004

Dear Bill,
I hope that words don't flip-flop for you depending
on the source.

This reminds me of when my daughter was 2. She could read
with great ease the children's book _Put Me in the Zoo._
It was only when I saw that she could read those same words
in the newspaper and in my journal articles that I knew that she
was really really reading.
You wrote: 
> If you go down this road don't you get to the point where you 
> can't know anything? For example, if I pick up an English 
> book of poetry and read it and then by chance find some of 
> the same verbs in a science text and then later find the same 
> verbs in a novel am I not allowed to use my knowledge of 
> these books to understand their meaning?

> I translate Jer 50:1 as:-
> The word which YHWH spoke against Babylon, against the land 
> of the Chaldeans by means of the prophet Jeremiah.
> While one can deny, if one so chooses, that Jeremiah made 
> such a prophesy, it seems to me a statement of the obvious 
> that the writer, whoever that might be, intends for you to 
> understand that Jeremiah wrote it about events which were in 
> the future relative to Jeremiah.
> Replacing the clearing meaning of this verse with some 
> assumption that it was a later writer writing about events 
> past, relative to him, and hence the verbs are to be 
> understood as past references seems to me to be unjustified.
> In light of this discussion I was a little surprized at the 
> inconsistency I used in my own translation when I checked it 
> just now. Here's verses 2 and 3:-
> 2 Tell among the nations and make them hear Raise up a 
> banner, announce Do not conceal, say Babylon is captured Bel 
> is put to shame Merodach is terrrified Her idols are 
> disgraced Her images are terrified
> 3 For a nation from the north has gone up against her It will 
> make her land a desolation There will be no inhabitant in it 
> Both man and beast will wander away
> It's interesting that I used so much present tense. I 
> certainly didn't understand this as past. Perhaps it's just a muddle.

Bill, accept it. All of Jeremiah was not written by one person.
Read the commentaries.

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