Jeremiah 13:23
New International Version
Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

New Living Translation
Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.

English Standard Version
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Berean Study Bible
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Neither are you able to do good—you who are accustomed to doing evil.

King James Bible
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

New King James Version
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

New American Standard Bible
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, Or the leopard his spots? Then you as well can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

NASB 1995
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

NASB 1977
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

Amplified Bible
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to evil and even trained to do it.

Christian Standard Bible
Can the Cushite change his skin, or a leopard his spots? If so, you might be able to do what is good, you who are instructed in evil.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Can the Cushite change his skin, or a leopard his spots? If so, you might be able to do what is good, you who are instructed in evil.

American Standard Version
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
If the Ethiopian shall change his skin, or the leopardess her spots, then shall ye be able to do good, having learnt evil.

Contemporary English Version
Can you ever change and do what's right? Can people change the color of their skin, or can a leopard remove its spots? If so, then maybe you can change and learn to do right.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If the Ethiopian can change his skin, or the leopard his spots: you may also do well, when you have learned evil.

English Revised Version
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Good News Translation
Can people change the color of their skin, or a leopard remove its spots? If they could, then you that do nothing but evil could learn to do what is right.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Can Ethiopians change the color of their skin or leopards change their spots? Can you do good when you're taught to do wrong?

International Standard Version
Can an Ethiopian change his skin, or a leopard his spots? Then you who are trained to do evil will also be able to do good.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, Or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, That are accustomed to do evil.

Literal Standard Version
“Does a Cushite change his skin? And a leopard his spots? Can you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil?

NET Bible
But there is little hope for you ever doing good, you who are so accustomed to doing evil. Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard remove its spots?

New Heart English Bible
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.

World English Bible
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.

Young's Literal Translation
Doth a Cushite change his skin? and a leopard his spots? Ye also are able to do good, who are accustomed to do evil.

Additional Translations ...
Study Bible
Captivity Threatened
22And if you ask yourself, “Why has this happened to me?” It is because of the magnitude of your iniquity that your skirts have been stripped off and your body has been exposed. 23Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Neither are you able to do good— you who are accustomed to doing evil. 24“I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert wind.…

Cross References
Proverbs 27:22
Though you grind a fool like grain with mortar and a pestle, yet his folly will not depart from him.

Isaiah 1:5
Why do you want more beatings? Why do you keep rebelling? Your head has a massive wound, and your whole heart is afflicted.

Jeremiah 4:22
"For My people are fools; they have not known Me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but they know not how to do good."

Jeremiah 9:5
Each one betrays his friend; no one tells the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they wear themselves out committing iniquity.


Treasury of Scripture

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Ethiopian.

Jeremiah 2:22,30
For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD…

Jeremiah 5:3
O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

Jeremiah 6:29,30
The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away…

accustomed.

Jeremiah 9:5
And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.









(23) Can the Ethiopian . . .?--Literally, the Cushite. The meaning of the question is obvious. The evil of Judah was too deep-ingrained to be capable of spontaneous reformation. There remained nothing but the sharp discipline of the exile. The invasion of Tirhakah and Pharaoh-nechoh, the presence of Ethiopians among the servants of the royal household (Jeremiah 38:10), the intercourse with the upper valley of the Nile implied in Zephaniah 3:10 and Psalm 68:31; Psalm 87:4, had made the swarthy forms of Africa familiar objects. Possibly the use of leopard-skins by Ethiopian princes and warriors, as seen on Egyptian monuments and described by Herodotus (vii. 69), had associated the two thoughts together in the prophet's mind. If the king's household were present (as in Jeremiah 13:18), he may have pointed to such an one, Ebedmelech (Jeremiah 38:10), or another so arrayed, in illustration of his words.



Parallel Commentaries ...


Lexicon
Can the Ethiopian
כּוּשִׁי֙ (kū·šî)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3569: Cushite -- descendant of Cush

change
הֲיַהֲפֹ֤ךְ (hă·ya·hă·p̄ōḵ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2015: To turn about, over, to change, overturn, return, pervert

his skin,
עוֹר֔וֹ (‘ō·w·rōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5785: Skin, hide, leather

or the leopard
וְנָמֵ֖ר (wə·nā·mêr)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5246: A leopard

his spots?
חֲבַרְבֻּרֹתָ֑יו (ḥă·ḇar·bu·rō·ṯāw)
Noun - feminine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2272: A streak, as on the tiger

Neither
גַּם־ (gam-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 1571: Assemblage, also, even, yea, though, both, and

are you
אַתֶּם֙ (’at·tem)
Pronoun - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

able
תּוּכְל֣וּ (tū·ḵə·lū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3201: To be able, have power

to do good—
לְהֵיטִ֔יב (lə·hê·ṭîḇ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Hifil - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 3190: To be good, well, glad, or pleasing

you who are accustomed
לִמֻּדֵ֖י (lim·mu·ḏê)
Adjective - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 3928: Instructed

to doing evil.
הָרֵֽעַ׃ (hā·rê·a‘)
Verb - Hifil - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 7489: To spoil, to make, good for, nothing, bad


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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin (Jer.)
Jeremiah 13:22
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