Jeremiah 2:31
New International Version
"You of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: "Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, 'We are free to roam; we will come to you no more'?

New Living Translation
“O my people, listen to the words of the LORD! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’

English Standard Version
And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘We are free, we will come no more to you’?

Berean Study Bible
You people of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: “Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of dense darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to You no more’?

King James Bible
O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?

New King James Version
“O generation, see the word of the LORD! Have I been a wilderness to Israel, Or a land of darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are lords; We will come no more to You’?

New American Standard Bible
“You generation, look to the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, Or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam; We will no longer come to You’?

NASB 1995
"O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, Or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, 'We are free to roam; We will no longer come to You'?

NASB 1977
“O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, Or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam; We will come no more to Thee’?

Amplified Bible
“O generation [that you are], consider and regard carefully the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel [like a land without food], A land of thick and deep darkness [like a path without light]? Why do My people say, ‘We [have broken loose and we] are free to roam [at will]; We will no longer come to You’?

Christian Standard Bible
Evil generation, pay attention to the word of the LORD! Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of dense darkness? Why do my people claim, “We will go where we want; we will no longer come to you”?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Evil generation, pay attention to the word of the LORD! Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of dense darkness? Why do My people claim, "We will go where we want; we will no longer come to You"?

American Standard Version
O generation, see ye the word of Jehovah. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? or a land of thick darkness? wherefore say my people, We are broken loose; we will come no more unto thee?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
You, oh generation, hear the word of LORD JEHOVAH: “Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or as a desolate land? Why”, said my people, “Have we gone down? We will not come again to you”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Hear ye the word of the Lord: thus saith the Lord, Have I been a wilderness or a dry land to Israel? wherefore has my people said, We will not be ruled over, and will not come to thee any more?

Contemporary English Version
Now listen to what I say! Did I abandon you in the desert or surround you with darkness? You are my people, yet you have told me, "We'll do what we want, and we refuse to worship you!"

Douay-Rheims Bible
See ye the word of the Lord: Am I become a wilderness to Israel, or a lateward springing land? why then have my people said: We are revolted, we will come to thee no more.

English Revised Version
O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? or a land of thick darkness? wherefore say my people, We are broken loose; we will come no more unto thee?

Good News Translation
People of Israel, listen to what I am saying. Have I been like a desert to you, like a dark and dangerous land? Why, then, do you say that you will do as you please, that you will never come back to me?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Consider the word of the LORD, people of this generation. Haven't I been a desert, a land of thick darkness, for Israel? Why do my people say that they are free to wander around and no longer come to me?

International Standard Version
"You, generation, pay attention to this message from the LORD! Am I the desert to Israel, or a land of gloom? Why do my people say, 'We're free to roam? We won't come to you anymore.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
O generation, see ye the word of the LORD: Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Wherefore say My people: 'We roam at large; We will come no more unto Thee'?

Literal Standard Version
O generation, see the word of YHWH: Have I been a wilderness to Israel? A land of thick darkness? Why have My people said, "" We wandered freely, "" We do not come to You again.

NET Bible
You people of this generation, listen to what the LORD says. "Have I been like a wilderness to you, Israel? Have I been like a dark and dangerous land to you? Why then do you say, 'We are free to wander. We will not come to you any more?'

New Heart English Bible
Generation, consider the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Why do my people say, 'We have broken loose. We will come to you no more?'

World English Bible
Generation, consider the word of Yahweh. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Why do my people say, 'We have broken loose. We will come to you no more?'

Young's Literal Translation
O generation, see ye the word of Jehovah: A wilderness have I been to Israel? A land of thick darkness? Wherefore have My people said, 'We mourned, We come not in again unto Thee.'

Additional Translations ...
Context
Israel's Unfaithfulness
30“I have struck your sons in vain; they accepted no discipline. Your own sword has devoured your prophets like a voracious lion.” 31You people of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: “Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of dense darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to You no more’? 32Does a maiden forget her jewelry or a bride her wedding sash? Yet My people have forgotten Me for days without number.…

Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:15
But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked--becoming fat, bloated, and gorged. He abandoned the God who made him and scorned the Rock of his salvation.

Isaiah 45:19
I have not spoken in secret, from a place in a land of darkness. I did not say to the descendants of Jacob, 'Seek Me in a wasteland.' I, the LORD, speak the truth; I say what is right.

Jeremiah 2:20
"For long ago you broke your yoke and tore off your chains, saying, 'I will not serve!' Indeed, on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down as a prostitute.

Jeremiah 2:25
You should have kept your feet from going bare and your throat from being thirsty. But you said, 'It is hopeless! For I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.'


Treasury of Scripture

O generation, see you the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? a land of darkness? why say my people, We are lords; we will come no more to you?

see ye

Amos 1:1
The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

Micah 6:9
The LORD'S voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.

have I been

Jeremiah 2:5,6
Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? …

2 Samuel 12:7-9
And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; …

2 Chronicles 31:10
And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.

we are lords.

Deuteronomy 8:12-14
Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; …

Deuteronomy 31:20
For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

Deuteronomy 32:15
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.









(31) O generation, see ye.--The pronoun occupies a different position in the Hebrew, "O generation, you, I mean, see ye." The prophet speaks to the men who are actually his contemporaries. They are to look to the word of the Lord. Has He been to them as a waste land, a land of thick darkness (literally, according to one interpretation, darkness of Jah, in the sense of intensity), that they are thus unmindful of Him? So in Song of Solomon 8:6 we have "flame of Jah," as representing the Hebrew, in the margin, and "very vehement flame" in the text, of the Authorised version.

We are lords.--Better, We rove at will, as in Genesis 27:40, where, however, the Authorised version gives "when thou shalt have the dominion." The sense is practically the same. Israel claims the power to do as she likes.

Verse 31. - O generation, see ye. It is doubtful whether generation here means "contemporaries" (equivalent to "men of this generation"), or, like γενεά sometimes in the New Testament, a class of men united by moral affinity (comp. Psalm 14:5; Psalm 78:8). In the latter case we should rather attach the pronoun in "see ye" to "O generation," and render "O (evil) generation that ye are!" So Hitzig, Keil, and Payne Smith; Ewald and Delitzsch adopt the first rendering. Have I been a wilderness, etc.? "Have I not been the source of light and happiness to my people, and of all temporal blessings?" (comp. Jeremiah 2:6). So the Divine speaker in Isaiah 45:19, "I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain," or more literally, "in chaos" (same word as in Genesis 1:2); "chaos" and "the wilderness" are both images of that which is utterly unremunerative. A land of darkness. This is, of course, not literally accurate as a description of the Arabian desert. "Darkness" is here used as a synonym for "misery." Cloud and rain occupy precisely opposite places in the estimation of nomadic and agricultural peoples respectively. "The Bedouins," says an Arabic scholast, "always follow the rain and the places where raindrops fall;" whereas a townsman of Mecca calls himself "child of the sun." So Indra and Varuna, originally belonging to the cloudy and rainy sky, are in the Vedic hymns endowed with solar traits. It should be added here that it is an old problem, and too difficult a one for us to investigate, whether we should render "the darkness of Jah" (Jehovah) or (as Authorized Version) simply "darkness." The former rendering will mean very great darkness, such as Jehovah sends in judgment (e.g. to the Egyptians, Exodus 10:21-23). On this question, see Dr. Ginsburg on Song of Solomon 8:6 (where a similar doubt exists), Geiger's 'Urschrift und Uebersetzungen der Bibel,' p. 276; Ewald, 'Lehrbuch der Hebraischen Sprache,' § 270 e. We are lords; rather, we have broken loose. It is, however, a difficult word, which only occurs elsewhere in Genesis 26:40; Hosea 12:1; Psalm 55:3.

Parallel Commentaries ...


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

of this generation,
הַדּ֗וֹר (had·dō·wr)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1755: A revolution of time, an age, generation, a dwelling

consider
רְא֣וּ (rə·’ū)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine plural
Strong's 7200: To see

the word
דְבַר־ (ḏə·ḇar-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 1697: A word, a matter, thing, a cause

of the LORD:
יְהוָ֔ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

Have I been
הָיִ֙יתִי֙ (hā·yî·ṯî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

a wilderness
הֲמִדְבָּ֤ר (hă·miḏ·bār)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 4057: A pasture, a desert, speech

to Israel
לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל (lə·yiś·rā·’êl)
Preposition-l | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

or
אִ֛ם (’im)
Conjunction
Strong's 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

a land
אֶ֥רֶץ (’e·reṣ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 776: Earth, land

of dense darkness?
מַאְפֵּ֖לְיָ֑ה (ma’·pê·lə·yāh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 3991: Deep darkness

Why
מַדּ֜וּעַ (mad·dū·a‘)
Interrogative
Strong's 4069: Why? for what reason?

do My people
עַמִּי֙ (‘am·mî)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

say,
אָמְר֤וּ (’ā·mə·rū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 559: To utter, say

‘We [are free to] roam;
רַ֔דְנוּ (raḏ·nū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common plural
Strong's 7300: To wander restlessly, roam

we will
לֽוֹא־ (lō·w-)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

come
נָב֥וֹא (nā·ḇō·w)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common plural
Strong's 935: To come in, come, go in, go

to You
אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ (’ê·le·ḵā)
Preposition | second person masculine singular
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

no more’?
ע֖וֹד (‘ō·wḏ)
Adverb
Strong's 5750: Iteration, continuance, again, repeatedly, still, more


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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 2:31 Generation see the word of Yahweh (Jer.)
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