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Chapter 8:9. And I regarded them not, etc The Apostle here follows the Sept., though in some other parts of this quotation he follows more closely the Hebrew. Our version in Jeremiah 31:32, is, “although I was a husband to them,” which is not countenanced by any of the earlier versions. The phrase is peculiar, not found anywhere else except in Jeremiah 4:17; which is rendered by Kimchi, “I have abhorred them.”

The verb means to have, to possess, to rule, to exercise dominion, to marry; and Pocock and some others think, that it means to loathe, to disdain, to abhor, when followed as here by the preposition ב and it is said that its cognate in Arabic has this meaning. The Vulg. here is, “and I have ruled over them;” and the Syr., “and I have despised them.” The expression is softened by the Sept., “and I have disregarded (or cared not) for them.” The same is done as to the preceding clause, “because they continued not in my covenant,” which is in Hebrew, though not as rendered in our version, “because they broke my covenant.” So אשר rendered by the Syr. and the Targ. “Which my covenant” has been derived from the Vulg., and is a construction which the original will not bear.

Still the most probable and the easiest solution is, to suppose a typographical mistake in Jeremiah 31:32, the word בעלתי: being used instead of בחלתי: there being only one letter different. The reasons for this supposition are these: — All the versions are different here from what they are in Jeremiah 4:17, where the same phrase is supposed to occur, — and this latter verb is found in Zechariah 11:8, followed by: as here, and means to “abhor,” or according to some, to “reject.”

There is also another word, נעלתי which has been mentioned, and has but one letter different; and as it is used by Jeremiah himself in chapter 14:19, and with ב, in the sense of abhorring or loathing, it may justly be deemed as the most probable word.

But Newcome suggests another thing, a typographical mistake in the Greek. There is another reading in some copies of the Sept., and that is, εμελησα, “I have cared for them;” and this would in substance agree with “I was a husband to them.” This conjecture is less probable; for it involves a mistake both in the Sept. and in this Epistle. But either of these suppositions would reconcile the passages; and it is singular that in both cases the change required is only in one letter!

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