NETNew English Translation
25 The Lord says,#tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” “Beware! I am opposed to you, Babylon!#tn The word “Babylon” is not in the text but is universally understood as the referent. It is supplied in the translation here to clarify the referent for the sake of the average reader.
You are like a destructive mountain that destroys all the earth.
I will unleash my power against you;#tn Heb “I will reach out my hand against you.” See the translator’s note on 6:12 for explanation.
I will roll you off the cliffs and make you like a burned-out mountain.#tn Heb “I am against you, oh destroying mountain that destroys all the earth. I will reach out my hand against you and roll you down from the cliffs and make you a mountain of burning.” The interpretation adopted here follows the lines suggested by S. R. Driver, Jeremiah, 318, n. c and reflected also in BDB 977 s.v. שְׂרֵפָה. Babylon is addressed as a destructive mountain because it is being compared to a volcano. The Lord, however, will make it a “burned-out mountain,” i.e., an extinct volcano which is barren and desolate. This interpretation seems to this translator to fit the details of the text more consistently than alternative ones which separate the concept of “destroying/destructive” from “mountain” and explain the figure of the mountain to refer to the dominating political position of Babylon and the reference to a “mountain of burning” to be a “burned [or burned over] mountain.” The use of similes in place of metaphors makes it easier for the modern reader to understand the figures and also more easily incorporates the dissonant figure of “rolling you down from the cliffs” which involves the figure of personification.sn The figure here involves comparing Babylon to a destructive volcano which the Lord makes burned-out, i.e., he will destroy her power to destroy. The figure of personification is also involved because the Lord is said to roll her off the cliffs; that would not be applicable to a mountain.
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