"Oracle of the LORD" in Jeremiah


I just started into the Book of Jeremiah (NABRE translation). In the early chapters, when God speaks to Jeremiah, the words spoken by God are regularly interrupted with the the phrase “—oracle of the LORD”. Here’s an example, from 2:12:

Be horrified at this, heavens;
shudder, be appalled—oracle of the LORD.

(See 1:8, 1:15, 2:3, and 2:9 for others)

I looked at some other translations available on the Internet, and they basically interpret “—oracle of the LORD” as “sayeth the LORD”, which certainly makes the verses easier to follow.

Of course, when it comes to Biblical translation, easier is not always better. My question is, does anyone know if there’s any linguistic subtlety in the original, or translator’s intent, which explains why the NABRE is reluctant in the Book of Jeremiah to use a verb that states that God is speaking, in many instances where God’s words are being directly represented?


The translators of the NABRE are reluctant to use a verb at points such as this because the Hebrew word being translated is a noun. Changing a noun to a verb does make for easier reading in English, but it’s also somewhat sloppy in terms of translation technique. Best IMO to translate what’s actually there and provide explanations in a footnote if helpful.


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