Jeremiah 48:10 English Standard Version

“Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD with slackness [רְמִיָּ֑ה], and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.

This seems to be a strange translation of the word רְמִיָּ֑ה.

New American Standard Bible

"Cursed be the one who does the LORD'S work negligently, And cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood.

King James Bible

Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

The majority at https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/48-10.htm translate it as "deceitfully". What is the proper meaning of רְמִיָּ֑ה here?

1 Answer 1


Did Jeremiah curse procrastinators?

God on many occasions commanded his people the Israelites to take hand in the destruction of the pagan sinners, He used them as executioners, such wars were theocratic wars for they were fighting for their God

Nehemiah 4:20 NASB

20 At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, assemble to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

Joshua 10:14 ,42 NASB

14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel. 42 Joshua captured all these kings and their lands at one time, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.

Exodus 14:14 NASB

14 The Lord will fight for you, while you keep silent.”

As in King Saul’s case, the sin would lie in not carrying out orders to the pleasing of God; as it is written in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 48:10 NASB

10 Cursed is the one who does the Lord’s work negligently, And cursed is the one who restrains his sword from blood.

Evidently, Saul’s sin consisted of his presumptuously going ahead with the sacrifice and not obeying God's commandment, which had been given through his representative Samuel, to wait for Samuel to offer up the sacrifice. (1 Samuel 10:8, 1 Samuel 13: 1-14 )


I do not know Hebrew, but based on the meaning of the text, the proper meaning is

  • Up-voted but I suggest the point should be made that the purpose of the 'theocratic wars' was not world domination (of this present world) by force, for its own sake : but the essential protection of Israel (its land and its people) was so that the Testimony of God should be present on earth, that Testimony being to to a future Testament : the New Testament.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 20:39
  • 1
    Nigel L; You're are quite correct, I will edit Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 21:01

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