And first I will completely reward

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for their guilt deserving punishment

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and their sin of missing the mark which must be punished or atoned for

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because they have polluted my land with their filthy, detested

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and filled my inheritance with abominations.

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Before I restore them, I will completely punish them in full measure for their guilt deserving punishment and their sins which must receive punishment or atonement, for they have made my special gift to them stink with their worship of fertility gods that demand child sacrifices, and have spurned my physical provision for them for by trusting in disgusting idols which promise physical provision but cannot deliver.


1: "completely reward":

This verb has different meanings depending on what form the verb appears in. Here it is a Piel verb and thus carries such meanings as: “to complete, to finish, to make whole, to restore, to make compensation, to make good, to pay vows or pay a debt, to recompense or reward (either for good or for evil).” Since the idea of “completeness” is a common theme in most of the uses of this verb, I have, in my translation, described “rewarded” with the adverb “completely.”

2: "double":

The fact that God says He will reward/punish them double, does not prove that God sometimes over-punishes, rather it was a way of communicating that He would punish fully in this case, without allowing anything to lessen the punishment until it had reached what He knew was the appropriate level based on their sinfulness. In verses 11-13 of this passage God has already explained why they deserved full punishment.

3: "guilt deserving punishment":

This word is often rendered “iniquity or guilt”, but it is also the word for the “punishment for guilt.” The concept of the guilt and the punishment it brings are inseparable in this Hebrew word.

4: "sins":

This is a common word for “sin or offense”; it comes from the word “to miss the mark.” Like the word in the previous footnote, it is always closely tied to what follows it, i.e. it must be atoned for, or it must be punished. It cannot be ignored because “missing the mark” is a big deal in God’s eyes.

5: “filthy and detestable”:

This word could describe anything, but it was often used of spiritual or ethical things which God considered “filthy, detestable, disgusting, or abominable.” It does not matter how humans see those things; what matters is how God sees them.

6: "corpses":

The word used here can mean “carcasses or corpses.” It may be referring to the idols just like the next clause, or to the bodies of the babies burned in the fire inside some of those idols, or to both.

7: "abominations":

This is simply the word “abominations” or “detestable, disgusting things.”  It was frequently used of idols, and the context here points toward it being a reference to idols.