Jeremiah 15:12
New International Version
"Can a man break iron-- iron from the north--or bronze?

New Living Translation
Can a man break a bar of iron from the north, or a bar of bronze?

English Standard Version
Can one break iron, iron from the north, and bronze?

Berean Study Bible
Can anyone smash iron—iron from the north—or bronze?

New American Standard Bible
"Can anyone smash iron, Iron from the north, or bronze?

New King James Version
Can anyone break iron, The northern iron and the bronze?

King James Bible
Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

Christian Standard Bible
Can anyone smash iron, iron from the north, or bronze?

Contemporary English Version
People of Judah, just as you can't break iron mixed with bronze, you can't defeat the enemies that will attack from the north.

Good News Translation
No one can break iron, especially the iron from the north that is mixed with bronze.)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Can anyone smash iron, iron from the north, or bronze?

International Standard Version
"Can anyone break iron— iron from the north—or bronze?

NET Bible
Can you people who are like iron and bronze break that iron fist from the north?

New Heart English Bible
Can one break iron, even iron from the north, and bronze?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
(No one can break iron, iron from the north, or bronze.)

JPS Tanakh 1917
Can iron break iron from the north and brass?

New American Standard 1977
“Can anyone smash iron, Iron from the north, or bronze?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Shall iron break the iron from the place of the north wind and the bronze?

King James 2000 Bible
Can anyone break iron, the northern iron and the bronze?

American King James Version
Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

American Standard Version
Can one break iron, even iron from the north, and brass?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Will iron be known? whereas thy strength is a brazen covering.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Shall iron be allied with the iron from the north, and the brass?

Darby Bible Translation
Will iron break? iron from the north? and bronze?

English Revised Version
Can one break iron, even iron from the north, and brass?

Webster's Bible Translation
Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

World English Bible
Can one break iron, even iron from the north, and brass?

Young's Literal Translation
Doth one break iron -- northern iron, and brass?
Study Bible
Jeremiah's Woe
11The LORD said: “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose; surely I will intercede with your enemy in your time of trouble, in your time of distress. 12Can anyone smash iron— iron from the north— or bronze? 13Your wealth and your treasures I will give up as plunder, without charge for all your sins within all your borders.…
Cross References
Numbers 34:7
Your northern border will run from the Great Sea directly to Mount Hor,

Jeremiah 28:14
For this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: 'I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations to make them serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and they will serve him. I have even given him control of the beasts of the field.'"

Treasury of Scripture

Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

Shall iron.

Jeremiah 1:18,19
For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land…

Jeremiah 21:4,5
Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city…

Job 40:9
Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?







Lexicon
Can anyone smash
הֲיָרֹ֨עַ (hă·yā·rō·a‘)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7489: To spoil, to make, good for, nothing, bad

iron—
בַּרְזֶ֧ל ׀ (bar·zel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1270: Iron, an iron implement

iron
בַּרְזֶ֛ל (bar·zel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1270: Iron, an iron implement

from the north—
מִצָּפ֖וֹן (miṣ·ṣā·p̄ō·wn)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6828: Hidden, dark, the north as a, quarter

or bronze?
וּנְחֹֽשֶׁת׃ (ū·nə·ḥō·šeṯ)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5178: Copper, something made of that metal, coin, a fetter, base
(12) Shall iron break . . .?--The abruptness of the question and the boldness of the imagery make the interpretation difficult. That which most harmonises with the context (assuming this verse to carry on the thought of Jeremiah 15:1-9, after the interruption, possibly the interpolation, of Jeremiah 15:10-11) is, that the prayer of the prophet, strong though it may be, cannot change the inflexible purpose of Jehovah to chastise His people's sins. Some have, however, taken the words as declaring (1) the powerlessness of Judah to resist the titanic strength of the Chaldaeans, or (2) the impotence of the prophet's enemies to deter him from his work, or (3) the prophet's want of power against the obdurate evil of the people, or (4) the weakness of Pharaoh-nechoh as compared with Nebuchadnezzar. Of these (3) has a show of plausibility from Jeremiah 1:18; Jeremiah 15:20, but does not harmonise so well with what precedes and follows. The "northern iron" is probably that of the Chalybes of Pontus, mentioned as the "artificers in iron" by 'schylus (Prom. Bound, 733), as the coast of the Euxine is called by him the land which is "the mother of iron" (Ibid. 309), famous for being harder than all others. For "steel" we should read bronze. The word is commonly translated "brass," but that compound, in its modern sense, was unknown to the metallurgy of Israel.

Verse 12. - Shall iron break, etc.? Again an enigmatical saying. The rendering of the Authorized Version assumes that by the northern iron Jeremiah means the Babylonian empire. But the "breaking" of the Babylonian empire was not a subject which lay within the thoughts of the prophet. It was not the fate of Babylon, but his own troubled existence, and the possibility that his foes would ultimately succeed in crushing him, which disquieted this conscientious but timid spokesman of Jehovah. The Divine interlocutor has reminded him in the preceding verse of the mercy which has been already extended to him, and now recalls to his recollection the encouraging assurances given him in his inaugural vision (Jeremiah h 18, 19). Render, therefore, Can one break iron, northern iron, and bronze? The steel of the Authorized Version is evidently a slip. The Hebrew word is n'khosheth, which means sometimes (e.g. Jeremiah 6:28; Deuteronomy 8:9; Deuteronomy 33:25; Job 28:2) copper, but more commonly bronze, since "copper unalloyed seems to have been but rarely used after its alloys with tin became known" (Professor Maskelyne). "Steel" would have been more fitly introduced as the second of the three names of metals. "Northern iron" at once suggests the Chalybes, famous in antiquity for their skill in hardening iron, and, according to classical authors (e.g. Stephanus the geographer), the neighbors of the Tibareni, in the country adjoining the Euxine Sea, the Tibareni being, of course, the people of Tubal, whom Ezekiel mentions (Ezekiel 27:13) as trafficking in vessels of bronze. Any Jew, familiar with the wares of the bazaar, would at once appreciate the force of such a question as this. Even if iron could be broken, yet surely not steel nor bronze. Thus the verse simply reaffirms the original promises to Jeremiah, and prepares the way for Vers. 20, 21. 15:10-14 Jeremiah met with much contempt and reproach, when they ought to have blessed him, and God for him. It is a great and sufficient support to the people of God, that however troublesome their way may be, it shall be well with them in their latter end. God turns to the people. Shall the most hardy and vigorous of their efforts be able to contend with the counsel of God, or with the army of the Chaldeans? Let them hear their doom. The enemy will treat the prophet well. But the people who had great estates would be used hardly. All parts of the country had added to the national guilt; and let each take shame to itself.
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