12:16 But they must make sure you learn to follow the religious practices of my people. 1 Once they taught my people to swear their oaths using the name of the god Baal. 2 But then, they must swear oaths using my name, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives, I swear.” 3 If they do these things, 4 then they will be included among the people I call my own. 5 12:17 But I will completely uproot and destroy any of those nations that will not pay heed,’” 6 says the Lord.
[12:16] 4 tn The words “If they do this” are not in the text. They are part of an attempt to break up a Hebrew sentence which is long and complex into equivalent shorter sentences consistent with contemporary English style. Verse 16 in Hebrew is all one sentence with a long complex conditional clause followed by a short consequence: “If they carefully learn the ways of my people to swear by name, ‘By the life of the
[12:16] 5 tn Heb “they will be built up among my people.” The expression “be built up among” is without parallel. However, what is involved here is conceptually parallel to the ideas expressed in Isa 19:23-25 and Zech 14:16-19. That is, these people will be allowed to live on their own land, to worship the
[12:17] 6 tn Heb “But if they will not listen, I will uproot that nation, uprooting and destroying.” IBHS 590-91 §35.3.2d is likely right in seeing the double infinitive construction here as an intensifying infinitive followed by an adverbial infinitive qualifying the goal of the main verb, “uproot it in such a way as to destroy it.” However, to translate that way “literally” would not be very idiomatic in contemporary English. The translation strives for the equivalent. Likewise, to translate using the conditional structure of the original seems to put the emphasis of the passage in its context on the wrong point.