What does Jeremiah 1:11 mean with regards to almond branch? The Lord’s response about watching is not clear with regards to almond trees.

11 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" And I said, "I see an almond branch." 12 Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it." - Jeremiah 1:11-12 ESV

Most commentators like Matthew Henry would posit some trait of almonds tree. Calvin and at least one other would prefer a “watcher” with reference to the root of the word being Hebrew verb ; because the Lords response is of watching instead of tree traits.


11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. 12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching b to see that my word is fulfilled.”

Douay-Rheims Bible

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: What seest thou, Jeremias? And I said: I see a rod watching.

Young’s literal translation.

here is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying, 'What art thou seeing, Jeremiah?' And I say, 'A rod of an almond tree I am seeing.

The word is rendered "a rod of almond" by the Septuagint, the Arabic version, and Theodotion; and also by Piscator, Drusius, Grotius, and Blayney; and "the rod of the watcher" by Sym., Aq., and the Vulgate The latter is no doubt more suitable in a translation.

It should be, "I see the rod, "or the staff, "of a watcher." Let us grant that the almond is intended; yet the tree may be called watchful, according to what etymology requires, and also the sense of the passage, as all must see. [14] God then caused his servant to see the staff of a watcher. ~Calvin

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    This would probably be a better question for hermeneutics But needs a little fix'em up either way. Can you edit your question to include the Bible Quote and translation? And why you find it isn't clear? – Peter Turner Apr 9 at 13:41
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    The specific quotation from Calvin would be useful, as also the full reference to 'at least one other'. Also it would be helpful if you could do some more of the work yourself, linking to the Hebrew (I suggest Biblehub or similar) to show your thesis regarding watcher/almond meaning. Are you suggesting that an Hebrew homonym is involved, perhaps ? – Nigel J Apr 10 at 9:30
  • Your formatting was kind of hard to read. I re-formated this: please review and make sure I captured what you are trying to convey. – KorvinStarmast Apr 11 at 18:25

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