Jeremiah 49:26
Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts.
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49:23-27 How easily God can dispirit those nations that have been most celebrated for valour! Damascus waxes feeble. It was a city of joy, having all the delights of the sons of men. But those deceive themselves who place their happiness in carnal joys.An exclamation of sorrow wrung from the prophet at the thought of the people of Damascus remaining to be slaughtered. The words my joy express the prophet's own sympathy. The praise of Damascus for beauty has been universal from the days of Naaman 2 Kings 5:12, to those of recent travelers. 26. Therefore—that is, Since Damascus is doomed to fall, therefore, &c. The Hebrew particles are not always well rendered in our translation, and our learned English Annotator hath rightly observed this place as one instance, for Nbl cannot be here an iliative, but is much better translated surely, as a note of assertion. God threateneth the Syrians with a certain ruin and desolation.

Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets,.... Or "verily" (o) so Jarchi interprets it as an oath; Jehovah swearing that so it should be; that her young men, her choice ones such who were the flower of the city, and on whom its future prosperity depended; these should fall by the sword of the Chaldeans in the streets of the city, when having entered, and taken it:

and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord of hosts; soldiers and officers, men of strength and valour in whom the inhabitants of Damascus trusted for their defence; these should be cut oil by the sword of the enemy at the time of the siege, and taking of it.

(o) "certe", Gataker.

Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts.
26, 27. See introd. note. “Therefore” (Jeremiah 49:26) is quite unsuitable here, while fitting the connexion in Jeremiah 50:30.

Jeremiah 49:26רפתה דמּשׁק, "Damascus has become slack," i.e., discouraged; she turns to flee, and cannot escape, being seized with trembling and anxiety. החזיקה is not the third pers. fem., prehendit terrorem, but stands for החזיקהּ, with Mappik omitted, because the tone is retracted in consequence of the Athnach; cf. Jeremiah 6:24; Jeremiah 8:21, etc. "Terror has seized Damascus." In the last clause וחבלים is subsumed along with צרה; hence the verb is put in the singular. - Jeremiah 49:25. The question, "How is not," etc., has been differently explained. Eichhorn, Gesenius, Ewald, and Umbreit take the words according to the German usage, in the sense, "How is the city forsaken?" or laid waste. But this Germanism is foreign to the Hebrew; and it is not obviated by C. B. Michaelis taking "how" in the sense of quam inopinato et quam horribiliter non deserta est, so that the words would mean nullus est modus desertionis aut gradus quem Damascus non sit experta, because איך לא does not express the kind and manner, or the degree of an action. In the only other passage where איך לא occurs (2 Samuel 1:14) the negative has its full meaning. Others (Calvin, Schnurrer, J. D. Michaelis, Rosenmller, Maurer) take עזב in the sense of leaving free, untouched: "How has she not been left untouched?" i.e., been spared. But this meaning of the verb is nowhere found. There is no other course left than, with Ngelsbach, to take the verb as referring to the desertion of the city through the flight of the inhabitants, as in Jeremiah 4:29, etc., and to take the words thus: "How is (i.e., how has it happened that) the famous city (is) not forsaken?" According to this view, it is not the desolation of the city that is bewailed, but the fact that the inhabitants have not saved their lives by flight. The way is prepared for this thought by Jeremiah 49:24, where it is said that the inhabitants of Damascus wish to flee, but are seized with convulsive terror; in Jeremiah 49:25 also there is a more specific reason given for it, where it is stated that the youths (the young warriors) and all the men of war shall fall in the streets of the city, and be slain by foes. The suffix in "my delight" refers to the prophet, and expresses his sympathy for the fall of the glorious city (see on Jeremiah 48:31); because not only does its population perish, but the city itself also (Jeremiah 49:27) is to be burned to ashes.
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