Jeremiah 50:27
Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe to them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.
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(27) Slay all her bullocks.—The words are probably to be taken figuratively of the captains and men of war of Babylon, as in Psalm 22:12; Isaiah 34:7; Jeremiah 48:15 (see Note), and Jeremiah 51:40.

50:21-32 The forces are mustered and empowered to destroy Babylon. Let them do what God demands, and they shall bring to pass what he threatens. The pride of men's hearts sets God against them, and ripens them apace for ruin. Babylon's pride must be her ruin; she has been proud against the Holy One of Israel; who can keep those up whom God will throw down?Her bullocks - Her strong youths. 27. bullocks—that is, princes and strong warriors (Jer 46:21; Ps 22:12; Isa 34:7).

go down to … slaughter—The slaughterhouses lay low beside the river; therefore it is said, "go down"; appropriate to Babylon on the Euphrates, the avenue through which the slaughterers entered the city.


bullocks in this place interpreters generally understand the great and rich men of Babylon. Slay all her bullocks,.... Or, "all her mighty ones", as the Targum and Vulgate Latin version; her princes and great men, as Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel; compared to bullocks for their strength, fatness, and fierceness; see Psalm 22:12; this may well be applied to the slaughter of kings, captains, and mighty men, at the battle of Armageddon, Revelation 19:18;

let them go down to the slaughter; to the place slaughter, as oxen do, insensible, and whether they will or not:

woe unto them, for their day is come, the time of their visitation; the time of their destruction, of visiting or punishing them for their sins, appointed by the Lord, which they could not pass; and so a woeful and dreadful time to them.

Slay all her {x} bulls; let them go down to the slaughter: woe to them! for their day is come, the time of their judgment.

(x) Her princes and mighty men.

27. her bullocks] her choice youths, the flower of her army. Cp. for the figure Isaiah 34:7. For the expression “go down to the slaughter” cp. Jeremiah 48:15, and for “the time of their visitation” Jeremiah 46:21.Verse 27. - In this verse we are told that the kherem, i.e. the Divine ban, falls upon the entire male population, as in the holy wars of Joshua (Joshua 6:21; Joshua 11:11, 20). All her bullocks. As in Jeremiah 51:40 and Isaiah 34:6, the doomed people is likened to sacrificial victims (comp. Jeremiah 46:10). The same fact is described without figure in Jeremiah 48:15. Go down to the slaughter; i.e. be forced down to the slaughtering trough. The pride and power of Babylon are broken, as a punishment for the sacrilege he committed at the temple of the Lord. Jeremiah 50:21. "Against the land, - Double-rebellion, - go up against it, and against the inhabitants of visitation; lay waste and devote to destruction after them, saith Jahveh, and do according to all that I have commanded thee. Jeremiah 50:22. A sound of war [is] in the land, and great destruction. Jeremiah 50:23. How the hammer of the whole earth is cut and broken! how Babylon has become a desolation among the nations! Jeremiah 50:24. I laid snares for thee, yea, and thou hast been taken, O Babylon; but thou didst not know: thou wast found, and also seized, because thou didst strive against Jahveh. Jeremiah 50:25. Jahveh hath opened His treasure-house, and brought out the instruments of His wrath; for the Lord, Jahveh of hosts, hath a work in the land of the Chaldeans. Jeremiah 50:26. Come against her, [all of you], from the last to the first; open her storehouses: case her up in heaps, like ruins, and devote her to destruction; let there be no remnant left to her. Jeremiah 50:27. Destroy all her oxen; let them go down to the slaughter: woe to them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation. Jeremiah 50:28. [There is] a sound of those who flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of Jahveh our God, the vengeance of His temple."

The punishment of Babylon will be fearful, corresponding to its crimes. The crimes of Babylon and its punishment Jeremiah has comprised, in Jeremiah 50:21, in two names specially formed for the occasion. The enemy to whom God has entrusted the execution of the punishment is to march against the land מרתים. This word, which is formed by the prophet in a manner analogous to Mizraim, and perhaps also Aram Naharaim, means "double rebellion," or "double obstinacy." It comes from the root מרה, "to be rebellious" against Jahveh and His commandments, whence also מרי, "rebellion;" Numbers 17:1-1324:59:00EZechariah 2:5, Ezekiel 2:7, etc. Other interpretations of the word are untenable: such is that of Frst, who follows the Vulgate "terram dominantium," and, comparing the Aramaic מרא, "Lord," renders it by "dominion" (Herschaft). Utterly indefensible, too, is the translation of Hitzig, "the world of men" (Menschenwelt), which he derives from the Sanskrit martjam, "world," on the basis of the false assumption that the language of the Chaldeans was Indo-Germanic. The only doubtful points are in what respect Babylon showed double obstinacy, and what Jeremiah had in his mind at the time. The view of Hitzig, Maurer, Graf, etc., is certainly incorrect, - that the prophet was thinking of the double punishment of Israel by the Assyrians and by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 50:17 and Jeremiah 50:33); for the name is evidently given to the country which is now about to be punished, and hence to the power of Babylon. Ngelsbach takes a twofold view: (1) he thinks of the defiance shown by Babylon towards both man and God; (2) he thinks of the double obstinacy it exhibited in early times by building the tower, and founding the first worldly kingdom (Genesis 10:8.), and in later times by its conduct towards the theocracy: and he is inclined rather to the latter than to the former view, because the offences committed by Babylon in early and in later times were, in their points of origin and aim, too much one and the same for any one to be able to represent them as falling under two divisions. This is certainly correct; but against the first view there is also the important consideration that מרה is pretty constantly used only of opposition to God and the word of God. If any one, notwithstanding this, is inclined to refer the name also to offences against men, he could yet hardly agree with Ngelsbach in thinking of the insurrections of Babylon against the kings of Assyria, their masters; for these revolts had no meaning in reference to the position of Babylon towards God, but rather showed the haughty spirit in which Babylon trod on all the nations.

The opinion of Dahler has most in its favour: "Doubly rebellious, i.e., more rebellious than others, through its idolatry ad its pride, which was exalted it against God, Jeremiah 50:24, Jeremiah 50:29." Rosenmller, De Wette, etc., have decided in favour of this view. Although the dual originally expresses the idea of pairing, yet the Hebrew associates with double, twofold, the idea of increase, gradation; cf. Isaiah 40:2; Isaiah 66:7. The object is prefixed for the sake of emphasis; and in order to render it still more prominent, it is resumed after the verb in the expression "against it." פּקוד, an infinitive in form, "to visit with punishment, avenge, punish," is also used as a significant name of Babylon: the land that visits with punishment is to be punished. Many expositors take חרב as a denominative from חרב, "sword," in the sense of strangling, murdering; so also in Jeremiah 50:27. But this assumption is far from correct; nor is there any need for making it, because the meaning of destroying is easily obtained from that of being laid waste, or destroying oneself by transferring the word from things to men. החרים, "to proscribe, put under the ban," and in effect "to exterminate;" see on Jeremiah 25:9. On "after them," cf. Jeremiah 49:37; Jeremiah 48:2, Jeremiah 48:9,Jeremiah 48:15, etc.

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