Jeremiah 50:41
Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
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Jeremiah 50:41-46. Behold, a people shall come from the north — Namely, the Medes; and a great nation — That is, who are a great nation; for this is no more than an explicative of the foregoing sentence. And many kings — Namely, the kings of the Persians, Armenians, Hyrcanians, Cadusians, and others who fought under Cyrus’s banner, as allies or friends to him. Their voice shall roar like the sea — The noise of an army is fitly compared to the roaring of the sea when it rages and is tempestuous. Every one put in array — In exact and firm order, as if the whole host were but one man. The king of Babylon hath heard, &c. — Belshazzar was of himself a weak and dissolute prince, and was soon routed in the field; and so dismayed that he shut himself up in Babylon. Behold, he shall come up like a lion — See notes on Jeremiah 49:19-21, where we have applied unto Edom what is here spoken against Babylon. At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard, &c. — These words are intended to express the greatness of the destruction of Babylon, which should be such as should make all that part of the world to shake and tremble; and the nations, whether near or far remote, should be astonished at the downfall of so great a city and potent an empire. 50:33-46 It is Israel's comfort in distress, that, though they are weak, their Redeemer is strong. This may be applied to believers, who complain of the dominion of sin and corruption, and of their own weakness and manifold infirmities. Their Redeemer is able to keep what they commit to him; and sin shall not have dominion over them. He will give them that rest which remains for the people of God. Also here is Babylon's sin, and their punishment. The sins are, idolatry and persecution. He that will not save his people in their sins, never will countenance the wickedness of his open enemies. The judgments of God for these sins will lay them waste. In the judgments denounced against prosperous Babylon, and the mercies promised to afflicted Israel, we learn to choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.An application to Babylon of the doom against Jerusalem Jeremiah 6:22-24.

Jeremiah 50:41

The coasts of the earth - See the Jeremiah 6:22 note.

41-43. (Compare Jer 6:22-24). The very language used to describe the calamities which Babylon inflicted on Zion is that here employed to describe Babylon's own calamity inflicted by the Medes. Retribution in kind.

kinds—the allies and satraps of the various provinces of the Medo-Persian empire: Armenia, Hyrcania, Lydia, &c.

coasts—the remote parts.

The Medes and Persians with their armies, who shall also have many other kings who, from the several parts of the earth, shall join with them and help them. Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation,.... The Modes and Persians, whose country lay north of Babylon: See Gill on Jeremiah 50:9;

and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth; the kings of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz, Jeremiah 51:27; and of the Armenians and other nations that Cyrus had subdued and brought with him in his army against Babylon, as Xenophon (s) relates. Ten kings shall be raised up against mystical Babylon, and hate her, and burn her with fire, Revelation 17:12.

(s) Cyropaedia, l. 5. c. 15.

Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from {c} the ends of the earth.

(c) Meaning, that the Persians would gather their army from many nations.

41. a people] the Persians. See reference in mg.

from the north] Cp. Jeremiah 50:9.

41–43. A repetition, with the necessary changes, of Jeremiah 6:22-24, where Jerusalem is the object of the threat. See notes there.Verse 41- Jeremiah 51:4. - The instruments of the judgment. The section is partly a cento from other prophecies. Thus vers. 41-43 are a repetition of JeremiahFurther description of the guilt and punishment of Babylon. The presumptuous pride manifests itself in the fact that Israel and Judah still languish in exile. All those who have been seized and carried away they have kept hold of. שׁביהם is used as in Isaiah 14:2. They refuse to let them go, as Pharaoh once did, Exodus 7:14, 27; Exodus 9:2; cf. Isaiah 14:17. Jahveh, the deliverer of Israel, cannot endure this. As the strong One, the God of hosts, He will lead them in the fight; as their advocate, He will obtain their dues for them; cf. Jeremiah 25:31; Isaiah 49:25. Dahler, Ewald, and Umbreit follow the Vulgate and the Chaldee in taking 'למען הרגּיע as synonymous with הרגּיז, in the sense of shaking, rousing, a meaning which רגע has in the Kal, but which cannot be made out for the Hiphil. In the Hiphil it means to give rest, to come to rest, Deuteronomy 28:65; Isaiah 34:14; Isaiah 61:4; Jeremiah 31:2; and in the Niphal, to rest, keep quiet, Jeremiah 47:6. This is the meaning given by the Syriac, Raschi, Kimchi, Rosenmller, Maurer, Hitzig, etc., and supported by a comparison with Isaiah 14:7, Isaiah 14:3,Isaiah 14:16. Babylon has hitherto kept the earth in unrest and anxiety (Isaiah 14:16); now it is to get rest (Isaiah 14:3, Isaiah 14:7), and trembling or quaking for fear is to come on Babylon. The two verbs, which have similar sounds, express a contrast. On the form of the infinitive הרגּיע, cf. Ewald, 238, d. In order to conduct the case of Israel as against Babylon, the Lord (Jeremiah 50:35-38) calls for the sword against the Chaldeans, the inhabitants of Babylon, on their princes, wise men, heroes, and the whole army, the treasures and the waters. There is no verb following חרב, but only the object with על, the words being put in the form of an exclamation, on account of the passion pervading them. The sword is to come and show its power on the Chaldeans, i.e., the population of the rural districts, on the inhabitants of the capital, and further, on the princes and wise men (magicians). A special class of the last named are the בּדּים, properly "babblers," those who talk at random, here "soothsayers" and lying prophets, the astrologers of Babylon; see Delitzsch on Isaiah 44:25 [Clark's translation, For. Theol. Lib.]. ונאלוּ, "And they shall be as fools;" see on Jeremiah 5:4. Further, on the warriors, the horses, and war-chariots, the main strength of the Asiatic conquerors, cf. Jeremiah 46:9, Isaiah 43:17; Psalm 20:8. כּל־הערב, "all the mixed multitude" in the midst of Babylon: these are here the mercenaries ad allies (as to this word, see on Jeremiah 25:20). These shall become women, i.e., weak and incapable of resistance; see Nahum 3:13. The last objects of vengeance are the treasures and the waters of Babylon. In Jeremiah 50:38 the Masoretes have pointed חרב, because חרב, "sword," seemed to be inapplicable to the waters. But indeed neither does the sword, in the proper sense of the word, well apply to treasures; it rather stands, by synecdoche, for war. In this improper meaning it might also be used with reference to the waters, in so far as the canals and watercourses, on which the fertility of Babylonia depended, were destroyed by war. Hence many expositors would read חרב here also, and attribute the employment of this word to the rhetorical power connected with enumeration. Others are of opinion that חרב may also mean aridity, drought, in Deuteronomy 28:22; but the assumption is erroneous, and cannot be confirmed by that passage. Neither can it be denied, that to confine the reference of the expression "her waters" to the canals and artificial watercourses of Babylonia seems unnatural. All these received their water from the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, the volume of water in which remained uninfluenced by war. We therefore follow Hitzig in holding that חרב is the correct punctuation; in the transition from חרב into חרב, with its similar sound, we neither perceive any injury done to rhetorical force, derived from an enumeration of objects, nor any need for referring the following clause, which assigns the reason merely to such rhetorical considerations as Graf does. In the drying up of the water there is no allusion to the diversion of the Euphrates, by which Cyrus opened up for himself an entrance into the city (Herodotus, i. 190); the drying up is merely appointed by God, as a consequence of continued drought, for the purpose of destroying the land. Hitzig's opinion neither suits the context, nor can be justified otherwise; he holds that water is the emblem of the sea on nations, the surging multitude of people in the streets of the city, and he refers for proof to Jeremiah 51:36 and Isaiah 21:1 (!). The clauses in Jeremiah 50:38, which assign the reason, refer to the whole threatening, Jeremiah 50:35-38. Babylon is to be destroyed, with its inhabitants and all its means of help, because it is a land of idols (cf. Jeremiah 51:52 and Isaiah 21:9), and its inhabitants suffer themselves to be befooled by false gods. התהולל means to act or behave like a madman, rave, Jeremiah 25:16; here, to let oneself be deprived of reason, not (as Graf thinks) to fall into a sacred frenzy. אימים, terrors, Psalm 88:16; here, objects of fear and horror, i.e., idols.
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