Jeremiah 51:64
And you shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring on her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
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(64) They shall be weary.—The words are identical with those that had closed the great prophecy in Jeremiah 51:58. What was meant was probably that Seraiah was to repeat the last words of the prediction, and, as they passed his lips, was to fling the roll into the river. That submersion was typical of the end of the futile labour and weariness of the men of the doomed city.

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.—The words are clearly of the nature of what we should call an editorial note by the compiler of Jeremiah’s prophecies, Baruch or another. He is careful to inform his readers that the narrative that follows in Jeremiah 52 was not written by Jeremiah.

51:59-64 This prophecy is sent to Babylon, to the captives there, by Seraiah, who is to read it to his countrymen in captivity. Let them with faith see the end of these threatening powers, and comfort themselves herewith. When we see what this world is, how glittering its shows, and how flattering its proposals, let us read in the book of the Lord that it shall shortly be desolate. The book must be thrown into the river Euphrates. The fall of the New Testament Babylon is thus represented, Re 18:21. Those that sink under the weight of God's wrath and curse, sink for ever. Babylon, and every antichrist, will soon sink and rise no more for ever. Let us hope in God's word, and quietly wait for his salvation; then we shall see, but shall not share, the destruction of the wicked.Thus far ... - Whoever added Jeremiah 52, evidently felt it his duty to point out that it was not written by Jeremiah. 64. they shall be weary—The Babylonians shall be worn out, so as not to be able to recover their strength.

Thus far … Jeremiah—Hence it is to be inferred that the last chapter is not included in Jeremiah's writings but was added by some inspired man, mainly at 2Ki 24:18-25:30 to explain and confirm what precedes [Calvin].

It hath been often said that Euphrates was that great river which ran by the walls of Babylon; into this Seraiah is commanded by Jeremiah to throw this roll of prophecy against Babylon, symbolically to teach the Jews, that according to the tenor of his prophecy the time should come, after some years, when Babylon should be destroyed never to rise again to any great view or degree of splendour, no more than that roll with the stone tied to it should rise from the bottom of Euphrates.

And they shall be weary; some read, though they weary themselves, that is, do what they can, or, (as it is here,) and they shall be weary with that weight of judgment which shall be upon them.

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah: either the words of Jeremiah relating to Babylon reach thus far, or all the words of Jeremiah remaining on sacred record (for it is thought that the next chapter was rather penned by some other holy man); or (which seemeth the best) the prophetical words of Jeremiah, for the matter of the next chapter is historical, and the Book of Lamentations is not prophetical, as to the main of it, though there be in it three or four prophetical passages, Lamentations 4:21,22, &c. And thou shall say,.... Not only use the above sign and ceremony, but explain the meaning of it to those of his friends who might accompany him; and what he said was in the name of the Lord, as the form and manner in which the following words are delivered show:

thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her; as this book, with the stone bound to it, does, and shall no more rise than that can; the evil of punishment brought on Babylon will sink her to such a degree, that she will never be able to bear up under it; but be so depressed by it as never to rise to her former state and grandeur any more:

and they shall be weary; the inhabitants of it, and have no strength to resist their enemies; or, rather, shall be so weak as not to be able to stand up under the weight and pressure upon them, but shall sink under it; or shall weary themselves in vain to preserve their city from ruin, or restore it when ruined; see Jeremiah 51:58;

thus far are the words of Jeremiah; that is, concerning the destruction of Babylon, as is said concerning Moab, Jeremiah 48:47; for what Maimonides (m) says, that though Jeremiah 54ed some time after, yet ceased to prophesy; or that, when he had finished his prophecy concerning Babylon, he prophesied no more, is not true; for it is certain that many of his prophecies were delivered out after the date of this, though this is recorded last: or the sense may be, thus far are the prophetic words of Jeremiah; and so the Targum,

"hitherto is the prophecy of the words of Jeremiah;''

what follows in the next chapter being historical; for there is no necessity to conclude from hence that that was wrote by any other hand; either, as many have thought, by Ezra; or by the men of the great synagogue, as Abarbinel.

(m) Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 45. Vid. Kimchi in loc.

And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall {m} be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

(m) They will not be able to resist but will labour in vain.

64. upon her: and they shall be weary] The mg. (rightly) puts a full stop after “upon her” and a colon after “they shall be weary.” These latter words (one word in the Heb.) doubtless (so Gi., Co. and others) were taken, probably by accident, from Jeremiah 51:58, when, on the addition of this short section by the compiler, the words “Thus far … Jeremiah” were transferred to this later v. This last sentence is meant to mark off ch. 52, as taken for the most part from 2 Kings.Verse 64. - And they shall be weary. Accidentally repeated from ver. 59 (see introduction to ch. 1.). Thus far, etc. Proving that the Book of Jeremiah once ended with ch. 51.

And not only are the defenders of the city to fall, but the strong ramparts also, the broad walls and the lofty towers, are to be destroyed. The adjective הרחבה is joined in the singular with the plural חמות, because the complex notion of the walls of Babylon, denoted by the latter word, is viewed as a unity; cf. Ewald, 318. ערר, in Hithpael, means "to be made bare," i.e., to be destroyed down to the ground; the inf. abs. Pilel is added to intensify the expression. Regarding the height and breadth and the extent of the walls of Babylon, cf. the collection of notices by the old writers in Duncker's Gesch. des Alt. i. S. 856ff. According to Herodotus (i. 178f.), they were fifty ells "royal cubits," or nearly 85 feet thick, and 200 ells 337 1/2 feet high; Ctesias assigns them a height of 300 feet, Strabo that of 50 ells cubits, or 75 feet, and a breadth of 32 feet. On this Duncker remarks: "The height and breadth which Herodotus gives to the walls are no doubt exaggerated. Since the wall of Media, the first line of defence for the country, had a height of 100 feet and a breadth of 20 feet, and since Xenophon saw in Nineveh walls 150 feet in height, we shall be able with some degree of certainty to assume, in accordance with the statement of Pliny (vi. 26), that the wall of Babylon must have had a height of 200 feet above the ditch, and a proportionate breadth of from 30 to 40 feet. This breadth would be sufficient to permit of teams of four being driven along the rampart, between the battlements, as Herodotus and Strabo inform us, without touching, just as the rampart on the walls of Nineveh is said to have afforded room for three chariots."

(Note: For details as to the number of the walls, and statistics regarding them, see Duncker, S. 858, Anm. 3, who is inclined to understand the notice of Berosus regarding a triple wall as meaning that the walls of the river are counted as the second, and those round the royal fortress as the third line of circumvallation. J. Oppert, Expd. en Msop. i. p. 220ff., has given a thorough discussion of this question. By carefully comparing the accounts of the ancient writers regarding the walls of Babylon, and those given in the inscriptions, lately discovered and deciphered, found on the buildings of Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar, with the vast extent of the long mounds of rubbish on the places where the ruins are met with, he has obtained this result, - that the city was surrounded by a strong double wall with deep ditches, an outer and an inner enceinte, and that the outer or large wall enclosed a space of 513 square kilometres, i.e., a piece of ground as large as the department of the Seine, fifteen times the extent of the city of Paris in the year 1859, seven times that of the same city in 1860, while the second or inner wall enclosed an area of 290 square kilometres, much larger than the space occupied by London.)

The gates leading into the city were, according to Herodotus, l.c., provided with beautifully ornamented gateways; the posts, the two leaves of the gates, and the thresholds, were of bronze. The prophecy concludes, Jeremiah 51:58, with some words from Habakkuk 2:13, which are to be verified by the destruction of Babylon, viz., that the nations which have built Babylon, and made it great, have laboured in vain, and only wearied themselves. Habakkuk probably does not give this truth as a quotation from an older prophet, but rather declares it as an ordinance of God, that those who build cities with blood, and strongholds with unrighteousness, make nations toil to supply food for fire. Jeremiah has made use of the passage as a suitable conclusion to his prophecy, but made some unimportant alterations; for he has transposed the words בּדי אשׁ and בּדי ריק, and changed יעפוּ into ויעפוּ, that he may conclude his address with greater emphasis. For, according to the arrangement here, וּלאמּים בּדי־אשׁ still depends on ויגעוּ, and ויעפוּ indicates the result of this toil for the enslaved nations, - they only weary themselves thereby. The genuineness of this reading is put beyond a doubt by the repetition of ויעפוּ at the close of the epilogue in Jeremiah 51:64. What Habakkuk said generally of the undertakings of the Chaldeans, Jeremiah applied specially to the fall of the city of Babylon, because it was to exhibit its fulfilment most plainly in that event.

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