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Jeremiah 46:2

Context
The Prophecy about Egypt’s Defeat at Carchemish

46:2 He spoke about Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt which was encamped along the Euphrates River at Carchemish. Now this was the army that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling 1  over Judah. 2 

Jeremiah 48:1

Context
Judgment Against Moab

48:1 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 3  spoke about Moab. 4 

“Sure to be judged is Nebo! Indeed, 5  it will be destroyed!

Kiriathaim 6  will suffer disgrace. It will be captured!

Its fortress 7  will suffer disgrace. It will be torn down! 8 

Jeremiah 49:1

Context
Judgment Against Ammon

49:1 The Lord spoke about the Ammonites. 9 

“Do you think there are not any people of the nation of Israel remaining?

Do you think there are not any of them remaining to reinherit their land?

Is that why you people who worship the god Milcom 10 

have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities? 11 

Jeremiah 49:7

Context
Judgment Against Edom

49:7 The Lord who rules over all 12  spoke about Edom. 13 

“Is wisdom no longer to be found in Teman? 14 

Can Edom’s counselors not give her any good advice? 15 

Has all of their wisdom turned bad? 16 

Jeremiah 49:23

Context
Judgment Against Damascus

49:23 The Lord spoke 17  about Damascus. 18 

“The people of Hamath and Arpad 19  will be dismayed

because they have heard bad news.

Their courage will melt away because of worry.

Their hearts will not be able to rest. 20 

Jeremiah 49:28

Context
Judgment Against Kedar and Hazor

49:28 The Lord spoke about Kedar 21  and the kingdoms of Hazor 22  that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered.

“Army of Babylon, 23  go and attack Kedar.

Lay waste those who live in the eastern desert. 24 

Jeremiah 21:11

Context
Warnings to the Royal Court

21:11 The Lord told me to say 25  to the royal court 26  of Judah,

“Listen to what the Lord says,

1 sn The fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign proved very significant in the prophecies of Jeremiah. It was in that same year that he issued the prophecies against the foreign nations recorded in Jer 25 (and probably the prophecies recorded here in Jer 46-51) and that he had Baruch record and read to the people gathered in the temple all the prophecies he had uttered against Judah and Jerusalem up to that point in the hopes that they would repent and the nation would be spared. The fourth year of Jehoiakim (605 b.c.) marked a significant shift in the balance of power in Palestine. With the defeat of Necho at Carchemish in that year the area came under the control of Nebuchadnezzar and Judah and the surrounding nations had two options, submit to Babylon and pay tribute or suffer the consequences of death in war or exile in Babylon for failure to submit.

2 tn Heb “Concerning Egypt: Concerning the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt which was beside the Euphrates River at Carchemish which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah.” The sentence has been broken up, restructured, and introductory words supplied in the translation to make the sentences better conform with contemporary English style. The dating formula is placed in brackets because the passage is prophetic about the battle, but the bracketed words were superscription or introduction and thus were added after the outcome was known.

3 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study note on 2:19.

4 sn Moab was a country east of the Dead Sea whose boundaries varied greatly over time. Basically, it was the tableland between the Arnon River about halfway up the Dead Sea and the Zered River which is roughly at the southern tip of the Dead Sea. When the Israelites entered Palestine they were forbidden to take any of the Moabite territory but they did capture the kingdom of Sihon north of the Arnon which Sihon had taken from Moab. Several of the towns mentioned in the oracles of judgment against Moab here are in this territory north of the Arnon and were assigned to Reuben and Gad. Several are mentioned on the famous Moabite Stone which details how Mesha king of Moab recovered from Israel many of these cities during the reign of Joram (852-841 b.c.; cf. 2 Kgs 3:4-5). It is usually assumed that Moab submitted to Nebuchadnezzar after the battle of Carchemish and that they remained loyal to him throughout most of this period, though representatives were present at Jerusalem in 594 b.c. when plans for revolt were apparently being discussed (Jer 27:3). Moabite contingents were used by Nebuchadnezzar in 598 b.c. to harass Jehoiakim after he rebelled (2 Kgs 24:2) so they must have remained loyal at that time. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Nebuchadnezzar conquered Moab in 582 b.c. and destroyed many of its cities.

5 tn Heb “Woe to Nebo for it is destroyed.” For the use of the Hebrew particle “Woe” (הוֹי, hoy) see the translator’s note on 22:13. The translation has taken this form because the phrase “Woe to” probably does not convey the proper meaning or significance to the modern reader. The verbs again are in the tense (Hebrew prophetic perfect) that views the action as if it were as good as done. The particle כִּי (ki) probably is causal but the asseverative works better in the modified translation.

6 sn Nebo and Kiriathaim were both north of the Arnon and were assigned to Reuben (Num 32:3, Josh 13:19). They are both mentioned on the Moabite Stone as having been recovered from Israel.

7 tn Or “Misgab.” The translation here follows the majority of commentaries and English versions. Only REB sees this as a place name, “Misgab,” which is otherwise unknown. The constant use of this word to refer to a fortress, the presence of the article on the front of it, and the lack of any reference to a place of this name anywhere else argues against it being a place name. However, the fact that the verbs that accompany it are feminine while the noun for “fortress” is masculine causes some pause.

8 tn For the meaning of the verb here see BDB 369 s.v. חָתַת Qal.1 and compare usage in Isa 7:8; 30:31.

9 sn Ammonites. Ammon was a small kingdom to the north and east of Moab which was in constant conflict with the Transjordanian tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh over territorial rights to the lands north and south of the Jabbok River. Ammon mainly centered on the city of Rabbah which is modern Amman. According to Judg 11:13 the Ammonites claimed the land between the Jabbok and the Arnon but this was land taken from them by Sihon and Og and land that the Israelites captured from the latter two kings. The Ammonites attempted to expand into the territory of Israel in the Transjordan in the time of Jephthah (Judg 10-11) and the time of Saul (1 Sam 11). Apparently when Tiglath Pileser carried away the Israelite tribes in Transjordan in 733 b.c., the Ammonites took over possession of their cities (Jer 49:1). Like Moab they appear to have been loyal to Nebuchadnezzar in the early part of his reign, forming part of the contingent that he sent to harass Judah when Jehoiakim rebelled in 598 b.c. (2 Kgs 24:2). But along with Moab and Edom they sent representatives to plot rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar in 594 b.c. (Jer 27:3). The Ammonites were evidently in rebellion against him in 588 b.c. when he had to decide whether to attack Rabbah or Jerusalem first (Ezek 21:18-23 [21:23-28 HT]). They appear to have remained in rebellion after the destruction of Jerusalem because their king Baalis was behind the plot to assassinate Gedaliah and offered refuge to Ishmael after he did it (Jer 40:13; 41:15). According to the Jewish historian Josephus they were conquered in 582 b.c. by Nebuchadnezzar.

10 tc The reading here and in v. 3 follows the reading of the Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions and 1 Kgs 11:5, 33; 2 Kgs 23:13. The Hebrew reads “Malcom” both here, in v. 3, and Zeph 1:5. This god is to be identified with the god known elsewhere as Molech (cf. 1 Kgs 11:7).

11 tn Heb “Does not Israel have any sons? Does not he have any heir [or “heirs” as a collective]? Why [then] has Malcom taken possession of Gad and [why] do his [Malcom’s] people live in his [Gad’s] land?” A literal translation here will not produce any meaning without major commentary. Hence the meaning that is generally agreed on is reflected in an admittedly paraphrastic translation. The reference is to the fact that the Ammonites had taken possession of the cities that had been deserted when the Assyrians carried off the Transjordanian tribes in 733 b.c. assuming that the Israelites would not return in sufficient numbers to regain control of it. The thought underlying the expression “Why has Milcom taken possession…” reflects the idea, common in the OT and the ancient Near East, that the god of a people drove out the previous inhabitants, gave their land to his worshipers to possess, and took up residence with them there (cf., e.g., Deut 1:21; Judg 11:24 and line 33-34 of the Moabite stone: “Chemosh said to me, ‘Go down, fight against Hauronen.’ And I went down [and I fought against the town and took it], and Chemosh dwelt there in my time.” [ANET 321]).

12 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for this title.

13 sn Edom was a kingdom to the south and east of Judah. Its borders varied over time but basically Edom lay in the hundred mile strip between the Gulf of Aqaba on the south and the Zered River on the north. It straddled the Arabah leading down from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba, having as its northern neighbors both Judah and Moab. A long history of hostility existed between Israel and Edom, making Edom one of the favorite objects of the prophets’ oracles of judgment (cf., e.g., Isa 21:11-12; 34:5-15; 63:1-6; Amos 1:11-12; Ezek 25:12-14; 35:1-15; Obad 1-16). Not much is known about Edom at this time other than the fact that they participated in the discussions regarding rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar in 594 b.c. According to Obadiah 10-16 they not only gloated over Judah’s downfall in 586 b.c. but participated in its plunder and killed some of those who were fleeing the country.

14 sn Teman was the name of one of Esau’s descendants, the name of an Edomite clan and the name of the district where they lived (Gen 36:11, 15, 34). Like the name Bozrah, it is used poetically for all of Edom (Jer 49:20; Ezek 25:13).

15 tn Heb “Has counsel perished from men of understanding?”

16 tn The meaning of this last word is based on the definition given in KBL 668 s.v. II סָרַח Nif and HALOT 726 s.v. II סָרַח Nif, which give the nuance “to be [or become] corrupt” rather than that of BDB 710 s.v. סָרַח Niph who give the nuance “let loose (i.e., to be dismissed; to be gone)” from a verb that is elsewhere used of the overhanging of a curtains or a cliff.

17 tn The words “The Lord spoke” and “he said” are not in the text. There is only a title here: “Concerning Damascus.” However, something needs to be supplied to show that these are the Lord’s words of judgment (cf. v. 26 “oracle of the Lord” and the “I” in v. 27). These words have been supplied in the translation for clarity and consistency with the introduction to the other judgment speeches.

18 sn Damascus is a city in Syria, located below the eastern slopes of the Anti-lebanon Mountains. It was the capital of the Aramean state that was in constant hostility with Israel from the time of David until its destruction by the Assyrians in 732 b.c. At various times it was allied with the Aramean state of Hamath which was further north. Contingents from these Aramean states were involved in harassing Judah and Jerusalem in 598 b.c. when Jehoiakim rebelled (2 Kgs 24:2) but little is heard about them in the rest of the book of Jeremiah or in the history of this period.

19 tn Heb “Hamath and Arpad.” There is no word for people in the text. The cities are being personified. However, since it is really the people who are involved and it is clearer for the modern reader, the present translation supplies the words “people of” both here and in v. 24. The verbs in vv. 23-25 are all to be interpreted as prophetic perfects, the tense of the Hebrew verb that views an action as though it were as good as done. The verbs are clearly future in vv. 26-27 which begin with a “therefore.”

sn Hamath was a city on the Orontes River about 110 miles (183 km) north of Damascus. Arpad was a city that was 95 miles (158 km) farther north from there. These two cities were in the path of the northern descent of the kings of Assyria and Babylonia and had been conquered earlier under the Assyrian kings (Isa 10:9; 36:19; 37:13). The apparent reference here is to their terror and loss of courage when they hear the news that Nebuchadnezzar’s armies are on the move toward them and Damascus. They would have been in the path of Nebuchadnezzar as he chased Necho south after the battle of Carchemish.

20 tc The meaning of this verse is very uncertain. The Hebrew text apparently reads “Hamath and Arpad are dismayed. They melt away because they have heard bad news. Anxiety is in the sea; it [the sea] cannot be quiet.” Many commentaries and English versions redivide the verse and read “like the sea” for “in the sea” (כַּיָּם [kayyam] for בַּיָּם [bayyam]) and read the feminine singular noun דְּאָגָה (dÿagam) as though it were the third masculine plural verb דָּאֲגוּ (daagu): “They are troubled like the sea.” The translation follows the emendation proposed in BHS and accepted by a number of commentaries (e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 333; J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 723, n. 1). That emendation involves reading נָמֹג לִבָּם מִדְּאָגָה (namog libbam middÿagah) instead of נָמֹגוּ בַּיָּם דְּאָגָה (namogu bayyam dÿagah). The translation also involves a double reading of “heart,” for the sake of English style, once in the sense of courage (BDB 525 s.v. לֵב 10) because that is the nuance that best fits “melts” in the English idiom and once in the more general sense of hearts as the seat of fear, anxiety, worry. The double translation is a concession to English style.

21 sn Kedar appears to refer to an Arabic tribe of nomads descended from Ishmael (Gen 25:13). They are associated here with the people who live in the eastern desert (Heb “the children of the east”; בְּנֵי־קֶדֶם, bÿne-qedem). In Isa 21:16 they are associated with the Temanites and the Dedanites, Arabic tribes in the north Arabian desert. They were sheep breeders (Isa 60:7) who lived in tents (Ps 120:5) and unwalled villages (Isa 42:11). According to Assyrian records they clashed with Assyria from the time of Shalmaneser in 850 until the time of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal in the late seventh century. According to the Babylonian Chronicles, Nebuchadnezzar defeated them in 599 b.c.

22 sn Hazor. Nothing is know about this Hazor other than what is said here in vv. 28, 30, 33. They appear to also be nomadic tent dwellers who had a loose association with the Kedarites.

23 tn The words “Army of Babylon” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

24 sn Heb “the children of the east.” Nothing much is known about them other than their association with the Midianites and Amalekites in their attack on Israel in the time of Gideon (Judg 6:3, 33) and the fact that God would let tribes from the eastern desert capture Moab and Ammon in the future (Ezek 25:4, 10). Midian and Amalek were consider to be located in the region in north Arabia east of Ezion Geber. That would put them in the same general locality as the region of Kedar. The parallelism here suggests that they are the same as the people of Kedar. The words here are apparently addressed to the armies of Nebuchadnezzar.

25 tn The words “The Lord told me to say” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity. This text has been treated in two very different ways depending upon how one views the connection of the words “and to/concerning the household of the King of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord:…’” with the preceding and following. Some treat the words that follow as a continuation of Jeremiah’s response to the delegation sent by Zedekiah (cf. vv. 3, 8). Others treat this as introducing a new set of oracles parallel to those in 23:9-40 which are introduced by the heading “to/concerning the prophets.” There are three reasons why this is the more probable connection: (1) the parallelism in expression with 23:9; (2) the other introductions in vv. 3, 8 use the preposition אֶל (’el) instead of לְ (lÿ) used here, and they have the formal introduction “you shall say…”; (3) the warning or challenge here would mitigate the judgment pronounced on the king and the city in vv. 4-7. Verses 8-9 are different. They are not a mitigation but an offer of escape for those who surrender. Hence, these words are a title “Now concerning the royal court.” (The vav [ו] that introduces this is disjunctive = “Now.”) However, since the imperative that follows is masculine plural and addressed to the royal house, something needs to be added to introduce it. Hence the translation supplies “The Lord told me to say” to avoid confusion or mistakenly connecting it with the preceding.

26 tn Heb “house” or “household.” It is clear from 22:1-6 that this involved the King, the royal family, and the court officials.



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