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Jeremiah 50:3

Context

50:3 For a nation from the north 1  will attack Babylon.

It will lay her land waste.

People and animals will flee out of it.

No one will inhabit it.’

Jeremiah 50:9

Context

50:9 For I will rouse into action and bring against Babylon

a host of mighty nations 2  from the land of the north.

They will set up their battle lines against her.

They will come from the north and capture her. 3 

Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier 4 

who does not return from the battle empty-handed. 5 

1 sn A nation from the north refers to Medo-Persia which at the time of the conquest of Babylon in 539 b.c. had conquered all the nations to the north, the northwest, and the northeast of Babylon forming a vast empire to the north and east of Babylon. Contingents of these many nations were included in her army and reference is made to them in 50:9 and 51:27-28. There is also some irony involved here because the “enemy from the north” referred to so often in Jeremiah (cf. 1:14; 4:6; 6:1) has been identified with Babylon (cf. 25:9). Here in a kind of talionic justice Judah’s nemesis from the north will be attacked and devastated by an enemy from the north.

2 sn Some of these are named in Jer 51:27-28.

3 tn Heb “She will be captured from there (i.e., from the north).”

4 tc Read Heb ַָמשְׂכִּיל (moskil) with a number of Hebrew mss and some of the versions in place of מַשְׁכִּיל (mashkil, “one who kills children”) with the majority of Hebrew mss and some of the versions. See BHS note d for the details.

5 tn Or more freely, “Their arrows will be as successful at hitting their mark // as a skilled soldier always returns from battle with plunder.”

sn I.e., none of the arrows misses its mark.



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