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Jeremiah 50:42-43

Context

50:42 Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears.

They are cruel and show no mercy.

They sound like the roaring sea

as they ride forth on their horses.

Lined up in formation like men going into battle,

they are coming against you, fair Babylon! 1 

50:43 The king of Babylon will become paralyzed with fear 2 

when he hears news of their coming. 3 

Anguish will grip him,

agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 4 

1 tn Heb “daughter Babylon.” The word “daughter” is a personification of the city of Babylon and its inhabitants.

2 tn Heb “his hands will drop/hang limp.” For the meaning of this idiom see the translator’s note on 6:24.

3 tn Heb “The king of Babylon hears report of them and his hands hang limp.” The verbs are translated as future because the passage is prophetic and the verbs may be interpreted as prophetic perfects (the action viewed as if it were as good as done). In the parallel passage in 6:24 the verbs could be understood as present perfects because the passage could be viewed as in the present. Here it is future.

4 sn Compare Jer 6:22-24 where almost the same exact words as 50:41-43 are applied to the people of Judah. The repetition of prophecies here and in the following verses emphasizes the talionic nature of God’s punishment of Babylon; as they have done to others, so it will be done to them (cf. 25:14; 50:15).



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