50:6 “My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds 1 have allow them to go astray.
They have wandered around in the mountains.
They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. 2
They have forgotten their resting place.
50:17 “The people of Israel are like scattered sheep
which lions have chased away.
First the king of Assyria devoured them. 3
Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones. 4
3 sn The king of Assyria devoured them. This refers to the devastation wrought on northern Israel by the kings of Assyria beginning in 738
4 tn The verb used here only occurs this one time in the Hebrew Bible. It is a denominative from the Hebrew word for “bones” (עֶצֶם, ’etsem). BDB 1126 s.v. עֶָצַם, denom Pi, define it as “break his bones.” HALOT 822 s.v. II עָצַם Pi defines it as “gnaw on his bones.”
sn If the prophecies which are referred to in Jer 51:59-64 refer to all that is contained in Jer 50–51 (as some believe), this would have referred to the disasters of 605