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Jeremiah 51:13

Context

51:13 “You who live along the rivers of Babylon, 1 

the time of your end has come.

You who are rich in plundered treasure,

it is time for your lives to be cut off. 2 

Jeremiah 51:42

Context

51:42 The sea has swept over Babylon.

She has been covered by a multitude 3  of its waves. 4 

Jeremiah 51:55

Context

51:55 For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon,

and put an end to her loud noise.

Their waves 5  will roar like turbulent 6  waters.

They will make a deafening noise. 7 

1 sn Babylon was situated on the Euphrates River and was surrounded by canals (also called “rivers”).

2 tn Heb “You who live upon [or beside] many waters, rich in treasures, your end has come, the cubit of your cutting off.” The sentence has been restructured and paraphrased to provide clarity for the average reader. The meaning of the last phrase is debated. For a discussion of the two options see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:423. Most modern commentaries and English versions see an allusion to the figure in Isa 38:12 where the reference is to the end of life compared to a tapestry which is suddenly cut off from the loom. Hence, NRSV renders the last line as “the thread of your life is cut” and TEV renders “its thread of life is cut.” That idea is accepted also in HALOT 141 s.v. בצע Qal.1.

3 tn For the meaning “multitude” here rather than “tumult” see BDB 242 s.v. הָמוֹן 3.c, where reference is made that this refers to a great throng of people under the figure of an overwhelming mass of waves. The word is used of a multitude of soldiers, or a vast army in 1 Sam 14:16; 1 Kgs 20:13, 18 (cf. BDB 242 s.v. הָמוֹן 3.a for further references).

4 tn Heb “The sea has risen up over Babylon. She has been covered by the multitude of its waves.”

sn This is a poetic and figurative reference to the enemies of Babylon, the foe from the north (see 50:3, 9, 51:27-28), which has attacked Babylon in wave after wave. This same figure is used in Isa 17:12. In Isa 8:7-8 the king of Assyria (and his troops) are compared to the Euphrates which rises up and floods over the whole land of Israel and Judah. This same figure, but with application to Babylon, is assumed in Jer 47:2-3. In Jer 46:7-8 the same figure is employed in a taunt of Egypt which had boasted that it would cover the earth like the flooding of the Nile.

5 tn The antecedent of the third masculine plural pronominal suffix is not entirely clear. It probably refers back to the “destroyers” mentioned in v. 53 as the agents of God’s judgment on Babylon.

6 tn Or “mighty waters.”

7 tn Heb “and the noise of their sound will be given,”



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