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 3 over Judah. 4
Prepare to march into battle!
46:4 Harness the horses to the chariots!
Mount your horses!
Put on your helmets and take your positions!
Sharpen you spears!
Put on your armor!
“The soldiers 8 are terrified.
They are retreating.
They have been defeated.
They are overcome with terror; 9
they desert quickly
without looking back.
46:6 But even the swiftest cannot get away.
Even the strongest cannot escape. 10
There in the north by the Euphrates River
they stumble and fall in defeat. 11
46:7 “Who is this that rises like the Nile,
like its streams 12 turbulent at flood stage?
46:8 Egypt rises like the Nile,
like its streams turbulent at flood stage.
Egypt says, ‘I will arise and cover the earth.
I will destroy cities and the people who inhabit them.’
Drive furiously, you charioteers!
Let the soldiers march out into battle,
those from Ethiopia and Libya who carry shields,
It is the day when he will pay back his enemies. 17
His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied!
It will drink their blood until it is full! 18
For the Lord God who rules over all 19 will offer them up as a sacrifice
in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
you dear poor people of Egypt. 21
But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use; 22
there will be no healing for you.
your cries of distress will echo throughout the earth.
In the panic of their flight one soldier will trip over another
and both of them will fall down defeated.” 24
46:14 “Make an announcement throughout Egypt.
Proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. 26
‘Take your positions and prepare to do battle.
For the enemy army is destroying all the nations around you.’ 27
They will not stand because I, the Lord, will thrust 30 them down.
They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee. 32
They will say, ‘Get up!
Let’s go back to our own people.
Let’s go back to our homelands
because the enemy is coming to destroy us.’ 33
He has let the most opportune moment pass by.’ 35
I swear as surely as I live that 37 a conqueror is coming.
He will be as imposing as Mount Tabor is among the mountains,
as Mount Carmel is against the backdrop of the sea. 38
46:19 Pack your bags for exile,
you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt. 39
For Memphis will be laid waste.
It will lie in ruins 40 and be uninhabited.
46:20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow.
But northern armies will attack her like swarms of stinging flies. 41
will prove to be like pampered, 43 well-fed calves.
For they too will turn and run away.
They will not stand their ground
when 44 the time for them to be destroyed comes,
the time for them to be punished.
as the enemy comes marching up in force.
They will come against her with axes
as if they were woodsmen chopping down trees.
46:23 The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest.
But I, the Lord, affirm 46 that the enemy will cut them down.
For those who chop them down will be more numerous than locusts.
They will be too numerous to count. 47
She will be handed over to the people from the north.”
46:25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 49 says, “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes. 50 I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him. 51 46:26 I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops, who want to kill them. But later on, people will live in Egypt again as they did in former times. I, the Lord, affirm it!” 52
do not be terrified, people of Israel.
For I will rescue you and your descendants
from the faraway lands where you are captives. 55
The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.
They will be secure and no one will terrify them.
you descendants of Jacob, my servant,
for I am with you.
Though I completely destroy all the nations where I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will indeed discipline you but only in due measure.
I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 57
They will be like an overflowing stream.
They will overwhelm the whole country and everything in it like a flood.
They will overwhelm the cities and their inhabitants.
People will cry out in alarm.
Everyone living in the country will cry out in pain.
47:3 Fathers will hear the hoofbeats of the enemies’ horses,
the clatter of their chariots and the rumbling of their wheels.
They will not turn back to save their children
because they will be paralyzed with fear. 61
47:4 For the time has come
to destroy all the Philistines.
The time has come to destroy all the help
For I, the Lord, will 64 destroy the Philistines,
that remnant that came from the island of Crete. 65
47:5 The people of Gaza will shave their heads in mourning.
The people of Ashkelon will be struck dumb.
How long will you gash yourselves to show your sorrow, 66
you who remain of Philistia’s power? 67
how long will it be before you stop killing? 69
Go back into your sheath!
Stay there and rest!’ 70
when I, the Lord, have 72 given it orders?
I have ordered it to attack
the people of Ashkelon and the seacoast. 73
“Sure to be judged is Nebo! Indeed, 76 it will be destroyed!
Kiriathaim 77 will suffer disgrace. It will be captured!
48:2 People will not praise Moab any more.
saying, ‘Come, let’s put an end to that nation!’
City of Madmen, you will also be destroyed. 83
A destructive army will march against you. 84
48:3 Cries of anguish will arise in Horonaim,
‘Oh, the ruin and great destruction!’
48:4 “Moab will be crushed.
Her children will cry out in distress. 85
48:5 Indeed they will climb the slopes of Luhith,
weeping continually as they go. 86
For on the road down to Horonaim
they will hear the cries of distress over the destruction. 87
48:6 They will hear, ‘Run! Save yourselves!
Even if you must be like a lonely shrub in the desert!’ 88
48:7 “Moab, you trust in the things you do and in your riches.
So you too will be conquered.
along with his priests and his officials.
48:8 The destroyer will come against every town.
Not one town will escape.
The towns in the valley will be destroyed.
The cities on the high plain will be laid waste. 91
I, the Lord, have spoken! 92
48:9 Set up a gravestone for Moab,
for it will certainly be laid in ruins! 93
Its cities will be laid waste
and become uninhabited.”
48:10 A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
A curse on anyone who keeps from carrying out his destruction! 94
48:11 “From its earliest days Moab has lived undisturbed.
It has never been taken into exile.
Its people are like wine allowed to settle undisturbed on its dregs,
never poured out from one jar to another.
They are like wine which tastes like it always did,
whose aroma has remained unchanged. 95
48:12 But the time is coming when I will send
men against Moab who will empty it out.
They will empty the towns of their people,
then will lay those towns in ruins. 96
I, the Lord, affirm it! 97
48:13 The people of Moab will be disappointed by their god Chemosh.
They will be as disappointed as the people of Israel were
when they put their trust in the calf god at Bethel. 98
48:14 How can you men of Moab say, ‘We are heroes,
men who are mighty in battle?’
48:15 Moab will be destroyed. Its towns will be invaded.
Its finest young men will be slaughtered. 99
48:16 Moab’s destruction is at hand.
Disaster will come on it quickly.
48:17 Mourn for that nation, all you nations living around it,
all of you nations that know of its fame. 102
Mourn and say, ‘Alas, its powerful influence has been broken!
Its glory and power have been done away!’ 103
48:18 Come down from your place of honor;
For the one who will destroy Moab will attack you;
he will destroy your fortifications.
stand by the road and watch.
Question the man who is fleeing and the woman who is escaping.
Ask them, ‘What has happened?’
48:20 They will answer, ‘Moab is disgraced, for it has fallen!
Wail and cry out in mourning!
Announce along the Arnon River
that Moab has been destroyed.’
48:21 “Judgment will come on the cities on the high plain: 107 on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath, 48:22 on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth Diblathaim, 48:23 on Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, and Beth Meon, 48:24 on Kerioth and Bozrah. It will come on all the towns of Moab, both far and near. 48:25 Moab’s might will be crushed. Its power will be broken. 108 I, the Lord, affirm it! 109
48:26 “Moab has vaunted itself against me.
So make him drunk with the wine of my wrath 110
until he splashes 111 around in his own vomit,
until others treat him as a laughingstock.
48:27 For did not you people of Moab laugh at the people of Israel?
Did you think that they were nothing but thieves, 112
that you shook your head in contempt 113
every time you talked about them? 114
48:28 Leave your towns, you inhabitants of Moab.
Go and live in the cliffs.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
high on the sides of a ravine. 115
48:29 I have heard how proud the people of Moab are,
I know how haughty they are.
I have heard how arrogant, proud, and haughty they are,
what a high opinion they have of themselves. 116
But their pride is ill-founded.
Their boastings will prove to be false. 118
48:31 So I will weep with sorrow for Moab.
I will cry out in sadness for all of Moab.
I will moan 119 for the people of Kir Heres.
48:32 I will weep for the grapevines of Sibmah
just like the town of Jazer weeps over them. 120
Their branches once spread as far as the Dead Sea. 121
They reached as far as the town of Jazer. 122
The destroyer will ravage
her fig, date, 123 and grape crops.
48:33 Joy and gladness will disappear
from the fruitful land of Moab. 124
I will stop the flow of wine from the winepresses.
No one will stomp on the grapes there and shout for joy. 125
The shouts there will be shouts of soldiers,
not the shouts of those making wine. 126
48:34 Cries of anguish raised from Heshbon and Elealeh
will be sounded as far as Jahaz. 127
They will be sounded from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.
For even the waters of Nimrim will be dried up.
48:35 I will put an end in Moab
to those who make offerings at her places of worship. 128
I will put an end to those who sacrifice to other gods.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 129
48:36 So my heart moans for Moab
like a flute playing a funeral song.
Yes, like a flute playing a funeral song,
my heart moans for the people of Kir Heres.
For the wealth they have gained will perish.
48:37 For all of them will shave their heads in mourning.
They will all cut off their beards to show their sorrow.
They will all make gashes in their hands.
They will all put on sackcloth. 130
48:38 On all the housetops in Moab
and in all its public squares
there will be nothing but mourning.
For I will break Moab like an unwanted jar.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 131
48:39 Oh, how shattered Moab will be!
Oh, how her people will wail!
Oh, how she will turn away 132 in shame!
Moab will become an object of ridicule,
a terrifying sight to all the nations that surround her.”
48:40 For the Lord says,
“Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings
a nation will swoop down on Moab. 133
Her fortresses will be taken.
At that time the soldiers of Moab will be frightened
like a woman in labor. 135
because she has vaunted herself against the Lord.
for the people who live in Moab. 138
I, the Lord, affirm it! 139
48:44 Anyone who flees at the sound of terror
will fall into a pit.
Anyone who climbs out of the pit
will be caught in a trap. 140
For the time is coming
when I will punish the people of Moab. 141
I, the Lord, affirm it! 142
48:45 In the shadows of the walls of Heshbon
those trying to escape will stand helpless.
For a fire will burst forth from Heshbon.
Flames will shoot out from the former territory of Sihon.
They will burn the foreheads of the people of Moab,
the skulls of those war-loving people. 143
You people who worship Chemosh will be destroyed.
Your sons will be taken away captive.
Your daughters will be carried away into exile. 145
48:47 Yet in days to come
I will reverse Moab’s ill fortune.” 146
says the Lord. 147
The judgment against Moab ends here.
“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 149
have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities? 150
49:2 Because you did that,
I, the Lord, affirm that 151 a time is coming
when I will make Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon,
hear the sound of the battle cry.
It will become a mound covered with ruins. 152
Its villages will be burned to the ground. 153
Then Israel will take back its land
from those who took their land from them.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 154
49:3 Wail, you people in Heshbon, because Ai in Ammon is destroyed.
Cry out in anguish, you people in the villages surrounding 155 Rabbah.
Put on sackcloth and cry out in mourning.
Run about covered with gashes. 156
For your god Milcom will go into exile
along with his priests and officials. 157
49:4 Why do you brag about your great power?
who trust in your riches and say,
‘Who would dare to attack us?’
49:5 I will bring terror on you from every side,”
says the Lord God who rules over all. 160
“You will be scattered in every direction. 161
No one will gather the fugitives back together.
49:6 Yet in days to come
I will reverse Ammon’s ill fortune.” 162
says the Lord. 163
“Is wisdom no longer to be found in Teman? 166
Can Edom’s counselors not give her any good advice? 167
Has all of their wisdom turned bad? 168
you people who live in Dedan. 170
For I will bring disaster on the descendants of Esau.
I have decided it is time for me to punish them. 171
49:9 If grape pickers came to pick your grapes,
would they not leave a few grapes behind? 172
If robbers came at night,
would they not pillage only what they needed? 173
49:10 But I will strip everything away from Esau’s descendants.
I will uncover their hiding places so they cannot hide.
Their children, relatives, and neighbors will all be destroyed.
Not one of them will be left!
49:11 Leave your orphans behind and I will keep them alive.
Your widows too can depend on me.” 174
49:12 For the Lord says, “If even those who did not deserve to drink from the cup of my wrath must drink from it, do you think you will go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must certainly drink from the cup of my wrath. 175 49:13 For I solemnly swear,” 176 says the Lord, “that Bozrah 177 will become a pile of ruins. It will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example to be used in curses. 178 All the towns around it will lie in ruins forever.”
A messenger has been sent among the nations to say,
‘Gather your armies and march out against her!
Prepare to do battle with her!’” 180
“I will certainly make you small among nations.
I will make you despised by all humankind.
and the arrogance of your heart have deceived you.
You may make your home in the clefts of the rocks;
you may occupy the highest places in the hills. 183
But even if you made your home where the eagles nest,
I would bring you down from there,”
says the Lord.
49:17 “Edom will become an object of horror.
All who pass by it will be filled with horror;
they will hiss out their scorn
because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 184
49:18 Edom will be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah
and the towns that were around them.
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it,”
says the Lord.
scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it. 186
So too I will chase the Edomites off their land. 187
Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose. 188
For there is no one like me, and there is no one who can call me to account. 189
49:20 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Edom,
Their little ones will be dragged off.
I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done. 194
Their cries of anguish will be heard all the way to the Gulf of Aqaba. 196
49:22 Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings,
a nation will soar up and swoop down on Bozrah.
At that time the soldiers of Edom will be as fearful
as a woman in labor.” 197
“The people of Hamath and Arpad 200 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. 201
49:24 The people of Damascus will lose heart and turn to flee.
Panic will grip them.
Pain and anguish will seize them
like a woman in labor.
49:26 For her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord who rules over all. 205
49:27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
it will burn up the palaces of Ben Hadad.” 206
“Army of Babylon, 209 go and attack Kedar.
Lay waste those who live in the eastern desert. 210
49:29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken away.
Their tent curtains, equipment, and camels will be carried off.
People will shout 211 to them,
‘Terror is all around you!’” 212
Take up refuge in remote places. 215
For King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has laid out plans to attack you.
He has formed his strategy on how to defeat you.” 216
a nation that lives in peace and security.
They have no gates or walls to protect them. 219
They live all alone.
49:32 Their camels will be taken as plunder.
Their vast herds will be taken as spoil.
I will scatter to the four winds
those desert peoples who cut their hair short at the temples. 220
I will bring disaster against them
from every direction,” says the Lord. 221
49:33 “Hazor will become a permanent wasteland,
a place where only jackals live. 222
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it.” 223
49:35 The Lord who rules over all said,
“I will kill all the archers of Elam,
who are the chief source of her military might. 226
49:36 I will cause enemies to blow through Elam from every direction
like the winds blowing in from the four quarters of heaven.
I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
There will not be any nation where the refugees of Elam will not go. 227
49:37 I will make the people of Elam terrified of their enemies,
who are seeking to kill them.
I will vent my fierce anger
“I will send armies chasing after them 230
until I have completely destroyed them.
49:39 “Yet in days to come
I will reverse Elam’s ill fortune.” 234
says the Lord. 235
Signal for people to pay attention! 239
Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say:
‘Babylon will be captured.
Bel 240 will be put to shame.
Marduk will be dismayed.
Babylon’s idols will be put to shame.
It will lay her land waste.
People and animals will flee out of it.
No one will inhabit it.’
“the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together.
They will come back with tears of repentance
as they seek the Lord their God. 245
50:5 They will ask the way to Zion;
they will turn their faces toward it.
They will come 246 and bind themselves to the Lord
in a lasting covenant that will never be forgotten. 247
50:6 “My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds 248 have allow them to go astray.
They have wandered around in the mountains.
They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. 249
They have forgotten their resting place.
50:7 All who encountered them devoured them.
Their enemies who did this said, ‘We are not liable for punishment!
For those people have sinned against the Lord, their true pasture. 250
Leave the land of Babylonia! 254
Be the first to depart! 255
Be like the male goats that lead the herd.
50:9 For I will rouse into action and bring against Babylon
a host of mighty nations 256 from the land of the north.
They will set up their battle lines against her.
They will come from the north and capture her. 257
Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier 258
who does not return from the battle empty-handed. 259
Those who plunder it will take all they want,”
says the Lord. 261
That made you happy and glad.
You frolic about like calves in a pasture. 264
Your joyous sounds are like the neighs of a stallion. 265
50:12 But Babylonia will be put to great shame.
The land where you were born 266 will be disgraced.
Indeed, 267 Babylonia will become the least important of all nations.
It will become a dry and barren desert.
It will be totally desolate.
All who pass by will be filled with horror and will hiss out their scorn
because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 269
50:14 “Take up your battle positions all around Babylon,
all you soldiers who are armed with bows. 270
For she has sinned against the Lord.
50:15 Shout the battle cry from all around the city.
She will throw up her hands in surrender. 273
Her towers 274 will fall.
Her walls will be torn down.
Because I, the Lord, am wreaking revenge, 275
take out your vengeance on her!
Do to her as she has done!
50:16 Kill all the farmers who sow the seed in the land of Babylon.
Kill all those who wield the sickle at harvest time. 276
Let all the foreigners return to their own people.
Let them hurry back to their own lands
to escape destruction by that enemy army. 277
50:17 “The people of Israel are like scattered sheep
which lions have chased away.
First the king of Assyria devoured them. 278
Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones. 279
‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
50:19 But I will restore the flock of Israel to their own pasture.
They will graze on Mount Carmel and the land of Bashan.
They will eat until they are full 281
on the hills of Ephraim and the land of Gilead. 282
50:20 When that time comes,
no guilt will be found in Israel.
No sin will be found in Judah. 283
For I will forgive those of them I have allowed to survive. 284
I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 285
“Attack 287 the land of Merathaim
and the people who live in Pekod! 288
Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them! 289
Do just as I have commanded you! 290
There is the sound of great destruction.
50:23 Babylon hammered the whole world to pieces.
But see how that ‘hammer’ has been broken and shattered! 292
See what an object of horror
Babylon has become among the nations!
50:24 I set a trap for you, Babylon;
you were caught before you knew it.
You fought against me.
So you were found and captured. 293
I have brought out the weapons for carrying out my wrath. 295
For I, the Lord God who rules over all, 296
have work to carry out in the land of Babylonia. 297
Open up the places where she stores her grain!
Do not leave anyone alive! 301
Let them be slaughtered! 303
the time for them to be punished.”
50:28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon.
They are coming to Zion to declare there
how the Lord our God is getting revenge,
getting revenge for what they have done to his temple. 306
Summon against her all who draw the bow!
Set up camp all around the city!
Do not allow anyone to escape!
Pay her back for what she has done.
Do to her what she has done to others.
For she has proudly defied me, 308
the Holy One of Israel. 309
50:30 So her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord. 310
says the Lord God who rules over all. 312
the time when I will punish you. 315
50:32 You will stumble and fall, you proud city;
no one will help you get up.
I will set fire to your towns;
it will burn up everything that surrounds you.” 316
“The people of Israel are oppressed.
So too are the people of Judah. 318
All those who took them captive are holding them prisoners.
They refuse to set them free.
He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 320
He will strongly 321 champion their cause.
As a result 322 he will bring peace and rest to the earth,
“They will come against the people who inhabit Babylonia,
against her leaders and her men of wisdom.
they will be shown to be fools! 328
Destructive forces will come against her soldiers;
they will be filled with terror! 329
Destructive forces will come against all the foreign troops within her; 331
they will be as frightened as women! 332
Destructive forces will come against her treasures;
they will be taken away as plunder!
50:38 A drought will come upon her land;
her rivers and canals will be dried up. 333
All of this will happen because her land is filled with idols. 334
50:39 Therefore desert creatures and jackals will live there.
But no people will ever live there again.
No one will dwell there for all time to come. 339
50:40 I will destroy Babylonia just like I did
Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns.
No one will live there. 340
No human being will settle in it,”
says the Lord. 341
50:41 “Look! An army is about to come from the north.
A mighty nation and many kings 342 are stirring into action
in faraway parts of the earth.
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! 343
when he hears news of their coming. 345
Anguish will grip him,
agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 346
50:44 “A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan
scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it.
So too I will chase the Babylonians off of their land.
Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose.
For there is no one like me.
There is no one who can call me to account.
There is no ruler that can stand up against me.
50:45 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Babylon,
what I intend to do to the people who inhabit the land of Babylonia. 347
Their little ones will be dragged off.
I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done.
50:46 The people of the earth will quake when they hear Babylon has been captured.
Her cries of anguish will be heard by the other nations.” 348
51:1 The Lord says,
“I will cause a destructive wind 349 to blow
They will winnow her and strip her land bare. 353
This will happen when 354 they come against her from every direction,
when it is time to destroy her. 355
51:3 Do not give her archers time to string their bows
or to put on their coats of armor. 356
Do not spare any of her young men.
Completely destroy 357 her whole army.
mortally wounded in the streets of her cities. 360
by their God, the Lord who rules over all. 362
For the land of Babylonia is 363 full of guilt
against the Holy One of Israel. 364
Flee to save your lives.
Do not let yourselves be killed because of her sins.
For it is time for the Lord to wreak his revenge.
51:7 Babylonia had been a gold cup in the Lord’s hand.
She had made the whole world drunk.
The nations had drunk from the wine of her wrath. 368
So they have all gone mad. 369
Cry out in mourning over it!
Get medicine for her wounds!
Perhaps she can be healed!
‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed.
Let’s leave Babylonia 372 and each go back to his own country.
For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions.
It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’ 373
‘The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for us! 375
Come on, let’s go and proclaim in Zion
what the Lord our God has done!’
Fill your quivers! 377
For he intends to destroy Babylonia.
For that is how the Lord will get his revenge –
how he will get his revenge for the Babylonians’ destruction of his temple. 380
Bring more guards! 382
Post them all around the city! 383
Put men in ambush! 384
For the Lord will do what he has planned.
He will do what he said he would do to the people of Babylon. 385
the time of your end has come.
You who are rich in plundered treasure,
it is time for your lives to be cut off. 387
‘I will fill your land with enemy soldiers.
They will swarm over it like locusts. 390
They will raise up shouts of victory over it.’
He is the one who by his wisdom fixed the world in place,
by his understanding he spread out the heavens.
51:16 When his voice thunders, the waters in the heavens roar.
He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons.
He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.
He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.
51:17 All idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant.
Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.
For the image he forges is merely a sham.
There is no breath in any of those idols.
51:18 They are worthless, objects to be ridiculed.
When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.
51:19 The Lord, who is the portion of the descendants of Jacob, is not like them.
For he is the one who created everything,
including the people of Israel whom he claims as his own. 392
He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 393
my weapon for battle.
I used you to smash nations. 396
I used you to destroy kingdoms.
I used you to smash chariots and their drivers.
51:22 I used you to smash men and women.
I used you to smash old men and young men.
I used you to smash young men and young women.
51:23 I used you to smash shepherds and their flocks.
I used you to smash farmers and their teams of oxen.
I used you to smash governors and leaders.” 398
51:24 “But I will repay Babylon
and all who live in Babylonia
for all the wicked things they did in Zion
right before the eyes of you Judeans,” 399
says the Lord. 400
You are like a destructive mountain that destroys all the earth.
I will unleash my power against you; 403
I will roll you off the cliffs and make you like a burned-out mountain. 404
51:26 No one will use any of your stones as a cornerstone.
No one will use any of them in the foundation of his house.
For you will lie desolate forever,” 405
says the Lord. 406
51:27 “Raise up battle flags throughout the lands.
Sound the trumpets calling the nations to do battle.
Prepare the nations to do battle against Babylonia. 407
Call for these kingdoms to attack her:
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. 408
Appoint a commander to lead the attack. 409
Prepare the kings of the Medes.
Prepare their governors and all their leaders. 413
Prepare all the countries they rule to do battle against her. 414
For the Lord will carry out his plan.
He plans to make the land of Babylonia 416
a wasteland where no one lives. 417
51:30 The soldiers of Babylonia will stop fighting.
They will remain in their fortified cities.
They will lose their strength to do battle. 418
They will be as frightened as women. 419
The houses in her cities will be set on fire.
The gates of her cities will be broken down. 420
51:31 One runner after another will come to the king of Babylon.
One messenger after another will come bringing news. 421
They will bring news to the king of Babylon
that his whole city has been captured. 422
51:32 They will report that the fords have been captured,
the reed marshes have been burned,
the soldiers are terrified. 423
51:33 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says,
‘Fair Babylon 424 will be like a threshing floor
which has been trampled flat for harvest.
The time for her to be cut down and harvested
will come very soon.’ 425
51:34 “King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
devoured me and drove my people out.
Like a monster from the deep he swallowed me.
He filled his belly with my riches.
He made me an empty dish.
He completely cleaned me out.” 426
51:35 The person who lives in Zion says,
“May Babylon pay for the violence done to me and to my relatives.”
“May those living in Babylonia pay for the bloodshed of my people.” 427
51:36 Therefore the Lord says,
“I will stand up for your cause.
I will pay the Babylonians back for what they have done to you. 428
I will dry up their sea.
I will make their springs run dry. 429
51:37 Babylon will become a heap of ruins.
Jackals will make their home there. 430
It will become an object of horror and of hissing scorn,
a place where no one lives. 431
51:38 The Babylonians are all like lions roaring for prey.
They are like lion cubs growling for something to eat. 432
I will set out a banquet for them.
I will make them drunk
so that they will pass out, 434
they will fall asleep forever,
they will never wake up,” 435
says the Lord. 436
51:40 “I will lead them off to be slaughtered
like lambs, rams, and male goats.” 437
See how the pride of the whole earth has been taken!
See what an object of horror
Babylon has become among the nations! 439
51:42 The sea has swept over Babylon.
51:43 The towns of Babylonia have become heaps of ruins.
She has become a dry and barren desert.
No one lives in those towns any more.
No one even passes through them. 442
51:44 I will punish the god Bel in Babylon.
I will make him spit out what he has swallowed.
The nations will not come streaming to him any longer.
Indeed, the walls of Babylon will fall.” 443
51:45 “Get out of Babylon, my people!
Flee to save your lives
from the fierce anger of the Lord! 444
51:46 Do not lose your courage or become afraid
because of the reports that are heard in the land.
For a report will come in one year.
Another report will follow it in the next.
There will be violence in the land
with ruler fighting against ruler.”
when I will punish the idols of Babylon.
Her whole land will be put to shame.
All her mortally wounded will collapse in her midst. 446
51:48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them
will sing for joy over Babylon.
For destroyers from the north will attack it,”
says the Lord. 447
because of the Israelites she has killed, 449
just as the earth’s mortally wounded fell
because of Babylon. 450
go, do not delay. 452
Remember the Lord in a faraway land.
Think about Jerusalem. 453
Our faces show our disgrace. 456
For foreigners have invaded
the holy rooms 457 in the Lord’s temple.’
“when I will punish her idols.
Throughout her land the mortally wounded will groan.
and fortifies her elevated stronghold, 461
I will send destroyers against her,” 462
says the Lord. 463
51:54 Cries of anguish will come from Babylon,
the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.
51:55 For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon,
and put an end to her loud noise.
They will make a deafening noise. 466
Her warriors will be captured;
their bows will be broken. 468
For the Lord is a God who punishes; 469
he pays back in full. 470
51:57 “I will make her officials and wise men drunk,
along with her governors, leaders, 471 and warriors.
They will fall asleep forever and never wake up,” 472
says the King whose name is the Lord who rules over all. 473
Her high gates will be set on fire.
The peoples strive for what does not satisfy. 477
The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed.” 478
51:59 This is the order Jeremiah the prophet gave to Seraiah son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went to King Zedekiah of Judah in Babylon during the fourth year of his reign. 479 (Seraiah was a quartermaster.) 480 51:60 Jeremiah recorded 481 on one scroll all the judgments 482 that would come upon Babylon – all these prophecies 483 written about Babylon. 51:61 Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon, make sure 484 you read aloud all these prophecies. 485 51:62 Then say, ‘O Lord, you have announced that you will destroy this place so that no people or animals live in it any longer. Certainly it will lie desolate forever!’ 51:63 When you finish reading this scroll aloud, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River. 486 51:64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the judgments 487 I am ready to bring upon her; they will grow faint.’”
The prophecies of Jeremiah end here. 488
1 sn Jeremiah was called to be a prophet not only to Judah and Jerusalem but to the nations (1:5, 10). The prophecies or oracles that are collected here in Jer 46-51 are found after 25:13a in the Greek version where they are also found in a different order and with several textual differences. The issue of which represents the original placement is part of the broader issue of the editorial or redactional history of the book of Jeremiah which went through several editions, two of which are referred to in Jer 36, i.e., the two scrolls written in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (605
3 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
4 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.
5 tn This is often translated “prepare your shields, both small and large.” However, the idea of “prepare” is misleading because the Hebrew word here (עָרַךְ, ’arakh) refers in various senses to arranging or setting things in order, such as altars in a row, dishes on a table, soldiers in ranks. Here it refers to the soldiers lining up in rank with ranks of soldiers holding at the ready the long oval or rectangular “shield” (צִנָּה [tsinnah]; cf. BDB 857 s.v. III צִנָּה) which protected the whole body and the smaller round “buckler” (מָגֵן, magen) which only protected the torso (the relative size of these two kinds of shields can be seen from the weight of each in 1 Kgs 10:16-17). These were to be arranged in solid ranks to advance into battle. It would be pedantic and misleading to translate here “Fall into ranks with your large and small shields at the ready” because that might suggest that soldiers had more than one kind. It is uncertain who is issuing the commands here. TEV adds “The Egyptian officers shout,” which is the interpretation of J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 688).
6 tn Heb “Why do I see?” The rendering is that of J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 685, 88) and J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 301; TEV; NIV). The question is not asking for information but is expressing surprise or wonder (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 951).
sn The passage takes an unexpected turn at v. 5. After ironically summoning the Egyptian army to battle, the
7 tn Heb “oracle of the
8 tn Heb “Their soldiers.” These words are actually at the midpoint of the stanza as the subject of the third of the five verbs. However, as G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 291) note, this is the subject of all five verbs “are terrified,” “are retreating,” “have been defeated,” “have run away,” and “have not looked back.” The subject is put at the front to avoid an unidentified “they.”
9 tn Heb “terror is all around.”
10 tn The translation assumes that the adjectives with the article are functioning as superlatives in this context (cf. GKC 431 §133.g). It also assumes that אַל (’al) with the jussive is expressing here an emphatic negative rather than a negative wish (cf. GKC 317 §107.p and compare the usage in Ps 50:3).
11 tn Heb “they stumble and fall.” However, the verbs here are used of a fatal fall, of a violent death in battle (see BDB 657 s.v. נָפַל Qal.2.a), and a literal translation might not be understood by some readers.
sn The hubris of the Egyptian Pharaoh is referred to in vv. 7-8 as he compares his might to that of the Nile River whose annual flooding was responsible for the fertility of Egypt. A very similar picture of the armies of Assyria overcoming everything in its path is presented in Isa 8:7-8.
13 tn The words “Go ahead and” are not in the text but are intended to suggest the ironical nature of the commands here. The
14 sn The peoples that are referred to here are all known to have been mercenaries in the army of Egypt (see Nah 3:9; Ezek 30:5). The place names in Hebrew are actually Cush, Put, and Lud. “Cush” has already been identified in Jer 13:23 as the region along the Nile south of Egypt most commonly referred to as Ethiopia. The identification of “Put” and “Lud” are both debated though it is generally felt that Put was a part of Libya and Lud is to be identified with Lydia in Asia Minor. For further discussion see M. J. Mellink, “Lud, Ludim” IDB 3:178, and T. O. Lambdin, “Put,” IDB 3:971.
15 tn Heb “who grasp and bend the bow.”
17 sn Most commentators think that this is a reference to the
18 tn Or more paraphrastically, “he will kill them/ until he has exacted full vengeance”; Heb “The sword will eat and be sated; it will drink its fill of their blood.”
sn This passage is, of course, highly figurative. The
21 sn Heb “Virgin Daughter of Egypt.” See the study note on Jer 14:17 for the significance of the use of this figure. The use of the figure here perhaps refers to the fact that Egypt’s geographical isolation allowed her safety and protection that a virgin living at home would enjoy under her father’s protection (so F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 379). By her involvement in the politics of Palestine she had forfeited that safety and protection and was now suffering for it.
22 tn Heb “In vain you multiply [= make use of many] medicines.”
23 tn Heb “of your shame.” The “shame,” however, applies to the devastating defeat they will suffer.
24 tn The words “In the panic of their flight” and “defeated” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give clarity to the metaphor for the average reader. The verbs in this verse are all in the tense that emphasizes that the action is viewed as already having been accomplished (i.e., the Hebrew prophetic perfect). This is consistent with the vav consecutive perfects in v. 10 which look to the future.
25 tn Heb “The word which the
sn Though there is much debate in the commentaries regarding the dating and reference of this prophecy, it most likely refers to a time shortly after 604
26 tn Heb “Declare in Egypt and announce in Migdol and announce in Noph [= Memphis] and in Tahpanhes.” The sentence has been restructured to reflect the fact that the first command is a general one, followed by announcements in specific (representative?) cities.
sn For the location of the cities of Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes see the note on Jer 44:1. These were all cities in Lower or northern Egypt that would have been the first affected by an invasion.
27 tn Heb “For the sword devours those who surround you.” The “sword” is again figurative of destructive forces. Here it is a reference to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar which have already destroyed the Egyptian forces at Carchemish and have made victorious forays into the Philistine plain.
28 tn The word translated “soldiers” (אַבִּירִים, ’abbirim) is not the Hebrew word that has been used of soldiers elsewhere in these oracles (גִּבּוֹרִים, gibborim). It is an adjective used as a noun that can apply to animals, i.e., of a bull (Ps 50:13) or a stallion (Judg 5:22). Moreover, the form is masculine plural and the verbs are singular. Hence, many modern commentaries and English versions follow the redivision of the first line presupposed by the Greek version, “Apis has fled” (נָס חַף, nas khaf) and see this as a reference to the bull god of Memphis. However, the noun is used of soldiers in Lam 1:15 and the plural could be the distributive plural, i.e., each and every one (cf. GKC 464 §145.l and compare usage in Gen 27:29).
29 tn The Hebrew word used here only occurs here (in the Niphal) and in Prov 28:3 (in the Qal) where it refers to a rain that beats down grain. That idea would fit nicely with the idea of the soldiers being beaten down, or defeated. It is possible that the rarity of this verb (versus the common verb נוּס, nus, “flee”) and the ready identification of Apis with the bull calf (אַבִּיר, ’abbir) has led to the reading of the Greek text (so C. von Orelli, Jeremiah, 327). The verbs in this verse and the following are in the perfect tense but should be understood as prophetic perfects since the text is dealing with what will happen when Nebuchadnezzar comes into Egypt. The text of vv. 18-24 shows a greater mixture with some perfects and some imperfects, sometimes even within the same verse (e.g., v. 22).
30 tn Heb “the
31 tn Heb “he multiplied the one stumbling.” For the first person reference see the preceding translator’s note.
32 tc The words “in their hurry to flee” are not in the text but appear to be necessary to clarify the point that the stumbling and falling here is not the same as that in vv. 6, 12 where they occur in the context of defeat and destruction. Reference here appears to be to the mercenary soldiers who in their hurried flight to escape stumble over one another and fall. This is fairly clear from the literal translation “he multiplies the stumbling one. Also [= and] a man falls against a man and they say [probably = “saying”; an epexegetical use of the vav (ו) consecutive (IBHS 551 §33.2.2a, and see Exod 2:10 as a parallel)] ‘Get up! Let’s go…’” A reference to the flight of the mercenaries is also seen in v. 21. Many of the modern commentaries and a few of the modern English versions follow the Greek text and read vv. 15a-16 very differently. The Greek reads “Why has Apis fled from you? Your choice calf [i.e., Apis] has not remained. For the Lord has paralyzed him. And your multitudes have fainted and fallen; and each one said to his neighbor…” (reading רֻבְּךָ כָּשַׁל גַּם־נָפַל וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ instead of כּוֹשֵׁל הִרְבָּה גַּם־נָפַל אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ). One would expect אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ (’ish ’el-re’ehu) to go with וַיֹּאמְרוּ (vayyo’mÿru) because it is idiomatic in this expression (cf., e.g., Gen 11:3; Judg 6:29). However, אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ (’ish ’el-re’ehu) is also found with singular verbs as here in Exod 22:9; 33:11; 1 Sam 10:11. There is no doubt that the Hebrew text is the more difficult and thus probably original. The reading of the Greek version is not supported by any other text or version and looks like an attempt to smooth out a somewhat awkward Hebrew original.
33 tn Heb “to our native lands from before the sword of the oppressor.” The compound preposition “from before” is regularly used in a causal sense (see BDB 818 s.v. פָּנֶה 6.a, b, c). The “sword” is again interpreted as a figure for the destructive power of an enemy army.
35 tn Heb “he has let the appointed time pass him by.” It is unclear what is meant by the reference to “appointed time” other than the fact that Pharaoh has missed his opportunity to do what he claimed to be able to do. The Greek text is again different here. It reads “Call the name of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt Saon esbeie moed,” reading קִרְאוּ שֵׁם (qir’u shem) for קָרְאוּ שָׁם (qor’u) and transliterating the last line.
37 tn Heb “As I live, oracle of the King, whose….” The indirect quote has been chosen to create a smoother English sentence and avoid embedding a quote within a quote.
38 tn Heb “Like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea he will come.” The addition of “conqueror” and “imposing” are implicit from the context and from the metaphor. They have been supplied in the translation to give the reader some idea of the meaning of the verse.
sn Most of the commentaries point out that neither Tabor nor Carmel are all that tall in terms of sheer height. Mount Tabor, on the east end of the Jezreel Valley, is only about 1800 feet (540 m) tall. Mount Carmel, on the Mediterranean Coast, is only about 1700 feet (510 m) at its highest. However, all the commentators point out that the idea of imposing height and majesty are due to the fact that they are rugged mountains that stand out dominantly over their surroundings. The point of the simile is that Nebuchadnezzar and his army will stand out in power and might over all the surrounding kings and their armies.
39 tn Heb “inhabitants of daughter Egypt.” Like the phrase “daughter Zion,” “daughter Egypt” is a poetic personification of the land, here perhaps to stress the idea of defenselessness.
40 tn For the verb here see HALOT 675 s.v. II נָצָה Nif and compare the usage in Jer 4:7; 9:11 and 2 Kgs 19:25. BDB derives the verb from יָצַת (so BDB 428 s.v. יָצַת Niph meaning “kindle, burn”) but still give it the meaning “desolate” here and in 2:15 and 9:11.
41 tn Heb “Egypt is a beautiful heifer. A gadfly from the north will come against her.”
The metaphors have been turned into similes for the sake of clarity. The exact meaning of the word translated “stinging fly” is uncertain due to the fact that it occurs nowhere else in Hebrew literature. For a discussion of the meaning of the word which probably refers to the “gadfly,” which bites and annoys livestock, see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:331, who also suggests, probably correctly, that the word is a collective referring to swarms of such insects (cf. the singular אַרְבֶּה [’arbeh] in v. 23 which always refers to swarms of locusts). The translation presupposes the emendation of the second בָּא (ba’) to בָּהּ (bah) with a number of Hebrew
42 tn Heb “her hirelings in her midst.”
43 tn The word “pampered” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation to explain the probable meaning of the simile. The mercenaries were well cared for like stall-fed calves, but in the face of the danger they will prove no help because they will turn and run away without standing their ground. Some see the point of the simile to be that they too are fattened for slaughter. However, the next two lines do not fit that interpretation too well.
44 tn The temporal use of the particle כִּי (ki; BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 2.a) seems more appropriate to the context than the causal use.
45 tn Or “Egypt will rustle away like a snake”; Heb “her sound goes like the snake,” or “her sound [is] like the snake [when] it goes.” The meaning of the simile is debated. Some see a reference to the impotent hiss of a fleeing serpent (F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 382), others the sound of a serpent stealthily crawling away when it is disturbed (H. Freedman, Jeremiah [SoBB], 297-98). The translation follows the former interpretation because of the irony involved.
sn Several commentators point out the irony of the snake slithering away (or hissing away) in retreat. The coiled serpent was a part of the royal insignia, signifying its readiness to strike. Pharaoh had boasted of great things (v. 8) but was just a big noise (v. 17); now all he could do was hiss as he beat his retreat (v. 22).
46 tn Heb “Oracle of the
47 tn The precise meaning of this verse is uncertain. The Hebrew text reads: “They [those who enter in great force] will cut down her forest, oracle of the
50 tn Heb “Amon of No.”
sn The Egyptian city called No (נֹא, no’) in Hebrew was Thebes. It is located about 400 miles (666 km) south of modern-day Cairo. It was the capital of Upper or southern Egypt and the center for the worship of the God Amon who became the state god of Egypt. Thebes is perhaps best known today for the magnificent temples at Karnak and Luxor on the east bank of the Nile.
51 tc Heb “Behold I will punish Amon of No and Pharaoh and Egypt and its gods and its kings and Pharaoh and all who trust in him.” There appears to be a copyist slip involving a double writing of וְעַל־פַּרְעֹה (vÿ’al-par’oh). The present translation has followed the suggestion of BHS and deleted the first one since the second is necessary for the syntactical connection, “Pharaoh and all who trust in him.”
52 tn Heb “Oracle of the
53 sn Jer 46:27-28 are virtually the same as 30:10-11. The verses are more closely related to that context than to this. But the presence of a note of future hope for the Egyptians may have led to a note of encouragement also to the Judeans who were under threat of judgment at the same time (cf. the study notes on 46:2, 13 and 25:1-2 for the possible relative dating of these prophecies).
54 tn Heb “And/But you do not be afraid, my servant Jacob.” Here and elsewhere in the verse the terms Jacob and Israel are poetic for the people of Israel descended from the patriarch Jacob. The terms have been supplied throughout with plural referents for greater clarity.
55 tn Heb “For I will rescue you from far away, your descendants from the land of their captivity.”
56 tn Heb “Oracle of the
57 tn The translation “entirely unpunished” is intended to reflect the emphatic construction of the infinitive absolute before the finite verb.
59 sn The precise dating of this prophecy is uncertain. Several proposals have been suggested, the most likely of which is that the prophecy was delivered in 609
60 tn Heb “Behold! Waters are rising from the north.” The metaphor of enemy armies compared to overflowing water is seen also in Isa 8:8-9 (Assyria) and 46:7-8 (Egypt). Here it refers to the foe from the north (Jer 1:14; 4:6; etc) which is specifically identified with Babylon in Jer 25. The metaphor has been turned into a simile in the translation to help the average reader identify that a figure is involved and to hint at the referent.
61 tn Heb “From the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, from the rattling of his chariots at the rumbling of their wheels, fathers will not turn to their children from sinking of hands.” According to BDB 952 s.v. רִפָּיוֹן the “sinking of the hands” is figurative of helplessness caused by terror. A very similar figure is seen with a related expression in Isa 35:3-4. The sentence has been restructured to put the subject up front and to suggest through shorter sentences more in keeping with contemporary English style the same causal connections. The figures have been interpreted for the sake of clarity for the average reader.
65 sn All the help that remains for Tyre and Sidon and that remnant that came from the island of Crete appear to be two qualifying phrases that refer to the Philistines, the last with regard to their origin and the first with regard to the fact that they were allies that Tyre and Sidon depended on. “Crete” is literally “Caphtor” which is generally identified with the island of Crete. The Philistines had come from there (Amos 9:7) in the wave of migration from the Aegean Islands during the twelfth and eleventh century and had settled on the Philistine plain after having been repulsed from trying to enter Egypt.
67 tn Or “you who are left alive on the Philistine plain.” Or “you who remain of the Anakim.” The translation follows the suggestion of several of the modern commentaries that the word עֵמֶק (’emeq) means “strength” or “power” here (see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 698; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 310; and see also HALOT 803 s.v. II עֵמֶק). It is a rare homonym of the word that normally means “valley” that seems to be an inappropriate designation of the Philistine plain. Many of the modern English versions and commentaries follow the Greek version which reads here “remnant of the Anakim” (עֲנָקִים [’anaqim] instead of עִמְקָם [’imqam], a confusion of basically one letter). This emendation is followed by both BDB 771 s.v. עֵמֶק and KBL 716 s.v. עֵמֶק. The Anakim were generally associated with the southern region around Hebron but an enclave of them was known to have settled in Gaza, Gath, and Ekron, three of the Philistine cities (cf. Josh 11:22). However, the fact that this judgment is directed against the Philistines not the Anakim and that this homonym apparently appears also in Jer 49:4 makes the reading of “power” more likely here.
68 tn The words “How long will you cry out” are not in the text but some such introduction seems necessary because the rest of the speech assumes a personal subject.
69 tn Heb “before you are quiet/at rest.”
70 sn The passage is highly figurative. The sword of the
72 tn Heb “When the
73 tn Heb “Against Ashkelon and the sea coast, there he has appointed it.” For the switch to the first person see the preceding translator’s note. “There” is poetical and redundant and the idea of “attacking” is implicit in “against.”
75 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
76 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.
78 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.
80 sn Heshbon was originally a Moabite city but was captured by Sihon king of Og and made his capital (Num 21:26-30). It was captured from Sihon and originally assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Num 32:37; Josh 13:17). Later it was made a Levitical city and was assigned to the tribe of Gad (Josh 21:39). It formed the northern limits of Moab. It was located about eighteen miles east of the northern tip of the Dead Sea.
81 sn There is a wordplay in Hebrew on the word “Heshbon” and the word “plot” (חָשְׁבוּ, khoshvu).
82 tn Heb “In Heshbon they plot evil against her [i.e., Moab].” The “they” is undefined, but it would scarcely be Moabites living in Heshbon. Hence TEV and CEV are probably correct in seeing a reference to the enemy which would imply the conquest of this city which lay on the northern border of Moab.
83 tn The meaning of this line is somewhat uncertain. The translation here follows all the modern English versions and commentaries in reading the place name “Madmen” even though the place is otherwise unknown and the Greek, Syriac, and Latin version all read this word as an emphasizing infinitive absolute of the following verb “will be destroyed,” i.e. דָּמוֹם יִדֹּמּוּ (damom yiddommu). Some see this word as a variant of the name Dimon in Isa 15:9 which in turn is a playful variant of the place name Dibon. There is once again a wordplay on the word “Madmen” and “will be destroyed”: מַדְמֵן (madmen) and יִדֹּמּוּ (yiddommu). For the meaning of the verb = “perish” or “be destroyed” see Jer 8:14; Ps 31:18.
84 tn Heb “A sword will follow after you.” The sword is again figurative of destructive forces, here the army of the Babylonians.
85 tc The reading here follows the Qere צְעִירֶיהָ (tsÿ’ireha) which is the same noun found in Jer 14:3 in the sense of “servants.” Here it refers to the young ones, i.e., the children (cf. the use of the adjective BDB 859 s.v. I צָעִיר 2 and see Gen 43:33). Many of the modern commentaries and a few of the modern English versions follow the Greek version and read “their cry is heard as far as Zoar” (reading צֹעֲרָה, tso’arah; see, for example, J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 699, n. 4, and BDB 858 s.v. צֹעַר). However, that leaves the verb with an indefinite subject (the verb is active 3rd plural not passive) not otherwise identified in the preceding context. Many of the modern English versions such as NRSV, NJPS, NIV retain the Hebrew as the present translation has done. In this case the masculine plural noun furnishes a logical subject for the verb.
86 tn Or “Indeed her fugitives will…” It is unclear what the subject of the verbs are in this verse. The verb in the first two lines “climb” (יַעֲלֶה, ya’aleh) is third masculine singular and the verb in the second two lines “will hear” (שָׁמֵעוּ, shame’u) is third common plural. The causal particles at the beginning of the two halves of the verse suggest some connection with the preceding, so the translation assumes that the children are still the subject. In this case the singular verb would be a case of the distributive singular already referred to in the translator’s note on 46:15. The parallel passage in Isa 15:5 refers to the “fugitives” (בְּרִיחֶהָ, bÿrikheha) with the same singular verb as here and that may be the implied subject here.
sn The location of Luhith and Horonaim are uncertain, though, from their connection with Zoar in Isa 15:5, they appear to be located in southern Moab. Zoar was at the southern tip of the Dead Sea.
87 tn Heb “the distresses of the cry of destruction.” Many commentaries want to leave out the word “distresses” because it is missing from the Greek version and the parallel passage in Isa 15:5. However, it is in all the Hebrew
88 tc The meaning of this line is uncertain. The translation follows one reading of the Hebrew text. The Greek version reads “Be like a wild donkey in the desert!” There are three points of debate in this line: the syntax of the verb form “be” (תִהְיֶינָה, tihyenah) and the text and meaning of the word translated “shrub” in the Hebrew text. This word only occurs with this meaning here and in Jer 17:6. A related word occurs in Ps 102:17 (102:18 HT). Elsewhere this spelling refers to the place name Aroer which was a place in Moab on the edge of the Arnon River. Most commentators do not feel that a reference to that place is appropriate here because it was not in the desert. The Greek version reads “like a wild donkey” (reading כְּעָרוֹד [kÿ’arod] in place of כַּעֲרוֹעֵר [ka’aro’er]). That would make an appropriate simile here because the wild donkey enjoys its freedom and is hard to capture. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 312) explain the simile of the “shrub” as referring to the marginal and rudimentary existence of a displaced person. That may not be as optimistic as the reference to the wild donkey but it does give an appropriate meaning. The third feminine plural has been explained as the singular noun + suffix = “yourselves” (נַפְשְׁכֶם, nafshÿkhem) used as a collective (so S. R. Driver, Jeremiah, 368, with cross reference to GKC 462-63 §145.c). J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 314, n. e-e) follows a suggestion of D. N. Freedman in seeing the form (תִהְיֶינָה, tihyenah) as a mistake for the 2nd masculine plural plus energic (תִהְיוּן, tihyun). Given the number of other textual corruptions in this passage, this is possible. The resultant meaning in either case is the same.
89 sn Chemosh was the national god of Moab (see also Numb 21:29). Child sacrifice appears to have been a part of his worship (2 Kgs 3:27). Solomon built a high place in Jerusalem for him (1 Kgs 11:7), and he appears to have been worshiped in Israel until Josiah tore that high place down (2 Kgs 23:13).
91 tn Heb “The valley will be destroyed and the tableland be laid waste.” However, in the context this surely refers to the towns and not to the valley and the tableland itself.
sn Most commentaries see a reference to the towns in the Jordan valley referred to in Josh 13:27 and the towns mentioned in Josh 13:15-17 which were on the high tableland or high plateau or plain north of the Arnon. The mention of the towns in the first half of the verse is broader than that because it would include all the towns in the southern half of Moab between the Arnon and Zered as well as those mentioned in the second half in conjunction with the valley and the high plateau north of the Arnon.
93 tn Or “Scatter salt over Moab for it will certainly be laid in ruins.” The meaning of these two lines is very uncertain. The Hebrew of these two lines presents several difficulties. It reads תְּנוּ־צִיץ לְמוֹאָב נָצֹא תֵּצֵא (tÿnu-tsits lÿmo’av natso’ tetse’). Of the five words two are extremely problematic and the meaning of the second affects also the meaning of the last word which normally means “go out.” The word צִיץ (tsits) regularly refers to a blossom or flower or the diadem on the front of Aaron’s mitre. BDB 851 s.v. II צִיץ gives a nuance “wings (coll)” based on the interpretation of Abu Walid and some medieval Jewish interpreters who related it to an Aramaic root. But BDB says that meaning is dubious and refers to the Greek which reads σημεῖα (shmeia, “sign” or “sign post”). Along with KBL 802 s.v. I צִיץ and HALOT 959 s.v. II צִיץ, BDB suggests that the Greek presupposes the word צִיּוּן (tsiyyun) which refers to a road marker (Jer 31:21) or a gravestone (2 Kgs 23:17). That is the meaning followed here. Several modern commentaries and English versions have followed a proposal by W. Moran that the word is related to a Ugaritic word meaning salt (cf., e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 320). However, HALOT 959 s.v. II צִיץ questions the validity of this on philological grounds saying that the meaning of salt does not really fit the Ugaritic either. The present translation follows the suggestions of the lexicons here and reads the word as though the Greek supported the meaning “gravestone.” The other difficulty is with the word נָצֹא (natso’), which looks like a Qal infinitive absolute of an otherwise unattested root which BDB s.v. נָצָא says is defined in Gesenius’ Thesaurus as “fly.” However, see the meaning and the construction of an infinitive absolute of one root with that of another as highly improbable. Hence, most modern lexicons either emend the forms to read נָצֹה תִּצֶּה (natsoh titseh) from the root נָצָה (natsah) meaning “to fall into ruins” (so KBL 629 s.v. נָצָה Qal, and see among others J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 700, n. 10, who notes that final א [aleph] and final ה [hey] are often confused; see the discussion and examples in GKC 216-17 §75.nn-rr). This is the option that this translation as well as a number of modern ones have taken. A second option is to see נָצֹא (natso’) as an error for יָצֹא (yatso’) and read the text in the sense of “she will certainly surrender,” a meaning that the verb יָצָא (yatsa’) has in 1 Sam 11:3; Isa 36:6. The best discussion of this option as well as a discussion on the problem of reading צִיץ (tsits) as salt is found in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 313-14.
94 tn Heb “who withholds his sword from bloodshed.” This verse is an editorial aside (or apostrophe) addressed to the Babylonian destroyers to be diligent in carrying out the work of the
95 tn Heb “Therefore his taste remains in him and his aroma is not changed.” The metaphor is changed into a simile in an attempt to help the reader understand the figure in the context.
sn The picture is that of undisturbed complacency (cf. Zeph 1:12). Because Moab had never known the discipline of exile she had remained as she always was.
96 tn Heb “Therefore, behold the days are coming, oracle of Yahweh, when I will send against him decanters [those who pour from one vessel to another] and they will decant him [pour him out] and they will empty his vessels and break their jars in pieces.” The verse continues the metaphor from the preceding verse where Moab/the people of Moab are like wine left undisturbed in a jar, i.e., in their native land. In this verse the picture is that of the decanter emptying the wine from the vessels and then breaking the jars. The wine represents the people and the vessels the cities and towns where the people lived. The verse speaks of the exile of the people and the devastation of the land. The metaphor has been interpreted so it conveys meaning to the average reader.
97 tn Heb “Oracle of the
98 tn Heb “Moab will be ashamed because of Chemosh as the house of Israel was ashamed because of Bethel, their [source of] confidence.” The “shame” is, of course, the disappointment, disillusionment because of the lack of help from these gods in which they trusted (for this nuance of the verb see BDB 101 s.v. בּוֹשׁ Qal.2 and compare usage in Jer 2:13; Isa 20:5). Because of the parallelism, some see the reference to Bethel to be a reference to a West Semitic god worshiped by the people of Israel (see J. P. Hyatt, “Bethel [Deity],” IDB 1:390 for the arguments). However, there is no evidence in the OT that such a god was worshiped in Israel, and there is legitimate evidence that northern Israel placed its confidence in the calf god that Jeroboam set up in Bethel (cf. 1 Kgs 12:28-32; Hos 10:5; 8:5-6; Amos 7:10-17).
99 tn Heb “will go down to the slaughter.”
sn This refers to both the nearby nations and those who lived further away who had heard of Moab’s power and might only by repute.
103 tn Heb “How is the strong staff broken, the beautiful rod.” “How” introduces a lament which is here rendered by “Alas.” The staff and rod refer to the support that Moab gave to others not to the fact that she ruled over others which was never the case. According to BDB 739 s.v. עוֹז 1 the “strong staff” is figurative of political power.
104 tn Heb “sit in thirst.” The abstract “thirst” is put for the concrete, i.e., thirsty or parched ground (cf. Deut 8:19; Isa 35:7; Ps 107:33) for the concrete. There is no need to emend to “filth” (צֹאָה [tso’ah] for צָמָא [tsama’]) as is sometimes suggested.
105 tn Heb “inhabitant of Daughter Dibon.” “Daughter” is used here as often in Jeremiah for the personification of a city, a country, or its inhabitants. The word “inhabitant” is to be understood as a collective as also in v. 19.
sn Dibon was an important fortified city located on the “King’s Highway,” the main north-south road in Transjordan. It was the site at which the Moabite Stone was found in 1868 and was one of the cities mentioned on it. It was four miles north of the Arnon River and thirteen miles east of the Dead Sea. It was one of the main cities on the northern plateau and had been conquered from Sihon and allotted to the tribe of Reuben (Josh 13:17).
106 sn Aroer is probably the Aroer that was located a few miles south and west of Dibon on the edge of the Arnon River. It had earlier been the southern border of Sihon, king of Heshbon, and had been allotted to the tribe of Reuben (Josh 13:16). However, this whole territory had earlier been taken over by the Arameans (2 Kgs 10:33), later by the Assyrians, and at this time was in the hands of the Moabites.
108 tn Heb “The horn of Moab will be cut off. His arm will be broken.” “Horn” and “arm” are both symbols of strength (see BDB 902 s.v. קֶרֶן 2 [and compare usage in Lam 2:3] and BDB 284 s.v. זְרוֹעַ 2 [and compare usage in 1 Sam 2:31]). The figures have been interpreted for the sake of clarity.
109 tn Heb “Oracle of the
110 tn Heb “Make him drunk because he has magnified himself against the
111 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. It is usually used of clapping the hands or the thigh in helpless anger or disgust. Hence J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 321) paraphrases “shall vomit helplessly.” HALOT 722 s.v. II סָפַק relates this to an Aramaic word and see a homonym meaning “vomit” or “spew out.” The translation is that of BDB 706 s.v. סָפַק Qal.3, “splash (fall with a splash),” from the same root that refers to slapping or clapping the thigh.
112 tn Heb “were they caught among thieves?”
114 tc The reading here presupposes the emendation of דְבָרֶיךָ (dÿvarekha, “your words”) to דַבֶּרְךָ (dabberkha, “your speaking”), suggested by BHS (cf. fn c) on the basis of one of the Greek versions (Symmachus). For the idiom cf. BDB 191 s.v. דַּי 2.c.α.
115 tn Heb “in the sides of the mouth of a pit/chasm.” The translation follows the suggestion of J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 321. The point of the simile is inaccessibility.
116 tn Heb “We have heard of the pride of Moab – [he is] exceedingly proud – of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his haughtiness, and the loftiness of his heart.” These words are essentially all synonyms, three of them coming from the same Hebrew root (גָּאָה, ga’ah) and one of the words being used twice (גָּאוֹן). Since the first person singular is used in the next verse, the present translation considers the “we” of this verse to refer to the plural of majesty or the plural referring to the divine council in such passages as Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8 and has translated in the singular to avoid possible confusion of who the “we” are. Most understand the reference to be to Jeremiah and his fellow Judeans.
117 tn Heb “Oracle of the
118 tn The meaning of this verse is somewhat uncertain: Heb “I know, oracle of the
119 tc The translation is based on the emendation of the Hebrew third masculine singular (יֶהְגֶּה, yehggeh) to the first singular (אֶהְגֶּה, ’ehgeh). This emendation is assumed by almost all of the modern English versions and commentaries even though the textual evidence for it is weak (only one Hebrew
120 tc Or “I will weep for the grapevines of Sibmah more than I will weep over the town of Jazer.” The translation here assumes that there has been a graphic confusion of מ (mem) with כְּ (kaf) or בְּ (bet). The parallel passage in Isa 16:9 has the preposition בְּ and the Greek version presupposes a comparative idea “as with.” Many of the modern English versions render the passage with the comparative מִן (min) as in the alternate translation, but it is unclear what the force of the comparison would be here. The verse is actually in the second person, an apostrophe or direct address to the grapevine(s) of Sibmah. However, the translation has retained the third person throughout because such sudden shifts in person are uncommon in contemporary English literature and retaining the third person is smoother. The Hebrew text reads: “From/With the weeping of Jazer I will weep for you, vine of Sibmah. Your tendrils crossed over the sea. They reached unto the sea of Jazer. Upon your summer fruit and your vintage [grape harvest] the destroyer has fallen.”
121 tn Heb “crossed over to the Sea.”
122 tn Or “reached the sea of Jazer.” The Sea is generally taken to be a reference to the Dead Sea. The translation presupposes that the word “sea” is to be omitted before “Jazer.” The word is missing from two Hebrew
sn Though there is some doubt about the precise location of these places, Sibmah is generally considered to have been located slightly north and west of Heshbon and Jazer further north toward the border of Ammon not far from the city of Amman. Most commentators see the reference here (and in the parallel in Isa 16:8) to the spread of viticulture westward and northward from the vineyards of Sibmah. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 318-19), however, see the reference rather to the spread of trade in wine westward beyond the coast of the Mediterranean and eastward into the desert.
123 tn Heb “her summer fruit.” See the translator’s note on 40:10 for the rendering here. According to BDB 657 s.v. נָפַל Qal.4.a, the verb means to “fall upon” or “attack” but in the context it is probably metonymical for attack and destroy.
124 tn Heb “from the garden land, even from the land of Moab.” Comparison with the parallel passage in Isa 16:10 and the translation of the Greek text here (which has only “the land of Moab”) suggest that the second phrase is appositional to the first.
125 tn Heb “no one will tread [the grapes] with shout of joy.”
126 tn Heb “shouts will not be shouts.” The text has been expanded contextually to explain that the shouts of those treading grapes in winepresses will come to an end (v. 33a-d) and be replaced by the shouts of the soldiers who trample down the vineyards (v. 32e-f). Compare 25:30 and 51:41 for the idea.
127 tn The meaning of this verse is very uncertain. The ambiguity of the syntax and the apparent elliptical nature of this text makes the meaning of this verse uncertain. The Hebrew text reads: “From the cry of Heshbon unto Elealeh unto Jahaz they utter their voice from Zoar unto Horonaim Eglath Shelishiyah.” The translation and interpretation here are based on interpreting the elliptical syntax here by the parallel passage in Isaiah 15:4-6 where cries of anguish rise from Heshbon and Elealeh which are heard all the way to Jahaz. The people flee southward arriving at Zoar and Eglath Shelishiyah where they voice the news of the destruction in the north. Hence, the present translation interprets the phrase “from the cry of Heshbon unto Elealeh” to be parallel to “Heshbon and Elealeh cry out” and take the preposition “from” with the verb “they utter their voice,” i.e., with the cry of Heshbon and Elealeh. The impersonal “they raise their voice” is then treated as a passive and made the subject of the whole verse. There is some debate about the identification of the waters of Nimrim. They may refer to the waters of the Wadi Nimrim which enters the Jordan about eight miles north of the Dead Sea or those of the Wadi en-Numeirah which flows into the southern tip of the Dead Sea from about ten miles south. Most commentators take the reference to be the latter because of association with Zoar. However, if the passage is talking about the destruction in the north which is reported in the south by the fleeing refugees, the reference is probably to the Wadi Nimrim in the north.
sn Elealeh was about two miles (3.3 km) north of Heshbon. Jahaz was about twenty miles (33 km) south of it. These three cities were in the north and Zoar, Horonaim, and Eglath Shelishiyah were apparently in the south. The verse is speaking about the news of destruction in the north spreading to the south. Comparison should be made with the parallel passage in Isa 15:4-6.
129 tn Heb “Oracle of the
130 tn Heb “upon every loin [there is] sackcloth.” The word “all” is restored here before “loin” with a number of Hebrew
sn The actions referred to here were all acts that were used to mourn the dead (cf. Isa 15:2-3).
131 tn Heb “Oracle of the
132 tn Heb “turn her back.”
133 tn Heb “Behold! Like an eagle he will swoop and will spread his wings against Moab.” The sentence has been reordered in English to give a better logical flow and the unidentified “he” has been identified as “a nation.” The nation is, of course, Babylon, but it is nowhere identified so the referent has been left ambiguous.
sn Conquering nations are often identified with a swiftly flying eagle swooping down on its victims (cf. Deut 28:49). In this case the eagle is to be identified with the nation (or king) of Babylon (cf. Ezek 17:3, 12 where reference is to the removal of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) and his replacement with Zedekiah).
134 tn Parallelism argues that the word קְרִיּוֹת (qÿriyyot) be understood as the otherwise unattested feminine plural of the noun קִרְיָה (qiryah, “city”) rather than the place name Kerioth mentioned in v. 24 (cf. HALOT 1065 s.v. קִרְיָה). Both this noun and the parallel term “fortresses” are plural but are found with feminine singular verbs, being treated either as collectives or distributive plurals (cf. GKC 462-63 §145.c or 464 §145.l).
135 tn Heb “The heart of the soldiers of Moab will be like the heart of a woman in labor.”
136 tn Heb “Moab will be destroyed from [being] a people.”
137 sn There is an extended use of assonance here and in the parallel passage in Isa 24:17. The Hebrew text reads פַּחַד וָפַחַת וָפָח (pakhad vafakhat vafakh). The assonance is intended to underscore the extensive trouble that is in store for them.
138 tn Heb “are upon you, inhabitant of Moab.” This is another example of the rapid switch in person or direct address (apostrophe) in the midst of a third person description or prediction which the present translation typically keeps in the third person for smoother English style.
139 tn Heb “Oracle of the
141 tn Heb “For I will bring upon her, even upon Moab, the year of her punishment.”
142 tn Heb “Oracle of the
143 tn Or “of those noisy boasters.” Or “They will burn up the frontiers of Moab. They will burn up the mountain heights of those war-loving people.” The meaning of this verse is not entirely certain because of the highly figurative nature of the last two lines. The Hebrew text has been translated somewhat literally here. The Hebrew text reads: “In the shadow of Heshbon those fleeing stand without strength. For a fire goes forth from Heshbon, a flame from the midst of Sihon. And it devours the forehead of Moab and the skull of the sons of noise.” The meaning of the first part is fairly clear because v. 2 has already spoken of the conquest of Heshbon and a plot formed there to conquer the rest of the nation. The fire going forth from Heshbon would hence refer here to the conflagrations of war spreading from Heshbon to the rest of the country. The reference to the “midst of Sihon” is to be understood metonymically as a reference for the ruler to what he once ruled (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 583). The last two lines must refer to more than the fugitives who stopped at Heshbon for protection because it refers to the forehead of Moab (a personification of the whole land or nation). It is unclear, however, why reference is made to the foreheads and skulls of the Moabites, other than the fact that this verse seems to be a readaptation or reuse of Num 24:17 where the verb used with them is “smite” which fits nicely in the sense of martial destruction. Translated rather literally, it appears here to refer to the destruction by the fires of war of the Moabites, the part (forehead and skulls) put for the whole. TEV sees a reference here to the “frontiers” and “mountain heights” of Moab and this would work nicely for “foreheads” which is elsewhere used of the corner or border of a land in Neh 9:22. The word “crown” or “skull” might be a picturesque metaphor for the mountain heights of a land, but the word is never used elsewhere in such a figurative way. TEV (and CEV) which follows it might be correct here but there is no way to validate it. The meaning “war-loving people” for the phrase “sons of noise” is based on the suggestion of BDB 981 s.v. שָׁאוֹן 1 which relates the phrase to the dominant use for שָׁאוֹן (sha’on) and is adopted also by TEV, CEV, and C. von Orelli, Jeremiah, 341. REB “braggarts” and NIV “noisy boasters” seem to base the nuance on the usage of שָׁאוֹן (sha’on) in Jer 46:17 where Pharaoh is referred to as an empty noise and the reference to Moab’s arrogance and boasting in 48:29.
sn This verse and the next are an apparent adaptation and reuse of a victory song in Num 21:28-29 and a prophecy in Num 24:17. That explains the reference to Sihon who was the Amorite king who captured Heshbon and proceeded from there to capture most of northern Moab (the area between Heshbon and the Arnon) which has been referred to earlier in this prophecy. This prophecy appears to speak of the destruction of Moab beginning from the same place under the picture of a destructive fire which burns up all the people. The fire is a reference to the conflagrations of war in which the enemy captures the cities and sets them on fire and burns all the people in them. What Sihon once did (Num 21:28-29) and what Balaam prophesied would happen to Moab in the future (by David? Num 24:17) are being reapplied to a new situation.
145 tn Heb “Your sons will be taken away into captivity, your daughters into exile.”
147 tn Heb “Oracle of the
148 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
149 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).
150 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
151 tn Heb “oracle of the
153 tn Heb “Its daughters will be burned with fire.” For the use of the word “daughters” to refer to the villages surrounding a larger city see BDB 123 s.v. I בַּת 4 and compare the usage in Judg 1:27.
154 tn Heb “says the
155 tn Or “you women of Rabbah”; Heb “daughters of Rabbah.” It is difficult to tell whether the word “daughters” is used here in the same sense that it has in v. 2 (see the translator’s note there) or in the literal sense of “daughters.” The former has been preferred because the cities themselves (e.g., Heshbon) are called to wail in the earlier part of the verse and the term “daughters” has been used in the previous verse of the surrounding villages.
156 tc Or “Run back and forth inside the walls of your towns.” Or “slash yourselves with gashes.” The meaning of this line is uncertain. The Hebrew text reads “run back and forth among the walls.” The word “run back and forth” is generally taken as a Hitpolel of a verb that means to “go about” in the Qal and to “go back and forth” in the Polel (cf. BDB 1002 s.v. I שׁוּט). The noun that follows in the Hebrew means “wall, hedge” and is quite commonly modified by the noun צֹאן (tso’n, “sheep”) referring to sheepfolds (cf., e.g., Num 32:36; 1 Sam 24:3). But the phrase “run back and forth among the sheepfolds” yields little meaning here. In Ps 89:40 (89:41 HT) the word “wall” is used in parallelism with fortified cities and refers to the walls of the city. That is the sense that is assumed in one of the alternate translations with the words “of your towns” being supplied in the translation for clarification. However, that figure is a little odd in a context which speaks of mourning rites. Hence, some emend the word “walls” (גְּדֵרוֹת, gÿderot) to “gashes” (גְּדֻדוֹת, gÿdudot), a word that has occurred in a similar context in Jer 48:37. That would involve only the common confusion of ר and ד. That is the reading adopted here and fits the context nicely. NRSV appears to go one step further and read the verb as a Hitpolel from a root that is otherwise used only as a noun to mean “whip” or “scourge.” NRSV reads “slash yourselves with whips” which also makes excellent sense in the context but is not supported by any parallel use of the verb.
158 tn Or “Why do you brag about your valleys, about the fruitfulness of your valleys.” The meaning of the first two lines of this verse are uncertain primarily due to the ambiguity of the expression זָב עִמְקֵךְ (zav ’imqekh). The form זָב (zav) is either a Qal perfect or Qal participle of a verb meaning flow. It is common in the expression “a land flowing with milk and honey” and is also common to refer to the seminal discharge or discharge of blood which makes a man or woman unclean. BDB 264 s.v. זוּב Qal.2 sees it as an abbreviation of the idea of “flowing with milk and honey” and sees it as referring to the fertility of Ammon’s valley. However, there are no other examples of such an ellipsis. Several of the modern English versions and commentaries have taken the word עֵמֶק (’emeq) not as a reference to a valley but to the homonym cited in the note on 47:5 and see the reference here to the flowing away of Ammon’s strength. That interpretation is followed here. Instead of explaining the plural ending on עֲמָקִים (’amaqim) as being an enclitic ם (mem) as others who follow this interpretation (e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 325), the present translation understands the plural as a plural of amplification (cf. GKC 397-98 §124.e and compare the noun “might” in Isa 40:26).
159 tn Heb “apostate daughter.” This same term is applied to Israel in Jer 31:22 but seems inappropriate here to Ammon because she had never been loyal to the
161 tn Heb “You will be scattered each man [straight] before him.”
163 tn Heb “Oracle of the
165 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
166 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).
167 tn Heb “Has counsel perished from men of understanding?”
168 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.
169 tn Heb “make deep to dwell.” The meaning of this phrase is debated. Some take it as a reference for the Dedanites who were not native to Edom to go down from the heights of Edom and go back home (so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 330). The majority of commentaries, however, take it as a reference to the Dedanites disassociating themselves from the Edomites and finding remote hiding places to live in (so J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 718). For the options see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:375.
170 sn Dedan. The Dedanites were an Arabian tribe who lived to the southeast of Edom. They are warned here to disassociate themselves from Edom because Edom is about to suffer disaster.
172 tn The translation of this verse is generally based on the parallels in Obad 5. There the second line has a ה interrogative in front of it. The question can still be assumed because questions can be asked in Hebrew without a formal marker (cf. GKC 473 §150.a and BDB 519 s.v. לֹא 1.a[e] and compare usage in 2 Kgs 5:26).
173 tn The tense and nuance of the verb translated “pillage” are both different than the verb in Obad 5. There the verb is the imperfect of גָּנַב (ganav, “to steal”). Here the verb is the perfect of a verb which means to “ruin” or “spoil.” The English versions and commentaries, however, almost all render the verb here in much the same way as in Obad 5. The nuance must mean they only “ruin, destroy” (by stealing) only as much as they need (Heb “their sufficiency”), and the verb is used as metonymical substitute, effect for cause. The perfect must be some kind of a future perfect; “would they not have destroyed only…” The negative question is carried over by ellipsis from the preceding lines.
174 tn Or “Their children and relatives will all be destroyed. And none of their neighbors will say, ‘Leave your orphans with me and I’ll keep them alive. Your widows can trust in me.’” This latter interpretation is based on a reading in a couple of the Greek versions (Symmachus and Lucian) and is accepted by a number of the modern commentaries, (J. Bright, J. A. Thompson, W. L. Holladay, and G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers). However, the majority of modern English versions do not follow it and lacking any other Hebrew or versional evidence it is probable that this is an interpretation to explain the mitigation of what appears as a prophecy of utter annihilation. There have been other cases in Jeremiah where a universal affirmation (either positive or negative) has been modified in the verses that follow. The verb in the second line תִּבְטָחוּ (tivtakhu) is highly unusual; it is a second masculine plural form with a feminine plural subject. The form is explained in GKC 127-28 §47.k and 160-61 §60.a, n. 1 as a pausal substitution for the normal form תִּבְטַחְנָה (tivtakhnah) and a similar form in Ezek 37:7 cited as a parallel.
175 tn The words “of my wrath” after “cup” in the first line and “from the cup of my wrath” in the last line are not in the text but are implicit in the metaphor. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn The reference here is to the cup of God’s wrath which is connected with the punishment of war at the hands of the Babylonians referred to already in Jer 25:15-29. Those who do not deserve to drink are the innocent victims of war who get swept away with the guilty. Edom was certainly not one of the innocent victims as is clear from this judgment speech and those referred to in the study note on 49:7.
177 sn Bozrah appears to have been the chief city in Edom, its capital city (see its parallelism with Edom in Isa 34:6; 63:1; Jer 49:22). The reference to “its towns” (translated here “all the towns around it”) could then be a reference to all the towns in Edom. It was located about twenty-five miles southeast of the southern end of the Dead Sea apparently in the district of Teman (see the parallelism in Amos 1:12).
179 tn The words “I said” are not in the text but it is generally agreed that the words that follow are Jeremiah’s. These words are supplied in the translation to make clear that the speaker has shifted from the
180 tn Heb “Rise up for battle.” The idea “against her” is implicit from the context and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
181 tn The words “The
182 tn The meaning of this Hebrew word (תִּפְלֶצֶת, tifletset) is uncertain because it occurs only here. However, it is related to a verb root that refers to the shaking of the pillars (of the earth) in Job 9:6 and a noun (מִפְלֶצֶת, mifletset) that refers to “horror” or “shuddering” used in Job 21:6; Isa 21:4; Ezek 7:18; Ps 55:6. This is the nuance that is accepted by BDB, KBL, HAL and a majority of the modern English versions. The suffix is an objective genitive. The fact that the following verb is masculine singular suggests that the text here (הִשִּׁיא אֹתָךְ, hishi’ ’otakh) is in error for הִשִּׁיאָתָךְ (hishi’atakh; so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 327, n. 16.a).
183 tn The Hebrew text of the first four lines reads: “Your terror [= the terror you inspire] has deceived you, [and] the arrogance of your heart, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who occupy the heights of the hill.” The sentence is broken up and restructured to better conform with English style.
184 sn This verse is very similar to Jer 19:8 where the same judgment is pronounced on Jerusalem. For the meaning of some of the terms here (“hiss out their scorn” and “all the disasters that have happened to it”) see the notes on that verse.
186 tn “The pasture-ground on the everflowing river” according to KBL 42 s.v. I אֵיתָן 1. The “everflowing river” refers to the Jordan.
187 tn Heb “Behold, like a lion comes up from the thicket of the Jordan into the pastureland of everflowing water so [reading כֵּן (ken) for כִּי (ki); or “indeed” (reading כִּי as an asseverative particle with J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 719, n. 6)] I will suddenly chase him [Edom] from upon it [the land].” The sentence has been restructured to better conform with contemporary English style and the significance of the simile drawn from the comparison has been spelled out for the sake of clarity. The form אַרְגִּיעָה (’argi’ah) is functioning here as an adverbial modifier in a verbal hendiadys (cf. GKC 386 §120.g).
190 tn The interrogative מִי (mi) is rendered “there is no one” in each of the last three occurrences in this verse because it is used in a rhetorical question that expects the answer “no one” or “none” and is according to BDB 566 s.v. מִי f(c) equivalent to a rhetorical negative.
191 tn The word “shepherd” (רֹעֶה, ro’eh) has been used often in the book of Jeremiah to refer metaphorically to the ruler or leader (cf. BDB 945 s.v. I רָעָה Qal.1.d(2) and compare usage, e.g., in Jer 2:8; 23:1).
192 tn Heb “Therefore listen to the plan of the
193 sn Teman here appears to be a poetic equivalent for Edom, a common figure of speech in Hebrew poetry where the part is put for the whole. “The people of Teman” is thus equivalent to all the people of Edom.
194 tn Heb “They will surely drag them off, namely the young ones of the flock. He will devastate their habitation [or their sheepfold] on account of them.” The figure of the lion among the flock of sheep appears to be carried on here where the people are referred to as a flock and their homeland is referred to as a sheepfold. It is hard, however, to carry the figure over here into the translation, so the figures have been interpreted instead. Both of these last two sentences are introduced by a formula that indicates a strong affirmative oath (i.e., they are introduced by אִם לֹא [’im lo’; cf. BDB 50 s.v. אִם 1.b(2)]). The subject of the verb “they will drag them off” is the indefinite third plural which may be taken as a passive in English (cf. GKC 460 §144.g). The subject of the last line is the
195 tn Heb “The earth will quake when at the sound of their downfall.” However, as in many other places “earth” stands here metonymically for the inhabitants or people of the earth (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 578-79, and compare usage in 2 Sam 15:23; Ps 66:4).
198 tn The words “The
199 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
200 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.
201 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 (dÿ’agam) as though it were the third masculine plural verb דָּאֲגוּ (da’agu): “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 middÿ’agah) instead of נָמֹגוּ בַּיָּם דְּאָגָה (namogu bayyam dÿ’agah). 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.
202 tn Heb “city of praise.”
203 tn Heb “city of joy.”
204 tc Or “Why has that famous city not been abandoned, that city I once took delight in?” The translation follows the majority of modern commentaries in understanding לֹא (lo’, “not”) before “abandoned” as a misunderstanding of the emphatic ל (lamed; so J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 723, n. 3, and J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 333, n. c; see also IBHS 211-12 §11.2.10i and HALOT 485-86 s.v. II לְ for the phenomenon). The particle is missing from the Vulgate. The translation also follows the versions in omitting the suffix on the word “joy” that is found in the Hebrew text (see BHS note b for a listing of the versions). This gives a better connection with the preceding and the following verse than the alternate translation.
206 sn Ben-Hadad was a common name borne by a number of the kings of Damascus, e.g., one during the time of Asa around 900
207 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
209 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.
210 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.
211 tn Or “Let their tents…be taken….Let their tent…be carried…. Let people shout….”
212 sn This expression is a favorite theme in the book of Jeremiah. It describes the terrors of war awaiting the people of Judah and Jerusalem (6:25), the Egyptians at Carchemish (46:5), and here the Kedarites.
213 tn Heb “Oracle of the
216 tn Heb “has counseled a counsel against you, has planned a plan against you.”
217 tn Heb “Oracle of the
218 tn The words “Army of Babylon” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
219 tn Heb “no gates and no bar,” i.e., “that lives securely without gates or bars.” The phrase is used by the figure of species for genus (synecdoche) to refer to the fact that they have no defenses, i.e., no walls, gates, or bars on the gates. The figure has been interpreted in the translation for the benefit of the average reader.
221 tn Heb “Oracle of the
sn Elam was a country on the eastern side of the Tigris River in what is now southwestern Iran. Its capital city was Susa. It was destroyed in 640
226 tn Heb “I will break the bow of Elam, the chief source of their might.” The phrase does not mean that God will break literal bows or that he will destroy their weapons (synecdoche of species for genus) or their military power (so Hos 1:5). Because of the parallelism, the “bow” here stands for the archers who wield the bow, and were the strongest force (or chief contingent) in their military.
227 tn Or more simply, “I will bring enemies against Elam from every direction. / And I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds. // There won’t be any nation / where the refugees of Elam will not go.” Or more literally, “I will bring the four winds against Elam / from the four quarters of heaven. / I will scatter….” However, the winds are not to be understood literally here. God isn’t going to “blow the Elamites” out of Elam with natural forces. The winds must figuratively represent enemy forces that God will use to drive them out. Translating literally would be misleading at this point.
228 tn Heb “I will bring disaster upon them, even my fierce anger.”
229 tn Heb “Oracle of the
230 tn Heb “I will send the sword after them.”
231 tn Or “I will sit in judgment over Elam”; Heb “I will set up my throne in Elam.” Commentators are divided over whether this refers to a king sitting in judgment over his captured enemies or whether it refers to formally establishing his rule over the country. Those who argue for the former idea point to the supposed parallels in 1:15 (which the present translation understands not to refer to this but to setting up siege) and 43:8-13. The parallelism in the verse here, however, argues that it refers to the
232 tn Heb “I will destroy king and leaders from there.”
233 tn Heb “Oracle of the
235 tn Heb “Oracle of the
237 tn Heb “The word which the
238 tn The verbs are masculine plural. Jeremiah is calling on other unnamed messengers to spread the news.
239 tn Heb “Raise a signal flag.”
240 sn Bel was originally the name or title applied to the Sumerian storm god. During the height of Babylon’s power it became a title that was applied to Marduk who was Babylon’s chief deity. As a title it means “Lord.” Here it is a poetical parallel reference to Marduk mentioned in the next line.
241 tn The Hebrew word used here (גִּלּוּלִים, gillulim) is always used as a disdainful reference to idols. It is generally thought to have originally referred to “dung pellets” (cf. KBL 183 s.v. גִלּוּלִים). It is only one of several terms used in this way, such as “worthless things” (אַלִילִים, ’alilim), “vanities,” or “empty winds” (הֲבָלִים, havalim).
242 tn The verbs here are all in the tense that views the actions as though they were already done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect). The verbs in the next verse are a mixture of prophetic perfects and imperfects which announce future actions.
sn This refers to the fact that the idols that the Babylonians worshiped will not be able to protect them, but will instead be carried off into exile with the Babylonians themselves (cf. Isa 46:1-2).
243 sn A nation from the north refers to Medo-Persia which at the time of the conquest of Babylon in 539
244 tn Heb “oracle of the
245 tn Heb “and the children of Israel will come, they and the children of Judah together. They shall go, weeping as they go, and they will seek the
246 tc The translation here assumes that the Hebrew בֹּאוּ (bo’u; a Qal imperative masculine plural) should be read בָּאוּ (ba’u; a Qal perfect third plural). This reading is presupposed by the Greek version of Aquila, the Latin version, and the Targum (see BHS note a, which mistakenly assumes that the form must be imperfect).
250 tn This same Hebrew phrase “the habitation of righteousness” is found in Jer 31:23 in relation to Jerusalem in the future as “the place where righteousness dwells.” Here, however, it refers to the same entity as “their resting place” in v. 6 and means “true pasture.” For the meaning of “pasture” for the word נָוֶה (naveh) see 2 Sam 7:8 and especially Isa 65:10 where it is parallel with “resting place” for the flocks. For the meaning of “true” for צֶדֶק (tsedeq) see BDB 841 s.v. צֶדֶק 1. For the interpretation adopted here see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 365. The same basic interpretation is reflected in NRSV, NJPS, and God’s Word.
251 tn Heb “fathers.”
252 sn These two verses appear to be a poetical summary of the argument of Jer 2 where the nation is accused of abandoning its loyalty to God and worshiping idols. Whereas those who tried to devour Israel were liable for punishment when Israel was loyal to God (2:3), the enemies of Israel who destroyed them (i.e., the Babylonians [but also the Assyrians], 50:17) argue that they are not liable for punishment because the Israelites have sinned against the
253 tn The words “People of Judah” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation to clarify the subject of the address.
255 tn The words “Be the first to leave” are not in the text but spell out the significance of the simile that follows. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity.
257 tn Heb “She will be captured from there (i.e., from the north).”
258 tc Read Heb ַָמשְׂכִּיל (moskil) with a number of Hebrew
259 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.
261 tn Heb “Oracle of the
262 tn The words “People of Babylonia” are not in the text but they are implicit in the reference in the next verse to “your mother” which refers to the city and the land as the mother of its people. These words have been supplied in the translation to identify the referent of “you” and have been added for clarity.
264 tc Reading כְּעֶגְלֵי דֶשֶׁא (kÿ’egle deshe’) or כְּעֵגֶל בַּדֶּשֶׁא (kÿ’egel baddeshe’) as presupposed by the Greek and Latin versions (cf. BHS note d-d) in place of the reading in the Hebrew text כְּעֶגְלָה דָשָׁה (kÿ’eglah dashah, “like a heifer treading out the grain”) which does not fit the verb (פּוּשׁ [push] = “spring about” [BDB 807 s.v. I פּוּשׁ] or “paw the ground” [KBL 756 s.v. פּוּשׁ] and compare Mal 3:20 for usage). This variant reading is also accepted by J. Bright, J. A. Thompson, F. B. Huey, and G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers.
265 tn Heb “Though you rejoice, though you exult, you who have plundered my heritage, though you frolic like calves in a pasture and neigh like stallions, your mother…” The particle כִּי (ki) introduces a concessive protasis according to BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.c(a). Many interpret the particle as introducing the grounds for the next verse, i.e., “because…” The translation here will reflect the concessive by beginning the next verse with “But.” The long protasis has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.
266 tn Heb “Your mother will be utterly shamed, the one who gave you birth…” The word “mother” and the parallel term “the one who gave you birth” are used metaphorically for the land of Babylonia. For the figure compare the usage in Isa 50:1 (Judah) and Hos 2:2, 5 (2:4, 7 HT) and see BDB 52 s.v. אֵם 2 and 408 s.v. יָלַד Qal.2.c.
268 tn Heb “From [or Because of] the wrath of the
270 tn Heb “all you who draw the bow.”
271 tc The verb here should probably be read as a Qal imperative יְרוּ (yÿru) from יָרָה (yarah) with a few Hebrew
272 tn Heb “Shoot at her! Don’t save any arrows!”
273 tn Heb “She has given her hand.” For the idiom here involving submission/surrender see BDB 680 s.v. נָתַן Qal.1.z and compare the usage in 1 Chr 29:24; 2 Chr 30:8. For a different interpretation, however, see the rather complete discussion in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 366) who see this as a reference to making a covenant. The verb in this line and the next two lines are all Hebrew perfects and most translators and commentaries see them as past. God’s Word, however, treats them as prophetic perfects and translates them as future. This is more likely in the light of the imperatives both before and after.
274 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. The definition here follows that of HALOT 91 s.v. אָשְׁיָה, which defines it on the basis of an Akkadian word and treats it as a loanword.
275 tn Heb “Because it is the
276 tn Heb “Cut off the sower from Babylon, and the one who wields the sickle at harvest time.” For the meaning “kill” for the root “cut off” see BDB 503 s.v. כָּרַת Qal.1.b and compare usage in Jer 11:19. The verb is common in this nuance in the Hiphil, cf. BDB 504 s.v. כָּרַת Hiph, 2.b.
277 tn Heb “Because of [or out of fear of] the sword of the oppressor, let each of them turn toward his [own] people and each of them flee to his [own] country.” Compare a similar expression in 46:16 where the reference was to the flight of the mercenaries. Here it refers most likely to foreigners who are counseled to leave Babylon before they are caught up in the destruction. Many of the commentaries and English versions render the verbs as futures but they are more likely third person commands (jussives). Compare the clear commands in v. 8 followed by essentially the same motivation. The “sword of the oppressor,” of course, refers to death at the hands of soldiers wielding all kinds of weapons, chief of which has been a reference to the bow (v. 14).
278 sn The king of Assyria devoured them. This refers to the devastation wrought on northern Israel by the kings of Assyria beginning in 738
279 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
280 tn Heb “Therefore thus says Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” The first person is again adopted because the
281 tn Heb “their soul [or hunger/appetite] will be satisfied.”
282 sn The metaphor of Israel as a flock of sheep (v. 17) is continued here. The places named were all in Northern Israel and in the Transjordan, lands that were lost to the Assyrians in the period 738-722
283 tn Heb “In those days and at that time, oracle of the
286 tn Heb “Oracle of the
287 sn The commands in this verse and in vv. 26-27 are directed to the armies from the north who are referred to in v. 3 as “a nation from the north” and in v. 9 as a “host of mighty nations from the land of the north.” The addressee in this section shifts from one referent to another.
288 sn Merathaim…Pekod. It is generally agreed that the names of these two regions were chosen for their potential for wordplay. Merathaim probably refers to a region in southern Babylon near where the Tigris and Euphrates come together before they empty into the Persian Gulf. It was known for its briny waters. In Hebrew the word would mean “double rebellion” and would stand as an epithet for the land of Babylon as a whole. Pekod refers to an Aramean people who lived on the eastern bank of the lower Tigris River. They are mentioned often in Assyrian texts and are mentioned in Ezek 23:23 as allies of Babylon. In Hebrew the word would mean “punishment.” As an epithet for the land of Babylon it would refer to the fact that Babylon was to be punished for her double rebellion against the
289 tn Heb “Smite down and completely destroy after them.” The word translated “kill” or “smite down” is a word of uncertain meaning and derivation. BDB 352 s.v. III חָרַב relates it to an Aramaic word meaning “attack, smite down.” KBL 329-30 s.v. II חָרַב sees it as a denominative from the word חֶרֶב (kherev, “sword”), a derivation which many modern commentaries accept and reflect in a translation “put to the sword.” KBL, however, gives “to smite down; to slaughter” which is roughly the equivalent of the meaning assigned to it in BDB. The word only occurs here and in v. 27 in the Qal and in 2 Kgs 3:23 in the Niphal where it means something like “attacked one another, fought with one another.” Many commentators question the validity of the word “after them” (אַחֲרֵיהֶם, ’akharehem) which occurs at the end of the line after “completely destroy.” The Targum reads “the last of them” (אַחֲרִיתָם, ’akharitam) which is graphically very close and accepted by some commentators. The present translation has chosen to represent “after them” by a paraphrase at the beginning “pursue them.”
sn For the concept underlying the words translated here “completely destroy” see the study note on Jer 25:9.
290 tn Heb “Do according to all I have commanded you.”
291 tn The words “of Babylonia” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent.
sn The verbs in vv. 22-25 are all descriptive of the present, but all of this is really to take place in the future. Hebrew poetry has a way of rendering future actions as though they were already accomplished. The poetry of this section makes it difficult, however, to render the verbs as future, as has been done regularly in the present translation.
292 tn Heb “How broken and shattered is the hammer of all the earth!” The “hammer” is a metaphor for Babylon who was God’s war club to shatter the nations and destroy kingdoms just like Assyria is represented in Isa 10:5 as a rod and a war club. Some readers, however, might not pick up on the metaphor or identify the referent, so the translation has incorporated an identification of the metaphor and the referent within it. “See how” and “See what” are an attempt to capture the nuance of the Hebrew particle אֵיךְ (’ekh) which here expresses an exclamation of satisfaction in a taunt song (cf. BDB 32 s.v. אֵיךְ 2 and compare usage in Isa 14:4, 12; Jer 50:23).
293 tn Heb “You were found [or found out] and captured because you fought against the
294 tn Or “I have opened up my armory.”
295 tn Heb “The
sn The weapons are the nations which God is bringing from the north against them. Reference has already been made in the study notes that Assyria is the “rod” or “war club” by which God vents his anger against Israel (Isa 10:5-6) and Babylon a hammer or war club with which he shatters the nations (Jer 50:23; 51:20). Now God will use other nations as weapons to execute his wrath against Babylon. For a similar idea see Isa 13:2-5 where reference is made to marshaling the nations against Babylon. Some of the nations that the
297 tn The words “of Babylonia” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent.
sn The verbs in vv. 22-25 are all descriptive of the present but, all of this is really to take place in the future. Hebrew poetry has a way of rendering future actions as though they were already accomplished. The poetry of this section makes it difficult, however, to render the verbs as future as the present translation has regularly done.
298 tn Heb “Come against her from the end.” There is a great deal of debate about the meaning of “from the end” (מִקֵּץ, miqqets). Some follow the suggestion of F. Giesebrecht in BDB 892 s.v. קָצֶה 3 and emend the text to מִקָּצֶה (miqqatseh) on the basis of the presumed parallel in Jer 51:31 which is interpreted as “on all sides,” i.e., “from every quarter/side.” However, the phrase does not mean that in Jer 51:31 but is used as it is elsewhere of “from one end to another,” i.e., in its entirety (so Gen 19:4). The only real parallel here is the use of the noun קֵץ (qets) with a suffix in Isa 37:24 referring to the remotest part, hence something like from the end (of the earth), i.e., from a far away place. The referent “her” has been clarified here to refer to Babylonia in case someone might not see the connection between v. 25d and v. 26.
299 tn Heb “Pile her up like heaps.” Many commentators understand the comparison to be to heaps of grain (compare usage of עֲרֵמָה (’aremah) in Hag 2:16; Neh 13:15; Ruth 3:7). However, BDB 790 s.v. עֲרֵמָה is more likely correct that this refers to heaps of ruins (compare the usage in Neh 4:2 [3:34 HT]).
302 tn Heb “Kill all her young bulls.” Commentators are almost universally agreed that the reference to “young bulls” is figurative here for the princes and warriors (cf. BDB 831 s.v. פַּר 2.f, which compares Isa 34:7 and Ezek 39:18). This is virtually certain because of the reference to the time coming for them to be punished; this would scarcely fit literal bulls. For the verb rendered “kill” here see the translator’s note on v. 21.
303 tn Heb “Let them go down to the slaughter.”
305 tn The words “of reckoning” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
306 tn Heb “Hark! Fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon to declare in Zion the vengeance of the
sn This verse appears to be a parenthetical exclamation of the prophet in the midst of his report of what the
307 tn For this word see BDB 914 s.v. III רַב and compare usage in Prov 26:10 and Job 16:12 and compare the usage of the verb in Gen 49:23. Based on this evidence, it is not necessary to emend the form to רֹבִים (rovim) as many commentators contend.
308 tn Heb “for she has acted insolently against the
309 sn The Holy One of Israel is a common title for the
310 tn Heb “Oracle of the
311 tn Heb “Behold, I am against you, proud one.” The word “city” is not in the text but it is generally agreed that the word is being used as a personification of the city which had “proudly defied” the
313 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is probably asseverative here (so J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 739, n. 13, and cf. BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e for other examples). This has been a common use of this particle in the book of Jeremiah.
314 tn The words “of reckoning” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
316 tn Heb “And the proud one will fall and there will be no one to help him up. I will start a fire in his towns and it will consume all that surround him.” The personification continues but now the stance is indirect (third person) rather than direct (second person). It is easier for the modern reader who is not accustomed to such sudden shifts if the second person is maintained. The personification of the city (or nation) as masculine is a little unusual; normally cities and nations are personified as feminine, as daughters or mothers.
318 tn Heb “Oppressed are the people of Israel and the people of Judah together,” i.e., both the people of Israel and Judah are oppressed. However, neither of these renderings is very poetic. The translation seeks to achieve the same meaning with better poetic expression.
319 sn Heb “their redeemer.” The Hebrew term “redeemer” referred in Israelite family law to the nearest male relative who was responsible for securing the freedom of a relative who had been sold into slavery. For further discussion of this term as well as its metaphorical use to refer to God as the one who frees Israel from bondage in Egypt and from exile in Assyria and Babylonia see the study note on 31:11.
321 tn Or “he will certainly champion.” The infinitive absolute before the finite verb here is probably functioning to intensify the verb rather than to express the certainty of the action (cf. GKC 333 §112.n and compare usage in Gen 43:3 and 1 Sam 20:6 listed there).
322 tn This appears to be another case where the particle לְמַעַן (lÿma’an) introduces a result rather than giving the purpose or goal. See the translator’s note on 25:7 for a listing of other examples in the book of Jeremiah and also the translator’s note on 27:10.
323 tn Heb “he will bring rest to the earth and will cause unrest to.” The terms “rest” and “unrest” have been doubly translated to give more of the idea underlying these two concepts.
324 tn This translation again reflects the problem often encountered in these prophecies where the
325 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” For explanation of the rendering see the study note on 21:4. There is no verb in this clause. Therefore it is difficult to determine whether this should be understood as a command or as a prediction. The presence of vav (ו) consecutive perfects after a similar construction in vv. 36b, d, 37c, 38a and the imperfects after “therefore” (לָכֵן, lakhen) all suggest the predictive or future nuance. However, the vav consecutive perfect could be used to carry on the nuance of command (cf. GKC 333 §112.q) but not in the sense of purpose as NRSV, NJPS render them.
sn Heb “A sword against the Chaldeans.” The “sword” here is metaphorical for destructive forces in the persons of the armies of the north (vv. 3, 9) which the
326 tn Heb “Oracle of the
327 tn The meaning and the derivation of the word translated “false prophets” is uncertain. The same word appears in conjunction with the word for “diviners” in Isa 44:25 and probably also in Hos 11:6 in conjunction with the sword consuming them “because of their counsel.” BDB 95 s.v. III בַּד b sees this as a substitution of “empty talk” for “empty talkers” (the figure of metonymy) and refer to them as false prophets. KBL 108 s.v. II בַּד emends the form in both places to read בָּרִים (barim) in place of בַּדִּים (baddim) and defines the word on the basis of Akkadian to mean “soothsayer” (KBL 146 s.v. V בָּר). HALOT 105 s.v. V בַּד retains the pointing, derives it from an Amorite word found in the Mari letters, and defines it as “oracle priest.” However, G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 368) call this identification into question because the word only occurs in one letter from Mari and its meaning is uncertain there. It is hazardous to emend the text in two places, perhaps even three, in light of no textual evidence in any of the passages and to define the word on the basis of an uncertain parallel. Hence the present translation opts here for the derivation and extended definition given in BDB.
329 tn The verb here (חָתַת, khatat) could also be rendered “be destroyed” (cf. BDB 369 s.v. חָתַת Qal.1 and compare the usage in Jer 48:20, 39). However, the parallelism with “shown to be fools” argues for the more dominant usage of “be dismayed” or “be filled with terror.” The verb is found in parallelism with both בּוֹשׁ (bosh, “be ashamed, dismayed”) and יָרֵא (yare’, “be afraid”) and can refer to either emotion. Here it is more likely that they are filled with terror because of the approaching armies.
330 tn Hebrew has “his” in both cases here whereas the rest of the possessive pronouns throughout vv. 35-37 are “her.” There is no explanation for this switch unless the third masculine singular refers as a distributive singular to the soldiers mentioned in the preceding verse (cf. GKC 464 §145.l). This is probably the case here, but to refer to “their horses and their chariots” in the midst of all the “her…” might create more confusion than what it is worth to be that pedantic.
331 tn Or “in the country,” or “in her armies”; Heb “in her midst.”
332 tn Heb “A sword against his horses and his chariots and against all the mixed company [or mixed multitude] in her midst and they will become like women.” The sentence had to be split up because it is too long and the continuation of the second half with its consequential statement would not fit together with the first half very well. Hence the subject and verb have been repeated. The Hebrew word translated “foreign troops” (עֶרֶב, ’erev) is the same word that is used in 25:20 to refer to the foreign peoples living in Egypt and in Exod 12:38 for the foreign people that accompanied Israel out of Egypt. Here the word is translated contextually to refer to foreign mercenaries, an identification that most of the commentaries and many of the modern English versions accept (see, e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 355; NRSV; NIV). The significance of the simile “they will become like women” has been spelled out for the sake of clarity.
333 tc Heb “a drought against her waters and they will dry up.” Several of the commentaries and modern English versions accept the emendation proposed by BHS and read here “sword” (חֶרֶב [kherev] in place of חֹרֶב [khorev], the change of only one vowel) in keeping with the rest of the context. According to BHS this reading is supported by the Lucianic and Hexaplaric recensions of the LXX (the Greek version) and the Syriac version. In this case the drying up of the waters (of the canals) is attributed to neglect brought about by war conditions. However, it is just as likely that these versions are influenced by the repetition of the word “sword” as the Hebrew and the other versions are influenced by the concept of “drying up” of the waters to read “drought.” Hence the present translation, along with the majority of modern English versions, retains the Hebrew “drought.”
334 tn Heb “for it is a land of idols.” The “for,” however, goes back to the whole context not just to the preceding prediction (cf. BDB 473-74 s.v. כִּי 1.c and compare usage in Isa 21:6 listed there).
335 tc Or “Her people boast in.” This translation is based on the reading of the majority of Hebrew
336 tn Heb “by the terrors.” However, as HALOT 40 s.v. אֵימָה indicates these are “images that cause terror” (a substitution of the effect for the cause). The translation of this line follows the interpretation of the majority of modern English versions and all the commentaries consulted. NIV, NCV, and God’s Word reflect a different syntax, understanding the subject to be the idols just mentioned rather than “her people” which is supplied here for the sake of clarity (the Hebrew text merely says “they.”) Following that lead, one could render “but those idols will go mad with terror.” This makes excellent sense in the context which often refers to effects (vv. 36b, d, 37c, 38b) of the war that is coming. However, that interpretation does not fit as well with the following “therefore/so,” which basically introduces a judgment or consequence after an accusation of sin.
337 tn The identification of this bird has been called into question by G. R. Driver, “Birds in the Old Testament,” PEQ 87 (1955): 137-38. He refers to this bird as an owl. That identification, however, is not reflected in any of the lexicons including the most recent, which still gives “ostrich” (HALOT 402 s.v. יַעֲנָה) as does W. S. McCullough, “Ostrich,” IDB 3:611. REB, NIV, NCV, and God’s Word all identify this bird as “owl/desert owl.”
338 tn Heb “Therefore desert creatures will live with jackals and ostriches will live in it.”
339 tn Heb “It will never again be inhabited nor dwelt in unto generation and generation.” For the meaning of this last phrase compare the usage in Ps 100:5 and Isaiah 13:20. Since the first half of the verse has spoken of animals living there, it is necessary to add “people” and turn the passive verbs into active ones.
340 tn Heb “‘Like [when] God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns,’ oracle of the
sn Compare Jer 49:18 where the same prophecy is applied to Edom.
341 tn Heb “Oracle of the
342 sn A mighty nation and many kings is an allusion to the Medo-Persian empire and the vassal kings who provided forces for the Medo-Persian armies.
343 tn Heb “daughter Babylon.” The word “daughter” is a personification of the city of Babylon and its inhabitants.
345 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.
346 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).
347 tn The words “of Babylonia” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent.
sn The verbs in vv. 22-25 are all descriptive of the present, but all of this is really to take place in the future. Hebrew poetry has a way of rendering future actions as though they were already accomplished. The poetry of this section makes it difficult, however, to render the verbs as future as the present translation has regularly done.
348 tn Heb “among the nations.” With the exception of this phrase, the different verb in v. 46a, the absence of a suffix on the word for “land” in v. 45d, the third plural suffix instead of the third singular suffix on the verb for “chase…off of,” this passage is identical with 49:19-21 with the replacement of Babylon or the land of the Chaldeans for Edom. For the translation notes explaining the details of the translation here see the translator’s notes on 49:19-21.
sn This passage is virtually identical with Jer 49:19-21 with the replacement of Babylon, land of Babylonia for Edom. As God used Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians to destroy Edom, so he would use Cyrus and the Medes and Persians and their allies to destroy Babylon (cf. 25:13, 14). As Nebuchadnezzar was God’s servant to whom all would be subject (25:9; 27:6), so Cyrus is called in Isaiah “his anointed one,” i.e., his chosen king whom he will use to shatter other nations and set Israel free (Isa 45:1-4).
349 sn The destructive wind is a figurative reference to the “foreign people” who will “winnow” Babylon and drive out all the people (v. 2). This figure has already been used in 4:11-12 and in 49:36. See the study note on 4:11-12 and the translator’s notes on 22:22 and 49:36.
350 tn Or “I will arouse the spirit of hostility of a destroying nation”; Heb “I will stir up against Babylon…a destroying wind [or the spirit of a destroyer].” The word רוּחַ (ruakh) can refer to either a wind (BDB 924 s.v. רוּחַ 2.a) or a spirit (BDB 925 s.v. רוּחַ 2.g). It can be construed as either a noun followed by an adjectival participle (so, “a destroying wind”) or a noun followed by another noun in the “of” relationship (a construct or genitival relationship; so, “spirit of a destroyer”). The same noun with this same verb is translated “stir up the spirit of” in 1 Chr 5:26; 2 Chr 21:16; 36:22; Hag 1:14; and most importantly in Jer 51:11 where it refers to the king of the Medes. However, the majority of the exegetical tradition (all the commentaries consulted and all the English versions except NASB and NIV) opt for the “destructive wind” primarily because of the figure of winnowing that is found in the next verse. The translation follows the main line exegetical tradition here for that same reason.
351 sn Heb “the people who live in Leb-qamai.” “Leb-qamai” is a code name for “Chaldeans” formed on the principle of substituting the last letter of the alphabet for the first, the next to the last for the second, and so on. This same principle is used in referring to Babylon in 25:26 and 51:41 as “Sheshach.” See the study note on 25:26 where further details are given. There is no consensus on why the code name is used because the terms Babylon and Chaldeans (= Babylonians) have appeared regularly in this prophecy or collection of prophecies.
352 tn Or “I will send foreign people against Babylonia.” The translation follows the reading of the Greek recensions of Aquila and Symmachus and the Latin version (the Vulgate). That reading is accepted by the majority of modern commentaries and several of the modern versions (e.g., NRSV, REB, NAB, and God’s Word). It fits better with the verb that follows it than the reading of the Hebrew text and the rest of the versions. The difference in the two readings is again only the difference in vocalization, the Hebrew text reading זָרִים (zarim) and the versions cited reading זֹרִים (zorim). If the Hebrew text is followed, there is a wordplay between the two words, “foreigners” and “winnow.” The words “like a wind blowing away chaff” have been supplied in the translation to clarify for the reader what “winnow” means.
sn Winnowing involved throwing a mixture of grain and chaff (or straw) into the air and letting the wind blow away the lighter chaff, leaving the grain to fall on the ground. Since God considered all the Babylonians chaff, they would all be “blown away.”
353 tn Or “They will strip her land bare like a wind blowing away chaff.” The alternate translation would be necessary if one were to adopt the alternate reading of the first line (the reading of the Hebrew text). The explanation of “winnow” would then be necessary in the second line. The verb translated “strip…bare” means literally “to empty out” (see BDB 132 s.v. בָּקַק Polel). It has been used in 19:7 in the Qal of “making void” Judah’s plans in a wordplay on the word for “bottle.” See the study note on 19:7 for further details.
354 tn This assumes that the particle כִּי (ki) is temporal (cf. BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.a). This is the interpretation adopted also by NRSV and G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 349. J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 345) and J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 747, n. 3) interpret it as asseverative or emphatic, “Truly, indeed.” Many of the modern English versions merely ignore it. Reading it as temporal makes it unnecessary to emend the following verb as Bright and Thompson do (from הָיוּ [hayu] to יִהְיוּ [yihyu]).
355 tn Heb “in the day of disaster.”
356 tc The text and consequent meaning of these first two lines are uncertain. Literally the Masoretic reads “against let him string let him string the one who strings his bow and against let him raise himself up in his coat of armor.” This makes absolutely no sense and the ancient versions and Hebrew
358 tn The majority of English versions and the commentaries understand the vav (ו) consecutive + perfect as a future here “They will fall.” However, it makes better sense in the light of the commands in the previous verse to understand this as an indirect third person command (= a jussive; see GKC 333 §112.q, r) as REB and NJPS do.
360 tn The words “cities” is not in the text. The text merely says “in her streets” but the antecedent is “land” and must then refer to the streets of the cities in the land.
361 tn Heb “widowed” (cf. BDB 48 s.v. אַלְמָן, an adjective occurring only here but related to the common word for “widow”). It is commonly translated as has been done here.
sn The verses from v. 5 to v. 19 all speak of the
363 tn Or “all, though their land was…” The majority of the modern English versions understand the land here to refer to the land of Israel and Judah (the text reads “their land” and Israel and Judah are the nearest antecedents). In this case the particle כִּי (ki) is concessive (cf. BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.c[b]). Many of the modern commentaries understand the referent to be the land of the Chaldeans/Babylonians. However, most of them feel that the line is connected as a causal statement to 51:2-4 and see the line as either textually or logically out of place. However, it need not be viewed as logically out of place. It is parallel to the preceding and gives a second reason why they are to be destroyed. It also forms an excellent transition to the next lines where the exiles and other foreigners are urged to flee and not get caught up in the destruction which is coming “because of her sin.” It might be helpful to note that both the adjective “widowed” and the suffix on “their God” are masculine singular, looking at Israel and Judah as one entity. The “their” then goes back not to Israel and Judah of the preceding lines but to the “them” in v. 4. This makes for a better connection with the following and understands the particle כִּי in its dominant usage not an extremely rare one (see the comment in BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.c[b]). This interpretation is also reflected in RSV.
365 tn The words “you foreign people” are not in the text and many think the referent is the exiles of Judah. While this is clearly the case in v. 45 the referent seems broader here where the context speaks of every man going to his own country (v. 9).
366 tn Heb “her.”
367 tn Heb “paying to her a recompense [i.e., a payment in kind].”
368 tn The words “of her wrath” are not in the Hebrew text but are supplied in the translation to help those readers who are not familiar with the figure of the “cup of the
sn The figure of the cup of the
369 tn Heb “upon the grounds of such conditions the nations have gone mad.”
370 tn The verbs in this verse and the following are all in the Hebrew perfect tense, a tense that often refers to a past action or a past action with present results. However, as the translator’s notes have indicated, the prophets use this tense to view the actions as if they were as good as done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect). The stance here is ideal, viewed as already accomplished.
371 tn The words “Foreigners living there will say” are not in the text but are implicit from the third line. These words are generally assumed by the commentaries and are explicitly added in TEV and NCV which are attempting to clarify the text for the average reader.
372 tn Heb “Leave/abandon her.” However, it is smoother in the English translation to make this verb equivalent to the cohortative that follows.
373 tn This is an admittedly very paraphrastic translation that tries to make the figurative nuance of the Hebrew original understandable for the average reader. The Hebrew text reads: “For her judgment [or punishment (cf. BDB 1078 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 1.f) = ‘execution of judgment’] touches the heavens, and is lifted up as far as the clouds.” The figure of hyperbole or exaggeration is being used here to indicate the vastness of Babylon’s punishment which is the reason to escape (vv. 6, 9c). For this figure see Deut 1:28 in comparison with Num 13:28 and see also Deut 9:1. In both of the passages in Deut it refers to an exaggeration about the height of the walls of fortified cities. The figure also may be a play on Gen 11:4 where the nations gather in Babylon to build a tower that reaches to the skies. The present translation has interpreted the perfects here as prophetic because it has not happened yet or they would not be encouraging one another to leave and escape. For the idea here compare 50:16.
374 tn The words “The exiles from Judah will say” are not in the text but are implicit from the words that follow. They are supplied in the translation to clearly identify for the reader the referent of “us.”
375 tn There is some difference of opinion as to the best way to render the Hebrew expression here. Literally it means “brought forth our righteousnesses.” BDB 842 s.v. צְדָקָה 7.b interprets this of the “righteous acts” of the people of Judah and compares the usage in Isa 64:6; Ezek 3:20; 18:24; 33:13. However, Judah’s acts of righteousness (or more simply, their righteousness) was scarcely revealed in their deliverance. Most of the English versions and commentaries refer to “vindication” i.e., that the
376 sn The imperatives here and in v. 12 are directed to the soldiers in the armies of the kings from the north (here identified as the kings of Media [see also 50:3, 9; 51:27-28]). They have often been addressed in this prophecy as though they were a present force (see 50:14-16; 50:21 [and the study note there]; 50:26, 29; 51:3) though the passage as a whole is prophetic of the future. This gives some idea of the ideal stance that the prophets adopted when they spoke of the future as though already past (the use of the Hebrew prophetic perfect which has been referred to often in the translator’s notes).
377 tn The meaning of this word is debated. The most thorough discussion of this word including etymology and usage in the OT and Qumran is in HALOT 1409-10 s.v. שֶׁלֶט, where the rendering “quiver” is accepted for all the uses of this word in the OT. For a more readily accessible discussion for English readers see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:422-23. The meaning “quiver” fits better with the verb “fill” than the meaning “shield” which is adopted in BDB 1020 s.v. שֶׁלֶט. “Quiver” is the meaning adopted also in NRSV, REB, NAB, and NJPS.
378 tn Heb “The
379 sn Media was a country in what is now northwestern Iran. At the time this prophecy was probably written they were the dominating force in the northern region, the most likely enemy to Babylon. By the time Babylon fell in 538
380 tn Heb “For it is the vengeance of the
381 tn Heb “Raise a banner against the walls of Babylon.”
382 tn Heb “Strengthen the watch.”
383 tn Heb “Station the guards.”
384 tn Heb “Prepare ambushes.”
sn The commands are here addressed to the kings of the Medes to fully blockade the city by posting watchmen and setting men in ambush to prevent people from escaping from the city (cf. 2 Kgs 25:4).
385 tn Heb “For the
386 sn Babylon was situated on the Euphrates River and was surrounded by canals (also called “rivers”).
387 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.
390 tn Heb “I will fill you with men like locusts.” The “you” refers to Babylon (Babylon is both the city and the land it ruled, Babylonia) which has been alluded to in the preceding verses under descriptive titles. The words “your land” have been used because of the way the preceding verse has been rendered, alluding to people rather than to the land or city. The allusion of “men” is, of course, to enemy soldiers and they are here compared to locusts both for their quantity and their destructiveness (see Joel 1:4). For the use of the particles כִּי אִם (ki ’im) to introduce an oath see BDB 475 s.v. כִּי אִם 2.c and compare usage in 2 Kgs 5:20; one would normally expect אִם לֹא (cf. BDB 50 s.v. אִם 1.b).
391 tn The participle here is intended to be connected with “
392 tn Heb “For he is the former of all [things] and the tribe of his inheritance.” This is the major exception to the verbatim repetition of 10:12-16 in 51:15-19. The word “Israel” appears before “the tribe of his inheritance” in 10:16. It is also found in a number of Hebrew
393 sn With the major exception discussed in the translator’s note on the preceding line vv. 15-19 are a verbatim repetition of 10:12-16 with a few minor variations in spelling. There the passage was at the end of a section in which the
394 tn Or “Media.” The referent is not identified in the text; the text merely says “you are my war club.” Commentators in general identify the referent as Babylon because Babylon has been referred to as a hammer in 50:23 and Babylon is referred to in v. 25 as a “destroying mountain” (compare v. 20d). However, S. R. Driver, Jeremiah, 317, n. c maintains that v. 24 speaks against this. It does seem a little inconsistent to render the vav consecutive perfect at the beginning of v. 24 as future while rendering those in vv. 20b-23 as customary past. However, change in person from second masculine singular (vv. 20b-23) to the second masculine plural in “before your very eyes” and its position at the end of the verse after “which they did in Zion” argue that a change in address occurs there. Driver has to ignore the change in person and take “before your eyes” with the verb “repay” at the beginning to maintain the kind of consistency he seeks. The vav (ו) consecutive imperfect can be used for either the customary past (GKC 335-36 §112.dd with cross reference back to GKC 331-32 §112.e) or the future (GKC 334 §112.x). Hence the present translation has followed the majority of commentaries (and English versions like TEV, NCV, CEV, NIrV) in understanding the referent as Babylon and v. 24 being a transition to vv. 25-26 (cf., e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 356-57, and J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 756-57). If the referent is understood as Media then the verbs in vv. 20-23 should all be translated as futures. See also the translator’s note on v. 24.
395 tn This Hebrew word (מַפֵּץ, mappets) only occurs here in the Hebrew Bible, but its meaning is assured from the use of the verbs that follow which are from the same root (נָפַץ, nafats) and there is a cognate noun מַפָּץ (mappats) that occurs in Ezek 9:2 in the sense of weapon of “smashing.”
397 tn Heb “horse and its rider.” However, the terms are meant as generic or collective singulars (cf. GKC 395 §123.b) and are thus translated by the plural. The same thing is true of all the terms in vv. 21-23b. The terms in vv. 20c-d, 23c are plural.
398 tn These two words are Akkadian loan words into Hebrew which often occur in this pairing (cf. Ezek 23:6, 12, 23; Jer 51:23, 28, 57). BDB 688 s.v. סָגָן (sagan) gives “prefect, ruler” as the basic definition for the second term but neither works very well in a modern translation because “prefect” would be unknown to most readers and “ruler” would suggest someone along the lines of a king, which these officials were not. The present translation has chosen “leaders” by default, assuming there is no other term that would be any more appropriate in light of the defects noted in “prefect” and “ruler.”
399 tn Or “Media, you are my war club…I will use you to smash…leaders. So before your very eyes I will repay…for all the wicked things they did in Zion.” For explanation see the translator’s note on v. 20. The position of the phrase “before your eyes” at the end of the verse after “which they did in Zion” and the change in person from second masculine singular in vv. 20b-23 (“I used you to smite”) to second masculine plural in “before your eyes” argue that a change in referent/addressee occurs in this verse. To maintain that the referent in vv. 20-23 is Media/Cyrus requires that this position and change in person be ignored; “before your eyes” then is attached to “I will repay.” The present translation follows J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 757) and F. B. Huey (Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 423) in seeing the referent as the Judeans who had witnessed the destruction of Zion/Jerusalem. The word “Judean” has been supplied for the sake of identifying the referent for the modern reader.
400 tn Heb “Oracle of the
401 tn Heb “Oracle of the
402 tn The word “Babylon” is not in the text but is universally understood as the referent. It is supplied in the translation here to clarify the referent for the sake of the average reader.
404 tn Heb “I am against you, oh destroying mountain that destroys all the earth. I will reach out my hand against you and roll you down from the cliffs and make you a mountain of burning.” The interpretation adopted here follows the lines suggested by S. R. Driver, Jeremiah, 318, n. c and reflected also in BDB 977 s.v. שְׂרֵפָה. Babylon is addressed as a destructive mountain because it is being compared to a volcano. The
sn The figure here involves comparing Babylon to a destructive volcano which the
405 tn This is a fairly literal translation of the original which reads “No one will take from you a stone for a cornerstone nor a stone for foundations.” There is no unanimity of opinion in the commentaries, many feeling that the figure of the burned mountain continues and others feeling that the figure here shifts to a burned city whose stones are so burned that they are useless to be used in building. The latter is the interpretation adopted here (see, e.g., F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 423; W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:426; NCV).
sn The figure here shifts to that of a burned-up city whose stones cannot be used for building. Babylon will become a permanent heap of ruins.
406 tn Heb “Oracle of the
407 tn Heb “Raise up a standard on the earth. Blow a ram’s horn among the nations. Consecrate nations against her.” According to BDB 651 s.v. נֵס 1, the raising of a standard was a signal of a war – a summons to assemble and attack (see usage in Isa 5:26; 13:2; Jer 51:12). The “blowing of the ram’s horn” was also a signal to rally behind a leader and join in an attack (see Judg 3:27; 6:34). For the meaning of “consecrate nations against her” see the study note on 6:4. The usage of this phrase goes back to the concept of holy war where soldiers had to be consecrated for battle by the offering of a sacrifice. The phrase has probably lost its ritual usage in later times and become idiomatic for making necessary preparations for war.
408 sn Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz are three kingdoms who were located in the Lake Van, Lake Urmia region which are now parts of eastern Turkey and northwestern Iran. They were kingdoms which had been conquered and made vassal states by the Medes in the early sixth century. The Medes were the dominant country in this region from around 590
409 tn The translation of this line is uncertain because it includes a word which only occurs here and in Nah 3:17 where it is found in parallelism with a word that is only used once and whose meaning in turn is uncertain. It is probably related to the Akkadian word tupsharru which refers to a scribe (Heb “a tablet writer”). The exact function of this official is disputed. KBL 356 s.v. טִפְסָר relates it to a “recruiting officer,” a sense which is reflected in NAB. The majority of modern English versions render “commander” or “marshal” following the suggestion of BDB 381 s.v. טִפְסָר. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 351) translate “recruiter (scribe)” but explain the function on p. 371 as that of recording the plunder captured in war. The rendering here follows that of TEV and God’s Word and is the nuance suggested by the majority of modern English versions who rendered “appoint a marshal/commander against it.”
410 sn This is probably a poetic or shorthand way of referring to the cavalry and chariotry where horse is put for “rider” and “driver.”
411 tn Heb “Bring up horses like bristly locusts.” The meaning of the Hebrew word “bristly” (סָמָר, samar) is uncertain because the word only occurs here. It is generally related to a verb meaning “to bristle” which occurs in Job 4:15 and Ps 119:120. Exactly what is meant by “bristly” in connection with “locust” is uncertain, though most relate it to a stage of the locust in which its wings are still encased in a rough, horny casing. J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 759) adds that this is when the locust is very destructive. However, no other commentary mentions this. Therefore the present translation omits the word because it is of uncertain meaning and significance. For a fuller discussion of the way the word has been rendered see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:427.
414 tc The Hebrew text has a confusing switch of possessive pronouns in this verse: “Consecrate the nations against her, the kings of the Medes, her governors and prefects, and all the land of his dominion.” This has led to a number of different resolutions. The LXX (the Greek version) renders the word “kings” as singular and levels all the pronouns to “his,” paraphrasing the final clause and combining it with “king of the Medes” to read “and of all the earth.” The Latin Vulgate levels them all to the third masculine plural, and this is followed by the present translation as well as a number of other modern English versions (NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, NCV). The ASV and NJPS understand the feminine to refer to Media, i.e., “her governors and all her prefects” and understand the masculine in the last line to be a distributive singular referring back to the lands each of the governors and prefects ruled over. This is probably correct but since governors and prefects refer to officials appointed over provinces and vassal states it amounts to much the same interpretation that the Latin Vulgate, the present translation, and other modern English versions have given.
415 sn The figure here is common in the poetic tradition of the
416 tn Heb “For the plans of the
417 tn The verbs in this verse and v. 30 are all in the past tense in Hebrew, in the tense that views the action as already as good as done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect). The verb in v. 31a, however, is imperfect, viewing the action as future; the perfects that follow are all dependent on that future. Verse 33 looks forward to a time when Babylon will be harvested and trampled like grain on the threshing floor and the imperatives imply a time in the future. Hence the present translation has rendered all the verbs in vv. 29-30 as future.
418 tn Heb “Their strength is dry.” This is a figurative nuance of the word “dry” which BDB 677 s.v. נָשַׁת Qal.1 explain as meaning “fails.” The idea of “strength to do battle” is implicit from the context and is supplied in the translation here for clarity.
420 tn Heb “Her dwelling places have been set on fire. Her bars [i.e., the bars on the gates of her cities] have been broken.” The present translation has substituted the word “gates” for “bars” because the intent of the figure is to show that the bars of the gates have been broken giving access to the city. “Gates” makes it easier for the modern reader to understand the figure.
421 tn Heb “Runner will run to meet runner and…” The intent is to portray a relay of runners carrying the news that follows on in vv. 31d-33 to the king of Babylon. The present translation attempts to spell out the significance.
422 tn Heb “Runner will run to meet runner and messenger to meet messenger to report to the king of Babylon that his city has been taken in [its] entirety.” There is general agreement among the commentaries that the first two lines refer to messengers converging on the king of Babylon from every direction bringing news the sum total of which is reported in the lines that follow. For the meaning of the last phrase see BDB 892 s.v. קָצֶה 3 and compare the usage in Gen 19:4 and Isa 56:11. The sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.
423 tn The words “They will report that” have been supplied in the translation to show the linkage between this verse and the previous one. This is still a part of the report of the messengers. The meaning of the word translated “reed marshes” has seemed inappropriate to some commentators because it elsewhere refers to “pools.” However, all the commentaries consulted agree that the word here refers to the reedy marshes that surrounded Babylon. (For a fuller discussion regarding the meaning of this word and attempts to connect it with a word meaning “fortress” see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:427.)
sn Babylon was a city covering over a thousand acres. The city itself was surrounded by two walls, the inner one 21 feet (6.3 m) thick and the outer 11 feet (3.3 m) thick. To provide further security, walls were built to the south and east of the city and irrigation ditches and canals north and east of the city were flooded to prevent direct access to the city. The reference to “fords” here is to the river crossings of the Euphrates River which ran right through the city and the crossings at the ditches and canals. The reference to the “reed marshes” refers to the low lying areas around the city where reeds grew. The burning of the reed marshes would deprive any fugitives of places to hide and flush out any who had already escaped.
425 tn Heb “Daughter Babylon will be [or is; there is no verb and the tense has to be supplied from the context] like a threshing floor at the time one tramples it. Yet a little while and the time of the harvest will come for her.” It is generally agreed that there are two figures here: one of leveling the threshing floor and stamping it into a smooth, hard surface and the other of the harvest where the grain is cut, taken to the threshing floor, and threshed by trampling the sheaves of grain to loosen the grain from the straw, and finally winnowed by throwing the mixture into the air (cf., e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 760). The translation has sought to convey those ideas as clearly as possible without digressing too far from the literal.
sn There are two figures involved here: one of the threshing floor being leveled and stamped down hard and smooth and the other of the harvest. At harvest time the stalks of grain were cut down, gathered in sheaves, taken to the harvest floor where the grain was loosened from the husk by driving oxen and threshing sleds over them. The grain was then separated from the mixture of grain, straw and husks by repeatedly throwing it in the air and letting the wind blow away the lighter husks and ground-up straw. The figure of harvest is often used of judgment in the OT. See, e.g., Joel 3:13 (4:13 Hebrew text) and Hos 6:11 and compare also Mic 4:12-13 and Jer 51:2 where different steps in this process are also used figuratively in connection with judgment. Babylon will be leveled to the ground and its people cut down in judgment.
426 tn This verse is extremely difficult to translate because of the shifting imagery, the confusion over the meaning of one of the verbs, and the apparent inconsistency of the pronominal suffixes here with those in the following verse which everyone agrees is connected with it. The pronominal suffixes are first common plural but the versions all read them as first common singular which the Masoretes also do in the Qere. That reading has been followed here for consistency with the next verse which identifies the speaker as the person living in Zion and the personified city of Jerusalem. The Hebrew text reads: “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon devoured me [cf. 50:7, 17] and threw me into confusion. He set me down an empty dish. He swallowed me like a monster from the deep [cf. BDB 1072 s.v. תַּנִּין 3 and compare usage in Isa 27:1; Ezek 29:3; 32:2]. He filled his belly with my dainties. He rinsed me out [cf. BDB s.v. דּוּח Hiph.2 and compare the usage in Isa 4:4].” The verb “throw into confusion” has proved troublesome because its normal meaning does not seem appropriate. Hence various proposals have been made to understand it in a different sense. The present translation has followed W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:428) in understanding the verb to mean “disperse” or “route” (see NAB). The last line has seemed out of place and has often been emended to read “he has spewed me out” (so NIV, NRSV, a reading that presupposes הִדִּיחָנִי [hiddikhani] for הֱדִיחָנִי [hedikhani]). The reading of the MT is not inappropriate if it is combined with the imagery of an empty jar and hence is retained here (see F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 425, n. 59; H. Freedman, Jeremiah [SoBB], 344; NJPS). The lines have been combined to keep the imagery together.
sn The speaker in this verse and the next is the personified city of Jerusalem. She laments her fate at the hands of the king of Babylon and calls down a curse on Babylon and the people who live in Babylonia. Here Nebuchadnezzar is depicted as a monster of the deep who has devoured Jerusalem, swallowed her down, and filled its belly with her riches, leaving her an empty dish, which has been rinsed clean.
427 tn Heb “‘The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,’ says the one living in Zion. ‘My blood be upon those living in Chaldea,’ says Jerusalem.” For the usage of the genitive here in the phrase “violence done to me and my relatives” see GKC 414 §128.a (a construct governing two objects) and IBHS 303 §16.4d (an objective genitive). For the nuance of “pay” in the sense of retribution see BDB 756 s.v. עַל 7.a(b) and compare the usage in Judg 9:24. For the use of שְׁאֵר (shÿ’er) in the sense of “relatives” see BDB 985 s.v. שְׁאֵר 2 and compare NJPS. For the use of “blood” in this idiom see BDB 197 s.v. דָּם 2.k and compare the usage in 2 Sam 4:11; Ezek 3:18, 20. The lines have been reversed for better English style.
428 tn Heb “I will avenge your vengeance [= I will take vengeance for you; the phrase involves a verb and a cognate accusative].” The meaning of the phrase has been spelled out in more readily understandable terms.
429 tn Heb “I will dry up her [Babylon’s] sea and make her fountain dry.” “Their” has been substituted for “her” because “Babylonians” has been inserted in the previous clause and is easier to understand than the personification of Babylon = “her.”
sn The reference to their sea is not clear. Most interpreters understand it to be a figurative reference to the rivers and canals surrounding Babylon. But some feel it refers to the reservoir that the wife of Nebuchadnezzar, Queen Nictoris, had made.
431 tn Heb “without an inhabitant.”
432 tn Heb “They [the Babylonians] all roar like lions. They growl like the cubs of lions.” For the usage of יַחְדָו (yakhdav) meaning “all” see Isa 10:8; 18:6; 41:20. The translation strives to convey in clear terms what is the generally accepted meaning of the simile (cf., e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 358, and J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 762).
433 tn Heb “When they are hot.”
434 tc The translation follows the suggestion of KBL 707 s.v. עָלַז and a number of modern commentaries (e.g., Bright, J. A. Thompson, and W. L. Holladay) in reading יְעֻלְּפוּ (ye’ullÿfu) for יַעֲלֹזוּ (ya’alozu) in the sense of “swoon away” or “grow faint” (see KBL 710 s.v. עָלַף Pual). That appears to be the verb that the LXX (the Greek version) was reading when they translated καρωθῶσιν (karwqwsin, “they will be stupefied”). For parallel usage KBL cites Isa 51:20. This fits the context much better than “they will exult” in the Hebrew text.
435 sn The central figure here is the figure of the cup of the
436 tn Heb “Oracle of the
437 tn Heb “I will bring them down like lambs to be slaughtered, like rams and he goats.”
sn This statement is highly ironic in light of the fact that the Babylonians were compared to lions and lion cubs (v. 38). Here they are like lambs, rams, and male goats which are to be lead off to be slaughtered.
438 sn Heb “Sheshach.” For an explanation of the usage of this name for Babylon see the study note on Jer 25:26 and that on 51:1 for a similar phenomenon. Babylon is here called “the pride of the whole earth” because it was renowned for its size, its fortifications, and its beautiful buildings.
439 tn Heb “How Sheshach has been captured, the pride of the whole earth has been seized! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations!” For the usage of “How” here see the translator’s note on 50:23.
sn This is part of a taunt song (see Isa 14:4) and assumes prophetically that the city has already been captured. The verbs in vv. 41-43a are all in the Hebrew tense that the prophets often use to look at the future as “a done deal” (the so-called prophetic perfect). In v. 44 which is still a part of this picture the verbs are in the future. The Hebrew tense has been retained here and in vv. 42-43 but it should be remembered that the standpoint is prophetic and future.
440 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).
441 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.
442 tn Heb “Its towns have become a desolation, [it has become] a dry land and a desert, a land which no man passes through them [referring to “her towns”] and no son of man [= human being] passes through them.” Here the present translation has followed the suggestion of BHS and a number of the modern commentaries in deleting the second occurrence of the word “land,” in which case the words that follow are not a relative clause but independent statements. A number of modern English versions appear to ignore the third feminine plural suffixes which refer back to the cities and refer the statements that follow to the land.
443 tn Heb “And I will punish Bel in Babylon…And the nations will not come streaming to him anymore. Yea, the walls of Babylon have fallen.” The verbs in the first two lines are vav consecutive perfects and the verb in the third line is an imperfect all looking at the future. That indicates that the perfect that follows and the perfects that precede are all prophetic perfects. The translation adopted seemed to be the best way to make the transition from the pasts which were adopted in conjunction with the taunting use of אֵיךְ (’ekh) in v. 41 to the futures in v. 44. For the usage of גַּם (gam) to indicate a climax, “yea” or “indeed” see BDB 169 s.v. גַּם 3. It seemed to be impossible to render the meaning of v. 44 in any comprehensible way, even in a paraphrase.
sn In the ancient Near East the victory of a nation over another nation was attributed to its gods. The reference is a poetic way of referring to the fact that God will be victorious over Babylon and its chief god, Bel/Marduk (see the study note on 50:2 for explanation). The reference to the disgorging of what Bel had swallowed is to captured people and plundered loot that had been taken to Babylon under the auspices of the victory of Bel over the foreign god (cf. Dan 5:2-4). The plundered treasures and captive people will be set free and nations will no longer need to pay homage to him because Babylon will be destroyed.
444 tn Heb “Go out from her [Babylon’s] midst, my people. Save each man his life from the fierce anger of the
sn Compare Jer 50:8-10; 51:6 where the significance of saving oneself from the fierce anger of the
445 tn Heb “That being so, look, days are approaching.” לָכֵן (lakhen) often introduces the effect of an action. That may be the case here, the turmoil outlined in v. 46 serving as the catalyst for the culminating divine judgment described in v. 47. Another possibility is that לָכֵן here has an asseverative force (“certainly”), as in Isa 26:14 and perhaps Jer 5:2 (see the note there). In this case the word almost has the force of “for, since,” because it presents a cause for an accompanying effect. See Judg 8:7 and the discussion of Isa 26:14 in BDB 486-87 s.v. כֵּן 3.d.
446 tn Or “all her slain will fall in her midst.” In other words, her people will be overtaken by judgment and be unable to escape. The dead will lie in heaps in the very heart of the city and land.
447 tn Heb “Oracle of the
448 tn The infinitive construct is used here to indicate what is about to take place. See IBHS 610 §36.2.3g.
449 tn Heb “the slain of Israel.” The words “because of” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The preceding context makes it clear that Babylon would be judged for its atrocities against Israel (see especially 50:33-34; 51:10, 24, 35).
450 tn The juxtaposition of גַם…גַם (gam...gam), often “both…and,” here indicates correspondence. See BDB 169 s.v. גַּם 4. Appropriately Babylon will fall slain just as her victims, including God’s covenant people, did.
452 tn Heb “don’t stand.”
453 tn Heb “let Jerusalem go up upon your heart.” The “heart” is often viewed as the seat of one’s mental faculties and thought life.
454 sn The exiles lament the way they have been humiliated.
455 tn Heb “we have heard an insult.”
456 tn Heb “disgrace covers our face.”
457 tn Or “holy places, sanctuaries.”
458 tn Heb “that being so, look, days are approaching.” Here לָכֵן (lakhen) introduces the Lord’s response to the people’s lament (v. 51). It has the force of “yes, but” or “that may be true.” See Judg 11:8 and BDB 486-87 s.v. כֵּן 3.d.
459 tn Heb “Oracle of the
461 tn Heb “and even if she fortifies her strong elevated place.”
462 tn Heb “from me destroyers will go against her.”
463 tn Heb “Oracle of the
465 tn Or “mighty waters.”
466 tn Heb “and the noise of their sound will be given,”
467 tn Heb “for a destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon.”
468 tn The Piel form (which would be intransitive here, see GKC 142 §52.k) should probably be emended to Qal.
469 tn Or “God of retribution.”
470 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the following finite verb. Another option is to translate, “he certainly pays one back.” The translation assumes that the imperfect verbal form here describes the
475 tn The text has the plural “walls,” but many Hebrew
476 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the following finite verb. Another option is to translate, “will certainly be demolished.”
477 tn Heb “for what is empty.”
478 tn Heb “and the nations for fire, and they grow weary.”
479 sn This would be 582
480 tn Heb “an officer of rest.”
481 tn Or “wrote.”
482 tn Or “disaster”; or “calamity.”
483 tn Heb “words” (or “things”).
484 tn Heb “see [that].”
485 tn Heb “words” (or “things”).
486 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied for clarity.
487 tn Or “disaster”; or “calamity.”
488 sn The final chapter of the book of Jeremiah does not mention Jeremiah or record any of his prophecies.