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Jeremiah 50:3

Context

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

It will lay her land waste.

People and animals will flee out of it.

No one will inhabit it.’

Jeremiah 50:9

Context

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

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

They will set up their battle lines against her.

They will come from the north and capture her. 3 

Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier 4 

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

Jeremiah 50:29

Context

50:29 “Call for archers 6  to come against Babylon!

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, 7 

the Holy One of Israel. 8 

Jeremiah 50:42

Context

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

They are cruel and show no mercy.

They sound like the roaring sea

as they ride forth on their horses.

Lined up in formation like men going into battle,

they are coming against you, fair Babylon! 9 

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 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.

7 tn Heb “for she has acted insolently against the Lord.” Once again there is the problem of the Lord speaking about himself in the third person (or the prophet dropping his identification with the Lord). As in several other places the present translation, along with several other modern English versions (TEV, CEV, NIrV), has substituted the first person to maintain consistency with the context.

8 sn The Holy One of Israel is a common title for the Lord in the book of Isaiah. It is applied to the Lord only here and in 51:5 in the book of Jeremiah. It is a figure where an attribute of a person is put as a title of a person (compare “your majesty” for a king). It pictures the Lord as the sovereign king who rules over his covenant people and exercises moral authority over them.

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



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