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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 49

 

 

Verses 1-39


Against Ammon, Edom, and other Nations

1-6. The territory of Ammon was N. of Moab, and the two peoples were connected by descent. The carrying away of the tribes on the E. of Jordan by Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29), strengthened the hands of Ammon, and it is their occupation of the portion of Gad upon that occasion that forms the crime which is dwelt on in this prophecy, and which shall bring on them judgment.

1. Their king] RV 'Malcam,'or Moloch, the god of the Ammonites, and so in Jeremiah 49:3. So in Jeremiah 48:7 Chemosh is used for 'Moab.'

2, 3. Rabbah.. Heshbon.. Ai] Ammonite towns.

Hedges] fences, inclosures of vineyards.

4. Thy flowing valley] Ammon was full of valleys and streams running into Jordan.

7-22. Concerning Edom] The bitterness of the tone in which Edom is addressed in this prophecy is doubtless to be ascribed to the affinity between them and the Jews, which made the unnatural exultation of Edom over the fallen fortunes of their kinsmen the more offensive.

Much of the earlier part of this prophecy is almost verbally the same as Obadiah 1:1-8, while in Obadiah the vv. come in more natural sequence. Obadiah seems to have written (see his Jeremiah 49:11) after the destruction of Jerusalem, whereas the prophecy in Jeremiah is connected by its grouping with the 4th year of Jehoiakim (see intro. to Jeremiah 46-49). To meet this difficulty it has been suggested either (a) that the earlier part of Obadiah's prophecy was written before Nebuchadnezzar's overthrow of Jerusalem, and only the latter part after that event; or, (b) that both prophets embodied in their writings an earlier prediction. Another suggested solution is that Obadiah is referring to an earlier overthrow, viz. in the time of Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:17).

7. Is wisdom no more in Teman?] Wisdom seems to have been a special characteristic of Edom: see Jeremiah 49:20, Obadiah 1:8, and cp. (apocryphal) book of Baruch 3:22.

8. Dedan] a tribe descended from Abraham by his wife Keturah (Genesis 25:3), and dwelling SE. of Edom. They are bidden to keep well out of the way lest they should be involved in the overthrow of their neighbours: cp. Jeremiah 49:30. Esau] i.e. Edom.

9. Would they not leave some?] RM 'they will leave no,' etc. In Obadiah 1:6 the words are interrogative, but probably not so here. The enemy, under the simile of grapegatherers and of thieves, will bring about complete desolation.

10. Secret places] retreats and fastnesses.

11. The widows and orphans of the slain may, however, look to God's protection.

12. Whose judgment was not] RV 'to whom it pertained not.' If Israel itself has not escaped the cup of woe, how should Edom?

16. Thy stern mountain fastnesses have persuaded thee thou art impregnable.

Rock] Heb. Selah, is probably an allusion to the precipice-protected town of that name (identical with Petra), the capital of Edom: see 2 Kings 14:7.

17. A desolation] RV 'an astonishment.'

19. He] the enemy of Edom. Like a lion from the swelling of Jordan] see on Jeremiah 12:5. Against the habitation of the strong] RM 'unto the permanent pastures,' as the spot where a lion would be most likely to find his prey. But I will suddenly, etc.] RM 'for I will suddenly drive them away,' i.e. the Edomites. And who is a chosen man, that I may, etc.] RV 'and whoso is chosen' (viz. my servant Nebuchadnezzar) 'him will I,' etc. The time] RV 'a time.' God identifies Himself with His human agent for punishment. The reference is to the right of the plaintiff in a suit to appoint the time of trial. Who shall dare to claim such a right here? cp. Job 9:19. Who is that shepherd?] What ruler will attempt to defend his flock against Me?

20. The least, etc.] RV 'They shall drag them away, even the little ones of the flock.' Edom shall be as helpless before the foe as sheep.

21. Red sea] probably the Gulf of Akaba, to the S. of Edom, not the Gulf of Suez.

23-27. Concerning Damascus] The prophecy relates to Syria generally, of which this was the most important city.

23. On the sea] If with some Heb. MSS we read 'as' for 'on' it will refer to the hearts trouble-tossed by conquest.

25. How is.. not left] i.e. how sad it is that the inhabitants, paralysed with fear, have not saved themselves by fleeing in time!

27. Ben-hadad] Three kings of Damascus bore this name (1 Kings 15:18.; 1 Kings 20:1; 2 Kings 13:25).

28-33. Concerning Kedar. Kedar] see on Jeremiah 2:10. Hazor] perhaps in Arabia.

30. Dwell deep] see on Jeremiah 49:8.

31. Addressed to the invaders. Wealthy] RV 'that is at ease,' feeling secure against invasion.

32. Corners] see on Jeremiah 9:26.

33. Dragons] RV 'jackals.'

34-39 Against Elam] RV 'concerning Elam,' a country to the E. of Chaldea. For the date, as compared with the other prophecies, see intro. to Jeremiah 46-49.

35. The bow] their chief weapon: cp. Isaiah 22:6.

36. The four winds] i.e. invasion from all sides.

39. See on Jeremiah 48:47.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 49:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/jeremiah-49.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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