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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 51

Verses 1-64

    1. To Babylon! (50:31-51:5)
    2. (31,32) Pride issue.
    3. (34) “Plead their case” – speaks of a court case.
      1. Jehovah was their: defense attorney, judge, & jury, & he found Babylon guilty!
    4. * Israel was weak, but their Redeemer was strong to free them!!!
      1. Q: Are you feeling weak?
      2. 2 Cor.12:10 says, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Yea, but this was probably during a cush time for Paul! - Nope! - The vss. before it speak of his thorn in his flesh that he would have to live with.
      3. “God comes in where my helplessness begins.” - Oswald Chambers
      4. Cal Thomas Talks about God's strength being made perfect in weakness.
        "In a church I once attended, there was a man of tremendous faith. His wife is an alcoholic. His daughter has psychological problems. He was often poor in health. Yet, week after week, he never complained. He always smiled and asked me how I was doing. He faithfully brought to church a young blind man who had no transportation. He always sat with the blind man, helping him sing the hymns by saying the words into his ear. God's strength was made perfect despite this mans weaknesses!
      5. Q: Feel like giving up? Read this verse again!
    5. (35-38) Here’s what to expect on judgment day!…The Sword!
    6. (51:1) Code word for Chaldea, Babylonia.
      1. This followed a system where the last letter is substituted for the 1st, the 2nd for the last etc. {also vs.41}
      2. Why this is done, I have no idea!
    7. To the Jews! (6-10)
    8. (10) Read Ps.137 (explain)
      1. vs.3,4 How do ya sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
      2. Jesus came to earth from heaven & had a song!
        1. In fact the night he was betrayed we find him singing! (Mt.26:30 “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”)
        2. Vs.5,6 – When you are not walking w/the Lord, you will lose you r song & start living on memories.
        3. Vs.7-9 – Looking for revenge – this is what Babylon did to them.
          1. Explain Imprecatory psalms.
        4. If your living on memories or struggling w/vengeance – confess your sins to the Lord & you’ll get your song back!!!
      3. Take a breather & listen to this song by Vinni Contras where he put a melody to this song.
    9. To Babylon! (11-19)
    10. (11,12) He warns them get ready for battle.
    11. (13) Their end has come.
    12. (15-19) He reveals the one true & living God, & contrasts the stupidity of making & worshiping idols.
    13. To the New Invaders! (20-24)
    14. “break in pieces” – 9 times! God will use Cyrus/Darius & later Alex.
      1. For World History in that day read Daniel 7:4-8 [Lion/Babylon; Bear/M&D; Leopard/ Greece; & 4th Beast/Rome.]
    15. To Babylon! (25,26)
    16. (25,26) Babylon sat on a plain – yet the nations saw them as a mountain!
      1. I’ll make it a burnt mountain!…What’s an extinct mountain? An extinct volcano!
        1. 1st a volcano w/all vengeance spews out its destructive lava in all directions. Next, what’s left falls into the vacuum & it becomes extinct.
        2. The only thing left behind is pumice rocks, unfit for building! (only good for corns on the bottom of your feet? J )
  1. GOD CLAIMS THE VICTORY! (51:27-64)
    1. God describes the Victory! (27-33)
    2. This closing section will focus on God’s total Victory over the enemy!
      1. Praise God we have victory over our enemy! - “The triumphant Christian does not fight for victory; he celebrates a victory already won.”
      2. In the third century, Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage, wrote to his friend Donatus: "It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and good people who have learned the great secret of life. They have found a joy and wisdom which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians... and I am one of them."
      3. (30) They couldn’t have taken them by shear force – so they did it by genius! (remember they attacked during Belshazzar’s feast) (Dan.5)
    3. (31,32) The Babylonians had a very impressive “courier service” – messages quickly!
    4. (33) It was Gods harvest & Babylon was on the threshing floor.
    5. To the Jews! (34-50)
    6. (34,35) Remember what Neb. had done to them – they chewed us up & spit us out! – Oh, repay Lord!
    7. (36) God responds, “I’ll take your case, plead your cause, & vindicate you! (Oh, thank you Lord!)
      1. Story, on Justice & Mercy! - I used to go out in the morning to get the paper when we lived in El Paso. Our house was a good four miles from the main parade ground at Fort Bliss. On most mornings I could hear the whump, whump, whump of the thirteen-gun salute which was sounded every morning at seven o'clock. But on some mornings I could hear the sound of the drum corps as they rolled their cadences.
      2. However, if the morning was clear and still, as in the winter time when the air was crisp and cold, I could also hear the sound of the music of the army band, the blast of the trumpets, the wail of the clarinets, and the mellow tone of the horns.
      3. But on the mornings I could only hear the cannon, I knew the drum and the horns were there, whether I could hear them or not.
      4. Our fathers, in their theology, heard the cannon and the drum, the stirring of the wrath of God. Modern ears have heard the soft music of the flute and the horn, but have not listened for the cannon and the drum.
      5. But the music of God's message demands the whole gamut of sound. He is just, but He is also loving. He is strong, but He is also merciful. Kindness without justice is mushiness. Justice without mercy has no power to move or change the stubborn heart. The cross is the only place where the picture is in focus. God's justice and mercy come together in His love for us sinners.
    8. (44) This wall fell under Alex.
    9. (45) 3rd time God told them to get out of dodge!
    10. (48) Their destruction brings mirth. Also in Rev.18:20 “"Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"
    11. The Jews speak & God replies! (51-58)
    12. (51) They are ashamed to go back!
      1. Obey & return & experience a new beginning under the blessing of the Lord.
    13. Babylon Sinks! (59-64)
    14. (64) Babylon Sinks!
    15. (64b) “Thus far are the words of Jeremiah” – meaning their would be more as far as God’s people & His kingdom goes; but as far as the “kingdom of man” goes….nothing!
      1. Christs HAS the Victory!
      2. On one occasion Michelangelo turned to his fellow artists and said with frustration in his voice, "Why do you keep filling gallery after gallery with endless pictures on the one theme of Christ in weakness, Christ on the cross, and most of all, Christ hanging dead?" he asked. "Why do you concentrate on the passing episode as if it were the last work, as if the curtain dropped down there on disaster and defeat? That dreadful scene lasted only a few hours. But to the unending eternity Christ is alive; Christ rules and reigns and triumphs!"
      3. Ps.98:1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-51.html. 2017.