Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 51

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole BibleMorgan's Exposition

Verses 1-64

In the second movement of the prophecy which deals with Babylon's doom and Israel's responsibility, Jeremiah first repeated his declarations concerning the determination of Jehovah to bring about the complete overthrow of Babylon, and thus to ensure the deliverance of His people.

Then, in a passage full of force and beauty, Jeremiah described the invincibility of Jehovah. He is the Creator, the very sounding of whose voice creates tumult in the heavens, and all the forces of nature are under His control. By comparison with Him man is brutish, and the gods which he makes are vanity and delusion. In this connection the description of the greatness of Jehovah by contrast with the false gods is intended to indicate the certainty of the ultimate victory of His people over the people who trust in idols.

Proceeding to describe the judgment, he again, and at greater length, recognized that Babylon was an instrument in the hand of Jehovah which He had used for judgment. Jeremiah was viewing Babylon as she then was, at the height of her power. Yet against her Jehovah declared Himself, and so complete will be her destruction that she is to become a desolation without inhabitant.

Continuing, the prophet at length declared that the purpose of the divine judgment of Babylon was the ultimate deliverance of His people. Zion is personified as uttering her complaint against Babylon, describing the cruelty practiced against her. This complaint is answered by the declaration of Jehovah that He will plead the cause of His people, making her desolation a desert, and delivering from her captivity a people whom she had oppressed.

Jeremiah then addressed himself in the name of Jehovah to the people of God, calling on them to go out of the midst of Babylon, and to turn their faces again to Jerusalem. He ended his prophecy concerning Babylon with a reaffirmation of the absolute certainty of her ultimate doom.

This prophecy closes with an account of the charge which Jeremiah gave to Seraiah, to write these words and read them in Babylon. This happened in the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, when Seraiah, who was the brother of Baruch (32:12), accompanied the king on a visit to Babylon. Thus if, as is probable, Zedekiah was acquainted with this prophecy concerning Babylon, one can understand his repeated questioning of Jeremiah in the latter days of the siege concerning the ultimate issue of Babylon's attack on the city.

Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/jeremiah-51.html. 1857-84.
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