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the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 49

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-6




1. The Ammonites are descended from the Incestuous union between the drunken Lot and his youngest daughter; the son born to her was called Ben-Ammi" - "son of my kin", (Genesis 19:38).

2. The Israelites had been commanded to deal kindly with the Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:19); yet, from time to time, there had been severe conflict, (1 Samuel 11:1-3; 1 Samuel 11:9-11; 2 Samuel 10:6-14).

a. Now, however, the Ammonites have dispossessed Gad (possibly when he had been taken captive by Tiglath-pileser III (2 Kings 15:29) -settling in his cities, (vs. 1).

b. Malcom was the national deity of the Ammonites - otherwise known as Molech, (1 Kings 11:5).

3. The Lord will cause a battle-cry to be raised against Rabbah ­Ammon - the present capital of Jordan, the Hashemite kingdom, and located 14 miles northeast of Heshbon, on the Jabbok, (vs. 2).

a. It will become a desolate mound - its surrounding towns and villages being burned, (comp. Numbers 21:25; Numbers 32:42; Joshua 15:45).

b. Israel will then become heir to those who formerly possessed her, (comp. Isaiah 14:2).

4. In verse 3 there is a call of the Ammonites to weeping, wailing and lamentation - not only for the ruin of their cities, but also because Milcom (her chief deity) it taken into exile, with his priest and princes, (comp. Jeremiah 46:25; Jeremiah 48:7).

5. How utterly foolish of Ammon to glory in her valleys, and to trust in her treasures! (vs. 4; Jeremiah 9:21-24); all is to be overflowed by the coming flood!

6. The Lord will bring such terror upon the ’land that each Ammonite will flee for his own life - thinking nothing of the stragglers who are being left behind, (vs. 5).

7. But, this will not be a judgment of annihilation; God will ultimately restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, (vs. 6).

Verses 7-22


1. Descendants of Esau, the Edomites had been the perpetual enemies of Israel, from the time of the conflict between the twin brothers, Esau and Jacob, (Genesis 36:1; Genesis 27:41).

a. They occupied the territory formerly known as Seir (Genesis 32:3; Numbers 24:18) extending from Zered to the Gulf of Aqabah - about 100 miles.

b. The Edomite kings who succeeded the patriarchal chieftains were hostile to Israel, (Numbers 20:14-21; Judges 11:17); however, the covenant people were forbidden to detest, abhor or abuse them, (Deuteronomy 23:7).

2. Teman was a grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:11), whose name was used of the tribe, living in northern Edom, but also became a synonym for the entire land, (Job 4:1; Habakkuk 3:3; Amos 1:12).

a. The Temanltes were anciently renowned for their wisdom.

b. Now the Lord inquires whether that wisdom has not perished through corruption, (vs. 7).

3. The Dedanites, travelling desert-traders of northwest Arabia (Jeremiah 25:23), are counseled to flee to some safe refuge ff they would escape the judgment that is to come upon Edom, (vs. 8; comp. Isaiah 21:13).

4. Unlike the picker who leaves a few grapes, or the thief who leaves some possessions behind, the Lord will strip Edom of all her fortresses - leaving her bare and without a hiding place, (vs. 9-10; Obadiah 1:5-6).

5. Yet, in justice and mercy, the Lord will preserve the widows and orphans-the innocent, (vs. 11).

6. As Israel has tasted the cup of Jehovah’s anger (comp. 1 Peter 4:17-19), so now, Bozrah will become a horror, reproach, waste and curse; the cities of Edom will become perpetual wastes, (vs. 12-13).

7. A parallel prophecy to verses 14-16 is found in Obadiah 1:1-4. a. The Lord Himself calls together an army for the judgment of Edom, (vs. 14) whose stature among the nations is so diminished that Edom will be despised, (vs. 15; comp. Luke 1:51).

b. Presuming that her fortresses were impenetrable, the Edomites were lifted up in the deceptiveness of a proud heart, (vs. 15a).

c. But, though she dwells among the clefts of Petra (an amphitheater of mountains accessible only through a narrow gorge); though she make her nest high, like that of the eagle; still the Lord will bring her down in humiliation! (vs. 15b; comp. Amos 9:2; Isaiah 14:13-15).

8. The coming plagues and judgment of Edom is likened to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah - wherein no man will dwell or sojourn, (vs. 17-18).

9. Though the destroyer of Edom is not specifically named, his description, as "a lion from the dwelling of the Jordan", and "an eagle", that spreads out his wings against Bozrah, suggests that it may have been Babylon (vs.19-22; comp. Ezekiel 17:2-21).

a. In that day the hearts of Edom’s mighty men will be as the heart of a woman in her birth-pangs.

b. Like dogs, their enemies will drag them away and treat them as they please, (comp. Jeremiah 50:45).

Verses 23-27


1. Hamath was located about 110 miles north of Damascus; Arpad 95 miles north of Hamath, (vs. 23).

a. The two are mentioned together in other places, (Isaiah 10:9; Isaiah 36:19; Isaiah 37:13).

b. At the news of what is about to befall them, both are rendered powerless by fear, (comp. Exodus 15:15; Joshua 2:9; Joshua 2:24; Psalms 75:3; Nahum 2:10).

c. They are like the troubled sea for which there Is no rest, (Isaiah 57:20).

2. Once a city of renown, Damascus, the capital of Syria, is now pictured as being so weakened that she is seized by panic -overwhelmed by anguish and sorrow like that of a woman in travail, (vs. 24: comp. Jeremiah 6:24).

3. It is a citizen of Damascus that bemoans the wholesale desertion of the once-joyful city in verse 25.

4. Her young men are slain in her midst; her mighty warriors silenced! (vs. 26; comp. Jeremiah 50:30; Amos 4:10-11).

5. The city is pictured as a smoldering ruin -the palaces of Ben­hadad (the son of Hazael, who maintained his palace in Damascus) devoured by fire, (vs. 27; comp. Amos 1:3-5; Jeremiah 43:12).

Verses 28-33


1. "Kedar" was a wealthy, nomadic, sheep-breeding tr;be of Arabs (Isaiah 60:7) renowned for their skill with the bow (Isaiah 21:17), who lived in desert villages (Isaiah 42:11) to the east, or southeast, of. Palestine (Isaiah 21:16; Jeremiah 2:10), and were recognizable, by the way they clipped the corners of their hair, (vs. 32; comp. Jeremiah 9:26; Jeremiah 25:23).

2. "Hazor" refers, NOT to the celebrated city of northern Palestine, but to those Arab tribes who lived in more permanent village settlements; the word rendered "the kingdom" may be better understood as "village chiefs".

3. The Lord commanded Nebuchadnezzar to march against these people of the East - so utterly routing them, and plundering their possessions (tents, flock, vessels, camels, cattle, etc.) as to make their dwelling-place a perpetual desolation, (vs. 29, 33).

4. Their only hope to escape the terror that will surround their village is to flee - to wander afar and hide themselves away in the uninhabited desert-land, (vs. 30).

a. By way of contrast, how wonderful is our privilege, as Christians, to flee to Christ and find our security in Him!

b. This should motivate us to lives of whole-hearted loyalty and joyful service! (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58).

5. Though living carelessly, in self-sufficient ease and seclusion; having no defenses - because they considered their very LOCATION sufficient safeguard against the liability of attack - they, nevertheless, did not escape the judgment of Jehovah, (Numbers 32:23; Psalms 139:7-12; Hebrews 4:13; Ecclesiastes 12:14).

6. This prophecy was fulfilled when (according to the Babylonian Chronicle) Nebuchadnezzar marched against them in 599 B.C.

Verses 34-39


1. This oracle concerning Elarh is said to have come to Jeremiah in the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign over Judah, (vs. 34).

2. An ancient centre of civilization, Elam lay east of Babylon, in the plain of Khuzistan.

3. The main element of her power has been in her archers, who will be broken before the Lord, (vs. 35; comp. Psalms 46:9; Isaiah 22:6; Jeremiah 25:25; Ezekiel 32:24), and scattered among the nations, (vs. 36).

4.With fierce indignation, the Lord will set the throne of His judgment in Elam - terrifying her inhabitants before their enemies, (comp. Jeremiah 8:9; Jeremiah 30:24), and destroying their king and princes, (vs. 37-38).

5. In the latter days, however, He will restore the fortunes of Elam, (vs. 39: comp. Jeremiah 48:47).

6. It is noteworthy that there were Elamites in Jerusalem to worship, when the Spirit descended upon the early church on the Day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:9).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 49". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-49.html. 1985.
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