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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 49

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why [then] doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?

Concerning the Ammonites. — Who are taxed in Scripture for their pride, petulance, and contempt of God’s Israel, whom they had always infested, and now grossly injured, by encroaching upon part of their country, which they had seized on, as if Israel had been heirless, and themselves next of kin, which was nothing so. See Zephaniah 2:8 .

Hath he no heir. — Yes, Judah and Benjamin, not yet captivated.

Why then doth their king inherit gad?i.e., Gilead (Gad’s portion beyond Jordan), because it lieth convenient to him. This they would have done long before - viz., in Jephtha’s days: but then it would not be. Afterwards, Saul and David subdued them; but in Jehoshaphat’s time they came again, together with the Moabites, and the men of Mount Seir, to make a disturbance; but were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:1 ; 2 Chronicles 20:22-24 Now, when those Israelites beyond Jordan were carried away, and their land desolated, first by the Syrians, 2 Kings 10:32-33 and afterwards by the Assyrians, 2 Kings 15:29 then in likelihood it was that the Ammonites thus invaded the country, and laid it to their own, cf. Amos 1:13 that they might dwell alone in that part of the earth.

Verse 2

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD.

Behold, the day is come, saith the Lord,scil., After the subversion of the Jewish nation Ezekiel 21:25-27 For judgment commonly beginneth at the house of God.

And I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah. — Megalopolis, the metropolis of the Ammonites; it was afterwards called Philadelphia, from Ptolemy Philadelph, who re-edified it.

And it shall be a desolate heap. — Hob., A hillock of desolation.

And her daughters. — The neighbour towns and villages.

Then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs. — It hath been often observed, that God loveth to retaliate. How this was fulfilled, see /APC 1 Maccabees 5:6, and Joseph., lib. xiii. cap. 21.

Verse 3

Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, [and] his priests and his princes together.

Howl, O Heshbon. — A city of the Gadites, but seized upon, it seemeth, first by the Ammonites, and then by the Moabites. Jeremiah 48:2 ; Jeremiah 48:24-25

For Ai is spoiled. — Not that Ai, Joshua 7:1 , but another of that name beyond Jordan - Gaja, Ptolemy calleth it.

And run to and fro by the hedges. — Hide you behind the hedges.

For their king. — Or, Malcham their idol - as Chemosh. Jeremiah 48:7

Verse 4

Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, [saying], Who shall come unto me?

Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys? — Because fat and fertile, as being near to Sodom and Gomorrah, that pleasant plain. Genesis 13:10

O backsliding daughter.Appellat homines regni erroneos filiam vagam. Or, Untoward and refractory. Sept., Thou daughter of rashness, or of impudence, quae ita lascivis sicut puella quae libidinatur, et virum quaerit, saith Oecolampadius.

That trusted in her treasures. — Never yet true to those that trusted them. 1 Timothy 6:17 Psalms 52:7

Who shall come unto me? — Or, Who can come at me?

Verse 5

Behold, I will bring a fear upon thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts, from all those that be about thee; and ye shall be driven out every man right forth; and none shall gather up him that wandereth.

Behold, I will bring a fear upon thee.Panicum vel bellicum. Panic or war.

Verse 6

And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD.

I will bring again the captivity. — Then, when Christ shall come, the Gentiles also shall be freed from the tyranny of sin, and terror of hell.

Verse 7

Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; [Is] wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?

Is wisdom nowhere in Teman? — The Edomites, and especially the Temanites (of whom Eliphaz, Job’s friend, was one), were famous for wisdom, Obadiah 1:8 which although it be of excellent use for putting things to the best, yet without the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, Proverbs 1:7 and his blessing, it proveth not only unprofitable, but pernicious also. It is, saith James, "earthly, sensual, and devilish." See what the Scripture speaketh of it. Job 12:2 ; Job 12:12-13 1 Corinthians 3:18-21

Verse 8

Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time [that] I will visit him.

Dwell deep. — Hide yourselves in holes of the earth, grots in the ground, clefts of the rocks, where you may best secure yourselves from the pursuing enemy.

Verse 9

If grapegatherers come to thee, would they not leave [some] gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough.

If grape gatherers, … — See on Obadiah 1:5 .

Verse 10

But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbours, and he [is] not.

I have uncovered his secret places. — Where he had hid himself, or his treasures, those sinews of war.

And he is not,scil., Any more a state or a people. Time shall triumph over him, so that he shall but live by fame.

Verse 11

Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve [them] alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

Leave thy fatherless children, … — Thus God speaketh to the profane Edomites in derision, but to all true Israelites in serious sadness: and so it is very comfortable, and must needs be a good stay of mind to a dying saint, as it was to Claviger, a dutch divine Selnec., Paedag. Christ., par. 2. p. 379. He was held happy of whom Cassiodore saith, So many sons, so many counsellors to the state, Quot dedit familiae iuvenes, tot reddidit Curiae consulares. but he is happier that can say, So many children, so many of God’s clients, heaven’s heirs, …

Verse 12

For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment [was] not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and [art] thou he [that] shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink [of it].

Behold they whose judgment, … — See Jeremiah 25:29 Obadiah 1:19 .

Verse 13

For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.

I have sworn by myself, saith the Lord. — Because it seemed incredible that Bozrah should be beaten down; as also to show how exceedingly God was incensed against the Edomites, to whom therefore also no comfort is spoken, as is to Ammon and Moab in later times.

Verse 14

I have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, [saying], Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle.

I have heard a rumour from the Lord. — See on Obadiah 1:1 .

Verse 15

For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, [and] despised among men.

For, lo, I will make thee. — See on Obadiah 1:2 , whence Jeremiah took this, and more besides, or else Obadiah from him.

Verse 16

Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, [and] the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.

Thy terribleness,i.e., Thine insolence and cruelty wherewith thou frighten folk. Or thine idol, that terrible business, so called in contempt.

Though thou shouldest make thy nest. — See Obadiah 1:4 .

Verse 17

Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.

And Edom shall be a desolation — Heb., For a desolation. See on Jeremiah 49:13 .

Verse 18

As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour [cities] thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.

As in the overthrow of Sodom. — See Genesis 19:24-25 .

And the neighbour cities. — Whereof see Deuteronomy 29:23 .

No man shall abide there. — As little as in the Dead Sea, where no creature can live.

Verse 19

Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who [is] a chosen [man, that] I may appoint over her? for who [is] like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who [is] that shepherd that will stand before me?

Behold, he shall come up. — Nebuchadnezzar shall.

Like a lion from the swelling of Jordan. — As lions at such a time are forced to quit their dens near Jordan.

Against the habitation of the strong,i.e., Against Idumaea.

But I will suddenly make him run away from her. — As having soon conquered her; or rather, I will suddenly make him overrun it - i.e., get above it, and become master of it.

And who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? — Or, For I will give charge to him that is a choice one against her, i.e., to Nebuchadnezzar.

For who is that shepherd that will stand before me?q.d., There is no standing before God, and his lion sent by him.

Verse 20

Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them.

Therefore hear the counsel. — Now by counsel things are established.

And his purposes. — Or, Contrivements that he hath contrived. Aνθρωποπαθεια .

Surely the least of the flock. — The meanest of Nebuchadnezzar’s men shall drag them out of their shelters, as dogs do a dead carcase.

Verse 21

The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.

In the Red Sea,i.e., A long way off; yet not so far as the doting Talmudists say the serpent’s cry was heard (when the angels came down and cut off his legs, according to that doom passed on him, Genesis 3:14 ), viz., all the world over.

Verse 22

Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

Behold, he shall come up and fly. — See Jeremiah 48:40-41 .

Verse 23

Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; [there is] sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

Concerning Damascus. — The chief city of Syria, so pleasantly situated, so rich and luxurious, that one compareth it to Corinth or Ephesus. Julian the emperor, in his Epistles, calleth it the city of Jupiter, and the eye of the whole East. Tamerlane would not come into it, lest he should be detained there by the delights and delicacies of it. He destroyed it in a displeasure, and built three towers with the skulls of those he had there slain (for a trophy) with singular skill. It was built again by the Soldan of Egypt, and is now possessed by the Turks.

There is sorrow on the sea: it cannot be quiet. — Or, There is sorrow as upon the sea, which cannot rest.

Verse 24

Damascus is waxed feeble, [and] turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on [her]: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail.

And fear hath seized on her.Horrorem febrilem apprehendit; Piscat. she shaketh as in a fit of an ague.

Verse 25

How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

How is the city of praise not left? — Why is so praiseworthy and renowned a city so demolished? See Jeremiah 49:23 . Cause enough there was, because it was a valley of vanity, Amos 1:3-5 and Comus, Venus, and Bacchus there made their dividend, and shared their devotes.

Verse 26

Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts.

Therefore her young men. — Or, Surely.

Verse 27

And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad.

And I will kindle a fire. — See on Amos 1:4 .

Verse 28

Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the LORD; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east.

Concerning Kedar. — These Kedarenes, the offspring of Kedar, Ishmael’s son, Genesis 25:13 dwelt, or rather abode for most part, in Arabia the stony, or desert. Hagarenes they were also called, and afterward Saracens, of Sarah, their chief city, saith Stephanus; Lib. de Urbib. or of Sarach, for more credit sake, as others hold. Of this people came Mohammed, that grand impostor, and the Turks, who have now gotten into their hands so great a part of the habitable world. A rude people they were in Jeremiah’s days, and uncivilised; yet because wicked, they are here doomed.

And concerning the kingdoms of Hazor. — Their head city.

Verse 29

Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear [is] on every side.

Their tents and their flocks. — For which they were termed scenitae and nomades, as living a pastoral life in tents.

And they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side. — Magormissabib might be their word, wherewith, loudly uttered, they might frighten and overcome these enemies; like as the Britons, our ancestors, once overcame a mighty army of Saxons and Picts in this land, by ringing out the word Hallelujah with a courage among the mountains near where the enemy had camped. Ussier., De Brit. Eccles. Primord.

Verse 30

Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

Flee, get you far off. — See on Jeremiah 49:8 .

Verse 31

Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, [which] dwell alone.

Arise, go you up into the wealthy nation. — Or, Quiet nation, that dwelleth without care. Heb., In confidence: but such a security doth not secure any, but oft betrayeth. Infelix felicitas quae non est in Domino, saith Oecolampadius here: There is no true happiness or safety but in God.

Verse 32

And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them [that are] in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the LORD.

Them that are in the uttermost corners. — Or, That have the corners of their hair cut. See Jeremiah 9:26 ; Jeremiah 25:23 .

Verse 33

And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, [and] a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor [any] son of man dwell in it.

And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons. — See Jeremiah 9:11 ; Jeremiah 10:22 ; Jeremiah 51:37 .

Verse 34

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

Against Elam,i.e., The Medes, say some; the Persians, say others; or a people between both, whose head city was that Susa where Alexander found fifty thousand talents of gold, besides silver. Aristagoras also thus cheered up his soldiers that besieged it: This city if you can but take, cum Iove de divitiis licet certetis, you may vie with Jove himself for wealth. These Elamites joined with the Chaldees against the Jews when they first wasted Judea, and carried away Jehoiakim. Hence they are here so threatened for their cruelty then.

Verse 35

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

Behold, I will break the bow of Elam. — In the use whereof they excelled, being very skilful archers. Isaiah 22:6 Guns today carry it as bows of old.

Verse 36

And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

And upon Elam will I bring the four winds,i.e., Great concussions, enemies on all sides, Scythians and Sarmatians especially out of the north. Calvin thinks this prophecy was fulfilled after Alexander’s death, when his captains strove most fiercely for the kingdoms of the earth which he had subdued.

Verse 37

For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, [even] my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

For I will cause Elam to be dismayed,q.d., They trust in their great strength, and hold themselves insuperable; but I can easily dispirit (and so destroy) them. See Jeremiah 49:5 ; Jeremiah 49:14 ; Jeremiah 49:29 .

Verse 38

And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

And I will set my throne in Elam,i.e., I will solemnly execute my judgments upon these people, as if I sat in my judgment seat in a public court in the midst of them. Diod.

Verse 39

But it shall come to pass in the latter days, [that] I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

I will bring again the captivity of Elam. — Principally by bringing them to Jesus Christ. And so we read Acts 2:9 of Parthians, Medes, and Elamites among those first and best believers. Eusebius In Vit. Constant. also telleth us that in the Council of Nice there was a bishop from Persia; and Theodoret, a very good man, in addition a great writer, served the churches of the Elamites. Claruit Theod., A.D. 390.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 49". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/jeremiah-49.html. 1865-1868.
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