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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 50

Verse 1

Jer 50:1 The word that the LORD spake against Babylon [and] against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

Ver. 1. The word that the Lord spake against Babylon. ] Which was built by Nimrod, as Nineveh was afterwards by his nephew Ninus. Gen 10:11 Of the greatness of this city, besides what we read in holy writ, much may be read in Herodotus and Pliny. It was the head city of the Assyrian and Chaldean monarchy, which lasted above seventeen hundred years, till Cyrus the Persian took the kingdom. Isaiah prophesied against it in several chapters. Habakkuk maketh it his whole business. Jeremiah had set forth how Sheshach, that is, Belshazzar, should drink the dregs of the cup of God’s wrath. Jer 25:26 Here, and in the next chapter, he discourseth it more at large, showing how it was that Babylon was to drink of that cup; and for more certainty, it is spoken of in this prophecy as already done.

Verse 2

Jer 50:2 Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, [and] conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

Ver. 2. Declare ye among the nations. ] Let all take notice of the good news; there shall be a general jail delivery, sing therefore Io triumphe.

Say, Babylon is taken. ] So Isaiah 21:9 .

Bel is confounded. ] This Bel was Nimrod, whose nephew Ninus set him up for a god. Merodach (a restorer of their empire, a whereof Nimrod had been founder) was likewise idolised. They are called "dirty deities" - foedites et stercora, a name good enough for them - and said to be confounded. See Isaiah 46:1 . "Sorrows" also; because "their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another God." Psa 16:4

a Merodach σκηπρουχος sive Sceptrifer Chaldaica appellatione.

Verse 3

Jer 50:3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.

Ver. 3. For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, ] i.e., Out of Media and Persia, which lay northward from Chaldea. The Jews had their bane out of the north (as had been foretold, Jer 1:14-15 ), scil., from Babylon. And now Babylon is to be baned from the same quarter. This was some comfort, doubtless, to the poor Jews in captivity.

Which shall make her land desolate. ] This was not fulfilled till many years after. Cyrus indeed began it, but Seleucus Nicanor finished it, by building near unto it another great city called Seleucia. a

a Plin., lib. vi. cap. 26.

Verse 4

Jer 50:4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.

Ver. 4. In those days, and at that time. ] Destructio Babel salus est populo Dei; so shall it be at the ruin of Rome.

The children of Israel shall come, and the children of Judah together. ] In better times they could not agree; but when they were both in a weeping condition, misery bred unity, as it did also between Hooper and Ridley, when they were both in prison for the truth.

Going and weeping. ] Tears of sorrow for their sins, and tears of joy for their deliverance by Cyrus, but especially by Christ.

They shall go and seek the Lord their God. ] Whom they had long been without, and do now long and linger after.

Verse 5

Jer 50:5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant [that] shall not be forgotten.

Ver. 5. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, ] a As intent upon it, and minding nothing else in comparison. It is good for a man to have his face set towards heaven, and to make religion his business, looking at other things by the by, and out at the eye’s end, as it were.

Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord. ] Be so joined to the Lord, so glued unto him, as to be one spirit with him in a conjugal perpetual covenant. b

a Accurate sciscitabuntur.

b Indivulse adhaerebunt Domino.

Verse 6

Jer 50:6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away [on] the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

Ver. 6. My people have been lost sheep. ] Per avis peccatorum aberrantes; lost in the maze of sin and misery.

Their shepherds have caused them to go astray. ] True also of Papists and sectaries, miserably misled by their pretended pastors - impostors rather.

Verse 7

Jer 50:7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.

Ver. 7. All that found them have devoured them. ] As ravenous creatures do wandering sheep. Stragglers are a fit prey for seducers.

And their adversaries said, We offend not, ] i.e., God will have it so; Jer 40:2 but this was no good plea. Jer 2:3

The habitation of justice. ] Or, In the habitation of justice; in a land of uprightness have they dealt unjustly, Isa 26:10 which was no small aggravation of their sin.

Even the Lord, the hope of their fathers. ] But these, as degenerate children, have no such hope.

Verse 8

Jer 50:8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.

Ver. 8. Remove out of the midst of Babylon. ] "Ho, ho, come forth." as Zec 2:6 "Away, this is not your rest, for it is polluted." Mic 2:10 See Isa 48:20 Revelation 18:4 .

Be as the he-goats. ] That lead the flocks, generose et festinanter, freely and readily. Sheep are fearful, and therefore go behind; goats are not so, and therefore go before. There is good hope, saith one, that we are going out of Babylon, when the he-goats go before the flock; when men of public place and authority are active for reformation.

Verse 9

Jer 50:9 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows [shall be] as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.

Ver. 9. From the north country. ] See on Jeremiah 50:3 .

Their arrows shall be as a mighty expert man. ] Or, Of a potent prosperous man, that can hit where he pleaseth, and that without fail.

None shall return in vain. ] No shaft shall, or no soldier shall miss of booty; for whereas Babylon, like a sea, had taken in the wealth of all nations, so it was meet that it should be exhausted, like as Rome was by the Goths and Vandals, and as Constantinople was by the Turks and Tartars.

Verse 10

Jer 50:10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.

Ver. 10. And Chaldea shall be a spoil. ] See on Jeremiah 50:9 .

Verse 11

Jer 50:11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;

Ver. 11. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, ] a scil., In a thing of naught, as Amo 6:13 and in the miseries of my people ye were madly merry; therefore shall ye be let bleed in the vena cava, hollow vein.

Because ye are grown fat. ] Ye have laughed yourselves fat, you have fatted yourselves as in a day of slaughter or of good cheer. It was at a feast that Babylon was taken.

And bellow as bulls. ] Or, Neigh as steeds, lusty steeds.

a Causam ponit petulantiam et dicacitatem. - Oecol.

Verse 12

Jer 50:12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations [shall be] a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

Ver. 12. Your mother shall be sore confounded, ] i.e., Babylon, your mother city, or Babylonia, your country; or your monarchical greatness, which being in the last place laid waste after other nations, as Jer 25:25-26 was foretold shall with shame cry out, Heu tam cito me quae primas obtinebam, &c. How is it that I, who was the head of nations, am now the tail, &c.

Verse 13

Jer 50:13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.

Ver. 13. It shall not be inhabited, but be wholly desolate. ] Babylon standeth not now in the same place as of old, nor is there hardly any ruins of the old city remaining, as travellers tell us. Pausanias saith that in his time there was nought to be seen of it but the walls only; and Jerome saith a that in his it was turned into a park for deer. Omne in medio spatium solitude est. See on Jeremiah 50:3 .

a Lib. viii. in Isa. xiii.

Verse 14

Jer 50:14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD.

Ver. 14. For she hath sinned against the Lord. ] Yea, she is a sink of sins, the contagion of the world, the shop of Satan, the adversary of the saints, &c. So, and much more than so, is spiritual Babylon, Cito itidem casura, ei essetis viri (said Petrarch long since), that groaneth for a downfall.

Verse 15

Jer 50:15 Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it [is] the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.

Ver. 15. Shout against her round about. ] As they did once at Jericho; she shall come down assuredly.

She hath given her hand, ] a i.e., She hath yielded, and cried quarter; add hereunto that two princes of Babylon, being displeased by Belshazzar, sent for Cyrus to take the city, and showed him how he might best do it. This was "giving the hands" saith Calvin.

As she hath done, do unto her. ] Neque enim lex iustior ulla est. See Judges 1:5 . See Trapp on " Jdg 1:5 "

a Deditionis est signum. Dare manus est fateri ae victum.

Victum tendere palmas

Ausanii videre. ” - Virg.

Verse 16

Jer 50:16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.

Ver. 16. Cut off the sower. ] Leave not so much as a husbandman alive, who yet are generally spared, as harmless and useful; they were left and let alone by the Chaldeans when they carried away the Jews. 2Ki 25:12 But here is enjoined a more severe execution.

Verse 17

Jer 50:17 Israel [is] a scattered sheep; the lions have driven [him] away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

Ver. 17. First the king of Assyria hath devoured him. ] Many Assyrian kings successively, but especially Sennacherib.

Hath broken his bones. ] Heb., Hath boned him hath left nothing of him but the bare bones.

Verse 18

Jer 50:18 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.

Ver. 18. As I have punished the king of Assyria. ] And accordingly so he did; for as Sennacherib first lost his army, and then his life, and then soon after that monarchy was dissolved; so after that Belshazzar was slain, the empire was translated unto the Persians.

Verse 19

Jer 50:19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.

Ver. 19. And I will bring Israel again to his habitation. ] Or, To his fold, or his pastures. See Jeremiah 50:6 ; Jeremiah 50:17 .

Verse 20

Jer 50:20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and [there shall be] none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

Ver. 20. The iniquity of Jacob shall be sought for, and there shall be none. ] Because to the justified no sin is imputed. Nihil oblivisci solet praeter iniurias. He forgetteth nothing but injuries only, said Cicero of Caesar, flatteringly, say we of God truly. This to have known is to feed in those soul fatting pastures. Jer 50:19

For I will pardon them whom I reserve. ] Tegam quod fuit; quod erit, regam. I will cover what was; which will be, for I will rule.

Verse 21

Jer 50:21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, [even] against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.

Ver. 21. Go up against the land of Merathaim, and against the inhabitants of Pekod. ] Two Babylonian provinces. Eze 23:23 Calvin rendereth it, The land of exasperators, and the inhabitation of visitation, i.e., that deserve to be punished. This is God’s commission to Cyrus.

Utterly destroy after them, ] i.e., Their posterity. as Dan 4:11

Verse 22

Jer 50:22 A sound of battle [is] in the land, and of great destruction.

Ver. 22. A sound of battle is in the land. ] Barrites militaris; this is, not the joyful, but the woeful sound; for war is a woe which no words, however wide, can sufficiently set forth. a

a Sequitur executio. - Oecol.

Verse 23

Jer 50:23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

Ver. 23. How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder! ] Babylon was the maul or hammer of many nations, Nimrod began it, and his successors took after him. Charles Martel, King of France, was so called for like cause. Augustine also was worthily styled Haereticorum malleus, the hammer of heretics; and Mr Arthur Hildersam, Schismaticorum malleus, the maul of schismatics.

Verse 24

Jer 50:24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD.

Ver. 24. I have laid a snare for thee. ] Thou wild bull. Jer 50:27 Babylon was unexpectedly taken by a stratagem, while they were in the midst of their revels.

And thou wast not aware. ] The palace was suddenly seized upon; but some parts of the city knew not that the enemy was entered till three days after; for it was the greatest city that ever the sun beheld, saith Pausanias, a and the most suddenly surprised.

Because thou hast striven against the Lord. ] Heb., Hast mingled thyself with the Lord, in certamen scilicet, to wrestle a fall with him, and to try masteries.

a Aristot., Polit., Paus., Arcad.

Verse 25

Jer 50:25 The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this [is] the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

Ver. 25. The Lord hath opened his armoury. ] Heb., Treasury. Now God’s armoury is omne id sub coelo, usque ad diabolos; all things, both in heaven and under the cope of heaven, as far as the very devils, whereby he is able to subdue his enemies, and to bring them to nothing. Out of this treasury God took Darius and Cyrus, with their forces, and set them upon this expedition.

Verse 26

Jer 50:26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

Ver. 26. Come against her. ] This he speaketh to the Medes and Persians, who, though they were farther remote than they that could hear the prophet, yet God, who spake by him, could and did speak home to their hearts, stirring them up by a secret instinct to do this execution.

Verse 27

Jer 50:27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

Ver. 27. Slay all her bullocks. ] Heb., Sword them, sheath your swords in their sides. See Jeremiah 50:24 .

Verse 28

Jer 50:28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.

Ver. 28. The vengeance of his temple. ] Spoiled and burnt by the Chaldeans, those wasters, as their name also signifieth. Woe, then, to such as destroy God’s living temples!

Verse 29

Jer 50:29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.

Ver. 29. According to all that she hath done. ] See Jeremiah 50:15 .

For she hath been proud against the Lord. ] Who setteth himself in battle array against the proud. 1Pe 5:5

Verse 30

Jer 50:30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.

Ver. 30. Therefore shall her young men. ] See on Jeremiah 49:26 .

Verse 31

Jer 50:31 Behold, I [am] against thee, [O thou] most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time [that] I will visit thee.

Ver. 31. Behold, I am against thee, O most proud. ] Heb., O pride, in the abstract - i.e., O Belshazzar; as of a certain Pope was said,

Conditur hoc tumulo et scelus et vitium.

Verse 32

Jer 50:32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.

Ver. 32. And the most proud shall stumble. ] Heb., Pride, or that man of pride. Praefractarius ille, so Oecolampadius rendereth it, that stubborn man, who will do wickedly against conviction of conscience.

Verse 33

Jer 50:33 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah [were] oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.

Ver. 33. The children of Judah and the children of Israel were oppressed together. ] Or, Were oppressed alike - scil., in their several deportations; and God, mindful of his covenant, showeth himself sensible of it, though for the present he seemed not to care what became of either of them; -

Ille dolet quoties cogitur esse ferox.

Verse 34

Jer 50:34 Their Redeemer [is] strong; the LORD of hosts [is] his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

Ver. 34. Their Redeemer is strong. ] Or, But their strong avenger, whose name is the Lord of hosts; he shall thoroughly plead their cause - i.e., right their wrongs.

That he may give rest to the land. ] See on 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 .

Verse 35

Jer 50:35 A sword [is] upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise [men].

Ver. 35. A sword is upon the Chaldeans. ] Those sworn swordsmen of the devil.

Verse 36

Jer 50:36 A sword [is] upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword [is] upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

Ver. 36. A sword is upon the liars, ] i.e., The prognosticators and wizards. Mendaces nominat divines, as it was wont here to be said - a friar, a liar.

Verse 37

Jer 50:37 A sword [is] upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that [are] in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword [is] upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.

Ver. 37. A sword is upon their horses. ] Upon all their military preparations; whereof see Herodot., lib. i.

They shall become as women. ] Elumbes, cowardly and crest fallen.

A sword is upon her treasures. ] Which bow inestimable they were, see Strabo, lib. xv., and Plin., lib. xxxiii, cap. 3.

Verse 38

Jer 50:38 A drought [is] upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it [is] the land of graven images, and they are mad upon [their] idols.

Ver. 38. A drought is upon her waters. ] Which Cyrus did so drain by many outlets, that without any great difficulty he took the city, assaulting it on two sides. Frontinius saith, a that thrice Babylon was taken by this stratagem; (1.) By Semiramis; (2.) By Cyrus; (3.) By Alexander the Great.

And they are mad upon their idols. ] b Deos terrificos et truces, statues of their kings and worthies, which were of a huge, vast stature. See Daniel 3:1 .

a Lib. iii. c. 7. s. 4.

b ειδωλομανεις .

Verse 39

Jer 50:39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell [there], and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

Ver. 39. Therefore the wild beasts of the desert. ] See Isaiah 13:21 .

Verse 40

Jer 50:40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour [cities] thereof, saith the LORD; [so] shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.

Ver. 40. As God overthrew Sodom. ] See Isa 13:19 Jeremiah 49:18 .

Verse 41

Jer 50:41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

Ver. 41. Behold, a people shall come from the north. ] As Jeremiah 50:3 ; Jeremiah 50:9 ; Jeremiah 6:22 .

Verse 42

Jer 50:42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they [are] cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, [every one] put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.

Ver. 42. Against thee, O daughter of Babylon. ] In like sort as thou didst once against God’s Israel. Jer 6:23 Now thou shalt meet with thy match.

Verse 43

Jer 50:43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, [and] pangs as of a woman in travail.

Ver. 43. The king of Babylon, &c. ] See Jer 6:24 Daniel 5:6 .

Verse 44

Jer 50:44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly 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?

Ver. 44. Behold, he shall come up. ] See Jeremiah 49:19 .

Verse 45

Jer 50:45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make [their] habitation desolate with them.

Ver. 45. See on Jeremiah 49:20 .

Verse 46

Jer 50:46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.

Ver. 46. See on Jeremiah 49:21 .

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 50". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/jeremiah-50.html. 1865-1868.