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The judgments of the Ammonites takes up the former part of this Chapter. In it we have also the condemnation of Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, and Elam.
The Chapter opens in a beautiful and striking manner, for the Lord himself, Israel's lawful Sovereign, demands, as in a court of justice, how, or wherefore it is, that the land he gave, (and as Lord and proprietor of the whole earth he had a right to give,) to Israel, is now possessed by the children of Ammon? What! saith the Lord, is it so, that Israel is childless, whose posterity God promised should be as the sand of the sea for multitude? That is impossible. And will any nation then dare to possess Israel's birth-right? If the Reader will compare this passage with other scriptures, he will see the ground upon which Jehovah brings this charge. Amos 1:13-15 ; Zephaniah 2:8-11 . Reader! spiritualize the passage, and it will be yet more blessed. How shall the seed of Christ be ever dispossessed of their inheritance, when they are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ? Romans 8:16-17 . I beg the Reader not to overlook the mercy promised to Ammon in the last verse of this passage, in the after-day dispensation. Surely we do not strain the scripture, when we refer it to the call of the Gentiles under Christ. Isaiah 49:6 ; Acts 11:1-18 .
The Edomites, the descendants of Esau, are here brought to account. Long grudge, and an old hatred to Jacob and his seed, marked this race: and to this hour the enmity hath not ceased. Galatians 4:29 . I cannot add to the beauty of this passage; neither is it possible to illustrate and explain it, equal to what is already done by scripture: See Obadiah's prophecy. But, I beg the Reader to notice that verse in it, Obadiah 1:11 , which the Chaldee scripture seems to make a promise of God to Israel, in the midst of this judgment on Esau. I do not say it is so, I only mention it. And it should seem to be very probable: for it is a blessed promise, and hath been found blessed to God's people in all ages.
In the prophecies of Zechariah we have a similar threatening against Damascus. Zechariah 9:1-8 . The Lord is visiting his enemies, and the enemies of his Church, and therefore the day is awful.
Kedar was the son of Ishmael, and as the son of the bond-woman mocked, so his posterity. All must be accounted for therefore in the day of judgment.
We have here the continuation of the same or similar judgments: and all by one and the same Destroyer. It is not to be wondered at that Babylon should be so lifted up with pride, when the Lord had made Babylon the scourge of all nations!
I beg the Reader, as he closeth this account, to mark the sweet promise of grace to Elam, in the latter days. And when he hath done it, let him consult the Prophet Joel for the meaning of the phrase latter days; and the Acts of the Apostles, for the fulfillment of the promise, when the Holy Ghost was poured out on the Elamites, and both will serve to throw a light upon similar promises of grace, in this Chapter. Joel 2:28 , etc. Acts 2:1-9 and then to Acts 2:21 .
IN reading this Chapter, and beholding the gracious Covenant promises of God in Christ, thus held forth to the full assurance of faith for the final destruction of all the Church's adversaries every child of God by promise, as Isaac was, may well join that hymn of old, and say; so let all thine enemies perish, O Lord, but let them that love thee be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might! It is blessed, it is precious to see, that the issue of the holy war is not doubtful. Jesus hath conquered in our name and nature; and He will subdue for us and in us, all that oppose.
Reader! we find cause however, in the midst of triumph to be humbled, in the recollection, how often through sin and unbelief, those Ammonites and Edomites vex our souls with their wiles: and act as scourges to chasten the Lord's people, when by sin we transgress. When we provoke the Lord to jealousy with our rebellion, and cause him to hide his face from us, then those enemies gain their advantage over us. But oh! how blessed still to recollect, that He that is for us is more than all that is against us; and he will, as in this Chapter is promised, account with, and rebuke all nations for his people's sake. He will subdue the enemy, and bring all their power low, for his own righteousness' sake, and for his Covenant promise in Christ Jesus!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 49". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany