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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Jeremiah 49

 

 

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?

The event of the prophecy as to Ammon preceded that as to Moab (note Jeremiah 49:3); and in Ezekiel 21:26-28 the destruction of Ammon is subjoined to the deposition of Zedekiah.

Hath Israel ... no heir? - namely to occupy the land of Gad, after itself has been carried away captive by Shalmaneser. Ammon, like Moab, descended from Lot, lay north of Moab, from which it was separated by the river Arnon, and east of Reuben and Gad (Joshua 13:24-25), on the same side of Jordan. It seized on Gad when Israel was carried captive. Judah was by the right of kindred the heir, not Ammon; but Ammon joined with Nebuchadnezzar against Judah and Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:2), and exulted over its fall (Psalms 83:4-8; Zephaniah 2:8-9). It had already, in the days of Jeroboam the Second, king of Israel, in Israel's affliction, tried to "enlarge its border," but was punished by the same Jeroboam who "restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath into the sea of the plain, according to the word of the Lord ... by Jonah the son of Amittai" (2 Kings 14:25-26; Amos 1:1; Amos 1:13).

Their king shall go into captivity - (Amos 1:15) referring to Melchom, their tutelary idol (Zephaniah 1:5, "Malcham"); and so the Septuagint reads it here as a proper name (1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:33; 2 Kings 23:13). The Ammonite god is said to do what they do-namely, occupy the Israelite land of Gad. To Yahweh, the theocratic "King" of Israel, the land belonged of right; so that their Moloch or Milchom was a usurper-king.

His people - the people of Melchom, "their king." Compare "the people of Chemosh," as the designation of Moab, Jeremiah 48:46.


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.

Rabbah - the great, metropolis of Ammon (2 Samuel 12:26-30). Its destruction is foretold also in Ezekiel 25:5; Amos 1:14-15.

Her daughters shall be burned with fire - the towns and villages dependencies of the metropolis (Joshua 15:45).

Then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs - i:e., shall possess those who possessed him. The full accomplishment of this is still future; partially fulfilled under the Maccabees (1 Maccabees 5:6).


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, for Ai is spoiled. Nebuchadnezzar, coming from the north, first attacked Ammon, then its brother and neighbour Moab. As Ai of Ammon had already suffered destruction, Heshbon of Moab, being near it, might well fear the same fate.

Run to and fro by the hedges. Their cities being destroyed, the outcasts have no place of shelter except behind the "hedges" of vineyards and gardens; or else the enclosures of their villages.

Their king shall go into captivity - Melchom, the idol, as the mention of "his priests" shows (cf. 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?

Thy flowing valley - rather, 'thy valley shall flow'-namely, with the blood of the slain; in sad contrast to their "valleys" in which they had heretofore "gloried," and which flowed with milk and honey (Grotius). Or else as margin, 'shall flow away.'

O backsliding daughter - apostate from Yahweh, the God of their father Lot, to Moloch.

That trusted in her treasures - her resources for resisting the foe (Jeremiah 48:7).

Who shall come unto thee? Who can come unto thee (Jeremiah 21:13, "Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?")


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.

Ye shall be driven out every man right forth - wheresoever chance may lead him (Jeremiah 46:5; Genesis 19:17); straight before him onward at random (Amos 4:3).

None shall gather up him that wandereth - there shall be none to gather together the wandering fugitives, so as to entertain them and restore them to their own homes.


Verse 6

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

I will bring again the captivity of ... Ammon. (Compare Jeremiah 48:47, as to Moab). For the sake of "righteous" Lot, their progenitor, God had mercy in store at last for Moab and Ammon. Partially fulfilled under Cyrus; in Gospel times more fully.


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?

Concerning Edom. A distinct prophecy; copied in part from Obadiah, but with the freedom of one inspired himself, and foretelling a later calamity. Obadiah's was fulfilled probably in Sennacherib's time (cf. Isaiah 34:5; Amos 1:11); Jeremiah's about the same time as his preceding prophecies (Jeremiah 49:12; Ezekiel 25:12.)

Is wisdom no more in Teman? - for which the Arabs and the people of Teman (a city of Edom), in particular, were famed (Genesis 36:15; 1 Kings 4:30; see Job, everywhere; Obadiah 1:8).

Vanished - literally, poured out - i:e., exhausted, (cf. Isaiah 19:3, margin) (Maurer.) Or, as the kindred Ethiopic word means, worn out (Ludovicus de Dieu).


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.

Flee ye, turn back - namely, your backs in flight.

Dwell deep - in deep defiles and caves (Grotius), which abound in Idumea. Others refer it to the Arab custom of retiring into the depth of the desert when avoiding an offended foe (Jeremiah 49:30).

Dedan - a tribe bordering on and made subject by Idumea; descended from Jokshan, son of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1-3).

Esau - the naming of Edom's progenitor, reprobated by God, recalls the remembrance of the old curse on him for his profanity in "selling his birthright for one morsel of meat," both his sin and its punishment being perpetuated in his descendants (Hebrews 12:16-17).


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 come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning-grapes? if thieves by night ... - (Obadiah 1:5). Grape-gatherers, yea even thieves, leave something behind them; but the Chaldeans will sweep Idumea clean of everything.


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 made Esau bare ... and he is not. Edom became politically extinct after the time of the Romans.

I have uncovered his secret places - where he hid himself, "dwelling deep" (Jeremiah 49:8), and his treasures (Isaiah 45:3, "the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places"). I have caused that nothing should be so hidden as that the conqueror should not find it.

His brethren - Ammon.

His neighbours - the Philistines. Both Ammon and the Philistines were "spoiled," like himself and "his seed."


Verse 11

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

Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me. "Thy fatherless and widows" must rest their hope in God alone, as none of the adult males shall be left alive, so desperate will be the affairs of Edom. The verse also, besides this threat, implies a promise of mercy to Esau in God's good time, as there was to Moab and Ammon (Jeremiah 49:6; Jeremiah 48:47): the extinction of the adult males is the prominent idea (cf. Jeremiah 49:12).


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.

They whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken - the Jews, to whom, by virtue of the covenant relation, it did not belong to drink the cup, who, it might have expected, would be spared. Translate, not "have ... drunken," but 'shall assuredly drink it.' For it is wrong to translate the same Hebrew [ shaatow (Hebrew #8354) yishtuw (Hebrew #8354)] as past in the first place, "have ... drunken it" and as future in the second [ kiy (Hebrew #3588) shaatoh (Hebrew #8354) tishteh (Hebrew #8354)], 'but thou shalt surely drink of it.' Since they are future in the second place, they must be so in the first [shaatow yishtuw, and shaatoh tishteh]. He regards not the merits of the Jews-for they were as bad or worse than others-but the grace and adoption of God: it is just and natural ("judgment") that God should pardon His sons sooner than aliens (Calvin).

And art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? The "THOU" is emphatic. Shall such a one as thou, not in covenant with the God of Israel, escape just punishment, when even the elect nation hath not escaped it? On the image of drinking, and the same argument as here, see Jeremiah 25:15-16; Jeremiah 25:29.


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.

Bozrah - (note, Jeremiah 48:24).


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, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen ... rise up to the battle. Herein Jeremiah embodies in his own prophecies, and gives inspired sanction to Obadiah's words. (Obadiah 1:1-3, "We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the pagan ... let us rise up against her in battle").

Ambassador ... unto the heathen - a messenger from God to stir up the Chaldeans against Edom.


Verse 15

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

I will make thee small among the heathen. David and Joab had already humbled Edom (2 Samuel 8:14).


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 - the terror which thou didst inspire into others.

Hath deceived thee - rendered thee proudly confident, as if none would dare to assail thee. O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock. Petra, the chief city of Idumea, was cut in the rocks: its ruins are very remarkable. The whole south of Idumea abounds in cave-dwellings and rocks.

Though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle - (Job 39:27; Obadiah 1:3-4). The eagle builds its nest in the highest craggy eyrie.


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.

Every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss - (cf. 1 Kings 9:8).


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 and Gomorrah - (Jeremiah 50:40; Deuteronomy 29:23; Amos 4:11).

No man shall abide there - i:e., of the Idumeans. The Romans had a garrison there.


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?

He shall come up - Nebuchadnezzar, or Nebuzaradan; the name would at once suggest itself to the minds of the hearers (Jeremiah 48:40; Jeremiah 46:18).

From the swelling of Jordan - as a lion, which the overflow of the Jordan forced out of his lair on the banks to ascend the neighbouring heights (Calvin). See as to the other translation, 'pride of the Jordan,' note, Jeremiah 12:5. Against the habitation of the strong - the fastnesses of Idumea (cf. Numbers 24:21, "Strong is thy dwelling-place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock"). Literally, here, 'against the habitation of the rock' (Gesenius) ['eeytaan, from yaatan, to be perennial or durable, or a root, 'iyt, rough, strong]. Maurer translates, 'An ever-verdant (literally, perennial) pasturage' - i:e., Idumea heretofore having enjoyed uninterrupted tranquillity; so in Jeremiah 49:20 the image is retained, the Idumeans being compared to "a flock," and their king to "a shepherd," in this verse, and the enemy to "a lion" (cf. Jeremiah 50:17-19). The English version accords more with the Hebrew, which implies a place habitable, but having rugged and precipitous access or approaches, and so a stronghold.

But I will suddenly make him run away - in the twinkling of an eye, as the Hebrew implies - [ 'argiy`aah (Hebrew #7280)], 'I will give a wink, (and) I will make him run' - i:e., in a moment I will make him run. So in Proverbs 12:19 the same Hebrew is translated.

From her. I will make Nebuzar-adan enter Idumea, and then, having in the twinkling of an eye effected the conquest, go away speedily elsewhere. Instead of "but" translate 'FOR.' Grotius translates, 'run upon her,' or 'to her,' instead of "run away from her." But the Hebrew [ min (Hebrew #4480)] means from, rather than to or upon. Maurer understands it, 'I will make him (the Idumean) run away from her' - i:e., from his own land; the similar change of reference of the pronouns (Jeremiah 50:44) favours this.

Who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? God calls the choicest warriors to Him to set "over" the work of devastating Idumea. God will surely execute His purpose, for He can call forth from all sides what agents He choose.

Who is like me? - (Exodus 15:11, "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?")

Who will appoint me the time? - namely, for entering into a trial in judgment with me (see margin, 'convent me in judgment'). Image from law courts (Job 9:19).

Shepherd - leader of the Idumeans; following up the previous image, "a lion;" no Idumean shepherd shall withstand the lion sent by Yahweh (Job 41:10), or save the Idumean flock.


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.

The least of the flock - the weakest and humblest of the Chaldean host. Compare Jeremiah 6:3, where the hostile leaders and their hosts are called "shepherds and their flocks."

Shall draw them out - `shall drag them away captive' (Grotius); shall drag them to and fro, as a lion (Jeremiah 49:19) does feeble sheep (Maurer). He shall make their habitations desolate with them. The force of "with them" is simply the habitation which they possess.


Verse 21

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

The noise thereof was heard in - i:e., shall be heard at.

The Red sea - a considerable distance from Idumea; though the district at the AElanitic Bay of the Red Sea originally belonged to Idumea, and the sea itself was called from Edom - i:e., red, the name given to Esau because of the red pottage for which he sold his birthright (Genesis 25:30, margin, 'Feed me with that red, with that red pottage'). Others translate, 'the weedy sea' (margin), and derive the name "Red Sea" from its red weeds; the former view is pereferable.


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.

He shall ... fly as the eagle - (cf. Jeremiah 48:40-41).

Bozrah - (note, Jeremiah 48:24).


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 - prophecy as to Damascus, etc. (Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 10:9.) The kingdom of Damascus was already destroyed by Assyria, as Isaiah had long ago prophesied; but the city revived, and it is as to the latter Jeremiah now prophesies. The fulfillment was probably about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (Josephus, 10: 9, 7).

Hamath is confounded - at the tidings of the overthrow of the neighbouring Damascus Hamath is confounded - at the tidings of the overthrow of the neighbouring Damascus.

There is sorrow on the sea - i:e., at the sea; the dwellers at it are alarmed. Other manuscripts read, 'like the sea' [ kayaam (Hebrew #3220), instead of bayaam (Hebrew #3220)]. 'There is anxiety (restless) as is the sea.'

It cannot be quiet - they cannot quiet it - i:e., it cannot be quieted (Isaiah 57:20).

It - whatever dwellers are there, "cannot be quiet."


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.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 25

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

How is the city of praise not left. The prophet, in the person of a citizen of Damascus deploring its calamity, calls it "the city of praise" - i:e., celebrated with praises everywhere for its beauty (Jeremiah 51:41). 'How is it possible that such a city has not been left whole-has not been spared by the foe?' (Compare "left," Luke 17:35-36). So Israel left standing still on their site some of the Canaanite cities, (Joshua 11:13, margin)

The city of my joy - i:e., in which I delighted. Contrast with the Damascenes' former joy in their city, which was doomed to ruin, God's joy forever in His people and in Zion His city (Jeremiah 33:9, "It shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honour before all the nations of the earth."


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 - i:e., since Damascus is doomed to fall, "Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets."


Verse 27

And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Ben-ha'dad.

I will kindle a fire ... and it shall consume the palaces of Ben-hadad - that palace whence so many evils and such cruelty to Israel emanated: thus implying the cause of Damascus' overthrow. Not the Ben-hadad of 2 Kings 13:3, son of Hazael, into whose hand the Lord delivered Israel. Amos 1:3 probably alludes to Hazael's oppression of Israel, "For three transgressions of Damuscus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with instruments of iron;" the very expression used of Hazael's oppression of Israel under Jehu and Jehoahaz (2 Kings 13:7, "He had made them like the dust by threshing." Ben-hadad was a common name of the Syrian kings-cf. 1 Kings 15:18; meaning son of Hadad, the idol).


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 - son of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13). The Kedarenes led a wandering predatory life in Arabia Petraea, as the Bedouin Arabs (2 Chronicles 21:16-17; Psalms 120:5). Kedar means blackness [qaadar] (Song of Solomon 1:5).

Concerning the kingdoms of Hazor - not the city in Palestine, but a district in Arabia Petraea. "The kingdoms" refer to the several combinations of clans, each under its own sheikh.

Spoil the men of the east - Kedar and Hazor were east of Judea (Judges 6:3; Job 1:3).


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 - in which they dwelt, from which they are called Scenites - i:e., tent-dwellers.

They shall take to themselves their curtains - namely with which the tents were covered (Jeremiah 4:20; Jeremiah 10:20; They shall take to themselves their curtains - namely, with which the tents were covered (Jeremiah 4:20; Jeremiah 10:20; Psalms 104:2).

They shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side - the foe, on crying Fear is on every side, shall discomfit them (the Kedarenes) by their mere cry.


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 ... dwell deep - (note, Jeremiah 49:8). No conqueror would venture to follow them into the desert.


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.

Get you up unto the wealthy nation - rather, 'the tranquil nation' (1 Chronicles 4:40, "The land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable").

Which have neither gates nor bars. The Arabs, lying out of the track of the contending powers of Asia and Africa, took no measures of defense, and had neither walled cities nor gates (Ezekiel 38:11). They thought their scanty resources and wilderness - position would tempt no foe.

Which dwell alone - separated from other nations, without allies; and from one another scattered asunder. So as to Israel's isolation (Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 33:28; Micah 7:14).


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.

Their camels shall be a booty - camels were their chief possessions; hot-fields or vineyards.

Them that are in the utmost corners - who seemed least likely to be dispersed Or else 'having the hair Them that are in the utmost corners - who seemed least likely to be dispersed. Or else, 'having the hair shaven (or clipped) in angles' (note, Jeremiah 9:26; Jeremiah 25:23). (Grotius.)

I will bring their calamity from all sides - which will force even those in "the utmost corners" to "scatter" themselves.


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.

Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons - (Malachi 1:3, "I laid his (Esau's) heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness").


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,

The word of the Lord ... against Elam - part of Susiana, west of Persia proper, but used to designate Persia in general. Elam proper, or Elymais, nearer Judea than Persia, is probably here meant; it had helped Nebuchadnezzar against Judea; hence, its punishment. It may have been idolatrous, whereas Persia proper was monotheistic mainly.


Verse 35

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

I will break the bow of Elam. Elam was famed for its bowmen (Isaiah 22:6).

The chief of their might - in opposition to "the bow" - i:e., the bowmen who constituted their main strength.


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.

Upon Elam will I bring the four winds ... - Nebuchadnezzar's army containing soldiers from the four quarters.


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:

I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them - as a distinct nation (Daniel 8:2-27). Fulfilled under Alexander and his successors.


Verse 38

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

I will set my throne in Elam - I will show myself King by my judgments there, as though my tribunal were erected there. The throne of Cyrus, God's instrument set up over Media, of which Elam was a part, may be meant (Grotius). Or, rather, that of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 43:10). Then the restoration of Elam (Jeremiah 49:39) will refer partly to that which took place on the reduction of Babylon by Cyrus prince of Persia and Media; but ultimately and exhaustively to the coming restoration of all things under Messiah.


Verse 39

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

In the latter days ... I will bring again the captivity of Elam - the full restoration belongs to Gospel times: Elamites were among the first who heard and accepted it (Acts 2:9).

Remarks: (1) Ammon seized greedily on the land of Gad when Israel was dispossessed of it, and carried away captive into Assyria. But Judah, not Assyria, was the rightful successor to Israel's forfeited inheritance (Jeremiah 49:1). Therefore, in righteous retribution, Ammon was doomed to be dispossessed of her own possessions, and Israel was appointed as the ultimate "heir of them that were" once by usurpation "his heirs" (Jeremiah 49:2). It is right that they who make might their sole standard of right should in their turn be deprived by might of their proper rights, which by injustice they have forfeited. They who treat everything as their own, upon which they can with impunity lay their hands, have sooner or later the hand of the Almighty laid on themselves, to their destruction. The valleys of Ammon, in which she had gloried as flowing with milk and honey, were doomed, for her iniquity, to "flow" with the blood of the slain (Jeremiah 49:4, note); and her "treasures," in which she had "trusted" as ensuring her from the approach of an invader, were to be the spoil of her conqueror.

(2) Yet, for the sake of her righteous ancestor, Lot, mercy was to be extended to Ammon also, as to Moab, in the latter days (Jeremiah 49:6; Jeremiah 48:47). Thus judgment against the transgressors, and at other times mercy rejoicing against judgment" (James 2:13), are the great attributes of God's perfect character, which are manifested in the great cycle of the world's history.

(3) Edom. the descendant of profane Esau, and the ancient enemy of Israel, even as Esau was of his brother Jacob, was doomed to extinction as a nation (Jeremiah 49:9-10; Jeremiah 49:18), because of the unnatural hatred which it bare to the people of God, though being so closely allied to Israel by blood. Not a vestige of Edom's greatness should be left. No promise of restoration is given to Edom, such as there was to Moab and Ammon. For God is a Sovereign, having mercy on whom He will have mercy, and hardening whom He will (Romans 11:18; Malachi 1:2-4). Not that any of His decrees or appointments are arbitrary, but that we have not minds to comprehend His stupendous counsels, and He will not give an account of them to His creatures who dare to call Him to account. "Who," is His challenge to the universe, "will appoint me a time," when he dares to summon me to enter into judgment with him?

(4) Yet, even in Edom's case, there breaks forth from the lurid cloud of the divine wrath a bright gleam of light, which was designed for the comfort not only of Edom, but of all fathers and husbands who, in the near prospect of death, are filled with fears and sadness when they think of the forlorn and helpless state of the dear ones whom they must soon leave behind. "Leave thy fatherless children," saith the great Father and Husband of the friendless and bereaved, "I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me."

(5) Still judgment must be the portion of Edom for his "pride" (Jeremiah 49:16), "for God resisteth the proud." Highly as the sinner may exalt himself, and secure as he may make his habitation, Gad will surely "bring him down from thence," (Jeremiah 49:16); None can withstand the instruments "chosen" of God for executing His vengeance (Jeremiah 49:19). The very "least" of God's agents is sufficient against the greatest (Jeremiah 49:20). The " wisdom" of the worldly wise and "the counsel" of the prudent perish when God pleases (Jeremiah 49:7); and it is His pleasure that when the people of His covenant, to whom it does not naturally belong to drink the cup of vengeance, have yet for their unfaithfulness been compelled to drink it, much more should aliens and enemies to God have to drain the cup of wrath to its dregs (Jeremiah 49:12).

(6) "Suddenly" (note, Jeremiah 49:19), "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" (1 Corinthians 15:52), when sinners are least expecting it, the day of judgment shall overtake the unbelieving. "The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, will kindle a fire" (Jeremiah 49:27; Isaiah 30:33) more awful even than that which turned Damascus, 'the city of joy," into a city of mourning, and consumed the gorgeous "palaces of Ben-hadad" (Jeremiah 49:25; Jeremiah 49:27). Men's hearts shall then indeed fail them for fear (Jeremiah 49:23; Luke 21:26), and for looking for those things which are coming on the earth; and the wicked, "like the sea" when "it cannot be quiet" (note, Jeremiah 49:23), shall "have no rest day nor night," for "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever" (Revelation 14:11); while believers shall be an eternal "name of joy, a praise, and an honour" to forever and ever" (Revelation 14:11); while believers shall be an eternal "name of joy, a praise, and an honour" to the Lord.

(7) How many sinners, like Hazor, dwell 'at ease' (Jeremiah 49:31, margin). and "without care" (Jeremiah 49:31) when destruction as impending! Suddenly shall "fear on every side" (Jeremiah 49:29) startle them, as it did the Kedarenes and Hazor, who fancied themselves secure in their isolation and scanty means (Jeremiah 49:29-31). The poor have no more exemption than the rich from God's judgments on selfishness, worldliness, and unbelief. Not only "the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men," but also "every bondman, and every freeman," shall hide themselves in vain from the wrath of the Lamb, when the great day of His wrath shall have come (Revelation 6:15-17). Ammon with her "treasures," Edom with her "wisdom," Elam with her warlike prowess and skill in "the bow" (Jeremiah 49:35), and Kedar and Hazor in their "deep" wilderness solitudes and nomadic life in tents (Jeremiah 49:29-31), alike fell under God's judgments; whence we learn that there is no security for nations or individuals, under any circumstances, so long as they are unreconciled to God. Evil pursues sinners-there is no hiding place from it except in Christ the Rock of ages.

(8) God will soon set up His throne on earth (Jeremiah 49:38), and make all men to knew that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The issue of the conflict between light and darkness is not doubtful. All the events of history and politics are, in spite of the intrigues of ambitious and unscrupulous men, and the commotions of earthly affairs, being overruled to the grand end of setting up the throne of Him to whom the kingdom of right belongs. Let us see that we are decidedly on the Lord's side, and, amidst all the clouds that obscure the vision now, let us by faith see Him who is invisible to the men of the world, and look for the blessed day when His people shall see Him in glory, and at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 49:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-49.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, August 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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