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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 49

 

 

Verses 1-6

Jeremiah 49:1-6. Ammon.—The Ammonite territory lay eastward of part of that assigned to Gad, between Heshbon and the river Jabbok; the Ammonites appear to have occupied the territory of Gad after the deportation of its inhabitants in 734 (2 Kings 15:29). Why has Milcom seized the land of Gad as his inheritance (1 mg.2)? As a penalty, there shall be war against Rabbah (the chief city of Ammon, at the upper sources of the Jabbok), and it shall become a desolate mound, its dependent cities ("daughters", Numbers 21:25) being burnt. Let there be mourning for the coming exile of the Ammonites (Jeremiah 49:3). Rabbah's pride in her site and in her wealth is rebuked (Jeremiah 49:4). The Ammonites shall be driven forth by their (unnamed) foe, but afterwards restored (Jeremiah 49:5 f.; but LXX omits Jeremiah 49:6).

Jeremiah 49:1. Malcam: read "Milcom", here and in Jeremiah 49:3, with VSS see 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:33, for this Ammonite god, whose relation to Ammon is the same as that of Chemosh to Moab, or that of Yahweh to (early) Israel.

Jeremiah 49:2. The last clause is perhaps a later addition (cf. Zephaniah 2:9) since Israel, as well as Ammon, was helpless before the foe.

Jeremiah 49:3. Heshbon: must be corrupt, as this is a Moabite city; Ai is unknown. The last clause of the verse is taken from Amos 1:15. The first clause should be emended with Duhm into "Howl, O palace, for the city is spoiled."—fences: "folds", e.g. for sheep; the women are supposed to be fugitives from the cities, but the word "folds" is probably corrupt.

Jeremiah 49:4. Read "Wherefore gloriest thou in thy valley?" (omitting "thy flowing valley", with Syr.), i.e. in the lofty valley-plain facing NE, and drained by the Jabbok, in which Rabbah lies.—backsliding: cf. Jeremiah 31:22; we should perhaps emend to "arrogant", with Duhm, as the term hardly suits non-Israelites.


Verses 7-22

Jeremiah 49:7-22. Edom.—For the land, and the relations of this people to Israel, see on Obadiah, from Jeremiah 49:1-5 of which the present prophecy has taken verbally Jeremiah 49:9, Jeremiah 49:14-16. This does not, in itself, disprove the Jeremianic authorship of other parts of this prophecy, e.g. Jeremiah 49:7 f., Jeremiah 49:10 f., Jeremiah 49:22. The Edomites are paralysed by disaster. Let the Dedanites (their southern neighbours, Ezekiel 25:13) flee to some inaccessible refuge ("dwell deep", Jeremiah 49:8). The foe will destroy Edom utterly (Jeremiah 49:9 mg.; in different sense from that of its source, Obadiah 1:5). Yahweh Himself ("I" is emphatic in Jeremiah 49:10) searches out Edom, and cannot be escaped, but He will care for the orphans and widows (of the slaughtered Edomites). Israel undeservedly has drunk the cup (of Yahweh's wrath, Jeremiah 25:15 ff.), and now it is Edom's turn; Bozrah and other Edomite cities shall be laid waste (Jeremiah 49:13). The nations are combining against Edom, and she shall be humiliated; her pride in being inaccessible to the invader shall be shaken (Jeremiah 49:14-16, see on Obadiah 1:1-4; "as for thy terribleness," not found there, should be "O, thy shuddering!"). Desolated Edom shall become an object of wonder (Jeremiah 19:8), like the cities of the plain (Genesis 19:24, Deuteronomy 29:23). The foe comes up like a lion from the Jordan jungle (Jeremiah 12:5); through him, Yahweh will drive them forth (mg.3) as He chooses, for who can withstand Yahweh? The helpless Edomites shall be dragged off (cf. Jeremiah 15:3, mg.); their calamity is known far and wide (Jeremiah 49:21). Vulture-like will the foe swoop down (Jeremiah 48:40) and Edom be in dire extremity (Jeremiah 49:22).

Jeremiah 49:7. Teman: the northern district of Edom.—vanished: better, "spoilt".

Jeremiah 49:13. Bozrah: capital of Teman, Isaiah 34:6, perhaps Busaireh, 20 m. SE. of Dead Sea.

Jeremiah 49:19. strong: should be "permanent", as mg.; Jeremiah 49:19-21 recur in Jeremiah 50:44-46, applied to Babylon.—appoint me a time: i.e. for trial or contest, Job 9:19.—shepherd: fig. for "ruler", Jeremiah 25:34 ff.

Jeremiah 49:20. Read 2nd and 3rd mg.


Verses 23-27

Jeremiah 49:23-27. Damascus.—The prophecy refers to the Aramæans; Hamath, 110 miles N. of Damascus, and Arpad, 95 m. N. of Hamath, never belonged to the Damascene kingdom. They were absorbed into the Assyrian empire c. 720 B.C.; cf. Isaiah 10:9. There is no mention of these cities in the list of foreign prophecies, Jeremiah 25:18 ff. The prophecy announces the invasion of certain Aramæan cities in conventional terms drawn from other prophecies.

Jeremiah 49:23. Cf. Isaiah 57:20; read, after "tidings", partly with LXX, "they surge as the sea; they are anxious and cannot be quiet."

Jeremiah 49:24. Cf. Jeremiah 6:24.

Jeremiah 49:25. Spoken by the inhabitants; omit the negative; cf. Isaiah 32:13.

Jeremiah 49:26 as Jeremiah 50:30; "therefore" has no point here.

Jeremiah 49:27. Cf. Amos 1:4.


Verses 28-33

Jeremiah 49:28-33. The Arabian Tribes.—Kedar (Jeremiah 2:10) a branch of the Ishmaelites (Genesis 25:13), is here used generically for Arab tribes E. of Palestine. Hazor, perhaps a collective term meaning "settlements", seems to denote Arabs in village communities, as distinct from the nomadic tribes. Yahweh summons the foe (here identified with the Babylonians, though no campaign of Nebuchadrezzar against Arabs is known), and promises that they shall capture the nomads' tents and camels. The village-dwellers are told to seek a refuge ("dwell deep", as in Jeremiah 49:8), and the foe is called (Jeremiah 49:31) to attack this defenceless people, confident in their isolation, who shall be spoiled and scattered, and their villages laid waste (Jeremiah 49:33; cf. Jeremiah 9:11).

Jeremiah 49:29. curtains: "tent-hangings", Jeremiah 4:20; for the cry, cf. Jeremiah 6:25.

Jeremiah 49:31. alone: Deuteronomy 33:28, Psalms 48 (mg.); with whole verse cf. Ezekiel 38:11, its source.

Jeremiah 49:32. the corners (of their hair) polled: "corner-clipt", see Jeremiah 9:26, Jeremiah 25:23.


Verses 34-39

Jeremiah 49:34-39. Elam.—Roughly, this was the modern Khuzistan, E. of the Tigris, and N. or NE. of the Persian Gulf; the date given is c. 596, and the occasion may have been the conquest of Elam by Teispes, a Persian ancestor of Cyrus. News of this could have reached Jeremiah through Jewish exiles in Babylonia. Yahweh is destroying the military strength of Elam. He will scatter the Elamites throughout the world, and destroy them (Jeremiah 9:16), setting up His throne (for judgment): but they shall ultimately be restored.

Jeremiah 49:35. the bow of Elam: Isaiah 22:6* (Elamite archers formed part of the Assyrian force besieging Jerusalem).

Jeremiah 49:36 (cf. Jeremiah 49:32) may be an interpolation based on Ezekiel 5:12; cf. Ezekiel 37:9; so Cornill.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 49:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/jeremiah-49.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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