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CHAP. L.

This and the next chapter foretell the fall of Babylon and the restore

tion of Israel and Judah, who were to survive their oppressors; and this long and sublime prophecy was sent to Babylon for the encouragement of the Jewish captives in that place.

THE word that the LORD spake against Babylon (and)

1 against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the pro2 phet. Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a

standard ; publish, [and] conceal not ; publish the good news to those nations that are oppressed by the Chaldeans : say, Babylon

is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces ; her 3 idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. 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. 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 with genuine contrition, they shall apply to Jehovah as the 5 true God, and not to idols. They shall ask the way to Zion

with their faces thitherward, (saying,] Come, and let us join our

selves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant (that) shall not be 6 forgotten. 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, 7 they have forgotten their resting place. 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 ; because God

did not cast them off, but they rejected him, their adversaries 8 thought this was a sufficient reason for devouring ihem. 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; let the great men lead the way, set a good example, and go on resolutely. 9 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an

assembly of great nations from the north country ; the Persians and Medes: and they shall set themselves in array against her;

from thence she shall be taken : their arrows (shall be} as of 10 a mighty expert man ; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea

shall be a spoil : all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Il LORD ; they shall have abundance of plunder. Because ye were

glad, because ye rejoiced, () ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls ; because ye exceeded the divine commission, took pieasure

in the destruction of my people, and became luxurious by the plun. 12 der of so many other nations ; 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; or rather, it shall be the hindermost of the nations, 13 contemptible, and a wilderness. 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, 14 all her plagues. Put yourselves in array against Babylon round

about : all ye that bend the bow, shoot at Jer, spare no arrows: 15 for she hath sinned against the LORD. Shout against her round

about : she hath given her hand, she hath surrendered herself : her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down : for it

[is] the vengeance of the LORD : take vengeance upon her: as 16 she hath done, do unto her. Cut off the sower from Babylon,

and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest : (referring perhaps to the great quantity of land within the walls :) for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his

people, and they shall flee every one to his own land. 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 ; 18 made an utter destruction of him as a nation. Therefore thus

saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel ; Behold, I will pun

ish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the 19 king of Assyria. And I will bring Israel again to his habitation,

and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be 20 satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. 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 ; there shall be no more idola'ry, their sins shall be par. doned, and God perfectly reconciled. The next verse is God's

commission to Cyrus. 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; or, against the land of bitternesses go up; that is, against Babylon, so called because it had proved such to the Jewish nation ; upon it and its inhabitants visi., O sword, and utterly destroy their posterity ;'* and do according to

all that I have commanded thee. 22 A sound of battle [is] in the land, and of great destruction. 23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! 24 how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! I have

laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware ; the city shall be taken by surprise': thou

art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the 25 Lord. The Lord hath opened his armory, and hath brought

forth the weapons of his indignation : for this [is] the work of 26 the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. Come

• Dr. Bl.anny.

against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses ; or,

fattening stalls : cast her up, or trample upon her as heaps, and 27 destroy her utterly : let nothing of her be left. Slay all her

bullocks, the great men let ahem go down to the slaughter :

wo unto them ! for th day is come, the time of their visita28 tion. The voice of m that flee and escape out of the land of

Babylon, and who l ad to bring the tidings, to declare in Zion

the vengeance of cue LORD our God, the vengeance of his tem29 ple. Call together the archers against Babylon : the Persians,

who were famous archers : 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 30 the Holy One of Israel. Therefore shall her young men fall in

the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, 31 saith the Lord. Behold, I [am] against thee, [O thou) most

proud, saith the Lord God of hosts : for thy day is come, the 32 time that I will visit thee. 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. 7, to #313 83 Thuş saith the Lord of hosts; The children of Israel, those

of the ten tribes who settled in Judea after the captivity of Israel, and the children of Judah (were] oppressed together, and all

that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let 34 them go. 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. 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.] A sword (is) upon the liars ; and they shall dote upon their astrologers, who yet could not foresee their own

ruin : a sword (is) upon her mighty men ; and they shall be. 37 dismayed. 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) 38 upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. A drought [is]

upon her waters, and they shall be dried up; (referring to the taking of Babylon by draining the river :) for it [is] the land of

graven images, and they are mad upon (their) idols, as if they 39 had lasi the understanding of men. 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 inhab,

ited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to 40 generation.* As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the

neighbour (cities) thereof, saith the LORD ; (so) shall no man 41 abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein, Be.

hold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation

36

• Accordingly it was afterwards made a park for the kings of Persia, and by deg guite ruined, so that the reinains of it are not now to be found. Vol. V.

• H hh

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and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance : they [are] cruel, and

will not show mercy : their voice shall roar like the sea, and

they shall ride upon horses, (every one] put in array, like a man 43 to the battle, against thee, daug er of Babylon. The king

of Babylon hath heard the report of em, and his hands waxed

feeble : anguish took hold of him, [a nangs as of a woman in 44 travail. Behold, he shall come up lik o n 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 oyer her ? for who [is] like me?

and who will appoint me the time and who [is] that shepherd 45 that will stand before me ?* Therefore hear ye the counsel of

the Lord, that he hath taken against Babylon ; and his pur. poses, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans :

Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out : surely he 46 shall make (their) habitation desolate with them. At the noise

of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard ainong the nations.

REFLECTIONS. IN AVING such remarks as often occur concerning the porer

VV of God over the nations, his appointing and succeeding his instruments, and humbling nations for their pride, oppression, and luxury ; we here see,

1. What is the disposition of true penitents, and God's gracious regards to them, v. 4, 5. They have godly sorrow for sin ; la. ment their former iniquities ; seek the Lord, and not idols, not the world and the flesh, but return to him as their God and ruler; and seek the way to heaven, setting their faces thitherward, as fully bent and resolved to get there. They keep the way to it, and solemnly devote themselves to God; binding themselves by the strongest engagements never to depart from him ; and when this is the case, then will God blot out their sins, and be gracious ro them, v. 20.

2. It is happy for his people amidst all their distresses, that God is their Redeemer. Babylon was à most powerful nation ; it oppressed and subdued all the nations round about, and brake Israel's bones : but their Redeemer is strong ; able to humble their enemy's pride, and deliver his people. How delightful a thought, amidst the oppressions and persecutions of his church ! It affords comfort likewise to particular souls, amidst the strength of temptations and corruptions. Let us be solicitous to keep near to God by earnest prayer, and to engage his help ; for if God be for us, who can be against us ?

• What had been said in the former chapter of Nebuchadnezzur's ruining Edom, is here said of Babylon ; a beautiful contrast ; tbe king of Babylon, who was before represenic as a lion, is now a helpless shepherd.

CHAP. LI.

In this chapter is the prophecy of God's severe judgment against

Babylon in revenge of Israel.

I T HUS saith the LORD ; Behold, I will raise up against

1 Babylon, C against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, that is, in the midst of my enemies, 2 a destroying wind : And will send unto Babylon fanners, that

shall fan her, and shall empty her land : for in the day of trouble 3 they shall be against her round about. Against [him that)

bendeth let the archer, or Persian soldier, bend his bow, and against him that] lifteth himself up in his brigandine, or coat

of mail, and spare ye not her young men ; destroy ye utterly all 4 her host. Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, 5 and (they that are] thrust through in her streets. For Israel

Chath] not (been] forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of

hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy 6 One of Israel. Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver

every man his soul : be not cut off in her iniquity ; for this [is]

the time of the LORD's vengeance ; he will render unto her a 7 recompense.* Babylon (hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken with her idolatry : the

nations have drunken of her wine ; therefore the nations are 8 mad. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed : howl for her ; 9 take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would

have healed Babylon, but she is not healed ; Daniel and o!her prophets reproved her for idolatry ; forsake her, for she is irrecoverable, and let us go every one into his own country ; for

her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up [even] to 10 the skies. The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness,

or, deliverance, and justified us against the cruelty of the Babylu.

nians, and the idolatry they would impose : come, and let us de11 clare in Zion the work of the LORD our God. Make bright the

arrows; gather the shields : the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes ; Darius, Cyrus' uncle : for his de

vice [is] against Babylon, to destroy it ; because it [is] the 12 vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple. Set up

the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes : for the LORD

hath both devised and done that wlrich he spake against the ina 13 habitants of Babylon. O thou that dwellest upon many waters,

that is, on the river Euphrates, which ran through Babylon and

round it, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, [and] the 14 measure of thy covetousness. The LORD of hosts hath sworn

by himself, [saying,] Surely I will fill thee with men, as with

They might think it safest to be in Babylon, but God commands them to go ont, s Christ warned the Christians before the siege of Jerusalem, and thus was the means of sap in who believed bis word

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