|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:18-27 Here is a message sent to king Jehoiakim, and his queen. Their sorrows would be great indeed. Do they ask, Wherefore come these things upon us? Let them know, it is for their obstinacy in sin. We cannot alter the natural colour of the skin; and so is it morally impossible to reclaim and reform these people. Sin is the blackness of the soul; it is the discolouring of it; we were shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by any power of our own. But Almighty grace is able to change the Ethiopian's skin. Neither natural depravity, nor strong habits of sin, form an obstacle to the working of God, the new-creating Spirit. The Lord asks of Jerusalem, whether she is determined not be made clean. If any poor slave of sin feels that he could as soon change his nature as master his headstrong lusts, let him not despair; for things impossible to men are possible with God. Let us then seek help from Him who is mighty to save.
Verse 19. - The rendering of the Authorized Version is substantially right, as the events referred to are obviously future. The tense, however, in the Hebrew, is the perfect - viz. that of prophetic certitude. Jeremiah sees it all in prophetic vision, as if it were actually taking place. The cities of the south; i.e. of the dry, southern country of Judah, called the Negeb - shall be [are] shut up - i.e. blocked up with ruins (as Isaiah 24:10) - and none shall open them (openeth them), because all Judah will have been carried captive. (For fulfillment, see Jeremiah 34:7.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them,.... Meaning the cities of Judah, which lay in the southern part of the land of Israel, and to the south of Babylon; which might be said to be shut up, and not in the power of any to open, when besieged by the Chaldean army; or rather when destroyed, that there were none to go in and out; though some think the cities of Egypt are intended, which lay south of Judea, from whence the Jews should not have the relief they expected, and where they should find no refuge; but the former sense seems best:
Judah shall be carried away captive all of it; it was in part carried away in Jehoiachin's time, and wholly in Zedekiah's; which seems to be here respected:
it shall be wholly carried away captive; or, in perfections (e); most perfectly and completely; the same thing is meant as before, only in different words repeated, to express the certainty of it.
(e) "perfectionibus", Vatablus, Montanus. It is by Schmidt left untranslated, "Schelomim", which he takes to be the city of Jerusalem, sometimes called "Solyma"; the inhabitants of which were carried captive when Judah was; and so Junius and Tremellius translate it; "civita, pacatorum", and understand it of Jerusalem; which has the signification of peace in its name.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. cities of the south—namely, south of Judea; farthest off from the enemy, who advanced from the north.
shut up—that is, deserted (Isa 24:10); so that none shall be left to open the gates to travellers and merchants again [Henderson]. Rather, shut up so closely by Nebuchadnezzar's forces, sent on before (2Ki 24:10, 11), that none shall be allowed by the enemy to get out (compare Jer 13:20).
wholly—literally, "fully"; completely.
Jeremiah 13:19 Parallel Commentaries
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