|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-9 The Lord declares that even Moses and Samuel must have pleaded in vain. The putting of this as a case, though they should stand before him, shows that they do not, and that saints in heaven do not pray for saints on earth. The Jews were condemned to different kinds of misery by the righteous judgment of God, and the remnant would be driven away, like the chaff, into captivity. Then was the populous city made desolate. Bad examples and misused authority often produce fatal effects, even after men are dead, or have repented of their crimes: this should make all greatly dread being the occasion of sin in others.
Verse 8. - To me; i.e. at my bidding. It is the dative of cause. Against the mother of the young men; rather, upon... young man. The widow has lost her husband, the mother her son, so that no human power can repel the barbarous foe. The word rendered "young man" is specially used for "young warriors," e.g., Jeremiah 18:21; 49:26; 51:3. Others following Rashi, take "mother" in the sense of "metropolis," or "chief city" (see Authorized Version, margin), in which case "young man" must be connected with the participle rendered "a spoiler;" but though the word has this sense in 2 Samuel 20:19, it is there coupled with "city," so that no doubt can exist. Hero the prophet would certainly not have used the word in so unusual a sense without giving some guide to his meaning. The rendering adopted above has the support of Ewald, Hitzig, and Dr. Payne Smith. At noonday; at the most unlooked-for moment (see on Jeremiah 6:4). I have caused him, etc.; rather, I have caused pangs and terrors to fall upon her suddenly.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas,.... Their husbands being slain; not in the times of Ahaz, when a hundred and twenty thousand men were slain in one day in Judah, by Pekah the son of Remaliah, 2 Chronicles 28:6, as Kimchi thinks; but in the times of Zedekiah, at the siege of Jerusalem, and the taking of it, and in the Babylonish captivity before predicted. The children of Israel were to be as the sand of the sea, and were very numerous; and here the widows are said to be so too, their husbands, who were numerous, being dead; and this, as it was of the Lord, so it was in his sight, and according to his counsel and will. Mention is made of "seas", in the plural, number, there being many in or near Judea, as the Red sea, the sea of Galilee, and the Mediterranean sea:
I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler, at noonday; that is he would bring upon the Jews, against the mother of the young men, or mothers of them; for the young men being destroyed by the spoiler, it was against them; a calamity upon them, and a distress unto them, who have generally a tender concern for them. The Targum is,
"against the company of their young men;''
the Jews; or against Jerusalem, the mother city, the metropolis of the nation, full of young men fit for war: or, "against the mother", that is, Jerusalem, a "young man" (e); meaning Nebuchadnezzar, who came against Jerusalem in the first year of his reign; and, as some say, in the eighteenth year of his age; and who came not as a thief in the night, but as a spoiler at noonday; not in a secret insidious manner, but openly and with force of arms making his way through the land to Jerusalem, in defiance of the Jews, and in the face of them:
and I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly; that is, upon the city of Jerusalem: for though he came openly, his march was quick, and he was presently at Jerusalem, and laid siege to it at once:
and terrors upon the city; or, "city and terrors" (f); the city was immediately filled with terrors at the appearance of Nebuchadnezzar and his army. R. Joseph Kimchi interprets it, "an army and terrors", from 1 Samuel 28:16, the Babylonian monarch, at the head of his army, which spread terrors where he came. Some render the word, from Daniel 4:13, "a watcher and terrors" (g): meaning the Chaldean army, called watchers, Jeremiah 4:16. The Targum is,
"I will bring an army upon them suddenly, and destroy their cities;''
it should be rendered "alienation of mind and terrors": from the use of the word, in the Arabic language (h).
(e) "contra metropolin, juvenem", Junius & Tremellius, De Dieu; "contra matrem", Piscator; "super matrem, juvenem", Cocceius. (f) "civitatem et terrores", Montanus; so Schmidt. (g) "Vigilem, vel vigiles et terrores", Gataker; "vigilias et terrores", Coeceius. (h) Ab "alteravit, mutavit et turbavit", Golius, Castel. Schindler.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Their widows—My people's (Jer 15:7).
have brought—prophetical past: I will bring.
mother of the young men—"mother" is collective; after the "widows," He naturally mentions bereavement of their sons ("young men"), brought on the "mothers" by "the spoiler"; it was owing to the number of men slain that the "widows" were so many [Calvin]. Others take "mother," as in 2Sa 20:19, of Jerusalem, the metropolis; "I have brought on them, against the 'mother,' a young spoiler," namely, Nebuchadnezzar, sent by his father, Nabopolassar, to repulse the Egyptian invaders (2Ki 23:29; 24:1), and occupy Judea. But Jer 15:7 shows the future, not the past, is referred to; and "widows" being literal, "mother" is probably so, too.
at noonday—the hottest part of the day, when military operations were usually suspended; thus it means unexpectedly, answering to the parallel, "suddenly"; openly, as others explain it, will not suit the parallelism (compare Ps 91:6).
it—English Version seems to understand by "it" the mother city, and by "him" the "spoiler"; thus "it" will be parallel to "city." Rather, "I will cause to fall upon them (the 'mothers' about to be bereft of their sons) suddenly anguish and terrors."
the city—rather, from a root "heat," anguish, or consternation. So the Septuagint.
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