|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
50:8-20 The desolation that shall be brought upon Babylon is set forth in a variety of expressions. The cause of this destruction is the wrath of the Lord. Babylon shall be wholly desolated; for she hath sinned against the Lord. Sin makes men a mark for the arrows of God's judgments. The mercy promised to the Israel of God, shall not only accompany, but arise from the destruction of Babylon. These sheep shall be gathered from the deserts, and put again into good pasture. All who return to God and their duty, shall find satisfaction of soul in so doing. Deliverances out of trouble are comforts indeed, when fruits of the forgiveness of sin.
Verse 17. - Israel is a scattered sheep, etc. Here a pause in the discourse occurs. The prophet returns to the present condition of Israel, who is likened to a sheep scared away from its fold by lions. The ruin wrought by the lions is described first as "devouring" and then as "breaking the bones" of Israel - in either case it is complete destruction, but the completeness is more emphasized by the second figure. In fact, when the "ten tribes" were carried captive, the elements of the theocracy still remained in the southern kingdom.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Israel is a scattered sheep,.... Or like a sheep that is frightened and drove from the fold, and is dispersed, and wanders about here and there; Israel includes all the twelve tribes:
the lions have driven him away; from his own land, and carried him captive, and scattered him among the nations; these lions are afterwards interpreted of the kings of Assyria and Babylon: so the Targum,
"kings have removed them;''
comparable to lions for their strength, fierceness, and voraciousness:
first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; eaten up his flesh; meaning Shalmaneser king of Assyria, who carried captive the ten tribes, that never returned, and therefore said to be devoured:
and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones; or, "boned him" (t); took out his bones, all his strength and substance; or took the flesh off of them, stripped him of all his wealth and riches, reduced him to his bones, made a mere skeleton of him: we, with Kimchi and Ben Melech, and others, read "broke his bones"; to get the very marrow out, that nothing may be left of him: he took Jerusalem, burnt the temple, and carried captive the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the strength of Israel; so, between the one and the other, all Israel were like a scattered sheep, dispersed among the nations. Nebuchadrezzar was the then reigning king in Babylon when this prophecy was delivered, and therefore called "this Nebuchadrezzar".
(t) "exossavit eum", Munster, Montanus, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. lions—hostile kings (Jer 4:7; 49:19).
Assyria—(2Ki 17:6, Shalmaneser; Ezr 4:2, Esar-haddon).
Nebuchadnezzar—(2Ki 24:10, 14).
Jeremiah 50:17 Parallel Commentaries
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