Jeremiah 51:32
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New International Version
the river crossings seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers terrified."

New Living Translation
All the escape routes are blocked. The marshes have been set aflame, and the army is in a panic.

English Standard Version
the fords have been seized, the marshes are burned with fire, and the soldiers are in panic.

New American Standard Bible
The fords also have been seized, And they have burned the marshes with fire, And the men of war are terrified.

King James Bible
And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The fords have been seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers are terrified.

International Standard Version
The fords have been captured, and the marshes burned with fire. The soldiers are terrified.

NET Bible
They will report that the fords have been captured, the reed marshes have been burned, the soldiers are terrified.

New Heart English Bible
and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are frightened.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The river crossings have been taken. The enemy has burned its marshes, and its soldiers are terrified.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the fords are seized, And the castles they have burned with fire, And the men of war are affrighted.

New American Standard 1977
The fords also have been seized,
            And they have burned the marshes with fire,
            And the men of war are terrified.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the fords were taken, and they have burned the reeds with fire, and the men of war were astounded.

King James 2000 Bible
And that the fords are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are terrified.

American King James Version
And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

American Standard Version
and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And that the fords are taken, and the marshes are burnt with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

Darby Bible Translation
and the passages are seized, and the reedy places are burnt with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

English Revised Version
and the passages are surprised, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

Webster's Bible Translation
And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

World English Bible
and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are frightened.

Young's Literal Translation
And the passages have been captured, And the reeds they have burnt with fire, And the men of war have been troubled.
Study Bible
Babylon's Punishment
31One courier runs to meet another, And one messenger to meet another, To tell the king of Babylon That his city has been captured from end to end; 32The fords also have been seized, And they have burned the marshes with fire, And the men of war are terrified. 33For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor At the time it is stamped firm; Yet in a little while the time of harvest will come for her."…
Cross References
Isaiah 47:14
"Behold, they have become like stubble, Fire burns them; They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; There will be no coal to warm by Nor a fire to sit before!

Jeremiah 50:38
"A drought on her waters, and they will be dried up! For it is a land of idols, And they are mad over fearsome idols.

Jeremiah 51:31
One courier runs to meet another, And one messenger to meet another, To tell the king of Babylon That his city has been captured from end to end;

Jeremiah 51:33
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor At the time it is stamped firm; Yet in a little while the time of harvest will come for her."

Jeremiah 52:7
Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled and went forth from the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls which was by the king's garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah.
Treasury of Scripture

And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

the passages

Jeremiah 50:38 A drought is on her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is …

Isaiah 44:27 That said to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers:

the near

Jeremiah 51:30 The mighty men of Babylon have declined to fight, they have remained …

Jeremiah 50:37 A sword is on their horses, and on their chariots, and on all the …

(32) That the passages are stopped.--These were probably the ferries across the Euphrates, by which one part of the city was in communication with the other. These were at the ends of the streets that ran at right angles to the river, and gates--left open in the panic of surprise--led down to them. Besides these there was one bridge over the Euphrates in the middle and a tunnel under it (Herod. i. 186). The word is elsewhere used for fords, as in Genesis 32:22; Judges 3:28, but cannot have that meaning here, as the Euphrates was not fordable at Babylon.

The reeds they have burned with fire.--The word for "reeds" is elsewhere (Isaiah 14:23; Isaiah 41:18; Exodus 7:19; Exodus 8:5) translated "pool." Here it probably refers to the great pool constructed by Nitocris as a reservoir or dock. This was probably left dry by the diversion of the river into another channel, and the reeds which grew in it, perhaps also the flood-gates of the canals, and the ships that were in dock, were burnt by the Persians. The very pools were the scene of a conflagration.

Verse 32. - And that the passages are stopped; rather, are seized (as Jeremiah 48:41). Babylon, it should be remembered, was divided nearly in half by the Euphrates. It was guarded, says Professor Rawlinson, "by two walls of brick, which skirted them along their whole length. In each of these walls were twenty-five gates, corresponding to the number of the streets which gave upon the river; and outside each gate was a sloped landing place, by which you could descend to the water's edge, if you had occasion to cross the river. Boats were kept ready at these landing places to convey passengers from side to side; while for those who disliked this method of conveyance, a bridge was provided of a somewhat peculiar construction" ('Ancient Monarchies,' 2:514). The reeds they have burned with fire. This rendering is no doubt tenable, though it gives an unusual meaning to the first noun. The "reeds" would be those of the marshes in the neighbourhood of Babylon; and Kimchi suggests that these would be cut down to facilitate the entrance of the army into the city, Surely a very forced explanation. The natural meaning of the first noun is "pools" or "lakes," and, considering that Herodotus (1:185) speaks of a lake in connection with the defences of Babylon, it has been thought (e.g. by Vitringa) that the prophet may refer to something which was to happen to this and similar lakes; "burned with fire" is then regarded as a hyperbolical expression equivalent to "dried up" (comp. ver. 36). This, however, is hardly less forced than the first interpretation; and we seem almost compelled to assume s corruption of the text, and to read (for 'agammin) 'armonim, palaces. If "palaces" (i.e. lofty houses, for such is the etymological meaning) were not uncommon at Jerusalem (Isaiah 32:14), much more frequent must they have been at Babylon, Or perhaps the prophet refers to the two magnificent royal palaces, which, together with the temple of Bel, constituted the wonders of Babylon. They were on opposite sides of the river, and were guarded with triple enclosures, the circumference in the one case amounting to sixty stadia (nearly seven miles), and in the other to thirty (Rawlinson, 'Ancient Monarchies,' 2:514, etc.). And that the passages are stopped,.... Or "taken", or "seized" (o); where Cyrus placed soldiers to keep them; these were the passages leading from the river Euphrates to the city, the keys of it; the little gates, that Herodotus (p) speaks of, leading to the river, which were left open that night. Kimchi thinks the towers built by the river side, to keep the enemy out, that should attempt to enter, are meant; these were now in his hands;

and the reeds they have burnt with fire; which grew upon the banks of the river, and in the marshes adjoining to it. Some render it, "the marshes" (q); that is, the reeds and bulrushes in them, which usually grow in such places. And Herodotus (r) makes mention of a marsh Cyrus came to; the reeds in it he burnt, having many torches, with which he might set fire to them; as he proposed with them to burn the houses, doors, and porches (s); either to make way for his army, which might hinder the march of it; or to give light, that they might see their way into the city the better: though some think it was to terrify the inhabitants; which seems not so likely, since he marched up to the royal palace with great secrecy. This circumstance is mentioned, to show the certainty of the enemy's entrance, and the taking of part of the city. R. Jonah, from the Arabic language, in which the word (t) here used signifies "fortresses", so renders it here;

and the men of war are affrighted; and so fled, and left the passes, towers, and fortresses, which fell into the hands of Cyrus, as soon as they perceived his army was come up the channel and was landed, and the reeds were burnt.

(o) "praeoccupata", V. L. "comprehensa", Montanus; "occupati", Tigurine version, Schmidt. (p) L. 1. sive Clio, c. 191. (q) "paludes", V. L. Syr. Grotius; "stagna", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt. (r) L. 1. sive Clio, c. 191. (s) Xenophon, Cyropaedia, l. 7. c. 22. (t) "arundinetum feris et hinc munimentum, castellum", Camus apud Golium, Colossians 33. "castellum, munimentum viarum, arces", Castel. Lex. Colossians 29. 32. passages are stopped—The guarded fords of the Euphrates are occupied by the enemy (see on [1005]Jer 50:38).

reeds … burned—literally, "the marsh." After draining off the river, Cyrus "burned" the stockade of dense tree-like "reeds" on its banks, forming the outworks of the city's fortifications. The burning of these would give the appearance of the marsh or river itself being on "fire."51:1-58 The particulars of this prophecy are dispersed and interwoven, and the same things left and returned to again. Babylon is abundant in treasures, yet neither her waters nor her wealth shall secure her. Destruction comes when they did not think of it. Wherever we are, in the greatest depths, at the greatest distances, we are to remember the Lord our God; and in the times of the greatest fears and hopes, it is most needful to remember the Lord. The feeling excited by Babylon's fall is the same with the New Testament Babylon, Re 18:9,19. The ruin of all who support idolatry, infidelity, and superstition, is needful for the revival of true godliness; and the threatening prophecies of Scripture yield comfort in this view. The great seat of antichristian tyranny, idolatry, and superstition, the persecutor of true Christians, is as certainly doomed to destruction as ancient Babylon. Then will vast multitudes mourn for sin, and seek the Lord. Then will the lost sheep of the house of Israel be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, and stray no more. And the exact fulfilment of these ancient prophecies encourages us to faith in all the promises and prophecies of the sacred Scriptures.
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