Jeremiah 22:20
Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up your voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all your lovers are destroyed.
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(20) Go up to Lebanon.—The great mountain-ranges—Lebanon and Bashan (Psalm 68:15)—running from north to south, that overlooked the route of the Babylonians, are invoked by the prophet, as those of Gilboa had been by David (2Samuel 1:21), as witnesses of the misery that was coming on the land and people. Even here, as in Jeremiah 22:23, there is probably still the same reference as before to the cedar-palaces of Jerusalem. The people are called from the counterfeit “forests of Lebanon” to the height of the real mountains, and bidden to look forth from thence.

Cry from the passages.—It is better to take the word Abarim as a proper name. As in Numbers 27:12; Numbers 33:47; Deuteronomy 32:49, it was part of the range of Nebo, south of Gilead and Bashan, and coming therefore naturally after the last of those two mountains.

All thy lovers.—The word points, as in the corresponding language of Ezekiel 23:5; Ezekiel 23:9, to the Egyptians and other nations with whom Judah had made alliances. The destruction reached its climax in the overthrow of Pharaoh-nechoh’s army by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish (Jeremiah 46:2).

Jeremiah 22:20. Go up to Lebanon, and cry, &c. — The verbs here being in the feminine gender, the city of Jerusalem, or the land of Judea, seems to be addressed and called upon ironically to go to the tops of the high mountains, and to the frontiers of the country, and cry aloud for help to the neighbouring powers, but in vain, since all those who had any inclination to favour her, the Egyptians in particular, were themselves disabled and crushed by the arms of Nebuchadnezzar. Cry from the passages — Hebrew, מעברים, from the borders, or rivers, which are the bounds of your country. For the word signifies, not only the fords, or passages of a river, but the parts along each bank, and the confines or extremities of a country. For all thy lovers are destroyed — Or broken, as נשׁברוsignifies: all thy foreign allies, whose friendship and assistance thou hast sought, and whom thou hast courted, by complying with their idolatries, are humbled.22:20-30 The Jewish state is described under a threefold character. Very haughty in a day of peace and safety. Very fearful on alarm of trouble. Very much cast down under pressure of trouble. Many never are ashamed of their sins till brought by them to the last extremity. The king shall close his days in bondage. Those that think themselves as signets on God's right hand, must not be secure, but fear lest they should be plucked thence. The Jewish king and his family shall be carried to Babylon. We know where we were born, but where we shall die we know not; it is enough that our God knows. Let it be our care that we die in Christ, then it will be well with us wherever we die, thought it may be in a far country. The Jewish king shall be despised. Time was when he was delighted in; but all those in whom God has no pleasure, some time or other, will be so lowered, that men will have no pleasure in them. Whoever are childless, it is the Lord that writes them so; and those who take no care to do good in their days, cannot expect to prosper. How little is earthly grandeur to be depended upon, or flourishing families to be rejoiced in! But those who hear the voice of Christ, and follow him, have eternal life, and shall never perish, neither shall any enemy pluck them out of his almighty hands.The third example, Jehoiachin. With him all the best and noblest of the land were dragged from their homes to people the void places of Babylon.

The passages - Really, Abarim, a range of mountains to the south of Gilead, opposite Jericho (see Numbers 27:12; Deuteronomy 32:49). Jeremiah names the chief ranges of mountains, which overlook the route from Jerusalem to Babylon, in regular order, beginning with Lebanon upon the north, then Bashan on the northeast, and lastly Abarim on the southeast.

Thy lovers - i. e., the nations in alliance with Judah, especially Egypt, whose defeat at Carchemish Jeremiah 46:2 gave all western Asia into the power of Nebuchadnezzar.

20. Delivered in the reign of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah or Coniah), son of Jehoiakim; appended to the previous prophecy respecting Jehoiakim, on account of the similarity of the two prophecies. He calls on Jerusalem, personified as a mourning female, to go up to the highest points visible from Jerusalem, and lament there (see on [919]Jer 3:21) the calamity of herself, bereft of allies and of her princes, who are one after the other being cast down.

Bashan—north of the region beyond Jordan; the mountains of Anti-libanus are referred to (Ps 68:15).

from the passages—namely, of the rivers (Jud 12:6); or else the borders of the country (1Sa 13:23; Isa 10:29). The passes (1Sa 14:4). Maurer translates, "Abarim," a mountainous tract beyond Jordan, opposite Jericho, and south of Bashan; this accords with the mention of the mountains Lebanon and Bashan (Nu 27:12; 33:47).

lovers—the allies of Judea, especially Egypt, now unable to help the Jews, being crippled by Babylon (2Ki 24:7).

The Hebrew verb being feminine, lets us know that Jerusalem was the place to which this speech is directed; to the inhabitants of which the prophet here calleth to

go up to Lebanon; and to Bashan. Both Lebanon and Bashan were hills or places that looked towards Assyria, from whence the Jews looked for help, and had it sometimes, as 2 Kings 16:7: he calls to them ironically to go up to the mountainous parts of them, where standing and crying they might be soonest and best heard. What we translate from the passages, others translate from the borders, or from the sides; others, from Abarim, which is the name of a mountain, as well as Lebanon and Bashan; see Numbers 27:12 33:47; which seemeth to me the best interpretation: the meaning is, Go and cry for help from all places, but it will be in vain;

for all thy lovers are destroyed; the Egyptians and Assyrians, to whom thou wert wont heretofore to fly, choosing rather to trust to them than in me, are themselves in the power or danger of the Chaldeans, who shall also destroy them. Go up to Lebanon, and cry,.... These words are directed to Jerusalem and its inhabitants, and to the people of the Jews; not to go up to the temple, as the Targum interprets it, so called, because made of the wood of Lebanon, as in Zechariah 11:1; or, as the Rabbins say, because it made white the sins of Israel; but the mountain of Lebanon, and from thence call to their neighbours for help in their present distress, as the Assyrians and Egyptians;

and lift up thy voice in Bashan; another high hill in the land of Israel. The Targum interprets this also of the gates of the mountain of the house; so called, as Jarchi thinks, because made of the oaks of Bashan; or, as Kimchi, because there were beasts continually there for sacrifice, as in Bashan, a pasture for cattle; but the mountain itself is intended;

and cry from the passages; or "from Abarim"; a mountain of this name on the borders of Moab, Numbers 27:12. Now these several high mountains are named, because from hence they might look around them, and call to their neighbours, if any of them could help them: it is ironically spoken, for it is suggested that none of them could:

for all thy lovers are destroyed; their friends and allies, with whom they had not only entered into leagues, but had committed spiritual fornication with them; that is, idolatry, as the Egyptians and Assyrians; but these were now subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, and were at least so weakened and destroyed by him, that they could give no assistance to the Jews; see 2 Kings 24:7.

Go up to {n} Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in {o} Bashan, and cry from the passes: for all thy lovers are destroyed.

(n) To call to the Assyrians for help.

(o) For this was the way out of India to Assyria, by which is meant that all help would fail: for the Chaldeans have subdued both them and the Egyptians.

20. Abarim] a range of mountains to the south-east of Palestine. They included Nebo, from which Moses viewed the land (Numbers 27:12; Deuteronomy 32:49).

thy lovers] The reference is not clear. The word may indicate either the false gods worshipped by Israel (cp. Jeremiah 48:7, Jeremiah 49:3), or (see on Jeremiah 4:30) Egypt and the other nations, with whom many of the people were disposed to unite against the Chaldaean power.

20–30. See introd. summary to section. Jeremiah 22:20-23 have no direct connexion with those that follow and seem to have been introduced here on account of the reference to the rulers (“shepherds”) in Jeremiah 22:22. The address is to the people, the fem. sing. being used collectively. See on Jeremiah 21:13. They are called upon to wail, ascending (that their cry might be widespread) the heights which the Chaldaean hosts would successively pass in their advance southwards upon Jerusalem, viz. Lebanon in the N., the hills of Bashan (Psalm 68:15 f.) in the N.E., and Abarim in the S.E. For wailing on heights cp. Jeremiah 3:21, Jeremiah 7:29; Isaiah 15:2.Verse 20. - A new strophe begins here, relative to Jehoiachin, the son and successor of Jehoiakim. Go up to Lebanon, and cry. The people of Judah is addressed, personified as a woman (comp. Jeremiah 7:29). The penetrating character of the long-toned cry of an Arab has been mentioned by Dr. Thomson. In Isaiah 40:9 a similar command is given to Zion; but in what different circumstances! From the passages; rather, from Abarim. The range of Abarim - Nebo, from which Hoses surveyed the land of Israel, belonged to it (Deuteronomy 32:49) - completes the circle of mountain stations; Lebanon was in the north, Bashan in the northeast, Abarim in the southeast. All thy lovers; viz. the nations whom self-interest had combined against Nebuchadrezzar, and between whom and Judah negotiations had from time to time been entered into (Jeremiah 2:36; Jeremiah 27:3). "Lovers" (comp. Jeremiah 4:30; Jeremiah 30; Ezekiel 16:33, 37). The woe uttered upon Jehoiakim. - Jeremiah 22:13. "Woe unto him that buildeth his house with unrighteousness and his upper chambers with wrong, that maketh his fellow labour for nought, and giveth him not his hire; Jeremiah 22:14. That saith: I will build me a wide house and spacious upper chambers, and cutteth him out many windows, and covereth it with cedars, and painteth it with vermilion. Jeremiah 22:15. Art thou a king of thou viest in cedar? Did not thy father eat and drink, and do right and justice? Then it went well with him. Jeremiah 22:16. He did justice to the poor and wretched, then it was well. Is not this to know me? saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 22:17. For on nothing are thine eyes and thy heart set but on gain and on the blood of the innocent, to shed it, and on oppression and violence, to do them. Jeremiah 22:18. Therefore thus saith Jahveh concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah: They shall not mourn for him, saying: Alas, my brother! and alas, sister! they shall not mourn for him: Alas, lord! and alas for his glory! Jeremiah 22:19. An ass's burial shall his burial be, dragged and cast far away from the gates of Jerusalem."

The prediction as to Jehoiakim begins with a woe upon the unjust oppression of the people. The oppression consisted in his building a magnificent palace with the sweat and blood of his subjects, whom he compelled to do forced labour without giving the labourers wages. The people must have felt this burden all the more severely that Jehoiakim, to obtain the throne, had bound himself to pay to Pharaoh a large tribute, the gold and silver for which he raised from the population according to Pharaoh's own valuation, 2 Kings 23:33. With "Woe to him that buildeth," etc., cf. Habakkuk 2:12; Micah 3:10. "That maketh his fellow labour," lit., through his neighbour he works, i.e., he causes the work to be done by his neighbour (fellow-man) for nought, without giving him wages, forces him to unpaid statute-labour. עבד בּ as in Leviticus 25:39, Leviticus 25:46. פּעל, labour, work, gain, then wages, cf. Job 7:2. Jehoiakim sought to increase the splendour of his kingship by palace-building. To this the speech points, put in his mouth at Jeremiah 22:14 : I will build me בּית מדּות, a house of extensions, i.e., a palace in the grand style, with spacious halls, vast chambers. מרוּח from רוח, to find vent, cheer up, 1 Samuel 16:23; not airy, but spacious, for quite a modest house might have airy chambers. וקרע is a continuation of the participle; literally: and he cuts himself out windows, makes huge openings in the walls for windows. This verb is used in Jeremiah 4:30 of opening up the eyes with paint. חלּוני presents some difficulty, seeing that the suffix of the first person makes no sense. It has therefore been held to be a contracted plural form (Gesen. Lehrgeb. S. 523) or for a dual (Ew. 177, a), but without any proof of the existence of such formations, since גּובי, Amos 7:1; Nahum 3:17, is to be otherwise explained (see on Amos 7:1). Following on the back of J. D. Mich., Hitz., Graf, and Bttcher (ausf. Gramm. 414) propose to connect the ו before ספוּן with this word and to read חלּוניו: and tears open for himself his windows; in support of which it is alleged that one cod. so reads. But this one cod. can decide nothing, and the suffix his is superfluous, even unsuitable, seeing that there can be no thought of another person's building; whereas the copula cannot well be omitted before ספוּן. For the rule adduced for this, that the manner of the principal action is frequently explained by appending infinitives absoll. (Ew. 280, a), does not meet the present case; the covering with cedar, etc., does not refer to the windows, and so cannot be an explanation of the cutting out for himself. We therefore hold, with Bttcher (Proben, S. 40), that חלּוני is an adjective formation, with the force of: abundant in windows, since this formation is completely accredited by כּילי and חרי (cf. Ew. 164, c); and the objection alleged against this by Graf, that then no object is specified for "cutteth out," is not of much weight, it being easy to supply the object from the preceding "house:" and he cuts it out for himself abounding in windows. There needs be no change of וספוּן into וספון. For although the infin. absol. would be quite in place as continuation of the verb. fin. (cf. Ew. 351, c), yet it is not necessary. The word is attached in zeugma to וקרע or חלּוני: and he covers with cedar, to: faces or overlays, for this verb does not mean to plank or floor, for which צפּה is the usual word, but hide, cover, and is used 1 Kings 6:9; 1 Kings 7:3, for roofing. The last statement is given in infin. absol.: וּמשׁוח :.los, and besmears it, paints it (the building) with שׁשׁר, red ochre, a brilliant colour (lxx μίλτος, i.e., acc. to Kimchi, red lead; see Gesen. thess s.v.).

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