Jeremiah 25:22
And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) The isles which are beyond the sea.—Better, island. The Hebrew word is in the singular, and is properly, as in the margin, a “region by the sea-side”—a “coast-land,” and thus wider in its extent than our “island.” Here the position in which it occurs tends to identify it either with Cyprus or the coast of Cilicia, or Phœnician colonies generally in the Mediterranean. Cyprus seems the most probable of these.

Jeremiah 25:22-24. And all the kings of Tyrus and Zidon — The nobles, or chief men of each city, seem to be meant by kings here, for neither of these cities had more than one king. And the kings of the isles, which are beyond the sea — Cyprus, &c., which Nebuchadnezzar subjected. Or, as the Hebrew, האי בעבר הים, is rendered in the margin, The region by the sea-side. For that אי, rendered isle in the text, does not always signify an island, properly so called, is manifest from many passages. Dedan, and Tema, and Buz — A person called Dedan was descended from Abraham by Keturah, Genesis 25:3. Probably he founded the city Dedan; which, however, in process of time, seems to have been annexed to Edom: see Jeremiah 49:8; Ezekiel 25:13. Tema was one of the sons of Ishmael, Genesis 25:15, and a city, or district, called after him, was situate near the mountains which separate Arabia from Chaldea. — An. Univ. Hist., vol. 7. p. 230, fol. Buz was the brother of Uz, Genesis 22:21, and settled most probably, in his neighbourhood. Elihu, the wisest of Job’s friends, was a Buzite, Job 32:2. And all that are in the utmost corners — Or, all that have the coast insulated, as Blaney translates it: see note on Jeremiah 9:26. These, he supposes, to be the inhabitants of the peninsula of Arabia, especially those situate toward the bottom, or narrow part of it. And all the kings of Arabia — “The whole country to which we give the general name of Arabia seems to have been thrown, in Scripture, into two great divisions, one of which is called properly ערבה, Arabah, the other קדם, Kedem, according to their respective situations; Arabah, signifying the west, as Kedem does the east. Each of these had their subdivisions; the first, comprehending that which geographers have distinguished by the name of Arabia Petræa, and also, perhaps, those parts along the western coast of the Red sea bordering upon Egypt. The other part, called Kedem, comprehended Arabia Felix, and Arabia Deserta; the former of which the Scripture seems to have distinguished by the name of קצוצי פאת, those that have their coast insulated, mentioned in the preceding verse; and the latter in this verse, by the mingled race of those that dwell in the desert, meaning such as inhabited the great desert country, lying between Mesopotamia and Palestine. These may have been so called from the manner of inhabiting the desert promiscuously and in common, without any fixed property or abode, settling, for a time, where they found pasture, and then removing with their flocks to another place; or, from their being made up of people of different descents.” — Blaney.

25:15-29 The evil and the good events of life are often represented in Scripture as cups. Under this figure is represented the desolation then coming upon that part of the world, of which Nebuchadnezzar, who had just began to reign and act, was to be the instrument; but this destroying sword would come from the hand of God. The desolations the sword should make in all these kingdoms, are represented by the consequences of excessive drinking. This may make us loathe the sin of drunkenness, that the consequences of it are used to set forth such a woful condition. Drunkenness deprives men of the use of their reason, makes men as mad. It takes from them the valuable blessing, health; and is a sin which is its own punishment. This may also make us dread the judgments of war. It soon fills a nation with confusion. They will refuse to take the cup at thy hand. They will not believe Jeremiah; but he must tell them it is the word of the Lord of hosts, and it is in vain for them to struggle against Almighty power. And if God's judgments begin with backsliding professors, let not the wicked expect to escape.The isles - Rightly explained in the margin; it probably refers here to Cyprus. 22. all the kings of Tyrus—the petty kings of the various dependencies of Tyre.

isles—a term including all maritime regions (Ps 72:10).

Tyrus was a strong city upon the borders of the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:29 2 Samuel 24:7, a very rich city, and a kingdom, with the king of which (who was Hiram) Solomon in his time traded much, 2 Chronicles 2:3. Isaiah prophesied its ruin, Jeremiah 23:1; so did Ezekiel, Ezekiel 27:28,29: it was destroyed by Nebuchadrezzar, Ezekiel 29:18.

Zidon was nigh to it, therefore we shall ordinarily find Tyre and Zidon joined together in Scripture: both Isaiah and Ezekiel, as well as this prophet, prophesied their ruin. By

the isles beyond the sea, some understand Greece and Italy; others Rhodes, Cyprus, and Crete; but others think Nebuchadnezzar never conquered these, and rather understand those parts of Syria that coasted upon the midland sea.

And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon,.... Two very ancient cities in Phoenicia, frequently mentioned together in Scripture, being near each other. Their ruin is foretold in Jeremiah 47:4;

and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea; which some understand of Greece and Italy; others of Rhodes, Cyprus, and Crete, and other islands in the Mediterranean sea; the Cyclades, as Jerom: but the words may be rendered, "and the kings of the country by the seaside"; and may design those that dwell upon the coast of the Mediterranean sea.

And all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the {r} isles which are beyond the sea,

(r) As Greece, Italy and the rest of those countries.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. Zidon] the ordinary form of the name in the O.T. Cp. Jeremiah 27:3, Jeremiah 47:4. Sidon, as the Greek form, is that which occurs in the N.T.

isle] mg. coastland, lit. where a mariner betakes himself for refuge or rest; hence used of the colonies planted by Phoenicians on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Verse 22. - Kings of Tyrus, kings of Zidon. Under the names of the two leading cities, the prophet includes the various dependent Phoenician commonwealths. Hence the plural "kings." The isles. The Hebrew has the singular, "the isle," or rather, "the coast-laud" (more strictly, the region), i.e. perhaps either Tartessus in Spain, or Cyprus (which Esarhaddon describes as "lying in the midst of the sea," and as having two kings, 'Records of the Past,' 3:108). Jeremiah 25:22The enumeration of the heathen nations begins with Egypt and goes northwards, the peoples dwelling to the east and west of Judah being ranged alongside one another. First we have in Jeremiah 25:20 the races of Arabia and Philistia that bordered on Egypt to the east and west; and then in Jeremiah 25:21 the Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites to the east, and, Jeremiah 25:22, the Phoenicians with their colonies to the west. Next we have the Arabian tribes of the desert extending eastwards from Palestine to the Euphrates (Jeremiah 25:23, Jeremiah 25:24); then the Elamites and Medes in the distant east (Jeremiah 25:25), the near and distant kings of the north, and all kingdoms upon earth; last of all the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 25:26). כּל־הערב, lxx: πάντας τοῦς συμμίκτους, and Jerome: cunctusque qui non est Aegyptius, sed in ejus regionibus commoratur. The word means originally a mixed multitude of different races that attach themselves to one people and dwell as strangers amongst them; cf. Exodus 12:38 and Nehemiah 13:3. Here it is races that in part dwelt on the borders of Egypt and were in subjection to that people. It is rendered accordingly "vassals" by Ew.; an interpretation that suits the present verse very well, but will not do in Jeremiah 25:24. It is certainly too narrow a view, to confine the reference of the word to the mercenaries or Ionian and Carian troops by whose help Necho's father Psammetichus acquired sole supremacy (Graf), although this be the reference of the same word in Ezekiel 30:5. The land of Uz is, acc. to the present passage and to Lamentations 4:21, where the daughter of Edom dwells in the land of Uz, to be sought for in the neighbourhood of Idumaea and the Egyptian border. To delete the words "and all the kings of the land of Uz" as a gloss, with Hitz. and Gr., because they are not in the lxx, is an exercise of critical violence. The lxx omitted them for the same reason as that on which Hitz. still lays stress - namely, that they manifestly do not belong to this place, but to Jeremiah 25:23. And this argument is based on the idea that the land of Uz ( ̓Αυσῖτις) lies much farther to the north in Arabia Deserta, in the Hauran or the region of Damascus, or that it is a collective name for the whole northern region of Arabia Deserta that stretches from Idumaea as far as Syria; see Del. on Job 1:1, and Wetzstein in Del.'s Job, S. 536f. This is an assumption for which valid proofs are not before us. The late oriental legends as to Job's native country do not suffice for this. The kings of the land of the Philistines are the kings of the four towns next in order mentioned, with their territories, cf. Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:4. The fifth of the towns of the lords of the Philistines, Gath, is omitted here as it was before this, in Amos 1:7. and Zephaniah 2:4, and later in Zechariah 9:5, not because Gath had already fallen into premature decay; for in Amos' time Gath was still a very important city. It is rather, apparently, because Gath had ceased to be the capital of a separate kingdom or principality. There is remaining now only a remnant of Ashdod; for after a twenty-nine years' siege, this town was taken by Psammetichus and destroyed (Herod. ii. 157), so that thus the whole territory great lost its importance. Jeremiah 25:21. On Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites, cf. Jeremiah 49:7-22; Jeremiah 48:1; Jeremiah 49:1-6. Jeremiah 25:22. The plural: "kings of Tyre and Sidon," is to be understood as in Jeremiah 25:18. With them are mentioned "the kings of the island" or "of the coast" land, that is, beyond the (Mediterranean) Sea. האי is not Κύπρος (Cyprus), but means, generally, the Phoenician colonies in and upon the Mediterranean. Of the Arabian tribes mentioned in Jeremiah 25:23, the Dedanites are those descended from the Cushite Dedan and living ear Edom, with whom, however, the Abrahamic Dedanite had probably mingled; a famous commercial people, Isaiah 21:13; Ezekiel 27:15, Ezekiel 27:20; Ezekiel 38:13; Job 6:19. Tema is not Tm beyond the Hauran (Wetzst. Reiseber. S. 21 and 93ff.; cf. on the other hand, the same in Del.'s Job, S. 526), but Tem situated on the pilgrims' route from Damascus to Mecca, between Tebk and Wadi el Kora, see Del. on Isaiah 21:14; here, accordingly, the Arabian tribe settled there. Buz is the Arabian race sprung from the second son of Nahor. As to "hair-corners polled," see on Jeremiah 9:25. - The two appellations ערב and "the mixed races that dwell in the wilderness" comprehend the whole of the Arabian races, not merely those that are left after deducting the already (Jeremiah 25:23) mentioned nomad tribes. The latter also dwelt in the wilderness, and the word ערב is a general name, not for the whole of Arabia, but for the nomadic Arabs, see on Ezekiel 27:21, whose tribal chieftains, here called kings, are in Ezek. called נשׂיאים. In Jeremiah 25:25 come three very remote peoples of the east and north-east: Zimri, Elamites, and Medes. The name Zimri is found only here, and has been connected by the Syr. and most comm. with Zimran, Genesis 25:2, a son of Abraham and Keturah. Accordingly זמרי would stand for זמרני, and might be identified with Ζαβράμ, Ptol. vi. 7, 5, a people which occupied a territory between the Arabs and Persians - which would seem to suit our passage. The reference is certainly not to the Ζεμβρῖται in Ethiopia, in the region of the later priestly city Mero (Strabo, 786). On Elam, see on Jeremiah 49:34.

Finally, to make the list complete, Jeremiah 25:26 mentions the kings of the north, those near and those far, and all the kingdoms of the earth. המּמלכות with the article in stat. constr. against the rule. Hence Hitz. and Graf infer that הארץ may not be genuine, it being at the same time superfluous and not given in the lxx. This may be possible, but it is not certain; for in Isaiah 23:17 we find the same pleonastic mode of expression, and there are precedents for the article with the nomen regens. "The one to (or with) the other" means: according as the kingdoms of the north stand in relation to one another, far or near. - After the mention of all the kings and peoples on whom the king of Babylon is to execute judgment, it is said that he himself must at last drink the cup of wrath. שׁשׁך is, according to Jeremiah 51:41, a name for Babylon, as Jerome states, presumably on the authority of his Jewish teacher, who followed the tradition. The name is formed acc. to the Canon Atbash, in virtue of which the letters of the alphabet were put one for the other in the inverse order (ת for א, שׁ for ב, etc.); thus שׁ would correspond to ב and כ to ל. Cf. Buxtorf, Lex. talm. s.v. אתבשׁ and de abbreviaturis hebr. p. 41. A like example is found in Jeremiah 51:1, where כּשׂדּים is represented by לב קמי yb d. The assertion of Gesen. that this way of playing with words was not then in use, is groundless, as it also Hitz.'s, when he says it appeared first during the exile, and is consequently none of Jeremiah's work. It is also erroneous when many comm. remark, that Jeremiah made use of the mysterious name from the fear of weakening the impression of terror which the name of Babylon ought to make on their minds. These assumptions are refuted by Jeremiah 25:12, where there is threatening of the punishment of spoliation made against the king of Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans; and by Jeremiah 51:41, where alongside of Sheshach we find in parallelism Babylon. The Atbash is, both originally and in the present case, no mere playing with words, but a transposition of the letters so as to gain a significant meaning, as may plainly be seen in the transposition to לב , Jeremiah 51:1. This is the case with Sheshach also, which would be a contraction of שׁכשׁך (see Ew. 158, c), from שׁכך, to sink (of the water, Genesis 8:1), to crouch (of the bird-catcher, Jeremiah 5:26). The sig. is therefore a sinking down, so that the threatening, Jeremiah 51:64 : Babel shall sink and not rise again, constitutes a commentary on the name; cf. Hgstb. Christ. iii. p. 377. The name does not sig. humiliation, in support of which Graf has recourse partly to שׁחה, partly to the Arabic usage. For other arbitrary interpretations, see in Ges. thes. p. 1486.

(Note: As has been done with the whole or with parts of Jeremiah 25:12-14, so too the last clause of Jeremiah 25:26 is pronounced by Ew., Hitz., and Graf to be spurious, a gloss that had ultimately found its way into the text. This is affirmed because the clause is wanting in the lxx, and because the prophet could not fitly threaten Babylon along with the other nations (Hitz.); or because "the specification of a single kingdom seems very much out of place, after the enumeration of the countries that are to drink the cup of wrath has been concluded by the preceding comprehensive intimation, 'all the kingdoms of the earth' " (Gr.). Both reasons are valueless. By "shall drink after them" Babylon is sufficiently distinguished from the other kings and countries mentioned, and the reason is given why Babylon is not put on the same footing with them, but is to be made to drink after them.)

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