Jeremiah 37:10
For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.
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37:1-10 Numbers witness the fatal effects of other men's sins, yet heedlessly step into their places, and follow the same destructive course. When in distress, we ought to desire the prayers of ministers and Christian friends. And it is common for those to desire to be prayed for, who will not be advised; yet sinners are often hardened by a pause in judgments. But if God help us not, no creature can. Whatever instruments God has determined to use, they shall do the work, though they seem unlikely.Jeremiah's answer here is even more unfavorable than that which is given in Jeremiah 21:4-7. So hopeless is resistance that the disabled men among the Chaldaeans would alone suffice to capture the city and burn it to the ground. 10. yet … they—Even a few wounded men would suffice for your destruction. The substance of the answer returned by the prophet to the king is this: That whereas they pleased themselves with fancies that the Babylonian army now withdrawn to meet with the army of the Egyptians would return no more to the siege, it was a dream; he assures them from God they should return, besiege the city, and take it, and burn it; and therefore they did but deceive themselves to think otherwise; though they were gone, yet it was but for a very short time. He further assures them that the potency or impotency of the Chaldeans was inconsiderable; for if their whole army were made up of wounded men, or if they could prevail so far as to wound all their soldiers, or thrust them through, (as the word is translated, Jeremiah 51:4) yet they should do the work. When God is resolved upon an effect, the instruments are very little to be regarded. It is not the arm of flesh, but the power of God, which is in that case alone to be considered.

For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you,.... Supposing the whole army of the Chaldeans had been vanquished and slain by the Egyptians, the confederates of the Jews; or should they be slain by them in a second siege of them, excepting a few next mentioned:

and there remained but wounded men among them; and supposing that those of them that were left, that were not slain, were everyone of them wounded men, and so disabled for fighting, as might be thought:

yet should they rise up every man in his tent; where he was smitten, and lay wounded; or where he was carried to be cured of his wounds; such should rise up like persons from the dead almost, and fight with such strength and spirit, that they should soon take the city, though in such a condition:

and burn this city with fire; this being a thing determined by the Lord, and nothing should hinder it; for it matters not what the instruments are; though ever so impotent and disabled, they shall do the work allotted to them. Wherefore all the hopes of the Jews, founded upon the departure of the Chaldean army, were vain ones.

For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.
10. wounded] mg. Heb. thrust through. Cp. Lamentations 4:9 with note.

every man in his tent] Co. suggests that these words should be connected with “wounded men,” meaning “If there be but one survivor in each tent out of its several occupants.” The LXX, however, read in his place, i.e. where he lies on the field of battle.

Verse 10. - Even if the Jews had defeated the whole Chaldean army, and there remained but a group of sorely wounded men, these in their weakness would be enabled to carry out God's sure purpose. But wounded men hardly brings out the force of the Hebrew; the word rendered "men" is emphatic, and expresses paucity of numbers, and that rendered "wounded" is, literally, pierced through. Jeremiah 37:10Then came the word of the Lord to this effect: Jeremiah 37:7. "Thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah who hath sent you to me to ask at me, Behold, the army of Pharaoh, which marched out to your help, will return to Egypt, their own land. Jeremiah 37:8. And the Chaldeans shall return and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. Jeremiah 37:9. Thus saith Jahveh: Do not deceive yourselves by thinking, The Chaldeans will quite withdraw from us; for they will not withdraw. Jeremiah 37:10. For, even though he had beaten the whole army of the Chaldeans who are fighting with you, and there remained of them only some who had been pierced through and through, yet they would rise up, every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire." In order to cut off every hope, the prophet announces that the Egyptians will bring no help, but withdraw to their own land before the Chaldeans who went out to meet them, without having accomplished their object; but then the Chaldeans will return, continue the siege, take the city and burn it. To assure them of this, he adds: "Ye must not deceive yourselves with the vain hope that the Chaldeans may possibly be defeated and driven back by the Egyptians. The destruction of Jerusalem is so certain that, even supposing you were actually to defeat and repulse the Chaldeans, and only some few grievously wounded ones remained in the tents, these would rise up and burn the city." In הלוך ילכוּ the inf. abs. is to be observed, as strengthening the idea contained in the verb: "to depart wholly or completely;" הלך is here to "depart, withdraw." אנשׁים in contrast with חיל are separate individuals. מדקּר, pierced through by sword or lance, i.e., grievously, mortally wounded.
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