Jeremiah 4:25
I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) There was no man.—To chaos and darkness and the earthquake was added the horrible sense of solitude. Not man only, but the creatures that seemed least open to man’s attack, were fled. (Comp. Jeremiah 2:6.) The same thought re-appears in Jeremiah 9:10.

4:19-31 The prophet had no pleasure in delivering messages of wrath. He is shown in a vision the whole land in confusion. Compared with what it was, every thing is out of order; but the ruin of the Jewish nation would not be final. Every end of our comforts is not a full end. Though the Lord may correct his people very severely, yet he will not cast them off. Ornaments and false colouring would be of no avail. No outward privileges or profession, no contrivances would prevent destruction. How wretched the state of those who are like foolish children in the concerns of their souls! Whatever we are ignorant of, may the Lord make of good understanding in the ways of godliness. As sin will find out the sinner, so sorrow will, sooner or later, find out the secure.Moved lightly - "Reeled to and fro," from the violence of the earthquake.25. no man … birds—No vestige of the human, or of the feathered creation, is to be seen (Eze 38:20; Zep 1:3). There was no man; quite depopulated and laid waste, all either slain, or carried captive, or fled; for after the flight of men, women, and children into Egypt, upon the death of Gedaliah, scarce a Jew was left in Judea.

All the birds of the heavens were fled; such birds as are used to inhabited places, that live, feed, and build among men; (others indeed, both birds and beasts, would continue, which implies but the greater desolation and waste of the land, as is threatened against Babylon, Isaiah 13:19-22)

fled, either to seek provisions, here being no food left for them, or frighted with the hideous noises and clatterings that do attend armies; as we have read, that such hath been the concussion of the air by the loud clamours and noises of armies, that birds have fallen down to the earth, Jeremiah 9:10 Zephaniah 1:2,3.

And I beheld, and, lo, there was no man,.... No people dwelling in it, as the Targum; the land was without inhabitants, they were either killed with the sword, or taken and carried captive into Babylon, or fled into Egypt and other countries:

and all the birds of the heavens were fled; at the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war; at the blackness of the heavens, filled with smoke; at the barrenness of the earth, there being no seed sown; and the earth, as at the first creation, having no herb, nor trees bearing fruit, and so no food for birds; and therefore they went elsewhere, both wild and tame.

I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. In spite of their vast size earth and heaven alike are bereft of the denizens which give them their aspect of life. For the disappearance of birds before God’s judgements cp. Hosea 4:3; Zephaniah 1:3.

Jeremiah 4:25One destruction after another is heralded (on שׁבר, see Jeremiah 4:6). Ew. translates loosely: wound upon wound meet one another. For the word does not mean wound, but the fracture of a limb; and it seems inadmissible to follow the Chald. and Syr. in taking נקרא here in the sense of נקרה , since the sig. "meet" does not suit שׁבר. The thought is this: tidings are brought of one catastrophe after another, for the devastation extends itself over the whole land and comes suddenly upon the tents, i.e., dwellings of those who are lamenting. Covers, curtains of the tent, is used as synonymous with tents; cf. Jeremiah 10:20; Isaiah 54:2. How long shall I see the standard, etc.! is the cry of despair, seeing no prospect of the end to the horrors of the war. The standard and the sound of the trumpet are, as in Jeremiah 4:5, the alarm-signals on the approach of the enemy.

There is no prospect of an end to the horrors, for (Jeremiah 4:22) the people is so foolish that it understands only how to do the evil, but not the good; cf. for this Jeremiah 5:21; Isaiah 1:3; Micah 7:3. Jeremiah 4:21 gives God's answer to the woful query, how long the ravaging of the land by war is to last. The answer is: as long as the people persists in the folly of its rebellion against God, so long will chastising judgments continue. To bring this answer of God home to the people's heart, the prophet, in Jeremiah 4:23-26, tells what he has seen in the spirit. He has seen (ראיתי, perf. proph.) bursting over Judah a visitation which convulses the whole world. The earth seemed waste and void as at the beginning of creation, Genesis 1:2, before the separation of the elements and before the creation of organic and living beings. In heaven no light was to be seen, earth and heaven seemed to have been thrown back into a condition of chaos. The mountains and hills, these firm foundations of the earth, quivered and swayed (התקלקל, be put into a light motion, cf. Nahum 1:5); men had fled and hidden themselves from the wrath of God (cf. Isaiah 2:19, Isaiah 2:21), and all the birds had flown out of sight in terror at the dreadful tokens of the beginning catastrophe (Genesis 9:9). The fruitful field was the wilderness - not a wilderness, but "changed into the wilderness with all its attributes" (Hitz.). הכּרמל is not appell. as in Jeremiah 2:7, but nom. prop. of the lower slopes of Carmel, famed for their fruitfulness; these being taken as representatives of all the fruitful districts of the land. The cities of the Carmel, or of the fruitful-field, are manifestly not to be identified with the store cities of 1 Kings 9:19, as Hitz. supposes, but the cities in the most fertile districts of the country, which, by reason of their situation, were in a prosperous condition, but now are destroyed. "Before the heat of His anger," which is kindled against the foolish and godless race; cf. Nahum 1:6; Isaiah 13:13.

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