Jeremiah 43:10
And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.
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(10) He shall spread his royal pavilion over them.—Here, again, the meaning of the Hebrew word is doubtful. The English Version, as before, follows Luther in taking it for the awning or canopy which was stretched over the throne when the king sat in state as judge. Others (e.g., Hitzig) find in it the leather covering which was placed over the pavement on which the throne was set, upon which the criminal knelt as on a scaffold to receive the death-stroke of the executioner. So taken, the prediction assumes a more definite and terrible aspect. The king was to sit upon the stones which Jeremiah had hidden, not merely in his regal pomp, but in the character of an avenger executing the wrath of Jehovah against the rebellious.

Jeremiah 43:10-11. And say, Thus saith the Lord, I will send Nebuchadrezzar, &c. — God now commands his prophet to expound to the Jews the design of the order given him in the preceding verse. The stones hid in the clay, at the entry of Pharaoh’s house, were intended to be a sign that the king of Babylon should make himself master of that royal city, and set his throne in that very place. This minute circumstance is particularly foretold, that, when it was accomplished, they might be put in mind of the prophecy, and confirmed in their belief of the extent and certainty of the divine prescience; to which the smallest and most contingent events are evident. God calls Nebuchadnezzar his servant, because in this instance he should execute God’s will, accomplish his purposes, and be instrumental in carrying on his designs. And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt — Though Egypt has always been a warlike nation, it shall not be able to withstand the king of Babylon; but whom he will he shall slay, and in what way he pleases; and deliver such as are for death to death — See note on Jeremiah 15:2. Death here signifies the pestilence which the prophet foretels would overspread the country of Egypt by reason of the famine occasioned by sieges and other ravages of war.

43:8-13 God can find his people wherever they are. The Spirit of prophecy was not confined to the land of Israel. It is foretold that Nebuchadnezzar should destroy and carry into captivity many of the Egyptians. Thus God makes one wicked man, or wicked nation, a scourge and plague to another. He will punish those who deceive his professing people, or tempt them to rebellion.My servant - See Jeremiah 25:9 note.

That I have hid - i. e., that I have embedded in the mortar by the instrumentality of my prophet.

Pavilion - Rather, canopy. It probably means the parasol held over kings, which had a tall and thick pole, grasped with both hands, and in the early times a somewhat small circular top.

10. my servant—God often makes one wicked man or nation a scourge to another (Eze 29:18, 19, 20).

royal pavilion—the rich tapestry (literally, "ornament") which hung round the throne from above.

Now God expounds his meaning in his former command: he ordered Jeremiah to take stones, and hide them in a place near the king of Egypt’s palace; now he tells them that this was for a sign that Nebuchadnezzar should set his throne and spread his pavilion in that place. This Nebuchadnezzar God calls his servant, because he was to obey him in what he should do, though he intended not so. Thus Assyria is called the rod of his anger, Isaiah 10:5; and Nebuchadnezzar is so called, Jeremiah 25:9 27:6.

Upon these stones that I have hid; God owneth the stones to be laid by himself, because they were laid at his command.

And say unto them,.... The men of Judah, now in Egypt:

thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; See Gill on Jeremiah 42:15;

behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; as all men are by creation, and as he was in a very eminent sense, being an instrument in his hand of executing his designs, both on the Jews and other nations; him he would send for, and take to perform his counsel; secretly work upon and dispose his mind to such an undertaking, and lay a train of providences, and, by a concourse of them, bring him to Egypt to do his will:

and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; which he had ordered the prophet to hide, and which he did by him; signifying, that the king at Babylon should come with his army against this city, and should take it, and set up his throne, and keep his court here:

and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them; his tent; he shall place here his beautiful one, as the word (i) signifies; this should be set up where these stones were laid, as if they were designed for the foundation of it, though they were only a symbol of it; and would be a token to the Jews, when accomplished, of the certainty of the divine prescience, and of prophecy, with respect to future events, even those the most minute and contingent.

(i) "teutorium elegans", Montanus, Vatablus; "pulchrum", Munster. So Ben Melech.

And say to them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, {k} my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.

(k) Read Jer 25:9.

10. Nebuchadrezzar] Erbt (p. 72) points out that up to this time Jeremiah in his utterances seems to have avoided naming the king.

my servant] See on Jeremiah 25:9.

and will set] LXX (better) he will set.

his royal pavilion] rather, as mg. glittering, as this appears to be the meaning of the root, though the actual word occurs only here. It refers either to the richly decorated carpet on which the throne was to be placed or to the canopy over it.

Verse 10. - And will set his throne, etc.; viz. for the victorious king to hold judgment (comp. Jeremiah 1:15, 16; Jeremiah 49:38). He shall spread his royal pavilion; rather, his tapestry (the root means "brilliance"); i.e. the bright coloured covering of the throne. Jeremiah 43:10Prediction regarding Egypt. - Jeremiah 43:8. "And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, Jeremiah 43:9. Take in thine hand large stones, and hide them in the clay in the brick-kiln, which is at the entrance to the house of Pharaoh in Taphanhes, in the eyes of the Jews; Jeremiah 43:10. And say to them: Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and will place his throne over these stones which I have hidden, and he shall stretch his tapestry over them. Jeremiah 43:11. And he shall come and smite the land of Egypt, (he who is) for death, to death, - (he who is) for captivity, to captivity, - (he who is) for the sword, to the sword. Jeremiah 43:12. And I will kindle fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away; and he shall wrap the land of Egypt round him as the shepherd wraps his cloak round him, and thence depart in peace. Jeremiah 43:13. And he shall destroy the pillars of Beth-shemesh, which is in the land of Egypt, and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire."

This prophecy is introduced by a symbolical action, on which it is based. But in spite of the fact that the object of the action is stated in the address which follows, the action itself is not quite plain from the occurrence of בּמּלבּן, whose usual meaning, "brick-kiln" (cf. Nahum 3:14), does not seem suitable here. Eichhorn and Hitzig think it absurd that there should be found before the door of a royal habitation a brick-kiln on which a king was to place his throne. From the Arabic malbin, which also signifies a rectangular figure like tile or brick, and is used of the projecting entablature of doors, - from the employment, also, in the Talmud of the word מלבּן to signify a quadrangular tablet in the form of a tile, - Hitzig would claim for the word the meaning of a stone floor, and accordingly renders, "and insert them with mortar into the stone flooring." But the entablatures over doors, or quadrangular figures like bricks, are nothing like a stone flooring or pavement before a palace. Besides, in the way of attaching to the word the signification of a "brick-kiln," - a meaning which is well established, - or even of a brickwork, the difficulties are not so great as to compel us to accept interpretations that have no foundation. We do not need to think of a brick-kiln or brickwork as being always before the palace; as Neumann has observed, it may have indeed ben there, although only for a short time, during the erecting of some part of the palace; nor need it have been just at the palace gateway, but a considerable distance away from it, and on the opposite side. Alongside of it there was lying mortar, an indispensable building material. טמן, "to hide," perhaps means here not merely to embed, but to embed in such a way that the stones could not very readily be perceived. Jeremiah was to press down the big stones, not into the brick-kiln, but into the mortar which was lying at (near) the brick-kiln, - to put them, too, before the eyes of the Jews, inasmuch as the meaning of this act had a primary reference to the fate of the Jews in Egypt. The object of the action is thus stated in what follows: Jahveh shall bring the king of Babylon and set his throne on these stones, so that he shall spread out his beautiful tapestry over them. שׁפרוּר (Qeri שׁפריר), an intensive form of שׁפר, שׁפרה, "splendour, beauty," signifies a glittering ornament, - here, the decoration of the throne, the gorgeous tapestry with which the seat of the throne was covered. The stones must thus form the basis for the throne, which the king of Babylon will set up in front of the palace of the king of Egypt at Tahpanhes. But the symbolical meaning of this action is not thereby exhausted. Not merely is the laying of the stones significant, but also the place where they are laid, - at the entrance, or opposite Pharaoh's palace. This palace was built of tiles or bricks: this is indicated by the brick-kiln and the mortar. The throne of the king of Babylon, on the contrary, is set up on large stones. The materials of which the palace and the throne are formed, shadow forth the strength and stability of the kingdom. Pharaoh's dominion is like crumbling clay, the material of bricks; the throne which Nebuchadnezzar shall set up opposite the clay-building of the Pharaohs rests on large stones, - his rule will be powerful and permanent. According to Jeremiah's further development of the symbol in Jeremiah 43:11., Nebuchadnezzar will come to Egypt (the Kethib באה is to be read בּאה, "he came down," to Egypt, בּוא being construed with the accus.), and will smite the land together with its inhabitants, so that every man will receive his appointed lot, viz., death by pestilence, imprisonment, and the sword, i.e., death in battle. On the mode of representation here, cf. Jeremiah 15:2.

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