Jeremiah 46:3
Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.
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(3, 4) Order ye the buckler and shield . . .—The poem opens with a summons to the hosts of Nebuchadnezzar to prepare for their victory. First the foot-soldiers are called, then the horse, lastly the light-armed troops.

Put on the brigandines.—The history of the word is not without interest. Light-armed skirmishers were known in Italian as “brigands” (briganti—literally, “quarrellers”); the light coat of mail worn by them was accordingly known as a “brigandine.” When the Italian word became synonymous with robbers by land or sea, the ship used by them was called a brigantino, and from this is derived our English “brig” (W. A. Wright: Bible Word Book). The word “brigandine” is accordingly used by writers of the sixteenth century in both senses: by Spenser, for a ship—

“Like as a warlike brigandine applied

To fight;”

and by Milton—

“Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet

And brigandine or brass”

(Sams. Agonist., 1120)—in the same sense as here and in Jeremiah 51:3.

Jeremiah 46:3-6. Order ye the buckler, &c. — In these verses the mighty preparations of the Egyptians for war are described, which causes the prophet, who foresees the defeat, to express, as he does in the next two verses, “his astonishment at an event so contrary to what might have been expected; but he accounts for it by ascribing it to the disposition of the Almighty, who had spread terror all around, and had decreed that neither swiftness nor strength should avail the owners so as to save them from the impending overthrow.” — Blaney. I have seen them dismayed and turned back — God had, in a vision, shown Jeremiah the army of the Egyptians discomfited and fleeing; and their mighty ones — Their most powerful warriors and valiant commanders; are beaten down, and are fled apace — Either fall in the battle, or flee away as fast as they can; for fear is round about — A panic fear hath seized the whole army. Let not the swift flee away — Let them not be able to escape from those that pursue them, but be either killed or taken. They shall stumble, &c., toward the north by the river Euphrates — Which was northward from Egypt, and even from Judea: so Babylon is described as lying northward, being situate upon that river.

46:1-12 The whole word of God is against those who obey not the gospel of Christ; but it is for those, even of the Gentiles, who turn to Him. The prophecy begins with Egypt. Let them strengthen themselves with all the art and interest they have, yet it shall be all in vain. The wounds God inflicts on his enemies, cannot be healed by medicines. Power and prosperity soon pass from one to another in this changing world.Order ye ... - "i. e., prepare ye, make ready." The buckler was a small round target carried by the lightly-armed troops: the shield belonged to the heavily-armed troops, and was large enough to protect the whole body. 3. Derisive summons to battle. With all your mighty preparation for the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, when ye come to the encounter, ye shall be "dismayed" (Jer 46:5). Your mighty threats shall end in nothing.

buckler—smaller, and carried by the light-armed cavalry.

shield—of larger size, and carried by the heavily armed infantry.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Order ye the buckler and shield,.... Both signify one and the same sort of armour, only of a different form, the one being lesser and lighter than the other. Jarchi makes the difference to be, that the former was made of skin, the latter of wood; they were both used to defend the body in war. To order them is not only to prepare them, and get them ready; but to fit them to the body, and to put them on, that they might be in a readiness to engage in battle. The exhortation is made either to the Chaldean army, to prepare to fight against the Egyptians; or to the army of Pharaohnecho, to defend themselves against the king of Babylon, who was coming against them, as Kimchi and Abarbinel, who seem to be in doubt which it should be; but the latter is most probable: and it is either a direction of Pharaoh to his army, to be in readiness; or rather of God, speaking ironically to them, suggesting, that let them do what they would, and make ever such preparations for battle, all would come to nothing, victory would be on the other side;

and draw near to battle; engage the enemy briskly, and with the greatest courage, and use all your military skill; and, when ye have done, it will all be in vain.

{c} Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.

(c) He warns the Egyptians to prepare themselves for war.

3. Order ye] rather, Prepare ye. Or, more literally, Set in line.

buckler and shield] The former of these was a small round shield which the light-armed troops carried, while the latter covered the whole body and was borne accordingly by the heavy-armed.

3–6. These verses give us a lively description of the preparation and the advance, which were followed by the disastrous defeat at Carchemish.

Verse 3. - Order ye, etc. The leaders of the Egyptians are heard summoning their men to make ready their armour, and set themselves in array (comp. ver. 9). The buckler (Hebrew, magen) is the small shield; the shield (Hebrew, cinnah) is the large one (scutum), which covered the whole body (comp. 2 Chronicles 9:15, 16). Jeremiah 46:3"Prepare shield and target, and advance to the battle. Jeremiah 46:4. Yoke the horses [to the chariots]; mount the steeds, and stand with helmets on; polish the spears, put on the armour. Jeremiah 46:5. Why do I see? they are terrified and turned back, and their heroes are beaten, and flee in flight, and do not turn: terror is round about, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 46:6. Let not the swift one flee, nor let the hero escape; towards the north, by the side of the river Euphrates, they stumble and fall. Jeremiah 46:7. Who is this that cometh up like the Nile? his waters wave like the rivers. Jeremiah 46:8. Egypt cometh up like the Nile, [his] waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, I will cover the earth; I will destroy the city, and those who dwell in it. Jeremiah 46:9. Go up, ye horses; and drive furiously, ye chariots; and let the heroes go forth; Cushites and Phutites, bearing the shield; and Lydians, handling [and] bending the bow. Jeremiah 46:10. But that day [belongs] to the Lord Jahveh of hosts, a day of vengeance for avenging Himself on His enemies: and the sword shall devour and be satisfied, and shall drink its fill of their blood; for the Lord Jahveh of hosts holdeth a slaying of sacrifices in the land of the north at the river Euphrates. Jeremiah 46:11. Go up to Gilead, and take balsam, O virgin, daughter of Egypt: in vain hast thou multiplied medicines; cure there is none for thee. Jeremiah 46:12. The nations have heard of thine ignominy, and thy cry hath filled the earth: for heroes stumble against heroes, both of them fall together."

This address falls into two strophes, Jeremiah 46:3-6 and Jeremiah 46:7-12. In both are depicted in a lively manner, first the advance of the Egyptian host to the battle, then their flight and destruction. The whole has been arranged so as to form a climax: in the first strophe, the admirable equipment of the armies, and their sudden flight and defeat, are set forth in brief sentences; in the second, there is fully described not merely the powerful advance of the host that covers the earth, but also the judgment of inevitable destruction passed on them by God: the reason for the whole is also assigned. Jeremiah 46:3. In order to represent the matter in a lively way, the description begins with the call addressed to the army, to make ready for the battle. "Make ready shield and target," the two main pieces of defensive armour. מגן was the small [round] shield; צנּה, scutum, the large shield, covering the whole body. "Advance to the fight," i.e., go forward into the battle. Then the address turns to the several portions of the army: first to those who fight from chariots, who are to yoke the horses; then to the horsemen, to mount the steeds. פּרשׁים are not horsemen, but riding-horses, as in 1 Kings 5:6; 1 Kings 10:26; Ezekiel 27:14. עלה is construed with the accus., as in Genesis 49:4. The rendering given by Dahler and Umbreit, "Mount, ye horsemen," and that of Hitzig, "Advance, ye horsemen," are against the parallelism; and the remark of the last-named writer, that "Mount the steeds" would be רכבוּ, does not accord with 1 Samuel 30:17. Next, the address is directed to the foot-soldiers, who formed the main portion of the army. These are to take up their position with helmets on, to polish the spears, i.e., to sharpen them, and to put on the pieces of armour, in order to be arrayed for battle. מרק, to rub, polish, remove rust from the spear, and thereby sharpen it. סריון, here and in Jeremiah 51:3 for שׁריון, a coat of mail, pieces of armour.

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