Jeremiah 46:3
Order you 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). "The word which Jeremiah the prophet spake to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Jeremiah 45:2. Thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel, to thee, O Baruch: V. 3. Thou saidst, Woe to me now! for Jahveh hath added sorrow to my pain: I am weary with sighing, and no rest do I find. V. 4. Thus shalt thou say unto him, Thus saith Jahveh: Behold, what I have built I will destroy, and what I have planted I will pluck up, and that is the whole earth. V. 5. And thou seekest great things for thyself: seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil on all flesh, saith Jahveh; but I will give thy life unto thee for booty in all places whither thou shalt go."

From the superscription in Jeremiah 45:1, it appears that this word of God came to Baruch through Jeremiah the prophet, in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, when Baruch was writing out, or had written out, in a book-roll the prophecies that had been uttered by Jeremiah up till that time. It is not necessarily implied in the infin. בּכתבו that the word of God came during the transcription, while he was still engaged in writing: it may also mean, "when he was ready with the writing," had got done with it; and Hitzig is wrong when he rejects as "misleading" the view which Movers takes - "when he had written." The writing down of the addresses of Jeremiah in the year mentioned is related in Jeremiah 36; thus the substance of this chapter and that of Jeremiah 36 agree. "These words" can only be the addresses (words) of Jeremiah which Baruch was then writing down. From this, Hitzig, Graf, Ngelsbach, and others, infer that this small piece was the last in the copy of Jeremiah's prophecies originally prepared under Jehoiakim, - if not of the first one which was intended to be read in the temple, at least of the second copy which was made after the former one had been destroyed; and that it was only after the collection had been enlarged to the extent of the collection handed down to us, that this portion was affixed as an appendix to the end of the prophecies of Jeremiah which relate to his own country. But this inference is not a valid one. "These words" are the addresses of the prophet in general, which Baruch wrote down; and that only those which were uttered up to the fourth year of Jehoiakim are intended, is implied, not in the demonstrative "these," but in the date given afterwards, by which "these" is further specified. In Jeremiah 45:1 it is merely stated that at that time the word of God, given below, came to Jeremiah, and through Him to Baruch, but not that Baruch wrote down this also on that occasion, and appended it to the roll of Jeremiah's prophecies which had been prepared at his dictation. It may have been written down much later, possibly not till the whole of Jeremiah's prophecies were collected and arranged in Egypt. Moreover, the position occupied by this chapter in the collection shows that this message of comfort to Baruch was added as an appendix to those predictions of Jeremiah which concern Judah and Israel.

The occasion for this message of comfort addressed to the prophet's attendant is pointed out in Jeremiah 45:3, in the words which Baruch had uttered: "Woe to me! for Jahveh adds sorrow to my pain." Baruch felt "pain," i.e., pain of soul, at the moral corruption of the people, their impenitence and obduracy in sin and vice, just like the prophet himself, Jeremiah 15:18. To this pain God adds sorrow, by threatening the judgment which shall fall on Judah for sin, and which was even then beginning to break over the land; cf. Jeremiah 8:18. Baruch sighs over this till he is wearied, and finds no rest; cf. Lamentations 5:5. "I am weary with my sighing," is a reminiscence from Psalm 6:7. This sorrow in addition to his pain was not caused in him for the first time by writing down the discourses of the prophet, but was rather thus freshened and increased. The answer of the Lord to this sighing is of a stern character, yet soothing for Baruch. The sentence of destruction has been determined on. What the Lord has built He will now destroy: it is not said why, since the reason was sufficiently known from the prophet's utterances. As to the expression in Jeremiah 45:4, cf. Jeremiah 1:10; Jeremiah 31:28. The destruction regards the whole earth, היא ואת־כּל־הארץ, lit., "and as regards the whole earth, it is it," namely that I destroy. On the employment of את in introducing the subject, cf. Daniel 9:13; Haggai 2:5, and Ewald, 277 d. כּל־הארץ does not mean "the whole land," but "the whole earth:" this is indubitably evident from the parallel "upon all flesh," Jeremiah 45:5, i.e., the whole of humanity, as in Jeremiah 25:31. The sentence is passed on all the earth, in accordance with the announcement made in Jeremiah 25:15.

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