Jeremiah 46:4
Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines.
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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.From the infantry the prophet proceeds to the chariots, in which the Egyptians placed great confidence.

Get up, ye horsemen - Or, "mount the steeds."

Furbish - i. e., polish, sharpen.

Brigandines - In old times brigand meant a soldier, and we still call a division of an army a brigade, and a commander a brigadier, i. e., a brigandier, or captain of brigands. Similarly a brigandine means a soldier's equipment, and is put here for a coat of mail.

4. Harness the horses—namely, to the war chariots, for which Egypt was famed (Ex 14:7; 15:4).

get up, ye horsemen—get up into the chariots. Maurer, because of the parallel "horses," translates, "Mount the steeds." But it is rather describing the successive steps in equipping the war chariots; first harness the horses to them, then let the horsemen mount them.

brigandines—cuirasses, or coats of mail.

Art hath so much improved all things in later ages, that it is very hard to determine of what form the several weapons and pieces of armour, whether offensive or defensive, in use at this time were; the most here mentioned seem to have been defensive, and the whole speech of the prophet directed to the Egyptians seems to be ironical, calling to this army of Pharaoh-necho to get ready to defend themselves, for they were to encounter with an enemy would put them very hard to it, so as they had need to have their helmets, and bucklers, and shields, and brigandines all in a readiness, and know the use of them well; the horses for war had need be harnessed, the spears furbished, and the riders got up.

Harness the horses,.... Put on their bridles and saddles and gird them: or, "bind the horses" (r); that is, to the chariots; put them to, as we commonly express it: Egypt abounded in horses, and so no doubt brought a large cavalry, and a multitude of chariots, into the field of battle:

and get up, ye horsemen; upon the horses, or into the chariots, and so be ready to receive the enemy, or to attack him:

and stand forth with your helmets; present themselves on horseback, or in their chariots, with their helmets on their heads, to cover them in the day of battle:

furbish the spears; that they may be sharp and piercing, and look bright and glittering, and strike terror in the enemy:

and put on the brigandines; coats of mail, to cover the whole body, which were made of iron, consisting of rings, as Kimchi observes.

(r) "ligate equos", Montanus, Calvin; "alligate", Schmidt.

Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines.
4. Harness the horses] to the chariots which formed a very important feature of Egyptian armies.

get up, ye horsemen] probably, mount the steeds.

Verse 4. - Harness the horses; viz. to the war chariots, for which Egypt was famous (comp. Exodus 14:6, 9; 1 Kings 10:28, 29: Isaiah 31:1). Get up, ye horsemen. An equally possible rendering, and one which better suits the parallelism, is, "mount the chargers." Put on the brigandines. "Brigandine" is an archaic word (Hakluyt's 'Voyages'), meaning the armour of a "brigand "or member of a "brigade," or "troop" (comp. Italian, brigata). The Hebrew word means "coats of mail." Jeremiah 46:4"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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