Jeremiah 49:13
For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.
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(13) Bozrah.—This, as in Isaiah 34:6; Isaiah 63:1, was one of the chief cities of Edom, probably identical with the modern El-Busaireh, half-way between Petra and the Dead Sea.

49:7-22 The Edomites were old enemies to the Israel of God. But their day is now at hand; it is foretold, not only to warn them, but for the sake of the Israel of God, whose afflictions were aggravated by them. Thus Divine judgments go round from nation to nation; the earth is full of commotion, and nothing can escape the ministers of Divine vengeance. The righteousness of God is to be observed amidst the violence of men.Translate it: "Behold they whose rule was not to drink of the cup shall surely drink etc." It was not the ordinary manner of God's people to suffer from His wrath: but now when they are drinking of the wine-cup of fury Jeremiah 25:15, how can those not in covenant with Him hope to escape?13. Bozrah—(See on [990]Jer 48:24). As men, when they would confirm their promise or threatening to do any thing, add an oath to it, so doth God, who, having no greater to swear by, swears by himself, Jeremiah 44:26. That which God would here confirm was his threatening against Edom, expressed under the notion of

Bozrah, ( a part for the whole,) Bozrah being its principal city, Isaiah 63:1, as well as a city of Moab (as we found in the foregoing chapter); and that which he threatens it with was not being a reproach, a waste, and a curse for a time, but for ever.

For I have sworn by myself, saith the Lord,.... This he did, because he could swear by no greater, and to show the certain and infallible accomplishment of the event, and the importance of it; and which was so extraordinary, that it was scarce thought credible, and therefore an oath is used to confirm it:

that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; not Rome, as Abarbinel; nor Jerusalem, as Cocceius; nor Bozrah of Moab, Jeremiah 48:24; but Bozrah of Idumea, Isaiah 63:1; the royal city of Edom, as Kimchi; this should be utterly destroyed, and be spoken of contemptibly, and used proverbially, to express a curse; the Lord curse thee as Bozrah is cursed. It may be put for the whole country of Edom, of which it was the metropolis, since it follows,

and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes; either those in the neighbourhood of it, and belonging to it, it being the capital or mother city; or all the cities in the land of Edom; so general should be the desolation.

For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that {o} Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all her cities shall be perpetual wastes.

(o) Which was a chief city of Edom.

13. Bozrah] perhaps Busaireh, twenty miles S.E. of the Dead Sea. See on ch. Jeremiah 48:20-24.

Verse 13. - Bozrah. This seems to have been at one time the capital of Edom (see Amos 1:12; Isaiah 34:6; Isaiah 63:1). It was a hill city (comp. on ver. 16); a village called Busaira (i.e. little Bozrah) now stands among its ruins. Perpetual wastes. A phrase characteristic of Jeremiah (see also Jeremiah 25:9) and of the second part of Isaiah (Isaiah 58:12; Isaiah 61:4). Jeremiah 49:13Jeremiah 49:9 is a reproduction of Obadiah 1:5, but in such a way that what Obadiah brings forward as a comparison is directly applied by Jeremiah to the enemy: our prophet represents the enemy as grape-gatherers who leave nothing to glean, and as nocturnal thieves who destroy what is sufficient for them, i.e., destroy till they have enough, drag away and destroy as much as they can. The after-clauses, "they will not leave," etc., "they destroy," etc., are thus not to be taken as questions. The reference to Obadiah does not entitle us to supply הלוא from that passage. The connection here is somewhat different. The following verse is joined by means of כּי, "for;" and the thought, "for I have stripped Esau, I have discovered his secret places," shows that the enemy is to be understood by the grape-gatherers and nocturnal thieves: he will leave nothing to glean - will plunder all the goods and treasures of Edom, even those that have been hidden. On this subject, cf. Obadiah 1:6. חשׂף, "to strip off leaves, make bare" (Jeremiah 13:26), has been chosen with a regard to נחפּשׂוּ in Obadiah. ונחבּה לא יוּכל, lit., "and he hides himself, he will not be able to do it;" i.e., Esau (Edom) tries to hide himself; he will not be able to do it - he will not remain concealed from the enemy. There are not sufficient grounds for changing the perf. נחבּה equals נחבּא into the inf. abs. נחבּה, as Ewald and Graf do. "His seed is destroyed," i.e., his family, the posterity of Esau, the Edomites, his brethren," the descendants of nations related to the family, and of others similar who had intermingled with them, as the Amalekites, Genesis 36:12, Horites, Genesis 36:20., Simeonites, 1 Chronicles 4:42, "and his neighbours," the neighbouring tribes, as Dedan, Jeremiah 49:8, Thema and Buz, Jeremiah 25:23. "And he is not" is added to give intensity, as in Isaiah 19:7; cf. Jeremiah 31:15. The last idea is made more intensive by Jeremiah 49:11, "Leave your orphans and widows." Edom is addressed, and the imperative expresses what must happen. The men of Edom will be obliged to leave their wives and children, and these will be left behind as widows and orphans, because the men fall in battle. Yet the Lord will care for them, so that they shall not perish. In this comfort there is contained a very bitter truth for the Edomites who hated Jahveh. עזבה is the imperative (Ewald, 228, a), not infinitive (Hitzig); and תּבטחוּ is a rare form of the jussive for תּבטחנה, as in Ezekiel 37:7; cf. Ewald, 191, b. Reasons are given for these threats in Jeremiah 49:12 and Jeremiah 49:13, first in the thought that Edom cannot continue to be the only one unpunished, then in the bringing forward of the solemnly uttered purpose of God. "Those who should not be compelled to drink." Those meant are the Israelites, who, as the people of God, ought to have been free from the penal judgment with which the Lord visits the nations. If, now, these are not left (spared such an infliction), still less can Edom, as a heathen nation, lay claim to exemption. By this Jeremiah does not mean to say that nay injustice befalls the Jews if they are obliged to drink the cup of the wrath of God, but merely that their having been chosen to be the people of God does not give them any right to exemption from the judgments of God on the world, i.e., if they make themselves like the heathen through their sins and vices. The inf. abs. שׁתו for שׁתה intensifies: "ye shall (must) drink." The idea is founded on that pervading Jeremiah 25, and there is use made of the words in Jeremiah 25:29. The כּי in Jeremiah 49:13 is mainly dependent on the clause immediately preceding: "thou shalt certainly drink." On "by myself have I sworn" cf. Jeremiah 22:5. In the threat that Edom shall be laid waste there is an accumulation of words corresponding to the excitement of feeling accompanying an utterance under solemn oath. חרב is used instead of the more common חרבּה; cf. Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 44:22, etc. חרבות עולם, as in Jeremiah 25:9. Bozrah was at that time the capital of the Edomites (cf. Jeremiah 49:22); it lay south from the Dead Sea, on the site of the village Buseireh (Little Bozrah), in Jebal, which is still surrounded by a castle and with ruins of considerable extent, and is situated on an eminence; see on Amos 1:12 and Genesis 36:33. "And all its cities," i.e., the rest of the cities of Idumea; cf. וּבנותיה, Jeremiah 49:2.
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