Jeremiah 49:17
Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.
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(17) Edom shall be a desolation.—The words did not receive an immediate or even a rapid fulfilment. Idumæa was a populous and powerful country in the time of John Hyrcanus. Petra, as we have seen, was rebuilt by the Romans as a centre of trade and government, and had its baths, and theatres, and temples. But the end came at last, and there are few lands, once the seat of a thriving nation, more utterly desolate than that of Edom. From the ninth century of the Christian era it disappears from history (Robinson’s Researches, ii. 575).

Jeremiah 49:17-19. Edom shall be a desolation; every one shall hiss, &c. — See note on Jeremiah 18:16. As in the overthrow of Sodom, &c. — A proverbial expression, denoting an utter destruction. Behold, he shall come up like a lion, &c. — This is a description of Nebuchadnezzar’s marching with his army against Idumea, whom the prophet compares to a lion coming out of his den near Jordan. When that river swells, in the time of harvest, the lions, that lie in the thickets on the river side, are raised out of their coverts, and infest the country: see note on Jeremiah 12:5, and Maundrell’s Travels, pp. 81, 82. Against the habitation of the strong — Hebrew, אל נוה איתן, the strong folds, or rough pastures. The LXX. read εις τοπον Αιθαμ, to the place Aitham, considering the word which we render strong as a proper name. But I will suddenly make him run away from her — This clause should rather be rendered, I will rouse him up and make him, run upon her, the preposition מעל, here rendered from likewise signifying upon, and being so rendered by our translators, 1 Kings 9:5. To this purpose the Vulgate, quia subito currere faciam eum ad illam, because I will cause him to run suddenly against her. And who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? — Namely, to spoil and destroy her. What select man shall I employ for this purpose? for it must be one who will do it effectually. Nebuchadnezzar, or his captain-general Nebuzar- adan, seems to be here meant. For who is like me? — Who is able, like me, to prepare instruments to perform his work? And who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd? &c. — Who will challenge me to meet him in the field, as if we were upon equal terms? or what leader or general can enter the lists with me? “The word shepherd often signifies a prince, or commander. But here it is used in opposition to the lion mentioned before; as if he had said, A shepherd may as well encounter a lion as the best appointed warrior contend with the Almighty, or those whom he makes the instruments of his vengeance.” — Lowth.

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.Better, "And Edom shall become a terror: every passer by shalt be terrified, and shudder etc."17. (Compare 1Ki 9:8). The like is said of Babylon, Jeremiah 50:13: it appears from 1 Kings 9:8, that it was a kind of proverbial expression, when they would express a great desolation, or great plagues, that those who passed by such a place should be astonished, and hiss at it.

Also Edom shall be a desolation,.... Not only Bozrah, its principal city, before spoken of, but the whole country of Idumea should be laid waste; its fortified cities destroyed; its riches plundered; and its inhabitants slain with the sword; or carried captive:

everyone that goeth by it shall be astonished; at the desolation made, so suddenly and so universally:

and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof; rejoice at them; clap their hands, and shake their heads, as the Targum; and hiss with their tongues, insulting and deriding them.

Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.
17. Cp. Jeremiah 19:8.

Verse 17. - A desolation; rather, an astonishment. The word is from the same root as the following verb. The phrase is characteristic of Jeremiah, who has no scruple in repeating a forcible expression, and so enforcing an important truth (comp. Jeremiah 25:11, 38; Jeremiah 50:23; Jeremiah 51:43). What so "astonishing" as the reverses of once flourishing kingdoms! For the Bible knows nothing of the "necessity" of the decay and death of nations. The "covenant" which Jehovah offers contains the pledge of indestructibility. Everyone that goeth by it, etc. Another self-reminiscence (see Jeremiah 19:8). Jeremiah 49:17The nature and occasion of the judgment decreed. - Jeremiah 49:14. "I have heard tidings from Jahveh, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: Gather yourselves together, and go against her, and arise to the battle! Jeremiah 49:15. For, behold, I have made thee small among the nations, despised among men. Jeremiah 49:16. Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, the pride of thy heart, O thou that dwellest in the hiding-places of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill. Though thou makest thy nest high like the eagle, thence will I bring thee down, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 49:17. And Edom shall become an astonishment; every passer-by shall be astonished at her, and shall hiss at all her plagues. Jeremiah 49:18. As [it was in] the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, saith Jahveh, no man shall dwell there, nor shall a son of man sojourn there."

This judgment will immediately take place. The nations who are to make Edom small and despised have been already summoned by the Lord to the war. Jeremiah has taken this idea from Obadiah 1:1, Obadiah 1:2. The subject in "I have heard" is the prophet, who has heard the information from Jahveh. In Obadiah is found the plural, "we have heard," because the prophet includes himself among the people; this is to show that the news serves as a consolation to Israel, because Edom shall be punished for his crimes committed against Judah. This view was not before the mind of Jeremiah; with him the prevailing representation is, that judgment, from which Edom cannot be excepted, is passed upon all nations. Therefore he has chosen the singular, "I have heard." In the succeeding clause the perf. Pual שׁלּח has been changed into שׁלוּח, as the more usual form. The messenger is to be considered as having been sent by the Lord for the purpose of summoning the nations to war, as he actually does in the second hemistich. The message agrees, in the nature of its contents, with Obadiah 1:1; but Jeremiah has dealt somewhat freely with its form. The statement with regard to the object of the war, Jeremiah 49:15, agrees pretty exactly with Obadiah 1:2. The account, too, which is given of the cause of the judgment, i.e., the guilt of Edom arising from his trusting in the impregnable character of his habitation, is derived from Obadiah 1:3, Obadiah 1:4. Jeremiah has intensified the idea by the additional use of תּפלצתּך, but has also made certain limitations of the expression by omitting some clauses found in Obadiah. The word just named is ἅπ. λεγ., and has been variously explained. The verb פּלץ occurs only in Job 9:6, with the meaning of quaking, trembling; and the noun פּלּצוּת pretty frequently in the sense of fear, shuddering, horror; further, מפלצת is used in 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16, of an idol, monster, object of horror. Hence Rabbinical writers have been inclined to understand תּפלצת as meaning idolatry; in this they are followed by J. D. Michaelis, Meier, and Ngelsbach. The last-named writer translates, "Thy monster (idol) led thee astray." But even though this meaning were better established from the use of language than it is, yet the mention of idolatry, or even of an idol, is quite unsuitable in this passage. The lxx render ἡ παιγνία σου i.e., risus or jocus tuus, Chald. טפשׁוּתך, "thy folly," - evidently a mere guess from the context. The best ascertained translation is, "Thy terror," i.e., the terror which thou dost inspire, or the fear of thee, "hath misled thee, the pride of thine heart," so that "the pride," etc., forms an apposition to "thy terror." The combination of the fem. תּפלצתּך with the verb השּׁיא in the masc. is not decisive against this. Following the example of Schleussner (O arrogantiam tuam), Hitzig and Graf would take the word as an exclamation, "Terror to thee! horror on thee!" and thy point for support to הפכּכם, Isaiah 29:16. But an exclamation is out of place here, and incompatible with the derivation of the following words from Obadiah. Since Jeremiah appropriates from Obadiah the thought, "thy pride hath misled thee," תּפלצתּך may possibly be meant as a mere intensification of זדוי לבּך. The pride of Edom increased because the other nations were afraid to make war on him in his rocky dwelling, so difficult of access. On שׂכני בּחגוי הסּלע, see on Obadiah 1:3. The succeeding apposition-clause מרום שׁבתּו, found in Obadiah, is modified by Jeremiah into תּפשׂי מרום גּבעה otni , "thou that seizest, or holdest (as in Jeremiah 40:10), the height of the hill." In the expression חגוי there is perhaps implied an allusion to the rock-city סלע, or Petra, in the Wady Musa (see on 2 Kings 14:7), and in מרום גּבעה ni dn another allusion to Bozrah, which lay on a hill; see on Jeremiah 49:13. On Jeremiah 49:16, cf. Obadiah 1:4. Jeremiah has omitted the hyperbolic addition, "among the stars." In Jeremiah 49:17 and Jeremiah 49:18 the devastation of Edom is further portrayed. On Jeremiah 49:17, cf. Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah 25:38; with 17b agrees Jeremiah 19:8, almost word for word. The comparison with Sodom, etc., is a reminiscence from Deuteronomy 29:22, and is repeated in the prophecy concerning Babylon, 50:40; cf. Isaiah 13:19; Amos 4:11. "Her neighbours" are Admah and Zeboim, Deuteronomy 29:22; Hosea 11:8. The comparison with Sodom is not so to be understood as if it indicated that Edom shall be destroyed in the same manner as Sodom; it is merely stated that the land of Edom shall become a desert waste, like the region of the Dead Sea, uninhabited, and with no human beings in it; cf. Jeremiah 49:33 and Jeremiah 50:40.

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