Jeremiah 5:10
Go you up on her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD's.
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(10) Walls.—Better, her palm-trees. The Hebrew word is found in Ezekiel 27:25, though not in the English Version, in the sense of “mast,” and here, apparently, means the tall, stately trunk of the palmtree. So, for “battlements” it is better to read branches (as in Isaiah 18:5), as carrying on the same imagery, and indicating the limits of the destruction, that is not to make a “full end.” The rendering “walls,” still adopted by some commentators, may refer to the “walls” of a vineyard, but the second word would in that case be the tendrils of the vine. Both the palm-tree and the vine appear on Maccabean coins as symbols of Judah, and the latter had been treated as such in Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:8-16.

Jeremiah 5:10-13. Go ye up upon her walls, &c. — Ye Babylonians, go, execute my vengeance on them; and destroy — I commission you not only to take the city, but to make havoc of its inhabitants. But make not a full end — Leave a remnant. Thus he sets bounds to the destroying sword, beyond which it must not go. Take away her battlements — Lay her fortifications level with the ground. For they are not the Lord’s — I disown them, and take away my protection from them. For the house of Israel and the house of Judah — The two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, as well as the ten; have dealt very treacherously — Have acted perfidiously beyond measure. They have belied the Lord — Given the lie to his threatenings in the mouth of his prophets: or have disbelieved and denied his providence, justice, and power, and his government of human affairs, ascribing his judgments to chance or fortune, or mere second causes. And have said, It is not he — Hebrew, לא הוא, “not he:” that is, he hath not spoken, or he wilt not do as the prophets have threatened in his name; or, he hath no hand in these affairs. Thus the wicked are represented as speaking, Psalm 94:7, “The Lord shall not see: neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.” Neither shall we see sword or famine — The dreadful judgments which the prophet speaks of shall not befall us. And the prophets shall become wind — A proverbial expression, implying that the prophecies of the prophets were vain, and to no purpose; and that all their threats should come to nothing. And the word is not in them — That is, the word of true prophecy; the prophets’ words are not from God. Thus shall it be done unto them — Nay, the very evils which they denounce upon others shall happen to themselves. So said the infidels.5:10-18 Multitudes are ruined by believing that God will not be so strict as his word says he will; by this artifice Satan undid mankind. Sinners are not willing to own any thing to be God's word, that tends to part them from, or to disquiet them in, their sins. Mocking and misusing the Lord's messengers, filled the measure of their iniquity. God can bring trouble upon us from places and causes very remote. He has mercy in store for his people, therefore will set bounds to this desolating judgment. Let us not overlook the nevertheless, ver. 18. This is the Lord's covenant with Israel. He thereby proclaims his holiness, and his utter displeasure against sin while sparing the sinner, Ps 89:30-35.Her walls - It is Possible that not the city walls, but those of a vineyard are meant. Judaea is God's vineyard Isaiah 5:1-7, and God permits the enemy to enter the vineyard to destroy her.

Battlements - tendrils. The tendrils and branches of Judah's vine are given up to ruin, but not the stock. See Isaiah 6:13 note.

10. Abrupt apostrophe to the Babylonians, to take Jerusalem, but not to destroy the nation utterly (see on [897]Jer 4:27).

battlements—rather, tendrils [Maurer]: the state being compared to a vine (Jer 12:10), the stem of which was to be spared, while the tendrils (the chief men) were to be removed.

Go ye up upon her walls; ye Babylonians, go now execute my vengeance on them. I give them into your hands; behold, I give you a commission.

And destroy; I permit and order you not only to take the city, but make havoc of her inhabitants, Isaiah 10:6.

But make not a full end: though God give them a large commission to destroy, yet he puts in a limitation, that he will reserve a remnant from destruction; he sets bounds to the most raging adversary, beyond which he must not pass. See on Jeremiah 4:27.

Take away her battlements; lay her and all her fortifications level with the ground; take away her counterscarp, or high towers, or whatsoever may tend to the defence of a city; to let Jerusalem know that she did but in vain trust to her high walls and strong towers; and battlements may as well be taken for the foundation of her walls, which spread wider than the wall itself. The word the prophet useth signifies things that spread; and thus it agrees with the scope, that is describing the utter overthrow and eradicating of it: so LXX., take away her supports. For they are not the Lord’s; I undertake their defence no longer; I disown them, lake my protection from them, and give them up into your hands, O ye Chaldeans, though they make their boast that they are sheltered under my wing and protection, because there was the temple and altar; but they will find themselves deceived, for I disown them. Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy,.... These are the words of the prophet, or of the Lord by the prophet, to the Chaldeans, ordering them to ascend the walls of Jerusalem, and break them down, as they did, even all the walls of it round about, Jeremiah 52:7, there can be nothing done without the Lord's will; and there is no evil in a city but what is done, or ordered, or suffered to be done by him, Amos 3:6,

but make not a full end; meaning not of the walls, for a full end was made of them, they were broken down all around; but of the people; there were a remnant to be preserved from the sword, and to be carried captive, and to be returned into their own land again, after a term of years:

take away her battlements; which must mean not the battlements of their houses, or of the temple; but of their walls, the fortifications that run out like branches without the wall (w). Kimchi interprets them the teeth of the wall; the Septuagint version renders the word, "the under props"; and the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the foundations of it". The word properly signifies the branches of a vine; wherefore Jarchi takes the word for walls, in the preceding clause, to signify the rows of a vineyard; and the Jews are sometimes compared to a vineyard; and here the Chaldeans are called upon to enter into it, to come upon the rows of the vines in it, and take away its branches:

for they are not the Lord's; either the walls and the battlements are not the Lord's, he disowns them, and will not guard them, and protect them, any more; or rather the people are not the Lord's, he has written a "loammi" upon them; they are not the people of God, nor the branches of Christ the true Vine. The Septuagint, Syriac and Arabic versions, read the words without the negative, "leave her under props", or "her foundations, because they are the Lord's". The Targum is,

"go upon her cities, and destroy, and make not a full end; destroy her palaces, for the Lord has no pleasure in them.''

(w) "propaginos; rami libere luxuriantes----item pinnae, vel potius munimenta et propugnacula extra muri ambitum libere excurrentia", Stockius, p. 675.

{h} Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: {i} take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S.

(h) He commands the Babylonians and enemies to destroy them.

(i) Read Jer 4:27.

10. Judah is likened to a vineyard. So in Jeremiah 12:10; Isaiah 5:1 ff.

her walls] This sense for the MT. as here vocalised is very questionable. It is best, changing one vowel, to take the meaning to be vinerows (as probably in Job 24:11). So Du., though Co. makes it to denote the walls protecting the vineyards, and Gi. (in spite of the metaphor of the context) the walls of Jerusalem.

make not a full end] See on Jeremiah 4:27.

branches] tendrils, so as to keep up the figure of the vine. Cp. Isaiah 18:5.

10–19. See summary at beginning of section.Verses 10-18. - Provoked by the open unbelief of the men of Judah, Jehovah repeats his warning of a sore judgment. Verse 10. - Her walls. There is a doubt about "walls," which should, as some think, rather be vine-rows (a change of points is involved; also of shin into sin - the slightest of all changes), or shoots, or branches (comparing the Syriac). The figure would thus gain somewhat in symmetry. However, all the ancient interpreters (whose authority, overrated by some, still counts for something) explain the word as in the Authorized Version, and, as Graf remarks, in order to destroy the vines, it' would be necessary to climb up upon the walls of the vineyard. (For the figure of the vine or the vineyard, scrap, on Jeremiah 2:21.) Take away... not the Lord's. The Septuagint and Peshito read differently, translating "leave her foundations, for they are the Lord's" (supposing the figure be taken from a building). As the text stands, it is better to change battlements into tendrils. Judah's degenerate members are to be removed, but the vine-stock, i.e., the behooving kernel of the nation, is to be left. It is the key-note of the "remnant" which Jeremiah again strikes (see Jeremiah 4:27). This total want of good faith and uprightness is found not only in the lower orders of the populace, amongst the mean and ignorant rabble, but in the higher ranks of the educated. This is rhetorically put in this shape, that Jeremiah, believing that only the common people are so deeply sunk in immorality, turns to the great to speak to them, and amongst them discovers a thorough-going renunciation of the law of God. דּלּים, weak, are the mean and poor of the people, who live from hand to mouth in rudeness and ignorance, their anxieties bent on food and clothing (cf. Jeremiah 39:10; Jeremiah 40:7). These do foolishly (נואלוּ as in Numbers 12:11), from want of religious training. They know not the way of Jahveh, i.e., the way, the manner of life, prescribed to men by God in His word; cf. 2 Kings 21:22; Psalm 25:9, etc. The judgment of their God, i.e., that which God demanded as right and lawful, 2 Kings 17:26, etc. The great, i.e., the wealthy, distinguished, and educated. Yet even these have broken the yoke of the law, i.e., have emancipated themselves from obedience to the law (Hitz.); cf. Jeremiah 2:20. Therefore they must be visited with punishment.
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