Jeremiah 50:11
Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;
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(11) Destroyers of mine heritage.—Better, plunderers or robbers.

Ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass.—Better, the Hebrew text being in the singular, thou leapedst as the heifer while threshing. The rule of Deuteronomy 25:4 (“Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn “) made the image significant enough. The English version has, however, the support of the LXX. and Vulg.

And bellow as bulls.—Better, thou didst neigh as strong steeds. The verb is the same as in Jeremiah 5:8, the noun the same as in Jeremiah 8:16.

50:8-20 The desolation that shall be brought upon Babylon is set forth in a variety of expressions. The cause of this destruction is the wrath of the Lord. Babylon shall be wholly desolated; for she hath sinned against the Lord. Sin makes men a mark for the arrows of God's judgments. The mercy promised to the Israel of God, shall not only accompany, but arise from the destruction of Babylon. These sheep shall be gathered from the deserts, and put again into good pasture. All who return to God and their duty, shall find satisfaction of soul in so doing. Deliverances out of trouble are comforts indeed, when fruits of the forgiveness of sin.Or, "Chaldaea shall become a spoil ... for thou wast glad, thou exultedst, ye plunderers of mine heritage."

Because ye are grown fat - Rather, for thou leapedst, skippedst as an animal does when playing.

As the heifer at grass - Or, as a heifer threshing. When threshing cattle were allowed to eat their fill Deuteronomy 25:4, and so grew playful.

Bellow as bulls - Better as in the margin.

11. (Isa 47:6).

grown fat—and so, skip wantonly.

at grass—fat and frisky. But there is a disagreement of gender in Hebrew reading thus. The Keri is better: "a heifer threshing"; the strongest were used for threshing, and as the law did not allow their mouth to be muzzled in threshing (De 25:4), they waxed wanton with eating.

bellow as bulls—rather, "neigh as steeds," literally, "strong ones," a poetical expression for steeds (see on [994]Jer 8:16) [Maurer].


rejoiced at the ruin of the Jews; the same thing is laid to the charge of the Edomites, Ob 12. The Chaldeans were God’s rod to scourge the Jews; but when men are made use of by God, as his rod and scourge, they ought not to put off humanity, but to behave themselves decently, and as persons that are sensible of the miseries which their brethren suffer. God calls them his heritage, because they formerly were a people whom he owned above all other people. There is some difference amongst critical interpreters, whether the heifer here mentioned be to be understood of

a heifer at grass, ( as we translate it,) or a heifer used to tread out the corn; or whether the last words be to be understood of a horse neighing, (as the words may be interpreted,) or a

bull bellowing. But these are things of very small moment. The cause for which Babylon is threatened was doubtless their luxury of all sorts commonly attending great wealth, and prosperity meeting with hearts unsanctified.

Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage,.... This is addressed to the Chaldeans who destroyed Jerusalem and the land of Judea, once the heritage of the Lord; when they rejoiced at the destruction of God's people, and insulted them in their miseries; and which is the cause and reason assigned of their ruin; for though they had a commission to destroy, yet they exceeded that, and especially by exulting at the ruin of that people, which showed great inhumanity. So the Papists will rejoice at the slaying of the witnesses, but will be repaid in their own coin, Revelation 11:10;

because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass: which feeds all the day, and so grows fat. Some copies read, "as the heifer that treads out" (k) the corn; which, according to the law, was not to be muzzled, and so was continually feeding, and grew plump and sleek; and so these Chaldeans, having enriched themselves with the spoils of Judea and other nations, gave themselves up to ease and luxury; and it was at one of their festivals their city was taken, to which there may be some allusion:

and bellow as bulls: or, "neigh as horses" (l); having got the victory, of which war horses are sensible; or it may denote their impetuous lust after women, whom they forced and ravished, when taken captives by them.

(k) "sicut vitula exterens", Tigurine version; "triturans", Cocceius, De Dieu. (l) "hinnistis sicut fortes (equi)", Munster, Vatablus, Piscator, Schmidt; "ut caballi", Cocceius.

Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of my heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, {m} and bellow as bulls;

(m) For joy of the victory that you had against my people.

11. an heifer] LXX render calves, which is better.

that treadeth out the corn] mg. at grass, vocalising (with LXX) the Hebrew differently. The cattle were without muzzles when treading the corn (Deuteronomy 25:4).

neigh] See on Jeremiah 8:16.

Verses 11-20. - Babylon's desolation and Israel's glorification. Verses 11, 12. - Because ye were glad, etc.; rather, Truly ye may be glad; truly ye may rejoice, ye spoilers of mine heritage; truly ye may leap as a heifer at grass, and neigh as steeds; yet your mother, etc. Your triumph shall be of short duration; disgrace follows closely upon its heels. "Your mother" is a term for the nation regarded as a whole (comp. Isaiah 51:1; Hosea 2:2; Hosea 4:5). "At grass" is the reading adopted by the Septuagint and Vulgate; the pointed text has (the vowels alone are different), "(a heifer) that thresheth," i.e. allowed to eat its fill of corn, agreeably to the direction in Deuteronomy 25:4. It is not clear why the Authorized Version deserted the received pointing. Behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness; rather, Behold, the hindermost of the nations! a wilderness, etc. The subject understood in the first part is obviously the people, in the second the land, of Babylon. Jeremiah 50:11The devastation of Babylon and glory of Israel. - Jeremiah 50:11. "Thou ye rejoice, though ye exult, O ye plunderers of mine inheritance, though ye leap proudly like a heifer threshing, and neigh like strong horses, Jeremiah 50:12. Your mother will be very much ashamed; she who bare you will blush: behold, the last of the nations [will be] a wilderness, a desert, and a steppe. Jeremiah 50:13. Because of the indignation of Jahveh it shall not be inhabited, and it shall become a complete desolation. Every one passing by Babylon will be astonished, and hiss because of all her plagues. Jeremiah 50:14. Make preparations against Babylon round about, all ye that bend the bow; shoot at her, do not spare an arrow, for she hath sinned against Jahveh. Jeremiah 50:15. Shout against her round about; she hath given herself up: her battlements are fallen, her walls are pulled down; for it is Jahveh's vengeance: revenge yourselves on her; as she hath done, do ye to her. Jeremiah 50:16. Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest. From before the oppressing sword each one will turn to his own nation, and each one will flee to his own land. Jeremiah 50:17. Israel is a scattered sheep [which] lions have driven away: the first [who] devoured him [was] the king of Babylon; and this, the last, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, hath broken his bones. Jeremiah 50:18. Therefore thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon ad his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. Jeremiah 50:19. And I will bring back Israel to his pasture-ground, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and on the mountains of Ephraim his soul shall be satisfied. Jeremiah 50:20. In those days, and at that time, saith Jahveh, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, but it shall not be; and the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found: for I will pardon those whom I will leave remaining."

Jeremiah 50:11-13

Jeremiah 50:11 does not permit of being so closely connected with what precedes as to separate it from Jeremiah 50:12 (De Wette, Ngelsbach). Not only is the translation, "for thou didst rejoice," etc., difficult to connect with the imperfects of all the verbs in the verse, but the direct address also does not suit Jeremiah 50:10, and rather demands connection with Jeremiah 50:12, where it is continued. כּי, of course, introduces the reason, yet not in such a way that Jeremiah 50:11 states the cause why Chaldea shall become a spoil, but rather so that Jeremiah 50:11 and Jeremiah 50:12 together give the reason for the threatening uttered. The different clauses of Jeremiah 50:11 are the protases, to which Jeremiah 50:12 brings the apodosis. "You may go on making merry over the defeat of Israel, but shame will follow for this." The change of the singular forms of the verbs into plurals (Qeri) has been caused by the plural 'שׁסי , but is unnecessary, because Babylon is regarded as a collective, and its people are gathered into the unity of a person; see on Jeremiah 13:20. "Spoilers of mine inheritance," i.e., of the people and land of the Lord; cf. Jeremiah 12:7; Isaiah 17:14. On פּוּשׁ, to gallop (of a horse, Habakkuk 1:8), hop, spring (of a calf, Malachi 3:20), see on Habakkuk 1:8. דּשׁא is rendered by the lxx ἐν βοτάνη, by the Vulgate super herbam; after these, Ewald also takes the meaning of springing like a calf through the grass, since he explains דּשׁא as exhibiting the correct punctuation, and remarks that פּוּשׁ, like הלך, can stand with an object directly after it; see 282, a. Most modern expositors, on the other hand, take דּשׁא as the fem. participle from דּוּשׁ, written with א instead of ה: "like a threshing heifer." On this, A Schultens, in his Animadv. philol., on this passage, remarks: Comparatio petita est a vitula, quae in area media inter frumenta, ore ex lege non ligato (Deuteronomy 25:10), prae pabuli abundantia gestit ex exsultat. This explanation also gives a suitable meaning, without compelling us to do violence to the language and to alter the text. As to אבּירים, stallions, strong horses (Luther), see on Jeremiah 8:16 and Jeremiah 47:3. "Your mother" is the whole body of the people, the nation considered as a unity (cf. Isaiah 50:1; Hosea 2:4; Hosea 4:5), the individual members of which are called her sons; cf. Jeremiah 5:7, etc. In Jeremiah 50:12, the disgrace that is to fall on Babylon is more distinctly specified. The thought is gathered up into a sententious saying, in imitation of the sayings of Balaam. "The last of the nations" is the antithesis of "the first of the nations," as Balaam calls Amalek, Numbers 24:20, because they were the first heathen nation that began to fight against the people of Israel. In like manner, Jeremiah calls Babylon the last of the heathen nations. As the end of Amalek is ruin (Numbers 24:20), so the end of the last heathen nation that comes forward against Israel will be a wilderness, desert, steppe. The predicates (cf. Jeremiah 2:6) refer to the country and kingdom of Babylon. But if the end of the kingdom is a desert, then the people must have perished. The devastation of Babylon is further portrayed in Jeremiah 50:13, together with a statement of the cause: "Because of the anger of Jahveh it shall not be inhabited;" cf. Isaiah 13:20. The words from והיתה onwards are imitated from Jeremiah 49:17 and Jeremiah 19:8.

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