Jeremiah 50:14
Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all you that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she has sinned against the LORD.
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(14) All ye that bend the bow.—The words are descriptive of the light-armed troops that formed the strength of the Medo-Persian army (see Jeremiah 49:35; Jeremiah 1:14). The words belong properly to the previous clause, and the colon should come after them. Stress is laid in the latter clause on the fact that Babylon has sinned in her cruelty and luxury and tyranny against the righteous government of Jehovah.

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 the colon after bow. 14. Summons to the Median army to attack Babylon.

against the Lord—By oppressing His people, their cause is His cause. Also by profaning His sacred vessels (Da 5:2).

The prophet calls to the Medes and Persians, with those who should come with them to their assistance, to put themselves in military order ready to come up against Babylon. The Persians (as was noted before) were very famous for the bow, therefore he speaketh unto them as an army of archers, to shoot at the Babylonians, and to

spare no arrows; because Babylon had

sinned against the Lord exceedingly, as Genesis 13:13, by their idolatry, luxury, and cruel usage of the Jews, &c. Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about,.... This is directed to the Medes and Persians, to dispose of their army in proper places round about the city of Babylon, to besiege it; and to order their instruments of war, fit for that purpose, a convenient manner; since they might be sure of victory, the Lord being wroth with it, and having so severely threatened its ruin:

all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows; the Elamites, or Persians, as before observed, were well skilled in archery; and, as Xenophon (q) reports, Cyrus had in his army, when he came to Babylon, a great number of archers and slingers; and the archers are called upon to draw the bow, who were expert at it, and not spare their arrows, since they would everyone do execution, as in Jeremiah 50:9; and the slingers to "cast their stones at her" (r), for so may be rendered; and thus it is interpreted, by Jarchi and by Kimchi, of casting either arrows or stones:

for she hath sinned against the Lord; which brought the wrath of God upon her; and chiefly the ill treatment of his people was the sin against him he resented.

(q) Cyropaedia, l. 9. c. 1. & l. 7. c. 1.((r) "jacite contra eam", Pagninus, De Dieu; "jacite ad eam", Montanus.

{o} Put yourselves in array against Babylon on every side: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath {p} sinned against the LORD.

(o) He speaks to the enemies the Medes and Persians.

(p) Though the Lord called the Babylonians his servants and their work his work in punishing his people, yet because they did it not to glorify God, but for their own malice and to profit themselves, it is here called sin.

14. Cp. Isaiah 13:16-22, specially Jeremiah 50:18.Verse 14. - Put yourselves in array, etc. The Authorized Version, guided, perhaps, by considerations of rhythm, has misplaced the first stop, which ought to be after "bow." The Medes are referred to in a parallel prophecy as great archers (Isaiah 13:18). To escape from this misery, Israel is to flee from Babylon; for the judgment of conquest and plunder by enemies is breaking over Babylon. The summons to flee out of Babylon is a reminiscence of Isaiah 38:20. The Kethib יצאוּ may be vindicated, because the direct address pretty often makes a sudden transition into the language of the third person. They are to depart from the land of the Chaldeans. No more will then be necessary than to change והיוּ into והיוּ. The simile, "like he-goats before the flock," does not mean that Israel is to press forward that he may save himself before any one else (Graf), but that Israel is to go before all, as an example and leader in the flight (Ngelsbach).
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