Jeremiah 50:17
Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(17) Israel is a scattered sheep . . .—The words paint vividly the two blows that had fallen on Israel, as a sheep driven from the fold: first from the Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom by Salmaneser, and then, when, as it were, the carcase was half devoured and only the bones left, from that of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. The “lion” appears here, as in Daniel 7:4, as the symbol of the great Eastern monarchies. The fact that the sculptured winged lion appears so constantly in the remains both of Assyria and Babylon gives the imagery a special force.

Jeremiah 50:17. Israel is a scattered sheep — See note on Jeremiah 50:6. The lions have driven him away — As a lion coming among a flock of sheep scatters them one from another; so have these foreign invaders, enemies cruel as lions, served my people. First, the king of Assyria hath devoured him — Namely, Shalmaneser, who carried away the ten tribes into captivity, whence they never in general returned. And last this Nebuchadrezzar hath broken his bones — Hath entirely ruined Judah and Jerusalem, hath destroyed or carried captive the whole nation.

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.Israel is a scattered sheep - i. e., is like a flock which has been scared and driven in all directions, for lions have chased him.

First the king ... - Rather, the first lion "ate him, even the king of Assyria; and this one, the last, heath picked his bones, even Nebuchadrezzar etc." The constant wasting of the land by the Assyrians had so lessened the number of Israel, that Nebuchadnezzar had but the bones to pick.

17. lions—hostile kings (Jer 4:7; 49:19).

Assyria—(2Ki 17:6, Shalmaneser; Ezr 4:2, Esar-haddon).

Nebuchadnezzar—(2Ki 24:10, 14).

By Israel is here meant the whole twelve tribes (though sometimes it signifieth the ten tribes in opposition to Judah); they were all wandering sheep, they became penally scattered sheep. Enemies as fierce and cruel as lions had seized them, and carried them into captivity.

First the king of Assyria devoured the ten tribes, which were strictly called Israel, 2 Kings 17:6. Then Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon took Jerusalem, as we heard, Jeremiah 39, and carried away the people, and burnt the temple, which the prophet here calls a breaking of

his bones.

Israel is a scattered sheep,.... Or like a sheep that is frightened and drove from the fold, and is dispersed, and wanders about here and there; Israel includes all the twelve tribes:

the lions have driven him away; from his own land, and carried him captive, and scattered him among the nations; these lions are afterwards interpreted of the kings of Assyria and Babylon: so the Targum,

"kings have removed them;''

comparable to lions for their strength, fierceness, and voraciousness:

first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; eaten up his flesh; meaning Shalmaneser king of Assyria, who carried captive the ten tribes, that never returned, and therefore said to be devoured:

and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones; or, "boned him" (t); took out his bones, all his strength and substance; or took the flesh off of them, stripped him of all his wealth and riches, reduced him to his bones, made a mere skeleton of him: we, with Kimchi and Ben Melech, and others, read "broke his bones"; to get the very marrow out, that nothing may be left of him: he took Jerusalem, burnt the temple, and carried captive the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the strength of Israel; so, between the one and the other, all Israel were like a scattered sheep, dispersed among the nations. Nebuchadrezzar was the then reigning king in Babylon when this prophecy was delivered, and therefore called "this Nebuchadrezzar".

(t) "exossavit eum", Munster, Montanus, Cocceius.

Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of {r} Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath broken his {s} bones.

(r) Meaning Tiglath-pilesar who carried away the ten tribes.

(s) He carried away the rest, that is Judah and Benjamin.

17. The people of God are like a stray sheep, driven hither and thither and preyed upon by savage beasts.

first the king of Assyria, etc.] in deporting the Northern tribes.

and last … bones] The people, weakened by the captivity of the Ten Tribes, have afterwards had the feeble remnant of their strength crushed at the hands of Babylon.

Verse 17. - Israel is a scattered sheep, etc. Here a pause in the discourse occurs. The prophet returns to the present condition of Israel, who is likened to a sheep scared away from its fold by lions. The ruin wrought by the lions is described first as "devouring" and then as "breaking the bones" of Israel - in either case it is complete destruction, but the completeness is more emphasized by the second figure. In fact, when the "ten tribes" were carried captive, the elements of the theocracy still remained in the southern kingdom. Jeremiah 50:17This judgment comes on Babylon because of her oppression and scattering of the people of Israel, whom the Lord will now feed in peace again on their native soil. Israel is like שׂה פזוּרה, a sheep which, having been scared away out of its stall or fold, is hunted into the wide world; cf. פּזּרוּ בגּוים, Joel 3:2. Although פּזר, "to scatter," implies the conception of a flock, yet we cannot take שׂה as a collective (Graf), since it is nomen unitatis. The point in the comparison lies on the fact that Israel has been hunted, like a solitary sheep, up and down among the beasts of the earth; and pizeer is more exactly specified by the following clause, "lions have chased after it." The object of הדּיחוּ is easily derived from the context, so that we do not need to follow Hitzig in changing הדּיחוּ הראשׁון into הדּיחוּה ראשׁון. These kings are, the king of Assyria first, and the king of Babylon last. The former has dispersed the ten tribes among the heathen; the latter, by destroying the kingdom of Judah, and carrying away its inhabitants, has shattered the theocracy. The verbs apply to the figure of the lion, and the suffixes refer to Israel. אכל is used of the devouring of the flesh; עצּם is a denominative from עצם, and means the same as גּרם, Numbers 24:8, to break bones in pieces, not merely gnaw them. So long as the flesh only is eaten, the skeleton of bones remains; if these also be broken, the animal is quite destroyed.
Jeremiah 50:17 Interlinear
Jeremiah 50:17 Parallel Texts

Jeremiah 50:17 NIV
Jeremiah 50:17 NLT
Jeremiah 50:17 ESV
Jeremiah 50:17 NASB
Jeremiah 50:17 KJV

Jeremiah 50:17 Bible Apps
Jeremiah 50:17 Parallel
Jeremiah 50:17 Biblia Paralela
Jeremiah 50:17 Chinese Bible
Jeremiah 50:17 French Bible
Jeremiah 50:17 German Bible

Bible Hub

Jeremiah 50:16
Top of Page
Top of Page