Jeremiah 50:35
A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.
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(35) A sword is upon the Chaldeans.—Better, A sword upon the Chaldeans. Here, and in the verses that follow, the interpolated verb weakens the force of the passage. Jehovah is represented as calling the “sword” and the “drought” to do their work of destruction.

Upon her wise men.—The term points especially to the “wise men” in the technical sense of the term, the soothsayers and astrologers who were prominent among Nebuchadnezzar’s counsellors (Daniel 2:2; Daniel 2:13).

Jeremiah 50:35-37. A sword is upon the Chaldeans — That is, there shall come a sword upon them. Upon Babylon and her princes — Who were slain together with their king, Belshazzar, at a feast, Jeremiah 51:39; Daniel 5:2-30. And upon her wise men — The Chaldeans were famous for their skill in astrology, and other arts of divination; and yet the learned in those sciences were not able to foresee or prevent the dangers coming upon themselves in the common calamity. A sword is upon the liars — Upon the diviners, or the pretenders to the knowledge of future events; and they shall dote — They shall be proved to be foolish and ignorant, by things happening directly contrary to what they had thought and said. Thus Isaiah, speaking of the same kind of men, says, He (namely, God) frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad. A sword is upon all the mingled people — Upon her auxiliaries, made up of several nations: see Ezekiel 30:5. And they shall become as women — Fearful, and having neither courage nor any thing else manly in them. A sword is upon her treasures, &c. — “Her treasures shall be a prey to such as come with sword in hand to rifle them: as Solon said to Crœsus, who, by way of ostentation, showed him his treasures, “Sir, if any one come that has better iron than you, he will be master of all your gold.” — Lowth.

50:33-46 It is Israel's comfort in distress, that, though they are weak, their Redeemer is strong. This may be applied to believers, who complain of the dominion of sin and corruption, and of their own weakness and manifold infirmities. Their Redeemer is able to keep what they commit to him; and sin shall not have dominion over them. He will give them that rest which remains for the people of God. Also here is Babylon's sin, and their punishment. The sins are, idolatry and persecution. He that will not save his people in their sins, never will countenance the wickedness of his open enemies. The judgments of God for these sins will lay them waste. In the judgments denounced against prosperous Babylon, and the mercies promised to afflicted Israel, we learn to choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.Omit "is." A summons comes from Yahweh, Israel's Goel, to the sword to fall upon all the elements of Babylon's greatness. The princes were her rulers at home and her generals in war. The wise men were those upon whose learning she so prided herself (Daniel 1:4 note). 35-37. The repetition of "A sword" in the beginning of each verse, by the figure anaphora, heightens the effect; the reiterated judgment is universal; the same sad stroke of the sword is upon each and all connected with guilty Babylon.

wise men—(Isa 47:13). Babylon boasted that it was the peculiar seat of wisdom and wise men, especially in astronomy and astrology.

That is, there shall come a sword, the sword of the Medes, upon Babylon, and all the land of the Chaldeans, and all orders of persons in it.

A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord,.... Or, "shall be" (k) or, "O sword, be thou on the Chaldeans" (l); that is, the sword of the Medes and Persians; those that kill with the sword, as the Targum; in the mystic sense, the Christian princes that shall draw the sword against the antichristian states:

and upon the inhabitants of Babylon; the metropolis of Chaldea; the common people in it, as distinguished from those of high rank and degree following:

and upon her princes; Belshazzar and his nobles, who were slain the night Babylon was taken:

and upon her wise men; prime ministers, politicians, and counsellors of state; neither high birth nor great wisdom can secure from the sword of the enemy, when it has a commission from God, as it had here.

(k) "Erit", Abarbinel; "irruet", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (l) "gladie, super Chaldaeos, scil. veni, ades", Schmidt.

A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.
Verses 35-38. - No human aid avails against so terrible a foe; therefore Jehovah calls upon his Sword (see on Jeremiah 47:6) to avenge the cause of his people. Verse 35. - A sword is, etc., should rather be, Sword upon the Chaldea, it is an exclamation equivalent to "Let the Sword come upon the Chaldeans" - that sword which never "returns empty." The wise men are, partly the astronomers and astrologers at the various observatories in Babylonia, whose duty it was to send in monthly reports of the appearances in the sky, which were regarded as having an occult political significance (comp. Isaiah 47:13). In the next verse they are called liars, or praters. In Isaiah 44:25 this word stands parallel to "diviners." Possibly "liars" may be a wider term than "wise men," and includes an inferior grade of pretenders to "wisdom." Jeremiah 50:35Further description of the guilt and punishment of Babylon. The presumptuous pride manifests itself in the fact that Israel and Judah still languish in exile. All those who have been seized and carried away they have kept hold of. שׁביהם is used as in Isaiah 14:2. They refuse to let them go, as Pharaoh once did, Exodus 7:14, 27; Exodus 9:2; cf. Isaiah 14:17. Jahveh, the deliverer of Israel, cannot endure this. As the strong One, the God of hosts, He will lead them in the fight; as their advocate, He will obtain their dues for them; cf. Jeremiah 25:31; Isaiah 49:25. Dahler, Ewald, and Umbreit follow the Vulgate and the Chaldee in taking 'למען הרגּיע as synonymous with הרגּיז, in the sense of shaking, rousing, a meaning which רגע has in the Kal, but which cannot be made out for the Hiphil. In the Hiphil it means to give rest, to come to rest, Deuteronomy 28:65; Isaiah 34:14; Isaiah 61:4; Jeremiah 31:2; and in the Niphal, to rest, keep quiet, Jeremiah 47:6. This is the meaning given by the Syriac, Raschi, Kimchi, Rosenmller, Maurer, Hitzig, etc., and supported by a comparison with Isaiah 14:7, Isaiah 14:3,Isaiah 14:16. Babylon has hitherto kept the earth in unrest and anxiety (Isaiah 14:16); now it is to get rest (Isaiah 14:3, Isaiah 14:7), and trembling or quaking for fear is to come on Babylon. The two verbs, which have similar sounds, express a contrast. On the form of the infinitive הרגּיע, cf. Ewald, 238, d. In order to conduct the case of Israel as against Babylon, the Lord (Jeremiah 50:35-38) calls for the sword against the Chaldeans, the inhabitants of Babylon, on their princes, wise men, heroes, and the whole army, the treasures and the waters. There is no verb following חרב, but only the object with על, the words being put in the form of an exclamation, on account of the passion pervading them. The sword is to come and show its power on the Chaldeans, i.e., the population of the rural districts, on the inhabitants of the capital, and further, on the princes and wise men (magicians). A special class of the last named are the בּדּים, properly "babblers," those who talk at random, here "soothsayers" and lying prophets, the astrologers of Babylon; see Delitzsch on Isaiah 44:25 [Clark's translation, For. Theol. Lib.]. ונאלוּ, "And they shall be as fools;" see on Jeremiah 5:4. Further, on the warriors, the horses, and war-chariots, the main strength of the Asiatic conquerors, cf. Jeremiah 46:9, Isaiah 43:17; Psalm 20:8. כּל־הערב, "all the mixed multitude" in the midst of Babylon: these are here the mercenaries ad allies (as to this word, see on Jeremiah 25:20). These shall become women, i.e., weak and incapable of resistance; see Nahum 3:13. The last objects of vengeance are the treasures and the waters of Babylon. In Jeremiah 50:38 the Masoretes have pointed חרב, because חרב, "sword," seemed to be inapplicable to the waters. But indeed neither does the sword, in the proper sense of the word, well apply to treasures; it rather stands, by synecdoche, for war. In this improper meaning it might also be used with reference to the waters, in so far as the canals and watercourses, on which the fertility of Babylonia depended, were destroyed by war. Hence many expositors would read חרב here also, and attribute the employment of this word to the rhetorical power connected with enumeration. Others are of opinion that חרב may also mean aridity, drought, in Deuteronomy 28:22; but the assumption is erroneous, and cannot be confirmed by that passage. Neither can it be denied, that to confine the reference of the expression "her waters" to the canals and artificial watercourses of Babylonia seems unnatural. All these received their water from the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, the volume of water in which remained uninfluenced by war. We therefore follow Hitzig in holding that חרב is the correct punctuation; in the transition from חרב into חרב, with its similar sound, we neither perceive any injury done to rhetorical force, derived from an enumeration of objects, nor any need for referring the following clause, which assigns the reason merely to such rhetorical considerations as Graf does. In the drying up of the water there is no allusion to the diversion of the Euphrates, by which Cyrus opened up for himself an entrance into the city (Herodotus, i. 190); the drying up is merely appointed by God, as a consequence of continued drought, for the purpose of destroying the land. Hitzig's opinion neither suits the context, nor can be justified otherwise; he holds that water is the emblem of the sea on nations, the surging multitude of people in the streets of the city, and he refers for proof to Jeremiah 51:36 and Isaiah 21:1 (!). The clauses in Jeremiah 50:38, which assign the reason, refer to the whole threatening, Jeremiah 50:35-38. Babylon is to be destroyed, with its inhabitants and all its means of help, because it is a land of idols (cf. Jeremiah 51:52 and Isaiah 21:9), and its inhabitants suffer themselves to be befooled by false gods. התהולל means to act or behave like a madman, rave, Jeremiah 25:16; here, to let oneself be deprived of reason, not (as Graf thinks) to fall into a sacred frenzy. אימים, terrors, Psalm 88:16; here, objects of fear and horror, i.e., idols.
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