Jeremiah 50:42
They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.An application to Babylon of the doom against Jerusalem Jeremiah 6:22-24.

Jeremiah 50:41

The coasts of the earth - See the Jeremiah 6:22 note.

42. cruel—the character of the Persians, and even of Cyrus, notwithstanding his wish to be thought magnanimous (Isa 13:18).

like a man—So orderly and united is their "array," that the whole army moves to battle as one man [Grotius].

The bow and the lance were the two usual weapons of soldiers in those countries, Jeremiah 6:23. The Persians were a cruel, bloody people. These phrases signify no more than that the enemies should come upon Babylon in a terrible manner, and prepared to destroy them.

They shall hold the bow and the lance,.... Or "spear". The Targum interprets it, "shields"; as many in Cyrus's army had (t); the one an offensive, the other a defensive weapon; or, if bow and lance, the one is used at a distance, the other when near. The Medes and Persians were well skilled in handling the bow, as once and again observed: this very properly describes the armour of the Persians; which were, as Herodotus (u) says, large bows and short spears; and Xenophon (w) observes, that, besides bows and arrows, they had two javelins or lances, one of which they cast, and the other they held and used in their hands, as they found necessary; and so Cyrus (x), in a speech of his, says that they had breast plates to cover their bodies, and lances or javelins which they could use by throwing or holding, as they pleased:

they are cruel, and will not show mercy: not even to infants, but dash them against the stones, Psalm 137:8; see Isaiah 13:17; and See Gill on Isaiah 13:17 and See Gill on Isaiah 13:18; hence "horribilis Medus", in Horace (y):

their voice shall roar like the sea; when there is a tempest on it. This does not design the shout of the soldiers, when beginning the onset in battle, or making an attack upon a city besieged; but the noise of their march, their foot, and horse, and chariots, and the clashing of their army; all which, by reason of their numbers, would be very clamorous and terrible:

and they shall ride upon horses; the Persians had a large cavalry, their country abounding in horses:

everyone put in array like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon; furnished with armour, and put in a proper disposition, all in rank and file, well accoutred, and full of spirit, prepared to engage in battle, with you, O ye inhabitants of Babylon.

(t) Cyropaedia, l. 5. c. 15. (u) Terpsichore, sive l. 5. c. 49. & Polymnia, sive l. 7. c. 61. (w) Cyropaedia, l. 1. c. 5. (x) Ibid. l. 4. c. 16. (y) Carmin. l. 1. Ode 29.

They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Jeremiah 50:42The agents who execute the judgment. - Jeremiah 50:41. "Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the most distant sides of the earth. Jeremiah 50:42. Bow and javelin shall they seize: they are cruel, and will not pity; their voice shall sound like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, [each one] arrayed like a man for the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon. Jeremiah 50:43. The king of Babylon hath heard the report concerning them, and his hands have fallen down: distress hath seized him, writing pain, like [that of] the woman in childbirth. Jeremiah 50:44. Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the glory of Jordan to a habitation of rock; but in a moment will I make them run away from her, and will set over her him who is chosen: for who is like me, and who will appoint me a time [to plead my defence]? and what shepherd [is there] that will stand before me? Jeremiah 50:45. Therefore hear ye the counsel of Jahveh which He hath taken against Babylon, and His purposes which He hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Assuredly they shall drag them away, the smallest of the flock; assuredly [their] habitation shall be astonished at them. Jeremiah 50:46. At the cry, 'Babylon is taken,' the earth is shaken, and a cry [for help] is heard among the nations.

Jeremiah 51

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