Jeremiah 51:15
He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heaven by his understanding.
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(15-19) He hath made the earth by his power . . .—The five verses are a reproduction of Jeremiah 10:12-16, fitted in here to enhance the majesty of Him Who decrees the destruction of Babylon, and appoints Israel to be the instrument of that destruction. The word “Israel,” as the italics show, is wanting in the Hebrew, and we have a sufficient sense without it. “He is the former of all things, and of the rod (i.e., the tribe) of his inheritance.” The English version follows the Vulgate and the Targum in treating the omission as an error of transcription. (See Notes on Jeremiah 10:12-16.)

51:1-58 The particulars of this prophecy are dispersed and interwoven, and the same things left and returned to again. Babylon is abundant in treasures, yet neither her waters nor her wealth shall secure her. Destruction comes when they did not think of it. Wherever we are, in the greatest depths, at the greatest distances, we are to remember the Lord our God; and in the times of the greatest fears and hopes, it is most needful to remember the Lord. The feeling excited by Babylon's fall is the same with the New Testament Babylon, Re 18:9,19. The ruin of all who support idolatry, infidelity, and superstition, is needful for the revival of true godliness; and the threatening prophecies of Scripture yield comfort in this view. The great seat of antichristian tyranny, idolatry, and superstition, the persecutor of true Christians, is as certainly doomed to destruction as ancient Babylon. Then will vast multitudes mourn for sin, and seek the Lord. Then will the lost sheep of the house of Israel be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, and stray no more. And the exact fulfilment of these ancient prophecies encourages us to faith in all the promises and prophecies of the sacred Scriptures.A transcript of Jeremiah 10:12-16. 15-19. Repeated from Jer 10:12-16; except that "Israel" is not in the Hebrew of Jer 51:19, which ought, therefore, to be translated, "He is the Former of all things, and (therefore) of the rod of His inheritance" (that is, of the nation peculiarly His own). In Jer 10:1-25 the contrast is between the idols and God; here it is between the power of populous Babylon and that of God: "Thou dwellest upon many waters" (Jer 51:13); but God can, by merely "uttering His voice," create "many waters" (Jer 51:16). The "earth" (in its material aspect) is the result of His "power"; the "world" (viewed in its orderly system) is the result of His "wisdom," &c. (Jer 51:15). Such an Almighty Being can be at no loss for resources to effect His purpose against Babylon. No text from Poole on this verse. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. The Targum prefaces the words thus,

"these things saith he who hath made the earth, &c.''

The verses Jeremiah 51:16 are the same with Jeremiah 10:12. God is described by his sovereignty, power, and wisdom; and the stupidity of men that trust in idols, and the vanity of them, are exposed, to convince the Babylonians that the Lord, who had determined on their destruction, would surely effect it, and that it would not be in the power of their idols to prevent it. See Gill on Jeremiah 10:12.

He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.
15–19. These vv. are taken almost verbatim from Jeremiah 10:12-16. The object of the insertion is to emphasize the powerlessness of Babylon’s idols against Jehovah.Verses 15-19. - Probably interpolated from Jeremiah 10:12-16 (the only verbal difference is in ver. 19, where "Israel" is left out before "the rod of his inheritance"). But may not Jeremiah have quoted himself? Conceivably, yes; but he would surely not have quoted such a passage here, where it spoils the context. For granting that a point of contact with ver. 14 may be found for vers. 15, 16 (Jehovah who has sworn has also the power to accomplish), yet the passage on the idols stands quite by itself, and distracts the attention of the reader. Babylon, certainly, in its former power and greatness, was a golden goblet, by means of which Jahveh presented to the nations the wine of His wrath, and intoxicated them; but now it is fallen, and broken without remedy. Isaiah 21:9 finds an echo in the expression, "Babylon is fallen." The figure of the cup refers us back to Jeremiah 25:15., where, however, it is applied in a different way. The cup is said to be of gold, in order to point out the splendour and glory of Nebuchadnezzar's dominion. "In the hand of Jahveh," i.e., used by Him as His instrument for pouring out His wrath to the nations. But Babylon has suddenly fallen and been broken in pieces. At this point Jeremiah drops the figure of the cup, for a golden cup does not break when it falls. The fall is so terrible, that the nations in Babylon are summoned to participate in the lamentation, and to lend their aid in repairing her injuries. But they answer that their attempts to heal her are fruitless. (On צרי, cf. Jeremiah 46:11 and Jeremiah 8:22.) The terrible and irreparable character of the fall is thus expressed in a dramatic manner. We must neither think of the allies and mercenaries as those who are addressed (Schnurrer, Rosenmller, Maurer, Hitzig), nor merely the Israelites who had been delivered from Babylon (Umbreit). The latter view is opposed by the words which follow, "Let every one go to his own country;" this points to men out of different lands. And the former assumption is opposed by the consideration that not merely the mercenaries, but also the allies are to be viewed as fallen and ruined together with Babylon, and that Babylon, which had subdued all the nations, has no allies, according to the general way in which the prophet views these things. Those addressed are rather the nations that had been vanquished by Babylon and detained in the city, of which Israel was one. Inasmuch as these were the servants of Babylon, and as such bound to pay her service, they are to heal Babylon; and because the attempts to heal her prove fruitless, they are to leave the ruined city. They answer this summons by the resolve, "We will go every one to his own land;" cf. Jeremiah 50:8, Jeremiah 50:16. The motive for this resolution, "for her guilt reaches up to heaven," certainly shows that it is Israelites who are speaking, because it is only they who form their opinions in such a way; but they speak in the name of all the strangers who are in Babylon. משׁפּט is the matter upon which judgment is passed, i.e., the transgression, the guilt, analogous to משׁפּט דּמים, Ezekiel 7:23, and משׁפּט מות , Deuteronomy 19:6; Deuteronomy 21:22; it does not mean the punishment adjudged, of which we cannot say that it reaches up to heaven. On this expression, cf. Psalm 57:11; Psalm 108:5. Through the fall of Babylon, the Lord has made manifest the righteousness of Israel; the redeemed ones are to proclaim this in Zion. צדקות does not mean "righteous acts" (Judges 5:11), but proofs of the righteousness of Israel as opposed to Babylon, which righteousness Babylon, through tyrannical oppression of the people that had been delivered up to it merely for chastisement, has failed to perceive, and which, so long as the Lord did not take His people to Himself again in a visible manner, was hidden from the world; cf. Psalm 37:6.
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