Jeremiah 51:18
They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
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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. They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. See Gill on Jeremiah 10:15. They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their {l} judgment they shall perish.

(l) When God will execute his vengeance.

The instruments which the Lord employs in bringing about the fall of Babylon are the kings of the Medes, i.e., the provincial governors, or heads of the separate provinces into which the Medes in ancient times were divided, until, after revolting from the Assyrians in the year 714 b.c., they put themselves under a common head, in order to assert their independence, and chose Dejokes as their monarch. See Speigel's Ern (1863, S. 308ff.), and Delitzsch on Isaiah 13:17, who rightly remarks that in Isaiah 13:17, as well as here, מדי is a general designation for the Aryan tribes of Iran, taken from the most important and influential nation. In Jeremiah 21:2, Isaiah mentions Elam in the first series, along with Media, as a conqueror of Babylon; and the Babylonian kingdom was destroyed by Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian. But the Persians are first named in the Old Testament by Ezekiel and Daniel, while the name "Elam" as a province of the Persian kingdom is gradually lost, from the times of Cyrus onwards, in that of the "Persians." The princes of Media are to prepare themselves for besieging and conquering Babylon. הבר (from בּרר), prop. to polish, cleanse from dirt and rust. The arrows are thereby sharpened; cf. Isaiah 49:2. מלאוּ השּׁלטים is variously explained. The meaning of "shields" is that best established for שּׁלטים (see on 2 Samuel 8:7); while the meaning of "armour equipment," which is defended by Thenius, is neither very suitable for 2 Samuel 8:7 nor for 2 Kings 11:10 and Sol 4:4. There is no the least foundation for the meaning "quiver," which is assumed merely for this passage. מלאוּ is to be explained in accordance with the analogous expression in 2 Kings 9:24, מלּא ידו בקשׁת, "he filled his hand with the bow," i.e., seized the bow. "Fill the shields" with your bodies, or with your arms, since we put these among the straps of the shields. Those addressed are the kings of the Medes, whose spirit God has stirred up to make war against Babylon; for it is against her that His mind or plan is directed. As to the expression, "for it is the vengeance of Jahveh," etc., cf. Jeremiah 50:15, Jeremiah 50:28. The attack is to be directed against the walls of Babylon. נס, "standard," is the military sign carried before the army, in order to show them the direction they are to take, and the point of attack. משׁמר "watch," is the force besieging the city; cf. 2 Samuel 11:16. "Make the watch strong," i.e., enclose the city firmly. This is more exactly specified in the following clauses. "Set watches," not as a guard for their own camp (Hitzig), but against the city, in order to maintain a close siege. "Place the ambushes," that they may peep into the city whenever a sally is made by the besieged; cf. Joshua 8:14., Judges 20:33. "For what Jahveh hath determined, He will also perform." גּם־גּם, "as well as:" He has resolved as well as done, i.e., as He has resolved, He also executes.
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