Jeremiah 51:19
The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.
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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. We had these five verses all in Jeremiah 10:12-16. See there the explication of the several passages in them; the scope of which is only to convince those to whom the prophet spoke, that notwithstanding all the power, and riches, and greatness, and alliances of the Chaldeans, yet that God who had threatened this ruin to them was able to bring it upon them, and all their idols were vanities, things of nought, that should not be able to protect them, and from whose power or impotency they must not measure nor make up a judgment of what God was able to do; for Israel’s God was that God who made the world, and the Lord of all the armies of the creatures, whether in heaven or earth. The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name. See Gill on Jeremiah 10:16. The {m} portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the one who formed of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

(m) That is, the true God of Israel is not like these idols: for he can help when all things are desperate.

All the supports of the Babylonian power, its strong position on the Euphrates, and its treasures, which furnished the means for erecting strong fortifications, cannot avert the ruin decreed by God. As to the form שׁכנתּי, see on Jeremiah 22:23. It is the city with its inhabitants that is addressed, personified as a virgin or daughter. The many waters on which Babylon dwells are the Euphrates, with the canals, trenches, dykes, and marches which surrounded Babylon, and afforded her a strong protection against hostile attacks, but at the same time contributed to increase the wealth of the country and the capital.

(Note: Duncker, Gesch. d. Alterth. i. S. 846, remarks: "The fertility of the soil of Babylon - the produce of the fields - depended on the inundations of the Euphrates. By means of an extensive system of dykes, canals, and river-walls, Nebuchadnezzar succeeded not only in conducting the water of the Euphrates to every point in the plain of Babylon, but also in averting the formation of marshes and the occurrence of floods (which were not rare), as well as regulating the inundation." The purpose for which these water-works were constructed, was "first of all, irrigation and navigation; but they at the same time afforded strong liens of defence against the foe" (Niebuhr, Gesch. Assyr. u. Bab. S. 219). See details regarding these magnificent works in Duncker, S. 845ff.; Niebuhr, S. 218ff.)

The great riches, however, by which Babylon became רבּת אוצרות, "great in treasures," so that Aeschylus (Pers. 52) calls it Βαβυλῶν ἡ πολύχρυσος, were derived from the enormous spoils which Nebuchadnezzar brought to it, partly from Nineveh, partly from Jerusalem, and from the tribute paid by Syria and the wealthy commercial cities of Phoenicia. "Thine end is come;" cf. Genesis 6:13. אמּת בּצעך, "the ell (i.e., the measure) of thy gain," i.e., the limit put to thine unjust gain. The words are connected with "thine end is come" by zeugma. This explanation is simpler than the interpretation adopted by Venema, Eichhorn, and Maurer, from the Vulgate pedalis praecisionis tuae, viz., "the ell of cutting thee off." Bttcher (Proben, S. 289, note m) seeks to vindicate the rendering in the following paraphrase: "The ell at which thou shalt be cut off, like something woven or spun, when it has reached the destined number of ells." According to this view, "ell" would stand for the complete number of the ells determined on; but there is no consideration of the question whether בּצע, "to cut off the thread of life," Isaiah 38:12, can be applied to a city.

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