Jeremiah 51:33
For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come.
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(33) The daughter of Babylon . . .—More literally, The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor, in the time when it is trodden (i.e., when it is being prepared for the actual process), yet a little while, and the time of harvest shall come to her. The imagery is so familiar that it hardly needs an illustration (see Psalm 1:4; Isaiah 21:10; Isaiah 28:27-28; Micah 4:13). The time of “her harvest” of the Authorised version is ambiguous. What is meant is that the heaped-up treasures of Babylon are but as the harvest which shall be reaped by her conquerors, and the city itself as the threshing-floor on which men shall trample on the plunder.

Jeremiah 51:33. The daughter of Babylon is like a thrashing-floor — God’s people have been sorely bruised and trodden under foot by the Babylonians, as corn in a thrashing-floor: see note on Isaiah 21:10. It is time to thrash her — It is time for her to feel the miseries she has made others suffer. The word thrash often signifies to subdue by force and power. Yet a little while and the time of her harvest shall come — There shall be a clear riddance made of her inhabitants and their treasures, as the harvest clears the fields, and leaves them empty and bare. By her harvest may be meant the slaughter and spoiling of her inhabitants; and by the thrashing, or treading, which follows the harvest, the destruction of the city itself.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.Translate, "The daughter of Babylon is as a threshing-floor at the time when it is trampled," i. e., trodden hard in readiness for the threshing: "yet a little while and the harvest-time" shall come to her, i. e., overtake her. In the East, the grain when reaped is carried at once to the threshing-floor, a level spot carefully prepared beforehand, usually about 50 feet in diameter, and trampled hard. The grain after it has been beaten out by a sledge drawn over it by oxen is separated from the chaff and stored up in granaries. 33. like a threshing-floor, it is time to thresh her—rather, "like a threshing-floor at the time of threshing," or "at the time when it is trodden." The treading, or threshing, here put before the harvest, out of the natural order, because the prominent thought is the treading down or destruction of Babylon. In the East the treading out of the corn took place only at harvest-time. Babylon is like a threshing-floor not trodden for a long time; but the time of harvest, when her citizens shall be trodden under foot, shall come [Calvin]. "Like a threshing-floor full of corn, so is Babylon now full of riches, but the time of harvest shall come, when all her prosperity shall be cut off" [Ludovicus De Dieu]. Grotius distinguishes the "harvest" from the "threshing"; the former is the slaying of her citizens, the latter the pillaging and destruction of the city (compare Joe 3:13; Re 14:15, 18). Babylon had been a threshing instrument by which, and a threshing-floor in which, God had threshed many other nations; God now intended to make it as a

threshing-floor wherein he would thresh the Chaldeans.

It is time to thresh her: some think because of the next words, that the words were better translated it is time to tread her, (so the word properly signifies,) as men use to prepare their threshing-floors against the time of harvest, for the time of this harvest was near;

her harvest signifieth the harvest which the justice of God would have from the ruin of the Chaldeans. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,.... "The Lord of hosts", the Lord God omnipotent, and can do all things; "the God of Israel", and therefore will plead their cause, and take vengeance on Babylon:

the daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor; on which the nations of the earth had been threshed, or punished and destroyed; and now she was like a threshing floor, unto which should be gathered, and on which should be laid, her king, princes, and the people of the land, and be there beat and crushed to pieces. The Targum renders it the congregation of Babylon; and the Septuagint the houses of the king of Babylon; so the Arabic version:

it is time to thresh her; not the floor, but the sheaves on it: or, "it is the time to tread her" (u); as corn was trodden out by the oxen; or rather as threshing floors, being new laid with earth, were trodden, and so made hard and even, and by that means prepared for threshing against the harvest; when the corn would be ripe, cut down, and gathered in, and laid up, as follows:

yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come; when she would be ripe for ruin, and God would, by his instruments, put in the sickle of his wrath, and cut her down, her king, her princes, her cities, and her people; see Revelation 14:15. The Targum is,

"and yet a very little while, and spoilers shall come to her.''

(u) "tempus calcandi eam", Pagninus, Calvin; "tempus calcare eam", Montanus; "eo tempore quo illa calcari solet", Piscator.

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshingfloor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest {s} shall come.

(s) When she will be cut up and threshed.

33. at the time when it is trodden] i.e. made smooth and hard in preparation for the corn which is to be threshed upon it.Verse 33. - It is time to thresh her; rather, at the time when it is trodden (i.e. made level by treading or trampling); comp. Isaiah 21:10; Micah 4:13. A summons addressed to the nations to fight against Babylon, in order that, by reducing the city, vengeance may be taken for the offence committed against Israel by Babylon. Jeremiah 51:27. "Lift up a standard on the earth, sound a trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz against her; appoint troops against her; bring up horses lie horrid locusts. Jeremiah 51:28. Prepare nations against her, the kings of the Medes and her governors, and all her lieutenant-governors, and all the land of his dominion. Jeremiah 51:29. Then the earth quakes and trembles: for the purposes of Jahveh against Babylon are being performed, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without an inhabitant. Jeremiah 51:30. The heroes of Babylon have ceased to fight, they sit in the strongholds: their strength is dried up; they have become women; they have set her habitations on fire; her bars are broken. Jeremiah 51:31. One runner runs against another, and one messenger against another, to tell the king of Babylon that his city is wholly taken. Jeremiah 51:32. And the crossing-places have been seized, and the marches have they burned up with fire, and the men of war are confounded. Jeremiah 51:33. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little, and the time of harvest will come to her. Jeremiah 51:34. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured us, and ground us down; he hath set us down [like] an empty vessel, he hath swallowed us like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my dainties; he hath thrust me out. Jeremiah 51:35. Let the inhabitress of Zion say, 'My wrong and my flesh [be] upon Babylon;' and let Jerusalem say, 'My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea.' Jeremiah 51:36. Therefore thus saith Jahveh: Behold, I will plead thy cause, and execute vengeance for thee; ad I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry. Jeremiah 51:37. And Babylon shall become heaps [of ruins], a dwelling-place of dragons, an astonishment, and a hissing, without an inhabitant."

The lifting up of the standard (Jeremiah 51:27) serves as a signal for the nations to assemble for the struggle against Babylon. בּארץ does not mean "in the land," but, as the parallel "among the nations" shows, "on the earth." קדּשׁוּ, "consecrate prepare against her (Babylon) nations" for the war; cf. Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 22:7. השׁמיעוּ, as in Jeremiah 50:29. The kingdoms summoned are: Ararat, i.e., the middle (or eastern) province of Armenia, in the plain of Araxes, which Moses of Chorene calls Arairad, Araratia (see on Genesis 8:4); Minni, which, according to the Syriac and Chaldee, is also a name of Armenia, probably its western province (see Gesenius' Thesaurus, p. 807); and Ashkenaz, which the Jews take to be Germany, although only this much is certain, that it is a province in the neighbourhood of Armenia. For Askên is an Armenian proper name, and az an Armenian termination; cf. Lagarde's Gesammelte Abhandll. S. 254, and Delitzsch on Genesis 10:3, Genesis 10:4 ed. פּקדוּ, "appoint, order against her." טפסר does not mean "captains" or leaders, for this meaning of the foreign word (supposed to be Assyrian) rests on a very uncertain etymology; it means some peculiar kind of troops, but nothing more definite can be affirmed regarding it. This meaning is required by the context both here and in Nahum 3:17, the only other place where the word occurs: see on that passage. The sing. טפסר corresponds with the sing. סוּס, and is therefore to be taken collectively, "troops and horses." Whether the simile כּילק ס belongs merely to "horses," or to the combination "troops and horses," depends on the meaning attached to the expression. Modern expositors render it "bristly locusts;" and by that they understand, like Credner (Joel, S. 298), the young grasshopper after it has laid aside its third skin, when the wings are still enveloped in rough horny sheaths, and stick straight up from the back of the animal. But this explanation rests on an erroneous interpretation of Nahum 3:17. סמר means to shudder, and is used of the shivering or quivering of the body (Psalm 119:120), and of the hair (Job 4:15); and ילק does not mean a particular kind of locusts, through Jerome, on Nahum 3:17, renders it attelabus (parva locusta est inter locustam et bruchum, et modicis pennis reptans potius quam volans, semperque subsiliens), but is a poetic epithet of the locust, "the devourer." If any one prefers to view סמר as referring to the nature of the locusts, he may with Bochart and Rosenmller, think of the locustarum species, quae habet caput hirsutum. But the epithet "horrid" is probably intended merely to point out the locusts as a fearful scourge of the country. On this view, the comparison refers to both clauses, and is meant to set forth not merely the enormous multitude of the soldiery, but also the devastation they make of the country. In Jeremiah 51:28 mention is further made of the kings of the Medes (see on Jeremiah 51:11), together with their governors and lieutenant-governors (see on Jeremiah 51:23), and, in order to give prominence to the immense strength of the army, of "all the land of his dominion;" on these expressions, cf. Jeremiah 34:1 and 1 Kings 9:19. The suffix refers to the king of Media, as the leader of the whole army; while those in "her governors, and all her lieutenant-governors," refer to the country of Media.

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