Jeremiah 51:37
And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(37) Babylon shall become heaps . . .—It is significant, as emphasising the law of retribution, that the terms are the same as those used of Jerusalem in Jeremiah 9:11; Jeremiah 19:8; Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 25:18. Nothing is more characteristic of the present aspect of Babylon than the “heaps” or mounds of brickwork, fragments of pottery and earth, that are now scattered over the plain, and are slowly yielding up their records of the past to explorers. The “dragons” here (not the same word as in Jeremiah 51:34) are the “jackals” that howl in the ruins. (See Note on Jeremiah 10:22.)

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.Heaps - Of rubbish, formed in this case by the decay of the unburned bricks of which Babylon was built. It is these heaps which have yielded such a large wealth of historical documents in our own days.

Dragons - Jackals Jeremiah 10:22.

37. (Jer 50:26, 39; Re 18:2). Babylon shall become heaps; heaps of rubbish.

A dwelling-place for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant. See Poole "Jeremiah 50:39", See Poole "Jeremiah 50:40", where the same thing was before said.

And Babylon shall become heaps,.... The houses should be demolished, and the stones lie in heaps one upon another, and become mere rubbish:

a dwelling place for dragons; and other wild and savage creatures. Dragons, as Aelianus (a) observes, love to live in desert places, and such now Babylon is; it lies in ruins; and even its palace is so full of scorpions and serpents, as Benjamin of Tudela (b) says it was in his time, that men durst not enter into it; see Jeremiah 50:39;

an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant; an astonishment to neighbouring nations, and to all that pass by; who shall hiss at the destruction of it, and rejoice, there being not so much as a single inhabitant in it; which is its case to this day; see Jeremiah 50:13.

(a) De Animal. l. 6. c. 63. (b) Itinerarium, p. 76.

And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
37. heaps] “Vast ‘heaps’ or mounds, shapeless and unsightly, are scattered at intervals over the entire region where it is certain that Babylon anciently stood.” (Rawl. Anc. Mon. II. 521.)

hissing] See on Jeremiah 18:16.

Verse 37. - Heaps. "Vast 'heaps,' or mounds, shapeless and unsightly, are scattered at intervals over the entire region where it is certain that Babylon anciently stood" (Rawlinson, 'Ancient Monarchies,' 2:521). Dragons; rather, jackals. Jeremiah 51:37This judgment comes on Babylon for its offences against Israel. The king of Babylon has devoured Israel, etc. Those who complain, in Jeremiah 51:34, are the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, in whose name the prophet enumerates the crimes of Babylon. "Nebuchadnezzar has devoured us," i.e., oppressed us. The plural suffixes to the verbs have been needlessly changed in the Qeri into singulars, for the simple reason, perhaps, that with מעדני and in Jeremiah 51:35 the address makes a transition into the singular. המם signifies to throw enemies into confusion by causing a panic, for the purpose of destroying them; hence to destroy, see on Deuteronomy 2:15; here to destroy, crush. "He set us down like an empty vessel" refers to the country and the people; he has swept the country of human beings, and robbed the people of everything. תּנּין, usually a sea-monster, crocodile (Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 51:9, etc.); here a beast of prey which devours everything. מעדנים, "delights," then "dainty meats," Genesis 49:20.

(Note: The form actually found in the Masoretic text is מעדני, "from (out of, with) my dainties." - Tr.)

הדיח, from דּוּח, signifies to wash away, push away (see Delitzsch on Isaiah 4:4); in other places Jeremiah uses הדּיח, Jeremiah 8:3; Jeremiah 16:15, etc. "Let my wrong (i.e., the wrong done me) come upon Babylon." This wrong is more fully specified, with reference to the figure of swallowing, by "my flesh and blood;" cf. Micah 3:3. The Lord will avenge this wrong, Jeremiah 51:36, cf. Jeremiah 50:34; Jeremiah 51:6, Jeremiah 51:11; He will also dry up the sea of Babylon, and make her spring dry up. Many expositors understand these latter words metaphorically, as referring to the sea of nations surging in Babylon (Jeremiah 51:42, Jeremiah 51:55), and view the treasures and riches as the fountain from which the sea of nations sprang up (Hitzig); but the context demands a literal interpretation, inasmuch as in Jeremiah 51:37 the subject treated of is the laying waste of the country. The sea of Babylon is the Euphrates, with its canals, lakes, and marshes, i.e., the abundance of water to which Babylonia owed its fertility, and the city its influence as the centre of the then known world. Isaiah (Isaiah 21:1) accordingly calls Babylon, emblematically, the desert of the sea, inasmuch as the region in which Babylon stands is a plain, broken in such a manner by the Euphrates, as well as by marshes and lakes, as that the city, so to speak, swims in the sea (Delitzsch). The source of spring of the sea is the Euphrates, and the drying up of this spring is not to be understood literally of the drying up of the Euphrates, but signifies a drying up of the springs of water that fertilize the country. On the figures employed in Jeremiah 51:37, cf. Jeremiah 9:10; Jeremiah 18:16; Jeremiah 49:33.

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