Jeremiah 51:56
Because the spoiler is come on her, even on Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompenses shall surely requite.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(56) The Lord God of recompences . . .—The prophet clothes the law of retribution which he has been asserting throughout the chapter with a new majesty by connecting it with a new Divine Name (comp. Jeremiah 23:6). Jehovah delights, as it were, to manifest Himself in that aspect. He is a God of retribution, Jehovah, and will be true to that title.

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.Every one ... - Or, "Their bows are broken, for Yahweh is a God of recompenses; He will certainly requite." 56. taken—when they were least expecting it, and in such a way that resistance was impossible. Little more is said here than was before, only the words hint the taking of Babylon by a surprise, when the kin and the inhabitants were not aware of it, which he had be fore also told us, Jeremiah 51:39,40. In this the prophet saith that God would act but as a just God, a

God of recompence. Where God’s people suffer wrong, and either cannot revenge themselves, or may not do it, being private person, (to whom God hath given no power of the sword,) if the can exercise faith and patience, they shall find God a Go of recompences, that can and will requite their enemies, all plead their cause. Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon,.... That is, Cyrus, with his army:

and her mighty men are taken; unawares, by surprise:

everyone of their bows is broken; they had no strength to withstand the enemy, and were obliged to yield at once; lay down their arms, and submit:

for the Lord God of recompences shall surely requite; that God to whom vengeance belongs, and will recompense it; who is a God of justice and equity, the Judge of all the earth; he will render tribulation to them that trouble his; and requite his enemies and the enemies of his people, in a righteous manner, for all the evil they have done, as literal, so mystical Babylon; see Revelation 18:6.

Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 56. - The Lord God of recompenses shall, etc.; rather, The Lord is a God of recompense; he will, etc. Final summing up of the offence and the punishment of Babylon. Jeremiah 51:50. "Ye who have escaped the sword, depart, do not stay! remember Jahveh from afar, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. Jeremiah 51:51. We were ashamed, because we heard reproach; shame hath covered our face, for strangers have come into the holy places of the house of Jahveh. Jeremiah 51:52. Therefore, behold, days are coming, saith Jahveh, when I will take vengeance on her graven images; and through all her land shall the wounded groan. Jeremiah 51:53. Though Babylon ascended to heaven, and fortified the height of her strength, yet from me there shall come destroyers to her, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 51:54. The noise of a cry [comes] from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans. Jeremiah 51:55. For Jahveh lays waste Babylon, and destroys out of her the great noise; and her waves sound like many waters: a noise of their voice is uttered. Jeremiah 51:56. For there comes against her, against Babylon, a destroyer, and her heroes are taken; each one of their bows is broken: for Jahveh is a God of retributions, He shall certainly recompense. Jeremiah 51:57. And I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her governors and her lieutenant-governors, and her heroes, so that they shall sleep an eternal sleep, and not awake, saith the King, whose name is Jahveh of hosts. Jeremiah 51:58. Thus saith Jahveh of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly destroyed, and her high gates shall be burned with fire, so that nations toil for nothing, and peoples for the fire, and thus are weary."

Once more there is addressed to Israel the call to return immediately; cf. Jeremiah 51:45 and Jeremiah 50:8. The designation, "those who have escaped from the sword," is occasioned by the mention in Jeremiah 51:49 of those who are slain: it is not to be explained (with Ngelsbach) from the circumstance that the prophet sees before him the massacre of the Babylonians as something that has already taken place. This view of the matter agrees neither with what precedes nor what follows, where the punishment of Babylon is set forth as yet to come. It is those who have escaped from the sword of Babylon during the exercise of its sway that are meant, not those who remain, spared in the conquest of Babylon. They are to go, not to stand or linger on the road, lest they be overtaken, with others, by the judgment falling upon Babylon; they are also to remember, from afar, Jahveh the faithful covenant God, and Jerusalem, that they may hasten their return. הלכוּ is a form of the imperative from הלך; it occurs only here, and has probably been chosen instead of לכוּ, because this form, in the actual use of language, had gradually lost its full meaning, and become softened down to a mere interjection, while emphasis is here placed on the going. After the call there follows, in Jeremiah 51:51, the complaint, "We have lived to see the dishonour caused by the desecration of our sanctuary." This complaint does not permit of being taken as an answer or objection on the part of those who are summoned to return, somewhat in this spirit: "What is the good of our remembering Jahveh and Jerusalem? Truly we have thence a remembrance only of the deepest shame and dishonour" (Ngelsbach). Such an objection the prophet certainly would have answered with a reproof for the want of weakness of faith. Ewald accordingly takes Jeremiah 51:51 as containing "a confession which the exiles make in tears, and filled with shame, regarding the previous state of dishonour in which they themselves, as well as the holy place, have been." On this view, those who are exhorted to return encourage themselves by this confession and prayer to zeal in returning; and it would be necessary to supply dicite before Jeremiah 51:51, and to take בּשׁנוּ as meaning, "We are ashamed because we have heard scoffing, and because enemies have come into the holy places of Jahveh's house." But they might have felt no shame on account of this dishonour that befell them. בּושׁ signifies merely to be ashamed in consequence of the frustration of some hope, not the shame of repentance felt on doing wrong. Hence, with Calvin and others, we must take the words of Jeremiah 51:51 as a scruple which the prophet expresses in the name of the people against the summons to remember Jahveh and Jerusalem, that he may remove the objection. The meaning is thus something like the following: "We may say, indeed, that disgrace has been imposed on us, for we have experienced insult and dishonour; but in return for this, Babylon will now be laid waste and destroyed." The plural המּקדּשׁים denotes the different holy places of the temple, as in Psalm 68:36. The answer which settles this objection is introduced, Jeremiah 51:52, by the formula, "Therefore, behold, days are coming," which connects itself with the contents of Jeremiah 51:51 : "Therefore, because we were obliged to listen to scoffing, and barbarians have forced their way into the holy places of the house of our God, - therefore will Jahveh punish Babylon for these crimes," The suffixes in פּסיליה and ארצהּ refer to Babylon. חלל is used in undefined generality, "slain, pierced through."

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