Jeremiah 51:61
And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When you come to Babylon, and shall see, and shall read all these words;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(61) When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read . . .—The meaning of the Hebrew would be better expressed by, thou shalt see to it and read, or see to it and read. The English version, as it is, leaves it doubtful who or what is to be seen. The verb for “read” implies reading aloud. Saraiah was to read the prophecy to those whom it concerned, probably to a chosen few among his own countrymen. The idea that it was to be read to the Babylonians is in the highest degree improbable.

51:59-64 This prophecy is sent to Babylon, to the captives there, by Seraiah, who is to read it to his countrymen in captivity. Let them with faith see the end of these threatening powers, and comfort themselves herewith. When we see what this world is, how glittering its shows, and how flattering its proposals, let us read in the book of the Lord that it shall shortly be desolate. The book must be thrown into the river Euphrates. The fall of the New Testament Babylon is thus represented, Re 18:21. Those that sink under the weight of God's wrath and curse, sink for ever. Babylon, and every antichrist, will soon sink and rise no more for ever. Let us hope in God's word, and quietly wait for his salvation; then we shall see, but shall not share, the destruction of the wicked.And shalt see, and shalt read - Or, then see that thou read etc.61. read—not in public, for the Chaldeans would not have understood Hebrew; but in private, as is to be inferred from his addressing himself altogether to God (Jer 51:62) [Calvin]. Not to the Chaldeans, nor possibly is it to be understood of a mere private reading of them to himself, but to the Jews that were in Babylon, acquainting them with what God had spoken against Babylon by the prophet. And Jeremiah said to Seraiah,.... At the time he delivered the copy to him:

when thou comest to Babylon; or art come to Babylon, to the city of Babylon, and to the captive Jews there:

and shalt see them; the captives; or rather the great and populous city of Babylon, its high walls, gates, and towers, whose destruction is foretold in this book, and which might seem incredible. Abarbinel interprets it of his looking into the book given him; which he thinks was not to be opened and looked into till he came to Babylon:

and shalt read all these words; not before the king of Babylon and his princes, and yet not privately to himself; but in some proper place, in the presence of the captive Jews, or the chief of them, convened for that purpose.

And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
61, 62. then see … and say] From “and say” to the end of Jeremiah 51:62 is probably the addition of a compiler; it is a needless interruption to the close connexion of the preceding words with Jeremiah 51:63.Verse 61. - (Comp. 50:3; 51:26.) And shalt see, and shalt read; rather, See that thou read. The prophet in the spirit sees these destroyers as already come. A cry of anguish proceeds from Babylon, and great destruction; cf. Jeremiah 50:22, Jeremiah 50:46, and Jeremiah 48:3. For (Jeremiah 51:55) Jahveh lays waste Babylon, and destroys out of her קול גּדול, properly "the loud voice," i.e., the loud noise and bustle of the city. "Their waves," i.e., the surging masses of the conquering army, roar like many or great waters; cf. Isaiah 17:12. נתּן , lit., "there is given" (i.e., there sounds) "the noise of their voice," i.e., of the roaring of their waves. "For there comes on Babylon a destroyer, so that her heroes are made prisoners, and her bows (by synecdoche for weapons) broken in pieces." The Piel חתּתה has here an intransitive sense, "to break or shiver into pieces," like פּתּח, Isaiah 48:8; Isaiah 60:11. This must take place, for Jahveh is a God of retribution; cf. Jeremiah 51:24. This retribution He will execute in such a way as to make the princes, wise men, rulers, and heroes of Babylon sink down into an eternal sleep, by presenting to them the cup of wrath. On השׁכּרתּי and וישׁנוּ, cf. Jeremiah 51:39. On the enumeration of the different classes of leaders and supporters of the state, cf. Jeremiah 51:23 and Jeremiah 50:35; and on the designation of Jahveh as King, Jeremiah 48:15, with the remark there made.
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