Jeremiah 8:16
The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein.
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(16) Heard from Dan.—As in Jeremiah 4:13, the invasion by an army of which cavalry and war chariots formed the most terrible contingent was a special terror to Israelites. Even at Dan, the northern boundary of Palestine (see Note on Jeremiah 4:15), there was a sound of terror in the very snortings of the horses. The patristic interpretation that the prophet indicates the coming of Antichrist from the tribe deserves a passing notice as one of the eccentricities of exegesis.

Jeremiah 8:16. The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan — Dan was situated in the northern extremity of Palestine, on the side whence the Chaldeans were to come against Jerusalem. Accordingly, Grotius observes, after Jerome, that Nebuchadnezzar, having subdued Phenicia, passed through the tribe of Dan in his way to Judea. When the enemy therefore was advanced so near, it was time for the people of Judah to take the alarm, and to provide for their own safety. The whole land trembled at the neighing of his strong ones — The word אביריו, here rendered strong ones, signifies horses in several places, and is so rendered here by Dr. Waterland, (see Jdg 5:22; Jeremiah 47:3,) and is so understood by the LXX. By the whole land trembling is meant the inhabitants being terrified at the vast number of horses that were in the Chaldean army, the neighing of which they heard; which struck them with great dread, as they had few or no horses in Judea to oppose to them. For they have devoured the land, and all that is in it — All the fruits, and all the forage, they have devoured or taken away. It is to be observed, that the prophet speaks of it as already done, because it was so represented to him in his vision. The city, and those that dwell therein — Both town and country are laid waste before them, and not only the wealth, but the inhabitants of both are taken or destroyed. Jerusalem is here chiefly meant by the city, for, though the taking of other cities was attended with a slaughter of the inhabitants, the sacking of Jerusalem was the greatest of all their calamities, as being the metropolis, and the richest and most populous of all their cities.8:14-22 At length they begin to see the hand of God lifted up. And when God appears against us, every thing that is against us appears formidable. As salvation only can be found in the Lord, so the present moment should be seized. Is there no medicine proper for a sick and dying kingdom? Is there no skilful, faithful hand to apply the medicine? Yes, God is able to help and to heal them. If sinners die of their wounds, their blood is upon their own heads. The blood of Christ is balm in Gilead, his Spirit is the Physician there, all-sufficient; so that the people may be healed, but will not. Thus men die unpardoned and unchanged, for they will not come to Christ to be saved.Dan - i. e. the northern boundary of the land.

His strong ones - i. e., "his war-horses."

16. his horses—the Chaldean's.

was heard—the prophetical past for the future.

from Dan—bordering on Phœnicia. This was to be Nebuchadnezzar's route in invading Israel; the cavalry in advance of the infantry would scour the country.

strong ones—a poetical phrase for steeds, peculiar to Jeremiah (Jer 47:3; compare Jer 4:13, 29; 6:23).

The fury of the Chaldeans’ march is described by the snorting of their horses, which is a noise they make through their nostrils, when they are chafed and fretted.

Was heard from Dan, i.e. even to Jerusalem: q.d. The dreadfulness of the noise shall be heard from far: or rather, Though Jerusalem seem to be secure, yet the farthest coasts of the land are in great consternation, viz. the outmost boundary of Canaan northward, through which the Chaldean army was to march: see Jeremiah 4:15: or it is said to be heard, either the noise itself, or the fame of it, Jeremiah 6:24.

His strong ones; his choice horses or cavalry; or his stout and sturdy ones, as the word signifies, and expressed by their brisk frolicsomeness and courage in the word neighing, properly applied to horses, understanding here the chief of them; and the word for strong ones is applied to any thing that excels, as to man, Job 34:20; to angels, Psalm 78:25, angels’ food, or the bread of the mighty; and for horses, as here, and Judges 5:22 Jeremiah 47:3.

All that is in it, Heb. the fulness of it, the trees, and fruits. and wealth of the land; they are entered upon their spoil, and will leave nothing in the land, Jeremiah 4:20. It is spoken in a prophetical style, who use to express the certainty of what shall be as if it actually were already. The city, viz. Jerusalem; or rather the cities, with all their inhabitants, as well as the country, the singular number being put for the plural, as Isaiah 27:10. The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan,.... That is, was heard at Jerusalem. It seems to be a hyperbolical expression, showing the certainty of the coming of the Assyrian monarch and his army, to invade Judea, and besiege Jerusalem; the news of which was brought from Dan, which lay in the further part of the land; see Jeremiah 4:15, and pointing at the way in which they should come northwards, through Phoenicia and the tribe of Dan, with a numerous cavalry of horses and horsemen: for, by "his" horses are meant Nebuchadnezzar's; unless, with Calvin, it can be thought that they are called the Lord's, because ordered and sent by him, whose war it was against the people. The Targum paraphrases the words thus,

"because they worshipped the calf that is in Dan, a king with his army shall come up against them, and carry them captive;''

and so Jarchi interprets it.

The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; his horses, strong and mighty; see Judges 5:22 where we read of the prancings of the mighty ones; and here the Targum,

"at the voice of the treading of his strong ones, all the inhabitants of the earth shall be moved;''

and by the land trembling undoubtedly are meant the inhabitants of the land, filled with dread and consternation at the noise and near approach of the Chaldean army.

For they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; or, "the fulness of it"; which because of the certainty of it, is represented as then done: the city, and those that dwell therein; meaning not only the city of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of it, but other cities also, the singular being put for the plural; and so the Targum,

"the cities, and they that dwell in them.''

The snorting of his horses was heard from {l} Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they have come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell in it.

(l) Read Geneva Jer 4:15

16. Dan] See Jeremiah 4:15.

strong ones] i.e. war-horses. The same epithet is used as a substitute for the noun, chs. Jeremiah 47:3 (“strong ones”), Jeremiah 50:11 (“strong horses”). The horse was the embodiment of strength. See Job 39:19; Psalm 33:17; Psalm 147:10.

land] or, earth.Verse 16. - The invader is introduced with the same mysterious indefiniteness as in Jeremiah 4:13. From Dan; i.e. from the northern frontier (see on Jeremiah 4:15). Trembled; rather, quaked (so Jeremiah 49:21). His strong ones. The phrase "strong ones" generally denotes oxen, but here (as in Jeremiah 47:3; Jeremiah 50:11) horses. Those who held themselves wise will come to shame, will be dismally disabused of their hopes. When the great calamity comes on the sin-hardened people, they shall be confounded and overwhelmed in ruin (cf. Jeremiah 6:11). They spurn at the word of Jahveh; whose wisdom then have they? None; for the word of the Lord alone is Israel's wisdom and understanding, Deuteronomy 4:6.

The threatening in Jeremiah 8:10 includes not only the wise ones, but the whole people. "Therefore" attaches to the central truth of Jeremiah 8:5 and Jeremiah 8:6, which has been elucidated in Jeremiah 8:7-9. The first half of Jeremiah 8:10 corresponds, in shorter compass, to what has been said in Jeremiah 6:12, and is here continued in Jeremiah 8:10-12 in the same words as in Jeremiah 6:13-15. יורשׁים are those who take possession, make themselves masters of a thing, as in Jeremiah 49:2 and Micah 1:15. This repetition of the three verses is not given in the lxx, and Hitz. therefore proposes to delete them as a supplementary interpolation, holding that they are not only superfluous, but that they interrupt the sense. For he thinks Jeremiah 8:13 connects remarkably well with Jeremiah 8:10, but, taken out of its connection with what precedes as we have it, begins baldly enough. To this Graf has made fitting answer: This passage is in no respect more superfluous or awkward than Jeremiah 6:13.; nor is the connection of Jeremiah 8:13 with Jeremiah 8:10 at all closer than with Jeremiah 8:12. And Hitz., in order to defend the immediate connection between Jeremiah 8:13 and Jeremiah 8:10, sees himself compelled, for the restoration of equilibrium, to delete the middle part of Jeremiah 8:13 (from "no grapes" to "withered") as spurious; for which proceeding there is not the smallest reason, since this passage has neither the character of an explanatory gloss, nor is it a repetition from any place whatever, nor is it awanting in the lxx. Just as little ground is there to argue against the genuineness of the two passages from the variations found in them. Here in Jeremiah 8:10 we have מקּטן ועד־גּדול instead of the מקּטנּםof Jeremiah 6:13; but the suffix, which in the latter case pointed to the preceding "inhabitants of the land," was unnecessary here, where there is no such reference. In like manner, the forms הכּלם for הכלים, and עת פּקדּתם for עת־פּקדתּים, are but the more usual forms used by Jeremiah elsewhere. So the omission of the א in ירפּוּ for ירפּאוּ, as coming either from the writer or the copyist, clearly does not make against the genuineness of the verses. And there is the less reason for making any difficulty about the passage, seeing that such repetitions are amongst the peculiarities of Jeremiah's style: cf. e.g., Jeremiah 7:31-33 with Jeremiah 19:5-7; Jeremiah 10:12-16 with Jeremiah 51:15-19; Jeremiah 15:13-14, with Jeremiah 17:3-4; Jeremiah 16:14-15, with Jeremiah 23:7-8, Jeremiah 23:5-6, with Jeremiah 33:15-16; Jeremiah 23:19-20, with Jeremiah 30:23-24, and other shorter repetitions.

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