Jeremiah 9:21
For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) Death is come up into our windows.—“Death” stands here, as in Jeremiah 15:2, specifically for the pestilence, which is to add its horrors to those of the famine and the sword, and which creeps in with its fatal taint at the windows, even though the invader is for a time kept at bay, and cuts off the children who else would play “without,” sc., in the court-yard of the house, and the “young men” who else would gather, as were their wont, in the streets or the open places of the city. The Hebrew word rehoboth (comp. Genesis 26:22) answers to “piazza,” “square,” “market-place,” rather than to our street.

9:12-22 In Zion the voice of joy and praise used to be heard, while the people kept close to God; but sin has altered the sound, it is now the voice of lamentation. Unhumbled hearts lament their calamity, but not their sin, which is the cause of it. Let the doors be shut ever so fast, death steals upon us. It enters the palaces of princes and great men, though stately, strongly built, and guarded. Nor are those more safe that are abroad; death cuts off even the children from without, and the young men from the streets. Hearken to the word of the Lord, and mourn with godly sorrow. This alone can bring true comfort; and it can turn the heaviest afflictions into precious mercies.Death is come up ... - i. e., death steals silently like a thief upon his victims, and makes such havoc that there are no children left to go "without," nor young men to frequent the open spaces in the city.21. death … windows—The death-inflicting soldiery, finding the doors closed, burst in by the windows.

to cut off … children from … streets—Death cannot be said to enter the windows to cut off the children in the streets, but to cut them off, so as no more to play in the streets without (Zec 8:5).

Death is come up; the unavoidableness of the ruin is expressed metaphorically, Ezekiel 21:14 Jeremiah 6:5, most likely alluding to the violent and universal storming of a city, Jeremiah 5:10, wherein there is no respect had to sex, youth, or age. Several other allusions. See English Annotations. The Chaldeans are here understood by death, as bringing death wherever they come; a metonymy of the effect.

To cut off the children from without; no safety within or without; the enemy shall cut off all, not only those at home, but even those that are conversing or playing in the streets, which most commonly young men and children are, Jeremiah 6:11.

For death is come up into our windows,.... Their doors being shut, bolted, and barred, they thought themselves safe, but were not; the Chaldeans scaled their walls, broke in at the tops of their houses, or at their windows, and destroyed them: for the invasion of the enemy, and the manner of their entrance into them, seem to be described. Death is here represented as a person, as it sometimes is in Scripture; see Revelation 6:8 and as coming suddenly and unawares upon men, and from whom there is no escape, or any way and method of keeping him out; bolts and bars will not do; he can climb up, and go in at the window:

and is entered into our palaces; the houses of their principal men, which were well built, and most strongly fortified, these could not keep out the enemy: and death spares none, high nor low, rich nor poor; it enters the palaces of great men, as well as the cottages of the poor. The Septuagint version is, "it is entered into our land"; and so the Arabic version; only it places the phrase, "into our land", in the preceding clause; and that of "into", or "through our windows", in this:

to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets; these words are not strictly to be connected with the preceding, as though they pressed the end of death, ascending up to the windows, and entering palaces, to cut off such as were in the streets; but the words are a proposition of themselves, as the distinctive accent "athnach" shows; and must be supplied after this manner, and passing through them it goes on, "to cut off", &c. and so aptly describes the invading enemy climbing the walls of the city, entering at windows, or tops of houses, upon or near the walls; and, having destroyed all within, goes forth into the streets, where children were at play, and slays them and into courts or markets, where young men were employed in business, and destroys them. The Jews (e) interpret it of famine.

(e) T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 60. 2.

For death hath come up into our {q} windows, and hath entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from outside, and the young men from the streets.

(q) Signifying that there is no means to deliver the wicked from God's judgments: but when they think to be most sure, and most far off, then they are soonest taken.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. is come up] Cp. Joel 2:9.

palaces] See on Jeremiah 6:5.

from without] Cp. Zechariah 8:5.

Verse 21. - Death is come up, etc. "Death," equivalent to "pestilence" (as Jeremiah 15:2), the most dreaded foe of a besieged population. (For the figure, comp. Joel 2:9.) The children from without. The ideal of Zechariah is that "the streets of the city should be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (Jeremiah 8:5). But the pitiless reaper, Death, shall cut off even "the playful child from the street" (so we might render more literally). Streets, in the parallel clause, means the "broad places" where men congregate to toll the news. Jeremiah 9:21The numbers of the dead will be so great, that the bodies will be left lying unburied. The concluding touch to this awful picture is introduced by the formula, "Speak: Thus saith the Lord," as a distinct word from God to banish all doubt of the truth of the statement. This formula is interposed parenthetically, so that the main idea of the clause is joined by ו cop. to Jeremiah 9:20. This ו is not to be deleted as a gloss, as it is by Ew. and others, because it is not found in the lxx. With "as dung," cf. Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 16:4. עמיר, prop. a bundle of stalks, grasped by the hand and cut, then equals עמר, sheaf. As a sheaf behind the reaper, which nobody gathers, i.e., which is left to lie unheeded, is not brought by the reaper into the barn. The point of the simile is in the lying unheeded. Strange to say, Graf and Ng. propose to refer the "none gathereth" not to the sheaf of the shearer, but to the dead bodies: whereas the reaper piles the sheaves upon the waggon ad brings them to the threshing-floor, the corpses are left ungathered.
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