Jeremiah 51:32
Parallel Verses
New International Version
the river crossings seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers terrified."

King James Bible
And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

Darby Bible Translation
and the passages are seized, and the reedy places are burnt with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

World English Bible
and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are frightened.

Young's Literal Translation
And the passages have been captured, And the reeds they have burnt with fire, And the men of war have been troubled.

Jeremiah 51:32 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

That the passages are stopped - Either the bridges or slips for boats, by which the inhabitants passed from one side to the other, and may mean the principal gates or passes in the city, which the victorious army would immediately seize, that they might prevent all communication between the inhabitants.

The reeds they have burned with fire - What this means I cannot tell, unless it refer to something done after the taking of the city. Setting fire to the reeds in the marshy ground, in order the better to clear the places, and give a freer passage to the water, that it may neither stagnate nor turn the solid ground into a marsh. Dr. Blayney thinks it refers to the firing of the houses, in order to throw the inhabitants into the greater confusion; but no historian makes any mention of burning the city, except what is said Jeremiah 51:30, "They have burned her dwelling places;" and this may be a poetical expression. That they burnt nothing before they took the city must be evident from the circumstance of their taking the city by surprise, in the night time, with the greatest secrecy. Still there might have been some gates, barricadoes, or wooden works, serving for barracks or such like, which obstructed some of the great passages, which, when they had entered, they were obliged to burn, in order to get themselves a ready passage through the city. This is the more likely because this burning of reeds is connected with the stopping of the passages, burning the dwelling places, and breaking the bars.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the passages

Jeremiah 50:38 A drought is on her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad on their idols.

Isaiah 44:27 That said to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers:

the near

Jeremiah 51:30 The mighty men of Babylon have declined to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might has failed; they became as women...

Jeremiah 50:37 A sword is on their horses, and on their chariots, and on all the mingled people that are in the middle of her...

The Power of Assyria at Its Zenith; Esarhaddon and Assur-Bani-Pal
The Medes and Cimmerians: Lydia--The conquest of Egypt, of Arabia, and of Elam. As we have already seen, Sennacherib reigned for eight years after his triumph; eight years of tranquillity at home, and of peace with all his neighbours abroad. If we examine the contemporary monuments or the documents of a later period, and attempt to glean from them some details concerning the close of his career, we find that there is a complete absence of any record of national movement on the part of either Elam,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 8

The Last King of Judah
Zedekiah at the beginning of his reign was trusted fully by the king of Babylon and had as a tried counselor the prophet Jeremiah. By pursuing an honorable course toward the Babylonians and by paying heed to the messages from the Lord through Jeremiah, he could have kept the respect of many in high authority and have had opportunity to communicate to them a knowledge of the true God. Thus the captive exiles already in Babylon would have been placed on vantage ground and granted many liberties; the
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Isaiah 47:14
Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by.

Jeremiah 50:38
A drought on her waters! They will dry up. For it is a land of idols, idols that will go mad with terror.

Jeremiah 51:31
One courier follows another and messenger follows messenger to announce to the king of Babylon that his entire city is captured,

Jeremiah 51:33
This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trampled; the time to harvest her will soon come."

Jeremiah 52:7
Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled. They left the city at night through the gate between the two walls near the king's garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah,

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