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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Jeremiah 51



Verse 1

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos.

Me. A Massoretic note (App-30) says that this is a cryptogram (Hebrew "Casdim"), meaning "the Chaldees". See note on Jeremiah 51:41; Jeremiah 25:26.

destroying = laying waste. Hebrew. shahath. The same word as in verses: Jeremiah 51:11, Jeremiah 51:20, Jeremiah 51:25. Not the same as in verses: Jeremiah 51:3, Jeremiah 51:8, Jeremiah 51:54, Jeremiah 3:55.

wind. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

Verse 2

fanners . . . fan = winnowers . . . winnow. Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-6.

Verse 3

Against him that bendeth, &c. The Massorah (App-30), instead of cancelling the repeated word "against . . . and against" ("el), directs the substitution of "al, "not . . . and not". The verse will then read, "Let not the archer bend his bow, nor let him lift himself up in his coat of mail" (i.e. in defence of Babylon). This is so read in two early printed editions, Chaldee, Syriac, Vulgate, and Revised Version.

brigandine = coat of mail.

destroy = break down. Hebrew. haram. Same word as Jeremiah 51:54. Not the same as verses: Jeremiah 51:1, Jeremiah 51:8, Jeremiah 51:11, Jeremiah 51:20, Jeremiah 51:25, Jeremiah 51:25, Jeremiah 51:54, Jeremiah 51:55.

Verse 5

Israel . . . Judah. Now one People again.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

the LORD of Hosts. See note on Jeremiah 6:6, and 1 Samuel 1:3.

sin. Hebrew. chata.

the Holy One of Israel. See note on Psalms 71:22.

Verse 6

every man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

iniquity. Hebrew. "avah. App-44. Put by Fig, Metonymy (of Cause), for the judgment brought down by it. Compare Revelation 18:4.

Verse 7

made all the earth drunken. Compare Revelation 17:4.

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27.

Verse 8

is suddenly, &c. This must refer to a future fulfilment, for the present condition came gradually, See Isaiah 21:9; Isaiah 47:9, Isaiah 47:11. Compare Revelation 14:8; Revelation 18:8, Revelation 18:10, Revelation 18:17, Revelation 18:19.

destroyed = broken down. Hebrew. shabar. Not the same as in verses: Jeremiah 51:1, Jeremiah 51:3, Jeremiah 51:11, Jeremiah 1:20, Jeremiah 1:25, Jeremiah 1:25, Jeremiah 1:55.

take balm = fetch balSamaritan Pentateuch Compare Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 46:11.

Verse 9

We. Note this remarkable pronoun.

every one. Hebrew. "Ish. App-14.

is lifted up = mounteth.

Verse 11

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

the Medes. In the person of Cyrus and others (App-57). Here the then immediate calamity is referred to.

vengeance = avengement.

Verse 12

make the watch, &c. Compare Isaiah 21:5, Isaiah 21:6.

Verse 13

upon many waters. Compare Jeremiah 51:42, and Jeremiah 50:38, also Revelation 17:1, Revelation 17:15.

covetousness = dishonest or unrighteous gain.

Verse 14

by Himself = by His soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia.

caterpillers = locusts. Compare Joel 2:2. Nahum 3:15.

they: i.e. the assailants.

Verse 15

made the earth, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Gen 1). Compare Jeremiah 10:12, &c. verses: Jeremiah 51:15-19 are repeated from Jeremiah 10:12-16.

Verse 16

multitude = noise.

lightnings, &c. Compare Jeremiah 10:13.

Verse 17

is brutish by, &c. = is become too brutish to know.

confounded = put to shame.

breath. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

Verse 18

the time of their visitation. See note on Jeremiah 8:12.

Verse 19

The Portion of Jacob, &c. Note the Alternation in Jeremiah 51:19, Not such as these is Jacob"s Portion: (Deuteronomy 32:9. Psalms 16:5). For [the] Former of all things is He: And the Sceptre of his (Israel"s) inheritance: The LORD of hosts is His Name (Deuteronomy 10:9).

Verse 20

My battle axe: or, My hammer, i.e. Cyrus. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia.

with thee will I break in pieces = with thee will I beat down. Note the Figure of speech Anaphora, by which ten successive sentences commence with these words, This is for special emphasis.

Verse 24

evil. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.

saith the LORD = [is] Jehovah"s oracle.

Verse 26

not take of thee . . . forever. This again must refer to a future fulfilment. The two destructions are intertwined. Compare Jeremiah 51:62.

for ever. See App-151.

Verse 27

prepare = set apart, or sanctify.

Minni. Frequently mentioned in the inscriptions, the Assyrians having been compelled to quell revolts there.

captain = muster-master or marshal, like the Assyrian dupsarru, or tablet-writer. Hebrew. tiphsar. Occurs only here and Nahum 3:17.

Verse 28

the Some codices, with three early printed editions, read "and the".

Verse 29

without an inhabitant. This must be yet future.

Verse 30

The mighty men. Hebrew pi. of gibbor. App-14.

Verse 31

post = runner.

at one end. Supply the Ellipsis by the word "each", instead of "one" = "at [each] end". This will accord with the history; for Herodotus says the Babylonians retired to the city, and "remained in their holds". Cyrus, having turned the waters of the Euphrates, entered the city, by the bed of the river, at each end (see Herod 1 191). Compare Daniel 5:3, Daniel 5:4, Daniel 5:23, Daniel 5:30. The Revised Version, "on every quarter", quite misses the point. This passage, therefore, belongs to the past fulfilment; while others still await a future fulfilment.

Verse 32

passages = fords.

stopped = seized.

men. Hebrew, plural of "enosh.

Verse 33

the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel. See note on Jeremiah 7:3.

Verse 34

me. Here, and in Jeremiah 51:35, the Hebrew text reads "us"; but the margin, and some codices, with two early printed editions, read "me", which is followed by the Authorized Version.

Verse 35

inhabitant = inhabitress.

upon. Hebrew text reads "against", but a special various reading called Sevir (App-34) has "upon", with some codices, one early printed edition, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, which are followed by Authorized Version.

Verse 36

dry up. Referring to the act of Cyrus (by Gobryas). Compare Jeremiah 51:31, above.

sea = the river Euphrates. So called from its breadth.

Verse 37

dragons = jackals.

without an inhabitant. This carries us on to the future again. Compare 1 Peter 5:13.

Verse 38

yell: or, shake themselves.

Verse 39

feasts = banquets.

Verse 41

Sheshach. See note on Jeremiah 25:26.

Verse 43

no man dwelleth. Still future.

man. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.

Verse 44

the wall of Babylon. Now recently laid bare by excavations.

Verse 47

do judgment upon = visit upon.

Verse 48

the heaven . . . shall sing. Figure of speech Poeanismos and Prosopopoeia.

all that is therein. Compare Revelation 19:1-3.

Verse 49

all the earth. Compare Isaiah 14:16, Isaiah 14:17.

Verse 50

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah.(with "eth). App-4.

Verse 53

mount up, &c. Compare Isaiah 14:12-15.

Verse 55

destroyed = caused to perish. Hebrew. "abar. Not the same as in verses: Jeremiah 51:1, Jeremiah 51:3, Jeremiah 51:8, Jeremiah 1:11, Jeremiah 1:20, Jeremiah 1:25, Jeremiah 1:54.

Verse 56

GOD. Hebrew El. App-4. The Hebrew reads "El of recompences, Jehovah".

Verse 58

walls. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "wall".

people = peoples.

be weary = faint.

Verse 59

The Fifty-First Prophecy of Jeremiah (see book comments for Jeremiah).

Seraiah. The brother of Baruch(Jeremiah 32:12. Compare Jeremiah 45:1).

when he went, &c. Probably to renew his oath of allegiance. Compare Jeremiah 27:1; Jeremiah 28:1.

quiet prince. Probably chief chamberlain. Revised Version margin, "quartermaster. "Hebrew = quiet resting-place (Isaiah 32:18). Probably his office was to prepare the night"s camping place during the journey to Babylon.

Verse 60

wrote in a book = wrote in one scroll.

evil = calamity. Hebrew. ra"a. App-44.

Verse 61

and shalt see, &c. = then shalt thou look out and read.

Verse 62

desolate for ever = age-abiding desolations, show-ing that this prophecy must wait a future fulfilment.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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