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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 46:11

 

 

Go up to Gilead and obtain balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt! In vain have you multiplied remedies; There is no healing for you.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Go up into Gilead, and take balm - An irony. Egypt is so completely enfeebled by this overthrow, that her political wound is utterly incurable. This figure is used with the more propriety here, as the Egyptians have been celebrated from the remotest antiquity for their knowledge of medicine.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-46.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Balm - i. e., balsam, the usual remedy for wounds Jeremiah 8:22.

In vain shalt … - Or, in vain hast thou multiplied medicines: healing-plaster hast thou none. Nothing shall avail to heal the blow.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-46.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Go up into Gilead,.... Still the irony or sarcasm is continued Gilead was a place in the land of Israel famous for balm or balsam, used in curing wounds; see Jeremiah 8:22; hence it follows:

and take balm, O virgin, daughter of Egypt; the kingdom of Egypt, as the Targum; so called because of its glory and excellency; and because as yet it had not been conquered and brought under the power of another: now the inhabitants of it are bid to take balm or balsam, as Kimchi and Ben Melech; but this grew not in Gilead beyond Jordan, but near Jericho on this side Jordan, as BochartF26Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 51. col. 628, 629. has proved from various authors; particularly StraboF1Geograph. l. 16. p. 525. says of Jericho, that there is the paradise of balsam, an aromatic plant, and of great esteem; for there only it is produced: and so Diodorus SiculusF2Bibliothec. l. 19. p. 734. , speaking of places near Jericho, says, about these places, in a certain valley, grows what is called balsam, from which much profit arises; nor is the plant to be found in any other part of the world: and JustinF3E Trogo, l. 36. c. 3. observes the same; that much riches accrue to the nation from the tax on balsam, which is only produced in this country, in Jericho, and the valley near it; yea, Kimchi himself elsewhereF4Comment in 2 Kings xx. 13. So R. Levi Ben Gersom in ib. says, that the balsam is not any where in the whole world but in Jericho. The word therefore should be rendered rosin, as also in Jeremiah 8:22; as it is by someF5קחי צרי "tolle resinam", Montanus, Munster, Calvin, Grotius. ; and which is used in cleansing, healing, and contracting wounds, and dispersing humours, as PlinyF6Nat. Hist. l. 24. c. 6. relates; and this here is ordered to be taken, either literally, to cure the vast number of their wounded by the Chaldeans; or rather, figuratively, they are called upon to make use of all means to recover their loss sustained; by recruiting their army, fortifying their cities, and getting fresh allies and auxiliaries; all which would yet be to no purpose:

in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shall not be cured; notwithstanding all means made use of to repair its losses; though it should not utterly be destroyed yet should never recover its former glory.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-46.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Go up into Gilead, k and take balm, O virgin, the l daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many m medicines; [for] thou shalt not be cured.

(k) For at Gilead there grew a most sovereign balm for wounds.

(l) So called, because Egypt had not yet been overcome by the enemy.

(m) He sows that no salve or medicine can prevail where God gives the wound.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-46.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

balm — (See on Jeremiah 8:22); namely, for curing the wounds; but no medicine will avail, so desperate shall be the slaughter.

virgin — Egypt is so called on account of her effeminate luxury, and as having never yet been brought under foreign yoke.

thou shalt not be cured — literally, “there shall be no cure for thee” (Jeremiah 30:13; Ezekiel 30:21). Not that the kingdom of Egypt should cease to exist, but it should not recover its former strength; the blow should be irretrievable.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-46.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The Prophet adds here nothing new, but confirms by another metaphor what he had said before. He then says, that the slaughter would be like a fatal plague, as though God would take away from the Egyptians every hope. We indeed know that the kingdom of Egypt did not then perish; for the nation itself remained. But the kingdom was so depressed, that, as it was stated yesterday, they kept themselves as shut up within their own borders, and did not afterwards bring out their forces. And yet it is well known how great was the pride and audacity of that nation; but they saw that they were wholly broken down and weakened. Hence the Prophet says, not without reason, that that would be an incurable wound, by which God would so smite Egypt, that it would no more recover its ancient strength; for after that time the kingdom of Egypt never flourished; and after a few years, as we shall see in another prophecy, it was brought under the power of Babylon.

he now turns his discourse to Egypt: he says, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt, a mode of speaking common in the Prophets. They call Babylon, The daughter of Babylon; they call Judea, The daughter of Judah. But this may be applied to the people or to the kingdom. And he calls Egypt virgin on account of its delicacies, as though he had said, that the Egyptians were tender and delicate, because they had during a long peace gathered strength and all kinds of wealth. As then they were so inebriated with their pleasures, Egypt by way of mockery is called a virgin.

Ascend, he says, into Gilead, and take rosin, or, as some render it, “balm.” Jerome, in another place, rendered it “honey,” but without reason; and it is probable that the word means rosin rather than balm. It may be also concluded from other places that the best rosin was found on Mount Gilead, as we have also stated in the eighth chapter of this book (Jeremiah 8:22). The rosin was a juice flowing from trees, especially from the terebinth; and hence the best rosin is the terebinthine, which we call terebenthine. There is at the same time a rosin from firs and other trees. But as I have already said, Mount Gilead was fruitful in rosin, and is celebrated not only for the abundance of its rosin but also for its excellency; and its medicinal qualities are found better and more efficacious in some places than in others.

According, then, to the common mode of speaking, he says, O daughter of Egypt, ascend into Gilead, and take to thee rosin; but it will be, he says, in vain; that is, “Wert thou earnestly to seek a remedy for thy evils, thou couldst never find it; for thy stroke is incurable.” Not that the kingdom of Egypt perished or was wholly overthrown, but that its strength would be lost, so that the Chaldean king would take possession of all that part of Asia which the Egyptians had occupied, even as far as Pelusium, to the very borders of the Nile. He at length adds, —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-46.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 46:11 Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; [for] thou shalt not be cured.

Ver. 11. Go up unto Gilead, and take balm.] See Jeremiah 8:22 cf. Genesis 37:25; q.d., Thy calamity is no less incurable than ignominious.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-46.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 46:11. Go up into Gilead, &c.— The practice of physic was one of the chief arts in Egypt, wherein every distinct distemper had its peculiar physician, who confined himself to the study and care of that alone; so that every family in the city must needs swarm with the faculty. It was this circumstance for which the Egyptian nation was peculiarly distinguished, not only by the earliest Greek writers, but likewise by the holy prophets. This passage is remarkable; the prophet foretelling the overthrow of Pharaoh's army at the Euphrates, describes Egypt by this characteristic of her skill in medicine; In vain shalt thou use many medicines. Gilead was famous for producing the celebrated balm of that name. In allusion to the practice of going thither for relief in dangerous cases, the prophet ironically advises the Egyptians to have recourse to this sovereign remedy, importing that all their methods of escaping the impending destruction would be in vain. See Div. Legat. vol. 3: and Lowth.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-46.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Great states are ordinarily in Scripture called

virgins, for their beauty and pleasant state;

Gilead was a most famous place for balm. The prophet ironically calls to the Egyptians to go to Gilead for balm, but tells them it would be to no purpose, God was about to wound them beyond all help of medicines.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-46.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11. Balm — Balsam.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-46.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The prophet counseled the wounded Egyptians to go to Gilead to obtain healing balm (cf. Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 46:11; Jeremiah 51:8; Genesis 37:25), but she would not recover from the wounds Yahweh had allowed her to sustain. It was ironic that Egypt could not heal herself, since she boasted the most advanced medical arts in antiquity. Comparing Egypt to a virgin stressed her vulnerable and pitiable condition (cf. Jeremiah 14:17; Jeremiah 18:13; Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 31:21).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-46.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Of Egypt; or ye Egyptians, who have been wounded. The balm (Haydock) or resina of Galaad was then very famous, Genesis xxxvii. 25. (Calmet) --- Egypt thought itself invulnerable, and is derided. Its cures was hopeless, ver. 16. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-46.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Go up, &c. Figure of speech Eironeia, as shown by the rest of the verse.

Gilead. Compare Jeremiah 8:22.

take = fetch.

for thou shalt not be cured = healing there is none for thee. Compare Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 51:8.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-46.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured.

Go up into Gilead, and take balm - (note, Jeremiah 8:22) namely, for curing the wounds; but no medicine will avail, so desperate shall be the slaughter.

Virgin. Egypt is so called on account of her effeminate luxury, and as having never yet been brought under foreign yoke.

Thou shalt not be cured - literally, there shall be no cure for thee (Jeremiah 30:13; Ezekiel 30:21). Not that the kingdom of Egypt should cease to exist, but it should not recover its former strength: the blow should be irretrievable.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-46.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Go up into Gilead, and take balm . . .—The words have the tone of a triumphant irony. The “balm of Gilead” was looked on as a cure for all wounds (Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 51:8), but the wounds which Egypt received at Carchemish would be found incurable. It proved, in fact, to be a blow from which the old Egyptian monarchy never recovered. In the “virgin, the daughter of Egypt”—virgin, as being till then, as it boasted, unconquered (Isaiah 23:12)—we have a like touch of sarcasm. The report of the defeat and the utter rout and confused flight that followed (Jeremiah 46:12) would spread far and wide among the nations.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-46.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured.
Gilead
8:22; 51:8; Genesis 37:25; 43:11; Ezekiel 27:17
O virgin
14:17; Isaiah 47:1
in vain
30:12-15; Ezekiel 30:21-25; Micah 1:9; Nahum 3:19; Matthew 5:26; Luke 8:43,44
thou shalt not be cured
Heb. no cure shall be unto thee.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-46.html.

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