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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 51:1

 

 

Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I am going to arouse against Babylon And against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai The spirit of a destroyer.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thus saith the Lord - This chapter is a continuation of the preceding prophecy.

A destroying wind - Such as the pestilential winds in the east; and here the emblem of a destroying army, carrying all before them, and wasting with fire and sword.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-51.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In the midst of them that rise up against me - Or, in Leb-kamai, the cipher for Kasdim, i. e., Chaldaea. This cipher was not necessarily invented by Jeremiah, or used for concealment. It was probaby first devised either for political purposes or for trade, and was in time largely employed in the correspondence between the exiles at Babylon and their friends at home. Thus, words in common use like Sheshach Jeremiah 25:26 and Leb-kamai, would be known to everybody.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-51.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Jeremiah 51:1

Let Jerusalem come into your mind.

Sacred memories

The captives in Babylon are charged to remember Jerusalem, because the temple of their God was there; to keep them from settling down in Babylon.

I. There is a Jerusalem here below which should come into our mind. The Church of the living God is our holy city, the city of the Great King, and we should have it in mind--

1. To unite with its citizens. Join with them in open profession of faith in Christ, in Christian love and mutual help, in holy service, worship, communion, &c.

2. To pray for its prosperity. Our window, like that of Daniel, should be opened towards Jerusalem.

3. To labour for its advancement. Remember it in the allotment of money, use of time, employment of talents, exercise of influence, &c.

4. To prefer its privileges above earthly gain. Consider these privileges in our choice of our residence, occupation, &c.

5. To act consistently with her holy character. God’s people must not degrade His name and cause by living in sin.

6. To lament its declensions and transgressions (Luke 19:41; Philippians 3:18).

II. There is a Jerusalem above which should come into our mind.

1. Let the believer’s thoughts often go thither, for Jesus is there, our departed brethren are there, our own home is there, and thither our hopes and desires should always tend. It should be upon our minds--

2. Let the unconverted permit such thoughts to come into their mind, for they may well inquire of themselves thus--

Longing for heaven

It may be a sin to long for death, but I am sure it is no sin to long for heaven. (Matthew Henry, D. D.)

Blessed are the home-sick, for they shall come at last to the Father’s house. (Heinrich Stillings.)

Heaven neglected

John Eliot was once on a visit to a merchant, and finding him in his counting-house, where he saw books of business on the table, and all his books of devotion on the shelf, he said to him, “Sir, here is earth on the table, and heaven on the shelf. Pray don’t think so much of the table as altogether to forget the shelf.” (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Jerusalem to be enshrined in memory and heart

But these captive Jews were not to be despairing Jews. In seventy years their captivity was to end. Meantime, as a resource against discouragement, against the infecting Babylonian evil with which they were to be surrounded, Jeremiah commands these Israelites, “And let Jerusalem come into your minds.” Think of what she has been; think of what restored Jerusalem is to be; remember that you are really citizens, not of this Babylon, but of God’s Jerusalem; and as citizens of this Jerusalem, even though you be in Babylon, endure, hope, live. Everywhere in Scripture the earthly Jerusalem is the symbol of the heavenly. We have right to generalise. From the fact that whatever God says is to be in this world comes to be, we have reason to believe that whatever God says concerning the other world certainly is. When the Scriptures tell me that the earthly Jerusalem points to a heavenly Jerusalem, because I find God s Word so true about everything in this world, I have right to believe it true about things in that; I have right to believe that there is a heavenly Jerusalem. So let the heavenly Jerusalem come into your minds.

1. Let Jerusalem come into your mind when it seems to you as though life were not worth the living. There is a better life beyond, for which this is preparation.

2. Let Jerusalem come into your mind when you seem to yourself specially baffled.

3. Let Jerusalem come into your mind when the fight with sin is sore and weary.

4. Let Jerusalem come into your mind when death seems complete victor. This is the greatest of questions for each one of us, Have we any title in that Jerusalem? Can we let it come into our minds as our own? (Homiletic Review.)

Quickened memories for God’s house and worship

Jerusalem should come into our mind so that we should prefer its privileges to earthly gain. Whenever we are about to make a settlement in any place, and have the choice of residence left to ourselves, the first matter we have to consider is the religions advantages and disadvantages. I admire the action of that Jew who, when he was about to select a city in which he would pursue his business, asked his friend the rabbi, “Is there a synagogue in such and such a place?” The rabbi replied, “No.” So the Jew said, “Then I will not go to live there, for I will” not settle in any place, where there is no synagogue, for I must gather with my people for the worship of God. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The first place in our thought to be given to Christ’s Church

The Church of God should come into our minds as spontaneously as the recollection of our wife or mother. When we look at a map of any country, we should think of how the cause of God prospers in that region. If we make a profit in business, one of our first thoughts should be, “Now I can do something more for the work of the Lord.” When the newspaper is read, it should be in relation to the progress of the kingdom of God. This one thing should tinge all other things with its own colour, and draw all other thoughts into its net. The cause of Christ should be an all-absorbing maelstrom, into which all our thoughts and pursuits should be drawn. A man of one idea aces thy universe by the light of it, and he who loves the Church of God with all his heart will do the same. How can we say, “Lord, remember me,” to Christ in heaven, if we do not remember His Church on earth?

Looking heavenward

These words were addressed to the exiled Jews in Babylon, in view of their enfranchisement, and their return to their own country. A four months’ journey lay before them, a road infested by savage men and marked by many discomforts had to be trodden, and hence this counsel was given to hearten and comfort the pilgrims. Let the dear place shine before your eyes, let its spell be upon your hearts, and this will relieve the tedium of the journey, make you brave to face the foe, keep you from fainting, and secure the success of your journey. The text is relevant to all times, and especially if we think of the heavenly instead of the earthly Jerusalem. Jesus was always reminding His hearers of the upper universe. Paul admonishes us to “Seek those things which are above.” And again and again we are reminded of our fugitive life in this world--we are “strangers,” “sojourners,” “pilgrims,” and are urged to look upward. In recent years there have been those who have disparaged everything in the nature of other-worldliness. I think it was George Eliot who set this modern fashion of condemning attention to the celestial world, but her life was a sad, suggestive commentary on her loss of faith. But George Eliot has had not a few followers in her anti-heavenly propaganda. Rationalists, Agnostics, and Socialists have vetoed the other-worldly life. There was little need for this adjuration. Heaven is one of the most neglected subjects in present-day preaching. The Sunday is not more restful and healing because given up to the consideration of secular subjects; character is not more refined, ethereal, and blessed because men look down instead of up; the world is not richer but poorer for ignoring the Ideal, the Mystical, the Transcendental, the Divine. The grandest souls of the past--noble-tempered, fine-charactered men and women of majestic mien--are thus described: “They looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.” There are three or four reasons why we should earnestly cultivate this other-worldly disposition.

I. It is necessary for our salvation. The Christian life is one of perpetual peril. We are menaced from every quarter. The microbe is ever on our track, and we need to be on our guard to ward off our foes. But the perils of our body are as nothing compared with our soul-perils. Our danger arises from this present evil world. It is always near us, appealing to us, setting its snares, offering us its bewildering and beguiling baits. It comes, too, in such subtle forms, in the form of a fair-faced friend; it can make use of such attractive things, and sometimes souls are ensnared before they are aware of it. Think of a man living daily in some social circles with their artificialities, their unrealities, white lies, lamentable hypocrisies; or in the world of politics with its “understandings,” trickeries, untruths; or in the world of business with its corners, monopolies, injustices, sharp practice! What does it mean? Full often the dulling of the mind, the paralysis of the conscience, ay, it means the heart loses its freshness, and the life its whiteness. And, mark you, it is not that one need voluntarily yield himself up to these blighting phenomena not to resist is to suffer. Then, what can be done to break the spell of this present world, and ensure our salvation? Let Jerusalem come into your mind, suffer the better world to overshadow the worse world, get into God’s own climate, cultivate the heavenly vision. Fetch heaven’s light down to earth. Fetch the fresh air of the eternal hills down to this stifling, stagnant scene. Fetch the music of heaven down to this terrestrial sphere. The better saves from the worse. Its glory will be glory no longer, its unreality will be sighted, and he will be saved. It is the far-off look that is needed, a vision of the eternal things which is our salvation. Sir Redvers Bullet has told us that in the late war the Boers fought better than our own soldiers, because they had better eyesight, and could see much farther, and no doubt the reason why many Christians are overtaken by spiritual calamities is because they cannot see afar off, they do not lift up their eyes on high. Let us accustom our eyes to see the glories of the New Jerusalem.

II. It is necessary for our amplification. Familiarity with the world does not broaden men, but narrows them. “Born a man and died a grocer,” says the epitaph, and the shrinkage of a soul is one of the painfullest features of life. Many people feel they are sadly caged up, with no poetry, romance, interests, change in their lives. Well, what are we to do? How to make life broader? Thank God, we have an answer--annex heaven. “Reinforce,” says one, “this world with the world which is to come. What do they do in an inland state that is surrounded by other countries, and cramped in on every side? They fight to get down to the sea. Give a country only a few miles, and it is satisfied. Why? Because it will build a harbour there, and it will make ships there, and the enterprising spirits of the nation will man the ships, and the ships will go to the ends of the earth, carrying out such poor things as they have to send, but bringing home untold treasures. That single harbour holds the whole earth in its grasp.” It is even so in our spiritual life. When I am linked with the skies, when I do commerce with heaven my life cannot be petty, narrow, insignificant. I am not lost in my trade, business, profession, nor does my soul undergo any shrinkage. Nay, I do my buying and selling, my getting and spending, in the eyes of heaven. A literary lady who went to consult an oculist about her eyes was told that her eye-weariness and brain-jadedness would pass away if she would now and then pause from her work, and sight the glorious hills in the distance, and she found it so. Is not this what we sorely need to save our life from getting cramped by what is sordid and petty--pauses to look away from life’s manifold engagements to the bright-topped hills of immortality? It is ours, like the apostle at Patmos, to see the fair city of our King, to fraternise with the denizens of the skies, to consort with God Himself, and to do this is to find the grandest emancipation.

III. It is necessary to our consolation. He was a wise professor who used to say to his students when going to preach, “Never fail in any service to have at least a word of comfort.” There is a sore, ii not a broken, heart in every religious assembly. Existence were a poor mockery if this world were all. To how many life is just one long bitter struggle. Think of those, the bruised and broken, who are on their back all their days; think of those who, through no fault of their own, are face to face with poverty most of their time; think of those who have been overtaken by a black bereavement with tragic suddenness; think of these who are left orphans when young, and are at the mercy of an unfeeling world; think of those who have secret trials--trials of which they never whisper even to their dearest friends; think of those who, in trying to live the Christian life, are sorely, buffeted! Where is the compensation? This: “Let Jerusalem come into your mind. Think of it as the place where all life’s wrongs will be ended, where the weary-footed will lay aside their sandals, and the weary-hearted will find sweet rest, where the homeless will find a home, where the broken circles will be re-formed, and where the miseries of a lifetime will be forgotten in the first moment of hallowed bliss.

IV. It is necessary to our inspiration. One of our primary needs is inspiration, we so soon begin to flag and lose heart. It is needful for the maintenance of our ideals, for the shaping of a holy character, to keep us steadfast in the midst of strife and sorrow. It is painful to note how that when men forget the heavenward look, they drift from the golden life, part with their noble dreams, sink beneath their troubles, and fall into bondage to a sensuous life. There are wrecks on all sides of us--Demases who have loved this present world. “We surmount the flesh by ascending with Christ to the realm of the spirit. In those who are occupied with Christ and His kingdom, who ‘set their mind on the things above where Christ is,’ carnal passions cease to be nourished, the former channels of thought and desire are left bare and dry, the man’s soul is caught by a keener excitement and a mightier current, he is drawn into the orbit of the Sun of Righteousness. He is absorbed in the great and entrancing things of God, and the old frivolities can no longer divert him.” The same is true of every other phase of our earth-life. This was the temper of Moses, and it heartened him for the most prodigious tasks. “He looked for the recompense of the reward.” This was the temper of the old-world pilgrims, “they desired a better country, that is a heavenly.” The saints of God, the men for whom duty, religion, faith, love, character, possess their full meaning, are known by this far-away look, this detachment of spirit. At the bottom of their souls is a Divine home-sickness for the Eternal--and this made them spiritual stalwarts. This, also, was the temper of Jesus. Never for a moment did He forget the Father, the will, the home, the friendship and fellowship of the Father, “I speak unto you the things that I have seen with the Father.” “I go to My Father.” And a share of His glory He assured to all His faithful followers. I have read somewhere of a bewildered party on a mountain. Pressing on in the blinding snow, the track lost and the cold increasing, one of them at last in sneer fatigue sank flown to die. His friends coaxed him, urged him, expostulated with him so as to get him forward, but all to no purpose. But some one took from his pocket a picture of wife and children, and showed it to him. That was enough; what coaxing and threats failed to effect was done in an instant by that vision of the far-off home. He at once threw off the death-drowse that was so surely embracing him, and rousing himself with the new power that came from that vision, he pushed forward with his friends to a place of safety. And our Divine Leader, when we are flagging and wearying, gives us pictures of the heavenly home to hearten us. (J. Pearce.)
.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Jeremiah 51:1". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/jeremiah-51.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

JEREMIAH 51

PROPHECY AGAINST BABYLON (continued)

(The introduction for Jeremiah 50 also applies to this chapter.)

Jeremiah 51:1-5

"Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in Leb-kamai, a destroying wind. And I will send unto Babylon strangers, that shall winnow her; and they shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about. Against him that bendeth, let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth himself up in his coat of mail: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host. And they shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, and thrust through in her streets. For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, of his God, of Jehovah of hosts; though their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel."

"Them that dwell in Leb-kamai ..." (Jeremiah 51:1). The proper name here is a kind of trick word called an athbash, devised by numbering the Hebrew alphabet from each end (for example, in English X, Y, Z, would be numbered 3,2, 1, etc.; and A, B, C, would be numbered 1,2, 3, etc. Thus, to form an athbash, the letters of a name would be changed. The letter "A" would be written "Z," and the letter "B" would be written "Y," etc.). Leb-kamai here is an athbash for "Chaldea."[1]

No one knows why such a device was used here. It was usually a device for concealing the meaning of a word from all except those "in the know"; but the equivalent of Chaldea, "Babylon," has already been mentioned. We encountered another example of this in Jeremiah 25:26.

Barnes believed that this word for Chaldea, Leb-kamai, was probably "known to everybody";[2] and, if so, it could have been a kind of nickname for Babylonia, such as "Gotham" or "The Big Apple."

"A destroying wind ..." (Jeremiah 51:1). Keil noted that this should be translated, "The spirit of a destroyer."[3] That rendition is most likely correct, because it was not a "wind" that mined Babylon; it was a human destroyer, Cyrus. In Hebrew, the word for "wind" and "spirit" is the same.

"Strangers ... they shall winnow her ..." (Jeremiah 51:2). "These were the Medes (Jeremiah 51:11) who would destroy Babylon."[4] The word "winnow" was a word connected with the threshing industry; and one still hears remarks like, "He gave him a threshing!"

"For Israel ... Judah ... is not forsaken of his God ..." (Jeremiah 51:5). Throughout this chapter, the destruction of Babylon, and the protection and blessing of Israel are mentioned in that order repeatedly.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jeremiah-51.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thus saith the Lord, behold, I will raise up against Babylon,.... This is not a new prophecy, but a continuation of the former, and an enlargement of it. The Babylonians being the last and most notorious enemies of the Jews, their destruction is the longer dwelt upon; and as they were against the Lord's people the Lord was against them, and threatens to raise up instruments of his vengeance against them:

and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me; that dwell in Babylon, the metropolis of the Chaldeans, the seat and centre of the enemies of God and his people. It is a periphrasis of the Chaldeans; and, so the Targum renders it,

"against the inhabitants of the land of the Chaldeans;'

and so the Septuagint version, against the Chaldeans; and Jarchi and Kimchi observe that according to "athbash", a rule of interpretation with the Jews, the letters in "leb kame", rendered "the midst of them that rise up against me", answer to "Cashdim" or the Chaldeans; however they are no doubt designed; for they rose up against God, by setting up idols of their own; and against his people, by taking and carrying them captive: and now the Lord says he would raise up against them

a destroying wind; a northern one, the army of the Modes and Persians, which should sweep away all before it. The Targum is,

"people that are slayers; whose hearts are lifted up, and are beautiful in stature, and their spirit destroying.'


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-51.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise against me, a destroying a wind;

(a) The Medes and Persians who will destroy them as the wind does the chaff.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-51.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Jeremiah 51:1-64. Continuation of the prophecy against Babylon begun in the fiftieth chapter.

in the midst of them that rise … against me — literally, “in the heart” of them. Compare Psalm 46:2, “the midst of the sea,” Margin; Ezekiel 27:4, “the heart of the seas”; Margin; Matthew 12:40. In the center of the Chaldeans. “Against Me,” because they persecute My people. The cabalistic mode of interpreting Hebrew words (by taking the letters in the inverse order of the alphabet, the last letter representing the first, and so on, Jeremiah 25:26) would give the very word Chaldeans here; but the mystical method cannot be intended, as “Babylon” is plainly so called in the immediately preceding parallel clause.

wind — God needs not warlike weapons to “destroy” His foes; a wind or blast is sufficient; though, no doubt, the “wind” here is the invading host of Medes and Persians (Jeremiah 4:11; 2 Kings 19:7).


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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 51:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-51.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

He proceeds with the same subject. Jeremiah seems, indeed, to have used more words than necessary; but we have stated the reason why he dwelt at large on a matter so clear: His object was not only to teach, for this he might have done in a few words, and have thus included all that we have hitherto seen and shall find in the whole of this chapter; but as it was an event hardly credible, it was necessary to illustrate the prophecy respecting it with many figures, and to inculcate with many repetitions what had been already said, and also to confirm by many reasons what no one hardly admitted.

He then says, Behold, I will, etc. God is made the speaker, that the word might have more force and power. Behold, he says, I will raise up a destroying wind against the Chaldeans. The similitude of wind is very appropriate, for God thus briefly reminded them how easy it was for him to destroy the whole world even by a single blast. The wind is, indeed, indirectly set in opposition to instruments of war; for when any one seeks to overcome an enemy, he collects many and strong forces, and procures auxiliaries on every side; in short, he will not dare to attempt anything without making every possible preparation. As, then, men dare not attack their enemies without making strenuous efforts, God here extols his own power, because it is enough for him to raise up a wind. We now, then, perceive the design of the similitude, when he says, that he would raise up a wind that would destroy or scatter the Chaldeans.

In the following words there is an obscurity; literally, they are, the inhabitants of the heart; for as the word ישבי ,ishebi, is in construction, another word necessarily follows it, as for instance, the country of the Chaldeans. But the relative, ה, He, referring to Babylon, ought to have been put down. Yet as the words occur, we are compelled to read, and against the inhabitants of the heart Some will have the relative, אשר, asher, to be understood, but that is harsh, for it is an unnatural mode of speaking. They, however, give this rendering of אשר לב , asher leb, “those who in heart rose up against me.” But what if we read the words inhabitants of the heart metaphorically, as meaning those who gloried in their own wisdom? for the Babylonians, as it is well known, thought other men dull and foolish, and were so pleased with their own astuteness, as though they were fortified by inclosures on every side. They dwelt then in their own heart, that is, they thought themselves well fortified around through their own wisdom. In this sense the Prophet seems to call the Babylonians the inhabitants of the heart (80)

He adds, at the same time, that they rose, up against God, even because they had cruelly treated his people, and nearly destroyed them. And we know that God undertook the cause of his Church, and therefore complained that war was made on him by the ungodly, whenever they molested the faithful. It is also at the same time generally true, that all who arrogate to themselves wisdom rise up against God, because they rob God of the honor due to him. But it ought properly to be referred to the union which exists between God and his Church, when he charges the Chaldeans, that they rose up against him. It follows,—

Against the inhabitants of the metropolis
of my adversaries.

Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-51.html. 1840-57.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The same subject is prosecuted in this Chapter. The utter destruction of Babylon is declared, and the Lord's judgments upon her determined.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/jeremiah-51.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 51:1 Thus saith the LORD Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;

Ver. 1. Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst,] scil., Of the land of Chaldea, in the royal seat and centre of that great monarchy.

A destroying wind.] (a) Blasting and boisterous. See Jeremiah 4:11-12.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-51.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 51:1. Them that rise up against me, &c.— See chap. Jeremiah 4:11.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-51.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

JEREMIAH CHAPTER 51

The severe judgment of God against voluptuous, covetous, tyrannical, and idolatrous Babel, in the revenge and for the redemption of Israel, Jeremiah 51:1-58. Jeremiah delivereth the book of this prophecy to Seraiah, to be cast into Euphrates, in token of the perpetual shaking of Babylon, Jeremiah 51:59-64.

In this chapter the prophecy of the destruction of Babylon is continued under new metaphors; he begins with that of a wind,

a destroying wind, ( as northerly winds are ordinarily very pernicious,) but the Hebrew idiom so ill suiteth that of other languages, that it is no easy matter positively to assert the sense of the words used. In the Hebrew they are, and to, or against, those that inhabit the heart of those that rise up. Some would have it those that are wise in their own opinion, and are therefore said to dwell in their heart; others, those that are secure; but the best interpreters judge our translation to have best hit the sense, —

them that dwell in the heart, that is, in the midst of the Chaldeans, who are here said to have risen up against God, to strive against God. Jeremiah 50:24.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-51.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE HOSTILE NATION, Jeremiah 51:1-4.

1. Against them that dwell in the midst, etc. — Literally, the inhabitants of the heart of my risers up. The original for heart of risers up is the word Chasdim, (Chaldeans,) written according to the canon Atbash, “for the purpose of obtaining the more important meaning that Chaldea is the centre of God’s enemies.” It is probable that some words in common use, written according to this cipher Atbash, were generally familiar.

Destroying wind — Keil translates, spirit of a destroyer; but the leading Versions agree with the common English Version. The sense is a good one, and in harmony with the following verse.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-51.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Yahweh announced that He would arouse against Babylon and Leb-kamai the spirit of a destroyer, or a destroying wind. Leb-kamai (lit. heart of my adversaries) was a code name (atbash) for Chaldea (cf. Jeremiah 51:41; Jeremiah 25:26). Here it functions as a poetic synonym. [Note: Another use of the atbash was to hide the identity of the nation referred to (cf1Peter5:13).]

"This explanation of the name involves the thought that all enmity against God the Lord culminates in Babylon; on the basis of this representation Babylon is called, Rev. xvii5 , "the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth."" [Note: Keil, 2:289.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-51.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Thereof. Hebrew leb kamai, "of the heart, rising up against me." (Haydock) --- Many take Leb-kamai to be the enigmatical name of the Chaldeans, by a secret combination of letters, (Kimchi; Grotius) as if they were not clearly designated in the sequel. (Calmet) --- The prophet expresses more pointedly what he had declared in the preceding chapter. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-51.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-51.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Thus saith the LORD Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;

Against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me - literally, in the heart of them, etc. Compare Psalms 46:2, "the midst of the sea" - margin, 'the heart of the seas;' Ezekiel 27:4, margin; Matthew 12:40, "in the heart of the earth" - in the center of the Chaldeans. They "rise up against me," because they persecute my people. The Athbash or cabalistic mode of interpreting Hebrew words (by taking the letters in the inverse order of the alphabet, the last letter representing the first, and so on, Jeremiah 25:26, "Sheshach") would give the very word Chaldeans for "in the midst of them that rise up against me" [ leeb (Hebrew #3820) qaamaay (Hebrew #6965)] here; but the mystical method cannot be intended, as "Babylon" is plainly so called in the immediately preceding parallel clause.

A destroying wind. God needs not warlike weapons to "destroy" His foes; a wind or blast is sufficient; though, no doubt, the "wind" here is the invading host of Medes and Persians (Jeremiah 4:11; 2 Kings 19:7).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-51.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

LI.

(1) I will raise up . . . a destroying wind.—Literally, the wind of a destroyer. In Haggai 1:14; Ezra 1:1; Ezra 1:5; 1 Chronicles 5:26 the phrase is used for “stirring up the spirit” of a man, and that may be its meaning here. The context, however, suggests, in the “fanners” of the next verse, the literal meaning of “wind,” and it is quite possible that the phrase may have been used by Jeremiah in this sense, and afterwards acquired a figurative meaning. It does not appear in any earlier book of the Old Testament.

Against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me.—Literally, in the heart of my adversaries. In the judgment of most commentators the Hebrew words Leb-kamai, which answer to the last ten words of the English, furnish another example of the Atbash or cypher-writing of which we have seen an instance in the Sheshach of Jeremiah 25:26. Interpreted by that cypher Leb-kamai becomes Chasdim or Chaldæans. Obviously the significance of the cypher-words gives force to its employment here, and presents a parallel to the use of the names Merathaim and Pekod in Jeremiah 50:21. Some commentators, indeed, rest in that significance without recognising the hidden meaning of the Atbash. The LXX. and Syriac versions translate “against the Chaldæans,” as recognising the use of the cypher. Both this and Sheshach had probably become familiar in the correspondence between the exiles and those of their countrymen who remained in Judaea, and so both would understand them when used by Jeremiah.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-51.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;
I will
50:9,14-16,21; Isaiah 13:3-5; Amos 3:6
midst
Heb. heart. rise.
50:24,29,33; Zechariah 2:8; Acts 9:4
a destroying wind
4:11,12; 49:36; 2 Kings 19:7; Ezekiel 19:12; Hosea 13:15

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-51.html.

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