corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 51:11

 

 

Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! The LORD has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, Because His purpose is against Babylon to destroy it; For it is the vengeance of the LORD, vengeance for His temple.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Make bright the arrows - This is the prophet's address to Babylon.

The Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes - Of Cyaxares king of Media, called Darius the Mede in Scripture; and of Cyrus king of Persia, presumptive heir of the throne of Cyaxares, his uncle. Cambyses, his father, sent him, Cyrus, with 30, 000 men to assist his uncle Cyaxares, against Neriglissar king of Babylon, and by these was Babylon overthrown.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-51.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Make bright - Rather, Sharpen.

The Medes Genesis 10:2 were a branch of the great Aryan family, who as conquerors had seized upon the vast regions extending from the Caspian Sea to the eastern borders of Mesopotamia, but without being able to dispossess the Turanian tribes who had previously dwelt there. They were divided into numerous clans, each with its own local chief, the leaders of the larger sections being those who are here called kings.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-51.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Make sharp the arrows, hold forth the shields: Jehovah hath stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; because his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it: for it is the vengeance of Jehovah, the vengeance of his temple. Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for Jehovah hath both purposed and done that which he spake concerning the inhabitants of Babylon. O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, the measure of thy covetousness. Jehovah of hosts hath sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill thee with men, as with the canker-worm; and they shall lift up a shout against thee."

"O thou that dwellest upon many waters ..." (Jeremiah 51:13). "The great wealth of Babylon was caused not merely by the Euphrates, but by a vast system of canals, which served for defense as well as for irrigation."[7] Harrison thought that there might be, "A sarcastic reference here to the mythological tale of the Babylonians concerning a great subterranean ocean";[8] but we believe that the obvious reference to the canals of the Euphrates is a far better interpretation.

"The measure of thy covetousness ..." (Jeremiah 51:13). "This is a metaphor taken from weaving; it compares Babylon to a measure of cloth cut out of the loom, which is a figure for death."[9]; Isaiah 38:12 has the same metaphor.

"As with the canker-worm" (Jeremiah 51:14). The canker-worm was a very destructive insect. "It was the locust in the chrysalis stage, the most destructive phase of the locust's life."[10] This creature was the source of many of the worst plagues that ever came upon the people of the Near East. The promise here was that God would fill Babylon with men who would do the same thing to Babylon that the horrible locust plague would do to a field of grain.


Copyright Statement
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 51:11". "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

Make bright the arrows,.... Which were covered with rust; scour them of it; anoint them with oil, as armour were wont to be; make them neat, clean, and bright, that they may pierce the deeper; hence we read of a "polished shaft", or arrow, one made bright and pure, Isaiah 49:2; agreeably to this some render the word "sharpen the arrows"F11הברו החצים "acuite sagittas", V. L. Castalio; "exacuite", Montanus. ; so the Targum. The word has the signification of "choosing"; but, as Gussetius observesF12Ebr. Comment. p. 148. , whether the direction be to choose the best arrows, or to scour clean and polish them, the end is the same; namely, to have such as are most fit for use. Joseph Kimchi derives the word from another, which signifies a feather; and so renders it, "feather the arrows"F13"Ponite pennas in sagittis", so some in Vatablus. ; that they may fly the swifter. These and what follow are either the words of God, or of the prophet; or, as some think, of the Jews about to return to Judea, whose words are continued, exhorting the Medes and Persians to go on with the war against the Chaldeans; but they rather seem to be addressed to the Chaldeans themselves, putting them upon doing these things; and suggesting, that when they had done all they could, it would be to no purpose:

gather the shields; which lay scattered about and neglected in time of peace: or, "fill" them; fill the hands with them; or bring in a full or sufficient number; since there would be now occasion for them, to defend them against the enemy. The Targum, and several versions, render it, "fill the quivers"F14מלאו השלטים πληρουτε τας φαρετρας, Sept. "implete pharetras", V. L. Castalio, So Syr. this version is prefered by Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 860, 945. ; that is, with arrows; and so Jarchi: or, "fill the shields"F15"Implete scuta, scil. oleo", Stockius, p. 1098. ; that is, with oil; anoint them, as in Isaiah 21:5;

the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; of Cyaxares, or Darius the Mede, and of Cyrus, who succeeded his uncle as king of Media; and indeed the army that came against Babylon was an army of Medes joined by the Persians, Cyrus being employed as general of it by his uncle. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read it, "the spirit of the king of the Medes"; with which the following clause seems to agree:

for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; the device of the king of the Medes, Darius; or rather the device of the Lord, who stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; put it into their hearts to fulfil his will; and gave them wisdom and skill, courage and resolution, to do it; and as he will to the kings of the earth against mystical Babylon, Revelation 17:16;

because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple; his vengeance on Babylon, for the destruction of his temple, and the profanation of it; see Jeremiah 50:28.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-51.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his purpose [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the vengeance of the LORD, the h vengeance of his temple.

(h) For the wrong done to his people and to his temple, (Jeremiah 50:28).

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

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-51.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Make bright — literally, “pure.” Polish and sharpen.

gather — literally, “fill”; that is, gather in full number, so that none be wanting. So, “gave in full tale” (1 Samuel 18:27). Gesenius, not so well, translates, “Fill with your bodies the shields” (compare Song of Solomon 4:4). He means to tell the Babylonians, Make what preparations you will, all will be in vain (compare Jeremiah 46:3-6).

kings of … Medes — He names the Medes rather than the Persians, because Darius, or Cyaxares, was above Cyrus in power and the greatness of his kingdom.

temple — (Jeremiah 50:28).


Copyright Statement
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 51:11". "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

These words might have been addressed to the Medes as well as to the Babylonians. If the latter meaning be approved, that is, that the Prophet addresses the Babylonians, the words are a taunt, as though he had said, that they were to no purpose spending their labors in preparing their armies, because God would be stronger than they, and that the Medes would carry on war under his banner and authority. Nor would what I have also stated, be unsuitable, that is, that the Prophet bids the Medes to prepare themselves and to put on their arms, that they might fight courageously against the Babylonians. (85)

He now adds the main thing, — that the kings of the Medes would come against Babylon, because they had been called from above; and he mentions the word spirit, that he might more fully express that men’s minds are ruled and turned by the secret power of God, and also that whatever power or boldness is found in them, proceeds altogether from God; as though he had said, that God would so prepare the Medes and the Persians, that he would not only strengthen their arms, hands, and feet, for the war, but would also lead them, and overrule their passions — that he would, in short, turn their spirit here and there, according to his will. He does not now speak of the wind, as before; nor does he point out the enemies generally, but expressly names the Medes. For though Cyaxares, or Darius, as he is called by Daniel, was not a very prudent man, nor skillful in war, yet, as he was higher in dignity, the Prophet here mentions the Medes rather than the Persians. Cyrus excelled in celerity, and was also a man of singular wariness, activity, and boldness: but as he was by no means wealthy, and ruled over a rustic nation, and the limits of his kingdom were confined, the Prophet rightly speaks here of the Medes only, whose power far exceeded that of the Persians.

But we hence learn, that Jeremiah did not speak as a man, but was the instrument of the Spirit; for it was an indubitable seal to his prophecy, that he predicted an event a long time before the war took place. Cyrus was not yet born, who was the leader in this war: nor was Darius as yet born; for seventy years elapsed from the time the Prophet spoke to the taking of Babylon. We then see that this passage is a sure proof of his faithfulness and authority.

He afterwards adds, that God’s thought respecting Babylon was to destroy her He still speaks after the manner of men, and at the same time obviates an objection which might have disturbed weak minds, because Babylon not only remained safe and secure for a long time, but also received an increase of power and dignity. The minds then of the godly might have desponded, when there seemed to be no accomplishment of this prophecy. Hence the Prophet calls attention to the thought of God, as though he had said, that though God did not immediately put forth his hand, if, was yet enough for the faithful to know what he had decreed. in short, the Prophet reminded, them, that they ought to acquiesce in God’s decree, though his work was yet hid.

And he again confirms the Jews, by adding, that it would be his vengeance, even that of God, because he disregarded not his Temple. By these words he intimates that the worship, according to the law, was pleasing to God, because the Jews became a distinct people from heathen nations, when the rule as to religion was prescribed to them. Then the Prophet intimates, that though any sort of religion pleased men, there is yet but one which is approved by God, even that which he himself has commanded. The case being so, we may conclude, that God cannot long endure his worship to be scoffed at. For we know how scornfully and proudly the Chaldeans spoke of the Temple, so that they not only uttered blasphemies, but also heaped every reproach they could think of on the Temple. Since that religion was founded on God’s word, it follows that it could not be but that he must have at length risen and vindicated the wrongs done to him by the Chaldeans. We now perceive the meaning of the Prophet, when he says, that it would be the vengeance of God; and he adds, because God will avenge his temple. He confirms the Jews, when he declares that God would be the vindicator of his own worship; and he, at the same time, shows, that the worship according to the law, which had been taught by Moses, was the only worship in the world which God approved. It afterwards follows, —


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-51.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 51:11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.

Ver. 11. Make bright the arrows,] q.d., Do so, O Chaldeans, if ye think it will boot you anything at all for the shoring up of your tottering state, whereas the Lord is resolved to bring it down.


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

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-51.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 51:11. Gather the shields Fill the quivers. Houbigant. Neriglissar king of Babylon having formed an alliance against the Medes, Cambyses sent his son Cyrus, with an army of thirty thousand Persians, to join the Medes, commanded by Cyaxares. This Cyaxares, king of Media, called in Scripture Darius the Mede, was the uncle of Cyrus; and it was properly his army which made the expedition against the Babylonians, Cyrus being employed as his general: Persia was then a small part of the empire of Media, and of little account till Cyrus advanced its reputation; and even then it was called the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, the Medes having still the preference. See Lowth, and Xenophon's Cyropaed. lib. 1.


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

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". 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

Make bright the arrows; prepare the arrows for fighting, whether by feathering, sharpening, or polishing and cleansing of them, is not much material.

Gather the shields; you that are Chaldeans, gather all the shields you have together, you will have need of them all: or, you that are the enemies of the Chaldeans, gather you together your shields. For God hath put a spirit into Cyrus and Darius, &c., and his design is against Babylon to destroy it. It is a day in which God is resolved to take vengeance on Babylon, to take vengeance for the indignities they have offered to, and the horrible profanation of, his temple.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". 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

11. Make bright — Rather, sharpen.

Gather — Better, fill; that is, put them on in their places.

Kings of the Medes — Suggesting the various clans, or kingships, into which they were divided.


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

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-51.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This oracle names the "Medes" as God"s instrument to destroy Babylon, as punishment for their destroying His temple. The fall of Babylon to the Medes was a fulfillment of this prophecy, but it did not fulfill all the prophecies about the fall of Babylon in these chapters. The Medes lived north of Babylon (in modern northwest Iran, Iranian Kurdistan). The Medes had been allies of the Babylonians in the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, in612 B.C. Seventy-three years later, they joined with the Persians to defeat Babylon, in539 B.C. (cf. Daniel 5:28; Daniel 5:31; Daniel 8:20).

"In550 B.C. Cyrus the Persian ruler invaded the region [Babylon] and subjugated it.... There is some evidence that about561-560 B.C. an invasion of Babylon by the Medes was expected. We have no historical evidence of any outcome. [Note: See Wiseman, p38.] On the other hand the term Medes may be a general one. It is known that the mother of Cyrus the Persian was a Mede, and the Medes and Persians were linked together several times in the book of Daniel (e.g, Daniel 5:28; Daniel 6:8; Daniel 6:12; Daniel 6:15). In that case the reference here may be to Cyrus, but the matter is still open to debate (cf. Isaiah 13:17)." [Note: Thompson, pp752-53.]


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

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-51.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sharpen. He addresses ironically the citizens of Babylon. --- Medes. Thus the subjects of the Persian monarchs are commonly styled. (Calmet)


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

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-51.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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.


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

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "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

Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.

Make bright - literally, pure. Polish and sharpen "the arrows."

Gather - literally, fill; i:e., gather in full number "the shields," so that none be missing. So, "gave in full tale" (1 Samuel 18:27). Gesenius, not so well, translates, 'Fill with your bodies the shields' (cf. Song of Solomon 4:4). He means to tell the Babylonians, Make what preparations you will, all will be in vain (cf. Jeremiah 46:3-6).

The Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. He names the Medes rather than the Persians, because Darius, or Cyaxares, was above Cyrus in power and the greatness of his kingdom.

It is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of His temple - (Jeremiah 50:28).


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 51:11". "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

(11) Make bright the arrows.—Better, Sharpen, the “polishing” or “making bright” being as the means to that end.

Gather the shields.—Literally, fill the shields, i.e., arm yourselves with them, The large shields of the Persian soldiers covered the whole body, and the man literally filled them. The LXX. and Vulgate agree in rendering the noun “quivers” instead of “shields,” but this would seem to have been a conjecture rising out of a wish to connect the two clauses. The rendering of the Authorised version agrees with the use of the word in Song Song of Solomon 4:4; Ezekiel 27:11; 2 Kings 11:10. Some critics interpret the words as meaning “fill the shields with oil,” as parallel to “sharpen the arrows,” and agreeing with “anoint the shield” in Isaiah 21:5.

Of the kings of the Medes.—As with the Greeks in their use of the terms Medise and Medism, so with the Hebrews the Medes are more prominent than the Persians in the work of destruction (comp. Isaiah 13:17). The “kings” are the chieftains of tribes more or less independent, but owning the suzerainty of the Persian king. It is noticeable that the ruler of Babylon, after its capture by Cyrus, in Daniel 5:31, is “Darius the Median,” and that he is called a “king.”


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-51.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.
Make
46:4,9; 50:9,14,25,28,29; Isaiah 21:5
bright
Heb. pure. the Lord hath.
27,28; 1 Kings 11:14,23; 1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Chronicles 36:22; Ezra 1:1; Isaiah 10:26; 13:17; Isaiah 13:18; 21:2; 41:25; 45:1,5; 46:11; Revelation 17:16,17
the spirit
Of Cyaxares king of Media, called "Darius the Mede" in scripture; and of Cyrus his nephew, king of persia, presumptive heir of the throne of his uncle.
his device
12,29; 50:45
the vengeance
24,35; 50:15,28; Psalms 74:3-11; 83:3-9; Habakkuk 2:17-20; Zechariah 12:2,3; Zechariah 14:2,12

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-51.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology