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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 51:13

 

 

O you who dwell by many waters, Abundant in treasures, Your end has come, The measure of your end.

Adam Clarke Commentary

O thou that dwellest upon many waters - Thou who hast an abundant supply of waters. It was built on the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates; the latter running through the city. But the many waters may mean the many nations which belonged to the Babylonish empire; nations and people are frequently so called in Scripture.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-51.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Upon many waters - The great wealth of Babylonia was caused not merely by the Euphrates, but by a vast system of canals, which served for defense as well as for irrigation.

The measure of thy covetousness - i. e., the appointed end of thy gain. Some render it: the ell of thy cutting off, i. e., the appointed measure at which thou art to be cut off, at which thy web of existence is to be severed from the loom.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-51.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

O thou that dwellest upon many waters,.... Here Babylon is addressed, either by the Lord, or by the prophet, or the godly Jews; who is described by her, situation, which was by the great river Euphrates; which being branched out into several canals or rivers, both ran through it, and encompassed it; hence mention is made of the rivers of Babylon, Psalm 137:1; and a fit emblem this city was of mystical Babylon, which is also said to sit on many waters, interpreted of people and nations, Revelation 17:1; and which Kimchi here interprets of an affluence of good things, though he admits of the literal sense of the words:

abundant in treasures: of corn, and of the fruits of the earth, and so in condition to hold out a siege, as well as strongly fortified by art and nature, before described; and of gold and silver, the sinews of war, which she had got together, partly by commerce, and partly by the spoil of other nations; and yet neither her situation nor her affluence could secure her from ruin:

thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness; this flourishing city was now near its end, and with it the whole Babylonish monarchy; the time fixed by the Lord, for the duration of one and the other, was now come; and whereas her covetousness was insatiable, and would have known no bounds, for the enlargement of her dominions, and for the accumulation of more wealth and riches; God set a limit to it, beyond which it should not go; which measure was now filled up, and the time for it expired. The Targum is,

"the day of thy destruction is come, and the time of the visitation of thy wickedness,'


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-51.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

O thou that dwellest upon many i waters, abundant in treasures, thy end is come, [and] the measure of thy covetousness.

(i) For the land of Chaldea was full of rivers which ran into the Euphrates.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-51.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

waters — (Jeremiah 51:32, Jeremiah 51:36; see on Isaiah 21:1). The Euphrates surrounded the city and, being divided into many channels, formed islands. Compare as to spiritual Babylon “waters,” that is, “many peoples,” Revelation 17:1, Revelation 17:15. A large lake also was near Babylon.

measure — literally, “cubit,” which was the most common measure, and therefore is used for a measure in general. The time for putting a limit to thy covetousness [Gesenius]. There is no “and” in the Hebrew: translate, “thine end, the retribution for thy covetousness” [Grotius]. Maurer takes the image to be from weaving: “the cubit where thou art to be cut off”; for the web is cut off, when the required number of cubits is completed (Isaiah 38:12).


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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 51:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-51.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.

Waters — Babylon is said to dwell upon many waters, because the great river Euphrates, did not only run by it, but almost encompass it branching itself into many smaller rivers, which made several parts of the city, islands.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-51.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The word שכנתי, shekenti, is to be taken here for שכנת, shekenet, a dweller; and the passage is more clear when we take it as the title of Babylon. And he says that she was a dweller among waters, because the Euphrates not only flowed by the city, (and we know that it was a very large river,) but it surrounded it; and it, was indeed divided above Babylon into many streams, so that it made as it were many islands, and thus access to the city was more difficult. This circumstance served not only for a defense to it, but also for other advantages.: For these streams or channels were navigable; and the land also was made more fertile by the irrigation they supplied. Thus these streams contributed to its wealth as well as to its defense in time of war. And though Babylon was deemed on this account impregnable, and was also a very fertile land, yet the Prophet says here that its end was come

Now, except he had made this preface, that Babylon was situated among the rivers or many waters, and that it was also a city full of wealth, all this might have seemed a hindrance to prevent God from executing on it his vengeance; for this objection was ready at hand, “How can Babylon be taken, which is seated between many waters? for without great force and number of soldiers it cannot but remain in safety, since it is protected by so many rivers.” Then another objection might have been brought forward, that Babylon was an opulent city, so that it could hire auxiliaries on every side, and that having such abundance of money, it would never be unprotected. Hence the Prophet here mentions these two things; but what he says ought to be taken adversatively, as if he said, “Though thou dwellest among many waters, and art great in treasures, that is, hast large treasures, yet thine end is come.”

He adds, the measure of thy cupidity. Some render אמת, amet, end, ” but improperly; and the Prophet has not without reason introduced the word אמת, amet, which properly means a cubit, but is to be taken here for measure. Jerome renders it “a foot,” a word in use in his age. But the meaning is sufficiently clear, that though Babylon had exhausted all the wealth of the world as an insatiable gulf, yet the measure of her cupidity would come. For the cupidity of that nation was unlimited, but God at length brought it to an end — not that they were amended, but that God checked their coveting. And according to this sense the Prophet says, that though they had been hitherto devouring the wealth of many countries, yet the measure of her cupidity was come, even because the Lord would take away, together with the monarchy, the power and opportunity of doing wrong. For the Chaldeans were able to act licentiously, when they had so many nations subject to them; but the measure of their cupidity was come, when God in a manner cut off their strength, not that they then desisted, or that their rapacious disposition was amended — for they changed not their nature; but cupidity is to be referred here to its exercise, even because their power was then taken from them, so that they could not carry on their plunders as they had used to do. He afterwards adds, —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-51.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 51:13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, [and] the measure of thy covetousness.

Ver. 13. O thou that dwellest upon many waters.] Euphrates and Tigris especially, famous rivers running from Babylonia into the Persian Sea. Hence most geographers hold, and not improbably, that that land was a part of the garden of Eden; fruitful it was beyond credulity.

Thine end is come, and the measure (Heb., the cubit) of thy covetousness.] Cuius avaritiae totus non sufficit orbis. The covetous cormorant’s mouth, with his Give, give, shall shortly be stopped with a spadeful of mould, and his "never enough" quit with fire enough in the bottom of hell.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-51.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 51:13. O thou that dwells, &c.— Upon the river Euphrates, which encompassed Babylon, and was thought to render the city impregnable. Many waters also signify mystically the many people over whom this was the reigning city. Compare Revelation 17:1; Revelation 17:15.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". 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

Babylon is said to dwell upon many waters, because upon the great river Euphrates, which they say did not only run by it, but almost encompass it, branching itself into many smaller rivers, which made several parts of the city islands.

Abundant in treasures; it is a city much noted in Scripture for wealth, and made much more wealthy than it was by traffic by the conquest of many nations.

Thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness: the prophet tells them that now their gathering time was over, there was now a boundary set to their covetousness; in the Hebrew it is, the cubit of thy covetousness, which is by our translators well translated a measure, because it was amongst the Jews the common measure of height and depth. The word by us translated covetousness, as Exodus 18:21, may either signify riches, the object of their covetousness, or prosperity, or that unlawful desire of having more, which is properly called covetousness, either because they should be destroyed utterly, or because they should prosper no more; there was no end put to the Babylonians’ lusts, but there was an end put to the satisfaction of their lusts.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". 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

13. Dwellest upon many waters — An allusion to the elaborate system of irrigation in the Babylonian plain, to which was due its extraordinary fruitfulness, and in some degree the eminence of Babylon herself.

Measure of thy covetousness — The limit of thine unjust gain.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-51.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The end of wealthy Babylon, which stood by many waters, had come. A myriad of canals and waterways provided water and irrigation for Mesopotamia. Babylon"s great wealth had come to her largely from the temples and palaces of other nations that she had captured (cf. Jeremiah 52:12-13; Jeremiah 52:17-23; 2 Kings 24:13; 2 Kings 25:13-17; Daniel 5:2-4). Her end would come as when someone cut a piece of cloth from a loom, a common figure for death (cf. Isaiah 38:12).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-51.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Waters. Not far from the Tigris, and divided into two parts by the Euphrates. (Calmet) --- Entire, being cut up by the roots, pedalis, (Lyranus) or according to the measure of thy crimes. (Delrio) (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "thy end is truly come into thy bowels." (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-51.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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

covetousness = dishonest or unrighteous gain.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "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

O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.

O thou that dwellest upon many waters - (Jeremiah 51:32; Jeremiah 51:36; note, Isaiah 21:1). The Euphrates surrounded the city, and, being divided into many channels, formed islands. Compare as to spiritual Babylon, "waters," i:e., 'many peoples,' Revelation 17:1; Revelation 17:15. A large lake also was near Babylon.

The measure - literally, the cubit, which was the most common measure, and therefore is used for a measure in general.

Of thy covetousness - the time for putting a limit to thy covetousness is come (Gesenius). There is no "and" in the Hebrew; translate, thine end, the retribution for thy covetousness' (Grotius). Maurer takes the image to be from weaving: "thine end is come" - namely, 'the cubit where thou art to be cut off;' for the web is cut off when the required number of cubits is completed (Isaiah 38:12).


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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 51:13". "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

(13) O thou that dwellest upon many waters.—The words find an illustration of singular interest in an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar’s given by Oppert (Expéd. en Mésop. i. p. 231): “I made water to flow all around in this immense dyke of earth. I carried an aqueduct across these great waters that are like unto the depths of the sea.” See also Records of the Past, v. 128. The channels which were cut for the waters of the Euphrates seemed at once intended for a line of defence against attack, and for irrigation and navigation. To some extent Babylon, though an inland city, must have presented an appearance like that of Venice or Amsterdam.

The measure of thy covetousness.—The measure is literally “an ell,” and for “covetousness” many commentators give the meaning of “that which is cut off,” a “piece” or “section.” So taken, we may translate the ell-measure of thy portion, the allotted time of prosperity decreed in the Divine counsels. Others, following the Vulgate, “pedalis precisionis tuœ,” give “the ell-measure of thy cutting off,” i.e., the appointed time of destruction.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-51.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.
dwellest
36; Revelation 17:1,15
abundant
50:37; Isaiah 45:3; Habakkuk 2:5-10; Revelation 18:11-17
thine
17:11; 50:27,31; Genesis 6:13; Lamentations 4:18; Ezekiel 7:2-12; Daniel 5:26; Amos 8:2; 1 Peter 4:7
and the
Habakkuk 2:9-11; Luke 12:19-21; 2 Peter 2:3,14,15; Jude 1:11-13; Revelation 18:19

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-51.html.

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