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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 51:32

 

 

The fords also have been seized, And they have burned the marshes with fire, And the men of war are terrified.

Adam Clarke Commentary

That the passages are stopped - Either the bridges or slips for boats, by which the inhabitants passed from one side to the other, and may mean the principal gates or passes in the city, which the victorious army would immediately seize, that they might prevent all communication between the inhabitants.

The reeds they have burned with fire - What this means I cannot tell, unless it refer to something done after the taking of the city. Setting fire to the reeds in the marshy ground, in order the better to clear the places, and give a freer passage to the water, that it may neither stagnate nor turn the solid ground into a marsh. Dr. Blayney thinks it refers to the firing of the houses, in order to throw the inhabitants into the greater confusion; but no historian makes any mention of burning the city, except what is said Jeremiah 51:30, "They have burned her dwelling places;" and this may be a poetical expression. That they burnt nothing before they took the city must be evident from the circumstance of their taking the city by surprise, in the night time, with the greatest secrecy. Still there might have been some gates, barricadoes, or wooden works, serving for barracks or such like, which obstructed some of the great passages, which, when they had entered, they were obliged to burn, in order to get themselves a ready passage through the city. This is the more likely because this burning of reeds is connected with the stopping of the passages, burning the dwelling places, and breaking the bars.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-51.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The passages are stopped - The ferries are seized, occupied. The historians state that when Cyrus captured the city his troops moved down the bed of the river and occupied all these ferries, finding at each of them the gates negligently left open. See the Daniel 5:1 note.

The reeds - literally, the marshes or pools, which formed an important part of the defenses of Babylon, were dried up as completely as a piece of wood would be consumed by fire.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-51.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And that the passages are stopped,.... Or "taken", or "seized"F15נתפשו "praeoccupata", V. L. "comprehensa", Montanus; "occupati", Tigurine version, Schmidt. ; where Cyrus placed soldiers to keep them; these were the passages leading from the river Euphrates to the city, the keys of it; the little gates, that HerodotusF16L. 1. sive Clio, c. 191. speaks of, leading to the river, which were left open that night. Kimchi thinks the towers built by the river side, to keep the enemy out, that should attempt to enter, are meant; these were now in his hands;

and the reeds they have burnt with fire; which grew upon the banks of the river, and in the marshes adjoining to it. Some render it, "the marshes"F17את אגמים "paludes", V. L. Syr. Grotius; "stagna", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt. ; that is, the reeds and bulrushes in them, which usually grow in such places. And HerodotusF18L. 1. sive Clio, c. 191. makes mention of a marsh Cyrus came to; the reeds in it he burnt, having many torches, with which he might set fire to them; as he proposed with them to burn the houses, doors, and porchesF19Xenophon, Cyropaedia, l. 7. c. 22. ; either to make way for his army, which might hinder the march of it; or to give light, that they might see their way into the city the better: though some think it was to terrify the inhabitants; which seems not so likely, since he marched up to the royal palace with great secrecy. This circumstance is mentioned, to show the certainty of the enemy's entrance, and the taking of part of the city. R. Jonah, from the Arabic language, in which the wordF20"arundinetum feris et hinc munimentum, castellum", Camus apud Golium, Colossians 33. "castellum, munimentum viarum, arces", Castel. Lex. Colossians 29. here used signifies "fortresses", so renders it here;

and the men of war are affrighted; and so fled, and left the passes, towers, and fortresses, which fell into the hands of Cyrus, as soon as they perceived his army was come up the channel and was landed, and the reeds were burnt.


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-51.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

passages are stopped — The guarded fords of the Euphrates are occupied by the enemy (see on Jeremiah 50:38).

reeds … burned — literally, “the marsh.” After draining off the river, Cyrus “burned” the stockade of dense tree-like “reeds” on its banks, forming the outworks of the city‘s fortifications. The burning of these would give the appearance of the marsh or river itself being on “fire.”


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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 51:32". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-51.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

The passages — The passages over the river Euphrates, and all the other passages by which the Babylonians might make their escape, were guarded with soldiers.

Reeds — On the border of the river Euphrates were vast quantities of great and tall reeds, which with the mud in which they stood, were as another wall to the city; but the Medes had burnt them so as the way was open.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "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

This verse most clearly proves that Jeremiah was God’s herald, and that his language was under the guidance of the celestial Spirit; for he sets forth the manner in which Babylon was taken, as though he had witnessed it with his own eyes.

He says that the fords were taken, and that the pools were burnt with fire. We do not read that Cyrus had made use of fire; and some render pools, reeds, but there is no reason to constrain us so to render the word; for the Prophet speaks metaphorically. Their object was to give a literal rendering, by saying that reeds were burnt; but the Prophet shows, speaking hyperbolically, that the fords of the Euphrates were dried up, as though one burned wood by applying fire to it. This, indeed, is not suitable to water; but he, by a hyperbole, expresses more fully the miracle which might have otherwise exceeded human comprehension. He then says, that the fords were dried up, and then adds, that the pools were burnt. The same thing is expressed twice, but in a different way; and as I have already said, he states hyperbolically, that such was the skill of Cyrus and his army, that he made dry the fords and the pools, as though one collected a large heap of wood and consumed it with fire. (94) We now perceive the design of the Prophet.

He afterwards adds, that the men of war were broken in pieces For though the fords were made dry, that is, the streams which were drawn from the Euphrates, vet. the guards of the city might have still kept possession of a part of it, and have manfully resisted, so as to prevent the soldiers of Cyrus from advancing farther; but the city was so craftily taken, that the Babylonians were so terrified as not to dare to raise up a finger, when yet they might have defended a part of the city, though one part of it was taken.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-51.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 51:32 And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

Ver. 32. And that the passages are stopped.] Or, Taken, seized, surprised. {as Jeremiah 48:41}

And the reeds.] Or, Marshes, made by Euphrates overflowing. It is well observed that the Babylonians might by this prophecy have been forewarned and forearmed against Cyrus’s stratagem; but they slighted it, and never inquired after it likely.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-51.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This was part of the message which the prophet saith the messenger should carry to the king of Babylon, that was in the other part of the city, that the passages over the river Euphrates, or any other passages by which the Babylonians might, upon the enemies’ entrance, make their escape, were all stopped, and guarded with soldiers, or otherwise, so as there was no hope of any making an escape. The word translated

reeds signifies also standing pools of water, and that some judge the sense, the water is drained out of the pits or pools, so as it could not hinder the entrance of the enemies: those that adhere to the translation of it reeds, say that upon the borders of the river Euphrates were vast quantities of great and tall reeds, which, with the mud in which they stood, were as another wall to the city, but the Medes had burnt up them, so as the way was open to the walls; and the men of war, seeing these reeds burnt up, and the water drained from them, were affrighted, so as their hearts through fear failed them.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". 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

32. Passages — Literally, crossing-places, either bridges or fords, or more probably both.

Are stopped — Rather, seized, occupied.

Reeds… burned — Better, marshes or ponds, alluding to the artificial lakes which, according to Herodotus, formed an important part of the defences of Babylon. As these could not be literally burned, the translation “reeds” has been adopted, but utterly without authority. The language is poetic and hyperbolic, and should not be forced.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-51.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fords. Thus the enemy entered. --- Marches. Hebrew, "sedges," which grew to the size of trees, and were burnt when the waters of the river and lakes were drained. Herodotus (i. 185, 178.) specifies a lake four hundred and twenty stadia square, and says the ditches round the city were full of water.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-51.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

passages = fords.

stopped = seized.

men. Hebrew, plural of "enosh.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "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

And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

Passages are stopped - the guarded fords of the Euphrates are occupied by the enemy (note, Jeremiah 50:38).

The reeds ... burned - "the reeds" [ haa'


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 51:32". "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

(32) That the passages are stopped.—These were probably the ferries across the Euphrates, by which one part of the city was in communication with the other. These were at the ends of the streets that ran at right angles to the river, and gates—left open in the panic of surprise—led down to them. Besides these there was one bridge over the Euphrates in the middle and a tunnel under it (Herod. i. 186). The word is elsewhere used for fords, as in Genesis 32:22; Judges 3:28, but cannot have that meaning here, as the Euphrates was not fordable at Babylon.

The reeds they have burned with fire.—The word for “reeds” is elsewhere (Isaiah 14:23; Isaiah 41:18; Exodus 7:19; Exodus 8:5) translated “pool.” Here it probably refers to the great pool constructed by Nitocris as a reservoir or dock. This was probably left dry by the diversion of the river into another channel, and the reeds which grew in it, perhaps also the flood-gates of the canals, and the ships that were in dock, were burnt by the Persians. The very pools were the scene of a conflagration.


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-51.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.
the passages
50:38; Isaiah 44:27
the men
30; 50:37

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:32". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-51.html.

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