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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 51:41

 

 

"How Sheshak has been captured, And the praise of the whole earth been seized! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations!

Adam Clarke Commentary

How is Sheshach taken! - Perhaps the city is here called by the name of its idol.

The praise of the whole earth - One of the seven wonders of the world; superexcellent for the height, breadth, and compass of its walls, its hanging gardens, the temple of Belus, etc., etc.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-51.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Sheshach - Babylon: see the Jeremiah 51:1 note.

Surprised - i. e., seized, captured.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-51.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"How is Sheshak taken and the praise of the whole earth seized! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! The sea is come up upon Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. Her cities are become a desolation, a dry land, and a desert, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby. And I will execute judgment upon Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more unto him: yea the wall of Babylon shall fall."

"How is Sheshak taken ..." (Jeremiah 51:41). This is an ashbash for Babylon. See under Jeremiah 51:1, above, and under Jeremiah 25:26.

"The sea is come up upon Babylon ..." (Jeremiah 51:42). This is a metaphor for the destroying army, composed of many nations under the lordship of Cyrus.

"I will bring forth out of his mouth ..." (Jeremiah 51:44). This reveals the true identity of the one who swallowed up Jerusalem. It was not a sea-monster at all, but Babylon, because Babylon was the one that God forced to disgorge himself of that which he had swallowed.

Jeremiah 51:41-43 here are the same as Jeremiah 6:22-24. See my comments there.


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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 51:41". "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

How is Sheshach taken!.... Not the city Shushan, as Sir John Marsham thinksF5Canon. Chron. p. 607. ; but Babylon, as is plain from a following clause; and so the Targum,

"how is Babylon subdued!'

called Sheshach, by a position and commutation of letters the Jews call "athbash"; so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel account for it; or else from their idol Shach, the same with Bel, which was worshipped here, and had a temple erected for it; and where an annual feast was kept in honour of it, called the Sacchean feast; and which was observing the very time the city was taken; and may be the true reason of its having this name given it now; See Gill on Jeremiah 25:26; the taking of which was very wonderful; and therefore this question is put by way of admiration; it being so well fortified and provided to hold out a long siege:

and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised? for it was taken by stratagem and surprise, before the king and his guards, the army, and the inhabitants of it, were aware; that city, which was matter and occasion of praise to all the world, and went through it; for the compass of it, and height and strength of its walls; the river Euphrates that ran through it, and flowed about it; the temple, palaces, and gardens in it:

how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations! or, "a desolation"; and indeed its being a desolation was the reason of its being an astonishment among the nations; who were amazed to see so strong, rich, and splendid a city brought to ruin in a very short time.


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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 51:41". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-51.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

How is y Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an horror among the nations!

(y) Meaning Babel as in (Jeremiah 25:26).

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-51.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Sheshach — Babylon (compare Note, see Jeremiah 25:26); called so from the goddess Shach, to whom a five days‘ festival was kept, during which, as in the Roman Saturnalia, the most unbridled licentiousness was permitted; slaves ruled their masters, and in every house one called Zogan, arrayed in a royal garment, was chosen to rule all the rest. He calls Babylon “Sheshach,” to imply that it was during this feast the city was taken [Scaliger].


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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 51:41". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-51.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

The fearful destruction of Babylon will astonish the world. - Jeremiah 51:41 is an exclamation of astonishment regarding the conquest of the city which was praised throughout the world. As to שׁשׁך , see on Jeremiah 51:1 and Jeremiah 25:26. תּהלּה , "praise," is here used for "a subject of praise and fame;" cf. Jeremiah 49:25.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/jeremiah-51.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!

Sheshach — A name given to the city of Babylon.


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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 51:41". "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

Here the wonder expressed by the Prophet tended to confirm what he had said, for he thus dissipated those things which usually disturbed the minds of the godly, so as not to give full credit to his predictions. There is indeed no doubt but that the godly thought of many things when they heard Jeremiah thus speaking of the destruction of Babylon. It ever occurred to them, “How can this be?” Hence Jeremiah anticipated such thoughts, and assumed himself the character of one filled with wonder — How is Shesbach taken? as though he had said, “Though the whole world should be astonished at the destruction of Babylon, yet what I predict is certain; and thus shall they find who now admit not the truth of what I say, as well as posterity.”

But he calls Babylon here Sheshach, as in Jeremiah 25:0. Some think it to be there the proper name of a man, and others regard it as the name of a celebrated city in Chaldea. But we see that what they assert is groundless; for this passage puts an end to all controversy, for in the first clause he mentions Sheshach, and in the second, Babylon. That passage also in Jeremiah 25:0 cannot refer to anything else except to Babylon; for the Prophet said,

“Drink shall all nations of God’s cup of fury,
and after them the king of Sheshach,”

that is, when God has chastised all nations, at length the king of Babylon shall have his turn. But in this place the Prophet clearly shows that Sheshach can be nothing else than Babylon. The name is indeed formed by inverting the alphabet. Nor is this a new notion; for they had this retrograding alphabet in the time of Jerome. They put ת, tau, the last letter, in the place of א, aleph, the first; then ש, shin, for ב, beth, thus we see how they formed Shesbach. The ש, shin, is found twice in the word, the last letter but one being put for ב , beth, the first, letter but one; and then כ, caph, is put in the place of ל, lamed, according to the order of the retrograde alphabet. There is no good reason for what some say, that the Prophet spoke thus obscurely for the sake of the Jews, because the prophecy was disliked, and might have created dangers to them; for why did he mention Sheshach and then Babylon in the same verse?

Many understand this passage enigmatically; but there is no doubt but that that alphabet was then, as we have stated, in common use, as we have Ziphras, as they call it, at this day. In the meantime, though the Prophet was not timid, and encouraged his own people to confidence, it yet pleased God that this prophecy should in a manner be hidden, but not that it should be without evidence of its certainty, for we shall see in the last verse but one of this chapter that he commanded the volume to be thrown into the Euphrates, until the event itself manifested the power of God, which for a long time remained as it were buried, until the time of visitation which of which he had spoken.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-51.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 51:41 How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!

Ver. 41. How is Sheshach taken?] i.e., How is Babylon destroyed beyond all expectation? See Jeremiah 25:26.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-51.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 51:41. How is Sheshach taken! That is, Babylon; called Sheshach from the goddess of that name, which the Babylonians worshipped, and which is supposed by Calmet to have been the same with the moon. See ch. Jeremiah 25:26. The prophet calls Babylon the praise of the whole earth, as it was esteemed one of the wonders of the world, for the height, breadth, and compass of its wall, the palace and hanging-gardens belonging to it, the temple of Belus, &c. See chap. Jeremiah 49:25. Daniel 4:30 and Isaiah 13:19.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". 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

We meet with this term

Sheshach only here, and Jeremiah 25:26; both places leave it doubtful whether it be to be taken for an idol, which they called by the name of Shach, or a name given to the city of Babylon, which worshipped that idol, to the honour of which the Babylonians kept a yearly festival for several days; in the time of which festival they say it was that Cyrus took the city of Babylon.

The praise of the whole earth; Babylon, that was so famous over all the world for her splendour. And so it is interpreted in the next words, wherein Babylon, for the punishment brought upon it, is said to be an astonishment to all nations; which makes it probable that Babylon is what was called Sheshach, by the doubling of a letter, because she worshipped Shach.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-51.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

In the future, people from all over the world would marvel that Babylon, the city praised by the whole earth, had been captured. "Sheshak" was another code name (atbash) for Babylon, evidently used here for poetic variation (cf. Jeremiah 25:26).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-51.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Search, the city which worshipped the moon, (chap. xxv. 26.) Bel, (chap. l. 2.) &c.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-51.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Sheshach. See note on Jeremiah 25:26.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "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

How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!

Sheshach - Babylon (cf. note, Jeremiah 25:20). Called so from the goddess Shach, to whom a five days' festival was kept, during which, as in the Roman Saturnalia, the most unbridled licentiousness was permitted; slaves ruled their masters, and in every house one called Zogan, arrayed in a royal garment, was chosen to rule all the rest. He calls Babylon "Sheshach," to imply that it was during this feast the city was taken (Scaliger).


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 51:41". "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

(41) How is Sheshach taken!—“Sheshach,” it will be remembered, is the cypher which, as explained in the Note on Jeremiah 25:26, stands for Babylon. Here, in the parallelism of Hebrew poetry, it balances the actual name of the city in the second clause of the verse. The word “surprised” is the same as that rendered “stopped” in Jeremiah 51:32.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-51.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!
Sheshach
Sheshach was probably an idol worshipped at Babylon, from which the city derived this name; and the festival which was held when the city was taken, when they were heated with wine, was perhaps observed in honour of it.
25:26; Daniel 5:1-3
the praise
49:25; 50:23; Isaiah 13:19; 14:4; Daniel 2:38; 4:22,30; 5:4,5; Revelation 18:10-19
an astonishment
37; 50:46; Deuteronomy 28:37; 2 Chronicles 7:21; Ezekiel 27:35

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:41". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-51.html.

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