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"4 and all that are in the utmost corners, and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that
25 dwell in the desert, and all the kings of Zimri, and all the
26 kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes, and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.
Temd] descendants of Ishmael (Gen. xxv. 15). Buz] See Gen. xxii. 21. Elihu was a Buzite (Job xxxii. 2). all that are in the utmost corners] For a more correct rendering see note on ix. 26, and for the persons referred to here xlix. 28, 32.
24. Arabia] the part near Palestine.
25. Zimri] This name as that of a people occurs here only. It is commonly connected with Zimran, son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen. xxv. 2). A people of similar name are said to have occupied a territory between Arabia and Persia. This would agree with the context here.
26. all the kings of the north] put thus vaguely, as dwelling beyond the ken of the Israelitish nation.
-which are upon the face of the earth] This would not suggest to the Jewish ear, as it does to us, the thought of absolutely universal dominion on the part of Babylon. This we see from such passages as Dan. ii. 38, iv. 22, where the sense intended to be conveyed cannot be in accordance with the sound of the words taken literally.
king of Sheshach] Sheshach has been taken by some as equivalent to Hur (Ur), a city containing a very celebrated temple of the moon-god, whose name, as it can be shewn, was, or might have been, read in one of the ancient dialects of Babylon as Shishaki (Rawl. Herod. I. p. 505,506). This is however improbable. Sheshach is rather=Babel (Babylon) in accordance with a secret (Kabalistic) system of writing dating from an unknown antiquity among the Jews. This system took different forms, of which this (called Atbash) consists in substituting the last letter of the Heb. alphabet for the first, the last but one for the second and so on. Sh Sh Ch will on this principle take the places of B B L. This is confirmed by li. 41, where Sheshach and Babylon occur in parallel clauses. Another instance of this is seen in li. 1, where the Heb. (Le B Ka Ma Y) for "the midst of them that rise up against me" becomes, when thus transmuted, CaSDIM = Chaldaeans, which is the actual rendering of the Septuagint. They however omit the whole clause in the present passage and the word Sheshach in li. 41. If that word be intended to be significant in itself as well and not to be merely a transmutation of Babel, it will mean either (i) a mass of people or buildings, or (ii) a sinking, downfall, in which case li. 64 will contain an allusion to this name.
Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LoRD'of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink. For lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them,.
30—38. The judgment to come upon all the peoples of the earth. .
The Lord shall roar from on high,
And utter his voice from his holy habitation;
He shall mightily roar upon his habitation;
He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes.
Against all the inhabitants of the earth.
A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth;
shall drink after them] The turn of Babylon shall itself come to perish.
28, 29. Resistance is vain. If God's own people suffer, much more the heathen.
30—38. The Judgment To Come Upon All The Peoples Of The Earth.
30. The Lord shall roar] The figure in this section is that of a lion coming forth from his covert, and terrifying by his approach the shepherds and their flocks. There is no escape and the slain cover the earth.
upon his habitation] against his pasture. The word in the Heb. is the same as in xxiii. 3, where see note. It is important that it should not be rendered habitation here with the Eng. Vers., as it is contrasted in sense with the 'holy habitation,' heaven, of the previous clause, and means the land of the chosen people.
a shout] literally, a vintage shout, derived from a root meaning to tramp, and alluding to the cry with which the treaders of the grapes used to animate their toil. We see however that the word might also mean a battle shout. Compare li. 14 for its use as against Babylon.
31. A noise] The word denotes a sound like the trampling of a multitude such as an army. It is variously rendered in the Eng. Vers.
For the Lord hath a controversy with the nations,
He will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the
Thus saith the Lord of hosts,
Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation,
And a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts
of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day From one end of the earth even unto the other end of the
They shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried;
And wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock:
For the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions
are accomplished. And ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.
Is. xiii. 4, "a tumultuous noise;" Is. xvii. 12, "the rushing of nations... like the rushing of mighty waters;" Hosea x. 14, "Therefore shall a tumult arise;" Amos ii. 2, "Moab shall die with tumult."
hath a controversy...will plead with] See note on ii. 9, 35. We have here the same two Heb. verbs and in the same order. In the former clause therefore God is as it were the prosecutor and in the latter the judge, will give Judgment.
he will give them that are wicked] literally, (as for) the wicked he will give them. Thus the object of the verb is made more emphatic.
32. whirlwind] tempest, as in xxiii. 19.
33. the slain of the Lord] P'or the phrase compare Is. lxvi. 16.
34. wallow yourselves in the ashes] See note on vi. 26. Roll (upon the ground) is the probable meaning here, the words *in the ashes' being added apparently only because they occur in the Heb. of the other passage.
principal of the flock] not equivalent with 'shepherds,' although parallel to it in the construction, but rather, chief among the sheep, wealthy ones of the people, whose rank and riches avail nothing now.
and of your dispersions] The Heb. is difficult in point of grammar. The best rendering seems to be, And I will disperse you. Accordingly the words 'are accomplished' will refer to 'the days of your slaughter' only.
like a pleasant vessel] In order not to change the figure so abruptly, which however is quite in keeping with Jeremiah's style, it has been proposed to alter the Heb. reading slightly for the purpose of rendering And' the shepherds shall have no way to flee, 35
Nor the principal of the flock to escape.
A voice of the cry of the shepherds, 36
And a howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard:
For the Lord hath spoiled their pasture.
And the peaceable habitations are cut down 37
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
He hath forsaken his covert, as the lion: 33
For their land is desolate
Because of the fierceness of the oppressor,
And because of his fierce anger.
Chap. XXVI. 1—6. A few words of solemn warning,
addressed to the people collectively. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of 26
like chosen rams. Even with the new reading however there is a difficulty in translating thus, and to this we may add that the figure of a vessel in such a connexion has been already used by Jeremiah (chap. xxii. 28). Here a vessel of fragile material by a fall and consequent fracture suddenly ceases to be of any value.
36. shall be heard] These words are best omitted. Thus we shall better get the force of the prophet's exclamation, which is in fact the cry which he has called upon them (ver. 34) to make and which he already hears.
hath spoiled] spoileth.
37. habitations] better, pastures. The Heb. word is not however exactly the same as in ver. 30.
cut down] better, put to silence. See notes on viii. 14. where the Heb. verb is the same. These pastures so lately abounding in flocks are now silent; in other words the country is denuded of its inhabitants.
38. He hath forsaken his covert] a repetition of the figure with which the section opened. The Lord is gone forth in wrath to lay waste.
the fierceness of the oppressor] Owing to the word rendered 'oppressor' being scarcely found elsewhere except as an adjective in the expression "oppressing sword " (xlvi. 16 and l. 16), areading which by a slight alteration of the Heb. text we may obtain here, that reading has been adopted by some. The (Latin) Vulgate renders the Heb. word above referred to in its more ordinary sense of a dove, and it has accordingly been supposed that the Babylonian army bore such a device on their standards. This however is little more than conjectural. On the whole there seems no necessity to alter the reading of the Heb. text.
Chap. XXVI. 1—6. A Few Words Of Solemn Warning,
ADDRESSED TO THE PEOPLE COLLECTIVELY. 1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim] For a discussion of the Josiah king of Judah came this word from the Lord, saying,
2 Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I com
3 mand thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: if so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do
4 unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before
s you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending
6 them, but ye have not hearkened; then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
question, whether these verses are a summary of chaps. vii.—x., see note at the beginning of chap. vii. This chapter as a whole gives us a rapid sketch of the circumstances under which Jeremiah had delivered himself of the prophecies that went before. The more definite he had become in his warnings, the more he excited the wrath of the false prophets and of those who sided with them; and now that he had explicitly announced (xxv. 11) a seventy years' captivity, their indignation boiled over, and they sought to compass his death. From the contents of this chap, then we can realize better under what conditions and with what courage the prophet continued his forecastings of definite calamity in the chapters which follow. 'The beginning'will naturally denote some date earlier than the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, when the crisis came about, and Jeremiah was no longer listened to nor tolerated (chap, xxxvi.)'.
2. the court of the Lord's house] probably the outer court, as that in which the people would assemble; so chap. xix. 14. The spot may have been the same as that occupied by Baruch when he read the roll (xxxvi. to).
diminish not a word] "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it," was the command given through Moses to Israel (Deut. iv. 2; compare xii. 31). Here of course the temptation was only in the way of suppression, through natural shrinking from the danger involved in honest discharge of duty.
5. rising up early, and sending] For this phrase see note on vii. 13
6. Shiloh] See note on vii: r2.
will make this city a curse to]- will' subject it to the curses, will make it vile in the sight, of all nations: So in chap. xxiv. 9.