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3. Prepare ye buckler and shield, and draw near to battle!
4. Harness the horses and mount the chargers, and stand forth with helmets! Trim the spears, put on the coats of mail!
5. Wherefore do I see: they are confounded, they go away backwards'( And their heroes are cut down and flee apace, they turn not back, terror around! is Yahveh's oracle. 6. Let not the swift flee away, nor the champion escape! Towards the north, beside the river Euphrates they stumbled and are fallen! 7. Who is this that comes up like the Nile, his waters roll like the rivers? 8. Egypt came up like the Nile, and the waters tossed like the rivers; and it said: I will go up, cover the land, destroy the city, and them that dwell therein. 9. Go up, ye horses, and rage, ye chariots! And let the warrors, Ethiopians and Libyans, armed with shields, go forth, and the Lydians who bear and stretch the bow! 10. But that day is a day of vengeance to the Lord, Yahveh of hosts, to avenge himself on his foes. And the
Euphrates in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, 605 B.C. Ver. 3. Alongside ruV, the long shield, covering the entire person, is pa, the small "targe," Slavonic word for the small buckles carried by horsemen. Ver. 4. D'BHBn, according to the parallelism not vocative, "ye horsemen," but the riding - horses in distinction from the chariot-horses, as often. 3vnn, to advance to battle; pnD, to rub, trim, and sharpen. This also is part of the final preparations before the battle. Ver. 5. The 'n DKJ shows that vv. 3-12 is by no means a song of victory after the battle; but a vision before the crisis, at least before the news came to Judah.—'D lUD in Jeremiah's style, as in vi. 25, xx. 3, 10. Ver. 6. ruiBv, see on i. 13. Ver. 7. After the first brief glance at the crisis the prophet again looks at the mighty array of the Egyptians, who deluge the land like their own river, in order at a fixed spot to fall into the Lord's hands. Ver. 8. see on v. 22. nT3K, Ges. § 68. a. 1. Ver. 9. rby, to mount, rear, used of horses eager for battle. ^n, Hithpoel, used here as in Nah. ii. 5 of furious driving; differently, Jer. xxv. 16, li. 7. Cmh—Ethiopians, Put—Libyans (LXX, Vulg.), are named as auxiliaries of Egypt, the former to the south, the latter to the west of Egypt; finally, Lydians, who are not to be confounded with the Semitic-Asiatic people of this name (Gen. x. 22); on the contrary, they are Hamitic Africans (Gen. x. 13). Still these have not yet been certainly identified. Ver. 10. That day of the impending encounter of the armies. Also the sword shall devour and be filled, and drank with their blood. For the Lord, Yahveh of hosts, has a slaughter-feast in the land of the north, on the river Euphrates. 11. Go up to Gilead and fetch balsam, thou virgin daughter of Egypt. In vain thou heapest up medicines, healing for thee there is none. 12. The nations have heard thy shame, and the earth is filled with thy lamentation: For hero has stumbled on hero, both are fallen together!
13. The word which Yahveh spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, should come to smite the land of Egypt.
14. Make ye known in Egypt, and publish at Migdol, and publish at Noph, and at Tahpanhes! Say ye: Take thy stand and be firm; for the sword has devoured those round about thee. 15. Wherefore is thy chief strength broken?
perfect rfaKi, a prophetic one, requires throughout a reference to the future. A battle-feast = sacrificial feast; cf. Isa. xxxiv. 6; Zeph. i. 7. Ver. 11, see on viii. 22 and xxx. 13.—m rforu, see on vi. 14, xiv. 17.—w3in, see on ii. 20. Ver. 12. inmv, see on xiv. 2.—One warrior fell through another, stumbling over one another in their panic, disgracefully enough. Ver. 13. Nebuchadnezzar, see on xxi. 2. Ver. 14. Make ye known, i.e. the following summons to prepare for battle, as the enemy approaches. Migdol, the border town, comes first, see on xliv. 1; Noph and Tahpanhes, see on ii. 16.—3win, see on ver. 4. lb pm, get thee firmness, i.e. take up a firm, strong position for the fight. The sword has consumed thy surroundings or neighbours; the northern and north-eastern peoples are meant, like the Philistines, Jews, etc. Ver. 15. Wherefore, as in ver. 5, introduces something which the gaze of the seer just now discerns.—f)nD, properly to sweep away, wash away, then turn round, overthrow. are here the Dni33, as ver. 16 shows,
the strong heroes; elsewhere in Jeremiah the steeds (see on viii. 16), in poetical language usually oxen. LXX, &<& ri iipuyiti a,xh irou 6 taot;; 6 y.bayj>i b sxXtxrof sou ovx sfitittv, Suggests the Apis-ox at Memphis, which Yahveh overturned despite its strength. The sing. IDy and lBin with suffix suits this well; the plur. TT3K might be explained as that of the god's name. Most moderns subscribe to this exposition, which is recommended intrinsically. But the context does not favour it; the LXX adopted it perhaps through the rhythm of Apis and Abbir, but had considerably to expand the text in order to It stood not firm; for Yahveh overthrew it. 16. He caused many to stumble; nay, one fell on the other, so that they said: "Up, let us return to our people and to the land where we were born, from the harassing sword I" 17. Call the name of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, "Destruction," "He that neglected (his) opportunity." 18. As truly as I live, says the King, whose name is Yahveh of hosts: Verily, like Tabor among the mountains, and like Carmel on the sea, he shall come! 19. Provide thee necessaries for journeying, thou inhabitress, daughter of Egypt! For Noph shall become a desolation, and be laid waste without inhabitant. 20. A beautiful heifer is Egypt, a gadfly comes from the north, yea
clearness, and also to modify ver. 16. As to IDV, cf. ver. 21; as to the change of number, ver. 23. Ver. 16. One fell over another in the flight (ver. 12), so that despair takes them home. They are not native soldiers, but foreign mercenaries; after the days of Psammetichus, Egypt chiefly used such troops, cf. ver. 9. —n3', properly to harass, oppress, hence to use violence, here an attribute of the sword, as in l. 16 and xxv. 38. Ver. 17. Instead of " they cry there (where ?): Pharaoh is destruction," etc., better after LXX, DB> Mnjj (J. D. Michaelis, Hitzig, Ewald, Graf); cf. xx. 3 and the following iDB\ pKC, turmoil, but also overthrow, destruction. He let the opportunity pass by, either: neglected the space given for taking precautions and effecting reconciliation with the foe, or: the gracious time given for reconciliation with God. The latter is preferable. Here there is probably a play on an Egyptian word not perceptible in pKC. T3yn may be a paronomasia on Hophrah. Ver. 18. The speaker is the king, who alone with full right bears the kingly title.— 'a used in an asseverating introduction of direct speech. Tabor is distinguished among the mountains by majestic height; in the same way Carmel towers proudly and grandly above the sea. So among princes is he who comes as conqueror of Egypt, —the king of Babylon, not mentioned by name here, but well known. Ver. 19. Journeying vessels, journeying provisions (as in Ezek. xii. 3), the scanty provision which captive exiles are able to carry with them: staff, bundle, etc. Thou inhabitress, form as in ver. 11; ruB" is prefixed in order to address the inhabitants more definitely, since even the personified land might be called daughter of Egypt, its inhabitants being of course included. nrm, see on ii. 15. Ver. 20. WTO)', fem. adj., in many MSS. better written as one word, is formed from it comes! 21. Also her mercenaries in her midst are like stalled calves: truly even they have turned altogether in flight, they stood not firm; for their day of calamity has come upon them, the time of their visitation. 22. She rustles like the serpent which is fleeing away; for they come in strength, and with axes they have come to her like fellers. 23. They fell her forest, is Yahveh's oracle; for it is immeasurable; for they are more numerous than grasshoppers, and cannot be counted. 24. The daughter of Egypt is put to shame, given up into the hand of the people of the north. 25. Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, has said: Behold, I hold a reckoning with Amon of No, and with Pharaoh, and Egypt, and its gods, and its kings, and with Pharaoh, and those who trust in him,
the verbal reduplicative form Ketaltal (Ps. xlv. 2), either diminutive jmlcherula or as climax, in any case ironical. niuy is the young frisky cow. pp, from the verb pp_, to nip, probably the gadfly. K3 repeated with menacing emphasis. Ver. 21. In a similar figure the mercenaries settled in the land (to be distinguished from those in vv. 9,16) are compared to fed calves, which flourished at the cost of the land. Since the time of Psammetichus, Ionian and Carian troops had been settled in Lower Egypt (Herod. ii. 152 ff.); they do not seem to have been under obligation to serve outside the country. Ver. 22. Its (Egypt's) voice, murmur, resembles that of the serpent gliding along with arrowy swiftness, not: goes like the (hissing) of the serpent, as is not elsewhere used of ^p. Babbling Egypt goes away thoroughly disheartened. The same figure occurs in the fellers who cut down the forest, and so cause the serpent to take hasty flight. Axes were used as weapons by the Scythians, Persians, and other peoples represented in the train of the Babylonian army. Ver. 23. They fell the forest of Egypt, tumble into ruin everything fair and great, everything that adorns the land and makes it habitable. iprr> t6 is to be referred to the incalculably numerous foe, not to the denseness of the forest; cf. 1 Kings vii. 47. Locusts, an apt emblem of the destroyers invading in countless numbers, Judg. vi. 5. Ver. 24. nB"3n, see on ii. 26. Ver. 25. Amon of iVo is the chief god of Upper Egypt, especially of the capital No, also called No Amon (Ezek. xxx. 15; Nah. iii. 8), in the inscriptions Ni (Schrader, ii. 149; Brugsch, Gesch. A?g. 373, 719) = Thebes. Pharaoh, mentioned a second time as the object of confidence, alludes to the fact that the king was 26. and give them up into the hand of their deadly foes, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants; but afterwards she shall dwell as in former days, is Yahveh's oracle.
27. But fear thou not, my servant Jacob, and despair not, Israel; for, behold, I deliver thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity, and Jacob returns and lives calmly and securely, because no one makes afraid. 28. Therefore fear thou not, my servant Jacob, is Yahveh's oracle, for I am with thee; for I will make an end of all the nations whither I have driven thee; but I will not make an end of thee, but will chastise thee in equity, and will by no means leave thee unpunished.
worshipped as a divine incarnation, and was thus the object of idolatrous confidence. On account of his falsely - assumed greatness he stands the first time beside Amon. Ver. 26. At the close the prospect of a quiet future is held up before Egypt; therefore it shall not perish. Cf. Ezek. xxix. 13 ff. Ver. 27 f. In part a quite literal and in part a freer repetition of xxx. 10 f. Jeremiah is fond of such repetitions. That the present one is out of place, and therefore spurious, is not to be asserted. When even Egypt the hereditary foe receives at last a gracious message, the prophet was naturally reminded of the Lord's unique relation to His servant Jacob, securing him a far more certain and glorious future; all the more so when Judah was sorely oppressed and humbled, whilst Egypt seemed secure.
The last part of the book contains the oracles respecting foreign nations, which in Isaiah and Ezekiel also form one group. Such a collection of oracles respecting the heathen was found, according to ch. xxxvi. 2, at the close of the book first wiitten in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim. Most of Jeremiah's oracles of this class, which follow here, seem to belong to that year, and follow up the prophecy of ch. xxv. as further expositions. But older and later oracles may also have been incorporated with the group, of which, in fact, we have evidence. The order is governed by the matter. First comes the most important of the kingdoms on which the Babylonians