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fortress of my delight! 26. Therefore its youths shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war are blotted out on that day, is the oracle of Yahveh of hosts. 2 7. And I kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, that it may consume the palaces of Ben-hadad.
i.e. in what respect has this lot not befallen it ? = it is forsaken in every respect. Keri, incorrectly, r6nn, 'n^nn? Ver. 26 like l . 30. Ver. 27 after Amos i. 4,14.
Contents of ch. xlix. 23-27. Oracle respecting Damascus and Syria generally.
There follows here an oracle respecting northern Aram and its cities, which are not noticed in the general survey, ch. xxv., and yet will suffer under the Babylonian judgment. Syria had been an Assyrian province, and was next subjugated by Pharaoh-Necho after the battle of Megiddo. The flourishing cities of this land, first of Damascus, the delight of the East, will be greatly disturbed and damaged in the course of the coming war. Their wealth and strength will only serve to attract the new invader. The old oracle of Amos i. 3 f. will be anew fulfilled. The passage in our prophet seems to belong to the time of the battle of Carchemish.
VII. ORACLE RESPECTING THE ARABIANS, CH. XLIX. 28-33.
XLIX. 28. To Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, smote. Thus says Yahveh: Eise ye, march against Kedar and lay waste the lands of the east.
Chapter XLIX. 28-33.
Ver. 28. Form of heading as in xlvi. 2.—Kedar, see on ii. 10. —The kingdoms of Hazor. None of the cities of this name in Palestine can be meant here. No Arabian city or district of this name is known. It may be a collective name like Kedar, the sons of the east, those with clipped hair, and may refer to 29. Their tents and their flocks they shall take away; their curtains and all their vessels and their camels they shall carry off with them; and one shall cry respecting them: Terror around! 30. Flee ye, escape quickly, hide you deep, ye inhabitants of Hazor, is Yahveh's oracle; for Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has formed a purpose concerning you, and devised a plan concerning you. 31. Eise ye, march against a cheerful people, that dwells securely, is Yahveh's oracle, which has neither doors nor bars, dwelling apart. 32. And their camels shall be for a prey, and the multitude of their cattle for a booty, and I winnow them to every wind, those shaven on the temple; and from every side I bring their calamity upon them, is Yahveh's oracle. 33. And so Hazor shall become a dwelling of jackals, a solitude for ever; no one shall dwell there, nor shall any child of man sojourn therein.
settled, not wandering Arabs, dwelling in strong DnVn (Isa. xlii. 11), farmsteads, not in cities, as to-day in Syria the settled Arabs are called El-hadariye. nvn in this case = land of Bedouin villages, but more probably it is really a particular Arabian district. The several tribes lived there under their sheikh, a "king" in miniature.—The clause: which Nebuchadnezzar (Kethib, with i by mistake, from nvn) smote, points, like xlvi . 2, to the fulfilment that followed the oracle.—TO, Ges. § 20c and § 67. a. 10; Eng. § 66. enp "12, general designation of the Arabs (Judg. vi. 3), whose territory began east of the Jordan (Gen. xxix. 1). Ver. 29. Curtains, see on iv. 20. Ver. 30. Hide you, see on ver. 8. Ver. 31. This refers to the tribes who rear cattle and live remote from the trade of the great nations. Dwelling in mere farmsteads or hamlets, they have no doors and bolts to keep out foreign invaders. Ver. 32. Those with shorn temple, see on ix. 25.
Contents of ch. xlix. 28-33. Menace to the Arabian tribes.
Not only will Nebuchadnezzar's march inflict great loss on splendid kingdoms, but even harmless peoples, living carelessly away from the high-road and little observed, such as the nomadic and the settled Arabian tribes, will not escape the conqueror's notice and attacks. Already in xxv. 20, 23, 24, such communities were glanced at, and they here recur in part under the same designations; cf. also Isa. xxi. 13-17. The tents of these nomads, and the insignificant Bedouin villages without doors and bars, present a strange contrast to the great cities of Syria with their magnificent palaces (vv. 23-27); and yet even the former contain precious goods, tempting the foreigner's greed. The riches of one tribe lie in flocks, of another in the produce of the caravan trade. Both will be taken from them; and for one as for the other banishment from their home, where their hamlets are levelled with the ground, is a hard fate.
The fulfilment of this oracle, as well as of the threatenings contained in ch. xxv., is confirmed by xlix. 28, and attested also in other quarters. "Like his predecessors, the Asssyrian kings, Nebuchadnezzar was allured by the fabulous, widelyfamed wealth which the distant lands of Yemen were said to rejoice in; and the treasures amassed by trade in this emporium of the eastern world excited his avarice. Leaving on one side the populations scattered on the highlands of Nejd, he made for Heja and the districts crossed by the great caravan-route. In Arabian traditions it is related that, after having defeated and dispersed, near the town of Dhatirk, the Jorhom Joktanides, who tried to block his way to Kaabah, he reached the northern boundary of Yemen. The exhaustion of his army prevented his farther advance; he returned and took back with him many captives and two entire tribes, the Hadhoura (cf. "ton) and Ouabar, whom he settled in Chaldaea. This was more a great marauding expedition than a regular warlike undertaking, and brought him only considerable booty, and as regards name a quickly-vanishing supremacy. The Arabians remembered the conqueror who had so severely harassed them, and made of Bochtnassar a
mythical hero, to whom a thousand reminiscences of a heroic and fabulous kind attached themselves," Maspero.
Viii. ORACLE RESPECTING ELAM, CH. XLIX. 34-39.
XLIX. 34. That which came to the prophet Jeremiah as a word of Yahveh concerning Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, saying: 35. Thus says Yahveh of hosts: Behold, I will break in pieces the bow of Elam, their principal strength. 36. And I bring upon Elam four winds from the four ends of the heaven, and winnow them to all these winds; and there shall be no nation whither the scattered ones of Elam shall not come. 37. And I crush Elam before their foes and their pursuers, and bring ruin upon them, the flame of mine anger, is Yahveh's oracle, and send the sword after them until I have consumed them. 38. And I set up my throne in Elam, and cause king and princes to vanish thence, is Yahveh's oracle. 39. But it shall come to pass at the end of the days that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, is Yahveh's oracle.
Chapter XLIX. 34-39.
Ver. 34 . Elam, see on xxv. 25. This specific oracle respecting Elam, according to the heading, is about seven years later than most belonging to the foreign group. Movers, Hitzig, Nagelsbach indeed contest the genuineness of the heading, which figures in LXX as a subscription; it is supposed to have strayed from its original place at the beginning of ch. xxvii., and in consequence of this to have been joined to the present oracle. But this supposition is too improbable to claim unquestioning acceptance. Ver. 35. Breaking the bow in pieces, applied to the destruction of warlike power, as in Hos. i. 5. Here the bow is so used, because the troops of the country were specially trained to it (Isa. xxii. 6). The bow is explained in the words: the foremost, chief of their strength. Ver. 36. Kethib Dvw, mistake for thy. Ver. 37. Winni, peculiar formation from hachtath-ti (Ges. § 67. a. 11; Eng. § 66) for 'ninnn. Ver. 38. I set up my throne, i.e. prepare to judge and rule in the land, devoting the whole previous government to destruction.
Contents of xlix. 34-39. Oracle respecting Elam.
This kingdom, lying east of the Lower Tigris, north of the Persian Gulf, south of Media and Assyria, with the capital Susa, was subject to the Assyrian kings, and had been forced to assist in Sennacherib's campaign against Jerusalem (Isa. xxii. 6). On the dissolution of the Assyrian empire it again became largely independent, as appears from ver. 38. Judgment is announced to it, without intimation what earthly power (Nebuchadnezzar or who ?) would execute it. Yahveh Himself will there sit as judge (ver. 38); but even to this nation Yahveh will at last give deliverance. On what occasion Jeremiah specially threatened that fardistant nation, whereas those lying beside it in xxv. 25 receive no special oracles (at least none remain to us), cannot now be known with certainty. But it is possible that Elamite auxiliaries took part in the capture of Jerusalem and the carrying away of Jehoiachin, and displayed special hostility. The Elamites are mentioned already in Isa. xi. 11 as holding the Israelites in exile. Respecting Nebuchadnezzar's attitude to them nothing definite is known; later they formed a part of the Persian monarchy.
IX. ORACLES RESPECTING BABYLON, CHS. L., LI.
L. 1. The word which Yahveh spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldaeans, by Jeremiah the prophet: 2. Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a sign! Publish, and conceal not! Say ye: Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dashed to the
Ver. 1. "TO, see on xxxvii. 2. Ver. 2. Sign, signals to announce important, alarming news. Bel (li. 44; Isa. xlvi. 1), in Assyrian Bil (Canaanite Baal), the chief god of the Babylonians according to the testimony both of the Bible and the