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Jeremiah 25:11

11. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

11. Et erit tota terra haec in vastitatem et in stuporem, et servient gentes hae regi Babylonis septuaginta annis.

 

Here the Prophet mentions the restriction of which I have spoken, and thus he mitigates the severity of their punishment. It is, then, a kind of correction; not that he changes anything, but only by this sort of correction he explains what he before meant by perpetual desolations.

He says, The whole land shall be a waste and an astonishment, or as some render it, “a desolation.” The word שמם, indeed, means to lay desolate, and also to astonish; but as he had lately used the word in the sense of astonishment, I see no reason for changing its meaning here, especially as it is connected with חרבה, charebe. But as to the drift of the passage, there is not much difference whether we say, the land shall be a desolation, or an astonishment; for it was to be a solitude — reduced to a desolation or a wilderness. 132132     As the first word means waste or desolation, and means nothing else, and as the second word means astonishment as well as desolation, the rendering of our version, and of Calvin, must be right. As it is commonly the case, their order is here inverted, being different from the order in which they are found in verse ninth. — Ed.

And serve shall these nations the king of Babylon seventy years, there the Prophet concludes his prophecy concerning the future calamity of the people, even that the land would be reduced to a solitude, so as to render every one passing through it astonished, or that it was to become a horrid spectacle on account of its desolation. And that a time of seventy years was fixed, it was a testimony of God’s paternal kindness towards his people, not indiscriminately towards the whole multitude, but towards the remnant of whom he had spoken elsewhere. Then the Prophet means, that however grievously the Jews had sinned, yet God would execute only a temporary punishment; for after seventy years, as we shall see, he would restore them to their own country, and repair what they had lost, even the inhabitation of the promised land, the holy city, and the Temple. And this is more fully expressed in the next verse.


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