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Jeremiah 49:2

2. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD.

2. Propterea ecce dies veniunt, dicit Jehova, et audire faciam (vel, faciam resonare) super Rabbath filiorum (vel, super filios) Ammon clangorem praelii, et erit in acervum vastitatis, et filiae ejus igne comburentur, et possidebit Israel possessores suos, dicit Jehova.

 

God testifies here plainly that he would not suffer the Ammonites for ever to enjoy their unjust plunder. He says that the days would come, in order to sustain with hope the minds of his children: for the Prophet announced his prediction at a time when the Ammonites were in a state of security; and then, some years elapsed while that people enjoyed their spoils. He therefore holds here the minds of the faithful in suspense, that they might learn patiently to wait until the fixed time of God’s vengeance came. For this reason, then, he says, that the days would come when God would cause the trumpet of war to resound in Rabbah He speaks as of a thing extraordinary, for the Ammonites thought, as we shall see, that they should never be in any danger. As, then, they proudly trusted in their own strength, the Prophet speaks here of the trumpet of war in Rabbah, which was the metropolis of the whole land. Some think that it was Philadelphia, a name given to it by Ptolemy. Interpreters, however, do not agree; but the opinion mostly received is, that it was Philadelphia. Now, as to the main thing, there is no doubt but that it was then the chief seat of government, and the capital of the kingdom, because the Prophet, stating a part for the whole, includes the whole land when he speaks of this city.

He says that she would become a heap of desolation But this was then wholly incredible, because Rabbah was so fortified that no one thought that it could be destroyed. But the Prophet now declares that the whole city would be demolished, so that neither walls nor private houses would remain, but that it would be a deformed mass of ruins. He adds, her daughters shall be burned with fire By daughters he no doubt understands towns and villages; and hence is confirmed what I have said, that Rabbah was then the chief city of the whole land of Ammon. At the end of the verse he says, Israel shall possess all who possess them 3131     Literally it is, “And Israel shall inherit his inheritors.” The Ammonites claimed to be the heirs, and Israel succeeded them as the right heir. This prophecy was fulfilled as recorded in 1 Macc. 5:6, 7, 28-36. — Ed. By these words Jeremiah again confirms what I have slightly referred to, that the calamity of the Ammonites would be a testimony as to God’s paternal kindness towards his chosen people, because he resolved to avenge the wrongs done to them. As, then, God undertook the cause of the Israelites as his own, he sufficiently manifested the favor he had intended for his people, and for no other reason, but because he had gratuitously chosen them.

It may be asked, when was this prophecy fulfilled? God, indeed, under David, gave some indication of their future subjection, but Israel never possessed that land. Indeed, from that time Ammon had not been brought low until after the overthrow of Israel. It then follows that what Jeremiah predicted here, was not fully accomplished except under the kingdom of Christ. David humbled that nation, because he had received a great indignity from the king of Ammon; and he took also Rabbah, as it is evident front sacred history. (2 Samuel 12:29, etc.; 1 Chronicles 20:1, 2.) He was yet satisfied with making the people tributary. From that time they not only shook off the yoke, but exercised authority within the borders of Israel; and that the Israelites had recovered what they had lost, we nowhere read. 3232     Except in 1 Macc. 5:6-8. The victories of the Maccabees were, no doubt, a literal accomplishment of this prophecy. See verses 33, 34; where the sound of the “trumpets” is expressly mentioned. — Ed. Then Israel began to possess power over the Ammonites when the kingdom of Christ was established; by which all heathen nations were not only brought into subjection and under the yoke, but all unworthy of mercy were also reduced to nothing. What is added at the end of the verse is not superfluous; for the Prophet introduces God as the speaker, because he speaks of great things, and of which it was difficult to be fully convinced. It now follows —


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