Lecture Twenty-First

Jeremiah 5:16

16. Their quiver is as an open sepulcher, they are all mighty men.

16. Pharetra ejus tanquam sepulchrum apertum; omnes fortes.


The Prophet had already threatened the Jews with the vengeance of God, and had said that the ministers and executioners of it would be the Chaldeans: he now continues the same subject, and says that their quiver would be like an open sepulcher. The nations of the East, we know, made much use of arrows and darts, for they had no pitched battles; but they pretended a flight, and then suddenly turning, they hurled their darts and arrows against their enemies. The Prophet then had a regard to this mode of fighting, when he says that their quivers would be like open sepulchres. It may seem at first sight an unnatural comparison; but it is the same as though he had said, that they would be so skillful in throwing arrows as to destroy all who met them.1

And he adds, that they would be all strong, that the people might know that it would not be a slight conflict: in short, it is the same as though he had said, that this war would be a certain ruin to the Jews, in which they should all perish. He afterwards adds --

1 The idea intended is capaciousness. The grave is represented as never satisfied, ready to receive any number. See Proverbs 27:20; 30:16; Habakkuk. 2:5. The Chaldean quiver would be so large as to contain a vast quantity of arrows, as though it was an open grave.-Ed.