Jeremiah 20:5

5. Moreover, I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labors thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.

5. Et ponam totam fortitudinem urbis hujus, et omnem laborem ejus, et omnem pretiousum ejus, (vel, omnem gloriam,) et omnes thesauros regum Jehudah ponam in manum inimicorum ipsorum, et spoliabunt ipsos et tollent eos et abducent eos Babylonem.


He goes on with the same subject, but amplifies what he had said in order to confirm it. At the same time there is no doubt but that Pashur was more exasperated when he heard these grievous threatenings; but it was right thus to inflame more and more the fury of all the ungodly. Though, then, they may a hundred times raise a clamor, we must not desist from freely and boldly declaring the truth. This is the reason why the Prophet now more fully describes the future calamity of the city.

I will give up, he says, the whole strength of this city, etc. This word "strength" is sometimes taken metaphorically for riches or wealth. Then the whole strength, or substance, of this city and all its labor will I give up, etc. This second clause is still more grievous, for what had been acquired with great labor was to be given to plunder; for when any one becomes rich without labor, that is, when riches come to one by inheritance, without any trouble or toil, he is not so distressed when he happens to be deprived of his wealth; but he who has through a whole life of labor obtained what he expects would be for the support of life, this person grieves much more and becomes really distressed with anguish, when enemies come and deprive and plunder him of all he possesses. There is therefore no doubt but that "labor" is here mentioned, as in other parts of Scripture, in order to amplify the evil. He then adds, all its precious things and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I deliver into the hand of their enemies; who will carry away, not only riches, labor, and treasures, but also the men themselves, and bring them to Babylon.1 The rest to-morrow.


Grant, Almighty God, that we may not by our perverseness increasingly provoke thy wrath, but that whenever thou threatenest us, we may immediately fear and tremble at thy word, and also obey thee in the true spirit of meekness, and so dread thy threatenings as to anticipate thy judgment by true repentance, and thus strive to glorify thy name, that thou mayest become our strength and glory, and that we may be able not only before the world, but before thee and thy angels, really to glory, that we are that peculiar people whom thou hast favored with thy adoption, that thou mayest to the end carry on in us the work of thy grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.

1 What Calvin and our version render "strength" is rendered the same by the Sept., ijscu<n, -- by the Vulg., "substance," -- by the Syr., "citadels," -- and by the Targ., riches. The primary meaning of the word is to be strong, or firm; and then what is strongly, or firmly secured -- store, or treasure, here, and the two things which follow are explanatory of this store, -- the labor, or the fruit of labor, -- their garments; and precious things, -- their gold, silver, and precious stones and furniture: --

5. And I will give the whole store of this city, Even all the fruit of its labor, And every precious thing in it, -- Yea, all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give, Into the hand of their enemies: And they shall plunder them and take them, And bring them into Babylon.

All the versions refer "them" in the two last lines to the people, but the Targum to the things mentioned in the preceding lines; but the former view is the right one. To render the last verb to "carry," as in our version, is not correct; for it means to cause to come, and hence to bring; and this clearly supports the versions.

The exposition of Blayney is, that by "strength'" is meant the military, by "labor" the workmen, and by "the precious" the respectable part of society. Then he ought to have gone on and said, that by "the treasures" were meant the kings of Judah! But all this is fancy, and wholly inconsistent with the tenor of the passage. They were to "plunder" them; and if their stores were not referred to, how could this be said of what their enemies would do? And then, according to this view, the treasures of the kings were to become a spoil, and not the stores of the city. To spoil the people of their property was one of the most common threatenings of the Prophets. -- Ed.