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Judgment on the Ammonites


Concerning the Ammonites.


Thus says the L ord:

Has Israel no sons?

Has he no heir?

Why then has Milcom dispossessed Gad,

and his people settled in its towns?


Therefore, the time is surely coming,

says the L ord,

when I will sound the battle alarm

against Rabbah of the Ammonites;

it shall become a desolate mound,

and its villages shall be burned with fire;

then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him,

says the L ord.



Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste!

Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah!

Put on sackcloth,

lament, and slash yourselves with whips!

For Milcom shall go into exile,

with his priests and his attendants.


Why do you boast in your strength?

Your strength is ebbing,

O faithless daughter.

You trusted in your treasures, saying,

“Who will attack me?”


I am going to bring terror upon you,

says the Lord G od of hosts,

from all your neighbors,

and you will be scattered, each headlong,

with no one to gather the fugitives.

6 But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, says the L ord.


Judgment on Edom

7 Concerning Edom.


Thus says the L ord of hosts:

Is there no longer wisdom in Teman?

Has counsel perished from the prudent?

Has their wisdom vanished?


Flee, turn back, get down low,

inhabitants of Dedan!

For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him,

the time when I punish him.


If grape-gatherers came to you,

would they not leave gleanings?

If thieves came by night,

even they would pillage only what they wanted.


But as for me, I have stripped Esau bare,

I have uncovered his hiding places,

and he is not able to conceal himself.

His offspring are destroyed, his kinsfolk

and his neighbors; and he is no more.


Leave your orphans, I will keep them alive;

and let your widows trust in me.

12 For thus says the L ord: If those who do not deserve to drink the cup still have to drink it, shall you be the one to go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished; you must drink it. 13For by myself I have sworn, says the L ord, that Bozrah shall become an object of horror and ridicule, a waste, and an object of cursing; and all her towns shall be perpetual wastes.


I have heard tidings from the L ord,

and a messenger has been sent among the nations:

“Gather yourselves together and come against her,

and rise up for battle!”


For I will make you least among the nations,

despised by humankind.


The terror you inspire

and the pride of your heart have deceived you,

you who live in the clefts of the rock,

who hold the height of the hill.

Although you make your nest as high as the eagle’s,

from there I will bring you down,

says the L ord.

17 Edom shall become an object of horror; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. 18As when Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors were overthrown, says the L ord, no one shall live there, nor shall anyone settle in it. 19Like a lion coming up from the thickets of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly chase Edom away from it; and I will appoint over it whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who can summon me? Who is the shepherd who can stand before me? 20Therefore hear the plan that the L ord has made against Edom and the purposes that he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. 21At the sound of their fall the earth shall tremble; the sound of their cry shall be heard at the Red Sea. 22Look, he shall mount up and swoop down like an eagle, and spread his wings against Bozrah, and the heart of the warriors of Edom in that day shall be like the heart of a woman in labor.


Judgment on Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus.


Hamath and Arpad are confounded,

for they have heard bad news;

they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea

that cannot be quiet.


Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee,

and panic seized her;

anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,

as of a woman in labor.


How the famous city is forsaken,

the joyful town!


Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares,

and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day,

says the L ord of hosts.


And I will kindle a fire at the wall of Damascus,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.


Judgment on Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon defeated.


Thus says the L ord:

Rise up, advance against Kedar!

Destroy the people of the east!


Take their tents and their flocks,

their curtains and all their goods;

carry off their camels for yourselves,

and a cry shall go up: “Terror is all around!”


Flee, wander far away, hide in deep places,

O inhabitants of Hazor!

says the L ord.

For King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon

has made a plan against you

and formed a purpose against you.



Rise up, advance against a nation at ease,

that lives secure,

says the L ord,

that has no gates or bars,

that lives alone.


Their camels shall become booty,

their herds of cattle a spoil.

I will scatter to every wind

those who have shaven temples,

and I will bring calamity

against them from every side,

says the L ord.


Hazor shall become a lair of jackals,

an everlasting waste;

no one shall live there,

nor shall anyone settle in it.


Judgment on Elam

34 The word of the L ord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.

35 Thus says the L ord of hosts: I am going to break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might; 36and I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven; and I will scatter them to all these winds, and there shall be no nation to which the exiles from Elam shall not come. 37I will terrify Elam before their enemies, and before those who seek their life; I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, says the L ord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them; 38and I will set my throne in Elam, and destroy their king and officials, says the L ord.

39 But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, says the L ord.


Jeremiah speaks here of the kingdom of Syria, which he means by Damascus, where the kings, as it is well known, resided. The Syrians had been from the beginning very hostile to the Israelites; and histories, well known, record that they had continual wars for many years. At length the kings of Israel confederated with the Syrians for the purpose of attacking their brethren the Jews. Hence it was, that the Syrians caused great troubles to the Jews, and were friends to the Israelites until both kingdoms were subverted by the Chaldeans. It is hence probable that this prophecy was announced while the kingdom was yet standing, or at least before its final overthrow; for it was much weakened before it was wholly cut off, as it has been stated elsewhere.

It was necessary to make this preface, in order that we might know the design of God in proclaiming this prophecy against the Syrians, even because they had been from the beginning enemies to the Israelites, and also, because they had united their strength with them for the purpose of oppressing the Jews. They had therefore always been like the fans of the Devil in the work of consuming the church of God. God then shews here that the calamity which awaited them, was a just reward for the impious cruelty which they had exercised towards the chosen people. This we must bear in mind.

He now says, that Hamath is confounded; this is considered to have been Antioch in Syria. There were many celebrated cities of this name; but Hamath towards Cilicia was the most renowned. He then says that the city Hamath, that is, Antioch, was ashamed as well as Arpad, which was also an opulent city. He adds, because they heard a bad report, or an adverse rumor. By these words he intimates that the kingdom of Syria would be terrified by a report only. No one could have thought such a thing, for when they had united themselves with the Israelites, they thought that they had power enough to drive away their enemies. As then they supposed themselves to be thus strong, so as to be beyond danger, the Prophet derides their confidence, and says that they would be so terrified by mere report, that they would be ashamed as though conquered by enemies.

He then adds, that they would be melted; for מוג, mug, means to be dissolved or melted. But there is here a different reading; many copies have בים דאגה, beim dage, connected with this; and they who read thus are forced to wrest the words of the Prophet. This reading literally is, “They are ashamed in the sea, dread to rest,” or, make to rest, “it cannot,” or could not. We see how harsh is the expression; they, however, elicit this meaning, that these cities would be dissolved, as he who sails on the sea and cannot through dread make his heart tranquil. But, as I have already said, the words of the Prophet are thus perverted. Now, if we read for ב, beth, כ, caph, which denotes likeness, the meaning would be very suitable, as a sea of dread, or a turbulent sea (a noun in the genitive case instead of an adjective, a common thing in Scripture) which cannot rest or be still. 4242     There are several copies in which the כ, caph, is found, and it is evidently the most suitable reading, —
   Confounded is Hamath and Arpad;
For an evil report have they heard, — they melt away;
Like the sea the agitation, the quieting none can effect.

   The melting away was through fear. They were moved or agitated, and, like the sea, they could not rest or be still. אל may be often rendered none or nothing. — Ed

As to the general meaning of the passage, there is not much difference; for the Prophet intends to show that the Syrians would be like a turbulent sea, which is tossed here and there, so that the waves conflict together. If any one prefers to refer this to sailors, the meaning would be still materially the same. The sum of what is said then is, that as the Syrians had been terrible to all, so they would be frightened at the mere report of war, and so much so as to melt away and not be able to stand their ground, like the sea, which, when a tempest rages, has no rest, but is driven in all directions. He afterwards adds, —

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