Jeremiah 51- 52

Jeremiah 51:1-58

This chapter may be divided as follows: Babylon’s doom and Israel’s vindication (verses 1-10); summons to the attackers to press home their assault (verses 11-14); The Lord in contrast to Idols (verses 15-19); The Lord’s fierce anger against Babylon (verses 20-26); capture of the city (verses 27-33); Israel’s wrongs avenged: let her hasten her escape (verses 34-57); summing of God’s judgment upon Babylon (verse 58).

  1. In the time of her prosperity the idols of Babylon seemed powerful and mighty; but now in the hour of her fall how do they appear? See verses 15-19, and Cf. 1, 2; Ps. 146:5-10.
  2. What, according to chapter 50 and 51, were the sins of Babylon that called down upon her such terrible vengeance? How far are these sins prevalent in the world today?

Notes

  1. Verse 1.Note mg. The Hebrew means literally ‘the heart of those who rise up against me’.
  2. Verse 3Aa. The Hebrew is difficult. Either it means that the defenders of Babylon need not trouble to fight, for it will be of no avail (Cf. verse 30; 31:4; 32:5b); or the text is to be amended, eg., by omission of the negatives.
  3. Verse 20. A reference to Cyrus, the conqueror of Babylon.
  4. Verse 27. ‘Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz’ were three peoples north of Babylonia earlier conquered by the Medes.
  5. Verse 36. ‘Her Sea’: perhaps a reference to a great lake Nebuchadnezzar constructed for the defense of the city, or perhaps to the Euphrates.
  6. Verse 55a. ‘Her noisy din’: i.e., the noise of the great city. Verse 55b refers to the roar of the attackers.
  7. Verse 58c. ‘So ends the toil of nations, ends in smoke, and pagans waste their pains’.

Jeremiah 51:59 – 52:34

  1. 51:59-64. Note the date of this incident. At the time, Babylon was rising to the height of her power and glory, and Jeremiah was convinced that she would enjoy complete supremacy over the nations. See chapter 28, which belong to the same year. How, then does this commission which Jeremiah gives to Seraiah illustrate the truth of Heb. 11:1, that ‘faith is being certain of what we do not see’?
  2. Chapter 52 is very similar to 2 Kgs. 24:18 – 25:30. It tells once more the story of the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple and the captivity of the people, perhaps to emphasize how complete was the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s words. For example, compare verse 3 with 7:15; verse 6 with 14:15-18; verses 8-11 with 34:3; verse 13 with 7:14; 9:11; 19:13; 32:28, 29; verse 15 with 16:9-13; 21:9; verses 18, 19 with 27:19-22. See 1:12. Do you believe this, and live by it?

Note.

52:24. ‘The three door keepers’: Denoting three high officials of the temple who had charged of the three gates.

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