Study 34 From the Book of Jeremiah is: 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 wrong avenged: let her hasten her escape (verses 34-57); summing up God’s judgment upon Babylon (verse 58).
- 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
- What, according to chapters 50 and 51, were the sins of Babylon which called down upon her such terrible vengeance? How far are these sins prevalent in the world today?
- Verse 1. Note mg. The Hebrew means literally ‘the heart of those who rise up against me’.
- Verse 3a. 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, e.g., by omission of the negatives.
- Verse 20. A reference to Cyrus, the conqueror of Babylon.
- Verse 27. ‘Ararat, Mimi and Ashkenaz’ were three peoples north of Babylonia earlier conquered by the Medes.
- Verse 36. ‘Her sea’: perhaps a reference to the great lake Nebuchadrezzar constructed for the defence of the city, or perhaps to the Euphrates.
- Verse 55a. ‘Her mighty voice’: i.e., the noise of the great city. Verse 55b refers to the roar of the attackers.
- Verse 58c. ‘So ends the toil of nations, ends in smoke, and pagans waste their pains’ (Moffatt).