Jeremiah 49

 

לִבְנֵי עַמֹּון כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הֲבָנִים אֵין לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אִם־יֹורֵשׁ אֵין לֹו מַדּוּעַ יָרַשׁ מַלְכָּם אֶת־גָּד וְעַמֹּו   49:1    בְּעָרָיו יָשָׁב׃

Jere. 49:1   For the children of Ammon:  Thus says the Lord:

                    “Are there no sons for Israel?

                             Is there no heir for him?

                   Why has Malcam possessed Gad

                            and his people dwells in his cities?”

The first words spoken by the Lord, “Are there no sons for Israel? ....” is presumed to allude to the capture of Gad during the invasion of the northern kingdom.  The Lord is rhetorically asking the Ammonites if they expect that the children of Israel will not return?  For He says they will return.  He goes on to ask, again rhetorically, why the Ammonite god, Malcam, and his people, has settled in the land.  It seems to me that Jeremiah is making the Lord sound like he might if he were in His place.  Would the Lord ask such questions?  I find it hard to believe He would.  Please also notice how the noun people (last line in English) is treated as singular in the Hebrew.  By the way, Malcam is mentioned also in 1Kin. 11:5 and there his name is spelled differently in the Hebrew text, so the English comes out as Milcom. 

לָכֵן הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְהִשְׁמַעְתִּי אֶל־רַבַּת בְּנֵי־עַמֹּון תְּרוּעַת מִלְחָמָה וְהָיְתָה לְתֵל שְׁמָמָה   49:2 וּבְנֹתֶיהָ בָּאֵשׁ תִּצַּתְנָה וְיָרַשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־יֹרְשָׁיו אָמַר יְהוָה׃

Jere. 49:2   “Therefore Behold, the days are coming,

                             declares the Lord,

                    when I will cause a cry of battle to be heard

                             by the great ones of the children of Ammon,

                     and she shall be for a heap of desolation,

                             and her daughters shall be set on fire.

                    Then Israel shall dispossess his dispossessers,

                             says the Lord.”

הֵילִילִי חֶשְׁבֹּון כִּי שֻׁדְּדָה־עַי צְעַקְנָה בְּנֹות רַבָּה חֲגֹרְנָה שַׂקִּים סְפֹדְנָה וְהִתְשֹׁוטַטְנָה בַּגְּדֵרֹות כִּי   49:3 מַלְכָּם בַּגֹּולָה יֵלֵךְ כֹּהֲנָיו וְשָׂרָיו יַחְדָּיו׃

Jere. 49:3   “Wail, Heshbon!  For Ai is devastated!

                            Cry out, daughters of Rabbah!

                    Bind sack clothes on yourselves!

                            Lament and run back and forth

                    among the folds!

                            For Malcam shall go into captivity,

                    his priests and his princes with him.”

מַה־תִּתְהַלְלִי בָּעֲמָקִים זָב עִמְקֵךְ הַבַּת הַשֹּׁובֵבָה הַבֹּטְחָה בְּאֹצְרֹתֶיהָ מִי יָבֹוא אֵלָי׃   49:4

Jere. 49:4   “How could you boast in the valleys

                            of the issue of your lowland,

                     the backsliding daughter,

                             trusting in her armories?

                    Who can come against Me?”

הִנְנִי מֵבִיא עָלַיִךְ פַּחַד נְאֻם־אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה צְבָאֹות מִכָּל־סְבִיבָיִךְ וְנִדַּחְתֶּם אִישׁ לְפָנָיו וְאֵין מְקַבֵּץ   49:5         לַנֹּדֵד׃

Jere. 49:5   “Behold, I am bringing a terror upon you,

                             declares the Lord, the Lord of hosts,

                    from all your surroundings.

                             and each of you

                    shall be driven away before it,

                             that none shall be mustering to retreat.”

וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן אָשִׁיב אֶת־שְׁבוּת בְּנֵי־עַמֹּון נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃   49:6

Jere. 49:6   “Then after this,

                             I will turn back the captivity

                    of the children of Ammon,

                            declares the Lord.”

לֶאֱדֹום כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות הַאֵין עֹוד חָכְמָה בְּתֵימָן אָבְדָה עֵצָה מִבָּנִים נִסְרְחָה חָכְמָתָם׃   49:7

Jere. 49:7   For Edom:  Thus says the Lord of hosts:

                            “Is there no longer any wisdom in Teman?

                     Is the counsel vanished

                            from the discerning?

                     Is their wisdom gone?”

נֻסוּ הָפְנוּ הֶעְמִיקוּ לָשֶׁבֶת יֹשְׁבֵי דְּדָן כִּי אֵיד עֵשָׂו הֵבֵאתִי עָלָיו עֵת פְּקַדְתִּיו׃   49:8

Jere. 49:8   “Flee, turn away,

                            make a deep abiding,

                    inhabitants of Dedan!

                            For I bring the calamity

                    of Esau upon him,

                            a time I visit him.”

אִם־בֹּצְרִים בָּאוּ לָךְ לֹא יַשְׁאִרוּ עֹולֵלֹות אִם־גַּנָּבִים בַּלַּיְלָה הִשְׁחִיתוּ דַיָּם׃   49:9

Jere. 49:9   If gatherers come to you,

                           they would not leave gleanings.

                    If they were thieves in the night,

                           they would spoil to their satisfaction.

These statements again sound to me like they are Jeremiah’s own words.  Would the Lord compare Himself to gatherers?  To thieves?  Hardly likely, I say.  More likely that Jeremiah is offering two more (not qujite so brilliant) metaphors.

כִּי־אֲנִי חָשַׂפְתִּי אֶת־עֵשָׂו גִּלֵּיתִי אֶת־מִסְתָּרָיו וְנֶחְבָּה לֹא יוּכָל שֻׁדַּד זַרְעֹו וְאֶחָיו וּשְׁכֵנָיו וְאֵינֶנּוּ׃   49:10

Jere. 49:10   “So I strip bare Esau;

                             I uncover his secret places

                       that he is not able to hide himself.

                            His seed is destroyed,

                       as well as his relatives

                             and his neighbors,

                       and he is no more.”

עָזְבָה יְתֹמֶיךָ אֲנִי אֲחַיֶּה וְאַלְמְנֹתֶיךָ עָלַי תִּבְטָחוּ׃   49:11

Jere. 49:11   “Leave your orphans;

                             I will let live!

                      And your widows

                            must put trust upon Me.”

כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנֵּה אֲשֶׁר־אֵין מִשְׁפָּטָם לִשְׁתֹּות הַכֹּוס שָׁתֹו יִשְׁתּוּ וְאַתָּה הוּא נָקֹה תִּנָּקֶה   49:12 לֹאתִנָּקֶה כִּי שָׁתֹה תִּשְׁתֶּה׃

Jere. 49:12   “For thus says the Lord:  Behold, whose decision it is not to drink of the cup, surely shall drink.  And are you the one will be left altogether free from guilt?  You will not be left free of guilt, for surely you will drink.”

כִּי בִי נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי נְאֻם־יְהוָה כִּי־לְשַׁמָּה לְחֶרְפָּה לְחֹרֶב וְלִקְלָלָה תִּהְיֶה בָצְרָה וְכָל־עָרֶיהָ תִהְיֶינָה   49:13 לְחָרְבֹות עֹולָם׃

Jere. 49:13   “For by Me I swear, declares the Lord, that Bozrah shall be for a wasteland, for a reproach, for a desolation, and for a curse, and all its cities shall be for desolate places for ever.”

שְׁמוּעָה שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵאֵת יְהוָה וְצִיר בַּגֹּויִם שָׁלוּחַ הִתְקַבְּצוּ וּבֹאוּ עָלֶיהָ וְקוּמוּ לַמִּלְחָמָה׃   49:14

Jere. 49:14   I have heard a message from the Lord

                            that an ambassador

                      is being sent among the nations:

                            “Gather together,

                      and come upon her

                            and rise for battle!”

כִּי־הִנֵּה קָטֹן נְתַתִּיךָ בַּגֹּויִם בָּזוּי בָּאָדָם׃   49:15

Jere. 49:15   “For behold, I have made you

                            insignificant among the nations,

                      despised among humanity.”

תִּפְלַצְתְּךָ הִשִּׁיא אֹתָךְ זְדֹון לִבֶּךָ שֹׁכְנִי בְּחַגְוֵי הַסֶּלַע תֹּפְשִׂי מְרֹום גִּבְעָה כִּי־תַגְבִּיהַ כַּנֶּשֶׁר   49:16                 קִנֶּךָ מִשָּׁם אֹורִידְךָ נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

Jere. 49:16   “Terror of you has beguiled you.

                            The pride of your heart!

                      Dwellers in the clefts of the rock,

                            holders of the height of the hill,

                      though you should make your nest

                            high like an eagle,

                      from there I would bring you down,

                            declares the Lord.”

וְהָיְתָה אֱדֹום לְשַׁמָּה כֹּל עֹבֵר עָלֶיהָ יִשֹּׁם וְיִשְׁרֹק עַל־כָּל־מַכֹּותֶהָ׃   49:17

Jere. 49:17   “So Edom shall be for a wasteland.

                             Anyone passing by it

                      shall be astonished

                             and hiss over all its wounds.”

כְּמַהְפֵּכַת סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה וּשְׁכֵנֶיהָ אָמַר יְהוָה לֹא־יֵשֵׁב שָׁם אִישׁ וְלֹא־יָגוּר בָּהּ בֶּן־אָדָם׃   49:18

Jere. 49:18   “Like the destruction

                             of Sodom and Gomorrah

                      and its neighbors,

                             says the Lord,

                      there shall not remain a one,

                             and no son of man

                      shall sojourn in it.”

הִנֵּה כְּאַרְיֵה יַעֲלֶה מִגְּאֹון הַיַּרְדֵּן אֶל־נְוֵה אֵיתָן כִּי־אַרְגִּיעָה אֲרִיצֶנּוּ מֵעָלֶיהָ וּמִי בָחוּר אֵלֶיהָ   49:19             כִּי מִי כָמֹונִי וּמִי יֹעִידֶנִּי וּמִי־זֶה רֹעֶה אֲשֶׁר יַעֲמֹד לְפָנָי׃

Jere. 49:19   “Behold, like a lion

                              he shall spring up

                      from the vegetation of the Jordan

                              toward the habitation enduring;

                      then I will act quickly;

                              I shall make him run away from her.

                      Now who is chosen to it,

                              I will appoint.

                      For who is like Me?

                             And who will be My appointee?

                      And who is that shepherd

                             who can stand before Me?”

לָכֵן שִׁמְעוּ עֲצַת־יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר יָעַץ אֶל־אֱדֹום וּמַחְשְׁבֹותָיו אֲשֶׁר חָשַׁב אֶל־יֹשְׁבֵי תֵימָן אִם־לֹא   49:20

 יִסְחָבוּם צְעִירֵי הַצֹּאן אִם־לֹא יַשִּׁים עֲלֵיהֶם נְוֵהֶם׃

Jere. 49:20   Therefore hear

                             the counsel of the Lord

                       that He gives concerning Edom

                             and His plans that He has in “mind”

                       concerning the inhabitants of Teman:

                             Surely the smallest ones of the flock

                       shall drag them away;

                              surely their habitation

                       shall be appalled by them.

מִקֹּול נִפְלָם רָעֲשָׁה הָאָרֶץ צְעָקָה בְּיַם־סוּף נִשְׁמַע קֹולָהּ׃   49:21

Jere. 49:21   The earth shakes

                              from the noise of their fall.

                       An outcry!

                              At the Reed Sea

                        the sound is heard.

הִנֵּה כַנֶּשֶׁר יַעֲלֶה וְיִדְאֶה וְיִפְרֹשׂ כְּנָפָיו עַל־בָּצְרָה וְהָיָה לֵב גִּבֹּורֵי אֱדֹום בַּיֹּום הַהוּא כְּלֵב אִשָּׁה   49:22 מְצֵרָה׃

Jere. 49:22   Behold, he shall rise up

                              like a vulture,

                       then swoop and spread

                              his wings upon Bazrah.

                       And on that day the heart

                              of the mighty men of Edom

                       will be like the heart

                              of a distressed woman.

לְדַמֶּשֶׂק בֹּושָׁה חֲמָת וְאַרְפָּד כִּי־שְׁמֻעָה רָעָה שָׁמְעוּ נָמֹגוּ בַּיָּם דְּאָגָה הַשְׁקֵט לֹא יוּכָל׃   49:23

Jere. 49:23   For Damascus:

                      Is Hamath disconcerted,

                             as well as Arpad,

                      for bad news they have heard;

                              they melt away.

                      By the sea there is anxiety;

                              it is not able to be quieted.

רָפְתָה דַמֶּשֶׂק הִפְנְתָה לָנוּס וְרֶטֶט הֶחֱזִיקָה צָרָה וַחֲבָלִים אֲחָזַתָּה כַּיֹּולֵדָה׃   49:24

Jere. 49:24   Damascus is disheartened;

                              she turns about to flee

                      as trembling seizes her.

                              Anguish and pangs grasp her;

                      she is like a woman in labor.

אֵיךְ לֹא־עֻזְּבָה עִיר (תְּהִלָּה) [תְּהִלָּת] קִרְיַת מְשֹׂושִׂי׃   49:25

Jere. 49:25   “How the city of praise,

                               the city of joy,

                       is not repaired!”

The word in parentheses, translated as praise, is considered an error.  The form shown in the brackets is usually reserved for a phrase such as praise of the city, but that’s not what the Hebrew of this verse says.  I don’t know what the basis for calling the error was, but I find the phrase to be fine without the correction.  So I have added nothing to it except to show the assumed correction in the brackets.

לָכֵן יִפְּלוּ בַחוּרֶיהָ בִּרְחֹבֹתֶיהָ וְכָל־אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה יִדַּמּוּ בַּיֹּום הַהוּא נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאֹות׃   49:26

Jere. 49:26   “Therefore her young men

                               shall fall in her plazas,

                      and all the men of war

                               shall be silenced on that day,

                      declares the Lord of hosts.”

וְהִצַּתִּי אֵשׁ בְּחֹומַת דַּמָּשֶׂק וְאָכְלָה אַרְמְנֹות בֶּן־הֲדָד׃   49:27

Jere. 49:27   “And I will kindle a fire

                              at the wall of Damascus

                      that will devour

                              the palaces of Ben-hadad,

לְקֵדָר וּלְמַמְלְכֹות חָצֹור אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה (נְבוּכַדְרֶאצֹּור) [נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר] מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה   49:28       קוּמוּ עֲלוּ אֶל־קֵדָר וְשָׁדְדוּ אֶת־בְּנֵי־קֶדֶם׃

Jere. 49:28   of Kedar's,

                             and of the kingdoms of Hazor,

                      which Nebuchadrezzar,

                             king of Babylon, smote.”

                      Thus says the Lord:

                             “Arise, climb to Kedar

                      and spoil the children of the east.”

While Nebuchadrezzar’s name is spelled differently in the Hebrew in this verse, I fail to see why it must be considered to be in error.  Yet, because this is the only bible entry with this spelling, I suppose it needs to be recognized as a mistake.  The correct spelling, without the vav, is in the brackets.

אָהֳלֵיהֶם וְצֹאנָם יִקָּחוּ יְרִיעֹותֵיהֶם וְכָל־כְּלֵיהֶם וּגְמַלֵּיהֶם יִשְׂאוּ לָהֶם וְקָרְאוּ עֲלֵיהֶם מָגֹור מִסָּבִיב׃   49:29

Jere. 49:29   “They will take their tents and their flocks;

                              their curtains and all their implements

                      and they will carry off their camels for themselves;

                              and they will cry out against them

                      fearfully from every side.”

נֻסוּ נֻּדוּ מְאֹד הֶעְמִיקוּ לָשֶׁבֶת יֹשְׁבֵי חָצֹור נְאֻם־יְהוָה כִּי־יָעַץ עֲלֵיכֶם נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל עֵצָה   49:30 וְחָשַׁב (עֲלֵיהֶם) [עֲלֵיכֶם] מַחֲשָׁבָה׃

Jere. 49:30   “Flee, wander widely,

                              make a deep abiding,

                      inhabitants of Hazor,

                               declares the Lord,

                      for Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon,

                               has conspired a purpose against you,

                      and has devised a plan against them.”

The word in the parentheses is thought to be in error.  It translates to against them.  The sages and scholars thought it should be against you to match the previous phrase.  I’m not so convinced that this is so.  I can see that Jeremiah may have been understanding the Lord’s words to be addressed to the inhabitants of Hazor in the first instance and to those mentioned in v. 49:28 in the latter case.  Then the third-person pronoun would be correct.  I show the assumed correction in the brackets although I am not inclined to simply accept its validity.

קוּמוּ עֲלוּ אֶל־גֹּוי שְׁלֵיו יֹושֵׁב לָבֶטַח נְאֻם־יְהוָה לֹא־דְלָתַיִם וְלֹא־בְרִיחַ לֹו בָּדָד יִשְׁכֹּנוּ׃   49:31

Jere. 49:31   “Arise, go up against a nation at ease,

                               dwelling in security,

                      declares the Lord,

                              without gates

                      and without bar to it;

                               isolated they would dwell.”

וְהָיוּ גְמַלֵּיהֶם לָבַז וַהֲמֹון מִקְנֵיהֶם לְשָׁלָל וְזֵרִתִים לְכָל־רוּחַ קְצוּצֵי פֵאָה וּמִכָּל־עֲבָרָיו אָבִיא   49:32             אֶת־אֵידָם נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

Jere. 49:32   “Then their camels

                              shall be for booty

                      and the multitude

                              of their cattle for plunder,

                      and I will scatter them,

                              cutters off of the edge,

                      to all the winds,

                              and from all its regions

                      I will bring their calamity,

                              declares the Lord.”

Here again the phrase “cutters off of the edge” appears as it did in Jere. 9:25 and 25:23.  But here we encounter a significant difference.  He’s not referring to pagans as he did in the ealier two verses.  These are apparently Jews like the people of Hazor, a city in the ill-fated kingdom of Israel (mentioned above in v. 49:30 and in the next verse), who must have violated many Torah commandments, among them being Levi. 19:27 (You shall not round of the edge of your head). 

וְהָיְתָה חָצֹור לִמְעֹון תַּנִּים שְׁמָמָה עַד־עֹולָם לֹא־יֵשֵׁב שָׁם אִישׁ וְלֹא־יָגוּר בָּהּ בֶּן־אָדָם׃   49:33

Jere. 49:33   “And Hazor shall be

                              for a refuge of serpents,

                      an everlasting desolation.

                              No one shall live there,

                      and no child of man

                              shall sojourn in it.”

אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דְבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֶל־עֵילָם בְּרֵאשִׁית מַלְכוּת צִדְקִיָּה מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר׃   49:34

Jere. 49:34   The word of the Lord that occurred to Jeremiah, the prophet, concerning Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, saying:

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות הִנְנִי שֹׁבֵר אֶת־קֶשֶׁת עֵילָם רֵאשִׁית גְּבוּרָתָם׃   49:35

Jere. 49:35   “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

                      Behold, I am breaking the bow of Elam,

                             the choicest of their might.”

Jehoiakim’s reign began circa 609 BCE and ended circa 598 BCE and Zedekiah’s began circa 597 BCE.  Therefore, v. 49:34 tells us that these verses are describing a time about eight years after other previous chapters.

וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶל־עֵילָם אַרְבַּע רוּחֹות מֵאַרְבַּע קְצֹות הַשָּׁמַיִם וְזֵרִתִים לְכֹל הָרֻחֹות הָאֵלֶּה וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה   49:36 הַגֹּוי אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָבֹוא שָׁם נִדְּחֵי (עֹולָם] [עֵילָם]׃

Jere. 49:36   “And I will direct

                              the four winds toward Elam

                      from the four corners of the heavens,

                              and scatter them

                      in all these winds,

                              and there shall not be the nation

                      where the dispersed of Elam

                              shall not go.”

An error is indicated in the parentheses; the spelling of Elam is incorrect.  The vav should be a yad.  The correction is in the brackets.  This, however, does not finish the problem of errors in this verse.  There is another error that has been recognized by the sages but was overlooked by the preparers of the Hebrew text I used on this site.  The word for dispersed, which is the subject of the last phrase, is plural, but its verb shall not go (the word three before the word in parentheses), is singular.  The correction should be to make the verb plural by adding a vav suffix to aAby.

וְהַחְתַּתִּי אֶת־עֵילָם לפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיהֶם וְלִפְנֵי מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשָׁם וְהֵבֵאתִי עֲלֵיהֶם רָעָה אֶת־חֲרֹון אַפִּי   49:37          נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי אַחֲרֵיהֶם אֶת־הַחֶרֶב עַד כַּלֹּותִי אֹותָם׃

Jere. 49:37   “So I will cause Elam to be terrified

                              before their enemies

                      and before the seekers of their life,

                              as I bring evil, the ferocity

                      of My ‘anger,’ upon them,

                              declares the Lord,

                      as I send the sword after them

                              till I have finished them.”

וְשַׂמְתִּי כִסְאִי בְּעֵילָם וְהַאֲבַדְתִּי מִשָּׁם מֶלֶךְ וְשָׂרִים נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃   49:38

Jere. 49:38   “So I will establish the symbol of My power in Elam

                              as I destroy king and princes from there,

                      declares the Lord.”

The second Hebrew word in this verse is usually translated as My throne or My seat.  I suspect this may be incorrect.  As most Hebrew words may also be translated using English synonyms, I have translated the word for My throne as the symbol of My power.  And that’s the translation I used.  My Reason?  Simple:  Because the Lord’s throne is not in Elam and I think never will be there.  I believe it is either in heaven or on Mount Zion, and no where else.

וְהָיָה בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים (אָשׁוּב) [אָשִׁיב] אֶת־(שְׁבִית) [שְׁבוּת] עֵילָם נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃   49:39

Jere. 49:39   “But it shall be, at the end of days

                               I will turn back the captivity of Elam,

                      declares the Lord.”

The word in the first parentheses is considered to be an error, but I believe it is correct..  The form of the word indicates that it is a straightforward first-person complex verb that can be translated as I will turn back or I will reverse.  The alleged corrected form in the first brackets implies to me something different from what I believe the verse means. The intent of the verse is to prophesy that the Lord will bring back the dispersed.  But the form of the verb in the brackets makes the verse a prophesy that the Lord will bring back or restore the captivity.  To me this is obviously not the intent.  As for the word in the second pair of parentheses, it is in error.  The yad should be a vav, as shown in the second pair of brackets.

 

[Return to Jeremiah Chapters]   [Prev.:  Jere. 48]   [Next:  Jere. 50]