King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 49

Prophecies relative to the Ammonites. (1-6) The Edomites. (7-22) The Syrians. (23-27) The Kedarenes. (28-33) The Elamites. (34-39)

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Prophecies relative to the Ammonites

1 Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?

2 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD.

3 Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together.

4 Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me?

5 Behold, I will bring a fear upon thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts, from all those that be about thee; and ye shall be driven out every man right forth; and none shall gather up him that wandereth.

6 And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD.

The Edomites

7 Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?

8 Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will visit him.

9 If grapegatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough.

10 But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbours, and he is not.

11 Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

12 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it.

13 For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.

14 I have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle.

15 For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men.

16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.

17 Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.

18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.

19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?

20 Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them.

21 The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.

22 Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

The Syrians

23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail.

25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts.

27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad.

The Kedarenes

28 Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the LORD; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east.

29 Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side.

30 Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

31 Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone.

32 And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the LORD.

33 And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.

The Elamites

34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Melchom, the idol of the Ammonites. Ch. — Gad, to whom a part of their country was assigned. After the captivity this tribe, the Ammonites seized the country, regardless of God’s appointment. They joined the Chaldees afterwards; but the latter could not depend upon them, and sent them into captivity, to revenge the death of Godolias. C. xli. 2. Soph. ii. 8. Ezec. xxv. 3. C. — They had taken the country as their right, as if all Israel had perished; which God resents. W.

Ver. 2. Rabbath; called Amana, Astarte, and Philadelphia, by Stephanus. — Possess; returning first from captivity, and subduing the cities of Ammon, under Hyrcan. 1 Mac. v. 6.

Ver. 3. Hai, or Je-abarim. Both these cities pertained also to Moab. — Hedges. Heb. Gederoth, may be the city Gadara. — Melchom, or Moloc, who claimed dominion over this people. If they had used their reason, they must have seen that he was no god, since the Lord disposed of him as he pleased so long before.

Ver. 4. Delicate. Heb. “rebel or dissolute.” Sept. “impudent.”

Ver. 7. Edom. This nation was involved in the common ruin, for its barbarity towards God’s people. Abd. x. Ps. cxxxvi. 7. Ezec. xxv. 12. — Theman, renowned formerly for wisdom. Job ii. 11. Yet at the approach of danger, all were confounded. C. — They were only worldly wise. W.

Ver. 8. Hole. The territory of Edom, from Eleutheropolis to Elath, is full of such. S. Jer. in Abd. — Dedan lies south of the Dead Sea. C.

Ver. 10. Secrets, or lurking holes. v. 8. H. — God permits the Chaldees to plunder all. — Brethren; Israelites. — Neighbours; Moab, &c.

Ver. 12. Was not so much. There were some faithful Jews. C. xxv. 28. C.

Ver. 13. Bosra, different from that of Ammon; (C. xlviii. 24. Cellar. iii. 14.) though this may be doubtful. Could such a city be unknown?

Ver. 14. Ambassador; Jeremias: or rather this is a personification of the passions, which would sufficiently prompt the Chaldees. C. — A good angel might urge them to execute the divine decrees. Theodoret. — The greatest armies are thus made use of by Providence, without approving of their malicious designs.

Ver. 15. Little. Edom was scarcely known, except in sacred history; and it was forced to receive circumcision by the Machabees.

Ver. 16. Hill. The mountains were numerous, and full of caverns. v. 8.

Ver. 17. Desolate. The few who survived left their ancient territories, which are now a desert, like most of Stony Arabia. C. — Hiss, out of contempt. The punishment was so great as to excite surprise. W.

Ver. 19. Swelling. Lit. “pride;” (H.) or those banks which the Jordan reaches, when it overflows. They are lined with woods, from which lions rush to devour the sheep. C. — Strong “one’s dwelling.” Heb. H. Zac. xi. 3. — Over her. What sort of men come to the attack? or, who shall dare resist them? C.

Ver. 20. Little. Chal. “chiefs of the people.” Tsair (H.) is supposed to have this sense. Mic. v. 2. C. — But the weakest of the Chaldees will be an overmatch for Edom. H.

Ver. 23. Damascus, the capital of Syria. Is. vii. 8. W. — It was punished at the same time as the rest. Jos. — Arphad; Arad, an island near Tyre, or Raphanæ. Theod. — Syr. “Rephad…they are troubled from the sea.” Nabuchodonosor left Tyre to invade them. C. — As in. The islands of the Mediterranean tremble for themselves, and all Syria is afraid, hearing of the fall of so many cities and nations.

Ver. 25. They. Heb. Sept. and Chal. add, “not.” Why have they not spared this beautiful city? or, why have not its citizens given it up, to prevent its entire demolition?

Ver. 27. Benadad. So the kings were usually styled. 3 K. xv. 8. Sept. “the son of Ader.”

Ver. 28. Cedar and Asor were parts of Arabia; which, with Moab, Ammon, Edom, &c. were all brought under the yoke of Nabuchodonosor. Ch. — We know nothing of the situation of Asor, which means “a court.” C. — It might be the flying camp (Theod.) of the Saracens, (S. Jer. in Is. xxi. 16.) who dwelt under tents like the hordes of Tartars, the Ethiopian emperor, and the mogul. Yet this seems to have been a fixed habitation. v. 30. 33. — East; the Desert Arabia. v. 32. C. — Cedar was the son of Ismael, and Asor the chief city of the Agarens. W.

Ver. 29. About. The enemy shall terrify them, and plunder all their riches.

Ver. 31. Alone. We need not fear any resistance. They have no allies. C. — The ancient Suevi, of Germany, laid waste the surrounding countries, that they might appear more terrible. Cesar iv. and vi.

Ver. 32. Wind; throughout the world. — Round. C. ix. 26. C. — This the Arabs did, in imitation of Bacchus. Herod. iii. 8.

Ver. 34. Elam. A part of Persia. Ch. — The Elamites had besieged Jerusalem, under Manasses, (C.) and are therefore punished. W. — They were subject to Aseradon: Nabuchodonosor subdued them after the other nations. v. 36. Cyrus set his countrymen at liberty, (C.) and thus began his conquests. H. — Pagan historians assert, at random, that they were before subject to the Medes.

Ver. 38. Thence. Daniel (viii. 2.) governed at Susa, the capital of Elam, for Baltassar.

Ver. 39. Return. They joined the standards of Cyrus, and became masters of the East. C. — This and similar texts are understood of the conversion of the Gentiles. Acts ii. 7. W.