Notes & Commentary:
Babylon, when he was associated by Nabopolassar, three years before his death, the year of the world 3397. This year
Joakim was taken to be conducted to Babylon, though he was afterwards permitted to remain on very hard conditions, while the
sacred vessels, Daniel, &c., were taken away, and the 70 years of captivity commenced. They ended in the first of Cyrus,
the year 3468. (Usher) --- This chapter should be placed before the 24th and after the 26th. (Calmet) --- The prophets did
not observe the order of time, chap. xxi. (Worthington)
Josias. He prophesied nineteen years under him, and three under his successors.
All. We know of Joel, Habacuc, Sophonias, and Holda. (Calmet)
My servant. So this wicked king is here called; because God made him his instrument in punishing the sins of his people.
(Challoner) (Worthington) --- He thought himself more than man, but he was only the rod destined for the fire.
Sound, or songs of women turning the mill, Matthew xxiv. 41. (Calmet) --- Lamp, or illuminations, on
account of some victory, (Haydock) or festival. (Pers. v. 180.) The Jews "light a lamp for the sabbaths," (Seneca, Ep. xcv.)
before they commence. (Haydock)
Years. Ver. 1. The neighbouring nations were also involved in this calamity, and were to be sent back by Cyrus. (Calmet)
--- Another period of 70 years is specified, (chap. xxix. 10.) during which the city and temple should remain in ruins, till
the second of Hystaspes, the year of the world 3485. (Usher) --- This system is not without difficulties. The present prediction
seems rather to refer to the desolation, (Vatable; Aggeus i. 2.) as appears from Zacharias i. 12., or the prophet speaks of
the same event in both places, dating from the year preceding the capture of Jerusalem, (the year 3415), till Darius gave
entire liberty to the Jews, the year 3485. We differ from Usher in the years allotted to Cyrus, who began to restore the Jews,
1 Esdras i. 5. (Calmet) --- These 70 years are dated from the 11th of Sedecias. (Worthington)
Punish. Literally, visit upon. (Challoner) --- Cyrus overturned the monarchy, and the city was ruined by degrees,
Isaias xiii., and xiv., and xxi. 1., and Ezechiel i. 5. (Calmet)
Kings. They perfidiously joined the Chaldeans, after making a league with Sedecias, chap. xxvii. 3. This is condemned,
(Calmet) and not precisely their submitting to Nabuchodonosor, chap. xxviii. 8. Their league with Juda was indeed wrong; but
the infringement of it was another crime. Septuagint is here much transposed almost to the end. See Grabe. (Haydock) --- Jeremias
had prophesied against the nations, though his words are given, chap. xlvi., &c.
Fury. Chastisement, Isaias li. 17. --- All, who might be then at Jerusalem. Sanctius thinks Jeremias travelled
into all these countries: most believe it was only done in vision. He might write to them. (Calmet) --- The cup metaphorically
denotes God's wrath, Psalm lxxiv. 9. (Worthington)
As, &c. He probably inserted this (Haydock) after the event, (Vatable) or the country was much distressed even
Pharao, who was defeated (Ezechiel xxx. 25.) coming to assist Juda, (chap. xxxvii.) and again plundered after the taking
of Tyre, Ezechiel xxix. 18.
In. Hebrew, "the mixed multitude," (Exodus xii. 38.; Calmet) or "Arabs." (Grotius) --- Ausitis, near Palmyra,
Job i. 1. --- Azotus, taken by the Egyptians, and afterwards by the Chaldeans, chap. xlvii. 2.
Ammon. The details are given in chap. xlviii., and xlix., and Ezechiel xxv. to xxxiv., and Abdias and Sophonias.
Kings. Ithobaal (Josephus, Antiquities x. 11.) had many governors under him. Nabuchodonosor besieged Tyre for 13 years,
Ezechiel xxvi., &c. --- Sea, or Gibraltar. See Jos. sup. v. 22.[Josephus, Antiquities x. 22.?] (Haydock) He had
navies on the Mediterranean, Ezechiel xxx. 9.
Buz. Scenite Arabs, who cut off the hair of the eyebrows, chap. ix. 26. These Saracens left the hair below the ears
long, as the Polonians and Hungarians do. (Worthington)
Zambri, sprung from Cethura, and dwelling in Arabia, (Calmet) or Persia, (St. Jerome) where Pliny ([Natural History?]
vi. 28.) places the Zamarenians. --- Elam. Persians, (Haydock) by the sword of Alexander [the Great?], (St. Jerome)
or Cyrus subdued those who were subject to the Medes, and united the two nations. --- North. Armenia, &c., subdued
by Cyrus and by Alexander. --- Brother. When Cyrus stood up for the Persians. All shall drink, as at a feast, (Calmet)
of this bitter wine. --- Face, and forming the empire of Babylon. (Haydock) --- Sesac. That is Babel, or Babylon;
which after bringing all these people under her yoke, should quickly fall and be destroyed herself. (Challoner) --- The Chaldeans
are not expressed, to avoid their resentment. The sh in sheshac, is at the same distance from the end as b
in Babel is from the beginning of the alphabet. See St. Jerome. (Haydock) (2 Timothy iv. 17.) --- Yet they are not
elsewhere spared, chap. xlix., &c. Sesac was probably the idol, "anais or the moon." (Calmet) --- The Sacean feasts
were very dissolute, like the saturnalia at Rome. (Dio. Chrys.[St. Chrysostom?] iv.; Strabo xi.) (Calmet) --- Cyrus took Babylon
after he had conquered the rest of Asia, and then seizing Nabonides at Borsippe, which was sacred to Anais, "the moon," (Calmet)
or Diana, (Strabo xv.) suffered him to die in peace. (Berosus in Josephus, contra Apion 1.) --- Thus fell the king of Sesac,
an idol worshipped both at Borsippe and at Babylon.
City. Jerusalem first fell a prey.
Beauty. The temple, which was like the palace (Calmet) of the great king. (Haydock) --- Grapes. Great feasting
was then customary. The soldiers rushing to battle, "answer" the Lord. (Septuagint) (Calmet) --- People encouraged one another
by songs under the labour of the vine-press, as those in distress must do. (Worthington)
Flesh. He will justify his conduct, particularly at the last day.
To nation. Jerusalem, Tyre, Syria, desert Arabia, Ammon, Idumea, and Egypt, shall fall one after another. Thus Cyrus
will attack the Medes, Asia, and Babylon.
Leaders. Septuagint, "rams." He addresses the princes. --- Vessels. Septuagint, "chosen rams," fattened for
Silent. The places where you fed your flocks so delightfully, are laid waste.
The dove. This is commonly understood of Nabuchodonosor, whose military standard, they say, was a dove. But the Hebrew
word Jonah, which is here rendered a dove, may also signify a waster or oppressor, which name better agrees
to that unmerciful prince; or by comparison, as a dove's flight is the swiftest, so would their destruction come upon them.
(Challoner) --- Septuagint, "waste or impassible before the great sword,["] chap iv. 7. (Haydock) --- While God, like
a lion, protected his people, none durst invade them. (Menochius) --- What is said respecting the Babylonian standards is
very dubious, (Grotius; Calmet) as the same expression is applied to the Persians, (chap. l. 16.; Menochius) though it may
there also be understood of the Chaldeans. (Haydock) --- God is like a dove, yet terrible. (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The prophet foretells the seventy
years captivity: and, after that, the destruction of Babylon, and other nations.
1 The word that came to Jeremias concerning all the people of Juda, in the *fourth year of Joakim, the son of Josias, king
of Juda, (the same is the first year of Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon.)
2 Which Jeremias, the prophet, spoke to all the people of Juda, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying:
3 From the thirteenth year of Josias, the son of Ammon, king of Juda, until this day: this is the three and twentieth year,
the word of the Lord hath come to me, and I have spoken to you rising before day, and speaking, and you have not hearkened.
4 And the Lord hath sent to you all his servants, the prophets, rising early, and sending, and you have not hearkened,
nor inclined your ears to hear.
5 When he said: *Return ye, every one, from his evil way, and from your wicked devices, and you shall dwell in the land
which the Lord hath given to you, and to your fathers, for ever and ever.
6 And go not after strange gods to serve them, and adore them: nor provoke me to wrath by the works of your hands, and
I will not afflict you.
7 And you have not heard me, saith the Lord, that you might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, to your own
8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts: Because you have not heard my words:
9 Behold, I will send and take all the kindreds of the north, saith the Lord, and Nabuchodonosor, the king of Babylon,
my servant: and I will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all the nations that
are round about it: and I will destroy them, and make them an astonishment and a hissing, and perpetual desolations.
10 And I will take away from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice
of the bride, the sound of the mill, and the light of the lamp.
11 *And all this land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment: and all these nations shall serve the king of Babylon
12 And when the seventy years shall be expired, I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for
their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans: and I will make it perpetual desolations.
13 And I will bring upon the land all my words, that I have spoken against it, all that is written in this book, all that
Jeremias hath prophesied against all nations:
14 For they have served them, whereas they were many nations, and great kings: and I will repay them according to their
deeds, and according to the works of their hands.
15 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take the cup of wine of this fury at my hand: and thou shalt make
all nations to drink thereof, unto which I shall send thee.
16 And they shall drink, and be troubled, and be mad because of the sword, which I shall send among them.
17 And I took the cup at the hand of the Lord, and I presented it to all the nations to drink of it, to which the Lord
18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Juda, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof: to make them a desolation,
and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a curse, as it is at this day.
19 Pharao, the king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people,
20 And all in general: all the kings of the land of Ausitis, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ascalon,
and Gaza, and Accaron, and the remnant of Azotus.
21 And Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon.
22 And all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Sidon: and the kings of the land of the islands that are beyond the
23 And Dedan, and Thema, and Buz, and all that have their hair cut round.
24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the west, that dwell in the desert.
25 And all the kings of Zambri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Medes:
26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, every one against his brother: and all the kingdoms of the earth, which
are upon the face thereof: and the king of Sesac shall drink after them.
27 And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink ye, and be drunken, and vomit: and
fall, and rise no more, because of the sword, which I shall send among you.
28 And if they refuse to take the cup at thy hand to drink, thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Drinking
you shall drink:
29 *For behold I begin to bring evil on the city wherein my name is called upon, and shall you be as innocent, and escape
free? you shall not escape free: for I will call for the sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts.
30 And thou shalt prophesy unto them all these words, and thou shalt say to them: *The Lord shall roar from on high, and
shall utter his voice from his holy habitation: roaring he shall roar upon the place of his beauty: the shout as it
were of them that tread grapes shall be given out against all the inhabitants of the earth.
31 The noise is come even to the ends of the earth: for the Lord entereth into judgement with the nations: he entereth
into judgement with all flesh; the wicked I have delivered up to the sword, saith the Lord.
32 Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation: and a great whirlwind shall go forth
from the ends of the earth.
33 And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end thereof: they shall not
be lamented, and they shall not be gathered up, nor buried: they shall lie as dung upon the face of the earth.
34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry: and sprinkle yourselves with ashes, ye leaders of the flock: for the days of your slaughter
and your dispersion are accomplished, and you shall fall like precious vessels.
35 And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the leaders of the flock to save themselves.
36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a howling of the principal of the flock: because the Lord hath wasted their
37 And the fields of peace have been silent, because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
38 He has forsaken his covert as the lion, for their land is laid waste because of the wrath of the dove, and because of
the fierce anger of the Lord.
1: Year of the World 3397, Year before Christ 607.
5: 4 Kings xvii. 13.; Jeremias xviii. 11. and xxxv. 15.
11: 2 Paralipomenon xxxvi. 22.; 1 Esdras i. 1.; Jeremias xxvi. 6. and xxix. 10.; Daniel ix. 2.
29: 1 Peter iv. 17.
30: Joel iii. 16.; Amos i. 2.