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Jeremiah 49:31

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.

31. Surgite, ascendite contra gentem securam, habitatorem (eum qui habitat) in fiducia, dicit Jehova; non portae nec vectes ei, solus habitat.


He confirms the last verse, repeating what he had already said, Arise, ascend; but he adds, against a quiet nation This was the deep dwelling of which he had spoken; for the Kedareans, as they thought themselves to be as it were in another world, were secure; and hence he says, against a secure nation. The word שליו, sheliu, means delicate, as we have seen elsewhere, but in this place its meaning is secure. For though there might be no joys there, it is yet said to be a secure nation, גוי שליו, gui sheliu, a nation which feared nothing. And then he explains himself, a dweller in confidence, one without fear and anxiety.

And he gives the reason, because they had no need of gates and bars, and they dwelt alone Some interpreters think that the pride of the Kedareans is denoted, because they would not protect themselves in the usual way, and regarded gates and bars as nothing. But the Prophet’s meaning is different, that as they were barbarians and shepherds and beyond the reach of envy, they thought that no enemy would ever come to them. For what are the causes of wars but avarice and ambition? and who would wish to rule over barbarous nations living on their mountains? and then wealth cannot be found in a wild uncultivated country. As then the Kedareans were such, the Prophet says that they dwelt securely, though they were not fortified by gates and bars, but lived alone. He then says that they lived alone, not because they thought much of themselves as being solitary, and regarded themselves as being above kings — for solitude often produces pride and obstinacy; but the meaning of the Prophet, as I have said, is quite different, even because the Kedareans thought that they had no need of friends and assistants, because they depended not on their neighbors for aid, but were contented with their own deserts. And at the same time they did not think that any enemy would disturb them, as there was no cause and no occasion.

We now then perceive again why the Prophet says, that they made deep to dwell, that is, that they had their dwelling deep, even because poverty and the absence of all riches were to them a sort of safe fortress: as they had no splendor and no dignity, they thought themselves exempt from the common lot of other men. But nevertheless he says that the Chaldeans would come and plunder them of what they had. It follows, —

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