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Jeremiah 50:11-12

11. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;

11. Certs laetati estis (in futuro quidem tempore, laetabimini,) et exultabitis quum diripietis haereditatem meam; multiplicabimini (hoc est, augescetis) tanquam vitula herbae, et hinnietis tanquam equi fortes:

12. Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hinder most of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

12. Pudefacta est mater vestra valde, erubuit genitrix vestra; ecce postremum gentium, desertum, vastitas, solitudo.


God shows here, that though the Chaldeans insolently exulted for a time, yet their joy would not continue; and at the same time he points out the cause of their ruin, even because they dealt so arrogantly with the people of God. He then says in the former clause, Ye exulted and rejoiced in plundering my heritage; and then he adds, Ye became fat (for to be multiplied means here to become fat) as a heifer, well fed, or of the grass; for some think that the word is used for דשאה, deshae; but some render it, “herbified,” or fed on grass; while others derive the word from דוש, dush, to thresh or tread out corn. 5656     Several copies have דשה, threshing. Being allowed to eat at pleasure, the threshing heifer became fat and frisky. It is so taken by Blayney and Henderson, though not countenanced by the Versions or the Targ. Ed. It is then added, Ye neighed like strong horses, or ye bellowed like bulls, as some render the words; for אבירים, abirim, sometimes mean bulls, and sometimes strong horses; and the verb צהל, tzal, means to cry aloud, but is taken sometimes in the sense of neighing, as we have seen in Jeremiah 5, “Every one neigheth on his neighbor’s wife;” the Prophet said so in condemning the people for their lusts; and they who apply this passage to bulls are obliged to change the meaning of the verb — for bellowing, and not neighing, is what belongs to bulls. 5757     Jeremiah having twice before (Jeremiah 8:16; Jeremiah 47:3) used the word for steeds or horses, we may conclude that he means the same here. — Ed.

Now it was necessary, for two reasons, for the Prophet to speak thus; first, it was hardly credible, that the Chaldeans, after so many and so remarkable victories, could be broken down and laid prostrate by new enemies; for they had been terrible to the whole world, they had subdued all their neighbors, they had extended on all sides their borders; it was then the same as though they had set their nest in the clouds. Then the Prophet says here, that though they exulted and gave loose reins to their joy, yet this state of things would not be perpetual, because they should at length be brought to shame. This is one thing. And the second reason why the Prophet spoke thus was, because God intended that it should be testified to his own people, that though he permitted so much liberty to the Chaldeans, he had not yet forgotten his covenant; and for this reason he mentioned the word heritage. Though then the calamity of his people was apparently a sort of repudiation, as though God designed to have nothing more to do with them, yet he says that they were his own heritage; and thus he shows, that God would give a specimen of his favor towards the Jews, by thus severely chastising the Chaldeans. This then is the reason why he says, Ye have rejoiced in plundering my heritage, but your mother is ashamed. He expresses here more than if he had said, “Ye shall at length lie down confounded with shame;” but he names their mother, that he might intimate the destruction of the whole of that monarchy, which had been so terrible to all the neighboring nations. 5858     The connection of these two verses will be more evident, if we render כי when, as proposed by Gataker, and not surely, as by Calvin, nor because, as in our version, —
   11. When ye shall rejoice, when ye shall exult, Ye plunderers of mine heritage, When ye shall skip as a fed heifer, And neigh like steeds,

   12. Ashamed greatly shall be your mother, Confounded shall she be who bare you; Behold, the last of the nations shall she be, A desert, a dry land, and a wilderness.

   The reference seems to be to the rejoicings of Babylon, when it was taken. — Ed.

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