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Jeremiah 50:39

39, Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

39. Propterea habitabunt aves sylvestres cum bestiis sylvestribus, et habitabunt filae struthionum; nec habitabitur amplius in seculum; non erit (inquam) in habitationem usque ad aetatem et aetatem.


The birds of the forest with the beasts of the forest, are rendered by some, “the satyrs with the fairies;” but איים, aiim, as well as ציים, tsiim, are, on the contrary, birds or beasts of the forest. Some render איים, aiim, “cats ” I hold no controversy as to these words — let there be a free judgment to every one; but, as we have elsewhere seen, the Prophet means birds and beasts of the forest, rather than satyrs and fairies. Then he adds, the daughters of the ostriches, rendered by some “of the owls;” but about this name also I will not contend. Some then render יענה, ione, “owl,” and refinedly explain that “daughters” are mentioned, because these birds forsake their young, when they howl through want or famine; but this is fictitious. I then take the daughters of the ostriches or of the owls, according to the usual manner of the language, to mean the very birds themselves. 7676     As to the two first words, the versions and the Targ. widely differ. According to Bochart, the first word, ציים, means “wild cats,” and the second, איים, jackals. The Vulg., the Syr., and the Targ. render the other word, יענה, the same, “the ostrich;” and this is the general opinion. — Ed.

The Prophets usually speak thus, when they give no hope. We have said before, that Babylon was not then so laid waste, but that men dwelt there, who afterwards lived in great luxury; for the city, under Cyrus and his son, was always populous; and then, after its revolt, it was again inhabited; and when Alexander subdued Asia, Babylon was full of people, and flourished in luxury and wealth; and when he died there, he left the city very opulent. We hence, then, conclude, that what Jeremiah declares here, was not immediately fulfilled. But as the light or moderate punishments which the unbelieving suffer now are certain preludes of final and eternal destruction; so the Prophets, when speaking of God’s vengeance, ever extend what they say to the last overthrow; and this also appears more clearly from the next verse, where it is said, —

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