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Jeremiah 50:16

16. Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.

16. Excidite seminantem e Babylone, et qui apprehendit falcem tempore messis; coram gladio opprimente, quisque ad populum suum respiciet, quisque ad terram suam fugiet.


He still addresses the Medes and the Persians, and bids them cut off from Babylon both the sowers and the reapers; but by stating a part for the whole he includes also all others. Husbandmen in a manner preserve the life of men, as other arts and occupations are not capable of doing so. Were there no sowing and reaping, all would of necessity perish. When, therefore, the Prophet bids them take away those who sowed and reaped, it was the same as though he had said, Strike with the sword and kill all the inhabitants, so that nothing may remain but the land reduced to solitude.” He then commands the Chaldeans to be slain, so that no husbandmen should remain to sow and reap.

This, indeed, was not fulfilled by Cyrus, as we have elsewhere seen. But what I then reminded you of ought to be borne in mind, that the Prophet extends his threatenings much further, for Babylon was often smitten by God’s hand, and at length wholly destroyed. The assault of Cyrus was a prelude, but other calamities followed, when it was more severely oppressed.

He adds, From the face of the oppressing or wasting sword every one shall flee to his people and to his own land As that country was wealthy, many strangers had come there, and they had also drawn together captives from all parts. Thus many foreigners no doubt dwelt in Chaldea when the empire flourished. There were there many husbandmen and many artificers. The Chaldeans ruled, and yet many were content with small means, and even paltry; or it may be that the Chaldeans compelled conquered nations to do servile work in agriculture and in works of art. The Prophet now says, that in the revolution which was to happen, each would look to his own land and flee there, as there could be no delight in a country deserted and desolate. Then from the face of the oppressing sword shall every one look to his own people and to his own land; and those who before pretended to be wholly devoted to the Chaldeans, would forsake them in their necessity, because nothing would be better for them than to consult their own safety. It follows, —

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