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Jeremiah 51:2

2. And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.

2. Et mittam contra Babylonem ventilatores, qui ventilent ipsam (ad verbum, et ventilabunt ipsam,) et exinanient terram ejus (vel, spoliabunt; בקק enim significat proprie exinanire, evacuare, ut vulgo dicunt; et significat etiam spoliare et proedari; qui ergo exinanient terram;) quia erunt contra eam in circuitu in die mali (hoc est, in die adversa.)


Here he explains himself more clearly, without the metaphor he had used. He no longer uses the similitude of wind when he declares that he would send fanners At the same time some take זארים, zarim, in the sense of aliens, who would banish her; but this would be harsh. I then doubt not but that the Prophet alludes to the wind before mentioned. He does not indeed continue that metaphor; but yet what he says corresponds with it. Instead of wind he now mentions fanners, or winnowers; but this cannot be understood except of enemies. A clearer explanation is still found in the word empty, after having said that the Persians and the Medes would fan or winnow Babylon. He compares her, no doubt, to chaff. As then the chaff, when ventilated, falls on the ground, so he says a similar thing would happen to the Babylonians.

But he adds, And shall make empty her land, that is, the land of Babylon. He says that the whole country would be so plundered, that nothing would be left remaining. And he confirms this declaration, because they shall be, he says, around her. By this expression he intimates that there would be no escape for the Chaldeans.

It often happens that men stealthily escape, when pressed by their enemies; for though enemies may watch all passages, yet they often do not find out all hiding-places. But the Prophet says, that their enemies would so surround them, that the Chaldeans would not be able to take with them anything which they might save from their enemies’ hands. He adds, in the day of evil. By this phrase he intimates again, that the Chaldeans were already devoted by God to destruction. It is, then, the same thing as though he had said, that as soon as her enemies came, it would be all over with Babylon and the whole nation, — how so? for it would be the day of her utter ruin. It follows, —

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