Jeremiah 4:7
(7) The lion is come up . . .--The "lion" is, of course, the Chaldaean invader, the destroyer, not of men only, but of nations. So in Daniel 7:4 the lion is the symbol of the Assyrian monarchy. The winged lions that are seen in the palaces of Mosul and Nimroud gave a special character to what was in any case a natural metaphor. The word "Gentiles" answers to the meaning, but there is no special reason why it should be used here, rather than nations.

Is on his way.--Literally, has broken up his encampment, i.e., has started on his march.

Without an inhabitant.--The language, like that of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:11), was probably in some measure hyperbolical, but the depopulation caused by the Chaldaean invasion (as seen in Jeremiah 39:9) must have been extreme.

Verse 7. - The lion; the symbol of irresistible might and royalty (Genesis 49:7; Revelation 5:5). Of the Gentiles; rather, of the nations. There is no reference to the distinction between Jews and Gentiles; the Jews themselves are not allowed to escape. An ordinary lion attacks individual men; this lion destroys nations. Is on his way; literally, has broken up his encampment - a phrase perhaps suggested by the nomad Scythiaus.

4:5-18 The fierce conqueror of the neighbouring nations was to make Judah desolate. The prophet was afflicted to see the people lulled into security by false prophets. The approach of the enemy is described. Some attention was paid in Jerusalem to outward reformation; but it was necessary that their hearts should be washed, in the exercise of true repentance and faith, from the love and pollution of sin. When lesser calamities do not rouse sinners and reform nations, sentence will be given against them. The Lord's voice declares that misery is approaching, especially against wicked professors of the gospel; when it overtakes them, it will be plainly seen that the fruit of wickedness is bitter, and the end is fatal.The lion is come up from his thicket,.... Meaning Nebuchadnezzar (s), from Babylon, who is compared to a lion for his strength, fierceness, and cruelty; see Jeremiah 50:17 so the Roman emperor is called a lion, 2 Timothy 4:17, agreeably to this the Targum paraphrases it,

"a king is gone from his fortress;''

or tower; and the Syriac version,

"a certain most powerful king is about to go up as a lion out of his wood:''

and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he who had conquered and destroyed other nations not a few, and these mighty and strong; and therefore the Jews could not expect but to be destroyed by him. This tyrant was a type of antichrist, whose name is Apollyon, a destroyer of the nations of the earth, Revelation 9:11.

he is gone forth from his place, to make thy land desolate; from Babylon, where his royal palace was, in order to lay waste the land of Judea; and he is represented as being come out, and on the road with this view, to strike the inhabitants of Judea with the greater terror, and to hasten their flight, their destruction being determined and certain:

and thy cities shall be laid waste without an inhabitant; they shall become so utterly desolate, that there should be none dwelling in them, partly by reason of the multitudes of the slain, and partly by reason of multitudes that should flee; and should be laid waste to such a degree, that they should be covered with grass growing upon them; which is the signification of the word (t) here used, according to R. Joseph Kimchi.

(s) So T. Bab. Megilia, fol. 11. 1. & Sanhedrin. fol 94. 2.((t) "gramine succrescente obducantur quidam" in Gataker.

Jeremiah 4:6
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