Jeremiah 51:46
(46) And lest your heart faint . . .--Better, Let not your heart faint; fear ye not . . .

For the rumour that shall be heard in the land.--It lies in the nature of the case that the final catastrophe of the city would be preceded by a period of uncertainty and suspense. Men would hear of the union of the Medes and Persians under Cyrus, of the murder of Evil-Merodach by Neriglissar, of the death of Neriglissar in fighting against the enemy (B.C. 555). The child-king, whom Berosus calls Laborosoarchod, was dethroned by his nobles after a few months, and was succeeded by the father of the Belshazzar of Daniel 5:1, the Labynetus of Herodotus, whose true name was Nabo-nahid. The whole empire was in the throes of dissolution. The words present a singular parallel to those which speak of "wars and rumours of wars" in Matthew 24:6-7; Luke 21:9.

Verse 46. - And lest your heart faint, etc.; rather, and (beware) lest, etc. A rumour shall both come; rather, for a rumour shall come. The war, then, will last some time, and all kinds of rumours will be in the air. Keil compares Matthew 24:6.

51:1-58 The particulars of this prophecy are dispersed and interwoven, and the same things left and returned to again. Babylon is abundant in treasures, yet neither her waters nor her wealth shall secure her. Destruction comes when they did not think of it. Wherever we are, in the greatest depths, at the greatest distances, we are to remember the Lord our God; and in the times of the greatest fears and hopes, it is most needful to remember the Lord. The feeling excited by Babylon's fall is the same with the New Testament Babylon, Re 18:9,19. The ruin of all who support idolatry, infidelity, and superstition, is needful for the revival of true godliness; and the threatening prophecies of Scripture yield comfort in this view. The great seat of antichristian tyranny, idolatry, and superstition, the persecutor of true Christians, is as certainly doomed to destruction as ancient Babylon. Then will vast multitudes mourn for sin, and seek the Lord. Then will the lost sheep of the house of Israel be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, and stray no more. And the exact fulfilment of these ancient prophecies encourages us to faith in all the promises and prophecies of the sacred Scriptures.And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land,.... The rumour of war in the land of Chaldea; the report of the Medes and Persians preparing to invade it, and besiege Babylon, in the peace of which city the Jews had peace; and therefore might fear they should suffer in the calamities of it; but, lest they should, they are ordered to go cut of it, and accept the liberty that should be granted by the conqueror, who would do them no hurt, but good; and had therefore nothing to fear from him; and, as a token, assuring them of this, the following things are declared; which, when they should observe, they need not be troubled, being forewarned; yea, might take encouragement from it, and believe that their redemption drew nigh:

a rumour shall both come one year and after that in another year shall come a rumour; in one year there was a rumour of the great preparation Cyrus was making to invade Chaldea, and besiege Babylon; in another year, that is, the following, as the Targum rightly renders it, there was a second rumour of his coming; and who actually did come into Assyria, but was stopped at the river Gyndes, not being able to pass it for want of boats; and, being enraged at the loss of a favourite horse in it, resolved upon the draining it; which he accomplished, by cutting many sluices and rivulets; in doing which he spent the whole summer; and the spring following came to Babylon, as Herodotus (l) relates; when what is after predicted followed:

and violence in the land, ruler against ruler; the king of Babylon came out with his forces to meet Cyrus, as the same historian says; when a battle ensue, in which the former was beat, and obliged to retire into the city, which then Cyrus besieged; and thus violence and devastations were made in the land by the army of the Medes and Persians; and ruler was against ruler; Cyrus against Belshazzar, and Belshazzar against him. Some read it, "ruler upon ruler" (m); that is, one after another, in a very short time; so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel; thus two before Belshazzar, then Darius, and, after Darius, Cyrus.

(l) L. 1. sive Clio, c. 189, 190. (m) "dominator super dominatorem", Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt.

Jeremiah 51:45
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