Jeremiah 51:32

32 The fords have been seized,[a] the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers are terrified.

Jeremiah 51:32 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 51:32

And that the passages are stopped
Or "taken", or "seized" F15; where Cyrus placed soldiers to keep them; these were the passages leading from the river Euphrates to the city, the keys of it; the little gates, that Herodotus F16 speaks of, leading to the river, which were left open that night. Kimchi thinks the towers built by the river side, to keep the enemy out, that should attempt to enter, are meant; these were now in his hands; and the reeds they have burnt with fire;
which grew upon the banks of the river, and in the marshes adjoining to it. Some render it, "the marshes" F17; that is, the reeds and bulrushes in them, which usually grow in such places. And Herodotus F18 makes mention of a marsh Cyrus came to; the reeds in it he burnt, having many torches, with which he might set fire to them; as he proposed with them to burn the houses, doors, and porches F19; either to make way for his army, which might hinder the march of it; or to give light, that they might see their way into the city the better: though some think it was to terrify the inhabitants; which seems not so likely, since he marched up to the royal palace with great secrecy. This circumstance is mentioned, to show the certainty of the enemy's entrance, and the taking of part of the city. R. Jonah, from the Arabic language, in which the word F20 here used signifies "fortresses", so renders it here; and the men of war are affrighted;
and so fled, and left the passes, towers, and fortresses, which fell into the hands of Cyrus, as soon as they perceived his army was come up the channel and was landed, and the reeds were burnt.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 (wvptn) "praeoccupata", V. L. "comprehensa", Montanus; "occupati", Tigurine version, Schmidt.
F16 L. 1. sive Clio, c. 191.
F17 (Mymga ta) "paludes", V. L. Syr. Grotius; "stagna", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt.
F18 L. 1. sive Clio, c. 191.
F19 Xenophon, Cyropaedia, l. 7. c. 22.
F20 <arabic> "arundinetum feris et hinc munimentum, castellum", Camus apud Golium, col. 33. "castellum, munimentum viarum, arces", Castel. Lex. col. 29.

Jeremiah 51:32 In-Context

30 Babylon's warriors have stopped fighting; they sit in their strongholds. Their might is exhausted; they have become like women. Babylon's homes have been set ablaze, her gate bars are shattered.
31 Messenger races to meet messenger, and herald to meet herald, to announce to the king of Babylon that his city has been captured from end [to end].
32 The fords have been seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers are terrified.
33 For this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trampled. In just a little while her harvest time will come.
34 "Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has devoured me; he has crushed me. He has set me aside like an empty dish; he has swallowed me like a sea monster; he filled his belly with my delicacies; he has vomited me out,"

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