Jeremiah 49:23

A Message About Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are dismayed, for they have heard bad news. They are disheartened, troubled likea the restless sea.

Read Jeremiah 49:23 Using Other Translations

Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.
Concerning Damascus: "Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for they have heard bad news; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet.
This message was given concerning Damascus. This is what the LORD says: “The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear, for they have heard the news of their destruction. Their hearts are troubled like a wild sea in a raging storm.

What does Jeremiah 49:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Jeremiah 49:23

Concerning Damascus
Or, "unto Damascus" F4; or, "against Damascus" F5; that is, "thus saith the Lord"; which is to be repeated from the foregoing instances, ( Jeremiah 49:1 Jeremiah 49:7 ) . This is to be understood, not only of the city of Damascus, but of the whole kingdom of Syria, of which Damascus was the metropolis; see ( Isaiah 7:8 ) ; Hamath is confounded, and Arpad;
two cities in Syria; the first is generally thought to be Antioch of Syria, sometimes called Epiphania; and the other the same with Arvad, inhabited by the Arvadim, or Aradians; see ( 2 Kings 18:34 ) ( Isaiah 10:9 ) ( Ezekiel 27:11 ) ; these, that is, the inhabitants of them, as the Targum, were covered with shame, thrown into the utmost confusion and consternation: for they have heard evil tidings;
of the Chaldean army invading the land of Syria, and of their coming against them; and perhaps of their taking of Damascus their capital city; all which must be bad news unto them, and give them great uneasiness: they are fainthearted;
or "melted" F6; their hearts melted like wax, and flowed like water; they had no heart nor spirit left in them, through fear of the enemy; [there is] sorrow in the sea, it cannot be quiet:
the Targum is,

``fear in the sea, carefulness hath taken hold on them, behold, as those that go down to the sea to rest, and cannot rest;''
or, as other copies, cannot flee. So Jarchi, and Kimchi interpret it, as if the note of similitude was wanting, and the sense this, that the inhabitants of the above places were either like the troubled sea itself, which cannot rest; or like persons in a storm at sea, who are in the utmost uneasiness and distress: or else it designs such that belonged to the kingdom of Syria, that dwelt in the isles of the sea; who were in great fright when they heard of the invasion of their country by the Chaldeans, particularly the Antaradians.
FOOTNOTES:

F4 (qvmdl) "ad Damascum", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.
F5 "Contra Damascum", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt.
F6 (wgmn) "liquefacti sunt", Vatablus, Cocceius, Schmidt.
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