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Jeremiah 51:32

32 the river crossings seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers terrified.”

Read Jeremiah 51:32 Using Other Translations

And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.
the fords have been seized, the marshes are burned with fire, and the soldiers are in panic.
All the escape routes are blocked. The marshes have been set aflame, and the army is in a panic.

What does Jeremiah 51:32 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
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.


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.
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