Jeremiah 22:23

23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor!

Jeremiah 22:23 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 22:23

O inhabitant of Lebanon
Jerusalem is meant, and the inhabitants of it, so called, because they lived near Lebanon, or in that land in which Lebanon was; or rather because they dwelt in houses made of the wood of Lebanon; and which stood as thick as the trees in the forest of Lebanon; and where they thought themselves safe and secure, according to the next clause; not but that there were inhabitants of the mountain of Lebanon, called Druses; and there were towns and villages on it, inhabited by people, as there are to this day. After four hours and a half travelling up the ascent, from the foot of the mountain, there is, as travellers F26 inform us, a small pretty village, called Eden; and besides that, at some distance from it, another called Canobine, where there is a convent of the Maronites, and is the seat of their patriarch; and near it a valley of that name, full of hermitages, cells and monasteries; but the former are here meant; that makest thy nests in the cedars;
in towns, palaces, and houses, covered, ceiled, raftered, and wainscotted with cedars; here they lived at ease and security, as birds in a nest. The Targum is,

``who dwellest in the house of the sanctuary, and among kings? nourishing thy children;''
how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a
woman in travail?
that is, either thou wilt seek grace and favour at the hand of God, and make supplication to him; thou wilt then be an humble supplicant, when in distress, though now proud and haughty F1: or what favour wilt thou then find among those that come to waste and destroy thee? This refers to the calamity coming upon them by the Chaldeans, as the following words show:

F26 Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo p. 142, 143. Thevenot's Travels, part 1. B. 2. c. 60. p. 221.
F1 (ytnxn hm) "quam gratiam habuisti, [vel] quomodo precata es", Vatablus; "quam afficieris gratia", Piscator; "quantum gratiae invenies", Schmidt.

Jeremiah 22:23 In-Context

21 I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, "I will not listen." This has been your way from your youth, for you have not obeyed my voice.
22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and dismayed because of all your wickedness.
23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor!
24 As I live, says the Lord, even if King Coniah son of Jehoiakim of Judah were the signet ring on my right hand, even from there I would tear you off
25 and give you into the hands of those who seek your life, into the hands of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and into the hands of the Chaldeans.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Gk Vg Syr: Heb [will be pitied]