49 Concerning and against the Ammonites: Thus says the Lord: Has Israel no sons [to return after their captivity and claim the territory of Gad east of the Jordan which the Ammonites have taken over]? Has [Israel’s Gad] no heir? Why then has Milcom [the god the Ammonites call their king] dispossessed and inherited Gad, and [why do] his people dwell in Gad’s cities?
2 Therefore behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will cause an alarm of war to be heard against Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it [the high ground on which it stands] will become a desolate heap, and its daughter [villages] will be burned with fire. Then will Israel dispossess those who dispossessed him, says the Lord.(A)
3 Wail, O Heshbon [in Moab, just south of Ammon], for Ai [in Ammon] is laid waste! Cry out, you daughter [villages] of Rabbah! Gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament, and run to and fro inside the [sheepfold] enclosures; for Milcom [the god-king] shall go into exile, together with his priests and his princes.
4 Why do you boast of your valleys? Your valley flows away, O [Ammon] rebellious and faithless daughter, who trusted in her treasures, who said, Who can come against me?
5 Behold, I will bring terror upon you, says the Lord, the Lord of hosts, from all who are round about you; and you will be driven out, each man fleeing straight before him [without thought of his neighbor], and there will be no one to gather together the fugitives.
6 And [a]afterward I will reverse the captivity of the children of Ammon and restore their fortunes, says the Lord.
7 Concerning and against Edom: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Is there no longer wisdom in Teman [a district in Edom]? Has counsel vanished from the intelligent and prudent? Is their wisdom all poured out and used up?(B)
8 Flee, turn back, dwell deep [in the deserts to escape the Chaldeans], O inhabitants of Dedan [neighbor of Edom]! For I will bring the calamity and destruction of Esau upon him [Edom] when I inspect and punish him.
9 If grape gatherers came to you, would they not leave some ungleaned grapes? If thieves came by night, would they not destroy only what is enough [for them]?
10 But I have stripped Esau (Edom) bare; I have uncovered his hiding places, and he cannot hide himself. His offspring will be destroyed, with his brethren and his neighbors; and he will be no more.
11 Leave your fatherless children; I will [do what is necessary to] preserve them alive. And let [those who have been made] your widows trust and confide in Me.
12 For thus says the Lord: Behold, they [Israel] whose rule was not to drink the cup [of wrath] shall assuredly drink—and are you to remain unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but you shall surely drink.(C)
13 For I have sworn by Myself, says the Lord, that Bozrah [in Edom, between Petra and the Dead Sea] shall become a horror, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all its cities shall be [b]perpetual wastes.
14 I have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger is sent to the nations, saying, Gather together and come against her! And rise up for the battle.
15 For, behold, I will make you [Edom] small among the nations and despised among men.(D)
16 Your [object of] horror (your idol) has deceived you, and the pride of your heart [has deceived you], O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock [Sela or [c]Petra], who hold and occupy the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s, I will bring you down from there, says the Lord.
17 And Edom shall be an astonishment and a horror; everyone who goes by it shall be astonished and shall hiss with horror at all its plagues and disasters.
18 As [it was] in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, says the Lord, no man shall dwell there; neither shall a son of man live in it temporarily.
19 See, there comes up one [Nebuchadnezzar] like a lion from [lurking in] the jungles (the pride) of the Jordan against the strong habitation [of Edom] and into the permanent pastures; for in a twinkling I will drive him [Edom] from there. And I will appoint over him the one whom I choose. For who is like Me? And who will appoint for Me the time and prosecute Me for this proceeding? And what [earthly, national] shepherd can stand before Me and defy Me?
20 Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has made against Edom, and His purposes which He has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely they shall be dragged away [by Nebuchadnezzar], even the little ones of the flock; surely He shall make their habitation desolate because of them and their fold shocked at their fate.
21 At the sound of their fall the earth shall tremble; at their crying the sound shall be heard at the Red Sea.
22 Behold, one will come up and fly swiftly like an eagle and spread his wings against [the Edomite city of] Bozrah; and in that day the hearts of the mighty warriors of Edom will be like the heart of a woman in her pangs [in childbirth].(E)
23 Concerning and against Damascus [in Syria]: Hamath and Arpad are confounded and put to shame, for they have heard bad news; they are fainthearted and wasting away; there is trouble and anxiety [like] on a [storm-tossed] sea which cannot rest.
24 Damascus has become feeble; she has turned to flee, and terror and panic have seized her; anguish and sorrow have taken hold of her, like a woman in childbirth.
25 How [remarkable that] the renowned city is not deserted, the city of my joy! [exclaims one from Damascus].
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, says the Lord of hosts.(F)
27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it will consume the palaces of Ben-hadad [title of several kings of Syria].
28 Concerning Kedar [a tribe of nomad Arabs] and concerning the kingdoms of [d]Hazor, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite: Thus says the Lord [to him]: Arise, go up against Kedar and destroy the sons of the east.
29 Their tents and their flocks shall they [the Chaldeans] take—their tent hangings and all their utensils and their camels. And men shall cry to them, Terror on every side!(G)
30 Flee, wander far off, dwell deep [in the deserts], O you inhabitants of Hazor [in the Arabian Desert] says the Lord, for [e]Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon has planned a course against you and has conceived a purpose against you.
31 Arise [Nebuchadrezzar], get up into a nation which is at ease, which dwells without care, says the Lord, [a nation] which has neither gates nor bars, which dwells apart and alone.
32 And their camels will be booty, and their herds of cattle a spoil; and I will scatter to all [the four] winds those who [as evidence of their idolatry] clip off the corners of their hair, and I will bring their calamity from every side, says the Lord.(H)
33 And Hazor shall become a dwelling place of jackals, a desolation forever; no man shall dwell there; neither shall a son of man live in it temporarily.
34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning and against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,
35 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief [weapon and part] of their strength.
36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four corners of heaven; and I will scatter them toward all those winds, and there will be no nation to which the outcasts of Elam will not come.
37 And I will cause [f]Elam to be dismayed and terrified before their enemies and before those who seek and demand their lives; and I will bring evil and disaster upon them, even My fierce anger, says the Lord. And I will send the sword after them until I have consumed them.
38 And I will set My throne [of judgment] in Elam [whose capital city was Shushan, from which God wrought wonders through Nehemiah, Esther, and Daniel]; and I will destroy from their king and princes, says the Lord.(I)
39 But it shall be [g]in the latter days (the end of days) that I will reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Elam, says the Lord.
- Jeremiah 49:6 As complete and continuous as the desolation of Moab and Ammon was for so many long centuries, yet God is keeping His word for their restoration “in the latter days” (Jer. 48:47) in a remarkable manner. For instance, Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (formerly called Transjordania, and in Bible times the ancient Rabbah of Ammon), was a mere village in 1900, but by 1960 it was a city of 200,000 inhabitants. One can only stand in awe and reverent amazement at the precision with which the prophecies of the Word of God are being carried out in the present day and age.
- Jeremiah 49:13 How except by divine inspiration could the prophets have foretold that Edom’s desolation would be perpetual? After 2,500 years the statement is so literally true that in the land of Edom, where millions once lived, there are only a few people barely existing, and the land is in ruins. For there was no prophecy that Edom would recover “in the latter days” (Jer. 48:47), as was predicted for Moab and Ammon, but Edom’s desolation was to be lasting. The short book of Obadiah presents an interesting further clarification of God’s reason for this exceptional treatment of Edom. It was all the outcome of a mere quarrel, a family feud, between two brothers, Jacob and Esau, which erupted into acts of violence and which continued from Genesis to the Gospels. (Gen. 27 and footnote on Gen. 27:41).
- Jeremiah 49:16 Petra, once an important Roman province in Edom, was lost for many centuries but rediscovered in 1812. On the height above its ruins is the great high place, and other evidences of idolatry stand on neighboring heights.
- Jeremiah 49:28 This Hazor is not to be confused with three others mentioned elsewhere (Josh. 11:1; 15:23; Neh. 11:33). It was a region in the Arabian Desert east of Palestine. Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning it was literally fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar conquered Arabia, according to historians, and Hazor’s exact situation is long since unknown. Hazor is also known as that part of the Arab nation which used fixed dwellings in unwalled towns, in contrast to nomad Arabs.
- Jeremiah 49:30 See footnote on Jer. 21:2.
- Jeremiah 49:37 Elam was a region beyond the Tigris River. After a long period of subjugation to foreign powers, it joined with Media and ultimately captured Babylon (Isa. 21:2, 9). Elam became a province of the Persian Empire. Elamites had been settled as colonists in Samaria long before the return of the Jews from Babylon, and they joined with others in attempting to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple (Ezra 4:9). There were also Elamites present on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9), but they became extinct in the eleventh century. Elam in modern times is a province of modern Iran, bearing the name Khuzistan. Thus this prophecy of that nation’s destruction is long since fulfilled, with the restoration of Elam’s fortunes predicted in Jer. 49:39, the fulfillment of which we anticipate and await.
- Jeremiah 49:39 Elam was a region beyond the Tigris River. After a long period of subjugation to foreign powers, it joined with Media and ultimately captured Babylon (Isa. 21:2, 9). Elam became a province of the Persian Empire. Elamites had been settled as colonists in Samaria long before the return of the Jews from Babylon, and they joined with others in attempting to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple (Ezra 4:9). There were also Elamites present on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9), but they became extinct in the eleventh century. Elam in modern times is a province of modern Iran, bearing the name Khuzistan. Thus this prophecy of that nation’s destruction is long since fulfilled, with the restoration of Elam’s fortunes predicted in Jer. 49:39, the fulfillment of which we anticipate and await.
- Jeremiah 49:2 : Ezek. 21:28-32; 25:1-7, 11; Amos 1:13-15; Zeph. 2:8-11.
- Jeremiah 49:7 : Isa. 34; 63:1-6; Ezek. 25:12-14; 35; Amos 1:11, 12; Obad. 1-16; Mal. 1:2-5.
- Jeremiah 49:12 : Jer. 25:28, 29.
- Jeremiah 49:15 : Ezek. 35:9.
- Jeremiah 49:22 : Jer. 48:41.
- Jeremiah 49:26 : Isa. 17:1-3; Amos 1:3-5; Zech. 9:1.
- Jeremiah 49:29 : Ps. 31:13; Jer. 6:25; 20:3, 10; 46:5.
- Jeremiah 49:32 : Lev. 19:27.
- Jeremiah 49:38 : Neh. 1:1; Esth. 1:2; Dan. 8:1, 2.