Jeremiah 50:24 MEANING

Jeremiah 50:24
(24) I have laid a snare for thee.--The two captures of Babylon by Cyrus and Darius both answered to this description. Cyrus turned aside the waters of the Euphrates into another channel, and entered by the river-bed, so that the city was taken before those who lived in the middle of the city knew that it was attacked (Herod. i. 191). In the latter case the gates were opened to Darius by the treachery of the Babylonian general Zopyrus (Herod. iii. 158). (Comp. Daniel 5:30; Isaiah 45:1.) In Jeremiah 51:31-32 we have the same fact more vividly described.

Verse 24. - I have laid a snare for thee. It was very natural, as long as Cyrus's own account of the capture of Babylon was unknown, to refer for a fulfilment to the stratagem which, as Herodotus relates, that king employed, viz. diverting the waters of the Euphrates into an already existing reservoir, and entering the city unexpectedly by the river channel (Herod., 1:191). But the cylinder inscription, translated by Sir H. Rawlinson in 1880, shows that Babylon opened its gates of its own accord, on hearing the defeat and capture of Nabonidus. There is no occasion to look for any further fulfilment of the prophecy than the surprise which must ever come upon the bystander when he sees a mighty empire suddenly pass into the hands of its enemies. The tenses in this verse are not very happily rendered. It would be better to translate, I laid a snare for thee, and thou wast taken, O Babylon, unawares; thou wast found, etc., because thou hadst striven against the Lord.

50:21-32 The forces are mustered and empowered to destroy Babylon. Let them do what God demands, and they shall bring to pass what he threatens. The pride of men's hearts sets God against them, and ripens them apace for ruin. Babylon's pride must be her ruin; she has been proud against the Holy One of Israel; who can keep those up whom God will throw down?I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon,.... Retorting to the stratagem that Cyrus used, in draining the river Euphrates, and marching his army up through it into the midst of the city of Babylon, and took it by surprise, while the inhabitants at night were feasting and revelling: this is said to be a snare laid by the Lord, because it was according to the counsel of his will, and through his directing and overruling providence:

and thou wast not aware; of what the enemy had done, of his march into the city, and taking of it; for, as Herodotus and Aristotle report, one part of the city was seized and taken before the other knew anything of it:

thou art found, and also caught; as wild beasts in a net, or birds in a snare. The Targum is,

"thy sins are sought, and are found, and also thou art taken:''

because thou hast striven against the Lord; as persons litigate a point with each other in courts of judicature, or as warriors strive against each other in battle; she sinned against the Lord, and offended him, not only by her idolatry and luxury, but by her oppression of his people, and profaning the vessels of his house; as Belshazzar did, the night Babylon was taken. The Targum is,

"for with the people of the Lord thou hast strove.''

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