Jeremiah 8:16 MEANING

Jeremiah 8:16
(16) Heard from Dan.--As in Jeremiah 4:13, the invasion by an army of which cavalry and war chariots formed the most terrible contingent was a special terror to Israelites. Even at Dan, the northern boundary of Palestine (see Note on Jeremiah 4:15), there was a sound of terror in the very snortings of the horses. The patristic interpretation that the prophet indicates the coming of Antichrist from the tribe deserves a passing notice as one of the eccentricities of exegesis.

Verse 16. - The invader is introduced with the same mysterious indefiniteness as in Jeremiah 4:13. From Dan; i.e. from the northern frontier (see on Jeremiah 4:15). Trembled; rather, quaked (so Jeremiah 49:21). His strong ones. The phrase "strong ones" generally denotes oxen, but here (as in Jeremiah 47:3; Jeremiah 50:11) horses.

8:14-22 At length they begin to see the hand of God lifted up. And when God appears against us, every thing that is against us appears formidable. As salvation only can be found in the Lord, so the present moment should be seized. Is there no medicine proper for a sick and dying kingdom? Is there no skilful, faithful hand to apply the medicine? Yes, God is able to help and to heal them. If sinners die of their wounds, their blood is upon their own heads. The blood of Christ is balm in Gilead, his Spirit is the Physician there, all-sufficient; so that the people may be healed, but will not. Thus men die unpardoned and unchanged, for they will not come to Christ to be saved.The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan,.... That is, was heard at Jerusalem. It seems to be a hyperbolical expression, showing the certainty of the coming of the Assyrian monarch and his army, to invade Judea, and besiege Jerusalem; the news of which was brought from Dan, which lay in the further part of the land; see Jeremiah 4:15, and pointing at the way in which they should come northwards, through Phoenicia and the tribe of Dan, with a numerous cavalry of horses and horsemen: for, by "his" horses are meant Nebuchadnezzar's; unless, with Calvin, it can be thought that they are called the Lord's, because ordered and sent by him, whose war it was against the people. The Targum paraphrases the words thus,

"because they worshipped the calf that is in Dan, a king with his army shall come up against them, and carry them captive;''

and so Jarchi interprets it.

The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; his horses, strong and mighty; see Judges 5:22 where we read of the prancings of the mighty ones; and here the Targum,

"at the voice of the treading of his strong ones, all the inhabitants of the earth shall be moved;''

and by the land trembling undoubtedly are meant the inhabitants of the land, filled with dread and consternation at the noise and near approach of the Chaldean army.

For they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; or, "the fulness of it"; which because of the certainty of it, is represented as then done: the city, and those that dwell therein; meaning not only the city of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of it, but other cities also, the singular being put for the plural; and so the Targum,

"the cities, and they that dwell in them.''

Courtesy of Open Bible