Jeremiah 51:9

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Ray Berrian, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    I have just completed a rather thorough study of the Book of Jeremiah.

    Has anyone else come to the realization that many theologians skip over the most difficult verses that both we and they do not understand?

    After you read starting with verse one at least through verses eleven let me know what your scholars in commentaries have to say about verse 9a, {your resource need not be given to me} I am interested what Catholic and Protestant commentators have to say about these words.

    'We would have healed Babylon but she is not healed . . . '

    My resources say nothing about this verse. Am I right to think that the word, 'We . . . ' refers to the Trinity and/or the complete Godhead, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

    Dr. Berrian
     
  2. Singer

    Singer
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    Ray,

    http://blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Jer/Jer051.html

    The following commentary from Matthew Henry refers to "We" as the captives of the Babylonians. You might have some insight how this corresponds with the Babylonian Church today and who is doing the warning.

    From Henry's text: (bolding / mine)

    "I. A just complaint made of Babylon, and a charge drawn up against her by the Israel of God. 1. She is complained of for her incorrigible wickedness (v. 9): We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. The people of God that
    were captives among the Babylonians
    endeavoured, according to the instructions given them (Jer. 10:11), to convince them of the folly of their
    idolatry, but they could not do it; still they doted as much as ever upon their graven images, and therefore the Israelites resolved to quit them and go to their own country. Yet some understand this as spoken by the forces they had hired for their assistance, declaring that they had done their best to save her from ruin,
    but that it was all to no purpose, and therefore they might as well go home to their respective countries; "for her judgment reaches unto heaven, and it is in vain to withstand it or think to avert it.’’
     
  3. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Singer,

    Thanks for your explanation. I had not connected Jer. 10:11, 'Thus shall ye say unto them . . .' with 51:9, 'We would have healed Babylon.' It sounds to me like a very good interpretation in relation to my question at hand.

    I too read from Matthew Henry's Commentary, Fleming H. Revell Company but did not find any help with this verse in question.

    I believe even the Babylonians could have repented and turned to the Lord, but they did not. I say this because of verse eight of chapter fifty-one. God speaking through the prophet said,
    ' . . . if so she may be healed.' Perhaps that potential healing was only for those who might repent and leave Babylon with the Israelites.

    The reason I say this is because in Daniel's interpretation of the 'Golden Image' the 'head of gold' 2:38 was Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom and reign in Babylon which God knew and was saying, was doomed to fall to the next kingdom and civilization of the Lord's history of humankind.

    {Any other commentators are welcomed to contribute}

    Ray
     
  4. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    John Gill - Verse 9. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed,.... These are either the words of the friends of Babylon of her auxiliaries and allies, who did all they could to defend her against the Persians, but to no purpose; it was not in their power to help her; the time of her destruction was come, and there was no avoiding it; or of the prophets and good people of the Jews that were in Babylon, that took pains to convince, the inhabitants of Babylon of their idolatries and other sins, and reform them, that so they might not be their ruin; but all instructions and admonitions were in vain; in like manner many worthy reformers have laboured much to reclaim mystical Babylon, or the church of Rome, from her errors and idolatries; but still she retains them; wherefore it follows:

    forsake her, and let us go everyone into his own country; so said the auxiliary troops that were in the service of the king of Babylon; since we can do him no good, and are ourselves posed to danger, let us desert him, and provide for our safety by hastening to our own country as fast as we can; this was really the case after the first battle of Cyrus with the Babylonians, in which their king Neriglissar was slain: Croesus and the rest of the allies, seeing their case so distressed and helpless, left them to shift for themselves, and fled by night {h}: or so might the Jews say when the city was taken, and they were delivered out of the hands of their oppressors; and so will the people of God say, who shall be called out of mystical Babylon just before its ruin, Revelation 18:4;

    for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up [even] to the skies: that is, her sins were so many, that they reached even to heaven; and were taken notice of by God that dwelleth there; and were the cause of judgment or punishment being from thence inflicted on her, which was unavoidable, being the decree of heaven, and the just demerit of her sin; and therefore no help could be afforded her; nor was there any safety by being in her; see Revelation 18:5.

    John Wesley - Verse 9. We - The prophet seems to personate the mercenary soldiers, saying, they would have helped Babylon, but there was no healing for her.
     
  5. Dan Todd

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    Adam Clarke - Verse 9. We would have healed Babylon Had it been in our power, we would have saved her; but we could not turn away the judgment of God.

    John Calvin - The Prophet assumes different characters; he speaks here in the person of those who of themselves brought help to the Babylonians. And many, no doubt, would have been ready to assist them, had King Belshazzar wished to accept aid; and we know also, that the city had a large army. He compares, then, the nations subject to the Babylonians, and also the hired and foreign soldiers, to physicians, as though he had said, "Babylon has been, with great care, healed." As when a great prince is taken ill, he sends here and there for the best and most skillful physicians; but when the disease is incurable, they all strive in vain to save his life: so now the Prophet speaks, using a metaphor; but he speaks in the person of those who either had set to hire their services, or had come from a sense of duty to heal Babylon. "See," they said, "the fault is not with us, for we have faithfully and carefully done our best to heal her, but she has not been healed."

    He then adds, Leave her, and let us depart, every one to his own land. This was the language of foreign soldiers and mercenaries. When they saw that the safety of the city was hopeless, they began to counsel one another, "What do we? Ought we not rather to consult our own safety? for our efforts are wholly useless. It is then time for every one to return to his own country, for the end of Babylon is come." But the change of person has much more force than if the Prophet had spoken thus, "The time shall come when the auxiliaries shall flee away, for they will see that it would be all in vain to defend her." But when he compares them to physicians, this similitude more fully illustrates the case; and then when he speaks in their person, this renders what is said still more emphatieal.

    He at length adds, For her judgment has reached to the heavens, and has been elevated to the clouds. Jeremiah could not have properly addressed what he said to the unbelieving, if you explain this of God being adverse and hostile to the Babylonians; for it never occurred to the hired soldiers,

    that Babylon perished through the just judgment of God. But the Prophet, according to a usual mode of speaking, says, Her judgment (that is, her destruction) reached to the heavens, and has been elevated to the clouds; that is, no aid shall be found under heaven, which can deliver Babylon, -- how so? because it will be the same as though destruction came from heaven itself, and from the clouds. For when danger is nigh either from behind or from before us, we can turn aside either to the right hand or to the left, so that we may escape the evils which men may bring on us: but when heaven itself seems to threaten our heads, then an escape is attempted in vain. This then is the reason why the Prophet says that the judgment of Babylon had reached to the heavens and had been elevated to the clouds.1 It follows, --
     
  6. Ray Berrian

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    Dan Todd,

    I personally thank you for taking time with your input.

    I have read your post on Drs. John Gill, John Wesley, Adam Clarke and John Calvin.

    I know Catholics have commentators, I read one at Lehigh University library, awhile back on a different subject. Will await their impression of said verse. . .

    Appreciated,
    Ray
     
  7. eschatologist

    eschatologist
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    In this chapter God is now judging(punishing) Babylon for her treatment of the Jews during their captivity. God had used Babylon to accomplish His purpose in judging(punishing) the Jews and Jerusalem for her wickedness. Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord's hand(Jer.51:7). God would have healed Babylon if she would have repented and not boasted over her treatment of Israel. God had succeeded in humbling Nebuchadnezzar to the point where he accepted the God of Israel as the true God years earlier, yet Babylons subsequent rulers fell victim to cruelty and pride, so God would send the Medes(Jer.51:11,28) to crush the Babylonians and repay her for her disobedience and her mistreatment of the Jews(Jer.51:24). That is what was meant in verse 9. As God had warned Israel before the Babylonians had destroyed their nation, if they would repent He would relent, so God would have done the same for Babylon.
     
  8. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    eschatologist,

    I am going to select sentences out of your post.

    You said, 'God would have healed Babylon if she would have repented and not boasted over her treatment of Israel. . . . That is what was meant in verse 9. As God had warned Israel before the Babylonians had destroyed their nation, if they would repent He would relent, so God would have done the same for Babylon.'

    I agree with these statements that you offered, but was wondering if you are going as far as saying that the words, 'We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed . . . , refers to the Trinity, namely in the word, 'We . . . ?'

    That was my original question and I was wondering if the word, 'We . . .' refers to the Godhead.

    We do know what the other commentators have said as written by all the above posters.

    Again, does the 'We' of Jeremiah chapter fifty-one refer to the Lord rather than human helpers that other people have suggested?

    I wonder what Catholic and Jewish scholars say about this word; many times it is overlooked.
     
  9. eschatologist

    eschatologist
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    Ray Berrian

    I believe you are absolutely correct in saying "We" refers to the Trinity. As in the creation account when God said, "Let 'Us' make man in 'Our' image." And later when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree God said, "the man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil"(Gen.3:22). Sorry. I had thought you did not fully understand the events of chapter 21, which , by the way, seems to elude many, even though God plainly explains it regards the Medes coming against Babylon.
     

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