1. O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.
1. Congregamini filii Benjamin e medio Jerusalem, et in Thekua clangite tuba, et Bethhacherem tollite signum; quia malum visum est ab Aquilone et afflictio magna.
WE have already seen that oftentimes punishment is not only mentioned by this Prophet as being nigh at hand, but is also set as it were before our eyes; and we have shewn the reason for this, -- because men are not only deaf, but wholly thoughtless, whenever God threatens them. As reproofs make no impressions, and even threatenings are not sufficient to arouse and awake them, it is necessary to set before them vivid descriptions, and to represent the event as present. Jeremiah continues this mode of teaching; he addresses the tribe of Benjamin; for one half of Jerusalem was in the territory of that tribe; And as he was from Anathoth, he addresses his own people and kindred rather than others, as he could use greater freedom. Had he directly reproved the Jews, they might not have so well borne with him; but as he begins with his neighbors, the tribe of Benjamin, it became more easy to bear his reproofs.
Some understand the words, "Be ye assembled, and flee;" others read, "Go ye in haste, "but for what reason I know not. I do not think that flight is meant here; but I rather regard the Prophet as ironically encouraging the citizens of Jerusalem and their neighbors to go forth, as it is usual, to meet their enemies; and this we may easily learn from the context:
Then he says,
1 See note on Jeremiah 4:6. The meaning of the verb is, no doubt, to haste, or to hasten. It is singular that the Septuagint render it in Jeremiah 4:6, "Haste ye," and here, "Be ye strong." The Targum renders it "migrate," or, remove ye. The idea of assembling it never has. The line rightly rendered is,-
Hasten, ye sons of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem.
Where Blayney got the phrase, "Retire in a body, "it is difficult to say.-Ed.
2 "Raise ye a sign (
3 Literally, "For evil is seen from the north." So the Vulgate and the Targum. The verb in Kal, Niphal, and Hiphil, is rendered "look" in our version. See Genesis 19:28; Judges 5:28; Deuteronomy 26:15. But in Niphal, as it is found here, it may be rendered passively, "is seen;" and also in Psalm 85:12; and in Cant. 6:10, and in most other places. Blayney renders it, "is seen coming onwards, "which is a paraphrase.-Ed.
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