5. For in the going up of Luhith continual weeping shall go up; for in the going down of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.
5. Quoniam in ascensu Luhith cum fletu ascendet fletus, quia in descensu Choronaim hostes clamorem contritionis audierunt (conjungi debet proximus versus,)
6. Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness.
6. Fugite, eripite animas vestras; et eritis quasi Aroer (vel, myrica) in deserto.
Here Jeremiah uses another figure, that the weeping would be everywhere heard in the ascent to Luhith. It is probable, and it appears from the Prophet's words, that this city was situated on a high place. He then says, that men would go up with weeping in the ascent to Luhith; literally, In (or with) weeping shall weeping ascend. But some read as though it were written hkb, beke, weeping; nor is there a doubt but that the verb hley, iole, refers to a person. But Jeremiah seems to have mentioned weeping twice in order to show that men would not only weep in one place, but during the long course of their ascent, as though he had said, "They who shall be near the city shall weep, and they in the middle of their course, and those at the foot of the mountain;" that is, there shall be weeping in every place. We now then perceive the meaning of the Prophet.
He afterwards says, In the descent to Horonaim. It hence appears that this city was situated in a low place or on a plain; and therefore I know not why they say that one part of it was higher than the other. It might indeed be that it had a hill in it; but the place was in a level country, and had mountains around it, as we learn from the Prophet's words, In the descent to Horonaim the enemies shall hear a cry of distress. By saying that enemies would hear a cry,1 he means that the citizens of Horonaim and their neighbors would become frantic through grief. For fear restrains weeping, and when any one sees an enemy near, the very sight of him checks him, so that he dares not openly to show his grief; and then shame also restrains tears as well as sighings, for an enemy would deride our weepings in our misery. There is no doubt then, but that the Prophet here amplifies the grievousness of their sorrow, when he says, that though the citizens of Horonaim had enemies before their eyes, they would yet break forth with weeping and loud crying, and that the reproach and derision of enemies would not restrain them.
Then he adds, Flee, save: this is the crying of distress; for miserable men, as the case is in extreme evils, mutually exhort one another, Flee, save your lives. He then compares them to a tamarisk. The word rewre, oruor, designates a country, as it is probable, and there were also two cities of this name. However, rere, oror, is a tamarisk, as we have already seen in Jeremiah 17:6. Some render it, "a tower;" and the words of Isaiah in Isaiah 17:2, are perverted by some to maintain another meaning; for they think that rewre, oruor, means the cot of shepherds in the desert; but I prefer the opinion of those who render it "tamarisk," or juniper, though the Prophet seems to me to allude to the city Aroer, or to a region of that name, but I rather think to the city. He then says, And ye shall be as a tamarisk in the desert: and it is known from other places that Aroer was in the land of Moab.
We now then perceive what the Prophet means: that Moab would be like a juniper in the desert, that is, a barren tree, which never grows to any size; and then it is dry, because it is not cherished by any rain, nor fed by any moisture from the ground. It is in this sense, as we have stated, that our Prophet took the similitude in Jeremiah 17:5-8:
"Blessed," he says, "is the man who trusts in Jehovah, for he shall be like a tree planted near waters: cursed is the man who trusts in man, and who makes flesh his arm, and withdraws his heart from Jehovah; for he shall be as the tamarisk of the desert;"
that is, he shall be barren and dry, without any moisture or support. It now follows: --
For in the ascent to Luhith, With weeping ascends weeping; For in the descent to Heronaim, The distress of the cry of ruin have they heard.
This version materially corresponds with Isaiah 15:5. Weeping ascending with weeping, shews that all wept as they ascended. "The distress of the cry" is a Hebraism for distressing cry. -- Ed.