34. The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,
34. Qui fuit sermo Jehovae ad Jeremiam, prophetam, contra Elam, principio regni Zedechiae, regis Jehudah, dicendo,
35. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.
35. Sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Ecce ego frango arcum Elam, principium fortitudinis ipsorum.
By Elam some interpreters understand Persia, and it is the most common opinion. I however think that the Elamites were not the same with the Persians; I should rather say that they were the Parthians, were it not that Luke, in Acts 2:9, makes them a distinct people from the Parthians. At the same time it is not right, as it seems to me, to regard the Persians as generally designated by Elam; for the Persians were remote from the Jews, and the Jews never received any injury from that people. There was therefore no reason why the Prophet should denounce punishment on them. The country of Elymais was known as bordering on the Medes, and contiguous to the Persians. But that people must have joined the Assyrians and Chaldeans against the Jews. As then the Babylonians had them as auxiliaries, it was God's purpose to avenge the injury done to his people. Besides, Pliny also speaks of Elamites as being contiguous to the Nabatheans; but they were occupying, as it were, the middle place between Persia and Judea. They were indeed, as he shews elsewhere, a maritime people; for he speaks often of Elymais, but names the Elamites only once. However this may have been, they were orientals as the Persians were, but not so far from Judea; and as they were, at it has been said, near the Medes, the probability is that they joined themselves with the enemies of the Church, when Nebuchadnezzar drew with him the vast forces which he had everywhere gathered, that he might extend his dominion far and wide; for we shall see in what follows that God was grievously displeased with the Elamites.1 We hence conclude that they were very hostile to the chosen people, whose cause God here undertakes.
This much as to the name: when, therefore, Jeremiah speaks here of the Elamites, let us know that a particular nation is referred to, and one distinct from the Persians, and then that this nation assisted the Chaldeans in oppressing the Jews. Let us now see what the Prophet declares respecting them.
He says, first, that this word came to him
Then God, in the first place, declares that he would
1 They were the descendants of Elam the son of Shem, Genesis 10:22. They were a powerful kingdom in the days of Abram, Genesis 14:1. Isaiah speaks of them as hostile to the people of Israel, Isaiah 22:6. Shushan is said to have been in the province of Elam, Daniel 8:2. -- Ed.
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