27. Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.
27. Occidite omnes juvencos ejus; descendant ad mactationem: vae illis! quia venit dies eorum, tempus visitationis eorum.
He goes on with the same subject; he bids the Persians and the Medes to slay every strong man in Chaldea; for by bullocks he no doubt means by a metaphor all those who excelled in strength, or in power, or in wealth. The sum of what he says is, that the vengeance of which he now speaks, would not only be against the common people, but also against the highest and the choicest among them. He includes then the nobles as well as all the men of war; for he refers not only to strength of body, but also to power and authority.
Slay, then, he says, all her bullocks, that is, whatever is most valued in Chaldea: that was to perish when the day of vengeance came.1 He afterwards says, let them descend to the slaughter. We must ever bear in mind what I have said, that the Prophet gave orders as though he had the Medes and the Persians under his own hand and authority, because the whole world is subject to God's word. He says, Woe to them! for their day is come, and the time of their visitation. This was added, because the faithful might have disputed with themselves and said, "How can it be that Babylon should perish so quickly?" For God seemed to have favored that monarchy for a long time, as though he intended to protect it perpetually. Hence the Prophet speaks here of the time of visitation, so that the faithful might not doubt respecting this prophecy, because God had not as yet put forth his band. He then reminded them that God has his fixed times, and that he does not every day visit nations, that is, that he does not execute his judgments every moment, but at the time which he has appointed. Whenever, then, the ungodly securely exult and triumph, let us ever remember this truth, that the time is not yet come for God to execute his judgment; how so? because there is a fixed time of visitation, and that is dependent on God's will. Let us then learn to bear patiently all our trials until it shall please God to show that he is the judge of the world. It follows,--
Slay ye all her fruit (or offspring;)
Let them descend to the slaughter.
It is descending to the slaughter that led critics to render yrp bullocks, but we find this expression unconnected with bullocks in Jeremiah 48:15; where "chosen young men" are said to "descend to the slaughter." To descend denotes degradation, and to ascend dignity. The Targ. has, "Let them be delivered to the slaughter." -- Ed.