Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Jeremiah 49:23

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Concerning Damascus - This is the head or title of another prophecy. Damascus was one of the principal cities of Syria. It was taken by David, 2 Samuel 8:6, was retaken in the reign of Solomon, 1 Kings 11:24, etc., and regained its independence. Its kings were often at war with the ten tribes, and once it joined with them for the destruction of Judah. To defend himself against these powerful enemies Ahaz made a league with the king of Assyria, who besieged Damascus, took, and demolished it. From that time we hear nothing of Damascus till we meet with it in this prophecy. It appears to have been rebuilt and restored to some consequence. It made an obstinate resistance to Nebuchadnezzar; but was at last taken and sacked by him. At present it is both a large and populous city, with considerable commerce.

Hamath is confounded - This is a city of Syria, on the Orontes. The Greeks called it Epiphania.

Arpad - Not far from Damascus.

Sorrow on the sea - They are like the troubled sea, that cannot rest.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Though the superscription is confined to Damascus, the prophecy relates to the whole of Aram, called by us Syria, which was divided into two parts, the northern, of which Hamath was the capital, and the southeastern, belonging to Damascus.

Hamath is confounded - Or, is ashamed. For Hamath see Isaiah 10:9 note. Arpad lay about fourteen miles north of Aleppo, at a place now called Tel Erfad.

Fainthearted - The sinews are relaxed unknit, through terror.

There is sorrow on the sea - In the sea. As the sea is used (marginal reference) of the agitation of the thoughts of evil men, its sense here also probably is, there is sorrow, or rather anxiety, in the agitated hearts of the Syrians.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
How easily God can dispirit those nations that have been most celebrated for valour! Damascus waxes feeble. It was a city of joy, having all the delights of the sons of men. But those deceive themselves who place their happiness in carnal joys.