Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Jeremiah 49:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Concerning Edom - This is a new and separate discourse.

Teman - A part of Idumea, put here for the whole country.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 7-22

Edom stretched along the south of Judah from the border of Moab on the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean and the Arabian deserts, and held the same relation to Judah which Moab held toward the kingdom of Israel. Although expressly reserved from attack by Moses Deuteronomy 2:5, a long feud caused the Edomites to cherish so bitter an enmity against Judah, that they exulted with cruel joy over the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldaeans, and showed great cruelty toward those why fled to them for refuge.

Of the prophecies against Edom the first eight verses of Obadiah are also found in Jeremiah (see the marginal references). As Jeremiah wrote before the capture of Jerusalem, and Obadiah apparently after it (see Jeremiah 49:13-14), it might seem certain that Obadiah copied from Jeremiah. Others held the reverse view; while some consider that the two prophets may both have made common use of some ancient prediction. See the introduction to Obadiah.

The prophecy is divisible into three strophes. In the first Jeremiah 49:7-13, the prophet describes Edom as terror-stricken.

Jeremiah 49:7

Teman - A strip of land on the northeast of Edom, put here for Edom generally. Its inhabitants were among those “children of the East” famed for wisdom, because of their skill in proverbs and dark sayings.

Jeremiah 49:8

Dwell deep - Jeremiah 49:30. The Dedanites, who were used to travel through the Edomite territory with their caravans, are advised to retire as far as possible into the Arabian deserts to be out of the way of the invaders.

Jeremiah 49:9

Translate it: “If vintagers come to thee, they will not leave any gleaning: if thieves by night, they will destroy their fill.”

Jeremiah 49:10

But - For. The reason why the invaders destroy Edom so completely. His secret places are the hiding-places in the mountains of Seir.

His seed - Esau‘s seed, the Edomites; his brethren are the nations joined with him in the possession of the land, Amalek, and perhaps the Simeonites; his neighbors are Dedan, Tema, Buz.

Jeremiah 49:11

As with Moab Jeremiah 48:47, and Ammon Jeremiah 49:6, so there is mercy for Edom. The widows shall be protected, and in the orphans of Edom the nation shall once again revive.

Jeremiah 49:12

Translate it: “Behold they whose rule was not to drink of the cup shall surely drink etc.” It was not the ordinary manner of God‘s people to suffer from His wrath: but now when they are drinking of the wine-cup of fury Jeremiah 25:15, how can those not in covenant with Him hope to escape?

Jeremiah 49:14-18

The second strophe, Edom‘s chastisement.

Jeremiah 49:14

Rumour - Or, “revelation.”

Ambassador - Or, messenger, i. e., herald. The business of an ambassador is to negotiate, of a herald to carry a message.

Jeremiah 49:15

Small … - Rather, small among the nations, i. e., of no political importance.

Jeremiah 49:16

Edom‘s “terribleness” consisted in her cities being hewn in the sides of inaccessible rocks, from where she could suddenly descend for predatory warfare, and retire to her fastnesses without fear of reprisals.

The clefts of the rock - Or, the fastnesses of Sela, the rock-city, Petra (see Isaiah 16:1).

The hill - i. e., Bozrah.

Jeremiah 49:17

Better, “And Edom shall become a terror: every passer by shalt be terrified, and shudder etc.”

Jeremiah 49:18

Neighbour … - Admah and Zeboim.

A son of man - i. e., “Any man.” From 536 a.d. onward, Petra suddenly vanishes from the pages of history. Only in the present century was its real site discovered.

Jeremiah 49:19-22

Concluding strophe. The fall of Edom is compared to the state of a flock worried by an enemy strong as a lion Jeremiah 4:7, and swift as an eagle.

Jeremiah 49:19

The swelling of Jordan - Or, the pride of Jordan, the thickets on his banks (marginal reference note).

Against the habitation of the strong - Or, to the abiding pasturage. The lion stalks forth from the jungle to attack the fold, sure to find sheep there because of the perennial (evergreen) pasturage: “but I will suddenly make him (the flock, Edom) run away from her (or it, the pasturage).”

And who is a chosen … - Better, and I will appoint over it, the abandoned land of Edom, him who is chosen, i. e., my chosen ruler Nebuchadnezzar.

Who will appoint me the time? - The plaintiff, in giving notice of a suit, had to mention the time when the defendant must appear (see the margin). Yahweh identifies himself with Nebuchadnezzar Jeremiah 25:9, and shows the hopelessness of Edom‘s cause. For who is like Yahweh, His equal in power and might? Who will dare litigate with Him, and question His right? etc.

Jeremiah 49:20

Surely the least … - Rather, Surely they will worry them, the feeble ones of the flock: surely their pasture shall be terror-stricken over them. No shepherd can resist Nebuchadnezzar Jeremiah 49:19, but all flee, and leave the sheep unprotected. Thereupon, the Chaldaeans enter, and treat the poor feeble flock so barbarously, that the very fold is horrified at their cruelty.

Jeremiah 49:21

Is moved - Quakes.

At the cry … - The arrangement is much more poetical in the Hebrew, The shriek - to the sea of Suph (Exodus 10:19 note) is heard its sound.

Jeremiah 49:22

Nebuchadnezzar shall swoop down like an eagle, the emblem of swiftness.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Edomites were old enemies to the Israel of God. But their day is now at hand; it is foretold, not only to warn them, but for the sake of the Israel of God, whose afflictions were aggravated by them. Thus Divine judgments go round from nation to nation; the earth is full of commotion, and nothing can escape the ministers of Divine vengeance. The righteousness of God is to be observed amidst the violence of men.