The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJeremiah 6:1
O ye children of Benjamin…
The tribe of Benjamin was
with the tribe of Judah, and continued with that in the pure worship
of God when the ten tribes revolted; and in the land of Israel, when
they were carried captive; and besides, Jerusalem, at least part of
it, was in the tribe of Benjamin, and particularly Anathoth, which
was Jeremiah's native place, was in that tribe; and this altogether
is a reason why the children of Benjamin are so distinctly addressed:
gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem;
where some of
this tribe lived, or had betaken themselves for safety: or the Jews in
general may be meant; for, as Ephraim is often put for the ten tribes,
so Benjamin may be put for the two tribes, as Judah frequently is: or
the words may be rendered, "be ye strong" F9 "out of the midst of
Jerusalem"; as by the Septuagint, and others; and the sense may be,
gather together in bodies out of Jerusalem, and form yourselves into
companies, and into an army, and be prepared to meet the enemy, and
fight him, who is near at hand; quit yourselves like men, and be
strong; show courage and valour; perhaps this is spoken ironically, as
Kimchi thinks it is; though he interprets the word, "flee ye"; that is,
if ye can find a place to flee to; and the Targum is,
``remove out of the midst of Jerusalem;''
but it seems rather to be a direction to go forth and meet the enemy,
by what follows:
and blow the trumpet in Tekoa;
as an alarm of war, to give the people
notice of an invasion; that the enemy was at hand, and therefore should
provide themselves with armour, and gather together to meet and oppose
him. Tekoa was a city in Judah, (2 Chronicles 11:5,6) , famous, for a wise woman
in it, in the times of David, (2 Samuel 14:2) . Jerom says it was twelve miles
from Jerusalem, and might be seen with the eye; so that probably it was
built on a very high hill, and for that reason chosen to blow the
trumpet on, that it might be heard far and near; and which may be
confirmed from its being said F11 to be the chief place in the land of
Israel for the best oil, since olives grow on hills and mountains.
There is in the clause a beautiful play on words F12, which those, who
understand the Hebrew language, will easily observe:
and set up a fire in Bethhaccerem.
This place, as Jerom says, lay
between Jerusalem and Tekoa; one of this name is mentioned in
(Nehemiah 3:14) . The Targum renders it,
``the house of the valley of the vineyards;''
and in the Misnah F13 mention is made of the valley of Bethhaccerem, the
dust of which was red, and, when water was poured upon it, became hard;
and this valley perhaps took its name from the town, which might be
built upon a hill, and was famous for vines, from whence it was so
called; and here might be a very high tower; for, as Kimchi and Ben
Melech observe, it signifies a high tower, for the keepers of the vines
to sit and watch the vines all about; and this was a very proper place
to set up the sign of fire in, to give notice to the country all around;
for it was usual with all nations, Persians, Grecians, and Romans, to
signify in the night, by signs of fire, by burning torches, and the
like, either the approach of an enemy, or help from friends; the former
was done by shaking and moving their torches, the latter by holding them
still F14; see (Judges 20:38,40) :
for evil appeareth out of the north;
Nebuchadnezzar and his army out of
Babylon, which lay north of Jerusalem: and great destruction; see
(Jeremiah 1:14) (4:6) .
F9 (wzyeh) (eniscusate) , Sept. "confortamini", V. L. "fortes estote",
F11 Misn. Menachot c. 8. sect. 3.
F12 (weqt ewqtb) .
F13 Misna Nidda, c. 2. c. 5. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
F14 Vid. Lydium de re Militari, l. 5. c. 3. p. 185, 186. & Van Tillin
ib. p. 52.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 6:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=jer&chapter=006&verse=001>. 1999.