The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJeremiah 49:16
Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, [and] the pride of thine
Some render it, "thine idol" F15; see (1 Kings 15:13) ;
which, being terrible to them, they thought it might be so to others,
and protect them. In the place referred to the word "miphlezeth" is
used, and comes from the same root with this, which signifies to be
terrible and formidable, and cause to tremble, as the idols of the
Gentiles were to their worshippers, and others. The Vulgate Latin
version of the above place interprets it of Priapus, which was an idol
set up in gardens to frighten birds and thieves from coming thither F16.
So Kimchi observes, that some interpret it here of idolatrous worship
or superstition; but it is to be understood either of the roughness and
terribleness of their country, abounding with rocks and mountains,
which made it inaccessible; or rather of that terror which they struck
into their neighbouring nations, by their wealth and riches, their
power and strength, their courage and valour, and skill in military
affairs; and having such strong cities, fortresses, and fastnesses,
natural and artificial, of which they were proud; and, on account of
all which, fancied that none would dare to invade them; or, if they
did, their attempts would be fruitless; and this deceived them, making
them careless and secure:
O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock;
the land of Idumea
being very hilly and rocky. Jerom F17 says, who lived near it, that all
the southern part of Idumea, from Eleutheropolis to Petra and Hailah,
had their habitations in caves cut out of rocks:
that holdest the height of the hill;
that dwelt on the tops of hills
and mountains, and in towers and fortified places built upon them, as
Kimchi and Ben Melech; who think respect is had particularly to Mount
Seir. The Targum is,
``for thou art like to an eagle that dwells in the clefts of
the rock, whose high habitation is inn strong place;''
hence it follows:
though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring
thee down from thence, saith the Lord;
signifying, though they might
think themselves as safe and as much out of the reach of men as an
eagle's nest, and were as high and as secure in their own imaginations;
yet they should be come at by their enemies, be fetched out of their
strong holds, and reduced to the lowest and most miserable state and
condition; of which they might be assured, since the Lord had spoken
it, who would do it by the hand of the Chaldeans. The allusion to the
eagle is very pertinent to illustrate the self-exaltation and
self-security of the Edomites; the eagle being a bird that flies higher
than any other, as Kimchi on the place observes, even up to the clouds,
and out of sight; hence Homer F18 calls it the high flying eagle; and
which builds its nest in high places, in the tops of rocks; so
Aristotle F19 says, they make their nests, not in plains, but in high
places, especially in cragged rocks; and Pliny F20 relates that they
build their nests in rocks; and he also says F21 of the vultures, who
seem to be meant by the eagles in (Matthew 24:28) ; that they build their
nests in the highest rocks, and which no man can reach.
F15 (Ktulpt) "simulacrum tuum", Pagninus, Vatablus; "idolum",
Grotius. So R. Sol. Urbin Ohel Moed, fol. 12. 1.
F16 "--------Deus, inde ego furum, aviumque
Maxima formido." Horat. Sermon. l. 1. Satyr. 8. ver. 3, 4.
"Et custos furum atque avium cum falce saligna
Hellespontiaci servet tutela Priapi".
Virgil. Georgic. l. 4. ver. 110, 111.
F17 Comment. in Obad. fol. 52. C.
F18 Iliad. 22. v. 308.
F19 De Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 32.
F20 Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 3.
F21 Ibid. c. 6.
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 49:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=jer&chapter=049&verse=016>. 1999.