Jeremiah – Chapter 49

The Fates of Amon, Edom and Others

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Next, G-d spoke to Jeremiah about the fate of Amon. Does Israel have no heirs? Why has Amon, the nation that worships the idol Malkam, taken possession of the territory of the Tribe Gad? The day is coming that the call of war will be upon Amon. They will be burned with fire and Israel will reclaim their territories. Amon will cry because they are ruined. They will mourn and run around in groups seeking refuge because they and their idol are going into exile.

Amon boasts of their lush valleys, but those valleys have been ruined. G-d will bring terror upon Amon and they will be driven from their homes, but no one will take them in. Later, as with Moav, they will return.

G-d then spoke to Jeremiah regarding Edom. Is there no more wisdom to be found? Run away! Edom will inherit the woes of their ancestor Esau. Don’t the owners of vineyards leave over grapes for the poor? Don’t even thieves take what they want and leave the rest? But Edom’s spoilers left nothing. The nation is exposed and laid bare; there is no place to hide.

When Israel is exiled, they will leave orphans and widows behind. Edom will be so thoroughly destroyed that who will care for the orphans and widows won’t be a problem, since there won’t be any. G-d said that Edom deserved to drink from the cup of His wrath (see chapter 25). G-d swears by Himself that Batzrah, a city in Moav, will be destroyed and all they did was provide a king for Edom! A messenger will be sent among the nations, telling them to go to war against Batzrah.

Edom has been humbled among the nations. Their haste encouraged them in their battles. If they were elevated like the nest of an eagle, G-d will “bring them back down to Earth.” They will be desolate and other nations will shake their heads at them. Like Sodom and Gemorrah after their fall, no one will live there.

Like a lion that goes up from the Jordan to a secure place, G-d will bring the time when He takes Israel out of Edom, where they will be exiled. There is no one like G-d who can oppose Him. So listen to G-d, Who revealed to Jeremiah His plans regarding Edom.

Edom will fall to Persia, descended from Yefes (Japheth), the youngest of Noah’s sons. When Edom falls, the sound will make the Earth shake; it will be heard in the Red Sea. The enemy will soar over Batzrah like an eagle and the hearts of Edom will become faint. The cities of Aram are ashamed because they heard of the siege of Damascus, their capital, by the Chaldeans. Their worry is like the churning sea, which cannot be stilled.

Damascus has weakened; she turns to run from her enemies, but is paralyzed with fear. The city is not spared by the invaders despite its great beauty. All of her young men and warriors are destroyed in one fell swoop. G-d will light a fire in Damascus, which will consume the king of Aram.

Next, G-d disclosed the fates of Keidar and Chatzor, which were struck only by Nebuchadnezzar. G-d said to go to Keidar for the spoils of war; the people of Keidar had little, but what they had was left to be plundered. The people of Keidar are told to flee; since they were not engaged in a war, they were not on guard against other nations. They will be scattered in all directions. Meanwhile, Chatzor will become a home for jackals, forever uninhabited by man.

At the start of King Tzidkiyahu’s reign, G-d spoke to Jeremiah about Elam. G-d said that He would “break the bow” of Elam, whose army was primarily archers. Four kingdoms will come upon them like winds from the four directions, scattering them. There will be no nation that does not include refugees from the nation of Elam. G-d will send the sword after them until they are thoroughly eradicated. G-d will follow Elam into exile, in order to eradicate them. But, in the “end of days,” their remnant will also be restored.

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