What’s Going On In Damascus? More Follow Up

Q. I disagree with your suggestion that Jeremiah 49:23-27 was fulfilled during the Babylonian conquest. There are two primary reasons for this. 1.) Jer. 49:23 says that there is trouble on the sea, probably alluding to the Mediterranean Sea, and Nebuchadnezzar did not conquer from the sea. 2.) More convincingly is Jer. 49:25 that asks the rhetorical question, “Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?” This city would be Jerusalem, and Jerusalem was destroyed during the Babylonian conquest.

A. A word study of the Hebrew language of Jeremiah 49:23 convinced me that the King James translators made several assumptions in their rendering of this verse. For instance the word for trouble literally means sorrow or anxiety. Since a body of water cannot demonstrate emotions I believe this was meant to be a metaphor of the conditions in Hamath and Arpad. I think the NIV translation conveys the idea of the Hebrew more effectively. Speaking of Hamath and Arpad it says, “They are disheartened, troubled like the restless sea” (Jeremiah 49:23)

Also, I don’t think there’s any good reason for Jeremiah 49:25 to be a reference to Jerusalem. In the first place the context of Jeremiah 49:23-27 is clearly about Damascus. The city is identified as Damascus in verses 24 and 27, which bracket verse 25 and confirm my point that Damascus was not destroyed at the time. And finally, Jerusalem was destroyed about 20 years later in a separate battle.

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