-The Word of the LORD on the coming judgments of His wrath continue with Ammon, Edom, Damascus (Aram), Kedar, Hazor, and Elam in this chapter. Ammon was the son of Lot by the incestuous relationship with his youngest daughter, just like the Moabites with his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:30-38). God was angry for their taking possession of some of the land of Gad against His will and now was coming the time of their destruction. A desolate heap along with the burning of her towns is predicted and a taking into exile. God accuses them of boastful activities in their valleys, backsliding against His will and destiny, and trusting in their own treasures rather than the security of the Almighty. Therefore, He will bring terror upon them from every direction, but afterward the LORD promises to restore the fortunes of the sons of Ammon (Jeremiah 49:1-6).
-Concerning Edom, who were the descendants of Esau who lost the birthright, blessing, and promise to Jacob in the patriarchal period (Genesis 25:19-28:9), God declares that there is no longer wisdom in Teman (a town in the northern part of Edom known for its wisdom and hometown of Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends, Job 2:11). The LORD tells them that their good counsel and prudence has been lost and their wisdom decayed. Disaster is coming upon them in punishment and they have nowhere to hide. God tells them to “leave your orphans behind, I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in Me (Jeremiah 49:11).” The rest of the nation will drink the cup of His wrath without acquittal, and Bozrah (a town in northern Edom) will become an object of horror, a reproach, a ruin, and a curse with all the cities laying in perpetual ruins as a promise by God. The reason as to why their ruin has come is given in verse sixteen by the LORD, “As for the terror of you, the arrogance of your heart has deceived you, O you who live in the clefts of the rock (false hope), who occupy the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as an eagle’s, I will bring you down from there.” God goes on to tell them that all who will pass by in the future will be horrified at their disaster and hiss at all its wounds like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah. No one will live there. “The earth quaked at the noise of their downfall. There is an outcry! The noise of it has been heard at the Red Sea (far to the south, Jeremiah 49:7-22).”
-Damascus, which is the capital city of Aram, north of Israel is next to be discussed. They were defeated by both the Assyrians and the Babylonians historically speaking. Nebuchadnezzar attacked and defeated them in 605 B.C. (Amos 1:4-5), which is the reason for the references to their cities being put to shame with bad news and much anxiety and disheartenment. Panic has gripped this people with distress and pangs taking hold. Her joy is gone and deserted as the young men fall in the streets silencing the men of war in that day by the word of the LORD. Damascus wall will be set on fire and the fortified towers of Ben-hadad will be devoured (Jeremiah 49:23-27).
-Kedar and Hazor were nomadic tribes east of Israel and to the south of Aram. They were desert peoples who were also destroyed by the attacks of Nebuchadnezzar around 600 B.C.. The prophecy says that they will be plundered as booty with their livestock, which was their sustenance, and that they would be scattered to the four winds leaving the land a haunt of jackals and a desolation forever with no one living there (Jeremiah 49:28-33).
-Finally, Elam, which lay east of even Babylon later becoming the center of the Persian empire in what today is Iran, is going to have its bow (resistance) and might broke by the LORD. They also will be scattered to the four winds with calamity in His fierce anger. He will send the sword after them until they are consumed. Then, when its kings and princes have been destroyed, the prophecy states God will set His throne in Elam, and it will come about in the last days that He will restore the fortunes of Elam (Jeremiah 49:34-39). *Application* All of these events describe in detail for us the representation of God’s judgment and sovereignty. It is He who presides over all the kingdoms of this earth in might and power establishing and cutting down whom He wills. Again we should see that pride is the big issue with God. Submit to His authority and you have an opportunity for success and blessing. Resist Him, and He will eventually cut you down to size and shame you. Count on it. He desires mercy and will give it, but only when we come to Him on His terms.
Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 49:16