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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 46:9

9. Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow.

9. Ascendite equi (quidam vertunt, insanite, sed dura esset metaphora, ideo simpliciter accipio,) jactate vos currus (ponit in singulari numero, cum tamen verbum sit pluralis numeri,) egredientur fortes, nempe Aethiopes et Lybes, qui tenent clypeum, et Lydi, qui tenent et tendunt arcum.

He goes on with the same subject, and enumerates whatever might discredit his prophecy. For when the faithful saw that the Egyptians went on that expedition not only with immense forces, but had also, as foreign aids, the Ethiopians and the Libyans, and even transmarine soldiers from Lydia, -- when they saw hired soldiers from all parts joined to the Egyptians, it was hardly credible that such an army could be put to flight. Then the Prophet says here, that though Pharaoh hired the Ethiopians, the Libyans, and the Lydians, yet with all these forces he would perish.

He again speaks in the name of Pharaoh, Ascend, ye horses; toss, ye chariots, and let the valiant come forth This coming forth may refer to the lands whence they came. He mentions first the Ethiopians, who were near the Egyptians, though separated from them. Then he adds the people of Libya, who were Africans, or who were in the middle between Egypt and Africa. Then he says, that they laid hold on the shield. He points out their principal armor, not that they were without a helmet and sword and other arms, but they mainly trusted in their shields. As we know that the Macedonians wore the pelta, and were remarkable for that piece of armor, so the Prophet says that the Ethiopians and Libyans were furnished with bucklers or shields. He mentions also the Lydians, who were from another part, even from the opposite shore of the sea; for we know that the Lydians were in Asia Minor, while the Egyptians were in the middle between Africa and Judea. The Mediterranean Sea was therefore between them. It hence appears, that auxiliaries from a distance, and with great expense, were procured by Pharaoh when he undertook this war. And it is also probable that other nations were hired; but the Prophet mentions only the Ethiopians, Libyans, and Lydians: and he says, that those named last laid hold on the bow, because they were the best archers. It now follows, --

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