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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 46:12

12. The nations have heard of thy shame, and thy cry hath filled the land: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, and they are fallen both together.

12. Audierunt gentes opprobrium tuum, et clamore tuo repleta est terra; quia fortis contra fortem impegit, et simul ceciderunt ambo.

He concludes this prophecy by saying that the report of this slaughter would be everywhere known among all nations. Had the Egyptians sustained only a small loss, the thing might have been unknown, as when a small engagement takes place the report does not spread far and wide; but when by one battle a nation is so conquered that a remarkable change follows, the event then is proclaimed everywhere. The Prophet then intimates by these words, that the stroke of Egypt would not be common, as also he said before, because the report would fly through all nations.

Heard then have all nations of thy reproach, even that the Egyptians had, to their great disgrace, been conquered by the Chaldeans, and that they had not only been put to flight, but that the greatest part of them had been slain, so that the kingdom of Egypt had been nearly lost; that at least they had been reduced to such straits, that they lost their chief eries and a very wide country, even throughout Asia to the river Euphrates.

He says that the land was filled with their cry: by voice or cry he means lamentations. Then he adds, Because the valiant hath stumbled against the valiant This may be thus explained, |The valiant hath contended with the valiant;| but. that the Chaldean proved stronger than the Egyptian: but I prefer to apply this to the Egyptians; and this may be inferred from the end of the verse, where he says, that both fell. So the Prophet means that the multitude, in which the Egyptians gloried, would be a hindrance to them, as usually is the case, when the army is too crowded, for the larger and the more numerous the army is, the greater is the disorder and confusion. When an army is small, they can by degrees recede, or stand still, until they take flight in safety: but in a great multitude there is also great trepidation, and hence a great disorder and confusion. This then is what the Prophet points out, when he says, The valiant stumbled against the valiant, and they both fell together; that is, that while they were fighting, they would clash with one another, and produce such disorder, as to occasion the fall of both.

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