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against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses; or, fattening stalls: cast her up, or trample upon her as heaps, and 27 destroy her utterly let nothing of her be left. Slay all her
bullocks, the great men; let them go down to the slaughter: wo unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visita28 tion. The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, and who are glad to bring the tidings, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his tem29 ple. Call together the archers against Babylon: the Persians, who were famous archers : all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her for she hath been proud against the LORD, against 30 the Holy One of Israel. Therefore shall her young men fall in
the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, 31 saith the LORD. Behold, I [am] against thee, [O thou] most proud, saith the Lord GoD of hosts for thy day is come, the 32 time [that] I will visit thee. And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel, those of the ten tribes who settled in Judea after the captivity of Israel, and the children of Judah [were] oppressed together, and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let 34 them go. Their Redeemer [is] strong; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
A sword [is] upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her 36 wise [men.] A sword [is] upon the liars; and they shall
dote upon their astrologers, who yet could not foresee their own ruin a sword [is] upon her mighty men; and they shall be 37 dismayed. A sword [is] upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that [are] in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword [is] 38 upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. A drought [is]
upon her waters, and they shall be dried up; (referring to the taking of Babylon by draining the river :) for it [is] the land of graven images, and they are mad upon [their] idols, as if they 39 had lost the understanding of men. Therefore the wild beasts of the desert, with the wild beasts of the islands, shall dwell [there,] and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to 40 generation. As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour [cities] thereof, saith the LORD; [so] shall no man
4 abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. hold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation
Accordingly it was afterwards made a park for the kings of Peria, and by dag quite ruined, so that the remains of it are not now to be found.
and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they [are] cruel, and will not show mercy their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, [every one] put in array, like a man 43 to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon. The king
of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble anguish took hold of him, [and] pangs as of a woman in 44 travail. Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who [is] a chosen [man that] I may appoint over her? for who [is] like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who [is] that shepherd 45 that will stand before me?* Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out surely he 46 shall make [their] habitation desolate with them. At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.
such remarks as often concerning the
of God over the nations, his appointing and succeeding his instruments, and humbling nations for their pride, oppression, and luxury; we here see,
1. What is the disposition of true penitents, and God's gracious regards to them, v. 4, 5. They have godly sorrow for sin; lament their former iniquities; seek the Lord, and not idols, not the world and the flesh, but return to him as their God and ruler; and seek the way to heaven, setting their faces thitherward, as fully bent and resolved to get there. They keep the way to it, and solemnly devote themselves to God; binding themselves by the strongest engagements never to depart from him; and when this is the case, then will God blot out their sins, and be gracious to them, v. 20.
2. It is happy for his people amidst all their distresses, that God is their Redeemer. Babylon was a most powerful nation; it oppressed and subdued all the nations round about, and brake Israel's bones but their Redeemer is strong; able to humble their enemy's pride, and deliver his people. How delightful a thought, amidst the oppressions and persecutions of his church! It affords comfort likewise to particular souls, amidst the strength of temptations and corruptions. Let us be solicitous to keep near to God by earnest prayer, and to engage his help; for if God be for us, who can be against us?
What had been said in the former chapter of Nebuchadnezzar's ruining Edom, is here said of Babylon; a beautiful contrast; the king of Babylon, who was before represented as a lion, is now a helpless shepherd.
In this chapter is the prophecy of God's severe judgment against Babylon, in revenge of Israel.
HUS saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, that is, in the midst of my enemies, 2 a destroying wind: And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble 3 they shall be against her round about. Against [him that] bendeth let the archer, or Persian soldier, bend his bow, and against [him that] lifteth himself up in his brigandine, or coat of mail, and spare ye not her young men ; destroy ye utterly all 4 her host. Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, 5 and [they that are] thrust through in her streets. For Israel [hath] not [been] forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy 6 One of Israel. Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this [is] the time of the LORD's vengeance; he will render unto her a 7 recompense.* Babylon [hath been] a golden cup in the LORD'S
hand, that made all the earth drunken with her idolatry: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are 8 mad. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; 9 take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed; Daniel and other prophets reproved her for idolatry; forsake her, for she is irrecoverable, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up [even] to 10 the skies. The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness,
or, deliverance, and justified us against the cruelty of the Babylonians, and the idolatry they would impose: come, and let us de11 clare in Zion the work of the LORD our God. Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; Darius, Cyrus' uncle: for his device [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the 12 vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple. Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the in13 habitants of Babylon. O thou that dwellest upon many waters, that is, on the river Euphrates, which ran through Babylon and round it, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, [and] the 14 measure of thy covetousness. The LORD of hosts hath sworn by himself, [saying,] Surely I will fill thee with men, as with
They might think it safest to be in Babylon, but God commands them to ro out, as Christ warned the Christians before the siege of rusalem, and thus was the means of saving all who believed his word.
15 caterpillers and they shall lift up a shout aganist thee. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understand16 ing. When he uttereth [his] voice, [there is] a multitude of waters in the heavens and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, 17 and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. Every man is brutish by [his] knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image for his molten image [is] falsehood, and 18 [there is] no breath in them. They [are] vanity, the work of 19 errors in the time of their visitation they shall perish. The portion of Jacob [is] not like them; for he [is] the former of all things and [Israel is] the rod of his inheritance; the LORD 20 of hosts [is] his name. Thou, Curus, [art] my battle ax [and]
weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, 21 and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; And with thee will I
break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I 22 break in pieces the chariot and his rider; With thee also will I
break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces 23 the young man and the maid; I will also break in pieces with
thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee 24 will I break in pieces captains and rulers. And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD; ye 25 shall see my vengeance upon them. Behold, I [am] against thee,
O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain; it shall be put out, and nothing remain but a heap of ashes 26 and cinders. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for 27 ever, saith the LORD. Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her, under the government of the Medes; cause the horses to come up as the rough 28 caterpillers. Prepare against her the nations with the kings of
the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and 29 all the land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation 30 without an inhabitant. The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in [their] holds: their might hath failed; they became as women :† they have burned
Babylon is so called on account of its high walls and towers; as a burning mountain, it cast out fire, and consumed all about it.
+ This was fulfilled in Cyrus' order, that not a Chaldean should show his head on pain of death, while he went round the city after it was taken.
31 her dwelling places; her bars are broken.
One post shall run
to meet another, and one messenger to meet another; to show 32 the king of Babylon that his city is taken at [one] end,* And that the passages are stopped, by turning the course of the river, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war 33 are affrighted. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon [is] like a threshing floor, [it is] time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her 34 harvest shall come. Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out; he hath swallowed the Jews whole,as serpents do their prey, and should throw them up again. 35 The violence done to me and to my flesh, [be] upon Babylon,
shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhab36 itants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. Therefore thus saith
the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. 37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, 38 an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant. They shall roar together like lions; they shall yell as lions' whelps. 39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD; their city shall be taken at a great festival, when most of them are drunk and asleep; and while they are engaged in their drunken revels, I will prepare a different 40 cup, a final opiate for them. I will bring them down like lambs 41 to the slaughter, like rams with he goats. How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprized! how 42 is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations! The
sea is come up upon Babylon she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof; vast armies are often compared to 43 waters. Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wildeness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth [any] son 44 of man pass thereby. And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; the vessels and sacred treasures of the Jews and the na tions shall not flow together any more unto him, to present their 45 offerings; yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall. My people, gọ
ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul 46 from the fierce anger of the LORD. And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come [one] year, and after that in [another] year [shall come] a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler 47 against ruler. Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will
Considering the vast extent of the city, and that the place was in the middle, it must be a long time before they knew that the enemy had gained entrance. Ancient writers say it was three days before the whole city was acquainted with it.
When war began in the country, in the first year Belshazzar's army was beaten, in the second year the city was besieged, and in the third year it was taken.