Verse 64. "Thus shall Babylon sink, &c." - This is the emblem of its overthrow and irretrievable ruin. See Rev. xviii. 21, where we find that this is an emblem of the total ruin of mystical Babylon.
Herodotus relates a similar action of the Phocoeans, who, having resolved to leave their country, and never return to it again, mudron sidhreon kateponwsan, kai wmosan mh prin ev fwkaihn hxein, prin h ton mudron touton anafhnaiť "threw a mass of iron into the sea, and swore that they would never return to Phocaea till that iron mass should rise and swim on the top." The story is this: The Phocaeans, being besieged by Harpagus, general of the Persians, demanded one day's truce to deliberate on the propositions he had made to them relative to their surrendering their city; and begged that in the mean while he would take off his army from the walls. Harpagus having consented, they carried their wives, children, and their most valuable effects, aboard their ships; then, throwing a mass of iron into the sea, bound themselves by an oath never to return till that iron should rise to the top and swim. See Herodotus, lib. i. c. 165.
Horace refers to this in his epode Ad Populum Romanum, Epode xvi. ver. 25.
- Sed juremus in haec: simul imis saxa renarint Vadis levata, ne redire sit nefas.
"As the Phocaeans oft for freedom bled, At length with imprecated curses fled." FRANCIS.
"Thus far are the words of Jeremiah." - It appears that the following chapter is not the work of this prophet: it is not his style. The author of it writes Jehoiachin; Jeremiah writes him always Jeconiah, or Coniah. It is merely historical, and is very similar to 2 Kings xxiv. 18-xxv. 30. The author, whoever he was, relates the capture of Jerusalem, the fate of Zedekiah, the pillage and burning of the city and the temple. He mentions also certain persons of distinction who were slain by the Chaldeans. He mentions the number of the captives that were carried to Babylon at three different times; and concludes with the deliverance of King Jehoiachin from prison in Babylon, in which he had been for thirty-seven years. It is very likely that the whole chapter has been compiled from some chronicle of that time, or it was designed as a preface to the Book of the Lamentations; and would stand with great propriety before it, as it contains the facts on which that inimitable poem is built. Were it allowable, I would remove it to that place.