L The judgment of Babel, and the land of Chaldea, for their idolatry, tyranny and pride; with gracious promises of the redemption of Israel intermixed, ver. 1-46.
Verse 2. Bel - Bel and Merodach were the two principal idols of the Babylonians.
Verse 3. The north - From Media which lay northward to Babylon and Assyria.
Verse 4. In those days - In the days wherein God shall begin to execute judgment upon Babylon, (which was in the time of Cyrus) the children of Judah shall come out of captivity, and some of the children of Israel hearing that their brethren were gone out of Babylon, shall go up also from the several places into which they were disposed by the Assyrians: weeping for their sins, or for joy that God should shew them such mercy.
Verse 6. Their shepherds - Their civil and ecclesiastical governors have been a cause of it. The former by their wicked commands and example; the latter by example as well as doctrine. Turned them - To offer sacrifices unto idols. From mountain - From one idolatry to another. Forgotten - They have forgotten me.
Verse 7. Habitation - Some think this is a name here given to God, who indeed is the habitation of justice, but whether the Chaldeans would call him so, may be a question. Others therefore think the preposition in is understood, making this the aggravation of the Jews sins, that they were committed in a land which ought to have been an habitation of justice.
Verse 8. Remove - God commands his people to remove out of Babylon, and to go forth chearfully like the he-goats of a flock leading the way.
Verse 10. Satisfied - Satisfied with spoil and plunder.
Verse 11. Because - They rejoiced at the ruin of the Jews. Fat - The cause for which Babylon is threatened, was doubtless their luxury of all sorts commonly attending great wealth.
Verse 12. Mother - Your country, shall be ashamed of you, who are not able to defend her.
Verse 15. Given her hand - Acknowledging themselves overcome, and yielding. As she hath done - Unmercifulmen find no mercy.
Verse 16. Every one - Either such strangers as for commerce had their abodes in Babylon, or such assistance as the Babylonians had gotten against their enemies.
Verse 17. Israel - The whole twelve tribes. Lions - Enemies cruel as lions had carried them into captivity.
Verse 20. Not found - God will no longer punish the sins of the Jews, they should be sought for as to punishment and not found. Reserve - Whom I save from the captivity of Babylon.
Verse 21. Merathaim - The names of some places which Cyrus took in his way to Babylon.
26. Open her store-houses - The granaries, or treasures of the Babylonians.
Verse 27. Bullocks - The great and richmen of Babylon.
Verse 28. The vengeance - The revenge which God had taken for his holy temple, which the Chaldeans had destroyed.
Verse 33. Together - Together in this place signifies no more than that they were both oppressed, or alike oppressed.
Verse 34. Plead - He will actually and readily effect it.
Verse 36. Dote - Their soothsayers and wizards shall dote, not foreseeing what will be. Dismayed - Their hearts shall fail them when this day comes.
Verse 37. Horses - Through they be full of chariots and horses, the enemy shall destroy them. Mingled people - People that were not native Chaldeans, but under their dominion.
Verse 38. Dried - This phrase has a plain reference to Cyrus's stratagem used in the surprize of Babylon; one part of it was fortified by the great river Euphrates, which Cyrus diverted by cutting several channels, 'till he had drained it so low, that it became passable for his army; others think that a want of rain is here threatened.
Verse 40. No man - Cyrus only made them tributaries, and took away their government. But Seleucus Nicanor, a Grecian prince, utterly destroyed Babylon, so that in the time of Adrian the Roman emperor, there was nothing left standing of that great city.