he taking of Babylon. (1-10) Of the Edomites. (11,12) Of the
Verses 1-10: Babylon was a flat country, abundantly watered. The
destruction of Babylon, so often prophesied of by Isaiah, was
typical of the destruction of the great foe of the New Testament
church, foretold in the Revelation. To the poor oppressed
captives it would be welcome news; to the proud oppressors it
would be grievous. Let this check vain mirth and sensual
pleasures, that we know not in what heaviness the mirth may end.
Here is the alarm given to Babylon, when forced by Cyrus. An ass
and a camel seem to be the symbols of the Medes and Persians.
Babylon's idols shall be so far from protecting her, that they
shall be broken down. True believers are the corn of God's
floor; hypocrites are but as chaff and straw, with which the
wheat is now mixed, but from which it shall be separated. The
corn of God's floor must expect to be threshed by afflictions
and persecutions. God's Israel of old was afflicted. Even then
God owns it is his still. In all events concerning the church,
past, present, and to come, we must look to God, who has power
to do any thing for his church, and grace to do every thing that
is for her good.
Verse 11,12: God's prophets and ministers are as watchmen in the city
in a time of peace, to see that all is safe. As watchmen in the
camp in time of war, to warn of the motions of the enemy. After
a long sleep in sin and security, it is time to rise, to awake
out of sleep. We have a great deal of work to do, a long journey
to go; it is time to be stirring. After a long dark night is
there any hope of the day dawning? What tidings of the night?
What happens to-night? We must never be secure. But many make
curious inquiries of the watchmen. They would willingly have
nice questions solved, or difficult prophecies interpreted; but
they do not seek into the state of their own souls, about the
way of salvation, and the path of duty. The watchman answers by
way of prophecy. There comes first a morning of light, and
peace, and opportunity; but afterward comes a night of trouble
and calamity. If there be a morning of youth and health, there
will come a night of sickness and old age; if a morning of
prosperity in the family, in the public, yet we must look for
changes. It is our wisdom to improve the present morning, in
preparation for the night that is coming after it. Inquire,
return, come. We are urged to do it quickly, for there is no
time to trifle. Those that return and come to God, will find
they have a great deal of work to do, and but little time to do
Verses 13-17: The Arabians lived in tents, and kept cattle. A
destroying army shall be brought upon them, and make them an
easy prey. We know not what straits we may be brought into
before we die. Those may know the want of necessary food who now
eat bread to the full. Neither the skill of archers, nor the
courage of mighty men, can protect from the judgments of God.
That is poor glory, which will thus quickly come to nothing.
Thus hath the Lord said to me; and no word of his shall fall to
the ground. We may be sure the Strength of Israel will not lie.
Happy are those only whose riches and glory are out of the reach
of invaders; all other prosperity will speedily pass away.