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The prophet's fear and trouble at his vision of Babylon's ruin,
the Medes and Persians, ver. 1 - 4.
He mocketh Babel, ver. 5 - 9.
Edom scorning the prophet is called to repentance, ver. 11, 12.
The time of Arab's calamity set, ver. 13 - 17.
1: The plain - Of Babylon, which lay in a very plain country. And
the title of the sea might well be given to the waters of Babylon,
because of the great plenty and multitude of them. South - In those parts
which lay southward from Judea, where there were many and great deserts.
Pass through - As meeting with no opposition. It - The burden or
judgment. Desert - From Media and Persia; a great desert lay
between them and Chaldea. A terrible land - From the Medes, a
warlike and formidable people.
2: A vision - A vision or prophecy, containing dreadful calamities
which were to fall upon Babylon. The spoiler - The Medes and
Persians used treachery as well as force against Babylon.
Elam - Persia, so called, because Elam was an eminent province of
Persia, bordering upon the Medes. Besiege - Namely, Babylon,
The sighing - The sighing and groaning of God's people, and other nations
under the oppressions of that cruel empire.
3: My loins - Which he mentions with respect to the following
similitude of child - bearing. Pangs - Sharp and grievous pains.
4: The night - In which I used to have sweet repose. He seems to
have had this vision in a night. But withal this signified that horror
and destruction, which should befal the Babylonians in a night of
feasting and jollity. He - God, who shewed him that vision.
5: Prepare - Furnish it with meats and drinks. The prophet foretells
what the Babylonians would be doing when their enemies were at their
doors. Watch - To give us notice of any approaching danger, that in the
meantime we may more securely indulge ourselves. Princes - Of Babylon:
arise from the table and run to your arms. Shield - Prepare yourselves and
your arms for the approaching battle. The shield is put for all their
weapons of offence and defence. They used to anoint their shields with
oil, to preserve and polish them, and to make them slippery.
6: Go set - This was now done only in a vision, but it signified what
should be done really afterwards.
7: A chariot - Hereby he signifies the variety and abundance of
warlike provisions which the Medes and Persians should have for
their expedition, and particularly of chariots, whereof some were
for the carriage of necessary things, and others for the battle.
8: A lion - The watchmen cried out, I see also a lion marching before
the horsemen and chariots: which they suppose to represent Cyrus or
Darius marching in the head of their armies. My lord - The watchman
speaks to the prophet, who had set him in this station.
Whole nights - According to thy command I have stood, and do yet stand
continually, both day and night, upon my watch - tower.
9: Men - Not fitted with goods, but provided with men to fight.
He - The prophet, who here gives an explication of the vision.
He - God, by the hands of Cyrus.
10: Threshing - Threshing is put for the corn threshed; and the corn
threshed for people sorely afflicted. This is probably spoken of Babylon.
The corn - Which I will cause to be threshed upon the floor. You - Unto
you my people; for all the prophecies, even concerning other nations, were
published to them, and for their use and comfort.
11: Dumah - Of Edom or Idumea. He - The people of Dumah,
one of them in the name and by the appointment of the rest. Me - To the
watchman: the prophet delivers his prophecy in the form of a dialogue
between the people and the watchman. Seir - Out of Edom, which is
frequently called Seir. Watchman - The watchman of Edom, whom they
had set as people use to do in times of great danger. Night - The people
are supposed to come to him very early in the morning, to enquire what
had happened in the night; which shews a state of great perplexity and
fear. Night - The repetition of the words, shew the greatness of their
12: The night - The night is past without any mischief, and the light
of the morning is approaching; but tho' the morning is coming, it will be
gone, and the night will return, and your fears with it. Come - If you
will enquire, enquire: I perceive your danger is not past, and there
will be occasion for farther enquiries. Therefore return, come - Come to
me the next morning, and so from morning to morning.
13: Forest - Not as you used to do, in the houses or tents of the
Arabians: whereby he implies, that that populous country should be a
wilderness. Companies - In those parts travellers then did, and still
do, go together in companies. Dedanim - These were merchants, who used
to trade with Tyre, and their way lay thro' Arabia.
14: Tema - A part of Arabia. Fled - Whereby he implies, that
those other Arabians, against whom this prophecy is principally
directed, should be reduced to great scarcity, and forced to flee
for their lives, from a bloody enemy.
16: A year - From the time of this prophecy: an exact year.
Glory - Their power, and riches, and all things wherein they used
to glory. This was executed by the Assyrians.