- God's armies, verse 1-5.
- The destruction of Babylon by the Persians and Medes, their great distress, anguish, and utter desolation, verse 6-22.
The burden - This title is commonly given to sad prophecies, which indeed are grievous burdens to them on whom they are laid. Babylon - Of the city and empire of Babylon by Cyrus.
A banner - To gather soldiers together. Mountain - Whence it may be discerned at a considerable distance. Withal he seems to intimate, that their enemies should come from the mountainous country of Media. Them - To the Medes. Shake - Beckon to them with your hand, that they may come to this service, that they may go and fight against Babylon, and take it, and so enter in to the palaces of the king, and his princes.
Sanctified ones - The Medes and Persians, so called, because they were set apart by God, for this holy work of executing his just vengeance. Mighty ones - Those whom I have made mighty for this work. Highness - Or, as others render it, in my glory, in the doing of that work which tends to the advancement of my glory. Tho' the Medes had no regard to God, but only to their own ends.
Nations - The Medes and Persians and other nations, which served under them in this war.
Thy come - From the ends of the earth under heaven, which is not to be understood strictly. The weapons - The Medes and Persians, who were but a rod in God's hand, and the instruments of his anger. Land - Of Babylon.
Amazed - To see so impregnable a city as Babylon, so easily and unexpectedly taken. Flames - Heb. faces of flame, inflamed with rage and torment.
Behold - Divers words are heaped together, to signify the extremity of his anger.
Constellations - Which consist of many stars, and therefore give a greater sight. Darkened - All things shall look darkly and dismally; men shall have no comfort or hope. Going forth - As soon as he rises. As soon as they have any appearance or hope of amendment, they shall be instantly disappointed.
The world - The Babylonish empire, which is called the world, as the Roman empire afterwards was, because it was extended to a great part of the world.
More precious - The city and nation shall be so depopulated.
Therefore - A poetical and prophetical description of great horrors and confusions, as if heaven and earth were about to meet together.
It - Babylon. A roe - Fearful in itself, especially when it is pursued by the hunter. A sheep - In a most forlorn condition. Every man - Those soldiers of other nations, whom she had hired to assist her.
Found - In Babylon, at the taking of it.
Medes - Under whom he comprehends the Persians. Not delight - Which is to be understood comparatively. They shall more eagerly pursue the destruction of the people, than the getting of spoil.
Bows - Under which are comprehended, other weapons of war. Dash - Or, shalt pierce the young men through, as the Chaldee, renders it.
Glory - Which once was the most noble of all the kingdoms. Beauty - The beautiful seat of the Chaldean monarchy shall be totally and irrecoverably destroyed.
Inhabited - After the destruction threatened shall be fully accomplished. Arabian - Who dwelt in tents, and wandered from place to place, where they could find pasture.
Satyrs - The learned agree, that these are frightful and solitary creatures.
Prolonged - Beyond the time appointed by God.