51:1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise against me, a destroying a wind;
(a) The Medes and Persians who will destroy them as the wind does the chaff. 51:5 For Israel [hath] not [been] b forsaken, nor Judah by his God, by the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
(b) Though they were forsaken for a time, yet they were not utterly cast off as though their husbands were dead. 51:6 c Flee from the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this [is] the time of the LORDS vengeance; he will render to her a recompence.
51:7 Babylon [hath been] a golden cup in the d LORDS hand, that made all the earth drunk: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are e mad.
(c) He shows that there remains nothing for them that abide in Babylon but destruction, ( Jeremiah 17:6 Jeremiah 48:6 ).
(d) By whom the Lord poured out the drink of his vengeance, to whom it pleased him. 51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let f us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth to heaven, and is lifted [even] to the skies.
(e) For the great afflictions that they have felt by the Babylonians.
(f) Thus the people of God exhort one another to go to Zion and praise God. 51:10 The LORD hath brought forth our g righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.
(g) In approving our cause and punishing our enemies. 51:11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his purpose [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the vengeance of the LORD, the h vengeance of his temple.
51:13 O thou that dwellest upon many i waters, abundant in treasures, thy end is come, [and] the measure of thy covetousness.
(h) For the wrong done to his people and to his temple, ( Jeremiah 50:28 ).
(i) For the land of Chaldea was full of rivers which ran into the Euphrates. 51:17 Every man is senseless by [his] k knowledge; every goldsmith is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image [is] falsehood, and [there is] no breath in them.
51:18 They [are] vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their l judgment they shall perish.
(k) ( Jeremiah 10:14 ).
(l) When God will execute his vengeance. 51:19 The m portion of Jacob [is] not like them; for he [is] the one who formed of all things: and [Israel is] the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts [is] his name.
(m) That is, the true God of Israel is not like these idols: for he can help when all things are desperate. 51:20 Thou [art] my n battle axe [and] weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
51:25 Behold, I [am] against thee, O destroying o mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the p rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
(n) He means the Medes and Persians, as before he called the Babylonians his hammer, ( Jeremiah 50:23 ).
(o) Not that Babylon stood on a mountain but because it was strong and seemed invincible. 51:27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of q Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers.
(p) From your strongholds and fortresses.
(q) By these three nations he means Armenia the higher, Armenia the lower and Scythia; for Cyrus had gathered an army of various nations. 51:31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at r [one] end,
(r) By turning the course of the river one side was made open and the reeds that grew in the water were destroyed which Cyrus did by the counsel of Gobria and Gabatha Belshazzars captains. 51:33 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon [is] like a threshingfloor, [it is] time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest s shall come.
(s) When she will be cut up and threshed. 51:34 Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath t devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicacies, he hath cast me out.
(t) This is spoken in the person of the Jews bewailing their state and the cruelty of the Babylonians. 51:36 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy u cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.
(u) Thus the Lord esteemed the injury done to his Church as done to himself because their cause is his. 51:39 In their x heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunk, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD.
51:41 How is y Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an horror among the nations!
(x) When they are inflamed with surfeiting and drinking, I will feast with them, alluding to Belshazzars banquet, ( Daniel 5:2 ).
51:42 The z sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of its waves.
(y) Meaning Babel as in ( Jeremiah 25:26 ).
(z) The great army of the Medes and Persians. 51:44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which a he hath swallowed: and the nations shall not flow together any more to him: even the wall of Babylon shall fall.
(a) That is, his gifts and presents which he had received as part of the spoil of other nations, and which the idolaters brought to him from all countries. 51:46 And lest your heart should faint, and ye should fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come [one] b year, and after that in [another] year [shall come] a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
(b) Meaning that Babylon would not be destroyed all at once but little by little would be brought to nothing for the first year came the tidings, the next year the siege and in the third year it was taken: yet this is not that horrible destruction which the prophets threatened in many places: for that was after this when they rebelled and Darius over came them by the policy of Zopyrus, and hanged three thousand gentlemen beside the common people. 51:48 Then the heaven and c the earth, and all that [is] in them, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come to her from the north, saith the LORD.
(c) All creatures in heaven and earth will rejoice and praise God for the destruction of Babylon the great enemy of his Church. 51:49 As Babylon [hath caused] the d slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.
(d) Babylon not only destroyed Israel, but many other nations. 51:50 Ye that e have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
(e) Yet that are now captives in Babylon. 51:51 We are f confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for foreigners are come into the sanctuaries of the LORDS house.
(f) He shows how they would remember Jerusalem by lamenting the miserable affliction of it. 51:53 Though Babylon should mount up to g heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, [yet] from me shall spoilers come to her, saith the LORD.
(g) For the walls were two hundred feet high. 51:57 And I will h make drunk her princes, and her wise [men], her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts.
(h) I will so astonish them by affliction that they will not know which way to turn themselves. 51:58 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The i broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the people in the fire, and they shall be weary.
(i) The thickness of the wall was fifty feet. 51:59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the k fourth year of his reign. And [this] Seraiah [was] a quiet prince.
(k) This was not in the time of his captivity but seven years before, when he went either to congratulate Nebuchadnezzar or to intreat of some matters. 51:63 And it shall be, when thou hast finished reading this book, [that] thou shalt bind a l stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
51:64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall m be weary. Thus far [are] the words of Jeremiah.
(l) John in his Revelation alludes to this place when he says that the angel took a millstone and cast it into the sea: signifying by it the destruction of Babylon, ( Revelation 18:21 ).
(m) They will not be able to resist but will labour in vain.