Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured,
&c.] In training them up in those arts, and in consulting with them in cases of difficulty; in which they were of no service, and now in time of danger as useless as stubble, or a blaze of straw: even thy merchants from thy youth;
either the above astrologers and diviners, who had been with them from the beginning of their state; and who had made merchandise of them, and were become rich as merchants by telling fortunes, and predicting things to come by the stars; which sense our version leads to by supplying the word "even"; or rather merchants in a literal sense, which Babylon abounded with from the first building of it; it being the metropolis of the empire, and the mart of nations: these, upon the destruction of the city, shall wander everyone to his quarter,
or "passage" F25; to the country from whence they came, and to the passage in that part of the city which led unto it; or to the passage over the river Euphrates, which ran through the city; or to the next port, from whence they might have a passage by shipping to their own land: it denotes the fright and fugitive state in which merchants, from other countries, should be in, when this calamity should come upon Babylon; that they should leave their effects, flee for their lives, and wander about till they got a passage over to their native place, and be of no service to the Chaldeans, as follows: none shall save thee:
neither astrologers nor merchants; so the merchants of mystical Babylon will get without the city, and stand afar off, and lament her sad case, but will not be able to help her, ( Revelation 18:15 ) .