And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with
That were on the north of Judea, the kings of Syria, and those that were near to the kingdom of Babylon, whether more remote from Judea, or nearer it and which joined one another in that part of the world; and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the
the whole Babylonian monarchy, called the whole world; as the Roman empire afterwards was, ( Luke 2:1 ) ; and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them;
or the king of Babylon, as the Targum; and that Babylon is meant by "Sheshach" is certain from ( Jeremiah 51:41 ) ; but why it is so called is not so easy to say. The Jewish writers make it to be the same with Babylon, by a change of the letters in the alphabet, put in such a situation, which they call "Athbash", in which "shin" is put for "beth", and "caph" for "lamed"; and so, instead of Babel or Babylon, you have "Sheshach", which is thought to be used rather than Babylon, that Nebuchadnezzar, now besieging Jerusalem, might not be irritated: but others take it to be the name of an idol of the Babylonians, from whence the city was called, which is not improbable; for, as Hillerus F15 has observed, their god Bel and Sheshach signify the same thing. Bel is the same as Behal, "swift"; and "Sheshach" may be derived from the Arabic word
F15 Onomastic. Sacr. p. 596, 597, 598, 611.