Cut off the sower from in Babylon, and him that handleth the
sickle in the time of harvest
Both sower and reaper: the walls of Babylon took in a large compass of land, where there were corn fields; and which, as Curtius F19 observes, would yield a sufficiency to hold out a siege against an enemy; but being taken, the husbandman would not be spared, as used to be, but should be cut off, and so none to till the ground, or to reap what was upon it; and thus, in course, would be, desolate, as before threatened. The Targum understands this in a figurative sense,
``destroy the king out of Babylon, and take hold of the sword in the time of slaughter;''and Cocceius interprets the sower of any doctor or bishop in mystical Babylon, and the reaper of such that gather the fruits, and exact obedience; see ( Revelation 18:14 Revelation 18:22 ) ; for fear of the oppressing sword;
of the Medes and Persians: they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone
to his own land;
not those of other nations, as the Jews, who were detained captives there, as Kimchi thinks; for these were not in such fear of the Persians, nor did they flee because of them; but were let go by them, and sent into their own land honourably: but either such who, of other nations, were come to traffic at Babylon; or rather the auxiliaries of other nations, who were either hired or forced into the service of Babylon; these, finding the city taken, would make the best of their way into their own country.
F19 Hist. l. 5. c. 1.