Isaiah 46:1

Gods of Babylon

1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden.[a]The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary.

Isaiah 46:1 in Other Translations

1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.
1 Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts.
1 Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon, bow as they are lowered to the ground. They are being hauled away on ox carts. The poor beasts stagger under the weight.
1 The god Bel falls down, god Nebo slumps. The no-god hunks of wood are loaded on mules And have to be hauled off, wearing out the poor mules -
1 Bel crouches; Nebo cowers. Their idols are consigned to beasts and cattle. The [images] you carry are loaded, as a burden for the weary [animal].

Isaiah 46:1 Meaning and Commentary

Ver. 1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth
These are names of theIsaiah 46:2

They stoop, they bow together
Either the beasts under their burdens, or other idols besides those mentioned; or rather the Babylonians themselves, who were obliged to submit to the conquerors: they could not deliver the burdens;
the idols could not save themselves from being laid as burdens upon the beasts, any more than they could save their worshippers: so the Targum understands this and the preceding clause of them;

``they are cut off, and cut to pieces together, they could not deliver those that carried them;''
or else the Babylonians are designed, who could not save their gods from being used in this shameful manner: but themselves are gone into captivity,
or "their souls" F13; what were as dear to them as their own souls, their idols; to whom also souls may be ascribed by way of derision, being inanimate as well as irrational; and it is not unusual for idols to be said to be carried captive; hence those words of Tertullian, "manent et simulachra caplira": or rather the Babylonians, who went into captivity themselves, and so could not save their idols: thus they who had led captive the Jews are led captive themselves; and thus it will be with mystical Babylon, ( Revelation 13:10 ) .

F13 (Mvpnw) "et animae eorum", V. L. Munster, Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius.

Isaiah 46:1 In-Context

1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden.The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary.
2 They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.
4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
5 “With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Isaiah 21:9; Jeremiah 50:2; Jeremiah 51:44
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 5:2
  • 3. ver 7; S Isaiah 45:20

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "are but beasts and cattle"