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a:h from the desert, from a terri. ble land.
2 A "grievous v.sion is do clared unto me; the treacherous
A wilderness, or to a comparatively waters were suffered to remain, and barren and uncultivated country—a again converted the whole country into place for flocks and herds (Ps. Ixv. 13. a vast marsh. See Notes on ch. xiii., Jer. ix. 9, &c.); to an actual waste, a xiv. [ As whirlwinds. That is, the sandy desert (Isu. xxxii. 15, xxxv. 1); army comes with the rapidity of a and particularly to the deserts of Ara- whirlwind. In ch. viii. 8 (comp. Hab. bia, Gen. xiv. 6, xvi. 7, Deut. xi. 24. i. 11) an army is compared to an overIt may here be applied to Babylon flowing and rapid river. [ In the cither historically, as having been once south. Whirlwinds or tempests are an unreclaimed desert; or by anticipa-, often in the Scriptures represented as tion as descriptive of what it would be coming from the south. Zech. ix. 14. after it should be destroyed by Cyrus, Job xxxvii. 9: or possibly both these ideas may have
Out of the south cometh the whirlwind, been coinbined. That it was once a And cold out of the north. desert before it was reclaimed by Semi- ! So Virgil: ramis is the testimony of all history ; that it is now a vast waste is the united
creberque procellis Africus,
Æniad, i. 85. testimony of all travellers. There is every reason to think that a large part The deserts of Arabia were situated to of the country about Babylon was for the south of Babylon, and the south merly overflowed with water before it winds are described as the winds of the was reclaimed by dykes; and as it was
desert. Those winds are represented naturally a waste, when the artificial as being so violent as to tear away the dykes and dams should be removed, it tents occupied by a caravan. Pietro would again be a desert. Of the della Valle, Travels, iv. pp. 183, 191. b. There has been also much sented as coming from the wilder
In Job i. 19, the whirlwind is repredifference of opinion in regard to this
ness ;" that is, from the desert of Ara. word. But there can be no doubt that bia. Comp. Jer. xiii. 24. Hos. xiii. it refers to the Euphrates, and to the
15. I So it cometh from the desert. extensive region of marsh that was
See ch. xii. 4, and the Note on that covered by its waters. The name sea, place. God is there represented as D7, is not unfrequently given to a collecting the army for the destruction large river, to the Nile, and to the of Babylon “on the mountains," and Euphrates. See Note ch. xi. 15. Comp. ! by mountains are probably denoted the ch. xix. 5. Herodotus i. 184, says, that same as is here denoted by the desert. “ Semiramis confined the Euphrates The country of the Medes is doubtlesy within its channel by raising great intended, which, in the view of civilized dams against it ; for before, it over- and refined Babylon, was an uncultiflowed the whole country like a sea.' vated region, or a vast waste or wilAnd Abydenus in Eusebius (Prepara. derness. I From a terrible land. A Evang. B. ix. p. 457) says, respecting' country rough and uncultivated, aboundthe building of Babylon by Nebuchad- | ing in forests or wastes. nezzar, that “it is reported that all 2. A grievous vision. Margin as in this was covered with water, and was Heb. hard. On the word vision see called a sea- éycrai di tüvta per i Note ch. i. 1. The sense here is, that αρχής ύδωρ είναι, θαλασσων καλουμένην. the vision which the prophet saw was Comp. Strabo Geog. B. xvi. $ 9, 10,' one that indicated great calamity. Vs. and Arrianus de Expedit. Alexandri, 1 3, 4. 1 18 declared unto me. That L. vii. c. xxi. Cyrus removed these is, is caused to pass before me, and its dykes, re-opened the canals, and the meaning is made known to me. I The
dealere dealeth treacherously, all the sighing thereof have
treacherous dealer. 7aion. The per- viii. 2. It is here put for Persia in
signed to be taken in an active sense;
Others refer it to the army of dently means, that there is to be plun- the Medes and Persians, as if their dering and devastation, and that this is sighing should be over; i. e. their fa. to be accomplished by a nation accus
tigues and labours in the conquest of tomed to it, and which is immediately
Babylon. Calvin supposes that it specified ; that is, the united kingdom
means that the Lord would be deaf to the of Media and Persia. The Chaldee sighs of Babylon; that is, he would renders it, “ They who bring violence, disregard them and would bring upon suffer violence; and the plunderers are
them the threatened certain destrucplundered.” Jarchi says, that the sense
tion. The probable meaning is that of the Hebrew text according to the suggested by Jerome, that God would Chaldee is, “ Ah! thou who art violent! bring to an end all the sighs and groans there comes another who will use thee
which Babylon had caused in a world with violence; and thou plunderer, suffering under her oppressions. Comp. another comes who will plunder thee, ch. xiv, 7, 8. even the Medes and Persians, who will
3. Therefore. In this verse, and the destroy and lay waste Babylon." But following, the prophet represents himthe Hebrew text will not bear this in- self as in Babylon, and as a witness terpretation. The scnse is, that deso
of the calamities which would come lation was about to be produced by a
upon the city. He describes the nation accustomed to it, and who sympathy which he feels in her soro would act towards Babylon in their rows, and represents himself as deeply true character.
This is an
affected by her calamities. A similar address of God to Media and Persia. description occurred in the pain which See Note ch. xii. 17. TO Elam.
the prophet represents himself as enThis was the name of the country ori- during on account of the calamities ginally possessed by the Persians, and of Moab. See Note ch. xv. 5, xvi. was so called from Elam a son of 11. My loins. See Note ch. svi. Shem. Gen. x. 22. It was east of the
11. [With pain. The word here Euphrates, and comprehended properly used, in denotes properly the the mountainous countries of Khusistan pains of parturition, and the whole and Louristan, called by the Greek figure is taken from that. The sense writers Elymais. In this country was is, that the prophet was fille:) with the Susa or Shushan, mentioned in Dan. most acute sorrow and anguish, in view
I Go up.
ed with pains; panys have takenness affrighted re: the #nignt of hold upon me, as the pangs of a my pleasure hath he turned into woman that travaileth: I was fear unto me. bowed down at the hearing of it; 5 Prepare the table, watch in I was dismayed at the seeing of the watch-tower, eat, drink: arise, it.
ye princes, and anoint the shield. 4 My heart panted, fearful
8 or, my mind wandered. Dan. 5.5, &c. 9 pu.. of the calamities which were coming | tion and alarm. The prophet here on Babylon. That is, the sufferings refers to the fact that Babylon would of Babylon would be indescribably great be taken by Cyrus during that night, and dreadful. See Nah. ii. 11. Ezek. and that consternation and alarm would xxx. 4,9. [ I was bowed down. Un- suddenly pervade the affrighted and der the grief and sorrow produced by guilty city. See Dan. v. these calamities. 1 At the hearing of 5. Prepare the table. This verse is it. The Hebrew may have this sense, one of the most striking and remarkaand mean that these things were made ble that occurs in this prophecy, or into pass before the eye of the prophet, deed in any part of Isaiah. It is lanand that the sight oppressed him, and guage supposed to be spoken in Babylon. bowed him down. But more probably The first direction-perhaps supposed the in the word so is to be taken
to be that of the king—is to prepare the privatively, and means, 'I was so
table for the feast. Then follows a bowed down or oppressed that I could direction to set a watch—to make the not see, I was so dismayed that I could city safe, so that they might revel withnot hear ;' that is, all his senses were
out fear. Then a command to eat and taken away by the greatness of the
drink : and then immediately a sudden calamity, and by his sympathetic suf- order, as if alarmed at an unexpected ferings. A similar construction occurs attack, to arise and anoint the shield, in Ps. Ixix. 23: Let their eyes be and to prepare for a defence. The darkened that they see not,” nixga pious feast mentioned in Dan. v. in the
table here refers to a feast ;-that imi. e. from seeing.
night in which Babylon was taken, and 4. My heart panted. Margin, “ My Belshazzar slain. Herodotus (i. 191), mind wandered.” The Hebrew word Xenophon (Cyrop. 7, 5), and Daniel rendered panted (197) means to wan- (v.) all agree in the account that Babyder about; to stagger; to be giddy ; Ion was taken in the night in which the and is applied often to one that stag- king and his nobles were engaged in gers by being intoxicated. Applied to feasting and revelry. The words of the heart it means that it is disqui- | Xenophon are, “But Cyrus, when he eted or troubled. The Hebrew word heard that there was to be such a feast heart here is to be taken in the sense in Babylon, in which all the Babyloni. of mind. I The night of my pleasure. ans would drink and revel through the There can be no doubt that the prophet whole night, on that night, as soon as here refers to the night of revelry and it began to grow dark, taking many riot in which Babylon was taken. The men, opened the dams into the river;" prophet calls it the night of his pleasure, that is, he opened the dykes which had because he represents himself as being been made by Semiramis and her sucin Babylon when it should be taken, cessors to confine the waters of the and therefore uses such language as an Euphrates to one channel, and suffered inhabitant of Babylon would use. They the waters of the Euphrates again to wou.d call it the night of their pleasure flow over the country so that he could because it was set apart to feasting and enter Babylon beneath its walls in the revelry. I Hath he turned into fear. channel of the river. Xenophon has God has made it a night of consterna- also given the addiess of Cyrus to the
soldiers. “ Now," says he, " let us go tower. Place a guard so that the city against them.
Many of them are shall be secure. Babylon had on its asleep ; many of them are intoxicated; walls many towers, placed at conveni. and all of them are unfit for battle ent distances (see Notes on ch. sui.) (ασύντακτοι).” Herodotus says (B. i. in which guards were stationed to de 191): “ It was a day of festivity fend the city, and to give the alarm or among them, and while the citizens any approach of an enemy. Xenophon were engaged in dance and merriment, has given a similar account of the tak Babylon was, for the first time, thus ing of the city. “They having arranged taken." Compare the account in Dan- their guards, drank until light." The iel, ch. v. s Watch in the watch- | annexed group of oriental watch-towers
is introduced here for the purpose of ferred to in the Scriptures. Est, Wlustrating a general subject often re- | drink. Give yourselves to revelry
6 For thus hath the Lord said him declare what th. unto me, Go, set a watchman, let 7 And he saw o narici i
during the night. See Dan. v. T Arise, ever skin might be used, it was liccesye princes. This language indicates sary occasionally to rub it over with sudden alarm. It is the language either oil lest it should become hard and of the prophet, or more probably of the crack, or lest it should become so rigid king of Babylon, alarmed at the sudden that an arrow or a sword would easily approach of the enemy, and calling break through it. Jarchi says, that upon his nobles to arm themselves and “shields were made of skin, and that make a defence. The army of Cyrus they anointed them with the oil of entered Babylon by two divisions-one olive.” The sense is, ' Prepare your on the north where the waters of the arms! Make ready for battle!" Euphrates entered the city, and the 6. Go, set a watchman. This was other by the channel of the Euphrates said to Isaiah in the vision. He rrpreon the south. Knowing that the city sents himself as in Babylon, and as was given up to revelry on that night, hearing God command him to set a they had agreed to imitate the sound watchman on the watch-tower who of the revellers until they should as- would announce what was to come to semble around the royel palace in the pass.
All this is designed merely to centre of the city. They did so. When bring the manner of the destruction of the king heard the noise, supposing that the city more vividly before the eye. it was the sound of a drunken mob, he 7. And he saw a chariot with a ordered the gates of the palace to be couple of horsemen. This passage is npened to ascertain the cause of the very obscure from the ambiguity of the disturbance. When they were thus word -37 rēkhěbh, chariot. Gesenius opened the army of Cyrus rushed in, contends that it should be rendered and made an immediate attack on all who were within. It is to this moment
“cavalry," and that it refers to cavalry that we may suppose the prophet here
two abreast hastening to the destruction refers, when the king, aroused and of the city. The word ?? denotes alarmed, would call on his nobles to properly a chariot, or wagon (Judyes urn themselves for battle. See Jahn's v.25); a collection of wagons (2 Chron. distory of the Hebrew Commonwealth, i. 14, vii. 6, ix. 25); and sometimes d. 153, Ed. Andover, 1828. [ Anoint refers to the horses or men attached to the shield. That is, prepare for battle. a chariot. “ David houghed all the Gesenius supposes that this means to chariots” (2 Sam. viii. 4); that is, all rub over the shield with oil to make the the horses belonging to them. “ David leather more supple and impenetrable. killed of the Syrians seven hundred Comp. 2 Sam. i. 21. The Chaldee chariots" (2 Sam. x. 18); that is, all renders it, “ Fit, and polish your arms." the men belonging to seven hundred The LXX, “ Prepare shields.” Shields chariots. According to the present were instruments of defence prepared Masoretic pointing, the word ?? does to ward off the spears and arrows of an
not mean, perhaps, any thing else than enemy in battle. They were usually
a chariot strictly, but other forms of the made of a rim of brass or wood, and word with the same letters denote riders over this was drawn a covering of the skin of an ox or other animal in the
or cavalry. Thus the word 27 demanner of a drum-head with us. Oc
notes a horseman, 2 Kings ix. 17; a casionally the hide of a rhinoceros or
charioteer or driver of a chariot, 1 Kings an elephant was used. Burckhardt xxii. 34. Jer. li. 21. The verb 327 (Travels in Nubia) says that the Nu- means to ride, and is usually applied to Sians use the hide of the hippopotamus riding on the backs of horses or camels ; br the making of shields. Bu: what and the sense here is, thai the watch