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administration, and the esteem in which he was held by the people.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave, like an abominable branch: and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, as a carcass trodden under feet.
The corpse of the king of Babylon was not to be treated, after he mould be cut osf by a violent death, in a respectsul manner, as the bodies of other princes. His dead carcass was to be thrown out with ignominy and contempt, along with the bodies of those who were slain, and was not to be buried in the sepulchres os his sathers. It was to be considered as an object of detestation, and cast out as an abominable branch, cm osf from a noxious or uleless tree, which, being good for nothing, is neglected and despised by every
body, and left to lie and rot where it fell. And
as the raiment of those that are sain, &c. which, being cut by the sword, or other deadly weapons, and covered with blood, are cast down into the pit, along
with the dead bodies which they clothed. As a
carcass trodden under feet; that is, despised and trampled upon in the day of battle, having no other burial given it than the corpse of a common soldier that is thrown into a pit, which hath been made to receive the bodies of the flain. Instead of a sepulchral monument being erected to perpetuate his memory, his dead body was to. be treated with the greatest neglect and contempt.
20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and flain thy people: the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned.
Yol. II. X Intolerable;
Intolerable pride and oppression, luxury and debauchery, and the cruel treatment of those whom he governed and conquered in war, procured to this haughty prince the just sentence here pronounced, and brought upon him and his kingdom certain destruction.-*-—The seed of evil-doers Jhall never be renowned. Though to this maxim there may be some exceptions, yet it holds true in general, and was remarkably verified in the king of Babylon, to whom pur prophet particularly refers. To display the divine sovereignty and goodness, and to accomplish other valuable purposes, the wisdom of God is pleafed, in some instances, to deviate from the general laws by which his administration is conducted. Notwithstanding, the aphorism before us contains a certain and important truth. The Hebrew words may be rendered, the feed of evil-doers shall not be called for ever. Suppose the posterity of the wicked may have a name for a while, and seem to be established in the view of men, their renown shall not always continue; ere long their reputation and glory shalt be buried in oblivion. Misery is the portion of the, wicked; it is the heritage of the children of disobedience, the wages of the workers of iniquity. Though the offspring of evil-doers may sometimes flourish for a little, their beauty shall soon fade away, their increase shall go into captivity, their pomp shall be brought down, and all their glory shall perish. Their doom is irreversibly decreed; and who can tell when. the sentence shall be executed, and how soon the judgment written may take hold of them? A dark cloud hangs over them, which may burst upon their defenceless heads ere ever they are aware. 'The seed 'of the wicked (faith the royal poet) shall be cut * off*.' The kings of Babylon, who were the feed of evil-doers, were not to be renowned, or called for ever. .
* Psah xxxvii. 28.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children, for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rife, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
In these words, the Medes and Persians, who were to be the executioners of divine vengeance upon Babylon, are called upon, to make ready to cut osf the. whole royal family, which was to be destroyed root and branch. According to the irreversible constitution of the supreme Governor of the universe, he visiteth the iniquities of the sathers upon the children, when they approve and imitate the wickedness of their parents, to the third and fourth generation of them that hate him. In some instances, as in the one before us, he prepares slaughter and death for the children. By such dispensations of providence, the Almighty demonstrates, in the most convincing manner, that fin is exceeding odious in his sight, that he is highly displeased with transgressors, and that he neglects no means whereby they may be deterred from
h. The design of publishing this order was, That
they do not rise, hor poff-ss the land, &c.: that there may be no succession to rise up, and govern the extensive kingdom of Babylon, in the room of their ancestors. Nor Jill the face of the world with citicsy
built by cruelty and oppression, to support a tyrannical government, to keep surrounding nations in awey and to perpetuate their own glory and renown..
22 For I will rife up against them, faith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son and nephew, faith the Lord.
According to this prediction, the whole royal family of Babylon should become extinct, and their kindred so extirpated srom the earth, that none were
to be left. Parents may be said to live in their
children, who commonly resemble them, and perpetuate their names in the world. The scriptures therefore represent the death and destruction of children as an awful judgment; and in this light it must be considered in the prophecy before us. When persons are deprived of their own offspring, who are their nearest heirs, their inheritances often devolve to nephews, or some distant relation. These connections were likewise to be cut off from the Babylonian monarch, and the whole race of his successors were to perish. To give certainty and stability to this surprising event, these emphatical words are added, Thus faith the Lord of hosts, who hath all the armies of heaven and earth at his command, and all human affairs under his direction, and never wants instruments to execute the. purposes which he hath formed. In what elegant variety of language is this
prophecy delivered. In scripture, expression is often subjoined to expression, and words of similar import are multiplied, more fully to represent the fierceness of God's anger, the awfulness of his judgments, the greatness of his mercies, the sins of his people, and to amplify the subject, whatever it is. Of this surprising variety we see a remarkable instance in this prophecy, which foretels the destruction of Babylon, as well a* in masiy other passages of the word of
God *. As the prophet foretold, so it came to
pass; the race of the kings of Babylon ended with Behhazzar, who was vanquished by the Medes and Persians, under the conduct of the renowned Cyrus, king of Persia.
23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, faith the Lord of hosts.
* Sec Zeph. iii. 2. Job iii. 13. tfij..
The total overthrow of the great city Babylon is predicted in this verse. -The bittern is a bird nearly as
big as the common heron: it lurks among the reeds and rushes, in marshy places: it hath a doleful cry; and, when it soars aloft into the air, it is said to make a hideous noise. This highly celebrated city was to be ib desolated, that it should become a proper habitation for this lonely bird. And poolt of water. The
city stood in a plain, and occupied the low grounds, through which slowed the river Euphrates, which, for the lake of commerce, and watering the adjacent country, was divided into several streams. The course of the river being interrupted by the ruins of this huge city, the water would stagnate, and be formed into pools.——And I will sweep it with the besom of destruction. This expression is metaphorical; and refers to the practice of cleaning a house with the besom, which takes away whatever is filthy or useless, that it may be thrown out to the dunghil. Destruction is significantly compared to a besom, with which Babylon was to be swept, and deprived of her towers and walk, her houses and streets, her inhabitants, with all the provisions and riches that she possessed.— To give certainty to this great event, and the strongest assurance of its accomplishment, these solemn words are again added, Seuth the Lord of ho/Is, who, by the execution of this awful judgment, would display his majesty, power, and righteousness. This prediction hath been so remarkably verified, that the place where this wonder of the world once stood, cannot be certainly ascertained. How astonishing, that so great and well-fortified a city, in which were such immensely strong and extensive buildings, should have been so entirely demolished, that the remains cannot be known. Persons and £imilies, cities and empires, are subverted according to the purpose of the Lord of hosts. No crown so secure, no family so established, but he can eafily remove them: no kingdom so powerful, but he can shake to its foundation;