BibleTools.info

Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Loading...

Isaiah 21:3

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Therefore - In this verse, and the following, the prophet represents himself as “in” Babylon, and as a witness of the calamities which would come upon the city. He describes the sympathy which he feels in her sorrows, and represents himself as deeply affected by her calamities. A similar description occurred in the pain which the prophet represents himself as enduring on account of the calamities of Moab (see Isaiah 15:5, note; Isaiah 16:11, note).

My loins - (see the note at Isaiah 16:11).

With pain - The word used here (חלחלה chalchâlâh ) denotes properly the pains of parturition, and the whole figure is taken from that. The sense is, that the prophet was filled with the most acute sorrow and anguish, in view of the calamities which were coming on Babylon. That is, the sufferings of Babylon would be indescribably great and dreadful (see Nahum 2:11; Ezekiel 30:4, Ezekiel 30:9).

I was bowed down - Under the grief and sorrow produced by these calamities.

At the hearing it - The Hebrew may have this sense, and mean that these things were made to pass before the eye of the prophet, and that the sight oppressed him, and bowed him down. But more probably the Hebrew letter מ (m ) in the word משׁמע mishemoa' is to be taken “privatively,” and means, ‹I was so bowed down or oppressed that I could not see; I was so dismayed that I could not hear;‘ that is, all his senses were taken away by the greatness of the calamity, and by his sympathetic sufferings. A similar construction occurs in Psalm 69:23: ‹Let their eyes be darkened that they see not‘ (מראות mēre'ôth ) that is, “from” seeing.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Babylon was a flat country, abundantly watered. The destruction of Babylon, so often prophesied of by Isaiah, was typical of the destruction of the great foe of the New Testament church, foretold in the Revelation. To the poor oppressed captives it would be welcome news; to the proud oppressors it would be grievous. Let this check vain mirth and sensual pleasures, that we know not in what heaviness the mirth may end. Here is the alarm given to Babylon, when forced by Cyrus. An ass and a camel seem to be the symbols of the Medes and Persians. Babylon's idols shall be so far from protecting her, that they shall be broken down. True believers are the corn of God's floor; hypocrites are but as chaff and straw, with which the wheat is now mixed, but from which it shall be separated. The corn of God's floor must expect to be threshed by afflictions and persecutions. God's Israel of old was afflicted. Even then God owns it is his still. In all events concerning the church, past, present, and to come, we must look to God, who has power to do any thing for his church, and grace to do every thing that is for her good.
More Comments