In the entrances thereof - At its posts or watergates; for it was by rendering themselves masters of the Euphrates that the Medes and Persians took the city, according to the prediction of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 51:32, Jeremiah 51:36. Calmet thinks that this refers to the deliverance of the land from Cambyses by his death, and the insurrection of the eight princes mentioned above, who made themselves masters of the whole Babylonian empire, etc. Perhaps it is best to refer it to the invasion of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar; and the final destruction of the Babylonish empire by Cyrus, who took Babylon, slew Belshazzar, and possessed himself of the kingdom.
And they shall waste - Literally, feed on, and so eat up. They who were shepherds of their own people, should consume their enemies. Jeremiah uses the same image. “The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch tents against her round about; they shall feed, each his space” Jeremiah 6:3. So Joshua and Caleb say, “They, (the inhabitants of Canaan,) are bread for us” Numbers 14:9. So it was said to Peter, “arise, Peter, kill and eat” Acts 10:13; and what once was common, defiled and unclean, shall turn to the nourishment and growth of the Church, and be incorporated into Christ, being made part of His Body.
And the land of Nimrod - Babylon, which should displace Assyria, but should carry on its work of chastising God‘s people, is joined by Micah, as by Isaiah Isaiah 10:12-15 and Babylon Isaiah 14:13-15 whose destruction is foretold, yet so as to shadow out rebellion against God in its intensest form, making itself independent of, or measuring itself against, God. Hence, probably, here alone in holy Scripture, Babylon is called “the land of Nimrod,” as indeed he founded it Genesis 10:10, but therewith was the author of the tower of Babel also, which was built in rebellion against God, whence his own name was derived. Assyria then, and the world-empire which should succeed it, stand as representing the God-opposed world.
In the entrances thereof - (Literally, in the gates thereof.) The shepherds of Israel shall not act on the defensive only, but shall have victory over the world and Satan, carrying back the battle into his own dominions, and overthrowing him there. Satan‘s malice, so far from hurting the Church, shall turn to its good. Wherein he hoped to waste it, he shall be wasted; wherein he seemed to triumph, he shall be foiled. So it has been ever seen, how, under every persecution, the Church grew.: “The more it was pressed down, the more it rose up and flourished;”, “Shivering the assault of the Pagans, and strengthened more and more, not by resisting, but by enduring.” Yet all, by whomsoever done, shall be the work of Christ alone, enduring in martyrs, teaching in pastors, converting through the Apostles of pagan nations. Wherefore he adds:
Thus (And) He shall deliver us from the Assyrian - Not they, the subordinate shepherds, but He, the Chief Shepherd until the last enemy shall be destroyed and death shall be swallowed up in victory, shall deliver, whether by them or by Himself as He often so doth, - not us only (the saying is the larger because unlimited) but - He shall deliver, absolutely. Whosoever shall be delivered, He shall be their deliverer; all, whom He alone knoweth, who alone “knoweth them that are His” 2 Timothy 2:19. “Neither is there salvation in any other” Acts 4:12. “Whoso glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” 2 Corinthians 10:17. Every member of Christ has part in this, who, through the grace of God, “has power and strength to have victory and to triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh” - not he, but the grace of God which is with him; and much more, all, whether Apostles or Apostolic men, or Pastors, or Bishops and Overseers, who, by preaching or teaching or prayer, bring those to the knowledge of the truth, who “sat in darkness and the shadow of death” Psalm 107:10, and by whom “God translates us into the kingdom of His dear Son” Colossians 1:13.