Isaiah 46:1
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth; their idols are upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: the things that ye carried about are made a load, a burden to the weary beast .

Douay-Rheims Bible
BEL is broken, Nebo is destroyed: their idols are put upon beasts and cattle, your burdens of heavy weight even unto weariness.

English Revised Version
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth; their idols are upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: the things that ye carried about are made a load, a burden to the weary beast.

Webster's Bible Translation
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your loads were heavy; they were a burden to the weary beast.

Isaiah 46:1 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The salvation of Israel, foretold and realized by Jehovah, becomes at the same time the salvation of the heathen world. "Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye escaped of the heathen! Irrational are they who burden themselves with the wood of their idol, and pray to a god that bringeth no salvation. Make known, and cause to draw near; yea, let them take counsel together: Who has made such things known from the olden time, proclaimed it long ago? have not I, Jehovah? and there is no Deity beside me; a God just, and bringing salvation: there is not without me!" The fulness of the Gentiles, which enters into the kingdom of God, is a remnant of the whole mass of the heathen: for salvation comes through judgment; and it is in the midst of great calamities that the work of that heathen mission is accomplished, which is represented in these prophecies on the one hand as the mission of Cyrus, and on the other hand as the mission of Jehovah and His servant. Hence this summons to listen to the self-assertion of the God of revelation, is addressed to the escaped of the heathen, who are not therefore the converted, but those who are susceptible of salvation, and therefore spared. By "the heathen" (haggōyı̄m) Knobel understands the allies and auxiliaries of the Babylonians, whom Cyrus put to flight (according to the Cyropaedia) before his Lydian campaign. But this is only an example of that exaggerated desire to turn everything into history, which not only prevented his seeing the poetry of the form, but obscured the fact that prophecy is both human and divine. For the future was foreshortened to the telescopic glance of the prophet, so that he could not see it in all its length and breadth. He saw in one mass what history afterwards unrolled; and then behind the present he could just see as it were the summit of the end, although a long eventful way still lay between the two. Accordingly, our prophet here takes his stand not at the close of any particular victory of Cyrus, but at the close of all his victories; and, in his view, these terminate the whole series of catastrophes, which are outlived by a remnant of the heathen, who are converted to Jehovah, and thus complete the final glory of the restored people of God. Throughout the whole of these prophecies we see immediately behind the historical foreground this eschatological background lifting up its head. The heathen who have been preserved will assemble together; and from the fact that Jehovah proves Himself the sole foreteller of the events that are now unfolding themselves, they will be brought to the conviction that He is the only God. The hithpael hithnaggēsh does not occur anywhere else. On the absolute ידע לא, see at Isaiah 44:9 (cf., Isaiah 1:3). To the verb haggı̄shū we must supply, as in Isaiah 41:22, according to the same expression in Isaiah 45:21, עצּמתיכם (your proofs). "This" refers to the fall of Babylon and redemption of Israel - salvation breaking through judgment. On mē'âz, from the olden time, compare Isaiah 44:8. God is "a just God and a Saviour," as a being who acts most stringently according to the demands of His holiness, and wherever His wrath is not wickedly provoked, sets in motion His loving will, which is ever concerned to secure the salvation of men.

Isaiah 46:1 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Bel. Bel, called Belus by the Greek and Roman writers, is the same as Baal; and Nebo is interpreted by Castell and Norberg of Mercury; the two principal idols of Babylon. When that city was taken by the Persians, these images were carried in triumph.

Isaiah 21:9 And, behold, here comes a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen...

Isaiah 41:6,7 They helped every one his neighbor; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage...

Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast...

1 Samuel 5:3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD...

Jeremiah 48:1 Against Moab thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe to Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken...

Jeremiah 50:2 Declare you among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken...

Jeremiah 51:44,47,52 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up...

a burden

Isaiah 2:20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship...

Jeremiah 10:5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them...

Cross References
Matthew 23:4
They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

Numbers 32:38
Nebo, and Baal-meon (their names were changed), and Sibmah. And they gave other names to the cities that they built.

1 Samuel 5:3
And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place.

Isaiah 2:18
And the idols shall utterly pass away.

Isaiah 21:9
And behold, here come riders, horsemen in pairs!" And he answered, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods he has shattered to the ground."

Isaiah 30:6
An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb. Through a land of trouble and anguish, from where come the lioness and the lion, the adder and the flying fiery serpent, they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people that cannot profit them.

Isaiah 45:20
"Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.

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ESV Text Edition 2011: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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