|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-23 The whole plan of Divine Providence is arranged with a view to the good of the people of God. A settlement in the land of promise is of God's mercy. Let the church receive those whom God receives. God's people, wherever their lot is cast, should endeavour to recommend religion by a right and winning conversation. Those that would not be reconciled to them, should be humbled by them. This may be applied to the success of the gospel, when those were brought to obey it who had opposed it. God himself undertakes to work a blessed change. They shall have rest from their sorrow and fear, the sense of their present burdens, and the dread of worse. Babylon abounded in riches. The king of Babylon having the absolute command of so much wealth, by the help of it ruled the nations. This refers especially to the people of the Jews; and it filled up the measure of the king of Babylon's sins. Tyrants sacrifice their true interest to their lusts and passions. It is gracious ambition to covet to be like the Most Holy, for he has said, Be ye holy, for I am holy; but it is sinful ambition to aim to be like the Most High, for he has said, He who exalts himself shall be abased. The devil thus drew our first parents to sin. Utter ruin should be brought upon him. Those that will not cease to sin, God will make to cease. He should be slain, and go down to the grave; this is the common fate of tyrants. True glory, that is, true grace, will go up with the soul to heaven, but vain pomp will go down with the body to the grave; there is an end of it. To be denied burial, if for righteousness' sake, may be rejoiced in, Mt 5:12. But if the just punishment of sin, it denotes that impenitent sinners shall rise to everlasting shame and contempt. Many triumphs should be in his fall. God will reckon with those that disturb the peace of mankind. The receiving the king of Babylon into the regions of the dead, shows there is a world of spirits, to which the souls of men remove at death. And that souls have converse with each other, though we have none with them; and that death and hell will be death and hell indeed, to all who fall unholy, from the height of this world's pomps, and the fulness of its pleasures. Learn from all this, that the seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned. The royal city is to be ruined and forsaken. Thus the utter destruction of the New Testament Babylon is illustrated, Re 18:2. When a people will not be made clean with the besom of reformation, what can they expect but to be swept off the face of the earth with the besom of destruction?
Verse 7. - At rest... singing. The first result of the fall of Babylon is general peace, rest, and quiet; then the nations, recognizing the blessedness of the change, burst out into a song of rejoicing. The peace did not really continue very long; for Persia took up the role of conqueror which Babylon had been forced to drop, and, under Cambyses and Darius Hystaspis, produced as much stir and disturbance as had been caused by Babylon., Still, there was an interval of about eleven years between the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus ( B.C. 538), and the expedition by Cambyses against Egypt ( B.C. 527).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet,.... The troubler of them being gone; and which will be the ease of the people of God, who in the latter day will fill the face of the earth, when the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire; and especially when Satan shall be bound, and put in prison for a thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more, Revelation 19:20,
they break forth into singing; that is, the inhabitants of the earth, because of the fall of the king of Babylon, they being delivered from so great a tyrant or oppressor; or, "utter a song of praise", as the Targum, Aben Ezra says the word in the Arabic language is expressive of "clearness", and so it does signify to speak purely, dearly, and fluently, with open, mouth, and a clear voice (z); it is rendered in Psalm 98:4 "make a loud noise"; by singing a joyful song; and such a song will be sung by the church, when the mystical Babylon is fallen; see Revelation 15:2.
(z) "perspicuo, puriore sermone fuit, fluida oratione disertas fuit, ----diserte, eleganter locutus est", Castel. col. 3040.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. they—the once subject nations of the whole earth. Houbigant places the stop after "fir trees" (Isa 14:8), "The very fir trees break forth," &c. But the parallelism is better in English Version.
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