|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-10 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.
Verse 4. - My heart panted; rather, my heart trembleth, or fluttereth. The night of my pleasure; i.e. "the night, wherein, I am wont to enjoy peaceful and pleasant slumbers."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
My heart panted,.... Fluttered about, and could hardly keep its place: or, "my mind wandered" (r); like a person in distraction and confusion, that knew not what to think say or do:
fearfulness affrighted me; the terror of Cyrus's army seized him, of its irruption into the city, and of his being destroyed by it; the writing on the wall threw him into a panic, and the news of the Medes and Persians being entered the city increased it:
the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me; in which he promised himself so much pleasure, at a feast he had made for his princes, wives, and concubines; either in honour of his god, as some think (s), being an annual one; or, as Josephus ben Gorion (t) says, on account of the victory he had obtained over the Medes and Persians; and so was quite secure, and never in the least thought of destruction being at hand; but in the midst of all his revelling, mirth, and jollity, the city was surprised and taken, and he slain, Daniel 5:1. So mystical Babylon, in the midst of her prosperity, while she is saying that she sits a queen, and knows no sorrow, her judgment and plagues shall come upon her, Revelation 18:7.
(r) "erravit cor meum", Montanus; "errat animus meus", Junius & Tremellius; "errat cor meum", Piscator. (s) Vid. Herodot. l. 1. c. 191. Xenophon. l. 7. c. 23. (t) L. 1. c. 5. p. 24. Ed. Braithaupt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. panted—"is bewildered" [Barnes].
night of my pleasure—The prophet supposes himself one of the banqueters at Belshazzar's feast, on the night that Babylon was about to be taken by surprise; hence his expression, "my pleasure" (Isa 14:11; Jer 51:39; Da 5:1-31).
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