|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 6. - Go, set a watchman. The event is not to be immediate, it is to be watched for; and Isaiah is not to watch himself, but to set the watchman. Moreover, the watchman waits long before he sees anything (ver. 8). These unusual features of the narrative seem to mark a remote, not a near, accomplishment of the prophecy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thus hath the Lord said unto me,.... This is a confirmation of the above prophecy from the Lord himself, he showing to the prophet, in a visionary way, the ruin of Babylon, and the means and instruments of it:
go, set a watchman; not Habakkuk, as Jarchi; nor Urias, as the Septuagint; nor Jeremiah, as others; but himself, who, in a way of vision, represented a watchman on the walls of Babylon; and which was no way unsuitable to his character and office as a prophet:
let him declare what he seeth; what he sees coming at a distance, or at hand, let him faithfully and publicly make it known: these are not the words of the king of Babylon to one of his watchmen; but of the Lord of hosts to his prophet.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth—God's direction to Isaiah to set a watchman to "declare" what he sees. But as in Isa 21:10, Isaiah himself is represented as the one who "declared." Horsley makes him the "watchman," and translates, "Come, let him who standeth on the watchtower report what he seeth."
Isaiah 21:6 Parallel Commentaries
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