|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 8. - And he cried, A lion; rather, he cried as a lion; i.e. with a loud deep voice (comp. Revelation 10:3). The watchman, after long waiting, becomes impatient, and can contain himself no longer. He makes complaint of his long vain watch. My lord; rather, O Lord. The watchman addresses his complaint to Jehovah.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he cried, a lion,.... That is, the watchman cried, a lion, or that he saw a lion; not Uriah the priest, as the Septuagint; nor Habakkuk, as some Jewish writers; but Cyrus, at the head of the Persian and Median armies, compared to a lion for his fierceness, courage, and strength; see 2 Timothy 4:17 a type of Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, by whom antichrist, or mystical Babylon, will be destroyed, Revelation 5:5. The Targum is,
"the prophet said, the voice of armies, coming with coats of mail, as a lion.''
Aben Ezra interprets it, the watchman cried as a lion, with a great voice; upon sight of the chariots and horsemen, he lifted up his voice, and roared like a lion, to express the terror he was in, and the greatness of the calamity that was coming upon the city.
I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime: so that nothing could escape his notice:
and I am set in my ward whole nights: which expresses his diligence, vigilance, and constancy, in the discharge of his duty; and therefore what he said he saw might be depended on.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. A lion—rather, "(The watchman) cried, I am as a lion"; so as is understood (Isa 62:5; Ps 11:1). The point of comparison to "a lion" is in Re 10:3, the loudness of the cry. But here it is rather his vigilance. The lion's eyelids are short, so that, even when asleep, he seems to be on the watch, awake; hence he was painted on doors of temples as the symbol of watchfulness, guarding the place (Hor. Apollo) [Horsley].
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