|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
47:7-15 Let us beware of acting and speaking as Babylon did; of trusting in tyranny and oppression; of boasting as to our abilities, relying on ourselves, and ascribing success to our own prudence and wisdom; lest we partake of her plagues. Those in the height of prosperity, are apt to fancy themselves out of the reach of adversity. It is also common for sinners to think they shall be safe, because they think to be secret in wicked ways. But their security shall be their ruin. Let us draw from such passages as the foregoing, those lessons of humility and trust in God which they convey. If we believe the word of God, we may know how it will be with the righteous and the wicked to all eternity. We may learn how to escape the wrath to come, to glorify God, to have peace through life, hope in death, and everlasting happiness. Let us then stand aloof from all delusions.
Verse 15. - Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured. The foreigners who have participated in the toils and labours of Babylon shall share in her punishment. The flame of judgment shall not spare even them. Even thy merchants. Babylonian commerce is the subject of an important chapter in Heeren's 'Asiatic Nations' (vol. 2, pp. 190-260), and is discussed also in the present writer's 'Egypt and Babylon' (ch. 8, pp. 127-144). It was carried on both by land and sea, and was very extensive, including both a large import and a large export trade. Her merchants were, in part natives, in part foreigners. It is the latter who are here specially intended. Seeing the gradual closing in upon Babylon of the Persian armies, and anticipating the worst, they fly in haste from the doomed city, each one making for his own country, and having no thought of interposing to save the people which have so long encouraged and protected them. Probably the greater number of these foreign merchants were either Phoenicians or Arabians. They shall wander every one to his quarter. Not his own quarter of the town, but his own quarter of the earth; i.e. his own country (comp. Isaiah 13:14, "They shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured,.... In training them up in those arts, and in consulting with them in cases of difficulty; in which they were of no service, and now in time of danger as useless as stubble, or a blaze of straw:
even thy merchants from thy youth; either the above astrologers and diviners, who had been with them from the beginning of their state; and who had made merchandise of them, and were become rich as merchants by telling fortunes, and predicting things to come by the stars; which sense our version leads to by supplying the word "even"; or rather merchants in a literal sense, which Babylon abounded with from the first building of it; it being the metropolis of the empire, and the mart of nations: these, upon the destruction of the city,
shall wander everyone to his quarter, or "passage" (y); to the country from whence they came, and to the passage in that part of the city which led unto it; or to the passage over the river Euphrates, which ran through the city; or to the next port, from whence they might have a passage by shipping to their own land: it denotes the fright and fugitive state in which merchants, from other countries, should be in, when this calamity should come upon Babylon; that they should leave their effects, flee for their lives, and wander about till they got a passage over to their native place, and be of no service to the Chaldeans, as follows:
none shall save thee: neither astrologers nor merchants; so the merchants of mystical Babylon will get without the city, and stand afar off, and lament her sad case, but will not be able to help her, Revelation 18:15.
(y) "ad vel in transitum suum", Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Thus, &c.—Such shall be the fate of those astrologers who cost thee such an amount of trouble and money.
thy merchants, from thy youth—that is, with whom thou hast trafficked from thy earliest history, the foreigners sojourning in Babylon for the sake of commerce (Isa 13:14; Jer 51:6, 9; Na 3:16, 17) [Barnes]. Rather, the astrologers, with whom Babylon had so many dealings (Isa 47:12-14) [Horsley].
to his quarter—literally, "straight before him" (Eze 1:9, 12). The foreigners, whether soothsayers or merchants, shall flee home out of Babylon (Jer 50:16).
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