|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
50:21-32 The forces are mustered and empowered to destroy Babylon. Let them do what God demands, and they shall bring to pass what he threatens. The pride of men's hearts sets God against them, and ripens them apace for ruin. Babylon's pride must be her ruin; she has been proud against the Holy One of Israel; who can keep those up whom God will throw down?
Verse 26. - Come against her; rather, Come to her. Dr. Payne Smith infers that Babylon has already fallen, and that the persons addressed are not warriors only, but plunderers of every kind. This is almost too subtle. The prepositions "to" and "against' (literally, upon) are so frequently interchanged (comp. Jeremiah 46:22; Jeremiah 49:9). From the utmost border; rather, all together; it is an idiom expressing universality. Those who are spoken of are regarded as a totality, "from the utmost end" of which its members come. Cast her up as heaps; rather, Cast it up as sheaves; i.e. ransack the repositories of Babylon's wealth, and heap it up like corn; last of all, destroy her (rather, it) utterly. The verb is a very emphatic one. Its primary meaning is "to cut off, or shut off." Hence kherem, a devoted thing, is applied in the Law to that which is "tabooed," as it were, cut off from any but sacred uses. In Leviticus 27:21 it is used of a field wholly appropriated to the sanctuary, and in 1 Samuel 15:21 and 1 Kings 20:42 to living beings doomed to destruction. Destruction is generally a part of the meaning; but it is not merely destruction, but an act of homage to the Divine justice.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Come against her from the utmost border,.... Or, "from the end" (a); from the end of the earth; from the Persian gulf, and the Caspian sea, on which the Persians and Medes bordered; from the most distant countries; for the Medes and Persians, who are here called unto, brought others along with them in their army from places still more remote; for this is not to be understood, with the Targum, of entering into Babylon on one "side"; or, with Jarchi, of beginning at one "end" of the city, that it might not be known, and be taken suddenly:
open her storehouses; where her gold, silver, jewels, and other precious things, lay: or, her barns or "granaries" (b), as the Targum and Kimchi; where the fruits and increase of the earth were laid up; and may figuratively design her cities and fortified places, full of inhabitants, as well as of riches and stores of all kinds:
cast her up as heaps; as heaps of rubbish to make a causeway of, and then tread upon them to make it smooth: or, "as heaps", or "sheaves" (c) of corn; tread upon them as oxen do, and thereby thresh them out; so Jarchi interprets it,
"thresh her as grains of wheat;''
and to this sense the Targum refers,
"consume her substance as they consume heaps of wheat;''
see Revelation 18:12;
and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left; of the city of Babylon, its inhabitants, wealth, and riches; so complete should the destruction be, Revelation 18:8.
(a) "a fine", Vatablus, Montanus, Schmidt; "a fine terrae", Piscator; "ab extremis finibus", Tigurine version, Grotius. (b) "horrea ejus", Montanus, Cocceius; "granaria ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt. (c) "sicut acervos, sub. tritici", Vatablus; "frumenti", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. from the utmost border—namely, of the earth. Or, from all sides [Ludovicus De Dieu].
storehouses—or, "her houses filled with men and goods" [Michaelis]. When Cyrus took it, the provisions found there were enough to have lasted for many years.
as heaps—make of the once glorious city heaps of ruins. Vast mounds of rubbish now mark the site of ancient Babylon. "Tread her as heaps of corn which are wont to be trodden down in the threshing-floor" [Grotius].
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