Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols were on the beasts, and on the cattle: your carriages were heavy laden…
are the Jupiter and Mercury of the Babylonian pantheon (they are represented by these planets), and were the supreme deities in Babylon at this time. Bel (Bilu) is the Babylonian form of the Hebrew Ba'al ( = lord), and like that word is a generic name applicable to any deity. When used as a proper name it usually denotes Merodach (Marduk), the tutelary divinity of the city of Babylon (Jeremiah 50:2; Jeremiah 51:44); although there was an older Bel, who is spoken of as his father. The elevation of BelMerodach to the chief place among the older gods, as recorded in the mythical Chaldean account of the Creation (Tablet 4:1 ff.), is the legendary counterpart of the ascendency acquired by Babylon over the more ancient cities of the Euphrates valley. Nebo (Nabu) was the son of Merodach; the chief seat of his worship being Borsippa, in the vicinity of Babylon. His name, which is supposed to be from the same root as the Hebrew nabi', "prophet," seems to mark him out as the "speaker" of the gods (another point of contact with Mercury, "the chief speaker" — Acts 14:12). He was also regarded as the inventor of writing. The frequency with which the Chaldean kings are named after him (Nabo-polassar, Nebu-chadnezzar, Nabo-nidus) has been thought to show that he was the patron deity of the dynasty.
(Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.