Jeremiah 51:53
Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come to her, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(53) Though Babylon should mount up to heaven . . .—The special form of the phrase recalls the language of the builders of the Tower which made the name of Babylon conspicuous (Genesis 11:4). Even though that boastful attempt should be realised, Jeremiah says, it should prove a vain defence. As it was, the walls of Babylon which Nebuchadnezzar had built were of enormous height. Greek writers, possibly speaking of different walls (as there were two lines of fortifications), give from 75 to 335 feet. Nebuchadnezzar, in one of his inscriptions, records their greatness in words that remind us of Daniel 4:30. “To make more difficult the attack of an enemy against Imgur Bel, the indestructible wall of Babylon, I constructed a bulwark like a mountain” (Oppert, Expéd. en Mésop., i. p. 230; Records of the Past, v. p. 131).

Jeremiah 51:53. Though Babylon should mount up to heaven — Though Babylon were built upon the most lofty and inaccessible mountain, and though it were made as strong as nature and art could make it, yet still I would cause it to be spoiled.51:1-58 The particulars of this prophecy are dispersed and interwoven, and the same things left and returned to again. Babylon is abundant in treasures, yet neither her waters nor her wealth shall secure her. Destruction comes when they did not think of it. Wherever we are, in the greatest depths, at the greatest distances, we are to remember the Lord our God; and in the times of the greatest fears and hopes, it is most needful to remember the Lord. The feeling excited by Babylon's fall is the same with the New Testament Babylon, Re 18:9,19. The ruin of all who support idolatry, infidelity, and superstition, is needful for the revival of true godliness; and the threatening prophecies of Scripture yield comfort in this view. The great seat of antichristian tyranny, idolatry, and superstition, the persecutor of true Christians, is as certainly doomed to destruction as ancient Babylon. Then will vast multitudes mourn for sin, and seek the Lord. Then will the lost sheep of the house of Israel be brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd, and stray no more. And the exact fulfilment of these ancient prophecies encourages us to faith in all the promises and prophecies of the sacred Scriptures.Confounded - Or, ashamed. The verse is a statement of the wrong done to the exiles by Babylon, and so leads naturally to Babylon's punishment Jeremiah 51:52. 53. We are not to measure God's power by what seems to our perceptions natural or probable. Compare Ob 4 as to Edom (Am 9:2). We are very prone to measure things by the measures of our own reasons, and to judge of events which are to be the effects of Divine power by human probabilities, therefore God is put to use many words to the same purpose: he saw the Jews saying in their hearts, How can these things be? Babylon hath impregnable walls, two hundred feet high, (so historians report,) and of a great breadth, and it hath very strong and high towers. God by his prophet tells them, that if they could mount up as high as heaven, if they could make their towers much stronger than they were, yet the

spoilers were to come from him, and he could and would send spoilers who would pull down her wall and break down her towers. Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,.... Could the walls of it, which were very high, two hundred cubits high, as Herodotus (p) says, be carried up as high as heaven; or the towers of it, which were exceeding high, ten foot higher than the walls, as Curtius (q) says, likewise be raised to the same height:

and though she should fortify the height of her strength: make her walls and towers as strong as they were high; unless this is to be understood particularly of the temple of Bel, in which was a solid tower, in length and thickness about six hundred and sixty feet; and upon this tower another; and so on to the number of eight, towers; and in the last of them a large temple, as the above historian (r) relates: but if these towers could have been piled up in a greater number, even so as to reach to heaven, it would have availed nothing against the God of heaven, to secure from his vengeance. The Targum is,

"if Babylon should be built with buildings as high as heaven, and should fortify the strong holds on high:''

yet from me shall spoilers come, saith the Lord; the Medes and Persians, sent and commissioned by him, who would pull down and destroy her walls and towers, be they ever so high and strong.

(p) L. 1. sive Clio, c. 178. (q) Hist. l. 5. c. 1.((r) Herodot. l. 1. c. 181.

Though Babylon should mount up to {g} heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come to her, saith the LORD.

(g) For the walls were two hundred feet high.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
53. Cp. Isaiah 14:12-14.

fortify] lit. cut off, i.e. render inaccessible.

the height of her strength] the height of her walls.Verse 53. - The height of her strength; i.e. her lofty walls and towers. Therefore, viz., because what has been stated above will happen, or because the events mentioned in Jeremiah 51:46 are harbingers of the judgment on Babylon, - therefore days are coming when God shall execute judgment on the idols of Babylon, and dry up the land

(Note: Keil has here misread the Hebrew text, which runs כּל־ארצהּ תּבּושׁ. The verb does not come from יבשׁ, to become dry, but from בּושׁ, to be ashamed; hence the correct rendering is, "all her land shall be ashamed," not "shall be dried up." - Tr.)

(cf. Jeremiah 51:43), and all her slain ones, i.e., all her inhabitants shall fall down, slain in the midst of her. לכן הנּה ימים בּאים, "Therefore, behold, days are coming," is a formula very frequently found in Jeremiah; cf. Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 16:14; Jeremiah 19:6; Jeremiah 23:7, etc.

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