1 Bel boweth down,These were the chief idols of Babylon.Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon theBecause they were of gold and silver, the Medes and Persians carried them away.beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages [were] heavily loaded; [they were] a burden to the weary [beast].
2 The beasts that carried the idols fell down under their burden.They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, butHe derides the idols, who had neither soul nor sense.themselves have gone into captivity.
3 Hearken to me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which areHe shows the difference between the idols and the true God; for they must be carried by others, but God himself carries his, as in (Deu_32:11).borne [by me] from the birth, which are carried from the womb:
4 And [even] to [your] old age I [am] he; and [even] to gray hairs will I carry [you]:Seeing I have begotten you, I will nourish and preserve you forever.have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver [you].
5 To whom will ye liken me, and make [me] equal, andThe people of God setting their own calamity, and the flourishing estate of the Babylonians, would be tempted to think that their God was not so mighty as the idols of their enemies: therefore he describes the original of all the idols to make them to be abhorred by all men: showing that the most that can be spoken in their commendation, is but to prove them vile.compare me, that we may be like?
6 They draw gold out of the bagge & weigh siluer in the balance, and hire a goldsmith to make a god of it, and they bowe downe, and worship it.
7 They beare it vpon the shoulders: they carie him and set him in his place: so doeth he stand, and cannot remoue from his place. Though one crie vnto him, yet can he not answere, nor deliuer him out of his tribulation.
8 Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring [it] again toBecome wise, meaning, that all idolaters are without wit or sense, like mad men.mind, O ye transgressors.
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none other God, and there is nothing like me,
10 Which declare the last thing from the beginning: and from of olde, the things that were not done, saying, My counsell shall stand, and I will doe whatsoeuer I will.
11 Calling a ravenousThat is, Cyrus, who will come as swift as a bird and fight against Babylon.bird from the east, the man that executeth myHim by whom I have appointed to execute that which I have determined.counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken [it], I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed [it], I will also perform it.
12 Hearken to me, ye stubborn in heart, that [are] far fromWho by your incredulity would prevent the performance of my promise.righteousness:
13 I bringHe shows that man's incredulity cannot abolish the promise of God, (Rom_3:3).near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not delay: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.