1 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.

2 A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.

4 My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.

5 Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.

6 For thus hath Yahweh said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

7 And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:

8 And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:

9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

10 O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of Yahweh of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, have I declared unto you.

11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

12 The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.

13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.

14 The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled.

15 For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.

16 For thus hath Yahweh said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail:

17 And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for Yahweh Elohim of Israel hath spoken it.

9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.


The Babylon then of b.c. 536, the era of its capture by Cyrus, and the Babylon ... assailed by the latter-day Cyrus, is scripturally the same kingdom in the yesterday and to-day of its existence; and the name Babylon is both the literal and symbolical name of the dominion from Nebuchadnezzar to the destruction of his image, which is the symbol of the latter-day aggregation of the Babylonish Royalties, which are to be smitten by the stone.

The Latin and the Greek papacies, that is, the Roman and Russian, are as much parts of this image as any other idolatrous powers of the habitable in the days of Cyrus, Alexander his successor, and the Roman Senate. When Russia has more fully established herself in the habitable, her Babylonish character will be complete; Babylon will then have attained the ne plus ultra of its territorial extension and power.

It is more than probable that Isaiah and Jeremiah did not perceive the mystery of the judgment of Babylon. They may have expected that all they had written upon the subject would find its accomplishment in the ancient city of the Chaldeans. They had probably never heard of Rome. Isaiah certainly had not; for when he began to write, it had no existence, and in Jeremiah's day, it was too inconsiderable to have attracted the attention of the Orient.

All, therefore, that could well be done in the premises in prophesying about Rome, a city then unknown to Israel, but heir of the power which Babylon possessed, was to make the existing Babylon the subject of all they foretold. They did not see, however, how much applied to Babylon proper, and how much to Rome, to which Babylon's power and dominion was afterwards to pass.

They did not see Rome playing the part of Babylon against Judah and the Nazarenes. Knowing nothing of the Nazarenes, they did not see the Roman daughter of Babylon making war upon them, and conquering them; and in turn vanquished and destroyed by Jesus and his brethren.

"They searched into what, or what time the spirit of Christ in them did signify, testifying beforehand the sufferings for Christ, and the glories after these: to whom it was revealed that not for themselves, but for us," says Peter, "they did minister the same things which now are announced to you through those who preach the gospel to you with the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, into which the angels desire to penetrate."-(1 Pet. 1:11-12.)

"The sufferings for Christ" by the Nazarenes, and "the glories" they should acquire in breaking up the Roman kingdoms of Babylon, were altogether beyond their vision.

They saw the overthrow of the Mistress of kingdoms by Ararat, Minni, and Aschenaz, with the kings of the Medes; and they saw the sea of Babylon dried up by turning the Euphrates from its course; and they saw the sea of assembled nations cover her with the multitude of its waves, and thus sink her like the stone of Seraiah into the deep; but that Babylon would continue a populous city and province for centuries after the fall of Lucifer from the throne, they had no idea. They expected, too, the redemption of all Israel, but their posterity contemporary with the events, realised only a partial subordinate and temporary restitution of Judah.

Bro Thomas - A Bible Dictionary

The Christadelphian, Dec 1872