Isaiah 47

1 “Come down, and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon. Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will no longer be called tender and delicate. 2 Take the millstones, and grind flour. Remove your veil, lift up your skirt, uncover your legs, and wade through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness will be uncovered. Yes, your shame will be seen. I will take vengeance, and will spare no one.” 4 Our Redeemer, the LORD of Armies is his name, is the Holy One of Israel. 5 “Sit in silence, and go into darkness, daughter of the Chaldeans. For you shall no longer be called the mistress of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people. I profaned my inheritance, and gave them into your hand. You showed them no mercy. You laid a very heavy yoke on the aged. 7 You said, ‘I will be a princess forever;’ so that you did not lay these things to your heart, nor did you remember the results. 8 “Now therefore hear this, you who are given to pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children.’ 9 But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in their full measure, in the multitude of your sorcery, and the great abundance of your enchantments. 10 For you have trusted in your wickedness. You have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and your knowledge has perverted you. You have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’ 11 Therefore disaster will come on you. You won’t know when it dawns. Mischief will fall on you. You won’t be able to put it away. Desolation will come on you suddenly, which you don’t understand. 12 “Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your sorcery, in which you have labored from your youth; as if you might profit; as if you might prevail. 13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels. Now let the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save you from the things that will come on you. 14 Behold, they shall are like stubble. The fire will burn them. They won’t deliver themselves from the power of the flame. It won’t be a coal to warm at or a fire to sit by. 15 The things that you labored in will be like this: those who have trafficked with you from your youth will each wander in his own way. There will be no one to save you.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-6

Babylon is represented under the emblem of a female in deep distress. She was to be degraded and endure sufferings; and is represented sitting on the ground, grinding at the handmill, the lowest and most laborious service. God was righteous in his vengeance, and none should interpose. The prophet exults in the Lord of hosts, as the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel. God often permits wicked men to prevail against his people; but those who cruelly oppress them will be punished.

Verses 7-15

Let us beware of acting and speaking as Babylon did; of trusting in tyranny and oppression; of boasting as to our abilities, relying on ourselves, and ascribing success to our own prudence and wisdom; lest we partake of her plagues. Those in the height of prosperity, are apt to fancy themselves out of the reach of adversity. It is also common for sinners to think they shall be safe, because they think to be secret in wicked ways. But their security shall be their ruin. Let us draw from such passages as the foregoing, those lessons of humility and trust in God which they convey. If we believe the word of God, we may know how it will be with the righteous and the wicked to all eternity. We may learn how to escape the wrath to come, to glorify God, to have peace through life, hope in death, and everlasting happiness. Let us then stand aloof from all delusions.

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