U˛ X 1,2. Impotence of idols. Y g 3,4. Call to hear. h 5. Challenge as to comparison. X 6,7. Impotence of Idols. Y h 8-11. Challenge as to comparison. g 12,13. Call to hear.
1 Bel bows down (abbreviation of Baal = lord. Here = Zeus, or Jupiter of the Greek and Roman mythology), Nebo stoops (answers to the Egyptian Anubis, Greek Hermes, and Roman Mercurius [cp. Acts 14:12]. These gods were indeed brought down. In the Inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, pp.15,21 [Oppert, Rheims,1866], found at Hillel in 1867 by Sir Hartford Jones, and now in the British Museum, these gods are mentioned, and in this order, with Meodach [Jer.50:2]. It is a block of black basalt in ten columns, making 620 lines), their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: the things you all carried about (i.e. in procession [Amos 5:26]) are become a burden; [are even now] loaded on beasts [for exile].
2 They stoop, they bow down together; and they could not deliver the burden, but themselves (their soul) are gone into captivity.
3 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob (see 2:5), and all the remnant of the house of Israel (see 5:7), who are borne by Me from the belly (see Ex. 19:4. Deut. 1:31; 32:11), and who are carried from the womb:
4 And even to your old age I Am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry, and will deliver you.
5 To whom will you all liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that We may be like?
6 They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he makes it a god: they fall down, yes, they worship.
7 They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he stands; from his place shall he not remove: yes, one shall cry to him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.
8 Remember this (see Deut. 32:7), and show yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O all you transgressors.
9 Remember the former things of old: for I Am GOD, and there is none else; I Am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:’
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man of My counsel from a far country (i.e. Cyrus, a type o Messiah, set apart by God for this special service): yes, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass (see Num.23:19); I have purposed it, I will also do it.
12 Listen to Me, all you stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and My salvation will not be too late: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory.