U³ Z 1-5. Call to Babylon. Darkness and silence. A i 6,7. Incrimination. Cruelty and self-exaltation. k 8,9. Retribution. Widowhood. A i 10. Incrimination. Evil and self-deification. k 11. Retribution. Evil and desolation. Z 12-15. Call to Babylon. Impotence.
1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon (cp. Tyre [23:12], and see 37:22. Ps.137:28), sit on the earth: throne-less, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for you shall no more be called tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones, and grind meal (the work of slaves [Ex.11:5. Matt.24:41]): remove your veil, lift up your skirts (or train), uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.
3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not accept or regard any man.
4 As for our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel.
5 Sit you silent, and get you into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for you shall no more be called, The mistress kingdoms. (the king of Babylon called himself "the King Vicar" [Oppert, Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar,p.15]. Cp. Ezek. 26:7. Dan. 2:37 So the popes name themselves, and are so addressed when crowned.Cp. Rev. 18:7)
6 I was wroth with My people, I have polluted My inheritance, and given them into your hand: you did show them no mercy (cp. 2 Kings 25:5,6,26. Jer. 50:17; 51:34); upon the elder have you very heavily laid your yoke. (cp. Zech. 1:15)
7 And you said, ‘I shall be a lady for ever:’ so that you did not lay these things to your heart, neither did remember the issue thereof. (but some codices read, "your latter end". See Deut.32:29)
8 Therefore hear now this, you that are given to pleasures, that dwells confidently, that say in your heart, ‘I am, and none else beside me (Babylon and Rome claim the Divine attributes, as used in these Chapters. Cp. 45:6,14; 46:9); I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of sons:’
9 But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of sons, and widowhood: they shall come upon you in their full measure for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great abundance of your enchantments.
10 For you have confided in your wickedness: you have said, ‘None sees me.’ Your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you; and you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and none else beside me.’
11 Therefore shall calamity come upon you; you shall not know from which place it rises: and ruin shall fall upon you (especially as prepared for others); you shall not be able to expiate it (or charm it away): and desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know.
12 Persist in your enchantments, and with the multitude of your sorceries, wherein you have labored from your youth; if so be you shall be able to profit, if so be you may strike terror.
13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels. Let now the astrologers (the scientist of Babylon were divided into 3 classes: writers of (1) charms to be placed on afflicted persons or houses; (2) formulae of incantations; (3) records of observations which mixed up astronomy with astrology, and resulted, in the case of any two successive or concurrent events, in the conclusion that one was the cause of the other; and, the further conclusion was reached by reasoning from the "particular" to the "general"), the stargazers, they who make known the future by observing new moons (see the 5th "creation tablet" [British Museum]), stand up, and save you from these things that shall come upon you.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves (their souls) from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.
15 Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, even your merchants (cp. Rev.18:11-19), from your youth: stagger onward every one to his quarter; none shall save you.