7. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
7. Calix aureus Babylon in manu Jehovae, inebrians totam terram; e vino ejus biberunt gentes, propterea insanierunt gentes.
Here again he anticipates an objection which might have been made; for we know that the kingdoms of the world neither rise nor stand, except through the will of God; as, then, the Prophet threatens destruction to Babylon, this objection was ready at hand. "How comes it, then, that this city, which thou sayest is accursed, has hitherto so greatly flourished? for who hath honored Babylon with so great dignity, with so much wealth, and with so many victories? for it has not by chance happened that this monarchy has been elevated so high; for not only all Assyria has been brought, under its yoke, but also the kingdom of Israel, and the kingdom of Judah is not far from its final ruin." To this the Prophet answers, and says, that
We now, then, understand the design of this passage; for otherwise what the Prophet says might seem abrupt. Having said that the
Then he says, that it was
He afterwards adds how God purposed to carry this cup in his hand, a cup so splendid as it were of gold; his will was that it should
"All drank of the cup, yea, drank of it to the dregs, so that they were inebriated," (Jeremiah 49:12)
He there also called the terrible punishment that was coming on the Idumeans the cup of fury. Thus, then, were many nations inebriated by the Babylonians, because they were so oppressed, that their minds were infatuated, as it were, with troubles; for we know that men are stupefied with adversities, as though they were not in a right mind. In this way Babylon inebriated many nations, because it so oppressed them that they were reduced to a state of rage or madness; for they were not in a composed state of mind when they were miserably distressed.1
To the same purpose is what is added:
Moreover, this passage teaches us, that when the wicked exercise their power with great display, yet God overrules all their violence, though not apparently; nay, that all the wicked, while they seem to assume to themselves the greatest license, are yet guided, as it were, by the hand of God, and that when they oppress their neighbors, it is done through the secret providence of God, who thus inebriates all who deserve to be punished. At the same time, the Prophet implies, that the Babylonians oppressed so many nations neither by their own contrivance, nor by their own strength; but because it was the Lord's will that they should be inebriated: otherwise it would have greatly perplexed the faithful to think that no one could be found stronger than the Babylonians. Hence the Prophet in effect gives this answer, that all the nations could not have been overcome, had not the Lord given them to drink the wine of fury and madness. It follows, --
1 Some render the last word "reel," or stagger, and perhaps more consistently with the comparison of drunkenness. The verb in Hithpael, as here, means to be moved violently, either through rage or joy. Moved or agitated is the rendering of the versions and the Targum. To be moved with joy is to exult or glory; and so Blayney renders it, and connects the end of this verse with the following, i.e., that the nations gloried because of the fall of Babylon, --
Therefore shall nations glory, [saying,] Babylon is suddenly fallen, etc. -- Ed.
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