31. One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end.
31. Cursor in occursum cursoris cucurrit (vel, curret, ad verbum) et nuntius in occmsum nuntii ad nuntiandum regi Babylonis, quod capta sit urbs ejus ab extremitate.
This also was fulfilled according to the testimony of heathen authors, as well as of Daniel. They do not indeed repeat these words, but according to the whole tenor of history we may easily conclude that messengers ran here and there, for the Babylonians never thought that the enemy could so suddenly penetrate into the city, for there was no entrance. We have seen how high the walls were, for there were no muskets then, and the walls could not have been beaten down. There were indeed battering-rams; but what was the breadth of the walls? even fifty feet, as already stated, so that four horses abreast could pass without coming into contact. There was then no battering-ram that could throw down walls so thick. As to the fords, the thing seemed incredible; so that they kept a feast in perfect security. In such an irruption, what our Prophet testifies here must have necessarily happened. But it is quite evident that he was the instrument of the Holy Spirit; for Cyrus was not as yet born when this prophecy was announced. We hence then know, that the holy man was guided from above, and that what he said was not produced in his own head, but was really celestial; for he could not have divined any such thing, nor was it through probable conjecture that he was able thus to speak and lead the Jews, as it were, into the very scene itself.
Nor is there a doubt but that this authority was afterwards confirmed when the fathers told their children, "So have we heard from the mouth of the Prophet what we now see with our eyes; and yet no man could have conjectured any such thing, nor have discovered it by reason or clearsightedness: hence Jeremiah must have necessarily been taught by the Spirit of God." This, then, is the reason why God designed that the destruction of Babylon should be, as we see, so graphically described.
He then says,
1 It seems to have been taken at its two extremities: hence the runners met each other at the king's palace, from both ends of the city, and each said, that it was taken at its end. -- Ed.
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