These two chapters concern Babylon: the first showing the impotence of Babylon’s gods and the folly of worshipping them (46:1-7), and rebuking those Jews who would not receive God’s revelation of his purposes (46:8-13); and the second depicting Babylon as a proud queen humbled to the position of a menial slave, with none to her help.
- Observe the difference in 46:1-4 between the gods of Babylon that have to be borne by beasts, and carried away by their worshippers, and the God of Israel who bears his people throughout their history. Is your religion one that is burden to you, or do you know One who will bear you even to old age?
- What sins brought about Babylon’s downfall, and God’s judgment upon her? What did she assume was her security against future disaster (47:8-13)?
- What is the attitude of the Word of God to all forms of fortune-telling, crystal-gazing, and the like? What can we learn from chapter 47 about what will happen in the hour of judgment if we have been trusting in any other than in God?
- 46:1, 2. The inhabitants of Babylon laid their chief idols (Bel and Nebo) on beasts, and carried them away in their flight.
- 47:6. ‘I … desecrated my heritage’: i.e., allowed the holy land to be defiled by foreign conquerors.