Isaiah 21:7 MEANING

Isaiah 21:7
(7) A chariot with a couple of horsemen.--Better, a troop, a couple. Both asses and camels were employed in the Persian army (Herod., i. 80, iv. 129). They probably indicate, the former an Arab, the latter a Carmanian contingent. Both are named (11,173 asses, 5,230 camels) among the spoil taken by Sennacherib on the defeat of Merodach-baladan (Bellino Tablet in Records of the Past, i. 26).

He hearkened diligently with much heed.--Literally, he listened sharply, listened sharply, with the iteration of intensity. What had met the watchman's eye in his vision had passed by in silence, and had left him in doubt as to its meaning. Was it the symbol of a Babylonian army marching out against rebels, or of a rebel army on the way to attack Babylon? He listened, but no voice came out of the darkness to interpret the vision for him.

Verse 7. - And he saw... he hearkened; rather, he shall see... he shall hearken (Kay). He is to wait and watch until he sees a certain sight; then he is to listen attentively, and he will hear the crash of the falling city. A chariot with a couple of horsemen; rather, a troop of horsemen riding two and two. This is exactly how a cavalry force was ordinarily represented by the Assyrians. Chariots are not intended either here or in ver. 9. They were not employed by the Persians until a late period of their history (see 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 4. pp. 113, 122). A chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; rather, men mounted on asses and on camels. It is well known that both animals were employed by the Persians in their expeditions to carry the baggage (Herod., 1:80; 4:129; Xen., 'Cyrop.,' 7:1, etc.). But neither animal was ever attached to a chariot.

21:1-10 Babylon was a flat country, abundantly watered. The destruction of Babylon, so often prophesied of by Isaiah, was typical of the destruction of the great foe of the New Testament church, foretold in the Revelation. To the poor oppressed captives it would be welcome news; to the proud oppressors it would be grievous. Let this check vain mirth and sensual pleasures, that we know not in what heaviness the mirth may end. Here is the alarm given to Babylon, when forced by Cyrus. An ass and a camel seem to be the symbols of the Medes and Persians. Babylon's idols shall be so far from protecting her, that they shall be broken down. True believers are the corn of God's floor; hypocrites are but as chaff and straw, with which the wheat is now mixed, but from which it shall be separated. The corn of God's floor must expect to be threshed by afflictions and persecutions. God's Israel of old was afflicted. Even then God owns it is his still. In all events concerning the church, past, present, and to come, we must look to God, who has power to do any thing for his church, and grace to do every thing that is for her good.And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen,.... The drivers of it, or the riders in it; perhaps meaning Cyrus and Darius:

a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; by the former may be meant the Persians, who very much used mules or asses; and the Medes by the latter, who abounded in camels: the words are in the singular number, and may be rendered, "a rider of an ass, and a rider of a camel" (w); and so may describe the couple of riders along with the chariot, which may signify the whole army of the Medes and Persians, chariots being much used in war; and the rider of the ass or mule may design Cyrus, who was called a mule, because of his mixed descent, being a Persian by his father, and a Mede by his mother's side; so the oracle of Apollo told the Babylonians, that their city should stand, until a mule was king of the Medes; and the rider of the camel may point at Darius:

and he hearkened diligently with much heed; the watchman that was set to watch used the utmost attention to what he saw, and listened diligently to the noise of this chariot and horsemen, as they came nearer.

(w) , , Sept.; "ascensorem asini, et ascensorem cameli", V. L. "unum equitantium in asinis, alterum equitantium in camelis", Piscator.

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