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They stoop, they bow down together;
they are not able to rescue the burden,
but they themselves go off into captivity. Bible

“they bow down together.” Just as the Babylonian gods bow before the Persian conquerors, so too do the Babylonian people. They bow down together with their gods.

“they are not able to rescue the burden.” The Babylonian people are not able to rescue the “burden,” that is, their gods, from the Persian conquerors. God’s use of “burden” here is deliberate and a great lesson. Of course, the Babylonian gods, which were often made of metal, including gold and silver, were a burden to carry. But much more than that, the Babylonians trusted their idol gods when in reality all they were was a burden. They introduced demons into the lives of the people and burdened them with lies and pagan worship rites and regulations and kept them from the truth. And now, as they went into captivity, they even burdened the animals who carry them. This verse has to be read with spiritual understanding, not just looking at historical fact. Some English versions try to make the English easier to understand, but in our opinion go too far. For example, the NET says, “they are unable to rescue the images.” While that is true, the “burden” were the idols, in changing “burden” to “images” the fact that God is warning us that false gods are a burden gets completely lost.


Commentary for: Isaiah 46:2