7. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.
7. Heus Sion! Servare, quae habitas apud filiam Babylonis.
The Prophet repeats the same thing, though briefly, and in other words: but while he briefly touches on what he meant to say, he confirms and renders more plain the contents of the former verse. He shows that it was a very great disgrace that Babylon should become as it were the grave of Sion; for God had chosen that mount as the place where he was to be worshipped. Babylon, we know, was a filthy cavern, accursed by God. It was therefore to subvert, as it were, the order of nature, for the Jews to bury, so to speak, the holy mount of God in that infernal region. This mode of speaking appears on the first view somewhat harsh, but it is yet most suitable; for by Sion the Prophet means the Jews, who were still dispersed in Chaldea. The temple had not indeed been moved from its place, but only burnt and destroyed by the Chaldeans, and there was no other temple built among the Babylonians. What then does the Prophet mean by saying, O Sion, who dwellest with the daughter of Babylon, return to thine own place? He even reminds the Jews that they were bound, as it were, to the temple; for it was a sacred and an indissoluble bond of mutual union between God and them. (1 Kings 6:13.) For when God proposed that a temple should be built for him on mount Sion, he at the same time added,
|I will dwell among you; this is my rest.| (Psalm 132:14.)
Since the Jews, then, became united to their God, the temple ass introduced as a pledge of this sacred union. Thus justly and fitly does the Prophet give the name of Sion to the Jews; for they were, as it has been said, tied as it were to the temple, except they meant to deny God. Hence he says, |Is it right that you should dwell among the Chaldeans? for ye are as it were the stones of God's temple. There is therefore for you no fixed and permanent abode except on mount Sion, as you are in a sense that very mount itself.| Therefore he says, |Sion, hasten and return to thine own place; for it is strange and preposterous that thou shouldest dwell with the daughter of Babylon.|
In short, the Prophet shows that God's favor ought not to have been rejected, when he stretched forth his hand, and gave them a free liberty to return. As then God thus appeared as the deliverer of his people, the Jews ought not to have remained exiles, but immediately to ascend to Jerusalem, that they might again worship God. And why did the Prophet mention this? that the Jews might know that they had nothing to fear, though surrounded with dangers; that though Satan suggested many perils, many difficulties, many troubles, yet the grace of God would not be defective, or evanescent, or fallacious, but that he would complete his work, and not disappoint those to whom he had once testified, that there would be to them again a quiet habitation in the land of Judah. It now follows --