4 That thou shalt take up this proverb proverb: or, taunting speech against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
English Standard Version
4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: "How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent furyDead Sea Scroll (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain ceased!
4 you can amuse yourselves by taking up this satire, a taunt against the king of Babylon: Can you believe it? The tyrant is gone! The tyranny is over!
New King James Version
4 that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: "How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased!
New Living Translation
4 you will taunt the king of Babylon. You will say, "The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended.
The whole plan of Divine Providence is arranged with a view to the good of the people of God. A settlement in the land of promise is of God's mercy. Let the church receive those whom God receives. God's people, wherever their lot is cast, should endeavour to recommend religion by a right and winning conversation. Those that would not be reconciled to them, should be humbled by them. This may be applied to the success of the gospel, when those were brought to obey it who had opposed it. God himself undertakes to work a blessed change. They shall have rest from their sorrow and fear, the sense of their present burdens, and the dread of worse. Babylon abounded in riches. The king of Babylon having the absolute command of so much wealth, by the help of it ruled the nations. This refers especially to the people of the Jews; and it filled up the measure of the king of Babylon's sins. Tyrants sacrifice their true interest to their lusts and passions. It is gracious ambition to covet to be like the Most Holy, for he has said, Be ye holy, for I am holy; but it is sinful ambition to aim to be like the Most High, for he has said, He who exalts himself shall be abased. The devil thus drew our first parents to sin. Utter ruin should be brought upon him. Those that will not cease to sin, God will make to cease. He should be slain, and go down to the grave; this is the common fate of tyrants. True glory, that is, true grace, will go up with the soul to heaven, but vain pomp will go down with the body to the grave; there is an end of it. To be denied burial, if for righteousness' sake, may be rejoiced in, Revelation 18:2. When a people will not be made clean with the besom of reformation, what can they expect but to be swept off the face of the earth with the besom of destruction?