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Bible Commentaries

C. H. Mackintosh's Notes on the Pentateuch

Genesis 10

 

 

Verses 1-32

This section of our book records the generations of Noah's three sons, noticing, especially, Nimrod, the founder of the kingdom of Babel, or Babylon, a name which occupies a very prominent place on the page of inspiration. Babylon is a well-known name — a well known influence. From Genesis 10:1-32 to Revelation 18:1-24 Babylon, again and again, appears before us, and always as something decidedly hostile to those who occupy, for the time being, the position of public testimony for God. Not that we are to look upon the Babylon of Old Testament scripture as identical with the Babylon of the apocalypse. By no means. I believe the former is a city; the latter, a system; But both the city and system exert a powerful influence against God's people. Hardly had Israel entered upon the wars of Canaan when "a Babylonish garment" brought defilement and sorrow, defeat and confusion, into the host. This is the earliest record of Babylon's pernicious influence upon the people of God; but every student of Scripture is aware of the place which Babylon gets throughout the entire history of Israel.

This would not be the place to notice, in detail, the various passages in which this city is introduced. I would only remark, here, that whenever God has a corporate witness on the earth, Satan has a Babylon to mar and corrupt that witness. When God connects His name with a city on the earth, then Babylon takes the form of a city; and when God connects His name with the Church, then Babylon takes the form of a corrupt religious system, called "the great whore," "the mother of abominations," &c. In a word, Satan's Babylon is always seen as the instrument moulded and fashioned by his hand, for the purpose of counteracting the divine operations, whether in Israel of old, or the Church now. Throughout the Old Testament Israel and Babylon are seen, as it were, in opposite scales: when Israel is up, Babylon is down; and when Babylon is up, Israel is down. Thus, when Israel had utterly failed, as Jehovah's witness, "the king of Babylon broke his bones," and swallowed him up. The vessels of the house of God, which ought to have remained in the city of Jerusalem, were carried away to the city of Babylon. But Isaiah, in his sublime prophecy, leads us onward to the opposite of all this. He presents, in most magnificent strains, a picture, in which Israel's star is in the ascendant, and Babylon entirely sunk. "And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! . . . . since thou art laid down, no hewer is come up against us." (Isaiah 14:3-8.)

Thus much as to the Babylon of the Old Testament. Then, as to the Babylon of Revelation, my reader has only to turn to Revelation 17:1-18 and Revelation 18:1-24 to see her character and end. She is presented in marked contrast with the bride, the Lamb's wife; and as to her end, she is cast as a great millstone into the sea; after which we have the marriage of the Lamb, — with all its accompanying bliss and glory.

However, I could not attempt to pursue this most interesting subject here: I have merely glanced at it in connection with the name of Nimrod. I feel assured that my reader will find himself amply repaid, for any trouble he may take in the close examination of all those scriptures, in which the name of Babylon is introduced. We shall now return to our chapter.

"And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." Here, then, we have the character of the founder of Babylon. He was" a mighty one in the earth" — "a mighty hunter before the Lord." Such was the origin of Babylon; and its character, throughout the entire book of God, remarkably corresponds therewith. It is always seen as a mighty influence in the earth, acting in positive antagonism to everything which owes its origin to heaven; and it is not until this Babylon has been totally abolished, that the cry is heard, amid the hosts above, "'Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" Then all Babylon's mighty hunting will be over for ever, whether it be its hunting of wild beasts, to subdue them; or its hunting of souls, to destroy them. ALL its might, and all its glory, all its pomp and pride, its wealth and luxury, its light and joy, its glitter and glare, its powerful attractions and wide-spread influence, shall have passed away for ever. She shall be swept with the besom of destruction, and plunged in the darkness, the horror and desolation, of an everlasting night. "How long, O Lord?"

 


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Bibliography Information
Mackintosh, Charles Henry. "Commentary on Genesis 10:4". C. H. Mackintosh's Notes on the Pentateuch. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/nfp/genesis-10.html.

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