46:1 Bel 1 kneels down,
Nebo 2 bends low.
Their images weigh down animals and beasts. 3
Your heavy images are burdensome to tired animals. 4
46:2 Together they bend low and kneel down;
they are unable to rescue the images; 5
they themselves 6 head off into captivity. 7
1 sn Bel was the name of a Babylonian god. The name was originally associated with Enlil, but later was applied to Marduk. See HALOT 132 s.v. בֵּל.
2 sn Nebo is a variation of the name of the Babylonian god Nabu.
3 tn Heb “their images belong to animals and beasts”; NIV “their idols are borne by beasts of burden”; NLT “are being hauled away.”
4 tn Heb “your loads are carried [as] a burden by a weary [animal].”
5 tn Heb “[the] burden,” i.e., their images, the heavy burden carried by the animals.
6 tn נַפְשָׁם (nafsham, “their souls/lives”) is equivalent here to a third masculine plural suffix, but the third feminine singular verb הָלָכָה (halakhah, “they go”) agrees with the feminine noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul, life”).
7 sn The downfall of Babylon is depicted here. The idols are carried off by the victorious enemy; the gods are likened to defeated captives who cower before the enemy and are taken into exile.