5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon is drunk with power and greed as with wine and just as a drunk fully cannot comprehend his actions while doing them, Nebuchadnezzar does not realize that he is being sued as an instrument of God’s judgment, nor does he comprehend the sin he compounds by his actions, setting himself and his nation up for judgment. And just as an alcoholic builds up a tolerance to the effects of alcohol, it ends up taking more alcohol to get him drunk. Nebuchadnezzar has become desensitized to his conquest and needs more and more land and nations to conquer to feel that power and that rush. But just as Alexander the Great, after conquering the know worlds wept because there was nothing left to conquer, he had depleted that which gave him joy and thus is the path Nebuchadnezzar was on, ready to drain dry the keg of power dry.
Ibn Ezra says, “Like a man whose confidence is bolstered by alcohol, Nebuchadnezzar continuously leaves home to embark on ambitious expeditions of conquest and pillage in foreign land.”
Notice there are five woes given to Babylon vv.6, 9, 12, 15, and 19. Five is the number for Law and Grace, Justice as well as Mercy.
6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!
Seems everyone longs for riches, fame, power or all three but if one obtains such things it makes a mockery of these type of people because with power comes great responsibility and thus increased burden and divided attention and the happiness and satisfaction that one foolishly believed they would obtain by such power ends up feeling them once again; like teasing a baby with candy. One desire ends up being ones demise.
Rashi comments, “His ill-gained fortunes will prove to be nothing but a heavy burden.
So by using Babylon to punish Judah will actually be a punishment upon Babylon!
The Full Life study Bible breaks it down from here to verse 20 and says, “Woe to him. Theses verses pronounce woes of judgment on anyone whose “soul… is not upright in him” (v.4). Such people will be judged because of their aggression (vv.6-8), injustice (vv.9-11), violence and crime (vv. 12-14), immorality (vv. 15-17), and idolatry (vv.18-20).”
7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?
With the increase of power, authority and terribly Babylon will end up spreading themselves too thin and actually become weak, and eventually because of power in numbers, the captive will overthrow the captor.
8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
Babylonia gets paid back in full what they did to other nations. They have much innocent blood on their hands and for this they must give an account and be punished. So when it looks as if the wicked win and succeed this is a black widow of deception and is actually a catalyst for a mighty irreparable demise.
9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
This increase in power may take them to great heights but little so they know that the foundation rots and buckles and the bigger they are the harder they fall as the saying goes.
10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. 11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. 12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
What has been conquered will testify as a witness to Babylon’s cruelty and inhumanity. The Stones Tanak states, “The very stones and beams of your house testify that you built your houses through blood shed and plunder.”
The Torah even has rules regarding conduct in times of warfare which Babylon clearly ignores for verse 12 says they build all they have on Torahlessness (iniquity).