They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but are themselves gone into captivity.
Read Chapter 46
George Leo Haydock
They. Literally, "their soul. "(Haydock)
The pagans must have supposed they had one. (Calmet)
Captivity. "There are as many triumphs over the gods as over men. "(Tertullian)
The former shared the fate of their adorers. Their statues were plundered.
Here [Isaiah] argues that the idols are weak since they will be carried into slavery as the cargo of elephants and even the burden of mules. And the people who carry them will bow low to put them on their shoulders. How can someone bearing God be weak like that? But these burdens are not God. Otherwise how could they be carried off as slaves of war? How would the ones carrying such things worship them? Others say that this burden is like the solemn procession of the demons that priests carry out when they bear statues on their shoulders and process through the streets bearing their burdens.
These words also remind Israel of their enemies who led them off: just as their enemies fell down and worshiped these idols who spoke in riddles contrary to reason, so also the demons were a heavy and oppressive burden to the souls [of Israel] whenever these demons enslaved them in ungodliness as they took them prisoner and bound them with the ropes of their [own] sins. - "Commentary on Isaiah 46.1–...