9:1 I saw the Lord standing upon the a altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the b head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
(a) Which was at Jerusalem: for he did not appear in the idolatrous places of Israel.
9:3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the c serpent, and he shall bite them:
(b) Both the most important of them, and also the common people.
(c) He shows that God will declare himself as an enemy to them in all places, and that his elements and all his creatures will be enemies to destroy them.
9:6 [It is] he that buildeth his d stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD [is] his name.
(d) He declares by the wonderful power of God, by the making of the heavens and the elements, that it is not possible for man to escape his judgments when he punishes.
9:7 [Are] ye not as children of the Ethiopians e unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from f Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
(e) Am I more bound to you than to the Ethiopians, or other people? Yet I have bestowed upon you greater benefits.
9:8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD [are] upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly g destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.
(f) Read (Jeremiah 47:4).
(g) Though he destroys the rebellious multitude, yet he will always reserve the remnant of his Church to call upon his name.
9:9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as [corn] is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the h least grain fall upon the earth.
(h) Meaning that none of his own would perish in his wrath.
9:11 In that day will I raise up the i tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
9:12 That they may possess the remnant of k Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
(i) I will send the promised Messiah, and restore by him the spiritual Israel; (Acts 15:16).
(k) Meaning, the very enemies (as were the Edomites) and others would be united with the Jews in one society and body, of which Christ would be the head.
9:13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall l overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall m drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
9:14 n And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
(l) Signifying, that there will be great abundance of all things, so that when one type of fruit is ripe, another would follow, and every one in order; (Leviticus 26:5).
(m) Read (Joel 3:18).
(n) The accomplishment of this is under Christ, when they are planted in this Church, out of which they can never be pulled, after they have once been grafted into it.