9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of a Hadrach, and Damascus [shall be] the b rest of it: when the c eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, [shall be] toward the LORD.
(a) By which he means Syria.
9:2 And Hamath also shall border d by it; Tyre, and Zidon, though it be e very wise.
(b) Godís anger will remain upon their chief city, and not spare even as much as that.
(c) When the Jews will convert and repent, then God will destroy their enemies.
(d) That is, by Damascus: meaning, that Harnath or Antiochia would be under the same rod and plague.
9:4 Behold, the LORD will cast her out, and he will smite her f power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.
(e) He secretly shows the cause of their destruction, because they deceived all others by their craft and subtilty, which they cloaked with this name of wisdom.
(f) Though those of Tyre think themselves invincible by reason of the sea that surrounds them, yet they will not escape Godís judgments.
9:6 And a g bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
(g) Meaning, that all would be destroyed, save a very few, that would remain as strangers.
9:7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his h teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, [shall be] for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and i Ekron as a Jebusite.
(h) He promises to deliver the Jews when he will take vengeance on their enemies for their cruelty, and the wrongs they did to them.
9:8 And I will encamp about k my house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now l have I seen with my eyes.
(i) As the Jebusites had been destroyed, so would Ekron and all the Philistines.
(k) He shows that Godís power alone will be sufficient to defend his Church against all adversaries, be they ever so cruel, or assert their power ever so often.
9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh to thee: m he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a n donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey.
(l) That is, God has now seen the great injuries and afflictions with which they have been afflicted by their enemies.
(m) That is, he has righteousness and salvation in himself for the use and benefit of his Church.
9:10 And I will cut off the o chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace to the nations: and his dominion [shall be] from p sea to sea, and from the q river to the ends of the earth.
(n) Which declares that they should not look for such a king as would be glorious in the eyes of man, but should be poor, and yet in himself have all power to deliver his own: and this is meant of Christ, as in (Matthew 21:5).
(o) No power of man or creature will be able to stop this kingdom of Christ, and he will peaceably govern them by his word.
9:11 r As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy s prisoners out of the pit in which [is] no water.
(p) That is, from the Red Sea, to the Sea called Syriacum: and by these places which the Jews knew, he meant an infinite space and area over the whole world.
(q) That is, from the Euphrates.
(r) Meaning Jerusalem, or the Church which is saved by the blood of Christ, of which the blood of the sacrifices was a figure. And it is here called the covenant of the Church, because God made it with his Church: and left it with them because of the love that he had for them.
9:12 Turn ye to the t strong hold, ye u prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render x double to thee;
(s) God shows that he will deliver his Church out of all dangers, no matter how great they may seem.
(t) That is, into the holy land where the city and the temple are, where God will defend you.
9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the y bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
(u) Meaning the faithful, who seemed to be in danger of their enemies on every side, and yet lived in hope that God would restore them to liberty.
(x) That is, double benefits and prosperity, in respect of that which your fathers enjoyed from Davidís time to the captivity.
(y) I will make Judah and Ephraim, that is, my whole Church, victorious against all enemies, which he here means by the Greeks.
9:15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, z and subdue the sling stones; and they shall drink, [and] make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, [and] as the corners of the altar.
(z) He promises that the Jews will destroy their enemies, and have abundance and excess of all things, as there is abundance on the altar when the sacrifice is offered. And these things are not to move them to excess, but to sobriety, and a thankful remembrance of Godís great liberality.
9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the a stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
(a) The faithful will be preserved, and reverenced by all, that their very enemies will be compelled to esteem them: for Godís glory will shine in them, as Josephus declares of Alexander the great when he met Jadi the high priest.