Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
VISION OF A
AVARICE OF THE
OPPRESSORS OF THE
OVERTHROW OF THE
WISH FOR THE
FAMINE OF THE
1. summer fruit--Hebrew, kitz. In
"end" is in Hebrew, keetz. The similarity of sounds implies
that, as the summer is the end of the year and the time
of the ripeness of fruits, so Israel is ripe for her last
punishment, ending her national existence. As the fruit is
plucked when ripe from the tree, so Israel from her land.
(Eze 7:2, 6).
3. songs of . . . temple--
The joyous hymns in the temple of Judah (or rather, in the
Beth-el "royal temple,"
for the allusion is to Israel, not Judah, throughout this
chapter) shall be changed into "howlings." GROTIUS
translates, "palace"; compare
as to the songs there. But
and Am 7:13,
favor English Version.
they shall cast them forth with silence--not as the
Margin, "be silent." It is an adverb, "silently." There shall be
such great slaughter as even to prevent the bodies being buried [CALVIN]. There shall be none of the usual professional
but the bodies will be cast out in silence. Perhaps also is meant that
terror, both of God (compare
and of the foe, shall close their lips.
4. Hear--The nobles needed to be urged thus, as hating to hear reproof.
swallow up the needy--or, "gape after," that is, pant for their goods;
so the word is used,
to make the poor . . . to fail--"that they (themselves) may be placed
alone in the midst of the earth"
5. So greedy are they of unjust gain that they cannot spare a single
day, however sacred, from pursuing it. They are strangers to God and
enemies to themselves, who love market days better than sabbath days;
and they who have lost piety will not long keep honesty. The new moons
and sabbaths were to be kept without working or trading
set forth wheat--literally, "open out" stores of wheat for sale.
ephah--containing three seahs, or above three pecks.
making . . . small--making it below the just weight to purchasers.
shekel great--taking from purchasers a greater weight of money than
was due. Shekels used to be weighed out in payments
Thus they committed a double fraud against the law
(De 25:13, 14).
6. buy . . . poor for silver . . . pair of
shoes--that is, that we may compel the needy for money, or any
other thing of however little worth, to sell themselves to us as
bondmen, in defiance of
the very thing which brings down God's judgment
sell the refuse of . . . wheat--which contains no nutriment, but which
the poor eat at a low price, being unable to pay for flour.
7. Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob--that is, by
Himself, in whom Jacob's seed glory [MAURER].
Rather, by the spiritual privileges of Israel, the adoption as His
peculiar people [CALVIN], the temple, and its
Shekinah symbol of His presence. Compare
where it means Jehovah's temple (compare
never forget--not pass by without punishing
Ho 8:13; 9:9).
8. the land . . . rise up wholly as a flood--The land will, as it
were, be wholly turned into a flooding river (a flood being the image of
cast out and drowned, &c.--swept away and overwhelmed, as the land
adjoining the Nile is by it, when flooding
The Nile rises generally twenty feet. The waters then "cast out" mire
9. "Darkness" made to rise "at noon" is the emblem of great calamities
10. baldness--a sign of mourning
I will make it as . . . mourning of an only son--"it,"
that is, "the earth"
I will reduce the land to such a state that there shall be the same
occasion for mourning as when parents mourn for an only son
11. famine of . . . hearing the words of the Lord--a
just retribution on those who now will not hear the Lord's prophets,
nay even try to drive them away, as Amaziah did
they shall look in vain, in their distress, for divine counsel, such as
the prophets now offer
Compare as to the Jews' rejection of Messiah, and their consequent
rejection by Him
and their desire for Messiah too late
Joh 7:34; 8:21).
So, the prodigal when he had sojourned awhile in the "far-off country,
began to be in want" in the "mighty famine" which arose
1Sa 3:1; 7:2).
It is remarkable that the Jews' religion is almost the only one that
could be abolished against the will of the people
themselves, on account of its being dependent on a particular
place, namely, the temple. When that was destroyed, the Mosaic
ritual, which could not exist without it, necessarily ceased.
Providence designed it, that, as the law gave way to the Gospel, so all
men should perceive it was so, in spite of the Jews' obstinate
rejection of the Gospel.
12. they shall wander from sea to sea--that is, from the Dead Sea to
the Mediterranean, from east to west.
from . . . north . . . to . . . east--where we might expect "from north
to south." But so alienated was Israel from Judah, that no Israelite
even then would think of repairing southward, that is, to Jerusalem
for religious information. The circuit is traced as in
&c., except that the south is omitted. Their "seeking the word of the
Lord" would not be from a sincere desire to obey God, but under the
pressure of punishment.
13. faint for thirst--namely, thirst for hearing the words of the Lord,
being destitute of all other comfort. If even the young and strong
faint, how much more the infirm
(Isa 40:30, 31)!
14. swear by the sin of Samaria--namely, the calves
"Swear by" means to worship
The manner--that is, as "the way" is used
the mode of worship.
Thy god, O Dan--the other golden calf at Dan
liveth . . . liveth--rather, "May thy god . . . live . . . may the
manner . . . live." Or, "As (surely as) thy god, O Dan, liveth." This is
their formula when they swear; not "May Jehovah live!" or, "As Jehovah