Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
TIMES OF THE
GENERAL, AND OF
JUDAH AND THE
The four chapters (the twenty-fourth through the twenty-seventh) form
one continuous poetical prophecy: descriptive of the dispersion and
successive calamities of the Jews
the preaching of the Gospel by the first Hebrew converts throughout the
the judgments on the adversaries of the Church and its final triumph
thanksgiving for the overthrow of the apostate faction
and establishment of the righteous in lasting peace
judgment on leviathan and entire purgation of the Church
Having treated of the several nations in particular--Babylon,
Philistia, Moab, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Edom, and Tyre (the miniature
representative of all, as all kingdoms flocked into it)--he passes to
the last times of the world at large and of Judah the
representative and future head of the churches.
1. the earth--rather, "the land" of Judah (so in
Isa 24:3, 5, 6;
The desolation under Nebuchadnezzar prefigured that under Titus.
2. as with the people, so with the priest--All alike shall share the
same calamity: no favored class shall escape (compare
Eze 7:12, 13;
4. world--the kingdom of Israel; as in
haughty--literally, "the height" of the people: abstract for concrete,
that is, the high people; even the nobles share the general distress.
5. earth--rather, "the land."
defiled under . . . inhabitants--namely, with innocent blood
laws . . . ordinance . . . everlasting
covenant--The moral laws, positive statutes, and
national covenant designed to be for ever between God and
6. earth--the land.
burned--namely, with the consuming wrath of heaven: either internally,
[ROSENMULLER]; or externally, the prophet has before
his eyes the people being consumed with the withering dryness of their
doomed land (so
Joe 1:10, 12),
7. mourneth--because there are none to drink it
[BARNES]. Rather, "is
become vapid" [HORSLEY].
languisheth--because there are none to cultivate it now.
9. with a song--the usual accompaniment of feasts.
strong drink--(See on
"Date wine" [HORSLEY].
bitter--in consequence of the national calamities.
10. city of confusion--rather, "desolation." What Jerusalem would
be; by anticipation it is called so.
HORSLEY translates, "The city is
broken down; it is a ruin."
shut up--through fear; or rather, "choked up by ruins."
11. crying for wine--to drown their sorrows in drink
written about the same time, resembles this.
12. with destruction--rather "crash"
[GESENIUS]. "With a great tumult
the gate is battered down" [HORSLEY].
13. the land--Judea. Put the comma after "land," not after "people."
"There shall be among the people (a remnant left), as the shaking
(the after-picking) of an olive tree"; as in gathering olives, a few remain
on the highest boughs
(Isa 17:5, 6).
14. They--those who are left: the remnant.
sing for the majesty of the Lord--sing a thanksgiving for the goodness
of the Lord, who has so mercifully preserved them.
from the sea--from the distant lands beyond the sea, whither they have
15. in the fires--VITRINGA
translates, "in the caves." Could it
mean the fires of affliction
They were exiles at the time. The fires only loose the carnal bonds off
the soul, without injuring a hair, as in the case of Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abed-nego. LOWTH reads, in the islands
Rather translate for "fires," "in the regions of morning light," that
is, the east, in antithesis to the "isles of the sea," that is, the
west [MAURER]. Wheresoever ye be scattered, east
or west, still glorify the Lord
16. Songs to God come in together to Palestine from distant lands,
as a grand chorus.
glory to the righteous--the burden of the songs
(Isa 26:2, 7).
Amidst exile, the loss of their temple, and all that is dear to man,
their confidence in God is unshaken. These songs recall the joy of
other times and draw from Jerusalem in her present calamities, the cry,
"My leanness." HORSLEY translates, "glory to
the Just One"; then My leanness expresses his sense of man's
corruption, which led the Jews, "the treacherous dealers"
to crucify the Just One; and his deficiency of righteousness which made
him need to be clothed with the righteousness of the Just One
treacherous dealers--the foreign nations that oppress Jerusalem, and
overcome it by stratagem (so in
17. This verse explains the wretchedness spoken of in
(Jer 48:43, 44)
uses the same words. They are proverbial;
expressing that the inhabitants were nowhere safe; if they escaped one
danger, they fell into another, and worse, on the opposite side
"Fear" is the term applied to the cords with feathers of all colors
which, when fluttered in the air, scare beasts into the pitfall, or
birds into the snare. HORSLEY makes the
connection. Indignant at the treatment which the Just One received,
the prophet threatens the guilty land with instant vengeance.
18. noise of . . . fear--the shout designed to rouse the game and drive
it into the pitfall.
windows . . . open--taken from the account of the deluge
the flood-gates. So the final judgments of fire on the apostate
world are compared to the deluge
19. earth--the land: image from an earthquake.
20. removed like a cottage--(See on
Here, a hanging couch, suspended from the trees by cords, such
as NIEBUHR describes the Arab keepers of lands as
having, to enable them to keep watch, and at the same time to be secure
from wild beasts. Translate, "Shall wave to and fro like a hammock"
swung about by the wind.
heavy upon it--like an overwhelming burden.
not rise again--not meaning, that it never would rise
but in those convulsions it would not rise, it would surely
21. host of . . . high ones--the heavenly host, that is, either
the visible host of heaven (the present economy of nature, affected
by the sun, moon, and stars, the objects of idolatry, being abolished,
Isa 65:17; 60:19,
simultaneously with the corrupt polity of men); or rather, "the
invisible rulers of the darkness of this world," as the
antithesis to "kings of the earth" shows. Angels, moreover, preside, as
it were, over kingdoms of the world
(Da 10:13, 20, 21).
22. in the pit--rather, "for the pit"
[HORSLEY]. "In the dungeon"
Image from captives thrust together into a dungeon.
prison--that is, as in a prison. This sheds light on the disputed
where also the prison is figurative: The "shutting up" of the
Jews in Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, and again under Titus, was to
be followed by a visitation of mercy "after many days"--seventy
years in the case of the former--the time is not yet elapsed in the
case of the latter. HORSLEY takes "visited" in a
bad sense, namely, in wrath, as in
the punishment being the heavier in the fact of the delay. Probably a
double visitation is intended, deliverance to the elect, wrath to
hardened unbelievers; as
plainly contemplates judgments on proud sinners, symbolized by the
"sun" and "moon."
Still future: of which Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem amidst
hosannas was a pledge.
his ancients--the elders of His people; or in general, His ancient
people, the Jews. After the overthrow of the world kingdoms. Jehovah's
shall be set up with a splendor exceeding the light of the sun and moon
under the previous order of things
(Isa 60:19, 20).