- God's care over his vineyard, verse 1-6.
- His chastisements on them, verse 7-9.
- His severe judgments against them, verse 10, 11.
- Their return, verse 12, 13.
Leviathan - By this leviathan, serpent and dragon (for all signify the same thing) be understands some powerful enemy or enemies of God, and of his church or people, which may well be called by these names, partly for their great might, and partly for the great terror and destruction which they cause upon the earth. The piercing - Which by its sting pierces deeply into mens bodies. Crooked serpent - Winding and turning itself with great variety and dexterity. Whereby he seems to signify the craftiness and activity of this enemy, whose strength makes it more formidable.
In that day - When this enemy shall be destroyed. A vineyard - My church and people, of red wine, of the choicest and best wine, which in those parts was red.
I keep it - I will protect my church from all her enemies, and supply her with all necessary provisions.
Or - Or if at any time fury seem to be in me against my people. Let him - My people. Take hold - Which he may by humble prayer not only restrain from doing him hurt, but engage to do him good.
Take root - To be firmly settled in their possessions. Fruit - Their posterity shall seek habitations in other countries, and replenish them with people. But this seems to be understood of the spiritual seed of Jacob.
Hath he - He hath not dealt so severely with his people, as he hath dealt with their enemies, whom he hath utterly destroyed. Of them - Of those who were slain by God on the behalf of Israel.
In measure - With moderation. When - When the vine shooteth forth its luxuriant branches, he cuts them off, but so as not to destroy the vine. Contend - God is said to contend with men, when he executes his judgments upon them, Amos 7:4. Stayeth - He mitigates the severity of the judgment. In the day - In the time when he sends forth his east-wind; which he mentions because that wind in those parts was most violent and most hurtful.
By this - By this manner of God's dealing with them. When - Which sin of Jacob's shall be purged, when he shall truly repent of all his sins, and especially of his idolatry. Altar - Their idolatrous altars. Possibly he may say the altar, with respect to that particular altar, which Ahaz had set upon the place of God's own altar; and this prophecy might be delivered in Ahaz's time, while that altar stood. Chalk-stones - When he shall break all those goodly altars in pieces. Not stand - Shall be thrown down with contempt.
Yet - Yet before this glorious promise be fulfilled, a dreadful and desolating judgment shall come. The city - Jerusalem and the rest of the defenced cities in the land. The habitation - The most inhabited and populous places. The calf - This is put for all sorts of cattle, which may securely feed there, because there shall be no men left to disturb them.
Broken - That there may be no hopes of their recovery. Women - He mentions women, because the men would be destroyed. Not understanding - They know not the things which concerns their peace, but they blindly and wilfully go on in sin. Therefore - Thus he overthrows their conceit that God would never destroy the work of his own hands.
Beat out - It is a metaphor from grain which was beaten out with a rod or staff, and then carefully gathered and laid up. From - From Euphrates to the Nile, which were the two borders of the land of promise. All the Israelites who are left in the land. One by one - Which signifies, God's exact care of them.
Trumpet - God shall summon them altogether by sound of trumpet, by an eminent call of his providence. He alludes to the custom of calling the Israelites together with trumpets.