- A grievous famine prophesied, its miseries, verse 1-6.
- The prophet prays, but God will not be entreated for them, verse 7-12.
- Lying prophets no excuse for them, verse 13-16.
- The prophet's complaint, verse 17-22.
The hind - Hinds use not to get their food in fields, but upon mountains and in wildernesses, but the drought was such, that these creatures came into the lower grounds, and there brought forth their young. The hinds are loving creatures and as all creatures love their young, so hinds especially; but their moisture being dried up, they could not suckle them, but were forced to leave them, running about to seek grass to eat.
The wild asses - The wild asses wanting water, got upon high places, where was the coolest air, and sucked in the wind; and this it is said they did like dragons, of whom Aristotle and Pliny report, that they ordinarily stand upon high places sucking in the cool air.
Testify - That thou art righteous in what thou hast done. Do thou it - Do thou what we stand in need of; give us rain, though not for our sake, we deserve no such kindness from thee, yet for thy names sake: thy promise, or for thine honour and glory.
Astonished - In such disorder through some great passion, that he is able to do nothing. A mighty man - Like a man who in his own nature is strong, but through sickness so weakened, that he cannot put forth any strength for the succour of his friends. Yet - Yet (saith the prophet) thou art in the midst of us; of the whole land, according to what God had declared, Numbers 5:3; . Defile not the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel.
Thus - Here begins the answer to the prophet's complaint and prayer in the nine first verses. The substance is, that for their manifold sins, he was resolved to punish them. They loved - They have been fond of their idols, and they have persisted in those sinful courses, notwithstanding all counsels.
The throne - The words are either to be understood of the throne of the house of David, called the Lord's throne, 1 Chronicles 29:23, or else the temple, and the ark in it, the more special symbol of God's presence.
Rain - The present judgment under which they groan, was a drought, which he had described in the six first verses; the prophet imploring God for the removal of it, argues, from the impossibility of help in this case from any other way, none of the idols of the Heathens, which he calls vain things, nothing in themselves, and of no use, or profit to those that ran after them. Give showers - Without thy will? Art not - Lord, art not thou he alone who is able to do it? The scripture constantly gives God the honour of giving rain.