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EZEKIEL To MALACHI
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    EZEKIEL To MALACHI;
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    EZEKIEL To MALACHI

    FINAL NOTE;

    Deuter-canonical Books are included as references, and less often, the Pseudoe-pigraphia (extra-biblical New Testament Era writings - such as the Gospel of Barnabas - used for over 300 years by the early Church.

    Though these are not Inerrant Scripture, they are very important as geographical and historical references, and helping to understand how particular Hebrew and Greek words were used.

    Since the Deuter-canonical Books were part of the Jewish Bible that Jesus and Paul used, they have great value for understanding the era between the Covenants, and all things Jewish.

    Many will be surprised to know they were in the Geneva Bible of Calvin and Knox - and the Puritan Pilgrims - and included in the King James for over 275 years . . .

    . . . and left out in later versions - ONLY to make the Bible MORE PROFITABLE, by selling at the usual price, while being much smaller to print!

    No wonder Paul said the "love of money is the root of all evil!"

    Further know, that that these books are rejected by most Bible Preachers today, BECAUSE the Jews of Jesus' Day rejected them for the Jewish Canon at the Council of Jamnia after the fall of Jerusalem.

    This seems reasonable enough, and though these Scribes and Lawyers SHOULD have had superior knowledge in ALL THINGS JEWISH . . . in their Jewish wisdom, THEY ALSO REJECTED JESUS AS THE MESSIAH!!!

    TheDeuter-canonical Books are very "Kingdom of God" and "Messianic" Oriented, thus the Jews sis NOT want any writings confirming that Jesus WAS the Jewish Messiah.

    The wise "Students-N-Scholars" will know them, as they provide light on New Testament Scripture that are NOT understood otherwise;

    Quick Example:

    In Luke 3:36 YOUR Bible reads as follows:

      "Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem (Shem), which was the son of Noe (Noah), which was the son of Lamech;"

    This ancestor of Jesus named "Cainan, son of Arphaxad": where is he in YOUR Bible/ (Check Genesis 11:13, and other genealogies).

    This dilemma - which the WORLD calls a great contradiction in the linage of Jesus as the Christ - can ONLY be solved by the Bible Jesus used, which included the Deuter-canonical Books.

    Do you suppose Jesus knew more about the "Correct Books" of the Bible than modern Denomination?



    [1] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, HOMEPAGE and INDEX

    [2] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, INTRO and PREFACE

    [3] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, GENESIS - DEUTERONOMY

    [4] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, JOSHUA To ESTHER

    [5] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, JOB To SONG of SOLOMON

    [6] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, THE PSALMS

    [7] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, ISAIAH To JEREMIAH

    [8] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, EZEKIEL To MALACHI

    [9] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, MATTHEW To ACTS

    [10] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, ROMANS To THE-REVELATION

    [11] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, The Whole OLD TESTAMENT

    [12] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, The Whole NEW TESTAMENT





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    "EZEKIEL 1"

    AN EXPOSITION, WITH PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS
    OF THE THIRD BOOK OF PROPHECY, CALLED EZEKIEL;

    All Commentary from INSPIRED-INERRANT View of God's Word!



    Commentary by A. R. Faussett

      CHAPTER 1

      INTRODUCTION

      The name Ezekiel means "(whom) God will strengthen" [Gesenius]; or, "God will prevail"[Rosenmuller]. His father was Buzi (Eze 1:3), a priest, and he probably exercised the priestly officehimself at Jerusalem, previous to his captivity, as appears from the matured priestly character tobe seen in his prophecies, a circumstance which much increased his influence with his captivefellow countrymen at Babylon. Tradition represents Sarera as the land of his nativity. His call toprophesy was in the fifth year from the date of his being carried away with Jehoiachin (see 2Ki24:11-15) by Nebuchadnezzar, 599 B.C. The best portions of the people seem to have been amongthe first carried away (Eze 11:16; Jer 24:2-7, 8, 10). The ungodly were willing to do anything toremain in their native land; whereas the godly believed the prophets and obeyed the first summonsto surrender, as the only path of safety. These latter, as adhering to the theocratic principle, wereamong the earliest to be removed by the Chaldeans, who believed that, if they were out of the way,the nation would fall to pieces of itself. They were despised by their brethren in the Holy Land notyet captives, as having no share in the temple sacrifices. Thus Ezekiel's sphere of labor was onehappier and less impeded by his countrymen than that of Jeremiah at home. The vicinity of theriver Chebar, which flows into the Euphrates near Circeslum, was the first scene of his prophecies(Eze 1:1). Tel-Abib there (now Thallaba) was his place of residence (Eze 3:15), whither the eldersused to come to inquire as to God's messages through him. They were eager to return to Jerusalem,but he taught them that they must first return to their God. He continued to prophesy for at leasttwenty-two years, that is, to the twenty-seventh year of the captivity (Eze 29:17), and probably1408JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonremained with the captives by the Chebar the rest of his life. A treatise, falsely attributed to Epiphanius,states a tradition that he was killed at Babylon by a prince of his people whom he had reproved foridolatry.He was contemporary with Jeremiah and Daniel. The former had prophesied for thirty-fouryears before Ezekiel, and continued to do so for six or seven years after him. The call of Ezekielfollowed the very next year after the communication of Jeremiah's predictions to Babylon (Jer51:59), and was divinely intended as a sequel to them. Daniel's predictions are mostly later thanEzekiel's but his piety and wisdom had become proverbial in the early part of Ezekiel's ministry(Eze 14:14, 16; 28:3). They much resemble one another, especially in the visions and grotesqueimages. It is a remarkable proof of genuineness that in Ezekiel no prophecies against Babylon occuramong those directed against the enemies of the covenant-people. Probably he desired not to giveneedless offence to the government under which he lived. The effect of his labors is to be seen inthe improved character of the people towards the close of the captivity, and their general cessationfrom idolatry and a return to the law. It was little more than thirty years after the close of his laborswhen the decree of the Jews' restoration was issued. His leading characteristic is realizing, determinedenergy; this admirably adapted him for opposing the "rebellious house" "of stubborn front and hardheart," and for maintaining the cause of God's Church among his countrymen in a foreign land,when the external framework had fallen to pieces. His style is plain and simple. His conceptionsare definite, and the details even of the symbolical and enigmatical parts are given with lifelikeminuteness. The obscurity lies in the substance, not in the form, of his communications. The priestlyelement predominates in his prophecies, arising from his previous training as a priest. He delightsto linger about the temple and to find in its symbolical forms the imagery for conveying hisinstructions. This was divinely ordered to satisfy the spiritual want felt by the people in the absenceof the outward temple and its sacrifices. In his images he is magnificent, though austere andsomewhat harsh. He abounds in repetitions, not for ornament, but for force and weight. Poeticalparallelism is not found except in a few portions, as in the seventh, twenty-first, twenty-seventh,twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth through thirty-first chapters. His great aim was to stimulate the dormantminds of the Jews. For this end nothing was better suited than the use of mysterious symbolsexpressed in the plainest words. The superficial, volatile, and wilfully unbelieving would therebybe left to judicial blindness (Isa 6:10; Mt 13:11-13, &c.); whereas the better-disposed would beawakened to a deeper search into the things of God by the very obscurity of the symbols. Inattentionto this divine purpose has led the modern Jews so to magnify this obscurity as to ordain that no oneshall read this book till he has passed his thirtieth year.Rabbi Hananias is said to have satisfactorily solved the difficulties (Mischna) which were allegedagainst its canonicity. Ecclesiasticus 49:8 refers to it, and Josephus [Antiquities, 10.5.1]. It is mentionedas part of the canon in Melito's catalogue [Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.26]; also in Origen, Jerome,and the Talmud. The oneness of tone throughout and the repetition of favorite expressions excludethe suspicion that separate portions are not genuine. The earlier portion, the first through thethirty-second chapters, which mainly treats of sin and judgment, is a key to interpret the latterportion, which is more hopeful and joyous, but remote in date. Thus a unity and an orderlyprogressive character are imparted to the whole. The destruction of Jerusalem is the central point.Previous to this he calls to repentance and warns against blind confidence in Egypt (Eze 17:15-17;compare Jer 37:7) or other human stay. After it he consoles the captives by promising them futuredeliverance and restoration. His prophecies against foreign nations stand between these two great1409JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondivisions, and were uttered in the interval between the intimation that Nebuchadnezzar was besiegingJerusalem and the arrival of the news that he had taken it (Eze 33:21). Havernick marks out ninesections:—(1) Ezekiel's call to prophesy (Eze 1:1-3:15). (2) Symbolical predictions of the destructionof Jerusalem (Eze 3:16-7:27). (3) A year and two months later a vision of the temple polluted byTammuz or Adonis worship; God's consequent scattering of fire over the city and forsaking of thetemple to reveal Himself to an inquiring people in exile; happier and purer times to follow (Eze8:1-11:25). (4) Exposure of the particular sins prevalent in the several classes—priests, prophets,and princes (Eze 12:1-19:14). (5) A year later the warning of judgment for national guilt repeatedwith greater distinctness as the time drew nearer (Eze 20:1-23:49). (6) Two years and five monthslater—the very day on which Ezekiel speaks—is announced as the day of the beginning of thesiege; Jerusalem shall be overthrown (Eze 24:1-27). (7) Predictions against foreign nations duringthe interval of his silence towards his own people; if judgment begins at the house of God, muchmore will it visit the ungodly world (Eze 25:1-32:32). Some of these were uttered much later thanothers, but they all began to be given after the fall of Jerusalem. (8) In the twelfth year of thecaptivity, when the fugitives from Jerusalem (Eze 33:21) had appeared in Chaldea, he foretellsbetter times and the re-establishment of Israel and the triumph of God's kingdom on earth over itsenemies, Seir, the heathen, and Gog (Eze 33:1-39:29). (9) After an interval of thirteen years theclosing vision of the order and beauty of the restored kingdom (Eze 40:1-48:35). The particularityof details as to the temple and its offerings rather discountenances the view of this vision beingonly symbolical, and not at all literal. The event alone can clear it up. At all events it has not yetbeen fulfilled; it must be future. Ezekiel was the only prophet (in the strict sense) among the Jewsat Babylon. Daniel was rather a seer than a prophet, for the spirit of prophecy was given him toqualify him, not for a spiritual office, but for disclosing future events. His position in a heathenking's palace fitted him for revelations of the outward relations of God's kingdom to the kingdomsof the world, so that his book is ranked by the Jews among the Hagiographa or "Sacred Writings,"not among the prophetical Scriptures. On the other hand, Ezekiel was distinctively a prophet, andone who had to do with the inward concerns of the divine kingdom. As a priest, when sent intoexile, his service was but transferred from the visible temple at Jerusalem to the spiritual templein Chaldea.CHAPTER 1Eze 1:1-28. Ezekiel's Vision by the Chebar. Four Cherubim and Wheels.1. Now it came to pass—rather, "And it came," &c. As this formula in Jos 1:1 has referenceto the written history of previous times, so here (and in Ru 1:1, and Es 1:1), it refers to the unwrittenhistory which was before the mind of the writer. The prophet by it, as it were, continues the historyof the preceding times. In the fourth year of Zedekiah's reign (Jer 51:59), Jeremiah sent by Seraiaha message to the captives (Jer 29:1-32) to submit themselves to God and lay aside their flatteringhopes of a speedy restoration. This communication was in the next year, the fifth, and the fourthmonth of the same king (for Jehoiachin's captivity and Zedekiah's accession coincide in time),followed up by a prophet raised up among the captives themselves, the energetic Ezekiel.thirtieth year—that is, counting from the beginning of the reign of Nabopolassar, father ofNebuchadnezzar, the era of the Babylonian empire, 625 B.C., which epoch coincides with the1410JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneighteenth year of Josiah, that in which the book of the law was found, and the consequentreformation began [Scaliger]; or the thirtieth year of Ezekiel's life. As the Lord was about to be a"little sanctuary" (Eze 11:16) to the exiles on the Chebar, so Ezekiel was to be the ministeringpriest; therefore he marks his priestly relation to God and the people at the outset; the close, whichdescribes the future temple, thus answering to the beginning. By designating himself expressly as"the priest" (Eze 1:3), and as having reached his thirtieth year (the regular year of priests commencingtheir office), he marks his office as the priest among the prophets. Thus the opening vision followsnaturally as the formal institution of that spiritual temple in which he was to minister [Fairbairn].Chebar—the same as Chabor or Habor, whither the ten tribes had been transported byTiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser (2Ki 17:6; 1Ch 5:26). It flows into the Euphrates near Carchemishor Circesium, two hundred miles north of Babylon.visions of God—Four expressions are used as to the revelation granted to Ezekiel, the threefirst having respect to what was presented from without, to assure him of its reality, the fourth tohis being internally made fit to receive the revelation; "the heavens were opened" (so Mt 3:16; Ac7:56; 10:11; Re 19:11); "he saw visions of God"; "the word of Jehovah came verily (as the meaningis rather than 'expressly, English Version, Eze 1:3) unto him" (it was no unreal hallucination); and"the hand of Jehovah was upon him" (Isa 8:11; Da 10:10, 18; Re 1:17; the Lord by His touchstrengthening him for his high and arduous ministry, that he might be able to witness and reportaright the revelations made to him).2. Jehoiachin's captivity—In the third or fourth year of Jehoiakim, father of Jehoiachin, thefirst carrying away of Jewish captives to Babylon took place, and among them was Daniel. Thesecond was under Jehoiachin, when Ezekiel was carried away. The third and final one was at thetaking of Jerusalem under Zedekiah.4. whirlwind—emblematic of God's judgments (Jer 23:19; 25:32).out of the north—that is, from Chaldea, whose hostile forces would invade Judea from anortherly direction. The prophet conceives himself in the temple.fire infolding itself—laying hold on whatever surrounds it, drawing it to itself, and devouringit. Literally, "catching itself," that is, kindling itself [Fairbairn]. The same Hebrew occurs in Ex 9:24,as to the "fire mingled with the hail."brightness … about it—that is, about the "cloud."out of the midst thereof—that is, out of the midst of the "fire."colour of amber—rather, "the glancing brightness (literally, 'the eye', and so the glancingappearance) of polished brass. The Hebrew, chasmal, is from two roots, "smooth" and "brass"(compare Eze 1:7; Re 1:15) [Gesenius]. The Septuagint and Vulgate translate it, "electrum"; a brilliantmetal compounded of gold and silver.5. Ezekiel was himself of a "gigantic nature, and thereby suited to counteract the Babylonishspirit of the times, which loved to manifest itself in gigantic, grotesque forms" [Hengstenberg].living creatures—So the Greek ought to have been translated in the parallel passage, Re 4:6,not as English Version, "beasts"; for one of the "four" is a man, and man cannot be termed "beast."Eze 10:20 shows that it is the cherubim that are meant.likeness of a man—Man, the noblest of the four, is the ideal model after which they arefashioned (Eze 1:10; Eze 10:14). The point of comparison between him and them is the erect postureof their bodies, though doubtless including also the general mien. Also the hands (Eze 10:21).1411JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. Not only were there four distinct living creatures, but each of the four had four faces, makingsixteen in all. The four living creatures of the cherubim answer by contrast to the four worldmonarchies represented by four beasts, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome (Da 7:1-28). The Fathersidentified them with the four Gospels: Matthew the lion, Mark the ox, Luke the man, John theeagle. Two cherubim only stood over the ark in the temple; two more are now added, to imply that,while the law is retained as the basis, a new form is needed to be added to impart new life to it. Thenumber four may have respect to the four quarters of the world, to imply that God's angels executeHis commands everywhere. Each head in front had the face of a man as the primary and prominentone: on the right the face of a lion, on the left the face of an ox, above from behind the face of aneagle. The Mosaic cherubim were similar, only that the human faces were put looking towards eachother, and towards the mercy seat between, being formed out of the same mass of pure gold as thelatter (Ex 25:19, 20). In Isa 6:2 two wings are added to cover their countenances; because therethey stand by the throne, here under the throne; there God deigns to consult them, and Hiscondescension calls forth their humility, so that they veil their faces before Him; here they executeHis commands. The face expresses their intelligence; the wings, their rapidity in fulfilling God'swill. The Shekinah or flame, that signified God's presence, and the written name, Jehovah, occupiedthe intervening space between the cherubim Ge 4:14, 16; 3:24 ("placed"; properly, "to place in atabernacle"), imply that the cherubim were appointed at the fall as symbols of God's presence ina consecrated place, and that man was to worship there. In the patriarchal dispensation when theflood had caused the removal of the cherubim from Eden, seraphim or teraphim (Chaldean dialect)were made as models of them for domestic use (Ge 31:19, Margin; Ge 31:30). The silence of thetwenty-fifth and twenty-sixth chapters of Exodus to their configuration, whereas everything elseis minutely described, is because their form was so well-known already to Bezaleel and all Israelby tradition as to need no detailed description. Hence Ezekiel (Eze 10:20) at once knows them, forhe had seen them repeatedly in the carved work of the outer sanctuary of Solomon's temple (1Ki6:23-29). He therefore consoles the exiles with the hope of having the same cherubim in therenovated temple which should be reared; and he assures them that the same God who dwelt betweenthe cherubim of the temple would be still with His people by the Chebar. But they were not inZerubbabel's temple; therefore Ezekiel's foretold temple, if literal, is yet future. The ox is selectedas chief of the tame animals, the lion among the wild, the eagle among birds, and man the head ofall, in his ideal, realized by the Lord Jesus, combining all the excellencies of the animal kingdom.The cherubim probably represent the ruling powers by which God acts in the natural and moralworld. Hence they sometimes answer to the ministering angels; elsewhere, to the redeemed saints(the elect Church) through whom, as by the angels, God shall hereafter rule the world and proclaimthe manifold wisdom of God (Mt 19:28; 1Co 6:2; Eph 3:10; Re 3:21; 4:6-8). The "lions" and "oxen,"amidst "palms" and "open flowers" carved in the temple, were the four-faced cherubim which,being traced on a flat surface, presented only one aspect of the four. The human-headed wingedbulls and eagle-headed gods found in Nineveh, sculptured amidst palms and tulip-shaped flowers,were borrowed by corrupted tradition from the cherubim placed in Eden near its fruits and flowers.So the Aaronic calf (Ex 32:4, 5) and Jeroboam's calves at Dan and Beth-el, a schismatic imitationof the sacred symbols in the temple at Jerusalem. So the ox figures of Apis on the sacred arks ofEgypt.1412JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. straight feet—that is, straight legs. Not protruding in any part as the legs of an ox, but straightlike a man's [Grotius]. Or, like solid pillars; not bending, as man's, at the knee. They glided along,rather than walked. Their movements were all sure, right, and without effort [Kitto, Cyclopedia].sole … calf's foot—Henderson hence supposes that "straight feet" implies that they did not projecthorizontally like men's feet, but vertically as calves' feet. The solid firmness of the round foot of acalf seems to be the point of comparison.colour—the glittering appearance, indicating God's purity.8. The hands of each were the hands of a man. The hand is the symbol of active power, guidedby skilfulness (Ps 78:72).under their wings—signifying their operations are hidden from our too curious prying; andas the "wings" signify something more than human, namely, the secret prompting of God, it is alsoimplied that they are moved by it and not by their own power, so that they do nothing at random,but all with divine wisdom.they four had … faces and … wings—He returns to what he had stated already in Eze 1:6;this gives a reason why they had hands on their four sides, namely, because they had faces andwings on the four sides. They moved whithersoever they would, not by active energy merely, butalso by knowledge (expressed by their faces) and divine guidance (expressed by their "wings").9. they—had no occasion to turn themselves round when changing their direction, for they hada face (Eze 1:6) looking to each of the four quarters of heaven. They made no mistakes; and theirwork needed not be gone over again. Their wings were joined above in pairs (see Eze 1:11).10. they … had the face of a man—namely, in front. The human face was the primary andprominent one and the fundamental part of the composite whole. On its right was the lion's face;on the left, the ox's (called "cherub," Eze 10:14); at the back from above was the eagle's.11. The tips of the two outstretched wings reached to one another, while the other two, in tokenof humble awe, formed a veil for the lower parts of the body.stretched upward—rather, "were parted from above" (compare Margin; see on Isa 6:2). Thejoining together of their wings above implies that, though the movements of Providence on earthmay seem conflicting and confused, yet if one lift up his eyes to heaven, he will see that theyadmirably conspire towards the one end at last.12. The same idea as in Eze 1:9. The repetition is because we men are so hard to be brought toacknowledge the wisdom of God's doings; they seem tortuous and confused to us, but they are alltending steadily to one aim.the spirit—the secret impulse whereby God moves His angels to the end designed. They donot turn back or aside till they have fulfilled the office assigned them.13. likeness … appearance—not tautology. "Likeness" expresses the general form;"appearance," the particular aspect.coals of fire—denoting the intensely pure and burning justice wherewith God punishes by Hisangels those who, like Israel, have hardened themselves against His long-suffering. So in Isa 6:2,6, instead of cherubim, the name "seraphim," the burning ones, is applied, indicating God'sconsuming righteousness; whence their cry to Him is, "Holy! holy! holy!" and the burning coal isapplied to his lips, for the message through his mouth was to be one of judicial severance of thegodly from the ungodly, to the ruin of the latter.lamps—torches. The fire emitted sparks and flashes of light, as torches do.1413JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwent up and down—expressing the marvellous vigor of God's Spirit, in all His movementsnever resting, never wearied.fire … bright—indicating the glory of God.out of the fire … lightning—God's righteousness will at last cause the bolt of His wrath to fallon the guilty; as now, on Jerusalem.14. ran and returned—Incessant, restless motion indicates the plenitude of life in thesecherubim; so in Re 4:8, "they rest not day or night" (Zec 4:10).flash of lightning—rather, as distinct from "lightning" (Eze 1:13), "the meteor flash," or sheetlightning [Fairbairn].15. one wheel—The "dreadful height" of the wheel (Eze 1:18) indicates the gigantic, terribleenergy of the complicated revolutions of God's providence, bringing about His purposes withunerring certainty. One wheel appeared traversely within another, so that the movement might bewithout turning, whithersoever the living creatures might advance (Eze 1:17). Thus each wheelwas composed of two circles cutting one another at right angles, "one" only of which appeared totouch the ground ("upon the earth"), according to the direction the cherubim desired to move in.with his four faces—rather, "according to its four faces" or sides; as there was a side or directionto each of the four creatures, so there was a wheel for each of the sides [Fairbairn]. The four sidesor semicircles of each composite wheel pointed, as the four faces of each of the living creatures,to the four quarters of heaven. Havernick refers "his" or "its" to the wheels. The cherubim and theirwings and wheels stood in contrast to the symbolical figures, somewhat similar, then existing inChaldea, and found in the remains of Assyria. The latter, though derived from the original revelationby tradition, came by corruption to symbolize the astronomical zodiac, or the sun and celestialsphere, by a circle with wings or irradiations. But Ezekiel's cherubim rise above natural objects,the gods of the heathen, to the representation of the one true God, who made and continually upholdsthem.16. appearance … work—their form and the material of their work.beryl—rather, "the glancing appearance of the Tarshish stone"; the chrysolite or topaz, broughtfrom Tarshish or Tartessus in Spain. It was one of the gems in the breastplate of the high priest (Ex28:20; So 5:14; Da 10:6).four had one likeness—The similarity of the wheels to one another implies that there is noinequality in all God's works, that all have a beautiful analogy and proportion.17. went upon their four sides—Those faces or sides of the four wheels moved which answeredto the direction in which the cherubim desired to move; while the transverse circles in each of thefour composite wheels remained suspended from the ground, so as not to impede the movementsof the others.18. rings—that is, felloes or circumferences of the wheels.eyes—The multiplicity of eyes here in the wheels, and Eze 10:12, in the cherubim themselves,symbolizes the plenitude of intelligent life, the eye being the window through which "the spirit ofthe living creatures" in the wheels (Eze 1:20) looks forth (compare Zec 4:10). As the wheels signifythe providence of God, so the eyes imply that He sees all the circumstances of each case, and doesnothing by blind impulse.19. went by them—went beside them.20. the spirit was to go—that is, their will was for going whithersoever the Spirit was for going.over against them—rather, beside or in conjunction with them.1414JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonspirit of the living creature—put collectively for "the living creatures"; the cherubim. Havingfirst viewed them separately, he next views them in the aggregate as the composite living creaturein which the Spirit resided. The life intended is that connected with God, holy, spiritual life, in theplenitude of its active power.21. over against—rather, "along with" [Henderson]; or, "beside" [Fairbairn].22. upon the heads—rather, "above the heads" [Fairbairn].colour—glitter.terrible crystal—dazzling the spectator by its brightness.23. straight—erect [Fairbairn], expanded upright.two … two … covered … bodies—not, as it might seem, contradicting Eze 1:11. The twowings expanded upwards, though chiefly used for flying, yet up to the summit of the figure wherethey were parted from each other, covered the upper part of the body, while the other two wingscovered the lower parts.24. voice of … Almighty—the thunder (Ps 29:3, 4).voice of speech—rather, "the voice" or "sound of tumult," as in Jer 11:16. From an Arabic root,meaning the "impetuous rush of heavy rain."noise of … host—(Isa 13:4; Da 10:6).25. let down … wings—While the Almighty gave forth His voice, they reverently let theirwings fall, to listen stilly to His communication.26. The Godhead appears in the likeness of enthroned humanity, as in Ex 24:10. Besides the"paved work of a sapphire stone, as it were the body of heaven in clearness," there, we have herethe "throne," and God "as a man," with the "appearance of fire round about." This last was a preludeof the incarnation of Messiah, but in His character as Saviour and as Judge (Re 19:11-16). Theazure sapphire answers to the color of the sky. As others are called "sons of God," but He "the Sonof God," so others are called "sons of man" (Eze 2:1, 3), but He "the Son of man" (Mt 16:13), beingthe embodied representative of humanity and the whole human race; as, on the other hand, He isthe representative of "the fulness of the Godhead" (Col 2:9). While the cherubim are movable, thethrone above, and Jehovah who moves them, are firmly fixed. It is good news to man, that thethrone above is filled by One who even there appears as "a man."27. colour of amber—"the glitter of chasmal" [Fairbairn]. See on Eze 1:4; rather, "polishedbrass" [Henderson]. Messiah is described here as in Da 10:5, 6; Re 1:14, 15.28. the bow … in … rain—the symbol of the sure covenant of mercy to God's childrenremembered amidst judgments on the wicked; as in the flood in Noah's days (Re 4:3). "Like hangingout from the throne of the Eternal a fing of peace, assuring all that the purpose of Heaven was topreserve rather than to destroy. Even if the divine work should require a deluge of wrath, still thefaithfulness of God would only shine forth the more brightly at last to the children of promise, inconsequence of the tribulations needed to prepare for the ultimate good" [Fairbairn]. (Isa 54:8-10).I fell upon … face—the right attitude, spiritually, before we enter on any active work for God(Eze 2:2; 3:23, 24; Re 1:17). In this first chapter God gathered into one vision the substance of allthat was to occupy the prophetic agency of Ezekiel; as was done afterwards in the opening visionof the Revelation of Saint John.1415JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 2Eze 2:1-10. Ezekiel's Commission.1. Son of man—often applied to Ezekiel; once only to Daniel (Da 8:17), and not to any otherprophet. The phrase was no doubt taken from Chaldean usage during the sojourn of Daniel andEzekiel in Chaldea. But the spirit who sanctioned the words of the prophet implied by it the lowlinessand frailty of the prophet as man "lower than the angels," though now admitted to the vision ofangels and of God Himself, "lest he should be exalted through the abundance of the revelations"(2Co 12:7). He is appropriately so called as being type of the divine "Son of man" here revealedas "man" (see on Eze 1:26). That title, as applied to Messiah, implies at once His lowliness and Hisexaltation, in His manifestations as the Representative man, at His first and second comingsrespectively (Ps 8:4-8; Mt 16:13; 20:18; and on the other hand, Da 7:13, 14; Mt 26:64; Joh 5:27).2. spirit entered … when he spake—The divine word is ever accompanied by the Spirit (Ge1:2, 3).set … upon … feet—He had been "upon his face" (Eze 1:28). Humiliation on our part isfollowed by exaltation on God's part (Eze 3:23, 24; Job 22:29; Jas 4:6; 1Pe 5:5). "On the feet" wasthe fitting attitude when he was called on to walk and work for God (Eph 5:8; 6:15).that I heard—rather, "then I heard."3. nation—rather, "nations"; the word usually applied to the heathen or Gentiles; here to theJews, as being altogether heathenized with idolatries. So in Isa 1:10, they are named "Sodom" and"Gomorrah." They were now become "Lo-ammi," not the people of God (Ho 1:9).4. impudent—literally, "hard-faced" (Eze 3:7, 9).children—resumptive of "they" (Eze 2:3); the "children" walk in their "fathers'" steps.I … send thee—God opposes His command to all obstacles. Duties are ours; events are God's.Thus saith the Lord God—God opposes His name to the obstinacy of the people.5. forbear—namely, to hear.yet shall know—Even if they will not hear, at least they will not have ignorance to plead asthe cause of their perversity (Eze 33:33).6. briers—not as the Margin and Gesenius, "rebels," which would not correspond so well to"thorns." The Hebrew is from a root meaning "to sting" as nettles do. The wicked are often so called(2Sa 23:6; So 2:2; Isa 9:18).scorpions—a reptile about six inches long with a deadly sting at the end of the tail.be not afraid—(Lu 12:4; 1Pe 3:14).7. most rebellious—literally, "rebellion" itself: its very essence.8. eat—(See on Jer 15:16; Re 10:9, 10). The idea is to possess himself fully of the message anddigest it in the mind; not literal eating, but such an appropriation of its unsavory contents that theyshould become, as it were, part of himself, so as to impart them the more vividly to his hearers.9. roll—the form in which ancient books were made.10. within and without—on the face and the back. Usually the parchment was written onlyon its inside when rolled up; but so full was God's message of impending woes that it was writtenalso on the back.CHAPTER 31416JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonEze 3:1-27. Ezekiel Eats the Roll. Is Commissioned to Go to Them of the Captivity and Goes to Tel-abib by theChebar: Again Beholds the Shekinah Glory: Is Told to Retire to His House, and Only Speak when God Opens His Mouth.1. eat … and … speak—God's messenger must first inwardly appropriate God's truth himself,before he "speaks" it to others (see on Eze 2:8). Symbolic actions were, when possible and proper,performed outwardly; otherwise, internally and in spiritual vision, the action so narrated makingthe naked statement more intuitive and impressive by presenting the subject in a concentrated,embodied form.3. honey for sweetness—Compare Ps 19:10; 119:103; Re 10:9, where, as here in Eze 3:14, the"sweetness" is followed by "bitterness." The former being due to the painful nature of the message;the latter because it was the Lord's service which he was engaged in; and his eating the roll andfinding it sweet, implied that, divesting himself of carnal feeling, he made God's will his will,however painful the message that God might require him to announce. The fact that God would beglorified was his greatest pleasure.5. See Margin, Hebrew, "deep of lip, and heavy of tongue," that is, men speaking an obscureand unintelligible tongue. Even they would have listened to the prophet; but the Jews, thoughaddressed in their own tongue, will not hear him.6. many people—It would have increased the difficulty had he been sent, not merely to one,but to "many people" differing in tongues, so that the missionary would have needed to acquire anew tongue for addressing each. The after mission of the apostles to many peoples, and the gift oftongues for that end, are foreshadowed (compare 1Co 14:21 with Isa 28:11).had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened—(Mt 11:21, 23).7. will not hearken unto thee: for … not … me—(Joh 15:20). Take patiently their rejectionof thee, for I thy Lord bear it along with thee.8. Ezekiel means one "strengthened by God." Such he was in godly firmness, in spite of hispeople's opposition, according to the divine command to the priest tribe to which he belonged (De33:9).9. As … flint—so Messiah the antitype (Isa 50:7; compare Jer 1:8, 17).10. receive in … heart … ears—The transposition from the natural order, namely, first receivingwith the ears, then in the heart, is designed. The preparation of the heart for God's message shouldprecede the reception of it with the ears (compare Pr 16:1; Ps 10:17).11. thy people—who ought to be better disposed to hearken to thee, their fellow countryman,than hadst thou been a foreigner (Eze 3:5, 6).12. (Ac 8:39). Ezekiel's abode heretofore had not been the most suitable for his work. He,therefore, is guided by the Spirit to Tel-Abib, the chief town of the Jewish colony of captives: therehe sat on the ground, "the throne of the miserable" (Ezr 9:3; La 1:1-3), seven days, the usual periodfor manifesting deep grief (Job 2:13; see Ps 137:1), thus winning their confidence by sympathy intheir sorrow. He is accompanied by the cherubim which had been manifested at Chebar (Eze 1:3,4), after their departure from Jerusalem. They now are heard moving with the "voice of a greatrushing (compare Ac 2:2), saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place," that is, movingfrom the place in which it had been at Chebar, to accompany Ezekiel to his new destination (Eze9:3); or, "from His place" may rather mean, in His place and manifested "from" it. Though Godmay seem to have forsaken His temple, He is still in it and will restore His people to it. His gloryis "blessed," in opposition to those Jews who spoke evil of Him, as if He had been unjustly rigoroustowards their nation [Calvin].1417JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson13. touched—literally, "kissed," that is, closely embraced.noise of a great rushing—typical of great disasters impending over the Jews.14. bitterness—sadness on account of the impending calamities of which I was required to bethe unwelcome messenger. But the "hand," or powerful impulse of Jehovah, urged me forward.15. Tel-Abib—Tel means an "elevation." It is identified by Michaelis with Thallaba on theChabor. Perhaps the name expressed the Jews' hopes of restoration, or else the fertility of the region.Abib means the green ears of corn which appeared in the month Nisan, the pledge of the harvest.I sat, &c.—This is the Hebrew Margin reading. The text is rather, "I beheld them sitting there"[Gesenius]; or, "And those that were settled there," namely, the older settlers, as distinguished fromthe more recent ones alluded to in the previous clause. The ten tribes had been long since settledon the Chabor or Habor (2Ki 17:6) [Havernick].17. watchman—Ezekiel alone, among the prophets, is called a "watchman," not merely tosympathize, but to give timely warning of danger to his people where none was suspected. Habakkuk(Hab 2:1) speaks of standing upon his "watch," but it was only in order to be on the lookout for themanifestation of God's power (so Isa 52:8; 62:6); not as Ezekiel, to act as a watchman to others.18. warning … speakest to warn—The repetition implies that it is not enough to warn oncein passing, but that the warning is to be inculcated continually (2Ti 4:2, "in season, out of season";Ac 20:31, "night and day with tears").save—Eze 2:5 had seemingly taken away all hope of salvation; but the reference there was tothe mass of the people whose case was hopeless; a few individuals, however, were reclaimable.die in … iniquity—(Joh 8:21, 24). Men are not to flatter themselves that their ignorance, owingto the negligence of their teachers, will save them (Ro 2:12, "As many as have sinned without law,shall also perish without law").19. wickedness … wicked way—internal wickedness of heart, and external of the life,respectively.delivered thy soul—(Isa 49:4, 5; Ac 20:26).20. righteous … turn from … righteousness—not one "righteous" as to the root and spirit ofregeneration (Ps 89:33; 138:8; Isa 26:12; 27:3; Joh 10:28; Php 1:6), but as to its outward appearanceand performances. So the "righteous" (Pr 18:17; Mt 9:13). As in Eze 3:19 the minister is requiredto lead the wicked to good, so in Eze 3:20 he is to confirm the well-disposed in their duty.commit iniquity—that is, give himself up wholly to it (1Jo 3:8, 9), for even the best often fall,but not wilfully and habitually.I lay a stumbling-block—not that God tempts to sin (Jas 1:13, 14), but God gives men overto judicial blindness, and to their own corruptions (Ps 9:16, 17; 94:23) when they "like not to retainGod in their knowledge" (Ro 1:24, 26); just as, on the contrary, God makes "the way of the righteousplain" (Pr 4:11, 12; 15:19), so that they do "not stumble." Calvin refers "stumbling-block" not to theguilt, but to its punishment; "I bring ruin on him." The former is best. Ahab, after a kind ofrighteousness (1Ki 21:27-29), relapsed and consulted lying spirits in false prophets; so God permittedone of these to be his "stumbling-block," both to sin and its corresponding punishment (1Ki22:21-23).his blood will I require—(Heb 13:17).22. hand of the Lord—(Eze 1:3).go … into the plain—in order that he might there, in a place secluded from unbelieving men,receive a fresh manifestation of the divine glory, to inspirit him for his trying work.1418JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson23. glory of the Lord—(Eze 1:28).24. set me upon my feet—having been previously prostrate and unable to rise until raised bythe divine power.shut thyself within … house—implying that in the work he had to do, he must look for nosympathy from man but must be often alone with God and draw his strength from Him [Fairbairn]."Do not go out of thy house till I reveal the future to thee by signs and words," which God does inthe following chapters, down to the eleventh. Thus a representation was given of the city shut upby siege [Grotius]. Thereby God proved the obedience of His servant, and Ezekiel showed the realityof His call by proceeding, not through rash impulse, but by the directions of God [Calvin].25. put bands upon thee—not literally, but spiritually, the binding, depressing influence whichtheir rebellious conduct would exert on his spirit. Their perversity, like bands, would repress hisfreedom in preaching; as in 2Co 6:12, Paul calls himself "straitened" because his teaching did notfind easy access to them. Or else, it is said to console the prophet for being shut up; if thou wertnow at once to announce God's message, they would rush on thee and bind them with "bands"[Calvin].26. I will make my tongue … dumb—Israel had rejected the prophets; therefore God deprivesIsrael of the prophets and of His word—God's sorest judgment (1Sa 7:2; Am 8:11, 12).27. when I speak … I will open thy mouth—opposed to the silence imposed on the prophet,to punish the people (Eze 3:26). After the interval of silence has awakened their attention to thecause of it, namely, their sins, they may then hearken to the prophecies which they would not dobefore.He that heareth, let him hear … forbear—that is, thou hast done thy part, whether they hearor forbear. He who shall forbear to hear, it shall be at his own peril; he who hears, it shall be to hisown eternal good (compare Re 22:11).CHAPTER 4Eze 4:1-17. Symbolical Vision of the Siege and the Iniquity-bearing.1. tile—a sun-dried brick, such as are found in Babylon, covered with cuneiform inscriptions,often two feet long and one foot broad.2. fort—rather, "watch-tower" (Jer 52:4) wherein the besiegers could watch the movements ofthe besieged [Gesenius]. A wall of circumvallation [Septuagint and Rosenmuller]. A kind of battering-ram[Maurer]. The first view is best.a mount—wherewith the Chaldeans could be defended from missiles.battering-rams—literally, "through-borers." In Eze 21:22 the same Hebrew is translated"captains."3. iron pan—the divine decree as to the Chaldean army investing the city.set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city—Ezekiel, in the person of God, representsthe wall of separation between him and the people as one of iron: and the Chaldean investing army.His instrument of separating them from him, as one impossible to burst through.set … face against it—inexorably (Ps 34:16). The exiles envied their brethren remaining inJerusalem, but exile is better than the straitness of a siege.1419JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. Another symbolical act performed at the same time as the former, in vision, not in externalaction, wherein it would have been only puerile: narrated as a thing ideally done, it would make avivid impression. The second action is supplementary to the first, to bring out more fully the sameprophetic idea.left side—referring to the position of the ten tribes, the northern kingdom, as Judah, the southern,answers to "the right side" (Eze 4:6). The Orientals facing the east in their mode, had the north ontheir left, and the south on their right (Eze 16:46). Also the right was more honorable than the left:so Judah as being the seat of the temple, was more so than Israel.bear the iniquity—iniquity being regarded as a burden; so it means, "bear the punishment oftheir iniquity" (Nu 14:34). A type of Him who was the great sin-bearer, not in mimic show asEzekiel, but in reality (Isa 53:4, 6, 12).5. three hundred and ninety days—The three hundred ninety years of punishment appointedfor Israel, and forty for Judah, cannot refer to the siege of Jerusalem. That siege is referred to inEze 4:1-3, and in a sense restricted to the literal siege, but comprehending the whole train ofpunishment to be inflicted for their sin; therefore we read here merely of its sore pressure, not ofits result. The sum of three hundred ninety and forty years is four hundred thirty, a period famousin the history of the covenant-people, being that of their sojourn in Egypt (Ex 12:40, 41; Ga 3:17).The forty alludes to the forty years in the wilderness. Elsewhere (De 28:68; Ho 9:3), God threatenedto bring them back to Egypt, which must mean, not Egypt literally, but a bondage as bad as thatone in Egypt. So now God will reduce them to a kind of new Egyptian bondage to the world: Israel,the greater transgressor, for a longer period than Judah (compare Eze 20:35-38). Not the whole ofthe four hundred thirty years of the Egypt state is appointed to Israel; but this shortened by the fortyyears of the wilderness sojourn, to imply, that a way is open to their return to life by their havingthe Egypt state merged into that of the wilderness; that is, by ceasing from idolatry and seeking intheir sifting and sore troubles, through God's covenant, a restoration to righteousness and peace[Fairbairn]. The three hundred ninety, in reference to the sin of Israel, was also literally true, beingthe years from the setting up of the calves by Jeroboam (1Ki 12:20-33), that is, from 975 to 583B.C.: about the year of the Babylonians captivity; and perhaps the forty of Judah refers to that partof Manasseh's fifty-five years' reign in which he had not repented, and which, we are expresslytold, was the cause of God's removal of Judah, notwithstanding Josiah's reformation (1Ki 21:10-16;2Ki 23:26, 27).6. each day for a year—literally, "a day for a year, a day for a year." Twice repeated, to markmore distinctly the reference to Nu 14:34. The picturing of the future under the image of the past,wherein the meaning was far from lying on the surface, was intended to arouse to a less superficialmode of thinking, just as the partial veiling of truth in Jesus' parables was designed to stimulateinquiry; also to remind men that God's dealings in the past are a key to the future, for He moveson the same everlasting principles, the forms alone being transitory.7. arm … uncovered—to be ready for action, which the long Oriental garment usually coveringit would prevent (Isa 52:10).thou shalt prophesy against it—This gesture of thine will be a tacit prophecy against it.8. bands—(Eze 3:25).not turn from … side—to imply the impossibility of their being able to shake off thepunishment.1420JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. wheat … barley, &c.—Instead of simple flour used for delicate cakes (Ge 18:6), the Jewsshould have a coarse mixture of six different kinds of grain, such as the poorest alone would eat.fitches—spelt or dhourra.three hundred and ninety—The forty days are omitted, since these latter typify the wildernessperiod when Israel stood separate from the Gentiles and their pollution, though partially chastenedby stint of bread and water (Eze 4:16), whereas the eating of the polluted bread in the three hundredninety days implies a forced residence "among the Gentiles" who were polluted with idolatry (Eze4:13). This last is said of "Israel" primarily, as being the most debased (Eze 4:9-15); they hadspiritually sunk to a level with the heathen, therefore God will make their condition outwardly tocorrespond. Judah and Jerusalem fare less severely, being less guilty: they are to "eat bread byweight and with care," that is, have a stinted supply and be chastened with the milder discipline ofthe wilderness period. But Judah also is secondarily referred to in the three hundred ninety days,as having fallen, like Israel, into Gentile defilements; if, then, the Jews are to escape from the exileamong Gentiles, which is their just punishment, they must submit again to the wilderness probation(Eze 4:16).10. twenty shekels—that is, little more than ten ounces; a scant measure to sustain life (Jer52:6). But it applies not only to the siege, but to their whole subsequent state.11. sixth … of … hin—about a pint and a half.12. dung—as fuel; so the Arabs use beasts' dung, wood fuel being scarce. But to use humandung so implies the most cruel necessity. It was in violation of the law (De 14:3; 23:12-14); it musttherefore have been done only in vision.13. Implying that Israel's peculiar distinction was to be abolished and that they were to beoutwardly blended with the idolatrous heathen (De 28:68; Ho 9:3).14. Ezekiel, as a priest, had been accustomed to the strictest abstinence from everything legallyimpure. Peter felt the same scruple at a similar command (Ac 10:14; compare Isa 65:4). Positiveprecepts, being dependent on a particular command can be set aside at the will of the divine ruler;but moral precepts are everlasting in their obligation because God cannot be inconsistent with Hisunchanging moral nature.abominable flesh—literally, "flesh that stank from putridity." Flesh of animals three days killedwas prohibited (Le 7:17, 18; 19:6, 7).15. cow's dung—a mitigation of the former order (Eze 4:12); no longer "the dung of man";still the bread so baked is "defiled," to imply that, whatever partial abatement there might be forthe prophet's sake, the main decree of God, as to the pollution of Israel by exile among Gentiles,is unalterable.16. staff of bread—bread by which life is supported, as a man's weight is by the staff he leanson (Le 26:26; Ps 105:16; Isa 3:1).by weight, and with care—in scant measure (Eze 4:10).17. astonied one with another—mutually regard one another with astonishment: the stupefiedlook of despairing want.CHAPTER 5Eze 5:1-17. Vision of Cutting the Hairs, and the Calamities Foreshadowed Thereby.1421JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. knife … razor—the sword of the foe (compare Isa 7:20). This vision implies even severerjudgments than the Egyptian afflictions foreshadowed in the former, for their guilt was greater thanthat of their forefathers.thine head—as representative of the Jews. The whole hair being shaven off was significant ofsevere and humiliating (2Sa 10:4, 5) treatment. Especially in the case of a priest; for priests (Le21:5) were forbidden "to make baldness on their head," their hair being the token of consecration;hereby it was intimated that the ceremonial must give place to the moral.balances—implying the just discrimination with which Jehovah weighs out the portion ofpunishment "divided," that is, allotted to each: the "hairs" are the Jews: the divine scales do notallow even one hair to escape accurate weighing (compare Mt 10:30).2. Three classes are described. The sword was to destroy one third of the people; famine andplague another third ("fire" in Eze 5:2 being explained in Eze 5:12 to mean pestilence and famine);that which remained was to be scattered among the nations. A few only of the last portion were toescape, symbolized by the hairs bound in Ezekiel's skirts (Eze 5:3; Jer 40:6; 52:16). Even of thesesome were to be thrown into the fiery ordeal again (Eze 5:4; Jer 41:1, 2, &c.; Jer 44:14, &c.). The"skirts" being able to contain but few express that extreme limit to which God's goodness can reach.5, 6. Explanation of the symbols:Jerusalem—not the mere city, but the people of Israel generally, of which it was the centerand representative.in … midst—Jerusalem is regarded in God's point of view as center of the whole earth, designedto radiate the true light over the nations in all directions. Compare Margin ("navel"), Eze 38:12;Ps 48:2; Jer 3:17. No center in the ancient heathen world could have been selected more fitted thanCanaan to be a vantage ground, whence the people of God might have acted with success upon theheathenism of the world. It lay midway between the oldest and most civilized states, Egypt andEthiopia on one side, and Babylon, Nineveh, and India on the other, and afterwards Persia, Greece,and Rome. The Phoenician mariners were close by, through whom they might have transmitted thetrue religion to the remotest lands; and all around the Ishmaelites, the great inland traders in SouthAsia and North Africa. Israel was thus placed, not for its own selfish good, but to be the spiritualbenefactor of the whole world. Compare Ps 67:1-7 throughout. Failing in this, and falling intoidolatry, its guilt was far worse than that of the heathen; not that Israel literally went beyond theheathen in abominable idolatries. But "corruptio optimi pessima"; the perversion of that which initself is the best is worse than the perversion of that which is less perfect: is in fact the worst of allkinds of perversion. Therefore their punishment was the severest. So the position of the Christianprofessing Church now, if it be not a light to the heathen world, its condemnation will be sorer thantheirs (Mt 5:13; 11:21-24; Heb 10:28, 29).6. changed … into—rather, "hath resisted My judgments wickedly"; "hath rebelled againstMy ordinances for wickedness" [Buxtorf]. But see on Eze 5:7, end.7. multiplied—rather, "have been more abundantly outrageous"; literally, "to tumultuate"; tohave an extravagant rage for idols.neither have done according to the judgments of the nations—have not been as tenaciousof the true religion as the nations have been of the false. The heathen "changed" not their gods, butthe Jews changed Jehovah for idols (see Eze 5:6, "changed My judgments into wickedness," thatis, idolatry, Jer 2:11). The Chaldean version and the Masora support the negative. Others omit it(as it is omitted in Eze 11:12), and translate, "but have done according to the judgments," &c.1422JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHowever, both Eze 11:12 and also this verse are true. They in one sense "did according to theheathen," namely, in all that was bad; in another, namely, in that which was good, zeal for religion,they did not. Eze 5:9 also proves the negative to be genuine; because in changing their religion,they have not done as the nations which have not changed theirs, "I (also) will do in thee that whichI have not done."8. I, even I—awfully emphatic. I, even I, whom thou thinkest to be asleep, but who am everreigning as the Omnipotent Avenger of sin, will vindicate My righteous government before thenations by judgments on thee.9. See on Eze 5:7.that which I have not done—worse than any former judgments (La 4:6; Da 9:12). The prophecyincludes the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and the final one by Antichrist (Zec 13:8, 9;14:2), as well as that by Nebuchadnezzar. Their doom of evil was not exhausted by the Chaldeanconquest. There was to be a germinating evil in their destiny, because there would be, as the Lordforesaw, a germinating evil in their character. As God connected Himself peculiarly with Israel,so there was to be a peculiar manifestation of God's wrath against sin in their case [Fairbairn]. Thehigher the privileges the greater the punishment in the case of abuse of them. When God's greatestfavor, the gospel, was given, and was abused by them, then "the wrath was to come on them to theuttermost" (1Th 2:16).10. fathers … eat … sons—alluding to Moses' words (Le 26:29; De 28:53), with the additionalsad feature, that "the sons should eat their fathers" (see 2Ki 6:28; Jer 19:9; La 2:20; 4:10).11. as I live—the most solemn of oaths, pledging the self-existence of God for the certainty ofthe event.defiled my sanctuary—the climax of Jewish guilt: their defiling Jehovah's temple by introducingidols.diminish—literally, "withdraw," namely, Mine "eye" (which presently follows), that is, Myfavors; Job 36:7 uses the Hebrew verb in the same way. As the Jews had withdrawn from God'ssanctuary its sacredness by "defiling" it, so God withdraws His countenance from them. Thesignificance of the expression lies in the allusion to De 4:2, "Ye shall not diminish aught from theword which I command you"; they had done so, therefore God diminishes them. The reading foundin six manuscripts, "I will cut thee off," is not so good.12. Statement in plain terms of what was intended by the symbols (Eze 5:2; see Eze 6:12; Jer15:2; 21:9).draw out … sword after them—(Le 26:33). Skeptics object; no such thing happened underZedekiah, as is here foretold; namely, that a third part of the nation should die by pestilence, a thirdpart by the sword, and a third be scattered unto all winds, and a sword sent after them. But theprophecy is not restricted to Zedekiah's time. It includes all that Israel suffered, or was still to suffer,for their sins, especially those committed at that period (Eze 17:21). It only received its primaryfulfilment under Zedekiah: numbers then died by the pestilence and by the sword; and numberswere scattered in all quarters and not carried to Babylonia alone, as the objectors assert (compareEzr 1:4; Es 3:8; Ob 14).pestilence … and famine—signified by the symbol "fire" (Eze 5:2). Compare Isa 13:8; La5:10; plague and famine burning and withering the countenance, as fire does.13. cause my fury to rest upon them—as on its proper and permanent resting-place (Isa 30:32,Margin).1423JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonI will be comforted—expressed in condescension to man's conceptions; signifying Hissatisfaction in the vindication of His justice by His righteous judgments (De 28:63; Pr 1:26; Isa1:24).they shall how—by bitter experience.14. reproach among the nations—They whose idolatries Israel had adopted, instead ofcomforting, would only exult in their calamities brought on by those idolatries (compare Lu 15:15).15. instruction—literally, "a corrective chastisement," that is, a striking example to warn allof the fatal consequences of sin. For "it shall be"; all ancient versions have "thou," which theconnection favors.16. arrows of famine—hail, rain, mice, locusts, mildew (see De 32:23, 24).increase the famine—literally, "congregate" or "collect." When ye think your harvest safebecause ye have escaped drought, mildew, &c., I will find other means [Calvin], which I willcongregate as the forces of an invading army, to bring famine on you.17. beasts—perhaps meaning destructive conquerors (Da 7:4). Rather, literal "beasts," whichinfest desolated regions such as Judea was to become (compare Eze 34:28; Ex 23:29; De 32:24;2Ki 17:25). The same threat is repeated in manifold forms to awaken the careless.sword—civil war.CHAPTER 6Eze 6:1-14. Continuation of the Same Subject.2. mountains of Israel—that is, of Palestine in general. The mountains are addressed bypersonification; implying that the Israelites themselves are incurable and unworthy of any moreappeals; so the prophet sent to Jeroboam did not deign to address the king, but addressed the altar(1Ki 13:2). The mountains are specified as being the scene of Jewish idolatries on "the high places"(Eze 6:3; Le 26:30).3. rivers—literally, the "channels" of torrents. Rivers were often the scene and objects ofidolatrous worship.4. images—called so from a Hebrew root, "to wax hot," implying the mad ardor of Israel afteridolatry [Calvin]. Others translate it, "sun images"; and so in Eze 6:6 (see 2Ki 23:11; 2Ch 34:4; Isa17:8, Margin).cast your slain men before your idols—The foolish objects of their trust in the day of evilshould witness their ruin.5. carcasses … before … idols—polluting thus with the dead bones of you, the worshippers,the idols which seemed to you so sacrosanct.6. your works—not gods, as you supposed, but the mere work of men's hands (Isa 40:18-20).7. ye shall know that I am the Lord—and not your idols, lords. Ye shall know Me as theall-powerful Punisher of sin.8. Mitigation of the extreme severity of their punishment; still their life shall be a wretched one,and linked with exile (Eze 5:2, 12; 12:16; 14:22; Jer 44:28).9. they that escape of you shall remember me—The object of God's chastisements shall atlast be effected by working in them true contrition. This partially took place in the completeeradication of idolatry from the Jews ever since the Babylonian captivity. But they have yet to1424JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrepent of their crowning sin, the crucifixion of Messiah; their full repentance is therefore future,after the ordeal of trials for many centuries, ending with that foretold in Zec 10:9; 13:8, 9; 14:1-4,11. "They shall remember me in far countries" (Eze 7:16; De 30:1-8).I am broken with their whorish heart—Fairbairn translates, actively, "I will break" their whorishheart; English Version is better. In their exile they shall remember how long I bore with them, butwas at last compelled to punish, after I was "broken" (My long-suffering wearied out) by theirdesperate (Nu 15:39) spiritual whorishness [Calvin], (Ps 78:40; Isa 7:13; 43:24; 63:10).loathe themselves—(Le 26:39-45; Job 42:6). They shall not wait for men to condemn thembut shall condemn themselves (Eze 20:43; 36:31; Job 42:6; 1Co 11:31).11. Gesticulations vividly setting before the hearers the greatness of the calamity about to beinflicted. In indignation at the abominations of Israel extend thine hand towards Judea, as if aboutto "strike," and "stamp," shaking off the dust with thy foot, in token of how God shall "stretch outHis hand upon them," and tread them down (Eze 6:14; Eze 21:14).12. He that is far off—namely, from the foe; those who in a distant exile fear no evil.he that remaineth—he that is left in the city; not carried away into captivity, nor having escapedinto the country. Distinct from "he that is near," namely, those outside the city who are within reachof "the sword" of the foe, and so fall by it; not by "famine," as those left in the city.14. Diblath—another form of Diblathaim, a city in Moab (Nu 33:46; Jer 48:22), near which,east and south of the Dead Sea, was the wilderness of Arabia-Deserta.CHAPTER 7Eze 7:1-27. Lamentation over the Coming Ruin of Israel; the Penitent Reformation of a Remnant; the ChainSymbolizing the Captivity.2. An end, the end—The indefinite "an" expresses the general fact of God bringing Hislong-suffering towards the whole of Judea to an end; "the," following, marks it as more definitelyfixed (Am 8:2).4. thine abominations—the punishment of thine abominations.shall be in the midst of thee—shall be manifest to all. They and thou shall recognize the factof thine abominations by thy punishment which shall everywhere befall thee, and that manifestly.5. An evil, an only evil—a peculiar calamity such as was never before; unparalleled. Theabruptness of the style and the repetitions express the agitation of the prophet's mind in foreseeingthese calamities.6. watcheth for thee—rather, "waketh for thee." It awakes up from its past slumber againstthee (Ps 78:65, 66).7. The morning—so Chaldean and Syriac versions (compare Joe 2:2). Ezekiel wishes to awakenthem from their lethargy, whereby they were promising to themselves an uninterrupted night (1Th5:5-7), as if they were never to be called to account [Calvin]. The expression, "morning," refers tothe fact that this was the usual time for magistrates giving sentence against offenders (compare Eze7:10, below; Ps 101:8; Jer 21:12). Gesenius, less probably, translates, "the order of fate"; thy turn tobe punished.not the sounding again—not an empty echo, such as is produced by the reverberation of soundsin "the mountains," but a real cry of tumult is coming [Calvin]. Perhaps it alludes to the joyous cries1425JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof the grape-gatherers at vintage on the hills [Grotius], or of the idolaters in their dances on theirfestivals in honor of their false gods [Tirinus]. Havernick translates, "no brightness."8, 9. Repetition of Eze 7:3, 4; sadly expressive of accumulated woes by the monotonoussameness.10. rod … blossomed, pride … budded—The "rod" is the Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar, theinstrument of God's vengeance (Isa 10:5; Jer 51:20). The rod sprouting (as the word ought to betranslated), &c., implies that God does not move precipitately, but in successive steps. He as it werehas planted the ministers of His vengeance, and leaves them to grow till all is ripe for executingHis purpose. "Pride" refers to the insolence of the Babylonian conqueror (Jer 50:31, 32). Theparallelism ("pride" answering to "rod") opposes Jerome's view, that "pride" refers to the Jews whodespised God's threats; (also Calvin's, "though the rod grew in Chaldea, the root was with the Jews").The "rod" cannot refer, as Grotius thought, to the tribe of Judah, for it evidently refers to the "smiteth"(Eze 7:9) as the instrument of smiting.11. Violence (that is, the violent foe) is risen up as a rod of (that is, to punish the Jews')wickedness (Zec 5:8).theirs—their possessions, or all that belongs to them, whether children or goods. Grotius translatesfrom a different Hebrew root, "their nobles," literally, "their tumultuous trains" (Margin) whichusually escorted the nobles. Thus "nobles" will form a contrast to the general "multitude."neither … wailing—(Jer 16:4-7; 25:33). Gesenius translates, "nor shall there be left any beautyamong them." English Version is supported by the old Jewish interpreters. So general shall be theslaughter, none shall be left to mourn the dead.12. let not … buyer rejoice—because he has bought an estate at a bargain price.nor … seller mourn—because he has had to sell his land at a sacrifice through poverty. TheChaldeans will be masters of the land, so that neither shall the buyer have any good of his purchase,nor the seller any loss; nor shall the latter (Eze 7:13) return to his inheritance at the jubilee year(see Le 25:13). Spiritually this holds good now, seeing that "the time is short"; "they that rejoiceshould be as though they rejoiced not, and they that buy as though they possessed not": Paul (1Co7:30) seems to allude to Ezekiel here. Jer 32:15, 37, 43, seems to contradict Ezekiel here. ButEzekiel is speaking of the parents, and of the present; Jeremiah, of the children, and of the future.Jeremiah is addressing believers, that they should hope for a restoration; Ezekiel, the reprobate,who were excluded from hope of deliverance.13. although they were yet alive—although they should live to the year of jubilee.multitude thereof—namely, of the Jews.which shall not return—answering to "the seller shall not return"; not only he, but the wholemultitude, shall not return. Calvin omits "is" and "which": "the vision touching the whole multitudeshall not return" void (Isa 55:11).neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life—No hardening of one's selfin iniquity will avail against God's threat of punishment. Fairbairn translates, "no one by his iniquityshall invigorate his life"; referring to the jubilee, which was regarded as a revivification of thewhole commonwealth, when, its disorders being rectified, the body politic sprang up again intorenewed life. That for which God thus provided by the institution of the jubilee and which is nowto cease through the nation's iniquity, let none think to bring about by his iniquity.1426JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson14. They have blown the trumpet—rather, "Blow the trumpet," or, "Let them blow the trumpet"to collect soldiers as they will, "to make all ready" for encountering the foe, it will be of no avail;none will have the courage to go to the battle (compare Jer 6:1), [Calvin].15. No security should anywhere be found (De 32:25). Fulfilled (La 1:20); also at the Romaninvasion (Mt 24:16-18).16. (Eze 6:6).like doves—which, though usually frequenting the valleys, mount up to the mountains whenfearing the bird-catcher (Ps 11:1). So Israel, once dwelling in its peaceful valleys, shall flee fromthe foe to the mountains, which, as being the scene of its idolatries, were justly to be made the sceneof its flight and shame. The plaintive note of the dove (Isa 59:11) represents the mournful repentanceof Israel hereafter (Zec 12:10-12).17. shall be weak as water—literally, "shall go (as) waters"; incapable of resistance (Jos 7:5;Ps 22:14; Isa 13:7).18. cover them—as a garment.baldness—a sign of mourning (Isa 3:24; Jer 48:37; Mic 1:16).19. cast … silver in … streets—just retribution; they had abused their silver and gold byconverting them into idols, "the stumbling-block of their iniquity" (Eze 14:3, 4, that is, an occasionof sinning); so these silver and gold idols, so far from "being able to deliver them in the day of theLord's wrath" (see Pr 11:4), shall, in despair, be cast by them into the streets as a prey to the foe,by whom they shall be "removed" (Grotius translates as the Margin, "shall be despised as an uncleanthing"); or rather, as suits the parallelism, "shall be put away from them" by the Jews [Calvin]. "They(the silver and gold) shall not satisfy their souls," that is, their cravings of appetite and other needs.20. beauty of his ornament—the temple of Jehovah, the especial glory of the Jews, as a brideglories in her ornaments (the very imagery used by God as to the temple, Eze 16:10, 11). CompareEze 24:21: "My sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes."images … therein—namely, in the temple (Eze 8:3-17).set it far from them—God had "set" the temple (their "beauty of ornament") "for His majesty";but they had set up "abominations therein"; therefore God, in just retribution, "set it far from them,"(that is, removed them far from it, or took it away from them [Vatablus]). The Margin translates,"Made it unto them an unclean thing" (compare Margin on Eze 7:19, "removed"); what I designedfor their glory they turned to their shame, therefore I will make it turn to their ignominy and ruin.21. strangers—barbarous and savage nations.22. pollute my secret place—just retribution for the Jews' pollution of the temple. "Robbersshall enter and defile" the holy of holies, the place of God's manifested presence, entrance intowhich was denied even to the Levites and priests and was permitted to the high priest only once ayear on the great day of atonement.23. chain—symbol of the captivity (compare Jer 27:2). As they enchained the land with violence,so shall they be chained themselves. It was customary to lead away captives in a row with a chainpassed from the neck of one to the other. Therefore translate as the Hebrew requires, "the chain,"namely, that usually employed on such occasions. Calvin explains it, that the Jews should be dragged,whether they would or no, before God's tribunal to be tried as culprits in chains. The next wordsfavor this: "bloody crimes," rather, "judgment of bloods," that is, with blood sheddings deservingthe extreme judicial penalty. Compare Jer 51:9: "Her judgment reacheth unto heaven."1427JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson24. worst of the heathen—literally, "wicked of the nations"; the giving up of Israel to theirpower will convince the Jews that this is a final overthrow.pomp of … strong—the pride wherewith men "stiff of forehead" despise the prophet.holy places—the sacred compartments of the temple (Ps 68:35; Jer 51:51) [Calvin]. God callsit "their holy places," because they had so defiled it that He regarded it no longer as His. However,as the defilement of the temple has already been mentioned (Eze 7:20, 22), and "their sacred places"are introduced as a new subject, it seems better to understand this of the places dedicated to theiridols. As they defiled God's sanctuary, He will defile their self-constituted "sacred places."25. peace, and … none—(1Th 5:3).26. Mischief … upon … mischief—(De 32:23; Jer 4:20). This is said because the Jews wereapt to fancy, at every abatement of suffering, that their calamities were about to cease; but Godwill accumulate woe on woe.rumour—of the advance of the foe, and of his cruelty (Mt 24:6).seek a vision—to find some way of escape from their difficulties (Isa 26:9). So Zedekiahconsulted Jeremiah (Jer 37:17; 38:14).law shall perish—fulfilled (Eze 20:1, 3; Ps 74:9; La 2:9; compare Am 8:11); God will thus setaside the idle boast, "The law shall not perish from the priest" (Jer 18:18).ancients—the ecclesiastical rulers of the people.27. people of the land—the general multitude, as distinguished from the "king" and the "prince."The consternation shall pervade all ranks. The king, whose duty it was to animate others and finda remedy for existing evils, shall himself be in the utmost anxiety; a mark of the desperate state ofaffairs.clothed with desolation—Clothing is designed to keep off shame; but in this case shame shallbe the clothing.after their way—because of their wicked ways.deserts—literally, "judgments," that is, what just judgment awards to them; used to imply theexact correspondence of God's judgment with the judicial penalties they had incurred: they oppressedthe poor and deprived them of liberty; therefore they shall be oppressed and lose their own liberty.CHAPTER 8Eze 8:1-18.This eighth chapter begins a new stage of Ezekiel's prophecies and continues to the end of theeleventh chapter. The connected visions at Eze 3:12-7:27 comprehended Judah and Israel; but thevisions (Eze 8:1-11:25) refer immediately to Jerusalem and the remnant of Judah under Zedekiah,as distinguished from the Babylonian exiles.1. sixth year—namely, of the captivity of Jehoiachin, as in Eze 1:2, the "fifth year" is specified.The lying on his sides three hundred ninety and forty days (Eze 4:5, 6) had by this time beencompleted, at least in vision. That event was naturally a memorable epoch to the exiles; and thecomputation of years from it was to humble the Jews, as well as to show their perversity in nothaving repented, though so long and severely chastised.elders—namely, those carried away with Jehoiachin, and now at the Chebar.1428JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsat before me—to hear the word of God from me, in the absence of the temple and other publicplaces of Sabbath worship, during the exile (Eze 33:30, 31). It was so ordered that they were presentat the giving of the prophecy, and so left without excuse.hand of … Lord God fell … upon me—God's mighty operation fell, like a thunderbolt, uponme (in Eze 1:3, it is less forcible, "was upon him"); whatever, therefore, he is to utter is not hisown, for he has put off the mere man, while the power of God reigns in him [Calvin].2. likeness—understand, "of a man," that is, of Messiah, the Angel of the covenant, in theperson of whom alone God manifests Himself (Eze 1:26; Joh 1:18). The "fire," from "His loinsdownward," betokens the vengeance of God kindled against the wicked Jews, while searching andpurifying the remnant to be spared. The "brightness … upward" betokens His unapproachablemajesty (1Ti 6:16). For Hebrew, eesh, "fire," the Septuagint, &c., read ish, "a man."colour of amber—the glitter of chasmal [Fairbairn], (see on Eze 1:4, "polished brass").3. Instead of prompting him to address directly the elders before him, the Spirit carried himaway in vision (not in person bodily) to the temple at Jerusalem; he proceeds to report to them whathe witnessed: his message thus falls into two parts: (1) The abominations reported in Eze 8:1-18.(2) The dealings of judgment and mercy to be adopted towards the impenitent and penitent Israelitesrespectively (Eze 9:1-11:25). The exiles looked hopefully towards Jerusalem and, so far frombelieving things there to be on the verge of ruin, expected a return in peace; while those left inJerusalem eyed the exiles with contempt, as if cast away from the Lord, whereas they themselveswere near God and ensured in the possessions of the land (Eze 11:15). Hence the vision here ofwhat affected those in Jerusalem immediately was a seasonable communication to the exiles awayfrom it.door of the inner gate—facing the north, the direction in which he came from Chebar, calledthe "altar-gate" (Eze 8:5); it opened into the inner court, wherein stood the altar of burnt offering;the inner court (1Ki 6:36) was that of the priests; the outer court (Eze 10:5), that of the people,where they assembled.seat—the pedestal of the image.image of jealousy—Astarte, or Asheera (as the Hebrew for "grove" ought to be translated, 2Ki21:3, 7; 23:4, 7), set up by Manasseh as a rival to Jehovah in His temple, and arresting the attentionof all worshippers as they entered; it was the Syrian Venus, worshipped with licentious rites; the"queen of heaven," wife of Phoenician Baal. Havernick thinks all the scenes of idolatry in the chapterare successive portions of the festival held in honor of Tammuz or Adonis (Eze 8:14). Probably,however, the scenes are separate proofs of Jewish idolatry, rather than restricted to one idol.provoketh to jealousy—calleth for a visitation in wrath of the "jealous God," who will notgive His honor to another (compare the second commandment, Ex 20:5). Jerome refers this verse toa statue of Baal, which Josiah had overthrown and his successors had replaced.4. The Shekinah cloud of Jehovah's glory, notwithstanding the provocation of the idol, stillremains in the temple, like that which Ezekiel saw "in the plain" (Eze 3:22, 23); not till Eze 10:4,18 did it leave the temple at Jerusalem, showing the long-suffering of God, which ought to movethe Jews to repentance.5. gate of … altar—the principal avenue to the altar of burnt offering; as to the northernposition, see 2Ki 16:14. Ahaz had removed the brazen altar from the front of the Lord's house tothe north of the altar which he had himself erected. The locality of the idol before God's own altarenhances the heinousness of the sin.1429JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. that I should go far off from my sanctuary—"that I should (be compelled by their sin to)go far off from my sanctuary"—(Eze 10:18); the sure precursor of its destruction.7. door of the court—that is, of the inner court (Eze 8:3); the court of the priests and Levites,into which now others were admitted in violation of the law [Grotius].hole in … wall—that is, an aperture or window in the wall of the priests' chambers, throughwhich he could see into the various apartments, wherein was the idolatrous shrine.8. dig—for it had been blocked up during Josiah's reformation. Or rather, the vision is not ofan actual scene, but an ideal pictorial representation of the Egyptian idolatries into which thecovenant-people had relapsed, practising them in secret places where they shrank from the light ofday [Fairbairn], (Joh 3:20). But compare, as to the literal introduction of idolatries into the temple,Eze 5:11; Jer 7:30; 32:34.10. creeping things … beasts—worshipped in Egypt; still found portrayed on their chamberwalls; so among the Troglodytæ.round about—On every side they surrounded themselves with incentives to superstition.11. seventy men—the seventy members composing the Sanhedrim, or great council of thenation, the origination of which we find in the seventy elders, representatives of the congregation,who went up with Moses to the mount to behold the glory of Jehovah, and to witness the secrettransactions relating to the establishment of the covenant; also, in the seventy elders appointed toshare the burden of the people with Moses. How awfully it aggravates the national sin, that theseventy, once admitted to the Lord's secret council (Ps 25:14), should now, "in the dark," enter "thesecret" of the wicked (Ge 49:6), those judicially bound to suppress idolatry being the ringleadersof it!Jaazaniah—perhaps chief of the seventy: son of Shaphan, the scribe who read to Josiah thebook of the law; the spiritual privileges of the son (2Ki 22:10-14) increased his guilt. The veryname means, "Jehovah hears," giving the lie to the unbelief which virtually said (Eze 9:9), "TheLord seeth us not," &c. (compare Ps 10:11, 14; 50:21; 94:7, 9). The offering of incense belongednot to the elders, but to the priests; this usurpation added to the guilt of the former.cloud of incense—They spared no expense for their idols. Oh, that there were the same liberalitytoward the cause of God!12. every man in … chambers of … imagery—The elders ("ancients") are here therepresentatives of the people, rather than to be regarded literally. Mostly, the leaders of heathensuperstitions laughed at them secretly, while publicly professing them in order to keep the peoplein subjection. Here what is meant is that the people generally addicted themselves to secret idolatry,led on by their elders; there is no doubt, also, allusion to the mysteries, as in the worship of Isis inEgypt, the Eleusinian in Greece, &c., to which the initiated alone were admitted. "The chambersof imagery" are their own perverse imaginations, answering to the priests' chambers in the vision,whereon the pictures were portrayed (Eze 8:10).Lord … forsaken … earth—They infer this because God has left them to their miseries,without succoring them, so that they seek help from other gods. Instead of repenting, as they ought,they bite the curb [Calvin].14. From the secret abominations of the chambers of imagery, the prophet's eye is turned tothe outer court at the north door; within the outer court women were not admitted, but only to thedoor.sat—the attitude of mourners (Job 2:13; Isa 3:26).1430JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonTammuz—from a Hebrew root, "to melt down." Instead of weeping for the national sins, theywept for the idol. Tammuz (the Syrian for Adonis), the paramour of Venus, and of the same nameas the river flowing from Lebanon; killed by a wild boar, and, according to the fable, permitted tospend half the year on earth, and obliged to spend the other half in the lower world. An annual feastwas celebrated to him in June (hence called Tammuz in the Jewish calendar) at Byblos, when theSyrian women, in wild grief, tore off their hair and yielded their persons to prostitution, consecratingthe hire of their infamy to Venus; next followed days of rejoicing for his return to the earth; theformer feast being called "the disappearance of Adonis," the latter, "the finding of Adonis." ThisPhoenician feast answered to the similar Egyptian one in honor of Osiris. The idea thus fabled wasthat of the waters of the river and the beauties of spring destroyed by the summer heat. Or else, theearth being clothed with beauty, during the half year when the sun is in the upper hemisphere, andlosing it when he departs to the lower. The name Adonis is not here used, as Adon is the appropriatedtitle of Jehovah.15, 16. The next are "greater abominations," not in respect to the idolatry, but in respect to theplace and persons committing it. In "the inner court," immediately before the door of the templeof Jehovah, between the porch and the altar, where the priests advanced only on extraordinaryoccasions (Joe 2:17), twenty-five men (the leaders of the twenty-four courses or orders of the priests,1Ch 24:18, 19, with the high priest, "the princes of the sanctuary," Isa 43:28), representing thewhole priesthood, as the seventy elders represented the people, stood with their backs turned onthe temple, and their faces towards the east, making obeisance to the rising sun (contrast 1Ki 8:44).Sun-worship came from the Persians, who made the sun the eye of their god Ormuzd. It existed asearly as Job (Job 31:26; compare De 4:19). Josiah could only suspend it for the time of his reign(2Ki 23:5, 11); it revived under his successors.16. worshipped—In the Hebrew a corrupt form is used to express Ezekiel's sense of the foulcorruption of such worship.17. put … branch to … nose—proverbial, for "they turn up the nose in scorn," expressingtheir insolent security [Septuagint]. Not content with outraging "with their violence" the secondtable of the law, namely, that of duty towards one's neighbor, "they have returned" (that is, theyturn back afresh) to provoke Me by violations of the first table [Calvin]. Rather, they held up a branchor bundle of tamarisk (called barsom) to their nose at daybreak, while singing hymns to the risingsun [Strabo, 1.15, p. 733]. Sacred trees were frequent symbols in idol-worship. Calvin translates, "totheir own ruin," literally, "to their nose," that is, with the effect of rousing My anger (of which theHebrew is "nose") to their ruin.18. though they cry … yet will I not hear—(Pr 1:28; Isa 1:15).CHAPTER 9Eze 9:1-11. Continuation of the Preceding Vision: The Sealing of the Faithful.1. cried—contrasted with their "cry" for mercy (Eze 8:18) is the "cry" here for vengeance,showing how vain was the former.them that have charge—literally, officers; so "officers" (Isa 60:17), having the city in charge,not to guard, but to punish it. The angels who as "watchers" fulfil God's judgments (Da 4:13, 17,23; 10:20, 21); the "princes" (Jer 39:3) of Nebuchadnezzar's army were under their guidance.1431JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondraw near—in the Hebrew intensive, "to draw near quickly."2. clothed with linen—(Da 10:5; 12:6, 7). His clothing marked his office as distinct from thatof the six officers of vengeance; "linen" characterized the high priest (Le 16:4); emblematic ofpurity. The same garment is assigned to the angel of the Lord (for whom Michael is but anothername) by the contemporary prophet Daniel (Da 10:5; 12:6, 7). Therefore the intercessory HighPriest in heaven must be meant (Zec 1:12). The six with Him are His subordinates; therefore He issaid to be "among them," literally, "in the midst of them," as their recognized Lord (Heb 1:6). Heappears as a "man," implying His incarnation; as "one" (compare 1Ti 2:5). Salvation is peculiarlyassigned to Him, and so He bears the "inkhorn" in order to "mark" His elect (Eze 9:4; compare Ex12:7; Re 7:3; 9:4; 13:16, 17; 20:4), and to write their names in His book of life (Re 13:8). As Orientalscribes suspend their inkhorn at their side in the present day, and as a "scribe of the host is foundin Assyrian inscriptions accompanying the host" to number the heads of the slain, so He standsready for the work before Him. "The higher gate" was probably where now the gate of Damascusis. The six with Him make up the sacred and perfect number, seven (Zec 3:9; Re 5:6). The executorsof judgment on the wicked, in Scripture teaching, are good, not bad, angels; the bad have permittedto them the trial of the pious (Job 1:12; 2Co 12:7). The judgment is executed by Him (Eze 10:2, 7;Joh 5:22, 27) through the six (Mt 13:41; 25:31); so beautifully does the Old Testament harmonizewith the New Testament. The seven come "from the way of the north"; for it was there the idolatrieswere seen, and from the same quarter must proceed the judgment (Babylon lying northeast ofJudea). So Mt 24:28.stood—the attitude of waiting reverently for Jehovah's commands.brazen altar—the altar of burnt offerings, not the altar of incense, which was of gold. They"stood" there to imply reverent obedience; for there God gave His answers to prayer [Calvin]; alsoas being about to slay victims to God's justice, they stand where sacrifices are usually slain [Grotius],(Eze 39:17; Isa 34:6; Jer 12:3; 46:10).3. glory of … God—which had heretofore, as a bright cloud, rested on the mercy seat betweenthe cherubim in the holy of holies (2Sa 6:2; Ps 80:1); its departure was the presage of the templebeing given up to ruin; its going from the inner sanctuary to the threshold without, towards theofficers standing at the altar outside, was in order to give them the commission of vengeance.4. midst of … city … midst of Jerusalem—This twofold designation marks more emphaticallythe scene of the divine judgments.a mark—literally, the Hebrew letter Tau, the last in the alphabet, used as a mark ("my sign,"Job 31:35, Margin); literally, Tau; originally written in the form of a cross, which Tertullian explainsas referring to the badge and only means of salvation, the cross of Christ. But nowhere in Scriptureare the words which are now employed as names of letters used to denote the letters themselves ortheir figures [Vitringa]. The noun here is cognate to the verb, "mark a mark." So in Re 7:3 no particularmark is specified. We seal what we wish to guard securely. When all things else on earth areconfounded, God will secure His people from the common ruin. God gives the first charge as totheir safety before He orders the punishment of the rest (Ps 31:20; Isa 26:20, 21). So in the case ofLot and Sodom (Ge 19:22); also the Egyptian first-born were not slain till Israel had time to sprinklethe blood-mark, ensuring their safety (compare Re 7:3; Am 9:9). So the early Christians had Pellaprovided as a refuge for them, before the destruction of Jerusalem.upon the foreheads—the most conspicuous part of the person, to imply how their safety wouldbe manifested to all (compare Jer 15:11; 39:11-18). It was customary thus to mark worshippers (Re1432JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson13:16; 14:1, 9) and servants. So the Church of England marks the forehead with the sign of thecross in baptizing. At the exodus the mark was on the houses, for then it was families; here, it ison the foreheads, for it is individuals whose safety is guaranteed.sigh and … cry—similarly sounding verbs in Hebrew, as in English Version, expressing theprolonged sound of their grief. "Sigh" implies their inward grief ("groanings which cannot beuttered," Ro 8:26); "cry," the outward expression of it. So Lot (2Pe 2:7, 8). Tenderness shouldcharacterize the man of God, not harsh sternness in opposing the ungodly (Ps 119:53, 136; Jer13:17; 2Co 12:21); at the same time zeal for the honor of God (Ps 69:9, 10; 1Jo 5:19).5. the others—the six officers of judgment (Eze 9:2).6. come not near any … upon whom … mark—(Re 9:4). It may be objected that Daniel,Jeremiah, and others were carried away, whereas many of the vilest were left in the land. But Goddoes not promise believers exemption from all suffering, but only from what will prove really andlastingly hurtful to them. His sparing the ungodly turns to their destruction and leaves them withoutexcuse [Calvin]. However, the prophecy waits a fuller and final fulfilment, for Re 7:3-8, in ages longafter Babylon, foretells, as still future, the same sealing of a remnant (one hundred forty-fourthousand) of Israel previous to the final outpouring of wrath on the rest of the nation; thecorrespondence is exact; the same pouring of fire from the altar follows the marking of the remnantin both (compare Re 8:5, with Eze 10:2). So Zec 13:9; 14:2, distinguish the remnant from the restof Israel.begin at … sanctuary—For in it the greatest abominations had been committed; it had lostthe reality of consecration by the blood of victims sacrificed to idols; it must, therefore, lose itssemblance by the dead bodies of the slain idolaters (Eze 9:7). God's heaviest wrath falls on thosewho have sinned against the highest privileges; these are made to feel it first (1Pe 4:17, 18). Hehates sin most in those nearest to Him; for example, the priests, &c.ancient men—the seventy elders.8. I was left—literally, "there was left I." So universal seemed the slaughter that Ezekiel thoughthimself the only one left [Calvin]. He was the only one left of the priests "in the sanctuary."fell upon my face—to intercede for his countrymen (so Nu 16:22).all the residue—a plea drawn from God's covenant promise to save the elect remnant.9. exceeding—literally, "very, very"; doubled.perverseness—"apostasy" [Grotius]; or, "wresting aside of justice."Lord … forsaken … earth … seeth not—The order is reversed from Eze 8:12. There theyspeak of His neglect of His people in their misery; here they go farther and deny His providence(Ps 10:11), so that they may sin fearlessly. God, in answer to Ezekiel's question (Eze 9:8), leavesthe difficulty unsolved; He merely vindicates His justice by showing it did not exceed their sin: Hewould have us humbly acquiesce in His judgments, and wait and trust.10. mine eye—to show them their mistake in saying, "The Lord seeth not."recompense their way upon their head—(Pr 1:31). Retribution in kind.11. I have done as thou hast commanded—The characteristic of Messiah (Joh 17:4). So theangels (Ps 103:21); and the apostles report their fulfilment of their orders (Mr 6:30).CHAPTER 101433JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonEze 10:1-22. Vision of Coals of Fire Scattered over the City: Repetition of the Vision of the Cherubim.1. The throne of Jehovah appearing in the midst of the judgments implies that whateverintermediate agencies be employed, He controls them, and that the whole flows as a necessaryconsequence from His essential holiness (Eze 1:22, 26).cherubim—in Eze 1:5, called "living creatures." The repetition of the vision implies that thejudgments are approaching nearer and nearer. These two visions of Deity were granted in thebeginning of Ezekiel's career, to qualify him for witnessing to God's glory amidst his God-forgettingpeople and to stamp truth on his announcements; also to signify the removal of God's manifestationfrom the visible temple (Eze 10:18) for a long period (Eze 43:2). The feature (Eze 10:12) mentionedas to the cherubim that they were "full of eyes," though omitted in the former vision, is not adifference, but a more specific detail observed by Ezekiel now on closer inspection. Also, here,there is no rainbow (the symbol of mercy after the flood of wrath) as in the former; for here judgmentis the prominent thought, though the marking of the remnant in Eze 9:4, 6 shows that there wasmercy in the background. The cherubim, perhaps, represent redeemed humanity combining in andwith itself the highest forms of subordinate creaturely life (compare Ro 8:20). Therefore they areassociated with the twenty-four elders and are distinguished from the angels (Re 5:1-14). Theystand on the mercy seat of the ark, and on that ground become the habitation of God from whichHis glory is to shine upon the world. The different forms symbolize the different phases of theChurch. So the quadriform Gospel, in which the incarnate Saviour has lodged the revelation ofHimself in a fourfold aspect, and from which His glory shines on the Christian world, answers tothe emblematic throne from which He shone on the Jewish Church.2. he—Jehovah; He who sat on the "throne."the man—the Messenger of mercy becoming the Messenger of judgment (see on Eze 9:2).Human agents of destruction shall fulfil the will of "the Man," who is Lord of men.wheels—Hebrew, galgal, implying quick revolution; so the impetuous onset of the foe (compareEze 23:24; 26:10); whereas "ophan," in Eze 1:15, 16 implies mere revolution.coals of fire—the wrath of God about to burn the city, as His sword had previously slain itsguilty inhabitants. This "fire," how different from the fire on the altar never going out (Le 6:12,13), whereby, in type, peace was made with God! Compare Isa 33:12, 14. It is therefore not takenfrom the altar of reconciliation, but from between the wheels of the cherubim, representing theprovidence of God, whereby, and not by chance, judgment is to fall.3. right … of … house—The scene of the locality whence judgment emanates is the temple,to mark God's vindication of His holiness injured there. The cherubim here are not those in theholy of holies, for the latter had not "wheels." They stood on "the right of the house," that is, thesouth, for the Chaldean power, guided by them, had already advanced from the north (the directionof Babylon), and had destroyed the men in the temple, and was now proceeding to destroy the city,which lay south and west.the cherubim … the man—There was perfect concert of action between the cherubicrepresentative of the angels and "the Man," to minister to whom they "stood" there (Eze 10:7).cloud—emblem of God's displeasure; as the "glory" or "brightness" (Eze 10:4) typifies Hismajesty and clearness in judgment.4. The court outside was full of the Lord's brightness, while it was only the cloud that filled thehouse inside, the scene of idolatries, and therefore of God's displeasure. God's throne was on thethreshold. The temple, once filled with brightness, is now darkened with cloud.1434JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson5. sound of … wings—prognostic of great and awful changes.voice of … God—the thunder (Ps 29:3, &c.).6. went in—not into the temple, but between the cherubim. Ezekiel sets aside the Jews' boastof the presence of God with them. The cherubim, once the ministers of grace, are now the ministersof vengeance. When "commanded," He without delay obeys (Ps 40:8; Heb 10:7).7. See on Eze 10:3.one cherub—one of the four cherubim.his hand—(Eze 1:8).went out—to burn the city.8. The "wings" denote alacrity, the "hands" efficacy and aptness, in executing the functionsassigned to them.9. wheels—(See on Eze 1:15, 16). The things which, from Eze 10:8 to the end of the chapter,are repeated from the first chapter are expressed more decidedly, now that he gets a nearer view:the words "as it were," and "as if," so often occurring in the first chapter, are therefore mostlyomitted. The "wheels" express the manifold changes and revolutions in the world; also that in thechariot of His providence God transports the Church from one place to another and everywherecan preserve it; a truth calculated to alarm the people in Jerusalem and to console the exiles [Polanus].10. four had one likeness—In the wonderful variety of God's works there is the greatestharmony:—"In human works, though labored on with pain,One thousand movements scarce one purpose gain;In God's one single doth its end produce,Yet serves to second, too, some other use.(See on Eze 1:16).wheel … in … a wheel—cutting one another at fight angles, so that the whole might move inany of the four directions or quarters of the world. God's doings, however involved they seem tous, cohere, so that lower causes subserve the higher.11. (See on Eze 1:17).turned not—without accomplishing their course (Isa 55:11) [Grotius]. Rather, "they movedstraight on without turning" (so Eze 1:9). Having a face towards each of the four quarters, theyneeded not to turn around when changing their direction.whither … head looked—that is, "whither the head" of the animal cherub-form, belonging toand directing each wheel, "looked," thither the wheel "followed." The wheels were not guided bysome external adventitious impetus, but by some secret divine impulse of the cherubim themselves.12. body—literally, "flesh," because a body consists of flesh.wheels … full of eyes—The description (Eze 1:18) attributes eyes to the "wheels" alone; herethere is added, on closer observation, that the cherubim themselves had them. The "eyes" implythat God, by His wisdom, beautifully reconciles seeming contrarieties (compare 2Ch 16:9; Pr 15:3;Zec 4:10).13. O wheel—rather, "they were called, whirling," that is, they were most rapid in theirrevolutions [Maurer]; or, better, "It was cried unto them, The whirling" [Fairbairn]. Galgal here usedfor "wheel," is different from ophan, the simple word for "wheel." Galgal is the whole wheelwork1435JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmachinery with its whirlwind-like rotation. Their being so addressed is in order to call themimmediately to put themselves in rapid motion.14. cherub—but in Eze 1:10 it is an ox. The chief of the four cherubic forms was not the ox,but man. Therefore "cherub" cannot be synonymous with "ox." Probably Ezekiel, standing in frontof one of the cherubim (namely, that which handed the coals to the man in linen), saw of him, notmerely the ox-form, but the whole fourfold form, and therefore calls him simply "cherub"; whereasof the other three, having only a side view, he specifies the form of each which met his eye [Fairbairn].As to the likelihood of the lower animals sharing in "the restoration of all things," see Isa 11:6;65:25; Ro 8:20, 21; this accords with the animal forms combined with the human to typify redeemedman.15. The repeated declaration of the identity of the vision with that at the Chebar is to arouseattention to it (Eze 10:22; 3:23).the living creature—used collectively, as in Eze 10:17, 20; 1:20.16. (See on Eze 10:11; Eze 1:19).lifted up … wings—to depart, following "the glory of the Lord" which was on the point ofdeparting (Eze 10:18).17. (Eze 1:12, 20, 21).stood—God never stands still (Joh 5:17), therefore neither do the angels; but to humanperceptions He seems to do so.18. The departure of the symbol of God's presence from the temple preparatory to the destructionof the city. Foretold in De 31:17. Woe be to those from whom God departs (Ho 9:12)! Compare1Sa 28:15, 16; 4:21: "I-chabod, Thy glory is departed." Successive steps are marked in His departure;so slowly and reluctantly does the merciful God leave His house. First He leaves the sanctuary (Eze9:3); He elevates His throne above the threshold of the house (Eze 10:1); leaving the cherubim Hesits on the throne (Eze 10:4); He and the cherubim, after standing for a time at the door of the eastgate (where was the exit to the lower court of the people), leave the house altogether (Eze 10:18,19), not to return till Eze 43:2.20. I knew … cherubim—By the second sight of the cherubim, he learned to identify themwith the angelic forms situated above the ark of the covenant in the temple, which as a priest, he"knew" about from the high priest.21. The repetition is in order that the people about to live without the temple might have, instead,the knowledge of the temple mysteries, thus preparing them for a future restoration of the covenant.So perverse were they that they would say, "Ezekiel fancies he saw what has no existence." He,therefore, repeats it over and over again.22. straight forward—intent upon the object they aimed at, not deviating from the way norlosing sight of the end (Lu 9:52).CHAPTER 11Eze 11:1-25. Prophecy of the Destruction of the Corrupt "Princes of the People;" Pelatiah Dies; Promise of Graceto the Believing Remnant; Departure of the Glory of God from the City; Ezekiel's Return to the Captives.1436JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. east gate—to which the glory of God had moved itself (Eze 10:19), the chief entrance of thesanctuary; the portico or porch of Solomon. The Spirit moves the prophet thither, to witness, in thepresence of the divine glory, a new scene of destruction.five and twenty men—The same as the twenty-five (that is, twenty-four heads of courses, andthe high priest) sun-worshippers seen in Eze 8:16. The leading priests were usually called "princesof the sanctuary" (Isa 43:28) and "chiefs of the priests" (2Ch 36:14); but here two of them are called"princes of the people," with irony, as using their priestly influence to be ringleaders of the peoplein sin (Eze 11:2). Already the wrath of God had visited the people represented by the elders (Eze9:6); also the glory of the Lord had left its place in the holy of holies, and, like the cherubim andflaming sword in Eden, had occupied the gate into the deserted sanctuary. The judgment on therepresentatives of the priesthood naturally follows here, just as the sin of the priests had followedin the description (Eze 8:12, 16) after the sin of the elders.Jaazaniah—signifying "God hears."son of Azur—different from Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan (Eze 8:11). Azur means "help." Heand Pelatiah ("God delivers"), son of Benaiah ("God builds"), are singled out as Jaazaniah, son ofShaphan, in the case of the seventy elders (Eze 8:11, 12), because their names ought to have remindedthem that "God" would have "heard" had they sought His "help" to "deliver" and "build" them up.But, neglecting this, they incurred the heavier judgment by the very relation in which they stoodto God [Fairbairn].2. he—the Lord sitting on the cherubim (Eze 10:2).wicked counsel—in opposition to the prophets of God (Eze 11:3).3. It is not near—namely, the destruction of the city; therefore "let us build houses," as if therewas no fear. But the Hebrew opposes English Version, which would require the infinitive absolute.Rather, "Not at hand is the building of houses." They sneer at Jeremiah's letter to the captives,among whom Ezekiel lived (Jer 29:5). "Build ye houses, and dwell in them," that is, do not fancy,as many persuade you, that your sojourn in Babylon is to be short; it will be for seventy years (Jer25:11, 12; 29:10); therefore build houses and settle quietly there. The scorners in Jerusalem reply,Those far off in exile may build if they please, but it is too remote a concern for us to troubleourselves about [Fairbairn], (Compare Eze 12:22, 27; 2Pe 3:4).this city … caldron … we … flesh—sneering at Jer 1:13, when he compared the city to acaldron with its mouth towards the north. "Let Jerusalem be so if you will, and we the flesh, exposedto the raging foe from the north, still its fortifications will secure us from the flame of war outside;the city must stand for our sakes, just as the pot exists for the safety of the flesh in it." In oppositionto this God says (Eze 11:11), "This city shall not be your caldron, to defend you in it from the foeoutside: nay, ye shall be driven out of your imaginary sanctuary and slain in the border of the land.""But," says God, in Eze 11:7, "your slain are the flesh, and this city the caldron; but (not as youfancy, shall ye be kept safe inside) I will bring you forth out of the midst of it"; and again, in Eze24:3, "Though not a caldron in your sense, Jerusalem shall be so in the sense of its being exposedto a consuming foe, and you yourselves in it and with it."4. prophesy … prophesy—The repetition marks emphatic earnestness.5. Spirit … fell upon me—stronger than "entered into me" (Eze 2:2; 3:24), implying the zealof the Spirit of God roused to immediate indignation at the contempt of God shown by the scorners.I know—(Ps 139:1-4). Your scornful jests at My word escape not My notice.1437JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. your slain—those on whom you have brought ruin by your wicked counsels. Bloody crimeswithin the city brought on it a bloody foe from without (Eze 7:23, 24). They had made it a caldronin which to boil the flesh of God's people (Mic 3:1-3), and eat it by unrighteous oppression; thereforeGod will make it a caldron in a different sense, one not wherein they may be safe in their guilt, but"out of the midst of" which they shall be "brought forth" (Jer 34:4, 5).7. The city is a caldron to them, but it shall not be so to you. Ye shall meet your doom on thefrontier.8. The Chaldean sword, to escape which ye abandoned your God, shall be brought on you byGod because of that very abandonment of Him.9. out of the midst thereof—that is, of the city, as captives led into the open plain for judgment.10. in the border of Israel—on the frontier: at Riblah, in the land of Hamath (compare 2Ki25:19-21, with 1Ki 8:65).ye shall know that I am the Lord—by the judgments I inflict (Ps 9:16).11. (See on Eze 11:3).12. (De 12:30, 31).13. Pelaliah—probably the ringleader of the scorners (Eze 11:1); his being stricken dead (likeAnanias, Acts 5. 5) was an earnest of the destruction of the rest of the twenty-five, as Ezekiel hadforetold, as also of the general ruin.fell … upon … face—(See on Eze 9:8).wilt thou make a full end of the remnant—Is Pelatiah's destruction to be the token of thedestruction of all, even of the remnant? The people regarded Pelatiah as a mainstay of the city. Hisname (derived from a Hebrew root, "a remnant," or else "God delivers") suggested hope. Is thathope, asks Ezekiel, to be disappointed?15. thy brethren … brethren—The repetition implies, "Thy real brethren" are no longer thepriests at Jerusalem with whom thou art connected by the natural ties of blood and common templeservice, but thy fellow exiles on the Chebar, and the house of Israel whosoever of them belong tothe remnant to be spared.men of thy kindred—literally, "of thy redemption," that is, the nearest relatives, whose dutyit was to do the part of Goel, or vindicator and redeemer of a forfeited inheritance (Le 25:25).Ezekiel, seeing the priesthood doomed to destruction, as a priest, felt anxious to vindicate theircause, as if they were his nearest kinsmen and he their Goel. But he is told to look for his truekinsmen in those, his fellow exiles, whom his natural kinsmen at Jerusalem despised, and he is tobe their vindicator. Spiritual ties, as in the case of Levi (De 33:9), the type of Messiah (Mt 12:47-50)are to supersede natural ones where the two clash. The hope of better days was to rise from thedespised exiles. The gospel principle is shadowed forth here, that the despised of men are often thechosen of God and the highly esteemed among men are often an abomination before Him (Lu 16:15;1Co 1:26-28). "No door of hope but in the valley of Achor" ("trouble," Ho 2:15), [Fairbairn].Get you far … unto us is this land—the contemptuous words of those left still in the city atthe carrying away of Jeconiah to the exiles, "However far ye be outcasts from the Lord and Histemple, we are secure in our possession of the land."16. Although—anticipating the objection of the priests at Jerusalem, that the exiles were "castfar off." Though this be so, and they are far from the outer temple at Jerusalem, I will be theirasylum or sanctuary instead (Ps 90:1; 91:9; Isa 8:14). My shrine is the humble heart: a preparationfor gospel catholicity when the local and material temple should give place to the spiritual (Isa1438JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson57:15; 66:1; Mal 1:11; Joh 4:21-24; Ac 7:48, 49). The trying discipline of the exile was to chastenthe outcasts so as to be meet recipients of God's grace, for which the carnal confidence of the priestsdisqualified them. The dispersion served the end of spiritualizing and enlarging the views even ofthe better Jews, so as to be able to worship God everywhere without a material temple; and, at thesame time, it diffused some knowledge of God among the greatest Gentile nations, thus providingmaterials for the gathering in of the Christian Church among the Gentiles; so marvellously did Godoverrule a present evil for an ultimate good. Still more does all this hold good in the present muchlonger dispersion which is preparing for a more perfect and universal restoration (Isa 2:2-4; Jer3:16-18). Their long privation of the temple will prepare them for appreciating the more, but withoutJewish narrowness, the temple that is to be (Eze 40:1-44:31).a little—rather, "for a little season"; No matter how long the captivity may be, the seventy yearswill be but as a little season, compared with their long subsequent settlement in their land. Thisholds true only partially in the case of the first restoration; but as in a few centuries they weredispersed again, the full and permanent restoration is yet future (Jer 24:6).17. (Eze 28:25; 34:13; 36:24).18. They have eschewed every vestige of idolatry ever since their return from Babylon. Butstill the Shekinah glory had departed, the ark was not restored, nor was the second temple strictlyinhabited by God until He came who made it more glorious than the first temple (Hag 2:9); eventhen His stay was short, and ended in His being rejected; so that the full realization of the promisemust still be future.19. I will give them—lest they should claim to themselves the praise given them in Eze 11:18,God declares it is to be the free gift of His Spirit.one heart—not singleness, that is, uprightness, but oneness of heart in all, unanimously seekingHim in contrast to their state at that time, when only single scattered individuals sought God (Jer32:39; Zep 3:9) [Hengstenberg]. Or, "content with one God," not distracted with "the many detestablethings" (Eze 11:18; 1Ki 18:21; Ho 10:2) [Calvin].new spirit—(Ps 51:10; Jer 31:33). Realized fully in the "new creature" of the New Testament(2Co 5:17); having new motives, new rules, new aims.stony heart—like "adamant" (Zec 7:12); the natural heart of every man.heart of flesh—impressible to what is good, tender.20. walk in my statutes—Regeneration shows itself by its fruits (Ga 5:22, 25).they … my people, … I … their God—(Eze 14:11; 36:28; 37:27; Jer 24:7). In its fullest sensestill future (Zec 13:9).21. whose heart … after … heart of … detestable things—The repetition of "heart" isemphatic, signifying that the heart of those who so obstinately clung to idols, impelled itself tofresh superstitions in one continuous tenor [Calvin]. Perhaps it is implied that they and their idolsare much alike in character (Ps 115:8). The heart walks astray first, the feet follow.recompense … way upon … heads—They have abandoned Me, so will I abandon them; theyprofaned My temple, so will I profane it by the Chaldeans (Eze 9:10).23. The Shekinah glory now moves from the east gate (Eze 10:4, 19) to the Mount of Olives,altogether abandoning the temple. The mount was chosen as being the height whence the missilesof the foe were about to descend on the city. So it was from it that Jesus ascended to heaven whenabout to send His judgments on the Jews; and from it He predicted its overthrow before His1439JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncrucifixion (Mt 24:3). It is also to be the scene of His return in person to deliver His people (Zec14:4), when He shall come by the same way as He went, "the way of the east" (Eze 43:2).24. brought me in a vision—not in actual fact, but in ecstatic vision. He had been as to theoutward world all the time before the elders (Eze 8:3) in Chaldea; he now reports what he hadwitnessed with the inner eye.25. things … showed me—literally, "words"; an appropriate expression; for the wordcommunicated to him was not simply a word, but one clothed with outward symbols "shown" tohim as in the sacrament, which Augustine terms "the visible word" [Calvin].CHAPTER 12Eze 12:1-28. Ezekiel's Typical Moving to Exile: Prophecy of Zedekiah's Captivity and Privation of Sight: the Jews'Unbelieving Surmise as to the Distance of the Event Reproved.1, 2. eyes to see, and see not, … ears to hear, and hear not—fulfilling the prophecy of De29:4, here quoted by Ezekiel (compare Isa 6:9; Jer 5:21). Ezekiel needed often to be reminded ofthe people's perversity, lest he should be discouraged by the little effect produced by his prophecies.Their "not seeing" is the result of perversity, not incapacity. They are wilfully blind. The personsmost interested in this prophecy were those dwelling at Jerusalem; and it is among them that Ezekielwas transported in spirit, and performed in vision, not outwardly, the typical acts. At the same time,the symbolical prophecy was designed to warn the exiles at Chebar against cherishing hopes, asmany did in opposition to God's revealed word, of returning to Jerusalem, as if that city was tostand; externally living afar off, their hearts dwelt in that corrupt and doomed capital.3. stuff for removing—rather, "an exile's outfit," the articles proper to a person going as anexile, a staff and knapsack, with a supply of food and clothing; so "instruments of captivity," Jer46:19, Margin, that is, the needful equipments for it. His simple announcements having failed, heis symbolically to give them an ocular demonstration conveyed by a word-painting of actionsperformed in vision.consider—(De 32:29).4. by day—in broad daylight, when all can see thee.at even—not contradicting the words "by day." The baggage was to be sent before by day, andEzekiel was to follow at nightfall [Grotius]; or, the preparations were to be made by day, the actualdeparture was to be effected at night [Henderson].as they that go forth into captivity—literally, "as the goings forth of the captivity," that is, ofthe captive band of exiles, namely, amid the silent darkness: typifying Zedekiah's flight by nighton the taking of the city (Jer 39:4; 52:7).5. Dig—as Zedekiah was to escape like one digging through a wall, furtively to effect an escape(Eze 12:12).carry out—namely, "thy stuff" (Eze 12:4).thereby—by the opening in the wall. Zedekiah escaped "by the gate betwixt the two walls"(Jer 39:4).6. in … twilight—rather, "in the dark." So in Ge 15:17, "it" refers to "thy stuff."1440JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncover thy face—as one who muffles his face, afraid of being recognized by anyone meetinghim. So the Jews and Zedekiah should make their exit stealthily and afraid to look around, so hurriedshould be their fight [Calvin].sign—rather, "a portent," namely, for evil.9. What doest thou?—They ask not in a docile spirit, but making a jest of his proceedings.10. burden—that is, weighty oracle.the prince—The very man Zedekiah, in whom they trust for safety, is to be the chief sufferer.Josephus [Antiquities, 10.7] reports that Ezekiel sent a copy of this prophecy to Zedekiah. As Jeremiahhad sent a letter to the captives at the Chebar, which was the means of calling forth at first theagency of Ezekiel, so it was natural for Ezekiel to send a message to Jerusalem confirming thewarnings of Jeremiah. The prince, however, fancying a contradiction between Eze 12:13; "he shallnot see Babylon," and Jer 24:8, 9, declaring he should be carried to Babylon, believed neither.Seeming discrepancies in Scripture on deeper search prove to be hidden harmonies.11. sign—portent of evil to come (Eze 24:27; Zec 3:8, Margin). Fulfilled (2Ki 25:1-7; Jer52:1-11).12. prince … among them—literally, "that is in the midst of them," that is, on whom the eyesof all are cast, and "under whose shadow" they hope to live (La 4:20).shall bear—namely, his "stuff for removing"; his equipments for his journey.cover his face, that he see not the ground—See on Eze 12:6; the symbol in Eze 12:6 isexplained in this verse. He shall muffle his face so as not to be recognized: a humiliation for a king!13. My net—the Chaldean army. He shall be inextricably entangled in it, as in the meshes ofa net. It is God's net (Job 19:6). Babylon was God's instrument (Isa 10:5). Called "a net" (Hab1:14-16).bring him to Babylon … ; yet shall he not see it—because he should be deprived of sightbefore he arrived there (Jer 52:11).14. all … about him—his satellites: his bodyguard.bands—literally, "the wings" of an army (Isa 8:8).draw out … sword after them—(See on Eze 5:2; Eze 5:12).16. I will leave a few … that they may declare … abominations—God's purpose in scatteringa remnant of Jews among the Gentiles; namely, not only that they themselves should be weanedfrom idolatry (see Eze 12:15), but that by their own word, as also by their whole state as exiles,they should make God's righteousness manifest among the Gentiles, as vindicated in their punishmentfor their sins (compare Isa 43:10; Zec 8:13).18. Symbolical representation of the famine and fear with which they should eat their scantymorsel, in their exile, and especially at the siege.19. people of the land—the Jews "in the land" of Chaldea who thought themselves miserableas being exiles and envied the Jews left in Jerusalem as fortunate.land of Israel—contrasted with "the people in the land" of Chaldea. So far from being fortunateas the exiles in Chaldea regarded them, the Jews in Jerusalem are truly miserable, for the worst isbefore them, whereas the exiles have escaped the miseries of the coming siege.land … desolate from all that is therein—literally, "that the land (namely, Judea) may bedespoiled of the fulness thereof"; emptied of the inhabitants and abundance of flocks and corn withwhich it was filled.because of … violence—(Ps 107:34).1441JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson20. the cities—left in Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem.22. proverb—The infidel scoff, that the threatened judgment was so long in coming, it wouldnot come at all, had by frequent repetition come to be a "proverb" with them. This skeptical habitcontemporary prophets testify to (Jer 17:15; 20:7; Zep 1:12). Ezekiel, at the Chebar, thus sympathizeswith Jeremiah and strengthens his testimony at Jerusalem. The tendency to the same scoff showeditself in earlier times, but had not then developed into a settled "proverb" (Isa 5:19; Am 5:18). Itshall again be the characteristic of the last times, when "faith" shall be regarded as an antiquatedthing (Lu 18:8), seeing that it remains stationary, whereas worldly arts and sciences progress, andwhen the "continuance of all things from creation" will be the argument against the possibility oftheir being suddenly brought to a standstill by the coming of the Lord (Isa 66:5; 2Pe 3:3, 4). Thevery long-suffering of God, which ought to lead men to repentance, is made an argument againstHis word (Ec 8:11; Am 6:3).days … prolonged … vision faileth—their twofold argument: (1) The predictions shall notcome to pass till long after our time. (2) They shall fail and prove vain shadows. God answers bothin Eze 12:23, 25.23. effect—literally, "the word," namely, fulfilled; that is, the effective fulfilment of whateverthe prophets have spoken is at hand.24. no more … vain vision … flattering divination—All those false prophets (La 2:14), who"flattered" the people with promises of peace and safety, shall be detected and confounded by theevent itself.25. word … shall come to pass—in opposition to their scoff "the vision faileth" (Eze 12:22).The repetition, "I will speak … speak," &c. (or as Fairbairn, "For I, Jehovah, will speak whateverword I shall speak, and it shall be done") implies that whenever God speaks, the effect must follow;for God, who speaks, is not divided in Himself (Eze 12:28; Isa 55:11; Da 9:12; Lu 21:33).no more prolonged—in opposition to the scoff (Eze 12:22), "The days are prolonged."in your days—while you are living (compare Mt 24:34).27. Not a mere repetition of the scoff (Eze 12:22); there the scoffers asserted that the evil wasso often threatened and postponed, it must have no reality; here formalists do not go so far as todeny that a day of evil is coming, but assert it is still far off (Am 6:3). The transition is easy fromthis carnal security to the gross infidelity of the former class.CHAPTER 13Eze 13:1-23. Denunciation of False Prophets and Prophetesses; Their False Teachings, and God's ConsequentJudgments.1. As the twelfth chapter denounced the false expectations of the people, so this denounces thefalse leaders who fed those expectations. As an independent witness, Ezekiel confirms at the Chebarthe testimony of Jeremiah (Jer 29:21, 31) in his letter from Jerusalem to the captive exiles, againstthe false prophets; of these some were conscious knaves, others fanatical dupes of their own frauds;for example, Ahab, Zedekiah, and Shemaiah. Hananiah must have believed his own lie, else hewould not have specified so circumstantial details (Jer 28:2-4). The conscious knaves gave onlygeneral assurances of peace (Jer 5:31; 6:14; 14:13). The language of Ezekiel has plain referencesto the similar language of Jeremiah (for example, Jer 23:9-38); the bane of false prophecy, which1442JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhad its stronghold in Jerusalem, having in some degree extended to the Chebar; this chapter,therefore, is primarily intended as a message to those still in the Jewish metropolis; and, secondarily,for the good of the exiles at the Chebar.2. that prophesy—namely, a speedy return to Jerusalem.out of … own hearts—alluding to the words of Jeremiah (Jer 23:16, 26); that is, what theyprophesied was what they and the people wished; the wish was father to the thought. The peoplewished to be deceived, and so were deceived. They were inexcusable, for they had among themtrue prophets (who spoke not their own thoughts, but as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2Pe1:21), whom they might have known to be such, but they did not wish to know (Joh 3:19).3. foolish—though vaunting as though exclusively possessing "wisdom" (1Co 1:19-21); thefear of God being the only beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10).their own spirit—instead of the Spirit of God. A threefold distinction lay between the falseand the true prophets: (1) The source of their messages respectively; of the false, "their own hearts";of the true, an object presented to the spiritual sense (named from the noblest of the senses, a seeing)by the Spirit of God as from without, not produced by their own natural powers of reflection. Theword, the body of the thought, presented itself not audibly to the natural sense, but directly to thespirit of the prophet; and so the perception of it is properly called a seeing, he perceiving that whichthereafter forms itself in his soul as the cover of the external word [Delitzsch]; hence the peculiarexpression, "seeing the word of God" (Isa 2:1; 13:1; Am 1:1; Mic 1:1). (2) The point aimed at; thefalse "walking after their own spirit"; the true, after the Spirit of God. (3) The result; the false sawnothing, but spake as if they had seen; the true had a vision, not subjective, but objectively real[Fairbairn]. A refutation of those who set the inward word above the objective, and represent theBible as flowing subjectively from the inner light of its writers, not from the revelation of the HolyGhost from without. "They are impatient to get possession of the kernel without its fosteringshell—they would have Christ without the Bible" [Bengel].4. foxes—which cunningly "spoil the vines" (So 2:15), Israel being the vineyard (Ps 80:8-15;Isa 5:1-7; 27:2; Jer 2:21); their duty was to have guarded it from being spoiled, whereas theythemselves spoiled it by corruptions.in … deserts—where there is nothing to eat; whence the foxes become so ravenous and craftyin their devices to get food. So the prophets wander in Israel, a moral desert, unrestrained, greedyof gain which they get by craft.5. not gone up into … gaps—metaphor from breaches made in a wall, to which the defendersought to betake themselves in order to repel the entrance of the foe. The breach is that made in thetheocracy through the nation's sin; and, unless it be made up, the vengeance of God will break inthrough it. Those who would advise the people to repentance are the restorers of the breach (Eze22:30; Ps 106:23, 30).hedge—the law of God (Ps 80:12; Isa 5:2, 5); by violating it, the people stripped themselvesof the fence of God's protection and lay exposed to the foe. The false prophets did not try to repairthe evil by bringing back the people to the law with good counsels, or by checking the bad withreproofs. These two duties answer to the double office of defenders in case of a breach made in awall: (1) To repair the breach from within; (2) To oppose the foe from without.to stand—that is, that the city may "stand."in … day of … Lord—In the day of the battle which God wages against Israel for their sins,ye do not try to stay God's vengeance by prayers, and by leading the nation to repentance.1443JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. made others to hope, &c.—rather, "they hoped" to confirm (that is, 'make good') their word,by the event corresponding to their prophecy. The Hebrew requires this [Havernick]. Also the parallelclause, "they have seen vanity," implies that they believed their own lie (2Th 2:11). Subjectiverevelation is false unless it rests on the objective.8. I am against you—rather understand, "I come against you," to punish your wicked profanationof My name (compare Re 2:5, 16).9. mine hand—My power in vengeance.not … in … assembly—rather, the "council"; "They shall not occupy the honorable office ofcouncillors in the senate of elders after the return from Babylon" (Ezr 2:1, 2).neither … written in … Israel—They shall not even have a place in the register kept of allcitizens' names; they shall be erased from it, just as the names of those who died in the year, or hadbeen deprived of citizenship for their crimes, were at the annual revisal erased. Compare Jer 17:13;Lu 10:20; Re 3:5, as to those spiritually Israelites; Joh 1:47, and those not so. Literally fulfilled(Ezr 2:59, 62; compare Ne 7:5; Ps 69:28).neither … enter … land—They shall not so much as be allowed to come back at all to theircountry.10. Because, even because—The repetition heightens the emphasis.Peace—safety to the nation. Ezekiel confirms Jer 6:14; 8:11.one—literally, "this one"; said contemptuously, as in 2Ch 28:22.a wall—rather, "a loose wall." Ezekiel had said that the false prophets did not "go up into thegaps, or make up the breaches" (Eze 13:5), as good architects do; now he adds that they make abustling show of anxiety about repairing the wall; but it is without right mortar, and therefore ofno use.one … others—besides individual effort, they jointly co-operated to delude the people.daubed … with untempered mortar—as sand without lime, mud without straw [Grotius].Fairbairn translates, "plaster it with whitewash." But besides the hypocrisy of merely outwardly"daubing" to make the wall look fair (Mt 23:27, 29; Ac 23:3), there is implied the unsoundness ofthe wall from the absence of true uniting cement; the "untempered cement" answering to the lie ofthe prophets, who say, in support of their prophecies, "Thus saith the Lord, when the Lord hathnot spoken" (Eze 22:28).11. overflowing—inundating; such as will at once wash away the mere clay mortar. The threemost destructive agents shall co-operate against the wall—wind, rain, and hailstones. These last inthe East are more out of the regular course of nature and are therefore often particularly specifiedas the instruments of God's displeasure against His foes (Ex 9:18; Jos 10:11; Job 38:22; Ps 18:12,13; Isa 28:2; 30:30; Re 16:21). The Hebrew here is, literally, "stones of ice." They fall in Palestineat times an inch thick with a destructive velocity. The personification heightens the vivid effect,"O ye hail stones." The Chaldeans will be the violent agency whereby God will unmask and refutethem, overthrowing their edifice of lies.12. shall it not be said—Your vanity and folly shall be so manifested that it shall pass into aproverb, "Where is the daubing?"13. God repeats, in His own name, as the Source of the coming calamity, what had been expressedgenerally in Eze 13:11.14. The repetition of the same threat (see on Eze 13:11) is to awaken the people out of theirdream of safety by the certainty of the event.1444JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfoundation—As the "wall" represents the security of the nation, so the "foundation" is Jerusalem,on the fortifications of which they rested their confidence. Grotius makes the "foundation" refer tothe false principles on which they rested; Eze 13:16 supports the former view.16. prophesy concerning Jerusalem—With all their "seeing visions of peace for her," theycannot ensure peace or safety to themselves.17. set thy face—put on a bold countenance, fearlessly to denounce them (Eze 3:8, 9; Isa 50:7).daughters—the false prophetesses; alluded to only here; elsewhere the guilt specified in thewomen is the active share they took in maintaining idolatry (Eze 8:14). It was only in extraordinaryemergencies that God bestowed prophecy on women, for example on Miriam, Deborah, Huldah(Ex 15:20; Jud 4:4; 2Ki 22:14); so in the last days to come (Joe 2:28). The rareness of such instancesenhanced their guilt in pretending inspiration.18. sew pillows to … armholes—rather, elbows and wrists, for which the false prophetessesmade cushions to lean on, as a symbolical act, typifying the perfect tranquility which they foretoldto those consulting them. Perhaps they made their dupes rest on these cushions in a fancied stateof ecstasy after they had made them at first stand (whence the expression, "every stature," is usedfor "men of every age"). As the men are said to have built a wall (Eze 13:10), so the women aresaid to sew pillows, &c., both alike typifying the "peace" they promised the impenitent.make kerchiefs—magical veils, which they put over the heads of those consulting them, as ifto fit them for receiving a response, that they might be rapt in spiritual trance above the world.head of every stature—"men of every age," old and young, great and small, if only these hadpay to offer them.hunt souls—eagerly trying to allure them to the love of yourselves (Pr 6:26; 2Pe 2:14), so asunwarily to become your prey.will ye save … souls … that come unto you—Will ye haul after souls, and when they areyours ("come unto you"), will ye promise them life? "Save" is explained (Eze 13:22), "promisinglife" [Grotius]. Calvin explains, "Will ye hunt My people's souls and yet will ye save your own souls";I, the Lord God, will not allow it. But "save" is used (Eze 13:19) of the false prophetesses promisinglife to the impenitent, so that English Version and Grotius explain it best.19. handfuls—expressing the paltry gain for which they bartered immortal souls (compare Mic3:5, 11; Heb 12:16). They "polluted" God by making His name the cloak under which they utteredfalsehoods.among my people—an aggravation of their sin, that they committed it "among the people"whom God had chosen as peculiarly His own, and among whom He had His temple. It would havebeen a sin to have done so even among the Gentiles, who knew not God; much more so among thepeople of God (compare Pr 28:21).slay … souls that should not die, &c.—to predict the slaying or perdition of the godly whomI will save. As true ministers are said to save and slay their hearers, according to the spiritrespectively in which these receive their message (2Co 2:15, 16), so false ministers imitate them;but they promise safety to those on the broad way to ruin and predict ruin to those on the narrowway of God.my people that hear your lies—who are therefore wilfully deceived, so that their guilt lies attheir own door (Joh 3:19).20. I am against your pillows—that is, against your lying ceremonial tricks by which ye cheatthe people.1445JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto make them fly—namely, into their snares, as fowlers disturb birds so as to be suddenlycaught in the net spread for them. "Fly" is peculiarly appropriate as to those lofty spiritual flightsto which they pretended to raise their dupes when they veiled their heads with kerchiefs and madethem rest on luxurious arm-cushions (Eze 13:18).let … souls go—"Ye make them fly" in order to destroy them; "I will let them go" in order tosave them (Ps 91:3; Pr 6:5; Ho 9:8).21. in your hand—in your power. "My people" are the elect remnant of Israel to be saved.ye shall know—by the judgments which ye shall suffer.22. ye have made … the righteous sad—by lying predictions of calamities impending everthe godly.strengthened … wicked—(Jer 23:14).heart of … righteous … hands of … wicked—Heart is applied to the righteous because theterrors foretold penetrated to their inmost feelings; hands, to the wicked because they were sohardened as not only to despise God in their minds, but also to manifest it in their whole acts, asif avowedly waging war with Him.23. ye shall see no more vanity—The event shall confute your lies, involving yourselves indestruction (Eze 13:9; Eze 14:8; 15:7; Mic 3:6).CHAPTER 14Eze 14:1-23. Hypocritical Inquirers Are Answered According to Their Hypocrisy. The Calamities Coming on thePeople; but a Remnant Is to Escape.1. elders—persons holding that dignity among the exiles at the Chebar. Grotius refers this toSeraiah and those sent with him from Judea (Jer 51:59). The prophet's reply, first, reflecting on thecharacter of the inquirers, and, secondly, foretelling the calamities coming on Judea, may furnishan idea of the subject of their inquiry.sat before me—not at once able to find a beginning of their speech; indicative of anxiety anddespondency.3. heart … face—The heart is first corrupted, and then the outward manifestation ofidol-worship follows; they set their idols before their eyes. With all their pretense of consultingGod now, they have not even put away their idols outwardly; implying gross contempt of God."Set up," literally, "aloft"; implying that their idols had gained the supreme ascendancy over them.stumbling-block of … iniquity—See Pr 3:21, 23, "Let not them (God's laws) depart from thineeyes, then … thy foot shall not stumble." Instead of God's law, which (by being kept before theireyes) would have saved them from stumbling, they set up their idols before their eyes, which proveda stumbling-block, causing them to stumble (Eze 7:19).inquired of at all—literally, "should I with inquiry be inquired of" by such hypocrites as theyare? (Ps 66:18; Pr 15:29; 28:9).4. and cometh—and yet cometh, reigning himself to be a true worshipper of Jehovah.him that cometh—so the Hebrew Margin reads. But the Hebrew text reading is, "accordingto it, according to the multitude of his idols"; the anticipative clause with the pronoun not beingpleonastic, but increasing the emphasis of the following clause with the noun. "I will answer,"literally, reflexively, "I will Myself (or for Myself) answer him."1446JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonaccording to … idols—thus, "answering a fool according to his folly"; making the sinner's sinhis punishment; retributive justice (Pr 1:31; 26:5).5. That I may take—that is, unveil and overtake with punishment the dissimulation and impietyof Israel hid in their own heart. Or, rather, "That I may punish them by answering them after theirown hearts"; corresponding to "according to the multitude of his idols" (see on Eze 14:4); an instanceis given in Eze 14:9; Ro 1:28; 2Th 2:11, God giving them up in wrath to their own lie.idols—though pretending to "inquire" of Me, "in their hearts" they are "estranged from Me,"and love "idols."6. Though God so threatened the people for their idolatry (Eze 14:5), yet He would rather theyshould avert the calamity by "repentance."turn yourselves—Calvin translates, "turn others" (namely, the stranger proselytes in the land).As ye have been the advisers of others (see Eze 14:7, "the stranger that sojourneth in Israel") toidolatry, so bestow at least as much pains in turning them to the truth; the surest proof of repentance.But the parallelism to Eze 14:3, 4 favors English Version. Their sin was twofold: (1) "In their heart"or inner man; (2) "Put before their face," that is, exhibited outwardly. So their repentance is generallyexpressed by "repent," and is then divided into: (1) "Turn yourselves (inwardly) from your idols";(2) "Turn away your faces (outwardly) from all your abominations." It is not likely that an exhortationto convert others should come between the two affecting themselves.7. stranger—the proselyte, tolerated in Israel only on condition of worshipping no God butJehovah (Le 17:8, 9).inquire of him concerning me—that is, concerning My will.by myself—not by word, but by deed, that is, by judgments, marking My hand and directagency; instead of answering him through the prophet he consults. Fairbairn translates, as it is thesame Hebrew as in the previous clause, "concerning Me," it is natural that God should use the sameexpression in His reply as was used in the consultation of Him. But the sense, I think, is the same.The hypocrite inquires of the prophet concerning God; and God, instead of replying through theprophet, replies for Himself concerning Himself.8. And I will set my face against that man—(See on Le 17:10).and will make him a sign—literally, "I will destroy him so as to become a sign"; it will be noordinary destruction, but such as will make him be an object pointed at with wonder by all, asKorah, &c. (Nu 26:10; De 28:37).9. I the Lord have deceived that prophet—not directly, but through Satan and his ministers;not merely permissively, but by overruling their evil to serve the purposes of His righteous judgment,to be a touchstone to separate the precious from the vile, and to "prove" His people (De 13:3; 1Ki22:23; Jer 4:10; 2Th 2:11, 12). Evil comes not from God, though God overrules it to serve His will(Job 12:16; Jas 1:3). This declaration of God is intended to answer their objection, "Jeremiah andEzekiel are but two opposed to the many prophets who announce 'peace' to us." "Nay, deceive notyourselves, those prophets of yours are deluding you, and I permit them to do so as a righteousjudgment on your wilful blindness."10. As they dealt deceitfully with God by seeking answers of peace without repentance, so Godwould let them be dealt with deceitfully by the prophets whom they consulted. God would chastisetheir sin with a corresponding sin; as they rejected the safe directions of the true light, He wouldsend the pernicious delusions of a false one; prophets would be given them who should re-echo thedeceitfulness that already wrought in their own bosom, to their ruin [Fairbairn]. The people had1447JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthemselves alone to blame, for they were long ago forewarned how to discern and to treat a falseprophet (De 13:3); the very existence of such deceivers among them was a sign of God's judicialdispleasure (compare in Saul's case, 1Sa 16:14; 28:6, 7). They and the prophet, being dupes of acommon delusion, should be involved in a common ruin.11. Love was the spring of God's very judgments on His people, who were incurable by anyother process (Eze 11:20; 37:27).12. The second part of the chapter: the effect which the presence of a few righteous personswas to have on the purposes of God (compare Ge 18:24-32). God had told Jeremiah that the guiltof Judah was too great to be pardoned even for the intercession of Moses and Samuel (Ps 99:6; Jer14:2; 15:1), which had prevailed formerly (Ex 32:11-14; Nu 14:13-20; 1Sa 7:8-12), implying theextraordinary heinousness of their guilt, since in ordinary cases "the effectual fervent prayer of arighteous man (for others) availeth much" (Jas 5:16). Ezekiel supplements Jeremiah by adding thatnot only those two once successful intercessors, but not even the three pre-eminently righteousmen, Noah, Daniel, and Job, could stay God's judgments by their righteousness.13. staff of … bread—on which man's existence is supported as on a staff (Eze 4:16; 5:16; Le26:26; Ps 104:15; Isa 3:1). I will send a famine.14. Noah, Daniel … Job—specified in particular as having been saved from overwhelmingcalamities for their personal righteousness. Noah had the members of his family alone given tohim, amidst the general wreck. Daniel saved from the fury of the king of Babylon the three youths(Da 2:17, 18, 48, 49). Though his prophecies mostly were later than those of Ezekiel, his fame forpiety and wisdom was already established, and the events recorded in Da 1:1-2:49 had transpired.The Jews would naturally, in their fallen condition, pride themselves on one who reflected suchglory on his nation at the heathen capital, and would build vain hopes (here set aside) on his influencein averting ruin from them. Thus the objection to the authenticity of Daniel from this passagevanishes. "Job" forms the climax (and is therefore put out of chronological order), having not evenbeen left a son or a daughter, and having had himself to pass through an ordeal of suffering beforehis final deliverance, and therefore forming the most simple instance of the righteousness of God,which would save the righteous themselves alone in the nation, and that after an ordeal of suffering,but not spare even a son or daughter for their sake (Eze 14:16, 18, 20; compare Jer 7:16; 11:14;14:11).deliver … souls by … righteousness—(Pr 11:4); not the righteousness of works, but that ofgrace, a truth less clearly understood under the law (Ro 4:3).15-21. The argument is cumulative. He first puts the case of the land sinning so as to fall underthe judgment of a famine (Eze 14:13); then (Eze 14:15) "noisome beasts" (Le 26:22); then "thesword"; then, worst of all, "pestilence." The three most righteous of men should deliver onlythemselves in these several four cases. In Eze 14:21 he concentrates the whole in one mass ofcondemnation. If Noah, Daniel, Job, could not deliver the land, when deserving only one judgment,"how much more" when all four judgments combined are justly to visit the land for sin, shall thesethree righteous men not deliver it.19. in blood—not literally. In Hebrew, "blood" expresses every premature kind of death.21. How much more—literally, "Surely shall it be so now, when I send," &c. If none couldavert the one only judgment incurred, surely now, when all four are incurred by sin, much moreimpossible it will be to deliver the land.1448JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson22. Yet … a remnant—not of righteous persons, but some of the guilty who should "comeforth" from the destruction of Jerusalem to Babylon, to lead a life of hopeless exile there. Thereference here is to judgment, not mercy, as Eze 14:23 shows.ye shall see their … doings; and … be comforted—Ye, the exiles at the Chebar, who nowmurmur at God's judgment about to be inflicted on Jerusalem as harsh, when ye shall see the wicked"ways" and character of the escaped remnant, shall acknowledge that both Jerusalem and itsinhabitants deserved their fate; his recognition of the righteousness of the judgment will reconcileyou to it, and so ye shall be "comforted" under it [Calvin]. Then would follow mercy to the electremnant, though that is not referred to here, but in Eze 20:43.23. they shall comfort you—not in words, but by your recognizing in their manifest guilt, thatGod had not been unjustly severe to them and the city.CHAPTER 15Eze 15:1-8. The Worthlessness of the Vine as Wood Especially When Burnt, Is the Image of the Worthlessness andGuilt of the Jews, Who Shall Pass from One Fire to Another.This chapter represents, in the way of a brief introduction, what the sixteenth chapter detailsminutely.2, 3. What has the vine-wood to make it pre-eminent above other forest-wood? Nothing. Nay,the reverse. Other trees yield useful timber, but vine-wood is soft, brittle, crooked, and seldomlarge; not so much as a "pin" (the large wooden peg used inside houses in the East to hang householdarticles on, Isa 22:23-25) can be made of it. Its sole excellency is that it should bear fruit; when itdoes not bear fruit, it is not only not better, but inferior to other trees: so if God's people lose theirdistinctive excellency by not bearing fruits of righteousness, they are more unprofitable than theworldly (De 32:32), for they are the vine; the sole end of their being is to bear fruit to His glory(Ps 80:8, 9; Isa 5:1, &c.; Jer 2:21; Ho 10:1; Mt 21:33). In all respects, except in their being plantedby God, the Jews were inferior to other nations, as Egypt, Babylon, &c., for example, in antiquity,extent of territory, resources, military power, attainments in arts and sciences.or than a branch—rather, in apposition with "the vine tree." Omit "or than." What superiorityhas the vine if it be but a branch among the trees of the forest, that is, if, as having no fruit, it liescut down among other woods of trees?4. cast into … fire—(Joh 15:6).both the ends—the north kingdom having been already overturned by Assyria underTiglath-pileser; the south being pressed on by Egypt (2Ki 23:29-35).midst of it is burned—rather, "is on flame"; namely, Jerusalem, which had now caught theflame by the attack of Nebuchadnezzar.Is it meet for any work—"it," that is, the scorched part still remaining.5. If useless before, much more so when almost wholly burnt.6. So will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as being utterly unprofitable (Mt 21:33-41; 25:30;Mr 11:12-14; Lu 13:6-9) in answering God's design that they should be witnesses for Jehovahbefore the heathen (Mt 3:10; 5:13).7. And I will set my face against them—(See on Le 17:10).1449JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfrom one fire … another—(Compare Isa 24:18). "Fire" means here every kind of calamity(Ps 66:12). The Jewish fugitives shall escape from the ruin of Jerusalem, only to fall into someother calamity.8. trespass—rather, "they have perversely fallen into perverse rebellion." The Jews were notmerely sinners as the other nations, but revolters and apostates. It is one thing to neglect what weknow not, but quite another thing to despise what we profess to worship [Jerome], as the Jews didtowards God and the law.CHAPTER 16Eze 16:1-63. Detailed Application of the Parabolical Delineation of the Fifteenth Chapter to Jerusalem Personifiedas a Daughter.(1) Taken up by God's gratuitous favor from infancy (Eze 16:1-7); (2) and, when grown up,joined to Him in spiritual marriage (Eze 16:8-14); (3) her unfaithfulness, her sin (Eze 16:15-34);(4) the judgment (Eze 16:35-52); (5) her unlooked-for restoration (Eze 16:53 to the close).2. cause Jerusalem to know—Men often are so blind as not to perceive their guilt which ispatent to all. "Jerusalem" represents the whole kingdom of Judah.3. birth … nativity—thy origin and birth; literally, "thy diggings" (compare Isa 51:1) "and thybringings forth."of … Canaan—in which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sojourned before going to Egypt, and fromwhich thou didst derive far more of thy innate characteristics than from the virtues of those thyprogenitors (Eze 21:30).an Amorite … an Hittite—These, being the most powerful tribes, stand for the whole of theCanaanite nations (compare Jos 1:4; Am 2:9), which were so abominably corrupt as to have beendoomed to utter extermination by God (Le 18:24, 25, 28; De 18:12). Translate rather, "the Amorite… the Canaanite," that is, these two tribes personified; their wicked characteristics, respectively,were concentrated in the parentage of Israel (Ge 15:16). "The Hittite" is made their "mother";alluding to Esau's wives, daughters of Heth, whose ways vexed Rebekah (Ge 26:34, 35; 27:46),but pleased the degenerate descendants of Jacob, so that these are called, in respect of morals,children of the Hittite (compare Eze 16:45).4. Israel's helplessness in her first struggling into national existence, under the image of aninfant (Ho 2:3) cast forth without receiving the commonest acts of parental regard. Its very life wasa miracle (Ex 1:15-22).navel … not cut—Without proper attention to the navel cord, the infant just born is liable todie.neither … washed in water to supple thee—that is, to make the skin soft. Rather, "forpurification"; from an Arabic root [Maurer]. Gesenius translates as the Margin, "that thou mightest(be presented to thy parents to) be looked upon," as is customary on the birth of a child.salted—Anciently they rubbed infants with salt to make the skin firm.5. cast … in … open field—The exposure of infants was common in ancient times.to the loathing of thy person—referring to the unsightly aspect of the exposed infant. Fairbairntranslates, "With contempt (or disdainful indifference) of thy life."6. when I passed by—as if a traveller.1450JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpolluted in … blood—but Piscator, "ready to be trodden on."I said—In contrast to Israel's helplessness stands God's omnipotent word of grace which bidsthe outcast little one "live."in thy blood—Though thou wast foul with blood, I said, "Live" [Grotius]. "Live in thy blood,"that is, Live, but live a life exposed to many deaths, as was the case in the beginnings of Israel'snational existence, in order to magnify the grace of God [Calvin]. The former view is preferable.Spiritually, till the sinner is made sensible of his abject helplessness, he will not appreciate theprovisions of God's grace.7. caused … to multiply—literally, "I … made thee a myriad."bud of … field—the produce of the field. In two hundred fifty years they increased fromseventy-five persons to eight hundred thousand (Ac 7:14) [Calvin]. But see Ex 12:37, 38.excellent ornaments—literally, "ornament of ornaments."naked … bare—(Ho 2:3). Literally, "nakedness … bareness" itself; more emphatic.8. thy time of love—literally, "loves" (compare So 2:10-13). Thou wast of marriageable age,but none was willing to marry thee, naked as thou wast. I then regarded thee with a look of gracewhen the full time of thy deliverance was come (Ge 15:13, 14; Ac 7:6, 7). It is not she that makesthe advance to God, but God to her; she has nothing to entitle her to such notice, yet He regardsher not with mere benevolence, but with love, such as one cherishes to the person of his wife (So1:3-6; Jer 31:3; Mal 1:2).spread my skirt over thee—the mode of espousals (Ru 3:9). I betrothed thee (De 4:37; 10:15;Ho 11:1). The cloak is often used as a bed coverlet in the East. God explains what He means, "Ientered into … covenant with thee," that is, at Sinai. So Israel became "the wife of God's covenant"(Isa 54:5; Jer 3:14; Ho 2:19, 20; Mal 2:14).thou … mine—(Ex 19:5; Jer 2:2).9. washed I thee—as brides used to pass through a preparatory purification (Es 2:12). So Israel,before the giving of the law at Sinai (Ex 19:14); "Moses sanctified the people, and they washedtheir clothes." So believers (1Co 6:11).oil—emblem of the Levitical priesthood, the type of Messiah (Ps 45:7).10. Ps 45:13, 14, similarly describes the Church (Israel, the appointed mother of Christendom)adorned as a bride (so Isa 61:10). It is Messiah who provides the wedding garment (Re 3:18; 19:8).badgers' skin—tahash; others translate, "seal skins." They formed the over-covering of thetabernacle, which was, as it were, the nuptial tent of God and Israel (Ex 26:14), and the materialof the shoes worn by the Hebrews on festival days. (See on Ex 25:5).fine linen—used by the priests (Le 6:10); emblem of purity.11. The marriage gifts to Rebekah (Ge 24:22, 47).12. jewel on thy forehead—rather, "a ring in thy nose" (Isa 3:21).a crown—at once the badge of a bride, and of her being made a queen, as being consort of theKing; the very name Israel meaning "a prince of God." So they are called "a kingdom of priests"(Ex 19:6; compare Re 1:6). Though the external blessings bestowed on Israel were great, yet notthese, but the internal and spiritual, form the main reference in the kingly marriage to which Israelwas advanced.13. flour … honey … oil—These three mixed form the sweetest cakes; not dry bread and leeksas in Egypt. From raiment He passes to food (De 32:13, 14).exceeding beautiful—Ps 48:2, the city; also, Ps 29:2, the temple.1451JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprosper into a kingdom—exercising empire over surrounding nations.14. thy renown … among … heathen—The theocracy reached its highest point under Solomon,when distant potentates heard of his "fame" (1Ki 10:1, &c.), for example, the queen of Sheba,Hiram, &c. (La 2:15).my comeliness—It was not thine own, but imparted by Me.15. Instead of attributing the glory of her privileges and gifts to God, Israel prided herself onthem as her own (De 32:15; Jer 7:4; Mic 3:11), and then wantonly devoted them to her idols (Ho2:8; compare Lu 15:12, 13).playedst … harlot because of thy renown—"didst play the wanton upon thy name" [Fairbairn],namely, by allowing thy renown to lead thee into idolatry and leagues with idolaters (Isa 1:21; 57:8;Jer 3:2, 6). English Version is better, "because of thy renown," that is, relying on it; answering to"thou didst trust in thine own beauty."his it was—Thy beauty was yielded up to every passer-by. Israel's zest for the worship of foulidols was but an anxiety to have the approbation of heaven for their carnal lusts, of which the idolswere the personification; hence, too, their tendency to wander from Jehovah, who was a restrainton corrupt nature.16. deckedst … with divers colours—or, "didst make … of divers colors" [Fairbairn]; themetaphor and the literal are here mixed. The high places whereon they sacrificed to Astarte arehere compared to tents of divers colors, which an impudent harlot would spread to show her housewas open to all [Calvin]. Compare as to "woven hangings for Astarte" (the right translation for"grove") 2Ki 23:7.the like … shall not come, neither shall … be—rather, "have not come, nor shall be." Thesethy doings are unparalleled in the past, and shall be so in the future.17. my gold … my silver—(Hag 2:8).images of men—rather, "of the phallus," the Hindu lingam, or membrum virile [Havernick],deified as the emblem of fecundity; man making his lust his god. English Version, however, isappropriate; Israel being represented as a woman playing the harlot with "male images," that is,images of male gods, as distinguished from female deities.18. tookest thy … garments … coveredst them—that is, the idols, as if an adulteress were tocover her paramours with garments which she had received from the liberality of her husband.my oil—the holy anointing oil sacred to God (Ex 30:22-25). Also that used in sacrifices (Le2:1, 2).19. My meat … I gave—(Ho 2:8).set it before them—as a minchah or "meat offering" (Le 2:1).a sweet savour—literally, "a savor of rest," that is, whereby they might be propitiated, and beat peace ("rest") with you; how ridiculous to seek to propitiate gods of wood!thus it was—The fact cannot be denied, for I saw it, and say it was so, saith Jehovah.20, 21. sons and … daughters borne unto me—Though "thy children," yet they belong "untoMe," rather than to thee, for they were born under the immutable covenant with Israel, which evenIsrael's sin could not set aside, and they have received the sign of adoption as Mine, namely,circumcision. This aggravates the guilt of sacrificing them to Molech.to be devoured—not merely to pass through the fire, as sometimes children were made to do(Le 18:21) without hurt, but to pass through so as to be made the food of the flame in honor of idols(see on Isa 57:5; Jer 7:31; Jer 19:5; Jer 32:35).1452JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonIs this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children—rather, "Werethy whoredoms a small matter (that is, not enough, but) that thou hast slain (that is, must also slay),"&c. As if thy unchastity was not enough, thou hast added this unnatural and sacrilegious cruelty(Mic 6:7).22. not remembered … youth—Forgetfulness of God's love is the source of all sins. Israelforgot her deliverance by God in the infancy of her national life. See Eze 16:43, to which Eze 16:60forms a lovely contrast (Jer 2:2; Ho 11:1).23. woe, woe unto thee, &c.—This parenthetical exclamation has an awful effect coming likea lightning flash of judgment amidst the black clouds of Israel's guilt.24. eminent place—rather, "a fornication-chamber," often connected with the impure rites ofidolatry; spiritual fornication, on "an eminent place," answering to "fornication-chamber," is mainlymeant, with an allusion also to the literal fornication associated with it (Jer 2:20; 3:2).25. at every head of the way—in the most frequented places (Pr 9:14).thy beauty … abhorred, … opened … feet to every one—The wanton advances were all onIsrael's part; the idolatrous nations yielded to her nothing in return. She had yielded so much that,like a worn-out prostitute, her tempters became weary of her. When the Church lowers her testimonyfor God to the carnal tastes of the world, with a view to conciliation, she loses everything and gainsnothing.26. fornication with … Egyptians—alliances with Egypt, cemented by sharing their idolatries.great of flesh—of powerful virile parts; figuratively for the gross and lustful religion of Egypt(for example, Isis, &c.), which alone could satisfy the abominable lust of Israel (Eze 20:7, 8; 23:19,20, 21).to provoke me—wantonly and purposely.27. The consequent judgments, which, however, proved of no avail in reforming the people(Isa 9:13; Jer 5:3).delivered thee unto … Philistines—(2Ki 16:6; 2Ch 28:18, 19).ashamed of thy lewd way—The Philistines were less wanton in idolatry, in that they did not,like Israel, adopt the idols of every foreign country but were content with their own (Eze 16:57;Jer 2:11).28. unsatiable—Not satisfied with whoredoms with neighbors, thou hast gone off to the distantAssyrians, that is, hast sought a league with them, and with it adopted their idolatries.29. multiplied … fornication in … Canaan unto Chaldea—Thou hast multiplied thy idolatries"in Canaan" by sending "unto Chaldea" to borrow from thence the Chaldean rites, to add to theabominations already practised "in Canaan," before the carrying away of Jehoiachin to Chaldea.The name "Canaan" is used to imply that they had made Judea as much the scene of abominationsas it was in the days of the corrupt Canaanites. The land had become utterly Canaanitish (Eze 23:14,&c.).30. weak … heart—Sin weakens the intellect ("heart") as, on the contrary, "the way of theLord is strength to the upright" (Pr 10:29).31. Repetition of Eze 16:24.not … as … harlot … thou scornest hire—Unlike an ordinary harlot thou dost prostitute thyperson gratis, merely to satisfy thy lust. Jerome translates, "Thou hast not been as a harlot in scorning(that is, who ordinarily scorns) a hire offered," in order to get a larger one: nay, thou hast offeredhire thyself to thy lovers (Eze 16:33, 34). But these verses show English Version to be preferable,1453JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor they state that Israel prostituted herself, not merely for any small reward without demandingmore, but for "no reward."32. instead of her husband—referring to Nu 5:19, 20, 29. Fairbairn translates, "whilst underher husband."33, 34. Israel hired her paramours, instead of being, like other harlots, hired by them; she alsofollowed them without their following her.35. Here begins the threat of wrath to be poured out on her.36. filthiness—literally, "brass"; metaphor for the lowest part of the person [Calvin]. EnglishVersion is better: thy filthy lewdness is poured out without restraint (compare Jer 13:27). As silveris an emblem of purity, brass typifies "filthiness," because it easily contracts rust. Henderson explainsit, "Because thy money was lavished on thy lovers" (Eze 16:31, 33, 34).blood of thy children—(Eze 16:20; Jer 2:34).37. thy lovers—the Chaldeans and the Assyrians. The law of retribution is the more signallyexemplified by God employing, as His instruments of judgment on Israel, those very nations whosealliance and idols Israel had so eagerly sought, besides giving her up to those who had been alwaysher enemies. "God will make him, who leaves God for the world, disgraced even in the eyes of theworld, and indeed the more so the nearer he formerly stood to Himself" [Hengstenberg], (Isa 47:3;Jer 13:26; Ho 2:12; Na 3:5).all … thou hast hated—the Edomites and Philistines; also Moab and Ammon especially (De23:3).I … will discover thy nakedness—punishment in kind, as she had "discovered her nakednessthrough whoredoms" (Eze 16:36); the sin and its penalty corresponded. I will expose thee to publicinfamy.38-40. judge thee, as women that break wedlock—(Le 20:10; compare Eze 16:2). In the caseof individual adulteresses, stoning was the penalty (Joh 8:4, 5). In the case of communities, thesword. Also apostasy (De 13:10) and sacrificing children to Molech (Le 20:1-5) incurred stoning.Thus the penalty was doubly due to Israel; so the other which was decreed against an apostate city(De 13:15, 16) is added, "they shall stone thee with stones and thrust thee through with … swords."The Chaldeans hurled stones on Jerusalem at the siege and slew with the sword on its capture.shed blood … judged—(Ge 9:6).jealousy—image taken from the fury of a husband in jealousy shedding the blood of an unfaithfulwife, such as Israel had been towards God, her husband spiritually. Literally, "I will make thee (tobecome) blood of fury and jealousy."39. thine eminent place—literally, "fornication-chamber" (see on Eze 16:24), the temple whichIsrael had converted into a place of spiritual fornication with idols, to please the Chaldeans (Eze23:14-17).strip thee of … clothes—(Eze 23:26; Ho 2:3). They shall dismantle thy city of its walls.fair jewels—literally, "vessels of thy fairness" or beauty; the vessels of the temple [Grotius]. Allthe gifts wherewith God hath adorned thee [Calvin].40. (Eze 23:10, 47). Compare as to the destruction under Titus, Lu 19:43, 44.41. The result of the awful judgment shall be, when divine vengeance has run its course, it shallcease.burn—(De 13:16; 2Ki 25:9).1454JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwomen—the surrounding Gentile nations to whom thou shalt be an object of mocking (Ps137:7).I will cause thee to cease … harlot—(Eze 23:27). Thou shalt no longer be able to play theharlot through My judgments.thou … shall give … no hire … any more—Thou shalt have none to give.42. my fury … rest—when My justice has exacted the full penalty commensurate with thyawful guilt (see on Eze 5:13). It is not a mitigation of the penalty that is here foretold, but such anutter destruction of all the guilty that there shall be no need of further punishment [Calvin].43. (Eze 16:22; Ps 78:42). In gratitude for God's favors to her in her early history.fretted me—(Isa 63:10; Eph 4:30).thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations—that is, this thewickedness (compare Zec 5:8), peculiarly hateful to God, namely, spiritual unchastity or idolatry,over and "above" (that is, besides) all thine other abominations. I will put it out of thy power tocommit it by cutting thee off. Fairbairn translates, "I will not do what is scandalous (namely,encouraging thee in thy sin by letting it pass with impunity) upon all thine abominations"; referringto Le 19:29, the conduct of a father who encouraged his daughter in harlotry. English Version ismuch better.44. As … mother … her daughter—"Is," and "so is," are not in the original; the ellipsis givesthe proverb (but two words in the Hebrew) epigrammatic brevity. Jerusalem proved herself a truedaughter of the Hittite mother in sin (Eze 16:3).45. mother's … that loatheth her husband—that is, God ("haters of God," Ro 1:30); thereforethe knowledge of the true God had originally been in Canaan, handed down from Noah (hence wefind Melchisedek, king of Salem, in Canaan, "priest of the most high God," Ge 14:18), but Canaanapostatized from it; this was what constituted the blackness of the Canaanites' guilt.loathed … children—whom she put to death in honor of Saturn; a practice common amongthe Phoenicians.sister of thy sisters—Thou art akin in guilt to Samaria and Sodom, to which thou art akin bybirth. Moab and Ammon, the incestuous children of Lot, nephew of Abraham, Israel's progenitor,had their origin from Sodom; so Sodom might be called Judah's sister. Samaria, answering to theten tribes of Israel, is, of course, sister to Judah.46. elder sister … Samaria—older than Sodom, to whom Judah was less nearly related bykindred than she was to Samaria. Sodom is therefore called her younger sister; Samaria, her "eldersister" [Grotius]. Samaria is called the "elder," because in a moral respect more nearly related toJudah [Fairbairn]. Samaria had made the calves at Dan and Beth-el in imitation of the cherubim.her daughters—the inferior towns subject to Samaria (compare Nu 21:25, Margin).left—The Orientals faced the east in marking the directions of the sky; thus the north was "left,"the south "right."Sodom … daughters—Ammon and Moab, offshoots from Sodom; also the towns subject toit.47. their abominations—Milcom and Chemosh, the "abominations of Ammon and Moab"(1Ki 11:5, 7).corrupted more than they—So it is expressly recorded of Manasseh (2Ki 21:9).1455JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson48. Sodom—(Mt 11:24). Judah's guilt was not positively, but relatively, greater than Sodom's;because it was in the midst of such higher privileges, and such solemn warnings; a fortiori, theguilt of unbelievers in the midst of the highest of all lights, namely, the Gospel, is the greatest.49. pride—inherited by Moab, her offspring (Isa 16:6; Jer 48:26), and by Ammon (Jer 49:4).God, the heart-searcher, here specifies as Sodom's sin, not merely her notorious lusts, but the secretspring of them, "pride" flowing from "fullness of bread," caused by the fertility of the soil (Ge13:10), and producing "idleness."abundance of idleness—literally, "the secure carelessness of ease" or idleness.neither did she strengthen … the poor—Pride is always cruel; it arrogates to itself all things,and despises brethren, for whose needs it therefore has no feeling; as Moab had not for the outcastJews (Isa 16:3, 4; Jer 48:27; Lu 16:19-21; Jas 5:1-5).50. haughty—puffed up with prosperity.abomination before me—"sinners before the Lord" (Ge 13:13); said of those whose sin is soheinous as to cry out to God for immediate judgments; presumptuous sins, daring God to the face(Ge 18:20; 19:5).I took them away—(Ge 19:24).as I saw good—rather, "according to what I saw"; referring to Ge 18:21, where God says, "Iwill go down, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it which is comeunto Me."51. Samaria—the kingdom of the ten tribes of Israel less guilty than Judah; for Judah betrayedgreater ingratitude, having greater privileges, namely, the temple, the priesthood, and the regularorder of kings.justified thy sisters—made them appear almost innocent by comparison with thy guilt (Jer3:11; Mt 12:41, 42).52. Thou … which hast judged … bear thine own—(Mt 7:1, 2; Ro 2:1, 17-23). Judah hadjudged Sodom (representing "the heathen nations") and Samaria (Israel), saying they were justlypunished, as if she herself was innocent (Lu 13:2).thy shame—ignominious punishment.53. Here follows a promise of restoration. Even the sore chastisements coming on Judah wouldfail to reform its people; God's returning goodness alone would effect this, to show how entirelyof grace was to be their restoration. The restoration of her erring sisters is mentioned before hers,even as their punishment preceded her punishment; so all self-boasting is excluded [Fairbairn]. "Yeshall, indeed, at some time or other return, but Moab and Ammon shall return with you, and someof the ten tribes" [Grotius].bring again … captivity—that is, change the affliction into prosperity (so Job 42:10). Sodomitself was not so restored (Jer 20:16), but Ammon and Moab (her representatives, as sprung fromLot who dwelt in Sodom) were (Jer 48:47; 49:6); probably most of the ten tribes and the adjoiningnations, Ammon and Moab, &c., were in part restored under Cyrus; but the full realization of therestoration is yet future; the heathen nations to be brought to Christ being typified by "Sodom,"whose sins they now reproduce (De 32:32).captivity of thy captives—literally, "of thy captivities." However, the gracious promise ratherbegins with the "nevertheless" (Eze 16:60), not here; for Eze 16:59 is a threat, not a promise. Thesense here thus is, Thou shalt be restored when Sodom and Samaria are, but not till then (Eze 16:55),that is, never. This applies to the guilty who should be utterly destroyed (Eze 16:41, 42); but it does1456JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnot contradict the subsequent promise of restoration to their posterity (Nu 14:29-33), and to theelect remnant of grace [Calvin].54. bear thine own shame—by being put on a level with those whom thou hast so muchdespised.thou art a comfort unto them—since they see thee as miserable as themselves. It is a kind ofmelancholy "comfort" to those chastised to see others as sorely punished as themselves (Eze 14:22,23).55. (See on Eze 16:53).56. Sodom was not mentioned—literally, "was not for a report." Thou didst not deign tomention her name as if her case could possibly apply as a warning to thee, but it did apply (2Pe2:6).57. Before thy wickedness was discovered—manifested to all, namely, by the punishmentinflicted on thee.thy reproach of … Syria and … Philistines—the indignity and injuries done thee by Syriaand the Philistines (2Ki 16:5; 2Ch 28:18; Isa 9:11, 12).58. borne thy lewdness—that is, the punishment of it (Eze 23:49). I do not treat thee withexcessive rigor. Thy sin and punishment are exactly commensurate.59. the oath—the covenant between God and Israel (De 29:12, 14). As thou hast despised it,so will I despise thee. No covenant is one-sided; where Israel broke faith, God's promise of favorceased.60. The promise here bursts forth unexpectedly like the sun from the dark clouds. With all herforgetfulness of God, God still remembers her; showing that her redemption is altogether of grace.Contrast "I will remember," with "thou hast not remembered" (Eze 16:22, 43); also "My covenant,"with "Thy covenant" (Eze 16:61; Ps 106:45); then the effect produced on her is (Eze 16:63) "thatthou mayest remember." God's promise was one of promise and of grace. The law, in its letter,was Israel's (thy) covenant, and in this restricted view was long subsequent (Ga 3:17). Israelinterpreted it as a covenant of works, which she while boasting of, failed to fulfil, and so fell underits condemnation (2Co 3:3, 6). The law, in its spirit, contains the germ of the Gospel; the NewTestament is the full development of the Old, the husk of the outer form being laid aside when theinner spirit was fulfilled in Messiah. God's covenant with Israel, in the person of Abraham, wasthe reason why, notwithstanding all her guilt, mercy was, and is, in store for her. Therefore theheathen or Gentile nations must come to her for blessings, not she to them.everlasting covenant—(Eze 37:26; 2Sa 23:5; Isa 55:3). The temporary forms of the law wereto be laid aside, that in its permanent and "everlasting" spirit it might be established (Jer 31:31-37;32:40; 50:4, 5; Heb 8:8-13).61. thou shalt remember—It is God who first remembers her before she remembers Him andher own ways before Him (Eze 16:60; Eze 20:43; 36:31).ashamed—the fruit of repentance (2Co 7:10, 11). None please God unless those who displeasethemselves; a foretaste of the Gospel (Lu 18:9-14).I will give them unto thee for daughters—(Isa 54:1; 60:3, 4; Ga 4:26, &c.). All the heathennations, not merely Sodom and Samaria, are meant by "thy sisters, elder and younger." In Jerusalemfirst, individual believers were gathered into the elect Church. From Jerusalem the Gospel wentforth to gather in individuals of the Gentiles; and Judah with Jerusalem shall also be the first nationwhich, as such, shall be converted to Christ; and to her the other nations shall attach themselves as1457JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbelievers in Messiah, Jerusalem's King (Ps 110:2; Isa 2:2, 3). "The king's daughter" in Ps 45:12-14is Judah; her "companions," as "the daughter of Tyre," are the nations given to her as converts, herecalled "daughters."not by thy covenant—This does not set aside the Old Testament in its spirit, but in its mereletter on which the Jews had rested, while they broke it: the latter ("thy covenant") was to giveplace to God's covenant of grace and promise in Christ who "fulfilled" the law. God means, "notthat thou on thy part hast stood to the covenant, but that 'I am the Lord, I change not' (Mal 3:6)from My original love to thee in thy youth" (see Ro 3:3).62. (Ho 2:19, 20).thou shalt know that I am the Lord—not, as elsewhere, by the judgments falling on thee, butby My so marvellously restoring thee through grace.63. never open thy mouth—in vindication, or even palliation, of thyself, or expostulation withGod for His dealings (Ro 3:19), when thou seest thine own exceeding unworthiness, and Mysuperabounding grace which has so wonderfully overcome with love thy sin (Ro 5:20). "If wewould judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (1Co 11:31).all that thou hast done—enhancing the grace of God which has pardoned so many and sogreat sins. Nothing so melts into love and humility as the sense of the riches of God's pardoninggrace (Lu 7:47).CHAPTER 17Eze 17:1-24. Parable of the Two Great Eagles, and the Cropping of the Cedar of Lebanon. Judah Is to Be Judgedfor Revolting from Babylon, Which Had Set Up Zedekiah instead of Jehoiachin, to Egypt; God Himself, as the Rival ofthe Babylonian King, Is to Plant the Gospel Cedar of Messiah.The date of the prophecy is between the sixth month of Zedekiah's sixth year of reign and thefifth month of the seventh year after the carrying away of Jehoiachin, that is, five years before thedestruction of Jerusalem [Henderson].2. riddle—a continued allegory, expressed enigmatically, requiring more than common acumenand serious thought. The Hebrew is derived from a root, "sharp," that is, calculated to stimulateattention and whet the intellect. Distinct from "fable," in that it teaches not fiction, but fact. Notlike the ordinary riddle, designed to puzzle, but to instruct. The "riddle" is here identical with the"parable," only that the former refers to the obscurity, the latter to the likeness of the figure to thething compared.3. eagle—the king of birds. The literal Hebrew is, "the great eagle." The symbol of the Assyriansupreme god, Nisroch; so applied to "the great king" of Babylon, his vicegerent on earth (Jer 48:40;49:22). His "wings" are his great forces. Such symbols were familiar to the Jews, who saw themportrayed on the great buildings of Babylon; such as are now seen in the Assyrian remains.long-winged—implying the wide extent of his empire.full of feathers—when they have been renewed after moulting; and so in the full freshness ofrenovated youth (Ps 103:5; Isa 40:31). Answering to the many peoples which, as tributaries,constituted the strength of Babylon.1458JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondivers colours—the golden eagle, marked with star-like spots, supposed to be the largest ofeagles [Bochart]. Answering to the variety of languages, habits, and costumes of the peoples subjectto Babylon.came unto Lebanon—continuing the metaphor: as the eagle frequents mountains, not cities.The temple at Jerusalem was called "Lebanon" by the Jews [Eusebius], because its woodwork waswholly of cedars of Lebanon. "The mountain of the Lord's house" (Isa 2:2). Jerusalem, however,is chiefly meant, the chief seat of civil honor, as Lebanon was of external elevation.took the highest branch—King Jeconiah, then but eighteen years old, and many of the chiefsand people with him (2Ki 24:8, 12-16). The Hebrew for "highest branch" is, properly, the fleece-liketuft at the top of the tree. (So in Eze 31:3-14). The cedar, as a tall tree, is the symbol of kinglyelevation (compare Da 4:10-12).4. land of traffic … merchants—Babylon (2Ki 24:15, 16), famous for its transport traffic onthe Tigris and Euphrates. Also, by its connection with the Persian Gulf, it carried on much commercewith India.5. seed of the land—not a foreign production, but one native in the region; a son of the soil,not a foreigner: Zedekiah, uncle of Jehoiachin, of David's family.in a fruitful field—literally, a "field of seed"; that is, fit for propagating and continuing theseed of the royal family.as a willow—derived from a Hebrew root, "to overflow," from its fondness for water (Isa 44:4).Judea was "a land of brooks of water and fountains" (De 8:7-9; compare Joh 3:23).6. vine of low stature—not now, as before, a stately "cedar"; the kingdom of Judah was to beprosperous, but not elevated.branches turned toward him—expressing the fealty of Zedekiah as a vassal looking up toNebuchadnezzar, to whom Judah owed its peace and very existence as a separate state. The"branches" mean his sons and the other princes and nobles.The roots … under him—The stability of Judah depended on Babylon. The repetition"branches" and "springs" is in order to mark the ingratitude of Zedekiah, who, not content withmoderate prosperity, revolted from him to whom he had sworn allegiance.7. another … eagle—the king of Egypt (Eze 17:15). The "long-winged" of Eze 17:3 is omitted,as Egypt had not such a wide empire and large armies as Babylon.vine … bend … roots towards him—literally, "thirsted after him with its roots"; expressingthe longings after Egypt in the Jewish heart. Zedekiah sought the alliance of Egypt, as though byit he could throw off his dependence on Babylon (2Ki 24:7, 20; 2Ch 36:13; Jer 37:5, 7).water it by … furrows of … plantation—that is, in the garden beds (Judea) wherein (the vine)it was planted. Rather, "by" or "out of the furrows." It refers to the waters of Egypt, the Nile beingmade to water the fields by means of small canals or "furrows"; these waters are the figure of theauxiliary forces wherewith Egypt tried to help Judah. See the same figure, Isa 8:7. But see on Eze17:10, "furrows where it grew."8. It was planted in a good soil—It was not want of the necessaries of life, nor oppression onthe port of Nebuchadnezzar, which caused Zedekiah to revolt: it was gratuitous ambition, pride,and ingratitude.9. Shall it prosper?—Could it be that gratuitous treason should prosper? God will not allowit. "It," that is, the vine.he … pull up—that is, the first eagle, or Nebuchadnezzar.1459JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin all … leaves of her spring—that is, all its springing (sprouting) leaves.without great power or many—It shall not need all the forces of Babylon to destroy it; a smalldivision of the army will suffice because God will deliver it into Nebuchadnezzar's hand (Jer 37:10).10. being planted—that is, "though planted."east wind—The east wind was noxious to vegetation in Palestine; a fit emblem of Babylon,which came from the northeast.wither in … furrows where it grew—Zedekiah was taken at Jericho, on Jewish soil (Jer 52:8)."It shall wither, although it has furrows from which it expects continual waterings" [Calvin], (Eze19:12; Ho 13:15).12. Know ye not—He upbraided them with moral, leading to intellectual, stupidity.hath taken the king—Jeconiah or Jehoiachin (2Ki 24:11, 12-16).13. the king's seed—Zedekiah, Jeconiah's uncle.taken … oath of him—swearing fealty as a vassal to Nebuchadnezzar (2Ch 36:13).also taken the mighty—as hostages for the fulfilment of the covenant; whom, therefore,Zedekiah exposed to death by his treason.14. That the kingdom might be base—that is, low as to national elevation by beingNebuchadnezzar's dependent; but, at the same time, safe and prosperous, if faithful to the "oath."Nebuchadnezzar dealt sincerely and openly in proposing conditions, and these moderate ones;therefore Zedekiah's treachery was the baser and was a counterpart to their treachery towards God.15. he rebelled—God permitted this because of His wrath against Jerusalem (2Ki 24:20).horses—in which Egypt abounded and which were forbidden to Israel to seek from Egypt, orindeed to "multiply" at all (De 17:16; Isa 31:1, 3; compare Isa 36:9). Diodorus Siculus [1.45] says thatthe whole region from Thebes to Memphis was filled with royal stalls, so that twenty thousandchariots with two horses in each could be furnished for war.Shall he prosper?—The third time this question is asked, with an indignant denial understood(Eze 17:9, 10). Even the heathen believed that breakers of an oath would not "escape" punishment.16. in the place where the king dwelleth—righteous retribution. He brought on himself in theworst form the evil which, in a mild form, he had sought to deliver himself from by perjuredtreachery, namely, vassalage (Eze 12:13; Jer 32:5; 34:3; 52:11).17. Pharaoh—Pharaoh-hophra (Jer 37:7; 44:30), the successor of Necho (2Ki 23:29).Neither … make for him—literally, "effect (anything) with him," that is, be of any avail toZedekiah. Pharaoh did not act in concert with him, for he was himself compelled to retire to Egypt.by casting up mounts, &c.—So far from Pharaoh doing so for Jerusalem, this was whatNebuchadnezzar did against it (Jer 52:4). Calvin Maurer, &c., refer it to Nebuchadnezzar, "whenNebuchadnezzar shall cast up mounts."18. given his hand—in ratification of the oath (2Ki 10:15; Ezr 10:19), and also in token ofsubjection to Nebuchadnezzar (1Ch 29:24, Margin; 2Ch 30:8, Margin; La 5:6).19. mine oath—The "covenant" being sworn in God's name was really His covenant; a newinstance in relation to man of the treacherous spirit which had been so often betrayed in relation toGod. God Himself must therefore avenge the violation of His covenant "on the head" of the perjurer(compare Ps 7:16).20. my net—(Eze 12:13; 32:3). God entraps him as he had tried to entrap others (Ps 7:15). Thiswas spoken at least upwards of three years before the fall of Jerusalem (compare Eze 8:1, with Eze20:1).1460JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonplead with him—by judgments on him (Eze 20. 36).21. all his fugitives—the soldiers that accompany him in his flight.22. When the state of Israel shall seem past recovery, Messiah, Jehovah Himself, willunexpectedly appear on the scene as Redeemer of His people (Isa 63:5).I … also—God opposes Himself to Nebuchadnezzar: "He took of the seed of the land andplanted it (Eze 17:3, 5), so will I, but with better success than he had. The branch he plucked(Zedekiah) and planted, flourished but for a time, to perish at last; I will plant a scion of the sametree, the house of David, to whom the kingdom belongs by an everlasting covenant, and it shall bethe shelter of the whole world, and shall be for ever."branch—the peculiar title of Messiah (Zec 3:8; 6:12; Isa 11:1; 4:2; Jer 23:5; 33:15).a tender one—Zerubbabel never reigned as a universal (Eze 17:23) king, nor could the greatthings mentioned here be said of him, except as a type of Messiah. Messiah alone can be meant:originally "a tender plant and root out of a dry ground" (Isa 53:2); the beginning of His kingdombeing humble, His reputed parents of lowly rank, though King David's lineal representatives; yet,even then, God here calls Him, in respect to His everlasting purpose, "the highest … of the high"(Ps 89:27).I … will plant it upon an high mountain—Zion; destined to be the moral center and eminenceof grace and glory shining forth to the world, out-topping all mundane elevation. The kingdom,typically begun at the return from Babylon, and the rebuilding of the temple, fully began withChrist's appearing, and shall have its highest manifestation at His reappearing to reign on Zion, andthence over the whole earth (Ps 2:6, 8; Isa 2:2, 3; Jer 3:17).23. under it … all fowl—the Gospel "mustard tree," small at first, but at length receiving allunder its covert (Mt 13:32); the antithesis to Antichrist, symbolized by Assyria, of which the sameis said (Eze 31:6), and Babylon (Da 4:12). Antichrist assumes in mimicry the universal power reallybelonging to Christ.24. I … brought down the high—the very attribute given to God by the virgin mother of Him,under whom this was to be accomplished.high … low tree—that is, princes elevated … depressed. All the empires of the world,represented by Babylon, once flourishing ("green"), shall be brought low before the once depressed("dry"), but then exalted, kingdom of Messiah and His people, the head of whom shall be Israel(Da 2:44).CHAPTER 18Eze 18:1-32. The Parable of the Sour Grapes Reproved.Vindication of God's moral government as to His retributive righteousness from the Jewishimputation of injustice, as if they were suffering, not for their own sin, but for that of their fathers.As in the seventeenth chapter he foretold Messiah's happy reign in Jerusalem, so now he warnsthem that its blessings can be theirs only upon their individually turning to righteousness.2. fathers … eaten sour grapes, … children's teeth … set on edge—Their unbelievingcalumnies on God's justice had become so common as to have assumed a proverbial form. The sinof Adam in eating the forbidden fruit, visited on his posterity, seems to have suggested the peculiarform; noticed also by Jeremiah (Jer 31:29); and explained in La 5:7, "Our fathers have sinned, and1461JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonare not; and we have borne their iniquities." They mean by "the children" themselves, as thoughthey were innocent, whereas they were far from being so. The partial reformation effected sinceManasseh's wicked reign, especially among the exiles at Chebar, was their ground for thinking so;but the improvement was only superficial and only fostered their self-righteous spirit, which soughtanywhere but in themselves the cause of their calamities; just as the modern Jews attribute theirpresent dispersion, not to their own sins, but to those of their forefathers. It is a universal mark ofcorrupt nature to lay the blame, which belongs to ourselves, on others and to arraign the justice ofGod. Compare Ge 3:12, where Adam transfers the blame of his sin to Eve, and even to God, "Thewoman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."3. ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb—because I will let it be seen bythe whole world in the very fact that you are not righteous, as ye fancy yourselves, but wicked, andthat you suffer only the just penalty of your guilt; while the elect righteous remnant alone escapes.4. all souls are mine—Therefore I can deal with all, being My own creation, as I please (Jer18:6). As the Creator of all alike I can have no reason, but the principle of equity, according tomen's works, to make any difference, so as to punish some, and to save others (Ge 18:25). "Thesoul that sinneth it shall die." The curse descending from father to son assumes guilt shared in bythe son; there is a natural tendency in the child to follow the sin of his father, and so he shares inthe father's punishment: hence the principles of God's government, involved in Ex 20:5 and Jer15:4, are justified. The sons, therefore (as the Jews here), cannot complain of being unjustly afflictedby God (La 5:7); for they filled up the guilt of their fathers (Mt 23:32, 34-36). The same God who"recompenses the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children," is immediately after setforth as "giving to every man according to his ways" (Jer 32:18, 19). In the same law (Ex 20:5)which "visited the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation"(where the explanation is added, "of them that hate me," that is, the children hating God, as wellas their fathers: the former being too likely to follow their parents, sin going down with cumulativeforce from parent to child), we find (De 24:16), "the fathers shall not be put to death for the children,neither the children for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." The inheritedguilt of sin in infants (Ro 5:14) is an awful fact, but one met by the atonement of Christ; but it isof adults that he speaks here. Whatever penalties fall on communities for connection with sins oftheir fathers, individual adults who repent shall escape (2Ki 23:25, 26). This was no new thing, assome misinterpret the passage here; it had been always God's principle to punish only the guilty,and not also the innocent, for the sins of their fathers. God does not here change the principle ofHis administration, but is merely about to manifest it so personally to each that the Jews should nolonger throw on God and on their fathers the blame which was their own.soul that sinneth, it shall die—and it alone (Ro 6:23); not also the innocent.5. Here begins the illustration of God's impartiality in a series of supposed cases. The first caseis given in Eze 18:5-9, the just man. The excellencies are selected in reference to the prevailingsins of the age, from which such a one stood aloof; hence arises the omission of some features ofrighteousness, which, under different circumstances, would have been desirable to be enumerated.Each age has its own besetting temptations, and the just man will be distinguished by his guardingagainst the peculiar defilements, inward and outward, of his age.just … lawful … right—the duties of the second table of the law, which flow from the fear ofGod. Piety is the root of all charity; to render to each his own, as well to our neighbor, as to God.1462JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. not eaten upon … mountains—the high places, where altars were reared. A double sin:sacrificing elsewhere than at the temple, where only God sanctioned sacrifice (De 12:13, 14); andthis to idols instead of to Jehovah. "Eaten" refers to the feasts which were connected with thesacrifices (see Ex 32:6; De 32:38; Jud 9:27; 1Co 8:4, 10; 10:7).lifted … eyes to—namely, in adoration (Ps 121:1). The superstitious are compared to harlots;their eyes go eagerly after spiritual lusts. The righteous man not merely refrains from the act, butfrom the glance of spiritual lust (Job 31:1; Mt 5:28).idols of … Israel—not merely those of the Gentiles, but even those of Israel. The fashions ofhis countrymen could not lead him astray.defiled … neighbour's wife—Not only does he shrink from spiritual, but also from carnal,adultery (compare 1Co 6:18).neither … menstruous woman—Leprosy and elephantiasis were said to be the fruit of sucha connection [Jerome]. Chastity is to be observed even towards one's own wife (Le 18:19; 20:18).7. restored … pledge—that which the poor debtor absolutely needed; as his raiment, whichthe creditor was bound to restore before sunset (Ex 22:26, 27), and his millstone, which was neededfor preparing his food (De 24:6, 10-13).bread to … hungry … covered … naked—(Isa 58:7; Mt 25:35, 36). After duties of justicecome those of benevolence. It is not enough to refrain from doing a wrong to our neighbor, wemust also do him good. The bread owned by a man, though "his," is given to him, not to keep tohimself, but to impart to the needy.8. usury—literally, "biting." The law forbade the Jew to take interest from brethren but permittedhim to do so from a foreigner (Ex 22:25; De 23:19, 20; Ne 5:7; Ps 15:5). The letter of the law wasrestricted to the Jewish polity, and is not binding now; and indeed the principle of taking interestwas even then sanctioned, by its being allowed in the case of a foreigner. The spirit of the law stillbinds us, that we are not to take advantage of our neighbor's necessities to enrich ourselves, but besatisfied with moderate, or even no, interest, in the case of the needy.increase—in the case of other kinds of wealth; as "usury" refers to money (Le 25:36).withdrawn … hand, &c.—Where he has the opportunity and might find a plausible plea forpromoting his own gain at the cost of a wrong to his neighbor, he keeps back his hand from whatselfishness prompts.judgment—justice.9. truly—with integrity.surely live—literally, "live in life." Prosper in this life, but still more in the life to come (Pr3:1, 2; Am 5:4).10-13. The second case is that of an impious son of a pious father. His pious parentage, so farfrom excusing, aggravates his guilt.robber—or literally, "a breaker," namely, through all constraints of right.doeth the like to any one—The Hebrew and the parallel (Eze 18:18) require us to translaterather, "doeth to his brother any of these things," namely, the things which follow in Eze 18:11,&c. [Maurer].11. those duties—which his father did (Eze 18:5, 9).12. oppressed the poor—an aggravation to his oppressions, that they were practised againstthe poor; whereas in Eze 18:7 the expression is simply "oppressed any."1463JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonabomination—singular number referring to the particular one mentioned at the end of Eze18:6.13. shall he … live?—because of the merits of his father; answering, by contrast, to "die forthe iniquity of his father" (Eze 18:17).his blood shall be upon him—The cause of his bloody death shall rest with himself; God isnot to blame, but is vindicated as just in punishing him.14-18. The third case: a son who walks not in the steps of an unrighteous father, but in the waysof God; for example, Josiah, the pious son of guilty Amon; Hezekiah, of Ahaz (2Ki 16:1-20; 18:1-37;21:1-22:20).seeth … and considereth—The same Hebrew stands for both verbs, "seeth … yea, seeth." Therepetition implies the attentive observation needed, in order that the son may not be led astray byhis father's bad example; as sons generally are blind to parents sins, and even imitate them as ifthey were virtues.17. taken off his hand from the poor—that is, abstained from oppressing the poor, when hehad the opportunity of doing so with impunity.The different sense of the phrase in Eze 16:49, inreference to relieving the poor, seems to have suggested the reading followed by Fairbairn, but notsanctioned by the Hebrew, "hath not turned his hand from," &c. But Eze 20:22 uses the phrase ina somewhat similar sense to English Version here, abstained from hurting.19. Here the Jews object to the prophet's word and in their objection seem to seek a continuanceof that very thing which they had originally made a matter of complaint. Therefore translate,"Wherefore doth not the son bear the iniquity of his father?" It now would seem a consolation tothem to think the son might suffer for his father's misdeeds; for it would soothe their self-love toregard themselves as innocent sufferers for the guilt of others and would justify them in their presentcourse of life, which they did not choose to abandon for a better. In reply, Ezekiel reiterates thetruth of each being dealt with according to his own merits [Fairbairn]. But Grotius supports EnglishVersion, wherein the Jews contradict the prophet, "Why (sayest thou so) doth not the son (often,as in our case, though innocent) bear (that is, suffer for) the iniquity of their father?" Ezekiel replies,It is not as you say, but as I in the name of God say: "When the son hath done," &c. English Versionis simpler than that of Fairbairn.20. son shall not bear … iniquity of … father—(De 24:16; 2Ki 14:6).righteousness … wickedness—that is, the reward for righteousness … the punishment ofwickedness. "Righteousness" is not used as if any were absolutely righteous; but, of such as haveit imputed to them for Christ's sake, though not under the Old Testament themselves understandingthe ground on which they were regarded as righteous, but sincerely seeking after it in the way ofGod's appointment, so far as they then understood this way.21-24. Two last cases, showing the equity of God: (1) The penitent sinner is dealt with accordingto his new obedience, not according to his former sins. (2) The righteous man who turns fromrighteousness to sin shall be punished for the latter, and his former righteousness will be of no availto him.he shall surely live—Despair drives men into hardened recklessness; God therefore alluresmen to repentance by holding out hope [Calvin].To threats the stubborn sinner oft is hard,Wrapt in his crimes, against the storm prepared,1464JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonBut when the milder beams of mercy play,He melts, and throws the cumbrous cloak away.Hitherto the cases had been of a change from bad to good, or vice versa, in one generationcompared with another. Here it is such a change in one and the same individual. This, as practicallyaffecting the persons here addressed, is properly put last. So far from God laying on men the penaltyof others' sins, He will not even punish them for their own, if they turn from sin to righteousness;but if they turn from righteousness to sin, they must expect in justice that their former goodnesswill not atone for subsequent sin (Heb 10:38, 39; 2Pe 2:20-22). The exile in Babylon gave a seasonfor repentance of those sins which would have brought death on the perpetrator in Judea while thelaw could be enforced; so it prepared the way for the Gospel [Grotius].22. in his righteousness … he shah live—in it, not for it, as if that atoned for his former sins;but "in his righteousness" he shall live, as the evidence of his being already in favor with Godthrough the merit of Messiah, who was to come. The Gospel clears up for us many such passages(1Pe 1:12), which were dimly understood at the time, while men, however, had light enough forsalvation.23. (1Ti 2:4; 2Pe 3:9). If men perish, it is because they will not come to the Lord for salvation;not that the Lord is not willing to save them (Joh 5:40). They trample on not merely justice, butmercy; what farther hope can there be for them, when even mercy is against them? (Heb 10:26-29).24. righteous—one apparently such; as in Mt 9:13, "I came not to call the righteous," &c., thatis, those who fancy themselves righteous. Those alone are true saints who by the grace of Godpersevere (Mt 24:13; 1Co 10:12; Joh 10:28, 29).turneth away from … righteousness—an utter apostasy; not like the exceptional offenses ofthe godly through infirmity or heedlessness, which they afterwards mourn over and repent of.not be mentioned—not be taken into account so as to save them.his trespass—utter apostasy.25. Their plea for saying, "The way of the Lord is not equal," was that God treated differentclasses in a different way. But it was really their way that was unequal, since living in sin theyexpected to be dealt with as if they were righteous. God's way was invariably to deal with differentmen according to their deserts.26-28. The two last instances repeated in inverse order. God's emphatic statement of His principleof government needs no further proof than the simple statement of it.in them—in the actual sins, which are the manifestations of the principle of "iniquity," mentionedjust before.27. he shall save his soul—that is, he shall have it saved upon his repentance.28. considereth—the first step to repentance; for the ungodly do not consider either God orthemselves (De 32:29; Ps 119:59, 60; Lu 15:17, 18).29. Though God's justice is so plainly manifested, sinners still object to it because they do notwish to see it (Mic 2:7; Mt 11:18, 19).30-32. As God is to judge them "according to their ways" (Pr 1:31), their only hope is to "repent";and this is a sure hope, for God takes no delight in judging them in wrath, but graciously desirestheir salvation on repentance.I will judge you—Though ye cavil, it is a sufficient answer that I, your Judge, declare it so,and will judge you according to My will; and then your cavils must end.1465JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonRepent—inward conversion (Re 2:5). In the Hebrew there is a play of like sounds, "Turn yeand return."turn yourselves, &c.—the outward fruits of repentance. Not as the Margin, "turn others"; forthe parallel clause (Eze 18:31) is, "cast away from you all your transgressions." Perhaps, however,the omission of the object after the verb in the Hebrew implies that both are included: Turn alikeyourselves and all whom you can influence.from all … transgressions—not as if believers are perfect; but they sincerely aim at perfection,so as to be habitually and wilfully on terms with no sin (1Jo 3:6-9):your ruin—literally, "your snare," entangling you in ruin.31. Cast away from you—for the cause of your evil rests with yourselves; your sole way ofescape is to be reconciled to God (Eph 4:22, 23).make you a new heart—This shows, not what men can do, but what they ought to do: whatGod requires of us. God alone can make us a new heart (Eze 11:19; 36:26, 27). The command todo what men cannot themselves do is designed to drive them (instead of laying the blame, as theJews did, elsewhere rather than on themselves) to feel their own helplessness, and to seek God'sHoly Spirit (Ps 51:11, 12). Thus the outward exhortation is, as it were, the organ or instrumentwhich God uses for conferring grace. So we may say with Augustine, "Give what thou requirest, and(then) require what thou wilt." Our strength (which is weakness in itself) shall suffice for whateverHe exacts, if only He gives the supply [Calvin].spirit—the understanding: as the "heart" means the will and affections. The root must bechanged before the fruit can be good.why will ye die—bring on your own selves your ruin. God's decrees are secret to us; it is enoughfor us that He invites all, and will reject none that seek Him.32. (La 3:33; 2Pe 3:9). God is "slow to anger"; punishment is "His strange work" (Isa 28:21).CHAPTER 19Eze 19:1-14. Elegy over the Fall of David's House.There is a tacit antithesis between this lamentation and that of the Jews for their own miseries,into the causes of which, however, they did not inquire.1. princes of Israel—that is, Judah, whose "princes" alone were recognized by prophecy; thoseof the ten tribes were, in respect to the theocracy, usurpers.2. thy mother—the mother of Jehoiachin, the representative of David's line in exile with Ezekiel.The "mother" is Judea: "a lioness," as being fierce in catching prey (Eze 19:3), referring to herheathenish practices. Jerusalem was called Ariel (the lion of God) in a good sense (Isa 29:1); andJudah "a lion's whelp … a lion … an old lion" (Ge 49:9), to which, as also to Nu 23:24; 24:9, thispassage alludes.nourished … among young lions—She herself had "lain" among lions, that is, had intercoursewith the corruptions of the surrounding heathen and had brought up the royal young ones similarly:utterly degenerate from the stock of Abraham.Lay down—or "couched," is appropriate to the lion, the Arab name of which means "thecoucher."1466JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. young lion—Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, carried captive from Riblah to Egypt by Pharaoh-necho(2Ki 23:33).4. The nations—Egypt, in the case of Jehoahaz, who probably provoked Pharaoh by trying toavenge the death of his father by assailing the bordering cities of Egypt (2Ki 23:29, 30).in their pit—image from the pitfalls used for catching wild beasts (Jer 22:11, 12).chains—or hooks, which were fastened in the noses of wild beasts (see on Eze 19:9).5. saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost—that is, that her long-waited-for hopewas disappointed, Jehoahaz not being restored to her from Egypt.she took another of her whelps—Jehoiakim, brother of Jehoahaz, who was placed on thethrone by Pharaoh (2Ki 23:34), according to the wish of Judah.6. went up and down among the lions—imitated the recklessness and tyranny of thesurrounding kings (Jer 22:13-17).catch … prey—to do evil, gratifying his lusts by oppression (2Ki 23:37).7. knew … desolate palaces—that is, claimed as his own their palaces, which he then proceededto "desolate." The Hebrew, literally "widows"; hence widowed palaces (Isa 13:22). Vatablus (whomFairbairn follows) explains it, "He knew (carnally) the widows of those whom he devoured" (Eze19:6). But thus the metaphor and the literal reality would be blended: the lion being represented asknowing widows. The reality, however, often elsewhere thus breaks through the veil.fulness thereof—all that it contained; its inhabitants.8. the nations—the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moab, and Ammon (2Ki 24:2).9. in chains—(2Ch 36:6; Jer 22:18). Margin, "hooks"; perhaps referring to the hook oftenpassed through the nose of beasts; so, too, through that of captives, as seen in the Assyrian sculptures(see on Eze 19:4).voice—that is, his roaring.no more be heard upon the mountains—carrying on the metaphor of the lion, whose roaringon the mountains frightens all the other beasts. The insolence of the prince, not at all abated thoughhis kingdom was impaired, was now to cease.10. A new metaphor taken from the vine, the chief of the fruit-bearing trees, as the lion is ofthe beasts of prey (see Eze 17:6).in thy blood—"planted when thou wast in thy blood," that is, in thy very infancy; as in Eze16:6, when thou hadst just come from the womb, and hadst not yet the blood washed from thee.The Jews from the first were planted in Canaan to take root there [Calvin]. Grotius translates as theMargin, "in thy quietness," that is, in the period when Judah had not yet fallen into her presenttroubles. English Version is better. Glassius explains it well, retaining the metaphor, which Calvin'sexplanation breaks, "in the blood of thy grapes," that is, in her full strength, as the red wine is thestrength of the grape. Ge 49:11 is evidently alluded to.many waters—the well-watered land of Canaan (De 8:7-9).11. strong rods—princes of the royal house of David. The vine shot forth her branches like somany scepters, not creeping lowly on the ground like many vines, but trained aloft on a tree or wall.The mention of their former royal dignity, contrasting sadly with her present sunken state, wouldremind the Jews of their sins whereby they had incurred such judgments.stature—(Da 4:11).1467JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonamong the thick branches—that is, the central stock or trunk of the tree shot up highest "amongits own branches" or offshoots, surrounding it. Emblematic of the numbers and resources of thepeople. Hengstenberg translates, "among the clouds." But Eze 31:3, 10, 14, supports English Version.12. plucked up—not gradually withered. The sudden upturning of the state was designed toawaken the Jews out of their torpor to see the hand of God in the national judgment.east wind—(See on Eze 17:10).13. planted—that is, transplanted. Though already "dried up" in regard to the nation generally,the vine is said to be "transplanted" as regards God's mercy to the remnant in Babylon.dry … ground—Chaldea was well-watered and fertile; but it is the condition of the captivepeople, not that of the land, which is referred to.14. fire … out of a rod of her branches—The Jews' disaster was to be ascribed, not so muchto the Chaldeans as to themselves; the "fire out of the rod" is God's wrath kindled by the perjuryof Zedekiah (Eze 17:18). "The anger of the Lord" against Judah is specified as the cause whyZedekiah was permitted to rebel against Babylon (2Ki 24:20; compare Jud 9:15), thus bringingNebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem.no strong rod … sceptre to rule—No more kings of David's stock are now to rule the nation.Not at least until "the Lord shall send the rod of His strength ("Messiah," Ps 110:2; Isa 11:1) outof Zion," to reign first as a spiritual, then hereafter as a literal king.is … and shall be for a lamentation—Part of the lamentation (that as to Jehoahaz andJehoiakim) was matter of history as already accomplished; part (as to Zedekiah) was yet to befulfilled; or, this prophecy both is a subject for lamentation, and shall be so to distant posterity.CHAPTER 20Eze 20:1-49. Rejection of the Elders' Application to the Prophet: Exposure of Israel's Protracted Rebellions,notwithstanding God's Long-suffering Goodness: Yet Will God Restore His People at Last.1. seventh year, &c.—namely, from the carrying away of Jeconiah (Eze 1:2; 8:1). Thiscomputation was calculated to make them cherish the more ardently the hope of the restorationpromised them in seventy years; for, when prospects are hopeless, years are not computed [Calvin].elders … came to inquire—The object of their inquiry, as in Eze 14:1, is not stated; probablyit was to ascertain the cause of the national calamities and the time of their termination, as theirfalse prophets assured them of a speedy restoration.3. The chapter falls into two great parts: Eze 20:1-32, the recital of the people's rebellions duringfive distinct periods: in Egypt, the wilderness, on the borders of Canaan when a new generationarose, in Canaan, and in the time of the prophet.I will not be inquired of by you—because their moral state precluded them from capabilityof knowing the will of God (Ps 66:18; Pr 28:9; Joh 7:17).4. Wilt thou judge? … judge—The emphatical repetition expresses, "Wilt thou not judge?yes, judge them. There is a loud call for immediate judgment." The Hebrew interrogative here is acommand, not a prohibition [Maurer]. Instead of spending time in teaching them, tell them of theabomination of their fathers, of which their own are the complement and counterpart, and whichcall for judgment.1468JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson5, 6. The thrice lifting up of God's hand (the sign of His oath, Re 10:5, 6; Ex 6:8, Margin; Nu14:30; to which passages the form of words here alludes) implies the solemn earnestness of God'spurpose of grace to them.made myself known unto them—proving Myself faithful and true by the actual fulfilment ofMy promises (Ex 4:31; 6:3); revealing Myself as "Jehovah," that is, not that the name was unknownbefore, but that then first the force of that name was manifested in the promises of God then beingrealized in performances.6. espied for them—as though God had spied out all other lands, and chose Canaan as the bestof all lands (De 8:7, 8). See Da 8:9; 11:16, 41, "the glorious land"; see Margin, "land of delight,"or, ornament"; "the pleasant land," or "land of desire," Zec 7:14, Margin.glory of all lands—that is, Canaan was "the beauty of all lands"; the most lovely and delightfulland; "milk and honey" are not the antecedents to "which."7. Moses gives no formal statement of idolatries practised by Israel in Egypt. But it is impliedin their readiness to worship the golden calf (resembling the Egyptian ox, Apis) (Ex 32:4), whichmakes it likely they had worshipped such idols in Egypt. Also, in Le 17:7, "They shall no moreoffer their sacrifices unto devils (literally, seirim, 'he-goats,' the symbol of the false god, Pan), afterwhom they have gone awhoring." The call of God by Moses was as much to them to separate fromidols and follow Jehovah, as it was to Pharaoh to let them go forth. Ex 6:6, 7 and Jos 24:14, expresslymention their idolatry "in Egypt." Hence the need of their being removed out of the contagion ofEgyptian idolatries by the exodus.every man—so universal was the evil.of his eyes—It was not fear of their Egyptian masters, but their own lust of the eye that drewthem to idols (Eze 6:9; 18:6).8, 9. then I said, I will … But, &c.—that is, (God speaking in condescension to human modesof conception) their spiritual degradation deserved I should destroy them, "but I wrought (namely,the deliverance 'out of … Egypt') for My name's sake"; not for their merits (a rebuke to their nationalpride). God's "name" means the sum-total of His perfections. To manifest these, His gratuitousmercy abounding above their sins, yet without wrong to His justice, and so to set forth His glory,was and is the ultimate end of His dealings (Eze 20:14, 22; 2Sa 7:23; Isa 63:12; Ro 9:17).11. which if a man do, he shall … five in them—not "by them," as though they could justifya man, seeing that man cannot render the faultless obedience required (Le 18:5; Ga 3:12). "Bythem" is the expression indeed in Ro 10:5; but there the design is to show that, if man could obeyall God's laws, he would be justified "by them" (Ga 3:21); but he cannot; he therefore needs to havejustification by "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6); then, having thus received life, he "lives,"that is, maintains, enjoys, and exercises this life only in so far as he walks "in" the laws of God. SoDe 30:15, 16. The Israelites, as a nation, had life already freely given to them by God's covenantof promise; the laws of God were designed to be the means of the outward expression of theirspiritual life. As the natural life has its healthy manifestation in the full exercise of its powers, sotheir spiritual being as a nation was to be developed in vigor, or else decay, according as they did,or did not, walk in God's laws.12. sabbaths, … a sign between me and them—a kind of sacramental pledge of the covenantof adoption between God and His people. The Sabbath is specified as a sample of the whole law,to show that the law is not merely precepts, but privileges, of which the Sabbath is one of thehighest. Not that the Sabbath was first instituted at Sinai, as if it were an exclusively Jewish ordinance1469JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(Ge 2:2, 3), but it was then more formally enacted, when, owing to the apostasy of the world fromthe original revelation, one people was called out (De 5:15) to be the covenant-people of God.sanctify them—The observance of the Sabbath contemplated by God was not a mere outwardrest, but a spiritual dedication of the day to the glory of God and the good of man. Otherwise itwould not be, as it is made, the pledge of universal sanctification (Ex 31:13-17; Isa 58:13, 14).Virtually it is said, all sanctity will flourish or decay, according as this ordinance is observed in itsfull spirituality or not.13. in the wilderness—They "rebelled" in the very place where death and terror were on everyside and where they depended on My miraculous bounty every moment!15. I swore against them (Ps 95:11; 106:26) that I would not permit the generation that cameout of Egypt to enter Canaan.16. The special reason is stated by Moses (Nu 13:32, 33; 14:4) to be that they, through feararising from the false report of the spies, wished to return to Egypt; the general reasons are statedhere which lay at the root of their rejection of God's grace; namely, contempt of God and His laws,and love of idols.their heart—The fault lay in it (Ps 78:37).17. Nevertheless—How marvellous that God should spare such sinners! His everlasting covenantexplains it, His long-suffering standing out in striking contrast to their rebellions (Ps 78:38; Jer30:11).18. I said unto their children—being unwilling to speak any more to the fathers as beingincorrigible.Walk ye not in … statutes of … fathers—The traditions of the fathers are to be carefullyweighed, not indiscriminately followed. He forbids the imitation of not only their gross sins, buteven their plausible statutes [Calvin].19. It is an indirect denial of God, and a robbing Him of His due, to add man's inventions toHis precepts.20. (Jer 17:22).21. Though warned by the judgment on their fathers, the next generation also rebelled againstGod. The "kindness of Israel's youth and love of her espousals in the wilderness" (Jer 2:2, 3) wereonly comparative (the corruption in later times being more general), and confined to the minority;as a whole, Israel at no time fully served God. The "children" it was that fell into the fearful apostasyon the plains of Moab at the close of the wilderness sojourn (Nu 25:1, 2; De 31:27).23. It was to that generation the threat of dispersion was proclaimed (De 28:64; compare Eze29:4).25. I gave them … statutes … not good—Since they would not follow My statutes that weregood, "I gave them" their own (Eze 20:18) and their fathers' "which were not good"; statutesspiritually corrupting, and, finally, as the consequence, destroying them. Righteous retribution (Ps81:12; Ho 8:11; Ro 1:24; 2Th 2:11). Eze 20:39 proves this view to be correct (compare Isa 63:17).Thus on the plains of Moab (Nu 25:1-18), in chastisement for the secret unfaithfulness to God intheir hearts, He permitted Baal's worshippers to tempt them to idolatry (the ready success of thetempters, moreover, proving the inward unsoundness of the tempted); and this again endednecessarily in punitive judgments.1470JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson26. I polluted them—not directly; "but I judicially gave them up to pollute themselves." A justretribution for their "polluting My sabbaths" (Eze 20:24). This Eze 20:26 is explanatory of Eze20:25. Their own sin I made their punishment.caused to pass through the fire—Fairbairn translates, "In their presenting (literally, 'the causingto pass over') all their first-born," namely, to the Lord; referring to the command (Ex 13:12, Margin,where the very same expression is used). The lustration of children by passing through the fire wasa later abomination (Eze 20:31). The evil here spoken of was the admixture of heathenish practiceswith Jehovah's worship, which made Him regard all as "polluted." Here, "to the Lord" is omittedpurposely, to imply, "They kept up the outward service indeed, but I did not own it as done untoMe, since it was mingled with such pollutions." But English Version is supported by the similarphraseology in Eze 20:31, see on Eze 20:31. They made all their children pass through the fire; buthe names the first-born, in aggravation of their guilt; that is, "I had willed that the first-born shouldbe redeemed as being Mine, but they imposed on themselves the cruel rites of offering them toMolech" (De 18:10).might know … the Lord—that they may be compelled to know Me as a powerful Judge, sincethey were unwilling to know Me as a gracious Father.27-29. The next period, namely, that which followed the settlement in Canaan: the fathers ofthe generation existing in Ezekiel's time walked in the same steps of apostasy as the generation inthe wilderness.Yet in this—Not content with past rebellions, and not moved with gratitude for God's goodness,"yet in this," still further they rebelled.blasphemed—"have insulted me" [Calvin]. Even those who did not sacrifice to heathen godshave offered "their sacrifices" (Eze 20:28) in forbidden places.28. provocation of their offering—an offering as it were purposely made to provoke God.sweet savour—What ought to have been sweet became offensive by their corruptions. Hespecifies the various kinds of offerings, to show that in all alike they violated the law.29. What is the high place whereunto ye go?—What is the meaning of this name? For Myaltar is not so called. What excellence do ye see in it, that ye go there, rather than to My temple,the only lawful place of sacrificing? The very name, "high place," convicts you of sinning, not fromignorance but perverse rebellion.is called … unto this day—whereas this name ought to have been long since laid aside, alongwith the custom of sacrificing on high places which it represents, being borrowed from the heathen,who so called their places of sacrifice (the Greeks, for instance, called them by a cognate term,Bomoi), whereas I call mine Mizbeaach, "altar." The very name implies the place is not thatsanctioned by Me, and therefore your sacrifices even to ME there (much more those you offer toidols) are only a "provocation" to Me (Eze 20:28; De 12:1-5). David and others, it is true, sacrificedto God on high places, but it was under exceptional circumstances, and before the altar was set upon Mount Moriah.30. The interrogation implies a strong affirmation, as in Eze 20:4, "Are ye not polluted … ? Doye not commit?" &c. Or, connecting this verse with Eze 20:31, "Are ye thus polluted … and yet(do ye expect that) I shall be inquired of by you?"31. through the fire—As "the fire" is omitted in Eze 20:26, Fairbairn represents the generationhere referred to (namely, that of Ezekiel's day) as attaining the climax of guilt (see on Eze 20:26),in making their children pass through the fire, which that former generation did not. The reason,1471JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhowever, for the omission of "the fire" in Eze 20:26 is, perhaps, that there it is implied the childrenonly "passed through the fire" for purification, whereas here they are actually burnt to death beforethe idol; and therefore "the fire" is specified in the latter, not in the former case (compare 2Ki 3:27).32. We will be as the heathen—and so escape the odium to which we are exposed, of havinga peculiar God and law of our own. "We shall live on better terms with them by having a similarworship. Besides, we get from God nothing but threats and calamities, whereas the heathen,Chaldeans, &c., get riches and power from their idols." How literally God's words here ("that …shall not be at all") are fulfilled in the modern Jews! Though the Jews seemed so likely (had Ezekielspoken as an uninspired man) to have blended with the rest of mankind and laid aside their distinctivepeculiarities, as was their wish at that time, yet they have remained for eighteen centuries dispersedamong all nations and without a home, but still distinct: a standing witness for the truth of theprophecy given so long ago.33. Here begins the second division of the prophecy. Lest the covenant people should abandontheir distinctive hopes and amalgamate with the surrounding heathen, He tells them that, as thewilderness journey from Egypt was made subservient to discipline and also to the taking fromamong them the rebellious, so a severe discipline (such as the Jews are now for long actuallyundergoing) should be administered to them during the next exodus for the same purpose (Eze20:38), and so to prepare them for the restored possession of their land (Ho 2:14, 15). This wasonly partially fulfilled before, and at the return from Babylon: its full and final accomplishment isfuture.with a mighty hand, … will I rule over you—I will assert My right over you in spite of yourresistance (Eze 20:32), as a master would in the case of his slave, and I will not let you be wrestedfrom Me, because of My regard to My covenant.34. The Jews in exile might think themselves set free from the "rule" of God (Eze 20:33);therefore, He intimates, He will reassert His right over them by chastening judgments, and these,with an ultimate view, not to destroy, but to restore them.people—rather, "peoples."35. wilderness of the people—rather, "peoples," the various peoples among whom they wereto be scattered, and about whom God saith (Eze 20:34), "I will bring you out." In contrast to theliteral "wilderness of Egypt" (Eze 20:36), "the wilderness of the peoples" is their spiritual wildernessperiod of trial, discipline, and purification while exiled among the nations. As the state when theyare "brought into the wilderness of the peoples" and that when they were among the peoples "from"which God was to "bring them out" (Eze 20:34) are distinguished, the wilderness state probablyanswers partially to the transition period of discipline from the first decree for their restoration byCyrus to the time of their complete settlement in their land, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem andthe temple. But the full and final fulfilment is future; the wilderness state will comprise not onlythe transition period of their restoration, but the beginning of their occupancy of Palestine, a timein which they shall endure the sorest of all their chastisements, to "purge out the rebels" (Eze 20:38;Da 12:1); and then the remnant (Zec 13:8, 9; 14:2, 3) shall "all serve God in the land" (Eze 20:40).Thus the wilderness period does not denote locality, but their state intervening between theirrejection and future restoration.plead—bring the matter in debate between us to an issue. Image is from a plaintiff in a lawcourt meeting the defendant "face to face." Appropriate, as God in His dealings acts not arbitrarily,but in most righteous justice (Jer 2:9; Mic 6:2).1472JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson36. (Nu 14:21-29). Though God saved them out of Egypt, He afterwards destroyed in thewilderness them that believed not (Jude 5); so, though He brought the exiles out of Babylon, yettheir wilderness state of chastening discipline continued even after they were again in Canaan.37. pass under the rod—metaphor from a shepherd who makes his sheep pass under his rodin counting them (Le 27:32; Jer 33:13). Whether you will or not, ye shall be counted as Mine, andso shall be subjected to My chastening discipline (Mic 7:14), with a view to My ultimate savingof the chosen remnant (compare Joh 10:27-29).bond of … covenant—I will constrain you by sore chastisements to submit yourselves to thecovenant to which ye are lastingly bound, though now you have cast away God's bond from you.Fulfilled in part, Ne 9:8, 26, 32-38; 10:1-39; fully hereafter (Isa 54:10-13; 52:1, 2).38. (Zec 13:9; 14:2).purge out—or, "separate." Hebrew, barothi, forming a designed alliteration with "berith," thecovenant; not a promise of grace, but a threat against those Jews who thought they could in exileescape the observation and "rule" of God.land of Israel—Though brought out of the country of their sojourn or exile (Babylon formerly,and the various lands of their exile hereafter) into the literal land of Palestine, even it shall be tothem an exile state, "they shall not enter into the land of Israel," that is, the spiritual state of restoredfavor of God to His covenant people, which shall only be given to the remnant to be saved (Zec13:8, 9).39. Equivalent to, "I would rather have you open idolaters than hypocrites, fancying you canworship Me and yet at the same time serve idols" (Am 5:21, 22, 25, 26; compare 1Ki 18:21; 2Ki17:41; Mt 6:24; Re 3:15, 16).Go ye, serve—This is not a command to serve idols, but a judicial declaration of God's givingup of the half-idol, half-Jehovah worshippers to utter idolatry, if they will not serve Jehovah alone(Ps 81:12; Re 22:11).hereafter also—God anticipates the same apostasy afterwards, as now.40. For—Though ye, the rebellious portion, withdraw from My worship, others, even thebelieving remnant, will succeed after you perish, and will serve Me purely.in mine holy mountain—(Isa 2:2, 3). Zion, or Moriah, "the height of Israel" (pre-eminentabove all mountains because of the manifested presence of God there with Israel), as opposed totheir "high places," the worship on which was an abomination to God.all—not merely individuals, such as constitute the elect Church now; but the whole nation, tobe followed by the conversion of the Gentile nations (Isa 2:2, "all nations;" Ro 11:26; Re 11:15).with—rather, "in all your holy things" [Maurer].41. with—that is, in respect to your sweet savor (literally, "savor of rest," see on Eze 16:19).Or, I will accept you (your worship) "as a sweet savor" [Maurer], (Eph 5:2; Php 4:18). God firstaccepts the person in Messiah, then the offering (Eze 20:40; Ge 4:4).bring … out from … people, &c.—the same words as in Eze 20:34; but there applied to thebringing forth of the hypocrites, as well as the elect; here restricted to the saved remnant, who aloneshall be at last restored literally and spiritually in the fullest sense.sanctified in you before … heathen—(Jer 33:9). All the nations will acknowledge My powerdisplayed in restoring you, and so shall be led to seek Me (Isa 66:18; Zec 14:16-19).43. there—not merely in exile when suffering punishment which makes even reprobates sorryfor sin, but when received into favor in your own land.1473JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonremember—(Eze 16:61, 63). The humiliation of Judah (Ne 9:1-38) is a type of the futurepenitence of the whole nation (Ho 5:15; 6:1; Zec 12:10-14). God's goodness realized by the sinneris the only thing that leads to true repentance (Ho 3:5; Lu 7:37, 38).44. The English Version chapter ought to have ended here, and the twenty-first chapter begunwith "Moreover," &c., as in the Hebrew Bible.for my name's sake—(Eze 36:22). Gratuitously; according to My compassion, not your merits.After having commented on this verse, Calvin was laid on his death bed, and his commentary ended.45-49. An introductory brief description in enigma of the destruction by fire and sword, detailedmore explicitly in Eze 21:1-32.46. south … south … south—three different Hebrew words, to express the certainty of thedivine displeasure resting on the region specified. The third term is from a root meaning "dry,"referring to the sun's heat in the south; representing the burning judgments of God on the southernparts of Judea, of which Jerusalem was the capital.set thy face—determinately. The prophets used to turn themselves towards those who were tobe the subjects of their prophecies.drop—as the rain, which flows in a continuous stream, sometimes gently (De 32:2), sometimesviolently (Am 7:16; Mic 2:6, Margin), as here.forest—the densely populated country of Judea; trees representing people.47. fire—every kind of judgment (Eze 19:12; 21:3, "my sword"; Jer 21:14).green tree … dry—fit and unfit materials for fuel alike; "the righteous and the wicked," asexplained in Eze 21:3, 4; Lu 23:31. Unsparing universality of the judgment!flaming flame—one continued and unextinguished flame. "The glowing flame" [Fairbairn].faces—persons; here the metaphor is merged in the reality.49. Ezekiel complains that by this parabolic form of prophecy he only makes himself and it ajest to his countrymen. God therefore in Eze 21:1-32 permits him to express the same prophecymore plainly.CHAPTER 21Eze 21:1-32. Prophecy against Israel and Jerusalem, and against Ammon.2. the holy places—the three parts of the temple: the courts, the holy place, and the holiest. If"synagogues" existed before the Babylonian captivity, as Ps 74:8 seems to imply, they and theproseuchæ, or oratories, may be included in the "holy places" here.3. righteous … wicked—not contradictory of Eze 18:4, 9 and Ge 18:23. Ezekiel here viewsthe mere outward aspect of the indiscriminate universality of the national calamity. But really thesame captivity to the "righteous" would prove a blessing as a wholesome discipline, which to the"wicked" would be an unmitigated punishment. The godly were sealed with a mark (Eze 9:4), notfor outward exemption from the common calamity, but as marked for the secret interpositions ofProvidence, overruling even evil to their good. The godly were by comparison so few, that not theirsalvation but the universality of the judgment is brought into view here.4. The "sword" did not, literally, slay all; but the judgments of God by the foe swept throughthe land "from the south to the north."1474JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. with the breaking of thy loins—as one afflicted with pleurisy; or as a woman, in labor-throes,clasps her loins in pain, and heaves and sighs till the girdle of the loins is broken by the violentaction of the body (Jer 30:6).7. The abrupt sentences and mournful repetitions imply violent emotions.9. sword—namely, of God (De 32:41). The Chaldeans are His instrument.10. to make a sore slaughter—literally, "that killing it may kill."glitter—literally, "glitter as the lightning flash": flashing terror into the foe.should we … make mirth—It is no time for levity when such a calamity is impending (Isa22:12, 13).it contemneth the rod of my son, &c.—The sword has no more respect to the trivial "rod" orscepter of Judah (Ge 49:10) than if it were any common "tree." "Tree" is the image retained fromEze 20:47; explained in Eze 21:2, 3. God calls Judah "My son" (compare Ex 4:22; Ho 11:1). Fairbairnarbitrarily translates, "Perchance the scepter of My son rejoiceth; it (the sword) despiseth everytree."11. the slayer—the Babylonian king in this case; in general, all the instruments of God's wrath(Re 19:15).12. terrors by reason of the sword, &c.—rather, "they (the princes of Israel) are delivered upto the sword together with My people" [Glassius].smite … upon … thigh—a mark of grief (Jer 31:19).13. it is a trial—rather, "There is a trial" being made: the sword of the Lord will subject all tothe ordeal. "What, then, if it contemn even the rod" (scepter of Judah)? Compare as to a similarscourge of unsparing trial, Job 9:23.it shall be no more—the scepter, that is, the state, must necessarily then come to an end.Fulfilled in part at the overthrow of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, but fully at the time of "Shiloh's"(Messiah's) coming (Ge 49:10), when Judea became a Roman province.14. smite … hands together—(Nu 24:10), indicative of the indignant fury with which Godwill "smite" the people.sword … doubled the third time—referring to the threefold calamity:—(1) The taking ofZedekiah (to whom the "rod," or scepter, may refer); (2) the taking of the city; (3) the removal ofall those who remained with Gedaliah. "Doubled" means "multiplied" or "repeated." The strokeshall be doubled and even trebled.of the slain—that is, by which many are slain. As the Hebrew is singular, Fairbairn makes itrefer to the king, "the sword of the great one that is slain," or "pierced through."entereth … privy chambers—(Jer 9:21). The sword shall overtake them, not merely in theopen battlefield, but in the chambers whither they flee to hide themselves (1Ki 20:30; 22:25). Maurertranslates, "which besieged them"; Fairbairn, "which penetrates to them." English Version is moreliteral.15. point—"the whirling glance of the sword" [Fairbairn]. "The naked (bared) sword" [Henderson].ruins—literally, "stumbling-blocks." Their own houses and walls shall be stumbling-blocks intheir way, whether they wish to fight or flee.made bright—made to glitter.wrapped, &c.—namely, in the hand of him who holds the hilt, or in its scabbard, that the edgemay not be blunt when it is presently drawn forth to strike. Gesenius, translates, "sharpened," &c.16. Apostrophe to the sword.1475JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGo … one way—or, "Concentrate thyself"; "Unite thy forces on the right hand" [Grotius]. Thesword is commanded to take the nearest route for Jerusalem, "whither their face was set," whethersouth or north ("right hand or left"), according to where the several parts of the Chaldean host maybe.or other, … on the left—rather "set thyself on the left." The verbs are well-chosen. The main"concentration" of forces was to be on "the right hand," or south, the part of Judea in which Jerusalemwas, and which lay south in marching from Babylon, whereas the Chaldean forces advancing onJerusalem from Egypt, of which Jerusalem was north, were fewer, and therefore "set thyself" is theverb used.17. Jehovah Himself smites His hands together, doing what He had commanded Ezekiel to do(see on Eze 21:14), in token of His smiting Jerusalem; compare the similar symbolical action (2Ki13:18, 19).cause … fury to rest—give it full vent, and so satisfy it (Eze 5:13).19. two ways—The king coming from Babylon is represented in the graphic style of Ezekielas reaching the point where the road branched off in two ways, one leading by the south, by Tadmoror Palmyra, to Rabbath of Ammon, east of Jordan; the other by the north, by Riblah in Syria, toJerusalem—and hesitating which way to take. Ezekiel is told to "appoint the two ways" (as in Eze4:1); for Nebuchadnezzar, though knowing no other control but his own will and superstition, hadreally this path "appointed" for him by the all-ruling God.out of one land—namely, Babylon.choose … a place—literally, "a hand." So it is translated by Fairbairn, "make a finger-post,"namely, at the head of the two ways, the hand post pointing Nebuchadnezzar to the way to Jerusalemas the way he should select. But Maurer rightly supports English Version. Ezekiel is told to "choosethe place" where Nebuchadnezzar should do as is described in Eze 21:20, 21; so entirely does Godorder by the prophet every particular of place and time in the movements of the invader.20. Rabbath of the Ammonites—distinct from Rabbah in Judah (2Sa 12:26). Rabbath is putfirst, as it was from her that Jerusalem, that doomed city, had borrowed many of her idols.to Judah in Jerusalem—instead of simply putting "Jerusalem," to imply the sword was tocome not merely to Judah, but to its people within Jerusalem, defended though it was; its defenseson which the Jews relied so much would not keep the foe out.21. parting—literally, "mother of the way." As "head of the two ways" follows, which seemstautology after "parting of the way," Havernick translates, according to Arabic idiom, "the highway,"or principal road. English Version is not tautology, "head of the two ways" defining more accurately"parting of the way."made … bright—rather, "shook," from an Arabic root.arrows—Divination by arrows is here referred to: they were put into a quiver marked with thenames of particular places to be attacked, and then shaken together; whichever came forth firstintimated the one selected as the first to be attacked [Jerome]. The same usage existed among theArabs, and is mentioned in the Koran. In the Nineveh sculptures the king is represented with a cupin his right hand, his left resting on a bow; also with two arrows in the right, and the bow in theleft, probably practising divination.images—Hebrew, "teraphim"; household gods, worshipped as family talismans, to obtaindirection as to the future and other blessings. First mentioned in Mesopotamia, whence Rachel1476JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbrought them (Ge 31:19, 34); put away by Jacob (Ge 35:4); set up by Micah as his household gods(Jud 17:5); stigmatized as idolatry (1Sa 15:23, Hebrew; Zec 10:2, Margin).liver—They judged of the success, or failure, of an undertaking by the healthy, or unhealthy,state of the liver and entrails of a sacrifice.22. Rather, "In his right hand was [is] the divination," that is, he holds up in his right hand thearrow marked with "Jerusalem," to encourage his army to march for it.captains—The Margin, "battering-rams," adopted by Fairbairn, is less appropriate, for"battering-rams" follow presently after [Grotius].open the mouth in … slaughter—that is, commanding slaughter: raising the war cry of death.Not as Gesenius, "to open the mouth with the war shout."23. Unto the Jews, though credulous of divinations when in their favor, Nebuchadnezzar'sdivination "shall be (seen) as false." This gives the reason which makes the Jews fancy themselvessafe from the Chaldeans, namely, that they "have sworn" to the latter "oaths" of allegiance, forgettingthat they had violated them (Eze 17:13, 15, 16, 18).but he, &c.—Nebuchadnezzar will remember in consulting his idols that he swore to Zedekiahby them, but that Zedekiah broke the league [Grotius]. Rather, God will remember against them (Re16:19) their violating their oath sworn by the true God, whereas Nebuchadnezzar kept his oathsworn by a false god; Eze 21:24 confirms this.24. Their unfaithfulness to Nebuchadnezzar was a type of their general unfaithfulness to theircovenant God.with the hand—namely, of the king of Babylon.25. profane—as having desecrated by idolatry and perjury his office as the Lord's anointed.Havernick translates, as in Eze 21:14, "slain," that is, not literally, but virtually; to Ezekiel's idealizingview Zedekiah was the grand victim "pierced through" by God's sword of judgment, as his sonswere slain before his eyes, which were then put out, and he was led a captive in chains to Babylon.English Version is better: so Gesenius (2Ch 36:13; Jer 52:2).when iniquity shall have an end—(Eze 21:29). When thine iniquity, having reached its laststage of guilt, shall be put an end to by judgment (Eze 35:5).26. diadem—rather, "the miter" of the holy priest (Ex 28:4; Zec 3:5). His priestly emblem asrepresentative of the priestly people. Both this and "the crown," the emblem of the kingdom, wereto be removed, until they should be restored and united in the Mediator, Messiah (Ps 110:2, 4; Zec6:13), [Fairbairn]. As, however, King Zedekiah alone, not the high priest also, is referred to in thecontext, English Version is supported by Gesenius.this shall not be the same—The diadem shall not be as it was [Rosenmuller]. Nothing shallremain what it was [Fairbairn].exalt … low, … abase … high—not the general truth expressed (Pr 3:34; Lu 1:52; Jas 4:6;1Pe 5:5); but specially referring to Messiah and Zedekiah contrasted together. The "tender plant… out of the dry ground" (Isa 53:2) is to be "exalted" in the end (Eze 21:27); the now "high"representative on David's throne, Zedekiah, is to be "abased." The outward relations of things shallbe made to change places in just retaliation on the people for having so perverted the moral relationsof things [Hengstenberg].27. Literally, "An overturning, overturning, overturning, will I make it." The threefold repetitiondenotes the awful certainty of the event; not as Rosenmuller explains, the overthrow of the three,Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah; for Zedekiah alone is referred to.1477JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonit shall be no more, until he come whose right it is—strikingly parallel to Ge 49:10. Nowhereshall there be rest or permanence; all things shall be in fluctuation until He comes who, as therightful Heir, shall restore the throne of David that fell with Zedekiah. The Hebrew for "right" is"judgment"; it perhaps includes, besides the right to rule, the idea of His rule being one inrighteousness (Ps 72:2; Isa 9:6, 7; 11:4; Re 19:11). Others (Nebuchadnezzar, &c.), who held therule of the earth delegated to them by God, abused it by unrighteousness, and so forfeited the "right."He both has the truest "right" to the rule, and exercises it in "right." It is true the tribal "scepter"continued with Judah "till Shiloh came" (Ge 49:10); but there was no kingly scepter till Messiahcame, as the spiritual King then (Joh 18:36, 37); this spiritual kingdom being about to pass intothe literal, personal kingdom over Israel at His second coming, when, and not before, this prophecyshall have its exhaustive fulfilment (Lu 1:32, 33; Jer 3:17; 10:7; "To thee doth it appertain").28. Lest Ammon should think to escape because Nebuchadnezzar had taken the route toJerusalem, Ezekiel denounces judgment against Ammon, without the prospect of a restoration suchas awaited Israel. Jer 49:6, it is true, speaks of a "bringing again of its captivity," but this probablyrefers to its spiritual restoration under Messiah; or, if referring to it politically, must refer to but apartial restoration at the downfall of Babylon under Cyrus.their reproach—This constituted a leading feature in their guilt; they treated with proudcontumely the covenant-people after the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (Eze 25:3, 6; Zep2:9, 10), and appropriated Israel's territory (Jer 49:1; Am 1:13-15).furbished, to consume—Maurer punctuates thus, "Drawn for the slaughter, it is furbished todevour ('consume'), to glitter." English Version, "to consume because of the glittering," means, "toconsume by reason of the lightning, flash-like rapidity with which it falls." Five years after the fallof Jerusalem, Ammon was destroyed for aiding Ishmael in usurping the government of Judea againstthe will of the king of Babylon (2Ki 25:25; Jer 41:15) [Grotius].29. see vanity … divine a lie—Ammon, too, had false diviners who flattered them withassurances of safety; the only result of which will be to "bring Ammon upon the necks," &c., thatis, to add the Ammonites to the headless trunks of the slain of Judah, whose bad example Ammonfollowed, and "whose day" of visitation for their guilt "is come."when their iniquity shall have an end—See on Eze 21:25.30. Shall I cause it to return into his sheath—namely, without first destroying Ammon.Certainly not (Jer 47:6, 7). Others, as the Margin, less suitably read it imperatively, "Cause it toreturn," that is, after it has done the work appointed to it.in the land of thy nativity—Ammon was not to be carried away captive as Judah, but to perishin his own land.31. blow against thee in, &c.—rather, "blow upon thee with the fire," &c. Image from smeltingmetals (Eze 22:20, 21).brutish—ferocious.skilful to destroy—literally, "artificers of destruction"; alluding to Isa 54:16.32. thy blood shall be—that is, shall flow.be no more remembered—be consigned as a nation to oblivion.CHAPTER 221478JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonEze 22:1-31. God's Judgment on the Sinfulness of Jerusalem.Repetition of the charges in the twentieth chapter; only that there they were stated in an historicalreview of the past and present; here the present sins of the nation exclusively are brought forward.2. See Eze 20:4; that is, "Wilt thou not judge?" &c. (compare Eze 23:36).the bloody city—literally, "the city of bloods"; so called on account of murders perpetrated inher, and sacrifices of children to Molech (Eze 22:3, 4, 6, 9; 24:6, 9).3. sheddeth blood … that her time may come—Instead of deriving advantage from her bloodysacrifices to idols, she only thereby brought on herself "the time" of her punishment.against herself—(Pr 8:36).4. thy days—the shorter period, namely, that of the siege.thy years—the longer period of the captivity. The "days" and "years" express that she is ripefor punishment.5. infamous—They mockingly call thee, "Thou polluted one in name (Margin), and full ofconfusion" [Fairbairn], (referring to the tumultuous violence prevalent in it). Thus the nations "farand near" mocked her as at once sullied in character and in actual fact lawless. What a sad contrastto the Jerusalem once designated "the holy city!"6. Rather, "The princes … each according to his power, were in thee, to shed blood" (as if thiswas the only object of their existence). "Power," literally, "arm"; they, who ought to have beenpatterns of justice, made their own arm of might their only law.7. set light by—Children have made light of, disrespected, father … (De 27:16). At Eze 22:7-12are enumerated the sins committed in violation of Moses' law.9. men that carry tales—informers, who by misrepresentations cause innocent blood to beshed (Le 19:16). Literally, "one who goes to and fro as a merchant."10. set apart for pollution—that is, set apart as unclean (Le 18:19).12. forgotten me—(De 32:18; Jer 2:32; 3:21).13. smitten mine hand—in token of the indignant vengeance which I will execute on thee (seeon Eze 21:17).14. (Eze 21:7).15. consume thy filthiness out of thee—the object of God in scattering the Jews.16. take thine inheritance in thyself—Formerly thou wast Mine inheritance; but now, full ofguilt, thou art no longer Mine, but thine own inheritance to thyself; "in the sight of the heathen,"that is, even they shall see that, now that thou hast become a captive, thou art no longer owned asMine [Vatablus]. Fairbairn and others needlessly take the Hebrew from a different root, "thou shalt bepolluted by ('in,' [Henderson]) thyself," &c.; the heathen shall regard thee as a polluted thing, whohast brought thine own reproach on thyself.18. dross … brass—Israel has become a worthless compound of the dross of silver (implyingnot merely corruption, but degeneracy from good to bad, Isa 1:22, especially offensive) and of thebaser metals. Hence the people must be thrown into the furnace of judgment, that the bad may beconsumed, and the good separated (Jer 6:29, 30).23. From this verse to the end he shows the general corruption of all ranks.24. land … not cleansed—not cleared or cultivated; all a scene of desolation; a fit emblem ofthe moral wilderness state of the people.1479JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnor rained upon—a mark of divine "indignation"; as the early and latter rain, on which theproductiveness of the land depended, was one of the great covenant blessings. Joel (Joe 2:23)promises the return of the former and latter rain, with the restoration of God's favor.25. conspiracy—The false prophets have conspired both to propagate error and to oppose themessages of God's servants. They are mentioned first, as their bad influence extended the widest.prey—Their aim was greed of gain, "treasure, and precious things" (Ho 6:9; Zep 3:3, 4; Mt23:14).made … many widows—by occasioning, through false prophecies, the war with the Chaldeansin which the husbands fell.26. Her priests—whose "lips should have kept knowledge" (Mal 2:7).violated—not simply transgressed; but, have done violence to the law, by wresting it to wrongends, and putting wrong constructions on it.put no difference between the holy and profane, &c.—made no distinction between the cleanand unclean (Le 10:10), the Sabbath and other days, sanctioning violations of that holy day. "Holy"means, what is dedicated to God; "profane," what is in common use; "unclean," what is forbiddento be eaten; "clean," what is lawful to be eaten.I am profaned among them—They abuse My name to false or unjust purposes.27. princes—who should have employed the influence of their position for the people's welfare,made "gain" their sole aim.wolves—notorious for fierce and ravening cruelty (Mic 3:2, 3, 9-11; Joh 10:12).28. Referring to the false assurances of peace with which the prophets flattered the people, thatthey should not submit to the king of Babylon (see on Eze 13:10; Eze 21:29; Jer 6:14; 23:16, 17;27:9, 10).29. The people—put last, after the mention of those in office. Corruption had spread downwardsthrough the whole community.wrongfully—that is, "without cause," gratuitously, without the stranger proselyte giving anyjust provocation; nay, he of all others being one who ought to have been won to the worship ofJehovah by kindness, instead of being alienated by oppression; especially as the Israelites werecommanded to remember that they themselves had been "strangers in Egypt" (Ex 22:21; 23:9).30. the hedge—the wall (see on Eze 13:5); image for leading the people to repentance.the gap—the breach (Ps 106:23); image for interceding between the people and God (Ge 20:7;Ex 32:11; Nu 16:48).I found none—(Jer 5:1)—not that literally there was not a righteous man in the city. ForJeremiah, Baruch, &c., were still there; but Jeremiah had been forbidden to pray for the people (Jer11:14), as being doomed to wrath. None now, of the godly, knowing the desperate state of thepeople, and God's purpose as to them, was willing longer to interpose between God's wrath andthem. And none "among them," that is, among those just enumerated as guilty of such sins (Eze22:25-29), was morally able for such an office.31. their own way … recompensed upon their heads—(Eze 9:10; 11:21; 16:43; Pr 1:31; Isa3:11; Jer 6:19).CHAPTER 231480JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonEze 23:1-49. Israel's and Judah's Sin and Punishment Are Parabolically Portrayed under the Names Aholah andAholibah.The imagery is similar to that in the sixteenth chapter; but here the reference is not as there somuch to the breach of the spiritual marriage covenant with God by the people's idolatries, as bytheir worldly spirit, and their trusting to alliances with the heathen for safety, rather than to God.2. two … of one mother—Israel and Judah, one nation by birth from the same ancestress,Sarah.3. Even so early in their history as their Egyptian sojourn, they committed idolatries (see onEze 20:6-8; Joshua 24. 14).in their youth—an aggravation of their sin. It was at the very time of their receivingextraordinary favors from God (Eze 16:6, 22).they bruised—namely, the Egyptians.4. Aholah—that is, "Her tent" (put for worship, as the first worship of God in Israel was in atent or tabernacle), as contrasted with Aholibah, that is, "My tent in her." The Beth-el worship ofSamaria was of her own devising, not of God's appointment; the temple-worship of Jerusalem wasexpressly appointed by Jehovah, who "dwelt" there, "setting up His tabernacle among the peopleas His" (Ex 25:8; Le 26:11, 12; Jos 22:19; Ps 76:2).the elder—Samaria is called "the elder" because she preceded Judah in her apostasy and itspunishment.they were mine—Previous to apostasy under Jeroboam, Samaria (Israel, or the ten tribes),equally with Judah, worshipped the true God. God therefore never renounced the right over Israel,but sent prophets, as Elijah and Elisha, to declare His will to them.5. when … mine—literally, "under Me," that is, subject to Me as her lawful husband.neighbours—On the northeast the kingdom of Israel bordered on that of Assyria; for the latterhad occupied much of Syria. Their neighborhood in locality was emblematical of their being nearin corruption of morals and worship. The alliances of Israel with Assyria, which are the chiefsubject of reprobation here, tended to this (2Ki 15:19; 16:7, 9; 17:3; Ho 8:9).6. blue—rather, "purple" [Fairbairn]. As a lustful woman's passions are fired by showy dress andyouthful appearance in men, so Israel was seduced by the pomp and power of Assyria (compareIsa 10:8).horsemen—cavaliers.7. all their idols—There was nothing that she refused to her lovers.8. whoredoms brought from Egypt—the calves set up in Dan and Beth-el by Jeroboam,answering to the Egyptian bull-formed idol Apis. Her alliances with Egypt politically are alsomeant (Isa 30:2, 3; 31:1). The ten tribes probably resumed the Egyptian rites, in order to enlist theEgyptians against Judah (2Ch 12:2-4).9. God, in righteous retribution, turned their objects of trust into the instruments of theirpunishment: Pul, Tiglath-pileser, Esar-haddon, and Shalmaneser (2Ki 15:19, 29; 17:3, 6, 24; Ezr4:2, 10). "It was their sin to have sought after such lovers, and it was to be their punishment thatthese lovers should become their destroyers" [Fairbairn].10. became famous—literally, "she became a name," that is, as notorious by her punishmentas she had been by her sins, so as to be quoted as a warning to others.women—that is, neighboring peoples.1481JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson11. Judah, the southern kingdom, though having the "warning" (see on Eze 23:10) of the northernkingdom before her eyes, instead of profiting by it, went to even greater lengths in corruption thanIsrael. Her greater spiritual privileges made her guilt the greater (Eze 16:47, 51; Jer 3:11).12. (Eze 23:6, 23).most gorgeously—literally, "to perfection." Grotius translates, "wearing a crown," or "chaplet,"such as lovers wore in visiting their mistresses.13. one way—both alike forsaking God for heathen confidences.14. vermilion—the peculiar color of the Chaldeans, as purple was of the Assyrians. In strikingagreement with this verse is the fact that the Assyrian sculptures lately discovered have paintedand colored bas-reliefs in red, blue, and black. The Jews (for instance Jehoiakim, Jer 22:14) copiedthese (compare Eze 8:10).15. exceeding in dyed attire—rather, "in ample dyed turbans"; literally, "redundant with dyedturbans." The Assyrians delighted in ample, flowing, and richly colored tunics, scarfs, girdles, andhead-dresses or turbans, varying in ornaments according to the rank.Chaldea, … land of their nativity—between the Black and Caspian Seas (see on Isa 23:13).princes—literally, a first-rate military class that fought by threes in the chariots, one guidingthe horses, the other two fighting.16. sent messengers … into Chaldea—(Eze 16:29). It was she that solicited the Chaldeans,not they her. Probably the occasion was when Judah sought to strengthen herself by a Chaldeanalliance against a menaced attack by Egypt (compare 2Ki 23:29-35; 24:1-7). God made the objectof their sinful desire the instrument of their punishment. Jehoiakim, probably by a stipulation oftribute, enlisted Nebuchadnezzar against Pharaoh, whose tributary he previously had been; failingto keep his stipulation, he brought on himself Nebuchadnezzar's vengeance.17. alienated from them—namely, from the Chaldeans: turning again to the Egyptians (Eze23:19), trying by their help to throw off her solemn engagements to Babylon (compare Jer 37:5, 7;2Ki 24:7).18. my mind was alienated from her—literally, "was broken off from her." Just retributionfor "her mind being alienated (broken off) from the Chaldeans" (Eze 23:17), to whom she hadsworn fealty (Eze 17:12-19). "Discovered" implies the open shamelessness of her apostasy.19. Israel first "called" her lusts, practised when in Egypt, "to her (fond) remembrance," andthen actually returned to them. Mark the danger of suffering the memory to dwell on the pleasurefelt in past sins.20. their paramours—that is, her paramours among them (the Egyptians); she doted upon theirpersons as her paramours (Eze 23:5, 12, 16).flesh—the membrum virile (very large in the ass). Compare Le 15:2, Margin; Eze 16:26.issue of horses—the seminal issue. The horse was made by the Egyptians the hieroglyphic fora lustful person.21. calledst to remembrance—"didst repeat" [Maurer].in bruising—in suffering … to be bruised.22. lovers … alienated—(Eze 23:17). Illicit love, soon or late, ends in open hatred (2Sa 13:15).The Babylonians, the objects formerly of their God-forgetting love, but now, with characteristicfickleness, objects of their hatred, shall be made by God the instruments of their punishment.1482JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson23. Pekod, &c.—(Jer 50:21). Not a geographical name, but descriptive of Babylon. "Visitation,"peculiarly the land of "judgment"; in a double sense: actively, the inflicter of judgment on Judah;passively, as about to be afterwards herself the object of judgment.Shoa … Koa—"rich … noble"; descriptive of Babylon in her prosperity, having all the world'swealth and dignity at her disposal. Maurer suggests that, as descriptive appellatives are subjoined tothe proper name, "all the Assyrians" in the second hemistich of the verse (as the verse ought to bedivided at "Koa"), so Pekod, Shoa, and Koa must be appellatives descriptive of "The Babyloniansand … Chaldeans" in the first hemistich; "Pekod" meaning "prefects"; Shoa … Koa, "rich …princely."desirable young men—strong irony. Alluding to Eze 23:12, these "desirable young men"whom thou didst so "dote upon" for their manly vigor of appearance, shall by that very vigor bethe better able to chastise thee.24. with chariots—or, "with armaments"; so the Septuagint; "axes" [Maurer]; or, joining it with"wagons," translate, "with scythe-armed wagons," or "chariots" [Grotius].wheels—The unusual height of these increased their formidable appearance (Eze 1:16-20).their judgments—which awarded barbarously severe punishments (Jer 52:9; 29:22).25. take away thy nose … ears—Adulteresses were punished so among the Egyptians andChaldeans. Oriental beauties wore ornaments in the ear and nose. How just the retribution, that thefeatures most bejewelled should be mutilated! So, allegorically as to Judah, the spiritual adulteress.26. strip … of … clothes—whereby she attracted her paramours (Eze 16:39).27. Thus … make … lewdness to cease—The captivity has made the Jews ever since abhoridolatry, not only on their return from Babylon, but for the last eighteen centuries of their dispersion,as foretold (Ho 3:4).28. (Eze 23:17, 18; 16:37).29. take away … thy labour—that is, the fruits of thy labor.leave thee naked—as captive females are treated.31. her cup—of punishment (Ps 11:6; 75:8; Jer 25:15, &c.). Thy guilt and that of Israel beingalike, your punishment shall be alike.34. break … sherds—So greedily shalt thou suck out every drop like one drinking to madness(the effect invariably ascribed to drinking God's cup of wrath, Jer 51:7; Hab 2:16) that thou shaltcrunch the very shreds of it; that is, there shall be no evil left which thou shalt not taste.pluck off thine own breasts—enraged against them as the ministers to thine adultery.35. forgotten me—the root of all sin (Jer 2:32; 13:25).cast me behind thy back—(1Ki 14:9; Ne 9:26).bear … thy lewdness—that is, its penal consequences (Pr 1:31).36-44. A summing up of the sins of the two sisters, especially those of Judah.wilt thou judge—Wilt thou (not) judge (see on Eze 20:4)?38. the same day—On the very day that they had burned their children to Molech in the valleyof Gehenna, they shamelessly and hypocritically presented themselves as worshippers in Jehovah'stemple (Jer 7:9, 10).40. messenger was sent—namely, by Judah (Eze 23:16; Isa 57:9).paintedst … eyes—(2Ki 9:30, Margin; Jer 4:30). Black paint was spread on the eyelids ofbeauties to make the white of the eye more attractive by the contrast, so Judah left no seductive artuntried.1483JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson41. bed—divan. While men reclined at table, women sat, as it seemed indelicate for them tolie down (Am 6:4) [Grotius].table—that is, the idolatrous altar.mine incense—which I had given thee, and which thou oughtest to have offered to Me (Eze16:18, 19; Ho 2:8; compare Pr 7:17).42. Sabeans—Not content with the princely, handsome Assyrians, the sisters brought tothemselves the rude robber hordes of Sabeans (Job 1:15). The Keri, or Margin, reads "drunkards."upon their hands—upon the hands of the sisters, that is, they allured Samaria and Judah toworship their gods.43. Will they, &c.—Is it possible that paramours will desire any longer to commit whoredomswith so worn-out an old adulteress?45. the righteous men—the Chaldeans; the executioners of God's righteous vengeance (Eze16:38), not that they were "righteous" in themselves (Hab 1:3, 12, 13).46. a company—properly, "a council of judges" passing sentence on a criminal [Grotius]. The"removal" and "spoiling" by the Chaldean army is the execution of the judicial sentence of God.47. stones—the legal penalty of the adulteress (Eze 16:40, 41; Joh 8:5). Answering to the stoneshurled by the Babylonians from engines in besieging Jerusalem.houses … fire—fulfilled (2Ch 36:17, 19).48. (Eze 23:27).that all … may be taught not to do, &c.—(De 13:11).49. bear the sins of your idols—that is, the punishment of your idolatry.know that I am the Lord God—that is, know it to your cost … by bitter suffering.CHAPTER 24Eze 24:1-27. Vision of the Boiling Caldron, and of the Death of Ezekiel's Wife.1, 2. Ezekiel proves his divine mission by announcing the very day, ("this same day") of thebeginning of the investment of the city by Nebuchadnezzar; "the ninth year," namely, of Jehoiachin'scaptivity, "the tenth day of the tenth month"; though he was three hundred miles away from Jerusalemamong the captives at the Chebar (2Ki 25:1; Jer 39:1).2. set himself—laid siege; "lay against."3. pot—caldron. Alluding to the self-confident proverb used among the people, Eze 11:3 (seeon Eze 11:3), "This city is the caldron and we be the flesh"; your proverb shall prove awfully true,but in a different sense from what you intend. So far from the city proving an iron, caldron-likedefense from the fire, it shall be as a caldron set on the fire, and the people as so many pieces ofmeat subjected to boiling heat. See Jer 1:13.4. pieces thereof—those which properly belong to it, as its own.every good piece … choice bones—that is, the most distinguished of the people. The "choicebones" in the pot have flesh adhering to them. The bones under the pot (Eze 24:5) are those havingno flesh and used as fuel, answering to the poorest who suffer first, and are put out of pain soonerthan the rich who endure what answers to the slower process of boiling.5. burn … bones—rather, "pile the bones." Literally, "Let there be a round pile of the bones."therein—literally, "in the midst of it."1484JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. scum—not ordinary, but poisonous scum, that is, the people's all-pervading wickedness.bring it out piece by piece—"it," the contents of the pot; its flesh, that is, "I will destroy thepeople of the city, not all at the same time, but by a series of successive attacks." Not as Fairbairn,"on its every piece let it (the poisonous scum) go forth."let no lot fall upon it—that is, no lot, such as is sometimes cast, to decide who are to bedestroyed and who saved (2Sa 8:2; Joe 3:3; Ob 11; Na 3:10). In former carryings away of captives,lots were cast to settle who were to go, and who to stay, but now all alike are to be cast out withoutdistinction of rank, age, or sex.7. upon the top of a rock—or, "the dry, bare, exposed rock," so as to be conspicuous to all.Blood poured on a rock is not so soon absorbed as blood poured on the earth. The law ordered theblood even of a beast or fowl to be "covered with the dust" (Le 17:13); but Jerusalem was soshameless as to be at no pains to cover up the blood of innocent men slain in her. Blood, as theconsummation of all sin, presupposes every other form of guilt.8. That it might cause—God purposely let her so shamelessly pour the blood on the bare rock,"that it might" the more loudly and openly cry for vengeance from on high; and that the connectionbetween the guilt and the punishment might be the more palpable. The blood of Abel, though theground received it, still cries to heaven for vengeance (Ge 4:10, 11); much more blood shamelesslyexposed on the bare rock.set her blood—She shall be paid back in kind (Mt 7:2). She openly shed blood, and her bloodshall openly be shed.9. the pile for fire—the hostile materials for the city's destruction.10. spice it well—that the meat may be the more palatable, that is, I will make the foe delightin its destruction as much as one delights in well-seasoned, savory meat. Grotius, needlessly departingfrom the obvious sense, translates, "Let it be boiled down to a compound."11. set it empty … that … brass … may burn, … that … scum … may be consumed—Eventhe consumption of the contents is not enough; the caldron itself which is infected by the poisonousscum must be destroyed, that is, the city itself must be destroyed, not merely the inhabitants, justas the very house infected with leprosy was to be destroyed (Le 14:34-45).12. herself—rather, "she hath wearied Me out with lies"; or rather, "with vain labors" on Mypart to purify her without being obliged to have recourse to judgments (compare Isa 43:24; Mal2:17) [Maurer]. However, English Version gives a good sense (compare Isa 47:13; 57:10).13. lewdness—determined, deliberate wickedness; from a Hebrew root, "to purpose."I have purged thee—that is, I have left nothing untried which would tend towards purgingthee, by sending prophets to invite thee to repentance, by giving thee the law with all its promises,privileges, and threats.thou shalt not be purged … any more—that is, by My gracious interpositions; thou shalt beleft to thine own course to take its fatal consequences.14. go back—desist; relax [Fairbairn].15. Second part of the vision; announcement of the death of Ezekiel's wife, and prohibition ofthe usual signs of mourning.16. desire of … eyes—his wife: representing the sanctuary (Eze 24:21) in which the Jews somuch gloried. The energy and subordination of Ezekiel's whole life to his prophetic office isstrikingly displayed in this narrative of his wife's death. It is the only memorable event of hispersonal history which he records, and this only in reference to his soul-absorbing work. His natural1485JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontenderness is shown by that graphic touch, "the desire of thine eyes." What amazing subjection,then, of his individual feeling to his prophetic duty is manifested in the simple statement (Eze24:18), "So I spake … in the morning; and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I wascommanded."stroke—a sudden visitation. The suddenness of it enhances the self-control of Ezekiel in soentirely merging individual feeling, which must have been especially acute under such tryingcircumstances, in the higher claims of duty to God.17. Forbear to cry—or, "Lament in silence"; not forbidding sorrow, but the loud expressionof it [Grotius].no mourning—typical of the universality of the ruin of Jerusalem, which would precludemourning, such as is usual where calamity is but partial. "The dead" is purposely put in the plural,as referring ultimately to the dead who should perish at the taking of Jerusalem; though the singularmight have been expected, as Ezekiel's wife was the immediate subject referred to: "make nomourning," such as is usual, "for the dead, and such as shall be hereafter in Jerusalem" (Jer 16:5-7).tire of thine head—thy headdress [Fairbairn]. Jerome explains, "Thou shalt retain the hair whichis usually cut in mourning." The fillet, binding the hair about the temples like a chaplet, was laidaside at such times. Uncovering the head was an ordinary sign of mourning in priests; whereasothers covered their heads in mourning (2Sa 15:30). The reason was, the priests had their headdressof fine twined linen given them for ornament, and as a badge of office. The high priest, as havingon his head the holy anointing oil, was forbidden in any case to lay aside his headdress. But thepriests might do so in the case of the death of the nearest relatives (Le 21:2, 3, 10). They then puton inferior attire, sprinkling also on their heads dust and ashes (compare Le 10:6, 7).shoes upon thy feet—whereas mourners went "barefoot" (2Sa 15:30).cover not … lips—rather, the "upper lip," with the moustache (Le 13:45; Mic 3:7).bread of men—the bread usually brought to mourners by friends in token of sympathy. So the"cup of consolation" brought (Jer 16:7). "Of men" means such as is usually furnished by men. SoIsa 8:1, "a man's pen"; Re 21:17, "the measure of a man."19. what these things are to us—The people perceive that Ezekiel's strange conduct has asymbolical meaning as to themselves; they ask, "What is that meaning?"21. excellency of your strength—(compare Am 6:8). The object of your pride and confidence(Jer 7:4, 10, 14).desire of … eyes—(Ps 27:4). The antitype to Ezekiel's wife (Eze 24:16).pitieth—loveth, as pity is akin to love: "yearned over."Profane—an appropriate word. They had profaned the temple with idolatry; God, in justretribution, will profane it with the Chaldean sword, that is, lay it in the dust, as Ezekiel's wife.sons … daughters … left—the children left behind in Judea, when the parents were carriedaway.22. (Jer 16:6, 7). So general shall be the calamity, that all ordinary usages of mourning shall besuspended.23. ye shall not mourn … but … pine away for your iniquities—The Jews' not mourningwas to be not the result of insensibility, any more than Ezekiel's not mourning for his wife was notfrom want of feeling. They could not in their exile manifest publicly their lamentation, but theywould privately "mourn one to another." Their "iniquities" would then be their chief sorrow ("pining1486JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonaway"), as feeling that these were the cause of their sufferings (compare Le 26:39; La 3:39). Thefullest fulfilment is still future (Zec 12:10-14).24. sign—a typical representative in his own person of what was to befall them (Isa 20:3).when this cometh—alluding probably to their taunt, as if God's word spoken by His prophetswould never come to pass. "Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now" (Jer 17:15). Whenthe prophecy is fulfilled, "ye shall know (to your cost) that I am the Lord," who thereby show Mypower and fulfil My word spoken by My prophet (Joh 13:19; 14:29).25, 26. "The day" referred to in these verses is the day of the overthrow of the temple, whenthe fugitive "escapes." But "that day," in Eze 24:27, is the day on which the fugitive brings the sadnews to Ezekiel, at the Chebar. In the interval the prophet suspended his prophecies as to the Jews,as was foretold. Afterwards his mouth was "opened," and no more "dumb" (Eze 3:26, 27; compareEze 24:27; 33:21, 22).CHAPTER 25Eze 25:1-17. Appropriately in the Interval of Silence as to the Jews in the Eight Chapters, (Twenty-fifth throughThirty-second) Ezekiel Denounces Judgments on the Heathen World Kingdoms.If Israel was not spared, much less the heathen utterly corrupt, and having no mixture of truth,such as Israel in its worst state possessed (1Pe 4:17, 18). Their ruin was to be utter: Israel's buttemporary (Jer 46:28). The nations denounced are seven, the perfect number; implying that God'sjudgments would visit, not merely these, but the whole round of the heathen foes of God. Babylonis excepted, because she is now for the present viewed as the rod of God's retributive justice, a viewtoo much then lost sight of by those who fretted against her universal supremacy.3. (Jer 49:1).when … profaned; … when … desolate; … when … captivity—rather, "for … for … for":the cause of the insolent exultation of Ammon over Jerusalem. They triumphed especially over thefall of the "sanctuary," as the triumph of heathenism over the rival claims of Jehovah. InJehoshaphat's time, when the eighty-third Psalm was written (Ps 83:4, 7, 8, 12, "Ammon … holpenthe children of Lot," who were, therefore, the leaders of the unholy conspiracy, "Let us take toourselves the houses of God in possession"), we see the same profane spirit. Now at last their wickedwish seems accomplished in the fall of Jerusalem. Ammon, descended from Lot, held the regioneast of Jordan, separated from the Amorites on the north by the river Jabbok, and from Moab onthe south by the Arnon. They were auxiliaries to Babylon in the destruction of Jerusalem (2Ki24:2).4. men of … east—literally, "children of the East," the nomad tribes of Arabia-Deserta, eastof the Jordan and the Dead Sea.palaces—their nomadic encampments or folds, surrounded with mud walls, are so called inirony. Where thy "palaces" once stood, there shall their very different "palaces" stand. Fulfilledafter the ravaging of their region by Nebuchadnezzar, shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem(compare Eze 21:22; Jer 49:1-28).5. Rabbah—meaning "the Great," Ammon's metropolis. Under the Ptolemies it was rebuiltunder the name Philadelphia; the ruins are called Amman now, but there is no dwelling inhabited.1487JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonAmmonites—that is, the Ammonite region is to be a "couching place for flocks," namely ofthe Arabs. The "camels," being the chief beast of burden of the Chaldeans, are put first, as theirinvasion was to prepare the Ammonite land for the Arab "flocks." Instead of busy men, there shallbe "still and couching flocks."6, 7. "Because thou hast clapped thine hands," exulting over the downfall of Jerusalem, "I alsowill stretch out Mine hand upon thee" (to which Eze 21:17 also may refer, "I will smite Mine handstogether").hands … feet … heart—with the whole inward feeling, and with every outward indication.Stamping with the foot means dancing for joy.7. a spoil—so the Hebrew Margin, or Keri, for the text or Chetib, "meat" (so Eze 26:5; 34:28).Their goods were to be a "spoil to the foe"; their state was to be "cut off," so as to be no more a"people"; and they were as individuals, for the most part, to be "destroyed."8. Moab, Seir, and Ammon were contiguous countries, stretching in one line from Gilead onthe north to the Red Sea. They therefore naturally acted in concert, and in joint hostility to Judea.Judah is like … all … heathen—The Jews fare no better than others: it is of no use to themto serve Jehovah, who, they say, is the only true God.9, 10. open … from the cities—I will open up the side, or border of Moab (metaphor from aman whose side is open to blows), from the (direction of) the cities on his northwest border beyondthe Arnon, once assigned to Reuben (Jos 13:15-21), but now in the hands of their original owners;and the "men of the east," the wandering Bedouin hordes, shall enter through these cities into Moaband waste it. Moab accordingly was so wasted by them, that long before the time of Christ it hadmelted away among the hordes of the desert. For "cities," Grotius translates the Hebrew as propernames, the Ar and Aroer, on the Arnon. Hence the Hebrew for "cities," "Ar" is repeated twice (Nu21:28; De 2:36; Isa 15:1).glory of the country—The region of Moab was richer than that of Ammon; it answers to themodern Belka, the richest district in South Syria, and the scene in consequence of many a contestamong the Bedouins. Hence it is called here a "glorious land" (literally, "a glory," or "ornament ofa land") [Fairbairn]. Rather, "the glory of the country" is in apposition with "cities" which immediatelyprecedes, and the names of which presently follow.Beth-jeshimoth—meaning "the city of desolations"; perhaps so named from some siege itsustained; it was towards the west.Baal-meon—called also "Beth-meon" (Jer 48:23), and "Beth-baal-meon" (Jos 13:17, called sofrom the worship of Baal), and "Bajith," simply (Isa 15:2).Kiriathaim—"the double city." The strength of these cities engendered "the pride" of Moab(Isa 16:6).10. with the Ammonites—Fairbairn explains and translates, "upon the children of Ammon"(elliptically for, "I will open Moab to the men of the east, who, having overrun the children ofAmmon, shall then fall on Moab"). Maurer, as English Version, "with the Ammonites," that is, Moab,"together with the land of Ammon," is to be thrown "open to the men of the east," to enter and takepossession (Jer 49:1-39).12. taking vengeance—literally, "revenging with revengement," that is, the most unrelentingvengeance. It was not simple hatred, but deep-brooding, implacable revenge. The grudge of Edomor Esau was originally for Jacob's robbing him of Isaac's blessing (Ge 25:23; 27:27-41). This purposeof revenge yielded to the extraordinary kindness of Jacob, through the blessing of Him with whom1488JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonJacob wrestled in prayer; but it was revived as an hereditary grudge in the posterity of Esau whenthey saw the younger branch rising to the pre-eminence which they thought of right belonged tothemselves. More recently, for David's subjugation of Edom to Israel (2Sa 8:14). They thereforegave vent to their spite by joining the Chaldeans in destroying Jerusalem (Ps 137:7; La 4:22; Ob10-14), and then intercepting and killing the fugitive Jews (Am 1:11) and occupying part of theJewish land as far as Hebron.13. Teman … they of Dedan—rather, "I will make it desolate from Teman (in the south) evento Dedan (in the northwest)" [Grotius], (Jer 49:8), that is, the whole country from north to south,stretching from the south of the Dead Sea to the Elanitic gulf of the Red Sea.14. by … my people Israel—namely, by Judas Maccabeus. The Idumeans were finally, bycompulsory circumcision, incorporated with the Jewish state by John Hyrcanus (see Isa 34:5; 63:1,&c.; 1 Maccabees 5:3). So complete was the amalgamation in Christ's time, that the Herods ofIdumean origin, as Jews, ruled over the two races as one people. Thus the ancient prophecy wasfulfilled (Ge 25:23), "The elder shall serve the younger."15. (1Sa 13:1-14:52; 2Ch 28:18). The "old hatred" refers to their continual enmity to thecovenant-people. They lay along Judea on the seacoast at the opposite side from Ammon and Moab.They were overthrown by Uzziah (2Ch 26:6), and by Hezekiah (2Ki 18:8). Nebuchadnezzar overranthe cities on the seacoast on his way to Egypt after besieging Tyre (Jer 47:1-7). God will takevengeance on those who take the avenging of themselves out of His hands into their own (Ro12:19-21; Jas 2:13).16. cut off the Cherethims—There is a play on similar sounds in the Hebrew, hichratticherethim, "I will slay the slayers." The name may have been given to a section of the Philistinesfrom their warlike disposition (1Sa 30:14; 31:3). They excelled in archery, whence David enrolleda bodyguard from them (2Sa 8:18; 15:18; 20:7). They sprang from Caphtor, identified by manywith Crete, which was famed for archery, and to which the name Cherethim seems akin. Thoughin emigration, which mostly tended westwards, Crete seems more likely to be colonized fromPhilistia than Philistia from Crete, a section of Cretans may have settled at Cherethim in SouthPhilistia, while the Philistines, as a nation, may have come originally from the east (compare De2:23; Jer 47:4; Am 9:7; Zep 2:5). In Ge 10:14 the Philistines are made distinct from the Caphtorim,and are said to come from the Casluhim; so that the Cherethim were but a part of the Philistines,which 1Sa 30:14 confirms.remnant of—that is, "on the seacoast" of the Mediterranean: those left remaining after theformer overthrows inflicted by Samuel, David, Hezekiah, and Psammetichus of Egypt, father ofPharaoh-necho (Jer 25:20).17. know … vengeance—They shall know Me, not in mercy, but by My vengeance on them(Ps 9:16).CHAPTER 26Eze 26:1-21. The Judgment on Tyre through Nebuchadnezzar (TWENTY-SIXTH THROUGH Twenty-eighthChapters).In the twenty-sixth chapter, Ezekiel sets forth:—(1) Tyre's sin; (2) its doom; (3) the instrumentsexecuting it; (4) the effects produced on other nations by her downfall. In the twenty-seventh1489JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonchapter, a lamentation over the fall of such earthly splendor. In the twenty-eighth chapter, an elegyaddressed to the king, on the humiliation of his sacrilegious pride. Ezekiel, in his prophecies as tothe heathen, exhibits the dark side only; because he views them simply in their hostility to thepeople of God, who shall outlive them all. Isaiah (Isa 23:1-18), on the other hand, at the close ofjudgments, holds out the prospect of blessing, when Tyre should turn to the Lord.1. The specification of the date, which had been omitted in the case of the four preceding objectsof judgment, marks the greater weight attached to the fall of Tyre.eleventh year—namely, after the carrying away of Jehoiachin, the year of the fall of Jerusalem.The number of the month is, however, omitted, and the day only given. As the month of the takingof Jerusalem was regarded as one of particular note, namely, the fourth month, also the fifth, onwhich it was actually destroyed (Jer 52:6, 12, 13), Rabbi David reasonably supposes that Tyre utteredher taunt at the close of the fourth month, as her nearness to Jerusalem enabled her to hear of itsfall very soon, and that Ezekiel met it with his threat against herself on "the first day" of the fifthmonth.2. Tyre—(Jos 19:29; 2Sa 24:7), literally, meaning "the rock-city," Zor; a name applying to theisland Tyre, called New Tyre, rather than Old Tyre on the mainland. They were half a mile apart."New Tyre," a century and a half before the fall of Jerusalem, had successfully resisted Shalmaneserof Assyria, for five years besieging it (Menander, from the Tyrian archives, quoted by Josephus,Antiquities, 9.14. 2). It was the stronger and more important of the two cities, and is the one chiefly,though not exclusively, here meant. Tyre was originally a colony of Zidon. Nebuchadnezzar's siegeof it lasted thirteen years (Eze 29:18; Isa 23:1-18). Though no profane author mentions his havingsucceeded in the siege, Jerome states he read the fact in Assyrian histories.Aha!—exultation over a fallen rival (Ps 35:21, 25).she … that was the gates—that is, the single gate composed of two folding doors. Hence theverb is singular. "Gates" were the place of resort for traffic and public business: so here it expressesa mart of commerce frequented by merchants. Tyre regards Jerusalem not as an open enemy, forher territory being the narrow, long strip of land north of Philistia, between Mount Lebanon andthe sea, her interest was to cultivate friendly relations with the Jews, on whom she was dependentfor corn (Eze 27:17; 1Ki 5:9; Ac 12:20). But Jerusalem had intercepted some of the inland trafficwhich she wished to monopolize to herself; so, in her intensely selfish worldly-mindedness, sheexulted heartlessly over the fall of Jerusalem as her own gain. Hence she incurred the wrath of Godas pre-eminently the world's representative in its ambition, selfishness, and pride, in defiance ofthe will of God (Isa 23:9).she is turned unto me—that is, the mart of corn, wine, oil, balsam, &c., which she once was,is transferred to me. The caravans from Palmyra, Petra, and the East will no longer be interceptedby the market ("the gates") of Jerusalem, but will come to me.3, 4. nations … as the sea … waves—In striking contrast to the boasting of Tyre, God threatensto bring against her Babylon's army levied from "many nations," even as the Mediterranean wavesthat dashed against her rock-founded city on all sides.scrape her dust … make her … top of … rock—or, "a bare rock" [Grotius]. The soil whichthe Tyrians had brought together upon the rock on which they built their city, I will scrape so cleanaway as to leave no dust, but only the bare rock as it was. An awful contrast to her expectation offilling herself with all the wealth of the East now that Jerusalem has fallen.5. in the midst of the sea—plainly referring to New Tyre (Eze 27:32).1490JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. her daughters … in the field—The surrounding villages, dependent on her in the opencountry, shall share the fate of the mother city.7. from the north—the original locality of the Chaldeans; also, the direction by which theyentered Palestine, taking the route of Riblah and Hamath on the Orontes, in preference to that acrossthe desert between Babylon and Judea.king of kings—so called because of the many kings who owned allegiance to him (2Ki 18:28).God had delegated to him the universal earth-empire which is His (Da 2:47). The Son of God alonehas the right and title inherently, and shall assume it when the world kings shall have been fullyproved as abusers of the trust (1Ti 6:15; Re 17:12-14; 19:15, 16). Ezekiel's prophecy was not basedon conjecture from the past, for Shalmaneser, with all the might of the Assyrian empire, had failedin his siege of Tyre. Yet Nebuchadnezzar was to succeed. Josephus tells us that Nebuchadnezzarbegan the siege in the seventh year of Ithobal's reign, king of Tyre.9. engines of war—literally, "an apparatus for striking." "He shall apply the stroke of thebattering-ram against thy walls." Havernick translates, "His enginery of destruction"; literally, the"destruction (not merely the stroke) of his enginery."axes—literally, "swords."10. dust—So thick shall be the "dust" stirred up by the immense numbers of "horses," that itshall "cover" the whole city as a cloud.horses … chariots—As in Eze 26:3-5, New Tyre on the insular rock in the sea (compare Isa23:2, 4, 6) is referred to; so here, in Eze 26:9-11, Old Tyre on the mainland. Both are included inthe prophecies under one name.wheels—Fairbairn thinks that here, and in Eze 23:24, as "the wheels" are distinct from the"chariots," some wheelwork for riding on, or for the operations of the siege, are meant.11. thy strong garrisons—literally, "the statutes of thy strength"; so the forts which are"monuments of thy strength." Maurer understands, in stricter agreement with the literal meaning,"the statues" or "obelisks erected in honor of the idols, the tutelary gods of Tyre," as Melecarte,answering to the Grecian Hercules, whose temple stood in Old Tyre (compare Jer 43:13, Margin).12. lay thy stones … timber … in … midst of … water—referring to the insular New Tyre(Eze 26:3, 5; Eze 27:4, 25, 26). When its lofty buildings and towers fall, surrounded as it was withthe sea which entered its double harbor and washed its ramparts, the "stones … timbers … anddust" appropriately are described as thrown down "in the midst of the water." Though Ezekielattributes the capture of Tyre to Nebuchadnezzar (see on Eze 29:18), yet it does not follow that thefinal destruction of it described is attributed by him to the same monarch. The overthrow of Tyreby Nebuchadnezzar was the first link in the long chain of evil—the first deadly blow which preparedfor, and was the earnest of, the final doom. The change in this verse from the individual conqueror"he," to the general "they," marks that what he did was not the whole, but only paved the way forothers to complete the work begun by him. It was to be a progressive work until she was utterlydestroyed. Thus the words here answer exactly to what Alexander did. With the "stones, timber,"and rubbish of Old Tyre, he built a causeway in seven months to New Tyre on the island and sotook it [Curtius, 4, 2], 322 B.C.13. Instead of the joyousness of thy prosperity, a death-like silence shall reign (Isa 24:8; Jer7:34).14. He concludes in nearly the same words as he began (Eze 26:4, 5).1491JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbuilt no more—fulfilled as to the mainland Tyre, under Nebuchadnezzar. The insular Tyrerecovered partly, after seventy years (Isa 23:17, 18), but again suffered under Alexander, then underAntigonus, then under the Saracens at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Now its harbors arechoked with sand, precluding all hope of future restoration, "not one entire house is left, and onlya few fishermen take shelter in the vaults" [Maundrell]. So accurately has God's word come to pass.15-21. The impression which the overthrow of Tyre produced on other maritime nations andupon her own colonies, for example, Utica, Carthage, and Tartessus or Tarshish in Spain.isles—maritime lands. Even mighty Carthage used to send a yearly offering to the temple ofHercules at Tyre: and the mother city gave high priests to her colonies. Hence the consternation ather fall felt in the widely scattered dependencies with which she was so closely connected by theties of religion, as well as commercial intercourse.shake—metaphorically: "be agitated" (Jer 49:21).16. come down from their thrones … upon the ground—"the throne of the mourners" (Job2:13; Jon 3:6).princes of the sea—are the merchant rulers of Carthage and other colonies of Tyre, who hadmade themselves rich and powerful by trading on the sea (Isa 23:8).clothe … with trembling—Hebrew, "tremblings." Compare Eze 7:27, "clothed with desolation";Ps 132:18. In a public calamity the garment was changed for a mourning garb.17. inhabited of seafaring men—that is, which was frequented by merchants of varioussea-bordering lands [Grotius]. Fairbairn translates with Peschito, "Thou inhabitant of the seas" (theHebrew literal meaning). Tyre rose as it were out of the seas as if she got thence her inhabitants,being peopled so closely down to the waters. So Venice was called "the bride of the sea."strong in the sea—through her insular position.cause their terror to be on all that haunt it—namely, the sea. The Hebrew is rather, "theyput their terror upon all her (the city's) inhabitants," that is, they make the name of every Tyrian tobe feared [Fairbairn].18. thy departure—Isa 23:6, 12 predicts that the Tyrians, in consequence of the siege, shouldpass over the Mediterranean to the lands bordering on it ("Chittim," "Tarshish," &c.). So Ezekielhere. Accordingly Jerome says that he read in Assyrian histories that, "when the Tyrians saw nohope of escaping, they fled to Carthage or some islands of the Ionian and Ægean Seas" [BishopNewton]. (See on Eze 29:18). Grotius explains "departure," that is, "in the day when hostages shallbe carried away from thee to Babylon." The parallelism to "thy fall" makes me think "departure"must mean "thy end" in general, but with an included allusion to the "departure" of most of herpeople to her colonies at the fall of the city.19. great waters—appropriate metaphor of the Babylonian hosts, which literally, by breakingdown insular Tyre's ramparts, caused the sea to "cover" part of her.20. the pit—Tyre's disappearance is compared to that of the dead placed in their sepulchresand no more seen among the living (compare Eze 32:18, 23; Isa 14:11, 15, 19).I shall set glory in the land—In contrast to Tyre consigned to the "pit" of death, I shall setglory (that is, My presence symbolized by the Shekinah cloud, the antitype to which shall beMessiah, "the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father," Joh 1:14; Isa 4:2, 5; Zec 6:13) in Judah.of the living—as opposed to Tyre consigned to the "pit" of death. Judea is to be the land ofnational and spiritual life, being restored after its captivity (Eze 47:9). Fairbairn loses the antithesis1492JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonby applying the negative to both clauses, "and that thou be not set as a glory in the land of theliving."21. terror—an example of judgment calculated to terrify all evildoers.thou shall be no more—Not that there was to be no more a Tyre, but she was no more to bethe Tyre that once was: her glory and name were to be no more. As, to Old Tyre, the prophecy wasliterally fulfilled, not a vestige of it being left.CHAPTER 27Eze 27:1-36. Tyre's Former Greatness, Suggesting a Lamentation over Her Sad Downfall.2. lamentation—a funeral dirge, eulogizing her great attributes, to make the contrast the greaterbetween her former and her latter state.3. situate at the entry of the sea—literally, plural, "entrances," that is, ports or havens; referringto the double port of Tyre, at which vessels entered round the north and south ends of the island,so that ships could find a ready entrance from whatever point the wind might blow (compare Eze28:2).merchant of … people for many isles—that is, a mercantile emporium of the peoples of manyseacoasts, both from the east and from the west (Isa 23:3), "a mart of nations."of perfect beauty—(Eze 28:12).4. Tyre, in consonance with her seagirt position, separated by a strait of half a mile from themainland, is described as a ship built of the best material, and manned with the best mariners andskilful pilots, but at last wrecked in tempestuous seas (Eze 27:26).5. Senir—the Amorite name of Hermon, or the southern height of Anti-libanus (De 3:9); theSidonian name was Sirion. "All thy … boards"; dual in Hebrew, "double-boards," namely, placedin a double order on the two sides of which the ship consisted [Vatablus]. Or, referring to the twosides or the two ends, the prow and the stern, which every ship has [Munster].cedars—most suited for "masts," from their height and durability.6. Bashan—celebrated for its oaks, as Lebanon was for its cedars.the company of … Ashurites—the most skilful workmen summoned from Assyria. Rather,as the Hebrew orthography requires, "They have made thy (rowing) benches of ivory inlaid in thedaughter of cedars" [Maurer], or, the best boxwood. Fairbairn, with Bochart, reads the Hebrew twowords as one: "Thy plankwork (deck: instead of 'benches,' as the Hebrew is singular) they madeivory with boxes." English Version, with Maurer's correction, is simpler.Chittim—Cyprus and Macedonia, from which, Pliny tells us, the best boxwood came [Grotius].7. broidered … sail—The ancients embroidered their sails often at great expense, especiallythe Egyptians, whose linen, still preserved in mummies, is of the finest texture.Elishah—Greece; so called from Elis, a large and ancient division of Peloponnesus. Pausaniassays that the best of linen was produced in it, and in no other part of Greece; called by Homer,Alisium.that which covered thee—thy awning.8. Arvad—a small island and city near Phoenicia, now Ruad: its inhabitants are still noted forseafaring habits.1493JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthy wise men, O Tyrus … thy pilots—While the men of Arvad, once thy equals (Ge 10:18),and the Sidonians, once thy superiors, were employed by thee in subordinate positions as "mariners,"thou madest thine own skilled men alone to be commanders and pilots. Implying the political andmercantile superiority of Tyre.9. Gebal—a Phoenician city and region between Beirut and Tripolis, famed for skilled workmen(1Ki 5:18, Margin; Ps 83:7).calkers—stoppers of chinks in a vessel: carrying on the metaphor as to Tyre.occupy thy merchandise—that is, to exchange merchandise with thee.10. Persia … Phut—warriors from the extreme east and west.Lud—the Lydians of Asia Minor, near the Meander, famed for archery (Isa 66:19); rather thanthose of Ethiopia, as the Lydians of Asia Minor form a kind of intermediate step between Persiaand Phut (the Libyans about Cyrene, shielded warriors, Jer 46:9, descended from Phut, son of Ham).hanged … shield … comeliness—Warriors hanged their accoutrements on the walls forornament. Divested of the metaphor, it means that it was an honor to thee to have so many nationssupplying thee with hired soldiers.11. Gammadims—rather, as the Tyrians were Syro-Phoenicians, from a Syriac root, meaningdaring, "men of daring" [Ludovicus De Dieu]. It is not likely the keeping of watch "in the towers"would have been entrusted to foreigners. Others take it from a Hebrew root, "a dagger," or shortsword (Jud 3:16), "short-swordsmen."12. Tarshish—Tartessus in Spain, a country famed for various metals, which were exportedto Tyre. Much of the "tin" probably was conveyed by the Phoenicians from Cornwall to Tarshish.traded in thy fairs—"did barter with thee" [Fairbairn]; from a root, "to leave," something leftin barter for something else.13. Javan—the Ionians or Greeks: for the Ionians of Asia Minor were the first Greeks withwhom the Asiatics came in contact.Tubal … Meshech—the Tibareni and Moschi, in the mountain region between the Black andCaspian Seas.persons of men—that is, as slaves. So the Turkish harems are supplied with female slaves fromCircassia and Georgia.vessels—all kinds of articles. Superior weapons are still manufactured in the Caucasus region.14. Togarmah—Armenia: descended from Gomer (Ge 10:3). Their mountainous region southof the Caucasus was celebrated for horses.horsemen—rather, "riding-horses," as distinct from "horses" for chariots [Fairbairn].15. Dedan—near the Persian Sea: thus an avenue to the commerce of India. Not the Dedan inArabia (Eze 27:20), as the names in the context here prove, but the Dedan sprung from Cush[Bochart], (Ge 10:7).merchandise of thine hand—that is, were dependent on thee for trade [Fairbairn]; came to buythe produce of thy hands [Grotius].a present—literally, "a reward in return"; a price paid for merchandise.horns of ivory—Ivory is so termed from its resemblance to horns. The Hebrew word for "ivory"means "tooth"; so that they cannot have mistaken ivory as if coming from the horns of certainanimals, instead of from the tusks of the elephant.16. "Syria was thy mart for the multitude," &c. For "Syria" the Septuagint reads "Edom." Butthe Syrians were famed as merchants.1494JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonoccupied—old English for "traded"; so in Lu 19:13.agate—Others translate, "ruby," "chalcedony," or "pearls."17. Minnith … Pannag—names of places in Israel famed for good wheat, wherewith Tyrewas supplied (1Ki 5:9, 11; Ezr 3:7; Ac 12:20); Minnith was formerly an Ammonite city (Jud 11:33)."Pannag" is identified by Grotius with "Phenice," the Greek name for "Canaan." "They traded …wheat," that is, they supplied thy market with wheat.balm—or, "balsam."18. Helbon—or Chalybon, in Syria, now Aleppo; famed for its wines; the Persian monarchswould drink no other.19. Dan also—None of the other places enumerated commence with the copula ("also"; Hebrew,ve). Moreover, the products specified, "cassia, calamus," apply rather to places in Arabia. Therefore,Fairbairn translates, "Vedan"; perhaps the modern Aden, near the straits of Bab-el-man-deb. Grotiusrefers it to Dana, mentioned by Ptolemy.Javan—not the Greeks of Europe or Asia Minor, but of a Greek settlement in Arabia.going to and fro—rather, as Hebrew admits, "from Uzal." This is added to "Javan," to markwhich Javan is meant (Ge 10:27). The metropolis of Arabia Felix, or Yemen; called also Sanaa[Bochart]. English Version gives a good sense, thus: All peoples, whether near as the Israelite "Dan,"or far as the Greeks or "Javan," who were wont to "go to and fro" from their love of traffic,frequented thy marts, bringing bright iron, &c., these products not being necessarily representedas those of Dan or Javan.bright iron—Yemen is still famed for its sword blades.calamus—aromatic cane.20. Dedan—in Arabia; distinct from the Dedan in Eze 27:15 (see on Eze 27:15). Descendedfrom Abraham and Keturah (Ge 25:3) [Bochart].precious clothes—splendid coverlets.21. Arabia—the nomadic tribes of Arabia, among which Kedar was pre-eminent.occupied with thee—literally, "of thy hand," that is, they traded with thee for wares, the productof thy hand (see on Eze 27:15, 16).22. Sheba … Raamah—in Arabia.chief of … spices—that is, best spices (De 33:15). Obtained from India and conveyed in caravansto Tyre.23. Haran—the dwelling-place of Abraham in Mesopotamia, after he moved from Ur (Ge11:31).Canneh—Calneh, an Assyrian city on the Tigris; the Ctesiphon of the Greeks (Ge 10:10).Eden—probably a region in Babylonia (see Ge 2:8).Chilmad—a compound; the place designated by Ptolemy "Gaala of Media." The Chaldee versioninterprets it of Media. Henderson refers it to Carmanda, which Xenophon describes as a large citybeyond the Euphrates.24. all sorts of things—Hebrew, "perfections"; exquisite articles of finery [Grotius].clothes—rather, "mantles" or "cloaks"; literally, "wrappings." For "blue," Henderson translates,"purple."chests of rich apparel, bound with cords—treasures or repositories of damask stuffs, consistingof variegated threads woven together in figures [Henderson].1495JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncedar—The "chests" were made of cedar, in order to last the longer; and it also keeps off decayand has a sweet odor.25. sing of thee—personification; thy great merchant ships were palpable proofs of thy greatness.Others translate from a different Hebrew root, "were thy (mercantile) travellers." Fairbairn translates,"Were thy walls." But the parallelism to "thou wast glorious" favors English Version, "sing of thee."26. In contrast to her previous greatness, her downfall is here, by a sudden transition, depictedunder the image of a vessel foundering at sea.east wind—blowing from Lebanon, the most violent wind in the Mediterranean (Ps 48:7). ALevanter, as it is called. Nebuchadnezzar is meant. The "sea" is the war with him which the "rowers,"or rulers of the state vessel, had "brought" it into, to its ruin.27. The detailed enumeration implies the utter completeness of the ruin.and in all thy company—"even with all thy collected multitude" [Henderson].28. The suburbs—the buildings of Tyre on the adjoining continent.29. So on the downfall of spiritual Babylon (Re 18:17, &c.).shall stand upon … land—being cast out of their ships in which heretofore they pridedthemselves.30. against thee—rather, "concerning thee."31. utterly bald—literally, "bald with baldness." The Phoenician custom in mourning; which,as being connected with heathenish superstitions, was forbidden to Israel (De 14:1).32. take up—lift up.the destroyed—a destroyed one. Literally, (as opposed to its previous bustle of throngingmerchants and mariners, Eze 27:27), "one brought to death's stillness."in … midst of … sea—insular Tyre.33. out of the seas—brought on shore out of the ships.filledst—didst supply plentifully with wares.enrich … kings—with the custom dues levied on the wares.34. In the time when … shall … shall—Now that thou art broken (wrecked) … thy merchandise… are fallen [Maurer].35. isles—seacoasts.36. hiss—with astonishment; as in 1Ki 9:8.CHAPTER 28Eze 28:1-26. Prophetical Dirge on the King of Tyre, as the Culmination and Embodiment of the Spirit of CarnalPride and Self-sufficiency of the Whole State. The Fall of Zidon, the Mother City. The Restoration of Israel in Contrastwith Tyre and Zidon.2. Because, &c.—repeated resumptively in Eze 28:6. The apodosis begins at Eze 28:7. "Theprince of Tyrus" at the time was Ithobal, or Ithbaal II; the name implying his close connection withBaal, the Phoenician supreme god, whose representative he was.I am a god, I sit in … seat of God … the seas—As God sits enthroned in His heavenly citadelexempt from all injury, so I sit secure in my impregnable stronghold amidst the stormiest elements,able to control them at will, and make them subserve my interests. The language, though primarilyhere applied to the king of Tyre, as similar language is to the king of Babylon (Isa 14:13, 14), yet1496JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhas an ulterior and fuller accomplishment in Satan and his embodiment in Antichrist (Da 7:25;11:36, 37; 2Th 2:4; Re 13:6). This feeling of superhuman elevation in the king of Tyre was fosteredby the fact that the island on which Tyre stood was called "the holy island" [Sanconiathon], beingsacred to Hercules, so much so that the colonies looked up to Tyre as the mother city of theirreligion, as well as of their political existence. The Hebrew for "God" is El, that is, "the MightyOne."yet, &c.—keen irony.set thine heart as … heart of God—Thou thinkest of thyself as if thou wert God.3. Ezekiel ironically alludes to Ithbaal's overweening opinion of the wisdom of himself and theTyrians, as though superior to that of Daniel, whose fame had reached even Tyre as eclipsing theChaldean sages. "Thou art wiser," namely, in thine own opinion (Zec 9:2).no secret—namely, forgetting riches (Eze 28:4).that they can hide—that is, that can be hidden.5. (Ps 62:10).6. Because, &c.—resumptive of Eze 28:2.7. therefore—apodosis.strangers … terrible of the nations—the Chaldean foreigners noted for their ferocity (Eze30:11; 31:12).against the beauty of thy wisdom—that is, against thy beautiful possessions acquired by thywisdom on which thou pridest thyself (Eze 28:3-5).defile thy brightness—obscure the brightness of thy kingdom.8. the pit—that is, the bottom of the sea; the image being that of one conquered in a sea-fight.the deaths—plural, as various kinds of deaths are meant (Jer 16:4).of them … slain—literally, "pierced through." Such deaths as those pierced with many woundsdie.9. yet say—that is, still say; referring to Eze 28:2.but, &c.—But thy blasphemous boastings shall be falsified, and thou shalt be shown to be butman, and not God, in the hand (at the mercy) of Him.10. deaths of … uncircumcised—that is, such a death as the uncircumcised or godless heathendeserve; and perhaps, also, such as the uncircumcised inflict, a great ignominy in the eyes of a Jew(1Sa 31:4); a fit retribution on him who had scoffed at the circumcised Jews.12. sealest up the sum—literally, "Thou art the one sealing the sum of perfection." A thing issealed when completed (Da 9:24). "The sum" implies the full measure of beauty, from a Hebrewroot, "to measure." The normal man—one formed after accurate rule.13. in Eden—The king of Tyre is represented in his former high state (contrasted with hissubsequent downfall), under images drawn from the primeval man in Eden, the type of humanityin its most Godlike form.garden of God—the model of ideal loveliness (Eze 31:8, 9; 36:35). In the person of the kingof Tyre a new trial was made of humanity with the greatest earthly advantages. But as in the caseof Adam, the good gifts of God were only turned into ministers to pride and self.every precious stone—so in Eden (Ge 2:12), "gold, bdellium, and the onyx stone." So the kingof Tyre was arrayed in jewel-bespangled robes after the fashion of Oriental monarchs. The nineprecious stones here mentioned answer to nine of the twelve (representing the twelve tribes) in thehigh priest's breastplate (Ex 39:10-13; Re 21:14, 19-21). Of the four rows of three in each, the third1497JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonis omitted in the Hebrew, but is supplied in the Septuagint. In this, too, there is an ulterior referenceto Antichrist, who is blasphemously to arrogate the office of our divine High Priest (Zec 6:13).tabrets—tambourines.pipes—literally, "holes" in musical pipes or flutes.created—that is, in the day of thine accession to the throne. Tambourines and all the marks ofjoy were ready prepared for thee ("in thee," that is, "with and for thee"). Thou hadst not, like others,to work thy way to the throne through arduous struggles. No sooner created than, like Adam, thouwast surrounded with the gratifications of Eden. Fairbairn, for "pipes," translates, "females" (havingreference to Ge 1:27), that is, musician-women. Maurer explains the Hebrew not as to music, but asto the setting and mounting of the gems previously mentioned.14. anointed cherub—Gesenius translates from an Aramaic root, "extended cherub." EnglishVersion, from a Hebrew root, is better. "The cherub consecrated to the Lord by the anointing oil"[Fairbairn].covereth—The imagery employed by Ezekiel as a priest is from the Jewish temple, whereinthe cherubim overshadowed the mercy seat, as the king of Tyre, a demi-god in his own esteem,extended his protection over the interests of Tyre. The cherub—an ideal compound of the highestkinds of animal existence and the type of redeemed man in his ultimate state of perfection—is madethe image of the king of Tyre, as if the beau ideal of humanity. The pretensions of Antichrist arethe ulterior reference, of whom the king of Tyre is a type. Compare "As God … in the temple ofGod" (2Th 2:4).I have set thee—not thou set thyself (Pr 8:16; Ro 13:1).upon the holy mountain of God—Zion, following up the image.in … midst of … stones of fire—In ambitious imagination he stood in the place of God, "underwhose feet was, as it were, a pavement of sapphire," while His glory was like "devouring fire" (Ex24:10, 17).15. perfect—prosperous [Grotius], and having no defect. So Hiram was a sample of the Tyrianmonarch in his early days of wisdom and prosperity (1Ki 5:7, &c.).till iniquity … in thee—Like the primeval man thou hast fallen by abusing God's gifts, and sohast provoked God's wrath.16. filled the midst of thee—that is, they have filled the midst of the city; he as the head of thestate being involved in the guilt of the state, which he did not check, but fostered.cast thee as profane—no longer treated as sacred, but driven out of the place of sanctity (seeEze 28:14) which thou hast occupied (compare Ps 89:39).17. brightness—thy splendor.lay thee before kings—as an example of God's wrath against presumptuous pride.18. thy sanctuaries—that is, the holy places, attributed to the king of Tyre in Eze 28:14, as hisideal position. As he "profaned" it, so God will "profane" him (Eze 28:16).fire … devour—As he abused his supposed elevation amidst "the stones of fire" (Eze 28:16),so God will make His "fire" to "devour" him.21. Zidon—famous for its fishery (from a root, Zud, "to fish"); and afterwards for its wideextended commerce; its artistic elegance was proverbial. Founded by Canaan's first-born (Ge 10:15).Tyre was an offshoot from it, so that it was involved in the same overthrow by the Chaldeans asTyre. It is mentioned separately, because its idolatry (Ashtaroth, Tammuz, or Adonis) infected1498JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonIsrael more than that of Tyre did (Eze 8:14; Jud 10:6; 1Ki 11:33). The notorious Jezebel was adaughter of the Zidonian king.22. shall be sanctified in her—when all nations shall see that I am the Holy Judge in thevengeance that I will inflict on her for sin.24. no more … brier … unto … Israel—as the idolatrous nations left in Canaan (among whichZidon is expressly specified in the limits of Asher, Jud 1:31) had been (Nu 33:55; Jos 23:13). "Abrier," first ensnaring the Israelites in sin, and then being made the instrument of punishing them.pricking—literally, "causing bitterness." The same Hebrew is translated "fretting" (Le 13:51,52). The wicked are often called "thorns" (2Sa 23:6).25, 26. Fulfilled in part at the restoration from Babylon, when Judaism, so far from being mergedin heathenism, made inroads by conversions on the idolatry of surrounding nations. The fullaccomplishment is yet future, when Israel, under Christ, shall be the center of Christendom; ofwhich an earnest was given in the woman from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon who sought the Saviour(Mt 15:21, 24, 26-28; compare Isa 11:12).dwell safely—(Jer 23:6).CHAPTER 29Eze 29:1-21. The Judgment on Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar; though about to Be Restored after Forty Years, It WasStill to Be in a State of Degradation.This is the last of the world kingdoms against which Ezekiel's prophecies are directed, andoccupies the largest space in them, namely, the next four chapters. Though farther off than Tyre,it exercised a more powerful influence on Israel.2. Pharaoh—a common name of all the kings of Egypt, meaning "the sun"; or, as others say,a "crocodile," which was worshipped in parts of Egypt (compare Eze 29:3). Hophra or Apries wason the throne at this time. His reign began prosperously. He took Gaza (Jer 47:1) and Zidon andmade himself master of Phoenicia and Palestine, recovering much that was lost to Egypt by thevictory of Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish (2Ki 24:7; Jer 46:2), in the fourth year of Jehoiakim[Wilkinson, Ancient Egypt, 1.169]. So proudly secure because of his successes for twenty-five yearsdid he feel, that he said not even a god could deprive him of his kingdom [Herodotus, 2.169]. Hencethe appropriateness of the description of him in Eze 29:3. No mere human sagacity could haveenabled Ezekiel to foresee Egypt's downfall in the height of its prosperity. There are four divisionsof these prophecies; the first in the tenth year of Ezekiel's captivity; the last in the twelfth. Betweenthe first and second comes one of much later date, not having been given till the twenty-seventhyear (Eze 29:17; 30:19), but placed there as appropriate to the subject matter. Pharaoh-hophra, orApries, was dethroned and strangled, and Amasis substituted as king, by Nebuchadnezzar (compareJer 44:30). The Egyptian priests, from national vanity, made no mention to Herodotus of the Egyptianloss of territory in Syria through Nebuchadnezzar, of which Josephus tells us, but attributed thechange in the succession from Apries to Amasis solely to the Egyptian soldiery. The civil warbetween the two rivals no doubt lasted several years, affording an opportunity to Nebuchadnezzarof interfering and of elevating the usurper Amasis, on condition of his becoming tributary to Babylon[Wilkinson]. Compare Jer 43:10-12, and see on Jer 43:13, for another view of the grounds ofinterference of Nebuchadnezzar.1499JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. dragon—Hebrew, tanim, any large aquatic animal, here the crocodile, which on Romancoins is the emblem of Egypt.lieth—restest proudly secure.his rivers—the mouths, branches, and canals of the Nile, to which Egypt owed its fertility.4. hooks in thy jaws—(Isa 37:29; compare Job 41:1, 2). Amasis was the "hook." In the Assyriansculptures prisoners are represented with a hook in the underlip, and a cord from it held by the king.cause … fish … stick unto … scales—Pharaoh, presuming on his power as if he were God(Eze 29:3, "I have made it"), wished to stand in the stead of God as defender of the covenant-people,his motive being, not love to them, but rivalry with Babylon. He raised the siege of Jerusalem, butit was only for a time (compare Eze 29:6; Jer 37:5, 7-10); ruin overtook not only them, but himself.As the fish that clung to the horny scales of the crocodile, the lord of the Nile, when he was caught,shared his fate, so the adherents of Pharaoh, lord of Egypt, when he was overthrown by Amasis,should share his fate.5. wilderness—captivity beyond thy kingdom. The expression is used perhaps to implyretribution in kind. As Egypt pursued after Israel, saying, "The wilderness hath shut them in" (Ex14:3), so she herself shall be brought into a wilderness state.open fields—literally, "face of the field."not be brought together—As the crocodile is not, when caught, restored to the river, so noremnant of thy routed army shall be brought together, and rallied, after its defeat in the wilderness.Pharaoh led an army against Cyrene in Africa, in support of Aricranes, who had been stripped ofhis kingdom by the Cyrenians. The army perished and Egypt rebelled against him [Junius]. But thereference is mainly to the defeat by Nebuchadnezzar.beasts … fowls—hostile and savage men.6. staff of reed to … Israel—alluding to the reeds on the banks of the Nile, which broke if oneleaned upon them (see on Eze 29:4; Isa 36:6). All Israel's dependence on Egypt proved hurtfulinstead of beneficial (Isa 30:1-5).7. hand—or handle of the reed.rend … shoulder—by the splinters on which the shoulder or arm would fall, on the supportfailing the hand.madest … loins … at a stand—that is, made them to be disabled. Maurer somewhat similarly(referring to a kindred Arabic form), "Thou hast stricken both their loins." Fairbairn, not so well,"Thou lettest all their loins stand," that is, by themselves, bereft of the support which they lookedfor from thee.8. a sword—Nebuchadnezzar's army (Eze 29:19). Also Amasis and the Egyptian revolters whoafter Pharaoh-hophra's discomfiture in Cyrene dethroned and strangled him, having defeated himin a battle fought at Memphis [Junius].9. I am the Lord—in antithesis to the blasphemous boast repeated here from Eze 29:3, "Theriver is mine, and I have made it."10. from the tower of Syene—Grotius translates, "from Migdol (a fortress near Pelusium onthe north of Suez) to Syene (in the farthest south)"; that is, from one end of Egypt to the other. So"from Migdol to Syene," Eze 30:6, Margin. However, English Version rightly refers Syene toSeveneh, that is, Sebennytus, in the eastern delta of the Nile, the capital of the Lower Egyptiankings. The Sebennyte Pharaohs, with the help of the Canaanites, who, as shepherds or merchants,ranged the desert of Suez, extended their borders beyond the narrow province east of the delta, to1500JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhich they had been confined by the Pharaohs of Upper Egypt. The defeated party, in derision,named the Sebennyte or Lower Egyptians foreigners and shepherd-kings (a shepherd being anabomination in Egypt, Ge 46:34). They were really a native dynasty. Thus, in English Version,"Ethiopia" in the extreme south is rightly contrasted with Sebennytus or Syene in the north.11. forty years—answering to the forty years in which the Israelites, their former bondsmen,wandered in "the wilderness" (compare Note, see on Eze 29:5). Jerome remarks the number forty isone often connected with affliction and judgment. The rains of the flood in forty days broughtdestruction on the world. Moses, Elias, and the Saviour fasted forty days. The interval betweenEgypt's overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar and the deliverance by Cyrus, was about forty years. Theideal forty years' wilderness state of social and political degradation, rather than a literal non-passingof man or beast for that term, is mainly intended (so Eze 4:6; Isa 19:2, 11).12. As Israel passed through a term of wilderness discipline (compare Eze 20:35, &c.), whichwas in its essential features to be repeated again, so it was to be with Egypt [Fairbairn]. Some Egyptianswere to be carried to Babylon, also many "scattered" in Arabia and Ethiopia through fear; butmainly the "scattering" was to be the dissipation of their power, even though the people still remainedin their own land.13. (Jer 46:26).14. Pathros—the Thebaid, or Upper Egypt, which had been especially harassed byNebuchadnezzar (Na 3:8, 10). The oldest part of Egypt as to civilization and art. The Thebaid wasanciently called "Egypt" [Aristotle]. Therefore it is called the "land of the Egyptians' birth" (Margin,for "habitation").base kingdom—Under Amasis it was made dependent on Babylon; humbled still more underCambyses; and though somewhat raised under the Ptolemies, never has it regained its ancientpre-eminence.16. Egypt, when restored, shall be so circumscribed in power that it shall be no longer an objectof confidence to Israel, as formerly; for example, as when, relying on it, Israel broke faith withNebuchadnezzar (Eze 17:13, 15, 16).which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them—rather,"while they (the Israelites) look to (or, turn after) them" [Henderson]. Israel's looking to Egypt, ratherthan to God, causes their iniquity (unfaithfulness to the covenant) to be remembered by God.17. The departure from the chronological order occurs here only, among the prophecies as toforeign nations, in order to secure greater unity of subject.18. every head … bald, … shoulder … peeled—with carrying baskets of earth and stones forthe siege works.no wages … for the service—that is, in proportion to it and the time and labor which heexpended on the siege of Tyre. Not that he actually failed in the siege (Jerome expressly states, fromAssyrian histories, that Nebuchadnezzar succeeded); but, so much of the Tyrian resources had beenexhausted, or transported to her colonies in ships, that little was left to compensate Nebuchadnezzarfor his thirteen year's siege.19. multitude—not as Fairbairn, "store"; but, he shall take away a multitude of captives out ofEgypt. The success of Nebuchadnezzar is implied in Tyre's receiving a king from Babylon, probablyone of her captives there, Merbal.take her spoil … prey—literally, "spoil her spoil, prey her prey," that is, as she spoiled othernations, so shall she herself be a spoil to Babylon.1501JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson20. because they wrought for me—the Chaldeans, fulfilling My will as to Tyre (compare Jer25:9).21. In the evil only, not in the good, was Egypt to be parallel to Israel. The very downfall ofEgypt will be the signal for the rise of Israel, because of God's covenant with the latter.I cause the horn of … Israel to bud—(Ps 132:17). I will cause its ancient glory to revive: anearnest of Israel's full glory under Messiah, the son of David (Lu 1:69). Even in Babylon an earnestwas given of this in Daniel (Da 6:2) and Jeconiah (Jer 52:31).I will give thee … opening of … mouth—When thy predictions shall have come to pass, thywords henceforth shall be more heeded (compare Eze 24:27).CHAPTER 30Eze 30:1-26. Continuation of the Prophecies against Egypt.Two distinct messages: (1) At Eze 30:1-19, a repetition of Eze 29:1-16, with fuller details oflifelike distinctness. The date is probably not long after that mentioned in Eze 29:17, on the eve ofNebuchadnezzar's march against Egypt after subjugating Tyre. (2) A vision relating directly toPharaoh and the overthrow of his kingdom; communicated at an earlier date, the seventh of thefirst month of the eleventh year. Not a year after the date in Eze 29:1, and three months before thetaking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.2. Woe worth the day!—that is, Alas for the day!3. the time of the heathen—namely, for taking vengeance on them. The judgment on Egyptis the beginning of a world-wide judgment on all the heathen enemies of God (Joe 1:15; 2:1, 2;3:1-21; Ob 15).4. pain—literally, "pangs with trembling as of a woman in childbirth."5. the mingled people—the mercenary troops of Egypt from various lands, mostly from theinterior of Africa (compare Eze 27:10; Jer 25:20, 24; 46:9, 21).Chub—the people named Kufa on the monuments [Havernick], a people considerably north ofPalestine [Wilkinson]; Coba or Chobat, a city of Mauritania [Maurer].men of the land that is in league—too definite an expression to mean merely, "men in league"with Egypt; rather, "sons of the land of the covenant," that is, the Jews who migrated to Egypt andcarried Jeremiah with them (Jer 42:1-44:30). Even they shall not escape (Jer 42:22; 44:14).6. from the tower of Syene—(see on Eze 29:10).7. in the midst of … countries … desolate—Egypt shall fare no better than they (Eze 29:10).9. messengers … in ships to … Ethiopians—(Isa 18:1, 2). The cataracts interposing betweenthem and Egypt should not save them. Egyptians "fleeing from before Me" in My execution ofjudgment, as "messengers" in "skiffs" ("vessels of bulrushes," Isa 18:2) shall go up the Nile as faras navigable, to announce the advance of the Chaldeans.as in the day of Egypt—The day of Ethiopia's "pain" shall come shortly, as Egypt's day came.10. the multitude—the large population.12. rivers—the artificial canals made from the Nile for irrigation. The drying up of these wouldcause scarcity of grain, and so prepare the way for the invaders (Isa 19:5-10).13. Noph—Memphis, the capital of Middle Egypt, and the stronghold of "idols." Though norecord exists of Nebuchadnezzar's "destroying" these, we know from Herodotus and others, that1502JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCambyses took Pelusium, the key of Egypt, by placing before his army dogs, cats, &c., all heldsacred in Egypt, so that no Egyptian would use any weapon against them. He slew Apis, the sacredox, and burnt other idols of Egypt.no more a prince—referring to the anarchy that prevailed in the civil wars between Apriesand Amasis at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion. There shall no more be a prince of the landof Egypt, ruling the whole country; or, no independent prince.14. Pathros—Upper Egypt, with "No" or Thebes its capital (famed for its stupendous buildings,of which grand ruins remain), in antithesis to Zoan or Tanis, a chief city in Lower Egypt, withinthe Delta.15. Sin—that is, Pelusium, the frontier fortress on the northeast, therefore called "the strength(that is, the key) of Egypt." It stands in antithesis to No or Thebes at the opposite end of Egypt;that is, I will afflict Egypt from one end to the other.16. distresses daily—Maurer translates, "enemies during the day," that is, open enemies whodo not wait for the covert of night to make their attacks (compare Jer 6:4; 15:8). However, theHebrew, though rarely, is sometimes rendered (see Ps 13:2) as in English Version.17. Aven—meaning "vanity" or "iniquity": applied, by a slight change of the Hebrew name, toOn or Heliopolis, in allusion to its idolatry. Here stood the temple of the sun, whence it was calledin Hebrew, Beth-shemesh (Jer 43:13). The Egyptian hieroglyphics call it, Re Athom, the sun, thefather of the gods, being impersonate in Athom or Adam, the father of mankind.Pi-beseth—that is, Bubastis, in Lower Egypt, near the Pelusiac branch of the Nile: notoriousfor the worship of the goddess of the same name (Coptic, Pasht), the granite stones of whose templestill attest its former magnificence.these cities—rather, as the Septuagint, "the women," namely, of Aven and Pi-beseth, in antithesisto "the young men." So in Eze 30:18, "daughters shall go into captivity" [Maurer].18. Tehaphnehes—called from the queen of Egypt mentioned in 1Ki 11:19. The same asDaphne, near Pelusium, a royal residence of the Pharaohs (Jer 43:7, 9). Called Hanes (Isa 30:4).break … the yokes of Egypt—that is, the tyrannical supremacy which she exercised over othernations. Compare "bands of their yoke" (Eze 34:7).a cloud—namely, of calamity.20. Here begins the earlier vision, not long after that in the twenty-ninth chapter, about threemonths before the taking of Jerusalem, as to Pharaoh and his kingdom.21. broken … arm of Pharaoh—(Ps 37:17; Jer 48:25). Referring to the defeat whichPharaoh-hophra sustained from the Chaldeans, when trying to raise the siege of Jerusalem (Jer37:5, 7); and previous to the deprivation of Pharaoh-necho of all his conquests from the river ofEgypt to the Euphrates (2Ki 24:7; Jer 46:2); also to the Egyptian disaster in Cyrene.22. arms—Not only the "one arm" broken already (Eze 30:21) was not to be healed, but theother two should be broken. Not a corporal wound, but a breaking of the power of Pharaoh isintended.cause … sword to fall out of … hand—deprive him of the resources of making war.CHAPTER 31Eze 31:1-18. The Overthrow of Egypt Illustrated by That of Assyria.1503JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonNot that Egypt was, like Assyria, utterly to cease to be, but it was, like Assyria, to lose itsprominence in the empire of the world.1. third month—two months later than the prophecy delivered in Eze 30:20.2. Whom art thou like—The answer is, Thou art like the haughty king of Assyria; as he wasoverthrown by the Chaldeans, so shalt thou be by the same.3. He illustrates the pride and the consequent overthrow of the Assyrian, that Egypt may thebetter know what she must expect.cedar in Lebanon—often eighty feet high, and the diameter of the space covered by its boughsstill greater: the symmetry perfect. Compare the similar image (Eze 17:3; Da 4:20-22).with a shadowing shroud—with an overshadowing thicket.top … among … thick boughs—rather [Hengstenberg], "among the clouds." But English Versionagrees better with the Hebrew. The top, or topmost shoot, represents the king; the thick boughs, thelarge resources of the empire.4. waters … little rivers—the Tigris with its branches and "rivulets," or "conduits" for irrigation,the source of Assyria's fertility. "The deep" is the ever flowing water, never dry. Metaphorically,for Assyria's resources, as the "conduits" are her colonies.5. when he shot forth—because of the abundant moisture which nourished him in shootingforth. But see Margin.6. fowls … made … nests in … boughs—so Eze 17:23; Da 4:12. The gospel kingdom shallgather all under its covert, for their good and for the glory of God, which the world kingdoms didfor evil and for self-aggrandizement (Mt 13:32).8. cedars … could not hide him—could not outtop him. No other king eclipsed him.were not like—were not comparable to.garden of God—As in the case of Tyre (Eze 28:13), the imagery, that is applied to the Assyrianking, is taken from Eden; peculiarly appropriate, as Eden was watered by rivers that afterwardswatered Assyria (Ge 2:10-14). This cedar seemed to revive in itself all the glories of paradise, sothat no tree there outtopped it.9. I … made him—It was all due to My free grace.10. thou … he—The change of persons is because the language refers partly to the cedar, partlyto the person signified by the cedar.11. Here the literal supersedes the figurative.shall surely deal with him—according to his own pleasure, and according to the Assyrian's(Sardanapalus) desert. Nebuchadnezzar is called "the mighty one" (El, a name of God), becausehe was God's representative and instrument of judgment (Da 2:37, 38).12. from his shadow—under which they had formerly dwelt as their covert (Eze 31:6).13. Birds and beasts shall insult over his fallen trunk.14. trees by the waters—that is, that are plentifully supplied by the waters: nations aboundingin resources.stand up in their height—that is, trust in their height: stand upon it as their ground ofconfidence. Fairbairn points the Hebrew differently, so as for "their trees," to translate, "(And thatnone that drink water may stand) on themselves, (because of their greatness)." But the usual readingis better, as Assyria and the confederate states throughout are compared to strong trees. The clause,"All that drink water," marks the ground of the trees' confidence "in their height," namely, that they1504JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhave ample sources of supply. Maurer, retaining the same Hebrew, translates, "that neither theirterebinth trees may stand up in their height, nor all (the other trees) that drink water."to … nether … earth … pit—(Eze 32:18; Ps 82:7).15. covered the deep—as mourners cover their heads in token of mourning, "I made the deepthat watered the cedar" to wrap itself in mourning for him. The waters of the deep are the tributarypeoples of Assyria (Re 17:15).fainted—literally, were "faintness" (itself); more forcible than the verb.16. hell—Sheol or Hades, the unseen world: equivalent to, "I cast him into oblivion" (compareIsa 14:9-11).shall be comforted—because so great a king as the Assyrian is brought down to a level withthem. It is a kind of consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery.17. his arm, that dwelt under his shadow—those who were the helpers or tool of his tyranny,and therefore enjoyed his protection (for example, Syria and her neighbors). These were sure toshare her fate. Compare the same phrase as to the Jews living under the protection of their king (La4:20); both alike "making flesh their arm, and in heart departing from the Lord" (Jer 17:5).18. Application of the parabolic description of Assyria to the parallel case of Egypt. "All thathas been said of the Assyrian consider as said to thyself. To whom art thou so like, as thou art tothe Assyrian? To none." The lesson on a gigantic scale of Eden-like privileges abused to pride andsin by the Assyrian, as in the case of the first man in Eden, ending in ruin, was to be repeated inEgypt's case. For the unchangeable God governs the world on the same unchangeable principles.thou shall lie in … uncircumcised—As circumcision was an object of mocking to thee, thoushall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, slain by their sword [Grotius]. Retribution in kind (Eze28:10).This is Pharaoh—Pharaoh's end shall be the same humiliating one as I have depicted theAssyrian's to have been. "This" is demonstrative, as if he were pointing with the finger to Pharaohlying prostrate, a spectacle to all, as on the shore of the Red Sea (Ex 14:30, 31).CHAPTER 32Eze 32:1-32. Two Elegies over Pharaoh, One Delivered on the First Day (Eze 32:1), THE Other on the FifteenthDay of the Same Month, the Twelfth of the Twelfth Year.1. The twelfth year from the carrying away of Jehoiachin; Jerusalem was by this time overthrown,and Amasis was beginning his revolt against Pharaoh-hophra.2. Pharaoh—"Phra" in Burmah, signifies the king, high priest, and idol.whale—rather, any monster of the waters; here, the crocodile of the Nile. Pharaoh is as a lionon dry land, a crocodile in the waters; that is, an object of terror everywhere.camest forth with thy rivers—"breakest forth" [Fairbairn]. The antithesis of "seas" and "rivers"favors Grotius rendering, "Thou camest forth from the sea into the rivers"; that is, from thy ownempire into other states. However, English Version is favored by the "thy": thou camest forth withthy rivers (that is, with thy forces) and with thy feet didst fall irrecoverably; so Israel, once desolate,troubles the waters (that is, neighboring states).3. with a company of many people—namely, the Chaldeans (Eze 29:3, 4; Ho 7:12).my net—for they are My instrument.1505JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. leave thee upon the land—as a fish drawn out of the water loses all its strength, so Pharaoh(in Eze 32:3, compared to a water monster) shall be (Eze 29:5).5. thy height—thy hugeness [Fairbairn]. The great heap of corpses of thy forces, on which thoupridest thyself. "Height" may refer to mental elevation, as well as bodily [Vatablus].6. land wherein thou swimmest—Egypt: the land watered by the Nile, the the source of itsfertility, wherein thou swimmest (carrying on the image of the crocodile, that is, wherein thou dostexercise thy wanton power at will). Irony. The land shall still afford seas to swim in, but they shallbe seas of blood. Alluding to the plague (Ex 7:19; Re 8:8). Havernick translates, "I will water theland with what flows from thee, even thy blood, reaching to the mountains": "with thy bloodoverflowing even to the mountains." Perhaps this is better.7. put thee out—extinguish thy light (Job 18:5). Pharaoh is represented as a bright star, at theextinguishing of whose light in the political sky the whole heavenly host is shrouded in sympatheticdarkness. Here, too, as in Eze 32:6, there is an allusion to the supernatural darkness sent formerly(Ex 10:21-23). The heavenly bodies are often made images of earthly dynasties (Isa 13:10; Mt24:29).9. thy destruction—that is, tidings of thy destruction (literally, "thy breakage") carried bycaptive and dispersed Egyptians "among the nations" [Grotius]; or, thy broken people, resemblingone great fracture, the ruins of what they had been [Fairbairn].10. brandish my sword before them—literally, "in their faces," or sight.13. (See on Eze 29:11). The picture is ideally true, not to be interpreted by the letter. The politicalascendency of Egypt was to cease with the Chaldean conquest [Fairbairn]. Henceforth Pharaoh mustfiguratively no longer trouble the waters by man or beast, that is, no longer was he to flood otherpeoples with his overwhelming forces.14. make their waters deep—rather, "make … to subside"; literally, "sink" [Fairbairn].like oil—emblem of quietness. No longer shall they descend violently on other countries as theoverflowing Nile, but shall be still and sluggish in political action.16. As in Eze 19:14. This is a prophetical lamentation; yet so it shall come to pass [Grotius].17. The second lamentation for Pharaoh. This funeral dirge in imagination accompanies himto the unseen world. Egypt personified in its political head is ideally represented as undergoing thechange by death to which man is liable. Expressing that Egypt's supremacy is no more, a thing ofthe past, never to be again.the month—the twelfth month (Eze 32:1); fourteen days after the former vision.18. cast them down—that is, predict that they shall be cast down (so Jer 1:10). The prophet'sword was God's, and carried with it its own fulfilment.daughters of … nations—that is, the nations with their peoples. Egypt is to share the fate ofother ancient nations once famous, now consigned to oblivion: Elam (Eze 32:24), Meshech, &c.(Eze 32:26), Edom (Eze 32:29), Zidon (Eze 32:30).19. Whom dost thou pass in beauty?—Beautiful as thou art, thou art not more so than othernations, which nevertheless have perished.go down, &c.—to the nether world, where all "beauty" is speedily marred.20. she is delivered to the sword—namely, by God.draw her—as if addressing her executioners: drag her forth to death.21. (Eze 31:16). Ezekiel has before his eyes Isa 14:9, &c.1506JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonshall speak to him—with "him" join "with them that help him"; shall speak to him and hishelpers with a taunting welcome, as now one of themselves.22. her … his—The abrupt change of gender is, because Ezekiel has in view at one time thekingdom (feminine), at another the monarch. "Asshur," or Assyria, is placed first in punishment,as being first in guilt.23. in the sides of the pit—Sepulchres in the East were caves hollowed out of the rock, andthe bodies were laid in niches formed at the sides. Maurer needlessly departs from the ordinarymeaning, and translates, "extremities" (compare Isa 14:13, 15).which caused terror—They, who alive were a terror to others, are now, in the nether world,themselves a terrible object to behold.24. Elam—placed next, as having been an auxiliary to Assyria. Its territory lay in Persia. InAbraham's time an independent kingdom (Ge 14:1). Famous for its bowmen (Isa 22:6).borne their shame—the just retribution of their lawless pride. Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar(Jer 49:34-38).25. a bed—a sepulchral niche.all … slain by … sword, &c.—(Eze 32:21, 23, 24). The very monotony of the phraseologygives to the dirge an awe-inspiring effect.26. Meshech, Tubal—northern nations: the Moschi and Tibareni, between the Black andCaspian Seas. Herodotus [3.94], mentions them as a subjugated people, tributaries to Darius Hystaspes(see Eze 27:13).27. they shall not lie with the mighty—that is, they shall not have separate tombs such asmighty conquerors have: but shall all be heaped together in one pit, as is the case with the vanquished[Grotius]. Havernick reads it interrogatively, "Shall they not lie with the mighty that are fallen?" ButEnglish Version is supported by the parallel (Isa 14:18, 19), to which Ezekiel refers, and whichrepresents them as not lying as mighty kings lie in a grave, but cast out of one, as a carcass troddenunder foot.with … weapons of war—alluding to the custom of burying warriors with their arms (1Maccabees 13:29). Though honored by the laying of "their swords under their heads," yet thepunishment of "their iniquities shall be upon their bones." Their swords shall thus attest their shame,not their glory (Mt 26:52), being the instruments of their violence, the penalty of which they arepaying.28. Yea, thou—Thou, too, Egypt, like them, shalt lie as one vanquished.29. princes—Edom was not only governed by kings, but by subordinate "princes" or "dukes"(Ge 36:40).with their might—notwithstanding their might, they shall be brought down (Isa 34:5, 10-17;Jer 49:7, 13-18).lie with the uncircumcised—Though Edom was circumcised, being descended from Isaac, heshall lie with the uncircumcised; much more shall Egypt, who had no hereditary right to circumcision.30. princes of the north—Syria, which is still called by the Arabs the north; or the Tyrians,north of Palestine, conquered by Nebuchadnezzar (Eze 26:1-28:26), [Grotius].Zidonians—who shared the fate of Tyre (Eze 28:21).with their terror they are ashamed of their might—that is, notwithstanding the terror whichthey inspired in their contemporaries. "Might" is connected by Maurer thus, "Notwithstanding theterror which resulted from their might."1507JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson31. comforted—with the melancholy satisfaction of not being alone, but of having otherkingdoms companions in his downfall. This shall be his only comfort—a very poor one!32. my terror—the Margin or Keri. The Hebrew text or Chetib is "his terror," which givesgood sense (Eze 32:25, 30). "My terror" implies that God puts His terror on Pharaoh's multitude,as they put "their terror" on others, for example, under Pharaoh-necho on Judea. As "the land ofthe living" was the scene of "their terror," so it shall be God's; especially in Judea, He will displayHis glory to the terror of Israel's foes (Eze 26:20). In Israel's case the judgment is temporary, endingin their future restoration under Messiah. In the case of the world kingdoms which flourished fora time, they fall to rise no more.CHAPTER 33Eze 33:1-33. Renewal of Ezekiel's Commission, Now that He Is Again to Address His Countrymen, and in a NewTone.Heretofore his functions had been chiefly threatening; from this point, after the evil had got toits worst in the overthrow of Jerusalem, the consolatory element preponderates.2. to the children of thy people—whom he had been forbidden to address from Eze 24:26,27, till Jerusalem was overthrown, and the "escaped" came with tidings of the judgment beingcompleted. So now, in Eze 33:21, the tidings of the fact having arrived, he opens his heretoforeclosed lips to the Jews. In the interval he had prophesied as to foreign nations. The former part ofthe chapter, at Eze 33:2-20, seems to have been imparted to Ezekiel on the evening previous (Eze33:22), being a preparation for the latter part (Eze 33:23-33) imparted after the tidings had come.This accounts for the first part standing without intimation of the date, which was properly reservedfor the latter part, to which the former was the anticipatory introduction [Fairbairn].watchman—Eze 33:1-9 exhibit Ezekiel's office as a spiritual watchman; so in Eze 3:16-21;only here the duties of the earthly watchman (compare 2Sa 18:24, 25; 2Ki 9:17) are detailed first,and then the application is made to the spiritual watchman's duty (compare Isa 21:6-10; Ho 9:8;Hab 2:1). "A man of their coasts" is a man specially chosen for the office out of their whole number.So Jud 18:2, "five men from their coasts"; also the Hebrew of Ge 47:2; implying the care neededin the choice of the watchman, the spiritual as well as the temporal (Ac 1:21, 22, 24-26; 1Ti 5:22).3. the sword—invaders. An appropriate illustration at the time of the invasion of Judea byNebuchadnezzar.4. blood … upon his own head—metaphor from sacrificial victims, on the heads of whichthey used to lay their hands, praying that their guilt should be upon the victims.6. his iniquity—his negligence in not maintaining constant watchfulness, as they who are inwarfare ought to do. The thing signified here appears from under the image.7. I have set thee a watchman—application of the image. Ezekiel's appointment to be awatchman spiritually is far more solemn, as it is derived from God, not from the people.8. thou shalt surely die—by a violent death, the earnest of everlasting death; the qualificationbeing supposed, "if thou dost not repent."9. Blood had by this time been shed (Eze 33:21), but Ezekiel was clear.10. be upon us—that is, their guilt remain on us.1508JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpine away in them—if we suffer the penalty threatened for them in Eze 24:23, according tothe law (Le 26:39).how should we … live?—as Thou dost promise in Eze 33:5 (compare Eze 37:11; Isa 49:14).11. To meet the Jews' cry of despair in Eze 33:10, Ezekiel here cheers them by the assurancethat God has no pleasure in their death, but that they should repent and live (2Pe 3:9). A yearningtenderness manifests itself here, notwithstanding all their past sins; yet with it a holiness that abatesnothing of its demands for the honor of God's authority. God's righteousness is vindicated as inEze 3:18-21 and Eze 18:1-32, by the statement that each should be treated with the closest adaptationof God's justice to his particular case.12. not fall … in the day that he turneth—(2Ch 7:14; see Eze 3:20; 18:24).15. give again that he had robbed—(Lu 19:8).statutes of life—in the obeying of which life is promised (Le 18:5). If the law has failed to givelife to man, it has not been the fault of the law, but of man's sinful inability to keep it (Ro 7:10, 12;Ga 3:21). It becomes life-giving through Christ's righteous obedience to it (2Co 3:6).17. The way of the Lord—The Lord's way of dealing in His moral government.21. twelfth year … tenth month—a year and a half after the capture of the city (Jer 39:2; 52:5,6), in the eleventh year and fourth month. The one who escaped (as foretold, Eze 24:26) may havebeen so long on the road through fear of entering the enemy's country [Henderson]; or, the singularis used for the plural in a collective sense, "the escaped remnant." Compare similar phrases, "theescaped of Moab," Isa 15:9; "He that escapeth of them," Am 9:1. Naturally the reopening of theprophet's mouth for consolation would be deferred till the number of the escaped remnant wascomplete: the removal of such a large number would easily have occupied seventeen or eighteenmonths.22. in the evening—(see on Eze 33:2). Thus the capture of Jerusalem was known to Ezekielby revelation before the messenger came.my mouth … no more dumb—that is, to my countrymen; as foretold (Eze 24:27), He spake(Eze 33:2-20) in the evening before the tidings came.24. they that inhabit … wastes of … Israel—marking the blindness of the fraction of Jewsunder Gedaliah who, though dwelling amidst regions laid waste by the foe, still cherished hopesof deliverance, and this without repentance.Abraham was one … but we are many—If God gave the land for an inheritance to Abraham,who was but one (Isa 51:2), much more it is given to us, who, though reduced, are still many. Ifhe, with 318 servants, was able to defend himself amid so many foes, much more shall we, so muchmore numerous, retain our own. The grant of the land was not for his sole use, but for his numerousposterity.inherited the land—not actually possessed it (Ac 7:5), but had the right of dwelling andpasturing his flocks in it [Grotius]. The Jews boasted similarly of their Abrahamic descent in Mt 3:9and Joh 8:39.25. eat with the blood—in opposition to the law (Le 19:26; compare Ge 9:4). They did so asan idolatrous rite.26. Ye stand upon your sword—Your dependence is, not on right and equity, but on forceand arms.every one—Scarcely anyone refrains from adultery.1509JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson27. shall fall by the sword—The very object of their confidence would be the instrument oftheir destruction. Thinking to "stand" by it, by it they shall "fall." Just retribution! Some fell by thesword of Ishmael; others by the Chaldeans in revenge for the murder of Gedaliah (Jer 40:1-44:30).caves—(Jud 6:2; 1Sa 13:6). In the hilly parts of Judea there were caves almost inaccessible, ashaving only crooked and extremely narrow paths of ascent, with rock in front stretching down intothe valleys beneath perpendicularly [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 1.16.4].28. most desolate—(Jer 4:27; 12:11).none … pass through—from fear of wild beasts and pestilence [Grotius].30. Not only the remnant in Judea, but those at the Chebar, though less flagrantly, betrayed thesame unbelieving spirit.talking against thee—Though going to the prophet to hear the word of the Lord, they criticised,in an unfriendly spirit, his peculiarities of manner and his enigmatical style (Eze 20:49); makingthese the excuse for their impenitence. Their talking was not directly "against" Ezekiel, for theyprofessed to like his ministrations; but God's word speaks of things as they really are, not as theyappear.by the walls—in the public haunts. In the East groups assemble under the walls of their housesin winter for conversation.in the doors—privately.what is the word—Their motive was curiosity, seeking pastime and gratification of the ear(2Ti 4:3); not reformation of the heart. Compare Johanan's consultation of Jeremiah, to hear theword of the Lord without desiring to do it (Jer 42:1-43:13).31. as the people cometh—that is, in crowds, as disciples flock to their teacher.sit before thee—on lower seats at thy feet, according to the Jewish custom of pupils (De 33:3;2Ki 4:38; Lu 10:39; Ac 22:3).as my people—though they are not.hear … not do—(Mt 13:20, 21; Jas 1:23, 24).they show much love—literally, "make love," that is, act the part of lovers. Profess love to theLord (Mt 7:21). Gesenius translates, according to Arabic idiom, "They do the delights of God," thatis, all that is agreeable to God. Vulgate translates, "They turn thy words into a song of their mouths."heart goeth after … covetousness—the grand rival to the love of God; therefore called"idolatry," and therefore associated with impure carnal love, as both alike transfer the heart'saffection from the Creator to the creature (Mt 13:22; Eph 5:5; 1Ti 6:10).32. very lovely song—literally, a "song of loves": a lover's song. They praise thy eloquence,but care not for the subject of it as a real and personal thing; just as many do in the modern church[Jerome].play well on an instrument—Hebrew singers accompanied the "voice" with the harp.33. when this cometh to pass—when My predictions are verified.lo, it will come—rather, "lo it is come" (see Eze 33:22).know—experimentally, and to their cost.CHAPTER 34Eze 34:1-31. Reproof of the False Shepherds; Promise of the True and Good Shepherd.1510JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHaving in the thirty-third chapter laid down repentance as the necessary preliminary to happiertimes for the people, He now promises the removal of the false shepherds as preparatory to theraising up of the Good Shepherd.2. Jer 23:1 and Zec 11:17 similarly make the removal of the false shepherds the preliminary tothe interposition of Messiah the Good Shepherd in behalf of His people Israel. The "shepherds"are not prophets or priests, but rulers who sought in their government their own selfish ends, notthe good of the people ruled. The term was appropriate, as David, the first king and the type of thetrue David (Eze 34:23, 24), was taken from being a shepherd (2Sa 5:2; Ps 78:70, 71); and the office,like that of a shepherd for his flock, is to guard and provide for his people. The choice of a shepherdfor the first king was therefore designed to suggest this thought, just as Jesus' selection of fishermenfor apostles was designed to remind them of their spiritual office of catching men (compare Isa44:28; Jer 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 23:1, 2).3. fat—or, by differently pointing the Hebrew, "milk" [Septuagint]. Thus the repetition "fat"and "fed" is avoided: also the eating of "fat" would not probably be put before the "killing" of thesheep. The eating of sheep's or goats' milk as food (De 32:14; Pr 27:27) was unobjectionable, hadnot these shepherds milked them too often, and that without duly "feeding" them [Bochart], (Isa56:11). The rulers levied exorbitant tributes.kill … fed—kill the rich by false accusation so as to get possession of their property.feed not … flock—take no care of the people (Joh 10:12).4. The diseased—rather, those weak from the effects of "disease," as "strengthened" (that is,with due nourishment) requires [Grotius].broken—that is, fractures from wounds inflicted by the wolf.brought again … driven away—(Ex 23:4). Those "driven away" by the enemy into foreignlands through God's judgments are meant (Jer 23:3). A spiritual reformation of the state by therulers would have turned away God's wrath, and "brought again" the exiles. The rulers are censuredas chiefly guilty (though the people, too, were guilty), because they, who ought to have been foremostin checking the evil, promoted it.neither … sought … lost—Contrast the Good Shepherd's love (Lu 15:4).with force … ruled—(Ex 1:13, 14). With an Egyptian bondage. The very thing forbidden bythe law they did (Le 25:43; compare 1Pe 5:3).5. scattered, because … no shepherd—that is, none worthy of the name, though there weresome called shepherds (1Ki 22:17; Mt 9:36). Compare Mt 26:31, where the sheep were scatteredwhen the true Shepherd was smitten. God calls them "My sheep"; for they were not, as the shepherdstreated them, their patrimony whereby to "feed themselves."meat to all … beasts—They became a prey to the Syrians, Ammon, Moab, and Assyria.6. every high hill—the scene of their idolatries sanctioned by the rulers.search … seek—rather, "seek … search." The former is the part of the superior rulers to inquireafter: to search out is the duty of the subordinate rulers [Junius].10. I will require my flock—(Heb 13:17), rather, "I require," &c., for God already had begunto do so, punishing Zedekiah and the other princes severely (Jer 52:10).11. I … will … search—doing that which the so-called shepherds had failed to do, I being therightful owner of the flock.12. in the day that he is among—in the midst of (Hebrew) His sheep that had been scattered.Referring to Messiah's second advent, when He shall be "the glory in the midst of Israel" (Zec 2:5).1511JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin the cloudy … day—the day of the nation's calamity (Joe 2:2).13. And I will bring them out from the people, &c.—(Eze 28:25; 36:24; 37:21, 22; Isa 65:9,10; Jer 23:3).14. good pasture—(Ps 23:2).high mountains of Israel—In Eze 17:23; 20:40, the phrase is "the mountain of the height ofIsrael" in the singular number. The reason for the difference is: there Ezekiel spoke of the centralseat of the kingdom, Mount Zion, where the people met for the worship of Jehovah; here he speaksof the kingdom of Israel at large, all the parts of which are regarded as possessing a moral elevation.16. In contrast to the unfaithful shepherds (Eze 34:4). The several duties neglected by them Iwill faithfully discharge.fat … strong—that is, those rendered wanton by prosperity (De 32:15; Jer 5:28), who use theirstrength to oppress the weak. Compare Eze 34:20, "the fat cattle" (Isa 10:16). The image is fromfat cattle that wax refractory.with judgment—that is, justice and equity, as contrasted with the "force" and "cruelty" withwhich the unfaithful shepherds ruled the flock (Eze 34:4).17. you, … my flock—passing from the rulers to the people.cattle and cattle—rather, "sheep and sheep"; Margin, "small cattle," or "flocks of lambs andkids," that is, I judge between one class of citizens and another, so as to award what is right to each.He then defines the class about to be punitively "judged," namely, "the rams and he-goats," or"great he-goats" (compare Isa 14:9, Margin; Zec 10:3; Mt 25:32, 33). They answer to "the fat andstrong," as opposed to the "sick" (Eze 34:16). The rich and ungodly of the people are meant, whoimitated the bad rulers in oppressing their poorer brethren, as if it enhanced their own joys to trampleon others' rights (Eze 34:18).18, 19. Not content with appropriating to their own use the goods of others, they from merewantonness spoiled what they did not use, so as to be of no use to the owners.deep waters—that is, "limpid," as deep waters are generally clear. Grotius explains the imageas referring to the usuries with which the rich ground the poor (Eze 22:12; Isa 24:2).19. they eat—scantily.they drink—sorrowfully.20. fat … lean—the rich oppressors … the humble poor.21. scattered them abroad—down to the time of the carrying away to Babylon [Grotius].22. After the restoration from Babylon, the Jews were delivered in some degree from theoppression, not only of foreigners, but also of their own great people (Ne 5:1-19). The full and finalfulfilment of this prophecy is future.23. set up—that is, raise up by divine appointment; alluding to the declaration of God to David,"I will set up thy seed after thee" (2Sa 7:12); and, "Yet have I set My king on My holy hill of Zion"(Ps 2:6; compare Ac 2:30; 13:23).one shepherd—literally, "a Shepherd, one": singularly and pre-eminently one: the only oneof His kind, to whom none is comparable (So 5:10). The Lord Jesus refers to this prophecy (Joh10:14), "I am THE Good Shepherd." Also "one" as uniting in one the heretofore divided kingdomsof Israel and Judah, and also "gathering together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heavenand on earth" (Eph 1:10); thus healing worse breaches than that between Israel and Judah (Col1:20). "God by Him reconciling all things unto Himself, whether things in earth or in heaven."1512JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonDavid—the antitypical David, Messiah, of the seed of David, which no other king after thecaptivity was: who was fully, what David was only in a degree, "the man after God's own heart."Also, David means beloved: Messiah was truly God's beloved Son (Isa 42:1; Mt 3:17). Shepherdmeans King, rather than religious instructor; in this pre-eminently He was the true David, who wasthe Shepherd King (Lu 1:32, 33). Messiah is called "David" in Isa 55:3, 4; Jer 30:9; Ho 3:5.24. my servant—implying fitness for ruling in the name of God, not pursuing a self-chosencourse, as other kings, but acting as the faithful administrator of the will of God; Messiah realizedfully this character (Ps 40:7, 8; Isa 42:1; 49:3, 6; 53:11; Php 2:7), which David typically and partiallyrepresented (Ac 13:36); so He is the fittest person to wield the world scepter, abused by all theworld kings (Da 2:34, 35, 44, 45).25. covenant of peace … evil beasts … to cease … dwell safely—The original promise ofthe law (Le 26:6) shall be realized for the first time fully under Messiah (Isa 11:6-9; 35:9; Ho 2:18).26. them and the places round about my hill—The Jews, and Zion, God's hill (Ps 2:6), areto be sources of blessing, not merely to themselves, but to the surrounding heathen (Isa 19:24; 56:6,7; 60:3; Mic 5:7; Zec 8:13). The literal fulfilment is, however, the primary one, though the spiritualalso is designed. In correspondence with the settled reign of righteousness internally, all is to beprosperity externally, fertilizing showers (according to the promise of the ancient covenant, Le26:4; Ps 68:9; Mal 3:10), and productive trees and lands (Eze 34:27). Thus shall they realize theimage of Eze 34:14; namely, a flock richly pastured by God Himself.27. served themselves of them—availed themselves of their services, as if the Jews were theirslaves (Jer 22:13; 25:14; compare Ge 15:13; Ex 1:14).28. dwell safely—(Jer 23:6).29. plant of renown—Messiah, the "Rod" and "Branch" (Isa 11:1), the "righteous Branch" (Jer23:5), who shall obtain for them "renown." Fairbairn less probably translates, "A plantation for aname," that is, a flourishing condition, represented as a garden (alluding to Eden, Ge 2:8-11, withits various trees, good for food and pleasant to the sight), the planting of the Lord (Isa 60:21; 61:3),and an object of "renown" among the heathen.31. ye my flock … are men—not merely an explanation of the image, as Jerome represents. Butas God had promised many things which mere "men" could not expect to realize, He shows that itis not from man's might their realization is to be looked for, but from God, who would perform themfor His covenant-people, "His flock" [Rosenmuller]. When we realize most our weakness and God'spower and faithfulness to His covenant, we are in the fittest state for receiving His blessings.CHAPTER 35Eze 35:1-15. Judgment on Edom.Another feature of Israel's prosperity; those who exulted over Israel's humiliation, shallthemselves be a "prey." Already stated in Eze 25:12-14; properly repeated here in full detail, as acommentary on Eze 34:28. The Israelites "shall be no more a prey"; but Edom, the type of theirmost bitter foes, shall be destroyed irrecoverably.2. Mount Seir—that is, Idumea (Ge 36:9). Singled out as badly pre-eminent in its bitternessagainst God's people, to represent all their enemies everywhere and in all ages. So in Isa 34:5;1513JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson63:1-4, Edom, the region of the greatest enmity towards God's people, is the ideal scene of the finaljudgments of all God's foes. "Seir" means "shaggy," alluding to its rugged hills and forests.3. most desolate—literally, "desolation and desolateness" (Jer 49:17, &c.). It is only in theirnational character of foes to God's people, that the Edomites are to be utterly destroyed. A remnantof Edom, as of the other heathen, is to be "called by the name of God" (Am 9:12).5. perpetual hatred—(Ps 137:7; Am 1:11; Ob 10-16). Edom perpetuated the hereditary hatredderived from Esau against Jacob.shed the blood of, &c.—The literal translation is better. "Thou hast poured out the children ofIsrael"; namely, like water. So Ps 22:14; 63:10, Margin; Jer 18:21. Compare 2Sa 14:14.by the force of the sword—literally, "by" or "upon the hands of the sword"; the sword beingpersonified as a devourer whose "hands" were the instruments of destruction.in the time that their iniquity had an end—that is, had its consummation (Eze 21:25, 29).Edom consummated his guilt when he exulted over Jerusalem's downfall, and helped the foe todestroy it (Ps 137:7; Ob 11).6. I will prepare thee unto blood—I will expose thee to slaughter.sith—old English for "seeing that" or "since."thou hast not hated blood—The Hebrew order is, "thou hast hated not—blood"; that is, thoucouldst not bear to live without bloodshed [Grotius]. There is a play on similar sounds in the Hebrew;Edom resembling dam, the Hebrew for "blood"; as "Edom" means "red," the transition to "blood"is easy. Edom, akin to blood in name, so also in nature and acts; "blood therefore shall pursue thee."The measure which Edom meted to others should be meted to himself (Ps 109:17; Mt 7:2; 26:52).7. cut off … him that passeth—that is, every passer to and fro; "the highways shall beunoccupied" (Eze 29:11; Jud 5:6).9. shall not return—to their former state (Eze 16:55); shall not be restored. The Hebrew text(Chetib) reads, "shall not be inhabited" (compare Eze 26:20; Mal 1:3, 4).10. So far from being allowed to enter on Israel's vacated inheritance, as Edom hoped (Eze36:5; Ps 83:4, 12; Ob 13), it shall be that he shall be deprived of his own; and whereas Israel'shumiliation was temporary, Edom's shall be perpetual.Lord was there—(Eze 48:35; Ps 48:1, 3; 132:13, 14). Jehovah claimed Judea as His own, evenwhen the Chaldeans had overthrown the state; they could not remove Him, as they did the idols ofheathen lands. The broken sentences express the excited feelings of the prophet at Edom's wickedpresumption. The transition from the "two nations and two countries" to "it" marks that the two areregarded as one whole. The last clause, "and Jehovah was there," bursts in, like a flash of lightning,reproving the wicked presumption of Edom's thought.11. according to thine anger—(Jas 2:13). As thou in anger and envy hast injured them, so Iwill injure thee.I will make myself known among them—namely, the Israelites. I will manifest My favor tothem, after I have punished thee.12, 13. blasphemies … against … Israel … against me—God regards what is done againstHis people as done against Himself (Mt 25:45; Ac 9:2, 4, 5). Edom implied, if he did not expressit, in his taunts against Israel, that God had not sufficient power to protect His people. A type ofthe spirit of all the foes of God and His people (1Sa 2:3; Re 13:6).14. (Isa 65:13, 14). "The whole earth" refers to Judea and the nations that submit themselvesto Judea's God; when these rejoice, the foes of God and His people, represented by Edom as a1514JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnation, shall be desolate. Things shall be completely reversed; Israel, that now for a time mourns,shall then rejoice and for ever. Edom, that now rejoices over fallen Israel, shall then, when elsewhereall is joy, mourn, and for ever (Isa 65:17-19; Mt 5:4; Lu 6:25). Havernick loses this striking antithesisby translating, "According to the joy of the whole land (of Edom), so I will make thee desolate";which would make Eze 35:15 a mere repetition of this.15. (Ob 12, 15).CHAPTER 36Eze 36:1-38. Israel Avenged of Her Foes, and Restored, First to Inward Holiness, Then to Outward Prosperity.The distinction between Israel and the heathen (as Edom) is: Israel has a covenant relation toGod ensuring restoration after chastisement, so that the heathen's hope of getting possession of theelect people's inheritance must fail, and they themselves be made desolate (Eze 36:1-15). The reasonfor the chastisement of Israel was Israel's sin and profanation of God's name (Eze 36:16-21). Godhas good in store for Israel, for His own name's sake, to revive His people; first, by a spiritualrenewal of their hearts, and, next, by an external restoration to prosperity (Eze 36:22-33). The resultis that the heathen shall be impressed with the power and goodness of God manifested so palpablytowards the restored people (Eze 36:34-38).1, 2. mountains of Israel—in contrast to "Mount Seir" of the previous prophecy. They are herepersonified; Israel's elevation is moral, not merely physical, as Edom's. Her hills are "the everlastinghills" of Jacob's prophecy (Ge 49:26). "The enemy" (Edom, the singled-out representative of allGod's foes), with a shout of exultation, "Aha!" had claimed, as the nearest kinsman of Israel (thebrother of their father Esau), his vacated inheritance; as much as to say, the so-called "everlasting"inheritance of Israel and of the "hills," which typified the unmoved perpetuity of it (Ps 125:1, 2),has come to an end, in spite of the promise of God, and has become "ours" (compare De 32:13;33:15).3. Literally, "Because, even because."swallowed you up—literally, "panted after" you, as a beast after its prey; implying the greedycupidity of Edom as to Israel's inheritance (Ps 56:1, 2).lips of talkers—literally, "lips of the tongue," that is, of the slanderer, the man of tongue. Edomslandered Israel because of the connection of the latter with Jehovah, as though He were unable tosave them. De 28:37, and Jer 24:9 had foretold Israel's reproach among the heathen (Da 9:16).4. Inanimate creatures are addressed, to imply that the creature also, as it were, groans fordeliverance from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Ro8:19-21) [Polanus]. The completeness of the renewed blessedness of all parts of the land is implied.derision—(Ps 79:4).5. to cast it out for a prey—that is, to take the land for a prey, its inhabitants being cast out.Or the land is compared to a prey cast forth to wild beasts. Fairbairn needlessly alters the Hebrewpointing and translates, "that they may plunder its pasturage."6. the shame of the heathen—namely, the shame with which the heathen cover you (Ps 123:3,4).7. lifted … mine hand—in token of an oath (Eze 20:5; Ge 14:22).1515JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthey shall bear their shame—a perpetual shame; whereas the "shame" which Israel bore fromthese heathen was only for a time.8. they are at hand to come—that is, the Israelites are soon about to return to their land. Thisproves that the primary reference of the prophecy is to the return from Babylon, which was "athand," or comparatively near. But this only in part fulfilled the prediction, the full and final blessingin future, and the restoration from Babylon was an earnest of it.10. wastes builded—Isa 58:12; 61:4; Am 9:11, 12, 14, where, as here (Eze 34:23, 24), thenames of David, Messiah's type, and Edom, Israel's foe, are introduced in connection with thecoming restoration.11. do better … than at your beginnings—as in the case of Job (Job 42:12). Whereas theheathen nations fall irrevocably, Israel shall be more than restored; its last estate shall exceed evenits first.12. to walk upon you—O mountains of Israel (Eze 36:8)!thee … thou—change from plural to singular: O hill of Zion, singled out from the othermountains of Israel (Eze 34:26); or land.thou shall no more … bereave them of men—Thou shalt no more provoke God to bereavethem of children (so the ellipsis ought to be supplied, as Ezekiel probably alludes to Jer 15:7, "Iwill bereave them of children").13. Thou land devourest up men—alluding to the words of the spies (Nu 13:32). The landpersonified is represented as doing that which was done in it. Like an unnatural mother it devoured,that is, it was the grave of its people; of the Canaanites, its former possessors, through mutual wars,and finally by the sword of Israel; and now, of the Jews, through internal and external ills; forexample, wars, famine (to which Eze 36:30, "reproach of famine among the heathen," implies theallusion here is).14. bereave—so the Keri, or Hebrew Margin reads, to correspond to "bereave" in Eze 36:13;but "cause to fall" or "stumble," in the Hebrew text or Chetib, being the more difficult reading, isthe one least likely to come from a corrector; also, it forms a good transition to the next subject,namely, the moral cause of the people's calamities, namely, their falls, or stumblings through sin.The latter ceasing, the former also cease. So the same expression follows in Eze 36:15, "Neithershalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more."17. removed woman—(Le 15:19, &c.).18, 19. The reason for their removal was their sin, which God's holiness could not let passunpunished; just as a woman's legal uncleanness was the reason for her being separated from thecongregation.20. profaned my holy name, when they—the heathensaid to them—the Israelites.These, &c.—The Israelites gave a handle of reproach to the heathen against God, who wouldnaturally say, These who take usury, oppress, commit adultery, &c., and who, in such an abjectplight, are "gone forth" as exiles "out of His land," are specimens of what Jehovah can or will effect,for His people, and show what kind of a God this so-called holy, omnipotent, covenant-keepingGod must be! (Isa 52:5; Ro 2:24).21. I had pity for mine holy name—that is, I felt pity for it; God's own name, so dishonored,was the primary object of His pitying concern; then His people, secondarily, through His concernfor it [Fairbairn].1516JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson22. not … for your sakes—that is, not for any merit in you; for, on the contrary, on your part,there is everything to call down continued severity (compare De 9:5, 6). The sole and sure groundof hope was God's regard to "His own name," as the God of covenant grace (Ps 106:45), which Hemust vindicate from the dishonor brought on it by the Jews, before the heathen.23. sanctify—vindicate and manifest as holy, in opposition to the heathen reproaches of itbrought on by the Jews' sins and their punishment (see on Eze 36:20).sanctified in you—that is, in respect of you; I shall be regarded in their eyes as the Holy One,and righteous in My dealings towards you (Eze 20:41; 28:22).24. Fulfilled primarily in the restoration from Babylon; ultimately to be so in the restoration"from all countries."25. The external restoration must be preceded by an internal one. The change in their conditionmust not be superficial, but must be based on a radical renewal of the heart. Then the heathen,understanding from the regenerated lives of God's people how holy God is, would perceive Israel'spast troubles to have been only the necessary vindications of His righteousness. Thus God's namewould be "sanctified" before the heathen, and God's people be prepared for outward blessings.sprinkle … water—phraseology taken from the law; namely, the water mixed with the ashesof a heifer sprinkled with a hyssop on the unclean (Nu 19:9-18); the thing signified being thecleansing blood of Christ sprinkled on the conscience and heart (Heb 9:13, 14; 10:22; compare Jer33:8; Eph 5:26).from all your idols—Literal idolatry has ceased among the Jews ever since the captivity; sofar, the prophecy has been already fulfilled; but "cleansing from all their idols," for example,covetousness, prejudices against Jesus of Nazareth, is yet future.26. new heart—mind and will.spirit—motive and principle of action.stony heart—unimpressible in serious things; like the "stony ground" (Mt 13:5, 20), unfit forreceiving the good seed so as to bring forth fruit.heart of flesh—not "carnal" in opposition to "spiritual"; but impressible and docile, fit forreceiving the good seed. In Eze 18:31 they are commanded, "Make you a new heart, and a newspirit." Here God says, "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Thusthe responsibility of man, and the sovereign grace of God, are shown to be coexistent. Man cannotmake himself a new heart unless God gives it (Php 2:12, 13).27. my spirit—(Eze 11:19; Jer 32:39). The partial reformation at the return from Babylon (Ezr10:6, &c.; Ne 8:1-9:38) was an earnest of the full renewal hereafter under Messiah.28. ye … my people, … I … your God—(Eze 11:20; Jer 30:22).29. save … from all … uncleannesses—the province of Jesus, according to the significationof His name (Mt 1:21). To be specially exercised in behalf of the Jews in the latter days (Ro 11:26).call for … corn—as a master "calls for" a servant; all the powers and productions of natureare the servants of Jehovah (Ps 105:16; Mt 8:8, 9). Compare as to the subordination of all theintermediate agents to the Great First Cause, who will give "corn" and all good things to His people,Ho 2:21, 22; Zec 8:12.30. no more reproach of famine among the heathen—to which their taunt (Eze 36:13), "Thouland devourest up men," in part referred.1517JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson31. remember your … evil ways—with shame and loathing. The unexpected grace and loveof God, manifested in Christ to Israel, shall melt the people into true repentance, which mere legalfear could not (Eze 16:61, 63; Ps 130:4; Zec 12:10; compare Jer 33:8, 9).35. they shall say—The heathen, who once made Israel's desolation a ground of reproachagainst the name of Jehovah Himself (Eze 36:20, 21); but now He so vindicates its sanctity (Eze36:22, 23) that these same heathen are constrained to acknowledge Israel's more than renewedblessedness to be God's own work, and a ground for glorifying His name (Eze 36:36).Eden—as Tyre (the type of the world powers in general: so Assyria, a cedar "in the garden ofGod, Eden," Eze 31:8, 9), in original advantages, had been compared to "Eden, the garden of God"(Eze 28:13), from which she had fallen irrecoverably; so Israel, once desolate, is to be as "the gardenof Eden" (Isa 51:3), and is to be so unchangeably.36. Lord … spoken … do it—(Nu 23:19).37. I will yet for this be inquired of—so as to grant it. On former occasions He had refusedto be inquired of by Israel because the inquirers were not in a fit condition of mind to receive ablessing (Eze 14:3; 20:3). But hereafter, as in the restoration from Babylon (Ne 8:1-9:38; Da 9:3-20,21, 23), God will prepare His people's hearts (Eze 36:26) to pray aright for the blessings which Heis about to give (Ps 102:13-17, 20; Zec 12:10-14; 13:1).like a flock—resuming the image (Eze 34:23, 31).38. As the holy flock—the great flock of choice animals for sacrifice, brought up to Jerusalemat the three great yearly festivals, the passover, pentecost, and feast of the tabernacles.CHAPTER 37Eze 37:1-28. The Vision of Dry Bones Revivified, Symbolizing Israel's Death and Resurrection.Three stages in Israel's revival present themselves to the prophet's eye. (1) The new awakeningof the people, the resurrection of the dead (Eze 37:1-14). (2) The reunion of the formerly hostilemembers of the community, whose contentions had affected the whole (Eze 37:15-28). (3) Thecommunity thus restored is strong enough to withstand the assault of Gog, &c. (Eze 38:1-39:29)[Ewald].1. carried … in the spirit—The matters transacted, therefore, were not literal, but in vision.the valley—probably that by the Chebar (Eze 3:22). The valley represents Mesopotamia, thescene of Israel's sojourn in her state of national deadness.2. dry—bleached by long exposure to the atmosphere.3. can these bones live? … thou knowest—implying that, humanly speaking, they could not;but faith leaves the question of possibility to rest with God, with whom nothing is impossible (De32:39). An image of Christian faith which believes in the coming general resurrection of the dead,in spite of all appearances against it, because God has said it (Joh 5:21; Ro 4:17; 2Co 1:9).4. Prophesy—Proclaim God's quickening word to them. On account of this innate power ofthe divine word to effect its end, prophets are said to do that which they prophesy as about to bedone (Jer 1:10).5. I … cause breath to enter into you—So Isa 26:19, containing the same vision, refersprimarily to Israel's restoration. Compare as to God's renovation of the earth and all its creatureshereafter by His breath, Ps 104:30.1518JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonye shall live—come to life again.6. ye shall know that I am the Lord—by the actual proof of My divinity which I will give inreviving Israel.7. noise—of the bones when coming in mutual collision. Perhaps referring to the decree ofCyrus, or the noise of the Jews' exultation at their deliverance and return.bones came together—literally, "ye bones came together"; as in Jer 49:11 (Hebrew), "yewidows of thine shall trust in Me." The second person puts the scene vividly before one's eyes, forthe whole resurrection scene is a prophecy in action to render more palpably to the people theprophecy in word (Eze 37:21).8. So far, they were only cohering in order as unsightly skeletons. The next step, that of coveringthem successively with sinews, skin, and flesh, gives them beauty; but still "no breath" of life inthem. This may imply that Israel hereafter, as at the restoration from Babylon was the case in part,shall return to Judea unconverted at first (Zec 13:8, 9). Spiritually: a man may assume all thesemblances of spiritual life, yet have none, and so be dead before God.9. wind—rather, the spirit of life or life-breath (Margin). For it is distinct from "the four winds"from which it is summoned.from the four winds—implying that Israel is to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth(Isa 43:5, 6; Jer 31:8), even as they were "scattered into all the winds" (Eze 5:10; 12:14; 17:21;compare Re 7:1, 4).10. Such honor God gives to the divine word, even in the mouth of a man. How much morewhen in the mouth of the Son of God! (Joh 5:25-29). Though this chapter does not directly provethe resurrection of the dead, it does so indirectly; for it takes for granted the future fact as onerecognized by believing Jews, and so made the image of their national restoration (so Isa 25:8;26:19; Da 12:2; Ho 6:2; 13:14; compare Note, see on Eze 37:12).11. Our bones are dried—(Ps 141:7), explained by "our hope is lost" (Isa 49:14); our nationalstate is as hopeless of resuscitation, as marrowless bones are of reanimation.cut off for our parts—that is, so far as we are concerned. There is nothing in us to give hope,like a withered branch "cut off" from a tree, or a limb from the body.12. my people—in antithesis to "for our parts" (Eze 37:11). The hope that is utterly gone, iflooking at themselves, is sure for them in God, because He regards them as His people. Theircovenant relation to God ensures His not letting death permanently reign over them. Christ makesthe same principle the ground on which the literal resurrection rests. God had said, "I am the Godof Abraham," &c.; God, by taking the patriarchs as His, undertook to do for them all thatOmnipotence can perform: He, being the ever living God, is necessarily the God of, not dead, butliving persons, that is, of those whose bodies His covenant love binds Him to raise again. Hecan—and because He can—He will—He must [Fairbairn]. He calls them "My people" when receivingthem into favor; but "thy people," in addressing His servant, as if He would put them away fromHim (Eze 13:17; 33:2; Ex 32:7).out of your graves—out of your politically dead state, primarily in Babylon, finally hereafterin all lands (compare Eze 6:8; Ho 13:14). The Jews regarded the lands of their captivity anddispersion as their "graves"; their restoration was to be as "life from the dead" (Ro 11:15). Before,the bones were in the open plain (Eze 37:1, 2); now, in the graves, that is, some of the Jews werein the graves of actual captivity, others at large but dispersed. Both alike were nationally dead.1519JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson16. stick—alluding to Nu 17:2, the tribal rod. The union of the two rods was a prophecy inaction of the brotherly union which is to reunite the ten tribes and Judah. As their severance underJeroboam was fraught with the greatest evil to the covenant-people, so the first result of both beingjoined by the spirit of life to God is that they become joined to one another under the one covenantKing, Messiah-David.Judah, and … children of Israel his companions—that is, Judah and, besides Benjamin andLevi, those who had joined themselves to him of Ephraim, Manasseh, Simeon, Asher, Zebulun,Issachar, as having the temple and lawful priesthood in his borders (2Ch 11:12, 13, 16; 15:9; 30:11,18). The latter became identified with Judah after the carrying away of the ten tribes, and returnedwith Judah from Babylon, and so shall be associated with that tribe at the future restoration.For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim—Ephraim's posterity took the lead, not only of the otherdescendants of Joseph (compare Eze 37:19), but of the ten tribes of Israel. For four hundred years,during the period of the judges, with Manasseh and Benjamin, its dependent tribes, it had formerlytaken the lead: Shiloh was its religious capital; Shechem, its civil capital. God had transferred thebirthright from Reuben (for dishonoring his father's bed) to Joseph, whose representative, Ephraim,though the younger, was made (Ge 48:19; 1Ch 5:1). From its pre-eminence "Israel" is attached toit as "companions." The "all" in this case, not in that of Judah, which has only attached as"companions" "the children of Israel" (that is, some of them, namely, those who followed thefortunes of Judah), implies that the bulk of the ten tribes did not return at the restoration fromBabylon, but are distinct from Judah, until the coming union with it at the restoration.18. God does not explain the symbolical prophecy until the Jews have been stimulated by thetype to consult the prophet.19. The union effected at the restoration from Babylon embraced but comparatively few ofIsrael; a future complete fulfilment must therefore be looked for.stick of Joseph … in the hand of Ephraim—Ephraim, of the descendants of Joseph, hadexercised the rule among the ten tribes: that rule, symbolized by the "stick," was now to be withdrawnfrom him, and to be made one with the other, Judah's rule, in God's hand.them—the "stick of Joseph," would strictly require "it"; but Ezekiel expresses the sense, namely,the ten tribes who were subject to it.with him—that is, Judah; or "it," that is, the stick of Judah.22. one nation—(Isa 11:13; Jer 3:18; Ho 1:11).one king—not Zerubbabel, who was not a king either in fact or name, and who ruled over buta few Jews, and that only for a few years; whereas the King here reigns for ever. Messiah is meant(Eze 34:23, 24). The union of Judah and Israel under King Messiah symbolizes the union of Jewsand Gentiles under Him, partly now, perfectly hereafter (Eze 37:24; Joh 10:16).23. (Eze 36:25).out of … their dwelling-places—(Eze 36:28, 33). I will remove them from the scene of theiridolatries to dwell in their own land, and to serve idols no more.24. David—Messiah (See on Eze 34:23, 24).25. for ever—(Isa 60:21; Joe 3:20; Am 9:15).26. covenant of peace—better than the old legal covenant, because an unchangeable covenantof grace (Eze 34:25; Isa 55:3; Jer 32:40).I will place them—set them in an established position; no longer unsettled as heretofore.1520JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmy sanctuary—the temple of God; spiritual in the heart of all true followers of Messiah (2Co6:16); and, in some literal sense, in the restored Israel (Eze 40:1-44:31).27. My tabernacle … with them—as foretold (Ge 9:27); Joh 1:14, "The Word … dwelt amongus" (literally, "tabernacled"); first, in humiliation; hereafter, in manifested glory (Re 21:3).28. (Eze 36:23).sanctify Israel—set it apart as holy unto Myself and inviolable (Ex 19:5, 6).CHAPTER 38Eze 38:1-23. The Assault of Gog, and God's Judgment on Him.The objections to a literal interpretation of the prophecy are—(1) The ideal nature of the nameGog, which is the root of Magog, the only kindred name found in Scripture or history. (2) Thenations congregated are selected from places most distant from Israel, and from one another, andtherefore most unlikely to act in concert (Persians and Libyans, &c.). (3) The whole spoil of Israelcould not have given a handful to a tithe of their number, or maintained the myriads of invaders asingle day (Eze 38:12, 13). (4) The wood of their invaders' weapons was to serve for fuel to Israelfor seven years! And all Israel were to take seven months in burying the dead! Supposing a millionof Israelites to bury each two corpses a day, the aggregate buried in the hundred eighty workingdays of the seven months would be three hundred sixty millions of corpses! Then the pestilentialvapors from such masses of victims before they were all buried! What Israelite could live in suchan atmosphere? (5) The scene of the Lord's controversy here is different from that in Isa 34:6,Edom, which creates a discrepancy. (But probably a different judgment is alluded to). (6) The grosscarnality of the representation of God's dealings with His adversaries is inconsistent with Messianictimes. It therefore requires a non-literal interpretation. The prophetical delineations of the divineprinciples of government are thrown into the familiar forms of Old Testament relations. The finaltriumph of Messiah's truth over the most distant and barbarous nations is represented as a literalconflict on a gigantic scale, Israel being the battlefield, ending in the complete triumph of Israel'sanointed King, the Saviour of the world. It is a prophetical parable [Fairbairn]. However, though thedetails are not literal, the distinctiveness in this picture, characterizing also parallel descriptions inwriters less ideally picturesque than Ezekiel, gives probability to a more definite and generallyliteral interpretation. The awful desolations caused in Judea by Antiochus Epiphanes, of Syria (1Maccabees; and Porphyry, quoted by Jerome on Ezekiel), his defilement of Jehovah's temple bysacrificing swine and sprinkling the altar with the broth, and setting up the altar of Jupiter Olympius,seem to be an earnest of the final desolations to be caused by Antichrist in Israel, previous to Hisoverthrow by the Lord Himself, coming to reign (compare Da 8:10-26; 11:21-45; 12:1; Zec 13:9;14:2, 3). Grotius explains Gog as a name taken from Gyges, king of Lydia; and Magog as Syria, inwhich was a city called Magog [Pliny, 5.28]. What Ezekiel stated more generally, Re 20:7-9 statesmore definitely as to the anti-Christian confederacy which is to assail the beloved city.2. Gog—the prince of the land of Magog. The title was probably a common one of the kingsof the country, as "Pharaoh" in Egypt. Chakan was the name given by the Northern Asiatics to theirking, and is still a title of the Turkish sultan: "Gog" may be a contraction of this. In Ezekiel's timea horde of northern Asiatics, termed by the Greeks "Scythians," and probably including the Moschiand Tibareni, near the Caucasus, here ("Meshech … Tubal") undertook an expedition against Egypt1521JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson[Herodotus, 1.103-106]. These names might be adopted by Ezekiel from the historical fact familiarto men at the time, as ideal titles for the great last anti-Christian confederacy.Magog—(Ge 10:2; 1Ch 1:5). The name of a land belonging to Japheth's posterity. Maha, inSanskrit, means "land." Gog is the ideal political head of the region. In Re 20:8, Gog and Magogare two peoples.the chief prince—rather, "prince of Rosh," or "Rhos" [Septuagint]. The Scythian Tauri in theCrimea were so called. The Araxes also was called "Rhos." The modern Russians may have henceassumed their name, as Moscow and Tobolsk from Meshech and Tubal, though their proper ancientname was Slavi, or Wends. Hengstenberg supports English Version, as "Rosh" is not found in theBible. "Magog was Gog's original kingdom, though he acquired also Meshech and Tubal, so as tobe called their chief prince."3. His high-sounding titles are repeated to imply the haughty self-confidence of the invader asif invincible.4. turn thee back—as a refractory wild beast, which thinks to take its own way, but is bent bya superior power to turn on a course which must end in its destruction. Satan shall be, by overrulingProvidence, permitted to deceive them to their ruin (Re 20:7, 8).hooks into thy jaws—(Eze 29:4; 2Ki 19:28).5. Persia … Libya—expressly specified by Appian as supplying the ranks of Antiochus' army.6. Gomer—the Celtic Cimmerians of Crim-Tartary.Togarmah—the Armenians of the Caucasus, south of Iberia.7. Irony. Prepare thee and all thine with all needful accoutrements for war—that ye may perishtogether.be … a guard unto them—that is, if thou canst.8. thou shall be visited—in wrath, by God (Isa 29:6). Probably there is allusion to Isa 24:21,22, "The host of the high ones … shall be gathered … as prisoners … in the pit … and after manydays shall they be visited." I therefore prefer English Version to Grotius rendering, "Thou shalt getthe command" of the expedition. The "after many days" is defined by "in the latter years," that is,in the times just before the coming of Messiah, namely, under Antiochus, before His first coming;under Antichrist, before His second coming.the mountains of Israel … always waste—that is, waste during the long period of the captivity,the earnest of the much longer period of Judea's present desolation (to which the language "alwayswaste" more fully applies). This marks the impious atrocity of the act, to assail God's people, whohad only begun to recover from their protracted calamities.but it is brought … and they shall dwell—rather, "And they (the Israelites) were brought …dwelt safely" [Fairbairn]. English Version means, "Against Israel, which has been waste, but which(that is, whose people) is now (at the time of the invasion) brought forth out of the nations wherethey were dispersed, and shall be found by the invader dwelling securely, so as to seem an easyprey to him."9. cloud to cover the land—with the multitude of thy forces.10. an evil thought—as to attacking God's people in their defenseless state.11. dwell safely—that is, securely, without fear of danger (compare Es 9:19). Antiochus, thetype of Antichrist, took Jerusalem without a blow.12. midst of the land—literally, "the navel" of the land (Jud 9:37, Margin). So, in Eze 5:5,Israel is said to be set "in the midst of the nations"; not physically, but morally, a central position1522JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor being a blessing to the world: so (as the favored or "beloved city," Re 20:9) an object of envy.Grotius translates, "In the height of the land" (so Eze 38:8), "the mountains of Israel," Israel beingmorally elevated above the rest of the world.13. Sheba, &c.—These mercantile peoples, though not taking an active part against the causeof God, are well pleased to see others do it. Worldliness makes them ready to deal in the ill-gottenspoil of the invaders of God's people. Gain is before godliness with them (1 Maccabees 3:41).young lions—daring princes and leaders.14. shalt thou not know it?—to thy cost, being visited with punishment, while Israel dwellssafely.16. I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me—So in Ex 9:16, Godtells Pharaoh, "For this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee My power; and that Myname may be declared throughout all the earth."17. thou he of whom I have spoken in old time—Gog, &c. are here identified with the enemiesspoken of in other prophecies (Nu 24:17-24; Isa 27:1; compare Isa 26:20, 21; Jer 30:23, 24; Joe3:1; Mic 5:5, 6; Isa 14:12-14; 59:19). God is represented as addressing Gog at the time of his assault;therefore, the "old time" is the time long prior, when Ezekiel uttered these prophecies; so, he also,as well as Daniel (Da 11:1-45) and Zechariah (Zec 14:1-21) are included among "the prophets ofIsrael" here.many years—ago.18. fury shall come up in my face—literally, "nose"; in Hebrew, the idiomatic expression foranger, as men in anger breathe strongly through the nostrils. Anthropopathy: God stooping tohuman modes of thought (Ps 18:8).19. great shaking—an earthquake: physical agitations after accompanying social and moralrevolutions. Foretold also in Joe 3:16; (compare Hag 2:6, 7; Mt 24:7, 29; Re 16:18).20. fishes—disturbed by the fleets which I will bring.fowls, &c.—frightened at the sight of so many men: an ideal picture.mountains—that is, the fortresses on the mountains.steep places—literally, "stairs" (So 2:14); steep terraces for vines on the sides of hills, to preventthe earth being washed down by the rains.every wall—of towns.21. every man's sword … against his brother—I will destroy them partly by My people'ssword, partly by their swords being turned against one another (compare 2Ch 20:23).22. plead—a forensic term; because God in His inflictions acts on the principles of His ownimmutable justice, not by arbitrary impulse (Isa 66:16; Jer 25:31).blood … hailstones, fire—(Re 8:7; 16:21). The imagery is taken from the destruction of Sodomand the plagues of Egypt (compare Ps 11:6). Antiochus died by "pestilence" (2 Maccabees 9:5).CHAPTER 39Eze 39:1-29. Continuation of the Prophecy against Gog.1. Repeated from Eze 38:3, to impress the prophecy more on the mind.2. leave but the sixth part of thee—Margin, "strike thee with six plagues" (namely, pestilence,blood, overflowing rain, hailstones, fire, brimstone, Eze 38:22); or, "draw thee back with an hook1523JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof six teeth" (Eze 38:4), the six teeth being those six plagues. Rather, "lead thee about" [LudovicusDe Dieu and Septuagint]. As Antiochus was led (to his ruin) to leave Egypt for an expedition againstPalestine, so shall the last great enemy of God be.north parts—from the extreme north [Fairbairn].3. bow—in which the Scythians were most expert.4, 5. (Compare Eze 39:17-20).upon the mountains of Israel—The scene of Israel's preservation shall be that of the ungodlyfoe's destruction.6. carelessly—in self-confident security.the isles—Those dwelling in maritime regions, who had helped Gog with fleets and troops,shall be visited with the fire of God's wrath in their own lands.7. not let them pollute my holy name—by their sins bringing down judgments which madethe heathen think that I was unable or unwilling to save My people.8. it is come … it is done—The prediction of the salvation of My people, and the ruin of theirenemy, is come to pass—is done: expressing that the event foretold is as certain as if it were alreadyaccomplished.9, 10. The burning of the foe's weapons implies that nothing belonging to them should be leftto pollute the land. The seven years (seven being the sacred number) spent on this work, impliesthe completeness of the cleansing, and the people's zeal for purity. How different from the ancientIsraelites, who left not merely the arms, but the heathen themselves, to remain among them [Fairbairn],(Jud 1:27, 28; 2:2, 3; Ps 106:34-36). The desolation by Antiochus began in the one hundred andforty-first year of the Seleucidæ. From this date to 148, a period of six years and four months ("2300days," Da 8:14), when the temple-worship was restored (1 Maccabees 4:52), God vouchsafed manytriumphs to His people; from this time to the death of Antiochus, early in 149, a period of sevenmonths, the Jews had rest from Antiochus, and purified their land, and on the twenty-fifth day ofthe ninth month celebrated the Encænia, or feast of dedication (Joh 10:22) and purification of thetemple. The whole period, in round numbers, was seven years. Mattathias was the patriotic Jewishleader, and his third son, Judas, the military commander under whom the Syrian generals weredefeated. He retook Jerusalem and purified the temple. Simon and Jonathan, his brothers, succeededhim: the independence of the Jews was secured, and the crown vested in the Asmonean family, inwhich it continued till Herod the Great.11. place … of graves—Gog found only a grave where he had expected the spoils of conquest.valley—So vast were to be the masses that nothing but a deep valley would suffice for theircorpses.the passengers on the east of the sea—those travelling on the high road, east of the Dead Sea,from Syria to Petra and Egypt. The publicity of the road would cause many to observe God'sjudgments, as the stench (as English Version translates) or the multitude of graves (as Hendersontranslates, "it shall stop the passengers") would arrest the attention of passers-by. Their grave wouldbe close to that of their ancient prototypes, Sodom and Gomorrah in the Dead Sea, both alike beingsignal instances of God's judgments.13. I … glorified—in destroying the foe (Eze 28:22).14. with the passengers—The men employed continually in the burying were to be helped bythose happening to pass by; all were to combine.after the end of seven months shall they search—to see if the work was complete [Munster].1524JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson15. First "all the people of the land" engaged in the burying for seven months; then special menwere employed, at the end of the seven months, to search for any still left unburied. The passers-byhelped them by setting up a mark near any such bones, in order to keep others from being defiledby casually touching them, and that the buriers might come and remove them. Denoting the minutecare to put away every relic of heathen pollution from the Holy Land.16. A city in the neighborhood was to receive the name Hamonah, "multitude," to commemoratethe overthrow of the multitudes of the foe [Henderson]. The multitude of the slain shall give a nameto the city of Jerusalem after the land shall have been cleansed [Grotius]. Jerusalem shall be famedas the conqueror of multitudes.17. (Re 19:17).sacrifice—Anciently worshippers feasted on the sacrifices. The birds and beasts of prey areinvited to the sacrificial feast provided by God (compare Isa 18:6; 34:6; Zep 1:7; Mr 9:49). Herethis sacrifice holds only a subordinate place in the picture, and so is put last. Not only shall theirbones lie long unburied, but they shall be stripped of the flesh by beasts and birds of prey.18. rams … lambs … goats—By these various animal victims used in sacrifices are meantvarious ranks of men, princes, generals, and soldiers (compare Isa 34:6).fatlings of Bashan—ungodly men of might (Ps 22:12). Bashan, beyond Jordan, was famed forits fat cattle. Fat implies prosperity which often makes men refractory towards God (De 32:14, 15).20. my table—the field of battle on the mountains of Israel (Eze 38:8, 20).chariots—that is, charioteers.22. So the house of Israel shall know … Lord—by My interposition for them. So, too, theheathen shall be led to fear the name of the Lord (Ps 102:15).23. hid I my face—(De 31:17; Isa 59:2).25. bring again the captivity—restore from calamity to prosperity.the whole house of Israel—so "all Israel" (Ro 11:26). The restorations of Israel heretoforehave been partial; there must be one yet future that is to be universal (Ho 1:11).26. After that they have borne their shame—the punishment of their sin: after they havebecome sensible of their guilt, and ashamed of it (Eze 20:43; 36:31).27. sanctified in them—vindicated as holy in My dealings with them.28. The Jews, having no dominion, settled country, or fixed property to detain them, may returnat any time without difficulty (compare Ho 3:4, 5).29. poured out my Spirit upon … Israel—the sure forerunner of their conversion (Joe 2:28;Zec 12:10). The pouring out of His Spirit is a pledge that He will hide His face no more (2Co 1:22;Eph 1:14; Php 1:6).CHAPTER 40Eze 40:1-49. The Remaining Chapters, the Fortieth through Forty-eighth, Give an Ideal Picture of the RestoredJewish Temple.The arrangements as to the land and the temple are, in many particulars, different from thosesubsisting before the captivity. There are things in it so improbable physically as to preclude apurely literal interpretation. The general truth seems to hold good that, as Israel served the nationsfor his rejection of Messiah, so shall they serve him in the person of Messiah, when he shall1525JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonacknowledge Messiah (Isa 60:12; Zec 14:17-19; compare Ps 72:11). The ideal temple exhibits,under Old Testament forms (used as being those then familiar to the men whom Ezekiel, a priesthimself, and one who delighted in sacrificial images, addresses), not the precise literal outline, butthe essential character of the worship of Messiah as it shall be when He shall exercise sway inJerusalem among His own people, the Jews, and thence to the ends of the earth. The very fact thatthe whole is a vision (Eze 40:2), not an oral face-to-face communication such as that granted toMoses (Nu 12:6-8), implies that the directions are not to be understood so precisely literally asthose given to the Jewish lawgiver. The description involves things which, taken literally, almostinvolve natural impossibilities. The square of the temple, in Eze 42:20, is six times as large as thecircuit of the wall enclosing the old temple, and larger than all the earthly Jerusalem. Ezekiel givesthree and a half miles and one hundred forty yards to his temple square. The boundaries of theancient city were about two and a half miles. Again, the city in Ezekiel has an area between threeor four thousand square miles, including the holy ground set apart for the prince, priests, and Levites.This is nearly as large as the whole of Judea west of the Jordan. As Zion lay in the center of theideal city, the one-half of the sacred portion extended to nearly thirty miles south of Jerusalem, thatis, covered nearly the whole southern territory, which reached only to the Dead Sea (Eze 47:19),and yet five tribes were to have their inheritance on that side of Jerusalem, beyond the sacred portion(Eze 48:23-28). Where was land to be found for them there? A breadth of but four or five milesapiece would be left. As the boundaries of the land are given the same as under Moses, theseincongruities cannot be explained away by supposing physical changes about to be effected in theland such as will meet the difficulties of the purely literal interpretation. The distribution of theland is in equal portions among the twelve tribes, without respect to their relative numbers, and theparallel sections running from east to west. There is a difficulty also in the supposed separateexistence of the twelve tribes, such separate tribeships no longer existing, and it being hard toimagine how they could be restored as distinct tribes, mingled as they now are. So the stream thatissued from the east threshold of the temple and flowed into the Dead Sea, in the rapidity of itsincrease and the quality of its waters, is unlike anything ever known in Judea or elsewhere in theworld. Lastly, the catholicity of the Christian dispensation, and the spirituality of its worship, seemincompatible with a return to the local narrowness and "beggarly elements" of the Jewish ritualand carnal ordinances, disannulled "because of the unprofitableness thereof" [Fairbairn], (Ga 4:3, 9;5:1; Heb 9:10; 10:18). "A temple with sacrifices now would be a denial of the all-sufficiency ofthe sacrifice of Christ. He who sacrificed before confessed the Messiah. He who should sacrificenow would solemnly deny Him" [Douglas]. These difficulties, however, may be all seeming, notreal. Faith accepts God's Word as it is, waits for the event, sure that it will clear up all suchdifficulties. Perhaps, as some think, the beau ideal of a sacred commonwealth is given accordingto the then existing pattern of temple services, which would be the imagery most familiar to theprophet and his hearers at the time. The minute particularizing of details is in accordance withEzekiel's style, even in describing purely ideal scenes. The old temple embodied in visible formsand rites spiritual truths affecting the people even when absent from it. So this ideal temple is madein the absence of the outward temple to serve by description the same purpose of symbolicalinstruction as the old literal temple did by forms and acts. As in the beginning God promised to bea "sanctuary" (Eze 11:16) to the captives at the Chebar, so now at the close is promised a completerestoration and realization of the theocratic worship and polity under Messiah in its noblest ideal(compare Jer 31:38-40). In Re 21:22 "no temple" is seen, as in the perfection of the new dispensation1526JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe accidents of place and form are no longer needed to realize to Christians what Ezekiel impartsto Jewish minds by the imagery familiar to them. In Ezekiel's temple holiness stretches over theentire temple, so that in this there is no longer a distinction between the different parts, as in theold temple: parts left undeterminate in the latter obtain now a divine sanction, so that all arbitrarinessis excluded. So that it is be a perfect manifestation of the love of God to His covenant-people (Eze40:1-43:12); and from it, as from a new center of religious life, there gushes forth the fulness ofblessings to them, and so to all people (Eze 47:1-23) [Fairbairn and Havernick]. The temple built atthe return from Babylon can only very partially have realized the model here given. The law isseemingly opposed to the gospel (Mt 5:21, 22, 27, 28, 33, 34). It is not really so (compare Mt 5:17,18; Ro 3:31; Ga 3:21, 22). It is true Christ's sacrifice superseded the law sacrifices (Heb 10:12-18).Israel's province may hereafter be to show the essential identity, even in the minute details of thetemple sacrifices, between the law and gospel (Ro 10:8). The ideal of the theocratic temple willthen first be realized.1. beginning of the year—the ecclesiastical year, the first month of which was Nisan.the city … thither—Jerusalem, the center to which all the prophet's thoughts tended.2. visions of God—divinely sent visions.very high mountain—Moriah, very high, as compared with the plains of Babylon, still moreso as to its moral elevation (Eze 17:22; 20:40).by which—Ezekiel coming from the north is set down at (as the Hebrew for "upon" may betranslated) Mount Moriah, and sees the city-like frame of the temple stretching southward. In Eze40:3, "God brings him thither," that is, close up to it, so as to inspect it minutely (compare Re21:10). In this closing vision, as in the opening one of the book, the divine hand is laid on theprophet, and he is borne away in the visions of God. But the scene there was by the Chebar, Jehovahhaving forsaken Jerusalem; now it is the mountain of God, Jehovah having returned thither; there,the vision was calculated to inspire terror; here, hope and assurance.3. man—The Old Testament manifestations of heavenly beings as men prepared men's mindsfor the coming incarnation.brass—resplendent.line—used for longer measurements (Zec 2:1).reed—used in measuring houses (Re 21:15). It marked the straightness of the walls.5. Measures were mostly taken from the human body. The greater cubit, the length from theelbow to the end of the middle finger, a little more than two feet: exceeding the ordinary cubit (fromthe elbow to the wrist) by an hand-breadth, that is, twenty-one inches in all. Compare Eze 43:13,with Eze 40:5. The palm was the full breadth of the hand, three and a half inches.breadth of the building—that is, the boundary wall. The imperfections in the old temple'sboundary wall were to have no place here. The buildings attached to it had been sometimes turnedto common uses; for example, Jeremiah was imprisoned in one (Jer 20:2; 29:26). But now all thesewere to be holy to the Lord. The gates and doorways to the city of God were to be imprinted intheir architecture with the idea of the exclusion of everything defiled (Re 21:27). The east gate wasto be especially sacred, as it was through it the glory of God had departed (Eze 11:23), and throughit the glory was to return (Eze 43:1, 2; 44:2, 3).6. the stairs—seven in number (Eze 40:26).threshold—the sill [Fairbairn].1527JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonother threshold—Fairbairn considers there is but one threshold, and translates, "even the onethreshold, one rod broad." But there is another threshold mentioned in Eze 40:7. The two thresholdshere seem to be the upper and the lower.7. chamber—These chambers were for the use of the Levites who watched at the temple gates;guard-chambers (2Ki 22:4; 1Ch 9:26, 27); also used for storing utensils and musical instruments.9. posts—projecting column-faced fronts of the sides of the doorway, opposite to one another.12. space—rather, "the boundary."16. narrow—latticed [Henderson]. The ancients had no glass, so they had them latticed, narrowin the interior of the walls, and widening at the exterior. "Made fast," or "firmly fixed in thechambers" [Maurer].arches—rather, "porches."17. pavement—tesselated mosaic (Es 1:6).chambers—serving as lodgings for the priests on duty in the temple, and as receptacles of thetithes of salt, wine, and oil.18. The higher pavement was level with the entrance of the gates, the lower was on either sideof the raised pavement thus formed. Whereas Solomon's temple had an outer court open to alterationsand even idolatrous innovations (2Ki 23:11, 12; 1Ch 20:5), in this there was to be no room forhuman corruptions. Its compass was exactly defined, one hundred cubits; and the fine pavementimplied it was to be trodden only by clean feet (compare Isa 35:8).20-27. The different approaches corresponded in plan. In the case of these two other gates,however, no mention is made of a building with thirty chambers such as was found on the east side.Only one was needed, and it was assigned to the east as being the sacred quarter, and that mostconveniently situated for the officiating priests.23. and toward the east—an elliptical expression for "The gate of the inner court was overagainst the (outer) gate toward the north (just as the inner gate was over against the outer gate)toward the east."28-37. The inner court and its gates.according to these measures—namely, the measures of the outer gate. The figure andproportions of the inner answered to the outer.30. This verse is omitted in the Septuagint, the Vatican manuscript, and others. The dimensionshere of the inner gate do not correspond to the outer, though Eze 40:28 asserts that they do. Havernick,retaining the verse, understands it of another porch looking inwards toward the temple.arches—the porch [Fairbairn]; the columns on which the arches rest [Henderson].31. eight steps—The outer porch had only seven (Eze 40:26).37. posts—the Septuagint and Vulgate read, "the porch," which answers better to Eze 40:31-34."The arches" or "porch" [Maurer].38. chambers … entries—literally, "a chamber and its door."by the posts—that is, at or close by the posts or columns.where they washed the burnt offering—This does not apply to all the gates but only to thenorth gate. For Le 1:11 directs the sacrifices to be killed north of the altar; and Eze 8:5 calls thenorth gate, "the gate of the altar." And Eze 40:40 particularly mentions the north gate.43. hooks—cooking apparatus for cooking the flesh of the sacrifices that fell to the priests. Thehooks were "fastened" in the walls within the apartment, to hang the meat from, so as to roast it.The Hebrew comes from a root "fixed" or "placed."1528JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson44. the chambers of the singers—two in number, as proved by what follows: "and their prospect(that is, the prospect of one) was toward the south, (and) one toward the north." So the Septuagint.46. Zadok—lineally descended from Aaron. He had the high priesthood conferred on him bySolomon, who had set aside the family of Ithamar because of the part which Abiathar had taken inthe rebellion of Adonijah (1Ki 1:7; 2:26, 27).47. court, an hundred cubits … foursquare—not to be confounded with the inner court, orcourt of Israel, which was open to all who had sacrifices to bring, and went round the three sidesof the sacred territory, one hundred cubits broad. This court was one hundred cubits square, andhad the altar in it, in front of the temple. It was the court of the priests, and hence is connected withthose who had charge of the altar and the music. The description here is brief, as the things connectedwith this portion were from the first divinely regulated.48, 49. These two verses belong to the forty-first chapter, which treats of the temple itself.49. twenty … eleven cubits—in Solomon's temple (1Ki 6:3) "twenty … ten cubits." The breadthperhaps was ten and a half; 1Ki 6:3 designates the number by the lesser next round number, "ten";Ezekiel here, by the larger number, "eleven" [Menochius]. The Septuagint reads "twelve."he brought me by the steps—They were ten in number [Septuagint].CHAPTER 41Eze 41:1-26. The Chambers and Ornaments of the Temple.1. tabernacle—As in the measurement of the outer porch he had pointed to Solomon's temple,so here in the edifice itself, he points to the old tabernacle, which being eight boards in breadth(each one and a half cubits broad) would make in all twelve cubits, as here. On the interior it wasonly ten cubits.2. length thereof—namely, of the holy place [Fairbairn].3. inward—towards the most holy place.4. thereof—of the holy of holies.before the temple—that is, before, or in front of the most holy place (so "temple" is used in1Ki 6:3). The angel went in and measured it, while Ezekiel stood in front, in the only part of thetemple accessible to him. The dimensions of the two apartments are the same as in Solomon'stemple, since being fixed originally by God, they are regarded as finally determined.5. side chamber—the singular used collectively for the plural. These chambers were appendagesattached to the outside of the temple, on the west, north, and south; for on the east side, the principalentrance, there were no chambers. The narrowness of the chambers was in order that the beamscould be supported without needing pillars. The plan is similar to that of the hall at Koyunjik, alarge central hall, called the oracle, with smaller rooms built round it.6. might … hold, but … not hold in … wall of the house—1Ki 6:6 tells us there were restsmade in the walls of the temple for supports to the side chambers; but the temple walls did notthereby become part of this side building; they stood separate from it. "They entered," namely, thebeams of the chambers, which were three-storied and thirty in consecutive order, entered into thewall, that is, were made to lean on rests projecting from the wall.7. the breadth … so increased from the lowest … to the highest—that is, the breadth of theinterior space above was greater than that below.1529JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. foundations … six … cubits—the substructure, on which the foundations rested, was a fullreed of six cubits.great—literally, "to the extremity" or root, namely, of the hand [Henderson]. "To the joining,"or point, where the foundation of one chamber ceased and another began [Fairbairn].9. that which was left—There was an unoccupied place within chambers that belonged to thehouse. The buildings in this unoccupied place, west of the temple, and so much resembling it insize, imply that no place was to be left which was to be held, as of old, not sacred. Manasseh (2Ki23:11) had abused these "suburbs of the temple" to keeping horses sacred to the sun. All excusefor such abominations was henceforth to be taken away, the Lord claiming every space, and fillingup this also with sacred erections [Fairbairn].10. the chambers—that is, of the priests in the court: between these and the side chambers wasthe wideness, &c. While long details are given as to the chambers, &c., no mention is made of theark of the covenant. Fairbairn thus interprets this: In future there was to be a perfect conformity tothe divine idea, such as there had not been before. The dwellings of His people should all becometrue sanctuaries of piety. Jehovah Himself, in the full display of the divine Shekinah, shall comein the room of the ark of the covenant (Jer 3:16, 17). The interior of the temple stands empty, waitingfor His entrance to fill it with His glory (Eze 43:1-12). It is the same temple, but the courts of ithave become different to accommodate a more numerous people. The entire compass of the templemount has become a holy of holies (Eze 43:12).12-15. Sum of the measures of the temple, and of the buildings behind and on the side of it.15. galleries—terrace buildings. On the west or back of the temple, there was a separate placeoccupied by buildings of the same external dimensions as the temple, that is, one hundred cubitssquare in the entire compass [Fairbairn].16. covered—being the highest windows they were "covered" from the view below. Or else"covered with lattice-work."17. by measure—Measurements were taken [Fairbairn].21. appearance of the one as the appearance of the other—The appearance of the sanctuaryor holy of holies was similar to that of the temple. They differed only in magnitude.22. table … before the Lord—the altar of incense (Eze 44:16). At it, not at the table ofshowbread, the priests daily ministered. It stood in front of the veil, and is therefore said to be"before the Lord." It is called a table, as being that at which the Lord will take delight in His people,as at a feast. Hence its dimensions are larger than that of old—three cubits high, two broad, insteadof two and one.25. thick planks—a thick-plank work at the threshold.CHAPTER 42Eze 42:1-20. Chambers of the Priests: Measurements of the Temple.2. Before the length of an hundred cubits—that is, before "the separate place," which wasthat length (Eze 41:13). He had before spoken of chambers for the officiating priests on the northand south gates of the inner court (Eze 40:44-46). He now returns to take a more exact view ofthem.1530JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson5. shorter—that is, the building became narrower as it rose in height. The chambers weremany: so "in My Father's house are many mansions" (Joh 14:2); and besides these there was much"room" still left (compare Lu 14:22). The chambers, though private, were near the temple. Prayerin our chambers is to prepare us for public devotions, and to help us in improving them.16. five hundred reeds—the Septuagint substitutes "cubits" for "reeds," to escape the immensecompass assigned to the whole, namely, a square of five hundred rods or three thousand cubits (twofeet each; Eze 40:5), in all a square of one and one-seventh miles, that is, more than all ancientJerusalem; also, there is much space thus left unappropriated. Fairbairn rightly supports EnglishVersion, which agrees with the Hebrew. The vast extent is another feature marking the ideal characterof the temple. It symbolizes the great enlargement of the kingdom of God, when Jehovah-Messiahshall reign at Jerusalem, and from thence to the ends of the earth (Isa 2:2-4; Jer 3:17; Ro 11:12,15).20. wall … separation between … sanctuary and … profane—No longer shall the wall ofpartition be to separate the Jew and the Gentile (Eph 2:14), but to separate the sacred from theprofane. The lowness of it renders it unfit for the purpose of defense (the object of the wall, Re21:12). But its square form (as in the city, Re 21:16) is the emblem of the kingdom that cannot beshaken (Heb 12:28), resting on prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone.CHAPTER 43Eze 43:1-27. Jehovah's Return to the Temple.Everything was now ready for His reception. As the Shekinah glory was the peculiar distinctionof the old temple, so it was to be in the new in a degree as much more transcendent as the proportionsof the new exceeded those of the old. The fact that the Shekinah glory was not in the second templeproves that it cannot be that temple which is meant in the prophecy.2. the way of the east—the way whereby the glory had departed (Eze 11:22, 23), and restedon Mount Olivet (compare Zec 14:4).his voice … like … many waters—So English Version rightly, as in Eze 1:24, "voice of theAlmighty"; Re 1:15; 14:2, prove this. Not as Fairbairn translates, "its noise."earth his glory—(Re 18:1).3. when I came to destroy the city—that is, to pronounce God's word for its destruction. Socompletely did the prophets identify themselves with Him in whose name they spake.6. the man—who had been measuring the buildings (Eze 40:3).7. the place—that is, "behold the place of My throne"—the place on which your thoughts haveso much dwelt (Isa 2:1-3; Jer 3:17; Zec 14:16-20; Mal 3:1). God from the first claimed to be theirKing politically as well as religiously: and He had resisted their wish to have a human king, asimplying a rejection of Him as the proper Head of the state. Even when He yielded to their wish,it was with a protest against their king ruling except as His vicegerent. When Messiah shall reignat Jerusalem, He shall then first realize the original idea of the theocracy, with its at once divineand human king reigning in righteousness over a people all righteous (Eze 43:12; Isa 52:1; 54:13;60:21).9. carcasses of their kings—It is supposed that some of their idolatrous kings were buriedwithin the bounds of Solomon's temple [Henderson]. Rather, "the carcasses of their idols," here called1531JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"kings," as having had lordship over them in past times (Isa 26:13); but henceforth Jehovah, alonetheir rightful lord, shall be their king, and the idols that had been their "king" would appear but as"carcasses." Hence these defunct kings are associated with the "high places" in Eze 43:7 [Fairbairn].Le 26:30 and Jer 16:18, confirm this. Manasseh had built altars in the courts of the temple to thehost of heaven (2Ki 21:5; 23:6).I will dwell in the midst … for ever—(Re 21:3).10. show the house … that they may be ashamed of their iniquities—When the spiritualityof the Christian scheme is shown to men by the Holy Ghost, it makes them "ashamed of theiriniquities."12. whole … most holy—This superlative, which had been used exclusively of the holy ofholies (Ex 26:34), was now to characterize the entire building. This all-pervading sanctity was tobe "the law of the (whole) house," as distinguished from the Levitical law, which confined thepeculiar sanctity to a single apartment of it.13-27. As to the altar of burnt offering, which was the appointed means of access to God.15. altar—Hebrew, Harel, that is, "mount of God"; denoting the high security to be impartedby it to the restored Israel. It was a high place, but a high place of God, not of idols.from the altar—literally, "the lion of God," Ariel (in Isa 29:1, "Ariel" is applied to Jerusalem).Menochius supposes that on it four animals were carved; the lion perhaps was the uppermost, whencethe horns were made to issue. Gesenius regards the two words as expressing the "hearth" or fireplaceof the altar.16. square in the four squares—square on the four sides of its squares [Fairbairn].17. settle—ledge [Fairbairn].stairs—rather, "the ascent," as "steps" up to God's altar were forbidden in Ex 20:26.18-27. The sacrifices here are not mere commemorative, but propitiatory ones. The expressions,"blood" (Eze 43:18), and "for a sin offering" (Eze 43:19, 21, 22), prove this. In the literal sensethey can only apply to the second temple. Under the Christian dispensation they would directlyoppose the doctrine taught in Heb 10:1-18, namely, that Christ has by one offering for ever atonedfor sin. However, it is possible that they might exist with a retrospective reference to Christ'ssufferings, as the Levitical sacrifices had a prospective reference to them; not propitiatory inthemselves, but memorials to keep up the remembrance of His propitiatory sufferings, which formthe foundation of His kingdom, lest they should be lost sight of in the glory of that kingdom [DeBurgh]. The particularity of the directions make it unlikely that they are to be understood in a merelyvague spiritual sense.20. cleanse—literally, "make expiation for."21. burn it … without the sanctuary—(Heb 13:11).26. Seven days—referring to the original directions of Moses for seven days' purificationservices of the altar (Ex 29:37).consecrate themselves—literally, "fill their hands," namely, with offerings; referring to themode of consecrating a priest (Ex 29:24, 35).27. I will accept you—(Eze 20:40, 41; Ro 12:1; 1Pe 2:5).CHAPTER 441532JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonEze 44:1-31. Ordinances for the Prince and the Priests.2. shut … not be opened—(Job 12:14; Isa 22:22; Re 3:7). "Shut" to the people (Ex 19:21, 22),but open to "the prince" (Eze 44:3), he holding the place of God in political concerns, as the priestsdo in spiritual. As a mark of respect to an Eastern monarch, the gate by which he enters is thenceforthshut to all other persons (compare Ex 19:24).3. the prince—not King Messiah, as He never would offer a burnt offering for Himself, as theprince is to do (Eze 46:4). The prince must mean the civil ruler under Messiah. His connection withthe east gate (by which the Lord had returned to His temple) implies, that, as ruling under God, heis to stand in a place of peculiar nearness to God. He represents Messiah, who entered heaven, thetrue sanctuary, by a way that none other could, namely, by His own holiness; all others must enteras sinners by faith in His blood, through grace.eat bread before the Lord—a custom connected with sacrifices (Ge 31:54; Ex 18:12; 24:11;1Co 10:18).4-6. Directions as to the priests. Their acts of desecration are attributed to "the house of Israel"(Eze 44:6, 7), as the sins of the priesthood and of the people acted and reacted on one another; "likepeople, like priest" (Jer 5:31; Ho 4:9).7. uncircumcised in heart—Israelites circumcised outwardly, but wanting the true circumcisionof the heart (De 10:16; Ac 7:51).uncircumcised in flesh—not having even the outward badge of the covenant-people.8. keepers … for yourselves—such as you yourselves thought fit, not such as I approve of. Orelse, "Ye have not yourselves kept the charge of My holy things, but have set others as keepers ofMy charge in My sanctuary for yourselves" [Maurer].10, 11. Levites … shall … bear—namely, the punishment oftheir iniquity … Yet they shall be ministers—So Mark, a Levite, nephew of Barnabas (Ac4:36), was punished by Paul for losing an opportunity of bearing the cross of Christ, and yet wasafterwards admitted into his friendship again, and showed his zeal (Ac 13:13; 15:37; Col 4:10; 2Ti4:11). One may be a believer, and that too in a distinguished place, and yet lose some specialhonor—be acknowledged as pious, yet be excluded from some dignity [Bengel].charge at the gates—Better to be "a doorkeeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tentsof wickedness" (Ps 84:10). Though standing as a mere doorkeeper, it is in the house of God, whichhath foundations: whereas he who dwells with the wicked, dwells in but shifting tents.15. Zadok—The priests of the line of Ithamar were to be discharged from ministrations in thetemple, because of their corruptions, following in the steps of Eli's sons, against whom the samedenunciation was uttered (1Sa 2:32, 35). Zadok, according to his name (which means "righteous")and his line, were to succeed (1Ki 2:35; 1Ch 24:3), as they did not take part in the general apostasyto the same degree, and perhaps [Fairbairn] the prophet, referring to their original state, speaks ofthem as they appeared when first chosen to the office.17. linen—symbolical of purity. Wool soon induces perspiration in the sultry East and sobecomes uncleanly.18. bonnets—turbans.19. not sanctify the people with their garments—namely, those peculiarly priestly vestmentsin which they ministered in the sanctuary.20. Neither … shave … heads—as mourners do (Le 21:1-5). The worshippers of the Egyptianidols Serapis and Isis shaved their heads; another reason why Jehovah's priests are not to do so.1533JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnor suffer … locks to grow long—as the luxurious, barbarians, and soldiers in warfare did[Jerome].21. Neither … wine—lest the holy enthusiasm of their devotion should be mistaken forinebriation, as in Peter's case (Ac 2:13, 15, 18).28. I am their inheritance—(Nu 18:20; De 10:9; 18:1; Jos 13:14, 32).30. give … priest the first … that he may cause the blessing to rest—(Pr 3:9, 10; Mal 3:10).CHAPTER 45Eze 45:1-25. Allotment of the Land for the Sanctuary, the City, and the Prince.1. offer an oblation—from a Hebrew root to "heave" or "raise"; when anything was offeredto God, the offerer raised the hand. The special territorial division for the tribes is given in theforty-seventh and forty-eighth chapters. Only Jehovah's portion is here subdivided into its threeparts: (1) that for the sanctuary (Eze 45:2, 3); (2) that for the priests (Eze 45:4); (3) that for theLevites (Eze 45:5). Compare Eze 48:8-13.five and twenty thousand reeds, &c.—So English Version rightly fills the ellipsis (compareNote, see on Eze 42:16). Hence "cubits" are mentioned in Eze 45:2, not here, implying that therealone cubits are meant. Taking each reed at twelve feet, the area of the whole would be a squareof sixty miles on each side. The whole forming a square betokens the settled stability of thecommunity and the harmony of all classes. "An holy portion of the land" (Eze 45:1) comprised thewhole length, and only two-fifths of the breadth. The outer territory in its distribution harmonizeswith the inner and more sacred arrangements of the sanctuary. No room is to be given for oppression(see Eze 45:8), all having ample provision made for their wants and comforts. All will mutuallyco-operate without constraint or contention.7. The prince's possession is to consist of two halves, one on the west, the other on the east, ofthe sacred territory. The prince, as head of the holy community, stands in closest connection withthe sanctuary; his possession, therefore, on both sides must adjoin that which was peculiarly theLord's [Fairbairn].12. The standard weights were lost when the Chaldeans destroyed the temple. The threefoldenumeration of shekels (twenty, twenty-five, fifteen) probably refers to coins of different value,representing respectively so many shekels, the three collectively making up a maneh. By weighingthese together against the maneh, a test was afforded whether they severally had their proper weight:sixty shekels in all, containing one coin a fourth of the whole (fifteen shekels), another a third(twenty shekels), another a third and a twelfth (twenty-five shekels) [Menochius]. The Septuagintreads, "fifty shekels shall be your maneh."13-15. In these oblations there is a progression as to the relation between the kind and thequantity: of the corn, the sixth of a tenth, that is, a sixtieth part of the quantity specified; of the oil,the tenth of a tenth, that is, an hundredth part; and of the flock, one from every two hundred.18. The year is to begin with a consecration service, not mentioned under the Levitical law; butan earnest of it is given in the feast of dedication of the second temple, which celebrated itspurification by Judas Maccabeus, after its defilement by Antiochus.20. for him that is simple—for sins of ignorance (Le 4:2, 13, 27).1534JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson21. As a new solemnity, the feast of consecration is to prepare for the passover; so the passoveritself is to have different sacrifices from those of the Mosaic law. Instead of one ram and sevenlambs for the daily burnt offering, there are to be seven bullocks and seven rams. So also whereasthe feast of tabernacles had its own offerings, which diminished as the days of the feast advanced,here the same are appointed as on the passover. Thus it is implied that the letter of the law is togive place to its spirit, those outward rites of Judaism having no intrinsic efficacy, but symbolizingthe spiritual truths of Messiah's kingdom, as for instance the perfect holiness which is to characterizeit. Compare 1Co 5:7, 8, as to our spiritual "passover," wherein, at the Lord's supper, we feed onChrist by faith, accompanied with "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Literal ordinances,though not slavishly bound to the letter of the law, will set forth the catholic and eternal verities ofMessiah's kingdom.CHAPTER 46Eze 46:1-24. Continuation of the Ordinances for the Prince and for the People in Their Worship.2. The prince is to go through the east gate without (open on the Sabbath only, to mark itspeculiar sanctity) to the entrance of the gate of the inner court; he is to go no further, but "stand bythe post" (compare 1Ki 8:14, 22, Solomon standing before the altar of the Lord in the presence ofthe congregation; also 2Ki 11:14; 23:3, "by a pillar": the customary place), the court within belongingexclusively to the priests. There, as representative of the people, in a peculiarly near relation toGod, he is to present his offerings to Jehovah, while at a greater distance, the people are to standworshipping at the outer gate of the same entrance. The offerings on Sabbaths are larger than thoseof the Mosaic law, to imply that the worship of God is to be conducted by the prince and peoplein a more munificent spirit of self-sacrificing liberality than formerly.9. The worshippers were on the great feasts to pass from one side to the other, through thetemple courts, in order that, in such a throng as should attend the festivals, the ingress and egressshould be the more unimpeded, those going out not being in the way of those coming in.10. prince in the midst—not isolated as at other times, but joining the great throng ofworshippers, at their head, after the example of David (Ps 42:4, "I had gone with the multitude …to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day"); thehighest in rank animating the devotions of the rest by his presence and example.12-15. Not only is he to perform official acts of worship on holy days and feasts, but in"voluntary" offerings daily he is to show his individual zeal, surpassing all his people in liberality,and so setting them a princely example.16-18. The prince's possession is to be inalienable, and any portion given to a servant is to revertto his sons at the year of jubilee, that he may have no temptation to spoil his people of theirinheritance, as formerly (compare Ahab and Naboth, 1Ki 21:1-29). The mention of the year ofjubilee implies that there is something literal meant, besides the spiritual sense. The jubilee yearwas restored after the captivity [Josephus, Antiquities, 14.10,6; 1 Maccabees 6:49]. Perhaps it willbe restored under Messiah's coming reign. Compare Isa 61:2, 3, where "the acceptable year of theLord" is closely connected with the comforting of the mourners in Zion, and "the day of vengeance"on Zion's foes. The mention of the prince's sons is another argument against Messiah being meantby "the prince."1535JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson19-24. Due regard is to be had for the sanctity of the officiating priests' food, by cooking courtsbeing provided close to their chambers. One set of apartments for cooking was to be at the cornersof the inner court, reserved for the flesh of the sin offerings, to be eaten only by the priests whoseperquisite it was (Le 6:25; 7:7), before coming forth to mingle again with the people; another setat the corners of the outer court, for cooking the flesh of the peace offerings, of which the peoplepartook along with the priests. All this implies that no longer are the common and unclean to beconfounded with the sacred and divine, but that in even the least things, as eating and drinking, theglory of God is to be the aim (1Co 10:31).22. courts joined—Fairbairn translates, "roofed" or "vaulted." But these cooking apartmentsseem to have been uncovered, to let the smoke and smell of the meat the more easily pass away.They were "joined" or "attached" to the walls of the courts at the corners of the latter [Menochius].23. boiling places—boilers.under the rows—At the foot of the rows, that is, in the lowest part of the walls, were the placesfor boiling made.CHAPTER 47Eze 47:1-23. Vision of the Temple Waters. Borders and Division of The land.The happy fruit to the earth at large of God's dwelling with Israel in holy fellowship is that theblessing is no longer restricted to the one people and locality, but is to be diffused withcomprehensive catholicity through the whole world. So the plant from the cedar of Lebanon isrepresented as gathering under its shelter "all fowl of every wing" (Eze 17:23). Even the desertplaces of the earth shall be made fruitful by the healing waters of the Gospel (compare Isa 35:1).1. waters—So Re 22:1, represents "the water of life as proceeding out of the throne of Godand of the Lamb." His throne was set up in the temple at Jerusalem (Eze 43:7). Thence it is to flowover the earth (Joe 3:18; Zec 13:1; 14:8). Messiah is the temple and the door; from His pierced sideflow the living waters, ever increasing, both in the individual believer and in the heart. The fountainsin the vicinity of Moriah suggested the image here. The waters flow eastward, that is, towards theKedron, and thence towards the Jordan, and so along the Ghor into the Dead Sea. The main pointin the picture is the rapid augmentation from a petty stream into a mighty river, not by the influxof side streams, but by its own self-supply from the sacred miraculous source in the temple[Henderson]. (Compare Ps 36:8, 9; 46:4; Isa 11:9; Hab 2:14). Searching into the things of God, wefind some easy to understand, as the water up to the ankles; others more difficult, which require adeeper search, as the waters up to the knees or loins; others beyond our reach, of which we canonly adore the depth (Ro 11:33). The healing of the waters of the Dead Sea here answers to "thereshall be no more curse" (Re 22:3; compare Zec 14:11).7. trees—not merely one tree of life as in Paradise (Ge 3:22), but many: to supply immortalfood and medicine to the people of God, who themselves also become "trees of righteousness" (Isa61:3) planted by the waters and (Ps 1:3) bearing fruit unto holiness.8. the desert—or "plain," Hebrew, Arabah (De 3:17; 4:49; Jos 3:16), which is the name stillgiven to the valley of the Jordan and the plain south of the Dead Sea, and extending to the Elaniticgulf of the Red Sea.1536JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe sea—the Dead Sea. "The sea" noted as covering with its waters the guilty cities of the plain,Sodom and Gomorrah. In its bituminous waters no vegetable or animal life is said to be found. Butnow death is to give place to life in Judea, and throughout the world, as symbolized by the healingof these death-pervaded waters covering the doomed cities. Compare as to "the sea" in general,regarded as a symbol of the troubled powers of nature, disordered by the fall, henceforth to rageno more, Re 21:1.9. rivers—in Hebrew, "two rivers." Hence Hebrew expositors think that the waters from thetemple were divided into two branches, the one emptying itself into the eastern or Dead Sea, theother into the western or Mediterranean. So Zec 14:8. However, though this probably is covertlyimplied in the Hebrew dual, the flowing of the waters into the Dead Sea only is expressed. CompareEze 47:8, "waters … healed," which can apply only to it, not to the Mediterranean: also Eze 47:10,"fish as the fish of the great sea"; the Dead Sea, when healed, containing fish, as the Mediterraneandoes.10. En-gedi … En-eglaim—En-gedi (meaning "fountain of the kid"), anciently, Hazazon-Tamar,now Ain-Jidy; west of the Dead Sea; David's place of refuge from Saul. En-eglaim means "fountainof two calves," on the confines of Moab, over against En-gedi, and near where Jordan enters theDead Sea (Isa 15:8). These two limits are fixed on, to comprise between them the whole Dead Sea.fish … according to their kinds—Jerome quotes an ancient theory that "there are a hundredfifty-three kinds of fishes," all of which were taken by the apostles (Joh 21:11), and not one remaineduncaptured; signifying that both the noble and baseborn, the rich and the poor, and every class, arebeing drawn out of the sea of the world to salvation. Compare Mt 13:47, the gospel net; the apostlesbeing fishermen, at first literally, afterwards spiritually (Mt 4:19).11. marshes—marshy places. The region is known to have such pits and marshes. The Arabstake the salt collected by evaporation in these pits for their own use, and that of their flocks.not be healed—Those not reached by the healing waters of the Gospel, through their sloth andearthly-mindedness, are given over (Re 22:11) to their own bitterness and barrenness (as "saltness"is often employed to express, De 29:23; Ps 107:34; Zep 2:9); an awful example to others in thepunishment they suffer (2Pe 2:6).12. Instead of the "vine of Sodom and grapes of Gomorrah" (De 32:32), nauseous andunwholesome, trees of life-giving and life-restoring virtue shall bloom similar in properties to, andexceeding in number, the tree of life in Eden (Re 2:7; 22:2, 14).leaf … not fade—expressing not only the unfailing character of the heavenly medicine of thetree of life, but also that the graces of the believer (as a tree of righteousness), which are the leaves,and his deeds, which are the fruits that flow from those graces, are immortal (Ps 1:3; Jer 17:8; Mt10:42; 1Co 15:58).new fruit—literally, "firstlings," or first fruit. They are still, each month afresh, as it were,yielding their first-fruit [Fairbairn]. The first-born of a thing, in Hebrew idiom, means the chiefest.As Job 18:13, "the first-born of death," that is, the most fatal death.13. The redivision of the land: the boundaries. The latter are substantially the same as thosegiven by Moses in Nu 34:1-29; they here begin with the north, but in Numbers they begin with thesouth (Nu 34:3). It is only Canaan proper, exclusive of the possession of the two and a half tribesbeyond Jordan, that is here divided.Joseph … two portions—according to the original promise of Jacob (Ge 48:5, 22). Joseph'ssons were given the birthright forfeited by Reuben, the first-born (1Ch 5:1). Therefore the former1537JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonis here put first. His two sons having distinct portions make up the whole number twelve portions,as he had just before specified "twelve tribes of Israel"; for Levi had no separate inheritance, sothat he is not reckoned in the twelve.15. Zedad—on the north boundary of Canaan.16. Hamath—As Israel was a separate people, so their land was a separate land. On no scenecould the sacred history have been so well transacted as on it. On the east was the sandy desert. Onthe north and south, mountains. On the west, an inhospitable sea-shore. But it was not always tobe a separate land. Between the parallel ranges of Lebanon is the long valley of El-Bekaa, leadingto "the entering in of Hamath" on the Orontes, in the Syrian frontier. Roman roads, and the harbormade at Cæsarea, opened out doors through which the Gospel should go from it to all lands. So inthe last days, when all shall flock to Jerusalem as the religious center of the world.Berothah—a city in Syria conquered by David (2Sa 8:8); meaning "wells."Hazar-hatticon—meaning "the middle village."Hauran—a tract in Syria, south of Damascus; Auranitis.17. Hazar-enan—a town in the north of Canaan, meaning "village of fountains."18. east sea—the Dead Sea. The border is to go down straight to it by the valley of the Jordan.So Nu 34:11, 12.19. Tamar—not Tadmor in the desert, but Tamar, the last town of Judea, by the Dead Sea.Meaning "palm tree"; so called from palm trees abounding near it.22. to the strangers—It is altogether unprecedented under the old covenant, that "strangers"should have "inheritance" among the tribes. There would not be room locally within Canaan formore than the tribes. The literal sense must therefore be modified, as expressing that Gentiles arenot to be excluded from settling among the covenant-people, and that spiritually their privilegesare not to be less than those of Israel (Ro 10:12; Ga 3:28; Eph 3:6; Col 3:11; Re 7:9, 10). Still,"sojourneth," in Eze 47:23, implies that in Canaan, the covenant people are regarded as at home,the strangers as settlers.CHAPTER 48Eze 48:1-35. Allotment of the Land to the Several Tribes.1. Dan—The lands are divided into portions of ideal exactness, running alongside of each other,the whole breadth from west to east, standing in a common relation to the temple in the center:seven tribes' portions on the north, five in the smaller division in the south. The portions of the city,the temple, the prince, and the priesthood, are in the middle, not within the boundaries of any tribe,all alike having a common interest in them. Judah has the place of honor next the center on thenorth, Benjamin the corresponding place of honor next the center on the south; because of theadherence of these two to the temple ordinances and to the house of David for so long, when theothers deserted them. Dan, on the contrary, so long locally and morally semi-heathen (Jud 18:1-31),is to have the least honorable place, at the extreme north. For the same reason, St. John (Re 7:5-8)omits Dan altogether.3. Asher—a tribe of which no one of note is mentioned in the Old Testament. In the NewTestament one is singled out of it, the prophetess Anna.1538JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. Manasseh—The intercourse and unity between the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan,and the nine and a half west of it, had been much kept up by the splitting of Manasseh, causing thevisits of kinsmen one to the other from both sides of the Jordan. There shall be no need for this inthe new order of things.5. Ephraim—This tribe, within its two dependent tribes, Manasseh and Benjamin, for upwardsof four hundred years under the judges held the pre-eminence.6. Reuben—doomed formerly for incest and instability "not to excel" (Ge 49:4). So nodistinguished prophet, priest, or king had come from it. Of it were the notorious Dathan and Abiram,the mutineers. A pastoral and Bedouin character marked it and Gad (Jud 5:16).15-17. The five thousand rods, apportioned to the city out of the twenty-five thousand square,are to be laid off in a square of four thousand five hundred, with the two hundred fifty all aroundfor suburbs.profane—that is, not strictly sacred as the sacerdotal portions, but applied to secular uses.24. Benjamin—Compare Jacob's prophecy (Ge 49:27; De 33:12). It alone with Judah had beenthroughout loyal to the house of David, so its prowess at the "night" of the national history wascelebrated as well as in the "morning."25. Simeon—omitted in the blessing of Moses in De 33:1-29, perhaps because of the Simeonite"prince," who at Baal-peor led the Israelites in their idolatrous whoredoms with Midian (Nu 25:14).26. Issachar—Its ancient portion had been on the plain of Esdraelon. Compared (Ge 49:14) to"a strong ass crouching between two burdens," that is, tribute and tillage; never meddling with warsexcept in self-defense.31. gates—(Re 21:12, &c.). The twelve gates bear the names of the twelve tribes to imply thatall are regarded as having an interest in it.35. Lord is there—Jehovah-Shammah. Not that the city will be called so in mere name, butthat the reality will be best expressed by this descriptive title (Jer 3:17; 33:16; Zec 2:10; Re 21:3;22:3).


      THEBOOK OF DANIEL.Commentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONDaniel, that is, "God is my judge"; probably of the blood royal (compare Da 1:3, with 1Ch 3:1,where a son of David is named so). Jerusalem may have been his birthplace (though Da 9:24, "thyholy city," does not necessarily imply this). He was carried to Babylon among the Hebrew captivesbrought thither by Nebuchadnezzar at the first deportation in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. As heand his three companions are called (Da 1:4) "children," he cannot have been more than abouttwelve years old when put in training, according to Eastern etiquette, to be a courtier (Da 1:3, 6).He then received a new name, by which it was usual to mark a change in one's condition (2Ki23:34; 24:17; Ezr 5:14; Es 2:7), Belteshazzar, that is, "a prince favored by Bel" (Da 1:7). His pietyand wisdom were proverbial among his countrymen at an early period; probably owing to thatnoble proof he gave of faithfulness, combined with wisdom, in abstaining from the food sent tohim from the king's table, as being polluted by the idolatries usual at heathen banquets (Da 1:8-16).1539JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHence Ezekiel's reference to him (Eze 14:14, 20; 28:3) is precisely of that kind we should expect;a coincidence which must be undesigned. Ezekiel refers to him not as a writer, but as exhibiting acharacter righteous and wise in discerning secrets, in those circumstances now found in his book,which are earlier than the time when Ezekiel wrote. As Joseph rose in Egypt by interpretingPharaoh's dreams, so Daniel, by interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's, was promoted to be governor ofBabylonia, and president of the Magian priest-caste. Under Evil-merodach, Nebuchadnezzar'ssuccessor, as a change of officers often attends the accession of a new king, Daniel seems to havehad a lower post, which led him occasionally to be away from Babylon (Da 8:2, 27). Again hecame into note when he read the mystic writing of Belshazzar's doom on the wall on the night ofthat monarch's impious feast. Berosus calls the last Babylonian king Nabonidus and says he was notkilled, but had an honorable abode in Carmania assigned to him, after having surrendered voluntarilyin Borsippa. Rawlinson has cleared up the discrepancy from the Nineveh inscription. Belshazzar wasjoint king with his father, Evil-merodach or Nabonidus (called Minus in the inscriptions), to whomhe was subordinate. He shut himself up in Babylon, while the other king took refuge elsewhere,namely, in Borsippa. Berosus gives the Chaldean account, which suppresses all about Belshazzar,as being to the national dishonor. Had Daniel been a late book, he would no doubt have taken upthe later account of Berosus. If he gave a history differing from that current in Babylonia, the Jewsof that region would not have received it as true. Darius the Mede, or Cyaxares II, succeeded andreigned two years. The mention of this monarch's reign, almost unknown to profane history (beingeclipsed by the splendor of Cyrus) is an incidental proof that Daniel wrote as a contemporaryhistorian of events which he knew, and did not borrow from others. In the third year of Cyrus hesaw the visions (the tenth through twelfth chapters) relating to his people down to the latest daysand the coming resurrection. He must have been about eighty-four years old at this time. Traditionrepresents Daniel as having died and been buried at Shushan. Though his advanced age did notallow him to be among those who returned to Palestine, yet he never ceased to have his people'sinterests nearest to his heart (Da 9:3-19; 10:12).Authenticity of the Book of Daniel. Da 7:1, 28; 8:2; 9:2; 10:1, 2; 12:4, 5, testify that it was composedby Daniel himself. He does not mention himself in the first six chapters, which are historical; forin these it is not the author, but the events which are the prominent point. In the last six, which areprophetical, the author makes himself known, for here it was needed, prophecy being a revelationof words to particular men. It holds a third rank in the Hebrew canon: not among the prophets, butin the Hagiographa (Chetubim), between Esther and Ezra, books like it relating to the captivity;because he did not strictly belong to those who held exclusively the profession of "prophets" in thetheocracy, but was rather a "seer," having the gift, but not the office of prophet. Were the book aninterpolated one, it doubtless would have been placed among the prophets. Its present position isa proof of its genuineness, as it was deliberately put in a position different from that where mostwould expect to find it. Placed between Esther, and Ezra and Nehemiah, it separated the historicalbooks of the time after the captivity. Thus, Daniel was, as Bengel calls him, the politician, chronologer,and historian among the prophets. The Psalms also, though many are prophetical, are ranked withthe Hagiographa, not with the prophets; and the Revelation of John is separated from his Epistles,as Daniel is from the Old Testament prophets. Instead of writing in the midst of the covenant people,and making them the foreground of his picture, he writes in a heathen court, the world kingdomsoccupying the foreground, and the kingdom of God, though ultimately made the most significant,the background. His peculiar position in the heathen court is reflected in his peculiar position in1540JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe canon. As the "prophets" in the Old Testament, so the epistles of the apostles in the NewTestament were written by divinely commissioned persons for their contemporaries. But Danieland John were not in immediate contact with the congregation, but isolated and alone with God,the one in a heathen court, the other on a lonely isle (Re 1:9). Porphyry, the assailant of Christianityin the third century, asserted that the Book of Daniel was a forgery of the time of the Maccabees(170-164 B.C.), a time when confessedly there were no prophets, written after the events as toAntiochus Epiphanes, which it professes to foretell; so accurate are the details. A conclusive proofof Daniel's inspiration, if his prophecies can be shown to have been before the events. Now weknow, from Josephus [Antiquities, 10.11.7], that the Jews in Christ's days recognized Daniel as inthe canon. Zechariah, Ezra, and Nehemiah, centuries before Antiochus, refer to it. Jesus refers toit in His characteristic designation, "Son of man," Mt 24:30 (Da 7:13); also expressly by name, andas a "prophet," in Mt 24:15 (compare Mt 24:21, with Da 12:1, &c.); and in the moment that decidedHis life (Mt 26:64) or death, when the high priest adjured him by the living God. Also, in Lu1:19-26, "Gabriel" is mentioned, whose name occurs nowhere else in Scripture, save in Da 8:16;9:21. Besides the references to it in Revelation, Paul confirms the prophetical part of it, as to theblasphemous king (Da 7:8, 25; 11:36), in 1Co 6:2; 2Th 2:3, 4; the narrative part, as to the miraculousdeliverances from "the lions" and "the fire," in Heb 11:33, 34. Thus the book is expressly attestedby the New Testament on the three points made the stumbling-block of neologists—the predictions,the narratives of miracles, and the manifestations of angels. An objection has been stated to theunity of the book, namely, that Jesus quotes no part of the first half of Daniel. But Mt 21:44 wouldbe an enigma if it were not a reference to the "stone that smote the image" (Da 2:34, 35, 44, 45).Thus the New Testament sanctions the second, third, sixth, seventh, and eleventh chapters. Thedesign of the miracles in the heathen courts where Daniel was, as of those of Moses in Egypt, wasto lead the world power, which seemed to be victorious over the theocracy, to see the essentialinner superiority of the seemingly fallen kingdom of God to itself, and to show prostrate Israel thatthe power of God was the same as of old in Egypt. The first book of Maccabees (compare 1Maccabees 1:24; 9:27, 40, with Da 12:1; 11:26, of the Septuagint) refers to Daniel as an accreditedbook, and even refers to the Septuagint Alexandrian version of it. The fact of Daniel having a placein the Septuagint shows it was received by the Jews at large prior to the Maccabean times. TheSeptuagint version so arbitrarily deviated from the Hebrew Daniel, that Theodotius' version wassubstituted for it in the early Christian Church. Josephus [Antiquities, 11.8.5] mentions that Alexanderthe Great had designed to punish the Jews for their fidelity to Darius, but that Jaddua (332 B.C.),the high priest, met him at the head of a procession and averted his wrath by showing him Daniel'sprophecy that a Grecian monarch should overthrow Persia. Certain it is, Alexander favored theJews, and Josephus' statement gives an explanation of the fact; at least it shows that the Jews inJosephus' days believed that Daniel was extant in Alexander's days, long before the Maccabees. WithJaddua (high priest from 341-322 B.C.) the Old Testament history ends (Ne 12:11). (The registerof the priests and Levites was not written by Nehemiah, who died about 400 B.C., but was insertedwith divine sanction by the collectors of the canon subsequently.) An objection to Daniel'sauthenticity has been rested on a few Greek words found in it. But these are mostly names of Greekmusical instruments, which were imported by Greece from the East, rather than vice versa. Someof the words are derived from the common Indo-Germanic stock of both Greek and Chaldee: hencetheir appearance in both tongues. And one or two may have come through the Greeks of Asia Minorto the Chaldee. The fact that from the fourth verse of the second chapter to the end of the seventh,1541JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe language is Chaldee, but the rest Hebrew, is not an argument against, but for, its authenticity.So in Ezra the two languages are found. The work, if that of one author, must have been composedby someone in the circumstances of Daniel, that is, by one familiar with both languages. Nonative-born Hebrew who had not lived in Chaldea would know Chaldee so well as to use it withthe same idiomatic ease as his native tongue; the very impurities in Daniel's use of both are justsuch as were natural to one in his circumstances, but unnatural to one in a later age, or to one nothalf Hebrew, half Chaldean in residence as Daniel was. Those parts of Daniel which concern thewhole world are mostly Chaldee, then the language of the world empire. So Greek was made thelanguage of the New Testament, which was designed for the whole world. Those affecting theJews, mostly Hebrew; and this not so impure as that of Ezekiel. His Chaldee is a mixture of Hebrewand Aramaic. Two predictions alone are enough to prove to us that Daniel was a true prophet. (1)That his prophecies reach beyond Antiochus; namely, he foretells the rise of the four greatmonarchies, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (the last not being in Daniel's time knownbeyond the precincts of Italy, or rather of Latium), and that no other earthly kingdom would subvertthe fourth, but that it would divide into parts. All this has come to pass. No fifth great earthlymonarchy has arisen, though often attempted, as by Charlemagne, Charles V, and Napoleon. (2)The time of Messiah's advent, as dated from a certain decree, His being cut off, and the destructionof the city. "He who denies Daniel's prophecies," says Sir Isaac Newton, "undermines Christianity,which is founded on Daniel's prophecies concerning Christ."Characteristics of Daniel. The vision mode of revelation is the exception in other prophets, the rulein Daniel. In Zechariah (Zec 1:1-6:15), who lived after Daniel, the same mode appears, but theother form from the seventh chapter to the end. The Revelation of St. John alone is perfectly parallelto Daniel, which may be called the Old Testament Apocalypse. In the contents too there is thedifference above noticed, that he views the kingdom of God from the standpoint of the worldkingdoms, the development of which is his great subject. This mode of viewing it was appropriateto his own position in a heathen court, and to the relation of subjection in which the covenant-peoplethen stood to the world powers. No longer are single powers of the world incidentally introduced,but the universal monarchies are the chief theme, in which the worldly principle, opposed to thekingdom of God, manifests itself fully. The near and distant are not seen in the same perspective,as by the other prophets, who viewed the whole future from the eschatological point; but in Danielthe historical details are given of that development of the world powers which must precede theadvent of the kingdom [Auberlen].Significance of the Babylonian Captivity. The exile is the historical basis of Daniel's prophecies, asDaniel implies in the first chapter, which commences with the beginning, and ends with thetermination, of the captivity (Da 1:1, 21; compare Da 9:1, 2). A new stage in the theocracy beginswith the captivity. Nebuchadnezzar made three incursions into Judah. The first under Jehoiakim(606 B.C.), in which Daniel was carried away, subjected the theocracy to the Babylonian worldpower. The second (598 B.C.) was that in which Jehoiachin and Ezekiel were carried away. In thethird (588 B.C.), Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and carried away Zedekiah. Originally,Abraham was raised out of the "sea" (Da 7:2) of the nations, as an island holy to God, and his seedchosen as God's mediator of His revelations of love to mankind. Under David and Solomon, thetheocracy, as opposed to the heathen power, attained its climax in the Old Testament, not onlybeing independent, but lord of the surrounding nations; so that the period of these two kings washenceforth made the type of the Messianic. But when God's people, instead of resting on Him, seek1542JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonalliance with the world power, that very power is made the instrument of their chastisement. SoEphraim (722 B.C.) fell by Assyria; and Judah also, drawn into the sphere of the world's movementsfrom the time of Ahaz, who sought Assyrian help (740 B.C., Isa 7:1-25) at last fell by Babylon, andthenceforth has been more or less dependent on the world monarchies, and so, till Messiah, wasfavored with no revelations from the time of Malachi (four hundred years). Thus, from the beginningof the exile, the theocracy, in the strict sense, ceased on earth; the rule of the world powerssuperseding it. But God's covenant with Israel remains firm (Ro 11:29); therefore, a period ofblessing under Messiah's kingdom is now foretold as about to follow their long chastisement. Theexile thus is the turning point in the history of the theocracy, which Roos thus divides: (1) FromAdam to the exodus out of Egypt. (2) From the exodus to the beginning of the Babylonian captivity.(3) From the captivity to the millennium. (4) From the millennium to the end of the world. Theposition of Daniel in the Babylonian court was in unison with the altered relations of the theocracyand the world power, which new relation was to be the theme of his prophecy. Earlier prophets,from the standpoint of Israel, treated of Israel in its relation to the world powers; Daniel, fromBabylon, the center of the then world power, treats of the world powers in their relation to Israel.His seventy years' residence in Babylon, and his high official position there, gave him an insightinto the world's politics, fitting him to be the recipient of political revelations; while his spiritualexperiences, gained through Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation, Belshazzar's downfall, and the rapiddecay of the Babylonian empire itself, as well as the miraculous deliverances of himself and hisfriends (the third through sixth chapters), all fitted him for regarding things from the spiritualstandpoint, from which the world's power appears transient, but the glory of God's kingdom eternal.As his political position was the body, the school of magicians in which he had studied for threeyears (Da 1:4, 5) was the soul; and his mind strong in faith and nourished by the earlier prophecies(Da 9:2), the spirit of his prophecy, which only waited for the spirit of revelation from above tokindle it. So God fits His organs for their work. Auberlen compares Daniel to Joseph: the one at thebeginning, the other at the end of the Jewish history of revelation; both representatives of God andHis people at heathen courts; both interpreters of the dim presentiments of truth, expressed inGod-sent dreams, and therefore raised to honor by the powers of the world: so representing Israel'scalling to be a royal priesthood among the nations; and types of Christ, the true Israel, and of Israel'sdestination to be a light to lighten the whole Gentile world, as Ro 11:12, 15 foretells. As Achillesat the beginning, and Alexander at the end, of Grecian history are the mirrors of the whole life ofthe Hellenic people, so Joseph and Daniel of Israel.Contents of the Book. Historical and biographical introduction in the first chapter. Daniel, a captiveexile, is representative of his nation in its servitude and exile: while his heavenly insight into dreams,far exceeding that of the magi, represents the divine superiority of the covenant-people over theirheathen lords. The high dignities, even in the world, which he thereby attained, typify the givingof the earth-kingdom at last "to the people of the saints of the Most High" (Da 7:27). Thus Daniel'spersonal history is the typical foundation of his prophecy. The prophets had to experience inthemselves, and in their age, something of what they foretold about future times; just as David feltmuch of Christ's sufferings in his own person (compare Ho 1:2-9, 10, 11; 2:3). So Jon 1:1-17, &c.[Roos]. Hence biographical notices of Daniel and his friends are inserted among his prophecies. Thesecond through twelfth chapters contain the substance of the book, and consist of two parts. Thefirst (the second through seventh chapters) represents the development of the world powers, viewedfrom a historical point. The second (the eighth through twelfth chapters), their development in1543JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrelation to Israel, especially in the future preceding Christ's first advent, foretold in the ninth chapter.But prophecy looks beyond the immediate future to the complete fulfilment in the last days, sincethe individual parts in the organic history of salvation cannot be understood except in connectionwith the whole. Also Israel looked forward to the Messianic time, not only for spiritual salvation,but also for the visible restoration of the kingdom which even now we too expect. The prophecywhich they needed ought therefore to comprise both, and so much of the history of the world aswould elapse before the final consummation. The period of Daniel's prophecies, therefore, is thatfrom the downfall of the theocracy at the captivity till its final restoration, yet future—the periodof the dominion of the world powers, not set aside by Christ's first coming (Joh 18:36; for, to havetaken the earth-kingdom then, would have been to take it from Satan's hands, Mt 4:8-10), but to besuperseded by His universal and everlasting kingdom at His second coming (Re 11:15). Thus thegeneral survey of the development and final destiny of the world powers (the second through seventhchapters) fittingly precedes the disclosures as to the immediate future (the eighth through twelfthchapters). Daniel marks the division by writing the first part in Chaldee, and the second, and theintroduction, in Hebrew; the former, referring to the powers of the world, in the language of thethen dominant world power under which he lived; the latter, relating to the people of God, in theirown language. An interpolator in a later age would have used Hebrew, the language of the ancientprophets throughout, or if anywhere Aramaic, so as to be understood by his contemporaries, hewould have used it in the second rather than in the first part as having a more immediate referenceto his own times [Auberlen].CHAPTER 1Da 1:1-21. The Babylonian Captivity Begins; Daniel's Education at Babylon, &C.1. third year—compare Jer 25:1, "the fourth year; Jehoiakim came to the throne at the end ofthe year, which Jeremiah reckons as the first year, but which Daniel leaves out of count, being anincomplete year: thus, in Jeremiah, it is "the fourth year"; in Daniel, "the third" [Jahn]. However,Jeremiah (Jer 25:1; 46:2) merely says, the fourth year of Jehoiakim coincided with the first ofNebuchadnezzar, when the latter conquered the Egyptians at Carchemish; not that the deportationof captives from Jerusalem was in the fourth year of Jehoiakim: this probably took place in the endof the third year of Jehoiakim, shortly before the battle of Carchemish [Fairbairn]. Nebuchadnezzartook away the captives as hostages for the submission of the Hebrews. Historical Scripture givesno positive account of this first deportation, with which the Babylonian captivity, that is, Judah'ssubjection to Babylon for seventy years (Jer 29:10), begins. But 2Ch 36:6, 7, states thatNebuchadnezzar had intended "to carry Jehoiakim to Babylon," and that he "carried off the vesselsof the house of the Lord" thither. But Jehoiakim died at Jerusalem, before the conqueror's intentionas to him was carried into effect (Jer 22:18, 19; 36:30), and his dead body, as was foretold, wasdragged out of the gates by the Chaldean besiegers, and left unburied. The second deportation underJehoiachin was eight years later.2. Shinar—the old name of Babylonia (Ge 11:2; 14:1; Isa 11:11; Zec 5:11). Nebuchadnezzartook only "part of the vessels," as he did not intend wholly to overthrow the state, but to make ittributary, and to leave such vessels as were absolutely needed for the public worship of Jehovah.Subsequently all were taken away and were restored under Cyrus (Ezr 1:7).1544JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhis god—Bel. His temple, as was often the case among the heathen, was made "treasure house"of the king.3. master of … eunuchs—called in Turkey the kislar aga.of the king's seed—compare the prophecy, 2Ki 20:17, 18.4. no blemish—A handsome form was connected, in Oriental ideas, with mental power."Children" means youths of twelve or fourteen years old.teach … tongue of … Chaldeans—their language and literature, the Aramaic-Babylonian.That the heathen lore was not altogether valueless appears from the Egyptian magicians who opposedMoses; the Eastern Magi who sought Jesus, and who may have drawn the tradition as to the "Kingof the Jews" from Da 9:24, &c., written in the East. As Moses was trained in the learning of theEgyptian sages, so Daniel in that of the Chaldeans, to familiarize his mind with mysterious lore,and so develop his heaven-bestowed gift of understanding in visions (Da 1:4, 5, 17).5. king's meat—It is usual for an Eastern king to entertain, from the food of his table, manyretainers and royal captives (Jer 52:33, 34). The Hebrew for "meat" implies delicacies.stand before the king—as attendant courtiers; not as eunuchs.6. children of Judah—the most noble tribe, being that to which the "king's seed" belonged(compare Da 1:3).7. gave names—designed to mark their new relation, that so they might forget their formerreligion and country (Ge 41:45). But as in Joseph's case (whom Pharaoh called Zaphnath-paaneah),so in Daniel's, the name indicative of his relation to a heathen court ("Belteshazzar," that is, "Bel'sprince"), however flattering to him, is not the one retained by Scripture, but the name marking hisrelation to God ("Daniel," God my Judge, the theme of his prophecies being God's judgment onthe heathen world powers).Hananiah—that is, "whom Jehovah hath favored."Shadrach—from Rak, in Babylonian, "the King," that is, "the Sun"; the same root as in Abrech(Ge 41:43, Margin), "Inspired or illumined by the Sun-god."Mishael—that is, "who is what God is?" Who is comparable to God?Meshach—The Babylonians retained the first syllable of Mishael, the Hebrew name; but forEl, that is, God, substituted Shak, the Babylonian goddess, called Sheshach (Jer 25:26; 51:41),answering to the Earth, or else Venus, the goddess of love and mirth; it was during her feast thatCyrus took Babylon.Azariah—that is, "whom Jehovah helps."Abed-nego—that is, "servant of the shining fire." Thus, instead of to Jehovah, these His servantswere dedicated by the heathen to their four leading gods [Herodotus, Clio]; Bel, the Chief-god, theSun-god, Earth-god, and Fire-god. To the last the three youths were consigned when refusing toworship the golden image (Da 3:12). The Chaldee version translates "Lucifer," in Isa 14:12, Nogea,the same as Nego. The names thus at the outset are significant of the seeming triumph, but suredownfall, of the heathen powers before Jehovah and His people.8. Daniel … would not defile himself with … king's meat—Daniel is specified as being theleader in the "purpose" (the word implies a decided resolution) to abstain from defilement, thusmanifesting a character already formed for prophetical functions. The other three youths, no doubt,shared in his purpose. It was the custom to throw a small part of the viands and wine upon the earth,as an initiatory offering to the gods, so as to consecrate to them the whole entertainment (compareDe 32:38). To have partaken of such a feast would have been to sanction idolatry, and was forbidden1545JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneven after the legal distinction of clean and unclean meats was done away (1Co 8:7, 10; 10:27, 28).Thus the faith of these youths was made instrumental in overruling the evil foretold against theJews (Eze 4:13; Ho 9:3), to the glory of God. Daniel and his three friends, says Auberlen, stand outlike an oasis in the desert. Like Moses, Daniel "chose rather to suffer affliction with the people ofGod, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb 11:25; see Da 9:3-19). He who is tointerpret divine revelations must not feed on the dainties, nor drink from the intoxicating cup, ofthis world. This made him as dear a name to his countrymen as Noah and Job, who also stood alonein their piety among a perverse generation (Eze 14:14; 28:3).requested—While decided in principle, we ought to seek our object by gentleness, rather thanby an ostentatious testimony, which, under the plea of faithfulness, courts opposition.9. God … brought Daniel into favour—The favor of others towards the godly is the doing ofGod. So in Joseph's case (Ge 39:21). Especially towards Israel (Ps 106:46; compare Pr 16:7).10. worse liking—looking less healthy.your sort—of your age, or class; literally, "circle."endanger my head—An arbitrary Oriental despot could, in a fit of wrath at his orders havingbeen disobeyed, command the offender to be instantly decapitated.11. Melzar—rather, the steward, or chief butler, entrusted by Ashpenaz with furnishing thedaily portion to the youths [Gesenius]. The word is still in use in Persia.12. pulse—The Hebrew expresses any vegetable grown from seeds, that is, vegetable food ingeneral [Gesenius].13-15. Illustrating De 8:3, "Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedethout of the mouth of the Lord."17. God gave them knowledge—(Ex 31:2, 3; 1Ki 3:12; Job 32:8; Jas 1:5, 17).Daniel had understanding in … dreams—God thus made one of the despised covenant-peopleeclipse the Chaldean sages in the very science on which they most prided themselves. So Josephin the court of Pharaoh (Ge 40:5; 41:1-8). Daniel, in these praises of his own "understanding,"speaks not through vanity, but by the direction of God, as one transported out of himself. See myIntroduction, "Contents of the Book."18. brought them in—that is, not only Daniel and his three friends, but other youths (Da 1:3,19, "among them all").19. stood … before the king—that is, were advanced to a position of favor near the throne.20. ten times—literally, "ten hands."magicians—properly, "sacred scribes, skilled in the sacred writings, a class of Egyptian priests"[Gesenius]; from a Hebrew root, "a pen." The word in our English Version, "magicians," comes frommag, that is, "a priest." The Magi formed one of the six divisions of the Medes.astrologers—Hebrew, "enchanters," from a root, "to conceal," pactisers of the occult arts.21. Daniel continued … unto … first year of Cyrus—(2Ch 36:22; Ezr 1:1). Not that he didnot continue beyond that year, but the expression is designed to mark the fact that he who was oneof the first captives taken to Babylon, lived to see the end of the captivity. See my Introduction,"Significance of the Babylonian Captivity." In Da 10:1 he is mentioned as living "in the third year of Cyrus."See Margin Note, on the use of "till" (Ps 110:1, 112:8).1546JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 2Da 2:1-49. Nebuchadnezzar's Dream: Daniel's Interpretation of It, and Advancement.1. second year of … Nebuchadnezzar—Da 1:5 shows that "three years" had elapsed sinceNebuchadnezzar had taken Jerusalem. The solution of this difficulty is: Nebuchadnezzar first ruledas subordinate to his father Nabopolassar, to which time the first chapter refers (Da 1:1); whereas"the second year" in the second chapter is dated from his sole sovereignty. The very difficulty is aproof of genuineness; all was clear to the writer and the original readers from their knowledge ofthe circumstances, and so he adds no explanation. A forger would not introduce difficulties; theauthor did not then see any difficulty in the case. Nebuchadnezzar is called "king" (Da 1:1), byanticipation. Before he left Judea, he became actual king by the death of his father, and the Jewsalways called him "king," as commander of the invading army.dreams—It is significant that not to Daniel, but to the then world ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, thedream is vouchsafed. It was from the first of its representatives who had conquered the theocracy,that the world power was to learn its doom, as about to be in its turn subdued, and for ever by thekingdom of God. As this vision opens, so that in the seventh chapter developing the same truthmore fully, closes the first part. Nebuchadnezzar, as vicegerent of God (Da 2:37; compare Jer 25:9;Eze 28:12-15; Isa 44:28; 45:1; Ro 13:1), is honored with the revelation in the form of a dream, theappropriate form to one outside the kingdom of God. So in the cases of Abimelech, Pharaoh, &c.(Ge 20:3; 41:1-7), especially as the heathen attached such importance to dreams. Still it is not he,but an Israelite, who interprets it. Heathendom is passive, Israel active, in divine things, so that theglory redounds to "the God of heaven."2. Chaldeans—here, a certain order of priest-magicians, who wore a peculiar dress, like thatseen on the gods and deified men in the Assyrian sculptures. Probably they belonged exclusivelyto the Chaldeans, the original tribe of the Babylonian nation, just as the Magians were properlyMedes.3. troubled to know the dream—He awoke in alarm, remembering that something solemnhad been presented to him in a dream, without being able to recall the form in which it had clotheditself. His thoughts on the unprecedented greatness to which his power had attained (Da 2:29) madehim anxious to know what the issue of all this should be. God meets this wish in the way mostcalculated to impress him.4. Here begins the Chaldee portion of Daniel, which continues to the end of the seventh chapter.In it the course, character, and crisis of the Gentile power are treated; whereas, in the other parts,which are in Hebrew, the things treated apply more particularly to the Jews and Jerusalem.Syriac—the Aramean Chaldee, the vernacular tongue of the king and his court; the prophet,by mentioning it here, hints at the reason of his own adoption of it from this point.live for ever—a formula in addressing kings, like our "Long live the king!" Compare 1Ki 1:31.5. The thing—that is, The dream, "is gone from me." Gesenius translates, "The decree is goneforth from me," irrevocable (compare Isa 45:23); namely, that you shall be executed, if you do nottell both the dream and the interpretation. English Version is simpler, which supposes the kinghimself to have forgotten the dream. Pretenders to supernatural knowledge often bring on themselvestheir own punishment.cut in pieces—(1Sa 15:33).houses … dunghill—rather, "a morass heap." The Babylonian houses were built of sun-driedbricks; when demolished, the rain dissolves the whole into a mass of mire, in the wet land, near1547JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe river [Stuart]. As to the consistency of this cruel threat with Nebuchadnezzar's character, see Da4:17, "basest of men"; Jer 39:5, 6; 52:9-11.6. rewards—literally, "presents poured out in lavish profusion."8. gain … time—literally, "buy." Compare Eph 5:16; Col 4:5, where the sense is somewhatdifferent.the thing is gone from me—(See on Da 2:5).9. one decree—There can be no second one reversing the first (Es 4:11).corrupt—deceitful.till the time be changed—till a new state of things arrive, either by my ceasing to troublemyself about the dream, or by a change of government (which perhaps the agitation caused by thedream made Nebuchadnezzar to forebode, and so to suspect the Chaldeans of plotting).tell … dream, and I shall know … ye can show … interpretation—If ye cannot tell the past,a dream actually presented to me, how can ye know, and show, the future events prefigured in it?10. There is not a man … that can show—God makes the heathen out of their own mouth,condemn their impotent pretensions to supernatural knowledge, in order to bring out in brightercontrast His power to reveal secrets to His servants, though but "men upon the earth" (compare Da2:22, 23).therefore, &c.—that is, If such things could be done by men, other absolute princes wouldhave required them from their magicians; as they have not, it is proof such things cannot be doneand cannot be reasonably asked from us.11. gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh—answering to "no man upon the earth"; for therewere, in their belief, "men in heaven," namely, men deified; for example, Nimrod. The supremegods are referred to here, who alone, in the Chaldean view, could solve the difficulty, but who donot communicate with men. The inferior gods, intermediate between men and the supreme gods,are unable to solve it. Contrast with this heathen idea of the utter severance of God from man, Joh1:14, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us"; Daniel was in this case made Hisrepresentative.12, 13. Daniel and his companions do not seem to have been actually numbered among theMagi or Chaldeans, and so were not summoned before the king. Providence ordered it so that allmere human wisdom should be shown vain before His divine power, through His servant, was putforth. Da 2:24 shows that the decree for slaying the wise men had not been actually executed whenDaniel interposed.14. captain of the king's guard—commanding the executioners (Margin; and Ge 37:36,Margin).15. Why is the decree so hasty—Why were not all of us consulted before the decree for theexecution of all was issued?the thing—the agitation of the king as to his dream, and his abortive consultation of theChaldeans. It is plain from this that Daniel was till now ignorant of the whole matter.16. Daniel went in—perhaps not in person, but by the mediation of some courtier who hadaccess to the king. His first direct interview seems to have been Da 2:25 [Barnes].time—The king granted "time" to Daniel, though he would not do so to the Chaldeans becausethey betrayed their lying purpose by requiring him to tell the dream, which Daniel did not. Providencedoubtless influenced his mind, already favorable (Da 1:19, 20), to show special favor to Daniel.1548JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. Here appears the reason why Daniel sought "time" (Da 2:16), namely he wished to engagehis friends to join him in prayer to God to reveal the dream to him.18. An illustration of the power of united prayer (Mt 18:19). The same instrumentality rescuedPeter from his peril (Ac 12:5-12).19. revealed … in … night vision—(Job 33:15, 16).20. answered—responded to God's goodness by praises.name of God—God in His revelation of Himself by acts of love, "wisdom, and might" (Jer32:19).21. changeth … times … seasons—"He herein gives a general preparatory intimation, that thedream of Nebuchadnezzar is concerning the changes and successions of kingdoms" [Jerome]. The"times" are the phases and periods of duration of empires (compare Da 7:25; 1Ch 12:32; 29:30);the "seasons" the fitting times for their culmination, decline, and fall (Ec 3:1; Ac 1:7; 1Th 5:1). Thevicissitudes of states, with their times and seasons, are not regulated by chance or fate, as the heathenthought, but by God.removed kings—(Job 12:18; Ps 75:6, 7; Jer 27:5; compare 1Sa 2:7, 8).giveth wisdom—(1Ki 3:9-12; Jas 1:5).22. revealeth—(Job 12:22). So spiritually (Eph 1:17, 18).knoweth what is in … darkness—(Ps 139:11, 12; Heb 4:13).light … him—(Jas 1:17; 1Jo 1:4). Apocalypse (or "revelation") signifies a divine, prophecy ahuman, activity. Compare 1Co 14:6, where the two are distinguished. The prophet is connectedwith the outer world, addressing to the congregation the words with which the Spirit of God supplieshim; he speaks in the Spirit, but the apocalyptic seer is in the Spirit in his whole person (Re 1:10;4:2). The form of the apocalyptic revelation (the very term meaning that the veil that hides theinvisible world is taken off) is subjectively either the dream, or, higher, the vision. The interpretationof Nebuchadnezzar's dream was a preparatory education to Daniel himself. By gradual steps, eachrevelation preparing him for the succeeding one, God fitted him for disclosures becoming moreand more special. In the second and fourth chapters he is but an interpreter of Nebuchadnezzar'sdreams; then he has a dream himself, but it is only a vision in a dream of the night (Da 7:1, 2); thenfollows a vision in a waking state (Da 8:1-3); lastly, in the two final revelations (Da 9:20; 10:4, 5)the ecstatic state is no longer needed. The progression in the form answers to the progression in thecontents of his prophecy; at first general outlines, and these afterwards filled up with minutechronological and historical details, such as are not found in the Revelation of John, though, asbecame the New Testament, the form of revelation is the highest, namely, clear waking visions[Auberlen].23. thee … thee—He ascribes all the glory to God.God of my fathers—Thou hast shown Thyself the same God of grace to me, a captive exile,as Thou didst to Israel of old and this on account of the covenant made with our "fathers" (Lu 1:54,55; compare Ps 106:45).given me wisdom and might—Thou being the fountain of both; referring to Da 2:20. Whateverwise ability I have to stay the execution of the king's cruel decree, is Thy gift.me … we … us—The revelation was given to Daniel, as "me" implies; yet with just modestyhe joins his friends with him; because it was to their joint prayers, and not to his individually, thathe owed the revelation from God.1549JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonknown … the king's matter—the very words in which the Chaldeans had denied the possibilityof any man on earth telling the dream ("not a man upon the earth can show the king's matter," Da2:10). Impostors are compelled by the God of truth to eat up their own words.24. Therefore—because of having received the divine communication.bring me in before the king—implying that he had not previously been in person before theking (see on Da 2:16).25. I have found a man—Like all courtiers, in announcing agreeable tidings, he ascribes themerit of the discovery to himself [Jerome]. So far from it being a discrepancy, that he says nothingof the previous understanding between him and Daniel, or of Daniel's application to the king (Da2:15, 16), it is just what we should expect. Arioch would not dare to tell an absolute despot that hehad stayed the execution of his sanguinary decree, on his own responsibility; but would, in the firstinstance, secretly stay it until Daniel had got, by application from the king, the time required,without Arioch seeming to know of Daniel's application as the cause of the respite; then, whenDaniel had received the revelation, Arioch would in trembling haste bring him in, as if then for thefirst time he had "found" him. The very difficulty when cleared up is a proof of genuineness, as itnever would be introduced by a forger.27. cannot—Daniel, being learned in all the lore of the Chaldeans (Da 1:4), could authoritativelydeclare the impossibility of mere man solving the king's difficulty.soothsayers—from a root, "to cut off"; referring to their cutting the heavens into divisions, andso guessing at men's destinies from the place of the stars at one's birth.28. God—in contrast to "the wise men," &c. (Da 2:27).revealeth secrets—(Am 3:7; 4:13). Compare Ge 41:45, Zaphnath-paaneah, "revealer of secrets,"the title given to Joseph.the latter days—literally, "in the after days" (Da 2:29); "hereafter" (Ge 49:1). It refers to thewhole future, including the Messianic days, which is the final dispensation (Isa 2:2).visions of thy head—conceptions formed in the brain.29. God met with a revelation Nebuchadnezzar, who had been meditating on the future destinyof his vast empire.30. not … for any wisdom that I have—not on account of any previous wisdom which I mayhave manifested (Da 1:17, 20). The specially-favored servants of God in all ages disclaim merit inthemselves and ascribe all to the grace and power of God (Ge 41:16; Ac 3:12). The "as for me,"disclaiming extraordinary merit, contrasts elegantly with "as for thee," whereby Daniel courteously,but without flattery, implies, that God honored Nebuchadnezzar, as His vicegerent over the worldkingdoms, with a revelation on the subject uppermost in his thoughts, the ultimate destinies of thosekingdoms.for their sakes that shall make known, &c.—a Chaldee idiom for, "to the intent that theinterpretation may be made known to the king."the thoughts of thy heart—thy subject of thought before falling asleep. Or, perhaps theprobation of Nebuchadnezzar's character through this revelation may be the meaning intended(compare 2Ch 32:31; Lu 2:35).31. The world power in its totality appears as a colossal human form: Babylon the head of gold,Medo-Persia the breast and two arms of silver, Græco-Macedonia the belly and two thighs of brass,and Rome, with its Germano-Slavonic offshoots, the legs of iron and feet of iron and clay, thefourth still existing. Those kingdoms only are mentioned which stand in some relation to the kingdom1550JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof God; of these none is left out; the final establishment of that kingdom is the aim of His moralgovernment of the world. The colossus of metal stands on weak feet, of clay. All man's glory is asephemeral and worthless as chaff (compare 1Pe 1:24). But the kingdom of God, small and unheededas a "stone" on the ground is compact in its homogeneous unity; whereas the world power, in itsheterogeneous constituents successively supplanting one another, contains the elements of decay.The relation of the stone to the mountain is that of the kingdom of the cross (Mt 16:23; Lu 24:26)to the kingdom of glory, the latter beginning, and the former ending when the kingdom of Godbreaks in pieces the kingdoms of the world (Re 11:15). Christ's contrast between the two kingdomsrefers to this passage.a great image—literally, "one image that was great." Though the kingdoms were different, itwas essentially one and the same world power under different phases, just as the image was one,though the parts were of different metals.32. On ancient coins states are often represented by human figures. The head and higher partssignify the earlier times; the lower, the later times. The metals become successively baser and baser,implying the growing degeneracy from worse to worse. Hesiod, two hundred years before Daniel,had compared the four ages to the four metals in the same order; the idea is sanctioned here byHoly Writ. It was perhaps one of those fragments of revelation among the heathen derived fromthe tradition as to the fall of man. The metals lessen in specific gravity, as they downwards; silveris not so heavy as gold, brass not so heavy as silver, and iron not so heavy as brass, the weight thusbeing arranged in the reverse of stability [Tregelles]. Nebuchadnezzar derived his authority fromGod, not from man, nor as responsible to man. But the Persian king was so far dependent on othersthat he could not deliver Daniel from the princes (Da 6:14, 15); contrast Da 5:18, 19, as toNebuchadnezzar's power from God, "whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive"(compare Ezr 7:14; Es 1:13-16). Græco-Macedonia betrays its deterioration in its divisions, notunited as Babylon and Persia. Iron is stronger than brass, but inferior in other respects; so Romehardy and strong to tread down the nations, but less kingly and showing its chief deterioration inits last state. Each successive kingdom incorporates its predecessor (compare Da 5:28). Power thatin Nebuchadnezzar's hands was a God-derived (Da 2:37, 38) autocracy, in the Persian king's wasa rule resting on his nobility of person and birth, the nobles being his equals in rank, but not inoffice; in Greece, an aristocracy not of birth, but individual influence, in Rome, lowest of all,dependent entirely on popular choice, the emperor being appointed by popular military election.33. As the two arms of silver denote the kings of the Medes and Persians [Josephus]; and the twothighs of brass the Seleucidæ of Syria and Lagidæ of Egypt, the two leading sections into whichGræco-Macedonia parted, so the two legs of iron signify the two Roman consuls [Newton]. The clay,in Da 2:41, "potter's clay," Da 2:43, "miry clay," means "earthenware," hard but brittle (comparePs 2:9; Re 2:27, where the same image is used of the same event); the feet are stable while bearingonly direct pressure, but easily broken to pieces by a blow (Da 2:34), the iron intermixed notretarding, but hastening, such a result.34. stone—Messiah and His kingdom (Ge 49:24; Ps 118:22; Isa 28:16). In its relations to Israel,it is a "stone of stumbling" (Isa 8:14; Ac 4:11; 1Pe 2:7, 8) on which both houses of Israel are broken,not destroyed (Mt 21:32). In its relation to the Church, the same stone which destroys the image isthe foundation of the Church (Eph 2:20). In its relation to the Gentile world power, the stone is itsdestroyer (Da 2:35, 44; compare Zec 12:3). Christ saith (Mt 21:44, referring to Isa 8:14, 15),"Whosoever shall fall on this stone (that is, stumble, and be offended, at Him, as the Jews were,1551JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfrom whom, therefore, He says, 'The kingdom shall be taken') shall be broken; but (referring to Da2:34, 35) on whomsoever it shall fall (referring to the world power which had been the instrumentof breaking the Jews), it will (not merely break, but) grind him to powder" (1Co 15:24). The fallingof the stone of the feet of the image cannot refer to Christ at His first advent, for the fourth kingdomwas not then as yet divided—no toes were in existence (see on Da 2:44).cut out—namely, from "the mountain" (Da 2:45); namely, Mount Zion (Isa 2:2), andantitypically, the heavenly mount of the Father's glory, from whom Christ came.without hands—explained in Da 2:44, "The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom," as contrastedwith the image which was made with hands of man. Messiah not created by human agency, butconceived by the Holy Ghost (Mt 1:20; Lu 1:35; compare Zec 4:6; Mr 14:58; Heb 9:11, 24). So"not made with hands," that is, heavenly, 2Co 5:1; spiritual, Col 2:11. The world kingdoms werereared by human ambition: but this is the "kingdom of heaven"; "not of this world" (Joh 18:36).As the fourth kingdom, or Rome, was represented in a twofold state, first strong, with legs of iron,then weak, with toes part of iron, part of clay; so this fifth kingdom, that of Christ, is seen conversely,first insignificant as a "stone," then as a "mountain" filling the whole earth. The ten toes are the tenlesser kingdoms into which the Roman kingdom was finally to be divided; this tenfold divisionhere hinted at is not specified in detail till the seventh chapter. The fourth empire originally wasbounded in Europe pretty nearly by the line of the Rhine and Danube; in Asia by the Euphrates. InAfrica it possessed Egypt and the north coasts; South Britain and Dacia were afterwards added butwere ultimately resigned. The ten kingdoms do not arise until a deterioration (by mixing clay withthe iron) has taken place; they are in existence when Christ comes in glory, and then are broken inpieces. The ten have been sought for in the invading hosts of the fifth and sixth century. But thoughmany provinces were then severed from Rome as independent kingdoms, the dignity of emperorstill continued, and the imperial power was exercised over Rome itself for two centuries. So thetenfold divisions cannot be looked for before A.D. 731. But the East is not to be excluded, five toesbeing on each foot. Thus no point of time before the overthrow of the empire at the taking ofConstantinople by the Turks (A.D. 1453) can be assigned for the division. It seems, therefore, thatthe definite ten will be the ultimate development of the Roman empire just before the rise ofAntichrist, who shall overthrow three of the kings, and, after three and a half years, he himself beoverthrown by Christ in person. Some of the ten kingdoms will, doubtless, be the same as somepast and present divisions of the old Roman empire, which accounts for the continuity of theconnection between the toes and legs, a gap of centuries not being interposed, as is objected byopponents of the futurist theory. The lists of the ten made by the latter differ from one another; andthey are set aside by the fact that they include countries which were never Roman, and exclude onewhole section of the empire, namely, the East [Tregelles].upon his feet—the last state of the Roman empire. Not "upon his legs." Compare "in the daysof these kings" (see on Da 2:44).35. broken … together—excluding a contemporaneous existence of the kingdom of the worldand the kingdom of God (in its manifested, as distinguished from its spiritual, phase). The latter isnot gradually to wear away the former, but to destroy it at once, and utterly (2Th 1:7-10; 2:8).However, the Hebrew may be translated, "in one discriminate mass."chaff—image of the ungodly, as they shall be dealt with in the judgment (Ps 1:4, 5; Mt 3:12).summer threshing-floors—Grain was winnowed in the East on an elevated space in the openair, by throwing the grain into the air with a shovel, so that the wind might clear away the chaff.1552JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonno place … found for them—(Re 20:11; compare Ps 37:10, 36; 103:16).became … mountain—cut out of the mountain (Da 2:45) originally, it ends in becoming amountain. So the kingdom of God, coming from heaven originally, ends in heaven being establishedon earth (Re 21:1-3).filled … earth—(Isa 11:9; Hab 2:14). It is to do so in connection with Jerusalem as the motherChurch (Ps 80:9; Isa 2:2, 3).36. we—Daniel and his three friends.37. Thou … art a king of kings—The committal of power in fullest plenitude belongs toNebuchadnezzar personally, as having made Babylon the mighty empire it was. In twenty-threeyears after him the empire was ended: with him its greatness is identified (Da 4:30), his successorshaving done nothing notable. Not that he actually ruled every part of the globe, but that God grantedhim illimitable dominion in whatever direction his ambition led him, Egypt, Nineveh, Arabia, Syria,Tyre, and its Phoenician colonies (Jer 27:5-8). Compare as to Cyrus, Ezr 1:2.38. men … beasts … fowls—the dominion originally designed for man (Ge 1:28; 2:19, 20),forfeited by sin; temporarily delegated to Nebuchadnezzar and the world powers; but, as they abusethe trust for self, instead of for God, to be taken from them by the Son of man, who will exerciseit for God, restoring in His person to man the lost inheritance (Ps 8:4-6).Thou art … head of gold—alluding to the riches of Babylon, hence called "the golden city"(Isa 14:4; Jer 51:7; Re 18:16).39. That Medo-Persia is the second kingdom appears from Da 5:28 and Da 8:20. Compare 2Ch36:20; Isa 21:2.inferior—"The kings of Persia were the worst race of men that ever governed an empire"[Prideaux]. Politically (which is the main point of view here) the power of the central governmentin which the nobles shared with the king, being weakened by the growing independence of theprovinces, was inferior to that of Nebuchadnezzar, whose sole word was law throughout his empire.brass—The Greeks (the third empire, Da 8:21; 10:20; 11:2-4) were celebrated for the brazenarmor of their warriors. Jerome fancifully thinks that the brass, as being a clear-sounding metal,refers to the eloquence for which Greece was famed. The "belly," in Da 2:32, may refer to thedrunkenness of Alexander and the luxury of the Ptolemies [Tirinus].over all the earth—Alexander commanded that he should be called "king of all the world"[Justin, 12. sec. 16.9; Arrian, Campaigns of Alexander, 7. sec. 15]. The four successors (diadochi)who divided Alexander's dominions at his death, of whom the Seleucidæ in Syria and the Lagidæin Egypt were chief, held the same empire.40. iron—This vision sets forth the character of the Roman power, rather than its territorialextent [Tregelles].breaketh in pieces—So, in righteous retribution, itself will at last be broken in pieces (Da 2:44)by the kingdom of God (Re 13:10).41-43. feet … toes … part … clay … iron—explained presently, "the kingdom shall be partlystrong, partly broken" (rather, "brittle," as earthenware); and Da 2:43, "they shall mingle … withthe seed of men," that is, there will be power (in its deteriorated form, iron) mixed up with thatwhich is wholly of man, and therefore brittle; power in the hands of the people having no internalstability, though something is left of the strength of the iron [Tregelles]. Newton, who understands theRoman empire to be parted into the ten kingdoms already (whereas Tregelles makes them future),explains the "clay" mixture as the blending of barbarous nations with Rome by intermarriages and1553JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonalliances, in which there was no stable amalgamation, though the ten kingdoms retained much ofRome's strength. The "mingling with the seed of men" (Da 2:44) seems to refer to Ge 6:2, wherethe marriages of the seed of godly Seth with the daughters of ungodly Cain are described in similarwords. The reference, therefore, seems to be to the blending of the Christianized Roman empirewith the pagan nations, a deterioration being the result. Efforts have been often made to reunite theparts into one great empire, as by Charlemagne and Napoleon, but in vain. Christ alone shall effectthat.44. in the days of these kings—in the days of these kingdoms, that is, of the last of the four.So Christianity was set up when Rome had become mistress of Judea and the world (Lu 2:1, &c.)[Newton]. Rather, "in the days of these kings," answers to "upon his feet" (Da 2:34); that is, the tentoes (Da 2:42), or ten kings, the final state of the Roman empire. For "these kings" cannot meanthe four successional monarchies, as they do not coexist as the holders of power; if the fourth hadbeen meant, the singular, not the plural, would be used. The falling of the stone on the image mustmean, destroying judgment on the fourth Gentile power, not gradual evangelization of it by grace;and the destroying judgment cannot be dealt by Christians, for they are taught to submit to thepowers that be, so that it must be dealt by Christ Himself at His coming again. We live under thedivisions of the Roman empire which began fourteen hundred years ago, and which at the time ofHis coming shall be definitely ten. All that had failed in the hand of man shall then pass away, andthat which is kept in His own hand shall be introduced. Thus the second chapter is the alphabet ofthe subsequent prophetic statements in Daniel [Tregelles].God of heaven … kingdom—hence the phrase, "the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 3:2).not … left to other people—as the Chaldees had been forced to leave their kingdom to theMedo-Persians, and these to the Greeks, and these to the Romans (Mic 4:7; Lu 1:32, 33).break … all—(Isa 60:12; 1Co 15:24).45. without hands—(See on Da 2:35). The connection of the "forasmuch," &c. is, "as thousawest that the stone," &c., this is an indication that "the great God," &c., that is, the fact of thyseeing the dreams as I have recalled it to thy recollection, is a proof that it is no airy phantom, buta real representation to these from God of the future. A similar proof of the "certainty" of the eventwas given to Pharaoh by the doubling of his dream (Ge 41:32).46. fell upon … face, and worshipped Daniel—worshipping God in the person of Daniel.Symbolical of the future prostration of the world power before Messiah and His kingdom (Php2:10). As other servants of God refused such honors (Ac 10:25, 26; 14:13-15; Re 22:8, 9), andDaniel (Da 1:8) would not taste defiled food, nor give up prayer to God at the cost of his life (Da6:7, 10), it seems likely that Daniel rejected the proffered divine honors. The word "answered" (Da2:47) implies that Daniel had objected to these honors; and in compliance with his objection, "theking answered, Of a truth, your God is a God of gods." Daniel had disclaimed all personal meritin Da 2:30, giving God all the glory (compare Da 2:45).commanded … sweet odours—divine honors (Ezr 6:10). It is not said his command wasexecuted.47. Lord of kings—The world power shall at last have to acknowledge this (Re 17:14; 19:16);even as Nebuchadnezzar, who had been the God-appointed "king of kings" (Da 2:37), but who hadabused the trust, is constrained by God's servant to acknowledge that God is the true "Lord ofkings."1554JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson48. One reason for Nebuchadnezzar having been vouchsafed such a dream is here seen; namely,that Daniel might be promoted, and the captive people of God be comforted: the independent stateof the captives during the exile and the alleviation of its hardships, were much due to Daniel.49. Daniel requested—Contrast this honorable remembrance of his humble friends in hiselevation with the spirit of the children of the world in the chief butler's case (Ge 40:23; Ec 9:15,16; Am 6:6).in the gate—the place of holding courts of justice and levees in the East (Es 2:19; Job 29:7).So "the Sublime Porte," or "Gate," denotes the sultan's government, his counsels being formerlyheld in the entrance of his palace. Daniel was a chief counsellor of the king, and president over thegovernors of the different orders into which the Magi were divided.CHAPTER 3Da 3:1-30. Nebuchadnezzar's Idolatrous Image; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego Are Delivered from the Furnace.Between the vision of Nebuchadnezzar in the second chapter and that of Daniel in the seventh,four narratives of Daniel's and his friends' personal history are introduced. As the second and seventhchapters go together, so the third and sixth chapters (the deliverance from the lions' den), and thefourth and fifth chapters. Of these last two pairs, the former shows God's nearness to save His saintswhen faithful to Him, at the very time they seem to be crushed by the world power. The secondpair shows, in the case of the two kings of the first monarchy, how God can suddenly humble theworld power in the height of its insolence. The latter advances from mere self-glorification, in thefourth chapter, to open opposition to God in the fifth. Nebuchadnezzar demands homage to be paidto his image (Da 3:1-6), and boasts of his power (Da 4:1-18). But Belshazzar goes further,blaspheming God by polluting His holy vessels. There is a similar progression in the conduct ofGod's people. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refuse positive homage to the image of the worldpower (Da 3:12); Daniel will not yield it even a negative homage, by omitting for a time the worshipof God (Da 6:10). Jehovah's power manifested for the saints against the world in individual histories(the third through sixth chapters) is exhibited in the second and seventh chapters, in world-wideprophetical pictures; the former heightening the effect of the latter. The miracles wrought in behalfof Daniel and his friends were a manifestation of God's glory in Daniel's person, as the representativeof the theocracy before the Babylonian king, who deemed himself almighty, at a time when Godcould not manifest it in His people as a body. They tended also to secure, by their impressivecharacter, that respect for the covenant-people on the part of the heathen powers which issued inCyrus' decree, not only restoring the Jews, but ascribing honor to the God of heaven, andcommanding the building of the temple (Ezr 1:1-4) [Auberlen].1. image—Nebuchadnezzar's confession of God did not prevent him being a worshipper ofidols, besides. Ancient idolaters thought that each nation had its own gods, and that, in addition tothese, foreign gods might be worshipped. The Jewish religion was the only exclusive one thatclaimed all homage for Jehovah as the only true God. Men will in times of trouble confess God, ifthey are allowed to retain their favorite heart-idols. The image was that of Bel, the Babyloniantutelary god; or rather, Nebuchadnezzar himself, the personification and representative of theBabylonian empire, as suggested to him by the dream (Da 2:38), "Thou art this head of gold." Theinterval between the dream and the event here was about nineteen years. Nebuchadnezzar had just1555JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonreturned from finishing the Jewish and Syrian wars, the spoils of which would furnish the meansof rearing such a colossal statue [Prideaux]. The colossal size makes it likely that the frame waswood, overlaid with gold. The "height," sixty cubits, is so out of proportion with the "breadth,"exceeding it ten times, that it seems best to suppose the thickness from breast to back to be intended,which is exactly the right proportion of a well-formed man [Augustine, The City of God, 15.26].Prideaux thinks the sixty cubits refer to the image and pedestal together, the image being twenty-sevencubits high, or forty feet, the pedestal thirty-three cubits, or fifty feet. Herodotus [1.183] confirmsthis by mentioning a similar image, forty feet high, in the temple of Belus at Babylon. It was notthe same image, for the one here was on the plain of Dura, not in the city.2. princes—"satraps" of provinces [Gesenius].captains—rulers, not exclusively military.sheriffs—men learned in the law, like the Arab mufti [Gesenius].3. stood before the image—in an attitude of devotion. Whatever the king approved of, theyall approve of. There is no stability of principle in the ungodly.4. The arguments of the persecutor are in brief, Turn or burn.5. cornet—A wind instrument, like the French horn, is meant.flute—a pipe or pipes, not blown transversely as our "flute," but by mouthpieces at the end.sackbut—a triangular stringed instrument, having short strings, the sound being on a high sharpkey.psaltery—a kind of harp.dulcimer—a bagpipe consisting of two pipes, thrust through a leathern bag, emitting a sweetplaintive sound. Chaldee sumponya, the modern Italian zampogna, Asiatic zambonja.fall down—that the recusants might be the more readily detected.6. No other nation but the Jews would feel this edict oppressive; for it did not prevent themworshipping their own gods besides. It was evidently aimed at the Jews by those jealous of theirhigh position in the king's court, who therefore induced the king to pass an edict as to all recusants,representing such refusal of homage as an act of treason to Nebuchadnezzar as civil and religious"head" of the empire. So the edict under Darius (Da 6:7-9) was aimed against the Jews by thosejealous of Daniel's influence. The literal image of Nebuchadnezzar is a typical prophecy of "theimage of the beast," connected with mystical Babylon, in Re 13:14. The second mystical beastthere causeth the earth, and them that dwell therein, to worship the first beast, and that as many aswould not, should be killed (Re 13:12, 15).furnace—a common mode of punishment in Babylon (Jer 29:22). It is not necessary to supposethat the furnace was made for the occasion. Compare "brick-kiln," 2Sa 12:31. Any furnace forcommon purposes in the vicinity of Dura would serve. Chardin, in his travels (A.D. 1671-1677),mentions that in Persia, to terrify those who took advantage of scarcity to sell provisions at exorbitantprices, the cooks were roasted over a slow fire, and the bakers cast into a burning oven.7. None of the Jews seem to have been present, except the officers, summoned specially.8. accused the Jews—literally, "ate the rent limbs," or flesh of the Jews (compare Job 31:31;Ps 14:4; 27:2; Jer 10:25). Not probably in general, but as Da 3:12 states, Shadrach, Meshach, andAbed-nego. Why Daniel was not summoned does not appear. Probably he was in some distant partof the empire on state business, and the general summons (Da 3:2) had not time to reach him beforethe dedication. Also, the Jews' enemies found it more politic to begin by attacking Shadrach,1556JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonMeshach, and Abed-nego, who were nearer at hand, and had less influence, before they proceededto attack Daniel.9. live for ever—A preface of flattery is closely akin to the cruelty that follows. So Ac 24:2,3, &c., Tertullus in accusing Paul before Felix.12. serve not thy gods—not only not the golden image, but also not any of Nebuchadnezzar'sgods.13. bring—Instead of commanding their immediate execution, as in the case of the Magi (Da2:12), Providence inclined him to command the recusants to be brought before him, so that theirnoble "testimony" for God might be given before the world powers "against them" (Mt 10:18), tothe edification of the Church in all ages.14. Is it true—rather, as the Margin [Theodotion], "Is it purposely that?" &c. Compare the Hebrew,Nu 35:20, 22. Notwithstanding his "fury," his past favor for them disposes him to give them theopportunity of excusing themselves on the ground that their disobedience had not been intentional;so he gives them another trial to see whether they would still worship the image.15. who is that God—so Sennacherib's taunt (2Ki 18:35), and Pharaoh's (Ex 5:2).16. not careful to answer thee—rather, "We have no need to answer thee"; thou art determinedon thy side, and our mind is made up not to worship the image: there is therefore no use in ourarguing as if we could be shaken from our principles. Hesitation, or parleying with sin, is fatal;unhesitating decision is the only safety, where the path of duty is clear (Mt 10:19, 28).17. If it be so—Vatablus translates, "Assuredly." English Version agrees better with the original.The sense is, If it be our lot to be cast into the furnace, our God (quoted from De 6:4) is able todeliver us (a reply to Nebuchadnezzar's challenge, "Who is that God that shall deliver you?"); andHe will deliver us (either from death, or in death, 2Ti 4:17, 18). He will, we trust, literally deliverus, but certainly He will do so spiritually.18. But if not, &c.—connected with Da 3:18. "Whether our God deliver us, as He is able, ordo not, we will not serve thy gods." Their service of God is not mercenary in its motive. ThoughHe slay them, they will still trust in Him (Job 13:15). Their deliverance from sinful compliancewas as great a miracle in the kingdom of grace, as that from the furnace was in the kingdom ofnature. Their youth, and position as captives and friendless exiles, before the absolute world potentateand the horrid death awaiting them if they should persevere in their faith, all enhance the grace ofGod, which carried them through such an ordeal.19. visage … changed—He had shown forbearance (Da 3:14, 15) as a favor to them, but nowthat they despise even his forbearance, anger "fills" him, and is betrayed in his whole countenance.seven times more than it was wont—literally, "than it was (ever) seen to be heated." Sevenis the perfect number; that is, it was made as hot as possible. Passion overdoes and defeats its ownend, for the hotter the fire, the sooner were they likely to be put out of pain.21. coats … hosen … hats—Herodotus [1.195] says that the Babylonian costume consisted ofthree parts: (1) wide, long pantaloons; (2) a woollen shirt; (3) an outer mantle with a girdle roundit. So these are specified [Gesenius], "their pantaloons, inner tunics (hosen, or stockings, are notcommonly worn in the East), and outer mantles." Their being cast in so hurriedly, with all theirgarments on, enhanced the miracle in that not even the smell of fire passed on their clothes, thoughof delicate, inflammable material.22. flame … slew those men—(Da 6:24; Ps 7:16).1557JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson23. fell down—not cast down; for those who brought the three youths to the furnace, perishedby the flames themselves, and so could not cast them in. Here follows an addition in the Septuagint,Syrian, Arabic, and Vulgate versions. "The Prayer of Azarias," and "The Song of the Three HolyChildren." It is not in the Chaldee. The hymn was sung throughout the whole Church in theirliturgies, from the earliest times [Rufinus in Commentary on the Apostles Creed, and Athanasius]. The"astonishment" of Nebuchadnezzar in Da 3:24 is made an argument for its genuineness, as if itexplained the cause of his astonishment, namely, "they walked in the midst of the fire praising God,but the angel of the Lord came down into the oven" (vs. 1 and vs. 27 of the Apocryphal addition).But Da 3:25 of English Version explains his astonishment, without need of any addition.24. True, O king—God extorted this confession from His enemies' own mouths.25. four—whereas but three had been cast in.loose—whereas they had been cast in "bound." Nebuchadnezzar's question, in Da 3:24, is as ifhe can scarcely trust his own memory as to a fact so recent, now that he sees through an aperturein the furnace what seems to contradict it.walking in … midst of … fire—image of the godly unhurt, and at large (Joh 8:36), "in themidst of trouble" (Ps 138:7; compare Ps 23:3, 4). They walked up and down in the fire, not leavingit, but waiting for God's time to bring them out, just as Jesus waited in the tomb as God's prisoner,till God should let Him out (Ac 2:26, 27). So Paul (2Co 12:8, 9). So Noah waited in the ark, afterthe flood, till God brought him forth (Ge 8:12-18).like the Son of God—Unconsciously, like Saul, Caiaphas (Joh 11:49-52), and Pilate, he ismade to utter divine truths. "Son of God" in his mouth means only an "angel" from heaven, as Da3:28 proves. Compare Job 1:6; 38:7; Ps 34:7, 8; and the probably heathen centurion's exclamation(Mt 27:54). The Chaldeans believed in families of gods: Bel, the supreme god, accompanied bythe goddess Mylitta, being the father of the gods; thus the expression he meant: one sprung fromand sent by the gods. Really it was the "messenger of the covenant," who herein gave a prelude toHis incarnation.26. the most high God—He acknowledges Jehovah to be supreme above other gods (not thathe ceased to believe in these); so he returns to his original confession, "your God is a God of gods"(Da 2:47), from which he had swerved in the interim, perhaps intoxicated by his success in takingJerusalem, whose God he therefore thought unable to defend it.27. nor … an hair—(Lu 12:7; 21:18).fire had no power—fulfilling Isa 43:2; compare Heb 11:34. God alone is a "consuming fire"(Heb 12:29).nor … smell of fire—compare spiritually, 1Th 5:22.28. In giving some better traits in Nebuchadnezzar's character, Daniel agrees with Jer 39:11;42:12.changed the king's word—have made the king's attempt to coerce into obedience vain. Haveset aside his word (so "alter … word," Ezr 6:11) from regard to God. Nebuchadnezzar now admitsthat God's law should be obeyed, rather than his (Ac 5:29).yielded … bodies—namely, to the fire.not serve—by sacrificing.nor worship—by prostration of the body. Decision for God at last gains the respect even ofthe worldly (Pr 16:7).1558JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson29. This decree promulgated throughout the vast empire of Nebuchadnezzar must have tendedmuch to keep the Jews from idolatry in the captivity and thenceforth (Ps 76:10).CHAPTER 4Da 4:1-37. Edict of Nebuchadnezzar Containing His Second Dream, Relating to Himself.Punished with insanity for his haughtiness, he sinks to the level of the beasts (illustrating Ps49:6, 12). The opposition between bestial and human life, set forth here, is a key to interpret thesymbolism in the seventh chapter concerning the beasts and the Son of man. After his conquests,and his building in fifteen days a new palace, according to the heathen historian, Abydenus (268 B.C.),whose account confirms Daniel, he ascended upon his palace roof (Da 4:29, Margin), whence hecould see the surrounding city which he had built, and seized by some deity, he predicted the Persianconquest of Babylon, adding a prayer that the Persian leader might on his return be borne wherethere is no path of men, and where the wild beasts graze (language evidently derived by traditionfrom Da 4:32, 33, though the application is different). In his insanity, his excited mind wouldnaturally think of the coming conquest of Babylon by the Medo-Persians, already foretold to himin the second chapter.1. Peace—the usual salutation in the East, shalom, whence "salaam." The primitive revelationof the fall, and man's alienation from God, made "peace" to be felt as the first and deepest want ofman. The Orientals (as the East was the cradle of revelation) retained the word by tradition.2. I thought it good—"It was seemly before me" (Ps 107:2-8).signs—tokens significant of God's omnipotent agency. The plural is used, as it comprises themarvellous dream, the marvellous interpretation of it, and its marvellous issue.4. I was … at rest—my wars over, my kingdom at peace.flourishing—"green." Image from a tree (Jer 17:8). Prosperous (Job 15:32).6. It may seem strange that Daniel was not first summoned. But it was ordered by God'sprovidence that he should be reserved to the last, in order that all mere human means should beproved vain, before God manifested His power through His servant; thus the haughty king wasstripped of all fleshly confidences. The Chaldees were the king's recognized interpreters of dreams;whereas Daniel's interpretation of the one in Da 2:24-45 had been a peculiar case, and very manyyears before; nor had he been consulted on such matters since.8. Belteshazzar—called so from the god Bel or Belus (see on Da 1:7).9. spirit of the holy gods—Nebuchadnezzar speaks as a heathen, who yet has imbibed somenotions of the true God. Hence he speaks of "gods" in the plural but gives the epithet "holy," whichapplies to Jehovah alone, the heathen gods making no pretension to purity, even in the opinion oftheir votaries (De 32:31; compare Isa 63:11). "I know" refers to his knowledge of Daniel's skillmany years before (Da 2:8); hence he calls him "master of the magicians."troubleth—gives thee difficulty in explaining it.10. tree—So the Assyrian is compared to a "cedar" (Eze 31:3; compare Eze 17:24).in the midst of the earth—denoting its conspicuous position as the center whence the imperialauthority radiated in all directions.12. beasts … shadow under it—implying that God's purpose in establishing empires in theworld is that they may be as trees affording men "fruits" for "meat," and a "shadow" for "rest"1559JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(compare La 4:20). But the world powers abuse their trust for self; therefore Messiah comes toplant the tree of His gospel kingdom, which alone shall realize God's purpose (Eze 17:23; Mt 13:32).Herodotus [7.19] mentions a dream (probably suggested by the tradition of this dream ofNebuchadnezzar in Daniel) which Xerxes had; namely, that he was crowned with olive, and thatthe branches of the olive filled the whole earth, but that afterwards the crown vanished from hishead: signifying his universal dominion soon to come to an end.13. watcher and an holy one—rather, "even an holy one." Only one angel is intended, and henot one of the bad, but of the holy angels. Called a "watcher," because ever on the watch to executeGod's will [Jerome], (Ps 103:20, 21). Compare as to their watchfulness, Re 4:8, "full of eyes within… they rest not day and night." Also they watch good men committed to their charge (Ps 34:7;Heb 1:14); and watch over the evil to record their sins, and at God's bidding at last punish them(Jer 4:16, 17), "watchers" applied to human instruments of God's vengeance. As to God (Da 9:14;Job 7:12; 14:16; Jer 44:27). In a good sense (Ge 31:49; Jer 31:28). The idea of heavenly "watchers"under the supreme God (called in the Zendavesta of the Persian Zoroaster, Ormuzd) was foundedon the primeval revelation as to evil angels having watched for an opportunity until they succeededin tempting man to his ruin, and good angels ministering to God's servants (as Jacob, Ge 28:15;32:1, 2). Compare the watching over Abraham for good, and over Sodom for wrath after longwatching in vain for good men it it, for whose sake He would spare it, Ge 18:23-33; and over Lotfor good, Ge 19:1-38 Daniel fitly puts in Nebuchadnezzar's mouth the expression, though not foundelsewhere in Scripture, yet substantially sanctioned by it (2Ch 16:9; Pr 15:3; Jer 32:19), and naturalto him according to Oriental modes of thought.14. Hew down—(Mt 3:10; Lu 13:7). The holy (Jude 14) one incites his fellow angels to God'sappointed work (compare Re 14:15, 18).beasts get away from under it—It shall no longer afford them shelter (Eze 31:12).15. stump—The kingdom is still reserved secure for him at last, as a tree stump secured by ahoop of brass and iron from being split by the sun's heat, in the hope of its growing again (Isa 11:1;compare Job 14:7-9). Barnes refers it to the chaining of the royal maniac.16. heart—understanding (Isa 6:10).times—that is, "years" (Da 12:7). "Seven" is the perfect number: a week of years: a completerevolution of time accompanying a complete revolution in his state of mind.17. demand—that is, determination; namely, as to the change to which Nebuchadnezzar is tobe doomed. A solemn council of the heavenly ones is supposed (compare Job 1:6; 2:1), over whichGod presides supreme. His "decree" and "word" are therefore said to be theirs (compare Da 4:24,"decree of the Most High"); "the decree of the watchers," "the word of the holy ones." For He hasplaced particular kingdoms under the administration of angelic beings, subject to Him (Da 10:13,20; 12:1). The word "demand," in the second clause, expresses a distinct idea from the first clause.Not only as members of God's council (Da 7:10; 1Ki 22:19; Ps 103:21; Zec 1:10) do they subscribeto His "decree," but that decree is in answer to their prayers, wherein they demand that every mortalwho tries to obscure the glory of God shall be humbled [Calvin]. Angels are grieved when God'sprerogative is in the least infringed. How awful to Nebuchadnezzar to know that angels pleadagainst him for his pride, and that the decree has been passed in the high court of heaven for hishumiliation in answer to angels' demands! The conceptions are moulded in a form peculiarly adaptedto Nebuchadnezzar's modes of thought.1560JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe living—not as distinguished from the dead, but from the inhabitants of heaven, who "know"that which the men of the world need to the taught (Ps 9:16); the ungodly confess there is a God,but would gladly confine Him to heaven. But, saith Daniel, God ruleth not merely there, but "inthe kingdom of men."basest—the lowest in condition (1Sa 2:8; Lu 1:52). It is not one's talents, excellency, or noblebirth, but God's will, which elevates to the throne. Nebuchadnezzar abased to the dunghill, andthen restored, was to have in himself an experimental proof of this (Da 4:37).19. Daniel … Belteshazzar—The use of the Hebrew as well as the Chaldee name, so far frombeing an objection, as some have made it, is an undesigned mark of genuineness. In a proclamationto "all people," and one designed to honor the God of the Hebrews, Nebuchadnezzar would naturallyuse the Hebrew name (derived from El, "God," the name by which the prophet was best knownamong his countrymen), as well as the Gentile name by which he was known in the Chaldeanempire.astonied—overwhelmed with awe at the terrible import of the dream.one hour—the original means often "a moment," or "short time," as in Da 3:6, 15.let not the dream … trouble thee—Many despots would have punished a prophet who daredto foretell his overthrow. Nebuchadnezzar assures Daniel he may freely speak out.the dream be to them that hate thee—We are to desire the prosperity of those under whoseauthority God's providence has placed us (Jer 29:7). The wish here is not so much against others,as for the king: a common formula (2Sa 18:32). It is not the language of uncharitable hatred.20. The tree is the king. The branches, the princes. The leaves, the soldiers. The fruits, therevenues. The shadow, the protection afforded to dependent states.22. It is thou—He speaks pointedly, and without circumlocution (2Sa 12:7). While pitying theking, he uncompromisingly pronounces his sentence of punishment. Let ministers steer the meanbetween, on the one hand, fulminations against sinners under the pretext of zeal, without anysymptom of compassion; and, on the other, flattery of sinners under the pretext of moderation.to the end of the earth—(Jer 27:6-8). To the Caspian, Euxine, and Atlantic seas.24. decree of the Most High—What was termed in Da 4:17 by Nebuchadnezzar, "the decreeof the watchers," is here more accurately termed by Daniel, "the decree of the Most High." Theyare but His ministers.25. they shall drive thee—a Chaldee idiom for "thou shalt be driven." Hypochondriacal madnesswas his malady, which "drove" him under the fancy that he was a beast, to "dwell with the beasts";Da 4:34 proves this, "mine understanding returned." The regency would leave him to roam in thelarge beast-abounding parks attached to the palace.eat grass—that is, vegetables, or herbs in general (Ge 3:18).they shall wet thee—that is, thou shalt be wet.till thou know, &c.—(Ps 83:17, 18; Jer 27:5).26. thou shalt have known, &c.—a promise of spiritual grace to him, causing the judgmentto humble, not harden, his heart.heavens do rule—The plural is used, as addressed to Nebuchadnezzar, the head of an organizedearthly kingdom, with various principalities under the supreme ruler. So "the kingdom of heaven"(Mt 4:17; Greek, "kingdom of the heavens") is a manifold organization, composed of various ordersof angels, under the Most High (Eph 1:20, 21; 3:10; Col 1:16).1561JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson27. break off—as a galling yoke (Ge 27:40); sin is a heavy load (Mt 11:28). The Septuagintand Vulgate translate not so well, "redeem," which is made an argument for Rome's doctrine of theexpiation of sins by meritorious works. Even translate it so, it can only mean; Repent and show thereality of thy repentance by works of justice and charity (compare Lu 11:41); so God will remitthy punishment. The trouble will be longer before it comes, or shorter when it does come. Comparethe cases of Hezekiah, Isa 38:1-5; Nineveh, Jon 3:5-10; Jer 18:7, 8. The change is not in God, butin the sinner who repents. As the king who had provoked God's judgments by sin, so he might avertit by a return to righteousness (compare Ps 41:1, 2; Ac 8:22). Probably, like most Oriental despots,Nebuchadnezzar had oppressed the poor by forcing them to labor in his great public works withoutadequate remuneration.if … lengthening of … tranquillity—if haply thy present prosperity shall be prolonged.29. twelve months—This respite was granted to him to leave him without excuse. So thehundred twenty years granted before the flood (Ge 6:3). At the first announcement of the comingjudgment he was alarmed, as Ahab (1Ki 21:27), but did not thoroughly repent; so when judgmentwas not executed at once, he thought it would never come, and so returned to his former pride (Ec8:11).in the palace—rather, upon the (flat) palace roof, whence he could contemplate the splendorof Babylon. So the heathen historian, Abydenus, records. The palace roof was the scene of the fallof another king (2Sa 11:2). The outer wall of Nebuchadnezzar's new palace embraced six miles;there were two other embattled walls within, and a great tower, and three brazen gates.30. Babylon, that I have built—Herodotus ascribes the building of Babylon to Semiramis andNitocris, his informant under the Persian dynasty giving him the Assyrian and Persian account.Berosus and Abydenus give the Babylonian account, namely, that Nebuchadnezzar added much to theold city, built a splendid palace and city walls. Herodotus, the so-called "father of history," does noteven mention Nebuchadnezzar. (Nitocris, to whom he attributes the beautifying of Babylon, seemsto have been Nebuchadnezzar's wife). Hence infidels have doubted the Scripture account. But thelatter is proved by thousands of bricks on the plain, the inscriptions of which have been deciphered,each marked "Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar." "Built," that is, restored and enlarged(2Ch 11:5, 6). It is curious, all the bricks have been found with the stamped face downwards.Scarcely a figure in stone, or tablet, has been dug out of the rubbish heaps of Babylon, whereasNineveh abounds in them; fulfilling Jer 51:37, "Babylon shall become heaps." The "I" is emphatic,by which he puts himself in the place of God; so the "my … my." He impiously opposes his mightto God's, as though God's threat, uttered a year before, could never come to pass. He would be morethan man; God, therefore, justly, makes him less than man. An acting over again of the fall; Adam,once lord of the world and the very beasts (Ge 1:28; so Nebuchadnezzar Da 2:38), would be a god(Ge 3:5); therefore he must die like the beasts (Ps 82:6; 49:12). The second Adam restores theforfeited inheritance (Ps 8:4-8).31. While, &c.—in the very act of speaking, so that there could be no doubt as to the connectionbetween the crime and the punishment. So Lu 12:19, 20.O king … to thee it is spoken—Notwithstanding thy kingly power, to thee thy doom is nowspoken, there is to be no further respite.33. driven from men—as a maniac fancying himself a wild beast. It is possible, a conspiracyof his nobles may have co-operated towards his having been "driven" forth as an outcast.1562JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhairs … eagles' feathers—matted together, as the hair-like, thick plumage of the ossifragaeagle. The "nails," by being left uncut for years, would become like "claws."34. lifted up mine eyes unto heaven—whence the "voice" had issued (Da 4:31) at the beginningof his visitation. Sudden mental derangement often has the effect of annihilating the whole interval,so that, when reason returns, the patient remembers only the event that immediately preceded hisinsanity. Nebuchadnezzar's looking up towards heaven was the first symptom of his "understanding"having "returned." Before, like the beasts, his eyes had been downward to the earth. Now, likeJonah's (Jon 2:1, 2, 4) out of the fish's belly, they are lifted up to heaven in prayer. He turns to Himthat smiteth him (Isa 9:13), with the faint glimmer of reason left to him, and owns God's justice inpunishing him.praised … him—Praise is a sure sign of a soul spiritually healed (Ps 116:12, 14; Mr 5:15, 18,19).I … honoured him—implying that the cause of his chastisement was that he had before robbedGod of His honor.everlasting dominion—not temporary or mutable, as a human king's dominion.35. all … as nothing—(Isa 40:15, 17).according to his will in … heaven—(Ps 115:3; 135:6; Mt 6:10; Eph 1:11).army—the heavenly hosts, angels and starry orbs (compare Isa 24:21).none … stay his hand—literally, "strike His hand." Image from striking the hand of another,to check him in doing anything (Isa 43:13; 45:9).What doest thou—(Job 9:12; Ro 9:20).36. An inscription in the East India Company's Museum is read as describing the period ofNebuchadnezzar's insanity [G. V. Smith]. In the so-called standard inscription read by Sir H. Rawlinson,Nebuchadnezzar relates that during four (?) years he ceased to lay out buildings, or to furnish withvictims Merodach's altar, or to clear out the canals for irrigation. No other instance in the cuneiforminscriptions occurs of a king recording his own inaction.my counsellors … sought unto me—desired to have me, as formerly, to be their head, weariedwith the anarchy which prevailed in my absence (compare Note, see on Da 4:33); the likelihood ofa conspiracy of the nobles is confirmed by this verse.majesty was added—My authority was greater than ever before (Job 42:12; Pr 22:4; "added,"Mt 6:33).37. praise … extol … honour—He heaps word on word, as if he cannot say enough in praiseof God.all whose works … truth … judgment—that is, are true and just (Re 15:3; 16:7). God has notdealt unjustly or too severely with me; whatever I have suffered, I deserved it all. It is a mark oftrue contrition to condemn one's self, and justify God (Ps 51:4).those that walk in pride … abase—exemplified in me. He condemns himself before the wholeworld, in order to glorify God.CHAPTER 5Da 5:1-31. Belshazzar's Impious Feast; the Handwriting on the Wall Interpreted by Daniel of the Doom of Babylonand Its King.1563JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. Belshazzar—Rawlinson, from the Assyrian inscriptions, has explained the seeming discrepancybetween Daniel and the heathen historians of Babylon, Berosus and Abydenus, who say the last king(Nabonidus) surrendered in Borsippa, after Babylon was taken, and had an honorable abode inCaramania assigned to him. Belshazzar was joint king with his father (called Minus in theinscriptions), but subordinate to him; hence the Babylonian account suppresses the facts whichcast discredit on Babylon, namely, that Belshazzar shut himself up in that city and fell at its capture;while it records the surrender of the principal king in Borsippa (see my Introduction to Daniel).The heathen Xenophon's description of Belshazzar accords with Daniel's; he calls him "impious,"and illustrates his cruelty by mentioning that he killed one of his nobles, merely because, in hunting,the noble struck down the game before him; and unmanned a courtier, Gadates, at a banquet, becauseone of the king's concubines praised him as handsome. Daniel shows none of the sympathy for himwhich he had for Nebuchadnezzar. Xenophon confirms Daniel as to Belshazzar's end. Winer explainsthe "shazzar" in the name as meaning "fire."made … feast—heaven-sent infatuation when his city was at the time being besieged by Cyrus.The fortifications and abundant provisions in the city made the king despise the besiegers. It wasa festival day among the Babylonians [Xenophon].drank … before the thousand—The king, on this extraordinary occasion, departed from hisusual way of feasting apart from his nobles (compare Es 1:3).2. whiles he tasted the wine—While under the effects of wine, men will do what they dare notdo when sober.his father Nebuchadnezzar—that is, his forefather. So "Jesus … the son of David, the son ofAbraham" (Mt 1:1). Daniel does not say that the other kings mentioned in other writers did notreign between Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar, namely, Evil-merodach (Jer 52:31), Neriglissar,his brother-in-law, and Laborasoarchod (nine months). Berosus makes Nabonidus, the last king, tohave been one of the people, raised to the throne by an insurrection. As the inscriptions show thatBelshazzar was distinct from, and joint king with, him, this is not at variance with Daniel, whosestatement that Belshazzar was son (grandson) of Nebuchadnezzar is corroborated by Jeremiah (Jer27:7). Their joint, yet independent, testimony, as contemporaries, and having the best means ofinformation, is more trustworthy than any of the heathen historians, if there were a discrepancy.Evil-merodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar (according to Berosus), reigned but a short time (one or twoyears), having, in consequence of his bad government, been dethroned by a plot of Neriglissar, hissister's husband; hence Daniel does not mention him. At the elevation of Nabonidus as supremeking, Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, was doubtless suffered to be subordinate kingand successor, in order to conciliate the legitimate party. Thus the seeming discrepancy becomesa confirmation of genuineness when cleared up, for the real harmony must have been undesigned.wives … concubines—not usually present at feasts in the East, where women of the harem arekept in strict seclusion. Hence Vashti's refusal to appear at Ahasuerus' feast (Es 1:9-12). But theBabylonian court, in its reckless excesses, seems not to have been so strict as the Persian. Xenophon[Cyropædia, 5.2,28] confirms Daniel, representing a feast of Belshazzar where the concubines arepresent. At the beginning "the lords" (Da 5:1), for whom the feast was made, alone seem to havebeen present; but as the revelry advanced, the women were introduced. Two classes of them arementioned, those to whom belonged the privileges of "wives," and those strictly concubines (2Sa5:13; 1Ki 11:3; So 6:8).3. This act was not one of necessity, or for honor's sake, but in reckless profanity.1564JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. praised—sang and shouted praises to "gods," which being of gold, "are their own witnesses"(Isa 44:9), confuting the folly of those who fancy such to be gods.5. In the same hour—that the cause of God's visitation might be palpable, namely, theprofanation of His vessels and His holy name.fingers of … hand—God admonishes him, not by a dream (as Nebuchadnezzar had beenwarned), or by a voice, but by "fingers coming forth," the invisibility of Him who moved themheightening the awful impressiveness of the scene, the hand of the Unseen One attesting his doombefore the eyes of himself and his guilty fellow revellers.against the candlestick—the candelabra; where the mystic characters would be best seen.Barnes makes it the candlestick taken from the temple of Jerusalem, the nearness of the writing toit intimating that the rebuke was directed against the sacrilege.upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace—Written in cuneiform letters on slabs onthe walls, and on the very bricks, are found the perpetually recurring recital of titles, victories, andexploits, to remind the spectator at every point of the regal greatness. It is significant, that on thesame wall on which the king was accustomed to read the flattering legends of his own magnificence,he beholds the mysterious inscription which foretells his fall (compare Pr 16:18; Ac 12:21-23).part of the hand—the anterior part, namely, the fingers.6. countenance—literally, "brightness," that is, his bright look.joints of his loins—"the vertebræ of his back" [Gesenius].7. He calls for the magicians, who more than once had been detected in imposture. He neglectsGod, and Daniel, whose fame as an interpreter was then well-established. The world wishes to bedeceived and shuts its eyes against the light [Calvin]. The Hebrews think the words were Chaldee,but in the old Hebrew character (like that now in the Samaritan Pentateuch).third ruler—The first place was given to the king; the second, to the son of the king, or of thequeen; the third, to the chief of the satraps.8. The words were in such a character as to be illegible to the Chaldees, God reserving thishonor to Daniel.10. queen—the queen mother, or grandmother, Nitocris, had not been present till now. Shewas wife either of Nebuchadnezzar or of Evil merodach; hence her acquaintance with the servicesof Daniel. She completed the great works which the former had begun. Hence Herodotus attributesthem to her alone. This accounts for the deference paid to her by Belshazzar. (See on Da 4:36).Compare similar rank given to the queen mother among the Hebrews (1Ki 15:13).11. spirit of the holy gods—She remembers and repeats Nebuchadnezzar's language (Da 4:8,9, 18). As Daniel was probably, according to Oriental custom, deprived of the office to whichNebuchadnezzar had promoted him, as "master of the magicians" (Da 4:9), at the king's death,Belshazzar might easily be ignorant of his services.the king … thy father the king … thy father—The repetition marks with emphatic gravityboth the excellencies of Daniel, and the fact that Nebuchadnezzar, whom Belshazzar is bound toreverence as his father, had sought counsel from him in similar circumstances.13. the captivity of Judah—the captive Jews residing in Babylon.17. Not inconsistent with Da 5:29. For here he declares his interpretation of the words is notfrom the desire of reward. The honors in Da 5:29 were doubtless urged on him, without his wish,in such a way that he could not with propriety refuse them. Had he refused them after announcingthe doom of the kingdom, he might have been suspected of cowardice or treason.1565JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. God gave—It was not his own birth or talents which gave him the vast empire, as he thought.To make him unlearn his proud thought was the object of God's visitation on him.majesty—in the eyes of his subjects.glory—from his victories.honour—from the enlargement and decoration of the city.19. A purely absolute monarchy (Jer 27:7).21. heart was made like … beasts—literally, "he made his heart like the beasts," that is, hedesired to dwell with them.22. Thou hast erred not through ignorance, but through deliberate contempt of God,notwithstanding that thou hadst before thine eyes the striking warning given in thy grandfather'scase.23. whose are all thy ways—(Jer 10:23).24. Then—When thou liftedst up thyself against the Lord.the part of the hand—the fore part, the fingers.was … sent from him—that is, from God.25. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin—literally, "numbered, weighed, and dividers."26. God hath fixed the number of years of thine empire, and that number is now complete.27. weighed in the balances—The Egyptians thought that Osiris weighed the actions of thedead in a literal balance. The Babylonians may have had the same notion, which would give apeculiar appropriateness to the image here used.found wanting—too light before God, the weigher of actions (1Sa 2:3; Ps 62:9). Like spuriousgold or silver (Jer 6:30).28. Peres—the explanation of "dividers" (Da 5:25), the active participle plural there beingused for the passive participle singular, "dividers" for "divided." The word "Peres" alludes to thesimilar word "Persia."divided—namely, among the Medes and Persians [Maurer]; or, "severed" from thee [Grotius].29. Belshazzar … clothed Daniel with scarlet—To come from the presence of a prince in adress presented to the wearer as a distinction is still held a great honor in the East. Daniel was thusrestored to a similar rank to what he had held under Nebuchadnezzar (Da 2:48). Godly fidelitywhich might be expected to bring down vengeance, as in this case, is often rewarded even in thislife. The king, having promised, was ashamed before his courtiers to break his word. He perhapsalso affected to despise the prophecy of his doom, as an idle threat. As to Daniel's reasons for nowaccepting what at first he had declined, compare Note, see on Da 5:17. The insignia of honor wouldbe witnesses for God's glory to the world of his having by God's aid interpreted the mystic characters.The cause of his elevation too would secure the favor of the new dynasty (Da 6:2) for both himselfand his captive countrymen. As the capture of the city by Cyrus was not till near daylight, therewas no want of time in that eventful night for accomplishing all that is here recorded. The captureof the city so immediately after the prophecy of it (following Belshazzar's sacrilege), marked mostemphatically to the whole world the connection between Babylon's sin and its punishment.30. Herodotus and Xenophon confirm Daniel as to the suddenness of the event. Cyrus diverted theEuphrates into a new channel and, guided by two deserters, marched by the dry bed into the city,while the Babylonians were carousing at an annual feast to the gods. See also Isa 21:5; 44:27; Jer50:38, 39; 51:36. As to Belshazzar's being slain, compare Isa 14:18-20; 21:2-9; Jer 50:29-35; 51:57.1566JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson31. Darius the Median—that is, Cyaxares II, the son and successor of Astyages, 569-536 B.C.Though Koresh, or Cyrus, was leader of the assault, yet all was done in the name of Darius; therefore,he alone is mentioned here; but Da 6:28 shows Daniel was not ignorant of Cyrus' share in thecapture of Babylon. Isa 13:17; 21:2, confirm Daniel in making the Medes the leading nation indestroying Babylon. So also Jer 51:11, 28. Herodotus, on the other hand, omits mentioning Darius,as that king, being weak and sensual, gave up all the authority to his energetic nephew, Cyrus[Xenophon, Cyropædia, 1.5; 8.7].threescore and two years old—This agrees with Xenophon [Cyropædia, 8.5,19], as to CyaxaresII.CHAPTER 6Da 6:1-28. Darius' Decree: Daniel's Disobedience, and Consequent Exposure to the Lions: His Deliverance by God,and Darius' Decree.1. Darius—Grotefend has read it in the cuneiform inscriptions at Persepolis, as Darheush, thatis, "Lord-King," a name applied to many of the Medo-Persian kings in common. Three of that nameoccur: Darius Hystaspes, 521 B.C., in whose reign the decree was carried into effect for rebuildingthe temple (Ezr 4:5; Hag 1:1); Darius Codomanus, 336 B.C., whom Alexander overcame, called"the Persian" (Ne 12:22), an expression used after the rule of Macedon was set up; and DariusCyaxares II, between Astyages and Cyrus [ÆSCHYLUS, The Persians, 762, 763].hundred and twenty—satraps; set over the conquered provinces (including Babylon) by Cyrus[Xenophon, Cyropædia, 8.6.1]. No doubt Cyrus acted under Darius, as in the capture of Babylon;so that Daniel rightly attributes the appointment to Darius.3. Daniel was preferred—probably because of his having so wonderfully foretold the fall ofBabylon. Hence the very expression used by the queen mother on that occasion (Da 5:12) is hereused, "because an excellent spirit was in him."king thought to set him over the whole realm—Agreeing with Darius' character, weak andaverse to business, which he preferred to delegate to favorites. God overruled this to the good bothof Daniel, and, through him, of His people.4. occasion … concerning the kingdom—pretext for accusation in his administration (Ec 4:4).5. It is the highest testimony to a godly man's walk, when his most watchful enemies can findno ground of censure save in that he walks according to the law of God even where it opposes theways of the world.6. assembled together—literally, "assembled hastily and tumultuously." Had they come moredeliberately, the king might have refused their grant; but they gave him no time for reflection,representing that their test-decree was necessary for the safety of the king.live for ever—Arrian [Alexander, 4] records that Cyrus was the first before whom prostrationwas practised. It is an undesigned mark of genuineness that Daniel should mention no prostrationbefore Nebuchadnezzar or Darius (see on Da 3:9).7. The Persian king was regarded as representative of the chief god, Ormuzd; the seven princesnear him represented the seven Amshaspands before the throne of Ormuzd; hence Mordecai (Es3:4) refused such homage to Haman, the king's prime minister, as inconsistent with what is due toGod alone. A weak despot, like Darius, much under the control of his princes, might easily be1567JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpersuaded that such a decree would test the obedience of the Chaldeans just conquered, and tametheir proud spirits. So absolute is the king in the East, that he is regarded not merely as the ruler,but the owner, of the people.All … governors … counsellors, &c.—Several functionaries are here specified, not mentionedin Da 6:4, 6. They evidently exaggerated the case of the weak king, as if their request was that ofall the officers in the empire.den of lions—an underground cave or pit, covered with a stone. It is an undesigned proof ofgenuineness, that the "fiery furnace" is not made the means of punishment here, as in Da 3:20; forthe Persians were fire-worshippers, which the Babylonians were not.8. decree—or, "interdict."that it be not changed—(Es 1:19; 8:8). This immutability of the king's commands was peculiarto the Medes and Persians: it was due to their regarding him infallible as the representative ofOrmuzd; it was not so among the Babylonians.Medes and Persians—The order of the names is an undesigned mark of genuineness. Cyrusthe Persian reigned subordinate to Darius the Mede as to dignity, though exercising more realpower. After Darius' death, the order is "the Persians and Medes" (Es 1:14, 19, &c.).9. Such a despotic decree is quite explicable by remembering that the king, as the incarnationof Ormuzd, might demand such an act of religious obedience as a test of loyalty. Persecuting lawsare always made on false pretenses. Instead of bitter complaints against men, Daniel prays to God.Though having vast business as a ruler of the empire, he finds time to pray thrice a day. Daniel'sthree companions (Da 3:12), are not alluded to here, nor any other Jew who conscientiously mayhave disregarded the edict, as the conspirators aimed at Daniel alone (Da 6:5).10. when Daniel knew … writing … signed—and that, therefore, the power of advising theking against it was taken from him.went into his house—withdrawing from the God-dishonoring court.windows … open—not in vainglory, but that there might be no obstruction to his view of thedirection in which Jerusalem, the earthly seat of Jehovah under the Old Testament, lay; and thatthe sight of heaven might draw his mind off from earthly thoughts. To Christ in the heavenly templelet us turn our eyes in prayer, from this land of our captivity (1Ki 8:44, 48; 2Ch 6:29, 34, 38; Ps5:7).chamber—the upper room, where prayer was generally offered by the Jews (Ac 1:13). Not onthe housetop (Ac 10:9), where he would be conspicuous.upon his knees—Humble attitudes in prayer become humble suppliants.three times a day—(Ps 55:17). The third, sixth, and ninth hour; our nine, twelve, and threeo'clock (Ac 2:15; 10:9; 3:1; 10:30; compare Da 9:21).as … aforetime—not from contempt of the king's command.11. assembled—as in Da 6:6, "assembled" or "ran hastily," so as to come upon Daniel suddenlyand detect him in the act.12. They preface their attack by alleging the king's edict, so as to get him again to confirm itunalterably, before they mention Daniel's name. Not to break a wicked promise, is not firmness,but guilty obstinacy (Mt 14:9; Mr 6:26).13. That Daniel—contemptuously.1568JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof … captivity of Judah—recently a captive among thy servants, the Babylonians—one whomhumble obedience most becomes. Thus they aggravate his guilt, omitting mention of his beingprime minister, which might only remind Darius of Daniel's state services.regardeth not thee—because he regarded God (Ac 4:19; 5:29).14. displeased with himself—for having suffered himself to be entrapped into such a hastydecree (Pr 29:20). On the one hand he was pressed by the immutability of the law, fear that theprinces might conspire against him, and desire to consult for his own reputation, not to seem fickle;on the other, by regard for Daniel, and a desire to save him from the effects of his own rash decree.till … going down of … sun—The king took this time to deliberate, thinking that after sunsetDaniel would be spared till morning, and that meanwhile some way of escape would turn up. But(Da 6:15) the conspirators "assembled tumultuously" (literally) to prevent this delay in the execution,lest the king should meantime change his decree.16. Thy God … will deliver thee—The heathen believed in the interposition of the gods attimes in favor of their worshippers. Darius recognized Daniel's God as a god, but not the only trueGod. He had heard of the deliverance of the three youths in Da 3:26, 27 and hence augurs Daniel'sdeliverance. I am not my own master, and cannot deliver thee, however much I wish it. "Thy Godwill." Kings are the slaves of their flatterers. Men admire piety to God in others, howeverdisregarding Him themselves.17. stone … sealed—typical of Christ's entombment under a seal (Mt 27:66). Divinely ordered,that the deliverance might be the more striking.his own signet, and … of his lords—The concurrence of the lords was required for makinglaws. In this kingly power had fallen since it was in Nebuchadnezzar's hands. The Median king isa puppet in his lords' hands; they take the security of their own seal as well as his, that he shouldnot release Daniel. The king's seal guaranteed Daniel from being killed by them, should he escapethe lions.18. neither were instruments of music, &c.—Gesenius translates, "concubines." Daniel'smentioning to us as an extraordinary thing of Darius, that he neither approached his table nor hisharem, agrees with Xenophon's picture of him as devoted to wine and women, vain, and withoutself-control. He is sorry for the evil which he himself had caused, yet takes no steps to remedy it.There are many such halters between good and bad, who are ill at ease in their sins, yet go forwardin them, and are drawn on by others.19. His grief overcame his fear of the nobles.20. living God—having life Himself, and able to preserve thy life; contrasted with the lifelessidols. Darius borrowed the phrase from Daniel; God extorting from an idolater a confession of thetruth.thou servest continually—in times of persecution, as well as in times of peace.is thy God … able—the language of doubt, yet hope.21. Daniel might have indulged in anger at the king, but does not; his sole thought is, God'sglory has been set forth in his deliverance.22. his angel—the instrument, not the author, of his deliverance (Ps 91:11; 34:7).shut … lions' mouths—(Heb 11:33). So spiritually, God will shut the roaring lion's mouth(1Pe 5:8) for His servants.forasmuch as before him innocency—not absolutely (in Da 9:7, 18 he disclaims such a plea),but relatively to this case. God has attested the justice of my cause in standing up for His worship,1569JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonby delivering me. Therefore, the "forasmuch" does not justify Rome's doctrine of works meritingsalvation.before thee—Obedience to God is in strictest compatibility with loyalty to the king (Mt 22:21;1Pe 2:17). Daniel's disobedience to the king was seeming, not real, because it was not from contemptof the king, but from regard to the King of kings (compare Ac 24:16).23. because he believed—"Faith" is stated in Heb 11:33 to have been his actuating principle:a prelude to the Gospel. His belief was not with a view to a miraculous deliverance. He shut hiseyes to the event, committing the keeping of his soul to God, in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator(1Pe 4:19), sure of deliverance in a better life, if not in this.24. (De 19:19; Pr 19:5).accused—literally, "devoured the bones and flesh." It was just that they who had torn Daniel'scharacter, and sought the tearing of his person, should be themselves given to be torn in pieces (Pr11:8).their children—Among the Persians, all the kindred were involved in the guilt of one culprit.The Mosaic law expressly forbade this (De 24:16; 2Ki 14:6).or ever—that is, "before ever." The lions' sparing Daniel could not have been because theywere full, as they showed the keenness of their hunger on the accusers.26. Stronger than the decree (Da 3:29). That was negative; this, positive; not merely men mustsay "nothing amiss of," but must "fear before God."28. It was in the third year of Cyrus that Daniel's visions (Da 10:1-12:13) were given. Daniel"prospered" because of his prophecies (Ezr 1:1, 2).CHAPTER 7Da 7:1-28. Vision of the Four Beasts.This chapter treats of the same subject as the second chapter. But there the four kingdoms, andMessiah's final kingdom, were regarded according to their external political aspect, but hereaccording to the mind of God concerning them, and their moral features. The outward politicalhistory had been shown in its general features to the world ruler, whose position fitted him forreceiving such a revelation. But God's prophet here receives disclosures as to the characters of thepowers of the world, in a religious point of view, suited to his position and receptivity. Hence inthe second chapter the images are taken from the inanimate sphere; in the seventh chapter they aretaken from the animate. Nebuchadnezzar saw superficially the world power as a splendid humanfigure, and the kingdom of God as a mere stone at the first. Daniel sees the world kingdoms in theirinner essence as of an animal nature lower than human, being estranged from God; and that onlyin the kingdom of God ("the Son of man," the representative man) is the true dignity of man realized.So, as contrasted with Nebuchadnezzar's vision, the kingdom of God appears to Daniel, from thevery first, superior to the world kingdom. For though in physical force the beasts excel man, manhas essentially spiritual powers. Nebuchadnezzar's colossal image represents mankind in its ownstrength, but only the outward man. Daniel sees man spiritually degraded to the beast level, led byblind impulses, through his alienation from God. It is only from above that the perfect Son of mancomes, and in His kingdom man attains his true destiny. Compare Ps 8:1-9 with Ge 1:26-28.Humanity is impossible without divinity: it sinks to bestiality (Ps 32:9; 49:20; 73:22). Obstinate1570JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonheathen nations are compared to "bulls" (Ps 68:30); Egypt to the dragon in the Nile (Isa 27:1; 51:9;Eze 29:3). The animal with all its sagacity looks always to the ground, without consciousness ofrelation to God. What elevates man is communion with God, in willing subjection to Him. Themoment he tries to exalt himself to independence of God, as did Nebuchadnezzar (Da 4:30), hesinks to the beast's level. Daniel's acquaintance with the animal colossal figures in Babylon andNineveh was a psychological preparation for his animal visions. Ho 13:7, 8 would occur to himwhile viewing those ensigns of the world power. Compare Jer 2:15; 4:7; 5:6.1. Belshazzar—Good Hebrew manuscripts have "Belshazzar"; meaning "Bel is to be burntwith hostile fire" (Jer 50:2; 51:44). In the history he is called by his ordinary name; in the prophecy,which gives his true destiny, he is called a corresponding name, by the change of a letter.visions of his head—not confused "dreams," but distinct images seen while his mind wascollected.sum—a "summary." In predictions, generally, details are not given so fully as to leave no scopefor free agency, faith, and patient waiting for God manifesting His will in the event. He "wrote" itfor the Church in all ages; he "told" it for the comfort of his captive fellow countrymen.2. the four winds—answering to the "four beasts"; their several conflicts in the four quartersor directions of the world.strove—burst forth (from the abyss) [Maurer].sea—The world powers rise out of the agitations of the political sea (Jer 46:7, 8; Lu 21:25;compare Re 13:1; 17:15; 21:1); the kingdom of God and the Son of man from the clouds of heaven(Da 7:13; compare Joh 8:23). Tregelles takes "the great sea" to mean, as always elsewhere in Scripture(Jos 1:4; 9:1), the Mediterranean, the center territorially of the four kingdoms of the vision, whichall border on it and have Jerusalem subject to them. Babylon did not border on the Mediterranean,nor rule Jerusalem, till Nebuchadnezzar's time, when both things took place simultaneously. Persiaencircled more of this sea, namely, from the Hellespont to Cyrene. Greece did not become amonarchy before Alexander's time, but then, succeeding to Persia, it became mistress of Jerusalem.It surrounded still more of the Mediterranean, adding the coasts of Greece to the part held by Persia.Rome, under Augustus, realized three things at once—it became a monarchy; it became mistressof the last of the four parts of Alexander's empire (symbolized by the four heads of the third beast),and of Jerusalem; it surrounded all the Mediterranean.3. beasts—not living animals, as the cherubic four in Re 4:7 (for the original is a different wordfrom "beasts," and ought to be there translated, living animals). The cherubic living animals representredeemed man, combining in himself the highest forms of animal life. But the "beasts" here representthe world powers, in their beast-like, grovelling character. It is on the fundamental harmony betweennature and spirit, between the three kingdoms of nature, history, and revelation, that Scripturesymbolism rests. The selection of symbols is not arbitrary, but based on the essence of things.4. lion—the symbol of strength and courage; chief among the kingdoms, as the lion amongthe beasts. Nebuchadnezzar is called "the lion" (Jer 4:7).eagle's wings—denoting a widespread and rapidly acquired (Isa 46:11; Jer 4:13; La 4:19; Hab1:6) empire (Jer 48:40).plucked—Its ability for widespread conquests passed away under Evil-merodach, &c. [Grotius];rather, during Nebuchadnezzar's privation of his throne, while deranged.it was lifted up from the earth—that is, from its grovelling bestiality.1571JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmade stand … as a man—So long as Nebuchadnezzar, in haughty pride, relied on his ownstrength, he forfeited the true dignity of man, and was therefore degraded to be with the beasts. Da4:16: "Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him." But afterhe learned by this sore discipline that "the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men" (Da 4:35, 36),the change took place in him, "a man's heart is given to him; instead of his former beast's heart, heattains man's true position, namely, to be consciously dependent on God." Compare Ps 9:20.5. bear—symbolizing the austere life of the Persians in their mountains, also their cruelty (Isa13:17, 18; Cambyses, Ochus, and other of the Persian princes were notoriously cruel; the Persianlaws involved, for one man's offense, the whole kindred and neighborhood in destruction, Da 6:24)and rapacity. "A bear is an all-devouring animal" [Aristotle, 8.5], (Jer 51:48, 56).raised … itself on one side—but the Hebrew, "It raised up one dominion." The Medes, anancient people, and the Persians, a modern tribe, formed one united sovereignty in contrast to thethird and fourth kingdoms, each originally one, afterwards divided. English Version is the resultof a slight change of a Hebrew letter. The idea then would be, "It lay on one of its fore feet, andstood on the other"; a figure still to be seen on one of the stones of Babylon [Munter, The Religionof Babylonia, 112]; denoting a kingdom that had been at rest, but is now rousing itself for conquest.Media is the lower side, passiveness; Persia, the upper, active element [Auberlen]. The three ribs inits mouth are Media, Lydia, and Babylon, brought under the Persian sway. Rather, Babylon, Lydia,and Egypt, not properly parts of its body, but seized by Medo-Persia [Sir Isaac Newton]. Called "ribs"because they strengthened the Medo-Persian empire. "Between its teeth," as being much grindedby it.devour much flesh—that is, subjugate many nations.6. leopard—smaller than the lion; swift (Hab 1:8); cruel (Isa 11:6), the opposite of tame;springing suddenly from its hiding place on its prey (Ho 13:7); spotted. So Alexander, a small king,of a small kingdom, Macedon, attacked Darius at the head of the vast empire reaching from theÆgean Sea to the Indies. In twelve years he subjugated part of Europe, and all Asia from Illyricumand the Adriatic to the Ganges, not so much fighting as conquering [Jerome]. Hence, whereas Babylonis represented with two wings, Macedon has four, so rapid were its conquests. The various spotsdenote the various nations incorporated into his empire [Bochart]; or Alexander's own variation incharacter, at one time mild, at another cruel, now temperate, and now drunken and licentious.four heads—explained in Da 8:8, 22; the four kingdoms of the Diadochi or "successors" intowhich the Macedonian empire was divided at the death of Alexander, namely, Macedon and Greeceunder Cassander, Thrace and Bithynia under Lysimachus, Egypt under Ptolemy, and Syria underSeleucus.dominion … given to it—by God; not by Alexander's own might. For how unlikely it was thatthirty thousand men should overthrow several hundreds of thousands! Josephus [Antiquities, 11.6]says that Alexander adored the high priest of Jerusalem, saying that he at Dium in Macedonia hadseen a vision of God so habited, inviting him to go to Asia, and promising him success.7. As Daniel lived under the kingdom of the first beast, and therefore needed not to describe it,and as the second and third are described fully in the second part of the book, the chief emphasisfalls on the fourth. Also prophecy most dwells on the end, which is the consummation of thepreceding series of events. It is in the fourth that the world power manifests fully its God-opposingnature. Whereas the three former kingdoms were designated respectively, as a lion, bear, andleopard, no particular beast is specified as the image of the fourth; for Rome is so terrible as to be1572JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnot describable by any one, but combines in itself all that we can imagine inexpressibly fierce inall beasts. Hence thrice (Da 7:7, 19, 23) it is repeated, that the fourth was "diverse from all" theothers. The formula of introduction, "I saw in the night visions," occurs here, as at Da 7:2, andagain at Da 7:13, thus dividing the whole vision into three parts—the first embracing the threekingdoms, the second the fourth and its overthrow, the third Messiah's kingdom. The first threetogether take up a few centuries; the fourth, thousands of years. The whole lower half of the imagein the second chapter is given to it. And whereas the other kingdoms consist of only one material,this consists of two, iron and clay (on which much stress is laid, Da 2:41-43); the "iron teeth" hereallude to one material in the fourth kingdom of the image.ten horns—It is with the crisis, rather than the course, of the fourth kingdom that this seventhchapter is mainly concerned. The ten kings (Da 7:24, the "horns" representing power), that is,kingdoms, into which Rome was divided on its incorporation with the Germanic and Slavonic tribes,and again at the Reformation, are thought by many to be here intended. But the variation of the listof the ten, and their ignoring the eastern half of the empire altogether, and the existence of thePapacy before the breaking up of even the Western empire, instead of being the "little horn" springingup after the other ten, are against this view. The Western Roman empire continued till A.D. 731,and the Eastern, till A.D. 1453. The ten kingdoms, therefore, prefigured by the ten "toes" (Da 2:41;compare Re 13:1; 17:12), are the ten kingdoms into which Rome shall be found finally dividedwhen Antichrist shall appear [Tregelles]. These, probably, are prefigured by the number ten beingthe prevalent one at the chief turning points of Roman history.8. little horn—little at first, but afterwards waxing greater than all others. He must be sought"among them," namely, the ten horns. The Roman empire did not represent itself as a continuationof Alexander's; but the Germanic empire calls itself "the holy Roman empire." Napoleon's attempteduniversal monarchy was avowedly Roman: his son was called king of Rome. The czar (Cæsar)also professes to represent the eastern half of the Roman empire. The Roman civilization, church,language, and law are the chief elements in Germanic civilization. But the Romanic element seeksuniversal empire, while the Germanic seeks individualization. Hence the universal monarchiesattempted by the Papacy, Charlemagne, Charles V, and Napoleon have failed, the iron notamalgamating with the clay. In the king symbolized by "the little horn," the God-opposing, haughtyspirit of the world, represented by the fourth monarchy, finds its intensest development. "The manof sin," "the son of perdition" (2Th 2:3). Antichrist (1Jo 2:18, 22; 4:3). It is the complete evolutionof the evil principle introduced by the fall.three of the first horns plucked up—the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombardsand the state of Rome, which constituted the Pope's dominions at the first; obtained by Pope Zacharyand Stephen II in return for acknowledging the usurper Pepin lawful king of France [Newton]. SeeTregelles' objections, Da 7:7, "ten horns," Note. The "little horn," in his view, is to be Antichristrising three and a half years before Christ's second advent, having first overthrown three of the tencontemporaneous kingdoms, into which the fourth monarchy, under which we live, shall be finallydivided. Popery seems to be a fulfilment of the prophecy in many particulars, the Pope claimingto be God on earth and above all earthly dominions; but the spirit of Antichrist prefigured by Poperywill probably culminate in ONE individual, to be destroyed by Christ's coming; He will be theproduct of the political world powers, whereas Popery which prepares His way, is a Church becomeworldly.1573JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneyes of man—Eyes express intelligence (Eze 1:18); so (Ge 3:5) the serpent's promise was,man's "eyes should be opened," if he would but rebel against God. Antichrist shall consummatethe self-apotheosis, begun at the fall, high intellectual culture, independent of God. The metalsrepresenting Babylon and Medo-Persia, gold and silver, are more precious than brass and iron,representing Greece and Rome; but the latter metals are more useful to civilization (Ge 4:22). Theclay, representing the Germanic element, is the most plastic material. Thus there is a progress inculture; but this is not a progress necessarily in man's truest dignity, namely, union and likenessto God. Nay, it has led him farther from God, to self-reliance and world-love. The beginnings ofcivilization were among the children of Cain (Ge 4:17-24; Lu 16:8). Antiochus Epiphanes, the firstAntichrist, came from civilized Greece, and loved art. As Hellenic civilization produced the first,so modern civilization under the fourth monarchy will produce the last Antichrist. The "mouth"and "eyes" are those of a man, while the symbol is otherwise brutish, that is, it will assume man'strue dignity, namely, wear the guise of the kingdom of God (which comes as the "Son of man"from above), while it is really bestial, namely, severed from God. Antichrist promises the samethings as Christ, but in an opposite way: a caricature of Christ, offering a regenerated world withoutthe cross. Babylon and Persia in their religion had more reverence for things divine than Greeceand Rome in the imperial stages of their history. Nebuchadnezzar's human heart, given him (Da4:16) on his repentance, contrasts with the human eyes of Antichrist, the pseudo son of man, namely,intellectual culture, while heart and mouth blaspheme God. The deterioration politically corresponds:the first kingdom, an organic unity; the second, divided into Median and Persian; the third branchesoff into four; the fourth, into ten. The two eastern kingdoms are marked by nobler metals; the twowestern, by baser; individualization and division appear in the latter, and it is they which producethe two Antichrists.9. I beheld till—I continued looking till.thrones … cast down—rather, "thrones were placed" [Vulgate and Luther], namely, for thesaints and elect angels to whom "judgment is given" (Da 7:22), as assessors with the Judge. CompareDa 7:10, "thousand thousands ministered unto Him" (Mt 19:28; Lu 22:30; 1Co 6:2, 3; 1Ti 5:21;Re 2:26; 4:4). In English Version the thrones cast down are those of the previously mentioned kingswho give place to Messiah.Ancient of days—"The everlasting Father" (Isa 9:6). He is the Judge here, as THE Son does notjudge in His own cause, and it is His cause which is the one at issue with Antichrist.sit—the attitude of a judge about to pass sentence.white—The judicial purity of the Judge, and of all things round Him, is hereby expressed (Re1:14).wheels—as Oriental thrones move on wheels. Like the rapid flame, God's judgments are mostswift in falling where He wills them (Eze 1:15, 16). The judgment here is not the last judgment,for then there will be no beast, and heaven and earth shall have passed away; but it is that onAntichrist (the last development of the fourth kingdom), typical of the last judgment: Christ comingto substitute the millennial kingdom of glory for that of the cross (Re 17:12-14; 19:15-21; 11:15).10. thousand … ministered unto him—so at the giving of the law (De 33:2; Ps 68:17; Heb12:22; Jude 14).ten … thousand before him—image from the Sanhedrim, in which the father of the consistorysat with his assessors on each side, in the form of a semicircle, and the people standing before him.judgment was set—The judges sat (Re 20:4).1574JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbooks … opened—(Re 20:12). Forensic image; all the documents of the cause at issue,connected with the condemnation of Antichrist and his kingdom, and the setting up of Messiah'skingdom. Judgment must pass on the world as being under the curse, before the glory comes; butAntichrist offers glory without the cross, a renewed world without the world being judged.11. Here is set forth the execution on earth of the judgment pronounced in the unseen heavenlycourt of judicature (Da 7:9, 10).body … given to … flame—(Re 19:20).12. the rest of the beasts—that is, the three first, had passed away not by direct destroyingjudgments, such as consumed the little horn, as being the finally matured evil of the fourth beast.They had continued to exist but their "dominion was was taken away"; whereas the fourth beastshall cease utterly, superseded by Messiah's kingdom.for a season … time—Not only the triumph of the beasts over the godly, but their very existenceis limited to a definite time, and that time the exactly suitable one (compare Mt 24:22). Probably adefinite period is meant by a "season and time" (compare Da 7:25; Re 20:3). It is striking, the fourthmonarchy, though Christianized for fifteen hundred years past, is not distinguished from the previousheathen monarchies, or from its own heathen portion. Nay, it is represented as the most God-opposedof all, and culminating at last in blasphemous Antichrist. The reason is: Christ's kingdom now isnot of this world (Joh 18:36); and only at the second advent of Christ does it become an externalpower of the world. Hence Daniel, whose province it was to prophesy of the world powers, doesnot treat of Christianity until it becomes a world power, namely, at the second advent. The kingdomof God is a hidden one till Jesus comes again (Ro 8:17; Col 3:2, 3; 2Ti 2:11, 12). Rome was worldlywhile heathen, and remains worldly, though Christianized. So the New Testament views the presentæon or age of the world as essentially heathenish, which we cannot love without forsaking Christ(Ro 12:2; 1Co 1:20; 2:6, 8; 3:18; 7:31; 2Co 4:4; Ga 1:4; Eph 2:2; 2Ti 4:10; compare 1Jo 2:15, 17).The object of Christianity is not so much to Christianize the present world as to save souls out ofit, so as not to be condemned with the world (1Co 11:32), but to rule with Him in His millennium(Mt 5:5; Lu 12:32; 22:28-30; Ro 5:17; 1Co 6:2; Re 1:6; 2:26-28; 3:21; 20:4). This is to be our hope,not to reign in the present world course (1Co 4:8; 2Co 4:18; Php 3:20; Heb 13:14). There must bea "regeneration" of the world, as of the individual, a death previous to a resurrection, a destructionof the world kingdoms, before they rise anew as the kingdoms of Christ (Mt 19:28). Even themillennium will not perfectly eradicate the world's corruption; another apostasy and judgment willfollow (Re 20:7-15), in which the world of nature is to be destroyed and renewed, as the world ofhistory was before the millennium (2Pe 3:8-13); then comes the perfect earth and heaven (Re 21:1).Thus there is an onward progress, and the Christian is waiting for the consummation (Mr 13:33-37;Lu 12:35, 36, 40-46; 1Th 1:9, 10), as His Lord also is "expecting" (Heb 10:13).13. Son of man—(See on Eze 2:1). Not merely Son of David, and King of Israel, but Head ofrestored humanity (corresponding to the world-wide horizon of Daniel's prophecy); the seed of thewoman, crushing Antichrist, the seed of the serpent, according to the Prot-evangel in Paradise (Ge3:15). The Representative Man shall then realize the original destiny of man as Head of the creation(Ge 1:26, 28); the center of unity to Israel and the Gentiles. The beast, which taken conjointlyrepresents the four beasts, ascends from the sea (Da 7:2; Re 13:1); the Son of man descends from"heaven." Satan, as the serpent, is the representative head of all that bestial; man, by following theserpent, has become bestial. God must, therefore, become man, so that man may cease to bebeast-like. Whoever rejects the incarnate God will be judged by the Son of man just because He is1575JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe Son of man (Joh 5:27). This title is always associated with His coming again, because thekingdom that then awaits Him in that which belongs to Him as the Saviour of man, the Restorer ofthe lost inheritance. "Son of man" expresses His VISIBLE state formerly in his humiliation hereafterin His exaltation. He "comes to the Ancient of days" to be invested with the kingdom. Compare Ps110:2: "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength (Messiah) out of Zion." This investiture was atHis ascension "with the clouds of heaven" (Ac 1:9; 2:33, 34; Ps 2:6-9; Mt 28:18), which is a pledgeof His return "in like manner" in the clouds" (Ac 1:11; Mt 26:64), and "with clouds" (Re 1:7). Thekingdom then was given to Him in title and invisible exercise; at His second coming it shall be invisible administration. He will vindicate it from the misrule of those who received it to hold forand under God, but who ignored His supremacy. The Father will assert His right by the Son, theheir, who will hold it for Him (Eze 1:27; Heb 1:2; Re 19:13-16). Tregelles thinks the investiture hereimmediately precedes Christ's coming forth; because He sits at God's right hand until His enemiesare made His footstool, then the kingdom is given to the Son in actual investiture, and He comesto crush His so prepared footstool under His feet. But the words, "with the clouds," and the universalpower actually, though invisibly, given Him then (Eph 1:20-22), agree best with His investiture atthe ascension, which, in the prophetic view that overleaps the interval of ages, is the precursor ofHis coming visibly to reign; no event of equal moment taking place in the interval.15. body—literally, "sheath": the body being the "sheath" of the soul.17. kings—that is, kingdoms. Compare Da 7:23, "fourth kingdom"; Da 2:38; 8:20-22. Each ofthe four kings represents a dynasty. Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Antiochus, and Antichrist, thoughindividually referred to, are representatives of characteristic tendencies.18. the Most High—the emphatic title of God in this prophecy, who delegates His power firstto Israel; then to the Gentiles (Da 2:37, 38) when Israel fails to realize the idea of the theocracy;lastly, to Messiah, who shall rule truly for God, taking it from the Gentile world powers, whosehistory is one of continual degeneracy culminating in the last of the kings, Antichrist. Here, in theinterpretation, "the saints," but in the vision (Da 7:13, 14), "the Son of man," takes the kingdom;for Christ and His people are one in suffering, and one in glory. Tregelles translates, "most highplaces" (Eph 1:3; 2:6). Though oppressed by the beast and little horn, they belong not to the earthfrom which the four beasts arise, but to the most high places.19. Balaam, an Aramean, dwelling on the Euphrates, at the beginning of Israel's independenthistory, and Daniel at the close of it, prophetically exhibit to the hostile world powers Israel astriumphant over them at last, though the world powers of the East (Asshur) and the West (Chittim)carry all before them and afflict Eber (Israel) for a time (Nu 23:8-10, 28; 24:2, 7-9, 22-24). ToBalaam's "Asshur" correspond Daniel's two eastern kingdoms, Babylon and Medo-Persia; to"Chittim," the two western kingdoms, Greece and Rome (compare Ge 10:4, 11, 22). In Babel,Nimrod the hunter (revolter) founds the first kingdom of the world (Ge 10:8-13). The Babylonianworld power takes up the thread interrupted at the building of Babel, and the kingdom of Nimrod.As at Babel, so in Babylon the world is united against God; Babylon, the first world power, thusbecomes the type of the God-opposed world. The fourth monarchy consummates the evil; it is"diverse" from the others only in its more unlimited universality. The three first were not in thefull sense universal monarchies. The fourth is; so in it the God-opposed principle finds its fulldevelopment. All history moves within the Romanic, Germanic, and Slavonic nations; it shallcontinue so to Christ's second advent. The fourth monarchy represents universalism externally;1576JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonChristianity, internally. Rome is Babylon fully developed. It is the world power corresponding incontrast to Christianity, and therefore contemporary with it (Mt 13:38; Mr 1:15; Lu 2:1; Ga 4:4).20. look … more stout than … fellows—namely, than that of the other horns.21. made war with the saints—persecuted the Church (Re 11:7; 13:7).prevailed—but not ultimately. The limit is marked by "until" (Da 7:22). The little horn continues,without intermission, to persecute up to Christ's second advent (Re 17:12, 14; 19:19, 20).22. Ancient of days came—The title applied to the Father in Da 7:13 is here applied to theSon; who is called "the everlasting Father" (Isa 9:6). The Father is never said to "come"; it is theSon who comes.judgment was given to … saints—Judgment includes rule; "kingdom" in the end of this verse(1Co 6:2; Re 1:6; 5:10; 20:4). Christ first receives "judgment" and the "kingdom," then the saintswith Him (Da 7:13, 14).24. ten horns—answering to the ten "toes" (Da 2:41).out of this kingdom—It is out of the fourth kingdom that ten others arise, whatever exteriorterritory any of them possess (Re 13:1; 17:12).rise after them—yet contemporaneous with them; the ten are contemporaries. Antichrist risesafter their rise, at first "little" (Da 7:8); but after destroying three of the ten, he becomes greaterthan them all (Da 7:20, 21). The three being gone, he is the eighth (compare Re 17:11); a distincthead, and yet "of the seven." As the previous world kingdoms had their representative heads(Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar; Persia, Cyrus; Greece, Alexander), so the fourth kingdom and itsAntichrists shall have their evil concentrated in the one final Antichrist. As Antiochus Epiphanes,the Antichrist of the third kingdom in Da 8:23-25, was the personal enemy of God, so the finalAntichrist of the fourth kingdom, his antitype. The Church has endured a pagan and a papalpersecution; there remains for her an infidel persecution, general, purifying, and cementing [Cecil].He will not merely, as Popery, substitute himself for Christ in Christ's name, but "deny the Fatherand the Son" (1Jo 2:22). The persecution is to continue up to Christ's second coming (Da 7:21, 22);the horn of blasphemy cannot therefore be past; for now there is almost a general cessation ofpersecution.25. Three attributes of Antichrist are specified: (1) The highest worldly wisdom and civilization.(2) The uniting of the whole civilized world under his dominion. (3) Atheism, antitheism, andautotheism in its fullest development (1Jo 2:22). Therefore, not only is power taken from the fourthbeast, as in the case of the other three, but God destroys it and the world power in general by a finaljudgment. The present external Christianity is to give place to an almost universal apostasy.think—literally, "carry within him as it were the burden of the thought."change times—the prerogative of God alone (Da 2:21); blasphemously assumed by Antichrist.The "times and laws" here meant are those of religious ordinance; stated times of feasts [Maurer].Perhaps there are included the times assigned by God to the duration of kingdoms. He shall setHimself above all that is called God (2Th 2:4), putting his own "will" above God's times and laws(Da 11:36, 37). But the "times" of His wilfulness are limited for the elect's sake (Mt 24:22).they—the saints.given into his hand—to be persecuted.time … times and … dividing of time—one year, two years, and half a year: 1260 days (Re12:6, 14); forty-two months (Re 11:2, 3). That literally three and a half years are to be the term ofAntichrist's persecution is favored by Da 4:16, 23, where the year-day theory would be impossible.1577JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonIf the Church, moreover, had been informed that 1260 years must elapse before the second advent,the attitude of expectancy which is inculcated (Lu 12:38; 1Co 1:7; 1Th 1:9, 10; 2Pe 3:12) on theground of the uncertainty of the time, would be out of place. The original word for "time" denotesa stated period or set feast; or the interval from one set feast to its recurrence, that is, a year [Tregelles];Le 23:4, "seasons"; Le 23:44, "feasts." The passages in favor of the year-day theory are Eze 4:6,where each day of the forty during which Ezekiel lay on his right side is defined by God as meaninga year. Compare Nu 14:34, where a year of wandering in the wilderness was appointed for eachday of the forty during which the spies searched Canaan; but the days were, in these two cases,merely the type or reason for the years, which were announced as they were to be fulfilled. In theprophetic part of Nu 14:34 "years" are literal. If the year-day system was applied to them, theywould be 14,400 years! In Eze 4:4-6, if day meant year, Ezekiel would have lain on his right sideforty years! The context here in Da 7:24, 25, is not symbolical. Antichrist is no longer called ahorn, but a king subduing three out of ten kings (no longer horns, Da 7:7, 8). So in Da 12:7, where"time, times, and half a time," again occurs, nothing symbolic occurs in the context. So that thereis no reason why the three and a half years should be so. For the first four centuries the "days" wereinterpreted literally; a mystical meaning of the 1260 days then began. Walter Brute first suggestedthe year-day theory in the end of the fourteenth century. The seventy years of the Babyloniancaptivity foretold by Jeremiah (Jer 25:12; 29:10) were understood by Daniel (Da 9:2) as literalyears, not symbolical, which would have been 25,200 years! [Tregelles]. It is possible that the year-dayand day-day theories are both true. The seven (symbolical) times of the Gentile monarchies (Le26:24) during Israel's casting off will end in the seven years of Antichrist. The 1260 years of papalmisrule in the name of Christ may be represented by three and a half years of open Antichristianityand persecution before the millennium. Witnessing churches may be succeeded by witnessingindividuals, the former occupying the longer, the latter the shorter period (Re 11:3). The beginningof the 1260 years is by Elliott set at A.D. 529 or 533, when Justinian's edict acknowledged Pope JohnII to be head of the Church; by Luther, at 606, when Phocas confirmed Justinian's grant. But 752 isthe most likely date, when the temporal dominion of the popes began by Pepin's grant to StephenII (for Zachary, his predecessor's recognition of his title to France), confirmed by Charlemagne.For it was then first that the little horn plucked up three horns, and so became the prolongation ofthe fourth secular kingdom [Newton]. This would bring us down to about A.D. 2000, or the sevenththousand millenary from creation. But Clinton makes about 1862 the seventh millenary, which mayfavor the dating from A.D. 529.26. consume … destroy—a twofold operation. Antichrist is to be gradually "consumed," asthe Papacy has been consuming for four hundred years past, and especially of late years. He is alsoto be "destroyed" suddenly by Christ at His coming; the fully developed man of sin (2Th 2:3) orfalse prophet making a last desperate effort in confederacy with the "beast" (Re 16:13, 14, 16) orsecular power of the Roman empire (some conjecture Louis Napoleon): destroyed at Armageddonin Palestine.27. greatness of the kingdom under … whole heaven—The power, which those severalkingdoms had possessed, shall all be conferred on Messiah's kingdom. "Under … heaven" showsit is a kingdom on earth, not in heaven.people of … saints of … Most High—"the people of the saints," or "holy ones" (Da 8:24,Margin): the Jews, the people to whom the saints stand in a peculiar relation. The saints are gatheredout of Jews and Gentiles, but the stock of the Church is Jewish (Ro 9:24; 11:24); God's faithfulness1578JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto this election Church is thus virtually faithfulness to Israel, and a pledge of their future nationalblessing. Christ confirms this fact, while withholding the date (Ac 1:6, 7).everlasting kingdom—If everlasting, how can the kingdom here refer to the millennial one?Answer: Daniel saw the whole time of future blessedness as one period. The clearer light of theNew Testament distinguishes, in the whole period, the millennium and the time of the new heavenand new earth (compare Re 20:4 with Re 21:1 and Re 22:5). Christ's kingdom is "everlasting." Noteven the last judgment shall end it, but only give it a more glorious appearance, the new Jerusalemcoming down from God out of heaven, with the throne of God and the Lamb in it (compare Re 5:9,10; 11:15).28. cogitations … troubled me—showing that the Holy Spirit intended much more to beunderstood by Daniel's words than Daniel himself understood. We are not to limit the significanceof prophecies to what the prophets themselves understood (1Pe 1:11, 12).CHAPTER 8Da 8:1-27. Vision of the Ram and He-Goat: The Twenty-three Hundred Days of the Sanctuary Being TroddenDown.With this chapter the Hebrew part of the book begins and continues to be the language of theremainder; the visions relating wholly to the Jews and Jerusalem. The scene here narrows fromworld-wide prophecies to those affecting the one covenant-people in the five centuries betweenthe exile and the advent. Antichrist, like Christ, has a more immediate future, as well as one moreremote. The vision, the eighth chapter, begins, and that, the tenth through twelfth chapters, concludes,the account of the Antichrist of the third kingdom. Between the two visions the ninth chapter isinserted, as to Messiah and the covenant-people at the end of the half millennium (seventy weeksof years).1. vision—a higher kind of revelation than a dream.after that … at the first—that in Da 7:1.2. Shushan—Susa. Though then comparatively insignificant, it was destined to be the capitalof Persia after Cyrus' time. Therefore Daniel is transported into it, as being the capital of the kingdomsignified by the two-horned ram (Ne 1:1; Es 1:2-5).Elam—west of Persia proper, east of Babylonia, south of Media. Daniel was not present therepersonally, but in vision.Ulai—called in Pliny Euloeus; by the Greeks, Choaspes. Now Kerah, or Karasu. So in Da 10:4he receives a vision near another river, the Hiddekel. So Ezekiel (Eze 1:1) at the Chebar. Perhapsbecause synagogues used to be built near rivers, as before praying they washed their hands in thewater [Rosenmuller], (Ps 137:1).3. two horns—The "two" ought not to be in italics, as if it were not in the original; for it isexpressed by the Hebrew dual. "Horn" in the East is the symbol of power and royalty.one … higher than … other … the higher came up last—Persia, which was of little note tillCyrus' time, became then ascendant over Media, the more ancient kingdom. Darius was sixty-twoyears old (Da 5:31) when he began to reign; during his short reign of two years, being a weak king(Da 6:1-3), the government was almost entirely in Cyrus' hands. Hence Herodotus does not mentionDarius; but Xenophon does under the name of Cyaxares II. The "ram" here corresponds to the "bear"1579JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(Da 7:5), symbolizing clumsy firmness. The king of Persia wore a jewelled ram's head of goldinstead of a diadem, such as are seen on the pillars at Persepolis. Also the Hebrew for "ram" springsfrom the same root as "Elam," or Persia [Newton]. The "one horn higher than the other" answers tothe bear "raising itself on one side" (compare Note, see on Da 7:5).4. ram pushing westward—Persia conquered westward Babylon, Mesopotamia, Syria, AsiaMinor.northward—Colchis, Armenia, Iberia, and the dwellers on the Caspian Sea.southward—Judea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya; also India, under Darius. He does not say eastward,for the Persians themselves came from the east (Isa 46:11).did according to his will—(Da 11:3, 16; compare Da 5:19).5. he-goat—Græco-Macedonia.notable horn—Alexander. "Touched not … ground," implies the incredible swiftness of hisconquests; he overran the world in less than twelve years. The he-goat answers to the leopard (Da7:6). Caranus, the first king of Macedonia, was said to have been led by goats to Edessa, which hemade the seat of his kingdom, and called Æge, that is, "goat-city."6. standing before the river—Ulai. It was at the "river" Granicus that Alexander fought hisfirst victorious battle against Darius, 334 B.C.7. moved with choler—Alexander represented the concentrated wrath of Greece against Persiafor the Persian invasions of Greece; also for the Persian cruelties to Greeks, and Darius' attemptsto seduce Alexander's soldiers to treachery [Newton].stamped upon him—In 331 B.C. he defeated Darius Codomanus, and in 330 B.C. burnedPersepolis and completed the conquest of Persia.none … could deliver—Not the immense hosts of Persia could save it from the small army ofAlexander (Ps 33:16).8. when he was strong … great horn was broken—The empire was in full strength atAlexander's death by fever at Babylon, and seemed then least likely to fall. Yet it was then "broken."His natural brother, Philip Aridoeus, and his two sons, Alexander Ægus and Hercules, in fifteenmonths were murdered.four … toward … four winds—Seleucus, in the east, obtained Syria, Babylonia, Media, &c.;Cassander, in the west, Macedon Thessaly, Greece; Ptolemy, in the south, Egypt, Cyprus, &c.;Lysimachus, in the north, Thrace, Cappadocia, and the north parts of Asia Minor.9. little horn—not to be confounded with the little horn of the fourth kingdom in Da 7:8. Thelittle horn in Da 7:8 comes as an eleventh horn after ten preceding horns. In Da 8:9 it is not anindependent fifth horn, after the four previous ones, but it arises out of one of the four existinghorns. This horn is explained (Da 8:23) to be "a king of fierce countenance," &c. AntiochusEpiphanes is meant. Greece with all its refinement produces the first, that is, the Old TestamentAntichrist. Antiochus had an extraordinary love of art, which expressed itself in grand temples. Hewished to substitute Zeus Olympius for Jehovah at Jerusalem. Thus first heathen civilization frombelow, and revealed religion from above, came into collision. Identifying himself with Jupiter, hisaim was to make his own worship universal (compare Da 8:25 with Da 11:36); so mad was he inthis that he was called Epimanes (maniac) instead of Epiphanes. None of the previous world rulers,Nebuchadnezzar (Da 4:31-34), Darius (Da 6:27, 28), Cyrus (Ezr 1:2-4), Artaxerxes Longimanus(Ezr 7:12), had systematically opposed the Jews' religious worship. Hence the need of prophecyto prepare them for Antiochus. The struggle of the Maccabees was a fruit of Daniel's prophecy (11580JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonMaccabees 2:59). He is the forerunner of the final Antichrist, standing in the same relation to thefirst advent of Christ that Antichrist does to His second coming. The sins in Israel which gave riseto the Greek Antichrist were that some Jews adopted Hellenic customs (compare Da 11:30, 32),erecting theaters, and regarding all religions alike, sacrificing to Jehovah, but at the same timesending money for sacrifices to Hercules. Such shall be the state of the world when ripe forAntichrist. At Da 8:9 and Da 8:23 the description passes from the literal Antiochus to featureswhich, though partially attributed to him, hold good in their fullest sense only of his antitype, theNew Testament Antichrist. The Mohammedan Antichrist may also be included; answering to theEuphratean (Turk) horsemen (Re 9:14-21), loosed "an hour, a day, a month, a year" (391 years, inthe year-day theory), to scourge corrupted, idolatrous Christianity. In A.D. 637 the Saracen Moslemmosque of Omar was founded on the site of the temple, "treading under foot the sanctuary" (Da8:11-13); and there it still remains. The first conquest of the Turks over Christians was in A.D. 1281;and 391 years after they reached their zenith of power and began to decline, Sobieski defeatingthem at Vienna. Mohammed II, called "the conqueror," reigned A.D. 1451-1481, in which periodConstantinople fell; 391 years after brings us to our own day, in which Turkey's fall is imminent.waxed … great, toward … south—(Da 11:25). Antiochus fought against Ptolemy Philometerand Egypt, that is, the south.toward the east—He fought against those who attempted a change of government in Persia.toward the pleasant land—Judea, "the glorious land" (Da 11:16, 41, 45; compare Ps 48:2;Eze 20:6, 15). Its chief pleasantness consists in its being God's chosen land (Ps 132:13; Jer 3:19).Into it Antiochus made his inroad after his return from Egypt.10. great, even to … host of heaven—explained in Da 8:24, "the mighty and holy people,"that is, the Jews (Da 7:21) and their priests (compare Isa 24:21). The Levites' service is called "awarfare" (Nu 8:24, 25, Margin). Great civil and religious powers are symbolized by "stars" (Mt24:29). See 1 Maccabees 1:25, &c.; 1 Maccabees 2:35, &c.; 1 Maccabees 5:2, 12, 13. Tregelles refers"stars" to those Jews whose portion from God is heavenly glory (Da 12:3), being believers in Himwho is above at God's right hand: not the blinded Jews.cast … stars to the ground—So Babel, as type of Antichrist, is described (Isa 14:13, 14), "Iwill exalt my throne above the stars of God." Compare Re 12:4; 2 Maccabees 9:10, as to Antiochus.11. to the prince of the host—that is, God Himself, the Lord of Sabaoth, the hosts in heavenand earth, stars, angels, and earthly ministers. So Da 8:25, "he shall stand up against the Prince ofprinces"; "against the God of gods" (Da 11:36; compare Da 7:8). He not only opposes God's ancientpeople, but also God Himself.daily sacrifice—offered morning and evening (Ex 29:38, 39).taken away—by Antiochus (1 Maccabees 1:20-50).sanctuary … cast down—Though robbed of its treasures, it was not strictly "cast down" byAntiochus. So that a fuller accomplishment is future. Antiochus took away the daily sacrifice fora few years; the Romans, for many ages, and "cast down" the temple; and Antichrist, in connectionwith Rome, the fourth kingdom, shall do so again after the Jews in their own land, still unbelieving,shall have rebuilt the temple, and restored the Mosaic ritual: God giving them up to him "by reasonof transgression" (Da 8:12), that is, not owning the worship so rendered [Tregelles]; and then theopposition of the horn to the "truth" is especially mentioned.1581JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson12. an host—rather, "the host was given up to him," that is, the holy people were given intohis hands. So in Da 8:10 "the host" is used; and again in Da 8:13, where also "give" is used as herefor "giving up" for destruction (compare Da 11:6) [Maurer].against … daily sacrifice—rather (the host was given up for him to tread upon), "togetherwith the daily sacrifice" (compare Da 8:13).by reason of transgression—1 Maccabees 1:11-16 traces all the calamities suffered underAntiochus to the transgression of certain Jews who introduced heathen customs into Jerusalem justbefore. But transgression was not at the full (Da 8:23) under Antiochus; for Onias the high priestadministered the laws in godliness at the time (2 Maccabees 3:1). Therefore the "transgression"must refer to that of the Jews hereafter restored to Palestine in unbelief.the truth—the worship of the true God. Isa 59:14, "Truth is fallen in the street."practised, and prospered—Whatever he undertook succeeded (Da 8:4; 11:28, 36).13. that certain saint—Daniel did not know the names of these two holy angels, but saw onlythat one was speaking to the other.How long shall be the vision concerning … daily sacrifice—How long shall the daily sacrificebe suspended?transgression of desolation—literally, "making desolate," that is, Antiochus desolatingprofanation of the temple (Da 11:31; 12:11). Compare as to Rome and the last Antichrist, Mt 24:15.14. unto me—The answer is to Daniel, not to the inquirer, for the latter had asked in Daniel'sname; as vice versa the saint or angel (Job 15:15; Ps 89:6, 7) speaks of the vision granted to Daniel,as if it had been granted to himself. For holy men are in Scripture represented as having attendantangels, with whom they are in a way identified in interests. If the conversation had been limited tothe angels, it could have been of no use to us. But God conveys it to prophetical men, for our good,through the ministry of angels.two thousand … three hundred days—literally, "mornings and evenings," specified inconnection with the morning and evening sacrifice. Compare Ge 1:5. Six years and a hundred tendays. This includes not only the three and a half years during which the daily sacrifice was forbiddenby Antiochus [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 1:1.1], but the whole series of events whereby it waspractically interrupted: beginning with the "little horn waxing great toward the pleasant land," and"casting down some of the host" (Da 8:9, 10); namely, when in 171 B.C., or the month Sivan in theyear 142 of the era of the Seleucidæ, the sacrifices began to be neglected, owing to the high priestJason introducing at Jerusalem Grecian customs and amusements, the palæstra and gymnasium;ending with the death of Antiochus, 165 B.C., or the month Shebath, in the year 148 of the Seleucidera. Compare 1 Maccabees 1:11-15; 2 Maccabees 4:9, &c. The reason for the greater minutenessof historical facts and dates, given in Daniel's prophecies, than in those of the New Testament, isthat Israel, not having yet the clear views which Christians have of immortality and the heavenlyinheritance, could only be directed to the earthly future: for it was on earth the looked-for Messiahwas to appear, and the sum and subject of Old Testament prophecy was the kingdom of God uponearth. The minuteness of the revelation of Israel's earthly destiny was to compensate for the absence,in the Old Testament, of views of heavenly glory. Thus, in Da 9:24-27, the times of Messiah areforetold to the very year; in Da 8:14 the times of Antiochus, even to the day; and in Da 11:5-20 theSyro-Egyptian struggles in most minute detail. Tregelles thinks the twenty-three hundred "days"answer to the week of years (Da 9:27), during which the destroying prince (Da 9:26) makes acovenant, which he breaks in the midst of the week (namely, at the end of three and a half years).1582JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThe seven years exceed the twenty-three hundred days by considerably more than a half year. Thisperiod of the seven years' excess above the twenty-three hundred days may be allotted to thepreparations needed for setting up the temple-worship, with Antichrist's permission to the restoredJews, according to his "covenant" with them; and the twenty-three hundred days may date fromthe actual setting up of the worship. But, says Auberlen, the more accurate to a day the dates as toAntiochus are given, the less should we say the 1290, or 1335 days (Da 12:11, 12) correspond tothe half week (roughly), and the twenty-three hundred to the whole. The event, however, may, inthe case of Antichrist, show a correspondence between the days here given and Da 9:27, such asis not yet discernible. The term of twenty-three hundred days cannot refer twenty-three hundredyears of the treading down of Christianity by Mohammedanism, as this would leave the greaterportion of the time yet future; whereas, Mohammedanism is fast waning. If the twenty-three hundreddays mean years, dating from Alexander's conquests, 334 B.C. to 323, we should arrive at aboutthe close of the sixth thousand years of the world, just as the 1260 years (Da 7:25) from Justinian'sdecree arrive at the same terminus. The Jews' tradition represents the seventh thousand as themillennium. Cumming remarks, 480 B.C. is the date of the waning of the Persian empire before Greece;deducting 480 from 2300, we have 1820; and in 1821, Turkey, the successor of the Greek empire,began to wane, and Greece became a separate kingdom. See on Da 12:11.cleansed—literally, "justified," vindicated from profanation. Judas Maccabeus celebrated thefeast of dedication after the cleansing, on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Kisleu (1 Maccabees4:51-58; 2 Maccabees 10:1-7; Joh 10:22). As to the antitypical dedication of the new temple, seeEze 43:1-27, &c.; also Am 9:11, 12.16. Gabriel—meaning, "the strength of God."17. the time of the end—so Da 8:19; Da 11:35, 36, 40. The event being to take place at "thetime of the end" makes it likely that the Antichrist ultimately referred to (besides the immediatereference to Antiochus) in this chapter, and the one in Da 7:8, are one and the same. The objectionthat the one in the seventh chapter springs out of the ten divisions of the Roman earth, the fourthkingdom, the one in the eighth chapter and the eleventh chapter from one of the four divisions ofthe third kingdom, Greece, is answered thus: The four divisions of the Grecian empire, havingbecome parts of the Roman empire, shall at the end form four of its ten final divisions [Tregelles].However, the origin from one of the four parts of the third kingdom may be limited to Antiochus,the immediate subject of the eighth and eleventh chapter, while the ulterior typical reference ofthese chapters (namely, Antichrist) may belong to one of the ten Roman divisions, not necessarilyone formerly of the four of the third kingdom. The event will tell. "Time of the end" may apply tothe time of Antiochus. For it is the prophetic phrase for the time of fulfilment, seen always at theend of the prophetic horizon (Ge 49:1; Nu 24:14).19. the last end of the indignation—God's displeasure against the Jews for their sins. For theircomfort they are told, the calamities about to come are not to be for ever. The "time" is limited (Da9:27; 11:27, 35, 36; 12:7; Hab 2:3).21. the first king—Philip was king of Macedon before Alexander, but the latter was the firstwho, as a generalissimo of Greece, subdued the Persian empire.22. not in his power—not with the power which Alexander possessed [Maurer]. An empireunited, as under Alexander, is more powerful than one divided, as under the four Diadochi.23. transgressors are come to the full—This does not hold good of the times of Antiochus,but of the closing times of the Christian era. Compare Lu 18:8, and 2Ti 3:1-9, as to the wickedness1583JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof the world in general just before Christ's second coming. Israel's guilt, too, shall then be at thefull, when they who rejected Christ shall receive Antichrist; fulfilling Jesus words, "I am come inMy Father's name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye willreceive" (compare Ge 15:16; Mt 23:32; 1Th 2:16).of fierce countenance—(De 28:50); one who will spare neither old nor young.understanding dark sentences—rather, "artifices" [Gesenius]. Antiochus made himself masterof Egypt and Jerusalem successively by craft (1 Maccabees 1:30, &c.; 2 Maccabees 5:24, &c.).24. not by his own power—which in the beginning was "little" (Da 8:9; 7:8); but by gainingover others through craft, the once little horn became "mighty" (compare Da 8:25; 11:23). To befully realized by Antichrist. He shall act by the power of Satan, who shall then be permitted to workthrough him in unrestricted license, such as he has not now (Re 13:2); hence the ten kingdoms shallgive the beast their power (2Th 2:9-12; Re 17:13).prosper and practise—prosper in all that he attempts (Da 8:12).holy people—His persecutions are especially directed against the Jews.25. by peace—by pretending "peace" and friendship; in the midst of security [Gesenius], suddenlystriking his blow (compare Note, see on Jer 15:8). "A spoiler at noon-day."also … against the Prince of princes—not merely against the Jews (Da 8:11; 11:36).broken without hand—by God's special visitation. The stone "cut out of the mountain withouthands," that is, Christ is to smite the world power image on his feet (Da 2:34), that is, in its lastdevelopment (compare Da 7:11). Antiochus' horrible death by worms and ulcers, when on his wayto Judea, intending to take vengeance for the defeat of his armies by the Maccabees, was a primaryfulfilment, foreshadowing God's judgment on the last enemy of the Jewish Church.26. shut … up … vision—implying the vision was not to be understood for the present. In Re22:10 it is said, "Seal not the vision, for the time is at hand." What in Daniel's time was hidden wasmore fully explained in Revelation, and as the time draws nearer, it will be clearer still.it shall be for many days—It refers to remote times (Eze 12:27).27. I … was sick—through grief at the calamities coming on my people and the Church of God(compare Ps 102:14).afterward I … did the king's business—He who holds nearest communion with heaven canbest discharge the duties of common life.none understood it—He had heard of kings, but knew not their names; He foresaw the events,but not the time when they were to take place; thereupon he could only feel "astonished," and leaveall with the omniscient God [Jerome].CHAPTER 9Da 9:1-27. Daniel's Confession and Prayer for Jerusalem: Gabriel Comforts Him by the Prophecy of the SeventyWeeks.The world powers here recede from view; Israel, and the salvation by Messiah promised to it,are the subject of revelation. Israel had naturally expected salvation at the end of the captivity.Daniel is therefore told, that, after the seventy years of the captivity, seventy times seven mustelapse, and that even then Messiah would not come in glory as the Jews might throughmisunderstanding expect from the earlier prophets, but by dying would put away sin. This ninth1584JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonchapter (Messianic prophecy) stands between the two visions of the Old Testament Antichrist, tocomfort "the wise." In the interval between Antiochus and Christ, no further revelation was needed;therefore, as in the first part of the book, so in the second, Christ and Antichrist in connection arethe theme.1. first year of Darius—Cyaxares II, in whose name Cyrus, his nephew, son-in-law, andsuccessor, took Babylon, 538 B.C. The date of this chapter is therefore 537 B.C., a year before Cyruspermitted the Jews to return from exile, and sixty-nine years after Daniel had been carried captiveat the beginning of the captivity, 606 B.C.son of Ahasuerus—called Astyages by Xenophon. Ahasuerus was a name common to many ofthe kings of Medo-Persia.made king—The phrase implies that Darius owed the kingdom not to his own prowess, but tothat of another, namely, Cyrus.2. understood by books—rather, "letters," that is, Jeremiah's letter (Jer 29:10) to the captivesin Babylon; also Jer 25:11, 12; compare 2Ch 36:21; Jer 30:18; 31:38. God's promises are the groundon which we should, like Daniel, rest sure hope; not so as to make our prayers needless, but ratherto encourage them.3. prayer … supplications—literally, "intercessions … entreaties for mercy." Praying forblessings, and deprecating evils.4. my confession—according to God's promises in Le 26:39-42, that if Israel in exile for sinshould repent and confess, God would remember for them His covenant with Abraham (compareDe 30:1-5; Jer 29:12-14; Jas 4:10). God's promise was absolute, but prayer also was ordained asabout to precede its fulfilment, this too being the work of God in His people, as much as the externalrestoration which was to follow. So it shall be at Israel's final restoration (Ps 102:13-17). Danieltakes his countrymen's place of confession of sin, identifying himself with them, and, as theirrepresentative and intercessory priest, "accepts the punishment of their iniquity." Thus he typifiesMessiah, the Sin-bearer and great Intercessor. The prophet's own life and experience form the fitstarting point of the prophecy concerning the sin atonement. He prays for Israel's restoration asassociated in the prophets (compare Jer 31:4, 11, 12, 31, &c.) with the hope of Messiah. Therevelation, now granted, analyzes into its successive parts that which the prophets, in propheticalperspective, heretofore saw together in one; namely, the redemption from captivity, and the fullMessianic redemption. God's servants, who, like Noah's father (Ge 5:29), hoped many a time thatnow the Comforter of their afflictions was at hand, had to wait from age to age, and to view precedingfulfilments only as pledges of the coming of Him whom they so earnestly desired to see (Mt 13:17);as now also Christians, who believe that the Lord's second coming is nigh, are expected to continuewaiting. So Daniel is informed of a long period of seventy prophetic weeks before Messiah's coming,instead of seventy years, as he might have expected (compare Mt 18:21, 22) [Auberlen].great and dreadful God—as we know to our cost by the calamities we suffer. The greatnessof God and His dreadful abhorrence of sin should prepare sinners for reverent, humbleacknowledgment of the justice of their punishment.keeping … covenant and mercy—that is, the covenant of Thy mercy, whereby Thou hastpromised to deliver us, not for our merits, but of Thy mercy (Eze 36:22, 23). So weak and sinfulis man that any covenant for good on God's part with him, to take effect, must depend solely onHis grace. If He be a God to be feared for His justice, He is one to be trusted for His "mercy."1585JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonlove … keep his commandments—Keeping His commandments is the only sure test of loveto God (Joh 14:15).5. Compare Nehemiah's confession (Ne 9:1-38).sinned … committed iniquity … done wickedly … rebelled—a climax. Erred in ignorance… sinned by infirmity … habitually and wilfully done wickedness … as open and obstinate rebelsset ourselves against God.6. prophets … spake … to our kings … to all the people—They fearlessly warned all withoutrespect of persons.7. confusion of faces, as at this day—Shame at our guilt, betrayed in our countenance, is whatbelongs to us; as our punishment "at this day" attests.near, and … far off—the chastisement, however varied, some Jews not being cast off so farfrom Jerusalem as others, all alike were sharers in the guilt.9. mercies—The plural intensifies the force; mercy manifold and exhibited in countless ways.As it is humbling to recollect "righteousness belongeth unto God," so it is comforting, that "merciesbelong to the Lord OUR God."though we have rebelled—rather, "since," &c. [Vulgate], (Ps 25:11). Our punishment is notinconsistent with His "mercies," since we have rebelled against Him.10. set before us—not ambiguously, but plainly, so that we were without excuse.11. all—(Ps 14:3; Ro 3:12).the curse … and … oath … in … law—the curse against Israel, if disobedient, which Godratified by oath (Le 26:14-39; De 27:15-26; 28:15-68; 29:1-29).12. confirmed his words—showed by the punishments we suffer, that His words were no idlethreats.under … heaven hath not been done as … upon Jerusalem—(La 1:12).13. yet made we not our prayer before—literally, "soothed not the face of." Not even ourchastisement has taught us penitence (Isa 9:13; Jer 5:3; Ho 7:10). Diseased, we spurn the healingmedicine.that we might turn, &c.—Prayer can only be accepted when joined with the desire to turnfrom sin to God (Ps 66:18; Pr 28:9).understand thy truth—"attentively regard Thy faithfulness" in fulfilling Thy promises, andalso Thy threats [Calvin]. Thy law (Da 8:12), [Maurer].14. watched upon the evil—expressing ceaseless vigilance that His people's sins might notescape His judgment, as a watchman on guard night and day (Job 14:16; Jer 31:28; 44:27). Godwatching upon the Jews' punishment forms a striking contrast to the Jews' slumbering in their sins.God is righteous—True penitents "justify" God, "ascribing righteousness to Him," instead ofcomplaining of their punishment as too severe (Ne 9:33; Job 36:3; Ps 51:4; La 3:39-42).15. brought thy people … out of … Egypt—a proof to all ages that the seed of Abraham isThy covenant-people. That ancient benefit gives us hope that Thou wilt confer a like one on usnow under similar circumstances (Ps 80:8-14; Jer 32:21; 23:7, 8).as at this day—is known.16. thy righteousness—not stern justice in punishing, but Thy faithfulness to Thy promises ofmercy to them who trust in Thee (Ps 31:1; 143:1).thy city—chosen as Thine in the election of grace, which changes not.1586JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor … iniquities of … fathers—(Ex 20:5). He does not impugn God's justice in this, as didthe murmurers (Eze 18:2, 3; compare Jer 31:29).thy people … a reproach—which brings reproach on Thy name. "All the nations that are aboutus" will say that Thou, Jehovah, wast not able to save Thy peculiar people. So Da 9:17, "for theLord's sake"; Da 9:19, "for Thine own sake" (Isa 48:9, 11).17. cause thy face to shine—metaphor from the sun, which gladdens all that it beams upon(Nu 6:25; Mal 4:2).18. present … supplications—literally, "cause to fall," &c. (compare Note, see on Jer 36:7).19. The short broken ejaculations and repetitions show the intense fervor of his supplications.defer not—He implies that the seventy years are now all but complete.thine own sake—often repeated, as being the strongest plea (Jer 14:21).20. whiles I was speaking—repeated in Da 9:21; emphatically marking that the answer wasgiven before the prayer was completed, as God promised (Isa 30:19; 65:24; compare Ps 32:5).21. I had seen in the vision at the beginning—namely, in the former vision by the river Ulai(Da 8:1, 16).fly swiftly—literally, "with weariness," that is, move swiftly as one breathless and wearied outwith quick running [Gesenius]. English Version is better (Isa 6:2; Eze 1:6; Re 14:6).time of … evening oblation—the ninth hour, three o'clock (compare 1Ki 18:36). As formerly,when the temple stood, this hour was devoted to sacrifices, so now to prayer. Daniel, during thewhole captivity to the very last, with pious patriotism never forgot God's temple-worship, but speaksof its rites long abolished, as if still in use.22. to give thee … understanding—Da 8:16; Da 8:26 shows that the symbolical vision hadnot been understood. God therefore now gives "information" directly, instead of by symbol, whichrequired interpretation.23. At the beginning of thy supplications, &c.—The promulgation of the divine decree wasmade in heaven to the angels as soon as Daniel began to pray.came forth—from the divine throne; so Da 9:22.thou art greatly beloved—literally, "a man of desires" (compare Eze 23:6, 12); the object ofGod's delight. As the apocalyptic prophet of the New Testament was "the disciple whom Jesusloved," so the apocalyptic prophet of the Old Testament was "greatly beloved" of God.the vision—the further revelation as to Messiah in connection with Jeremiah's prophecy ofseventy years of the captivity. The charge to "understand" is the same as in Mt 24:15, where Romeprimarily, and Antichrist ultimately, is referred to (compare Note, see on Da 9:27).24. Seventy weeks—namely, of years; literally, "Seventy sevens"; seventy heptads orhebdomads; four hundred ninety years; expressed in a form of "concealed definiteness" [Hengstenberg],a usual way with the prophets. The Babylonian captivity is a turning point in the history of thekingdom of God. It terminated the free Old Testament theocracy. Up to that time Israel, thoughoppressed at times, was; as a rule, free. From the Babylonian captivity the theocracy never recoveredits full freedom down to its entire suspension by Rome; and this period of Israel's subjection to theGentiles is to continue till the millennium (Re 20:1-15), when Israel shall be restored as head ofthe New Testament theocracy, which will embrace the whole earth. The free theocracy ceased inthe first year of Nebuchadnezzar, and the fourth of Jehoiakim; the year of the world 3338, the pointat which the seventy years of the captivity begin. Heretofore Israel had a right, if subjugated by aforeign king, to shake off the yoke (Jud 4:1-5:31; 2Ki 18:7) as an unlawful one, at the first1587JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonopportunity. But the prophets (Jer 27:9-11) declared it to be God's will that they should submit toBabylon. Hence every effort of Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah to rebel was vain. The periodof the world times, and of Israel's depression, from the Babylonian captivity to the millennium,though abounding more in afflictions (for example, the two destructions of Jerusalem, Antiochus'persecution, and those which Christians suffered), contains all that was good in the preceding ones,summed up in Christ, but in a way visible only to the eye of faith. Since He came as a servant, Hechose for His appearing the period darkest of all as to His people's temporal state. Always freshpersecutors have been rising, whose end is destruction, and so it shall be with the last enemy,Antichrist. As the Davidic epoch is the point of the covenant-people's highest glory, so the captivityis that of their lowest humiliation. Accordingly, the people's sufferings are reflected in the pictureof the suffering Messiah. He is no longer represented as the theocratic King, the Antitype of David,but as the Servant of God and Son of man; at the same time the cross being the way to glory (compareDa 9:1-27 with Da 2:34, 35, 44; 12:7). In the second and seventh chapters, Christ's first coming isnot noticed, for Daniel's object was to prophesy to his nation as to the whole period from thedestruction to the re-establishment of Israel; but this ninth chapter minutely predicts Christ's firstcoming, and its effects on the covenant people. The seventy weeks date thirteen years before therebuilding of Jerusalem; for then the re-establishment of the theocracy began, namely, at the returnof Ezra to Jerusalem, 457 B.C. So Jeremiah's seventy years of the captivity begin 606 B.C., eighteenyears before the destruction of Jerusalem, for then Judah ceased to exist as an independent theocracy,having fallen under the sway of Babylon. Two periods are marked in Ezra: (1) The return from thecaptivity under Jeshua and Zerubbabel, and rebuilding of the temple, which was the first anxietyof the theocratic nation. (2) The return of Ezra (regarded by the Jews as a second Moses) fromPersia to Jerusalem, the restoration of the city, the nationality, and the law. Artaxerxes, in theseventh year of his reign, gave him the commission which virtually includes permission to rebuildthe city, afterwards confirmed to, and carried out by, Nehemiah in the twentieth year (Ezr 9:9; 7:11,&c.). Da 9:25, "from the going forth of the commandment to build Jerusalem," proves that thesecond of the two periods is referred to. The words in Da 9:24 are not, "are determined upon theholy city," but "upon thy people and thy holy city"; thus the restoration of the religious nationalpolity and the law (the inner work fulfilled by Ezra the priest), and the rebuilding of the houses andwalls (the outer work of Nehemiah, the governor), are both included in Da 9:25, "restore and buildJerusalem." "Jerusalem" represents both the city, the body, and the congregation, the soul of thestate. Compare Ps 46:1-11; 48:1-14; 87:1-7. The starting-point of the seventy weeks dated fromeighty-one years after Daniel received the prophecy: the object being not to fix for him definitelythe time, but for the Church: the prophecy taught him that the Messianic redemption, which hethought near, was separated from him by at least a half millennium. Expectation was sufficientlykept alive by the general conception of the time; not only the Jews, but many Gentiles looked forsome great Lord of the earth to spring from Judea at that very time [Tacitus, Histories, 5.13; Suetonius,Vespasian, 4]. Ezra's placing of Daniel in the canon immediately before his own book andNehemiah's was perhaps owing to his feeling that he himself brought about the beginning of thefulfilment of the prophecy (Da 9:20-27) [Auberlen].determined—literally, "cut out," namely, from the whole course of time, for God to deal in aparticular manner with Jerusalem.thy … thy—Daniel had in his prayer often spoken of Israel as "Thy people, Thy holy city"; butGabriel, in reply, speaks of them as Daniel's ("thy … thy") people and city, God thus intimating1588JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthat until the "everlasting righteousness" should be brought in by Messiah, He could not fully ownthem as His [Tregelles] (compare Ex 32:7). Rather, as God is wishing to console Daniel and the godlyJews, "the people whom thou art so anxiously praying for"; such weight does God give to theintercessions of the righteous (Jas 5:16-18).finish—literally, "shut up"; remove from God's sight, that is, abolish (Ps 51:9) [Lengkerke]. Theseventy years' exile was a punishment, but not a full atonement, for the sin of the people; this wouldcome only after seventy prophetic weeks, through Messiah.make an end of—The Hebrew reading, "to steal," that is, to hide out of sight (from the customof sealing up things to be concealed, compare Job 9:7), is better supported.make reconciliation for—literally, "to cover," to overlay (as with pitch, Ge 6:14). ComparePs 32:1.bring in everlasting righteousness—namely, the restoration of the normal state between Godand man (Jer 23:5, 6); to continue eternally (Heb 9:12; Re 14:6).seal up … vision … prophecy—literally, "prophet." To give the seal of confirmation to theprophet and his vision by the fulfilment.anoint the Most Holy—primarily, to "anoint," or to consecrate after its pollution "the MostHoly" place but mainly Messiah, the antitype to the Most Holy place (Joh 2:19-22). The propitiatoryin the temple (the same Greek word expresses the mercy seat and propitiation, Ro 3:25), which theJews looked for at the restoration from Babylon, shall have its true realization only in Messiah. Forit is only when sin is "made an end of" that God's presence can be perfectly manifested. As to"anoint," compare Ex 40:9, 34. Messiah was anointed with the Holy Ghost (Ac 4:27; 10:38). Sohereafter, God-Messiah will "anoint" or consecrate with His presence the holy place at Jerusalem(Jer 3:16, 17; Eze 37:27, 28), after its pollution by Antichrist, of which the feast of dedication afterthe pollution by Antiochus was a type.25. from the going forth of the commandment—namely the command from God, whenceoriginated the command of the Persian king (Ezr 6:14). Auberlen remarks, there is but one Apocalypsein each Testament. Its purpose in each is to sum up all the preceding prophecies, previous to the"troublous times" of the Gentiles, in which there was to be no revelation. Daniel sums up all theprevious Messianic prophecy, separating into its individual phases what the prophets had seen inone and the same perspective, the temporary deliverance from captivity and the antitypical finalMessianic deliverance. The seventy weeks are separated (Da 9:25-27) into three unequal parts,seven, sixty-two, one. The seventieth is the consummation of the preceding ones, as the Sabbathof God succeeds the working days; an idea suggested by the division into weeks. In the sixty-nineweeks Jerusalem is restored, and so a place is prepared for Messiah wherein to accomplish Hissabbatic work (Da 9:25, 26) of "confirming the covenant" (Da 9:27). The Messianic time is theSabbath of Israel's history, in which it had the offer of all God's mercies, but in which it was cutoff for a time by its rejection of them. As the seventy weeks end with seven years, or a week, sothey begin with seven times seven, that is, seven weeks. As the seventieth week is separated fromthe rest as a period of revelation, so it may be with the seven weeks. The number seven is associatedwith revelation; for the seven spirits of God are the mediators of all His revelations (Re 1:4; 3:1;4:5). Ten is the number of what is human; for example, the world power issues in ten heads andten horns (Da 2:42; 7:7). Seventy is ten multiplied by seven, the human moulded by the divine. Theseventy years of exile symbolize the triumph of the world power over Israel. In the seven timesseventy years the world number ten is likewise contained, that is, God's people is still under the1589JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpower of the world ("troublous times"); but the number of the divine is multiplied by itself; seventimes seven years, at the beginning a period of Old Testament revelation to God's people by Ezra,Nehemiah, and Malachi, whose labors extend over about half a century, or seven weeks, and whosewritings are last in the canon; and in the end, seven years, the period of New Testament revelationin Messiah. The commencing seven weeks of years of Old Testament revelation are hurried over,in order that the chief stress might rest on the Messianic week. Yet the seven weeks of Old Testamentrevelation are marked by their separation from the sixty-two, to be above those sixty-two whereinthere was to be none.Messiah the Prince—Hebrew, Nagid. Messiah is Jesus' title in respect to Israel (Ps 2:2; Mt27:37, 42). Nagid, as Prince of the Gentiles (Isa 55:4). Nagid is applied to Titus, only asrepresentative of Christ, who designates the Roman destruction of Jerusalem as, in a sense, Hiscoming (Mt 24:29-31; Joh 21:22). Messiah denotes His calling; Nagid, His power. He is to "be cutoff, and there shall be nothing for Him." (So the Hebrew for "not for Himself," Da 9:26, ought tobe translated). Yet He is "the Prince" who is to "come," by His representative at first, to inflictjudgment, and at last in person.wall—the "trench" or "scarped rampart" [Tregelles]. The street and trench include the completerestoration of the city externally and internally, which was during the sixty-nine weeks.26. after threescore and two weeks—rather, the threescore and two weeks. In this verse, andin Da 9:27, Messiah is made the prominent subject, while the fate of the city and sanctuary aresecondary, being mentioned only in the second halves of the verses. Messiah appears in a twofoldaspect, salvation to believers, judgment on unbelievers (Lu 2:34; compare Mal 3:1-6; 4:1-3). Herepeatedly, in Passion week, connects His being "cut off" with the destruction of the city, as causeand effect (Mt 21:37-41; 23:37, 38; Lu 21:20-24; 23:28-31). Israel might naturally expect Messiah'skingdom of glory, if not after the seventy years' captivity, at least at the end of the sixty-two weeks;but, instead of that, shall be His death, and the consequent destruction of Jerusalem.not for himself—rather, "there shall be nothing to Him" [Hengstenberg]; not that the real objectof His first coming (His spiritual kingdom) should be frustrated; but the earthly kingdom anticipatedby the Jews should, for the present, come to naught, and not then be realized. Tregelles refers thetitle, "the Prince" (Da 9:25), to the time of His entering Jerusalem on an ass's colt, His onlyappearance as a king, and six days afterwards put to death as "King of the Jews."the people of the prince—the Romans, led by Titus, the representative of the world power,ultimately to be transferred to Messiah, and so called by Messiah's title, "the Prince"; as also becausesent by Him, as His instrument of judgment (Mt 22:7).end thereof—of the sanctuary. Tregelles takes it, "the end of the Prince," the last head of theRoman power, Antichrist.with a flood—namely, of war (Ps 90:5; Isa 8:7, 8; 28:18). Implying the completeness of thecatastrophe, "not one stone left on another."unto the end of the war—rather, "unto the end there is war."determined—by God's decree (Isa 10:23; 28:22).27. he shall confirm the covenant—Christ. The confirmation of the covenant is assigned toHim also elsewhere. Isa 42:6, "I will give thee for a covenant of the people" (that is, He in whomthe covenant between Israel and God is personally expressed); compare Lu 22:20, "The newtestament in My blood"; Mal 3:1, "the angel of the covenant"; Jer 31:31-34, describes the Messianiccovenant in full. Contrast Da 11:30, 32, "forsake the covenant," "do wickedly against the covenant."1590JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThe prophecy as to Messiah's confirming the covenant with many would comfort the faithful inAntiochus' times, who suffered partly from persecuting enemies, partly from false friends (Da11:33-35). Hence arises the similarity of the language here and in Da 11:30, 32, referring toAntiochus, the type of Antichrist.with many—(Isa 53:11; Mt 20:28; 26:28; Ro 5:15, 19; Heb 9:28).in … midst of … week—The seventy weeks extend to A.D. 33. Israel was not actually destroyedtill A.D. 79, but it was so virtually, A.D. 33, about three or four years after Christ's death, duringwhich the Gospel was preached exclusively to the Jews. When the Jews persecuted the Church andstoned Stephen (Ac 7:54-60), the respite of grace granted to them was at an end (Lu 13:7-9). Israel,having rejected Christ, was rejected by Christ, and henceforth is counted dead (compare Ge 2:17with Ge 5:5; Ho 13:1, 2), its actual destruction by Titus being the consummation of the removal ofthe kingdom of God from Israel to the Gentiles (Mt 21:43), which is not to be restored until Christ'ssecond coming, when Israel shall be at the head of humanity (Mt 23:39; Ac 1:6, 7; Ro 11:25-31;15:1-32). The interval forms for the covenant-people a great parenthesis.he shall cause the sacrifice … oblation to cease—distinct from the temporary "taking away"of "the daily" (sacrifice) by Antiochus (Da 8:11; 11:31). Messiah was to cause all sacrifices andoblations in general to "cease" utterly. There is here an allusion only to Antiochus' act; to comfortGod's people when sacrificial worship was to be trodden down, by pointing them to the Messianictime when salvation would fully come and yet temple sacrifices cease. This is the same consolationas Jeremiah and Ezekiel gave under like circumstances, when the destruction of Jerusalem byNebuchadnezzar was impending (Jer 3:16; 31:31; Eze 11:19). Jesus died in the middle of the lastweek, A.D. 30. His prophetic life lasted three and a half years; the very time in which "the saintsare given into the hand" of Antichrist (Da 7:25). Three and a half does not, like ten, designate thepower of the world in its fulness, but (while opposed to the divine, expressed by seven) broken anddefeated in its seeming triumph; for immediately after the three and a half times, judgment falls onthe victorious world powers (Da 7:25, 26). So Jesus' death seemed the triumph of the world, butwas really its defeat (Joh 12:31). The rending of the veil marked the cessation of sacrifices throughChrist's death (Le 4:6, 17; 16:2, 15; Heb 10:14-18). There cannot be a covenant without sacrifice(Ge 8:20; 9:17; 15:9, &c.; Heb 9:15). Here the old covenant is to be confirmed, but in a way peculiarto the New Testament, namely, by the one sacrifice, which would terminate all sacrifices (Ps 40:6,11). Thus as the Levitical rites approached their end, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, with everincreasing clearness, oppose the spiritual new covenant to the transient earthly elements of the old.for the overspreading of abominations—On account of the abominations committed by theunholy people against the Holy One, He shall not only destroy the city and sanctuary (Da 9:25),but shall continue its desolation until the time of the consummation "determined" by God (thephrase is quoted from Isa 10:22, 23), when at last the world power shall be judged and dominionbe given to the saints of the Most High (Da 7:26, 27). Auberlen translates, "On account of thedesolating summit of abominations (compare Da 11:31; 12:11; thus the repetition of the same thingas in Da 9:26 is avoided), and till the consummation which is determined, it (the curse, Da 9:11,foretold by Moses) will pour on the desolated." Israel reached the summit of abominations, whichdrew down desolation (Mt 24:28), nay, which is the desolation itself, when, after murdering Messiah,they offered sacrifices, Mosaic indeed in form, but heathenish in spirit (compare Isa 1:13; Eze5:11). Christ refers to this passage (Mt 24:15), "When ye see the abomination of desolation, spokenof by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place" (the latter words being tacitly implied in1591JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"abominations" as being such as are committed against the sanctuary). Tregelles translates, "uponthe wing of abominations shall be that which causeth desolation"; namely, an idol set up on a wingor pinnacle of the temple (compare Mt 4:5) by Antichrist, who makes a covenant with the restoredJews for the last of the seventy weeks of years (fulfilling Jesus' words, "If another shall come inhis own name, him ye will receive"), and for the first three and a half years keeps it, then in themidst of the week breaks it, causing the daily sacrifices to cease. Tregelles thus identifies the lasthalf week with the time, times, and a half of the persecuting little horn (Da 7:25). But thus there isa gap of at least 1830 years put between the sixty-nine weeks and the seventieth week. Sir IsaacNewton explains the wing ("overspreading") of abominations to be the Roman ensigns (eagles)brought to the east gate of the temple, and there sacrificed to by the soldiers; the war, ending in thedestruction of Jerusalem, lasted from spring A.D. 67 to autumn A.D. 70, that is, just three and a halfyears, or the last half week of years [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 6.6].poured upon the desolate—Tregelles translates, "the causer of desolation," namely, Antichrist.Compare "abomination that maketh desolate" (Da 12:11). Perhaps both interpretations of the wholepassage may be in part true; the Roman desolator, Titus, being a type of Antichrist, the final desolatorof Jerusalem. Bacon [The Advancement of Learning, 2.3] says, "Prophecies are of the nature of theAuthor, with whom a thousand years are as one day; and therefore are not fulfilled punctually atonce, but have a springing and germinant accomplishment through many years, though the heightand fulness of them may refer to one age."CHAPTER 10Da 10:1-21. Daniel Comforted by an Angelic Vision.The tenth through twelfth chapters more fully describe the vision in the eighth chapter by asecond vision on the same subject, just as the vision in the seventh chapter explains more fully thatin the second. The tenth chapter is the prologue; the eleventh, the prophecy itself; and the twelfth,the epilogue. The tenth chapter unfolds the spiritual worlds as the background of the historicalworld (Job 1:7; 2:1, &c.; Zec 3:1, 2; Re 12:7), and angels as the ministers of God's government ofmen. As in the world of nature (Joh 5:4; Re 7:1-3), so in that of history here; Michael, the championof Israel, and with him another angel, whose aim is to realize God's will in the heathen world, resistthe God-opposed spirit of the world. These struggles are not merely symbolical, but real (1Sa16:13-15; 1Ki 22:22; Eph 6:12).1. third year of Cyrus—two years after Cyrus' decree for the restoration of the Jews had goneforth, in accordance with Daniel's prayer in Da 9:3-19. This vision gives not merely general outlines,or symbols, but minute details of the future, in short, anticipative history. It is the expansion of thevision in Da 8:1-14. That which then "none understood," he says here, "he understood"; themessenger being sent to him for this (Da 10:11, 14), to make him understand it. Probably Danielwas no longer in office at court; for in Da 1:21, it is said, "Daniel continued even unto the first yearof King Cyrus"; not that he died then. See on Da 1:21.but the time appointed was long—rather, "it (that is, the prophecy) referred to great calamity"[Maurer]; or, "long and calamitous warfare" [Gesenius]. Literally, "host going to war"; hence, warfare,calamity.1592JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. mourning—that is, afflicting myself by fasting from "pleasant bread, flesh and wine" (Da10:3), as a sign of sorrow, not for its own sake. Compare Mt 9:14, "fast," answering to "mourn"(Da 10:15). Compare 1Co 8:8; 1Ti 4:3, which prove that "fasting" is not an indispensable Christianobligation; but merely an outward expression of sorrow, and separation from ordinary worldlyenjoyments, in order to give one's self to prayer (Ac 13:2). Daniel's mourning was probably for hiscountrymen, who met with many obstructions to their building of the temple, from their adversariesin the Persian court.3. no pleasant bread—"unleavened bread, even the bread of affliction" (De 16:3).anoint—The Persians largely used unguents.4. first month—Nisan, the month most suited for considering Israel's calamity, being that inwhich the feast of unleavened bread reminded them of their Egyptian bondage. Daniel mournednot merely for the seven days appointed (Ex 12:18), from the evening of the fourteenth to thetwenty-first of Nisan, but thrice seven days, to mark extraordinary sorrow. His mourning ended onthe twenty-first day, the closing day of the passover feast; but the vision is not till the twenty-fourth,because of the opposition of "the prince of Persia" (Da 10:13).I was by … the … river—in waking reality, not a trance (Da 10:7); when younger, he saw thefuture in images, but now when old, he receives revelations from angels in common language, thatis, in the apocalyptic mode. In the patriarchal period God often appeared visibly, that is, theophany.In the prophets, next in the succession, the inward character of revelation is prominent. Theconsummation is when the seer looks up from earth into the unseen world, and has the future shownto him by angels, that is, apocalypse. So in the New Testament there is a parallel progression: Godin the flesh, the spiritual activity of the apostles and the apocalypse [Auberlen].Hiddekel—the Tigris.5. lifted up mine eyes—from the ground on which they had been fixed in his mourning.certain man—literally, "one man." An angel of the highest order; for in Da 8:16 he commandsGabriel to make Daniel to understand the vision, and in Da 12:6 one of the two angels inquires ofhim how long it would be till the end predicted.linen—the raiment of priests, being the symbol of sanctity, as more pure than wool (Ex 28:42);also of prophets (Jer 13:1); and of angels (Re 15:6).girded with … gold—that is, with a girdle interwoven with gold (Re 1:13).6. beryl—literally, "Tarshish," in Spain. The beryl, identical with the chrysolite or topaz, wasimported into the East from Tarshish, and therefore is called "the Tarshish stone."7. they fled—terrified by the presence of the presence of the angel.8. comeliness—literally, "vigor," that is, lively expression and color.into corruption—"deadliness," that is, death-like paleness (Da 5:6; 7:28).9. voice of his words—the sound of his words.was I in a deep sleep—"I sank into a deep sleep" [Lengkerke].10. an hand—namely, of Gabriel, who interpreted other revelations to Daniel (Da 8:16)[Theodoret].set me upon my knees—Gesenius translates, "cause me to reel on my knees," &c.11. man … beloved—(See on Da 9:23).understand—"attend to." See Da 8:17, 18.12. Fear not—Be not affrighted at my presence.1593JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondidst set thine heart to understand—what shall come to pass to thy people at the last times(compare Da 10:14).chasten thyself—(Da 10:2, 3).thy words were heard—(Ac 10:4). Prayer is heard at once in heaven, though the sensibleanswer may seem to be delayed. God's messenger was detained on the way (Da 10:13) by theopposition of the powers of darkness. If in our prayers amidst long protracted sorrows we believedGod's angel is on his way to us, what consolation it would give us!for thy words—because of thy prayers.13. prince of … Persia—the angel of darkness that represented the Persian world power, towhich Israel was then subject. This verse gives the reason why, though Daniel's "words were heardfrom the first day" (Da 10:12), the good angel did not come to him until more than three weekshad elapsed (Da 10:4).one and twenty days—answering to the three weeks of Daniel's mourning (Da 10:2).Michael—that is, "Who is like God?" Though an archangel, "one of the chief princes," Michaelwas not to be compared to God.help me—Michael, as patron of Israel before God (Da 10:21; 12:1), "helped" to influence thePersian king to permit the Jews' return to Jerusalem.I remained—I was detained there with the kings of Persia, that is, with the angel of the Persianrulers, with whom I had to contend, and from whom I should not have got free, but for the help ofMichael. Gesenius translates, "I obtained the ascendency," that is, I gained my point against theadverse angel of Persia, so as to influence the Persian authorities to favor Israel's restoration.14. what shall befall thy people in the latter days—an intimation that the prophecy, besidesdescribing the doings of Antiochus, reaches to the concluding calamities of Israel's history, priorto the nation's full restoration at Christ's coming—calamities of which Antiochus' persecutionswere the type.vision is for many days—that is, extends far into the future.15. face toward the ground—in humble reverence (Ge 19:1).dumb—with overwhelming awe.16. touched my lips—the same significant action wherewith the Son of man accompanied Hishealing of the dumb (Mr 7:33). He alone can give spiritual utterance (Isa 6:6, 7; Eph 6:19), enablingone to "open the mouth boldly." The same one who makes dumb (Da 10:15) opens the mouth.sorrows—literally, "writhings" as of a woman in travail.17. this … this my lord—to avoid the tautology in English Version, join rather "this," with"servant," "How can this servant of my lord (that is, how can I who am so feeble) talk with this mylord (who is so majestic)?" Thus Daniel gives the reason why he is so overwhelmed with awe[Maurer].18. again … touched me—It was gradually that Daniel recovered his strength. Hence therewas need of the second touch, that he might hear the angel with composure.19. peace be unto thee—God is favorable to thee and to thy people Israel. See Jud 13:21, 22,as to the fear of some evil resulting from a vision of angels.20. Knowest thou wherefore—The angel asks, after Daniel had recovered from his fright,whether he has understood what was revealed (Da 10:13). On Daniel, by his silence, intimatingthat he did understand, the angel declares he will return to renew the fight with the evil angel, the1594JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprince of Persia. This points to new difficulties to the Jews' restoration which would arise in thePersian court, but which would be counteracted by God, through the ministry of angels.prince of Grecia shall come—Alexander the Great, who conquered Persia, and favored theJews [Calvin]. Rather, as the prince of Persia is an angel, representing the hostile world power, sothe prince of Grecia is a fresh angelic adversary, representing Greece. When I am gone forth fromconquering the Persian foe, a fresh one starts up, namely, the world power that succeeds Persia,Greece; Antiochus Epiphanes, and his antitype Antichrist, but him, too, with the help of Michael,Israel's champion, I shall overcome [Gejer].21. noted in the scripture of truth—in the secret book of God's decrees (Ps 139:16; Re 5:1),which are truth, that is, the things which shall most surely come to pass, being determined by God(compare Joh 17:17).none … but Michael—To him alone of the angels the office of protecting Israel, in concertwith the angelic speaker, was delegated; all the world powers were against Israel.CHAPTER 11Da 11:1-45. This chapter is an enlargement of the eighth: The Overthrow of Persia by Grecia: The FourDivisions of Alexander's Kingdom: Conflicts between the Kings of the South and of the North, the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ:Antiochus Epiphanes.1. I—the angel (Da 10:18).first year of Darius—Cyaxares II; the year of the conquest of Babylon (Da 5:31). Cyrus, whowielded the real power, though in name subordinate to Darius, in that year promulgated the edictfor the restoration of the Jews, which Daniel was at the time praying for (Da 9:1, 2, 21, 23).stood—implying promptness in helping (Ps 94:16).strengthen him—namely, Michael; even as Michael (Da 10:21, "strengtheneth himself withme") helped the angel, both joining their powers in behalf of Israel [Rosenmuller]. Or, Darius, theangel "confirming him" in his purpose of kindness to Israel.2. three kings in Persia—Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspes. (Ahasuerus,Artaxerxes, and Darius, in Ezr 4:6, 7, 24). The Ahasuerus of Esther (see on Da 9:1) is identifiedwith Xerxes, both in Greek history and in Scripture, appearing proud, self-willed, careless ofcontravening Persian customs, amorous, facile, and changeable (Da 11:2).fourth … riches … against … Grecia—Xerxes, whose riches were proverbial. Persia reachedits climax and showed its greatest power in his invasion of Greece, 480 B.C. After his overthrow atSalamis, Persia is viewed as politically dead, though it had an existence. Therefore, Da 11:3, withoutnoticing Xerxes' successors, proceeds at once to Alexander, under whom, first, the third worldkingdom, Grecia, reached its culmination, and assumed an importance as to the people of God.stir up all—Four years were spent in gathering his army out of all parts of his vast empire,amounting to two millions six hundred and forty-one thousand men. [Prideaux, Connexion, 1.4. l.410].3. mighty king … do according to his will—answering to the he-goat's "notable horn" (Da8:6, 7, 21). Alexander invaded Persia 334 B.C., to avenge the wrongs of Greece on Persia for Xerxes'past invasion (as Alexander said in a letter to Darius Codomanus, Arrian, Alexander. 2.14.7).1595JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. kingdom … divided toward … four winds—the fourfold division of Alexander's kingdomat his death (Da 8:8, 22), after the battle of Ipsus, 301 B.C.not to his posterity—(See on Da 8:8; Da 8:22).nor according to his dominion—None of his successors had so wide a dominion as Alexanderhimself.others besides those—besides Alexander's sons, Hercules by Barsine, Darius' daughter, andAlexander by Roxana, who were both slain [Maurer]. Rather, besides the four successors to the fourchief divisions of the empire, there will be other lesser chiefs who shall appropriate smaller fragmentsof the Macedonian empire [Jerome].5. Here the prophet leaves Asia and Greece and takes up Egypt and Syria, these being in continualconflict under Alexander's successors, entailing misery on Judea, which lay between the two. HolyScripture handles external history only so far as it is connected with God's people, Israel [Jerome].Tregelles puts a chasm between the fourth and fifth verses, making the transition to the final Antichristhere, answering to the chasm (in his view) at Da 8:22, 23.king of … south—literally, "of midday": Egypt (Da 11:8, 42), Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus.He took the title "king," whereas Lagus was but "governor."one of his princes—Seleucus, at first a satrap of Ptolemy Lagus, but from 312 B.C. king of thelargest empire after that of Alexander (Syria, Babylon, Media, &c.), and called therefore Nicator,that is, "conqueror." Connect the words thus, "And one of his (Ptolemy's) princes, even he (Seleucus)shall be strong above him" (above Ptolemy, his former master).6. in … end of years—when the predicted time shall be consummated (Da 11:13, Margin; Da8:17; 12:13).king's daughter of the south—Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt. Thelatter, in order to end his war with Antiochus Theus, "king of the north" (literally, "midnight": theprophetical phrase for the region whence came affliction to Israel, Jer 1:13-15; Joe 2:20), that is,Syria, gave Berenice to Antiochus, who thereupon divorced his former wife, Laodice, anddisinherited her son, Seleucus Callinicus. The designation, "king of the north" and "of the south,"is given in relation to Judea, as the standpoint. Egypt is mentioned by name (Da 11:8, 42), thoughSyria is not; because the former was in Daniel's time a flourishing kingdom, whereas Syria wasthen a mere dependency of Assyria and Babylon: an undesigned proof of the genuineness of theBook of Daniel.agreement—literally, "rights," that is, to put things to rights between the belligerents.she shall not retain the power of the arm—She shall not be able to effect the purpose of thealliance, namely, that she should be the mainstay of peace. Ptolemy having died, Antiochus tookback Laodice, who then poisoned him, and caused Berenice and her son to be put to death, andraised her own son, Seleucus Nicator, to the throne.neither shall he stand—The king of Egypt shall not gain his point of setting his line on thethrone of Syria.his arm—that on which he relied. Berenice and her offspring.they that brought her—her attendants from Egypt.he that begat her—rather as Margin, "the child whom she brought forth" [Ewald]. If EnglishVersion (which Maurer approves) be retained, as Ptolemy died a natural death, "given up" is not inhis case, as in Berenice's, to be understood of giving up to death, but in a general sense, of his planproving abortive.1596JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhe that strengthened her in these times—Antiochus Theus, who is to attach himself to her(having divorced Laodice) at the times predicted [Gejer].7. a branch of her roots … in his estate—Ptolemy Euergetes, brother of Berenice, succeedingin the place (Margin) of Philadelphus, avenged her death by overrunning Syria, even to theEuphrates.deal against them—He shall deal with the Syrians at his own pleasure. He slew Laodice.8. carry … into Egypt their gods, &c.—Ptolemy, on hearing of a sedition in Egypt, returnedwith forty thousand talents of silver, precious vessels, and twenty-four hundred images, includingEgyptian idols, which Cambyses had carried from Egypt into Persia. The idolatrous Egyptians wereso gratified, that they named him Euergetes, or "benefactor."continue more years—Ptolemy survived Seleucus four years, reigning in all forty-six years.Maurer translates, "Then he for several years shall desist from (contending with) the king of thenorth" (compare Da 11:9).9. come into his kingdom—Egypt: not only with impunity, but with great spoil.10. his sons—the two sons of the king of the north, Seleucus Callinicus, upon his death by afall from his horse, namely, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great.one shall … come—Ceraunus having died, Antiochus alone prosecuted the war with PtolemyPhilopater, Euergetes' son, until he had recovered all the parts of Syria subjugated by Euergetes.pass through—like an "overflowing" torrent (Da 11:22, 26, 40; Isa 8:8). Antiochus penetratedto Dura (near Cæsarea), where he gave Ptolemy a four months' truce.return—renew the war at the expiration of the truce (so Da 11:13).even to his fortress—Ptolemy's; Raphia, a border-fortress of Egypt against incursions by wayof Edom and Arabia-Petræa, near Gaza; here Antiochus was vanquished.11. the king of the south … moved with choler—at so great losses, Syria having been wrestedfrom him, and his own kingdom imperilled, though otherwise an indolent man, to which his disasterswere owing, as also to the odium of his subjects against him for having murdered his father, mother,and brother, whence in irony they called him Philopater, "father-lover."he shall set forth a great multitude—Antiochus, king of Syria, whose force was seventythousand infantry and five thousand cavalry.but … multitude … given into his hand—into Ptolemy's hands; ten thousand of Antiochus'army were slain, and four thousand made captives.12. when he hath taken away—that is, subdued "the multitude" of Antiochus.heart … lifted up—instead of following up his victory by making himself master of the wholeof Syria, as he might, he made peace with Antiochus, and gave himself up to licentiousness [Polybius,87; Justin, 30.4], and profaned the temple of God by entering the holy place [Grotius].not be strengthened by it—He shall lose the power gained by his victory through his luxuriousindolence.13. return—renew the war.after certain years—fourteen years after his defeat at Raphia. Antiochus, after successfulcampaigns against Persia and India, made war with Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of Philopater, a merechild.14. many stand up against the king of the south—Philip, king of Macedon, and rebels inEgypt itself, combined with Antiochus against Ptolemy.1597JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrobbers of thy people—that is, factious men of the Jews shall exalt themselves, so as to revoltfrom Ptolemy, and join themselves to Antiochus; the Jews helped Antiochus' army with provisions,when on his return from Egypt he besieged the Egyptian garrison left in Jerusalem [Josephus,Antiquities, 12:3.3].to establish the vision—Those turbulent Jews unconsciously shall help to fulfil the purposeof God, as to the trials which await Judea, according to this vision.but they shall fall—Though helping to fulfil the vision, they shall fail in their aim, of makingJudea independent.15. king of … north—Antiochus the Great.take … fenced cities—Scopas, the Egyptian general, met Antiochus at Paneas, near the sourcesof the Jordan, and was defeated, and fled to Sidon, a strongly "fenced city," where he was forcedto surrender.chosen people—Egypt's choicest army was sent under Eropus, Menocles, and Damoxenus, todeliver Scopas, but in vain [Jerome].16. he that cometh against him—Antiochus coming against Ptolemy Epiphanes.glorious land—Judea (Da 11:41, 45; Da 8:9; Eze 20:6, 15).by his hand shall be consumed—literally, "perfected," that is, completely brought under hissway. Josephus [Antiquities, 12:3.3] shows that the meaning is not, that the Jews should be utterlyconsumed: for Antiochus favored them for taking his part against Ptolemy, but that their land shouldbe subjected to him [Lengkerke]. Grotius translates, "shall be perfected by him," that is, shall flourishunder him. English Version gives a good sense; namely, that Judea was much "consumed" or"desolated" by being the arena of conflict between the combatants, Syria and Egypt. Tregelles refers(Da 11:14), "robbers of thy people," to the Gentiles, once oppressors, attempting to restore the Jewsto their land by mere human effort, whereas this is to be effected only by divine interposition: theirattempt is frustrated (Da 11:16) by the wilful king, who makes Judea the scene of his militaryoperations.17. set his face—purpose steadfastly. Antiochus purpose was, however, turned from openassault to wile, by his war with the Romans in his endeavor to extend his kingdom to the limits ithad under Seleucus Nicator.upright one—Jasher, or Jeshurun (De 32:15; Isa 44:2); the epithet applied by the Hebrews totheir nation. It is here used not in praise; for in Da 11:14 (see on Da 11:14) they are called "robbers,"or "men of violence, factious": it is the general designation of Israel, as having God for their God.Probably it is used to rebuke those who ought to have been God's "upright ones" for confederatingwith godless heathen in acts of violence (the contrast to the term in Da 11:14 favors this).thus shall he do—Instead of at once invading Ptolemy's country with his "whole strength," heprepares his way for doing so by the following plan: he gives to Ptolemy Epiphanes his daughterCleopatra in marriage, promising Coelo-Syria and Judea as a dowry, thus securing his neutrality inthe war with Rome: he hoped through his daughter to obtain Syria, Cilicia, and Lycia, and evenEgypt itself at last; but Cleopatra favored her husband rather than her father, and so defeated hisscheme [Jerome]. "She shall not stand on his side."18. isles—He "took many" of the isles in the Ægean in his war with the Romans, and crossedthe Hellespont.1598JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach … to cease—Lucius Scipio Asiaticus,the Roman general, by routing Antiochus at Magnesia (190 B.C.), caused the reproach which heoffered Rome by inflicting injuries on Rome's allies, to cease. He did it for his own glory.without his own reproach—with untarnished reputation.19. Then he shall turn … toward … his own land—Compelled by Rome to relinquish all histerritory west of the Taurus, and defray the expenses of the war, he garrisoned the cities left to him.stumble … not be found—Attempting to plunder the temple of Jupiter at Elymais by night,whether through avarice, or the want of money to pay the tribute imposed by Rome (a thousandtalents), he was slain with his soldiers in an insurrection of the inhabitants [Justin, 32.2].20. in his estate—in Antiochus' stead: his successor, Seleucus Philopater, his son.in the glory of the kingdom—that is, inheriting it by hereditary right. Maurer translates, "onewho shall cause the tax gatherer (Heliodorus) to pass through the glory of the kingdom," that is,Judea, "the glorious land" (Da 11:16, 41; Da 8:9). Simon, a Benjamite, in spite against Onias III,the high priest, gave information of the treasures in the Jewish temple; and Seleucus having reunitedto Syria Coelo-Syria and Palestine, the dowry formerly given by Antiochus the Great to Cleopatra,Ptolemy's wife, sent Heliodorus to Jerusalem to plunder the temple. This is narrated in 2 Maccabees3:4, &c. Contrast Zec 9:8, "No oppressor shall pass through … any more."within few days … destroyed—after a reign of twelve years, which were "few" comparedwith the thirty-seven years of Antiochus' reign. Heliodorus, the instrument of Seleucus' sacrilege,was made by God the instrument of his punishment. Seeking the crown, in the absence at Rome ofSeleucus' only son and heir, Demetrius, he poisoned Seleucus. But Antiochus Epiphanes, Seleucus'brother, by the help of Eumenes, king of Pergamos, succeeded to the throne, 175 B.C.neither in anger, nor in battle—not in a popular outbreak, nor in open battle.21. vile—Antiochus called Epiphanes, that is, "the illustrious," for vindicating the claims ofthe royal line against Heliodorus, was nicknamed, by a play of sounds, Epimanes, that is, "themadman," for his mad freaks beneath the dignity of a king. He would carouse with the lowest ofthe people, bathe with them in the public baths, and foolishly jest and throw stones at passers-by[Polybius, 26.10]. Hence, as also for his crafty supplanting of Demetrius, the rightful heir, from thethrone, he is termed "vile."they shall not give … kingdom: but … by flatteries—The nation shall not, by a public act,confer the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain it by artifice, "flattering" Eumenes and Attalus ofPergamos to help him, and, as he had seen candidates at Rome doing, canvassing the Syrian peoplehigh and low, one by one, with embraces [Livy, 41.20].22. shall they be overflown … before him—Antiochus Epiphanes shall invade Egypt withoverwhelming forces.prince of the covenant—Ptolemy Philometer, the son of Cleopatra, Antiochus' sister, who wasjoined in covenant with him. Ptolemy's guardians, while he was a boy, sought to recover fromEpiphanes Coelo-Syria and Palestine, which had been promised by Antiochus the Great as Cleopatra'sdowry in marrying Ptolemy Epiphanes. Hence arose the war. Philometer's generals were vanquished,and Pelusium, the key of Egypt, taken by Antiochus, 171 B.C.23. Tregelles notes three divisions in the history of the "vile person," which is continued to theend of the chapter: (1) His rise (Da 11:21, 22). (2) The time from his making the covenant to thetaking away of the daily sacrifice and setting up of the abomination of desolation (Da 11:23-31).(3) His career of blasphemy, to his destruction (Da 11:32-45); the latter two periods answering to1599JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe "week" of years of his "covenant with many" (namely, in Israel) (Da 9:27), and the last beingthe closing half week of the ninth chapter. But the context so accurately agrees with the relationsof Antiochus to Ptolemy that the primary reference seems to be to the "league" between them.Antitypically, Antichrist's relations towards Israel are probably delineated. Compare Da 8:11, 25,with Da 11:22 here, "prince of the covenant."work deceitfully—Feigning friendship to young Ptolemy, as if he wished to order his kingdomfor him, he took possession of Memphis and all Egypt ("the fattest places," Da 11:34) as far asAlexandria.with a small people—At first, to throw off suspicion, his forces were small.24. peaceably—literally, "unexpectedly"; under the guise of friendship he seized PtolemyPhilometer.he shall do that which his fathers have not done—His predecessors, kings of Syria, hadalways coveted Egypt, but in vain: he alone made himself master of it.scatter among them … prey—among his followers (1 Maccabees 1:19).forecast his devices against … strongholds—He shall form a studied scheme for makinghimself master of the Egyptian fortresses. He gained them all except Alexandria, which successfullyresisted him. Retaining to himself Pelusium, he retired to Judea, where, in revenge for the joy shownby the Jews at the report of his death, which led them to a revolt, he subdued Jerusalem by stormor stratagem.for a time—His rage shall not be for ever; it is but for a time limited by God. Calvin makes "fora time" in antithesis to "unexpectedly," in the beginning of the verse. He suddenly mastered theweaker cities: he had to "forecast his plans" more gradually ("for a time") as to how to gain thestronger fortresses.25. A fuller detail of what was summarily stated (Da 11:22-24). This is the first of Antiochus'three (Da 11:29) open invasions of Egypt.against the king of the south—against Ptolemy Philometer. Subsequently, Ptolemy Physcon(the Gross), or Euergetes II, was made king by the Egyptians, as Ptolemy Philometer was inAntiochus' hands.great army—as distinguished from the "small people" (Da 11:23) with which he first came.This was his first open expedition; he was emboldened by success to it. Antiochus "entered Egyptwith an overwhelming multitude, with chariots, elephants, and cavalry" (1 Maccabees 1:17).stirred up—by the necessity, though naturally indolent.not stand—Philometer was defeated.they shall forecast, &c.—His own nobles shall frame treacherous "devices" against him (seeDa 11:26). Euloeus and Lenoeus maladministered his affairs. Antiochus, when checked at last atAlexandria, left Ptolemy Philometer at Memphis as king, pretending that his whole object was tosupport Philometer's claims against the usurper Physcon.26. they that feed of … his meat—those from whom he might naturally have looked for help,his intimates and dependents (Ps 41:9; Joh 13:18); his ministers and guardians.his army shall overflow—Philometer's army shall be dissipated as water. The phrase is usedof overflowing numbers, usually in a victorious sense, but here in the sense of defeat, the verynumbers which ordinarily ensure victory, hastening the defeat through mismanagement.many shall fall down slain—(1 Maccabees 1:18, "many fell wounded to death"). Antiochus,when he might have slain all in the battle near Pelusium, rode around and ordered the enemy to be1600JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontaken alive, the fruit of which policy was, he soon gained Pelusium and all Egypt [Diodorus Siculus,26.77].27. both … to do mischief—each to the other.speak lies at one table—They shall, under the semblance of intimacy, at Memphis try to deceiveone another (see on Da 11:3; Da 11:25).it shall not prosper—Neither of them shall carry his point at this time.yet the end shall be—"the end" of the contest between them is reserved for "the time appointed"(Da 11:29, 30).28. (1 Maccabees 1:19, 20, &c.).against the holy covenant—On his way back to Syria, he attacked Jerusalem, the metropolisof Jehovah's covenant-people, slew eighty thousand, took forty thousand prisoners, and sold fortythousand as slaves (2 Maccabees 5:5-14).he shall do exploits—He shall effect his purpose. Guided by Menelaus, the high priest, heentered the sanctuary with blasphemies, took away the gold and silver vessels, sacrificed swine onthe altar, and sprinkled broth of the flesh through the temple (2 Maccabees 5:15-21).29. At the time appointed—"the time" spoken of in Da 11:27.return—his second open invasion of Egypt. Ptolemy Philometer, suspecting Antiochus' designswith Physcon, hired mercenaries from Greece. Whereupon Antiochus advanced with a fleet andan army, demanding the cession to him of Cyprus, Pelusium, and the country adjoining the Pelusiacmouth of the Nile.it shall not be as the former—not successful as the former expedition. Popilius Loenas, theRoman ambassador, met him at Eleusis, four miles from Alexandria, and presented him the decreeof the senate; on Antiochus replying that he would consider what he was to do, Popilius drew aline round him with a rod and said, "I must have a reply to give to the senate before you leave thiscircle." Antiochus submitted, and retired from Egypt; and his fleets withdrew from Cyprus.or as the latter—that mentioned in Da 11:42, 43 [Tregelles]. Or, making this the third expedition,the sense is "not as the first or as the second" expeditions [Piscator]. Rather "not as the former, soshall be this latter" expedition [Grotius].30. ships of Chittim—the Roman ambassadors arriving in Macedonian Grecian vessels (seeon Jer 2:10). Chittim, properly Cyprian, so called from a Phoenician colony in Cyprus; then theislands and coasts of the Mediterranean in general.grieved—humbled and dispirited through fear of Rome.indignation against the holy covenant—Indignant that meantime God's worship had beenrestored at Jerusalem, he gives vent to his wrath at the check given him by Rome, on the Jews.intelligence with them that forsake the … covenant—namely, with the apostates in the nation(1 Maccabees 1:11-15). Menelaus and other Jews instigated the king against their religion andcountry, learning from Greek philosophy that all religions are good enough to keep the masses incheck. These had cast off circumcision and the religion of Jehovah for Greek customs. Antiochus,on his way home, sent Apollonius (167 B.C.) with twenty-two thousand to destroy Jerusalem, twoyears after its capture by himself. Apollonius slew multitudes, dismantled and pillaged the city.They then, from a fortress which they built commanding the temple, fell on and slew the worshippers;so that the temple service was discontinued. Also, Antiochus decreed that all, on pain of death,should conform to the Greek religion, and the temple was consecrated to Jupiter Olympius.Identifying himself with that god, with fanatical haughtiness he wished to make his own worship1601JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonuniversal (1 Maccabees 1:41; 2 Maccabees 6:7). This was the gravest peril which ever heretoforethreatened revealed religion, the holy people, and the theocracy on earth, for none of the previousworld rulers had interfered with the religious worship of the covenant-people, when subject to them(Da 4:31-34; 6:27, 28; Ezr 1:2, 4; 7:12; Ne 2:18). Hence arose the need of such a forewarning ofthe covenant-people as to him—so accurate, that Porphyry, the adversary of revelation, saw it washopeless to deny its correspondence with history, but argued from its accuracy that it must havebeen written subsequent to the event. But as Messianic events are foretold in Daniel, the Jews, theadversaries of Jesus, would never have forged the prophecies which confirm His claims. The ninthchapter was to comfort the faithful Jews, in the midst of the "abominations" against "the covenant,"with the prospect of Messiah who would "confirm the covenant." He would show by bringingsalvation, and yet abolishing sacrifices, that the temple service which they so grieved after, wasnot absolutely necessary; thus the correspondence of phraseology would suggest comfort (compareDa 9:27 with Da 11:30, 31).31. arms—namely, of the human body; not weapons; human forces.they—Antiochus' hosts confederate with the apostate Israelites; these latter attain the climaxof guilt, when they not only, as before, "forsake the covenant" (Da 11:30), but "do wickedly against"it (Da 11:32), turning complete heathens. Here Antiochus' actings are described in language whichreach beyond him the type to Antichrist the antitype [Jerome] (just as in Ps 72:1-20 many things aresaid of Solomon the type, which are only applicable to Christ the Antitype); including perhapsRome, Mohammed, and the final personal Antichrist. Sir Isaac Newton refers the rest of the chapterfrom this verse to the Romans, translating, "after him arms (that is, the Romans) shall stand up";at the very time that Antiochus left Egypt, the Romans conquered Macedon, thus finishing the reignof Daniel's third beast; so here the prophet naturally proceeds to the fourth beast. Jerome's view issimpler; for the narrative seems to continue the history of Antiochus, though with features only intype applicable to him, fully to Antichrist.sanctuary of strength—not only naturally a place of strength, whence it held out to the lastagainst the besiegers, but chiefly the spiritual stronghold of the covenant-people (Ps 48:1-3, 12-14).Apollonius "polluted" it with altars to idols and sacrifices of swine's flesh, after having "taken awaythe daily sacrifice" (see on Da 8:11).place … abomination that maketh desolate—that is, that pollutes the temple (Da 8:12, 13).Or rather, "the abomination of the desolater," Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1:29, 37-49).Compare Da 9:27, wherein the antitypical desolating abomination of Rome (the eagle standard,the bird of Jupiter, sacrificed to by Titus' soldiers within the sacred precincts, at the destruction ofJerusalem), of Mohammed and of the final Antichrist, is foretold. 1 Maccabees 1:54, uses the veryphrase, "the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty-fifth year, they set up theabomination of desolation on the altar"; namely, an idol-altar and image of Jupiter Olympius,erected upon Jehovah's altar of burnt offerings. "Abomination" is the common name for an idol inthe Old Testament. The Roman emperor Adrian's erection of a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus wherethe temple of God had stood, A.D. 132; also the erection of the Mohammedan mosque of Omar inthe same place (it is striking, Mohammedanism began to prevail in A.D. 610, only about three yearsof the time when Popery assumed the temporal power); and the idolatry of the Church of Rome inthe spiritual temple, and the final blasphemy of the personal Antichrist in the literal temple (2Th2:4) may all be antitypically referred to here under Antiochus the type, and the Old TestamentAntichrist.1602JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson32. (1 Maccabees 1:52).corrupt—seduce to apostasy.by flatteries—promises of favor.people that … know their God—the Maccabees and their followers (1 Maccabees 1:62, 63).33. they that understand—who know and keep the truth of God (Isa 11:2).instruct many—in their duty to God and the law, not to apostatize.yet they shall fall—as Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:18, &c.). They shall be sorely persecuted, evento death (Heb 11:35, 36, 37; 2 Maccabees 6, 7). Their enemies took advantage of the Sabbath toslay them on the day when they would not fight. Tregelles thinks, from comparison with Da 11:35,it is the people who "fall," not those of understanding. But Da 11:35 makes the latter "fall," not anunmeaning repetition; in Da 11:33 they fall (die) by persecution; in Da 11:35 they fall (spiritually)for a time by their own weakness.flame—in caves, whither they had retired to keep the Sabbath. Antiochus caused some to beroasted alive (2 Maccabees 7:3-5).many days—rather, "certain days," as in Da 8:27. Josephus [Antiquities, 12:7.6,7] tells us thepersecution lasted for three years (1 Maccabees 1:59; 4:54; 2 Maccabees 10:1-7).34. a little help—The liberty obtained by the Maccabean heroes for the Jews was of but shortduration. They soon fell under the Romans and Herodians, and ever since every attempt to freethem from Gentile rule has only aggravated their sad lot. The period of the world times (Gentilerule) is the period of depression of the theocracy, extending from the exile to the millennium [Roos].The more immediate reference seems to be, the forces of Mattathias and his five sons were originallyfew (1 Maccabees 2:1-5).many shall cleave to them—as was the case under Judas Maccabeus, who was thus ablesuccessfully to resist Antiochus.with flatteries—Those who had deserted the Jewish cause in persecution, now, when successattended the Jewish arms, joined the Maccabean standard, for example, Joseph, the son of Zecharias,Azarias, &c. (1 Maccabees 5:55-57; 2 Maccabees 12:40; 13:21). Maurer explains it, of those whothrough fear of the Maccabees' severity against apostates joined them, though ready, if it suitedtheir purpose, to desert them (1 Maccabees 2:44; 3:58).35. to try them—the design of affliction. Image from metals tried with fire.to purge—Even in the elect there are dregs which need to be purged out (1Pe 1:7). Hence theyare allowed to fall for a time; not finally (2Ch 32:31; Lu 22:31). Image from wheat cleared of itschaff by the wind.make … white—image from cloth (Re 7:9).to … time of … end—God will not suffer His people to be persecuted without limitation (1Co10:13). The godly are to wait patiently for "the end" of "the time" of trial; "for it is (to last) yet fora time appointed" by God.36. The wilful king here, though primarily Antiochus, is antitypically and mainly Antichrist,the seventh head of the seven-headed and ten-horned beast of Re 13:1-18, and the "beast" ofArmageddon (Re 16:13, 16; 19:19). Some identify him with the revived French emperorship, theeighth head of the beast (Re 17:11), who is to usurp the kingly, as the Pope has the priestly, dignityof Christ—the false Messiah of the Jews, who will "plant his tabernacle between the seas in theholy mountain," "exalting himself above every god" (2Th 2:4; Re 13:5, 6). This last clause only in1603JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpart holds good of Antiochus; for though he assumed divine honors, identifying himself with JupiterOlympius, yet it was for that god he claimed them; still it applies to him as the type.speak marvellous things against … God of gods—so Da 7:25, as to the "little horn," whichseemingly identifies the two (compare Da 8:25). Antiochus forbade the worship of Jehovah by adecree "marvellous" for its wickedness: thus he was a type of Antichrist. Compare Da 7:8, "a mouthspeaking great things."indignation … accomplished—God's visitation of wrath on the Jews for their sins (Da 8:19).that … determined—(Da 9:26, 27; 10:21).37. Neither … regard … the desire of women—(Compare Eze 24:16, 18). The wife, as thedesire of man's eyes, is the symbol of the tenderest relations (2Sa 1:26). Antiochus would set atnaught even their entreaties that he should cease from his attack on Jehovah's worship [Polanus].Maurer refers it to Antiochus' attack on the temple of the Syrian Venus, worshipped by women (1Maccabees 6:1, &c.; 2 Maccabees 1:13). Newton refers it to Rome's "forbidding to marry." Elliottrightly makes the antitypical reference be to Messiah. Jewish women desired to be mothers with aview to Him, the promised seed of the woman (Ge 30:23; Lu 1:25, 28).nor regard any god—(2Th 2:4).38. God of forces—probably Jupiter Capitolinus, to whom Antiochus began to erect a templeat Antioch [Livy, 41.20]. Translate, "He shall honor the god of fortresses on his basis," that is, thebase of the statue. Newton translates, "And the god 'Mahuzzim' (guardians, that is, saints adored as'protectors' in the Greek and Roman churches) shall he honor."honour with gold, &c.—Compare Re 17:4 as to Antiochus' antitype, Antichrist.39. Newton translates, "to be defenders of Mahuzzim (the monks and priests who uphold saintworship), together with the strange god whom he shall acknowledge, he shall multiply honor."English Version is better: He shall do (exploits) in the most strongholds (that is, shall succeedagainst them) with a strange god (under the auspices of a god which he worshipped not before,namely, Jupiter Capitolinus, whose worship he imported into his empire from Rome). Antiochussucceeded against Jerusalem, Sidon, Pelusium, Memphis.cause them—Antiochus "caused" his followers and the apostates "to rule over many" Jews,having "divided their land" (Judea), "for gain" (that is, as a reward for their compliance).40. The difficulty of reconciling this with Antiochus' history is that no historian but Porphyrymentions an expedition of his into Egypt towards the close of his reign. This Da 11:40, therefore,may be a recapitulation summing up the facts of the first expedition to Egypt (171-170 B.C.), in Da11:22, 25; and Da 11:41, the former invasion of Judea, in Da 11:28; Da 11:42, 43, the second andthird invasions of Egypt (169 and 168 B.C.) in Da 11:23, 24, 29, 30. Auberlen takes rather Porphyry'sstatement, that Antiochus, in the eleventh year of his reign (166-165 B.C.), invaded Egypt again,and took Palestine on his way. The "tidings" (Da 11:44) as to the revolt of tributary nations thenled him to the East. Porphyry's statement that Antiochus starting from Egypt took Arad in Judah, anddevastated all Phoenicia, agrees with Da 11:45; then he turned to check Artaxias, king of Armenia.He died in the Persian town Tabes, 164 B.C., as both Polybius and Porphyry agree. Doubtless,antitypically, the final Antichrist, and its predecessor Mohammed, are intended, to whom thelanguage may be more fully applicable than to Antiochus the type. The Saracen Arabs "of the south""pushed at" the Greek emperor Heraclius, and deprived him of Egypt and Syria. But the Turks of"the north" not merely pushed at, but destroyed the Greek empire; therefore more is said of themthan of the Saracens. Their "horsemen" are specified, being their chief strength. Their standards1604JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonstill are horse tails. Their "ships," too, often gained the victory over Venice, the great naval powerof Europe in that day. They "overflowed" Western Asia, and then "passed over" into Europe, fixingtheir seat of empire at Constantinople under Mohammed II [Newton].41. Antiochus, according to Porphyry, marching against Ptolemy, though he turned from hiscourse to wreak his wrath on the Jews, did not meddle with Edom, Moab, and Ammon on the sideof Judea. In 1 Maccabees 4:61; 5:3; &c., it is stated that he used their help in crushing the Jews, ofwhom they were the ancient enemies. Compare Isa 11:14, as to Israel's future retribution, just asthe Maccabees made war on them as the friends of Antiochus (1 Maccabees 5:1-68). Antitypically,the Turks under Selim entered Jerusalem on their way to Egypt, and retain "the glorious land" ofPalestine to this day. But they never could conquer the Arabs, who are akin to Edom, Moab, andAmmon (Ge 16:12). So in the case of the final Antichrist.42, 43. Egypt … Libyans … Ethiopians—The latter two, being the allies of the first, servedunder Antiochus when he conquered Egypt. Antitypically, Egypt, though it held out long under theMamelukes, in A.D. 1517 fell under the Turks. Algiers, Tunis, and other parts of Africa, are stillunder them.at his steps—following him (Ex 11:8, Margin; Jud 4:10).44. tidings out of the east and out of the north—Artaxias, king of Armenia, his vassal, hadrevolted in the north, and Arsaces, leader of the Parthians, in the east (1 Maccabees 3:10, &c., 1Maccabees 3:37; Tacitus, Histories, 5.8). In 147 B.C. Antiochus went on the expedition against them,on the return from which he died.great fury—at the Jews, on account of their successes under Judas Maccabeus, whence hedesired to replenish his treasury with means to prosecute the war with them; also at Artaxias andArsaces, and their respective followers. De Burgh makes the "tidings" which rouse his fury, to beconcerning the Jews' restoration; such may be the antitypical reference.45. plant … between the seas—the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.tabernacles of … palace—his palace-like military tents, such as Oriental princes travel with.See on Da 11:40, as to the time of Antiochus' attack on Judea, and his subsequent "end" at Tabes,which was caused by chagrin both at hearing that his forces under Lysias were overcome by theJews, and at the failure of his expedition against the temple of Elymais (2 Maccabees 9:5).holy mountain—Jerusalem and Mount Zion. The desolation of the sanctuary by Antiochus,and also the desecration of the consecrated ground round Jerusalem by the idolatrous Romanensigns, as also by the Mohammedan mosque, and, finally, by the last Antichrist, are referred to.So the last Antichrist is to sit upon "the mount of the congregation" (Isa 14:13), but "shall be broughtdown to hell" (compare Note, see on Da 7:26; 2Th 2:8).CHAPTER 12Da 12:1-13. Conclusion of the Vision (Tenth through Twelfth Chapters) AND Epilogue to the Book.Compare Da 12:4, 13; as Da 12:6, 7 refer to Da 7:25, that is, to the time of Antichrist, so thesubsequent Da 12:8-12 treat of the time of Antiochus (compare Da 12:11 with Da 11:31), thusputting together in one summary view the two great periods of distress. The political resurrectionof the Jews under the Maccabees is the starting-point of transition to the literal resurrection about1605JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto follow the destruction of Antichrist by Christ's coming in glory. The language passes here fromthe nearer to the more remote event, to which alone it is fully applicable.1. at that time—typically, towards the close of Antiochus' reign; antitypically, the time whenAntichrist is to be destroyed at Christ's coming.Michael—the guardian angel of Israel ("thy people"), (Da 10:13). The transactions on earthaffecting God's people have their correspondences in heaven, in the conflict between good and badangels; so at the last great contest on earth which shall decide the ascendency of Christianity (Re12:7-10). An archangel, not the Lord Jesus; for he is distinguished from "the Lord" in Jude 9.there shall be—rather, "it shall be."time of trouble, such as never was—partially applicable to the time of Antiochus, who wasthe first subverter of the Jews' religion, and persecutor of its professors, which no other world powerhad done. Fully applicable to the last times of Antichrist, and his persecutions of Israel restored toPalestine. Satan will be allowed to exercise an unhindered, unparalleled energy (Isa 26:20, 21; Jer30:7; Mt 24:21; compare Da 8:24, 25; 11:36).thy people shall be delivered—(Ro 11:26). The same deliverance of Israel as in Zec 13:8, 9,"the third part … brought through the fire … refined as silver." The remnant in Israel spared, asnot having joined in the Antichristian blasphemy (Re 14:9, 10); not to be confounded with thosewho have confessed Christ before His coming, "the remnant according to the election of grace"(Ro 11:5), part of the Church of the first-born who will share His millennial reign in glorifiedbodies; the spared remnant (Isa 10:21) will only know the Lord Jesus when they see Him, and whenthe spirit of grace and supplication is poured out on them [Tregelles].written in the book—namely, of God's secret purpose, as destined for deliverance (Ps 56:8;69:28; Lu 10:20; Re 20:15; 21:27). Metaphor from a muster-roll of citizens (Ne 7:5).2. many … that sleep—"many from among the sleepers … these shall be unto everlasting life;but those (the rest of the sleepers who do not awake at this time) shall be unto shame" [Tregelles].Not the general resurrection, but that of those who share in the first resurrection; the rest of thedead being not to rise till the end of the thousand years (Re 20:3, 5, 6; compare 1Co 15:23; 1Th4:16). Israel's national resurrection, and the first resurrection of the elect Church, are similarlyconnected with the Lord's coming forth out of His place to punish the earth in Isa 26:19, 21; 27:6.Compare Isa 25:6-9. The Jewish commentators support Tregelles. Auberlen thinks the sole purposefor which the resurrection is introduced in this verse is an incitement to faithful perseverance inthe persecutions of Antiochus; and that there is no chronological connection between the time oftrouble in Da 12:1 and the resurrection in Da 12:2; whence the phrase, "at that time," twice occursin Da 12:1, but no fixing of time in Da 12:2, 3; 2 Maccabees 7:9, 14, 23, shows the fruit of thisprophecy in animating the Maccabean mother and her sons to brave death, while confessing theresurrection in words like those here. Compare Heb 11:35. Newton's view that "many" means all, isnot so probable; for Ro 5:15, 19, which he quotes, is not in point, since the Greek is "the many,"that is, all, but there is no article in the Hebrew here. Here only in the Old Testament is "everlastinglife" mentioned.3. wise—(Pr 11:30). Answering to "they that understand" (Da 11:33, 35), the same Hebrew,Maskilim; Israelites who, though in Jerusalem when wickedness is coming to a head, are foundintelligent witnesses against it. As then they appeared worn out with persecutions (typically, ofAntiochus; antitypically, of Antichrist); so now in the resurrection they "shine as the brightness of1606JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe firmament." The design of past afflictions here appears "to make them white" (Mt 13:43; Re7:9, 14).turn … to righteousness—literally, "justify," that is, convert many to justification throughChrist (Jas 5:20).stars—(1Co 15:41, 42).4. shut up … seal the book—John, on the contrary, is told (Re 22:10) not to seal his visions.Daniel's prophecy refers to a distant time, and is therefore obscure for the immediate future, whereasJohn's was to be speedily fulfilled (Re 1:1, 3; 22:6). Israel, to whom Daniel prophesied after thecaptivity, with premature zeal sought after signs of the predicted period: Daniel's prophecy wasdesigned to restrain this. The Gentile Church, on the contrary, for whom John wrote, needs to beimpressed with the shortness of the period, as it is, owing to its Gentile origin, apt to conform tothe world, and to forget the coming of the Lord (compare Mt 25:13, 19; Mr 13:32-37; 2Pe 3:8, 12;Re 22:20).run to and fro—not referring to the modern rapidity of locomotion, as some think, nor toChristian missionaries going about to preach the Gospel to the world at large [Barnes], which thecontext scarcely admits; but, whereas now but few care for this prophecy of God, "at the time ofthe end," that is, near its fulfilment, "many shall run to and fro," that is, scrutinize it, running throughevery page. Compare Hab 2:2 [Calvin]: it is thereby that "the knowledge (namely, of God's purposesas revealed in prophecy) shall be increased." This is probably being now fulfilled.5. A vision of two other angels, one on one side of the Hiddekel or Tigris, the other on the otherside, implying that on all sides angels attend to execute God's commands. The angel addressingDaniel had been over the river "from above" (Da 12:6, Margin).6. one—namely, of the two (Da 12:5).man … in linen—who had spoken up to this point. God impelled the angel to ask in order towaken us out of our torpor, seeing that the very "angels desire to look into" the things affectingman's redemption (1Pe 1:12), as setting forth the glory of their Lord and ours (Eph 3:10).How long … to the end of these wonders—This question of the angel refers to the finaldealings of God in general, Antichrist's overthrow, and the resurrection. Daniel's question (Da 12:8)refers to the more immediate future of his nation [Auberlen].7. held up … right … and … left hand—Usually the right hand was held up in affirmationas an appeal to heaven to attest the truth (De 32:40; Re 10:5, 6). Here both hands are lifted up forthe fuller confirmation.time, times, and a half—(See on Da 7:25). Newton, referring this prophecy to the Easternapostasy, Mohammedanism, remarks that the same period of three and a half years, or 1260 propheticdays, is assigned to it as the Western apostasy of the little horn (Da 7:25); and so, says Prideaux,Mohammed began to forge his imposture, retiring to his cave, A.D. 606, the very year that Phocasmade the grant to the bishop of Rome, whence he assumed the title, The Universal Pastor; Antichristthus setting both his feet on Christendom together, the one in the East, and the other in the West.Three and a half is the time of the world power, in which the earthly kingdoms rule over the heavenly[Auberlen]. "Three and a half" represents the idea of spiritual trial; (besides this certain symbolicalmeaning, there is doubtless an accurate chronological meaning, which is as yet to us uncertain): itis half of "seven," the complete number, so a semi-perfect state, one of probation. The holy city istrodden by the Gentiles forty-two months (Re 11:2), so the exercise of the power of the beast (Re13:5). The two witnesses preach in sackcloth 1260 days, and remained unburied three days and a1607JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhalf: so the woman in the wilderness: also the same for a "time, times, and a half" (Re 11:3, 9, 11;12:6, 14). Forty-two connects the Church with Israel, whose haltings in the wilderness were forty-two(Nu 33:1-50). The famine and drought on Israel in Elijah's days were for "three years and sixmonths" (Lu 4:25; Jas 5:17); there same period as Antiochus' persecution: so the ministry of theMan of Sorrows, which ceased in the midst of a week (Da 9:27) [Wordsworth, Apocalypse].scatter … holy people—"accomplished" here answers to "the consummation" (Da 9:27),namely, the "pouring out" of the last dregs of the curse on the "desolated holy people." Israel'slowest humiliation (the utter "scattering of her power") is the precursor of her exaltation, as it leadsher to seek her God and Messiah (Mt 23:39).8. understood not—Daniel "understood" the main features of the vision as to Antiochus (Da10:1, 14), but not as to the times. 1Pe 1:10-12 refers mainly to Daniel: for it is he who foretells "thesufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow"; it is he who prophesies "not unto himself,but unto us"; it is he who "searched what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in him didsignify."9. Daniel's desire of knowing more is thus deferred "till the time of the end." John's Revelationin part reveals what here is veiled (see on Da 12:4; Da 8:26).10. There is no need of a fuller explanation as to the time; for when the predictions so far givenshall have come to pass, the godly shall be "purified" by the foretold trials and shall understandthat the end is at hand; but the wicked shall not understand, and so shall rush on to their own ruin(Da 11:33-35) [Maurer]. The "end" is primarily, of Antiochus' persuasion; antitypically, the end ofAntichrist's. It is the very clearness in the main which renders necessary the obscurity. The fulfilmentof God's decree is not a mere arithmetical problem which the profane may understand by arithmeticalcalculations, but a holy enigma to stimulate to a faithful observance of God's ways, and to a diligentstudy of the history of God's people [Auberlen]. To this Christ refers (Mt 24:15), "Whose readeth,let him understand."11. from … sacrifice … taken way … abomination—(Da 11:31). As to this epoch, whichprobably is prophetically germinant and manifold; the profanation of the temple by Antiochus (inthe month Ijar of the year 145 B.C., till the restoration of the worship by Judas Maccabeus on thetwenty-fifth day of the ninth month [Chisleu] of 148 B.C., according to the Seleucid era, 1290 days;forty-five days more elapsed before Antiochus' death in the month Shebat of 148 B.C., so endingthe Jews' calamities [Maurer]); by pagan Rome, after Christ's death; by Mohammed; by Antichrist,the culmination of apostate Rome. The "abomination" must reach its climax (see Auberlen's translation,"summit," Da 9:27), and the measure of iniquity be full, before Messiah comes.thousand two hundred and ninety days—a month beyond the "time, times, and a half" (Da12:7). In Da 12:12, forty-five days more are added, in all 1335 days. Tregelles thinks Jesus at Hiscoming will deliver the Jews. An interval elapses, during which their consciences are awakened torepentance and faith in Him. A second interval elapses in which Israel's outcasts are gathered, andthen the united blessing takes place. These stages are marked by the 1260, 1290, and 1335 days.Cumming thinks the 1260 years begin when Justinian in A. D. 533 subjected the Eastern churches toJohn II, bishop of Rome; ending in 1792, when the Code Napoleon was established and the Popewas dishonored. 1290 reach to 1822, about the time of the waning of the Turkish power, the successorto Greece in the empire of the East. Forty-five years more end in 1867, the end of "the times of theGentiles." See Le 26:24, "seven times," that is, 7 X 360, or 2520 years: 652 B.C. is the date of Judah'scaptivity, beginning under Manasseh; 2520 from this date end in 1868, thus nearly harmonizing1608JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwith the previous date, 1867. See on Da 8:14. The seventh millenary of the world [Clinton] beginsin 1862. Seven years to 1869 (the date of the second advent) constitute the reign of the personalAntichrist; in the last three and a half, the period of final tribulation, Enoch (or else Moses) andElijah, the two witnesses, prophesy in sackcloth. This theory is very dubious (compare Mt 24:36;Ac 1:7; 1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10); still the event alone can tell whether the chronological coincidencesof such theories are fortuitous, or solid data on which to fix the future times. Hales makes the periods1260, 1290, 1335, begin with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and end with the precursorydawn of the Reformation, the preaching of Wycliffe and Huss.13. rest—in the grave (Job 3:17; Isa 57:2). He, like his people Israel, was to wait patiently andconfidently for the blessing till God's time. He "received not the promise," but had to wait until theChristian elect saints should be brought in, at the first resurrection, that he and the older OldTestament saints "without us should not be made perfect" (Heb 11:40).stand—implying justification unto life, as opposed to condemnation (Ps 1:5).thy lot—image from the allotment of the earthly Canaan.


      THE BOOK OFHOSEACommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONThe first of the twelve minor prophets in the order of the canon (called "minor," not as less inpoint of inspired authority, but simply in point of size). The twelve are first mentioned by Jesus,the son of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus 49:10). St. Stephen, in Ac 7:42 (in referring to Am 5:27), quotesthem as forming one collective body of writings, "the book of the prophets." So Jerome and Melito,the first Greek father who has left us a catalogue of these books. The collection of the sacred booksis by Jewish tradition attributed to the great synagogue of learned scribes formed by Ezra. Manythink Nehemiah completed this collection by adding to the books already in the canon those of hisown times. Malachi, the last in the series, probably aided him in determining with infallible authoritywhat books were entitled to be ranked in the inspired canon. The chronological order differs fromthe canonical. Joel, about 810 B.C.; Jonah, about 810 B.C., or, as others, first, 862 B.C.; Amos, about790 B.C.; Hosea, about 784 B.C. Hosea, the contemporary of Isaiah, Micah, and Amos, seems tohave entered on his prophetical office in the last years of Jeroboam (contemporary in part withUzziah), and to have ended it in the beginning of Hezekiah's reign, 722 B.C., that is, about sixtyyears in all, from 784 B.C. to 722 B.C. The prophets, however, were not uninterruptedly engaged inprophesying. Considerable intervals elapsed, though their office as divinely commissioned publicteachers was never wholly laid aside. The Book of Hosea which we have constitutes only thatportion of his public teachings which the Holy Spirit saw fit to preserve for the benefit of the Church.The cause of his being placed first of the twelve was, probably, the length, the vivid earnestness,and patriotism of his prophecies, as well as their closer resemblance to those of the greater prophets.His style is abrupt, sententious, and unrounded; the connecting particles are few; there are changesof person, and anomalies of gender, number, and construction. His name means Salvation. He wasson of Beeri, of the tribe of Issachar, born in Beth-shemesh [Jerome]. His mention, in the inscription,of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, is no proof that he belonged to Judah: for1609JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe prophets in Israel regarded its separation from Judah, civil as well as religious, as an apostasyfrom God, who promised the dominion of the theocracy to the line of David. Hence Elijah in Israeltook twelve stones to represent Judah, as well as Israel (1Ki 18:31). Hence Hosea dates from Judah'skings, as well as from Jeroboam of Israel, though he belonged to Israel, with whose sins and fatehis book is chiefly occupied. He, however, makes incidental references to Judah. His first prophecyforetells the overthrow of Jehu's house, fulfilled on the death of Jeroboam, Jehu's great-grandson(2Ki 15:12), in Zachariah, Jeroboam's son, the fourth and last from Jehu, conspired against byShallum. This first prediction was doubtless in Jeroboam's life, as Zachariah, his son, was onlysuffered to reign six months; thus the inscription is verified that "the word of the Lord came untohim in the days of Jeroboam" (Ho 1:1). Again, in Ho 10:14, Shalmaneser's expedition against Israelis alluded to as past, that is, the first inroad against King Hoshea, who began to reign in the twelfthyear of Ahaz; so that as Ahaz' whole reign was sixteen years, the prophecy seems to have beengiven about the beginning of Hezekiah's reign. Thus the inscription is confirmed that the exerciseof his prophetical functions was of such a protracted duration.Hosea (Ho 11:1) is quoted in Mt 2:15; also Ho 6:6 in Mt 9:13; 12:7; compare Ro 9:25, 26,quoting Ho 1:10; 2:1, 23; 1Co 15:55, quoting Ho 13:14; 1Pe 2:10, quoting Ho 1:9, 10; 2:23.Messianic references are not frequent; but the predictions of the future conversion of Israel to theLord their God, and David their king, and of the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham that hisspiritual seed should be as the sand of the sea (Ho 1:10; 3:5), clearly refer to the New Testamentdispensation.The first and third chapters are in prose, the rest of the book is rhythmical.CHAPTER 1Ho 1:1-11. Inscription.Spiritual whoredom of Israel set forth by symbolical acts; Gomer taken to wife at God'scommand: Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah, and Lo-Ammi, the children. Yet a promise of Judah and Israel'srestoration.1. The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea—See Introduction.Jeroboam—the second; who died in the fifteenth year of Uzziah's forty-one years' reign. Fromhis time forth all Israel's kings worshipped false gods: Zachariah (2Ki 15:9), Menahem (2Ki 15:18),Pekahiah (2Ki 15:24), Pekah (2Ki 15:28), Hoshea (2Ki 17:2). As Israel was most flourishingexternally under Jeroboam II, who recovered the possessions seized on by Syria, Hosea's prophecyof its downfall at that time was the more striking as it could not have been foreseen by mere humansagacity. Jonah the prophet had promised success to Jeroboam II from God, not for the king's merit,but from God's mercy to Israel; so the coast of Israel was restored by Jeroboam II from the enteringof Hamath to the sea of the plain (2Ki 14:23-27).2. beginning—not of the prophet's predictions generally, but of those spoken by Hosea.take … wife of whoredoms—not externally acted, but internally and in vision, as a pictorialillustration of Israel's unfaithfulness [Hengstenberg]. Compare Eze 16:8, 15, &c. Besides theloathsomeness of such a marriage, if an external act, it would require years for the birth of threechildren, which would weaken the symbol (compare Eze 4:4). Henderson objects that there is no hintof the transaction being fictitious: Gomer fell into lewdness after her union with Hosea, not before;1610JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor thus only she was a fit symbol of Israel, who lapsed into spiritual whoredom after the marriagecontract with God on Sinai, and made even before at the call of the patriarchs of Israel. Gomer iscalled "a wife of whoredoms," anticipatively.children of whoredoms—The kingdom collectively is viewed as a mother; the individualsubjects of it are spoken of as her children. "Take" being applied to both implies that they refer tothe same thing viewed under different aspects. The "children" were not the prophet's own, but bornof adultery, and presented to him as his [Kitto, Biblical Cyclopædia]. Rather, "children of whoredoms"means that the children, like their mother, fell into spiritual fornication. Compare "bare him a son"(see Ho 2:4, 5). Being children of a spiritual whore, they naturally fell into her whorish ways.3. Gomer … daughter of Diblaim—symbolical names; literally, "completion, daughter ofgrape cakes"; the dual expressing the double layers in which these dainties were baked. So, onecompletely given up to sensuality. Maurer explains "Gomer" as literally, "a burning coal." ComparePr 6:27, 29, as to an adulteress; Job 31:9, 12.4. Jezreel—that is, "God will scatter" (compare Zec 10:9). It was the royal city of Ahab andhis successors, in the tribe of Issachar. Here Jehu exercised his greatest cruelties (2Ki 9:16, 25, 33;10:11, 14, 17). There is in the name an allusion to "Israel" by a play of letters and sounds.5. bow—the prowess (Jer 49:35; compare Ge 49:24).valley of Jezreel—afterwards called Esdraelon, extending ten miles in breadth, and in lengthfrom Jordan to the Mediterranean near Mount Carmel, the great battlefield of Palestine (Jud 6:33;1Sa 29:1).6. Lo-ruhamah—that is, "not an object of mercy or gracious favor."take … away—Israel, as a kingdom, was never restored from Assyria, as Judah was fromBabylon after seventy years. Maurer translates according to the primary meaning, "No more will Ihave mercy on the house of Israel, so as to pardon them."7. Judah is only incidentally mentioned to form a contrast to Israel.by the Lord their God—more emphatic than "by Myself"; by that Jehovah (Me) whom theyworship as their God, whereas ye despise Him.not … by bow—on which ye Israelites rely (Ho 1:5, "the bow of Israel"); Jeroboam II wasfamous as a warrior (2Ki 14:25). Yet it was not by their warlike power Jehovah would save Judah(1Sa 17:47; Ps 20:7). The deliverance of Jerusalem from Sennacherib (2Ki 19:35), and the restorationfrom Babylon, are herein predicted.8. weaned—said to complete the symbolical picture, not having any special signification as toIsrael [Henderson]. Israel was bereft of all the privileges which were as needful to them as milk is toinfants (compare Ps 131:2; 1Pe 2:2) [Vatablus]. Israel was not suddenly, but gradually cast off; Godbore with them with long-suffering, until they were incurable [Calvin]. But as it is not God, butGomer who weans Lo-ruhamah, the weaning may imply the lust of Gomer, who was hardly weanedwhen she is again pregnant [Manger].9. Lo-Ammi—once "My people," but henceforth not so (Eze 16:8). The intervals between themarriage and the successive births of the three children, imply that three successive generationsare intended. Jezreel, the first child, represents the dynasty of Jeroboam I and his successors, endingwith Jehu's shedding the blood of Jeroboam's line in Jezreel; it was there that Jezebel was slain, invengeance for Naboth's blood shed in the same Jezreel (1Ki 16:1; 2Ki 9:21, 30). The scenes ofJezreel were to be enacted over again on Jehu's degenerate race. At Jezreel Assyria routed Israel[Jerome]. The child's name associates past sins, intermediate punishments, and final overthrow.1611JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonLo-ruhamah ("not pitied"), the second child, is a daughter, representing the effeminate period whichfollowed the overthrow of the first dynasty, when Israel was at once abject and impious. Lo-Ammi("not my people"), the third child, a son, represents the vigorous dynasty (2Ki 14:25) of JeroboamII; but, as prosperity did not bring with it revived piety, they were still not God's people.10. Literally fulfilled in part at the return from Babylon, in which many Israelites joined withJudah. Spiritually, the believing seed of Jacob or Israel, Gentiles as well as Jews, numerous "as thesand" (Ge 32:12); the Gentiles, once not God's people, becoming His "sons" (Joh 1:12; Ro 9:25,26; 1Pe 2:10; 1Jo 3:1). To be fulfilled in its literal fulness hereafter in Israel's restoration (Ro 11:26).the living God—opposed to their dead idols.11. Judah … Israel … together—(Isa 11:12, 13; Jer 3:18; Eze 34:23; 37:16-24).one head—Zerubbabel typically; Christ antitypically, under whom alone Israel and Judah arejoined, the "Head" of the Church (Eph 1:22; 5:23), and of the hereafter united kingdom of Judahand Israel (Jer 34:5, 6; Eze 34:23). Though "appointed" by the Father (Ps 2:6), Christ is in anothersense "appointed" as their Head by His people, when they accept and embrace Him as such.out of the land—of the Gentiles among whom they sojourn.the day of Jezreel—"The day of one" is the time of God's special visitation of him, either inwrath or in mercy. Here "Jezreel" is in a different sense from that in Ho 1:4, "God will sow," not"God will scatter"; they shall be the seed of God, planted by God again in their own land (Jer 24:6;31:28; 32:41; Am 9:15).CHAPTER 2Ho 2:1-23. Application of the Symbols in the First Chapter.Israel's spiritual fornication, and her threatened punishment: yet a promise of God's restoredfavor, when chastisements have produced their designed effect.1. Say … unto … brethren, Ammi, &c.—that is, When the prediction (Ho 1:11) shall beaccomplished, then ye will call one another, as brothers and sisters in the family of God, Ammiand Ruhamah.2. Plead—expostulate.mother—that is, the nation collectively. The address is to "her children," that is, to the individualcitizens of the state (compare Isa 50:1).for she is not my wife—She has deprived herself of her high privilege by spiritual adultery.out of her sight—rather, "from her face." Her very countenance unblushingly betrayed herlust, as did also her exposed "breasts."3. set her as in the day … born—(Eze 16:4; 23:25, 26, 28, 29). The day of her political "birth"was when God delivered her from the bondage of Egypt, and set up the theocracy.make her as a wilderness—(Jer 6:8; Zep 2:13). Translate, "make her as the wilderness,"namely, that in which she passed forty years on her way to her goodly possession of Canaan. Withthis agrees the mention of "thirst" (compare Jer 2:6).4. her children—Not even her individual members shall escape the doom of the nationcollectively, for they are individually guilty.5. I will go after—The Hebrew expresses a settled determination.1612JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonlovers—the idols which Israel fancied to be the givers of all their goods, whereas God gave allthese goods (Ho 2:8-13; compare Jer 44:17-19).bread and … water—the necessaries of life in food.wool … flax—clothing.oil … drink—perfumed unguents and palatable drinks: the luxuries of Hebrew life.6, 7. thorns … wall—(Job 19:8; La 3:7, 9). The hindrances which the captivity interposedbetween Israel and her idols. As she attributes all her temporal blessings to idols, I will reduce herto straits in which, when she in vain has sought help from false gods, she will at last seek Me asher only God and Husband, as at the first (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:14; Eze 16:8).then—before Israel's apostasy, under Jeroboam. The way of duty is hedged about with thorns;it is the way of sin that is hedged up with thorns. Crosses in an evil course are God's hedges to turnus from it. Restraining grace and restraining providences (even sicknesses and trials) are greatblessings when they stop us in a course of sin. Compare Lu 15:14-18, "I will arise, and go to myfather." So here, "I will go, and return," &c.; crosses in the both cases being sanctified to producethis effect.8. she did not know that I—not the idols, as she thought: the "lovers" alluded to in Ho 2:5.which they prepared for Baal—that is, of which they made images of Baal, or at least theplate covering of them (Ho 8:4). Baal was the Phoenician sun-god: answering to the female Astarte,the moon-goddess. The name of the idol is found in the Phoenician Hannibal, Hasdrubal. Israelborrowed it from the Tyrians.9. my corn … my wool … my flax—in contrast to "my bread … my wool … my flax," (Ho2:5). Compare also Ho 2:21-23, on God as the great First Cause giving these through secondaryinstruments in nature. "Return, and take away," is equivalent to, "I will take back again," namely,by sending storms, locusts, Assyrian enemies, &c. "Therefore," that is, because she did notacknowledge Me as the Giver.in the time thereof—in the harvest-time.10. lewdness—rather, "the shame of her nakedness"; laying aside the figure, "I will expose herin her state, bereft of every necessary, before her lovers," that is, the idols (personified, as if theycould see), who, nevertheless, can give her no help. "Discover" is appropriate to stripping off theself-flatteries of her hypocrisy.11. her feast days—of Jeroboam's appointment, distinct from the Mosaic (1Ki 12:32). However,most of the Mosaic feasts, "new-moons" and "sabbaths" to Jehovah, remained, but to degenerateIsrael worship was a weariness; they cared only for the carnal indulgence on them (Am 8:5).12. my rewards—my hire as a harlot (Isa 23:17, 18).lovers—idols.destroy … vines … make … forest—(Isa 5:6; 7:23, 24). Fulfilled in the overthrow of Israelby Assyria (Ho 9:4, 5).13. days of Baalim—the days consecrated to the Baals, or various images of Baal in differentcities, whence the names Baal-gad, Baal-hermon, &c.decked herself with … earrings—rather, "nose-rings" (Isa 3:21; Eze 16:12, Margin), withwhich harlots decked themselves to attract admirers: answering to the ornaments in which theIsraelites decked themselves on the idols' feasts.forgat me—worse than the nations which had never known God. Israel wilfully apostatizedfrom Jehovah, whom she had known.1613JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson14. Therefore—rather, "Nevertheless" [Henderson]. English Version gives a more lovely ideaof God. That which would provoke all others to unappeasable wrath, Israel's perversity andconsequent punishment, is made a reason why God should at last have mercy on her. As the"therefore" (Ho 2:9) expresses Israel's punishment as the consequence of Israel's guilt, so "therefore"here, as in Ho 2:6, expresses, that when that punishment has effected its designed end, the hedgingup her way with thorns so that she returns to God, her first love, the consequence in God's wondrousgrace is, He "speaks comfortably" (literally, "speaks to her heart"; compare Jud 19:8; Ru 2:13). Soobstinate is she that God has to "allure her," that is, so to temper judgment with unlooked-for graceas to win her to His ways. For this purpose it was necessary to "bring her into the wilderness" (thatis, into temporal want and trials) first, to make her sin hateful to her by its bitter fruits, and God'ssubsequent grace the more precious to her by the contrast of the "wilderness." Jerome makes the"bringing into the wilderness" to be rather a deliverance from her enemies, just as ancient Israelwas brought into the wilderness from the bondage of Egypt; to this the phrase here alludes (compareHo 2:15). The wilderness sojourn, however, is not literal, but moral: while still in the land of theirenemies locally, by the discipline of the trial rendering the word of God sweet to them, they are tobe brought morally into the wilderness state, that is, into a state of preparedness for returning totheir temporal and spiritual privileges in their own land; just as the literal wilderness prepared theirfathers for Canaan: thus the bringing of them into the wilderness state is virtually a deliverancefrom their enemies.15. from thence—returning from the wilderness. God gives Israel a fresh grant of Canaan,which she had forfeited; so of her vineyards, &c. (Ho 2:9, 12).Achor—that is, "trouble." As formerly Israel, after their tedious journey through the wilderness,met with the trouble resulting from Achan's crime in this valley, on the very threshold of Canaan,and yet that trouble was presently turned into joy at the great victory at Ai, which threw all Canaaninto their hands (Jos 7:1-8:28); so the very trouble of Israel's wilderness state will be the "door ofhope" opening to better days. The valley of Achor, near Jericho, was specially fruitful (Isa 65:10);so "trouble" and "hope" are rightly blended in connection with it.sing … as … when she came … out of … Egypt—It shall be a second exodus song, such asIsrael sang after the deliverance at the Red Sea (Ex 15:1-21; compare Isa 11:15, 16); and "the songof Moses" (Re 15:2, 3) sung by those who through the Lamb overcome the beast, and so stand onthe sea of glass mingled with fire, emblems of fiery trial, such as that of Israel at the Red Sea.16. Ishi … no more Baali—"my Husband … no more my Lord." Affection is the prominentidea in "Husband"; rule, in "Lord." The chief reason for the substitution of Husband for Lordappears in Ho 2:17; namely, Baali, the Hebrew for my Lord, had been perverted to express theimages of Baal, whose name ought not to be taken on their lips (Ex 23:13; Zec 13:2).17. Baalim—plural, expressing the various images of Baal, which, according to the places oftheir erection, received various names, Baal-gad, Baal-ammon, &c.18. for them—for their benefit.covenant … with the beasts—not to hurt them (Job 5:23). They shall fulfil the original lawof their creation by becoming subject to man, when man fulfils the law of his being by being subjectto God. To be realized fully in millennial times (Isa 11:6-9).break the bow … out of the earth—rather, "out of the land"; that is, I will break and removewar out of the earth (Ps 46:9); and "out of the land" of Israel first (Isa 2:4; Eze 39:9, 10; Zec 9:9,10).1614JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonlie down—A reclining posture is the usual one with Orientals when not in action.safely—(Jer 23:6).19, 20. "Betroth" is thrice repeated, implying the intense love of God to His people; and perhaps,also, the three Persons of the Triune God, severally engaging to make good the betrothal. Themarriage covenant will be as it were renewed from the beginning, on a different footing; not for atime only, as before, through the apostasy of the people, but "forever" through the grace of Godwriting the law on their hearts by the Spirit of Messiah (Jer 31:31-37).righteousness … judgment—in rectitude and truth.loving-kindness, &c.—Hereby God assures Israel, who might doubt the possibility of theirrestoration to His favor; low, sunk, and unworthy as thou art. I will restore thee from a regard toMy own "loving-kindness," not thy merits.20. faithfulness—to My new covenant of grace with thee (1Th 5:24; Heb 10:23).21. in that day—of grace to Israel.heavens … hear the earth—personification. However many be the intermediate instruments,God is the Great First Cause of all nature's phenomena. God had threatened (Ho 2:9) He wouldtake back His corn, His wine, &c. Here, on the contrary, God promises to hearken to the skies, asit were, supplicating Him to fill them with rain to pour on the earth; and that the skies again wouldhearken to the earth begging for a supply of the rain it requires; and again, that the earth wouldhearken to the corn, wine, and oil, begging it to bring them forth; and these again would hear Jezreel,that is, would fulfil Israel's prayers for a supply of them. Israel is now no longer "Jezreel" in thesense, "God will SCATTER" (Ho 1:4), but in the sense, "God will PLANT" (Ho 1:11).23. I will sow her—referring to the meaning of Jezreel (Ho 2:22).CHAPTER 3Ho 3:1-5. Israel's Condition in Their Present Dispersion, Subsequent to Their Return from Babylon, Symbolized.The prophet is to take back his wife, though unfaithful, as foretold in Ho 1:2. He purchases herfrom her paramour, stipulating she should wait for a long period before she should be restored toher conjugal rights. So Israel is to live for a long period without her ancient rites of religion, andyet be free from idolatry; then at last she shall acknowledge Messiah, and know Jehovah's goodnessrestored to her.1. Go yet—"Go again," referring to Ho 1:2 [Henderson].a woman—purposely indefinite, for thy wife, to express the separation in which Hosea hadlived from Gomer for her unfaithfulness.beloved of her friend—used for "her husband," on account of the estrangement between them.She was still beloved of her husband, though an adulteress; just as God still loved Israel, thoughidolatrous (Jer 3:20). Hosea is told, not as in Ho 1:2, "take a wife," but "love" her, that is, renewthy conjugal kindness to her.who look to other gods—that is, have done so heretofore, but henceforth (from the return fromBabylon) shall do so no more (Ho 3:4).flagons of wine—rather, pressed cakes of dried grapes, such as were offered to idols (Jer 7:18)[Maurer].1615JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. I bought her—The price paid is too small to be a probable dowry wherewith to buy a wifefrom her parents; but it is just half the price of a female slave, in money, the rest of the price beingmade up in grain (Ex 21:32). Hosea pays this for the redemption of his wife, who has become theslave of her paramour. The price being half grain was because the latter was the allowance of foodfor the slave, and of the coarsest kind, not wheat, but barley. Israel, as committing sin, was the slaveof sin (Joh 8:34; Ro 6:16-20; 2Pe 2:19). The low price expresses Israel's worthlessness.3. abide for me—separate from intercourse with any other man, and remaining for me whohave redeemed thee (compare De 21:13).so will I also be for thee—remain for thee, not taking any other consort. As Israel should longremain without serving other gods, yet separate from Jehovah; so Jehovah on His part, in this longperiod of estrangement, would form no marriage covenant with any other people (compare Ho 3:4).He would not immediately receive her to marriage privileges, but would test her repentance anddiscipline her by the long probation; still the marriage covenant would hold good, she was to bekept separated for but a time, not divorced (Isa 50:1); in God's good time she shall be restored.4. The long period here foretold was to be one in which Israel should have no civil polity, king,or prince, no sacrifice to Jehovah, and yet no idol, or false god, no ephod, or teraphim. Exactlydescribing their state for the last nineteen centuries, separate from idols, yet without any legalsacrifice to Jehovah, whom they profess to worship, and without being acknowledged by Him asHis Church. So Kimchi, a Jew, explains it. The ephod was worn by the high priest above the tunicand robe. It consisted of two finely wrought pieces which hung down, the one in front over thebreast, the other on the back, to the middle of the thigh; joined on the shoulders by golden claspsset in onyx stones with the names of the twelve tribes, and fastened round the waist by a girdle (Ex28:6-12). The common ephod worn by the lower priests, Levites, and any person performing sacredrites, was of linen (2Sa 6:14; 1Ch 15:27). In the breast were the Urim and Thummim by which Godgave responses to the Hebrews. The latter was one of the five things which the second templelacked, and which the first had. It, as representing the divinely constituted priesthood, is opposedto the idolatrous "teraphim," as "sacrifice" (to Jehovah) is to "an (idolatrous) image." "Abide"answers to "thou shalt abide for me" (Ho 3:3). Abide in solitary isolation, as a separated wife. Theteraphim were tutelary household gods, in the shape of human busts, cut off at the waist (as theroot of the Hebrew word implies) [Maurer], (Ge 31:19, 30-35). They were supposed to give responsesto consulters (2Ki 23:24; Eze 21:21, Margin; Zec 10:2). Saul's daughter, Michal, putting one in abed, as if it were David, proves the shape to have been that of a man.5. Afterward—after the long period ("many days," Ho 3:4) has elapsed.return—from their idols to "their God," from whom they had wandered.David their king—Israel had forsaken the worship of Jehovah at the same time that they forsooktheir allegiance to David's line. Their repentance towards God is therefore to be accompanied bytheir return to the latter. So Judah and Israel shall be one, and under "one head," as is also foretold(Ho 1:11). That representative and antitype of David is Messiah. "David" means "the beloved."Compare as to Messiah, Mt 3:17; Eph 1:6. Messiah is called David (Isa 55:3, 4; Jer 30:9; Eze 34:23,24; 37:24, 25).fear the Lord and his goodness—that is, tremblingly flee to the Lord, to escape from the wrathto come; and to His goodness," as manifested in Messiah, which attracts them to Him (Jer 31:12).The "fear" is not that which "hath torment" (1Jo 4:18), but reverence inspired by His goodnessrealized in the soul (Ps 130:4).1616JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe latter days—those of Messiah [Kimchi].CHAPTER 4Ho 4:1-19. Henceforth the Prophet Speaks Plainly and without Symbol, in Terse, Sententious Propositions.In this chapter he reproves the people and priests for their sins in the interregnum which followedJeroboam's death; hence there is no mention of the king or his family; and in Ho 4:2 bloodshed andother evils usual in a civil war are specified.1. Israel—the ten tribes.controversy—judicial ground of complaint (Isa 1:18; Jer 25:31; Mic 6:2).no … knowledge of God—exhibited in practice (Jer 22:16).2. they break out—bursting through every restraint.blood toucheth blood—literally, "bloods." One act of bloodshed follows another without anyinterval between (see 2Ki 15:8-16, 25; Mic 7:2).3. land … languish—(Isa 19:8; 24:4; Joe 1:10, 12).sea—including all bodies of water, as pools and even rivers (see on Isa 19:5). A general drought,the greatest calamity in the East, is threatened.4. let no man … reprove—Great as is the sin of Israel, it is hopeless to reprove them; for theirpresumptuous guilt is as great as that of one who refuses to obey the priest when giving judgmentin the name of Jehovah, and who therefore is to be put to death (De 17:12). They rush on to theirown destruction as wilfully as such a one.thy people—the ten tribes of Israel; distinct from Judah (Ho 4:1).5. fall in the day—in broad daylight, a time when an attack would not be expected (see on Jer6:4, 5; Jer 15:8).in … night—No time, night or day, shall be free from the slaughter of individuals of the people,as well as of the false prophets.thy mother—the Israelitish state, of which the citizens are the children (Ho 2:2).6. lack of knowledge—"of God" (Ho 4:1), that is, lack of piety. Their ignorance was wilful,as the epithet, "My people," implies; they ought to have known, having the opportunity, as thepeople of God.thou—O priest, so-called. Not regularly constituted, but still bearing the name, whileconfounding the worship of Jehovah and of the calves in Beth-el (1Ki 12:29, 31).I will … forget thy children—Not only those who then were alive should be deprived of thepriesthood, but their children who, in the ordinary course would have succeeded them, should beset aside.7. As they were increased—in numbers and power. Compare Ho 4:6, "thy children," to whichtheir "increase" in numbers refers.so they sinned—(Compare Ho 10:1 and Ho 13:6).will I change their glory into shame—that is, I will strip them of all they now glory in (theirnumbers and power), and give them shame instead. A just retribution: as they changed their gloryinto shame, by idolatry (Ps 106:20; Jer 2:11; Ro 1:23; Php 3:19).8. eat … sin of my people—that is, the sin offerings (Le 6:26; 10:17). The priests greedilydevoured them.1617JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonset their heart on their iniquity—literally, "lift up the animal soul to lust after," or stronglydesire. Compare De 24:15, Margin; Ps 24:4; Jer 22:27. The priests set their own hearts on theiniquity of the people, instead of trying to suppress it. For the more the people sinned, the moresacrificial victims in atonement for sin the priests gained.9. like people, like priest—They are one in guilt; therefore they shall be one in punishment(Isa 24:2).reward them their doings—in homely phrase, "pay them back in their own coin" (Pr 1:31).10. eat, and not have enough—just retribution on those who "eat up (greedily) the sin of Mypeople" (Ho 4:8; Mic 6:14; Hag 1:6).whoredom, and … not increase—literally, "break forth"; used of giving birth to children (Ge28:14, Margin; compare Ge 38:29). Not only their wives, but their concubines, shall be barren. Tobe childless was considered a great calamity among the Jews.11. A moral truth applicable to all times. The special reference here is to the licentious orgiesconnected with the Syrian worship, which lured Israel away from the pure worship of God (Isa28:1, 7; Am 4:1).take away the heart—that is, the understanding; make men blind to their own true good (Ec7:7).12. Instances of their understanding ("heart") being "taken away."stocks—wooden idols (Jer 2:27; Hab 2:19).staff—alluding to divination by rods (see on Eze 21:21, 22). The diviner, says Rosenmuller, threwa rod from him, which was stripped of its bark on one side, not on the other: if the bare side turneduppermost, it was a good omen; if the side with the bark, it was a bad omen. The Arabs used tworods, the one marked God bids, the other, God forbids; whichever came out first, in drawing themout of a case, gave the omen for, or against, an undertaking.declareth—that is, is consulted to inform them of future events.spirit of whoredoms—a general disposition on the part of all towards idolatry (Ho 5:4).err—go astray from the true God.from under their God—They have gone away from God under whom they were, as a wife isunder the dominion of her husband.13. upon … mountains—High places were selected by idolaters on which to sacrifice, becauseof their greater nearness to the heavenly hosts which they worshipped (De 12:2).elms—rather, "terebinths" [Maurer].shadow … good—screening the lascivious worshippers from the heat of the sun.daughters … commit whoredom … spouses … adultery—in the polluted worship of Astarte,the Phoenician goddess of love.14. I will not punish … daughters—I will visit with the heaviest punishments "not" theunchaste "daughters and spouses," but the fathers and husbands; for it is these who "themselves"have set the bad example, so that as compared with the punishment of the latter, that of the formershall seem as nothing [Munster].separated with whores—withdrawn from the assembly of worshippers to some receptacle ofimpurity for carnal connection with whores.sacrifice with harlots—They commit lewdness with women who devote their persons to beviolated in honor of Astarte. (So the Hebrew for "harlots" means, as distinguished from "whores").Compare Nu 25:1-3; and the prohibition, De 23:18.1618JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnot understand—(Isa 44:18; 45:20).shall fall—shall be cast down.15. Though Israel's ten tribes indulge in spiritual harlotry, at least thou, Judah, who hast thelegal priesthood, and the temple rites, and Jerusalem, do not follow her bad example.Gilgal—situated between Jordan and Jericho on the confines of Samaria; once a holy place toJehovah (Jos 5:10-15; 1Sa 10:8; 15:21); afterwards desecrated by idol-worship (Ho 9:15; 12:11;Am 4:4; 5:5; compare Jud 3:19, Margin).Beth-aven—that is, "house of vanity" or idols: a name substituted in contempt for Beth-el, "thehouse of God"; once sacred to Jehovah (Ge 28:17, 19; 35:7), but made by Jeroboam the seat of theworship of the calves (1Ki 12:28-33; 13:1; Jer 48:13; Am 3:14; 7:13). "Go up" refers to the factthat Beth-el was on a hill (Jos 16:1).nor swear, The Lord liveth—This formula of oath was appointed by God Himself (De 6:13;10:20; Jer 4:2). It is therefore here forbidden not absolutely, but in conjunction with idolatry andfalsehood (Isa 48:1; Eze 20:39; Zep 1:5).16. backsliding—Translate, "Israel is refractory, as a refractory heifer," namely, one that throwsthe yoke off her neck. Israel had represented God under the form of "calves" (1Ki 12:28); but it isshe herself who is one.lamb in a large place—not in a good sense, as in Isa 30:23. Here there is irony: lambs like alarge pasture; but it is not so safe for them as a small one, duly fenced from wild beasts. God will"feed" them, but it shall be with the "rod" (Mic 7:14). It shall be no longer in the narrow territoryof Israel, but "in a large place," namely, they shall be scattered in exile over the wide realm ofAssyria, a prey to their foes; as lambs, which are timid, gregarious, and not solitary, are a preywhen scattered asunder to wild beasts.17. Ephraim—the ten tribes. Judah was at this time not so given to idolatry as afterwards.joined to—closely and voluntarily; identifying themselves with them as a whoremonger becomesone flesh with the harlot (Nu 25:3; 1Co 6:16, 17).idols—The Hebrew means also "sorrows," "pains," implying the pain which idolatry brings onits votaries.let him alone—Leave him to himself. Let him reap the fruits of his own perverse choice; hiscase is desperate; say nothing to him (compare Jer 7:16). Here Ho 4:15 shows the address is toJudah, to avoid the contagion of Israel's bad example. He is bent on his own ruin; leave him to hisfate, lest, instead of saving him, thou fall thyself (Isa 48:20; Jer 50:8; 51:6, 45; 2Co 6:17).18. Their drink is sour—metaphor for utter degeneracy of principle (Isa 1:22). Or, unbridledlicentiousness; not mere ordinary sin, but as abandoned as drunkards who vomit and smell sourwith wine potations [Calvin]. Maurer not so well translates, "When their drinking is over, they commitwhoredoms," namely, in honor of Astarte (Ho 4:13, 14).her rulers—Israel's; literally, "shields" (compare Ps 47:9).with shame … love, Give ye—(Pr 30:15). No remedy could be effectual against their corruptionssince the very rulers sold justice for gifts [Calvin]. Maurer translates, "The rulers are marvelouslyenamored of shame." English Version is better.19. Israel shall be swept away from her land (Ho 4:16) suddenly and violently as if by "thewings of the wind" (Ps 18:10; 104:3; Jer 4:11, 12).ashamed … of their sacrifices—disappointed to their shame in their hope of help throughtheir sacrifices to idols.1619JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 5Ho 5:1-5. God's Judgments on the Priests, People, and Princes of Israel for Their Sins.Judah, too, being guilty shall be punished; nor shall Assyria, whose aid they both sought, savethem; judgments shall at last lead them to repentance.1. the king—probably Pekah; the contemporary of Ahaz, king of Judah, under whom idolatrywas first carried so far in Judah as to call for the judgment of the joint Syrian and Israelite invasion,as also that of Assyria.judgment is towards you—that is, threatens you from God.ye have been a snare on Mizpah … net … upon Tabor—As hunters spread their net andsnares on the hills, Mizpah and Tabor, so ye have snared the people into idolatry and made themyour prey by injustice. As Mizpah and Tabor mean a "watch tower," and a "lofty place," a fit scenefor hunters, playing on the words, the prophet implies, in the lofty place in which I have set you,whereas ye ought to have been the watchers of the people, guarding them from evil, ye have beenas hunters entrapping them into it [Jerome]. These two places are specified, Mizpah in the east andTabor in the west, to include the high places throughout the whole kingdom, in which Israel's rulersset up idolatrous altars.2. revolters—apostates.profound—deeply rooted [Calvin] and sunk to the lowest depths, excessive in their idolatry (Ho9:9; Isa 31:6) [Henderson]. From the antithesis (Ho 5:3), "not hid from me," I prefer explaining,profoundly cunning in their idolatry. Jeroboam thought it a profound piece of policy to set up goldencalves to represent God in Dan and Beth-el, in order to prevent Israel's heart from turning again toDavid's line by going up to Jerusalem to worship. So Israel's subsequent idolatry was grounded bytheir leaders on various pleas of state expediency (compare Isa 29:15).to … slaughter—He does not say "to sacrifice," for their so-called sacrifices were butcheriesrather than sacrifices; there was nothing sacred about them, being to idols instead of to the holyGod.though—Maurer translates, "and (in spite of their hope of safety through their slaughter ofvictims to idols) I will be a chastisement to them all." English Version is good sense: They havedeeply revolted, notwithstanding all my prophetical warnings.3. Ephraim—the tribe so called, as distinguished from "Israel" here, the other nine tribes. Itwas always foremost of the tribes of the northern kingdom. For four hundred years in early history,it, with Manasseh and Benjamin, its two dependent tribes, held the pre-eminence in the wholenation. Ephraim is here addressed as foremost in idolatry.I how … not hid from me—notwithstanding their supposed profound cunning (Ho 5:2; Re2:2, 9, 13, 19).now—"though I have been a rebuker of all them" (Ho 5:2) who commit such spiritual whoredoms,thou art now continuing in them.4. They—Turning from a direct address to Ephraim, he uses the third person plural tocharacterize the people in general. The Hebrew is against the Margin, their doings will not sufferthem" the omission of "them" in the Hebrew after the verb being unusual. The sense is, they areincurable, for they will not permit (as the Hebrew literally means) their doings to be framed so asto turn unto God. Implying that they resist the Spirit of God, not suffering Him to renew them; andgive themselves up to "the spirit of whoredoms" (in antithesis to "the Spirit of God" implied in"suffer" or "permit") (Ho 4:12; Isa 63:10; Eze 16:43; Ac 7:51).1620JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson5. the pride of Israel—wherewith they reject the warnings of God's prophets (Ho 5:2), andprefer their idols to God (Ho 7:10; Jer 13:17).testify to his face—openly to his face he shall be convicted of the pride which is so palpablein him. Or, "in his face," as in Isa 3:9.Judah … shall fall with them—This prophecy is later than Ho 4:15, when Judah had not goneso far in idolatry; now her imitation of Israel's bad example provokes the threat of her being doomedto share in Israel's punishment.6. with … flocks—to propitiate Jehovah (Isa 1:11-15).seek … not find—because it is slavish fear that leads them to seek Him; and because it thenshall be too late (Pr 1:28; Joh 7:34).7. treacherously—as to the marriage covenant (Jer 3:20).strange children—alluding to "children of whoredoms" (Ho 1:2; 2:4). "Strange" or foreignimplies that their idolatry was imported from abroad [Henderson]. Or rather, "regarded by God asstrangers, not His," as being reared in idolatry. The case is desperate, when not only the existing,but also the rising, generation is reared in apostasy.a month—a very brief space of time shall elapse, and then punishment shall overtake them(Zec 11:8). The allusion seems to be to money loans, which were by the month, not as with us bythe year. You cannot put it off; the time of your destruction is immediately and suddenly comingon you; just as the debtor must meet the creditor's demand at the expiration of the month. Theprediction is of the invasion of Tiglath-pileser, who carried away Reuben, Gad, Naphtali, and thehalf tribe of Manasseh.portions—that is, possessions. Their resources and garrisons will not avail to save them.Henderson explains from Isa 57:6, "portions" as their idols; the context favors this, "the Lord" thetrue "portion of His people" (De 32:9), being in antithesis to "their portions," the idols.8. The arrival of the enemy is announced in the form of an injunction to blow an alarm.cornet … trumpet—The "cornet" was made of the curved horn of animals and was used byshepherds. The "trumpet" was of brass or silver, straight, and used in wars and on solemn occasions.The Hebrew is hatzotzerah, the sound imitating the trumpet note (Ho 8:1; Nu 10:2; Jer 4:5; Joe2:1).Gibeah … Ramah—both in Benjamin (Isa 10:29).Beth-aven—in Benjamin; not as in Ho 4:15; Beth-el, but a town east of it (Jos 7:2). "Cry aloud,"namely, to raise the alarm. "Benjamin" is put for the whole southern kingdom of Judah (compareHo 5:5), being the first part of it which would meet the foe advancing from the north. "After thee,O Benjamin," implies the position of Beth-aven, behind Benjamin, at the borders of Ephraim. Whenthe foe is at Beth-aven, he is at Benjamin's rear, close upon thee, O Benjamin (Jud 5:14).9, 10. Israel is referred to in Ho 5:9, Judah in Ho 5:10.the day of rebuke—the day when I shall chastise him.among the tribes of Israel have I made known—proving that the scene of Hosea's labor wasamong the ten tribes.that which shall surely be—namely, the coming judgment here foretold. It is no longer aconditional decree, leaving a hope of pardon on repentance; it is absolute, for Ephraim is hopelesslyimpenitent.10. remove the bound—(De 19:14; 27:17; Job 24:2; Pr 22:28; 23:10). Proverbial for the rashsetting aside of the ancestral laws by which men are kept to their duty. Ahaz and his courtiers ("the1621JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprinces of Judah"), setting aside the ancient ordinances of God, removed the borders of the basesand the layer and the sea and introduced an idolatrous altar from Damascus (2Ki 16:10-18); alsohe burnt his children in the valley of Hinnom, after the abominations of the heathen (2Ch 28:3).11. broken in judgment—namely, the "judgment" of God on him (Ho 5:1).walked after the commandment—Jeroboam's, to worship the calves (2Ki 10:28-33). CompareMic 6:16, "the statutes of Omri," namely, idolatrous statutes. We ought to obey God rather thanmen (Ac 5:29). Jerome reads "filthiness." The Septuagint gives the sense, not the literal translation:"after vanities."12. as a moth—consuming a garment (Job 13:28; Ps 39:11; Isa 50:9).Judah … rottenness—Ephraim, or the ten tribes, are as a garment eaten by the moth; Judahas the body itself consumed by rottenness (Pr 12:4). Perhaps alluding to the superiority of the latterin having the house of David, and the temple, the religious center of the nation [Grotius]. As in Ho5:13, 14, the violence of the calamity is prefigured by the "wound" which "a lion" inflicts, so hereits long protracted duration, and the certainty and completeness of the destruction from smallunforeseen beginnings, by the images of a slowly but surely consuming moth and rottenness.13. wound—literally, "bandage"; hence a bandaged wound (Isa 1:6; Jer 30:12). "Saw," that is,felt its weakened state politically, and the dangers that threatened it. It aggravates their perversity,that, though aware of their unsound and calamitous state, they did not inquire into the cause or seeka right remedy.went … to the Assyrian—First, Menahem (2Ki 15:19) applied to Pul; again, Hoshea toShalmaneser (2Ki 17:3).sent to King Jareb—Understand Judah as the nominative to "sent." Thus, as "Ephraim sawhis sickness" (the first clause) answers in the parallelism to "Ephraim went to the Assyrian" (thethird clause), so "Judah saw his wound" (the second clause) answers to (Judah) "sent to King Jareb"(the fourth clause). Jareb ought rather to be translated, "their defender," literally, "avenger" [Jerome].The Assyrian "king," ever ready, for his own aggrandizement, to mix himself up with the affairsof neighboring states, professed to undertake Israel's and Judah's cause; in Jud 6:32, Jerub, inJerub-baal is so used, namely, "plead one's cause." Judah, under Ahaz, applied to Tiglath-pileserfor aid against Syria and Israel (2Ki 16:7, 8; 2Ch 28:16-21); the Assyrian "distressed him, butstrengthened him not," fulfiling the prophecy here, "he could not heal you, nor cure you of yourwound.14. lion—The black lion and the young lion are emblems of strength and ferocity (Ps 91:13).I, even I—emphatic; when I, even I, the irresistible God, tear in pieces (Ps 50:22), no Assyrianpower can rescue.go away—as a lion stalks leisurely back with his prey to his lair.15. return to my place—that is, withdraw My favor.till they acknowledge their offence—The Hebrew is, "till they suffer the penalty of their guilt."Probably "accepting the punishment of their guilt" (compare Zec 11:5) is included in the idea, asEnglish Version translates. Compare Le 26:40, 41; Jer 29:12, 13; Eze 6:9; 20:43; 36:31.seek my face—that is, seek My favor (Pr 29:26, Margin).in … affliction … seek me early—that is, diligently; rising up before dawn to seek Me (Ps119:147; compare Ps 78:34).1622JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 6Ho 6:1-11. The Israelites' Exhortation to One Another to Seek the Lord.At Ho 6:4 a new discourse, complaining of them, begins; for Ho 6:1-3 evidently belong to Ho5:15, and form the happy termination of Israel's punishment: primarily, the return from Babylon;ultimately, the return from their present long dispersion. Ho 6:8 perhaps refers to the murder ofPekahiah; the discourse cannot be later than Pekah's reign, for it was under it that Gilead was carriedinto captivity (2Ki 15:29).1. let us return—in order that God who has "returned to His place" may return to us (Ho 5:15).torn, and … heal—(De 32:39; Jer 30:17). They ascribe their punishment not to fortune, orman, but to God, and acknowledge that none (not the Assyrian, as they once vainly thought, Ho5:13) but God can heal their wound. They are at the same time persuaded of the mercy of God,which persuasion is the starting-point of true repentance, and without which men would not seek,but hate and flee from God. Though our wound be severe, it is not past hope of recovery; there isroom for grace, and a hope of pardon. He hath smitten us, but not so badly that He cannot heal us(Ps 130:4).2. Primarily, in type, Israel's national revival, in a short period ("two or three" being used todenote a few days, Isa 17:6; Lu 13:32, 33); antitypically the language is so framed as to refer in itsfull accuracy only to Messiah, the ideal Israel (Isa 49:3; compare Mt 2:15, with Ho 11:1), raisedon the third day (Joh 2:19; 1Co 15:4; compare Isa 53:10). "He shall prolong His days." Comparethe similar use of Israel's political resurrection as the type of the general resurrection of which"Christ is the first-fruits" (Isa 26:19; Eze 37:1-14; Da 12:2).live in his sight—enjoy His favour and the light of His countenance shining on us, as of old;in contrast to Ho 5:6, 15, "Withdrawn Himself from them."3. know, if we follow on to know the Lord—The result of His recovered favor (Ho 6:2) willbe onward growth in saving knowledge of God, as the result of perseverance in following afterHim (Ps 63:8; Isa 54:13). "Then" implies the consequence of the revival in Ho 6:2. The "if" is notso much conditional, as expressive of the means which God's grace will sanctify to the fullenlightenment of Israel in the knowledge of Him. As want of "knowledge of God" has been thesource of all evils (Ho 4:1; 5:4), so the knowledge of Him will bring with it all blessings; yea, it is"life" (Joh 17:3). This knowledge is practice, not mere theory (Jer 22:15, 16). Theology is life, notscience; realities, not words. This onward progress is illustrated by the light of "morning" increasingmore and more "unto the perfect day" (Pr 4:18).prepared—"is sure," literally, "fixed," ordered in His everlasting purposes of love to Hiscovenant-people. Compare "prepared of God" (Ge 41:32, Margin; Re 12:6). Jehovah shall surelycome to the relief of His people after their dark night of calamity.as the morning—(2Sa 23:4).as the rain … latter … former—(Job 29:23; Joe 2:23). First, "the rain" generally is mentioned;then the two rains (De 11:14) which caused the fertility of Palestine, and the absence of which wasaccounted the greatest calamity: "the latter rain" which falls in the latter half of February, and duringMarch and April, just before the harvest whence it takes its name, from a root meaning "to gather";and "the former rain," literally, "the darting rain," from the middle of October to the middle ofDecember. As the rain fertilizes the otherwise barren land, so God's favor will restore Israel longnationally lifeless.1623JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. what shall I do unto thee—to bring thee back to piety. What more could be done that I havenot done, both in mercies and chastenings (Isa 5:4)? At this verse a new discourse begins, resumingthe threats (Ho 5:14). See opening remarks on this chapter.goodness—godliness.morning cloud—soon dispersed by the sun (Ho 13:3). There is a tacit contrast here to thepromise of God's grace to Israel hereafter, in Ho 6:3. His going forth is "as the morning," shiningmore and more unto the perfect day; your goodness is "as a morning cloud," soon vanishing. Hiscoming to His people is "as the (fertilizing) latter and former rains"; your coming to Him "as theearly dew goeth away."5. I hewed them by the prophets—that is, I announced by the prophets that they should behewn asunder, like trees of the forest. God identifies His act with that of His prophets; the wordbeing His instrument for executing His will (Jer 1:10; Eze 43:3).by … words of my mouth—(Isa 11:4; Jer 23:29; Heb 4:12).thy judgments—the judgments which I will inflict on thee, Ephraim and Judah (Ho 6:4). So"thy judgments," that is, those inflicted on thee (Zep 3:15).are as the light, &c.—like the light, palpable to the eyes of all, as coming from God, thepunisher of sin. Henderson translates, "lightning" (compare Margin, Job 37:3, 15).6. mercy—put for piety in general, of which mercy or charity is a branch.not sacrifice—that is, "rather than sacrifice." So "not" is merely comparative (Ex 16:8; Joe2:13; Joh 6:27; 1Ti 2:14). As God Himself instituted sacrifices, it cannot mean that He desired themnot absolutely, but that even in the Old Testament, He valued moral obedience as the only end forwhich positive ordinances, such as sacrifices, were instituted—as of more importance than a mereexternal ritual obedience (1Sa 15:22; Ps 50:8, 9; 51:16; Isa 1:11, 12; Mic 6:6-8; Mt 9:13; 12:7).knowledge of God—experimental and practical, not merely theoretical (Ho 6:3; Jer 22:16; 1Jo2:3, 4). "Mercy" refers to the second table of the law, our duty to our fellow man; "the knowledgeof God" to the first table, our duty to God, including inward spiritual worship. The second table isput first, not as superior in dignity, for it is secondary, but in the order of our understanding.7. like men—the common sort of men (Ps 82:7). Not as Margin, "like Adam," Job 31:33. Forthe expression "covenant" is not found elsewhere applied to Adam's relation to God; though thething seems implied (Ro 5:12-19). Israel "transgressed the covenant" of God as lightly as men breakeveryday compacts with their fellow men.there—in the northern kingdom, Israel.8. Gilead … city—probably Ramoth-gilead, metropolis of the hilly region beyond Jordan,south of the Jabbok, known as "Gilead" (1Ki 4:13; compare Ge 31:21-25).work iniquity—(Ho 12:11).polluted with blood—"marked with blood-traces" [Maurer]. Referring to Gilead's complicityin the regicidal conspiracy of Pekah against Pekahiah (2Ki 15:25). See on Ho 6:1. Many homicideswere there, for there were beyond Jordan more cities of refuge, in proportion to the extent ofterritory, than on this side of Jordan (Nu 35:14; De 4:41-43; Jos 20:8). Ramoth-gilead was one.9. company—"association" or guild of priests.murder by consent—literally, "with one shoulder" (compare Zep 3:9, Margin). The image isfrom oxen putting their shoulders together to pull the same yoke [Rivetus]. Maurer translates, "in theway towards Shechem." It was a city of refuge between Ebal and Gerizim; on Mount Ephraim (Jos20:7; 21:21), long the civil capital of Ephraim, as Shiloh was the religious capital; now called1624JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonNaploos; for a time the residence of Jeroboam (1Ki 12:25). The priests there became so corruptedthat they waylaid and murdered persons fleeing to the asylum for refuge [Henderson]; the sanctityof the place enhanced the guilt of the priests who abused their priestly privileges, and the right ofasylum to perpetrate murders themselves, or to screen those committed by others [Maurer].commit lewdness—deliberate crime, presumptuous wickedness, from an Arabic root, "to forma deliberate purpose."10. horrible thing—(Jer 5:30; 18:13; 23:14).whoredom—idolatry.11. an harvest—namely, of judgments (as in Jer 51:33; Joe 3:13; Re 14:15). Called a "harvest"because it is the fruit of the seed which Judah herself had sown (Ho 8:7; 10:12; Job 4:8; Pr 22:8).Judah, under Ahaz, lost a hundred twenty thousand "slain in one day (by Israel under Pekah),because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers."when I returned the captivity of my people—when I, by Oded My prophet, caused twohundred thousand women, sons, and daughters, of Judah to be restored from captivity by Israel(2Ch 28:6-15). This prophecy was delivered under Pekah [Ludovicus De Dieu]. Maurer explains, WhenIsrael shall have been exiled for its sins, and has been subsequently restored by Me, thou, Judah,also shalt be exiled for thine. But as Judah's punishment was not at the time when God restoredIsrael, Ludovicus De Dieu's explanation must be taken. Grotius translates, "When I shall have returnedto make captive (that is, when I shall have again made captive) My people." The first captivity ofIsrael under Tiglath-pileser was followed by a second under Shalmaneser. Then came the siege ofJerusalem, and the capture of the fenced cities of Judah, by Sennacherib, the forerunner of otherattacks, ending in Judah's captivity. But the Hebrew is elsewhere used of restoration, not renewedpunishment (De 30:3; Ps 14:7).CHAPTER 7Ho 7:1-16. Reproof of Israel.Probably delivered in the interreign and civil war at Pekah's death; for Ho 7:7, "all their kings… fallen," refers to the murder of Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah. In Ho 7:8the reference seems to be to Menahem's payment of tribute to Pul, in order to secure himself in theusurped throne, also to Pekah's league with Rezin of Syria, and to Hoshea's connection with Assyriaduring the interregnum at Pekah's death [Maurer].1. I would have healed Israel—Israel's restoration of the two hundred thousand Jewish captivesat God's command (2Ch 28:8-15) gave hope of Israel's reformation [Henderson]. Political, as wellas moral, healing is meant. When I would have healed Israel in its calamitous state, then theiriniquity was discovered to be so great as to preclude hope of recovery. Then he enumerates theirwickedness: "The thief cometh in (indoors stealthily), and the troop of robbers spoileth without"(out-of-doors with open violence).2. consider not in their hearts—literally, "say not to," &c. (Ps 14:1).that I remember—and will punish.their own doings have beset them about—as so many witnesses against them (Ps 9:16; Pr5:22).before my face—(Ps 90:8).1625JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. Their princes, instead of checking, "have pleasure in them that do" such crimes (Ro 1:32).4. who ceaseth from raising—rather, "heating" it, from an Arabic root, "to be hot." So theSeptuagint. Their adulterous and idolatrous lust is inflamed as the oven of a baker who has it atsuch a heat that he ceaseth from heating it only from the time that he hath kneaded the dough, untilit be leavened; he only needs to omit feeding it during the short period of the fermentation of thebread. Compare 2Pe 2:14, "that cannot cease from sin" [Henderson].5. the day of our king—his birthday or day of inauguration.have made him sick—namely, the king. Maurer translates, "make themselves sick."with bottles of wine—drinking not merely glasses, but bottles. Maurer translates, "Owing to theheat of wine."he stretched out his hand with scorners—the gesture of revellers in holding out the cup andin drinking to one another's health. Scoffers were the king's boon companions.6. they have made ready—rather, "they make their heart approach," namely their king, ingoing to drink with him.like an oven—following out the image in Ho 7:4. As it conceals the lighted fire all night whilethe baker sleeps but in the morning burns as a flaming fire, so they brood mischief in their heartswhile conscience is lulled asleep, and their wicked designs wait only for a fair occasion to breakforth [Horsley]. Their heart is the oven, their baker the ringleader of the plot. In Ho 7:7 their plotsappear, namely, the intestine disturbances and murders of one king after another, after JeroboamII.7. all hot—All burn with eagerness to cause universal disturbance (2Ki 15:1-38).devoured their judges—magistrates; as the fire of the oven devours the fuel.all their kings … fallen—See on Ho 7:1.none … calleth unto me—Such is their perversity that amid all these national calamities, noneseeks help from Me (Isa 9:13; 64:7).8. mixed … among the people—by leagues with idolaters, and the adoption of their idolatrouspractices (Ho 7:9, 11; Ps 106:35).Ephraim … cake not turned—a cake burnt on one side and unbaked on the other, and souneatable; an image of the worthlessness of Ephraim. The Easterners bake their bread on the ground,covering it with embers (1Ki 19:6), and turning it every ten minutes, to bake it thoroughly withoutburning it.9. Strangers—foreigners: the Syrians and Assyrians (2Ki 13:7; 15:19, 20; 17:3-6).gray hairs—that is, symptoms of approaching national dissolution.are here and there upon—literally, "are sprinkled on" him.yet he knoweth not—Though old age ought to bring with it wisdom, he neither knows of hissenile decay, nor has the true knowledge which leads to reformation.10. Repetition of Ho 5:5.not return to … Lord … for all this—notwithstanding all their calamities (Isa 9:13).11. like a silly dove—a bird proverbial for simplicity: easily deceived.without heart—that is, understanding.call to Egypt—Israel lying between the two great rival empires Egypt and Assyria, sought eachby turns to help her against the other. As this prophecy was written in the reign of Hoshea, theallusion is probably to the alliance with So or Sabacho II (of which a record has been found on theclay cylindrical seals in Koyunjik), which ended in the overthrow of Hoshea and the deportation1626JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof Israel (2Ki 17:3-6). As the dove betrays its foolishness by fleeing in alarm from its nest only tofall into the net of the fowler, so Israel, though warned that foreign alliances would be their ruin,rushed into them.12. When they shall go—to seek aid from this or that foreign state.spread my net upon them—as on birds taken on the ground (Eze 12:13), as contrasted with"bringing them down" as the "fowls of the heavens," namely, by the use of missiles.as their congregation hath heard—namely, by My prophets through whom I threatened"chastisement" (Ho 5:9; 2Ki 17:13-18).13. fled—as birds from their nest (Pr 27:8; Isa 16:2).me—who both could and would have healed them (Ho 7:1), had they applied to Me.redeemed them—from Egypt and their other enemies (Mic 6:4).lies—(Ps 78:36; Jer 3:10). Pretending to be My worshippers, when they all the while worshippedidols (Ho 7:14; Ho 12:1); also defrauding Me of the glory of their deliverance, and ascribing it andtheir other blessings to idols [Calvin].14. not cried unto me—but unto other gods [Maurer], (Job 35:9, 10). Or, they did indeed cryunto Me, but not "with their heart": answering to "lies," Ho 7:13 (see on Ho 7:13).when they howled upon their beds—sleepless with anxiety; image of deep affliction. Theircry is termed "howling," as it is the cry of anguish, not the cry of repentance and faith.assemble … for corn, &c.—namely in the temples of their idols, to obtain from them a goodharvest and vintage, instead of coming to Me, the true Giver of these (Ho 2:5, 8, 12), proving thattheir cry to God was "not with their heart."rebel against me—literally, "withdraw themselves against Me," that is, not only withdrawfrom Me, but also rebel against Me.15. I … bound—when I saw their arms as it were relaxed with various disasters, I bound themso as to strengthen their sinews; image from surgery [Calvin]. Maurer translates, "I instructed them"to war (Ps 18:34; 144:1), namely, under Jeroboam II (2Ki 14:25). Grotius explains, "Whether Ichastised them (Margin) or strengthened their arms, they imagined mischief against Me." EnglishVersion is best.16. return, but not to the Most High—or, "to one who is not the Most High," one very differentfrom Him, a stock or a stone. So the Septuagint.deceitful bow—(Ps 78:57). A bow which, from its faulty construction, shoots wide of the mark.So Israel pretends to seek God, but turns aside to idols.for the rage of their tongue—their boast of safety from Egyptian aid, and their "lies" (Ho7:13), whereby they pretended to serve God, while worshipping idols; also their perverse defensefor their idolatries and blasphemies against God and His prophets (Ps 73:9; 120:2, 3).their derision in … Egypt—Their "fall" shall be the subject of "derision" to Egypt, to whomthey had applied for help (Ho 9:3, 6; 2Ki 17:4).CHAPTER 8Ho 8:1-14. Prophecy of the Irruption of the Assyrians, in Punishment for Israel's Apostasy, Idolatry, and Setting Upof Kings without God's Sanction.1627JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonIn Ho 8:14, Judah is said to multiply fenced cities; and in Ho 8:7-9, Israel, to its great hurt, issaid to have gone up to Assyria for help. This answers best to the reign of Menahem. For it wasthen that Uzziah of Judah, his contemporary, built fenced cities (2Ch 26:6, 9, 10). Then also Israelturned to Assyria and had to pay for their sinful folly a thousand talents of silver (2Ki 15:19) [Maurer].1. Set the trumpet, &c.—to give warning of the approach of the enemy: "To thy palate (thatis, 'mouth,' Job 31:30, Margin) the trumpet"; the abruptness of expression indicates the suddennessof the attack. So Ho 5:8.as … eagle—the Assyrian (De 28:49; Jer 48:40; Hab 1:8).against … house of … Lord—not the temple, but Israel viewed as the family of God (Ho 9:15;Nu 12:7; Zec 9:8; Heb 3:2; 1Ti 3:15; 1Pe 4:17).2. My God, we know thee—the singular, "My," is used distributively, each one so addressingGod. They, in their hour of need, plead their knowledge of God as the covenant-people, while intheir acts they acknowledge Him not (compare Mt 7:21, 22; Tit 1:16; also Isa 29:13; Jer 7:4). TheHebrew joins "Israel," not as English Version, with "shall cry," but "We, Israel, know thee"; Goddenies the claim thus urged on the ground of their descent from Israel.3. Israel—God repeats the name in opposition to their use of it (Ho 8:2).the thing that is good—Jerome translates, "God" who is good and doing good (Ps 119:68). Heis the chief object rejected, but with Him also all that is good.the enemy shall pursue him—in just retribution from God.4. kings … not by me—not with My sanction (1Ki 11:31; 12:20). Israel set up Jeroboam andhis successors, whereas God had appointed the house of David as the rightful kings of the wholenation.I knew it not—I approved it not (Ps 1:6).of … gold … idols—(Ho 2:8; 13:2).that they may be cut off—that is, though warned of the consequences of idolatry, as it werewith open eyes they rushed on their own destruction. So Jer 27:10, 15; 44:8.5. hath cast thee off—As the ellipsis of thee is unusual, Maurer translates, "thy calf isabominable." But the antithesis to Ho 8:3 establishes English Version, "Israel hath cast off the thingthat is good"; therefore, in just retribution, "thy calf hath cast thee off," that is, is made by God thecause of thy being cast off (Ho 10:15). Jeroboam, during his sojourn in Egypt, saw Apis worshippedat Memphis, and Mnevis at Heliopolis, in the form of an ox; this, and the temple cherubim, suggestedthe idea of the calves set up at Dan and Beth-el.how long … ere they attain to innocency?—How long will they be incapable of bearinginnocency? [Maurer].6. from Israel was it—that is, the calf originated with them, not from Me. "It also," as well astheir "kings set up" by them, "but not by Me" (Ho 8:4).7. sown … reap—(Pr 22:8; Ga 6:7). "Sow … wind," that is, to make the vain show of worship,while faith and obedience are wanting [Calvin]. Rather, to offer senseless supplications to the calvesfor good harvests (compare Ho 2:8); the result being that God will make them "reap no stalk," thatis, "standing corn." Also, the phraseology proverbially means that all their undertakings shall beprofitless (Pr 11:29; Ec 5:16).the bud—or, "growth."strangers—foreigners (Ho 7:9).8. vessel wherein is no pleasure—(Ps 41:12; Jer 22:28; 48:38).1628JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. gone … to Assyria—referring to Menahem's application for Pul's aid in establishing him onthe throne (compare Ho 5:13; 7:11). Menahem's name is read in the inscriptions in the southwestpalace of Nimrod, as a tributary to the Assyrian king in his eighth year. The dynasty of Pul, orPhalluka, was supplanted at Nineveh by that of Tiglath-pileser, about 768 (or 760) B.C. Semiramisseems to have been Pul's wife, and to have withdrawn to Babylon in 768; and her son, Nabonassar,succeeding after a period of confusion, originated "the era of Nabonassar," 747 B.C. [G. V. Smith].Usually foreigners coming to Israel's land were said to "go up"; here it is the reverse, to intimateIsrael's sunken state, and Assyria's superiority.wild ass—a figure of Israel's headstrong perversity in following her own bent (Jer 2:24).alone by himself—characteristic of Israel in all ages: "lo, the people shall dwell alone" (Nu23:9; compare Job 39:5-8).hired lovers—reversing the ordinary way, namely, that lovers should hire her (Eze 16:33, 34).10. will I gather them—namely, the nations (Assyria, &c.) against Israel, instead of theirassisting her as she had wished (Eze 16:37).a little—rather, "in a little" [Henderson]. English Version gives good sense: They shall sorrow"a little" at the imposition of the tribute; God suspended yet the great judgment, namely, theirdeportation by Assyria.the burden of the king of princes—the tribute imposed on Israel (under Menahem) by theAssyrian king Pul, (2Ki 15:19-22), who had many "princes" under his sway (Isa 10:8).11. God in righteous retribution gives them up to their own way; the sin becomes its ownpunishment (Pr 1:31).many altars—in opposition to God's law (De 12:5, 6, 13, 14).to sin … to sin—Their altars which were "sin" (whatever religious intentions they might plead)should be treated as such, and be the source of their punishment (1Ki 12:30; 13:34).12. great things of … law—(De 4:6, 8; Ps 19:8; 119:18, 72; 147:19, 20). Maurer not so welltranslates, "the many things of My law."my law—as opposed to their inventions. This reference of Hosea to the Pentateuch alone isagainst the theory that some earlier written prophecies have not come down to us.strange thing—as if a thing with which they had nothing to do.13. sacrifices of mine offerings—that is, which they offer to Me.eat it—Their own carnal gratification is the object which they seek, not My honor.now—that is, "speedily."shall return to Egypt—(Ho 9:3, 6; 11:11). The same threat as in De 28:68. They fled thitherto escape from the Assyrians (compare as to Judah, Jer 42:1-44:30), when these latter had overthrowntheir nation. But see on Ho 9:3.14. forgotten … Maker—(De 32:18).temples—to idols.Judah … fenced cities—Judah, though less idolatrous than Israel, betrayed lack of faith inJehovah by trusting more to its fenced cities than to Him; instead of making peace with God, Judahmultiplied human defenses (Isa 22:8; Jer 5:17; Mic 5:10, 11).I will send … fire upon … cities—Sennacherib burned all Judah's fenced cities except Jerusalem(2Ki 18:13).palaces thereof—namely, of the land. Compare as to Jerusalem, Jer 17:27.1629JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 9Ho 9:1-17. Warning against Israel's Joy at Partial Relief from Their Troubles: Their Crops Shall Fail, and the PeopleLeave the Lord's Land for Egypt and Assyria, Where They Cannot, If So Inclined, Serve God According to the AncientRitual: Folly of Their False Prophets.1. Rejoice not … for joy—literally, "to exultation." Thy exultation at the league with Pul, bywhich peace seems secured, is out of place: since thy idolatry will bring ruin on thee.as other people—the Assyrians for instance, who, unlike thee, are in the height of prosperity.loved a reward upon every corn floor—Thou hast desired, in reward for thy homage to idols,abundance of corn on every threshing-floor (Ho 2:12).2. (Ho 2:9, 12).fail—disappoint her expectation.3. return to Egypt—(See on Ho 8:13). As in Ho 11:5 it is said, "He shall not return into …Egypt." Fairbairn thinks it is not the exact country that is meant, but the bondage state with which,from past experience, Egypt was identified in their minds. Assyria was to be a second Egypt tothem. De 28:68, though threatening a return to Egypt, speaks (De 28:36) of their being brought toa nation which neither they nor their fathers had known, showing that it is not the literal Egypt,but a second Egypt-like bondage that is threatened.eat unclean things in Assyria—reduced by necessity to eat meats pronounced unclean by theMosaic law (Eze 4:13). See 2Ki 17:6.4. offer wine offerings—literally, "pour as a libation (Ex 30:9; Le 23:13).neither shall they be pleasing unto him—as being offered on a profane soil.sacrifices … as the bread of mourners—which was unclean (De 26:14; Jer 16:7; Eze 24:17).their bread for their soul—their offering for the expiation of their soul [Calvin], (Le 17:11).Rather, "their bread for their sustenance ('soul' being often used for the animal life, Ge 14:21,Margin) shall not come into the Lord's house"; it shall only subserve their own uses, not My worship.5. (Ho 2:11).6. because of destruction—to escape from the devastation of their country.Egypt shall gather them up—that is, into its sepulchres (Jer 8:2; Eze 29:5). Instead of returningto Palestine, they should die in Egypt.Memphis—famed as a necropolis.the pleasant places for their silver—that is, their desired treasuries for their money. Or,"whatever precious thing they have of silver" [Maurer].nettles—the sign of desolation (Isa 34:13).7. visitation—vengeance: punishment (Isa 10:3).Israel shall know it—to her cost experimentally (Isa 9:9).the prophet is a fool—The false prophet who foretold prosperity to the nation shall be convictedof folly by the event.the spiritual man—the man pretending to inspiration (La 2:14; Eze 13:3; Mic 3:11; Zep 3:4).for the multitude of thine iniquity, &c.—Connect these words with, "the days of visitation… are come"; "the prophet … is mad," being parenthetical.the great hatred—or, "the great provocation" [Henderson]; or, "(thy) great apostasy" [Maurer].English Version means Israel's "hatred" of God's prophets and the law.1630JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. The watchman … was with my God—The spiritual watchmen, the true prophets, formerlyconsulted my God (Jer 31:6; Hab 2:1); but their so-called prophet is a snare, entrapping Israel intoidolatry.hatred—rather, "(a cause of) apostasy" (see Ho 9:7) [Maurer].house of his God—that is, the state of Ephraim, as in Ho 8:1 [Maurer]. Or, "the house of his(false) god," the calves [Calvin]. Jehovah, "my God," seems contrasted with "his God." Calvin's viewis therefore preferable.9. as in the days of Gibeah—as in the day of the perpetration of the atrocity of Gibeah, narratedin Jud 19:16-22, &c.10. As the traveller in a wilderness is delighted at finding grapes to quench his thirst, or theearly fig (esteemed a great delicacy in the East, Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2; Mic 7:1); so it was My delightto choose your fathers as My peculiar people in Egypt (Ho 2:15).at her first time—when the first-fruits of the tree become ripe.went to Baal-peor—(Nu 25:3): the Moabite idol, in whose worship young women prostitutedthemselves; the very sin Israel latterly was guilty of.separated themselves—consecrated themselves.unto that shame—to that shameful or foul idol (Jer 11:13).their abominations were according as they loved—rather, as Vulgate, "they becameabominable like the object of their love" (De 7:26; Ps 115:8). English Version gives good sense,"their abominable idols they followed after, according as their lusts prompted them" (Am 4:5,Margin).11. their glory shall fly away—fit retribution to those who "separated themselves unto thatshame" (Ho 9:10). Children were accounted the glory of parents; sterility, a reproach. "Ephraim"means "fruitfulness" (Ge 41:52); this its name shall cease to be its characteristic.from the birth … womb … conception—Ephraim's children shall perish in a threefoldgradation; (1) From the time of birth. (2) From the time of pregnancy. (3) From the time of theirfirst conception.12. Even though they should rear their children, yet will I bereave them (the Ephraimites) ofthem (Job 27:14).woe … to them when I depart—Yet the ungodly in their madness desire God to depart fromthem (Job 21:14; 22:17; Mt 8:34). At last they know to their cost how awful it is when God hasdeparted (De 31:17; 1Sa 28:15, 16; compare Ho 9:11; 1Sa 4:21).13. Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus … in a pleasant place—that is, in looking towards Tyrus (onwhose borders Ephraim lay) I saw Ephraim beautiful in situation like her (Eze 26:1-28:26).is planted—as a fruitful tree; image suggested by the meaning of "Ephraim" (Ho 9:11).bring forth his children to the murderer—(Ho 9:16; Ho 13:16). With all his fruitfulness, hischildren shall only be brought up to be slain.14. what wilt thou give?—As if overwhelmed by feeling, he deliberates with God what is mostdesirable.give … a miscarrying womb—Of two evils he chooses the least. So great will be the calamity,that barrenness will be a blessing, though usually counted a great misfortune (Job 3:3; Jer 20:14;Lu 23:29).15. All their wickedness—that is, their chief guilt.1631JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGilgal—(see on Ho 4:15). This was the scene of their first contumacy in rejecting God andchoosing a king (1Sa 11:14, 15; compare 1Sa 8:7), and of their subsequent idolatry.there I hated them—not with the human passion, but holy hatred of their sin, which requiredpunishment to be inflicted on themselves (compare Mal 1:3).out of mine house—as in Ho 8:1: out of the land holy unto Me. Or, as "love" is mentionedimmediately after, the reference may be to the Hebrew mode of divorce, the husband (God) puttingthe wife (Israel) out of the house.princes … revolters—"Sarim … Sorerim" (Hebrew), a play on similar sounds.16. The figures "root," "fruit," are suggested by the word "Ephraim," that is, fruitful (see on Ho9:11, 12). "Smitten," namely, with a blight (Ps 102:4).17. My God—"My," in contrast to "them," that is, the people, whose God Jehovah no longeris. Also Hosea appeals to God as supporting his authority against the whole people.wanderers among … nations—(2Ki 15:29; 1Ch 5:26).CHAPTER 10Ho 10:1-15. Israel's Idolatry, the Source of Perjuries and Unlawful Leagues, Soon Destined to Be the Ruin of theState, Their King and Their Images Being About to Be Carried Off; a Just Chastisement, the Reaping Corresponding to theSowing.The prophecy was uttered between Shalmaneser's first and second invasions of Israel. CompareHo 10:14; also Ho 10:6, referring to Hoshea's calling So of Egypt to his aid; also Ho 10:4, 13.1. empty—stripped of its fruits [Calvin], (Na 2:2); compelled to pay tribute to Pul (2Ki 15:20).Maurer translates, "A widespreading vine"; so the Septuagint. Compare Ge 49:22; Ps 80:9-11; Eze17:6.bringeth forth fruit unto himself—not unto Me.according to … multitude of … fruit … increased … altars—In proportion to the abundanceof their prosperity, which called for fruit unto God (compare Ro 6:22), was the abundance of theiridolatry (Ho 8:4, 11).2. heart … divided—(1Ki 18:21; Mt 6:24; Jas 4:8).now—that is, soon.he—Jehovah.break down—"cut off," namely the heads of the victims. Those altars, which were the sceneof cutting off the victims' heads, shall be themselves cut off.3. now, &c.—Soon they, deprived of their king, shall be reduced to say, We have no king (Ho10:7, 15), for Jehovah deprived us of him, because of our not fearing God. What then (seeing Godis against us) should a king be able to do for us, if we had one? As they rejected the heavenly King,they were deprived of their earthly king.4. words—mere empty words.swearing falsely in making a covenant—breaking their engagement to Shalmaneser (2Ki17:4), and making a covenant with So, though covenants with foreigners were forbidden.judgment … as hemlock—that is, divine judgment shall spring up as rank, and as deadly, ashemlock in the furrows (De 29:18; Am 5:7; 6:12). Gesenius translates, "poppy." Grotius, "darnel."5. fear because of the calves—that is, shall fear for them.1632JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonBeth-aven—substituted for Beth-el in contempt (Ho 4:15).it—singular, the one in Beth-el; after the pattern of which the other "calves" (plural) weremade. "Calves" in the Hebrew is feminine, to express contempt.priests—The Hebrew is only used of idolatrous priests (2Ki 23:5; Zep 1:4), from a root meaningeither "the black garment" in which they were attired; or, "to resound," referring to their howlingcries in their sacred rites [Calvin].that rejoiced on it—because it was a source of gain to them. Maurer translates, "Shall leap intrepidation on account of it"; as Baal's priests did (1Ki 18:26).the glory thereof—the magnificence of its ornaments and its worship.6. It … also—The calf, so far from saving its worshippers from deportation, itself shall becarried off; hence "Israel shall be ashamed" of it.Jareb—(See on Ho 5:13). "A present to the king (whom they looked to as) their defender," orelse avenger, whose wrath they wished to appease, namely, Shalmaneser. The minor states appliedthis title to the Great King, as the avenging Protector.his own counsel—the calves, which Jeroboam set up as a stroke of policy to detach Israel fromJudah. Their severance from Judah and Jehovah proved now to be not politic, but fatal to them.7. (Ho 10:3, 15).foam—denoting short-lived existence and speedy dissolution. As the foam, though seeming tobe eminent raised on the top of the water, yet has no solidity, such is the throne of Samaria. Maurertranslates, "a chip" or broken branch that cannot resist the current.8. Aven—that is, Beth-aven.the sin—that is, the occasion of sin (De 9:21; 1Ki 12:30).they shall say to … mountains, Cover us—So terrible shall be the calamity, that men shallprefer death to life (Lu 23:30; Re 6:16; 9:6). Those very hills on which were their idolatrous altars(one source of their confidence, as their "king," Ho 10:7, was the other), so far from helping them,shall be called on by them to overwhelm them.9. Gibeah—(Ho 9:9; Jud 19:1-20:48). They are singled out as a specimen of the whole nation.there they stood—The Israelites have, as there and then, so ever since, persisted in their sin[Calvin]. Or, better, "they stood their ground," that is, did not perish then [Maurer].the battle … did not overtake them—Though God spared you then, He will not do so now;nay, the battle whereby God punished the Gibeonite "children of iniquity," shall the more heavilyvisit you for your continued impenitence. Though "they stood" then, it shall not be so now. Thechange from "thou" to "they" marks God's alienation from them; they are, by the use of the thirdperson, put to a greater distance from God.10. my desire … chastise—expressing God's strong inclination to vindicate His justice againstsin, as being the infinitely holy God (De 28:63).the people—Foreign invaders "shall be gathered against them."when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows—image from two oxen ploughingtogether side by side, in two contiguous furrows: so the Israelites shall join themselves, to unitetheir powers against all dangers, but it will not save them from My destroying them [Calvin]. Their"two furrows" may refer to their two places of setting up the calves, their ground of confidence,Dan and Beth-el; or, the two divisions of the nation, Israel and Judah, "in their two furrows," thatis, in their respective two places of habitation; Ho 10:11, which specifies the two, favors this view.Henderson prefers the Keri (Hebrew Margin) "for their two iniquities"; and translates, "when they1633JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonare bound" in captivity. English Version is best, as the image is carried out in Ho 10:11; only it isperhaps better to translate, "the people (the invaders) binding them," that is, making them captives;and so Ho 10:11 alludes to the yoke being put on the neck of Ephraim and Judah.11. taught—that is, accustomed.loveth to tread out … corn—a far easier and more self-indulgent work than ploughing. Intreading corn, cattle were not bound together under a yoke, but either trod it singly with their feet,or drew a threshing sledge over it (Isa 28:27, 28): they were free to eat some of the corn from timeto time, as the law required they should be unmuzzled (De 25:4), so that they grew fat in this work.An image of Israel's freedom, prosperity, and self-indulgence heretofore. But now God will put theAssyrian yoke upon her, instead of freedom, putting her to servile work.I passed over upon—I put the yoke upon.make … to ride—as in Job 30:22; that is, hurry Ephraim away to a distant region [Calvin]. Lyratranslates, "I will make (the Assyrian) to ride upon Ephraim." Maurer, "I will make Ephraim tocarry," namely, a charioteer.his clods—"the clods before him."12. Continuation of the image in Ho 10:11 (Pr 11:18). Act righteously and ye shall reap thereward; a reward not of debt, but of grace.in mercy—according to the measure of the divine "mercy," which over and above repays thegoodness or "mercy" which we show to our fellow man (Lu 6:38).break … fallow ground—Remove your superstitions and vices, and be renewed.seek … Lord, fill he come—Though not answered immediately, persevere unceasingly "tillHe come."rain—send down as a copious shower.righteousness—the reward of righteousness, that is, salvation, temporal and spiritual (1Sa26:23; compare Joe 2:23 ).13. reaped iniquity—that is, the fruit of iniquity; as "righteousness" (Ho 10:12) is "the fruitof righteousness" (Job 4:8; Pr 22:8; Ga 6:7, 8).lies—false and spurious worship.trust in thy way—thy perverse way (Isa 57:10; Jer 2:23), thy worship of false gods. This wastheir internal safeguard, as their external was "the multitude of their mighty men."14. tumult—a tumultuous war.among thy people—literally, "peoples": the war shall extend to the whole people of Israel,through all the tribes, and the peoples allied to her.Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel—that is, Shalmaneser, a compound name, in which the partcommon to it and the names of three other Assyrian kings, is omitted; Tiglath-pileser, Esar-haddon,Shar-ezer. So Jeconiah is abbreviated to Coniah. Arbel was situated in Naphtali in Galilee, on theborder nearest Assyria. Against it Shalmaneser, at his first invasion of Israel (2Ki 17:3), vented hischief rage. God threatens Israel's fortresses with the same fate as Arbel suffered "in the day (on theoccasion) of the battle" then well-known, though not mentioned elsewhere (compare 2Ki 18:34).This event, close on the reign of Hezekiah, shows the inscription of Hosea (Ho 1:1) to be correct.15. So shall Beth-el do unto you—that is, Your idolatrous calf at Beth-el shall be the cause ofa like calamity befalling you.your great wickedness—literally, "the wickedness of your wickedness."1634JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin a morning—that is, speedily, as quickly as the dawn is put to flight by the rising sun (Ho6:4; 13:3; Ps 30:5).king—Hoshea.CHAPTER 11Ho 11:1-12. God's Former Benefits, and Israel's Ingratitude Resulting in Punishment, Yet Jehovah PromisesRestoration at Last.Ho 11:5 shows this prophecy was uttered after the league made with Egypt (2Ki 17:4).1. Israel … called my son out of Egypt—Bengel translates, "From the time that he (Israel) wasin Egypt, I called him My son," which the parallelism proves. So Ho 12:9 and Ho 13:4 use "from… Egypt," for "from the time that thou didst sojourn in Egypt." Ex 4:22 also shows that Israel wascalled by God, "My son," from the time of his Egyptian sojourn (Isa 43:1). God is always said tohave led or brought forth, not to have "called," Israel from Egypt. Mt 2:15, therefore, in quotingthis prophecy (typically and primarily referring to Israel, antitypically and fully to Messiah), appliesit to Jesus' sojourn in Egypt, not His return from it. Even from His infancy, partly spent in Egypt,God called Him His son. God included Messiah, and Israel for Messiah's sake, in one commonlove, and therefore in one common prophecy. Messiah's people and Himself are one, as the Headand the body. Isa 49:3 calls Him "Israel." The same general reason, danger of extinction, causedthe infant Jesus, and Israel in its national infancy (compare Ge 42:1-43:34; 45:18; 46:3, 4; Eze16:4-6; Jer 31:20) to sojourn in Egypt. So He, and His spiritual Israel, are already called "God'ssons" while yet in the Egypt of the world.2. As they called them—"they," namely, monitors sent by Me. "Called," in Ho 11:1, suggeststhe idea of the many subsequent calls by the prophets.went from them—turned away in contempt (Jer 2:27).Baalim—images of Baal, set up in various places.3. taught … to go—literally, "to use his feet." Compare a similar image, De 1:31; 8:2, 5, 15;32:10, 11; Ne 9:21; Isa 63:9; Am 2:10. God bore them as a parent does an infant, unable to supplyitself, so that it has no anxiety about food, raiment, and its going forth. Ac 13:18, which probablyrefers to this passage of Hosea; He took them by the arms, to guide them that they might not stray,and to hold them up that they might not stumble.knew not that I healed them—that is, that My design was to restore them spiritually andtemporally (Ex 15:26).4. cords of a man—parallel to "bands of love"; not such cords as oxen are led by, but humanemethods, such as men employ when inducing others, as for instance, a father drawing his child, byleading-strings, teaching him to go (Ho 11:1).I was … as they that take off the yoke on their jaws … I laid meat—as the humanehusbandman occasionally loosens the straps under the jaws by which the yoke is bound on the neckof oxen and lays food before them to eat. An appropriate image of God's deliverance of Israel fromthe Egyptian yoke, and of His feeding them in the wilderness.5. He shall not return into … Egypt—namely, to seek help against Assyria (compare Ho7:11), as Israel lately had done (2Ki 17:4), after having revolted from Assyria, to whom they hadbeen tributary from the times of Menahem (2Ki 15:19). In a figurative sense, "he shall return to1635JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonEgypt" (Ho 9:3), that is, to Egypt-like bondage; also many Jewish fugitives were literally to returnto Egypt, when the Holy Land was to be in Assyrian and Chaldean hands.Assyrian shall be his king—instead of having kings of their own, and Egypt as their auxiliary.because they refused to return—just retribution. They would not return (spiritually) to God,therefore they shall not return (corporally) to Egypt, the object of their desire.6. abide—or, "fall upon" [Calvin].branches—that is, his villages, which are the branches or dependencies of the cities [Calvin].Grotius translates, "his bars" (so La 2:9), that is, the warriors who were the bulwarks of the state.Compare Ho 4:18, "rulers" (Margin), "shields" (Ps 47:9).because of their own counsels—in worshipping idols, and relying on Egypt (compare Ho10:6).7. bent to backsliding—Not only do they backslide, and that too from Me, their "chief good,"but they are bent upon it. Though they (the prophets) called them (the Israelites) to the Most High(from their idols), "none would exalt (that is, extol or honor) Him." To exalt God, they must ceaseto be "bent on backsliding," and must lift themselves upwards.8. as Admah … Zeboim—among the cities, including Sodom and Gomorrah, irretrievablyoverthrown (De 29:23).heart is turned within me—with the deepest compassion, so as not to execute My threat (La1:20; compare Ge 43:30; 1Ki 3:26). So the phrase is used of a new turn given to the feeling (Ps105:25).repentings—God speaks according to human modes of thought (Nu 23:19). God's seemingchange is in accordance with His secret everlasting purpose of love to His people, to magnify Hisgrace after their desperate rebellion.9. I will not return to destroy Ephraim—that is, I will no more, as in past times, destroyEphraim. The destruction primarily meant is probably that by Tiglath-pileser, who, as the Jewishking Ahaz' ally against Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria, deprived Israel of Gilead, Galilee, andNaphtali (2Ki 15:29). The ulterior reference is to the long dispersion hereafter, to be ended by God'scovenant mercy restoring His people, not for their merits, but of His grace.God, … not man—not dealing as man would, with implacable wrath under awful provocation(Isa 55:7-9; Mal 3:6). I do not, like man, change when once I have made a covenant of everlastinglove, as with Israel (Nu 23:19). We measure God by the human standard, and hence are slow tocredit fully His promises; these, however, belong to the faithful remnant, not to the obstinatelyimpenitent.in the midst of thee—as peculiarly thy God (Ex 19:5, 6).not enter into the city—as an enemy: as I entered Admah, Zeboim, and Sodom, utterlydestroying them, whereas I will not utterly destroy thee. Somewhat similarly Jerome: "I am not onesuch as human dwellers in a city, who take cruel vengeance; I save those whom I correct." Thus"not man," and "in the midst of thee," are parallel to "into the city." Though I am in the midst ofthee, it is not as man entering a rebellious city to destroy utterly. Maurer needlessly translates, "Iwill not come in wrath."10. he shall roar like a lion—by awful judgments on their foes (Isa 31:4; Jer 25:26-30; Joe3:16), calling His dispersed "children" from the various lands of their dispersion.shall tremble—shall flock in eager agitation of haste.1636JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfrom the west—(Zec 8:7). Literally, "the sea." Probably the Mediterranean, including its "islesof the sea," and maritime coast. Thus as Ho 11:11 specifies regions of Africa and Asia, so hereEurope. Isa 11:11-16, is parallel, referring to the very same regions. On "children," see Ho 1:10.11. tremble—flutter in haste.dove—no longer "a silly dove" (Ho 7:11), but as "doves flying to their windows" (Isa 60:8).in their houses—(Eze 28:26). Literally, "upon," for the Orientals live almost as much upontheir flat-roofed houses as in them.12. Maurer joins this verse with the twelfth chapter. But as this verse praises Judah, whereas Ho12:2 censures him, it must belong rather to the eleventh chapter and a new prophecy begins at thetwelfth chapter. To avoid this, Maurer translates this verse as a censure, "Judah wanders with God,"that is, though having the true God, he wanders after false gods.ruleth with God—to serve God is to reign. Ephraim wished to rule without God (compare 1Co4:8); nay, even, in order to rule, cast off God's worship [Rivetus]. In Judah was the legitimatesuccession of kings and priests.with the saints—the holy priests and Levites [Rivetus]. With the fathers and prophets whohanded down the pure worship of God. Israel's apostasy is the more culpable, as he had before himthe good example of Judah, which he set at naught. The parallelism ("with God") favors Margin,"With THE Most Holy One."CHAPTER 12Ho 12:1-14. Reproof of Ephraim and Judah: Their Father Jacob Ought to Be a Pattern to Them.This prophecy was delivered about the time of Israel's seeking the aid of the Egyptian king So,in violation of their covenant with Assyria (see Ho 12:1). He exhorts them to follow their fatherJacob's persevering prayerfulness, which brought God's favor upon him. As God is unchangeable,He will show the same favor to Jacob's posterity as He did to Jacob, if, like him, they seek God.1. feedeth on wind—(Pr 15:14; Isa 44:20). Followeth after vain objects, such as alliances withidolaters and their idols (compare Ho 8:7).east wind—the simoon, blowing from the desert east of Palestine, which not only does notbenefit, but does injury. Israel follows not only things vain, but things pernicious (compare Job15:2).increaseth lies—accumulates lie upon lie, that is, impostures wherewith they deceive themselves,forsaking the truth of God.desolation—violent oppressions practised by Israel [Maurer]. Acts which would prove the causeof Israel's own desolation [Calvin].covenant with … Assyrians—(Ho 5:13; 7:11).oil … into Egypt—as a present from Israel to secure Egypt's alliance (Isa 30:6; 57:9; compare2Ki 17:4). Palestine was famed for oil (Eze 27:17).2. controversy with Judah—(Ho 4:1; Mic 6:2). Judah, under Ahaz, had fallen into idolatry(2Ki 16:3, &c.).Jacob—that is, the ten tribes. If Judah, the favored portion of the nation, shall not be spared,much less degenerate Israel.1637JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. He—Jacob, contrasted with his degenerate descendants, called by his name, Jacob (Ho 12:2;compare Mic 2:7). He took Esau by the heel in the womb in order to obtain, if possible, the privilegesof the first-born (Ge 25:22-26), whence he took his name, Jacob, meaning "supplanter"; and again,by his strength, prevailed in wrestling with God for a blessing (Ge 32:24-29); whereas ye disregardMy promises, putting your confidence in idols and foreign alliances. He conquered God, ye are theslaves of idols. Only have Jehovah on your side, and ye are stronger than Edom, or even Assyria.So the spiritual Israel lays hold of the heel of Jesus, "the First-born of many brethren," being bornagain of the Holy Spirit. Having no right in themselves to the inheritance, they lay hold of thebruised heel, the humanity of Christ crucified, and let not go their hold of Him who is not, as Esau,a curse (Heb 12:16, 17), but, by becoming a curse for us, is a blessing to us.power with God—referring to his name, "Israel," prince of God, acquired on that occasion(compare Mt 11:12). As the promised Canaan had to be gained forcibly by Israel, so heaven by thefaithful (Re 3:21; compare Lu 13:24). "Strive," literally, "as in the agony of a contest." So theCanaanitess (Mt 15:22).his strength—which lay in his conscious weakness, whence, when his thigh was put out ofjoint by God, he hung upon Him. To seek strength was his object; to grant it, God's. Yet God'smode of procedure was strange. In human form He tries as it were to throw Jacob down. Whensimple wrestling was not enough, He does what seems to ensure Jacob's fall, dislocating his thighjoint, so that he could no longer stand. Yet it was then that Jacob prevailed. Thus God teaches usthe irresistible might of conscious weakness. For when weak in ourselves, we are strong by Hisstrength put in us (Job 23:6; Isa 27:5; 2Co 12:9, 10).4. the angel—the uncreated Angel of the Covenant, as God the Son appears in the Old Testament(Mal 3:1).made supplication—Ge 32:26: "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."he found him—The angel found Jacob, when he was fleeing from Esau into Syria: the Lordappearing to him "in Beth-el" (Ge 28:11-19; 35:1). What a sad contrast, that in this same Beth-elnow Israel worships the golden calves!there he spake with us—"with us," as being in the loins of our progenitor Jacob (compare Ps66:6, "They … we;" Heb 7:9, 10). What God there spoke to Jacob appertains to us. God's promisesto him belong to all his posterity who follow in the steps of his prayerful faith.5. Lord God—Jehovah, a name implying His immutable constancy to His promises. From theHebrew root, meaning "existence." "He that is, was, and is to be," always the same (Heb 13:8; Re1:4, 8; compare Ex 3:14, 15; 6:3). As He was unchangeable in His favor to Jacob, so will He be toHis believing posterity.of hosts—which Israel foolishly worshipped. Jehovah has all the hosts (saba) or powers ofheaven and earth at His command, so that He is as all-powerful, as He is faithful, to fulfil Hispromises (Ps 135:6; Am 5:27).memorial—the name expressive of the character in which God was ever to be remembered(Ps 135:13).6. thou—who dost wish to be a true descendant of Jacob.to THY God—who is therefore bound by covenant to hear thy prayers.keep mercy and judgment—(Mic 6:8). These two include the second-table commandments,duty towards one's neighbor, the most visible test of the sincerity on one's repentance.1638JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwait on thy God—alone, not on thy idols. Including all the duties of the first table (Ps 37:3,5, 7; 40:1).7. merchant—a play on the double sense of the Hebrew, "Canaan," that is, a Canaanite and a"merchant" Eze 16:3: "Thy birth is … of Canaan." They who naturally were descendants of piousJacob had become virtually Canaanites, who were proverbial as cheating merchants (compare Isa23:11, Margin), the greatest reproach to Israel, who despised Canaan. The Phoenicians calledthemselves Canaanites or merchants (Isa 23:8).oppress—open violence: as the "balances of deceit" imply fraud.8. And—that is, Notwithstanding.Yet I am … rich—I regard not what the prophets say: I am content with my state, as I am rich(Re 3:17). Therefore, in just retribution, this is the very language of the enemy in being the instrumentof Israel's punishment. Zec 11:5: "They that sell them say … I am rich." Far better is poverty withhonesty, than riches gained by sin.my labours—my gains by labor.they shall find none—that is, none shall find any.iniquity … that were sin—iniquity that would bring down the penalty of sin. Ephraim argues,My success in my labors proves that I am not a guilty sinner as the prophets assert. Thus sinnerspervert God's long-suffering goodness (Mt 5:45) into a justification of their impenitence (compareEc 8:11-13).9. And—rather, "And yet." Though Israel deserves to be cast off for ever, yet I am still what Ihave been from the time of My delivering them out of Egypt, their covenant God; therefore, "I willyet make thee to dwell in tabernacles," that is, to keep the feast of tabernacles again in remembranceof a new deliverance out of bondage. Fulfilled primarily at the return from Babylon (Ne 8:17).Fully and antitypically to be fulfilled at the final restoration from the present dispersion (Zec 14:16;compare Le 23:42, 43).10. by … the prophets—literally, "upon," that is, My spirit resting on them. I deposited withthem My instructions which ought to have brought you to the right way. An aggravation of yourguilt, that it was not through ignorance you erred, but in defiance of God and His prophets [Calvin].Ahijah the Shilonite, Shemaiah, Iddo, Azariah, Hanani, Jehu, Elijah, Elisha, Micaiah, Joel, andAmos were "the prophets" before Hosea.visions … similitudes—I adopted such modes of communication, adapted to man's capacities,as were calculated to arouse attention: I left no means untried to reform you. The first, second, andthird chapters contain examples of "similitudes."11. Is there iniquity in Gilead?—He asks the question, not as if the answer was doubtful, butto strengthen the affirmation: "Surely they are vanity"; or as Maurer translates, "They are nothingbut iniquity." Iniquity, especially idolatry, in Scripture is often termed "vanity." Pr 13:11: "Wealthgotten by vanity," that is, iniquity. Isa 41:29: "They are all vanity … images." "Gilead" refers toMizpah-gilead, a city representing the region beyond Jordan (Ho 6:8; Jud 11:29); as "Gilgal," theregion on this side of Jordan (Ho 4:15). In all quarters alike they are utterly vile.their altars are as heaps in the furrows—that is, as numerous as such heaps: namely, theheaps of stones cleared out of a stony field. An appropriate image, as at a distance they look likealtars (compare Ho 10:1, 4; 8:11). As the third member in the parallelism answers to the first,"Gilgal" to "Gilead," so the fourth to the second, "altars" to "vanity." The word "heaps" alludes tothe name "Gilgal," meaning "a heap of stones." The very scene of the general circumcision of the1639JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpeople, and of the solemn passover kept after crossing Jordan, is now the stronghold of Israel'sidolatry.12. Jacob fled … served—Though ye pride yourselves on the great name of "Israel," forgetnot that your progenitor was the same Jacob who was a fugitive, and who served for Rachel fourteenyears. He forgot not ME who delivered him when fleeing from Esau, and when oppressed by Laban(Ge 28:5; 29:20, 28; De 26:5). Ye, though delivered from Egypt (Ho 12:13), and loaded with Myfavors, are yet unwilling to return to Me.country of Syria—the champaign region of Syria, the portion lying between the Tigris andEuphrates, hence called Mesopotamia. Padan-aram means the same, that is, "Low Syria," as opposedto Aramea (meaning the "high country") or Syria (Ge 48:7).13. by a prophet—Moses (Nu 12:6-8; De 18:15, 18).preserved—Translate, "kept"; there is an allusion to the same Hebrew word in Ho 12:12, "keptsheep"; Israel was kept by God as His flock, even as Jacob kept sheep (Ps 80:1; Isa 63:11).14. provoked him—that is, God.leave his blood upon him—not take away the guilt and penalty of the innocent blood shed byEphraim in general, and to Molech in particular.his reproach shall his Lord return unto him—Ephraim's dishonor to God in worshippingidols, God will repay to him. That God is "his Lord" by right redemption and special revelation toEphraim only aggravates his guilt, instead of giving him hope of escape. God does not give up Hisclaim to them as His, however they set aside His dominion.CHAPTER 13Ho 13:1-16. Ephraim's Sinful Ingratitude to God, and Its Fatal Consequence; God's Promise at Last.This chapter and the fourteenth chapter probably belong to the troubled times that followedPekah's murder by Hoshea (compare Ho 13:11; 2Ki 15:30). The subject is the idolatry of Ephraim,notwithstanding God's past benefits, destined to be his ruin.1. When Ephraim spake trembling—rather, "When Ephraim (the tribe most powerful amongthe twelve in Israel's early history) spake (authoritatively) there was trembling"; all reverentiallyfeared him [Jerome], (compare Job 29:8, 9, 21).offended in Baal—that is, in respect to Baal, by worshipping him (1Ki 16:31), under Ahab; amore heinous offense than even the calves. Therefore it is at this climax of guilt that Ephraim "died."Sin has, in the sight of God, within itself the germ of death, though that death may not visibly takeeffect till long after. Compare Ro 7:9, "Sin revived, and I died." So Adam in the day of his sin wasto die, though the sentence was not visibly executed till long after (Ge 2:17; 5:5). Israel is similarlyrepresented as politically dead in Eze 37:1-28.2. according to their own understanding—that is, their arbitrary devising. Compare"will-worship," Col 2:23. Men are not to be "wise above that which is written," or to follow theirown understanding, but God's command in worship.kiss the calves—an act of adoration to the golden calves (compare 1Ki 19:18; Job 31:27; Ps2:12).3. they shall be as the morning cloud … dew—(Ho 6:4). As their "goodness" soon vanishedlike the morning cloud and dew, so they shall perish like them.1640JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe floor—the threshing-floor, generally an open area, on a height, exposed to the winds.chimney—generally in the East an orifice in the wall, at once admitting the light, and givingegress to the smoke.4. (Ho 12:9; Isa 43:11).no saviour—temporal as well as spiritual.besides me—(Isa 45:21).5. I did know thee—did acknowledge thee as Mine, and so took care of thee (Ps 144:3; Am3:2). As I knew thee as Mine, so thou shouldest know no God but Me (Ho 13:4).in … land of … drought—(De 8:15).6. Image from cattle, waxing wanton in abundant pasture (compare Ho 2:5, 8; De 32:13-15).In proportion as I fed them to the full, they were so satiated that "their heart was exalted"; a sadcontrast to the time when, by God's blessing, Ephraim truly "exalted himself in Israel" (Ho 13:1).therefore have they forgotten me—the very reason why men should remember God (namely,prosperity, which comes from Him) is the cause often of their forgetting Him. God had warnedthem of this danger (De 6:11, 12).7. (Ho 5:14; La 3:10).leopard—The Hebrew comes from a root meaning "spotted" (compare Jer 13:23). Leopardslurk in thickets and thence spring on their victims.observe—that is, lie in wait for them. Several manuscripts, the Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac,and Arabic read, by a slight change of the Hebrew vowel pointing, "by the way of Assyria," a regionabounding in leopards and lions. English Version is better.8. "Writers on the natures of beasts say that none is more savage than a she bear, when bereavedof her whelps" [Jerome].caul of … heart—the membrane enclosing it: the pericardium.there—"by the way" (Ho 13:7).9. thou … in me—in contrast.hast destroyed thyself—that is, thy destruction is of thyself (Pr 6:32; 8:36).in me is thine help—literally, "in thine help" (compare De 33:26). Hadst thou rested thy hopein Me, I would have been always ready at hand for thy help [Grotius].10. I will be thy king; where—rather, as the Margin and the Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate,"Where now is thy king?" [Maurer]. English Version is, however, favored both by the Hebrew, bythe antithesis between Israel's self-chosen and perishing kings, and God, Israel's abiding King(compare Ho 3:4, 5).where … Give me a king—Where now is the king whom ye substituted in My stead? NeitherSaul, whom the whole nation begged for, not contented with Me their true king (1Sa 8:5, 7, 19, 20;10:19), nor Jeroboam, whom subsequently the ten tribes chose instead of the line of David Myanointed, can save thee now. They had expected from their kings what is the prerogative of Godalone, namely, the power of saving them.judges—including all civil authorities under the king (compare Am 2:3).11. I gave … king in … anger … took … away in … wrath—true both of Saul (1Sa 15:22,23; 16:1) and of Jeroboam's line (2Ki 15:30). Pekah was taken away through Hoshea, as he himselftook away Pekahiah; and as Hoshea was soon to be taken away by the Assyrian king.12. bound up … hid—Treasures, meant to be kept, are bound up and hidden; that is, do notflatter yourselves, because of the delay, that I have forgotten your sin. Nay (Ho 9:9), Ephraim's1641JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoniniquity is kept as it were safely sealed up, until the due time comes for bringing it forth forpunishment (De 32:34; Job 14:17; 21:19; compare Ro 2:5). Opposed to "blotting out the handwritingagainst" the sinner (Col 2:14).13. sorrows of a travailing woman—calamities sudden and agonizing (Jer 30:6).unwise—in not foreseeing the impending judgment, and averting it by penitence (Pr 22:3).he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children—When Israel mightdeliver himself from calamity by the pangs of penitence, he brings ruin on himself by so longdeferring a new birth unto repentance, like a child whose mother has not strength to bring it forth,and which therefore remains so long in the passage from the womb as to run the risk of death (2Ki19:3; Isa 37:3; 66:9).14. Applying primarily to God's restoration of Israel from Assyria partially, and, in times yetfuture, fully from all the lands of their present long-continued dispersion, and political death(compare Ho 6:2; Isa 25:8; 26:19; Eze 37:12). God's power and grace are magnified in quickeningwhat to the eye of flesh seems dead and hopeless (Ro 4:17, 19). As Israel's history, past and future,has a representative character in relation to the Church, this verse is expressed in language alludingto Messiah's (who is the ideal Israel) grand victory over the grave and death, the first-fruits of Hisown resurrection, the full harvest to come at the general resurrection; hence the similarity betweenthis verse and Paul's language as to the latter (1Co 15:55). That similarity becomes more obviousby translating as the Septuagint, from which Paul plainly quotes; and as the same Hebrew word istranslated in Ho 13:10, "O death, where are thy plagues (paraphrased by the Septuagint, 'thy victory')?O grave, where is thy destruction (rendered by the Septuagint, 'thy sting')?" The question is that ofone triumphing over a foe, once a cruel tyrant, but now robbed of all power to hurt.repentance shall be hid from mine eyes—that is, I will not change My purpose of fulfillingMy promise by delivering Israel, on the condition of their return to Me (compare Ho 14:2-8; Nu23:19; Ro 11:29).15. fruitful—referring to the meaning of "Ephraim," from a Hebrew root, "to be fruitful" (Ge41:52). It was long the most numerous and flourishing of the tribes (Ge 48:19).wind of the Lord—that is, sent by the Lord (compare Isa 40:7), who has His instruments ofpunishment always ready. The Assyrian, Shalmaneser, &c., is meant (Jer 4:11; 18:17; Eze 19:12).from the wilderness—that is, the desert part of Syria (1Ki 19:15), the route from Assyria intoIsrael.he—the Assyrian invader. Shalmaneser began the siege of Samaria in 723 B.C. Its close was in721 B.C., the first year of Sargon, who seems to have usurped the throne of Assyria while Shalmaneserwas at the siege of Samaria. Hence, while 2Ki 17:6 states, "the king of Assyria took Samaria," 2Ki18:10 says, "at the end of three years they took it." In Sargon's magnificent palace at Khorsabad,inscriptions mention the number—27,280—of Israelites carried captive from Samaria and otherplaces of Israel by the founder of the palace [G. V. Smith].16. This verse and Ho 13:15 foretell the calamities about to befall Israel before her restoration(Ho 13:14), owing to her impenitence.her God—the greatest aggravation of her rebellion, that it was against her God (Ho 13:4).infants … dashed in pieces, &c.—(2Ki 8:12; 15:16; Am 1:13).1642JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 14Ho 14:1-9. God's Promise of Blessing, on Their Repentance: Their Abandonment of Idolatry Foretold: The Conclusionof the Whole, the Just Shall Walk in God's Ways, but the Transgressor Shall Fall Therein.1. fallen by thine iniquity—(Ho 5:5; 13:9).2. Take with you words—instead of sacrifices, namely, the words of penitence here put inyour mouths by God. "Words," in Hebrew, mean "realities," there being the same term for "words"and "things"; so God implies, He will not accept empty professions (Ps 78:36; Isa 29:13). He doesnot ask costly sacrifices, but words of heartfelt penitence.receive us graciously—literally "(for) good."calves of our lips—that is, instead of sacrifices of calves, which we cannot offer to Thee inexile, we present the praises of our lips. Thus the exile, wherein the temple service ceased, preparedthe way for the gospel time when the types of the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament beingrealized in Christ's perfect sacrifice once for all, "the sacrifice of praise to God continually that isthe fruit of our lips" (Heb 13:14) takes their place in the New Testament.3. Three besetting sins of Israel are here renounced, trust in Assyria, application to Egypt forits cavalry (forbidden, De 17:16; compare Ho 7:11; 11:5; 12:1; 2Ki 17:4; Ps 33:17; Isa 30:2, 16;31:1), and idolatry.fatherless—descriptive of the destitute state of Israel, when severed from God, their true Father.We shall henceforth trust in none but Thee, the only Father of the fatherless, and Helper of thedestitute (Ps 10:14; 68:5); our nation has experienced Thee such in our helpless state in Egypt, andnow in a like state again our only hope is Thy goodness.4. God's gracious reply to their self-condemning prayer.backsliding—apostasy: not merely occasional backslidings. God can heal the most desperatesinfulness [Calvin].freely—with a gratuitous, unmerited, and abundant love (Eze 16:60-63). So as to the spiritualIsrael (Joh 15:16; Ro 3:24; 5:8; 1Jo 4:10).5. as the dew—which falls copiously in the East, taking the place of the more frequent rainsin other regions. God will not be "as the early dew that goeth away," but constant (Ho 6:3, 4; Job29:19; Pr 19:12).the lily—No plant is more productive than the lily, one root often producing fifty bulbs [Pliny,Natural History, 21.5]. The common lily is white, consisting of six leaves opening like bells. Theroyal lily grows to the height of three or four feet; Mt 6:29 alludes to the beauty of its flowers.roots as Lebanon—that is, as the trees of Lebanon (especially the cedars), which cast downtheir roots as deeply as is their height upwards; so that they are immovable [Jerome], (Isa 10:34).Spiritual growth consists most in the growth of the root which is out of sight.6. branches—shoots, or suckers.beauty … as the olive—which never loses its verdure. One plant is not enough to express thegraces of God's elect people. The lily depicts its lovely growth; but as it wants duration and firmness,the deeply rooted cedars of Lebanon are added; these, however, are fruitless, therefore the fruitful,peace-bearing, fragrant, ever green olive is added.smell as Lebanon—which exhaled from it the fragrance of odoriferous trees and flowers. SoIsrael's name shall be in good savor with all (Ge 27:27; So 4:11).7. They that used to dwell under Israel's shadow (but who shall have been forced to leave it),shall return, that is, be restored (Eze 35:9). Others take "His shadow" to mean Jehovah's (compare1643JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonPs 17:8; 91:1; Isa 4:6), which Ho 14:1, 2 ("return unto the Lord," &c.) favor. But the "his" in Ho14:6 refers to Israel, and therefore must refer to the same here.revive as … corn—As the corn long buried in the earth springs up, with an abundant produce,so shall they revive from their calamities, with a great increase of offspring (compare Joh 12:24).scent thereof—that is, Israel's fame. Compare Ho 14:6, "His smell as Lebanon"; So 1:3: "Thyname is as ointment poured forth." The Septuagint favors the Margin, "memorial."as the wine of Lebanon—which was most celebrated for its aroma, flavor, and medicinalrestorative properties.8. Ephraim shall say—being brought to penitence by God's goodness, and confessing andabhorring his past madness.I have heard … and observed him—I Jehovah have answered and regarded him with favor;the opposite of God's "hiding His face from" one (De 31:17). It is the experience of God's favor,in contrast to God's wrath heretofore, that leads Ephraim to abhor his past idolatry. Jehovah heardand answered: whereas the idols, as Ephraim now sees, could not hear, much less answer.I am … a green fir—or cypress; ever green, winter and summer alike; the leaves not fallingoff in winter.From me is thy fruit found—"From Me," as the root. Thou needest go no farther than Me forthe supply of all thy wants; not merely the protection implied by the shadow of the cypress, butthat which the cypress has not, namely, fruit, all spiritual and temporal blessings. It may be alsoimplied, that whatever spiritual graces Ephraim seeks for or may have, are not of themselves, butof God (Ps 1:3; Joh 15:4, 5, 8; Jas 1:17). God's promises to us are more our security for mortifyingsin than our promises to God (Isa 27:9).9. Epilogue, summing up the whole previous teaching. Here alone Hosea uses the term "righteous,"so rare were such characters in his day. There is enough of saving truth clear in God's Word toguide those humbly seeking salvation, and enough of difficulties to confound those who curiouslyseek them out, rather than practically seek salvation.fall—stumble and are offended at difficulties opposed to their prejudices and lusts, or abovetheir self-wise understanding (compare Pr 10:29; Mic 2:7; Mt 11:19; Lu 2:34; Joh 7:17; 1Pe 2:7,8). To him who sincerely seeks the agenda, God will make plain the credenda. Christ is thefoundation-stone to some: a stone of stumbling and rock of offense to others. The same sun softenswax and hardens clay. But their fall is the most fatal who fall in the ways of God, split on the Rockof ages, and suck poison out of the Balm of Gilead.


      THE BOOK OFJOELCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONJoel (meaning "one to whom Jehovah is God," that is, worshipper of Jehovah) seems to havebelonged to Judah, as no reference occurs to Israel; whereas he speaks of Jerusalem, the temple,the priests, and the ceremonies, as if he were intimately familiar with them (compare Joe 1:14; 2:1,15, 32; 3:1, 2, 6, 16, 17, 20, 21). His predictions were probably delivered in the early days of Joash870-865 B.C.; for no reference is made in them to the Babylonian, Assyrian, or even the Syrian1644JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoninvasion; and the only enemies mentioned are the Philistines, Phoenicians, Edomites, and Egyptians(Joe 3:4, 19). Had he lived after Joash, he would doubtless have mentioned the Syrians among theenemies whom he enumerates since they took Jerusalem and carried off immense spoil to Damascus(2Ch 24:23, 24). No idolatry is mentioned; and the temple services, the priesthood, and otherinstitutions of the theocracy, are represented as flourishing. This all answers to the state of thingsunder the high priesthood of Jehoiada, through whom Joash had been placed on the throne and wholived in the early years of Joash (2Ki 11:17, 18; 12:2-16; 2Ch 24:4-14). He was the son of Pethuel.The first chapter describes the desolation caused by an inroad of locusts—one of the instrumentsof divine judgment mentioned by Moses (De 28:38, 39) and by Solomon (1Ki 8:37). The secondchapter (Joe 2:1-11): the appearance of them, under images of a hostile army suggesting that thelocusts were symbols and forerunners of a more terrible scourge, namely, foreign enemies whowould consume all before them. (The absence of mention of personal injury to the inhabitants isnot a just objection to the figurative interpretation; for the figure is consistent throughout inattributing to the locusts only injury to vegetation, thereby injuring indirectly man and beast). Joe2:12-17: exhortation to repentance, the result of which will be: God will deliver His people, theformer and latter rains shall return to fertilize their desolated lands, and these shall be the pledgeof the spiritual outpouring of grace beginning with Judah, and thence extending to "all flesh." Joe2:18-3:21: God's judgments on Judah's enemies, whereas Judah shall be established for ever.Joel's style is pre-eminently pure. It is characterized by smoothness and fluency in the rhythms,roundness in the sentences, and regularity in the parallelisms. With the strength of Micah it combinesthe tenderness of Jeremiah, the vividness of Nahum, and the sublimity of Isaiah. As a specimen ofhis style take the second chapter wherein the terrible aspect of the locusts, their rapidity, irresistibleprogress, noisy din, and instinct-taught power of marshalling their forces for their career ofdevastation, are painted with graphic reality.CHAPTER 1Joe 1:1-20. The Desolate Aspect of the Country through the Plague of Locusts; the People Admonished to OfferSolemn Prayers in the Temple; for This Calamity Is the Earnest of a Still Heavier One.1. Joel—meaning, "Jehovah is God."son of Pethuel—to distinguish Joel the prophet from others of the name. Persons of eminencealso were noted by adding the father's name.2, 3. A spirited introduction calling attention.old men—the best judges in question concerning the past (De 32:7; Job 32:7).Hath this been, &c.—that is, Hath any so grievous a calamity as this ever been before? Nosuch plague of locusts had been since the ones in Egypt. Ex 10:14 is not at variance with this verse,which refers to Judea, in which Joel says there had been no such devastation before.3. Tell ye your children—in order that they may be admonished by the severity of thepunishment to fear God (Ps 78:6-8; compare Ex 13:8; Jos 4:7).4. This verse states the subject on which he afterwards expands. Four species or stages of locusts,rather than four different insects, are meant (compare Le 11:22). Literally, (1) the gnawing locust;(2) the swarming locust; (3) the licking locust; (4) the consuming locust; forming a climax to themost destructive kind. The last is often three inches long, and the two antennæ, each an inch long.1645JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThe two hinder of its six feet are larger than the rest, adapting it for leaping. The first "kind" is thatof the locust, having just emerged from the egg in spring, and without wings. The second is whenat the end of spring, still in their first skin, the locusts put forth little ones without legs or wings.The third, when after their third casting of the old skin, they get small wings, which enable themto leap the better, but not to fly. Being unable to go away till their wings are matured, they devourall before them, grass, shrubs, and bark of trees: translated "rough caterpillars" (Jer 51:27). Thefourth kind, the matured winged locusts (see on Na 3:16). In Joe 2:25 they are enumerated in thereverse order, where the restoration of the devastations caused by them is promised. The Hebrewsmake the first species refer to Assyria and Babylon; the second species, to Medo-Persia; the third,to Greco-Macedonia and Antiochus Epiphanes; the fourth, to the Romans. Though the primaryreference be to literal locusts, the Holy Spirit doubtless had in view the successive empires whichassailed Judea, each worse than its predecessor, Rome being the climax.5. Awake—out of your ordinary state of drunken stupor, to realize the cutting off from you ofyour favorite drink. Even the drunkards (from a Hebrew root, "any strong drink") shall be forcedto "howl," though usually laughing in the midst of the greatest national calamities, so palpably anduniversally shall the calamity affect all.wine … new wine—"New" or "fresh wine," in Hebrew, is the unfermented, and thereforeunintoxicating, sweet juice extracted by pressure from grapes or other fruit, as pomegranates (So8:2). "Wine" is the produce of the grape alone, and is intoxicating (see on Joe 1:10).6. nation—applied to the locusts, rather than "people" (Pr 30:25, 26), to mark not only theirnumbers, but also their savage hostility; and also to prepare the mind of the hearer for the transitionto the figurative locusts in the second chapter, namely, the "nation" or Gentile foe coming againstJudea (compare Joe 2:2).my land—that is, Jehovah's; which never would have been so devastated were I not pleasedto inflict punishment (Joe 2:18; Isa 14:25; Jer 16:18; Eze 36:5; 38:16).strong—as irresistibly sweeping away before its compact body the fruits of man's industry.without number—so Jud 6:5; 7:12, "like grasshoppers (or "locusts") for multitude" (Jer 46:23;Na 3:15).teeth … lion—that is, the locusts are as destructive as a lion; there is no vegetation that canresist their bite (compare Re 9:8). Pliny says "they gnaw even the doors of houses."7. barked—Bochart, with the Septuagint and Syriac, translates, from an Arabic root, "hathbroken," namely, the topmost shoots, which locusts most feed on. Calvin supports English Version.my vine … my fig tree—being in "My land," that is, Jehovah's (Joe 1:6). As to thevine-abounding nature of ancient Palestine, see Nu 13:23, 24.cast it away—down to the ground.branches … white—both from the bark being stripped off (Ge 30:37), and from the branchesdrying up through the trunk, both bark and wood being eaten up below by the locusts.8. Lament—O "my land" (Joe 1:6; Isa 24:4).virgin … for the husband—A virgin betrothed was regarded as married (De 22:23; Mt 1:19).The Hebrew for "husband" is "lord" or "possessor," the husband being considered the master ofthe wife in the East.of her youth—when the affections are strongest and when sorrow at bereavement is consequentlykeenest. Suggesting the thought of what Zion's grief ought to be for her separation from Jehovah,the betrothed husband of her early days (Jer 2:2; Eze 16:8; Ho 2:7; compare Pr 2:17; Jer 3:4).1646JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. The greatest sorrow to the mind of a religious Jew, and what ought to impress the wholenation with a sense of God's displeasure, is the cessation of the usual temple-worship.meat offering—Hebrew, mincha; "meat" not in the English sense "flesh," but the unbloodyoffering made of flour, oil, and frankincense. As it and the drink offering or libation poured outaccompanied every sacrificial flesh offering, the latter is included, though not specified, as beingalso "cut off," owing to there being no food left for man or beast.priests … mourn—not for their own loss of sacrificial perquisites (Nu 18:8-15), but becausethey can no longer offer the appointed offerings to Jehovah, to whom they minister.10. field … land—differing in that "field" means the open, unenclosed country; "land," therich red soil (from a root "to be red") fit for cultivation. Thus, "a man of the field," in Hebrew, isa "hunter"; a "man of the ground" or "land," an "agriculturist" (Ge 25:27). "Field" and "land" arehere personified.new wine—from a Hebrew root implying that it takes possession of the brain, so that a man isnot master of himself. So the Arabic term is from a root "to hold captive." It is already fermented,and so intoxicating, unlike the sweet fresh wine, in Joe 1:5, called also "new wine," though a differentHebrew word. It and "the oil" stand for the vine and the olive tree, from which the "wine" and "oil"are obtained (Joe 1:12).dried up—not "ashamed," as Margin, as is proved by the parallelism to "languisheth," that is,droopeth.11. Be … ashamed—that is, Ye shall have the shame of disappointment on account of thefailure of "the wheat" and "barley … harvest."howl … vine dressers—The semicolon should follow, as it is the "husbandmen" who are tobe "ashamed … for the wheat." The reason for the "vine dressers" being called to "howl" does notcome till Joe 1:12, "The vine is dried up."12. pomegranate—a tree straight in the stem growing twenty feet high; the fruit is of the sizeof an orange, with blood-red colored pulp.palm tree—The dates of Palestine were famous. The palm is the symbol of Judea on coinsunder the Roman emperor Vespasian. It often grows a hundred feet high.apple tree—The Hebrew is generic, including the orange, lemon, and pear tree.joy is withered away—such as is felt in the harvest and the vintage seasons (Ps 4:7; Isa 9:3).13. Gird yourselves—namely, with sackcloth; as in Isa 32:11, the ellipsis is supplied (compareJer 4:8).lament, ye priests—as it is your duty to set the example to others; also as the guilt was greater,and a greater scandal was occasioned, by your sin to the cause of God.come—the Septuagint, "enter" the house of God (compare Joe 1:14).lie all night in sackcloth—so Ahab (1Ki 21:27).ministers of my God—(1Co 9:13). Joel claims authority for his doctrine; it is in God's nameand by His mission I speak to you.14. Sanctify … a fast—Appoint a solemn fast.solemn assembly—literally, a "day of restraint" or cessation from work, so that all might givethemselves to supplication (Joe 2:15, 16; 1Sa 7:5, 6; 2Ch 20:3-13).elders—The contrast to "children" (Joe 2:16) requires age to be intended, though probablyelders in office are included. Being the people's leaders in guilt, they ought to be their leaders alsoin repentance.1647JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson15. day of the Lord—(Joe 2:1, 11); that is, the day of His anger (Isa 13:9; Ob 15; Zep 1:7, 15).It will be a foretaste of the coming day of the Lord as Judge of all men, whence it receives the samename. Here the transition begins from the plague of locusts to the worse calamities (Joe 2:1-11)from invading armies about to come on Judea, of which the locusts were the prelude.16. Compare Joe 1:9, and latter part of Joe 1:12.joy—which prevailed at the annual feasts, as also in the ordinary sacrificial offerings, of whichthe offerers ate before the Lord with gladness and thanksgivings (De 12:6, 7, 12; 16:11, 14, 15).17. is rotten—"is dried up," "vanishes away," from an Arabic root [Maurer]. "Seed," literally,"grains." The drought causes the seeds to lose all their vitality and moisture.garners—granaries; generally underground, and divided into separate receptacles for thedifferent kinds of grain.18. cattle … perplexed—implying the restless gestures of the dumb beasts in their inability tofind food. There is a tacit contrast between the sense of the brute creation and the insensibility ofthe people.yea, the … sheep—Even the sheep, which are content with less rich pasturage, cannot findfood.are made desolate—literally, "suffer punishment." The innocent brute shares the "punishment"of guilty man (Ex 12:29; Jon 3:7; 4:11).19. to thee will I cry—Joel here interposes, As this people is insensible to shame or fear andwill not hear, I will leave them and address myself directly to Thee (compare Isa 15:5; Jer 23:9).fire—that is, the parching heat.pastures—"grassy places"; from a Hebrew root "to be pleasant." Such places would be selectedfor "habitations" (Margin). But the English Version rendering is better than Margin.20. beasts … cry … unto thee—that is, look up to heaven with heads lifted up, as if their onlyexpectation was from God (Job 38:41; Ps 104:21; 145:15; 147:9; compare Ps 42:1). They tacitlyreprove the deadness of the Jews for not even now invoking God.CHAPTER 2Joe 2:1-32. The Coming Judgment a Motive to Repentance. Promise of Blessings in the Last Days.A more terrific judgment than that of the locusts is foretold, under imagery drawn from that ofthe calamity then engrossing the afflicted nation. He therefore exhorts to repentance, assuring theJews of Jehovah's pity if they would repent. Promise of the Holy Spirit in the last days underMessiah, and the deliverance of all believers in Him.1. Blow … trumpet—to sound an alarm of coming war (Nu 10:1-10; Ho 5:8; Am 3:6); theoffice of the priests. Joe 1:15 is an anticipation of the fuller prophecy in this chapter.2. darkness … gloominess … clouds … thick darkness—accumulation of synonyms, tointensify the picture of calamity (Isa 8:22). Appropriate here, as the swarms of locusts interceptingthe sunlight suggested darkness as a fit image of the coming visitation.as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people—Substitute a comma for a colonafter mountains: As the morning light spreads itself over the mountains, so a people numerous[Maurer] and strong shall spread themselves. The suddenness of the rising of the morning light,which gilds the mountain tops first, is less probably thought by others to be the point of comparison1648JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto the sudden inroad of the foe. Maurer refers it to the yellow splendor which arises from the reflectionof the sunlight on the wings of the immense hosts of locusts as they approach. This is likely;understanding, however, that the locusts are only the symbols of human foes. The immense Assyrianhost of invaders under Sennacherib (compare Isa 37:36) destroyed by God (Joe 2:18, 20, 21), maybe the primary objects of the prophecy; but ultimately the last antichristian confederacy, destroyedby special divine interposition, is meant (see on Joe 3:2).there hath not been ever the like—(Compare Joe 1:2; Ex 10:14).3. before … behind—that is, on every side (1Ch 19:10).fire … flame—destruction … desolation (Isa 10:17).as … Eden … wilderness—conversely (Isa 51:3; Eze 36:35).4. appearance … of horses—(Re 9:7). Not literal, but figurative locusts. The fifth trumpet, orfirst woe, in the parallel passage (Re 9:1-11), cannot be literal: for in Re 9:11 it is said, "they hada king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit"—in the Hebrew, Abaddon ("destroyer"), but inthe Greek, Apollyon—and (Re 9:7) "on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faceswere as the faces of men." Compare Joe 2:11, "the day of the Lord … great and very terrible";implying their ultimate reference to be connected with Messiah's second coming in judgment. Thelocust's head is so like that of a horse that the Italians call it cavalette. Compare Job 39:20, "thehorse … as the grasshopper," or locust.run—The locust bounds, not unlike the horse's gallop, raising and letting down together thetwo front feet.5. Like the noise of chariots—referring to the loud sound caused by their wings in motion, orelse the movement of their hind legs.on the tops of mountains—Maurer connects this with "they," that is, the locusts, which firstoccupy the higher places, and thence descend to the lower places. It may refer (as in English Version)to "chariots," which make most noise in crossing over rugged heights.6. much pained—namely, with terror. The Arab proverb is, "More terrible than the locusts."faces shall gather blackness—(Isa 13:8; Jer 30:6; Na 2:10). Maurer translates, "withdraw theirbrightness," that is, wax pale, lose color (compare Joe 2:10; Joe 3:15).7-9. Depicting the regular military order of their advance, "One locust not turning a nail's breadthout of his own place in the march" [Jerome]. Compare Pr 30:27, "The locusts have no king, yet gothey forth all of them by bands."8. Neither shall one thrust another—that is, press upon so as to thrust his next neighbor outof his place, as usually occurs in a large multitude.when they fall upon the sword—that is, among missiles.not be wounded—because they are protected by defensive armor [Grotius]. Maurer translates,"Their (the locusts') ranks are not broken when they rush among missiles" (compare Da 11:22).9. run to and fro in the city—greedily seeking what they can devour.the wall—surrounding each house in Eastern buildings.enter in at the windows—though barred.like a thief—(Joh 10:1; compare Jer 9:21).10. earth … quake before them—that is, the inhabitants of the earth quake with fear of them.heavens … tremble—that is, the powers of heaven (Mt 24:29); its illumining powers aredisturbed by the locusts which intercept the sunlight with their dense flying swarms. These, however,are but the images of revolutions of states caused by such foes as were to invade Judea.1649JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson11. Lord … his army—So among Mohammedans, "Lord of the locusts" is a title of God.his voice—His word of command to the locusts, and to the antitypical human foes of Judea, as"His army."strong that executeth his word—(Re 18:8).12. With such judgments impending over the Jews, Jehovah Himself urges them to repentance.also now—Even now, what none could have hoped or believed possible, God still invites youto the hope of salvation.fasting … weeping … mourning—Their sin being most heinous needs extraordinaryhumiliation. The outward marks of repentance are to signify the depth of their sorrow for sin.13. Let there be the inward sorrow of heart, and not the mere outward manifestation of it by"rending the garment" (Jos 7:6).the evil—the calamity which He had threatened against the impenitent.14. leave … a meat offering and a drink offering—that is, give plentiful harvests, out of thefirst-fruits of which we may offer the meat and drink offering, now "cut off" through the famine(Joe 1:9, 13, 16). "Leave behind Him": as God in visiting His people now has left behind Him acurse, so He will, on returning to visit them, leave behind Him a blessing.15. Blow the trumpet—to convene the people (Nu 10:3). Compare Joe 1:14. The nation wasguilty, and therefore there must be a national humiliation. Compare Hezekiah's proceedings beforeSennacherib's invasion (2Ch 30:1-27).16. sanctify the congregation—namely, by expiatory rites and purification with water [Calvin],(Ex 19:10, 22). Maurer translates, "appoint a solemn assembly," which would be a tautologicalrepetition of Joe 2:15.elders … children—No age was to be excepted (2Ch 20:13).bridegroom—ordinarily exempted from public duties (De 24:5; compare 1Co 7:5, 29).closet—or, nuptial bed, from a Hebrew root "to cover," referring to the canopy over it.17. between the porch and … altar—the porch of Solomon's temple on the east (1Ki 6:3);the altar of burnt offerings in the court of the priests, before the porch (2Ch 8:12; compare Eze8:16; Mt 23:35). The suppliants thus were to stand with their backs to the altar on which they hadnothing to offer, their faces towards the place of the Shekinah presence.heathen should rule over them—This shows that not locusts, but human foes, are intended.The Margin translation, "use a byword against them," is not supported by the Hebrew.wherefore should they say … Where is their God?—that is, do not for thine own honor'ssake, let the heathen sneer at the God of Israel, as unable to save His people (Ps 79:10; 115:2).18. Then—when God sees His people penitent.be jealous for his land—as a husband jealous of any dishonor done to the wife whom he loves,as if done to himself. The Hebrew comes from an Arabic root, "to be flushed in face" throughindignation.19. corn … wine … oil—rather, as Hebrew, "the corn … the wine … the oil," namely, whichthe locusts have destroyed [Henderson]. Maurer not so well explains, "the corn, &c., necessary foryour sustenance." "The Lord will answer," namely, the prayers of His people, priests, and prophets.Compare in the case of Sennacherib, 2Ki 19:20, 21.20. the northern army—The Hebrew expresses that the north in relation to Palestine is notmerely the quarter whence the invader comes, but is his native land, "the Northlander"; namely,the Assyrian or Babylonian (compare Jer 1:14, 15; Zep 2:13). The locust's native country is not the1650JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnorth, but the south, the deserts of Arabia, Egypt, and Libya. Assyria and Babylon are the type andforerunner of all Israel's foes (Rome, and the final Antichrist), from whom God will at last deliverHis people, as He did from Sennacherib (2Ki 19:35).face … hinder part—more applicable to a human army's van and rear, than to locusts. Thenorthern invaders are to be dispersed in every other direction but that from which they had come:"a land barren and desolate," that is, Arabia-Deserta: "the eastern (or front) sea," that is, the DeadSea: "the utmost (or hinder) sea," that is, the Mediterranean. In front and behind mean east andwest; as, in marking the quarters of the world, they faced the east, which was therefore "in front";the west was behind them; the south was on their right, and the north on their left.stink—metaphor from locusts, which perish when blown by a storm into the sea or the desert,and emit from their putrefying bodies such a stench as often breeds a pestilence.because he hath done great things—that is, because the invader hath haughtily magnifiedhimself in his doings. Compare as to Sennacherib, 2Ki 19:11-13, 22, 28. This is quite inapplicableto the locusts, who merely seek food, not self-glorification, in invading a country.21-23. In an ascending gradation, the land destroyed by the enemy, the beasts of the field, andthe children of Zion, the land's inhabitants, are addressed, the former two by personification.Lord will do great things—In contrast to the "great things" done by the haughty foe (Joe 2:20)to the hurt of Judah stand the "great things" to be done by Jehovah for her benefit (compare Ps126:2, 3).22. (Zec 8:12). As before (Joe 1:18, 20) he represented the beasts as groaning and crying forwant of food in the "pastures," so now he reassures them by the promise of springing pastures.23. rejoice in the Lord—not merely in the springing pastures, as the brute "beasts" whichcannot raise their thoughts higher (Isa 61:10; Hab 3:18).former rain … the rain … the former … the latter rain—The autumnal, or "former rain,"from the middle of October to the middle of December, is put first, as Joel prophesies in summerwhen the locusts' invasion took place, and therefore looks to the time of early sowing in autumn,when the autumnal rain was indispensably required. Next, "the rain," generically, literally, "theshowering" or "heavy rain." Next, the two species of the latter, "the former and the latter rain" (inMarch and April). The repetition of the "former rain" implies that He will give it not merely forthe exigence of that particular season when Joel spake, but also for the future in the regular courseof nature, the autumn and the spring rain; the former being put first, in the order of nature, as beingrequired for the sowing in autumn, as the latter is required in spring for maturing the young crop.The Margin, "a teacher of righteousness," is wrong. For the same Hebrew word is translated "formerrain" in the next sentence, and cannot therefore be differently translated here. Besides, Joel beginswith the inferior and temporal blessings, and not till Joe 2:28 proceeds to the higher and spiritualones, of which the former are the pledge.moderately—rather, "in due measure," as much as the land requires; literally, "according toright"; neither too much nor too little, either of which extremes would hurt the crop (compare De11:14; Pr 16:15; Jer 5:24; see on Ho 6:3). The phrase, "in due measure," in this clause is parallelto "in the first month," in the last clause (that is, "in the month when first it is needed," each rainin its proper season). Heretofore the just or right order of nature has been interrupted through yoursin; now God will restore it. See my Introduction to Joel.24. The effect of the seasonable rains shall be abundance of all articles of food.1651JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson25. locust … cankerworm … caterpiller … palmer worm—the reverse order from Joe 1:4,where (see on Joe 1:4) God will restore not only what has been lost by the full-grown consuminglocust, but also what has been lost by the less destructive licking locust, and swarming locust, andgnawing locust.26. never be ashamed—shall no longer endure the "reproach of the heathen (Joe 2:17), [Maurer];or rather, "shall not bear the shame of disappointed hopes," as the husbandmen had heretofore (Joe1:11). So spiritually, waiting on God, His people shall not have the shame of disappointment intheir expectations from Him (Ro 9:33).27. know that I am in the midst of Israel—As in the Old Testament dispensation God waspresent by the Shekinah, so in the New Testament first, for a brief time by the Word made fleshdwelling among us (Joh 1:14), and to the close of this dispensation by the Holy Spirit in the Church(Mt 28:20), and probably in a more perceptible manner with Israel when restored (Eze 37:26-28).never be ashamed—not an unmeaning repetition from Joe 2:26. The twice-asserted truthenforces its unfailing certainty. As the "shame" in Joe 2:26 refers to temporal blessings, so in thisverse it refers to the spiritual blessings flowing from the presence of God with His people (compareJer 3:16, 17; Re 21:3).28. afterward—"in the last days" (Isa 2:2) under Messiah after the invasion and deliveranceof Israel from the northern army. Having heretofore stated the outward blessings, he now raisestheir minds to the expectation of extraordinary spiritual blessings, which constitute the true restorationof God's people (Isa 44:3). Fulfilled in earnest (Ac 2:17) on Pentecost; among the Jews and thesubsequent election of a people among the Gentiles; hereafter more fully at the restoration of Israel(Isa 54:13; Jer 31:9, 34; Eze 39:29; Zec 12:10) and the consequent conversion of the whole world(Isa 2:2; 11:9; 66:18-23; Mic 5:7; Ro 11:12, 15). As the Jews have been the seedmen of the electChurch gathered out of Jews and Gentiles, the first Gospel preachers being Jews from Jerusalem,so they shall be the harvest men of the coming world-wide Church, to be set up at Messiah'sappearing. That the promise is not restricted to the first Pentecost appears from Peter's own words:"The promise is (not only) unto you and to your children, (but also) to all that are afar off (both inspace and in time), even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Ac 2:39). So here "upon all flesh."I will pour out—under the new covenant: not merely, let fall drops, as under the Old Testament(Joh 7:39).my spirit—the Spirit "proceeding from the Father and the Son," and at the same time one withthe Father and the Son (compare Isa 11:2).sons … daughters … old … young—not merely on a privileged few (Nu 11:29) as the prophetsof the Old Testament, but men of all ages and ranks. See Ac 21:9; 1Co 11:5, as to "daughters," thatis, women, prophesying.dreams … visions—(Ac 9:10; 16:9). The "dreams" are attributed to the "old men," as more inaccordance with their years; "visions" to the "young men," as adapted to their more lively minds.The three modes whereby God revealed His will under the Old Testament (Nu 12:6), "prophecy,dreams, and visions," are here made the symbol of the full manifestation of Himself to all Hispeople, not only in miraculous gifts to some, but by His indwelling Spirit to all in the New Testament(Joh 14:21, 23; 15:15). In Ac 16:9; 18:9, the term used is "vision," though in the night, not a dream.No other dream is mentioned in the New Testament save those given to Joseph in the very beginningof the New Testament, before the full Gospel had come; and to the wife of Pilate, a Gentile (Mt1:20; 2:13; 27:19). "Prophesying" in the New Testament is applied to all speaking under the1652JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonenlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and not merely to foretelling events. All true Christians are"priests" and "ministers" of our God (Isa 61:6), and have the Spirit (Eze 36:26, 27). Besides this,probably, a special gift of prophecy and miracle-working is to be given at or before Messiah'scoming again.29. And also—"And even." The very slaves by becoming the Lord's servants are His freemen(1Co 7:22; Ga 3:28; Col 3:11; Phm 16). Therefore, in Ac 2:18 it is quoted, "My servants" and "Myhandmaidens"; as it is only by becoming the Lord's servants they are spiritually free, and partakeof the same spirit as the other members of the Church.30, 31. As Messiah's manifestation is full of joy to believers, so it has an aspect of wrath tounbelievers, which is represented here. Thus when the Jews received Him not in His coming ofgrace, He came in judgment on Jerusalem. Physical prodigies, massacres, and conflagrationspreceded its destruction [Josephus, Wars of the Jews]. To these the language here may allude; butthe figures chiefly symbolize political revolutions and changes in the ruling powers of the world,prognosticated by previous disasters (Am 8:9; Mt 24:29; Lu 21:25-27), and convulsions such aspreceded the overthrow of the Jewish polity. Such shall probably occur in a more appalling degreebefore the final destruction of the ungodly world ("the great and terrible day of Jehovah," compareMal 4:5), of which Jerusalem's overthrow is the type and earnest.32. call on … name of … Lord—Hebrew, Jehovah. Applied to Jesus in Ro 10:13 (compare Ac9:14; 1Co 1:2). Therefore, Jesus is Jehovah; and the phrase means, "Call on Messiah in His divineattributes."shall be delivered—as the Christians were, just before Jerusalem's destruction, by retiring toPella, warned by the Saviour (Mt 24:16); a type of the spiritual deliverance of all believers, and ofthe last deliverance of the elect "remnant" of Israel from the final assault of Antichrist. "In Zionand Jerusalem" the Saviour first appeared; and there again shall He appear as the Deliverer (Zec14:1-5).as the Lord hath said—Joel herein refers, not to the other prophets, but to his own wordspreceding.call—metaphor from an invitation to a feast, which is an act of gratuitous kindness (Lu 14:16).So the remnant called and saved is according to the election of grace, not for man's merits, power,or efforts (Ro 11:5).CHAPTER 3Joe 3:1-21. God's Vengeance on Israel's Foes in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. His Blessing on the Church.1. bring again the captivity—that is, reverse it. The Jews restrict this to the return from Babylon.Christians refer it to the coming of Christ. But the prophet comprises the whole redemption,beginning from the return out of Babylon, then continued from the first advent of Christ down tothe last day (His second advent), when God will restore His Church to perfect felicity [Calvin].2. Parallel to Zec 14:2, 3, 4, where the "Mount of Olives" answers to the "Valley of Jehoshaphat"here. The latter is called "the valley of blessing" (Berachah) (2Ch 20:26). It lies between Jerusalemand the Mount of Olives and has the Kedron flowing through it. As Jehoshaphat overthrew theconfederate foes of Judah, namely, Ammon, Moab, &c. (Ps 83:6-8), in this valley, so God was tooverthrow the Tyrians, Zidonians, Philistines, Edom, and Egypt, with a similar utter overthrow1653JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(Joe 3:4, 19). This has been long ago fulfilled; but the ultimate event shadowed forth herein is stillfuture, when God shall specially interpose to destroy Jerusalem's last foes, of whom Tyre, Zidon,Edom, Egypt, and Philistia are the types. As "Jehoshaphat" means "the judgment of Jehovah," thevalley of Jehoshaphat may be used as a general term for the theater of God's final judgments onIsrael's foes, with an allusion to the judgment inflicted on them by Jehoshaphat. The definite mentionof the Mount of Olives in Zec 14:4, and the fact that this was the scene of the ascension, makes itlikely the same shall be the scene of Christ's coming again: compare "this same Jesus … shall socome in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Ac 1:11).all nations—namely, which have maltreated Judah.plead with them—(Isa 66:16; Eze 38:22).my heritage Israel—(De 32:9; Jer 10:16). Implying that the source of Judah's redemption isGod's free love, wherewith He chose Israel as His peculiar heritage, and at the same time assuringthem, when desponding because of trials, that He would plead their cause as His own, and as if Hewere injured in their person.3. cast lots for my people—that is, divided among themselves My people as their captives bylot. Compare as to the distribution of captives by lot (Ob 11; Na 3:10).given a boy for … harlot—Instead of paying a harlot for her prostitution in money, they gaveher a Jewish captive boy as a slave.girl for wine—So valueless did they regard a Jewish girl that they would sell her for a draughtof wine.4. what have ye to do with me—Ye have no connection with Me (that is, with My people:God identifying Himself with Israel); I (that is, My people) have given you no cause of quarrel,why then do ye trouble Me (that is, My people)? (Compare the same phrase, Jos 22:24; Jud 11:12;2Sa 16:10; Mt 8:29).Tyre … Zidon … Palestine—(Am 1:6, 9).if ye recompense me—If ye injure Me (My people), in revenge for fancied wrongs (Eze25:15-17), I will requite you in your own coin swiftly and speedily.5. my silver … my gold—that is, the gold and silver of My people. The Philistines and Arabianshad carried off all the treasures of King Jehoram's house (2Ch 21:16, 17). Compare also 1Ki 15:18;2Ki 12:18; 14:14, for the spoiling of the treasures of the temple and the king's palace in Judah bySyria. It was customary among the heathen to hang up in the idol temples some of the spoils of waras presents to their gods.6. Grecians—literally, "Javanites," that is, the Ionians, a Greek colony on the coast of AsiaMinor who were the first Greeks known to the Jews. The Greeks themselves, however, in theiroriginal descent came from Javan (Ge 10:2, 4). Probably the germ of Greek civilization in partcame through the Jewish slaves imported into Greece from Phoenicia by traffickers. Eze 27:13mentions Javan and Tyre as trading in the persons of men.far from their border—far from Judea; so that the captive Jews were cut off from all hope ofreturn.7. raise them—that is, I will rouse them. Neither sea nor distance will prevent My bringingthem back. Alexander, and his successors, restored to liberty many Jews in bondage in Greece[Josephus, Antiquities, 13.5; Wars of the Jews, 3.9,2].8. sell them to … Sabeans—The Persian Artaxerxes Mnemon and Darius Ochus, and chieflythe Greek Alexander, reduced the Phoenician and Philistine powers. Thirty thousand Tyrians after1654JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe capture of Tyre by the last conqueror, and multitudes of Philistines on the taking of Gaza, weresold as slaves. The Jews are here said to do that which the God of Judah does in vindication of theirwrong, namely, sell the Phoenicians who sold them, to a people "far off," as was Greece, whitherthe Jews had been sold. The Sabeans at the most remote extremity of Arabia Felix are referred to(compare Jer 6:20; Mt 12:42).9. The nations hostile to Israel are summoned by Jehovah to "come up" (this phrase is usedbecause Jerusalem was on a hill) against Jerusalem, not that they may destroy it, but to be destroyedby the Lord (Eze 38:7-23; Zec 12:2-9; 14:2, 3).Prepare war—literally, sanctify war: because the heathen always began war with religiousceremonies. The very phrase used of Babylon's preparations against Jerusalem (Jer 6:4) is nowused of the final foes of Jerusalem. As Babylon was then desired by God to advance against herfor her destruction, so now all her foes, of whom Babylon was the type, are desired to advanceagainst her for their own destruction.10. Beat your ploughshares into swords—As the foes are desired to "beat their ploughsharesinto swords, and their pruning hooks into spears," that so they may perish in their unhallowedattack on Judah and Jerusalem, so these latter, and the nations converted to God by them, after theoverthrow of the antichristian confederacy, shall, on the contrary, "beat their swords intoploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks," when under Messiah's coming reign there shallbe war no more (Isa 2:4; Ho 2:18; Mic 4:3).let the weak say, I am strong—So universal shall be the rage of Israel's foes for invading her,that even the weak among them will fancy themselves strong enough to join the invading forces.Age and infirmity were ordinarily made valid excuses for exemption from service, but so mad shallbe the fury of the world against God's people, that even the feeble will not desire to be exempted(compare Ps 2:1-3).11. Assemble—"Hasten" [Maurer].thither—to the valley of Jehoshaphat.thy mighty ones—the warriors who fancy themselves "mighty ones," but who are on that veryspot to be overthrown by Jehovah [Maurer]. Compare "the mighty men" (Joe 3:9). Rather, Joel speaksof God's really "mighty ones" in contrast to the self-styled "mighty men" (Joe 3:9; Ps 103:20; Isa13:3; compare Da 10:13). Auberlen remarks: One prophet supplements the other, for they allprophesied only "in part." What was obscure to one was revealed to the other; what is brieflydescribed by one is more fully so by another. Daniel calls Antichrist a king, and dwells on hisworldly conquests; John looks more to his spiritual tyranny, for which reason he adds a secondbeast, wearing the semblance of spirituality. Antichrist himself is described by Daniel. Isaiah (Isa29:1-24), Joel (Joe 3:1-21) and Zechariah (Zec 12:1-14:21), describe his army of heathen followerscoming up against Jerusalem, but not Antichrist himself.12. See Joe 3:2.judge all the heathen round about—that is, all the nations from all parts of the earth whichhave maltreated Israel; not merely, as Henderson supposes, the nations round about Jerusalem (comparePs 110:6; Isa 2:4; Mic 4:3, 11-13; Zep 3:15-19; Zec 12:9; 14:3-11; Mal 4:1-3).13. Direction to the ministers of vengeance to execute God's wrath, as the enemy's wickednessis come to its full maturity. God does not cut off the wicked at once, but waits till their guilt is atits full (so as to the Amorites' iniquity, Ge 15:16), to show forth His own long-suffering, and the1655JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonjustice of their doom who have so long abused it (Mt 13:27-30, 38, 40; Re 14:15-19). For the imageof a harvest to be threshed, compare Jer 51:33; and a wine-press, Isa 63:3 and La 1:15.14. The prophet in vision seeing the immense array of nations congregating, exclaims,"Multitudes, multitudes!" a Hebraism for immense multitudes.valley of decision—that is, the valley in which they are to meet their "determined doom." Thesame as "the valley of Jehoshaphat," that is, "the valley of judgment" (see on Joe 3:2). CompareJoe 3:12, "there will I sit to judge," which confirms English Version rather than Margin, "threshing."The repetition of "valley of decision" heightens the effect and pronounces the awful certainty oftheir doom.15. (See on Joe 2:10; Joe 2:30).16. (Compare Eze 38:18-22). The victories of the Jews over their cruel foe Antiochus, underthe Maccabees, may be a reference of this prophecy; but the ultimate reference is to the lastAntichrist, of whom Antiochus was the type. Jerusalem being the central seat of the theocracy (Ps132:13), it is from thence that Jehovah discomfits the foe.roar—as a lion (Jer 25:30; Am 1:2; 3:8). Compare as to Jehovah's voice thundering, Ps 18:13;Hab 3:10, 11.Lord … the hope of his people—or, "their refuge" (Ps 46:1).17. shall ye know—experimentally by the proofs of favors which I shall vouchsafe to you. So"know" (Isa 60:16; Ho 2:20).dwelling in Zion—as peculiarly your God.holy … no strangers pass through—to attack, or to defile, the holy city (Isa 35:8; 52:1; Zec14:21). Strangers, or Gentiles, shall come to Jerusalem, but it shall be in order to worship Jehovahthere (Zec 14:16).18. mountains … drop … wine—figurative for abundance of vines, which were cultivated interraces of earth between the rocks on the sides of the hills of Palestine (Am 9:13).hills … flow with milk—that is, they shall abound in flocks and herds yielding milk plentifully,through the richness of the pastures.waters—the great desideratum for fertility in the parched East (Isa 30:25).fountain … of … house of … Lord … water … valley of Shittim—The blessings, temporaland spiritual, issuing from Jehovah's house at Jerusalem, shall extend even to Shittim, on the borderbetween Moab and Israel, beyond Jordan (Nu 25:1; 33:49; Jos 2:1; Mic 6:5). "Shittim" means"acacias," which grow only in arid regions: implying that even the arid desert shall be fertilizedby the blessing from Jerusalem. So Eze 47:1-12 describes the waters issuing from the threshold ofthe house as flowing into the Dead Sea, and purifying it. Also in Zec 14:8 the waters flow on oneside into the Mediterranean, on the other side into the Dead Sea, near which latter Shittim wassituated (compare Ps 46:4; Re 22:1).19. Edom—It was subjugated by David, but revolted under Jehoram (2Ch 21:8-10); and atevery subsequent opportunity tried to injure Judah. Egypt under Shishak spoiled Jerusalem underRehoboam of the treasures of the temple and the king's house; subsequently to the captivity, itinflicted under the Ptolemies various injuries on Judea. Antiochus spoiled Egypt (Da 11:40-43).Edom was made "desolate" under the Maccabees [Josephus, Antiquities, 12.11,12]. The low conditionof the two countries for centuries proves the truth of the prediction (compare Isa 19:1, &c.; Jer49:17; Ob 10). So shall fare all the foes of Israel, typified by these two (Isa 63:1, &c.).20. dwell for ever—(Am 9:15), that is, be established as a flourishing state.1656JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson21. cleanse … blood … not cleansed—I will purge away from Judah the extreme guilt(represented by "blood," the shedding of which was the climax of her sin, Isa 1:15) which was forlong not purged away, but visited with judgments (Isa 4:4). Messiah saves from guilt, in order tosave from punishment (Mt 1:21).


      THE BOOK OFAMOSCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONAmos (meaning in Hebrew "a burden") was (Am 1:1) a shepherd of Tekoa, a small town ofJudah, six miles southeast from Beth-lehem, and twelve from Jerusalem, on the borders of the greatdesert (2Ch 20:20; compare 2Ch 11:6). The region being sandy was more fit for pastoral than foragricultural purposes. Amos therefore owned and tended flocks, and collected sycamore figs; notthat the former was a menial office, kings themselves, as Mesha of Moab (2Ki 3:4), exercising it.Amos, however (from Am 7:14, 15), seems to have been of humble rank.Though belonging to Judah, he was commissioned by God to exercise his prophetical functionin Israel; as the latter kingdom abounded in impostors, and the prophets of God generally fled toJudah through fear of the kings of Israel, a true prophet from Judah was the more needed in it. Hisname is not to be confounded with that of Isaiah's father, Amoz.The time of his prophesying was in the reigns of Uzziah king of Judea, and Jeroboam II, sonof Joash, king of Israel (Am 1:1), that is, in part of the time in which the two kings werecontemporary; probably in Jeroboam's latter years, after that monarch had recovered from Syria"the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath to the sea of the plain" (2Ki 14:25-27); for Amosforetells that these same coasts, "from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of the wilderness,"should be the scene of Israel's being afflicted (Am 6:14); also his references to the state of luxurioussecurity then existing (Am 6:1, 4, 13), and to the speedy termination of it by the Assyrian foe (Am1:5; 3:12, 15; 5:27; 8:2), point to the latter part of Jeroboam's reign, which terminated in 784 B.C.,the twenty-seventh year of Uzziah's reign, which continued down to 759 B.C.He was contemporary with Hosea, only that the latter continued to prophesy in reigns subsequentto Uzziah (Ho 1:1); whereas Amos ceased to prophesy in the reign of that monarch. The scene ofhis ministry was Beth-el, where the idol calves were set up (Am 7:10-13). There his propheciesroused Amaziah, the idol priest, to accuse him of conspiracy and to try to drive him back to Judah.The first six chapters are without figure; the last three symbolical, but with the explanationsubjoined. He first denounces the neighboring peoples, then the Jews, then Israel (from the thirdchapter to the end), closing with the promise or restoration under Messiah (Am 9:11-15). His styleis thought by Jerome to betray his humble origin; but though not sublime, it is regular, perspicuous,and energetic; his images are taken from the scenes in nature with which he was familiar; hisrhythms are flowing, his parallelisms exact, and his descriptions minute and graphic. Some peculiarexpressions occur: "cleanness of teeth," that is, want of bread (Am 4:6); "the excellency of Jacob"(Am 6:8; 8:7); "the high places of Isaac" (Am 7:9); "the house of Isaac" (Am 7:16); "he that createththe wind" (Am 4:13).1657JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHengstenberg draws an able argument for the genuineness of the Mosaic records from the evidencein Amos, that the existing institutions in Israel as well as Judah (excepting the calves of Jeroboam),were framed according to the Pentateuch rules.Two quotations from Amos occur in the New Testament (compare Ac 7:42, 43, with Am 5:25,26; and Ac 15:16, 17, with Am 9:11).Philo, Josephus, Melito's catalogue, Jerome, Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, 22, quoting the fifthand six chapters of Amos as "one of the twelve minor prophets"), and the sixtieth canon of theLaodicean council support the canonicity of the book of Amos.CHAPTER 1Am 1:1-15. God's Judgments on Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, and Ammon.1. The words of Amos—that is, Amos' oracular communications. A heading found only in Jer1:1.among the herdmen—rather, "shepherds"; both owning and tending sheep; from an Arabicroot, "to mark with pricks," namely, to select the best among a species of sheep and goats ill-shapenand short-footed (as others explain the name from an Arabic root), but distinguished by their wool[Maurer]. God chooses "the weak things of the world to confound the mighty," and makes a humbleshepherd reprove the arrogance of Israel and her king arising from prosperity (compare 1Sa 17:40).which he saw—in supernatural vision (Isa 1:1).two years before the earthquake—mentioned in Zec 14:5. The earthquake occurred in Uzziah'sreign, at the time of his being stricken with leprosy for usurping the priest's functions [Josephus,Antiquities, 9:10.4]. This clause must have been inserted by Ezra and the compilers of the Jewishcanon.2. will roar—as a lion (Joe 3:16). Whereas Jehovah is there represented roaring in Israel'sbehalf, here He roars against her (compare Ps 18:13; Jer 25:30).from Zion … Jerusalem—the seat of the theocracy, from which ye have revolted; not fromDan and Beth-el, the seat of your idolatrous worship of the calves.habitations … mourn—poetical personification. Their inhabitants shall mourn, imparting asadness to the very habitations.Carmel—the mountain promontory north of Israel, in Asher, abounding in rich pastures, olives,and vines. The name is the symbol of fertility. When Carmel itself "withers," how utter thedesolation! (So 7:5; Isa 33:9; 35:2; Jer 50:19; Na 1:4).3. Here begins a series of threatenings of vengeance against six other states, followed by oneagainst Judah, and ending with one against Israel, with whom the rest of the prophecy is occupied.The eight predictions are in symmetrical stanzas, each prefaced by "Thus saith the Lord." Beginningwith the sin of others, which Israel would be ready enough to recognize, he proceeds to bring hometo Israel her own guilt. Israel must not think hereafter, because she sees others visited similarly toherself, that such judgments are matters of chance; nay, they are divinely foreseen and foreordered,and are confirmations of the truth that God will not clear the guilty. If God spares not the nationsthat know not the truth, how much less Israel that sins wilfully (Lu 12:47, 48; Jas 4:17)!for three transgressions … and for four—If Damascus had only sinned once or twice, I wouldhave spared them, but since, after having been so often pardoned, they still persevere so continually,1658JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonI will no longer "turn away" their punishment. The Hebrew is simply, "I will not reverse it," namely,the sentence of punishment which follows; the negative expression implies more than it expresses;that is, "I will most surely execute it"; God's fulfilment of His threats being more awful than humanlanguage can express. "Three and four" imply sin multiplied on sin (compare Ex 20:5; Pr 30:15,18, 21; "six and seven," Job 5:19; "once and twice," Job 33:14; "twice and thrice," Margin;"oftentimes," English Version, Job 33:29; "seven and also eight," Ec 11:2). There may be also areference to seven, the product of three and four added; seven expressing the full completion of themeasure of their guilt (Le 26:18, 21, 24; compare Mt 23:32).threshed—the very term used of the Syrian king Hazael's oppression of Israel under Jehu andJehoahaz (2Ki 10:32, 33; 13:7). The victims were thrown before the threshing sledges, the teeth ofwhich tore their bodies. So David to Ammon (2Sa 12:31; compare Isa 28:27).4. Hazael … Ben-hadad—A black marble obelisk found in the central palace of Nimroud, andnow in the British Museum, is inscribed with the names of Hazael and Ben-hadad of Syria, as wellas Jehu of Israel, mentioned as tributaries of "Shalmanubar," king of Assyria. The kind of tributefrom Jehu is mentioned: gold, pearls, precious oil, &c. [G. V. Smith]. The Ben-hadad here is the sonof Hazael (2Ki 13:3), not the Ben-hadad supplanted and slain by Hazael (2Ki 8:7, 15). The phrase,"I will send a fire," that is, the flame of war (Ps 78:63), occurs also in Am 1:7, 10, 12, 14, and Am2:2, 5; Jer 49:27; Ho 8:14.5. bar of Damascus—that is, the bar of its gates (compare Jer 51:30).the inhabitant—singular for plural, "inhabitants." Henderson, because of the parallel, "him thatholdeth the scepter," translates, "the ruler." But the parallelism is that of one clause complementingthe other, "the inhabitant" or subject here answering to "him that holdeth the scepter" or ruler there,both ruler and subject alike being cut off.Aven—the same as Oon or Un, a delightful valley, four hours' journey from Damascus, towardsthe desert. Proverbial in the East as a place of delight [Josephus Abassus]. It is here parallel to "Eden,"which also means "pleasantness"; situated at Lebanon. As Josephus Abassus is a doubtful authority,perhaps the reference may be rather to the valley between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, calledEl-Bekaa, where are the ruins of the Baal-bek temple of the sun; so the Septuagint renders it On,the same name as the city in Egypt bears, dedicated to the sun-worship (Ge 41:45; Heliopolis, "thecity of the sun," Eze 30:17, Margin). It is termed by Amos "the valley of Aven," or "vanity," fromthe worship of idols in it.Kir—a region subject to Assyria (Isa 22:6) in Iberia, the same as that called now in ArmenianKur, lying by the river Cyrus which empties itself into the Caspian Sea. Tiglath-pileser fulfilledthis prophecy when Ahaz applied for help to him against Rezin king of Syria, and the Assyrianking took Damascus, slew Rezin, and carried away its people captive to Kir.6. Gaza—the southernmost of the five capitals of the five divisions of Philistia, and the key toPalestine on the south: hence put for the whole Philistine nation. Uzziah commenced the fulfilmentof this prophecy (see 2Ch 26:6).because they carried away … the whole captivity—that is, they left none. Compare with thephrase here, Jer 13:19, "Judah … carried captive all of it … wholly carried away." Under Jehoramalready the Philistines had carried away all the substance of the king of Judah, and his wives andhis sons, "so that there was never a son left to him, save Jehoahaz"; and after Amos' time (if thereference includes the future, which to the prophet's eye is as if already done), under Ahaz (2Ch28:18), they seized on all the cities and villages of the low country and south of Judah.1659JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto deliver them up to Edom—Judah's bitterest foe; as slaves (Am 1:9; compare Joe 3:1, 3, 6).Grotius refers it to the fact (Isa 16:4) that on Sennacherib's invasion of Judah, many fled for refugeto neighboring countries; the Philistines, instead of hospitably sheltering the refugees, sold them,as if captives in war, to their enemies, the Idumeans.7. fire—that is, the flame of war (Nu 21:28; Isa 26:11). Hezekiah fulfilled the prophecy, smitingthe Philistines unto Gaza (2Ki 18:8). Foretold also by Isa 14:29, 31.8. Ashdod, &c.—Gath alone is not mentioned of the five chief Philistine cities. It had alreadybeen subdued by David; and it, as well as Ashdod, was taken by Uzziah (2Ch 26:6). Gath perhapshad lost its position as one of the five primary cities before Amos uttered this prophecy, whencearose his omission of it. So Zep 2:4, 5. Compare Jer 47:4; Eze 25:16. Subsequently to the subjugationof the Philistines by Uzziah, and then by Hezekiah, they were reduced by Psammetichus of Egypt,Nebuchadnezzar, the Persians, Alexander, and lastly the Asmoneans.9. Tyrus … delivered up the … captivity to Edom—the same charge as against the Philistines(Am 1:6).remembered not the brotherly covenant—the league of Hiram of Tyre with David andSolomon, the former supplying cedars for the building of the temple and king's house in return foroil and corn (2Sa 5:11; 1Ki 5:2-6; 9:11-14, 27; 10-22; 1Ch 14:1; 2Ch 8:18; 9:10).10. fire—(Compare Am 1:4, 7; Isa 23:1-18; Eze 26:1-28:26). Many parts of Tyre were burntby fiery missiles of the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar. Alexander of Macedon subsequentlyoverthrew it.11. Edom … did pursue his brother—(Isa 34:5). The chief aggravation to Edom's violenceagainst Israel was that they both came from the same parents, Isaac and Rebekah (compare Ge25:24-26; De 23:7, 8; Ob 10, 12; Mal 1:2).cast off all pity—literally, "destroy compassions," that is, did suppress all the natural feelingof pity for a brother in distress.his wrath for ever—As Esau kept up his grudge against Jacob, for having twice supplantedhim, namely, as to the birthright and the blessing (Ge 27:41), so Esau's posterity against Israel (Nu20:14, 21). Edom first showed his spite in not letting Israel pass through his borders when comingfrom the wilderness, but threatening to "come out against him with the sword"; next, when theSyrians attacked Jerusalem under Ahaz (compare 2Ch 28:17, with 2Ki 16:5); next, whenNebuchadnezzar assailed Jerusalem (Ps 137:7, 8). In each case Edom chose the day of Israel'scalamity for venting his grudge. This is the point of Edom's guilt dwelt on in Ob 10-13. God punishesthe children, not for the sin of their fathers, but for their own filling up the measure of their fathers'guilt, as children generally follow in the steps of, and even exceed, their fathers' guilt (compare Ex20:5).12. Teman—a city of Edom, called from a grandson of Esau (Ge 36:11, 15; Ob 8, 9); situatedfive miles from Petra; south of the present Wady Musa. Its people were famed for wisdom (Jer49:7).Bozrah—a city of Edom (Isa 63:1). Selah or Petra is not mentioned, as it had been overthrownby Amaziah (2Ki 14:7).13. Ammon—The Ammonites under Nahash attacked Jabesh-gilead and refused to accept theoffer of the latter to save them, unless the Jabesh-gileadites would put out all their right eyes (1Sa11:1, &c.). Saul rescued Jabesh-gilead. The Ammonites joined the Chaldeans in their invasion ofJudea for the sake of plunder.1660JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonripped up … women with-child—as Hazael of Syria also did (2Ki 8:12; compare Ho 13:16).Ammon's object in this cruel act was to leave Israel without "heir," so as to seize on Israel'sinheritance (Jer 49:1).14. Rabbah—the capital of Ammon: meaning "the Great." Distinct from Rabbah of Moab.Called Philadelphia, afterwards, from Ptolemy Philadelphus.tempest—that is, with an onset swift, sudden, and resistless as a hurricane.day of the whirlwind—parallel to "the day of battle"; therefore meaning "the day of the foe'stumultuous assault."15. their king … princes—or else, "their Molech (the idol of Ammon) and his priests" [Grotiusand Septuagint]. Isa 43:28 so uses "princes" for "priests." So Am 5:26, "your Molech"; and Jer49:3, Margin. English Version, however, is perhaps preferable both here and in Jer 49:3; see onJer 49:3.CHAPTER 2Am 2:1-16. Charges against Moab, Judah, and Lastly Israel, the Chief Subject of Amos' Prophecies.1. burned … bones of … king of Edom into lime—When Jehoram of Israel, Jehoshaphat ofJudah, and the king of Edom, combined against Mesha king of Moab, the latter failing in battle tobreak through to the king of Edom, took the oldest son of the latter and offered him as a burntoffering on the wall (2Ki 3:27) [Michaelis]. Thus, "king of Edom" is taken as the heir to the throneof Edom. But "his son" is rather the king of Moab's own son, whom the father offered to Molech[Josephus, Antiquities, 9.3]. Thus the reference here in Amos is not to that fact, but to the revengewhich probably the king of Moab took on the king of Edom, when the forces of Israel and Judahhad retired after their successful campaign against Moab, leaving Edom without allies. The Hebrewtradition is that Moab in revenge tore from their grave and burned the bones of the king of Edom,the ally of Jehoram and Jehoshaphat, who was already buried. Probably the "burning of the bones"means, "he burned the king of Edom alive, reducing his very bones to lime" [Maurer].2. Kirioth—the chief city of Moab, called also Kir-Moab (Isa 15:1). The form is plural here,as including both the acropolis and town itself (see Jer 48:24, 41, Margin).die with tumult—that is, amid the tumult of battle (Ho 10:14).3. the judge—the chief magistrate, the supreme source of justice. "King" not being used, itseems likely a change of government had before this time substituted for kings, supreme judges.4. From foreign kingdoms he passes to Judah and Israel, lest it should be said, he was strenuousin denouncing sins abroad, but connived at those of his own nation. Judah's guilt differs from thatof all the others, in that it was directly against God, not merely against man. Also because Judah'ssin was wilful and wittingly against light and knowledge.law—the Mosaic code in general.commandments—or statutes, the ceremonies and civil laws.their lies—their lying idols (Ps 40:4; Jer 16:19), from which they drew false hopes. The orderis to be observed. The Jews first cast off the divine law, then fall into lying errors; God thus visitingthem with a righteous retribution (Ro 1:25, 26, 28; 2Th 2:11, 12). The pretext of a good intentionis hereby refuted: the "lies" that mislead them are "their (own) lies" [Calvin].1661JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonafter … which their fathers … walked—We are not to follow the fathers in error, but mustfollow the word of God alone. It was an aggravation of the Jews' sin that it was not confined topreceding generations; the sins of the sons rivalled those of their fathers (Mt 23:32; Ac 7:51) [Calvin].5. a fire—Nebuchadnezzar.6. Israel—the ten tribes, the main subject of Amos' prophecies.sold the righteous—Israel's judges for a bribe are induced to condemn in judgment him whohas a righteous cause; in violation of De 16:19.the poor for a pair of shoes—literally, "sandals" of wood, secured on the foot by leather straps;less valuable than shoes. Compare the same phrase, for "the most paltry bribe," Am 8:6; Eze 13:19;Joe 3:3. They were not driven by poverty to such a sin; beginning with suffering themselves to betempted by a large bribe, they at last are so reckless of all shame as to prostitute justice for themerest trifle. Amos convicts them of injustice, incestuous unchastity, and oppression first, as thesewere so notorious that they could not deny them, before he proceeds to reprove their contempt ofGod, which they would have denied on the ground that they worshipped God in the form of thecalves.7. pant after … dust of … earth on … head of … poor—that is, eagerly thirst for this object,by their oppression to prostrate the poor so as to cast the dust on their heads in mourning on theearth (compare 2Sa 1:2; Job 2:12; Eze 27:30).turn aside … way of … meek—pervert their cause (Am 5:12; Job 24:4 [Grotius]; Isa 10:2).a man and his father—a crime "not so much as named among the Gentiles" (1Co 5:1). WhenGod's people sin in the face of light, they often fall lower than even those who know not God.go in unto the same maid—from Am 2:8 it seems likely "the damsel" meant is one of theprostitutes attached to the idol Astarte's temple: prostitution being part of her filthy worship.to profane my … name—Israel in such abominations, as it were, designedly seeks to insultGod.8. lay themselves … upon clothes laid to pledge—the outer garment, which Ex 22:25-27ordered to be restored to the poor man before sunset, as being his only covering. It aggravated thecrime that they lay on these clothes in an idol temple.by every altar—They partook in a recumbent posture of their idolatrous feasts; the ancientsbeing in the habit of reclining at full length in eating, the upper part of the body resting on the leftelbow, not sitting as we do.drink … wine of the condemned—that is, wine bought with the money of those whom theyunjustly fined.9. Yet—My former benefits to you heighten your ingratitude.the Amorite—the most powerful of all the Canaanite nations, and therefore put for them all(Ge 15:16; 48:22; De 1:20; Jos 7:7).height … like … cedars—(Nu 13:32, 33).destroyed his fruit … above … roots … beneath—that is, destroyed him utterly (Job 18:16;Eze 17:9; Mal 4:1).10. brought you up from … Egypt—"brought up" is the phrase, as Egypt was low and flat,and Canaan hilly.to possess the land of the Amorite—The Amorites strictly occupied both sides of the Jordanand the mountains afterward possessed by Judah; but they here, as in Am 2:9, stand for all the1662JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCanaanites. God kept Israel forty years in the wilderness, which tended to discipline them in Hisstatutes, so as to be the better fitted for entering on the possession of Canaan.11. Additional obligations under which Israel lay to God; the prophets and Nazarites, appointedby Him, to furnish religious instruction and examples of holy self-restraint.of your young men—It was a specimen of Israel's highly favored state, that, of the class mostaddicted to pleasures, God chose those who by a solemn vow bound themselves to abstinence fromall produce of the vine, and from all ceremonial and moral defilement. The Nazarite was not toshave (Nu 6:2, &c.). God left nothing undone to secure the purity of their worship and theirfaithfulness to it (La 4:7). The same comes from a Hebrew root, nazar, "to set apart." Samson,Samuel, and John the Baptist were Nazarites.Is it not even thus—Will any of you dare to deny it is so?12. Ye so despised these My favors, as to tempt the Nazarite to break his vow; and forbade theprophets prophesying (Isa 30:10). So Amaziah forbade Amos (Am 7:12, 13, 14).13. I am pressed under you—so Calvin (Compare Isa 1:14). The Margin translates actively, "Iwill depress your place," that is, "I will make it narrow," a metaphor for afflicting a people; theopposite of enlarging, that is, relieving (Ps 4:1; Pr 4:12). Maurer translates, "I will press you down"(not as Margin, "your place"; so the Hebrew, Job 40:12; or Am 2:7 in Hebrew text). Amos, as ashepherd, appropriately draws his similes from rustic scenes.14. flight shall perish from … swift—Even the swift shall not be able to escape.strong shall not strengthen his force—that is, shall not be able to use his strength.himself—literally, "his life."16. flee … naked—If any escape, it must be with the loss of accoutrements, and all that wouldimpede rapid flight. They must be content with saving their life alone.CHAPTER 3Am 3:1-15. God's Extraordinary Love, Being Repaid by Israel with Ingratitude, of Necessity Calls for Judgments,Which the Prophets Announce, Not at Random, but by God's Commission, Which They Cannot but Fulfil. The OppressionPrevalent in Israel Will Bring Down Ruin on All Save a Small Remnant.1. children of Israel—not merely the ten tribes, but "the whole family brought up from Egypt";all the descendants of Jacob, including Judah and Benjamin. Compare Jer 8:3, and Mic 2:3, on"family" for the nation. However, as the prophecy following refers to the ten tribes, they must bechiefly, if not solely, meant: they were the majority of the nation; and so Amos concedes what theyso often boasted, that they were the elect people of God [Calvin], but implies that this only heightenstheir sins.2. You only have I known—that is, acknowledged as My people, and treated with peculiarfavor (Ex 19:5; De 4:20). Compare the use of "know," Ps 1:6; 144:3; Joh 10:14; 2Ti 2:19.therefore I will punish—the greater the privileges, the heavier the punishment for the abuseof them; for to the other offenses there is added, in this case, ingratitude. When God's people donot glorify Him, He glorifies Himself by punishing them.3-6. Here follow several questions of a parable-like kind, to awaken conviction in the people.Can two walk together, except they be agreed?—Can God's prophets be so unanimous inprophesying against you, if God's Spirit were not joined with them, or if their prophecies were1663JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfalse? The Israelites were "at ease," not believing that God was with the prophets in theirdenunciations of coming ruin to the nation (Am 6:1, 3; compare 1Ki 22:18, 24, 27; Jer 43:2). Thisaccords with Am 3:7, 8. So "I will be with thy mouth" (Ex 4:12; Jer 1:8; Mt 10:20). If the prophetsand God were not agreed, the former could not predict the future as they do. In Am 2:12 He hadsaid, the Israelites forbade the prophets prophesying; therefore, in Am 3:3, 8, He asserts theagreement between the prophets and God who spake by them against Israel [Rosenmuller]. Rather,"I once walked with you" (Le 26:12) as a Father and Husband (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:14); but now yourway and Mine are utterly diverse; there can therefore be no fellowship between us such as therewas (Am 3:2); I will walk with you only to "punish you"; as a "lion" walks with his "prey" (Am3:4), as a bird-catcher with a bird [Tarnovius]. The prophets, and all servants of God, can have nofellowship with the ungodly (Ps 119:63; 2Co 6:16, 17; Eph 5:11; Jas 4:4).4. The same idea as in Mt 24:28. Where a corrupt nation is, there God's instruments ofpunishment are sure also to be. The lion roars loudly only when he has prey in sight.Will a young lion cry out … if he—the "lion," not the "young lion."have taken nothing?—The young lion just weaned lies silent, until the old lion brings the preynear; then the scent rouses him. So, the prophet would not speak against Israel, if God did not revealto him Israel's sins as requiring punishment.5. When a bird trying to fly upwards is made to fall upon the earth snare, it is a plain proof thatthe snare is there; so, Israel, now that thou art falling, infer thence, that it is in the snare of the divinejudgment that thou art entangled [Ludovicus De Dieu].shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing—The bird-catcher doesnot remove his snare off the ground till he has caught some prey; so God will not withdraw theAssyrians, &c., the instruments of punishment, until they have had the success against you whichGod gives them. The foe corresponds to the "snare," suddenly springing from the ground andenclosing the bird on the latter touching it; the Hebrew is literally, "Shall the snare spring from theearth?" Israel entangled in judgments answers to the bird "taken."6. When the sound of alarm is trumpeted by the watchman in the city, the people are sure torun to and fro in alarm (Hebrew, literally). Yet Israel is not alarmed, though God threatensjudgments.shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?—This is the explanation of thepreceding similes: God is the Author of all the calamities which come upon you, and which areforetold by His prophets. The evil of sin is from ourselves; the evil of trouble is from God, whoeverbe the instruments.7. his secret—namely, His purpose hidden from all, until it is revealed to His prophets (compareGe 18:17). In a wider sense, God's will is revealed to all who love God, which it is not to the world(Ps 25:14; Joh 15:15; 17:25, 26).unto his servants—who being servants cannot but obey their Lord in setting forth His purpose(namely, that of judgment against Israel) (Jer 20:9; Eze 9:11). Therefore the fault which the ungodlyfind with them is groundless (1Ki 18:17). It aggravates Israel's sin, that God is not about to inflictjudgment, without having fully warned the people, if haply they might repent.8. As when "the lion roars" (compare Am 1:2; Am 3:4), none can help but "fear," so whenJehovah communicates His awful message, the prophet cannot but prophesy. Find not fault withme for prophesying; I must obey God. In a wider sense true of all believers (Ac 4:20; 5:29).1664JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. Publish in … palaces—as being places of greatest resort (compare Mt 10:27); and also asit is the sin of princes that he arraigns, he calls on princes (the occupants of the "palaces") to bethe witnesses.Ashdod—put for all Philistia. Convene the Philistine and the Egyptian magnates, from whomI have on various occasions rescued Israel. (The opposite formula to "Tell it not in Gath," namely,lest the heathen should glory over Israel). Even these idolaters, in looking on your enormities, willcondemn you; how much more will the holy God?upon the mountains of Samaria—on the hills surrounding and commanding the view ofSamaria, the metropolis of the ten tribes, which was on a lower hill (Am 4:1; 1Ki 16:24). Themountains are to be the tribunal on which the Philistines and Egyptians are to sit aloft to have aview of your crimes, so as to testify to the justice of your punishment (Am 3:13).tumults—caused by the violence of the princes of Israel in "oppressions" of the poor (Job 35:9;Ec 4:1).10. know not to do—Their moral corruption blinds their power of discernment so that theycannot do right (Jer 4:22). Not simple intellectual ignorance; the defect lay in the heart and will.store up violence and robbery—that is, treasures obtained by "violence and robbery" (Pr10:2).11. Translate, "An adversary (the abruptness produces a startling effect)! and that too, fromevery side of the land." So in the fulfilment, 2Ki 17:5: "The king of Assyria (Shalmaneser) cameup throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years."bring down thy strength from thee—that is, bring thee down from thy strength (the strengthon which thou didst boast thyself): all thy resources (Pr 10:15).palaces shall be spoiled—a just retribution in kind (Am 3:10). The palaces in which spoils ofrobbery were stored up, "shall be spoiled."12. shepherd—a pastoral image, appropriately used by Amos, a shepherd himself.piece of … ear—brought by the shepherd to the owner of the sheep, so as not to have to payfor the loss (Ge 31:39; Ex 22:13). So if aught of Israel escapes, it shall be a miracle of God'sgoodness. It shall be but a scanty remnant. There is a kind of goat in the East the ears of which area foot long, and proportionally broad. Perhaps the reference is to this. Compare on the image 1Sa17:34, 35; 2Ti 4:17.that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed—that is, that live luxuriously in Samaria (compareAm 6:1, 4). "A bed" means here the Oriental divan, a raised part of the room covered with cushions.in Damascus in a couch—Jeroboam II had lately restored Damascus to Israel (2Ki 14:25, 28).So the Israelites are represented as not merely in "the corner of a bed," as in Samaria, but "in a(whole) couch," at Damascus, living in luxurious ease. Of these, now so luxurious, soon but aremnant shall be left by the foe. The destruction of Damascus and that of Samaria shall be conjoined;as here their luxurious lives, and subsequently under Pekah and Rezin their inroads on Judah, werecombined (Isa 7:1-8; 8:4, 9; 17:3). The parallelism of "Samaria" to "Damascus," and the Septuagintfavor English Version rather than Gesenius: "on a damask couch." The Hebrew pointing, thoughgenerally expressing damask, may express the city "Damascus"; and many manuscripts point it so.Compare for Israel's overthrow, 2Ki 17:5, 6; 18:9-12.13. testify in the house, &c.—that is, against the house of Jacob. God calls on the same personsas in Am 3:9, namely, the heathen Philistines and the Egyptians to witness with their own eyes1665JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonSamaria's corruptions above described, so that none may be able to deny the justice of Samaria'spunishment [Maurer].God of hosts—having all the powers of heaven and earth at His command, and therefore Onecalculated to strike terror into the hearts of the guilty whom He threatens.14. That—rather, "since," or "for." This verse is not, as English Version translates, the thingwhich the witnesses cited are to "testify" (Am 3:13), but the reason why God calls on the heathento witness Samaria's guilt; namely, in order to justify the punishment which He declares He willinflict.I will also visit … Beth-el—the golden calves which were the source of all "the transgressionsof Israel" (1Ki 12:32; 13:2; 2Ki 23:15, 16), though Israel thought that by them their transgressionswere atoned for and God's favor secured.horns of the altar—which used to be sprinkled with the blood of victims. They were horn-likeprojecting points at the corners of ancient altars. The singular, "altar," refers to the great altarerected by Jeroboam to the calves. The "altars," plural, refer to the lesser ones made in imitationof the great one (2Ch 34:5, compare with 1Ki 13:2; Ho 8:11; 10:1).15. winter … summer house—(Jud 3:20; Jer 36:22). Winter houses of the great were insheltered positions facing the south to get all possible sunshine, summer houses in forests and onhills, facing the east and north.houses of ivory—having their walls, doors, and ceilings inlaid with ivory. So Ahab's house(1Ki 22:39; Ps 45:8).CHAPTER 4Am 4:1-13. Denunciation of Israel's Nobles for Oppression; and of the Whole Nation for Idolatry; and for TheirBeing Unreformed Even by God's Judgments: Therefore They Must Prepare for the Last and Worst Judgment of All.1. kine of Bashan—fat and wanton cattle such as the rich pasture of Bashan (east of Jordan,between Hermon and Gilead) was famed for (De 32:14; Ps 22:12; Eze 39:18). Figurative for thoseluxurious nobles mentioned, Am 3:9, 10, 12, 15. The feminine, kine, or cows, not bulls, expressestheir effeminacy. This accounts for masculine forms in the Hebrew being intermixed with feminine;the latter being figurative, the former the real persons meant.say to their masters—that is, to their king, with whom the princes indulged in potations (Ho7:5), and whom here they importune for more wine. "Bring" is singular, in the Hebrew implyingthat one "master" alone is meant.2. The Lord—the same Hebrew as "masters" (Am 4:1). Israel's nobles say to their master orlord, Bring us drink: but "the Lord" of him and them "hath sworn," &c.by his holiness—which binds Him to punish the guilty (Ps 89:35).he will take yon away—that is God by the instrumentality of the enemy.with hooks—literally, "thorns" (compare 2Ch 33:11). As fish are taken out of the water byhooks, so the Israelites are to be taken out of their cities by the enemy (Eze 29:4; compare Job 41:1,2; Jer 16:16; Hab 1:15). The image is the more appropriate, as anciently captives were led by theirconquerors by a hook made to pass through the nose (2Ki 19:28), as is to be seen in the Assyrianremains.3. go out at the breaches—namely, of the city walls broken by the enemy.1666JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonevery cow at that which is before her—figurative for the once luxurious nobles (compare"kine of Bashan," Am 4:1) shall go out each one right before her; not through the gates, but eachat the breach before him, not turning to the right or left, apart from one another.ye shall cast them into the palace—"them," that is, "your posterity," from Am 4:2. Youyourselves shall escape through the breaches, after having cast your little children into the palace,so as not to see their destruction, and to escape the more quickly. Rather, "ye shall cast yourselvesinto the palace," so as to escape from it out of the city [Calvin]. The palace, the scene of the princes'riots (Am 3:10, 15; 4:1), is to be the scene of their ignominious flight. Compare in the similar caseof Jerusalem's capture, the king's escape by way of the palace, through a breach in the wall (Eze12:5, 12). Gesenius translates, "Ye shall be cast (as captives) into the (enemy's) stronghold"; in thisview, the enemy's stronghold is called "palace," in retributive contrast to the "palaces" of Israel'snobles, the store houses of their robberies (Am 3:10).4. God gives them up to their self-willed idolatry, that they may see how unable their idols areto save them from their coming calamities. So Eze 20:39.Beth-el—(Am 3:14).Gilgal—(Ho 4:15; 9:15; 12:11).sacrifices every morning—as commanded in the law (Nu 28:3, 4). They imitated the letter,while violating by calf-worship the spirit, of the Jerusalem temple-worship.after three years—every third year; literally, "after three (years of) days" (that is, the fullestcomplement of days, or a year); "after three full years." Compare Le 25:20; Jud 17:10, and "thedays" for the years, Joe 1:2. So a month of days is used for a full month, wanting no day to completeit (Ge 29:14, Margin; Nu 11:20, 21). The Israelites here also kept to the letter of the law in bringingin the tithes of their increase every third year (De 14:28; 26:12).5. offer—literally, "burn incense"; that is, "offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with burnt incenseand with leavened bread." The frankincense was laid on the meat offering, and taken by the priestfrom it to burn on the altar (Le 2:1, 2, 8-11). Though unleavened cakes were to accompany thepeace offering sacrifice of animals, leavened bread was also commanded (Le 7:12, 13), but not asa "meat offering" (Le 2:11).this liketh you—that is, this is what ye like.6-11. Jehovah details His several chastisements inflicted with a view to reclaiming them: butadds to each the same sad result, "yet have ye not returned unto Me" (Isa 9:13; Jer 5:3; Ho 7:10);the monotonous repetition of the same burden marking their pitiable obstinacy.cleanness of teeth—explained by the parallel, "want of bread." The famine alluded to is thatmentioned in 2Ki 8:1 [Grotius]. Where there is no food to masticate, the teeth are free fromuncleanness, but it is the cleanness of want. Compare Pr 14:4, "Where no oxen are, the crib isclean." So spiritually, where all is outwardly smooth and clean, it is often because there is no solidreligion. Better fighting and fears with real piety, than peace and respectable decorum withoutspiritual life.7. withholden … rain … three months to … harvest—the time when rain was most needed,and when usually "the latter rain" fell, namely, in spring, the latter half of February, and the wholeof March and April (Ho 6:3; Joe 2:23). The drought meant is that mentioned in 1Ki 17:1 [Grotius].rain upon one city … not … upon another—Any rain that fell was only partial.8. three cities wandered—that is, the inhabitants of three cities (compare Jer 14:1-6). Grotiusexplains this verse and Am 4:7, "The rain fell on neighboring countries, but not on Israel, which1667JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmarked the drought to be, not accidental, but the special judgment of God." The Israelites wereobliged to leave their cities and homes to seek water at a distance [Calvin].9. blasting—the blighting influence of the east wind on the corn (Ge 41:6).when … gardens … increased—In vain ye multiplied your gardens, &c., for I destroyed theirproduce. Bochart supports Margin, "the multitude of your gardens."palmer worm—A species of locust is here meant, hurtful to fruits of trees, not to herbage orcorn. The same east wind which brought the drought, blasting, and mildew, brought also the locustsinto Judea [Bochart], (Ex 10:13).10. pestilence after the manner of Egypt—such as I formerly sent on the Egyptians (Ex 9:3,8, &c.; Ex 12:29; De 28:27, 60). Compare the same phrase, Isa 10:24.have taken away your horses—literally, "accompanied with the captivity of your horses"; Ihave given up your young men to be slain, and their horses to be taken by the foe (compare 2Ki13:7).stink of your camps—that is, of your slain men (compare Isa 34:3; Joe 2:20).to come up unto your nostrils—The Hebrew is more emphatic, "to come up, and that untoyour nostrils."11. some of you—some parts of your territory.as God overthrew Sodom—(De 29:23; Isa 13:19; Jer 49:18; 50:40; 2Pe 2:6; Jude 7). "God"is often repeated in Hebrew instead of "I." The earthquake here apparently alluded to is not that inthe reign of Uzziah, which occurred "two years" later (Am 1:1). Traces of earthquakes and volcanicagency abound in Palestine. The allusion here is to some of the effects of these in previous times.Compare the prophecy, De 28:15-68, with Am 4:6-11 here.as a firebrand plucked out of … burning—(Compare Isa 7:4; Zec 3:2). The phrase is proverbialfor a narrow escape from utter extinction. Though Israel revived as a nation under Jeroboam II, itwas but for a time, and that after an almost utter destruction previously (2Ki 14:26).12. Therefore—as all chastisements have failed to make thee "return unto Me."thus will I do unto thee—as I have threatened (Am 4:2, 3).prepare to meet thy God—God is about to inflict the last and worst judgment on thee, theextinction of thy nationality; consider then what preparation thou canst make for encountering Himas thy foe (Jer 46:14; Lu 14:31, 32). But as that would be madness to think of (Isa 27:4; Eze 22:14;Heb 10:31), see what can be done towards mitigating the severity of the coming judgment, bypenitence (Isa 27:5; 1Co 11:31). This latter exhortation is followed up in Am 5:4, 6, 8, 14, 15.13. The God whom Israel is to "prepare to meet" (Am 4:12) is here described in sublime terms.wind—not as the Margin, "spirit." The God with whom thou hast to do is the OmnipotentMaker of things seen, such as the stupendous mountains, and of things too subtle to be seen, thoughof powerful agency, as the "wind."declareth unto man … his thought—(Ps 139:2). Ye think that your secret thoughts escapeMy cognizance, but I am the searcher of hearts.maketh … morning darkness—(Am 5:8; 8:9). Both literally turning the sunshine into darkness,and figuratively turning the prosperity of the ungodly into sudden adversity (Ps 73:12, 18, 19;compare Jer 13:16).treadeth upon … high places—God treadeth down the proud of the earth. He subjects to Himall things however high they be (Mic 1:3). Compare De 32:13; 33:29, where the same phrase isused of God's people, elevated by God above every other human height.1668JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 5Am 5:1-27. Elegy over the Prostrate Kingdom: Renewed Exhortations to Repentance: God Declares that the ComingDay of Judgment Shall Be Terrible to the Scorners Who Despise It: Ceremonial Services Are Not Acceptable to Him WhereTrue Piety Exists Not: Israel Shall Therefore Be Removed Far Eastward.1. lamentation—an elegy for the destruction coming on you. Compare Eze 32:2, "take up,"namely, as a mournful burden (Eze 19:1; 27:2).2. virgin of Israel—the Israelite state heretofore unsubdued by foreigners. Compare Isa 23:12;Jer 18:13; 31:4, 21; La 2:13; may be interpreted, Thou who wast once the "virgin daughter of Zion."Rather, "virgin" as applied to a state implies its beauty, and the delights on which it prides itself,its luxuries, power, and wealth [Calvin].no more rise—in the existing order of things: in the Messianic dispensation it is to rise again,according to many prophecies. Compare 2Ki 6:23; 24:7, for the restricted sense of "no more."forsaken upon her land—or, "prostrated upon," &c. (compare Eze 29:5; 32:4) [Maurer].3. went out by a thousand—that is, "the city from which there used to go out a thousand"equipped for war. "City" is put for "the inhabitants of the city," as in Am 4:8.shall leave … hundred—shall have only a hundred left, the rest being destroyed by sword andpestilence (De 28:62).4. Seek ye me, and ye shall live—literally, "Seek … Me, and live." The second imperativeexpresses the certainty of "life" (escape from judgment) resulting from obedience to the precept inthe first imperative. If they perish, it is their own fault; God would forgive, if they would repent(Isa 55:3, 6).5. seek not Beth-el—that is, the calves at Beth-el.Gilgal—(See on Am 4:4).Beer-sheba—in Judah on the southern frontier towards Edom. Once "the well of the oath" byJehovah, ratifying Abraham's covenant with Abimelech, and the scene of his calling on "the Lord,the everlasting God" (Ge 21:31, 33), now a stronghold of idolatry (Am 8:14).Gilgal shall surely go into captivity—a play on similar sounds in the Hebrew, Gilgal, galoh,yigleh: "Gilgal (the place of rolling) shall rolling be rolled away."Beth-el shall come to naught—Beth-el (that is, the "house of God"), called because of its vainidols Beth-aven (that is, "the house of vanity," or "naught," Ho 4:15; 10:5, 8), shall indeed "cometo naught."6. break out like fire—bursting through everything in His way. God is "a consuming fire" (De4:24; Isa 10:17; La 2:3).the house of Joseph—the kingdom of Israel, of which the tribe of Ephraim, Joseph's son, wasthe chief tribe (compare Eze 37:16).none to quench it in Beth-el—that is, none in Beth-el to quench it; none of the Beth-el idolson which Israel so depended, able to remove the divine judgments.7. turn judgment to wormwood—that is, pervert it to most bitter wrong. As justice is sweet,so injustice is bitter to the injured. "Wormwood" is from a Hebrew root, to "execrate," on accountof its noxious and bitter qualities.leave on righteousness in … earth—Maurer translates, "cast righteousness to the ground," asin Isa 28:2; Da 8:12.8. the seven stars—literally, the heap or cluster of seven larger stars and others smaller (Job9:9; 38:31). The former whole passage seems to have been in Amos' mind. He names the stars well1669JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonknown to shepherds (to which class Amos belonged), Orion as the precursor of the tempests whichare here threatened, and the Pleiades as ushering in spring.shadow of death—Hebraism for the densest darkness.calleth for the waters of the sea—both to send deluges in judgment, and the ordinary rain inmercy (1Ki 18:44).9. strengtheneth the spoiled—literally, "spoil" or "devastation": hence the "person spoiled."Winer, Maurer, and the best modern critics translate, "maketh devastation (or destruction) suddenlyto arise," literally, "maketh it to gleam forth like the dawn." Ancient versions support EnglishVersion. The Hebrew is elsewhere used, to make, to shine, to make glad: and as English Versionhere (Ps 39:13), "recover strength."the spoiled shall come—"devastation," or "destruction shall come upon" [Maurer]. EnglishVersion expresses that, strong as Israel fancies herself after the successes of Jeroboam II (2Ki14:25), even the weakest can be made by God to prevail against the strong.10. him that rebuketh in the gate—the judge who condemns their iniquity in the place ofjudgment (Isa 29:21).abhor him that speaketh uprightly—the prophet telling them the unwelcome truth: answeringin the parallelism to the judge, "that rebuketh in the gate" (compare 1Ki 22:8; Pr 9:8; 12:1; Jer36:23).11. burdens of wheat—burdensome taxes levied in kind from the wheat of the needy, to pamperthe lusts of the great [Henderson]. Or wheat advanced in time of scarcity, and exacted again at aburdensome interest [Rabbi Salomon].built houses … but not dwell in them … vineyards, … but not drink wine ofthem—according to the original prophecy of Moses (De 28:30, 38, 39). The converse shall be truein restored Israel (Am 9:14; Isa 65:21, 22).12. they afflict … they take—rather, "(ye) who afflict … take."bribe—literally, a price with which one who has an unjust cause ransoms himself from yoursentence (1Sa 12:3, Margin; Pr 6:35).turn aside the poor in the gate—refuse them their right in the place of justice (Am 2:7; Isa29:21).13. the prudent—the spiritually wise.shall keep silence—not mere silence of tongue, but the prudent shall keep himself quiet fromtaking part in any public or private affairs which he can avoid: as it is "an evil time," and one inwhich all law is set at naught. Eph 5:16 refers to this. Instead of impatiently agitating againstirremediable evils, the godly wise will not cast pearls before swine, who would trample these, andrend the offerers (Mt 7:6), but will patiently wait for God's time of deliverance in silent submission(Ps 39:9).14. and so—on condition of your "seeking good."shall be with you, as ye have spoken—as ye have boasted; namely, that God is with you, andthat you are His people (Mic 3:11).15. Hate … evil … love … good—(Isa 1:16, 17; Ro 12:9).judgment in the gate—justice in the place where causes are tried.it may be that the Lord … will be gracious—so, "peradventure" (Ex 32:30). Not that menare to come to God with an uncertainty whether or no He will be gracious: the expression merely1670JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonimplies the difficulty in the way, because of the want of true repentance on man's part, so as tostimulate the zealous earnestness of believers in seeking God (compare Ge 16:2; Joe 2:14; Ac 8:22).the remnant of Joseph—(see Am 5:6). Israel (represented by "Ephraim," the leading tribe,and descendant of Joseph) was, as compared to what it once was, now but a remnant, Hazael ofSyria having smitten all the coasts from Jordan eastward, Gilead and Bashan, Gad, Reuben, andManasseh (2Ki 10:32, 33) [Henderson]. Rather, "the remnant of Israel that shall have been left afterthe wicked have been destroyed" [Maurer].16. Therefore—resumed from Am 5:13. God foresees they will not obey the exhortation (Am5:14, 15), but will persevere in the unrighteousness stigmatized (Am 5:7, 10, 12).the Lord—Jehovah.the God of hosts, the Lord—an accumulation of titles, of which His lordship over all thingsis the climax, to mark that from His judgment there is no appeal.streets … highways—the broad open spaces and the narrow streets common in the East.call the husbandman to mourning—The citizens shall call the inexperienced husbandmen toact the part usually performed by professional mourners, as there will not be enough of the latterfor the universal mourning which prevails.such as are skilful of lamentation—professional mourners hired to lead off the lamentationsfor the deceased; alluded to in Ec 12:5; generally women (Jer 9:17-19).17. in all vineyards … wailing—where usually songs of joy were heard.pass through thee—taking vengeance (Ex 12:12, 23; Na 1:12). "Pass over" and "pass by," onthe contrary, are used of God's forgiving (Ex 12:23; Mic 7:18; compare Am 7:8).18. Woe unto you who do not scruple to say in irony, "We desire that the day of the Lord wouldcome," that is, "Woe to you who treat it as if it were a mere dream of the prophets" (Isa 5:19; Jer17:15; Eze 12:22).to what end is it for you!—Amos taking their ironical words in earnest: for God often takesthe blasphemer at his own word, in righteous retribution making the scoffer's jest a terrible realityagainst himself. Ye have but little reason to desire the day of the Lord; for it will be to you calamity,and not joy.19. As if a man did flee … a lion, and a bear met him—Trying to escape one calamity, hefalls into another. This perhaps implies that in Am 5:18 their ironical desire for the day of the Lordwas as if it would be an escape from existing calamities. The coming of the day of the Lord wouldbe good news to us, if true: for we have served God (that is, the golden calves). So do hypocritesflatter themselves as to death and judgment, as if these would be a relief from existing ills of life.The lion may from generosity spare the prostrate, but the bear spares none (compare Job 20:24;Isa 24:18).leaned … on the wall—on the side wall of the house, to support himself from falling. Snakesoften hid themselves in fissures in a wall. Those not reformed by God's judgments will be pursuedby them: if they escape one, another is ready to seize them.21. I hate, I despise—The two verbs joined without a conjunction express God's strongabhorrence.your feast days—yours; not Mine; I do not acknowledge them: unlike those in Judah, yoursare of human, not divine institution.I will not smell—that is, I will take no delight in the sacrifices offered (Ge 8:21; Le 26:31).1671JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin your solemn assemblies—literally, "days of restraint." Isa 1:10-15 is parallel. Isaiah is fuller;Amos, more condensed. Amos condemns Israel not only on the ground of their thinking to satisfyGod by sacrifices without obedience (the charge brought by Isaiah against the Jews), but alsobecause even their external ritual was a mere corruption, and unsanctioned by God.22. meat offerings—flour, &c. Unbloody offerings.peace offerings—offerings for obtaining from God peace and prosperity. Hebrew, "thankofferings."23. Take … away from me—literally, "Take away, from upon Me"; the idea being that of aburden pressing upon the bearer. So Isa 1:14, "They are a trouble unto Me (literally, 'a burden uponMe'): I am weary to bear them."the noise of thy songs—The hymns and instrumental music on sacred occasions are to Menothing but a disagreeable noise.I will not hear—Isaiah substitutes "prayers" (Isa 1:15) for the "songs" and "melody" here; but,like Amos, closes with "I will not hear."24. judgment—justice.run down—literally, "roll," that is, flow abundantly (Isa 48:18). Without the desire to fulfilrighteousness in the offerer, the sacrifice is hateful to God (1Sa 15:22; Ps 66:18; Ho 6:6; Mic 6:8).25, 26. Have ye offered? &c.—Yes: ye have. "But (all the time with strange inconsistency) yehave borne (aloft in solemn pomp) the tabernacle (that is, the portable shrine, or model tabernacle:small enough not to be detected by Moses; compare Ac 19:24) of your Molech" (that idol is "your"god; I am not, though ye go through the form of presenting offerings to Me). The question, "Haveye," is not a denial (for they did offer in the wilderness to Jehovah sacrifices of the cattle whichthey took with them in their nomad life there, Ex 24:4; Nu 7:1-89; 9:1, &c.), but a strong affirmation(compare 1Sa 2:27, 28; Jer 31:20; Eze 20:4). The sin of Israel in Amos' time is the very sin of theirforefathers, mocking God with worship, while at the same time worshipping idols (compare Eze20:39). It was clandestine in Moses' time, else he would have put it down; he was aware generallyof their unfaithfulness, though not knowing the particulars (De 31:21, 27).Molech … Chiun—"Molech" means "king" answering to Mars [Bengel]; the Sun [Jablonski];Saturn, the same as "Chiun" [Maurer]. The Septuagint translates "Chiun" into Remphan, as Stephenquotes it (Ac 7:42, 43). The same god often had different names. Molech is the Ammonite name;Chiun, the Arabic and Persian name, written also Chevan. In an Arabic lexicon Chiun means"austere"; so astrologers represented Saturn as a planet baleful in his influence. Hence the Phoeniciansoffered human sacrifices to him, children especially; so idolatrous Israel also. Rimmon was theSyrian name (2Ki 5:18); pronounced as Remvan, or "Remphan," just as Chiun was also Chevan.Molech had the form of a king; Chevan, or Chiun, of a star [Grotius]. Remphan was the Egyptianname for Saturn: hence the Septuagint translator of Amos gave the Egyptian name for the Hebrew,being an Egyptian. [Hodius II, De Bibliorum Textibus Originalibus. 4.115]. The same as the Nile,of which the Egyptians made the star Saturn the representative [Harenberg]. Bengel considers Remphanor Rephan akin to Teraphim and Remphis, the name of a king of Egypt. The Hebrews becameinfected with Sabeanism, the oldest form of idolatry, the worship of the Saba or starry hosts, intheir stay in the Arabian desert, where Job notices its prevalence (Job 31:26); in opposition, in Am5:27, Jehovah declares Himself "the God of hosts."the star of your god—R. Isaac Caro says all the astrologers represented Saturn as the star ofIsrael. Probably there was a figure of a star on the head of the image of the idol, to represent the1672JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonplanet Saturn; hence "images" correspond to "star" in the parallel clause. A star in hieroglyphicsrepresents God (Nu 24:17). "Images" are either a Hebraism for "image," or refer to the many imagesmade to represent Chiun.27. beyond Damascus—In Ac 7:43 it is "beyond Babylon," which includes beyond Damascus.In Amos' time, Damascus was the object of Israel's fear because of the Syrian wars. Babylon wasnot yet named as the place of their captivity. Stephen supplies this name. Their place of exile wasin fact, as he states, "beyond Babylon," in Halah and Habor by the river Gozan, and in the cities ofthe Medes (2Ki 17:6; compare here Am 1:5; 4:3; 6:14). The road to Assyria lay through "Damascus."It is therefore specified, that not merely shall they be carried captives to Damascus, as they hadbeen by Syrian kings (2Ki 10:32, 33; 13:7), but, beyond that, to a region whence a return was notso possible as from Damascus. They were led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God causedthem to go captive among idolaters. Compare 2Ki 15:29; 16:9; Isa 8:4, whence it appearsTiglath-pileser attacked Israel and Damascus at the same time at Ahaz' request (Am 3:11).CHAPTER 6Am 6:1-14. Denunciation of Both the Sister Nations (Especially Their Nobles) For Wanton Security—Zion, asWell as Samaria: Threat of the Exile: Ruin of Their Palaces and Slaughter of the People: Their Perverse Injustice.1. named chief of the nations—that is, you nobles, so eminent in influence, that your namesare celebrated among the chief nations [Ludovicus De Dieu]. Hebrew, "Men designated by name amongthe first-fruits of the nations," that is, men of note in Israel, the people chosen by God as first ofthe nations (Ex 19:5; compare Nu 24:20) [Piscator].to whom … Israel came—that is, the princes to whom the Israelites used to repair for thedecision of controversies, recognizing their authority [Maurer]. I prefer to refer "which" to theantecedent "Zion" and "Samaria"; these were esteemed "chief" strongholds among the heathennations "to whom … Israel came" when it entered Canaan; Am 6:2 accords with this.2. Calneh—on the east bank of the Tigris. Once powerful, but recently subjugated by Assyria(Isa 10:9; about 794 B.C.).Hameth—subjugated by Jeroboam II (2Ki 14:25). Also by Assyria subsequently (2Ki 18:34).Compare Am 6:14.Gath—subjugated by Uzziah (2Ch 26:6).be they better—no. Their so recent subjugation renders it needless for Me to tell you they arenot. And yet they once were; still they could not defend themselves against the enemy. How vain,then, your secure confidence in the strength of Mounts Zion and Samaria! He takes cities respectivelyeast, north, south, and west of Israel (compare Na 3:8).3. Ye persuade yourselves that "the evil day" foretold by the prophets is "far off," though theydeclare it near (Eze 12:22, 27). Ye in your imagination put it far off, and therefore bring near violentoppression, suffering it to sit enthroned, as it were, among you (Ps 94:20). The notion of judgmentbeing far off has always been an incentive to the sinner's recklessness of living (Ec 8:12, 13; Mt24:48). Yet that very recklessness brings near the evil day which he puts far off. "Ye bring on feverby your intemperance, and yet would put it far off" [Calvin].4. (See Am 2:8).beds of ivory—that is, adorned, or inlaid, with ivory (Am 3:15).1673JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonstretch themselves—in luxurious self-indulgence.lambs out of the flock—picked out as the choicest, for their owners' selfish gratification.5. chant—literally, "mark distinct sounds and tones."viol—the lyre, or lute.invent … instruments … like David—They fancy they equal David in musical skill (1Ch23:5; Ne 12:36). They defend their luxurious passion for music by his example: forgetting that hepursued this study when at peace and free from danger, and that for the praise of God; but theypursue for their own self-gratification, and that when God is angry and ruin is imminent.6. drink … in bowls—in the large vessels or basins in which wine was mixed; not satisfiedwith the smaller cups from which it was ordinarily drunk, after having been poured from the largemixer.chief ointments—that is, the most costly: not for health or cleanliness, but wanton luxury.not grieved for the affliction of Joseph—literally, "the breach," that is, the national woundor calamity (Ps 60:2; Eze 34:4) of the house of Joseph (Am 5:6); resembling in this the heartlessnessof their forefathers, the sons of Jacob, towards Joseph, "eating bread" while their brother lay in thepit, and then selling him to Ishmaelites.7. Therefore … shall they go captive with the first—As they were first among the people inrank (Am 6:1), and anointed themselves "with the chief ointments" (Am 6:6), so shall they beamong the foremost in going into captivity.banquet—literally, the "merry-making shout of revellers"; from an Arabic root, "to cry out."In the Hebrew, marzeach; here, there is an allusion to mizraqu, "bowls" (Am 6:6).them that stretched themselves—on luxurious couches (Am 6:4).8. the excellency of Jacob—(Ps 47:4). The sanctuary which was the great glory of thecovenant-people [Vatablus], (Eze 24:21). The priesthood, and kingdom, and dignity, conferred onthem by God. These, saith God, are of no account in My eyes towards averting punishment [Calvin].hate his palaces—as being the storehouses of "robbery" (Am 3:10, 15). How sad a changefrom God's love of Zion's gates (Ps 87:2) and palaces (Ps 48:3, 13), owing to the people's sin!the city—collectively: both Zion and Samaria (Am 6:1).all that is therein—literally, "its fulness"; the multitude of men and of riches in it (comparePs 24:1).9. If as many as ten (Le 26:26; Zec 8:23) remain in a house (a rare case, and only in the scatteredvillages, as there will be scarcely a house in which the enemy will leave any), they shall all, to aman, die of the plague, a frequent concomitant of war in the East (Jer 24:10; 44:13; Eze 6:11).10. a man's uncle—The nearest relatives had the duty of burying the dead (Ge 25:9; 35:29;Jud 16:31). No nearer relative was left of this man than an uncle.and he that burneth him—the uncle, who is also at the same time the one that burneth him(one of the "ten," Am 6:9). Burial was the usual Hebrew mode of disposing of their dead. But incases of necessity, as when the men of Jabesh-gilead took the bodies of Saul and his three sonsfrom the walls of Beth-shan and burned them to save them from being insulted by the Philistines,burning was practised. So in this case, to prevent contagion.the bones—that is, the dead body (Ge 50:25). Perhaps here there is an allusion in the phraseto the emaciated condition of the body, which was little else but skin and bones.say unto him that is by the sides of the house—that is, to the only one left of the ten in theinterior of the house [Maurer] (compare Note, see on Isa 14:13).1674JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHold thy tongue … we may not … mention … the Lord—After receiving the reply, thatnone is left besides the one addressed, when the man outside fancies the man still surviving insideto be on the point, as was customary, of expressing devout gratitude to God who spared him, theman outside interrupts him, "Hold thy tongue! for there is not now cause for mentioning with praise(Jos 23:7) the name of Jehovah"; for thou also must die; as all the ten are to die to the last man (Am6:9; compare Am 8:3). Formerly ye boasted in the name of Jehovah, as if ye were His peculiarpeople; now ye shall be silent and shudder at His name, as hostile to you, and as one from whomye wish to be hidden (Re 6:16), [Calvin].11. commandeth, and he will smite—His word of command, when once given, cannot but befulfilled (Isa 55:11). His mere word is enough to smite with destruction.great house … little house—He will spare none, great or small (Am 3:15). Jerome interprets"the great house" as Israel, and "the small house" as Judah: the former being reduced to branchesor ruins, literally, "small drops"; the latter, though injured with "clefts" or rents, which threaten itsfall, yet still permitted to stand.12. In turning "judgment (justice) into gall (poison), and … righteousness into hemlock" (orwormwood, bitter and noxious), ye act as perversely as if one were to make "horses run upon therock" or to "plough with oxen there" [Maurer]. As horses and oxen are useless on a rock, so ye areincapable of fulfilling justice [Grotius]. Ye impede the course of God's benefits, because ye are asit were a hard rock on which His favor cannot run. "Those that will not be tilled as fields, shall beabandoned as rocks" [Calvin].13. rejoice in a thing of naught—that is, in your vain and fleeting riches.Have we not taken to us horns—that is, acquired power, so as to conquer our neighbors (2Ki14:25). Horns are the Hebrew symbol of power, being the instrument of strength in many animals(Ps 75:10).14. from the entering in of Hamath—the point of entrance for an invading army (as Assyria)into Israel from the north; specified here, as Hamath had been just before subjugated by JeroboamII (Am 6:2). Do not glory in your recently acquired city, for it shall be the starting-point for the foeto afflict you. How sad the contrast to the feast of Solomon attended by a congregation from thissame Hamath, the most northern boundary of Israel, to the Nile, the river of Egypt, the most southernboundary!unto the river of the wilderness—that is, to Kedron, which empties itself into the north bayof the Dead Sea below Jericho (2Ch 28:15), the southern boundary of the ten tribes (2Ki 14:25,"from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain") [Maurer]. To the river Nile, which skirtsthe Arabian wilderness and separates Egypt from Canaan [Grotius]. If this verse includes Judah, aswell as Israel (compare Am 6:1, "Zion" and "Samaria"), Grotius' view is correct; and it agrees with1Ki 8:65.CHAPTER 7Am. 7:1-9. The seventh, eighth, and ninth chapters contain Visions, with Their Explanations. Theseventh chapter consists of two parts. First (Am 7:1-9): Prophecies Illustrated by Three Symbols: (1) Avision of grasshoppers or young locusts, which devour the grass, but are removed at Amos' entreaty;(2) Fire drying up even the deep, and withering part of the land, but removed at Amos' entreaty;1675JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson(3) A plumb-line to mark the buildings for destruction. Secondly (Am 7:10-17): Narrative of Amaziah'sInterruption of Amos in Consequence of the Foregoing Prophecies, and Prediction of His Doom.1. showed … me; and, behold—The same formula prefaces the three visions in this chapter,and the fourth in Am 8:1.grasshoppers—rather, "locusts" in the caterpillar state, from a Hebrew root, "to creep forth."In the autumn the eggs are deposited in the earth; in the spring the young come forth [Maurer].the latter growth—namely, of grass, which comes up after the mowing. They do not in theEast mow their grass and make hay of it, but cut it off the ground as they require it.the king's mowings—the first-fruits of the mown grass, tyrannically exacted by the king fromthe people. The literal locusts, as in Joel, are probably symbols of human foes: thus the "growth"of grass "after the king's mowings" will mean the political revival of Israel under Jeroboam II (2Ki14:25), after it had been mown down, as it were, by Hazael and Ben-hadad of Syria (2Ki 13:3),[Grotius].2. by whom shall Jacob arise?—If Thou, O God, dost not spare, how can Jacob maintain hisground, reduced as he is by repeated attacks of the Assyrians, and erelong about to be invaded bythe Assyrian Pul (2Ki 15:19, 20)? Compare Isa 51:19. The mention of "Jacob" is a plea that Godshould "remember for them His covenant" with their forefather, the patriarch (Ps 106:45).he is small—reduced in numbers and in strength.3. repented for this—that is, of this. The change was not in the mind of God (Nu 2:19; Jas1:17), but in the effect outwardly. God unchangeably does what is just; it is just that He shouldhear intercessory prayer (Jas 5:16-18), as it would have been just for Him to have let judgment takeits course at once on the guilty nation, but for the prayer of one or two righteous men in it (compareGe 18:23-33; 1Sa 15:11; Jer 42:10). The repentance of the sinner, and God's regard to His ownattributes of mercy and covenanted love, also cause God outwardly to deal with him as if he repented(Jon 3:10), whereas the change in outward dealing is in strictest harmony with God's ownunchangeableness.It shall not be—Israel's utter overthrow now. Pul was influenced by God to accept money andwithdraw from Israel.4. called to contend—that is, with Israel judicially (Job 9:3; Isa 66:16; Eze 38:22). He orderedto come at His call the infliction of punishment by "fire" on Israel, that is, drought (compare Am4:6-11), [Maurer]. Rather, war (Nu 21:28), namely, Tiglath-pileser [Grotius].devoured the … deep—that is, a great part of Israel, whom he carried away. Waters are thesymbol for many people (Re 17:15).did eat up a part—namely, all the land (compare Am 4:7) of Israel east of Jordan (1Ch 5:26;Isa 9:1). This was a worse judgment than the previous one: the locusts ate up the grass: the fire notonly affects the surface of the ground, but burns up the very roots and reaches even to the deep.7. wall made by a plumb-line—namely, perpendicular.8. plumb-line in … midst of … Israel—No longer are the symbols, as in the former two, statedgenerally; this one is expressly applied to Israel. God's long-suffering is worn out by Israel'sperversity: so Amos ceases to intercede (compare Ge 18:33). The plummet line was used not onlyin building, but in destroying houses (2Ki 21:13; Isa 28:17; 34:11; La 2:8). It denotes that God'sjudgments are measured out by the most exact rules of justice. Here it is placed "in the midst" ofIsrael, that is, the judgment is not to be confined to an outer part of Israel, as by Tiglath-pileser; it1676JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonis to reach the very center. This was fulfilled when Shalmaneser, after a three years' siege of Samaria,took it and carried away Israel captive finally to Assyria (2Ki 17:3, 5, 6, 23).not … pass by … any more—not forgive them any more (Am 8:2; Pr 19:11; Mic 7:18).9. high places—dedicated to idols.of Isaac—They boasted of their following the example of their forefather Isaac, in erectinghigh places at Beer-sheba (Am 5:5; compare Ge 26:23, 24; 46:1); but he and Abraham erected thembefore the temple was appointed at Jerusalem—and to God; whereas they did so, after the templehad been fixed as the only place for sacrifices—and to idols. In the Hebrew here "Isaac" is writtenwith s, instead of the usual ts; both forms mean "laughter"; the change of spelling perhaps expressesthat their "high places of Isaac" may be well so called, but not as they meant by the name; for theyare only fit to be laughed at in scorn. Probably, however, the mention of "Isaac" and "Israel" simplyexpresses that these names, which their degenerate posterity boasted in as if ensuring their safety,will not save them and their idolatrous "sanctuaries" on which they depended from ruin (compareAm 8:14).house of Jeroboam with … sword—fulfilled in the extinction of Zachariah, son of JeroboamII, the last of the descendants of Jeroboam I, who had originated the idolatry of the calves (2Ki15:8-10).Am. 7:10-17. Amaziah's Charge against Amos: His Doom Foretold.10. priest of Beth-el—chief priest of the royal sanctuary to the calves at Beth-el. These beinga device of state policy to keep Israel separate from Judah. Amaziah construes Amos words againstthem as treason. So in the case of Elijah and Jeremiah (1Ki 18:17; Jer 37:13, 14). So the antitypeJesus was charged (Joh 19:12); political expediency being made in all ages the pretext for dishonoringGod and persecuting His servants (Joh 11:48-50). So in the case of Paul (Ac 17:6, 7; 24:5).in the midst of … Israel—probably alluding to Amos' own words, "in the midst of … Israel"(Am 7:8), foretelling the state's overthrow to the very center. Not secretly, or in a corner, but openly,in the very center of the state, so as to upset the whole utterly.land is not able to bear all his words—They are so many and so intolerable. A sedition willbe the result. The mention of his being "priest of Beth-el" implies that it was for his own priestlygain, not for the king or state, he was so keen.11. Jeroboam shall die, &c.—Amos had not said this: but that "the house of Jeroboam" shouldfall "with the sword" (Am 7:9). But Amaziah exaggerates the charge, to excite Jeroboam againsthim. The king, however, did not give ear to Amaziah, probably from religious awe of the prophetof Jehovah.12. Also—Besides informing the king against Amos, lest that course should fail, as it did,Amaziah urges the troublesome prophet himself to go back to his own land Judah, pretending toadvise him in friendliness.seer—said contemptuously in reference to Amos' visions which precede.there eat bread—You can earn a livelihood there, whereas remaining here you will be ruined.He judges of Amos by his own selfishness, as if regard to one's own safety and livelihood are theparamount considerations. So the false prophets (Eze 13:19) were ready to say whatever pleasedtheir hearers, however false, for "handfuls of barley and pieces of bread."13. prophesy not again—(Am 2:12).at Beth-el—Amaziah wants to be let alone at least in his own residence.1677JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe king's chapel—Beth-el was preferred by the king to Dan, the other seat of the calf-worship,as being nearer Samaria, the capital, and as hallowed by Jacob of old (Ge 28:16, 19; 35:6, 7). Heargues by implication against Amos' presumption, as a private man, in speaking against the worshipsanctioned by the king, and that in the very place consecrated to it for the king's own devotions.king's court—that is, residence: the seat of empire, where the king holds his court, and whichthou oughtest to have reverenced. Samaria was the usual king's residence: but for the convenienceof attending the calf-worship, a royal palace was at Beth-el also.14. I was no prophet—in answer to Amaziah's insinuation (Am 7:12), that he discharged theprophetical office to earn his "bread" (like Israel's mercenary prophets). So far from being rewarded,Jehovah's prophets had to expect imprisonment and even death as the result of their prophesyingin Samaria or Israel: whereas the prophets of Baal were maintained at the king's expense (compare1Ki 18:19). I was not, says Amos, of the order of prophets, or educated in their schools, and derivinga livelihood from exercising the public functions of a prophet. I am a shepherd (compare Am 7:15,"flock"; the Hebrew for "herdsman" includes the meaning, shepherd, compare Am 1:1) in humbleposition, who did not even think of prophesying among you, until a divine call impelled me to it.prophet's son—that is, disciple. Schools of prophets are mentioned first in First Samuel; inthese youths were educated to serve the theocracy as public instructors. Only in the kingdom ofthe ten tribes is the continuance of the schools of the prophets mentioned. They were missionarystations near the chief seats of superstition in Israel, and associations endowed with the Spirit ofGod; none were admitted but those to whom the Spirit had been previously imparted. Their spiritualfathers travelled about to visit the training schools, and cared for the members and even their widows(2Ki 4:1, 2). The pupils had their common board in them, and after leaving them still continuedmembers. The offerings which in Judah were given by the pious to the Levites, in Israel went tothe schools of the prophets (2Ki 4:42). Prophecy (for example, Elijah and Elisha) in Israel wasmore connected with extraordinary events than in Judah, inasmuch as, in the absence of the legalhierarchy of the latter, it needed to have more palpable divine sanction.sycamore—abounding in Palestine. The fruit was like the fig, but inferior; according to Pliny,a sort of compound, as the name expresses, of the fig and the mulberry. It was only eaten by thepoorest (compare 1Ki 10:27).gatherer—one occupied with their cultivation [Maurer]. To cultivate it, an incision was madein the fruit when of a certain size, and on the fourth day afterwards it ripened [Pliny, Natural History,13.7,14]. Grotius from Jerome says, if it be not plucked off and "gathered" (which favors EnglishVersion), it is spoiled by gnats.15. took me as I followed the flock—So David was taken (2Sa 7:8; Ps 78:70, 71). Messiah isthe antitypical Shepherd (Ps 23:1-6; Joh 10:1-18).unto my people—"against" [Maurer]; so Am 7:16. Jehovah claims them still as His by right,though slighting His authority. God would recover them to His service by the prophet's ministry.16. drop—distil as the refreshing drops of rain (De 32:2; Eze 21:2; compare Mic 2:6, 11).17. Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city—that is, shall be forced by the enemy, while thouart looking on, unable to prevent her dishonor (Isa 13:16; La 5:11). The words, "saith THE Lord arein striking opposition to "Thou sayest" (Am 7:16).divided by line—among the foe.a polluted land—Israel regarded every foreign land as that which really her own land wasnow, "polluted" (Isa 24:5; Jer 2:7).1678JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 8Am 8:1-14. Vision of a Basket of Summer Fruit Symbolical, of Israel's End. Resuming the Series of SymbolsInterrupted by Amaziah, Amos Adds a Fourth. The Avarice of the Oppressors of the Poor: The Overthrow of the Nation:The Wish for the Means of Religious Counsel, when There Shall Be a Famine of the Word.1. summer fruit—Hebrew, kitz. In Am 8:2 "end" is in Hebrew, keetz. The similarity of soundsimplies that, as the summer is the end of the year and the time of the ripeness of fruits, so Israel isripe for her last punishment, ending her national existence. As the fruit is plucked when ripe fromthe tree, so Israel from her land.2. end—(Eze 7:2, 6).3. songs of … temple—(Am 5:23). The joyous hymns in the temple of Judah (or rather, in theBeth-el "royal temple," Am 7:13; for the allusion is to Israel, not Judah, throughout this chapter)shall be changed into "howlings." Grotius translates, "palace"; compare Am 6:5, as to the songs there.But Am 5:23, 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 mourners (Am 5:16), but the bodies will be cast outin silence. Perhaps also is meant that terror, both of God (compare Am 6:10) and of the foe, shallclose 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, Job7:2, Margin.to make the poor … to fail—"that they (themselves) may be placed alone in the midst of theearth" (Isa 5:8).5. So greedy are they of unjust gain that they cannot spare a single day, however sacred, frompursuing it. They are strangers to God and enemies to themselves, who love market days betterthan sabbath days; and they who have lost piety will not long keep honesty. The new moons (Nu10:10) and sabbaths were to be kept without working or trading (Ne 10:31).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 usedto be weighed out in payments (Ge 23:16). 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 Le25:39; the very thing which brings down God's judgment (Am 2:6).sell the refuse of … wheat—which contains no nutriment, but which the poor eat at a lowprice, being unable to pay for flour.7. Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob—that is, by Himself, in whom Jacob's seedglory [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 Am 6:8, where it meansJehovah's temple (compare Am 4:2).never forget—not pass by without punishing (Am 8:2; Ho 8:13; 9:9).1679JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. the land … rise up wholly as a flood—The land will, as it were, be wholly turned into aflooding river (a flood being the image of overwhelming calamity, Da 9:26).cast out and drowned, &c.—swept away and overwhelmed, as the land adjoining the Nile isby it, when flooding (Am 9:5). The Nile rises generally twenty feet. The waters then "cast out"mire and dirt (Isa 57:20).9. "Darkness" made to rise "at noon" is the emblem of great calamities (Jer 15:9; Eze 32:7-10).10. baldness—a sign of mourning (Isa 15:2; Jer 48:37; Eze 7:18).I will make it as … mourning of an only son—"it," that is, "the earth" (Am 8:9). I will reducethe land to such a state that there shall be the same occasion for mourning as when parents mournfor an only son (Jer 6:26; Zec 12:10).11. famine of … hearing the words of the Lord—a just retribution on those who now willnot hear the Lord's prophets, nay even try to drive them away, as Amaziah did (Am 7:12); theyshall look in vain, in their distress, for divine counsel, such as the prophets now offer (Eze 7:26;Mic 3:7). Compare as to the Jews' rejection of Messiah, and their consequent rejection by Him (Mt21:43); and their desire for Messiah too late (Lu 17:22; Joh 7:34; 8:21). So, the prodigal when hehad sojourned awhile in the "far-off country, began to be in want" in the "mighty famine" whicharose (Lu 15:14; compare 1Sa 3:1; 7:2). It is remarkable that the Jews' religion is almost the onlyone that could be abolished against the will of the people themselves, on account of its beingdependent 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 gaveway to the Gospel, so all men should perceive it was so, in spite of the Jews' obstinate rejection ofthe Gospel.12. they shall wander from sea to sea—that is, from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean, fromeast to west.from … north … to … east—where we might expect "from north to south." But so alienatedwas Israel from Judah, that no Israelite even then would think of repairing southward, that is, toJerusalem for religious information. The circuit is traced as in Nu 34:3, &c., except that the southis 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 allother 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 (De 9:21; Ho 4:15). "Swear by" meansto worship (Ps 63:11).The manner—that is, as "the way" is used (Ps 139:24; Ac 9:2), the mode of worship.Thy god, O Dan—the other golden calf at Dan (1Ki 22:26-30).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, "AsJehovah liveth!"CHAPTER 9Am 9:1-15. Fifth and Last Vision.1680JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonNone can escape the coming judgment in any hiding-place: for God is omnipresent andirresistible (Am 9:1-6). As a kingdom, Israel shall perish as if it never was in covenant with Him:but as individuals the house of Jacob shall not utterly perish, nay, not one of the least of the righteousshall fall, but only all the sinners (Am 9:7-10). Restoration of the Jews finally to their own landafter the re-establishment of the fallen tabernacle of David; consequent conversion of all the heathen(Am 9:11-15).1. Lord … upon the altar—namely, in the idolatrous temple at Beth-el; the calves which werespoken of in Am 8:14. Hither they would flee for protection from the Assyrians, and would perishin the ruins, with the vain object of their trust [Henderson]. Jehovah stands here to direct the destructionof it, them, and the idolatrous nation. He demands many victims on the altar, but they are to behuman victims. Calvin and Fairbairn, and others, make it in the temple at Jerusalem. Judgment wasto descend both on Israel and Judah. As the services of both alike ought to have been offered onthe Jerusalem temple-altar, it is there that Jehovah ideally stands, as if the whole people wereassembled there, their abominations lying unpardoned there, and crying for vengeance, though infact committed elsewhere (compare Eze 8:1-18). This view harmonizes with the similarity of thevision in Amos to that in Isa 6:1-13, at Jerusalem. Also with the end of this chapter (Am 9:11-15),which applies both to Judah and Israel: "the tabernacle of David," namely, at Jerusalem. His attitude,"standing," implies fixity of purpose.lintel—rather, the sphere-like capital of the column [Maurer].posts—rather, "thresholds," as in Isa 6:4, Margin. The temple is to be smitten below as wellas above, to ensure utter destruction.cut them in the head—namely, with the broken fragments of the capitals and columns (comparePs 68:21; Hab 3:13).slay the last of them—their posterity [Henderson]. The survivors [Maurer]. Jehovah's directionsare addressed to His angels, ministers of judgment (compare Eze 9:1-11).he that fleeth … shall not flee away—He who fancies himself safe and out of reach of theenemy shall be taken (Am 2:14).2. Though they dig into hell—though they hide ever so deeply in the earth (Ps 139:8).though they climb up to heaven—though they ascend the greatest heights (Job 20:6, 7; Jer51:53; Ob 4).3. Carmel—where the forests, and, on the west side, the caves, furnished hiding-places (Am1:2; Jud 6:2; 1Sa 13:6).the sea—the Mediterranean, which flows at the foot of Mount Carmel; forming a strong antithesisto it.command the serpent—the sea-serpent, a term used for any great water monster (Isa 27:1).The symbol of cruel and oppressive kings (Ps 74:13, 14).4. though they go into captivity—hoping to save their lives by voluntarily surrendering to thefoe.5. As Amos had threatened that nowhere should the Israelites be safe from the divine judgments,he here shows God's omnipotent ability to execute His threats. So in the case of the threat in Am8:8, God is here stated to be the first cause of the mourning of "all that dwell" in the land, and ofits rising "like a flood, and of its being "drowned, as by the flood of Egypt."6. stories—literally, "ascents," that is, upper chambers, to which the ascent is by steps [Maurer];evidently referring to the words in Ps 104:3, 13. Grotius explains it, God's royal throne, expressed1681JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin language drawn from Solomon's throne, to which the ascent was by steps (compare 1Ki 10:18,19).founded his troop—namely, all animate creatures, which are God's troop, or host (Ge 2:1),doing His will (Ps 103:20, 21; Joe 2:11). Maurer translates, "His vault," that is, the vaulted sky,which seems to rest on the earth supported by the horizon.7. unto me—however great ye seem to yourselves. Do not rely on past privileges, and on Myhaving delivered you from Egypt, as if therefore I never would remove you from Canaan. I makeno more account of you than of "the Ethiopian" (compare Jer 13:23). "Have not I (who) broughtyou out of Egypt," done as much for other peoples? For instance, did I not bring "the Philistines(see on Isa 14:29, &c.) from Caphtor (compare De 2:23; see on Jer 47:4), where they had beenbond-servants, and the Syrians from Kir?" It is appropriate, that as the Syrians migrated into Syriafrom Kir (compare Note, see on Isa 22:6), so they should be carried back captive into the same land(see on Am 1:15; 2Ki 16:9), just as elsewhere Israel is threatened with a return to Egypt whencethey had been delivered. The "Ethiopians," Hebrew, "Cushites," were originally akin to the racethat founded Babylon: the cuneiform inscriptions in this confirming independently the Scripturestatement (Ge 10:6, 8, 10).8. eyes … upon the sinful kingdom—that is, I am watching all its sinful course in order topunish it (compare Am 9:4; Ps 34:15, 16).not utterly destroy the house of Jacob—Though as a "kingdom" the nation is now utterly toperish, a remnant is to be spared for "Jacob," their forefather's sake (compare Jer 30:11); to fulfilthe covenant whereby "the seed of Israel" is hereafter to be "a nation for ever" (Jer 31:36).9. sift—I will cause the Israelites to be tossed about through all nations as corn is shaken aboutin a sieve, in such a way, however, that while the chaff and dust (the wicked) fall through (perish),all the solid grains (the godly elect) remain (are preserved), (Ro 11:26; compare Note, see on Jer3:14). So spiritual Israel's final safety is ensured (Lu 22:32; Joh 10:28; 6:39).10. All the sinners—answering to the chaff in the image in Am 9:9, which falls on the earth,in opposition "to the grain" that does not "fall."overtake … us—"come on us from behind" [Maurer].11. In that day—quoted by James (Ac 15:16, 17), "After this," that is, in the dispensation ofMessiah (Ge 49:10; Ho 3:4, 5; Joe 2:28; 3:1).tabernacle of David—not "the house of David," which is used of his affairs when prospering(2Sa 3:1), but the tent or booth, expressing the low condition to which his kingdom and family hadfallen in Amos' time, and subsequently at the Babylonian captivity before the restoration; andsecondarily, in the last days preceding Israel's restoration under Messiah, the antitype to David (Ps102:13, 14; Jer 30:9; Eze 34:24; 37:24; see on Isa 12:1). The type is taken from architecture (Eph2:20). The restoration under Zerubbabel can only be a partial, temporary fulfilment; for it did notinclude Israel, which nation is the main subject of Amos' prophecies, but only Judah; alsoZerubbabel's kingdom was not independent and settled; also all the prophets end their prophecieswith Messiah, whose advent is the cure of all previous disorders. "Tabernacle" is appropriate toHim, as His human nature is the tabernacle which He assumed in becoming Immanuel, "God withus" (Joh 1:14). "Dwelt," literally, tabernacled "among us" (compare Re 21:3). Some understand"the tabernacle of David" as that which David pitched for the ark in Zion, after bringing it fromObed-edom's house. It remained there all his reign for thirty years, till the temple of Solomon wasbuilt, whereas the "tabernacle of the congregation" remained at Gibeon (2Ch 1:3), where the priests1682JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonministered in sacrifices (1Ch 16:39). Song and praise was the service of David's attendants beforethe ark (Asaph, &c.): a type of the gospel separation between the sacrificial service (Messiah'spriesthood now in heaven) and the access of believers on earth to the presence of God, apart fromthe former (compare 2Sa 6:12-17; 1Ch 16:37-39; 2Ch 1:3).breaches thereof—literally, "of them," that is, of the whole nation, Israel as well as Judah.as in … days of old—as it was formerly in the days of David and Solomon, when the kingdomwas in its full extent and undivided.12. That they may possess … remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen—"Edom," the bitterfoe, though the brother, of Israel; therefore to be punished (Am 1:11, 12), Israel shall be lord of the"remnant" of Edom left after the punishment of the latter. James quotes it, "That the residue of menmight seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles," &c. For "all the heathen" nations stand on the samefooting as Edom: Edom is the representative of them all. The residue or remnant in both casesexpresses those left after great antecedent calamities (Ro 9:27; Zec 14:16). Here the conversion of"all nations" (of which the earnest was given in James's time) is represented as only to be realizedon the re-establishment of the theocracy under Messiah, the Heir of the throne of David (Am 9:11).The possession of the heathen nations by Israel is to be spiritual, the latter being the ministers tothe former for their conversion to Messiah, King of the Jews; just as the first conversions of paganswere through the ministry of the apostles, who were Jews. Compare Isa 54:3, "thy seed shall inheritthe Gentiles" (compare Isa 49:8; Ro 4:13). A remnant of Edom became Jews under John Hyrcanus,and the rest amalgamated with the Arabians, who became Christians subsequently.which are called by my name—that is, who belong to Me, whom I claim as Mine (Ps 2:8); inthe purposes of electing grace, God terms them already called by His name. Compare the title, "thechildren," applied by anticipation, Heb 2:14. Hence as an act of sovereign grace, fulfilling Hispromise, it is spoken of God. Proclaim His title as sovereign, "the Lord that doeth this" ("all thesethings," Ac 15:17, namely, all these and such like acts of sovereign love).13. the days come—at the future restoration of the Jews to their own land.ploughman shall overtake … reaper … treader of grapes him that soweth—fulfilling Le26:5. Such shall be the abundance that the harvest and vintage can hardly be gathered before thetime for preparing for the next crop shall come. Instead of the greater part of the year being spentin war, the whole shall be spent in sowing and reaping the fruits of earth. Compare Isa 65:21-23,as to the same period.soweth seed—literally, "draweth it forth," namely, from the sack in order to sow it.mountains … drop sweet wine—an appropriate image, as the vines in Palestine were trainedon terraces at the sides of the hills.14. build the waste cities—(Isa 61:4; Eze 36:33-36).15. plant them … no more be pulled up—(Jer 32:41).thy God—Israel's; this is the ground of their restoration, God's original choice of them as His.


      THE BOOK OFOBADIAHCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTION1683JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThis is the shortest book in the Old Testament. The name means "servant of Jehovah." Obadiahstands fourth among the minor prophets according to the Hebrew arrangement of the canon, thefifth according to the Greek. Some consider him to be the same as the Obadiah who superintendedthe restoration of the temple under Josiah, 627 B.C. (2Ch 34:12). But Ob 11-16, 20 imply thatJerusalem was by this time overthrown by the Chaldeans, and that he refers to the cruelty of Edomtowards the Jews on that occasion, which is referred to also in La 4:21, 22; Eze 25:12-14; 35:1-15;Ps 137:7. From comparing Ob 5 with Jer 49:9, Ob 6 with Jer 49:10, Ob 8 with Jer 49:7, it appearsthat Jeremiah embodied in his prophecies part of Obadiah's, as he had done in the case of otherprophets also (compare Isa 15:1-16:14 with Jer 48:1-47). The reason for the present position ofObadiah before other of the minor prophets anterior in date is: Amos at the close of his propheciesforetells the subjugation of Edom hereafter by the Jews; the arranger of the minor prophets in onevolume, therefore, placed Obadiah next, as being a fuller statement, and, as it were, a commentaryon the foregoing briefer prophecy of Amos as to Edom [Maurer]. (Compare Am 1:11). The date ofObadiah's prophecies was probably immediately after the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar,588 B.C. Five years afterwards (583 B.C.) Edom was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah musthave incorporated part of Obadiah's prophecies with his own immediately after they were uttered,thus stamping his canonicity.Jerome makes him contemporary with Hosea, Joel, and Amos. It is an argument in favor of thisview that Jeremiah would be more likely to insert in his prophecies a portion from a precedingprophet than from a contemporary. If so, the allusion in Ob 11-14 will be to one of the formercaptures of Jerusalem: by the Egyptians under Rehoboam (1Ki 14:25, 26; 2Ch 12:2, &c.), or thatby the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Joram (2Ch 21:16, 17); or that by Joash, king ofIsrael, in the reign of Amaziah (2Ch 25:22, 23); or that in the reign of Jehoiakim (2Ki 24:1, &c.);or that in the reign of Jehoiachin (2Ki 24:8-16). On all occasions the Idumeans were hostile to theJews; and the terms in which that enmity is characterized are not stronger in Obadiah than in Joe3:19 (compare Ob 10); Am 1:11, 12. The probable capture of Jerusalem alluded to by Obadiah isthat by Joash and the Israelites in the reign of Amaziah. For as, a little before, in the reign of thesame Amaziah, the Jews had treated harshly the Edomites after conquering them in battle (2Ch25:11-23), it is probable that the Edomites, in revenge, joined the Israelites in the attack on Jerusalem[Jaeger].This book may be divided into two parts: (1) Ob 1-6 set forth Edom's violence toward his brotherIsrael in the day of the latter's distress, and his coming destruction with the rest of the foes of Judah;(2) Ob 17-21, the coming re-establishment of the Jews in their own possessions, to which shall beadded those of the neighboring peoples, and especially those of Edom.CHAPTER 1Ob 1-21. Doom of Edom for Cruelty to Judah, Edom's Brother; Restoration of the Jews.1. Obadiah—that is, servant of Jehovah; same as Abdeel and Arabic Abd-allah.We—I and my people.heard—(Isa 21:10).and an ambassador is sent—Yea, an ambassador is already sent, namely, an angel, to stir upthe Assyrians (and afterwards the Chaldeans) against Edom. The result of the ambassador's message1684JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonon the heathen is, they simultaneously exclaim, "Arise ye, and let us (with united strength) rise,"&c. Jer 49:14 quotes this.2. I have made thee small—Thy reduction to insignificance is as sure as if it were alreadyaccomplished; therefore the past tense is used [Maurer]. Edom then extended from Dedan of Arabiato Bozrah in the north (Jer 49:8, 13). Calvin explains it, "Whereas thou wast made by Me aninsignificant people, why art thou so proud" (Ob 3)? But if so, why should the heathen peoples beneeded to subdue one so insignificant? Jer 49:15, confirms Maurer's view.3. clefts of … rock—(So 2:14; Jer 48:28). The cities of Edom, and among them Petra (Hebrew,sela, meaning "rock," 2Ki 14:7, Margin), the capital, in the Wady Musa, consisted of houses mostlycut in the rocks.4. exalt thyself—or supply from the second clause, "thy nest" [Maurer] (Compare Job 20:6; Jer49:16; Am 9:2).set … nest among … stars—namely, on the loftiest hills which seem to reach the very stars.Edom is a type of Antichrist (Isa 14:13; Da 8:10; 11:37).thence will I bring thee down—in spite of thy boast (Ob 3), "Who shall bring me down?"5. The spoliation which thou shalt suffer shall not be such as that which thieves cause, bad asthat is, for these when they have seized enough, or all they can get in a hurry, leave the rest—norsuch as grape-gatherers cause in a vineyard, for they, when they have gathered most of the grapes,leave gleanings behind—but it shall be utter, so as to leave thee nothing. The exclamation, "Howart thou cut off!" bursting in amidst the words of the image, marks strongly excited feeling. Thecontrast between Edom where no gleanings shall be left, and Israel where at the worst a gleaningis left (Isa 17:6; 24:13), is striking.6. How are the things of Esau searched out!—by hostile soldiers seeking booty. Comparewith Ob 5, 6 here, Jer 49:9, 10.hidden things—or "places." Edom abounded in such hiding-places, as caves, clefts in the rock,&c. None of these would be left unexplored by the foe.7. Men of thy confederacy—that is, thy confederates.brought thee … to the border—that is, when Idumean ambassadors shall go to confederatestates seeking aid, these latter shall conduct them with due ceremony to their border, giving themempty compliments, but not the aid required [Drusius]. This view agrees with the context, whichspeaks of false friends deceiving Edom: that is, failing to give help in need (compare Job 6:14, 15).Calvin translates, "have driven," that is, shall drive thee; shall help to drive thee to thy border onthy way into captivity in foreign lands.the men that were at peace with thee—literally, "the men of thy peace." Compare Ps 41:9;Jer 38:22, Margin, where also the same formula occurs, "prevailed against thee."they that eat thy bread—the poorer tribes of the desert who subsisted on the bounty of Edom.Compare again Ps 41:9, which seems to have been before Obadiah's mind, as his words were beforeJeremiah's.have laid a wound under thee—"laid" implies that their intimacy was used as a SNARE laidwith a view to wound; also, these guest friends of Edom, instead of the cushions ordinarily laidunder guests at table, laid snares to wound, that is, had a secret understanding with Edom's foe forthat purpose. Maurer translates, "a snare." But English Version agrees with the Hebrew, which means,literally, "a bandage for a wound."1685JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnone understanding—none of the wisdom for which Edom was famed (see Ob 8) to extricatehim from his perilous position.in him—instead of "in thee." The change implies the alienation of God from Edom: Edom hasso estranged himself from God, that He speaks now of him, not to him.8. (Isa 49:7; compare Job 5:12, 13; Isa 19:3; Jer 19:7).in that day … even destroy—Heretofore Edom, through its intercourse with Babylon andEgypt, and from its means of information through the many caravans passing to and fro betweenEurope and India, has been famed for knowledge; but in that day at last ("even") I will destroy itswise men.mount of Esau—that is, Idumea, which was a mountainous region.9. cut off by slaughter—Maurer translates, "on account of the slaughter," namely, that inflictedon Judea by Edom (compare Ob 14). The Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate connect these words withOb 10, "for the slaughter, for the violence (of which thou art guilty) against thy brother Jacob."English Version, "cut off by slaughter" (that is, an utter cutting off), answers well to "cut off forever" (Ob 10). However, the arrangement of the Septuagint gives a better parallelism in Ob 10."For the slaughter" (1) being balanced in just retribution by "thou shalt be cut off for ever" (4); as"For thy violence (not so bad as slaughter) against thy brother Jacob" (2) is balanced by "shame(not so bad as being cut off) shall cover thee" (3). Shame and extinction shall repay violence andslaughter (Mt 26:52; Re 13:10). Compare as to Edom's violence, Ps 137:7; Eze 25:12; Am 1:11.10. against thy brother—This aggravates the sin of Esau, that it was against him who was hisbrother by birth and by circumcision. The posterity of Esau followed in the steps of their father'shatred to Jacob by violence against Jacob's seed (Ge 27:41).Jacob—not merely his own brother, but his twin brother; hence the name Jacob, not Israel, ishere put emphatically. Compare De 23:7 for the opposite feeling which Jacob's seed was commandedto entertain towards Edom's.shame … cover thee—(Ps 35:26; 69:7).for ever—(Isa 34:10; Eze 35:9; Mal 1:4). Idumea, as a nation, should be "cut off for ever,"though the land should be again inhabited.11. thou stoodest on the other side—in an attitude of hostility, rather than the sympathy whichbecame a brother, feasting thine eyes (see Ob 12) with the misery of Jacob, and eagerly watchingfor his destruction. So Messiah, the antitype to Jerusalem, abandoned by His kinsmen (Ps 38:11).strangers—the Philistines, Arabians in the reign of Jehoram, &c. (2Ch 21:16); the Syrians inthe reign of Joash of Judah (2Ch 24:24); the Chaldeans (2Ch 36:1-23).carried … captive his forces—his "host" (Ob 20): the multitude of Jerusalem's inhabitants.cast lots upon Jerusalem—(Joe 3:3). So Messiah, Jerusalem's antitype, had lots cast for Hisonly earthly possessions (Ps 22:18).12. looked on—with malignant pleasure, and a brutal stare. So the antitypes, Messiah's foes(Ps 22:17). Maurer translates, as the Margin, "thou shouldest not look" any more. English Versionagrees with the context better.the day of thy brother—his day of calamity.became a stranger—that is, was banished as an alien from his own land. God sends heavycalamities on those who rejoice in the calamities of their enemies (Pr 17:5; 24:17, 18). Contrast theopposite conduct of David and of the divine Son of David in a like case (Ps 35:13-15).1686JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonspoken proudly—literally, "made great the mouth"; proudly insulting the fallen (Eze 35:13,Margin; compare 1Sa 2:8; Re 13:6).13. substance—translated "forces" in Ob 11.14. stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his—Judah's.that did escape—The Jews naturally fled by the crossways. (Maurer translates, "narrow mountainpasses") well known to them, to escape to the desert, and through Edom to Egypt; but the Edomitesstood ready to intercept the fugitives and either kill or "deliver them up" to the foe.15. For—resumptive in connection with Ob 10, wherein Edom was threatened with cutting offfor ever.the day of the Lord—the day in which He will manifest Himself as the Righteous Punisherof the ungodly peoples (Joe 3:14). The "all" shows that the fulfilment is not exhausted in thepunishment inflicted on the surrounding nations by the instrumentality of Nebuchadnezzar; but, asin Joe 3:14, and Zec 12:3, that the last judgment to come on the nations confederate against Jerusalemis referred to.as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee—the righteous principle of retribution in kind(Le 24:17; Mt 7:2; compare Jud 1:6, 7; 8:19; Es 7:10).thy reward—the reward of thy deed (compare Isa 3:9-11).16. ye … upon my holy mountain—a periphrasis for, "ye Jews" [Maurer], whom Obadiah nowby a sudden apostrophe addresses. The clause, "upon My holy mountain," expresses the reason ofthe vengeance to be taken on Judah's foes; namely, that Jerusalem is God's holy mountain, the seatof His temple, and Judah His covenant-people. Jer 49:12, which is copied from Obadiah, establishesthis view (compare 1Pe 4:17).as ye have drunk, &c.—namely, the cup of wrath, being dispossessed of your goods and placesas a nation, by Edom and all the heathen; so shall all the heathen (Edom included) drink the samecup (Ps 60:3; Isa 51:17, 22; Jer 13:12, 13; 25:15-33; 49:12; 51:7; La 4:21, 22 Na 3:11; Hab 2:16).continually—whereas Judah's calamity shall be temporary (Ob 17). The foes of Judah shallnever regain their former position (Ob 18, 19).swallow down—so as not to leave anything in the cup of calamity; not merely "drink" (Ps75:8).be as though they had not been—not a trace left of their national existence (Job 10:19; Ps37:36; Eze 26:21).17. upon … Zion … deliverance—both in the literal sense and spiritual sense (Joe 2:32; Isa46:13; 59:20; Ro 11:26). Maurer as the Margin explains it, "there shall be a remnant that shall escape."Compare Isa 37:32; to the deliverance from Sennacherib there described Grotius thinks Obadiahhere refers. "Jerusalem shall not be taken, and many of the neighboring peoples also shall finddeliverance there." Unlike Judah's heathen foes of whom no remnant shall escape (Ob 9, 16), aremnant of Jews shall escape when the rest of the nation has perished, and shall regain their ancient"possessions."there shall be holiness—that is, Zion shall be sacrosanct or inviolable: no more violated byforeign invaders (Isa 42:1; Joe 3:17).18. fire—See the same figure, Nu 21:28; Isa 5:24; 10:17.house of Jacob … Joseph—that is, the two kingdoms, Judah and Ephraim or Israel [Jerome].The two shall form one kingdom, their former feuds being laid aside (Isa 11:12, 13; 37:22-28; Jer3:18; Ho 1:11). The Jews returned with some of the Israelites from Babylon; and, under John1687JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHyrcanus, so subdued and, compelling them to be circumcised, incorporated the Idumeans withthemselves that they formed part of the nation [Josephus, Antiquities, 13.17; 12.11]. This was but anearnest of the future union of Israel and Judah in the possession of the enlarged land as one kingdom(Eze 37:16, &c.).stubble—(Mal 4:1).19. they of the south—The Jews who in the coming time are to occupy the south of Judea shallpossess, in addition to their own territory, the adjoining mountainous region of Edom.they of the plain—The Jews who shall occupy the low country along the Mediterranean, southand southwest of Palestine, shall possess, in addition to their own territory, the land of "thePhilistines," which runs as a long strip between the hills and the sea.and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim—that is, the rightful owners shall be restored,the Ephraimites to the fields of Ephraim.Benjamin shall possess Gilead—that is, the region east of Jordan, occupied formerly byReuben, Gad, and half Manasseh. Benjamin shall possess besides its own territory the adjoiningterritory eastward, while the two and a half tribes shall in the redistribution occupy the adjoiningterritory of Moab and Ammon.20. the captivity of this host—that is, the captives of this multitude of Israelites.shall possess that of the Canaanites—Maurer translates, "the captives … whom the Canaanites(carried away captive into Phoenicia) even unto Zarephath, shall possess the south," namely, Idumeaas well as the south (Ob 19). Henderson, similarly, "the captives that are among the Canaanites," &c.But the corresponding clauses of the parallelism are better balanced in English Version, "the tentribes of Israel shall possess the territory of the Canaanites," namely, Western Palestine and Phoenicia(Jud 3:3). "And the captives of Jerusalem (and Judah) shall possess the southern cities," namely,Edom, &c. Each has the region respectively adjoining assigned to it; Israel has the western Canaaniteregion; Judah, the southern.even unto Zarephath—near Zidon; called Sarepta in Lu 4:26. The name implies it was a placefor smelting metals. From this quarter came the "woman of Canaan" (Mt 15:21, 22). Captives ofthe Jews had been carried into the coasts of Palestine or Canaan, about Tyre and Zidon (Joe 3:3,4; Am 1:9). The Jews when restored shall possess the territory of their ancient oppressors.in Sepharad—that is, the Bosphorus [Jerome, from his Hebrew Instructor]. Sephar, accordingto others (Ge 10:30). Palæography confirms Jerome. In the cuneiform inscription containing a listof the tribes of Persia [Niebuhr, Tab. 31.1], before Ionia and Greece, and after Cappadocia, comesthe name CPaRaD. It was therefore a district of Western Asia Minor, about Lydia, and near theBosphorus. It is made an appellative by Maurer. "The Jerusalem captives of the dispersion" (compareJas 1:1), wherever they be dispersed, shall return and possess the southern cities. Sepharad, thoughliterally the district near the Bosphorus, represents the Jews' far and wide dispersion. Jerome saysthe name in Assyrian means a boundary, that is, "the Jews scattered in all boundaries and regions."21. saviours—There will be in the kingdom yet to come no king, but a prince; the sabbaticperiod of the judges will return (compare the phrase so frequent in Judges, only once found in thetimes of the kings, 2Ch 14:1, "the land had rest"), when there was no visible king, but God reignedin the theocracy. Israelites, not strangers, shall dispense justice to a God-fearing people (Isa 1:26;Eze 45:1-25). The judges were not such a burden to the people as the kings proved afterwards (1Sa8:11-20). In their time the people more readily repented than under the kings (compare 2Ch 15:17),[Roos]. Judges were from time to time raised up as saviours or deliverers of Israel from the enemy.1688JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThese, and the similar deliverers in the long subsequent age of Antiochus, the Maccabees, whoconquered the Idumeans (as here foretold, compare 2 Maccabees 10:15,23), were types of thepeaceful period yet to come to Israel.to judge … Esau—to punish (so "judge," 1Sa 3:13) … Edom (compare Ob 1-9, 15-19). Edomis the type of Israel's and God's last foes (Isa 63:1-4).kingdom shall be the Lord's—under Messiah (Da 2:44; 7:14, 27; Zec 14:9; Lu 1:33; Re 11:15;19:6).


      THE BOOK OFJONAHCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONJonah was the son of Amittai, of Gath-hepher in Zebulun (called Gittah-hepher in Jos 19:10-13),so that he belonged to the kingdom of the ten tribes, not to Judah. His date is to be gathered from2Ki 14:25-27, "He (Jeroboam II) restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto thesea of the plain, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which He spake by the hand ofHis servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath-hepher. For the Lord sawthe affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor anyhelper for Israel. And the Lord said not that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven:but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash." Now as this prophecy of Jonah wasgiven at a time when Israel was at the lowest point of depression, when "there was not any shut upor left," that is, confined or left at large, none to act as a helper for Israel, it cannot have been givenin Jeroboam's reign, which was marked by prosperity, for in it Syria was worsted in fulfilment ofthe prophecy, and Israel raised to its former "greatness." It must have been, therefore, in the earlypart of the reign of Joash, Jeroboam's father, who had found Israel in subjection to Syria, but hadraised it by victories which were followed up so successfully by Jeroboam. Thus Jonah was theearliest of the prophets, and close upon Elisha, who died in Joash's reign, having just before hisdeath given a token prophetical of the thrice defeat of Syria (2Ki 13:14-21). Hosea and Amosprophesied also in the reign of Jeroboam II, but towards the closing part of his forty-one years'reign. The transactions in the Book of Jonah probably occurred in the latter part of his life; if so,the book is not much older than part of the writings of Hosea and Amos. The use of the third personis no argument against Jonah himself being the writer: for the sacred writers in mentioningthemselves do so in the third person (compare Joh 19:26). Nor is the use of the past tense (Jon 3:3,"Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city") a proof that Nineveh's greatness was past when theBook of Jonah was b