Resumption of the Denunciation of Jerusalem, as
Being Unreformed by the Punishment of Other Nations: After Her
Chastisement Jehovah Will Interpose for Her against Her Foes; His Worship Shall Flourish in All Lands,
Beginning at Jerusalem, Where He Shall Be in the Midst of His People,
and Shall Make Them a Praise in All the
1. filthy—Maurer translates from a different root,
"rebellious," "contumacious." But the following term, "polluted,"
refers rather to her inward moral filth, in spite of her outward
ceremonial purity [Calvin]. Grotius says, the Hebrew is used of women who
have prostituted their virtue. There is in the Hebrew Moreah; a
play on the name Moriah, the hill on which the temple was built;
implying the glaring contrast between their filthiness and the
holiness of the worship on Moriah in which they professed to have a
oppressing—namely, the poor, weak,
widows, orphans and strangers (Jer 22:3).
2. received not correction—Jerusalem is
incurable, obstinately rejecting salutary admonition, and refusing to
be reformed by "correction" (Jer 5:3).
trusted not in … Lord—Distrust
in the Lord as if He were insufficient, is the parent of all
superstitions and wickednesses [Calvin].
drew not near to her God—Though God
was specially near to her (De 4:7) as
"her God," yet she drew not near to Him, but gratuitously estranged
herself from Him.
3. roaring—for prey (Pr 28:15; Eze 22:27; Am 3:4; Mic 2:2).
evening wolves—which are most ravenous
at evening after being foodless all day (Jer 5:6; Hab 1:8).
they gnaw not the bones till the
morrow—rather, "they put not off till to-morrow to gnaw the
bones"; but devour all at once, bones and flesh, so ragingly ravenous
are they [Calvin].
4. light—in whose life and teaching
there is no truth, gravity, or steadiness.
treacherous—false to Jehovah, whose
prophets they profess to be (Jer 23:32; Eze 22:28).
polluted … sanctuary—by their
5-7. The Jews regard not God's justice
manifested in the midst of them, nor His judgments on the guilty
The just Lord—Why then are ye so
is in the midst thereof—He retorts on
them their own boast, "Is not the Lord among us" (Mic 3:11)? True He is, but it is for another end
from what ye think [Calvin]; namely, to
lead you by the example of His righteousness to be righteous.
Le 19:2, "Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord
your God am holy" [Maurer]. But Calvin, "That ye may feel His hand to be the
nearer for taking vengeance for your crimes: 'He will not do
iniquity' by suffering your sins to go unpunished" (De 32:4).
every morning—literally, "morning by
morning." The time in the sultry East for dispensing justice.
bring … to light—publicly and
manifestly by the teaching of His prophets, which aggravates their
guilt; also by samples of His judgments on the guilty.
he faileth not—He is continually
setting before you samples of His justice, sparing no pains. Compare
5:4; 50:4, "he wakeneth
morning by morning."
knoweth no shame—The unjust Jews are
not shamed by His justice into repentance.
6. I had hoped that My people by My judgments
on other nations would be led to amendment; but they are not, so
blinded by sin are they.
towers—literally, "angles" or
"corners"; hence the towers built at the angles of their city
walls. Under Josiah's long and peaceful reign the Jews were
undisturbed, while the great incursion of Scythians into Western Asia
took place. The judgment on the ten tribes in a former reign also is
here alluded to.
7. I said, Surely, &c.—God speaks
after the manner of men in condescension to man's infirmity; not as
though God was ignorant of the future contingency, but in their sense,
Surely one might have expected ye would under such circumstances
repent: but no!
thou—at least, O Jerusalem! Compare
"thou, even thou, at least in this thy day" (Lu 19:42).
their dwelling—the sanctuary
[Buxtorf]. Or, the city. Compare
Jesus' words (Lu 13:35),
"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate" (Le 26:31,
32; Ps 69:25); and used as to
the temple (Mic 3:12).
"Their" is used instead of "thy"; this change of person implies that
God puts them to a greater distance.
howsoever I punished them—Howsoever I
might have punished them, I would not have cut off their
dwelling. Calvin, "Howsoever I had
marked them out for punishment" because of their provocations, still,
if even then they had repented, taught by My corrections, I was ready
to have pardoned them. Maurer,
"Altogether in accordance with what I had long ago decreed (ordained)
concerning you" (De 28:1-14, and, on the other hand, De
English Version, or Calvin's
view, is better.
rose early, and corrupted,
&c.—Early morning is in the East the best time for
transacting serious business, before the relaxing heat of midday comes
on. Thus it means, With the greatest earnestness they set themselves to
"corrupt all their doings" (Ge 6:12; Isa 5:11;
Jer 11:7; 25:3).
8. wait ye upon me—Here Jehovah turns to
the pious Jews. Amidst all these judgments on the Jewish nation, look
forward to the glorious time of restoration to be ushered in by God's
precious outpouring of wrath on all nations, Isa 30:18-33; where the same phrase, "blessed
are all they that wait for Him," is used as to the same great
event. Calvin erroneously makes this
verse an address to the ungodly; and so Maurer, "Ye shall not have to wait for Me in vain";
I will presently come armed with indignation: I will no longer contend
with you by My prophets.
until the day—that is, waiting for the
rise up to the prey—like a savage
beast rising from his lair, greedy for the prey (compare Mt 24:28). Or rather, as a warrior leading Israel
to certain victory, which is expressed by "the prey," or
booty, which is the reward of victory. The Septuagint and
Syriac versions read the Hebrew, "I rise up as a
witness" (compare Job 16:8; Mal 3:5). Jehovah being in this view
witness, accuser, and judge. English Version is better
(compare Isa 33:23).
gather the nations—against Jerusalem
14:2), to pour out His
indignation upon them there (Joe 3:2; Zec 12:2, 3).
9. For—The blessed things promised in
this and Zep 3:10 are
the immediate results of the punishment inflicted on the nations,
mentioned in Zep 3:8
(compare Zep 3:19).
turn to the people a pure
language—that is, changing their impure language I
will give to them again a pure language (literally,
"lip"). Compare for this Hebrew idiom, 1Sa 10:9, Margin. The confusion of
languages was of the penalty sin, probably idolatry at Babel (Ge 11:1-6, Margin, where also "lip"
expresses language, and perhaps also religion; Zep 3:4, "a tower whose top may
reach unto heaven," or rather, points to heaven, namely,
dedicated to the heavens idolized, or Bel); certainly, of
rebellion against God's will. An earnest of the removal of this penalty
was the gift of tongues on Pentecost (Ac 2:6-13). The full restoration of the earth's
unity of language and of worship is yet future, and is connected with
the restoration of the Jews, to be followed by the conversion of the
world. Compare Isa 19:18; Zec 14:9; Ro 15:6, "with one mind and one mouth
glorify God." The Gentiles' lips have been rendered impure
through being the instruments of calling on idols and dishonoring God
(compare Ps 16:4; Ho 2:17). Whether Hebrew shall be the one
universal language or not, the God of the Hebrews shall be the one only
object of worship. Until the Holy Ghost purify the lips, we
cannot rightly call upon God (Isa 6:5-7).
serve him with one consent—literally,
"shoulder" or "back"; metaphor from a yoke, or burden, borne between
13:23); helping one another
with conjoint effort. If one of the two bearers of a burden, laid on
both conjointly, give way, the burden must fall to the earth [Calvin]. Christ's rule is called a
burden (Mt 11:30; Ac 15:28; Re 2:24; compare 2Co 6:14 for the same image).
10. From beyond … Ethiopia my
suppliants—literally, "burners of incense" (compare Ps
141:2; Re 5:8; 8:3, 4). The
Israelites are meant, called "the daughter of My dispersed," a
Hebrew idiom for My dispersed people. "The rivers of
Ethiopia" are those which enclose it on the north. In the west of
Abyssinia there has long existed a people called Falashas, or
"emigrants" (akin to the synonym "Philistine"). These trace their
origin to Palestine and profess the Jewish religion. In physical traits
they resemble the Arabs. When Bruce was there, they had a Jewish king,
Gideon, and his queen, Judith. Probably the Abyssinian Christians were
originally in part converted Jews. They are here made the
representatives of all Israel which is to be restored.
shall bring mine offering—that is, the
offering that is My right. I prefer, with De Wette and Chaldee Version, making
"suppliants" the objective case, not the nominative. The
peoples: (Zep 3:8, 9),
brought to fear Me by My judgments, "shall bring as Mine offering My
suppliants (an appropriate term for the Jews, on whom then there shall
have been poured the spirit of supplications, Zec 12:10), the daughter of My dispersed." So
66:20, "they shall bring all
your brethren for an offering unto the Lord." Compare Horsley's view of Isa 18:1, 2, 7. England in this view may be the
naval power to restore Israel to Palestine (Isa 60:9). The Hebrew for "Ethiopia" is
Cush, which may include not only Ethiopia, but also the region
of the Tigris and Babylon, where Nimrod, Cush's son (Ge 10:8-12), founded Nineveh and acquired
Babylon, and where the ten tribes are mentioned as being scattered
1:1; 5:13; compare Isa 11:11). The restoration under Cyrus of
the Jews transported under Pharaoh-necho to Egypt and Ethiopia, was an
earnest of the future restoration under Christ.
11. shalt thou not be ashamed—Thou shalt
then have no cause to be ashamed; for I will then take away out of
the midst of thee those who by their sins gave thee cause for shame
them that rejoice in thy pride—those
priding themselves on that which thou boastest of, thy temple
("My holy mountain"), thy election as God's people, &c., in the
Pharisaic spirit (Jer 7:4; Mic 3:11; Mt 3:9). Compare Jer 13:17, "mine eyes shall weep for your
pride." The converted remnant shall be of a humble spirit (Zep
3:12; Isa 66:2, 10).
12. afflicted … they shall trust in …
Lord—the blessed effect of sanctified affliction on the
Jewish remnant. Entire trust in the Lord cannot be, except where all
cause for boasting is taken away (Isa 14:32; Zec 11:11).
13. nor speak lies—worshipping God in
truth, and towards man having love without dissimulation. The
characteristic of the 144,000 sealed of Israel.
none shall make them afraid—either
foreign foe, or unjust prince (Zep 3:3), prophet, or priest (Zep 3:4).
14. The prophet in mental vision sees the
joyful day of Zion present, and bids her rejoice at it.
15. The cause for joy: "The Lord hath taken
away thy judgments," namely, those sent by Him upon thee. After the
taking away of sin (Zep 3:13)
follows the taking away of trouble. When the cause is removed, the
effect will cease. Happiness follows in the wake of holiness.
the Lord is in the midst of
thee—Though He seemed to desert thee for a time, He is now
present as thy safeguard (Zep 3:17).
not see evil any more—Thou shalt not
experience it (Jer 5:12; 44:17).
16. Let not thine hands be slack—(Heb 12:12). Do not faint in the work of the
17. he will rest in his love—content
with it as His supreme delight (compare Lu 15:7, 10) [Calvin], (Isa 62:5; 65:19). Or, He shall be silent, namely
as to thy faults, not imputing them to thee [Maurer] (Ps 32:2; Eze 33:16). I prefer explaining it of that calm
silent joy in the possession of the object of one's love, too
great for words to express: just as God after the six days of creation
rested with silent satisfaction in His work, for "behold it was
very good" (Ge 1:31; 2:2). So the parallel clause by contrast
expresses the joy, not kept silent as this, but uttered in
18. sorrowful for the solemn
assembly—pining after the solemn assembly which they cannot
celebrate in exile (La 1:4; 2:6).
who are of thee—that is, of thy true
citizens; and whom therefore I will restore.
to whom the reproach of it was a
burden—that is, to whom thy reproach ("the reproach of
My people," Mic 6:16;
their ignominious captivity) was a burden. "Of it" is put of
thee, as the person is often changed. Those who shared in the
burden of reproach which fell on My people. Compare Isa 25:8, "the rebuke of His people shall He take
away from off all the earth."
19. undo—Maurer translates, "I will deal with," that is, as
they deserve. Compare Eze 23:25,
where the Hebrew is similarly translated. The destruction of
Israel's foes precedes Israel's restoration (Isa 66:15, 16).
her that halteth—all that are
helpless. Their weakness will be no barrier in the way of My restoring
them. So in Ps 35:15,
Margin, "halting" is used for adversity. Also Eze
34:16; Mic 4:6, 7.
I will get them praise,
&c.—literally, "I will make them (to become) a praise and a
20. make you a name … praise—make
you to become celebrated and praised.
turn back your captivity—bring back
your captives [Maurer]. The
Hebrew is plural, "captivities"; to express the
captivities of different ages of their history, as well as the
diversity of places in which they were and are dispersed.
before your eyes—Incredible as the
event may seem, your own eyes with delight shall see it. You
will scarcely believe it for joy, but the testimony of your own eyes
shall convince you of the delightful reality (compare Lu 24:41).