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Judgment on Israel’s Enemies


An Oracle.

The word of the L ord is against the land of Hadrach

and will rest upon Damascus.

For to the L ord belongs the capital of Aram,

as do all the tribes of Israel;


Hamath also, which borders on it,

Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.


Tyre has built itself a rampart,

and heaped up silver like dust,

and gold like the dirt of the streets.


But now, the Lord will strip it of its possessions

and hurl its wealth into the sea,

and it shall be devoured by fire.



Ashkelon shall see it and be afraid;

Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish;

Ekron also, because its hopes are withered.

The king shall perish from Gaza;

Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;


a mongrel people shall settle in Ashdod,

and I will make an end of the pride of Philistia.


I will take away its blood from its mouth,

and its abominations from between its teeth;

it too shall be a remnant for our God;

it shall be like a clan in Judah,

and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.


Then I will encamp at my house as a guard,

so that no one shall march to and fro;

no oppressor shall again overrun them,

for now I have seen with my own eyes.


The Coming Ruler of God’s People


Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!

Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!

Lo, your king comes to you;

triumphant and victorious is he,

humble and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.


He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim

and the war-horse from Jerusalem;

and the battle bow shall be cut off,

and he shall command peace to the nations;

his dominion shall be from sea to sea,

and from the River to the ends of the earth.



As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,

I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.


Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;

today I declare that I will restore to you double.


For I have bent Judah as my bow;

I have made Ephraim its arrow.

I will arouse your sons, O Zion,

against your sons, O Greece,

and wield you like a warrior’s sword.



Then the L ord will appear over them,

and his arrow go forth like lightning;

the Lord G od will sound the trumpet

and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.


The L ord of hosts will protect them,

and they shall devour and tread down the slingers;

they shall drink their blood like wine,

and be full like a bowl,

drenched like the corners of the altar.



On that day the L ord their God will save them

for they are the flock of his people;

for like the jewels of a crown

they shall shine on his land.


For what goodness and beauty are his!

Grain shall make the young men flourish,

and new wine the young women.


He goes on with the same subject, but explains what I have said — that victory is promised to the Jews, not that which they could gain by their own power, but that which should happen to them beyond their expectation; for this is what is meant when he says, that God would be seen over them. For though the events of all wars depend on God, yet he is said to be seen where there is a remarkable victory, which cannot be accounted for by men. When unequal armies engage, it is no wonder when one becomes victorious; and it may sometimes be that a less number overcomes a greater, even because it exceeded the other in courage, in counsel, in skill, or in some other way, or because the larger army fought from a disadvantageous position, or trusting in its own strength rushed on inconsiderately. But when consternation alone dejects one party and renders the other victorious, in this case the power of God becomes evident. And even heathens have thought that men are confounded from above when courage fails them; and this is most true. We now then understand why the Prophet says, that God would be seen over the Jews, even because they would conquer their enemies, not by usual means, not after an earthly manner, but in a wonderful way, so that it would appear evident to be the work of God.

He then adds, Go forth shall his arrow as lightning. He again repeats and confirms what we have already observed that there would be no movement among the Jews, no celerity, but what would be like the sword, which lies quiet on the ground, except it be taken up by the hand of man, and what also would be like the arrow, which can do no harm except it be thrown by some one. We then see that the victory mentioned before is ascribed to God alone. And for the same reason he adds what follows, that Jehovah would come with the shout of a trumpet, and also, with the whirlwind of the south. In a word, he means that the work of God would be evident when the Jews went forth against the enemies by whom they had been oppressed and would still be oppressed. That they might not then compare their own with their enemies’ strength, the Prophet here brings God before them, by whose authority, guidance, and power this war was to be carried on. And then, that he might extol God’s power, he says, that he would come with the shout of a trumpet, and with the whirlwind of the south

Interpreters take the whirlwinds of the south simply for violent storms; for we know that the most impetuous whirlwinds arise from the south. But as the Prophet joins the whirlwinds of the south to the shout of a trumpet, he seems to me to allude to those miracles by which God showed to the Jews in a terrific manner his power on Mount Sinai, for the desert of Teman and Mount Paran were in that vicinity. We have seen a similar passage in the third chapter of Habakkuk Habakkuk 3:1, “God,” he said, “shall come from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran.” The Prophet’s object was to encourage the Jews to entertain hope; for God, who had long concealed himself and refrained from helping them, would at length come forth to their aid. How? He reminded them in that passage of the records of ancient history, for God had made known his power on Mount Sinai, in the desert of Teman, and it was the south region with regard to Judea; and we also know that trumpets sounded in the air, and that all this was done that the Jews might reverently receive the law, and also that they might feel certain that they would be always safe under God’s hand, since he thus shook the elements by his nod, and filled the air with lightnings and storms and whirlwinds, and also made the air to ring with the shouts of trumpets. It is for the same reason that the Prophet speaks in this passage, when he says, that God would make himself known as formerly, when he astonished the people by the shouts of trumpets, and also when he appeared in whirlwinds on Mount Sinai. 112112     The two preceding verses, the 13th and 14th, are capable of being rendered more correctly. Junius and Tremelius render [כי], at the beginning of verse 13th, when, and connect it with the preceding verse. But if the particle be so rendered, and [ו], at the beginning of verse 14th, be rendered them, the meaning will be more evident. All the verbs in verse 13 are in the past tense, and may be rendered as future perfects according to what is done by the preceding authors. Then the two verses will be as follows—

   13. When I shall have bent Judah for myself, And the bow filled with Ephraim, And roused up thy sons, O Sion, Against thy sons, O Javan, And made thee as the sword of a mighty man;

   14. Then Jehovah shall be seen (a leader) over them, And go forth like lightning shall his arrow; Yes, the Lord Jehovah with a trumpet shall blow, And march in (or, accompanied with) the whirlwinds of the south.

   The “whirlwinds,” or storms, as rendered by Henderson, “of the south,” were impetuous and violent. See Job 37:9; Isaiah 21:1. The images here, as Newcome justly observes, are very sublime. The change of the person, as in verse 14th, is very common in the Prophets and in other parts of Scripture. See Genesis 3:22,23. — Ed.
He then adds —

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