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Judgment on Israel’s Enemies


Gather together, gather,

O shameless nation,


before you are driven away

like the drifting chaff,

before there comes upon you

the fierce anger of the L ord,

before there comes upon you

the day of the L ord’s wrath.


Seek the L ord, all you humble of the land,

who do his commands;

seek righteousness, seek humility;

perhaps you may be hidden

on the day of the L ord’s wrath.


For Gaza shall be deserted,

and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;

Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,

and Ekron shall be uprooted.



Ah, inhabitants of the seacoast,

you nation of the Cherethites!

The word of the L ord is against you,

O Canaan, land of the Philistines;

and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.


And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,

meadows for shepherds

and folds for flocks.


The seacoast shall become the possession

of the remnant of the house of Judah,

on which they shall pasture,

and in the houses of Ashkelon

they shall lie down at evening.

For the L ord their God will be mindful of them

and restore their fortunes.



I have heard the taunts of Moab

and the revilings of the Ammonites,

how they have taunted my people

and made boasts against their territory.


Therefore, as I live, says the L ord of hosts,

the God of Israel,

Moab shall become like Sodom

and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,

a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,

and a waste forever.

The remnant of my people shall plunder them,

and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.


This shall be their lot in return for their pride,

because they scoffed and boasted

against the people of the L ord of hosts.


The L ord will be terrible against them;

he will shrivel all the gods of the earth,

and to him shall bow down,

each in its place,

all the coasts and islands of the nations.



You also, O Ethiopians,

shall be killed by my sword.



And he will stretch out his hand against the north,

and destroy Assyria;

and he will make Nineveh a desolation,

a dry waste like the desert.


Herds shall lie down in it,

every wild animal;

the desert owl and the screech owl

shall lodge on its capitals;

the owl shall hoot at the window,

the raven croak on the threshold;

for its cedar work will be laid bare.


Is this the exultant city

that lived secure,

that said to itself,

“I am, and there is no one else”?

What a desolation it has become,

a lair for wild animals!

Everyone who passes by it

hisses and shakes the fist.


He proceeds with the same subject,—that God would show his power in aiding his people. But he calls him a terrible God, who had for a time patiently endured the wantonness of his enemies, and thus became despised by them: for the ungodly, we know, never submit to God unless they are constrained by his hand; and then they are not bent so as willingly to submit to his authority; but when forced they are silent. 100100     The word, [נורא], is rendered “to be feared,” by Cocceius and Henderson, and [עליהם], “above them,” that is, “the gods of the earth,” mentioned in the next line; it being considered an instance of a pronoun preceding its noun. But this is forced; and it is not necessary. Moab and Ammon are evidently referred to; and what is said is, that God would be terrible to them, as well as to others, for he would famish or destroy all the gods of the earth. And then in the next verse he mentions other nations. Some extend what is here said to gospel-times; but there seems no reason for this, inasmuch as God’s judgment is the subject of the Prophet.—Ed. This is what the Prophet means in these words; as though he had said, that the wicked now mock God, as they disregard his power, but that they shall find how terrible an avenger of his people he is, so that they would have to dread him. And then he compares the superstitions of the nations with true religion; as though he had said, that this would be to the Jews as a reward for their piety, inasmuch as they worshipped the only true God, and that all idols would be of no avail against the help of God. And this was a necessary admonition; for the ungodly seemed to triumph for a time, not only over a conquered people, but over God himself, and thus gloried in their superstitious and vain inventions. The Prophet, therefore, confirms their desponding minds; for God, he says, will at length consume all the gods of the nations

The verb רזה, reze, means strictly to make lean or to famish, but is to be taken here metaphorically, as signifying to consume. God then will famish all the inventions of the nations: and he alludes to that famine which idols had occasioned through the whole world; as though he had said, that God’s glory would shortly appear, which would exterminate whatever glory the false gods had obtained among them, so that it would melt away like fatness.

He at last adds, that the remotest nations would become suppliants to God; for by saying, adore him shall each from his place, 101101     Literally—
   And bow down to him, every one from his place,
Shall all the islands of the nations.
he doubtless means, that however far off the countries might be, the distance would be no hindrance to God’s name being celebrated, when his power became known to remote lands. And, for the same reason, he mentions the islands of the nations, that is, countries beyond the sea: for the Hebrews, as it has been elsewhere observed, call those countries islands which are far distant, and divided by the sea. 102102     By the earth the Jews understood the great continent of all Asia and Africa, to which they had acces by land; and by the isles of the sea they understood the places to which they sailed by sea, particularly all Europe. Sir I. Newton on Daniel, p. 276.”—Newcome. In short, the Prophet shows, that the redemption of the people would be so wonderful, that the fame of it would reach the farthest bounds of the earth, and constrain foreign nations to give glory to the true God, and that it would dissipate all the mists of superstition, so that idols would be exposed to scorn and contempt. It follows—

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