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Israel, God's vineyard, his mercies, and their faithfulness, should be
laid waste, ver. 1 - 7.
Judgments upon covetousness, ver. 8 - 10.
Upon drunkards, and the lascivious, ver. 11, 12.
The great misery of the Jews, ver. 13 - 17.
Judgments on impiety, scoffers at God's threatnings, those who corrupt
the notions of good and ill, strong - drinkers, and unjust judges,
ver. 18 - 23.
God's anger, and the Chaldeans army against them, ver. 24 - 30.
1: Now - I will record it to he a witness for God, and against you,
as Moses did his song, (De 31:19,32:1).
To - To the Lord of the vineyard. Of my beloved - Not devised by me, but
inspired by God. Vineyard - His church. Hill - Hills being places most
commodious for vines.
2: He gathered - He removed all hindrances, and gave them all the
means of fruitfulness. A tower - For the residence of the keepers.
6: Nor digged - Vine - dressers use to dig up and open the earth about
the roots of the vines. The meaning is, I will remove my ministers, who
used great care and diligence to make you fruitful. Thorns - I will give
you up to your own lusts. No rain - I will deprive you of all my
7: Pleasant - In whom God formerly delighted. A cry - From the
oppressed, crying to men for help, and to God for vengeance.
8: Alone - That they alone may be the lords and owners, and all
others only their tenants and servants.
9: In mine ears - I heard God speak what I am about to utter.
10: One bath - Of wine. The bath contained about eight gallons.
Thus an acre did not yield one gallon. An ephah - Which was of the same
quantity with the bath, only the bath was the measure of liquid things,
the ephah of dry things; and a ephah was the tenth part of an homer.
So instead of the increase which that fruitful land commonly yielded,
they should loose nine parts of their seed.
12: The harp - They give up themselves wholly to luxury.
The work - What God hath lately done, and is yet doing, and about to
do among them; his grievous judgments, partly inflicted, and partly
threatened, which required another course of life.
13: No knowledge - No serious consideration of God's works, and of
their own duty and danger. Honourable men - Who thought themselves quite
out of the reach of famine.
14: And he - That spends all his days in mirth and jollity.
15: The mighty - All of them, both high and low, shall be brought to
16: Exalted - By the execution of this just judgment.
Sanctified - Shall appear to be an holy God, by his righteous judgments.
17: Then - When God shall have finished that work of judgment.
The lambs - The poor and harmless people, who shall be left in the land
when the rich are carried into captivity. Manner - Or, by their fold,
as this word is manifestly used, (Mic 2:12), the only place of scripture,
except this, in which this word is found. Waste places - The lands left
by their owners. Fat ones - Of the rich and great men. Strangers - The
poor Israelites, who were left to be vine - dressers and husbandmen,(2Ki 25:12), who are called strangers, because they were so, in
reference to that hand, not being the proper owners of it.
18: That draw - That are not only drawn to sin by the allurements of
the world; but are active and illustrious in drawing sin to themselves.
Cords - Or, with cords of lying, as the last word frequently signifies,
with vain and deceitful arguments and pretences, whereby sinners generally
draw themselves to sin. A rope - With all their might, as beasts commonly
do that draw carts with ropes.
19: Let him - God, in whose name thou and other prophets are always
threatening us. This was the plain language of their actions; they lived
as if they were of this opinion. The Holy One - They scornfully repeated
the title usually given by the prophets to God.
20: To them - That take away the difference between good and evil;
that justify wicked men and things, and condemn piety, or righteous persons.
22: To mingle - To drink: the antecedent being put for the
consequent: for they mingled it in order to drinking.
23: Take away - Pronounce sentence against him.
24: Rottenness - They shall be like a tree which not only withers in
its branches, but dies and rots at the roots, therefore is past recovery.
Dust - Shall be resolved into dust, and yield no fruit.
26: An ensign - To call them together for his service.
From far - To the Chaldeans; for even Babylon is called a far
country, (Isa 39:3).
And he saith nations, because the Chaldean army was made up of
several nations. Will hiss - Or, will whistle unto, or for them:
will gather them together by his word. as shepherds gather their
sheep. He intimates how easily and speedily God can do this work.
From the ends - Which is not to be understood strictly, but with a
latitude, from very remote places.
27: Nor sleep - They shall all be watchful and diligent to take all
opportunities of executing my judgments. Nor latchet - I will take all
impediments out of their way.
28: Bent - Who are every way furnished and ready for my work, waiting
only for my command. Flint - Because they shall not be broken or battered
by the length or stonyness and ruggedness of the way. Whirlwind - For the
swiftness of their march, and for the force and violence of their chariots
29: Roar - Which signifies both their cruelty, and their eagerness to
devour the prey.
30: Sorrow - Darkness; that is, sorrow; the latter word explains
the former. The heavens - When they look up to the heavens, as men in
distress usually do, they see no light there.