1. For--continuation of
Lord of hosts--therefore able to do as He says.
doth--present for future, so certain is the accomplishment.
stay . . . staff--the same Hebrew word, the one masculine, the
other feminine, an Arabic idiom for all kinds of support. What a
change from the previous luxuries
Fulfilled in the siege by Nebuchadnezzar and afterwards by Titus
(Jer 37:21; 38:9).
prudent--the Hebrew often means a "soothsayer"
thus it will mean, the diviners, on whom they rely, shall in that day
fail. It is found in a good sense
from which passage the Jews interpret it a king; "without" whom
Israel long has been
ancient--old and experienced
3. captain of fifty--not only captains of thousands, and centurions
of a hundred, but even semi-centurions of fifty, shall fail.
honourable--literally, "of dignified aspect."
cunning--skilful. The mechanic's business will come to a standstill
in the siege and subsequent desolation of the state; artisans are no
mean "stay" among a nation's safeguards.
eloquent orator--rather, as Vulgate, "skilled in whispering,"
that is, incantation
below; and on "prudent," see on
4. children--in ability for governing; antithesis to the "ancient"
babes--in warlike might; antithesis to "the mighty" and "man of
5. The anarchy resulting under such imbecile rulers
unjust exactions mutually; the forms of respect violated
base--low-born. Compare the marks of "the last days"
6. Such will be the want of men of wealth and ability, that they
will "take hold of"
the first man whom they meet, having any property, to make him "ruler."
brother--one having no better hereditary claim to be ruler than the
"man" supplicating him.
Thou hast clothing--which none of us has. Changes of raiment are
wealth in the East
ruin--Let our ruined affairs be committed to thee to retrieve.
7. swear--literally, "lift up," namely, his hand; the gesture used
in solemn attestation. Or, his voice, that is, answer; so Vulgate.
healer--of the body politic, incurably diseased
neither . . . clothing--so as to relieve the people and maintain a
ruler's dignity. A nation's state must be bad indeed, when none among
men, naturally ambitious, is willing to accept office.
8. Reason given by the prophet, why all shrink from the government.
eyes of his glory--to provoke His "glorious" Majesty before His
The Syriac and LOWTH, by a slight change of
the Hebrew, translate, "the cloud of His glory," the
9. show--The Hebrew means, "that which may be known by their
countenances" [GESENIUS and
But MAURER translates, "Their
respect for person"; so Syriac and Chaldee. But the parallel
word "declare" favors the other view. KIMCHI,
from the Arabic, translates "their hardness"
Margin), or impudence of countenance
They have lost not only the substance of virtue, but its color.
witness--literally, "corresponds" to them; their look answers to
their inner character
"Foaming out their own shame"; so far from making it a secret,
"glorying" in it
unto themselves--Compare "in themselves"
(Pr 1:31; 8:36;
10. The faithlessness of many is no proof that all are
faithless. Though nothing but croaking of frogs is heard on the surface
of the pool, we are not to infer there are no fish beneath
Isa 1:19, 20).
fruit of doings--
in a good sense
Not salvation by works, but by fruit-bearing faith
GESENIUS and WEISS translate,
Declare as to the righteous that, &c. MAURER, "Say that the righteous is blessed."
11. ill--antithesis to "well"
emphatic ellipsis of the words italicized. "Ill!"
hands--his conduct; "hands" being the instrument of acts
(Ec 8:12, 13).
oppressors--literally, "exactors," that is, exacting princes
They who ought to be protectors are exactors; as
unqualified for rule as "children," as effeminate as "women." Perhaps
it is also implied that they were under the influence of their harem,
the women of their court.
lead--Hebrew, "call thee blessed"; namely, the false
prophets, who flatter the people with promises of safety in sin; as
the political "rulers" are meant in the first clause.
way of thy paths--
The right way set forth in the law. "Destroy"--Hebrew, "Swallow
up," that is, cause so utterly to disappear that not a vestige of it is
13. standeth up--no longer sitting in silence.
plead--indignant against a wicked people
14. ancients--Hence they are spoken of as "taken away"
(Isa 3:1, 2).
vineyard--the Jewish theocracy
eaten up--"burnt"; namely, by "oppressive exactions"
Type of the crowning guilt of the husbandmen in the days of Jesus Christ
spoil . . . houses--
15. What right have ye to beat, &c.
Mic 3:2, 3).
grind--by exactions, so as to leave them nothing.
faces--persons; with the additional idea of it being openly and
palpably done. "Presence," equivalent to "face" (Hebrew).
16. Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, &c.--Luxury had
become great in Uzziah's prosperous reign
stretched forth--proudly elevated
wanton--rather, "making the eyes to glance about," namely, wantonly
[MAURER]. But LOWTH, "falsely
setting off the eyes with paint." Women's eyelids in the East are often
colored with stibium, or powder of lead (see on
mincing--tripping with short steps.
tinkling--with their ankle-rings on both feet, joined by small
chains, which sound as they walk, and compel them to take short steps;
sometimes little bells were attached
(Isa 3:18, 20).
17. smite with a scab--literally, "make bald," namely, by
discover--cause them to suffer the greatest indignity that can
befall female captives, namely to be stripped naked, and have their
18. bravery--the finery.
cauls--network for the head. Or else, from an Arabic
root, "little suns," answering to the "tires" or neck-ornaments, "like
The chumarah or crescent is also worn in front of the headdress
in West Asia.
19. chains--rather, pendants, hanging about the neck, and dropping
on the breast.
mufflers--veils covering the face, with apertures for the eyes,
close above and loosely flowing below. The word radically means
"tremulous," referring to the changing effect of the spangles on the
ornaments of the legs--the short stepping-chains from one foot
to another, to give a measured gait; attached to the "tinkling
tablets--rather, "houses of the breath," that is, smelling boxes
earrings--rather, amulets suspended from the neck or ears, with
magic formulæ inscribed; the root means to "whisper" or "conjure."
21. nose jewels--The cartilage between the nostrils was bored to
receive them; they usually hung from the left nostril.
22. Here begin entire articles of apparel. Those before were
changeable--from a root, "to put off"; not worn commonly; put on and
off on special occasions. So, dress-clothes
mantles--fuller tunics with sleeves, worn over the common one,
reaching down to the feet.
wimples--that is, mufflers, or hoods. In
"veils"; perhaps here, a broad cloak, or shawl, thrown over the head
crisping pins--rather, money bags
23. glasses--mirrors of polished metal
But the Septuagint, a transparent, gauze-like, garment.
hoods--miters, or diadems
veils--large enough to cover the head and person. Distinct from the
smaller veils ("mufflers") above
Token of woman's subjection
24. stink--arising from ulcers
girdle--to gird up the loose Eastern garments, when the person
rent--the Septuagint, better, a "rope," an emblem of poverty;
the poor have nothing else to gird up their clothes with.
(1Pe 3:3, 4).
stomacher--a broad plaited girdle.
burning--a sunburnt countenance, owing to their hoods and veils
being stripped off, while they had to work as captives under a scorching
25. Thy men--of Jerusalem.
26. gates--The place of concourse personified is represented
mourning for the loss of those multitudes which once frequented it.
desolate . . . sit upon . . . ground--the very figure under which
Judea was represented on medals after the destruction by Titus: a
female sitting under a palm tree in a posture of grief; the motto,
where, as here primarily, the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar is alluded