VIII The vision of a basket of summer fruit, ver. 1-3. The destruction of the oppressors foretold, ver. 4-10. And a famine of the word of God, ver. 11-14.
Verse 2. The end - Of God's patience towards Israel, the end of their ripening, they are now fully ripe, fit to be gathered. Pass by them - God had with admirable patience spared, but now he will no more pardon or spare.
Verse 3. With silence - So great will be the cruelty of the enemy, that they dare not bury them, or if they do, it must be undiscerned.
Verse 4. To fail - Either to root them out, or to enslave them.
Verse 5. When - Ye that could wish there were nothing to interrupt your marketing, that look on solemn times of worship as burdensome, such was the first day of every month, and the weekly sabbath. Small - So the ephah being too little, the poor buyer had not his due. The shekel great - They weighed the money which they received, and had no more justice, than to make their shekel weight greater than the standard; so the poor were twice oppressed, had less than was their right, and paid more than they ought to pay.
Verse 6. That we may buy - They would have new moons and sabbaths over, that they might go to market to buy the poor. And when these poor owed but for a very little commodity, as suppose a pair of shoes, these merciless men would take the advantage against them, and make them sell themselves to pay the debt. The refuse - This was another kind of oppression, corrupted wares, sold to those that were necessitous.
Verse 7. Hath sworn - By himself. Forget - Suffer to pass unpunished.
Verse 8. The land - The people of it. For this - This that you have done, and this that God will do. And it - The judgment, the displeasure of God, shall rise and grow like a mighty wasting flood. It - The land. Drowned - As Egypt by the overflowing of the Nile.
Verse 9. At noon - So Israel's sun did as at noon set under the dark cloud of conspiracies and civil wars by Shallum, Menahem, Pekah, and Hosea, 'till the midnight darkness drew on by Pul, Tiglath- Pilneser, and Salmaneser. Darken - Bring a thick cloud of troubles and afflictions. In the clearday - When they think all is safe, sure, and well settled.
Verse 10. Upon all loins - All sorts of persons shall put on mourning. Baldness - Shaving the head and beard was a sign of the greatest sadness. A bitter day - A bitter day, which you shall wish you had never seen, shall succeed your darknight.
Verse 12. Shall wander - Search all places for a prophet or preacher, from the Mid-land sea to the dead sea, they shall search all corners for a prophet.
Verse 14. They - Who sacrifice to and swear by the calves at Daniel and Beth-el. By the sin - Who say the idol at Daniel is the true and livingGod. The manner - The idol which is worshipped at Beersheba.