V None godly in Judah, ver. 1. They swear falsely, tho' God be a God us truth; they are incorrigible and senseless, and know not the law, or else wilfully violate it, ver. 1-6. Their idolatry, adultery, ver. 7-9. Contempt of God's word and prophets, which should be sadly verified, ver, 10-18. They forsake, forget, and fear not God, whose power is so great, ver. 19-24. They are rich through deceit and violence; their false prophets, ver. 25-31.
Verse 1. Run - God gives leave to all the earth to look into the state of Jerusalem, by which he vindicates himself in the face of the whole world from all severity towards his people, whatever he brings upon them. In the broad places - Even there, where men meet from all quarters. A man - It seems worse than Sodom and Gomorrah, for God condescends to pardon Jerusalem, if there be but one righteous man found in it; there he came no lower than ten. A man might walk the streets of Jerusalem long enough before he could meet with any one truly religious. Executeth - Among the magistracy. Seeketh - Among the commonalty, that deal faithfully and uprightly.
Verse 2. Though - Though when they swear, they use the form of an oath, and say, the Lord liveth, or by the livingGod: yet it is neither in truth nor righteousness.
Verse 3. O Lord - Dost not thou approve truth and faithfulness. Grieved - They have not repented. Consumed - God had not only lightly chastised them, but wasted them by several enemies, yet they have profited nothing by it.
Verse 4. Poor - The vulgar, that understand but little, of less conscience than the better sort. Judgment - The methods or ways of his providence.
Verse 5. But - These are more refractory than the other; no law of God is able to hold them.
Verse 6. A lion - Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean army are here pointed at under the metaphor of beasts of prey of three kinds; compared to a lion, which denotes his great power, courage, and pride. A wolf - For their greediness and unsatiableness. A leopard - The Chaldean army is compared to a leopard, not for its speed only, but for its vigilancy and subtilty.
Verse 7. They then - Such is the natural effect of unsanctified prosperity.
Verse 10. Ye - Ye Babylonians, go execute my vengeance on them. Battlements - Lay her and all her fortifications level with the ground. For - I disown them.
Verse 12. Belied - Not believing that these words of the prophet were God's word.
Verse 13. Became wind - A proverbial expression, all the prophet's threats shall come to nothing. The word - The prophet's words are not from God. Thus - It shall fall upon their own heads that have thus threatened us.
Verse 14. It - The Chaldean army, shall consume and eat them up like fire.
Verse 15. Israel - By these are meant Judah; for Israel were in captivity before: called the house of Israel, not only because they descended from Jacob, but because they were the chief of that stock.
Verse 18. Nevertheless - I have not done with you yet.
Verse 20. Judah - By Judah and Jacob we are to understand the two tribes only.
Verse 21. And hear not - They are wilfully blind, and obstinately deaf, will neither see, nor hear the word, will, or works of God, of which he giveth two instances in the two following verses.
Verse 22. The sand - That need not make rocks for walls unto it, but can give a check to it by so small a matter as the sand.
Verse 23. Gone - From me.
Verse 24. The former rain - The former to prepare the ground for sowing, and the latter to prepare the corn for ripening. Reserveth - He gives seasonable harvests according to his appointment. God would let them know what a foolish, as well as wicked thing it is to set themselves against that God, that keeps the whole order of nature at his own disposal, which he can order as he sees men behave towards him.
Verse 26. They catch - Such a trap did Jezebel lay for Naboth, 1 Kings xxi, 9, 10. Such an one was that conspiracy of more than forty men against Paul, Acts xxiii, 13-15.
Verse 27. Their houses - They fill their houses with the goods of those they deceive, and over-reach.
Verse 28. Overpass - They go beyond the Heathens themselves in wickedness.
Verse 30. The land - Hebrew. This land: aggravating the greatness of the wonder, that such a thing should be in such a land.