III The sins of Nineveh, and judgments pursuing them, ver. 1-7. Instances of like judgments for like sins, ver. 18-11. The overthrow of all wherein they trusted, ver. 12-19.
Verse 1. The prey - Extortion and rapine.
Verse 3. The horsemen - The Chaldeans and their confederates.
Verse 4. The whoredom - The idolatries, which were multiplied by the many people that served the Assyrian idols. And whoredoms literally understood, did undoubtedly abound, where wealth, luxury, ease, and long continuance of these were to be found. Well-favoured - Glorious in their state and government, and in the splendour of their idols, temples, and sacrifices. Of witchcrafts - Bewitching policies; or it may be taken for witchcrafts or necromances, which abounded among the Assyrians. That selleth - That dispose of them as imperiously, and absolutely as men do slaves. And families - This may intimate the seducing of some particular and eminent families to an hereditary service of the Assyrian idols, or to witchcrafts, in which the devil imitatedGod's institution, in taking a family to his service.
Verse 5. Discover - l will strip thee naked, and deal with thee as inhuman soldiers deal with captive women.
Verse 7. Shall flee - With loathing and abhorrence. Will bemoan - Whose bowels will be moved for her that had no bowels for any one.
Verse 8. Thou - O Nineveh. No - It is supposed this was what we now called Alexandria. Art thou greater, stronger, and wiser? Yet all her power was broken, her riches spoiled, and her glory buried in ruins. Rampart - The defense of its walls on one side. Her wall - A mighty, strong wall, built from the sea landward.
Verse 9. Her strength - Furnishing soldiers and warlike assistance. It was infinite - There was no end to their confidence and warlike provisions. Put - Or the Moors, who lie westward of Alexandria. Lubim - The people that inhabited that which is now called Cyrene.
Verse 11. Thou also - Thou shalt drink deep of the bitter cup of God's displeasure. Hid - Thou shalt hide thyself. O Nineveh, as well as Alexandria. Shalt seek - Shalt sue for, and intreat assistance.
Verse 12. Ripe figs - Whose weight and ripeness will bring them quickly to the ground. Shaken - If but lightly touched.
Verse 13. Are women - Were very cowards. The gates - The strong frontiers. Wide open - Either through fear or treachery. Thy bars - With which the gates were shut and strengthened.
Verse 14. Draw thee waters - Fill all thy cisterns, and draw the waters into the ditches. Tread the mortar - Set thy brick-makers on work to prepare store of materials for thy fortifications.
Verse 15. There - In the very fortresses. Eat thee - As easily as the canker-worm eats the greenherb. Many - They are innumerable; be thou so if thou canst; all will be to no purpose.
16. The canker-worm spoileth - So these are like the canker- worms, which spoil wherever they come, and when no more is to be gotten, flee away.
Verse 17. Thy crowned - Thy confederate kings and princes. Captains - Commanders and officers are for number, like locusts and grasshoppers; but 'tis all for shew, not for help. In the cool day - While the season suits them. The sun - When trouble, war, and danger, like the parching sun, scald them. Is not known - Thou shalt never know where to find them.
Verse 18. Thy shepherds - Thy rulers and counsellors. Slumber - Are remiss, heartless, or dead. No man gathereth - No one will concern himself to preserve thy dispersed ones.
Verse 19. Shall clap the hands - Insulting and rejoicing. Thy wickedness - Thy tyranny, pride, oppression and cruelty; treading down and trampling upon them.