II An exhortation to repentance, ver. 1-3. A denunciation of the judgments of God against the Philistines, ver. 4-7. The Moabites and Ammonites, ver. 8-11. The Arabians and Assyrians, ver. 12- 15.
Verse 1. Gather yourselves - Call a solemn assembly, proclaim a fast. Not desired - Or, not desirous. Unwilling to return, and unworthy to be received on your return.
Verse 2. The decree - Before God's decree is put in execution. The day - Before the day of your calamities. As the chaff - Carry you away as the wind carries chaff away.
Verse 3. Seek - Fear, worship, depend on him alone. Ye meek - Ye humble ones. Wrought his judgment - Obeyed his precepts. Seek righteousness - Continue therein. Seek meekness - Patiently wait on the just and merciful God. Hid - Under the wing of Divine Providence.
Verse 4. For - It is time to seek God; for your neighbours, as well as you, shall be destroyed. Gaza - A chief city of the Philistines. They - The Babylonians. Shall drive - Into captivity. At the noon day - It shall be taken by force at noon.
Verse 5. The inhabitants - All the Philistines. Cherethites - Or destroyers, men that were stout, fierce, and terrible to their neighbours. O Canaan - That part that the Philistines kept by force from the Jews.
Verse 6. For shepherds - Instead of cities full of rich citizens, there shall be only cottages for shepherds.
Verse 7. The coast - The sea-coast, the land of the Philistines. The remnant - That survive the captivity. Shall feed - Their flocks. In the houses - In places where these formerly stood. They - Both shepherds and flocks. Shall visit - In mercy.
Verse 8. I - God. Magnified themselves - Invading their frontiers.
Verse 9. Of nettles - Not cultivated, but over-run with nettles. Salt-pits - A dry, barren earth, fit only to dig salt out of. The residue - That return out of Babylon. Possess them - Settle upon those parts of their lands, that are fit for habitation.
Verse 11. Famish - Take away all their sacrifices and drink-offerings. The gods - idols of those lands. From his place - Not only at Jerusalem, but every where.
Verse 12. By my sword - The Chaldeans are called God's sword; because God employed them.
Verse 13. He - God. The north - Assyria, which lay northward of Judea, and due north from Babylon.
Verse 14. All the beasts - All sorts of beasts which are found in those countries. The bittern - A bird that delights in desolate places.
Verse 15. This - So the prophet triumphs over her. There is none - None like me, or that can contend with me.