Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary-16
Verses 13-16. And upon all the cedars "Even against all the cedars"] Princes, potentates, rulers, captains, rich men, &c. - So Kimchi. These verses afford us a striking example of that peculiar way of writing, which makes a principal characteristic of the parabolical or poetical style of the Hebrews, and in which the prophets deal so largely, namely, their manner of exhibiting things Divine, spiritual, moral, and political, by a set of images taken from things natural, artificial, religious, historical, in the way of metaphor or allegory. Of these nature furnishes much the largest and the most pleasing share; and all poetry has chiefly recourse to natural images, as the richest and most powerful source of illustration. But it may be observed of the Hebrew poetry in particular, that in the use of such images, and in the application of them in the way of illustration and ornament, it is more regular and constant than any other poetry whatever; that it has for the most part a set of images appropriated in a manner to the explication of certain subjects. Thus you will find, in many other places besides this before us, that cedars of Lebanon and oaks of Bashan, are used in the way of metaphor and allegory for kings, princes, potentates of the highest rank; high mountains and lofty hills, for kingdoms, republics, states, cities; towers and fortresses, for defenders and protectors, whether by counsel or strength, in peace or war; ships of Tarshish and works of art, and invention employed in adorning them, for merehants, men enriched by commerce, and abounding in all the luxuries and elegances of life, such as those of Tyre and Sidon; for it appears from the course of the whole passage, and from the train of ideas, that the fortresses and the ships are to be taken metaphorically, as well as the high trees and the lofty mountains.
Ships of Tarshish] Are in Scripture frequently used by a metonymy for ships in general, especially such as are employed in carrying on traffic between distant countries, as Tarshish was the most celebrated mart of those times, frequented of old by the Phoenicians, and the principal source of wealth to Judea and the neighbouring countries. The learned seem now to be perfectly well agreed that Tarshish is Tartessus, a city of Spain, at the mouth of the river Baetis, whence the Phoenicians, who first opened this trade, brought silver and gold, (Jer. x. 9; Ezek. xxvii. 12,) in which that country then abounded; and, pursuing their voyage still farther to the Cassiterides, (Bogart, Canaan, i. c. 39; Huet, Hist. de Commerce, p. 194,) the islands of Scilly and Cornwall, they brought from thence lead and tin.
Tarshish is celebrated in Scripture,2 Chron. viii. 17, 18; ix. 21, for the trade which Solomon carried on thither, in conjunction with the Tyrians.
Jehoshaphat, 1 Kings xxii. 48;2 Chron. xx. 36, attempted afterwards to renew their trade. And from the account given of his attempt it appears that his fleet was to sail to Ezion-geber on the Red Sea; they must therefore have designed to sail round Africa, as Solomon's fleet had done before, (see Huet, Histoire de Commerce, p. 32,) for it was a three years' voyage, (2 Chronicles ix. 21,) and they brought gold from Ophir, probably on the coast of Arabia; silver from Tartessus; and ivory, apes, and peacocks, from Africa. " yrpwa Afri, Africa, the Roman termination, Africa terra. ¨y¨rt Tarshish, some city or country in Africa. So the Chaldee on 1 Kings xxii. 49, where it renders ¨y¨rt Tarshish by hqyrpa Aphricah; and compare2 Chron. xx. 36, from whence it appears, to go to Ophir and to Tarshish is one and the same thing."-Dr. Jubb. It is certain that under Pharaoh Necho, about two hundred years afterwards, this voyage was made by the Egyptians; Herodot. iv. 42. They sailed from the Red Sea, and returned by the Mediterranean, and they performed it in three years, just the same time that the voyage under Solomon had taken up. It appears likewise from Pliny, Nat. Hist., ii. 67, that the passage round the Cape of Good Hope was known and frequently practiced before his time, by Hanno, the Carthaginian, when Carthage was in its glory; by one Eudoxus, in the time of Ptolemy Lathyrus, king of Egypt; and Coelus Antipater, a historian of good credit, somewhat earlier than Pliny, testifies that he had seen a merchant who had made the voyage from Gades to Ethiopia. The Portuguese under Vasco de Gama, near three hundred years ago, recovered this navigation, after it had been intermitted and lost for many centuries. - L.
Matthew Henry Commentary The conversion of the Gentiles, Description of the sinfulness of Israel. (Is. 2:1-9) The awful punishment of unbelievers. (Is. 2:10-22)
Is. 2:1-9 The calling of the Gentiles, the spread of the gospel, an that far more extensive preaching of it yet to come, are foretold. Le Christians strengthen one another, and support one another. It is God who teaches his people, by his word and Spirit. Christ promotes peace as well as holiness. If all men were real Christians, there could be n war; but nothing answering to these expressions has yet taken place of the earth. Whatever others do, let us walk in the light of this peace Let us remember that when true religion flourishes, men delight i going up to the house of the Lord, and in urging others to accompan them. Those are in danger who please themselves with strangers to God for we soon learn to follow the ways of persons whose company we keep It is not having silver and gold, horses and chariots, that displease God, but depending upon them, as if we could not be safe, and easy, an happy without them, and could not but be so with them. Sin is disgrace to the poorest and the lowest. And though lands calle Christian are not full of idols, in the literal sense, are they no full of idolized riches? and are not men so busy about their gains an indulgences, that the Lord, his truths, and precepts, are forgotten of despised?
Is. 2:10-22 The taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans seems first mean here, when idolatry among the Jews was done away; but our thoughts ar led forward to the destruction of all the enemies of Christ. It is folly for those who are pursued by the wrath of God, to think to hid or shelter themselves from it. The shaking of the earth will be terrible to those who set their affections on things of the earth Men's haughtiness will be brought down, either by the grace of God convincing them of the evil of pride, or by the providence of God depriving them of all the things they were proud of. The day of the Lord shall be upon those things in which they put their confidence Those who will not be reasoned out of their sins, sooner or later shal be frightened out of them. Covetous men make money their god; but the time will come when they will feel it as much their burden. This whol passage may be applied to the case of an awakened sinner, ready to leave all that his soul may be saved. The Jews were prone to rely of their heathen neighbours; but they are here called upon to cease from depending on mortal man. We are all prone to the same sin. Then let no man be your fear, let not him be your hope; but let your hope be in the Lord your God. Let us make this our great concern __________________________________________________________________
Original Hebrew ועל 5921 כל 3605 ההרים 2022 הרמים 7311 ועל 5921 כל 3605 הגבעות 1389 הנשׂאות׃ 5375