|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:18-21 There shall be abundant Divine influences, and the gospel will spread speedily into the remotest corners of the earth. These events are predicted under significant emblems; there is a day coming, when every thing amiss shall be amended. The fountain of this plenty is in the house of God, whence the streams take rise. Christ is this Fountain; his sufferings, merit, and grace, cleanse, refresh, and make fruitful. Gospel grace, flowing from Christ, shall reach to the Gentile world, to the most remote regions, and make them abound in fruits of righteousness; and from the house of the Lord above, from his heavenly temple, flows all the good we daily taste, and hope to enjoy eternally.
Verse 14. - Rabbah, "the Great," or Rabbath-Ammon, the capital of Ammon, was situated on the southern arm of the Jabbok, and was a place of remarkable strength (see Deuteronomy 3:11; 2 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:26, etc.; 1 Chronicles 20:1-3). "For picturesqueness of situation, I know of no ruins to compare with Ammon. The most striking feature is the citadel, which formerly contained not merely the garrison, but an upper town, and covered an extensive area. The lofty plateau on which it was situated is triangular in shape; two sides are formed by the valleys which diverge from the apex, where they are divided by a low neck, and thence separating, fall into the valley of the Jabbok, which forms the base of the triangle, and contained the lower town. Climbing up the citadel, we can trace the remains of the moat, and, crossing it, find ourselves in a maze of ruins. The massive walls - the lower parts of which still remain, and which, rising from the precipitous sides of the cliff, rendered any attempt at scaling impossible - were evidently Ammonite. As I leant over them and looked sheer down about three hundred feet into one wady, and four hundred feet into the other, I did not wonder at its having occurred to King David that the leader of a forlorn hope against these ramparts would meet with certain death, and consequently assigning the position to Uriah.... Joab afterwards took the lower city, which he called 'the city of waters,' indicating very probably that the Jabbok was dammed into a lake near the lower city, to which the conformation of the valley would lend itself" (Oliphant, 'Land of Gilead,' p. 259, etc.). There is a sketch of the citadel hill in the 'Dictionary of the Bible,' 2:985. The city was taken by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 27:3, 6; Jeremiah 49:2, 3), either at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, or in the course of his Egyptian campaign (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 10:09. 7). The expression, I will kindle a fire (not "send," as elsewhere), possibly implies, as Pusey suggests, a conflagration from within. The shouting is the battle cry of the opposing host, which adds to the horror of the scene (Job 39:25). With a tempest. The idea is that the walls should fall before the invaders, as if they were teats swept away in a whirlwind.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,.... Which was the metropolis of the children of Ammon, and their royal city, 2 Samuel 12:26. This is to be understood of an enemy that should destroy it, perhaps Nebuchadnezzar; or of war being kindled and raised in their country; this place being put for the whole; See Gill on Jeremiah 49:2;
and it shall devour the palaces thereof; the palaces of the king, and his nobles:
with shouting in the day of battle; with the noise of soldiers when they make their onset, or have gained the victory; see Jeremiah 49:2;
with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind; denoting that this judgment should come suddenly, and at an unawares, with great force, irresistibly; and a tempest added to fire, if literally taken, must spread the desolation more abundantly, and make it more terrible.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Rabbah—the capital of Ammon: meaning "the Great." Distinct from Rabbah of Moab. Called Philadelphia, afterwards, from Ptolemy Philadelphus.
tempest—that is, with an onset swift, sudden, and resistless as a hurricane.
day of the whirlwind—parallel to "the day of battle"; therefore meaning "the day of the foe's tumultuous assault."
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