|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-5 What is got by extortion is commonly used to provide for the flesh, and to fulfil the lusts thereof. What is got by oppression cannot be enjoyed with satisfaction. How miserable are those whose confidence in unscriptural observances only prove that they believe a lie! Let us see to it that our faith, hope, and worship, are warranted by the Divine word.
Verse 3. - At the breaches made in the city walls, as cattle hurry through gaps in a fence. Thus they should go forth when Samaria was taken. Every cow at that which is before her; better, each straight before her, just where the opening offered itself (comp. Joshua 6:5, 20). The LXX. inserts γυμναί, "naked." And ye shall cast them into the palace; Septuagint, Καὶ ἀποῥῤιφήσεσθε εἰς τὸ ὄρος τὸ Ῥομμάν, ( ῾ρεμμάν, Alex.), "And ye shall be cast forth into the mountain Romman; Vulgate, et projiciemini in Armon. The Syriac and Arabic Versions, and Aquila, render, "unto Mount Armon;" the Chaldee paraphrast, "far beyond the mountains of Armenia." The Hebrew expression haharmonah occurs nowhere else. Our version takes it in the sense of armon, "a palace," intending probably a palace or citadel of the enemy, which certainly ought to have been expressed. Kimchi renders, "Ye shall cast yourselves into the palace of the king." The passage is probably corrupt. If the verb is taken as passive, the unusual word must be considered to denote the place of banishment. Thus, "Ye shall be cast forth into Harmon." Whether Harmon means Armenia, as many ancient commentators thought, or not, cannot be determined. Various opinions may be seen in Keil, Schegg, Trochon, and others; but the simplest explanation is that of Orelli and Ewald, viz. that each fugitive shall fling away her idol Rimmona (the wife of the god Rimmon, 2 Kings 5:18), in order to be more free for flight (comp. Isaiah 2:20).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And ye shall go out at the breaches,.... Not at the gates of the city, as they had used to do at pleasure; but at the breaches of the walls of it, made by the enemy, in order to make their escape, if possible; they who had broke down the fences of law and justice, and injured the poor and needy, shall now have the walls of their city broken down and they themselves exposed to the most imminent danger, and glad to get out of them to save their lives:
every cow at that which is before her; every woman, as Jarchi and Kimchi; or every great person, compared to the kine of Bashan, shall make up as fast as he can to the breach before him, to get out; shall follow one another as quick as they can, and clamber on one another's backs, as such cattle do, to get out first; which shows the hurry and confusion they should be in, upon the taking of their city Samaria:
and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the Lord; either their children, or their substance, which they shall cast into the royal palace, or fort, or citadel, for safety. Some render it, "ye shall cast yourselves"; so Abarbinel; that is, such as could not get out at the breaches should betake themselves to the palace or fort for their security. The Targum of the whole is,
"and they shall break down the wall upon you, and bring you out, gathered everyone before him, and carry you beyond the mountains of Armenia.''
And so some others, taking it to be the name of a place, render it, "ye shall be cast into Armon", or Mona; which Bochart (r) suspects to be the same with Minni, mentioned with Ararat, a mountain in Armenia, Jeremiah 51:27.
(r) Geograph. Sacr. l. 1. c. 3. col. 20.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. go out at the breaches—namely, of the city walls broken by the enemy.
every cow at that which is before her—figurative for the once luxurious nobles (compare "kine of Bashan," Am 4:1) shall go out each one right before her; not through the gates, but each at the breach before him, not turning to the right or left, apart from one another.
ye shall cast them into the palace—"them," that is, "your posterity," from Am 4:2. You yourselves shall escape through the breaches, after having cast your little children into the palace, so as not to see their destruction, and to escape the more quickly. Rather, "ye shall cast yourselves into the palace," so as to escape from it out of the city [Calvin]. The palace, the scene of the princes' riots (Am 3:10, 15; 4:1), is to be the scene of their ignominious flight. Compare in the similar case of Jerusalem's capture, the king's escape by way of the palace, through a breach in the wall (Eze 12:5, 12). Gesenius translates, "Ye shall be cast (as captives) into the (enemy's) stronghold"; in this view, the enemy's stronghold is called "palace," in retributive contrast to the "palaces" of Israel's nobles, the store houses of their robberies (Am 3:10).
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