|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-6 The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure. While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world, but will find it cannot protect.
Verse 2. - The virgin of Israel; i.e. the virgin Israel; so called, not as having been pure and faithful to God, but as tenderly treated and guarded from enemies (comp. Isaiah 23:12; Isaiah 47:1; Jeremiah 14:17). Is fallen (comp. 2 Samuel 1:19); she shall no more rise. This is apparently a contradiction to the promise of restoration elsewhere expressed, but is to be explained either as referring exclusively to the ten tribes, very few of whom returned from exile, and to the kingdom of Israel which was never reestablished; or, as Pseudo-Rufinus says, "Ita debemus accipere quod lugentis affectu cumulatius aetimavit illata discrimina sicque funditus appellasse deletos, quos ex majore videret parte contritos." Forsaken upon her land; better, she shall be dashed upon her own land; her own soil shall witness her ruin - that soil which was "virgin," unconquered, and her own possession.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The virgin of Israel is fallen,.... The kingdom of Israel, so called, because it had never been subdued, or become subject to a foreign power, since it was a kingdom; or because, considered in its ecclesiastic state, it had been espoused to the Lord as a chaste virgin; and perhaps this may be ironically spoken, and refers to its present adulterate and degenerated state worshipping the calves at Dan and Bethel; or else because of its wealth and riches and the splendour and gaiety in which it appeared; but now, as it had fallen into sin and iniquity, it should quickly fall by it, and on account of it, into ruin and misery; and because of the certainty of it it is represented as if it was already fallen:
she shall no more rise; and become a kingdom again, as it never has as yet, since the ten tribes were carried away captive by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, to which calamity this prophecy refers, The Targum is,
"shall not rise again this year;''
very impertinently; better Kimchi and Ben Melech, for a long time; since as they think, and many others, that the ten tribes shall return again, as may seem when all Israel shall be converted and saved, and repossess their own land; see Hosea 1:10. Abendana produces a passage out of Zohar, in which these words are interpreted, that the virgin of Israel should not rise again of herself, she not having power to prevail over her enemies; but God will raise her up out of the dust, when he shall raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, who shall reign in future time over all the tribes together, as it is said in Amos 9:11;
she is forsaken upon her land; by her people, her princes, and her God; or prostrate on the ground, as the Targum; she was cast upon the ground, and dashed to pieces by the enemy as an earthen vessel, and there left, her ruin being irrecoverable; so whatever is cast and scattered, or dashed to pieces on the ground, and left, is expressed by the word here used, as Jarchi observes:
there is none to raise her up: her princes and people are either slain by the sword, famine, and pestilence, or carried captive, and so can yield her no assistance; her idols whom she worshipped cannot, and her God she forsook will not.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. virgin of Israel—the Israelite state heretofore unsubdued by foreigners. Compare Isa 23:12; Jer 18:13; 31:4, 21; La 2:13; may be interpreted, Thou who wast once the "virgin daughter of Zion." Rather, "virgin" as applied to a state implies its beauty, and the delights on which it prides itself, its luxuries, power, and wealth [Calvin].
no more rise—in the existing order of things: in the Messianic dispensation it is to rise again, according to many prophecies. Compare 2Ki 6:23; 24:7, for the restricted sense of "no more."
forsaken upon her land—or, "prostrated upon," &c. (compare Eze 29:5; 32:4) [Maurer].
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