|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:8-14 How dreadful, how miserable, is the case of those whose eternal ruin the Lord himself has sworn; for he can execute his purpose, and none can alter it! Those hearts are wretchedly hardened that will not be brought to mention God's name, and to worship him, when the hand of God is gone out against them, when sickness and death are in their families. Those that will not be tilled as fields, shall be abandoned as rocks. When our services of God are soured with sin, his providences will justly be made bitter to us. Men should take warning not to harden their hearts, for those who walk in pride, God will destroy.
Verse 11. - The prophet confirms the judgment denounced in ver. 8. The Lord commandeth, and he will smite. The expression, thus taken, implies that God executes his commands through the ministers of his judgment; but it may well be rendered, "and men shall smite" (comp. Amos 9:9). Breaches... clefts. The great palace requires a breach to bring it to the ground; the little but is ruined by a small rent or cleft. All houses, great and small, shall be smitten. Possibly Israel and Judah are signified respectively by "the great house" and "the little house" (comp. Amos 9:11); and their treatment by the Assyrians may be thus symbolized.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For, behold, the Lord commandeth,.... Hath determined and ordered the judgment before, and what follows: Kimchi paraphrases it, hath decreed the earthquake, as in Amos 3:15; of which he understands the following:
and he will smite the great house with breaches; or "droppings" (h); so that the rain shall drop through:
and the little house with clefts; so that it shall fall to ruin; that is, he shall smite the houses both of great and small, of the princes, and of the common people, either with an earthquake, so that they shall part asunder and fall; or, being left without inhabitants, shall of course become desolate, there being none to repair their breaches. Some understand, by the "great house", the ten tribes of Israel; and, by the "little house", the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin; to which sense the Targum seems to incline,
"he will smite the great kingdom with a mighty stroke, and the little kingdom with a weak stroke.''
(h) "guttis, seu stillis", Piscator; "quae est minuta et rorans pluvia", Drusius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. commandeth, and he will smite—His word of command, when once given, cannot but be fulfilled (Isa 55:11). His mere word is enough to smite with destruction.
great house … little house—He will spare none, great or small (Am 3:15). Jerome interprets "the great house" as Israel, and "the small house" as Judah: the former being reduced to branches or ruins, literally, "small drops"; the latter, though injured with "clefts" or rents, which threaten its fall, yet still permitted to stand.
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