|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-9 Where God gives a warrant to do any thing, he gives wisdom. What they delivered was not what they had seen or heard, as that is which the ministers of Christ deliver. They were not praying prophets, had no intercourse with Heaven; they contrived how to please people, not how to do them good; they stood not against sin. They flattered people into vain hopes. Such widen the breach, by causing men to think themselves deserving of eternal life, when the wrath of God abides upon them.
Verse 5. - The verse contains two distinct images. There were breaches in the walls of Jerusalem, literally and spiritually, and the false prophets had not been as "repairers of the breach" (Isaiah 58:12; Psalm 106:23). The hedge of the vineyard of Israel had been broken through (Isaiah 5:5), and they had done nothing to restore it (Ezekiel 22:30). The day of battle, the day of the Lord, had come, and they were betraying the people instead of helping.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye have not gone up into the gaps,.... Or "breaches" (d); so the Targum. The allusion is to breaches made in the walls of a city when besieged; at which time those within gather together in great numbers to meet the enemy, and prevent his entrance by the breaches. These words are either spoken to the princes of Israel, the civil magistrates; or to the prophets, who seeing the sins of the people, like a mighty torrent, opening a breach for the wrath and judgments of God to pour in upon them, should have called them, and importunately pressed them to repentance and reformation, and to have put up their prayers, and made intercession to God for them; neither of which they did, and therefore are here blamed; see Ezekiel 22:30;
neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel; or a "fence", a fortification. The Vulgate Latin renders it, "a wall"; a new wall, which is generally made by the besieged within, when a breach is made upon them: it signifies the same as before. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of repentance and good works; and so the Targum, which paraphrases the words thus,
"neither have ye done for yourselves good works, to deprecate for the house of Israel, to stand to pray for them:''
to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord: when he came forth in battle array against them, with great wrath and indignation, in the way of his righteous judgments. The Targum is,
"when warriors come up against them in the day of the wrath of the Lord;''
when the Chaldeans came against them by the will of God, he being angry with them.
(d) "in fracturas", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version; "rupturas", Calvin, Piscator, Starckius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. not gone up into … gaps—metaphor from breaches made in a wall, to which the defenders ought to betake themselves in order to repel the entrance of the foe. The breach is that made in the theocracy through the nation's sin; and, unless it be made up, the vengeance of God will break in through it. Those who would advise the people to repentance are the restorers of the breach (Eze 22:30; Ps 106:23, 30).
hedge—the law of God (Ps 80:12; Isa 5:2, 5); by violating it, the people stripped themselves of the fence of God's protection and lay exposed to the foe. The false prophets did not try to repair the evil by bringing back the people to the law with good counsels, or by checking the bad with reproofs. These two duties answer to the double office of defenders in case of a breach made in a wall: (1) To repair the breach from within; (2) To oppose the foe from without.
to stand—that is, that the city may "stand."
in … day of … Lord—In the day of the battle which God wages against Israel for their sins, ye do not try to stay God's vengeance by prayers, and by leading the nation to repentance.
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