|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-58 In this chapter God's dealings with the Jewish nation, and their conduct towards him, are described, and their punishment through the surrounding nations, even those they most trusted in. This is done under the parable of an exposed infant rescued from death, educated, espoused, and richly provided for, but afterwards guilty of the most abandoned conduct, and punished for it; yet at last received into favour, and ashamed of her base conduct. We are not to judge of these expressions by modern ideas, but by those of the times and places in which they were used, where many of them would not sound as they do to us. The design was to raise hatred to idolatry, and such a parable was well suited for that purpose.
Verses 49, 50. - It is noticeable that what we commonly speak of as the specific sin of the cities of the plain is not mentioned here. The prophet fixes on the point which made Sodom a luxurious and sensual city, the graver evil being just hinted at in the word abominations, and as the outcome of the evil tendencies. So in like manner the special sin of Samaria, the worship of the calves, is not named, but taken for granted. (For fulness of bread, see Proverbs 30:9: Hosea 13:6; Deuteronomy 8:12.) Prosperity and luxury in her case, as in that of other wealthy cities, hardened the hearts of men against the poor and needy. There was probably a sufficient reason for the omission which has been pointed out. It was wiser to dwell on the sins which were common to the two cities rather than on the vice which, though it existed in Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:7), was probably not prevalent there. As I saw good; better, according to what I saw. The word "good" is not in the Hebrew, and the words apparently refer to Genesis 18:21.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom,.... Namely, the first after mentioned, the source and spring of the rest; the causes and means of which are declared; and the same, as is suggested, was the sin of Jerusalem: namely,
pride; which was the sin of the devils, and the cause of their ruin; the sin of our first parents, by which they fell, and destroyed themselves, and their posterity; and is the prevailing, governing, sin of human nature: it has been the ruin of kingdoms and states, of cities and particular persons; a sin hateful to God, and destructive to man:
fulness of bread; the land of Sodom was very fruitful before it was destroyed; it was like the garden of the Lord, Genesis 13:10; it brought forth plentifully, so that there was great fulness of provision, of all sorts of food, which is meant by bread: this, considered in itself, was not sinful, but a blessing; it was the Lord's mercy and goodness to them that they had such plenty; but it was their sin that they abused it; luxury and intemperance, eating and drinking to excess, are here meant; which led on to that sin, and kindled the flames of it, and were the fuel to it, which has its name from them; and, besides, this fulness of good things enjoyed by them was the source of their pride, and served to increase that, as before mentioned:
and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters; or, "peace of rest" (b); prosperity and ease, security and quietness, at leisure, and without labour; two words are used to express the same thing, and to denote, as Kimchi observes, the abundance of it: sloth and idleness, as they often arise from the goodness and fruitfulness of a country, said fulness of provision, so they are the cause of much sin and wickedness; for, if persons are not employed in some business or another, either of the head or hand, they will be doing evil:
neither did she strengthen the hands of the poor and needy; though she had such abundance of food to supply them with, and so much leisure to attend to their distress; but her pride would not suffer her to do it; and she was too idle and slothful to regard such service; perhaps more is intended than is expressed; that she weakened the hands of the poor and needy, and cruelly oppressed them; which is often done by proud men, in great affluence and at leisure, which they abuse to bad purposes.
(b) "quies otii, vel otium quietas"; so some in Vatablus; "prosperitas otii", Castalio; "tranquillitas quietas", Starckius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
49. pride—inherited by Moab, her offspring (Isa 16:6; Jer 48:26), and by Ammon (Jer 49:4). God, the heart-searcher, here specifies as Sodom's sin, not merely her notorious lusts, but the secret spring of them, "pride" flowing from "fullness of bread," caused by the fertility of the soil (Ge 13:10), and producing "idleness."
abundance of idleness—literally, "the secure carelessness of ease" or idleness.
neither did she strengthen … the poor—Pride is always cruel; it arrogates to itself all things, and despises brethren, for whose needs it therefore has no feeling; as Moab had not for the outcast Jews (Isa 16:3, 4; Jer 48:27; Lu 16:19-21; Jas 5:1-5).
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