|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-11 The servants of the Lord are deeply afflicted by seeing ungodliness and violence prevail; especially among those who profess the truth. No man scrupled doing wrong to his neighbour. We should long to remove to the world where holiness and love reign for ever, and no violence shall be before us. God has good reasons for his long-suffering towards bad men, and the rebukes of good men. The day will come when the cry of sin will be heard against those that do wrong, and the cry of prayer for those that suffer wrong. They were to notice what was going forward among the heathen by the Chaldeans, and to consider themselves a nation to be scourged by them. But most men presume on continued prosperity, or that calamities will not come in their days. They are a bitter and hasty nation, fierce, cruel, and bearing down all before them. They shall overcome all that oppose them. But it is a great offence, and the common offence of proud people, to take glory to themselves. The closing words give a glimpse of comfort.
Verse 10. - And they shall scoff, etc.; it, or he, scoffeth at kings. The Chaldean nation makes light of the power and persons of kings. Compare Nebuchadnezzar's treatment of Jehoiakim (2 Chronicles 36:6; 2 Kings 24:1, 3; Jeremiah 22:19) and Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:12, 15). They shall deride every strong hold. The strongest fortress is no impediment to them. They shall heap dust. This refers to the raising of a mound or embankment for the purpose of attacking a city (comp. 2 Samuel 20:15; 2 Kings 19:32; 2 Kings 25:1). In the Assyrian monuments one often sees representations of these mounds, or of inclined planes constructed to facilitate the approach of the battering ram (see Bonomi, 'Nineveh and its Palaces,' pp. 181, 188, etc.; Layard, 'Nineveh,' etc., 2:369).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall scoff at the kings,.... Or, "he shall" (u), Nebuchadnezzar king of the Chaldeans, and the army with him; who would make a jest of kings and their armies that should oppose them, as being not at all a match for them; as the kings of Judah, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, they carried captive, and all others confederate with them, in whom they trusted, as the king of Egypt particularly; and which is observed to show the vanity of trusting in princes for safety; though it may also include all other kings the Chaldeans fought against, and the kingdoms they invaded and subdued:
and the princes shall be a scorn unto them; the nobles, counsellors, and ministers of state; or leaders and commanders of armies, and general officers, in whom great confidence is often put; but these the king of Babylon and his forces would mock and laugh at, as being nothing in their hands, and who would fall an easy prey to them:
they shall deride every strong hold; in Jerusalem, in the whole land of Judea, and in every other country they invade, or pass through, none being able to stand out against them:
for they shall heap dust, and take it; easily, as it were in sport, only by raising a dust heap, or a heap of dirt; by which is meant a mount raised up to give them a little rise, to throw in their darts or stones, or use their engines and battering rams to more advantage, and to scale the walls, and get possession. There are two other senses mentioned by Kimchi; as that they shall gather a great number of people as dust, and take it; or they shall gather dust to till up the trenches and ditches about the wall, that so they may come at it, and take it.
(u) "et ipse", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Tarnovius, Grotius, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. scoff at … kings—as unable to resist them.
they shall heap dust, and take it—"they shall heap" earth mounds outside, and so "take every stronghold" (compare 2Sa 20:15; 2Ki 19:32) [Grotius].
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