|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 7. - They. The Hebrew is singular throughout. The disposition of the people, as of one man, is depicted. Terrible; exciting terror, as Song of Solomon 6:4, 10. Their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves; his judgment and his eminence are from himself. The LXX. translates the two nouns κρίμα and λῆμμα: Vulgate, judicium and onus. The meaning is that the Chaldeans own no master, have no rule of right but their own will, attribute their glory and superiority to their own power and skill (comp. Daniel 4:130). They are like Achilles in Horace, 'Ep. ad Pison.,' 121, etc. -
"Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,
Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis." Hitzig quotes AEschyl. 'Prom.,' 186, Παρ ἑαυτῷ τό δίκαιον ἔχων, "Holding as justice what he deemeth so."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They are terrible and dreadful,.... For the fierceness of their countenances; the number and valour of their troops; the splendour of their armour; the victories they had obtained, and the cruelty they had exercised; the fame of all which spread terror wherever they came:
their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves; they will not be directed and governed by any laws of God and man, but by their own; they will do according to their will and pleasure, and none will be able to gainsay and resist them; they will hear no reason or argument; their decrees and determinations they make of themselves shall be put into execution, and there will be no opposing their tyrannical measures; they will usurp a power, and take upon them an authority over others of themselves, which all must submit unto; no mercy and pity: no goodness and humanity, are to be expected from such lawless and imperious enemies.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. their judgment and … dignity … proceed of themselves—that is, they recognize no judge save themselves, and they get for themselves and keep their own "dignity" without needing others' help. It will be vain for the Jews to complain of their tyrannical judgments; for whatever the Chaldeans decree they will do according to their own will, they will not brook anyone attempting to interfere.
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