|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:21-31 Neither holy cities nor royal ones are faithful to their trust, if religion does not dwell in them. Dross may shine like silver, and the wine that is mixed with water may still have the colour of wine. Those have a great deal to answer for, who do not help the oppressed, but oppress them. Men may do much by outward restraints; but only God works effectually by the influences of his Spirit, as a Spirit of Judgment. Sin is the worst captivity, the worst slavery. The redemption of the spiritual Zion, by the righteousness and death of Christ, and by his powerful grace, most fully accord with what is here meant. Utter ruin is threatened. The Jews should become as a tree when blasted by heat; as a garden without water, which in those hot countries would soon be burned up. Thus shall they be that trust in idols, or in an arm of flesh. Even the strong man shall be as tow; not only soon broken, and pulled to pieces, but easily catching fire. When the sinner has made himself as tow and stubble, and God makes himself as a consuming fire, what can prevent the utter ruin of the sinner?
Verse 28. - Transgressors... sinners... they that forsake the Lord (comp. vers. 2 and 4). These are scarcely distinct classes - rather different names for the ungodly. All of them, by whatever name they were called, would perish "together."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together,.... Of the beast and false prophet, of the followers of antichrist, the man of sin, who are transgressors of the law of God, and sinners against the Lord; the destruction of these, or the breaking of them into shivers, as the word (o) signifies, see Revelation 2:27 will be at the time of Zion's redemption, and make a part of it; and it shall be all at once and together; these sinners will be all together consumed out of the earth, and these wicked antichristian ones will be no more in it, Psalm 104:35.
and they that forsake the Lord; his word, his worship and ordinances; as the Papists have manifestly done, by setting up their own unwritten traditions against the word of God, by adulterating his ordinances, and introducing new ones, and by worshipping images of gold, silver, brass, and wood;
wherefore they shall be consumed; with the breath of Christ's mouth, and with the brightness of his coming, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
(o) "contritio sive confractio", Syr.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. destruction—literally, "breaking into shivers" (Re 2:27). The prophets hasten forward to the final extinction of the ungodly (Ps 37:20; Re 19:20; 20:15); of which antecedent judgments are types.
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