|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:28-32 Assurance is given of the destruction of the Philistines and their power, by famine and war. Hezekiah would be more terrible to them than Uzziah had been. Instead of rejoicing, there would be lamentation, for the whole land would be ruined. Such destruction will come upon the proud and rebellious, but the Lord founded Zion for a refuge to poor sinners, who flee from the wrath to come, and trust in his mercy through Christ Jesus. Let us tell all around of our comforts and security, and exhort them to seek the same refuge and salvation.
Verse 30. - The firstborn of the poor shall feed. The "firstborn of the poor" are the very poor (Jarchi, Rosenmüller). The refer-once is to the poor Israelites, who will "feed" and "lie down in safety" when Philistia is held in subjection. I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. God kills with famine, man with the sword (see 2 Samuel 24:13, 14). When the Philistines had resisted behind their strong walls till hunger had done its work by thinning their ranks, the Assyrian conqueror would storm their strongholds and slaughter "the remnant."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the firstborn of the poor shall feed,.... That is, the Jews, who were brought very low in the times of Ahaz, reduced to the greatest straits and difficulties; for so the word "firstborn" may signify the chief, or those who were of all the poorest, and in the greatest distress; these, in the times of Hezekiah, shall enjoy abundance of good things, and under his gentle government shall feed like a flock of sheep in good pastures; this signifying, that though he should be like a serpent, harmful to his enemies, yet should be kind and tender unto, and take great care of his own subjects, and under whom they should have great plenty and prosperity:
and the needy shall lie down in safety; like a flock of sheep, secure from beasts of prey, under the care of a faithful and vigilant shepherd; this shows that the Jews should not only have plenty of good things, but should live in the greatest security, without fear of any enemy, or danger from them:
and I will kill thy root with famine; this is said to Palestine, compared to a tree, whose root is dried up for want of moisture, and so dies; and the meaning is, that a sore famine should rage in their country, and utterly destroy them:
and he shall slay thy remnant: that is, Hezekiah should slay with the sword those that were left of the famine.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. first-born of … poor—Hebraism, for the most abject poor; the first-born being the foremost of the family. Compare "first-born of death" (Job 18:13), for the most fatal death. The Jews, heretofore exposed to Philistine invasions and alarms, shall be in safety. Compare Ps 72:4, "Children of the needy," expressing those "needy in condition."
feed—image from a flock feeding in safety.
He shall slay—Jehovah shall. The change of person, "He" after "I," is a common Hebraism.
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