|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:16-23 Believers may be driven into the uttermost parts of the earth; but they are singing, not sighing. Here is terror to sinners; the prophet laments the miseries he saw breaking in like a torrent; and the small number of believers. He foresees that sin would abound. The meaning is plain, that evil pursues sinners. Unsteady, uncertain are all these things. Worldly men think to dwell in the earth as in a palace, as in a castle; but it shall be removed like a cottage, like a lodge put up for the night. It shall fall and not rise again; but there shall be new heavens and a new earth, in which shall dwell nothing but righteousness. Sin is a burden to the whole creation; it is a heavy burden, under which it groans now, and will sink at last. The high ones, that are puffed up with their grandeur, that think themselves out of the reach of danger, God will visit for their pride and cruelty. Let us judge nothing before the time, though some shall be visited. None in this world should be secure, though their condition be ever so prosperous; nor need any despair, though their condition be ever so deplorable. God will be glorified in all this. But the mystery of Providence is not yet finished. The ruin of the Redeemer's enemies must make way for his kingdom, and then the Sun of Righteousness will appear in full glory. Happy are those who take warning by the sentence against others; every impenitent sinner will sink under his transgression, and rise no more, while believers enjoy everlasting bliss.
Verse 22. - In the pit; literally, in a dungeon. Mr. Cheyne suggests that sheol, or "hell," is meant; but the context points to some narrower confinement. In the prison; rather, in prison (comp. 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). After many days. In the Revelation (Revelation 20:2) Satan is bound "a thousand years;" i.e. an indefinite term. The imprisonment of the present passage is scarcely the same, but it is analogous. God's purposes require sometimes long periods of inaction. Shall they be visited; or, published. The word is the same as that translated "punish" in ver. 21. "Visiting" for good is scarcely to be thought of.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall be gathered together,.... First to the battle of the great day of God Almighty at Armageddon, Revelation 16:14 and there being overcome and taken, they shall be gathered together
as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; in the prison or the grave, and in hell; as captives are, till such time as something is determined and ordered what to be done with them:
and after many days shall they be visited; or punished, that is, after the thousand years are ended, when the wicked dead will be all raised; after the battle of Gog and Magog, when Satan, the beast, and false prophet, and all their adherents, shall be cast into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, Revelation 19:20.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. in the pit—rather, "for the pit" [Horsley]. "In the dungeon" [Maurer]. Image from captives thrust together into a dungeon.
prison—that is, as in a prison. This sheds light on the disputed passage, 1Pe 3:19, where also the prison is figurative: The "shutting up" of the Jews in Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, and again under Titus, was to be followed by a visitation of mercy "after many days"—seventy years in the case of the former—the time is not yet elapsed in the case of the latter. Horsley takes "visited" in a bad sense, namely, in wrath, as in Isa 26:14; compare Isa 29:6; the punishment being the heavier in the fact of the delay. Probably a double visitation is intended, deliverance to the elect, wrath to hardened unbelievers; as Isa 24:23 plainly contemplates judgments on proud sinners, symbolized by the "sun" and "moon."
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