|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:9-20 When there was so much provocation given to the holy God, bad times might be expected. Alas! how many careless ones there are, who support self-indulgence by shameful niggardliness! We deserve to be deprived of the supports of life, when we make them the food of lusts. Let such tremble and be troubled. Blessed times shall be brought in by the pouring out of the Spirit from on high; then, and not till then, there will be good times. The present state of the Jews shall continue until a more abundant pouring out of the Spirit from on high. Peace and quietness shall be found in the way and work of righteousness. True satisfaction is to be had only in true religion. And real holiness is real happiness now, and shall be perfect happiness, that is, perfect holiness for ever. The good seed of the word shall be sown in all places, and be watered by Divine grace; and laborious, patient labourers shall be sent forth into God's husbandry.
Verse 19. - When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; rather, but it shall hail in the coming down (i.e. the destruction) of the forest. "The forest" has commonly been regarded as Assyria, on the strength of Isaiah 10:18, 19, 33, 34. Mr. Cheyne, however, suggests Judah, or the high and haughty ones of Judah, whose destruction was a necessary preliminary to the establishment of Christ's kingdom. May not God's enemies generally be meant? The city. Nineveh (Lowth, Gesenius, Rosenmüller); Jerusalem (Delitzsch, Knobel, Cheyne, Kay); "the city in which the hostility of the world to Jehovah will, in the latter days, be centralized" (Drechsler, Nagel) - the "world-power," in fact. The last view seems to give the best sense.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When it shall hail, coming down on the forest,.... The people of God will be peaceable and quiet, safe and secure, when the judgments of God, signified by a "hail" storm, shall come upon antichrist, and the antichristian states, intended by the "forest", both for their numbers, and for their barrenness and unfruitfulness; see Revelation 16:21 and as so it sometimes is, by the disposition of divine Providence, that a storm of hail falls not upon fields and gardens, and the fruits of the earth, but upon forests and desert lands; and as the plague of hail fell upon the Egyptians, and not upon the Israelites in Goshen, to which some think the allusion is here; so will it be when God comes to take vengeance on the enemies of his people:
and the city shall be low in a low place: meaning not the city of Jerusalem, surrounded with mountains, built under hills, and so under the wind, and not exposed to the fury of a storm; but rather Babylon, built in a plain, in a low plain, and yet should be brought lower still; mystical Babylon is here meant, the city of Rome, that should "in humiliation be humbled", as the words may be rendered, that is, brought very low, exceeding low; see Isaiah 26:5 and which, at the time of the great hail, will be divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations shall fall, and Babylon be had in remembrance by the Lord to destroy it, Revelation 16:19.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. Literally, "But it shall hail with coming down of the forest, and in lowness shall the city (Nineveh) be brought low; that is, humbled." The "hail" is Jehovah's wrathful visitation (Isa 30:30; 28:2, 17). The "forest" is the Assyrian host, dense as the trees of a forest (Isa 10:18, 19, 33, 34; Zec 11:2).
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