|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:1-14 Here we have the proud and false destroyer justly reckoned with for all his fraud and violence. The righteous God often pays sinners in their own coin. Those who by faith humbly wait for God, shall find him gracious to them; as the day, so let the strength be. If God leaves us to ourselves any morning, we are undone; we must every morning commit ourselves to him, and go forth in his strength to do the work of the day. When God arises, his enemies are scattered. True wisdom and knowledge lead to strength of salvation, which renders us stedfast in the ways of God; and true piety is the only treasure which can never be plundered or spent. The distress Jerusalem was brought into, is described. God's time to appear for his people, is, when all other helpers fail. Let all who hear what God has done, acknowledge that he can do every thing. Sinners in Zion will have much to answer for, above other sinners. And those that rebel against the commands of the word, cannot take its comforts in time of need. His wrath will burn those everlastingly who make themselves fuel for it. It is a fire that shall never be quenched, nor ever go out of itself; it is the wrath of an ever-living God preying on the conscience of a never-dying soul.
Verse 9. - The earth mourneth; rather, the land. Lebanon is... hewn down; rather, as in the margin, is withered away (comp. Isaiah 19:6). Lebanon, Sharon, Carmel, and Bashan are the four most beautiful regions of the Holy Land, taking the word in its widest extent. Lebanon is the northern mountain-range, one hundred and twenty miles in length, clad with cedars and firs, and generally crowned with snow, whence the name (from laban, white). Sharon is "the broad rich tract of land" which stretches southwards from the foot of Carmel, and melts into the Shefelah, noted for its flowers (Song of Solomon 2:1) and forests (Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 14:13, § 3). Carmel is the upland dividing Sharon from the Esdraelon plain, famous for its "rocky dells" and "deep jungles of copse." Finally, Bashan is the trans-Jordanic upland, stretching from the flanks of Hermon to Gilead, celebrated for its "high downs" and "wide-sweeping plains," for its "forests of oak," and in ancient times for its herds of wild cattle. All are said to be "waste," "withered," and the like, partly on account of the Assyrian ravages, but perhaps still more as sympathizing with the Jewish nation in their distress - "ashamed" for them, and clad in mourning on their account. Shake off their fruits; rather, perhaps, shake down their leaves. Mr. Cheyne conjectures that the prophecy was delivered in autumn.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The earth mourneth and languisheth,.... All Christendom, being now under the power, dominion, and tyranny of antichrist, and the church's faithful witnesses slain, and a stop put to all Gospel ministrations; and therefore the church must be in a very languishing condition, and great reason for mourning:
Lebanon is ashamed, and hewn down; being stripped of its stately cedars; as now the church of Christ, comparable to that goodly mountain Lebanon, will be deprived of its able ministers, which were like tall and spreading Cedars, for their gifts, grace, strength, and usefulness:
Sharon is like a wilderness; such parts, as Great Britain, which have been most fruitful (as Sharon was a very fruitful place) for the Gospel, and Gospel ordinances, in the purity of them, and for professors of religion, being fruitful in grace, and in good works, shall now be like a desert; there being no ministry, no ordinances, nor any, that dare to make an open profession of the true religion:
and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits; before they are ripe, or come to anything; places noted for being fruitful, and pastures for flocks; and denote, as before, such spots in Christendom where the Gospel has most flourished, but now should be like barren heaths, and desert places.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. (Isa 24:4).
Lebanon—personified; the allusion may be to the Assyrian cutting down its choice trees (Isa 14:8; 37:24).
Sharon—south of Carmel, along the Mediterranean, proverbial for fertility (Isa 35:2).
Bashan—afterwards called Batanea (Isa 2:13).
fruits—rather, understand "leaves"; they lie as desolate as in winter.
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