|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:8-21 Those are ripening apace for ruin, whose hearts are unhumbled under humbling providences. For that which God designs, in smiting us, is, to turn us to himself; and if this point be not gained by lesser judgments, greater may be expected. The leaders of the people misled them. We have reason to be afraid of those that speak well of us, when we do ill. Wickedness was universal, all were infected with it. They shall be in trouble, and see no way out; and when men's ways displease the Lord, he makes even their friends to be at war with them. God would take away those they thought to have help from. Their rulers were the head. Their false prophets were the tail and the rush, the most despicable. In these civil contests, men preyed on near relations who were as their own flesh. The people turn not to Him who smites them, therefore he continues to smite: for when God judges, he will overcome; and the proudest, stoutest sinner shall either bend or break.
Verse 11. - Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him. "Against him" means "against Ephraim," or the kingdom of Israel. "The adversaries of Rezin" could only be the Assyrians; but these seem precluded by the next verse, which mentions only "Syrians" and Philistines." Hence many critics accept the variant reading of several manuscripts sarey for tsarey - which gives the sense of "the princes of Rezin" (so Lowth, Ewald, Houbigant, Weir, Cheyne).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him,.... Set them up on high, as the word (a) signifies; exalt them above him, and make them superior to him, and conquerors of him, meaning the Assyrians; who, being sent for by Ahab, went up against Damascus, took it, and carried the people captive, and slew Rezin the king of Syria, the head of which was Damascus, 2 Kings 16:7 this is mentioned, because the Israelites put great trust and confidence in this prince, with whom they were in alliance; and this is said to abate their pride, arrogance, and haughtiness, before expressed:
and join his enemies together; or mix them; the Assyrian army, consisting of a mixture of various nations; or "stir" them "up", as the Targum; instigate them against him. Some understand the whole of Israel, against whom the adversaries of Rezin, namely, the Assyrians, would come, as they did, and invade their land, and carry them captive; with whom were various other people, as follows.
(a) "elevabit, sive extollet", Forerius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. adversaries of Rezin—the Assyrians, who shall first attack Damascus, shall next advance "against him" (Ephraim). This is the punishment of Ephraim's pride in making light (Isa 9:10) of the judgment already inflicted by God through Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 15:29). A second Assyrian invasion (see on Isa 7:1) shall follow. The reading "princes" for "adversaries" in uncalled for.
join—rather, "arm"; cover with armor [Maurer].
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