|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:14-19 Is Israel a servant? No, they are the seed of Abraham. We may apply this spiritually: Is the soul of man a slave? No, it is not; but has sold its own liberty, and enslaved itself to divers lusts and passions. The Assyrian princes, like lions, prevailed against Israel. People from Egypt destroyed their glory and strength. They brought these calamities on themselves by departing from the Lord. The use and application of this is, Repent of thy sin, that thy correction may not be thy ruin. What has a Christian to do in the ways of forbidden pleasure or vain sinful mirth, or with the pursuits of covetousness and ambition?
Verse 15. - The young lions, etc. A fresh figure, and a most natural one in Judaea (comp. 1 Samuel 17:34); already applied to the Assyrians by Isaiah (Isaiah 5:29, 30). Burned; rather, made ruinous (corer. "ruinous heaps," 2 Kings 19:25).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The young lions roared upon him, and yelled,.... Or, "gave out their voice" (e); meaning the kings of the nations, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi explain it; and are to be understood of the kings of Assyria and Babylon, and particularly of Nebuchadnezzar; see Jeremiah 50:17 compared to lions for their strength and cruelty; their "roaring" and "yelling design" the bringing forth of their armies against Israel, the noise of the battle, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war, and the voice of the warrior:
and they made his land waste; all this is said as past, when it was yet to come, because of the certainty of it, and the sure accomplishment of these prophecies; for this respects the future desolation of the land of Israel at the Babylonish captivity:
his cities are burnt without inhabitant; not only Jerusalem was burnt with fire, Jeremiah 52:13, but other cities in the land of Israel, so that they were not inhabited: or, "they were desolate or destroyed" (f) as the Septuagint version, so that none could dwell in them; and so the Targum,
"her cities are desolate, without inhabitant.''
Kimchi's father explains the word by "budded", or brought forth herbs or plants; for desolate places bring up plants; where there is no inhabitant, grass grows.
(e) "dederunt vocem suam", Montanus, Pagninus; "edunt rocem suam", Schmidt. (f) "desolatae sunt, sive destructae", Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. lions—the Babylonian princes (Jer 4:7; compare Am 3:4). The disaster from the Babylonians in the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, and again three years later when, relying on Egypt, he revolted from Nebuchadnezzar, is here referred to (Jer 46:2; 2Ki 24:1, 2).
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