|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 17. - Hast not thou procured this? rather, Is it not this that doth procure it unto thee (namely) that thou hast forsaken, etc.? or, Is it not thy forsaking Jehovah that pro. cureth thee this? When he led thee by the way. The prophet thinks, perhaps, of the rebellion of the forefathers of Israel, who too soon ceased to "go after" Jehovah (comp. ver. 2), and whose fickleness was imitated but too well by their descendants. This view is favored by the phraseology of Deuteronomy 1:33; Deuteronomy 8:2, 15. But we may, if we prefer it, explain "by (or, rather, in) the way," on the analogy of the promise in Jeremiah 31:9, "I will lead them... in a straight way," i.e. I will grant them an uninterrupted course of prosperity. The omission of the adjective in the present passage may be paralleled by Psalm 25:8, "Therefore will he instruct sinners in the (right) way."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Hast thou not procured this unto thyself,.... All this desolation and destruction, both from the Egyptians and the Babylonians; their sin was the cause of it, their idolatry and forsaking the Lord their God, as follows: and so the Targum,
"is not this vengeance taken upon thee?''
that is, by the Lord, for their sins and transgressions; he suffered these nations to make them desolate on that account: to which agrees the Septuagint version, "hath not he done these things unto thee?" for what the Egyptians and Babylonians did were done by the will of the Lord, who suffered them for their correction: and the Arabic version renders it, "have not I done these things unto thee?" and the Syriac as a prophecy, as indeed so is the whole, "lo, so it shall be done to thee"; as is predicted in the foregoing verses, and that for the following reason:
in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God; as in Jeremiah 2:13; see Gill on Jeremiah 2:13, that is, as the Targum interprets it, the worship of the Lord thy God, his service, his statutes, and his ordinances; and followed after idols, and the worship of them; which is aggravated by the circumstance of time in which this was done:
when he led thee by the way? who showed thee the right way, and thou walkedst not in it, as the Targum; the way in which they should have gone, the way of their duty, and his commandments; and which would have been pleasant and profitable to them, and secured them from ruin and destruction.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Literally, "Has not thy forsaking the Lord … procured this (calamity) to thee?" So the Septuagint: the Masoretic accents make "this" the subject of the verb, leaving the object to be understood. "Has not this procured (it, that is, the impending calamity) unto thee, that hast forsaken?" &c. (Jer 4:18).
the way—The article expresses the right way, the way of the Lord: namely, the moral training which they enjoyed in the Mosaic covenant.
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