|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:20-30 The Jewish state is described under a threefold character. Very haughty in a day of peace and safety. Very fearful on alarm of trouble. Very much cast down under pressure of trouble. Many never are ashamed of their sins till brought by them to the last extremity. The king shall close his days in bondage. Those that think themselves as signets on God's right hand, must not be secure, but fear lest they should be plucked thence. The Jewish king and his family shall be carried to Babylon. We know where we were born, but where we shall die we know not; it is enough that our God knows. Let it be our care that we die in Christ, then it will be well with us wherever we die, thought it may be in a far country. The Jewish king shall be despised. Time was when he was delighted in; but all those in whom God has no pleasure, some time or other, will be so lowered, that men will have no pleasure in them. Whoever are childless, it is the Lord that writes them so; and those who take no care to do good in their days, cannot expect to prosper. How little is earthly grandeur to be depended upon, or flourishing families to be rejoiced in! But those who hear the voice of Christ, and follow him, have eternal life, and shall never perish, neither shall any enemy pluck them out of his almighty hands.
Verse 23. - O inhabitant - rather, O inhabitress - of Lebanon. It is the people of Jerusalem which is meant; the "Lebanon" are the palaces of cedar-wood which together are called" the house of the King of Judah" (ver. 6). How gracious shalt thou be; rather, How wilt thou sigh!
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O inhabitant of Lebanon,.... Jerusalem is meant, and the inhabitants of it, so called, because they lived near Lebanon, or in that land in which Lebanon was; or rather because they dwelt in houses made of the wood of Lebanon; and which stood as thick as the trees in the forest of Lebanon; and where they thought themselves safe and secure, according to the next clause; not but that there were inhabitants of the mountain of Lebanon, called Druses; and there were towns and villages on it, inhabited by people, as there are to this day. After four hours and a half travelling up the ascent, from the foot of the mountain, there is, as travellers (z) inform us, a small pretty village, called Eden; and besides that, at some distance from it, another called Canobine, where there is a convent of the Maronites, and is the seat of their patriarch; and near it a valley of that name, full of hermitages, cells and monasteries; but the former are here meant;
that makest thy nests in the cedars; in towns, palaces, and houses, covered, ceiled, raftered, and wainscotted with cedars; here they lived at ease and security, as birds in a nest. The Targum is,
"who dwellest in the house of the sanctuary, and among kings? nourishing thy children;''
how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail? that is, either thou wilt seek grace and favour at the hand of God, and make supplication to him; thou wilt then be an humble supplicant, when in distress, though now proud and haughty (a): or what favour wilt thou then find among those that come to waste and destroy thee? This refers to the calamity coming upon them by the Chaldeans, as the following words show:
(z) Maundrell's Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 142, 143. Thevenot's Travels, part 1. B. 2. c. 60. p. 221. (a) "quam gratiam habuisti, vel quomodo precata es", Vatablus; "quam afficieris gratia", Piscator; "quantum gratiae invenies", Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. inhabitant of Lebanon—namely, Jerusalem, whose temple, palaces, and principal habitations were built of cedars of Lebanon.
how gracious—irony. How graciously thou wilt be treated by the Chaldees, when they come on thee suddenly, as pangs on a woman in travail (Jer 6:24)! Nay, all thy fine buildings will win no favor for thee from them. Maurer translates, "How shalt thou be to be pitied!"
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