|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:30-38 The Lord has just ground of controversy with every nation and every person; and he will execute judgment on all the wicked. Who can avoid trembling when God speaks in displeasure? The days are fully come; the time fixed in the Divine counsels, which will make the nations wholly desolate. The tender and delicate shall share the common calamity. Even those who used to live in peace, and did nothing to provoke, shall not escape. Blessed be God, there is a peaceable habitation above, for all the sons of peace. The Lord will preserve his church and all believers in all changes; for nothing can separate them from his love.
Verse 38. - Close of the prophecy with a fuller enunciation of the thought with which the paragraph was introduced. He hath forsaken; comp. ver. 30, and notice the impressive non-mention of the subject (as Jeremiah 4:13, etc.). Their land; i.e. that of the shepherds. The fierceness of the oppressor. A various reading, supported by some manuscripts, the Septuagint and the Targum, and accepted by Ewald, Hitzig, and Graf, and is the oppressing sword (so Jeremiah 46:16; Jeremiah 50:16). The text reading is very difficult to defend, and the punctuation itself is really more in favor of the variant than of the received text.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He hath forsaken his covert as a lion,.... Which some understand of God leaving Jerusalem, or the temple, where he dwelt; who, while he made it his residence, protected it; but when he forsook it, it became exposed to the enemy. Kimchi says it may be understood of the destruction of the first temple by Nebuchadnezzar; but he thinks it is most correct to interpret it of the destruction of the second temple; that is, by the Romans, when it was left desolate by Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. But it may be understood of Nebuchadnezzar leaving Babylon, his den, and ranging about like a lion for his prey; see Jeremiah 4:7. So the Targum,
"and a king has removed from his tower or fortress;''
and the land is desolate; the land of Judea, or whatsoever country he comes into with his army; that, or Egypt, or any other:
because of the fierceness of the oppressor; the tyrant Nebuchadnezzar; or "oppressing sword" (w), as some supply it, it being feminine; and so the Targum,
"from before the sword of the enemy.''
Some render it, "because of the fierceness of the dove"; so the Vulgate Latin; and understand it of the Babylonians or Chaldeans; who, as the Romans had an eagle, they had the dove on their standards or ensigns; which they received from the Assyrians, when they succeeded them in their monarchy; and those from Semiramis their first queen, who had it, it is said, on her standard (x); and was retained in honour of her, and in memory of her being nourished by a dove, and turned into one after her death, as commonly believed (y); and who had her name, as is affirmed (z), from the word "semira", signifying, in the Chaldee language, the song or cooing of the dove; but fierceness ill agrees with the dove, which is a meek and harmless creature;
and because of his fierce anger; either of God, or of the king of Babylon his instrument, in destroying nations; not Judea only, but many others.
(w) "gladii opprimentis", Junius & Tremellius; "gladii abripientis", Piscator. So Gataker and Ben Melech. (x) R. David Gantz, Tzemach David, par. 2. fol. 4. 1. Vid. Lydium, de Re Militare, l. 3. c. 7. p. 83, 84. (y) Vid. Diodor. Sicul l. 2. p. 92, 107. Ed. Rhodoman. (z) R. Azarias, Meor, Enayim, c. 21. fol. 89. 2. Vid Selden, De Dieu, Syris, l. 2. c. 3. p. 275.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
38. his covert—the temple, where heretofore, like a lion, as its defender, by the mere terror of His voice He warded off the foe; but now He leaves it a prey to the Gentiles [Calvin].
fierceness of … oppressor—rather, as the Hebrew, for "oppressor" is an adjective feminine, the word "sword" is understood, which, in Jer 46:16; 50:16, is expressed (indeed, some manuscripts and the Septuagint read "sword" instead of "fierceness" here; probably interpolated from Jer 46:16), "the oppressing sword." The Hebrew for "oppressing" means also a "dove": there may be, therefore, a covert allusion to the Chaldean standard bearing a dove on it, in honor of Semiramis, the first queen, said in popular superstition to have been nourished by doves when exposed at birth, and at death to have been transformed into a dove. Her name may come from a root referring to the cooing of a dove. That bird was held sacred to the goddess Venus. Vulgate so translates "the anger of the dove."
his … anger—If the anger of Nebuchadnezzar cannot be evaded, how much less that of God (compare Jer 25:37)!
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