|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:18-30 God rejects their outward services, as worthless to atone for their sins. Sacrifice and incense were to direct them to a Mediator; but when offered to purchase a license to go on in sin, they provoke God. The sins of God's professing people make them an easy prey to their enemies. They dare not show themselves. Saints may rejoice in hope of God's mercies, though they see them only in the promise: sinners must mourn for fear of God's judgments, though they see them only in the threatenings. They are the worst of revolters, and are all corrupters. Sinners soon become tempters. They are compared to ore supposed to have good metal in it, but which proves all dross. Nothing will prevail to part between them and their sins. Reprobate silver shall they be called, useless and worthless. When warnings, corrections, rebukes, and all means of grace, leave men unrenewed, they will be left, as rejected of God, to everlasting misery. Let us pray, then, that we may be refined by the Lord, as silver is refined.
Verse 21. - I will lay stumbling-blocks, etc, Of the regenerate Israel of the future it is prophesied (Isaiah 54:15) that his enemies shall "fall upon him [or, 'by reason of him']." Of the unregenerate Israel of the present, that he shall "fall" (i.e. come to ruin) upon the "stumbling-blocks" presented, not without God's appointment, by the terrible northern invader.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore thus saith the Lord,.... Because of their immorality and hypocrisy, their contempt of his word, and confidence in legal rites and ceremonies:
behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people; by which may be meant the judgments of God upon them, raising up enemies against them, and suffering them to invade their land; particularly the Assyrians, as the following words show. Moreover, the prophecies of the false prophets, and the doctrines which they were permitted to spread among the people, were snares and stumblingblocks unto them, they being given up to believe their lies, and to be hardened by them; nay, even true doctrines, the doctrines of justification and salvation by Christ, yea, Christ himself, were a rock of offence, and a stumbling stone to these people, Isaiah 8:14.
and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; or, "by them" (z); the latter following the examples of the forager; and so it denotes, that as the corruption was general, the punishment would be:
and the neighbour and his friend shall perish; in the same calamity, being involved in the guilt of the same iniquity, in which they encouraged and hardened one another. The Septuagint and Arabic versions by "stumblingblocks" understand an "infirmity" or "disease", which should come upon the people, and make a general desolation among them. Kimchi interprets the whole of the wickedness of fathers and children, neighbours and friends, and such as were in trade and partnership, and of their delight in mischief; that though they were aware of the stumblingblocks, yet would not give each other warning of them. The whole, according to the accents, should be rendered thus, "and they shall fall upon them, the fathers and the sons together, the neighbour and his friend, and they shall perish"; falling and perishing are said of them all.
(z) "in iis", Schmidt; "in eis", Cocceius, Pegnanius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. stumbling-blocks—instruments of the Jews' ruin (compare Mt 21:44; Isa 8:14; 1Pe 2:8). God Himself ("I") lays them before the reprobate (Ps 69:22; Ro 1:28; 11:9).
fathers … sons … neighbour … friend—indiscriminate ruin.
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