|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:15-27 The priests and rulers are to appoint a solemn fast. The sinner's supplication is, Spare us, good Lord. God is ready to succour his people; and he waits to be gracious. They prayed that God would spare them, and he answered them. His promises are real answers to the prayers of faith; with him saying and doing are not two things. Some understand these promises figuratively, as pointing to gospel grace, and as fulfilled in the abundant comforts treasured up for believers in the covenant of grace.
Verses 18-27 form the sequel of this chapter in the Hebrew, but five additional verses make up the chapter in the Authorized Version. These are divisible into two parts. In the first division the prophet assures his countrymen of the bestowal of temporal mercies, and in the second of the promise of spiritual blessings. Verse 18. - The futures of this verse with vav consec, are properly taken as perfects; nor is there any inconsistency, provided we understand, as following ver. 17 and preceding ver. 18, the fact that the priests had engaged in the penitence enjoined, and offered the supplication to which they had been summoned; neither is the omission of any express mention of the circumstance thus supposed to intervene between these verses any valid objection, especially as the grammar favours the view in question. Then follows a manifestation of God's mercy in answer to the assumed penitence and prayer of his servants. God's jealousy and pity are both engaged - his jealousy for his land, and his compassion for his people. His jealousy is figurative, and the allusion is probably to that of a husband who is jealous on account of any dishonour done to his wife, and who resents it more keenly than a dishonour offered to himself. The pity is such as God ever manifests to his people when penitent; for "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then will the Lord be jealous for his land,.... Or "zealous" for it; for the honour of it, and the good of its inhabitants, and for the glory of his own name, it being the chief place in the world for his worship and service; and his indignation will be moved against those who have brought desolation on it:
and pity his people; as a father his children, who had suffered much, and had been reduced to great distress by the locusts, or by their enemies: this the prophet foretells would be done upon their repentance, fasting, prayers, and tears; or, as some think, this is a narrative of what had been done, and the prophet was a witness of; that the people meeting together with their princess and priests, and humbling themselves before the Lord, and crying to him, he expressed a zeal and compassion for them, and delivered them out of their troubles; for though their humiliation is not expressed, it may be understood and supposed, as doubtless, it was fact.
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