|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:9-17 Here is a challenge to all the enemies of God's people. There is no escaping God's judgments; hardened sinners, in that day of wrath, shall be cut off from all comfort and joy. Most of the prophets foretell the same final victory of the church of God over all that oppose it. To the wicked it will be a terrible day, but to the righteous it will be a joyful day. What cause have those who possess an interest in Christ, to glory in their Strength and their Redeemer! The acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favour to some, will be a day of remarkable vengeance to others: let every one that is out of Christ awake, and flee from the wrath to come.
Verse 16. - Out of Zion. The presence of Jehovah is the immediate occasion of these terrors; and hence his voice proceeds from Jerusalem, or more particularly from Zion, where the visible symbol of his presence long dwelt. "For there," says Kimchi, "was his dwelling in Jerusalem; and as if from thence he roared and uttered his voice against them." Thus far the prophet pictures in very vivid, indeed terribly vivid, colours the frightful scene in the valley of decision: then stops short without describing the sad catastrophe resulting from the actual execution of the judgment. This he omits, either from revulsion of feeling from such misery. or the reader is left to imagine it himself. But the Lord will be the Hope of his people, and the Strength of the children of Israel. He shrinks, as we have seen, from describing the actual execution of judgment, and, breaking off with somewhat of abruptness, exhibits the bright side of the picture. With the destruction of his foes is joined, as usual, the deliverance of his friends. To his people he stands in the double relation of a Place of refuge (machseh) and a Place of strength (ma'oz), that is, not only a place to which they may flee for safety, but a place in which, as a stronghold, they shall be kept safe.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem,.... Christ, the Lamb, shall now appear as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and utter his voice in his providence and judgments on the behalf of his church and people, signified by Zion and Jerusalem; and therefore said to roar, and utter his voice from thence; he will be heard far and near, and strike terror in the hearts of his enemies; see Jeremiah 25:30;
and the heavens and the earth shall shake; great revolutions will be made in the world, both in church and state, among the antichristian powers; and such as will also make them shake and tremble, as well as alter the form and frame of things among them; see Revelation 16:18; changes in government, civil and ecclesiastic, are sometimes signified by such phrases, Haggai 2:6;
but the Lord will be the hope of his people; the object, author, ground, and foundation of their hope of salvation here and hereafter; in whom they may hope for and expect safety and security in the worst of times; since he will be their "refuge", or their "harbour" (q) as it may be rendered; to whom they may have recourse, to shelter and screen them from the rage and wrath of their enemies, and where they will be safe, till the indignation of God be over and past; and while calamities and judgments are upon the unchristian and ungodly world, they will have nothing to fear amidst these storms, being in a good harbour:
and the strength of the children of Israel; of the spiritual Israel; of all such who are Israelites indeed, the Lord's chosen, redeemed, and called people, both Jews and Gentiles; the author and giver of their spiritual strength, the strength of their lives and of their hearts, of their graces and of their salvation; by whom they are furnished with strength to do the duties of religion; to exercise grace; to wrestle with God in prayer; to withstand spiritual enemies; to bear afflictions patiently, and to persevere to the end: or he is their "fortress" (r); their strong hold and place of defence, where they are safe from every enemy, free from all distresses, enjoy solid peace and comfort, and have plenty of provisions, Isaiah 33:16.
(q) "refugium", Tigurine version, Burkius; "receptus", Tarnovius. (r) "prsesidium", Tarnovius; "arx", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. (Compare Eze 38:18-22). The victories of the Jews over their cruel foe Antiochus, under the Maccabees, may be a reference of this prophecy; but the ultimate reference is to the last Antichrist, of whom Antiochus was the type. Jerusalem being the central seat of the theocracy (Ps 132:13), it is from thence that Jehovah discomfits the foe.
roar—as a lion (Jer 25:30; Am 1:2; 3:8). Compare as to Jehovah's voice thundering, Ps 18:13; Hab 3:10, 11.
Lord … the hope of his people—or, "their refuge" (Ps 46:1).
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