|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-8 The restoration of the Jews, and the final victory of true religion over all opposers, appear to be here foretold. The contempt and scorn with which the Jews have often been treated as a people, and the little value set upon them, are noticed. None ever hardened his heart against God or his church, and prospered long.
Verses 5, 6. - The prophet proceeds to enumerate the injuries sustained by his people at the hands of their enemies, and the evil attempted against himself.
(1) My sliver and my gold. The silver, gold, and precious or desirable things, whether taken immediately from the temple of God or plundered mediately from the palaces or wealthy mansions of his people, they transferred to their temples and suspended as trophies therein - a custom common among ancient nations.
(2) The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians. The part which the Phoenicians had in the transaction was the purchase and sale of the Jewish captives who had fallen into the hands of the Philistine conquerors. The mention of Grecians, or sons of Javan, brings for the first time the Hellenic and Hebrew races into contact - a contact sad and sorrowful for the latter. That ye might remove them far from their border. This was at once the climax of their cruelty and the aggravation of their crime. The object which their enemies had in view in selling the Hebrew captives to the sons of Javan, or Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor, was by that remote exile to prevent the possibility of their return to their own land. The historic reference is thought by some to be the event narrated in 2 Chronicles 21:16, 17, where it is written, "The Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines... And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away [margin, 'carried captive'] all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Because ye have taken my silver and my gold,.... Which is all the Lord's, Haggai 2:8; or which he had bestowed upon his people, and they had taken from them:
and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things; either the rich furniture of the houses of his people, which they carried into their own houses, or "palaces" (e), as it may be rendered; having either taken them away themselves, or bought them of others that had taken them: or else the rich vessels of the temple; as these were carried away by the Chaldeans, and put into their idol temples, Daniel 1:2; so afterward they were taken by the Romans, and put into the temples of their gods: whether any of these came into the hands of the Tyrians, &c. by any means, and were put into their idol temples, as the temple of Hercules, is not certain; however, it is notorious that the Papists, the Tyrians are an emblem of, not only build stately temples, and dedicate them to angels and saints, but most profusely adorn them with gold and silver, and all goodly and desirable things; which is putting them to an idolatrous use they were not designed for.
(e) "in palatia vestra", Montanus, Drusius, Burkius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. my silver … my gold—that is, the gold and silver of My people. The Philistines and Arabians had carried off all the treasures of King Jehoram's house (2Ch 21:16, 17). Compare also 1Ki 15:18; 2Ki 12:18; 14:14, for the spoiling of the treasures of the temple and the king's palace in Judah by Syria. It was customary among the heathen to hang up in the idol temples some of the spoils of war as presents to their gods.
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