|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-16 Is any afflicted? Let him pray; and let him in prayer pour out his complaint to God. The people of God do so here; they complain not of evils feared, but of evils felt. If penitent and patient under what we suffer for the sins of our fathers, we may expect that He who punishes, will return in mercy to us. They acknowledge, Woe unto us that we have sinned! All our woes are owing to our own sin and folly. Though our sins and God's just displeasure cause our sufferings, we may hope in his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, and his kind providence. But the sins of a man's whole life will be punished with vengeance at last, unless he obtains an interest in Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree.
Verse 8. - Servants have ruled; rather, slaves. The Babylonians in general might be called slaves, by comparison with the "kingdom of priests" (Exodus 19:6), and the "sons" of Jehovah (Isaiah 45:11; Hosea 1:10). Or the expression may mean that even baseborn hangers on of the conquering host assumed the right to command the defenceless captives.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Servants have ruled over us,.... The Targum is,
"the sons of Ham, who were given to be servants to the sons of Shem, they have ruled over us;''
referring to the prophecy of Noah, Genesis 9:26; or such as had been tributary to the Jews, as the Edomites; so Aben Ezra; the Babylon, an, are meant; and not the nobles and principal inhabitants only, but even their servants, had power and authority over the Jews and they were at their beck and command; which made their servitude the more disagreeable and intolerable:
there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand; out of the hand of these servants.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Servants … ruled … us—Servants under the Chaldean governors ruled the Jews (Ne 5:15). Israel, once a "kingdom of priests" (Ex 19:6), is become like Canaan, "a servant of servants," according to the curse (Ge 9:25). The Chaldeans were designed to be "servants" of Shem, being descended from Ham (Ge 9:26). Now through the Jews' sin, their positions are reversed.
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