|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-9 What is here said of the covenant of priesthood, is true of the covenant of grace made with all believers, as spiritual priests. It is a covenant of life and peace; it assures all believers of all happiness, both in this world and in that to come. It is an honour to God's servants to be employed as his messengers. The priest's lips should not keep knowledge from his people, but keep it for them. The people are all concerned to know the will of the Lord. We must not only consult the written word, but desire instruction and advice from God's messengers, in the affairs of our souls. Ministers must exert themselves to the utmost for the conversion of sinners; and even among those called Israelites, there are many to be turned from iniquity. Those ministers, and those only, are likely to turn men from sin, who preach sound doctrine, and live holy lives according to the Scripture. Many departed from this way; thus they misled the people. Such as walk with God in peace and righteousness, and turn others from sin, honour God; he will honour them, while those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.
Verse 3. - I will corrupt your seed. Henderson, "I will rebuke the seed to your hurt." God would mar the promise of their crops; but, as the priests did not concern themselves with agriculture, such a threat would have had no particular application to them. It is best, therefore, to take the pointing of some of the versions, and to translate, I will rebuke your arm; i.e. I will take from you the power of performing, or, I will neutralize your official duties, the arm being the instrument of labour, offering, and blessing. Others consider the threat to be that they should be deprived of their allotted portion of the sacrifice - the breast and shoulder (Leviticus 7:31, 32), or the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the maw (Deuteronomy 18:3). Septuagint, Ἀφορίζω ὑμῖν τὸν ω΅μον, "I take from you the shoulder;" Vulgate, Ego projiciam vobis brachium. Orelli takes "seed" in the sense of posterity, seeing here a reversal of such promises as Jeremiah 33:18, 22. Spread dung upon your faces. God will deliver them over to shameful treatment, which shall cover them with contempt. The idea is derived from the filth left in the courts by the victims (see the following clause). Your solemn feasts (chaggim); ie. the animals slain at the sacrificial feasts. God calls them "your," not "my," because they were not celebrated really in his honor, but after their own self-will and pleasure. The dung of the sacrificial animals was by the Law carried forth and bunted without the camp (Exodus 29:14; Leviticus 4:12; Leviticus 16:27). One shall take you away with it. They shall be treated as filth, and cast away in some foul spot (comp. 1 Kings 14:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, I will corrupt your seed,.... Or, "the seed for you" (r); that is, for your sake, as Kimchi and Ben Melech explain it; meaning the seed they cast into the earth, which the Lord threatens to corrupt and destroy; so that it should not spring up again, and bring forth any increase: or, "rebuke" (s) it, as the word sometimes signifies; and so the Targum,
"behold, I will rebuke you in the increase, the fruit (son) of the seed.''
The sense is the same; corrupting the seed being a rebuke to them; and rebuking the seed being a corruption of that, or hindering it from growing up. It is a threatening of a sore famine that should be in the Jewish nation; and which Cocceius thinks was that which happened in the days of Claudius Caesar, Acts 11:28. The Septuagint version renders it, "behold, I separate to you the shoulder"; the Arabic version, "the right hand", or arm; and the Vulgate Latin is, "behold, I will cast forth to you the arm"; the right shoulder of the sacrifice, which was given to the priests, and here threatened to be cast to them with indignation, Leviticus 7:32 but the former sense is best:
and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; that is, the dung of their beasts which were slain for sacrifice at their solemn feasts: so this word is used for a beast offered for sacrifice at a festival, Psalm 118:27. The sense is, that their sacrifices and solemn feasts were so far from being acceptable to God, that he would reject both them and their persons, and would cast the very dung of the creatures brought for sacrifice into their faces, and spread it over them: a phrase expressive of the utmost contempt of them, and of exposing them to the greatest shame and confusion for their sins. So the Targum,
"I will make manifest the shame of your sins upon your faces; and will cause to cease the magnificence of your feasts.''
The Septuagint render it, the ventricle, or "maw"; which was given to the priests, Deuteronomy 18:3 and in which the dung was contained:
and one shall take you away with it; with the dung spread upon them; they looking like a heap of dung, being covered with it, and had in no more account than that: or "to it" (t); that is, as Jarchi explains it, to the dung of the beasts of your sacrifices they shall carry you; or you shall be carried to it, that ye may be rejected and despised as that. Kimchi's note is
"the iniquity (you are guilty of) shall carry you to this contempt; measure for measure; you have despised me, and ye shall be despised:''
or "with him", or "to himself" (u); meaning he, or it that shall take them away; either the wind or dung; or the enemy, as Aben Ezra interprets it; by whom the Romans may be designed, who took them away out of their own land, and carried them captive. According to the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, this is to be understood of God, who render the words, "I will take you together", or "with it".
(r) "propter vos", Munster, Drusius. (s) "increpabo", Tigurine version; "increpo", Drusius, Cocceius; "increpans", Burkius. (t) , Sept.; "ad istud", so some in Vatablus, De Dieu. (u) "Ad se", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Tigurine version: Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Calvin, Burkius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. corrupt, &c.—literally, "rebuke," answering to the opposite prophecy of blessing (Mal 3:11), "I will rebuke the devourer." To rebuke the seed is to forbid its growing.
your—literally, "for you"; that is, to your hurt.
dung of … solemn feasts—The dung in the maw of the victims sacrificed on the feast days; the maw was the perquisite of the priests (De 18:3), which gives peculiar point to the threat here. You shall get the dung of the maw as your perquisite, instead of the maw.
one shall take you away with it—that is, ye shall be taken away with it; it shall cleave to you wherever ye go [Moore]. Dung shall be thrown on your faces, and ye shall be taken away as dung would be, dung-begrimed as ye shall be (1Ki 14:10; compare Jer 16:4; 22:19).
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