|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:9-13 Many nations would assemble against Zion to rejoice in her calamities. They would not understand that the Lord had collected them as sheaves are gathered to be threshed; and that Zion would be strengthened to beat them to pieces. Nothing has yet taken place in the history of the Jewish church agreeing with this prediction. When God has conquering work for his people to do, he will furnish them with strength and ability for it. Believers should cry aloud under distresses, with the prayer of faith, not with despondency.
Verse 9. - Before this glorious revival the prophet foresees calamity and exile in the nearer future; yet he bids the people not to despair. Why dost thou cry out aloud? The prophet hears the cry of Zion, and asks the cause. Septuagint, Ἱνατί ἔγνως κακά; "Why knowest thou evils?" from a variation in reading. Is there no king in thee? Hast thou lost thy king? Is this the reason of thy sorrow? The allusion is to the captivity of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah (2 Kings 24, 25.). The loss of the king, the representative of the help and favour of God, was a token of the withdrawal of the Divine protection (comp. Lamentations 4:20; Hosea 13:10). Thy counsellor. A synonym for "king." Cheyne notes that the root of melech ("king") in Aramaic means "to counsel." In Isaiah 9:6 Messiah is called "Counsellor." The Septuagint, treating the word as a collective, renders, ἡ βουλή σου, "thy counsel." Pangs, etc. The comparison of sorrow of heart to the anguish of labour pains is very common (comp. Isaiah 13:8; Jeremiah 6:24; 6:43; Hosea 13:13).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now why dost thou cry out aloud?.... Or "cry a cry" (w); a vehement one, or set up a most lamentable cry, as if no help or hope were to be had, but as in the most desperate condition: here the prophet represents the Jews as if they were already in captivity, and in the utmost distress, and as they certainly would be; and yet had no reason to despair of deliverance and salvation, since the Messiah would certainly come to them, and his kingdom would be set up among them, The word used has sometimes the notion of friendship and association; hence the Targum renders it,
"now why art thou joined to the people?''
and so Jarchi,
"thou hast no need to seek friends and lovers, the kings of Egypt and Assyria, for help.''
And which sense of the word as approved by Gussetius (x).
Is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? he it so that they were; as was the case when Zedekiah was taken and carried captive, and his princes, nobles, and counsellors killed; yet God, their King and Counsellor, was with them, to keep and preserve them, counsel, instruct, and comfort them, and at last to deliver and save them; and the King Messiah would be raised up, and sent unto them in due time, who is the Wonderful Counsellor Isaiah had prophesied of:
for pangs have taken thee as a worn an in travail; which is often expressive of great sufferings and sorrows; and yet, as the pangs of a woman in travail do not continue always, but have an end, so would theirs, and therefore there was no reason for despair; and as, when she brings forth her issue, her sorrow is turned into joy, this would be their case.
(w) "quid vociferabis vociferationem", Pagninus, Montanus. So Vatablus, Drusius. (x) Ebr. Comment. p. 789.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Addressed to the daughter of Zion, in her consternation at the approach of the Chaldeans.
is there no king in thee?—asked tauntingly. There is a king in her; but it is the same as if there were none, so helpless to devise means of escape are he and his counsellors [Maurer]. Or, Zion's pains are because her king is taken away from her (Jer 52:9; La 4:20; Eze 12:13) [Calvin]. The former is perhaps the preferable view (compare Jer 49:7). The latter, however, describes better Zion's kingless state during her present long dispersion (Ho 3:4, 5).
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