|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:14-20 When God is about to deliver his people, he stirs up their friends to pray for them. Apply spiritually the prophet's prayer to Christ, to take care of his church, as the great Shepherd of the sheep, and to go before them, while they are here in this world as in a wood, in this world but not of it. God promises in answer to this prayer, he will do that for them which shall be repeating the miracles of former ages. As their sin brought them into bondage, so God's pardoning their sin brought them out. All who find pardoning mercy, cannot but wonder at that mercy; we have reason to stand amazed, if we know what it is. When the Lord takes away the guilt of sin, that it may not condemn us, he will break the power of sin, that it may not have dominion over us. If left to ourselves, our sins will be too hard for us; but God's grace shall be sufficient to subdue them, so that they shall not rule us, and then they shall not ruin us. When God forgives sin, he takes care that it never shall be remembered any more against the sinner. He casts their sins into the sea; not near the shore-side, where they may appear again, but into the depth of the sea, never to rise again. All their sins shall be cast there, for when God forgives sin, he forgives all. He will perfect that which concerns us, and with this good work will do all for us which our case requires, and which he has promised. These engagements relate to Christ, and the success of the gospel to the end of time, the future restoration of Israel, and the final prevailing of true religion in all lands. The Lord will perform his truth and mercy, not one jot or tittle of it shall fall to the ground: faithful is He that has promised, who also will do it. Let us remember that the Lord has given the security of his covenant, for strong consolation to all who flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in Christ Jesus.
Verse 16. - Shall see. The heathen shall see these marvellous things. Be confounded at (ashamed of) all their might. Hostile nations shall be ashamed when they find the impotence of their boasted power. Compare the effect of the Exodus on contiguous nations (Exodus 15:14, etc.; Joshua 2:9, 10). They shall lay their hand upon their mouth. They shall be silent from awe and astonishment (Judges 18:19; Job 21:5; Isaiah 52:15). Their ears shall be deaf. Their senses shall be stupefied by the wonders which they see - that which Job (Job 26:14) calls "the thunder of his mighty deeds." There may also be an allusion to their wilful obstinacy, and unbelief.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might,.... The Chaldeans or Babylonians, when they shall see the wonderful things done by the Lord in the deliverance of his people out of their hands, shall be ashamed of their own power and might, in which they trusted, and of which they boasted; but now shall be baffled and defeated, and not able to stop the progress of the arms of Cyrus, or detain the Jews any longer their captives; or they shall be confounded at the power and strength the Jews will have to repossess their land, rebuild their city and temple, under the encouragement and protection of the king of Persia; and as this may refer to a further accomplishment in Gospel times, it may respect the confusion the Gentile world would be in at the mighty power and spread of the Gospel, in the conversion of such multitudes by it, and in the abolition of the Pagan religion. Kimchi interprets this of the nations that shall be gathered together with Gog and Magog against Jerusalem in the latter day; see Ezekiel 38:15;
they shall lay their hand upon their mouth: be silent, and boast no more of themselves; nor blaspheme God and his word; nor insult his people; nor oppose his Gospel, or open their mouths any more against his truths and his ordinances:
their ears shall be deaf; hearing so much of the praises of God, of the success of his interest, and of the happiness of his peopled dinned in their ears, they will be stunned with it, and scarce know what they hear; become deaf with the continual noise of it, which will be disagreeable to them; and will choose to hear no more, and therefore through envy and grief will stop their ears at what is told them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. shall see—the "marvellous things" (Mic 7:15; Isa 26:11).
confounded at all their might—having so suddenly proved unavailing: that might wherewith they had thought that there is nothing which they could not effect against God's people.
lay … hand upon … mouth—the gesture of silence (Job 21:5; 40:4; Ps 107:42; Isa 52:15). They shall be struck dumb at Israel's marvellous deliverance, and no longer boast that God's people is destroyed.
ears … deaf—They shall stand astounded so as not to hear what shall be said [Grotius]. Once they had eagerly drunk in all rumors as so many messages of victories; but then they shall be afraid of hearing them, because they continually fear new disasters, when they see the God of Israel to be so powerful [Calvin]. They shall close their ears so as not to be compelled to hear of Israel's successes.
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