|New International Version (©2011)|
all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.
New Living Translation (©2007)
All this because Nineveh, the beautiful and faithless city, mistress of deadly charms, enticed the nations with her beauty. She taught them all her magic, enchanting people everywhere.
English Standard Version (©2001)
And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute, graceful and of deadly charms, who betrays nations with her whorings, and peoples with her charms.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
All because of the many harlotries of the harlot, The charming one, the mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations by her harlotries And families by her sorceries.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Because of the continual prostitution of the prostitute, the attractive mistress of sorcery, who betrays nations by her prostitution and clans by her witchcraft,
International Standard Version (©2012)
Innumerable are the harlotries of this well-favored whore, this mistress of witchcraft, who enslaves nations through her fornication and families through her sorcery.
NET Bible (©2006)
"Because you have acted like a wanton prostitute--a seductive mistress who practices sorcery, who enslaves nations by her harlotry, and entices peoples by her sorcery--
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
because of Nineveh's constant prostitution, this very charming mistress of evil magic. She used to sell nations her prostitution and people her evil magic."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Because of the multitude of the harlotries of the seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries, that sells nations through her harlotries, and peoples through her sorceries.
American King James Version
Because of the multitude of the prostitutions of the well favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that sells nations through her prostitutions, and families through her witchcrafts.
American Standard Version
because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
Because of the multitude of the fornications of the harlot that was beautiful and agreeable, and that made use of witchcraft, that sold nations through her fornications, and families through her witchcrafts.
Darby Bible Translation
Because of the multitude of the fornications of the well-favoured harlot, mistress of sorceries, that selleth nations through her fornications, and families through her sorceries,
English Revised Version
because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
Webster's Bible Translation
Because of the multitude of the lewd deeds of the well-favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her lewd deeds, and families through her witchcrafts.
World English Bible
because of the multitude of the prostitution of the alluring prostitute, the mistress of witchcraft, who sells nations through her prostitution, and families through her witchcraft.
Young's Literal Translation
Because of the abundance of the fornications of an harlot, The goodness of the grace of the lady of witchcrafts, Who is selling nations by her fornications, And families by her witchcrafts.
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-7 When proud sinners are brought down, others should learn not to lift themselves up. The fall of this great city should be a lesson to private persons, who increase wealth by fraud and oppression. They are preparing enemies for themselves; and if the Lord sees good to punish them in this world, they will have none to pity them. Every man who seeks his own prosperity, safety, and peace, should not only act in an upright, honourable manner, but with kindness to all.
Verse 4. - The cause is given that has brought this punishment. Because of the multitude of the whoredoms. This term is commonly applied to idolatry, the swerving from the true God and turning to false deities; and it is thought that it cannot be used in that sense here, as Assyria had always worshipped idols, and could not be said to have forsaken or proved false to the Lord. Hence Hitzig, Keil, and others refer the term to the treacherous friendship and crafty politics by which Nineveh ensnared other states, seeking really only her own interests (comp. Isaiah 23:17). But this habit of treachery has been already mentioned in ver. 1 (where see note); and, as Knabenbauer remarks, the Assyrians used no meretricious blandishments to effect their conquests, but the cruel arts of war and the stern ordeal of the sword. It is scarcely probable that the prophet would omit idolatry among the crimes of the Assyrians that called for vengeance, as all their wars were carried on in the name of their gods, and the monarchs professed to be under Divine protection and influence. The term "whoredom" is applied to the idolatry, not only of the Israelites, but to that of Jezebel (2 Kings 9:22), who was always a heathen. The idolatry of the Assyrians may very well be so called, because it was a wilful ignoring of the light of nature and natural religion (see Wisd. 13:1; Romans 1:19, etc.). They were careful, too, wherever they carried their arms, to erect there symbols of their deities, and to compel conquered nations to receive them and pay them Divine honour. With this idolatrous worship was associated that gross immorality which even Herodotus (1:199) termed utterly disgraceful (comp. Baruch 6:43). Rightly is Nineveh called the well favoured harlot; for her splendour and magnificence were unsurpassed, dazzling all beholders and hiding the rottenness that lay below the surface. The mistress of witchcrafts. She was skilful in employing every art to seduce nations to her side. We hear much of magic in connection with Babylon and the Chaldeans, but not in reference especially to Assyria. The expression here is metaphorical, alluding to the secret practices which she employed to gain her ends and to make her rule attractive (comp. Revelation 18:2, 3). That selleth nations. Depriving them of freedom and making them tributary, or, in some cases, actually selling the inhabitants as slaves (comp. Deuteronomy 32:30; Judges 2:14; Joel 3:3; Amos 1:6, 7). Families. Not only nations in the aggregate, but smaller bodies, individuals, so that none escape. Septuagint, λαούς, "peoples."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Because of the multitudes of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot,.... Meaning Nineveh; which, as it was an ancient city, was a well built one; full of stately and beautiful buildings, the seat of the kings of Assyria, and the metropolis of the nation, and abounded with wealth and riches; perhaps here may be an allusion to the name of the city, and to the signification of it; for Nineveh may have its name from the beauty of it, and be read, in Hebrew, or and may signify a beautiful or pleasant habitation; so Hillerus (x) and Cocceius (y) give the etymology of it; which agrees with its delightful situation on the banks of the river Tigris, and the stately edifices in it, as the king's palace, and others; just as Zion is said to be "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth", Psalm 48:2 and the epithet of "well favoured" well agrees with a harlot, whose beauty is engaging and ensnaring, as Lais, and others; particularly Semiramis, the wife of Ninus, from whom it is generally thought Nineveh had its name, was first a harlot, and one of exceeding beauty, who surpassed all others in it; on account of which she was beloved by the king of Assyria, and after a short time made his wife, and then he delivered the government of the kingdom to her (z); yea, Sardanapalus the Last, and at this time the present king of the Assyrians, was very effeminate, used to dress himself in women's clothes, imitate a woman's voice, and paint his face, and even his whole body; and, by other tricks and enticements of harlots, made himself more lascivious, and behaved more lewdly, than any harlot (a); in short, all the Assyrian women must be harlots, since they were obliged once in their lifetime to lie with a stranger in the temple of Venus, whom the Assyrians call Mylitta, as Herodotus (b) and Strabo (c) relate; to all which here may be an allusion: and particularly the inhabitants of this city had all the arts of address and insinuation to deceive others as harlots have; and both men and women very probably were given to whoredom and adultery in a literal sense as is generally the case where luxury and intemperance abound; and especially were grossly guilty of idolatry, which in Scripture is frequently expressed by whoredom and adultery; worshipping Bel, Nisroch and other deities and which was highly provoking to God; and therefore for these things, his judgements came upon them, before and after described:
the mistress of witchcrafts: thoroughly versed in such wicked and devilish practices, literally understood; see Isaiah 47:9 for the Assyrians, as well as the Babylonians and Chaldeans, were addicted to such diabolical arts, as appears from a passage in Theocritus (d), which Grotius has also quoted; where one is represented saying that she kept in her box or chest very pernicious poisons, which she had learned from an Assyrian guest. The allusion seems to be to philtres, and other tricks used by harlots to besot young men, and bewitch and captivate them: likewise this city and its inhabitants were well versed in all the arts of flattery, deceit, and carnal policy; and in all the charms of wealth, riches, luxury, and sensuality, the pomp of superstition and idolatry, to draw in kingdoms and nations into subjection to them:
that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts; enslaved whole kingdoms, and brought them under her power and dominion, to be her vassals; and was the instrument, not only of corporeal servitude, but of their selling themselves to work wickedness, by committing spiritual fornication or idolatry; into which multitudes were led by her influence and example, and particularly the kingdoms and families of Israel and Judah; see 2 Kings 16:10. In these whoredoms and witchcrafts, as well as in her bloodthirstiness, lies, and oppression, Nineveh was a type of the whore of Rome; see Revelation 17:1.
(x) Onomastic. Sacr. p. 304, 431, 898. (y) Comment. in Jonam, c. 1. 2. (z) Diodor. Sicul. l. 2. p. 93. 107. Ed. Rhodoman. (a) Ibid. p. 109, 110. (b) Clio, sive. l. 1. c. 199. (c) Geograph. l. 16. p. 513. (d) Pharmaceutria, sive Idyll. 2. prope finem.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Because of the multitude of the whoredoms—This assigns the reason for Nineveh's destruction.
of the well-favoured harlot—As Assyria was not a worshipper of the true God, "whoredoms" cannot mean, as in the case of Israel, apostasy to the worship of false gods; but, her harlot-like artifices whereby she allured neighboring states so as to subject them to herself. As the unwary are allured by the "well-favored harlot's" looks, so Israel, Judah (for example, under Ahaz, who, calling to his aid Tiglath-pileser, was made tributary by him, 2Ki 16:7-10), and other nations, were tempted by the plausible professions of Assyria, and by the lure of commerce (Re 18:2, 3), to trust her.
witchcrafts—(Isa 47:9, 12). Alluding to the love incantations whereby harlots tried to dement and ensnare youths; answering to the subtle machinations whereby Assyria attracted nations to her.
selleth—deprives of their liberty; as slaves used to be sold: and in other property also sale was a usual mode of transfer. Maurer understands it of depriving nations of their freedom, and literally selling them as slaves to distant peoples (Joe 3:2, 3, 6-8). But elsewhere there is no evidence that the Assyrians did this.
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