|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:17-21 There should be deliverance and holiness at Jerusalem, and the house of Jacob would again occupy their possessions. Much of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned to their own land. But the salvation and holiness of the gospel, its spread, and the conversion of the Gentiles, seem also to be intended, especially the restoration of Israel, the destruction of antichrist, and the prosperous state of the church, to which all the prophets bear witness. When Christ is come, and not till then, shall the kingdom be the Lord's in the full sense of the term. As none that exalt themselves against the Lord shall prosper, and all shall be brought down; so none that wait upon the Lord, and put their trust in him, shall ever be dismayed. Blessed be the Divine Saviour and Judge on Mount Zion! His word shall be a savour of life unto life unto numbers, while it judges and condemns obstinate unbelievers.
Verse 21. - § 2, The prophet sums up his prediction: with the conquest of the Gentiles salvation shall come to Zion in all its fulness. Saviours. The LXX. incorrectly takes the word passively, translating it ἀνασωζόμενοι, "they that are saved;" so Aquila, Theodolion, and the Syriac; Symmachus rightly, σώζοντες: Vulgate, salvatores. The judges are so called in Judges 3:9, 15 (comp. 2 Kings 13:5; Nehemiah 9:27). The judges had a twofold character - they were deliverers and governors, as in the present ease. Here the immediate reference is to Zerubbabel and the valiant Maccabees, who severely punished the Idumeans (2 Macc. 10:15, etc.; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 13:09. 1). But all these "saviours" are types and forerunners of the Messiah, "the Saviour which is Christ the Lord?" Shall come up. Not from exile, but simply as ascending a hill, and taking their seat there. Mount Zion. The seat of the kingdom of God, in contrast with "the mount of Esau," the type of the enemies of Israel and of God. To judge; LXX., τοῦ ἐκδικῆσαι, "to take vengeance on." But the "judging" is not only the taking of vengeance on Edom and that which it represents, the expression includes the notion of governing; so that the prophet looks forward to the time when the heathen shall submit themselves to the dominion of the people of God, and, as the following clause foretells, "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ" (Revelation 11:15). The kingdom shall be the Lord's. No earthly accomplishment could fulfil this great announcement. The kingdom can be Jehovah's; he can show himself as Ruler of the world, and be acknowledged as such by the nations, only under Christ. This is "the sceptre of Judah" of which Jacob spoke (Genesis 49:10); this is the throne of David which was to be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16); this is what all the prophets fore, w, what we are still expecting, what we daily pray for, as we say, "thy kingdom come" - when "the Lord shall be King over all the earth, and there shall be one Lord, and his name one" (Zechariah 14:9).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And saviours shall come upon Mount Zion,.... Which according to some, is to be understood literally, either of Zerubbabel and Joshua, after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, who were the restorers of, their civil and church state; or rather of Judas Maccabeus and his brethren, who saved the people of the Jews from Antiochus and his generals, called "saviours", as the judges of old were, Nehemiah 9:27; but it is best to interpret these saviours of the apostles of Christ, and ministers of the word; and especially of the preachers of the Gospel in the latter days; called "saviours", because they publish salvation, preach the Gospel of it, show unto men the way of salvation; and so they, and the word preached by them, are the means and instruments of the salvation of men; otherwise Christ is the only Saviour of God's appointing and sending; and who came to effect salvation, and is become the author of it, nor is it in any others; see 1 Timothy 4:16; these in great numbers, in the latter day, wilt appear on Mount Zion, or in the church of Christ, and, shall openly and publicly, as on a mountain, declare the everlasting Gospel; these will be with Christ the Lamb, among the 144,000 upon Mount Zion, Revelation 14:1. Kimchi and Ben Melech say, these are the King Messiah and his companions, the seven shepherds and eight principal men, Micah 5:5. Aben Ezra says the words refer to time to come; according to Baalhatturim on Genesis 32:4; they will be fulfilled about the end of the sixth Millennium, when they expect the Messiah; and they are applied to times of the Messiah both by ancient and more modern Jews. In their ancient book of Zohar (q) it is said,
"when the Messiah shall arise, Jacob shall take his portion above and below; and Esau shall be utterly destroyed, and shall have no portion and inheritance in the world, according to Obadiah 1:18; but Jacob shall inherit two worlds, this world and the world to come; and of that time is it written, "and saviours shall come upon Mount Zion", &c.''
So, in the Jerusalem Talmud (r),
"says R. Hona, we do not find that Jacob our father went to Seir (see Genesis 33:14;) R. Joden, the son of Rabbi, says, in future times (the world to come, the days of the Messiah), is it not said, "and saviours shall come upon Mount Zion, to judge the mount of Esau?"''
And to much the same purpose it is said in one of their ancient Midrasses (s) or expositions,
"we have turned over all the Scripture, and we do not find that Jacob stood with Esau on Seir; he (God) said, until now it is with me to make judges and saviours stand, to take vengeance on that man, as it is said, "and saviours shall come up", &c.''
And the Cabalistic writers (t) thus paraphrase the words,
""and saviours shall come up"; who are the Lord of hosts, and the God of hosts: "on Mount Zion"; which is, the mystery of the living God: "to judge the mount of Esau"; which is Mount Seir.''
So Maimonides (u), quoting the passage in Numbers 24:18, "Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies", adds, by way of explanation, this is the King Messiah, of whom it is said, "and saviours shall come upon Mount Zion". The work and business of these saviours will be,
to judge the mount of Esau; to take vengeance on the Edomites, for their ill usage of the children of Judah, as the Jewish commentators generally interpret it: or rather, as Gospel ministers are these saviours, it expresses their business; which as it is to declare that whoever believes in Christ shall be saved, so that whoever does not shall be damned; and to convince impenitent and believing sinners of their sin and danger, and their need of Christ, judging and condemning, those that remain so: and moreover, as Esau and Edom signify antichrist, the sense is, that they shall publish proclaim the judgment of God upon antichrist, declare it to be near, yea, to be done; and shall express their approbation of the justice: of God in it, and shall call upon the saints to rejoice at it, Revelation 14:6; yea, these saviours may include the Christian princes, that shall pour out the vials of God's wrath upon the antichristian states;
and the kingdom shall be the Lord's: the Lord Christ's, who is the one Jehovah with the Father and Spirit; meaning not the government of the world, to which he has a natural right as Creator, and which is generally ascribed to Jehovah the Father; nor the government of the church in this present state, which is Christ's already, and ever was: but the government of it in the latter day, when he will take to himself his great power, and reign; when his kingdom will be more visible, spiritual, glorious; and extensive; when the kingdoms of this world will become his, the Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan kingdoms, even all the kingdoms and nations of the earth; he will be King over all the earth; there will be but one Lord and King, and whose kingdom is an everlasting one; it shall never come into other hands; this will continue till the personal reign takes place, and that will issue in the ultimate glory; see Revelation 11:15.
(q) In Gen. fol. 85. 1.((r) T. Hieros. Avoda Zara, fol. 40. 3.((s) Debarim Rabba, fol. 234. 4. (t) Kabala Denudata, par. 1. p. 283. (u) Hilchot Melachim, c. 11. sect. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. saviours—There will be in the kingdom yet to come no king, but a prince; the sabbatic period of the judges will return (compare the phrase so frequent in Judges, only once found in the times of the kings, 2Ch 14:1, "the land had rest"), when there was no visible king, but God reigned in the theocracy. Israelites, not strangers, shall dispense justice to a God-fearing people (Isa 1:26; Eze 45:1-25). The judges were not such a burden to the people as the kings proved afterwards (1Sa 8:11-20). In their time the people more readily repented than under the kings (compare 2Ch 15:17), [Roos]. Judges were from time to time raised up as saviours or deliverers of Israel from the enemy. These, and the similar deliverers in the long subsequent age of Antiochus, the Maccabees, who conquered the Idumeans (as here foretold, compare 2 Maccabees 10:15,23), were types of the peaceful period yet to come to Israel.
to judge … Esau—to punish (so "judge," 1Sa 3:13) … Edom (compare Ob 1-9, 15-19). Edom is the type of Israel's and God's last foes (Isa 63:1-4).
kingdom shall be the Lord's—under Messiah (Da 2:44; 7:14, 27; Zec 14:9; Lu 1:33; Re 11:15; 19:6).
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