|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
149:6-9 Some of God's servants of old were appointed to execute vengeance according to his word. They did not do it from personal revenge or earthly politics, but in obedience to God's command. And the honour intended for all the saints of God, consists in their triumphs over the enemies of their salvation. Christ never intended his gospel should be spread by fire and sword, or his righteousness by the wrath of man. But let the high praises of God be in our mouths, while we wield the sword of the word of God, with the shield of faith, in warfare with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The saints shall be more than conquerors over the enemies of their souls, through the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony. The completing of this will be in the judgement of the great day. Then shall the judgement be executed. Behold Jesus, and his gospel church, chiefly in her millennial state. He and his people rejoice in each other; by their prayers and efforts they work with him, while he goes forth in the chariots of salvation, conquering sinners by grace, or in chariots of vengeance, to destroy his enemies.
Verse 7. - To execute vengeance upon the heathen. Not private revenge, but the just vengeance which a threatened nation has, from time to time, to execute on its persecutors in self-defense. And punishments upon the people; rather, upon the peoples. A variant of the phrase in the preceding clause, without any serious modification of the meaning.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To execute vengeance upon the Heathen,.... Either upon the Gentile world, in the first times of the Gospel; when the apostles, going there with the twoedged sword of the word, vehemently inveighed against the idolatry of the Heathens, and exhorted them to turn from their idols to serve the living God; and divine power going along with their ministry, multitudes were turned from them; through the success of the Gospel, the oracles of the Heathen were struck dumb, their priests were despised, their idol temples were forsaken, and idols rejected; now were the judgment of the Heathen world, and the prince of it, cast out, and vengeance in this way taken upon it, or their disobedience to God revenged, John 12:31. Or else upon the Papists, as will be in the latter times of the Gospel; who are sometimes called Heathens and Gentiles, Psalm 10:16; on whom vengeance will be taken for all their idolatry, superstition, and bloodshed of the saints; and they will be smitten and slain by the twoedged sword, proceeding out of the mouth of Christ, and as in the hands of his servants, Revelation 19:15;
and punishments upon the people; or "reproofs" (p); sharp and piercing ones; such as the convictions the word of God will strike in the minds of men, and will be very distressing and afflicting to them; as the fire out of the mouths of the witnesses, which is their doctrine, will be to their enemies the Papists; and will torment and kill them, and be the savour of death unto death unto them, Revelation 11:5.
(p) "increpationes", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "redargutiones", Cocceius, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. The destruction of the incorrigibly wicked attends the propagation of God's truth, so that the military successes of the Jews, after the captivity, typified the triumphs of the Gospel.
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