|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-6 We are here told who would appear as adversaries to Christ. As this world is the kingdom of Satan, unconverted men, of every rank, party, and character, are stirred up by him to oppose the cause of God. But the rulers of the earth generally have been most active. The truths and precepts of Christianity are against ambitious projects and worldly lusts. We are told what they aim at in this opposition. They would break asunder the bands of conscience, and the cords of God's commandments; they will not receive, but cast them away as far as they can. These enemies can show no good cause for opposing so just and holy a government, which, if received by all, would bring a heaven upon earth. They can hope for no success in so opposing so powerful a kingdom. The Lord Jesus has all power both in heaven and in earth, and is Head over all things to the church, notwithstanding the restless endeavours of his enemies. Christ's throne is set up in his church, that is, in the hearts of all believers.
Verse 3. - Let us break their bands asunder. Wicked men always feel God's rule and his Law to be restraints. They chafe at them, fret against them, and, in the last resort - so far as their will goes - wholly throw them off. And cast away their cords from us. "Bands" and "cords" are the fetters that restrain prisoners. The rebels determine to burst them, and assert their absolute freedom.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let us break their bands asunder,.... These are not the words of the apostles, nor of the saints in Gospel times, encouraging one another, notwithstanding the rage and opposition of Jews and Gentiles against their Master and his interest, to break asunder the bands of wickedness, the idolatrous customs and practices of the Heathens, and to throw off the insupportable yoke of bondage, of Jewish traditions and ceremonies, see Isaiah 58:6; but of the Heathen, the people, and kings of the earth, and rulers who, with one voice, say this and what follows,
and cast away their cords from us; with relation to the Lord and his Anointed, whose laws, ordinances, and truths, they call "bands" and "cords"; so Arama interprets them of the law, and the commandments; or a "yoke", as the Vulgate Latin, Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions render the last word; and the phrases in general express their irreverence of God and the Messiah, their rejection Christ and his religion; their non-subjection to him, and their refusal to have him to rule over them; and their disesteem and contempt of his Gospel, and of the ordinances of it, and of the laws and rules of his government in his churches: and also they show the wrong notion that carnal men have of these things that whereas Christ's yoke is easy, and his burden light, Matthew 11:30; his Gospel and the truths of it make men free from the slavery of sin and Satan, and from a spirit of bondage, Romans 8:15; and true Gospel liberty consists in an observance of his commands and ordinances; yet they look upon these things as bands and cords, as fetters and shackles, as so many restraints upon their liberty, which are not to be bore: when, on the other hand, they promise themselves liberty in a disengagement from them, and in the enjoyment of their own lusts and sinful pleasures; whereas thereby they are brought into bondage, and become the servants of corruption. Some render it "cast away from him" (c); either from Christ, or everyone from himself.
(c) "a nobis, sive ab illo", Nebiensis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. The rebellious purposes of men are more distinctly announced by this representation of their avowal in words, as well as actions.
bands … and … cords—denote the restraints of government.
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