|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
48:1-7 Jerusalem is the city of our God: none on earth render him due honour except the citizens of the spiritual Jerusalem. Happy the kingdom, the city, the family, the heart, in which God is great, in which he is all. There God is known. The clearer discoveries are made to us of the Lord and his greatness, the more it is expected that we should abound in his praises. The earth is, by sin, covered with deformity, therefore justly might that spot of ground, which was beautified with holiness, be called the joy of the whole earth; that which the whole earth has reason to rejoice in, that God would thus in very deed dwell with man upon the earth. The kings of the earth were afraid of it. Nothing in nature can more fitly represent the overthrow of heathenism by the Spirit of the gospel, than the wreck of a fleet in a storm. Both are by the mighty power of the Lord.
Verse 5. - They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. The sight of the city, with its walls and towers (vers. 12, 13), was enough for them - they recognized that the place was too strong to be attacked with any prospect of success; "marvelled," or "were amazed" (Cheyne), at its strength, and, being troubled in mind, hasted away. The unconnected verbs remind the commentators of Caesar's famous despatch, "Vent, vidi, vici."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They saw it,.... Either the city or the power of God, as Aben Ezra; or, as Jarchi, God himself going forth to fight against the nations. This refers to the power Christ will take to himself, and show forth, by reigning in his church, and protecting it, which will not only be visible to the saints, but to the nations of the world; and to the brightness of Christ's coming in his spiritual reign, with the lustre of which antichrist will be destroyed, Revelation 11:17; and to the glorious state of the church, signified by the rising of the witnesses, and their standing on their feet, and ascending to heaven, which will be seen by their enemies, Revelation 11:11; and to the destruction of Rome, the smoke of whose burning, the kings of the earth, that have committed fornication with her, will see and lament, Revelation 18:8;
and so their marvelled: at the glory of the church, the security of it, the power of Christ in it and over it, and at the destruction of mystical Babylon; see Isaiah 52:14;
they were troubled: as Herod and all Jerusalem were, upon hearing of the birth of Christ, Matthew 2:3; so these kings will be, upon seeing the coming and power of Christ in the latter day, the invincibleness of his church, and their own immediate and utter ruin: this will be the time or the howling of the shepherds, both civil and ecclesiastical, when all hands will be faint, and every man's heart will melt, Zechariah 11:2;
and hasted away: fled for fear of the great King at the head of his armies, in the defence of his church and people: and as the kings of the earth also at the destruction of Rome will flee and stand afar off, for fear of her torment, Revelation 18:10.
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