|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
64:7-10 When God brings upon men the mischiefs they have desired on others, it is weight enough to sink a man to the lowest hell. Those who love cursing, it shall come upon them. Those who behold this shall understand, and observe God's hand in all; unless we do so, we are not likely to profit by the dispensations of Providence. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord; not glad of the misery and ruin of their fellow-creatures, but glad that God is glorified, and his word fulfilled, and the cause of injured innocence pleaded effectually. They rejoice not in men, nor in themselves, nor in any creature, or creature enjoyments, nor in their wisdom, strength, riches, or righteousness; but in Christ, in whom all the seed of Israel are justified and glory, and in what he is to them, and has done for them.
Verse 7. - But God shall shoot at them with an arrow. But God will interpose. As they have shot with their arrows at the righteous (ver. 3), so with his arrow shall God shoot at them. Suddenly shall they be wounded. The first word, "suddenly," may belong equally well either to the preceding or to the following clause. The result is all that is important. Not the righteous, but they themselves, shall receive the wound; literally, their wound shall be.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But God shall shoot at them with an arrow,.... With one or other of his four judgments; famine, pestilence, sword, and wild beasts, Ezekiel 14:21; which he brings upon wicked men; and may be compared to arrows, as they are, Ezekiel 5:16; because they move swiftly. The judgment of wicked men lingereth not, though it may seem to do so; and because they often come suddenly and at an unawares, when men are crying Peace, peace; and because they are sharp and piercing, penetrate deep and stick fast, and wound and kill; they are not arrows of deliverance, unless to the Lord's people, who, by his judgments on the wicked, are delivered from them; but destroying ones, 2 Kings 13:17; when God draws the bow and shoots, execution is done. This is said in opposition to what wicked men do, Psalm 64:3; and in just retaliation; they shoot at the perfect, and God shoots at them;
suddenly shall they be wounded; with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, with a deadly wound that shall never be healed; not with the arrow of God's word, but with the stroke of his hand; which comes suddenly, falls heavy, and makes the wound incurable.
The Treasury of David
7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they wisely consider of his doing.
10 The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
"But God shall shoot at them with an arrow." They shoot, and shall be shot. A greater archer than they are shall take sure aim at their hearts. One of his arrows shall be enough, for he never misses his aim. The Lord turns the fables on his adversaries, and defeats them at their own weapons. "Suddenly shall they be wounded." They were looking to, surprise the saint, but, lo! they are taken at unawares themselves; they desired to inflict deadly wounds, and are smitten themselves with wounds which none can heal. While they were bending their bows, the great Lord had prepared his bow already, and he let slip the shaft when least they looked for such an unsparing messenger of justice. "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." The righteous need not learn the arts of self-defence or of attack, their avenge went is in better hands than their own.
"So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves." Their slander shall recoil. Their curses shall come home to roost. Their tongue shall cut their throats. It was both sword, and bow and arrow; it shall be turned against them, and bring home to them full punishment. "All that see them shall flee away." Afraid, both of them and their overthrow, their former friends shall give them wide space, lest they perish with them. Who cares to go near to Herod when the worms are eating him? or to be in the same chariot with Pharaoh when the waves roar round him? Those who crowded around a powerful persecutor, and cringed at his feet, are among the first to desert him in the day of wrath. Woe unto you, ye liars! Who will desire fellowship with you in your seething lake of fire?
"And all men shall fear." They shall be filled with awe by the just judgments of God, as the Canaanites were by the overthrow of Pharaoh at the Red Sea. Those who might have been bold in sin shall be made to tremble and to stand in awe of the righteous Judge. "And shall declare the work of God." It shall become the subject of general conversation. So strange, so pointed, so terrible shall be the Lord's overthrow of the malicious, that it shall be spoken of in all companies. They sinned secretly, but their punishment shall be wrought before the face of the sun. "For they shall wisely consider of his doing." The judgments of God are frequently so clear and manifest that men cannot mis-read them, and if they have any thought at all, they must extract the true teaching from them. Some of the divine judgments are a great deep, but in the case of malicious persecutors the matter is plain enough, and the most illiterate can understand.
"The righteous shall be glad in the Lord." Admiring his justice and fully acquiescing in its displays, they shall also rejoice at the rescue of injured innocence yet, their joy shall not be selfish or sensual, but altogether in reference to the Lord. "And shall trust in him." Their observation of providence shall increase their faith; since he who fulfils his threatenings will not forget his promises. "And all the upright in heart shall glory." The victory of the oppressed shall be the victory of all upright men; the whole host of the elect shall rejoice in the triumph of virtue. While strangers fear, the children are glad in view of their Father's power and justice. That which alarms the evil, cheers the good. Lord God of mercy, grant to us to be preserved from all our enemies, and saved in thy Son with an everlasting salvation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. The contrast is heightened by representing God as using weapons like theirs.
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