|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
72:2-17 This is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ; many passages in it cannot be applied to the reign of Solomon. There were righteousness and peace at first in the administration of his government; but, before the end of his reign, there were troubles and unrighteousness. The kingdom here spoken of is to last as long as the sun, but Solomon's was soon at an end. Even the Jewish expositors understood it of the kingdom of the Messiah. Observe many great and precious promises here made, which were to have full accomplishment only in the kingdom of Christ. As far as his kingdom is set up, discord and contentions cease, in families, churches, and nations. The law of Christ, written in the heart, disposes men to be honest and just, and to render to all their due; it likewise disposes men to live in love, and so produces abundance of peace. Holiness and love shall be lasting in Christ's kingdom. Through all the changes of the world, and all the changes of life, Christ's kingdom will support itself. And he shall, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, come down like rain upon the mown grass; not on that cut down, but that which is left growing, that it may spring again. His gospel has been, or shall be, preached to all nations. Though he needs not the services of any, yet he must be served with the best. Those that have the wealth of this world, must serve Christ with it, do good with it. Prayer shall be made through him, or for his sake; whatever we ask of the Father, should be in his name. Praises shall be offered to him: we are under the highest obligations to him. Christ only shall be feared throughout all generations. To the end of time, and to eternity, his name shall be praised. All nations shall call HIM blessed.
Verse 9. - They that dwell in the wilderness shall how before him (for the meaning here assigned to tsiyyim (ציּים), see Psalm 74:14; Isaiah 23:13). The wild tribes of the Syrian and Arabian deserts are probably intended (comp. Isaiah 60:6, 7). And his enemies shall lick the dust; i.e., prostrate themselves at his feet with their faces in the dust. See the Assyrian representations of Oriental prostrations ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 1, pp. 266, 502).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him,.... In token of subjection to him, reverence and worship of him, to whom every knee shall bow, Isaiah 45:23. The Septuagint version, and others, render the word "Ethiopians", who dwell in a dry land, parched and burnt with the sun; and so it is a prophecy of their conversion to Christ, as in Psalm 68:31; of which there is an instance, Acts 8:27; the word is used of the wild beasts of the field, in Isaiah 13:21; to which wicked men, for the malignity of their nature, may be compared; as they are to the wild ass, to lions, leopards, and bears; and yet these are so tamed by the power of divine grace as to be made subject to Christ. Kimchi explains it as we do, of the inhabitants of the wilderness; and so the word is rendered in Psalm 74:14; and instances in the Kedarenes; and it may in particular design those that dwell in the deserts of Arabia; and in general the Gentiles, the wilderness of the people, who in Gospel times should be brought to the knowledge of Christ, and submission to him: and it fitly describes the people of God in an unregenerate state; when they are as barren and unfruitful as the dry and parched ground, and as the heath in the wilderness; are in want of provision, and have nothing but husks to feed upon; in perplexity of ways, and know not which to take, or whither they are going; and in very dangerous circumstances, destruction and misery being in all their ways: in this wilderness state the Lord finds them, as he did Israel of old, and leads them about, and brings them to Christ; when they submit to him as a Saviour, being willing to be saved by him, and him only, and to his righteousness, as their justifying righteousness before God, and to the sceptre of his kingdom, to his laws and commands, to his Gospel, and the ordinances of it; all which they do not by constraint, but willingly. The Targum and Jarchi interpret it, the one of governors of provinces; the other of companies of princes. The Syriac version is, "the isles shall bow before him"; the inhabitants of the islands: but this is expressed in Psalm 72:10. Aben Ezra thinks masters of ships are meant;
and his enemies shall lick the dust; of the earth; which is an instance of their great subjection to him; see Isaiah 49:23; the allusion is to the custom of the eastern people, and which continues to this day with the Turks, that as soon as an ambassador sees the sultan, whether at the window, or elsewhere, he immediately falls down on his knees, and kisses the ground (a). The Jews particularly are the enemies of Christ, who rejected him, and would not have him to reign over them; and yet some of these became obedient to the faith of Christ, and more of them, even the whole nation, will in the latter day: all that are Christ's are, before conversion, enemies to him, to his people, to his Gospel and ordinances, to him as a King, and to all his laws and commands; but when his arrows are sharp in their hearts, they fall under him, and submit to him; throw off the yoke of sin, Satan, and the world, and own him, and obey him, as their King and Lawgiver.
(a) Mandevil. Itinerar. c. 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9-11. The extent of the conquests.
They that dwell in the wilderness—the wild, untutored tribes of deserts.
bow … dust—in profound submission. The remotest and wealthiest nations shall acknowledge Him (compare Ps 45:12).
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