|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1-8 Here is a Divine prediction, which will be a heavy burden to all the enemies of the church. But it is for Israel; for their comfort and benefit. It is promised that God will make foolish the counsels, and weaken the courage of the enemies of the church. The exact meaning is not clear; but God often begins by calling the poor and despised; and in that day even the feeblest will resemble David, and be as eminent in courage and every thing good. Desirable indeed is it that the examples and labours of Christians should render them as fire among wood, as a torch in a sheaf, to kindle the flame of Divine love, to spread religion on the right hand and on the left.
Verse 8. - He that is feeble (literally, that stumbleth) among them ... shall be as David. God shall endue the inhabitants of Jerusalem with marvellous strength and courage, so that the weakest among them shall be a hero such as David, who killed the lion and bear and overcame the giant (comp. Psalm 18:32). The house of David shall be as God (Elohim). The chiefs of the theocracy shall be endowed with supernatural might, the expression, "as God," being explained in the next clause. Septuagint, ὡς οϊκος Θεοῦ, "as the house of God," as if it were of the heavenly family. The translators seem to have thought the genuine expression too unqualified. As the angel of the Lord before them. Even as the angel of the Lord, who led the Israelites in all their wanderings (comp. Exodus 14:19; Exodus 23:20; Exodus 32:34; Joshua 5:13). We see in this description an intimation of the graces and endowments bestowed upon every faithful member of the Church of Christ.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem,.... As with a shield against their enemies; and such is the Lord to all his people; he is their shield to protect them; he keeps and guards them by his power; he encompasses them about with his favour, as with a shield; and gives unto them the shield of salvation; all which will eminently appear to be the case of the Jews at this time:
and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; they that have the most fearful hearts, and feeble minds, shall be as courageous, as valiant, and as victorious as David; and they that are the weakest, in a spiritual sense, in the grace and in the doctrine of faith, and in that part of it, respecting the use of things indifferent, who are ready to be "offended, stumble, and fall" (d); for the spiritual reign, which will at this time take place, will not be a state of perfection; even those will be like David, beloved of the Lord, kings as well as priests unto God, and as strong in faith as he:
and the house of David shall be as God; the stronger sort of believers among them, such as are strong in the Lord, in the grace of faith, and in the doctrines of the Gospel; they shall have much of God with them, great grace upon them, and be like unto him in goodness, truth, and holiness: or they shall be like "Elohim", the angels, as this word is rendered, Psalm 8:5 for knowledge, purity, and readiness to do the will of God; and it follows:
as the Angel of the Lord before them; that is, as Christ, who is the Angel of the covenant, and of the divine Presence; and in whom the name of the Lord is; who is at the head of his people, and goes before them, as their Leader and Commander, and the Captain of salvation, Micah 2:13 whose image they bear, and into which they are changed from glory to glory by the spirit of God; and which will now be very clearly discerned upon the saints in the latter day glory. Kimchi and Ben Melech, by "the house of David", understand the King Messiah (e), who was to be of the seed of David; and so does Cocceius, who takes the "as" to be a note, not of similitude, but of truth, he being truly God, and the Angel of Jehovah. The Targum is,
"the house of David shall be like great men or princes that shall prosper, as the Angel of God before them.''
(d) "lapsabundus, ad lapsum propensus, proprie qui facile offendit", Drusius; "corruens", Montanus; "collapsus", Burkius. (e) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emunah, par. 1. c. 36. p. 307.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Jerusalem, however, also shall be specially strengthened against the foe.
feeble … shall be as David—to the Jew, the highest type of strength and glory on earth (2Sa 17:8; 18:3; Joe 3:10).
angel of the Lord before them—the divine angel that went "before them" through the desert, the highest type of strength and glory in heaven (Ex 23:20; 32:34). "The house of David" is the "prince," and his family sprung from David (Eze 45:7, 9). David's house was then in a comparatively weak state.
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