|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:14-18 This warning of approaching destruction, is enough to make the sinners in Zion tremble; it refers to the great day of the Lord, the day in which he will show himself by taking vengeance on them. This day of the Lord is very near; it is a day of God's wrath, wrath to the utmost. It will be a day of trouble and distress to sinners. Let them not be laid asleep by the patience of God. What is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? And what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Let us flee from the wrath to come, and choose the good part that shall never be taken from us; then we shall be prepared for every event; nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Verse 16. - A day of the trumpet and alarm. "Alarm" means "the sound of alarm." Among the Jews trumpets were used to announce the festivals (Numbers 29:1), and to give the signal for battle or of the approach of an enemy (Jeremiah 4:5, 19; Ezekiel 33:4). Here it is the signal of destruction (Amos 2:2). The fenced cities. The strongest fortresses shall feel the irresistible attack (Micah 5:11). The high towers. These are the turrets built at the angles of the walls for the better defence of the city, and to annoy the besiegers (Zephaniah 3:6). LXX., ἐπὶ τὰς γωνίας τὰς ὑψηλάς, "upon the lofty angles;" Vulgate, super angulos excelsos. Others take the words to mean "the battlements" on the walls. Henderson quotes Taeitus's description of the later walls of Jerusalem, "Duos colles immensum editos claudebant muri per artem obliqui aut introrsus sinuati, ut latera oppugnantium ad ictus patescerent" ('Hist.,' 5:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities,.... The trumpet of the enemy, sounding the alarm of war against the fenced cities of Judea, which were taken before Jerusalem; calling and gathering the soldiers together, and animating them to the assault of them; and blowing them in a way of triumph; and as expressive of victory, having got possession of them:
and against the high towers; or "corners" (x); towers being usually built corner-wise, and full of corners, and on the corners of walls of cities; sometimes these signify princes, magistrates, and great men, Zechariah 10:4.
(x) "pinnas", Montanus, Castalio; "angulos", Junius & Tremellius, Burkius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. the trumpet—namely, of the besieging enemy (Am 2:2).
alarm—the war shout [Maurer].
towers—literally, "angles"; for city walls used not to be built in a direct line, but with sinuous curves and angles, so that besiegers advancing might be assailed not only in front, but on both sides, caught as it were in a cul-de-sac; towers were built especially at the angles. So Tacitus describes the walls of Jerusalem [Histories, 5.11.7].
Zephaniah 1:16 Parallel Commentaries
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