|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:4-15 Those are really in a woful condition who have the word of the Lord against them, for no word of his shall fall to the ground. God will restore his people to their rights, though long kept from them. It has been the common lot of God's people, in all ages, to be reproached and reviled. God shall be worshipped, not only by all Israel, and the strangers who join them, but by the heathen. Remote nations must be reckoned with for the wrongs done to God's people. The sufferings of the insolent and haughty in prosperity, are unpitied and unlamented. But all the desolations of flourishing nations will make way for the overturning Satan's kingdom. Let us improve our advantages, and expect the performance of every promise, praying that our Father's name may be hallowed every where, over all the earth.
Verses 12-15. - 5. The judgment shall fall upon the Ethiopians and Assyrians, representing the south and north. Verse 12. - Ethiopians; Cushites. These are named as the most remote inhabitants of the south with which the Israelites were acquainted (Ezekiel 38:5). Ye shall be slain by my sword; the slain of my sword are they, the second person being dropped, as one cannot address the dead (Orelli). The Lord's sword is the instrument which he uses to effect his purpose of punishment (comp. Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 34:5; Isaiah 66:16). The Ethiopians are reckoned among the forces of Egypt (2 Chronicles 12:3; Nahum 3:9, etc.). The prediction had a fulfilment when the Assyrians conquered Egypt, and again under Nebuchadnezzar. It shall have a more sublime accomplishment when the sword of the Spirit shall reduce the utmost south to the dominion of Christ (see Isaiah 45:14; Psalm 68:31). The commencement of this conversion is seen in the chamberlain of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye Ethiopians also,.... Or, "as for ye Ethiopians also" (h); not the Ethiopians in Africa beyond Egypt, at a distance from the land of Israel, and the countries before mentioned; but the inhabitants of Arabia Chusea, or Ethiopia, which lay near to Moab and Ammon; these should not escape, but suffer with their neighbours, who sometimes distressed the people of the Jews, and made war with them, being nigh them; see 2 Chronicles 14:9,
ye shall be slain by my sword; or, "the slain of my sword are they" (i); R. Japhet thinks here is a defect of the note of similitude "as", which should be supplied thus, "ye" are, or shall be, "the slain of my sword", as they; as the Moabites and Ammonites; that is, these Ethiopians should be slain as well as they by the sword of Nebuchadnezzar; which is called the sword of God, because he was an instrument in the hand of God for punishing the nations of the earth. This was fulfilled very probably when Egypt was subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, with whom Ethiopia was confederate, as well as near unto it, Jeremiah 46:1. The destruction of these by the Assyrians is predicted, Isaiah 20:4.
(h) "etiam ad vos Aethiopes quod attinet", Piscator. (i) "interfecti gladio meo ipsi", Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. Fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar (God's sword, Isa 10:5) conquered Egypt, with which Ethiopia was closely connected as its ally (Jer 46:2-9; Eze 30:5-9).
Ye—literally, "They." The third person expresses estrangement; while doomed before God's tribunal in the second person, they are spoken of in the third as aliens from God.
Zephaniah 2:12 Parallel Commentaries
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