|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-7 The holy God hates sin most in those nearest to him. A sinful state is, and will be, a woful state. Yet they had the tokens of God's presence, and all the advantages of knowing his will, with the strongest reasons to do it; still they persisted in disobedience. Alas, that men often are more active in doing wickedness than believers are in doing good.
Verse 7. - Taught by such examples, the Jews might have learned to repent and amend their ways. I said. God represents himself as reasoning as a man would reason. Surely thou wilt fear me; Septuagint, "only fear me." This is the one condition for salvation. Or, according to our version, Judah must learn experience from my threats and visitations, and return unto me. Thou wilt.., receive instruction; Septuagint, "receive ye discipline," accept the correction and learn the lesson which it is meant to teach (Proverbs 24:32). Their (her) dwelling. Jerusalem or Judaea. The temple is never called the dwelling place of the people. This sudden change of person is very common in the prophets. Howsoever I punished them; rather, according to all that I appointed concerning her. God had ordained certain punishment for Jerusalem if she reformed not. The Anglican Version means that God would never cut them off wholly, however severely he might chastise them. The Hebrew will not carry this; nor are the Greek and Latin Versions quite correct. Septuagint, Οὐ μὴ ἐξολοθρευθῆτε ἐξ ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῆς πάντα δοα ἐξεδίκησα ἐπ αὐτήν, "And ye shall not be cut off from the face thereof for all the punishment that I inflicted upon it;" Vulgate, Propter omnia in quibus visitavi earn. But they rose early. Warning, reproof, and chastisement were expended in vain; the people only gave themselves up more ardently to their evil doings. "To rise early to do a thing" is a phrase used to signify the acting with zeal and full purpose (comp. Jeremiah 7:13, 25; Jeremiah 11:7, etc.). Corrupted all their doings. Like the inhabitants of the earth before the Flood (Corinthians 6:12; comp. Psalm 14:1). The Septuagint rendering is peculiar, Ἐτοι μάζου ὄρθισον ἔφθαρται πᾶσα ἡ ἐπιφυλλὶς αὐτῶν "Prepare thyself, rise early, all their produce is spoiled." St. Jerome, moralizing on this, adds, "Nisi praeparati fuerimus, non nobis orietur sol justitiae. Orto autem sole, omnes racemi de vinea Sodomorum dissipantur et pereunt; ut non solum grandes botri, sed etiam quod parvum esse videbatur in nobis, Christi lucerna radiante dispereat."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I said, Surely thou wilt fear me,.... This is spoken after the manner of men; as if God should say within himself, and reason in his own mind, upon a view of things, surely the people of the Jews will take notice of my judgments executed on other nations, and will stand in awe of me on account of them; and fear to offend me, lest the same calamities should come upon them; this, humanly speaking, might be reasonably thought would be the case:
thou wilt receive instruction; by these judgments, taking warning by them; repent, reform, and amend, and thereby escape the like:
so their dwelling should not be cut off; or, "its dwelling"; the dwelling of the city of Jerusalem, the houses in it; the dwelling places of the inhabitants of it; the singular being put for the plural; unless the temple should be meant, as Abendana interprets it; and so it may be rendered "his dwelling" (c); their house, which was left desolate to them, because they feared not the Lord; nor received instruction by the example of others; nor repented of their sins, and altered their course of life; which, if done, their dwelling would have been preserved, Matthew 23:38,
howsoever I punished them; or "visited" (d) them; chastised them in a gentle manner, in order to reform them, but in vain. Some render it, "all which I committed to them" (e); the oracles of God, his word and ordinances, his promises, and the blessings of his goodness, which he deposited with them, in order to do them good, and bring them to repentance. The Targum is,
"all the good things which I have said unto them (or promised them), I will bring unto them;''
and to the same sense Jarchi. The goodness of God should have brought them to repentance, yet it did not:
but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings; they were diligent and industrious eager and early, in the commission of sins, in doing corrupt and abominable works; receiving and tenaciously adhering to the traditions of the elders; seeking to establish their own righteousness, not submitting to Christ's; rejecting him the true Messiah; blaspheming his doctrines, despising his ordinances, and persecuting his people; besides other vices, which abounded among them; for which the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost, as expressed in the following verse, Zephaniah 3:8.
(c) "habitaculum; vel habitatio ejus", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Burkius; "mansio ejus", Cocceius. (d) "visitavi", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus. (e) "Omne id quod commendavi illi", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. I said, Surely, &c.—God speaks after the manner of men in condescension to man's infirmity; not as though God was ignorant of the future contingency, but in their sense, Surely one might have expected ye would under such circumstances repent: but no!
thou—at least, O Jerusalem! Compare "thou, even thou, at least in this thy day" (Lu 19:42).
their dwelling—the sanctuary [Buxtorf]. Or, the city. Compare Jesus' words (Lu 13:35), "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate" (Le 26:31, 32; Ps 69:25); and used as to the temple (Mic 3:12). "Their" is used instead of "thy"; this change of person implies that God puts them to a greater distance.
howsoever I punished them—Howsoever I might have punished them, I would not have cut off their dwelling. Calvin, "Howsoever I had marked them out for punishment" because of their provocations, still, if even then they had repented, taught by My corrections, I was ready to have pardoned them. Maurer, "Altogether in accordance with what I had long ago decreed (ordained) concerning you" (De 28:1-14, and, on the other hand, De 28:15-68; 27:15-26). English Version, or Calvin's view, is better.
rose early, and corrupted, &c.—Early morning is in the East the best time for transacting serious business, before the relaxing heat of midday comes on. Thus it means, With the greatest earnestness they set themselves to "corrupt all their doings" (Ge 6:12; Isa 5:11; Jer 11:7; 25:3).
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