And he has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing on us a great evil: for under the whole heaven has not been done as has been done on Jerusalem.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Our judges.—Used in a wide sense to signify kings, princes, and rulers generally. (Comp. Hosea 7:7.)
Against our judges that judged us - Our magistrates or rulers.
For under the whole heaven - In all the world.
Hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem - In respect to the slaughter, and the captivity, and the complete desolation. No one can show that at that time this was not literally true. The city was in a state of complete desolation; its temple was in ruins; its people had been slain or borne into captivity.
under … heaven hath not been done as … upon Jerusalem—(La 1:12).He hath confirmed his words which he spake against us: by this it appears that God’s judgments threatened against sin are to be feared, because of the great and terrible God, Daniel 9:4 Deu 7:9,10 Ne 1:8.
Against our judges that judged us; whose place and duty it was to govern the people, to judge their causes, and to appoint others for it; wherein if there be a failure, as there often was, it was a sin and judgment upon the people, and upon the rulers and judges themselves also, of which we find many instances and complaints in Scripture, Psalm 2:2,9,10 58:1,2.
Jerusalem; a place privileged many ways above all others, chiefly by the signal presence of God there, and his promises to it, Psalm 76:1,2; yet when sin is found there, as it was in Jerusalem, to the height, as in Sodom, it was punished to the height. Read the book of Lamentations.
and against our judges that judged us; kings, and inferior governors, that ruled over them, who perverted justice, and did not execute righteous judgment; and against them the Lord performed what he threatened:
by bringing upon us a great evil; the desolation of the whole land, the destruction of Jerusalem; the death of many by the sword, famine, and pestilence, and the captivity of the rest; all which was a great punishment considered in itself, but, when compared with their offences, was less than they deserved:
for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem; its walls broken down, its houses burnt with fire, even the palaces of the king and nobles, and the temple of the Lord itself; and all its inhabitants destroyed, dispersed, or carried captive; see Lamentations 1:12.And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. confirmed his words] The phrase as Nehemiah 9:8; cf. Deuteronomy 9:5, 1 Kings 8:20, al. with this verse, cf. Bar 2:1-2.
judges] apparently a general term for rulers, as Psalm 2:10.
by bringing, &c.] to ‘bring evil upon’ is a phrase common in Jer., as Jeremiah 35:17, Jeremiah 36:31 (where ‘pronounced’ is lit. spake, as here).
for] better, so that, such that, 1 Kings 3:12.
under the whole heaven] cf. on Daniel 7:27.Verse 12. - And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us. and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. The LXX. differs somewhat, "And he hath confirmed against us (ἔστησεν ἡμῖν) his words (προστάγματα), such as he spake against us, and against our judges, such great evils as thou didst adjudge us (ἔκρινας ἡμῖν), to bring upon us." The rest is farily in accordance with the Massoretic. It is clear that in the text before the LXX. translator the word was shephattanoo instead of shephatoonoo, that is to say, ת (tau) instead of ו (vav). These letters in earlier scripts were liable to be confounded. The meaning assigned to shaphat in this reading is unusual; but this is rather in favour of it being the true reading; and the return to the second person, while awkward, also has weight. Theodotion and the Peshitta do not call for remark. The use of the word "judges" for rulers generally ought to be noted. If we take the Massoretic reading, there may be a reminiscence of 2 Kings 23:22. Among the Carthaginians the principal magistrates bore the title suffetes, equivalent to shopheteen. Under the whole heaven hath not been done as bath been done upon Jerusalem. Such language is to be regarded in any case as the exaggeration of grief; but it would have something like a justification twice in the history of Jerusalem, and only twice - after the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and after its capture by Titus. No one has maintained that the origin of Daniel is so late as the latter event; hence we are thrown back upon the former. With the fact before him that temples had been plundered everywhere, and desecrated, and cities sacked, the writer could not have regarded the case of Jerusalem, and its temple, in the days of Epiphanes, as unique under all heaven. After the capture of Jerusalem by. Nebuchadnezzar, the temple was left in rums and the city deserted. Such measure, so far as we know, was not meted out by Nebuchadnezzar to any other city. Only rarely had even the Ninevite monarchs taken such terrible vengeance on rebellious subjects. Daniel 4:11-12)
The messenger of God cried with might (cf. Daniel 3:4), "as a sign of the strong, firm utterance of a purpose" (Kran.). The command, Hew it down, is not given to the angels (Hv., Hitz., Auberl.). The plur. here is to be regarded as impersonal: the tree shall be cut down. אתּרוּ stands for אתּרוּ according to the analogy of the verbs 3rd gutt., from נתד, to fall off, spoken of withering leaves. In consequence of the destruction of the tree, the beasts which found shelter under it and among its branches flee away. Yet the tree shall not be altogether destroyed, but its stock (v. 12 15) shall remain in the earth, that it may again afterwards spring up and grow into a tree. The stem is not the royalty, the dynasty which shall remain in the house of Nebuchadnezzar (Hv.), but the tree with its roots is Nebuchadnezzar, who shall as king be cut down, but shall as a man remain, and again shall grow into a king. But the stock must be bound "with a band of iron and brass." With these words, to complete which we must supply שׁבקוּ from the preceding context, the language passes from the type to the person represented by it. This transition is in the last part of the verse: with the beasts of the field let him have his portion in the grass of the earth; for this cannot be said of the stock with the roots, therefore these words are in the interpretation also (Daniel 4:22 ) applied directly to Nebuchadnezzar. But even in the preceding passages this transition is not doubtful. Neither the words in the grass of the field, nor the being wet with the dew of heaven, are suitable as applied to the stock of the tree, because both expressions in that case would affirm nothing; still less is the band of iron and brass congruous, for the trunk of a tree is not wont to be surrounded with bands of iron in order to prevent its being rent in pieces and completely destroyed. Thus the words refer certainly to Nebuchadnezzar; but the fastening in brass and iron is not, with Jerome and others, to be understood of the binding of the madman with chains, but figuratively or spiritually of the withdrawal of free self-determination through the fetter of madness; cf. The fetters of affliction, Psalm 107:10; Job 36:8. With this fettering also agrees the going forth under the open heaven among the grass of the field, and the being wet with the dew of heaven, without our needing thereby to think of the maniac as wandering about without any oversight over him.
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