And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice . . .—The peace and joy at home are contrasted with the judgments that fall on the enemies of Israel. They are exposed to the full thunderstorm of the wrath of Jehovah. “Hailstones and coals of fire” were the natural symbols of His anger.
The lighting down of his arm - The descent of his arm - alluding to the act of striking, as with a sword, by which an army is cut down.
With the flame - (see the note at Isaiah 29:6).
And tempest, and hailstones - With us it is rare that a storm of hail would be severe enough to destroy an army. But in oriental countries and in tropical climates, storms of hail are not unfrequently of sufficient violence to do it if the army were encamped in the open field. The following extract of a letter from one of our own countrymen, will show that this would be by no means an improbable occurrence: 'We had got perhaps a mile and a half on our way, when a cloud rising in the west gave indications of approaching rain. In a few minutes we discovered something falling from the heavens with a heavy splash, and with a whitish appearance. I could not conceive what it was, but observing some gulls near, I supposed it to be them darting for fish; but soon after discovered that they were large balls of ice falling. Immediately we heard a sound like rumbling thunder, or ten thousand carriages rolling furiously over the pavement.
The whole Bosphorus was in a foam, as though heaven's artillery had been charged upon us and our frail machine. Our fate seemed inevitable; our umbrellas were raised to protect us, the lumps of ice stripped them into ribbons. We fortunately had a bullock's hide in the boat, under which we crawled and saved ourselves from further injury. One man of the three oarsmen had his hand literally smashed, another much injured in the shoulder, Mr. H. received a blow on the leg, my right hand was somewhat disabled, and all more or less injured. It was the most awful and terrific scene I ever witnessed, and God forbid that I should be ever exposed to another. Balls of ice as large as my two fists fell into the boat, and some of them came with such violence as certainly to have broken an arm or leg, had they struck us in those parts. One of them struck the blade of an oar and split it. The scene lasted perhaps five minutes; but it was five minutes of the most awful feeling I ever experienced.
When it passed over, we found the surrounding hills covered with masses of ice, I cannot call it hail, the trees stripped of their leaves and limbs, and everything looking desolate. The scene was awful beyond all description. I have witnessed repeated earthquakes; the lightning has played, as it were, about my head; the wind roared, and the waves at one moment have thrown me to the sky, and the next have sunk me into a deep abyss. I have been in action, and have seen death and destruction around me in every shape of horror; but I never before had the feeling of awe which seized upon me on this occasion, and still haunts, and I fear forever will haunt me. My porter, the boldest of my family, who had ventured an instant from the door, had been knocked down by a hailstone, and had they not dragged him in by the heels, would have been battered to death. Two boatmen were killed in the upper part of the village, and I have heard of broken bones in abundance. Imagine to yourself the heavens suddenly frozen over, and as suddenly broken to pieces in irregular masses of from half a pound to a pound weight, and precipitated to the earth.' (Commodore Porter's "Letters from Constantinople and its Environs," vol. i. p. 44.)
lighting down of … arm—(Isa 30:32; Ps 38:2). The descent of His arm in striking.
scattering—namely, a blast that scatters, or an "inundation" [Maurer].His glorious voice; his thunder, which is Called God’s voice, and said to be full of majesty, Psalm 29:4. But then thunder is metaphorically taken for some terrible judgment, as it is in many places of Scripture.
The lightning down of his arm upon the Assyrian, whom he will smite with a deadly blow in the face of the world. The phrase is taken from the gesture of a man who is about to smite another, who first lifts up his hand, and then lets it fall with great force upon him whom he designs to strike.
With the indignation of his anger; with great wrath; which is signified by the heaping of so many words of the same signification together. Revelation 16:1. This voice is commonly interpreted of thunder, which is the voice of the Lord, and a very majestic one, Psalm 29:3 and the destruction of the Assyrian army might be by thunder and lightning, and hailstones, and attended with such a tempest as here described, though not mentioned in the history:
and shall show the lighting down of his arm; or the strength of the arm of his power, as the Targum; his mighty arm, and the descent of it; meaning what should descend from heaven at the time of this tempest, as thunderbolts, balls of fire, hailstones, &c.; and by all which may be meant the heavy judgments of God, which fell upon his enemies, and were intolerable unto them: the metaphor is taken from the motion of a man in smiting another, who lifts up his hand, when it falls with the greater might, and rests upon him:
with the indignation of his anger; as when a man strikes in great wrath and fury: the heaping up of words here, and as follows, shows the vehemence and excess of anger:
and with the flame of a devouring fire; or, "of a fire devouring"; the Assyrian army; which, the Jews say, burnt their souls, destroyed their lives, but not their bodies. The Targum is,
"with the flame of fire, which consumes the graven images.''
The destruction of mystical Babylon will be by fire, Revelation 18:8,
with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones; with lightning, which rends things in pieces, and scatters them here and there, and with a violent storm of rain and hail; see Revelation 16:18.And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)30. his glorious voice] Perhaps: the majesty of His thunder (Psalm 29:3 ff.).
the lighting down] The word probably comes from the (Aramaic) verb used in Psalm 38:2. It may, however, be derived from the verb “to rest,” the causative of which is rendered “lay upon” in Isaiah 30:32.
with the indignation of his anger] with furious anger.
scattering] R.V. a blast. The word does not occur elsewhere; it is probably a poetic name for a storm.
For tempest read rain storm.Verse 30. - The Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard; literally, the majesty of his voice, Mr. Cheyne renders, "the peal of his voice." Delitzsch understands fearful thundering, like that at Sinai (Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:18), to be intended (comp. Psalm 29:3-9). The lighting down of his arm; i.e. the blow causing the destruction, of ver. 31, of whatever kind that destruction might be - blasting by lightning, plague, simoom, death by the visitation of God, as men slept, or any other sudden, sweeping catastrophe. With the indignation of his anger; rather, in fury of anger. With the flame of a devouring fire; rather, with a flame of devouring-fire. All the elements of storm are accumulated by the prophet, to express the terrible character of the coming judgment-lightning, and scattering (of crops?), tempestuous wind, and hail-stones. Isaiah 2:15; Micah 5:9-10). In the place of the self-induced calamities of war, there would now come the God-given rich blessings of peace; and in the place of the proud towers, there would come fruitful heights abounding with water. The field would be cultivated again, and produce luxuriant crops of nutritious corn; so that not only the labour of man, but that of the animals also, would receive a rich reward. "Rain to thy seed:" this is the early rain commencing about the middle of October. אשׁר as an accusative, זרע being construed with a double accusative, as in Deuteronomy 22:9. מקניך might be the singular, so far as the form is concerned (see Isaiah 1:30; Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 22:11); but, according to Exodus 17:3, it must be taken as a plural, like מוריך. The 'ălâphı̄m are the oxen used in ploughing and threshing; the ‛ăyârı̄m, the asses used for carrying manure, soil, the sheaves, or the grain. Belı̄l châmı̄ts is a mash (composed of oats, barley, and vetches, or things of that kind) made more savoury with salt and sour vegetables;
(Note: Such as Salsola kali, Salsola tragus, Salsola soda, and other plants of the family of the chenopodiaceae.)
that is to say, a farrago (from bâlal, to mix; Comm. on Job, at Job 40:19-24). According to Wetzstein, it is ripe barley (unthreshed during the harvest and threshing time, and the grain itself for the rest of the year) mixed with salt or salt vegetables. In any case, belı̄l is to be understood as referring to the grain; this is evident from the relative clause, "which has been winnowed" ( equals mezōreh, Ewald, 169, d), or perhaps more correctly, "which he (one) winnows" (part. kal), the participle standing for the third person, with the subject contained within itself (Ewald, 200), i.e., not what was generally given from economy, viz., barley, etc., mixed with chopped straw (tibn), but pure grain (habb mahd, as they say at the present day). Rachath is a winnowing shovel, which is still used, according to Wetzstein, in Merj. Gedur, and Hauran; mizreh, on the other hand, is the winnowing fork with six prongs. Dainty food, such as was only given occasionally to the cattle, as something especially strengthening, would then be their regular food, and would be prepared in the most careful manner. "Who cannot see," exclaims Vitringa, "that this is to be taken spiritually?" He appeals to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:9, viz., that God does not trouble Himself about oxen. But Paul did not mean this in the same sense as Aristotle, who maintained that the minima were entirely excluded from the providence of God. What the Scriptures say concerning cattle, they do not say for the sake of the cattle, but for the sake of men; though it does not follow that the cattle are to be understood figuratively, as representing men. And this is the case here. What the prophet paints in this idyllic style, in colours furnished by the existing customs,
(Note: Asses particularly, even those of a guest, are generally very much neglected. The host throws them a little grass, and then hangs up the fodder-sack full of chopped straw; and it is a sign of extraordinary hospitality of corn is given to the asses as well as to the horses. - Wetzstein.)
is not indeed intended to be understood in the letter; and yet it is to be taken literally. In the age of glory, even on this side of eternity, a gigantic stride will be taken forward towards the glorification of universal nature, and towards the end of all those sighs which are so discernible now, more especially among domestic animals. The prophecy is therefore to be interpreted according to Romans 8:19.; from which we may clearly see that God does trouble Himself about the sighing of an ox or ass that is overburdened with severe toil, and sometimes left to starve.
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