For now will I break his yoke from off you, and will burst your bonds in sunder.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Now will I break.—Similarly Isaiah, “I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountain tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders” (Isaiah 14:25; comp. Jeremiah 30:8).Esther 6:13; as He saith in Isaiah, "I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him underfoot; then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders" Isaiah 14:25. : "In that He saith, not 'I will loose,' 'will undo,' but 'I will break,' 'will burst,' He sheweth that He will in such wise free Jerusalem, as to pour out displeasure on the enemy. The very mode of speaking shows the greatness of His displeasure against those who, when for the secret purpose of His judgments they have power given them against the servants of God, feed themselves on their punishments, and moreover dare to boast against God, as did the Assyrian, 'By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom' Isaiah 10:13."
from off thee—O Judah (Isa 10:27).
Now; ere long; and in few years after this was done, though we cannot precisely determine how soon it was.
I will break, as that which is broken into pieces,
his yoke, Sennacherib’s, or rather the tyranny and oppression of the Assyrian kingdom,
from off thee, O Israel, and Jerusalem.
And will burst thy bonds; those unjust impositions and edicts, which, as strong bonds, fastened his heavy yoke upon thy neck. They are the bonds of Assyria, as laid upon Israel; they are Israel’s bonds, as borne by Israel.
and will burst thy bonds in sunder; and set thee entirely free from the bondage of the enemy, and all fear of it; a type of that freedom from the yoke of sin, Satan, and the law, which the people of God have by Jesus Christ.For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 13. - His yoke. The yoke of Assyria, probably referring to the vassalage of Judah (2 Kings 18:14; 2 Chronicles 33:11). (For the metaphor of "yoke" denoting subjugation, setup. Leviticus 26:13; Jeremiah 27:2; Ezekiel 34:27.) Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30:8) seems to use these words of Nahum to announce the deliverance of Israel from captivity. Burst thy bonds in sunder; by the final overthrow of the Assyrian power (Psalm 2:3; Jeremiah 2:20). Matthew 12:40), which is not more precisely defined, was not a whale, because this is extremely rare in the Mediterranean, and has too small a throat to swallow a man, but a large shark or sea-dog, canis carcharias, or squalus carcharias L., which is very common in the Mediterranean, and has so large a throat, that it can swallow a living man whole.
(Note: The aqualus carcharias L., the true shark, Requin, or rather Requiem, reaches, according to Cuvier, the length of 25 feet, and according to Oken the length of four fathoms, and has about 400 lance-shaped teeth in its jaw, arranged in six rows, which the animal can either elevate or depress, as they are simply fixed in cells in the skin. It is common in the Mediterranean, where it generally remains in deep water, and is very voracious, swallowing everything that comes in its way - plaice, seals, and tunny-fish, with which it sometimes gets into the fishermen's net on the coat of Sardinia, and is caught. As many as a dozen undigested tunny-fish have been found in a shark weighing three or four hundredweight; in one a whole horse was found, and its weight was estimated at fifteen hundredweight. Rondelet (Oken, p. 58) says that he saw one on the western coast of France, through whose throat a fat man could very easily have passed. Oken also mentions a fact, which is more elaborately described in Mller's Vollstndiges Natur-system des Ritters Carl v. Linn (1 Thessalonians 3.p. 268), namely, that in the year 1758 a sailor fell overboard from a frigate, in very stormy weather, into the Mediterranean Sea, and was immediately taken into the jaws of a sea-dog (carcharias), and disappeared. The captain, however, ordered a gun, which was standing on the deck, to be discharged at the shark, and the cannon-ball struck it, so that it vomited up again the sailor that it had swallowed, who was then taken up alive, and very little hurt, into the boat that had been lowered for his rescue.)
The miracle consisted therefore, not so much in the fact that Jonah was swallowed alive, as in the fact that he was kept alive for three days in the shark's belly, and then vomited unhurt upon the land. The three days and three nights are not to be regarded as fully three times twenty hours, but are to be interpreted according to Hebrew usage, as signifying that Jonah was vomited up again on the third day after he had been swallowed (compare Esther 4:16 with Esther 5:1 and Tob. 3:12, 13, according to the Lutheran text).
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