Wesley's Notes on the Bible
For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,
The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
3:2 The judge - The civil magistrates. The ancient - Whose wisdom was increased by long experience.
The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counseller, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
3:5 Oppressed - By thy command or permission of such childish rulers.
When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:
3:6 Thou hast - We are utterly undone, and have neither food nor raiment; but thou hast something left to support the dignity which we offer to thee. Under thine hand - To heal it.
In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.
3:7 An healer - A repairer of the ruins of the state.
For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
3:9 The shew - Their pride, and wantonness, and impiety m manifestly shews itself in their very looks. They declare - They act it publickly, casting off all fear of God and reverence to men. Rewarded - Procured a fit recompense for their wickedness, even utter ruin.
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
3:10 Say ye - O ye priests and Levites, that God will be their safeguard and portion.
Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
3:12 Women - Weak and effeminate rulers. They - Thy rulers civil and ecclesiastical.
The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.
3:13 Standeth - He will shortly and certainly stand up as a judge, to enquire into the cause, and to give sentence. To judge - To defend and deliver them.
The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
3:14 Ancients - The princes or rulers; such were commonly chosen out of those who were in ripe years. Eaten - Destroyed instead of preserving the church and commonwealth of Israel. Spoil - The goods which you have violently taken away from the poor.
What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
3:16 The daughters - The women; (hitherto he reproved the men). A tinkling - By some ornaments which they wore upon their shoes.
Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.
3:17 Secret paths - By giving her into the power of those enemies that shall strip her of all her raiment.
In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
3:18 Cauls - It is agreed by all, that this and several words that follow, were ornaments used in those times. And it is of no concern, exactly to understand the nature and differences of them. The moon - There were in ancient times, and at this day there are some ornaments worn, which carry a manifest resemblance to the moon or half moon.
The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
3:20 Tablets - He seems to mean boxes of perfumes.
The rings, and nose jewels,
3:21 Nose - jewels - Which were fastened to the head, and hung down upon the forehead to the beginning of the nose.
The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
3:22 Pins - Of silver or gold, either used to curl the hair, or fastened and worn in the hair.
The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
3:23 Glasses - The looking - glasses, as we call them, tho' in truth they were not made of glass, but of bright and burnished brass.
And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
3:24 Girdle - Which were fine and costly, and useful to gird their garments about them. A rent - Torn and tattered garments. Burning - By the heat of the sun, to which they are now commonly exposed, from which they used formerly to guard themselves with the utmost care.
Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
3:26 Gates - The gates of Zion or Jerusalem, which, by a figure, are said to lament, to imply the great desolation of the place; that there would be no people to go out and come in by the gates, as they used to do. Shall sit - Like a mournful woman bewailing the loss of her husband and children.