Wesley's Notes on the Bible
He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.
2:1 He - The Medes or Chaldeans, that dash Nineveh in pieces. The munition - The forts. Make thy loins strong - Strengthen thyself.
For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.
2:2 For - Israel and Jacob were more to God, yet he punished them; much more will he punish Nineveh. Turned - Laid low. The excellency - The wealth, the valiant men, all that Jacob gloried in. Jacob - The two tribes. Israel - The ten tribes. Emptied them - Quite exhausted them. Their vine - branches - Destroyed all the fruit of the land.
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.
2:3 The shield - One part for the whole of the armour, and furniture. Mighty men - Medes or Chaldeans. Red - With the blood of the slain. Torches - Torches were always carried in them. In the day - When he shall muster his armies. Shaken - By axes cutting them down for the war.
The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.
2:4 In the streets - Of Nineveh, when taken. Justle - By reason of their multitude and fury. In the broad ways - Where is most room, and yet scarce enough for them to move. Like torches - What with sparkling fire caused by their horses and chariots, what with the glittering of the polished irons about them, and what with the light of flaming torches carried in them. Like the lightnings - Both for speed, irrestibleness and terror.
He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.
2:5 He - The king of Babylon. His worthies - Approved officers and commanders. Stumble - Shew such forwardness, that they shall not stand to pick their way. They - The Assyrians to defend, the Chaldeans to assault the walls of Nineveh.
The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.
2:6 The gates - Of the city toward the river. The rivers - Of the Tigris, upon which Nineveh stood. Dissolved - While the Chaldeans besieged Nineveh, a mighty deluge overthrew the walls of Nineveh, by the space of twenty furlongs, through which breach the besiegers made their entrance. Dissolved - As if melted, it shall drop to pieces.
And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.
2:7 Huzzab - The queen. The voice of doves - Sighing out their complaints. Upon their breasts - Instead of musical instruments, on which they were used to play, now they only strike their breasts.
But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.
2:8 Like a pool - Very populous, like a pool which hath been long breeding fish, and is full of them. Yet - Yet these multitudes shall flee discomfited and terrified. They - The chieftains, and most valiant among the Ninevites.
Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.
2:9 Take - Thus the Chaldeans encourage one another in the plundering of the city.
She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.
Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid?
2:11 Of the lions - Tyrants and bloody warriors.
The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.
2:12 Did tear - Formerly fell upon his neighbour nations. His lionesses - Queens, concubines, or ladies in the Assyrian court.
Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.
2:13 I will burn her - Nineveh. In the smoke - The city being first plundered, then burnt; these chariots were burnt in that smoke. Thy prey - Cause thee to cease from making a prey any more. Thy messengers - Embassadors or muster - masters. Probably this refers to Rabshaketh who had blasphemed the living God. Those are not worthy to be heard again, that have once spoken reproachfully against God.