Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Where do these bear the ephah?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then, when I saw the ephah, woman imprisoned, and lead too, on the wings of those two women in motion,
said I, Zechariah, Whither, to what place, and how far, do these bear the ephah? not as a nurse carrieth the child, but as criminals are carried to punishment. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Zephaniah 1:10. "And it will come to pass in that day, is the saying of Jehovah, voice of the cry from the fish-gate, and howling from the lower city, and great destruction from the hills. Zephaniah 1:11. Howl, inhabitants of the mortar, for all the people of Canaan are destroyed; cut off are all that are laden with silver." In order to express the thought that the judgment will not spare any one class of the population, Zephaniah depicts the lamentation which will arise from all parts of the city. קול צעקה, voice of the cry, i.e., a loud cry of anguish will arise or resound. The fish-gate (according to Nehemiah 3:3; Nehemiah 12:39; cf. 2 Chronicles 33:14) was in the eastern portion of the wall which bounded the lower city on the north side (for further details on this point, see at Nehemiah 3:3). המּשׁנה ( equals העיר משׁנה, Nehemiah 11:9), the second part or district of the city, is the lower city upon the hill Acra (see at 2 Kings 22:14). Shebher, fragor, does not mean a cry of murder, but the breaking to pieces of what now exists, not merely the crashing fall of the buildings, like za‛ăqath shebher in Isaiah 15:5, the cry uttered at the threatening danger of utter destruction. In order to heighten the terrors of the judgment, there is added to the crying and howling of the men the tumult caused by the conquest of the city. "From the hills," i.e., "not from Zion and Moriah," but from the ills surrounding the lower city, viz., Bezetha, Gareb (Jeremiah 31:39), and others. For Zion, the citadel of Jerusalem, is evidently thought of as the place where the howling of the men and the noise of the devastation, caused by the enemy pressing in from the north and north-west, are heard. Hammakhtēsh, the mortar (Proverbs 27:22), which is the name given in Judges 15:19 to a hollow place in a rock, is used here to denote a locality in Jerusalem, most probably the depression which ran down between Acra on the west and Bezetha and Moriah on the east, as far as the fountain of Siloah, and is called by Josephus "the cheese-maker's valley," and by the present inhabitants el-Wâd, i.e., the valley, and also the mill-valley. The name "mortar" was probably coined by Zephaniah, to point to the fate of the merchants and men of money who lived there. They who dwell there shall howl, because "all the people of Canaan" are destroyed. These are not Canaanitish or Phoenician merchants, but Judaean merchants, who resembled the Canaanites or Phoenicians in their general business (see at Hosea 12:8), and had grown rich through trade and usury. Netı̄l keseph, laden with silver.
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