Zechariah 9:2
And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.
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Zechariah 9:2-5. And Hamath also shall border there by — Or, Hamath also shall be within its borders. That is, the borders of this prophecy. Hamath shall be involved in the calamities which this prophecy denounces. “I suppose,” says Newcome, “that Hamath on the river Orontes is meant.” It was the capital of one part of Syria, and formed, some time, an independent kingdom. See note on Jeremiah 49:23. Tyrus and Zidon — These cities also, shall be reached by the judgments threatened in this prophecy; though it be very wise — Although Zidon prides itself so much for its skill and knowledge of things, and puts much confidence in its crafty counsels. Blayney renders the latter clause of this verse and the next, And Sidon, though she be very wise, and hath built Tyre, a fortress, for herself; and hath heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Zidon was the capital of Phenicia, and mother of Tyre. For Justin informs us, (lib. 18. cap. 3,) that the Sidonians, when their city was taken by the king of Ascalon, betook themselves to their ships and built Tyre. Hence Tyre is called the daughter of Sidon, Isaiah 23:12. The Sidonians were famous all over the world for their knowledge and skill in arts and sciences, and for their great riches, acquired by their traffic: see notes on Isaiah 23:2; Isaiah 23:4; Isaiah 23:12; Ezekiel 27:8; Ezekiel 28:2.

Behold, the Lord will cast her out — Will cast out her inhabitants. And he will smite her power in the sea, &c. — The Sidonians, according to Diodorus Siculus, (lib. 16. p. 116;) on the approach of the army sent against them by Ochus, king of Persia, first of all destroyed their shipping at sea; and then retiring within the walls of the city, when they found they could hold out no longer, set fire to their houses, and burned themselves with all their families and effects together. Thus their wealth was effectually smitten, when by burning their ships, their commerce, the source of their riches, was annihilated; and this last act of desperation completely fulfilled the remaining part of the prophecy. No wonder if their neighbours, the Philistines, (as is signified in the next verse,) were struck with consternation at seeing the disastrous fate of those on whose assistance they depended. See Blayney. Probably also the destruction of Tyre by Alexander the Great may be predicted in these verses; of which see the places referred to above. Ashkelon shall fear; Gaza also be very sorrowful, and Ekron — These cities flattered themselves, that if Tyre could withstand Alexander, they also should be able to escape his hand; but Tyre being taken, all these hopes vanished. Alexander made himself master of Gaza immediately after the taking of Tyre; 10,000 of the inhabitants were slain, and the governor Betis dragged round the city wall till he was dead. King is a general word for any governor, in Hebrew, as has been before observed. Strabo, speaking of Gaza, lib. 16., says, “It was formerly a city of note, but was destroyed by Alexander the Great.” Or, according to Josephus, having suffered severely, upon being taken by Alexander, it was at length totally ruined and destroyed by Alexander Jannæus, one of the Asmonean kings of Judah. Hence we read, Acts 8:26, Gaza which is desert. And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited — Blayney reads, shall not be established; literally, shall not sit. “Ashkelon, and the other cities of the Philistines, having been subjugated by Nebuchadnezzar, as foretold Jeremiah 47., never recovered their former independence, but, falling under the dominion of the great empires in succession, were almost continually involved in their wars, and suffered considerably, till by degrees they dwindled away, and at last sunk to nothing.”9:1-8 Here are judgements foretold on several nations. While the Macedonians and Alexander's successors were in warfare in these countries, the Lord promised to protect his people. God's house lies in the midst of an enemy's country; his church is as a lily among thorns. God's power and goodness are seen in her special preservation. The Lord encamps about his church, and while armies of proud opposers shall pass by and return, his eyes watch over her, so that they cannot prevail, and shortly the time will come when no exactor shall pass by her any more.And Hamath also shall border thereby - o. Near to it in place and character, it shall share its subdual. After the betrayal of Damascus, Parmenio was set over all Syria. "The Syrians, not as yet tamed by the losses of war, despised the new empire, but, swiftly subdued, they did obediently what they were commanded."

And Zidon - Zidon, although probably older than Tyre , is here spoken of parenthetically, as subordinate. Perhaps, owing to its situation, it was a wealthy , rather than a strong place. Its name is "Fishing-town;" in Joshua, it is called "the great" Joshua 11:8; Joshua 19:28, perhaps the metropolis; while Tyre is named from its strength Joshua 19:29. It infected Israel with its idolatry Judges 10:6, and is mentioned among the nations who oppressed them and from whom God delivered them on their prayers Judges 10:12, probably under Jabin. In the time of the Judges, it, not Tyre, was looked to for protection Judges 18:7, Judges 18:28. In the times of Ezekiel it had become subordinate, furnishing "rowers" Ezekiel 27:8 to Tyre; but Esarhaddon, about 80 years before, boasts that he had taken it, destroyed its inhabitants, and re-populated it with people from the East, building a new city which he called by his own name . Tyre too had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar . At the restoration from the captivity, Sidon had the first place, Ezra 3:7, which it retained in the time of Xerxes . But Artaxerxes Ochus gained possession of it by treachery, when all Phoenicia revolted from Persia, and, besides those crucified, 40,000 of its inhabitants perished by their own hands , twenty years before the invasion of Alexander, to whom it submitted willingly .

The prophet having named Tyre and Zidon together, yet continues as to Tyre alone, as being alone of account in the days of which he is speaking, those of Alexander.

Although - Rather, "because she is very wise." Man's own wisdom is his foolishness and destruction, "as the foolishness of God" is his wisdom and salvation. God "taketh the wise in their own craftiness" Job 5:13. "For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" 1 Corinthians 1:21. Of the Hagarenes it is said, they "seek wisdom upon earth; none of these know the way of wisdom, or remember her paths" (Baruch 3:23). The wisdom of Tyre was the source of her pride, and so of her destruction also. "Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man and not God, though thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; behold thou art wiser them Daniel, there is no secret that they can hide from thee. Therefore I will bring strangers upon thee - they shall bring thee down to the pit" Ezekiel 28:2, Ezekiel 28:8. So of Edom Obadiah says, "The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock. Shall I not destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?" Obadiah 1:3, Obadiah 1:8.

2. Hamath—a Syrian kingdom with a capital of the same name, north of Damascus.

shall border thereby—shall be joined to Damascus in treatment, as it is in position; shall share in the burden of wrath of which Damascus is the resting-place. Maurer understands "which"; "Hamath, which borders on Damascus, also shall be the resting-place of Jehovah's wrath" (the latter words being supplied from Zec 9:1). Riblah, the scene of the Jews' sufferings from their foe, was there: it therefore shall suffer (2Ki 23:33; 25:6, 7, 20, 21).

Tyrus … Zidon—lying in the conqueror's way on his march along the Mediterranean to Egypt (compare Isa 23:1-18). Zidon, the older city, surrendered, and Abdolonymus was made its viceroy.

very wise—in her own eyes. Referring to Tyre: Zec 9:3 shows wherein her wisdom consisted, namely, in building a stronghold, and heaping up gold and silver (Eze 38:3, 5, 12, 17). On Alexander's expressing his wish to sacrifice in Hercules' temple in New Tyre on the island, she showed her wisdom in sending a golden crown, and replying that the true and ancient temple of Hercules was at Old Tyre on the mainland. With all her wisdom she cannot avert her doom.

Hamath; a principal noted town of Syria, once called Epiphania; it was near neighbour to the Jews, for it was a boundary of the Land of Promise.

Shall border thereby; shall be so near to this storm which cometh, that they shall be the. worse for it. The country called by this name, in which Riblah was, and where the barbarous murder of many nobles of the Jews, the murder of Zedekiah’s children, and his eyes were put out; all which cruelty and such-like Hamath must suffer, for now God rides his circuit, and judgeth.

Tyrus; a famous mart as ever the world had, on which Ezekiel bestows his 26th, 27th, and 28th chapters, which see.

Zidon; another mart, and on the same sea, more ancient than Tyrus, and as much an enemy to the Jews; threatened, as here, so by Ezekiel, Ezekiel 28, Tyrus, Ezekiel 28:2, Zidon, Ezekiel 28:21, which see.

Though it be very wise; each of them, i.e. the people, the governors, and counsellors of both these cities are subtle, and think by craft to save themselves, but this shall not be, God derides their wisdom, Ezekiel 28:3. And Hamath also shall border thereby,.... By the land of Hadrach, or by Damascus; and that it was near Damascus is clear from Isaiah 10:9 it is called Hamath the great in Amos 6:2 and according to Jerom (d), is the same with Antioch, which he says was so called by some; and the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel on Numbers 13:21, renders Hamath by Antioch: and, if so, here was the Lord's rest likewise; here the Gospel was preached, and many converted, and a church, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, was formed; and here the disciples were first called Christians, Acts 11:26.

Tyrus and Zidon; these were famous cities of Phoenicia; upon the borders of these our Lord himself was, Matthew 15:21 of the conversion of the inhabitants of these places the psalmist prophecies, Psalm 45:12 here likewise the Lord had his resting place; we read of the disciples here, Acts 21:3,

though it be very wise; particularly Tyre, which was famous for wisdom, Ezekiel 28:3 which the Lord confounded by the preaching of the Gospel, and by the foolishness of that saved them that believe. Kimchi refers this to the times of the Messiah; his note is, she shall not trust in her wisdom in the time of the Messiah: so Ben Melech.

(d) Comment. in Amos, fol. 44. C. & Quaest. Hebr. in Genesim, fol. 67. B. So Cyril. in Amos, p. 312.

And Hamath also shall border {d} by it; Tyre, and Zidon, though it be {e} very wise.

(d) That is, by Damascus: meaning, that Harnath or Antiochia would be under the same rod and plague.

(e) He secretly shows the cause of their destruction, because they deceived all others by their craft and subtilty, which they cloaked with this name of wisdom.

2. shall border thereby] i.e. as it is near Damascus in situation and like it in character, so shall it be the neighbour or companion of Damascus in the calamities which shall come upon it. The clause may, however, be rendered, And also Hamath, which borders by it (Damascus), shall be its rest, i.e. the rest of the burden of the Lord, as Damascus was said to be in the former verse. Which bordereth thereon, R. V.

though it be very wise] Or, because she is, R. V. This is best referred to Tyre, the words, “and Zidon,” being almost parenthetical, “Tyre with Zidon.” Though Sidon was the mother city it had long been eclipsed by Tyre, to which in the predictions of other prophets (Isaiah 23; Ezekiel 27:28), as here (Zechariah 9:3-4), the chief place is assigned. The “wisdom” of Tyre is specially mentioned by Ezekiel, “Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel” (Ezekiel 28:3), and as here (Zechariah 9:3) its practical application to the amassing of wealth is noted (Zechariah 9:4-5), and this is made the cause of the judgment that comes upon her (Zechariah 9:6-7).Verse 2. - And Hamath also shall border thereby; Revised Version, and Hamath also which bordereth thereon. Hamath, which is near unto Damascus, shall share in the Divine judgment. The Authorized Version probably means that Hamath shall be the companion of Damascus in punishment. (For Hamath, see note on Amos 6:2.) These Syrian towns, as well as those below in Phoenicia and Philistia, shall be visited, because they were all once included in the territory promised to Israel (see Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:3l; Numbers 34:2-12; Deuteronomy 11:25; and comp. 2 Samuel 8:6, etc.; 1 Kings 4:21; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 14:25). The judgment was inflicted by Alexander the Great after the battle of Issus, B.C. 333, when Damascus was betrayed into his hands and plundered of all its enormous treasures. Tyrus and Zidon. Tyre was taken after a siege of seven months, its walls were demolished, its houses burnt, ten thousand of its defenders were massacred, the women and children sold as slaves; and it never rose to greatness again. Zidon, originally the chief city of the country, had long been eclipsed by its daughter, Tyre: it submitted to Alexander without a struggle. Though it be very wise; or, because she is very wise. The pronoun refers to Tyre, the mention of Zidon being, as it were, parenthetical. In spite of, or because of, its boasted wisdom, Tyre should suffer heavy punishment. The wisdom of Tyre is spoken of in Ezekiel 28:3, 4. Wright, as the LXX., makes the clause refer to both cities, "though they be very wise." Vulgate, Assum pserunt quippe sibi sapientiam valde. The result of this reproof. - Haggai 1:12. "Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and the whole of the remnant of the people, hearkened to the voice of Jehovah their God, and according to the words of Haggai the prophet, as Jehovah their God had sent him; and the people feared before Jehovah." "All the remnant of the people" does not mean the rest of the nation besides Zerubbabel and Joshua, in support of which Koehler refers to Jeremiah 39:3 and 1 Chronicles 12:38, either here or in Haggai 1:14 and Haggai 2:2, inasmuch as Zerubbabel as the governor and prince of Judah, and Joshua as the high priest, are not embraced under the idea of the "people" (‛âm), as in the case in the passages quoted, where those who are described as the she'ērı̄th, or remnant, are members or portions of the whole in question. The "remnant of the people," as in Zechariah 8:6, is that portion of the nation which had returned from exile as a small gleaning of the nation, which had once been much larger. שׁמע בּקול, to hearken to the voice, i.e., to lay to heart, so as to obey what was heard. בּקול יי is still more minutely defined by ועל־דּברי וגו: "and (indeed) according to the words of Haggai, in accordance with the fact that Jehovah had sent him." This last clause refers to דּברי, which he had to speak according to the command of God (Hitzig); cf. Micah 3:4. The first fruit of the hearing was, that the people feared before Jehovah; the second is mentioned in Haggai 1:14, namely, that they resumed the neglected building of the temple. Their fearing before Jehovah presupposes that they saw their sin against God, and discerned in the drought a judgment from God.
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