5:1-6 The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure. While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world, but will find it cannot protect.
3. went out by a thousand—that is, "the city from which there used to go out a thousand" equipped for war. "City" is put for "the inhabitants of the city," as in Am 4:8.
shall leave … hundred—shall have only a hundred left, the rest being destroyed by sword and pestilence (De 28:62).