3:1-9 God was about to deprive Judah of every stay and support. The city and the land were to be made desolate, because their words and works had been rebellious against the Lord; even at his holy temple. If men do not stay themselves upon God, he will soon remove all other supports, and then they must sink. Christ is the Bread of life and the Water of life; if he be our Stay, we shall find that is a good part not to be taken away, Joh 6:27. Here note, 1. That the condition of sinners is exceedingly woful. 2. It is the soul that is damaged by sin. 3. Whatever evil befals sinners, be sure that they bring it on themselves.
3. captain of fifty—not only captains of thousands, and centurions of a hundred, but even semi-centurions of fifty, shall fail.
honourable—literally, "of dignified aspect."
cunning—skilful. The mechanic's business will come to a standstill in the siege and subsequent desolation of the state; artisans are no mean "stay" among a nation's safeguards.
eloquent orator—rather, as Vulgate, "skilled in whispering," that is, incantation (Ps 58:5). See Isa 8:19, below; and on "prudent," see on Isa 3:2.