2:1-10 Nineveh shall not put aside this judgment; there is no counsel or strength against the Lord. God looks upon proud cities, and brings them down. Particular account is given of the terrors wherein the invading enemy shall appear against Nineveh. The empire of Assyria is represented as a queen, about to be led captive to Babylon. Guilt in the conscience fills men with terror in an evil day; and what will treasures or glory do for us in times of distress, or in the day of wrath? Yet for such things how many lose their souls!
2. For the Lord hath turned away the excellency of Jacob—that is, the time for Nineveh's overthrow is ripe, because Jacob (Judah) and Israel (the ten tribes) have been sufficiently chastised. The Assyrian rod of chastisement, having done its work, is to be thrown into the fire. If God chastised Jacob and Israel with all their "excellency" (Jerusalem and the temple, which was their pre-eminent excellency above all nations in God's eyes, Ps 47:4; 87:2; Eze 24:21; see on Am 6:8), how much more will He punish fatally Nineveh, an alien to Him, and idolatrous? Maurer, not so well, translates, "restores," or "will restore the excellency of Jacob."
emptiers—the Assyrian spoilers.
have emptied them out—have spoiled the Israelites and Jews (Ho 10:1). Compare Ps 80:8-16, on "vine branches," as applied to Israel.