5:1-4 The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are rolls, in which God has written the great things of his law and gospel; they are flying rolls. God's word runs very swiftly, Ps 147:15. This flying roll contains a declaration of the righteous wrath of God against sinners. Oh that we saw with an eye of faith the flying roll of God's curse hanging over the guilty world as a thick cloud, not only keeping off the sunbeams of God's favour, but big with thunders, lightnings, and storms, ready to destroy them! How welcome then would the tidings of a Saviour be, who came to redeem us from the curse of the law, being himself made a curse for us! Sin is the ruin of houses and families; especially the doing hurt to others and false witness. Who knows the power of God's anger? God's curse cannot be kept out by bars or locks. While one part of the curse of God ruins the substance of the sinner, another part will rest on the soul, and sink it to everlasting punishment. All are transgressors of the law, so we cannot escape this wrath of God, except we flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel.
4. The "theft" immediately meant is similar sacrilege to that complained of in Ne 13:10; Mal 3:8. They robbed God by neglecting to give Him His due in building His house, while they built their own houses, forswearing their obligations to Him; therefore, the "houses" they build shall be "consumed" with God's "curse." Probably literal theft and perjury accompanied their virtual theft and perjury as to the temple of God (Mal 3:5). Stealing and perjury go together; for the covetous and fraudulent perjure themselves by God's name without scruple (see Pr 30:9).
enter … the house—In vain they guard and shut themselves up who incur the curse; it will inevitably enter even when they think themselves most secure.
consume … timber … stones—not leaving a vestige of it. So the "stones" and "timber" of the house of a leper (type of the sinner) were to be utterly removed (Le 14:15; compare 1Ki 18:38).