For the zeal of your house has eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen on me.
Nearly all the prophecies of Scripture admit of and require a threefold interpretation.
1. They tell of some event or experience in the life Of the writer.
2. Then of like experience in the people of God.
3. And chiefly of what in yet higher degree our Lord Himself should suffer or accomplish. And these remarks apply to this prophecy. Twice in the New Testament it is applied to our Lord, and we may take the words as those of the Lord Himself. Now, it is good for us oftentimes to stand by our Saviour's cross and to contemplate His sufferings. And this is what the text leads us to do. For it shows us —
I. THE MOTIVE BY WHICH HE WAS SUSTAINED. "The zeal of Thine house," etc. We must not limit these words to His expulsion of the traders from the temple at Jerusalem, but they tell of the spirit which ever animated Him. And God's "house" does not mean merely a building such as the temple, but the world at large, the race of mankind whom Christ came to save. His "zeal," therefore, means that consuming desire to preserve and save them. For this He became incarnate, and lived, suffered and died. His zeal devoured Him, wore away His vigour so that "His visage was marred more," etc. Hence, also, He became "a stranger to His brethren and an alien," etc.
II. THE SUFFERINGS THEMSELVES. "The reproaches of them that," etc. We must not limit our idea of these sufferings to that which was outward, such as is represented in the well-known picture, "Ecce Homo." But it was the soul of our Lord that suffered, Could not but suffer. For He was that "holy one," and to such the ever present sight of sin, the infinite dishonour done to God, and the ruin wrought upon men, could not but have been far more terrible than any outward pain. Hence He was consumed with desire to vindicate the honour of God and to save men.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.