Proclaim you this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:…
This is truly prophetic language; for the writer is not merely relating historical facts, or foretelling future events; he is uttering great moral and religions principles. The form these utterances assume is determined by the circumstances of Judah in the time of the prophet; but the truth enunciated is one which is universal and all-important.
I. A PICTURE OF WAR.
1. The vastness of the scale upon which it is conducted appears from the language employed to designate those who take part in it. They are "the Gentiles;" "all the nations."
2. The valour and renown of the combatants are set forth in the expressions," the mighty men," "the men of war," etc.
3. The military preparation and warlike accoutrements are brought before us very vividly and picturesquely in the representation of ploughshares fashioned into swords, and pruning-hooks into spears.
4. The warlike array is denoted by the directions to "assemble," to "come up," etc.
II. A PICTURE OF JUDGMENT AND RETRIBUTION.
1. The vast multitudes who intend to gather for battle prove in reality to have gathered for judgment. They came in battle array to contend with the Lord of hosts; and 1o! they find themselves standing at the bar of the great Judge of all.
2. The Lord sits upon his judgment-seat, his throne, whilst before him are gathered all nations.
3. Under two striking figures is set forth the judicial process and the punitive consequences which ensue. The harvest is reaped, the wine-press is trodden. The enemies of the Lord and of his people are, as it were, mown down by the hand of the reaper; their blood flows from the wine-press of the wrath of God.
APPLICATION. The passage shows us the omniscient regard of God surveying all the sons of men, and the power of God defeating the counsels of rebels and foes, delivering the righteous from oppression, vindicating the cause of truth and obedience. The sway of the Supreme extends throughout the universe; and however we may be perplexed and baffled by seeming disorder, we may be assured that the sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of God's kingdom, and that every enemy shall be put beneath his feet. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: