But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit…
I. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS OF THOSE WHO ARE IN PUBLIC AUTHORITY MAY PROPERLY GIVE THEM THE DENOMINATION OF STRONG RODS.
1. Great ability for the management of public affairs. This is the case when they are men of largeness of understanding, especially when they have a natural genius for government.
2. Largeness of heart and a greatness and nobleness of disposition. It is peculiarly unbecoming them to be capable of little intrigues.
3. The spirit of government. They must have a peculiar aptitude for using their knowledge, and a spirit of resolution and activity.
4. Stability. A strong rod must be immovable in the execution of justice and judgment.
5. It contributes to the strength of a rod when he is in such circumstances as give him advantage for the exercise of his strength.
II. WHEN SUCH STRONG RODS ARE BROKEN AND WITHERED BY DEATH, IT IS A JUDGMENT OF GOD UPON THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DEPRIVED OF THEM.
1. By reason of the many positive benefits and blessings to a people that such men are the instruments of (Psalm 82:5; Psalm 11:3). Their influence has a tendency to promote wealth and virtue (Ecclesiastes 10:17). Solomon was a remarkable illustration of this truth. (See 1 Kings 4:25; 1 Kings 10:27).
2. On account of the great calamities they are a defence from. Government is necessary to defend communities from miseries from within themselves; they are the heads of union without which nothing is to be expected but remediless and endless broils. We see the need of government in societies, by what is visible in families, — those lesser societies of which all public societies are constituted, — and as government is absolutely necessary, so there is a necessity of strong rods in order to it: the business being such as requires persons so qualified.
3. They are no less necessary to defend the community from foreign enemies. As they are like the pillars of a building, so they are like the bulwarks of a city; they are under God a people's main strength in time of war (Lamentations 4:20; Nehemiah 9:27). On these accounts, when a nation is strong, rods are broken; it is a judgment worthy of such lamentation as that which followed the death of King Josiah, who is one of those doubtless referred to in the text (2 Chronicles 35:24, 25).
( Jonathan Edwards.).
Parallel VersesKJV: But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.