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WOE to thee that spoilest, shalt not thou thyself also be spoiled? and thou that despisest, shalt not thyself also be despised? when thou shalt have made an end of spoiling, thou shalt be spoiled: when being wearied thou shalt cease to despise, thou shalt be despised.

Ver. 1.  Spoilest.  This is particularly directed to Sennacherib.  Ch.

 

--- He was a figure of persecutors of the Church, to which many passages here allude.  C.

 

--- Remotâ justitiâ quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia?  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iv. 4.

 

--- Sennacherib plundered Samaria and Juda, and despising God, was himself contemned.  W.


2 O Lord, have mercy on us: for we have waited for thee: be thou our arm in the morning, and our salvation in the time of trouble.

Ver. 2.  Morning.  Speedily.  Heb. "mornings," or every day.  Ezechias thus addressed God.


3 At the voice of the angel the people fled, and at the lifting up thyself the nations are scattered. 4 And your spoils shall be gathered together as the locusts are gathered, as when the ditches are full of them.

Ver. 4.  Them.  The neglect of burying these insects has often brought on the plague.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iii. 31.


5 The Lord is magnified, for he hath dwelt on high: he hath filled Sion with judgment and justice.


6 And there shall be faith in thy times: riches of salvation, wisdom and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.

Ver. 6.  Faith.  Sincerity and justice adorn the reigns of Ezechias and Christ.


7 Behold they that see shall cry without, the angels of peace shall weep bitterly.

Ver. 7.  Without.  The people of the country, and the envoys of Ezechias.  4 K. xviii. 14.  Heb. "Behold their Ariel, cried they without," insultingly, (C.) pointing at Jerusalem.  C. xxix. 1.  At which (H.) the envoys rent their garments, &c.  C. xxxvi. 22.  C.

 

--- "Behold I shall appear to them."  Aquila.  S. Jer.

 

--- Angels.  Messengers or deputies sent to negotiate a peace, (Ch.) who wept because they could not obtain it.  W.


8 The ways are made desolate, no one passeth by the road, the covenant is made void, he hath rejected the cities, he hath not regarded the men.

Ver. 8.  Void, though Sennacherib had received what he demanded.  4 K. xviii. 14.


9 The land hath mourned, and languished: Libanus is confounded and become foul, and Saron is become as a desert: and Basan and Carmel are shaken.

Ver. 9.  Confounded.  Its trees were cut down.  C. xxxvii. 24.



Basan

Basan (Deut 3:4), a region S. of the Plain of Damascus; at first the Kingdom of Og, then given to the tribe of Manasses.

Carmel

Carmel. Not where Elias dwelt, but a city and mountain 10 miles east of Eleutheropolis. Nabal rendered it famous by his imprudence, (1 K. xxv.) and Saul by a triumphal arch, 1 K. xv. 12. --- Carmel, so famous for the miracles of Elias, 3 K. xviii. 20. Josephus (Bel. ii. 17,) places it 120 stadia south of Ptolemais. This range of mountains extended northward through the tribes of Issachar and of Zabulon. Pliny (v. 17,) speaks of a promontory and of a town of this name. Here also the god Carmel was adored, having an altar, but no temple or image, as the ancients had decreed. Nec simulacrum Deo aut templum, (sic tradidere majores) ara tantum et reverentia. Tacit. Hist. ii. 78. --- Vespasian consulted the priest Basilides. Carmel means "the vineyard of the Lord," or the excellent vineyard, &c. It was so rich and beautiful as to become proverbial. The spouse compares the head of his beloved to Carmel. C. vii. 5. Isaias (xxxii. 15,) foretels that the deserts shall be equal to Carmel. It was covered with wood and fruit. S. Jerom in Isai. x. 18. Jer. iv. 26. The city, which was built upon this mountain, and which Pliny calls by the same name, was formerly styled Ecbatana. The oracle had denounced to Cambyses that he should die at Ecbatana, and he concluded that the city of Media was meant; but it was "that of Syria," says Herodotus, (iii. 64,) where he died.

10 Now will I rise up, saith the Lord: now will I be exalted, now will I lift up myself.

Ver. 10.  Myself, when all human aid fails.


11 You shall conceive heat, you shall bring forth stubble: your breath as fire shall devour you.

Ver. 11.  You, Assyrians, are bringing destruction upon yourselves.  C.


12 And the people shall be as ashes after a fire, as a bundle of thorns they shall be burnt with fire.
13 Hear, you that are far off, what I have done, and you that are near know my strength. 14 The sinners in Sion are afraid, trembling hath seized upon the hypocrites. Which of you can dwell with devouring fire? which of you shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

Ver. 14.  Of you.  Heb. "of us."  H.

 

--- They are seriously alarmed at the sight of the fires prepared to burn the dead bodies of the Assyrians, (C. xxx. 33.) and begin to think of hell, (C.) which their sins deserve.  H.




15 He that walketh in justices, and speaketh truth, that casteth away avarice by oppression, and shaketh his hands from all bribes, that stoppeth his ears lest he hear blood, and shutteth his eyes that he may see no evil.

Ver. 15.  Blood.  Avoiding revenge, and punishing the guilty, without respect to persons.  Such was Ezechias, and therefore his enemies could not hurt him.



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16 He shall dwell on high, the fortifications of rocks shall be his highness: bread is given him, his waters are sure.

Ver. 16.  Sure.  Never failing.  C.

 

--- This was a great advantage in those dry regions.  H.


17 His eyes shall see the king in his beauty, they shall see the land far off.

Ver. 17.  King Ezechias, or he shall be one of his courtiers.

 

--- Off.  Their limits shall be extended.  Those who believe in Christ, shall cast their eyes up towards their heavenly country.  Heb. ix. 13.


18 Thy heart shall meditate fear: where is the learned? where is he that pondereth the words of the law? where is the teacher of little ones?

Ver. 18.  Ones.  These questions were put by the people, when the enemy approached; or they now rejoice that their severe masters were gone.



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19 The shameless people thou shalt not see, the people of profound speech: so that thou canst not understand the eloquence of his tongue, in whom there is no wisdom.

Ver. 19.  Shameless, unjust Assyrians.  Lu. xviii. 2.  When shame is gone, people give way to every excess.

 

--- Profound.  Unknown to the Jews.  4 K. xviii. 26.

 

--- No wisdom, manners, or piety.


20 Look upon Sion the city of our solemnity: thy eyes shall see Jerusalem, a rich habitation, a tabernacle that cannot be removed: neither shall the nails thereof be taken away for ever, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken:

Ver. 20.  Broken.  It was taken 125 years afterwards.  The Church remains till the end of time, (C.) whereas both the prophets and history assure us, that Jerusalem was subject to destruction.  W.




21 Because only there our Lord is magnificent: it place of rivers, very broad and spacious streams: no ship with oars shall pass by it, neither shall the great galley pass through it.

Ver. 21.  Of rivers.  He speaks of the rivers of endless joys that flow from the throne of God to water the heavenly Jerusalem, like a deep river.  C.


22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: he will save us. 23 Thy tacklings are loosed, and they shall be of no strength: thy mast shall be in such condition, that thou shalt not be able to spread the flag. Then shall the spoils of much prey be divided: the lame shall take the spoil.

Ver. 23.  Thy tacklings.  He speaks of the enemies of the Church, under the allegory of a ship that is disabled.  Ch.

 

--- Sennacherib shall attempt invasion no more than a ship without masts would put to sea.


24 Neither shall he that is near, say: I am feeble. The people that dwell therein, shall have their iniquity taken away from them.

Ver. 24.  Feeble.  All were obliged to collect the plunder, to be afterwards divided.  None shall plead illness.  The inhabitants of Jerusalem will not feel the effects of sin (C.) on this occasion.  H.


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