Ver. 1. Figs, which are the worst. S. Jer. S. Amb. in Lu. vii. 3. Yet they were eagerly sought after, before the other figs came to maturity. They had escaped the rigours of winter. Such Christ (C.) seemed to expect. Mark xi. 13.
Ver. 2. Holy man. Heb. chasid, (H.) "the pious" Assidean. 2 Mac. xiv. 6. The disorder of Israel was great, though some were religious. C.
--- Such expressions only mean that few could be found, and that the far greatest number rejected the prophet's advice. W.
Ver. 3. Giving. Sept. "speaks words of peace." He flatters the prince, (H.) and dares not oppose the unjust. Syr. "he says, bring presents."
--- Troubled it; or, "have thy?" &c. Heb. "they confirm it."
Ver. 4. Brier. Heb. chedek, or "thorn." Sept. "a consuming moth."
--- Inspection, or of thy chiefs (H.) and prophets. C.
Ver. 5. Bosom. In times of general distress, even domestics are not trusted; because all are solicitous for themselves, even to the prejudice of others. W.
--- Before the ruin of Israel civil wars raged. 4 K. xv. Our Saviour alludes to this passage. Mat. x. 35. Lu. xii. 52. and xxi. 16. People will rise up to oppress true believers; and these must abandon their nearest relations, when they prove an obstacle to salvation. Thus is the moral, and the other the literal sense. C.
Ver. 10. She; Babylon, my enemy. Ch.
--- It was taken by the Medes and Persians, who set the Jews at liberty, to the great mortification of their enemies. W.
--- God thus displayed his justice or mercy, rescuing his people from the nigh of misery.
--- Streets. Cyrus treated the fallen city with contempt. It stood for some time afterwards. C.
Ver. 11. Law of thy enemies, who have tyrannized over thee. Ch.
--- The walls of Jerusalem are ordered to be rebuilt. Agg. i.
Ver. 12. Fortified. Heb. also, "Egypt, and from Egypt to the river Euphrates," &c. The Jews shall occupy their ancient limits. Amos viii. 12. C.
--- The fenced cities may be Pelusium, Gaza, Tyre, &c. From all parts the captives shall return. H.
--- They were very numerous under the Machabees, and in the time of Christ. C.
AssyriaAssyria. The successors of Cyrus now ruled over those countries, (C.) which had belonged to the most potent Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs; and therefore the titles are given to them indiscriminately. T.
Ver. 13. Land of Babylon, (Ch.) or "the land of Judea (H.) has been," &c. It might also be again made desolate, because the captives built houses for themselves, and neglected the temple. Agg. i. 10.
Ver. 14. Alone: destitute of all things, or in full security. Jer. xv. 17. Num. xxiii. 9. God will feed his people (C.) in the most fertile places, designated by Carmel and Basan. H.
--- A pastor must maintain sound doctrine and discipline. W.
BasanBasan (Deut 3:4), a region S. of the Plain of Damascus; at first the Kingdom of Og, then given to the tribe of Manasses.
CarmelCarmel. 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.
Ver. 15. Wonders. The prophets speaking of the return, have Christ and his religion in view; so that they seem not to find terms sufficiently magnificent. Is. ix. 15. and xliii. 16. Zac. x. 11. We know from Esdras that nothing so surprising attended the liberation of the people. C.
Ver. 16. Strength, because they cannot overcome the Hebrews or Christians. M.
--- Deaf, being astonished. Job xxi. 5.
Ver. 17. Serpents, (Gen. iii. 14.) out of respect or rage. C.
--- Converts shall humbly apply to the ministers of Christ to receive baptism and confirmation. Theod. Sanct. lxvii.
Ver. 18. No more, for past offences. Yet, if they transgress again, they must not expect impunity. The Jews still bleed for the murder of the Messias. C.
Ver. 19. Away. Prot. "subdue," (H.) or trample upon. C.
Ver. 20. Truth, performing what he had promised out of mercy to Abraham. W.