Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
A. M. 3279. B.C. 725. the crown. This chapter begins a new subject, chiefly relating to the devastations of Israel and Judah by the Assyrian kings. The ancient Samaria being beautifully situated on the top of a round hill, and surrounded immediately with a rich valley, and then a circle of other hills around it, suggested the idea of a chaplet, or wreath of flowers
Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
as a tempest
The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
Heb. with feet.
And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
"No sooner," says Dr. Shaw, "doth the boccore (or early fig) draw near to perfection in the middle or latter end of June, than the kermez, or summer fig, begins to be formed, though it rarely ripens before August; about which time the same tree frequently throws out a third crop, or winter fig, as we may call it. This is usually of a much longer shape and darker complexion than the kermez, hanging and ripening upon the tree, even after the leaves are shed; and, provided the winter proves mild and temperate, is gathered as a delicious morsel in the spring."
In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
for a diadem
And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
for a spirit
and for strength
But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
Psalms 107:27 *marg:
For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
shall he teach
Heb. the hearing.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
or, hath been.
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
Heb. stammerings of lips. will he speak. or, he hath spoken.
To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
precept upon precept
Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
To be in covenant with a thing, says Bp. Lowth, is a proverbial expression to denote perfect security from mischief or evil of which it is the cause.
we have made
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
and the hail
and the waters
And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
shall be disannulled
For kuppar, Houbigant, Archbp. Secker, and Bp. Lowth, would read tuppar; but the former may well have the sense ascribed to it here, as it signifies in Chaldee and Syriac, abstersit, diluit, abolevit.
trodden down by it
Heb. a treading down to it.
From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
to understand the report
or, when he shall make you to understand doctrine.
For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
in mount Perazim
Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?
in the principal, etc
or, the wheat in the principal place, and the barley in the appointed place. rye. or, spelt.
For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.
For his God, etc
or, And he bindeth it in such sort as his God doth teach him.
For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.
Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.
This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.