17:1 The a burden of b Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
(a) See Geneva
(b) The chief city of Syria.
17:2 The cities of c
Aroer [are] forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none
shall make [them] afraid.
(c) It was a country of Syria by the river Arnon.
17:3 The fortress also shall cease from d
Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be
as the e glory of the children of
Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.
(d) It seems that the prophet would comfort the
Church in declaring the destruction of these two kings of Syria and Israel,
when as they had conspired the overthrow of Judah.
(e) The ten tribes gloried in their multitude and
alliance with other nations: therefore he says that they will be brought down
and the Syrians also.
17:4 And in that day it shall come to pass, [that]
the glory of f Jacob shall be
diminished, and the fatness of his flesh shall become lean.
(f) Meaning, of the ten tribes who boasted
themselves of their nobility, prosperity, strength and multitude.
17:5 And it shall be as when the reaper gathereth g
the grain, and reapeth the heads with his arm; and it shall be as he that
gathereth heads in the valley of h
(g) As the abundance of corn does not fear the
harvest men that would cut it down: no more will the multitude of Israel make
the enemies shrink, whom God will appoint to destroy them.
(h) A valley which was plentiful and fertile.
17:6 Yet gleaning grapes shall i
be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two [or] three berries in the
top of the uppermost bough, four [or] five in the outmost fruitful branches of
it, saith the LORD God of Israel.
(i) Because God would have his covenant stable,
he promises to reserve some of this people, and to bring them to repentance.
17:7 At that day shall a man look to his k
Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
(k) He shows that God's corrections always
bring fruit, and cause his to turn from their sins and to humble themselves to
17:9 In that day shall his
strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which l
they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
(l) As the Canaanites left their cities when God
placed the Israelites there, so the cities of Israel will not be able to
defend their inhabitants any more than bushes, when God will send the enemy to
17:10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy
salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore
shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with foreign m
(m) Which are excellent and brought out of other
17:11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to
grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: [but] the harvest
[shall be] a heap in the day n of grief
and of desperate sorrow.
(n) As the Lord threatens the wicked in his law,
Woe to the multitude of many people, [who] make a noise like the noise of the
seas; and to the rushing of nations, [that] make a rushing like the rushing of
(o) The prophet laments, considering the horrible
plague that was prepared against Israel by the Assyrians, who were infinite in
number, and gathered from many nations.
17:13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of
many waters: but [God] shall p rebuke
them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the
mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
(p) He adds this for the consolation of the
faithful who were in Israel.
17:14 And behold at the time of evening q
trouble; [and] before the morning he [is] not. This [is] the portion of them
that plunder us, and the lot of them that rob us.
(q) He compares the Assyrians to a tempest which
rises overnight and in the morning is gone.