I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
The altar — Of burnt-offering before the temple at Jerusalem, this altar and temple Israel had forsaken, and set up others against it; and here God in his jealousy appears prepared to take vengeance. Possibly it may intimate his future departure from Judah too. There Ezekiel, Ezekiel 9:2, saw the slaughter-men stand.
The door — The door of the gate that led into the priests court.
And cut them — Wound deep, the people who were visionally represented as standing in the court of the temple.
 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
Hell — The center of the earth, or the depth of hell.
 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:
The serpent — The crocodile or shark.
 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.
Set my eyes — I will perpetually watch over them.
 And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
Toucheth — He needs not take great pains therein, a touch of his finger will do this.
Shall melt — As snow before the sun.
 It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
His stories — The celestial orbs one over another, as so many stories in an high and stately palace. And he hath founded his troop in the earth: all the creatures, which are one army, one body; so closely are they connected, and so harmoniously do they all act for the accomplishing of their creator's purposes.
Calleth for the waters — Either in judgment to drown, or in mercy to give rain.
 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
The Arabians — A wild, thievish, and servile nation.
Have not I brought — And whereas you boast my kindness to you, bringing you out of Egypt, and thereupon conclude, God cannot leave you whom he hath so redeemed; you argue amiss, for this aggravates your sin.
From Kir — Conquered by some potent enemies, and sent away to Kir, a country of Media, yet at last delivered. Should these nations, argue themselves to be out of danger of divine justice, because I had done this for them.
 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.
The sinful kingdom — Every sinful kingdom.
 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
The least grain — Though tumbled and tossed with the great violence, yet the smallest, good grain, shall not be lost or destroyed.
 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.
All the sinners — The great, notorious sinners.
The evil — Is far off, we shall die first, and be safe in the grave.
 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
In that day — In the set time which I have fixt.
Raise up — Bring back out of captivity, and re-establish in their own land, the house of David, and those that adhere to his family.
Fallen — By the revolt of the ten tribes.
The breaches — Which are in it by that long division.
 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
They — Literally the Jews.
Possess — Both the lands of Edom, and some of the posterity of Edom; these as servants, the other as their propriety.
The remnant — Left by Nebuchadnezzar.
All the heathen — That is, round about.
That doth this — But this is also a prophecy of setting up the kingdom of the Messiah, and bringing in the Gentiles.
 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
Behold the days come — Here is another promise literally of abundant plenty to the returned captives, and mystically of abundant grace poured forth in gospel-days.
The plowman — Who breaks up the ground, and prepares it for sowing, shall be ready to tread on the heels of the reaper who shall have a harvest so large, that before he can gather it all in, it shall be time to plow the ground again.
The treader of grapes — So great shall their vintage be that e'er the treaders of grapes can have finished their work, the seeds-man shall be sowing his seed against the next season.
Shall drop — The vineyards shall be so fruitful, and new wine so plentiful as if it ran down from the mountains.
Shall melt — Or, as if whole hills were melted into such liquors. If any object, it never was so: I answer, the sins of the returned captives prevented these blessings, which are promised under a tacit condition.
 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
Pulled up — On condition that they seek the Lord. This was on God's part with admirable constancy performed through six hundred years, perhaps the longest time of freedom from captivity they ever knew.