X They are forbid to be afraid of the tokens of heaven, and consult idols which are vain, ver. 1-5 and not to be compared with the majesty and power of God, who is Jacob's portion, ver. 6-16. The Babylonians destroy the temple; the brutish pastors and the flocks are scattered, ver. 17-22. The prophet's humble supplication, ver. 23-25.
Verse 2. Learn not - The Jews being to live among the Chaldeans in their captivity, where many of them were already, the prophet admonishes them against the Chaldean idolatries, who were all much addicted to astrology. The signs - This was so common among them, that Judicial astrologers, of what nation soever, were generally termed Chaldeans. The Heathen - Leave this to Heathens; it doth not become God's people.
Verse 9. Tarshish - Is the proper name of a sea-town in Cilicia, and being a noted port, it is usually put for the ocean, and may signify any place beyond the sea. Uphaz - Probably the best gold came from thence as the best silver from Tarshish.
Verse 10. But - All these are but false gods. Living - These are all but dead stocks and stones, Jehovah is the only livingGod, having life in himself, and giving life to all things else. An everlasting king - Time devours them all, but the true God is everlasting.
Verse 13. When - As in the former verse he relates God's unspeakable power and wisdom in his creating and fixing the stated order of things, so here he farther sets it forth in his providential ordering and disposing of them.
Verse 14. Every man - Every idolator.
Verse 15. Visitation - When God shall come to reckon with Babylon and her idols.
Verse 16. Portion - God, who vouchsafes to be the portion of his people. The former - idols are things framed or formed, but God is the former of all things. The rod of his inheritance - So called, because the inheritances of Israel were measured by a line, reed, or rod.
Verse 17. Gather up - The prophet now enters upon another subject. Thy wares - Every thing thou hast any advantage by, all thy merchandise, as men use to do in case of invasion by an enemy. The fortress - The inhabitants of Jerusalem, the chief place of security in Judea.
Verse 18. Sing out - It denotes with how much violence and ease the Chaldeans shall hurry away the people into Babylon. And therefore it is said at this once, I will make one thorough quickwork of it. May find it so - Though they would never believe it, yet they shall actually find the truth of my threatenings.
Verse 19. Woe is me - Here the prophet personates the complaint of the people of the land.
Verse 20. My tabernacle - He describes the overthrow of the land, or Jerusalem, by the breaking of the cords of a tabernacle, the use whereof is to fasten it on every side to stakes in the ground, which cords being broken the tabernacle falls.
Verse 21. The pastors - The rulers of church and state.
Verse 23. It is not - Lord we know it is not in our power to divert these judgments that are coming upon us, but thou canst moderate, and limit them as thou pleasest.
Verse 24. Correct me - Seeing thou wilt punish us, let it be a correction only, not a destruction. Let it be in measure; in the midst of judgment remember mercy. Anger - Lest if thou shouldst let out thy fury upon me, thou wouldst utterly consume me.
Verse 25. The Heathen - Such as do not acknowledge thee for their God. Call not - One part of worship put for the whole. If thou wilt pour out thy fury, let the effects of it be to thine enemies, not unto thine own people.