1 [A burden.] The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be its resting place (for the eyes of man and of all the tribes of Israel shall be toward the LORD),
2 And Hamath also, which borders by it, Tyre, and Zidon, though she is very wise.
3 And Tyre built herself a stronghold and amassed silver as the dust and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
4 Behold, the Lord will dispossess her and he will smite her power in the sea, and she shall be devoured with fire.
5 Ashkelon shall see it and fear. Gaza shall also see it and be very sorrowful. Ekron, for her expectation shall be ashamed. And the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
6 And a foreigner shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth and his abominations from between his teeth. But he who remains, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.
8 And I will encamp about my house because of the army, because of him who passes by, and because of him who returns. And no oppressor shall pass through them anymore. For now I have seen with my eyes.
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your King comes to you. He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding upon a donkey, even upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle-bow shall be cut off. And he shall speak peace to the heathen. And his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you also, by the blood of your covenant I have sent forth your prisoners out of the pit in which there is no water.
12 Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will render double to you,
13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and made you as the sword of a mighty man.
14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning. And the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet and will go with whirlwinds of the south.
15 The LORD of hosts will defend them. They shall devour and subdue with sling-stones. They shall drink and make a noise as through wine. They shall be filled like bowls and as the corners of the altar.
16 And the LORD their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people, for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
17 For how great his goodness is and how great his beauty is! Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.
John Gill's Chapter Summary
This chapter treats of the conversion of the Gentiles, before spoken of in general, now particularly named; of the coming of Christ into the world, and the advantages of it to his church; of the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles, and of their protection, encouragement, and success. The Gentiles converted are first the Syrians that dwelt in Hadrach, Damascus, and Hamath, the Lord's eye being upon them (verse 1); next the Phoenicians, the inhabitants of Tyre and Zidon, who had a vain opinion of their wisdom, and trusted in their riches (verses 2-4); and then the Philistines, the inhabitants of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod, guilty of pride, murder, idolatry, and other abominations (verses 5-7); when the church and people of God should be safely protected (verse 8); to whom, for their joy and comfort, is given forth a prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah; who is described by his character as a King, just, having salvation, lowly, and riding on a donkey; by the peaceableness of his kingdom; by the various offices he executes; the prophetic office, speaking peace to the Heathen; the kingly office, his dominion being very large; and his priestly office, in the effusion of his blood, by which the covenant is confirmed, his people delivered out of distress, and encouraged to flee to him as their stronghold, where they find plenty and protection (verses 9-12); next the apostles are represented as military men, accoutered with the bow and the sword of the mighty (verse 13); whose success is owing to the Lord's appearance over them, and the efficacy of his grace and Spirit attending the word (verse 14); who are protected and encouraged in it by the Lord, and honored on account of it (verses 15-16); and the chapter is concluded with an exclamation, wondering at the grace and glory of Christ, and expressing the satisfying provisions of his house (verse 17).
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 8:20-9:1:
Grant, Almighty God, that as you kindly and graciously extend your hand to us, not only to show us once for all the right way, but also to lead us through our whole life, and even to sustain us when wearied, and to raise us up when fallen,— O grant, that we may not be ungrateful for this your great kindness, but render ourselves obedient to you; and may we not experience the dreadful power of your judgment, which you denounce on all your enemies, who are to sustain a vengeance that is to sink them in the abyss of endless perdition; but may we suffer ourselves to be ever raised up by your hand, until we shall at length reach that blessed rest, to which you invite us, and are ready to lead us, where we shall enjoy the fullness of those blessings which have been obtained for us by your only-begotten Son. Amen.
[v.2] - "though she is very wise" - A lot of translations have, "though they are very wise."
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 2-8:
Grant, Almighty God, that as the ungodly at this day take such delight in their own filth, that the weakness of our faith is somewhat disturbed by their pride and arrogance,— O grant, that we may learn to lift up our eyes to your judgments, and patiently wait for what is now concealed, until you put forth the power of your hand and destroy all those who now cruelly rage and shed innocent blood, and persecute your Church in every way they can: and may we so cast ourselves on your care, so as not to doubt but that you are sufficient for our safety, and that you will at length make evident what you have testified, even that there is so much protection in your hand, as that we may safely boast that we are safe and blessed, as long as you are pleased to exercise care over us, until we shall at length reach that blessed rest, which has been prepared for us in heaven by Christ our Lord. Amen.
[v.9] - Quoted in Matthew 21:5; John 12:15.
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 9-12:
Grant, Almighty God, that as we do not at this day look for a Redeemer to deliver us from temporal miseries, but only carry on a warfare under the banner of the cross, until he appears to us from heaven to gather us into his blessed kingdom,— O grant, that we may patiently bear all evils and all troubles: and as Christ once for all poured forth the blood of the new and eternal covenant, and gave us a symbol of it in the Holy Supper, may we, confiding in so sacred a seal, never doubt but that he will be always propitious to us, and render manifest to us the fruit of his reconciliation, when after having supported us for a season under the burden of those miseries by which we are now oppressed, you gather us into that blessed and perfect glory, which has been procured for us by the blood of Christ our Lord, and which is daily set before us in the gospel, and laid up for us in heaven, until we at length shall come to enjoy it through the same, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 13-17:
Grant, Almighty God, that as we cannot look for temporal or eternal happiness, except through Christ alone, and as you set him forth to us as the only true fountain of all blessings,— O grant, that we, being content with the favor offered to us through him, may learn to renounce the whole world, and so strive against all unbelief; that we may not doubt but that you will ever be one kind and gracious Father, and fully supply whatever is necessary for our support: and may we at the same time live soberly and temperately, so that we may not be under the power of earthly things; but with our hearts raised above, aspire after that heavenly bliss to which you invite us, and to which you also guide us by such helps as are earthly, so that being really united to our head, we may at length reach that glory which has been procured for us by his blood. Amen.