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Wesley's Notes on the Bible
1 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
2:1 The bones - Or ashes, reduced them by fire into fine dust, and used these ashes instead of lime to plaister the walls and roofs of his palace, and this in hatred and contempt of the king of Edom.
2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
2:2 Kirioth - A principal city of this country. Moab - The Moabites. Shall die - Be destroyed. With tumult - Such as soldiers in fight or assaults make, when they carry all by force.
3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.
2:3 The judge - The governor that is, every one of them.
4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:
2:4 Lies - Idols. To err - Their idolatry blinded them, partly from the natural tendency of this sin, and partly from the just judgment of God. After which - Idols. Walked - Successively, one generation after another.
5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
2:6 Shoes - The smallest bribe, exprest here proverbially.
7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
2:7 The people - That make a prey even of the poor afflicted ones, who walk with dust on their heads. Turn aside - Maliciously interpret the actions, words, and designs of the humble and meek. Will go in - These corrupt judges commit also that lewdness which the Heathens abhor.
8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
2:8 Lay down - The Jews of old did not sit upright at their meals, but leaned on one side. Upon clothes - Of which the law had expressly said, none should detain them all night, Deut 24:12,13. Every altar - Of their idols. Drink the wine - They offer their drink - offerings in wine, which they bought with the fines laid on the innocent.
9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
2:9 The Ammorite - The mightiest nation of all the Canaanites. As the oaks - Another proverbial speech denoting their great strength. His fruit - Their children. His roots - The old standards; that present generation.
10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.
2:11 Nazarites - Persons who bound themselves to a very sober and holy life; either for some certain time, or for their whole life.
12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.
2:12 Ye gave - Importuned them to drink wine, to violate their vow, and contemn God's law.
13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
2:13 Under you - Under the load of your sins.
14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:
2:14 The swift - For their enemies shall be swifter than they. The strong - Natural strength of body shall not deliver. The mighty - The valiant man, the man of the greatest courage.
15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.
16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.