3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the rod a and the staff, the whole support of bread, and the whole support of water,
(a) Because they trusted in their abundance and prosperity he shows that they should be taken from them. 3:2 The mighty man, and the man of war, b the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
(b) The temporal governor and the minister. 3:3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the skilful craftsman, and the c eloquent orator.
(c) By these he means that God would take away everything that was of any value, and which they had any opportunity to want in themselves. 3:4 And I will give d children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
(d) Not only in age: but in manners, knowledge and strength. 3:5 And the people shall be e oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the elder, and the base against the honourable.
(e) For lack of good regiment and order. 3:6 When a man shall f take hold of his brother of the house of his father, [saying], Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and [let] this ruin [be] under thy hand:
(f) He shows that this plague will be so horrible that contrary to the common manner of men, who by nature are ambitious, no one will be found able or willing to be their governor. 3:7 In that day shall he g swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house [is] neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.
(g) Fear will cause him to forswear himself, rather than to take such a dangerous charge upon himself. 3:9 The h show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide [it] not. Woe to their soul! for they have rewarded evil to themselves.
(h) When God examines their deed on which they now set an impudent face, he will find the mark of their impiety in their forehead. 3:10 i Say ye to the righteous, that [it shall be] well [with him]: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
(i) You that are godly be assured that God will defend you in the midst of these troubles. 3:12 [As for] my people, k children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
(k) Because the wicked people were more addicted to their princes than to the commandments of God, he shows that he would give them such princes, by whom they would have no help, but that they would be manifest tokens of his wrath, because they would be fools and effeminate. 3:14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the l elders of his people, and with their princes: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor [is] in your houses.
(l) Meaning that the rulers and governors had destroyed his Church and not preserved it, according to their duty. 3:15 What mean ye [that] ye beat my people to pieces, m and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
(m) That is, you show all cruelty against them. 3:16 Moreover the LORD saith, n Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with o extended necks and p wanton eyes, walking and q mincing [as] they go, and making a r tinkling with their feet:
(n) He means the people because of the arrogancy and pride of their women who gave themselves to all wantonness and dissolution. 3:23 The mirrors, and the fine linen, and the turbans, and the s veils.
(o) Which declared their pride.
(p) As a sign that they were not chaste.
(q) Which showed their wantonness.
(r) They delighted then in slippers that creaked or had little plates sewn on them which tinkled as they went.
(s) In rehearsing all these things particularly he shows the lightness and vanity of such as cannot be content with comely apparel according to their degree. 3:25 Thy men shall fall by the t sword, and thy mighty in the war.
(t) Meaning that God will not only punish the women but their husbands who have permitted this dissoluteness and also the commonwealth which has not remedied it.