7:1 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the a summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: [there is] no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.
(a) The Prophet takes upon himself the voice of the earth, which complains that all her fruits are gone, so that none are left: that is, that there is no godly man remaining, for all are given to cruelty and deceit, so that none spares his own brother. 7:2 The good [man] is perished out of the earth: and [there is] none upright among men: b they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
(b) He shows that the prince, the judge, and the rich man are all linked together to do evil, and to disguise the deeds of one another. 7:3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and the c great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: so d they wrap it up.
(c) That is, the rich man that is able to give money, abstains from no wickedness or injury. 7:4 The best of them [is] as e a brier: the most upright [is sharper] than a thorn hedge: the day of f thy watchmen [and] thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.
(d) These men agree among themselves, and conspire with one another to do evil.
(e) They that are of most estimation and are counted most honest among them, are but thorns and briers to prick. 7:7 Therefore g I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
(f) Meaning the prophets and governors.
(g) The Prophet shows that the only remedy for the godly in desperate evils, is to flee to God for help. 7:8 Rejoice not against me, h O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me.
(h) This is spoken in the voice of the Church, which calls the malignant church her enemy. 7:11 [In] i the day that thy walls are to be built, [in] that day shall k the decree be far removed.
(i) That is, when God will show himself to be a deliverer of his Church, and a destroyer of his enemies. 7:12 [In] that day [also] he shall come even to thee from l Assyria, and [from] the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and [from] mountain to mountain.
(k) Meaning the cruel empire of the Babylonians.
(l) When the Church will be restored, those that were enemies before will come out of all the corners of the world to her, so that neither fortresses, rivers, seas, nor mountains will be able to stop them. 7:13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of m their doings.
(m) Before this grace appears, he shows how grievously the hypocrites themselves will be punished, seeing that the earth itself, which cannot sin, will be made waste because of their wickedness. 7:14 n Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily [in] the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed [in] Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
(n) The Prophet prays to God to be merciful to his Church, when they would be scattered abroad as in solitary places in Babylon, and to be beneficial to them as in times past. 7:15 o According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous [things].
(o) God promises to be favourable to his people, as he had been before. 7:16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall p lay [their] hand upon [their] mouth, q their ears shall be deaf.
(p) They will be as dumb men, and dare brag no more. 7:17 They shall r lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.
(q) They will be astonished and afraid to hear men speak, lest they should hear of their destruction.
(r) They will fall flat on the ground because of fear. 7:18 Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and s passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy.
(s) As though he did not see it, ignoring it. 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all t their sins into the depths of the sea.
(t) Meaning his elect. 7:20 Thou wilt perform the u truth to Jacob, [and] the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
(u) The Church is assured that God will perform the truth of his merciful promise, which he had made long ago to Abraham, and to all that would apprehend the promise by faith.