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Isaiah 31:9

Isaiah 31:9

And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear
This is said of the king of Assyria, departing in haste from the siege of Jerusalem, to some strong hold in his own country, particularly his strong city Nineveh, for fear of the angel, and destruction following him; nor could he think himself safe, until he had got there. Some render it (and the original will bear it), "and his rock shall pass over for fear" F1; his mighty men, his men of valour, in whom he trusted, and put his confidence, who were his strength, on which he depended; these, as many as were left of them, fled away. So the Targum,

``his princes shall flee for fear;''

though these are expressed in the next clause:

and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign;
any ensign or standard they saw, supposing it to be a detachment of the Jews in pursuit of them; or not daring afterwards to face any enemy with their banners displayed: or rather were terrified at the sight of the standard erected by the angel in the air, and at the slaughter of their companies under them in the camp:

saith the Lord, whose fire [is] in Zion, and his furnace in
Jerusalem;
who keeps house there, and therefore will defend it. Some, as Aben Ezra and others, think reference is had to the altar of the Lord, where the fire was kept continually burning, and sacrifices were offered up to him, and therefore being the place of his worship, he would take care of it; but rather it seems to denote the fire of God's wrath, to defend his people, and destroy his enemies, ( Zechariah 2:5 ) . The Targum is,

``whose lustre is in Zion to them that do the law, and a burning furnace of fire to them that transgress his word.''

The Jews, in their Talmud F2, interpret the "fire" of hell, and the "furnace" of the gate of hell.


FOOTNOTES:

F1 (rwbey rwgmm welow) "et rupes ejus prae pavoro transibit", Forerius. So Cocceius and Ben Melech; with which the version of Junius and Tremellius agrees.
F2 T. Bab. Erubim, fol. 19. 1.
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