He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth
As at the birth of Christ, the Prince of peace, in the times of Augustus Caesar, when there was a general peace in the world, though it did not last long; and in the times of Constantine, signified by silence in heaven for half an hour, ( Revelation 8:1 ) ; when for a while there was a cessation from wars and persecution; and as will be in the latter day, and which is here chiefly designed; when nations shall learn war no more, and Christ's kingdom will take place; of which and its peace there shall be no end, ( Isaiah 2:4 ) ( Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 9:7 ) ( Psalms 72:7 ) . The consideration of which may serve to relieve distressed minds under terrible apprehensions of present troubles and public calamities;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the
chariot in the fire;
that is, "chariots", or "carts" F25 or "wagons", in which, as Aben Ezra observes, arms and provision were carried for the use of soldiers; the Targum renders it "round shields" F26: and the destroying of all these military weapons and carriages is a token of peace, and of war's being caused to cease, there being no more use for them; with this compare ( Ezekiel 39:8 Ezekiel 39:9 ) . It was usual to burn the arms of enemies taken in war F1.
F25 (twlge) "plaustra", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Musculus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F26 So the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic and Arabic versions.
F1 Vid. Lydium de Re Militari, l. 6. c. 4. p. 229, 230.