Rebuke the company of spearmen
Or, "of the reed" F4; that is, men that use and fight with spears, like to reeds, as Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it. Aben Ezra says, that spears are so called in the Kedarene or Arabian language; and the Arabians use a sort of reed for a spear, as Mr. Castel out of Avicenna observes F5, and Pliny
the multitude of bulls;
the secular powers of the beast of Rome; the antichristian states, their kings and princes, comparable to these creatures for their great strength, power, and authority, and for their fierceness and furiousness in persecuting the people of God: these are horned creatures, the ten horns of the beast, in his civil and secular capacity, with which he pushes at the saints, casts them down, and tramples upon them; see ( Psalms 22:13 ) ( Ezekiel 39:18 ) ; compared with ( Revelation 19:18 ) ;
with the calves of the people;
or the people, comparable to calves for their weakness, folly, and stupidity; these are the common people under the government and influence of the kings and princes of the earth; the people, multitudes, nations, and tongues, over whom the antichristian harlot sits, rules, and reigns: this phrase shows that the whole is to be taken, not in a literal, but figurative, sense;
[till everyone] submit himself with pieces of silver;
that is, rebuke them by thy word, or by thy providences, until they become sensible of their sins, repent of them, and submit themselves to Christ; and bring with them their wealth and substance, and lay it at his feet for the use of his interest, as a testification of their subjection to him: but as this is not to be expected from the persons before described, at least not from everyone of them, the words require another sense, and are to be considered as a continued description of the persons to be rebuked, and may be rendered, even everyone "that treads with pieces of silver" F11; that walks proudly and haughtily, being decorated with gold and silver on their garments; so the Romish antichrist is said to be decked, his popes, cardinals, and bishops, with gold and precious stones, ( Revelation 17:4 ) ; or "everyone that humbles himself for pieces of silver" F12, as the word is rendered in ( Proverbs 6:3 ) ; that lies down to be trampled upon for the sake of temporal advantage; and so it describes the parasites and flatterers of the man of sin, who crouch unto him, take his mark in their hands or foreheads, that they may be allowed to buy and sell; all these, it is desired, God would rebuke, not in love, but with flames of fire, as he will sooner or later; for when the kings of the earth are become Christians, as in ( Psalms 68:29 ) , God will put it into their hearts to hate the whore, and burn her flesh with fire;
scatter thou the people [that] delight in war;
as antichrist, and the antichristian states, do: they take delight in making war with the saints, and in slaying of them, to whom power has been given so to do; with whose blood they have been made drunk, and have took as much pleasure in the shedding of it as a drunken man does in indulging himself to excess in liquor; but these in God's own time shall be scattered, when Christ the Lamb shall fight against them with the sword of his mouth, and shall utterly destroy them; see ( Revelation 13:7 ) ( Revelation 17:6 Revelation 17:14 ) ( Revelation 19:15-21 ) .
F4 (hnq tyx) "congregationem calami", Pagninus.
F5 Lexic. Polyglott. col. 3376.
F6 Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 36.
F7 "Feram cannae", Montanus; "bestiam arundineti", Cocceius; "feram vel bestiam arundinis", Gejerus, Michaelis.
F8 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 118. 2.
F11 (oprtm) "gloriantem se", Montanus, Vatablus; "calcantem", Rivet.
F12 "Ob fragmina argenti", Gejerus.