Shall a trumpet be blown in the city
Meaning not any trumpet blown, as the silver trumpet for the gathering of the people to worship, or the jubilee trumpet, which proclaimed liberty to them, or any other, expressive of joy and gladness; but the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war, or what is blown by the watchmen on the walls, descrying an enemy, or some danger, near: and the people not be afraid?
they must, they usually are, lest their lives, and their children's, should be taken away, and their substance become a prey to the enemy: or, "and the people not run together" F6; into some one place for shelter, or to consult together how to provide for their safety, and secure themselves from danger. So when the prophets of the Lord, by his order, lift up their voice like a trumpet, to show his people their transgressions; or when, as watchmen, they blow the trumpet, to give notice of approaching danger; can they hear such denunciations of his wrath for their sins, and not tremble at them, or not take some ways and methods to escape it? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done [it]?
which is not to be understood of the evil of sin, of which God is not the author, it being contrary to his nature and will; and though he permits it to be done by others, yet he never does it himself, nor so much as tempts men to it, ( James 1:13 James 1:14 ) ; unless the words should be rendered, as they may be, "shall there be evil in a city, and shall not the Lord do" or "work" F7? shall sin be committed in a city, all sorts of sin, in the most bold and extravagant manner, and will not the Lord do something to show his resentment of it? is it not time for him to arise and work for his name's sake? will he not visit for these things, and be avenged on such a city, and the inhabitants of it? but this may be interpreted of the evil of affliction or judgment; which, wherever it comes, is by the order and appointment of God, and is inflicted by him; thus evil, as well as good, comes out of the mouth and hand of the most High; and he creates the evil of adversity, as well as makes peace and prosperity; see ( Job 2:10 ) ( Lamentations 3:38 ) ( Isaiah 45:7 ) .
F6 (wdrxy al) "non accurrit", Drusius, Tarnovius.
F7 (hve al hwhyw) "[and] shall not the Lord do [somewhat]?" margin of our Bibles.