It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter
To cut easily, and wound deeply, and make a slaughter of men, like beasts for sacrifice; a sacrifice to the justice of God for their sins, and so acceptable to him; and it is he indeed that sharpens it, or prepares the instruments of his vengeance, whether Chaldeans, or Romans, or both; and gives them might and courage to execute his will with great keenness of wrath and fury: it is furbished that it may glitter;
and so strike terror on those against whom it is drawn, and for whom it is prepared, as glittering armour does: should we then make mirth?
sing, and dance, and feast, and indulge ourselves in all kind of mirth and jollity, when this is the case, a drawn, sharp, glittering sword hangs over our heads? no, surely! there is good reason for you to lament and sigh, as I do; you ask me the reason of it, this is it; is there not a cause? there is; it is not a season for mirth; but for weeping and lamentation. The words may be rendered, "or let us rejoice" F18; that is, if we can, ironically spoken. It contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree;
thus says the Lord God, this sword so sharpened and brightened despises the rod or sceptre (for so the word signifies) of Israel my son, my firstborn, and makes no more of it than a common stick, and cuts it to pieces, and destroys it; signifying hereby the easy destruction of the sceptre and kingdom of Judah by the sword of the Chaldeans or Romans. Some understand it of Christ the Son of God. The words may be rendered, "it is the rod of my son, it despiseth every tree" F19; this sword, prepared, is no other than the rod of iron, which the Son of God makes use of to rule his enemies with, and break them in pieces; and no tree, high and low, can stand before it; it cuts down all, and destroys them, be they what they will; see ( Psalms 2:7-9 ) . Cocceius interprets the former clause, "or we shall make merry" F20, of the Father and of the Son, and of their delight and pleasure, while wrath was executed on their enemies.
F18 (vyvn) "laetemar", Castalio; "gaudeamus", Glassius.
F19 (Ue lk toam ynb jbv) "virga est filii me ilia spernit, [vel] quae spermit omne lignum", Tigurine, version, Piscator, the margin of our Bibles.
F20 "Aut hilarabimur", Cocceius.