[If] God will not withdraw his anger
Or "God will not withdraw his anger" F13; he is angry, or at least seems to be angry with his own people, in their apprehension, when he afflicts them and hides his face from them, or does not immediately appear to their relief and assistance; but this does not always last, he does not retain or keep anger for ever; but shows great mercies to them, and with everlasting kindness has mercy on them, by discovering his love to them, applying his pardoning grace and mercy, and comforting them with the consolations of his spirit; but then he is angry with the wicked every day, for their continual transgressions; and he never withdraws his anger from them, neither here nor hereafter, but punishes them with everlasting destruction, and casts them into everlasting fire, to which his wrath and anger are compared: the consequence of which is,
the proud helpers do stoop under him;
or "the helpers of pride" F14, or helpers of proud men; proud, wicked, and ungodly men, who combine together and help one another against God, his people, cause and interest; men of power, rule and government, as Aben Ezra explains it; civil magistrates, men in authority, who, instead of being terrors to evil doers, encourage them, and help them forward in their wickedness; but though both those that help, and those that are helped, may continue for a while, and be supported, yet they shall sooner or later fall under the mighty hand of God, his power and wrath, and be crushed by it. Some regard may be had either to the giants, the men of the old world, who filled the earth with violence, and were swept away with the flood, ( Genesis 6:13 ) ; or rather to the builders of Babel, who helped one another to build a tower to make them a name, and secure themselves, and in opposition to God; but he being angry with them, made them desist, and they bowed under him, ( Genesis 11:4 Genesis 11:8 ) . Some render it, "the helpers of Rahab"; that is, of Egypt F15, Rahab being a name of Egypt, ( Psalms 87:4 ) ( Isaiah 51:9 ) . The devils are meant, whose sin was pride, and by which they fell, and which they have endeavoured to promote and cherish among men; but these proud spirits are cast out of heaven and into hell, where they are reserved in chains of darkness to the great judgment, ( Jude 1:6 ) ; and are obliged, whether they will or not, to stoop to the Lord, and even to the son of God in human nature, which their proud stomachs cannot well bear; but are forced to it, the anger of God lying upon them, and his wrath, which will never be withdrawn from them.
F13 (wpa byvy al hwla) "Deus non revocabit furorem suum", Pagninus, Beza.
F14 (bhr yrze) "adjutores superbiae", Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Junius & Tremellius, Schmidt, Michaelis.
F15 So Jarchi.