For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west,
nor from the south.
] It is not from men, from themselves, or others, or from any quarter under the heavens, but from God; it is he that raises men to high places, and sets them there, which are often slippery ones: by him kings reign; they have their crowns and sceptres, thrones and kingdoms from him; there is no power but what is of God; riches and honour come of him, and he can take them away when he pleases; and therefore men should not be proud, haughty, and arrogant: some take these words to be the words of the fools and wicked, when they speak with a stiff neck, either as triumphing over the Messiah, his ministers, cause, and interest, reading the words thus, "neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south, shall there be a lifting up" F19, or an exaltation; that is, of Christ and his people, they are low, and shall never rise more; but in this they are mistaken; though now the Son of God is trampled under foot in his person and offices, there is a day coming when the Lord, and he alone, shall be exalted; though his ministers and witnesses prophesy in sackcloth, and shall be slain and lie unburied, yet they will arise again and ascend to heaven, to the great terror and astonishment of those their enemies; though Jacob is small, and it is said, by whom shall he arise? yet he shall become, great and numerous; the mountain of the Lord's house, the church, shall be established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills; and this enlargement of Christ's kingdom and interest shall be east, west, north, and south; or else as flattering themselves that no evil shall come to them from any quarter: "neither from the east, nor from the west, nor, from the desert of the mountains" F20, cometh evil; meaning to themselves, looking upon themselves as secure, and putting the evil day far from them: but there will be an awful and righteous judgment; there is a Judge ordained, a day appointed, in which the world will be judged in righteousness, and destruction and ruin will come upon the ungodly, and at a time when they are crying Peace, peace; nor shall they escape; and so the Syriac version renders the words, "for there is no escape from the west, nor from the desert of the mountains"; taking the word (Myrh) , not to signify "promotion, elevation", or "a lifting up", as Kimchi and others, whom we follow: but Moatanus and R. Aba observe that the word always signifies "mountains" but in this place: the Targum is,
``for there is none besides me from the east to the west, nor from the north of the wildernesses, and from the south, the place of the mountains;''no Messiah to be expected from any quarter; see ( Matthew 24:23 Matthew 24:26 ) , no God besides him, nor any other Saviour, ( Isaiah 44:6 Isaiah 44:8 ) ( Isaiah 45:21 Isaiah 45:22 ) nor any other Judge, as follows.
F19 (Myrh) "exaltatio", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F20 "Neque a desertis montibus", V. L. "neque a deserto montium", Cocceius; "neque a deserto Australi montium", Michaelis.