When I have bent Judah for me
By whom are meant the apostles, who were Jews, and whose ministrations were made use of as a bow with arrows, to strike the hearts of men, and bring them into subjection to Christ: they were a bow of the Lord's bending and preparing, and which abode in strength, being made strong and effectual through the hands of the mighty God of Jacob: filled the bow with Ephraim:
or rather, "filled Ephraim with the bow" F16; filled his hand with it; meaning, that some out of the ten tribes, as were the apostles, should be employed in drawing the bow of the Gospel, and shooting its arrows, the doctrines of it; which are comparable to them for swiftness, suddenness, and secrecy, and for their piercing and penetrating nature: and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece;
that is, persons of the land of Judea, as such the apostles were, and who belonged to Zion the church of Christ; who were raised up, qualified, and sent forth by him into the Gentile world, with weapons of warfare, not carnal, but spiritual; against the Gentiles in general, and the wise men of Greece, as at Athens, in particular, to confound some, and to conquer others, and bring them to the obedience of Christ. Some understand this of the Maccabees raised up against Antiochus, and the Greeks that possessed the kingdom of Syria: and made thee as the sword of a mighty man;
that is, made the Gospel in the hands of the church, and of her sons, as a sword in the hand of a mighty man, by whom execution is done with it; this is the sword of the Spirit, even the word of God; and is sharp and cutting, and is the power of God unto salvation; as it is girt upon the thigh, and is in the hands of Christ the most Mighty; and as it is accompanied with the Spirit of God, and of power.
F16 (Myrpa ytalm tvq) "arcu implebo [manum] Ephraim", Vatablus; so Ben Melech.