The burden of the word of the Lord
A prophecy, as in ( Proverbs 31:1 ) which is sometimes of things sorrowful and distressing, as the destruction of people, as in ( Isaiah 31:1 ) ( 15:1 ) ( 17:1 ) ( 19:1 ) ( Isaiah 21:1 Isaiah 21:11 ) and sometimes of things joyful, as in ( Zechariah 13:1 ) and here it contains good news to the church of Christ, ( Zechariah 9:9 ) ; and is called a "burden", because the word of the Lord is often so to carnal men; see ( Jeremiah 23:33-39 ) the words may be rendered, a "declaration", or "a publication", of "the word of the Lord" F21; it signifies a publishing of it or bringing it forth; and so the Arabic version renders it "a revelation of the word of the Lord"; a carrying of it about: which was made in the land of Hadrach;
this is either the name of a man; of some king, as Aben Ezra observes; and some Jewish writers F23 say the King Messiah, who is (dx) "sharp" to the nations of the world, and (Kr) "tender" to the Israelites: or rather the name of a place, and may design Syria, to which Damascus belonged; see ( Isaiah 7:8 ) or some place near it: says R. Jose F24,
``I am of Damascus, and I call heaven and earth to witness that there is a place there, the name of which is Hadrach.''Hillerus F25 takes it to be the same with Coelesyria, or hollow Syria, a vale which lay between Libanus and Antilibanus, and goes by many names; the same that is called Hoba, ( Genesis 14:15 ) the plain of Aren, and the house of Eden, ( Amos 1:5 ) and here Hadrach; and thinks it had its name from Hadar, a son of Ishmael, ( Genesis 25:15 ) and observes what is said, ( Genesis 25:18 ) , that the "Ishmaelites dwelt from Havilah", which is to the south of Palestine, "unto Shur", a town situated over against Egypt, "as you go to Assyria"; that is, to the Agra of Ptolemy in Susiana. The Targum renders it
``in the land of the south.''There was a city in Coelesyria, called Adra by Ptolemy F26; which, as Jerom says F1, was distant from Bostra twenty five miles; since called the city of Bernard de Stampis; where were Christian churches in the fourth and fifth centuries, whose bishops were present at councils held in those times F2; and, according to this prophecy, here the word of the Lord was to be published; and it may have respect to the conversion of the inhabitants of it in future times: though some take it to be not the proper name of a place, but an appellative, and render it, "the land about", or "the land about thee" F3; that is, about Judea; the nations round about it, particularly Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine. And Damascus [shall be] the rest thereof;
``and Damascus shall be converted, that it may be of the house of his Shechinah;''see ( Isaiah 11:10 ) or of the word of the Lord, which should be declared and published there, as it was by the Apostle Paul, who was converted near it, and preached in it, ( Acts 9:3 Acts 9:19 Acts 9:20 ) or of Hadrach, or the adjacent country: unless it is to be understood of the burden of the Lord resting on it, or of the taking of this city in the times of Alexander the great; which, with the destruction of the cities after mentioned, some make a type or symbol of the abolition of Paganism in the Roman empire; but the former sense seems best. When the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, [shall] be
``for before the Lord are manifest the works of the children of men, and he is well pleased with all the tribes of Israel.''