Comment: The chapter is predominantly and the
impending destruction that God was planning [v.1] from which no
one would escape [v.2-4] when the all-powerful God would shake
the land [v.5,6], the God for whom raising up and removing nations
is not a problem [v.7]. So now He looks on the sins of Israel
[v.8] to bring a destruction that will shake the people out of
the land [v.9] and destroy every sinner [v.10]. In the final five
verses are what some refer to as an Appendix, we see the Lord
declaring He will restore the kingdom/temple that originated under
David [v.11] to create a people secure against all others [v.12]
in an act of God that will happen very quickly [v.13] bring Israel
back from exile [v.14] to be firmly established for ever [v.15].
The judgment of v.1-10 are imminent and the restoration of v.11-15,
we suggest, veery distant – see below,]
ONE: v.1-10: Israel to be destroyed
Destruction will come to the temple
saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:
the tops of the pillars
so that the thresholds shake.
Bring them down on the heads of all the people;
those who are left I will kill with the
Not one will get away,
none will escape.
There will be no escape from the hand of judgment of the Lord
they dig down to the depths below,
from there my hand will take them.
Though they climb up to the heavens above,
from there I will bring them down.
they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
there I will hunt them down and seize
Though they hide from my eyes at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent to bite
driven into exile by their enemies,
there I will command the sword to slay
will keep my eye on them
for harm and not for good.'
The all-powerful hand of the Lord will bring this
Lord, the Lord Almighty –
he touches the earth and it melts,
and all who live in it mourn;
the whole land rises like the Nile,
then sinks like the river of Egypt;
builds his lofty palace in the heavens
and sets its foundation on the earth;
he calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the
the Lord is his name.
He is the God who raises up and disposes of peoples
not you Israelites
the same to me as the Cushites?'
declares the Lord.
‘Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt,
the Philistines from Caphtor
and the Arameans from Kir?
So His eyes are on Israel to bring destruction
the eyes of the Sovereign Lord
are on the sinful kingdom.
I will destroy it
from the face of the earth.
Yet I will not totally destroy
the descendants of Jacob,'
declares the Lord.
Israel will be utterly shaken
I will give the command,
and I will shake the people of Israel
among all the nations
as grain is shaken in a sieve,
and not a pebble will reach the ground.
All the unrepentant sinner will die, despite whatever they may
the sinners among my people
will die by the sword,
all those who say,
“Disaster will not overtake or meet us.”
TWO: v.11-15: Israel to be restored
Yet there will come a restoration of Jerusalem…
will restore David's fallen shelter –
I will repair its broken walls
and restore its ruins –
and will rebuild it as it used to be,
… and indeed the whole land
that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that bear my name,'
declares the Lord , who will do these things.
When it happens, it will happen very quickly…
days are coming,' declares the Lord,
the reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman
and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from all the hills,
… and will involve Israel being returned from exile, to be secure
I will bring my people Israel back from exile.
will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
God will establish them never again to be uprooted
will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,'
the Lord your God.
The extent of the restoration shown in these last five
verses seems to go beyond the restoration that occurred after
the Exile and must suggest an end-time restoration of Israel.
We should note that all talk of destruction does not mean extinction
for the concept of exile [v.9] is still here and very clear. Again
and again in the prophets we find these warnings of judgment resulting
in exile but not extinction of the nation. A repentant and restored
remnant are referred to again and again who will rise again to
create the ‘God-environment' into which the Son of God can come.]