1 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered theThe Prophet takes upon himself the voice of the earth, which complains that all her fruits are gone, so that none are left: that is, that there is no godly man remaining, for all are given to cruelty and deceit, so that none spares his own brother.summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: [there is] no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.
2 The good [man] is perished out of the earth: and [there is] none upright among men:He shows that the prince, the judge, and the rich man are all linked together to do evil, and to disguise the deeds of one another.they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge [asketh] for a reward; and theThat is, the rich man that is able to give money, abstains from no wickedness or injury.great [man], he uttereth his mischievous desire: soThese men agree among themselves, and conspire with one another to do evil.they wrap it up.
4 The best of them [is] asThey that are of most estimation and are counted most honest among them, are but thorns and briers to prick.a brier: the most upright [is sharper] than a thorn hedge: the day ofMeaning the prophets and governors.thy watchmen [and] thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.
5 Trust ye not in a friend, neither put ye confidence in a counseller: keepe the doores of thy mouth from her that lyeth in thy bosome.
6 For the sonne reuileth the father: ye daughter riseth vp against her mother: the daughter in lawe against her mother in lawe, and a mans enemies are the men of his owne house.
7 ThereforeThe Prophet shows that the only remedy for the godly in desperate evils, is to flee to God for help.I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
8 Rejoice not against me,This is spoken in the voice of the Church, which calls the malignant church her enemy.O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me.
9 I will beare the wrath of the Lord because I haue sinned against him, vntill he pleade my cause, and execute iudgement for me: then will he bring me foorth to the light, and I shall see his righteousnesse.
10 Then she that is mine enemie, shall looke vpon it, and shame shall couer her, which said vnto me, Where is the Lorde thy God? Mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be troden downe as the myre of the streetes.
11 [In]That is, when God will show himself to be a deliverer of his Church, and a destroyer of his enemies.the day that thy walls are to be built, [in] that day shallMeaning the cruel empire of the Babylonians.the decree be far removed.
12 [In] that day [also] he shall come even to thee fromWhen the Church will be restored, those that were enemies before will come out of all the corners of the world to her, so that neither fortresses, rivers, seas, nor mountains will be able to stop them.Assyria, and [from] the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and [from] mountain to mountain.
13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit ofBefore this grace appears, he shows how grievously the hypocrites themselves will be punished, seeing that the earth itself, which cannot sin, will be made waste because of their wickedness.their doings.
14 The Prophet prays to God to be merciful to his Church, when they would be scattered abroad as in solitary places in Babylon, and to be beneficial to them as in times past.Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily [in] the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed [in] Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
15 God promises to be favourable to his people, as he had been before.According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous [things].
16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shallThey will be as dumb men, and dare brag no more.lay [their] hand upon [their] mouth,They will be astonished and afraid to hear men speak, lest they should hear of their destruction.their ears shall be deaf.
17 They shallThey will fall flat on the ground because of fear.lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.
18 Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, andAs though he did not see it, ignoring it.passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy.
19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast allMeaning his elect.their sins into the depths of the sea.
20 Thou wilt perform theThe Church is assured that God will perform the truth of his merciful promise, which he had made long ago to Abraham, and to all that would apprehend the promise by faith.truth to Jacob, [and] the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.