The earthquake: which according to Hebrew tradition marked the crime of Uzziah when he attempted to offer incense in the temple
(2 Chr 26, 16–21
). Zechariah mentions it several centuries later (Zec 14, 5
For three crimes … four: crime after crime, an indefinite number; cf Am 1, 6
. The series of judgments on the foreign nations shows that the Lord demands the observance of the moral order everywhere;
Israel and Judah, despite their privileged position, are no exception. I will not revoke my word: God will not withdraw his
threat of punishment against each of these nations. They threshed Gilead: the people of Aram under King Hazael had devastated
Gilead; cf 2 Kgs 10, 32f
Fire: devastation caused by the Assyrians (Am 1, 7. 10. 12. 14; 2, 2. 5); cf 1 Sm 15, 18
. Hazael … Ben‐hadad: kings of the Arameans whose capital was Damascus (v 5
); they fought against Israel (2 Kgs 13, 3
), and had long occupied the region of Gilead (v 3
) in Transjordan.
Bar of Damascus: the beam securing the main gate of the city against invaders, symbol of its defenses. Valley of Aven (“vale
of wickedness”) … Beth‐eden (“house of pleasure”): Aramean territory from southwest to northeast.
Pact of brotherhood: Hiram of Tyre had made a pact with Solomon and called him brother (1 Kgs 5, 12; 9, 13
Pursued his brother: the Edomites were descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob (Gn 25–27
); nevertheless they constantly nourished enmity against Jacob's descendants, the Israelites.
Teman and Bozrah: two of the chief cities of Edom; cf Jer 49, 20
Rabbah: now called Amman, the modern capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
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