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Verses 8-11

Zephaniah 2:8-11. I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of Ammon These countries were destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem: see the places referred to in the margin, where, as well as here, they are threatened with destruction, for their insulting over the Jews in their calamities. And magnified themselves against their border Have invaded their territories: see Jeremiah 49:1. Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and Ammon as Gomorrah Proverbial expressions signifying utter destruction; and a perpetual desolation That shall never more be possessed by its former inhabitants. The residue of my people shall spoil them Judas Maccabeus and his brethren subdued the Ammonites: see 1Ma 5:6 . “But this and the seventh verse,” says Lowth, “will receive their utmost completion at the general restoration of the Jewish nation. Those that then escape, and return from their several dispersions, are elsewhere called by the name of the residue, and the remnant:” compare chap. Zephaniah 3:13; and see note on Micah 4:7. The Lord will be terrible unto them Or, The Lord, who is to be feared, is against, or above them, and will make it appear that he is terrible in his judgments. For he will famish all the gods of the earth Such as Dagon, Chemosh, Moloch, &c., all those that are gods nowhere else but upon the earth, among the deceived sons of earth, vile, spurious gods. Though their altars are now filled with sacrifices, and their bowls run over, as if it were designed to make them fat, they shall be famished, or starved, by being deprived of their sacrifices and drink-offerings. Instead of, He will famish, Houbigant reads, He will dissipate: but it is justly observed by Bishop Warburton, that the expression, as it stands in our version, is noble, alluding to the popular superstitions of paganism, which conceived that the gods were nourished by the steam of sacrifices. And men shall worship him, every one from his place Or, in his place: that is, not only at Jerusalem, but everywhere: see the margin. Even all the isles of the heathen “By the earth the Jews understood the great continent of all Asia and Africa, to which they had access by land; and by the isles of the sea they understood the places to which they sailed by sea, particularly all Europe.” Sir I. Newton, on Daniel, p. 216. Chrysostom cites this passage, according to the version of the LXX., and applies it to gospel times, as an argument against the Jews, and surely it was chiefly meant of those times; for never were the false gods so famished, or so destroyed, as they were by the preaching of the gospel. Then especially did men, in every place where the gospel prevailed, worship the true God alone. It is true, many of the people, among whom the Jews were dispersed in the time of their captivity, and also with whom they had commerce after their return, were instructed by them in the knowledge of the one living and true God; yet, what is said here seems to be much more applicable to the times of the gospel, than to any conversion of the heathen to the worship of Jehovah, which was ever effected by the Jews, before Christ sent out his apostles to preach his gospel through all the world.

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