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Verses 13-14

Zephaniah 2:13-14. And he will stretch out his hand against the north Nor will the southern nations only be punished, but judgments will be executed by the divine justice on the nations lying toward the north; and will make Nineveh a desolation What is here foretold was fulfilled before the predictions recorded in the foregoing verses. Dr. Prideaux observes, that “Chyniladanus being king of the Assyrian and Babylonian empire, Nabopolassar, his general, took the latter from him, in the sixteenth year of Josiah; fourteen years after which Saraccus the king was slain, and Nineveh destroyed, which completed the fall of Assyria.” And dry like a wilderness A multitude of people are often compared to, and called waters, in Scripture language; and therefore, figuratively speaking, to make Nineveh dry like a wilderness, may signify depopulating her. Or the words may be taken literally; for “Rauwolff observes, in his Travels, that on this side the river Tigris, in Mesopotamia, the ground is so sandy and dry, that you would think you were in the middle of the deserts of Arabia.” Prid. Con., Ann. 612 and 626. And flocks shall lie down, &c., all the beasts of the nations The several kinds of wild beasts that are in the country. What is said in this verse, is descriptive of a place lying in ruins and desolation; for in such a case it soon becomes a haunt of wild beasts and birds of every kind. Both the cormorant and the bittern, &c. Bishop Newcome reads, Both the pelican and the porcupine shall lodge in the carved lintels thereof; observing of the former, “These birds fed in the Tigris, and made their nests in the deserted ruins of the city.” The next clause he renders, A cry shall resound in the window: the raven shall be in the porch. For he shall uncover Or lay bare, the cedar-work God will reduce the houses of Nineveh to such a state of desolation, that the floors and ceilings of cedar shall lie open to the injuries of the weather, and to birds to roost and build their nests there. “This reference” (in mentioning cedar-work) “to the former elegance of the city, is finely introduced; and, in the next verse, the grand and affecting description of her desolate state is beautifully contrasted, by her late festivity and pride.”

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