A² H a 1. Ruin of Damascus. b 2,3. Other cities. J K c 4,5. Diminution. d 6. The remnant. L 7,8. God. Looking to Him. J K d 9-. The remnant. c -9. Diminution. L 10. God. Not looking to Him. H a 11. Ruin of Damascus. b 12-14. Other peoples.
1 The burden (the 2nd of 7 burdens) of Damascus (the capital of Syria). Behold, Damascus is swept away from being a city (This was by Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, and the slaughter of Rezin [632 B.C.]. See 2 Kings 16:9 and 7:9,16, above), and it shall be a ruinous heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken (There were three other cities of that name. [Deut. 2:36. Num. 32:34. 1 Sam. 30:28], and this one, which is not identified. See 1:4 [forsaken]): they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the sons of Israel,” says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Sabaioth).
4 “And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall become made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5 And it (i.e. Jacob's glory [v.4]) shall be as when the harvestman gathers the corn, and reaps the ears with his arm; and it (i.e. Jacob's fatness [v.4]) shall be as he that gathers ears in the valley of Rephaim. (South-west of Jerusalem. So called after one "Rapha", a mighty one among the descendants of the Nephiim, as Anak was, who gave his name to another branch. See Gen. 6:2,4)
6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the out-most fruitful branches thereof,” says the Lord God of Israel. (See Ex. 32:27. Cp. Josh. 9:18,19; 10:40,42, &c. Also see Ex. 24:10. Num.16:9)
7 At that day shall the human have an eye to to his Maker, and his eyes shall have regard to the Holy One of Israel. (see 1:4)
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the asherahs (see Ex. 34:13. Deut. 7:5; 12:3; 16:21), or the sun images. (See Lev. 26:30. Both mentioned again in 27:9)
9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the sons of Israel:
and there shall be desolation. (see 1:7)
10 Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your strength (see Deut. 32:13), therefore shall you plant pleasant plants (probably = plantings of Adonis), and shalt set it with strange slips (or slips of a strange god):
11 By day shall you make your plant to grow, and in the morning shall you make your seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
12 Woe to the multitude of many peoples, which make a noise like the roaring of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but One shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the dried grass of the mountains before the wind (Heb ruach), and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. (= galgal. See Pss. 83:13)
14 And behold at evening-tide consternation; and before the morning he is not (or, he is no more. Some codices read "an he is no more"). This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.