New American Standard Bible
Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work.
King James Bible
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.
Darby Bible Translation
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the crowd of beasts; both the pelican and the bittern shall lodge in the chapiters thereof; a voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be on the thresholds: for he hath laid bare the cedar work.
World English Bible
Herds will lie down in the midst of her, all the animals of the nations. Both the pelican and the porcupine will lodge in its capitals. Their calls will echo through the windows. Desolation will be in the thresholds, for he has laid bare the cedar beams.
Young's Literal Translation
And crouched in her midst have droves, Every beast of the nation, Both pelican and hedge-hog in her knobs lodge, A voice doth sing at the window, 'Destruction is at the threshold, For the cedar-work is exposed.'
Zephaniah 2:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her - No desolation is like that of decayed luxury. It preaches the nothingness of man, the fruitlessness of his toils, the fleetingness of his hopes and enjoyments, and their baffling when at their height. Grass in a court or on a once beaten road, much more, in a town, speaks of the passing away of what has been, that man was accustomed to be there, and is not, or is there less than he was. It leaves the feeling of void and forsakenness. But in Nineveh not a few tufts of grass here and there shall betoken desolation, it shall be one wild rank pasture, where "flocks" shall not feed only, but "lie down" as in their fold and continual resting place, not in the outskirts only or suburbs, but in the very center of her life and throng and busy activity, "in the midst of her," and none shall fray them away. So Isaiah had said of the cities of Aroer, "they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down and none shall make them afraid" Isaiah 17:2, and of Judah until its restoration by Christ, that it should be "a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks" (Isaiah 32:14, compare Jeremiah 6:2). And not only those which are wont to be found in some connection with man, but "all the beasts of a nation" , the troops of wild and savage and unclean beasts which shun the dwellings of man or are his enemies, these in troops have their lair there.
Both the cormorant and the bittern - They may be the same. The pelican retires inland to consume its food. Tristram, Houghton, in Smith's Bible Dictionary, "Pelican" note. It could be a hedgehog.
Shall lodge in the upper lintels of it. - The "chapiters" (English margin) or capitals of the pillars of the temples and palaces shall lie broken and strewn upon the ground, and among those desolate fragments of her pride shall unclean animals haunt. The pelican has its Hebrew name from vomiting. It vomits up the shells which it had swallowed whole, after they had been opened by the heat of the stomach, and so picks out the animal contained in them , the very image of greediness and uncleanness. It dwells also not in deserts only but near marshes, so that Nineveh is doubly waste.
A voice shall sing in the windows - In the midst of the desolation, the muteness of the hedgehog and the pensive loneliness of the solitary pelican, the musing spectator is even startled by the gladness of a bird, joyous in the existence which God has given it. Instead of the harmony of music and men-singers and women-singers in their palaces shall be the sweet music of some lonely bird, unconscious that it is sitting "in the windows" of those, at whose name the world grew pale, portions of the outer walls being all which remain of her palaces. "Desolation" shall be "in the thresholds," sitting, as it were, in them; everywhere to be seen in them; the more, because unseen. Desolation is something oppressive; we "feel" its presence. There, as the warder watch and ward at the empty portals, where once was the fullest throng, shall "desolation sit," that no one enter. "For He shall uncover (hath uncovered, English margin) the cedar-work:" in the roofless palaces, the carved "cedar-work" shall be laid open to wind and rain. Any one must have noticed, how piteous and dreary the decay of any house in a town looks, with the torn paper hanging uselessly on its walls. A poet of our own said niche beautiful ruins of a wasted monastery:
"For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout the ruins gray."
But at Nineveh it is one of the mightiest cities of the world which thus lies waste, and the bared "cedar-work" had, in the days of its greatness, been carried off from the despoiled Lebanon or Hermon .
LibraryOf the Decrees of God.
Eph. i. 11.--"Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."--Job xxiii. 13. "He is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth." Having spoken something before of God, in his nature and being and properties, we come, in the next place, to consider his glorious majesty, as he stands in some nearer relation to his creatures, the work of his hands. For we must conceive the first rise of all things in the world to be in this self-being, the first conception …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.
I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places.
But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there.
"I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.
But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness.
I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and He said, "Smite the capitals so that the thresholds will shake, And break them on the heads of them all! Then I will slay the rest of them with the sword; They will not have a fugitive who will flee, Or a refugee who will escape.
Jump to PreviousAnimals Bare Beams Beasts Bittern Calls Capitals Cedar Cormorant Desolation Echo Flocks Herds Lie Midst Nations Pelican Porcupine Posts Sing Thereof Threshholds Thresholds Uncover Uncovered Upper Voice Voices Windows Work
Jump to NextAnimals Bare Beams Beasts Bittern Calls Capitals Cedar Cormorant Desolation Echo Flocks Herds Lie Midst Nations Pelican Porcupine Posts Sing Thereof Threshholds Thresholds Uncover Uncovered Upper Voice Voices Windows Work
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