7. The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.
7. Venit mane super to, habitator terrae: venit tempus, propinquus est dies tumultus, et non clamor montium.
Now he uses another word. He says, the morning is come, though some translate kingdom, but erroneously. For although tsphyrh, tzephireh, is a turban sometimes, or a royal diadem, yet the Prophet's language is distorted when they say that the kingdom was transferred, or taken over to the Babylonians. But the sentence flows best -- the morning cometh By |the morning| he implies what he had said before, namely, the hastening of God's vengeance. As, therefore, he said the end was watching, since God was hastening to take vengeance, so also he says, the morning is come to them, and then rouses them from that drowsiness in which they had grown torpid. We know that hypocrites commit all their sins as if no eye were upon them; as long as God is silent and at rest they revel without shame or fear. But the chosen remain faithful even in secret; but God's word always shines before them, as Peter says -- ye do well when ye attend to the Prophetic word, as a lamp shining in darkness. (2 Peter 1:19.) Although the faithful may be surrounded by darkness, yet they direct their eye to the light of celestial doctrine, so that they are watchful, and are not children of the night and of darkness, as Paul says. (1 Thessalonians 5:4,5.) But the impious are, as it were, immersed in darkness, and think they shall enjoy perpetual night. As the rising morning dispels the darkness of night, so also God's judgment, on its sudden appearance, strikes the reprobate with unexpected terror, but too late.
For this reason, then, the Prophet says, that morning is come to the Israelites, because they had promised themselves perpetual night, as if they were never to be called upon to render an account of their conduct. We see, therefore, that he alludes suitably to that torpor which was the cause of their obstinacy, when they thought themselves safe in their hiding-places. Hence he laughs at their perverse confidence, who promise themselves impunity because they are in night. For the morning, he says, will immediately seize upon you; hence morning is coming upon thee, O inhabitant of the land; afterwards, the time is come: t, gneth, properly signifies all appointed or determined time. Hence the Prophet meant that the time had come which God had fixed beforehand for his judgment, and thus he takes away from the impious the material for pride, for they always suppose that God is as it were asleep when he does not attack them at the very first moment. He speaks, therefore, of an appointed time, as in other places the Prophets usually do, and frequently of the year of visitation. He signifies the same thing when he says, the day of tumult, or noise, is at hand. This member of the sentence answers to the former. He had said the end was watching; he had said that the judgment was hastening on: now simply and without figure he says, the day is at hand, qrvv, krob, a day, I say, of noise, and not the echo of the mountains, says he; that is, it shall not be an empty resounding, as when a. sound is produced among the mountains a concussion arises, and since the sounds which are uttered there, when taken up by the neighboring mountains, return to their own place, and thus a greater resounding occurs, called echo. The Prophet therefore says, that the clamor of which he speaks should not be an echo, that is, an empty resounding, because all should seriously cry out. Some think hd, hed, means |acclamations,| which is properly hydd, hided; it is, indeed, from the same root, but hr, her, is used in the same sense. But if this explanation seems better, the Prophet will allude to mountains, not lofty, but vine-bearing, as many were in the land of Israel. But the other explanation is preferable, namely, there shall be the sound of a tumult, not on account of the reverberation, as they say, but because every one should cry out, until sorrow and crying should abound on every side. It follows --