Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,
Ver. 4. Then the people of the land] Who the nearer they came unto a conjunction with the Jews in matters of religion the deeper hatred they bare them. Thus at this day, a Jew hates a Christian worse than he doth a Pagan; so doth a Turk hate a Persian worse than he doth a Christian; a Papist, a Protestant worse than he doth a Turk; a formalist, a Puritan worse than he doth a Papist, Odia Theologica sunt acerbissima. Religious hatred is most shep.
Weakened the hands of the people of Judah] Discouraged them all they could, endeavouring to transfuse, as it were, a dead palsy into their fingers, that they might surcease, or, at least, slack their pains. Well might Solomon say, Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous: but who can stand before envy? surely the venom of all vices is found in this sharp fanged malignity.
And troubled them in building] Heb. Kept ado about them, and terrified them. This was to do the work of their father, the devil, that troubler of God's Israel (ad iniuriam inferendam totus comparatus, ο πονηρος), set upon it to vex such as begin but to build the tower of godliness, and to hinder them to the utmost.