Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron,.... Not his inheritance and possession among the Gentiles, the chosen ones given him by the Father; these he delights in, takes care of, protects, and preserves: but the stubborn and rebellious ones among the Heathen, and in each of the parts of the world, who will not have him to reign over them; who treat his person with contempt, reject his government, disobey his Gospel, and despise his commands; towards these Christ will use severity, and will exert his power and break them in pieces. The Vulgate Latin, Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, render it, "shall feed" or "rule them"; and so it is cited in Revelation 2:27; and applied to Christ, the Word of God, and King of kings; and must be understood, as it is in those places, of the severity of his government over them, of the strictness of his justice, without the least display of mercy; and then the sense is the same with those versions which render it, "shall break them:" as the word used is interpreted by the Targum, and the Jewish commentators on the place; and which is confirmed by what follows:
Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel; which is very easily done with a bar of iron; and, when it is done, the pieces can never be put together again: so that by the metaphor is signified the easy and irreparable ruin of the wicked; see Isaiah 30:14. The word signifies that they should be so crumbled into dust, that they should be scattered about as with the wind; which, so far as it relates to the Jews, was fulfilled in their destruction by the Romans, and will have its accomplishment in the antichristian nations at the latter day; see Revelation 2:26.