For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place,.... God, as omnipresent, is everywhere, and cannot be properly said to quit one place, and go to another; but as heaven is the seat of his majesty, and where he more manifestly displays his glory, when he is said to do anything remarkable on earth, he is said to come out of his place, and come down thither, Micah 1:3 especially in the exertion of his power and justice, in a way of punishment of sin; which is his act, his strange act; and comes off from his throne of grace and mercy, in which he delights: the allusion is to a king leaving his throne and palace, to go forth against an enemy abroad, or to quell and punish rebellious subjects: some reference may be had to the Lord's dwelling in the temple secretly, in the inward part of it, and coming out from thence in the display of his perfections, as Calvin thinks; with which may be compared Revelation 14:15:
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; not the same as in Isaiah 26:10 for those are distinguished from the Lord's people; but carnal, worldly, and earthly men, particularly the followers of antichrist, called the inhabiters of the earth, who have committed fornication with the whore of Rome, Revelation 17:2 these the Lord will punish for their iniquity; for he punishes none but for sin, even for their idolatries, adulteries, sorceries, thefts, and murders, particularly their shedding of innocent blood, as follows; and therefore their punishment will be just, God will remember their iniquities, and retaliate; see Revelation 9:20:
the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain; when God shall make inquisition for blood, the blood of all his saints and prophets will be found in mystical Babylon, and what was hid and covered, or thought to be so, will now be discerned, and brought to light, and just punishment inflicted for it,
Revelation 18:24 unless this should rather denote the great effusion of blood and carnage that will be made, so that the earth will not be able to drink it in, and the slain will lie unburied on it; see
Revelation 11:13. The Targum favours the former sense,
"and the earth shall reveal the innocent blood that is shed on it, and shall no more cover her slain.''