Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
Thus hath the Lord showed unto me,.... Another vision after this manner:
and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire; gave out that he would have a controversy with his people Israel, and proclaimed the time when he would try the cause with them, and that by fire: or he called his family, as Jarchi; that is, his angels, as Kimchi, to cause fire to descend upon Israel, as upon Sodom and Gomorrah; so other Rabbins Kimchi mentions: or, as he interprets it, the scorching heat of the sun, like fire that restrained the rain, dried up the plants, and lessened the waters of the river, and so brought on a general drought, and in consequence famine: or rather a foreign army, involving them in war, burning their cities and towns; see Amos 1:4;
and it devoured the great deep; it seemed, as if it did; as the fire from heaven, in Elijah's time, licked up the water in the trench, 1 Kings 18:38; so this, coming at God's command, seemed to dry up the whole ocean; by which may be meant the multitude of people, nations, and kingdoms, subdued by the Assyrians; see Revelation 17:15;
and did eat up a part; a part of a field, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra; of the king's field, Amos 7:1; as Kimchi; showing, as he observes, that the reigning king was a bad king, and that this was for his sin: or rather a part of the land of Israel; and so refers, as is generally thought, to Tiglathpileser's invasion of the land, who carried captive a part of it, 2 Kings 15:29.