and who shall stand when he appeareth? in his kingdom and glory, to take vengeance on the Jews for their rejection of him and his Gospel; for this coming and appearance of his include all the time between his manifestation in the flesh and the destruction of Jerusalem; and so all those sorrows and distresses which went before it, or attended it, and were such as had never been from the creation of the world; and unless those times had been shortened, no flesh could have been saved; see Matthew 24:3,
for he is like a refiner's fire; partly by the ministry of the word, compared to fire, Jeremiah 23:29 separating pure doctrines from ones of dross; and partly by his fiery dispensations and judgments on the wicked Jews, when he distinguished and saved his own people from that untoward generation, and destroyed them:
and like fuller's soap; or "fuller's herb", as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, and Jarchi interprets it: and so R. Jonah (s) interprets it of an herb which fullers use: and in the Misna (t) this is one of the seven things used to take out spots, namely, "borith", the word here used; and which Maimonides (u) says is a plant known by the name of "algasul" and "gazul" in the Arabic language: it signifies something by which filth is washed away; and so Bartenora (w) says it is a plant which purifies and cleanses; and Jerom (x) relates that this herb grows in Palestine, in moist and green places, and has the same virtue as nitre to take away filth; agreeably to which some other versions render it "fuller's weed", or "soap weed" (y). The Syriac version is,
"as sulphur that makes white;''
and fullers, with the Romans, were wont to make use of that along with chalk to take out spots; and so Pliny (z) speaks of a kind of sulphur which fullers make use of. A metaphor signifying the same thing as before, the removing of spotted doctrines or spotted persons, the one by the preaching of the Gospel, the other by awful judgments, as spots in garments are removed by the fuller's herb or soap.
(s) Apud Kimchi in Sepher Shorash. rad. (t) Niddah. c. 9. sect. 6. (u) In Misn. ib. (w) In ib. (x) Comment. in Jer. ii. 22. (y) "ut lanaria fullonum", Drusius; "radicula, vel saponaria", Vatablus. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 35. c. 15.