Deuteronomy 28:29
And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways: and you shall be only oppressed and spoiled ever more, and no man shall save you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Thou shalt not prosper in thy ways.—The exact opposite is promised to Joshua (Deuteronomy 1:8) if he follows the Book of the Law. (Comp. Isaiah 29:10-14.) When men find it no longer possible to follow the word of God, it is written that “the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

Oppressed.—The children of Israel and of Judah were “oppressed “together (Jeremiah 50:33). But it is added, “Their Redeemer is strong” (Deuteronomy 28:34).

Spoiled.—The word occurs again in Deuteronomy 28:31 : “Violently taken away.”

28:15-44 If we do not keep God's commandments, we not only come short of the blessing promised, but we lay ourselves under the curse, which includes all misery, as the blessing all happiness. Observe the justice of this curse. It is not a curse causeless, or for some light cause. The extent and power of this curse. Wherever the sinner goes, the curse of God follows; wherever he is, it rests upon him. Whatever he has is under a curse. All his enjoyments are made bitter; he cannot take any true comfort in them, for the wrath of God mixes itself with them. Many judgments are here stated, which would be the fruits of the curse, and with which God would punish the people of the Jews, for their apostacy and disobedience. We may observe the fulfilling of these threatenings in their present state. To complete their misery, it is threatened that by these troubles they should be bereaved of all comfort and hope, and left to utter despair. Those who walk by sight, and not by faith, are in danger of losing reason itself, when every thing about them looks frightful.Mental maladies shah be added to those sore bodily plagues, and should Deuteronomy 28:29-34 reduce the sufferers to powerlessness before their enemies and oppressors.

Blindness - Most probably mental blindness; compare Lamentations 4:14; Zephaniah 1:17; 2 Corinthians 3:14 ff.

29-33. thou shalt grope at noonday—a general description of the painful uncertainty in which they would live. During the Middle Ages the Jews were driven from society into hiding-places which they were afraid to leave, not knowing from what quarter they might be assailed and their children dragged into captivity, from which no friend could rescue, and no money ransom them. At noon-day, i.e. in the most clear and evident matters thou shalt grossly mistake and miss thy way.

Thou shalt not prosper in thy ways; thy counsels and enterprises shall be frustrated, and turn to thy destruction. And thou shalt grope at noon day as the blind gropeth in darkness,.... That is, being in darkness through the loss of their sight; otherwise the darkness and the light are alike to them, and they grope in the one as well as in the other. This comparison shows that the darkness and blindness of the Jews, threatened them, is to be understood not of the darkness of their bodily eyes, but of their minds; not being able to understand, or form a judgment of things that are as clear as noon day; and being at the utmost loss what methods to take and pursue, when they are plain and manifest before them; but being infatuated and besotted, follow the lusts and counsels of their own hearts, which lead them wrong:

and thou shall not prosper in thy ways; in any steps they may take to extricate themselves out of their difficulties, distresses, and calamities, or to bring themselves into easy and comfortable circumstances; to get wealth and riches, and honour and esteem with men; but, on the contrary, become forlorn and miserable, poor and wretched, mean and despicable:

and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore; continually, every day, all the days of their lives, oppressed with taxes and tributes, with mulcts and fines, and spoiled of their goods and substance under one pretence or another; which has been generally their case in Popish countries; for this seems not to refer to the Babylonish captivity, where they built houses, and dwelt in them, and planted gardens, and ate the fruit of them; and in the peace of cities had peace themselves, Jeremiah 29:5,

and no man shall save thee; from the oppressions, exactions, and spoils of their enemies, nor deliver them out of their hands; whereas in process of time they had deliverance and salvation from the Babylonish captivity, by the means of Cyrus king of Persia.

And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the {n} blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.

(n) In things most evident and clear you will lack discretion and judgment.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. The mental weakness and even infatuation which possess nations and individuals physically debilitated lead to their oppression by stronger peoples; the details of which are illustrated in the next Deuteronomy 28:30-34.To this should be added terrible drought, without a drop of rain from heaven (cf. Leviticus 26:19). Instead of rain, dust and ashes should fall from heaven. נתן construed with a double accusative: to make the rain of the land into dust and ashes, to give it in the form of dust and ashes. When the heat is very great, the air in Palestine is often full of dust and sand, the wind assuming the form of a burning sirocco, so that the air resembles the glowing heat at the mouth of a furnace (Robinson, ii.504).
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