|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-17 God shall come into Egypt with his judgments. He will raise up the causes of their destruction from among themselves. When ungodly men escape danger, they are apt to think themselves secure; but evil pursues sinners, and will speedily overtake them, except they repent. The Egyptians will be given over into the hand of one who shall rule them with rigour, as was shortly after fulfilled. The Egyptians were renowned for wisdom and science; yet the Lord would give them up to their own perverse schemes, and to quarrel, till their land would be brought by their contests to become an object of contempt and pity. He renders sinners afraid of those whom they have despised and oppressed; and the Lord of hosts will make the workers of iniquity a terror to themselves, and to each other; and every object around a terror to them.
Verse 10. - And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof; rather, and the foundations thereof shall be broken, or crushed to pieces (Kay). The rich and noble, the foundations of the fabric of society, seem to be meant. All that make sluices, etc. Translate, all that work for hire (comp. Proverbs 11:18) shall be grieved in soul. The meaning is that all classes, from the highest to the lowest, shall suffer affliction (so Lowth, Gesenius, Knobel, Kay, Cheyne).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof,.... Meaning either the persons that work in flax, or in making nets; who shall be disappointed in their views, expectations, and designs, in bringing them to a good market, since there will be no buyers. The word for "purposes" signifies foundations, as in Psalm 11:3 and may design dams and banks, that are made to keep in the water, which shall be broken down, and be of no service to answer the end; but Kimchi observes, that the word in the Talmudic language signifies "nets", as it does (n); and this seems to be most agreeable to the context; and then the words may be rendered, "and its nets shall be broken" (o); shall lie and rot for want of use:
all that make sluices and ponds for fish; or, "all that make an enclosure of ponds of soul" (p); or for delight and pleasure; that is, not only such shall be broken in their purposes, ashamed and confounded, and be dispirited, mourn and lament, whose business and employment it is to catch fish, or make nets for that end, and get their livelihood thereby; but even such who enclose a confluence of water, and make fishponds in their fields and gardens for their pleasure, will be disappointed; for their waters there will be dried up, and the fish die, as well as in the common rivers. The Septuagint version renders it, "and all they that make zythum shall grieve"; "zythum" was a sort of malt liquor of the ancients; and the word for "sluices" is of affinity with a word that is often used for strong drink; and so the Syriac version here,
"and all they shall be humbled that make strong drink, for the drink of the soul;''
or for men to drink for pleasure.
(n) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 124. 2. Bava Kama, fol. 117. 1.((o) "Et erunt retia ejus contrita", Pagninus, Montanus. (p) "omnes facientes clausuram stagnorum animae", Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. in the purposes—rather, "the foundations," that is, "the nobles shall be broken" or brought low: so Isa 3:1; Ps 11:3; compare Isa 19:13, "The princes—the stay of the tribes. The Arabs call a prince "a pillar of the people" [Maurer]. "Their weaving-frames" [Horsley]. "Dykes" [Barnes].
all that make sluices, &c.—"makers of dams," made to confine the waters which overflow from the Nile in artificial fish-ponds [Horsley]. "Makers of gain," that is, the common people who have to earn their livelihood, as opposed to the "nobles" previously [Maurer].
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