Numbers 33:55
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"'But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.

New Living Translation
But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live.

English Standard Version
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.

New American Standard Bible
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live.

King James Bible
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if you don't drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those you allow to remain will become thorns in your eyes and in your sides; they will harass you in the land where you will live.

International Standard Version
But if you fail to drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, their survivors will become irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, to prick your sides and afflict you in the very land in which you'll be living.

NET Bible
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those whom you allow to remain will be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your side, and will cause you trouble in the land where you will be living.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
" 'But if you do not force out those who live in the land, they will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will constantly fight with you over the land you live in.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come to pass that those whom ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides and shall afflict you in the land in which ye dwell.

King James 2000 Bible
But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those whom you let remain of them shall be barbs in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall trouble you in the land wherein you dwell.

American King James Version
But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which you let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein you dwell.

American Standard Version
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall those that ye let remain of them be as pricks in your eyes, and as thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if you will not kill the inhabitants of the land: they that remain, shall be unto you as nails in your eyes, and spears in your sides, and they shall be your adversaries in the land of your habitation.

Darby Bible Translation
But if ye will not dispossess the inhabitants of the land from before you, those that ye let remain of them shall be thorns in your eyes, and pricks in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land wherein ye dwell.

English Revised Version
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then shall those which ye let remain of them be as pricks in your eyes, and as thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be prickles in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall harass you in the land in which ye dwell.

World English Bible
"But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those you let remain of them will be as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you dwell.

Young's Literal Translation
And if ye do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it hath been, those whom ye let remain of them, are for pricks in your eyes, and for thorns in your sides, and they have distressed you on the land in which ye are dwelling,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

33:50-56 Now that they were to pass over Jordan, they were entering again into temptation to follow idols; and they are threatened that, if they spared either the idols or the idolaters, their sin would certainly be their punishment. They would foster vipers in their own bosoms. The remnant of the Canaanites, if they made any peace with them, though but for a time, would be pricks in their eyes, and thorns in their sides. We must expect trouble and affliction from whatever sin we indulge; that which we are willing should tempt us, will vex us. It was intended that the Canaanites should be put out of the land; but if the Israelites learned their wicked ways, they also would be put out. Let us hear this and fear. If we do not drive out sin, sin will drive us out. If we are not the death of our lusts, our lusts will be the death of our souls.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 55. - If ye will not drive out the inhabitants. As was in fact the case (Judges 1). The warning is here given for the first time, because the danger was now near at hand, and had indeed already shown itself in the matter of the Midianitish women and children. Pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides. Natural symbols of dangerous annoyances. Possibly the thickets which fringe the Jordan supplied them with present examples. In Joshua 23:13 we have "scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes," which sounds somewhat more artificial. In Judges 2:3, where this warning is quoted, the figure is not expressed at all: "they shall be in your sides."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you,.... Should be remiss and careless about it, and indifferent to it, and not make use of the proper means to get rid of them, but, on the contrary, make covenants with them, and intermarry among them; or, however, become friendly to them, and suffer them to dwell among them:

then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them; sparing their lives, and permitting them to dwell among them:

shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides; which figurative expressions show that they should be very troublesome and distressing to them, even in their most tender and nearest concerns, and dearest relations, and which are explained and more properly expressed as follows:

and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell; among other things by their wicked conversation, and by drawing them into sin through their ill examples, and so bring the displeasure of God upon them, and punishment for their evil doings.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

55. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you—No associations were to be formed with the inhabitants; otherwise, "if ye let remain, they will be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides"—that is, they would prove troublesome and dangerous neighbors, enticing to idolatry, and consequently depriving you of the divine favor and blessing. The neglect of the counsel against union with the idolatrous inhabitants became fatal to them. This earnest admonition given to the Israelites in their peculiar circumstances conveys a salutary lesson to us to allow no lurking habits of sin to remain in us. That spiritual enemy must be eradicated from our nature; otherwise it will be ruinous to our present peace and future salvation.

Numbers 33:55 Additional Commentaries
Context
Canaanites to Be Destroyed
54'You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to the larger you shall give more inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give less inheritance. Wherever the lot falls to anyone, that shall be his. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your fathers. 55But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. 56'And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you.'"
Cross References
2 Corinthians 12:7
or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

Numbers 33:56
And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.'"

Joshua 23:13
then you may be sure that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the LORD your God has given you.

Judges 2:3
And I have also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.'"

Ezekiel 28:24
"'No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which you let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein you dwell.

shall be pricks

Exodus 23:33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against …

Deuteronomy 7:4,16 For they will turn away your son from following me, that they may …

Joshua 23:12,13 Else if you do in any wise go back, and join to the remnant of these …

Judges 1:21-36 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that …

Judges 2:3 Why I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they …

Psalm 106:34-36 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them…

Ezekiel 28:24 And there shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel, …

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