The LORD shall smite you with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Madness, and blindness, and astonishment.—The three words are all found in Zechariah 12:4
But in that place the threat seems directed against the enemies of Jerusalem (see Deuteronomy 30:7).Deuteronomy 28:29-34 reduce the sufferers to powerlessness before their enemies and oppressors.Blindness, to wit, of mind, so that they shall not know what to do; see Job 5:13,14; so as they shall commonly choose and follow the worst counsels and courses, to their own ruin.
Astonishment of heart; they shall be filled with wonder and horror, because of the strangeness and soreness of their calamities.
and blindness; not of body, but of mind; with judicial blindness and hardness of heart:The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)28. Cp. Zechariah 12:4; astonishment, better, dismay.Verses 28, 29. - Besides bodily ailments, mental diseases should come upon them - insanity, incapacity, confusion of mind, so that even at midday they should grope as a blind man gropes, i.e. under the most favorable circumstances they should be unable to find the right path, to hit on the right and safe course. It is of mental blindness that the word is here used (cf. Isaiah 42:19; Lamentations 4:14; Zephaniah 1:17; Romans 11:25; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Thou shalt grope (cf. Isaiah 59:10). Thus afflicted in body and mind, their state should be one only of oppression and calamity, with no hope of deliverance. Deuteronomy 28:20. "The Lord will send the curse against thee, consternation and threatening in every undertaking of thy hand which thou carriest out (see Deuteronomy 12:7), till thou be destroyed, till thou perish quickly, because of the wickedness of thy doings, because thou hast forsaken Me." The three words, מארה, מהוּמה, and מגערת, are synonymous, and are connected together to strengthen the thought. מארה, curse or malediction; המּהוּמה, the consternation produced by the curse of God, namely, the confusion with which God smites His foes (see at Deuteronomy 7:23); המּגערה is the threatening word of the divine wrath. - Then Deuteronomy 28:21. in detail. "The Lord will make the pestilence fasten upon (cleave to) thee, till He hath destroyed thee out of the land...to smite thee with giddiness and fever (cf. Leviticus 26:16), inflammation, burning, and sword, blasting of corn, and mildew (of the seed);" seven diseases therefore (seven as the stamp of the words of God), whilst pestilence in particular is mentioned first, as the most terrible enemy of life. דּלּקת, from דּלק to burn, and חרחר, from חרר to glow, signify inflammatory diseases, burning fevers; the distinction between these and קדּחת cannot be determined. Instead of חרב, the sword as the instrument of death, used to designate slaughter and death, the Vulgate, Arabic, and Samaritan have adopted the reading חרב, aestus, heat (Genesis 31:40), or drought, according to which there would be four evils mentioned by which human life is attacked, and three which are injurious to the corn. But as the lxx, Jon., Syr., and others read חרב, this alteration is very questionable, especially as the reading can be fully defended in this connection; and one objection to the alteration is, that drought is threatened for the first time in Deuteronomy 28:23, Deuteronomy 28:24. שׁדּפון, from שׁדף to singe or blacken, and ירקון, from ירק to be yellowish, refer to two diseases which attack the corn: the former to the withering or burning of the ears, caused by the east wind (Genesis 41:23); the other to the effect produced by a warm wind in Arabia, by which the green ears are turned yellow, so that they bear no grains of corn.
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