Deuteronomy 28:37
And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.
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(37) And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword.—This verse is the contrary to Deuteronomy 28:10. It was verified in the first captivity, and did not wait for the last dispersion. (See 1Kings 9:7-9, where the threat is repeated; Jeremiah 42:18; Ezekiel 36:20-22.)

Deuteronomy 28:37. Thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word — “And do we not hear and see this prophecy fulfilled almost every day? Is not the avarice, usury, and hard-heartedness of a Jew grown proverbial? And are not their persons generally odious among all sorts of people? Mohammedans, heathens, and Christians, however they may disagree in other points, yet generally agree in vilifying, abusing, and persecuting the Jews. In most places where they are tolerated, they are obliged to live in a separate quarter by themselves, (as they did in London in the Old Jewry,) and to wear some badge of distinction. Their very countenances commonly distinguish them from the rest of mankind. They are in all respects treated as if they were of another species.” Bishop Newton.

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.See the marginal references for the fulfillment of these judgments.37. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee, &c.—The annals of almost every nation, for eighteen hundred years, afford abundant proofs that this has been, as it still is, the case—the very name of Jew being a universally recognized term for extreme degradation and wretchedness. All other nations shall wonder to see such calamities befall such a people; and when they would express any dreadful affliction in a proverbial way, they shall make use of thy example: they shall also sport themselves in thy miseries, and say, These are the people of the Lord, the only saints upon earth, &c.

And thou shall become an astonishment,.... To neighbouring nations, that shall hear of their overthrow and captivity, and that shall see the miserable condition they are brought into:

a proverb and a byword among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee; both for the wickedness committed by them, and for the ill usage of them by the nations among whom they should be, as they were in the Babylonish captivity; see Jeremiah 24:9; and now are, it being common to say,"do you think I am a Jew?''or,"none but a Jew would have done such a thing.''

And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.
37. a proverb] Rather, a taunt.

byword] Only here, Jeremiah 24:9, 1 Kings 9:7, 2 Chronicles 7:20; lit. the object of biting remarks.

shall lead thee away] So in Deuteronomy 4:27.

Deuteronomy 28:37The loss of their spiritual character would be followed by the dissolution of the covenant fellowship. This thought connects Deuteronomy 28:36 with Deuteronomy 28:35, and not the thought that Israel being afflicted with leprosy would be obliged to go into captivity, and in this state would become an object of abhorrence to the heathen (Schultz). The Lord would bring the nation and its king to a foreign nation that it did not know, and thrust them into bondage, so that it would be obliged to serve other gods - wood and stone (vid., Deuteronomy 4:28), - and would become an object of disgust, a proverb, and a byword to all nations whither God should drive it (vid., 1 Kings 9:7; Jeremiah 24:9).
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