Deuteronomy 28:38
You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.
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(38-42) These are the contrary to Deuteronomy 28:11; and Deuteronomy 28:44 is the contrary to Deuteronomy 28:12-13. From the order of the passage it might seem that these particular troubles were to come on Israel after their captivity. And perhaps it is not accidental that something very like a fulfilment of Deuteronomy 28:38-40 is found in Haggai 1:6-11. (Comp. also Isaiah 5:10, “Ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.”)

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.Third series of judgments, affecting every kind of labor and enterprise until it had accomplished the total ruin of the nation, and its subjection to its enemies.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. No text from Poole on this verse. Thou shall carry much seed into the field,.... And sow it plentifully; this and what is said in some following verses plainly refer to them while in their own land, before carried captive, and not to their present case and circumstances:

and shall gather but little in at harvest; little springing up, or not coming to perfection, being blighted and blasted, and so yielded but a small crop; see Haggai 1:9; and chiefly for the following reason:

for the locust shall consume it; which is a great destroyer of the fruits of the earth; see Joel 1:4.

Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.
38. Here the Discourse returns to Israel’s misfortunes on their own land, and the connection seems to be with Deuteronomy 28:15-24 (or 25), to which Deuteronomy 28:38-44 are more or less parallel.

38–40. Consumption of corn by locusts and of grapes by worms, and casting of olives. For these products see on Deuteronomy 7:13. Locust, Heb. ’arbeh, properly locust-swarm. Worm, Heb. tola‘ath; the grub which ruins vines, Gk. ἴψ or ἶξ (Strabo, xiii. i. 64), Lat. convolvulus (Pliny, H.N. xvii. 47), is the wine-weevil (Knobel). On cast see on Deuteronomy 7:1.

41 breaks the connection between Deuteronomy 28:40; Deuteronomy 28:42, and is out of place; cp. Deuteronomy 28:32.Deuteronomy 28:29 leads to the same conclusion, where it is stated that Israel would grope in the bright noon-day, like a blind man in the dark, and not make his ways prosper, i.e., not hit upon the right road which led to the goal and to salvation, would have no good fortune or success in its undertakings (cf. Psalm 37:7). Being thus smitten in body and soul, it would be only (אך as in Deuteronomy 16:15), i.e., utterly, oppressed and spoiled evermore. These words introduce the picture of the other calamity, viz., the plundering of the nation and the land by enemies (Deuteronomy 28:30-33). Wife, house, vineyard, ox, ass, and sheep would be taken away by the foe; sons and daughters would be carried away into captivity before the eyes of the people, who would see it and pine after the children, i.e., with sorrow and longing after them; "and thy hand shall not be to thee towards God," i.e., all power and help will fail thee. (On this proverbial expression, see Genesis 31:29; and on חלּל, in Genesis 31:30, see at Deuteronomy 20:6.) - In Deuteronomy 28:33, Deuteronomy 28:34, this threat is summed up in the following manner: the fruit of the field and all their productions would be devoured by a strange nation, and Israel would be only oppressed and crushed to pieces all its days, and become mad on account of what its eyes would be compelled to see.
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