You shall have olive trees throughout all your coasts, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olive shall cast his fruit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 8:8,
but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; nor any other relations, friends, guests, as was usual at entertainments; see Psalm 23:5; for the phrase "thyself" is not in the text. The reason why they should not anoint is, because they would have no oil to anoint with:
for thine olive shall cast his fruit; before it is ripe, by one means or another, as by winds, or blasting and mildew; see Amos 4:9.Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 40. - Thine olive shall cast his fruit. Some would render here "shall be plundered or rooted out," taking the verb יִשַּׁל as the Niph. of שָׁלַל; but the majority regard it as part of the verb נָשַׁל, and render "shall drop off," or as in the Authorized Version. There is some doubt, however, whether the verb נָשַׁל can be used intransitively. 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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