Deuteronomy 28:53
And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, which the LORD your God has given you, in the siege, and in the narrow place, with which your enemies shall distress you:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(53) Thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body.—Specially confirmed in the siege of Samaria by the Syrians (2Kings 6:26-29; but see on Deuteronomy 28:56), and also in Jerusalem when besieged by Nebuchadnezzar. (See Lamentations 2:20; Lamentations 4:10.)

Deuteronomy 28:53. Thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body — The stoutest and most obstinate resistance will avail you nothing; all the advantage you will gain by it will be to suffer such long and pressing straits by the siege as will force you, after thousands have perished with hunger, to feed upon the flesh of one another. This prediction was repeatedly fulfilled, especially when Vespasian and his son Titus begirt Jerusalem so closely that the besieged were reduced to a most grievous famine, which forced them, after they had eaten up their horses and other creatures, to eat even their own children, whom parents, who had used to live delicately, Moses here foretels, should themselves eat up privately, and let none share with them.28:45-68 If God inflicts vengeance, what miseries his curse can bring upon mankind, even in this present world! Yet these are but the beginning of sorrows to those under the curse of God. What then will be the misery of that world where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched! Observe what is here said of the wrath of God, which should come and remain upon the Israelites for their sins. It is amazing to think that a people so long the favourites of Heaven, should be so cast off; and yet that a people so scattered in all nations should be kept distinct, and not mixed with others. If they would not serve God with cheerfulness, they should be compelled to serve their enemies. We may justly expect from God, that if we do not fear his fearful name, we shall feel his fearful plagues; for one way or other God will be feared. The destruction threatened is described. They have, indeed, been plucked from off the land, ver. 63. Not only by the Babylonish captivity, and when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; but afterwards, when they were forbidden to set foot in Jerusalem. They should have no rest; no rest of body, ver. 65, but be continually on the remove, either in hope of gain, or fear of persecution. No rest of the mind, which is much worse. They have been banished from city to city, from country to country; recalled, and banished again. These events, compared with the favour shown to Israel in ancient times, and with the prophecies about them, should not only excite astonishment, but turn unto us for a testimony, assuring us of the truth of Scripture. And when the other prophecies of their conversion to Christ shall come to pass, the whole will be a sign and a wonder to all the nations of the earth, and the forerunner of a general spread of true christianity. The fulfilling of these prophecies upon the Jewish nation, delivered more than three thousand years ago, shows that Moses spake by the Spirit of God; who not only foresees the ruin of sinners, but warns of it, that they may prevent it by a true and timely repentance, or else be left without excuse. And let us be thankful that Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us, and bearing in his own person all that punishment which our sins merit, and which we must otherwise have endured for ever. To this Refuge and salvation let sinners flee; therein let believers rejoice, and serve their reconciled God with gladness of heart, for the abundance of his spiritual blessings.Fourth series of judgments, descriptive of the calamities and horrors which should ensue when Israel should be subjugated by its foreign foes.

Deuteronomy 28:49

The description (compare the marginal references) applies undoubtedly to the Chaldeans, and in a degree to other nations also whom God raised up as ministers of vengeance upon apostate Israel (e. g. the Medes). But it only needs to read this part of the denunciation, and to compare it with the narrative of Josephus, to see that its full and exact accomplishment took place in the wars of Vespasian and Titus against the Jews, as indeed the Jews themselves generally admit.

The eagle - The Roman ensign; compare Matthew 24:28; and consult throughout this passage the marginal references.

53-57. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body—(See 2Ki 6:29; La 4:10). Such were the dreadful extremities to which the inhabitants during the siege were reduced that many women sustained a wretched existence by eating the flesh of their own children. Parental affection was extinguished, and the nearest relatives were jealously, avoided, lest they should discover and demand a share of the revolting viands. No text from Poole on this verse. And thou shall eat the fruit of thine body,.... Than which nothing can be more shocking and unnatural, which is explained as follows:

the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee; which is an aggravation of the cruel and inhuman fact:

in the siege, and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee; this shows the cause of it, a famine by reason of the closeness of the siege, so that no provisions could be brought in for their relief; and all within being eaten up, and everything that was eatable, even the most nauseous and disagreeable, they would be led on to this strange, unheard of, and barbarous action, eating their own children. This was fulfilled in the siege of Samaria, 2 Kings 6:25; and in the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Lamentations 2:10 and again in the Apocrypha:"Moreover he hath delivered them to be in subjection to all the kingdoms that are round about us, to be as a reproach and desolation among all the people round about, where the Lord hath scattered them.'' (Baruch 2:4)and in the siege of the same city by the Romans; of which an instance will be hereafter given.

And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
53. And thou shalt eat, etc.] Cp. Leviticus 26:29, Ezekiel 5:10, and for instances of this horror 2 Kings 6:28 f., Lamentations 2:20; Lamentations 4:10.

in the siege and in the straitness] A Refrain as in Deuteronomy 28:55; Deuteronomy 28:57. Similarly Jeremiah 19:9, along with the eating of children as here.The fourth view. - Although in what precedes every side of the national life has been brought under the curse, yet love to his people, and the desire to preserve them from the curse, by holding up before them the dreadful severity of the wrath of God, impel the faithful servant of the Lord to go still further, and depict more minutely still the dreadful horrors consequent upon Israel being given up to the power of the heathen, and first of all in Deuteronomy 28:47-57 the horrible calamities which would burst upon Israel on the conquest of the land and its fortresses by its foes.

Deuteronomy 28:47-48

Because it had not served the Lord its God with joy and gladness of heart, "for the abundance of all," i.e., for the abundance of all the blessings bestowed upon it by its God, it would serve its enemies in hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and want of everything, and wear an iron yoke, i.e., be obliged to perform the hardest tributary service till it was destroyed (השׁמיד for השׁמיד, as in Deuteronomy 7:24).

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