Even all nations shall say, Why has the LORD done thus to this land? what means the heat of this great anger?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All nations shall say, Wherefore . . .?—The people of Israel are represented as asking a similar question in Jeremiah 5:19, “And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the Lord our God all these things unto us? Then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land; so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.” Compare also the warning given to Solomon after the completion of the Temple (marginal reference).Genesis 13:10) until devastated by the wrath of God Genesis 19:24-25. The ruin of Israel and its land should be of the like sort (compare Leviticus 26:31-32; Psalm 107:34; Zephaniah 2:9). The desolate state of Palestine at present, and the traces of former fertility and prosperity, are attested by every traveler.
wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? so distinguished from all others for the fruitfulness and pleasantness of it; the people, the inhabitants of which, he chose, above all others, to be a special and peculiar people; and where he had a temple built for him, and where he had his residence, and worship used to be given unto him:
what meaneth the heat of this great anger? what is the reason of his stirring up his fierce wrath, and causing it to burn in so furious a manner? surely it must be something very horrible and provoking indeed!Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 24. - What meaneth the heat of this great anger? The reply to this question comes in what follows (vers. 25-28). Hebrews 12:15). Rosh stands for a plant of a very bitter taste, as we may see from the frequency with which it is combined with לענה, wormwood: it is not, strictly speaking, a poisonous plant, although the word is used in Job 20:16 to denote the poison of serpents, because, in the estimation of a Hebrew, bitterness and poison were kindred terms. There is no other passage in which it can be shown to have the meaning "poison." The sense of the figure is given in plain terms in Deuteronomy 29:19, "that no one when he hears the words of this oath may bless himself in his heart, saying, I will prosper with me, for I walk in the firmness of my heart." To bless himself in his heart is to congratulate himself. שׁרירוּת, firmness, a vox media; in Syriac, firmness, in a good sense, equivalent to truth; in Hebrew, generally in a bad sense, denoting hardness of heart; and this is the sense in which Moses uses it here. - "To sweep away that which is saturated with the thirsty:" a proverbial expression, of which very different interpretations have been given (see Rosenmller ad h. l.), taken no doubt from the land and transferred to persons or souls; so that we might supply Nephesh in this sense, "to destroy all, both those who have drunk its poison, and those also who are still thirsting for it" (Knobel). But even if we were to supply ארץ (the land), we should not have to think of the land itself, but simply of its inhabitants, so that the thought would still remain the same.
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