Deuteronomy 32:25
The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
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32:19-25 The revolt of Israel was described in the foregoing verses, and here follow the resolves of Divine justice as to them. We deceive ourselves, if we think that God will be mocked by a faithless people. Sin makes us hateful in the sight of the holy God. See what mischief sin does, and reckon those to be fools that mock at it.Burning heat - i. e., the fear of a pestilential disease. On the "four sore judgments," famine, plague, noisome beasts, the sword, compare Leviticus 26:22; Jeremiah 15:2; Ezekiel 5:17; Ezekiel 14:21.23. I will spend mine arrows upon them—War, famine, pestilence (Ps 77:17) are called in Scripture the arrows of the Almighty. No text from Poole on this verse.

The sword without,.... Either without the city, the sword of the Roman army besieging it, which destroyed all that came out or attempted to go in; or in the streets of the city, the sword of the seditious, which destroyed multitudes among themselves:

and terror within; within the city, on account of the sword of the Romans, and the close siege they made of it; and on account of the famine and pestilence which raged in it, and the cruelty of the seditious persons among themselves; all these filled the people with horror and terror in their houses; and even in their bedchambers, as the word signifies, they were not free from terror; yea, from the temple, and inward parts, and chambers of that, which may be referred to, terror came, that being in the hands of the seditious; they sallied out from thence, and ravaged the city, and filled all places with the dread of them; and many, no doubt, through fear died, as well as by the sword and other judgments; which it is threatened

shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also,

with the man of gray hairs; none of any age or sex were spared, even those unarmed; not the young man, for his strength and promising usefulness; nor the virgin for her beauty and comeliness; nor the suckling for its innocence and tenderness; nor the aged man through any reverence of his gray hairs, or on account of the infirmities of old age, but all would be destroyed; and never was such a carnage made at the siege of anyone city in the world before or since; no less than 1,100,000 persons perished in it, as Josephus relates (e).

(e) De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 9. sect. 3.

The sword {o} without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.

(o) They shall be slain both in the field and at home.

25. War the climax to these natural plagues, just as in Amos 7.

Deuteronomy 32:25These are accompanied by the evils of war, which sweeps away the men outside in the slaughter itself by the sword, and the defenceless - viz., youths and maidens, sucklings and old men - in the chambers by alarm. אימה is a sudden mortal terror, and Knobel is wrong in applying it to hunger and plague. The use of the verb שׁכּל, to make childless, is to be explained on the supposition that the nation or land is personified as a mother, whose children are the members of the nation, old and young together. Ezekiel has taken the four grievous judgments out of these two verses: sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21 : see also Ezekiel 5:17, and Jeremiah 15:2-3).
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