How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)How should one (of their enemies) chase a thousand (of them).—Comp. the verse in Deuteronomy 28:25, and more especially Leviticus 26:8; Leviticus 26:17; Leviticus 26:36.
Had shut them up (into the hand of their enemies).—Comp. Psalm 78:62, “He shut up His people also unto the sword.”How should one chase a thousand? whence should this miraculous change come, that whereas God had promised that five Israelites should chase an hundred of their enemies, &c., Deu 26:8, now, on the contrary,
should chase a thousand Israelites?
Their Rock, i.e. their God, as before, Deu 32:4,18, who was their only refuge and defence; had sold them, to wit, for bond-slaves, had quitted his right and relation to them, and given them up into their enemies’ hands.
Shut them up, as it were, in the net which their enemies had laid for them. Leviticus 26:8; it cannot be accounted for that they should in like manner be chased by their enemies, as threatened Isaiah 30:17,
except their rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up; that is, unless the Lord, who was their rock and fortress, and in whom they should have trusted as such, had forsaken them, and given them up into their enemies' hands, shut up as they were in the city of Jerusalem in the times of Titus, and afterwards in Bither in the times of Adrian; it is a plain case that this was of God, and not owing to the idols of the Gentiles; see Psalm 44:9; Cocceius and Van Till interpret this of Constantine overcoming Maxentius, Licinius, and Maximinius, whereby the whole Roman empire on a sudden became Christian nominally, when but a little before Dioclesian had erected a trophy with this inscription on it,"the Christian name blotted out;''so that the odds between the Christians and Pagans were as one to a thousand, and two to ten thousand, and the victory therefore must be ascribed to God; this could never have been unless Satan, the great red dragon, had given his kingdom to the beast, which was done by the permission and sovereign will of God; see Revelation 6:14; so those interpreters, but the former sense seems best.How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)30. How could one, etc.] Some ignominious rout of Israel.
delivered them up] Cp. Deuteronomy 23:15 (16).Verse 30. - If Israel were wise, they could easily overcome all their foes through the help of the Almighty (Leviticus 26:8); but having forsaken him, they were left by him, and so came under the power of the enemy. Deuteronomy 32:25) "If the sword without shall sweep them away, and in the chambers of terrors, the young man as the maiden, the suckling with the grey-haired man." The evils mentioned are hunger, pestilence, plague, wild beasts, poisonous serpents, and war. The first hemistich in Deuteronomy 32:24 contains simply nouns construed absolutely, which may be regarded as a kind of circumstantial clause. The literal meaning is, "With regard to those who are starved with hunger, etc., I will send against them;" i.e., when hunger, pestilence, plague, have brought them to the verge of destruction, I will send, etc. מזי, construct state of מזה, ἁπ. λεγ. with which Cocceius compares מצה and מצץ, to suck out, and for which Schultens has cited analogies from the Arabic. "Sucked out by hunger," i.e., wasted away. "Tooth of beasts and poison of serpents:" poetical for beasts of prey and poisonous animals. See Leviticus 26:22, where wild beasts are mentioned as a plague along with pestilence, famine, and sword.
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