I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you turned not to me, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I smote you with blasting and with mildew . . .—This is a reminiscence of Amos 4:9, “I have smitten you with blasting and mildew . . . yet have not ye returned unto me, saith the Lord.” “Blasting” and “mildew” are two diseases on corn enumerated by Moses (Deuteronomy 28:22) among the curses on disobedience. The “hail” is added by Haggai, perhaps as particularly destructive to the vines. On the peculiar phrase, êyn ethcem êlay, which here takes the place of the lô shabtem âday of Amos, see Ewald, Grammar, § 262 b.Deuteronomy 28:27. as chastisements on disobedience and God's infliction, of which Amos had spoken in these self-same words. Amos 4:9. Haggai adds the hail, as destructive of the vines. Psalm 78:47. Yet (And) ye turned you not to Me literally "there were none" - your, (accusative i. e., who turned you unto Me. The words are elliptical, but express the entire absence of conversion, of any who turned to God. I smote; my hand was visible in your losses, scarcity, and disappointments.
You; the persons put for their labours, their corn, vines, and olives.
With blasting; burning and scorching winds, that blasted all.
With mildew; with too much clammy moisture, that like glue cleaves to fruits, and turns to a corrupting of them.
With hail; which in these colder countries many times by its violence destroys corn, fruits, and trees, but in those countries doth it oftener. Now here was in these somewhat more of the hand of God, and so the punishment was, as more grievous, so more visible.
All the labours; in your ploughing and sowing for harvest, in planting of olives and vines for a vintage.
You turned not to me; you did not see my hand, though you felt it, you did not repent of your sinful neglect of me, my worship, and temple, nor thought of building my house.
Saith the Lord; this attested with God’s own hand for witness hereto.
and with mildew; a kind of clammy dew, which corrupts and destroys the fruits of the earth; and is a kind of jaundice to them, as the word signifies; see Amos 4:9,
and with hail; which battered down the corn and the vines, and broke them to pieces; see Exodus 9:25,
in all the labours of your hands; in the corn they sowed, and in the vines they planted:
yet ye turned not to me, saith the Lord; did not consider their evil ways as the cause of all this; nor repent of them, and turn from them to the Lord; to his worship, as the Targum; or to the building of his house, the thing chiefly complained of. Afflictions, unless sanctified, have no effect upon men to turn them from their sins to the Lord.I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. I smote you with blasting and with mildew] “Two diseases of the corn which Moses had foretold (Deuteronomy 28:22) as chastisements on disobedience, and God’s infliction of which Amos had spoken of in these selfsame words (Amos 4:9). Haggai adds the hail as destructive of the vines (Psalm 78:47).” Pusey.
labours] Rather, work. R. V.
yet ye turned not to me] Lit. yet not (no-such-thing-as) yourselves to me. The word “turning,” or a similar word, may be supplied from the parallel passage in Amos 4:9 : “yet there was no turning of yourselves to me.” The negation is a strong one, and denies any single instance of such turning.Verse 17. - I smote you with blasting and with mildew. It was God who inflicted these calamities upon them judicially, according to the threats in Deuteronomy 28:22 (comp. Amos 4:9, and note there). These two pests affected the corn; the vines were smitten with hail (Psalm 78:47). In all the labours (work) of your hands. All that you had cultivated with toil, corn, vines, fruit of every sort. Yet ye turned not to me. The clause is elliptical, "yet not ye to me." The LXX. and Syriac translate as the Authorized Version, supplying the verb from the parallel passage in Amos 4:9. The Vulgate (not according to precedent), Non fuit in vobis qui revertetur ad me. In spite of these visitations there was not one among them who shook off his idle inaction and worked for the Lord. Nahum 3:11. "Thou also wilt be drunken, shalt be hidden; thou also wilt seek for a refuge from the enemy. Nahum 3:12. All thy citadels are fig-trees with early figs; if they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater. Nahum 3:13. Behold thy people, women in the midst of thee; the gates of thy land are thrown quite open to thine enemies; fire consumes thy bolts." גּם־אתּ corresponds to גּם־היא in Nahum 3:10 : as she, so also thou. "The fate of No-amon is a prophecy of thine own" (Hitzig). תּשׁכּרי, thou wilt be drunken, viz., from the goblet of divine wrath, as at Obadiah 1:16. תּהי נעלמה might mean, "thou wilt be hiding thyself;" but although this might suit what follows, it does not agree with תּשׁכּרי , since an intoxicated person is not in the habit of hiding himself. Moreover, נעלם always means "hidden," occultus; so that Calvin's interpretation is the correct one: "Thou wilt vanish away as if thou hadst never been; the Hebrews frequently using the expression being hidden for being reduced to nothing." This is favoured by a comparison both with Nahum 1:8 and Nahum 2:12, and also with the parallel passage in Obadiah 1:16, "They will drink, and be as if they had not been." This is carried out still further in what follows: "Thou wilt seek refuge from the enemy," i.e., in this connection, seek it in vain, or without finding it; not, "Thou wilt surely demand salvation from the enemy by surrender" (Strauss), for מאויב does not belong to תּבקשׁי, but to מעוז (cf. Isaiah 25:4). All the fortifications of Nineveh are like fig-trees with early figs (עם in the sense of subordination, as in Sol 4:13), which fall into the mouth of the eater when the trees are shaken. The tertium compar. is the facility with which the castles will be taken and destroyed by the enemy assaulting them (cf. Isaiah 28:4). We must not extend the comparison so far, however, as to take the figs as representing cowardly warriors, as Hitzig does. Even in Nahum 3:13, where the people are compared to women, the point of comparison is not the cowardliness of the warriors, but the weakness and inability to offer any successful resistance into which the nation of the Assyrians, which was at other times so warlike, would be reduced through the force of the divine judgment inflicted upon Nineveh (compare Isaiah 19:16; Jeremiah 50:37; Jeremiah 51:30). לאיביך belongs to what follows, and is placed first, and pointed with zakeph-katon for the sake of emphasis. The gates of the land are the approaches to it, the passes leading into it, which were no doubt provided with castles. Tuch (p. 35) refers to the mountains on the north, which Pliny calls impassable. The bolts of these gates are the castles, through which the approaches were closed. Jeremiah transfers to Babel what is here said of Nineveh (see Jeremiah 51:30).
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