Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces.—These, as in Isaiah 22:6, Jeremiah 1:9-14, were the characteristic weapons of the Medo-Persian armies.
Shall dash the young men ... - That is, they shall dash the young men to pieces, or kill them by their bows and arrows. Vulgate, 'And with their arrows shall they slay the young.' The meaning of the word here rendered 'dash to pieces,' is to smite suddenly to the ground.Their bows; under which are comprehended their arrows, and possibly other weapons of war; for so generally sometimes is the bow used in Scripture, as 2 Samuel 1:18 Psalm 78:9 Isaiah 41:2. Shall dash the young men to pieces; or, shall pierce the young men through, as the Chaldee readers it.
and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; even of those that were in the womb, but should rip up women with child, and cut them in pieces:
their eyes shall not spare children; in the arms of their parents, or running to them, shrieking and crying, and in the utmost fright; and yet their tender and innocent age would meet with no mercy. The Medes were notorious for their cruelty (m), and which issued at last in the ruin of their empire.Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 18. - Their bows (comp. Jeremiah 1:9, 14). Both the Medes and the Persians were skilled archers. Herodotus tells us that every Persian youth was taught three things - "to ride, to draw the bow, and to speak the truth" (1. 136). At Persepolis, Modes and Persians are alike represented as carrying bows and quivers. AEschyius regards the contest between the Persians and the Greeks as one between the arrow and the spear ('Persae,' 11. 135, 136). Jeremiah 23:2, with the accusative of the thing punished, and with על of the person punished. Instead of 'eretz we have here tēbel, which is always used like a proper name (never with the article), to denote the earth in its entire circumference. We have also ‛ârı̄tzı̄m instead of nedı̄bı̄m: the latter signifies merely princes, and it is only occasionally that it has the subordinate sense of despots; the former signifies men naturally cruel, or tyrants (it occurs very frequently in Isaiah). Everything here breathes the spirit of Isaiah both in thought and form. "The lofty is thrown down:" this is one of the leading themes of Isaiah's proclamation; and the fact that the judgment will only leave a remnant is a fundamental thought of his, which also runs through the oracles concerning the heathen (Isaiah 16:14; Isaiah 21:17; Isaiah 24:6), and is depicted by the prophet in various ways (Isaiah 10:16-19; Isaiah 17:4-6; Isaiah 24:13; Isaiah 30:17). There it is expressed under the figure that men become as scarce as the finest kinds of gold. Word-painting is Isaiah's delight and strength. 'Ophir, which resembles 'okir in sound, was the gold country of India, that lay nearest to the Phoenicians, the coast-land of Abhira on the northern shore of the Runn (Irina), i.e., the salt lake to the east of the mouths of the Indus (see at Genesis 10:29 and Job 22:24; and for the Egypticized Souphir of the lxx, Job 28:16).
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