Leviticus 26:19
And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
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(19) And I will break the pride of your power.—That is, the strength which is the cause of your pride, the wealth which they derive from the abundant harvests mentioned in Leviticus 26:4-5, as is evident from what follows immediately, where the punishment is threatened against the resources of this power or wealth. Comp. Ezekiel 30:6; Ezekiel 33:28.) The authorities during the second Temple, however, took the phrase “the pride of your power” to denote the sanctuary, which is called “the pride of your power” in Ezekiel 24:21. the expression used here, but the identity of which is obliterated in the Authorised Version by rendering the phrase “the excellency of your strength.” Hence the Chaldee Versions paraphrase it, “And I will break down the glory of the strength of your sanctuary.”

I will make your heaven as iron.—That is, the heaven which is over them shall yield no more rain than if it were of metal. In Deuteronomy 28:23, where the same punishment is threatened, and the same figure is used, the metals are reversed, the heaven is brass, and the earth iron.

Leviticus 26:19-20. The pride of your power — That is, your strength, of which you are proud, your numerous and united forces, your kingdom, yea, your ark and sanctuary. I will make your heaven as iron — The heavens shall yield you no rain, nor the earth, fruits. Your strength shall be spent in vain — In ploughing, and sowing, and tilling the ground.26:14-39 After God has set the blessing before them which would make them a happy people if they would be obedient, he here sets the curse before them, the evils which would make them miserable, if they were disobedient. Two things would bring ruin. 1. A contempt of God's commandments. They that reject the precept, will come at last to renounce the covenant. 2. A contempt of his corrections. If they will not learn obedience by the things they suffer, God himself would be against them; and this is the root and cause of all their misery. And also, The whole creation would be at war with them. All God's sore judgments would be sent against them. The threatenings here are very particular, they were prophecies, and He that foresaw all their rebellions, knew they would prove so. TEMPORAL judgments are threatened. Those who will not be parted from their sins by the commands of God, shall be parted from them by judgments. Those wedded to their lusts, will have enough of them. SPIRITUAL judgments are threatened, which should seize the mind. They should find no acceptance with God. A guilty conscience would be their continual terror. It is righteous with God to leave those to despair of pardon, who presume to sin; and it is owing to free grace, if we are not left to pine away in the iniquity we were born in, and have lived in.The second warning is utter sterility of the soil. Compare Deuteronomy 11:17; Deuteronomy 28:18; Ezekiel 33:28; Ezekiel 36:34-35.19. I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass—No figures could have been employed to convey a better idea of severe and long-continued famine. The pride of your power, i.e. your strength, of which you are proud, your numerous and united forces, your kingdom, yea, your ark and sanctuary.

Your earth as brass; the heavens shall yield you no rain, nor the earth fruits. And I will break the pride of your power,.... Which the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi interpret of the sanctuary, which they were proud of, trusted in, and boasted of; but was broke or destroyed, first by Nebuchadnezzar, then by the Romans: but it may rather signify their country, the glory of all lands for its fruitfulness, which for their sins should become barren, as follows; or the multitude of their forces, and the strength of their mighty men of war, in which they put their confidence; it may take in everything, civil and ecclesiastical, they prided themselves with, and had their dependence on, thinking themselves safe on account of them, but should be broken to shivers, and be of no service to them:

and I will make your heaven as iron; so that neither dew nor rain shall descend from thence to make the earth fruitful; but, on the contrary, an heat should be reflected, which would parch it, and make it barren:

and your earth as brass; that the seed could not be cast into it, nor anything spring out of it, for the service of man and beast, so that a famine must unavoidably follow.

And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as {i} iron, and your earth as brass:

(i) You shall have drought and barrenness.

19. the pride of your power] the pride with which ye rely upon your prosperity and the fruitfulness of your land. The expression is found elsewhere only in Ezekiel, where in Ezekiel 7:24 LXX., Ezekiel 24:21, Ezekiel 33:28 it refers to the fall of the nation and the destruction of Jerusalem; in Ezekiel 30:6; Ezekiel 30:18, the phrase is applied to Egypt.For He was their God, who had brought them out of the land of the Egyptians, that they might no longer be servants to them, and had broken the bands of their yokes and made them go upright. על מטת, lit., the poles of the yoke (cf. Ezekiel 34:27), i.e., the poles which are laid upon the necks of beasts of burden (Jeremiah 27:2) as a yoke, to bend their necks and harness them for work. It was with the burden of such a yoke that Egypt had pressed down the Israelites, so that they could no longer walk upright, till God by breaking the yoke helped them to walk upright again. As the yoke is a figurative description of severe oppression, so going upright is a figurative description of emancipation from bondage. קוממיּוּת, lit., a substantive, an upright position; here it is an adverb (cf. Ges. 100, 2).
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