Leviticus 26:21
And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
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(21) And if ye walk contrary unto me.—That is, continue the defiance of the Divine law, and rebel against God’s authority. The third warning, contained in Leviticus 26:21-22, threatens them with destruction by wild beasts.

Seven times more plagues.—That is, a still greater number. (See Leviticus 26:18.)

According to your sins.—This increased number of scourges will be in proportion to their sins, since their defiance, in spite of the two preceding classes of punishments, aggravates and enhances their guilt.

Leviticus 26:21. If ye walk contrary to me — Hebrews קרי, keri, from קרה, karah, it happened. If ye walk with me by accident, or chance, or, as it happens. The ancient versions, however, favour our translation: according to which rendering, the word implies contumacy, or continuing to rebel against God after he should chastise them for their sins, Job 15:25. The Jews follow the other sense, and expound it of those who, when they are afflicted by God, look on their sufferings as casual and contingent things, rather than as divine chastisements, to correct, amend, and bring them to repentance. Seven times more plagues — I will visit your obstinate impenitence with new and more grievous plagues.

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 third warning is the multiplication of destructive animals, etc. Compare Deuteronomy 32:24; Ezekiel 5:17; Ezekiel 14:15; Judges 5:6-7; Isaiah 33:8.19. 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. Contrary unto me, or, carelessly or heedlessly with me, or

before me, i.e. so as to be careless and unconcerned whether you please me or offend me. This is opposed to exact and circumspect walking with God, as Abraham did, Genesis 17:1, and all are to do, Ephesians 5:15.

And if ye walk contrary unto me,.... To his mind and will, to his laws, commands, and ordinances, showing no regard unto them by a walk and conversation agreeably to them, but neglecting and breaking them continually; or by chance, as the Targum of Jonathan, not with any intention and design to obey the Lord, and to honour and glorify him, but in a careless and indifferent manner, having no regard to the law of God, only now and then, as it happens, act according to it, but having no concern for the honour and glory of God:

and will not hearken unto me; to his voice in his laws and his precepts, or by his prophets, exhorting them to obedience to them:

I will bring seven times more plagues upon you, according to your sins; greater and sorer punishments still, and these more frequently repeated, and in proportion to their transgressions of his righteous laws.

And if ye walk {k} contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

(k) Or as some read, by fortune, imputing my plagues to chance and fortune.

21. plagues] See on Leviticus 13:2.

Verses 21, 22. - Punishment in its third degree. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number. So in the case of the Assyrians transported to Palestine, "At the beginning of their dwelling there, they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them" (2 Kings 17:25) - and your high ways shall be desolate. Cf. Judges 5:6, "In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travelers walked through byways." Leviticus 26:21The second stage. - But if the people's resistance amounted to a hostile rebellion against God, He would smite them sevenfold for their sin by sending beasts of prey and childlessness. By beasts of prey He would destroy their cattle, and by barrenness He would make the nation so small that the ways would be deserted, that high roads would cease because there would be no traveller upon them on account of the depopulation of the land (Isaiah 33:8; Zephaniah 3:6), and the few inhabitants who still remained would be afraid to venture because of the wild beasts (Ezekiel 14:15). עם קרי הלך ("to go a meeting with a person," i.e., to meet a person in a hostile manner, to fight against him) only occurs here in Leviticus 26:21 and Leviticus 26:23, and is strengthened in Leviticus 26:24, Leviticus 26:27, Leviticus 26:28, Leviticus 26:40, Leviticus 26:41 into עם בּקרי הלך, to engage in a hostile encounter with a person. שׁבע מכּה, a sevenfold blow. "According to your sins," i.e., answering to them sevenfold. In Leviticus 26:22 the first clause corresponds to the third, and the second to the fourth, so that Nos. 3 and 4 contain the effects of Nos. 1 and 2.
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