Leviticus 26:22
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; and your high ways shall be desolate.
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(22) I will also send wild beasts.—Better, and I will send wild beasts. Wild beasts, which abounded in Palestine (Exodus 23:29), are used as a punishment for sin (Deuteronomy 32:24; 2Kings 17:25; Isaiah 13:21-22; Ezekiel 14:15, &c.).

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 33:8.22. I will also send wild beasts among you—This was one of the four judgments threatened (Eze 14:21; see also 2Ki 2:4).

your highways shall be desolate—Trade and commerce will be destroyed—freedom and safety will be gone—neither stranger nor native will be found on the roads (Isa 33:8). This is an exact picture of the present state of the Holy Land, which has long lain in a state of desolation, brought on by the sins of the ancient Jews.

By reason of the fewness of travellers and people, and the terror of wild beasts growing more numerous thereby.

I will also send wild beasts among you,.... Either in a literal sense, as lions, bears, wolves, &c. and so is the reverse of what is promised to them on their doing well, Leviticus 26:6; or figuratively, mighty monarchs and cruel oppressors, such as were the kings of Assyria and Babylon, Jeremiah 50:17,

which shall rob you of your children; as the bears, in a literal sense, destroyed the children of them in the times of Elisha, 2 Kings 2:24,

and destroy your cattle; the tame beasts, who often become a prey to the wild ones, as both those of the flock, and of the herd, sheep and oxen, do to lions, wolves, &c.

and make you few in number; or diminish them, their number, by bereaving them of their children, and their wealth and substance, by destroying their cattle:

and your high ways shall be desolate; or ways, the word high not being in the text, and may signify both their public and private ones, which would be all forsaken, none caring to venture to walk in them for fear of beasts of prey.

I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall {l} rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your {m} high ways shall be desolate.

(l) Read 2Ki 17:25.

(m) Because no one dares to pass by it for fear of the beasts.

22. the beast of the field] savage animals. Cp. 2 Kings 17:25.

Leviticus 26:22The 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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