And among these nations shall you find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest…
The picture here drawn is true in an especial sense of the Jews in their state of exile, maddened, affrighted, and kept in continual torture and suspense by the persecutions and miseries they have been made to endure. We apply it to the state of the ungodly generally - a state of internal misery resulting from transgression.
I. UNAPPEASABLE RESTLESSNESS. (Ver. 65.) The sinner is destitute of peace (Isaiah 57:21).
1. There is nothing to give it. No inward source of comfort. No perennial spring of satisfaction.
2. There is everything to take it away.
(1) An evil conscience.
(2) Sense of God's displeasure.
(3) Inward disunion and anarchy.
The consequence is that the sinner cannot settle, he does not feel at rest. He cannot be happy or contented in any place or occupation. Like a patient tossing under fever, he thinks that his uneasiness arises from his position, whereas it is his disorder. (Cf. 'Childe Harold,' 1:4, 5; or words of Tiberius to his senate - "What to write to you, conscript fathers, or how to write, or what not to write, may all the gods and goddesses destroy me worse than I feel that they are daily destroying me, if I know.")
II. FEAR AND TREMBLING OF HEART. (Vers. 65, 66.) "The wicked flee when no man pursueth" (Proverbs 28:1). The guilty conscience is full of terrors. It "does make cowards of us all." Gives rise to groundless fears (Joseph's brethren, Genesis 45:3; Genesis 50:15). Morbid working of imagination - starting in sleep (Richard III.), fancying sounds and movements (Macboth). Works despair (Saul, 1 Samuel 28.). It unnerves and unmans.
III. LOATHING AND WEARINESS OF LIFE. (Ver. 67.) A sated despairing feeling, incapable of removal or alleviation. Ennui. Unbearable dragging on of time. "I may say that in all my seventy-five years I have never had a month of genuine comfort. It has been the perpetual rolling of a stone, which I have always had to raise anew" (Goethe). Cf. 'Childe Harold,' as above -
"He felt the fullness of satiety,
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell;"
or Matthew Arnold's lines -
"On that hard pagan world disgust
And sated loathing fell;
Deep weariness and sated lust
Made human life a hell," etc. = -J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: