15. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.
15. Et erit, si non obedieris voci Jehovae Dei tui, ut custodias faciendo omnia praecepta ejus, et statuta ejus quae ego praecipio tibi hodie, venient super te onmes maledictiones istae, et apprehendent te.
16. Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
16. Maledictus eris in urbe, et maledictus in agro.
17. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
17. Maledictum canistrum tuum, et conspersio tua.
18. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
18. Maledictus fructus ventris tui, et fructus terrae tuae, foetus boum tuorum, et greges ovium tuarum.
19. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
19. Maledictus eris in ingressu, et maledictus in egressu.
20. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
20 Mittet Jehova in te maledictionem, contritionem, (vel, tumultum,) et perditionem, (vel, increpationem,) in omnibus ad quae applicueris manum tuam, et feceris: donec delearis, et pereas velociter, propter malitiam operum tuorum quibus dereliquisti me.
21. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
21. Adhaerere faciet Jehova tibi pestilentiam, donec consumat te de terra ad quam tu ingrederis ut possideas eam.
22. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with all extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
22. Percutiet te Jehova phthisi, et febri, et ardore, et aestu, et gladio, et ariditate, et rubigine: et persequentur te donec pereas.
23. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
23. Eruntque coeli tui qui sunt supra caput tuam, aerei: et terra, quae est subter te, ferrea.
24. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
24. Dabit Jehova pluviam terrae tuae pulverem et cinerem: et e coelis descendet super te, donec disperdaris.
25. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them; and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
25. Dabit te Jehova caesum coram inimicis tuis: per viam unam ingredieris ad illum, et per septem vias fugies coram eo: erisque in commotionem omnibus regnis terrae.
26. And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.
26. Erit praterea cadaver tuum esca omni volucri coeli et animali terrae, nec erit qui absterreat.
27. The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
27. Percutiet te Jehova ulcere Aegypti, et morbis ani, et scabie, et prurigine, quibus non possis curari.
28. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:
28. Percutiet te Jehova amentia et caecitate, et stupore cordis.
29. And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways; and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.
29. Palpabisque in meridie, quemadmodum palpat caecus in caligine, neque secundabis vias tuas: et eris tantummodo oppressus, et direptus omnibus diebus, nec erit servator.
30. Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.
30. Uxorem desponsabis, et vir alius dormiet cum ea: domum aedificabis, et non habitabis in ea: vineam plautabis, nec vindemiabis eam.
31. Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.
31. Bos tuus mactabitur in oculis tuis: et non comedes ex eo: asinus tuus rapietur a facie tua, nec revertetur ad te: pecudes tuae tradentur inimicis tuis, nec erit servatot.
32. Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.
32. Filii tui et filiae tuae tradentur populo alteri, et oculi tui videbunt, ac deficient propter illos, tota die: nec erit fortitudo in manu tua.
33. The fruit of thy land, and all thy labors, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:
33. Fructum terrae tuae, et omnem laborem tuum comedet populus quem non noveras: et eris tantummodo oppressus, et confractus omni tempore:
34. So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
34. Et obstupesces propter ea quae videbunt oculi tui.
35. The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.
35. Percutiet te Jehova ulcere pessimo in genibus et in coxis, ita ut non possis curari, a planta pedis tui usque ad verticem tuum.
36. The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king, which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.
36. Abducet Jehova te et regem tuum quem constitues super te, ad gentem quam non nosti tu et patres tui: colesque ibi deos alienos, lignum et lapidem.
37. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.
37. Et eris in stuporem, et parabolam, et fabulam, omnibus populis ad quos deducet te Jehova.
38. Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in: for the locust shall consume it.
38. Semen multum educes ad agrum, et parum colliges: quia absumet illud locusta.
39. Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes: for the worms shall eat them.
39. Vineas plantabis, et coles: et vinum non bibes, neque colliges: quia devorabit illud vermis.
40. Thou shalt have olive-trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil: for thine olive shall cast his fruit.
40. Olivae erunt tibi in omni termino tuo, at oleo non unges te, quia decidet oliva tua.
41. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them: for they shall go into captivity.
41. Filios et filias generabis, et non erunt tibi: quia ibunt in captivitatem.
42. All thy trees, and fruit of thy land, shall the locust consume.
42. Omnem arborem tuam, et fructum terrae tuae absumet locusta.
43. The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high, and thou shalt come down very low.
43. Peregrinus qui est in medio tui ascendet super to superne, superne: et tu descendes inferne, inferne.
44. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
44. Ipse mutuabit tibi, et tu non mutuabis ei: ipse erit in caput, et tu eris in caudam.
45. Moreover, all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee.
45. Venient autem super te omnes maledictiones istae, teque persequentur, et apprehendent te, donec disperdaris: eo quod non obedieris voci Jehovae Dei tui, custodiendo praecepta ejus, et statuta ejus quae praecepit tibi.
46. And they shall be upon thee for a sign, and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.
46. Et erunt in te in signum et in portentum, et in semine tuo usque in saeculum.
47. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
47. Propterea quod non colueris Jehovam Deum tuum in laetitia, et in hilaritate cordis, propter abundantiam omnium rerum.
48. Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies, which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
48. Et servies inimicis tuis quos immiserit Jehova contra te in fame, et siti, et nuditate, et penuria omnium rerum, ponetque jugum ferreum super collum tuum, donec disperdat te.
49. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
49. Adducet Jehova adversum to gentem e longinquo, ab extremo terrae sicuti volat aquila, gentema cujus non intelliges linguam:
50. A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favor to the young:
50. Gentem duram facie, quae non attollet faciem suam ad senem, nec puero parcet.
51. And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.
51. Et devorabit fructum jumenti tui, et fructum terrae tuae, donec disperdaris: non relinquet tibi frumentum, mustum, et oleum, foetus boum tuorum, nec greges ovium tuarum, donec perdat te.
52. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land; and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.
52. Et obsidebit te in omnibus urbibus tuis, donec concidant muri tui excelsi et muniti, quibus tu confidis, in tota terra tua: obsidebit inquam te in omnibus urbibus tuis, in tota terra tua quam tibi dedit Jehova Deus tuus.
53. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
53. Et comedes fructum ventris tui, carnem filiorum tuorum et filiarum tuarum, quos dederit tibi Jehova Deus tuus, in obsidione, et coartatione qua coartabit te inimicus tuus.
54. So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:
54. Viri teneri et delicati apud te valde, oculus invidebit fratri suo, et uxori sinus sui, et reliquis filiis suis, quos residuos fecerit,
55. So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat; because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.
55. Ne det illis de carne filiorum suorum quos comedet: eo quod nihil ei relictum fuerit in obsidione, et coartatione qua coartabit te inimicus tuus in omnibus urbibus tuis.
56. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,
56. Tenerae apud te et delicatae, quae non tentavit plantam pedis sui firmare super terram, prae deliciis et teneritudine, invidebit oculus viro sinus sui, filio et filiae suae.
57. And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.
57. Dum secundinas suas quae egressae fuerint e pedibus suis, et filios suos quos pepererit, comedet clam prae egestate omnium rerum in obsidione, et coartatione qua coartabit te inimicus tuus in urbibus tuis.
58. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God;
58. Nisi custodieris ut facias omnia verba Legis hujus quae scripta sunt in hoc libro, ad timendum nomen gloriosum istud et terribile, Jehovam Deum tuum:
59. Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
59. Admirabiles reddet Jehova plagas tuas, et plagas seminis tui, plagas magnas et certas, (vel, constantes,) et morbos malos et certos, (vel, constantes.)
60. Moreover, he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee:
60. Convertesque in teomnes morbos Aegypti, a quibus timuisti tibi, et adhaerebunt tibi.
61. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
61. Omnem morbum, et omnem plagam quae non est scripta in libro Legis hujus, inducet Jehova super te, donec tu perdaris.
62. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.
62. Et relinquemini pauci numero pro eo quod eratis sicut stellae coeli in multitudinem: quia non obedisti voci Jehovae Dei tui.
63. And it shall come to pass, that, as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought: and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
63. Et erit praeterea, quemadmodum laetatus est Jehova super vos benefaciendo vobis, et multiplicando vos: sic laetabitur Jehova super vos, perdendo et delendo vos: evelleminique e terra ad quam ingredimini ut possideatis eam.
64. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
64. Et disperget to Jehova in omnes populos, ab uno extremo terrae usque ad alterum extremum terrae, colesque ibi deos alienos quos non nosti tu, neque patres tui, lignum et lapidem.
65. 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:
65. Neque in gentibus ipsis requiesces, neque erit requies plantae pedis tui: dabit item illic Jehova tibi cor pavidum, et defectum oculorum, et moerorem animi.
66. And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
66. Et erit vita tua suspensa tibi e regione, ac pavebis nocte et die, neque credes vitae tuae.
67. In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
67. Mane dices, Quis dabit vesperam? et in vespera dices, Quis dabit mane? prae pavore cordis tui quo pavebis, et prae visione oculorum tuorum quam videbis.
68. And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bond-men and bond-women, and no man shall buy you.
68. Reducetque te Jehova in Aegyptum navibus per viam de qua dixi tibi, Non addes adhuc ut videas illam: et vendetis vos illic inimicis vestris in servos et in ancillas: et non erit qui emat.
He then unfolds in more distinct detail what He had before adverted to with respect to the curse on the produce of the land. And, first, He names two blights of the corn, which destroy it just as it is ripening, and snatch the bread, as it were, out of men's mouths; for dryness2 is not here used for all want of moisture in the soil, but for that emptying of the ears, which is caused by the east wind. Mildew occurs from the sudden heat of the sun, if it strikes upon the corn when moistened with cold dew. Now, although these evils arise from natural causes, still God, the Author of nature, in His supreme power, so controls the atmosphere, that its unwholesomeness is His undoubted scourge.3
It is not superfluous that He should expressly speak of the "heaven over our head," and the earth that is "under our feet," for He thus indicates that His weapons are prepared both above and below to execute His vengeance, so as to assail the people on all sides. Another Prophet confirms this, although only in a brief allusion:
"Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit; and I called for a drought," etc. (Haggai 1:10, 11.)
Another mode of expression is then used to make the same thing more sure, viz., that the rain should be turned into "powder and dust;" still this clause may be explained in two ways, either that the rain shall no more fertilize the ground than as if it were ashes; or that, instead of rain, dust should fall, as though God would dry up the rich soil by scattering ashes on it.
What follows, that they should be "for5 a removing in all the kingdoms of the earth," some take to mean that they should be a laughing-stock; because we usually shake or move our heads by way of insult; but others explain it, that they should be wanderers and vagabonds in unknown places of exile. The first exposition is the one I prefer. In Ezekiel6 (23:46,) it is used for a tumultuous rout; nor am I indisposed to understand it in this way, that whatever nations shall assail them, they should be shaken by their slightest attacks.
"the rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant
to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7.)
The Israelites, therefore, must have felt that God was contrary to them, when they were suppliants to their own guests, especially since He had promised that He would so enrich them that they should lend to others. This revolution of affairs, then, plainly convinced them of their iniquities. Meanwhile, it must be observed that poverty as well as wealth is in God's hands, and that whilst the latter is a proof of God's favour the former is reckoned amongst His curses; still, however, in such a manner that God often chastises His own children with want, or proves and exercises their patience without ceasing to be their Father, whilst he bestows abundance upon the reprobate, wherewith they may gorge themselves to their own destruction. God's blessing, however, shines forth in the elect, as far as it is expedient for them; nor is it said in vain in the Psalm, "Wealth and riches are in the house (of the just,") in order that he may lend and be bountiful. (Psalm 112:3.)
Their ingratitude is also reproved as well as their contempt of the Law, because they served not God "with joyfulness and gladness of heart," when He had been so abundantly generous to them; for it is the fault of a corrupt and malignant nature, that it should not be possible to bring it to serve God joyfully, when He invites us by His liberality. But Moses takes it for granted that, since God will prevent the Israelites with His favor, before He proceeds to inflict punishments upon them, they will be guilty of this brutal sin, not to allow themselves to be liberally sustained by Him.
"Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel; it is a mighty nation, a nation whose language thou howest not, neither understandest what they say." (Jeremiah 5:15.)
On the other hand, when Isaiah promises them deliverance, he mentions this among the chief of their blessings, that the Jews should "not see a fierce people," that they should not hear
"a people of deeper speech than they could perceive, of a stammering tongue12 that they could not understand." (Isaiah 33:19.)
For, as I have elsewhere said, the Prophets were careful to take their form of expression from Moses, lest the Jews should, according to their custom, proudly despise the threats which God had interwoven with His Law.
Lest the distance of their countries should lull them into security, He says that they should be like eagles in swiftness, so as suddenly to overwhelm them, just as God often compares the ministers of His wrath to the whirlwind and the storm. Jeremiah has also imitated this similitude, where he declares that the slaughter which the Jews in their false imagination had supposed to be far away from them, should come suddenly upon them. (Jeremiah 4:13.)
Moses adds, that this nation shall be "strong of face,13 which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favor to the young," whereby he signifies their extreme ferocity. I have already expounded what follows respecting their rapine and plunder.
He again mentions "the diseases of Egypt," not those which they had themselves suffered in Egypt, but those under which they had seen the Egyptians laboring. He says, therefore, that the severity of God against unbelievers, of which they had been spectators, should fall upon their own heads, if they should be followers of their ungodliness; for it was natural that they should tremble at the judgments of God, whereof they had been eye-witnesses; and not only so, but at which they had trembled for fear.
Since the fear of spiritual punishments but lightly affects ungodly men, Moses magnifies in many words what the Israelites would else have carelessly passed over. Especially he points out what dreadful torments of anxiety would affect the wicked, when he says that their life should hang in suspense, as it were, before their eyes, so that they should fear day and night. An amusing device is related of Dionysius,17 who commanded an exquisite supper, supplied with every delicacy, to be prepared for a courtly flatterer by whom his happiness had been lauded; he placed him in his own seat, so18 that he might feast pleasantly, but ordered a sword to be suspended by a thread so as to overhang his head, insomuch that he who had pronounced the tyrant to be happy, when he saw that death was so near him every moment, did not dare to taste either of meat or drink. Dionysius, therefore, confessed, and not without shame to himself, that he and all other tyrants, whilst they are formidable to others, are tormented by perpetual fear. Now, this same disquietude is common to all the despisers of God; for the more wantonly they rage in forgetfulness of His fear, the more deservedly they dread their own shadow. Besides, when we look around us and see by how many forms of death our lives are beset, it cannot be but that innumerable anxieties should naturally possess us; how, then, can the wicked help being harassed by miserable and perplexing doubts when they perceive themselves to be shut out from the protection of God, and exposed to so many evils? Tranquillity of mind, therefore, can only arise from having God as our Keeper, and from resting under His protection.
By the words, "the sight of thine eyes," I have no doubt but that Moses designates those spectres19 and bug-bears whereby death is set before the eyes of the reprobate.
Finally, he shews how melancholy their condition would be, since they would desire to sell themselves to their enemies, and would find none to buy them on account of their vileness.
2 "Ariditas." -- Lat. "Blasting." -- A.V.; "i.e., (says Ainsworth,) of corn and fruit with a dry wind, 2 Kings 19:26, for the original word signifieth dryness; and such was the east wind that blasted in those parts, Genesis 41:6. Therefore the Greek translateth it corruption with wind."
3 "Un certain signe de son ire;" a certain sign of His wrath. -- Fr.
6 This reference is omitted altogether in Fr.
7 C gives no references here. It is probable that the passage, which he most had in his mind, was Isaiah 19:14, "The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit;" in V., "Dominus miscuit in medio ejus spiritrum vertiginis, etc." His own Commentary on these words is, "The expression is metaphorical, as if one were to mix wine in a cup, that the Lord thus intoxicates the wise men of this world so that they are stunned and amazed, and can neither think nor act aright." Calvin Soc. edit., vol. 2. p. 64. He also might refer to Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15; Psalm 60:3, etc.
8 "L'apprehension commune des hommes;" the ordinary apprehension of men. -- Fr.
9 Ver. 34. "Obstupesces." -- Lat. "Thou shalt be mad." -- A.V. The former is the rendering of Pagninus, the Samaritan text, and LXX.; the latter of Vatablus, Munster, Oleaster, Malvenda, and the Arabic Version. See Poole's Synopsis, in loco.
11 "Que la main de Dieu est toute evidente;" that God's hand is quite evident. -- Fr.
12 "Cui lingua stridet absque intelligentia." -- Lat. "Lesquels grondent sans intelligence." -- Fr.
13 See margin, A.V.
14 So V. The translation, "He shall separate, or shall make distinct from all others, because they shall be greater and worse," is that of Oleaster, quoted in Poole's Synopsis.
16 "A une pongnee de gens;" to a handful of people. -- Fr.
17 This well-known story of Dionysius of Syracuse and his courtier Damocles, is beautifully told by Cicero. -- Tusc. Quoest. 5. 21.
18 "Pour reciter ceste felicite, qu'il avoit tant preschee;" to make a rehearsal of this felicity, which he had so greatly praised. -- Fr.
19 "Toutes illusions, fantasmes, et espouvantails, qui nous menacent de la mort;" all illusions, phantoms, and horrors, which threaten us with death. -- Fr.
20 There appears to be some oversight here. The Latin is "littus, quod planitiem Moah respicit;" and the Fr. sufficiently removes any difficulty which the latter word would present, by simply translating it "pour les jetter en la plaine de Moab;" i.e., to put them ashore on the plain of Moab. Now, the only shores of the plain of Moab would be formed by the Dead Sea, and this would, of course, be inapplicable in the circumstances referred to. The very impossibility of crossing the desert in ships, clearly proves that the word way must not be understood as indicating the line of route. Thus Holden paraphrases the words: "Thou shalt be taken there in ships, and not by the way in which I appeared and spake to thee;" and Dathe's translation is, "Navibus Jova vos deportari sinet in Aegyptum, quam terram nunquam a vobis revisendam dixerat." The wonderful fulfillment of the prophecy is thus well summed up by Dr. Kitto: "This was accomplished on several occasions. It is related both by Aristeas and Josephus, that in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, there were vast numbers of Hebrew slaves in Egypt, and that the king himself bought above 100,000 of them from their masters, and set them free. Egypt, indeed, was the great slave-mart of ancient times; and several of the conquerors and oppressors of the Jews sent at least a portion of their captives thither to be sold. Titus had 90,000 captives after Jerusalem was taken. Those above seventeen years of age were sent to different parts of the Roman empire to labor on the public works, besides great numbers who perished in compulsory combats with wild beasts. Those under seventeen were doomed to be sold for slaves; but in such deep contempt and detestation was the nation held, that few were willing to buy them; and the Jews who remained at large, were too few and poor to be able to redeem their brethren. The market was also glutted with their numbers, so that they were sold at a mere nominal price, -- sometimes thirty for a small piece of money. Those who remained unpurchased were sent into confinement, where they perished by hundreds and by thousands together, from neglect and hunger. Egypt received a large proportion of these slaves, who were probably sent thither in ships, as the Romans had a fleet in the Mediterranean, and this was a much easier and safer way of transporting them than by land across the desert. The same things precisely took place on the final desolation of Israel by Hadrian, who may be said to have consummated their doom by decreeing, with the concurrence of the Roman Senate, that no Jew should ever, on pain of death, enter the land of his fathers." -- Illust. Comment. in loco.
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