17. And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.
17. Et vorabit messem tuam et panem tuum; vorabunt filios tuos et filias tuas; vorabunt greges tuos et armenta tua; vorabunt vitem tuam et ficum tuam; ad inopiam redigent urbes munitionum tuarum, in quibus tu confidis, per gladium.
He continues to speak in a similar way of the cruelty of their enemies; as though he said that victory was already in their hand, for they were the scourges of God. He does not then set before the Jews the troubles of war, but speaks of them as conquered; and he only shews that the Chaldeans would be cruel in the use they would make of their victory. He takes it as granted that the Chaldeans would be conquerors, for they would come armed from above: and he makes this addition, -- that they would act cruelly and in an unusual manner towards the vanquished Jews.
Hence he says,
1 According to the Hebrew, the verbs, except the second, are all in the singular number. The Septuagint have pluralized them, but the singular is retained by the Vulgate, the Targum, and the Syriac. It is the "nation" described in the 15th verse. The second verb may be rendered in a passive sense, and the meaning will be more appropriate,-
And it will devour thy harvest and thy food, Devoured shall be thy sons and thy daughters; It will devour thy sheep and thy ox, It will devour thy wine and thy fig-tree; It will wholly desolate thy fortified cities, In which thou trustest, by the sword.
The language used here, and in the 15th verse, is remarkably like that of Moses in Deuteronomy 28:48-52. The second line may be deemed parenthetic. It is better to preserve the poetic singular in sheep, ox, vine, and fig-tree. As it is a reduplicate verb, entire desolation is intended, and that by the "sword" in destroying all the occupants of fortified cities. Venema, and others, as well as Calvin, connect the "sword" with all the preceding clauses; but this is not necessary, nor is it indeed suitable.-Ed.
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