3. And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord; the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.
3. Et praeliciam super eos quatuor familias, dicit Jehova, gladium ad occidendum, et canes ad trahendum, et avem coelorum et bestiam terrae, ad comedendum et perdendum.
Jeremiah proceeds with the same subject. He said yesterday that the people were no longer cared for by God, and so that nothing remained for them but in various ways to perish, and that the last punishment would be exile. He now confirms the same thing, and says, that God would prepare against them ravenous birds as well as wild beasts, the sword and dogs1 as though he had said, that all animals would be hostile to them, and be the executioners of God's vengeance.
Some render the verb
1 Our version ascribes tearing to dogs, but the verb means to draw or drag about, as rendered by Calvin. It is more descriptive of what is done by dogs, and conveys a more horrid idea, and intended doubtless to terrify the Jews. Blayney renders it "to drag about," and no doubt correctly. Our version is the Vulgate: the Syriac is to draw or drag about. - Ed.
2 So Gataker, "I will set over them, etc., as in Leviticus 26:16; a borrowed speech from officers set over people." The Syriac expresses the idea, "I will punish them with four scourges." Blayney's version is -
And I will commission against them four species.
But the best rendering is that of Calvin, which is also adopted by Venema. I give the following version -
And I set over them four kinds, saith Jehovah, -- The sword to kill, and dogs to drag about, And the bird of heaven and the beast of the earth To devour, and to pull to pieces.
The "devouring" refers to "the beast of the earth," and the "pulling to pieces" to the bird of heaven, according to the usual style of the Prophets, the order being reversed. - Ed.
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