18. As I live, saith the King, whose name is The Lord of hosts, Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he come.
18. Vivo ego, dicit rex (cui nomen est rex) Jehova exercituum, quoniam sicut Thabor in montibus, et sicut Carmelus in mari, veniet.
Why did the Prophet say this, except that the Egyptians thought they had escaped, because the time had been delayed? As, then, the length of time had deceived them, thinking, as they did, that God had told what was false, or that he had forgotten what he had predicted by his Prophets, he says, I live, saith Jehovah, that is, by my life; for God here swears by his life, that what he now declares would come. This seems to be the true meaning. Igor did the Prophet speak thus only for the sake of the Egyptians, but also for the sake of the Jews; for we know that it was usual and common with them proudly to assert that what the Prophets had spoken from God's mouth was all vain: hence that proverbial saying,
"To-morrow we shall die, let us eat and drink."
They also called the prophecies burdens, by way of reproach and contempt. As the ungodly promised themselves impunity through God's forbearance, it was necessary to testify to them what we here read, even that whatever God had threatened would come to pass, though he delayed it for a time. For he suspends his punishment, but his vengeance at length breaks out, when the unbelieving think that all things will turn out prosperously; yea, when they say,
"Peace and security, then sudden destruction overtakes them."
(1 Thessalonians 5:3)
By the word dewm, muod, then, the Prophets mean a fixed time, not that they had pointed out a certain day, but that they had spoken of the destruction of Egypt, as though God had already gone forth as the judge.
As, then, they said that the time had passed by, God here swears by his life; and hence he says, whose name is King, Jehovah of hosts. God here sets forth his own greatness in opposition to the power of Pharaoh and of all other kings; for prosperity commonly brings pride with it, and those who excel in dignity and power become self-willed and insolent. Hence to repress this haughty insolence, he says, that the name of King, the God of hosts, belongs not properly to any but to himself alone.
It shall come, he says, as Tabor is in the mountains, and Carmel in the sea. Their exposition is not suitable who say, "As wild beasts fleeing from hunters, pass over from neighboring mountains to Mount Tabor, and as trees cut on Carmel are carried to the sea." This is an extremely forced explanation, and cannot be adapted to the present passage. For what is the design of the Prophet? even to shew that what he had just declared would be immutable, and so fixed that it could not be reversed, that though the whole world attempted to frustrate what God had decreed, yet nothing could be done. Then he says, As Tabor is in the mountains, that is, As Mount Tabor is surrounded by other mountains, and has there its deep roots, so that it cannot be torn up; and as Carmel is in the sea. Now this Carmel was not understood by the Jews to have been that mount where Nabal dwelt, but a mountain not far from Ptolemais, and it was girded and washed by the sea: hence he says, As Carmel is a mountain in the sea. Tabor as well as Carmel remain fixed, and cannot be transferred to another place; so he says, shall this prophecy come to pass; it is valid and shall be accomplished; as though he had said, "This immutable decree cannot be refixed, as Carmel cannot be moved, nor Tabor, so as to be transplanted elsewhere." It now follows, --