17. All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod!
17. Commovemini illi (id est, super Moab) quicunque estis in circuitu ejus, et quicunque cognoscitis nomen ejus, dicite, Quomodo fractus est baculus fortis? virga pulchritudinis (vel, excellentiae, nam trapt significat decorum pulchritudine.)
The Prophet seems indeed to exhort all neighbors to sympathy; but we have stated for what purpose he did this; for it was not his object to show that the Moabites deserved pity, so that their neighbors ought to have condoled with them in their calamities: but by this figurative mode of speaking he exaggerated the grievousness of the evils which were soon to happen to the Moabites; as though he had said, "This judgment of God will be so dreadful as to make all their neighbors to tremble; all who had previously known the state of the people of Moab, will be smitten with such terror as will make them to groan and mourn with them." In short, the Prophet had nothing else in view than to show that God's vengeance on the Moabites would not be less severe and dreadful than it had been on the ten tribes, and what it would be on the tribe of Judah.
1 The literal rendering is, --
How has the rod of strength been broken, The staff of honor?
"How" is by what means, or how much: the first seems to be the meaning here. The rod and the staff are the same -- the sceptre an ensign of power and of honor or glory. -- Ed.
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