13. They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood.
13. Adolescentes ad molam sumpserunt, et pueri in ligno ceciderunt (vel, impegerunt)
I cannot proceed farther now.
Grant, Almighty God, that since thou hast once stretched forth thy hand to consecrate us a people to thyself, -- O grant, that thy paternal favor may perpetually shine on us, and that we may, on the other hand, strive always to glorify thy name, so that having once embraced us thou mayest continue thy goodness, until we shall at length enjoy the fullness of all blessings in thy celestial kingdom, which has been obtained for us by the blood of thine only-begotten Son. -- Amen.
The Prophet now says, that young men, had been delivered to the mill, or to the grinding-house; and we know that of all servile works this was the lowest; for as they used asses to grind, so also they used slaves. The meaning is, that the Jews were shamefully treated, and were reduced to the most abject condition. I know not how came Jerome to give this version, that they were basely used for lust; for Nxj, thechen, means to grind or to tear. He thought that it means here something base, which could not be named, as though the enemies had shamefully abused the young men; but we may gather from the second clause of the verse that such an idea does not accord with the passage.
He then says, that young men were compelled to grind, and that boys stumbled under the wood. He means that boys were loaded with wood, as drudges were wont to be; and it was a vile work. As, then, he said previously, that the young men were employed in grinding, so now he says that boys succumbed under the wood, because they carried burdens on their shoulders too heavy for them, which they were not able to bear. We now, then, apprehend what the Prophet means. It follows, --