21. And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds; and you shall know that I the Lord have spoken it.
21. Et omnes profugi ejus in omnibus copius ejus in gladio cadent: et qui residui erunt ad omnem ventum dispergentur: et cognoscetis quod ego Iehovah loquutus sim.
The Prophet now descends to the whole people, especially to the soldiers, whom Zedekiah himself thought would be fit guardians of the city. He says, then, thus shall all his forces be dissipated, so that they shall be dispersed hither and thither and all by the sword. By these words he means the slaughter of the army, since as long as soldiers stand in their own ranks they sustain and repel a hostile attack; but when they are dispersed, every one is subject to the enemy, and hence a promiscuous slaughter arises. He says, therefore, that Zedekiah's soldiers would be fugitives amidst all their bands: that is, although he had a large army, yet all his forces should be dispersed, and while each should consult his own advantage, he should fall into the enemy's hands: thus, all shall fall by the sword; then those who remain shall be dispersed towards every wind. We saw the same thing before, for when the Prophet had declared that all the people should suffer by the sword, he added, at the same time, that all the survivors should be fugitives, just as if any one should throw out refuse or hair which the wind would blow hither and thither. Hence he repeats the same now, namely, that the whole people would be like a torn body, since if they escaped the sword, yet they would find no place of rest. Hence while a few would flee to Egypt, some to the Moabites, and others to the neighboring nations, the whole body of the people, would be dissipated. He adds, and you shall know that I Jehovah have spoken. We have explained the meaning of this, and why the Prophet repeats it so often, namely, because the Jews were untractable and derided all God's threats: the Prophet teaches that they should really feel that he had spoken, and this is the wisdom of fools, as the common proverb expresses it. For because they do not obey any counsels, nor admit any admonitions, and receive no teaching, they are instructed only by the event itself. It follows --
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