17. As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the Lord.
17. Sicuti custodes (est aliud nomen quam prius smrym,) agri erunt super eam in circuitu; quia me exacerbarit, dicit Jehova.
He intimates here that there would be no escape to the Jews when God brought the Chaldeans, for every egress, all the ways, would be closed up, so that they could not migrate to another land. It is the same as though he had said, that such a calamity was nigh them that they could not escape it by exile, it is indeed a sad thing when men flee away naked as from the fire, and seek a place among strangers, and live there in misery and want; but the Prophet declares here, that so grievous was the punishment prepared for the Jews, that it would not indeed be possible for them to save themselves by expatriation and flight, for God would close up every avenue, and would as it were set guards to prevent any to depart.
He afterwards assigns a reason for this, Because they have made me angry The Prophet again shews that God dealt not cruelly with the Jews, nor that they were visited by chance with so many and so grievous calamities, but that they suffered justly, for they had provoked the wrath of God. It would indeed have availed the Jews but little that they dreaded an approaching evil, except they acknowledged that God was punishing them for their perverseness. Hence the reason is stated: it was mentioned, that the Jews might know that these calamities were brought on them by God's hand. And for the same purpose is what follows --