7. And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.
7. Et ventilabo ventilabro ipsos in omnibus portis terrae, (id est, per omnes portas;) orbavi, perdidi populum meum; viis suis non recesserunt (vel, non reversi sunt, vel, non sunt conversi.)
He confirms here the same truth. The verb which I have rendered in the future may be rendered in the past tense, but I still think it to be a prediction of what was to come. But as to what follows, I have bereaved, I have destroyed, it must, I have no doubt, be referred to time past.
He then says, I will fan or scatter them, for the verb. zrh zare, means to scatter, but as with a fan follows, (the word is derived from the same root) I wish to retain the repetition. Then it is, I will fan them with a fan through all the gates of the earth Many give the meaning, |through the cities,| which I do not approve, as it seems a frigid explanation. On the contrary the Prophet means by |the gates of the earth,| all countries, for the Jews thought that they should be always safe and quiet in their own cities. By taking a part for the whole, gates do indeed, as it appears elsewhere, signify cities; but as the Jews trusted in their own defences, and thought that they could never be drawn out from these quiet nests, the word gates is in a striking manner transferred to signify any kind of exit; I will fan you, says God, but where? through all gates of the earth, or through all countries and through all deserts; wherever there is a region open for you there you must pass through. Ye are wont to pass in and out through your gates, and ye have there your quiet homes, but there shall be hereafter to you other cities, other gates, even all countries and all deserts, all ways, and, in short, every sort of passage.
Then follows, I have bereaved, I have destroyed my people; they have not returned from their own ways Here no doubt he condemns the Jews for their sottishhess, because they had not repented after having been warned by grievous judgments, which God had executed partly on them and partly on their brethren. For the kingdom of Israel had been cut off: when they saw the ten tribes driven into exile ought they not to have been terrified by such an example? Hence also another Prophet says,
|There is no one who mourns for the bruising of Joseph.| (Amos 6:6)
God had set before their eyes a sad and dreadful spectacle; they ought then to have acknowledged in the destruction of Israel what they themselves deserved, and to have turned to God. It is then this extreme hardness that God upbraids them with, for though he had bereaved his people, the ten tribes, and destroyed them, and though also the kingdom of Judah had been in a great measure depressed, yet they returned not from their own ways. It hence appeared more fully evident that they deserved the severest judgments, as they were become wholly irreclaimable. He then adds --