6. Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates.
6. Ne effugiat volex, et ne servetur fortis; in Aquilone (in Septentrione) super ripam fluvii Euphratis impingent (vel, impegerunt, est proeteriti temporis,) et ceciderunt (ksl significat etiam corruere, ideo vertunt alii, corruerunt, sed videtur esse species gradationis.)
He then says first that they would gain power, but he speaks presently of their fall, unless it be thought that the same thing is repeated: and the beginning of the verse may be read affirmatively, |The swift shall not flee,| etc. But as the particle 'l, al, is often used in a prohibitory sense, the verse may be evidently explained as spoken by God, and thus it may be read in connection with the previous verse, Let not the swift flee, nor the brave escape For God here declares authoritatively, that celerity and courage would be of no avail to the Egyptians, because the swiftest would be taken by their enemies, and the bravest would fall.
He says, In the land of the north, on the bank of the river We know that Babylon and Assyria and Chaldea and those countries, were northward with respect to Judea. Whenever then the Prophets speak of the Babylonians, they call them Northlanders; but Egypt was to the south, as it is clear from many parts of Scripture. But as the Prophet here speaks of the Egyptians, he rightly makes Chaldea to be northward. Then he says, On the bank of the river Euphrates they shall stumble, or fall. The meaning is, that the event of war is in the power of God, so that he would tear in pieces and lay prostrate or scatter the Egyptians, however well equipped they might be, and trust in their own strength.
We must also observe, that whatever subsidies men pro-cum for themselves in order to protect their safety, they are nothing when God is opposed to them. The Prophet indeed mentions only two things; but he means that though men may excel in many things and possess many endowments, they must yet perish, when that is God's will: flight cannot save the swift, nor strength the valiant. It follows --