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Lev 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up [any] image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I [am] the LORD your God.
Ver. 1. Ye shall make you no idols. ] See Trapp on " Exo 20:4 " See Trapp on " Exo 20:5 " God knew the people’s proneness to idolatry.
Lev 26:2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I [am] the LORD.
Ver. 2. Ye shall keep. ] See Trapp on " Lev 19:30 "
Lev 26:3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Ver. 3. If ye walk in my statutes. ] God’s promises are with a condition, which is as an oar in a boat, or stern of a ship, and turns the promise another way.
Lev 26:4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Ver. 4. Rain in due season. ] The best almanac we should rely upon for seasonable weather is our obedience to God, love to our neighbour, care of ourselves.
Lev 26:5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Ver. 5. Dwell in your land safely. ] Confidently, fiducially, as boldly relying upon God’s protection.
Lev 26:6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make [you] afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Ver. 6. Neither shall the sword. ] To devour and desolate it, to eat flesh and drink blood, without measure or safety. A fire it is that feeds upon the people, Isa 9:19 a hungry wolf that snatcheth on both hands. Isa 9:20
Lev 26:7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Ver. 7. And ye shall chase your enemies. ] If foreigners invade you, you shall be able to quell and quiet them quickly.
Lev 26:8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
Ver. 8. And five of you. ] God strengthens or weakens the arm of either party, Eze 30:24 strikes a panic terror oft, as into those Aramites that heard a hurry noise in the air, made by the angels likely, and fled.
Lev 26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
Ver. 9. And establish my covenant with you. ] This is more than all the rest. So Genesis 17:20-21 , "I have blessed Ishmael; twelve princes shall he beget, but my covenant will I establish with Isaac."
Lev 26:10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
Ver. 10. Because of the new. ] Which shall sufficiently secure you from want, though the old were spent.
Lev 26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
Ver. 11. I will set my tabernacle. ] The philosopher could comfort himself, that though he had little else to trust to, yet ενθα και οι Yεοι ιεσιν , Here are the gods with me, meaning his household gods. And he in Plutarch said of the Scythians, That though they had no music, nor vines amongst them, yet they had gods. How much more may the saints glory in God’s presence! Habent omnia qui habent habentem omnia. a
Lev 26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
Ver. 12. And I will walk. ] See Trapp on " 2Co 6:16 "
Lev 26:13 I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
Ver. 13. Which brought you forth. ] This they often hear of, not by way of exprobration, Jam 1:5 but to incite them to thankful obedience. Deu 8:11 Jos 24:1-33 Servati sumus, ut serviamus.
Lev 26:14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
Ver. 14. But if ye will not hearken. ] Here we may observe twice so many threatenings as promises; which serves to set forth the baseness of our natures, that will do more for fear than love.
Lev 26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, [but] that ye break my covenant:
Ver. 15. Or if your soul abhor my judgments. ] As, so it may prove; such is the vile canker of your corrupt natures.
Lev 26:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Ver. 16. I will even appoint. ] Put them in commission; send them with such authority as shall be irresistible.
Terror, consumption, and the burning ague, ] i.e., Terrible sicknesses of all sorts, such as was the sweating sickness, called Sudor Anglicus, quia Anglis perpetuum malum. a It reigned b here some forty years together, and slew so many, that strangers wondered how this island could be so populous to bear and bury such incredible multitudes. No stranger in England was touched with this disease, and yet the English were chased therewith, not only in England, but in other countries abroad: which made them like tyrants, both feared and avoided, wherever they came. c
a Sennert., De Febrib., lib. iv. cap. 15.
b Coepit anno 1486.
c Life of King Edward VI, by Sir John Heywood.
Lev 26:17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
Ver. 17. They that hate you. ] A heavy curse to any people, to have mischievous, malicious princes set over them: odious to God, malignant to the people.
Lev 26:18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
Ver. 18. Seven times more. ] God will have the better of us, and good reason: for is it fit that he should cast down the bucklers first? Illud quidem sic habeto, said the orator, a nisi sanatus animus sit, quod sine philosophia fieri non potest, finem miseriarum nullum fore, Be sure of this; if thy mind mend not, there will be no end of thy misery.
a Tusc. Quae., Cic. iii.
Lev 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
Ver. 19. Your heaven as iron. ] Hard hearts make hard times.
“ En quia iam nobis sint ferrea pectora, reddit
Coelum etiam nobis durius aere Deus.
Et quia iam nummos gignant pro faenore nummi:
Ante ferax tellus desinit esse ferax. ” a
a Bill. Anthol., lib. ii.
Lev 26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
Ver. 20. Your land shall not yield. ] See this fulfilled. Jeremiah 14:1-2 , &c., and Joe 1:12 Jer 8:13 And yet their country was called Sumen totius orbis. Cornelius Tacitus yields it to be a fruitful country. So did Rabshakeh long before. 2Ki 18:32
Lev 26:21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
Ver. 21. Contrary unto me. ] Or, Carelessly before me; as our ungirt Christians, profligate professors do.
Seven times more Plagues. ] God cannot be exhausted, neither need we fear, as he did of his Jupiter.
“ Si quoties peccent homines, sua fulmina mittat
Iupiter, exiguo tempore inermis erit. ”
Lev 26:22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your [high] ways shall be desolate.
Ver. 22. I will also send wild beasts. ] As he did. Numbers 21:6 , 2Ki 17:25 ; 2Ki 2:24 Isa 13:21 Jer 5:6
Lev 26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Ver. 23. Ye. will not be reformed. ] Or chastised. God will master us; but the wicked refuse to receive corrections: like naughty boys they prove more stubborn or more stupid: they stout it out, and will not stoop. When God’s "hand is lifted up they will not see; but they shall see and be ashamed." Isa 26:11
Lev 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Ver. 24. Then will I also walk contrary. ] God will be as froward as they for the hearts of them. Psa 18:20 He will wry with them; neither may they look to get anything of him by wriggling and wrestling.
Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of [my] covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Ver. 25. I will bring a sword. ] God "makes peace and creates evil," i.e., war. called evil per antonomasiam. Whencesoever the sword comes, it is "bathed in heaven." Isa 34:5
The quarrel of my covenant. ] For breach whereof Jerusalem is long since laid waste, those seven golden candlesticks are broken in pieces. Bohemia lies still a bleeding, which was the seat of the first open and authorised Reformation. And what may we think will become of us all, who, "like men have transgressed the covenant," Hos 6:7 or as Junius reads it, not tanquam homines, but tanquam hominis, &c. We have made no more of breaking covenant, than if therein we had had to do with dust and ashes like ourselves, and not with the great God; who is therefore whetting his sword, and furbishing it for slaughter. Quod Deus avertat!
Leviticus 26:26 [And] when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver [you] your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
Ver. 26. And not be satisfied. ] As sick of a bulimy, or dog-like appetite, common in times of famine, such as was that of Samaria, Saguntum, Jerusalem, Sancerra, &c.
Lev 26:27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
Ver. 27. But walk contrary unto me. ] Or, At all adventures with me.
Lev 26:28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
Ver. 28. Seven times for your sins. ] God will not cease pursuing till Sheba’s head be thrown over the wall. Three times in this chapter God raiseth his note of threatening, and he raiseth it by sevens, and those are discords in music. Such sayings will be heavy songs, and their execution heavy pangs to the wicked. In musical notes there are but eight degrees; and then the same returns again. Philosophers, when they distinguish degrees in qualities, do usually make the eighth degree to be the highest. But in the wrath of God against impenitents here in this chapter, Leviticus 26:18 ; Leviticus 26:21 ; Leviticus 26:24 ; Leviticus 26:28 , there are no fewer than twenty-eight degrees threatened, as is well observed. a
a Dr Rain.
Lev 26:29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
Ver. 29. And ye shall eat. ] As they did. 2Ki 6:29 Lam 4:19 Pone pretium humanae corni, was once heard openly proclaimed at Rome in the reign of Honorius the Emperor. A hard case indeed. Here in England, in Edward II’s time, anno 1316, there was so terrible a famine, that horses, dogs, yea, men and children, were stolen for food, and the thieves newly brought into the jail were torn in pieces, and eaten presently half alive, by such as had been longer there. a
a Alsted, Chron. Speed’s Hist.
Lev 26:30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
Ver. 30. Upon the carcasses. ] Or, Stumps and shivers of your idols overturned. Jer 16:18 Eze 4:3-7 Thus in Ket’s conspiracy, those rebels of Norfolk, that brought with them into the field the pyx under his canopy in a cart, not without masses, crosses, banners, candlesticks, &c., all which trumpery, together with their breaden god, was tumbled in the dirt, amidst the carcasses of their late idolatrous worshippers. a
a Act. and Mon., fol. 1190.
Lev 26:31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
Ver. 31. I will not smell. ] I will show myself implacable, inexorable.
Lev 26:32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
Ver. 32. Which dwell therein. ] After that you shall be driven out of it.
Lev 26:33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
Ver. 33. And I will scatter you. ] As chaff. Compare Psa 44:11 Zechariah 7:14 . Therefore "fan you, fan you, O nation, not to be desired before the day pass as the chaff," &c. Zep 2:1-2 See Trapp on " Zep 2:1 " See Trapp on " Zep 2:2 "
Lev 26:34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye [be] in your enemies’ land; [even] then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
Ver. 34. Then shall the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths. ] Rest from your disquietments, whilst ye sinned upon it; and gat out the heart of it to spend it on your lusts. Compare 2 Chronicles 36:21 . Where there is not a resting from sin, the Sabbaths are not truly kept.
Lev 26:35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
Ver. 35. See Trapp on " Lev 26:34 "
Lev 26:36 And upon them that are left [alive] of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
Ver. 36. I will send a faintness. ] See this explained in Job 15:21-22 .
Lev 26:37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
Ver. 37. And they shallfall. ] Through feebleness or prefestination.
Lev 26:39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
Ver. 39. Shall pine away in their iniquity, ] i.e., saith Diodate, Forsake their hardness of heart, and humble themselves with tears and repentance. But I rather adhere to those who take the words for a dreadful threatening worse than all the rest, viz., that after all their losses, captivities, &c., they that were left should swelter and pine away in their iniquities, as if nothing could awake them.
Lev 26:40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
Ver. 40. A special text touching the rejection and conversion of the Jews.
Lev 26:41 And [that] I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Ver. 41. Accept of the punishment of their iniquity. ] Taking all in good part, as less than their deserts; yea, taking God’s part against themselves, humbly submitting to his justice, and imploring his mercy.
Lev 26:43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
Ver. 43. They shall accept, ] q.d., I will give them to do what I require of them. See Leviticus 26:41 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 26". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29