Or could have said, or might have said; that is, determined and resolved, as it was in his power, and in right and justice might have done what follows:
I would scatter them into corners;
which does not fitly express the sense of the word used, and besides this was what was done; it is notorious that the Jews were and are scattered into the several corners of the world, and there is no corner where they are not; whereas the phrase is expressive of something that could and might have been done, but was not: moreover, to disperse them into the several parts of the world does not agree with what follows; for that, instead of making their remembrance to cease, would make them the more known, and the more to be remembered. But the word literally taken may be rendered, "I will corner them" F6; drive them up into a corner, and cut them off together, or search for them in, and ferret them out of, every corner in which they should get, and destroy them all: agreeably to which is the Targum of Onkelos,
``mine anger shall rest upon them, and I will destroy them;''and so Aben Ezra interprets it of the destruction of them, and observes, that otherwise it would not agree with what follows. There may be an allusion in it to the corner of the field, which was ordered to be left to the poor, and not reaped, ( Leviticus 19:9 ) ; and so the sense is, I could and might have determined when the harvest of this land and people was come, or the time of wrath upon them, to cut down every corner, and leave none, no, not one standing stalk of corn, but make clean riddance of them:
I would make the remembrance of them cease from among men;
as of the Amalekites, Moabites, Midianites, Edomites, Chaldeans, and others, whose names as well as nations are no more. This is what the enemies of the Jews plotted and conspired to do, ( Psalms 83:4 ) ; and what God could and might have done, but has not; the Jews continue to this day a distinct people, though it is now near 1900 years since the destruction of their city and temple, and their dispersion in the various parts of the world; which is what was never known of any other people in the like circumstances, and which is a most amazing and surprising event; the reasons of it follow.
F6 (Mhyapa) "angulabo illos", Oleaster, Vitringa; "ad angulos usque quaeram ipsos, seu ad verbum, angulabo ipsos", Van Till; "ab angulo succidam ipsos", Cocceius. Vid. Gusset. Ebr. Comment. p. 661.