Before him went the pestilence
Either in the land of Egypt, when he marched through that, and slew all their firstborn, ( Psalms 78:50 Psalms 78:51 ) or rather which he sent before him, and Israel his people among the nations of the land of Canaan, with other diseases and judgments, and destroyed them to make way for his people, which may be here alluded to, ( Exodus 23:27 Exodus 23:28 ) and may point at the judgments of God, and those pestilential diseases which seized upon the persecutors of the Christians, both among the Jews, as Herod, ( Acts 12:23 ) and among the Gentiles, as many of the Roman emperors, who died violent and grievous deaths; and particularly it may regard the pestilence, famine, and other sore judgments preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of it, for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah: and burning coals went forth at his feet;
which some understand of hailstones mingled with fire, to which the allusion may be, being one of the plagues of Egypt, ( Exodus 9:23 Exodus 9:24 ) . Some interpret it of hot diseases, burning fevers, so Kimchi; which are at the command of God, and sent forth by him when he pleases, to do his will. The ancient fathers expound all this of the destruction of death, and the devil, and his principalities, by Christ upon the cross; and the Targum is,
``from before him was sent forth the angel of death, and his word went forth in a flame of fire;''but this seems to have respect to the burning of the city and temple of Jerusalem, which was done by the Romans as instruments, but according to the direction, order, and will of Christ, ( Matthew 22:7 ) see ( Psalms 18:12 Psalms 18:13 ) .