Hast thou not heard long ago?
&c.] By report, by reading the history of ancient times, or by means of the prophets; these are the words of the Lord to Sennacherib. The Targum adds,
``what I did to Pharaoh king of Egypt;''
it follows: how I have done it; and of ancient times that I have formed it
meaning either the decree in his own breast from all eternity, and which he had published by his prophets, of raising up him, this wicked prince, to be the scourge of nations; or by the "it" are meant the people of the Jews, God's Israel, whom he had made, formed into a body politic, and into a church state, and had done great things for, in bringing them out of Egypt, leading them through the Red sea, providing for them, and protecting them in the wilderness, subduing nations under them, and settling them in the land of Canaan; now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps F20
; which some render interrogatively, now should I bring, it to be laid waste, and fenced cities to be ruinous heaps
that is, the people of the Jews, the city of Jerusalem, and other fenced cities? no, I will not: or the meaning is, that that decree, which he had framed and formed in his own mind from all eternity, he was now bringing to pass; which was, that this king of Babylon should be a waster and destroyer of fortified cities, which he should reduce to heaps of ruin; wherefore he had no reason to vaunt as he had done, for he was only an instrument of executing the purposes and designs of God, though it was not in his heart, nor did he so mean.
F20 (Myun Mylg) "in acervos et flores", "into heaps and flowers", that is, into heaps of dust, which being moved, and raised by the wind, fly away like flowers and blossoms of trees; so Gussetius, "in acervos volantes, aut ad volandum excitatos, scil. dum redacti in pulveres, magna ex parte, volant, excitati a ventis", Comment. Ebr. p. 502.