Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble
Or "tongue of fire" F8; meaning the flame, the same as in the next clause; because it is in the form of a tongue; see ( Acts 2:3 ) : and the flame consumeth the chaff;
which is done easily, speedily, and entirely; the metaphors denote that their destruction would be easy, swift, sudden, irresistible, and irrecoverable. Reference may be had to the burning of Jerusalem, literally understood: [so] their root shall be rottenness;
and so utterly perish; meaning their fathers, as Aben Ezra and Abarbinel think; or their chief and principal men, before mentioned; or their riches and substance, and whatever they gloried of, or trusted in; see ( Matthew 3:10 ) : and their blossom shall go up as dust;
before the wind; either their children, or whatever was excellent or valuable with them; so Jarchi interprets it of their grandeur, pomp, and glory; it seems to express an utter destruction of them, root and branch, as in ( Malachi 4:1 ) : because they have cast away the law of the Lord;
or doctrine of the Lord; that is, the Gospel; which the Jews blasphemed, contradicted, and put away from them, and judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life: the preaching of a crucified Christ, and salvation by him, and justification by his righteousness, were a stumbling block to them: this is to be understood not of the law of works, but of the law or doctrine of faith: and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel;
meaning either the same as before; expressing their great contempt of the Gospel, and the reason why they rejected it, because they loathed, abhorred, and despised it: or else Christ, the essential Word of God; so the Targum,
``they rejected the Word, the Holy One of Israel;''as the Messiah, and received him not; and this their rejection of him, and ill treatment of his Gospel and ministers, were the cause of the burning of Jerusalem, and of their utter ruin and destruction, ( Matthew 22:4-7 ) .
F8 (va Nwvl) "lingua ignis", Vatablus.