How long shall the land mourn
The land of Judea, being desolate, and bringing forth no fruit, through the long drought that had been upon it: and the herbs of every field wither;
for want of rain to come upon it: for the wickedness of them that dwell therein?
this opens the cause, the reason of this dearth; it was the wickedness of the inhabitants of it: as the whole earth was originally cursed for the sins of men, so particular countries have had the marks of God's displeasure upon them, because of the sins of those that dwell in them. This clause, according to the accents, belongs to what follows, and may be read in connection with the next clause; either thus, "the herbs" of every field wither, I say, "because of the wickedness of the inhabitants of it, which consumes the beasts and the birds" F24; that is, which wickedness is the cause not only of the withering of the grass and herbs, but of the consumption of birds and beasts: or else, by repeating the interrogation in the preceding clause, how long shall the earth mourn
; how long, for the malice of them that dwell in it, are the beasts
and the birds consumed
F25? the one having no grass to eat; and the other no fruit to pick, or seeds to live upon; the barrenness being so very great and general. Because they said;
the Jews, the inhabitants of the land, the wicked part of them, and which was the greater: he shall not see our last end;
either the Prophet Jeremiah, who had foretold it; but they did not believe him, that such would be their end, and that he should live to see it; or such was their atheism and infidelity, that they said God himself should not see it; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions read, "God shall not see".
F24 So Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 564.
F25 Thus Schmidt, after Luther.