Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against
them for evil
They prospered not in any business they undertook, or put their hands unto; or in any expedition they went upon, or when they went out to war, as Kimchi, Ben Melech, and Abarbinel explain the phrase: the battle went against them, because God was against them; his hand was against them, and there was no resisting and turning that back; and this sense seems to agree with what goes before and follows after; though in some Jewish writings F1 it is explained of those that went out of the land to escape the calamities of it, and particularly of Elimelech and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, ( Ruth 1:1 Ruth 1:2 ) ;
as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them;
having ratified and confirmed his threatening with an oath, that if they served other gods, he would surely bring upon them all the curses of the law; see ( Deuteronomy 29:12-20 ) ;
and they were greatly distressed;
by the Canaanites they suffered to dwell among them, who were pricks in their eyes, and thorns in their sides, as had been threatened them; and by the nations round about them, who came in upon them, and plundered them, and carried them captive.
F1 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 12. p. 34.