[As] a roaring lion, and a ranging bear
Which are both terrible; the lion that roars for want of food, or when it is over its prey; and the hear, when it runs from place to place in quest of provision, being "hungry [and very] desirous" of food, has a keen appetite, as some think the word F12 signifies. The Targum and Jarchi take it to be expressive of the cry and roaring it makes at such a time, as well as the lion; see ( Isaiah 59:11 ) ; so the Tigurine version. "Roaring" is the proper epithet of a lion, and is frequently given it in Scripture, and in other writers F13; and the bear, it is to have its name, in the Oriental language, from the growling and murmuring noise it makes when hungry; hence that of Horace F14; [so is] a wicked ruler over the poor people;
one that rules over them in a tyrannical manner, sadly oppresses them, takes away the little from them they have, which is very cruel and barbarous; when he ought to protect and defend them, against whom they cannot stand, and whom they dare not resist; and who therefore must be as terrible to them, being as cruel and voracious as the above animals. Tyrants are frequently compared to lions, ( Jeremiah 4:7 ) ( 50:17 ) ( 2 Timothy 4:17 ) ; and the man of sin, the wicked ruler and great oppressor of God's poor people, is compared to both; his feet are as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion, ( Revelation 13:2 ) .
F12 (qqwv) "avidus", Pagninus, Montanus; "famelicus", Castalio, Schultens; "esuriens", V. L. Vatablus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Bochart; "adpetens", Michaelis.
F13 "Leo fremit", Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16. "Spumat aper, fluit unda, fremit leo, sibilat anguis"; Licentius de Protheo.
F14 "Nec vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile", Epod. Ode 16. v. 51.