Psalms 120:4

Psalms 120:4

Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
] Some think these words describe lying lips, and a false tongue; which are like arrows, sharp ones, sent out from a bow drawn with a mighty hand, which come with great force, suddenly and swiftly, and do much mischief; see ( Psalms 11:2 ) ( 57:4 ) ( 64:4 ) ; and to "coals of juniper", very distressing and tormenting; the tongue being a fire, set on fire of hell, and sets on fire the course of nature; and throws out devouring words, which consume like fire, ( James 3:6 ) ( Psalms 52:4 ) . But rather the punishment of an evil tongue from the Lord is intended, whose sore judgments are often compared to arrows, ( Deuteronomy 32:23 Deuteronomy 32:42 ) ( Ezekiel 5:16 ) ( Psalms 7:13 ) ; because they come from above, and bring swift and sudden destruction with them; and are very sharp in the hearts of his enemies; are very severe and cutting, and come with power irresistible, being the arrows of the Almighty, ( Job 6:4 ) ; see ( Jeremiah 50:9 ) ; and these may be compared to "coals of juniper", which are very vehement and strong, and very lasting and durable. Jerom F23 and Isidore F24 say they will last a whole year; and the Midrash on the place reports of two men, who had prepared food with them, and at the end of a year returned and found them burning, and warmed their feet at them. These fitly express the lake of fire and brimstone, the portion of liars; whose fire is very strong, and flames devouring, being kindled by the breath of the Lord of hosts, like a stream of brimstone: and the fire of hell is everlasting; its burnings are everlasting burnings; a worm that dieth not, a fire that is not quenched; the smoke of the torments of which ascend for ever and ever, ( Isaiah 30:23 ) ( 33:14 ) ( 66:24 ) ( Revelation 14:11 ) ( 21:8 ) . The Targum speaks of these arrows as lightnings from above, and of the coals of juniper as kindled in hell below; and they are interpreted of hell in the Talmud F25.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 Ad Fabiolam de 42. Mans. tom. 3. fol. 15. I.
F24 Origin. l. 17. c. 7. Schindler. col. 1776.
F25 T. Bab. Eracin, c. 3. fol. 15. 2.
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