Therefore shall thou make them turn their back
Or flee and run away to private places, to hide themselves from the wrath of God and of the Lamb, though to no purpose; or "make them turn [behind thy] back": God will turn his back upon them, and be negligent and careless of them, and not regard them when they cry in their misery and destruction. Some Jewish interpreters F5 understand it of their being put together on one side, in one corner, and be separate from the people of God; to which sense the Targum inclines, rendering the word for "back" the "shoulder", which sometimes signifies unanimity and union, ( Zephaniah 3:9 ) ; and thus, being all together by themselves, the wrath of God shall be poured forth upon them, and they shall be destroyed at once: so the Christians were, by the providence of God, brought out of Jerusalem before its destruction; and the saints will be called out of Babylon before its fall; and the goats, the wicked, will be separated from the righteous, and set together at Christ's left hand; for they shall not stand in the congregation of the righteous: but the best sense of the words is, "thou shalt set them [for a] butt" or F6 "heap"; or, as it is in the Hebrew text, a shoulder; a butt to shoot at being so called, because it is earth heaped up like a shoulder; see ( Job 16:12 Job 16:13 ) ; and to this agrees what follows:
[when] thou shalt make ready [thine arrows] upon thy strings against
the face of them;
that is, direct the arrows of his wrath and vengeance right against them; see ( Psalms 7:11-13 ) .
F5 Kimchi & Ben Melech in loc.
F6 (Mkv wmtyvt) "ponis eos metam", Cocceius; "humerum", Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus; "velut tumulum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.