Let their table become a snare before them
This and the following imprecations were not the effects of a spirit of private revenge; of which there was no appearance in Christ, but all the reverse who prayed for his enemies, while they were using him as above related: but they are prophecies of what should be, being delivered out under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, ( Acts 1:16 Acts 1:20 ) . Wherefore some versions render the words, "their table shall become a snare" F8; and therefore are not to be drawn into an example by us, to favour and encourage a revengeful spirit: and they are very just and righteous, according to "lex talionis", the law of retaliation; since, inasmuch as they gave Christ gall for his meat, and vinegar for his drink, it was but right that the same measure should be meted out to them again; and their table mercies and blessings be cursed; that they should have them not in love, but in bitter wrath. Or that they should be left to be overcharged with them, and surfeit upon them; and so the day of their destruction come upon them as a snare: or that they should want the common necessaries of life, and be tempted to eat what was not lawful; and even their own children, as some did; see ( Malachi 2:2 ) ( Luke 21:34 Luke 21:35 ) ( Lamentations 4:10 ) . The Targum gives the sense of the words thus;
``let their table, which they prepared before me, that I might eat before them, be for a snare;''meaning a table spread with vinegar and gall. Of the figurative sense of these words, (See Gill on Romans 11:9); where apostle cites this passage, and applies it to the enemies of Christ;
and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become]
the word translated, "for [their] welfare", comes from (mlv) , which signifies both "to be at peace", and "to recompense"; and so is differently interpreted. Some think the "shelamim", or peace offerings, are meant; see ( Exodus 24:5 ) ; and so the Targum,
``let their sacrifices be for a trap, or stumbling block;''as they were, they trusting in them for the atonement of sin: and so neglected the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and his righteousness; which was the stumbling block at which they stumbled, and the trap into which they fell, and was their ruin. And it is observable, that while they were eating the sacrifice of the passover, they were surrounded by the Roman army, and taken as birds in a net, and as beasts in a trap. Others render the words, "to them that are at peace" F9, let their table be "for a trap"; while they are living in security, and crying, Peace, peace, let sudden, destruction come upon them; as it did. But the apostle has taught us how to render the word "for a recompence", ( Romans 11:9 ) ; as the word, differently pointed, is in ( Isaiah 34:8 ) . The true rendering and meaning of the whole seem to be this, "let their table become a snare before them"; and let their table be "for recompences" unto them, or in just retaliation; let the same food, or the like unto it, be set upon their tables, they gave to Christ, and let their table "become a trap"; for all relate to their table.
F8 (why) "erit", Pagninus, Montanus; "fiet vel fiat", Gejerus.
F9 (Mymwlvl) "tranquilli", Gejerus; so some in Michaelis.