Therefore their days did he consume in vanity
They were not immediately cut off by the hand of God, though some were; but the greatest part spent their time, for about eight and thirty years together, in fruitless marches to and fro in the wilderness, and never entered into the land of Canaan, where they were gradually wasted and consumed, till at length all their carcasses fell in the wilderness; see ( Numbers 14:32 Numbers 14:35 ) , time spent in sin is all waste time, and is spent in vanity; let a man enjoy ever so much of worldly things, it is all vanity and vexation of spirit; if he does not get to heaven at last, his life here is lived in vain; it had been better if he had never been born:
and their years in trouble:
or "in terror" F1 and consternation; through their enemies, who smote and discomfited them, ( Numbers 14:45 ) , through the earth's opening and swallowing many of them up; through fire coming from heaven on some of them, and fiery serpents being sent among them all, ( Numbers 16:31 ) ( Numbers 21:6 Numbers 21:7 ) . It is an awful consideration, and yet it is true, of some wicked men, though not all, that they have nothing but trouble here, by what their sins bring upon them, and hell at last. Kimchi renders the word here used "suddenly", and interprets it of the sudden death of the spies; so the Syriac and Arabic versions "swiftly", following the Vulgate Latin, which renders it "with haste".
F1 (hlhbb) "in terrore", Montanus; "per consternationem aut terrorem", Gejerus; "in terrore et consternatione", Michaelis.