But if the watchman see the sword come
Or those that kill with the sword, as the Targum is; so far doing the duty of his office as to be in the watchtower, and not asleep: and yet blow not the trumpet:
to give the people notice of the enemy, and of their danger: and the people be not warned;
but in the utmost security, not apprehending themselves to be in any danger at all: if the sword come and take any person from among them;
even though but a single person: he is taken away in his iniquity:
having had no time to have it set before him, and to be convinced, and to repent of it, and seek for pardoning mercy for it; it is a dreadful thing thus to be taken out of the world, and snatched into hell at once: but his blood will I require at the watchman's hands;
he shall be punished for not doing his duty, for not giving the due warning of danger, on which account the man was surprised with the enemy, and taken away unawares; and therefore his death shall be laid to the watchman, and he must be answerable for it.