Strangers have devoured his strength
Or his substance, as the Targum; his wealth and riches, fortresses and strong holds: these strangers were either the Syrians, who, in the times of Jehoahaz, destroyed Ephraim or the Israelites, and so weakened them, as to make them like the dust by threshing, ( 2 Kings 12:7 ) ; or the Assyrians, first under Pul king of Assyria, who came out against Menahem king of Israel, and exacted a tribute of a thousand talents of silver, and so drained them of their treasure, which was their strength, ( 2 Kings 15:19 2 Kings 15:20 ) ; and then under Tiglathpileser, another king of Assyria, who came and took away from them many of their fortified places, and carried the inhabitants captive, ( 2 Kings 15:29 ) ; and he knoweth [it] not;
is not sensible how much he is weakened by such exactions and depredations; or does not take notice of the hand of God in all this; does not consider from whence it comes, what is the cause of it, and for what ends; yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not;
or, "old age has sprinkled itself upon him" F19; or, "gray hairs are sprinkled on him"; gray hairs, when thick, are a sign that old age is come; and, when sprinkled here and there, are symptoms of its coming on, and of a person's being on the decline of life; and here it signifies the weak and declining state of Israel, through the exactions and depredations of their neighbours, and that theft utter ruin was near; and yet they did not know nor consider their latter end, nor repent of their sins and acknowledge them, and return unto the Lord, and implore his mercy: so carnal professors, who mix with the men of the world, that are strangers to God and godliness, and everything that is divine and good, are devoured by them; they lose their time and substance, and their precious souls, and are not aware of it. The symptoms of the declining state of the church of God are at this time upon us, and yet not taken notice of; such as great departures from the faith; a number of false teachers risen up; great failings off of professors, and of such who have made a great figure in the church; a small number of faithful men; great coldness and lukewarmness to spiritual things; little faith on the earth; great neglect of Gospel worship and ordinances; much sleepiness and drowsiness; great immorality and profaneness: as also the symptoms of the declining state of the world, and of its drawing to its period; as wars, and rumours of wars, famine, pestilence, and earthquakes in divers places; volcanos, burning mountains, eruptions of subterraneous fire, which portend the general conflagration; and yet these things are little attended to.
F19 (wb hqrz hbyv) "canities sparsit se in eo", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt; "cani sparsi sunt", Tigurine version; "canities aspergit eum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Latin writers: "sparserit et nigras alba senecta comas". Propert. l. 3. Eleg. 4. "Jam mihi deterior canis aspergitur aetas". Ovid. de Ponto, l. 1. Eleg. 5.