He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them
As he did before the flood, when the earth was tilled, and all over peopled with them, but at the flood he destroyed them at once. Sephorno interprets it of the seven nations in the land of Canaan, which were increased in it, and destroyed, to make way for the Israelites to inhabit it; and this has since been verified in other kingdoms, large and populous, and brought to destruction, particularly in the four monarchies, Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman, and will be in the antichristian states and nations of the world:
he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them [again];
or "stretcheth" or "spreadeth out the nations" F3, as he did all over the earth before the deluge, and then most remarkably straitened them, when they were reduced to so small a number as to be contained in a single ark: "or leads them" F4; that is, "governs them", as Mr. Broughton renders the word, rules and overrules them, as large as they are; or leads them into captivity, as some Jewish writers F5, as the Israelites; though they have been enlarged, and became numerous, as it was promised they should, yet have been led into captivity, first the ten tribes by the Assyrians, and then the two tribes by the Chaldeans; the Targum is, "he spreadeth out a net for the nations, and leadeth them", that is, into it, so that they are taken in it, see ( Ezekiel 12:13 ) .
F3 (xjv) "extendit", Tigurine version, Drusius, Mercerus; "expandit", Beza, Junius & Tremellus, Piscator, Schmidt; "expandens", Schultens.
F4 (Mxnyw) "et ducit eas", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Schmidt.
F5 Kimchi, Ben Melech, Bar Tzemach.