If his children be multiplied
As it is possible they may; this is one external blessing common to good men and bad men. Haman, that proud oppressor, left ten sons behind him, and wicked Ahab had seventy, ( Esther 9:12 ) ( 2 Kings 10:1 ) :
[it is] for the sword;
for them that kill with the sword, as the Targum; to be killed with it, as in the two instances above; Haman's ten sons were slain by the sword of the Jews, ( Esther 9:13 Esther 9:14 ) , and Ahab's seventy sons by the sword of Jehu, or those he ordered to slay them, ( 2 Kings 10:7 ) . The children of such wicked persons are oftentimes put to death, either by the sword of the enemy, fall in battle in an hostile way, which is one of God's four sore judgments, ( Ezekiel 14:21 ) ; or, leading a most wicked life, commit such capital crimes as bring them into the hand of the civil magistrate, who bears not the sword in vain, but is the minister of God, a revengeful executioner of wrath on wicked men; or else they die by the sword of the murderer, being brought into the world for such, and through their riches become their prey, ( Hosea 9:13 ) ; or if neither of these is the case, yet they at last, let them prosper as they will, fall a sacrifice to the glittering sword of divine justice, whetted and drawn in wrath against them; the sword of the enemy seems chiefly intended:
and his offspring shall not be satisfied with
such of them as die not by the sword shall perish by famine, which is another of God's sore judgments; though this may respect the grandchildren of wicked men, whom God visits to the third and fourth generation; the Targum paraphrases it, his children's children, and so Sephorno; to which agrees the Vulgate Latin version: the sense is, that the posterity of such wicked men, when they are dead and gone, shall be so reduced as to beg their bread, and shall not have a sufficiency of that for the support of nature, but shall die for want of food.