If he destroy him from his place
If the sun when he is risen strikes the tree with such vehement heat that it withers and utterly perishes from the place where it grew; or roots it up, so the Targum and Nachmanides; or, if God destroys the hypocrite from his place, or he is by one means or another removed out of the garden, the church, being detested and rejected by good men; or from all his worldly enjoyments, his honour, credit, and esteem with men, which are all precarious, fickle, and inconstant; or out of the world, being cut down as a cumber ground:
then [it] shall deny him, [saying], I have not seen thee;
that is, either the tree shall deny that it ever was planted in such a place, or rather the place shall deny that the tree ever was planted there; the sense is, that it shall be so utterly destroyed, that neither root nor branch shall be left, nor anything to show that it ever grew there; its place shall know it no more, see ( Job 7:10 ) ( 20:9 ) ; or God shall deny the hypocrite, and say he never saw him nor knew him; he never belonged to him, nor was under his care; he never looked upon him with a look of love, grace, and mercy; he never had any delight and pleasure in him, nor regarded him as one of his; he was no tree of his planting, watering, and keeping, see ( Matthew 7:23 ) ; this seems most difficult to accommodate to a good man, and those who carry it that way seem to be most puzzled with this; some render it, "shall he be swallowed?" or, "shall anyone in, allow him up?" F16 destroy or root him out of his place? none shall: the root of the righteous cannot be moved, nor they from that; not from the everlasting love of God, in which they are rooted, nor from Christ, in whom they are fixed: others understand this of the digging up of a tree, and transplanting it to another place, where it grows as well, or better; and so the people of God, though they have many stripping providences, and are removed from place to place, and from one condition to another, so that their former state and place know them no more; yet all things work together for their good.
F16 (znelby Ma) "num absorbebitur a loco suo?" Beza; "num absorbebit cum quisquam e loco suo", Diodatus.