And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children,
&c.] Or "with" the children, as Kimchi; and Ben Melech observes, that (le) is put for (Me) , and so in the next clause: and the heart of the children to their fathers;
or "with" their fathers; that is, both fathers and children: the meaning is, that John the Baptist should be an instrument of converting many of the Jews, both fathers and children, and bringing them to the knowledge and faith of the true Messiah; and reconcile them together who were divided by the schools of Hillell and Shammai, and by the sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees, and bring them to be of one mind, judgment, and faith, and to have a hearty love to one another, and the Lord Christ; see ( Matthew 3:5 Matthew 3:6 ) (See Gill on Luke 1:17). The Talmudists F20 interpret this of composing differences, and making peace. Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse;
the land of Judea; which, because the greater part of the inhabitants of it were not converted to the Lord, did not believe in the Messiah, but rejected him, notwithstanding the preaching and testimony of John the Baptist, and the ministry and miracles of Christ, it was smitten with a curse, was made desolate, and destroyed by the Roman emperors, Vespasian and Adrian, as instruments doing what God here threatened he would do; for not the whole earth is intended, as the Targum and Abarbinel suggest; but only that land, and the people of it, are intended, to whom the law of Moses was given; and to whom Elias, or John the Baptist, was to be sent; and to whom he was sent, and did come; and by whom he was rejected, and also the Messiah he pointed at; for which that country was smitten with a curse, and remains under it to this day.
F20 Massachet Ediot, c. 8. sect. 7.