There shall the fire devour thee
In the strong holds, made ever so firm and secure; either the fire of divine wrath; or the fire of the enemy they should put into them; or the enemy himself, as Kimchi; and so the Targum,
``thither shall come upon thee people who are as strong as fire:''the sword shall cut thee off; it shall eat thee up as the cankerworm:
that is, the sword of the Medes and Chaldeans shall utterly destroy thee, as the cankerworm is destroyed by rain or fire; or rather, as that creature destroys all herbs, plants, and trees it falls upon, and makes clear riddance of them, so should it be with Nineveh: make thyself many as the cankerworm; make thyself many as the
which go in swarms, innumerable, and make the air "heavy" in which they fly, and the earth on which they fall, as the word F25 signifies. The locust has one of its names, "arbah", in Hebrew, from the large numbers of them; so a multitude of men, and large armies, are often signified in Scripture to be like grasshoppers or locusts, for their numbers; see ( Judges 6:5 ) ( 7:12 ) ( Jeremiah 46:23 ) . So Sithalces king of Thrace is represented F26 as swearing, while he was sacrificing, that he would assist the Athenians, having an army that would come like locusts, that is, in such numbers; for so the Greek scholiast on the place says the word used signifies a sort of locusts: the sense is, gather together as many soldiers, and as large an army, as can be obtained to meet the enemy, or cause him to break up the siege: and so we find F1 the king of Assyria did; for, perceiving his kingdom in great danger, he sent into all his provinces to raise soldiers, and prepare everything for the siege; but all to no purpose, which is here ironically suggested. The word in the Misnic language, as Kimchi observes, has the signification of sweeping; and some render it, "sweep as the locust" F2; which sweeps away and consumes the fruits of the earth; so sweep with the besom of destruction, as Jarchi, either their enemies, sarcastically spoken, or be thou swept by them.
F25 (dbkth) "aggravate", Montanus; "onerate", Tigurine version; "gravem effice te", Burkius.
F26 Aristophan. in Acharnens. Act. 1. Scen. 1.
F1 Diodor. Sicul. l. 2. p. 113.
F2 So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 39. 1.