Verse 12. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. For a time the foes of God may make bold advances, and threaten to overthrow everything, but a few ticks of the clock will alter the face of their affairs. At first they advance impudently enough, but Jehovah meets them to their teeth, and a taste of the sharp judgment of God speedily makes them flee in dismay. The original has in it the thought of the wicked being set as a butt for God to shoot at, a target for his wrath to aim at. What a dreadful situation! As an illustration upon a large scale, remember Jerusalem during the siege; and for a specimen in an individual, read the story of the death bed of Francis Spira. God takes sure aim; who would be his target? His arrows are sharp and transfix the heart; who would wish to be wounded by them? Ah, ye enemies of God, your boastings will soon be over when once the shafts begin to fly!
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 12. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, or thou shalt set them as a butt, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. The judgments of God are called his "arrows," being sharp, swift, sure and deadly. What a dreadful situation, to be set as a mark and "butt" at which these arrows are directed! View Jerusalem encompassed by the Roman armies without, and torn to pieces by the animosity of desperate and bloody factions within! No farther commentary is requisite upon this verse. George Horne.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 11-12. The guilt and punishment of evil intentions.
Verse 12. The retreat of the grand army of hell.