Verse 6. Let their way be dark and slippery. What terrors are gathered Here! No light, no foothold, and a fierce avenger at their heels! What a doom is appointed for the enemies of God! They may rage and rave today, but how altered will be their plight ere long! And let the angel of the Lord persecute them. He will follow them hot foot, as we say, never turning aside, but like a trusty pursuivant serving the writ of vengeance upon them, and arresting them in the name of unflinching justice. Woe, woe, woe, unto those who touch the people of God; their destruction is both swift and sure.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. Let their way be dark and slippery. A horrible way! Darkness alone who feareth not? A slippery way alone who avoids not? In a dark and slippery way, how shalt thou go? where set foot? These two ills are the great punishments of men: darkness, ignorance; a slippery way, luxury. Let their way be darkness and slipping; and let the angel of the Lord persecute them, that they be not able to stand. For anyone in a dark and slippery way, when he seeth that if he move his foot he will fall, and there is no light before his feet, haply resolves to wait until light come; but here is the angel of the Lord persecuting them. Augustine.
Verse 6. Slippery. Margin, as in Hebrew, slipperiness. This is a circumstance which adds increased terror to the image. It is not only a dark road, but a road made slippery by rains; a road where they are in danger every moment of sliding down a precipice where they will be destroyed. Albert Barnes.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. The horrible pilgrimage of the ungodly.
Verse 6. The trinity of dangers in the pathway of the wicked, their way dark with ignorance, and slippery with temptation, while behind them is the avenger.