Verse 14. Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people. The lamentation is here repeated. They had sunk so low that none did them reverence, but universally and publicly they were treated as infamous and despicable. Those who reviled others dragged in Israel's name by the way as a garnish to their insults, and if perchance they saw one of the seed of Jacob in the street they used lewd gestures to annoy him. Those whose heads were emptiest wagged them at the separated people. They were the common butts of every fool's arrow. Such has been the lot of the righteous in ages past, such is their portion in a measure now, such may be yet again their heritage in the worst sense. The world knows not its nobility, it has no eye for true excellence: it found a cross for the Master, and cannot be expected to award crowns to his disciples.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. Thou makest us a byword; literally, for a similitude, (lfm) stands here, as in the original passage Deuteronomy 28:37 , in the common signification, similitude. The misery of Israel is so great, that people would figuratively call a miserable man a Jew, just as liars were called Cretans; wretched slaves, Sardians. So far as the people from being now "blessed of the Lord" in whom according to the promise, all the heathen are to be blessed. E. W. Hengstenberg.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14. Unholy proverbs or godless bywords.