How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand
This is said for the conviction of the Pagan Romans of their folly in behaving strangely, attributing to their gods what belonged to the true God; for since the Jews were more numerous than they, both in Judea, in the times of Titus Vespasian, when the country was subdued by him; and in other parts of the world, in the times of Adrian, when the Jews rose up in vast numbers, greatly superior to the Romans, and yet were conquered; which, allowing the phrase to be hyperbolical, was like one to a thousand, and two to ten thousand: now since this was what was promised to the Jews in case of obedience, that they should in this manner chase their enemies, ( Leviticus 26:8 ) ; it cannot be accounted for that they should in like manner be chased by their enemies, as threatened ( Isaiah 30:17 ) ;
except their rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them
that is, unless the Lord, who was their rock and fortress, and in whom they should have trusted as such, had forsaken them, and given them up into their enemies' hands, shut up as they were in the city of Jerusalem in the times of Titus, and afterwards in Bither in the times of Adrian; it is a plain case that this was of God, and not owing to the idols of the Gentiles; see ( Psalms 44:9-12 ) ; Cocceius and Van Till interpret this of Constantine overcoming Maxentius, Licinius, and Maximinius, whereby the whole Roman empire on a sudden became Christian nominally, when but a little before Dioclesian had erected a trophy with this inscription on it,
``the Christian name blotted out;''so that the odds between the Christians and Pagans were as one to a thousand, and two to ten thousand, and the victory therefore must be ascribed to God; this could never have been unless Satan, the great red dragon, had given his kingdom to the beast, which was done by the permission and sovereign will of God; see ( Revelation 6:14 ) ( Revelation 12:7 Revelation 12:8 ) ( 13:2 ) ( 17:17 ) ; so those interpreters, but the former sense seems best.