Deuteronomy 32:25

25 The sword without, and terror within,[a] shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.

Deuteronomy 32:25 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 32:25

The sword without
Either without the city, the sword of the Roman army besieging it, which destroyed all that came out or attempted to go in; or in the streets of the city, the sword of the seditious, which destroyed multitudes among themselves:

and terror within;
within the city, on account of the sword of the Romans, and the close siege they made of it; and on account of the famine and pestilence which raged in it, and the cruelty of the seditious persons among themselves; all these filled the people with horror and terror in their houses; and even in their bedchambers, as the word signifies, they were not free from terror; yea, from the temple, and inward parts, and chambers of that, which may be referred to, terror came, that being in the hands of the seditious; they sallied out from thence, and ravaged the city, and filled all places with the dread of them; and many, no doubt, through fear died, as well as by the sword and other judgments; which it is threatened

shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling [also],
with the man of gray hairs;
none of any age or sex were spared, even those unarmed; not the young man, for his strength and promising usefulness; nor the virgin for her beauty and comeliness; nor the suckling for its innocence and tenderness; nor the aged man through any reverence of his gray hairs, or on account of the infirmities of old age, but all would be destroyed; and never was such a carnage made at the siege of anyone city in the world before or since; no less than 1,100,000 persons perished in it, as Josephus relates F5.


F5 De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 9. sect. 3.

Deuteronomy 32:25 In-Context

23 I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
24 They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
25 The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
26 I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:
27 Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. within: Heb. from the chambers
The King James Version is in the public domain.