Psalm 78:31

31 God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.

Read Psalm 78:31 Using Other Translations

The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.
the anger of God rose against them, and he killed the strongest of them and laid low the young men of Israel.
the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.

What does Psalm 78:31 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 78:31

The wrath of God came upon them
Either by causing fire to come down from heaven, or by suffering them to be surfeited by excessive eating, or by sending a plague among them; see ( Numbers 11:33 ) ,

and slew the fattest of them;
such perhaps who had been most guilty of the sin of gluttony, and had fed the most inordinately upon the flesh that was sent them; or this designs the chief among their princes and nobles, though not only them, but them as well as the common people; so the Targum,

``and slew their mighty ones:''

or the words may be rendered, "and slew them among their fatness", or "fat things" F15; while they were feeding on their feast of fat things, the fat quails, which were brought among them, in such plenty; for the quail is a very fat bird, as Kimchi observes F16:

and smote down the chosen men of Israel;
or the young men, as the Targum, who were within the twentieth and fiftieth year of their age; who were chosen and fit for war within that time, as well as were the choicest for comeliness, strength, and service; or "made" them "to bow" F17 to death and the grave; whose power they could not withstand, though in the prime and vigour of youth, and while they were freely and heartily feeding upon the food they lusted after.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 (Mhynmvb) "in opimis ipsorum", Cocceius; "inter pinguedines eorum", Michaelis.
F16 In Sepher Shorashim, rad. (wlv) .
F17 (eyrkh) "incurvavit", Pagninus, Montanus.
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