Deuteronomy 28:68 MEANING

Deuteronomy 28:68
(68) The Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships.--Josephus says this was done with many of the Jews by Titus.

Thou shalt see it no more again.--Deuteronomy 17:16.

Ye shall be sold . . . and no man shall buy you.--Rashi explains thus: "Ye shall desire to be sold--ye shall offer yourselves as slaves to your enemies, and shall be refused, because you are appointed to slaughter and destruction. Or the sellers shall sell you to other sellers, and no one will care to keep you." But the same word is used in the following passage by Nehemiah, "We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold to the heathen" (Nehemiah 5:8). Probably the meaning in Deuteronomy is similar: "Ye shall be sold as slaves to your enemies, and there will be no one to redeem you."

Verse 68. - Worst of all, they should be again reduced to bondage, carried back to Egypt, put up for sale as slaves, and be so utterly despicable that no one would purchase them. Bring thee into Egypt again. "If the Exodus was the birth of the nation of God as such, the return would be its death" (Schultz; cf. Hosea 8:13; Hosea 9:3). With ships. They came out of Egypt by land, as free men; they should be carried back imprisoned and cooped up in slave-ships. By the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no mere again. This does not refer to their being carried to Egypt in ships as different from the way by which they had come out from it, but simply to the fact that they should be carried back thither, contrary to what was expected when they so triumphantly came forth from it. There ye shall be sold; literally, shall sell yourselves; i.e. give yourselves up to be sold as slaves. Egypt may be here, as Hengstenberg suggests, "the type of future oppressors;" but there seems no reason why the passage should not be taken literally. It is a fact that, after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus, the Jews were in large numbers carried into Egypt, and there subjected to most ignominious bondage; and in the time of Hadrian, multitudes of Jews were sold into slavery (Josephus, 'De Bell. Jud.,' 6:09, 2; cf. Philo, 'Flacc.' and 'Leg. ad Caium.').

28:45-68 If God inflicts vengeance, what miseries his curse can bring upon mankind, even in this present world! Yet these are but the beginning of sorrows to those under the curse of God. What then will be the misery of that world where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched! Observe what is here said of the wrath of God, which should come and remain upon the Israelites for their sins. It is amazing to think that a people so long the favourites of Heaven, should be so cast off; and yet that a people so scattered in all nations should be kept distinct, and not mixed with others. If they would not serve God with cheerfulness, they should be compelled to serve their enemies. We may justly expect from God, that if we do not fear his fearful name, we shall feel his fearful plagues; for one way or other God will be feared. The destruction threatened is described. They have, indeed, been plucked from off the land, ver. 63. Not only by the Babylonish captivity, and when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; but afterwards, when they were forbidden to set foot in Jerusalem. They should have no rest; no rest of body, ver. 65, but be continually on the remove, either in hope of gain, or fear of persecution. No rest of the mind, which is much worse. They have been banished from city to city, from country to country; recalled, and banished again. These events, compared with the favour shown to Israel in ancient times, and with the prophecies about them, should not only excite astonishment, but turn unto us for a testimony, assuring us of the truth of Scripture. And when the other prophecies of their conversion to Christ shall come to pass, the whole will be a sign and a wonder to all the nations of the earth, and the forerunner of a general spread of true christianity. The fulfilling of these prophecies upon the Jewish nation, delivered more than three thousand years ago, shows that Moses spake by the Spirit of God; who not only foresees the ruin of sinners, but warns of it, that they may prevent it by a true and timely repentance, or else be left without excuse. And let us be thankful that Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us, and bearing in his own person all that punishment which our sins merit, and which we must otherwise have endured for ever. To this Refuge and salvation let sinners flee; therein let believers rejoice, and serve their reconciled God with gladness of heart, for the abundance of his spiritual blessings.And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships,.... Either into a state of hard bondage and slavery, like that their fathers were in, in Egypt; or rather, strictly and literally, should be brought into Egypt again, since it is said to be "with" or "in ships". This does not respect the going of those Jews into Egypt who were left in the land of Judea, after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar; for that was against the express command of God, Jeremiah 42:13. There were several movings of them into Egypt after that time; an Heathen historian (w) tells us, that not a few thousands of Jews went into Egypt and Phoenicia, because of the sedition in Syria after the death of Alexander; and where, it seems, in process of time, they became slaves: for we are told by Josephus (x), that 120,000 slaves were set free by Ptolemy Philadelphus; but what is chiefly respected here is their case in the times of the Romans, and by their means. Now when Jerusalem was taken by Titus, those above seventeen years of age were sent by him to the works, or mines, in Egypt, as the same historian relates (y); and after their last overthrow by Adrian many thousands were sold, and what could not be sold were transported into Egypt, and perished by "shipwreck", or famine, or were slaughtered by the people (z) whereby this prophecy was literally and exactly fulfilled, and which is owned by the Jews themselves. Manasseh Ben Israel (a) observes, that though Vespasian banished the Jews into various countries, Egypt is only mentioned by way of reproach, as if it had been said, ye shall go captives into the land from which ye went out triumphant:

by the way whereof I spake unto thee, thou shall see it no more again; the Targum of Jonathan is,"the Word of the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again in ships;''even the same divine Word, the Son of God, that brought them out of it, and went before them in a pillar of cloud and fire, now provoked by their rejection of him, would lead them back again thither; the paraphrast adds,"through the midst of the Red sea, in the path in which ye passed;''as if they were carried over into Egypt in ships, just in that part of the sea in which they had passed before; but that was an unknown and unseen path, after the waters were closed up, and never to be seen more, and which is here meant; for not Egypt, but the way in which they passed, was to be seen no more:

and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and for bondwomen, and no man shall buy you; that is, there in Egypt they would be offered to sale, and so many would be sold until the market was glutted with them, and there would be no buyers. The Targum of Jonathan is,"ye shall be sold there at first to your enemies, at a dear price, as artificers, and afterwards at a mean price as servants and handmaids, until ye become despised, and be brought to serve for nothing, and there be none to take you in.''Jarchi interprets it of they themselves being desirous, and seeking to be sold, to avoid cruelties and death; which agrees with the sense of the word, which may be rendered, "ye shall offer yourselves for sale"; but there will be no buyer, because their enemies will determine upon the slaughter and consumption of them; and to the same purpose Aben Ezra. There were such numbers of them to be sold both at Egypt and at Rome, that the sellers of them had but a poor market for them; and it seems not only because of their number, but the ill opinion had of them as servants. Hegesippus (b) says,"there were many to be sold, but there were few buyers; for the Romans despised the Jews for service, nor were there Jews left to redeem their own.''It is said (c), that thirty were sold for a penny; a just retaliation to them, who had sold their Messiah for thirty pieces of silver.

(w) Hecataeus apud Joseph. contr. Apion, l. 1. sect. 22. (x) Antiqu. l. 12. c. 2. sect. 1.((y) De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 9. sect. 2.((z) Hieron. in Zech. ii. fol. 120. I.((a) De Termino Vitae, l. 3. sect. 3. p. 131, 132. (b) De excidio Urb. Hieros. l. 5. c. 47. p. 645. (c) Ib. p. 680.

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