Are crushed before the moth?--That is to say, are so frail that even the moth destroys them.
whose foundation is in the dust; meaning not the lower parts of the body, as the feet, which support and bear it up; rather the soul, which is the basis of it, referring to its corruption and depravity by sin; though it seems chiefly to respect the original of the body, which is the dust of the earth, of which it consists, and to which it will return again, this being but a poor foundation to stand upon, Genesis 2:7; for the sense is, whose foundation is dust, mere dust, the particle being redundant, or rather an Arabism:
which are crushed before the moth? that is, which bodies of men, or houses of clay founded in the dust; or, "they crush them"; or "which" or "whom they crush" (e); either God, Father, Son, and Spirit, as some; or the angels, as others; or distresses, calamities, and afflictions, which sense seems best, by which they are crushed "before the moth" or "worm" (f); that is, before they die, and come to be the repast of worms, Job 19:26; or before a moth is destroyed, as soon, or sooner (g), than it is; so a man may be crushed to death, or his life taken from him, as soon as a moth's; either by the immediate hand of God, as Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:5; or by the sword of man, as Amasa by Joab, 2 Samuel 20:10; or rather, "like a moth" (h), as easily and as quickly as a moth is crushed between a man's fingers, or by his foot: some, as Saadiah Gaon, and others, render it, "before Arcturus" (i), a constellation in the heavens, Job 9:9; and take the phrase to be the same as that, "before the sun"; Psalm 72:17; and to denote the perpetuity and duration of their being crushed, which would be as long as the sun or Arcturus continued, that is, for ever; but either of the above senses is best, especially the last of them.
(c) Arrian. Epictet. l. 1. c. 1.((d) Theodor. Gadareus, apud Sueton. Vit. Tiber. c. 57. (e) "conterent eos", Montanus, Mercerus, Michaelis, Schultens; "sub trinitas personarum", Schmidt; "angeli", Mercerus; so Sephorno and R. Simeon Bar Tzemach; "calamitates", Vatablus; so some in Bar Tzemach. (f) "conam verme", Coceius; so the Targum and Bar Tzemach. (g) "Antequam tinea", Junius & Tremellius; "citius quam tinea", Piscator. (h) , Sept. "instar tineae", Noldius, Schmidt; so Aben Ezra and Broughton. (i) "Donec fuerit Arcturus", Pagninus, Vatablus; so some in Aben Ezra, Ben Melech.