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Nahum 3:18

18. Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them

18. Dormitaverunt pastores tui, rex Assur; jacuerunt fortes tui; dispersus est populus tuus super montes, et nemo congregans.


He confirms the preceding verse, and says that there would be no counsel nor wisdom in the leading men: for the shepherds of the king of Assyria were his counselors, in whose wisdom he trusted, as we know that kings usually depend on their counselors: for they think that there is in them prudence enough, and therefore they commit to them the care of the whole people. But the Prophet ridicules the confidence of the king of Assyria, because the shepherds would not have so much vigilance as to take care of themselves, and of the people, and of the whole kingdom. He speaks in the past tense, either to show the certainty of the prediction, or because the change of tenses is common in Hebrew. Lie still, he says, shall thy mighty men; 250250     Fortes tui, אדיריך, thy eminents, thy nobles. “The shepherds,” the governers of the people, נמו, slumber; and the nobles, the princes, ישכנו, rest, sit still, without making any effort: then it follows, —
   Dispersed are thy people on the mountains,
there is no gatherer.

   Calvin is mistaken as to the meaning of the verb פוש: it means more properly, than the other, a dispersed state. It is applied in Leviticus 13:5, and in other places, to the spreading of leprosy. When so used, it is in Kal. It is here, and here only, in Niphal. — Ed.
that is, they shall remain idle; they shall not be able to sally out against their enemies, to stop their progress. They shall then lie still: and then he says, Scattered are thy people פוש, push, is not to scatter; hence I doubt not, but that there is a change of letter, that ש, schin, is put for ץ, tzaddi; and I am surprised that some derive the verb from פוש, push, when, on the contrary, it is from פוף, puts, and the change of these two letters is common in Hebrew. Thy people then are dispersed on the mountains and there is no one to assemble them

By these words the Prophet means, that such would be the scattering of the whole kingdom, that there would be no hope of restoration; There will then be none to assemble them He had said before that the chiefs or mighty men would be still. Though it would be needful to go forth to check the progress of their enemies; yet he says, They shall idly lie down: He refers here to their sloth. But the people who ought to be quiet at home, as being weak and feeble, shall be dispersed on the mountains, and no one will be there to gather them It follows —

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