Deuteronomy 29:19

And it comes to pass, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
All Commentaries on Deuteronomy 29:19 Go To Deuteronomy 29

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
The drunken: absumat ebria sitientem. It is a proverbial expression, which may either be understood as spoken by the sinner, blessing, that is, flattering himself in his sins with the imagination of peace, and so great an abundance as may satisfy, and as it were, consume all thirst and want; or it may be referred to the root of bitterness, spoken of before, which being drunken with sin may attract, and by that means consume such as thirst after the like evils. (Challoner) St. Jerome seems to have translated sephoth by assumat, as the manuscripts and interpreters read, before the correction of Sixtus V, who adopted the other signification of the Hebrew absumat. (Calmet) The sense however seems to be the same, as evil communications corrupt good manners, the wicked draw on those who before were dry, or thirsty, and superior to the allurements of pleasure, but not quite so sincere and constant as to shut out from their hearts the desire of tasting, what the man of the world so highly extols, and thus the just give way to the temptation, and become the companion of the libertine and of the idolater, and of course share in his destruction. The feasts of the idols were generally celebrated with the most dissolute mirth, which seemed more congenial to the depraved heart of man, than the sober feasts, which the Lord allowed his people. The drunken revellings in honour of Bacchus, who was worshipped in Arabia, were a disgrace to human nature. Yet it is well known with what eagerness the deluded pagans joined in these religious sports. How prone to such excesses the Israelites also were, sacred history too plainly shews, so that they might well be described as thirsty, and willing to imitate those who were already drunk with dissolute pleasures; and this proverbial warning was not unnecessary to remind them what they had to expect from such conduct, at least if the people should become generally addicted to the service of idols. The most terrible chastisements mentioned below, (ver. 20, and in the preceding chapters, and still greater, chap. xxviii. 61,) hung over their guilty heads. But the man who should give occasion to such a defection from the Lord, and, like Jeroboam, cause Israel to sin, must remember that he will have to suffer for the sins of all those whom he has perverted. Hence this cutting remark almost always accompanies the mention of Jeroboam's name, He made Israel to sin. Such a one walked in the way, or imitated the sins of the house of Jeroboam A similar infamy and destruction attend arch-heretics and impostors. (Haydock) Chaldean translates, "Let him not say. Lest he should add sins of ignorance to sins of pride. "(Calmet) Septuagint, "lest the innocent be involved in the destruction of the sinner. "Cornelius a Lap ide would leave out the negation, and translate, "that the innocent may be "(Menochius) Bonfrere believes that the earth is to be understood; "and the earth drunken or deluged with rain, may take away its former dryness, yet so as to be rendered unfit for cultivation. "The proverb affects those who wish for things which will prove destructive to them: so the man who expects to derive great pleasure and advantage from the practice of idolatry, will be miserably deceived, and will only bring on his own ruin; or, if his passions be gratified for a moment, he must, if he die in that state, endure eternal torments in destruction from the face of the Lord. Homer (Odyssey) says, "Crimes prosper not; the low outstrips the quick. "Festina lentè. Hasten slowly, is an old and useful admonition. Ebria, a drunken woman, is a very indifferent partner for one that is sober at a dance. (Haydock) The flesh being indulged, presently perverts the understanding. (Du Hamel)
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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