But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall vanish; into smoke shall they vanish away.
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Augustine of Hippo
9. "For the wicked shall perish. But the enemies of the Lord, when they shall begin to glory, and to be lifted up, immediately shall consume away utterly, even as the smoke" (ver. 20). Recognise from the comparison itself the thing which he intimates. Smoke, breaking forth from the place where fire has been, rises up on high, and by the very act of rising up, it swells into a large volume: but the larger that volume is, the more unsubstantial does it become; for from that very largeness of volume, which has no foundation or consistency, but is merely loose, shifting and evanescent, it passes into air, and dissolves; so that you perceive its very largeness to have been fatal to it. For the higher it ascends, the farther it is extended, the wider the circumference which it spreads itself over, the thinner, and the more rare and wasting and evanescent does it become. "But the enemies of the Lord, when they shall begin to glory, and to be lifted up, immediately shall consume away utterly e...
Because. Only this verse begins with c, as the seventh does with d. (Haydock)
Smoke. All their riches shall vanish, and their works be disregarded by God. But they will not be annihilated, as they would desire; otherwise the justice of God would not be executed on them. (Berthier)
There is a continual antithesis between the good and bad. The latter shall shortly lose all their splendour. "I fear, lest offending the gods, I may receive glory among men "said the poet Ibicus, (Calmet) conformably to our Saviour's declaration concerning the vain-glorious, they have received their reward, Matthew vi. 6. Hebrew, "shall be as the fat of lambs, consumed and reduced to smoke. "(Haydock)
St. Jerome seems to have read differently, "boasting like unicorns, they shall be consumed, as smoke, they shall be consumed. "Syriac and Chaldean intimate that they shall be like victims, "fattened "for slaughter, and burnt. (Calmet) ...