Deuteronomy 28:34
So that you shall be mad for the sight of your eyes which you shall see.
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Deuteronomy 28:34. Thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes — Quite bereaved of all comfort and hope, and abandoned to utter despair. “Into what madness, fury, and desperation have they been pushed,” says Bishop Newton, in illustration of this prophecy, “by the cruel usage, extortions, and oppressions which they have undergone! We will allege only two similar instances, one from ancient, and one from modern history. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, some of the Jews took refuge in the castle of Masada, where, being closely besieged by the Romans, they, at the persuasion of Eleazar their leader, first murdered their wives and children, then ten men were chosen by lot to slay the rest; this being done, one of the ten was chosen in like manner to kill the other nine, which having executed, he set fire to the place, and then stabbed himself. There were nine hundred and sixty who perished in this miserable manner; and only two women and five boys escaped by hiding themselves in the aqueducts under ground. Such another instance we have in our English history: for in the reign of Richard I., when the people were in arms to make a general massacre of them, fifteen hundred of them seized on the city of York to defend themselves; but being besieged they offered to capitulate, and to ransom their lives with money. The offer being refused, one of them cried in despair, that it was better to die courageously for the law than to fall into the hands of the Christians. Every one immediately took his knife and stabbed his wife and children. The men afterward retired into the king’s palace, which they set on fire, in which they consumed themselves, with the palace and furniture.”28:15-44 If we do not keep God's commandments, we not only come short of the blessing promised, but we lay ourselves under the curse, which includes all misery, as the blessing all happiness. Observe the justice of this curse. It is not a curse causeless, or for some light cause. The extent and power of this curse. Wherever the sinner goes, the curse of God follows; wherever he is, it rests upon him. Whatever he has is under a curse. All his enjoyments are made bitter; he cannot take any true comfort in them, for the wrath of God mixes itself with them. Many judgments are here stated, which would be the fruits of the curse, and with which God would punish the people of the Jews, for their apostacy and disobedience. We may observe the fulfilling of these threatenings in their present state. To complete their misery, it is threatened that by these troubles they should be bereaved of all comfort and hope, and left to utter despair. Those who walk by sight, and not by faith, are in danger of losing reason itself, when every thing about them looks frightful.See the marginal references for the fulfillment of these judgments.29-33. thou shalt grope at noonday—a general description of the painful uncertainty in which they would live. During the Middle Ages the Jews were driven from society into hiding-places which they were afraid to leave, not knowing from what quarter they might be assailed and their children dragged into captivity, from which no friend could rescue, and no money ransom them. No text from Poole on this verse. So that thou shalt be mad, for the sight of thine eyes that thou shall see. On account of the shocking things seen by them, their dreadful calamities, oppressions, and persecutions, such as before related; not only violent diseases on their bodies, which were grievous to behold, as well as their pains were intolerable, and made them mad; but to be deprived of a betrothed wife, a newly built house, and a newly planted vineyard; to have an ox slain, and an ass taken away by their enemies, and their sheep given to them before their eyes; to have their sons and daughters taken from them, and brought up in another religion, and to be stripped of their substance; these have made them stark mad, insomuch that they have sometimes destroyed themselves and their families. In Germany, in their rage and madness, they burnt a city and themselves in it; and, in the same country, being summoned by an edict to change their religion, or to be burnt, they agreed to meet together in a certain house, and destroy one another; and first parents killed their children, and husbands their wives, and then killed themselves; leaving only one person to be their doorkeeper, who finished the tragedy by destroying himself, as their own historian relates (m). Other stories of the like kind are reported of them, and some such facts as done in our own nation (n).

(m) Ib. (Shebet Judah, sive Hist. Jud.) sect. 34, 36. p. 214, 215, 216, 217. (n) See Bishop Patrick in loc. and Dr. Newton (Bishop of Bristol) on Prophecies, vol. 1. Dissert. 7. sect. 14. p. 195, 196.

So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
34. Cp. Deuteronomy 28:28; mad, rather driven mad.

35 breaks the connection between Deuteronomy 28:34; Deuteronomy 28:36, and is more in place after 27, q.v. on boil. Here sore boil on knees and legs points to the ‘joint-leprosy,’ a species of elephantiasis; cp. Job 2:7 f., Deuteronomy 7:3-6, Deuteronomy 17:7, Deuteronomy 19:17; Deuteronomy 19:20, Deuteronomy 30:17.In addition to this, there would come idiocy, blindness, and confusion of mind, - three psychical maladies; for although עוּרון signifies primarily bodily blindness, the position of the word between idiocy and confusion of heart, i.e., of the understanding, points to mental blindness here.
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