And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword.
And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt,.... Here is a various reading: the "Cetib", or textual writing, is, "when it cometh, it shall smite"; which Kimchi rightly interprets of the camp or army of Nebuchadnezzar; and the "Keri", or marginal reading, which we follow, is, "when he cometh, he shall smite"; that is, the king of Babylon; both are to be received: when Nebuchadnezzar should come with his army to Tahpanhes, he would not only take that, but go through the land of Egypt, and subdue and destroy the inhabitants of it, all that dwelt in it, sojourners as well as natives; and so the Jews that were come hither to dwell, against the express command of God, to whom this prophecy was delivered, and to whom it has a particular respect:
and deliver such as are for death to death; who are appointed to death, either by pestilence or famine; that is, he shall oblige them to flee to, or block them up in, places where they shall perish by one or other of these:
and such as are for captivity to captivity: such as are designed to be carried captive, these shall be taken by him, and carried captive into Babylon, and the provinces of it:
and such as are for the sword to the sword; who are destined to fall by the sword, these should be slain by the sword of Nebuchadnezzar, and his soldiers; so that, what by one way or another, a general destruction should be made.