But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
But if the watchman see the sword come,.... Or those that kill with the sword, as the Targum is; so far doing the duty of his office as to be in the watchtower, and not asleep:
and yet blow not the trumpet: to give the people notice of the enemy, and of their danger:
and the people be not warned; but in the utmost security, not apprehending themselves to be in any danger at all:
if the sword come and take any person from among them; even though but a single person:
he is taken away in his iniquity: having had no time to have it set before him, and to be convinced, and to repent of it, and seek for pardoning mercy for it; it is a dreadful thing thus to be taken out of the world, and snatched into hell at once:
but his blood will I require at the watchman's hands; he shall be punished for not doing his duty, for not giving the due warning of danger, on which account the man was surprised with the enemy, and taken away unawares; and therefore his death shall be laid to the watchman, and he must be answerable for it.