Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?
Hear this, ye old men,.... What the prophet was about to relate, concerning the consumption of the fruits of the earth, by various sorts of creatures, and by a drought; and these are called upon to declare if ever the like had been known or heard of by them; who by reason of age had the greatest opportunities of knowledge of this sort, and could remember what they had heard or seen, and would faithfully relate it: this maybe understood of elders in office, as well as in age;
and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land; or "earth", not of the whole earth; but of the land of Judea; who were more particularly concerned in this affair, and therefore are required to listen attentively to it:
Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? that is, not the selfsame thing, but anything equal to it; a judgment of the same kind and nature, and of the same degree. By this question it seems the like had never been in the memory of any man living; nor in former times, in the days of their ancestors, as could be averted upon report; or attested on the credit of annals, chronicles, or other methods of conveying the history of ages past. As for the plague of locusts in Egypt, though they were such as; never find been, nor would be there any more; yet such or greater, and more in number than those, might be in Judea; besides, they continued but a few, lays at most, these four years successively, as Kimchi observes; and who thinks that in Egypt there was but one sort of locusts, here four; but the passage he quotes in Psalms 78:46; contradicts him; to which may be added