New Defender's Study Bible Notes
26:3 If ye walk. God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were unconditional (note Leviticus 26:44-45), but the great promises in Leviticus 26:4-10 were conditional on obedience.
26:12 my people. This beautiful promise, originally limited to the children of Israel, will ultimately be fulfilled to all the redeemed in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:3; see also Exodus 6:7; Jeremiah 32:38; Zechariah 2:11).
26:14 not hearken. Compare Leviticus 26:3. The awful judgments prophesied in Leviticus 26:16-39 were to be the result of disobedience to the covenant made between God and the children of Israel.
26:18 seven times. Whether the “seven times” refers to seven particular seasons of judgment, or is simply symbolic of intense fullness of punishment (seven being often an emblem of completeness) is not stated explicitly. Note also its repetition in Leviticus 26:21,24, and 28. Actually the word “times” is only inferred in each of these four verses, with the regular word for “seven” translated as “seven times.” It is closely related to the word for “sevenfold.” Seven main judgments are mentioned: (1) eating by marauding animals (Leviticus 26:22); (2) slaughter by enemies (Leviticus 26:25); (3) pestilence (Leviticus 26:25); (4) famine (Leviticus 26:26); (5) cannibalism (Leviticus 26:29); (6) destruction of the cities (Leviticus 26:31); and (7) dispersion into other nations (Leviticus 26:33).
26:29 eat the flesh. The unthinkable crime of eating their own children (who had, presumably, died of starvation themselves) was actually committed in at least two recorded instances–the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies (Lamentations 2:20; 4:10), and the earlier siege of Samaria by the Assyrians (II Kings 6:28).
26:32 land into desolation. A land once “flowing with milk and honey,” as well as abundant fruit and pasturage, descended eventually into terrible desolation after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and scattering the people in A.D. 135, continuing that way until it began to be restored by the Zionists in modern times.
26:33 scatter you. There are at least seven recorded instances in the Old Testament when one or more of Israel’s tribes were ruled by other nations: (1) capture by the king of Mesopotamia (Judges 3:8); (2) capture by the Moabites (Judges 3:14); (3) capture by the king of Canaan (Judges 4:2); (4) control by Midianites (Judges 6:1); (5) capture by the Philistines (Judges 10:7; 13:1); (6) captivity and exile of the northern tribes into Assyria (II Kings 17:6) and (7) the Babylonian exile of Judah (II Chronicles 36:17-21). The ultimate captivity and exile, of course, was by the Romans, when the Jews were finally scattered into all the nations of the world (Luke 21:24) because of their rejection of Christ.
26:34 land enjoy her sabbaths. There were approximately 490 years in Israel’s monarchy, from Saul to Zedekiah, followed by the 70 years of Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 25:11,12). During all this period, they failed to observe God’s commanded Sabbatical and Jubilee years; hence, the Lord enforced the 70 rest years which were due His land.
26:44 not cast them away. The chosen people Israel have continued their existence as a distinct people for 3500 years, despite being without a homeland for most of that period. This constitutes an amazing testimony to divine inspiration and fulfilled prophecy. Before they had even entered their promised land, God had warned them they would be scattered away from it if they disobeyed. They were, indeed, scattered among the heathen again and again, yet God refused to “destroy them utterly” or to “break my covenant with them,” for He had made this promise to Abraham before they were born (Genesis 17:4-8).