441. Thorns for Fuel

Psalm 58:9; 2 Samuel 23:6-7; Psalm 118:12; Ecclesiastes 7:6; Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 33:12; Nahum 1:10
There is a great variety of thorny shrubs and plants abounding in Palestine. These the people gladly gather and use for fuel. They make a quick, hot fire, which kindles easily and soon expires. The idea conveyed in the text is that of swift destruction. The wicked are to be destroyed quicker than the heat from a fire of thorns could reach the cooking vessels.
A similar figure is used in the prophecy of Isaiah: “And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire” (Isa. 33:1212And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. (Isaiah 33:12)). It has been supposed from this text that thorns may have been used in lime-kilns.