] The passage referred to, is in ( Isaiah 66:24 ) , and as there, the words are spoken of such, as transgressed against the Lord; so here, of such as offended any of Christ's little ones, or were offended by an hand, a foot, or eye, and retained them: by their worm is meant, their conscience; for as a worm that is continually gnawing upon the entrails of a man, gives him exquisite pain; so the consciences of sinners, will be continually flying in their faces, bringing their sins to remembrance, accusing them of them, upbraiding them with them, aggravating them, tormenting them for them, filling them with dreadful anguish and misery, with twinging remorses, and severe reflections, and which will never have an end. This will be always the case; conscience will be ever distressing, racking, and torturing them; it will never cease, nor cease doing this office, and so the Chaldee paraphrase of ( Isaiah 66:24 ) renders this phrase, (Nwtwmy al Nwhtmvn) , "their souls shall not die"; but shall ever continue in the dreadful torments and unspeakable horrors of a corroding conscience; and by "the fire" may be meant the fire of divine wrath let into their souls, which will never be extinguished; and so Jarchi interprets the phrase in ( Isaiah 66:24 ) , "their fire", (Mnhygb) , "in hell". It is a tradition of the Jews F12, that the light, fire, which God created on the second day, "there is no quenching it for ever"; as it is said, "for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched", ( Isaiah 66:24 ) , the passage which is here referred to; the reason they give is, because it is the fire of hell; the sense of which is sometimes given by the Jewish doctors thus F13; "their worm shall not die" from the body, "and the fire shall not be quenched" from the soul.
F12 T. Bab. Pesachim. fol. 54. 1. & Gloss. in ib.
F13 Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 3.