Page images

Oh, with the prefixed. The Vulgate and Chald. seem to have done so too.

15.---a nation from far---] This was threatened in case of disobedience by Moses, Deut. xxviii. 49. Compare Isa v. 26. The antiquity of the Babylonish nation was very great, having been founded by Nimrod, Gen. x.-10.

17. They shall consume thy sons and thy daughters] All the ancient versions so interpret in this place; and with them our old English Translation. It agrees with the prediction of Moses, Deut. xxviii. 32, 41. and with that of Ezekiel, xxiv. 21. stead of 1, in conformity with the rest of the verse.

-in יאכל But we must read

18.---I will not make a finishing with you] He means, that he had not yet done with them, but had still more evils in reserve for them. See ver. 10. Ch. iv. 27.

So Ch.

viii. 19.

19.-strange gods Literally, "gods of the stranger." 22,"strange vanities," or idols. And 192, "strange children," or, sons of the stranger;" Ps. xviii. 44. Ezek. xliv. 7.


22.---it shall not go beyond it] Here all the ancient versions consider as singular; the same word occurs the last in the verse, and there all the ancient versions, except the LXX. render as if they read at large ; and it is so represented in two MSS.---The LXX. Syr. and Vulg. likewise appear to have read wran" and bɔ", instead of wyn and ba; and the Syntax seems to require the verbs in the singular, and subject being," the sea." The final in both these words was probably a mistake of the transcriber, occasioned by finding the same letter at the beginning of the words next in succession.

24.--both the former---] I have followed the received reading, ; although the Masoretes read without the conjunction, and so do all the ancient versions, twelve MSS, and three Editions.

[ocr errors]

Ibid---a sufficiency of the appointed things of harvest] nyaw read with the Sin instead of the Schin signifies fulness or sufficiency; and so both the LXX. and Vulg. render it. times, but whatever is regularly assigned or appointed by divine providence; and in this place, the ordinary and regulated productions of harvest.

signifies not only ret חקות

26. Who lie on the watch like the cowring of fowlers] The LXX. and Syr. totally omit the words w, and render p "snares" instead of "fowlers." But the translation of the Vulgate, insidiantes quasi aucupes, at once points out an emendation of the text, and facilitates the explanation of it. For w it is probable the original reading was 11w, which coming from w, to look out for prey, answers to the word insidiantes of the Vulgate. Tw is derived from you to sink down, or cowr, as fowlers do when they lay their snares. So that wp wa may literally be rendered, "according to the

cowring of fowlers," the close posture in which they lie in order to conceal themselves.

27. As a trap cage is full of birds-] 21 comes from abɔ, a dog ; and this name was undoubtedly given to the trap cage, because it serv ed the same purpose as a dog in assisting to catch game. That sort of trap cage also seems to be alluded to, in which tame birds are put to hop and fly about as a decoy to others.

[ocr errors]

28. They are waxen fat, and shine] These words are passed over in the LXX. and Syr. But Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, the Chaldee, and Vulg. acknowledge them, as do all the collated MSS. The Chald. and Vulg. add the conjunction before nw.

Ibid. Though they have gone beyond the claims of the wicked] 27 seem to signify "the claims of the wicked man," or in the phrase of our law, his declaration or count; in which the plaintiff states the nature of his case, the quantity of damage sustained by him, and the extent of that redress which he sues for. These words however are omitted by the I.XX. who connect immediately with 12, and render, και παρέβησαν κρισιν. The Syr. hath also done the same. But in this omission they miss of the very scope of the passage; the design of which "the suit of the orphan." and to "the right of the poor ;" and to observe the undue partiality shewn in the distribution of justice by those who were concerned in it; they even went beyond the terms of the wicked man's declaration, procuring him more than he demanded; but in supporting the just suit of the orphan, and asserting the legal rights of the poor, they were not equally zealous and successful.-The particle is used in this sense Neh. vi. 1. and in other places.


,דן יתום' to דברי רע is to oppose

,משפט אביונים

so as to make it prosper] This is the true sense of the verb ", which is in the conjug. Hiphil.

31. And the priests have concurred with them-] Literally, "have descended upon their hands;" that is, either, they have joined hands with them, or, have fallen with the weight of their authority upon the measures introduced by the others. All the ancient Versions have concurred in the general interpretation of these words. The Masoretes have indeed pointed 177 as if it were the future of to bear rule; but the context evidently requires the preter tense, 17, descenderunt, from 77%.

Ibid.-my people have liked it should be so] See Isa. xxx. 10.

Ibid. And what will ye do in regard to the consequences thereof?] "How will ye guard against, or prevent them?" The form of expression is similar to that used before, Ch. iv. 30. "And against spoiling what wilt, or canst, thou do?" namely, to ward it off, or secure thyself from it.

[ocr errors]


1. Retire in a body, O ye sons of Benjamin---] Jerusalem was in the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, Josh. xviii. 28.; on which account the inhabitants are addressed by the name of the children of Benjamin; and are directed to leave the city, which God was about to destroy, and to take refuge in the mountains. Tekoa, according to Jerome, was a little town about twelve miles from Jerusalem; and Beth-haccerem (probably so called from the vineyards round about it) another little town on the same side, but nearer jerusalem; and both of them in the mountainous parts of Judah, south of the capital. See D'Anville's Map of ancient Palestine.

2. The habitation, even the delightful one.] Jerusalem is in like manner called simply "the habitation," 1, Isa. xxvii. 10. And it seems entitled to the name by way of eminence, as the chief residence both of Israel, and of the God of Israel. Accordingly, speaking of the very desolation here intended, the Psalmist says, "They have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place," 7. Ps. lxxix. 7. It is also called God's habitation, Exod. xv. 13. £ Sam, xv. 25, &c. And with respect to the epithet annexed, "the delightful one," Jerusalem is frequently spoken of in terms that shew it to have been in a very eminent degree the object of delight both with God and with man. It was the city which God chose, 1 Kings viii. 44. the object of his desire, Ps. cxxxii. 13, 14. and of his especial love, Ps. lxxxvii. 2. And how fond the Jews themselves were of it, appears from the expressions of rapture with which they spoke of it, Ps. xlviii. 2. 1. 2. cxxii. 6. and from the grief with which they bemoaned its fall. Ps. cxxxvii. Lam. Ch. i. and ii.

Ibid. I have doomed to destruction]

This word cannot bear the sense in this place, which our Translators have given it, because wherever it signifies to liken, it requires a preposition to precede the noun which denotes the object of comparison. Nor does it appear from the context in what particular the daughter of Sion was likened to a comely and delicate woman; supposing the terms would admit of that construction. I have therefore adopted the other sense of


I have destroyed," which goes directly to the point; the persons by whom, and the manner in which, this destruction was to be accomplished, being immediately subjoined in the words that follow. It properly means, "I have doomed, or decreed, her destruction ;" for with God to decree and to do is one and the same thing; the past and future being contemplated alike in the divine mind, and both equally certain as to the accomplishment.

3. And they shall pitch] The LXX. and Syr. seem to have read

-and one of them at least was in all probabi ,יתקעו .the Chald ,ותקעו

lity the true reading; as was also 171, the reading of the LXX. Syr. and Chaldee, and of two MSS. for 177. The shepherds and their

flocks were no doubt the Babylonian chiefs with their troops besieging Jerusalem.

4. Arise, and let us go up at noonday-] The alacrity and eagerness with which the Chaldeans undertake and execute the commission, with which they were charged, is described in this and the following verse in a beautiful vein of poetry. Though it vas late in the day be-.. fore they received their orders, they are for beginning their march immediately; and though it was night before they got to the place, they are unwilling to put off the assault till morning.

6.---her timber] That is, to be employed in the siege. See Deut. xx. 19. where the same word is used as here. Two MSS. read ; but the singular number is equally expressive. Ibid.--ripe for visitation] po is the infinitive in Niphal, and NTI pon may literally be rendered, "She is the city to be visited;" that is, a proper object of punishment; the reason of which follows in the next words.

Ibid. Every kind of oppression is in the midst of her.] For pwy

כל העשק read כלה

7. As a fountain---] The Masoretes read 2 for 112, and so do eleven MSS. and four Editions. But Houbigant conjectures it should rather be 782, which in the pronunciation resembles . But both in Chaldee and Arabic a signifies “a fountain.”


Ibid. Sickness and smiting---]. These two words are an Hendiadys, and signify, "sickness occasioned by blows."

[ocr errors]


9. Turn again thine hand - - - unto the baskets] That take them again into thine hand, and begin the work of gathering, or gleaning, anew. The address is from God to the Chaldeans, exhorting them, like a grapegatherer, to return again after the first time, and pick up those few inhabitants that were left before, like the grapegleanings, and to carry them also into captivity. The Chaldeans did so, as may be seen Ch. lii. 28, 29, 30.


11. Therefore the wrath of JEHOVAH, with which I am filled---] non appears to me to be the accusative case in the order of Syntax following the verb w, with an ellipsis of the relative "wx before

Ibid.--the children in the street---] That is was the custom for children to be playing in the streets, see Zech. viii. 5. and compare Ch. ix. 21. It is also natural for young men to associate in private parties, and there to concert their plans of operation together. 1D signifies properly such a private consultation or cabal.

Ibid.---the aged with him that is full of days.] From hence it appears that p means only a man that has passed a certain time of life, which may be considered as his Zenith, so as from thenceforth to be upon the decline. In contradistinction to whom is placed one, who is arrived at what is esteemed the full period of human life; in respect to which the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, David, and Job, are said to Kk

have died "full of years" or "days." See the same distinction made, Isa. lxv. 20. " evil

I take to signify

13--is wholly addicted to his lust---] concupiscence" or "lust" in general, in the same extensive sense as Tatovegia is used by the writers of the N. T. for any irregular or inordinate desire, which impels us to sinful action. See Ch. xxii. 17. li. 13. Ps. cxix. 36. Isa. lvi. 11. lvii. 17. &c. &c.

[ocr errors]


14.-of the daughter of my people] The LXX. read only," of my people,' Overgifna T8 Tax μs; and n is totally omitted in fifteen MSS. and nine Editions; in four MSS. it is erased; and in one MS. it is upon a rasure. But it is expressed in all the other ancient versions, as it appears also in the parallel passage, Ch. viii. 11.

15. Were they ashamed-] wa-Seventeen MSS. and one Edition here read w. In the parallel passage, Ch. viii. 12. the reading of the text in Van der Hooght's Edition is wan; but twenty four MSS. and three Editions read there w 217; sixteen MSS. and The true reading I take to ben, instead of which some transcriber, mistaking the interrogative particle for the characteristic of the conjugation Hiphil, inserted and conformably to such mistake.

Ibid. to blush] For n we should read here as in the parallel passage bon. This is also the reading of eight MSS. one of which is the ancient Bodleian, No. 1. han is in Hiphil, and signifies to cause or put to shame; which is not the sense here required.

[ocr errors]

.הבושו .one MS; הבישו two Editions

Ibid.shall they fall one after another] Literally, "they shall fall upon, or after, the fallen.”

Ibid.of their visitation--] In the parallel passage, Ch. viii. 12. the reading of the text is p; it is so here in six MSS. and according to the LXX. and Vulgate versions.


-a restoration] I cannot find what connexion the verb y, from whence comes the noun an, has with rest, that is, the cessation. of motion and activity. The root 2 seems to imply quite the contrary. The Arabic verb signifies, rediit, reversus est; corre

spondently with which ya in Hiphil would signify, to cause to return, bring back, restore. And it seems to me, that wherever this verb and its conjugates occur in the Hebrew text, the idea of restoring or causing to return will be found more suitable than that of the rest. restoration of your souls," or "lives;" which were indeed forfeited and lost in consequence of their former sins, but which God promises should be, restored and preserved to them on condition of their amendment.


The same word in effect may likewise be rendered in the same manner, Isa. xxviii. 12. Myanñ nan, "And this the restoration ;" that is, the means of restoring you to God's favour, which ye had lost all claim to.-Again, Isa. xxxiv. 14. the idea of rest would be very ill applied to my. For would it not be a very unmeaning tautology to say, that "there the screech owl should rest, and find herself a resting place?" Whereas it might with great propriety be said,

,מרגיע לנפשכם Accordingly I have here rendered

« PreviousContinue »