Page images

txiv. 2. &c. and both and and winon, being nouns, denote a place of security ; see Deut. xxxii. 38. Ps. xxxi. 21. lxi. 5. cxix. 114. Isa. iv. 6. Jer. xlix. 10. All the ancient versions, and the modern ones, as far as I know, are agreed in connecting annone with the words that fol. low; but it seems evident to me, that the best sense arises from joining it with the preceding context; the prophet telling the people, that if they would not take warning in time, whilst they were still secure and unhurt, and had it in their power to prevent the threatened evils by a sincere repentance, all he could do for them would be to sympathize with them, and bewail the calamities they brought upon their own heads.

Ibid.- from forth of its body] The LXX. Chald. and Vulg. seem to have taken 7792 for 1787, and our English translators have accordingly rendered it, “ pride.” None seem to have perceived that 7770 is a compound of 12, a body, and the affix pronoun 17; and that the meaning is no other, than that the soul should shew its internal grief " from the face of its body," Mina yan, that is, by the outward signs of bodily weeping ; which answers to the parallel line, “ And mine eye shall run down with tears."

18.-Humble yourselves, sit ye down] That sitting was a posture of humiliation under circumstances of affliction and distress, see Judg. xx. 26. Job ii. 8. Isa. iii. 26. See Bp Lowth's note on the last cited passage ; and see Harmer's Observat. Ch. vi. Obs. 25. Ibid. he will cause to fall from yout heads] 779 can neither have

. I apprehend it to be written contractedly for 971, the 3d person sin. gular of the fut. in Hiphil, whose subject is 777777 found in the precedcontext. wX7 may be supposed to have a plural with a feminine

, , a , ; Diwxn seems to signify the bolsters, pillows, or cushions, on which the head rested in lying down ; and upon which the regal ornaments were laid. See Gen. xxviii. 11, 18. 1 Sam. xix. 13, 16. xxvi. 7, 11, 12, 16. 1 Kings xix. 6. Twenty eight MSS. and six Editions read at large

. 19. The cities of the south--] Judah lying south in respect of Chaldea, which in the next verse is characterized by the name of the north," the “ cities of the south” may mean the cities of Judah in general. Or they may mean those cities in particular, which lay in the southern parts of Judah, at the greatest distance from the enemy;

which yet were subjected to the common calamity, as well as those which were nearer at hand. And this suits rather better with the sense of the vext line. By their being “shut up” is meant that they were uninhabited, and of course the gates were kept shut, and not opened for the admission of passengers to and fro. Ibid. The captivity of Judah is fully effected, the captivity of one

] to admit of the translation given of these words either by the ancient or modern interpreters, although they seem not to deviate widely from

for its subject for obvious grammatical reasons עטרת nor מראשתיכם


in which case ; ראשים ,as well as a masculine ,ראשות' ,termination


It is hardly possible-הגלת יהוות כלה הגלת שלומים [and all

seems as likely to have been the למדתי but ; למדת ven Editions read

their general sense. nant is generally considered as the 3d pers. sing. of the preter in Kophal from riba. But this in the masculine is orban,

, . Nor can oba in any wise agree with 777777', either as the feminine of ha, or as having the feminine affis 07; because 7771979 is masculine. But nban is the noun iha in regimine with the article prefixed, and 1779 is a verb which properly sig. nifies, “is fully wrought” or “ brought about.” As for miw, or Opsw, as it stands in twenty MSS. and five Editions, I cannot conceive it to be used adverbially, or in any wise like it.. bbw signifies full, complete, entire ; so that I apprehend w may very fairly be taken for the integral parts, which constitute the whole, taken together, and not some without the other.

20. Where is the flock that was given thee-] Nations and cities are often spoken of under the figure of distinct female personages, as the daughter of Judah, the daughter of Sion, or Jerusalem, the daughter of Tyre, Egypt, Edom, Babylon, &c. The single female then, that is here addressed, must be the daughter of Judah, who is asked with a sarcastical sneer,

what was become of all the numerous multitudes which God had given her formerly, constituting, like flocks of sheep, the national wealth and glory. 21. Seeing it is thou that teachest, &c.) Thirty one MSS. and se

; true reading, if the , be taken as paragogic to the feminine participle Benoni ; of which frequent instances occur ; see Ch. xxii. 23. li. 13. and Buxtorf. Thes. Gram. Lib. i. Cap. 13. Annot. ad particip. præsens.-Some have understood the alliances contracted heretofore with the Assyrians by Ahaz, and the conduct of Hezekiah towards the ambassadors of the king of Babylon, to be here alluded lo, as having paved or prepared the


for the future invasion of the country by the Chaldeans. But I rather think that the irreligious and wicked manners of the people are principally designed ; which put them out of the protection of Almighty God, and rendered them an easy conquest to any enemy that came against them. Thus they taught their enemies to oppress and to be lords over them; against whom, but for their own faults, they might have maintained their security and independence.

Ibid. -a woman in travail] For 777) all the ancient versions seem to have read 777h, or 177579, the having been in all probability since lost by accident. Six MSS. still retain the in 77705, though transposed out of its proper place ; unless we should think 077y) a more likely reading, which word occurs, Isa. xxxvii. 3. 22.-have these things befallen me.-

--] For 1987p twenty one MSS.

. Ibid.---thy skirts are uncovered, thy heels are left bare] This is a periphrasis for being forced into captivity ; it being the barbarous custom of conquerors in ancient times to treat their captives with such indignities, in conducting them to the place of their intended residence. See Isa. iii. 17. xx. 4. xlvii. 2. 3. Nahum iii. 5. ban implies “striping" or " tearing off by violence.” ".

.קרְאוני and two Editions read

[ocr errors]

23.---a Cushite] It has been a matter of great dispute among the learned, whether the Cushites were Ethiopians or Arabians. Bochart among many others is thoroughly persuaded, that the latter are always designed in Scripture by that appellation. Phaleg. Lib. iv. cap. 2. I am much inclined to be of his opinion ; not hereby supposing that all the Arabians are so denominated, but principally those who bordered upon Egypt along the banks of the Red sea, and whom we find closely connected with the Egyptians ; Ch. xlvi. 9. Isa. xx. 3, 4, 5. xxxvii. 9. And this situation is, I think, indisputably confirmed by 2 Chron. xxi. 16. where God is said to “have stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and of the Arabians, that were on the confines of the Cushites.” Here we find a distinction between the Arabians properly so called and the Cushites. But by the Arabians, who joined with the Philistines, it is most natural to understand those of Arabia Petræa, who together with the Philistines were on the confines of the Cushites, the people inhabiting along the western coasts of the Red sea; but could not in any wise be said to be contiguous to the Ethiopians, since the whole length of Egypt lay between them. But the text now before us is principally insisted on by those, who hold the Cushites to have been Ethiopians, as alluding to the sable skins of the natives of Ethiopia. It is probable however that the Cushites, that lay along the Red sea, if not altogether black, were of a much more swarthy complexion than the Jews, as approaching so much nearer to the sun, and from their manner of living being exposed so much more to the rays of it. Our. ingenious traveller, Sandys, speaking of the Moors that now inhabit Egypt, and who, he says, were descended of the Arabians, (meaning no doubt. the Cushites we are speaking of) expressly describes them to be " tawny of complexion.” Sandys's Travels, Book ji.

24.---the wind of the desart] “ The most vehement storms, to which Judea was subject, came from the great desert country to the south of it.” See Bp. Lowth's Note on Isa. xxi. 1.

23 Then may ye prevail with them] This is clearly the sense of gain; See Ch. xx. 7. xxxviii

. 22. and by rendering thus we find the proper antecedent of Box in the next line.

26. Therefore have I also uncovered, &c.] Mr Lowth on ver. 22. observes, that it was the usual punishment inflicted on lewd women to strip them naked, and expose them to the eyes of the world. This was a way of publishing their faults to their utter disgrace; as was the avowed design of God in the present instance.

27. Thou hast devised thy whoredom] nini I take not to be a noun, but a verb from ont. It is hereby designed to reproach Jerusalem with having practised her idolatry in such a deliberate manner, as shewed it to proceed from a steady attachment, which at the same time she was at no pains to disguise, having chosen the most public places for the scene of her wickedness. Seven MSS. and two Editions read ynur in the plural. .

Ibid..--thou wilt not be clean] Our English Version supposes an interrogation here ; “ Wilt thou not be made clean ?" but all the ancient

versions understand the words non mis as simply declarative of the cause for which the woe was pronounced. The LXX. render, 051 8x Exalagio Ing. The Syr. also expresses the causal particle.

Ibid.-How much longer shall it be before thou wilt?] In the mar. gin of our English Bible the words are literally translated, “ After when yet?" But this is manifestly an elliptical form of speech, and requires to be supplied by a repetition of the foregoing words, '970n

. “ After what time yet wilt thou not be clean ?” that is, How much longer shall it be before thou wilt?



I Cannot find any mark, internal or external, whereby to ascertain the date of the prophecy delivered in this and the following Chapter. Some have imagined, that the mention made of false prophets and their predictions at ver. 13. of this Chapter according with what is said, Ch. xxiii. 9–32. is a proof that both prophecies belonged nearly to the same period of time, and the latter of them was undoubtedly delivered in the reign of Jehoiakim, as we shall see hereafter. But from this circumstance of agreement nothing can with certainty be inferred, because we find the like mention made of false prophets, both in preceding times ; see Ch. v. 31. and in those that are subsequent; Ch. xxvii. 14, &c. As for what is said of the drought, and of the calamities of sword and famine, it is evidently spoken prophetically of what should happen in future, without limitation of distance. Nothing therefore appearing to the contrary, the presumption is in favour of the order in which these Chapters are found at present; and we are justified in admitting, that this prophecy may have been delivered in the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, not long after the foregoing, since the subject matter will equally fall in with this season as with any other.

The six first verses of this Chapter foretel great distress that should be occasioned in Judah by means of a long drought. The prophet in the name of the people makes a confession of sins, and supplicates the divine mercy ; v. 7-9. God declareth his resolution to punish, and will not be intreated; v. 10–12. Jeremiah complains of false prophets, who amuse the people with contrary predictions ; God disclaimeth them, and threatens both them, and the people who listened to them, with sword and famine, v. 13-18. The prophet renews his supplications in the people's name and behalf, v. 19. to the end of the Chapter.

2. Because of the drought-] 0978277 9927-5--- These words are usually taken in connexion with the preceding ; but I have detached them for the following reasons : first, because the word of JEHOVAT, in the prophecy which follows, comprehends other matters, and not the drought singly; secondly, 727-57 more properly signifies because or by means of, and thus specifies the direct and immediate cause of the mourning of Judah ; and 3dly, the hemistichs are hereby better distinguished.



The word n118an, which our English translators have rendered the dearth,” is derived from 733, which is used in the same sense as 791, to withhold or restrain ; so that it might indeed signify a withholding of provisions, or making a scarcity of them ; but from the context it is obvious, that a withholding of rain, or a drought,” is rather intend, ed; as 0732 is also rendered, Ch. xvii. 8. and as all the ancient versions have here represented. The plural number is adopted, most probably to denote that the usual showers were withholden, not for one season only, but for a continued succession of them ; as was the case in the reign of king Ahab, 1 Kings xvii. 1. when according to the reckoning of St James, Ch. v. 17. “ it rained not on the earth by the of three years and six months.” At what time the great drought here mentioned took place, we find not among the records of history. Some intimations of a like kind are given, Ch. iii. 3. see the note there. That it was a calamity incident to the land of Israel, and applied as a punishment for sin, may be seen from comparing Deut. xi. 17. xxviii. 23. 1 Kings viii. 33.

id.--the gates thereof languish ; They are in deep mourning] The gates of cities being places of public resort, where the courts of justice were held, and other common business transacted, seem here to be put for the persons that meet there ; in like manner as when we say, « the court is in mourning," we mean the persons that attend the court or king's palace. So that by this passage we are to understand, that all the persons who appear in public are dejected, and put on black, or mourning, on account of the national distress. 3.--their

younger ones] Six MSS. at present, one of which is the ancient Bodleian one, No 1. and four others, as they stood originally, confirm the Masoretic reading 007990% ; as do also the oldest printed Bible, and one other Edition in its marginal notes. Four other MSS. read S0783. The LXX. render 785 VEWTegous avtwv, younger members of their family,” or their children. For we find, that in the . simplicity of ancient times the children of considerable persons, particularly the daughters, were employed in the menial offices of drawing water for the use of the family and of the flocks. Gen. xxiv. 13, 15. xxix. 6 -10. Exod. ii. 16. In like manner Homer describes the daughter of king Alcinous going in person with her maids to the river to wash the clothes of the family, Odyss. z. 50, &c.

Ibid.—They covered their heads] See note on Ch. ï. 37. Two MSS, omit the conjunction 9 in 1017), as in the next verse and the of the Asyndeton seems not only more elegant, but more conformable to grammatical rule in this place; for the 7 would regularly have e conversive force.

5. When the hind also had calved in the fields, Then it was desert. ed] The LXX. and Theodotion render as if they had read, 42139

, are obliged to have recourse to the sense of the preceding words, rather than the words themselves, for a subject of 1999, “it was then desert. ed;" IT, nanely what she had just calved, was deserted. But if we

" the

[ocr errors]


And indeed as the text stands at present , we-אילות בשום ילדו

« PreviousContinue »