Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

-or an ,אמי as exegetic of ויחס הורתי I propose to read ונחמה

,חות but if we read the text as it now stands , how can ;הות

I , swering as a parallel to it. The Syr, has preserved the affix after

; , , which is feminine, agree with my, which is masculine ? '07177 is found in a parallelism with px, Cant. iii. 4. and On777 with Onx, Hos. ü. 5.

THE Chapter now marked Ch. xxi. is the first instance of the dis. orderly arrangemement taken notice of pag. 222. From the two first verses we learn, that it was delivered in answer to a message sent by king Zedekiah, when Nebuchadnezzar was coming to make war against him ; that is, about the ninth year of his reign. All the intermediate prophecies therefore of Jehoiakim's, and of the eight first years of Zedekiah's reign, ought of right to precede this, which is accordingly postponed to follow in its proper order of succession.

CHAP. XXII.

THE prophecy which follows to Ch. xxiii. v. 9. was evidently delivered in the reign of Jehoiakim ; for it speaks of his immediate predecessor as already gone into captivity, and foretels the death of Jehoiakim himself. It is likewise probable, that it followed immediately after what is said in the sixth and xxth Chapters to have passed in the temple precincts; from whence, 'as from higher ground, the prophet is ordered to “ go down to the house of the king of Judah.” Compare Ch. xxxvi. 12.

The beginning of this prophecy is an address to the king of Judah, his servants, and people, recommending an inviolable adherence to right and justice as the only means of establishing the throne, and preventing the ruin of both prince and people ; v. 1---9. The captivity of Shallum is declared to be irreversible; 10.- 12. Jehoiakini is severely reproved for his tyrannical oppressions, and his miserable end foretold; v. 13---19. His family is threatened with a continuance of the like calamities ; the fall and captivity of his son Jeconiah are explicitly set forth, and the perpetual exclusion of his seed from the throne ; v. 20 ---30. The name of Zedekiah is not mentioned for obvious reasons ; but he is no doubt principally intended in the two first verses of Ch. xxiii. under the general character of those evil shepherds, who should be punished for dispersing, instead of feeding the flock. In the six following verses, with which the prophecy concludes, the people are consoled with gracious promises of future blessings; of their return from captivity, and of happier times under better governors ; of the glorious establishment of the Messiah's kingdom ; and of the subsequent restoration of all the dispersed Israelites to dwell once more in their own land.

3.---the oppressor---] For powy, the participle pahul, oppressed, three MSS. read pwr, and one MS. with the oldest edition of the Bi

Tt

.תחמסו junction before

ble read pwry; as in the parallel passage, Ch. xxi. 12. All the ancient versions follow this reading.

Ibid. Defraud ye not, nor injure by violence] Twenty three MSS. and eight editions read 1316 for 19n.---The LXX. Syr. Chald. and Vulg. with thirty three MSS. and six editions read 589 with the con

. 4.---in the stead of David] See note on Ch. xiii. 13.

Ibid.---and his servants-ca] For 9729 the Masoretes read 4092 99, which is certainly right, and agreeable to all the ancient versions, and to twenty seven, perhaps twenty nine, MSS. and three editions.

6. Gilead art thou through me, O summit of Lebanon] %," through me,' " that is, by my disposition or appointment. See note on Ch. xv. 8. Lebanon, it has been observed before, was the highest mountain in Israel, and was therefore an apt emblem of the reigning family advancéd to the highest rank and dignity in the state. Gilead was the richest and most fertile part of the country. The meaning then is plainly this, By my providence thou art not only supreme in rank, but hast been rendered exceedingly wealthy and flourishing; but the same power that raised thee will likewise be exerted in reducing thee to the lowest state of indigence and distress.

Ibid. Cities not inhabited] The Masora reads 139 for 7211, and has the concurrence of seven MSS. and the margin of the Bible of Felix Pratensis. But no alteration is necessary, if Buxtorf's rule be admitted, that a plural substantive may be joined with a singular adjective in a distributivé sense ; thus, “ Cities every one of them uninhabited." See Buxtorf. Thes. Gram. Lib. ii. Cap. 2. But supposing an alteration,

, . See Ezek. xii. 20.

7. And I will commission--- Our English translation here is, * And I will prepare"... But in wip literally signifies, “ And I will sanctify;" that is, I will take them into my service, and authorize them to act against thee under my commission, or as my agents and ministers.

11.-Shallum, the son of Josiah] The son of Josiah who immediately succeeded his father on the throne, was no other than Jehoahaz, whom Pharaoh Necho deposed after a reign of three months, and carried him captive to Égypt, where he died. 2 Kings xxiii. 30.-34. It is therefore probable, that Shallumi was his name before he ascended the throne, which he changed for Jehoahaz, as his brothers Eliakim and Mattaniah also assumed the names of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah on the like occasion, 2 Kings xxiii. 34. xxiv. 17. But it has been thought difficult to reconcile, this with i Chron. iii. 15. where the sons of Josiah are said to be," the firstborn, Johanan, the 'second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallúm.” Now Johanan could not be the same as Jehoahaz, because Jehoahaz was certainly younger

than Jehoiakim ; as appears from comparing Kings xxiii. 31. with ver. 36. of the same Chapter. What therefore became of Johanan, we find

.נושבות perhaps we should rather read ,נושבו or נושבה instead of

that 6

or פעל The word' )

not: he may have died before his father ; or he may have been set aside for some objection of incapacity or dislike. But if Jehoahaz be Shallurn, then the order of the sons must be inverted in the forecited passage, and we ought to read, " the third Shallum, the fourth Zedekiah ;" which I believe was the case.

13.-his upper apartments-] Mr. Harmer having remarked, that 65 the chief and most ornamented apartments of the palace, which Jehoiakim set himself to build, are here represented by Jeremiah as upper rooms," supposes none of our authors would express themselves. after this manner; the lower rooms would be the chief object of their attention ;” but adds that " it was perfectly natural in Jeremiah ; for the chief rooms of the houses of Aleppo at this day are those above, the ground floor being chiefly made use of for their horses and ser:vants.Ch. iii. Obs. 7. But there is nothing peculiar to the East in this ; in England too, the grand apartments in great houses are raised above the ground floor, which is usually taken up for offices only.

Ibid. And payeth him not for his work] Our translators have here rendered in his work," as the word properly signifies. But in other places they have assigned to it the sense of reward. The ancient versions have done the same here. And led by such authorities the learned DR. RANDOLPH in a Comment on Ps. cix. added by way of Appendix to two Sermons on The Excellency of the Jewish Law, gives the following note on ver. 20, of that Psalm. • yo, as it signifies work, so it sometimes signifies The wages or reward of work; Lev. xix. 13. Job vii. 2. Jer. xxii. 13." But that greater stress may not be laid on such authorities than is meet, I shall beg leave to transcribe a note taken from a Pamphlet published soon after the above Comment, in which the texts referred to are thus exz amined.

• In the first (Lev. xix. 13.) it is rendered, The waçes (nen) of him that is lized shall not abide with thee all night until the morning, But this is rather a paraphrastic than a literal translation. The Vulgate still renders, opus mercenarii tui, which is right, for every free man having a right of property in his own labour, if you do not pay an hireling for his day's work, you detain from him unjustly that labour which is his property, and which he consented to make over to you only for a valuable consideration; so long therefore as that consideration is unpaid, his work is truly said to abide with you ; for it is his by right till paid for.--- In Job vii. 2. the idea of wages is founded on a misapprehension of the author's sentiment, who had no such thing in view, as is evident from considering the next verse, where Job complains that he had passed in succession months of vanity, (that is in vain expectation of relief) and that nights of weariness had been his constant lot. The first of these is compared ver. 2. to the shadow (the vain hopes of liberty) which the bondslave (727) gapes after ; the latter to the daylabourer's work, (937) which he expects as constantly as the day comes. And in this respect it is, that Job, ver. 1. compares his days to the days of an hirefing, every one bringing its portion of labour and sorrow along with is.

1

page 20.

,בית מדות correspond with

one.

The translation therefore should be, As a slave panteth for a shadow, and an hireling locketh for his work ; So have I passed in succession months of vanity, and nights of weariness have been allotted me. In the last instance, Jer. xxii. 13. our translators have rightly rendered as you say, and giveth (or payeth) him not for his work; for the verb yng signifies to pay for or to recompense ; see 2 Chron. vi. 23. Ezek. vii. 4. xi. 21. &c. So that in all these instances mbyo or by is capable of its usual sense, work, or labour." Expostulatory Letter to DR RANDOLPH. Oxford 1773.

14.- and lofty apartments] D90 is a word that occurs no where else in the Hebrew; nor can it be a participle, or participial adjective from 797 in agreement'with noisy, because of the difference of gender. For my part, I have no doubt that we ought to read only motivy,“ apartments of heights,” that is, lofty ones; which exactly

, house of dimensions,” or a spacious The authority of internal evidence is here so strong, that it seems sufficient to support the emendation without any external testimony in its favour.

Ibid. Cutting out also for himself windows] In the margin of our English Bibles we read, “ my windows ;” which certainly cannot be right. DR DURELL was of opinion, that the true reading is 7900 7914; and that the verbs 7990 and own being infinitives, or rather gerunds, the rendering should be, " And cytteth him out his windows, cieling with cedar, and painting with vermilion." DR DURELL. In confirmation of this conjecture one MS. reads, and another 71Do without the conjunction. But many instances occur, where the final is omitted. See DR KENNICOTT's Dissert. Gener. § 26. And all the ancient versions favour this supposition. I take vyp also to be a ges rund as well as the two verbs that follow. 15. Shalt thou reign because thou frettest thyself in cedar ?] For

; sense would be, “Shalt thou reign, because thou gratifiest thy taste with living in a palace of cedar ?" That is, Will that circumstance contribute to make thee happy? For thus to reign or be a king is often used. See I Cor. iv. 8. Not that a kingdom or the state of a king is indeed a state of superior happiness, but is generally looked up to as such by those who see nothing but the external pomp and splendour and affluence which usually accompany it. Hence to be as happy as a king is a common proverbial expression; and even the writers of the New Testament have borrowed the ideas of a crown and a kingdom to represent the glory and happiness that await good Christians in another life. But there seems to be no reason for presuming an alteration to be necessary in the text, since 7770702, from 77777 to fret and grieve, signifies one that is a prey to the uneasy passions of discontent and re

And the question will then be something of a sarcastic nature, which asks, " Shalt thou reign, because thou frettest thyself in cedar ?" As if it had been said, Is this the inestimable privilege of royalty, this the circumstance which constitutes thy happiness as a king, to carry

to rejoice ; so that the חוח from ,מתחרה the Syr

. reads מתחוה

morse.

continually about thee the pangs of guilt, anxiety, and remorse in a splendid palace ? In like manner speaks Horace of

-miseros tumultus Mentis, et curas laqueata circum

Tecta volantis. Od. Lib. II. xvi. 10. And it is obvious how well this suits with the following context, which places in a striking contrast the happiness of the good Josiah resulting from the consciousness of having fulfilled the duties of his station with pious integrity. “ Did not thy father eat and drink, that is, partake of all the real comforts and conveniences which human life requires, in as great a degree as thyself? But at the same time governing with impartial justice and equity, he enjoyed in consequence thereof that solid and true felicity, which nothing but the practice of virtue and religion, emphatically called " the knowing of God," can bestow."

18.- Ah her glory!] So 77977 must be rendered, if the text be right, and must respect Jehoiakim's queen, whose “glory” was in a manner departed from her on the death of her husband ; as in the former stanza the word n1978, “ sister," can be understood of none but her. The prophet's meaning then will be, that Jehoiakim's obsequies should not be celebrated with the usual funeral lamentations ; either on the part of his relations, bemoaning his loss, and condoling with the queen, their widowed sister ; or on the part of his domestics, bewailing the misfortune they had themselves sustained in being deprived of so good a master, and in seeing the degradation of their unhappy mistress.

- It must however be noted, that seven MSS. in the text, and two in the margin read 17707 ; and five MSS. read 1777. The ancient Bodleian MS. No. 1. and one more read 7777107. But I give the preference to the present text taken according to the explanation above.

19. With the burial of an ass shall he be buried] Let me be allowed here to correct what has been before erroneously, I think, laid down p. 225. in the epitome given of Jehoiakim's reign, that “ in his fourth year he was loaded with chains, when the king of Babylon took Jerusalem the first time;" and that “ he was afterwards slain without the gates of Jerusalem in an attempt to check the depredations of the enemy."

That he was once bound in fetters by the king of Babylon with intent to carry him to Babylon, is said 2 Chro. xxxvi. 6. But whether at the first or second time that he made war upon him, is not specified. Dr Prideaux says it was the first time, whose opinion I followed both in this circumstance and in that of his death, without having duly attended to Ezek. xix. 8, 9. where we read, that " the nations set upon “ him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him, “ in their pit he was taken : and they put him in ward in chains, and “ brought him to the king of Babylon; and he put him into holds, " that his voice might no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.” For from hence it may be inferred, that as he is not said to have been put in chains more than once, he was more libe treated at first on surrendering without resistance to the king of Babylon, who left him in possession of the kingdom. But on his having rebelled after

« PreviousContinue »