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wards, the nations, meaning the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and Ammonites, who were sent to ravage Judah, as we learn from 2 Kings xxiv. 2. having in an ambuscade surprised, and not slain, but made him prisoner, carried him to the king of Babylon, who derained him in close custody till he could conveniently send him to Babylon. But this de.. sign being frustrated by his previous death, which happened soon after his confinement, Nebuchadnezzar, at once to testify his indignation against him, and perhaps to intimidate his successor from exasperating him by a long resistance, ordered his dead body to be ignominiously cast forth without burial before the walls of Jerusalem ; as is foretold both here and Ch. xxxvi. 30.

It may be observed indeed, that Josephus's narrative differs materialJy in many particulars from the account which I have given of the transactions of these times. But if I have followed the authority of Scripture in preference to that of Josephus, who is sometimes hardly consistent with himself, I trust I shall not need excuse. In the first place Josephus says (Ant. Lib. x. Cap. 6. Ed. Hudson) that “ Ne. buchadnezzar made no attempt against the Jews till the eighth year of Jehoiakim's reign, which was the fourth of his own reign ; when by threats he compelled Jehoiakim to submit, and pay him tribute, which he did for three years.” But Daniel says expressly, Ch. i. 1. that Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, and besieged it; by which some are willing to understand, that he entered upon his expedition in the third, but did not actually appear against Jerusalem till the fourth year of Jehoiakim, after having firet defeated the Egyptian army at Carchemish *. Now Daniel was himself one of the captives whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away at this time, and therefore may reasonably be presumed to have not mistaken the date. Further, Daniel says, Ch. ii. that in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, he was brought before that king, and expounded his dream. But the second year according to Daniel, who follows the Ba. bylonish computation from the death of that prince's father, corresponds with his fourth year according to those who date bis reign from the time he was associated with his father in the empire. Daniel there

* This apparent difference may perhaps be reconciled by supposing that the Ba. hylonians and jews began their year at different seasons, and that Daniel followed the former, whilst the other sacred writers conformed to the latter. To explain this let it be remembered, that before the year 1752, when uniformity was establishe ed by act of Parliament, the year in England had two different commencements, one from the ist day of January. the other from the 25th day of March following, so that an event which happened in the interval was by some attributed to the year 1750, and by others to 1751 of the Christian Æra. Hence we see that if the commencement of the Babylonian year was subsequent to that of the Jewish, and the siege and taking of Jerusalem happened in the intermediate time, at Babylon it might be dated in the third, and at Jerusalem in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. The Jews themselves had two different dates for the beginning of their year. The one took place on the first day of the month Abib, by divine institution, on their coming out of Egypt, the other on the first day of Tisri, six months later, which was in common use before, and was probably the same that was observed by their Syrian neighbours, from whence the nation derived their origin.

fore was brought in before Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon in the very year which Josephus has fixed on for his first expedition against Jeru. salem. But it appears from Dan. i. 5, 18. that Daniel was not introduced to the king till after he had been three years in training under the discipline of the Chaldeans. The captivity therefore of Daniel must have begun, and consequently Jehoiakim must have fallen under the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar, at least three years before the time which Josephus has assigned for it...

Again, Josephus says that “ soon after Jehoiakim's revolt, the king of Babylon advanced wiih an army in person, and that Jehoiakim readily admitted him into Jerusalem, not suspicious of any harm, as neither having shut the gates, nor made any preparation to oppose him: but that Nebuchadnezzar, having entered the city, instantly put him to death, and cast his dead body unburied without the walls." Now the former part of this account, respecting the manner of the king of Babylon's reception into Jerusalem, I conceive to be true, except only that it happened at the time of his former approach to the city. But after Jehoiakim's revolt, the sacred historian expressly says, 2 Kings xxiv. 2. that Nebuchadnezzar did not come in person, but sent troops of Chaldeans joined with the neighbouring nations to distress him. And it is also said, Ezek. xix. 8. as has been already observed, that he was not taken prisoner by the king of Babylon himself, but by the nations beforementioned, who delivered him into the king of Babylon's hand. Besides which, the words of the sacred history, 2 Kings xxiv. 10, 11. lead us to conclude, that Nebuchadnezzar did not join his army in person, till after his servants had laid siege to Jerusalem; and that they had not besieged it, till after Jeconiah had reigned nearly three months. So that all Josephus's account of this matter also, except only that Jehoiakim's body was cast forth without burial, appears to be erroneous, it the authority of Scripture is at all to be depended

on.

Nor is the historian more credible in his relation of what befel Jehoiakim's son and successor. For if the time of the king of Babylon's coming up to his army before Jerusalem has been rightly stated above, then Jeconiah must have reigned three months at least without the authority of the king of Babylon, and not " by his appointment,” as Josephus has related. Further, Josephus relates that “ Nebuchadnezzar having, whilst he was at Jerusalem, made Jeconiah king, afterwards repented of what he had done, and sent an army to besiege hims and that Jeconiah surrendered himself to the king of Babylon's generals upon a promise of indemnity; but that within a twelvemonth the terms of capitulation were violated, and Jeconiah with his mother and friends were by the king's special orders sent captives to Babylon.”. All this is quite inconsistent with what we read 2 Kings xxiv. 11-17. that the king of Babylon was present in person, and that Jeconiah went out to him with his mother, &c. and was directly carried to Baa bylon, not having reigned in all, according to the most extended account, more than three months and ten days; and that Zedekiah his uncle was immediately made king in his stead. The circumstance of the capitulation having been broken within a twelvemonth seems to have been suggested to Josephus by a mistaken interpretation of nown naiwn), 2 Chro. xxxvi. 10. which Josephus understood to mean“ within the revolution of a year ;" but it evidently denotes no more than “ at the return, or beginning of the new year."

20. Go up to Lebanon, and cry) The verbs here being feminine, Jerusalem is generally supposed to be addressed; but I rather think the royal house or family of Judah is meant; the whole chapter being a prophecy concerning it and its several branches. She is styled, “ inhabitant of Lebanon,” ver. 23. for the same reason as her state and dignity is denoted ver. 6. by " the summit of Lebanon,” as being highest of all. See note above. Here she is called upon ironically to go to the tops of the high mountains, and to the frontiers of the country, and cry aloud for help to the neighbouring powers; but in vain ; since all those who had any inclination to favour her, the Egyptians in particular, were themselves crushed and disabled by the arms of the king of Babylon.

Ibid.--the borders -] 1990 y signify not only the fords or passages of a river, but all the country along each bank; and in general all those parts through which people pass to go from one country to another, that is, the borders or extremities. See Ch. xlix. 32. 1 Kings iv. 24.

22. A blast shall carry off all thy pastors] God's judgments are compared to a scorching and blasting wind. See Ch. iv. 12. Isai. xli. 16. Ivii. 13. This, it is here said, should consume all the heads and governors of the family; as it happened to the four last kings of it in succession.

23. O inhabitant of Lebanon) See note on ver. 20. For nav the Masora with eleven MSS. and one edition in the margin, reads

' ; .

מקננתי and with thirteen MSS . and three editions for ; יושבת or ישבת It is possible however that here as in other .מקוננת or מקננת reads

places the paragogic · may have been used. See note on Ch. xii. 21.

Ibid.-how gracious wilt thou be made-] The Masora here discards the final in 193773, as in the preceding participles, and is countenanced by fifty four MSS. and five editions. The LXX. Syr. Chald, and Vulg. all consider the verb as in the 2d pers. sing, though, I think, none . But I am inclined to think the text is right as it stands at present ; and that as yon in Kal signifies to be gracious ; so in Niphal the verb should be rendered to be made such in temper and disposition. Dans therefore, being the participle in Niphal, will signify one that from having been obstinate and inflexible in prosperity, is changed by adversity, and made courteous and condescending, ready to comply with and follow admonition and good advice.

24. Coniah- ] Some fanciful reasons have been sụggested by the Rabbinical writers and others for calling Jeconiah in this Chapter by the name of Coniah. But if it be not a mistake in the text, I should suppose this prince to have been originally called Coniah, and to have

changed his name to Jeconiah on ascending the throne, as was done by his father and uncles.

26. And I will cast thee forth, and thy mother] Fulfilled, 2 Kings xxiv. 15.

30. Write ye this man childless ] I cannot agree with the generality of commentators, who suppose that God hereby declares it as a thing certain, and as it were orders it to be inserted among the public acts of his government, that Jeconiah should die absolutely childless. Other parts of Scripture positively assert him to have had children, i Chron. iii. 17, 18. Mat. i. 12. And both ver. 28. and the subsequent part of this verse imply that he either had, or should have seed. But the historians and chroniclers of the times are called upon, and directed to set him down childless; not as being literally so, but yet the same to all intents and purposes of public life ; for he was to be the last of his race that should sit upon the throne of David ; and his descendents were no more to figure as kings, but to be reduced to the rank and obscurity of private persons. And in this sense the prophecy was actual. ly fulfilled; for allowing Zerubbabel, who is called governor of Judah, Hagg. i. 1. to have been a lineal descendent of Jeconiah, yet he could not be said to sit upon the throne of David, and reign, or rule, in Judah, seeing he was but a provincial governor, a mere servant of the king of Persia, in whom the sovereignty resided ; nor were any of those kings, who afterwards reigned in Judah, even of the family of David, until the time of Christ, who, though of David's seed, was not the seed of Jeconiah, but descended from the same ancestor in a collateral line.

CHAP. XXIII.

1. Ho to the shepherds ] . I take to be here a particle of calling, as the LXX. and Syr. represent it; and not of commination, as in our English translation. The latter wicked kings of David's race, and particularly Zedekiah (whom it was not proper to mention by name, as the prospect of his succession might excite the jealousy of the reigning monarch) are here called upon to attend to the divine judgments coming upon them.

3.- And I will bring them back to their own fold] Twenty one MSS. and four editions read 77793 in the singular number instead of 1979. The singular number is also expressed both in the LXX. and Syr. versions. But perhaps instead of jane and 10793 we ought rather to read onx and 7710, as all the other references to the same antecedent are in the masculine gender.

4. Nor shall they be visited -] Our present English translation is, “ Neither shall they be lacking." But I think it more suitable to

follow the common use of the verb 77o, and to understand thereby, that the people should no more be visited with those calamities, to which through the misconduct of former governors they had been exposed. Delirant reges, pleciuntur Achivi.

Uu

5.--2 righteous Branch-) See again, Ch. xxxii. 15, 16. and compare Ps. cxxxii. 17. Isai. iv. 2. xi. 1. Zech. iii. 8. vi. 12. Lukei. 69.

Ibid.-a king shall reign and act wisely-) See Isai. xxxii. 1.

6. And this is the name by which JEHOVAH shall call him, Our RIGHTEOUSNESS] Literally, according to the Hebrew idiom, “And this is his name, which JEHOVAH shall call, Our RIGHTEOUSNESS;" a phrase exactly the same as, “ And JEHOVAH shall call him so;" which, as I have before observed in note on Ch. xx. 3. implies that God would make him such as he called him ; that is,

“Our righteousness, or the author and means of our salvation and acceptance. So by the same metonymy Christ is said to “have been made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 1 Cor. i. 30.

I doubt not but some persons will be offended with me for depriving them by this translation of a favourite argument for proving the divinity of our Saviour from the Old Testament. But I cannot help it: I have done it with no ill design, but purely because I think, and am morally sure, that the text, as it stands, will not properly admit of any other construction. The LXX. have so translated before me, in an age when there could not possibly be any bias of prejudice either for or against the beforementioned doctrine ; a doctrine which draws its decisive proofs from the New Testament only. In the parallel passage Ch. xxxiii. 16. the expression is a little varied, but the sense according to a just and literal translation is precisely the same; 66 And this is He whom JEHOVAH shall call, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."

7. After this-) See note on the parallel passage, Ch. xvi. 14.

9. CONCERNING THE PROPHETS] This is prefixed as a title to distinguish the following head of prophecy, which, though probably delivered at the same time with the foregoing one, treats of a subject entirely different. In like manner after a general title placed at the head the prophecies concerning the heathen nations, we find the several par

, , , , &c. Ch. xlvi. 1, 2. xlviii. '1. xlix. 1, 7. &c, &c.

Jeremiah testifies the horror he felt within him on contemplating the wickedness of the priests and prophets of Judah, and the vengeance which God was about to execute upon them for the corruption which had been diffused through the whole land by the influence of their evil doctrines and example, v. 9-15. He exhorts the people in the name of God not to listen to the words of the prophets that prophesied of peace, when evil was determined, and would infallibiy take place, as would in time appear; and charges those prophets with speaking of themselves, and not from the divine commission, v. 16--22. God asserts his omnipresence and omniscience; and reproveth the audaciousnese of the false prophets, who affected to place their own idle dreams on a level with the all powerful and efficacious word of divine revelation ; declaring himself against the several species of those impostors, v. 23-32. In fine he requireth all sorts of persons to desist from an indecency in common use, of styling his word a burden ; and threatens

,לאדום ,לבני עמון ,למואב ,למוצרים ticulars distinctly prefaced with

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