« PreviousContinue »
and happiness, v. 2-5. Already the heralds have proclaimed on mount Ephraim the arriyal of the joyful day ; they summon the people to reassemble once more in Sion; and promulge by special command the glad tidings of salvation which God had accomplished for them. God himself declares his readiness to conduct home the remnant of Israel from all parts of their dispersion, to compassionate and relieve their infirmities, and to provide them with all necessary accommodations by the way, v. 6---9. The news is carried into distant lands; and the nations are summoned to attend to the display of God's power and goodness, in rescuing his people from their stronger enemies, and in supplying them after their return with all manner of good things, to the full extent of their wants and desires, v. 10---14.
Here the scene changes, and two new personages are successively introduced, in order to diversify the same subject, and to impress it more strongly. Rachel first; who is represented as just risen from her grave, and bitterly bewailing the loss of her children, for whom she looks about her in vain, but none are to be seen. Her tears are dried up, and she is consoled with the assurance that they are not lost for ever, but shall in time be brought back to their ancient borders, v. 15---17.
Ephraim comes next. He laments his past undutifulness with great contrition and penitence, and professes an earnest desire of amendment. These symptoms of returning duty are no sooner discerned in him, than God acknowledges him once more as a darling child, and resolves with mercy to receive him, v. 18.-20.
The virgin of Israel is then earnestly exhorted to hasten the preparations for her return, and encouraged with the prospect of having a signal miracle wrought in her favour, v. 21, 22. And the vision closes at last with a promise, that the divine blessing should again rest upon the land of Judah, and that the men of Judah should once more dwell there, cultivating it according to the simplicity of ancient institutions, and fully discharged from every want, v. 23.-26.
In the third part, by way of appendix to the Vision, the following gracious promises are specifically annexed : That God would in time to come supply all the deficiencies of Israel and Judah; and would be as diligent to restore as he had ever been to destroy them; and would not any more visit the offences of the fathers upon the children, v. 27
-30. That he would make with them a better covenant than he had made with their forefathers, v. 31-34. That they should continue his people by an ordinance as firm and lasting as that of the heavens,
. 35.-37.; and that Jerusalem should again be built, enlarged in its extent, and secure from future desolation, v. 30-40.
3.-I will reverse the captivity of my people, Israel and Judah---] See Notes on Ch. iii. 18. and Ch. xxix. 14.
7.—which shall be to Jacob] It is evident, that there is no other antecedent to Ny but 1773. Two MSS. indeed read N17, so as to represent N1007 017; and two other MSS. one of which is the an. cient Bodleian, No. 1. omit Ny. But the text needs no alteration. “ That day' is a great one, and a time of distress; which [distress] shall
and the ; ומוסרתיך et uncula ejus , instead of ,ומוסותיו to have read ,ומוסותיו and צוארז context absolutely requires that we should read botle
be to (or, úpon) Jacob;" that is, he shall himself have a share in it, although he shall in the end be rescued from it by a mighty salvation. 8.--- from off his neck, and his bands] The Vulgate appears clearly , , ;
both , HIS neck, and his bands;" for the yoke of Jacob can alone be meant, the yoke which he carried upon his neck, and the bands by which that yoke was fastened upon him ; there being no other antecedent to which the
pronoun afhis can possibly be referred ; and Jacob is spoken of in the third person, and not addressed in the second till afterwards at ver. -10. Accordingly the LΧΧ. render, απο τα τραχηλα ουτων, και τες δεσμες avtwy, expressing the pronoun in the plural, because the antecedent Jacob is plural in sense ; which they usually do in the like circumstances, as may be seen ver. 20, 21. The collated MSS. afford several instances of this mistake of " for 1, which requires only an extension of the lines both ways. See Bishop Lowth's note on Isai. lii. 14. where 705 y appears to have been written for you.
9.---David their king---] The Messiah is thus called after the name of bis progenitor, Isa. lv. 3, 4. Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24. xxxvii. 24, 23. Hos. iii. 5.
11.---correct thee with moderation] See note on Ch. x. 24.
Ibid.---And will not make thee altogether desolate] In this sense the Chaldee renders 7px-x 17p, and with the approbation of several learned Commentators ; for it is a sense that seems most suitable - to this place. Nor can there be a doubt that the words will admit of this construction. For the verb 7p> primarily signifies vacuum esse; and thoughrit often may denote exemption from guilt or punishment, yet it may with equal reason signify, cleared or emptied of all that is good, or, made desolate. In this sense it is eertainly used, Isa. iii. 26. and Zech. v. 3. And thus it seeins moșt agreeable to the context to understand the words prxh np, Exod. xxxiv. 7. Num. xiv. 18. particularly in the latter instance, where it is urged by Moses as a reason for God's sparing the Israelites, that he had declared himself to be a God of " meroy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and NOT UTTERLY DESTROYING, when he visiteth the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth
generation. It must however be granted, that the other sense, in which the words are usually taken, has much to be said in its favour.
13. There is none that lendeth a helping hand for thy cure] The words 7717 97 7'* properly signify, “there is none that pleadeth thy cause ;” but instead of juridical, the word 9177227, and the sense of the context, require them to be understood of medical, assistance. 77772 signifies the dressing of a wound or sore.
14. Because thy iniquity is great] 27 is the preter of 23%. See thus used with the preter verb following, Ps. cxix. 136.
---Afterwards---] 13ey ---See note on Ch. xvi. 14. Ibid.---they that spoil thee.--] For foxw six MSS. and two ancient Editions read y'oiw, and six other MSS. with one Edition, and the margin of Van der Hooght's Bible, read 90W.
18. And the city shall be builded upon its heap] That is, “ upon the ruins of the old city; for Sn usually signifies a heap of ruins. It might however signify a hill orrising ground, such as Jerusalem was built upon, and such as was generally chosen for the site of ancient cities. So O seems to signify, Josh. xi. 13. and accordingly the matgin of our Bibles here renders rohyn, " little hill." So that by the city being built onoy, may be understood its being rebuilt upon its ancient groundplot; which perfectly corresponds with the next hemistich. By " the city," Jerusalem is commonly understood, and by 3-1878, either the temple, or the king's palace. But I rather think that. both 73 and 71907 are designed, not for any particular city or palace, but for the cities and palaces of Jacob in general. Nouns in the singular number are often thus used; which I am persuaded is the case of 77 and 37278, Isa. xxv. 2. where they stand for the cities and palaces of the nations, whose punishment had been predicted in the conclusion of the preceding Chapter.
20. And his children---] Here we may observe, that the pronouns in this and the verse following are of a different number from those in the preceding verse ; and with good reason, for they refer to different antecedents. The antecedents to those used ver. 19. are the dwellingplaces of Jacob, the cities and palaces spoken of ver. 18. But the antecedent to the pronouns in this and the next verse is manifestly Jacoba himself; a distinction not sufficiently marked in our translation.
21. And his prince shall be of his own race] The meaning here is plain, that they should not be governed by foreigners, but by those of their own nation or family. Here it is probable, that'97978 and 2 wn, though singular, denote his governors and magistrates in general ; as before observed on ver. 18,
Ibid. And I will draw him---] God promises to dispose the heart of his people to turn to him, as without his grace few or none would be so inclined. The sense is much the same as Ch. xxxi. 33. Compare John vi. 44, 45.
23, 24.] These two verses occur with some slight variations, Ch, xxiii. 19, 20. For nyo sixteen MSS. read here non, as in the parallel passage ; and so do the Syr. and Chaldec. For 9792 nn one MS. reads 5500n. Both these words are nearly of the same import, as has been already observed in the Note on Ch. xxiii. 19.
24.--the purpose] The LXX. Syr. and Vulg. read main in the singular number here, as well as Ch. xxiii. 20. One MS. reads main. Three MSS. read 73542 here at tl. end of the verse, as in the parallel place
2.--- in the wilderness] By " the wilderness” I conceive to be here meant the barren and desolate condition of the Jewish Church and Na. tion during the time of their rejection. It seems to denote nearly the same, Isa. xl. 3. See Bishop Lowth's Note there.
Ibid. Israel a proceeding towards his restoration) 77377 (in twelve MSS, and three Editions it is written ylpot) is, I doubt not, the infinitive verb applied as a substantive. It properly denotes a going for: wards, or making an actual progress towards a certain point or end. Thus sign 6773 Diabon is spoken of those, who were already set forwards, and were on their way to go down to Egypt. Isa. xxx. 2, Accordingly yy9707ginn is to be understood of God's having actually set forwards, or begun to execute his design of causing the children of Israel to return to their own land ; and so is exegetic of the grace or favour which the people is said to have found in the wilderness. See the sense of yunnt explained at large in Note on Ch. vi. 16, and take into the account what is observed in the following Note.
3. From afar off JEHOVAH appeared unto me] These words, it is certain were not spoken by God, as those were that go before, and those that immediately follow. They must therefore be included in a parenthesis, and seem designed to intimate, that the prophet was favoured with a visionary prospect of a remote period to come, in which God is represented as discoursing of the transactions belonging to that period, as if they were already at hand ; and this accounts for the use of verbs in the past tense, both in the preceding verse, and in ver. 6, 7. It is manifest from ver. 26. that the prophet had been in a vision or trance, out of which he awaked. And it is no less evident that the general restoration of Israel, the subject of the discourse which he had heard during his vision, so much to his satisfaction, is not yet accomplished, nor entered upon, nor is there any certainty when it wil! be,
Ibid. Also with a love...] The before manx is omitted by the LXX, and in eight MSS.
Ibid.-.-have I lengthened out mercy to thee) yun signifies to lengthen out or continue on ; and is used precisely in this sense with 7017, Ps. xxxvi. 10. cix. 12. God is here said to have lengthened out his mercy, or continued the exercise of it, to Israel in regard of his ancient love, although frequently provoked to abridge it:
4. Yet again shalt thou deck thyself with thy tabrets] That it was usual for the women of Israel to go forth with tabrets and dancing in times of public rejoicing and prosperity, See Exod. xv. 20. Judg, xi. 34. 1 Sam. xviii. 6. These times were now to be renewed.
5. Plant, Oye planters, and cat ye the fruit.] The verb 550 significs to make or wsc as common, and not prohibited. By the law of Mo
ses no man was allowed to eat the fruit of his vineyard till the fifth year after the planting. For the three first years it was to be considered as in a state of uncircumcision or uncleanness. In the fourth year the fruit was holy to the Lord. But after that time it became free for the owner's use. See Lev, xix. 23-25. where the verb 5377 is ac. cordingly used for eating of the fruit of a plantation without restraint, as also Deut. xx. 6. xxviii. 30. as well as in the
before us, Here therefore a promise is given, directly opposite to the threat denounced Deut. xxviii. 30. that the persons, who planted thc vineyards on the hills of Samaria, should not be compelled to give up the fruits of their labour lo others, but should themselves remain in the land, and en-' joy the produce of their plantations unmolested.
6.--For the day is come, have watchmen proclaimed-) So the words should be rendered, and not as in our translation, “ For there shall be a day, that the watchmen - - • shall cry.” For the verbs wi and innp are neither of them in the future, but in the preter tenise, See the first note on ver. 3.- It is scarcely needful to repeat here what has been before observed (See Note on Ch. vi. 17.) that by 66 watchmen" are meant God's prophets, giving notice of his dispensations, and calling upon men to act suitably under them.
7.-the chief of the nations] This term I look upon to be synonymous with Jacob, or Israel, who, being the peculiar people of God was thereby exalted to a preeminence above other nations. The privileges of primogeniture are asserted to belong to him, ver. 9. which is equivalent to calling him the chief or head of the nations; the firstborn being commonly intitled to the rank of chief or head among many brethren Rom. viii. 29.
Ibid. JEHOVAH hath saved thy people] The LXX and Chald. render r w977 in the third person of the preter tense, instead of the imperative ; and the context seems so to require it. For to publish with praise belongs to a blessing already received, and does not imply pray
But in both these versions in y “ his people" is substituted for 72 y “ thy people ;” this however is not countenanced by any of the collated MSS. nor does the context afford ground for presuming a mistake in the text. The watchmen are required to address their publication to Jacob, and to say, as they very properly might, “ JEHOVAH hath saved thy people.” See the first note on ver, 3.
9. Behold with weeping shall they come] It seems much more natural to place 77377 at the beginning of the verse, rendering it “be. hold,” than tò construct it, as most of the ancient versions, and as our Translators have done, at the end of the 8th verse, giving it the 'sense of thither. It also suits the metre better where I have placed it.-I consider 23" with weeping" and unna "amidst supplications" to denote, that at the very instant they were weeping for their sins, and offering up their supplications to God for mercy, he would interpose graciously in their favour, and begin to conduct them safely back to the place, whither it was their wish to return. Compare Ch. iii. 21. Something of the same sort is said concerning Ephraim, ver. 19. 20.
ing for it.