Page images


.סביבך and four Editions read

Ibid.-hast thou multiplied -] For 18742717 seven MSS. read with the Masora, 112707. And all the ancient versions express the second person singular, and not the first. 12.-together---] For 1771 twenty one MSS. and two Editions read

. 13. THE WORD WHICH JEHOVAH SPAKE, &c.] There appears no ground for ascertaining the time when this second prophecy was delivered; but the desolation foretold is it is undoubtedly the same which Ezekiel has predicted, Ch. xxix, xxx, xxxi, xxxii. And this came to pass in the twenty seventh year of Jehoiacbin's captivity (that is, the sixteenth

year after the destruction of Jerusalem) as may be collected from Ezek. xxix. 17. where Nebuchadnezzar's army is spoken of as having at that time suffered a great deal in the siege of Tyre ; on which account the spoils of Egypt are promised them for their wages

and indemnification; and the promise was accordingly made good that same year. See Joseph. Ant. Lib. x. Cap. 9. Edit. Hudson. 14.---those that are round about thee] For 7.2990 eighteen MSS.


But the text needs no alteration. 15.---thy mighty one] The Syntax and Context shew plainly that we should read 770N instead of 7973N ; and forty five, perhaps forty six, MSS. and three Editions, with the Vulgate, confirm this emendation. The LXX. render o A Tis, o porxos o EX AEXTOS 78, as if that Egyptian idol was intended. But it may as well be understood of the king of Egypt, or indefinitely put for the mighty ones or warriors of that nation in a plural sense.

16. He hath caused many to stumble, yea, to fall] The LXX. connect the words thus ; and I think most properly both with respect to the sense and metre.

17. They cried there---] The allies of Egypt, driven to their own homes, as mentioned in the preceding verse, send from thence their excuses to Pharaoh, alleging the disaster which had prevented their joining him at the time and place appointed.

18.---like Tabor among the mountains) Tabor and Carmel were two of the most considerable mountains in the land of Israel. Carmel formed the principal headland all along the sea-coast. Nebuchad. nezzar is compared to these, on account of his superiority over all others.

19. Get ready thy equipage for removing] I conceive is to mean either the carriages, or the trunks and boxes that held the things that were to be removed. See Ezek. xii. 3.

Ibid. --O inhabiting daughter of Egypt] There seems to be a designed Antithesis between nawi,“ inhabiting," and the act of migration which was to follow.

20.---of a beautiful countenance] 1793 17 are two words, and seem to answer the Latin words, Os formosa.

Ibid.--A breeze---] The Hebrew verb pop, as the Arabic tesó,

signifies to pinch or bite, like one of those stinging flies, which infest the cattle. Hence we find 77.37p used in Chaldee for a fly of the larger kind.

It is probable some allusion must here be designed to the Egyptian traditions concerning Isis, on which the Grecian Mythologists founded their story of Io. Ovid, Metam. Lib. 1,

Ibid..--is coming against her---] For the second x2 seventy three MSS. and two Editions read 172, as do all the ancient versions. One MS. reads 7782 ; and in nine others the x is upon a rasure.

21.---like bullocks of the stall] That is, pampered and high fed, so that from them might have been expected the most spirited exertions.

Ibid.---together---] For 977 thirty six MSS. and one Edition read


22. Her voice shall proceed like that of an enchanter] “That is, her (Egypt's) voice shall be low and inarticulate through fear.---This passage seems to be an imitation of Isa. xxix. 4. where we find the same threat denounced against Jerusalem, viz. thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground---The cause which is assigned is the same in both places, the irresistible attack of powerful enemies.” Dr DURELL.

The pertinency of the above illustration needs, no other comment than to refer to Bp. Lowth's Note on Isai. xxix. 4.

Ibid. When they shall advance] No subject is here expressed, but it is clear enough from the context who are intended; especially if the following verbs 182 and inna be rendered, as I'am persuaded they should be, in the imperative. The Syr. so renders the latter of these verbs. For the persons, whose coming was to occasion Egypt to lower her tone to such a degree, must be those, to whom JEHOVAH gave

the command to go against her, and cut down her forest; that is, the Chaldeans. By “ her forest" may be understood either her people, or her cities; both of which were very numerous ; the latter amounting to no less than one thousand and twenty in those times ; as Grotius reckons.

25.--Ammon of No-] This is a literal translation of Nonax, and we need seek for no other. Ammon was the name by which the Egyptians called Jupiter ; who had a famous temple at Thebes, and was worshipped there in a distinguished manner; on which account the city was called Diospolis ; and by this name the LXX. have rendered N, Ezek. xxx. 14, 16. If No therefore be Thebes, or Diospolis, then “ Ammon of No" signifies the Deity of the place, the Theban Jupiter, as Herodotus styles him, Lib. ii. Cap. 42. As on the other hand, 1798 N), Nahum iii. 8. should be rendered “ No of Ammon," which exactly corresponds with the Greek Διοσπολις. . But

different from these is the term, N3 77977 nx, used Ezek. xxx. 15. which indeed signifies the multitude,” or numerous inhabitants, “ of No;" although from the similitude of 78x and 777277 our Translators, and others besides them, have confounded them together, and have rendered non 7922x," the multitude of No,” and ONN,“ populous No," or * No of multitude.”—Some have supposed No to mean Alexandria, the great emporium of Egypt; and the Chaldee and Vulgate have rendered accordingly. But Alexandria was not built at the time when Jeremiah prophesied : and it does not appear that there had been before any considerable city at least standing upon the spot, which the founder made the object of his choice.


When an idolatrous nation is doomed to destruction, God is said to execute vengeance upon the idols of the country ; See Ch. xliii. 12, 13. Accordingly Ammon of No, the principal Deity, and Pharaoh, the principal man, among the Egyptians, are marked out in the first place as the primary objects of divine visitation; then follow in the gross E. gypt with all her gods, and all her kings; which latter term is explained to include both Pharaoh himself, and those subordinate rulers, wha, were dependant upon him for the rank and authority they held.

26.-after this shall it be inhabited] At the end of forty years E. gypt was to begin to recover itself, as Ezekiel foretells, Ch. xxix. 13.

27, 29.] These two verses are almost the same as Ch. xxx. 10, 11. See the Notes on the latter of those verses.


1.-CONCERNING THE PHILISTINES] Among the other nations who were doomed to suffer by the hostilities of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Philistines are enumerated Ch. xxv. 20. and the calami. ties foretold in this present Chapter most probably befel them during the long siege of Tyre, when Nebuchadnezzar ravaged their country, in order, as it is said ver. 4. to cut off from Tyre and Sidon all chance of assistance from that quarter. But as no history, sacred or profane, has, to my knowledge, mentioned the taking of Gaza by the king of Egypt; there is no means of

ascertaining the precise date of the delivery of this prophecy. Some have supposed the Pharaoh here spoken of ta be Pharaoh-Necho, and that he subdued Gaza after the battle of Megiddo, 2 Kings xxiii. 29. when the whole country round submitted to his victorious arms. Others have thought, that it was Pharaoh-Hophra, who having marched out of Egypt to the relief of Jerusalem, when besieged by the Chaldeans, in the ninth or tenth year of Zedekiah, thought proper to retire again on the approach of the enemy towards him ; Ch. xxxvii. 5, 7. but on his return fell upon Gaza, and pillaged it. All this however is no better than mere conjecture; and it seems at least as probable, that this event happened about the fourth year of Zedekiah, when we find the kings of the neighbouring nations of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon, meditating a revolt against the king of Babylon, and sending their ambassadors to Zedekiah to engage him in their confederacy; Ch. xxvii. Now this, I think, they would scarcely have been hardy enough to undertake, had they not thought themselves sure of support from the king of Egypt; who perhaps at this very time, having war in view, may have begun his operations by surprizing the strong city of Gaza, which from its situation must have greatly annoyed Egypt, had it been in the hands of an enemy. Admit this, and it will not only furnish the date of this prophecy, but will afford a reasonable ground to presume, that about the same time were delivered both the latter prophecy in the preceding Chapter concerning Egypt, and also those in the two following Chapters concerning the several nations therein specified, none of which, excepting that concerning Elam, have any dates annexed to them. Against this it may perhaps be alleged, that these prephecies are all alluded to Ch. xxv. 13, where we read, “ all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah “ hath prophesied concerning the nations." Igrant the allusion, but without allowing the inference, that therefore these prophecies must have been in being before the prophecy contained in that Chapher, which is dated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. For indeed if that inference were allowed, it would equally tend to antedate the prophecies concerning Elam, and concerning Babylon itself, which are equally alluded to with the rest, but are expressly assigned to the fourth year of Zedekiah. But the truth seems to be, that the words above cited from Ch. xxv. 13. were not originally a part of the prophecy there, as it was first spoken by Jeremiah ; it being pretiy generally agreed, that Jeremiah's prophecies were not compiled together into a book till some time after their first publication. This compilation may not have taken place till after the taking of Jerusalem, for all that we know, whether made by Jeremiah himself, or by some other under his direction; and therefore, if not certainly made before the time in which these prophecies are supposed to have been delivered, no argument can be drawn against the supposition from the words above cited, which could not have been in, serted until the time of such compilation, as before that time they could not be said to be written altogether in a book.

3. At the noise of the galloping of the hoofs of his steeds] huyu occurs no where else in the Hebrew. The LXX. render it


the Syr. and Chald. by words that respectively denote a progressive motion. But Grotius seems to have expressed it most happily, who has rendered noyu 5pm, a quadrupedante sono : having in view, no doubt, that line of Virgil. Æn. viii. 596.

Quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum. We may therefore render it, " At the galloping sound," or " at the sound of the galloping”...The Syriac verb wyv signifies to swim in water, and to fly in air; and may with equal propriety be applied to the galloping motion of a horse, performed by a similar action of his feet upon the ground.

Ibid. At the rattling of the multitude of his wheels, as he drovę along] The Syr. Vulg. and the Alexandrian Edition of the LXX. together with MS. Pachom. render as if they had read 7772771; but the conjunction appears not in any

of the collated MSS. or Editions. For my part, I consider 27 as the infinitive mood expressing the act of riding, or driving along ; so that 13272may signify in equitatione, vel aurigatione ejus, or in equilando, vel aurigando eo, “ in his driving along." This being so, 710 17 may either be governed of 375, or of

. Ibid.- for slackness of hands] 0971079---This implies a dissolopom


tion or relaxation of bodily vigour from the impression made by fear on the mind, so as to incapacitate a person from exerting his strength to any efficacious purpose.

4. The remnant of the country of Caphtor] The Caphtorim, as well as the Philistim, are said to have been descended from Mizraim, the father of the Egyptians ; Gen. x. 14. Whether these Caphtorim were settled at first in Cappadocia, as some of the ancients have thought; or in the island of Crete, according to others; or whether they migrated immediately from some parts of Egypt, where they were straitened for room ; which considering the place they removed to, seems rather more probable; certain it is, that they expelled the Avim from that part of Philistia, which is contiguous to Gaza, and fixed themselves there ; Deut. ii. 23. on which account the country was afterwards called the country of Caphtor. For the signification of N, see Note on Ch.ü. 10. " The remnant of the country of Caphtor" is therefore to be understood of the few that remained out of a great number, that formerly dwelt in that part of Philistia.

5. Ashkelon is put to silence] As shaving off of the hair, and cutting of the flesh have been before observed to be marks of grief and mourning, Ch. xvi. 6.; so silence is likewise expressive of great affliction. Thus Job's friends are said to have sat with him seven days and seven nights upon the ground without addressing a word to him, because they saw his grief was very great, Job ii. 13. And so haza is to be understood Isa. xv. 1. of Moab's being made speechless with grief and astonishment the night that her cities were spoiled. See Ch. xlviii. 2.

Ibid. -- thou remnant of their valley] Instead of valley," the LXX. appear to have read o'pay, “ of the Anakims." And this reading may be thought to derive some countenance from what is said, Josh. xi. 22. 66 There was none of the Anakims left in " the land of the children of Israel ; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in “ Ashdod, there remained.” But we shall see reason to prefer the present reading of the text, if we consider the situation of Gaza and Ash. kelon, about twelve miles distant from each other, near the sea, in a valley, of whose beauty and fertilily an accurate Traveller has given the following description. “We past this day through the most preg“ nant and pleasant valley that ever eye beheld. On the right hand a “ ridge of high mountains, (whereon stands Hebron) on the left hand " the Mediterranean sea ; bordered with continued hills, beset with va“ riety of fruits. --The champion between about twenty miles over, full " of flowery hills ascending leisurely, and not much surmounting their “ ranker vallies; with groves of olives, and other fruits, dispersedly " adorned.” Sandys's Travels, Book iii. p. 150. The author adds, that in his time " this wealthy bottom (as are all the rest,) was for the most

part uninhabited, but only for a few small and contemptible villages.? A state of desolation' owing to the oppressions of a barbarous and illadvised government. But we may easily conceive the populousness that must have prevailed there in its better days, especially if we consi..


6 their

« PreviousContinue »