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place, where upon the first coming of the Israelites into Canaan the tabernacle, in which was the ark of God's presence, was set up, by divine appointment no doubt; and there it continued for a long space of time until the days of Samuel. It was during this residence, that the Israelites received that signal defeat from the Philistines, when the ark of God was taken, as related 1 Sam. iv. 10, 11. the pathetic description of which disaster made by the Psalmist, Ps. lxxviii. 60---64. has caused it to be generally believed, that an allusion to it was likewise designed upon this occasion. But a due consideration of the context will, I think, lead us rather to conclude in favour of a inore recent event, the vestiges
of which were still fresh to be seen. Shiloh was in the tribe of Ephraim, and this place, once so favoured and sanctified by God's particular residence, had shared the fate of the rest of the kingdom of Israel, and was become a scene of misery and ruin. This they might literally “ go and see” al present ; and this, says God, “ have I done because of the wickedness of my people Israel." In which words Israel, meaning the ten tribes, is acknowledged to have been God's people no less than Judah ; and Shiloh, it is observed, had once enjoyed the same privileges, which now belonged to the temple at Jerusalem. But as God spared not Shiloh, but made it the victim of his wrath ; so he says
he would do to Jerusalem and her temple; and would cast off Judah for their wickedness from being his people, in like manner as he had already cast off their brethren, whom he distinguishes by the name of the child ren of Ephraim.
15.---all your brethren] The LXX. have omitted so before 0177x, and it is also omitted in one MS. of good note. But all the other ancient versions, and the rest of the collated MSS. retain it.. 18.---for the
regency of the heavens] Our translators here render Dawn nahny" for the queen of heaven," after the Vulgate; by which no doubt they meant the moon; but the other versions render, " the host of heaven," or something to that effect, including at least all the principal of the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and planets. And this sense may, I think, in some sort be applied to nazn or 7935, supposing it to stand by a common metonymy, the office for those that bear it. For it is a term nearly synonymous to mbwnn which signifies douninion, rule, or superiority of some kind ; and this latter word is fused concerning the chief luminaries in the heavens, which God is said to have made nswong to" rule” or “ preside” there by day and by night. Gen. i. 16. Ps. cxxxvi. 8, 9. So that nobras may not improper. ly be rendered “the regency" or hierarchy of the heavens. --But it must be noticed also, that nineteen MSS. some of which are of the greatest antiquity, and perhaps two more, together with two Editions, one of which is the first printed Bible, the other the celebrated Complutensian, read nax05; and as a properly signifies a delegated agent,
a very same heavenly bodies, which under the divine commission perform certain stated functions in the heavens. And this sense would perfectly correspond with the term frequently used to denote the sun, moon,
may by a like metonymy as before denote the מלאכת or מלאנה
,הוצאי and two which read ,הוציא
and stars, namely, “ the host of heaven,” because they move regularly in their respective spheres, as a marshalled army, punctually obeying the orders of their almighty sovereign and commander. See Ch. xliv. 119.
21. Add your burntofferings, &c.]. The import of these words is plainly this; that they were left at full liberty to take both their burntofferings and their sacrifices, that is, the beasts designed for those purposes, and to eat their flesh as common food; for that God did not desire to have any thing to do with them.
22.-I brought them out-] The Masora here reads 98117, which is extremely proper ; ninety five MSS. and five Editions confirm this reading, besides four MSS. which have a letter erased at the end of
, . Ibid. - for the sake of burntoffering] 737-57 and 1727-3y signify “ for the sake" of any thing, or out of regard to it; as by of itself has the force of the Latin preposition, propter. And hence the true sense of this passage may fairly be deduced. For God certainly did speak unto the people when he brought them out of Egypt, and gave them many positive ordinances concerning burntoffering and sacrifices. But it is as certain, that God did not command these things purely on their own account, but as a means to some other more valuable end. Moral goodness and religious obedience were the scope he aimed at the supreme object of his desire and delight. And in this light the words may be understood positively (and not in a comparative sense, as is generally supposed) not only here, but elsewhere, as Ps.li. 16. - Thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it ; thou delightest not in burntoffering." And again, Hos. vi. 6. “ I desired mercy, and not sacrifice." And i Sam. xv. 22. “ Hath JEHOVAH delight in burntofferings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of JEHOVAH ?" The latter is the immediate object of his satisfaction, and gives him real pleasure ; the former he esteems not, nor regards in the least, for their own sake, but so far only as they are instances of religious faith and obedience.
24. And drew backward -] The Metaphor is taken from refrac tory oxen, which, when put to the yoke, pull back their necks, and will not draw as they are directed. See Hos, iv. 16.
25.- Even unto this day] The LXX. and Syr. prefix the conjunction, before 70 ; and six MSS. also read 799.
26. But they have not hearkened unto me] All the MSS. read 158, and the ancient versions agree in it; for which reason I make no alteration. But I cannot help suggesting that on these may not improbably have been the original and true reading ; some such word being wanting to distinguish the generation of which the prophet was speak. ing from their fathers ; in which case we might render,
But neither have these hearkened,
Nor inclined, &c. 29. Shave off thy Nazarite locks, and cast them away] 7777 literally signifies no more than “thy separation,” or “thy Nazariteship ;" but is here put for the hair of the head, which was the sign of that state
.in three MSS השליכו for which last word we actually ind ;חשליכי
of separation. For a Nazarite was one who by a special vow had separated himself, or set himself apart for a time from all worldly connexions, to attend upon the service of God only; Numb. vi. 2. Under these circumstances he was to let the hair of his head grow, ver. 5. and when the days of his vow were fulfilled, he was then to shave his head at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, ver. 18. in a solemn and public manner, to notify that he was no longer in his former state of separation. But the shaving of the head was also, as we frequently find, a concomitant sign of great mourning and asfiction. See Bp. Lowth's note on Isa. XV. 2. and also Ch. xvi. 6. xlviii. 37. Job i. 20. Both these customs are probably alluded to in the passage before us. But the question, is to whom these words are addressed. The verbs wa, gilywo, and , are all feminine ; but there is not a feminine subject expressed throughout the whole chapter, to which they can be applied; nor any ground of authority, that I can find, for supplying, “O Jerusalem," as our Translators with some others have done. Houbigant therefore conjectures that for a and 'xw we should read 713 or ia, and xw; and 1905 wrt, "cast it away," with the affix, instead of
; . Admitting these emendations, which the text seems absolutely to require, the words may then be considered as a call to mourning addressed to the prophet himself, who was a Nazarite in virtue of his office, and most pathetically complied with the tenor of the command; or, which I am rather inclined to think, they are a continuation of the divine message, which the prophet was in the preceding verse directed to de. liver to the Jewish nation ; a nation notorious for their disobedience to the voice of God; and therefore enjoined to regard themselves no longer as his peculiar people, but to lament grievously, as they had reason, the unhappy change they were about to experience in his entire re jection of them.
Ibid.--the open plains] DDW-See Note on Ch. iv. 11. Perhaps the waste country may be here alluded to, through which the Jews had to pass in their journeying to the place of their captivity, after God had cast them off. Compare Ch. ii. 21.
Ibid. --his people] One MS. expresses 19 nx, and another 191 after 771091.
The parallelism of the hemistichs affords an argument in favour of this reading. See Bp. Lowth's Preliminary Dissert. p. xxxvii. &c.
Ibid.- the generation of his wrath.} This is easily understood to sig. nify a race of men obnoxious to God's wrath; in the same sense the apostle speaks of “ the children of wrath.” Eph. ï. 3.
30.-have set their abominations in the house] This has reference to what was done by Manasseh; 2 Kings xxii. 4,5,7. xxii. 4. and coinpare
Ch. xxii. ll. xxxi. 34. 31.- the high places of Topheth---] The valley of Hinnom, or of the son of Hinnom, was near Jerusalem, and was the scene of those horrid' sacrifices, which the Israelites in imitation of their idolatrous neighbours made of their children to Moloch. Topheth was the particular spot in the valley, where the fires were made, into which the poor innocent victims were thrown ; and is supposed to have derived its name from the drums and tabrets, that were beaten in order to drown the childrens cries. The high places, nina, were in all probability artificial mounts or tumuli, thrown up about the place for the purpose of performing some of the rites, with which these sacrifies were accompanied ; or from which the persons assembled might command a view of the dreadful spectacle.
Ibid. --which I commanded not, nor was it acceptable unto me) God shews a particular solicitude to vindicate himself and his religion from having any thing to do, either by way of command or goodliking, with a worship so cruel, and so shocking to all our ideas of divine goodness and benevolence. No such thing, he says, was to be found among
the ordinances which he had prescribed, nor was it what he could find in his heart to accept ; literally," it came not over his heart ;'' or gained no admission there. See note on Ch. iii. 16. Indeed this was speaking by a figure which implies more than is expressed; for he had strictly prohibited any such practices in his code of laws, and expressed the utmost abhorrence and detestation of them. “ Thou shalt not do so unto JEHOVAH thy God; for every abomination to JEHOVAH, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods.” Deut. xii. 31.
1-3. These three first verses ought not to have been separated from those of the preceding Chapter.
1.-shall they cast forth] 1X¥¥*- The Masoretes properly reject the initial ). Nineteen MSS. with the first printed Bible, and the margin of another old Edition, read also 1839. Twenty MSS. read 78984, which appears to be a transposition of the two first letters. Two MSS. read 18184.
We learn from Josephus (Ant. Lib. vii. Cap. ult.) that king So. lomon laid up vast treasures in his father's sepulchre, which remained untouched till the pontificate of Hyrcanus, who on a public emergency opened one of the cells, and took out at once three thousand talents of silver, And afterwards Herod the great opened another, cell, out of which he also took considerable wealth. Whether the Chaldeans had any notion of this particular deposit, or whether they were templed by a prevailing custom of burying valuable things together with the bodies of the deceased, doth not appear. But it is here foretold, that at the taking of Jerusalem the lawless soldiery should break open the monuments of the great, and scatter the bones abroad, without concerning themselves to cover them again. And that this was no uncommon practice at the sacking of cities, may be learned from Horace, Epod. xvi. 13.
Quæque carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini,
3. Those that are left-] 018297~This word I consider as standing in opposition to the preceding word, myxwn, and exegetic of it ; and not governed by it in the genitive case, as represented in our English version, " the residue of those that are left,” which is a mere tautology,
66 the remainder of those that remain.” 0178w3n7 appears a second time in the text after 77927an; but it is omitted in the Bodleian MS. No. 1, and in the LXX. and Syr. versions. In the Vulgate it is likewise expressed but once ; but the omission is there in the first instance.
4.] In that part of the prophecy which follow's next the difference of speakers requires to be attended to; the transitions being quick and sudden, but full of life and energy. The prophet at first in the name of God reproves the people's incorrigibility; he charges their wise ones with folly, and threatens them with grievous calamities ; v. 4—13. In the three next verses he seems to apostrophize his countrymen in his own person, and as one of the people that dwelt in the open towns, advising those that were in the like situation to retire with him into some of the fortified cities, and there wait the event with patience; since there was nothing but terror abroad, and the noise of the enemy, who had already begun to ravage the country, v. 14.--- 16. God speaks v. 17. and threatens to bring foes against them that should be irresistible. The prophet appears again in his own person, commiserating the daughter of his people, who is heard bewailing her forlorn case in a distant land ; whilst the voice of God, like that of conscience, breaks in upon her complaints, and shews her that all this ruin is brought upon her by her own infidelities ; v. 18.--20. The prophet once more resumes his discourse ; he
regrets that no remedy can be found to close up the wounds of his country, and pathetically weeps over the number of her slain ; v. 21.---Ch.ix. 1.
4. Shall they that fall not rise again?] The verbs in this verse, both plural and singular, are used indefinitely, having no determinate subject. The meaning of this verse taken in connexion with the two next seems to be, that since reformation and amendment were not things in their own nature impossible, the people were inexcuseable in persist. ing in their revolt, without shewing the least disposition to return to their allegiance ; whilst God on his part was ready to have received them on their repentance.
] ; so do nineteen MSS. with the oldest edition of the whole Bible, and another in the margin. Eight read on. On the other hand three MSS. and the first printed copy of the prophetical books read But read whichever we will, the word, I am persuaded,
, ; aw na we should read awr , and render, “ Every one that turneth away is at the top of his speed,” or “runneth on full speed,” in cursu suo absolutus est. See instances of two words improperly united, ver. 18. and Ch. vi. 29.
7.--and the crane] Fourteen MSS. and five Editions read with the Masora d'Dr. See Bp. Lowth's note on Isa, xxxviii, 14.
; במרוצתס the Masoretes read במוצותס on full speed
.במרוצותם and for ; במרוץ תם or ,במרוצו תם ,ought to be divided into two