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to pay an inferior worship to the tutelary gods of other nations, whom
15.- Behold I will feed them-] The LXX. omit
, which is certainly a redundancy in the text, and appears to have been a marginal gloss crept into it. All the other versions retain these words, but omit the affix, reading instead of . One
Ibid.-water of hemlock---] See Note on Ch. viii. 14.
So it was threatened by
17.---the mourning women] It was an ancient custom of the Hebrews at funerals and on other like occasions, to make use of hired mourners, whose profession it was to exhibit in public all the signs and gestures of immoderate and frantic grief, and by their loud outcries and doleful songs to excite and stir up a real passion of sorrow in others. Women were chiefly employed in this office; and Jerome in his comment upon this verse says, that the practice was continued in Judca down to his days. Hic enim mos usque hodie manet in Judæa; ut muliéres sparsis crinibus, nudatisque pectoribus, voce modulata omnes ad fletum excitent. And in Josephus De Bell. Jud. Lib. iii. c. 8. (Edit. Hudson) we find, that on a false report of that Historian's death, many of his friends hired musical persons, of Ignvwv ežnęxov aútóis, to take the lead in their lamentations. As it required therefore a degree of skill to discharge this office, for that reason these "mourning women," p, are also called in, “the skilful ones." Frequent allusions to this custom are to be met with in Scripture, particularly 2 Chron. XXXV. 25. where "the singing men and singing women' are said to have made it a constant rule after king Josiah's death to commemorate that excellent prince in all their future dirges or lamentations, as one in whom the public in general had sustained an irreparable loss. Such also were the mourners that go about the streets," mentioned Eccles. xii. 5. and those whom Amos calls 77, "skilful of lamentation;" Amos v. 16. And such I presume were "the minstrels, and the people making a noise," oxov Joguesμerov, whom our Saviour found in the house of the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter was just dead, Matt. ix. 23. St Mark calls them "those that wept and wailed greatly." xoras και αλαλάζοντας πολλα, xxι ararαgortas xoλλa, Mar. v. 38. Nor was this practice peculiar to
the Jews. In Homer we find Hector's corpse thus attended, Iliad. N
Οι δ' έπει εισαγαγον κλυτα δώματα, τον μεν έπειτα
So likewise in the Phanissa of Euripides, ver. 1504.
Τινα δε προσωδον
Η τινα μεσοπολον ςοναχαν επί δακρυσι,
Δάκρυσιν, ω δομος δόμος, ανακαλέσομαι;
The Romans called these mourning women præfica, concerning whom we find the following lines in a fragment of Lucilius, Lib. xxii.
Mercede quæ conductæ flent alieno in funere præfica,
But Statius in Epicedio patris speaks of them as of a foreign growth.
Mygdoniosque colunt, et non sua funera plorant.
See also Lowth De Sacr. Poesi Hebr. Prælect. xxii. 19.-they have thrown down our habitations.] Our present English translation would require that we should read instead of ; and in one MS. indeed we find 12. The LXX. render anseeraus, as if they had read hwn, But the present reading of the text needs no alteration; bw being the 3d person plur. in Hiphil, used according to the Hebrew idiom indefinitely, and as it were impersonally, without a nominative expressed; so that "they have thrown down our habitations" is in effect the same as, "Our habitations are thrown down ;" in which manner the words are rendered by the Syr. Chald. and Vulgate.
21. It hath at once cut off And destroyed-] 7 signifies not only to speak, but also to destroy; See 2 Chron. xxii. 10. Taken in this latter sense, and detached from the place where it now stands at the beginning of the next verse, it connects well with this, and completes the sentence. In the present Editions of the LXX. and in the Syr. it is totally omitted; but is found in those of Aquila, Symmachus, the Chald. and Vulg. where it is rendered imperatively, "speak," or "prophesy." Theodotion however expresses it by Savere, and the Hexaplar represents the LXX. as doing the same; which is verified by the MS. Pachom. The passage may literally be translated, "In cutting off (or, Whilst it cut off) the children from the street, it hath destroyed, &c." which amounts exactly to the sense expressed in the version I have given. As the children used to play in the streets (see the note on Ch. vi. 11.) so the open areas of the towns, such as the exchange, the market places, &c. (as na have been already explained in note on Ch. v. 1.) were the customary places of resort for the young men ; but death, it is here said, entering into the houses, effectually cut off both the children and young men from their usual haunts.
22. And the carcases, &c.] At the beginning of this verse besides But these words are not to be found in the LXX; and there is good reason to believe them to be spurious; as they serve only to perplex the sense, which goes on clear and smooth without them. They seem to have been inserted first into the margin by some one, who misunderstood the sense of 127, and thought some addition necessary to introduce the words that follow. In time they found their way into the text.
,כח נאם יחוח,we read in the Hebrew text דבר
Ibid. And as the handful behind the reaper] This alludes to the manner of reaping corn in the field, where the reaper, as soon as he has cut what he can hold in his hand, lets it fall, and passes on; but is usually followed by another, who gathers what is cut, and binds it into sheaves. But here it is said, that there would be none to gather; and consequently the corn, after being cut, would lie neglected and rot on the ground which renders the simile a very apt one.
23. Nor let the rich] Forty four MSS. and seven Editions read instead of; and all the ancient versions express the conjunc tion. To glory in wisdom, might, or riches, is to depend on them as the means of procuring security and happiness.
24.-exercising lovingkindness, judgment and faithfulness] Security and happiness, if to be had at all, must come from God. They are his gift, and bestowed by him on one or other of these accounts; either as a matter of "gratuitous favour," which is the proper sense of or as a matter of right or "judgment," own; as when God in the character of a righteous judge distributeth rewards to the well deserving; or lastly, as a matter of "faithfulness," in regard to his word and promises. So often signifies; and God's salvation is also often said to be extended to his people on this very account, to fulfil the promises made to their fathers.
Ibid. For in these do I delight] x is here ambiguous, and may either denote those attributes, or those persons who place their confidence in those known or acknowledged attributes of the Deity; which is having a right faith in him. And this latter I take to be in reality intended here; but I have retained the ambiguity in the version, so that those who are of a different opinion may follow their own sense.
25.-the circumcision with the uncircumcision]
are here used as #giroun and axgodusic in the New Testament, the abstract for the concrete. See Rom. iii. 30.
26.-all those that have their coast insulated-] By this circumlocution the Arabians are generally supposed to be designed; and thus much, I think, may fairly be concluded from the connexion in which these words stand with the context in Ch. xlix. 32. But concerning the precise meaning of the words NDP, interpreters differ very greatly. Some represent them as signifying persons cut off from other people by being thrust into a remote corner; in which light the translators of our Bible appear to have considered them, when they rendered in the text, "all that are in the utmost corners ;" and in the max
gin, "cut off into corners." But all the ancient versions understand them as expressing the peculiar manner in which the Arabians cut the hair of their heads or beards. DR DURELL professes himself to have been of this opinion in a note as follows. The marginal reading and all having the corners of their hair polled, ought doubtless to be received into the text; for the Arabs, who are meant by this periphrasis, cut their hair short, particularly about the crown of the head; and in respect to their beard, they left only a tuft of hair growing about their chins; a practice which was forbidden the Jews, Lev. xix. 27. Hero. dotus, speaking of this nation, says; Tay Teixar any nugur veigrodai Pari, καταπες αυτον τον Διονυσον κεκάρθαι χειρονται δε υποτροχαλα, περίξυροντές τες xgorapus. Lib. iii. Cap. 8." DR DURELL.
But the words, I am persuaded, have a respect to the peninsular form of the country, surrounded on all sides by the sea, excepting only the isthmus to the north; and thus these people were insulated or cut off as to their coast or quarter from any other land. Horace speaks of lands thus cut off or parted by the sea; Od. Lib. I. iii. 21.
Nequicquam Deus abscidit
Prudens Oceano dissociabili
And Virgil of the insular situation of Britain. Ecl. i. 67.
Where we may observe, that the words penitus divisos mark the total separation all around; but Dp need only be understood of a partial one.
But I cannot help offering a conjecture here with respect to the words, 1272wn, that they are not exegetic, as they appear at present, of ND 'p, the inhabitants of the peninsula of Arabia properly so called; but respect a distinct people, namely, those Arabians that dwelt above in the great desart between Mesopotamia and Palestine. This distinction we find made Ch. xxv. 23, 24. and therefore I am inclined to think we ought to read wm, with the conjunction prefixed; " And those that dwell in the wilderness." See also the Notes on Ch. xlviii. 45. xlix. 28.
Ibid.---And all the house of Israel, uncircumcised in heart.] So I think these words should be pointed, in order to express the prophet's meaning, which was, that not only the heathen nations were uncircumcised, but the house of Israel also, uncircumcised, if not in flesh, at least in heart; which was the uncircumcision that rendered them obnoxious in God's sight.
THE beginning of this Chapter to the end of ver. 16. contains an earnest dissuasive against the practice of heathen idolatry, setting forth the vanity of idols in comparison with the true God. And this no doubt was designed by way of precaution to the Jews against the time
of their removal out of their own land, to dwell amongst idolaters, as is predicted ver. 17, 18. Jerusalem lamenteth the completion of her ruin; and humbly supplicateth the intervention of God's mercy; v. 19---to the end.
2.---the signs of the heavens---] The Chaldeans, among whom the Jews were destined to live in captivity, were particularly addicted to Astrology, and attributed to the heavenly bodies a considerable influence over human affairs. This naturally tended to beget a religious dread and awe of those objects, from whence so much good or evil was supposed to be derived. The sun, moon, and planets are said indeed to have been created and set in the firmament "for signs," Gen. i. 14. But hereby is meant, that they should serve as natural marks serving to distinguish by their periodical revolutions and appearances the various times and seasons; which however is a very different use from that of prognosticating future events, or causing any alteration in the fortunes of men.
3.---of him that worketh with a sharp tool.] Tv is sometimes interpreted an an ax," and sometimes "a plane." But it seems rather to be a general name for any cutting instrument, from Ty, which signifies secuit in Arabic; as Bp. Lowth observes in a note on Isai. xliv. 12. Here I suppose it to mean that tool, with which the carver shapes his block into due form, before he proceeds to decorate it with gold and silver, in order to be set up as an object of worship. Compare Isa, xl. 19, 20. xli. 7. xliv. 12, &c.
4. They fasten them, that they may not totter.] The plural affix in pin' has reference to y in the preceding verse, which though singular in form, is often plural in sense; and here "timber," or "trees," cut down and wrought into images may be properly considered as the antecedent. But for p' we must then read ip, with the LXX. Syr. and Arabic.
5. They must altogether be carried] Nine MSS. read by transposition 18w for ', besides three Editions, in which it is so found among the various readings collected in them. One MS. also reads w with the mark of a letter erased at the end; and another had at
Ibid.---for they cannot hurt] See Isa. xli. 23.
7. When he shall approach unto thee] Dr DURELL has the following note on this passage..." All the ancient versions seem to have considered the words, as an elliptical phrase, and supply a substantive, viz. honour, glory, or kingdom, except Theodotion, who very properly reads as in the Hebrew---οτι σοι ανήκεν. The phrase is indeed elliptical; but Fear is obviously understood from the preceding. words. Or ng may be a substantive, signifying submission or acquiescence, with the ellipsis of the verb substantive; which may seem more agreeable to the Hebrew idiom. I find TAYLOR proposes this sense. Dr DURELL.
It seems however to me more natural and suitable to the context to consider as the 3d pers. fut. from ns, to come or approach un