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own country Compare both these instances with those that follow in the next verse, and it will be seen how exactly they correspond, taken in the same order respectively.

15. And paths of ancient use have caused them to stumble] This translation must be right, if the text be right; for there is no other subject for w, or, as it is written at large in twenty one MSS.

And if we were to read .שבילי but ויכשילום,and four editions

bwa, according to MS. Bodl. No. 1. it should seem necessary to read also bawa, which however is not to be found in any collated MS. or edition, although somewhat countenanced by the Syr. and Vulgate. In this latter case we should render, " And they have stumbled in their ways at paths of ancient use, or standing." But the same, or nearly the same, sense will be found to result from the text as it stands at present. For whatever it be that creates such a disgust and prejudice, as to divert any one from pursuing a course he was engaged in, is said to cause him to stumble, or to prove a stumbling block in his way. By hip are meant those good old paths (Ch. vi. 16.) or lines of duty, which were marked out to the people by the divine law. But these, it seems, disgusted them, or "caused them to stumble as they went along ;" they therefore quitted those paths, and chose rather to walk in others less commodious and salutary, "paths of a road not thrown up," the paths of an idolatrous ritual, not prescribed or made for their use.

17. Like an east wind] All the ancient versions agree in present reading of the text. But the ancient Bodleian MS. No. 1. and twelve more, perhaps fourteen, read 172, "with an east wind." The east wind, being dry and blasting, is commonly used to express the severity of God's judgments. See Isa. xxvii. 8. Hos. xiii. 15.

the ברוח

18. Come and let us devise measures, &c.] The people, to whom Jeremiah had delivered his message from God, seem to have been incensed against him on much the same ground, as the Jews in aftertimes were against our Saviour and his apostles. They had persuaded themselves, that God had intended for them a perpetual establishment; and would accordingly provide them with a constant succession of men in all departments to preserve and maintain the general welfare; namely, priests to direct in all matters of law and religion; wise statesmen to manage their civil concerns; and prophets to make known to them the immediate will of God on all important and extraordinary, occasions. Upon this presumption they inferred that Jeremiah, who foretold the contrary, was a false prophet, and as such they determined to punish


Ibid. let us smite him on the tongue] Oar English translators have rendered, “let us smite him with the tongue;" which commentators understand to mean, "let us bring an accusation against him." The Chaldee Paraphrast explains it," let us bear false witness against him." In the margin of our Bibles we find "for the tongue ;" which may signify, "let us punish him for his malignant speeches." But I rather think we should render, "let us smite him on the tongue," that is, on

the offending part; alluding to a very significant mode of inflicting punishment, by directing it to that particular member of the body, which had the most immediate share in the offence, although here it may possibly carry this general import only, "let us punish him so as effectually to silence him."

20. Shall evil be rendered for good] Literally, "Shall one render

,הישלם being feminine cannot be the subject of ועה evil-for

which is used indefinitely.

21. And drain them---] The LXX. here render, adgolvov autous as χώρας μαχαιρας, and the other ancient versions seem rather to favour But our English translators have derived it from 723, to flow or run away like water; and I think more properly; although they have supplied unnecessarily, as it should seem, both here and Ezek. xxxv, 5. the word blood. For an, or, as it is found in seven MSS. and two Editions, 2. and in one MS. without the conjunction, signifies "drain them," or "causé them to melt and flow away" like water. See Ps. lviii. 8.

גור from הגום the derivation of

The same phrase occurs Ps. lxiii. 11. 2977 1979 by; which I cite in order to suggest an emendation which seems necessary. In our English translation now in use it is rendered, "they shall fall by the sword;" and correspondently in the LXX. Syr. and Vulg. Пagadenver8061 e15 Zergas goue pases, Tradentur in manus gladii. But how i can have this passive sense, does not appear. On the other hand, in the margin of our present Bibles it is rendered, "They shall make him run out like water by the hands of the sword;" in the ancient version, "They shall cast him down with the edge of the sword ;" and in the Chald. Paraphrase, "They shall fear him because of the stroke of the sword." In all which the difficulty will be to find the antecedent of the affix 7, HIM. But it seems evident to me, that the word has suffered a corruption by the transposition of the two last letters, and that we should read 11729; and then the sense of the verse will not only be clear in itself, but per fectly correspond with the preceding one, thus ;

10 But these with a view to destruction seek my life;
Let them go into the lower parts of the earth:

11 They drain it off by means of the sword;

Let them be a portion for foxes.

Ibid. Let their women---] The LXX. Syr. and Vulg. here omit the copulative before, and I should from analogy guess them to be right. On the other hand at the beginning of the last hemistich of this verse the LXX. together with one MS. add the conjunction before 12; but this I think less probable.

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Ibid.---killed by pestilence] ---Among the judgments enumerated Ch. xv. 2. n, it was there observed, signified "the pestilence," or some epidemical disease that was mortal. be the case here.

The same must

23. But let them be overthrown---] For twenty seven, perhaps twenty eight, MSS. and five editions, read with the Masora, 7").--Two MSS. for nya read ny. The sense in both cases is nearly the

same; but the ancient versions confirm the present reading of the



UNDER the type of breaking a potter's vessel, Jeremiah in the presence of the elders, of the priests and people foresheweth the ruin and desolation of Judah and Jerusalem for their sins; v. 1---13. and repeateth the like denunciations in the court of the temple; v. 14, 15. for which being beaten and imprisoned by Pashur, captain of the temple, on his release he pronounceth a terrible sentence against Pashur and his friends, foretelling their being carried away captives with all Judah unto Babylon, where Pashur and all that belonged to him should die in exile; Ch. xx. 1---6. Jeremiah complaineth of the mockery of his enemies, and their malicious attempts to hurt him; but professeth his trust that God would still defeat their purposes, and,avenge his wrongs; and celebrateth his deliverance with a song of praise, v. 7.-13. He bitterly lamenteth his being born to a life of so much sorrow and uneasiness; v. 14. to the end.

1.---unto me] Six MSS. and two Editions read, "unto me," agreeably to the LXX. and Syr. Versions. Another MS. has in the margin.

Ibid.-- and some of the elders, &c.] The LXX. Syr. and Chald. here supply a verb answering to the verb "take," which is found in our English version. But I apprehend there is an ellipsis of the words 15, which are virtually contained in the preceding verb 71;"Go thou, and let some of the elders, &c. go with thee." See

ver. 10.

2.-which lies before the gate Harsith] The Masoretes with fifteen MSS. and three Editions read nain for ho, and this reading of the last syllable is also confirmed by the LXX. Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, and the Syr. who all have rendered the word as a proper name; the first Xago, the other three Greek translators Ago, and the Syr. by an evident mistake of for 1, . Our English translators with some other interpreters have supposed this to be "the East gate," called, Neh. iii. 29. and that is of the same import from on the sun, the gate being opposite to the sun at its rising. But though pn signifies the sun, I see no reason for determining it to be the rising sun, and consequently for interpreting the adjective eastern. But what more directly contradicts this is, that the valley of the son of Hinnom was not on the east, but on the south side of Jerusalem; as I think may be concluded from Josh. xv. 8. but is expressly affirmed by an ingenious traveller, who viewed the place on the spot, and whose words are "On the cast is mount Olivet, separated by the valley of Jehosaphat (which also circleth a part of the north) on the south the mountain of offence, interposed with the valley of Gehinnon." Sandys's Travels, Book iii. p. 155. It seems far more probable, that is derived from win, a potsherd, which being written with a Sin, is in sound the same as , and the letters are often inter

S s

changeably used for each other. In Chaldee it is written ; and the Vulgate here renders fictilis. This favours the supposition of Grotius, that the gate was so called, because the potters threw out of it their broken pieces; only he seems to be mistaken in placing it near the temple. The Chaldee Paraphrast interprets it "the dung gate;" and it is most likely to have been the same with that which is so called, Neh. iii. 13, 14. because, besides the rubbish of broken pots, all the filth of the city was carried through it, and laid in the valley of Hinnom, after Josiah had defiled it; for which reason also the valley itself seems to have been named, "The valley of dead bodies and of ashes," Ch. xxxi. 40, or, as it is expressed more fully in the Syriac, "The valley into which they cast dung and ashes." In further confirmation of this it may be observed, that the dung gate is found exactly in the quarter, in which I have before proved the gate to be situated, which was in front of the valley of the son of Hinnom. For when Nehemiah dedicated the walls of Jerusalem, he appointed the people in two companies to go round in procession; one company to the right, or south, the other to the left, or north, so as both to come in by the east to the temple. The procession therefore beginning ́from the west, the first gate that presented itself to the party that came round by the south, was the dung gate; which consequently was on the south side, nearest the west; as the valley of the son of Hinnom also appears to have been. See Neh. xii. 31.-However till the affair has been decided by better judgments, I have thought best to follow the prudent caution of those, who have interpreted as a proper name.

4.- they have deserted me] For 2 twenty seven, perhaps twenty eight, MSS. and two editions, read 27. Ibid.- of innocents] The Masora reads

pɔ, and has the concur rence of forty two, perhaps forty three, MSS. and six editions.

5.-which I enjoined not, &c.] See note on Ch. vii. 31.

7. And I will defeat the counsel of Judah, &c.] It is probable that some signal check was given the Jews in this quarter by the Chaldeans during the siege of Jerusalem.

8.-of hissing-] Hissing seems to mean here an inarticulate sound, expressing not so much contempt, as astonishment mixed with horror. See Ch. xviii. 16. &c. &c.

9. And I will cause them to eat the flesh, &c.] See the like threatened Lev. xxvi. 29. Deut. xxviii. 53. Ezek. v. 10. and spoken of as accomplished, Lam. iv. 10.

11.-as he breaketh] That is, as Jeremiah breaketh; the words being spoken by JEHOVAH.

thirty one

; and the final is upon a ra

Ibid.-which cannot be make whole again] For

MSS., and three Editions read

sure in five other MSS.

Ibid.--and men shall bury in Topheth] These words are omitted by the LXX; but are found in the parallel passage, Ch. vii. 32.

12.-like Topheth] That is, either "a place of slaughter," as ver. 6. or "defiled," as it follows in the next verse.

15.---I am about to bring---] The Masora with twenty five, perhaps twenty seven, MSS. and three Editions, for '2n read 2.

Ibid.--and upon all the cities belonging to it] ----All the cities of Judah and Benjamin are meant, which acknowledged Jerusalem for their metropolis, and were subordinate to her.


1.---commanding officer] Three MSS. read with the Syr.


p. But the text seems to need no alteration. The case was probably this. The priests, as we learn from 1 Chron. xxiv. were distributed by David into twenty four courses under as many heads of families, each of which courses officiated by turns in the temple service. The heads of each course or family are said ver. 5. to be " governors of the sanctuary," and (according to our present translation) governors of the house of God;" but of the house is not expressed in the Hebrew; therefore w may more properly be rendered, " principal" or "chief of the judges or magistrates;" according to a well known signification of . The meaning then will be, that these heads of the courses had not only the chief ordering of the holy things, or of the service of the sanctuary, but were invested also with authority and power at least within the precincts of the temple, to maintain peace and good order there. These persons I look upon to be the same with those, who in the New Testament are stiled 48x128452 "chief priests," being next in dignity and power to the high priest, The course of Immer was the sixteenth in order, and Pashur, it seems, was the head of it; so that if the course of Immer was at that time upon duty, Pashur was at the same time the acting ruler or commander in the temple,

:im נגיד ; פקיד נגיד And this I conceive to be implied in the words


plying his authority or command, and 7p, that he was then in the exercise of it; and by virtue of that authority he took upon him to punish Jeremiah as a disturber of the peace. I have given this officer or magistrate the military title of "commanding officer," because it was usual to consider the temple as a kind of garrison held by priests and Levites under military subordination. And for this reason, no doubt, we find him called by the name of ερατηγος τε ιερό, captain of the temple," Acts iv. 1. v. 24, 26. In Luke xxii. 52. 66 captains," seryos, spoken of in the plural number; which may perhaps be thus accounted for. As on the great festivals not only the priests of the ordinary course, but the whole body of priests, were called upon to assist in the sacrifices; so on account of the multitudes that flocked to the temple at these times, the guards were also necessarily doubled, and of course a greater number of sparny, "captains," were on constant duty; and if not all these, came to assist in apprehending Jesus, as on many, service, which might be esteemed hazardous on account of the number of his disciples.



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