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ther than deface his MS. he may have chosen to pass it over without notice, or may have added a mark of correction in the margin, which was neglected by future Copyists. But there is still another difficulty in this chapter to be accounted for, which is, that it undeniably contains the substance of two letters written at different times, as is evident from comparing ver. 28. with ver. 4. 5, although the title at the beginning announces but one, and there is no mark of distinction to be found afterwards. The distinction however is certainly to be made at the end of ver. 20. For in the first letter the prophet èxhorts the captives to accommodate themselves to their present circumstances, under an assurance that their captivity would last to the end of seventy years; after which period and not before, God would visit and restore them. And to prevent their listening to any false suggestions that might flatter them with hopes of a speedier return, he informs them of what would happen to their brethren that were left behind at Jerusalem, for whom a harder fate was reserved than for those that had been carried away. After this, finding as it should seem, upon the return of the messengers, the little credit his first message had met with, he sends a second to the same persons denouncing the divine judgments against three of their false prophets, by whose influence chiefly the people had been prevented from hearkening to his good advice.
2.--and the princes-] Six MSS. and one Edition read 17V, and the conjunction is prefixed in all the ancient 'versions, except the Chaldce.
5.--the fruit of them-] Here instead of 7990 the true reading is probably 777'79 as at ver, 28. and it is so found in one ancient MS. of good note.
8.-your dealers in dreams, whom ye cause to dream.] As this word aingon is used for persons that dream, Ch. xxvii
. 9." it ought likewise to be taken in the same sense here. These dreamers might be said to be made, or encouraged, to dream, by the easy credit given to their impostures, and the reputation and respect they thereby acquire ed. It
may however be observed, that this verb in no where else accurs in Hiphil; and all the ancient versions have read ono onx wwx, for they render unanimously, your dreams, which ye dream.” But as for the reason above assigned I'am persuaded, that sinnst signifies not "your dreams," but “ your dreamers," so I cannot but suspect a latent corruption of the Text, and that for
, , ,
« who dream among you. It is obvious, how much better this suits with the context; “ Hearken not to your dreamers who dream among you,” being in perfect correspondency with what goes before, “ Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you nor your diviners deceive you." And as to the manner of the mistake, consider only, that if it be a mistake, it was most probably made before the final began to be in use ; in which case a transcriber might easily mistake pinx for 2nx; and that change once made, the latter » would naturally be prefixed to the following word, since no
חלמים ,the true reading originally was ,אשר אתם מחלמיס
.תדרשוני oldest Editions read at large
such word as punx could possibly be made out. This emendation however depending so much upon conjecture, I have not followed it in the version, but submit it to further consideration.
9. I have not sent them] The LXX. Syr. and Vulg. here suppose the conjunction prefixed to inny-x's; but it is not found so in any of the collated MSS.
10.-when seventy years have been completed] 'properly signifies at the mouth ; and as the mouth of a river metaphorically denotes the extremity of its course, where it discharges its waters into the sea; so by a further metaphor drawn from hence, 53 seçms to denote being at the full end of a certain period or limited course of time, where it is just going to lose itself in, and mix with the ocean of eternity.--Here therefore we are to understand that " at the very instant of, or immediately upon, the completion of seventy years," the restoration of the Jews should take place. See note on Ch. xxv. 12.
11.-to make your latter end even an object of hope] See Ch. xxsi. 17. 13.- ye shall have sought me] Twenty one MSS. and two of the
. 14.-I will reverse your captivity-] For Onaw, which is the common reading of the text in this place, the Masora substitutes oynaw, with the concurrence of twenty six MSS. and five Editions. This I take to be right; for it appears to me that raw or in regsmine n'yw, properly signifies captive persons, but nyaw, the state and condition of captivity; and that nowy miaw is to be rendered, " And I will reverse, alter, or put an end to captivity; the same divine providence which first brought such a state upon a people, causing it to go away again, or return from them. But it is not easy to discover upon what principle the Masoretes proceeded, when having here
, , . . , . . although the reason of the case seems'exactly alike in all; and what is more singular still, having first changed ynnisw into yanaw, Ezek. xvi. 53. in the very same verse, and where there can be no doubt but that the very same thing is intended, they have twice changed the text
; instead of gnaw na wy, where notwithstanding it appears both from the sense of the passage, and the concurrent testimony of all the ancient versions, that neither the one nor the other is right, but that the truc
, . 16. But thus hath JEHOVAH spoken---] Though 's is here rendered But, it properly signifies For, as assigning a second reason for not crediting the false prophets, who, aş it should seem, had promised the çaptives not only a speedy return, but a peaceful re-establishment in their
In confutation of the latter part, the people are shown the many and grievous calamities, which would fall upon their brethren that were left there. And hence in the conclusion the prophet detives a fresh argument to those of the captivity for composing them
שבותנו they contrariwise altered ,שבותנט into שביתנס changed
.7 .Zeph . i ,שביתם into שבותס Ps
. cxxvi . 4. and again ,שביתנו into
ושבות שביתיך and have moreover substituted ; שבות into שבית from
,ושבתי שבותן ,reading must have been
הספר ירמיה הנביא אשר שלח שנית מירושלס במלח ואלת
selves to that quietness and patience which he had recommended, considering the comparatively easier lot which Providence had assigned to them.
Ibid.---upon the throne --] For x sixteen MSS. and two Editions read more properly 3y. In four more MSS. x is upon a rasure.
17.---and the famine...] Twenty two MSS. and three Editions read 397 n8; and the Syr. Chald. and Vulg. also prefix the conjunction.
18.--and with famine---] Here also thirteen MSS. perhaps fifteen, and one Edition read 29729, with the Syr. Chald. Vulg. and Theodotion.
Ibid.---to vexation---] See Note on Ch. xv. 4. 19.---even as ye have not hearkened.--) See Note on Ch. xxvi. 5.
20...-It seems not improbable, that after this verse, and before ver. 15, which is here restored, some words may have been dropped, which served for a title to the subsequent letter; perhaps these that follow; 1727
mo ...“ And these are the words of the letter of Jeremiah the prophet, which he sent a second time from Jerusalem to Babylon,” Compare these words with the preceding.
22.---roasted in the fire---] In all probability they were treated in the same manner, as was intended for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Dan. iii. 20, 21.
23.---have committed adultery with their neighbours wives---] The Jewish Rabbins, as Grotius here observes, have a traditionary notion, that these were the two elders, who attempted the chastity of Susannah; the story of which they think to be true in part, though not altogether such as it is represented in the Greek.
Ibid.---for I know and am a witness] That is, “ for I am not an inattentive witness of such enormities.”"Twenty two, perhaps twenty three, MSS. and five Editions read with the Masora 1977497 instead of
; , . 24.--the Nehclamite---] In the margin of our Bibles son is rendered, “ dreamer.” But the termination speaks it to be a patronymic. The Chald. renders, 177 ; and we find such a place as Helam mentioned 2 Sam. x. 16, 17. Jerome interprets it, de loca Neelami.
Ibid...-shalt thou speak---] The charge is here addressed to the prophets.
26.---hath made thee priest in the room of Jehoiada] Seraiah is said to have been the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, when Jerusalem was taken, Ch. lii. 24. Who then was Jehoiada ? Perhaps he was one that had been superseded in his office of second priest for being remiss in his duty; and therefore Zephaniah may have been here reminded of him, by way of intimation, that as they had been both appointed for the same purposes, so Zephaniah might expect the same fate
.ו sinking the ,הידע and eight more MSS . read ; הוידע
,ונתתס to read
as his predecessor, if he copied the example of his negligence. The second priest officiated as substitute of the High-priest, in case of absence or indisposition, and perhaps was always invested with subordinate authority.
Ibid. --and that thou shouldest commit] 70029---Ten MSS. and one Edition omit the paragogic 17. Perhaps however we ought rather
, " and that ye should commit, &c." Ibid.---to the house of correction, and to close confinement] For the first of these words t1n7 see Ch. xx. 2. where we find Jeremiah to have met with this treatment from Pashur, one of the priests, and captain of the temple. With respect to the second word p2937, it occurs no where else in the Hebrew, but in Arabic signifies arctum esse. See Grotius in locum.
28. The term is long.--) -7078, or N37x Dan. iv. 24. signifies a prolongation or lengthening of a term.
32.---prevarication---) 7770 properly signifies a declining or turning aside from the strait path, the path of truth and right. Here, and Ch. xxviii. 16. it means the presumption of uttering as a revelation from God what a man knew to be not so.
CHAP. XXX. AND XXXI.
THERE are many prophecies in various parts of the Old Testament, which announce the future restoration of Israel to their own land, and the complete re-establishment of both their civil and religious constitution in the latter days, meaning the times of the Gospel dispensation. These two Chapters contain a prophecy of this kind, which must necessarily be referred to those times, because it points out circumstances which certainly were not fulfilled at the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, nor have hitherto had their completion. For the people that retumed. from Babylon were the people of Judah only, who had been carried away captive by Nebuchadnezzar ; but here it is foretold, that not the captivity of Judah only should be restored, but the captivity of Israel also, meaning those ten tribes, that were carried away before by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, and sho still remain in their several dispersions, having never returned, in a national capacity at least, to their own land, whatever some few individuals have done. But the terms of the prophecy intitle us to expect, not an obscure and partial, but a complete and universal restoration, when God will manifest himself, as formerly, the God and patron of all the families of Israel, and not of a few only. Again, it is promised, that after this restoration they should no more fall under the dominion of foreigners, but be governed by princes and magistrates of their own nation, independent of any but God and David their king. But this was not the case with the Jews that returned from Babylon. They then indeed had a leader, Zerubbabel, one of their own nation, and also of the family of David. But both the nation and their leader continued still in a state of vassalage and the most servile dependence upon the Persian monarchy. And when the Grecian monarchy succeeded, they changed their masters only, but not their condition; till at length under the Asmonxan princes they had for a while an independent government of their own, but without
title to the name of David. At last they fell under the Roman yoke, since which time their situation has been such, as not to afford the least ground to pretend, that the promised restoration has yet taken place. It remains therefore to be brought about in future under the reign of the Messiah, emphatically distinguished by the name of David ; when every particular circumstance predicted conGerning it will, no doubt, be verified by a distinct and unequivocal accomplishment.
There is no particular date annexed to this prophecy, whereby to ascertain the precise time of its delivery. But it may not unreasonably be presumed to have followed immediately after the preceding one, in which the restoration of the people from their Babylonish captivity is in direct terms foretold. From hence the transition is natural and easy to the more glorious and general restoration, that was to take place in a more distant period, and was designed for the ultimate object of the national hopes and expectations. Both events are frequently thus connected together in the prophetic writings, and perhaps with this design, that when that which was nearest at hand should be accomplished, it might afford the strongest and most satisfactory kind of evidence, that the latter, how remote soever its period, would in liko manner be brought about by the interposition of providence in its due
But though this prophecy relates wholly to one single subject, it seems naturally to divide itself into three distinct parts. The first part after a short preface, in which the prophet is required to commit to writing the matters revealed to him, commences with representing in a style of awe and energy the consternation and distress, which in some future day of visitation should fall upon all nations, preparatory lo the scene of Jacob's deliverance ; v. 5.-9. Israel is encouraged to confide in the divine assurances of restoration and protection, v. 10. 11. He is prepared previously to expect a severe chastisement for the multitude of his sins, but consoled with the prospect of a happy termination, v. 12–17. This is followed by in enumeration at large of the blessings and privileges to which the Jews should be restored upon their readmission into God's favour ; v. 18-22. Again however it is declared, that the anger of JEHOVAH would not subside till his purposed vengeance against the wicked should have been fully executed, and then, but not till then, an entire reconciliation would take place between him and all the families of Israel ; v. 23.-Ch. xxxi. 1.
The second part of this prophecy begins Ch. xxxi. 2. and is marked by a sudden transition to a distant period of time, represented in a vision, and embellished with a variety of beautiful scenes and images. God announces the renewal of his ancient love for Israel, and promises them in consequence thereof a speedy restoration of their fornier privileges