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Ibid.---in a smooth way wherein they shall not stumble] One MS, for ywy reads 7wx; and I cannot help saying, that I think it the most natural and grammatical reading ; although in conformity with the generality of Copies, and with the ancient Versions, I have followed in my version the received reading of the text. Were we to read 7WN, the translation would be “ in,” or “ along," a way wherein they shall not stumble.
Ibid. For I have been a father unto Israel] The remembrance of former connexions is here set down as the motive of God's returning favour to Israel. See ver. 3.
11. For JEHOVAH hath redeemed Jacob, and will deliver him] The first of these verbs is in the preter tense, but the second must be construed in the future, because of the Vau conversive. It is meant to say, that God had already begun, and would continue to carry on the redemption and deliverance of Jacob. See the first note on ver. 3.
15. A voice hath been heard in Ramah] In this verse I have kept close to the received reading, except that in conformity to the LXX. . Syr. and St. Matthew's Gospel, I have rejected the repetition of rua-by, which carries internal marks of interpolation, being not only superfluous, but rather perplexing the sense, and loading the metre. Ramah was a city of Benjamin, near which Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, was buried; who is here in a beautiful figure of poetry represented as come forth out of her grave, and lamenting bitterly for the loss of her children, none of whom presented themselves to her view, being all either slain or gone into exile. The Evangelist indeed applies these words to Herod's massacre bf the infants at Bethlehem, and in its environs. Mat. ii. 17, 18. The context however plainly shews that this massacre could not have been the direct and immediate object of the prophecy: See the following Note. But the prophet's words so well suited the occasion, that the Evangelist could not help observing their congruity. He must therefore be understood just as if he had said, “ The circumstances of this affair were such, that the words of Jeremiah, though spoken with a different view, may well be accommodated to the present occasion.” And this is as much as can be allowed in many passages of the New Testament, where the words in the Old Testament, are said to be fulfilled. See Matt. ii. 15. Acts i. 16---20. &c. &c.
16. For thy work shall have a reward] That is, Thou shalt nog have brought forth children in vain, nor shalt thou be deprived of that satisfaction in seeing the welfare of thy children, which is the parent's reward for her care and attention in bringing them into the world, and providing for their support and education. " They shall 'return Oụt of the land of the enemy.” But if the massacre at Bethlehem had been primarily designed here, with what propriety could this have been said?
17. There is also hope in thy latter end] See the like expression used Ch. xxix. 11.
.בנים instead of בנין
are תמרורים are stone pillars , and צינים
Ibid. And thy children.) The LXX. and Arab. appear to have read
. 19.-I smote upon my thigh] Smiting upon the thigh was an indication of inward sorrow and compunction. See Ezek. xxi. 12. So al. so in Homer's fiad. || 124.
----αυτας Αχιλλεύς Μηρω πληξαμεθος Πάτροκλης προσεπεν. . When Ephraim was made sensible of his sinfulness, he discovered marks of real contrition.
Ibid. Because I did bear the reproach of my youth] That is because by the misconduct of my earlier days I had fixed a blot upon my character, and subjected myself to reproach,
20. Is Ephraim a son dear unto me? Is he, &c.] These questions are designed to be answered in the affirmative, as appears from the inference, " Therefore have my bowels been moved for him.”
21. Set thee up wavmarks, &c.] These words are a call to Israel to prepare
for their return. tall poles like palm trees, or perhaps made of palm trees (on properly signifies a palm tree) both set up in the roads at certain distances for the traveller's direction, and extremely necessary for those, who have to pass wild and spacious desarts.
22.-wilt thou turn thyself away) pont is found only here and in one other place, Cant. v. 6, where it is understood of one that had turned himself about and gone of ; and from hence perhaps pinan Cant. vii. 1. are thought to signify the joints of the thighs, which turn about for the purposes of motion. The tergiversation of Israel, their backwardness to comply with the gracious invitations given them to return, seems to be here intended.
Ibid. A woman shall put to the rout a strong man] I cannot at any rate concur in opinion with those Commentators, who understand these words to relate to the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary without the operation of man. They surely cannot by any construction be brought to imply such a thing. Admitting that the word 22100 may signify, shall encompass or comprehend in the womb, and that 72a, instead of an adult or strong .man, may also signify a male child; yet the words all together will still import no more than that a woman shall conceive, or contain, a male child. But this, it will be said, is nothing new or extraordinary. Igrant it is not, and therefore have reason to presume that this is not the sense intended.---But the verb 220 signifies to turn about, and consequently in Hiphil or Pihel, may signity, to cause to turn about, that is, to repulse, or put to the rout, an opposing adyersary But to do this implies a prevalency over him. Again, there is a manifest opposition between 172pa, a uoman, one of the feebler sex, and 739, which signifies not simply a man, but a mighty man, a hero, or warrior. And therefore, A woman shall put to the rout, or repulse, a strong man, inay by a proverbial form of speech denote, The weaker shall prevail over the stronger. Now this, it must be confessed,
is in itself new and unusual, and contrary to the ordinary course of nature; but then it is ascribed to the interposing power of God, who is said therein to "create a new thing,” or in other words, to work a mitacle. The connexion of this sense with the context is easy to be explained. The Virgin of Israel is exhorted not to turn aside, or to decline the invitation given her to return, as she might perhaps be disposed to do, through dread of the power of enemies, who would oppose her deliverance. For her encouragement she is told, that she had no reason to be apprehensive of the superior strength of any enemies, since God would work a miracle in her favour, and enable her, though apparently weaker, to overcome and prevail against all their opposition. See ver. 11.-By 'women weak and feeble persons are frequently designed ; see Ch. l. 37. li. 30. Isa. xix. 16.
23.-- () mountain of the most Holy one] Or, “O mountain the most holy.” Wipt ini may be rendered either way.
24.---and all his cities. By cities we must here understand citizens, or inhabitants of cities, as Ch. xi. 12. xxvi. 2. Gen. xxxv. 5. So also, I think, Isa. xiv. 21.
Ibid. Husbandmen altogether, and they shall go about with ftocks] These words are descriptive of the circumstances, in which the ancestors of the Jews were placed upon their first introduction into the land of Canaan. The land was by divine appointment divided by lot among them, and every man had his separate portion or patrimony assigned him, which he was forbidden to alienate or exchange, and consequently was bound to cultivate himself for the maintenance of himself and family. Besides which, I conceive, there were certain districts of waste or unappropriated plain, known by the name of the wilderness, reserved for the purpose of grazing and feeding their cattle in common. Thus eve. ry citizen was literally a husbandman without any exception, and also a shepherd or feeder of flocks. · Nor could any institution be better calculated to render a people virtuous and happy, by training them up to habits of sobriety; frugality, and industry, and restraining them from the pursuits of luxury and pernicious elegance ; whilst the prodigious increase of their numbers under such circumstances afforded a sufficient proof, that through the divine blessing cooperating with the natural fertility of their soil, they were all plentifully supplied with every article requisite for their commodious and comfortable subsistence. Accordingly it here appears to be the avowed design of divine providence, upon bringing the Jewish people back to inhabit once more their ancient land, to revive among them an institution so favourable to their happiness.
26. Hereupon I awoke, and saw...] These words afford a plain proof that something like a dream or visionary representation had preceded; and confirm the interpretation offered in the first Note on ver. 3.
29. The fathers have eaten a sour gtape, &c.] For is an eleven MSS. and the first printed Edition of the Bible read in the future 1538", as in the Text, Ezek. xviii. 2. Five other MSS. have a tasute in the place of the '. It is not very material to the sense, which reading we follow. The meaning of the proverbial expression is obvious, and seems to have been founded on what is generally declared in several parts of Scripture, that "God visiteth the sins of the fathers upon the children;" and perhaps on his having particularly threatened to bring evil upon Judah and Jerusalem for the sins committed in the reign of Manasseh ; Ch. xv. 4. 2 Kings xxi. 11---15. xxii. 26, 27. But it certainly does not follow from hence, as the proverb would seem to insinuate, that the innocent children were to be punished for the offences of their guilty fathers. This is no way consistent with our ideas of natural justice; nor ean any instance be produced of God's ever having proceeded in such a manner. I speak of judicial punishment, properly so called, and not of the natural effects and consequences of sin. If children have been punished for the transgressions of their parents, it was because the children were guilty as well as the parents. Nor did the children suffer more than their own iniquities had deserved; although the delinquency of their forefathers might have become a reasonable motive for treating them with greater severity than they would otherwise have met with, in order to put a stop to the progress of hereditary wickedness. This is all I conceive, that ever was, or could be designed by God's visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children. It is promised however, that in those future times
, of which the prophet was speaking, no regard of any kind should be had to the sins of others, but that every man should bear his own burden, and suffer simply and solely for his own transgressions.
32. Which covenant of mine they violated] The LXX, and St. Paul, Heb. viii. 9. render que as a conjunction, ori, but I rather consider it as a relative pronoun, with which the substantive is repeated by a pleonasm not uncommon in the Hebrew Language. See Buxtorf. Thes. Gram. Lib. ii. Cap. 8.
Ibid. Although I was a husband unto them] Da ingya '338!--Various have been the attempts made to reconcile the Hebrew text with the apostle's citation, Heb. viii. 9. where we read, xocyw nuehne AUTHY. Some have supposed the original Hebrew to have been inhua, others 942, both which signify, I have loathed, or abhorred. The learned Dr. Pococke has from the Arabic asserted the same sense to belong to inya. But we find nearly the same words used before, Ch. iii. 14. sinhya 'yx , which our Translators render, " for I am your husband;" but perhaps they might as well have been rendered, “ for I have been your husband;" that is, I have discharged the duty of a husband, or superior relation, in patronizing and protecting you. For in all those mutual relations, which imply subordination, as between Husband and Wife, Father and Child, Sovereign and Subject, wherever submission and obedience are required on the one hand, care and protection are stipulated, or understood to be due, on the other. And this stipulation is expressly made in the Covenant between God and his People, which is so often alluded to in the very terms of the matrimonial
Now God asserts, both in the text before us, and in the other passage above cited, that he had been “ the husband" of his people, that is in other words, that he had fulfilled his part of the covenant in
taking due care of them, although they had violated it on their part by revolting and withdrawing their allegiance from him. So that with this sense of india the words of the LXX, as they stand in the generality of Copies, do materially agree ; xeyen quinoa AUTWY,
" Although I took care of, or protected, them.” In the Alexandrian Copy indeed, as well as in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the word muennou is found, which bears a quite contrary sense.
But this variation in the copies of the LXX. leaves room to doubt, whether the Apostle, who certainly in this instance cited from the LXX. may not originally have written suennou too. There is nothing in the scope of his argument that is conclusive with respect to either of the two readings. The corruption might therefore have been the more readily admitted into the text of the Apostle by those, who found it already in the copies of the LXX. which they had in use.
33. I will put my law---] one is the preter tense ; but the future seems to be required. Accordingly sixteen, perhaps seventeen, MSS. prefix the 7 conversive, besides two, which have a letter erased before
. But the LXX. and the Apostle, Heb. viii. 10. both render, didous, which leads me to think, that probably instead of on, the word might originally have been enna, compounded of on the infinitive, with the affix pronoun ”, and the preposition 2 prefixed. It is obvious, how easily the a might have been changed into 3; and the construction of nna will equally suit with the Hebrew idiom, and with the Greek translation. “When I put, or, in putting my law into their inward parts, I will also write it on their heart." 35.--the stated order-] Twenty four MSS. and five Editions read , . .
But the Syr. and Vulg. acknowledge the singular. In the LXX. the word is omitted.
Ibid. Who agitateth the sea.-] 017 977-These words occur Isa. li. 15, where our Translators render, as they have done here, “ who divideth ;'' but Bishop Lowth, “who stilleth.” But on comparing the ancient versions in both places, we find a very different sense assigned to yan. The LXX. here render, xect xpaurynu, but in the passage of Isaiah, Tapasowy, and the Vulgate turbo and qui turbat; which agree better with the primary sense of van, that implies quick motion. See Taylor's Concordance, and the Note on Ch. vi. 16.
37. Because of all that they have done] Three MSS. add , un. to me,” or, “ against me. And the same is expressed in the Alexandrian Copy of the LXX. and in the Chald. and Arab. Versions.
38. Behold the days come] In the Hebrew text, as it stands in the generality of MSS. and printed Editions, the word ova is wanting ; but the Masoretes have supplied it ; and it is found in twenty two, perhaps twenty three, MSS. and in five Editions ; in two MSS. a word of four letters is erased after ini. All the ancient versions express it.
Ibid.-under the direction of JEHOVAH] 77173_" through JEHOVAH,” according to his disposition and appointment. See Notes on Ch.
.in the plural number ,חוקות
.and three MSS ,חקות