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By detaching 770' 522 as above, the sense of what follows is not impaired, but the metrical division seems to be rendered more perfect. One MS. indeed for 77277* reads 7720x; but it is single, and not countenanced by the ancient versions, or any other authority.
I would here beg leave to offer an observation on the corresponding passage, Isa. xvi. 7. where we read O'89-74 9097n nw777-7's
. , the reading in Jeremiah, is probably right. But the last word o'x33, to which Bishop Lowth objects, and proposes to read 12a instead of it, may yet, I conceive, be allowed to hold its place. D3-7X may be rendered, " verily being sore grieved," and joined with ann points out the immediate cause of that inarticulate moan implied, as above noticed, in the verb 77217, the voice being as it were choaked with gricf; an .
" For the men of Kir-hereseth shall ye moan, verily being sore grieved."
32.—Thy shoots have passed beyond the sea, &c.] As the parallel passage Isa. xvi. 8, 9. and this verse tend mutually to illustrate each other, it may not be amiss to subjoin the following, which appears to me the most exact and literal translation of the former.
I do not mean to examine how far Bishop Lowth's alterations of the text in Isaiah are well or ill grounded, but simply to compare what is said in both places of the vine of Sibmah, which is unconcerned with those alterations.
8 Because the fields of Heshbon have languished,
The vine of Silmah the lords of the nations have broken down,
They diffused themselves, they passed beyond the sea.
O vine of Sibmah, I will water thee with my tears;
And for thy harvest, the shouting hath fallen (or, failed.) Sibmah was a city of Moab, and, as we may perceive, distinguished for its excellent vine, the shoots or plants of which were much sought after, and of course propagated over the neighbouring country. In Isaiah the passage is fullest, for there it is said, these plants “extended to Jaazer, strayed into the wilderness, and passed beyond the sea." “ Jaazer" was a city in the north border of Moab, being, as Eusebius in his Onomasticon places it, ten miles to the west of Philadelphia, that is, Rabbah of the children of Ammon. 6. The wilderness" of Moab lay to the east of that country, Numb. xxi. 11. And by “the sea" no other can well be understood than the Dead sea, or Lake of Asphaltites, which was in the south west quarter of Moab. In the verse now before us we read, as the text stands at present, “thy shoots have passed beyond the sea, unto the sea of Jaazer have they extended." Hence Geographers have been induced to suppose a lake near the city of Jaazer, and called by that name; but, I believe, without any other authori. ty than what is derived from this passage. But two MSS. omit si be
fore 783*, and the LXX. say nothing of the sea, but instead thereof render, Todas laying. So that the existence of such a sea or lake is at least very questionable ; and I am inclined to think the text here was no other than in Isaiah, 1033 778998; and thus we find the shoots of this celebrated vine to have diffused themselves from the Dead Sea unto Jaazer ; that is, the whole length of the country from south to north.
33.---The treader shall not tread - ] 77977 777'83.- In these words there is a palpable mistake, which the text of Isa. xvi. 10. enables us to rectify, where we read 7770 777-83; and this correction is confirmed both by the Syr. and Chaldee. The next words, 77'77 N577'77, will be found to correspond exactly in sense with what follows in the text of Isaiah, naw77 77977“ I have caused the shouting ( .s, acclamation of the vintgers) to cease ;" or, as Bishop Lawih rather approves, naw17 77977, an end is put to the shouting ;" which Jeremiah thus expresses, “ The shouting shall be no shouting;" that is, it shall
34.-(Like) a heifer of three years old] The particle of similitude
is not here expressed, but it is often elliptically deficient. The meaning of this verse I conceive to be, that the cry of Moab, beginning at Heshbon, was continued on from city to city, till the whole country resounded as with the lowing of a young cow, that runs from place to place in search of her calf that has been taken from her. An image singularly expressive. See Isa. xv. 4, 5.
36. Therefore the reserves which he had made are perished] 700 properly signifies a residuum or remnani that is left after some general loss or destruction. I conceive therefore that by 1708 77W3 07n. we must understand, that all the reserves or savings, which Moab had made at first out of his shattered fortunes, were by reiterated blows at length so entirely consumed, as not to leave a single wreck behind. And this interpretation will be found equally suitable to the parallel place, Isa. xv. 7. although the text is varied there ; for after wY 7777; follows Snipon, which may be rendered, " and their deposits," or what they had carefully laid up; after which instead of 172x, Isaiah
* ; by clined to understand, that the Assyrians should "carry them to the valley of willows,” that is, Babylon. But to this, besides other objections, it might be said, that there was no reason to suppose the Assy. rians would carry their booty to Babylon, which at that time was no conspicuous part of the Assyrian empire. I should therefore propose to render, " the Arabians shall carry them to a valley;" meaning the Arabian freebooiers, who might form a part of the Assyrian army, and carry the booty they had gotten into some one of those retired valleys in the desart, where it is still their custom to carry their plunder, and divide it. The LXX. it is evident, understood the Arabians to be dea signed ; and what is said is very consonant to the manners of that people.
37.-shorn - The MSS. and printed Editions are here also divid. ed, as well as Isa, xv. 2. on the reading of 779972 or 478978. The
-by which Jerome and others are in; על-נחל הערבים ישאום ,adds
first is found in the text here, in Isaiah the latter. See Bishop Lowth's Note on Isa. xv. 2.
Ibid. -Upon all hands are cutlings] See Notes on Ch. xvi. 6. concerning both cutting the flesh, and shaving off the hair in times of mourning.
Ibid. --And upon all loins-] 5 is inserted before Sunn in nine
38. Upon all the house tops---] Compare Isa. xv. 3.
40.---like an eagle shall one fly] The verb here has an indefinite, or at least an unexpressed, subject. But the Babylonian general, or nation, is designed ; for there is an evident allusion to Deut. xxviii. 49. Compare Ch. xlix. 22.
41. The cities are taken] 2p is used as a proper name ver. 24. and most of the ancient versions, as well as our English Translators, have so rendered it in this place. But the context, as well as the prefixed article, seems rather to determine it otherwise. If napon be a proper name, why not 7773977? But where do we meet with such a city as the latter? As for the singular verb being joined with a plural noun, it is a common Hebraism, and said to denote a distribution of the subject. See Buxtorf. Thes. Gram. Lib. ii. Cap. 10.
43, 44.] Compare Isa, xxiv. 17, 19. and see Bishop Lowth's Note
on those verses.
44. He that fleeth---} For du thé Masora, twenty seven MSS. and four Editions, read 0977, as in the text, Isa. xxiv. 18.
Ibid. --lamentation---] For 7719x the LXX. and Syr. seem to have read 773x, which they render," these things.". But if that reading were admitted, perhaps täglax in this place might have been better trans
a curse." in Chaldee, lamentation, wailing, from os x to lament; which verb occurs in the Hebrew, Joel i. 8. The Syriac in like manner from Uz luxit, derives La lamentum.
45. Those that fled made a stand under the shadow of Heshbon for strength] Some interpreters join non with B'da, as if it were," those that fed from force,” or because of the superior force of the enemy. But I am more inclined to construct it with 179y, and to understand the words thus, “ Those that fled, or were put to fight in the open field, no sooner got under the cover of Heshbon, than they found themselves strong enough to make a stand; "they stood for strength," that is, the additional strength they derived from the shelter of that fortress. But now, instead of being a security to them, as formerly, Heshbon became the source of ruin to Moab.
45.---But a fire, &c.] The remainder of this verse, and the next, are borrowed from an ancient prophecy, cited Num. xxi. 28, 29. with some addition from Numb. xxiv. 17. From a juxta-position of these passages we shall better judge of their resemblance and variations,
להגח מקרית סיחן
כל בני שת וקרקר
66 Then your
wx Num. xxi. 28. wx- Jer. xlviii. 45.'
7h2x Num. xxi. 28. nxo Saxor Jer. xlviii. 45.
par Num.xxiv. 17. In the first of these hemistichs, twelve MSS. and six Editions read 7783in Jeremiah, the same as in the text of Numbers. In the second hemistich, o corresponds in sense with nonpr; but the Syr. Theo dotion, and the Arab. represent nonpr, “ from the city.” One MS. for 7'30 reads nian. After the first word in the third hemistich, the remainder of the verse is evidently taken from Num. xxiv. 17. By 289 783 the LXX. understand the princes” or “leaders of Moab,” τους αρχηγούς
Mwah and the Chaldee interprets nxs in the same sense, But nxg seems rather to denote that circumscribed spot, angle, or quarter of the habitable earth, which was allotted for the portion of any particular people. So, Neh. ix. 22. God is said to have given his people Israel kingdoms and nations, and to have assigned them to a certain limited spot,” or “ quarter ;" 7784 Opsnn. And in marking out their limits, Moses says, Num. xxxiv. 3. quarter on the south shall be, &c."---292 0x Day 74179--- And again, Josh xviii. 14, 15. nxs is applied in like manner. So Ch. ix. 26. by 0785 *3987 I understand those, who having an insular, or at least a peninsular, situation, had “ their quarter” separated or cut off from any other by the interposition of the sea. See Note on that place -77777 is the reading of the Samaritan text in Numbers xxiv. 17. instead of 7p7p. 7777 properly signifies the crown or top of the head; hence it may denote metaphorically the principal seat or head quarter of those, who are here styled “sons of tumult;" 7980 being substituted probably by design for nw, in order to mark out the Moabites by a character which had rendered them particularly obnoxious, their tumultuous and indecent proceedings against their Jewish neighbours; see ver 27. Or they might be called "sons of tumult,” as being destined to suffer by the tumultuous invasion of the Chaldeans; in like manner as we find persons called “ children of disobedience,” and “ children of wrath,"? from having been guilty of the one, and being doomed to abide the other. Eph. ii. 2, 3. 46. Wo unto thee, O Moab!] The parallel passages stand thus,
. . 9819 73 "x Jer. xlviii. 46.
yna Num. xxi. 29.
.29 .Num . xxi אוי לך מואב
אבות עס במוש אבו עס כמוע ובנתיו בשבית ובנתיך בשביח
46 .Jer . xlviii כי־לקחו בניך בשבי
For 938 in the second hemistich all the ancient versions, with MS. read 1998, as in the original prophecy. The rest seem to be variations of choice, as better suited to Jeremiah's purpose. One MS. with the Syr. and Vulg. omit 'ywa, in which case the two last lines are to be rendered thus,
For they have taken thy sons
1. CONCERNING THE CHILDREN OF AMMON] Besides Jeremiah, this downfall of the Ammonies is foretold also by Ezekiel, xxv. 2 - 7. Amos, i. 13 --15. Zephaniah, ii. 8---11. For the presumptive date of the delivery of this prophecy, see Note on Ch. xlvii. 1. and for the time of its completion, see Note on Ch. xlviii. 1.
Ibid. - Why hath Milcom taken possession of Gad?] It is probable from hence, that when the king of Assyria carried away captives the Gadites and their brethren who dwelt beyond Jordan, 2 Kings xv. 29. 1 Chron. v. 26, the Ammonites, either by the consent or connivance of the Assyrian conqueror, took possession of their vacant country, to which they had no pretensions of right, so long as any of the ancient owners, or their posterity, were in being. The prophet Amos speaks of a similar proceeding of the Ammonites attended with a circumstance of shocking barbarity ; " They ripped up,” says he," the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border," Amos i. 13. But Amos prophecied before the Gadites were dispossessed by the Assyrian, as above mentioned, and is therefore supposed to have in view the time when Hazael king of Syria laid waste the same country, 2 Kings x. 33.-The LXX. here read. Gilead for God; which indeed amounts to the same thing; for half Gilead was in the possession of the Gadites. -Our translators have rendered on "their king," but I have followed most of the ancient versions in rendering it " Milcom," as the proper name of the thief Deity of the Ammonites, who is so called, 1 Kings xi. 5. And as this interpretation of the word seems most suitable here, so at ver. 3. it appears almost indispensable ; see Note there. As JEHOVAH is said to have given his people Israel the lands they possessed, so the idolatrous nations considered their acquisitions as obtained by the favour of their respective idols. See Judg, xi. 24.
2. -- And her daughters-] The lesser towns dependent upon the Metropolis are called “ her daughters.”
Ibid.--- And Israel shall take to their possessions...] This is understood to have been fulfilled, when Judas Maccabeus defeated the Ammonites, and took their towns. 1 Mac. v. 0, &c. Zephaniah speaks in like manner, Ch. ii. 9. " the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shali possess them.'
But both propbets may perhaps refer to still future times, when Israel shall be finally restored to their own land, as is frequently foretold of them, and not only recover their own ancient possessions, but succeed likewise to the vacant possessions of their once hostile neighbours, long before extinct and irrecoverably lost.
3..--Ai is spoiled-..] Ai must be a different city from that taken by