Page images

MSS. and one Edition, won, and ten MSS. and two Editions,

ותצהלו and fourteen MSS. and two Editions ; תפושו

Ibid.---like a heifer that treadeth] Twenty four MSS. and five Editions read wr, instead of NWT; and in one MS. the is upon a rasure.. This reading seems preferable to the common one; for by the law of Moses the ox was not to be muzzled when he trod out the corn, but allowed to eat freely; Deut. xxv. 4. by which high feeding he was likely to grow fat. Heifers are spoken of as used for the same purpose; Hos. x. 11,

Ibid. neighed like steeds] So the margin of our English Bibles. And is elsewhere used for the neighing of a horse; but no where, as I know, for the bellowing of a bull. also is more commonly used for war-horses, high-mettled steeds. See Ch. viii. 16. xlvii. 3. Judg. v. 22.

13.-she shall not be re-established] wn. I much question whether the verb aw' in Kal will admit of being rendered passively, to be inhabited. It signifies however, to be, or abide, in a stable permanent state. Ch. xvii. 25. Ps. cxxii. 5. cxxv. 1. And when spoken of cities that have been ruined and overthrown, it seems to denote their settling again after such a state of confusion and disorder, and being re-established in their former condition of tranquillity and civil polity. This, I think, will appear from considering it in the following passages. ver. 39. Isa. xiii. 20. Ezek. xxvi. 20. xxix. 11. xxxvi. 35. Zech. i. 11. ii. 4. vii. 7. ix. 5. xii. 6. xiv. 10, 11, &c. &c.


Ibid.---And shall hiss---] See Note on Ch. xix. 8. 14. Order ye---] Our Translators render 7, "Set yourselves in array," as if the verb had been in Hithpahel; but I think it rather means, "Order ye the bow," or direct it. See Ch. xlvi. 3.

[ocr errors]

15.--She hath surrendered herself] Literally, "She hath given her hand," no doubt, in token of subjection and homage. The phrase occurs in the same sense, 1 Chron. xxix. 24. Lam. v. 6. Some have thought it may be derived from the manner in which Abraham required his servant to engage to do what he required of him, by putting his hand under his thigh, Gen. xxiv. 2. and again, Jacob in like manner exacted the same of his son Joseph; Gen. xlvii. 29. But this seems to be rather a form of administering and taking an oath. Dare manus in Latin signifies to yield; and most probably alludes to the act of the vanquished, who, throwing down his armis, and stretching forth his defenceless hands, acknowledges himself to be in the victor's power.

Ibid.---her battlements---] The word in the text is w; but it is corrected by the Masora, which reads 'w, with the consent of twenty four MSS, and five Editions. The ancient Bodleian MS.

; אשיותה one ; אשיותיה two ; אשיתיה .two MSS ; אשותיה reads

one n. Amidst all this variety it is not easy to determine which is right; and no such word occurring elsewhere in Hebrew, the signification itself becomes uncertain. Our Translators render, "her foundations;" but the falling of foundations, which are laid in the


ground, is not very intelligible. The LXX. render waλges," the battlements ;" and indeed it appears to me not improbable from the apparent connection of us with ws, that the battlements may be meant, where the men stood and fought in defence of the walls; or perhaps the turrets filled with men, which were constructed in the wall at due distances. And in this sense we may understand the words 10 N), Ezra iv. 12. "They sewed together," or connected "the turrets," by building the wall in the intervals. Now w differs from nowN only in its Chaldee termination.


Ibid. Because it is the avenging of JEHOVAH] This I take to mean, that it was the cause or quarrel of JEHOVAH, which they were engaged in, the avenging him of his enemies; on which account they were not to be slack in their execution.


17.—And this latter hath picked him to the bone] Our Translators have rendered xr, "hath broken his bones;" because y signifies "a bone." But the usual signification of the verb o is, to be strong or mighty in doing any thing, or to exceed and prevail over another. The Syr. accordingly here renders, "hath been stronger than



may עצמו But I think .עצם ממנו was the same as עצמו he ; as if

[ocr errors]

be rendered, "hath picked him to the bone," or "made him a mere bone or skeleton," the latter prince having gone greater lengths in op.. pression than his predecessor.

19.-and Gilead-] The LXX, and Syr. seem to countenance But the article is sometimes used before ya, though it be a proper name; and we might here render "in the mountain of Ephraim and of Gilead." See Gen. xxxi. 21, 23, 25.


.וחגלעד instead of ובגלעד

20. And at that time-] See note on yer. 4. The promise contained in this verse seems evidently to respect the Gospel times, and "the remnant that shall be saved according to the election of grace." Compare Ch, xxxi, 34. xxxiii. 8. Isa. lix. 20. Rom. xi. 5. 26, 27.

Ibid.-shall inquiry be made after the iniquity of Israel] Here we have the same construction as has been already taken notice of and accounted for in note on Ch. xxxv. 14.

21. of bitternesses-] 'n and p in this verse are both rendered by our Translators as proper names. And the latter is so considered by the Chaldee Paraphrast. But all the other ancient versions agree in representing as an appellative, and p as a verb. And as there is no certainty, and indeed little probability, that there were any places, to which these belonged as proper names, I see no reason for un

which may מוח is the Dual number of מותים .derstanding them so

[ocr errors]

signify either bitterness, or rebellion; and I am inclined to think that Babylon is called "the land of bitternesses," or " of redoubled bitterness," because it had proved such to the Jewish nation, whose country had been ruined, and the people held in slavery there.-The LXX. Syr. and Vulg. appear to have read aw for aw; which being admitted, the construction of p as an imperative verb, and 21 as a noun in the vocative case, will perfectly suit the context both before and after.

[ocr errors]

Ibid. their posterity-]-so the word often signifies : see Ch. xxxii. 40. Ps. xlix. 13, &c. &c.

25. For this is the work of the Lord-] For

only ; and ליהוה .1 .the ancient Bodleian MS. No ; ליהוה אדני reads


two other MSS. one of them ancient n. Upon these grounds, and for the same reasons as are assigned, Ch. xlvi. 10. I have ventured here also to prefix the to the word mim.

[ocr errors]

26.—from end to end] Or, from one end to the other. So ypa and p seem to signify. See Ch. li. 16, 31. Gen. xix. 4. Isa. xlii.


one MS.

[ocr errors]

Ibid. her fattening stalls] This is the proper sense of MIND; and I conceive her cities to be meant, where the inhabitants were pampered like beasts fattened for the slaughter. See what follows in the

next verse.

29. Commanders have proclaimed concerning Babylon] Our Translators have rendered 1, " archers;" all the ancient versions have rendered it “many ;" and all make it the accusative following the imperative verb pw. But I rather think to signify the generals or commanders of the Medes and Persians, who are reported by those that brought the news to Sion to have given out public orders to their soldiers to act against Babylon in the manner hereafter specified. That 17 signifies a general or principal officer, appears frequently in this book, where 'n726-27 is constantly rendered captain of the guards, although perhaps it should be, commander in chief of the army, or soldiers; for 2, slaughter-men, denote those whose profession it is to slay. See Note on Ch. xxxix. 3.

Ibid. Let none of her escape] Literally, "Let there not be one escaped of her." So the LXX. uns autne avαowCoμevos. Nor does there appear any deficiency in the text, although the Masoretes have supplied

after, and are countenanced by twenty MSS. and five Editions, besides four MSS. which have h with two letters erased before it. But against the insertion of it must be observed, that it tends to produce an error in the Syntax; for in that case bh must be a feminine noun, which could not properly agree with on account of the different


31.-O proud one-] is the abstract, pride; but is here used by metonymy for the concrete; and again in the next verse.

Ibid. The time of thy visitation---] All the ancient versions appear to have read pony; and so it actually stands in the first printed Edition; and two MSS. read 1ps. See Note on Ch. xlix. 8.

35. the Chaldeans] For

34.---So as to cause a commotion in the earth] This sense of accords so well with the parallel hemistich, as to afford a fresh argument in favour of the explanation given of that verb in the Notes on Ch. vi. 16. xxxi. 35. xlix. 19.

the ancient Bodleian MS. No. 1.

כשדים and one has a letter erased before ,נחשדים and six more read

w signifies the province of Chaldea; as

does Egypt; and

I think it may be observed, that whenever "the Chaldeans" are intended, we always find the article prefixed, unless excluded by some general rule.

36.--the impostors---] By are meant the pretenders to thre knowledge of future events by astrology, or the arts of divination. See Isa. xliv. 25. The Syr. Chald. and Vulg. seem to have read 1973, "her impostors ;" which carries a face of probability. The LXX. according to the Roman Edition, omit the four first words of this verse, but in the Complutensian we find, Maxaigar in Tous pearless, x, apports ἔσονται.

37.-upon her horses, and upon her chariots] It is not easy to account why the masculine affix is found in DD and 127, nor to what antecedent they can be referred. It is obvious therefore that we should read 10 and 257, in uniformity with the rest of the context. The MS. Pachom. of the LXX. renders nous auras, and aguată avτns, and not avtav, as in the printed Editions.

38. A sword upon her waters---] Our Translators after the example of the Vulg. and others, have rendered in this place differently from the sense given to it in the preceding verses, as supposing that a sword has nothing to do with waters. But the sword is used metaphorically to denote either the instrument of divine vengeance generally, or the operations and effects of war in particular; in either of which senses it may be applied to water's as well as to treasures. And the allusion here is evidently to the stratagem of Cyrus, who drained off the waters of the Euphrates, which ran through the city of Babylon, by means of which his troops by night marched along the bed of the river, into the heart of the city, and surprised it.

39.----Therefore shall wild cats with jackals dwell, &c.] What ground there is for rendering and by these names, may be seen at large by consulting Bochart. De sacr. Animal. Par. I. Lib. iii. Cap. 12. and 14. Compare with this passage the parallel one, Isa. xiii. 19.---22. and see Bishop Lowth's Notes there.

Ibid.---she shall not be re-established] See Note on ver. 13. 42.--in orderly array---] See Note on Ch. vi. 23.

44. Behold, as a lion, &c.] See the Notes on Ch. xlix. 19. from which this verse differs only in the word x, for which the Masora directs to read, with the concurrence of fifteen MSS. and three Editions. In the parallel place we find 18, and the singular affix is understood to refer to the son of man mentioned in the preceding verse. Here where the affix is plural, both wand -jaa in ver. 40. must be considered as the antecedents; both inhabitants and sojourners being caused to run away from Babylon on account of the commotions that were raised there.

45.against the inhabitants of Chaldea---] Four MSS. for x read w; three MSS. and one in the margin, w; and the LXX. seem `to have read thus, who render επι τους κατοικούντας Χαλδαίους. Οr according to MS. Pachom. επι παντας τους κατοικούντας Χαλδαίαν. The

Chaldee renders, NTD N any, expressing both words, aw and pr. This agrees with one MS. which with the first printed Edition reads p 2; and with two ancient Editions, which read w. Compare the rest of the verse with the parallel place, Ch. xlix. 20. and see the notes there.


1.--against those that dwell in the heart of mine adversaries] Instead of pp, the LXX. render as if they had read, Chaldea. And the other ancient versions seem greatly perplexed, and differ in their interpretation of this passage. But 5, "the heart," is used for the interior part, or midst, of any thing. See Deut. iv. 11. Ps. xlvi. 2. &c. &c. Accordingly ap 22 may fairly be understood to signify those that dwell in the heart, that is, the centre of the country of mine adversaries, of those that rise up against me; and is by circumlocution the same as Babylon itself.

[ocr errors]

2.---For they shall be---] It is probable that instead of the original reading was 7, the having been lost in the concurrence with the same letter preceding. A mistake of which the collated MSS. afford many instances,

Ibid.---by the way side---] The two first words of ver. 3. as they stand in the present text, 77, have greatly perplexed all the Commentators. The Masora admits 777 only once; and it is not repeated in ninety four, perhaps ninety five, MSS. and three Editions. But this is not sufficient to clear away the difficulty. For the context seems to require a command to the enemies of Babylon to use their bows, and not a prohibition, which the particle denotes, when it precedes 2 verb. The LXX. begin the third verse with wp7 77%

אל-דין entirely. It seems however better to read אל-יוון omitting

and to join those words to the end of ver. 2. which will both afford a good sense, and complete an hemistich. For, or 777 very properly signifies in, or by, the way; and to be, or stand, against one in the way, is to be ready to use force and violent opposition against him. See Numb. xxii. 22, 23. 31, 34.

3.---And let him not lift up himself in his brigandine] This is exactly parallel in sense to the preceding hemistich, if the posture of him that stoops to bend the bow be considered. For in using the large and strong steel bows, which could not be bent by the force of the arms, they rested one end upon the ground, and pressing the other with the foot or knee, they drew back the arrow with their hands as far as ever they could, in order that it might fly with greater force. Hence the archer is called up, one that treadeth the bow. And therefore when he is bid not to lift himself up in his coat of mail, it is the same as bidding him not to desist from shooting with his bow.

5. For Israel is not forsaken, &c.] DR DURELL supposes a transpostion in the worlds, and that b should have preceded II" ;

« PreviousContinue »