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which indeed is a plausible conjecture, and the hemistich would run more completely thus,
For Israel is not forsaken of his God,
Ibid. But their land is filled with a trespass offering] That signifies a trespass offering made for the atonement of sin is evident from the common use of the word in Leviticus, and also from Isa. liii. 10. Therefore "the land being filled, or covered over, with a trespass of fering" clearly denotes that the sin of it had been completely atoned for, and was accordingly pardoned,
6. That ye be not cut off in her punishment] Four MSS. read ; and the LXX. also express the conjunction. That my signifies punish ment of iniquity, as well as iniquity itself, may be seen in many instances. See 1 Sam. xxviii. 10. Ezek. xiv. 10. &c. &c.
7. Babylon is a golden cup in the hand of JEHOVAH] In what sense Babylon is called a cup, may be seen by comparing Ch. xxv. 15. She was a splendid instrument of vengeance ordained by God against the neighbouring nations; and as all these had suffered by her, all are represented as ready to glory over her, or to rejoice, when her turn of suffering came.
9. We have applied remedies to Babylon---] The nations that had been subject to Babylon are evidently the speakers here; they had endeavoured, they say, to support her sinking cause, but all in vain; and therefore as the case was desperate, they advise every one to shift for himself.---Five, perhaps six MSS. and three Editions, for read ; one MSS. a pretty ancient one, reads 72, an evident ; which is doubtless the reading that might be ex
mistake for pected.
10.---our deliverances] This is still spoken in the name of those subdued nations, who, conscious of receiving from the interposition of JEHOVAH SO mighty a deliverance from a state of servitude, propose going to Sion to make their due acknowledgments to him in the place appropriated to his worship, and own him for their God.--For this scripture sense of p3, see Taylor's Key to the Apostolic writings; Ch.
11.-fill the quivers--] So the LXX. Vulg. Castalio, and others, interpret both here and Ezek. xxvii. 11. And the word is gcnerally so understood in the Syriac version.
12. Before the walls of Babylon] Our Translators, with the generality of interpreters, seem to have understood this as an address to the inhabitants of Babylon, calling upon them to stand upon their own defence; but they have been obliged to suppose it ironical, as against the declared purpose of God their efforts could be of little avail. But I am persuaded that the address is rather directed to the enemies of Babylon, who are exhorted to encamp before the walls, setting up their standards, and to commence the siege by strengthening their posts around, so as to prevent succours from entering the city, or the effects of any sally
of the garrison. See Ch. iv. 16, 17. And by 28 are doubtless meant those, who were to be in readiness, when occasion offered, to enter the city by stratagem, and surprize it, as Gobryas and Gadatas did. See Xenophon. Cyropæd. Lib. vii. Herodot. Lib. i. cap. 191.
13.---O thou that dwellest---] For now, the Masora, three MSS.
שוכנת the Babylonish Talmud ; שכנת and one Edition read
Ibid.---O handmaid of thy coveteousness] That is, "Thou that hast devoted thyself, as a slave, to the gratification of thine inordinate desires, thy ambition and avarice." This interpretation is perfectly easy and natural; although the generality of Commentators have by understood "the cubit," or 66 measure of thy covetousness;" which is applying a measure to that which is represented as immeasurable. The sense however in which they wish it to be taken is, that God had set a limit or bound to her inordinate ambition, which had now run its full length. But this appears to be a very constrained use of the word Cubit.
15---19.] These verses are transcribed from Ch. x. 12.---16. See the Notes there.
16.---from the extremity of the earth] Thirteen, perhaps fourteen, MSS. here read pa spp; which perhaps may signify, not "the horizon," as suggested in Note on Ch. x. 13, but "from one end of the earth to the other." See Note on Ch. 1. 26.
19. And Israel is the rod of his inheritance] is not here in the present text, but is found in twenty two MSS. in the Chald. and Vulg. and in MS. Pachom. of the LXX. conformably with Ch. x. 16.
20. O battle-ax---] The army of the Medes and Persians is most probably here intended; as elsewhere the instrument of God's vengeance is called a sword, a rod, a scourge.
25.O destroying mountain---] Any nation or prince, that rises in power above others, may be called metaphorically, "a mountain ;" and the Babylonish nation is accordingly here to be understood by "the destroying mountain.” "The rocks," from whence it was to be rolled, were its strong holds. And in the next verse, where it is said, ἐ they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner stone, or for foundations," we may understand thereby, that they should no longer have kings and governors taken from among themselves, but should be under the dominion of foreigners.
27.---Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz--] The two former of these Bochart reasonably concludes to be the greater and lesser Armenia ; and the latter to be a part of Phrygia near the Hellespont, Phaleg. Lib. i. Cap. 3. and Lib. iii. Cap. 9. Concerning the latter Homer seems to speak, Iliad 3. 862,
Φορκυς αν Φρυγας ηγέ, και Ασκάνιος θεοειδες,
And that both the Armenians and Phrygians composed part of the army which Cyrus led against Babylon, may be seen in Xenophon. Cyropæd. Lib. iii. and Lib. vii.
Ibid.--Commission a commander] Grotius supposes DD to be a transposition of the Persian Satrap. See his note on the place.
Ibid. cavalry-like the bristled locust] Locusts are said to have the appearance of horses and horsemen, Joel ii. 4. Rev. ix. 7. Bochart speaks of the head and face of the locust as resembling that of a horse. De sacr. Animal. Part II. Lib. iv. Cap. 5. Or they may be compared on account of multitude, as ver. 14. The LXX. seem so to have understood it. See Nahum iii. 15. But the epithet hairy or bristled seems to indicate the former ground of similitude.
28.---The king of Media, &c.] The LXX. appear to have read in the singular number; and this accounts for the affix of wan, which has the king for its antecedent, whilst the feminine affixes of
.Media מדי are to be referred to סגניה and פחותיה
29.--the purpose---] Eight MSS. read nawnn, and all the ancient versions, except the Chald. express the noun in the singular number.
30. Her habitations are burned] So the LXX. Chald. and Vulg. render; and one MS. reads 3. But such would the sense be also, were we to read in," they have burned," the subject being inde→ finite. See ver. 32.
31. Courier shall run to meet courier, &c.] That is, they shall run from different parts, and so fall in with one another, all carrying the same intelligence to the same person, that the city was taken on the side every one came from. This is a very natural description of what may be supposed to happen on a city being taken by surprize in the middle of the night: for as fast as the alarm spread, people would be posting away with the news from all parts to the head quarters. And Herodotus tells us, that, on account of the greatness of the city, the extreme parts of it were taken some time before those who lived in the middle knew of the attack, Lib. i. Cap. 191.
32.---the passages---] These were most probably the entrances into the city from the river side, which were secured by gates, that ought, as Herodotus observes, to have been fast barred; which, if it had been done, would have effectually frustrated the attempt of the enemy; but being left open and unguarded on account of the public festivity, the assailants were in possession of those entrances, and in the heart of the city, before the besieged were aware of it. Herodot. Lib. i. Cap. 191.
Ibid.---the porches---] The word a signifies lakes, or pools of standing water, which some understand to be the marshes or overflowed lands around Babylon; but how these could be burned with fire, I can not conceive. Our translators render," the reeds;" but what end could be answered by burning the reeds in the bed of the river as they went along? This could only serve to defeat the purpose of those, whose aim was to get into the city, before the people within had received the least alarm. Others interpret it of burning the outworks belonging to the marshy grounds about the river. But we do not read of any such thing having been done or attempted, at least in the night that Babylon was taken; the sudden occurrences of which night are the subject of the intelligence here said to have been hastily
carried to the king. Under these circumstances of difficulty, I cannot help suspecting that has been written by mistake for some other word; and would propose to read bn, the vestibules, or porches of the houses, upon the following grounds. When Cyrus's troops were once in possession of the avenues or entrances from the river, their next care would of course be to provide for their passing along in safety. But in a speech which Xenophon represents Cyrus to have made to his soldiers previous to their setting forth, he states, that possibly some of them might be afraid of being annoyed, as they pas"sed along the streets, by weapons cast upon them from the tops of the houses; but for this, says he, we have a remedy at hand. For the "vestibules or porches of their houses may easily be burned from the materials they are built of; so that by applying fire to them, we may soon force the citizens to quit their houses, or be consumed in them," Cyropæd. Lib. vii. Now these harangues are never understood to be genuine, but to be of the historian's invention, the matter being suggested by the events which are known to have happened. So that we may fairly presume, that this measure of firing the houses was actually taken by the soldiers who entered the city, both to secure themselves a safe passage, and to cause the greater confusion among the inhabitants. And thus the circumstances of the account will be found to follow in due order, the city taken, the avenues seized, the advanced buildings of the houses set on fire, and the defendants thrown into such consternation, as to be incapable of making any resistance.
33.---The time of cutting short in her] That the time of harvest should be spoken of as subsequent to the time of threshing, is not very natural. But seems rather to be the infinitive Hiphil of the verb
3p, and to allude to the manner of threshing with a drag or wain armed with iron teeth, or serrated wheels, which not only forced out the grain, but at the same time cut the straw in pieces for fodder; whereas 777 denotes the treading out of the corn by oxen. Bishop Lowth's Note on Isa. xxviii. 27, 28.
34.---hath devoured us, hath destroyed us, &c.] The Masoretes with all the ancient versions, represent the five verbs in this verse as followed by the affix in the first person singular. Also for 1 four, perhaps seven, MSS. and three Editions, read ; for 12 six, perhaps nine, MSS. and three Editions, ; for ', four, perhaps six, MSS. and three Editions, read, and one, ; for , six, perhaps ten, MSS. and three Editions, read ; for 1, twelve, perhaps fifteen, MSS. and three Editions, 77. But the commonly received reading of the text seems at least as likely to be right, and is perhaps in itself preferable; Sion and Jerusalem, which are both expressed in the next verse, being speakers here. All
,מעדני for מעוננו the emendation necessary seems to be the reading of
which is pointed out by the ancient Bodl. MS. No. 1. and by three, perhaps six more, which read 17. An allusion is perhaps designed to the ejection of the first human pair out of paradise; in which case we might render with great beauty, as well as precision, "From our Eden (or, paradise) hath he cast us out.”
wi 'bon I
35.---his violences done to my flesh] For read "8w 100n," the injuries done by him to my flesh," that is, to my own person, or my nearest kindred.
38. They are roused---] 1 is probably written by contraction for , and the LXX countenance this by the word nyengar, though improperly put in the place of aw. The Syr. and Vulg. appear to
may possibly have been sunk in ו and the ; ונעורו or ונערו ave read
the same letter at the end of the preceding word. This and the two following verses seem to describe the carousing and jollity, in the midst of which Babylon was taken. See Herod. Lib. i. Cap. 191. Xenophon Cyroped. Lib. vii: compared with Dan. v.
39.---I will supply them with drink] Our translators render
nwn" their feasts," but all the ancient versions render it in the sense I have given, " their drink ;" which agrees with the use of the word, Dan. i. 5, 8, 10, 16.
Ibid.--that they may exult---] "They drank wine," says the historian," and praised the gods of gold, &c." whilst they triumphantly made use of the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of God at Jerusalem, Dan. v. 3, 4.
41.Sheshach--] That Babylon is meant by Sheshach, is certain ; but why it is so called, is yet matter of doubt. See Note on Ch. xxv. 26.
42. The sea is come up over Babylon] By the sea any large collection of waters is denoted, and in particular the river Euphrates, ver. 36. so that the fate of Babylon is here alluded to; concerning which see ver. 64. Isa. xiv. 23. and Prideaux's Connections, Parti. Book 2.Others by the sea understand metaphorically a numerous army, and by the overspreading of waters, the invasion and conquest of the country.
43.-and a wilderness-] Pix-Neither the LXX. nor Syr. acknowledge is this second time, nor it found in two MSS. It could not well stand here, as represented in the Vulgate and our English translation, without changing into a twice in the following. part of the verse. This is not done in any of the collated MSS. ex cept only that one MS. for 2 in the second instance reads . I conclude therefore, either that has been repeated by the Transcriber's mistake, or that we should read by transposition,
44.-that which he hath swallowed] Meaning, no doubt, the offerings made him out of the spoils of the conquered countries, and more particularly the sacred vessels out of the temple of Jerusalem, which Nebuchadnezzar had placed in the temple of his god. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 7. Dan. i. 2. Ezra i. 7.
46. for the rumour shall come in a year, &c.] This seems to be an idiomatic phrase, denoting that terrifying rumours should continue year after year.
Ibid. And violence in the land, Ruler against Ruler.] One MS. and two ancient Editions read here m 11w, Devastation and vio