« PreviousContinue »
lence;" and in the supplemental additions of Origen marked with Asterisks in Grabe's Edition of the LXX. we find, raλaweiα xat adixia επί της γης. It is possible that the consequences of the war between the two adverse powers of Babylon and Media, during which the dominions of the former were subjected to the miseries of foreign invasion, may alone be here intended. But Berosus the Chaldean historian, as cited by Josephus Contra Apion. Lib. i. gives an account of civil violences and disorders that were committed in the land after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, whose son Evilmerodach was after a short reign murdered, and his throne usurped by one of his subjects. The usurper's son, who succeeded him, was also murdered in his turn, and the kingdom restored to the lawful heir; and all this happened in the course of a few years previous to the foreign invasion. These therefore, I think, are more likely to be the violences in this passage alluded to, and introduced as the forerunners of still greater devastations.
47. After this-] 1-See Note on Ch. xvi. 14.
Ibid. And all her slain shall fall in the midst of her] This phrase seems designed to intimate, that after the disorders beforementioned, the land of Babylon should itself become the seat of war, since those of her that were slain in battle were to fall in the bosom of their own country, 12. See ver. 4.
48. When from the north there shall come against her, &c.] For 12 there is no doubt but that the true reading is 2, by a transposition of letters. So it stands in four, perhaps five, MSS. In two printed Editions 11. The Syr. Chald. Vulg. Arab, and one of the Greek interpreters preserved in the Hexapla, represent also the verb in the plural.
49. So through Babylon have fallen slain of the whole earth] The reason is here assigned, why the heavens, and the earth, and all that were therein, should rejoice at the fall of Babylon, because not only the people of Israel, but of the whole earth likewise, had been greatly annoyed by the power of that ambitious nation.
50. Ye that are escaped from her sword] Instead of ahm 2015 I propose to read a man; for is the imperative, and not "Her sword" means the sword which wasted Babylon.
Ibid.-gain possession of your heart.] Let it be a prime object of your affection and desire. See notes on Ch. iii, 16. vii. 31. xliv. 21.
53.-shall have fenced high her strength] That is, “shall have carried up her strong walls to a great height." That the walls of Babylon were of a prodigious, height and thickness, Herodotus tells, who says they were two hundred Cubits high, and fifty Cubits in breadth. Lib. i. Cap, 178.
55.-destroyeth from out of her a great voice] When cities are populous, they are of course noisy. See Isa. xxii. 2. Silence is therefore a mark of depopulation; and in this sense we are to understand God's destroying or taking away out of Babylon the great noise, which dur ing the time of her prosperity was constantly heard there; "the busy
hum of men," as the poet very expressively calls it. In this manner the mystical Babylon is threatened, Rev. xviii. 22, 23. Compare Ch. vii. 34. xvi. 9. xxv. 10.
56. And every one of her bows broken] The Syr. and Vulg. appear to have read, with the conjunction.
59.The wall of Babylon, the broad one,-] For 1, "walls," four MSS. read nn, and seventeen MSS. with five Editions read which agrees with the LXX. and Vulg. where "the wall" is expressed in the singular number. The adjective seems to be added by way of marking it out as a ground of astonishment, that a wall of such a breadth, or "broad as it was," should notwithstanding be utterly razed. So awn also seems to be used, Ch. xlviii. 1. "It is confounded, high fortress though it be" Modern Travellers assure us, that not the least vestiges of this immense wall are to be found; and how this may be accounted for, see in Bishop Lowth's Note on Isa. xiii. 19.
Ibid.to the utmost extent of annihilation] p-We have before observed in Note on Ch. xxxvi. 18. that signifies the full extens and measure of any thing. So that p2 signifies literally, "to the full extent," or " utmost degree, of emptiness ;" and refers to the razing of the walls, on which it is said that people should labour, till they had left the spot quite void and bare, where they stood. In like manner
- signifies "to the full extent, or ability, of fire," and refers to the burning of the gates, which should be done as completely as it was in the power of fire to do it ; to which is added, 15, implying that the persons concerned in executing this work of destruction should employ their whole strength in it, till they were quite exhausted with fatigue.
59.-on the behalf of Zedekiah] n is rendered παρα by the LXX. and signifies," from him," " on his behalf," or "by virtue of his commission;" for we have no reason to suppose that Zedekiah went in person to Babylon at that time. See n used much in the same sense, Ch. xxxiii. 5. and the Note there. See also Gen. xlix. 25.
Ibid. for Seraiah carried a present.] In these words is specified the business on which Seraiah was sent. He was employed to carry the present, or customary tribute, which Zedekiah was obliged to pay to the king of Babylon in acknowledgment of his subjection and vassalage. That this is the sense of 37 cannot be doubted, if we compare Jud. iii. 15. 1 Sam x. 27. 2 Sam. viii. 2, 6. 1 Kings iv. 21. 2 Kings xvii. 3. 2 Chron. xvii. 5, 11. xxvi. 8. xxxii. 23. Ps. lxxii. 10. &c. &c. is usually considered as a noun, and rendered, a prince or chief; and in this sense might here be understood as the person who was chief of the embassy, or had the principal charge of the present. Ka Eigelas bęxwv dwęwv. LXX. But we find wn used Isa. lvii. 9. in the sense of going to, or visiting a person with a present. See Bishop Lowth's Note on that verse, where he assigns the reason why w, to visit, is equivalent to making a present. We may therefore render ried, or was the bearer of, a present."
62. but there shall be perpetual desolation] The ancient versions seem all to have read nnnw in the singular, instead of now in the plural number; and the verb 'n requires it so; for it cannot have pan for its subject on account of the gender.
63.---thou shalt bind a stone to it, and shalt cast it into the middle of Euphrates] Compare Rev. xviii. 21. This may call to mind a similar action related by Herodotus of the Phocæans, who having resolved to leave their country, plunged a mass of iron into the sea, and swore never to return thither, till that mass rose again from the bottom. Lib. i. Cap. 165.
Simul imis saxa renarint
Hor. Epod. xvi. 25.
64.--which I bring upon her] After these words we read in the text, 5. But this is not to be met with in the translation of the LXX; nor does it appear to me to be authentic, notwithstanding the concurrence of the later versions and MSS. The sense is entire and complete without it; and the addition serves only to cause perplexity and confusion. The word seems to have been added by some Transcriber, whose eye was caught by it at the close of the preceding paragraph, ver. 58.---The Vulgate seems to have read which would be more tolerable, as it might then be referred to Babylon, and rendered, "for it shall be exhausted," or "wearied out.”
Ibid. THUS FAR THE WORDS OF JEREMIAH] These words seem to notify that the following Chapter is not to be attributed to Jeremiah. They are not found in the LXX. where indeed they could not have been introduced at the end of this Chapter at least, because the Chapters 21e ranged differently in that version, and this makes only the xxviiith of the collection. By whom, or when the Chapters were digested in the order we now find them in the Hebrew Bibles, is uncertain. The disposition, for any thing which appears, is arbitrary, and on many accounts unlikely to have been made under the direction of the prophet himself. But when, or by whomsoever the disposition was made, it is most probable that the foregoing words were subjoined at the same time, and by the same person.
THIS Chapter was confessedly added by some one after Jeremiah's time, probably by Ezra, or whoever he was that revised the sacred writings after the return of the Jews from Babylon, and collected them into one body. It contains a brief history of the captivity, nearly the same word for word, as it is related in the second book of Kings, Ch. xxiv. 18–20. and Ch. xxv. together with some few additions. Some have supposed it placed here as a proper introduction to the Book of Lamentations. But more probably the design was, by immediately subjoining this historical narrative of the desolations of the Jewish nation,
to the predictions of Jeremiah concerning them, to hold forth a nearer view of the exact accomplishment of the divine word of prophecy.
1.Hamital] The Masoretes for hon both here and 2 Kings xxiv. 11. propose to read bunn, with the concurrence of the Chaldee Paraphrast, twenty MSS. and four Editions. But the LXX. who certainly followed Copies more ancient than were within the reach of those Critics, or than any now extant, Auraan, and the Vulgate, Amital. I see therefore no sufficient cause for altering the received reading of the text.
3. For it was so because of the anger of JEHOVAH against Judah and Jerusalem] The particle is here causal, and assigns a reason for what went before, namely, why Zedekiah succeeded Jehoiakim both in the throne and in wickedness. This happened, it is said, “because of the anger of JEHOVAH ;" not that JEHOVAH instigated either them or any man else to do wickedly; but the thing was of his special order and appointment, for the punishment of a wicked people, that men of such perverse and evil dispositions were advanced to be their kings. For having determined, as it is said, 2 Kings xxi. 11,-16. to execute a signal vengeance upon Judah and Jerusalem for the very heinous provocations he had received during the reign of Manasseh, he first of all removed the good Josiah out of the way, out of respect to whose piety he would not bring the evil in his days; and thus opened the succession to his sons, the badness of whose principles favoured the designs of God's justice, and led them to pursue measures equally fatal to themselves and their country. For from hence it flowed, that to their other wicked and sinful actions they added one no less impolitic than profligate, that of rebelling against a prince, to whom they were engaged by all the ties of religion, honour, and gratitude; one who had power to crush them, and who exercised that power with the most unrelenting severity. Thus truly might it be said of the people of Judah in the words of the prophet Hosea, Ch. xiii. 11. " God gave them kings in his anger, and took, or applied, them to the purposes of his indignation ;" which in- ' deed is but another way of expressing the sense here intended, namely, that it, Zedekiah's succession and wicked reign, was the consequence of the anger of JEHOVAH against Judah and Jerusalem, and designed finally to terminate in his removal of them out of his sight.---Our translators have represented as used absolutely, making the words that follow dependent thereon, thus; "it came to pass-that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon." But in this case the verb is always masculine. But where the verb is referred to an antecedent, and that antecedent not expressed by a particular noun, but virtually contained in the sense of a whole proposition or sentence that has preceded, which I judge to be the case here, there the verb is used in the feminine. Of this there is a double instance Isai. xiv. 24. where not only the verbs an and in, but the pronoun, are feminine, in reference to such an implied antecedent; for no other can certainly be found. See also Note on Ch. xlii. 16. and compare Judges xiv. 4. 2 Kings xii. 15. 24. 2 Chron. x. 15. xxii. 7. xxv. 20.
6. in the fourth month---] Here the text supplies y w¬2, which words are wanting in 2 Kings xxv. 3.
7.--fled, and went out of the city] Here we find '91779 188917772", which words are not to be found in the text 2 Kings xxv. 4. But there seems to be a mistake in 1772', which either ought to have been 1772", as Ch. xxxix. 4. or simply . In one MS. a letter is erased
. ברחו before
Ibid.---the gate between the two walls] See Note on Ch. xxxix. 4. 9.--and he proceeded judicially against him] See, Note on Ch. xxxix. 5. One MS. reads 1727", as Kings xxv. 6.
11.-in prison] --The Masora, and four MSS. read here n instead of 22. But no alteration seems needful; as it is observed by Houbigant, that the 2 is not omitted after 1, when the
.occur נתן בין words
12.---on the tenth [day] of the month] In the parallel place, 2 Kings xxv. 8. we read myawa, " on the seventh," instead of wra, on the tenth." This difference some attempt to reconcile by supposing that one may speak of the day Nebuzaradan set out from Riblah, and the other of the day that he arrived at Jerusalem; or else that he came on the seventh, but did not set fire to the buildings till the tenth. But it is more likely to have arisen from some mistake of the transcriber, perhaps in setting down the numbers at length, which were expressed by numeral letters in the old copies. And in this instanceTM such a mistake might easily happen between the and the " of which the first stands for seven, the latter för ten.
Ibid.--it was the nineteenth year, &c.] One MS. here, and two MSS. in 2 Kings xxv. 8. read 1 for , as if to agree with wh in gender. But is feminine, agreeing with now, as Ch. xxv. 1. xxxii. 1. The year had been before specified according to Zedekiah's reign, ver. 5, and this marks the corresponding year of Nebuchadrezzar's reign.
Ibid.--one that stood in the presence of the king of Babylon] In 66 a servant ;" but the difference is in the words only, and not in the sense. For the first signifies "" an attendant upon the king's person," one that stands ready to receive and obey his orders. So Gabriel says of himself, Luke i. 19. "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God, and am sent to speak unto thee." And Ch. xl. 10. Gedaliah professeth himself in like terms a servant of the Chaldeans, saying that he should dwell at Mizpeh, wah," to stand before the face of the Chaldeans," that is, to receive and execute their commands.
, עבד we read עמד לפני Kings xxv. 8. for 2
13.---even every great house] So I think we should here translate; for according to our present English translation there is a tautology in saying," all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house." But the latter words seem to be added by way of correction or restriction of the former; as much as to say, if not all the houses literally, yet every great house at least that was in any respect considerable.