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on a Hill is always visible. The Law must signify
and Amorites, the inveterate Enemies of their Na- c. 11. 14.
I doubt whether the Authority of the Fathers will bear one out in such a case. Thus again, when the Prophet describes the condition to which the jews should be reduc’d, a little before their Captivity; among other things he tells them, they should have the misfortune to be govern’d by weak Princes, Boys in Understanding and Women in Heart. The interpretation of Sasbout is very diverting, the Wises of the Scribes and Pharisees shall hen-peck their uxorious Husbands, and cons']uently govern the rest of the
a 2 jews;
jews; according to that saying of Cato, Women go-
fire to be delivered from the Scandal of Sterility. They shall behold the Land that is very far off; that is, as if he had said, the Blessed from the Empyreal Heaven, shall behold the Earth at a vast distance, like a Point, and Men creeping upon the Minute Globe like Ants. Whereas nothing can be plainer than that the Prophet is speaking there of the jews coop'd in jerusalem by Sennacherib, who upon the defeat of his Army should be at liberty to travel from one end of their Land to the other, without any danger of Surprize. ... Thus in a thousand places, some of which I have taken notice of in the following Notes, the generality of Commentators are very wide from the Prophet’s Meaning; and no wonder, since they took little notice of his Words, and seem to have made it their Business to make them agree with the Notions swimming in their own Fancies, rather than to discover the true De
sign and Intent of the Sacred Writer. Another Cause of their mistaking the Prophet's Meaning, I take to be their taking little notice of - the
the Connexion, or rather intirely laying it aside,
uage knows, that by Darkness and Dimness is to É. understood Misery, Afflićtion and Trouble; and such the Inhabitants of judea had enough of, when Sennacherib came against them with an Army of two hundred thousand Men, and took most of the Cities and plunder'd the open Towns. Nevertheless (says the Prophet) the dinness, that is, the Affli&tion of the jews upon this Invasion shall not be so great as the Afflićtion of the Kingdom of the Ten Tribes, when Tiglath Pilezer first lightly afflićted the Land of Nephthali and Zabulon; and Salmanasar afterward more grievously afflićfed her, carrying all her Inhabitants into Captivity: For the People that walk’d in Darkness, that is, the afflicted jews shallsee a great light, that is, be delivered out of the hands of the Assyrian, and not be carry’d into Captivity, like their Brethren of the Ten Tribes. This is the plain Meaning of the Prophet, and now let us see what turn they give the Words,who take no notice of the Connexion. Christ shall at first lightly spoil or make a Prey, and snatch out of the Jaws of Satan, Idolatry and Hell, the Land of Zabulon and Nephthali ; for there Christ first preach'd, and thence he gather'd most of his Apoitles. And afterwards he made a greater Prey of them, especially in , Galilee of the Gentiles daily preaching there, and doing a great many Miracles, and gaining a great many Proselytes. But what is become of Ki lo munaph, which connects this with the former Verse: This is decently dropp'd by the Vulgat, or rather wrongly translated and joyn'd to the last Verse; and the Commentators, as if there were no such Words, in the Original, begin this Chapter, At first he lightly. Forerius, conscious that as the Words now #, they cannot be thus insterpreted without manifest violence, accuses the
- jews jews of corrupting the Hebrew Text, changing Bemeth in Tempore into Caneth 5 and insists upon the Authority of the Vulgat. The LXX will give us no light here, and one would think by their Version of this place tax, rfs, velociter bibe, either that they had not the same Copy before them, or that we have not their Translation. The Chaldee Paraphraft seems to have read it something differently from our present Copies; but plainly gives it for the Sense I have put on the Words, that he speaks of the first and second Captivity of the Israelites : but let us see the Interpretation of Forerius. . . At first, that is, formerly the Inhabitants of 24bulon and Nephthali were vile, of no reputation; but in after-ages they shall be honour’d with the Presence and Miracles of our Saviour, especially, The Way which leads to the Sea of Galilee, call’d by the Vulgar, the Country beyond jordan, or Galilee of the Gentiles. But why this straining of the Text 2 What can justify this putting the Words of Scripture to the rack, and making them speak what they mean
and others wrongly translated, and no regard had to the Sacred Text 2 For this reason, because upon our Saviour's leaving Nazareth, a Town in the higher Galilee in the Tribe of Żabulon, and going to Capernaum in lower Galilee in the Tribe of Nephthali, which was call'd Galilee of the Gentiles, as being partly inhabited by Egyptians, Arabians and Phenicians, the Evangelist has this Expression, That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet Isaias, The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthali, the people that sat in darkness have seen a great light. Now if any one will give himself the trouble to read the Place referred to in Isaiah, I think at first View he will find that by Light in the Prophet, and too
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Strabo, -l. 16.
. 523. Mat. 4- 14.