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1. Who ratify covenants-] Heb." Who pour out a libation." Sa. crifice and libation were ceremonies constantly used, in ancient times, by most nations, in the ratifying of covenants : a libation therefore is used for a covenant, as in Greek the word omovồn, for the same reason, stands for both. This seems to be the most easy explication of the Hebrew phrase; and it bas the authority of the LXX, ETOLNGATE ovvInkas.
4. _ut Hanes] Six MSS., and perhaps six others, read Ojn, in vain, for DIN, Hanes; and so also LXX, who read likewise way, laboured, for *), arrived at.
5. -were ashamed-) Eight MSS. (one ancient), read B, without X. So Chald. and Vulg.
Ibid. But proved—] Four MSS. (three ancient), after ') add OX, wbich seems wanted to complete the phrase in its usual form.
6. The burden) kwa seems here to be taken in its proper sense'; tho load, not the oracle. The same subject is continued; and there seems to be no place bere for a new title to a distinct prophecy.
Ibid. -a land of distress-] The same deserts are bere spoken of, which the Israelites passed through when they came out of Egypt;'which Moses describes, Deut. viii. 15. as “that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought; where there was no water.” And which was designed to be a kind of barrier between them and Egypt, of which the Lord bad said, “Ye shall henceforth return no more that way." Deut. xvii. 16.
6. “will not profit them] A MS. adds in the margin the word 125, which seems to have been lost out of the text; it is authorized by LXX, and Vulg.
7. Rahab the Inactive] The two last words, no Di7, joined into one, make the participle pibel navon. I find, that the learned professor Doederlein, in his version of Isaiah, and note on this place, bas given the same conjecture; which he speaks of as having been formerly published by him. A concurrence of different persons in the same conjecture, adds to it a greater degree of probability.
8. For a testimony] Tyb, so Syr. Chald. Vulg. and LXX, MSS. Pachom. and 1. D. 11, els paptvpuov, which two words bave been lost out of the other copies of LXX.
12. -in obliquity) wpya, transposing the two last letters of pwya, in oppression, wbich seems not to belong to this place : a very probable conjecture of Houbigant.
13. --a swelling in a high wall] It has been observed before, that the buildings in Asia generally consist of little better than what we call mudwalls. “All the houses at Ispaban,” says Thevenot, (vol. ii. p. 159.) " are built of bricks made of clay and straw, and dried in the sun; and covered with a plaster made of a fine white stone. In other places in Persia, the houses are built with nothing else but such bricks, made with tempered clay and chopped straw, well mingled together, and dried in the sun, and then used: but the least rain dissolves them.” Sir John
Chardin's MS. remark on this place of Isaiah is very apposite : “Murs en Asie etant faits de terre se fendent ainsi par milieu et de haut en bas.” This shews clearly how obvious and expressive the image is. The Psalmist has in the same manner made use of it, to express sudden and utter destruction :
“ Ye shall be slain all of you;
[Ye shall be] like an inclining wall, like a sbattered fence," Psal. Ixii. 4. 14. and spareth it not] Five MSS. add the conjunction to the negative; 5).
17. – ten thousand-] In the second line of this verse a word is manifestly omitted, which should answer to one thousand in the first; LXX supply rollot, O' . But the true word is 17227; as, I am persuaded, any one will be convinced, who will compare the following passages with this place: “ How should ope chase a thousand ; And two pat ten thousand (1227) to flight?”
Deut. xxxii. 30. " And five of you shall ebase a bundred;
And a hundred of you shall chase (n2an) ten thousand.” Lev. xxvi. 8. 18. --shall he expect in silence] For 017, he shall be exalted, which belongs not to this place, Houbigant reads 017), he shall be silent: and so it seems to be in a MS. Another MS. instead of it reads 10, he shall return. The mistakes occasioned by the similitude of the letters 7 and are very frequent, as the reader may have already observed.
19. When a holy people-] Aaos åylos, LXX, 1977 Oy. The word 2777, lost out of the text, but happily supplied by LXX, clears up the sense, otherwise extremely obscure.
Ibid. —shalt implore him with weeping] The negative particle X5 is not acknowledged by LXX. It may perhaps have been written by mistake for 15, of which there are many examples.
20. Though JEHOVAH-] For '978, sixteen MSS., and three editions, have .
21. — to the right, or to the left] Syr. Chald. Vulg. translate as if, instead of '21_), they read 857-85.
22. And ye shall treat-] The very prohibition of Moses, Deut. vii. 25. only thrown out of the prose into the poetical form. “ The graven images of their gods ye shall burn with fire : thou shalt not desire the silver or the gold that is on them; nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to Jehovah tby God.”
25. —the mighty-] 0:57a, ueyadovs, Sym. reyalvvouevovs, Aquila.
26. —shall be sevenfold] The text adds, 782 000 nyaw, "as the light of seven days," a manifest gloss, taken in from the margin: it is not in most of the copies of LXX, it interrupts the rhythmical construction, and obscures the sense by a falsé, or at least an unnecessary, inter. pretation.
27. —the flame-) Jawn; this word seems to be rightly rendered in our translation, the flame, Jud. xx. 38. and 40, &c. a sign of fire, Jer, vi. 1. called properly awn, an elevation, from its tending upwards.
28. -to toss the nations with the van of perdition] The word TDI) is in its form very irregular. Kimchi says it is for 7375. Houbigant supposes it to be a mistake, and shews the cause of it; the joining it to the m, which should begin the following word. The true reading is go.th
. The Vulgate seems to be the only one of the ancient interpreters who has explained rightly the sense; but he has dropped the image: "ad perdendas gentes in nihilum.” Kimchi's explanation is to the following effect: “D) is a van with which they winnow corn; and its use is to cleanse the corn from the chaff and straw : but the van, with which God will winnow the nations, will be the van of emptiness, or perdition ; for nothing useful shall remain behind, but all shall come to nothing, and perish. In like manner, a bridle is designed to guide the borse in the right way; but the bridle, which God will put in the jaws of the people, shall not direct them aright, but shall make them err, and lead them into destruction.” This latter image the prophet has applied to the same subject afterward, chap. xxxvii. 29.
“I will put my bridle in thy jaws,
And turn thee back in the way in which thoa camest." And as to the former it is to be observed, that the van of the ancients was a large instrument, somewhat like a shovel, with a long handle, with which they tossed the corn, mixed with the chaft and chopped straw, into the air, that the wind might separate them. See Hammond on Matt. ji. 12.
31. He, that was—] “ Post WWX forte excidit XX." Secker.
32. the rod of correction-] For 770in, the grounded staff, of which no one yet has been able to make any tolerable sense. Le Clerc conjectared 77012, of correction; see Prov. xxii. 15.; and so it is in two MSS. (one of them ancient), and seems to be so in the Bodley MS. Syr. has TN2, virga domans, vel subjectionis. Ibid. -against them] For 172, fifty-two MSS., and five editions, read 2.
Ibid. —with tabrets and harps] With every demonstration of joy and thanksgiving for the destruction of the enemy in so wonderful a manner: with hymns of praise, accompanied with musical instruments. See
33. For Tophet is ordained-) Topbet is a valley very near to Jerusalem, to the south-east, called also the valley of Hinnom, or Gebenna, where the Canaanites, and afterward the Israelites, sacrificed their children, by making them pass through the fire; that is, by burning them in tbe fire, to Moloch. It is therefore used for a place of punishment by fire; and by our blessed Saviour in the gospel for hell fire; as the Jews themselves had applied it: see Chald. on Isaiah xxxij. 14. where supra oby is rendered the Gehenna of everlasting fire.” Here the place where the Assyrian army was destroyed is called Tophet by a metonymy; for the Assyrian army was destroyed probably at a greater distance from Jerusalem, and quite on the opposite side of it: for Nob is mentioned as the last station, from which the king of Assyria should threaten Jerusa. lem, chap. x. 32. where the prophet seems to have given a very exact chorographical deseription of his march in order to attack the city.
11. Who trust —] For syns imo. twenty MSS., and LXX, and Valg: read by, without the conjunction.
2. --his word] 1727, singular, without \, MS., and LXX, and Targ. Hieros.
4. Like as the lion-] This comparison is exactly in the spirit and mander, and very nearly approaching to the expression of Homer:
Βη δ' ιμεν, ώστε λεων ορεσιτροφος, οστ' επιδευης
Iliad xi. 299.
The well-aimed spear. Of metaphors, allegories, and comparisons of the Hebrew poets, in which the Divine nature and attributes are represented under images taken from brutes and other low objects; of their effect, their sublimity, and the causes of it;, see De S. Poes. Hebr. Prælect. xvi. sub fin.
5. leaping forward-] The generality of interpreters observe in this place an allusion to the deliverance which God vouchsafed to his people, when be destroyed the first-born of the Egyptians, and exempted those of the Israelites sojourning among them by a peculiar interposition. The same word is made use of here, which is used upon that occasion; and which gave the name to the feast, which was instituted in commemoration of that deliverance; MDA. But the difficulty is to reconcile the commonly received meaning of that word with the circumstances of the similitude here used to illustrate the deliverance, represented as parallel to the deliverance in Egypt.
“ As the mother-birds bovering over their young;
So shall Jehovah God of hosts protect Jerusalem,
Protecting and delivering, passing over, and rescuing ber.” This difficulty is, I think, well solved by Vitringa; whose remark is the more worthy of observation, as it leads to the true meaning of an important word, which hitherto seems greatly to have been misunderstood; though Vitringa himself, as it appears to me, has not exactly enough defined the precise meaning of it. He says “ TTDD signifies to cover, to protect by covering ; Okendow üvas, LXX, Jehovah obteget ostium :" whereas it means that particular action or motion, by wbich God at that time placed himself in such a situation as to protect the house of the Israelite against the destroying angel; to spring forward, to throw one's self in the way, in order to cover and protect. Cocceius comes nearer to the true meaning than Vitringa, by rendering it, gradum facere, to march, to
step forward. Lexicon in V. The common meaning of the word NDD upon other occasions is, to halt, to be lame, to leap as in a rude manner of dancing, (as the prophets of Baal did, 1 Kings xviii. 26.) all which agrees very well together; for the motion of a lame person is a perpetual springing forward, by throwing himself from the weaker upon the stronger leg. The common notion of God's passing over the houses of the Israelites is, that in going through the land of Egypt to smite the first-born, seeing the blood on the door of the houses of the Israelites, he passed over, or skipped, those bouses, and forebore to smite them. “But that this is not the true notion of the thing, will be plain from considering the words of the sacred historian; where he describes very explicitly the action: “For Jehovah will pass through, to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood on the lintels and on the two side posts, JEHOVAH will spring forward over (or before) the door, nnan hyn' TDD), and will not suffer the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you." Exod. xii. 23. Here are manifestly two distinct agents, with wbich the notion of passing over is not consistent; for that supposes but one agent: the two agents are the destroying angel passing through to smite every house; and Jehovah the protector, keeping pace with him; and who, seeing the door of the Israelite marked with the blood, the token prescribed, leaps forward, throws himself with a sudden motion in the way, opposes the destroying angel; and covers and protects that house against the destroying angel, nor suffers bim to smite it. In this way of considering the action, the beautiful similitude of the bird protecting her young, abswers exactly to the application by the allusion to the deliverance in Egypt; as the mother-bird spreads her wings to cover her young, throws herself before them, and opposes the rapacious bird that assaults them, so shall Jehovah protect, as with a shield, Jerusalem from the enemy, protecting and delivering, springing forward and rescuing her: Ühepßatvwv, as the three other Greek interpreters, Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, render it: LXX, TEPITTOLNQETai; instead of which MSS. Pachom, bas nepißnoetai, circumeundo proteget, which I think is the true reading. Homer (Il. viii. 331.) expresses the very same image by this word :
Αλλα θεων περιβη, και οι σακος αμφεκαλυψε;
" But Ajax his broad shield display'd,
Pope. -ος Χρυσης αμφιβεβηκας. '
II. i. 37. Which the Scholiast explains by περιβεβηκας, υπερμαχεις.
6.- ye have so deeply-) All the ancient versions read payn, in the
7. The sin, which their own hands have made] The construction of the word Xon, sin, in this place is not easy. The LXX have omitted it: MSS. Pachom. and 1. D. 11. and Cod. Marchal. in margine, supply the omission by the word αμαρτιαν, or αμαρτημα, said to be from Aquila's version : which I have followed. The learned professor Schroeder, Institut. Ling. Hebr. p. 298. makes it to be in regimine with O'T', as an epithet; your sinful hands. The LXX render the pronoun in the third person, ai Xecpes avrwv; and an ancient MS. has, agreeably to that rendering, Dib, for ab; which word they have likewise omitted, as not necessary to complete the sense.