HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY (Old Testament) Paralipomenon through Job

Esther is included only because it was surreptitiously included in the Catholic Bible by the machinations of the Rabbis. Esther is not Canonical scripture and was written in the first centuries A.D. by Jews seeking to discredit the New Testament.

 

1 PARALIPOMENON

 

THE FIRST BOOK OF PARALIPOMENON.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

These Books are called by the Greek Interpreters, Paralipomenon; (Paraleipomenwn,) that is, of things left out, or omitted; because they are a kind of supplement of such things as were passed over in the Books of Kings.  The Hebrews call them, Dibre Hajamim; that is, The words of the days, or The Chronicles.  Not that they are the books which are so often quoted in the Kings, under the title of, The Words of the days of the kings of Israel, and of the kings of Juda; for the Books of Paralipomenon were written after the Books of Kings; but because, in all probability, they have been abridged from those ancient words of the days, by Esdras, or some other sacred author.  Ch. The author of this compilation refers to the same works, 2 Par. xvi. 11. &c.  These journals were principally composed by prophets, though there were other people appointed to write the most important occurrences.  2 K. viii. 16.  4 K. xviii. 18.  The genealogies of families, particularly of the Levites, and the interests of piety and religion, are kept most in view.  C. The variations which appear between this work and the other parts of Scripture, are owing to the faults of transcribers; and, though they could not be satisfactorily explained, it would be rashness to condemn the author of inaccuracy, at this distance of time, when we know so little of those transactions.  H. Who calls in question the history of Alexander, though the different authors of it scarcely agree in one calculation of the number of troops, nations conquered, &c.?”  Yet the work before us is of far higher authority, as it was dictated by the Holy Ghost.  C. “Without it, a person would in vain pretend to understand the Scriptures.”  It is “an epitome of the Old Testament,” and “explains many difficulties of the gospels.”  S. Jerom. The author does not, however, seem to have designed to draw up an exact epitome, or to supply the deficiencies of the other works.  C. The first nine chapters contain various genealogical histories.  In the 10th, we have the election and death of Saul; and in the remainder of the first book, the transactions of David, (W.) till the year 2990, where the second book commences with the reign of Solomon, and brings us to the end of the captivity.  A.M. 3468.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Seth.  Prot. “Sheth, Enosh, Kenan:” but in Genesis they agree with us, which shews that the translator of the two different books is different, and that there is a want of uniformity in the plan adopted by king James I.  H. The posterity of Cain is neglected, as it all perished in the deluge.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Noe begot Sem, Cham, and Japheth.  (H.)  See Gen. x.  The author passes lightly over some of the descendants of the two latter, as he had David’s genealogy principally in view.

 

Ver. 6.  Riphath.  Heb. begins with D.  C. But the Prot. correct it (H.) according to the book of Gen. and the Sept.  The two letters are very much alike.

 

Ver. 7.  Dodanim.  Heb. has R, conformably to the Samar. copy of Genesis, and the Sept. translate the Rhodians.  Yet Dodanim seems more accurate, (C.) and is retained by the Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Earth, first establishing the monarchy of Babylon, and building the castle.  D.

 

Ver. 12.  Philistines, a colony from Crete.

 

Ver. 17.  Hus and Hul were the immediate sons of Aram, as well as…Mosoch, or Mes; (Gen. x. 23.  C.) so that there seems to be here some transposition.  D.

 

Ver. 18.  Sale.  The Rom. Sept. omits v. 11 to 17, and v. 18 to 24, having only, (17) “The sons of Sem, Ailam and Assur; (24) and Arphaxad, Sala.”  H. But the other copies here insert Cainan, as the father of Sale.  See Gen. x. 24.  C. It is a matter of great doubt whether he ought not to be inserted.  Lu. iii.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Sem begot Arphaxad.  M.

 

Ver. 32.  Concubine.  She was his lawful wife, but of an inferior degree, and such were called concubines.  Ch. She has the title of wife, Gen. xxv. 1. And the sons of Dadan, &c. seems to be copied from Genesis, as the addition is not found in many Lat. MSS. no more than in the Heb. or Sept.  C.

 

Ver. 36.  And by.  This serves to explain the difficulty; as Thamna would otherwise seem to be a daughter of Eliphaz, though we know she was his concubine.  Gen. xxxvi. 12.  H. The Heb., Rom. Sept. Syr., and Latin, suppose that Thamna was the brother of Amalec; but the Alex. Sept. has, “Now Thamna, the concubine of Eliphaz, bore Amalec.”  Arab. “And Thamna, who was the concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, bore him Amalec,” which seems to be the true reading.  Kennicott. Heb. “And Timna and Amalek,” (Prot.  H.) which confounds the sense.  Mariana.  D.

 

Ver. 38.  Seir, not Esau, but the Horrite, (Gen. xxxvi. 20.  M.) which is added in order to explain the origin of Thamna.  D.

 

Ver. 40.  Dixon.  We must add Oolibama.  Gen. xxxvi. 25.

 

Ver. 41.  Hamram.  In Gen. Hamdan.  Two letters have been mistaken since the Chaldee characters have been adopted.  C. On this occasion, we may briefly remark, 1. The most learned fathers have admitted such mistakes in Scripture: yet these are not to be corrected by each one’s private judgment, but we must all abide by the determination of the Church, which is plainly appointed for our guide in the infallible word of God.  2. To obviate the objections of infidels, respecting the apparent contradictions of Scripture, particularly in these books, we must observe that many people and places had different names; 3. And those who had the saem were really distinct.  4. Frequently also grandchildren, and those who have been adopted, are mentioned as the immediate offspring.  5. Some mysterious numbers are specified, as fourteen in the genealogy of Christ, though the history allows more.  6. Odd numbers are sometimes neglected.  7. Often a part is put for the whole, or on the contrary; as Christ is said to have been dead three days, though he was only one whole day and part of two others: and in the reigns of different kings, in the same year, the different parts are assigned to each, as a whole year.  8. Sometimes two reigned together, as Joathan ruled while Ozias was still living, (4 K. xv.) and so both reigns are sometimes counted, and, at other times, their respective years.  9. The interregnums are either omitted in calculations, or added to the years of the next ruler.  10. Only the years that a person governed well are sometimes noticed, as Saul is said to have reigned two years, (1 K. xiii.) though his administration continued much longer.  Some of these rules may be applied to most of the scriptural difficulties, as the spirit of God could not dictate any falsehood.  At the same time we must be forced to acknowledge that the Scriptures are hard to be understood, 2 Peter i. 20. (W.) and iii. 16; and this may serve to exercise the genius, and to humble the pride of man.  H.

 

Ver. 43.  Israel.  The same remark had been made in Gen. xxxvi. 31.  It is wonderful that the author of this work gives us no further information, when so many revolutions had since occurred.  C. But he might content himself with repeating the words of Moses.  H. The eight kings here specified must have reigned each 50 years, which is not impossible.  David conquered the country under Adad.

 

Ver. 48.  River.  Euphrates is commonly so designated.  See Gen. x. 11.  C. Pagnin translates, “from the river Rohoboth.”  D.

 

Ver. 50.  Mezaab.  It is unusual for the Scripture to mark so particularly the genealogy of a woman.  We might translate the Heb. “a native, or who was a native of Mezaab,” which is probably the same with Dizahab, “abundance of gold.”  Deut. i. 1.  Mezaab signifies, “waters of gold,” (C.) or “whose is gold,” whence some infer that the woman was very rich, (Lyran) or had discovered the art of drawing gold thread.  Abul. It is more probably a proper name.  M.

 

Ver. 51.  Kings.  Heb. “Adad also died, and the dukes of Edom were duke Thamna, &c.  H. This, and the following names, designate the place of their residence.  M. The same forms of government prevailed in Idumea, as among the Hebrews, who had judges or dukes, then kings, and, after the captivity, dukes, till the time of the Machabees.  T.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel, “seeing, or valiant with God,” was before called Jacob, or “a supplanter.”  Gen. xxxv.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Aser.  They are not placed in the order of their birth.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Her.  The crime for which he was punished is not specified in Scripture.  C. The Rabbins say that he was so enamoured of the beauty of his wife, that he treated her in the same manner as Onan did afterwards.  Cassian viii. 11. It is supposed that he was slain by a devil, (C.) like the (T.) impure husbands of Sarai.  Tob. vi. 14.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Zamri, or Zabdi.  Jos. vii. 1. Etham.  Similar names occur 3 K. iv. 30.  But they seem to have been different persons.

 

Ver. 7.  Achar, alias Achan, (Josue vii.  Ch.) which was his real name, as the former was given him (C.) in consequence of his having “troubled” Israel.  D. One letter may have been mistaken.  W. It may seem more probable that Achar, which appears invaribly in the Vat. Sept. and Syriac, is the proper name.  Kennicott. Anathema, the thing devoted or accursed, viz. the spoils of Jericho.  Ch.

 

Ver. 10.  Ram.  He is commonly called Aram.  But it is to be observed here, once for all, that it was a common thing among the Hebrews for the same person to have different names: and that it is not impossible among so many proper names, as here occur in the first nine chapters of this book, that the transcribers of the ancient Hebrew copies may have made some slips in the orthography.  Ch. Juda.  Probably the first, appointed by Moses in the desert.  Num. i. 7. and vii. 12.

 

Ver. 11.  Salma.  Sept. have “Salmon,” as it is written Ruth iv. 20.  Mat. i. 4.

 

Ver. 15.  Seventh.  Syriac and Arab. add, “Eliu, (C. xxvii. 18.) and the eighth David.”  It appears, in effect, the Isai had eight sons, and that David was the youngest.  1 K. xvi. 10. and xvii. 12.  The Rabbins suppose that one was only adopted, namely, Jonathan, the son of Samma, noted for his prudence and valour.  2 K. xiii. 3. and xxi. 21.  C. One might die in his youth, and be therefore omitted, (T.) as he had done nothing memorable.  D. The Scripture does not always specify the full number.  Abul.

 

Ver. 16.  Sarvia.  The honour shewn to the sisters of David is unusual.  The father of the three valiant children of Sarvia is no where specified.

 

Ver. 17.  Ismahelite, or more correctly, “Jethra, of Jezrahel;” (2 K. xvii. 25.) though the Heb. and Sept. in that place read “Israelite,” which would be a trifling remark; and it is improbable that Isai would give his daughter to a descendant of Ismahel.  C. The person might, however, have resided among them.  D.

 

Ver. 18.  Caleb, alias Calubi, v. 9.  Ch.  W. He is different from Caleb, the son of Jephone. Took, &c.  Heb. “begot Azuba, Ischa, and Jerioth;” or rather with the Sept. “took to wife Gazuba and Jerioth.”  C. Syr. and Arab. “Caleb had Jerioth by his wife Azuba.”  We know that the latter was his wife, (v. 19.) and this seems to be the true reading.  As ath signifies “of or from,” (Noldius) the Heb. only requires a small correction.  As it stands at present, it means, “Caleb begot Azuba, a woman, (or wife) and Jerioth.”  Prot. supply, “begat children of Azuba, his wife, and of Jerioth.”  Kennicott. Her sons.  The original determines us to read her, instead of “his,” as ejus would as naturally be understood.  If Jerioth was not the wife, she seems to have been the daughter of Caleb; as Jaser, &c. were his sons.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Bezeleel, the famous artist, (Ex. xxxi. 2.  C.) or a different person.  D. The Rabbins, who confound Caleb with the son of Jephone, say that he espoused Ephrata, or Mary, the sister of Moses, when he was ten years old, that Ur and Uri had each a child at eight, and the Bezeleel began to work at the tabernacle before he was nine years old.  Lyran. But this is extravagant, and the Bezeleel here mentioned was of the family of Hesron.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Machir, grandson of Joseph, whose descendants occupied part of Galaad, (H.) of which he is styled the father, or prince.  M. The daughter of Machir was probably an heiress, and Segub dwelt with his mother’s tribe.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Aram.  Prot. add “with the towns of Jair from them,” the former possessors; (H.) or Gessur assisted Aram (Syria) in attacking Israel, 4 K. x. 32.  C. All these villages.  Prot. supply, “belonged to the sons.”  Sept. “were of the sons.”  All these were dependencies of Machir, “prince” of Galaad; in which sense father is taken, v. 24.  M. Sons often denote nephews, &c.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Hesron.  Perhaps it ought to be Azuba, v. 19.  Heb. “and after Hesron was dead, in Caleb-ephrata, then Abia, the wife of Hesron, bore him a (posthumous) son, Ashur, the father of those who dwelt at Thecua.”  He could not reside there himself no more than Caleb did at Bethlehem, which some, without proof, pretend was called Caleb-ephrata.  The Sept. agree with the Vulg.  They may signify that Caleb went to the town of Ephrata.  But he son of Hebron certainly never resided at Bethlehem.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  And, is not in Heb.  Achia, which may also signify “her sister.”  Sept. “brother.”  Others take (C.) Achia to be the first wife of Jerameel.  Jan.

 

Ver. 31.  Oholai, a daughter, (v. 34.  T.) unless this son died before his father.  Vatab.

 

Ver. 42.  Caleb, or Calubi, v. 9.  Ziph, Maresa, and Hebron, are the names of towns, as well as of men.  The descendants of Mesa inhabited Ziph, and those of Maresa dwelt at Hebron.  The same remark will hold good in other places, where the names of places are put for those who occupied them.  C. And the sons.  Heb. “and of the sons of Maresa.”  Vat. But it may be as well explained in the sense of the Vulg.  Sept. “Marisa, his first-born.  He was the father of Ziph, and the sons of Marisa, of the father of Hebron.” Father.  Lit. “of the father,” patris Hebron.  H.

 

Ver. 47.  Jahaddai.  His name occurs not before.  Some suppose he was the son of Mosa: perhaps a verse may be lost, as the Syr. and Arab. pass over this and the two following verses.

 

Ver. 49.  Achsa, different from Axa, the grand-daughter of Jephone.  Judg. i. 12.  H. Both had daughters of the same name.  D.

 

Ver. 50.  Caleb, grandson of Calubi.  Vatab. &c. Sobal, his descendant, was prince of those who established themselves at Cariathiarim.  C. The Alex. Sept. seems rather to assert that he was son of Hur, as well as those who follow.  “The sons of Hur…Sobal…Salomon, father of Baithlammon, father of Bethleem.”  But the editions vary.  H.

 

Ver. 52.  He that saw, &c.  The Latin interpreter seems to have given us here, instead of the proper names, the meaning of those names in the Hebrew.  He has done in like manner, v. 55, (Ch.) and in many other places.  D. Heb. “had sons, haroe cha hamenuchoth, (H.) or Raia, Roeh, (C. iv. 2.) and Chazi of the canton of Menuchat, near Babaa.  C. viii. 6. and Judg. xx. 43.  Sept. mention Manocho.  Jos. xv. 60. We may also translate “the father of Cariathiarim, the prince of half Manuchat, had sons who peopled different cities.”  It seems too harsh to call a man “half the place of rest,” or “seeing from the moiety of rest,” though the Heb. has this literal signification.  The Sept. give proper names, (C.) “Araa, Esei, Ammanith,” (but v. 55, half of Manath) and the Prot. “Haroeh and half of the Manahattites.”  H. Sobal left to his descendants half the country which he had quietly occupied.

 

Ver. 53.  Kindred.  Sept. “Oumasphas.”  H. Esthaolites.  All these places were in Juda, (C.) or perhaps (H.) the two last in Dan, (M.) or occupied by both tribes.  Abul. q. 8.

 

Ver. 54.  Salma, or Salmon’s descendants, people Bethlehem, &c. Crowns.  Valiant heroes who assisted Joab to gain crowns.  W. Heb. “Hateroth,” the house (Sept. Alex. of the house of Jobab) of Joab; (H.) perhaps the famous general who had land near Absalom’s, on the frontiers of Ephraim, where Ataroth was situated. And half.  Heb. “half of the Manahethites.”  Prot. (H.) or “of Menuchat, towards Zarai.”  The author seems purposely to mention to whom the cities at first belonged, that the right owners might be reinstated in their possessions, at their return from Babylon.  C. This verse may specify six towns, Bethlehem and Netophat, (H.) Beth-Joab, Chatsi, Manachti, and Atsothi.

 

Ver. 55.  Scribes, learned in the law.  M. Singing, &c.  The different professions of the Rechabites are here given, instead of proper names, (C.) which the Vat. Sept. retains. Thargathiim and Samathiim, Sochathim. Heb. Tirhatim, “porters;” (Chal.) Shimhathim, “the obedient;” Sucathim, “the inhabitants of tents;” Calor, “the heat,” as the Heb. Chamath (Prot. Hemath) signifies.  The Cinites dwelt on the south of Juda, for which reason they are probably here mentioned, though some of them also inhabited Jabes Galaad, while the Rechabites dwelt in tents, (H.) and were perhaps employed as porters in the temple.  C.  Jer. xxxv. 5. 19.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Hebron, during the seven years that he reigned there over Juda.  M. Jezrahel, a city of Juda, less noted than the one in Issachar. Daniel, or Cheliab, 2 K. iii. 3.

 

Ver. 2.  Aggith.  The mother of Adonias is styled Haggith elsewhere in the Vulg.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  His wife also.  T. This title refer to all the preceding.  Sanctius.

 

Ver. 5.  Solomon is put last, though the eldest, because of his genealogy is to be continued.  Some think that the three others were the sons of Urias, adopted by David, as Solomon styles himself an only son; (Prov. iv. 3.) but that only means singularly beloved, and an heir, (C.) as David had certainly another child by Bethsabee, who died in his infancy.  T. Bethsabee.  Syr. and Arab. “Bersabee.”  Heb. “Bathshuah,” all erroneously. Ammiel, or Eliam, (2 K. xi. 3.) as the same man had two names, (C.) or, in this instance, we must allow a transposition.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Elisama, or Elisua.  C. xiv. 5.  C. Heb. substitutes Elishama and Eliphelet, and Nogah, the last name being “an evident corruption of Nepheg, and the two former being taken in to soon, and still repeated, “in their proper places.”  The Vat. Sept. is likewise interpolated, (2 K. v. 14, &c.) by the insertion of eleven names from another version, and two names are twice repeated, so that we have 24 sons of David instead of 11.  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 7.  Noge; called Noga, (C. xiv. 6.) and omitted entirely in the book of Kings.  Eliphaleth being twice mentioned in this book, has made some conclude that David’s first son of this name died in his youth; (C.) which may be said of Elisama also.  Sa.

 

Ver. 8.  Eliada, or Elioda, (2 K. v. 16.) styled Baaliada, (C. xiv. 7.  C.) as both have the same meaning, “God’s, or the Lord’s knowledge.”  H. Nine, excluding the children of Bethsabee.  In 2 K. there are only seven, or, with the sons of Bethsabee, eleven.  There must be a mistake in one place, unless the book of Kings only specifies those who were then alive.  Vatab.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  The concubines.  The inferior wives.  Ch. Some of the preceding sons were born of such, v. 6, &c. Thamar.  She is the only one whose name is mentioned, but David had other daughters.  2 K. vi. 13.

 

Ver. 15.  Johanan, who is not mentioned in 4 K. xxiii. and xxiv.  Some think that he died young, (Tostat) or in battle with his father, against Pharao.  Pradus. Joakim, or Eliacim, possessed the throne after Joachaz, or Sellum, (C.) which name signifies “confusion,” and was given to all the sons of Josias.  S. Jer. Then came Joachin and Sedecias, whose proper name was Matthanias.  H. Joakim is passes over by S. Mat.  S. Jer. ib.

 

Ver. 16.  Jechonias, who is called also Joakim, (W.) and Cenias in Heb.  Jer. xxii. 28.  C. Both the son and the grandson of Josias go under the name of Jechonias.  Mat. i. 11. Barrad. i. 5. 16.  M. Sedecias.  If this be the same with the king, was born must signify succeeded, as we know that Joakim was not the father of Sedecias.  Grotius, &c.

 

Ver. 17.  Asir, means a “prisoner,” so that we might translate, Heb. “and the sons of Jechoias, the prisoner, (at Babylon, 4 K. xxiv. 15.) were Salathiel.”  C. Prot. “Assir, Salathiel his son.”  H. Some think that the following were the adopted children, or successors of Jechonias; as S. Luke (iii. 24.) insinuates that Neri was the father of Salathiel, and Jeremias (xxii. 30.) seems to declare that Jechonias should have no children.  But he means such as should sit on the throne, as he explains himself, and S. Matthew (i. 12.) expressly says, Jechonias begot Salathiel.

 

Ver. 18.  Melchiram, &c. born of Salathiel.  C. Sama.  Sept. “Osamo and Nabadias.”  Prot. “Hosahama,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Phadaia, called also Salathiel, (Mat. i. 12.) or these two brothers had each a son named Zorobabel.  The grandson of Salathiel was called Abiud, and that of Phadaia, Mosollam, (M.) unless these were the same person.  Sa. Phadaia, son of Salathiel, and father of Zorobabel, left his son to the care of his brother Salatheil, who was therefore accounted the father of Zorobabel too.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Son.  Heb. “sons of Hananias, Phaltias, and Jesacias, the sons of Raphias, the sons of Arnan,…(22) the sons of Sechenias, Semeia, &c.”   But the Sept. and Syriac have read in a more intelligible manner, (C.) intimating that these people were lineally descended from each other, (H.) while the Heb. leaves us ignorant of the names of the sons of Rephaias, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Six.  Counting the father in the number.  Ch. Heb. shisha, or “six.”  Sixtus V. with several MSS. Gothic edit. &c. take it improperly for the name of a man.  C. Semeia and his five sons are attributed to Sechenias.  W. Others think that a name has been lost.  Castal.

 

Ver. 24.  Oduia, the 12th from Zorobabel, which shews that this has been inserted since the time of Esdras, and that the author was very careful to preserve the genealogical tables, as it was not known from what family of the descendants of David the Messias should be born.  C. S. Matthew gives us a different genealogy.  D.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Charmi, the great-grandson of Juda, by Zara and Zamri.  Jos. vii. 1. Junius takes him to be the same with Calubi, (C. ii.) father of Sobal.  This seems to be transcribed from another ancient register of the family of Juda, and designed to shew where the principal men had resided.  C. Only the chiefs are specified.  D.

 

Ver. 2.  Sarathi, who peopled Saraa.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Posterity.  So all the ancient versions seem to have read boni, instead of the present Heb. abi, which literally means, “and these are the father of Etam.”  If words ever wanted sense, they do so here.  Kennicott. Etham is perhaps the name of a town.  Malv.

 

Ver. 7.  Ethnan.  Some would insert “and Cos,” to connect this with the following.

 

Ver. 8.  Cos.  Perhaps (C.) the same with Cenez, v. 13.  T.

 

Ver. 9.  Jabes.  That is, sorrowful.  Ch. There seems to be something wanting, as we are not informed who were the brethren of Jabes.  C. This name he received from his mother, while his father Cos, called him Othoniel.  E.

 

Ver. 10.  For.  To reward his piety and vow.  Othoniel obtained Cariath-sepher, and Axa, the daugher of Caleb.  Jos. xv. 17.  C. Jabes imitated holy Jacob, (Gen. xxviii.) and both desired temporal blessings, for their advancement in virtue.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Caleb.  Heb. “Celub,” different bother from Calubi and the son of Jephone, v. 15.  C. Brother, &c.  Sept. “father of Ascha,” which would seem to make him the same with the latter.

 

Ver. 12.  City.  Heb. “Hir-Nachash.”  H. The latter term denotes “copper of a serpent.”  We know not where this city was situated, no more than Recha.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Othoniel, first judge.  H. He was brother, or rather cousin, of Caleb.  See Jos. xv. 17.

 

Ver. 14.  Artificers.  Heb. Charashim, which means various sorts of “workmen,” (C.) or “father (prince.  M.) of Ge-Harasim, for,” &c.  C. Under this lord the artificers dwelt who built the temple.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Caleb, so memorable (C.) for this fidelity.  Num. xii. 30. and xxxii. 12.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Judaia, a second wife, of his own nation.  By the first, from Egypt, Mered had Miriam, &c.  Some words seem to be lost, which render it doubtful to whom Judaia was married.

 

Ver. 19.  Odaia, perhaps the same with Judaia, (C.) as the Sept. read. Who was.  Heb. and Sept. “Machatha,” (H.) a place to the north of Basan, far from the limits of Juda, whence we should, perhaps, read Menuchat, as C. ii. 52. 54.

 

Ver. 21.  Her.  Hitherto we have seem the possessions of the descendants of Phares.  Those of Her inhabited the country rendered famous by the exploits of Samson with the jaw bone.  Judg. xv. 9.  C. The first-born of Sela was called Her, after his unfortunate uncle.  Gen. xxxviii. 7.  H. That wrought.  Sept. take it for a proper name, “Ebdath.”  Heb. Beth-habodath habuts, “the house of the byssus, or fine linen manufacturers in Beth-Ashbaah,” (H.) which is, perhaps, the same with Beersabee, “the well of swearing.”  Gen. xxi. 31.  C. Oath.  The Latin word juramenti, might be retained here, as well as Calor.  C. ii. 55.  See 2 K. xxi. 19.  Sept. read, “Esoba,” as the proper name of a place.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  He, that made, &c.  viz. Joazim, the meaning of whose name in Hebrew, is, he that made the sun to stand.  In like manner the following names, Lying, (Cozeba) Secure, (Joash) and Burning, (Saraph) are substituted in place of the Hebrew names of the same signification.  Ch. The first etymology is not perfectly accurate, as Jokim means simply, “he made to stand;” Jachin, the pillar which Solomon erected, has the same import.  H. Some injudicious person seems to have placed the sun in the margin, whence it has crept into the text.  T. It might be occasioned by the fable of the Rabbins, who assert (H.) that Elimelech wrought the like miracle as Josue, to convince the people of Bethlehem of the necessity of being converted; but, finding them incorrigible, denounced a famine, which forced him to retire with his family into the country of Moab.  S. Jer. Trad. &c. Elimelech died in that country; but these four descendants of Sela retired, probably, along with him, and returned afterwards to Lehem, or Bethlehem, as it is customary to omit a part of a word.  T. This town was peopled by different branches of Juda’s family, v. 4, and C. ii. 54.  C. Lahem, &c.  Sept. seem to leave the original terms: “he made them return to Abedderim Athoukiim.” Who returned, is also left as a proper name by the Prot. (H.) &c.  “And Jasubi Lehem.”  Vat.  M. It is not easy to decide, when the Hebrew words should be translated. Old.  Heb. “and ancient words;” (H.) records, shewing where these families resided, (C.) unless this be also the name (H.) of a place.  Sept.

 

Ver. 23.  Potters.  Heb. yotserim, may also designate some family, as it seems improbable that the princes, in Moab, should be reduced to so mean a condition.  But we have many examples of such a fall; (H.) and it is supposed, that these descendants of Sela were employed by the king of Babylon, at Nethaim and Gadera.  C. Hedges.  These are the proper names of the places where they dwelt.  In Hebrew, Netahim and Gedera.  Ch. Sept. “Ataim and Gadera.”  H. The correct Roman edition of the Vulg. prints these words, plantationibus et Sepibus, with large letters, to imply as much.  M. King; David.  Sa.  M. Many of the tribe of Juda attended David, while he was forced to flee before Saul, and to hide himself in unfrequented places.  Some of them might be these Yotserim, or they might follow the profession of potters.  H. “With the king they were powerful in his kingdom, and dwelt there.”  Sept.  H. The Vulg. often give the meaning of proper names.  D.

 

Ver. 24.  Namuel, or Jamuel.  Gen. xlvi. 10. Jarib; perhaps the same with Sohar, (M.) unless the latter be Zara, or Zare.  Num. xxvi. 12.  These genealogies seem different; but the same person (C.) might have many names.  D.

 

Ver. 27.  Juda, probably, not even in the following cities, which they inhabited along with them.  This tribe of Simeon was always the weakest, and kept close to Juda.  See Num. xxvi. 14.

 

Ver. 30.  Bathuel appears to be the same with Bethulia.  Judith vi. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  David, who had Siceleg given to him, 1 K. xxvii. 6.  H. After the schism, Juda straitened the tribe of Simeon; so that it was forced to seek for other habitations in Gador, under Ezechias, v. 39, &c.  C. It could no longer reside among those of the tribe of Juda, (D.) and acknowledge another king.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Baal, or Ballath.  Jos. xix. 1. Distribution.  Heb. and Sept. “and their genealogy.”  M. KatalogismoV, may as well have the former signification, “their class;” (H.) though the sequel seems to determine it in the latter sense.  D.

 

Ver. 34.  Mosabab.  This and the following princes joined their forces, to conquer fresh territories from Gador, (H.) or Gadara, near Joppe, (Strabo xvi.) which had been long in the possession (H.) of the Egyptians, (v. 40.  C.) or Philistines.  Malvenda.

 

Ver. 40.  Cham.  It is not certain that the Philistines, who came from the country of the Casluim, were descendants of Mezraim.  Gen. x. 14.  But it is very clear that the Egyptians sprung from Cham.  Ps. lxxvii. 51.

 

Ver. 41.  Inhabitants.  Sept. “and the Mineans.”  Heb. meyenim, “the inhabitants of Maon,” in Arabia.  See Judg. x. 11.  Syr. and Arab. “the fountains.”

 

Ver. 42.  Jesi; perhaps Asaia, by the transposition of one letter; (v. 36.  C.) or these chiefs were remote descendants of Jesi, v. 20.  H. The expedition probably took place about the same time as the preceding, to avoid the attack of the Assyrians, or of Juda, by retiring farther into Arabia.  C.

 

Ver. 43.  Escape the arms of Saul, or of David.  D. Day.  It seems, therefore, that they escaped captivity, having abandoned their own country; or this was taken from a record, which had been made before that event, and is here inserted by Esdras; though, when he wrote, these Simeonites might have experienced the fate of their brethren, who were led captives in the 6th year of Ezechias.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  First-born.  Gen. xlix. 4.  W. He gives this reason for not beginning with him.  C. And he.  Prot. “and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birth-right.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Accounted to Joseph, viz. as to the double portion, which belonged to the first-born: but the princely dignity was given to Juda, and the priesthood to Levi.  Ch. Yet it is not certain that the latter dignity formed a part of the birth-right, (Gen. xxv. 31.) and the author takes no notice of it.  C. The double portion seems to have been all the privilege.  Deut. xxi. 17.  Sept. “the blessing or gift was Joseph’s.”  Hebrew also does not specify princes, but “the leader,” (H.) the Messias, (Syr. &c.) and kings, from David till the captivity.  C.  Gen. xlix. 4.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Joel.  It does not appear whether he was the son of the last, or of Henoch.

 

Ver. 6.  Beera,  This tribe continued to have princes of their own, after the division of the kingdom.  Beera was in power when Thelgathphalnasar, or Theglathphalasar, took five tribes into captivity.  4 K. xv. 29.  Only twelve generations are mentioned to fill up about 750 years, from the leaving of Egypt.  C. But Enoch must have lived much sooner, as the Israelites continued in that country at least 215 years.  The princes are probably not all specified, as on other occasions.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Families, when they were led captive into Assyria; (M.) or before, when the tribe was in a most flourishing condition. Princes.  Heb. and Sept. “prince.” Jehiel.  Sept. “Joel,” v. 4.

 

Ver. 8.  And.  So Heb. &c. as f he was one of the princes.  But the Vulg. seems to begin a new sentence, Porro, “now Bala.”  The possessions of this man must have been very extensive, from the Euphrates till (H.) Baal-meon, within nine miles of Hesebon, (Eus.) almost (C.) as far as the Jordan.  T. Bala, or his descendants, extended their conquests as far as the Euphrates, which had been promised to Israel; and, under Saul, conquered the Agarites, who sprung from Agar.  Syr. &c. “the Arabs of Sacca,” or the Scenites, “dwelling under tents,” and  inhabiting the Desert Arabia.  The details of this war are probably given, v. 19, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Cattle, for which reason they desired to have this country.  Num. xxxii. 4.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Selcha, not far from Jabok.  Deut. iii. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Chief, (in capite.)  Sept. “first-born.”  H. This list was made under Joathan, king of Juda, when Joel was at the head of the tribe of Gad.  C. Basan, the capital city, v. 16.  Sa.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  And, &c.  Heb. also, “Achi, son of Abdiel.” Chief, like the preceding, each in their respective families.  C. They were relations (H.) of the same tribe.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Saron, in Basan; (Jos. xii. 18.) different from those vallies near Joppe, (C.) and between Thabor and Tiberias.  Euseb.

 

Ver. 17.  Israel.  Jeroboam II. had been dead two years before Joathan was born: unless some of the numbers be incorrect; which seem very probable.  4 K. xv. 5.  Yet these registers might be made at different times, and one, perhaps, under Jeroboam I. as when any war seemed to threaten, the number of soldiers was to be known.  C. It does not appear why the king of Juda is mentioned, as the people were not under his dominion, unless (H.) he was contemporary with Jeroboam II. as some assert.  M. Yet the following expedition seems to have taken place while Israel was still faithful to God.  H.  By faith they overcame kingdoms.  Heb. xi.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  But, &c.  Heb. “and Jetur, &c. (20) and they were helped by God against them.”  H. Sept. “they prevailed over them, and the Agarites,” &c.  The ancient, or higher Iturea, lay between Hermon and Manasses; but the lower, which Josephus includes under this name, took in the deserted possessions of that half tribe.  C. The former (H.) extended from Jordan by Libanus, to the mountains of Tyre.  M. And Naphis, sons of Ismael.  Gen. xxv. 13.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Lord.  Very dreadful, and in obedience to God’s orders. Captivity, v. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Basan, which belonged to Gad.  H. In Josue (xvii. 5.) Basan and Galaad seem to be given to Manasses; but the former there denotes all the level country, from the Jabok  to the Jordan, as Galaad is put for the mountains on the East.  C. Great.  It would take thirty hours to travel from the torrent Jabok to Baal Hermon.  Adric.  M.

 

Ver. 26.  Assur.  These princes were scourges in the hand of God, to punish the guilty.  H. The former forced Israel to pay tribute; the latter carried many into captivity, 4 K. xv. 19. 29. and xvi. 7.  C. Lahela, or Hala and Haber, cities watered by the river Gozan. Ara; perhaps Rages.  Tob. i. 16, &c.  D.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Levi.  The genealogy of the Levites is given with more exactitude than any of the preceding.  Caath formed two branches, 1. the priests, descended from Aaron; 2. all his other children, who were simply Levites.  C. Hence they are placed after the priests.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Isaar, or Aminadab, v. 22.

 

Ver. 3.  Abiu.  These died without children.  The genealogy of Eleazar is given, as his family enjoyed the pontificate a long time, while that of Ithamar is neglected, (C.) as only Heli and a few others were raised to that dignity.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Eleazar.  The nine following generations to Sadoc may be immediate.  D.

 

Ver. 5.  Abisue.  He is mentioned no where else.  Josephus (v. ult.) calls him Abiezer.  C. Many of these high priests were very obscure.  M. Ozi, after whom Heli is supposed to have reigned, so that Zaraias and the three following were excluded, (C.) while Heli, and four of the same family of Ithamar, were acknowledged as high priests.  T. Abiathar was then forced to give place to Sadoc, (3 K. ii. 26.  H.) whose family was in power at the captivity, v. 15.  T. Nicephorus (ii. 4.) and Josephus (x. 11.) mention other high priests besides these.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Azarias.  Perhaps the same who is called Amarias, (2 Par. xix. 11.) as Johanan is probably the illustrious Joiada, 4 K. xi. 4.

 

Ver. 10.  This may refer to either.  C. The Holy Ghost gives an encomium to Joiada, for re-establishing the divine worship, (Junius) or to Azarias, for withstanding the impious attempt of king Osias.  E.  T. &c.  2 Paral. xxvi. 17.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Sellum, or Mosollam.  C. ix. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Went out, into captivity, while his father was slain.  4 K. xxv. 18.  More than 22 priests would be requisite to fill up near 900 years.  See Salien.

 

Ver. 16.  Gerson.  Hebrew here reads Gersom, though it had Gerson before, v. 1.

 

Ver. 18.  The, &c.  This verse is repeated from v. 2. as the author is now going to continue the genealogy of the Levites, in their natural order, (H.) to Samuel.  D.

 

Ver. 20.  Jahath.  See v. 42, 3. Zamma springs from Semei, Jeth, Gerson, and has a son named Ethan, who has Adaia; as Zara begot Athanai, v. 41.  Almost all the names are rather different

 

Ver. 22.  Asir.  While Core perished, his children were preserved.  Num. xvi. 30. and xxvi. 11.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Asir.  This name seems superfluous (v. 36.  Ex. vi. 24.  C.) perhaps taken from the preceding verse.  H. The two former were sons of Core, v. 25. 37.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Sophai, Nahath, and Eliab, are called Suph, (H.) Thohu, (v. 34.  C.) and Eliel.  H. Sophai may be a surname of Elcana.  Poole.  D.

 

Ver. 27.  Elcana, his son.  It seems necessary to supply, “Samuel, his son,” (H.) as he descended from the 3d Elcana.  D.

 

Ver. 28.  Vasseni.  Some Latin copies subjoin “Joel,” who was the first-born, (v. 33.)  La Haye. Vasseni means, “and the second;” which can hardly be considered as the name of the eldest son, tough some have take it as such, in like manner as they have explained six.  C. iii. 22.  But then the v ought at least to be omitted, (C.) as it is in the Vat. and Alex. Sept. “Sani and Abia.”  H. Other editions insert “Joel,” with the Syr. and Arab.  C. This person had therefore either two names, or Joel has been omitted, and we should translate “Joel and the second, Abia.”  M. These brothers acted so ill as judges, that the people took occasion to demand a king.  1 K. viii. 3.

 

Ver. 31.  The singing.  Heb. “the hands or places of the canticle,” the two tribunes on each side of the altar.  Heman presided over the band in the middle, while Asaph directed those on the right, and Ethan those on the left, v. 33. 39. and 44.  C. Placed.  Heb. “rested,” as before David’s time it had been carried about.  He erected a tabernacle for it on Sion, and directed the Levites to attend in order, (C. xxv.) so that some should be present every day (M.) to honour God, both by instruments and vocal music, while the priests performed their sacred functions with the utmost decency.

 

Ver. 33.  Heman.  Some families among the Levites were more distinguished than the rest, having authority to regulate the singers, and to give the tune.  Hence many psalms are addressed to these three masters of music.  Yet from those titles we cannot surely infer that those psalms were composed by Asaph, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 34.  Eliel.  Many of the genealogies do not seem to agree in these first 10 chapters, as some more obscure names have been passed over, (M.) or the people had different names, or, through the fault of transcribers, some alteration has taken place, which could hardly be avoided, without a constant miracle.  H.

 

Ver. 39.  Brother, or relation, though of the family of Gerson.  He also followed the same profession as Ethan did, v. 44.

 

Ver. 44.  Ethan is also called Idithun (C. xxv. 1. 8.) in the Psalms.  C.

 

Ver. 48.  Brethren.  All the other Levites, who were not Cantors.  M.

 

Ver. 49.  Offerings, which is here the meaning of incensum; as “incense” was not burnt on this altar, but only victims.  Ex. xxix. 13.

 

Ver. 53.  Sadoc.  By God’s ordinance Heli had been appointed.  But the dignity still subsisted in Aaron’s family.  W. Achimaas, who was pontiff in the days of Solomon.  This genealogy had been brought down to the Captivity, (v. 3, &c.) which shews that the author give extracts from different records.

 

Ver. 55.  Suburbs, or 2000 cubits round the city.  See Jos. xx. and xxi.  C.

 

Ver. 57.  Of, is not authorized by the Vulg. civitates, but is added, to signify that all these 13 cities were not thus privileged.  H. There were only six cites of refuge, of which Hebron was one.  See Josue xx. 7.  C.  M. Prot. “And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Juda, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge.”  But “such a licence to insert words at pleasure, cannot be allowed.”  Heb. lit. “they gave cities of Hebrew refuge, Hebron,” &c.  The “sense absolutely disallows the word Judah,” which is omitted , (Jos. xxi. 13.) as well as in some Heb. MSS. in the Bamberg, and Complut. editions, and in those of Jablonski and Michaelis. Hari, “cities,” ought to be hir, “a city,” as only one is meant.  We should also add with the Arab. and Syriac, and the parallel passage in Josue, “and her suburbs,” after Hebron.  Kennicott. “Juda” is not found in the Sept. &c.: and Buxtorf acted with little wisdom, when he thought he had sufficiently answered Capellus, by observing that the Masora declared the word to be authentic.  Anticrit.  It is a great misfortune that most of the printed Heb. editions have been given under such influence; and that the Masorets have defaced so many MSS. by their corrections.  H. Hence they probably burnt all the first edition of Naples, 1487, except part of a single copy, comprising the Cethubim given to Eton college by Dr. Pellet, which omits the word Juda.  Kennicott. Dis. i. p. 520-2.

 

Ver. 59.  Asan, perhaps Jethnan, or Ain.  Jos. xv. 23. and xxi. 15.  Syriac adds Ethra.  C. Bethsames.  Sept. Alex. subjoins, “Baither and its suburbs.”  H. All these cities were in the tribes of Juda and of Simeon.  M.

 

Ver. 60.  Almath.  Jos. Almon. Thirteen; but Geta and Gabaon are not here expressed.  Jos. xxi. 16. 17.  C. Sept. Alex. inserts, “Lebee,” before, and “Anchos, with its suburbs,” after Anathoth, thus making 14; but these additional cities are not sacerdotal.  H.

 

Ver. 61.  Out of.  We may supply, “the tribe of Dan, Ephraim, &c.” as only two cities belonged to Manasses.  Jos. xxi. 25.  C. Double that number was taken from the two other tribes.  M.

 

Ver. 65.  Them.  The priests, v. 54.  D. Names.  Some being styled of the priests, (C.) other of the Levites, (M.) whose dominion as thus asserted.  C.

 

Ver. 66.  The cities, or rather “some cities,” as all were not in the tribe of Ephraim.  H.

 

Ver. 67.  Of the.  Lit. “cities to flee to, (or of refuge) Sichem,” (H.) which might induce some to suppose that all these cities were of this description; but, in reality, only Sichem had that privilege.  C. Sept. is liable to the same ambiguity.  See v. 57. (H.) Jos. xx. 7. and xxi. 21.

 

Ver. 68.  Jecmaan, or Cibsaim, (Jos.) as Helon is put for Aialon below.  And of the tribe of Dan, Eltheco and Gabathon is omitted.  See Jos. xxi. 23.

 

Ver. 70.  Aner and Baalam, perhaps the same as Thanach and Gethremmon, which were given to the children of Caath of the inferior degree, (Jos. xxi. 26.  C.) or, who were left out of the rank of priests, (M.) or before unprovided for, as the partition was made at different times. Baalam.  Heb. “Balaam.”  Sept. “Iblaam” is the Jeblaam.  Jos. xvii. 11.

 

Ver. 71.  Astharoth, or Bosra.  C. Heb. Hashtaroth.  Jos. xxi. 27.  H.

 

Ver. 72.  Cedes…Ramoth, and Anem, are Cesion, Jaramoth, and Engannim.  Jos. xxi. 28. 29.

 

Ver. 75.  Hucac…Hamon, and Cariathaim, are Helcath, Hammoth-Dor, and Carthan.

 

Ver. 77.  Remmono and Thabor, or, Jecham and Cartha.  H. Damna and Naalol are here omitted.  Jos. xxi. 35.  There was formerly a town on Thabor, perhaps called Ceselet Thabor.  Jos. xix. 12.  Judg. iv. 6.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Jasub, or Job.  See Gen. xlvi. 13.  Num. xxvi. 23.  C. Simeron, elsewhere Samron and Semran; (M.) which shews, either that the names have been differently pronounced, or that the transcribers have erred.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Chiefs.  They were at the head of distinct families.  M. David.  We know that David took an account of his fighting men.  2 K. xxiv.  But it is not certain that this register was made at that time; as we read that Benjamin was not numbered.  C. xxi. 6.  These lists were probably made when some expedition was intended by David.  The author was not, perhaps, able to recover the accounts of Nephthali, Manasses, and Ephraim, no more that the genealogies of Dan (v. 12) and Zabulon, which do not appear in this book.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Sons, for “the son.”  D. Izrahia.  He alone deserved to be mentioned.  See v. 6, where only three sons of Benjamin appear, though there were more, C. viii. 2.  T. Five, comprising Israhia, “all chiefs,” (H.) men of note, (D.) or one name may be lost.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Children, who had numerous offspring; (H.) so that, in the days of David, these descendants of Thola, amounted to so many.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  War.  In all, this tribe could muster 145,600 men, at that time.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Benjamin; a man, perhaps, of the tribe of Issachar.  See v. 10.  Or the patriarch had originally ten sons, (Gen. xlvi. 21.) or grandsons, five of whom only had children, and perhaps tow of their families perished entirely in the war with the other tribes; (Judg. xx. 46.) so that, under David, only three branches were acknowledged.  C. Jadihel, or Asbel in Genesis.

 

Ver. 7.  Urai, a grandson, called Hir, v. 12.  C. Five chiefs, but inferior to the seven original families, (Num. xxvi. 38.  M.) unless the fortune of war had made great changes, or some of the lists be imperfect.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  And Hapham; called Mophim and Ophim, (Gen. xlvi.) and Suphim and Hupham, Num. xxvi. 39. Aher, in Heb. means, “another” son, called Hazim: or more probably Aher ought to be Dan, the father of Husim, (Gen. xlvi. 23.) as Dan and Nephthali had both the same mother, Bala, v. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Son.  Heb. “sons…Ezriel, whom she bare.”  This seems imperfect.  The Hebrews seldom name the mother.  C. Sept. intimate that the Syrian wife was mother of both.  H. Galaad, whose posterity enjoyed the country of the same name, (Num. xxii. 29. and xxxii. 41.) only Machir in mentioned as the son of Manasses.

 

Ver. 15.  And Saphan.  S. Jerom seems to have taken them for women.  If they were the sons of Hir, (v. 12) Machir probably adopted them.  Heb. “Machir took a wife from Happhim,” &c.  But does one woman marry two men?  Syr. and Arab. “Machir took a wife one of the sisters of Huphim and Suphim, (the great and powerful) named Maacha.”  C. Prot. “the sister of Huppim…whose sister’s name was Maachah.”  H. Hebrew may have this sense, with a small alteration.  C. Le Clerc thinks that the name of the woman has been lost, and the text altered. Second.  This also seems defective, as no first had been mentioned.  C. Two intervened between Machir and Salphaad, namely, Galaad and Hepher, (Num. xxvi. 29. and xxvii. 1.  M.) so that Salphaad was his great-grandson.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Badan, perhaps the same with Jair; (Judg. x. 3.  1 K. xii. 11.  C.) or rather in this last place, the Syr. &c. read more correctly Barac, and Samson instead of Samuel, who was then speaking.  See Heb. xi. 32.  There was no such deliverer as Badan, but the word has been corrupted from Barac.  Sept.  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 18.  Queen.  Heb. “Moleceth bore Ishehod.”  S. Jerom and the Latin Church translate these names.  W. Prot. “Hammoleketh bore Ishod.”  H. The proper names might have been as well retained, (C.) as in the Sept.  H. Some suppose that the mother of Josue, or Debora, may be designated.  Rabbins. Abiezer, (19) Leci, are the Jeser and Chelek.  Num. xxvi. 30.

 

Ver. 20.  Bared, Thahath, probably called Becher and Theken, in Num.  Three alone are there mentioned, though the other thirteen, whose names are given, seem to have been all the immediate sons of Ephriam, (C.) since he mourns for them, (v. 22.  M.) and his other children afterwards.  H. The dreadful slaughter made them, is perhaps the reason why only three are mentioned in Numbers, and none in Genesis.

 

Ver. 21.  Son, Ezer.  Heb. “and Ezer and Elad.”  His son, after each, seems to be twice omitted, as these were in the same degree as the rest.  Sept. agree with the Vulg.  H. Because they, the sons of Ephraim, (C. &c.) or the men of Geth.  Syr. and Arab.  D.  M.  T. The text is ambiguous, but the former supposition seems more rational, (H.) and more generally received.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Beria.  This name signifies, in evil, or in affection.  Ch. Briae, “in howling.”  M.

 

Ver. 24.  Daughter, or great grand-daughter, repaired these three cities.  C. The last, probably, was called after her.  H. But its situation is unknown.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Thale.  Heb. “and Thale, his son, and Thaan, his son.”  These seem to have been the sons of Ephraim.  The following were their descendants.  H. At least Elisama was prince in the wilderness, (C.) under Moses; (Num. i. 10.  H.) and Josue, the sixth from Ephraim, was 54 years old, when the Israelites left Egypt.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Daughters.  Sept. “villages.” Joseph, by Ephraim and Manasses, west of the Jordan.  H.

 

Ver. 34.  Aram.  Add, “and Helem,” (C.) unless Helem was the first-born (v. 35) of Ahi, which signifies “brother.”  Perhaps Helem was brother of Somer, called Hotham, v. 32.

 

Ver. 37.  Jethran.  Sept. “Jether,” as v. seq.

 

Ver. 38.  Jephone.  The father of Caleb was of the tribe of Juda.  C.

 

Ver. 40.  Of captains; a Hebrew idiom, to denote the most excellent.  H. Heb. “chief of the princes.”  All mentioned from v. 30, were at the hand of their tribe,  in succession, and led their brethren to battle.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Benjamin.  Some farther particulars of his genealogy are given, for the honour of Saul; (C.) and many of these, who returned from captivity, are mentioned.  1 Esd. x. 11.  Sanctius. Bale, &c. are called Bela, (M.  C. vii. 6.) Jadiel, and Ahiram, or Echi, Num. xxvi. 36. and Gen. xlvi.

 

Ver. 2.  Nohaa is probably styled Bechor; and Rapha, Ros, in Genesis.

 

Ver. 3.  Addar, Ared or Hered.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Ahod, the judge.  Judg. iii. 15. Manahath; the Menuchat, in the tribe of Juda, (C. ii. 54.) after the captivity.  C. Abulensis thinks Manahath was in Moab, v. 8.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  And.  Lit. “but,” autem.  H. The sentence is clearer without this particle.  M. Naaman was the first-born of Ahod; and Gera prevailed on his brethren to leave Gabaa, (T.) and was probably the father of Oza.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Saharim.  His father is not specified: but his was a Benjamite.  M. Some force the Heb. text to say that Ahod had three sons, whom he sent to form a colony at Manahath, and afterwards he had three others by his two wives, and at last, by Rodes, he had Jobab, &c.  C. Begot.  Prot. “children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away: Hushim and Baara were his wives.”  But the Sept. intimate, that “Saharim begot…after he had sent away Osim, and his wife Baara, and he begot of Ada,” &c.  H. He had perhaps retired into Moab, at the same time as Elimelech.  Ruth i.  T. Those who were sent away were men, (eos) according to the Hebrew, unless (H.) the word should be eas.  D.

 

Ver. 11.  Mehusim.  Heb. and Sept. “of Husim (v. 8) he begot.”

 

Ver. 12.  Ono was three miles from Lod, or Diospolis, (Lightfoot) built after the return from Babylon, (1 Esd. ii. 23.  C.) in the territory of Benjamin.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  And Sama.  They are supposed to have been sons of Elphaal.  C. Aialon belonged to Dan.  Jos. xix. 42.  But it was near Benjamin, (M.) and was probably occupied by people chiefly of that tribe.  H. Geth.  We know not at what period.

 

Ver. 16.  Baria, son of Elphaal.  Whether the following were his brothers does not appear certain, as it seems more natural to have placed all his father’s children together, v. 12. and 18.

 

Ver. 21.  Semei; perhaps Sama, v. 13.  C. Sept. read, Samai.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Sesac, probably mentioned in v. 14.  C. Sept. have “Sosek,” in both places.

 

Ver. 28.  Families.  Heb. “These were heads of the fathers by their generations, chief men.”  Prot.  H. Jerusalem, probably after the captivity.  We find none of these names from v. 14, in the days of Josue; and it was not easy for people to establish themselves at Jerusalem, till David had expelled the Jebusites.  C. Yet we find that the tribes of Juda and Benjamin had seized the lower city long before.  Jos. xviii. 28.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Dwelt.  Lit. “they dwelt.”  But Heb. and Sept. “in Gabaon, dwelt the father of Gaboan,” (H.) who was called Jehiel, (C. ix. 35.) or Abiel.  1 K. ix. 1.  C. The following verses are repeated in the next chapter, (H.) and seem to have been originally the same; though now many variations occur, which shew that “every Hebrew letter” has not been preserved.  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 30.  Baal.  Add, “and Ner,” (v. 33.  C. ix. 36.) as the Sept. have it here also.

 

Ver. 31.  Zacher, or Zacharias.  C. ix.  Heb. omits the following name, as well as (H.) the end of the preceding one.  Kennicott. The Alex. Sept. has the same faults.  But the Vatican retains Macelloth.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Over-against, in the vicinity, while some remained at Gabaon.  See Gen. xvi. 12.  C. The family of Cis resided at Gabaa.  1 K. x. 26.  M.

 

Ver. 33.  Ner, son of Abiel, or of Jeheil, prince of Gabaon, v. 29.  H. From Aphia sprung Bechorah, Seror, Abiel, (1 K. ix.) who is also called Ner and Jehiel.  He had Ner, the father of Abner, and Cis, father of Saul.  M. Abinadab, or Jessui.  1 K. xiv. 49.  C. Esbaal, alias Isboseth.  Ch. The Hebrews avoid pronouncing the name of the idol, and substitute boseth, “confusion.”  C. Hence it is clear that many had two names.  D.

 

Ver. 34.  Meribbaal, alias Mephiboseth.  2 K. iv. 4.  Ch.  2 K. ix.  M.

 

Ver. 36.  Joada, or Jara.  C. ix. 42.  C. “Strange mistakes these!”  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 40.  Archers, particularly the natives of Gabaa.  Judg. xx. 16.  Jonathan is praised for his skill.  2 K. i. 22.  M. Benjamin.  We might hence conclude that here ended the genealogy of that family.  Yet we find it partly repeated in the following chapter, v. 35.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  These registers were preserved by those who fled from the arms of Salmanasar, into the kingdom of Juda.  Such records were preserved with the utmost care, and were collected by the author; who could give an account of what happened during and after the captivity, as he was an irreproachable eye-witness; not to mention the divine inspiration, which places his testimony out of the reach of criticism.  C. And Juda; perhaps by some historian.  M. Babylon, while Israel was removed elsewhere, by the Assyrians.  H. The genealogies of Israel being hitherto recited, now those who came back from captivity appear.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  First.  He only treats of those who returned first, (T.) under Esdras.  H. Nehemias brought back others, and more returned afterwards.  Many also retook possession of their lands, which they had enjoyed before the captivity.  1 Esd. iii. 12. Nathineans.  These were the posterity of the Gabaonites, whose office was to bring wood, water, &c. for the service of the temple. Ch.  Jos. ix. 27. David and Solomon consigned others of the Chanaanites, whose lives they spared, to perform the same office.  They were like public slaves.  The number of those who returned was so small, that days were appointed for all the people to help to carry wood for the temple.  At Jerusalem the Nathineans, “or people given,” resided on the east side of the city; (2 Esd. ii. 26.) and other towns were assigned them.  1 Esd. ii. 70.  C. The people continued to be divided into four classes, as they had been before the captivity.  Malvenda.

 

Ver. 3.  Manasses.  People from these tribes particularly, (H.) as well as from others, had fled to the kingdom of Juda, when the Assyrians took their brethren prisoners; and these returned to Jerusalem.  M. Cyrus gave a general leave for all Israel to return.  The country was too spacious for them; and it was found necessary to force the tenth part of the people, by lot, to repair to Jerusalem, as it wanted inhabitants.  2 Esd. xi. 1.

 

Ver. 4.  Othei; perhaps Hathaia, son of Husias.  The Heb. names are differently pronounced.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Siloni may mean a native of Silo, or a descendant of Sela.  See Num. xxvi. 20. and 2 Esd. xi. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Oduia, or Johed, or Juda.  2 Esd. xi. and vii. 9.  Junius.

 

Ver. 11.  Azarias, or Saraias, ib. 11. Mosollam, or Sellum.  C. vi. 12.  C. High is not expressed in Pontifex; and this Azarias was only (H.) one of the principal families; (M.  D.) perhaps the second in dignity; (4 K. xxv. 18.) while Jesus was the successor of Aaron, 1 Esd. iii. 8.  C. Heb. and Sept. “the ruler,” (H.) or “captain of the guard of the house.”  C. They were styled pontiffs, or princes of the priests.  T.

 

Ver. 12.  Phassur, Phesur, (H.) or Phetur.  From him sprung Zacharias, Amsi, Phelelia, Jehoram; so that the last was only the great-grandson of Phassur, 2 Esd. xi. 12. Maasai.  In Esd. (v. 13) Amassai, the son of Azreel, the son of Ahazi.

 

Ver. 14.  Levites, established at Jerusalem.

 

Ver. 15.  Carpenter.  Heb. Cheresh, is taken by some to be a surname.  Sept. “And Ares.”  It is asserted that the priests and Levites could follow no mechanical profession, (Abul.) and the Bacbacar only presided over the carpenters, who wrought in the temple.  M.  T. But why might not people of this order employ themselves in such arts and labours, which were never deemed degrading among the Hebrews, nor incompatible with the sacred ministry, during the leisure hours?  C. S. Paul did not disdain to make tents.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Suburbs, or “courts,” atriis.  H. Heb. “villages.”  M. Netophati was a town of Juda.  The ancient regulations could not be observed exactly.  C. The priests received the Levites into their cities.  D.

 

Ver. 17.  Sellum had the superintendency over all the porters.  H. He was also at the head of one of the four bands which guarded the doors, east, west, north, and south of the temple, with various apartments, v. 26.  C. Brother.  Heb. “brethren,” or bands.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Time.  Heb. “and hitherto.”  This custom has been observed at the king’s gate, who entered his tribune by the eastern gate of the temple.  4 K. xvi. 18.  So far the ancient records reach.  Some would infer from this passage, that a guard was still kept at the king’s gate, even though there was none sitting upon the throne after the captivity.  C. Prot. (“who hitherto waited in the king’s gate eastward.)  They were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.”  H. These different bands attended by turns.  M. But the captains were on duty every day, v. 25, and 26, and 34.

 

Ver. 19.  Service, to keep watch.  C. Families.  Heb. “fathers over the host, (H.) or camp of the Lord: keepers of the entry.”  The Corites, though not perhaps alone, performed what their fathers had done before the tabernacle, in the desert, and in the temple of Solomon; which were considered as the camp of the great king.

 

Ver. 20.  Before.  Heb. “the Lord with him,” an usual form of blessing, (C.) or of wishing well (H.) to the deceased.  C. This Phinees lived after the captivity, (M.) and possessed the same power as Eleazar and Joiada.  C. xii. 27.  Num. iii. 32.  It is not necessary to refute the fables of the Rabbins, who pretend that the famous Phinees was an angel, who appeared at different times, and particularly at the return from Babylon.  C. Heb. may refer to the ancient Phinees: “And Phinees…was ruler over them formerly, and the Lord was with him.”  D.

 

Ver. 21.  Gate, leading to the holy place, which corresponded with the tabernacle.

 

Ver. 22.  Towns, where they resided, when they were not on duty.  M. Seer, or prophet.  H. We read not of his making any such regulation.  But he probably made it after the misconduct of the sons of Heli, and when the ark was brought back.  C. He might also give private instructions to David for the same purpose; (H.) as Gad and Nathan did.  2 Par. xxix. 25.  The same plans were still adopted, though the number of Levites was small.  C. Trust, while they were at the head of affairs, and acting by God’s authority.  Lit. “in their faith;” (H.) enlightened from above, and regulating matters according to the dispositions, which they discovered in the sacred ministers: or rather Heb. “in their established employment,” which was to subsist in future ages.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Quarters: lit. “by the four winds.”

 

Ver. 25.  Up on.  Heb. “after seven days…with them,” to take their place for a week.

 

Ver. 26.  To these.  Heb. “for these Levites, (Sellum, &c.  v. 17) four chief porters were in their set office,” for life, or as long as they were able to serve, and did not change every week like the rest. Lord: the apartments of the priests, and the storehouses, (H.) where all precious ornaments, wine, &c. were kept.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Priests.  They alone were allowed to make the composition, which no mortal was permitted to use (C.) for his own pleasure.  H.  Ex. xxx. 34.

 

Ver. 31.  Pan, to be offered on the altar of holocausts, (Lev. ii. 4. and vii. 12.) or to be eaten by the priests.  Ezec. xlvi. 20.  Mathathias was to take care that all this was done with decency, (C.) and to look after the utensils.

 

Ver. 32.  Propositions.  Heb. “of arrangement;” (Ex. xxxv. 13.) “of faces.”  These loaves were made by the Levites, but arranged upon the golden table every week (C.) before the ark.  See C. xxiii. 92.

 

Ver. 33.  These; probably Sellum, &c. (v. 17) though it is not certain that the chief porters presided over the singers.  C. xv. and xvi.  Heb. “And these are the singers, chief of the families (C.  or fathers) of the Levites, in the chambers (of the temple) free” from all other avocations, (H.) that they may watch over the porters and musicians.  Sept. is clearer: (C.) “And these are the masters of music over the bands of Levites, observing their daily courses, because they are day and night over them in the works.”  H. The sons of Caath seem to be chiefly specified, (v. 32) though other families sung.  C. vi. 39. Chambers, at a distance from their wives, to trim the lamps in the evening, and to see that none were extinguished, (M.) as also to teach music, &c.  The Synagogues were used afterwards.  D.

 

Ver. 34.  Jerusalem, having no substitute; (C. xxvi.  H.) or the chiefs of each family resided there.  M.

 

Ver. 35.  And in.  These verses are repeated from the last chapter, in order to bring us to the death of Saul, (M.) and the reign of David.  C. “Tis difficult to account for the repetition, provided they were repeated originally; but if they have been repeated through the blunder of a transcriber, the existence of the same words” before them may be the reason.  Kennicott. The father of Gabaon.  This is the explanation of Abigabaon.  C. viii. 29.  H. Wife.  So the former chapter, and all the ancient versions, with some Heb. MSS. read, instead of the printed Heb. “sister,” (Ken.) which seems to be corrupted; (C.) and the Prot. venture to correct it.  H.

 

Ver. 41.  Tharaa.  Heb. “Tachrea.”  Ken. e, is substituted for a.  H. And Ahaz, is omitted in Hebrew, (Ken.) and Sept..

 

Ver. 42.  Jara.  Heb. Yahra instead of Jeuade, or Johada, (C.) viii. 36, twice.  Sept. Jada here, and Joiada above.  H.

 

Ver. 43.  Raphaia, called Rapha before.  C.

 

Ver. 44.  These.  All is omitted, though it is found C. viii. 38, and in MS. ii.  Kennicott. These remarks, which may appear to some  minute, shew that all Hebrew MSS. are not absolutely alike, as some once pretended; and that the Hebrew Bible is not printed from the best copies.  H. “The sacred volume in Hebrew has, therefore, been published with such carelessness, as no other printed copy with which I am acquainted.”  Houbigant, prol. p. 2. Yet this is the copy, which alone Protestants hold up as the standard of perfection, and the Rule of Faith!  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Now.  Sept. “and.”  H. This has no connexion with what goes before.  C. This history is given more at large, 1 K. xxxi. and 2 K. i.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Reached: lit. “found.”  H. Heb. “attacked him, and he feared the archers.  He was not, at least, mortally wounded, when he took the desperate resolution to destroy himself, through fear and consternation.  C.  Yet the original will admit the sense of the Vulg. and Saul might have received some wounds.  Sept. “Archers found him with bows, and in labours, and he laboured on account of (or to avoid) the bows.”  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Fear and reverence for his master, (C.) as well as concern for his own safety.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Fell.  Heb. “died.”  C. But, though the house of Saul was fallen from its former glory, on this fatal day, when so many of his courtiers perished; yet he left Isboseth to bewail his fate, (H.) and some others who were not of age to go to battle.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  To be.  Heb. “to carry tidings to their idols, (sorrows) and to the people.”  They exposed the spoils in the temples, and gave thanks to their idols for the victory.

 

Ver. 10.  Head, while his body was hung on the walls of Bethsan.  1 K. xxxi. 10.  C. The temple of Dagon was contiguous to the wall.  D.

 

Ver. 12.  Oak, well known at Jabes.  Elsewhere the word is translated, the grove.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  For.  Sept. “in his iniquities.”  H. See 1 K. xiii. 9. and xv. 23.  Saul offered sacrifice unlawfully, and spared some of the Amalecites.  W.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  David.  This name is written without i, in the books composed before the captivity, (A.C. 588) but i is inserted in the latter works, which is an argument against the antiquities of Canticles, where the i is found.  Yet the MSS. vary so, that great stress is not laid on this (Kennicott) proof, and it is not sufficient weight to stand against the general opinion, which attributes that work to Solomon.  H. Hebron, after the death of Isboseth.  2 K. v.  C. Flesh; related, as the children of Jacob.

 

Ver. 3.  Which he spoke, is not expressed in Heb. or Sept.  Samuel complied with the injunction, by anointing David.  1 K. xvi. 13.  He also wrote an account of this memorable transaction, which translated the sceptre from one family to another.  H. It is, on this account, that the author here takes particular notice of God’s decree.  Ken.

 

Ver. 5.  Here.  In 2 K. v. 6, the passage is much fuller, and attended with many difficulties.  Kennicott would correct and translate it: “And they spake unto David, saying, Thou shalt  not come hither: for the blind and the lame shall keep thee off, by saying David shall not come hither.  But David took the stronghold of Sion,” (different from the citadel.  Josephus) “which is the city of David.  And David said, on that day, whosoever (first) smiteth the Jebusites, and, through the subterraneous passage, reacheth the blind and the lame, which are hated of David’s soul, because the blind and the lame continue to say, he shall not come into this houseshall be head and captain.  So Joab, the son of Zeruiah, went up first, and was head.”

 

Ver. 8.  Round.  He made a complete inclosure or fortification, as Mello denotes perfection, or completion, (H.) by building houses from the castle to the town beneath it.  David begun at the very house (or citadel, 4 K. xii. 20.) from which the blind and the lame thought to have excluded him, and built all round, so as to make an entire communication.  Ken. Built.  Prot. “repaired.”  Heb. yechaye, (H.) “saved alive.”  Syr. &c.  Poole’s Synop.  But probably shear is now written instead of shor, and jeje ought to be jeje.  The long and the short e are easily confounded, (H.) and a is frequently thus inserted.  Watson. “He built…round to the beginning of that circuit.  And Joab was made governor of the city.”  Ken. “And surrounding it with a wall, he appointed Joab superintendant of the walls.”  Joseph. vii. 3. The position of the vowel points in these words, might naturally cause this mistake, (H.) as it seems to have done on other occasions.  Thus shor, “an ox,” should be sar, “a prince.”  Gen. xlix. 6. and Osee xii. 11.  Shevarim, “oxen,” has been read sarim, “princes,” by the Sept.  The former passage might admit of some corrections.  “In their anger they slew the men, and in their fury (vabrothom; instead of vabrotsnom, which is always explained in a good sense) they destroyed the princes.  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their fury, for it was inflexible.”

 

Ver. 9.  Lord.  2 K. adds God, more properly, as it seems always to have been inserted, thoug it is now wanting in two hundred places.  Kennicott, Dis. i. p. 62 and 525.

 

Ver. 10.  These.  Besides the help which David received immediately from God, he derived great assistance from Joab, the captain-general, from the six more renowned valiant men, and from the body of Thirty, as well as from fifteen others of less note, who are mentioned here.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Number.  2 K. xxiii. 8. the names.  But the two authors do not always use the same terms.  Ken. Thirty, or three, (2 K.) more correctly.  D. Three, ib. eight; (H.) probably by mistake. Wounded, or rather soldiers.  He encountered singly a whole regiment, though he might not kill them all; much less did he attack them, when already wounded.  Ken. Numbers have often been expressed by letter in Heb. as well as in Greek and other languages.  Our numeral figures are not liable to fewer mistakes.  H. Heb. “This is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, (the son of Zabdiel) the Hachmonite, chief of three.  He lifted up his spear against three hundred soldiers at one time.”  Ken.

 

Ver. 12.  His.  Heb. “the son of Dodi.”

 

Ver. 13.  And.  “Who could have discovered that thirty-four words are here omitted, if they had not been preserved in 2 K. xxiii.” though with some inaccuracy?  We should read, “And when the men of Israel were fled, he arose and smote the Philistines, until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword.  And the Lord wrought a great deliverance that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.  And after him was Shammah, the son of Agee, the Hararite: and the Philistines were gathered together at Lechi, where was a piece of ground full of barley…14. But he placed himself in the midst of the field, (of barley) and saved it, and smote the Philistines; and the Lord wrought a great deliverance.”  Ken. The name of Samma must have been omitted by the transcriber.  C. Without it, how will the number 37 be made out?

 

Ver. 14.  These men.  Sept. speak only of one: “And he stood,” &c. (H.) and the verbs are singular.  2 K. xxiii. 12. Gave.  Heb. vayahas (ibid.) is more correct than vayosha, “saved.”  Ken. Prot. are forced to add, “saved them by a great deliverance.”  But there is nothing in the original signifying by.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Captains.  This is not rightly expressed in any of the ancient versions, no more than in the Prot. which has, “Three of the Thirty chief;” marg. “Three captains over the Thirty.”  The latter signification comes much nearer to the truth.  It should be, “And there went down three captains, (Jesbaam, Eleazar, and Semma.  H.) who were over Thirty.” Rock, (hatsur) which seems preferable to katsir, “in the time of harvest.”  2 K.  Ken.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Garrison, or advanced guard.

 

Ver. 17.  O that.  Heb. “Who will.”  David wished to see his native country freed from the troops of the Philistines. In.  Heb. “by the gate.”

 

Ver. 18.  These.  Heb. “The three (or perhaps, three of the mighty men) brake through the host of the Philistines…by the gate, and took, and brought it to David.  But David would not drink it; and he poured it out unto the Lord,” by way of prayer, (Ken.) or of thanksgiving.  Josephus.

 

Ver. 19.  In the.  Heb. “thing!  Shall I drink the blood of these men, with their lives? for at the hazard of their lives they have brought it!  And he would not drink it.  These things did these three mighty men,” (Ken.) forming the first ternary.  T. Among these heroes there were different degrees of excellence.  C. Prot. acknowledge the superlative, “mightiest:” but “mighty” would do better, as they were not still equal to Joab.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Abisai.  His name is written without the middle i, in all this book. Three.  Alex. Sept. alone reads, “six.” He was.  Heb. adds, “not;” evidently mistaking lo, “not,” for lo, “ei.”  See 4 K. viii. 10.  “He lifted up his spear against 300 soldiers, and had a name among Three.”  Ken.

 

Ver. 21.  Second and (H.) first occur not in Heb. and Sept.  C. Heb. “Of the three he was more honourable than two; therefore he was their captain: and yet he attained not unto the first three.”  Ken. First is indeed the sense, but it is not expressed in the original.  We have here the exact order of these mighty men sufficiently marked out.  Abisai is the first captain (H.) of the second ternary.  T.

 

Ver. 22.  Two ariels.  That is, two lions, or lion-like men; for ariel, in Hebrew, signifies “a lion (Ch). of God,” the strongest compound word for “a man of valour.  The courage of a lion is so singular, that a man of extraordinary heroism is frequently called a lion, by way of emphasis; and the word God is frequently applied in Scripture to things particularly great.”  Kennicott. V is wanting at the beginning and end of the name of Banaias, (here Benaia, instead of Ubenaiahu and Banaias, 2 K.)  The last letter (v. 24) serves to distinguish this third captain in waiting on the king, from the eleventh, v. 31.  C. xxvii. 5. and 14.  H. Heb. “And Benaihu, the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, mighty in exploits; he slew two men of Moab, who were stouter than lions.  He also went down and slew a lion in a pit, in a snowy day.”  Ken. We have observed, that “And” is not found in the printed Heb. nor is it in the Prot. “Benaiah…slew two lion-like men, of Moad.”  Lit. “ariels;” (Sept.) that is, “lions of God,” or two of Moab equal to (H.) the strongest lions.  W. Yet it is not certain whether these were not real lions, as well as the following.  H. S. Jerom translates, two lions of Moab, 2 K. xxiii. 20.  C. Lion: ari is written arih, 2 K.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Cubits.  2 K. “a man of great aspect.” Ones.  Heb. “and he had a name among three mighty men.”  Ken. Shelosha, “three,” has the u omitted, (2 K.) as it is frequently on other occasions.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Among, or rather “above,” as he was the second captain of this series, and not one of the body of Thirty.  Ken. Council.  Lit. “placed him at his ear,” (H.) fecit eum auricularium a secreto; (2 K.) though the word is the same.  C. It seems, however, to have been read differently.  H. Sept. “he placed him over his family, (C.  patrian) or native place.”  H. Syr. “guard of his spear, and chief of his heroes.”  Arab. “over all his riches.”  Some would translate, “captain of his guards.”  Grot. Banaias was a man of consummate prudence, as well as a great warrior. C. David “gives Banaias the command of his life-guard.”  Joseph. vii. 12. Heb. “Behold! he was more honourable than the Thirty; but he attained not unto the first three, and David set him over his guard,” the Cerethites, &c.  C. xviii. 17.  Ken. This author adopts the correction of Grotius, as the Prot. do; though he acknowledges there is not impropriety in the present reading, “over his hearing or obedience.”  He also adds “first,” by way of explanation, as v. 21.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Moreover.  Nothing particular is here recorded of Asahel, and therefore he is barely mentioned with the rest.  But the Book of Kings had been more particular in determining their rank, and had said, “Asahel, brother of Joab, was over the Thirty,” being the last of the second ternary.  The preposition b (Ken.) frequently means, “over.”  Nold. &c. Arab. “head of Thirty, whose names are these.”  Ken. Elchanan; probably the son of Jair.  2 K. xxi. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Arorite, or Harodite, (2 K.) to distinguish him from Shammah.  Eliza, who follows in 2 K. is here universally omitted, as he is supposed to have died soon, and to have been replaced by Zabad, (v. 41.) who completes the number of 30.  Ken. Phalonite; not Paltite, as 2 K. where t has been formed of the two letters un.  So Sept. have read Adni, “my lord,” perhaps correctly, (Ken.) instead of Adan, “any man’s,” (1 K. xvii. 32.) as the two letters might easily be mistaken for one.  Ken. Helles was the captain for the seventh month, as the following was for the sixth, and Abiezer for the ninth.  C. xxvii. 10.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Sobbochai, rather than Mobonnai, (2 K.) where s and m have been mistaken for m and n, which are very similar in Heb.  The Sept. (Aldi) has there also Sabouchai.  He was the eighth captain.  C. 27. Ilai, or Selmon.  2 K.  Sept. have the same variation in some copies; but others lead us to suppose that Ilai was the true name.  Neither occur any where else in Scripture.

 

Ver. 30.  Maharai, the tenth captain.  (C. 27.)  Heled was the twelfth.

 

Ver. 31.  Ethai.  Not the famous prince of Geth, (2 K. xv. 19.  Ken.) though the name is written alike, (2 K. xxiii. 29.) an i being omitted.  H. This captain contributed to make David king (v. 10.) Banaia.  2 K. xxiii. a v is added, which makes the name like that of the second general; (v. 22.) but it ought to form part of the e, which is wanting in the following word.

 

Ver. 32.  Hurai, rather than Heddai, (2 K.  Ken.) though there is some doubt which is to be preferred.  H. Syr. and Arab. have Hiddai; but the Sept. declare for Hurai here, and the Aldine copy has Ouri also.  2 K.  Ken. Torrent.  Heb. “of the torrents or vales of Gaas.”  C. Abiel.  2 K. Abailbon, which seems to be the right word, as a transcriber may omit letters more easily than he can insert them.  Bun and the end seems to have been written separate, and to have been translated “the son of,” by Syr. and Arab.  The particles al and ál, have also been frequently mistaken on account of their nearly similar pronunciation. Bauramite.  Heb. habacharumi, 2 K. habarchumi, where two letters are transposed, and v is omitted, as usual, in the latter book.  H. The former reading appears to be more correct, as the hero probably came from Bahurim, (bérim, 2 K. iii. 16.) and the Syr. and Arab. seem to have read correctly. Salabonite.  Sept. SalabwnithV (2 K.) Salabwni.  Ken. The translator of the latter book gives the Hebrew termination throughout, instead of the Greek; (H.) “whence the learned have drawn an unanswerable argument against that version’s being the work of the same author.”  Ken. They might as well prove that S. Jerom did not translate both these books.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Gezonite.  We  know not the meaning of this epithet.  C. In 2 K. we read of the sons of Jassen, Jonathan, and Semma; (K.) but both seem to be incorrect; instead of Sept. “the son,” or supposing m to be lost, at the beginning, “of the sons of Assem, Gouni,” as Sept. read, instead of Genonite, which would leave this hero without any name.  See C. v. 15.  E is prefixed to this name, as it is to that of Manasses.  Jos. i. 12. Sage, should be Shamha, (Ken.) or Jonathan, the son of Samaa, the brother of David.  He slew the monstrous giant, (C. xx. 7.) as Sabachai did another.  Jonathan is mentioned also along with Asahel (2 K. xxi.) so that he deserves a place here among David’s heroes.

 

Ver. 34.  Sachar, mentioned C. xxvi. 4.

 

Ver. 35.  Eliphal should be Eliphelet, the son of Aasgai, the son of Machati, (H.) or of the country of Maacha, 4 K. xxv. 23.  Ken. Eliphal and Hepher cannot constitute two heroes, as that would derange the number 37.  2 K. xxiii. 39.  The copies of the Sept. vary much.  H.

 

Ver. 36.  Ahia, or rather “Eliam, the son of Achitophel, the Gilonite,” 2 K.  The name of the hero is lost here; and the latter part of his father’s name (p) has also been mistaken for g, which it resembles.

 

Ver. 37.  Hesro ends with u in the Heb.  Yet some read more properly with i, “Hetzrai,” as all the ancient versions have it, except the Vulg. (Ken.) some copies of which read Asra.  Blanchini, Vind. 1740. Carmelite.  Sept. Karmhdi.  The D might easily be mistaken for L, as the Greek bibles (Ken.) for some ages after Origen were written in capital letters, without accents.  Montfaucon, Pref. to Hexap. p. 44. Azbai seems preferable to Arbi, as the proper name seems also more correct than Pharai.  2 K.  H. The Vat. Sept. confounds both words  in one “Ouraiverchi.”  We  may apply to many of the proper names that severe censure which S. Jerom has passed upon the transcribers of the book of Chronicles.  Ita in Græcis & Latinis cod: hic nominum liber vitiosus est, ut non tam Hebræa quam Barbara quædam & Sarmatica nomina conjecta arbitrandum eit, &c.  ep. ad Domn.  If this epistle be not genuine, the same doctor complains at least of the incorrect state of the Sept.  Pref. in Paral.

 

Ver. 38.  Joel seems better than Igaal, (2 K.  H.) as we know there were some of this name under David, (C. xxvi. 22. and xxvii. 20.) and all the versions agree here, but vary much 2 K.  It is, therefore, more natural for us to adhere to that copy which has the greatest authority from the ancient versions.  Ken. Brother, relation, adopted child, (D.) or son, (2 K.) which seems more correct, as this is an usual expression.  C. This reason may rather lead us to conclude that the mistake being more natural, has been made by the transcriber of that book; particularly as we no where else read of Joel being the son of Nathan, but rather of Pedaiah, &c. Mibahar, or rather “Nathan of Tzoba.” The son, ought to be the proper name, “Bonni, (of Gadi.  2 K.) or the Gadite.”  Ken.

 

Ver. 41.  Zabad.  This name, with the following, is not found 2 K. where Elica occurs, though not mentioned here.  C. We have observed that Zabad took his place, and completed the number 37, v. 27.

 

Ver. 42.  With him.  Heb. “above him,” (Sept.  Jun.  Mont.) which must be applied to the rest of these 15 less valiant men.  Ken. Prot. agree with the Vulg. (H.) and Delany looks upon these 30 as a forth order of commanders in chief.  But 30 with him would take 31, and why are only 15 mentioned?  We have a regular gradation of officers, descending from Joab, the captain general.  Ken. These heroes are supplementary to those in the Book of Kings, and were stationed (C.) on the east of the Jordan, (D.) in their native country; (C.) which is true, at least (H.) with respect to several of them.  Maacha, Aashtaroth, and Aroer were in these parts, (Jos. xiii. 9. 13.  Ken.) as well as Mathana.  Num. xxi. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 44.  Jehiel.  The Masorets read so in the margin; but in the text they substitute u for i, improperly.  See Sept. and C. v. 7. 8.

 

Ver. 45.  Samri.  Prot. “Shimri,” or margin, “the Shimrite,” as they deem the expression to be equivalent.  But Shimri was rather the father of Jedihel or Jediael, and Joha.

 

Ver. 46.  Mahumite.  Prot. “Mahavite.”  Kennicott would translate these last verses according to his corrections.  42 …”Zabad, the son of Ahlai; (43) Adina, the son of Shiza, the Reubenite, and head of the Reubenites:  But the thirty were his superiors.  44 Hanan, the son of Maacha; and Josaphat, the Mithnite.  45 Urzia, the Ashtarothite; Shema and Jehiel, the sons of Hotham, the Aroerite.  46 Jediel, the son of Shimri; and Joha, his brother, the Titzite.  47 Jeliel and Mahavite, and Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam; and Ithmah, the Moabite; (48) Eliel, and Obed and Jashiel, the Metzobaites.”  It will be easily perceived that this author frequently recedes from the Prot. version, as well as from the printed Heb. both of which are frequently erroneous.  Perhaps the critical examination of these proper names, may appear to some unimportant.  But the question respecting the perfect integrity of the Hebrew text deserves to be seriously considered; and every part of sacred history requires our attention.  If the Prot. rule of faith be  incorrect, what security can they have?  We are not exposed to the same inconvenience, even though the Vulgate be susceptible of farther improvement.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  Siceleg, which had been given to David for a retreat.  Hither many brave men came to join him. Fled.  Heb. “was shut up through fear.”  C.   Sept. “was under anxiety.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Hand, like Aod.  Judg. iii. 15.  M. Brethren, of the same tribe.  The opinion which they entertained of David, must have been very great, to make them expose themselves to such dangers.  In adversity, true friendship and virtue shine the most.  C. The hand of providence is here conspicuous.  T.

 

Ver. 4.  Thirty.  Heb. sheloshim, denotes “the officers” of the army.  C. Prot. style this hero “Ismaiah.”

 

Ver. 6.  Jesbaam.  Probably the second after Joab.  C. xi. 11.  H. Of Carehim.  Heb. “the Korhites.”  Ken. So also the Sept.  There were Levites, descendants of Core.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Gaddi, a city of the tribe of Gad, (2 K. 23.) from which many went to join David, when he was in the country of Moab, (M.) as others of the Gadites did, v. 14. Mountains.  A fierce countenance and swiftness were much commended in soldiers.  “The eyes are always first conquered.”  Primi in omnibus præliis oculi vincuntur, says Tacitus, Mor. Germ.  C.  See Prov. xxx. 30.  2 K. ii. 18.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  Thousand, after David had ascended the throne.  C. At Siceleg he had only 600.  M. Some suppose that each of these officers was worth 100 men, &c.  Vatab.

 

Ver. 15.  Month, Nisan.  T. Banks.  This circumstance enhances their courage.  Maundrel (Alep. p. 136) went to see the Jordan, 13th March, 1697, but the river was nine feet from the banks.  Its rapidity has perhaps made its bed so much deeper, that it does not overflow so frequently at present.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Hold, in Moab, (1 K. xxii. 4.  D.  M.) or to Siceleg.  The people of Benjamin come with those of Juda, to avoid suspicion.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Hands.  At that time he had done no injury to any man.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Spirit of God (C. or good will.  D.) prompted Amasai, the chief of “the officers.”  C. Band, or “of a company.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Fight.  They joined him after he had left the Philistines.  C. But he.  Heb. “they helped them not.”  Neither David nor his partizans were involved in this danger, which might have caused their fidelity to be suspected.  1 K. xxix. H.

 

Ver. 20.  Thousands: heads of the principal cities.  Mic. v. 2.  D.

 

Ver. 21.  Rovers of Amalec, 1 K. xxx. 1.

 

Ver. 22.  Of God; very great, (C.) particularly when Isboseth was slain 2 K. v. 1.  H. The angels are to us innumerable, Job xxv.  An army in concord is compared to them.  W.

 

Ver. 27.  Joiada had the post of Eleazar over the Levites, (Num. iii. 32.) and was at the head of the warriors of his tribe, while Abiathar was high priest.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Of excellent.  Heb. “of great valour.”  Saul had appointed him in the place of Achimelec, and David permitted him to retain his dignity.

 

Ver. 29.  Followed.  Heb. “kept guard at the palace.”  These guards submitted to David, like the rest, after the death of Isboseth.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Manasses, west of the Jordan.  See v. 37.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Should, in agricultural pursuits,  in which those of Issachar excelled.  Gen. xlix. 14.  Countrymen have often more skill about the weather, then the greatest astronomers, Virg. Georg. i.  M.  T. Others think that these men could calculate when the festivals would occur, (S. Jer. Trad.) or they were well versed in politics, &c.  See Est. i. 13.

 

Ver. 40.  Nephthali.  All, both far and near, contributed to regale the deputies.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Consulted.  David wished to give religion due splendour and authority, in his dominions; and he prudently contrives to obtain the general consent.  H. “Where there is no liberty, there is no religion;” and no change in religious matters should be attempted, without the consent of the Church.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  To us.  In the first assembly, David’s motion was adopted, and a more general meeting, particularly of the priests, was convoked.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Sought.  Prot. “inquired not at it.”  Yet it is certain that many resorted to the ark, at that time.  But is was not treated with such honours as David now wished.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Emath, from “the troubled river” Nile, (Jos. xiii. 3.  C.) or Rhinocorura, (T.  M.) to the northern extremities of the promised land, (H.) near Emesa.

 

Ver. 6.  Hill.  Heb. “to Baalah,” which was another name, as well as “Baslim,” for Cariathiarim.  1 K. vii. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Brother.  Heb. “Acho,” which has the same meaning.  T. Sept. Syr. &c. “his brethren.”  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Chidon.  Alias, Nachon.  Ch.  2 K. vi. He had perhaps two names.  D. Syr. and Arab. “of Ramim.”  C. The ox.  Prot. “the oxen stumbled.”

 

Ver. 11.  Divided.  Slain.  See C. xiv. 11.  1 K. xv. 32. and 2 K. vi. 7.  H. The soul of brutes perishes; that of man is only divided from the body by death.

 

Ver. 13.  Obededom.  A Levite was judged more proper to guard the ark.  C. xv. 18. Gethite.  Because he had dwelt in Geth.  W.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Hiram.  This embassy, and the war with the Philistines, took place before the ark was removed.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Perceived, by divine revelation, or by his constant success, (M.) as well as by the presents of “the king of Tyre, and the unanimity” of all the people.  D. Over his.  Heb. and Sept. on account of his people.  Kings are more for their subjects than for themselves.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Eliphalet and Noga are not mentioned.  2 K. vi. 15.  C.  See C. iii. 9.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Baaliada, probably the same with Eliada.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Seek him, with a design to oppress him, before his throne was established.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Baalpharasim, “the god or master of divisions.”  C. The place was so called afterwards.  D.

 

Ver. 12.  Burnt, conformably to Deut. vii. 25.  These idols were commonly made of wood, and covered with plates of gold, &c.  The Philistines took them along with them to battle, as the Hebrews carried the ark on many occasions.  The Greeks, at the siege of Troy, had their gods on board their vessels; (Iliad ix.) and the Romans had theirs on their ensigns, in their wars.

 

Ver. 14.  Pear or mulberry trees, (2 K. v. 23.  C.) on the side where the idols were.  T.

 

Ver. 15.  Tops, or on the height.  God sent an  invisible army to David’s assistance.

 

Ver. 16.  Gazera, on the borders of the Philistines, near Azotus.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  All countries and nations, in the vicinity.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 1.  Houses, or magnificent palaces, which afterwards caused him to be ashamed, seeing the ark was lodged under skins.  2 K. vii. 10. For it, entirely new.  The old tabernacle was left at Gabaon.  C.  D.

 

Ver. 2.  Levites, of the family of Caath, v. 13.  Num. iv. 5.  He was rendered more cautious by the death of Oza.  C. For ever, as long as this law subsists.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Brethren.  Relations.  D.

 

Ver. 8.  Elisaphan, a Caathite, (Ex. vi. 18. 22.) as well as Hebron and Oziel.  C. Perhaps Caath was also called by the first name.  D.

 

Ver. 12.  Sanctified.  Free from every legal uncleanness, continent, and washed.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Struck us.  He partakes in the misfortune of Oza.  H. The law through ignorance.  You must attend and give proper directions.  M. Heb. “because we did not seek him with judgment,” (D.) or, “after the due order.”  Prot.

 

Ver. 17.  Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were masters of the first band of musicians,  in the reign of David.  They played on the cymbals of brass, v. 19.

 

Ver. 18.  Ben.  His name is omitted, v. 20, and in the Sept.  The Syriac, &c. have “the son of Jaziel:” but we find the 9th Psalm addressed “to Ben, chief of the hand of young women,” who sung and played on nables, v. 20.  C. And Jaziel, called Oziel, v. 20, as the Sept. have here.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Zacharias, &c. presided over the second band, with nables, and Mathathias over the third, which had instruments of eight strings.  The priests sounded the trumpets, (v. 24.) which Chonenias directed all the music, in this solemn processions.  C. Psalteries.  Lit. “nables.”  H. The Vulg. sometimes renders it psalterion, at other times lyra, (M.) or symphonia.  S. Jer. ad Dard.  T. Some have supposed that the word denotes bagpipes; but it was a stringed instrument made of wood.  C. Heb. “with nebalim over halamoth,” concerted things, or virgins, (Ps. lxvii. 26.) who sung the mysterious words of God.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Ozaziu does not occur before.  Sept. have Ozias both here and v. 18, after Jehiel.  H. Of victory, such as was customary on the like occasions. For the octave.  Heb. hasheminith, according to the Jews, means an instrument of eight strings; so when ten is mentioned, the Sept. frequently supply “strings.”  Ps. xxxii. 2.  M. Heb. “they had guitars, and presided over the eighth band to intone.  All the bands formed four choirs, distinguished by their instruments, the cymbal, nable, cinnor, (or guitar) and trumpets.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  The prophecy.  Singing praises to God is here called prophecy: the more, because these singers were often inspired men.  Ch. Heb. Massa signifies a song, (H.) elevation, (C.) burden.  Syr.  So the Vulg. has onus Moab, &c. the burden or dreadful prediction against Moab.  C. Prophecy often denotes no more than a melodious canticle.  1 K. x. 10.  H. Chonenias directed all this music.  Sept. simply style him “prince of the Levites, prince of the musicians” (C.) or arcwn twn wdwn (who gave out the songs) “because he was intelligent.”  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Jehias is called Jehiel, v. 18. and 21.  He, Obededom, Barachias, and Elcana, (v. 23.) were probably the four chief porters who attended the ark  in arms; and others were, afterwards, stationed at the temple.  C. ix. 17.  The two former took part also in the music, v. 21.  C. Perhaps two preceded and two went behind the ark, to keep off the crowd.  M.

 

Ver. 26.  Rams, in thanksgiving, that they had not been treated like Oza.  C. The Jews pretend that the ark was no burden to the Levites.  T. Love makes all duties easy.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Linen.  Heb. “a cloak of byssus,” or of the finest white linen.  D. Bysus has often occurred before in the Vulg. but we find the Heb. buts, here for the first time.  It probably denotes the brilliant yellow silk taken from the fish pinna, of which S. Basil speaks.  Hexa. vii.  Justinian was clothed with it, on account of its rarity and brightness.  Procop. de fabric.  Yet as it would hardly assume any colour but black, it was not so much sought after as the silk of Persia.  Not only David, but all the Levites, were thus richly adorned; as the latter were at the dedication of the temple.  2 Par. ii. 14.  There was a manufactory of this byssus established by David.  C. iv. 21.  That of Egypt was white, and is called schesch, or “cotton.”  Ex. xvi. 4.  C. Ephod.  Sept. “a stole of byssus,” or a long silken robe, (H.) which has been already expressed; (T.) or rather, the ephod was only a girdle, which was not peculiar to the sacred ministers.  1 K. ii. 18.  C. Samuel, though a child, wore one.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  Heart, and reproached him for appearing without his regal ornaments, (H.  2 K. vi. 20.) as if he had been naked.  No reproach could have been more unfounded, as we see David had on a robe of byssus, with the ephod.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 2.  Lord, wishing them all felicity, and making them presents, like the master of a family, v. 43, and 2 K. vi. 18.  C. Any superior may bless.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Oil.  The precise signification of the Heb. Ashisha, is not known.  C. Prot. “a flagon of wine.”  H. It denotes any thing “exhilarating.”  T.  D.

 

Ver. 4.  Appointed, as a prophet, (H.) or by dispensation.  The high priest has supreme spiritual power.  Deut. xvii. 18. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Zacharias, at the head of the second band.  These played on the nable and kinnor, as the women did not sing in the tabernacle.  Jahiel should be Oziel, (C. xv. 18, &c.  C.) unless he be the same person.  C. xv. 18.  H. Instruments.  Lit. “organs.”  H. Heb. “the instruments of nables.”  Vat.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Jaziel.  We read Eliezer, &c.  C. xv. 24. Continually.  At the appointed times.

 

Ver. 7.  Made.  Heb. “gave first, to thank the Lord, into the hand of Asaph and his brethren this psalm,” (H.) in order the 104th; and from v. 23 we find the 95th in the Psalter, with some improvements.  T.

 

Ver. 11.  Power.  The ark was frequently the instrument of God’s power; and his people are exhorted to present themselves to pray before it.  C. God seemed to dwell there, and often displayed his wonders.  D.

 

Ver. 13.  Israel.  In Ps. civ. Abraham.

 

Ver. 22.  Prophets.  The ancient patriarchs ruled their families as kings, and directed them by word and example, like the most holy prophets.  C. Both are frequently styled anointed.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Place.  In Ps. xcv. 6. holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.  Heb. “strength and beauty in,” &c.  God is served in his tabernacle with piety.

 

Ver. 29.  Sacrifice, of flour and wine. Beauty.  Heb. “in the beauty of his sanctuary.”  Ps.  Come into his courts: adore ye the Lord in his holy court.

 

Ver. 30.  Presence.  Here the psalm adds, say ye among, as v. 31.

 

Ver. 35.  And say, &c. is not in the psalm; and it seems not to agree with the flourishing state of David’s kingdom: yet he might speak with the spirit of prophecy, or with that all his subjects might live in happiness and concord under him.  C. Others think that Esdras inserted these verses to be sung in the second temple, (Lyran.  E.) when many still remained in captivity.  Yet them may refer to the time of Christ.  D.

 

Ver. 36.  And sing.  Heb. “and Alleluia,” or, “all…said, (or shall say) truth and praise be to the Lord.”

 

Ver. 39.  Sadoc was to minister at Gabaon, with Heman, Idithun, &c. while Abiathar, Asaph, &c. officiated at Jerusalem.  C. This regulation continued till towards the end of David’s reign, (H.) when fresh orders were given.  C. xxiii. &c.  We find Abiathar and Sadoc were both at Jerusalem, when David was obliged to flee.  2 K. xv. 24. and 3 K. i. 7.  The altar at Gabaon continued some time longer.  3 K. iii. 3.

 

Ver. 43.  Bless, or feast, (D.) with his family, on part of the sacred victims.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 17

 

CHAPTER XVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Cedar.  Such were esteemed the most magnificent, v. 6.  See 2 K. vii.

 

Ver. 9.  A place permanent and secure, while I have had no fixed abode.  C. No more, for a long time: and unless they provoke me by their crimes, as they did afterwards, and were exposed to more severe chastisements.  Constant rest is not always expedient.  T.

 

Ver. 11.  Seed, even till Christ shall be born of the Blessed Virgin, of the family of David.

 

Ver. 12.  Ever often means only a long duration.  The dominion of Christ shall have no end.  C. The Church founded by this true David, (H.) falls heir to these promises.  D.

 

Ver. 13.  Thee.  The posterity of Saul lost the throne.  H. If Solomon was reprobated, his children were permitted to reign.  It is also presumed that he did penance; though this is not certain.

 

Ver. 17.  Men.  Who was ever more favoured by God than David?  Heb. “Thou hast regarded  me according to the estate of a man of high degree.”  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Known him.  Treating him with love and tenderness, as a friend.  How can David sufficiently testify his gratitude?

 

Ver. 21.  Himself.  Heb. adds, “and to make thee a name.”

 

Ver. 27.  Begun.  Heb. “be pleased, (H.) or thou hast had the goodness to bless.”  Syr. “I pray thee bless.”

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 18

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Daughters.  Villages (See 2 K. viii. 1.  M.) and dependant towns.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Gifts.  Heb. mincha, a word used to denote the offerings of bread, &c.  Lev. ii.  Here it signifies the tribute (C.) imposed on the conquered.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Adarezer, or Adadezer, 2 K. When he, the king of Soba, went to extend.  Heb. “to strengthened his hand on the,” &c. Hand often denotes power, extent, possession.

 

Ver. 4.  Footmen.  Heb. may well signify, “1000 chariot-horses and 7000 men who mounted the chariots and the horses.”  We only find 1700 horsemen.  2 K. viii. 4.  But soon after it is added, David houghed all the chariot-horses.  C. They were thus rendered useless.  The king was forbidden to keep many horses.  D.

 

Ver. 5.  Damascus.  Heb. “Aram of Darmesek.”  Elsewhere the r is omitted.

 

Ver. 6.  A garrison.  Lit. “soldiers.”  This word has been lost by the neglect of some Heb. transcriber.  C. Prot. supply it.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Quivers.  Heb. “the shields,” &c.  The term is variously translated, 2 K.

 

Ver. 8.  Chun, called probably Betath, and Berothai.  2 K.

 

Ver. 10.  Adoram, or Joram, ib. Desire.  Heb. “to ask if all went well with him, and to bless him.

 

Ver. 11.  Edom, or rather Syria, (Aram) which might easily be exchanged for Edom.  2 K. viii.  David could not satisfy his devotion by building a temple; but he made preparations.  Solomon left part of the treasures unconsumed, 1 Par. xxvi. 26.  C. These effects, being destined for sacred uses, are said to be consecrated to the Lord.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Edomites.  David seems to have been present, and the victory is sometimes attributed to him.  Joab afterwards slew 18,000.  3 K. xi. 15.  title of Ps. ix.  S. Jer. Trad.  C. Pits.  This place was fatal to that nation: there Amasias destroyed 20,000, 2 Par. xxv. 12.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  Abiathar and Achimelech had both names indifferently.  Heb. reads Abimelech, which is a manifest mistake.  The name of Abiathar perhaps ought to be in the place of Achimelech; as we know that he was the son of the latter, and the high priest under David.  Some would translate, “and Abiathar, son of Achimelech.” Susa, or Saraias, secretary.

 

Ver. 17.  About.  Lit. “at the hand of the king,” to execute his orders, and to assist him.  Sept. “vicegerents.”  Syr. “princes.”  They are styled priests.  2 K. viii. 18.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 19

 

CHAPTER XIX.

 

Ver. 3.  Land, or city, 2 K. x. 3.  C. What evils proceed from evil counsellors!

 

Ver. 4.  From.  Heb. “in the midst, above the thighs:” exposing them to derision.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Done.  Heb. “made themselves stinking.”  Sept. “that the people of David were covered with confusion.”  The insult fell on all Israel. Mesopotamia is not mentioned 2 K. as the troops perhaps did not arrive soon enough for the first battle, v. 16.

 

Ver. 7.  Chariots.  This number seems excessive, and it may have been put for infantry; the number of which, specified 2 K. was 33,000.  But the troops of Mesopotamia are not there mentioned, and this supplies what was left defective.  C. The chariots may signify those who fought upon them, (M.) v. 18.  Isai. xxi. 7.  T. Sometimes the whole number is specified; at others only a part.

 

Ver. 16.  River, in Mesopotamia.  Joab did not allow them time to arrive. Sophach, or Sobac.  Adarezer sent also to collect these forces.  2 K.

 

Ver. 18.  Chariots.  Lit. “chariot.”  2 K. has only 700, and 40,000 horsemen.  C. Ten men might be in each chariot.  D.

 

Ver. 19.  Went.  Heb. “made peace with David.”  The many petty kings who had hitherto been tributary to Adarezer, submitted now to the conqueror.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 20

 

CHAPTER XX.

 

Ver. 1.  Year.  Heb. “at the return of the year,” in spring.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Melchom.  Sept. add the explanation, “their king.”  It may also be referred to the idol of Ammon.  H. The massy crown was suspended over David’s head.  T.  D.

 

Ver. 3.  Harrows.  Heb. “cut them with saws, and with harrows; (H.) or, rollers of iron, and with saws.”  But some other term was probably used, as we find saws before.  C. Prot. have “axes.”  This exemplary punishment was in consequence of the violation of the law of nations.  Abulensis pronounced it lawful.  Tirin accuses David of a grievous sin of cruelty; observing that he was at this time involved in the sin of adultery: and people easily fall from one abyss into another.  Cruelty and lust often go together.  Yet it seems best to suspend our judgment.  H. David might only treat the most guilty in this manner.  D.

 

Ver. 4.  Gazer, which seems preferable to Gob.  2 K. xxi. 18.

 

Ver. 5.  Adeodatus.  Heb. “Elchanan, the son of Jair, of Lehem;” or, “slew Lechemi, brother of Goliath;” or equal to him in strength.  C. Brother is here supplied, as it is wanting.  2 K.  D.

 

Ver. 7.  Rapha, head of the giants of Palestine.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 21

 

CHAPTER XXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Satan.  This shews that the Lord only (H.) permitted David’s sin, (2 K. xxiv.  W.) and in this sense only he is said to have instigated him; (D.) though we read this was done by the fury of the Lord, or by an evil spirit.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Israel, who will be severely punished.  C. Sin is often used in this sense.  Vatable.

 

Ver. 5.  The number, &c.  The difference of the numbers here and 2 K. xxiv. 9. is to be accounted for, by supposing the greater number to be that which was really found, and the lesser to be that which Joab gave in; (Ch.) or the transcribers of this place have been inaccurate.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Number.  These might therefore escape the pestilence.  D. For.  Heb. “because the king’s word was abominable to Joab.”  We read that Benjamin was numbered unto David.  C. vii. 5, 11.  But that might be on another occasion; or the register continued in the archives, and was not brought to the king.  See C. xxvii. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Iniquity.  David was guilty, though he retained both faith and hope.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Seer, or prophet, whom David kept at court and consulted.  He was endued himself with the prophetic spirit.

 

Ver. 10.  Three; a word omitted in Heb. but supplied by the Prot.  H. “I will bring three things upon thee.”  Sept.

 

Ver. 12.  Three years’ famine; which joined with the three foregoing years of famine, mentioned 2 K. xxi. and the seventh year of the land’s resting, would make up the seven years proposed by the prophet.  2 K. xxiv. 13.  Ch. Perhaps it would be as well to acknowledge a mistake, (2 K.  H.) on account of the similitude of the Hebrew words signifying three and seven: (T.) unless the prophet reduced the time from seven to three years; as in Ezechiel (iv. 15.) God mitigates the severity of his first threat.  Sanctius.

 

Ver. 13.  Men.  Susanna spoke on a different supposition, (Dan. xiii. 23.  Eccli. ii. 22.) of eternal punishment, in consequence of sin.  David prefers to be punished by the hand of a tender father, rather than that of an enemy; (T.  E.) and he does not wish to screen himself from suffering in this world, but offers himself to share in the chastisement of his subjects.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Took.  Heb. “repented of evil,” taking pity of unhappy victims. Ornan, or Areuna.  Ch. He had been king of the Jebusites before David took Jerusalem.  Mariana.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  Altar.  Hence it appears that holy men erected altars by God’s command.  D.

 

Ver. 20.  Now.  Heb. “and Oranan turned back.” Angel.  Sept. (Vat.) “the king and his four sons with him, along with Achabin.”  Other editions have, “and his four sons hidden with him.”  Arab. “and the king, being come near to Aran, he saw David and his,” &c.  Syr. reads in like manner; but says nothing of the children either of David or of Ornan.  We do not read that Ornan saw the angel, 2 K. but this circumstance may be here supplied.  It is evident the Sept. have read melec, “king,” instead of malac, “angel.”  C. Eupolemus says the angel Dianathan shewed David were to build the temple.  Eus. Præp. ix. 30.

 

Ver. 22.  Worth.  Heb. “give it me for the full price,” or “worth.”  Sept. “the money was weighed.”

 

Ver. 25.  Six hundred sicles, &c.  This was the price of the whole place on which the temple was afterwards built: but the price of the oxen was fifty sicles of silver.  2 K. xxiv. 24.  Ch. Or the fifty sicles were given for the threshing-floor alone.  C.  D.

 

Ver. 26.  Fire, to testify his approbation.  (W.  T.)  See Gen. iv. 4.  2 Par. vii. 1.  C. This altar represented the cross, on which the Victim of our reconciliation was offered.  D.

 

Ver. 30.  God.  He performed what God had commanded.  But he would have offered other voluntary victims at Gabaon, if he had been able.  C. The distance shewed the propriety of building the temple at Jerusalem, (D.) which was nearly in the centre of the country.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 22

 

CHAPTER XXII.

 

Ver. 1.  The house.  Or the place where the temple shall be built.  M. The miraculous fire convinced David that God had made choice of this spot.

 

Ver. 2.  Proselytes.  This is the first time that the word occurs in the Vulg.  See Ex. xii. 45.  It means “strangers,” (C.) who were not allowed to live in the country, unless they would observe the natural law, and renounce idolatry.  Rabbins. These had embraced the Jewish religion.  M. They were the remnants of the people of Chanaan, (3 K. ix. 20,) and were treated as public slaves, which could not have been done, with justice or policy, with regard to those who might barely wish to reside in the country.  These strangers prefigured the Gentiles, chosen to build the Christian Church.

 

Ver. 3.  Prepared.  Syr. and Arab. “appointed blacksmiths from among the proselytes, to forge tools for cutting and dressing stone, &c.”  But most follow the Vulg.  C. Closures is explained by the following word, which alone occurs in Heb. &c. Immense.  Heb. and Sept. “abundance, it was not weighed.”  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Number.  Still we find that Solomon ordered more, as the structure was more magnificent than even David had imagined.

 

Ver. 6.  Tender, (delicatus) weak and unexperienced.  C. Yet he might be 21 when he was crowned.  T. David began his preparations long before. Lord.  Heb. “must be (H.) for grandeur, excellence, fame, and beauty, through all countries” a sort of prodigy. All.  Heb. “abundantly.”

 

Ver. 8.  Blood, of Urias, (S. Jer. and the Rab.) or rather, as David had already entertained the desire of building a temple before that event, (E.) the blood which David had shed in just wars, must be understood; as even that causes a person to be regarded as unclean.  The soldiers were obliged to be purified before they could enter the camp.  Num. xxxi. 19.  In the Christian Church, those are deemed irregular who have contributed to the death of the guilty, even as judges or witnesses.  The Pagans entertained the like sentiments.  C.  Æneas dares not touch the sacred vessels and household gods, when he was stained with blood, shed in his country’s defence.

Tu, genitor, cape sacra manu, patriosque penates

                        Me bello è tanto digressum et cæde recenti

                        Attrectare nefas.  Æneid ii.

So.  Heb. “much blood in  my sight.”  H. This expression enhances (D.) the greatness of the bloodshed; as when a person is said to be wicked, &c. before the Lord, it  means in an extraordinary degree.  The wars of David are frequently assigned as the impediment to David’s building the temple, C. xvii. 4. and xxviii. 3.  Joseph. &c.  C. They would not suffer him to have sufficient leisure, v. 18. (H.) 3 K. v. 3.  Salien.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Peaceable.  Heb. “Solomon,” which has this meaning.  C. Herein Solomon was a figure of Christ, who is styled the Prince of peace.  Isai. ix.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Name.  See 2 K. vii. 13.  M. A son.  The crimes into which Solomon fell, hinder us from explaining this literally of him.  S. Paul refers the expression to Jesus Christ.  Heb. i. 5.  C. S. Aug. (de C. xvii. 8 and 9.) observes that the promises were not perfectly fulfilled in Solomon.

 

Ver. 12.  Understanding, (sensum.)  Skill to resolve difficult questions.  M. That.  Heb. “and appoint thee to rule.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Poverty.  Prot. “trouble.”  H. David confesses that the immense sums which he had collected, were nothing in comparison with the greatness of God.  He left more than was sufficient for Solomon to perfect the work, with still greater magnificence than he had planned out, v. 5.  C. xxviii. 2. and xxix. 2. &c.  C. Million.  Josephus (vii. 14.) reduces these sums to one tenth part, “of gold 10,000 talents, of silver 100,000;” so that it is “extremely probable that a cipher” was added to these numbers, in some very ancient Heb. copy.  Brerewood computes that the sum mentioned here and C. xxix. 4, would amount to 841,125,000l. and maintains that the whole temple pavement, and all the vessels, might have been made of solid gold, without consuming it all.  De pond, in Walton’s Polyglot. “If we take the preceding talents according to bishop Cumberland’s computation, the sum total will be somewhat less: but, were we to reduce it to less than one-half, would not the sum of four hundred millions of money be immense and incredible?”  Kennicott. A learned Jew has written this marginal note in his Bible, 1661: “It is supposed, these talents are not to be reckoned like the Mosaic, for they would amount to 720 millions.  But as the Scripture makes no difference, we have no other computation to go by.”  See Ken. diss. ii.  If they were the same, the sum would exceed belief.  Some have thought that they were only half.  Mariana supposes the talents were only the weight of sicles, or four drachms; so that David left one million for the fabric.  D. But the relation given by historians of the riches of Sardanapalus, Cyrus, Alexander, Atabalipa, and some kings, who were not more likely to amass such treasures than David, make the account less improbable.  Josephus (vii. 12.) asserts, that “no prince ever left so great riches.”  He had extended his dominions on all sides, and imposed tribute on the conquered.  He was very frugal, and had possession of the mines of Phunon, (Num. xxi. 10. and xxxiii. 43.) and of Phœnicia.  Deut. xxxiii. 25.  Though the talent seems to have varied in other nations, it always consisted of 3000 sicles among the Hebrews, at least till the captivity.  Ex. xxxviii. 25. 26.  We find from 2 Par. xxv. 6.  4 K. xv. 19. &c. that it formed a very considerable sum.  Yet Villalpand calculates that all the gold and silver left by David, would be requisite for the ornaments and vessels of the temple.  If, however, we grant that it would have sufficed to build a massive temple of gold, how much must be deducted to pay the workmen? &c.  C. Diss. on the riches left by David, t. ii. For all.  Heb. Chal. Sept. “And to these add.”  T. He encouraged the princes to contribute; (C. xxxix.) and here he exhorts his son to shew his liberality, if any thing should be found deficient.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Saying is not expressed in Heb.  “Is not the Lord,” &c. And hath.  Heb. “for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into my hand,” or power.  H. Almost all the neighbouring nations were subjected to David.  C. The Lord, who assisted his people, and filled the enemy with terror.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  Is on the point of being built.  David was convinced that the work would not be much longer retarded, so that he speaks of it as present.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 23

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Full, satisfied, in the last year of his reign, and the 70th of his age.  D. Cur non ut plenus vitæ conviva recedit?  Lucret. iii. Israel.  This example was much followed by succeeding kings.  C. Yet this is controverted.  Houbigant.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Princes, heads of families, or officers of the army.  C. xxv. 1.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Numbered at the same time, when David caused his son to be crowned, and made these fresh regulations, v. 27, and C. xxvi. 31. Upwards, according to the plan given by Moses.  David afterwards ordered people of twenty years of age, to begin to serve in the tabernacle, as it was now fixed, and consequently the labours were diminished.  This tended to augment the splendour of the religious worship, and to edify the people, who could not attend so constantly, in person.

 

Ver. 4.  Overseers.  Heb. shoterim.  Sept. “scribes.”  Others suppose “lictors and executioners,” who attended the judges.  Grotius. These were functions from which the priests were exempted; (C.) so that the Levites alone are meant.  M. Judges.  They had to decide the causes of the people.  2 Par. xxix.  D.

 

Ver. 5.  David.  Lit. “he.”  Sept. “they.”  Prot. “which I made (said David) to praise therewith.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Into 24 courses, like the priests, that each class might serve twice a year for a whole week.  C. xxiv. 31.  T. God had already made choice of the posterity of Levi; and David, with the princes, Sadoc, &c. disposed of them by lots, (C. xxiv. 6.) to serve in the tabernacle, and in the future temple.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Leedan, or Lebni.  Num. iii. 18.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Chief, head of the rest; (H.) or all these three were chiefs, (Jun.) no less than the sons of Semei, v. 9.

 

Ver. 9.  Semei; perhaps (C.) sons of Joel.  D. The brother of Leedan had four sons, v. 10.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Ziza.  Heb. has “Zina,” but reads “Ziza,” v. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Children.  All together were not more than the children of each of the preceding, so that they only formed one class.  T. It would have been too burdensome for them to have performed the same service with those who were far more numerous: (H.) therefore the sons of Semei were  joined with the family of Leedan: (C.) or rather Jaus and Baria went together, as one family. Counted.  Heb. “in one class, according to their father’s house.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Minister.  Heb. “to sanctify the holy of holies.” His.  Heb. “in his name,” with solemnity.  Num. vi. 23.  The Levites might bless the name of the Lord.

 

Ver. 14.  Levi, but not among the priests, (C.) though their father was an extraordinary priest, appointed by God to anoint Aaron.  Ps. xcviii.  D.

 

Ver. 15.  Eliezer.  His being uncircumcised, had almost proved fatal to his father.  Ex. iv. 24.  M. First.  He might have other brothers, (C.) though the title may be given to an only son, v. 17.  Mat. 1. 25.  Subuel was perhaps (H.) chief of a family, (C.) and was appointed over the treasury.  C. xxvi. 24.  M.

 

Ver. 24.  Old.  See v. 3, and Num. iv. 3. And upwards; as long as they were able to serve.  They were excused from carrying the tabernacle, &c. at fifty years of age.  Num. viii. 25.  Abulens.  M. To those who were turned of thirty, the higher offices were entrusted; while the Levites began at twenty, to exercise themselves in things of less consequence, under the direction of their elder brethren.  T. The kings might declare, by the advice of the Sanhedrim, what laws were of a temporary nature.  Grot.  D.

 

Ver. 25.  Ever.  They will not have to carry, the sacred vessels about, as formerly.  H. In order that they may not be idle, we must therefore provide them some other employment, v. 28, &c.  T.

 

Ver. 28.  Place.  Heb. “purifying all that is holy;” (H.) keeping clean all that is used about the sacred ministry.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  And the priests, &c.  This is not found in Heb. or Sept.  The Levites might prepare these things; though the priests alone were to offer them in sacrifice.  T.  C. ix. 32.  Lev. xxiv. 8. Others think that (C.) the priests received flour from the people, and baked it.  M. But S. Jerom follows the tradition of the Jews, intimating that the priests sowed the corn, and did every thing about the loaves of proposition.  In Mal. i. 6. Flour.  Lev. ii. 1. Cakes.  Ex. xxix. 2. Roasting the first-fruits.  Lev. ii. 14.  M. Measure.  A standard was kept in the temple, (Ex. xxx. 13.  C.) to prevent any fraud.  The Ediles at Rome performed the same office.  T. There were not two measures in the country, as that would have caused confusion.  D.

 

Ver. 30.  And the Levites.  This also is omitted in Heb. “and to stand,” &c. as all the preceding offices pertained to the Levites, (H.) and priests were bound equally with them to praise the Lord.

 

Ver. 31.  Lord.  Music accompanied this service twice a day, as it did the sacrifices which were offered for the prince, or for the nation.  Num. x. 10.  C. Rest.  Heb. “the set festivals, by number, according to the order prescribed unto them continually,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Brethren.  Let them follow the directions of the high priests, who are of the same tribe.  M.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 24

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

 

Ver. 2.  Before.  Heb. “in the presence of.”  See Lev. x. 2. Priesthood, under Aaron.  Eleazar succeeded him, and the posterity of Ithamar obtained the dignity under Heli.

 

Ver. 3.  Ahimelech is styled also Achimelech and Abiathar, v. 6. 21. and C. xviii. 16.  C. Courses, twenty-four, which were to serve by lot, that no one might complain, as they were equally princes, v. 5.  Hence S. Dionisius styles Zachary “prince of the priests.”  But the pontiff was over all.  T.

 

Ver. 4.  Houses.  The descendants of Eleazar were far more numerous.

 

Ver. 5.  Of God, great.  Elohim also signifies “judges,” and we might translate, “princes of the judges.”  Grot.  D. These men occupied the first dignities of the priesthood, and of the judicature, or they were princes in all sacred affairs.  C. They were to offer sacrifice, and to enjoy spiritual jurisdiction, in the house of God.  W. As their claims were therefore equal, the decision was left to lots.  M. It would have been otherwise difficult for all to be satisfied.  See Jos. vii. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Ithamar.  All was done with the utmost order, and the priests took care to observe the regulation, till the end of the republic.  Joseph. vii. 2. and con. Ap. i. and ii.  Lu. i. 5. The family of Eleazar had many prerogatives over the rest, as it was longer in possession of the high priesthood, and more numerous; but that of Ithamar, gave pontiffs to the nation at the time of this regulation.  The Heb. is very obscure, and is deemed incorrect.  Cap.  Grot.  C. Prot. “one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar.” The insertion of “one,” which is in the Sept. removes the difficulty.  H. The two families were enregistered alternately, (M.) till the eight families of Ithamar were done.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Abia, the progenitor of S. John Baptist.  Lu. i. 5.  Yet whether his father was “chief of the priests” of his course, as S. Dion. asserts, or whether he sprung from Eleazar, or from Ithamar, is uncertain.  T.

 

Ver. 19.  Aaron, and his successors.  The former might have given some directions, which tradition had preserved.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Subael, grandson of Moses.  C. xxiii. 16.

 

Ver. 21.  Rohobia was in the same degree, by Eliezer.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  And his.  Prot. “the sons of Hebron, Jeriah, the first.”  The words underlined, shew what  omissions are in the text, (H.) which is probably corrupted, as well as the Sept.  Jeria and Amarias were sons of Hebron.  C. xxiii. 19. and xxvi. 31.  Jahath may, therefore, be the same with Hebron.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  The son.  Heb. “the son of Jehasia, or of Oziau…”  But the name of this son is lost.  It is wonderful that the posterity of Gersom are passed over.  C. Prot. “the sons of Jaaziah; Beno. 27.  The sons of Merari, by Jaaziah; Beno, and Shoam.”  H. Sept. vary, and the original text is supposed to be changed by some transcriber, (Capel. &c.) as we read only of Moholi and Musi, v. 26, and C. xxiii. 21.

 

Ver. 31.  Over-against, in imitation of the priests, (C.) being likewise divided into twenty-four classes.  T. Both, &c.  Heb. “the principal fathers over-against their younger brethren.”  All the rest is omitted.  Lots decided the place and functions both of father and children.  H.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 25

 

CHAPTER XXV.

 

Ver. 1.  Army; the chief magistrates of the state and of the church.  T.  C. xxiv. 6. 31. The priests, &c. were all divided into twenty-four classes, each having twelve masters to preside, v. 7.  C. Idithun, or Ethan.  C. vi. 44. and xv. 19.  W.  3 K. iv. 31. The twenty-four sons of these three, who were chief musicians under David and Solomon, presided over the bands: eleven other inferior masters helped to instruct the rest, v. 9. Prophecy, or play on instruments. Harps.  “Kinnor” means also the “guitar.”  C. Vulg. has, lyras.  C. xv. 16. Psalteries.  Heb. “nebalim.”  M. The Jews pretend that the singers were inspired commonly, when they sounded forth God’s praises in the temple, as Eliseus was, 4 K. iii. 15.  Lyran.  E. But they may be said to prophesy, because they sung the composition of the prophets.  W. According.  Heb. “and the number of the workmen, (or experienced musicians) according to their service, was.”  H. The chiefs of the twenty-four bands were carefully selected.

 

Ver. 2.  King, who sat in a separate tribune.  Asaph presided in the royal city, at court, and in the tabernacle, while some of the singers were fixed at Gabaon.  C. xvi. 7. 37. and 41.  C. Heb. may signify, “at the king’s command.  Pagnin. He sometimes condescended to direct the singers, v. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Of Idithun; or, altering the punctuation, (D.) “Now the sons of Idithun, the first-born, Godolias (H.) Sori, or Isari, v. 11.  Thus, the number six, will be complete: otherwise we much acknowledge that Idithun, the father, is counted with his children; or that a name is lost, perhaps that of Semeias, (v. 17.  C.) as Sept. Alex. has Semei before Hasabias.  H. Harp, (kinnor.)  This was the distinctive instrument of this band, as the horn was of Heman’s.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Seer; a title usually given to the real prophets, who foresee future things.  M. Gad has this title.  2 Par. xxiv. 11.  But Heman’s office was to proclaim the words of God, with the sound of the horn.  This musician had formerly been fixed at Gabaon, C. xvi. 41.  C. To lift up the horn, or to sing those psalms, which regarded the kingdom of David, and of Christ, as others were composed for the instruction of the people.  T. Daughters.  These are specified, only because they joined with their brethren, in singing in the temple.  Abul. q. 14.  M. At least, we find that there were bands of young women, in the solemn procession.  H.  C. xv. 20.  Ps. lxvii. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Near.  Heb. “under the hand of the king,” who presided over a band of  musicians, as well as Asaph; (C.) or he directed all, particularly giving his instructions to Asaph, &c. To wit in not in Heb. “by the order of the king to Asaph.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Eight, comprising the twenty-four princes, and the eleven secondary masters of each of the bands, or twelve times twenty-four, v. 1.

 

Ver. 8.  Unlearned.  Heb. and Sept. “the scholars.”  H. After the singers had been distributed into twenty-four classes, pretty equal in number, lots decided which of then should serve first, (M.) as had been done with the priests.  C. xxiv. 31.  See C. xxvi. 13.

 

Ver. 9.  Asaph.  Add, “to  him, and (H.) to his sons, and his brethren, twelve,” who taught the rest.  Unless these twelve be admitted, (T.) as in the sequel, (H.) the number 288 will not be found, v. 7.  T. Sept. is very confused: “And the first (entire) lot of his sons and brethren came out to Asaph, of Joseph, Godolias: the second Enia, his brethren, and his sons, twelve.”  Heb. “the first lot came forth for Asaph to Joseph; the second to,” &c.  Prot.  In all the subsequent verses they read, “he, his sons, and his brethren, were twelve.”  Why Asaph should be mentioned any more than Idithun or Heman, does not appear.  Their children are placed indiscriminately by lot.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Isreela; probably Oziel, v. 4.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 26

 

CHAPTER XXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Porters, who guarded the temple, being stationed at the four gates.  They were selected from the families of Core and Merari, (v. 19.) and were under C. five captains, two being placed at the gate leading from the palace, v. 16.  H. How many were appointed to follow the directions of these officers, we do not find.  But 4,000 porters are mentioned, C. xxiii. 5.  Some guarded the treasury, &c.  After the captivity, the same plan was adopted, C. ix.  C. Son, or descendant of Core, by Asaph, (H.) or Abiasaph, (C. vi. 37.) different from the musician.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Him.  Obededom, by giving him a more numerous posterity, than any here mentioned, v. 8.  See 2 K. vi. 11.  C.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Semei, who is called Semeias, v. 4. and 7.  The last syllable is not lost in Heb. or Sept.  H. Valour.  Their post was of a military nature, and required strength.  Josephus says, some of the gates could hardly be shut by twenty men.

 

Ver. 10.  He had not a first-born.  That is, his first-born was either dead or not fit to be chief, and therefore he made Semri the chief, (W.  Ch.) who was the second son (T.) of Hosa.  Heb. “for, or though he was not the first-born, yet his father made him chief.”  Sept. add, “of the second division,” but without reason, as they interpret, “keeping the command,” instead of Semri, the chief, which leaves us without a proper name.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Lord.  The companies succeeded each other every sabbath, but the chiefs were not changed.  C. The office of these men was most noble.  From them were selected treasurers, overseers, prefects, &c. v. 16-32.  T. The lot decided only between the heads of families.  D.

 

Ver. 14.  Selemias: the first syllable is frequently neglected in Heb.  C. iv. 24.  T. Zacharias was the first-born of Meselemia, v. 2.  H. A very.  Heb. “a wise counsellor.”  C.

 

Ver. 15.  And.  Prot. “To Obededom southward, and to his sons, the house of Asuppim.”  H. This term may denote the “revenue;” where the offerings, destined for the support of the priests, were collected.  Ex. xxxiv. 22.  We find the same word used for the offerings received at the door of the temple.  2 Esd. xii. 15.  It may also mean the house “of the assemblies,” (C.) where the 72 judges of the Sanhedrim met.  Villalp.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  Which.  Heb. Shalecheth, (C.) or ssolcoth, (H.) “which leads or casts out” the filth from the temple.  Villalp.  Isai. vi. 13.  M. But there were conduits for that purpose; and the meaning of the Vulg. is more accurate.  C. The palace lay below the tabernacle and the temple, (T.) on the west.  Joseph. xv. 14.  C. Ward.  The centinels where opposite to each other, (M.) or at equal distances.  All were replaced at the same time.  C. Two captains were stationed on this road, for greater respect to the king, (H.) and because the concourse and dangers were increased, v. 18.  T.

 

Ver. 17.  Six.  This gate was the most frequented, (C.) and the king entered by it. Council.  Heb. asupim, as v. 15, “for the offerings two and two,” (H.) distinct from the porters.

 

Ver. 18.  Cell.  Heb. is not clearer: “at the chamber” (C.  ‘at the house of the instruments’ for sacrifice. (M.) at Parbar. Prot.) of the west, at the ascent, two at each chamber.”  C. Prot. “at the causey, and two at Parbar.”  This term is not in Heb.  It resembles Parvar, or Pharurim, (4 K. xxiii. 11.) which is said to signify “suburbs,” in Chal.  But it cannot have this meaning here: and these terms are probably borrowed from the Greek, froura, a military “post;” so that we might translate “There were at the western post, four guards for the ascent, two at each post:” one perhaps was near the temple, (C.) the other at the palace gates.  4 K. xi. 6.  Sept. is more diffuse, but throws no light upon this passage.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Now.  Heb. and Sept. add, “the Levites:” the latter translate Achias, “their brethren.”  H. Vessels.  Or vessels of the holy places, or of things holy.  Vasa sanctorum.  Ch. Sept. “of the consecrated treasures.”  C. xxviii. 12.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Ledan is called Leedan, (C. xxiii. 8.) son of Gerson.  His first-born was Jahiel.  This person is here styled Jehieli, and was chief of the Gersonites; at least the eldest branch.

 

Ver. 22.  Brethren.  Heb. and Sept. “brother.”  In effect, we find that Joel was the son of Leedan.  C. xxiii. Zathan, whose name ends in m both in Heb. and Sept. may perhaps be his grandson.  We often find sons in Heb. when only one is specified.  Jehieli might adopt his two brothers; so that none of his own children are mentioned.  H. We may also translate: “(21) These are the sons of Ledan, the Gersonite.  Out of Ledan, the Gersonite, came chiefs of families: Jehiel, (22) the sons of Jehiel, Zathan and Joel, his (Jehiel’s) brethren, were over,” &c.  It appears that Jehiel was treasurer.  C. xxix. 8.

 

Ver. 23.  Ozielites.  These are all the sons of Caath.  C. vi. 18.

 

Ver. 24.  Moses.  Many are passed over; (C.) or Subael acted by his children.  M.

 

Ver. 26.  Selemith was to guard the treasure, taken in war.  C. Dedicated.  Lit. “sanctified,” by designating for holy uses.  W.

 

Ver. 27.  Wars.  Heb. “out of the spoils won in battles, which they had set apart as sacred, to support the house,” &c.  Sept. “that the building of the house of the Lord might not be retarded.”  H. Yet these spoils remained untouched by Solomon, who imitated this piety, as others did.  3 K. xiv. 26.  The Romans adored Jupiter Prædator, as he was styled, because part of the plunder was allotted to him.  Serv. in Æn. iii.

Irruimus ferro et Divos ipsumque vocamus

                        In prædam partemque Jovem.

People vied with each other in the munificence of their presents.  Cæsar, Bel. Gall. vi.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Samuel, while he was at the head of affairs.  M. Joab.  Though these three were not very religious, they concurred in promoting the splendour of the public worship, as that would at least procure them applause.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Them.  Heb. “for officers (shoterim, “scribes,” (H.) whose power was very great.  C.) and judges.”  The former are often placed first, as more honourable, so that they were not mere heralds or executioners.  The administration of justice was chiefly in the hands of the Levitical tribe.  C. xxiii. 4.  The sons of Hebron resided on the east, while those of Isaar and Oziel probably acted as judges on the western side of the Jordan, v. 30.  C. They were not confined to the temple, but taught the people the law of Moses in the cities abroad.  M.

 

Ver. 30.  Beyond.  Heb. meheber means, “at the passage, or on either side.”  Prot. “on this side Jordan, westward.”  This would seem to designate the countries nearer Jerusalem.  H. But westward may also be understood with reference to Ruben, &c. so as to mean the parts along the river. King.  To decide both ecclesiastical and civil causes.  C. They also inspected the preparations for the temple, and gathered the king’s tribute.  Grotius.

 

Ver. 31.  Jazer, a city of Gad, in Galaad.  Adric.  M.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 27

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Now.  This list is entirely of a political nature.  It seems to have been made before David had obtained the throne of Israel, (v. 7.) though perhaps the monthly division did not comprise 24,000, before that time.  This regulation was very excellent, and enabled the king to have an army of 300,000 men, at a short notice.  It was not attended with any material inconvenience to the people, as none were on service above a month. Hands.  Commanders in chief. Captains.  Twenty-four in number, with 240 centurions under them. Officers.  Heb. shoterim.  Sept. “scribes,” whose employment is not well ascertained.  They perhaps acted as commissaries, or kept an account of the king’s troops, and reviewed them.  C. Sept. “and scribes serving the people, and the king’s orders respecting the divisions, both coming in and going out, monthly, throughout the year.  One division comprised 24,000 men.

 

Ver. 2.  Jesboam.  Heb. “Jashobham,” as C. xi. 11.  He was the first after Joab, (H.) and a descendant of Pharez, like David, and waiting upon the king in the month of Nisan, which almost agrees with our March (M.) and April.  H. Zabdiel, the Hachmonite, may therefore denote his country; (Kennicott) or Zabdiel might be his ancestor, though the same man has frequently different names.  We find several companions of this general in the sequel.

 

Ver. 4.  Dudia, of Dodi, the father of Eleazar.  C. xi. 12.  C. After him, his substitute.  T. Heb. “and Macelloth, chief also of his course, consisting likewise of 24,000.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Priest.  This we read no where else, so that some understand, “a chief officer at court,” 2 K. viii. 18.  C. But he might be (H.) of the tribe of Levi.  M. His exploits are mentioned.  C. xi. 21.

 

Ver. 6.  Company, in his absence, (H.) as lieutenant.  Salien.

 

Ver. 7.  After him.  He acted under his father, and succeeded (M.) to Asahel’s post, after Abner had slain him.  2 K. ii. 23. and xxiii. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Samaoth.  Perhaps Samma, or Sammoth of Arodi, or Arari; places with which we are not acquainted, unless they denote some of his progenitors.  Jazer is well known.  C. C. xxvi. 34.

 

Ver. 9.  Hari.  Mentioned as one of David’s brave men.  C. xi. 28.

 

Ver. 10.  Phallonite, or of Phalti.  2 K. xxiii. 26.

 

Ver. 11.  Zarahi, or of Zara, the son of Thamar.  C. xi. 29.  Sobochai slew the giant Saph, 2 K. xxi. 17.

 

Ver. 12.  Jemini, or Benjamin.  C. The first syllable is neglected.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Marai, or Marahai, sprung from Zara.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Ephraim.  Pharathon was in this tribe.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Holdai, called Heled, the son of Baana.  C. xi. 30. and 2 K. xxiii. 29. Gothoniel.  So the Sept. write Othoniel, (H.) so famous in the book of Judges, i. 13. and iii. 9.

 

Ver. 16.  Chiefs, by their birth-right.  The former were chosen for merit.  T. The tribes of Aser and of Gad are omitted, either because the list was not in the hands of the author, or it was overlooked by transcribers.  C. Rubenites, with whom Em. Sa joins the Gadites.  M.

 

Ver. 18.  Eliu.  Probably the same with Eliab, the eldest son of Isai, (1 K. xvi. 7.  C.) or the youngest but David, (C. ii. 15.) whose name is preserved by the Syriac, &c.

 

Ver. 23.  Heaven.  It would have seemed, therefore, as if David distrusted the divine promise, (H.) and attempted what was impossible (Grot.) or useless.  C. He had before offended, and hence would now only number those who were wanted.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Number, those above 20; but he acted with reluctance, (T.) and the wrath of heaven prevented the entire completion of the king’s order.  C. xxi. 6. and 2 K. xxiv. 9. David.  It would hence appear that the list was perfected, but not delivered to the king.  The commissioners retained some of the lists; and, perhaps from these, Esdras has inserted what relates to Benjamin, (C. vii. 6.) as the account was not given in C. xxi. 6.  C. This list may, however, have been made at another time; as we are informed that Benjamin and Levi were not numbered.  H. The Book of Kings, where we find it, is therefore a different work.  D.

 

Ver. 25.  Treasures of gold, &c. as those of provisions had other officers.  C. Were in.  Heb. and Sept. add, “the fields, in the cities,” &c.  H. This must be understood of corn; wine is mentioned afterwards.  Nothing could give us a higher opinion of David’s wisdom than these details.

 

Ver. 26.  Ground, for the king.  This was done at the expense of the nation, and by the people, no less than the vintage.  2 K. viii. 12.  The companions of Daniel were thus appointed to superintend the workmen of Nabuchodonosor.  Dan. ii. 49.  Xenophon (Cyrop. viii.) styles such, ergwn epistataV, “men set over the works.”  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Cellars.  Heb. “over the increase of the vineyards, for the wine cellars.”  Prot.  Wine was formerly kept in cisterns, in the vineyards, till it was taken into large earthen vessels,and placed in cellars.

 

Ver. 29.  Saron, a fertile region at the food of the mountains of Galaad; also a vale near the Mediterranean, (C.) in Ephraim, extending as far as Joppe.  Adric.  M.

 

Ver. 30.  Ismahelite.  People of that nation deal much in camels.  C. Ubil had embraced the Jewish religion, or perhaps he was originally an Israelite, but had acquired the title of Ismahelite by some exploit, or by residing long in the country.  M.

 

Ver. 32.  Man.  Heb. “a writer.”  He was a good politician and lawyer.  Grot. Sons, as tutors.  D.  C. Jahiel was perhaps the brother of Jesbaam.  C. xi. 11.  M.

 

Ver. 33.  Friend.  Chusai rendered the most signal service to the king, 2 K. xvi. 23. and xvii. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 34.  After,  inferior, (Salien) as Achitophel’s advice was esteemed like an oracle, (C.) or Joiada, a chief priest, and Abiathar, the pontiff, succeeded to his place, after he had hung himself.  T.  D.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 28

 

CHAPTER XXVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  These are more particularly described as princes of the tribes, (H.) twelve captains, &c.  C. xxvii. 1. And his.  Heb. “and of his sons.”  C. We may also understand this of the preceptors of the royal family.  C. xxvii. 32. Officers.  Lit. “eunuchs.”  H. Bravest; particularly those specified C. xi.

 

Ver. 2.  Rising up from his bed, on which he lay, on account of his great age and weakness, while he addressed himself to his son; (3 K. i. 47.  C.) or he rose from his throne, to honor this grand assembly.  Heb. “stood upon his feet.”  H. Thought.  Heb. “I, with my heart, thought to,” &c.  C. And, or which is the footstool.  H. The ark is often so called, because God was considered as sitting upon the wings of the cherubim, over it.  Ps. xcviii. 1. &c. Building.  No doubt what David left would have  been sufficient.  Yet Solomon thought that he could make something still more magnificent.

 

Ver. 3.  Blood.  See C. xxii. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Ever; for a long time, and to leave the throne to my posterity for many ages, and to the Messias for ever.  This expression is not always to be taken in its rigour.  C. Princes.  Heb. “prince, or the ruler.”  H. This tribe had long possessed the greatest power, (C.) and the promise of the sceptre.  Gen. xlix.  W. The phrase often denotes a long time, but it is best understood of Christ.  D.

 

Ver. 5.  My son, by the mouth of Nathan.  2 K. vii. 13.  M. Solomon was a figure of Christ, and his dignity was predicted.  C. xvii. 11.  3 K. i. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  If.  The promises of the Old Testament were frequently conditional, and we always find the condition marked in some place; but those made to the Church of Christ, have no such limitation.  H. Day.  Solomon was once faithful, and afterwards fell; it is uncertain whether ever to rise again.  Hence it appears that the true children of God may become wicked.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Seek.  Wilful (H.) or supine ignorance will excuse no man.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Know, with affection (H.) and faith; and him alone must thou serve.  D. Forsake him, and die impenitent.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Description, impressed by God on David’s imagination; (Cajet.) or rather planned out by the hand of God, (v. 19. Salien) as the law was written.  H. The Jews pretend that this plan was delivered to Moses, and handed down by Josue, &c. to David.  E. But why might not David receive it immediately from heaven?  C. Treasures.  Lit. “cellars.”  H. The original term, Ganzac, is not Heb.  We find Ganas (Est. iii. 9.) to signify a treasure, being derived from the Persian, Gaza.  David gave, therefore, a description of the rooms to keep the treasures of the temple, or of the cellars for wine and oil.  C. Sept. “a pattern of the temple and of the houses thereof, and of the Zakcho, and of the upper rooms, and of the inner storehouses,” &c.  H. Inner, or most retired closets, (3 K. xx. 30.  C.) where the Levites slept.  M. Seat, where the ark was kept, and God was rendered propitious.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Divisions, into twenty-four classes, (M.) which was done by God’s order.  H. For all, that everything might be done with regularity.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  Weight, or sufficient for each, v. 15.  H. Some think he only left a memorial of what quantity of gold and silver would be requisite.  It does not appear that Solomon used silver for the vessels, as he chose to execute his father’s injunctions with still greater magnificence.

 

Ver. 15.  Silver.  David probably intended that five candlesticks would be made of this metal: but Solomon made all the ten of gold.  3 K. vii. 49.  There was one in the tabernacle.  Ex. xxv. 31.  C. But the temple was more spacious, and a greater number was not prohibited.  M. According.  Heb. “for the use of every candlestick.”

 

Ver. 16.  Silver.  Yet all the ten were composed of the purest gold, (2 Par. iv. 12.) as silver was too common, ib. ix. 20.  Moses had only two tables.  C. Diversity.  Heb. “for each table.”  Vat.

 

Ver. 17.  Lions.  S. Jerom seems to have read cephir, instead of the present cephor, which is rendered “a cup, or bowl.”  1 Esd. i. 10.  C. Sept. Alex. “and of the flesh-hooks, libation vessels and bowls; and the weight of the golden and silver vessels (kepphoure; a word which they do not translate) of each weight.”  H. The change of i for u was very easy; and perhaps the basins were ornamented with representations of lions.  D.  M. We do not find cephor used before, to denote any of the vessels of the tabernacle: but Esdras uses it, (C. viii. 27.) whence it is inferred that it is of Chal. extraction.

 

Ver. 18.  Purest.  Heb. “refined.” Lord.  He was represented as riding in a chariot, drawn by Cherubim, (C.) or sitting on their wings.  H. Two, particularly, filled up the space between the walls in the most holy place, and covered the ark, and also the Cherubim made by Moses, 3 K. vii. 23.

 

Ver. 19.  These things, said he, is not in Heb.  Sept. “All in the handwriting of the Lord, did David give to Solomon, according to the knowledge given to him from above, respecting the workmanship of the pattern.”  H. David saw the pattern in a kind of ecstasy; (Salien.  E.) or some prophet delivered it unto him, (C.) marked out by the hand of an angel, (T.) like the tabernacle given to Moses.  D.

 

Ver. 20.  Lord.  Sept. add, “and I beheld, or behold, the pattern of the temple, and of the house and the Zakcho thereof, and the upper rooms and inner storehouses, and the house of propitiation, and the pattern of the house of the Lord: (21) and behold,” v. 11.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Thee.  Heb. and Sept. “for all workmanship, every willing skilful man for any service, also all the princes, and the people entirely at thy commands.”  H. The willing artificers are distinguished from those who were forced to work, though the former also received pay.  C.

 

 

1 PARALIPOMENON 29

 

CHAPTER XXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Tender, not so much in years, for he was 22, but in comparison with David, and with reference to so great a work.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Onyx, or “emeralds.”  C. Sept. “soom,” from the Heb. shoham. Alabaster.  Heb. puc.  H. The dark paint used for the eyes, has the same name.  4 K. ix. 30.  Jer. iv. 30.  Yet the stibium or stimmi, or alabaster, mentioned by Pliny, (xxxiii. 6.) was of a sliver colour, but not transparent.  The stone here specified was probably alabaster, as it was used for  the pavement.  There is a very fine species at Damascus, and in Arabia, which was much sought after to decorate buildings.  C. Chal. has “emeralds.”  Sept. “stones of perfection, rich and various, and every precious stone, and much Parion.”  H. But Isai. liv. 11, they translate the same term, “carbuncle.”  C. The stone might resemble the agate, which is beautifully shaded with clouds and other fanciful figures.  T. Paros: this is taken from the Sept.  Heb. has simply, “and stones of ssiss.”  H. Whether it denote the isle of Chio, or that of Chitis, in the Red Sea, the former famous for marble, and the latter for topaz; or it may refer to Sais, a city of Egypt, which had most beautiful porphyry.  Pliny xxxvi. 7. and xxxvii. 8. But Paros, one of the Cyclades, was most renowned for its white marble.  ib. xxxvi. 5. Josephus (Bel. vi. 6.) informs us, that the temple was built of large white marble stones; so that it appeared, at a distance, to be covered with snow.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Own.  What he had already vowed, he esteemed no longer his.  W. Temple.  Heb. “houses,” including the various apartments belonging to the temple.  The sum which David had formerly set apart out of the spoils of war, &c. amounted to 835,000,000l.  What he now adds, is 16,125,000l. sterling, according to Brerewood, who deems the sums exorbitant; and others have suspected that there is a mistake in the former numbers.  We have seen with what foundation.  C. xxii. 14.  David was so convinced, that the sum which he had been able to collect was too small, that he exhorted the princes to contribute, with all their power, and set them this noble example, which they endeavoured to imitate.  H. He had collected some of the gold of Ophir, which was esteemed the best.  C.  See 3 K. ix. 28.  M. We have before remarked, that Solomon went beyond the expectations of his father, and used no silver.

 

Ver. 5.  Fill his hand, is an expression applied to priests, by which David imitates, that any one may now offer a species of sacrifice to the Lord.  Judg. vii. 5.  Ex. xxxii. 29.  C.  M. He wishes them to act with generosity.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Possessions, mentioned C. xxvii. 25.

 

Ver. 7.  Solids.  Sept. “pieces of gold;” crusouV.  Heb. adarcnim, which Prot. render “drachms,” (H.) after the Syr. &c.  Others think that the Darics, used in Persia, are meant, though they did not exist in David’s time.  Esdras might reduce the money to correspond with the coin with which his countrymen were then acquainted.  2 Esd. vii. 70.  Pelletier. The Daric was equivalent to the golden sicle, which was only half the weight of one of silver, though this is not certain.  C. A solid was only the sixth part of an ounce, whereas the sicle weighed half an ounce, or four drachms. Talents were always of the same weight, 125 Roman pounds.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Gersonite; who, with his brethren, was treasurer.  C. xxvi. 22.

 

Ver. 9.  Willingly.  Their disposition was perfect: for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Cor. ix. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  From.  Sept. “from age to age;” (Pagnin, &c.) that is, throughout eternity: (M.) “for ever and ever.”  Prot.  Eternity has no parts.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Magnificence.  Thee we ought to magnify.  David uses many words to express the sentiments of his grateful soul.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Thine.  Heb. and Sept. “of thee.”  H. Greatness.  Heb. “to magnify and strengthen all.”  M. Our riches are thy gifts; and to thee we return a part, with gladness.

 

Ver. 14.  Promise.  Heb. “to offer so willingly in this manner?”  H. He is astonished at the rich display of gifts: but acknowledged that all was originally sent by God.  In the same sentiments, we say in the mass, “We offer unto thee of thy own presents and gifts;” or, as the Greek expresses it, ta sa apo twn swn.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Strangers.  We have nothing but what we have received from thee; and for how short a time!  C. No stay.  Heb. “none abiding, (H. or) no hope” of being able to escape death, (C.) when we must leave all.  How happy, therefore, are those who sent their treasures before them!  H. All are pilgrims, with respect to heaven.  Heb. xiii.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Simplicity.  Heb. “uprightness.”   Sept. “justice;” (H.) a pure intention, which our Saviour styled a single eye.  Mat. vi. 22.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  This.  Heb. “keep this for ever, in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and direct their heart unto thee.  Preserve these good dispositions, which though has given them.”  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Then is not in Heb. or Sept.  H. The same term is used, to express the outward adoration which they shewed to God, and the civil respect which was due to the king: pari gestu, says Grotius, animo diverso.  C. How then will Protestants prove that we are guilty of idolatry, when we bow down before the cross, &c. unless they pretend to know the secrets of hearts?  Prot. they “bowed down their heads, (Sept. knees) and worshipped the Lord and the king.”  H. The exterior set was the same, but the intention determined the application.  See Ex. xx.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  And with.  Heb. and Sept. “and their sacrifices of wine and victims, (or peace-offerings, to be eaten by the people.  C.) in abundance for all Israel.”  H.

 

Ver. 22.  The Lord, at Jerusalem, (M.) where the ark was then kept.  H. Second time: the first had been done with too much precipitation, in consequence of the attempt of Adonias; (3 K. i. 39.  T.) or this took place after the death of David, that his successor might be invested with full power, (Grot.) and be acknowledged by all.  H. Priest.  This at least only took place after the death of David, when Abiathar fell into disgrace.  3 K. ii. 35.  Both prince and priest must act by God’s authority; and those who resist them, resist God himself.  Rom. xiii. 1.  C. They are ministers of the Lord.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Gave.  Heb. “placed their hands upon Solomon.”  Sept. “were subject to  him.”  C. The latter words in the Vulg. explain the meaning of the ceremony.  M. It seems to have been similar to that used by Abraham required an oath of his servant.  Gen. xxiv. 2.  Vassals placed their hands within those of their Lord, under whom they hold lands; (C.) and the descendants of the Germans testify their submission, by putting their hands between a person’s knees.  Grotius. The nobles took the oath of fidelity to Solomon, by some such method.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Gad, the seer “of David,” as he is sometimes styled.  These three were well acquainted with David, (C.) and wrote the two first books of Kings; (H.) or at least those books are compiled from their memorials, (C.) if their works be lost, (M.) which is uncertain.  W.

 

Ver. 30.  Under him in various tribulations, towards the end of his reign.  Vatable, &c. Those prophets recorded not only what regarded David, (H.) but also what happened of consequence, in other nations, with which he had any connections. Of the.  Syr. and Arab. “of his land, or among the kings of his race.”  C. David reduced under his dominion not only the nations which dwelt in Chanaan, but all those which had been promised to Israel.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON

 

THE SECOND BOOK OF PARALIPOMENON.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

As the former Book shews how David was chosen to rule over God’s peculiar people, so this explains briefly the reign of Solomon, in the nine first chapters; and in the rest, that of nineteen of his successors, who governed two tribes till the captivity, while Israel was divided.  W.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 5.  Sought it: went (M.) to offer sacrifice, (T.) in the second year of his reign, A.C. 1013.

 

Ver. 6.  Victims.  Heb. “holocausts,” either with his own hand, or by the ministry of the priests.  See 1 K. xiii. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Night, after the victims had been offered.  On this occasion, Solomon made this prayer, and was heard.  3 K. iii. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  People, as a king ought to do.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Before.  Heb. and Sept. “from before the tabernacle,” which was at Gabaon.  there was another at Jerusalem, where (H.) Solomon rendered homage to the Lord.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Chariots.  See 3 K. iv. 26.  No king of Israel kept such a multitude of horses.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Sycamores are trees of small value, and not good for building.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  Coa may signify either some city, (Mariana) or an “exporium,” where things are sold, as kuch means “a collection.”  T.  3 K. x. 28.  Neglecting the points of the Masorets, we may well understand Coa, a city of Egypt, or an island of the Mediterranean.  The Masorets read Mikve, instead of Micoa.  D.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Himself, worthy of his great empire.  He deemed that which David had built too mean, though that pious king had been ashamed to dwell in such a magnificent palace, while the ark of God was under skins.  2 K. vii. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Numbered, of the proselytes, v. 17.  T. Hew.  The stones were made ready for use, as well as the wood, before it was brought to the temple.  3 K. vi. 7. Six.  Only three are mentioned 3 K. v. 16.  C. But three hundred overseers of higher order are here included.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Before him.  For this purpose do I design to build.  M. Temples are more for our use than for God’s, as none can be worthy of him.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Purple.  Heb. argevan, (H.) a Chal. word, of the same import as argueman, in Exodus. Scarlet and blue were also species of purple.  The finest sort was found between Tyre and Carmel.  See Vitruv. vii. 13.

 

Ver. 8.  Pine.  Heb. algum, which rather denotes a species of fir, than the juniper-tree; though the domestic kind was tall, and used in edifices.  C. Arceuthina, “juniper,” is taken from the Sept.  D.

 

Ver. 9.  Exceedingly.  Heb. “wonderfully great.”  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Wheat.  Heb. adds, “beaten.” Barley and wine are not specified 3 K. v. 11.  C. Measures, like the Roman amphora, contained 960 ozs.  A. Lapide Heb. has, “batim,” in both places; but 3 K. we find, “twenty cores of oil.”  The satum, “measure,” was only one-third of the bath or epha.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Father.  Heb. Abi, is considered by some as the surname of Hiram.  Pagnin, &c. But he might have that title in consideration of his great skill, as Solomon gives it him.  C. iv. 16.  We use master in the same sense.  Sept. have, “servant,” (paida) except the Roman edition, which agrees with the Heb. and reads, patera.  C. Prot. “of Huram,  my father’s;” (H.) supply servant, or architect.  T.

 

Ver. 14.  Dan, the city, as the widow as of the tribe of Nephthali.  D. Whose.  Heb. “and his father,” (H.) or “this Abi.”  C.  See 3 K. vii. 14. Silk.  Heb. “byssus,” which is the silk extracted from a fish, and not the fine linen of Egypt, or cotton which as sometimes this appellation.  1 Par. xv. 27. My lord, a term of civility.

 

Ver. 16.  Floats.  So the Sept. well express the Heb. raphsodoth, which seems to be borrowed from the Greek Raywdia, which denotes a collection of verses (C.) and was applied to Homer’s poems, before they were collected.  Ælian xiii. 14.  Joppe was a port much used, (C.) though dangerous.  Joseph. Bel. iii. 15.

 

Ver. 17.  Had made, at the commencement of Solomon’s reign, when David put such immense treasures into his hands.  The second list was taken when the temple was begun.  The proselytes were the remnants of the nations of the natives of Chanaan.  The Jews foolishly pretend, (C.) that no strangers were allowed to embrace the law of Moses, under David and Solomon, for fear lest they might be influenced by self-interest rather than by the love of religion.  Seldon, Syn. iii. 2. 5.

 

Ver. 18.  Six.  We read three, 3 K. v. 16.: people who where strangers, as the Israelites were not forced to work.  C. viii. 9.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Moria, which signifies vision; (C.) the place pointed out to Abraham, (Gen. xxii. 2.  S. Aug. de C. xvi. 32.) and to David.  1 Par. xxi. 15. and xxii. 1.

 

Ver. 2.  Second.  Heb. adds, (D.) “in the second day of the second month.”  Prot. &c.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  By the first, or ancient measure, used before the captivity.  The Babylonian cubit was a hand smaller, as Ezechiel (xl. 3.) intimates.  C. Solomon used the same cubit as Moses, but doubled the proportions.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  A hundred.  The Arab. and some copies of the Sept. read only twenty.  Capellus and Toinard would substitute, ten cubits.  A small change in the Heb. might occasion these variations.  C. In 3 K. vi. 2. we find the height was thirty cubits: but that might be only to the first floor.  Many think that the temple was 120 cubits high: but Salien (A. 3024) explains it of the four-square tower, (M.) in the front.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  House. between the most holy place and the porch, (T.) or it may comprise all but the porch.  Heb. “he covered (or boarded) all this great house.”  C. Deal boards interspersed with those of cedar.  3 K. vi. 9.  T. Fine, (obrizi.)  Heb. “of Parvaim, which is probably the same as Sepharvaim, Ophir, &c. not far from Media and Colchis.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Amounting to about, is not in Heb.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Sicles.  This weight seems enormous for each nail.  Mariana supposes every nail weighed one sicle.  But who will believe that only fifty were used?  Heb. “And the weight of the nails was fifty,” &c.  The Syr. and Arab. omit this verse entirely. Chambers, or rather “the ceiling.”

 

Ver. 10.  Work.  Heb. “of the work of young men,” or resembling them.  Munster Sept. “the work of wood.”  Vulg. lit. “of sculpture work,” (H.) as Le Clerc renders the original.  Some moderns translate, “of a work like men in motion.”  Mariana, Buxtorf The cherubims were in an erect posture.

 

Ver. 11.  Cubits, comprising the breadth of their body.  Each occupied ten cubits.

 

Ver. 13.  Toward.  Heb. “inward;” looking at each other, (Ex. xxv. 20.) or towards the altar of holocausts.

 

Ver. 14.  A veil.  Abulensis places it between the court and the holy: but Jansenius would have it before the holy of holies.  It seems rather that there was a veil in both places, (Barad. t. ii. b. iii. 23.  M.) as Josephus (viii. 2. and xii. 10.) clearly intimates; and S. Paul speaks of the second veil.  Heb. ix. 3.  It is not certain which of them was torn at the death of Jesus Christ.  Matt. xxvii. 51.  Cherubims; extraordinary figures.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Five.  3 K. vii. 15. we read each was eighteen cubits.  It is probable that each was 17½ and the other half was for the crown, (C.) or cornice.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  In, or “as in.”  Sa.  M. Protestants supply as.  H. Hundred, for one row, or 200 for both.  3 K.  D.

 

Ver. 17.  Booz.  “Stability and strength” are derived from God alone.  Thus Solomon designed to insinuate that God established the harmony of the universe.  H. An orrery, or globe, was therefore placed on each of these pillars.  Parkhurst, in con.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Altar of holocausts, much larger than that of Moses.  The one which was built after the captivity, was a square of fifteen cubits.  This of Solomon was only ten in height.  A sloping ascent was made up to it, according to Josephus; (Bel. vi. 5. or v. 14.) or the steps were closed in, if we believe others.  See Ex. xxvii. 1. and xx. 26.  It is thought (C.) that the inside of the altar was filled with earth, (M.) or with rough stones: (Ex. xx. 24.  D.) but that is not certain, with regard to the brazen altar.  See 1 Mac. iv. 44. 47.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Sea, or great brazen vessel, and some other things that were not in the tabernacle of Moses, whose plan was followed, but with greater magnificence.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Oxen.  In 3 K. vii. 24. we read Heb. “knops,” (H.) or “apples.” Of ten.  Heb. “ten in a cubit.”  Hence there must have been 600 heads of oxen, as the sea was thirty cubits in circumference, and there were two rows.  C. Others suppose that here were only five in each row, or only one in each cubit.  See Vat. and 3 K.  The Sept. and Syr. omit this verse.  C. Yet it is found in the best editions of the Sept.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Cast.  Heb. adds, “when it (the sea) was cast.”  H. They were done at the same time, (T.) and were perhaps intended to let out the water.  The twelve oxen, which supported the sea, were not cast along with it.  D.

 

Ver. 5.  Three.  3 K. two, may specify the usual quantity that was contained, though the vessel would absolutely hold a thousand measures, or baths, more.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Holocaust, as well as all the necessary utensils. Priests.  They did not bathe in the sea, but drew water into other vessels.  The Chal. supposes that the work of Beseleel was for the high priest alone.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Hall, (basilicam.)  Sept. use the same term (aulh) as just before is rendered court; and the Prot. make no distinction, though the Heb. terms be different.  Sept. render chatsar, “the court” of the people.  There, we know, that Solomon had his tribune.  C. vi. 13.  Ezechiel (xliii. 14.) distinguishes two; the great, lower or outward, (C. chatsar) or court, and that of the priests, (H.) which he styles the less, &c.  The principal door lay to the east.

 

Ver. 10.  Right, though to the left of those who entered the temple.

 

Ver. 12.  Pommels, (epistylia.)  Heb. “cordons,” or rows of pomegranates, (3 K. vii. 18.) each consisting of one hundred; so that at the two pillars were adorned with a double row, both together would have four hundred.  C. The precise number is fixed at ninety-six for each row.  Jer. lii. 23.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  His father.  Heb. Abib, which is considered by some as a surname, (M.) or the title may be given to Hiram, on account of his skill.  C. He is so called by the king of Tyre, (C. ii. 13.) for having instructed him in the true faith.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Saredatha, or Sarthan, (3 K. vii. 46.) not far from Bethsan.  3 K. iv. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Flowers.  They represented lilies or other flowers (T.) full-blown, when the lamps were burning.  All the branches were of pure gold.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Mortars,to hold the fine flour.  M. And thus.  Here the fifth chapter commences, in Heb. and Sept.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  God, under the care of Selemith.  See 1 Par. xxvi. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Ark.  Another was not made, as that was most sacred and excellent.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Day, the eighth.  3 K. viii. 2.

 

Ver. 4.  Levites, with the priests alternately; (ibid.) or the latter were all Levites, (C.) though higher in dignity, in the same manner as our bishops are priests.

 

Ver. 5.  With the.  “And” is omitted in Heb. but supplied by Prot. &c. from 3 K.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Oracle, pushing out the veil, (H.) in the tabernacle of Moses, but not in the temple, which was of larger dimensions.  C. But if.  Heb. “but they were not seen without.  And there it is till this day.”

 

Ver. 10.  Ark.  See 3 K. viii. 9.  H. The other things which had been placed in, or at least on the side of the ark, were now removed to the treasury rooms.  T.

 

Ver. 11.  Sanctified; free from all legal impediments to offer sacrifice.  H. Divided.  Heb. “observed.”  T. Prot. “and they did not then wait by course,” which was the case also with the singers, &c. on this solemn occasion; as the number regulated by David for each week, would  not have been sufficient.  H. The regulation had not yet been reduced to practice.  M.  C. As yet (D.) at that time, is omitted (H.) by the Sept. (D.) and Heb.

 

Ver. 12.  Linen, or “robes of silk.”  Prot. “white linen.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Cloud.  See 3 K. viii. 10.  M. It is called the glory of the Lord, because its appearance was luminous and awful, being a symbol of the divine presence.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Cloud: lit. “darkness.”  H. The promise had been made to Moses.  Ex. xvi. 10. and xl 32.  C. God thus manifested his presence.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Hands.  Such external gestures promote attention in prayer; and hence were much used by holy people, at all times.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Scaffold, (basim.)  The Heb. (kiyor) is used for “a shell, (concha.  T.) or bowl,” as the throne was probably of the same form, and was placed on a square pedestal, at the higher end of the court of the people, (C.) which is here styled the temple, (basilicæ) or “hall.”  C. iv. 9.  Sept. aulhV.  Heb. chatsar, which denotes that great court where (H.) the body of the people stood bare-headed, before the Lord, (Grot. &c.  C. xx. 5.) in the open air.  D. We are assured that the king himself never sat in his tribune.  C. Others reserve that privilege to him alone.  H. While he addressed the people, he turned towards them.

 

Ver. 19.  End.  Temples are erected for the convenience of men.  C. Solomon hopes that God will reward his good intentions.

 

Ver. 22.  Altar; thus solemnly consenting to be punished by God, if he swear falsely.  H. This practice was not prescribed by the law, but took place when witnesses could not be procured, or when it was necessary to rely on the word of the accused.

 

Ver. 28.  Blasting, or mildew, (ærugo & aurugo.)  The first has the colour of brass, the other of gold.  both have nearly the same import.  M. One of the terms is rendered, corrupt air; (3 K. viii. 37.  C.) as this is one of the great causes why both plants and animals do not thrive.  Sept. “corruption of the air and king’s evil, or yellow jaundice:” ikteroV.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Any.  Heb. adds, “man, or thy people.”  Sept. “and (that is) to thy.”  See v. 32.  H. Both strangers and Israelites may there sue for mercy, and obtain it.  C. From this chapter, as well as from many other passages, it is evident that places consecrated to God, are more acceptable to him than other places; (W.) and here the prayers of the faithful are sooner heard, as they testify their unity.  D.

 

Ver. 31.  Fear thee, being filled with awe at the sight of thy judgments.  C.

 

Ver. 33.  House, that they may know that this is not only called, but is, in effect, the temple of the Lord, where he will display his power and goodness.  H.

 

Ver. 38.  Name.  Hence arose the custom of turning towards Jerusalem and the temple, when the Jews poured for their supplications, in any country.  3 K. viii. 44.

 

Ver. 41.  Now, therefore.  This is taken from Ps. cxxxi. 8. 9. 10. (M.) almost word for word.  We do not find that Solomon spoke this, 3 K.  C. Place: lit. “rest.”  H. Come, O Lord, and dwell here. Strength, by which thy wonders shine forth, and thy enemies are dismayed.  The ark is styled the strength of Israel, Ps. lxxvii. 61. and lxii. 3.; and in the parallel passage we read, Thou and the ark of they sanctification, or sanctuary, which is its highest ornament, and which thou hast sanctified, or required to be treated with respect. Salvation, or justice, (Ps. cxxxi.) which is the surest method of obtaining happiness.

 

Ver. 42.  Anointed.  Cover not with shame the king, whom thou hast appointed, (H.) nor reject my prayer.  T. Mercies, which thou hast shewn, or rather (C.) the acts of virtue which thy servant displayed.  Syr. &c.  For thy servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of thy anointed.  Ps. cxxxi.  In consideration of his merits, grant my request.  C. Even Solomon, though at this time the object of God’s complacency, disdains not to screen himself under the merits of the departed saints.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 2.  Majesty; the cloud.  For some time the priests were obliged to keep at a distance.  They afterwards offered up many victims.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Glory.  The same word was before rendered majesty.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Victims, by the hands of the priests: or they slew them themselves, and presented the blood and fat to be placed on the altar by the priests.

 

Ver. 5.  Rams, including sheep and goats. People, each in their proper sphere.  The priests had the chief part, as the ministers of religion.  The solemnity continued for a week, and many altars were erected  in the court.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Which music, or Psalms, (carminum) David had composed.  H. Because.  This was the chorus of the 135th Psalm, which was sung on this occasion by some, while others played on their musical instruments.  C. Lit. “singing by their hands.”  Prot. “when David praised by their ministry.”  H. As the temple was chosen by God for the place of prayer, so special forms of blessing, &c. are more agreeable to him.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Solemnity of tabernacles, (M.) which ensued after the dedication was ended.

 

Ver. 10.  Day.  He had given them leave to depart, the day before.  3 K. viii. 66.

 

Ver. 14.  Face, to appease me, that I may look down upon them in mercy.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  After.  Sept. “in which.”

 

Ver. 2.  Given back (T.) as he refused to accept of the present.  Some think that (C.) Hiram gave these cities in exchange for the others.  Salien.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Emath, or Emesa, on the Orontes.  This city had belonged to Thou, who cultivated the friendship of David.  2 K. viii. 9.  But after the death of these princes, it had given some offence to Solomon, who took it, as well as Palmira, or Thadmor, though not perhaps in person.

 

Ver. 4.  Strong.  Heb. “the cities of tents.”  Ex. i. 11.  C. Prot. “store cities,” (H.) for corn, &c.

 

Ver. 8.  Tributaries.  Heb. also, “to work,” at cutting stones, &c. 1 Par. xxii. 2.  Some of their descendants returned from captivity.  Ib. ix. 2.

 

Ver. 10.  Fifty.  These were different from the 550 overseers.  3 K. ix. 23.

 

Ver. 11.  Into it.  It was deemed improper for a pagan woman to reside in the same place.  C. She had perhaps pretended, at first, to be converted, but had lately given some signs of relapse.  Salien. Solomon was as yet far from communicating with infidels.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  And gate, at their respective posts.  See 1 Par. xxvi.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Treasures.  The regulations of David were exactly observed.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Asiongaber, which was called Bernice, (Joseph. viii. 2.) and now Suez.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  Ships; not perhaps from Tyre, but from the Red Sea.  C. Others think that he sent them by a canal, which opened a communication between the Mediterranean and Suez, (Huet) the distance of about ninety miles.  Pliny ii. 68. But this canal seems to have been made after the age of Solomon.  Hence others imagine that the ships were taken in pieces, or conveyed by land, as has been sometimes done.  Mahomet II. transported ships across the isthmus of Corinth.  Alexander the Great conveyed on chariots the ships which had been used to cross the Indus, as far as the Hydaspes.  Arrian vii.  C. Skilful mariners.  They were the most expert, and the inventers of navigation.  Prima ratem ventis tradere docta Tyrus.  Tibul.  See Wisd. xiv. 6. Ophir, the kingdom of Pegu, in the East Indies, (T.) or some other distant land.  H. Fifty.  Thirty are omitted, 3 K. ix. 28, as they were expended in the voyage.  C. Yet the Heb. letters for twenty and fifty are extremely similar.  D.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Saba.  See 3 K. x. 1.  This queen resided in Arabia or Abyssinia.  H. Questions.  They were not of a trifling nature, as she is commended by Christ.  D.

 

Ver. 3.  House; the royal palace, or rather the temple, which was much more magnificent than any thing in the East.

 

Ver. 5.  Virtues.  Heb. “words,” or of what regards thee (C.) and thy exploits.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Fame.  Heb. and Sept. “the fame which I had heard.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  King of the Lord.  Hence the style, “By the grace of God, king of England,” &c. has been adopted.  Those deserve the name, who rule according to God’s will.  W. The kings of the Jews were more properly lieutenants of God, as the government was a theocracy.  C. xiii. 8. &c.

 

Ver. 10.  Thyine-trees, very odoriferous.  C. Heb. algumim: 3 K. almugim, as the letters are frequently transposed in Heb.  D. Huet thinks these were citron-trees, which did not produce fruit, but were used to make costly tables, and were a species of cedar.

 

Ver. 11.  Stairs.  Heb. “hands,” (D.) or banisters, from the palace to the temple.  Junius.

 

Ver. 12.  And many.  Heb. “besides that which she had brought unto the king.”  Prot.  It is however certain that Solomon made use of  many of her presents, and therefore he returned her others in greater profusion, or, as it is expressed, 3 K. besides what he offered her of himself of his royal bounty.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Gold, each worth 5475l. (Arbuthnot) so that this part of the revenue alone would amount to 3,646,350l. sterling, annually.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Beside.  Heb. “besides that which chapmen and merchants brought.”  Prot.  The deputies appear to be the tax-gatherers.  3 K. x. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Pieces.  In 3 K. we read, three pounds. Wood; or, “in the palace of the forest of Libanus,” (3 K. x. 17.  C.) as it is expressed in the Sept.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  Arms.  Prot. “stays.”  H. Heb. in 3 K. seems clearer and more correct.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Days.  We sometimes find the figure, hyperbole, used in Scripture for things unusual.  C. i. 16.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Tharsis.  Any distant place was so called.  T.

 

Ver. 25.  Thousand.  In 3 K. we read, 1400 chariots; and here Heb. has, “4000 stables, (C.) or stalls for horses and chariots;” (Prot.) and the Sept. “4000 mares for the chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.”  H. There might be ten horses in each stable.  D.

 

Ver. 29.  Seer.  The works of these three are not extant.  M. The fall of Solomon is recorded, 3 K. xi.  W.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 7.  Please.  3 K. xii. “serve.”  By a little condescension, thou mayst establish thy throne.  C. The people did not complain, till they saw the riches of the nation wasted on wicked women (T.) and idols.  D.

 

Ver. 11.  Scorpions; thorns, or scourges armed with hooks.  Colum. iii. 10. Roboam had not sense to despise the foolish advice of the young men.  T.

 

Ver. 15.  Will of God: not that the king should act foolishly, or the people rebel, but to effect what he had promised.  H. Syriac has well expressed the sense: “because this rebellion happened by the divine permission, that they might behold the truth of the prediction of Ahias;” (C.) and that the fault of Solomon might be punished.  D.

 

Ver. 16.  People.  Heb. “and when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying: What portion have we in David?”  Prot. Dwellings.  Many ancient Latin MSS. here insert 3 K. xii. 20.  Lyran. &c.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Chosen.  Sept. “young,” (H.) as the Heb. term also signifies.  T. His.  Heb. “the kingdom again to Roboam.”

 

Ver. 4.  Will, to punish the disorders of Solomon, &c.  See 3 K. xii. 24.  Gen. xlv. 8.  God knows how to draw good out of evil, without approving the misconduct of men.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Juda.  This was now become a frontier country, and both kings were forced to erect fortifications.  3 K. xii. 25.

 

Ver. 6.  Etam, famous for fine waters and gardens, (Joseph. viii. 2.) about ten miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Hebron.  It was fortified against the inroads of Simeon and Dan.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Governors, of a military character.  Heb. “captains, (T.) and store of provisions, (wheat) and of oil,” &c. such as would be requisite in a siege.

 

Ver. 14.  Off.  This was done at different times; so that almost all the Levites took refuge in the dominions of Juda.  Yet some prevaricated.  Ezechiel (xliv. 12.) only exempts the family of Sadoc.  C. The rest set before us a noble example to endure temporal loss, rather than to neglect the practice of religion, or to conform to a false one.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Devils.  Heb. “goats.”  C. Sept. express this by two names, “for the idols, and for the fools.”  H. The Mendesians of Egypt, solemnly worshipped the goat; and Pan was represented nearly in the same form.  Yet it is probable that the Hebrews style the idols by this name out of derision.  3 K. xv. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  They, the pious refugees.  T.  C. xv. 9. Solomon, while virtuous. Only is not expressed in Heb. or Sept. but it is sufficiently implied.

 

Ver. 18.  Daughter.  Heb. ban, “the son.”  But bath, “daughter,” (H.) occurs properly in some MSS. as in the ancient versions.  Leusden has here this very odd note: “perhaps by ban, (with a pathah) here both sexes may be understood.”  Forte per ban hic intelligitur uterque sexus.  Kennicott Prot. substitute, “daughter.”  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Daughter, or grand-daughter, by Thamar.  3 K. xv. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Head.  Sept. “prince.”  H. Grotius maintains that Abia was the eldest.  But all others are of a contrary opinion, and believe that Roboam derogated from the law, (Deut. xxi. 16.  C.) as David had done, unless it was left to the option of the king to appoint whom he pleased for his successor.  H. Meant.  Prot. supply, “he thought” which is found in the Sept.

 

Ver. 23.  Because.  Sept. “And he was magnified above….and he gave them (cities, autaiV) abundance,” &c.  This may be all understood of Abia.  But Heb. rather speaks of his father: “And he acted wisely, and dispersed all his other children, throughout the countries of Juda;” (H.) keeping them at a distance, to prevent any commotion, (C.) but making ample provision and procuring wives for them, perhaps at no small cost, as few might wish to be thus prisoners at large.  T. It was probably then the custom to educate the royal children in the noblest families.  See 4 K. x. 1.  C. This would also tend to increase their father’s influence, and to make them better acquainted with the country, that they might be able to communicate all necessary intelligence.  H. Pagnin and Vatable insinuate, that Roboam “caused to be educated and dispersed some of all his children, throughout all the lands of Juda.”  M.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel, in his dominions.  The kingdom of Jeroboam had long before apostatized, though there were still many true servants of God, who would not bend the knee before Baal, v. 12.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Troglodites, who dwell in caverns, near the Red Sea.  Pliny (v. 8. and vi. 29.) speaks of the city Suca, which in Heb. means a tent, as here we read succiyim, (H.) “dwelling in tents;” which some explain of the Arabs, who are called Scenites, on the same account.  T. People of this description, without any fixed abode, inhabited the Stony as well as the Desert Arabia.  C. xiv. 14.

 

Ver. 7.  A little help.  I will not suffer them to be quite destroyed.  Heb. also signifies, “shortly.”  C. Fall, (stillabit) like drops of water, even to the last.  H. How soon is God appeased!  T. Even when he punishes, he does not let the whole flood of his indignation fall upon the guilty.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Bearers.  Heb. “runners,” as the guards attended the king on foot.

 

Ver. 12.  For even.  Prot. “and also in Judah things went well;” (H.) or, “he spoke good words even to Juda.”  C. Sept. “for even in Juda there were good words, and in all pleasing.”  Words are often put for works.  H. The Lord regarded the fidelity of some, and the humility of the princes. (C. This advantage was derived from tribulation, that the king entered into himself, at least for a time: (H.) but he was not constant, v. 14.  After the scourge was withdrawn, he presently relapsed.  He had betrayed great cowardice, as even his son confessed; and had probably been treated with great indignity, (T.) as it was the custom with Sesac, or Sesostris, to chain the conquered princes to his triumphal car, and to leave obscene representations of women in the country.  Joseph. viii. 4.  Herod. ii.  Sesostris proceeded to the conquest of Asia.  T.

 

Ver. 14.  Lord, with sincerity, being actuated only by a servile fear.  He died impenitent.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  And diligently.  Heb. “in their genealogical accounts.”  H.  See C. xiii. 22.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Michaia, alias Maacha.  Her father had also two names; viz. Absalom or Abessalom, and Uriel.  Ch. Many had two names.  T. Of Gabaa, may refer to the women.

 

Ver. 3.  War.  The author of the new edition of S. Jerom mentions two MSS. and there are several printed editions, which reduce these numbers to one half.  Castalio adopts this correction, asserting that the Greek and Josephus are on his side, which is not true.  C. We must however observe, that there is some doubt with respect to Josephus, (H.) as some of the oldest Latin editions acknowledge the smaller numbers; and Vignoles (i. 29.) conjectures, that the Greek copies did the same formerly, since Aborbanel “accuses Josephus of having made Jeroboam’s loss no more than 50,000, contrary to the Hebrew text,” v. 17.  This learned author is of opinion, that the Jews sometimes expressed their numbers by figures, (Kennic.) analogous to those which the later Arabs borrowed from the Indians; though, in more ancient times, the letters of the alphabet had been used.  Both customs seem to have prevailed; (Erpenius) and this may account for many variations, as the omission of a single cypher, resembling our period (.), might easily occasion much confusion.  Kennicott (Diss. i. and ii.) seems to suspect, that the ancient versions have been made to agree with the corrupted Heb. no less than Josephus; and that many of the large numbers, recorded in Scripture, (which  might countenance what we here read) are incorrect.  See C. xvii. 13. 19. and xiv. 8. comp. with xvi. 1. and xxv. 6. comp. with 4 K. xiii. 7.  It is certain (H.) many Latin MSS. confirm the edition of Sixtus V. which has the smaller numbers; and this is the case with most of the older MSS. and editions.  How S. Jerom expressed it, we cannot easily determine.  The editor of his works has been guided chiefly by the Memmian canon.  See 2 K. xv. 7.  Lyran quotes S. Jerom, as reading 50,000; (v. 7) and it is so expressed in the Paris editions of 1534 and (H.) 1546, of the Heb. questions on Paral.  But Erasmus doubts whether this be the genuine work of S. Jerom, (Ken.) or in the state in which he left it.  If we consult the more ancient MSS. and editions, prior to that of Clement VIII. we shall allow that they are more favourable to the smaller numbers, on this occasion; and are more likely to exhibit the pure version of the holy doctor, (H.) as the later editions have had “the Heb. fountains” also in view.  Kennicott If however we adhere to the received numbers, (H.) we must remember that kings, at that time, led forth to battle all their subjects who were able to bear arms.  Under Moses there were 600,000.  David found 1,100,000 in Israel, and 470,000 in Juda, exclusive of Levi and Benjamin; (C. xxi. 5.) or, at least, as it is expressed 2 K. xxiv. 9. in all, 1,300,000.  Asa was at the head of 580,000.  C. xiv. 8. &c.

 

Ver. 4.  Semeron, on which Samaria was afterwards built.  Heb. reads, “Mount Tsemaraim.”  There was a city of this name in Benjamin.  C. But this was a mount.  Heb. “in Mount Ephraim.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  A covenant of salt.  That is, a firm and perpetual covenant.  See Num. xviii. 19.  Ch.  W. It seems this covenant was to be inviolable; and it had its effect, notwithstanding the crimes of many of the kings.  The Arabs still regard the partaking of bread and salt as the most sacred covenant.  C. “The ancients prayed when they placed salt before their guests, that, as salt partook of two natures, so they might be cemented together in concord.”  Tzetzez on Lycoph.  H. Abia speaks with much prudence, and with an air of piety, though his heart was corrupt.  3 K. xv. 3.  That of his adversary was still more so; and God granted victory to the former, to reward even the appearance of virtue in the king, and the sincere piety of some of his followers.

 

Ver. 7.  Vain.  The saem term is used as in Matt. v. 22.  C. Rekim, “stupid men.”  H. Sept. “pestiferous.”  Syr. “impious.” Heart.  Prot. “young and tender-hearted.”  H. But Roboam was not very young; (3 K. xiv. 21.) and we may adhere to the Vulg.  C. Sept. “he was a youth, and timid.”  H. Abia speaks of his father with little respect, and seems to have forgotten that he had laid down his arms in obedience to God’s order.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  And golden.  These idols will enervate and render your great numbers useless.  H. We have a just cause and religion is on our side.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Rams.  These were sacrificed by the false priests, who acted in a very different manner from those of the Lord.  Lev. viii. and ix.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Table.  It is hence inferred, that Sesac had only left one: (Lyran.  Torniel.) but this does not follow.  C.  Salien.

 

Ver. 14.  Trumpets, to invoke God’s aid.  Num. x. 9.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Terrified.  Sept. “struck;” God caused the victory to declare in favour of those who were only half the number.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Five.  Some Latin editions have 50,000, (C.) which number is found in some MSS. of Epiphanius.  Hudson’s Josephus. Hentenius has the same, and only remarks five MSS. which had the greater number.  See v. 3.  H. We do not read of such a slaughter in any one battle.  But Israel made no resistance, and God assisted the four hundred thousand.  M. Valiant.  Prot. “chosen.”  See C. xiv. 13.  H. So many were either slain or wounded.  D. Prot. intimate all were “slain.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Bethel, the head of the calf worship; though Abulensis thinks it was another city, otherwise it would not have been spared.  The calf continued there till the reign of Jehu.  4 K. x. 29.  M. Jesana; perhaps Senna, (Num. xxxiv. 4.  C.) seven miles north of Jericho.  Eus. The versions read differently. Ephron.  The Masorets have Ephraim.  C. Prot. “Ephraim, with the towns thereof.”  H. Josue (xv. 9.) places Mount Ephron between Juda and Ephraim; and we find a town of the name, (1 Mac. v. 46.) but on the other side of the Jordan.

 

Ver. 20.  Him.  Some think Abia, as Jeroboam survived him two years: but others, (C.) with greater probability, (D.) suppose that the latter is here specified, and that he fell a victim to the divine wrath, as the prophet Ahias had foretold.  C. Salien, A. 3081.

 

Ver. 22.  Works.  Prot. “sayings are written in the story of the prophets Iddo.”  H. Modross properly means “researches,” and was the title of the genealogical work of this prophet, from which this account is probably taken.  C. xii. 15.  C. The entire work is not extant.  M.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Years, dating from the fifth; as in the fifteenth year of his reign, Asa offered many victims, which had been taken from the enemy.  C. xv. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  God, with respect to the external worship of the true God, (H.) though he had some faults.  3 K. xv. 14. Places, while he tolerated those which were intended for the service of the Lord, (C.) though illegally; and he even left the buildings erected by Solomon standing, (4 K. xxiii. 13.  T.) thinking they might be no longer dangerous.  Salien. Several other pious kings did the like, for which they deserved some reprehension; as they could not be ignorant, that this was considered as wrong by the more enlightened.  Eccli. xlix. 5.  T. It was the king’s duty to destroy the exterior practices of idolatry, while the priests and prophets were to instruct.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Altars.  Heb. “high places, and the Chamanim,” or temple of the sun.  Lev. xxvi. 30.  C. Prot. “images.”  H. Asa was encouraged to perfect the work which he had begun, by the exhortation of Azarias.  C. xv. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Time, as yet.  T. Admirable lesson for all to prepare for war in time of quite!  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Ethiopian.  Some think Zara was a successor of Sesac; and the Rabbins say, that he “restored the spoils which the latter had taken.”  Seder. xvi. He at least, made the Jews some compensation for that loss.  Perhaps he had been present in the expedition of Sesac, and was now animated with the same ambition.  T. It would be difficult for a foreign king to traverse Egypt with so large an army, (C.) unless he had conquered or intimidated the king of the country.  H. Hence some believe that the Ethiopia here in question, was a part of Arabia.  C.  Torniel. But it is more probable that it lay south of Egypt, as the troops of Zara are joined with the Lybians.  C. xvi. 8.  Salien, A. 3094.  T. A king of Arabia would hardly have had so many subjects.  C. Three.  Some would read thirteen, as Anai takes notice of the great number of chariots.  C. xvi. 8.  Jun.  Malvenda.  C. But surely the number here specified is sufficient.  The minds of men are very different.  In the former chapter we find them complaining of the too great numbers!  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Meet him, fearing lest he should lay waste his dominions, as Sesac had done.  M. Sephata, or Sephala, a great valley to the west of Maresa, (C.) which is a city of Juda.  M. Sept. have, “in the vale north of Maresa.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Help.  Heb. “to help; whether with many, or with those who have no power.”  The same sentiment was expressed by Jonathas.  1 K. xiv. 6.  Those who have God with them are secure of victory.  C. If God be with us, who is against us?

 

Ver. 12.  Terrified.  Heb. and Sept. “struck,” as he had done Jeroboam.  C. xiii. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Gerara was on the southern borders, twenty-three miles from Maresa.  Eus.  C. The Ethiopians were pursued perhaps for many days.  T. Destruction.  Prot. “they they could not recover themselves.”  Heb. “there was no quarter given;” or, “so that none were left alive.”  C. If this were the case, the number of the slain far exceeded that the Jeroboam’s army.  C. xiii.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Gerara.  The adjacent territory is now uncultivated.  Jos. xiii. 3. Great.  Heb. “a fear of the Lord;” (v. 12) an extraordinary (C.) panic.  H. The Philistines had assisted the enemy, and therefore their cities were invaded; (M.) or these belonged to Zara.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Destroyed.  Heb. “smote also the tents of cattle.”  Sept. “they cut in pieces the tents of cattle, the Amazons;” or, according to the Vat. copy, (H.) “the Alimazonians,” as they seem to have read aeli mánim, which may be well rendered, “the tents of the Mineans,” a people of Arabia.  C. xx. 1. and xxvi. 7. and Judg. x. 11.  C. If these nations came to punish Asa, for banishing their foreign worship, (v. 12) as the Sieur de Folard thinks the sacred penman insinuates, (v. 5) we need not wonder that they met with such ill success, and that not one of them was spared, as God avenged his own cause, v. 12. 13.  H. We read of no cavalry here, though it is mentioned, C. xvi. 8.  It seems not to have been considerable, as the people of Asia, the Greeks and Romans, trusted more to their infantry; and, in effect, no species of warfare is more costly to a state, nor less useful, than a multitude of horses, which were introduced in barbarous times.  De Folard.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 1.  Azarias is called Oded in Heb. v. 8.  C. But he was his son.  H. There was a high priest of the name of Azarias, about the same time.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  With him.  He will continue thus to protect you, if you prove faithful.  The Pelagians hence inferred, that man was to prepare his own heart for the reception of grace.  But the text only speaks of external aid; and though it were understood of internal grace, (C.) we may merit an increase of grace, by a faithful co-operation (W.) with that which God has presented us.  E.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Shall pass, is not found in Heb. &c. and many supply, “had been.”  D. The Jews, and some  interpreters, would explain all this of what had passed already; (C.) and this is the idea of the Prot. “Now, for a long season, Israel hath been without,” &c.  H. But the conclusion convinces us that this is a prediction; (v. 7) take courage.  You shall not  be involved in these miseries.  Some explain the whole of the kingdom of Israel, which, from its commencement till after its final ruin, persevered in its rebellion against the true God.  Sanctius. Others think the kingdom of Juda was also concerned, and its state of captivity at Babylon foretold.  Lyran. But its full completion includes the latter ages, particularly after the murder of the Messias, (T.) and seems of the same nature as the prophecy of Osee, (iii. 4.) as our Saviour himself insinuates.  Mat. xxiv. 6. 9. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  And when.  Sept. “and he shall convert them to the Lord,…and shall be found by them.”  H. This will be verified in the last days.  Rom. xi. 26.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Cometh in, in public or private transactions.  See Lev. xxvi. 36.

 

Ver. 6.  Nation, both in the times of Baasa, who fought against Asa, and afterwards.  For the same prophecy may be literally explained of more thing than one.  M. Distress.  Our Saviour says, Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, &c.  But he that shall persevere to the end, shall be saved.

 

Ver. 8.  Azarias, the son, is omitted in Heb. and the Vat. Sept. which reads Adad, (H.) but it is supplied in the other editions, and in the Syriac, (C.) as v. 1.  H. Taken: we do not read on what occasion.  C. xvii. 2.  His father had seized upon Bethel, &c.  C. xiii. 19.  C. Yet Asa waged war himself with the king of Israel. Dedicated.  Sept. “renewed,” as the altar had been neglected, or injured by the continual fire; (M.) or this was the extraordinary (H.) altar, which Solomon had used at the dedication of the temple.  The multitude of Asa’s victims required more than one, v. 11.  It is not probable that God’s worship had been neglected till the 15th year of this pious king, (v. 9) since even his wicked father was punctual in this respect.  C. xiii. 11.  Before, at the higher end of the priests’ court, to the east of the altar of holocausts.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Simeon.  This tribe was intimately connected with that of Juda, though many had revolted.  Some afterwards returned, as they did from other parts, actuated either by  motives of interest or of religion.  C. xxxiv. 6.  3 K. xi. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Month, Sivan, or May, when the feast of Pentecost occurs.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Spoils, which they had sold, and now testified their gratitude.  T. Rams.  Prot. “sheep.”

 

Ver. 12.  He went.  Heb. and Sept. “They proceeded, according to the covenant, to seek.”  H. They swore upon the altar, or passed between the divided victims.  Gen. xv. 9. 17.  C. This solemn act was usual, and more necessary in times of trouble.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Said he, is not in Heb. &c.  H. Die, according to Deut. xvii. 7.

 

Ver. 15.  Curse.  Heb. “oath.”  M. Sept. “all Juda rejoiced on account of the oath.”  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Mother, or grandmother.  C. There were perhaps two of the name, and Abia had married one as well as Roboam.  M. Deposed, &c.  Heb. “from being queen.”  Sept. “he removed Maacha,…that she should not minister to Astarte; and he cut the idol in pieces, and burnt it,” &c.  H. Syr. “because she had celebrated a feast to idols.”  But it seems she had set up a stone, which Asa burnt.  See 3 K. xv. 13.  C. Priapus is added by the Vulg. to explain Heb. “the idol of, or in the grove,” (H.) Asera or Astarte.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Israel, to the honour only of the true God.  C. xiv. 2. and 3 K. xv. 14.  H. Perfect, with respect to the external worship, (T.) or hitherto, (H.) though he offended afterwards.  C. xvi. 7. 12.  T. Other altars, besides that at Jerusalem, might be dispensed with, (W.) by God’s authority.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Vowed, in the wars against Jeroboam and Zara.  See 1 Par. xxvi. 27.

 

Ver. 19.  Year.  Usher dates from the separation of the two kingdoms; and this year corresponds with the 15th of Asa, v. 10.  See 3 K. xv. 16.  C.  Torniel, A. 3094.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Six and thirtieth year of his kingdom.  That is, of the kingdom of Juda, taking the date of it from the beginning of the reign of Roboam.  Ch. It was the 16th of Asa.  We read that Raasa died in the 26th year of Asa.  3 K. xvi. 8.  How then could he fight with him in the 36th?  T. Rama was on an eminence, and commanded the pass below.  Baasa wished to cut off all communication with the kingdom of Juda, as he knew many of his subjects had emigrated for the sake of the true religion.  C. xv. 9.  C. He had taken the city from the tribe of Benjamin.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  There is,  Heb. is indeterminate: “a league,” &c.  Sept. “Make a league….behold I have sent thee gold and silver.  Come and drive away from me Baasa, king,” &c. That.  Prot. “go, break thy league.”  H. Asa induces the king of Damascus to act perfidiously.  C. Otherwise it is not unlawful to make use of the arms of infidels, unless where God has forbidden it.  Grot. Jur. ii. 15. 9.  Masius in Jos. ix. 15. David had recourse to Achis, and the Machabees to the Romans.  C. Some kings are blamed for making leagues with the princes of Israel, because they had been warned to the contrary; and Asa was severely reprehended, as he had already received such assurances of the divine protection, (C. xiv. 12. and xv. 7.) that nothing but pusillanimity could have induced him (H.) to give away the sacred treasures, in order to obtain this aid of the Syrian king, v. 7.

 

Ver. 4.  Nephthali.  This seem preferable to the Heb. reading, 3 K. xv. 20.  C. Prot. “all the store-cities.”  Sept. “all the environs.”  H. Arab. “all the arsenals of the cities of Nephthali.”

 

Ver. 7.  Syria.  It seems more natural to read Israel.  C. But we must remember that Benadad was an ally of Israel; and if he had not been bribed, he would have come to the assistance of Baasa, (H.) and thus both might have fallen a prey to Asa, as the much greater forces of Zara had done.  T.

 

Ver. 9.  Behold.  Prot. “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him.”  Sept. “to shew power in every heart full, or perfect, in his regard.”  H. Asa fell on this occasion through human frailty, but rose again by repentance. Thee, as they were till the death of Baasa.  3 K. xv. 32.

 

Ver. 10.  Prison.  Lit. “in bonds,” (nervum) made of leather thongs or nerves, (H.) or of iron, to confine either the neck or the feet.  Isidor. orig. 5. ult. Heb. “the house of disturbance.”  Sept. &c. “prison.”  Some explain it (C.) of the stocks to enclose the neck.  Vatable. Time, either because they expressed the same sentiments as the prophet, (C.) or because they disapproved of his imprisonment.  T. Sept. “Asa made havoc among the people,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Most, &c.  Heb. “till his disease got upwards,” (C.) to the head (T.) and heart, (H.) when the gout generally proves fatal.  A. Lapide Sept. “till he was very ill:” (H.) a just punishment for his having confined the prophet in fetters; but of a temporal nature, as he sinned through passion, and died penitent, his heart being perfect (C. xv. 17.) all or the most part of his days, particularly in the last.  W. Rather.  Heb. and Sept. simply, “physicians.”  H. Yet it was not the having recourse to them, with some degree of confidence, that is here reprehended, but the placing too much trust in men, (C.) and too little in God, the sovereign arbiter of life and death.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Sepulchre.  Heb. “sepulchres,” as there were many separate apartments in the same cavern.  C. Asa had prepared one cell, as David and Solomon had done.  M.  T. Odoriferous (mertriciis.)  Such as harlots delight in, (Prov. vii. 16,) to entice the sensual.  D. Heb. zenim, may be derived from zana, fornicari.  It denotes a mixture of perfumes.  M. But here the Vulg. read zunim.  D. Heb. and Sept. “they laid him on a bed, and filled it with aromatical spices, and with various sorts of perfumers’ ointments, and they made him a very great funeral, or (H.) burning.”  Prot. It is not clear whether the body was placed on a bed of state, and these perfumes were used to remove every disagreeable smell, or the body itself was rather consumed along with them, a practice which seems to have become more common since the days of Asa.  Jer. xxxiv. 5.  1 K. xxxi. 12.  Amos vi. 10.  Joram was deprived of this honour.  C. xxi. 19.  C. Sanctius adduces many examples, to prove that the spices were burnt only near the body; (T.) and the Hebrews generally preferred to inter the corpse.  Corpora condere quam cremare è more Ægyptio.  Tacit. Hist. v.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 17

 

CHAPTER XVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  In consequence of the civil broils, which ensued after the death of Baasa.  The two kingdoms had been nearly equal.

 

Ver. 2.  Numbers, who were kept on foot; probably as in the days of David.

 

Ver. 3.  First.  Before his fall: some copies add, “and last,” (La Haye) as the Gothic MS. used by Mariana does, agreeably to the Scripture style.  D. David began and ended well.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Presents, as was customary, (1 K. x. 27,) or tribute.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  When.  Heb. “And his heart was elevated in the ways of the Lord.”  He was endued with courage to undertake the great work of banishing all abuses out of his dominions, seeing that the people were well affected, and the Lord urged him forward.  H. He trusted no so much to his great army or riches, as to a good conscience, (T.) which made him fear no difficulties; (1 Jo. iii. 21,) doubting not but God would grant him success, as he endeavoured to keep his laws.  C. Groves of idols, (M.) though he tolerated the high places, which had been consecrated to God.  C. xx. 33. and 3 K. xxii. 43.  H. Good works, rewarded by God, encouraged people to proceed in virtue.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Princes.  Political, (T.) to see that all paid attention to the proper teachers; (Mal. ii. 7.  C.) and thus to partake in that good work.  M. The princes might also give instruction by word (C.) and example.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Book.  The Pentateuch, or its abridgment, the book of Deuteronomy, (M.) which they read and explained.  C. People.  It was not sufficient to destroy idolatry, (M.) unless the people were taught how to serve the true God.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  War.  They had witnessed the fruitless attempt of Zara.  C. xiv. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Philistines.  Though they had been reduced by David, they had sometimes proved remiss in the payment of tribute. Arabians, who lived near the Ethiopians, and the Dead Sea.  C. xxi. 19.  They had been subdued by Solomon, (3 K. x. 15.) and were rich in cattle.  Ezec. xxvii. 21.  The name is not so comprehensive as we generally make it.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Houses.  Prot. “castles.”  Heb. biraniyoth.  Birah is properly a Chal. word, and is added after susan, to imply that it was a royal castle, (C.) or palace. (H.)  2 Esd. i. 1. Sept. often use baris in the same sense.  C. It became a provincial word in Palestine, for a place shut up on all sides and built like a tower.  S. Jer. ad Princep. David calls the temple a palace (habbirah) for God.  1 Par. xxix. 1.  C. Josaphat employed his immense riches in beautifying the country, and erecting storehouses, v. 5. Walled.  Prot. “cities of store.”  H.  See C. xv. 4.

 

Ver. 14.  Ednas was the chief of the five generals, who had under their command 1,160,000, (C.) besides the garrison soldiers, v. 19.  H. So great power and riches had not been seen in Juda since the days of Solomon.  C. They were not all on duty at the same time, but were able to bear arms (M.) when called out.

 

Ver. 16.  Consecrated.  Heb. “a volunteer of the Lord,” (H.) serving at his own expence, (T.) or with remarkable zeal.  C. Perhaps he was of the tribe of Levi, (M.) or had taken the vows of the Nazarites, &c.

 

Ver. 17.  After.  Heb. and Sept. “And of Benjamin, Eliada, a valiant man of the army.”  H. It seems all were not chosen from Juda.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  King, at different times.  Sept. “waiting upon” him, (H.) like the companies which David had appointed, (C.) but far more numerous.  H. The dominions of Juda were now pretty extensive, and well cultivated.  The population must have amounted to near six millions, for whose support recourse must have been had to commerce.  Rome had once almost four million inhabitants, and Cairo is said to contain seven millions, while China has two hundred millions.  C. We must reflect that many from the other tribes had taken refuge in the kingdom of Juda.  T. It would be too bold to suppose, with Kennicott, that so many numbers have been corrupted.  H.  C. xiii. 3.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 18

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Affinity, taking Achab’s daughter for his son’s wife.  T.  C. xxi. 6.  3 K. xxii.

 

Ver. 3.  War.  Josaphat was too complaisant.  He was rebuked by the son of Hanani, as Asa had been by his father; (C. xvi. 7.) and, not long after, Eliezer reproached him for joining in alliance with Ochozias,. C. xx.  C. He acted without an ill intention, and was more easily pardoned.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Hands.  He ironically (C.) alludes to the declarations of the false prophets.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Ye.  In 3 K. he addresses his discourse chiefly to Achab.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Said.  See 3 K. xxii.  The Rabbins pretend that the spirit of Naboth came forth.  But it was satan, or an evil spirit.  T.

 

Ver. 21.  So.  The Lord permits evil, but he does not approve of it.  C. Homer makes Jupiter send a deluding dream to Agamemnon.  Iliad B. The delusive predictions of impostors, are one great source of calamities.  D.

 

Ver. 25.  Amelech.  Sept. and Syr. “to Joas, the commander, son of the father.  H. He had perhaps the government of affairs at Samaria, during his king.”  Achab’s absence.  T.

 

Ver. 27.  People.  Mark what I say.  The event will quickly prove whether I am a prophet or an impostor.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Dress.  Prot. “disguised himself, and they went.”  See 3 K. xxii. 30.

 

Ver. 31.  Turned.  Heb. “moved them from him.”  They felt that he was under God’s protection; and discovered that he was not the king of Israel.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 19

 

CHAPTER XIX.

 

Ver. 2.  Thou.  Sept. “O king Josaphat, if thou helpest the sinner; or, wilt thou befriend one hated by the Lord?”  Prot. “shouldst thou….love them that hate the Lord?”  H. The Donatists hence inferred, that it was not lawful to converse with sinners.  But S. Aug. (c. ep. Par. ii. 18.) replied, that Josaphat was blamed for aiding Achab in the contempt of the true prophet, and for going to battle conformably to the predictions of impostors.  Both kings offended, but in a different degree.  W. We must also keep at as great a distance as possible from the notorious enemies of God, as their conversation is dangerous.  T. Evil communications corrupt the best of manners.  See Ps. cxxxviii. &c.

 

Ver. 3.  Works.  Sept. “words.”  Prot. “things.”  H. The merit of Josaphat screened him from punishment.  T. Prepared.  Sept. “directed.”  M. Syr. “disposed.”  Faith teaches that we can do no good of ourselves, but that we have free will to choose either good or evil.

 

Ver. 4.  Ephraim.  This was the northern boundary, as Dan or Emath had been under David and Solomon.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  And whatsoever.  Heb. “who is with you in the judgment.”  The Lord will confirm you just decisions, and punish your injustice.  H. God stood in the synagogue of gods, or judges.  Ps. lxxxi. 1.  Judges ought not so much to regard man as God, when they pass sentence.  C. How then will the Anabaptists deny that a man may sit in judgment?  T.

 

Ver. 7.  Gifts.  The contrary is the source of so much corruption.  H. It would be proper to inscribe this sentence on the walls of all courts of judicature, or rather on the hearts of all in office.  T. None but the true religion can produce such maxims.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  And the.  Heb. “of the Lord, and for disputes among the people among themselves, (H.) and they returned, (v. 4) or dwelt at Jerusalem.”  C. Sept. “to judge the inhabitants of,” &c.  Josephus (ix. 1.) says, “he returned.”  Syr. “And being returned….he exhorted.”

 

Ver. 10.  Cities.  He addressed the judges of the capital, to whom appeals might be made.  C.  M. Kindred, with respect to inheritances and matrimonial cases.  Heb. “blood,” or murder, whither casual or wilful.

 

Ver. 11.  Amarias, (1 Par. vi. 11.) or rather Azarias, the father of Johanan. ib. v. 9. Office, in civil matters.  C. Here is a plain distinction between the spiritual and temporal authority, instituted by God.  Deut. xvii.  Num. xxvii.  W.  T. Masters.  Heb. shoterim, to execute the sentence; (D.) or “officers.” You.  Prot. “with the good.”  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 20

 

CHAPTER XX.

 

Ver. 1.  Of the Ammonites; people sprung from them.  Those who explain the Psalm lxxxii. of this war, find many nations mentioned.  Some of these, not daring to appear openly, assumed the name of Ammonites.  Perhaps we should read (C.) Mannim.  H. Sept. “the Mineans,” who dwelt in Arabia Felix, upon the Red Sea, (Pliny vi. 28.) or rather the Maonians, in the environs of Gaza.  C. Some MSS. and Latin editions have “Idumeans,” which is conformable to v. 11, 23, and S. Jerom Trad.  Lyran, &c.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Sea of Sodom, (H.) or the Red Sea.  D. Syria, which comprised the country of Ammon.  M. Perhaps Edom might rather have been in the text, as we find no Syrians in this war, but many of the Idumeans.  C. Adom and Arom, (Syria.  H.) have often been confounded.  4 K. xvi. 6.  C. Asasonthamar, “the palm-tree cottage,” (Bochart) between Jericho and the Dead Sea.

 

Ver. 3.  Juda.  The whole kingdom was concerned.  Sometimes a fast was proclaimed for one city.  3 K. xxi. 9.  Jonas iii. 7.  C. They were accustomed to fast, not only to subdue the flesh, but also for other necessities.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Prot. “to ask help of.”  H. Cities.  Here we have an example of a pilgrimage to a holy place, as God is more willing to hear the virtuous in one place than in another.  C. vi. 7. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  New court of the priests.  Why it is so called, does not appear.  C. Some understand the court for the women; (Salien) others, that for Gentiles.  Le Clerc. Probably some of the courts had been found too spacious after the schism, and had been neglected; but now, as many had returned to serve the Lord in the dominions of Josaphat, he had made some repairs.  T.

 

Ver. 7.  All, or the greatest part.  Heb. “drive out the inhabitants.”  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Sword of.  Prot. “as the sword, judgment, or,” &c.  Sept. “the sword, judgment, death, famine.”  All these are sent in punishment of sin.  H. The sword of the enemy is a judgment of God.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Judge and punish them, as they fight against thee?  C. Enough.  Yet we read that Josaphat had above a million soldiers; and he knew that his father had discomfited a greater army of Zara with half the forces.  He thus puts us in mind that no power can stand against God’s will; and he endeavours, by humility, to obtain the protection of heaven.  The invading army  must, however, have been very numerous, to extort these expressions from a potent king, and to have thrown his whole people into such consternation.  It could hardly be less than that of Zara; and thus, in the space of a century, above two millions and a half of idolaters perished by the hand of God, without Juda  losing a single man, v. 29.  C. xiii. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Children.  Even the little infants were deprived of the breasts, on such emergencies, that their cries might be more affecting.  H.  Joel ii. 16.  Judit. iv. 8. The pagans of Ninive even made the cattle also fast.  Jonas iii. 7.  C.  S. Amb. ser. 40.  T.

 

Ver. 14.  Spirit of prophecy.  M. Jahaziel is known only by this event.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Six.  Some translate “flowry ascent.”  C. Prot. “the cliff of Ziz.”  H. If it had been Zin, we might understand the desert of stony Arabia, where Ptolemy places the town of Ziza.  C. But we may recollect that the army was already advanced as far as Engaddi; (v. 2,) so that it seems to have lain nearer Jerusalem.  H. Jeruel, “the fear of God,” which name was given to the place, in consequence of the panic with which God struck the enemy.  S. Jerom.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  High.  Rejoicing at the promised deliverance.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Thecua, two mile east of Bethlehem, on the road to Jeruel.  Adric.   M. Believe.  Faith is the foundation of all good works; (Heb. xi.) but not alone sufficient, as here the people fasted and prayed, and would have fought, if God had not dispensed with them.  See Jos. xxiii.  W. We may also translate Heb. “trust.”

 

Ver. 21.  Ever.  This was usually sung in times of joy.  C. v. 13.  The army seemed thus to be returning victorious.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Ambushments, placed by the Moabites, (M.) and Ammonites, (H.) against Juda.  Some detachments of Mount Seir, perhaps, coming suddenly on them, were taken for foes, and slaughtered.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Tower.  Maspha, in the tribe of Benjamin, (C.) or some other (H.) eminence.  M.

 

Ver. 25.  Insomuch.  Heb. and Sept. “Three days passed, while they gathered the spoils, because it was great,” (H.) “without weight,” or estimation.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Blessing.  SS. Jerom and Epiphanius place Caphar-barucha, “the field of blessing,” near Hebron, on the east.  Hither Abraham attended the Lord, when he was going to destroy Sodom.  Epist. Paulæ.

 

Ver. 29.  Lands, in the vicinity.  M. Israel, as he had lately treated Zara.  C. xiv. 13.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Places, erected in honour of God, but displeasing to him.  C. xvii. 6.  H. The good king perhaps attempted to take these also away, but was obliged to desist by the rebellious people.  M. Hence we find that they are here blamed.  H. They would not conform exactly to the law, (Lev. xvii. 3.  T.) and the king was not able to bring all to perfection.  W. “It is better to pass over….vices, than to shew which we cannot subdue.”  Tacit. An. iii.

 

Ver. 34.  Which.  Sept. “who wrote a book of the kings of Israel.”  H. Jehu rebuked Josaphat, C. xix.  C. His book is not extant.  M.

 

Ver. 35.  Things: the victory over Ammon, &c.  H. Wicked.  See C. xvi. 3.

 

Ver. 36.  Tharsis; probably Cilicia, (C.) or some part of the ocean. Asion-gaber was on the Red Sea; and ships would not have been built there, to trade on the Mediterranean.  C. ix. 21.  T.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 21

 

CHAPTER XXI.

 

Ver. 2.  Azarias.  The only difference between this and the former name is, that the younger brother’s (H.) has u at the end, (C.) Azrieu.  Prot. and Sept. make no difference, which we should nevertheless expect.  H. Juda.  Heb. “Israel.”  Sept. Syr. &c. agree with the Vulg. editions, though most of the ancient Latin MSS. have Israel.  Josephat ruled over the principal tribes.  Yet it seems probable, from the versions, that the Heb. formerly read Juda.

 

Ver. 3.  Pensions.  Heb. “precious things.”  Sept. “arms.”

 

Ver. 4.  Sword.  This cruel policy (H.) has been very common in the East.  C. Israel.  They had perhaps opposed his impious plans, animated by his brethren.  God presently chastised him with the rebellion of Idumea; and though Joram gained a victory over Seir, (4 K. viii. 21.) he was not able to reduce the nation, being called off by other wars, v. 16.  His own subjects at Lobna, a Levitical city in Juda, also abandoned him.  Dreadful evils were denounced in a letter from the prophet Elias, who had been translated to paradise nine years before, and at last the honours of sepulture were denied to the wicked king.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Achab.  It is supposed by Jezabel.  She might be grand-daughter of Amri.  C. xxii. 2.  The infamous Athalia is blamed for most of the evils which her husband committed.

 

Ver. 7.  Lamp; heir and successor.  C.  Ps. cxxxi. 17.

 

Ver. 10.  Day, when the author lived.  See 4 K. viii. 20.

 

Ver. 11.  Fornication; idolatry.  M. Heb. “and compelled Juda.”  Sept. “seduced.”  Syr. “dissipated Juda.”  C. He used every art of seduction and violence to introduce idolatry, to the ruin of his kingdom.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Elias.  Le Clerc would read Eliseus.  Grotius supposes that all passed in a dream.  Others think that Elias had written the letter before his removal from the conversation of men, some years before, foreseeing the impiety of Joram, and leaving the letter with Eliseus, to be delivered unto him.  M.  Jun. But the most common opinion is, that the prophet wrote it in paradise, (C.) and sent it to the king by an angel, &c.  Seder. xvii.  Bellarm.  T. Elias had been taken away in the 18th year of Josaphat, who reigned 25; so he shewed this special care of Joram and his kingdom, so many years after his assumption.  W. Thus the saints in heaven interest themselves in our defence.  2 Mac. xv. 11.  H. Prophet.  Heb. “And there came in him a writing of,” &c.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Thee is not expressed in Heb. but it is in the Sept. and the king was not only afflicted with illness, but with the losses of his people and family.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  By little.  Heb. “by reason of the sickness, (H.) day by day,” or in two years time, v. 19.  C. He was probably ill so long.  H. Agrippa and Antiochus were treated in the same manner, (C.) with a diarrhœa, (M.) or dysentery, (C.) the vitals being corrupted.  Valesius 40.

 

Ver. 16.  Philistines; who, it seems, had been obedient since the days of David. Ethiopians, who lay west of the Arabians, from the Red Sea to the lower Egypt and the Nile, (C.) bordering on Madian.  There was another Ethiopia to the south of Egypt.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Joachaz, alias Ochozias, (Ch.) or Azarias, in Heb.  C. xxii. 1. and 6.  C. The variation of names seems to originate in the mistakes of transcribers, very frequently.  If we found in some profane author, that Philip had only one son, Ander-alex, left, and that this son, Alex-ander, succeeded him, we should readily allow that the first syllables had been erroneously placed last, (Kennic.) as on this occasion aéz-ieu stands for ieu-aéz.  Sept. has here OcoziaV; as the other versions have also Ochozias, (C. xxii. 6.) instead of Azrieu, (H.) a name given to Ozias, king of Juda, when it belonged to the priests, as it here belongs to one of the captains.  C. xxiii. 1.  Sometimes we find Aézie.  4 K. ix. 16.  Strange inconsistency!  Kennicott.  See 4 K. xiv. 21.

 

Ver. 19.  And.  Prot. “And it came to pass that, in the process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out, by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases: And his people made no burning for him,” &c. (H.) not that the body was usually consumed, but no aromatical spices were burned near it, (Sanctius.  T.) as in the funeral of Asa.  C. xvi. 14.  C. The point is controverted.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  Rightly.  Sept. “unpraised.”  Heb. “without any satisfaction;” or, “he departed unregretted,” oppressed with illness, and odious to all. Kings.  Joas, Achaz, Achab, and Manasses, were disgraced in like manner, after their death.  The Hebrews then shewed their resentment, without fear.  The like custom prevailed in Egypt, and kept many within bounds.  No person could receive the usual honours of burial, if his accusers could maintain their charge against his character before a court of above forty people, assembled for the purpose.  Calumny was severely punished.  But the kings themselves were to stand their trial, while their corpse was placed in the porch of the monument, and the priest spoke their funeral oration.  The people testified their approbation or discontent, “and many of the kings have been deprived of a glorious and legal burial, on account of the opposition of the multitude.”  Diod. i. and ii.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 22

 

CHAPTER XXII.

 

Ver. 1.  Arabians and Philistines.  C. xxi. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Forty-two, &c.  Divers Greek Bibles read twenty-two, agreeably to 4 K. viii. 18. (Ch.) with the Syr. and Arab.  The Rom. (C.) and Alex. Sept. have “twenty.”  H. Ochozias was the youngest son, and his father died at forty years of age.  C. xxi. 20.  C. Others would date from the birth of Amri, (Broughton) or of Athalia.  But is most probable that we should read 22, as 4 K.  C. The contradiction has so much perplexed the commentators, that Walton (prol. 36) puts it among the quædam apora; and De Dieu says, “I would rather plainly confess that this difficulty is to us inexplicable.”  The error here, “is plainly owing to a mistake of one of the Heb. numeral letters,” c, being put instead of m, which was formerly more similar than it is now.  “In Origen’s Hexapla, one of the Greek copies (probably that found in Caracalla’s time) reads here cb, by rendering the number 22, eikosi kai duo, all which proofs make the mistake indubitable, and strongly recommend this method of correcting it.”  Kennicott. Mariana, T. &c. had already suggested this plan, (H.) which is very plausible.  D. Ochozias might reign twenty years with his father, and only one alone.  4 K. viii. 26.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Pushed.  Heb. and Sept. “was his counsellor to,” &c.

 

Ver. 6.  Ochozias.  So all the versions read.  Heb. “Azarias,” is probably incorrect, unless this man had three names.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  For.  Prot. “and the destruction of Ahaziah was of God, by coming to Joram.”  God had decreed to punish him by the hand of Jehu.  4 K. ix.

 

Ver. 8.  Out.  Heb. “exercising judgment with.” Brethren, who had been themselves slain by the rovers.  Ochozias employed his nephews at court, and they expected that he would make some stay at Jezrahel.

 

Ver. 9.  Hid in the kingdom of Samaria, (Malvenda) at Mageddo, where he was wounded; though he was perhaps put to death at Jezrahel.  4 K. ix. 27. Buried him, at Jerusalem. Reign.  Heb. “the house of Ochozias had no one to bear the weight of the kingdom.”  The children of the deceased were too young, particularly as most of the princes were slain.  C. Human hope failed, but God’s providence kept David’s issue on the throne, till Christ appeared.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  All, except Joas, (v. 11, and 4 K. xi. 1.  C.) ninety-five years after Solomon’s death.  Mariana.  D.

 

Ver. 11.  High is not expressed in Heb. or Sept. but he is supposed to have been the pontiff.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 23

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Seventh.  Vat. Sept. by mistake, has “the eighth.” Encouraged, or “strengthened.”  Sept. &c.  H. Captains, whether Levites, or ancient officers of the crown, who were dissatisfied with the usurper.  4 K. xi.

 

Ver. 2.  Israel, of which Juda formed a part.  M. At the time when the author lived, Israel was destroyed, so that there was no danger of a mistake. Jerusalem, on a sabbath-day, and most likely on one of the three great festivals: (C.) Salien (A. 3157) thinks at the Passover, to avoid suspicion.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Do.  Though God’s promise was absolute, human means were to be used.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  To the sabbath.  That is, to perform in your weeks the functions of your office, or the weekly watches.  Ch. Porters.  Sept. “even to the entrance gates.” House, where Athalia resided, or in the apartments of Joas in the temple. Foundation.  Sept. “middle.”  Syr. “of the cooks, or guards.”  H. It led from the palace up the steps, v. 21.  M. Perhaps it was also called Sur, 4 K. But let.  This seems to be transposed out of its place from v. 6.

 

Ver. 7.  Slain.  Athalia ventured to enter; but she was alone, and not much feared.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  High.  Heb. “the priest dismissed not the courses.”  H. In case of right and necessity, we see here what the high priest could do, though otherwise he would not interfere.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Altar of holocausts, in the court of the priests, while the people stood in their own court.  T.

 

Ver. 11.  Crown.  Lit. “diadem.” Testimony.  This is explained in the following sentence, (H.) which is not in Hebrew nor in many Latin MSS.  The Jews understand the phylaceries.  Deut. xvii. 18.

 

Ver. 13.  Step.  Heb. hamudo, “his pillar,” to which he ascended by steps.  D. Entrance into the court of the priests; but the tribune stood in that of the people, where Joas was in his royal attire.

 

Ver. 16.  Himself, as God’s vicegerent.  C. A double covenant was made between God and the people, and between the king and his subjects.  D.

 

Ver. 17.  Idols.  Prot. “images.”  H. Those are wilfully blind who will not distinguish these from the images of Christ and his saints.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  David, which had been long neglected.  1 Par. xxiv.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  Upper gate of the guards, at the back or western end of the temple.  C. v. 5.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 24

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

 

Ver. 3.  Him.  Joas, as Prot. (H.) and most interpreters understand it, with the Syr. &c.  Joiada was too old to think of marrying again, as the Rabbins would explain the Heb. conformably to the Sept. and Arab. “himself.”  C. Joas did not probably marry two at once.  Salien, A. 3766. Amasias was born of Joadan.  C. xxv. 1.  M. The high priest considered Joas as his son, being married to his aunt.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Money.  The half sicle, (Ex. xxx. 13.  4 K. xii. 4.  C.) which at first was required for the tabernacle, and afterwards for the repairs of the temple.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Chief “priest,” (v. 11,) where he is called the first.  Heb. “the head priest.”

 

Ver. 7.  Children.  All but Ochozias had been slain by the Arabs.  The plural is often put for the singular.  S. Jerom (Trad.) explains it of the priests of the idols, whom Athalia cherished as her own offspring.

 

Ver. 10.  That, &c.  Heb. “till it was done,” according to the law.  Pagnin.

 

Ver. 11.  From day.  Lit. “every day,” (H.) when the chest was replenished.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  And for.  Heb. “and to offer,” such as (H.) “mortars.”  Prov. xxvii. 22.  Eali is thus translated.  C. Prot. “and spoons and vessels.”

 

Ver. 16.  Israel, particularly to those of the kingdom of Juda.  H. His, David’s, house, (M.) as he had restored the crown to his offspring.

 

Ver. 17.  Worshipped.  Heb. “bowed down to the king, and he hearkened to them.”  H. The Jews say that the princes flattered him with the title of god, as he had been educated in the temple.  E. But this is improbable.  C. They petitioned for leave to re-establish the worship of Baal, (M.) and paid greater honours to the king than were becoming.  D.

 

Ver. 18.  Idols.  Heb. “sorrows.”  Sept. “the Astartes and idols.”  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Them.  Calling heaven and earth to witness (C.) the unity of God.  H. These prophets might have been performing their sacred commission ever since the reign of Josaphat; during which time Eliseus, Micheas, Jehu, and others, lived.  C. xx. 14. and xviii. 27.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Priest, refers to Zacharias.  Sept. “Azarias.”  H. It is not certain whether this was the person whom Jesus Christ speaks, (Mat. xxiii. 35.  C.) as S. Jerom believes; (ib.) or our Saviour alludes to one of the minor prophets, (T.) or to the father of the baptist.  Baronius.  H. Sight.  Heb. “above,” perhaps on the steps between the two courts.  C. To make.  Heb. “therefore hath he forsaken you.”

 

Ver. 22.  Require it.  I commit my cause into his hands.  M. The vengeance of the Lord was not slack.  H.

Raro antecedentem scelestum

            Deseruit pede pœna claudo.  Horace.

 

Ver. 23.  Damascus.  Hazael had before invaded Jerusalem.  4 K. xii. 17.  The Syrian army, which routed Juda, was comparatively small.  C. The idolatrous princes now received the due punishment of their crimes, v. 17.

 

Ver. 24.  Shameful, is not expressed in Heb.  But the putting a king to the torture, (v. 25.) and upbraiding him with his ingratitude and perfidy, was a gread indignity.  H. He had probably entered into engagements with Hazael, when he prevailed on him to depart, the year before.  C. Nabuchodonosor treated Sedecias in like manner.  4 K. xxv. 6.  The author of the Heb. Trad. among the works of S. Jerom, (H.) asserts that the children of Joas were slain before his eyes, while the Syrians reproached him for the unjust murder of Zacharias.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Servants.  By whom the man is slain, who had murdered his spiritual father.  W. Son.  Heb. “sons.”  See v. 7.  Some think that the brothers of Zacharias were slain, that they might not attempt to revenge his death. Kings.  These sepulchres are amazingly beautiful and spacious.  The doors are six feet high, and formed, like the rest, of solid stone, cut in the most elegant manner.  Doubdan 26.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Moabitess.  Sept. read, “the Ammonite….and Moabite.”  See 4 K. xii. 21.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  And.  Sept. “And all his sons: for five came upon him,” with the rest of the conspirators.  H. They have read differently.  C. Sum.  Heb. “the greatness of the burden on him,” (H.) imposed by the Syrians, (v. 24) or denounced by the prophets.  Mossa is often taken for a prophetic menace.  C. More.  Heb. “in the researches.”  Prot. “story of the book.”  Addo entitled his book Modross.  C. xxii. 22.  H. Only some extracts from these works have come down to us.  Esdras had them before him.  The abridgments have occasioned their loss, as has been the case with many other excellent works.  This was the more easy, as writing was not then so common.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 25

 

CHAPTER XXV.

 

Ver. 2.  Heart, and with perseverance.

 

Ver. 5.  Families.  The officers were well acquainted with their soldiers; (C.) and all were more interested for each other’s welfare, (D.) than they are in the present system.  C. Young.  Prot. “choice men, able to go.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Thousand.  Yet “they were so greatly reduced, but a few years before, that there were….only fifty horsemen,” &c.  4 K. xiii. 7.  Kennicott That might be true, at one time, when the people fled from the king’s banners, through fear.  But they were still in the country, and God gave Israel a saviour.  ib. v. 5.  See C. xiii. 3. and xvii. 19.  H. Silver.  This sum was very small, for so great a multitude.  Salien suspects talents of gold are meant, though the soldiers were paid in silver.  But the sum was only the hire for a short time; (M.) and was not distributed among the soldiers, who were to live on plunder, but went into the king’s coffers, (C.) or belonged to the officers alone.  Mariana.  D. The talent of silver was worth 342l. 3s. 9d.  Arbuthnot.

 

Ver. 8.  And.  Heb. “But if thou wilt go, do; be strong; (he speaks ironically) God,” &c.  Sept. “if thou thinkest that thou art strong with these, the Lord,” &c.  Amasias ought to have known that no dependance was to be placed on Israel, while they despised God.  C. xv. 2.

 

Ver. 9.  What will.  Syr. &c. “What then is my crime in having given the,” &c. To the.  Heb. or, “for the army.”  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Rock, afterwards called Jecteel.  Some take it to be Petra.  4 K. xiv. 7.

 

Ver. 13.  Samaria, the capital, where they had made their complaints to king Joas; and receiving no redress, began to plunder, as far as Bethhoron the lower, which Solomon had repaired, and his successors had retained, though it belonged to the territory of Ephraim.  C. xiii. 5.  Jos. xviii. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Art thou.  Heb. adds, “appointed.”  H. The very character of prophet, authorized  him to give counsel even to kings.  Amasias had perhaps obeyed this prophet, (v. 7) but now his heart was puffed up with victory. Kill thee, sixteen years hence.

 

Ver. 17.  Another, and fight.  He supposed Joas had connived at his subjects’ invasion, (v. 13.  H.  See 4 K. xiv. 8.  C.) and he now required all Israel to submit to him.  Josephus.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  Thistle.  This fable insinuated how much Joas despised the insolence of his antagonist, (H.) and Amasias had soon reason to repent.  T.

 

Ver. 20.  It.  Prot. “it came of God, that he  might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom.”  H. The king was permitted to give ear to evil counsellors.  C. “Jupiter deprives those of understanding, whom he means to destroy.”  Homer The heart is hardened on account of former sins.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Obededom, whose descendants guarded these treasures.  1 Par. xxvi. 15.  C. Hostages.  Prot. “the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.”  H. Some think that the kings of Juda had before detained these men.  E. Others suppose that Joas had taken many nobles, whom he exchanged for their sons.  But this is all conjecture.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  David.  Heb. “of Juda,” contrary to the Sept. Syr. &c.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 26

 

CHAPTER XXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Ozias, called Azarias (4 K. xiv. 21.  C.) improperly.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Juda, till the reign of Achaz.  4 K. xvi. 6.  It had revolted under Joram.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Done.  And was successful, as long as he attended to the high priest.  Num. xxvii. 21.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  God, or who had the gift of intelligence and prophecy from God.  Heb. “who was intelligent in the visions of God.”  Others have read birath, with the Sept. “in the fear;” or Chal. &c. “instructing in the fear of the Lord.”  The Jews childishly understand Zacharias to mean the king himself, in the early part of his reign.  Others suppose the priest, who was slain by Joas, is designated.  Lyran. But this was rather his son (T.  Cajet.  C.) and successor, as well as a prophet, who had therefore a more perfect knowledge of God; though none can comprehend his being.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  In.  Prot. “about Ashdod.”  Sept. “he built (or repaired) the cities of Azotus,” to keep under the Philistines, who had revolted under Joram.  C. xxi. 16.

 

Ver. 7.  Gurbaal.  Gerera, (S. Jer. Trad.) or Gebal.  Ps. lxxxii. 8.  Sept. “the rock,” or Petra, in Arabia, where Stephanus places the Gabalenes. Ammonites.  Heb. mehunim.  Sept. “Mineans,” (C. xx. 1.  H.) upon the Red Sea, (Steph.) or Mediterranean, (Pliny vi. 28,) or in Arabia Felix.  Strabo.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Gifts.  Tribute.  C. xxvii. 5.  C. Victories.  Prot. “the strengthened himself exceedingly.”  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Corner.  Repairing what Joas had demolished.  4 K. xiv. 13.  T.

 

Ver. 10.  Wilderness, for the protection of shepherds.  4 K. xvii. 9. Plains.  Heb. “valleys, and in the plains husbandmen, and vinedressers in the mountains, and in Carmel; for he loved the earth, or husbandry,” like David.  1 Par. xvii. 25. &c. Carmel, means, “the vine of God;” as both the mount in Juda, where Nabal resided, and that on the Mediterranean Sea, were famous for wine.  Ozias probably cultivated the former mountain.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Doctor.  Heb. shoter.  Sept. “judge.”  Prot. “ruler.”  H. The term is commonly understood of one who executes the sentence of the judge.  But this employment does not suit a general, (C.) though such a one might well command.  It many denote any “officer.”  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Engines.  They are here mentioned for the first time.  C. For the.  Heb. “for he was wonderfully helped till he was established.”  H. He invented may things for the defence of his kingdom.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Azarias.  The prophet, who had hitherto kept the king (H.) within bounds, was now no more, v. 5.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  To thee.  For usurping spiritual authority, the king was opposed by the high priest; and God confirmed the sentence of the latter, by striking Ozias with the leprosy; on which account, the was not only cast out of the temple, but also lost his kingdom, being obliged to live apart; (Lev. xiii. 46,) and after death, he could not be buried with his ancestors.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Forehead.  So that it could not be concealed.  According to the rigour of the law, such an offender was to be slain.  Num. iii. 10. and xviii. 7.  The leprosy was considered as equivalent, and is styled destruction, (v. 16,) and death.  Isai. vi. 1.  M.  See 4 K. xv. 6.

 

Ver. 22.  Prophet.  Yet we find little concerning him in the prophecy of Isaias; so that the work has been lost, except what Esdras hath preserved.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Leper.  So much was the disease abhorred, (C.) as well as the king’s late conduct.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 27

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

 

Ver. 2.  Lord.  Like Ozias, to offer incense.  He was content with the royal dignity, without arrogating to himself that of the priests.  C. Transgressed.  Heb. “acted corruptly,” on the heights.  4 K. xv. 35.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Gate, on the east, repairing (T.) and beautifying it so, (H.) that Jeremias (xxvi. 10,) calls it New.  T. Ophel, on the walls of the city, (C.) towards the eastern porch of the temple.  Joseph.   S. Jer. in Isa. xxxii. 14. Here the Nathineans dwelt.  2 Esd. iii. 26.  C. Kimchi, &c. translate, “a citadel.”  T.

 

Ver. 5.  Measures, (coros.)  Heb. corim, also, (H.) means an “ass;” as this burden was sufficient for one, being equivalent to 30 Romans bushels.  A. Lapide.  M. Give him.  Sept. adds, “These things did the king of Ammon bring to him every year, in the first year, and in the second, and the third.”  H. After paying tribute three years, the Ammonites revolted, and were subdued by Joatham, as they had been by his father.  C. xxvi. 7.

 

Ver. 7.  Wars, with Rasin and Phacee.  4 K. xv. 37. Juda.  What concerned both kingdoms was carefully preserved; and Esdras informs us from what records he composed this work.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 28

 

CHAPTER XXVIII.

 

Ver. 3.  Benennon, “the son of Ennom.”  4 K. xvi. Consecrated.  Heb. “burnt.”  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Tree.  Remarkable for its size and beauty; as the heathens supposed that some deity lay there concealed.  Mariana.  T.

 

Ver. 5.  Booty.  Heb. “number of captives.”  H. The two  kings had besieged Jerusalem without success: (4 K.) but now their forces were divided.  M. The motives of this war were unjust. Mic. ii. 8.

 

Ver. 7.  At the same time, is not in Heb. (C.) or Sept.  H. Zechri, one of the generals of Phacee, slew the king’s son, &c. after the engagement. Next.  Joseph and Aman enjoyed the like dignity.  Gen. xli. 42.  Est. xiii. 3.  The high priests had also seconds.  4 K. xxv. 18.  Sept. “vicar of the king.”  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Heaven, and cries for vengeance against you.  Though God designed to punish his people, your cruelty will not be excused.  H. The effect of this remonstrance, shews that all the kingdom of Israel was not devoid (C.) of feeling and religion.  H. They set a noble example for Christian princes to follow after a victory.  D.

 

Ver. 10.  God, who forbids this.  Lev. xxv. 43.  Mic. ii. 8. 9.  Heb. “are there not with you, yea, with you, sins against?” &c.  If Juda have deserved punishment, reflect if you also be not guilty, v. 13.  Sept. “Behold, am I not here with you to bear witness to the Lord?”

 

Ver. 13.  Our, is expressed in Heb. and Sept.  These people justly confess that they stand in need of pardon, without adding fresh crimes.  H. The cruel treatment of the people of Juda, and the design to make them slaves, were grievous sins.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Above.  Heb. “by name.”  They deserved to be immortalized.  H. Anointed.  This was very common, (M.) and refreshing.  Celsus i. 3.

 

Ver. 16.  Kings.  Heb. “kings.”  But Sept. have the singular.  4 K. xvi. 7.

 

Ver. 17.  And.  Sept. “Because the Edomites had come,…and taken many prisoners.”   Prot. “for again,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Gamzo.  Syr. “Garam,” perhaps Gaza, (C.) or a city south of Juda.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  Of Juda.  Heb. “Israel.”  But the Sept. have “Juda.”  H. The names are often used promiscuously.  C. For he.  Sept. “because he or it had apostatised from the Lord.” Script.  Prot. “he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore,” &c.  Thus were the idolatrous Israelites exposed to shame and misery, after they had adored the golden calf.  Ex. xxxii. 25.  H. In the Bacchanalian riots, the pagans threw off their garments, to shew that they trusted entirely in their false gods.  T. Achaz had plunged his country in distress, (C.) both of soul and body, (H.) by his scandalous deportment.  C. Of all help, is added by way of explanation; (T.) as God would no longer rescue his rebellious people from the hands of the enemy.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  And.  Heb. and Sept. “And….the king….came against him, and smote him.”  Heb. continues, “but strengthened him not” in the end; though he had been invited, (v. 16.  H.) and had actually made a diversion in favour of Achaz.  But not being satisfied, he afterwards returned, and made cruel havoc in the country, imposing tribute upon the king, v. 21.  4 K. xvi. 7. and xviii. 7.  It is therefore unnecessary to correct the Heb. with Grotius, to make it agree with 4 K. xvi. 7.  Thushe “came to his aid, and relieved him from his distress, (v. 21,) and granted him assistance.”

 

Ver. 21.  Gifts.  Tribute.  C. Heb. “and gave it to, &c.: but he did not help him.”  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Moreover.  Sept. “but to distress him.” Wicked policy availeth nothing, but entails much evil.  W. King.  Heb. “that king Achaz.”  The sacred writer thus stigmatizes the impious king, who grew worse the more he was scourged.  H. This was the monster, which could not be tamed.  Amama. Eva.  “ille,” is five times used as a reproach, and often to signify applause.  Kimchi. By himself, is an addition.  Amama. It gives us to understand (H.) that Achaz acted thus of his own accord.  C. Sept. “And king Achaz said, (23) I will studiously seek the gods of Damascus, who have buffetted me,” &c.  H. This resolution he took while the arms of Rasin were formidable to him: but he put it in execution after the king of Assyria had delivered him, when he went to Damascus to return him thanks.  4 K. xvi. 10.  This stupid blindness and impiety irritated God so much, that he abandoned Juda to the arms of the king, who had been called in as a protector.  How could he expect aid from gods who had suffered their own country and people of Damascus to fall a prey to the invader!  C.

 

Ver. 24.  God: first through fear of the Assyrian, (4 K.) but afterwards he permitted it to continue in the same state of irreligion.  C. So easily do people fall into this abyss, who begin to neglect instruction!  H. Ezechias took care to open the temple again.  C. xxix. 3.  C. None of the former kings had dared (H.) to prohibit the worship of the true God.  T.

 

Ver. 27.  Israel is put as comprising Juda.  H.  C. xx. 34. and xxiv. 16. &c.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 29

 

CHAPTER XXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Abia.  The last syllable is neglected, 4 K. xviii. 2.  H. Some assert that she was a descendant of the high priest, who had been stoned.  S. Jerom, Trad.  C. xxiv. 20.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  Reign, in the assembly, which met to recognize his authority.  Lyran. Them, adorning them with plates of gold.  4 K. xviii. 16.

 

Ver. 4.  Street, or court, before the eastern gate.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Sanctuary, or temple, v. 7.  The Jews suppose that idols had been placed in the very sanctuary: (Lyran) but why then were the doors shut?  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Sanctuary, or court of the priests, where the victims were slain.  The blood of some was taken into the most holy place, on the day of expiation.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Trouble.  Heb. zuáe, (H.) is rendered vexation.  Isai. xxviii. 19.  Sept. “ecstasy.”  The Jews were frequently driven from their homes.  M. There were at a loss what to do, confounded and despised.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Wives.  C. xxviii. 8.  C. So had the wives and family of king Joram been treated.  C. xxi.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Covenant, swearing to observe the law given by Moses.  M.

Ver. 11.  Negligent.  Heb. adds, “now,” when every thing tends to open your eyes.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Cedron, as Josias did with the idolatrous altars.  4 K. xxiii. 12.  The priests brought what was unclean from the inner temple into the porch.  H. This labour lasted eight days, as the cleansing of the porches had done.  C.  D.

 

Ver. 17.  Month, Nisan, corresponding with our March, (M.) when Ezechias began his reign.  Salien, A. 3309.

 

Ver. 19.  Defiled.  Heb. “cast out (C.) in his.” Forth.  Heb. and Sept. “We have prepared and purified, behold they are,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Seven.  Only one was prescribed for sins of ignorance.  Lev. iv. 13. 22.  S. Jer. Trad. But the late transgressions were of a different nature; and the king consults his zeal, rather than what he was absolutely obliged to do. Juda, to expiate the sins of the royal family, of priests, and people.

 

Ver. 23.  They laid.  The king and princes of the people confessed their sins.  Lev. iv. 15.

 

Ver. 25.  Prophet.  Moses had not required music, except on some occasions.  Num. x. 10.  But David acted by God’s authority.  The institution was designed to promote piety, and a love for religious meetings.  Such sacred ceremonies are not to be considered as human inventions, for it was, &c.  They command our utmost respect.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Prepared, or ordained.  M. Heb. “with the instruments, by David.”

 

Ver. 30.  Princes of the priests.  H. Words; psalms.  T. Asaph, so famous for music.  He had composed some psalms, (C.) and twelve bear his name.  T. But he might only have set them to music, (H.) or his band sung them.  D. Knee.  Prot. “head.”  Sept. “they prostrated themselves.”

 

Ver. 31.  Added.  Heb. and Sept. “answered,” a term used in Scripture, though no question had been proposed.  H. Filled.  You are, in some sense, priests.  Prot. “you have consecrated yourselves.”  The people brought victims but the priests poured the blood round the altar, v. 34.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Sheep, for peace-offerings.  Jun.  C. They destined these victims for the use of the temple, (T.) that none might be wanting afterwards.  C.

 

Ver. 34.  Holocausts, as  the law required.  Lev. i. 6.  See C. xxxv. 11.  The skin  might be taken off other victims, by laics. Priests.  Syr. “The Levites were more timid, or reserved than the priests, to purify themselves.”  C. Both are indirectly accused of negligence.  C. xxx. 15.  The Heb. seems to give the preference to the latter, “for the Levites were more upright of heart, (Sept. willing) to purify themselves than the priests.”  But the Alex. Sept. may well agree with the Vulg.  The ceremonies attending the purification of both, may be seen Ex. xxix. 1.  Num. viii. 6.  H. The priests had not sufficient time to collect themselves with the purity required, on such a short warning; and the paucity induced the king to put off the Passover till the next month.  C. xxx. 3. 15.

 

Ver. 36.  Because.  Heb. and Sept. “that the Lord had disposed his people, for the thing was done suddenly,” (H.) to place no obstacle to this sudden change from one extreme to the other, at a time when the king was scarcely established on the throne.  C. Thus the people of England rejoiced, when the Catholic religion was re-established by the means of queen Mary and cardinal Pole.  Philips. 9. But the minds of the people are very fickle.  Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis.  Still the joy may show, that all love for truth is “not extinct,” as the Cardinal argued from the people’s conduct.  Poli. ep.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 30

 

CHAPTER XXX.

 

Ver. 1.  Manasses.  The pious king thought he might give a general invitation, without umbrage.  King Osee was not so impious as his predecessors.  4 K. xvii. 2.  Afflictions had made his people more docile.  The Jews say (C.) that the golden calves had been taken away by the Assyrians, and that the king removed the guards, which had been placed to hinder his subjects from repairing to Jerusalem.  M.  Salien, A. 3305. Ezechias writes privately to the house of Joseph, as the people were prouder on account of the royal dignity.  S. Jer. Trad.

 

Ver. 2.  Month.  The Rabbins pretend that the king intercalated the second Adar, contrary to the rule and advice of the wise, and the that he ought to have allowed those who were pure to celebrate the feast in due time.  Selden, Syn. ii. 1. But the Caraite Jews deny this pretended leap-year; and we see that Ezechias acted according to  the advice of the princes, and that the Scripture praises his conduct.  C. Those who had a lawful  impediment, were authorized to  put off the feast till the second month.  Num. ix. 10.  The nation was under this predicament, as they had not priests at hand, (T.) nor were they assembled.  D.

 

Ver. 5.  Many.  None had kept the Phase this year.  H. But those of Israel had not done it for a long time.  Grotius. Heb. “for they had not long before done according to the Scripture.”  Sept. “the multitude had not done,” &c.  C. Yet, even in the worst times, Tobias, (i. 6.) and other zealous souls, contrived to comply with their duty.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Posts.  Lit. “runners or couriers.”  H. King.  Heb. “kings.”  Phul and Thelgathphalnasar.  The latter had taken away some tribes.  4 K. xv. 20. 29.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Destruction.  Sept. “solitude.”  Prot. “desolation.”

 

Ver. 8.  Yield.  Lit. “give your hands,” (H.) in sign of submission (C.) and fidelity.  Sept. “give glory.”

 

Ver. 9.  Brethren.  God sometimes spares one for the sake of another.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Zabulon.  Aser and Nephthali lay more to the north.  But they were also invited, as well as the few who might remain on the other side the Jordan.  1 Par. v. 26.  At least, we find that some of Aser came, v. 11.  Thus those, who had been invited last, came first, while Ephraim continued more stubborn; (v. 18) and the greatest part derided the messengers, as we still see too frequently verified in the days of the gospel.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Yielding.  Sept. “were converted.”  Prot. “humbled themselves, and came.”  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Hand; grace (M.) and power, to endure such unanimity.

 

Ver. 14.  Burnt, both vessels and altars.  C. To idols, corresponding with the Sept. “the false ones,” and is added by way of explanation, unless it be lost in Hebrew.  The illegal (H.) altars had been set up by Achaz.  C. xxviii. 24.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  At length.  Sept. “were converted.”  Heb. “ashamed, and sanctified themselves.”  H. The ceremonies of purification for priests were longer, (C. xxix. 34.) and the sacred ministers were ashamed to be outdone by the people.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Levites, who received the paschal lambs from the unsanctified.  M. The law does not require the ministry of the tribe of Levi for this purpose, as each one might kill the paschal victim at home.  But the people were not sufficiently purified on this occasion.  Lyran. At other times, laics killed the victims, if they were clean.  Ex. xii. 6.  After the tabernacle was set up, the priests poured out the blood on the altar; and, in latter ages, they slew the victim according to Grotius.  But the texts of Josephus (x. 5. and Bel. vi. 45. Lat. vii. 17.  H.) are inconclusive; and Philo repeatedly assert that, on one day, the law authorizes all the people to sacrifice: and, though he lived at Alexandria, his testimony respecting a fact of public notoriety, is not to be rejected.  Only the unclean applied to the Levites on this occasion, and the latter had no more right to sacrifice than the rest.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  For.  Prot. “for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord.”  Sept. “not able to be purified to the Lord.”  H. The priests alone continued to pour the blood on the altar, till the destruction of the temple.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Ephraim and….Issachar had not been mentioned before, v. 18.  H. Some indulgence was shewn to the tribes of Israel, which had been so long rebellious, for fear lest they should return no more; and because they had shewn a good will in procuring the Levites to slay the victims for them, as that was rightly judged a more sacred action than to partake of the feast.  The law forbade, nevertheless, the unclean to approach to any thing sacred.  Lev. xv. 31. and xxii. 4.  Num. ix. 6.  C. But a dispensation was granted, (M.) as the Passover could not be celebrated in any but the first or the second month.  The people had come with such eagerness, that they had not time to acquire the purity required.  C. They were however truly penitent, and God dispensed with them.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Merciful; lit. “appeased.”  Heb. and Sept. “healed.”  S. Jerom (Trad.) says, “It was asserted that no unclean person could taste the Phase, but death presently ensued; and they understood that the Lord was appeased, because those who eat did not die.”  H. Heb. girpa may, however, denote that God “pardoned,” or did not impute the uncleanness to the people.  Schindler, and C. xxxvi. 16. and Isai. vi. 10.

 

Ver. 21.  Days.  It seems all the observances had been omitted in the first month.  The Jews teach, that those who have complied with those prescriptions, which require no particular purity, are not bound to keep the festival for seven days, nor to abstain from leavened bread the second month. That agreed.  Heb. and Sept. “of strength,” sonorous, (M.) which they played on with all their force, or which sounded for the divine power.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Heart; encouraged them to bear the fatigue for other seven days. Lord; being of good dispositions, (C.) and able musicians.  Sa.  M. Praising.  Prot. “making confession to.”  But the sense is the same.  H. During the seven days, unleavened bread and peace-offerings were used, v. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Joy, though not prescribed by the law.  M. This we should call a work of supererogation, (W.) which gives Prot. so much offence.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Proselytes, who had embraced the Jewish law: the rest were not allowed to partake of the paschal victims.  Ex. xii. 48.

 

Ver. 26.  Israel: as many of the tribes came to join with their brethren of Juda.

 

Ver. 27.  Levites.  These only applauded the solemn blessings, which were given by the priests.  Num. vi. 24.  C. God is said to reside in heaven, because he there displays his glory to the blessed.  D.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 31

 

CHAPTER XXXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Manasses, whether king Osee consented, or the people of Juda followed the dictates of their zeal, neglecting the regular order of things, which forbids the subjects of one kingdom to interfere thus with those of another.  Grotius.  S. Aug. q. in Deut. vii. and 12. If Ezechias gave orders, we may suppose that he was assured of his neighbour’s consent.  Josias (C. xxxiv. 6.) followed his example after most part of Israel was led away captive, and the country obeyed the king of Assyria.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Praise: lit. “confess.”  H. There is a confession of God’s perfections, as well as of sin.  W. Gates, within their respective courts.  C. The Turks style the palace of their emperor, “the sublime porte.”  H. Camp, or temple.  Sept. “in the gates, in the courts of the house of the Lord.”  M. Grabe has not in the gates.  H. We know that they did not sing there, but in the courts, (C.) or halls.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Substance.  Since David had place the ark in the palace of Sion, it seems the kings had furnished the solemn victims for morning and evening, on all the festivals.  Solomon also engaged to do it every day; and his magnificence herein astonished the queen of Saba.  C. viii. 13. and ix. 4. and 3 K. ix. 25.  Ezechiel (xlv.) assigns revenues to the prince for this purpose; but, as the people were often without any, they paid each the third part of a sicle, to furnish the victims.  2 Esd. x. 32.  C. The king did not wish to exempt himself from contributing, while he required that the people should support the priests.  The troublesome times had greatly impaired the revenues of the temple, &c.  T.

 

Ver. 4.  Portion.  Lit. “parts,” (H.) first-fruits and tithes.  M. Lord, without being taken off by worldly cares.  It would be well if Christian princes would make an adequate provision for the ministers of religion: (v. 16.  T.) as the law of nature dictates, that those who serve the public should be supported by it.  D.

 

Ver. 5.  Honey for the priests, not for sacrifice.  Lev. ii. 11.  It may include dates, or palm wine.  See Pliny xiii. 4.  C. Forth; only wheat, barley, the fruits of vine, olive, pomegranate, fig, and palm-trees.  R. Solomon.  Lev. xxvii. 30.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Things, out of which the Levites had to give tithes to the priests.  Lyran.  Num. xviii. 26.  M. Vowed.  Heb. “consecrated to….God, and laid them in heaps.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Them, bringing from Pentecost till the harvest was ended.

 

Ver. 10.  Sadoc, being his grandson, (1 Par. vi. 12.  C.) or the father of Sellum.   Jun. People, with abundance; so that more would belong to the priests.  C.

Ver. 11.  Storehouses.  Sept. pastoforia.  Solomon had prepared such.  T. But they had gone to ruin, and others might be requisite.  C. The old granaries were to be repaired.  M. People brought their first-fruits to the temple: but the Levites gathered the tithes, and gave a share to the priests, and to those who were on duty.  2 Esd. x. 36.

 

Ver. 12.  Second; his vicar or coadjutor.  C.  C. xxvi. 11. and xxviii. 7.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  High: lit. “pontiff.”  H. Heb. “captain.”  He is styled first priest, v. 10.  C. To whom, &c. is neither in Heb. nor in the Sept.  M.  C.  D.

 

Ver. 14.  And of.  Prot. “To distribute the oblations of the Lord, and the most holy things,” (H.) to the priests.

 

Ver. 16.  Besides, (exceptis.  C.) not to mention.  H.  See Lev. xxiii. 38.  Girls are included, v. 18.  It is supposed (C.) that children were at the breast till they were three years old, and therefore no portion is assigned them before.  Mariana.

 

Ver. 17.  Upward.  Ezechias followed the regulation of David, rather than that of Moses, who deferred the service till the 25th or 30th year.  Num. iv. 3. and viii. 24.  1 Paralipomenon xxiii. 24.

 

Ver. 18.  To all.  Prot. “the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness.”  H. All complied with their respective duties; the people, the distributors, and the priests.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Aaron.  Heb. and Sept. add, “the priests,” (M.) which is sufficiently understood. And in.  Heb. “of.”  H.

 

Ver. 20.  God.  This is the highest praise that can be given to a prince; and, in effect, we read there was none like him.  4 K. xviii. 5.  C. Sept. omit and truth.  Ezechias loved it, and sincerely desired to serve the Lord.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 32

 

CHAPTER XXXII.

 

Ver. 1.  Truth, and sincere piety of the king, God was pleased to put him to trial; (T.  M.  D.) or, “after these things were established.”  Jun. Sennacherib attacked Juda when Ezechias had been fifteen years on the throne, and till that time had paid the stipulated tribute.  4 K. xviii. 13.  C. He now probably refused to pay it any longer.  Salien, A. 3319.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Jerusalem; as many cities had fallen.  The king entered into an agreement with the Assyrians, who soon broke it.

 

Ver. 3.  City.  The torrent Cedron afforded the only good supply of water.  It was often dry, and was only three steps across, when full of melted snow or rain.  The waters of Siloe and Gihon were collected in it.  Yet it was no difficult enterprise for the king to turn the stream, and introduce the waters through the rock into a large reservoir, in the city, by the canal, which is mentioned 2 Esdras ii. 14.  Eccli. xlviii. 19.  The besieged were more frequently deprived of water.  Judith vii. 6.  Babylon was taken by Semiramis, Cyrus, and Alexander, after they turned aside the waters of the Euphrates; and Cæsar obliged the town of Cahors to surrender, by intercepting the springs.  Frontin. iii. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Land, Cedron, on the east; (C.  M.) or it may be the Gihon, which supplies Siloe, v. 30.  T.

 

Ver. 5.  Without, of less strength. Mello, the palace, which was strongly situated, and Ezechias added fresh fortifications.  2 K. v. 9. Arms.  Heb. “darts.”

 

Ver. 6.  Gate, where there was a room for assemblies.  2 K. xviii. 24.  C. Heart, in the most affectionate and pathetic manner.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  More: God and his angels, from whom he expected relief, and was not disappointed.  4 K. vi. 16. and xix. 35.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Lachis, whence he sent Rabsaces.  Other blasphemous letters were dispatched from Lobna, (v. 17) when Sennacherib was forced to go to meet Tharaca.  4 K. xix. 9.

 

Ver. 12.  His altars.  Rabsaces was ignorant of the law, and  upbraids the king for a commendable action.  C. Thus our adversaries foolishly blame us for keeping holy days and abstinence.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  He (Sennacherib) wrote, when he was going towards Egypt.  Both master and servant employed the same fallacious argument; as if the true God and idols were all upon a level, and as if past success were a sure proof of future victories, v. 19.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Army.  Heb. “camp.” Disgrace.  The Jews pretend that he was deprived of his beard and hair, (S. Jer. Trad.) misapplying the text of Isai. vii. 20.  C. Sword, to prevent their being offered as victims, to appease the idol and the people.  R. Solomon.  Lyran. This happened some months after the king’s return to Ninive, when he had cruelly oppressed the captive Jews and Tobias, i. 24.  T.

 

Ver. 23.  Many; probably strangers.  3 K. viii. 41.

 

Ver. 24.  Sign.  See 4 K. xx.

 

Ver. 25.  Up, by riches, and the splendid embassy from Babylon.  C. Prosperity is more dangerous than adversity.  W. Few are able to bear good fortune with moderation.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Arms.  Heb. “shields.”  Sept. “arsenals.”

 

Ver. 30.  Underneath the walls of the city, making them run westward.  C. xxxiii. 14.

 

Ver. 31.  Wonder, at the defeat of Sennacherib; (Grot.  D.) or rather the retrogradation of the sun, as the Chaldees studied astronomy with diligence.  M.  T.  C. Left him, in punishment of his vanity.  H. Heart.  How feeble is man when destitute of the divine assistance!  M. God permitted, therefore, the king to be tempted, (C.) that he might know himself, and that others might have a true idea of him.  D.

 

Ver. 33.  Above, for distinction’s sake: (C.) meriti prærogativâ.  S. Jer. Trad.  M. The cell was either higher than the rest, or a sort of pyramid was erected over the tomb of Ezechias.  C.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 33

 

CHAPTER XXXIII.

 

Ver. 3.  The host of heaven.  The sun, moon, and stars, (Ch.) in imitation of the Phœnicians and ancient Chanaanites.

 

Ver. 5.  Courts of the Gentiles and of Israel, (M.) though afterwards he also placed idols even in the court of the priests, v. 7.  Salien, A. 3340. But we find no express mention of the court of the Gentiles, till after the captivity; (C.) so that the two courts mean those of the priests and of Israel.  Villalpand, Sa. &c.

 

Ver. 6.  Valley.  Heb. Ge-ben-hinnon, “the vale of the son of Ennom,” (H.) a Jebusite, who had formerly possessed that part of the valley of Cedron.  M. Syr. write Gena, whence comes geenna a place at the foot of Moria, and the sink of the city.  A constant fire was kept up to burn dead bodies.  Kimchi.  D.

 

Ver. 7.  Graven.  Prot. “a carved image (the idol which he had made) in,” &c.  It seems to have been sacred to the grove, (H.) or a representation of Astarte, 4 K. xxi. 7.  The ark was taken away, (C. xxv. 3.) to make place for this impure deity, which had four (S. Basil) or five faces, (Euseb.  Salien) that people might adore it on all sides.

 

Ver. 9.  Seduced.  Using the arts of seduction, as well as open force.  Heb. “Manasses made Juda….err,” 4 K. xxi. 16.  There is a fund of malice in the human heart, which easily prevails on people to yield, on such occasions, if the grace of God do not support them.  Yet, as they are not still without a sense of duty and religion, many will readily comply with the invitations of a pious king, when he earnestly endeavours to reform his people.  But these conversions too frequently prove false and unstable.  C. xxix. 36.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Spoke, by his prophets.  4 K.

 

Ver. 11.  Captains; probably Tharthan.  A. 3328.   About five years before, Asarhaddon had made himself master of Babylon, to which place the captive king was brought, in the 22d year of his reign.  4 K. xx. 10. &c.  Isai. xxii. And carried.  Heb. “among the thorns, and bound him with fetters (Prot.) of brass; (Jun. &c.) or, “they took Manasses with a hook,” insidiously.  He might have retired to some desert place, as the Israelites did, to avoid the fury of the Philistines.  1 K. xiii. 6.  C. Chains.  Vatable says, “two.”  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Distress.  “When he had been conducted to Babylon, and cast into a brazen vessel full of holes, over a fire, he called upon all the names of the idols, which he was accustomed to adore; and, as he was not heard, nor set free by them, he recollected what he had often heard repeated by his father: When though shalt call upon  me in tribulation, and shalt be converted, I will hear thee graciously; as it is written in Deut. (see C. iv. 29.  H.) and his prayer was thus heard by the Lord, and he was delivered and brought back to his kingdom, like Habacuc.”  S. Jer. Trad. The author of the imperfect work on S. Matthew, (among the works of S. Chrys. hom. 1.  H.) says, that Manasses was barely allowed as much barley bread, and water mixed with vinegar, as would keep him alive.  Whereupon, remembering the Lord, he had recourse to his clemency, and a miraculous flame surrounded him, and dissolving his chains, set him at liberty.  Saos-duchin, the successor of Azarhaddon, probably  restored him to his throne, some years after his captivity, or perhaps that very year, so that his repentance continued thirty-three years.  C. Prayed, a proof of the efficacy of sincere repentance.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Without, including what is styled the second city; (4 K. xxii. 14,) or he perfected the works begun by his father, or repaired the wall which the Assyrians had thrown down, though we read not of their taking the city.  C. Fish-gate….to Ophel, from the north-eastern corner, to the place opposite to the eastern gate of the temple.  C. xxvii. 3.  M. The fish-gate led towards Joppe, whence the city was supplied with fish.  S. Jer. Trad. It was also called David’s gate, because it stood near this city.  By it, the Chaldees afterwards rushed in.  Soph. i. 10.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  And praise.  Prot. “thanks-offerings.”  Sept. “a victim of salvation and praise.”  H. The sacrifice might be accompanied with canticles. Ps. xxvi. 6, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  God.  Heb. adds, “only,” and not to idols.  H. This worship was not superstitious, but it was illegal; and it is a misfortune, that Manasses had not as much influence to guide the people in virtue, as he had formerly, to induce them to follow his example in idolatry.  C. He could not prevail upon them to destroy the high places.  M.

 

Ver. 18.  Prayer, which is not extant in Heb. but in Greek and Latin.  As yet it is neither received for canonical, nor rejected by the Church.  W. Israel.  That kingdom had been overturned in the sixth year of Ezechias.  There was now no need of distinguishing the kings of Juda from those of Israel.  The former seemed to have claimed authority over the whole country.  4 K. xxiii. 19.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Contempt.  Heb. “prevarication.”  Sept. “apostacy.”  M. Chozai means “seers.”  Sept.  Prot.  H. But it more probably signifies some particular prophet, (C.) Isaias, (S. Jer. Trad.) “Hanan,” (Syr.) or “Saphan.”  Arab. version.  C. This work, less than the book of the kings of Israel, is now lost.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  House, in his own gardens, and not with the other kings.  Grot.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Made, though he had afterwards destroyed them.  Amon endeavoured to restore their worship, (C.) adoring the same idols, and making other statues in their honour.  D.

 

Ver. 23.  Sins, inasmuch as he died in his guilt.  Prot. “but Amon trespassed more and more,” (H.) following the former bad example of Manasses, Jer. xv.  D.

 

Ver. 25.  Them.  Heb. “all that had conspired against king Amon.”  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 34

 

CHAPTER XXXIV.

 

Ver. 3.  Boy; 16 years old.  D. The kings of Juda were in their minority, till they had completed their 13th year.  Grotius. Cleansed.  Heb. and Sept. “in the twelfth year he began to  purify,” &c.  H. The work was not brought to perfection till six years afterwards, v. 8.  C.  T.

 

Ver. 4.  Idols.  Heb. chammanim, (H.) “statues of the sun.”  The term often denotes those open enclosures, where sacred fire was kept in honour of the sun.  C. Sept. “the heights above them.”  Syr. “he destroyed the altars, idols, tigers, and temples, (5) the bracelets, little bells, and all the trees which had been consecrated to idols.”  Arab. “the altars, idols, and leopards.”

 

Ver. 5.  Priests, whom he slew upon the altars, 4 K. xxiii.

 

Ver. 6.  He.  Heb. “with their swords, (C.  Prot. mattocks) round about;” (H.) or, “and in their deserts,” the inhabitants being removed.  Sept. “in their places around.”  Syr. and Arab. “in their public places.”  All the interpreters have read differently from what we find in Heb. at present.   Some may wonder that Josias should act thus, out of his own dominions.  But the few Israelites who were left, had placed themselves under his protection; and as he made no ravages, and the Cuthites did not adopt the former superstitious practices of the country, they were not concerned to see the altars destroyed; nor were the kings of Assyria informed of, or interested to stop, these proceedings.  C. Josias followed the directions of the priests and prophets; (M.) and many believe that the Assyrian monarch had given these territories to him, to hold, as his vassal; (T.) or God restored them to the lawful king, (v. 9) having promised all those countries to the family of David, for the express purpose of keeping up his own worship among his chosen people, and for exterminating idolatry.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Eselias, or Assia.  This man is alone mentioned, 4 K. xxii. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Houses, or apartments of the temple, which were gone to decay.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Of music is expressed in Heb. and Sept.  H. These Levites were chosen, because they were not so constantly employed in the temple, (C.) and they were not hired barely to inspect the works, and hence the expense was diminished.

 

Ver. 13.  Masters: literally, “master porters.”  Prot. “officers and porters;” all Levites.  H. Jahath, &c. directed them that carried burdens, (C.) as the Hebrew intimates; and in general, all the officers were chosen from the same tribe.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Together: lit. “melted down,” as the Heb. and Sept. signify.  Coin was not yet used.  C. But the pieces of money, of whatever description, were collected.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Hasra.  Olda’s husband’s grandfather is styled Araas, 4 K. xxii.  H. Second part of the city, near the temple, or near the second gate, or between the two walls.  D.

 

Ver. 28.  Peace.  The country enjoyed peace, as Pharao was gone; (M.) and Josias did not witness the evils here denounced.  T. This was a blessing.  W.

 

Ver. 33.  In Israel, who had fled into his dominions.  See v. 6.  C. They.  Sept. “he,” &c.  Josias worshipped God with all his heart: but all Israel paid him, at least, an external adoration.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 35

 

CHAPTER XXXV.

 

Ver. 3.  By whose.  Sept. “the powerful in Israel, that they might be sanctified to the Lord; and they put,” &c.  Heb. “who instructed all Israel, the holy people of the Lord: Put,” &c.  H. No more.  Heb. adds, “upon your shoulders;” (H.) whence it is inferred, that it had been carried about the cities of Juda, under the impious kings, who would not suffer it in the temple.  C. Some believe that it was kept in the house of Sellum, the uncle of Jeremias, and husband of Olda.  S. Jer. Trad.  T.

 

Ver. 5.  Families.  Heb. adds, “according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren, the people, (H. or laics.  C.) and the division of the families of the Levites.”  All were placed, with great order, in the temple.

 

Ver. 6.  Which.  Heb. “of the Lord, by the hand of Moses,” which ordinances he has written down.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  In.  Heb. “for the Passover-offerings, from the flock, lambs and kids, in number 30,000.”  Et reliqui pecoris, is not expressed.  H. The small cattle might be intended for other sacrifices.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Offered.  Heb. “gave to the people.”  H. Rulers: the first alone was high priest.  C. Small cattle: literally, cattle of different sorts;” commixtim.  Prot. supply, “small cattle,” which is not in Heb.  H. Syr. and Arab. have, “sheep;” but we had best follow (C.) the Sept. “sheep, both lambs and kids.”  Either would suffice.  Ex. xii. 5.

 

Ver. 9.  Cattle.  Prot. again supply these words.  Sept. have, “sheep.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Blood is expressed in the Sept. and understood in Heb.  H. With.  Heb. and Sept. “from their hands;” (H.) receiving it from the officers, who might slay their own victims, (C.) unless they were unclean, (C.) xxx. 17.  H. Holocausts.  Heb. and Sept. speak of the paschal lambs.  H. Holocausts were regularly to be flayed by priests.  Lev. i. 6.  The hurry of the solemnity, (C.) and necessity, here excused the Levites, (M.) if we understand proper holocausts.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Separated.  Sept. “prepared the holocaust to give; having taken notice to whom the victims belonged, before they took off the skin, (M.) or rather, separating these from the other peace-offerings.  Tournemine.

 

Ver. 13.  Victims.  Heb. and Sept. “but the holy offerings they boiled.”  See Ex. xii. 9.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Prophets.  Heb. “seer.”  But Sept. &c. read in the plural.  These were “prophets of the king,” (H.) or masters of music.  C. Vulg. might insinuate that these three gave orders, as well as David.  But they were in office under him, as people of the same name were, probably, under Josias.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  As Josias kept.  He displayed greater liberality (E.  See 4 K. xxiii. 20.) and devotion; and the festival had also been neglected for some time.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Charcamis belonged to the Assyrian monarch, (Isai. x. 9.) who subdued the empire of Babylon.  C. xxxiii. 11.

 

Ver. 21.  With me.  Grotius thinks that Jeremias had given the order; and the author of Heb. Traditions, supposes that he forbade Josias to oppose Pharao, who, it seems, was assured of victory.  C. But this is uncertain; and Josias might justly suspect that the king of Egypt spoke without authority.  H. The augurs of the latter might declare the truth, (M.) though they could not dive into futurity.  H. Herodotus (i.) informs us, that Nechos fought against the Syrians, (or Israelites) in Magdelum, and took Cadythis, a city as large as Sardis, of Lydia; probably Jerusalem, (D.) or Cades.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Prepared.  Heb. “disguised himself,” like Achab; (C.) or set his army in array.  Sept. “he was bent on fighting him.”  H. He supposed that Pharao  intended to invade his dominions, and God would withdraw him from the world.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  After the manner of kings, is not in Heb. &c.  H. Curtius (iv.) informs us, that the Persian monarch had always a horse behind his chariot, to be ready in case of any accident.

 

Ver. 25.  Lamentations.  Some think that we have them in the Bible.  Josephus, &c. Others believe that they are lost.  Salien, A. 3425. Law, on the anniversary; (M.) or when any calamity occurs, the lamentations of Jeremias are used.  T. There were collections of such poems, as well as of canticles, for victory and marriages.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Israel is placed first in Heb. and Sept.  H. The kings of Juda assumed the title, as the kingdom had been subverted above a century; and the wretched remains of Israel had retreated into the territories, (C.) or acknowledged their dominion.  H.

 

 

2 PARALIPOMENON 36

 

CHAPTER XXXVI.

 

Ver. 3.  Him.  Joachaz had attempted to defend himself, and had been conducted prisoner to Reblatha.  4 K. xxiii. 33. and Ezec. xix. 4.  He was now deposed in from, and a tribute laid upon the people.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Brother.  From the time of David, the son had always succeeded his father.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Babylon, but sent him back soon after; (T.) unless he altered his first design, (D.) and slew him disgracefully at Jerusalem.  Lyran.  E.  C.  4 K. xxiii. 5. He allowed him to reign as a vassal other three years, but took Daniel, &c. captives.  The seventy years of Jeremias, (xxv. 11.) are to be dated from this event.  A. 3402.  Usher.

 

Ver. 7.  The vessels.  Heb. and Sept. “a part of the vessels;” probably the most precious, (v. 10) breaking the rest in pieces, as he left none behind, v. 18. Temple of his God.  Dan. i. 2.

 

Ver. 8.  In him.  The Jews explain this of the diabolical characters forbidden, Lev. xix. 28.  Carthusian.  R. Sal. &c. But it may simply denote the hidden sins of the king, which God will bring to light, or his rebellious conduct.  Amama.  Gen. xliv. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Eight years old.  He was associated by his father to the kingdom, when he was but eight years old; but after his father’s death, when he reigned alone, he was eighteen years old.  4 K. xxiv. 8.  Ch. He only enjoyed the throne three months and ten days.  T. We must however observe, (H.) that the Alex. Sept. the Syr. and Arab. read here, eighteen.  C. “It is, in my opinion, a pity that the translators have not mended such apparent errata of the scribe of the present Heb. out of 2 K. xxiv. 8, or out of Sept. or out of common sense.”  Wall.  Kennicott. These eight years may be dated from the captivity, and not from the king’s birth.  Usher.  D.

 

Ver. 10.  Year, in spring, when kings go out to war.  C. Uncle.  Sept. “brother of his father,” which comes to the same sense, and was certainly the case.  Heb. “his brother.”  Abraham indeed gives the title to his nephew.  Gen. xiii. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  By God, to be faithful.  T. This enhances his crime.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Early.  Prot. “betimes, and sending: because,” &c.  H. Like a good master, God (T.) sent his servants to work at day-break, (H.) omitting nothing to induce them to return to him, that he might not be forced to punish them with severity.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Remedy.  All attempts to convert them proved in vain; (T.) and God, perceiving that they even despised his calls, became inexorable.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Vessels.  Only a few remained, to be restored by Cyrus, v. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Sons; Evilmerodac and Baltassar. Persia; Cyrus, who subdued the country.

 

Ver. 21.  Sabbaths, every seventh year.  Lev. xxv. 2. and xxvi. 43.  Jer. xxv. 11. and xxix. 10. Expired: not that the earth was quite neglected, all that time, from the third year of Joakim, A.M. 3398 till 3468.  C. But it was almost: particularly after the murder of Godolias, (M.) the public worship was at a stand, &c.  H. During this fifth age, the true religion subsisted invariable, not only in the kingdom of Juda, but also in that of Israel.  See Worthington.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  First.  Cyrus had ruled over Persia from A. 3444.  He was now emperor of the east.  A. 3468.  C. These two verses are repeated by Esdras, which evinces that he was the author of this work also, (T.) adding them when he restored (W.) or revised (H.) the holy scriptures.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  The Lord, (Jehova.)  In Esdras we find yehi, “Let,” his God.  H. Up.  The sentence is completed in the following book, which makes it probable that these verses are here inserted improperly, by some transcriber.  The book of Chronicles, though for many ages the last in the Heb. MSS. was, perhaps, once followed by Ezra, as in Camb. MS. 1. (Kennicott) and as it is now in the Protestant version, taken from the Heb.  H.

 

 

1 ESDRAS

 

THE FIRST BOOK OF ESDRAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

This Book taketh its name from the writer, who was a holy priest and doctor of the law.  He is called by the Hebrews Ezra, (Ch.) and was son, (T.) or rather, unless he lived above 150 years, a descendant of Saraias.  4 K. xxv. 18.  It is thought that he returned first with Zorobabel; and again, at the head of other captives, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, with ample authority.  Esdras spent the latter part of his life in exhorting the people, and in explaining to them the law of God.  He appeared with great dignity at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem.  2 Esd. xii. 26. 35.  We have four books which bear his name.  C. This and the following book of Nehemias, originally made but one in Heb. (S. Jerom, &c.) as the transactions of both those great men are recorded.  The third and fourth are not in Heb. nor received into the canon of the Holy Scriptures, though the Greek Church hold the third as canonical, and place it first; (W.) and Genebrard would assert that both ought to be received, as they were by several Fathers.  But they contain many thing which appear to be erroneous, and have been rejected by others of great authority, and particularly by S. Jerom.  The third book seems to have been written very early, by some Hellenist Jew, who was desirous of embellishing the history of Zorobabel; and the fourth was probably composed by some person of the same nation, who had been converted to Christianity, before the end of the second century; and who injudiciously attempted to convert his brethren, by assuming the name of a man who was so much respected.  Many things have been falsely attributed to Esdras, on the same account.  It is said that he invented the Masora; restored the Scriptures, which had been lost; fixed the canon of twenty-two books; substituted the Chaldaic characters instead of the ancient Hebrew, Samaritan, or Phœnician.  But though Esdras might sanction the latter, now become common, the characters might vary insensibly, (Bianconi.  Kennicott, Dis. ii.) as those of other languages have done, (H.) and the sacred books never perished wholly; nor could the canon be determined in the time of Esdras.  C. As for the Masoretic observations and points, they are too modern an invention.  Elias Levita, Capel. Houbigant, &c. What we know more positively of Esdras, is, (W.) that he was empowered by Artaxerxes to bring back the Jews, and that he acted with great zeal.  H. This book contains the transactions of 82 years, till A. 3550.  The letter of Reum, and the king’s answer, (C. iv. 7. till C. vi. 19. and well as C. vii. 12, 27.) are in Chaldee; the rest of the work is in Hebrew.  C. We may discover various mysteries concealed under the literal sense of this and the following book.  S. Jer. ep. ad Paulin.  W. Esdras is supposed by this holy doctor, as well as by some of the Rabbins, &c. to have been the same person with the prophet Malachy; (Button) and several reasons seems to support this conjecture, though it must still remain very uncertain.  C. Some think that (H.) Esdras wrote only the four last chapters, and the author of Paral. the six preceding ones.  D. But it is most probable that he compiled both from authentic documents.  H. Some few additions may have been inserted since, by divine authority.  2 Esd. xii. 11, 22.  T.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  In.  Heb. “And (C.) or But in,” as 2 Par. xxxvi. 22.  H. Thus the historical works are connected.  Spinosa infers, from this book being inserted after Daniel in the Heb. Bible, that the same author wrote both.  But the order of the books in the Sept. and Vulg. is far more natural, (C.) and this has often varied in Hebrew, &c.  Kennicott.  See 2 Par. xxxvi. 23.  H. First.  The design was only put in execution the following year.  A. 3468. Cyrus (Heb. coresh, (H.) or Koresch) means “the sun,” according to Ctesias and Plutarch.  Josephus (xi. 1.) informs us that this prince became a friend of the Jews, in consequence of having seen the prediction of Isaias (xliv. 28. and xlv. 1.) fulfilled in his own person.  He took Babylon, A. 3466, and established the Persian empire, which was subverted by Alexander.  C. he had before ruled over Persia 27 years, and only reigned three as sole monarch at Babylon.  T. The Lord; every good notion, even in infidels, proceeds from him.  D. Cyrus was one of the best and greatest conquerors of antiquity.  He was the son of Cambyses, by Mandane, princess of Media.  Xenophon informs us that he died in his bed; (H.) and had been lately conquered.  T.

 

Ver. 2.  Earth, which had belonged to the king of Babylon.  H. This may be an hyperbole, or allusion to Isai. xlv. 1.  M. The dominions of Cyrus were very extensive, (Xenophon, Cyrop. i. and viii.) reaching from Ethiopia to the Euxine sea, &c.  He acknowledges that he received all from the hand of God.  Nabuchodonosor makes a similar confession of his supreme dominion; (Dan. ii. 47.) and the potentates of Egypt and of Rome, procured sacrifices to be offered to him.  But what advantage did they derive from this sterile knowledge of his divinity? since they did not honour him accordingly, but wished to join his worship with that of idols; though the force of miracles and of reason must have convinced them that there is but one God.  C. House, or temple.  Isai. xliv. 28. Judea.  So the Sept. read, but the Heb. has “Juda,” all along.  The whole country now began to be know by the former name.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  He is the God, is placed within a parenthesis, by the Prot.  But the pagans might suppose that God was attached to this city, like their idols; and the temple was not yet begun.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Rest, who do not please to return.  The Jews went at different times, and under the different leaders, Zorobabel, Esdras, and Nehemias.  Many did not return at all.  Cyrus allowed them full liberty.  He permits money to be exported, particularly the half sicle, required Ex. xxx. 13, and all voluntary contributions for the temple.  Grotius.  C. He also enjoins the prefects of the provinces, (v. 6, and C. iii. 7.) whom Josephus styles “the king’s friends,” to forward this work; and he even designed to perfect it at his own expence.  C. vi. 4.

 

Ver. 8.  Gazabar means, “the treasurer.”  Heb.  Syr.  C.  Prot.  3 Esd. ii. 19.  H. Son is not in Heb. &c. (M.) and must be omitted.  T. Sassabasar.  This was another name for Zorobabel, (Ch.) given by the Chaldees, as they changed the name of Daniel into Baltassar.  Euseb. Præp. Evan. xi. 3.  T. But others think that this was the Persian “governor (Junius) of Judea,” (3 Esd.) as one reside at Jerusalem, till the days of Nehemias.   2 Esd. v. 14.  It does not appear that Zorobabel was invested with this dignity, before the reign of Darius Hystaspes.  Agg. ii. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Knives.  Sept. &c. “changes” of garments.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Sort.  Sept. and Syr. “double;” yet of less value.  C. As no first sort had been mentioned, and some Latin MSS. read 2410, agreeably to 3 Esd. ii. 12, and the truth, (Hallet) it may be inferred that “thousands were expressed anciently by single letters, with a dot…over them.”  Afterwards, when numbers were expressed by words at length, the b being thus reduced to signify “two,” was, of course, written shnim; but this word making nonsense with the following, has been changed into mishnim, a word not very agreeable to the sense here, and which leaves the sum total, now specified in the Heb. text, very deficient for want of the 2000, thus omitted.  Kennicott, Dis. ii. Josephus has, “30 golden cups, 2400 of silver.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Hundred.  Only 2499 are specified.  3 Esd. reads, 5469.  Josephus (xi. 1.) differs from all, reading 5210; which shews that the copies have varied, and that the Heb. is incorrect.  C. The use of number letters might cause this confusion.  H.  Capel. iii. 20. 13.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Now.  This catalogue is given again, 2 Esd. vii. 6. and 3 Esdras v. 7. immediately (H.) after the long interpolated story (Kennicott) of the three guards, concerning the superior strength of wine, the king, women or truth, in which Zorobabel gains the victory, in favour of the latter.  H. The rest of the book is taken from other inspired writings; (Sandford) and this story may be borrowed Josephus: so that there is no reason for asserting “that one whole book is now lost out of the sacred canon.”  Kennicott. Yet this argument is by no means conclusive, as the Paral. consists of such supplements, &c.  These three catalogues very considerably, not only in the proper names, but also in the numbers, (H.) though they must have been the same originally, and still give the same total, 42,360.  We cannot find that number at present, by above 8,400.  In many cases, the disagreement consists of a single unit, hundred, &c. which may lead us to suspect that the Palmyrene, or the more ancient Sidonian notation, may have been adopted in some Heb. MSS. being used about the time of Christ.  See Swinton’s tables, (Phil. Trans. xlviii. and l.) where the Sidonian coins express the units by small perpendicular strokes; and the Palmyrene inscriptions only admit four of these together, having an arbitrary mark for 5: “the hundreds and units after the tens, are expressed in both, in the same manner as the single units.”  Kennicott, 2 Diss. Cordell (MS. note on this author) disapproves of this mode of correcting, and says that the females are included in the total sum, being 12,542, not recorded in the separate sums.  But this number seems too small, as there are generally as many of that sex as of the other.  H. Some find the total 31,583, which leaves 10,777 wanting to complete 42,360, as these could not make out their genealogies, or were of the ten tribes.  In this chapter only 29,818 are specified, whereas 2 Esdras vii. has 31,089; the latter reckons 1765 unnoticed by Esdras, who has 494 not specified in Nehemias.  The difference, that seems to make a reconciliation impossible, is what  make these authors agree; for, if you add the surplus of each to the other, the same total, 31,583, will arise.  Alting. ep. 59.  This solution, though ingenious, is not solid or satisfactory.  Rondet, t. v. p. 176. De Vence rather thinks that the difference is to be laid to the charge of transcribers, or that some people enrolled themselves after the registers had been made up; so that they are only included in the general sum.  H. Some things may have been inserted from 2 Esdras, though here out of place, (Grot.) as we find similar anachronisms, 1 Par. ix. 2, and perhaps Gen. xxxvi. 31.  Nehemias may also have included those whom he brought back along with these; unless we allow that some one, by attempting to reconcile the two, has thrown all into confusion.  It seems undeniable, that some additions have been made to the latter book.  C. xii. 11. and 22.  The list given 1 Par. ix. 4, comprises only those who came first from Babylon.  C. After this remark, it will hardly be requisite to specify all the variations of names and numbers.  H. “For what can be hence inferred, but that there are some arithmetical mistakes in Scripture, which no one denies?”  Huet. “Almost all who are conversant with ancient copies, agree in the decision of S. Jerom, as they cannot but perceive that some variations have crept in, particularly with respect to numbers and proper names.”  Walton. Province, born in Chaldea, (M.) or rather belonging to Judea, which was now considered as a province of the empire, (C.) and paid tribute.  C. iv. 13.  2 Esd. ix. 36.  T. In 3 Esd. we read, “These are they of Judea.” Nabuchodonosor had taken some of these; the rest were chiefly their descendants. Juda now is used to denote Judea.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Zorobabel was the prince, Josue the high priest.  C. There are 12 mentioned in 2 and 3 Esd.  But here the sixth Nahamani, or Enenion, is omitted.  H. There represent the 12 tribes, (Kennicott) and were chiefs.  M. It is wonderful that Esdras is not here mentioned, as well as Nehemias, who led a company after him, many of whom are here recorded.  C. They might come to take care of their patrimony, and return into Chaldea, like Mardochai, (T.  though it does not seem to be Esther’s uncle.  D.) and Nehemias, who is styled also Athersatha, v. 63.  T. Baana.  3 Esd. adds, “their leaders.”  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Children.  When this term precedes the name of a man, it means his offspring; (v. 3. 20.) when placed before a city, it denotes the inhabitants, v. 21. 35.  C. The lay Israelites are placed here; then the Levitical tribe; (v. 36.) the Nathineans, &c. v. 43.  It is very difficult to decide when the names designate places, and when persons.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Seven.  2 Esd. only 652.  These arrived at Jerusalem; the rest altered their mind.  Junius.  C. But 3 Esd. has 756: so that there is most probably a mistake somewhere.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Moab.  This seems to be the name of a place, where the descendants of Josue and Joab might reside; (C. viii. 4.  C.) or Phahath might have this title, on account of some victory, or residence in the country.  His descendants, with those of Josue and Joab, where 2812, (T.) or 2818.  2 Esd. vii. 11.  C. Josue.  Prot. “Jeshua and Joab.”  H. Some translate Pahath, “the chief of” Moab, &c.  D. Grotius suspects that to v. 68 may be inserted from Nehemias.

 

Ver. 13.  Six.  Other 60 returned afterwards with Esdras.  H.  C. viii. 13.

 

Ver. 16.  Ather.  3 Esd. Ator-Ezekios, 92: but 2 Esd. has Ater, children of Hezecias, 98.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Besai.  We should perhaps read Hasum, (v. 19.  C.) then Besai, and afterwards Jora, who may be the same with Hareph.  2 Esd. vii. 24.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Gebbar.  2 Esd. Gabaon.  3 Esd. “Baitereus, 3005.”  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Six.  2 Esd. puts the inhabitants of those two cities together, and makes 188, instead of the present calculation 179.  C. Netupha was in Ephraim.  D.

 

Ver. 29.  Nebo.  2 Esd. (vii. 33.) adds, “of the other Nebo,” as in some Latin copies a first had been mentioned, (v. 30.) where we have Geba, (C.) here written Gabaa, v. 26.  H. Nebo belonged to some of the other tribes, as well as Phahath-Moab; which shews that some of the people  returned, (C.) and are particularized, as well as the men of the three tribes of Juda, Benjamin, and Levi.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Megbis.  3 Esd. “Niphis;” (C.) or, according to the Alex. MS. “Phineis.”  H. The verse is omitted 2 Esd.  But Megphias occurs below.  C. x. 20.  Megabyse is a Persian name.  Herod. iii. 20. and 160.

 

Ver. 31.  Other Elam.  The first is mentioned (v. 7.) with exactly the same number. Is not this verse redundant?  C. Who would not be astonished?  T. 3 Esd. omits this and the following name.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Hadid.  These cities were in the tribe of Benjamin.  C. Senaa was in Ephraim, eight miles from Jericho.  Euseb.

 

Ver. 36.  Josue, the high priest, v. 2.

 

Ver. 40.  Odovia, called Juda.  C. iii. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 43.  Nathinites, “people given” (1 Par. ix. 2.  H.) by Josue, David, and Solomon.  T.

 

Ver. 55.  Servants, proselytes.  1 Par. xxii. 2.  M.

 

Ver. 57.  Pocereth-Hasebaim, in Heb. (C.) or “of Zebaim.”  Prot.

 

Ver. 59.  Thelmela, “the height of Mela, or of salt.”  The river Melas empties itself  into the Euphrates.  Strabo xii. The cities here mentioned were in Chaldea.  Some of the ten tribes had probably been transported into Cappadocia, where Herodotus (ii. 35,) place some circumcised Syrians. Thelharsa, or Thelassar, 4 K. xix. 12. Cherub, &c. were cities of Chaldea, (T.) or chief men; but as they had been carried away by Theglathphalassar, they had lost their genealogies, and could only produce circumcision as a proof that they were Israelites.

 

Ver. 61.  Their name.  The priest, Berzellai, assumed the name of the family, from which he had chosen a wife.  H. It was that of the famous old man, who was so hospitable to David.  2 K. xix. 31.  C.

 

Ver. 62.  Priesthood.  Those who cannot prove that they are priests, ought not to exercise the functions.  W. The Jews were particularly careful to preserve their genealogical tables, and transcribed them again after any very troublesome times.  Joseph. c. Ap. 1, and in his own Life. The Rabbins falsely assert that only the mother’s side was examined, and that the children followed her condition.  C.

 

Ver. 63.  Athersatha.  Prot. marg. “the governor,” (H.) in the Persian language.  D. Nehemias had this title.  2 Esd. viii. 9.  H. It means “a cup-bearer.”  C.  M. 3 Esd. “And Nehemias, who is also Atharias, said unto them, that they should not partake of the holy things, till a high priest, clothed with manifestation and truth, should arise.”  H. Learned.  Heb. “with Urim and Thummim.”  We do not find that God had been consulted, in this manner, since the time of David: and the Jews inform us that the ornament was not used after the captivity, (C.) as it had been, perhaps, concealed with the ark, by Jeremias.  2 Mac. ii. 4.  T. Nehemias hoped that it would be soon recovered.  In the mean time, he followed the spirit of the law, but with additional rigour, as it permitted such priests to eat consecrated meats.  Lev. xxi. 22.  It seems that this decision is out of its proper place, since Nehemias came 80 years after Zorobabel.  C. But he might have been present on this occasion, (H.) though he returned afterwards to Babylon, where he officiated as cup-bearer to the king.  T.

 

Ver. 64.  Forty-two thousand, &c.  Those who are reckoned up above of the tribes of Juda, Benjamin, and Levi, fall short of this number.  The rest, who must be taken in to make up the whole sum, were of the other tribes.  Ch. This explanation is given by R. Solomon.  W. But we have seen that cities belonging to the ten tribes are specified.  See v. 1, and 29.  H. Some might not be able to make out their genealogies.  C. v. 62.  Yet some of these also are counted, v. 60.  H. The particular sums may therefore be incorrect.  Josephus (xi. 1,) adds 102 to the number.  C. 3 Esd. has, “But they were all of Israel from 12 years old and upwards, exclusive of boys and girls, (or male and female servants) 42,300.”  Grabe has in another character “sixty.  The men and women servants of these, 7300.”  Then the Alex. MS. continues, “thirty-seven.”  So that without the addition it would give for the total, 42,337.  Some copies (H.) have 40.  C. But the most correct (H.) read 60.  Kennicott.  The small  number of servants and cattle shew that the people were poor.  D.

 

Ver. 65.  Servants.  Probably strangers.  C. Yet the Hebrews might renounce their liberty.  Ex. xxi. 6.  H. Hundred, comprised in the last number; (C.) or they belong to Israel, but were different from those mentioned v. 41.  We find 45 more in 2 and 3 Esd.  H. These might be inserted by Nehemias, after they had proved themselves to be of the tribe of Levi.  Tournemine. There were in all 49,942.  H. So much was the power of this kingdom now reduced!  Sulp Severus says above 50,000 of every sex and rank could not be found.  H.

 

Ver. 69.  Solids.  Heb. darcemonim.  H. “Darics,” worth as much as a golden sicle.  Pelletier.  C.  1 Par. xxix. 7. Pounds, (mnas) or 60 sicles.  M. 3 Esd. has “mnas” in both places.

 

Ver. 70.  Some.  The laics, mentioned from v. 2. to 35.  H.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Month. Tisri, famous for the feasts of trumpets, of expiation, and of tabernacles.  D. The Israelites might spend four months on their journey, and two in making preparations for the feast of tabernacles, (T.) and in erecting huts for themselves.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Josue, or Jesus, (Jeshua) the son of Josedec: he was the high priest at that time; (Ch.) the first after the captivity. Salathiel, by whom he was brought up, though he was born of Phadaia.  1 Par. iii. 19.  C. Prot. read Shealtiel.

 

Ver. 3.  Fear.  This must not prevent God’s servants from offering sacrifice.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Meat, in imitation of Solomon, 3 K. v. 11. Orders.  Heb. “permission.”  C. Prot. “grant.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Work.  Heb. adds, “of the house.”  Josias had appointed the Levites overseers, 2 Par. xxiv. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Hands; compositions, (H.) or ordinances.  W. The 135th Psalm was sung, (C.) or the 117th.  Vatab.

 

Ver. 12.  Temple.  This second temple, though very large (2 Mac. xiv. 13.) and magnificent, (Agg. ii. 10,) never equalled the glory of the first, in its outward appearance, being also destitute of the ark, and perhaps of the Urim, &c.  But the presence of the Messias gave it a more exalted dignity.  C. Joy.  These different emotions of grief and joy filled their breasts, (D.) thinking how they had brought on the judgments of God by their transgressions, and that he was now appeased, and would enable them to have some sort of a temple.  T. As it was less beautiful than that of Solomon, Aggeus must be understood to speak of the Church of Christ.  S. Aug. de C. xviii. 45.  W.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Enemies; Samaritans, and others, v. 9.

 

Ver. 2.  Asor Haddan sent a priest to instruct these people, but Salmanasar had transported them into the country.  C. They continued for some time worshipping idols alone, and afterwards they consented to pay the like adoration to the Lord.  4 K. xvii. 24, &c.  H. It is clear, from their petition, that they had as yet no temple.  The first was erected by them on Garizim, by leave of Alexander the Great, as a retreat for Manasses, brother of the Jewish high priest, and other who would not be separated from their strange wives.  Joseph. xi. Yet the Sam. Chronicle, lately published, seems to give a higher antiquity to that temple, and pretends that a miracle declared in favour of the place.  C. The fathers indeed adored there, (Jo. iv. 20.  Gen. xii. 6,) and Josue erected an altar on Hebal, but the Samaritan copy says it was to be on Garizim.  Deut. xxvii. 4.  Jos. viii. 30.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  You, &c.  Lit. “It is not for you and us to build.”  But why might not these people assist in the work, as well as king Hiram or Darius?  H. Schismatics and heretics must not communicate in sacrifices with Catholics, (W.) nor must the latter have society with them, in matters of religion.  The Jews feared lest the Samaritans might introduce the  worship of idols, or claim a part of the temple, or at least boast of what they had done.  T. They were aware of the insincerity of these people.  M. The permission was moreover only granted to the Jews: (C.) but Cyrus had exhorted all to contribute; (C. i. 4,) and Darius, as well as his pagan governors, were not repelled with disdain.  C. vi. 13.  This treatment caused the Samaritans to be more inveterate, though the Jews were always more unwilling to come to a reconciliation.  H. “For the Scripture did not say, the Samaritans have no commerce with the Jews,” says S. Chrys. in Jo. iv.  The Jewish authors inform us, that “Ezra, &c. gathered all the congregation into the temple, and the Levites sung and cursed the Samaritans,…that no Israelite eat of any thing that is a Samaritan’s, not that any Samaritan be proselyted to Israel, nor have any part in the resurrection,” &c.  R. Tanchum.  Lightfoot i. p. 598.  Kennicott. If this were true, it would be carrying their resentment too far; as we ought to promote the conversion of the greatest reprobates.  But we have no reason to condemn such great men.  They knew the character of the Samaritans, and wished to bring them to a sense of their duty, by this rebuke.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Counsellors; ministers of the king, (C.) or governors of the provinces.  T. Cyrus, who was ignorant of their machination, (Josephus) being engaged in war with the Scythians.  We may easily conceive what ill-disposed ministers may do, against the inclinations of their prince.  C. Darius, son of Hystaspes, who succeeded the false Smerdis, after five months’ usurpation.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Assuerus; otherwise called Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus.  He is also, in the following verse, named Artaxerxes, by a name common to almost all the kings of Persia, (C.) after Memnon.  Diod. xv.  Sept. “Arthasastha.”  Arta signifies “great,” and xerxes, “warriour.”  Herod. vi. 98. After Assuerus, some copies add, “he is Artaxerxes;” and Assuerus is so called in the Sept. of Sixtus.  3 Esd. ii. 16.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Artaxerxes may be the Oropastes of Trogus, (C.) or the false (H.) Smerdis.  Herodot. Beselam, &c.  These governed the provinces on the west side of the Euphrates. Syriac comprises the Chaldee, with which it as a great resemblance.  It was spoken at the court of Babylon.  Xenoph. vii.  See 4 K. xviii. 26. and 2 Mac. xv. 37. and Dan. ii. 4.

 

Ver. 8.  Beelteem. Syr. “the son of Baltam.”  The term designates the office of Reum, “the master of reason,” president of the council, treasurer, &c.  C. Prot. “chancellor.” From.  Prot. “against.”  H. Heb. “concerning.”

 

Ver. 9.  Counsellors.  Sept. and Syr. “of our fellow-servants.”  Chal. “colleagues.”  This letter, and as far as C. vi. 19, is in the Chaldee language. Dinites, perhaps the Denarenians.  Junius.  4 K. xvii. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Asenaphar, commonly supposed to be the Asarhaddon, though we know not that he caused any of these nations to remove thither, as Salmanasar certainly did.  C. The name of the latter occurs in some copies.  Lyran. River, Euphrates. In peace.  H. The original, cehenth, is neglected by the Sept. and Arab.  The Syr. reads, “Acheeneth.”  Others translate, “at that time,” as if the date had been lost.  Jun. &c. Prot. “and at such a time.”  H. Others suppose the writers lived “at Kineeth.”  Pagnin. But who ever heard of such a place?  Le Clerc takes it to mean “and the rest,” as if the title were curtailed.  But it is more probable that the text ought to be Ceheth, as v. 17, and that we should translate, “beyond the river, (C.) as now, (11) unless this word ought to be here omitted, (H.) to Artaxerxes, the king, peace (and prosperity) as at present.”  C. Chal. sslum ucáth, “peace even now.”  H. So Horace says, suaviter ut unc est, wishing a continuation of happiness.  3 Esd. (ii. 17.) joins the last word with v. 12, “And now be it,” &c.  Cánoth may have this sense, (C.) and consequently no change is necessary.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Him.  This is a gloss.  C. Greeting.  Prot. “and at such a time.”

 

Ver. 12.  Rebellious.  The Jews had shewn themselves impatient of subjection, contending with the kings of Assyria and Babylon, whose territories were now possessed by the successors of Cyrus, v. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Revenues.  Sept. &c. include all under the term of “tribute.”

 

Ver. 14.  Eaten.  Chal. “on account of the salt, with which we have been salted, from the palace.”  The king’s officers were fed from his table.  Salt is put for all their emoluments; (C.) and hence the word salary is derived.  Pliny xxxi. 7.  We may also translate, “because we have demolished the temple, and because,” &c.  Kimchi. Grot. &c.  But this seems to refined.  C. Prot. “Now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace, and it is not meet,” &c.  To have neglected their master’s interests, would have betrayed great ingratitude and perfidy; particularly if they had entered into a covenant of salt, or solemnly engaged to be ever faithful servants, as the nature of their office implied.  Num. xviii. 19.  2 Par. xiii. 5.  H. Palace, being honoured with much distinction.  Delrio, adag. 215.

 

Ver. 15.  Fathers, the preceding emperors, Nabuchodonosor, Salmanasar, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Possession.  Sept. have simply, “peace.”

 

Ver. 17.  Greeting.  Prot. “peace, and at such a time,” which has no great meaning.  H.  See v. 10.

 

Ver. 19.  Seditions: so are styled the just efforts of the Jews, to keep or to regain their liberty.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Kings; only David and Solomon.  M. They had made some on the east side of the river pay tribute, though the king may speak of the countries on the west.

 

Ver. 21.  Hear.  Chal. “give command,” &c. Further: lit. “perhaps.”  H. This was a private edict, which might be rescinded.  Dan. vi. 7.

 

Ver. 23.  Beelteem, is not in Chal. Arm, or “force.”  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  House.  They went beyond the order, which only forbade the building of the city, v. 21. Darius, A. 3485.  C. He was the son of Hystaspes, (S. Jer.) and not Nothus, the sixth from Cyrus, as Sulpitius and Scalinger believe.  T.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Addo was grand-father of the prophet, whose writings are extant.  C. Both prophesied in the second year of Darius.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Them.  Aggeus had rebuked the people for building houses for themselves, while they neglected the temple.  The work was hereupon resumed without any fresh order from the king; as the edicts of the usurper, Oropastes, were considered as null, and the Jews only answer the governor, that they had been authorized by Cyrus, v. 13. 17.  Josephus, and 3 Esd. iii. and iv. 47. assert that Darius had given leave.  C.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  River, over all Syria, &c.  This man had not been bribed, but acted with great moderation, and in compliance with his duty.  C. Counsel.  Chal. “order…to make up this wall.”

 

Ver. 4.  In.  Sept. “Then I (or they; eipon.  The Syr. and Arab. declare for the latter) said thus to them: What,” &c. We gave.  Chal. “what are the names?”  H. It seems Thathanai asked this question, v. 10.  The Jews might give in the names of Zorobabel, Josue, Aggeus, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Ancients.  Sept. “captivity of Juda.”  H. Divine Providence favoured the undertaking.  Delrio adag. 216.  M.  Ps. xxxii. 18. His eye sometimes threatens ruin.  Amos ix. 8.  C. God did both on this occasion.  W. Hinder.  Chal. “cause them to leave off, till the matter came to Darius, (H.) and  his decision was brought back;” (C.) or Prot. “and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.”  Sept. “and they did not molest them, till the sentence should be brought to (or from) Darius; and then it (word) was sent to the tax-gatherer, concerning this affair.

 

Ver. 8.  Unpolished.  Prot. “great.”  H. Heb. “to be rolled.”  See Vitruv. x. 6.  Sept. “choice stones.”  Kimchi, &c. “marble.”  C. 3 Esd. “polished and precious stones.”  H. Yet the Vulg. seems more conformable to C. vi. 4. and Agg. ii. 2.  M.  Ribera. Walls, every fourth course.  3 K. vi. 36.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Built.  It did not appear that this edict had been revoked; (C.) nor could it be changed, if it had been passed by the advice of the Lord.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Governor.  Sept. “over the treasury.”

 

Ver. 16.  In building, being pretty far advanced, though for some time past it had been at a stand.  H. It is not probable that Zorobabel said this, but the author of the letter added it, as he supposed the Jews continued to do some little.  C. He desired to favour their cause, yet so as not to irritate the Samaritans.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Library.  Sept. “treasury-house.”  Arab. “for the archives.”  It is called “the house of books.”  C. vi. 1.  C.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Library.  Prot. “house of the rolls, where the treasures were,” &c. Babylon.  In the city, the search was fruitless: (Vatab.) but in the kingdom, the record was discovered.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Ecbatana.  Chal. achmetha, signifies “a jug, or chest.”  C. “They found in the chest of the palace, under the inscription of Media.”  Munster.  Pagnin. “And a roll was found (some add, in Amatha) in the city, in a chest, (or tower; Barei) and this memorial was written in it.”  (Sept.)  Prot. style the place, “Achmetha.”  H. Arab. “Athana.”  Syr. “Ahmathane.”  The memoirs of Cyrus had probably been conveyed to Ecbatana, which was built by Dejoces, the first king of the Medes, and greatly enlarged by his successor, Phraortes.  C. Province.  Media now only formed a province of the empire.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  And…foundations is not found in Sept. Syr. and Arab. but it is in Chald.  The temple was thus of larger dimensions than that of Solomon, which was only 30 cubits high, and 20 broad inside.  3 K. vi. 2.  The Rabbins assign 100 for each, (Tr. Middot. iv. 6.) speaking perhaps of the temple rebuilt by Herod, with still greater magnificence.  Josephus allows 100 in height, and 60 in breadth.  But the Scripture only speaks of 54 cubits breadeth, and 99 in length including the adjoining edifices.  C. Breadth, from the front to the end of the holy of holies, which we should call the length.  T. This temple was lower than Solomon’s by one half, (2 Par. iii. 4.  M.) unless those 120 cubits refer only to a tower.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Unpolished, to correspond with the polished stones and cedar employed by Solomon.  3 K. vi. 36.  M. Prot. “great stones.”  See C. v. 8. Charges.  It appears that the Jews furnished money and meat to pay for the wood.  C. i. 4. and iii. 7.  Some annual sum might be assigned by Cyrus, either for the building, or for the daily holocausts.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Placed formerly, before the destruction of the temple.  Prot. “and place them in the house of God.”

 

Ver. 8.  Hindered.  Thus Darius trod in the footsteps, or perhaps exceeded the liberality of Cyrus.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Complaint.  Prot. “without fail,” (H.) or “delay.” Mont.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Nailed.  Prot. “hanged.”  Sept. “covered with wounds, or fastened on it.”  H. Some think that the criminal was to be scourged.  De Dieu. “Let him be hanged on the wood, which shall stand upright, after his house shall have been demolished.”  Vatable. Such was the custom of the Persians.  Grot. Aman perished on the gallows, which he had erected in his own house for Mardocheus.  Est. vii. 9. Confiscated.  Prot. “be made a dunghill for this.”  H.  Syr. &c. We find some examples of such a treatment.  4 K. x. 27.  Dan. iii. 5, and ix. 6.  The effects of those who were condemned to die, in Persia, were generally confiscated.  Est.iii. 13. and viii. 11. and ix. 14.

 

Ver. 14.  Artaxerxes, one of the seven who overturned the power of the magi; (Usher, A. 3483) or rather the king of Persia, who lived some time after this, and was very favourable to the Jews.  He sent Esdras (A. 3537) and Nehemias (A. 3550) with great powers into the country.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Adar, corresponding  with our Feb. and March.  M. In the latter month they celebrated the Passover, v. 19. Darius.  Hence twenty years had elapsed from the first foundation.  They might continue to embellish the temple other twenty-seven years, as the Jews assert; (Jo. ii. 20,) unless they speak of the repairs made by Herod, (Baronius.  T.) or exaggerate, (Grot.) being under a mistake.  Salien, A. 3537.

 

Ver. 17.  Goats, which had not left off sucking.  M.  Numb. vii. 87. Israel.  The Sam. Chronicles assert that the tribes returned, as the prophets had foretold, and the sacred history seems to suppose: (C.) which may be true of many, (H.) though the greatest part remained in captivity.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Moses.  Num. iii. 8.  David had perfected the plan, 1 Par. xxiii. &c.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  And.  Here the author resumes the Heb. language.  C. Captivity, from which they were released, v. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  One man, with zeal and unanimity; so that a second Phase was not to be celebrated.  2 Par. xxx. 3.

 

Ver. 21.  To them, becoming proselytes, and receiving circumcision.  Ex. xii. 48.

 

Ver. 22.  Assyria.  The successors of Cyrus now ruled over those countries, (C.) which had belonged to the most potent Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs; and therefore the titles are given to them indiscriminately.  T.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Things, sixty-eight years after the journey of Zorobabel.  C. Salien adds ten years more.  H. Artaxerxes Longimanus.  M.  T. Son, or great grandson of Saraias, who had been slain 121 years.  Esdras was still living, in the days of Nehemias.  Many persons are omitted in this genealogy.  The immediate descendants of Azarias may be found, 1 Par. vi.  Similarity of names has occasioned many mistakes.  3 Esd. viii. reckons only eleven persons between Aaron and Esdras; and 4 Esd. i. has eighteen; whereas here we behold sixteen generations, and 1 Par. twenty-two.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Beginning of the Jewish republic.

 

Ver. 6.  Went up, a second time.  2 Esd. xii. 1.  W. Ready.  Heb. mahir, “diligent,” &c.  H. Scribe, not so much noted for his skill in writing fast, or drawing up deeds, as for his knowledge of the divine law.  C. The gospel sometimes gives the title of scribe to the doctors of the law.  Matt. xxii. 35, with Mark xii. 28.  It is peculiarly due to Esdras, who gave a correct copy of the Scriptures, and wrote them in a different character, leaving the ancient one to the Samaritans, that the people might be less connected.  Bellarm. De Verb. xx. 1, citing (T.) the most learned Fathers and Jewish writers.  C. Diss. The author of 4 Esdras (xiv. 19,) intimates that the sacred books had been all destroyed, and were dictated again to Esdras by the Holy Spirit.  But this book is not of sufficient authority to establish so dangerous an opinion; (H.) which is refuted by the whole context of the Bible, in which we see that the law was never forgotten.  C. Diss.  D. As Esdras was inspired, what additions he might make, must be accounted divine and authentic.  C. Hand; protection, (Delrio, adag. 217,) or inspiration.  M. God can incline the heart of the king, (Prov. xxi.) to accomplish his decrees.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Month.  Thus four entire months were spent on the journey, as they did not go the shortest way, and had much baggage, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Heart.  Thinking continually (M.) how he might keep the law himself, and direct others.  H. It would be well if all would thus teach by example, like Jesus Christ, who began to do and then to teach.  H. Judgment.  Both these terms express the same thing.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Of the edict, is a farther explanation of the letter.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Kings.  This title was placed on the tomb of Cyrus, (Strabo xv.) and denoted a very powerful king.  Artaxerxes had many tributaries in Media, Sidon, &c.  The kings of Assyria had before assumed such pompous titles.  Osee viii. 10.  C. The most learned, comes later in the original Chald.  H. “The priest, scribe of the law,…perfection, (health and happiness, (C.) or consummate in learning, &c.  H.) as at present.”  C. Gemir uceheneth, “perfection (Castel. Lexic.) even now.”  C. iv. 10.  Prot. “perfect peace, and at such a time.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Counsellors.  Interpreters of the laws.  Joseph. xi. 6. The number seems to have been established at the courts of the Assyrian and Chaldee monarchs.  Tob. xii. 15.  We find their names, Est. i. 10. 14.  The history of this queen happened in the reign of Darius Hystaspes.  C. Hand.  By this he was to pass sentence, v. 25.  H. The Jews were authorized to follow their own laws (C.) under the Persian dominion, v. 26.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  Babylon, which the Chaldees may freely give.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  By me.  Heb. “to spend, take it out of the king’s treasure-house.”  Sept. adds, “and from me.”

 

Ver. 22.  Salt was used in all the sacrifices.  Lev. ii. 13.  In 3 Esd. no mention is made of oil or salt; but we read, “and all other things in abundance.”

 

Ver. 24.  Nathinites.  3 Esd. “sacred slaves.”  H. Artaxerxes confirms the immunities granted by the law of God, (Num. iii. 6. 12,) by the kings of Egypt, (Gen. xlvii. 22,) and by all nations to the ministers of religion.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  River.  3 Esd. “In all Syria and Phenicia.”  H. Hitherto, it seems, the royal judges had decided all affairs of consequence, which required any public chastisement.

 

Ver. 26.  Banishment.  Heb. lit. “eradication” by death or exile, (C.) or by being cut off from all society.  C. x. 8.  De Dieu. Sept. “correction.” H.

 

Ver. 27.  Blessed.  Here the author beings to write again in Heb. and in the following verse, Esdras speaks in person.  C.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Hattus.  He was of the royal family, (H.) as the former were descendants of the two sons of Aaron.  C. The great numbers which were persuaded to return from Babylon, signify the conversions made by holy preachers.  V. Bede.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Sons.  Sept. and Arab. add, “of Zathoe, Sechenias, the son of Aziel.”  The Syr. supplies the name of “Gabo, the son of Nahzael,” which seems to have been lost.  C. Junius translates, “of the descendants Sechenias N. son of Jahaziel.”

 

Ver. 10.  Sons of.  Sept. supply “Baani,” whose name occurs, C. ii. 10, and is here visibly wanting.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Last.  Coming after their brethren.  C. ii. 13.

 

Ver. 14.  Zachur.  Heb. and Sept. “Zabud.”  C. Two letters have been mistaken.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Ahava.  This river (v. 21. and 31.) runs through the territory of the same name, called Hava; (4 K. xvii. 24.) the people of which exchanged places with the Israelites.  Esdras makes a circuit to prevail on some of the latter to return with him, unless he began his journey from Susa.  Babylon comprises all that country.  C. None there, who were not priests, v. 2.  Lyran.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Sent.  Sept. “&c. “to Eliezer,” &c. in order to give them his orders what to say to Eddo, who presided at Chasphia, as the sequel shews. Wise men, instructors of the people, (2 Par. xxxv. 3.  C.) Levites.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Chasphia.  The Caspian mountains, between Media and Hyrcania.  Here the Nathinites were forced to labour, under Eddo.  The service of the temple would be far more eligible.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Fast it seems for eight days, so that they departed on the 12th, v. 31.  M. It will not suffice to leave sin, we must also do works of satisfaction.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Forsake him.  Apostates are treated with the greatest severity.  M. Esdras thought that the glory of God was at stake, and he would not shew any diffidence in Providence, or scandalize the infidels.  C. We ought not to ask princes for what we should despise.  D.

 

Ver. 26.  A hundred.  Heb. adds, “talents,” vessels of silver.  H. Some Rabbins suppose there were only 100, each of this weight, which is not probable.  All the silver vessels, of different sizes, weighed 100 talents.  There was the same quantity of golden vessels.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Solids.  Heb. adarconim.  Darics, equivalent to the golden sicle.  C.  1 Par. xxix. 7. Best.  Prot. “of fine copper, precious as gold.”  It might resemble the Corinthian brass, or aurichalcum, (H.) composed of gold, silver, and brass melted together, in the burning of Corinth, by L. Mummius.  Pliny xxxiv. 2. Yet no such Corinthian vessels have come down to us; so that the account seems fabulous; and, at any rate, the city was not taken in the days of Esdras, but A. 608 of Rome.  We cannot say whether he speaks of copper, brass, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 35.  Israel.  Some of the different tribes certainly returned.  C. vi. 17.

 

Ver. 36.  Lords, (satrapis.)  3 Esd. “to the royal officers and governors of Cœlosyria and Phenicia; and they glorified,” &c. Furthered, by their assistance (H.) and praise.  They formed their sentiments, as is usual, by those of the king.  C.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Abominations, or sins, (M.) marrying with infidels, contrary to the law.  Ex. xxxiv. 15.  Deut. vii. 3.  D. Malachy (ii. 11.) reprehends this conduct, and threatens both rulers and people who tolerate it, with God’s indignation.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  First.  Or “was in this first transgression,” incurred by those who returned with Zorobabel; or “was concerned in this very heinous transgression;” in transgressione hac prima.  C. Prot. “hath been chief.”  3 Esd. “and the leaders and grandees partook in this illegal affair, from its commencement.”  Sept. “and the hand of the chiefs was in this transgress, in the beginning.”  This would greatly increase the difficulty of reformation.  Some of the princes were however ready to undertake the work, and had preserved themselves from the two general contagion.  H. All marriages with the Moabites, &c. were prohibited, if the women remained infidels.  Ex. xxxiv.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  Coat, (tunicam) or inner garment.  H. Mourning.  Heb. “astonished.”  Syr.  Mont.  C.  Prot. Sept. “alone.”  3 Esd. “pensive and in grief.”  H. Arab. “not uttering a word.”  See Job i. 20. and ii. 8.  This was the ordinary posture of people in sorrow.  Isai. iii. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  To me, in the court of the temple.  C. x. 1.  M. Sacrifice, which was offered last of all, about sun-set.  Ex. xxix. 38.  The Jews commonly protract their fasts till the stars appear.  Leo, p. 3, art. 8.

 

Ver. 7.  At this day.  Notwithstanding the favourable decrees of Cyrus, &c. the greatest part of the people continued in captivity, being dispersed, some into Egypt, others into distant countries, beyond the Euphrates.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  As a.  Prot. “for a little space, grace hath been shewed from the Lord,” (H.) and yet we are again irritating Him!  C. A pin, or nail, here signifies a small settlement or holding; which Esdras begs for, to preserve even a part of the people, who, by their great iniquity, had incurred the anger of God.  Ch. Allusion is made to the pins which fasten down a tent, (Isai. xxxiii. 20. and liv. 2.) or hinder a ship from being carried from the shore, (Tigur.  M.) on which utensils are hung up, (Tournemine) referring to the magistrates, who were now of the same country.  T.  Isai. xxii. 21.  Delrio, adag. 218. Sept. “a support.”  Heb. yathed, denotes also a walking-stick, nail, &c.  M. Eyes, fill us with joy, in perfect security. Little life, free us from danger.  C. Esdras is afraid to ask for the impunity of all, but only begs that a small part may be spared, like a nail or post from a house, which may serve to rebuild it.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Fence.  Heb. gader, “the name which the Carthaginians” gave to Cadiz, “as it signifies a fence,” or an inclosure.  Pliny xxii.  C. Some Latin MSS. read spem, “hope.”  Lyran. The Tig. version understands the wall of Jerusalem, built in a hurry.  M. But this was not perfected, (H.) if begun, till the time of Nehemias.  2 Esd. i. 3.  C. God gave his protection to the people, (H.  Delrio, adag. 219.) by the king of Persia.  T.

 

Ver. 11.  Mouth, like a vessel brim-full.  M. Prot. “from one end ot the other.”  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Peace.  Alliance, (M.) or advantage.  See Ps. cxxi. 8.  Moses had thus proscribed the Moabites, &c. as he had done the people of Chanaan still more severely.  The Israelites were to execute God’s decrees.  Deut. xxiii. 6.  C. The obstinate idolaters were to be exterminated.

 

Ver. 13.  Saved us.  Prot. “hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve and hast given us such deliverance as this.”  Sept. “hast made our transgressions light,” (H.) not weighing them with rigid severity.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  That.  Heb. “should we again break, &c…Wouldst thou not be angry?” &c.

 

Ver. 15.  To be saved from our iniquities, which are still upon us.  H. We confess that, if we should be treated according to our deserts, we could expect no redress.  But we trust in thy mercies, which have hitherto supported and brought us back from slavery.  C.

 

 

1 ESDRAS 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  God, in the court of the people, before the eastern gate.

 

Ver. 2.  Sechenias.  3 Esd. calls him “Jechoias.”  See C. viii. 5.  The name of Sechenias is not found among the transgressors; (v. 20.) but that of Jehiel is, v. 26.  It seems, however, that the former returned with Esdras, and speaks in the name of the people, to encourage them to confess their guilt, (C.) unless his name be omitted.  M. Repentance.  Heb. “yet there is hope, (Prot.) or an assembly of Israel.”  Du Dieu.

 

Ver. 3.  Covenant.  The marrying with strange women seemed to have annulled the covenant of God. Of them.  The children were to follow the mothers, as in other unlawful connections.  Their being suffered to remain behind, might have had dangerous consequences.  C. The custom of divorcing was then in force, (T.) and the Jews looked upon all as null, which was done contrary to the law; (V. Bede.  E.  C.  Grot.) though here the law was only prohibitory.  Cajet.  T. As all was directed by the will of God, the dictates of humanity would not be disregarded (C.) on this trying occasion.  H. The children migth be placed in houses for education.  Cajet.  T.

 

Ver. 4.  Thy part.  The high priest not acting, (M.) Esdras was appointed chief, (H.) and his abilities were universally acknowledged.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Before.  3 Esd. “the court or hall of the temple.”  H. Eliasib.  His son and successor is styled Joiada.  2 Esd. xii. 10.  The same person had often many names, (C.) or Johanan might be a younger son.  M. Josephus (xi. 5.) says, that Esdras went to the apartments of John and Eliasib.  H. Esdras, though sent extraordinarily by God, repairs to the son of the priest, as S. Paul conferred with other apostles.  Gal. ii.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Away.  Heb. and Sept. “subjected to anathema,” (C.) and utterly destroyed; (H.) or, according to some editions of the Sept. and Josephus, “consecrated to the temple.”  Esdras exercised the power which had been entrusted to him.  C. vii. 16.

 

Ver. 9.  Ninth.  Casleu, (Zac. vii. 1.)  which corresponds with our November and December.  M. Street.  Court, which afforded as yet no shelter from the rain.  C. This would tend to punish them for their sin, and to make them more sensible to it.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Confession.  Sept. “give praise;” which is done by repentance and virtue.  M. Confess your faults, and submit to the justice of God.  Jos. vii. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Cities.  It is not clear whether the rulers went to the different cities, or the principal men of each gave information, and caused the guilty to appear before Esdras, at Jerusalem.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  So.  Cajetan improperly concludes, that the sentence was not put in execution; because Nehemias (C. xiii. 23.) complains of such marriages.  C. But the guilty might have resumed their women.  H. Went.  Heb. “were separated.”  H. By making a small change, we may translate, with 3 Esd. “and Esdras separated or chose the men.”  Josephus seems generally to have followed the Greek of 3 Esd.  The Syriac says there were 20 judges.

 

Ver. 19.  Hands.  Thus the Persians confirmed their most solemn engagements.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Israel.  Laymen, (C.) not of the tribe of Levi.  M.

 

Ver. 30.  Moab.  The inhabitants of this town, as well as of Nebo, (v. 43.) are specified.

 

Ver. 44.  Children.  Heb. may be, “and some of these women had exposed their children.”  But most follow the Sept. and Vulg.  3 Esd. ix. 36, “and they ejected them with their children.”  None was spared.  C. One great inconvenience of such connections is, that the offspring is illegitimate.  W. Only 17 priests, 10 Levites, and 86 laymen, are stigmatized as guilty of this scandal; yet these fill Israel with confusion, and Esdras with extreme affliction.  H.

 

 

2 ESDRAS

THE  BOOK OF NEHEMIAS;

commonly called THE SECOND BOOK OF ESDRAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

This Book takes its name from the writer, who was cup-bearer to Artaxerxes, (surnamed Longimanus) king of Persia, and was sent by him with a commission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  It is also called the Second Book of Esdras, because it is a continuation of the history begun by Esdras, of the state of the people of God after their return from captivity.  Ch. Genebrard believes that the latter wrote the work.  But how long must he thus have lived? and how come the lists to vary so much?  C. We may allow that these variations are owing to the mistakes of transcribers, (1 Esd. ii. 1.) for the writer of both works was certainly inspired.  Esdras lived a long time along with Nehemias; (C. xii. 35.) and he may have left memorials, as well as the latter, from which the present work seems to be compiled.  H. Some additions have been made since the days of Nehemias, articularly C. xii. to v. 26, or at least (C.) the five last of these verses.  Capel.  Chron. The passage cited from the commentaries of Nehemias, (2 Mac. ii. 13.) is not to be found here; which shews that we have not his entire work, but only an abridgment, in which the author has adopted his words, with some few alterations.  The fifth chapter seems to be out of its place, and also the dedication of the walls.  C. xii. 27.  Nehemias was a person in great favour at the court of Persia; and of high birth, probably of the royal family, (Euseb.  Isid.  Genebrard in Chron.) as most of the ancients believe that all who governed, till the time of the Asmoneans, were of the tribe of Juda.  Hence he styles Hanani his brother, (C. i. 2.) and declines entering into the temple.  C. vi. 11.  His name never occurs among the priests; and though we read 2 Mac. i. 18. 21, jussit sacerdos Nehemias, (T.) the Greek has, “Nehemias order the priests;” iereiV: (C.  Huet.  D.) and the title of priest sometimes is given to laymen at the head of affairs.  H. In this character Nehemias appeared, by order of Artaxerxes: and notwithstanding the obstructions of the enemies of Juda, rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, and returned after twelve years to court, making a second visit to his own country, a little before the death of the king, whom he probably survived only one year, dying A. 3580, about thirty years after he had been appointed governor.  C. In the two first chapters, we behold his solicitude for the welfare of his country, in the ten following his success, and in the last what abuses he corrected.  W. He renewed the covenant with God, (C. ix. and x.) sent for the sacred fire, and established a library at Jerusalem.  2 Mac. i. 19. 34. and ii. 13.  H.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Words, or transactions written by Nehemias.  M. Helcias, or Heb. and Sept. “Chelcias.” Casleu, the third of the civil year.  1 Esd. x. 9. Year of Artaxerxes, (C.) after he was associated with his father on the throne; (T.) or rather the death of Xerxes.  From this period the seventy weeks of Daniel are dated, (D.) or from the 23rd of Artaxerxes, and the 28th of Xerxes, (T.) as above three years must have been consumed in making preparations for the walls, &c.  Josephus xi. 5. The name of Nehemias, “comforter of God,” as well as his being sent by a king to build, &c. prefigured Jesus Christ, sent by God to comfort and establish his Church.  Ven. Bede.  W.  H. Susa.  Heb. “in Susa, the palace,” where the kings of Persia resided in the months of winter, (Athen. xii. 1.) and of spring.  Xenoph.  Cyr. viii.  Curt. v. 8. Here Darius probably kept his court at other times.  Est. i. 2.  C. Susa was situated on the river Coaspes, between the provinces of Babylon and Persia.  D.

 

Ver. 2.  Hanani, a relation, whom Nehemias brought back.  C. vii. 2. Came.  Some Latin copies add, “to me,” (Lyran) as if a deputation had been sent; but of this the text is silent.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Province of Judea, subject to the Persians, as it was afterwards to the Romans; though, at present, they were allowed to have governors of their own nation.  M. Reproach, on account of the surrounding enemies. H. Fire, recently; (M.  See 1 Esd. iv. 12. and xi. 9.) or rather by Nabuchodonosor; as the kings of Persia would not suffer the city to be fortified, for fear of a fresh rebellion.  Lyran.  T. We find that little progress (C. ii. and iv.  C.) had at least been made in the work, though the blame must rather be laid on the enemies of Israel, than on several of the kings of Persia, who seem to have authorized the undertaking, which Cambyses, or Smerdis, had for a time interrupted.  They only specify, indeed, that leave was granted to build the temple.  But they allowed them to erect houses for themselves, which could not have been done to any purpose, among so many enemies, unless they had been defended by some sort of fortifications.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Days; about four months, till Nisan.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  They.  Heb. and Sept. “we have sinned.”  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Vanity.  Heb. “we have been corrupted.”  Vat. “we have dealt very corruptly.”  Prot.  H. The author of the Vulg. has read e for é.  C. Sept. “we have been very dissolute, or weak.”

 

Ver. 9.  World.  Lit. “of heaven, or the sky,” (H.) which seems to the vulgar (C.) to rest upon the horizon.  T.  See Deut. xxx. 4.

 

Ver. 10.  Redeemed, or liberated from great evils.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Man; (virum) the great king, (H.) Artaxerxes.  C. Cup-bearer; Athersatha.  1 Esd. ii. 63. and 2 Esd. vii. 65.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Year.  It seems the Persians began the year with Tizri, since both Casleu (the third) and Nisan (the seventh month of the civil year) fall on the twentieth of the king. Wine.  These kings drunk only that of Syria.  Strabo xv. People of distinction were appointed cup-bearers; and even the children of kings did not esteem the office beneath them.  Herod. iii. 34.  Athen. x. 6.  Homer, &c.  C. I was.  Prot. “I had not been before-time sad in his presence.”  H. Heb. lit. “I was not evil.”  Sept. “an enemy, or stranger.”  Arab. “disagreeable.”  Syr. “sorrowful.”  Sept. also, “there was not another (ouk hn eteroV) present,” C. v. 6.  S. Jerom seems not to have read the negation.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Is not.  Heb. “nothing but sorrow of heart;” (Syr.  C.  Prot.) or rather, thou art meditating only treason.  Sept. “This is nothing but wickedness of heart,” (H.) which often shews itself on the countenance.  The king might suspect that he was giving him poison.  M. Hence Nehemias feared, (C.) dreading such suspicions, (H.) and aware lest the company might frustrate his good design, as contrary to the interests of the crown.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  Live; an usual salutation.  Dan. iii. 9. and v. 10.  So Ælian (var. i. 32.) says, “O king Artaxerxes, mayst thou reign for ever.” Father, v. 5.  He knew that the Persians shewed great regard to the dead, (C.  T.) whose bodies they sometimes cover with wax, and keep in their house, (Cic. Tusc. i.  Alex. Genial iii. 2.) or inter.  Herod. i. 140.

 

Ver. 4.  Heaven, a fervent ejaculation, in secret, (T.) to touch the king’s heart, (C.) and to enable me to speak in a proper manner.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  And, &c.  In private the queen might dine with her husband, but not in public.  Est. i.  C. Queen; probably Esther, if she were married to this king.  M. But this is uncertain.  H. Usher thinks it was Damaspia, mentioned by Ctesias.  C. Time, when I should return.  Some king eight or ten years, and returned into Judea towards the end of the reign of Artaxerxes.  C. xiii. 6.  C. He perhaps asked permission to visit Jerusalem for only a short period, at first, but his presence being deemed necessary, he was permitted to continue there as governor full twelve years.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Over; give me a guard, (H.) or accompany me to Jerusalem.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Forest.  Heb. pordes, “paradise,” or garden planted with trees.  Pliny (v. 23.) mentions a “paradise,” in Cœlosyria.  Grot. But Nehemias might petition to be supplied with cedars from Libanus, (T.) as they had been given for the temple.  1 Esd. iii. 7.  H. Tower.  Heb. bira, means also “a palace or temple.”  It may designate the porch of the temple, which was 120 cubits high; (2 Par. iii. 4.  C.) though that had been lately repaired by Esdras.  M. Others think the doors of the courts are meant, as they were as strong as those of towers.  Vatab. They were not yet finished.  C. x. 9.  Many believe that (C.) Nehemias speaks of the royal palace, which had been almost contiguous to the temple, (M.) where he intended to build one for himself, while he should reside in the city.  T. But this might give umbrage to the king.  C. He could not, however, intend his favourite to remain without a suitable palace; and the latter seems to have designed not only to repair that which Solomon had founded, but also to erect another house for the governor.  H. Good hand; favour, (M.) and powerful aid.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Horonite, a native, not (C.) a petty king (Grot.) of Horonaim, in the country of Moab.  Jer. xlviii. 3.  He must have been very old, if he lived till the temple was built at Garizim: (Josephus and Scaliger) but Petau supposes that there were two of the name. Servant; an officer appointed over the Samaritans, as well as Sanaballat.  The Persian monarchs styled all their subjects servants or slaves.  C. Grieved.  Thus unbelievers repine when any one endeavours to propagate the truth, (H.) or to establish the Church.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Any man, at Jerusalem, (v. 16.) though he had informed the king, v. 8.  H. No beast; that none might be alarmed.

 

Ver. 13.  Valley of Cedron, on the east, (C.) or west, near Calvary.  M.  T. Dragon.  Heb. Tannin, or “great fish,” which might be kept there, unless the fountain was famous for the appearance of some dragon, or the water proceeded from the mouth of a brazen one.  Sept. have read thanim, “figs.”  The fountain of Siloc might have many names.  C. Viewed.  Sept. “I walked upon the wall of Jerusalem, which these men are demolishing or clearing away,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Aqueduct, or reservoir, made by Ezechias.  2 Par. xxxii. 30.

 

Ver. 15.  Torrent of Cedron, having gone round the city.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Magistrates.  Sept. “guards.”  Seganim denotes various officers.  C. Work, or to any workmen.  H. None were now employed.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  Hand.  God had manifested his goodness and power, at the court of Persia.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Arabian governor.  He afterwards accuses Nehemias.  C. vi. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Answered.  Sept. “returned them an account (logon) …we are his pure servants, and we will build.”  H. Part, or business.  1 Esd. iv. 4. Justice, or right to the city.  C. You may mind your own affairs.  T. Remembrance.  It was esteemed a high honour to be a citizen of Jerusalem.  Ps. lxxxvi. 5.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Priest, the third since the captivity, son (C.) or brother of Joachim.  Lyran. Flock-gate, near which was probably the miraculous pool.  John v. 2.  But the situation of these gates is not ascertained. Sanctified it, beginning the work (C.) with some religious ceremonies.  Junius. It was designed to protect God’s temple; and therefore, when finished, they dedicated it (W). with solemnity, as they did all the walls.  C. xii. 27.  The like custom is observed on laying the foundation-stone of our temples.  H.  Sanctified may also mean, cleared away the rubbish.  Vatab.  T. Hundred.  Heb. Mea. Cubits is not in the original, Sept. or Syriac, (C.) though it seems to be understood.  The ancient Jerusalem had twelve principal gates, four east, north, and west.  There were none on the south, where Mount Sion lay.  T. The priests and others undertook this work, considering their eternal as well as their temporal inheritance.  D.

 

Ver. 6.  Old gate, or of the judges, who there assembled.  Lyran.

 

Ver. 7.  For the.  Heb. “for (C.  or) unto the throne of the governor on this side of the river.”  Prot.  H. These people worked near the palace, which had been built for the Persian governor, who came to administer justice, till the time of Esdras.  C. v. 15. and 1 Esd. vii. 25.  Perhaps the governor of Syria had (H.) assisted the Jews, unless Nehemias himself be meant.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Goldsmith and perfumer, are plural in Heb. Left, 400 cubits, (T.) as the wall was not demolished, (M.) having been repaired by Ozias just before the coming of the Chaldees.  2 Par. xxvi. 9.  T. Heb. “they pushed forward, (repaired, C. or) paved, (Du Dieu) or fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.”  Prot. The Sept. copies vary: some read, they placed, (restored) eqhka.  Complut.  But the Rom. edition has, “they left.”  D.

 

Ver. 9.  Street.  Prot. “of the half part,” (H.) belonging to Benjamin.  Sellum was the inspector of that part which fell to the share of Juda, v. 12.  C. iv. 19.  Grotius. Jerusalem, like all great cities, was divided into parts.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  House.  Thus he would be induced to do the work more perfectly.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Built.  Heb. “repaired the other piece,” or the part of the wall which corresponded with half a division, as in the following v. 12. 15. 24. &c.

 

Ver. 12.  Alohes, “the enchanter,” (C.) as he could perhaps enchant serpents.  Grot. Daughters, who forwarded the work, as they had no brothers.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  Bethacharam, in the tribe of Benjamin.  Jer. vi. 1.

 

Ver. 15.  King’s garden.  This fountain is mentioned, Isai. viii. 6.  Jo. ix. 7. Steps.  The place was steep.  C. xii. 36.

 

Ver. 16.  Labour, by Ezechias, for a reservoir.  2 Par. xxxii. 4. Mighty men of David, (1 Par. xi. 10.) or the king’s guards, (C.) or the garrison.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Ceila, in the tribe of Juda.  He inspected the workmen from this place.

 

Ver. 19.  Strong corner, noted for some fortress, tower, (C.) or arsenal.  Vatab.  D. Sept. “the ascent connecting the corner.”  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Mount Sion.  M. Heb. and Sept. “earnestly repaired;” (H.) being indignant at the negligence of his neighbour, or undertaking his work with zeal.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Plains.  Sept. “from Chechar,” retaining the original term cucar, which means “a plain.”  It lay in the environs of Jerusalem.  C. xii. 28. Of the Jordan, is not in Heb. &c.  C. They might be natives of that place.  Sa.  Vat.  M.

 

Ver. 26.  Ophel. A very strong tower.  See 2 Par. xxvii. 3. and xxxiii. 14. East of the great court of the temple, from which it was not remote, as Esdras here harangued the people.  C. xii. 36. and 3 Esd. viii. 1.  Out of the gate was a pond of water, (C.) for the service of the temple.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  Horse-gate, by which the king’s horses were led to water, at the torrent Cedron.  It was near the temple and palace.  4 K. xi. 16.  C. Some Rabbins assert that people were obliged to alight here, and to go on foot to the temple.  Lyran.

 

Ver. 29-30.  After him, Semaia; as the Sept. &c. intimate; and not (C.) “after me,” as if Nehemias spoke of himself, as some Heb. copies require.  Jun.  Grotius. Treasury, or “room.”  Pagnin. Judgment.  Sept. “Maphekad.”  Heb. mopkod.  Prot. “miphkad,” (H.) may signify “command, review,” &c.  We can only guess at the reason of this appellation.  C. Perhaps the cause of the Nathinites were here decided, (M.) as well as those of others.  It seems to be the same with the watch-gate, (C. xii. 38.) and led not out of the city, but into the street of the Nathinites.  T.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 2.  Multitude.  Heb. and Sept. “army.”  C. Silly.  Lit. “feeble.”  H. Sacrifice, at the dedication.  T. Day, in so short a time, as their present vigorous proceedings seem to promise, notwithstanding their feeble condition, and the paucity of their numbers.  H. But no: we shall have time enough to hinder them, (M.) if the nature of their materials do it not for us.  H. Raise.  Heb. “revive;” a word used for  reparations of walls, &c.  C.  Delrio, adag. 221. Sept. “heal.”  God’s providence did not permit the enemy to rage, till the work was greatly advanced; so infidels laugh at the attempts of your priests to restore religion, which nevertheless flourishes.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Leap over.  Heb. Sept. &c. “break down.”  C. Bitter sarcasm, which excites the indignation of Nehemias!  T.

 

Ver. 4.  Captivity.  Since they have not learnt to commiserate others.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Face.  Punish the obstinate.  T. He does not wish that they may continue impenitent.  C. But, on that supposition, he approves of the divine justice, and foretells what will happen.  E. Revenge was equally criminal under the old law, as it is at present.  But the servants of God express their approbation (C.) of his inscrutable counsels.  The imperative in Heb. is often used for the future tense.  H. Mocked.  Prot. “provoked thee…before the builders.”  Sept. omit most of this and the following verses; having only, “Do not hide thyself, with respect to wickedness.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Thereof, all round; as masons were stationed in different parts, (v. 19.) and not barely on one side of the city.  C. Tobias alludes to the present lowness of the walls, v. 3.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Together, to the number of 180,000, according to the Jews; who say that they were terrified, at the excommunication pronounced by 300 priests against them, while 300 young men sounded trumpets; and they fled, leaving Nehemias at liberty to continue the work.  It is a pity that we have no foundation for this in Scripture.  C.  See 1 Esd. iv. 3.  H. The Samaritans durst not openly attack the Jews, who were under the protection of the Persian monarch.  But they endeavoured clandestinely to injure them, (T.) and to prepare ambushes.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Juda.  Some of the Jews, (M.) who were dispirited at the greatness of the work and the threats of the enemy. Burdens.  Sept. “of the enemies.”  Arab. “the Jews were strengthened, there were many porters, but they could not finish the work.” C. Rubbish to be removed.  T.

 

Ver. 12.  Ten times, frequently.  M. Places, among the Cuthites. Whence they.  Prot. “ye return unto us, they will be upon you.”  Heb. the second person is put for the third, which occurs in the Sept. &c. though they refer it to the enemy.  “They come up from all places against us.”  H. De Dieu would translate, “return to us,” cultivate the friendship of Sanaballat; or “return home,” and leave off this work.  The sense of the Vulg. is the most easy, and the best.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Place.  Heb. adds, “below.” Round.  Heb. “on the hills.”  H. To remove the apparent contradiction, (C.) Prot. supply, “and on the higher places.”  Sept. “in lurking holes,” skepeinoiV.

 

Ver. 14.  Remember.  These are the most powerful arguments to encourage an army.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Their.  Heb. “my servants,” (M.) half of whom only wrought, while the rest stood guard.  If we adhere to the Vulg. we must suppose that Nehemias altered his first plan, and ordered almost all to be ready to fight or to labour, as occasion might require, v. 17.  C. In.  “Over, (H.) or behind all the family of Juda,” (Vatab.) encouraging the people by word, and sometimes by example.  T.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Sword.  Heb. “dart.”  C. The expression seems to be proverbial.  So Ovid makes Canacea speak, “My right hand holds the pen, my left the sword;” (H.) while I write, I am on the point of killing myself.  C.

Dextra tenet calamum, strictum tenet altera ferrum.  Ep. Her.

 

Ver. 18.  By me, when the enemy appeared.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  For us.  Yet we must act with prudence and courage.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Midst.  Before they had gone home.  C. Let us.  Prot. “that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.”  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Clothes, even to sleep. Only.  Sept. Compl. “man and his arms to the water.”  H. They went armed to fetch water; (Malvenda) or they had their armour and water always at hand.  Junius, &c. Heb. “each kept his dart at the water.”  It may have various senses.  C. Prot. agree with the Vulg. “saving that every one put them off for washing” (H.) them, or themselves.  T.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Cry.  V. Bede (iii. 21.) complains of some pastors who neglect the flock, but exacted revenues.  May not the same complaint still be made?  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Very.  Syr. “and our brethren are too numerous” to find meat. For, &c.  Heb. Sept. &c. “by force.”  Abenezra, &c. Yet most people explain it in the sense of the Vulg.  It was permitted to sell children in extreme distress, Ex. xxi. 7.  Grot.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Let us.  Prot. “We have mortgaged.” Famine, or “hunger.”  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Let us.  Sept. Mont. “We have borrowed” on usury, contrary to Ex. xxii. 25.  The Jews were still obliged to pay tribute.

 

Ver. 5.  Brethren, who are still in captivity, or we are of the same nature as the rich, (C.) who so cruelly oppress us.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Against them, as a private rebuke would not suffice.  T.

 

Ver. 8.  Redeemed, by paying the ransom to the Babylonians, or by using all our endeavours to procure the releasement of our brethren.  C. For us.  Prot. “or shall they be sold unto us?”  H. A true pastor practises what he preaches to others.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  For them, to the Persian governors, v. 14.  H. Nehemias remits this pension, which was before paid by the people, and exacted by the rich.  Wolphius. Du Moulin asserts that there is no question of usury, which the Jews always abhorred, much less of that which the Romans called the 100th, (C.) consisting in the payment of 12 per cent, (T.) or one every month.  M. Heb. “Give back to them, ” (H.) that they may enjoy those things.

 

Ver. 12.  Oath of them.  Priests, in private, (M.) who were not innocent; (T.) or these were witnesses of the oath taken by the rich.  Piscator.

 

Ver. 13.  Lap, or skirt of my robes.  T. Such figurative actions were very common.  Thus a Roman ambassador at Carthage, folding up his garment, said he brought peace or war.  Livy xxi. 18.  C. Said.  Behold how easily was that effected at Jerusalem, which the Romans could never perfectly bring about, after the most violent riots!  T.

 

Ver. 14.  Not eat, out of pity for the poor.  M. He was supported by the king, (C.) or by his own patrimony.  H.  v. 11.

 

Ver. 16.  Wall, pleading no exemption, but making my servants work.  C. Though no particular portion was assigned to him, he helped all.  T. No land, as I might have done, on advantageous terms.  H. Rare example of disinterestedness!  He praises himself without vanity, only to induce others to follow the same course.  So Moses, David, S. Paul, and others acted.  Num. xii. 3. &c.

 

Ver. 17.  Men, my brethren, not (C.) Persians.  Grot. Them; ambassadors.  M. If Nehemias behaved with such generosity for twelve years, he must have been very rich; or he received a great pension from the king, or voluntary and abundant contributions from the rich.

 

Ver. 18.  Wines.  This was only produced, in abundance, on extraordinary occasions; for the people of the East do not drink wine at every feast.  Eccli. xxxi. 17.  C. Yearly.  Sept. “Moreover, loaves of extortion I did not seek, because a hard servitude lay upon this people.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Good.  A good conscience confidently hopeth for a reward.  W.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 2.  Make.  Prot. “meet together.”  H. When the adversaries of faith find themselves unable to suppress it, they offer peace: so when Protestants began, and where they are still weak, they would have none persecuted for any opinions in religious matters; “but where they are strong they hardly grant toleration to Catholics.”  W. This has been no where more observable than in these islands, where the spirit of persecution has not yet subsided, though banished from most other countries.  See Dr. Milner’s 4th let. to a Preb.  Debates in Parl. 1810, &c.  H. Villages.  Most of the Lat. editions, before Sixtus V. read, in vitulis in campo uno, (C.) “with sacrifices of calves in some one field.”  H. Perhaps Cephirim, (T.) or copirim, “villages,” (H.) may be the name of a place in the plain of Ono, (T.) which is styled the valley of craftsmen, (C. xi. 35.  C.) in the tribe of Benjamin, near the Jordan.  Adrichomius. Mischief, by taking or killing.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  You.  This was one, (H.) though not the principal reason which hindered him.  It is often adviseable not to seem to suspect any evil.

 

Ver. 5-6.  Letter.  Heb. Sept. and Arab. add, “open:” but this word is not in Syriac.  The letter might be an order to appear, or might be left open to signify that the bearer was a man of confidence, from whom Nehemias might receive any farther information; unless it was sent in this manner out of contempt. Gossem, the Arabian governor.  C. ii. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Prophets.  This was false; though, no doubt, the true prophets who lived at that time, would promote the laudable undertakings of Nehemias.  H. To counteract their influence, the enemies hired Semaia and Noadias, v. 10 and 14. Together, that thou mayst clear thyself; (Vatab.) or that we may repress these rumors, lest the king should suspect us of any connivance.  The first sense appears to be preferable.  Nehemias did not take the information as a piece of civility.  C. The enemies left it ambiguous, whether they would not join their forces with his, in case he meant to revolt.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  I.  Heb. “Now, O Lord, strengthen my hands; (Jun. &c.) or, “now strengthening my hands, (C.) I went,” &c.  Sept. &c. agree with the Vulg.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Went, being invited.  T. Semaia, of the twenty-third course of priests.  1 Par. xxiv. 18.  M. Privately.  Heb. “who was shut up,” like a recluse, (H.) to deceive the people, by the appearance of superior sanctity, and by an imitation of the true prophets.  C. Some translate hatsur, “bound by vow,” (1 K. xxi. 7.) to protect the governor; (Malvenda) but this seems too far-fetched.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Should.  Lit. “Does one like me retire from his post?  And who like me shall enter the temple and live?”  H. It is unlawful for a layman to flee into the part of the temple assigned to the priests.  Yet into this he had been invited, as the court of Israel was not perhaps yet secured.  Those who suppose that Nehemias was a priest, say (C.) that he refused to flee, lest he should intimidate the people by his cowardly departure.  T.  M. Semaia might also have a design upon his life, when they should be alone.

 

Ver. 12.  Understood, by the nature of the suggestion, and the manner in which he heard the refusal.  Aggeus, or some of the true prophets, might also inform him, (C.) or a supernatural light irradiated his mind, unless human sagacity sufficed.  T.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Sin, by taking any false step, so as to offend the people.

 

Ver. 14.  Prophet.  Heb. “the prophetess.”  C. Prot. “My God, think thou upon Tobiah,…and on the prophetess Noadiah.”

 

Ver. 15.  Elul, the last of the civil year, corresponding with our August and September, when the walls were dedicated.  C. xii. 27. Days.  Josephus (xi. 5.) says, “two years and three (Greek four) months” (H.) had been spent in perfecting the work.  Cajet. Others date from the reception of the letter, v. 5.  Vatab. But the work only lasted the time here specified, as the materials were at hand, and some of the walls were standing, while the rocks defended other parts; and the city was not then so large as it was afterwards.  C. The whole people wrought almost day and night, and Nehemias encouraged them with all his power.  T. Thus Alexander the Great built the walls of New Alexandria, on the Tanais, 60 stadia, or near 6000 paces (C.) long, in less than twenty days; (T.) and Cæsar perfected other works, before Alise, &c. with equal expedition.  Bel. Gal. i. and vii. The Romans, at the last siege of Jerusalem, surrounded the city with a wall 5000 paces long, and with thirteen towers, in three days.  Jos. Bel. vi. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Mosollam, one of the builders.  C. iii. 4.  M. These two powerful men had consequently acted contrary to the laws of God, and the covenant of Esdras, with respect to marriages.  They might fear the resentment of the zealous governor.  Dangers from false brethren, (2 Cor. xi. 26.) wars without, and fears within, generally assail the servants of God.  H.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 2.  House: “the citadel;” (Tigurin) “palace.”  Vatab. The Sept. retain the original, Beria, (H.) which signifies a palace, (Pagnin) concerning which Nehemias had spoken.  C. ii. 8.  M. But as it was not yet built, the house, being placed alone, more properly signifies the temple.  We read of Zacharias and Jehiel, who occupied the same post (C.) as Hananias.  2 Par. xxxv. 8.  H. He was next to Eliasib, the high priest.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Sun.  Lit. “the heat of the sun,” or perfect daylight.  H. They.  Syr. and Arab. “while it was still day,” (C.) or the sun shone.  Before dusk the gates were shut, to prevent any improper person from entering.  H. House, on the walls.  C. These things protect a city; as grace a guard over the senses, and watchfulness do the soul.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Not built, sufficient for so great a multitude.  C. They lodged under tents, or in huts.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Heart, inspired me to provide inhabitants for the city, as was afterwards done by lot.  C. xi.  T. Written.  Hence it seems evident that Nehemias here only transcribes this ancient record, of those who came under Zorobabel, and consequently this chapter sought to agree with 1 Esd. ii. as well as with 3 Esd. v. 9, (H.) which is now strangely corrupted; so that it can throw no light upon the matter.  C. Some think that various catalogues were taken, at Babylon, at the first coming to Jerusalem, (M.) and at the dedication of the temple; (T.) and that Nehemias refer to a different one from that of Esdras.  Sa.  Lucas.  T. Others suppose that changes were introduced, as the families were increased or diminished, in the time of Nehemias; (T.) who, therefore, judged it necessary to write a fresh catalogue, but only adjusted the old one to the present circumstances, including probably the names of those who had returned with Esdras, or with himself.  C. This seems contrary to the text, a book of, &c. and it would perhaps be as well to allow that the variations arise from transcribers, as all allow that many of the names and numbers are corrupted.  H. The similarity of Hebrew letters for different numbers might easily occasion this; as we cannot suppose but Esdras would be able to give the total of sixty particular sums.  Watson, let. 5.

 

Ver. 33.  Other Nebo.  We find no first mentioned; but in the ancient Latin edition, Nebo occurred instead of Geba, v. 30.  See 1 Esd. ii. 29.  Sept. and Arab. omit, “the other.”  This Nebo may be Nob, or Nobe, in the tribe of Benjamin.  C.

 

Ver. 43.  The sons; or, “who were the sons (filiorum) of Oduia.”  H.

 

Ver. 65.  Athersatha; Nehemias, (C.) as he is called in Chaldee.  1 Esd. ii. 63.  M.

 

Ver. 68.  Their.  Heb. Rom. Sept. Syr. and Arab. omit this verse; but it is found in the Alex. Sept. and even in the Rab. Bible, printed at Venice, 1564, as well as in the 1st and 3rd Esdras, (C.) and it is inserted by Protestants.  H.

 

Ver. 69.  Hitherto.  This is not in the original, or in the other versions.  It is inserted in the margin of some Lat. MSS. and entirely omitted in others of great authority.  The gloss might have been placed after v. 64.  C. Yet some of the following verses seem also to be copied from 1 Esdras.  H. S. Jerom informs us from what sources the work was compiled, which is all declared canonical by the Church, (W.) whether written by Esdras or by Nehemias.  H.

 

Ver. 70.  Athersatha; that is, Nehemias, as appears from C. viii. 9.  Either that he was so called at the court of the king of Persia, where he was cup-bearer, or that, as some think, this name signifies governor; and he was at that time governor of Judea.  Ch. Rom. Sept. insinuates that the princes gave these things “to Nehemias.”  C. Alex. Sept. “They gave for the work, unto Athersatha.” Prot. “The Tirshatha gave,” &c.  H. Thersa means, “he fed,” and satha, “he caused to drink.”  T. The A, at the beginning, is only the article.  H.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Were in, or had been at home, (H.) after the dedication of the walls, (C.) till they assembled (H.) at the beginning of the civil year, on the feast of trumpets, which was a day of rejoicing, (v. 9.  Num. xxix. 1.) the festival of the new moon.  Riberia.  M. Gate, near the temple.  C. iii. 26.  C. Moses; the pentateuch.  M. He is not desired to restore what was lost.  T. As many copies had been preserved by the prophets, which Esdras revised.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Women, who were in a separate place. Understand, being come to the use of reason.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  In plainly.  Prot. “therein, before the street.”  H. Esdras probably read select pieces from Leviticus, &c. but principally from Deuteronomy.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Step.  Heb. “wooden tower.”  C. Prot. “pulpit,” (H.) made in the form of a cup,” (C.) like the cior, or tribune of Solomon.  2 Par. vi. 13. Mosollam.  We should imagine that this was not the person who had given his daughter in marriage to the son of Tobias.  C. vi. 18.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Stood, out of respect, as we do while the gospel is read.  See Num. xxiii. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Understood, by those who were near enough, and were skilled in Heb. (H.) though many began to forget that language; (C. xiii. 24.) and for their benefit, an explanation was given in Chaldee, (v. 9.; Calmet) or Syriac, the vulgar tongue after the captivity.  Pure Hebrew was still retained in the public liturgy.  T. Thus the Catholic Church retains the use of the language first use in the conversion of the respective people, whether Greek, Latin, &c. while she takes care to explain to the people what is necessary, in their own language.  Any change might be attended with more serious inconveniences than benefit.  Our Saviour never blamed this practice, which subsisted among the Jews in his time, no more than that which obliged the people to keep without, while the priest offered incense, &c. Luke i. 10. 21. And plainly.  Prot. “and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading,” as much as they were able, though many would, no doubt, still find difficulties, as we at present.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Interpreted.  S. Jerom renders the same term, made silence, (v. 7.) as it was the office of the Levites to keep the people in awe, v. 11.  C. Prot. “taught.”  They had also (H.) to instruct.  1 Esd. viii. 16.  M. Weep.  The Jews had only one feast for mourning, the day of expiation.  On all the rest, a holy joy was commended.  For the same reason, the Church does not fast on such days.  C. Law, reflecting on the threats denounced against transgressors, which they had so lately witnessed.  T.

 

Ver. 10.  Wine.  Heb. and Sept. “things.”  Syr. and Arab. have simply, “drink.” Portions.  The Greeks styled them, merideV; and the Latins, sportulæ.  The custom prevailed not only among the Jews, (Est. ix. 19.) but also among Christians and pagans.  Moses frequently exhorts the people to invite the poor; (Deut. xvi. 14.) and S. Paul blames the rich Corinthians, for giving no part of their feast to them.  1 Cor. xi. 21. Strength.  By this holy joy, we shall be encouraged to perform all our duties.  C. Sept. “Be not downcast, because he (the Lord) is our strength.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Law, concerning some difficulties, particularly the manner of keeping the ensuing festival.  T. Thus Christ explained to his disciples what he had spoken to the people.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  And that.  This is not expressed in the law, though it was probably practised.  C. Some translate, “And they proclaimed,” &c.  Vatable. Beautiful.  Lit. “very or most beautiful.”  H. Heb. “of oily wood.”  Sept. “cypress.”  Syr. “nut-tree.”  Others understand the pine, (Pagnin) balm, (Mariana) citron, (H.) or any other species of branches, which might then be used.  C.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  House, which was flat.  H. The tents might be erected in any place; in the open air.  T.

 

Ver. 17.  Done so, with such alacrity, though they had displayed more magnificence.  See the meaning of similar expressions, 4 K. xxiii. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Assembly.  Lit. “the collect.”  H. Heb. “the day of retention;” the people being kept at the temple.  C. Sept. “the dismission;” as they were afterwards permitted to depart.  H. See Lev. xxiii. 26. It was probably on this occasion, that the sacred fire was found again; (2 Mac. i. 18.  C.) and also the ark, the tabernacle, and the altar of incense, which had been hidden by Jeremias.  2 Mac. ii. 4.  Torniel, A. 3610.  Cano, &c. But this is not so certain.  H.  C. Diss.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Month; Tizri, the day after they had sent away those women, (C.) whose company now covered them with confusion.  H. They were moved to compunction, by the hearing of the law, read by Esdras.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Stranger; idolatrous women.  H. True repentance requires the works of mortification, and particularly the removal of all occasions of sin and disorderly pleasures.  W. The reformation had been commenced under Esdras, but some had relapsed.  1 Esd. x. 3.  C. The true born Israelites would have no society with the sons of infidels.  T. Fathers, that they might not be punished for them.  Ex. xx. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Stand, to hear the law, out of reverence; (M.) or the Levites ascended the pulpit to read, four times in the day.  T. After each lecture psalms were sung, (C.) to praise God, and to declare the sins of the people, and their sincere repentance.  H. On days of mourning, the Jews assembled four times to pray, and thrice on other days, by the institution of Esdras.  Maimonides.  See Acts iii. 1. On their fasts, they refrained from all meat, as well as from work, spending their time in prayer.  They began at the first hour, and continued their exercises of devotion till the third, when they recommenced for other three hours.  They did the like at the sixth and ninth hours; hearing the law, then prostrating themselves to confess their sins.  Afterwards they rose to join with the Levites in praising the Lord.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Step, erected by Esdras.  C. viii. 4. Josue, &c.  These Levites are mentioned again, (v. 5.) with some variation.  Bani is called Bonni; Sebania, is Hasebnia.  C. Perhaps some of them might be different, as there seems to be no reason for thus changing their names so soon.  There are eight persons in both places.  Sept. have, “Jesus and the sons (Bani) of Kadmiel, Sachania, son of Sarabaia, the sons of Chanani, &c.; (5.) and the Levites, Jesus and Kadmiel said, Arise, &c. (6.) and Esdras said, Thou,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  To eternity.  Existing.  Sa. Bless him continually.  M. Let one generation after another praise his holy name.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Of heavens.  The highest, (C.) and most glorious (H.) residence of the Eternal. Host.  Stars (C.) and angels, (M.) which are like his guards. Life, or being.  If the Levites had adopted the sentiments of the Persians, that the stars were animated, this does not prove the truth of that opinion, which has nevertheless been maintained by many.  Gen. i. 18.  C. The expression is used for preserving, (Ps. xl. 3.  M.) re-establishing, &c.  C. iv. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  The fire of the Chaldees.  The city of Ur, in Chaldea, the name of which signifies fire.  Or out of the fire of tribulations and temptations, to which he was there exposed.  The ancient Rabbins understood this literally, affirming that Abraham was cast into the fire by the idolaters, and brought out by a miracle without any hurt.  Ch. The Chaldees adored fire, (S. Jer. q. Heb. in Gen. xi. 31.) and the Persians probably imitated them.  Strabo xv. The emperor Heraclius destroyed their Pyreia.  Suidas. S. Jerom translates Ur of the Chaldees, in all other places.  Amama. Sept. “the country of,” &c.  C. It is supposed that he sacred fire preserved in this city, gave name to it, (Ur, “fire,”) as Heliopolis was so called, from the particular worship of “the sun.”  H. Abraham, to imply some mystery.  Gen. xvii.  W. See Isai. xliii. 27.

 

Ver. 10.  A name, Glorious, (M.) and to be feared by all.  Ex. xiv.

 

Ver. 14.  Sabbath.  Which it seems had not been observed by them before, (Ex. xvi. 23.  C.) at least not with such exactitude.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Hand.  Promising with an oath, (Gen. xiv. 22.  M. and xxii. 16.  C.) or displaying thy power.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Their head. Or appointed a leader instead of Moses, (Num. xiv. 4.  M.) or an idol.  Ex. xxxii. 1.  Sept. “they gave a beginning, or a chief to return.”  Syr. “their heart returned to their crimes.”  C. Prot. “and tin their rebellion appointed a captain to,” &c.  They turned their back upon the promised land, and set their faces to return into Egypt.  H. Sinners are not deprived of free-will.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Blasphemies.  By attributing the perfections of God to a senseless idol.  Prot. follow the Sept. “provocations.”  Neatsoth (H.) properly implies words of an insulting nature.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Spirit.  The conducting angel.  M. God enlightened and moved the hearts of the people, by his grace; which he gave in abundance to Moses.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Worn.  So as to be sore, (H.) or without shoes.  M.  See Deut. viii. 4.  C. Prot. “their feet swelled not.”

 

Ver. 22.  Lots.  Heb. “them (the Chanaanites, or as it is more commonly understood, the Israelites,) into corners.”  C. Sept. “by lot they possessed,” &c.  H. Sehon was king of Hesebon.  Num. xxi. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Land.  From which most of their fathers were excluded by death.

 

Ver. 25.  Goodness.  Prosperity was their ruin, (H.) as Moses had foretold.  Deut. xxxii. 15.  C. “Empire is easily retained by the same arts by which it was procured: but when idleness takes the place of industry, when lust and pride banish continence and equity, fortune is changed with manners.”  Sallust, Grot.

 

Ver. 26.  Earnestly.  Lit. “called to witness” (H.) themselves, (Jos. xxiv. 21.) or heaven and earth.  Deut. iv. 26. and xxx. 19.  C. Blasphemies.  See v. 18.  M.

 

Ver. 27.  Saviours.  Josue, (C.) and more particularly the judges, (M.) David, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Rest from their enemies.  H. The interval between their relapses was very short.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Shoulder.  Slipping from under the burden of the law.  H. It seems this and the following verses chiefly regard the ten tribes, which proudly rebelled against Juda, (C.) and against the Lord.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Years, 254; during which time God had not ceased to recall his people to a sense of their duty, but all in vain.

 

Ver. 32.  Labour.  Receive it in satisfaction.  C. Heb. “let not all the trouble seem little before thee;” as if it were not enough to appease thy anger, when borne with proper dispositions and faith.  H. Assur.  Theglathphalassar, who led some of the tribes into captivity, as Salmanasar did the rest.  During this period, the whole nation was involved in misery, (C.) from which they had not been liberated even when the author wrote, v. 36.  H.  1 Par. v. 26.  M.

 

Ver. 33.  Truth, fulfilled thy promises.  We have broken the covenant.

 

Ver. 36.  In it.  Tributary to Persia.  C. v. 4. and 1 Esd. vii. 24. and ix. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 37.  Tribulation.  As we cannot enjoy the fruits, being so heavily taxed, and obliged to work in person for the king of a foreign country.  C.

 

Ver. 38.  Because. Or “considering all these things,” as chastisements due to our transgressions, we are resolved now to reform our conduct, (H.) and to comply more exactly with the covenant, which we will now solemnly renew.  A copy was probably deposited in the temple, signed by the princes, (C.) in the name of all.  H. Malachy (i. 4.) seems to allude to this covenant.  C.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Athersatha.  Heb. hatirshatha.  Prot. “the tirshatha,” cup-bearer, or governor, highly (H.) “privileged” and honoured by Artaxerxes.  W. Heb. “And over those who were sealed, (C.  Sept. or who sealed the deed.  H.) Nehemias, the cup-bearer.”  Esdras, Eliasib, &c. were also princes.  C. It is not easy to account for the omission of their names.  M. They may be designated by different titles.  An aristocracy, mixed with oligarchy, was the present form of government.  The advice of the ancients, and of the people, was taken.  C. Hachelai, is less properly styled Helchias; (C. i. 1.) where the Sept. read Chelchias, or Achalia, (Heb. chacala) as well as here.

 

Ver. 8.  Priests.  All, at least after Nehemias.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Pharos.  Many of these are mentioned as returning from Babylon.  C. vii. 8. 11. &c.

 

Ver. 28.  Lands.  Idolaters, (H.) namely, the proselytes.  M. Daughters.  These did not all subscribe in person, but by the hands of the intelligent, and chief men, (v. 29.) or, (C.) as the Sept. seem to understand, these went through the different ranks of the people, and received their oaths.  E.  M.

 

Ver. 29.  Understand.  Heb. mebin, “the teachers,” or Levites.  1 Esd. viii. 16.  M. Promising.  Heb. “clave to their brethren;” and they promised with a curse to transgressors, and with an oath to walk, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  And.  In all covenants, the articles which have been chiefly broken, are specified.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  Holy day.  The contrary practice is therefore sinful.  H. Year.  Not cultivating the land.  Lev. xxv. 4. Hand.  No debts were to be demanded.  Deut. xv. 1.  M.

 

Ver. 32.  Third part.  About 9d. (H.)  on account of the poverty of the people.  C. They afterwards paid half a sicle, or 1s. 2d. conformably to the law.  Ex. xxx. 13.  Mat. xvii. 23.  H. Before the captivity, the kings of Juda provided sacrifices, (2 Par. xxxi. 3.) and after, the Persian monarchs supplied what was requisite,  in favour of Zorababel and Esdras.  C. vi. 8. and vii. 21.  But these grants had been recalled, or were not well executed.

 

Ver. 34.  Wood.  The Nathinites had performed this office till the captivity.  But not their numbers were too small.  C. The people therefore brought the wood.  The Levites, with the Nathinites, carried it into the temple, and the priests laid it upon the altars; all being regulated by lots.  Lyran. Hence the feast called Xylophoria, was instituted about the month of August, as we may gather from Josephus.  The Rabbins say that the priests cut the wood, from March till the 15th of July.

 

Ver. 35.  Every tree, of seven species; the pear, apple, fig, apricot, olive, palm, and vine trees; besides wheat, legumes, &c.  C. For three years the fruit was deemed unclean.  Lev. xix. 23.  M.

 

Ver. 37.  Meats.  Heb. “paste.”  Num. xv. 20.  C.  and xxiii. 17. Ground, or the produce.  M.

 

Ver. 38.  With.  To observe that all is done according to the law.  Num. xviii. 26.  C.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Lots.  Those who had a mind to fix their abode at Jerusalem, received every encouragement.  But some were compelled, that the city might regain its ancient splendour, and become the bulwark of the nation.  Josephus (xi. 5.) says, that Nehemias built at his own expense houses for the priest and Levites, who chose to reside there.

 

Ver. 2.  Blessed.  Applauding their zeal and disinterestedness, as the city was yet only a heap of ruins.  C. Some from the other ten tribes returned; but the transactions of three tribes are more particularly noticed.  V. Bede.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Solomon.  See 1 Esdras ii. 55. and 1 Par. ix. 2.

 

Ver. 4.  Benjamin, as well as of Ephraim and Manasses.  1 Par. ix. 3.  The difference between this last record and the present, arises from Nehemias including many who returned with Esdras and with himself.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Silonite.  Of the son of Sela,. 1 Par. ix. 5.  T.

 

Ver. 9.  Second.  Vicegerent of Joel, (C.) or commander of a second part of the city.  Syr.

 

Ver. 11.  Achitob had the inspection over the Levites and treasures.  Eliasib was then pontiff.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Amassai.  Or (1 Par. ix. 12.) Maasai, the son of Adiel, the son of Jezra, the son of Mosollam, the son of Mosollamoth, the son of Emmer.

 

Ver. 14.  The mighty, for riches and power; on which account this family was conspicuous.

 

Ver. 15.  Semeia.  The ancient Latin MSS. read Sebenia.  Martinay.

 

Ver. 16.  Outward.  For repairs of the temple, cultivation of the lands given by vow; also to buy provisions, sacred vestments, &c.

 

Ver. 17.  Praise.  Master of music.  C. Heb. “chief to begin the thanksgiving in prayer.”  Syr. “leader of the Jews in prayer.”  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Gaspha, were chiefs of the Nathinites.  C. Heb. “over the,” &c.  Ophel was their place of residence.  C. iii. 26.

 

Ver. 22.  Overseer.  Lit. “bishop.”  Heb. pekid, which has the same meaning.  H. Christians styled him who was at the head, bishop; as the Athenians did their chief justice.  Grot.  E.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  King’s.  David’s, (C. xii. 24,) or perhaps the Persian monarch, who had appointed a maintenance for the priests, &c.  1 Esd. vi. and vii.  C. Order.  Heb. “that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.”  Prot.

 

Ver. 24.  People.  They addressed themselves to him, (H.) and he gave an exact account to the king (C.) of Persia.  M.

 

Ver. 25.  The houses.  Heb. “and for the dwellings, (C.) or villages.”  Pagnin.  M. Villages.  Lit. “daughters,” which is often used in this sense.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Jesue.  This, and many of the other critics, had changed names, or were not built in the time of Josue.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Bersabee.  The southern extremity of Juda, (M.) unto the valley on the east of Jerusalem.  Adric. 186.

 

Ver. 34-35.  Lod.  Built by Samad.  1 Par. viii. 12.  It is called Lod-Hadid.  C. vii. 37. Ono had the same founder, and stood in the valley of craftsmen.  C. vi. 2, and 1 Par. iv. 14.

 

Ver. 36.  Portions.  The Levites dwelt in the cities assigned to these two tribes.  C.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  Priests.  But not all, as some are omitted.  See v. 7. 22, &c. Josue, or Jesus, the high priest. Esdras, the famous scribe, who is supposed to have returned to Babylon, and to have been living under Nehemias, who came to Jerusalem 81 years after Zorobabel.  If, therefore, Esdras was only 20 years old at the former period, he must have lived above 100 years, (C.) which is not improbable.  Lyran.  T. &c. He returned again with many of his countrymen, by the king’s leave.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Chief.  Heads of the 24 great families.  1 Par. xxiv. 18.

 

Ver. 8.  Hymns.  To preside over the bands.  C. xi. 17.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Office.  Heb. “in the watches,” each in his turn, (Vatab.) “daily.”  Sept.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Joacim.  These are some of the successors of Josue, (M.) who were high priests till the time of Jeddoa, or Jaddus.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Jonathan, is called Johanan by S. Jerom, (in Dan.) Josephus, &c. Jeddoa.  The Jaddus, who went to meet Alexander, in his pontifical attire, and was graciously received by him; as the monarch revered in his person the God of the Hebrews, who had formerly appeared to him in this manner, to encourage him to undertake the conquests of Asia.  Josephus xi. 8. Some think that the names of Jonathan and Jeddoa, and the v. 22, 23, and 24, have been inserted since the time of Nehemias; as he must have lived 140 years, to see the conquests of Alexander.  T.  Petau.  N.  Alex.  T.  2 Dis. 7. He could not be less than 20, when he returned in 3550.  Jaddus met Alexander in 3672; consequently, at that time, Nehemias was 142 years old.  But if he died at the commencement of the reign of Darius Codomannus 3668, he would still be 138.  C. Yet this longevity is by no means incredible, v. 1.  C. xiii. 28.  H. Usher (A. 3602) maintains that Johanan was pontiff under Memnon.

 

Ver. 12.  Saraia had given his name to one of the principal families, at the head of which was Maraia, at this time.  The Latin MSS. Sept. and Syr. style him Amaria.

 

Ver. 17.  Phelti was chief of two families, (C.) or perhaps the name of the head of Miamin (H.) is lost.  Vatable. And, is not in Heb. “of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Pittai,”  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Jodaia.  The same name is written Idaia, v. 6, and 21.

 

Ver. 22.  Persian.  Surnamed Codomannus, (H.) Condomanus, (Grot.  C.) or Natus, under whom Jaddus was born, though he was pontiff under the former.  Usher, A. 3553.

 

Ver. 23.  Chronicles.  Not those which are now extant: but some records which regarded the families of the priests.  See 1 Esd. ii. 61. The son, or grandson of Eliasib.  The author refers to others records, v. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Order.  Heb. “ward over-against ward.”  One company kept guard while another retired.  M.

 

Ver. 25.  Entrances.  These are not distinctly mentioned before.  See 1 Par. xxvi. 15. 17.  Ezec. xl. 8.  C. Sept. have only, after order, or him, v. 25.  “When I assembled the door-keepers, (v. 26,) in the days of Joakeim.”  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Scribe.  Could these records have any greater authority than Nehemias himself?  It seems, therefore, that this had been added by a  later hand, whose testimony is perfectly authentic and inspired.  C. Nehemias might also refer to some records which he, or some other, had drawn up.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Wall.  Some time before, (Usher.  C.) or now, when the houses were completed.  V. Bede.  T. Places, for greater solemnity.  The ancients deemed “the walls and gates sacred things, the property of no man.”  Justinian, l. sacra loca. Ovid describes the superstitious rites, with which the Romans laid the foundations of their cities, on some lucky day.

Fossa fit ad solidum, fruges jaciuntur in imâ, &c.  Fast. iv.

 

Ver. 30.  Were purified first, that they might purify the rest.  H. Priests were obliged to abstain from wine, and from their wives, while they were on duty.  See 2 Par. xxix. 34,  and xxxv. 2, &c.  Levites were to wash their garments.  Lev. viii. 21.  All lepers, &c. required a certain purification, ib. v. 2. 6. and Num. xix. 16.  Care was taken that no dead body was found on the walls.  These were probably sprinkled with water, &c. like the tabernacle.  Lev. viii. 11.

 

Ver. 31.  Choirs.  This is not expressed in Heb. and Sept. but must be understood.  Prot. “great companies of them that gave thanks.  Whereof one went.”  H. The princes led the way, then the priests sounded the trumpets, (Num. x. 8.) the Levites sung, and were followed by the people.  All were divided into two equal parts, and went round half the city.  C. They set out from the dunghill-gate, on the west, and proceeded to the watch-gate, on the east, v. 38.  M.

 

Ver. 35.  Esdras, mentioned v. 33, was the chief personage, at the head of this company.  H.

 

Ver. 37.  And, &c.  Prot. “And the other company of them that gave thanks.” And upon.  Heb. “beyond.”  This company (H.) proceeded northward.  C.

 

Ver. 38.  Watch-gate.  Syr. and Arab. “great gate,” by which they came down.

 

Ver. 42.  Great.  Numerous, or victims of a large size, oxen, &c.

 

Ver. 43.  Thanksgiving.  S. Jerom, Sept. and Syr. have read in a different manner from the present Heb. (C.) which has, “for the tithes to gather into them out of the fields of the cities, the portions of (or by) the law assigned to the priests, &c.  Tora, “law,” has been read, toda, “thanksgiving,” by S. Jerom; and sarim, “princes,” has been  substituted for sadim, “fields.”  H. The Syriac admits the second reading.  C. Sept. omit the first entirely.  “For the tithes, and for the collections in them, brought to the princes of the cities, being the portions for the priests,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 44.  Expiation.  Or the legal purifications, (M.) when necessary.  H.

 

Ver. 45.  Asaph was  master of music in the reign of David.  M.

 

Ver. 46.  Sanctified.  That is, they gave them that which by the law was set aside, and sanctified for their use.  Ch. The Levites paid a tithe to the priests, (C. x. 38. and Num. xviii. 26.  C.) as the people did to them.  W.

 

 

2 ESDRAS 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  That day, is often used for an indefinite time.  H. It is not probable that all this happened when the walls were dedicated.  After that event, Nehemias rather went to court, and remained there about ten years.  During his absence, many abuses crept in, which he endeavoured to remedy, (v. 7.) perhaps on the solemn day of tabernacles, when the law had been read. Ever, (Deut. xxiii. 3.) so as to marry.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Stranger.  Heb. hereb, “mixture,” (H.) infidel women and their offspring.

 

Ver. 4.  Over this things, &c.  Or, he was faulty in this thing, or in this kind.  Ch. He was the source of all this evil.  Heb. “and before this Eliasib,” &c.  It is probable that he was a different person from the high priest, (Usher) who had married his grandson to the daughter of Sanaballat, the intimate friend of Tobias.  C. The latter was a persecutor, and prefigured heretics, as Nehemias did our Saviour, who drove traffickers out of the temple.  V. Bede in Esd.  L. iii. 19.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  He.  Eliasib, or Tobias.  The original  is also ambiguous.  Eliasib probably permitted Tobias to furnish himself apartments in the temple, where, by law, he was not allowed to enter.  Hence the priests, being deprived of their support, were forced to retire.  C. Tobias rented the apartments, and was steward of the priests’ revenues.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Days.  Prefixed (C. ii. 6.) I asked.  Heb. “was required to attend by the king,” for about ten years.  After which period, I returned and found such disorders.  Some believe that Nehemias had been at Babylon, a long while before the 32d year of the king.

 

Ver. 8.  And I.  Nehemias acted as governor, and performed the duty which the high priest neglected.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Storehouses, which had been profaned by the presence of a pagan.  M. Sacrifice.  Heb. mincha, “offerings of flour, fruits, and liquors,” which were kept in the storehouses, as well as frankincense.  Eliasib had caused these things to be removed, to make place for Tobias.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Country.  Heb. “field,” that he might cultivate it, (H.) and get food.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Pleaded.  Accusing them of treachery, in not opposing the wicked attempt. Have we.  He placed himself in the number of the guilty, in order to soften the reproach.  Sept. &c.  C. “Why is the house of God forsaken?”  Prot.

 

Ver. 14.  And his.  Heb. “its offices,” and for the good of the sacred ministers.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Treading.  Syr. and Arab. “travelling.”

 

Ver. 16.  Tyrians.  Who had established themselves there, for the sake of commerce, though the chosen people ought to have kept them at a great distance, for fear of seduction.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Fathers.  Though warned by Jeremias, xvii. 21.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  At rest.  People travelling no longer.  C. Heb. “shaded, or in the dark.”  Before Friday night on, the sabbath commenced, and then the gates were shut.  H. On the.  Heb. “before the sabbath.”  M.

 

Ver. 21.  On you.  To punish you, (C.) for thus endeavouring to tempt the people.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Gates.  The Levites would more conscientiously discharge their duty, (M.) and restrain the people, so that they might keep the day holy.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Azotus.  In the country of the Philistines.

 

Ver. 24.  Half.  In the same family, some spoke the Philistine (Vatable) or Phenician language: others the Hebrew; which, though it resembled the other very much, was still sufficiently distinct to be noticed.  The children might also speak a jargon, composed of both languages.  It is probable that, at this time, many of the common people spoke the Chaldee language, so that it was necessary to interpret pure Hebrew to them.  C. viii. 8.

 

Ver. 25.  Curse, or excommunicated them, (C.) the guilty parents.  H. Shaved.  Heb. and Sept. “plucked off their hair,” by the roots, for greater torment.  Sometimes quicklime was then sprinkled on the head, (C.) as adulterers were treated at Athens.  Schol. Aristoph. King Artaxerxes changed this punishment, and ordered that his officers should be forbidden to wear the tiara instead.  Domitian caused the hair and beard of Apollonius to be shaven.  Philost. iii. 14.  C. That they.  Heb. “Ye shall not,” &c.

 

Ver. 27.  Also be.  Heb. “hearken unto you;” (Prot.  H.) or “Have ye not heard the evils which fell upon our fathers (C.) for doing all?” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  One.  Manasses, brother of Jaddus.  Joseph. xi. 8. Sanaballet, noted for his enmity towards the Jews.  C. vi. 1.  He obtained leave of Alexander to build the famous temple on Garizim, for this son-in-law.  He must have been 150 yeas old when Alexander laid siege to Tyre, A. 3672.  Esdras and Nehemias were noted for their great age.  Yet some would suppose that there were tow of the name of Sanaballet; and Josephus says that the one in question was appointed governor of Samaria by Darius, the last king of the Persians.  This opinion is adopted by Usher, A. 3972.  T.  &c. But there is still a difficulty to know whether it be necessary.  C. From me.  In revenge he set up an opposition altar.  H. He had contracted a marriage, which was unlawful for all, and entailed degradation upon priests.

 

Ver. 31.  Wood.  Conformably to the regulations mentioned, C. x. 34.  C. Good.  A just man may confidently beg for a reward.  W. Amen, is not found in Heb. &c.  The Holy Spirit records the praises of Nehemias.  Eccli. xlix. 15.  His political and moral virtues must ever assign him an exalted rank among the true Israelites.  Like Jesus Christ, he rebuilt Jerusalem, reformed the nation, was the mediator of a new covenant, defended the rights of the priesthood and of all the people.  C.

 

 

APOCRYPHA.

 

The third and fourth Books of Esdras, and the prayer of Manasses, (W.) are found in many Latin Bibles, (H.) and translated in that of Douay, (W.) as works of dubious authority.  Calmet also inserts the third and fourth books of Machabees.  H. Protestants class under the same head the books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Machabees, (W.) with Baruch, and parts of Esther and Daniel, &c. H. They acknowledge that they are, “holy and worthy to be read in the Church, but not sufficient to prove points of faith.”  The truth is, they find them too opposite to their creed; as S. Augustine (prædest. SS. C. xiv.) observes was the case with some heretics, who rejected the Book of Wisdom. W. The pretence that these Books were not admitted by many ancient Fathers, would equally strike out of the canon the Epistle to the Hebrews, those of S. James and S. Jude, the second and third of S. Peter, and of S. John, and the Apocalypse, the authority of all which was formerly warmly controverted, (H.) and only admitted by degrees: (W.) paulatim tempore procedente meruit auctoritatem.  S. Jerom, in Jacobo.   This holy doctor doubted (Prideaux) whether the book of Judith was canonical, till he found the decision of the Council of Nice.  The declaration of the Church is the only sure rule by which matters of this nature can be decided.  H. “I would not believe the gospel, unless I were influenced to do it by the authority of the Catholic Church.”  S. Aug. c. ep. Fund. c. 5. This Church has spoken in favor of the controverted Books of the Old Testament, as much as for those of the New; so that the inconsistency of Protestants cannot pass unnoticed.  If they had asserted that they appealed only to the private spirit, they might have been acceptable at least to fanatics; but now they attempt to follow the Catholic rule, and yet reject it the next moment!  If we would relinquish all the parts ‘of Scripture which have been called in question, what book would be safe?  Some have been indeed more universally admitted, and may therefore be styled protocanonical, while the deuterocanonical books were recognized rather later; and after all difficulties had been maturely discussed, as has been the case with other articles of faith.  But the declaration being promulgated sooner or later, does not alter the truth.  The will of God, notified to us by his Church, is our infallible guide.  This is the canon, or “rule,” (H.) to regulate our imperfect knowledge.  S. Aug. c. Faust. xi. 5. and c. Crescon. ii. 32.  In this sense the Council of Carthage, (A. 419) styles these contested books, “canonical and divine:” and the ancient Popes, Innocent I. and Gelasius, as well as S. Aug. (Doct. ii. 8.) S. Isidore, (Etym. vi. 1.) and others, place them on a level with the other parts of Scripture, as has been done by the general Councils of Florence and of Trent.  If the Jews did not admit them into their canon, it was because they were not extant in the Hebrew language, (H.) or known when the canon was closed by Esdras, (Huet.  D.) or afterwards.  H. Besides, who sees not that the canon of the Church is preferable to that of the synagogue? W. Otherwise how shall we receive the New Testament.  H. Many of the Fathers referred only to the Jewish canon, when they gave catalogues of the sacred books.  C. We shall find that they generally admitted the authority of what the Protestants style Apocrypha, and that they were far from considering them (H.) as “romances,” (Fagius) or inducements” to vice and superstitious practices, under the semblance of virtue,” (Button) as some have now the boldness to assert.  They might well shew so much deference to the judgment of the majority of Christians, as to abstain from such censures. H.

 

 

TOBIAS

 

THE BOOK OF TOBIAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

This Book takes its name from the holy man Tobias, whose wonderful virtues are herein recorded.  It contains most excellent documents of great piety, extraordinary patience, and of perfect resignation to the will of God.  His humble prayer was heard, and the angel Raphael was sent to relieve him: he is thankful, and praises the Lord, calling on the children of Israel to do the same.  Having lived to the age of one hundred and two years, he exhorts his son and grandsons to piety, foretells the destruction of Ninive, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem: he dies happily.  Ch. The Jews themselves have a great regard for the book of Tobias; (Grot. Sixtus Senens. viii.) which Origen (ad Afric.) says they “read in Hebrew,” meaning probably the Chaldee, (C.) out of which language S. Jerom translated it, preferring to displease the Pharisaical Jews, rather than not to satisfy the desires of the holy bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus.  Ep. t. iii.  W. The Greek version seems to have been taken from another copy, or it has been executed with greater liberty by the Hellenist Jews, between the times of the Sept. and of Theodotion.  C. Huet and Prideaux esteem it more original; and Houbigant has translated it in his Bible, as the Council of Trent only spoke of the Latin editions then extant; and S. Jerom followed in his version the Hebrew one of a Jew, as he did not understand the Chaldee.  H. The Syriac and the modern Hebrew edition of Fagius, agree mostly with the Greek, as that of Munster and another Heb. copy of Huet, and the Arabic version, both unpublished, are more conformable to the Vulgate.  The most ancient Latin version used before S. Jerom, was taken from the Greek; and the Fathers who lived in those ages, speak of it when they call the book of Tobias canonical.  S. Aug. leaves it, however, to adopt S. Jerom’s version, in his Mirrour.  The copies of all these versions vary greatly, (C.) though the substance of the history is still the same; and in all we discover the virtues of a good parent, of a dutiful son, and virtuous husband, beautifully described.  H. “The servant of God, holy Tobias, is given to us after the law for an example, that we might know how to practise what we read; and that if temptations assail us, we may not depart from the fear of God, nor expect help from any other.”  S. Aug. q. 119. ex utroque Test. The four first chapters exhibit the holy life of old Tobias, and the eight following, the journey and affairs of his son, directed by Raphael.  In the two last chapters they praise God, and the elder Tobias foretells the better state of the commonwealth.  W. It is probable that both left records, from which this work has been compiled, with a few additional observations.  It was written during (C.) or after the captivity of Babylon.  E. The Jews had then little communication with each other, in different kingdoms. Tobias was not allowed to go into Media, under Sennacherib; and it is probable that the captives at Babylon would be under similar restrictions; so that we do not need to wonder that they were unacquainted with this history of a private family, the records of which seem to have been kept at Ecbatana.  The original Chaldee is entirely lost, so that it is impossible to ascertain whether the Greek or the Vulg. be more conformable to it.  The chronology of the latter seems however more accurate, as the elder Tobias foretold the destruction of Ninive, twenty-three years before the event, which his son just beheld verified, dying in the 18th year of king Josias.  The accounts which appear to sectaries to be fabulous, may easily be explained.  Houbigant. Josephus and Philo omit this history.  C.

 

TOBIAS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Tobias, “good God,” (T.) is styled Tobis, by the ancient Latin version and S. Ambrose, and Tobit by the Greek and Syriac.  These copies and the Heb. give a genealogy which does not agree.  C. Grabe’s edit. “The book of the words (or transactions) of Tobit, Son of Tobiel, son of Ananiel, son of Adouel, (MS. has Nave) son of Galael, (MS. Gamael) of the seed of Asiel, of the tribe of Nephthali, (2) who was made captive in the days of Enemessar, king of the Assyrians, from Thisbe, (MS. Thibe) which is on the right properly (MS. of Kudis.  H. or Cades, capital.  C.) of Nephthali in Galilee, above Aser.  I, Tobit, walked in the ways of truth and of justice all the days of my life.”  H. Nehemias and the prophets frequently speak of themselves in the first person.  The truth of the history is the same.  D. Beyond, or behind; (post.  H.) as the Hebrews speak with reference to a man turned towards the east.  Hence this way would be on the west, and Sephet on the north.

 

Ver. 2.  Salmanasar.  When Osee was conquered, A. 3283.  See 4 K. xvii. 6. Truth.  His constancy in the observance of the true religion was so much the more wonderful, as he was rich, and lived among the wicked.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Kindred. Greek adds, “who went along with me…to Ninive.”

 

Ver. 4.  Younger.  “Very young,” (H.) or the youngest of those who administered their own affairs.  The parents of Tobias were deceased.  C. Greek, “when I was young in my country, in the land of Israel, all the tribe,” &c.

 

Ver. 5.  All, or the greatest part; (H.) for some still feared God; (C. ii. 2.  W.) and the Greek of C. v. 14. or 19. informs us that Ananias and Jonathan accompanied Tobias.  H. Greek is more diffuse.  C. (4) “All the tribe of Nephthali, of my father, departed from the house of Jerusalem, which city had been chosen from all the tribes of Israel, for all the tribes to offer sacrifice; and the temple of the tabernacle of the most High was sanctified, and was built forever; (5) and all the tribes, apostatizing together, sacrificed to Baal, to the heifer; (Comp. ed. to the power of Baal) and the house of Nephthali, of my father, likewise. (6) And I alone went frequently to Jerusalem, at the feasts” (H.) of the Passover, &c.  M. The other versions are nearly similar.  C. But we cannot specify all these variations. H. The number has induced some to conclude, not improbably, that there were two originals; (T.) the Syriac by the elder, and the Chaldee by the younger Tobias. Justiniani. But this is destitute of proof.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Strangers.  See Deut. xiv. 28.  M.  Lev. xxvii. 30.  C. Greek, “And the third I gave to whom it belonged, as Debbora, my father’s mother, ordered me, as I was left an orphan by my father; (9) and when I was,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Man.  The Jews married young: but the time was not fixed.  C. After.  Greek, “Tobias.”  They always style the father Tobit. H.

 

Ver. 11.  Ninive, called Ninus by Pliny, &c.  M. It was so large, as easily to receive a whole tribe, which was sold for slaves. C.

 

Ver. 12.  Meats, such as had been immolated to idols, (M.) or were forbidden to the Jews. C.

 

Ver. 14.  And he.  Greek, “I was his marketter,” (H.) to provide provisions for the palace.  “He set me over all he had, till the day of his death.”  Munster.  But this Hebrew author has probably exaggerated the matter, to make Tobias appear as great as he could.  These editions add no more, continuing, (15) “And I went into Media, and I deposited with Gabael, or Gabelus,” &c.

 

Ver. 16.  Rages means “rupture,” by frequent earthquakes, and was (M.  C.) the residence of the Parthian kings, in spring, (Athen. xii. 2.) in the mountain, separating their country from Media. Honoured for his salary.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Money.  People might formerly make use of what was merely deposited in their hands.  Ulpian. The old Latin version has, “I committed to him ten talents in gold.”

 

Ver. 18.  Time.  Salmanasar reigned fourteen years; seven after the captivity, which to people in distress would appear long.  C. Gr. “And after Enemessar was dead, Sennacherib, his son, reigned in his stead; and his ways ceased, (or his high roads were stopped) and I could no longer go into Media.”  H. We find nothing in history to confirm this stoppage: (C.) but it might be in consequence of the wars.  Houbigant.  See the preface.  H. Israel. This hatred was augmented, after the unfortunate expedition into Palestine.  C.  M.  4 K. xix. 35.

 

Ver. 19.  Goods, under Sennacherib; though he was now deprived of his place.  C. Greek, Syr. and Heb. insinuate, that this happened under his predecessor.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Slain, by order or connivance of Sennacherib.  M. Tobias buried the dead, out of charity, and the belief of a future resurrection.  Hence arises the respect for tombs and the relics of the saints.  C. The pagans imagined that the souls could not rest till their bodies were interred.  Homer, Virgil vii. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Loved him, even of the Assyrians.  The Jews were not able to afford him shelter. M.

 

Ver. 24.  Forty.  Arabic, twenty-five; Gr. and Syr. fifty; other Gr. copies, fifty-five days.  Fagius says Tobias was hidden nineteen days.  It seems, therefore, we should date these forty-five days from the return of Sennacherib. Sons.  See 4 K. xix. 37. and Isai. xxxvii. 38.  C. Gr. adds, “and they fled to the mountains of Ararat, and Sacherdoc, (our Assaraddon) his son, reigned in his stead; and he appointed Achiachar Anael, the son of my brother, over all the accounts of his kingdom, and over all his government.  And Achiachar petitioned for me; and I came to Ninive.  But Achiachar was cup-bearer, (Alex. MS. receiver of wine) and keeper of the ring, and governor and keeper of accounts; and Sacherdonosos gave him the second place.  But he was my nephew.  And when I returned to my house, and my wife Anna, and my son Tobias, were restored to me, at the feast of Pentecost,” &c.  H. This seems contrary to v. 23.  Yet the Heb. copies agree in this particular, and mention the dignity of Akikar.  But we may judge what credit these additions deserve.  C. They merit some attention, as they may be original.  See Pref.  H.

 

 

TOBIAS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  House.  The law authorized such feasts.  Deut. xii. 12. and xiv. 28.  Tobias complied with it, by inviting also the poor servants of God.  Gr. “I lay down to eat.”  This custom prevailed in the East.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Tribe.  Gr. “brethren indigent, and who remembers God.”  H. All had not given way to idolatry.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Street.  Asarhaddon did not protect the Israelites, which renders the elevation of Akikar to the highest dignities suspicious. C. But the king and his minister might not be able to prevent all murders.  H. Fasting.  The ancients seldom eat anything before noon.  Gr. “Before I had tasted, I leaped up and took him to a house, till the sun should be set,” (H.) to prevent any danger from the Assyrians.  M. lf he did not employ another, he must have eaten alone, being rendered unclean.  This seems to have been the case; and hence he did not enter his own house, but lay down by the wall.  C. Gr. and Heb. mention, that he washed himself before he eat.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  But.  This version is not in Greek or Heb.  C. True zeal is not repressed by fear, as charity expels it.  1 Jo. iv.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Now.  Gr. “And that very night I was.” He came.  Gr. “I lay myself down, being defiled, beside the wall of the court, and my face was uncovered.”  H. The touching the dead rendered a person unclean.  Num. xix. 11.

 

Ver. 11.  Swallow’s.  Gr. denotes “sparrows,” or any other small birds: strouqia.  Serarius. Eyes.  Gr. observes that they were “opened.”  Heb. “by chance.” Yet “hares, and many men, sleep with their eyes open,” (Pliny xi. 37.) as was here the case.  S. Athan. Synops. lf not, the dung might insinuate itself by rubbing.  It is extremely caustic.  Vales. 42.  Aldrov.17. &c. The blindness of Tobias was only a suspension of sight.  C. Blind.  Gr. “white specks or skins came upon my eyes, and I went to the physicians, but they afforded me no relief.  But Achiachar fed me (H.) till I (or he) went to Elymais;” Heb. of Fagius, “into Germany.”  C. Almniim.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Now.  This is omitted in Greek and Heb. as far as v. 19.  S. Ambrose says beautifully, that Tobias “was more grieved that he could yield no assistance to others, than for the loss of his sight.”

 

Ver. 15.  Kings.  So Job’s three friends are here called, because they were princes in their respective territories, (Ch.) like the petty kings of Palestine, in the days of Abraham and of Josue.  They are styled kings in the Greek version of Job.  C. Relations, (parentes.)  His father and mother were dead.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Saints; Abraham, &c.  Thus Mathathias encouraged his children; (1 Mac. ii. 50.) and no argument can be more forcible.

Dice puer virtutem ex me, verumque laborem

            Sis memor, et te animo repetentem exempla tuorum

            Et pater Æneas et avunculus excitet Hector.  Æneid xii.

Life eternal.  These grand truths were more developed, as the Messias was nearer at hand.

 

Ver. 19.  Work.  This was usually the employment of women.  The great charities of Tobias, physicians, &c. had reduced him to poverty.

 

Ver. 20.  Kid, which had not left off sucking.  Greek adds, that this was given besides the usual wages.  M.

 

Ver. 21.  Theft.  He was the master of the family, and knew that there was no money in the house, so that he was not guilty of rash judgment, (M.) though his wife might naturally be offended.

 

Ver. 22.  At.  Gr. “but she said: It was given to me in addition to my wages.  Yet I did not give credit to her, and I ordered her to restore it to its owners; and I blushed for her.  But she replied: Where are thy alms-deeds and thy just works?  Behold, all things are known with thee.  Then, through grief, I wept,” &c. H. Hope in God, who nevertheless leaves us in distress.  M. She indirectly finds fault with Providence, which increases the grief of Tobias; or, at least, she insinuates that he must have been a hypocrite, as the friends of Job unjustly argued, from his being afflicted.  H.

 

 

TOBIAS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Then, retiring, v. 25. Tears.  He manifests no degree of impatience.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Judgment.  Even in punishing, God remembers mercy, (H.) and never fails to perform what he has promised.

 

Ver. 3.  Parents, so as to punish me on their account. M. The Scripture frequently seems to indicate that this is the case; (Ex. xx. 5.) and the Church still prays, Remember not, O Lord, our offences, nor those of our parents.  C. But children are only punished when they imitate the wicked conduct of their ancestors: they may be afflicted, though innocent, as their virtue will thus be tried, and shine more gloriously.  H. The pagans, being convinced that God can be guilty of no injustice, and perceiving that people who appeared to be free from sin were yet unhappy, concluded that they were explaining the sins committed in another world.  Plotin. ii. 13.  Origen, prin. iii.  C. This might arise from a confused notion of original sin.  Pascal’s Thoughts.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Peace.  Gr. “that I may be dissolved, and return to the earth; (lit. become earth) because it is more advantageous for me to die than to live, since I have heard false reproaches, and am much grieved.  Command that I may be freed from this necessity, to go to my eternal place.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Rages.  In the Greek it is Ecbatana which was also called Rages.  For there were two cities in Media of name of Rages: Raguel dwelt in one of them and Gabelus in the other.  Ch.  M. Profane authors mention a Rages in the vicinity of Ecbatana.  Diod. Bib. 19. It may here denote the province.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Asmodeus, “the fire of Media.”  Heb. “king of the devils,” of that country, exciting people to lust, (M. Serar. q. 8.) and destroying them. W. Unto her.  Gr. and Heb. intimate, when they first entered the nuptial chamber.  C. vi. 14.

 

Ver. 9.  Murder.  Gr. “Dost thou not understand that thou hast suffocated thy husbands.  Thou has already had seven husbands, and has not received the name of any of them.  Why dost thou strike us on their account?  If they be dead, go along with them.  May we,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  At.  Gr. and Heb. “Hearing these things she was much grieved, so as to be unable to breath; (H.  wste apagxasqai) or, on the point of strangling herself.”  Grot.  C. But this interpretation is groundless, (Houbigant) and very injurious to Sara.  H. She could not entertain the thought without sin.  Yet the Jews had very relaxed notions on this head.  Judg. xvi. 30.  1Kings xxxi. 4.  God approved the conduct of Sara.  C. Gr. continues, “and she said, I am the only daughter of my father.  If I do this thing, (as the servants suggested) it will be a disgrace for him…and she prayed before the window; and said, Blessed,” v. 13.  H. There is no mention of the three days.  Heb. and Syr. also omit v. 16 to 24.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Name.  Gr. “Blessed art thou O Lord, my God, and blessed the name of thy glory, holy and glorious for ever.  May all thy works praise thee for ever.”  H. As she prayed for a long time, the Vulg. gives some sentences; and the Gr. and Heb. others.  Serar.  Salien.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Earth.  Holy men have thus desired to die, as was the case with Moses, Elias, Job, and S. Paul provided God was willing.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Coveted, through impure love.  Gr. “I am pure from all the sin of a man, and I have not defiled my name, nor the name of my father, in the land of our captivity.  I am only child, ” &c.  H. Lust: a very high ecomium; which Sara mentions without vanity, placing her confidence in God.  M.  Prov. xx. 9.

 

Ver. 17.  Play, lasciviously, (M.) or dance.  Hugo.  Ex. xxxii. 1.

 

Ver. 21.  Crowned.  Jam. i. 12. Delivered from falling, (M.) and in due time from affliction.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Raphael, “the medicine of God.”  He is invoked not only for health, but also in journeys. C. Both.  Gr. and Heb. of Fagius add, “Tobit, by taking away the white film, and to give Sara…for a wife to Tobias…and to bind Asmodeus, the wicked devil; because Tobias was to have her.  At the same hour, Tobit returning entered his own house, and Sara…descended from her upper room.”  H. Lord, by the angel.  Acts x.  Apoc. v.  W.

 

 

TOBIAS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  When.  Gr. and Heb. and the old Vulg. (C.) “That very day Tobit remembered the money which he had deposited with Gabael…and said within himself, I begged for death; why do I not call Tobias, my son that I may declare it to him before I die?  And calling him, he said: Son, if I die, bury me, and despise not thy mother.”  H. He gives him fourteen instructions, in imitation of Moses and David.  3 K. ii. W.

 

Ver. 3.  Life.  S. Aug. (Conf. x. 34) cries out, “O Light, which Tobias had in view, when these corporal eyes being closed, he taught his son the way of life.”

 

Ver. 5.  By me.  Gr. adds, “in the same sepulchre,” like the patriarchs.  Pope Leo decreed: statuimus unumquemque in sepulchro suorum majorum jacere.

 

Ver. 7.  Substance.  Be not liberal of another’s property.  Gr. adds, “and let not thy eye be envious, when thou givest alms.”  Do it generously.  C. The same doctrine of the reward of good works, occurs Dan. iv. 24.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Little. God regards the affections more than the gift.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Sin, provided faith, &c. be not wanting.  M. When the Scripture seems to attribute salvation to one virtue, to faith, repentance, &c. it always presupposes that the heart is free from all mortal guilt.  H. Alms deeds may procure a fresh supply of graces.  M. Darkness, or hell, which is thus represented.  Matt. viii. 12. and xxii. 13.  Eph. vi. 12.

 

Ver. 12.  Give it, with true charity.  1 Cor. xiii. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Crime, or any commerce with another. H. Gr. and Heb. add, conformable to the law, (Ex. xxxiv. 16.)  “And take not a strange woman, who may not be of thy father’s tribe, as we are the sons of the prophets, Noe, &c…All these married from among their brethren, and were blessed in their children, and their seed shall inherit the land.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Perdition of the angels, of Adam, &c.  C.  Gen. iii. 5.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  At all, after sunset.  Deut. xxiv. 14.

 

Ver. 16.  Another.  Behold the grand maxim of fraternal charity.  Matt. viii. 12.  Alex. Severus was so much pleased with it, that he had it often repeated by a herald, and inscribed on public edifices.  What thou wouldst not have done to thee, do not thou to another.  Lamprid. Gr. and Heb. add a caution against drunkenness and drunken companions.  Fagius has another against revenge; and the old Vulg. “give not way to wickedness.”

 

Ver. 17.  Eat.  Gr. “give.” Naked.  Gr. adds, “give in alms all thy superfluities, And let not thy eye repine,” &c. as v. 7.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Burial, or sepulchre. See Bar. vi. 26.  Eccli. vii. 37. and xxx. 18.  The Jews followed this custom, which was common to the pagans, but from very different motives.  The latter supposed that the souls fed on such meats.  The Jews, and afterwards Christians, did it to feed the indigent, that they might pray for the deceased.  These feasts were sometimes abused, and on that account forbidden by S. Ambrose, to whose authority S. Monica submitted.  S. Aug. Conf. vi. 3.  See Const. Apost. viii. 24.  C. Just man, who may be supposed to have died in God’s peace.  H. It is of no service to pray and give alms for the damned.   Wicked, so as to encourage their evil conduct.  M. Works of mercy extend to the dead.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Abide.  Gr. “prosper,” (M.) or “be directed.  For every nation has not counsel: but this same Lord bestows all good things.  And whensoever he will, he humbles, as he pleases.  And now, my son, remember my commands, and let them not be effaced from thy heart.  Now, also, I make known unto thee the ten talents of silver, which I deposited with Gabael,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  And I.  The Gr. &c. take no notice of this, (C.) nor of the following verse.  H. The virtuous dispose of their temporal effects by will, &c.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  We lead.  Gr. “if we grow poor. Thou hast much if thou fear,” &c.

 

 

TOBIAS 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 2.  I cannot.  Gr. “as I know him not; and he gave him the handwriting, and said to him: Seek,” &c.  H. The Gr. &c. had not before noticed this token.  C. Hitherto Tobit had spoken in the first person.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Beautiful; resplendent with celestial majesty.  C. Gr. “he found Raphael, who was an angel, and he knew it not, and said to him: Canst thou go with me to Rages, of Media, and art thou acquainted with the places?”  H. This angel prefigured Jesus Christ, who took indeed Our human nature.  V. Bede.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Israel.  This is not in Greek, &c.  But the old Vulg. has, “Raphael answered, of the children of Israel, thy brethren, I am come hither for work,” (H.) or employment.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Often.  Gr. “lodged with Gabael, our brother, and Tobias,” &c.

 

Ver. 11.  He saluted.  Gr. “they saluted each other.”  H. The rest till v. 16, is omitted also in Syr. and Fagius.  But the Heb. of Munster nearly agrees with the Vulg.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  But lest.  Gr. Comp. “and Tobit said, brother, I wish to know thy race and thy name.  But he replied, I am of the race of Azarias, and of Ananias, who is also thy brother.”  Whitaker would have this to be a lie.  H. But the apparitions of angels are not to be examined by the ordinary rules of life.  They take the name of God without scruple, as they acted in his name.  Gen. xxxi. 11.  C.  M.  T. Azarias.  The angel took the form of Azarias; and therefore might call himself by the name of the man whom he personated.  Azarias, in Hebrew, signifies the help of God; and Ananias, the grace of God.  Ch. Tobias had not inquired whether he was a man or an angel, as Houbigant answers the objection of Prideaux.  H. The “help and medicine of God” nearly correspond.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Thy family.  Gr. Syr. &c. add, “Thou art my brother, of a noble and good race.  For I know Ananias and Jonathan, sons of the great Semei, as we went together to Jerusalem to adore, carrying the first-born, and tithes of the produce; and they did not join in the error of their brethren.  Thou art of a great stock, brother.  But tell me what reward I shall give thee?  A drachm a day, and what may be requisite for thee and for my son.  And I will give more than the hire if you return in health.  And they agreed; and he said to Tobias, Be in readiness for the journey, and may you be directed: and his son prepared the requisites for the journey,” &c. H.

 

Ver. 22.  Then all.  It was not easy to procure provisions on the road. Together.  Gr. and Syr. add, (C.) “and the dog of the child with them.”

 

Ver. 27.  Angel.  This was the persuasion of the ancient Hebrews, approved by the gospel.  Mat. xviii. 10.  Some of the fathers also believed that each person had an evil angel tempting him to sin.  Orig.  S. Greg. Nys. Vit. Mosis.  Cassian, col. viii. 17.  C. But this opinion is discarded.  H.

 

 

TOBIAS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Dog.  Gr. and Heb. specify this circumstance, (C. v. 22.) but not here.  Those who attack the authority of this book, infer that such a trifle would not be noticed by the Holy Spirit.  C. xi. 9. Yet Homer mentions the fawning of the dog upon Ulysses, after he had been 20 years from home; and the gravest historians record instances of the fidelity of dogs.  C. Night, or stage, mansione, (H.) at a caravansera, or house where travellers might stop all night, and sometimes, though seldom, might be supplied with necessaries.  Herodotus (v. 52.) mentions several in the kingdom of Persia.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Feet.  Gr. “to bathe.” Fish.  The learned are of opinion that this was the fish which Pliny calls callyonymus, (l. xxii. ch. 7.) the gall of which is of sovereign virtue to remove white specks that grow over the eyes.  Ch. Other fishes have the like virtue; and as the aforesaid has no scales, and is not above a foot long, it could not be lawfully eaten by the Israelites, nor could it suffice for ten days’ provision, v. 6.  Lev. xi. 10.  Others, therefore, prefer (C.) the sea-calf, (Brado) the hippopotamus, (Grot.) the crocodile, (Carthus.) whale, (Theophylact.) sturgeon, or silurus.  Bochart, Anim. iv. 15. But there are great difficulties with respect to all these; and Fran. George adopts the sentiment of the Rabbins in favour of the pike, which seems the least objectionable, as it has scales, gills, and cannot live long out of water, v. 4.  It grows to a great size in the Tigris, and its gall is good for the eyes.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  And.  This verse is not in Greek.  Tobias and the fish were both in the water.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Take him.  “It,” would be as proper. Gill.  Gr. “Seize the fish, and the boy got the better of the fish, and threw it upon the land.”  H. Heb. also omits the gill and the panting, (C.) circumstances which would invalidate the opinions of many respecting the nature of this fish, v. ii.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  For thee.  Gr. “carefully.”  H. The rest is omitted also in the Heb. of Fagius.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Flesh.  S. Paul uses the like expression, (1 Cor. xv.) as well as Pliny ix. 15.  W. Took.  Gr. and Fagius, (C.) “eat, and both went on till they came near to Ecbatana.”  H. From Ninive to Rages would be 10 or 12 days’ journey.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Tell.  Gr. “What is the heart, the liver, and the gall of the fish for?”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Its heart, &c.  The liver, (v. 19.)  God was pleased to give to these things a virtue against those proud spirits, to make them, who affected to be like the Most High, subject to such mean corporeal creatures, as instruments of his power.  Ch. God sometimes makes use of things as remedies which have, naturally, a different effect; as when Christ put clay on the eyes of the blind man.  Jo. ix.  The things which the angel ordered were salutary, by God’s appointment.  W. They could not act directly upon a spirit: but they might upon the person troubled by one, as Saul was relieved by music.  C. Diss. The smoke was a sign of the devil’s expulsion, and of the efficacy of prayer; or rather, God subjected the proud spirits to such weak elements.  Serar. q. 3.  M. Gr. “and he said to him, respecting the heart and liver, if any demon or wicked spirit be troublesome, make these smoke before a man or a woman, and the person shall be troubled no longer.

 

Ver. 9.  Gall.  This is generally allowed by physicians to be most excellent, particularly that of the callyonymus, and of the hyena, (Vales. Phil. 42. Galen 10.  M.) and silurus, &c. so that one objection of the adversaries of this book falls to the ground.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 10.  And. Gr. “But as they approached to Rages, the angel said to the young man: Brother, to-day we shall lodge with Raguel, and he is thy relation, and he has an only daughter, by name Sara: I will propose that she may be given to thee for a wife, because the inheritance belongs to thee, and thou art the only one of her kindred.  The girl is beautiful and prudent.  Now, therefore, give ear to me, and I will speak to her father, and when we return from Rages, we will celebrate the nuptials.  For I know Raguel, that he will not give her to another man, comformably to the law of Moses, or he will incur death; because thou art entitled to the to the inheritance before any other.  Then,” &c. v. 14.  H. The law regulated the marriages of heiresses, (Num. xxxvi. 6.) though not under pain of death.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Died.  Gr. “were destroyed in the nuptial chamber, (numfh).  And as I am my father’s only son, I fear lest, approaching to her, I should die like the former; because a demon is in love with her, which hurts no one but such as approach to her.  Now, therefore, I fear lest I should die, and bring down the life of my father and mother upon me to their grave.”  H. If this text may be styled Scripture, it only records the opinion of Toby. (C.) or what he had “heard.”  H. Many grave authors have been of the same persuasion that devils could be enamoured with mortal beauties: (C.) talesque asseverant ut hoc negare impudentiæ esse videatur.  S. Aug. de C. xv. 23.  Delrio, Magic. 2. But this opinion is now almost entirely abandoned.  Many who have testified such things, may have experienced only some diabolical illusions.  The devil could not love the beauty, nor the virtue of Sara.  But he was permitted by God to exercise his malice against those who would have gratified their impure desires.  C. We may perhaps decide to peremptorily on the nature of devils with which we are little acquainted.  As they are susceptible of pride, anger, &c. why may they not also give way to some subtle kind of mental impurity?  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 15.  To hell.  That is, to place where the souls were kept below, before the coming of Christ; (Ch.) as the just had not yet access to heaven.  See Gen. xxxvii.  W.  Gr. adds, “and they have no other son to bury them.”

 

Ver. 16.  Raphael.  Gr. “said to him: Dost thou not remember that thy father ordered thee to take a wife of thy kindered?  Now then hearken to me brother; for she shall be thy wife.  Mind not the devil.  For this night she shall be given in marriage to thee; and if thou enter the nuptial chamber, thou shalt take the ashes of incense, and shalt place thereon some of the heart and liver,” &c.  v. 19.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Mule, which are very libidinous.  Ps. xiii. Power.  Yet he is not always permitted to kill them, as God often allows them time for repentance, or surrers them to draw down heavier judgments.  M. “The devils can do no more than God secretly permits;” (S. Aug. de C. ii. 23.) and “God justly suffers the wicked to fall victims to their iniquitous appetites.”  S. Greg. mor. ii.

 

Ver. 18.  Days.  No morality could be more pure.  The Christian Church has given similar counsels, in the Capitulars of France, and of Erard, archbishop of Tours, and in many rituals published in the 16th century.  The council of Trent only advises people to approach to the sacraments of penance and the Holy Eucharist, three days at least before marriage.  The Greeks, in their third council of Carthage, (c. 13) order the first night to be spent in continence.

 

Ver. 19.  Lay.  Gr. adds, “some of the heart…and make it smoke, and the devil shall smell, and flee away, and shall not return for ever.”  H. This is contrary to reason, say our adversaries.  But though devils be incorporeal, may they not be affected by certain bodies, as our souls are when our limbs are hurt?  The angel chose this sort of usual exorcism, that those who were present might be convinced of the devil’s departure.  As the devils abuse the works of the creation, it was convenient that they should be punished by them; as they submit to magical operations, they must feel the power of such exorcisms (Houbigant) as are authorized by God and his Church.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Society (copulatione.)  He then obtained this blessing, though he knew not his wife till the fourth night.  W.    His marriage resembled that of the patriarchs.  C. Gr. “But when thou shalt go to her, arise both, and cry to the merciful God, and he will save and have pity on you.  Fear not, for she was prepared for thee from eternity; and thou shalt save her, and she shall go with thee; and I flatter myself that thou shalt have children of her.  And as soon as Tobias heard this, he loved her, and his soul was much attached to her: and they arrived at Ecbatana.”  H.    Some may wonder that Tobias did not ask for the consent of his parents.  But the angel reminded him of his father’s injunctions, (C.) and spoke in such a manner, that he was convinced his counsel was from God.  H.

 

 

TOBIAS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Joy; though as yet he only took them for Israelites.  M.    Gr. “and they came to the house of Raguel.  But Sara met them, and saluted them, as they did her, and she introduced them into the house.”

 

Ver. 2.  Anna.  Gr. and Heb. Edna, “pleasure.”   Cousin.  Gr. adds, “Tobit.”  H. It is not certain that they were cousin-germans.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  My.  Gr. “our brother.  But they replied: We know him.  And he said: is he well?  But they answered: He is both alive and in health.  And Tobias said; He is my father.”

 

Ver. 7.  Went.  Gr. “leaped up.” A. Gr. “my good…man.  And hearing that Tobit had lost his sight, he was grieved, and wept.”

 

Ver. 9.  After.  Gr. “and they gave them a cordial reception.  And they slew (sacrificed) a ram of the flock, and placed much food before them,” (H.) to shew their regard.  Gen. xviii. 6.  C. “But Tobias said, to Raphael: Brother Azarias, mention what thou saidst to me on the road, and let the affair come to perfection.  And he explained the matter to Raguel.  And Raguel said: Eat and drink, and be merry.  It behoveth thee to have my child.  Yet I will lay the truth before thee.  I gave my child to seven husbands, and when they entered in to her, they died the very night.  For the present, therefore, be merry.  And Tobias said: I will taste nothing here, till you produce and place her before me.  And Raguel said: Take care of her henceforth, according to judgment: (H. or the law.  C.) you are brother and sister.  May then the merciful God grant you the greatest prosperity.  And he called Sara, his daughter, and she came to her father: then taking her by the hand, he gave her,” v. 15.  H. S. Ambrose (Off. iii. 14.) reads in the same manner, (C.) and commends the candour of Raguel in disclosing the truth, though it might have prevented his daughter from marrying; (W.) a case where people allow themselves (C.) too much liberty, in concealing defects.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Moses.  It was not so much in force during the captivity, particularly as Raguel had only moveables; and therefore the seven former husbands had not been near relations.  M. It was a disgrace to refuse marrying a relation, who was an heiress.  Num. xxxvi. 6.  Ruth iv. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Hand.  This was the mode of confirming agreements, in Media.  Alex. Genial v. 3. The custom prevailed in marriages, (Lament. v. 6.  Isai. lxii. 8.) as it does still among Christians. It.  Gr. “her for a wife to Tobias, and said: Behold: take care of her according to the law of Moses, and go to thy father.  And he blessed them.  And he called Edna, his wife, and taking a book, wrote a note, (H. or contract.  C.) and sealed it, and they began to eat.”  H. It was almost universally the custom to have such writings, particularly where polygamy prevailed.  The wives of lower condition were taken without formality.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Chamber.  Different from that where they kept the feast, and perhaps (H.) not the same with the nuptial chamber, which had been so unfortunate, in order that Sara might not be so much alarmed.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Wept, at the recollection of what had happened.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  And she.  Gr. adds, “received the tears of her daughter; and said, have confidence, child.” For the.  Gr. “instead of this sorrow, have a good heart, daughter.”  H.

 

 

TOBIAS 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  To her, in the nuptial chamber.  See Gen. xxix. 23.

 

Ver. 2.  Bag, (cassidili) resembling a wallet or pannier, for provisions.  C. Liver.  C. vi. 8.  This mystically represented the Passion of Christ, by which the devil is expelled from men’s hearts.  S. Aug. ser. 28, de Sanct. Prosper, promis. ii. c. 39.  W. Gr. “and he took the ashes of incense, and placed thereon the heart of the fish and the liver, causing them to smoke.  And when the devil perceived the odour, he fled to the highest parts of Egypt, and the angel bound him,” (H.) confining his malice to those deserts.  Jesus Christ insinuates that the devil walks through dry places.  Mat. xii. 24.  The angel was not seen to absent himself:  C. This country was chosen as being very remote from Media.  Houbigant. It was afterwards sanctified by the presence of many Christian solitaries.  H. Our adversaries laugh at this account.  But surely Christ has used similar expressions of binding the devil, who cannot molest people, when he is not present; (Houbigant) or do any thing without the divine permission.  C. vi. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Then.  Gr. “and when they were shut up together, Tobias ascended the bed, (klinhV, on which it was customary to sit, (H.) or rather according to the Rom. edition, he rose from the bed) and said, Arise, sister, and let us pray, that the Lord may take pity on us.  And Tobias began to say,” v. 7.  H. The rest is omitted.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Lord.  Gr. “Blessed art thou, the God of our fathers, and blessed is thy name, holy and glorious for ever.  May the heavens and all thy creatures bless thee.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Of.  Gr. “And gavest him Eve for his wife, an assistant, and a support.  From these all the seed of men was formed. Thou didst say, It is not good for man to be alone: Let us make for him a helper like unto himself.  And now Lord,” &c.

 

Ver. 9.  Only.  Gr. “for truth,” resolving to be ever faithful to her.  H. We cannot read the pure sentiments of Tobias and Sara, brought up in the midst of infidels, without surprise.  Nothing more perfect could be required of Christians (C.) in the married state.  H. S. Aug. (Doct. x. and xviii.) adduces this text to shew the true intent of marriage.

 

Ver. 10.  And.  Gr. “Order pity to be shewn me, and that I may grow old with this woman.  And she said along with him, Amen.  And they both slept the night,” probably on separate beds, v. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  It.  Gr. “Raguel arising, went and dug a grave, saying, lest this man also should die.  Then Raguel came to his own house, and said to Edna, his wife.”

 

Ver. 14.  Dead.  Gr. “alive. But if not, that I may bury him, and no body may know,”  The custom of burying too soon ought to be avoided, as many have thus been consigned to the tomb before they were really dead!

 

Ver. 15.  Together.  In the same chamber, (H.) or with their clothes on.  Serar. q. 21.  The Vulg. specifies that the three first nights were to be spent in continence.  But the other versions are silent on this head.  C. Gr. “And the girl entered, having opened the door, and found the two sleeping; and going out, she told them that he was alive.  And Raguel blessed,” &c.

 

Ver. 17.  And.  Gr. “saying, Blessed art thou, O God, in all pure and holy benediction; and may all thy saints, and all thy creatures, bless thee.  Yea, may all thy angels, and thy elect, bless thee for all ages.  Blessed art thou, because thou hast filled me with joy, and it has not happened as I suspected: but thou hast done unto us according to thy great mercy.  And,” v. 19.

 

Ver. 19.  Make.  Gr. “Shew them mercy, Lord.  Perfect their life in health, with gladness and mercy.  But he ordered his domestics to fill up the grave, and he made them a marriage feast for fourteen days.  And,” v. 23.  The ancient Vulg. seems rather more conformable to the present. “Raguel ordered his wife to make several loaves, and going himself to the flock, he brought two cows and four rams, and ordered them to prepare a feast.  He called Tobias, and swore to him, saying, Thou shalt not depart hence these 14 days, but remain here eating and drinking with me, and shalt fill with joy me and my daughter, who has been greatly afflicted.  Receive half of my goods, and thou shalt return safe and sound to thy father; and after my death, and that of my wife, thou shalt have the other half.”  H. Gr. and Heb. mention nothing of the beasts slaughtered, or of Raguel’s testament.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Journey.  He expected that Tobias would proceed to Rages.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  Adjured.  Gr. “said to him before the two days of the marriage were accomplished, with an oath, that he should not depart till the 14 days of marriage were over; and then taking half of his goods, he might depart in health to his father, and receive the rest when I and my wife shall be no more.”  H.   Weeks.  The usual term was doubled, (Gen. xxix. 27.) on account of the mercy shewn to Sara, and her marriage.  M.

 

 

TOBIAS 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  The angel.  Gr. “Raphael, and said.” I pray.  Gr. “Take with thee a servant and two camels,” v. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Rages.  Tobias remained in the province of the same name.  C. iii. 7.  W. And to.  Gr. “Bring me the money and him to the marriage feast.”

 

Ver. 5.  Whose.  Greek, “that I should not go out, and my father,” &c. v. 4.  H. Tobias finds out an expedient to shew his respect for God, his father, and his friend, (C.) without retarding the business for which he came.

 

Ver. 6.  And received.  Gr. “But he produced the coffers sealed up, and gave him, and they set off early together, and came to the wedding, and Tobias blessed his wife,” (H.) by removing the source of her disgrace. The Heb. of Fagius is equally concise in this chapter, omitting all the rest.  C. Munster has only, “Raguel wept, embracing Tobias, and said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has made thee (Sara) marry this man.  May he, in his mercy, grant you male children, who may employ themselves in the law of the Lord.”

 

Ver. 12.  Lord.  Not giving too much way to pleasure, (H.) or gluttony, as Plato beautifully commends.  Leg. vi. Serarius.  W.

 

 

TOBIAS 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  But.  Gr. “And Tobit, his father, counted each day; and as the days of the journey were ended, and they did not come, Tobit said, Is he not put to shame?” (H.) and refused payment?  C. Old Vulg. and Prot. “detained.”

 

Ver. 3.  He.  Gr. “He was much troubled.  But his wife said to him, the boy is come to an untimely end, since he tarries; and she began to mourn for him, and said, I am not, or am I not full of solicitude, my son, that I have let thee go, the light of my eyes and Tobit ?”, v. 6.  Without this interrogation, (H.) the Gr. seems to be corrupt; (C.) and wV, “how,” or oi, “woe,” should be put instead of ou, “not.”  Drus. Grot. &c.  “Now I care for nothing, my son, since I have let thee go, the light,” &c.  Prot.

 

Ver. 6.  That.  Gr. “and she said to him, Be silent, deceive me not.  My son is lost: and she went out daily into the road without, by which they departed.  In the day time she eat no bread, and the night she spent in bewailing her son, Tobias, till the 14 days of the wedding were finished, which Raguel had adjured him to tarry there.  And,” v. 9.  H. Thus the converted Jews lament that Christ should so long abandon their nation, while some hope like Tobias, and others are in more suspense, like his wife.  V. Bede. So Catholics, in countries fallen into heresy, are in great distress for their brethren; (Rom. ix.) While some more confidently hope that God will enlighten our nation again, as sight was restored to old Tobias.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Raguel. Gr. “Tobias,” as v. 9, which is transposed.

 

Ver. 9.  Days.  It would require 42, (T.) or 38, (Torniel) or 34 days, (Salien.  M.) to perform what is here recorded.  H. But it would be difficult to ascertain the precise time.  To go from Ninive to Ecbatana would occupy eight or ten days.  C. If, therefore, the parents of Tobias expected that he would return in about 20 days, they might well wonder at the 14 days’ delay occasioned by the marriage.  The distance might prevent him from giving notice of this event.  Gr. “Dismiss me, because my, &c….no longer hope to see me again.  But his father-in-law replied, Stop with me,” &c. v. 8.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  When.  Gr. “And Tobias said, No; but dismiss me to my father and mother.  Then Raguel rising up, gave him Sarra, his wife, and half his goods, bodies, beasts, and silver.”  This expression, bodies, (H). or men generally denotes slaves; but it may also be put for others, (C.) who were in the train of Sara.  Grot. Safe.  Gr. “with blessing, saying, May God prosper you, children, the God of heaven, before I die; and he said to his daughter, Honour thy father and mother-in-law, they are now thy parents.  May I hear a good report of thee, and he kissed her; and Edna said to Tobias, dear brother, May the Lord of heaven re-establish thee and grant me to behold thy children by my daughter, Sarra, that I may rejoice before the Lord; and behold, I place my daughter with thee as a deposit, and thou must not grieve her.  Afterwards she departed, and Toby also blessing God, and he made his journey prosperous and blessed. Raguel, and Edna, and his wife.”  H. The Jews still adopt many customs similar to those which we here behold, as this is a most excellent description of a holy marriage.  Serarius.  C. Some also prevail in the Christian Church, though marriage is now become more holy, and a sacrament.  Cat. Rom. q. 22. The proper intent of the contract, and many rites accompanying it, may be seen in the preceding chapters.  W.

 

 

TOBIAS 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Charan.  Not the residence of Abraham.  Gen. xii. 4.  Syr. reads, “Bazri,” or “Carrac.”  Old Vulg. ibat Caracha, quæ est civitas in Ninive.  Arrian places Carcha in Assyria, and Ptolemy mentions a Characa in Susiana. Midway.  At this rate, the distance from Ninive to Ecbatana would be 22 days’ journey.  But it is not half so much for a man travelling expeditiously.  C. Tobias had much luggage.  Leaving it with his wife, (H.) he went from this city to Ninive in three or four days, v. 18.  C. Gr. “and he travelled on till he came near to Ninive.  And Raphael said,” &c.

 

Ver. 3.  If.  Gr. “Let us go quickly before thy wife, and prepare the house.”  H. This would be necessary, for the reception of so many goods, as well as to relieve the anxiety (C.) of the aged parents, and prevent surprise.

 

Ver. 4.  And.  Gr. “Take now in thy hand the gall of the fish.  And they went on.  And the dog followed close up to them; (H.  Syr. “ran before them.”  C.) and Anna.”

 

Ver. 6.  Cometh.  Gr. adds, “and the man who went with him.”

 

Ver. 7.  To.  Gr. “I know, Tobias, that thy father will open his eyes.  Ancient, therefore, the gall upon his eyes, and feeling the smart, he will rub and remove the white specks, and shall see thee.”  H. God.  This laudable custom was observed by the ancient solitaries, and prescribed by the rule of S. Benedict, c. 53.

 

Ver. 9.  The dog, &c.  This may seem a very minute circumstance to be recorded in sacred history; but, as we learn from our Saviour, (S. Matt. v. 18) there are iotas and tittles in the word of God, that is to say, things that appear minute, but which have indeed a deep mysterious meaning in them. Ch. V. Bede.  S. Jer. in Isai. lvi. 8.  S. Aug. con. Faust. xxii. 56.  W. The other versions relate this event, v. 4.

 

Ver. 10.  And.  After v. 7, Gr. adds, “and Anna running before, fell upon the neck of her son, and said to him, I have beheld thee, son; henceforth I may die.  And they both wept.  And Tobit went out towards the door, and he stumbled.  But his son ran up to him, and took hold of his father, and spread the gall upon his father’s eyes, saying, Have confidence, father.  But as soon as they began to smart, he rubbed his eyes, and the white specks came off like skins from the corners: and beholding his son, he fell upon his neck, and wept.  Then he said,” v. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Hour.  This is not in the other versions.  C. It would intimate that the operation was natural. M. Yet some think that the cure was too instantaneous; (Drusius) or that the miracle consisted in the revelation of a remedy, till then unknown.  Serarius. The effect seems to have been of the same nature as that produced by the heart, &c.  C. vi. 8. W.  C. Estius believes that the optic nerve was entirely burnt.  If the external coat of the eyes was only covered with a sort of skin, it might be removed by the gall of several fishes.  C. Callionymi fel cicatrice sanat & carnes oculorum supervacuas consumit.  Pliny xxxii 4.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Lord.  Gr. “Blessed be God, and blessed be thy name for ever, and blessed be all thy holy angels; because thou hast scourged, and hast shewn mercy, and,” &c.

 

Ver. 18.  Days.  Or perhaps hours; (H.) as the other versions intimate that Sara Arrived the same day.  C. Gr. “And his son entered, rejoicing, and related to his father the great things which had taken place in Media.  And Tobit went out to meet his daughter-in-law, rejoicing, and blessing God, to the gate of Ninive.  And those who saw him walking were astonished, because he saw.  And Tobit confessed before them that God had taken pity on him.  And as Tobit approached to Sarra, his daughter-in-law, he blessed her, saying, Mayst thou come with safety, daughter.  Blessed be God, who has brought thee to us, and blessed be thy father and thy mother.  And there was joy among all his brethren at Ninive. And,” v. 20.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Achior.  Gr. “Achiachar,” mentioned C. i. 24.  This text insinuates that he was also styled Anael (H.) and Nasbas, and was the nephew of Tobit.  Grot.  C. Gr. “And there came Achiachar, and Nasbas, his brother’s son, and the wedding of Tobias was kept in joy for seven days.”  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Joy.  Old Vulg. adds, “and many presents were made to him.”

 

 

TOBIAS 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  What.  Gr. Heb. and Syr.  C.  “See thou give the man who has come with thee his hire, and something must be added to it;” (H.) as he had promised (C. vii. 19.) a drachm a day, (C.) and more if they returned safe.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Said.  Gr. “Father, I shall not be hurt if I give him half of what I have brought, since he has conducted me safe back to thee, and has healed my wife, and brought my money, and likewise has cured thee.  And the old man said, he justly deserves it.  And he called the angel, and said to him, Take half of what you have brought, and depart in health.  Then,” v. 6.

 

Ver. 6.  Said.  Gr. “Calling the two, in private, he said to them.”

 

Ver. 7.  Hide.  Gr. “To bless God, and to extol his name, exposing with honour the words of God, and delay not to confess unto him. For,” &c.  H. The Old Vulg. greatly abridges the remainder of this book, having only, “Then Raphael having called the two Tobies, said to them, Since thou hast not delayed to arise, and to leave thy meals to bury the dead, I have been sent to try thee to heal thee, and to deliver thy daughter-in-law.  I am Raphael, one of the angels who assist and appear before the brightness of God.  Hereupon the two Tobies were startled, and fell prostrate on the ground, and were seized with fear.  And Raphael said, Fear not, Peace be with you.  Bless the Lord all the days of your life, and sing his praises.  You thought that I eat when I was at table with you.  But you saw with your eyes; (H. only a vision.  C.) wherefore bless the Lord upon the earth, and praise his goodness.  As for me, I return to him who sent me.  Write down all that has happened.  The angel having spoken thus to Tobias, the latter wrote this prayer as a monument of his joy, and said, Blessed be the Lord, who is great in eternity, because his reign endures for ever.  It is He who strikes, and who shews I mercy, who conducts to the grave, and who, by his majesty, rescues from the greatest miseries; and no one can withdraw himself from his hands.  End of Tobias the just.”  H. King.  Secrecy is the soul of human councils, to prevent an enemy from thwarting our designs: but nothing can withstand the divine power.  It is therefore proper to testify our gratitude for favours received, as the ancient saints have done by their canticles.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Alms.  Gr. adds, “and justice.  Better is a little with justice, than much with iniquity.”  H. Fasting and alms are like the wings of prayer.  W.  See C. iv. 11.

 

Ver. 9.  Everlasting.  This word is not found in Greek, though sufficiently implied; as liberality does not always secure a person’s life, or temporal happiness.  C. Gr. “Those who perform alms-deeds and justice, shall be filled with life.  But sinners are enemies,” &c.

 

Ver. 10.  Soul.  If this were understood of the present life, nothing could be less accurate, as the wicked often prosper.  See Ps. x. 6.  Jo. xii. 25.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  I.  Gr. “I will not hide from you any word or thing.  I said then, It is good to conceal the mystery of the king, but glorious to manifest the works of God.  And now, when thou and thy daughter-in-law, Sarra, did pray, I brought forward the memorial of your prayer before the holy one.”  H. The angels are represented as God’s ministers, offering our prayers to him.  Apoc. viii. 3.  C.  S. Aug.  W. Philo styles them ambassadors.  Socrates says, “every demon (or good spirit) is between God and mortals.” Plutarch. Inter homines cælicolasque, vectores hinc precum, inde donorum.  Apuleius de Deo Socrat.  C. Gr. continues, “and when thou didst bury the dead, in like manner, I was present with thee; when thou didst not delay to rise and leave thy dinner, that going thou mightest cover the dead; in thy good work, thou wast not hidden from me: but I was with thee. And,” &c. v. 14.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Thee.  This rule is invariable, that the good may advance in virtue, and set a pattern to the world, (Heb. ii. 18. and xii. 6.  Acts xiv. 21.  C.) and cancel their smallest faults.

 

Ver. 14.  From the devil, is not in Greek.  H. In this history, as well as in other parts of Scripture, we have convincing proofs of the good which each one receives from his angel guardian, and from the other blessed spirits.  See S. Luke xv. and xvi.  S. Chrys. in col. hom. 3.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xi. 31. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Raphael.  We know also the names of Michael and Gabriel.  All others are apocryphal; such as Uriel, Saltiel, Jeadriel Barachiel, &c. Seven.  This number is clearly specified by S. John, Apoc. i. 4.  A mass in their honour was approved by Pius IV.  It is supposed that the seven deacons in the Church of Rome, and of Jerusalem, were instituted in imitation of them.  The kings, Assuerus, &c. had seven chief officers.  Est. i. 10. C. Lord, ready to fulfil his orders, as innumerable other angels, of inferior degree, are likewise.  M.  Dan. vii. 10. These were the princes of the heavenly court.  S. Jerom (con. Jovin.) admits only seven orders of angels.  C. Gr. “I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who offer up the prayers of the saints, and go out before the glory of the Holy One.  And they were both troubled,” &c. (H.) at so unusual a thing, (M.) and filled with reverential awe.  H. They might also suspect that death would shortly follow.  C.  Gen. xvi. 13.

 

Ver. 17.  Be.  Gr. “shall be with you.  But praise God: for I came not of my own accord, but by the will of our God.  Wherefore praise him for ever.”

 

Ver. 19.  I.  Gr. “I appeared to you all the days; yet I did not eat nor drink.  But you beheld a vision.”  H. Having an aerial body, he made the provisions disappear, as the sun melts snow.  Gen. xviii. 9.  C. He might swallow, though he had no need of meat, (S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xiii. 22.) or digestion, (Grotius) so as to convert it into his substance.  M. Men.  I constantly enjoy the beatific vision.  Mat. xviii. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  It.  Gr. “And now confess to God, because I ascend to him who sent me.  Write ye all these occurrences in a book.  And they arose, and beheld him no longer; and they proclaimed the great and wonderful works of God, and how the angel of the Lord had appeared to them.”  H. Almost all interpreters infer from this injunction, (C.) that the work before us was originally composed by these holy men.  H.

 

 

TOBIAS 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Tobias.  Gr. “Tobit wrote a prayer for exultation, and said.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Hell; death.  M. Out of hell there is no redemption or return.  H.  1 K. ii. 6.

 

Ver. 4.  Therefore, is not in Greek.  H. But God had the good of the Gentiles in view, that they might become acquainted with his law, and behold the conduct of his saints, Tobias, Esther, Daniel, &c. (C.) as well as to punish his people.  H. Temporal afflictions are sometimes for the spiritual good of others.  W. Gr. “because he has scattered you among them.  There shew forth his grandeur, and extol him before everyone living: for he is our Lord and God, our Father for ever.  Yea, he hath chastised us in our iniquities, again he will have mercy, and will gather us from all nations where he has scattered us, if ye be converted to him with all your heart, and with all your soul, to act sincerely.  Then he will turn towards you, and will not hide his face from you; and ye shall behold what he will do with you, and ye shall confess to him with all your mouth, and bless the Lord of power, and extol the king of ages. I,” &c. v. 7.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Mercy.  He can discover nothing in the sinner.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Nation; the Israelites, (M.) whom he has chastised.  H. Ninive was still flourishing.  Yet the Greek seems to refer to the Assyrian idolaters, (C.) or to both.  Gr. “and I shew his power and magnificence to a sinful nation.  Who knows if he will love and shew his mercy to you?  I exalt my God, and my soul magnifies the King of heaven, and shall gladly proclaim his greatness: let all speak and confess to him in justice.”

 

Ver. 11.  Jerusalem.  What is prophetically delivered here, and in the following chapter, with relation to Jerusalem, is partly to be understood of the rebuilding the city after the captivity, and partly of the spiritual Jerusalem, which is the Church of Christ, and the eternal Jerusalem in heaven. Ch. It would seem that Jerusalem arid the temple were now destroyed, which is contrary to chronology, as Manasses had not yet began to reign, (C.) and Tobias died when he had been on the throne fifty-two years.  Houbigant. But the Greek shews that (C.) he speaks prophetically: (W.) “Jerusalem, holy city, He will chastise thee for the works of thy children, and again he will shew mercy on the children of the just.  Confess to the Lord, for he is good; and bless the king of ages, that his tabernacle may be again rebuilt in thee, with joy.” H. The Heb. of Munster had only a few verses of this and the following chapter.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Call.  Gr. “cause thy captives to rejoice in thee, and love in thee all the distressed unto eternity.”

 

Ver. 13.  Thou.  Gr. “Many nations from afar shall come to the name of the Lord God, with presents in their hands, presents for the king of heaven; race after race shall praise thee, and give exultation.  They,” &c. v. 16.  H. How many potent monarchs of Persia, Egypt, Rome, &c. honoured the temple of Jerusalem!  How many wars have been carried on by Christian potentates, to rescue that favourite spot out of the hands of infidels! all out of respect for Christ.  These priests are still better verified in his Church, to which the powers of the earth have submitted, (C.) esteeming it an honour and happiness to be members of this holy society.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Holy.  This soil has been carried into distant countries, out of reverence, (4 K. v. 17.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei xxii.8.) and has been honoured with miracles.  S. Greg. Turon. i. 7.

 

Ver. 16.  Despise.  Gr. “hate thee, and blessed shall be those who love thee for ever.”  H.

 

Ver. 17.  But.  Gr. “rejoice, and exult for the children of the just, because they shall be gathered together, and shall bless the Lord of the just.”  H. The people of God, in the old law, have often this title, as those of the new are styled saints.  Both have a claim to this prediction.  The Jews became more faithful after the captivity, so that the most cruel persecution of Epiphanes could not overcome their resolution; and the world was astonished at the courage of the martyrs, and the exemplary conduct of the primitive Christians.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Peace.  Gr. adds, “blessed are those who have mourned on account of thy chastisements, because they shall rejoice, beholding all thy glory, and their joy shall endure for ever.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Thou.  Gr. “God, the great king: For Jerusalem,” &c. v. 21.  H. Troubles.  This regards only the heavenly Jerusalem.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Seed.  Hence it appears that Tobias did not speak of an approaching event, (C.) or at least he wished that his posterity might be set free.

 

Ver. 21.  Emerald.  Gr. adds, “and precious stone: thy walls, and towers, and battlements, of pure gold.  And the streets of Jerusalem shall be strewed with beryl and carbuncle, and stone from Soupheir.”  H. This description resembles that of Isaias, (liv. 11.) who lived a little before.  S. John (Apoc. xxi.10.) represents the church in the same ornaments, denoting the merits of Christ and the virtues of his saints.  All are convinced that such expressions are not to be taken in the literal sense.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Alleluia.  A sound of praise.  S. Aug. (ep. 86.) means, “Praise ye the Lord (H.) with joy.”  W. It is disused in times of penance.  C. Gr. adds, ” and they shall praise, saying, Blessed be God, who has exalted it for ever.”

 

 

TOBIAS 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Words.  Gr. “confession; (or hymn of praise) and he was 58 years old when he lost his sight, which he recovered eight years after, and gave alms, and continued to fear the Lord God, and to confess unto him.  Now he arrived at a very advanced age,” 158, v. 10.  H. But this chronology must be abandoned.  All the versions disagree; and perhaps there may be none perfectly accurate.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Two.  Arab. and Schol. History, read “twelve.”

 

Ver. 5.  Seven.  Gr. Comp. and Alex. as well as Fagius, have only “six.”

 

Ver. 6.  The.  Gr. “Son, take thy children.  Behold, I am grown old, and my life is hastening to an end.  Depart into Media, my son, for I believe all that the prophet, Jonas, spoke concerning Ninive, that it will be overturned.  But in Media there will be more peace for a time, and that our brethren in the land will be scattered from the good land; and Jerusalem shall be deserted, and the house of God in it will be burnt, and shall be abandoned for a time; and they shall build the house, not like the former, till the times of the world or age be accomplished; and afterwards they shall return from the captives, and shall build Jerusalem gloriously; and the house of God shall be built in it, and the edifice shall be glorious for ever, as the prophets have spoken concerning it; and all the Gentiles shall turn truly to fear the Lord God, and shall undermine (and destroy) their idols; and all the Gentiles shall bless the Lord,” &c. v. 9.  H. This text is of importance, as it specifies the name of Jonas, and is quoted by S. Jerom; (ibid.) though Nahum (iii. 8.) and Sophonias (ii. 13.) also foretold the destruction of Ninive.  It speaks of the future, and not of the past ruin, of the temple, which certainly took place after the death of Tobias.  C. The prophets, however, frequently speak of future events, as if they were past, to shew the certainty of their predictions.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  In it.  Let the Jews shew when this was accomplished.  We can easily point out the nations converted from idolatry to the Church of Christ, as the prophets foretold.  Jer. iii. 17. and xvi. 19.  C. It cannot, therefore, be understood of the temporal Jerusalem.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  And.  Gr. “And his people shall confess to God, and the Lord shall exalt his people, and all shall rejoice who love the Lord God in truth and justice, shewing mercy to our brethren.  And now, son, depart from Ninive; for what the prophet, Jonas, spoke, shall surely be accomplished.”  H. This prediction was conditional, as was also the pardon of the people, who were justly punished for their relapse.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Seek with diligence, not barely doing what you are commanded.  H. Gr. is much more diffuse.  C. “But do thou keep the law and the ordinances, be a lover of alms-deeds, and just, that it may be well with thee.  Bury me with decency, and thy mother with me, and tarry then no longer at Ninive.  Son, behold what Aman (Syr.  Acab.) did to Achiachar, who fed him, how he conducted him from light into darkness, and what return he made him.  Now, Achiachar met with safety: but he received his due, and he went down into darkness.  Manasses gave alms, and was rescued from the snare of death, which was laid for him: but Aman fell into the snare, and perished.  And now, son, behold the effects of alms-deeds, and how justice brings deliverance.  While he was speaking these things, his soul failed upon the bed: but he was 150 years old, and he buried him honourably.”  H. The allusion to Aman seems improper, he lived many years after the captivity; (C.) or rather it may refer to some other history (Houbigant) with which we are not acquainted.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  And.  Gr. “And when Anna, his mother, was dead; he buried her with his father.  But Tobias departed with his wife and sons to Ecbatana, to Raguel, his father-in-law, and lived to an honourable old age; and he buried honourably his father and mother-in-law, and he inherited their substance, as well as that of his father, Tobit.”  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Fifth.  Including himself.  He might see the offspring of his great grandson, if he lived only 70 years after his marriage.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Nine.  Syr. 107.  C. Gr. “But he also died at the age of 127, at Ecbatana, of Media; and he heard, before his death, of the destruction of Ninive, the citizens of which Nabuchodonosor and Assuerus led captives; and he rejoiced over Ninive before he died.”  We have been more particular in giving the Greek text of this book, because some look upon it as an original; and we should wish to lose no particle of the word of God, which is more precious than gold.  Tobias might applaud the execution of divine justice without any private resentment.  H. Ninive was taken by Nabuchodonosor, who acted for his father, Nabopolassar, with whom Astyages, king of the Medes, was leagued.  They took the city in the reign of Chinaladan, or Sarac, A. 3378.  It also fell a prey to its enemies, under Sardanapalus, A. 3257; as the inhabitants did not persevere in sentiments of repentance, which they had entertained at the preaching of Jonas, in the reign of Phul.  Hence God revealed its destruction to Tobias.  C.   With joy, may refer to the surviving friends, who rejoiced interiorly at his felicity, while they wept for their own loss; or it may he understood of the deceased; who, like his father, (v. 4.  C.) rejoiced in the Lord, and in performance of good works.

 

Ver. 17.  Kindred.  Behold the influence of good example; (H.) and a proof that the true religion failed not in Israel much less in Juda, or the Church of Christ.  W. The virtues of these two holy men are truly deserving of applause and imitation.  They thought and acted in perfect conformity with the gospel.  The father might represent the old law, under all its inconveniences, while the son holds forth the light of Christ, and banishes the devil.  C.

 

 

JUDITH

THE BOOK OF JUDITH.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

The sacred writer of this Book is generally believed to be the high priest Eliachim, (called also Joachim.)  The transactions herein related, most probably happened in his days, and in the reign of Manasses, after his repentance and return from captivity.  It takes its name from that illustrious woman, by whose virtue and fortitude, armed with prayer, the children of Israel were preserved from the destruction threatened them by Holofernes and his great army.  It finishes with her canticle of thanksgiving to God.  Ch. He was a chief officer at court, under Ezechias, (4 K. xviii. 18.  H.) before he was high priest, assuming his father Helchias’s name.  Many suppose that he was the author of this Book, as Josephus informs us that the priests recorded the most remarkable transactions.  But this would prove that they wrote all the histories of the Bible.  S. Jerom (in Agg. i. 6.) seems to believe that Judith left these memoirs.  Yet we have no certain proof of the author.  Josephus passes over this history, as he professed to exhibit only the Heb. books.  Ant. x. 11. Prol. &c.  S. Jerom doubts not but this was written in Chaldee, from which language he translated it; unless he caused it to be first explained to him in Heb. as he did the Book of Tobias.  C. He might, however, have attained sufficient knowledge of the former language, which is so like the Hebrew, before he undertook this work.  H. He professes to give “the sense,” rather than a verbal translation.  The Greek must have been taken from another copy, and is followed by the Syriac, in which we find some passages more exact than in the present Greek copies.  The original is entirely lost.  It might have removed many difficulties.  Those however which are started by our adversaries, are not unanswerable.  Grotius would suppose that this work is only a parable, representing the state of the Jewish church under the persecution of Epiphanes.  But this singular notion has no foundation; and if it had, the authenticity of the Book would not be endangered, as the parable both of the Old and New Testament are certainly true, and written by inspiration.  C. Luther styles it a poetical comedy; (Pref. et Sympos. 29.) but both Jews and Christians have esteemed it as a true history: (W.) and this innovator (H.) allows, that “the Book is beautiful, and written by an inspired prophet.”  C. The Fathers have looked upon it with the utmost veneration; and S. Jerom, though he was at one time under some doubts, placed it on a level with the Books of Ruth, and Esther, &c.  Ep. ad Principiam. It is admitted by Origen, Tertullian, S. Chrys. S. Hilary, V. Bede, &c. as the history of a most valiant matron, delivering God’s people from a cruel tyrant.  W. Some place this event under Cambyses, son of Cyrus; (Euseb.  S. Aug.) others under Xerxex, (Torniel) or Darius Hystaspes, (E.) or Ochus: (Sulp. Severus) but the opinion which has been given above is more accurate; (C.) or rather Bethulia was saved, while Manasses was in captivity, (in the 10th year of his reign) and the high priest administered affairs in his absence.  At this point, Judith might be thirty-five years old.  She lived seventy years afterwards; and many days (perhaps eight years more) passed before the country was invaded by Pharao Nechao.  C. xvi. 30.  Thus Manasses survived 45 years, Amon 2, Josias 31; total 78.  This chronology removes every difficulty.  Houbig. Pref. If true, it seems probable that the work would be originally in Heb. as the Chaldee was used only after the captivity, (H.) which may be farther proved from C. i. 15.  Greek.  Houbigant. Protestants prefer to translate this and the other apocrypha from the Greek.  M.

 

 

JUDITH 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Now, refers to the internal purpose of the author.  S. Greg. hom 2. in Ezec.  W.  Many of the books begin with And; shewing their connection.  This work formed a part of the general history.  The building of Ecbatana likewise took place soon after the destruction of Ninive, mentioned in the preceding book. Arphaxad.  He was probably the same as is called Dejoces by Herodotus; to whom he attributes the building of Ecbatana, the capital city of Media; (Ch.) or Arphaxad, more resembles both in name and actions the  second king Phraortes or Apharaartas, (Montfaucon and Houbig.) who fortified and embellished the city.  C. Ecbatana, or Agbata, which in Arabic signifies “variegated;” (Bochart) as the seven walls, rising one higher than another round it, were marked with one white, two black, three red, four blue, five dark red, six silver, seven gold.  Herod. i. 98.  C.  See Tob. iii. 7.

 

Ver. 2.  Hewed.  Gr. adds, “three cubits broad and six long.”  The ancients aimed at solidity in their architecture, as appears from their ruins.  C. High.  Salien (A. 3345) thinks there is a transposition, and that the walls were 70 cubits high.  M. What need was there of such a breadth?  Gr. allows 70 in height, and 50 in breadth, which seems more proportionate.  Old Vulg. has 60 cubits high, and 50 broad.  On the walls of Ninive, three chariots might fight abreast, (C.) and six on those of Babylon.  Ctesias. Feet.  Projecting from the wall, to remove an enemy.  M. Gr. “and the towers thereof he placed above the gates 100 cubits, and the foundation was 60 cubits broad.  And he made the gates to rise 70 cubits, being 40 cubits in breadth, to send out the armies of his mighty men, and to draw up his infantry.”  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Gloried.  Fool, this night wilt thou perish.  Luke xii. 20.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Nabuchodonosor.  Not the king of Babylon, who took and destroyed Jerusalem, but another of the same name, who reigned in Nivine; and is called by profane historians Saosduchin.  He succeeded Asarhaddon in the kingdom of the Assyrians, and was contemporary with Manasses, king of Juda.  Ch. He might be the same with Asarhaddon, who resided at Ninive in the 20th year of his reign.  After the defeat at Bethulia, the Medes recovered part of their power, under Cyaxares I. who was succeeded by Astyages and Cyaxares II. with whom Cyrus was associated in the empire.  Xenophon. Asarhaddon spent the latter years of his life at Babylon, of which he had made himself master.  Houbigant. The Jews frequently give names to foreign princes different from those by which they are known in profane history.  See Tob. ult.  H. Him.  Gr. afterwards (v. 15) insinuates, that he prevented any from mounting the throne of Media, till this work was written, “he transfixed him with his darts, and destroyed him till this day.”  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 6.  Ragau, near Rages.  Tob. i. 16.  M. Syr. “Dura,” mentioned Dan. iii. 1.  C. Jadason, or Mount Jason, above the Caspian gates; (Strabo xi.) unless it may be the city Jassu, in Armenia.  Gr. has “the Hydaspes,” a river of India, though Curtius (v.) places it near Susa; confounding it with the Choaspes. Elicians.  Gr. “Elymeans,” perhaps the same with Pontus.  Heb. Ellasar.  Gen. xiv. 9.  Various battles were fought during this war, which the Greek intimates lasted seven years.  C. That version also would represent those and various other nations coming to meet Nabuchodonosor, who hereupon sent his ambassadors to all in Persia, and westward to Cilicia, &c.  As they were treated contemptuously, he swore that he would revenge himself.  But first he attacked Arphaxad, took and sacked Ninive, slew the king, and then abandoned himself with his army to pleasure in the conquered city, “120 days.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Esdrelon.  Syr. “Jezrael,” which is the usual name in Scripture.  Jos. xvii. 16.

 

Ver. 9.  Jesse, or Gessen, where Joseph placed his brethren.  Gen. xlvi. 34.

 

Ver. 11.  Refused.  Gr. adds, “and did not come to help him in the war, because they feared him not, (H. supposing he would have enough to do with Arphaxad) as he was but like their equal, or as one man.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Countries.  Those who were subject to him did wrong in refusing aid.  But the Jews were under no such obligations; and God espoused their cause the more, as the king set up for a deity.  C. iii.  C. He had at first entertained thoughts of universal dominion, (H.) being elated by his victory, like other conquerors. Auferre, trucidare, rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.  Tacit. Agric.

 

 

JUDITH 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Thirteenth.  Gr. 18th. Month.  Nisan, in spring.

 

Ver. 2.  Secret.  Lit. “mystery.”  Tob. xii. 7.  C. Abditos principis sensus exquirere illicitum.  Tacit. An. vi.

 

Ver. 3.  Empire.  “The thirst of empire and riches is an old and deep-rooted cause of making war.”  Sallust. Frag. Gr. adds, “and they (counsellors) judged that all flesh must be destroyed of those who had not complied with his order.”   H. God laughs at the vain designs of men.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Armies.  Gr. adds, “and the second after himself,” in the kingdom.  M. Casaubon suspects that this drunkard was the king mentioned in history, as having lost the kingdom of Cappadocia, by attempting to introduce the dissolute feasts of Baccus.  Polyb. xxxii. ap. Athen. x. 11. He made his attack first upon this country, v. 13.

 

Ver. 5.  Commandment.  Gr. adds, he must demand “earth and water,” as an acknowledgment of his dominion, and that all necessaries of life belonged to him.  This custom prevailed in Persia.  Herod. iv. 123.  Polyb. xix.  Brisson iii.

 

Ver. 9.  Syria: part of which, it seems, had submitted.  C. Gr. “and corn for every man, in abundance,” (H.) for fear it should be carried off in the countries which he invaded.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Archers.  Gr. adds, “a mixed multitude,” not bearing arms.  Ex. xii. 38.

 

Ver. 12.  When.  Gr. “and they proceeded from Ninive, three days’ journey, to the plain of Bektileth,” or Bagdania, in Cappadocia, between Mount Argee and Taurus.  Strabo (xii.) assures us that Argee is the highest mountain in the country, from which the two seas of Cilicia and the Euxine may be seen.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Melothus, or Melita, built by Semiramis, (Pliny vi. 3.) in the same country. Tharsis, or Cilicia, peopled by the son of Javan. Ishmahel, on the Euphrates, east of the Desert Arabia.

 

Ver. 14.  Mambre.  Gr. “Abrona, (C.) or Arbonai;” (H.) that is, from the river Chaboras to the Persian Gulph, or sea.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Japheth, or Joppe, now Jaffa.  Serarius. Gr. “he cut in pieces all who opposed him; and he came to the borders of Japheth, which are on the south, over-against Arabia.”

 

Ver. 16.  Carried.  Greek, “surrounded…and burnt their tents, and plundered their folds for cattle:” mandraV.  H. Madian lay to the east of the Dead Sea.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Harvest.  The rapidity of his conquests was astonishing, as all this had been done in six or seven weeks, v. 1.  But Holofernes probably sent his lieutenants into different parts at the same time.  C. Caused.  Gr. “he burnt all their fields, and destroyed their flocks and herds, and plundered their cities, and put to the sword all their young men.”

 

Ver. 18.  Land.  Gr. adds, “on the sea-shore, in Sidon,…Ascalon,” &c.  H.

 

 

JUDITH 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Kings.  Gr. “they sent to him ambassadors, with proposals for peace, saying: Behold we, the servants of Nabuchodonosor, the great king, lay before thee; use us as thou thinkest best,” &c.  These proposals were made by those on the sea-coast, from Sidon and Tyre to Ascalon, from whom Holofernes took “the choicest men,” being received with honour, v. 10.  H. Syria, &c.  These are not specified in the Greek. Sobal, or Soba, (1 K. xiv. 47.) near Damascus, where Ptolemy (v.) places Samoulis. Lybia seems too remote, and had not been attacked: some therefore would read Lycia, or Lygia, (Herod. vii. 72.) or rather Lydia, (C.) which Holofernes had “cut in pieces,” according to the Greek.  C. ii. 13.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Great.  This was his usual title.  Dan. ii. 30.  4 K. xviii. 19.  C. Slavery.  Yet they make an unconditional submission.  H. It is better for us to submit to servitude than to be slaughtered like our brethren.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Sight, at thy disposal.  Gen. xiii. 9.  Prov. xv. 11.

 

Ver. 10.  Lights.  Torches were used to testify joy.  2 Mac. iv. 22.

 

Ver. 11.  Though.  Greek, “He demolished all their borders, and cut down their groves.”

 

Ver. 13.  Called.  Gr. “Worshipped by all nations, and that all their tongues and tribes might call him god.”  H. Behold to what lengths ambition may be carried.  If he had only claimed a place among the other pagan deities, his title was as good as theirs.  C. He is a figure of Antichrist; for whom all heretics pave the way.  2 Thes. ii.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Apamea, on the river Orontes, between which and the river Eleutherus, lay the  Mesopotamia here mentioned. Idumeans, or to “Rama,” near Gabaa, which was on the north of Jerusalem; whereas Idumea lay far to the south.  C. Yet (H.) Gabaa may designate a mountainous country, as 1 K. vii. 1. (M.) and there is no reason why Idumea might not have felt the power of Holofernes, as well as Madian, &c.  H. The order of conquests in not observed, (M.) for while the commander-in-chief was in one place, his generals were dispersed into different parts.  He had now advanced as far as Gabaa of Saul, (H.) when meditating a serious attack upon Egypt, he thought proper to concentrate his forces; little expecting to meet with such a check at Bethulia.  C. Gr. “He came to Esdrelon, near Dotaia, (or Dothaim, north of Sichem) which is opposite the great saw of Judea,” or the range of mountains of Ephraim.  C. Old Vulg. “of Juda,” dividing it from Idumea.  The kings of Israel had fortified the defiles.  3 K. xv. 17.

 

Ver. 15.  Took.  Gr. “encamped between Gaba and Scythopolis, (Bethsan.  Jos. xvii. 11.) and he was there a month of days, to collect all the burden of his army.”

 

 

JUDITH 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Juda, whither those had retreated who had escaped the fury of the Assyrians, under Theglathphalassar, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Temples.  Surrendering would not secure these things; so that their very life and religion were at stake.  Resistance, in other circumstances, would have been rashness.  C. Gr. adds, “because they were recently come up from captivity, and lately all the people had been collected out of Judea, and the vessels, and the altar, and the house, had been purified from profanation,” (H.) to which they had been exposed under Manasses, (C. v. 23.  C.) who with several of his subjects had been made prisoner, and was now at Babylon; or, if returned, (H.) was wholly taken up with the concerns of his soul, and committed the care of affairs to Eliachim.  See Joseph.  x. 4.  2 Par. xxxiii. 12. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Samaria, though an enemy’s country, as the danger was common.  M. Ezechias and Josias seemed to claim a right over the country.  2 Par. xxx. 1. &c. xxxiv. 6. and 33.

 

Ver. 4.  War.  Gr. adds, “as the harvest was just ended.”

 

Ver. 5.  Priest.  Gr. “the great priest in Jerusalem, in those days, wrote to the inhabitants of Betouloua, (H. Bethulia, in the tribe of Simeon) and of Betemestham, (Bethsames.  C.) which is over-against Esdrelon, and the plain near Dothaim, giving orders to seize the mountainous ascents, by which there was a passage into Judea; and it was easy to stop their progress, as the passage was narrow, and would not admit above two men at once.”  This reminds us of the heroic resistance which Leonidas, with his 300 Spartans, made to the millions in the army of Xerxes, at Thermopylæ.  H. It seems that Jews attempted to defend these defiles.  They had received the orders before the enemy encamped near Scythopolis.

 

Ver. 6.  Them.  Gr. adds, “and the senate of all the people of Israel, which sat at Jerusalem.”  Serarius thinks that Manasses was busy fortifying the city, and had committed the rest of the kingdom to Eliachim, (M.  W.) who received such high commendations.  Isai. xxii. 20.  C. But is more probable that he was at Babylon.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 7.  Wives.  Gr. adds, “and their little ones, and beasts, and every sojourner, and hired servant and slave.  They put sackcloth on their loins, and every man, woman, and child, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, fell prostrate before the temple, and sprinkled ashes on their heads.”  The very beasts were covered with sackcloth, to denote the general sorrow.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Priests.  Gr. “and they spread their sackclothes before the Lord, and arrayed the altar with sackcloth.” H. This spectacle must have made impression on the most obdurate.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Off.  Lit. “divided” from their husbands, (H.) or among the victors.  M. Gentiles.  Gr. adds, “and God heard their petition, and rescued them from their affliction; and all the people fasted many days in all Judea and Jerusalem, before the sanctuary of the Lord all mighty; and the high priest, Joachim, and all the priests who stood before the Lord, and ministered to the Lord, having their loins girded with sackcloth, offered the accustomed holocaust and the vows and presents of the people, and ashes were upon their caps, and they cried to the Lord with all their power, to look down graciously upon all the house of Jerusalem.  And,” C. v.

 

Ver. 10.  Israel, before the approach of the enemy.  H.  v. 5.

 

Ver. 15.  Clothes, conformably to the advice of Joel, i. 13.  C.

 

 

JUDITH 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Mountains.  Gr. adds, “and had fortified every summit of a high mountain, and had placed scandals in the plains,” obstructing the passage (H.) with ditches, trees, (C.) and snares of every description.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Ammon.  Gr. adds, “and the satraps of the maritime country,” (H.) the Philistines, who had submitted like the rest.

Ver. 3.  Them.  Gr. adds, “Ye sons of Chanaan tell.”  He was not acquainted with their origin: the title belonged only to the Phœnicians, (C.) who might also be present.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  East.  Gr. “west,” which seems more accurate, unless Holofernes was on the sea-coast, (C.) or that part of the country went by this name, as it does at present.  H. He was not absolutely unacquainted with the Jews, but spoke in contempt, (v. 27.  W.  M.) and wished to know if they had formed a league with the Egyptians, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  My.  Gr. “the mouth of thy slave.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Chaldeans.  Abraham was a native of Ur.  Gen. xii.  C. This tended to conciliate the favour of the general, who as of the same country.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Heaven.  Gr. adds, “the God whom they had known, and they (the Chaldean idolaters) cast them out from the face of the gods, and they fled into Mesopotamia, and dwelt there many days: (H. that is, about two years.  C.) and their God commanded them to leave their abode, and to go into the land of Chanaan; and they dwelt there, and were enriched;…and when,” &c. There.  Gr. “and where there till they returned; and there they became innumerable.”  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Oppressed.  Gr. “craftily inveigled them.”  Ex. i. 10.

 

Ver. 11.  Plague.  Gr. adds, “for which there was no remedy.  And the Egyptians cast them out from among them.  And God dried up the Red Sea before them, and conducted them to Mount Sinai and Cades-Barne, and cast out all the inhabitants of the desert; and they dwelt in the land of the Amorrhites, and exterminated all the Hesebon, by their power.  Then crossing the Jordan, they took as their inheritance all the mountainous parts, and ejected the Chanaanite, Pherezite, Jebusite, Sichem, and all the Gergesites, and dwelt therein many days.  And, ” v. 21.  H. The environs of Sichem belonged to the Hevites.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Rested.  This is attested, Deut. xxxii. 10. and Jer. ii. 6.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Overcame, in the days of Josue, (M.) at Jericho, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Battles.  He seems to speak of the captivity of Manasses, (W.) of the ten tribes, and of the loss sustained by Achaz.  2 Par. xxviii. 5.  M. By many.  Gr. “exceedingly; and they were led captive into a land which was not their own, and the temple of their God became as a pavement, and their cities were taken by the enemies.  But now, returning to their God, they are come up from the places to which they had been scattered, and have possession of Jerusalem, where is their sanctuary; and they have inhabited the mountainous country, for it was a desert.”  H. Our adversaries would infer from this, and similar passages, that the siege of Bethulia could not have taken place till after the captivity of Babylon; and this many Catholics allow.  But the proof is not conclusive, as all this might be verified under Manasses: (C.) “the temple was trampled on,” (Syr. egennhqh eiV edafoV) and profaned.  See C. iv. 2. and 1 Mac. iii. 51. and Luke xxi. 24.  It had been pillaged by Sesac and the Assyrians, and had stood in need of great repairs under Ezechias, Josias, &c.  Several of the Israelites had escaped from the hands of their oppressors, (2 Par. xxxiv. 9.) and the Jews had regained their strength after the captivity of Manasses, (C.) having retired before into their strong holds in the deserts.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Cannot.  Gr. “let my lord indeed pass by, lest their Lord should cover them with a shield, for their God is for them, and we,” &c.

 

Ver. 26.  All the.  Gr. “all the people round the tent murmured; and the great men of Holofernes, and all who dwelt in the maritime country, and in Moab, threatened to cut him to pieces.  For we shall not fear the children of Israel.  Lo! a people without power, strength, or army in battle array!  We shall then go up, and they shall be for food to all thy army, lord Holofernes.  And,” C. vi.

 

Ver. 27.  Who.  They speak thus through indignation, though they knew Achior well enough.  W. Their blasphemous presumption was soon punished.  M.

 

Ver. 29.  Other.  This foolish attempt was not peculiar to this king.  The great Nabuchodonosor was infected with the same vanity, (Dan. vi. 7.) and was imitated by many of the Persian monarchs, and by Alexander.  Persas non piè tantum sed etiam prudenter Reges suos inter deos colere: Majestatem enim imperii salutis esse tutelam.  Curtius viii.  Yet most of the Greeks could not brook such flattery, though they were not influenced by religion, but by reason, and their own haughty temper.  See Justin vi.  Mart. x. 62.

 

 

JUDITH 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Achior.  Gr. adds, “before all the populace of the strangers.”  And who art thou, Achior, before all this company of foreigners, and the sons of Moab? and what are the mercenaries of Ephraim, that thou? v. 2.

 

Ver. 2.  To shew.  Gr. “and who is God but Nabuchodonosor?  He will,” &c.  H. They allow the title to none but their king.  Neither will God admit of any rival.  W. The generous advice of Achior was highly resented.  Charidemus, who spoke with the like boldness to Darius, when Alexander approached, was even put to death, though the king repented when it was too late.  Curt. iii.  Diod. xiv.

 

Ver. 6.  People.  Gr. “my slaves shall station thee on the mountainous country, and in one of the cities on the ascents, (of which thou hast so much spoken) and thou shalt not perish till thou perish with them.  But if thou believest in thy heart that they will not be taken, let not thy countenance fall.  I have spoken, and nothing that I have said shall be without effect.”

 

Ver. 7.  Bethulia.  Travellers, depending on the uncertain traditions of the country, generally place this fortress in the tribe of Zebulon, about three miles west of Tiberias.  See Brochard. &c.  But S. Jerom places it near Egypt; (Vita Hil.) and the Scripture speaks of Bethul, in the tribe of Simeon, (Jos. xix. 4.) to which Judith and the ancients belonged.  Holofernes left his camp near Scythopolis, (C. vii. 1.) when he proceeded (C.) to attack the southern countries.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  And.  Gr. adds, “Chabris, the son of Othoniel, and Charmis, the son of Melchiel.”  M. The former is, in effect, mentioned C. viii. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Pride.  God will not fail to reward those who trust in him, (H.) and to humble the presumptuous.  W. Saints.  Syr. “sanctuary.”  This version and the Greek have only, “Look upon the face of the persons (or things) sanctified unto thee on this day.  And they consoled Achior, and praised him greatly.  And Ozias took him from the assembly to his own house, and made a feast (lit. drinking) for the ancients, and they invoked the God of Israel to assist them during all that night.”  H.

 

Ver. 18.  With us, observing the true religion.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  Over.  The Jews eat nothing before night, and then no abstinence is prescribed, (C.) as the fast is at an end.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  The church.  That is, the synagogue or place where they met in prayer.  Ch. For such places were established, particularly after the captivity, though some have denied that there were any synagogues, even in the days of the Machabees.  See Mat. iv. 23.  Est. iv. 16.  C.

 

 

JUDITH 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 2.  Twenty.  Gr. seventy; Syr. sixty-two.  C. Two, &c.  Gr. twelve, as above.  C. ii. 7.  M. Syr. twenty-two.  Some of these texts must be inaccurate.  C. Yet the cavalry of Holofernes (H.) might be increased, since he began the war. Taken.  Syr. “servants, and those who had joined them in great numbers.”

 

Ver. 3.  Hill side, on the coast of the Mediterranean, leaving the mountains of Ephraim, (C.) which were so strait, (H.) on the left, as well as Jerusalem, as he intended to go into Egypt.  Bethulia alone opposed his progress.  C. vi. 7.

 

Ver. 4.  Of them.  Gr. adds, “were greatly afraid, and each one said to his neighbour: Now these will consume (Complut. shut up) the face of the earth, and  neither the high mountains, nor the vales, nor the hills, will bear their weight.  Then taking their arms, and lighting fires upon their towers, they kept guard all that night: but the second day, Holofernes brought out all his cavalry against the Israelites, in Bethulia, and he reconnoitred the ascent of thier city, and came to the fountains of their waters, and took them; and leaving a guard of soldiers, he returned to his men,” &c. v. 8.  H. The Syr. is also silent about the aqueduct and the small springs.  C. The servants of God first humble themselves, and then take arms, confiding in God.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  An aqueduct: the fountain must therefore have been on a higher ground than the city, though the latter was on an eminence.  C. Yet water may be forced to ascend by pipes.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Children of.  Gr. and Syr. “the chiefs of the sons of Esau,” as Idumea had been conquered.  C. iii. 14.  They omit Ammon, and after Moab subjoin “the generals of the maritime countries;” Tyrians and Philistines.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Spring.  Gr. and Syr. intimate that the Ammonites and Moabites, with 5,000 Assyrian infantry, guarded the springs: the rest of the army, according to the old Vulg. was stationed in the plain.  Gr. and Syr. specify over-against Dothaim, which seems too remote; (C.) though such an immense army might cover a great part of the country, as all would not be necessary to besiege Bethulia; and it was agreed only to blockade the place, in order that no men might be lost, and the army might be ready to march against the more distant and powerful nations of Egypt.  Another detachment was (H.) “southward, at Ecrebel, (Syr. Ekarbat, probably Akrabim, the ascent of the scorpions) near Cush, (or Arabia) which is above the torrent Mochmur, (Syr. Peor, or Bezor.  C.) and the rest of the army of the Assyrians encamped  in the plain, and covered the face of the earth.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Days.  Gr. “and all the collection of the Assyrians continued round them…thirty-four days.”  H. Old Vulg. “twenty-four days.”  Syr. “two months and four days.” Measure.  Gr. adds, “the infants, women, and young men fainted, and fell down dead.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Hands.  We shall be treated as miserable slaves.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Assemble.  Gr. “call them, and give up all the city to plunder to the,” &c.

 

Ver. 17.  Conjuring.  Gr. “and the sins of our parents, that he may not treat us thus to-day,” and deliver us up to death.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Saying.  Gr. “And Ozias said to them: Take courage, brethren.,” v. 23.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Five.  Sulpitius reads, fifteen.  C. But instead of decim, we should read demum.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Spoken.  Gr. and Syr. add, “and he dispersed the people to their tents, and they went upon the walls and towers of the city, and sent their wives and children home.  And they were under great humiliation in the city.”

 

 

JUDITH 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Idox.  Gr. “ox,” &c.  All the versions disagree, as the copyists have probably taken in part of v. 3 too soon, supposing that the genealogy of women was never given.  S. Fulgentius (ep. ad Gallam) differs from all, giving the ancestors of Manasses as the same with those of Judith.  C. Simeon, the son of Ruben.  In the Greek it is, the son of Israel.  For Simeon, the patriarch, from whom Judith descended, was not the son, but the brother of Ruben.  It seems more probable, that the Simeon and the Ruben here mentioned are not the patriarchs, but two of the descendants of the patriarch Simeon: and that the genealogy of Judith, recorded in this place, is not carried up so high as the patriarchs.  No more than that of Elcana, the father of Samuel, (1 K. i. 1.) and that of king Saul.  1 K. ix. 1.  Ch. Others think that Judith descended from Ruben, by her father, and from Simeon, by her mother; (E.) or that, instead of son of Ruben, we should read “brother.”  But as we know that Judith calls Simeon her father, (C. ix. 2.) it is more likely that Ruben has been placed for Israel, as it is in Syr. S. Fulg. &c.  This correction is maintained by Bellarmine, Salien, M.  C. Thus both Judith and her husband were of the same tribe, the former by Salathiel, the latter by Sarisadai.  C. Innumerable are the mistakes in the proper names, in Scripture.  H. Some of these might have had more than one.  Gr. has Sarasdai, (Compl. “Saladai;” Alex. Sept. “Salasadai.”) instead of Simeon, son of Israel: (C.) Alex. “Jeél,” which is probably a contraction for Israel.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Who.  Gr. adds, “of her tribe and family, and he died in the days,” &c.

 

Ver. 3.  Died.  Gr. “fell upon his couch; (Grabe adds, “an died in Betuloua, his own city,”) and they buried him with his fathers, in the field between Dothaim and Balamo.”  H. These places seem to be added without reason, as they were too remote from Bethulia.  C.

 

Ver. 4-5.  Six.  So the old Vulg. Gr. and Syr. have, four months. Private.  Gr. “a tent on the roof,” that she might look towards Jerusalem, and pray with less distraction.  Absalom lay in such a situation.  2 K. xvi. 22.  C. In which.  Gr. “and she put sackcloth,” &c. v. 6.  H. It was a rough sort of garment.  C. Judith led a most religious life, in prayer, hair-cloth, and fasting, all the year, except on the festivals.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Loins.  Gr. “and she had on the garments of her widowhood, and.”  H. She laid these aside.  C. x. ii.  C. Life.  Gr. “widowhood, except the day before the sabbath, and the sabbaths, and the new moons, and feasts, and days of rejoicing of the house of Israel.”  H. Syr. and old Vulg. omit, “the day before the sabbath;” and perhaps it may not have been in the original, the Greek translator having inserted it conformably to the practice of his times.  It was then prescribed to abstain from fasting, that the joy of the festival might not be impaired, (Grot.) and because it would be necessary to taste what was made ready for the sabbath; (Skikard, Purim) or rather because, as the festival began on Friday, between the two vespers, or from three to six in the afternoon, during the equinoxes, the fast could not be rigorously observed on Friday.  C. New moons were days of rejoicing.  M.  1 K. xx. 5. The Jews kept two days together, for fear of missing the day on which the moon really appeared.  Several feasts were also prescribed perhaps before this time, on the 1st and 22nd of Nisan, &c.

 

Ver. 7.  Of oxen.  Gr. Syr. &c. add, “and fields, and she lived on them.”

 

Ver. 8.  Her.  “The reputation of chastity in women is tender, and, like a beautiful flower, presently withers at the least blast, and perishes; particularly when they are at an age prone to vice, and destitute of the authority of a husband, whose shadow is the safeguard to a wife.”  S. Jer. ad Salvinam. The Scripture could not give Judith a greater character.  C. How few can obtain it at present, though their virtue may be most pure, detraction is so keen!  H.

 

Ver. 9.  When.  Gr. and Syr. “and she heard of the evil discourses of the populace against the magistrate, as they lost courage on account of the scarcity of water; and Judith heard of all the words of Ozias to them, how he had sworn to them that he would deliver up the city to the Assyrians after five days.  Then sending her maid, whom she had placed at the head of all her possessions, she called Ozias,” &c.  The following verses give the same sense as the Vulg. though in other words, and with some additional circumstances.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Pleasure.  She blames the magistrates for taking a rash oath, pretending to fathom the designs of God, and to fix a time for him, and not attempting to make any resistance, though the welfare of the whole nation, and the sacred things, depended on their exertions.  C. They had been assured that God had heard their prayer, (C. iv. 9.) and had often witnessed a miraculous interference of Providence.  In other circumstances (H.) the magistrates would not have been to blame, though Judith might think them so; (Serarius.  See v. 26.  M.) and, in effect, they ought rather to have died than thus to have exposed all to certain ruin.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Man.  Gr. “But do not you govern the designs of the Lord, our God, for God is not to be menaced like a man, nor forced to give an account like the son of man.”  H.  Num. xxiii. 19.

 

Ver. 18.  For.  Gr. “As there has not arisen in our families generations, nor is there at this day either tribe, or family, or populace, or city among us, adoring gods made with hands, as it happened in days past;” in the former part of the reign of Manasses.  All had begun to open their eyes, at the sight of the dreadful catastrophe.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Let.  Gr. “Wherefore we hope that he will not despise us, nor those of our race; nor, if we be taken, will Judea be so styled, our sacred things will be plundered.  He will require his profanation at our mouth,” &c.  She shews the dread consequences which will ensue from the rash oath, and from such dastardly conduct under trial.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Brethren.  Gr. adds, “Let us shew our brethren that their soul depends on us, and the holy things, and the house, (temple) and the altar, are supported by us.”  These were not therefore demolished.  C. v. 22.  H. “Yea, let us give thanks, above all, to the Lord our God, who tries us like our fathers.  Remember,” &c.

 

Ver. 23.  Jacob.  Gr. adds, “in Mesopotamia…because he does not take vengeance on us, as he made them pass through fire to examine their heart.  But the Lord, for an admonition, chastises those who approach to him.  And Ozias,” v. 28.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Destroyer.  As this word is not used elsewhere, (W.) S. Paul seems to allude to this passage, (1 Cor. x. 10.) as Judith does to various punishments (Num. xi. 1. and xiv. 12. and xx. 4.  C.) inflicted by an angel.  M.

 

Ver. 26.  Suffer, as if to shew our impatience (H.) and anger against God.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  Words.  Gr. adds, “for it is not to-day only that thy wisdom has appeared, but from thy earliest days all the people has known thy prudence, as the formation (H.  Syr. the thought.  C.) of thy heart is good.  But the people was much oppressed with thirst, and they forced us to…take an oath, which we shall not break.  Now,” &c.  H. It hence appears that Judith was not very young; and as many desired to marry her, (C. ult. Gr.) we may conclude that she was of a middle age, or about thirty-five.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 29.  God.  Gr. adds, “and the Lord will send rain to fill our reservoirs, and we shall faint no longer.  And Judith replied: Hear me, and I will perform an action which shall come to the ears of all future generations of our race.  You,” &c. v. 32.  H. She did not tell what she was going to do.  C.

 

Ver. 32.  Servant.  Gr. abra, commonly (H.) denotes a maid of honour, (W.) or companion, though sometimes it is applied to people of loose morals.  This servant had probably the administration of the affairs of her mistress, v. 9.  C. Pray.  Gr. “as you…the Lord will by my hand look,” &c.

 

Ver. 33.  And till.  Gr. “for I shall not tell you, till what I am about be accomplished.  And Ozias, with the princes, said to her.”

 

Ver. 34.  Departed.  Gr. adds, “from the tent to their respective stations.”

 

 

JUDITH 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Oratory.  Of such our Saviour speaks, Matt. vi.; and Baronius at large.  A.D. 293.  W. Gr. “But Judith fell prostrate, and sprinkled ashes upon her head, (Syr. adds, and tore her tunic) and uncovered the sackcloth which she had on.  That evening the incense had just been offered, in the house of the Lord, at Jerusalem.  And Judith cried aloud,” &c.

 

Ver. 2.  Gavest him a sword, &c.  The justice of God is here praised, in punishing by the sword of Simeon the crime of the Sichemites: and not the fact of Simeon, which was justly condemned by his father.  Gen. xlix. 5.  Though even with regard to this fact, we may distinguish between his zeal against the crime committed by the ravishers of his sister, which zeal may be considered just: and the manner of his punishing that crime, which was irregular and excessive.  Ch. The former is here commended.  W.  M. Yet Simeon was not blameless.  God put the sword into his hand as he makes use of tyrants; in which sense Nabuchodonosor is styled his servant.  Jer. xxv. 9.  Ezec. xxix. 18.  Gen. xxiv. 2. 25.

 

Ver. 3.  And. Gr. “For thou didst say: It shall not be so: and they did it because thou hadst given their princes unto slaughter, and their bed, which had perceived their deceit, unto blood; and thou didst slay the slaves with the princes, and the princes on their thrones; and thou gavest,” &c.  H. This style seems rather poetical.  Grot.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Of old.  Gr. “before these, and these, and what followed, and is at present, and things to come, thou hast foreseen.”  All events depend on Thee.  “For the things which thou hadst decreed were at hand, and said: Behold, we are here.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Judgments.  All is foreseen: nothing can resist the decrees of God.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  As.  Gr. speaks not of the Egyptians: “For behold the Assyrians are multiplied in their power, and exalted on account of their cavalry; they have boasted on the strong arm of the infantry, have trusted in their shield, and bow, and sling; and they have not known that thou art the Lord, making an end of wars: Thy name is Lord; break their force, by thy power,” &c. v. 11.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Them, as they were not able to come to action during the  night.  Ex. xiv.

 

Ver. 13.  Lips, or with my endearing speeches.  M. She meant innocently to engage the affections of Holofernes, (H.) and prays that he may receive her in that manner, as he might have done without sin.  But when he abused his free-will, God turned his sin to the good of others.  See Ex. vii.  S. Aug. ser. 288.  W. Gr. “Give that power which I have devised to the hand of me, a widow.  Strike the slave by the lips of my delusion, (or by my ensnaring words) with the prince; and the chief, with his minister, break their haughtiness by the hand of a female, v. 15.  H. This prayer seems contrary to sound morality, as well as the indiscreet conduct of Judith, in exposing herself to danger, though her intention was good.  C. But are not stratagems lawful in war?  See 2 K. xv.  Is it sinful for a woman to endeavour to captivate the heart?  The situation might be dangerous, but it was not criminal; and Judith was certainly determined to yield to no dishonest proposals. God therefore approved of her designs, and enhanced her beauty.  C. x. 4.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Horses.  Gr. “the potent, but thou art the Lord of the humble.”

 

Ver. 17.  And.  Gr. “give my word and deceit to be a wound and a scar to them, who, against thy covenant and sanctified house, and the summit of Sion,…have devised cruel things, and do for all thy nation according to thy power and strength; for there is no other to shield Israel but Thou.”

 

 

JUDITH 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 2.  House.  Gr. adds, “where she spent the sabbath and festival days, she rolled up her,” &c.  H. She remained in her oratory therefore only on other days.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Body.  Compl. Gr. “mouth.”  But other editions seem more accurate.  H. Best.  Gr. “thick,” probably the myrobalanum of Pliny xii. 21. and xiii. 1. Bonnet, or mitre, tied with ribbands, hanging down behind, like those of bishops. Sandals, highly ornamented, and worn by people of quality.  C. Lilies, pendent from the neck.  Grot.

 

Ver. 4.  And.  Gr. “and she was richly adorned, so that she might captivate (literally, deceive) the eyes of whatever men should behold her.  And,” v. 5.  H. The fathers highly extol her virtue, and shew was, no doubt, actuated by the purest motives.  Yet she might be guilty of some indiscretion.  Even the working of miracles would not prove the contrary, as wicked priests may confer the sacraments; and Moses was reprehensible the moment (C.) before (H.) he wrought a miracle.  Num. xx. 10.  Mat. vii. 22.  God inspired her with the laudable design of freeing her country, but the means were left to her own choice.  C. The making use of this rich attire was not, however, sinful in itself; and we have no right to suspect that Judith gave any way either to vanity or to sensuality.  How many ladies of quality are dressed so as to enchant all those who are not upon their guard!  Yet, provided they observe due modesty, who will blame their rich attire or perfumes?  H. Judith might lawfully desire to marry Holofernes for the good of her nation, (M.) as Esther became the wife of Assuerus, though an infidel.  The general seemed even willing to become a convert.  C. xi. 21.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Bottle; made of leather, (C.) used for carrying wine.  Pollox.  M. Corn.  It was eaten either steeped in water or mixed with oil. Cheese.  So the Syr. reads.  Gr. “pure loaves.”  C. Why she took her provisions with her, she explains.  C. xii. 2.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Her.  Gr. adds, “with her countenance and robes changed.”

 

Ver. 8.  But.  Gr. “And they said to her, May God, the God of.” With.  Gr. “For the glory of the Israelites, and the exaltation of Jerusalem; and they adored God.  And she said to them, Order the gate of the city to be opened for me, and I will go out to accomplish what you were talking about to me.  And they commanded the young men to open for her; and they did so.  But Judith and her maid went out.  And the citizens looked at her while she descended the hill, till she had passed the valley, when they lost sight of her; and they passed along straight through the vale, and the advanced guard of,” &c.  H. It appears that there was still day-light, (C.) or the moon shone brightly.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Because I knew, &c.  In this and the following chapter, some things are related to have been said by Judith, which seem hard to reconcile with truth.  But all that is related in Scripture of the servants of God, is not approved by the Scripture: and even the saints in their enterprizes may sometimes slip into venial sins.  Ch. By means of mental reservation, we may exculpate her from lying.  Serar.  M. But this expedient is bad and childish.  H. She might speak ironically, (Carthus.) or prophetically.  Raban.  Glossa, &c. Still it might be an untruth, (C.) to be excused, like stratagems in war.  M. How often does an enemy give out that he is going to march to some place, when he intends to go quite another way!  H. I knew.  Gr. “Because they are about to be given up a prey to you.  Therefore, I come to Holofernes, general in chief of your army, to inform him of the truth, and to shew,” &c.  H. She spoke many things certainly true, and others which would probably have taken place, if God had not sent relief.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Lord.  Gr. adds, “and now proceed to his tent, and some of us shall give thee into his hands.  But if thou stand before him, let not thy heart fear, but tell him this, and he will treat thee well.  And they selected 100 men, and surrounded her and her servant-maid, and conducted her to the tent of Holofernes.  And they ran from all parts of the camp, as soon as her coming was made known, and they came round her as she stood without the tent of Holofernes, till they had told him of her.  And they were astonished at her beauty, and at the Israelites, and said to each other, Who,” &c. v. 18.

 

Ver. 18.  That we.  Gr. “For it is not expedient to leave one man of them alive, lest they should delude all the earth.”  (Old Vulg. omits the negation.)  “And all who slept near Holofernes, and all his servants, came out and introduced her into the tent;” (H. which was divided into two apartments.  Heraclides) “and Holofernes was reposing on a bed in the canopy, (or inner room) which,” &c.  H. The curtain was intended to keep off gnats.  M. Anthony imitated this delicacy.

Interque signa (turpe!) militaria,

                        Sol aspicit conopæum.  Hor. epod. ix.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  After.  Gr. “And they told him of her, and he came out to the forepart of the tent, and silver lamps preceded him, (H.) either for grandeur, as they did the kings of Persia and the emperors of Rome and of the Turks, or because it was still dark.”  C. “But as soon as Judith came in sight of him and of his ministers, they all were astonished at the beauty of her face; and falling prostrate, she adored him, (with civil respect) and his servants lifted her up.”  H. S. Fulgentius (ep. 2.) judges, with great probability, that Judith was now about 40 years old.  W.

 

 

JUDITH 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  King.  Gr. adds, “of all the earth.”

 

Ver. 3.  Why.  Gr. “And art come to us?  For thou art come for thy own safety.  Take courage, for thou shalt live this night and henceforth, as no one shall hurt thee, but shall do thee good, as the servants of my lord, Nabuchodonosor, the king, are treated.”

 

Ver. 4.  Handmaid.  Gr. adds, “and I will tell no untruth to my lord this night, for,” &c. Thing.  Gr. adds, “and none of the projects of my lord shall fail.”  H. All that Judith said was true in her sense, though the enemy did not understand her properly.  So Josue lawfully entrapped the citizens of Hai.  S. Aug. q. 10. in Jos. viii.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Liveth.  She imitates Joseph, (Gen. xlii. 15.) and Eliseus; (4 K. ii. 4.) and speaks the truth, as the general had subjected many to his master.  M. Her speech was not superstitious, but shewed a civil respect.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  To him.  Gr. intimates that she advised him to follow his counsel.  “For our nation is not punished with the sword, unless they sin against their God.  But now let not my lord be at a loss what to do.  For death has fallen upon them, and sin has taken possession of them, so that they have irritated God by their folly,” &c. v. 10.  This might also be true, though they had not fallen into idolatry (C. viii. 18.  H.) at Bethulia.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Prophets.  Though this had been threatened by the ancient prophets, (H.) we cannot pretend to specify which she means.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Famine.  They might have provisions, but they would be useless, on account of excessive thirst.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Drink.  Gr. “and all that God had forbidden them to eat by his laws, (H.) without making any distinction between the clean and unclean.  Grot. Blood was prohibited even before the law.  Gen. ix. 4.  Lev. xvii. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Oil.  Gr. may explain this.  “And the first-fruits of corn, and the tithes of wine and of oil, which they had reserved as sacred for the priests, standing in Jerusalem, before our God, they had decreed to consume; though none of the people ought so much as to touch these things.  Yet they have sent to obtain permission of the senate at Jerusalem, where the people have done the like.  And when they shall have obtained an answer, they will fall to work, and then they will be abandoned to be destroyed by thee.”  H. She insinuates that her countrymen are in the utmost distress, and not much attached to religion; (C.) though in extreme want the distinction of meats is not to be enforces.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Tell.  Gr. “To perform with thee a feat which will astonish all who shall hear of these things.  For thy handmaid is religious, and serveth the God of heaven day and night; and now my lord, I am,” &c.

 

Ver. 14.  God.  Gr. adds, “in the night, in the valley.”

 

Ver. 15.  He will.  Gr. “They shall have completed their sins.” Tell thee.  Gr. adds, “and thou shalt go out with all thy forces, and none of them shall resist thee; and I will bring thee through Judea, over-against Jerusalem, and will place thy throne in the midst of it, and thou shalt drive them like sheep,” &c. Dog.  This is proverbial.  Ex. xi. 7.  C. All Israel was at rest after the death of Holofernes.  Judith brought his head in triumph through the country.  The promise of dominion (H.) was ironical.  3 K. xxii. 15.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  God.  Gr. “My foreknowledge; and I was sent to inform thee.”  H. She flatters Holofernes with the idea that he is under the special care of heaven.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  That.  Gr. “To increase our strength, and to bring destruction on those who have despised my lord.”

 

Ver. 21.  Because.  Gr. “And now thou art comely in thy appearance, and good in thy discourse.  If then thou perform what thou hast spoken, thy God shall,” &c.  H. It is hardly probable that he spoke in earnest.  Perhaps he did not know that the true God allowed of no other.  Being captivated with Judith’s beauty, and perceiving that she was attached to religion, he had a mind to remove all her objections to his person.  C.

 

 

JUDITH 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  And bade.  Gr. “and ordered a bed (or table) to be prepared for her, to eat of his own meat, and drink of his wine,” (H.) that her beauty might be enhanced, (Dan. i.) and to honour her.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Upon me, as these meats had been offered to idols; (W.) or she might fear they had, and wished to avoid all scandal.  2 Mac. vi. 21.  Tob. i. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Thee.  Gr. adds, “for there is none of thy race.”

 

Ver. 4.  Which I.  Gr. “he.” Which.  Gr. “and she slept till midnight and she arose at the  morning watch.”  H. The mode of counting by hours prevailed after the captivity.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  And.  Gr. “and she sent to Holofernes, saying: May my lord please to order that thy handmaid may go out to pray.  And,” &c. v. 6.  H. She had prepared him to grant this request before: but out of civility, and that he may have greater confidence in her, she asks again.  The choice of a retired place for prayer is very commendable, but she made choice of the fields, that she might go out of the camp afterwards without being suspected.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Chamberlains.  Gr. “life-guards, not to hinder her; and she remained in the camp three days.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Water.  Gr. “in the camp;” perhaps she washed only her hands and face.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Pure, from forbidden food.  W. Evening.  Thus she continued to fast, to draw down the blessing of God.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Servants.  Gr. adds, “only, and he did not call any of those whom he usually employed,” (H.) that they might not witness his excesses.  Vagao, or Bagoas, the Persian name for an “eunuch,” or chief officer; though such were generally to wait on the ladies.

Quem penes est Dominam servandi cura Bagoæ.  Ovid, Amor. ii.

Eunuch.  Gr. and Syr. add, “who was appointed over all his affairs.  Persuade the Hebrew woman who is with thee to come to us, and to eat and drink with us.  For we deem it shameful to dismiss such a woman, without having commerce with her; and if we do not attract her, she will deride us.”

 

Ver. 12.  Merry.  This would pave the way for greater liberties.  C. Gr. adds, “and to become this day as a daughter of the Assyrians, standing to wait in the house of Nabuchodonosor.”  He probably alludes to those courtezans (C.) who sung at night, before the palace, &c.  Athen. Dip. xii. 2.  The Persians admitted women to their feasts, though they were generally excluded in the East.  Est. i. 12.  Herod. v. 18.

 

Ver. 14.  Best.  Gr. “a boast, or matter of exultation.”  H. This answer seems to shock our delicacy.  Did she not understand the meaning of the eunuch, which was sufficiently plain?  She only passed a compliment, which always implies a tacit condition, if the thing be practicable and honest: as the words might have two meanings, she was bound in charity to interpret them in the best sense.  C. It was surely lawful to be merry.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Garments.  Gr. adds, “and all her female ornaments; and her servant came and spread on the ground, before Holofernes, the fleeces which she had received from Bagoas, for her daily use, to eat lying upon them.  And coming in, Judith fell prostrate.”  H. The custom of sitting on the ground, upon skins, to eat, is very ancient, (Targum, Est. i.) and is still observed by the Turks.  The kings of Persia let none eat with them at the same table.  Heraclides.  Athen. v. 10. The character of drunkenness, with which this nation has been branded, seems not unfounded.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Her.  Gr. adds, “company; and he had sought an opportunity of deluding her, from the day when he first beheld her.”  He justly, therefore, fell into the snare which he had laid.

 

Ver. 20.  Life.  Gr. adds, “in any one day,” (H.) at supper.  M.

 

 

JUDITH 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Doors.  Gr. adds, “without,” yet so that Judith could open them.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Drunk.  Gr. “drowned in wine.”

 

Ver. 5.  The.  Gr. “her chamber.” Watch.  Gr. adds, “her coming out, as on other days; for she had said she would go out to pray, and she had told this to Bagoas.  And all had departed,” &c.  All these precautions were necessary.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Judith.  She seems not to have disclosed her secret even to her companion, taking the whole upon herself. Lips.  Gr. “in her heart.”  C. Yet the Jews generally use some words, (H.) thinking that prayer too cold, which is barely mental.  Grotius.

 

Ver. 7.  Raise up.  If Bethulia had been taken, perhaps (H.) Jerusalem had also fallen.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Pillar.  Gr. kanoni, “the rule,” (C.) or pole on which the arms were hung.  Hesychius. Sword, (acinace) used by the Persians, (M.) and shorter than the Greek or Roman sword.  C. If she had not been inspired by God to act thus, like Aod, (Judg. iii.) it would be difficult to excuse her, in thus hurrying a many, in the most wretched state, before the judgment-seat of God.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Canopy, to convince all that it was the head of Holofernes.  M. Body, on the ground; (C. xiv. 14.) perhaps to cut off the head more easily, (C.) and that it might appear more ghastly H. at the first entrance.  T.

 

Ver. 11.  While, having composed herself, (H.) and done every thing necessary to prevent detection.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Open.  Gr. repeats, “open ye now the gate; God, our God is with us, still to shew power in Israel, and strength against the enemies, as he hath done to-day.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  That.  Gr. “they hastened to descend to the gate of their city, and called,” &c.

 

Ver. 15.  Had now.  Gr. “it was a paradox to them that she should come, and they opened the gate, and received them.”

 

Ver. 16.  And she.  Gr. “said to them with a loud voice: Praise God, praise, yea praise God, because he hath not withdrawn his mercy from the house of Israel, but hath destroyed our enemies by my hand this night.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Drunkenness.  “The fasting of one woman overthrew an innumerable host of drunkards.  S. Amb. de jej. ix.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  And abiding.  Gr. “for my face has deluded him to his ruin, and he has not committed sin with me, for defilement and shame.  And all the people were much amazed; and bowing down, they adored the Lord, and said, with one accord: Our God, thou art blessed, because this day thou hast brought the enemies of thy people to nought.”  H. Judith’s guardian angel defended her; as Jacob’s did him.  Gen. xlviii.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  Prince, in that town, though Manasses was king.  M. Gr. “Ozias said.”

 

Ver. 25.  Praise.  Gr. “hope.” For that.  Gr. “and may God make these things turn to thy eternal exaltation, to regard thee for good; because thou hast not.” Ruin.  Gr. adds, “walking aright in,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  And.  This is related after v. 5, in the following chapter, in Gr. Syr. and the old Vulg. (C.) and indeed it seems to be there in its proper place. Head, or general.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Fear.  Astonished (M.) at the instability of human things, and admiring how God had rescued him from the threatened danger.

 

Ver. 30.  Reverenced.  Lit. “adored;” a word often used in this sense.  H.

 

 

JUDITH 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Walls.  Gr. adds, “upon the pinnacle.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Beneath.  Into the valley; but make your appearance just out of the walls, as if you were rushing upon the enemy.  Gr. adds after arms, “and you shall appoint a leader over them, as if descending into the plain to the advanced guard of the Assyrians; but ye shall not go down.  Then these seizing all their armour, will go to the camp, and awaken the leaders of the Assyrians, and they will run to the tent of Holofernes, and shall not find him.  Then fear shall seize upon them, and they will flee before us.  Whereupon ye, and all who inhabit the confines of Israel, shall follow after, and strew them in their paths,” slain and wounded, v. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Then.  Gr. &c. “But before ye do this, call to me Achior, the Ammonite, that seeing, he may recognize the contemner of the house of Israel, and the man who sent him away to us unto certain death.  And they called Achior from the house of Ozias.  But as soon as he came, and saw the head of Holofernes in the hand of one of the assembly of the people, he fell,” &c. as C. xiii. 29, 30.  “Blessed art thou in every tent of Juda, and in every nation.  All who shall hear thy name shall be amazed.  But now tell me what thou hast done during these days.  And Judith, in the midst of the people, informed him of all that she had performed, since the day of her departure till the time when she was speaking.  She had no sooner ended her speech, than all the people set up a loud shout of joy in their city.  Then,” &c. Leaving.  Gr. “He believed in God greatly, or with the utmost sincerity.  H. Hitherto Achior had only considered the Deity as the peculiar God of Israel, (C.) or as the common gods “revered by all nations;” (Virg. xii.  Servius) but not as the only supreme Being.  He now becomes a proselyte, not merely, like Naaman, to adore one God; but also to observe all the rites of the Jewish religion.  The latter was a matter of choice.  C. vi. 18. It is not still clear that he could enjoy the privileges of the nation as a magistrate, or even marry, (C.) which shews his greater fervour.  Grotius. It is certain that no nation could be forbidden to worship God.  Deut. xxiii. 3.  S. Thomas (1. 2. q. 105. a. 3.) believes that a dispensation was granted to Achior, (C.) so that he might be treated like an Israelite in all respects.  Serar. q. 1.  M. The evinces that only the impenitent Ammonites, &c. were excluded from the Church.  W. With.  Gr. “till this day.”

 

Ver. 7.  With.  Gr. “In companies, to the ascent of the mountain.”

 

Ver. 8.  Ran.  Gr. “Sent to their officers.  But they went to the leaders and captains of thousands, and to every chief among them, and they proceeded to the tent of Holofernes, and said to his chief steward: Awaken now our lord, for the slaves have been so bold as to come down to offer us battle for their utter ruin.  The Bagoas,” &c. v. 13.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Mice.  They speak contemptuously of their foes, like the Philistines.  1 K. xiv. 11.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Into.  Gr. “In, knocked at the hall, (aulh, or antichamber) of the tent, for he suspected that he was sleeping with Judith.  But as no one answered, he opened and went into the bed-chamber, and found him thrown upon the floor, dead, and his head taken from him, and he cried,” &c. Curtain, which separated this apartment from the rest, (H.) and hung before the door, as Heraclides describes the tent of the Persian kings.  Holofernes assumed the like importance, and was treated almost as a deity.  C. Hence he must not be awaked, in a rude manner.  H. Civility requires that we should  knock modestly at the doors of the great.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Said.  Gr. “cried aloud, the slaves have prevaricated.  One,” &c.  H. Perhaps he thought that Judith had introduced some of the Jews.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Cry.  Gr. adds, “and shouting of them (the captains) in,” &c.  H.

 

 

JUDITH 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 1.  All.  Gr. “Those who were in the tents heard, they were astonished at the fact; and fear and trembling fell upon them, and there was not a man remaining before his neighbour; but rushing out, with one accord, they fled through every path, in the plains and in the mountains; and those who were encamped in the high places around Bethulia, (H. the Moabites, &c. C. vii. 8.  C.) fled.  Then every warrior of Israel rushed out upon them, and Ozias,” v. 5.

 

Ver. 5.  Israel.  Gr. adds, “informing them of what had been accomplished, and that all might pour upon the enemies, to cut them off.  But when the Israelites heard this, they all, unanimously, fell upon them, as far as Chobai: (H. Hoba.  C.) in like manner those from Jerusalem came up, and from all the mountainous country; for they also were informed of what had happened in the camp of their enemies; and the men of Galaad and of Galilee scattered them with great slaughter, till they had passed Damascus and its boundaries.”  H. As the enemy fled without a leader, we may easily imagine what carnage would ensue.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  The.  Gr. “their spoils, and were greatly enriched.”  H. Mariana suggests that we should read honestati, which is used in this sense, (Eccli. xi. 23.) instead of onustati, loaded.

 

Ver. 8.  They.  Gr. “The Israelites, returning from the slaughter, took possession of the remainder, and the villages and cities, both in the mountains and champaign country, took many spoils; for these was great abundance.  But Joachim,” &c.

 

Ver. 9.  Came.  Gr. adds, “and the senate of Israel, residing at Jerusalem, came.”  This alludes to the sanhedrim.  Grotius. But, it seems, its institution was posterior to the captivity, and we may understand the principal men of the city, or of the priests.  C. To see.  Gr. adds, “the good things (Compl. to confirm or lay a foundation for, the good things) which God had done to Israel, and to see Judith, and speak peace with her.”  Prot. “to salute her.”  H. Joachim is the same with Eliacim; El being only prefixed.  T. He is the Sadoc II. or Odeas of Josephus; (Reinec.) and succeeded Sobna both in spiritual and temporal power.  Isai. xxii.  Bellarmin.

 

Ver. 10.  She.  Gr. “They were gone into her apartment, they,” &c. Art the.  Gr. adds, “great joy, and the great boast of our race; because thou hast done all these things with thy hand, thou hast procured the good of Israel, and God hath been pleased with them.  Be thou blessed by the omnipotent Lord for ever.”  H. Judith was a figure of the blessed Virgin, to whom these praises chiefly belong.  Fulbert.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Chastity, &c.  This is not in Syr. &c. and though, generally speaking, celibacy was not esteemed honourable among the Jews, yet chastity was so much the more admired, as it was more uncommon.  A widow was deserving of praise for not lightly entering upon a second marriage.  C. Those who abstain from it, were respected, like virgins, by the Romans.  Val. Maxim. ii. 1.

 

Ver. 13.  Thirty.  Gr. “And the people plundered the camp thirty (Syr. three) days.”  The camp of the Assyrians was in various places, and the people waited a month before they began to divide the spoils among all, according to their laws.  Num. xxxi. 27. and 1 K. xxx. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  But.  Gr. “And they gave to Judith the tent of Holofernes, and all the silver plate, and beds and basins, and all his furniture, which she taking, place upon her mule, and put to her chariots, and heaped them thereon; and every woman of Israel ran to see her, and they blessed her, and danced in her honour.  Then she took some thyrsus (H. or branches entwined with ivy, &c.  C.) in her hands, and gave to those women who accompanied her; and they crowned with olive both her and her attendant; (maid, or Alex. Sept. “and she was crowned with olive, and her mule;” Grabe substitutes “female companions,”) and she went before all the people, leading the dance of all the women; and every man of Israel followed in arms, with crowns, and with hymns in their mouth.  Then,” &c.  C. xvi.  H. The bearing of green branches, on such occasions, was very common.  Lev. xxiii. 40.  2 Mac. x. 7.  Mat. xxi. 8.  Hence Tacitus (Hist. v.) supposed that the Jews adored Bacchus.  But there was nothing here of the immodesty, which generally attended the pagan festivals.  We only find this instance of women being crowned with olive.  But this tree was very proper, as it was used in rejoicings: Ramo felicis olivæ; (Virg. vi.) on which Servius remarks, olivæ, arboris festæ.  At certain races in Greece, women who gained the victory, were thus crowned; (Alex. Genial v. 8.) and it was used by the Roman cavalry on the ides of July, and in ovations.  Pliny xv. 4. The processions of the Church often admit of similar ornaments in honour of God, (T.) and to promote piety.  H.

 

 

JUDITH 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Sung.  Gr. “Gave out this confession, in all Israel: and all the people echoed this praise;” (H.) either repeating the whole after her, or singing the first verse as a chorus.  Ex. xv. 20.  1 K. xviii. 6.  1 Par. xvi. 8.  C. Saying.  Gr. “And Judith said: Begin ye to my Lord.”  H. It is time for us to break silence, and to sound forth the praises of God.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Wars, or destroying armies.  H. God is often represented as a mighty warrior.  Isai. i. 24.  Jer. ii. 20.  Rom. ix. 29.  C. This passage is quoted by S. Ephrem (ser. de 2. Adv.) as a part of Scripture.  W. Lord is.  Gr. “For he has drawn me from the hands of my persecutors, into his camp, in the midst of the people.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Mountains of Cilicia, and through the defiles of Libanus and Hermon, on the north of Palestine, by which road they were forced to come.  The desert Arabia was impassable for a large army.  C. North, including to the east.  H.  Isai. xiv. 13.  Jer. i. 13.  Ezec. i. 4. Torrents, drinking them up, as Sennacherib boasted; (4 K. xix. 24.) and the Greek assert the same of the army of Xerxes.  Herod. vii. 108.

                        Epotaque flumina Medo

                        Prandente.  Juv x.

The Gr. seems to insinuate that the Assyrians “stopped up the springs,” to distress the country, as Philopator did.  C. Valleys.  Gr. “hills.”

 

Ver. 6.  To make.  Gr. “that he would throw my children at the breast, on the pavement, and make,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Stuck.  Lit. “hurt him, overturning all his projects, (C.) as the Greek (hqethsen) intimates.  M. Him.  Gr. “them, by the hand of a woman: For,” &c.

 

Ver. 8.  Men; soldiers.  C. xiv. 6.  Gen. xiv. 24. Titan.  So the Sept. renders Raphaim.  2 K. v. 18.  The Greek translator of this work seems to have read the poets, who pretend that the Titans attempted to take heaven by storm.  C. Neither such giants as those who lived before the flood, (Gen. vi.) nor such as were seen after, (Num. xiii.  W.) attacked Holofernes.  H. Neither does the Vulgate give any authority to poetic fictions, but only adopts terms which are best understood.  T.  S. Jer. in Amos v. 8.

 

Ver. 9.  And put.  Gr. “for the exaltation of those who laboured in Israel.”

 

Ver. 10.  Crown.  Gr. “mitre,” or ribband, ornamented with jewels.  C. x. 3.  Syr. “net-work.” New.  Gr. “linen stole,” which was a long robe, usually of linen, and worn both by men and women.  C. Deceived him; as he would make love to her, and thus give her an opportunity to perform what she had designed.  H. She was not actuated by the desire of being admired, but sought to deliver her people, v. 9.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Sandals.  The bandages which tied the shoe-soles (H.) to the feet, were most ornamental.  Isai. iii.  The city of Antylla was assigned to furnish sandals for the queens of Egypt.  Herod. xii. 98.  C. With.  Gr. “a sword (acinace) passed through his neck.”

 

Ver. 12.  Medes.  This is the first mention of these two nations, who afterwards became so famous.  Nabuchodonosor had overcome Phraortes.  C. i.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Then.  Gr. “Than my lowly ones (H. she speaks thus contemptuously of the Assyrians.  C.) howled, my weak ones cried out through fear; they raised their voice, and were overthrown.”  H. Others think that she is speaking of her fellow-citizens, (T.) or both.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Damsels; young boys.  Syr. “they run them through, as if they had been damsels.” Children, or “slaves.”  Syr.  Being this overtaken, what could they do but sue for pardon?  C. Before.  Gr. “of the Lord,” &c.

 

Ver. 15.  Let.  Gr. “I will sing a new hymn to the Lord.  Lord, thou art great.”  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Spirit, and they.  Gr. “he built” the world.  Gen. i. 8.  Ps. xxxii. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Waters, by earthquakes and storms.  Job ix. 5.  Isai. v. 25.  Ps. xvii. 8.

 

Ver. 19.  Great.  Gr. “treated mercifully by thee: for little with thee is all sacrifice, for the odour of sweetness; and all fat is but the least for thy holocausts.  But he who fears the Lord, is ever great.”  H. This text is remarkable, as it shews (C.) that no sacrifice can please God, without interior holiness.  Outward magnificence will be otherwise rejected with contempt.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  He will visit them, is not in Greek, and only expresses the same again.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Flesh, which is thus punished for ever, (S. Aug. de Civ. Dei xxv. 4.) while the soul is still more tormented with the loss of God’s vision.  W. The bodies of those who persecute God’s people, will not only be thrown out with ignominy, but the impenitent shall suffer eternal torments.  These worms and fires do not cease.  They are not merely figurative, but real, according to the Fathers.  Serar. q. 1.  T.  Essais de Mor. Though the damned have not yet their bodies, they are no less affected with pain; as people who have lost a member, often seem to feel pain in it.  That our soul should even now suffer, when the body is hurt, depends on God’s appointment.  The Jews spoke of eternal torments in similar terms.  Eccli. vii. 19.  Isai. lxvi. 24.  Mar. ix. 45.

 

Ver. 22.  And.  Gr. “But as soon as they arrived at Jerusalem, they adored God; and when the people were purified, they offered their holocausts, and free gifts, and presents.”  H. They stood in need of purification, as they had shed blood, and had touched so many things of the Assyrians, which were to them unclean.  C.  Num. xxxi. 24.

 

Ver. 23.  An anathema of oblivion.  That is, a gift or offering made to God, by was of an everlasting monument, to prevent the oblivion or the forgetting of so great a benefit. Ch. Yet some would read (C.) oblationis, instead of oblivionis.  T. Gr. and Syr. say nothing of oblivion.  The Scriptures, and pagan histories, are full of such monuments of gratitude, to perpetuate the memory of benefits received from above.  C. Gr. “to the Lord, all the vessels,” or furniture.  C. xv. 14.  H. Joseph called one of his sons, Manasses, because God had caused him to forget his former toils.  Gen. xli. 51.  M. Judith’s husband had the same name; and this victory made her forget past sorrow.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Three.  Syr. “one entire month.”  C. Joy.  Gr. “and Judith remained with them.”

 

Ver. 25.  Was made.  Gr. “returned also to Bethulia, and dwelt on her own possessions; and in her time, was honourable throughout all the land.”

 

Ver. 26.  Chastity.  Gr. “many desired to have her, (H. in marriage.  W.) but no man knew her,” &c.  H. She again practised the same mortifications which she had done before.  Suidas.  C. Husband.  Gr. adds, “when he was removed to his people.  And proceeding, (to the temple, or advancing in age) she was very great, and she grew old in her,” &c.  H. She probably went up to Jerusalem at the great festivals.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  Five.  Suidas alone reads, “fifty.”  Some would suppose that Judith lived 105 years after her husband’s death; so that she might have been in all 125 years old.  But she would thus have survived the siege of Jerusalem under Nabuchodonosor; (C.) and the test does not require this sense.  H. See Ex. xii. 40.  T. Free; as she had been her assistant in such a glorious work.  M. Died.  Gr. adds, “in Bethulia; and they buried her in the cave of her husband, Manasses.”  See C. viii. 3.

 

Ver. 29.  Seven days.  The usual term; (Eccli. xxii. 13.) but it was extra ordinary for the whole province (C.) to mourn for an individual.  Gr. and Syr. add, “And she divided all her possessions, before her death, among the nearest relations of her husband, Manasses, and among her own,” (H.) which was very equitable, as she had no children, (C.) we may suppose.  T.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Years.  Gr. “days.”  See the pref.  H. Judith was a widow near seventy years, shewing an excellent pattern to all in that state.  Notwithstanding the many inducements which she might have had to marry again, she chose to abstain, for greater perfection.  Mat. xix. and 1 Cor. vii.  W. From the death of Holofernes (A. 3348) to that of Josias, (A. 3394) only forty-six years of peace would occur in Juda.  Hence Hardouin would suppose that the text speaks of the kingdom of Israel.  But it would be hard to prove that it existed at that time, after the ten tribes had been led away.  A. 3283.  As the Scripture does not specify how old Judith was when she addressed Holofernes, (C.) she might be sixty-five.  Vitre. If, therefore, we should make this peace last till the coming of Nabuchodonosor, to attack Jerusalem, about forty-six years might elapse before the period here assigned.  C. It is, however, much more probable, (H.) that the peace subsisted from the 11th of Manasses to the death of Josias, 73 (Gr. 78) years; (T.) and that she was not above forty when she performed her exploit; as she was then styled a beautiful girl, (C. xii. 12.) and many desired to marry her.  H. No instance can be produced, of the Jews entering into such contracts with those who were past child-bearing.  Freret, who seems afraid to allow this book the same authority as the additions to Daniel, though both are equally rejected by Protestants, supposes that Bethulia was besieged in the 11th or 12th year of Josias; and, of course, that Judith would then be about eighty-four years old!  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 31.  But.  This is taken from the Chaldee of S. Jerom, though omitted in the old Vulg. as well as in the Gr. and Syr.  We find no express mention of this festival in the Jews’ Calendar, (C.) though no one can doubt but it once was kept.  D. It probably ceased during the captivity; as that, in memory of the victory over Nicanor, (which was kept in the days of Josephus, xii. 16.) has been long since abolished, (C.) with many others.  D. Many suppose (C.) that the feast of Judith concurred with that of the new fire, when the temple was renewed under Judas the Machabee, on the 25th of Casleu, (Salien, &c.) in December, though the victory of Judith was obtained about August.  The point is not easily decided.  As the festival was of human institution, it might be abrogated by the same authority.  C. In Judith we behold a widow indeed, such as the apostle commends.  1 Tim. v. 3.  (S. Jer. ad Furiam. We may also raise our minds still higher, and contemplate in her a glorious figure of the Christian Church, which is spotless; and by the practice of all virtues, overcomes the power of persecutors, giving all the glory to God.  After victory, she continues in silence to practise her former austerities, which render her secure in peace and terrible in war.  C.

 

 

ESTHER

THE BOOK OF ESTHER.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

This Book takes its name from queen Esther; whose history is here recorded.  The general opinion of almost all commentators on the Holy Scripture, make Mardochai the writer of it: which also may be collected below from C. ix. 20.  Ch. He and the queen were certainly authors of the letter, (H.) enjoining the celebration of the feast of Purim, or “lots,” which is the ground-work (C.) of the present narration.  D. The compiler has also had recourse to the archives of the kingdom of Persia: so that his work has all the authority that can be required of a profane historian; and being moreover inspired in all its parts, we cannot refuse to receive it with the utmost respect.  Those additions which are not now in Hebrew, (C.) though they were perhaps formerly, (W.  Origen.  D.) have been carefully preserved by S. Jerom, and were recognized by the ancient Vulg. as they are at present by the Greek, without any distinction.  Lysimachus, the Greek translator, was probably the author of them.  C. xi. 1.  C. The objections of Capellus against this “Greek scribbler,” as he is pleased to style him, despising the judgment of both Jews and Christians, are in general very unaccountably borrowed (H.) from the Latin version, and are easily refuted.  Houbigant. Those Jews, who have rejected this work entirely, with Melito, (Eus. Hist. iv. 26.  S. Greg. Naz. &c.) ought not to prevail against the consent of the majority, (C.) expressed in the Councils of Laodicea, Carthage, Trent, sess. 4, &c.  To read this book according to the order of time, we should begin C. xi. v. 2, &c.  C. i. ii. and xii. and iii. to v. 14; then we find the distress of the Jews in the rest of that chapter, and in C. xiii. to v. 8, and their delivery in C. iv. to ix. v. 17, and C. xiii. v. 8, &c. and C. xiv. xv. and xvi.  The consequences of these events are recorded C. ix. v. 17, &c. to C. xi. 1. (W.) with which verse the book ends, in the Greek editions.  H. They vary considerably, as did the copies of the ancient Vulgate, which called forth the complaints of S. Jerom, Pref.  But the Church has distinguished what was spurious from the genuine word of God; so that the doubts of Lyran, Sixtus, (Bib. viii.) &c. respecting the fragments at the end of the book being not canonical, ought no longer to be indulged; much less can the boldness of many Lutherans, (C.) and particularly of Le Clerc, (Houbigant) be tolerated, who represent the whole work as a mere fiction.  The Jews have a greater respect for it than for any of the prophets; whose works, they say, will perish at the coming of the Messias: whereas this will subsist with the books of Moses, and the feast of Purim will never be abolished.  C. ix. 28.  Maimon. Ben. Gorion (ii. 2.) admits the additions.  But Josephus is silent about them, as he probably did not find them in his copy.  C. He recites, however, both the epistles of Assuerus.  Ant. xi. 6.  D. It is not agreed whether these events happened before or after the captivity.  But it is now most commonly supposed, that Esther was married to Darius Hystaspes, A. 3489, about the time of the dedication of the temple.  C. xiv. 9.  He had been on the throne six years, and reigned other thirty.  See Herod. vii. 4.  C. Josephus thinks that Esther was the queen of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was a great friend of the Jews.  D. The Thalmud attributes this work to the great Synagogue, consisting of Esdras, Mardochai, Joachim, &c. and, as various persons might write the same history, the Greek, with the additions, seems to be taken from one copy, and the Hebrew from another rather more concise, (Huet.  D.) but equally inspired.  H.

 

 

ESTHER 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  In.  Heb. “and in.”  In this manner the books of Scripture are usually connected.  Sept. place first the dream of Mardochai.  C. xi. 2.  C. Assuerus.  Sept. Artaxerxes; as  C. xvi. 1.  The former is the title of Median, the latter of the Persian, monarchs.  This king reigned over both nations, and was most probably Darius Hystaspes, the third king of the Persians, (T.) who subdued India, &c.  Herod.  C.  T. Some understand Cambyses, (1 Esd. iv.  Genebrard) or Xerxes (Scalig.) or Artaxerxes Longimanus, (Bellarm.  Salien) or Memnon, (Euseb.) or Ochus.  Serarius. But (C.) the author of 3 Esd. iii. 1. and iv. 43. seems clearly declared for Hystaspes.  T. Though that work be not canonical, (D.) it may claim some authority, as an ancient history.  H. This king gave orders for the building of the temple.  1 Esd. vi. 1. 14. India.  Part had been (C.) subject to Xerxes.  Herod. iv. 44. Ethiopia, beyond Egypt, paid an acknowledgment.  Cambyses had taken possession of this country.  C. Some understand a part of Arabia to be meant.  D. Seven: 120 had been regulated by Darius, the Mede.  Dan. vi. 1.  H. The number might vary as the monarch chose.  D. Herodotus (iii. 89.) only specifies “twenty.”  But he speaks of large departments, to which he intimates that several others were subordinate.  C. Provinces.  Heb. medina, “seat of judges.”  H. Prefecture.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Captial.  Heb. “palace, (Prot.  H.) or castle,” (C.) may also signify “a capital.”  Mont. &c. Hystaspes founded this ancient royal city of Persia, (Pliny vi. 27.) or he greatly embellished it.  C.  Ælian, Anim. xiii. 18.  T. He seems to have resided here almost constantly.  The preceding kings (C.) spent the winter in this warm climate, and perhaps the spring.  See 2 Esd. i. 1.  They spent other parts of the year at Ecbatana and at Babylon.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Reign.  When he was solemnly crowned, again, (T.) or removed his court, (C.) and dedicated this new capital, with feasting, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Days, or a full half year, according to their reckoning.  Nabuchodonosor, after his victory over Arphaxad, (Judith i.) feasted 120 days; Dionysius of Syrachuse, 90; (Aristot.) Solomon seven; (3 K. viii. 63.) and David three; when he was recognized by all Israel.  1 Par. xii. 39.  The Gaul, Ariamnes, gave a fest to all his countrymen for a whole year.  Athen. iv. 13. The Roman emperors sometimes treated all the citizens of Rome, and Alexander did the like to 9000 of his chief officers for one day.  But the magnificence of Assuerus surpasses all the rest.  The Persians were famous on this account. Persicos odi, puer, apparatus.  Hor. i. Ode 38.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Expired, (Feuardent) or in the last week.  M.  C. King.  The Persian monarchs delighted in agriculture.  Cyrus the younger, planted trees at Sardis, and never ate till he had taken some exercise of this or of a military nature.  Xenoph. Memor.  Cicero Senect.

 

Ver. 6.  Were.  Prot. “where were,” white, green, and blue hangings. Ivory.  Heb. “silver.”  H. Beds, to lie down on at table; though sitting was formerly the fashion.  Gen. xliii. 33.  The other custom prevailed among the more luxurious nations, and was observed in our Saviour’s time, each person reclining upon his left arm, and having his feet behind the next.  T. These beds were made very low, in Persia; so that Alexander had one put under his feet, when he sat on the throne of Darius, as he was not so tall.  Curt. v. 7. Their magnificence was surprising.  Herod. ix. 81.  C. Variety, in Mosaic work.  T. They lay upon sheep skins.  Chal.  Sept. “and the beds (or coverlets) were transparent, with various flowers, and full-blown roses, all round.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Vessels.  When Lysanias had taken the camp of Mardonius, and beheld the rich vessels, he could not help expressing a surprise that people possessing such advantages, should come to molest the Lacedemonians, who lived so poorly.  Herod. ix. 79.

 

Ver. 8.  Neither.  Heb. “and the drinking was according to the law.”  Gr. “was not according to the pre-established law;” (H.) as the usual custom was altered, on this occasion; and thus both may be accurate.  The Persians had commonly a king of the feast, whose orders all were obliged to obey in drinking.  Hor. i. Ode 4.  Eccli. xxxii. 1. This was an occasion of quarrels, (S. Jer.) and of intoxication.  Agesilaus followed the example of Assuerus.  Darius, and Cyrus the younger, gloried in being able to drink much wine without being deranged.  C.

Reges dicuntur urgere culullis,

                        Et torquere mero, quem perspexisse laborant,

                        An sit amicitia dignus.  Hor. ad Pison.

Among friends, these “absurd laws” wer laid aside.

Siccat inequales calices conviva, solutus

                        Legibus insanis.  Hor. ii. Sat. 6.  C.

This may suggest to Christians, that they ought not to urge any to get drunk, (S. Aug. ser. 231. de Temp.) lest they should be condemned by the very heathens.  W. Would, and thus prevent disorders as much as possible.  Athen. x. 6.

 

Ver. 9.  Vasthi.  Sept. Astin.  H. Serarius suspects she was the king’s sister, or daughter, as such marriages were common in Persia.  T. The name is not very different from that of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, who was married to Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius; to the latter of whom she bore four children.  Herod. iii. 68. and vii. 3. This prince had other wives, particularly Artistona, (C. our Hadossa, (H.) or Esther) whom he espoused a virgin, and love the most.  Herodotus seems to confound her with Atossa. Dwell.  Some Greek copies have “in her own palaces.”  Usher. It was proper for women to be more retired.  M. The men feasted in the open air.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Wine.  From the king’s excess, and the haughtiness of Vasthi, God took occasion to advance Esther, and to deliver his people.  C. Mauman.  Sept. “Aman.”  T. But the names vary.  The Persians seem to have had a predilection for the number seven, v. 14.  C.  Gr. “the seven eunuchs, ministers (deacons) of Artaxerxes.”

 

Ver. 11.  Head.  But without any other covering.  Chal.  Sulpitius entertained perhaps the same idea.  Stulto rege consultior, pudens, virorum oculis spectaculum corporis præbere jussa, abnuit.  H. Some Greek copies assert, very improbably, (C.) that she was sent for “to be crowned queen.” Beautiful.  “The Persian ladies were noted for beauty,” (Ammian) insomuch that Alexander called them eye-sores, oculorum dolores.  Curt. Only prostitutes appeared publicly at feasts.  Macrob. vii. 1.  S. Amb. de Elia. i. 15. In effect, Vasthi’s refusal conformable to the laws of the country.  Josephus.  Plut. in Themist. Her offence consisted, therefore, rather in her haughty carriage or words.  H. For the proposal was neither decent nor safe for the king, (Grot.) as the history of Candaules shews.  Herod. i.  Not. Var. in Sulp.

 

Ver. 12.  Fury.  This is the usual consequences of excess.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  According.  Heb. “knew the times, (for so was the king’s custom with those who knew law and judgment.)  And the next,” &c.  H. These were the magi, more particularly versed in the constitutions of the country.  The Persians commonly held their consultations over wine.  Herod. i. 133. Sept. “and the king said to his friends, Thus has Astin spoken; do therefore, in this affair, law and judgment.  Then came forth to him Arkesaios and Saresthaios, and Malesear, the princes of the Persians and Medes, men near the king, and who sat first after the king.  H. The old Vulg. places Mardochæus first.  These seven counsellors were perhaps styled the king’s relations,” (Brisson i. p. 171.) and administered justice; as even the kings referred their causes to them.  Plut. Artax. &c.

 

Ver. 16.  Mamuchan.  Old Vulg. “Mardochæus.”  Yet the Jews say this was the infamous Aman; and one Greek copy has Bilgaios, (C.) and Arabo, “Mouchaios.”  C. iii. 1. and xii. 6.  He was the youngest, but spoke first, as was sometimes the case.

 

Ver. 18.  Wives.  Gr. turannideV, “princesses, or female tyrants.” Slight.  Sept. “dare to slight their husbands.  Wherefore if,” &c.  H. Just.  Heb. “enough of contempt and indignation.”  This may be referred either to the king or to the women’s husbands.  The example will prove a source of continual quarrels.  C. Brentius approves the decision of this parasite; though S. Amb. &c. think that the queen was justified by the laws, which the king had no right to infringe, to gratify his drunken humour, v. 10.  Luther would also wrest this text in favour of adultery, p.ii. Devort. p. 177.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Altered.  This regarded the more solemn acts, signed by the counsellors.  Dan. vi. 17.  Grotius. Some decrees were neglected or changed.  C. viii. 9.  1 Esd. iv. 5. 21. and vi. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Counsel.  It was very inconclusive; (M.) and even supposing the queen were guilty of some indiscretion, the punishment was too severe.  M.  Grotius, v. 11.  H.

 

 

ESTHER 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Suffered.  He began to repent.  The Persians used to deliberate when warm with wine: but their decrees were not ratified till they had examined them again the next day.  Herod. i. 133. This was not the case here; the king divorced his wife without any delay.  C. Sept. intimate that he presently lost thoughts of her.  “He no longer remembered Vasthi with any affection, reflecting what she had said, and how he had condemned her.”  H. But the Alex. copy agrees with the Heb.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Beautiful.  Thus Abisag was brought to David.  3 K. i. 2.  The Turkish emperors select women from all their dominion, without distinction of noble or ignoble; as all are their slaves.

 

Ver. 3.  House.  Distinct from the palace, v. 14. Women’s.  Heb. “things for rubbing, (C.) or purification;” (H.) such as perfumes, but not clothes.

 

Ver. 4.  Commanded.  Heb. “did so.”

 

Ver. 5.  Jew.  He was of the tribe of Benjamin.  But all went by this name, after the captivity.  Mardochai had probably returned from Jerusalem, seeing things were unfinished there.  1 Esd. ii. 2.  C. Semei, who cursed David.  Chal. Cis.  The head of the royal family of Saul; whence authors have concluded that he and Esther were of royal blood, (C.) and descendants of Miphiboseth.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Who.  This may refer to Cis, the great-grandfather of Mardochai, if we postpone this history till the latter end of the Persian monarchy.  D. But it more naturally applies to Mardochai himself, who (C. xi. 4.  T.) was led captive 80 years before, being then perhaps 10 years old, so that he would now be only 90; an age when many are fit for great things.  C.  Cic. de Senect. He might even have been an infant when taken, and of course would not be much above 80 when he came into such favour.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Brothers.  Josephus, (xi. 6.) the old Latin version of the Syr. Abenezra, &c. suppose that Mardochai was uncle to Esther.  But the Heb. Syr. Gr. and Chal. assert that he was only her cousin.  Sept. “daughter of Aminadab, (or rather Abihail, v. 15.) his father’s brother, and her name was Esther; and after her parents were dead, he educated her for a wife;” eiV gunaika, as some Rabbins also maintain, believing she was an heiress.  Yet other Greek copies, Heb. &c. read, “he educated her as a daughter, qugatera: for the damsel was very beautiful.”  He had probably adopted her.  C. Edissa.  Heb. hadassa, (H.) or hadassah, signified “of myrtle.”  M. Esther, “a sheep.”  C.

 

Ver. 9.  And he, Egeus, commanded the under eunuch.  T. Heb. “he quickly gave her her things for purifications, (v. 3.) and her portions, with seven maids, suitable for her, out of the king’s house; and he charged her and her maids to dwell in the best of the women’s house,” (H.) where things were the most commodious.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Would.  Heb. “had not declared.”  He was not influenced to treat her thus on account of her royal extraction.  H. In effect, the Jews were despised.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Court.  He was one of the life-guards.  C. xi. 3.  T. This situation enabled him to disclose a conspiracy, (v. 23. and C. xii. 5.) as he often went to enquire after the health of Esther.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Turn.  This was rigidly observed, in that country, where polygamy prevailed.  Gen. xxx. 16.  Herod. iii. 69. The wives were “shut up in separate apartments,” (Just. i. 9.) in the remotest parts of the palace.  C. Twelfth.  A full year elapsed before they could be admitted. A sweet.  Prot. “other things for the purifying of the women.”  H. It would be difficult to form an adequate idea of the luxury of the Persians, if the Scripture had not informed us.  The kings were not satisfied with one wife.  Assuerus had 400; (Josephus) and Darius Codomannus carried 360 with him, in his expeditions.  Curt. iii. Parmenio took an incredible number of his concubines, at Damascus.  Athen. xiii. 9. They were not all treated alike, but all were very sumptuously adorned.  Cities were allotted to furnish one with sandals, another with girdles, &c.  Cic. in Verrem. v.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Abihail.  Sept. “Aminadab, brother of Mardochai’s father.”  H. v. 7.

 

Ver. 16.  Tenth.  Sept. and old Vulg. “twelfth month, which is Adar.”  Tebeth corresponds with December and January.  C. Notwithstanding all exertions, Esther had been near four years in preparing; (T.  C. i. 3.  C.) unless some years had elapsed before she was brought, v. 12.  H. She was guilty of no sin in becoming an inferior wife of the king.  M.  T.

 

Ver. 17.  Crown.  Lit. “diadem,” (H.) which was a bandage “of purple, striped with white,” by which the queen was distinguished from the other wives.  C. The king wore “a four-square cidaris,” with a similar ornament.  Alex. Genial. i. 27. Only one queen was chosen from all the wives, and she was “adored” by the rest.  Dion. Athen. iii. l. Though God had forbidden marriages with infidels, (C.) at least with those of Chanaan, (H.) a dispensation might be granted, (Ex. xxxiv.  T.  2 K. iii.  W.) for a greater good.  Esther was not puffed up with her exaltation, and refrained from all forbidden meats.  C. xiv. 15.  C. If she be the Artystona of Herotous, (vii. 69.  H.) as it is most probable, (T.) her two sons, Arsames and Gobryas, had a command in the famous expedition of Xerxes.  Usher, A. 3524.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Servants.  Sept. add, “seven days, and he magnified the nuptials of Esther.”  H. Rest, from labour.  C. Sept. “remission to all his subjects,” of tribute, as was sometimes done.  Herod. iii. 66.  T.  C. Gifts, on Esther.  Chal.  Malvenda.

 

Ver. 19.  And.  Sept. “But Mardochai,” &c.  H. They say nothing of the gifts, v. 18. Second.  The same process had been observed before, when Vasthi was chosen.  C. Mardochai was perhaps then one of the king’s guards.  H.  v. 11.  T. This second inquiry is here specified, to introduce the following account.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  Commandment.  No one interrogated her, as she had been educated as Susa, and was taken for a Persian lady, v. 10.  M.

 

Ver. 21.  Bagathan, or Bagatha and Thara.  C. xii. 1.  One of the chief counsellors was called Bagatha.  H. But these two were porters, (C.) or guards, of the king, (Sept.  Grot.) or of the treasury.  Vatab. Some Gr. copies and the Chal. insinuate that they were displeased at the advancement of Mardochai.  The latter supposes that they meant also to poison Esther.  C. It appears that they wished to make Aman king, (M.) and the detection was always resented by him.  C. xii. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Notice of it, from Barnabaz, a Jew in the service of one of them.  Josephus, xi. 6. He might also hear some suspicious words.  R. Calom.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  King.  Such histories were preserved with great care.  1 Esd. vi. 1.  C. Sept. “the king ordered a memorial to it to be kept in the royal library, for the praise of Mardochai’s good will.”  H. The latter also wrote an account.  C. xii. 4.

 

 

ESTHER 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Aman means, “a disturber.”  H. Who.  Sept. add, “Bougaios, or Gogaios.”  Gog designates Scythia, where Aman might have been born.  Pliny (iv. 12.) places there the lake and river Ruges.  But the Bugean, in Greek, may mean, “greatly puffed up:” or it may stand for Bagoas, “an eunuch,” (Judith xii. 11.) like Putiphar. Agag, the king of Amalec.  1 K. xv.  This title, like that of Macedonian, (C. xvi. 10.) is probably used out of contempt, as the Jews fequently styled their enemies, “race of Chanaan.”  Ezec. xvi. 3.  Dan. xiii. 56.  C. Sulpitius takes Aman to have been a Persian.  His Amalecite ancestors may have fled before Saul into Macedonia, though he himself resided in Persia, so as to belong to all those nations.  T.  M. Throne.  Thus were Joseph and Joakim exalted.  Gen. xli. 40. and 4 K. xxv. 28.  C. The Persians gave places according to merit, (H.) or as a reward.  Brisson.

 

Ver. 2.  Worship him, with divine honours, as he required, in imitation of the kings.  Judith iii. 13.  On certain solemn occasions, the latter at least exacted this respect from their subjects.  But the pious Jews avoided appearing at such times, or the kings dispensed with them.  The mere bending the knee, out of civil respect, would not have been objected to; and Mardochai says, he would not have refused to kiss the footsteps of Aman.  C. xiii. 12.  C.  S. Tho. 2. 2. q. 84.  T. But he could not give such worship as was claimed by the minor gods.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Resolution.  The did not mean to injure Mardochai, who had an employment at court.  C. xii. 5.  C. Jew, and of course hindered by his religion from giving divine worship to any man.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Counted.  Sept. “consulted how to exterminate all the Jews in the kingdom.” Assuerus.  Heb. adds, “the people of Mardochai.”

 

Ver. 7.  Lot.  The Persians were much addicted to divination.  The superstitious Aman, though he would appear a deity, was to be regulated by lots!  Providence caused almost a whole year to intervene, before the cruel execution was to commence.  C. Reason began to shew the futility of divination, (Cicero) but the Christian religion alone has been able to counteract its baneful influence.  C. India is till much infected with it.  Bernier. Phur.  Heb. “they cast Pur, that is the lot, before Aman.”  H. The explanation intimates that Pur is a Persian word.  D. Yet Pagnin maintains that it means in Heb. “to crush,” a wine-press, or vessel; and the lot, which is thrown therein.  M. Tickets, with the names of the twelve months, were probably drawn; and after the month was thus determined, Aman put in the urn as many tickets as it had days, and was directed to pitch upon the 13th.  Sept. have the 14th, both here and v. 13.  C. How preposterous was the (H.) fury of this man, thus to decide upon the day before he had the king’s leave!  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Another, as the ten tribes were from Juda, or rather (H.) they were scattered about the empire.  C. Heb. “and dispersed; and their laws are different from all other people’s; neither do they observe the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to tolerate them.”  H. These are the old calumnies repeated by Tacitus, (Hist. v.) and ably refuted by Josephus.  c. Ap.  Almost all Israel still continued about Media.  Few had taken advantage of the decree of Cyrus.

 

Ver. 9.  Talents.  Heb. &c. add, “of silver.”  M. If the Heb. talent be meant, this sum would be immense for an individual; (C.) though Aman might expect to raise it by the confiscation of the Jews’ effects, v. 13.  Some think he speaks of the Babylonian talent, on which supposition the sum would amount to twenty-one millions of French livres, (Bude.  C.) or of the Attic one, which is worth half the Heb. talent.  The king might thus be prevented from thinking that the tributes would be lessened.  T.

 

Ver. 10.  Ring, to transfer his power to him, for the time.  Gen. xli. 42.  Alexander gave his ring to Periccas, and was generally supposed thus to designate him for his successor.  Justin. xii.  See 1 Mac. vi. 14. 15.

 

Ver. 12.  Lieutenants.  Lit. “satraps.”  Heb. achashdarpene, “courtiers,” (H.) or those who are int he presence of his majesty, or porters.  C. They were entrusted with the care of the different provinces.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Messengers.  Lit. “runners.”  H. Posts were first established in Persia, and were the admiration of other nations, though nothing compared with ours, as they were not regular, nor for the people.  They called these messengers Astandæ, or Angari.  Mat. v. 41.  Darius Condomanus was one of these postilions, before he came to the crown.  C. At first the kings had people stationed on eminences, at a convenient distance, to make themselves heard, when they had to communicate some public news.  Diod. xix. p. 680. Cyrus afterwards appointed horsemen, to succeed each other.  Xenophon, Cyrop. viii. Cæsar made some regulations on this head, which were perfected by Augustus and Adrian; but being neglected, Charlemagne strove to restore them: yet it is thought that the posts were not established, in France, till the reign of Louis XI.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Letter.  It should appear here, as it is in Gr. but the Heb. &c. omitting it, the Vulg. give it, C. xiii. 1.

 

Ver. 15.  Jews.  Heb. “but the city of Susan was in perplexity.”  Gr. “troubled.”  C. Even the pagans could not view such a cruel decree, without horror.  H.

 

 

ESTHER 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Shewing.  Sept. old Vulg. and Josephus, “a nation which has done no wrong, is to be cut off.”  The eastern nations were accustomed to such marks of sorrow.  Jon. ii. 6.  The citizens of Susa tore their garments, and cried aloud, for many days after the defeat of Xerxes.  Herod. viii. 98. The domestics of Darius and Alexander tore also their hair, &c. after their masters’ death.  Curt. iii. and xi.

 

Ver. 2.  Sackcloth.  Gr. adds, “and ashes.”  Such an appearance was deemed disrespectful.  God forbids his priests to act thus.  Lev. xxi. 1.  See Gen. xli. 14.  Yet the miserable ought not to be entirely excluded from the king’s presence, as he ought to be their protector.

 

Ver. 3.  Edict.  Lit. “dogma;: H. a word used in this sense, (Acts xv. 16.) and by Demosthenes, &c.  T. Mourning.  The most effectual means of redress, is to do works of penance for past transgressions.  1 Cor. xi. 31.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Her, concerning the unusual distress of one of the courtiers.  They knew not, (M.) perhaps, that he was related to her.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Money.  Heb. “the sum of money.”  Sept. “then thousand talents.”

 

Ver. 8.  Entreat.  Sept. “to put in a counter-petition, and entreat,” &c. People.  Sept. add, “and country, remembering the days of thy lowly state, how thou wast fed by my hand; for Aman, the second after the king, has spoken against us, to have us destroyed.  Call then upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and rescue us from death.”  H. This servant must have been very trusty, as the secret was confided to him, respecting the nation to which the queen belonged.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Inner court, with regard to many others around, though there was one still more retired, (T.) where the king alone could enter.  This admitted the light only by the door, before which hung a curtain, so that the king could see (C.) who came into the hall of audience, (H.) without being seen.  None durst come even to this antichamber, without being called.  It was also death to appear with their  hands out of their sleeves, (Cyrop. ii.) or to sit down, (Diod. xvii.) or look at any of the king’s wives in the face, &c.  Plut. Artax. This gloomy retirement was intended to keep up the idea of his majesty being something more than man.  H. Apud Persas persona regis, sub specie majestatis, occulitur.  Justin. i. The king’s secret cabinet (C.) resembled, in magnificence (C. xv. 9.) the description which Ovid has given us of the palace of the sun.  T. It was covered with gold and precious stones.  Here he continued, almost inaccessible, and business was despatched slowly.  C. Agesilaus, king of Sparta, shewed how ridiculous these customs were, by acting quite the reverse, appearing frequently among his subjects, and granting their just requests without delay.  Xenophon. Thirty.  She might apprehend that the king’s affection was beginning to cool.  God was pleased thus to try her the more.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Only.  Aman would contrive to effect her ruin with the rest.

 

Ver. 14.  Occasion.  Wonderful confidence!  Gr. “if thou wilt not hearken (C.  to me; (H.) or, if thou obstinately despise) at this time, the Jews shall be assisted and protected by some,” &c.  H. As this.  So Joseph was raised up in Egypt, (C.) that he might save all his family.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Pray.  Heb. “fast.”  They might take some refreshment in the evening, (Lyran) of dried meats.  Joseph. Grot. Few constitutions could have done without any thing.  Yet after two  nights and one full day were elapsed, Esther ventured to go to the king.  C. v. 1.  We have here another instance of places for prayer.  Judith vi. 21.  The old Vulg. has, “publish a fast, and tell the ancients to fast.  Let the infants be  kept from the breast during the night, and let no food be given to the oxen and other animals, while I and my maids shall fast,” &c.  Then at the end of this chapter, in the Sept. follow the prayers of Mardochai and of Esther, (C. xiii. 8. and C. xiv.  H.) which is their proper place.  C.

 

 

ESTHER 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  And.  Instead of these two verses, the Sept. place (H.) what we have C. xv. with some small variation from the present account in Heb.   But there is nothing incompatible with the truth.  C. The king might be at first displeased; but, seeing the effect which it had upon Esther, he might feel his former sentiments of love rekindle.  C.  T. House, or inner apartment, C. iv. 11.  The throne was surprizingly magnificent, yet inferior to that of Solomon.  3 K. x. 18.  C. It was formed of gold and precious stones, with a curtain over it of purple and other colours.  Athen. xi. 2.

 

Ver. 2.  Golden.  “It is not this golden sceptre which saves the kingdom,” said Cyrus, “but faithful friends are the most true and secure sceptre for kings.”  Cyrop. viii.  C. Kissed.  Heb. “touched.”  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Kingdom.  C. vii. 2.  This compliment only (C.) meant, that every rational (H.) request should be granted.  Mar. vi. 23.

 

Ver. 4.  Prepared.  It was not prudent to declare her request, when many improper persons were present; and Aman was not there.  M. She thought that the hilarity, occasioned by innocent feasting, (H.) might be a means of obtaining more effectually what she wanted.  M. If the prudence of this world suggest much address, why may not virtue employ the same arts for good purposes?  Esther had to obtain two great points; to make the king retract his edict, andto abandon his favourite.  She is afraid therefore of being too hasty, (C.) and invites the king again, to increase by this delay his desire to of knowing her request, and that he might bind himself to grant it more effectually.  W. She invites Aman alone, who would thus be more envied  by the other courtiers; (Lyran) while she manifested an open dispostion, and disdained to accuse the absent.  T.

 

Ver. 6.  Wine.  The Persians did not drink till the end of the feast, (as the Turks are said to do at present.  Tavernier) when they fall upon wine without any moderation.  Ælian, Hist. xii. 1.

 

Ver. 11.  Children.  After military glory, this was deemed the greatest.  The king sent presents yearly to those who had most children.  Herod. i. 136.

 

Ver. 12.  But me.  It was thought very singular, when Artaxerxes invited his own brothers.  Plut. But when he also admitted a foreigner, the nobility became jealous, as that honour was reserved for the king’s relations.  Athen. i. Dine, or feast.  Only one meal was taken, (Herod. vii. 120.) and that in the evening.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Whereas.  Sept. “all these things do not satisfy me, while I behold,” &c.  Such is the insatiable nature of ambition!  H. Gate.  He does not clearly mention that he wanted to be adored.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  High.  This was to increase the shame.  Hence Galba condemned a Roman citizen to be hung on a high white cross.  Sueton. ix. The Jews formerly burned a man in effigy with a cross, pretending to do it in detestation of Aman, but in reality to deride our Saviour, till the emperors forbade the custom.  C. ix. 21.  C.  Just. and Theodos.  C.

 

 

ESTHER 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Sleep.  Anxious what Esther could desire.  Sept. “But the Lord removed sleep from the king that night.”  H. Providence watched over the welfare of his people. Chronicles.  The king took particular care (C.) to have their benefactors mentioned in history and rewarded.  Herod. viii. 85.  Assuerus had not recourse to musicians, &c. wisely (T.) reflecting that history is the most pleasing and useful amusement.  Cicero, &c.  T. God directed him on this occasion, as his eye never sleepeth.  Josephus.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  No reward at all.  He received some presents from the king; (C. xii. 5.) but these were so inconsiderable in the opinion of the courtiers, that they esteemed them as nothing at all; (Ch.) and they were not specified in the history.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Inner court.  To which only such favourites and noblemen had access.  Herod. iii. 72. and 84.  This king had himself come thither with six others, when they conspired to destroy Smerdis.  Heb. &c. read, “the outward court,” in which Aman was, till he heard the king was awake, and called for him.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Apparel.  Gr. “of byssus,” which was very superb.  C. xv. 9.  The king alone could wear the tiara upright.  The nobles wore it hanging backwards.  Cyrus allowed his nobility to appear in purple, but he would have only his own robes striped with white.  Cyrop. viii.  Curt. iii. The kings often made presents of garments, &c. to ambassadors, and to those who were styled “their relations.” Horse: 200 such appeared in the train of Cyrus, with golden bits, which none were permitted to use without special leave. Head.  Gr. seems to refer this to the horse, which might indeed have a sort of crown.  But the golden one was more probably worn by the person honoured.  C. viii. 15.

 

Ver. 9.  Nobles.  Lit. “tyrants.”  H. But this word was not formerly odious; as it only denoted “a prince.”  Pars mihi pacis erit dextram tetigisse tyranni.  Æneid vii. Abuse of power caused it to become hateful.  T.

 

Ver. 10.  Spoken.  The distinction was not for one day only.  Mardochai might afterwards wear the tiara, &c.  God thus clearly manifested that he would resist the proud, and give grace to the humble.  S. Jam. iv. 6.  The exaltation of Joseph in Egypt, (C.) and lately of Daniel at the court at Babylon, (T.) was hardly less wonderful.  Gen. xli.  Dan. vi.  C. We may easily conceive the astonishment which would fill the breast of Aman, as well as of Mardochai, on this occasion.  The Greek published by Usher, has expressed these sentiments; (H.) and the Chaldee has added many embellishments, which are of no authority.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Covered.  To hide his shame, (T.) as Demosthenes did, when the people kissed him.  Plutarch.  See 2 K. xv.  Ezec.  xii. 6.

 

Ver. 13.  Wise men.  Probably the magi, who concluded, from the first miscarriage, that he undertaking would prove abortive, (C.) as they were also informed of God’s protection given repeatedly to the Jews.  Sept. “because the living God is with him.”  Chal.  They might have heard of the fate of Sennacherib and of Holofernes, (C.) or of God’s promises, (Gen. xiii. and xv.) unless they were guided by human prudence.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  As.  Thus from morning till noon, (T.) or night, had this petty god (H.) been forced to stoop to the meanest offices, and durst not say a word in opposition.  T. He would gladly have now absented himself from the feast, (M.) with the idea of which he had been enraptured.  H.

 

 

ESTHER 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Drink.  Wine was only used at great feasts.  Eccli. xxxi. 17.  Water was served up first, from the river Choaspes only.  The king and his eldest son were allowed to drink of “the golden waters,” of which they alone had 70 fountains.  Athen. xii. 2. Their wine was brought from Chelbon, near Damascus.  Id. i. 22.  Ezec. xxvii. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  People.  She was more concerned for these than for half of the kingdom.  Hence all fasted and prayed, and Esther obtained their deliverance.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Perish.  Three terms of the same import express the greatness of the misery.  H. King.  Whose revenue will be greatly impaired, (C.) and character injured, for having given such power to a monster.  H. The kings of Persia had taken many precautions not to be thus deluded, having appointed officers, who were styled “the eyes and ears” of the king, purposely to obtain all necessary information.  But these eyes were often darkened; these ears were often deaf, (C.) and unwilling to act with fidelity; (H.) though their diligence in make secret transactions known, caused the people to look upon their kings as gods.  Apul. Mund. Cyrop. viii.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  What.  Heb. “where, who durst entertain this design?”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Astonished.  Horror of a guilty conscience is the first punishment.  S. Chrys.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Set.  Heb. “of the palace,” (H.) belonging to the queen.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  My own.  Heb. “will he force…in the house?”  H. Those who know with what jealousy the Persians treated their wives, so at to punish with death those who crossed the road before the queens, (Plut. Artax.) or touched them, will not wonder at the indignation of Assuerus, (C.) though his suspicions were groundless.  H. Aman wished to incline the queen to shew clemency, (M.) and intercede for him.  He threw himself as a suppliant at her feet, as she lay on the bed at table.  H. Face.  His crime was notorious; no trial was requisite, and the kings could treat their subjects as slaves.  It was customary to cover the faces of those who were led to execution.  Philotas was thus conducted into the presence of Alexander.  Curt. vi.

 

Ver. 9.  Harbona.  Cr. “Bougathan.”  H. He had been to call Aman to the feast.  Jos. Little dependance is to be had on false friendship, when a man is disgraced.  W. Upon it.  His body was perhaps afterwards exposed in the street.  C. xvi. 18.  It is not clear that he was nailed to the cross, though this custom prevailed in the country.  1 Esd. vi. 11.  Alexander crucified many satraps.  Curt. ix. The old Vulg. observes that the wife and ten children of Aman suffered with him.  C. ix. 6.  C.

 

 

ESTHER 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  House, and furniture.  Sept. “all the possessions of Aman, the devil,” (accuser, &c.  H.) which were confiscated for treason; and no one had a better title than the queen, whose life had been is such danger.  Yet she did not touch the estates of the children, v. 13.  C. ix. 10. King. in the place of Aman.  C. ix. 4. and x. 3. Uncle, or cousin.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Aman.  It seems the traitor had hitherto kept possession of it, and sealed the king’s edicts, as Mardochai was now to do, v. 8. House.  Heb. &c. “of Aman,” to whom it had belonged.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Down.  such reverence is due to God’s representatives, whatever heretics may say.  Jude 8.

 

Ver. 5.  To him.  Heb. adds, “and I be pleasing in his eyes,” which had been expressed just before.  Yet she might insist on this point, as it shewed a greater regard for the king’s pleasure. I beseech.  Heb. “let it be written, to reverse the device of Aman, the son,” &c.  H. When the edict was not sealed by the nobles, it might be altered; (C. i. 19.) and at any rate, when the king had been to visibly imposed upon, in an affair of such consequence, justice dictated that it should not be enforced.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Durst.  Heb. “laid.”  He had sufficiently manifested his intention to destroy them, though he had not been able to injure any one.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  This.  Heb. “no one may reverse the letter,” &c.

 

Ver. 9.  Third.  Rom. Sept. “first…Nisan,” ten days after Aman’s decree, who seems to have been presently brought to judgment.  Yet two whole months might easily elapse, (C.) and ten days more, before this contrary edict was dispatched.  H. The day of slaughter was still remote.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Posts, who had a right to make use of any person’s horse, &c.  M. Who.  Prot. “on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries.”  H. The original terms greatly embarrass interpreters.  C. Sept. have simply, “he sent the writings by letter-carriers, ordering them to follow their own laws in every city, to help themselves, and treat their adversaries and opponents as they pleased, on one day…the 13th…of Adar.  This is a copy,” &c.  C. xvi.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Spoil.  This was retaliating, as they were to have been treated in like manner.  C. Such were the barbarous customs of the country.  H. It might not still be lawful thus to involve the innocent with the guilty, though the king did not ill in allowing the Jews to stand up in their own defence.  2 K. xxi. 6.  Some think that they were only to prevent the execution of the former edict, which could not be revoked.  See C. iii.  C. A form of trial was observed.  C. xvi. 20.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Cloak.  The kings wore one of purple, over their purple and white tunic.  Cyrop. viii. Gr. have “diadem.”  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Ceremonies.  Becoming acquainted with the sanctity of the law, and the protection which God gave to his people.  M. Heb. “the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast, and a good day, and many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews,” &c.  Prot.  H.

 

 

ESTHER 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  As.  Heb. “(which is the month of Adar) when the king’s command and edict drew near to be executed, in that day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it turned out that the Jews had dominion over those who hated them)”  H. To revenge, &c.   The Jews, on this occasion, by authority from the king, were made executioners of the public justice, for punishing by death a crime worthy of death, viz. a malicious conspiracy for extripating their whole nation; (Ch.) so inscrutable are the judgments of God, who never wholly abandoned his people!  The old Vulg. passes over the first 19 verses, with the 24th, 25th, and 28th.  C. In this whole history we cannot but admire the Providence of God.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Extolled.  Prot. “helped.”  Sept. “the king’s secretaries honoured the Jews.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Sons.  It seems as if they had been slain with their father, v. 10.  See C. vii. 9.  C. Yet, as the contrary would appear from C. xvi. 18, we may suppose that they were at least H. imprisoned till this time, for a more exemplary punishment, while all the rest of the family perished with Aman.  Serar.  Salien.  M. These are the kindred, specified nine months before.  C. xvi.  T. Some Masorets childishly (H.) write these ten names one over another, and with greater and lesser letters, to shew that they were hung one above another, and that the guilt of all was not the same, but the youngest son was the most malicious.  Kennicott,

 

Ver. 10.  Goods, in any place, (T.) that they might not appear to be actuated by the desire of riches, (C.) to fall upon the innocent.  How often does this fatal cause blind Christian conquerors!  The sons of Aman were married, and had separate establishments.  C. viii. 1.

 

Ver. 13.  Susan.  Aman’s influence had been the greatest there, and had stirred up many enemies of the Jews, who were to be carefully sought out.  H. If we should consider only the dictates of clemency, we should think that the Jews were too eager in their revenge.  But when we reflect, that their enemies had intended to destroy them all, and to seize their effects, we shall allow that they did not exceed the limits of justice, as they acted by royal authority, and abstained from touching any effects of the deceased.  C. In the capital, 800 men fell victims to their fury.  But as the citizens of that place were probably the most guilty, we must not imagine that other cities would be treated with the like severity.  H. Gibbets, for a terror to the wicked.  M. This disgrace was not unusual.  C. xvi.18.  Polycrates was treated thus.  Herod. iii. 125.

 

Ver. 16.  Lives.  In many cases they would probably be attacked, as Aman’s edict was perhaps still in force, as well as that of Mardochai.  Hence both parties would be upon the watch.  H. Seventy-five.  Rom. Sept. has only 15,000.  Complut. 10,035.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Meats, not only to the poor, but to all their friends, v. 22, and 2 Esd. viii. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Receive.  Prot. “establish this among them, that they should keep the 14th…yearly.”  2 Mac. xv. 37.  H. None were obliged to keep more than one of these days, according to their respective dwellings.  The 14th was for the provinces, the 15th for the Jews of Susan, v. 18.  T.  C.  W. Yet it would seem that both days were enjoined, v. 27, 28.  H. The Jews still observe, them, as they gratify their vanity and vindictive spirit.  The 13th is kept a rigid fast, for all above sixteen, for twenty-four hours, during which they eat nothing.  C. If that day should be a sabbath, or its eve, they fast on the 11th or 12th.  Drusius. The day before the festival they give alms to their poor brethren, enjoining them to consume the whole in making good cheer.  Each person must then contribute the half sicle, (Ex. xxx. 13.) which is bestowed on those who undertake a pilgrimage to the land of promise.  At night, when the feast commences, they light the lamps, and begin to read the Book of Esther, as soon as the stars appear.  They use an old parchment MS. roll, and, in the five places, the reader shouts with all his might, running over the names of the ten sons of Aman with all haste, to shew that they all died in a moment.  Whenever Aman is mentioned, the children beat the benches with mallets; and formerly they used to strike at a stone, on which his name was cut, till it broke, v. 31.  After the lecture, they take a repast at home.  Early the next morning they return to the synagogue, and read the account of Amalec from the Pentateuch, and repeat the Book of Esther, with the aforesaid ceremonies.  The rest of the day they spend in merriment.  Their teachers allow them to drink till they are unable to distinguish the name of Aman from that of Mardochai.  Basnage, vi. 15. They also change clothes, in contradiction to the law; (Deut. xxii. 5.) and were formerly accustomed to crucify a man of straw, which they burnt with the cross, till Christian emperors put a stop to them; as it was concluded, from their curses, &c. that they had an eye to our Saviour.  C.  See C. v. 14.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  And.  Heb. “But when she came.”  Sept. “and how he came to the king, asking leave to hang Mardochai.  But his machinations against the Jews, turned upon his own head; and so,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  Ceremonies.  The king also enjoined (C. xvi. 22.) all his subjects (T.) to keep a day of rejoicing, (H.) as the death of Aman was deemed a public benefit.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Second.  The first might be the edict, (C. viii. 9.) or else the provisional establishment of the festival, as it could not have general authority till it was ratified by the high priest; after which, this second letter was dispatched.  C. Sept. “and queen Esther, daughter of Aminadab, &c….wrote all that they had done, and also the confirmation of the epistle of Phrourai.”  They should say Phurim, as the former word means “guards.”  Heb. “wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim;” (Prot.  H.) or rather, “this letter, Phurim, of which this is a copy.”  The Rom. Sept. only add for this and their advice; (C.  Ed. Alex. “for their health and counsel.”) and Esther established for ever, and wrote as a memorial: My nation,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Peace: receive these glad tidings, and faithfully observe the injunctions.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Fasts and cries.  See v. 21.  C. Prot. “the matters of their fastings and their cry: and the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.”  H. This feast, instituted by Mardochai, was accepted and observed by the Jews as a constitution agreeable to, and not contrary to the law.  Deut. iv. 2. and xii. 32.  W.

 

 

ESTHER 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Land.  He conquered many countries on the continent, and several to which he could not come but by water, which the Jews call islands, whether they were surrounded on all sides by the sea or not.  Heb. has not the word all: but as the expressions are indefinite, they are usually taken in this sense.  Yet we must not suppose, that the dominion of Assuerus extended over the whole world, no more than that of the Romans, who were styled masters of it.  Before this king, the provinces had not paid tribute, but gave what they judged proper.  But Darius laid a heavy tribute upon all, that, when half was afterwards remitted, they might esteem it a favour.  The Persians hence looked upon him as a trafficker: kaphloV.  Herod. iii. 89. and iv. 44. and vi. 7. &c.  C. Providence punished them for thirsting after the possessions and blood of the Jews.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  Seed.  Benjamin (Itin.) informs us, that both he and the queen were buried in the chief city of the Medes, which he calls “the great Hamda;” perhaps the province Mardochæa, (or Amordakai.  Ptol. v. 20.) near the Persian gulf, may have been called after this statesman.  T.

 

Ver. 4.  Then Mardochai, &c.  Here S. Jerom advertiseth the reader, that what follows is not in the Hebrew; but is found in the Sept. Greek edition, which the 72 interpreters translated out of the Hebrew, or added by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  Ch. He says, “What is extant in Heb. I have faithfully translated.  What follows I found in the Vulg. edition, contained in the Greek language and character: and in the mean time, or waving all dispute for the present, (interim) this little chapter was inserted at the end of the book, which, according to our custom, we have marked with an obel or spit.”  H. These fragments (H.) which the Sept. might have in Heb. or wrote by inspiration, (W.) are not in Chal. or Syr. and the old Latin version, taken from the Greek (C.) of Lysimachus, (C. xi. 1.  H.) is inserted by S. Jerom.  C. Things.  He attributes the salvation of the Jews to God alone.  H. Reflecting on the fall of Aman, (T.) he recollects a dream which he had formerly had.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  A dream.  This dream was prophetical and extraordinary, otherwise the general rule is, not to observe them.  Ch.

 

Ver. 6.  And was.  Sept. “and there was light, and the sun and much water.”  The light enabled him to discern the progress of the little fountain.  Yet it was not absurd that the water should appear luminous, like the sun, as it was intended to shew the wonderful exaltation of Esther.  H. She extinguished a great fire, which threatened ruin.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Lots.  Alluding to the Purim of Aman; (C. Capel.) or rather these are only mentioned, v. 13.  Houbigant. Gr. “He had therefore made two lots…and the two lots came to the hour and time and day of judgment before God, and for all nations.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Time.  From all eternity (T.) God had ordained to save his people; and this he declared to his servants, by shewing  him two lots.  H. This became more intelligible after the event, (T.) like other predictions.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Mercy.  Gr. “justified.”  But this often means, shewed mercy.  Ex. xxxiv. 7.  C. The book concludes in Greek with the first verse, which we have in the following chapter, though some editions seem (H.) to have had that remark (D.) of the Alexandrian Jews, (C.) at the head of the book.  H.

 

 

ESTHER 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Cleopatra.  So the kings and queens of Egypt were styled after Lagus; whence we can only gather, that this translation was brought after the reign of Alexander, and most probably under Philometer, the sixth of his successors.  He was a great admirer of the Jews, and employed one Dositheus as his general, who might be the priest here mentioned; as such an office was not incompatible with his character.  T. Usher is of this opinion.  See Jos. con. Ap. ii.  But would he then be mentioned as if he had been a person almost unknown?  C. We may say that he only raised himself by merit, after this time.  H. Philometer reigned 177 years, B.C.  The Sept. (C.) who gave their version in the 7th year of Philadelphus, (S. Epip.) were not the authors of the Greek edition of Esther; (C.) or perhaps, they may have adopted this of Lysimachus, (Huet.  D.) as far as it went; the letter of Purim being only the groundwork of this history.  If they did, Lysimachus must have lived before the time of Philometer; or what seems as probable, (H.) that the celebrated version has been made by different authors, and at different times.  Hody. Jerusalem.  Here S. Jerom subjoins, “This beginning was also in the Vulg. edition, which does not occur in Hebrew or any interpreter,” (H.) except the Sept.  W. This must be referred to what follows.

 

Ver. 2.  Second year, the same when Darius gave an edict for building the temple, (1 Esd. iv.  T.) and the year before the great feast, (C. i. 3.) when the Jews little thought of such danger hanging over them.  C.  W. Benjamin.  C. ii. 5. we read Jemini, which shews that they have the same import.  T.

 

Ver. 3.  Court, afterwards.  C. He had a dream in the second year.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 4.  Juda.  This has been noticed already.  C. ii. 5.  But we need not be surprized at such repetitions.  We find the like in the books of Moses, and 1 K. xvi. 10. and xvii. 12. &c.  H. S. Jerom says, “Librum Esther variis translatoribus constat esse vitiatum;” or, various historical documents may have been improperly inserted in the Greek, though they be true; and therefore S. Jerom has rightly removed the to the end.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 7.  Cry.  While Aman was full of indignation against Mardochai, and the latter would not submit to adore him, the various nations of the empire were instigated to fall upon the Jews.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Waters.  Esther, by her tears, extinguished the rising flame.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Rose up.  A bright sun (T.) represented God, (C.) or the king.  Grotius.

 

Ver. 12.  Signify.  He was convinced that it was from heaven.  C.

 

 

ESTHER 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  At that time, is not in Greek.  Capellus therefore argues in vain against the Greek author, as if this event took place in the 2d year.  Houbigant. The expression often occurs in Scripture, without determining the precise time.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  When.  Gr. “for he heart their deliberations.” Told, by the mouth of Esther.  C. ii. 21.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Palace, as an officer. Presents, of small value.  C. The king had inquired, (Gr.  C. vi. 3.) “What glory or favour have we done to Mardochai? and the ministers replied: Thou hast done nothing to him,” to honour him as he deserves.

 

Ver. 6.  Bugite, may refer to some town of Macedon.  C. iii. 1. Honour.  Yet he might be still more exalted, after the conspiracy was detected; (Houbig.) as the king little suspected that he was concerned in it.  H. Death.  It is thought that they wished to place Aman, or some Macedonian, on the throne.  C. xvi. 12. 14.  C. This reason for the malevolence of Aman, might be unknown to Mardochai.  C. xiii. 12.  Houbigant. The former was either a favourer of traitors, or perhaps of the same conspiracy.  W.

 

 

ESTHER 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  “Hitherto,” S. Jerom observes, “the preface extends.  What follows, was placed in that part of the volume where it is written, And they, &c. (C. iii. 13. where the edict should naturally appear.  C.) which we have found only in the Vulg. edition.”  H. Josephus produces this edict at length, but with some variations, (C.) which are of no importance.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  World.  This is an exaggeration.  Princes are flattered with high titles, but none more so than those of the East.  C. Quietly.  Lit. “in silence.”  Gr. “undisturbed by the stormy billows, (akumantouV) at all times; and that the kingdom might be rendered quiet, and the roads unmolested, to the very extremities; that peace, which is desired by all men, may be renewed.”  How amiable are these dispositions, which ought to be cherished by all princes!  We might then hope soon to see peace restored.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  After.  Gr. “of all kingdoms as a reward, Aman shewed me,” &c.  Josephus, “the second after me, for his fidelity and confirmed good will.”  C. It is a great hurt for a king to be governed by one counsellor.  Prov. xv. 22.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  A people.  Gr. “a certain perverse people, mixed with every tribe through,” &c. New.  Gr. “opposite to those of every nation, which always casteth aside the edicts of the kings, so that we cannot extend to them that upright and blameless dominion which we exercise over you.”

 

Ver. 6.  Second.  Gr. “our second father.”  C. Compl. “the second after us, shall be all extirpated by,” &c.  H. This king is represented as very stupidly giving orders for the destruction of a nation which he never names; (Capel.) but he intimates that Aman would do it, in whom he placed the most unbounded confidence.  H. If the latter had any suspicions of the queen’s being of that nation, he might very prudently abstain from mentioning the Jews even to the king, contenting himself with describing them so that they would easily be known by his agents; and, in effect, the king sufficiently pointed out the Jews, by saying that they followed laws different from all the world.  Houbigant. Infidels generally represent them as a wicked race, enemies to all but their own nation.  Tacitus, &c. We need not wonder if Catholics be painted in the same colours, as the devil is still the same.  H. Fourteenth.  Josephus has the same day, though the 13th is specified in Heb. &c. (C. iii. 12.) and in the Gr. and Vulg.  C. xvi. 20.  We must, therefore, allow that the Jews might be slaughtered on both days, or that the Greek is incorrect in this place.  C. Salien thinks it would not be lawful to spare the Jews any longer than the 14th day; (M.) or the carnage was to cease on the 14th, as it did at Susa.  C. ix. 17. 19.  T.

 

Ver. 7.  Hell.  Prot. “grave.”  The king only wanted to send them out of this world.  At the end of this verse, S. Jerom says, “Hitherto is given the copy of the epistle.  I found what follows after that place where we read, So Mardochai, &c. (C. iv. 17.) yet it is not in Heb. nor does it appear in any of the interpreters.”  H. He means, Aquila, &c.  For he plainly asserts before, that it was in the Septuagint, which he calls the Vulgate; and all know that his version was taken from the Heb.  The Church reads this prayer of Mardochai, (T.) in the mass, against pagans, (W.) and 21st Sunday after Pentecost, &c. so that this is a part of Scripture which the Council of Trent will not suffer to be rejected.  T.

 

Ver. 14.  To a man; “as if,” says Capellus, “the salutation and civil honour be not quite different from adoration and religious worship, which must be given to God alone.  Neither did Haman demand religious adoration, but only salutation and civil honour…To bend the knee is frequently used in civil honour, nor is it necessarily understood of religious worship.”  May our English Protestants deign to borrow this grain of common sense from one their foreign brethren, when they attempt to impugn the respect given by Catholics to the saints.  H. “We grant that Aman did not require religious worship: but as the civil respect which he claimed, was to be performed in the same manner as the Jews worshipped God, Mardochai would not wound his own conscience, or that of his people.”  Houbigant. Yet it is by no means clear that Aman did not insist on being worshipped as a god.  It is evident that Mardochai understood him, at least, in that light.  C. iii. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Inheritance.  Lit. “line,” (H.) as it was usual to measure land with lines.  M.

 

 

ESTHER 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Fearing.  Gr. “caught in the agony of death.”  The old Vulgate has many variations in this chapter.  C. This prayer should be placed after that of Mardochai, at the end of C. iv.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Ointments.  Gr. “instead of the proud sweets, she filled her head with ashes and dust.”  Such as might be soon cleansed again.  H. Torn.  Gr. “curled hair,” (straptwn trichwn.  H.) some of which she cut off.  See Lev. xix. 27. and xxi. 5.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 4.  Hands; very imminent.  I am ready to expose my life.  Ps. cxviii. 109.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Heard.  Old Vulg. often repeats, “from the books of my fathers;” adducing the various instances of protection which God had shewn to his people, Noe, Abraham, Jonas, the three children, Daniel, Ezechias, and Anna: which intimates that Esther made the sacred books the subject of her frequent meditations, as good people ought to do.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  For.  Gr. “since we have extolled,” &c.  Esther had not been guilty herself of this prevarication; but too many of the people had.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  But.  Gr. Compl. “Yea, thou hast placed (or rather as the Alex. MS. reads, they have placed) their hands upon the hands of their idols, (H.  making league together.  C.) to tear away the decree of thy mouth,” (H.) and to  put in execution the projects of (M.) the devil.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Idols.  Gr. “of the vain things, and to render wonderful for ever,” &c.

 

Ver. 11.  Not idols, as they are often here designated, (C. and 1 Cor. viii.) being only the imaginations of men.  W. Destroy.  Gr. “Make an example of the man, who had begun (H. evils. C.) against us.”  H. She throws the blame upon Aman, and not upon her husband.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Gods.  Gr. “nations, and Lord of all power.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Lion.  This expression seems not sufficiently respectful.  Capellus. But why might not Esther use it with regard to one, who  was raging against her people more than any lion, as S. Paul applies it to Nero, probably after her example?  Houbigant.  2 Tim. iv. 17. David also thus styles Saul and his persecutors in general.  Ps. vii. 3. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Stranger.  Only those near Chanaan were forbidden to marry; and S. Paul commends Eunice, who had espoused an infidel.  Capel. But this was not the reason of his commendation; for he ordains, Bear not the yoke with infidels.  A pious woman might, therefore, very well refrain from such contracts, to which the Jews, at this time, were in a manner forced.  Still Esther  might have a conjugal love for her husband, (Houbig.) though she would have preferred to marry one poorer of her own religion; and here she only submitted to the designs of God, in raising her to such an elevated station.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Sign.  The diadem.  It was no sin to wear it.  Capel. What then?  May not a pious prince despise such ornaments, raising his mind above them?  Houbig. Silence, when I am alone.  Nothing could give us a higher idea of Esther’s virtue and greatness of soul, as her elevation did not make her forget herself.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Me.  Ought she to have been thus affected towards her husband?  Capel. Undoubtedly: as the meats and the wine had been offered to idols.  Houbig.

 

 

ESTHER 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 1.  S. Jerom says, “These additions I also found in the Vulg. edition.”  H. This history is more succinctly related.  C. v.  C. Her.  Lit. “And he commanded her (no doubt Mardochai did Esther) to go,” &c.  The parenthesis was added by S. Jerom.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Remember.  This is not here in Greek, but more regularly.  C. iv. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Death.  S. Jerom subjoins, I found there “also what follows.”

 

Ver. 4.  Day.  Gr. adds, “as she had finished her prayer.” Wore.  Lit. “of her ornament.”  But the Greek has properly, (H.) “of her mourning.”  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Glittering.  Gr. “and was resplendent after,” &c.

 

Ver. 6.  As if.  Gr. “as being delicate.  But the other followed, holding up her garment.  But she, blushing in the height of her beauty, with a cheerful and most lovely countenance, felt the pressure of fear on her heart.”

 

Ver. 10.  Eyes.  Gr. adds, “with glory,” with which he was surrounded.  This made him at first resent the coming in of women uncalled, till her perceived Esther, and saw her fainting.  H. Capellus would represent this conduct of the king as ridiculous, and contrary to the true history.  But this is false: and he improperly renders agwniasaV, regem concidisse & animo defecisse; as if the king had fallen down in a swoon; whereas it only means that he experienced those sentiments of anxiety which every good husband would do on the like occasion.  Houbig.  C. v. 2. Assuerus had at first only perceived the maid, who went before the queen, and the hall was very spacious.  Houbig. Pale.  Gr. “in a fainting-fit, and she leaned upon the head of her maid, (Abra.) who was going before.”

 

Ver. 11.  All.  Gr. “being in an agony, he,” &c. Caressed.  Gr. “comforted her with words of peace, and said to her, What,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Brother; (united by the closest bands.  Cant. viii. 1.  C.)  Gr. “Take courage, Thou,” &c.

 

Ver. 13.  Others, is not expressed; (H.) and Esther might well suppose that she was included, as she probably was, (C. iv. 11.  Capellus) though the king now altered his mind.  Houbig. Gr. “our decree is common,” made for our subjects.  According to the Roman law, the empress enjoyed the like privileges as her husband.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Then.  Gr. “and taking the golden septre, he laid,” &c.

 

Ver. 15.  Why.  Gr. “speak to me; and she said to him.”  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Angel.  The Chaldees had the same notion as the Jews about angels; and the latter never shewed more devotion towards them than after the captivity, when the Scriptures speak more plainly on this subject.  Jacob compares his brother Esau to an angel, (C.) or to God.  Gen. xxxiii. 10.  See also 1 K. xxix. 9. and 2 K. xiv. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Almost.  Lit. “almost dead.”  Gr. “she fell in a fainting fit.”

 

 

ESTHER 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 1.  From India to Ethiopia.  That is, who reigneth from India to Ethiopia.  Ch. S. Jerom writes, “The copy of the letter of king Artaxerxes, which he wrote in favour of the Jews, to all the provinces of his kingdom, which also is not in the Heb. volume.”  It should properly occur, C. viii. 13, as it does in Greek.  The edict is well written in that language, which has induced a belief that it is not a translation.  C. But that is no very strong argument.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Princes.  Gr. “Beneficent.”  Luke xxii. 25.  C. Gr. “Many of those who have been the most honoured by the kindness of the beneficent, have increased in folly, and not only endeavour to injure our subjects, but, unable to hear the weight of favours, devise schemes against their benefactors.”

 

Ver. 4.  Neither.  Gr. “And they not only take away gratitude from among men, but elated with good fortune, which they had not before experienced, they flatter themselves that they will escape the sentence of an all-seeing God, levelled against the wicked.”  H. Artaxerxes insists with reason on the ingratitude of Aman, as it was a crime punishable by their laws; (Cyrop. i.  Brisson ii. p. 250.) and the Persian kings were particularly careful to reward those who had done them good.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  And.  Gr. “For oftentimes fair speeches, or (H.) revenge, (paramuqia. Isai. i. 24.  C.) has made several of those who have been in authority, and entrusted with the affairs of their friends, partakers in the spilling of innocent blood, and involved them in irremediable calamities, by the wicked craft of those who purposely lead astray the unsuspecting benevolence of governors.”  H. Josephus (xi. 3.) gives nearly the same sense: (C.) “For some of these, being placed in power by their friends, and bearing a private hatred towards some, have deluded their princes by false reasons, and by accusations have persuaded them to stir up the wrath of those who have done no wrong; on which account, they have been in danger of perishing.”  This author was not, therefore, unacquainted with the fragment, or part of the history, before us.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Proved.  Gr. “may be seen, not so much from ancient histories, as we have observed, but more so, if ye examine what wicked things have been done recently, by the fault (or cruelty) of those who have been unworthily in command: and if ye attend, in future, that we may without trouble settle our kingdom in peace for all men.  For though we make some changes, yet we make a discernment of what falls under our inspection, and other things with more equity.”  He intimates that the former decree of Aman had been subreptitious.

 

Ver. 10.  Now.  Gr. “For as Aman, of Amadathos, a Macedonian, a stranger to the real blood of the Persians, and of a very different character from our goodness, and who, though a stranger to us, partook of that philanthropy which we have for every nation, insomuch as to be styled,” &c.  H. At this time the Macedonians were hardly known.  Capel. But this may be questioned, as their kingdom was of ancient date.  Houbigant. some think that the Asiatic Macedonians may be designated.  Hardouin.  Pliny v. 30. 31. These, however, may have been so called only after the conquests of Alexander.  This king fought against the Greeks, of whom the Macedonians formed a part.  T. The name may here be placed only for a stranger.  C. Staining.  The faults of ministers often redound to the disgrace of those who employ them.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Life.  This he might only suspect; (C.) or his machinations with the two porters, might be declared after his disgrace.  H. Capellus thinks it improbable that Aman intended to murder the queen, as he was so much elated at being invited by her to a feast, &c.  But his schemes were various: (Houbig.) and who can pretend to say what would have satisfied his cruelty and ambition?  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Without.  Gr. “abandoned.”  H. Macedonians; or to himself, who was of that nation.  It was not necessary to call over forces, as Capellus would suppose.

 

Ver. 16.  God.  Cyrus had styled him, “the God of heaven.”  Houbig.  1 Esd. i.  H. But Darius embraced the true religion, and adored God.  T. Fathers.  “Hystaspes was not a descendant of Cyrus, but he was of the same royal stock.”  Just. i.  Herod. iii. 85. And is.  Gr. “by the best disposition.  You will therefore do well not to make use of the letter, sent by Aman.”  The edict could not be repealed; (Capel.  Houbig.) though this seems doubtful, when it was manifestly subreptitious, (M.) unjust, and not sealed by the nobles.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Gibbets.  Aman was thus treated, several months before his ten sons.  C. vii. 10. and ix. 6.  Yet all the family might still be seen hanging, when this edict was dispatched.  Houbigant suspects that this and the following verses properly belong to the letter written by Esther and Mardochai.  The arguments are not very cogent.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Laws.  This was privilege often desired.  Joseph. xiii.4.

 

Ver. 20.  Kill.  Gr. “take revenge on those who in the day of distress shall fall upon them, on the 13th.”

 

Ver. 21.  Sadness.  Gr. “destruction of his chosen race, into,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Days.  A festival was kept in memory of the destruction of the maji, in which this king was a principal actor.  Herod. iii. 79. The Persians were ordered to keep the 13th of Adar, on account of the preservation of the royal family, and the ruin of a great enemy.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  All.  Gr. “Salvation is to us, and to all well-affected Persians: but a memorial of destruction to all who are traitors to us.”

 

Ver. 24.  And.  Gr. “But every country or city throughout the kingdom, which shall not comply, shall be consumed with the spear and fire in wrath.” Beasts.  Gr. adds hyperbolically, “and birds, and also be accounted most abominable for ever.”  H. Similar expressions occur in the prophets, to denote an entire destruction.  Jer. ix. 10. &c.  Mardochai and Esther have left us in this work the most perfect example of virtue.  The latter is given us a pattern of Christian sovereigns, and a figure of the Church.  S. Jerom ad Paulin. (C.) and prol. in Sophon. Like Judith, she proved the salvation of her people, and the ruin of their adversaries.  Nothing could be more striking, (W.) or visible, than the hand of God in these transactions.  H. Esther was also a type of the blessed Virgin, by whose intercession the head of the serpent is crushed, and letters of grace succeed to the hand-writing that stood against us.  S. Thomas, prol. in ep. Cath.  W.

 

 

JOB

 

THE BOOK OF JOB.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

This Book takes its name from the holy man, of whom it treats; who, according to the more probable opinion, was of the race of Esau, and the same as Jobab, king of Edom, mentioned Gen. xxxvi. 33.  It is uncertain who was the writer of it.  Some attribute it to Job himself; others to Moses, or some one of the prophets.  In the Hebrew it is written in verse, from the beginning of the third chapter to the forty-second chapter.  Ch. The beginning and conclusion are historical, and in prose.  Some have divided this work into a kind of tragedy, the first act extending to C. xv., the second to C. xxii., the third to C. xxxviii., where God appears, and the plot is unfolded.  They suppose that the sentiments of the speakers are expressed, though not their own words.  This may be very probable: but the opinion of those who look upon the work as a mere allegory, must be rejected with horror.  The sacred writers speak of Job as of a personage who had really existed, (C.) and set the most noble pattern of virtue, and particularly of patience.  Tob. ii. 12.  Ezec. xiv. 14.  Jam. v. 11.  Philo and Josephus pass over this history, as they do those of Tobias, Judith, &c.  H. The time when Job lived is not clearly ascertained.  Some have supposed (C.) that he was a contemporary with Esther; (D.  Thalmud) on which supposition, the work is here placed in its chronological order.  But Job more probably live during the period when the Hebrews groaned under the Egyptian bondage, (H.) or sojourned in the wilderness.  Num. xiv. 9.  The Syrians place the book at the head of the Scriptures.  C. Its situation has often varied, and is of no great importance.  The subject which is here treated, is of far more; as it is intended to shew that the wicked sometimes prosper, while the good are afflicted.  H. This had seldom been witnessed before the days of Abraham: but as God had now selected his family to be witnesses and guardians of religion, a new order of things was beginning to appear.  This greatly perplexed Job himself; who, therefore, confesses that he had not sufficiently understood the ways of God, till he had deigned to explain them in the parable of the two great beasts.  C. xlii. 3.  We cannot condemn the sentiments expressed by Job, since God has declared that they were right, (ib. v. 8) and reprimands Elihu, (C. xxxviii. 2.) and the other three friends of Job, for maintaining a false opinion, though, from the history of past times, they had judge it to be true.  This remark may excupate them from the stain of wilful lying, and vain declamation.  Houbigant. However, as they assert what was false, their words of themselves are of no authority; and they are even considered as the forerunners of heretics.  S. Greg.  S. Aug. &c.  T. Job refutes them by sound logic.  S. Jerom. We may discover in this book the sum of Christian morality, (W.) for which purpose it has been chiefly explained by S. Gregory.  The style is very poetical, (H.) though at the same time simple, like that of Moses.  D. It is interspersed with many Arabic and Chaldaic idioms; (S. Jer.) whence some have concluded, that it was written originally by Job and  his friends (H.) in Arabic, and translated into Heb. by Moses, for the consolation of his brethren.  W. The Heb. text is in many places incorrect; (Houbig.) and the Sept. seem to have omitted several verses.  Orig. S. Jerom says almost eight hundred, (C.) each consisting of about six words.  H. Shultens, in 1747, expressed his dissatisfaction with the labours of all preceding commentators.  To explain this book may not therefore be an easy task: but we must be as short as possible.  H. Those who desire farther information, may consult Pineda, (W.) whose voluminous work, in two folios, will nearly (H.) give all necessary information.  C.

 

 

JOB 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Hus.  The land of Hus was a part of Edom; as appears from Lament. iv. 21. Simple.  That is, innocent, sincere, and without guile, (Ch.) in opposition to hypocrites and double dealers.  C. Heb. Tam, “perfect.”

 

Ver. 3.  Sheep.  Heb. including “goats,” which are equally valuable in that country for milk. Camels.  These animals were used for riding in those barren sands, where they can travel for four days without water; and that which is muddy is best for them. East, in the desert Arabia.  Sept. add at the end of the book, that Job was king; and he seems to have been independent, (C.) and to have had other kings who acknowledged his authority.  Pineda.  C. xxix. 7. &c. Each city had its own king in the days of Abraham and of Josue.  Job, or Jobab, resided at Denaba.  Gen. xxxvi. 32.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  His day of the week in succession; (Pineda) or each on his birthday, (Gen. xl. 20.  Mat. xiv. 6.  Grot.) or once a month, &c.  The daughters of Job were probably unmarried.

 

Ver. 5.  Blessed.  For greater horror of the very thought of blasphemy, the Scripture both here and v. 11, and in the following chapter (v. 5. and 9.) uses the word bless, to signify its contrary.  Ch.  3 K. xxi. 10. Thus the Greeks styled the furies Eumenides, “the kind,” out of a horror of their real name.  Even those who are the best inclined, can hardly speak of God without some want of respect, (C.) in the midst of feasts, where the neglect of saying grace is also too common.  H. Sept. “they have thought evil against God.”  Every kind of offence may be included, to which feasting leads.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  The sons of God.  The angels, (Ch.) as the Sept. express it.  C. Satan also, &c.  This passage represents to us in a figure, accommodated to the ways and understandings of men, 1. The restless endeavours of satan against the servants of God.  2. That he can do nothing without God’s permission.  3. That God doth not permit him to tempt them above their strength: but assists them by his divine grace in such manner, that the vain efforts of the enemy only serve to illustrate their virtue and increase their merit.  Ch. A similar prosopopeia occurs, 3 K. xxii. 19.  Zac. i. 10.  C. Devils appear not in God’s sight, but sometimes in presence of angels, who represent God.  S. Athan. q. 8. ad Antioc, (W.) or some ancient author. The good angels can make known their orders to them.  Zac. iii. 1.  Jude 9.  Both good and bad spirits may be considered as the ministers of God.  C. They appear in judgment; though the latter could not see the Lord.

 

Ver. 9.  In vain, without recompense.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Face, like a hypocrite, (Sanctius) or rather curse thee openly, v. 5.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Hand.  God permits evils.  W. The devil can do nothing without leave.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Sabeans, descended from Abraham, in the desert (C.) or happy Arabia.  These nations lived on plunder.  Pliny vi. 28.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Heaven, or the air, where the devils exercise a power.  Ephes. ii. 2.

 

Ver. 17.  Chaldeans.  Some copies of the Sept. read “horsemen.”  These nations inhabited the other side of the Euphrates, but made frequent incursions to plunder their neighbours.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Head.  Heb. torn his hair, and rolled in the dust.  Bochart.  Isai. xv. 2. &c.  C. The fathers oppose this example to the apathy of the stoics.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. i. 9.  Rom. i. 31.

 

Ver. 21.  Thither.  To that earth from which all are taken.  H. Ista terra gentes omnes peperit & resumet demum.  Varro. Ut ater operiens.  Pliny ii. 63.  See 1 Tim. vi. 7. As…done.  Some copies of S. Jerom omit this, which is borrowed from the Sept.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  By his lips, is not in Heb. but occurs C. ii. 10. God.  Much less did he blaspheme, as satan had said, v. 11.  He did not consider all as the effect of chance, or like a mere philosopher.  His thoughts were regulated by religion and the fear of God.  C. The virtue of Job was so much the more wonderful, as he lived among the wicked.  S. Greg.  He bore patiently with the loss of all things: and English Catholics have often imitated him.  W. He might well record his own good actions, the gifts of God, being moved by divine inspiration, like Moses, &c.  S. Greg.

 

 

JOB 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Day.  Job had been under trial for some time, perhaps a year.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Through it.  Seeking whom he might devour.  1 Pet. v. 8.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Simple.  Plain-dealing, mild, and without guile.  S. Greg.  W. Without cause.  This may form a new sentence.  H. Thy proposal and attempts are vain.  C. Job has not deserved this treatment.  S. Chrys. &c.

 

Ver. 4.  Skin: a proverbial expressing, denoting that a man will part with any thing sooner than his life, (C.) or health.  H. Satan hints, that if those inestimable blessings should be endangered, (C.) Job would shew his real sentiments.  H. Skin was formerly used instead of money, at Sparta.  Senec. Ben. v. 14. &c.  Yet perhaps not in the time of Job.

 

Ver. 6.  Life.  Afflict him with any species of illness; but do not kill him, (C.) nor inspire him directly with wicked thoughts.  Grot.

 

Ver. 7.  Ulcer; the leprosy: and even with that species which is called the venereal disease, which may be contracted without any crime.  Job was afflicted with a complication of the most painful and disgraceful disorders.  Pineda.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Potsherd.  His nails were worn, and poverty had left him nothing else. Dunghill.  Heb. “ashes.”  H. S. Chrysostom represents this place as visited by pilgrims, instructive and more brilliant than any throne.  Hom. 5. ad Pop. Ant. Sept. add, “upon the dung, without the city: and after a long time had elapsed, his wife also said to him, How long wilt thou wait, saying: Lo, I will still tarry a little while, expecting the hope of my salvation?  For behold thy memory is perished from the land, thy sons and daughters, the pains and labours of my womb, whom I brought forth in labour and sorrow, to no purpose.  But thou sittest in the open air, the night long, amid the corruption of worms, while I wander like a slave, seeking for one place and house after another, in expectation of the sun setting, that my labours may cease, and the sorrows which now surround and hold me fast.  But speak thou some word to (or against) the Lord, and die.”  H. This addition has been omitted in the Comp. edition, to make it like the Vulg. (C.) though it is found in all the Greek copies (Nobilius) and fathers, and also in several Latin Bibles.  It seems, however, to be only a gloss of some transcriber.  The devil had not destroyed this wife, as she would prove one of his most powerful auxiliaries.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Bless.  She speaks with cruel irony.  C. Curse God, that he may take away (S. Basil) thy miserable life; or, after taking this revenge on such unjust treatment, put an end to thy own existence.  Beza and Amama excuse this woman, though condemned by Job.  They pretend that she only meant to insinuate, like the rest of his friends, that he must be guilty of some grievous crime, which she urges him to confess, giving glory to God, before it be too late.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Foolish.  The same word often means  impious, (C. i. 22.) and ignorant, (H.) or “delirous.”  Aquila.  Ps. xiii. 1. Lips.  The Jews assert, without reason, that he was guilty in his heart.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Heaven.  This denoted mourning or indignation.  Jos. vii. 6.  Acts xxii. 23.

 

Ver. 13.  Seven days, &c.  They sat with him for a good part of the day, and of the night, during seven days: and spoke nothing all that time that could give him any uneasiness.  Ch.  M.  Olympiad. They mourned for him as if he had been dead.  Their mutual grief was too great for utterance.  But the text seems to intimate that they remained with Job, all this time.  Scultet.  C. Their design in coming was really to afford him consolation; but being under a mistake, respecting the conduct of Providence towards mankind, (C.) they erred involuntarily, (T.) and by attempting to prove their assertions, as if none but criminals could be so grievously afflicted, they eventually insulted the holy man.  Tob. ii. 15. They argued on the principle, “that under a just God no one is miserable, unless he have deserved it;” not reflecting that god sometimes puts his best servants to the trial, that their merit and glory may increase.  Notwithstanding their piety and learning, they became therefore the devil’s most powerful agents unawares: (C.) and though they were not properly heretics, as they acquiesced when better informed, they were a figure of them, by drawing from many undeniable truths false inferences, and by a parade of learning, and of new things.  S. Greg. Mor. iii. 24. and v. 18. They also judged rashly of Job’s secret behaviour.  W.

 

 

JOB 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Cursed his day.  Job cursed the day of his birth, not by way of wishing evil to any thing of God’s creation; but only to express in a stronger manner his sense of human miseries in general, and of his own calamities in particular.  Ch. He has these only in view: though, in another light, it is better for a man to be born, and to undergo any misery, that he may obtain eternal rewards.  H. Some allowances  must be made for extreme pain, and for the style of the Eastern (C.) poetry.  H. Jeremias, (xx. 14.) Habacuc, (i. 2.) the psalmist, and even our Saviour in his agony, made use of such strong expressions.  Mat. xxvi. 39. and xxvii. 46.  Some heretics accuse Job of impatience and blasphemy.  The devil, therefore came off with victory; and the praises given to Job’s patience are false.  He might offend by some degree of exaggeration.  C. But even that is by no means clear.  Time past could not be recalled, nor receive any injury by the maledictions.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Praise, by the appearance of the stars.  C. xxxviii. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Day.  The nations of Ethiopia, under the line, curse the sun as their greatest enemy.  Strabo xvii.  Pliny v. 8. They also brave the fury of the leviathan or crocodile.  C. xl. 27. and xli. 1.  Ps. lxxiii. 14.  The natives of Tentyra, upon the Nile, were supposed to be a terror to that monster, or they were very courageous in entangling and pursuing it.  Seneca q. 4. 2.  Pliny viii. 25. Leviathan.  Prot. “their mourning.”  De Dieu rejects this interpretation, substituting “and thou, leviathan, rouse up,” &c.  The fathers generally understand the devil to be thus designated.  Sept. “he who is about to seize the great whale,” (H.) or fish, which they also explain of the conflict of Satan with Jesus Christ.”  Origen, &c.

 

Ver. 10.  Nor took.  Sept. “for it would then have freed my eyes from labour.”

 

Ver. 11.  In the.  Heb. “from the womb,” (H.) or as soon as I was born.  C. He seems to have lost sight of original sin, (v. 1.) or there might be some method of having it remitted to children unborn, which we do not know.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Knees, by my father or grandfather.  Gen. xxx 3.  Iliad ix.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Sleep.  So death is often styled.

Olli dura quies oculos et ferreus urget

                        Somnus: in æternam clauduntur lumina noctem.  Æneid x.

 

Ver. 14.  Consuls.  Heb. “counsellors,” or any in great authority.  Sept. “kings, the counsellors of the land, who rejoiced, boasting of their swords.”  The same word, choraboth, (H.) means both swords and solitudes.  D. Those great ones had prepared their own tombs, which were usually in solitary places; (C.) or they had filled all with their extensive palaces; and removed the people to a distance.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Houses, while alive; (C.) or their tombs were thus enriched with silver, (M.) as this practice was not uncommon, v. 22.  Joseph. xiii. 15. Marcian forbade it.  S. Chrys. complains it subsisted in his time.  Orat. Annæ.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Light; dying in the womb.  He expresses a desire that he had been thus prevented from feeling his present miseries and danger of sin.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Tumult.  In the grave they can no longer disturb the world.  M. In strength.  Sept. “in body.”  Both heroes and labourers then find rest, (C.) if they have lived virtuously.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Bound in chains, like incorrigible slaves, (C.) or debtors.  Cocceius. These were formerly treated with great severity.  Luke xii. 59.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Not.  The feel the same eagerness for death as those who seek for a treasure; (C.) and when death is at hand, they rejoice no less than those who discover a grave, in which they hope to find some riches, v. 15. 22.

 

Ver. 22.  Grave, full of stores, or the place where they may repose.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  To.  Why is life given to? &c.  The uncertainty whether a man be worthy of love or hatred, (EcclI. ix. 1.) and whether he will persevere to the end, is what fills Job with distress; though we must trust that God will suffer none to be tempted above their strength.  1 Cor. x. 13. He finds himself surrounded with precipices, and in the dark.  C. So God often tries this faithful servants. D.

 

Ver. 24.  Sigh, through difficulty of swallowing, (Pineda) or sense of misery.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Fear.  In prosperity he feared the assaults of pride.  Now he is in danger of yielding to impatience and despair.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Dissembled my sufferings, making no complaint, not only during the seven days that his friends had been with him, but long before.  Heb. and Sept. “I was not in safety, nor at rest; neither was I indolent: (H. in the administration of affairs.  C.) yet trouble came.”  H. I have enjoyed no peace, since the wrath of the Lord has found me.  C. In such a situation, Job might well beg to be delivered, (H.) and to pray that those things which obstructed his repose in God might be removed; considering them not so much as the works of God, as the effects of sin.  Pineda.  W. In this light he cursed his birth-day, and will no longer look upon it as a joyful and happy day.  D.

 

 

JOB 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Themanite.  People of this city, about twelve miles from Petra, in Arabia, were renowned for wisdom.  Jer. xlix. 7.  Bar. ii. 22.  Pythagoras therefore visited this country.  S. Cyr. con. Jul. x. Eliphaz attempts to prove that no innocent person is chastised.  He does not speak of small faults, to which any person may be exposed, and which God may severely punish.  But he will have Job to be a great offender, at least in secret, and represents himself in too advantageous a light; though he was really a good man, and meant well.  C. But this did not exempt him from sin, (C. xlii.) no more than Eliu.  C. xxxii.  Bonum ex integra causa; malum ex quolibet defectu; as theologians agree.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Conceived? and to which the speech of Job had given occasion.  M. Sept. “Who shall bear the force of thy words?  For if thou,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Knees.  It is just that thou shouldst apply thy instructions to thyself.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  And thou.  Sept. “and has touched thee.  But thou makest haste” (H.) to flee.  Heb. “art consternated.”   We may easily prescribe for others, but when we are sick we know not what to do.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Where?  Sept. “Rather is not thy fear foolishness as well as thy hope, and the innocence of thy path?”  H. Is not all hypocrisy?  M.  C. Many of the assertions of Job’s friends are true, but their inferences are false.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Destroyed?  They never were eternally.  But Abel and many other just persons, have been exposed to tribulation in this world, (W.) for their greater improvement.  Yet Eliphaz falsely concludes from the sufferings of Job, that he must have been a criminal.  C. If any one should now hold the same opinion, we should deem him very ignorant or foolish.  But we have observed, (Pref.) that this was not so obvious at that time.  Cain, the giants, Her, Onan, Sodom, &c. had been made examples of divine vengeance.  But a new order of things was now commencing.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 8.  Reap them.  He insinuates that Job now reaps what he had sown.  Gal. vi. 8.

 

Ver. 11.  Tiger.  Heb. Layish, means also an “old lion.”  Sept. murmhkolewn, “ant-lion,” which some have deemed fabulous, improperly.  Bochart, vi. 5.  Ælian, xvii. 42. Eliphaz tacitly accuses Job of violence and pride.  Ven. Bede.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Private.  Heretics pretend such obscure visions, rather to get credit than to edify others.  S. Greg. v. 18.  W. Many suppose that Eliphaz was guilty of feigning: but the greatest part think that he had truly seen a vision, but did not draw the proper conclusion from it.  C. Prot. “Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  The horror.  Heb. “thoughts,” while I considered the cause of thy distress.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Spirit: angel, or gentle breeze.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  And I.  Prot. “there was silence, and I heard a voice.”  Marg. “a still voice.”  Sept. “But I heard a breeze and a voice.”  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Maker.  It is thought that these were the words of the angel.  If God punish without cause, may not the sufferer esteem himself the better of the two?  You must therefore be guilty.  C. Job would never dispute; but God was infinitely more pure than man, who may nevertheless be free from grievous sins.  W. The highest angel has nothing but what he has received from God, in comparison with whom he is still as a mere nothing.  But this does not prove that Job was a criminal, or that he pretended to arrogate to himself any excellence, independent of the giver of all good gifts.  He did not assert that he was impeccable: yet, with God’s grace, he might be innocent.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Angels, who fell, as the fathers explain it.  E.  T. Heb. “behold, he put no trust in his servants, and his angels he charged with folly.”  C. xv. 15. and xxv. 5. and 2 Pet. ii. 4.  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Foundation.  Children of Adam, whose bodies are taken from the dust.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  Understandeth.  Heb. “regardeth.”  Sept. “can help himself.”  H. Man is justly punished because he does not reflect on what he ought.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  And they.  Heb. “doth not their dignity pass away with them?  They die without wisdom.”  H. This is but too frequently the case of the great ones of this world, who never discern true from false riches.  C.

 

 

JOB 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Saints.  This is a proof of the invocation of the saints (C.) and angels.  H. The Jews often begged God to have mercy on them for the sake of the patriarchs.  2 Par. vi. 42.  C. Eliphaz, therefore, exhorts Job, if he have any patron or angel, to bring him forward in his defence.  M. Sept. “Invoke now if any one will hear thee, or if thou perceive any of the holy angels,” (H.) as I have done.  M. He extols himself, to correct the pretended presumption of his friend, (C.) and other defects, which none will dare to deny, as he supposes.  See S. Greg. v. 30.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Foolish and…little, here denote the wicked, as in the book of Proverbs.  C. He accuses Job of anger (M.) and folly.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  And I.  Sept. “But presently their subsistence was eaten up.”  I envied not their riches: but judged they would soon end.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Gate, in judgment.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Ground.  If you had not sinned, you would not suffer.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Bird.  Heb. “sparks fly up.”  H. You can no more then expect to pass unpunished, since it is impossible for man to be innocent! (C.) and, at any rate, labour is inevitable.  M. We must gain our bread by the sweat of our brow.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  I will, or if I were in your place, I would sue for pardon.  C. Prot. “I would seek unto God,” (H.) under affliction.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Mouth; detraction and calumny.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  In six, mentioned below; (M.) or in many, indefinitely.  C. Both during the six days of (M.) life, and at death, God’s grace delivers us.  S. Greg.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Scourge.  Ecclus. (xxvi. 9. and xxviii. 21.) has the same expression.  See Jam. iii. 6.  C. Calamity, from robbers, as the Heb. shod, (H.) intimates.  The word is rendered destruction, vastitate, v. 22.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  Stones, so as not to stumble; or, the rocks will be a retreat for thee.

 

Ver. 24.  Beauty does not mean his wife, as some grossly imagine, (C.) but a house well ordered.  M. Heb. “thy habitation.”  Yet Sanchez adopts the former sentiment.  In effect, the habitation includes all the regulation of a wife and family.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Abundance.  “With loud lamentations.”  De Dieu. “In full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in its season.”  Prot. After a life spent in happiness, thy memory will not be obliterated.  Many shall bewail thy loss.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Which thou.  Sept. “And what we have heard: but do thou reflect with thyself what thou hast done.”  H. What had been revealed to Eliphaz was very true.  Yet his conclusions were unwarrantable.  C. How confidently does he speak of his own knowledge, and how great must have been his disappointment, when God condemned him of folly, and sent him to be the prayers of that very man whom he now considered as a wretched sinner!  H.

 

 

JOB 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 2.  My sins, &c.  In the Heb. my wrath.  He does not mean to compare his sufferings with his real sins; but with the imaginary crimes which his friends falsely imputed to him: and especially with his wrath or grief, expressed in the third chapter, which they so much accused.  Though, as he tells them here, it bore no proportion with the greatness of his calamity.  Ch. Job does not deny but he may have transgressed.  C.  See C. vii. 20. But his is not conscious of any mortal offence; such as his friends insisted he must have committed, as he was so cruelly tormented.  H. Some deny canonical authority to the words of Job, because God reprehended him.  But S. Greg. (Mor. vii.) says, Ab æterno judice casurus laudari non potuit.  D. “The man who was on the point of falling, could not be praised by the eternal Judge;” (H.) and it seems to be a mistake that Job erred, (Houbig.) though asserted by many.  See C. W. &c. Wrath.  Heb. “O that my grief (H. or complaints.  C.) were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together.”  Prot.  H. A just man confesses his own sins, but not those which are wrongfully laid to his charge.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Heavier.  The figure hyperbole is frequently used in Scripture, to give us some idea of what surpasses our understanding.  Job intimates that he punishment was incomparably greater than his sins.  As he and other saints, particularly our Saviour and the blessed Virgin, have thus patiently suffered more than they had deserved, these merits form part of that treasure of the Church, out of which the pope and bishops are empowered to dispense indulgences, to release people from the pains due to sin, either in this world or in purgatory.  W. Sept. “Yea, these (sorrows) are heavier than the sand of the seashore.  But, it seems my words are wicked.”  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Rage.  Heb. “poison,” (H.) or “venom;” (Chal.  M.) as it was customary to use poisoned arrows.  C. Sept. “When I begin to speak, they pierce me.  For what!  Does the wild ass continually bray, except when he is in quest of food?”  H. It is easy for those to be silent who suffer nothing.  The wild asses were so common in those parts, (C.) that Herod sometimes slew 40 in a hunt.  Joseph. Bel. i. 16. Many fabulous account have been given of them.  Some are still found in Ethiopia resembling a mule, except in the ears, and beautifully striped with grey, black, and reddish colours.  Bernier.

 

Ver. 6.  Salt.  I wonder not that you should consider my lamentations as insipid; I now find some consolation in them, v. 7.  C. Or can.  Heb. “or is there any taste in the white of an egg?” (Prot.) or in blue milk? (Mercer) or “in the spittle, which a man swallows in a dream?”  See Isai. xxviii. 8.  If pain did not extort these complaints, should I find any pleasure in them?  C. Sept. “is there any taste in vain words?”  Can I hear your arguments without indignation?  H.  M. Some MSS. add, “For to a hungry soul even bitter things appear to be sweet,” from Prov. xxvii. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Off, and release me from this state of misery and danger.  H. He is ready to die cheerfully, if it be God’s will.  C. Sept. “May the Lord, who has begun, wound me, but not take me away finally.  Yea, let my city, over which I have exulted, be my grave. I will not spare, for I have not belied a word of my holy God.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  End.  Sept. “time.”  I am too weak and short-lived to bear all this.  H. I can perceive no end.  M. Keep.  Prot. “prolong my life.”  H. “What is the extent of my soul, to reach so far?”  C. Longanimity is the characteristic of a great soul.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Brass.  This is proverbial.  Homer (Iliad A) says, “Attack the Greeks; their skin is neither of stone, (C.) iron, or brass.”  Those who are aware of their own frailty, ought not to expose themselves to dangerous company, particularly to those of the other sex.

 

Ver. 13.  Myself.  “Have I not placed my trust in him?”  God alone.  H. All my other friends have abandoned me, v. 15.  C. Can they wonder if I express my grief?  H. Familiar.  Heb. “is wisdom removed far from me?”  H. Has my strength abandoned me, so that I cannot be recognized?  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Them.  They shall run from a less to a greater evil.  C. Sept. “Those who respected me, have now fallen upon me, like snow or ice; (17) as when it is consumed with heat, it is no longer known where it was: (18) thus I have been abandoned by all, lost and expelled from my house.”  Consider, (19) Heb. continues, in the comparison of the torrents, (15) “which are hidden by the ice and snow,” and are left dry and of no service in summer, when most wanted.  H. So these friends stood by me only in the days of my prosperity.  C. Luther and the Dutch version follow the Vulg. Amama says, improperly.  He proposes that of Pagnin, “which (torrents) are darkened by the ice.  Snow is concealed in (Mont. upon) them.”  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Entangled.  Like meandering streams, my friends act crookedly.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  While.  Till the torrents subside, when the caravans from these towns of Arabia may pass on.  Job may also address his friends, (C.) and bid them consider how few had taken any notice of him.  M. Prot. “the troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.”

 

Ver. 20.  I.  Heb. “they had  hoped” to pass along.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Come.  Heb. “are good for nothing.”  C. Prot. marg. “like to them.”

 

Ver. 25.  Why.  Heb. “How strong are the words of truth!”  C. Whereas.  Prot. “But what doth your arguing reprove?”  What part of my discourse do you find erroneous?  Sept. “But it seems the words of the man of truth are deceitful.  Yet I do not beg from you (a word or) strength.”  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Wind.  Job humbles the vanity of Eliphaz.  C. Sept. “nor shall your rebuke silence my words: for I will not admit the sound of your discourse.  Nay, you rush,” &c.

 

Ver. 30.  Mouth.  He engages their attention.  C. Heb. “Cannot my taste discern perverse things,” (Prot.  H.) or “the evil” which I endure?  My complaints are not surely unfounded.  C.

 

 

JOB 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Warfare.  Heb. “is it not determined” (H.) for some short space, as the Levites had to serve from 30 to 50 years of age; (Num. iv. 3. and viii. 25.) and the days of a hireling are also defined and short.  Isai. xvi. 14.  Amama. No soldier or hireling was ever treated so severely as Job.  Yet they justly look for the term of their labours.  Sept. have peirathrion.  Old Vulg. tentatio.  “Is not the life of man a temptation?”  C. Palæstra, school, or time given to learn the exercise of a soldier and wrestler; or of one who has to prepare himself for a spiritual warfare, and for heaven.  H. Are we not surrounded with dangers? and may we not desire to be set at liberty?  The Vulg. is very accurate, (C.) and includes all these senses.  H. A soldier must be obedient even unto death, and never resist his superior.  W. Hireling, who has no rest till the day is spent.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  And have.  Heb. “they have appointed for me.”  C. God treats me with more severity, as even the night is not a time of rest for me, and my months of service are without any present recompense.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  And again.  Heb. “and the night be completed, I toss to and fro,” (H.) or “I am disturbed with dreams, (C.) till day break.”  Vulg. insinuates that  night and day are equally restless to a man in extreme pain.  H. As I find no comfort, why may I not desire to die?  M. I desire to be dissolved, as being much better, said S. Paul.

 

Ver. 6.  Web.  Heb. “the weaver’s shuttle.”  C. xvi. 23.  Isa. xxxviii. 12.  H. The pagans have used the same comparison.  But they make the three daughters of Necessity guide the thread of life.  Plato Rep. xii.  Natal. iii. 6. Sept. “my life is swifter than speech.”  Tetrapla, “than a runner.”  C. Hope.  Heu fugit, &c.  Ah! time is flying , never to return!  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Wind.  What is life compared with eternity, or even with past ages?  C. “What is any one?  Yea, what is no one?  Men are the dream of a shadow,” says Pindar; (Pyth. viii.  SkiaV onar onqrwpoi) “like the baseless fabric of a vision.” Shakespeare.

 

Ver. 8.  Eyes, in anger, (C.) or thy mercy will come too late when I shall be no more.

 

Ver. 9.  Hell, or the grave.  M. He was convinced of the resurrection.  But he meant that, according to the natural course, we can have no means of returning to this world after we are dead.

 

Ver. 10.  More.  This may be explained both of the soul and of the body.  Ps. cii. 16.  The former resides in the body for a short time, and then seems to take no farther notice of it (C.) till the resurrection.

 

Ver. 11.  Mouth.  I will vent my bitter complaints before I die.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Sea.  Ungovernable and malicious.  Some of the ancients looked upon the sea as a huge animal, whose breathing caused the tides.  Strabo i.  Solin xxxii.   They represented its fury as proverbial.  “Fire, the sea, and woman are three evils;” and they call the most savage people sons of Neptune.  Agel. xv. 21. Am I so violent as to require such barriers?  Am I capacious, or strong enough to bear such treatment?  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Hanging.  Prot. “strangling and death, rather than my life,” or Marg. “bones.”  H. Any species of Death would be preferable to this misery.  C. Who would not entertain the same sentiments, if the fear of worse in the other world did not withhold him?  But Job had reason to hope that his sorrows would end with his life.  H. It is thought that he was dreadfully tempted to despair.  C. Yet he resisted manfully, and overcame all attempts of the wicked one.

 

Ver. 16.  Hope of surviving this misery.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Magnify him, or put his to such severe trials.  He is not worthy of thy attention.  C. Heb. ii. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Suddenly.  During his whole life, he is exposed to dangers; (C.) of if, at first, he taste some comfort, that is presently over.  The greatest saints have experienced this treatment.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Sinned.  I acknowledge my frailty.  M. How may I obtain redress?  C. Job’s friends maintained that he was guilty.  But he does not acquiesce in their conclusion, that these sufferings were precisely in punishment of some crime, though he acknowledges that he is not without his faults.  H. Shall.  Heb. also, “what have I done to thee?”  I have only hurt myself.  But this reasoning is nugatory.  Though God loses nothing by our sins, they are not less offensive to him, as the rebel does his utmost to disturb the order which he has established.  The sinner indeed resembles those brutal people, who hurl darts against the sun, which fall upon their own heads.  C. iii. 8.  C. Opposite, as a butt to shoot at.  H. Myself.  Heb. was formerly “to thee,” till the Jews changed it, as less respectful.  Cajet. Sept. still read, “and why am I a burden to thee?” (H.) as I am under the necessity of complaining, in my own defence.  C. I throw my grief upon the Lord, that He may support me.  Ps. liv. 23.  1 Pet. v. 7.  Pineda.

 

Ver. 21.  Be.  He lovingly expostulates with God, and begs that he would hasten his deliverance, lest it should be too late.  C.

 

 

JOB 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Suhite, from Sue, the son of Abraham, who dwelt in the desert Arabia; (Gen. xxv. 2.) though several suppose, without reason, (C.) that Baldad resided at Sueta, in Cœlosyria.  M. He was the second in age and dignity.  Pineda.

 

Ver. 2.  How long.  He seems tired with hearing, (H.) and accuses Job of want of moderation, representing him as a hypocrite, (C.) and an obstinate defender of his own opinion, against the better judgment of Eliphaz; (M.) though he was in reality only a constant asserter of truth.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Just.  He begins with the same principle as Eliphaz, which nobody denied.  But he does not reflect, that God may cause even the just to be afflicted, for their trial and improvement.

 

Ver. 4.  Iniquity, and suffered them to perish.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Peaceable.  Justice and peace shall kiss.  H. Prosperity will attend the righteous.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  That.  Heb. “because our days.”  H. Baldad strives, in vain, to prove what nobody contested.  But he does not come to the point, and shew that Job was guilty.  Past  histories might have informed him that the just are often persecuted, like Abel, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph.  C. It is true, these were afterwards conforted in honour, except the first, who was slain, and better off in the other world.  But Job might hope for the same treatment; and no man can be pronounced happy or miserable till his death.  After a storm a calm frequently ensues; as Baldad might have seen verified in the person of his friend, if he had waited patiently, and not judged so peremptorily from equivocal arguments.  H. We must allow, however, that what he said had been generally true.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 11.  Sedge-bush, or flag.  Heb. achu; so called, because from  one root many brothers (as it were) spring.  Sept. style it Boutomon, as it was usually “cut for oxen.”  Gen. xli. 2.  Parkhurst.  H. As plants die without suction, so do those who depart from God.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Herbs, for want of moisture.  C. Sic transit gloria mundi.  H. The prophets often compare the prosperity of the wicked to grass, (Ps. xxxvi. 2.  Jam. i. 10.) and Baldad ranks Job with them.

 

Ver. 14.  Him, the hypocrite, or God.  C. Both shall one day condemn the ill use of riches.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  He.  The spider, or rather the hypocrite, who will not be able to screen himself, by his possessions, from the wrath of God.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Seemeth.  Heb. “he is green before the sun” beat upon him. Rising, ortu, for horto, (H.) as the Heb. &c. have “garden,” (M.) with some Latin editions.  He had compared the wicked to a rush without moisture.  But the just is like a plant in a fine garden, which is not hurt by the sun beams.  It will grow even among stones, (C.) and may be transplanted without danger, v. 19.  H. The whole may be, however, a continuation of the former simile.  The rush will presently be scorched, as if it were thrown among stones, and its place will know it no longer, v. 18.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  Joy.  Sept. “the catastrophe of the wicked, for another shall spring,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Until.  If thou be simple, (H.) or irreproachable, (C.) God will make thee exult.  H. Until, &c.  M. He will restore thee to thy former state of affluence.  C.

 

 

JOB 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 2.  God.  Job answers both his friends, and with admirable humility acknowledges that in God’s sight he is full of defects; but not of such a nature as to fall (C.) under the cognizance of man.  I am not conscious to myself of anything; but…God is the judge.  1 Cor. iv. 4.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Thousand.  Ps. cxlii. 2.  “Woe even to the praise-worthy life of man, if God judge without mercy.”  S. Aug.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Resisted.  Heb. and Sept. “hardened himself against him.”

 

Ver. 5.  Removed, by earthquakes.  Pliny ii. 83.  C. In Calabria, 5th Feb. &c. 1783, during the most destructive and dreadful earthquake, a level valley was removed entire about a mile, and a hill, with the trees still growing, was projected down a declivity half a mile, and another above four miles.  Sir W. Hamilton. Sept. “who makes the mountains grown old, and they know not who overturns them in his wrath.”  H. Kings and empires fall to ruin at his command.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Pillars.  These are represented as fixed in the waters.  Prov. viii. 29.  Ps. xxvii. 16. &c.

 

Ver. 7.  Seal.  So that they appear not.  He alludes (C.) to masters confining their servants with seals, before locks were invented.  Macrob. vii. 3. From these noble effects of God’s power, Job takes occasion to humble himself.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Heavens, like a tent.  Ps. ciii. 2.  These nations lived under tents; (C.) and beholding the magnificent one which God had spread over the heads of alol, Job, in rapture, (H.) wonders that he should have created such a pavilion for his servants.

 

Ver. 9.  Arcturus, &c.  These are names of stars or constellations.  In Hebrew, Hash, Cesil, and Cima.  Ch. And chadre theman, (H.) the “bottom or seals of the south,” which were to him  invisible, being the Antarctic constellations.  The ancients were acquainted only with these four, (Homr, Virg. Æn. iii. &c.) which denoted the four quarters and seasons.  C. Ash, Arcturus, “the bear’s tail,” near the north pole, (H.) rules in autumn, when the year begins (C.) in Arabia.  Cesil, (H.) or Orion, on the west, styled by astronomers “the heart of the scorpion,” rises about the autumnal equinox, and presides over winter; (C.) and Cima, (H.) the Hyades, or the seven “rainy” stars, do over spring, the “pleasing” season, as Cima denotes, (C. xxxviii. 31.) when navigation commences.  “The Seals of the south,” designate summer.  C. We must not, however, imagine that Job countenances poetical fables; (S. Jerom in Amos v. 8.) or that he called the constellations by these names, Arcturus, &c.  C. Heb. “who makes the fire, the spirit, and the light,” Cima.  C. xxxviii. 31.  H. The creation of these seems grander than the making of any constellation, and all the stars had been asserted to be the work of God, v. 7.  What connection is there between the names assigned by the Rabbins and the Heb. terms?  R. Abraham observes that the last is “a northern star, causing heat, and producing fruit.”  Parkhurst. The Arabs were convinced of the influence of the stars; (C. xxxviii. 31.) and living under a sky generally without clouds, could easily observe them.  Roger. ii. 2. and 15. Sanchez asserts, that the peasants in Spain can point out the stars by name.  C. Inner.  Prot. “the chambers.”  They agree with the Vulg. in the other names.  Sept. “who makes the Pleiads, and Hesper, and Arcturus, and the store-rooms of the south?  H. They are styled inner with respect to us, who cannot see them.

 

Ver. 11.  Understand, as he is a spirit; (M.) and not that God is changeable, but his works and judgments are above our comprehension, and we are always liable to change.  Hence the proud erroneously think themselves to be in favour; while the humble, on the contrary, keep at a distance, and still sue for pardon, when their sins have been forgiven.  Luke xviii. 13.  Eccle. ii. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  God.  Prot. “If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.”  Sept. “For he is not turned aside by wrath;” (or Rom. edit.) “God, whose anger cannot be averted,” (H.) unless we repent: (C.) “under him the whales below heaven bend.”  H. Perhaps they may have had some notions, like the Rabbins, respecting Leviathan; and S. Jerom may have alluded to the fable of the giants placed under mountains; (Æn. iii. and ix.  C.) or to Atalas propping the skies.  H. World.  Great heroes, (C.) Kings, (Pineda) angels, (M.) who move the spheres, (W.) or devils.  Eph. vi. 12.  Cajetan.

 

Ver. 14.  What?  Heb. “Much less shall I answer him, choosing even my words with him.”  H. This is the conclusion from the display of God’s power.  C. No eloquence will persuade  him.  H. Though not conscious of any sin, Job will not justify himself (1 Cor. iv.  W.) before God.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Voice.  So much am I beneath his notice.  How unjust were the aspersions of Job’s friends, who accused him of presumption and blasphemy!  C. No one ever spoke with greater humility (H.) and respect of God’s absolute dominion.  C. He will attribute nothing to his own prayers, as he is still in the dark.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Without cause.  That is, without my knowing the cause; or without any crime of mine.  Ch. To argue from my afflictions, that I am a criminal, is unjust.  C. ii. 3.

“Notions mistaken, reasonings ill apply’d,

And sophisms that conclude on either side.”  Pope, Pleasures, &c.

 

Ver. 19.  Equity.  Heb. “if judgment, who will appoint me a time,” (H.) or “set me before him,” and undertake my defence?  Who will dare to sit as judge between us?

 

Ver. 20.  Condemn me, as this conduct would appear presumptuous.  C. Sept. “if I be just, my mouth will utter impiety,” (H.) in declaring it.  Olymp.

 

Ver. 21.  Life, under this uncertainty and affliction.  M.

 

Ver. 22.  Consumeth.  Eccle. ix. 2.  H. This principle is incontrovertible.  W. I do not retract it.  M. The misery inflicted on the just, is not contrary to the goodness of the Almighty.  Job perfectly discovered this truth, which puzzled his enlightened friends, and most of those who lived before Christ; (Ps. lxxii. 2.  Jer. xii. 1.  C.) and even Job himself was not fully convinced of the motives of the Providence, till God had explained them.  Houbigant.  C. xlii.

 

Ver. 23.  Innocent.  Having expressed his sentiments clearly, now he mentions what he could desire under the pressure of misery.  M. Seeing the danger of falling, to which he was exposed, he begged to be delivered by death.  We are taught by our Saviour to pray, Lead us not into temptation.  Matt. vi. 13.  God does not laugh at our sufferings, but he acts like a surgeon, and cuts without minding our complaints.  Ridere Dei est  humanæ nolle afflictioni misereri.  S. Greg.  C. Heb. “If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.”  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Wicked one, (H.) the devil, (M.) or any impious person who enjoys prosperity.  He, (C.) or even God permissively, covered the face, (H.) by bribes; so that judges pass sentence unjustly. Then.  If it be not the devil, (M.) or God.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Good, of late.  Heb. “they see no good.”

 

Ver. 26.  Carrying.  Heb. lit. “of desire,” belonging to one person, or full of goods, which he desires to carry quickly to market.  M. Chal. agrees with us.  But most interpreters var.  Pagnin retains the original, ebe; (H.) supposing the rive Abeh, or Avah, is meant.  It certainly implies expedition; “they have hastened like (C.) the eagle to its prey.”  Sept. “Is there any trace of ships, or of an eagle flying in quest of food?”  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Sorrow.  I cannot entirely repress it.  C. The more I strive, (H.) the greater is my pain.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  Works.  Heb. “sorrows.”  I dread their increase, and fear impatience.  Even in the midst of prosperity, Job offered sacrifice, lest the sins of his children should be laid to his charge.

 

Ver. 29.  Vain.  Why have I endeavoured to repress my grief in silence?  God does not forbid us to complain, but only to murmur.  C. Sept. “Since I am wicked, why did I not die?”  H. Should a wretch be even suffered to live”  S. Chrys.

 

Ver. 30.  Snow.  Nitre bring off the dirt better.  Chal. “soap.”  Heb. bor, is supposed by many to be the Borith of Jer. ii. 22.  Snow-water was also used through delicacy in summer.  Petron.  Sat.

 

Ver. 31.  Abhor me.  This striking expression intimates something extremely filthy.  God will make his servants discern many stains, even when they have aimed at the greatest purity.  C.

 

Ver. 33.  There.  Sept. “O that an umpire, (or mediator) were between us, and one arguing and giving ear in the midst of both!”

 

Ver. 35.  Fear him.  Sept. “and I shall not fear, but speak.  For I am not conscious to myself of injustice.”  H. The dread of incurring God’s displeasure  makes me prefer to be silent; and if I had no other reason, this fear would suffice, as I should not be master of myself under such anxiety and pain.  C. If my sufferings were at an end, I should take courage, and speak in my own defence, (M.) in answer to my false friends.  H.

 

 

JOB 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Life.  Job had intimated a fear to proceed any farther.  C. But perceiving that he had not convinced his friends, he continues his discourse (H.) in still stronger terms, yet so as to acknowledge the justice of God.  C. Speech against.  Heb. “complaint upon, (H.) or respecting myself,” I will deplore my misfortunes, (C.) or I will say no more about them.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Judgest.  Heb. “contendest with me,” as with an enemy?  Is it to punish some fault, or only to make thy grace shine forth?  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Calumniate permissively, by treating me in such a manner, that others lay false crimes to my charge.  Heb. “oppress and despise the work.” Wicked, who are ready enough (H.) to assert that virtue is useless, (C.) and that God mindeth not human affairs.  My affliction will confirm them in their false notion, (H.) and my friends will triumph as if their arguments were well founded.  The devil will also exult.  C. He knew that God could not be guilty of calumny, and inquireth why he is afflicted.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Seeth, judging only of the exterior.  T.  v. 6.

 

Ver. 5.  Days, sometimes denote judgments.  1 Cor. iv. 3.  Is God liable to change, like men, or does he stand in need of time to examine them, or fear lest they should escape?  C. Is it necessary for him to prove his friends, to know their real dispositions?  Sanctius.

 

Ver. 7.  Shouldst.  Heb. and Sept. “Thou knowest that…and there,” &c.  H. It would be vain for me to appeal to any other.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Sudden, like a potter’s vessel?  Job was reduced to misery all at once.  C. He acknowledges that God may destroy him as his creature; but that character encourages him to hope for mercy, grace, and glory.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Milked.  Heb. “poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?”  H. See Wisd. vii. 1.  The ancients explained our origin by the comparison of milk curdled, or cheese; (Arist. i. 10.  Pliny vii. 15.) which the moderns have explained on more plausible principles.  C. Yet still we may acknowledge our ignorance with the mother of Machabees.  2 Mac. vii. 22.

 

Ver. 12.  Thy fatherly visitation (H.) but still preserved my life.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Rememberest.  Sept. “canst do all things.”  Heb. “this is with thee.”  H. I am convinced that thou still regardest me with affection, though it would appear as if thou hadst forgotten me.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Iniquity?  Punishing me for the sins which seemed to be pardoned.  C. Heb. “If I sin, then thou makest me, and wilt not suffer; (H.) or if thou hast not pardoned my iniquity: (15) And,” &c.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Woe.  Thou wilt not suffer me to pass unpunished.  C. Head.  I will adore in silence.  C. ix. 15. 31.  Ven. Bede.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Pride.  If I give way to pride, thou wilt pull me down, though I were as fierce and strong as a lioness.  Heb. “for it (affliction) increaseth.  Thou huntest me.”  Prot. Returning.  Heb. and Sept. “again.”  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Witnesses, afflictions; (M.) “wounds.”  Pagnin.  T.

 

Ver. 20.  Lament.  Heb. “take comfort,” (H.) or breath.  C. Repentance is always necessary, but more particularly at the hour of death.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Death, to the grave, or to hell, (C.) if my sins deserve it.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Horror.  At death all distinction of ranks is at an end.  T. Heb. “where the light is as darkness.”  Prot.  Sept. “To the land of eternal darkness, where there is no sound, nor life of mortals to see.”  H.

 

 

JOB 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Naamathite.  Sept. “the Minean,” in Arabia Felix, or rather of the Meonim, not far from the Themanites.  Judg. x. 11.  Sophar was probably a descendant of Sepho, styled by Sept. Sophar, (Gen. xxxvi. 11. and 1 Par. i. 36.) brother of Thaman, and grandson of Eliphaz, the son of Esau.  C. He speaks with greater insolence than the two others, (Pineda) and inveighs against Job, insisting that he can be punished thus only for his crimes.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Much.  The speeches of Job seemed tedious to him, because he was not of his opinion.  M. He might have applied to himself and his friends the fault of talking too much, as they all spoke many things to no purpose, whereas Job went straight to the point.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Men.  Heb. “shall thy lies make men keep silence?”  Sept. “Blessed be the short-lived son of a woman.  Speak not much, for there is no one to give sentence against thee.”  H. Mocked, by not acquiescing to their solid arguments, (M.) and speaking with much animation.  Pineda.

 

Ver. 4.  Sight.  Job had just said the reverse.  C. ix. 2.  S. Chrys.

 

Ver. 6.  Law.  Heb. Thushiya, (H.) “the essence” of any thing.  Hence it is explained, “law, strength, comfort,” &c.  We might translate, “and that the reality of thy crimes deserved double punishment,” &c.  The obligations of the natural, and also of the written law of Moses, with which Job was (C.) perhaps (H.) acquainted, (C. xxii. 22.) are very numerous and difficult.  The ways of Providence are not easily understood, though some are obvious enough.  He rewards and punishes.  C. Sept. “for it is double of what has come against thee, and then thou wouldst know that thy sins are justly requited.”  Prot. “that they are double to that which is:  Know, therefore, that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.”  1 Esd. ix. 13.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Perfectly?  If not, it is rash to find fault.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  It?  to inflict punishment.  Sept. “he will not overlook.”  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Is.  Heb. “is he heart? or wise, (C.) he who is born like a,” &c.  Shall he assert his independence, or pretend to be wise?  H. The Hebrews place wisdom in the heart, as we do courage.  C. xii. 3.  Prov. ii. 2. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  But.  Heb. “If thou direct thy heart, &c.  Thou mayst lift up thy face,” (v. 15.  H.) without fear.  2 K. ii. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Iniquity.  Of this Job was not conscious, and therefore could not confess it.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Without.  Sept. “as clean water, thou shalt pass away corruption, and shalt not fear.”

 

Ver. 17.  Brightness.  Sept. “But thy prayer, like the day-star and life, shall arise to thee from the south, or as at noon-day.”  Heb. “Thy age (H.) shall appear clearer than the noon-day, and darkness like the morning.”  Prosperity shall succeed, (C.) when thou shalt think all lost.  M.

 

Ver. 18.  Secure, dying full of hope.  Chal.  Heb. “thou shalt dig,” (for water, which was there a great treasure.  Gen. xxi. 25. and xxvi. 15.) or to fasten down thy tent, (C.) “and rest secure.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Face.  Luther translates “shall flatter thee.”  The Dutch version, which is taken from Luther’s, has mistaken a letter, and rendered “shall flee before thee,” which shews the danger of translating without recurring to the originals.  Amama.

 

Ver. 20.  Soul, because hope deferred causeth pain to the soul.  Prov. xiii. 12.  M. Heb. “their hope shall be the sorrow, or the breathing out of the soul.”  C. Prot. “the giving up of the ghost.”  Margin, “a puff of breath.”  C. xviii. 14.  H.

 

 

JOB 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 2.  You.  Heb. “truly you are the people, and wisdom will die with you!”  This irony is very sharp.  C. “Are you alone men? or shall?” &c.  Sept. Syr.

 

Ver. 4.  Mocked.  He retaliates on Sophar, (C. xi. 3.  H.) who had very seriously exhorted Job to call on God, as if he had been ignorant of this duty.  C. God will one day force the wicked to retract their false notion, in despising his servants.  Wisd. v. 3.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  The lamp.  Such is the just man, who under affliction is (H.) exposed to the ridicule of men who live at their ease. For.  Heb. “to fall.”  C. Sept. “It was appointed for me to fall under others at the time fixed.”

 

Ver. 6.  Abound.  Heb. “are at peace.”  C. The prosperity of the wicked is therefore no proof that they are pleasing to him.  H. All nature testifies that God exercises a sovereign dominion over his works.  He may therefore cause the just to suffer, though they be guiltless.  This is one of Job’s grand maxims.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Taste.  For this no master is requisite; so I stood in  no need of your information, (C.) of such trite remarks.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Ancient.  He rather chides the youth of Sophar for offering to give him lessons.  Old age is indeed commonly wiser and more experienced.  Yet, what is man’s knowledge compared to that of God! v. 3.

 

Ver. 17.  To a.  Heb. “to be despoiled” of their wisdom and riches.  C. Sept. “into captivity.”  H. Crafty plotters at last fall into such misconduct, as to be derided by men of the meanest capacity.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Looseth.  Sept. “setteth kings upon the throne,” &c. Belt.  This was usually very magnificent, and a military ornament.  See that of Pallas described.  Æn. x.  Job intimates that God derives kings of their authority, at pleasure.  Heb. may also signify that he looseth the bond or prisoner of kings, and reduces themselves to slavery.  C. Things never remain long in the same state.  H. Even kings are sometimes obliged to beg.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  Without.  Heb. “despoiled.”  Sept. “captives.”  Cohanim, may comprise both sacred ministers and civil princes.  1 K. viii. 18.  All are equally subject to God.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Speakers.  Permitting them to speak deceitfully, (C.) or causing their oracles to be contemned.  H. Heb. “he withdraws speech from men of confidence.”  C. Neemanim, (H.) ambassadors or prime ministers.  Num. xii. 7.  He disconcerteth the best concerted plans.

 

Ver. 21.  Relieveth.  Heb. “ungirdeth (disarms) the strong.”  C. Sept. “but the  lowly (humble) he has healed.”

 

Ver. 22.  Of death.  Tsalmaveth (H.) may perhaps simply denote darkness.  C. God bringeth to light the most hidden things.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Multiplieth.  Heb. Sept. and Syr. “deceiveth,” (C.) suffering them to confide too much in their strength, so that they fall an easy prey.  H. How many nations, once so powerful, are now fallen; while others of no account have risen to eminence!

 

Ver. 24.  Changeth.  Heb. “taketh away the heart,” or prudence “of princes.”  Hence they follow the most absurd counsels.  Isai. xxix. 19.  C. No way.  This was the case of Pharao, when he pursued the Israelites into the sea; (T.) and the like may rationally be feared by those princes, who attempt to make innovations in the true religion, or in the sound laws of a kingdom.  M.

 

 

JOB 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  All, without your information.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Reason.  Heb. “to dispute with, or before God,” concerning the matter which we have in hand.  He appeals to God, as to the judge of all.

 

Ver. 4.  Having.  Heb. “But ye are sewers of lies.”  C. Sept. “unskilful surgeons, (who, instead of sewing up a wound, increase it) and all of you doctors of evil;” vain empirics. Maintainers.  Prot. “ye are all physicians of no value.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Men.  Prov. xvii. 28.  If you had been silent, you might still have had the reputation of wisdom.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Judgment.  Heb. “pleading” before our common judge.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Accept.  Heb. “will you not be seized with fear?”  Olympiodorus translates, “will you stad in his presence, and dispute with him?”  C. Sept. “Are you sent to be judges?” &c. or, do you suppose that you hope to gain his favour?  C. He knows the state of my soul best; then I myself: but you are quite in the dark.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Or.  Heb. “Is it good that he should examine you, would you escape?”  C.

 

Ver. 10.  His.  Heb. “persons.”  Because you see me afflicted, you infer that I am guilty; and think this mode of judging most  honourable to God, whom you wish thus to please.  H. But he stands not in need of lies; (C.) and something farther is still to be proved.  H. You judge rashly, as if you designed to please a prince, (M.) without examining the cause of the accused.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Necks.  Sept. “body.”  Heb. also, (H.) “heights,” (C.) or “fortifications.”  Grotius.

 

Ver. 13.  Whatsoever.  Heb. “come what will.”  Sept. “that my anger may cease.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Why you seem to ask do I thus eagerly desire to die, (H.) as if I wear tearing my own flesh, and exposing my soul to danger, (W.) like a madman?  T. Is it not better for me to address myself to God, that he would hasten my departure, than thus to tear my flesh with my teeth?  C. Some have supposed that Job really did so in extreme anguish, (V. Bede) the leprosy occasioning such an insupportable irritation.  H. But the expression insinuates an interior anguish or despair; (Isai. xlix. 26.) in which sense Pythagoras enjoins, “no to eat the heart.” Hands, in imminent danger of death.  Ps. cxviii. 109. S. Gregory explains it in a moral sense: “It is to manifest the intention of the heart by the actions.”  H.

 

Ver. 15.  In him.  Heb. lu is read, though lo, “not,” is written in the Heb. text.  H. Protestants, &c. follow the sense of the Vulgate, and Junius comes to the same, as he reads lo with an interrogation: “Should I not hope in him?”  Luther and the Belgic version go astray: “Behold he shall kill me, and I cannot expect,” or hope; I am resolved to die: which words indicate “extreme impatience.”  Amama. Sept. “If the powerful (or Lord) lay [not] hands on me, since it is commenced?  No: but I shall speak and arraign [you] before him,” &c.  The words not and you are thus placed in Grabe’s edition.  H. Ways.  I do not pretend that I am quite blameless.  C. Prot. “I will maintain (Marg. prove or argue) mine own ways before him.”  H. I will hope, like Abraham, even against hope, to shew that I am not actuated by despair: yet I will continue to declare my innocence, v. 16.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  Hypocrite.  If I were such, I should not dare to appeal so boldly to his tribunal.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Truths.  Lit. “riddles” to you.  Heb. achavathi, (H.) means “instructions,” &c.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Just.  He was in extreme anguish, yet still trusted in God.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Peace.  It will be some consolation to explain my reasons.  If I am fairly overcome, I shall die with more content.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Only.  He makes the same petition to God as C. ix. 34. and xxxiii. 7.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Offences, which might be hidden to Job himself.  W. He speaks to God with the freedom which he had requested, desiring to know if he were really guilty, (C.) that he might give glory to him, (H.) by an humble confession.

 

Ver. 26.  Bitter.  The judge wrote down the sentence; which he read, or gave to his officer.  C. Youth, for which I thought I had satisfied.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Stocks, in which the person’s legs were sometimes stretched to the sixth hole; (C.) at other times, the neck was confined.  M. Some translate the Heb. “in the mud,” which agrees with the other part of the verse. Steps.  Heb. and Sept. “roots,” or ankles, which retain the prints made by the stocks.

 

Ver. 28.  Rottenness. Sept. “an old vessel,” or skin, to contain wine, &c.  C. My condition might excite pity.  M.

 

 

JOB 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Man.  He exposes to God the common miseries of mankind.  C. They cannot avoid many miseries in their short life, yet may be brought to heaven.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Shadow.  Pulvis et umbra sumus.  Hor. iv. Ode 7.  “Come then, ye men, whom nature condemns to spend your days in darkness, ye who resemble the leaves, are of little strength, formed of mud, shadow-like,…of a day’s duration, miserable mortals, men like dreams, attend to the immortals.”  Aristoph. Avib. Most of these expressions occur in Job, Ps. ci. 12.  Wisd. ii. 5.  Eccle. ii. 23. &c.

 

Ver. 3.  With thee.  He seems beneath God’s attention: (Arist. Met. viii. 9.  Cicero, Nat. ii.) but as the knowledge and other attributes of the Deity are infinite, he must necessarily attend to the whole creation.  The moral actions of men being also infinite in their object, tending to God, or contradicting his ordinances, they are not beneath the consideration of an infinite Being.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Seed, is not expressed in Heb. “unclean.”  It may refer to Adam.  There is no contagion in the seed to infect the soul, as Tertullian supposed; it in only unclean in the cause, as every person who is born according to the common course of nature, becomes a child of Adam, and partakes in his original sin.  The Scholastics.  T. Only art.  Essence itself.  Carthus. “The justification of the sinner is a greater miracle than the creation of the world.”  S. Aug. ibid. The birth of Jesus Christ was free from stain; (Luk. i. 35.) as was also the conception of his virgin Mother, by the power of God; (M.) and his grace, as it is piously believed.  H. He alone can purify man.  C. Heb. “who can produce what is clean out of the unclean?  Not one.”  Or Chal. “Is there not one?”  Sept. “For who shall be pure from corruption?  Not so much as one: (5) though his life be only of one day upon earth.”  The more ancient Fathers have generally quoted the text in this manner, to prove original sin; (H.  S. Cyp. Tert. S. Deo. Mag. in Nat. i. &c.  T.) and Bellarmine almost does the same, (Grat. iv. 4.) observing that the Sept. have taken in three words from the following verse: “though his days are few.”  Yet there are some words which are not in Heb. though the doctrine here maintained is indubitable.  Amama. Job was fully convinced of it, and adduced it as plea for mercy.  It also tends to keep us in the most profound humility and watchfulness, to resist the motions of concupiscence.  C. Man,

“Now too late,

Saw the rash error, which he could not mend;

An error fatal not to him alone,

But to his future sons, his fortune’s heirs.”  Blair’s Grave.  Milton, x. 151.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Hireling, who rejoices at being permitted to rest a little.  So, before death, suffer me to have some relaxation.  C. vii. 1.

 

Ver. 8.  Dust.  After being even exposed to the air, for a long time, some branches will take root, like the rose of Jericho, the willow, &c.

 

Ver. 9.  Scent, or light touch.  Dan. iii. 94.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Is he?  Will he naturally come to life again?

 

Ver. 11.  Sea.  There would be no supply of rain for the fountains.  Eccle. i. 7.  All would continue dry: so when the blood is once gone, life is at an end.  See 2 K. xiv. 14.  C. The water cannot go back.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  Till.  At that time, the general resurrection will take place.  Vat.  Scultet. But people will never revive, according to the course of nature.  In S. Matt. v. 18.  Ps. lxxi. 7. till is used in this sense.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  That thou mayst protect me in hell.  That is, in the state of the dead; an din the place where souls are kept waiting for their Redeemer; (Ch.) and in the grave, where the body awaits the resurrection.  H. These words are repeated in the office of the dead, in the name of the souls in purgatory.  Carthus. a. 34. They are adduced in proof of limbo.  But sheol denotes also “the grave.”  Amama. What then?  The soul is not confined there.  It must consequently be explained of the lower receptacle for souls, as well as of the grave.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Dead.  Shall one in a condition nearly as bad, like myself, be restored to health?  Yes, I entertain this hope.  C. Thinkest thou, is not in Heb. or Sept.  The latter speaks (H.) clearly of the resurrection.  C. “For if a man die, shall he revive, having completed the days of his life?  I wait (for thee) till I be again.”  Grabe.  H. Warfare.  C. vii. 1.

 

Ver. 16.  But.  Heb. “Mark out, (C.) or dost thou not observe my sin?”  This fills me with terror, (H.) unless thou shew mercy.

 

Ver. 17.  Cured.  Heb. “sewed up.”  This method and sealing was in use to keep things of value, before locks were invented.  C. Sept. “thou hast noted if I had transgressed unwillingly, akwn.”  Yet God will not make us accountable for what we cannot help.

 

Ver. 19.  Man.  Heb. and Sept. “the hope of man.”  H. He must not expect to be more privileged than all other things, which time consumes.  C. Job again deplores human misery.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  Strengthened.  Sept. “driven away.”  Pagnin, &c. “Thou wilt treat him harshly.”  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Or dishonour.  He cannot naturally be informed.  M. God may, however, reveal to souls departed, what may increase their accidental happiness or misery.  H. Hence the Church prays to the saints.  Job is speaking chiefly of the body in the grave, and of what appear exteriorly.  During life man cannot foresee the state of his children; not in the other world, would their condition render him happy or otherwise.  C.  Mercer. Sept. “If his sons be many,…or…few, he knows not.”  H. He is not affected in the same manner as he would be, if living.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Over.  Heb. “within him.”  H. During life man is full of cares, and presently he is consigned to the dreary tomb, v. 19.  C.

 

 

JOB 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 2.  Heat.  Heb. “east wind,” (H.) or give vent to passion.  H. Eliphaz now rebukes Job without any reserve.  C. He was perhaps displeased at the comparison used by the latter.  C. xiii. 4.  Baldad had also hinted that Job’s discourse was nothing but wind.  C. viii. 2.  H. Being unable to answer his arguments, he reviles him as an enemy of God.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Equal.  God, who is far above thee.  Heb. “Will he (the wise) argue with less words, or with speeches which are nothing to the purpose?”  C.

 

Ver. 4.  God.  Another, after thy example, will assert his own innocence under affliction, and will not fear, nor have recourse to God by humble prayer.  Behold the dangerous consequences of thy principle.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Blasphemers.  Heb. “of the crafty,” which is sometimes taken in a good sense.  Sept. “thou hast not distinguished the speeches of the princes.”  Thou hast not shewn respect to our admonitions, (C.) or understood our meaning.  H. Thou rather choosest to imitate those false sages, who strive to deceive the world.  Abuse could hardly be carried to greater lengths than it is by this man; who before spoke with some moderation.  C. iv.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  First.  Is thy experience so great, (M.) or art thou the most excellent of men?  To hear thee we are but novices.  C. xiii. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  His.  Heb. “dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?  Sept. “or has wisdom come to thee?”  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Fathers.  Heb. and Sept. “father.”  H. Eliphaz always speaks first, and hints that he was as old, perhaps older, than Job; who had rather found fault with the youth of Sophar.  C. xii. 12.  He also boasts that they, or their country, furnished master of great wisdom and experience than even Job’s father.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Thee.  This would not be difficult, (T.) if thy presumption did not prove an obstacle.  Thou makest small account of those comforts or of our advice, trusting in thy own justice.  C. Sept. “Thou hast been chastised little, considering thy sins.  Thou hast spoken with excessive insolence.”

 

Ver. 12.  Why.  Sept. “What has thy heart dared, or what have thine eyes brought thee?”  Heb. “what do thy eyes wink at?” (H.) through pride and disdain.  Ps. xxxiv. 19.  Prov. vi. 13.  C. We need not wonder that Eliphaz should misunderstand the looks of Job, (H.) since he gives such a false notion of his speeches.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Just.  Few are free from all spot; but venial sins do not hinder a man from being styled truly virtuous.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Unchangeable, of his own nature, and during this life.  C. Heb. and Sept. “is not trusted by him,” till they have been tried, (H.  C. iv. 17.  None is good but God alone.  Mar. x. 18.) in comparison.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  Water, with the utmost avidity and unconcern.  Prov. x. 23. and xxvi. 6.

 

Ver. 17.  Seen.  He had before given himself out for a prophet.  Perhaps he may only mean to deliver what he had been taught, or had learned by experience, v. 18.  His observations are in themselves just; but the application to Job is no less insulting.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Wise.  Prot. “which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it.”  C. viii. 8.  The authority of tradition was then very great; and why should it now be despised?  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Them.  Their antiquity, courage, and purity of morals must consequently be greater, as they have preserved themselves from the inroads of strangers.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Proud; uncertain.  Heb. “in pain.”  H. Sept. “numbered,” or few.  Gen. xxxiv. 30.  These are the maxims which Eliphaz had received in a vision, or from the ancients, v. 17.  The description of a tyrant’s life was admirably verified in Dionysius, of Syracuse, (C.) and in our Cromwell, (H.)

pale and trembling in the dead of night.”  Pope.

who rarely lodged two night in one chamber.  Clarendon. Such live in dread, (H.) and seldom die a natural death.

Ad generum Cereris sine cæde et vulnere pauci

                        Descendunt reges et siccâ morte Tyranni.  Juv. x. 113.

Nocte dieque suum gestare in pectore testem.  Juv. xiii.

They bear always about the witness, “conscience.”  H. They distrust every one, and are hated by all.

Districtus ensis cui super impia

                        Cervice pendet, &c.  Hor. iii. Ode 1.

These miseries are incident to the wicked, but are improperly addressed to Job.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  And is.  Heb. “even upon the thick bosses of his buckler.”  H. God thus seizes his antagonist, who, like Pharao, swells with pride.  C.  Deut. xxxii. 15.

 

Ver. 28.  Heaps, by his ambition and fury, (C.) and exactions, (Cajet.  M.) till the king chooses to rebuild the cities.  Vatab.

 

Ver. 31.  That he.  Heb. and Sept. “for vanity shall be his reward.”  H. If he would repent, he might still be safe.  M.

 

Ver. 32.  Hands; strength and prosperity.  C. Sept. “his branch shall not grow thick.”  H.

 

Ver. 33.  First.  Heb. “unripe.”  H. He shall derive no aid or comfort from his young family.

 

Ver. 34.  Congregation, or family. Bribes.  Lit. “presents,” which H. frequently were not given freely, but extorted as a real tribute.  C. Sept. “for the death of the wicked is a martyrdom,” or proof of his impiety.  “But fire shall consume the houses of the present (or bribe) receivers.”

 

Ver. 35.  Sorrow.  Heb. “mischief.”  H.  See Ps. vii. 15.  Isai. xlix. 4. The tree is known by its fruit.  Eliphaz sufficiently insinuates, that he is speaking of Job.  C. His, or “its,” the congregation’s womb, v. 34.  Prot. “their belly.”  H.

 

 

JOB 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 2.  Comforters.  “Job’s friends or comforters,” are become proverbial, to denote people who do the contrary to what they seem to promise.  H. Never did men sustain worse the character of comforters.  They all magnify their knowledge and piety, and make the most absurd application of their principles to Job’s condition.  C. He was not ignorant that tyrants and wicked men were often, may generally till the age in which he lived, visited with visible judgments.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Windy, inconclusive arguments.  They all entertain a mean opinion of their adversaries, as they did not agree in the application of the propositions.  Hence though they might be true, they were nothing to their present purpose.  C. xv. 3.  H. Trouble.  You can speak without any pain: but the case is far different with me.  M. Heb. “what emboldeneth thee to answer?”  H. Who asks thee for advice?  C. True friends will give it without upbraiding, or laying false crimes to the charge of any one.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  My soul.  If you had experienced my state of misery, (H.) I surely would not have behaved thus to you.  C.

Facile, cum valemus, recta consilia ægrotis damus:

                        Tu si hic sis, aliter sentias.  Terent. Andria.

 

Ver. 5.  Wag, or shake my head out of pity.  C. xlii. 11.  Nah. iii. 7.  The same sign often indicates astonishment or contempt.  Ps. xxi. 8.  Matt. xxvii. 28.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  But.  Heb. “If I speak,” &c.

 

Ver. 8.  Limbs.  Heb. “company,” (H.) or family.  The assemblage of my limbs is also disordered by the leprosy.

 

Ver. 9.  Against me, in your opinion, as if I were guilty of lies.  Heb. “my leanness bears witness, my falsehood has risen up against me and answered me to my face;” which may be understood in the same sense as the argument of Eliphaz.  He is designated by the false speaker; (C.) unless we explain it of the wrinkles, which falsely indicated that Job was advanced in years, or of the malady; whence it was gathered that he must be a criminal.  M. Prot. “my leanness riseth up.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Cheek.  His friends seemed so enraged, as to be disposed to do so.  C. These expressions were strikingly verified in Christ.  M. The outrages may also be attributed to the devil; (C.) or, by personification, to the malady of Job.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  Lances.  Heb. “archers.”  Sept. “they have encompassed me, throwing lances into my veins, or loins, not sparing,” &c.  H. Bowels.  Heb. and Sept. “gall,” being afflicted with a dysentery.  S. Thomas explains it of his children, who were slain.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Flesh.  Heb. “horn.”  Sept. “strength.”  H. I have lost all my beauty and splendor, and have put on the garments of penance.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Dim.  Heb. and Sept. “covered with the shadow of death,” (H.) greatly impaired.  Some have almost lost their sight by weeping; and death seemed ready to close Job’s eyes.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Hand, which has not been defiled with any injustice.  M. When.  Heb. “and my prayer was pure.”  I never neglected this sacred duty, (C. i. 5.) as my friends accuse me.  C. xv. 4.  H. They continued in their false accusation: so he repeats the same true answer.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  In thee.  Let the cry of my blood, which issues from my wounds, and the injury which my reputation has suffered, come before the throne of God.  Calumny is a species of murder.  See Gen. iv. 10.  C. If I be really guilty, I am willing to remain unburied.  Let the dogs lick up my blood.  Cajet. Cry.  Let the hills re-echo my sufferings.  Pineda.

Et quodcumque meæ possunt narrare querelæ,

                        Cogar ad argutas dicere solus aves.  Propertius.

 

Ver. 21.  Full.  Heb. “scorners.”  Therefore I appeal to inanimate things; and, above all, to God, who cannot give a wrong judgment.

 

Ver. 22.  Judged.  Heb. “might plead.”  H. Earthly judges may be compelled to pronounce sentence publicly.  Job is afraid lest the justice of his cause should remain undecided, till death overtook him, v. 23.  Pineda.

 

Ver. 23.  Years.  Heb. and Sept. “of number.”  Pauperis est numerare pecus.  H. Like a man under affliction, Job repeats what he had said.  C. xiv. 5.  M.  and C. x. 20.  H.

 

 

JOB 17

 

CHAPTER XVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Spirit.  Heb. “breath is corrupt,” (H.) or spent.  I cannot breathe without the greatest difficulty.  C. Only.  Sept. “But I want the grave, and do not obtain it.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Not sinned.  That is, I am not guilty of such sins as they charge me with.  Ch. Heb. “the wicked were not with me” in friendship at any time.  Prot. “Are there not mockers with me?”  H. Job was doubly afflicted, with corporal pain and calumny: yet hopeth in God.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Fight.  I am secure under thy protection.  Heb. “who will strike hands with me?” or stand bondsman for my debt?   Prov. vi. 1.  Who will take my place?  You accuse me of weakness and of impiety: but how would you act, if you were treated in the same manner?  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Understanding.  They will not answer for me.  They are not of such a generous disposition; nor can they distinguish between the punishment of guilt and the trial of virtue.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  He.  My friend.  C. Heb. “speaketh flattery,” (H.) or promiseth to caress me, while he neglects his own children.  But the sense of the Vulg. and Chal. seem preferable.  My friends speak as if they could do any thing, and as if no trial would stagger their resolution.  But they durst not be in my situation for a short time.  C. Like hunters, who have promised their children some prey, my friends will not, however, gain the victory over me.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Example.  Prot. “a tabret.”  H. The people sing over my misfortune.  Lam. iii. 14.  I am represented as a victim of God’s just indignation.  C. Sept. “a laughter,” or laughing-stock.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Indignation of God, or of myself.  M. Nothing.  Heb. “as a shadow.”  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Hypocrite.  If you condemn me, I shall comfort myself with the approbation of the righteous, and still maintain my station.  H. Men of sense and virtue will tremble at the judgments of God, and will never join the crowd of scoffers.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Man.  He offers to dispute with them again, and convince them of folly; (M.) or rather he here concludes his address to them, and invites them to change their preposterous judgments.

 

Ver. 11.  Thoughts, or fine projects of living happy a long time.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Day.  Sleep flees from me.  M. All is in confusion. After.  Heb. and Sept. “light is near in the face of darkness.”  H. I still hope for relief.

 

Ver. 13.  Hell.  Seol.  The region of the dead.  Ch. Prot. “grave.”  H. But this text proves that there was a place of rest called hell.  W. He speaks here chiefly of the body.  C. Mors ultima linea rerum est.  Hor. “Death is the end of all.”  H. If I refrain from complaining, still I cannot expect to be restored to health.

 

Ver. 14.  Sister.  I am nearly related to such things, and ready to drop into the grave, as my flesh is already devoured by worms.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Who.  Heb. “who shall see my hope?”  I wish all might witness it.  H. But I expect no redress on this side of the grave.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Deepest pit.  Literally hell.  Ch. Heb. “We shall go down to the bars of the pit, when we shall rest together in the dust.”  My hope may be frustrated by death; (H.) or you, my friends, must also go to the house of eternity.  C.

 

 

JOB 18

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Understand ye.  Teach this man to comprehend what we say.  He deigns not to address Job in person: but repeats most of his former remarks respecting the wicked, as if they were unquestionably applicable to Job.  C. viii.  C. Heb. “mark ye.”  Sept. “do thou attend.”  H. Baldad speaks to many who might be of Job’s opinion, as he was a figure of the Church, defending the common cause; while his friends, like heretics, speak both true and false things.  S. Greg. xiv. 1.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Reputed.  Sept. “silent as four-footed animals before thee? (H.) without discipline or understanding.”  C. xvii. 4.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Thou.  Heb. “He teareth his soul in his fury!”  H. This is spoken with an air of contempt, as if Job were mad.  C. xiii. 14.  C. Place.  We should expect to see such effects, as soon as we would allow that God punishes thee, without thy being guilty.  Hitherto he has treated the wicked only with such rigour.  Still thou wouldst assert that thou art a singular example of an innocent man under oppression!  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Light; prosperity, (M.) offspring, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Step.  He shall be greatly embarrassed, (M.) like a man in a narrow pass, (C.) beset with thorns.  H.  Prov. iv. 12. Sept. “the weakest have made a prey of his possessions.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Meshes, (maculis) or holes of the net.  M. The more he strives to get out, the more he gets entangled.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Thirst: the greedy hunter.  C. Heb. “the robber.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Fears.  Hunters used to place loose feathers round the wood, except where the gin was laid, in order to frighten the prey into it.

Puniceæque agitant formidine pennæ.  Georg. iii.

Jer. xlviii. 44.  “Like timid stags, while you avoid the moving feathers, you are entrapped in the strongest nets.”  S. Jerom, c. Lucif. Every thing tends to fill the poor beast with alarm.  So the devil, conscience, and enemies on all sides, best the wicked.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  First-born denotes the best, or the worst.  H. Death.  Heb. “of death,” the devil, or a premature death, and most cruel enemy.  C. Sept. “But death devours his most beautiful things.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Confidence.  Sept. “health.” Let.  Prot. “and it shall bring him to the king of terrors;” (H.) or, “thou (O God) shalt,” &c.  Sept. “let him be in the greatest (C.) want, on account of a royal accusation,” (H.) of high treason.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Tent, when he is gone to purify it.

Et veniat quæ  lustret anus lectumque locumque,

                        Præferat et tremulâ sulphur et ova manu.  Ovid. Art.

Yet Moses does not mention sulphur as a thing proper for purifications.  Some think that Baldad hints that his house will be destroyed with lightning, or rendered uninhabitable by a loathsome smell.

 

Ver. 16.  Harvest.  Heb. also, “branch;” (C.) his family, (M.) and all on which he trusted.  C. All must be destroyed, root and branch.

 

Ver. 20.  Them.  Lit. “the first,” who were witnesses of his misery.  H.

 

 

JOB 19

 

CHAPTER XIX.

 

Ver. 3.  Ten times; very often. Oppress me.  Heb. word occurs no where else, and is variously translated.  It may signify, “to dig a pit for me.”  C. vi. 27.  Ps. vi. 6.  Job repeats nearly what he had said before, only with greater vehemence.  He admits that Providence treats him in an unusual manner.  Yet he still retains an assured hope, and arraigns his adversaries before the divine tribunal.  C. Yet he rather hesitates; (v. 4. 6.) and this species of ignorance is the folly of which he, at last, accuses himself.  C. xlii. 3.  It was no real fault, ib. v. 8.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  With me.  I alone am answerable for it.  But I am no wiser for your remarks.  If I have sinned, have I not been sufficiently punished?  C. Sept. “Yea, truly, I was under a mistake; and the mistake still remains with me, to have spoken a word which was not becoming.  But my speeches are erroneous and importunate.”  He talks thus ironically.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Reproaches, which I endure, as if they were a sure proof of your assertion.  H. I must therefore refute you.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  With an equal judgment.  S. Gregory explains these words thus: Job being a just man, and truly considering his own life, thought that his affliction was greater than his sins deserved; and in that respect, that the punishment was not equal, yet it was just, as coming from God, who give a crown of justice to those who suffer for righteousness’ sake, and proves the just with tribulations, as gold is tried by fire.  Ch. He knew that God would surely give a just reward.  2 Tim. iv.  S. Greg. xiv. 16.  W. The friends of Job had too contracted a notion of Providence, supposing that the virtuous could not be afflicted.  Job allowed that the ordinary rules were not here observed.  Heb. “the Lord hath perverted or overthrown me.”  C. This gave him no small uneasiness.  If the thing had been as plain as it appears now to us, he might have refuted all with a bare denial.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 7.  Hear.  Jeremias makes the same complaint, Lam. iii. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Troops: (latrones) “free-booters,” (H.) or “soldiers.”  Sanctius. Those nations made a practice of plundering one another’s territories, without any declaration of war.  Mercury and Autolychus are praised for thefts of this description.  Odys. xix.  See Judg. xi. 3.  Sept. “his temptations (C. or militia; peirathria) came rushing together upon me; lying down (H.) in ambush, (C.) they surrounded my paths.”  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Entreated.  Prot. add, “for the children’s sake of mine own body.”  Sept. “I invited with flattering speeches the sons of my concubines.  (18) But they cast me from them for ever.  When I arise, they speak against me.”  H. Interpreters generally suppose that Job speaks of the children by his inferior wives: though he might have some at home by the first wife, who were not old enough to be invited to the feast, with those who were destroyed.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Fools; wicked men, (M.) or the meanest of the people, (C.) whom (H.) these unnatural children (C.) resembled. Heb. “young children.”  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Some.  Heb. “men of my secret.”  Sept. “who knew me;” my most intimate friends. And he.  Heb. and Sept. “They whom I love are.”  H. These ungratefully joined with the rest, in turning their backs on their benefactor.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Teeth.  I am like a skeleton, so strangely emaciated, and my flesh corrupted: even my bones are not entire.  H. Heb. “I have escaped with the skin of my teeth.”  Only my gums are left.  My bones cut the skin.  Sym. “I tore my skin with my teeth.”

 

Ver. 22.  Flesh? acting with the like inhumanity towards me.  Am I not then sufficiently tormented in you opinion, that you insult  over my distress?  C.

 

Ver. 24.  In a.  Heb. “lead, in the rock for ever.”  Prot.  Sept. have, “for ever,” after book, (v. 23) and subjoins, “with a writing instrument of iron and (or) lead, or be engraven on the rocks for a memorial.”  Grabe insinuates that before there was only, “and on lead, or be engraven on the rocks.”  H. Instrument, (celte) means “a chisel,” (H.) like cœlum from cœlo: ” I engrave.”  Pineda. S. Jerom, (ad Pam.) and the late editor of his works, retain this word, as the older editions of S. Greg. did; (C.) though certè, “surely,” has been inserted  instead, from several MSS. by the Benedictines.  H. Ancient MSS. and Latin Bibles have more generally the latter word.  But the received editions are supported by many MSS. (C.) and the Sept. egglufhnai, expresses as much.  Celtis est, glufeion.  Amama.  Casaub. in Athen. vii. 20. p. 556. An inscription, in Dalmatia, has the same sense: Neque hic atramentum vel papyrus aut membrana ulla adhuc; sed malleolo et celte literatus silex.  “Here as yet was neither ink, nor paper, nor any parchments; but a flint stone was lettered with a mallet and a chisel..”  The former modes of writing were not, in effect, invented by the days of Job.  C. But it was long very usual to make use of lead.  Pineda. What he desired to have written in such durable characters, (H.) was the following sentence, in proof of his unshaken confidence in God, and as a refutation of his friends, who accused him of despair and blasphemy, (C.) as also the whole history of his conflict.  His desire has been granted.  T.

 

Ver. 25.  Redeemer may be understood of the Deity, without confining it to the second Person; (Isai. xli. 14. and lxix. 7.  Piscator) though it may have a more peculiar reference to Christ: (Junius.  H.) in whom he believed, as the Redeemer of all mankind.  C. Earth.  Yea, ere long I shall be restored to health, (S. Chrys.  Grot.) as an earnest and figure of the resurrection.  Nothing is more common, in Scripture, than for the same prophecy to have a double accomplishment; one soon after it is made public, and another more sublime and remote.  Job seemed to have no expectation of surviving his present misery, (v. 7, and C. vii. 7. and xxiv. 15.) unless God now revealed it to him, as a figure of his future resurrection, founded on the hope of our Saviour’s, which he expresses in much clearer terms.  Heb. “I know that my Redeemer is living, and that he will raise himself one day upon the earth,” (C.) like a conqueror, (H.) or wrestler, having overthrown his antagonist: (Amama) or, “he will stand the last upon the earth, or dust,” (Piscator) ascending his throne, to judge all.  Deodat. Yet Luther translates, “and one day he will raise me up from the earth;” which is not conformable to the Heb.  Others explain, “he…will place (26) this, my skin, after they (worms) shall have ruined it.”  Pagnin.  Mont. But Amama suspects that the latter is not in earnest.  Pineda defends the Vulg. and observes that yakum (H.) may signify, “will raise” himself, or “me;” the latter being at least a consequence of the former, if S. Jerom did not read it me in his copy.  So S. Paul argues; If Christ be risen, we also shall rise again.  Sept. “For I know that he is eternal, who will set me free,” (H.) by death, (C. or redemption; ekluein) “upon the earth.”

 

Ver. 26.  And I.  Sept. “But he will raise up my body or skin, which has sustained these things.  This now has been accomplished for me by the Lord; (27) which I know within myself, which my eyes have seen, and not another.  For all things are accomplished in my bosom.”  I am as fully convinced of this glorious event, (H.) as if it were past.  C. Heb. “and though, after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”  Prot.  or in the margin, “After I shall awake, though this body be destroyed, yet out of,” &c.  Various other interpretations are given.  H. But we had as well adhere to the Sept. Vulg. &c.  D. God.  Sixtus V. and some other editions, add “Saviour.”  C. Job would see the Messias by the eyes of his prosperity.  S. Aug. or Faustus, ser. 234. t. v. App.  Sanctius. He hoped also to see God face to face in glory (C.) though not by means of his corporeal eyes, (H.) and to be restored to favour, so that God would no longer turn his back on him. , C. xlii. 5.  S. Gregory, when legate at Constantinople, convinced the patriarch Eutychius, by this text, that after the resurrection, our bodies will be palpable, and not aerial only.  C. It contains an express profession of Job’s faith, on this head.  We shall rise the same in substance.  W.

 

Ver. 27.  Myself.  Heb. “for myself,” and for my comfort; not like the reprobate, who shall see their judge to their eternal confusion.  Job insists so much on this point, that he shews he in not speaking merely of the divine favour being restored to him, in the re-establishment of his health and affairs, but that he raises his mind to something more solid and desirable, of which the former was only a faint representation.  C. “No one since Christ has spoken so plainly of the resurrection, as this man did before the coming of the Messias.”  S. Jerom, ad Pam. This.  Heb. “though my reins be consumed within me;” (Prot.  H.) or, “my reins (desires and tender affections) are completed in my bosom.”  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Let us.  Sept. “Why do we contend against him? and the root of the word (reason) we shall find in him.”  He provokes us to speak thus.  H. Hebrew reads, “in me.”  But the Chal. &c. “have him,” as the sequel requires; unless Job speak this in his own person.  I am ready to answer you; or, have you really discovered in me any grounds for your virulent attack?  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Know.  Sept. “And then they shall know that their power is nowhere;” or, “where is their substance?”  Grabe.  H. Job menaces his friends with God’s judgments, as they had done him.  C.

 

 

JOB 20

 

CHAPTER XX.

 

Ver. 2.  Therefore.  From this concession which thou hast just made.  M. Various.  Heb. “Hence do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I hasten.”  Sept. “I did not thus suspect that thou wouldst contradict these things,” &c.  H. Sophar only speaks this second time; and he produces little new, but begins with an air of more moderation, as if the arguments of Job had made some impression upon him.  C. He attempts to prove that the wicked have no comfort long; which is true in one sense, as all time is short, though they may prosper all their lives, as Job corrects his observation.  C. xxi. 13.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  I know.  Heb. and Sept. “dost thou not know?”

 

Ver. 6.  Pride.  Sept. “presents.”  H. Riches may be meant by pride.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Hill.  Heb. “his own dung.”  H.  Prov. x. 7.

 

Ver. 8.  Fleeth.  The poets assign wings to sleep and to dreams.  Homer, &c.  Isaias (xxix. 7.) describes a man who dreams that he is eating, and finds himself hungry when he awakes.  Such is the live of the avaricious, (C.) and of all wicked people.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Behold him, as if it were susceptible of resentment, and entered into the views of God.  C. vii. 10.  Ps. xxvi. 35.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Be.  Heb. “seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods,” which the wicked had gotten by oppression.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Vices of, is not in Heb. but must be understood.  H. Youth.  Some translate, “hidden.”  Sophar perhaps accuses Job of some secret abominations, for which he was afflicted with the venereal disease.  At least, nothing is more common than to see people brought to old age and infirmities unnumbered, (C.) before their time, in consequence of riotous living in their youth.  H. Youth may also denote the sin in which we are born, which is the source of all our maladies, and is always dragging us towards the grave.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Evil of any king, and particularly (H.) injustice, which at first seems sweet, but will prove in the end a mortal poison.  C. The unjust will be forced to restore his ill-gotten goods, or suffer eternally for the neglect, v. 14. 18.  H. Habitual sins are also overcome with most difficulty, v. 11.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Head.  Heb. “venom.”  Sept. “the wrath of dragons.”  C. Vipers.  The same Heb. term is elsewhere rendered basilisk, or asp.  The precise import of such things is not easily ascertained.  Pineda. Tongue.  The ancients thought that serpents communicated the venom by the tongue, or sting.  Moderns think they do it rather by the teeth.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Butter.  The impious may have a short-lived pleasure, but it will not give perfect satisfaction.  The poets use similar expressions.  C.

Mella fluant illi, ferat et rubus asper amomum.  Virg.

Flumina  jam lactis, jam flumina nectaris ibant.  Met. i.

 

Ver. 18.  Suffer eternal torments.  C. Heb. “according to his substance, shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice.”  Prot.

 

Ver. 20.  Them.  Death will overtake him, like the rich man.  Luke xii. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Continue.  Heb. “no one shall look for his goods.”  The sinner eat up all in his life-time, or saw his possessions slip from him.  H. At least, he shall not take them with him to the grave.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  May.  Heb. “And when he shall be about to fill his belly,” like king Baltassar, death shall hurry him away.  C. Rain.  Sept. “hurl sorrows upon him,” (H.) by an untimely death, followed with eternal hunger and thirst.  Thus was treat the rich glutton.  Luke xvi. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Brass; of which metal the strongest bows were made.  Prot. have, “steel:” (H.) but brass was used by the ancients for the same purpose.  C. This proverb shews that those who endeavour to escape from men, fall into the hands of God.  Delrio. Adag. 9, t. ii.

Incidit in Scyllam cupiens vitare Charbydim.  Virg.  M.

 

Ver. 25.  The sword is, occurs not in the Vulg. (H.) though it be in the Compl. and Sixtine editions.  C. Heb. “It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; the glittering sword cometh out of his gall; terrors are upon him.”  Prot. “May likewise the dart come out through his body,” &c.  H. Ones.  Heb. “Enim; giants, who formerly inhabited the land of Moab, near the eastern Idumea.  Their name might be placed for any cruel enemies.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Darkness, or misery.  C. Sept. “Terrors upon him, (26) and all darkness may await him.”  H. He shall find no means of escaping.  C. Kindled.  Heb. “blown.”  S. Gregory observes that hell-fire is corporeal, but very different from our material fire.  Chal. &c. explain this passage in the same sense.  It may also intimate interior anguish, (C.) lightning, (Vatable) pestilence, (Grot.) and every species of calamity.  C. Tabernacle, in hell.  M. We may also translate, “he who is left,” (H.) the offspring shall be also miserable.  M.

 

Ver. 27.  Heavens, as his sins have cried for vengeance.  Gen. xviii. 20.  C. All creatures shall fight against the wicked.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  Exposed.  Heb. “the bud, (C.) or increase of his house, shall depart,” (H.) and be led away into captivity, (C.) and ruined.  Sept. “Let final destruction draw away his house, and the day of wrath overtake him.”

 

Ver. 29.  Doings.  Lit. “words.”  Heb. “of his decree.”  H. This is what he may expect for him impiety both in words and actions.  C.

 

 

JOB 21

 

CHAPTER XXI.

 

Ver. 2.  Do.  “After your opinion.”  M. Sym. “hear.”  Sept. “may this be for your consolation,” (Heb.) which I shall receive from you, or which you may make use of, if you should be afflicted (C.) as I am.  H. Job undertakes to show that the wicked are sometimes suffered to enjoy a long prosperity.

 

Ver. 4.  Troubled.  Heb. “Why is not my spirit shortened” by death, if your assertion be true? (H.) or why may I not be “troubled,” since I have to deal, not with an enlightened judge, but with men who are under the greatest prejudices?  C. I seem to you to dispute against God.  Have I not then reason to tremble? v. 6.  H. Though he disputed with men, it was concerning Providence and eternal things.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Hearken to.  Lit. “look steadfastly on me.”  H. Compare my present with my former condition, and do not pretend to fathom God’s judgments; which fall me also with astonishment, when I consider why the virtuous are distressed, and the wicked prosper, v. 7. Mouth be silent.  Harpocrates, the god of silence, was represented in this posture; and Virgil says, Intentique ora tenebant.  Æneid ii. Sept. “upon the cheek,” like men in deep consideration.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Riches.  This is what fills me with great anxiety.  Yet it quite destroys the force of your argument, (C.) since you pretend that the prosperity of the wicked is never of long duration.  We see them, however, live to an advanced old age, (H.) continually offending God, and annoying their neighbours.  C. Sept. “yea, they grow old in riches.”

 

Ver. 8.  Sight.  The Jews esteemed this as the greatest blessing and mark of God’s favour.  Yet it was also equivocal, as it was often possessed by the wicked.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Rod.  Divine judgments.  M.  Ps. lxxii. 5.

 

Ver. 10.  Cattle.  Lit. “ox,” bos.  Prot. “their bull gendereth, and faileth not.”  H. But Bochart explains it of the cows’ bringing forth every year.  C. Ox is used in the same sense, both by sacred and profane authors.  H. A great part of the riches of these nations consisted in cattle.  Ps. cxliii. 14.  Zac. viii. 5.

 

Ver. 11.  Their.  Sept. “They continue like eternal sheep, as if they and their flocks would never die.  C. And play, is to shew the nature of the dance.  It is not in Heb.  H. The children are healthy and sportive.  M. Sept. “they play before them.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Moment.  Sept. “in the rest of the lower region, adou, they shall be laid,” (H.) in the grave.  M. A sudden death, without agony or sickness, (H.) was the choice of Julius Cæsar, the night before he was slain.  Repentinum inopinatumque prætulerat.  Sueton. But the enlightened servant of God  would rather desire time to do penance, and to prepare for death.  For who shall presume that he has that charity which banisheth fear?  C. Hell.  The same term is used for the place where the damned are tormented, as for that where the souls of the just waited (C. vii. and xvii.) for their Redeemer’s coming.  But here Job is speaking of the apparent happiness of the wicked; (H.) and only alludes to the grave, (C.  M.) or comfortable death and burial of the reprobate: though, at the same time, he may declare that their souls are buried in hell.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Ways.  The too common effect of riches.  Prov. xxx. 8.  Eccli. v. 2.

 

Ver. 16.  Because, is not in Heb.  “Lo, their good is not.”  They are not possessed of true riches, or of good sense.  Alex. Sept. “For good things were in their hands: but the works of the impious are not pure.”  No: the more they possess, the greater is their perversity.  Grabe substitutes oukaqora, for kaqara; God “does not behold” the works, &c. which is more conformable to the other editions; and thus the blasphemies of the impious are continued.  H. When we are not sensible of our wants and dependance, we think less on God.  C. Hand, or power, they are only the gifts of God; far be then such sentiments from me.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  How often.  When do we witness the downfall of the wicked?  Mercer. Or, in a contrary sense, how often are they miserable as well as the just?  Such things are, therefore, a very equivocal argument, to prove either side of the question.  Those who are afflicted, and cling closer to God, must be accounted virtuous and happy; while that prosperity is fatal which is an occasion of our neglecting his service.  C. Job answers his own questions, v. 7.  If the wicked be happy for a time, their future state is deplorable, and often they forfeit even their temporal advantages.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  The sorrow.  Prot. “his iniquity.”  Marg. “that is the punishment.”  H. The children shall share in his punishment, (C.) when they have been partakers, or imitators of his injustice.  H. Know his offence, and whether there be a God (C.) and Providence.  M.

 

Ver. 21.  And if.  Heb. “when” he is cut off in the midst of his days: he does not regard the happiness or misery of those whom he leaves behind.  H. The children are rather taken away for his punishment, while he is living, as  their misery would not touch him in the grave.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  Hale, or healthy.  Heb. “in perfect strength.”  H. Sept. “simplicity, or folly.”  S. Aug. reads with the old Vulg. “in the strength of his simplicity, (C.) or innocence.  H. These outward appearances prove nothing for interior piety or wickedness.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Bowels.  Prot. “breasts” (Marg. “milk-pails”) are full of milk.  But the Sept. Bochart, &c. agree with the Vulgate.  Job describes a corpulent man (C.) living in luxury, like the glutton.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Any.  Heb. “ever having eaten with pleasure.”  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Me.  I perceive you are not convinced; and what you say respecting the wicked, is pointed at me.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  Prince.  Job, (M.) or rather the tyrant, whose lot we know is miserable, as he falls a victim of God’s justice.  C. xx. 7.

 

Ver. 29.  Way.  Travellers, who have seen foreign countries, (Vatab.) or any one that may be passing, (Sanchez) will answer this objection (H.) in my favour.  M. They will all agree in testifying that the wicked prosper, even for a long time.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  To the.  He will be requited indeed, at last; or rather, when others are in the utmost danger, he will be protected as it were by God.  Sept. (C.) or Theodotion, “the wicked is kept on high,” coufizetai.  All from v. 28 to 33 inclusively, is marked as an addition to the Sept. by Grabe, who has supplied many similar omissions, of which Origen and S. Jerom complained.  H.

 

Ver. 31.  Done.  Man is afraid, and God defers to take cognizance.  C.

 

Ver. 32.  Dead.  Heb. “the sheaves,” being quite ripe for harvest, and even in the tomb, the tyrant retains some sore of pre-eminence, as he is buried with honour, an set like a more elevated sheaf, to inspect the rest.  C. Godiss, is rendered by Prot. “tomb,” (margin) “heap.”  But (C. v. 26.) where only the word occurs again, we find “a shock of corn,” and this comparison seems very suitable here.  The damned shall watch, alas, when it will be to no purpose, among the heap of fellow-sufferers, who would not think while they had time to repent.  After millions of night spent thus without sleep or ease, we may imagine we hear their mournful lamentations from the depth of the abyss.  Always misery! and never any hope of ease!  H. “Eternity,” says Bridayne, (ser. in Maury’s Eloq.) “is a pendulum, the vibration of which sounds continually, Always! Never!  In the mean while, a reprobate cries out: What o’clock is it?  And the same voice answers, Eternity!”  Thus at last the wicked shal awake from the sleep in which they have spent their days; (H.) and their watching, restless, and immortal souls (S. Thom.) will bitterly lament their past folly.  What profit will they derive from the honours paid to their corpse by surviving friends, (H.) even though they be embalmed, and seem to live in marble statues?  Pineda.

 

Ver. 33.  Acceptable to the gravel of Cocytus.  The Hebrew word, which S. Jerom has here rendered by the name Cocytus, (which the poets represent as a river in hell) signifies a valley or a torrent: and in this place, is taken for the low region of death, and hell: which willingly, as it were, receives the wicked at their death: who are ushered in by innumerable others that have gone before them; and are followed by multitudes above number.  Ch. Isaias (xiv. 9.) and Ezechiel (xxxii. 21.) describe the splendid reception in hell of the kings of Babylon and of Egypt, nearly in the same manner as Job does that of any sinner who has lived in prosperity.  C. xxxviii. 17.  He gives life to the whole creation, in the true spirit of poetry.  C. The rich man is represented as tenderly embraced by his mother earth; (C. i. 21.  H.) the very stones and turf press lightly upon him; as the ancients prayed, Sit tibi terra levis.  Heb. “the stones or clods of the torrent (C.) shall be sweet to him, and he,” &c.  H. S. Jerom has chosen to mention a particular river, instead of the general term nel, “a torrent or vale,” to  intimate that Job is speaking of the state after death. Cocytus is a branch of the Styx, a river of Arcadia, of a noxious quality, which the poets have place in hell.  Pineda. Sept. “The pebbles of the torrent became sweet to him, and in his train every man shall come, and unnumbered men before him.”  Alex. MS. has “men of number;” the two first letters of anariqmhtoi being omitted.  H. The Church reads in her office for S. Stephen, Lapides torrentis illi dulces fuerunt: ipsum sequuntur omnes animæ justæ.  Many explain this passage of Job as a menace.  The wicked have carried their insolence so far as to (C.) give orders to (H.) be buried with the utmost pomp: but in the other world, they shall be thrown ignominiously among the other dead.  S. Greg. &c.  C. They were little moved with the thought of death, as it was common to all.  But what will they think of eternal misery?  H.

 

Ver. 34.  Vain.  These arguments shew that your assertions are destitute of proof, and afford me no comfort.  C.

 

 

JOB 22

 

CHAPTER XXII.

 

Ver. 2.  Knowledge.  How then canst thou dispute with God?

 

Ver. 3.  Profit.  God rules all with justice or with mercy: since, therefore, he punishes, it must be for some guilt, and not for his own advantage.  But he might still chastise for the good of man, or to manifest his own power.   Jo. ix. 3.  God also punishes the sinner for the wrong which he does to himself.  S. Aug. Conf. iii. 8.  Any one may discover the sophism of Eliphaz.  If God were indifferent with regard to our virtue, who would be able to advance one step towards him?  C. Man is unprofitable indeed to God, but he may reap great advantage from piety himself; and this is what God desires, as well as his own glory.  Mat. v. 17.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Fear.  Thus malefactors are condemned, that they may no longer disturb society.  But may not God afflict the just, though he have nothing to fear?  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Iniquities.  He adduces no fresh arguments, but boldly taxes Job with many crimes, which a person in his station might have committed.  He rashly concludes that he must have fallen into some of them at least.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Pledge.  Heb. “person.”  Debtors might be sold.  Matt. xviii. 30.

 

Ver. 7.  Water.  Job’s disposition was the reverse.  C. xxix. 15.  Such inhumanity would hardly be conceived possible among us.  But he Idumeans were guilty of it; (Num. xx. 18.  Isai. xxi. 14.) and if it had not been probable, Eliphaz would not have dared to speak thus.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  It.  Heb. and Sept. intimate that Job accepted persons, and gave sentence in favour of his rich friends.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Arms; possessions, condemning orphans unjustly.

 

Ver. 11.  Waters, and misery, (C.) which such conduct deserved.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Stars: and of course, that his Providence regardeth not human affairs.  C. When an infidel observed, “I think the gods are too great to want my adoration,” Socrates well replied, “The greater they appear to thee, the more oughtest thou to treat them with respect and honour.”  Xenophon, Memor.

 

Ver. 14.  Doth.  Heb. “seeth not.”  Sept. “is not seen.” Poles, on which the whole machine seems to turn.  C. “Hipparchus intimated that there would be a time when the hinges, or poles of heaven, would be moved out of their places.”  Colum. i. 1.  Heb. and Sept. (according to Origen’s edition, v. 13 to 16) “he walketh about in the circuit of heaven.”  H.

Immortali ævo summâ cum pace fruatur

                        Semota a nostris rebus, sejunctaque longè.  Lucret.

This was the error of the Egyptians, (Arist. Mun. 84.) which Eliphaz unjustly lays to the charge of Job, as heretics often impute condemned tenets to Catholics.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Wicked.  Sept. Alex. “just.”  But Grabe substitutes unjust; (H.) as otherwise, Eliphaz would argue against his own principles: unless just be put ironically for hypocrites.  C. Wilt thou imitate the ancient giants, before the deluge?  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Flood.  Heb. “river,” (Sept.  C.) or “flood.”  Prot.  This does not certainly allude to the deluge, though Job could not be unacquainted with an event (H.) which appears in the writings of the most ancient pagan authors.  Grot. Relig.

 

Ver. 18.  From me.  He thus insinuates that Job entertained such sentiments, though he seemed to condemn them.  C. xxi. 16.  C. Sept. “is far from him,” God.

 

Ver. 19.  Shall.  Sept. “saw.”  The Jews explain this of Noe, who saw the ruin of the giants with pity, mixed with joy, as he approved of the divine judgments.  Vatab. &c. The just can thus rejoice, only on this account; as they would not be just if they were devoid of charity.  S. Greg.  Ps. lvii. 11. and cvi. 42.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Their.  Heb. “our.”  C. “Whereas our substance is not cut down.”  Prot.  H. But the Sept. and Chal. agree with the Vulg. which gives a better sense. Fire, which consumed Sodom, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Law of Moses, (Rabbins) or rather (H.) the natural law, which teaches that God is just, and deserves to be adored.  He addresses Job, as if he had acknowledged no law or restraint.

 

Ver. 24.  Gold, to build and adorn thy habitation, v. 23.  Heb. “He will give thee gold instead of dust; (or more abundant) yea, gold of the torrents of Ophir.”  The Phasis is said to roll gold dust, which is of the purest kind.  Gen. ii. 11.  C. “Thou shalt lay upon gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir, as the stones of the brooks.”  Prot.  H. This is an exaggeration, (3 K. x. 27.  C.) and a sort of proverb, intimating that strength and plenty should succeed to infirmity.  The foundations should be the hard rock, instead of earth, &c.

 

Ver. 25.  Silver.  Sept. “But he shall purify thee, as silver, which has passed the fire.”  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Face, with confidence of being in favour and accepted.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Vows, after obtaining thy requests.  M.

Et positis aris jam vota in littore solves.  Æn. iii.

 

Ver. 28.  Decree.  Thy projects shall succeed.  Sept. “But he shall appoint for thee the rule of justice.”  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Glory, as the gospel declares.  Mat. xxiii. 12.  The Heb. is more perplexed.  “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, there is lifting up.”  Prot. (H.) or “when thy eyes shall be cast down, they shall say to thee, Arise.”  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Innocent.  Heb. “He shall deliver even the man who is not innocent, and that for the sake of the purity of thy hands.”  Chal. Jun. &c. God will even spare the guilty, to manifest the regard which he has for the intercession of the saints.  These interpreters have taken ai in the same sense as ain, which is the case, 1 K. iv. 21.  C. Others explain, “He shall deliver the island of the innocent, and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.”  Prot.  This also would shew the merit and protection of the saints, as a whole island may owe its safety to one of God’s servants.  In effect, the would stands by the prayers of the saints.  H. All that has been said from v. 21. tends to shew that God favours his friends; and, consequently, that he would never have punish Job, if he had not been guilty.  C.

 

 

JOB 23

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Bitterness.  Instead of comfort, he only meets with insult from his friends.  He therefore appeals to God, (W.) but with fear.  C. Scourge, is not in Heb.  M. But it explains the meaning of “my hand,” (H.) or the heavy chastisement (S. Greg.) which I endure.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Nor.  Prot. “No, but he would put strength in me.”  He would enable me to stand my trial.  H. He would lay no falsehood to my charge.

 

Ver. 7.  Victory.  Before such a judge I should hope to be acquitted.  Job must have been well convinced of his innocence.  For woe to man, if God treat him according to the rigour of his justice!  C. Sept. “For truth and reproof are with him.  But, oh! that he would bring my judgment to an end.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  East, or Heb. “before…if behind I cannot perceive him.”  C. Where, then, shall I find this just judge? v. 3.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Right, southward. See.  The southern part of the heavens, or the antarctic stars would not be discerned in Idumea.  C. ix. 9.  C. Job speaks in a human manner, as he was not ignorant of God’s immensity.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Fire.  They had not a stone, like the Greeks, to try gold.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Lips, given to Noe, (Gen. ix. 5.) or to Moses.  This work was written by a Jew, who dresses up the sentiments of Job in his own style.  The holy man was also acquainted with the Mosaic dispensation, though he was not bound to observe the ceremonial part of it.  C. His words, may, however, be verified, though he speak only of the natural law, or of that which was preserved by tradition of the patriarchs, as both proceeded from God.  H. Hid.  Prot. “esteemed…more than my necessary food.”  H. Sept. agree with the Vulg.  The ancients placed in their bosom what they greatly esteemed.  The Turks still use it as a pocket.  Thevenot xxii.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Alone.  Self-existent.  Heb. “in one thing,” or resolution.  He is immutable: all I could say would avail nothing.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  With him, to punish me afresh.  Heb. “when he shall have appointed me my portion, he shall still have many such.”  He may treat me as a slave, allowing me only a certain portion of meat.  Prov. xxx. 8. and xxxi. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Face.  My afflictions have  not yet taken away my life, as might have been expected.  H. I am less affected with my miseries, than with the dread of God’s presence, v. 15. 16.  C.

 

 

JOB 24

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Days, when he will be punished.  M. They are convinced it will be sometime: while the wicked flatter themselves with impunity.  W. Job has already shewn that his complaints had not been excessive, and that they were extorted chiefly by the dread which he had of God.  He now comes to prove that he had not denied Providence.  For though he asserted that the wicked were sometimes at ease, he maintained that there was another world, where all would be set to rights.  Without this the book would be inexplicable.  C. Know him.  Sept. “the impious.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Marks.  This was a heinous offence, (Deut. xix. 14.) which Numa punished with death.  Halyc. i.  C. And fed.  Sept. “and those who fed them.”

 

Ver. 4.  Poor, by oppression, not allowing them to get their bread, or to walk on the same road.  C. And have.  Heb. and Sept. “the meek…have hidden themselves together.”

 

Ver. 5.  Others.  Heb. “Behold as,” (H.) which may be explained of these oppressors, or rather of the poor, who are forced to flee before them to seek for food.  C. The Vulg. and Sept. seem more favourable to the former supposition.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Not, is omitted by the Prot.  H. Heb. “they reap in the field food for the cattle.”  C. His.  Heb. “the wicked man’s vineyard.”  H. They do not examine whether the person whom they plunder be just or not.  C. Sept. “they have reaped before the season the field which was not theirs.  But the poor (helpless men) have laboured in the vineyards of the wicked without wages or meat.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Cold.  Heb. is still ambiguous, as it may be understood either of the oppressor or of the poor.  The cruelty here reprobated is contrary to the law.  Ex. xxii. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Stones, for their bed, though they be so wet.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Robbed.  Heb. and Sept. “snatched from the breast.” Stript.  Sept. “knocked down.”  Heb. “taken a pledge of, or seized the poor.”  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Corn, which they had gleaned for their daily sustenance.  Heb. also, “the poor, perishing through hunger, carry the sheaf” of the rich.

 

Ver. 11.  Of them.  Heb. “of corn, and thirst while pressing out their olives.”  C. Prot. “they take away the sheaf from the hungry, (11) which make oil within their walls, and tread their wine-presses, and suffer thirst,” (H.) not being allowed to taste any thing, though the law of Moses would not suffer even the ox to be muzzled.  Deut. xxv. 4.  The rich look on without pity, taking their rest at noon, amid the heaps which really belong to the poor, whom they force to labour for them.

 

Ver. 12.  Suffer.  Heb. “and God suffers no disorder,” according to you.  C. Sym. “God inspireth not folly: but they have,” &c. v. 13.  Sept. “But why does he not regard,” (H.) or punish these things?  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Light of reason and humanity.  C. Pineda understands that they have sought darkness, (v. 14.) to do evil.  But this expression would be too harsh.  C. Heretics, acting against their own conscience, are stricken with blindness, so that they see not the truth.  S. Greg. xvi. 26.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Thief.  Oppressing the poor, (Ven. Bede) and taking away their bread.  Eccli. xxxiv. 25.

 

Ver. 15.  Face.  Sept. insinuate “with a mask.”  Prot. “disguiseth his face.”

 

Ver. 16.  Themselves.  The band of robbers had marked out their prey.  H. Heb. “In the day time they lie concealed, and know not the light.”  C. Sept. or rather Theodotion, from whom v. 15 to 17. is taken, “They have sealed themselves up during the day.”  If we should read eautoiV, Heb. lamo, we might translate as well “they marked them out for themselves.”  H. The adulterer had made is his arrangement with the faithless woman, when he should break into the house.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Death.  They are as much afraid of the light as others are of profound darkness.  C. They dread being detected.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  He is light, &c.  That is, the adulterer, that he may not be perceived and discovered, steps as nimbly and as light as if her were walking upon the waters.  Or the sense is: he is as light, that is, as swift and nimble as the running waters. By the way of the vineyards.  That is, by the way where he may meet with fruit and blessings.  Ch. The wicked are always inconstant.  C.  Isai. lvii. 29. He deserves no temporal nor eternal happiness.  If he were deprived of the former, he might perhaps endeavour to escape the torments of hell.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Let.  Heb. “Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so doth the grave those which have sinned.”  Prot.  Ch.  H. The wicked die quickly, and without a lingering illness.  Piscat. What foundation, therefore, has the hell of cold as well as of fire? says Amama.  S. Jerom (in Matt. x.) observes, “We read very plainly in the Book of Job that there is a double gehenna, both of too much heat and of too much cold;” the latter occasions the gnashing of teeth.  Mat. viii.  Carthus. “In this world people pass through a medium or temperate state.  But in hell, they pass from the excess of tormenting cold to that of burning fire; they will know no medium, because in this life they proceeded from one vice to another, even to the heat of lust.  Albertus Magnus.  H. Therefore they are punished with torments of a contrary nature.  W. They go from the coldness of infidelity to the heat of heresy; (S. Greg.) from one calamity to another.  Sa. Sept. ” For they have torn away the arm of the orphans.  Then his or their sin has been remembered, and, like a dew-drop, he has disappeared.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Sweetness.  These will inherit him; (H.) for here all his pleasures will terminate.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Fed the barren.  That is, the harlot.  Or else, he hath fed; that is, he hath fed upon the barren; that is, the poor and desolate.  Ch. He has not had posterity, but pleasure, in view, when he married. Rabbins. Sept. agree with the Vulg.  H. But most explain the Heb. “He hath oppressed the barren;” which may denote those whose husband and children have been slain.  C. No good, but even dealt with them dishonestly.  Cajetan.

 

Ver. 22.  Down.  Heb. “taketh along with him his guards for his defence.  He riseth and is not sure of his life,” fearing lest his enemies may still overpower him.  This is a description of the tyrant’s continual anxiety.  C. Prot. “And no man is sure of life,” may intimate that the wicked put all men in danger.  H. He who puts others in fear, must also be alarmed.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  God.  Sept. “being sick, let him not expect to be healed, but he shall fall under sickness.”  Heb. “Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth, yet his eyes are upon their ways,” (Prot.) or “he has given (H.) himself, or appointed them (guards) for his defence, and rests on them; yet his eyes,” &c.  He suspects the fidelity of his servants.  C. Pride.  Man abuseth by his free-will the time which God had allowed him to repent from former sins.  Rom. ii.  W.

 

Ver. 25.  And set.  Sept. and Prot. “and make my speech nothing worth.”  H. This conclusion come frequently.  C. ix. 15. and xvii. 15.  Job defies his friends to shew the fallacy of his arguments, or that the wicked do not enjoy prosperity, though they may be inwardly miserable.  C.

 

 

JOB 25

 

CHAPTER XXV.

 

Ver. 1.  Answered.  He directs his attack against Job’s desiring to plead before God, and gives a wrong statement of his request, which he also attempts to refute, by urging the same inconclusive arguments as before.  C. Blind and obstinate disputers still repeat the same objections; (W.) as Protestants do against the Catholic doctrines, which have been so often and so ably defended.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Places.  Directing all the heavenly bodies with perfect harmony.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Soldiers.  The works of the whole creation, particularly the stars and angels.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Clean.  Job had used a similar expression, as well as Eliphaz.  C. iv. 17. and xiv. 4. and xv. 15.  The holy man did not assert that he was free from sin, but only that God did not punish him (C.) so dreadfully (H.) on that account, and that he has just reasons for afflicting his servants, if it were only to manifest his own power and glory.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Sight, compared with him.  The most beautiful things in nature are nothing; and of course, the most just are all imperfection, when left to themselves.  C.

 

 

JOB 26

 

CHAPTER XXVI.

 

Ver. 4.  Life.  Sept. also seem to understand this of God.  C. Job does not blame his friends for undertaking to approve the ways of Providence, but for condemning himself (S. Chrys.) rashly, (H.) and, with an air of haughtiness, endeavouring to restrain him from pleading his cause before the divine tribunal.  M. Heb. “Whose spirit came from thee?”  Prot. (H.) Did I receive my life, or do I seek advice from thee?  C. God stood in  no need of Baldad’s wisdom (W.) no more than Job.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  With them.  The less and greater fishes, (M.) or rather the giants and others who were buried in the waters of the deluge, and are confined in the dungeons of hell.  The poets speak in the same manner.

Hic genus antiquum terræ, Titania pubes,

                        Fulmine dejecti fundo voluntur in imo.

                        Aliis sub gurgite vasto,

                        Infectum eluitur scelus aut exuritur  igni.”  Æn. vi.

Homer (Iliad viii.) and Hesiod (Theog.) place the giants at the extremity of the earth, in the utmost darkness.  See also Prov. ix. 18.  Isai. xiv. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Hell.  The grave. Destruction.  Heb. abaddon.  H. S. John (Apoc. ix. 11.) styles the bottomless abyss; (C.) or its angel, (H.) Abaddon, or Apollyon.  It may here be called destruction, (C.) as all its victims are lost for ever to every thing that is good.  The obscurity of the grave, and even that of hell, can hide nothing from God.

 

Ver. 7.  North pole, which alone was visible in Idumea, and continued unmoved, while all the stars performed their revolutions.  C. Nothing.  Terra, pilæ similis, nullo fulcimine nixa.  Ovid, Fast. vi.  C. All tends to the centre, (M.) by the laws of attraction.  Newton, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Clouds, as in a vessel or garment.  Prov. xxx. 4.

 

Ver. 9.  Over it.  The firmament, with all its beauty, is but like a cloud, to conceal from our feeble eyes the splendor of God’s throne.

 

Ver. 10.  End.  Till the end of the world, the ocean will respect these limits.  H. The ancients  looked upon it as a continual miracle that the world was not deluged, as the waters are higher than the earth.  Jer. v. 22.  Amos v. 8.  S. Bas. and S. Amb. Hexem.  Cicero, Nat. ii. Philosophers have explained this phenomenon.  But it is still certain that the power and wisdom of God preserve the equilibrium, without which all would return to the ancient chaos.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Heaven.  The mountains are so styled by Pindar; and the poets represent them supporting the heavens.  Totum ferre potest humeris minitantibus orbem.  Petron. Yet others understand that power which keeps all things together, (C.) or the angels, to whose rule the ancients attributed the celestial bodies.  S. Greg.  Ven. Bede, &c.

 

Ver. 12.  Together, at the beginning.  Gen. i. 9.  Heb. “By his strength he has divided the sea; and by his wisdom he has pierced the proud, or Egypt.”  Rahab, (H.) or Rachab, is often put for Egypt; (Ps. lxxxviii. 11.) and all would naturally have concluded that the fall of Pharao was pointed at, if it had not been supposed that Job lived before that event.  That is, however, dubious.  Isaias (li. 9.) uses the same terms in describing the fall of this tyrant.  C. Yet the Sept. translate, “the whale,” (H.) or some sea monster, which God holds in subjection, (Pineda) like the weakest creature.  H. The foaming billows (M.) are likewise subject to his control.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Heavens, with stars, &c.  Ps. xxxii. 6.  Wisd. i. 7.  God also sends winds to disperse the clouds, that the heavens may appear.  C. Artful, (obstetricante) “being the midwife.”  The least things are ruled by Providence.  W. Serpent; a constellation, lightning, the devil, or rather the leviathan.  Isai. xxvii. 1.  Drusius.  C. Sept. “by his decree, he killed the apostate dragon.”  H. But there is no need of having recourse to allegory.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Drop.  This comparison is often applied to speech.  Deut. xxxii. 2.  Isai. lv. 10.  If the little that we know of God’s works give us such an exalted idea of his greatness, what should we think if we could fully comprehend his mysteries?  C.

 

 

JOB 27

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Parable: speaking in a figurative poetic style, Num. xxiii. 7.  Job grants that God generally punishes the wicked, but he maintains that he also chastises the just; and hence admonishes all to revere his judgments and wisdom, and to decline from evil; which truths must always subsist, whatever my be the conduct of Providence.  C. Parables do not always imply similies, but sometimes pithy, and profound sentences, spoken by the wisest men.

 

Ver. 2.  Judgment.  Chal. “my rule of judging.”  Sept. “Live the Lord, who hath judged me thus.”  Sym. “hath despised my judgment.”  The expression seems very harsh, and may be one of those which God blames.  C. xl. 3.  E.  C. Yet we shall examine that point later.  C. xlii.  H. He may only mean that he is so well convinced of his innocence, that he calls God to witness it, (C.) and adores his ways, (H.) in not permitting him to appear before his tribunal, (C.) to justify himself; (M.) so the he is abandoned to the rash judgments of others.  C. xxxiv. 5.  Isaias (xl. 27.) and Sophonias (iii. 15.) speak in similar terms.  C. God deferred passing sentence, for Job’s greater trial.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Nostrils: while I live.  H. Gen. ii. 7.  Ezec. xxxvii. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Till.  Never will I abandon this path, (H.) nor will I yield to your reasons, (C.) or cease to defend myself.  M. It would have been contrary to justice and charity, (H.) as well as to truth, to confess a false crime.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Enemy, or opponent.  Heb. “my enemy shall be,” &c.  H. In effect, those who maintained the contrary to what Job taught, favoured the cause of impiety, as they represented God never punishing his servants, &c. (C.) which is contrary to experience; (H.) though it was not so evident at that time.  Houbigant. Job is so far from thinking riches a proof of sanctity, that he rather would wish his enemy to have them, (M.) as they are too frequently an incentive to sin.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Soul, in death: What will it profit? &c.  Mat. xvi. 26.  All this proves demonstratively another world.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Him.  Like Antiochus, the wicked pray only through fear of punishment, and their request is therefore rejected.  2 Mac. ix. 13.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Hand, or grace of God. Hath, how he acts, and with what design.  C. Quid disponat Deus.  S. Aug.

 

Ver. 13.  Portion.  This you have repeatedly asserted; and (H.) I acknowledge it is generally, but not always, the case.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Bread.  Sept. “if they grow up to manhood, they shall beg.”  Ps. xxxvi 25.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  In death; without honour.  Sanctius. Weep for him.  Sept. “his widows no one shall lament, or pity.”  H.  Ps. lxxvii. 63.  M.

 

Ver. 18.  Moth.  Heb. “as the polar star.”  Jun. But the Chal. &c. translate with the Vulg. which agrees better with the latter part of the verse.  The moth devours another’s property, like the wicked man, who lodges commodiously, though not at his own expense. Keeper of a field, or of a vineyard.  C. Sept. “His house has slipt away like a moth, and what he has kept (or his riches) like a spider.”  H. The moth demolishes its own house, and is then disturbed, (M.) or thrown with the rotten wood into the fire.

 

Ver. 19.  Nothing.  His riches are all left behind!  The men of riches have slept their sleep, and have found nothing in their hands.  They awake as from a dream, (C. xx. 8.  H.) and then they form a true estimate of things.  M. God chiefly punishes the wicked in death.  Ps. lxxv.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Night.  Darkness often denotes disgrace and misery.

 

Ver. 22.  And he (God) shall, or Sept. the wind, (C.) “shall fall upon him.”  H. Flee.  Yet he will not escape, (M.) though he flee with all expedition.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Place.  God having waited patiently a long time, at last displays the effects of his indignation, with a sort of contempt.  Prov. i. 26.  Ezec. v. 13.  C.  Ps. ii. 4.  M.  Pineda. Every passenger who shall witness his fall, and his now abandoned place, shall also testify his approbation.  H.

 

 

JOB 28

 

CHAPTER XXVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Silver.  Heb. “Surely there is a vein, or mine, for silver.”  H. The sagacity of man has discovered all these things.  Wonderful also is the instinct of animals, v. 7.  Yet wisdom comes from God alone; and those act rashly, who pretend to dive into his counsels in punishing his creatures and ruling the world.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Stone.  Prot. “and brass is molten out of the stone.”  H. “When brass comes out of the mine it resembles stone, and being mixed with earth is refined in the fire.”  Pliny xxxvi. 27.  M. All this process would require much ingenuity and time.  Tubalcain was a great artist before the deluge; (Gen. iv. 22.) but we cannot tell who were the inventors of these things, though (C.) the Greeks have specified the names of some who introduced these metals into their respective countries.  Pliny vii. 56.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  He (God) hath, &c.  H. Darkness, before which these inventions could not be made; (M.) or, man has been able to measure the hours of day and  night by the shadow of the sun, and by other means.  He always strives to perfect his works, and examines with care the mines which lay concealed in the most profound obscurity.  C. Precious stones and metals lie the deepest.  M. From the consideration of these beautiful works, men ought to raise their minds to the Creator, and wisely rest in him alone.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  At.  Nations are separated by waters from each other.  C. Some, like the Chinese, keep all strangers at a distance.  H. But the industry of man breaketh through all barriers.  Heb. “a river separates a foreign  nation forgotten by travellers; but these waters cannot stop man: they flow away.”  C. “The flood breaketh out from the inhabitants, even the waters; forgotten of the foot, they are dried up; they are gone away from men.”  Prot.  “Sand cuts off a torrent: but those who forget the way of justice, have become infirm, and have been instable among mortals.”  Sept.  H. Travellers are sometimes parted by a swelling torrent; (Sa) and waters, bursting forth suddenly, change the roads of man.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  In its, &c.  Heb. and Sept. “and under it is turned up as it were fire,” which lies in it.  H. Fire, like Sodom; to which event Job alludes, C. xxii. 20.  C. The furnaces to melt various metals have taken the place of corn, and occupy the land.  M. Men have extracted bitumen, &c. even from the lake of Sodom.  Pliny vii. 15. Nothing escapes them.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Sapphires.  The best are found in Media, in the country of the Taphyri, (Ptol.) or Raspires.  Herod. iii. 94. Gold.  This precious metal, like all others, is found in the bowels of the earth, (H.) and in the bed of rivers, in Ophir, Peru, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Path of these metals, (M.) or a path in general.  H. They fly, as beasts roam about, without keeping the high road; yet never miss their way, or fail to return to their own place, though they may have crossed the sea or woods, and been absent many months.  This instinct is one of the wonders of nature.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Merchants, who go the shortest road.  H. Heb. “of lions,” which find their deans without asking for the path.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Roots, in quest of precious metals.  M. Imus in viscera terræ et in sede Marium opes quærimus.”  Pliny xxxiii. pref.

Effodiuntur opes, irritamenta malorum.  Ovid, Met. i.

 

Ver. 10.  Rivers.  Or, the waters lodged in the mines.  M. He hath even cut canals through the hardest rocks, (H.) and sunk wells.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Searched, by diving; (C.) or, Heb. “he bindeth the rivers from flowing;” diverting their course by dams, &c.  This is another proof of the power of man.  C. Labor omnia vincit.  Hor.

 

Ver. 12.  Understanding, of supernatural things, which teaches us to love God, and to comprehend his counsels.  This is very different from the human sagacity of which he has been speaking; and this is the gift of God alone.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Price. It has none, like other precious things.  Bar. iii. 15. In delights is not expressed in Heb. or Sept.  C. But to live in misery is hardly to be accounted living, (H.) and the addition restrains the proposition, as some men possess this treasure, though not those who take no pains (C.) to mortify corrupt nature.  H. Chal. “it is not found in the land of the proud, whose life is spent in sin.”  C. True wisdom is found, not in natural, but in supernatural, things.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Finest, obrizum, which has the colour of fire.  Pliny xxiii. 3.  The old Vulg. and Sept. read “locked-up gold,” aurum conclusum, (C.) and the Heb. Segor, (H.) “that which is shut up,” like things of value: gold is sometimes specified, 3 K. vi. 20.

 

Ver. 16.  Dyed, &c.  Heb. cethem ophir, (H.) “the shut up” (gold, though the Vulg. Sept. &c. vary in the interpretation) “of Ophir.”  This country was famous for its gold.  C. Its situation is not clearly ascertained.  S. Jerom seems to have placed it in India, which Josephus, “in the golden country,” now Malacca. Stone.  Prot. onyx.  Heb. shoham (H.) means, probably, the emerald.  Gen. ii. 12.  C. But these names are very indeterminate.  Theodotion, from whom grater part of this chapter is inserted in the Sept. has “the gold of Ophir, and the precious onyx and sapphire.”  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Gold.  This is the third time it has been mentioned, according to its different degrees of excellence.  Hence it is called by the most common name, (C.) zahab.  H. Crystal was formerly more “transparent” than we have it at present.  C. Zecucith (H.) denotes something of this kind.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Things.  Heb. Ramoth and Gabish (H.) are terms much controverted.  The first may denote the unicorns, (Deut. xxxiii. 17.) and the latter the thunderbolt, or ceraunia, which were in high request.  Pliny xxxvii. 9.  Ezechiel (xiii. 11. and xxvii. 16.) mentions the former as carried by merchants to Tyre.  These stones, which fell from the sky, were used by the Parthian magi, &c. for secret purposes.  They have given rise to many fabulous accounts.  Those which are to be seen, are by no means beautiful.  C. Yet if the people esteemed them, Job might well include them among other things of most value.  Prot. “No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls, for the price of wisdom is above rubies.”  H. The latter part of the verse would be rather, “the fishing for wisdom would be more difficult than that for pearls;” (C.) or, “the extraction of wisdom is above the drawing for of peninim.”  H. The pinna is a kind of fish which is fastened to the bottom of the sea, by roots, of which the byssus was made.  1 Par. xv. 27.  Pearls were commonly found in the Persian Gulf, near Idumea.  The art of diving for them, and extracting them from the fish, was very difficult, but nothing in comparison with the labour requisite to discover wisdom.  The ancients describe some pearls of a reddish gold colour.  Athen. iii. 13.  Jer. Lam. iv. 7. Adam, which is interpreted red, in Jeremias, means also any thing very shining; in which sense the word purpureus is used.  Hor. vi. Ode 1.  Bochart, Anim. p. 2, b. v. vi. (C.) and t. iii. 681. 91.  The opinion of this author seems preferable to that of Hutchinson and Cooke, who would translate peninim (H.) by “loadstones or magnets,” which the former says are like “reddish clay,” though they are really of a dusky iron grey, sometimes tinged with brown or red.  This complexion would not be very beautiful.  Yet the Nazarites are compared to peninim, (Lam. iv.) and to snow, (Parkhurst) as they were of a most fair red and white, like pearls.  H. Though the ancients seem to have been acquainted with the loadstone or magnetic needle, particularly the Phenicians (Odys. viii. 556.) and Chinese, for many ages, yet it was never so common as to form a popular comparison.  Aquila renders the word in question, periblepta, “conspicuous things;” and pearls were certainly highly valued by the Jews, &c.  Parkhurst, in pone. Theodotion, in the Sept. “draw forth wisdom before the inmost things.” Both these versions agree with the Vulg. as the most precious goods are kept out of sight.  H. Yet the deepest mines of gold do not require so much diligence and sagacity for us to discover and possess them, as wisdom does; but, in return, it will abundantly recompense the man who finds such a treasure.  Eccli. vi. 19. and 24.  Pineda.

 

Ver. 19.  Ethiopia, on the east of the Red Sea.  Pliny (vi. 29.) mentions the isle of Chuthis, which was also famous for the topaz. Dying.  Heb. cethem, (H.) which we have observed relates to gold, v. 16.

 

Ver. 22.  Destruction.  Heb. abaddon, which is before (C. xxvi. 6.) used to signify the bottomless abyss.  There, too late! the dead become acquainted with the value and nature of wisdom.  H. But their knowledge is imperfect, and of no use to us.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Measure.  He regulates the winds, and know the drops of water, (H.) which to man is impossible.  Prov. xvi. 2.

 

Ver. 26.  Storms; or Heb. “for the lightning, which attends thunder.”  C.

 

Ver. 27.  It.  All the works of God proclaim his wisdom.  H. He never made an acquisition of it, but possessed it from all eternity.  Prov. viii. 23.

 

Ver. 28.  Understanding.  This is the duty of man, and a thing of the utmost importance.  This teaches us to adore God’s judgments (C.) in silence.  H. It is the most important instruction of the whole book.  Pineda. Man must consider God’s works to fear Him; and by avoiding evil, and doing good, (W.) to shew true wisdom.  H.

 

 

JOB 29

 

CHAPTER XXIX.

 

Ver. 2.  Me.  Job perceiving that his friends made no reply, (C.) and yet did not appear satisfied, (H.) explains how he had behaved in prosperity, in answer to the insinuations of Eliphaz; (C. xxii. 5.) and what miseries he now experienced; though he maintains these were not inflicted on account of his sins.  He continues this discourse in the two next chapters.  C. He wishes to be restored to his former state, for his own vindication, (H.) and that he might exercise the works of mercy.  Ven. Bede.

 

Ver. 4.  Youth.  Heb. also “autumn or winter,” which are seasons of repose, when people enjoy the fruits of their labours. Tabernacle, and  all consulted me as an oracle.  C. Sept. “when God made the visit of my house,” (H.) and filled it with blessings, like that of Obededom, 2 K. vi. 12.

 

Ver. 6.  Butter.  Many understand “cream.”  But butter was used to anoint the body, as well as oil.  Non omittendum in eo (butyro) olei vim esse, & Barbaros omnes infantesque nostros ita ungi.  Pliny ix. 41. Oil.  These hyperbolical expressions denote the utmost fertility.  Gen. xlix. 11.  C. Sept. have “milk.”  On all sides, Job could behold his rich pastures and cattle, (H.) so that he might have washed his feet in butter and milk.  The rocks also were covered with olive trees; (M.) or the stone used for a press made the oil gush forth.  Cajet.  Sa.

 

Ver. 7.  To the gate.  Sept. “early.” Chair, or throne, where Job sat in judgment.  H. It appears evident that he was the prince in his city.  Idumea had at first several petty kings at the same time.  Gen. xxxvi. 15.  C. But Job had several princes (ver. 9.  H.) under him.  Pineda.

 

Ver. 11.  Gave.  Sept. “winked,” through approbation.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Diligently, not passing sentence at random.  I also endeavoured to do justice to those who durst not make any complaint.  The prince ought to have an eye to all things.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Prey, which he had extorted from the poor.  M.

 

Ver. 18.  Nest, in security, and among my children.  C. Palm-tree.  Sept. “But I said, my youth shall grow old like the shoot of the palm-tree: I shall live a long time.”  This is clearly the meaning of this version, (H.) as appears from the word stelecoV, “a shoot (C.) or trunk.”  M. Yet as foinix, signifies also “a Phœnician, and the phœnix,” some have explained this passage of the latter, which seems agreeable to the mention of a nest.  Many fabulous accounts have been given of this bird, of which only one is supposed to exist at a time, rising from its parent’s ashes; which, if true, (C.) would have been very (H.) beautifully applicable to a future resurrection.  S. Clem. ep. 1 Cor.  S. Amb. de fide Res. ii. 59, &c.  See Solin, xlii.  Tacit. Ann. vi.  This uncertain bird may have been confounded with the bird of Paradise.  Palm-trees live a long time, and multiply shoots all round them surprisingly.  Pliny xiii. 4. and xvi. 44. Yet the Scripture never elsewhere uses the term eul for this tree.  The moderns generally translate, “I shall multiply my days like the sand,” which is a very common expression.  C.  Diss. The following verse seems, however, favourable to the sense of the Sept. and Vulg. though the heavy nature of sand, which “remains” in its place, might serve to express the confidence which Job had of continuing for a long time in the midst of prosperity.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Harvest.  Prot. “branch.”  Ps. i. 3.  Isai. xviii. 4.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Bow, strength.  I thought my glory would never end.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  Shower, in autumn, at which season only, and in spring, it rained in those countries.  C.  Deut. xi. 14.  M. It would, of course, be very acceptable after the drought of summer.  Prov. xvi. 15.

 

Ver. 24.  Earth, with neglect.  C. My attendants could scarcely believe their own eyes, through joy, (H.) when I assumed a more familiar air with them.  C. They still revered my authority.  M.

 

Ver. 25.  With.  Heb. “in his army, like one comforting people in mourning.”  H. Job was not merely as, or like a king, but also one in effect; exercising the power, (v. 7.) and wearing the royal robes, v. 14.  S. Isid.  Ven. Bede, &c.  W.

 

 

JOB 30

 

CHAPTER XXX.

 

Ver. 1.  Flock, to watch over them.  Sanchez.  C. I had so little confidence in them, (H.) or they were so very mean.  C. They were not as well fed as my dogs.  Nicetas. Job does not speak this out of contempt, as he was affable to all.  But this proverbial expression denotes how vile these people were.  M. Even the most contemptible, and such as were not fit to have the care of dogs, derided him.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  And they.  Heb. “Their old age is perished.”  They were good for nothing all their lives.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Who.  Heb. “solitary in,” &c.  Yet these vagabond (H.) people  now insult over me.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Grass.  “There (in Crete, where no noxious animal, no serpent lives) the herb alimos, being chewed, expels hunger for the day;” admorsa diurnam famem prohibet.  Solin. 17. The Heb. malliuch, is rendered halima, by the Sept. (H.) and Bochart would translate, “who gather the halima from the bush.”  C. Prot. “who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.”  H. Yet all agree that the latter is not proper for food.  C. Rethamim may (H.) designate any “shrubs or wild herbs,” as the Sept. and Symmachus have explained it.  C. Perhaps the very poor people might use the juniper or broom roots for food, (M.) or to burn in order to prepare their victuals.  H. The Arabs and Spaniards still use the word retama for “the birch-tree.”  Parkhurst.

 

Ver. 5.  Who.  Sept. “through excessive hunger.  Robbers rushed upon me.”  Prot. “They were driven forth from among men; (the cried after them as after a thief.”)  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Gravel of the torrents.  M. Heb. “in the rocks,” living like the Troglodites.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Pleased.  Heb. “brayed.”  C. Briars.  Prot. “nettles.”  They were driven from the society of men and forced to abscond.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  And not.  Heb. “viler than the earth.”  Prot.

 

Ver. 9.  Bye-word.  “Proverb.”  H. They speak of me with contempt.  C. xvii. 6.

 

Ver. 10.  Face.  This most people explain literally; while some, (C.) as Job was herein a figure of Christ, (M.  Matt. xxvi.  W.) think that the expression denotes the utmost contempt; (S. Greg. &c.) or that the people spit upon the ground (C.) for fear of contracting any infection; (H.) and because lepers were held in the utmost abhorrence.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  For he.  Prot. “Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me,” (H.) being no longer under any restraint.  Sometimes it was customary to put bits  into the mouth of a person who was led to execution.  Isai. xxxvii. 29.  C. The Heb. plural, have put, insinuates the plurality of persons in God, (W.) though it may be as well referred to the enemies of Job.

 

Ver. 12.  Forthwith.  Heb. pirchach seems to be translated (H.) by three terms, rising, calamities, and forthwith, as it denotes “a bud” which suddenly appears.  C. Sept. Blaston, “On the right hand of the bud they rose up.”  H. Heb. “Youth stood up on the right,” to accuse me; (Ps. cviii. 6.) or, “Scarcely had I begun to flourish, when they rose up,” &c.  The days of prosperity soon vanished, (C.) and young men were ready to insult the distressed, and, as it were, to trip them up.  M. Sept. “they stretched out their feet and trampled upon me, that they might destroy me.”  H. They seem to  have read (C.) regliem, “their feet,” though the two last letters are now omitted in Heb.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Help them, or me.  C.  Sept. “they took off my garment.”  H. Job seemed to be besieged, and could not escape.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Down, (devoluti sunt.)  They have proceeded to aggravate my misfortunes.  H. “They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.  Prot.

 

Ver. 15.  Nothing.  Heb. “terror.”  H. Desire.  Heb. “princess,” reason.  C. Prot. “soul.”  Sept. “my hope has flown away like wind.”  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Fadeth.  Heb. “is poured out,”  (H.) ready to take its flight.  Ps. xli. 5.

 

Ver. 17.  They that.  Heb. “my sinews take no rest.”  Sept. “are dissolved.”  H. The worms prey upon me, and I am like one in a raging fever.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Coat.  The worms are so numerous, (M.) or my enemies pour upon me.  C. Sept. “with great power He (God; Prot. my disease) has seized me by the garment.”  Theodotion adds, “He has taken hold of me like the collar of my tunic:” (H.) which corresponds with our shirt, and had an opening at the top.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  I am.  Heb. “He hat cast me into the mire;” (Prot.) or, “He regards me as dirt; my portion is on the earth and dust.”  H. All look upon me with horror and contempt.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Not is supplied by Prot. in the second part of the verse from the first; (H.) as this construction is not unusual in the Heb.  Sept. “they have stood up, and have considered me,” (C.) to procure my entire ruin.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Dashed me in pieces, as if I had been raised so high for that purpose.  Heb. “thou hast dissolved my substance,” wisdom, &c.  The signification of tushiova (H.) is very indeterminate.  C. v. 12.  C. “Thou hast cast me far away from salvation.”  Sept. and Theodot.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Liveth.  Death is a relief to a just man in tribulation.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Consumption.  Thou dealest mercifully with other people: but all the effects of thy anger fall upon me, even here.  Sept. “O that I might lay hands on myself, or desire another to do this for me!”  Heb. has nothing similar; but is very obscure: “He will not, however, stretch forth his had to the grave; and when they are wounded, they are healed.”  C. Prot. “grave, though they cry in his destruction.”  H. The grave is more desirable than such a life.  There the dead are freed from the miseries of this world.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Mourning.  Heb. “blackened without the sun.”  H. Bile has disfigured my countenance, through excessive sorrow, v. 30.  The dark olive complexions of the Jews and Arabs would be more susceptible of these effects.  C. Indignation.  I have not given way to passion, though I allowed full scope to my groans.  Sept.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Brother of dragons, &c.  Imitating these creatures in their lamentable noise.  Ch. I was like those beasts which retire in order to lament.  W. The dragons his dreadfully, when crushed by the elephant; (S. Jer.) and the young ostriches, being abandoned, make great lamentations.  M.  Delrio, t. ii. adag. 18. This comparison occurs, Mic. i. 8.  Natural history does not, however, represent these animals as very plaintive.  The former term may denote sea monsters, or crocodiles; thannim: (Sept. syrens) and “the daughters of the yahana,” signify “swans,” (Isai. xiii. 21.) though commonly rendered ostriches, as they are by the Sept. &c.  C. Prot. have, “owls.”  But we may adhere to the Vulg.  H.

 

Ver. 31.  Weep.  I have exchanged my sons of joy for mourning.  M.

 

 

JOB 31

 

CHAPTER XXXI.

 

Ver. 1.  I made.  Job is compelled to proclaim his own praises, for his vindication, as S. Paul was, being at the same time convinced that he had only done his duty.  Luk. xvii. 10.  This is the third part of his discourse.  Having given a picture of his prosperous and of his miserable condition, he observes that the latter was not inflicted in consequence of any  misconduct, since he had always been attentive to avoid (C.) the most remote danger of offending God, or his neighbour.  H. That I.  Heb. “for why should I think upon a virgin?”  H. Why should I expose myself, (C.) by indiscreet looks, (H.) since the passage from the eye to the heart is so easy.  Eccles. ii. 10.  M. In the warfare between the flesh and the spirit, Job deemed this precaution necessary, (W.) and was thus preserved from carnal thoughts.  S. Greg. xx. 2.

 

Ver. 2.  High, if I should give way to such unchaste thoughts.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Aversion of God.  Hebrew “strange punishment.”  Prot.  Incontinence is a source of much mischief, and of the most dreadful punishments, as the deluge and fate of Sodom evince.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Vanity, or hypocrisy, (C.) so as to overreach others.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Simplicity, and “uprightness.”  Tummathi.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Eyes. Sixtus V. read, “If my eye hath followed  my heart.”  C. Job kept the utmost restraint both upon his eyes and heart, that no evil impressions from exterior objects might cause his ruin.  Num. xv. 39.  H. Hands, from presents, (C.) or injustice, particularly that of impurity.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Door, to seduce his wife.  C.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Let.  Heb. “Let my wife grind for another, and let others bend over her,” urging her to work like the meanest slave.  C. Sept. “Let my wife please (Grabe substitutes l of r, and reads alesai, grind for) another, and my little children be brought low.”  H. Yet the sense of the Vulg. is most followed.  Eccli. xlvii. 21.  Lam. v. 13.  Ausonius (epig. 5) says, molitur per utramque cavernam.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  This adultery, to which I might have given way, and that of others with my wife, (H.) which would have been a requital, of which I could not indeed have complained, (M.) but which is nevertheless a most heinous offence.  H. Iniquity.  Heb. “a crime of judgment,” or capital.  Gen. xxxviii. 24.  C. The canons of the Church (H.) have ranked adultery with murder and idolatry, which shews the horror in which it is held.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Spring; the children.  Eccli. xxiii. 35.  Wisd. iv. 3.  C. Prot. “all mine increase.”  H. Adulteresses were formerly consigned to the flames.  The injured husband would resent the offence, and even dislike her former children.  Love is also like a fire, and those who entertain it, may soon consume all their substance (M.) in feasting and presents.  Above all, the fire of God’s indignation in hell will still pursue the libidinous.

 

Ver. 13.  Me, in private; as slaves had no redress in the common courts of judicature.  We cannot but admire Job’s humility, and noble sentiments of God, (C.) whose majesty will eclipse all human grandeur, and place the master and the servant on the same level.  S. Greg.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. x. 25.  Eph. vi. 9.  Col. iv. 1.

 

Ver. 16.  Wait, and not give sentence in due time, (H.) but frustrated her expectation.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Alone.  This was objected to S. Chrysostom.  C. But his conduct proceeded not from pride or avarice.  H. The ancient patriarchs delighted much in the exercise of hospitality; and Tobias (iv. 17.) exhorts his son to invite the poor.  Cœna, or “supper,” received its name from many eating “together,” while people dined alone.  Plut. Sym. viii. prob. 6.

 

Ver. 18.  Womb.  I was of a compassionate disposition, with which I always corresponded.  S. Greg. Heb. “from my youth, pity (ceab, which Prot. translate “as with a father.”  H.) grew up with me; and from my birth I have preserved it!”  C. Prot. “From my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her (the widow, margin) from my mother’s womb.”  Sept. “I fed him as a father, Theodotion adds, and was his leader from,” &c.  It was my earliest delight to assist the afflicted orphan and widow.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Blessed me for clothing.  M.

 

Ver. 21.  Gate, in judgment, (C.) where I was the supreme judge, (H.) and none could resist me.

 

Ver. 22.  With.  Heb. “from its bone,” at the elbow.  Sept.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Bear.  I knew that he would resent the injury, though I might, for a time, oppress the weak.

 

Ver. 24.  Fine obrizo.  Heb. cethem.  C. xxviii. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Rejoiced.  Heb. and Chal. “been seduced” to idolatry.  M. The worship of the sun and moon was most ancient.  Ezec. viii. 16. Mouth, to testify respect and admiration.  This custom prevailed in many nations.  Lucian (dial. de sacrif.) observes that this only sacrifice of the poor was not disregarded.  The Syrians still extend their hands towards the altar, and then apply them to their mouth and eyes, when the body and blood of Christ are offered in the Mass.  Life of M. de Chateuil.  C. Sept. (26) “Do I not see the shining sun eclipsed, (H.) and the moon disappear, for light does not belong to them,” but to the Creator, from whom we have every thing; (C.) so that we should not swell with pride.  Theodotion adds, (27) “and if my heart was secretly deceived.”  Sept. continue, “if indeed, putting my hand to my mouth, I kissed, (28) this would also be imputed to me as a great transgression, because I should have acted falsely before the most high God.”  H. He will admit of no rival; hence the man who admits another god, denies Him.  M. Job repels the charge which had been indirectly brought against him.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  Rejoiced.  Heb. “lifted up myself.”  Sept. “said in my heart, well, well;” euge.  H. These sentiments of perfection shew that the same Spirit animated those who lived under the law of nature, as well as those who were favoured with the Mosaic or Christian dispensation.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  For.  Sept. “Then let mine ear hear my curse, and may I fall a prey to the whispers of my people.”

 

Ver. 31.  Filled.  If my servants have not testified sufficient affection for me, (H.) because I kept them under restraint, and obliged them to wait on my guests, (M.  S. Greg.) I still would not omit that duty; (v. 32.  H.) or if they gave way to the greatest excesses of rage, so as to threaten to devour me, I refrained from wishing any evil to my enemy, v. 30.  C. Others suppose that Job’s domestics urged him on to revenge, and spoke as if they were ready to eat his enemies; (Cajet.  T.) while some explain the expression in a contrary sense, to denote the extreme attachment of Job’s servants to his person; in which manner the Church uses it, speaking of Christ’s feeding us with his own body and blood.  C. Sept. “If frequently my maids said who?” &c.  Heb. “said not, oh! that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.”  Prot.  H. Have I given my servants any reason to utter these expressions?

 

Ver. 33.  A man.  Heb. “Adam,” who, to excuse himself, threw the blame upon Eve.  Gen. iii. 12.  C. His posterity have too frequently imitated his example.  The name of Adam often designates any man.  H. It was requisite that Job should assert his sincerity, that his friends  might not suppose that he was actuated by self-love or obstinacy to defend his innocence.  C. Sept. “If falling into an involuntary fault I hid my sin, (for I feared not the crowd of people, that I should not plead before them) but if I let the needy pass my gate with his bosom empty.”  Theod. xxxv. subjoins, “who would give me a hearer? but if I did not revere the hand of the Lord.”  Sept. go on, “the bond which I had against any one, if I placed on my shoulder, as a crown, and read, an did not rather tear it, and give it up, taking nothing from my debtor.  If,” &c. v. 38.  According to this version, Job insists on his pity for the distressed, and shews that he had no reason to fear.  But the Hebrew is more conformable to the Vulg.

 

Ver. 34.  Have not.  Heb. “that I kept silence, not going out of doors” to defend the innocent.  H. Moses commands judges to do their duty without fear.  Ex. xxiii. 2.  People in such situations ought to be uninfluenced by hatred, love, &c.  Cæsar says, justly, (in Sallust) “qui de rebus dubiis consultant, ab adio, amicitiâ, irá atque misericordia vacuos esse decet.  Haud facilè animus verum providet, ubi illa officiunt.”  H.

 

Ver. 35.  He himself.  Heb. “my adversary would write a book.”  His very accusation would establish my cause, provided he adhered to the truth.  C. I would carry it about as a trophy.  H. A book.  The judge wrote down the sentence.  Job appeals to God, and fears not being condemned.

 

Ver. 36.  Crown.  This shews that something pliable was then used to  write on.  The people of the East still lift up to their heads such letters as they respect.  Chardin Perse, p. 218.   See 4 K. xi. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 37.  To a.  Heb. “as a prince would I approach to him,” and not fear my adversary.  H.

 

Ver. 38.  Mourn, as if I possessed the land unjustly, or had committed some crime.

 

Ver. 39.  Money.  Or paying for them.  M. And have.  Prot. “or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life.”

 

Ver. 40.  Thorns.  Prot. “cockle.”  Marg. “loathsome weeds.”  H. The precise import of the word is not known; but it means something “stinking.”  C. Sept. Batos, “a briar.”  H. Ended.  Many Latin editions omit these words with S. Gregory, &c.  The old Vulg. has & quieverunt verba Job, as a title.  C. Sept. place at the beginning of the next chapter, “And Job ceased to speak.  His three friends also left off contending with Job; for Job was just before them.”  Grabe substitutes “himself,” as they were not perhaps yet convinced.  H. Job, however, addresses his discourse no more to them, but only to God, (C.) acknowledging some unadvised speeches; (W.) or want of information.  H.

 

 

JOB 32

 

CHAPTER XXXII.

 

Ver. 1.  Himself.  They thought it useless to say any more.

 

Ver. 2.  Buzite, a descendant of Buz, the son of Nachor.  Gen. xxii. 21.  C. Of, &c.  Sept. “of the country of Hus.” Ram.  Chal. “Abraham;” (M.) or rather (H.) this is put for Aram.  Sym. “Syria.”  2 Par. xxii. 5.  Some suppose that Eliu spring from Aram, the son of Esron, of the tribe of Juda.  Others think that (C.) he was the same with Balaam.  S. Jer.  Ven. Bede. He is never ranked among the friends of Job, as he perhaps did not come from a distance.  His speech, or good intention, is not condemned by God; and Job seems to have acquiesced in what he said.  C. This silence of the latter might rather proceed from a just (H.) contempt, as Eliu said nothing to the purpose; many of his observations being palpably false, and others not at all controverted.  Yet with his private spirit he comes forth, not much unlike Prot. and Puritans, who pretend that they will overturn the Catholic faith by arguments which have escaped the sagacity of all preceding ages!  W. God also did not let Eliu pass entirely unnoticed; but, in one line, showed his displeasure: (C. xxxviii. 2.  Houbigant) as Job perhaps did likewise, by repeating the same decision.  C. xlii. 3.  H. Eliu vainly explains why he had not spoken before.  He arraigns Job for asserting his own innocence, though the  holy man only maintained that he was not punished thus for his crimes, according to the laws of vindictive justice; (C. xxvii. 2.) much less did he pretend that he was juster than God, (C. xxxv. 2.) as his adversary asserts; taking thence occasion to praise the divine wisdom and power, as if Job had called them in question.  C. God, whose eyes behold the smallest faults.  M. Heb. “rather on, or (H.) above God.”  C. This young man, who was learned and proud, is the pattern of those hot disputants who set themselves above their elders.  S. Greg. xxiii. 2.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Found.  Heb. “produced an answer, but had still condemned Job;” (H.) or, “had made Job wicked,” by giving him occasion to blaspheme, in order to defend his own righteousness.  C. Sept. “they took it for granted (or laid it down as a fact, eqento) that he was a wretch.”  This was not true: (H.) but they had also doe their best to prove it.  C. Job.  Almost all the Rabbins assert that the original copies read Jehova, “the Lord;” (H.) and that the Masorets changed it, to avoid the apparent blasphemy; as if the three friends had rendered themselves guilty by not answering Job.  But the Chal. &c. are silent on this head, and Abenezra allows that the change is very doubtful.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Hanging.  Heb. “I fest a reverential awe, (Sept. I was silent) and durst not shew,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Spirit, which is communicated to the young, as well as to the old.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Aged: polucronioi.  Sept. Rabbim, “the Rabbins,” (H.) the “great ones,” placed in authority.  These are not always the wisest, as understanding is the gift of God, and not attached to rank.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Disputing.  Heb. “searching out words,” or arguments.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  None.  A notorious piece of arrogance, to esteem himself wiser than any of his own sect, or of his adversaries.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Man.  You seem to think this a convincing proof that Job is guilty: (Ven. Bede.  H.) but it is no such thing.  You would fain excuse yourselves from saying any more, for fear of causing him pain, which is already very great; and you vainly imagine that you may thus leave him to be judged by God.  We must however convince Job.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  He; Job, or God.  I do not pretend that I have had  any revelation, like Eliphas and Sophar.  C. iv. 12. and xi. 5.  Job has addressed himself to you; (C.) but I shall not answer him as you have done.  M. Those who neither believe Catholics, nor their own teachers, but rely on the private spirit, think that the answers which have been given to others, on the same points, do not regard them.  S. Greg.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  They.  Eliu speaks thus contemptuously of the three friends, as if they had been absent.  In the former verse he spoke to them: now he turns to Job.  Heb. “they were amazed.”  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Me.  And forces  me to speak.  Jer. v. 24. and xx. 9.  Thus Juvenal describes a great talker.  Tunc immensa cavi spirant mendacia folles.Conspuiturque sinus.  Sat. vi.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Vessels, made of skins.  Heb. oboth.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Man.  Heb. “give flattering titles unto man.”  Prot. “I do not respect a mortal.”  Sept. (H.) “nothing shall make me conceal the truth: I will give things their proper names.”  Job seemed to him to have arrogated to himself the perfection of God, in maintaining his own innocence.  C. He promises to stand up in defence of the Almighty, (M.) as his advocate.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Away.  I shall therefore speak with the utmost caution, (H.) as one who must shortly appear before the divine tribunal.  M. Heb. “For I know not how to call things by their sirnames, (C.) or titles of vanity; (H.) If I do, may my Creator soon (C.) take me away.”  Sept. “I know not how to admire the face.  If it be not so, the worms shall consume me.”  H.

 

 

JOB 33

 

CHAPTER XXXIII.

 

Ver. 3.  Sentence.  Some Edit. have scientiam, “knowledge,” with the Heb.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Spirit.  We are therefore equal.  M. Thou canst not fear being overpowered with the divine majesty, in this dispute.  C. xiii. 21.  C. Life.  Sept. “instruction.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Formed.  Job had expressed a desire to plead before a man.  C. ix. 32. and xiii. 19. and xxxi. 35.  Eliu offers himself to maintain the cause of God.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Wonder (miraculum.)  Heb. “terror,” (H.) in allusion to Job’s words.  C. ix. 34. Eloquence.  Heb. “hand.”  C. Sept. “the dread of me shall not cast thee down, nor my hand be heavy upon thee.”  Arrogant men esteem their own observations as something wonderful.  S. Greg.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  In me.  Job had not said so in express terms, though he had said something to the same purpose.  But he had sufficiently explained himself, and Eliu could not be ignorant that he only meant that his present sufferings were not proportioned to his guilt.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Complaints.  Something similar had indeed come from Job’s lips; (C. xiv. 17. and xx. 21.) not that he pretended that God sought to find him guilty without cause; but he meant that He treated him as an enemy, for some secret purpose.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Stocks.  C. xiii.14. and xiv. 16.  Eliu interprets the words in the worst sense, though Job had only expostulated with God on the treatment which he received, testifying a great love and confidence in him.  He acknowledges some want of knowledge.  C. xlii. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Man: so that he is not obliged to explain his reasons.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Because.  Sept. “Thou hast said, Why has not He heard every word of my pleading or judgment.”  Aquila and Theod. “for all his words are unanswerable.”  Prot. “He giveth not account of any of his matters.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Time.  One decision ought to suffice; and God had declared Job innocent.  C. i. 8. &c.  W. His decrees are immutable; and yet thou wouldst have him to explain his conduct, as if he could be under a mistake, and correct it.  He manifests his will, and it is our business to be attentive.  We cannot expect that he should speak twice, though he does so frequently in his great mercy.  Heb. “God speaketh once, and he regardeth not a second time.”  C. Sept. “But the second time, (15) a dream,” &c.  H. Eliu specifies three methods by which God declares his will; (v. 26) 1. By vision; 2. by afflictions; 3. by the voice of angels, or of preachers, v. 19. 23.

 

Ver. 15.  Beds.  It seems prophetic dreams were not then uncommon.

 

Ver. 16.  Instructeth.  Heb. “sealing,” that they may not mistake such a favour for a common dream.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Him.  Sept. “his body from the fall [of iniquity.]”  Grabe.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Also.  This is the second method of instruction.  Eliu pretends that Job had thus been visited by God, and had not understood his meaning.

 

Ver. 21.  Bare.  The skin will scarcely cover them.  He will appear ghastly, like a skeleton.  C. Heb. “his bones…shall stick out.”  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Destroyers; the worms in the grave, (H.) or to sickness, (M.) “which bring on death.”  Pagnin mortiferis.

 

Ver. 23.  Angel, by secret inspirations, (S. Tho.  T. &c.) or a man sent by God, to announce the truths of salvation.  Mariana. Man’s, or “to man.”  C. Heb. “a messenger with him, an interpreter, one…to declare to man his uprightness.”  Prot. (H.) “If there be any merit in him, the angel comforter, chosen from a thousand accusers, is ready to declare to the son of man his rectitude.”  Sept. “If there be a thousand destroying angels, not one of them shall hurt  him; if the consider in his heart to be converted unto the Lord.  Though he (the angel) lay before man his reproof, and shew his folly, He (God) will take hold of him, that he may not die.  He will renew his flesh as the plaster of a wall, and fill his bones with marrow: (25) he will make his flesh soft, like that of an infant, and will place him in manhood among men.”  H. But this is different from the Heb.  C. The intercession of angels is very powerful.  The are represented as suggesting motives, which prevail on God to shew mercy, v. 24.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Consumed.  Heb. “fresher than a child’s,” (H.) as was the case of Naaman.  4 K. v. 14.

 

Ver. 26.  And he.  It is ambiguous whether this refer to God or to man.  C. But both shall see each other with joy.  The penitent will be restored to as much favour as if he had never sinned.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Times, or often.  God instructs man by visions, sickness, and the intercession and inspirations of angels, v. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Living, both soul and body, delivering them from adversity.  C.

 

Ver. 32.  Just, and to be so indeed.  M. How much would his vanity be mortified, when Job answered him only with silence! (H.) though he urged him to reply so often.  W.

 

 

JOB 34

 

CHAPTER XXXIV.

 

Ver. 3.  Taste.  The most accurate philosophers attribute this faculty to the tongue, (C.) rather than to the throat, guttur.  Heb. “mouth or palate.”  H. But Eliu speaks agreeably to the notions of the vulgar.  C. Intellectus saporum cæteris est in prima lingua, homini et in palato.  Pliny xi. 37.

 

Ver. 5.  Judgment.  C. xxvii. 2.  Job had used this expression, but only to intimate that strict justice did not take place, as he thought his faults had not deserved so severe a chastisement.  He did not pretend that God was unjust, or that he was quite blameless; and he had so explicitly declared his sentiments, that Eliu could not well be ignorant of them.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  There.  Sept. “he has been deceived;” eyeusato.  Heb. “I will convict my judge of lying;” or (C.) Prot. “should I lie against my right?”  H. Job, in the excess of grief, had expressed himself forcibly.  C. xix. 6. and xxiii. 7.  But great deductions must be made from such hyperboles; and he had frequently praised the mercy and justice of God, and his just punishment of the wicked.  He had indeed excepted himself from the number; and Eliu ought to have proved that he was wrong in this respect.  But he seems to have all along evaded or mistaken the point under dispute.  C. Arrow, which pierces me.  H. The deferring judgment was not a subversion of it, as Eliu would argue,. C. xxvii. 2.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  What.  This may be a continuation of Job’s speech, who seemed to assert that none had ever been insulted like himself, nor borne it with greater patience; (C. xvi. 4.) or Eliu reproaches him with talking scornfully to his friends and to God.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Goeth in.  Sept. insert a negation, which is not found in Heb. Chal. &c.  They may be understood to speak ironically.  C. “Who committeth no sin, nor iniquity, nor has had any society with lawless people, so as to walk with wicked men.”  H.

 

Ver. 9.  With him, and strive to please him.  Horrible blasphemy! of which Job was incapable: as if God were a cruel master, and threw us into despair.  He had asserted that God punishes the wicked, and often treats his friends with the like severity, (C. ix. 22. and xxx. 26.) in this world: which is very true.  C. Sept. “Say not that man is visited.  He is indeed visited by the Lord.”  H. Eliu wrests Job’s words, in order that he may have something to say against him.  S. Greg. xxiv. 25.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Earth?  If God cannot be unjust, hat he given the administration of the world to some other, who may have been deceived?  This will not be asserted.  Heb. “who hath visited the earth for him?” or, “who hath set him over the earth?”  Is he a hired judge, who may be bribed?  C.

 

Ver. 14.  To him, and examine his conduct with rigour: there is scarcely a moment of our  lives in which he would not discover a just reason for withdrawing his hand, and suffering us to die.  Ps. ciii. 29.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Judgment.  How can we hope for redress from God, while he condemns his conduct?  M. How can we bring Job to a sense of his duty, since he entertains such perverse notions?  Heb. “Shall he hold dominion, who hates justice?”  If God be unjust, does he deserve our adoration? (C.) or, “ought not the person to be put in prison, who resists judgment?”  Grot.  “If thou dost not think that He who hates crimes, and destroys the impious, is eternal and just?”  Sept.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Who.  Theod. in Sept. “wicked is he who says to the king, thou actest contrary to the law; and to the rulers, thou most impious.”  H. Apostate.  Heb. “Belial.”

 

Ver. 19.  Tyrant.  This title is not always odious.  It formerly was given to all princes, and came to be used in a bad sense, on account of the misconduct of some kings of Sicily.  Tyrannus a rege distat factis, non nomine.  Sen. Clem. xii. Heb. “the rich more than the poor.”  H. God fears not to rebuke even the greatest princes, and dost thou dare to arraign his justice?  C.

 

Ver. 20.  They, the wicked, whatever may be their station in life.  H. God takes off the tyrant (C.) when he least expects it, as well as the poor.  H. Troubled, or make an insurrection.  C. This often proves the ruin of tyrants.  H. Hand, by the destroying angel.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Death, or the most obscure recess.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Man.  Heb. “He will not lay upon man (C.) more than right (Prot.  H.) to,” &c.  After once passing sentence, all is over.  C. When man has fallen into sin, he cannot with a god grace contend with God.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Stead.  Where are not the ancient Assyrians, Carthaginians, &c. who once made such a figure in the world?  C. Sept. “glorious and sudden, and unnumbered.”  The next eight verses are taken from Theodotion.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Night, calamities.  At once the shall be oppressed.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Sight.  Lit. “in the place of the beholders,” (H.) in public.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  All.  Prot. “Any of.”  The wicked observed none of God’s commandments as they ought.  He that offends in  one become guilty of all.  Jam. ii. 10.

 

Ver. 29.  Condemn, either God or the person whom he approves.  Does not he exercise dominion over all?  C. Men.  Lit. “all men.”  Heb. “a man.”  God may destroy either a part or the whole of creation.  Sometimes whole nations or cities are cut off, and the deluge nearly swept away all mankind.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  People.  A hypocrite denotes one infected with all sorts of crimes.  S. Iræn. v. 24.  Such a king is sometimes given to punish a wicked people.  Ose. xiii. 11.  Isai. iii. 4.  This sense is beautiful, and followed by the Chal. Sept. &c.  We may explain the Heb. in like manner, by neglecting the Masoretic points.  C. Prot. “That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.”  H. Heb. “He overturns the throne of hypocrites, on account of the scandal of the people,” or “he delivers the people from servitude.”  The sense of the Vulg. seems preferable.  C. Eliu insinuates that Job had been a hypocrite and an oppressor; but God exculpates him.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  Seeing.  Heb. “Thou shouldst have said to the Lord, I have suffered enough: (C.) I will not offend.”  Prot.  H.  v. 32. Turn.  He had undertaken to plead God’s cause.  C.

 

Ver. 33.  It, my iniquity.  M. Will God make thee accountable for it?  H. Yea, if thou keep silence, (C.) thou wilt seem to connive at it.  H. He wishes to engage Job to speak.  Heb. may be translated many ways.  C. Prot. “Should it be according to thy mind?  He will recompense it whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I.  Therefore speak what thou knowest.”  H.

 

Ver. 36.  Father.  From God all the rights of a father spring.  Ephes. iii. 15.  C. Sept. “No indeed: but learn Job, answer not like fools.”  Prot. “my desire is, (marginal note, my father) that Job may be tried unto the end, because of his answers for the wicked.”  H. He has imitated their wicked discourses; let his chastisement deter others.  C. The sequel seems to intimate, that Eliphaz is here styled Father.  M.

 

Ver. 37.  Fast, and pressed by arguments.  M.  C. Heb. “since he adds crime (C.  Prot. rebellion) to his sin, and clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against the Lord.”  Eliu concluding that Job was obstinate, (H.) invites his friends to join in prayer, that he might be still more severely chastised, to make him enter into himself.  Such a strange petition might possibly proceed from charity.  But Eliu had given too many proofs of passion, to allow this interpretation.  Had he evinced that Job as a criminal? and were not his sorrows already too great, so that he might rather have prayed that God would alleviate them, or grant him more patience?

 

 

JOB 35

 

CHAPTER XXXV.

 

Ver. 2.  God.  Eliu being greatly mortified at Job’s silence, uses still more provoking expressions, and pretends to refute one of the holy man’s assertions, which never escaped his lips, though he had complained that God treated him as an enemy, and with more severity than his sins deserved; (C. vi. 2.  C.) or, that his affliction was greater than his sin.  C. xxiii. 7. &c.  Eliu therefore calumniates him.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Please thee, since thou punishest the guiltless.  M. If I sin.  Job had not said so, but it seemed to follow from his expressions.  C. xxi. 7.  See C. xxii. 3.  Whether sin be committed and punished, or not, what does it profit God?  C. His sovereign perfections require that he should not let sin pass unnoticed, and Job never entertained an idea to the contrary.

 

Ver. 4.  Thee.  I will shew that you are all wrong.  H. I will supply what the three have left imperfect.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Thee.  Thy sin cannot hurt, nor thy virtue add any thing to God.  He is not therefore actuated by resentment, or jealousy, but by justice.  C. He revenges the injury done by the sinner to himself, v. 8.  S. Aug. Conf. iii. 8. The inference is therefore wrong, (C.) that God will not regard the sins or punishment of  men, because he thence derives no profit, v. 3.  H. The strong sentences of Eliu agree not (or are ill-applied) to the blessed Job.  S. Greg. xxvi. 7.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Out.  The wicked shall cry out, through vexation, but still they will not address themselves to God, v. 10.  Why are the abandoned, but because He takes cognizance of all?

 

Ver. 10.  Songs.  Arab. “thoughts,” by means of visions.  Chal. “where is the Lord, in whose presence the angels sing canticles of praise in the night?”  C. Sept. “who has ordered the night watches;” (H.) the stars, which display the power of God?  His servants also are filled with interior joy, even in the midst of afflictions.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Air: and yet the wicked make not use of their understanding, to have recourse to God under distress.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Vain.  Heb. “falsehood.”  He will not relieve the hypocrite, who does not cry to him with sincerity.  This conduct shews that God acts with discretion, and hears people according to their deserts.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Before him.  Try whether the assertion be true.  H. Only change thy life, and hope in him, and thou wilt see the good effects.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  For.  Prot. “But now because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he (marg. Job) knoweth it not, in great extremity.”  H. In this world, God punishes not with rigour.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Knowledge.  I have shewn that God punishes or rewards according to our deserts, and is not indifferent about our sins.  If Job have not experienced the divine bounty, it is because he has not deserved it.  C.

 

 

JOB 36

 

CHAPTER XXXVI.

 

Ver. 3.  Beginning.  Heb. “afar” from that God, who is ancient, and not of human invention; (Jer. xxiii. 23.) or from the consideration of the heavens.  Nothing could be more magnificent than the descriptions which conclude this fourth part of the discourse.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Lie.  Every orator will promise to speak the truth, and will do so sometimes to gain credit.  W. Shall be.  Heb. “is with thee.”  Thou art not devoid of sense, and thou wilt (C.) surely approve my reasons, which are suggested by the God of all knowledge.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  God.  Sept. “Know that the Lord will not cast away the innocent.”  Theod. continues to v. 12: “The mighty, in strength of heart, (Wisd. vi.) will not make the impious live, and will render judgment to the poor.”  H. They seem to have read Thom, which is now wanting in Heb.  C. “Behold God is mighty, and despiseth not any: mighty in strength and wisdom.”  Prot.  H. Eliu begins to prove that God administers justice to all equally.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Just.  Heb. Syr. &c. “the just man, he will place him with kings on the throne.”  C. Exalted, or “extolled” for ever, if they have done well.  W. He always disposes of kingdoms.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Violent, while in power and on the throne, or because even in a private station, their will has risen up in rebellion against God.  H. Poverty and afflictions are scourges, which are often inflicted by mercy, to bring us to a sense of duty.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Ear, by secret inspirations, or by the admonition of pastors.  C. Afflictions will also speak louder to them than any orator.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Folly.  Heb. “without knowledge.”  He speaks of princes, (C.) and of all the wicked, who have not known the day of their visitation.  H. They shall suffer the punishment prepared for fools or wicked men.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Bound, in misery and evil habits.  They will not have recourse to God by humble prayer, though they perceive his displeasure, and design in punishing them.

 

Ver. 14.  Storm.  Heb. and Sept. “in youth,” (H.) being suddenly cut off, without having deplored the sins of their youth.  C. Effeminate.  Heb. “the consecrated” to prostitution.  Eliu compares those who will not attend unto God, to the most infamous characters.  C. Sept. “and let their life be taken away by the angels” (H.) of death.  C. xxxiii. 23.  C. He may allude to the impure Sodomites.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  He shall.  He would have prevented thee from falling into this irremediable distress, if thou hadst imitated the poor who trust in Him.  C. Yea, he will still restore thee to favour, if thou wilt repent.  H. He will fill thee with joy and plenty.  M. Foundation.  Hebrew, where there is not straitness.  Prot.  He would have rescued thee from distress, and set thee at large.  H. The psalmist often speaks in the same language.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Recover.  Thou shalt be treated as thou hast treated others.  Heb. is not well understood.  It may be, “Thou hast spoken like the impious; but judgment and justice rule.  (18) Beware lest wrath overtake thee, so that thy prayers may not avert it.  (19) Will He regard thy cries, thy riches, gold or strength?”  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Without, or before thou be forced by tribulation.  M. Lay aside all sentiments of pride, (S. Greg.) or keep in awe the mighty, who administer justice in thy name.  M. Prot. “Will he esteem thy riches?  No, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.”  Sept. “Let not a willing mind incline thee unjustly to the prayer of the needy in distress.”  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Prolong not the night, &c.  Prolong not causes that are brought before thee, but dispatch, by early rising, the business of them that come up to thee.  Ch. Sept. “and all the men of power do not withdraw in the night,” from just punishment.  Theod. adds, “that the people may come up against them,” to demand vengeance.  Do strict justice both to the rich and to the poor, without pity or fear.  H. This text is very obscure; and the Heb. may have different meanings, which do not, however, seem well connected with the rest.  “Plant not after night, when people retire home;” (C.) or Prot. “are cut off in their place.”  H. Delay not to banish temptations, or they will increase.  S. Greg. xxvi. 38.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Iniquity, or blaspheming, (C. xxxiv. 37.  M.) and murmurs, to which alone thou hast given way since thy fall.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Lawgivers.  Heb. more, “a master.”  In Chal. “a sovereign.”  Grot.  Sept. “what potentate is against him?”  H. What art thou, to dare thus to resist him?  C. S. Gregory (xxvii. 1.) explains this as a prediction of Christ, “or singular lawgiver.”  God is most able to punish transgressors, and willing to reward those who obey his laws.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Not, is omitted in Heb. and Sept.  “Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold;” Prot. (H.) or “thou hast magnified,” formerly.  Do so again. Sung.  The memory of great exploits was commonly preserved by canticles.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  All.  The rest of this chapter, and the five first verses of the next, seem to be inserted in the Sept. from Theodotion.  “Every man sees in himself how many mortals are wounded,” &c. Off, in the stars, &c. or in ancient times, what wonders God has performed.  C. The works of God are like a ladder, by which we may ascend to the knowledge of him.  M.  Wisd. xiii.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Floods.  God causes the water on the earth to evaporate, (C.) to form the clouds, (H.) which afterwards fall in torrents.  M. Theod. “the drops of rain are numbered by him,” &c.  C. xxvi. 8.

 

Ver. 29.  If.  Heb. “Also can any understand the spreading out of the clouds, the elevation or noise of his pavilion?”  H. What could be more magnificent that the throne of God!  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Ends.  Lit. “the hinges,” or poles, cardines.  H. Heb. “roots;” Aristotle (Meteor. ii. 1.) and Hesoid (Theog. 727,) use the same term, (C.) to denote the fountains which supply the sea.  H. Who ever discovered these deep recesses?  Eliu describes a thunder-storm, when the sea is covered with darkness.  He intimates that the pavilion of God, though hidden from us by the clouds, is not destitute of light.  C. God inhabits light inaccessible.  H.

 

Ver. 31.  Mortals.  Heb. “in abundance.”  H. By thunder he overwhelms many nations, while by moderate rains, he causes the earth ot fructify (C.) and nourish mankind.  M.

 

Ver. 32.  Hands, or clouds, which are compared to a hand.  3 K. xviii. 44.  He opens his hand, and light appears.  This expression denotes the utmost facility with which a very surprising thing is effected. To come.  Heb. “by this obstacle.”  He alludes to the sun’s eclipse, as if God’s hand covered its disk.  C. Prot. “He…commandeth it not to shine, by the cloud that cometh betwixt.”

 

Ver. 33.  To it.  The tabernacle of God is designed for his friends.  Heb. is very obscure.  “Thunder announces the rain, and the very animals know it;” (Virgil describes their signs, Geor. i.) or “His thunder announces from above the clouds his wrath to men.”  C. “The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.”

 

 

JOB 37

 

CHAPTER XXXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  This thunder, the effects of which are so terrible, that it is often styled the voice of God.  C.  Ps. xxviii.  M. The consideration of rewards (C. xxxvi. 33.) stimulates the good, while thunder strikes the heart with terror.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Earth.  Lightning appears from the east to the west.  Mat. xxiv. 27.

 

Ver. 4.  After.  Light travels faster than sound, (H.) though thunder and lightning are produced at the same instant.  C. Found out.  Philosophers can only propose their conjectures on the cause of thunder.  This sense is confirmed by the Greek, Chal. &c.  Heb. may be, “he delays not;” C. Prot. “he will not stay them;” (H.) rain commonly falling soon after thunder.  As the latter is occasioned by the collision of clouds, when they come to a certain distance from the earth, the heat causes them to dissolve into showers, which augments at each crack.  C. Sept. “For he has done great things, which we have not understood.”  This is connected with C. xxxvi. 24.  Then we read, (v. 7.) “that man may know his own weakness.”  All the intermediate verses have been supplied by Origen from Theodotion, or others.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  He sealed up, &c.  When he sends those showers of his strength; that is, those storms of rain, he seals up; that is, he shuts up the hands of men from their usual work abroad, and confines them within doors, to consider his works; or to forecast their works; that is, what they themselves are to do.  Ch. We are all the servants of God.  He marks us in the hand, as such.  Isai. xliv. 5.  Ezec. ix. 6.  Apoc. xiii. 6.  The Romans marked soldiers with a hot iron in the hands.  Veget. i. 8. The abettors of chiromancy have hence vainly pretended that they can discover each person’s future in the lineaments of his hands.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Den.  Foreseeing the tempest and retreating for shelter.

 

Ver. 9.  Parts.  The south, (C. ix. 9.) whence storms commonly came in that country, (C.) from the sea or desert of Idumea.  H.  Ps. lxxvii. 26.  Zac. ix. 14.  Isai. xxi. 1. North wind or pole.  W. Yet the south seems to be designated; (v. 17. and C. xxxviii. 32.) though cold comes from the north, in Idumea as well as here.  C. Mezarim, is rendered by Prot. “north.”  Marg. “scattering winds.”  Sept. akrwthriwn, “summits” of  mountains.

 

Ver. 10.  Abundantly.  He cause it to freeze or rain at pleasure.  H.  Ps. cxlvii. 17.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Corn requires rain.  H. Light.  As they are transparent, they do not hinder the sun from appearing.  Heb. “the brightness of the sky disperses the clouds, and the clouds shed their light” in the rainbow, (v. 15.  Grot.) or lightning.  Jun.  C.  M. Prot. “Also by watering, he wearieth the thick cloud, he scattereth his bright cloud, (12) and it is turned round about by his counsels, that they may do whatsoever,” &c.  God prohibits or gives rain.  H. Nothing is left to chance.  C. He directeth the clouds as a master does his ship.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Tribe.  Hebrew also, “for correction.”  H.  Amos iv. 7. Land of promise.  Ps. lxvii. 10.

 

Ver. 15.  Light: the rain-bow, according to the best interpreters; or the lightning.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Paths.  Heb. “the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him whose knowledge is perfect?”  C. xxxvi. 4.  Dost thou know what suspends the heavy clouds in the air?  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Are.  Heb. “How thy,” &c.  It is also beyond thy comprehension, why thou shouldst be too hot when the south winds blows (H.) moderately, though tempests generally proceed from the same quarter, v. 9.  If thou art in the dark, respecting these things, which thou feelest, how canst thou pretend to fathom and condemn the counsels of God?  C. Job was far from doing either.  His friends rather undertook to explain God’s reasons for punishing thus his servants, which Job acknowledged was to him a mystery, (H.) till God had enlightened him.  C. xxii. 3.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 18.  Brass.  Heb. “Hast thou with him stretched out (or beaten, as brass, tarkiang; which word Moses uses for the firmament) the heavens, which are as solid (Chal. and like) a  molten looking-glass?” which was formerly made of metal.  Ex. xxxviii. 8.  The Hebrews looked upon the sky as a sheet of brass; and the poets speak of the brazen heaven.  Pindar. Nem. vi.  Iliad A.

 

Ver. 19.  Darkness.  Thou who art so learned, give us some information, what we may blame in the works of God.  Cutting irony!  C.

 

Ver. 20.  He shall be swallowed up.  All that man can say, when he speaks of God, is so little and inconsiderable in comparison with the subject, that man is lost, an das it were swallowed up in so immense an ocean.  Ch. The man who should are to mention what I could reprehend in God’s works, would soon be overwhelmed with majesty.  C. Alphonsus IX. king of Leon, (A.D. 1252) surnamed “the wise and the astronomer,” said “he could have given some good advice respecting the motions of the stars, if he had been consulted by God;” meaning to ridicule some vain systems of philosophers, then in vogue.  Dict. 1774.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Light; being hindered by the clouds, and dazzled when they are removed.  Yet we presume to judge of the secrets of Providence!  C. Away.  As there is a constant vicissitude of these things, so there is of happiness and misery.  M. Sept. “For the light is not seen by all.  It is refulgent in beauties, as that which comes thence upon the clouds.”  If, therefore, this light does not pervade all places, why should we wonder that all do not understand the ways of God?  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Gold.  Sept. “from the north, gold-coloured clouds.  Above these, great is the praise and honour of the Almighty.”  H. When the wind blows, the clouds are dispersed, and the sky appears serene.  Each country has its peculiar advantages.  In the north, Ophir, &c. may boast of gold: but what ought to be most conspicuous in the praises given to God, is an humble  fear.  Pindar begin his Olympic Odes somewhat in the same style.  C. “Water is excellent, and gold…But if, dear heart, thou wilt sing of games, regard no other star…as brighter than the sun…nor shall we celebrate any game more excellent than that of Olympia.”  H. God disposes of all things as he pleases.  He makes the golden day succeed a tempest.  But it is our duty to praise him with awe, whatever he may ordain.  This is the epilogue.  Pineda. Man must praise God with fear, as he cannot do it sufficiently.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  Worthily.  Heb. “the Almighty, we cannot find him out,” (H.) or comprehend his nature or mysteries.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Fear him, and receive with respect whatever he shall appoint.  H. And all.  Heb. “he fears not any that are wise of heart.”  He knows that the most intelligent (C.) must confess their ignorance, when they attempt to examine his divine nature.  Simonides being desired by Hiero to express his sentiments on this subject, always requested more time to consider of it.  Quia, inquit, res videtur mihi tanto obscurior, quanto diutius eam considero.  Cicero, Nat. i. 60. Selectæ e Prof. i. 3. “With thee (says S. Aug. Conf. i. 6.) stand the causes of all instable things,” &c.  H. Those who are really wise, will therefore adore God’s judgments in silence, while the presumptuous will be forced to yield.  This is the excellent conclusion of all that had been said.  Pineda. The sentence is beautiful, but ill-applied (H.) to Job.  Philip.  See Prov. iii. 7.  H. He convinced the other three with sound arguments, “and this last and most arrogant disputant with silence.”  W.

 

 

JOB 38

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Then.  Sept. “After Eliu had ceased to speak.”  H. Lord.  That is, an angel speaking in the name of the Lord.  Ch. The name Jehova (H.) here occurs, though it never does in the speeches; whence many have inferred that the Lord spoke in person; which argument, however, is not conclusive; and that this work was written after the apparition in the burning bush.  C. The Heb. edition would at least be given after that event. Whirlwind, designed to strike the senses, (H.) and to represent the distressed condition of Job.  Pineda. This awful appearance imposed silence upon all.  H. Some think that a time was allowed for reflection and repentance, before God passed sentence; but the Sept. &c. seem to suppose that the cause was decided as soon as Eliu had ended his discourse.  C. God discusses the controversy, and gives sentence in favour of Job.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Words.  Many explain this as a condemnation (C.) of the last speaker, (D.) who would otherwise pass without any reproach, (H.) though he had spoken with less reserve than the rest.  C. Pineda allows that this opinion is very plausible; but he thinks that Job himself is reprehended, not for any grievous offence, but for indiscreet expressions.  C. xli.  The context also seem to require this, as Job take it to himself.  C. xxxix. 33.  C. The change of persons might rather imply the contrary: Who is this?  Eliu.  3. Gird up thy loins.  Job.  H. Can we admit that the devil got the victory; or, that God falsely declared that Job had spoken right?  C. xlii.  Houbigant. Did not the latter maintain the truth with greatest zeal, while his friends certainly mixed unskilful words or inferences with sentences of the greatest consequence?  His face I will accept, that your folly be not imputed to you; for you have not spoken right things before me, as my servant Job hath.  C. xlii. 8.  Heb. “Who is this that darkeneth counsel, by words without knowledge?”  Prot.  “Who is the who concealeth counsel from me, keeping words in his heart, and thinketh to hide from me?”  Sept.  Eliu pretended to explain the counsels of God, and perhaps did not utter all that he had in his mind; but God condemns the very harbouring of thoughts, which are contrary to truth and justice.  H. Job’s friends laboured under great prejudices, and condemned him without cause, (C.) thinking that they were doing a service to God, like those who put the apostles to death, and persecuted Catholics on account of their religion.  But this plea will not excuse them. Here one line suffices to refute the long harangue (H.) of Eliu; (S. Greg.  Ven. Bede. T. &c.) though we have observed, (H.) some understand the words to be addressed to Job, as a rebuke for his too warm expressions.  S. Chrys.  S. Aug. &c.  C. The remainder of the discourse is designed for Job’s instruction.  H. Hoc (Eliu) despecto ad erudiendum Job verba vertuntur.  S. Greg.

 

Ver. 3.  Loins, like one about to engage in an arduous task, (H.) or journey, (C.) to explore the ways of divine Providence.  H. Answer my reasons, if thou art able.  C. Heb. “make me know.”  H. Only the Creator hath perfect knowledge of all his works, as may appear by induction or example: 1. of inanimate; 2. of living things, v. 39.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Foundations.  The Hebrews placed the earth in the centre of the universe, resting upon nothing, (C. xxvi. 7. and xxxvi. 30.) or upon itself.  See Hesiod, Theog. 325.  C. These questions seem intended to shew, that if God has created all things for man, he will not surely neglect to watch over him.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Upon it.  He speaks of the world as of a vast house, (C.) or palace, (M.) in which the Architect has shewn his art.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Sons.  Sept. “all my angels.”  Hence it appears that the angels were among the first of God’s works, formed probably at the same time with the heavens, (C.) or light.  Gen. i. 3.  H. The praise of the stars is figurative, (C.) as they tend to raise our hearts to God by their beauty, (H.) whereas that of the angels is real.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Shut.  Heb. also, (H.) “facilitated the birth of the sea,” as a midwife.  Grot.  C. Forth.  Sept. “raged.”  H. God represents the waters ready to overwhelm all when first produced out of nothing, if he had not shut them up in the abyss, like a child in a cradle, or a wild beast in its den, v. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Mist.  So Moses says darkness was on the face of the abyss.  Obscurity covered it, as swaddling bands do a child’s body.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Set.  Prot. “brake up for it my decreed place.”  Marg. “established my decree upon it;” (H.) or, “I gave order to break it,” against the shore.  Jer. v. 22.  Amos v. 8.

 

Ver. 12.  Place.  Thou art but as yesterday: where is thy power?  C.

 

Ver. 13.  And didst.  Some explain Heb. “that it (Aurora) might spread at once to the extremities of the earth.  Then the wicked flee before it;” as they hate the light.  C. xxxiv. 26.  Jo. iii. 20.  C. Sept. and Prot. may be understood in this sense.  H. Allusion may also be made to the shaking of a sieve, to separate the wheat from the chaff; (Amos ix. 9.  Luk. xxii. 31.  C.) or of a carpet, to clean it from the dust.  D. Did God ask thee to help him to exterminate the wicked?  The short digression in these three verses, shews the punishment exercised on offenders.  It is not contrary to the true spirit of poetry.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  Seal.  Men, formed to the image of God, shall die; and others shall be place in their stead, (M.) with as much ease as an impression is made upon clay.  H. Garment.  The body seems to be the clothing of the soul, and will be changed.  Ps. ci. 27.  M. Chal. “their form will be changed to clay, and they shall resemble a tattered garment.”  Heb. “their seal shall be changed like clay,” &c.  All their glory shall perish.  C. Sept. “hast thou taken earth or clay, and formed a living creature, and endued it with speech on the earth?”  Is  man the workd of thy hands?  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Doors?  Sept. “through fear; or have the porters of hell flown away at thy sight?”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Darkness.  The poetical style of this book represents these things as real beings, in the same manner (C.) as the house, (v. 20) or palace of the sun, &c. are described by the ancients.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  War.  Hail, &c. are like the arrows of God.  Jer. x. 13. and l. 25.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Heat.  Heb. kadim, (H.) the “east.”  Sept. “south wind.”  Perhaps the east winds produced the same bad effects in Egypt, as the south wind did in Judea; (C.) or this noxious burning wind might proceed from the south-eastern point of both countries.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Noisy.  Heb. “for lightning, which accompanies thunder?”  By these questions, respecting things which to man are impossible, and many inexplicable, God humbles (C.) the pride of the human heart.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Dwelleth.  This shews the magnificence of God, (M.) at least.  H.

 

Ver. 31.  Pleiades.  The seven stars. Arcturus.  A bright star in the north.  Ch. The same terms occur, and are explained, C. ix. 9.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Day-star.  Heb. mazzaroth, (H.) corresponds with the “inner parts of the south;” (C. ix. 9) though some translate, “the signs of the zodiac, or the influences,” &c.  The antarctic constellations could not be seen in Idumea, while those of the north pole (C.) must appear to those who live on that side of the line, (H.) as the perpetual sentinels of the sky. Evening-star.  Heb. “Wilt thou make hayish and her daughters go to rest?”  These indicate the arctic stars.  Here two quite opposite stars are meant; (C.) though (H.) with us the evening and morning star be the same, being so styled according as it appears after or before the sun.  M. Prot. “Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth (Sept. also retain the original term, Mazourwq) in his season, or canst thou guide Arcturus, with his sons?”  The former term signifies things “scattered,” the planets, (H.) or “the grains of gross air dispersed” to all the extremities, which returning to the centre, occasion cold.  C. xxxvii. 9.  Parkhurst.

 

Ver. 33.  Reason.  Heb. “dominion,” (H.) or influence upon the earth.  Mathematicians thought they had discovered these laws, and the number of the stars; but daily experience evinces their error.  M.

 

Ver. 34.  Voice, to mimic the thunder of God, (C.) or to order it to rain.  H.

 

Ver. 36.  Understanding.  That is, to distinguish the hours of the night.  Ch. Sept. “Who gave to women the knowledge of the loom, and the art of embroidering?”  H. It was the part of women to weave, as appears from the conduct of queen Penelope.  But the best interpreters translate, “Who has placed wisdom in the reins, or who hath given understanding to the heart,” or soul?  C. God gives wisdom to man, and an instinct to cocks, (H.) or the skill, of which the former is deprived, (W.) to know the approach of day.  D.

 

Ver. 37.  Sleep.  The ancients have celebrated this harmony.  Cic. Somn. Scip. Sept. “Who numbereth the clouds in wisdom, or hath bent the sky down to the earth?”  Prot. “or who can stay the bottles of heaven?”  H. Canst thou cause it to rain, or to be fair? (C.) or make the celestial bodies (H.) rest from motion?  W.

 

Ver. 38.  Together.  When was the water separated from the earth?  H. Where wast thou when I gave consistency to the rocks?  C.

 

Ver. 39.  And satisfy.  Sept. “or fill the souls of the dragons?”  H. Here Heb. edit. commence the following chap. (C.) and are followed by Prot. (H.) and others, as the proof of God’s superior knowledge begins to be established by the consideration of various animals.  W.

 

Ver. 41.  Wandering.  Sixtus V. reads vagientes, (C.) “crying like children.”  H. The ravens presently drive their young away to seek for fresh habitations.  Pliny x. 12.  Ps. cxlvi. 9.  C. If God provide for such creatures, He will shew still greater attention to man.  W.

 

 

JOB 39

 

CHAPTER XXXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Goats (Ibex.  Heb. Yahale.  H.) frequent rocks, and places which are almost inaccessible to man.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Roarings.  They pretend that these animals bring forth with great difficulty.  Ps. xxviii. 9.  Vatab. &c. Aristotle (v. 2. and vi. 29.) asserts, that they receive the male bending down, as Heb. may be here explained.  “They bend, they divide their young,” as they have often two; “and they leave their strings” at the navel, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Feed.  Being weaned very soon.  Pliny viii. 32.

 

Ver. 5.  Wild ass, described, C. vi. 5.  The industry of man cannot make this beautiful and strong animal serviceable to him.  The like would be the case (C.) with many others, if Providence had not ordered it otherwise.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Barren.  Lit. “salt.”  H. This is of a nitrous quality, which renders those countries barren.  The salt in snow and dung gives warmth and fruitfulness.

 

Ver. 9.  Rhinoceros.  See Deut. xxxiii. 17.  Num. xxiii. 22.  Sanchez says they are untameable.  M. But this is not true, when they have been taken young.  Malvenda.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Valleys, or furrows.  Can he be made to harrow?

 

Ver. 13.  Hawk.  We may also read, “Is the wing of the ostrich like?”  Sept. or Theod. “The bird of Neelasa is rejoicing, if she take the Asida, &c. the Neessa.”  H. Heb. is variously translated, “The ostrich lifts itself up with its wings, which have feathers, as well as those of the stork.”  Bochart. It flutters, running like a partridge, swifter than any horse.  Adamson. “Canst thou give to the stork and the ostrich their feathers,” which form all their beauty?  C. Prot. “Gavest thou the goodly wings upon the peacock, or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?”  H. The import of these names is uncertain.  M. Renanim, (from Ron, “to cry, or move quickly,”) may signify peacocks, ostriches, &c.  Chasida, “a stork, (H.  Jer.) falcon, (W.) or heron; notsa “a hawk, or a feather.”  H. The first term occurs no where else, and may denote any singing birds or grasshoppers, as the last may be applied to the ostrich, which has “wings,” though it fly not.  Grot.  C. Acknowledge the wisdom of Providence, which has thus enabled such a huge animal to travel so fast.  M. See Parkhurst, álcs.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Dust.  This might help to hatch them.  C. Heb. “earth, and warmeth them in the dust.”  Prot.

 

Ver. 16.  Ones, or eggs which she leaves.  C. Ælian (xiv. 6.) asserts that this bird will expose her own life to defend her young.  Yet the neglect of her eggs, will suffice to make her deemed cruel.  Lam. iv. 3.  H. Her.  Other birds leave their nests through fear; (C.) but this, after sitting a while, will depart carelessly, (H.) and if she meet with other eggs on her road, will take to them, thus rendering her own useless.  Bochart.

 

Ver. 17.  Understanding.  This bird has a head disproportionately small; insomuch, that Heliogabalus served up the brains of 600 at one supper.  It greedily eats iron, &c. which may help its digestion, as sand does that of other birds.  C. When it is hunted, it hides its head only, as if this would be a sufficient defence, (Pliny x. 1.) and is taken alive by a man, clothed in the skin of an ostrich, who moves the head with his hand.  Strabo xvi. All which proves its stupidity.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  High. With her head erect, the ostrich is taller than a man on horseback.  Pliny x. 1. Its wings are used like sails, and enable it to run as fast as many birds can fly, (C.) while it hurls stones at the pursuer with its feet, so as frequently to kill them.  Diod. ii. Rider, as they can travel with equal speed.  M.  v. 13. Adamson (Senegal) placed two negroes on one, and testified that it still went faster than any English horse.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Neighing.  Heb. “thunder,” to denote the fierceness of the horse; or “with a mane,” (Bochart) “armour,” (Syr.) or “terror.”  Sept.  C. Wilt thou enable the horse to neigh, (M.) when he appears so terrible?  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Up.  Heb. “frighten,” (H.) or “make him leap.”  Bochart.  C. Nostrils.  Sept. “of his chest, or shoulders, is boldness.”  H. This inspires the rider with courage, and the enemy with fear.  But the Vulg. is more followed.  C.

Frænoque teneri

                        Impatiens crebros expirat naribus ignes.  Silius vi.

 

Ver. 21.  Hoof.  Ploughing, or rather prancing, through impatience.  C. Boldly.  Heb. “he exults in his strength,” being sensible of glory and commendation.  C. Non dubiè intellectum adhortationis et gloriæ fatentur.  Pliny vii. 43.

 

Ver. 23.  Shield, or lance.  Jos. viii. 18.  C. The din of armour does not disturb the horse, which has been inured to such things.  H. It is of singular courage.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Ground.  This expression is still used by the Arabs, to denote velocity.  Grotius. Sept. “in wrath he will make the earth disappear.”  H.

Mox sanguis venis melior calet, ire viarum

                        Longa volunt latumque fugâ consumere campum.  Nemesianus.

Account.  Heb. “believe that,” or “stops not when.”  He is so eager to rush forward to battle.

Si qua sonum procul arma dedêre,

                        Stare loco nescit, micat auribus et tremit artus.  Georg. iii.

 

Ver. 25.  Ha.  Lit. “Vah,” a sound of joy, (M.) or of contempt.  Sept. The trumpet having given the sign, he will say, Well: Euge.  Nothing could be more poetically descriptive of the war-horse.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Feathered.  Heb. “fly.”  H. South, at the approach of “winter retiring” to warmer regions.  Pliny x. 8. Sept. “spreading her wings, looking unmoved, towards the south.”  The hawk alone can stare at the sun, and fly to a great height.  Ælian x. 14. Hence the Egyptians consecrated this bird to the sun.  C. The eagle is of the same species, and has the same properties.  H.  Aristotle mentions 10, and Pliny 16 species of hawks.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Access.  See Abdias iv.  Arist. anim. ix. 32.

 

Ver. 29.  Off.  The eagle was remarkably (C.) quick-sighted, (W.) as well as the serpent.  Hor. i. Sat. iii.  Homer, Il. xvii. They say it can discern a fly or a fish from the highest situation; (Bochart) and if its young seem dazzled with the sun-beams, it hurls them down as spurious.  Pliny x. 3.

 

Ver. 30.  Blood, gushing forth from the animals, which the eagle brings.  M. S. Chrysostom explains this of the vulture, (Mat. xxiv. 28.  C.) which is of the same species.  M. Some eagles will not touch carcasses, but others are greedy of them.  Pliny x. 3.  Prov. xxx. 17. There.  Our Saviour quotes this passage.  Lu. xvii. 37.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Went on.  Sept. “answered.”  This was the conclusion drawn from the display of God’s wonderful works.  If we cannot sufficiently admire them, why should we be so much surprised, as Job acknowledged he was, at the ways of Providence?  It would, therefore, be better to keep silence, v. 35.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Be so.  Receive instruction, or (C.) instruct him?  Wilt thou learn to admire my works? (H.) or dost thou attempt to give me any information?  C. Him.  Heb. “it.”  Sept. “shall he decline judgment with him who is competent?” ikanou.  Theod. adds, “the man who accuses God, shall answer it,” or stand his trial.  H.

 

Ver. 34.  Spoken inconsiderately.  If we discuss all Job’s words, (saith S. Gregory) we shall find nothing impious spoken; as may be gathered from  the words of the Lord himself; (chap. xlii. v. 7. 8.) but what was reprehensible in him was the manner of expressing  himself at times, speaking too much of his own affliction, and too little of God’s goodness towards him, which here he acknowledges as inconsiderate, (Ch.) or rather as the effect of inculpable ignorance; (H.) as the present order of things being then novel, confounded the sagacity both of Job and of his friends.  The wicked had formerly been the victims of justice, but henceforth, says Job, (Heb.) “if it shall not be so, who can convince me of lying?”  C. xxiv. 25.  Yet he did not perfectly discern the intention of God, in abandoning his servants to the power of satan, till the Lord himself had explained it in the parables of behemoth and leviathan.  Then Job testified his conviction and entire submission.  C. xlii. 5.  Houbigant observes that the Vulg. is perhaps less accurate here, and C. xlii. 3. as God exculpates Job, v. 8.  Yet the latter might entertain fear at least, of having exceeded in words, after such pungent question.  We may translate, (H.) Heb. “Behold I am vile, (C.) what shall I answer thee?” Prot. or Sept. “Why am I still judged, being admonished and rebuke by the Lord, hearing such things?”  (Grabe, after Origen, marks with an obel what follows, as not found in Heb.) “I, who am nothing, what answer shall I then give to these things?”  H. If we discuss all Job’s speeches, we find nothing spoken wickedly, but only a species of pride, in talking too much of his sufferings, and too little of God’s goodness and justice, which he ought to have confessed.  S. Greg. xxxii. 3.  W.

 

Ver. 35.  One.  Sept. “Once I have spoken, but I will not add again.”  H. I have spoken too much, but I will be more cautious.  Heb. “I have spoken one thing, and I will not answer; (C.) yea, two things, but I will go no farther.̶