HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY (Old Testament) The Prophets through Machabees

 

 

ON THE PROPHETS.

 

We come now to another division of the Bible, specified by our Saviour: All things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.  Luke xxiv. 44.  He more frequently comprises all the Scriptures under the titles of Moses, or the Law and the Prophets; (ib. v. 27) as in effect, all the sacred writings refer ultimately to him, who is the end of the law; (Rom. x. 4.) and the Jews comprise under the name of the first prophets, the histories of Josue, &c.  H. God has kept up a succession of prophets from the beginning, who either by word of mouth or by writing, established the true religion.  Their predictions are the most convincing proof of its divine of its divine origin.  Is. xli. 23.  They contain many things clear, and others obscure: having, for the most part, a literal, and a mystical sense.  C. Yet some relate solely to Christ, while others must not be applied to him.  Bossuet. The Fathers, in imitation of the ancient Jews, and of the apostles, discover frequently a spiritual sense, concealed under the letter, as Christ himself declared that Jonas, in the whale’s belly, prefigured his burial and resurrection on the third day.  See Mat. xii. 39.  Mar. ix. 11.  Gal. iv. 24.  When the figurative sense is thus authorized, it may serve to prove articles of faith; and such arguments must be more cogent in disputes with the Jews, than what can be drawn from their authors.  They must confess that the New Testament contains a true history, or they cannot require that we should pay greater deference to the Old.  Tertullian (Præs.) well observes, that heretics have no right to the Scriptures: But if they will quote them, they must receive them all, and adopt the sense given to them by the Church.  C. The providence of God, in giving the prophets, and other guides to direct his people, was ever an object of admiration and gratitude.  The prophets were enabled, by a supernatural light, superior to that of faith, though beneath that of glory, to announce the secrets of futurity, as eye-witnesses; whence their predictions are styled visions, as such witnesses deserve the utmost credit.  We have the writings of the four great, and the twelve less prophets.  In these, many things are hard to be understood, which must not be interpreted by the private spiri.  2 Pet. i.  A large commentary would be requisite to explain these to the bottom, and we must refer the curious to the works of the Fathers, &c. as the subsequent notes will be rather briefer than usual.  W. The Sept. varies much from the original in Isaias.  But we cannot specify every particular.  C. S. Jerom has frequently given a double version in his learned comments on the prophets, as he would not peremptorily decide which exhibited the sense of God’s word more accurately.  H.

 

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ISAIAS

THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

This inspired writer is called by the Holy Ghost, (Ecclesiastic. xlviii. 25.) the great prophet; from the greatness of his prophetic spirit, by which he hath foretold, so long before, and in so clear a manner, the coming of Christ, the mysteries of our redemption, the calling of the Gentiles, and the glorious establishment, and perpeutal flourishing of the Church of Christ: insomuch that he seems to have been rather an evangelist than a prophet.  His very name is not without mystery: for Isaias in Hebrew signifies the salvation of the Lord, or, Jesus is the Lord.  He was, according to the tradition of the Hebrews, of the blood royal of the kings of Juda; an after a most holy life, ended his days by a glorious martyrdom; being sawed in two, at the command of his wicked son-in-law, king Manasses, for reproving his evil ways.  Ch. He began to prophesy ten years before the foundation of Rome, and the ruin of Ninive.  His style is suitable to his high birth.  He may be called the prophet of the mercies of the Lord.  Under the figure of the return from captivity, he foretells the redemption of mankind (C.) with such perspicuity, that he might seem to be an evangelist.  S. Jer.

 

 

ISAIAS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Amos.  His name is written in a different manner, in Hebrew, from that of the third among the minor prophets, (W.) though S. Aug. has confounded them. Ezechias.  He wrote this title towards the end of his life, or it was added by Esdras, &c.

 

Ver. 2.  Earth.  He apostrophises these insensible things, (C.) because they contain all others, and are the most durable.  Theod.  Deut. xxxi. 1.

 

Ver. 5-7.  Sad.  This was spoken after Ozias had given way to pride, when the Ammonites, &c. began to disturb Juda, (4 K. xv. 37. and 2 Par. xxvii. 7.) under Joathan, who was a good prince, but young.  C. Enemies.  At the last siege, (S. Jer.) or rather when Jerusalem was taken by the Chaldees.  C. Many, from the highest to the lowest, had prevaricated: but God always preserved his Church.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Cucumbers.  Or melons, which grew in the fields, and huts were erected for guards, till they were gathered.

 

Ver. 10.  Sodom.  Juda is so styled reproachfully, (C.) because the princes imitated the crimes of that devoted city.  Ezec. xvi. 49.  Inf. c. ii. 6. and iii. 9.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Victims.  Without piety, they are useless.  God tolerated bloody victims to withdraw the people from idolatry, but he often shewed that they were not of much importance, in order that they might be brought to offer the sacrifice of the new law, which eminently includes all the rest.  S. Jer.   Ps. xlix. 9.  Am. v. 21.  Jer. vi. 20.  Theod.

 

Ver. 14.  Bearing.  Hebrew, &c. “pardoning,” (C.) or “bearing.”  Sept. “I will no longer pardon your sins.”  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Wash.  Interiorly.  C. He seems to allude to baptism.  Eus.  Theod.

 

Ver. 18.  Accuse me.  If I punish you without cause.

 

Ver. 22.  Water.  There is no sincerity in commerce.  C. Teachers give false interpretations of the law.  S. Jer. Iniquity abounded before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldees and Romans.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Ah!  God punishes with regret.  M. Comfort.  I will take complete vengeance under Joathan, (4 K. xv. 37.) Achaz, &c.

 

Ver. 25.  Tin.  I will reform abuses in the reign of Ezechias, but much more by establishing the Church of Christ, which shall be the faithful city.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Judges.  The Jews explain this of the judges, and priests, who governed after the captivity; though it refer rather to the apostles, &c.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  Idols.  Prot. “oaks, which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens,” &c.  H. the groves were sacred to Venus, and the gardens to Adonis, and were scenes of the greatest immorality and profanation.  C. lxv. 3.

 

Ver. 31.  It.  The efforts of Achan and Ezechias against the enemy proved in vain.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Jerusalem.  Many particular prophecies are blended with the general one, which regards Christ.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Days.  The whole time of the new law, from the coming of Christ till the end of the world, is called in the Scripture the last days; because no other age, or time shall come after it, but only eternity. Ch. It is therefore styled the last hour.  1 Jo. ii.  W. Mountains.  This shews the perpetual visibility of the Church of Christ: for a mountain upon the top of mountains cannot be hid.  Ch. This evidently regards the Church.  Mat. v.  W. The Jews can never shew the fulfillment of this prophecy in any material temple.  Micheas (iv. 1.) copies this text.

 

Ver. 3.  Jerusalem.  Our Saviour preached there, and in some sense the religion established by him, may be esteemed a reform, or accomplishment of the old law.

 

Ver. 4.  War.  Ezechias enjoyed peace after the defeat of Sennacherib, as the whole world did at the birth of Christ.  C. Claudentur belli portæ.  Æn. i.

 

Ver. 5.  Lord.  Ezechias, or rather Christ and his Church, invite all to embrace the true faith.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Jacob.  Thus the converts address God, (H.) or the prophet give the reasons of the subversion of the ten tribes. Filled.  Consecrated as priests. Children.  Imitating idolatrous nations, (C.) and marrying with them, (C.  Sept.  Theod.) or even giving way to unnatural sins.  S. Jer.  M. The Jews were not utterly cast off till they had put Christ to death.  His Church shall never perish.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Horses.  Which the kings were forbidden to multiply.  Deut. xvii. 16.  Great riches often precede the ruin of states.

 

Ver. 9.  Forgive.  Sept. “I will not dismiss them.”  Heb. “and thou hast not pardoned them.”

 

Ver. 10.  Rock.  Screen thyself if thou canst.  He alludes to the kingdom of Israel, which was ruined by idolatry.  v. 18. 20.

 

Ver. 13.  Basan.  Israel; or Syria and the Ammonites, (C.) whom Nabuchodonosor subdued, five years after he had taken Jerusalem, (Joseph. x. 11.) as the Idumeans, (v. 14.) Philistines, and Egyptians, (v. 15.) and Tyrians, (v. 16.) who felt also the indignation of the Lord.  Jer. xxv. 15.

 

Ver. 16.  Tharsis.  In Cilicia, denoting large ships for merchandise. Fair.  Heb. “desirable pictures.”  Sept. “ships.”  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Destroyed.  This was verified by the establishment of Christianity.  And by this and other texts of the like nature, the wild system of some modern sectaries is abundantly confuted, who charge the whole Christian Church with worshipping idols, for many ages.  Ch. Yea, for above a thousand years, while she still professed the name of Christ.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Bats.  The Egyptians adored all sorts of animals.  Herod. ii. 65. Ægyptus portenta colat.  Juv. xv. Omnigenumque Deum monstra.  Æn. viii. The mole was much esteemed by magicians, who promised any the art of divination and success, who should eat the heart of one still warm.  Pliny xxx. 3.  The Israelites were always ready to embrace such superstitious practices.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  High.  Adhere to Jesus Christ.  Orig.  M. Sept. omit this sentence, and S. Jer. thinks they did it perhaps for fear of shocking their brethren.  In Jer. xvii. It is supplied from Aquila’s version, “how must he be esteemed?”  C. Prot. “for wherein is he to be accounted of?”  Jesus will kill the wicked one with the spirit of his mouth.  2 Thess. ii. 8.  H. No dependence must be had in man.  The Israelites vainly trusted in Egypt.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Strong.  Heb. and Sept. imply, “woman.”  H. Validam.  S. Cyp. Test. i. After the death of Christ, the Jews had none strong.  S. Jerom Strength.  Heb. “staff,” or support (Lev. xxvi. 26.) in the dreadful famine which fell on Jerusalem.  Lam. iv. 5. 10.  Who then shall rely on the power of any man?  C. ii. 22.  C. The Jews were depressed at the sieges of their city, and will be so till the end of the world.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Prophet.  Ezechiel was taken away under Jechonias.  Other prophets were disregarded, and the cunning man, (ariolus, which may be understood in a good or bad sense.  C.) every false prophet was silent, when danger threatened.

 

Ver. 3.  Countenance.  Sept. “the admired counsellor,” (H.) who came into the king’s presence. Architect.  4 K. xxiv. 14.  C. Eloquent.  Lit. “mystic.”  H. Aquila and Sym. “enchanter.”

 

Ver. 4.  Effeminate.  Heb. “babes.”  Sept. “scoffers.”  Aquila, &c. “changers,” (C.) who give way to unnatural excesses.  Rom. i. 27.  H. Some manifest a prudence beyond their years: but the last kings of Juda did not.  2 Par. xxxvi. 1. Eccle. x. 16.

 

Ver. 5.  People.  They were divided, whether they should continue to obey Nabuchodonosor, or listen to the Egyptians.  Ismael slew Godolias.  Jer. xli.

 

Ver. 6.  Garment.  They were ready to follow any, who was not quite destitute, like themselves.  Jer. xxxix. 10. Ruin.  Fallen people.

 

Ver. 7.  Clothing.  The indigent were excluded from dignities, for fear lest they should seek to enrich themselves by unjustifiable means.  Ex. xviii. 22.  Plut. in Sol.  Pliny xvi. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  For.  The prophet tells what will happen.  M. And their.  Sept. “are sinful, disbelieving what regards the Lord.  Wherefore now their glory is brought low.”  H. They must have followed a very different Hebrew copy from ours.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Shew, (agnitio.)  “Knowledge.”  W. Impudence, &c.  C. Hacurath (H.) occurs no where else.  C. From their countenance we may judge that they are proud, &c.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Well.  Jeremias (xxxix. 11.) was treated by the enemy with great respect.  Sept. “having said, let us bind the just man, for he is troublesome, (H.) or displeasing (C.) to us.  Hence they,” &c.  H.  Wisd. ii. 12.  Many of the Fathers quote it thus.  But our version agrees well with the original, as Isaias joins consoling predictions with those which are of a distressing nature.  C. Yet the Sept. seem to have thrown light on the Heb. by supplying an omission from the book of Wisdom.  Houbig. Thus all must be explained of the wicked, whose malice shall be punished. He shall.  S. Jer. and all versions read, “they shall eat the fruit of their doings, or devices.”  Fructum adinventionum suarum comedent.  H. All who hear of this must applaud the just God for acting well in their punishment.  According to the Sept. Christ and his adversaries are clearly pointed out.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 12.  Women.  “Let no women be our senate, as the impious Porphyrius objects.”  The scribes and Pharisees sought for lucre and pleasure.  The teacher approved by the Church must excite tears and not laughter; he must correct sinners, and pronounce no one blessed.  S. Jer.  H. The last kings of Juda were real tyrants, and weak as women.  C. Blessed.  Prot. marg. and the text has, “lead thee.”

 

Ver. 16.  Pace.  Prot. “and making a tinkling with their feet,” (H.) by means of little rings round their legs.  C.  Stridore ad se juvenes vocat.  S. Jer. ep. xlvii. The daughters of Sion, denote all the cities and villages which were defaced by the Chaldees, and still more by the Romans, forty years after Christ.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Bald.  Like slaves.  Deut. xxi. 12. Hair.  Heb. and Sept. “shame.”

 

Ver. 18.  Of shoes.  Heb. “gold tissue.”  Ps. xliv. 14.  This term occurs no where else, and many of these superfluous ornaments are not well known.  But we may conclude that they are pernicious to a state, and hateful to God.  C. Decorem…invitatorem libidinis scimus.  Tert. cult.

 

Ver. 24.  Stench.  The Jews are noted on this account, as if in consequence of this curse, or of their being confined to prisons, &c.  Fœtentium Judæorum et tumultuantium sæpe tædio percitus. M. Aurelius “was often weary of the stinking and seditious Jews.”  Marcellin ii.

 

Ver. 25.  Fairest.  They shall not be spared.  C. “As they have perished by their beauty, their fairest,” &c.  Chal.

 

Ver. 26.  Ground.  The posture of captives.  Lam. i. 1.

 

 

ISAIAS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Seven.  Many shall sue for a husband, men shall be so scarce.  To continue unmarried was reproachful.  Deut. vii. 14.  C. After the conversion of the Gentiles, pastors will be much wanted.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Bud.  That is, Christ, (Ch.) who was faintly prefigured by Zorobabel.  Zac. iii. 8.  Our Saviour was the fruit of the earth, and sovereign Lord.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Life.  Only the faithful shall be saved.  W. The Jews, after the captivity, shall be more obedient.  But converts to the faith of Christ are styled saints, (Rom. i. 7. &c.) such particularly as are predestined to glory.  Rom. viii. 30.  C. Those who are called to life and the true faith, may forfeit this honour, by their own fault.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Burning.  By baptism of water and fire, or of the Holy Ghost.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 5.  Protection.  God will protect his Church, more than he did the Israelites by the pillar.  Ex. xiv. 20.  S. Bas. &c.

 

 

ISAIAS 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  My cousin.  So the prophet calls Christ, as being of his family and kindred, by descending from the house of David.  Ch.  M. Heb. and Sept. “beloved.”  Dod may also mean a near relation.  C. Isaias being of the same tribe, sets before us the lamentations of Christ over Jerusalem.  Lu. xix. 41.  W. The Hebrews had canticles of sorrow, as well as of joy.  The prophet thus endeavours to impress more deeply on the minds of the people what he had been saying.  The master of the vineyard is God himself.  v. 7.  C. Hill.  Lit. in the horn, the son of oil.  Ch. The best vines grew among olive and fig trees.  Doubdan 21. Sept. “in a horn, (mountain) in a fat soil.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Stones.  They burn and starve in different seasons.  Col. xii. 3. Choicest.  Heb. sorek.  H. There was a famous valley of this name.  Judg. xvi. 4.  The angels guarded the vineyard, in which Abraham, Moses, &c. were found. Tower.  To keep the wine, &c. Mat. xxi. 33.  It denotes the temple, (C.) Scriptures, &c.  M. Wild.  Sour.  Deut. xxxii. 32.

 

Ver. 3.  Judge.  God condescends to have his conduct scrutinized.  C. xli. 1.

 

Ver. 4.  Was it.  “Why has it produced wild grapes, while I looked?” &c.

 

Ver. 5.  Down.  By the Chaldees, and after the death of Christ.  C. when God withdraws his aid, man is unable to stand.  Yet he falls by his own fault, which God only permits.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  It.  During the whole of the captivity, the land might keep its sabbaths.  Lev. xxvi. 34.  C. The people shall be deprived of saving doctrine.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Israel.  This comparison is very common.  Ps. lxxix. 9.  Mat. xx. 1.  C. The preceding parable is explained.  M. Cry.  For vengeance.  Jer. xii. 8.  Gen. iv. 10. and xviii. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Even.  Sept. “to take from your neighbour: shall,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Things.  Unjust practices. Inhabitant.  What will your avarice avail, (H.) since you must abandon all?  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Measure.  Heb. “both.” Thirty.  Heb. “a chomer shall yield an epha.”

 

Ver. 11.  To follow.  Heb. “for shecar,” (C.) palm wine, (Theod.) or any inebriating liquor.  S. Jer. in C. xxviii.  Our version is conformable to Aquila and Sym.  H. Num. vi. 3.  Eccle. x. 16.

 

Ver. 12.  Work.  Chastisement.  v. 19. and c. xxviii. 21.  C. They are admonished to observe the festivals of the Lord, and not to indulge in riotousness.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Hell.  Or the grave, which never says enough.  Prov. xxx. 15.  Isaias alludes to what should happen under Nabuchodonosor, as if it were past.  G.

 

Ver. 16.  Justice.  All will be taught to adore him.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Strangers.  Ammonites, &c. (C.) shall occupy part of the land.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Cart.  Fatiguing themselves with iniquity, (Wisd. v. 7.  C.) and delaying your conversion.  S. Isid.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  It.  The Jews were often guilty of the like insolence.  Jer. xvii. 15.

 

Ver. 21.  Conceits.  Blind guides.  Mat. xv. 14.

 

Ver. 22.  Drink.  Heb. “mix shecar.”  People generally mixed wine and water.  They also strove who could drink most, and the Greeks had a feast for this purpose, (C.) which they styled Choas, for the measure which was to be swallowed down.  Aristoph. Acharn. act. iv. 4. and 5. ult. Cyrus the younger boasted to the Gr. ambassadors, that “he could drink and bear more wine than his brother.”  Plut. in Artax.

 

Ver. 23.  Justice.  Declaring the righteous guilty.  v. 20.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Still.  After the ruin of Jerusalem, the people were led away.  C. Grievous sins must be severely punished, as was that of the murderers of Christ.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  Off.  Like a king, leading all his subjects to battle.  C. Whistle.  He alludes to the custom of leading forth bees by music.  C. vii. 18.  S. Cyr. Earth.  The Chaldees, (c. xli. 9.  Jer. vi. 22.) and not the Romans, as some would suppose. Swiftly.  Like an eagle.  Dan. vii. 4.  Jer. xlviii. 40.

 

Ver. 27.  Broken.  They shall march incessantly.  Ezec. xxvi. 7. and xxx. 11.

 

Ver. 28.  Hoofs.  They were hardened, but not shod.  Xenoph.  Amos vi. 13.

 

Ver. 29.  Lion.  Nabuchodonosor is compared to one.  v. 26.  Jer. iv. 7.

 

Ver. 30.  Mist.  Denoting calamity.  Heb. “ruin.”  Sept. “indigence.”  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Died.  Either a natural (C.) or a civil death, by means of the leprosy.  Chal.  Tostat. 7. This and the former chapters relate to the commencement of Joathan’s reign, whether before or after the death of Ozias.  C. Many think that this was the first prediction of Isaias.  Orig.  S. Jer. ad Dam. I saw.  By a prophetic vision, as if I had been present at the dedication of the temple.  3 K. viii. 10.  C. Lord.  Not the Father, as some have asserted, but the Son.  Jo. xii. 40.  S. Jer. ad Dam.  C. Neither Moses nor any other saw the substance of God; but only a shadow.  Yet Manasses hence took a pretext to have Isaias slain.  Orig.  S. Jer. Trad.  Paral.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  The two Seraphims “burning.”  They are supposed to constitute the highest order of angels.  Num. xxi. 6. His.  God’s or their own face.  Heb. and Sept. are ambiguous.  Out of respect, (C.) they look not at the divine majesty.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Glory.  By no means of the Incarnation.  The unity and Trinity are insinuated.  S. Jer.  S. Greg. Mor. xxix. 16.

 

Ver. 4.  Of him.  Sept. “them,” (H.) the Seraphim signifying that the veil was removed by the death of Christ, (Theod.) or that the people should be led into captivity, as a Jew explained it to S. Jerom.

 

Ver. 5.  Peace.  It is proper for sinners to do so.  Eccli. xv. 9.  The prophet was grieved that he was unworthy to join in the acclamation of the Seraphim, and had reason to fear death.  Gen. xvi. 13.  Ex. xxxiii. 20.  He finds himself less able to speak than before, like Moses.  Ex. iv. 10. and vi. 12.

 

Ver. 6.  Coal.  “Carbuncle,” (Sept.) the word of God, (S. Basil) spirit of prophecy, (S. Jer. 142. ad Dam.) &c.

 

Ver. 7.  Sin.  Impediment in speech.  All defects were attributed to some sin, (Jo. ix. 2.) as Job’s friends maintained.

 

Ver. 8.  For us.  Hence arises a proof of the plurality of persons.  C. Send me.  Thus Isaias was an evangelical and apostolical prophet.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Blind.  The prophets are said to do what they denounce.  S. Tho. 1. q. xxiv. 3.  Sanct. Sept. “heavy or gross is the heart,” &c.  The authors of the New Testament quote it thus less harshly. Them.  Is God unwilling to heal?  Why then does he send his prophet?  C. He intimates that all the graces offered would be rendered useless by the hardened Jews.  S. Isid. Pelus. 2. ep. 270. Heb. may be, “surely they will not see,” &c.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Desolate.  By means of Nabuchodonosor, (S. Chrys.) and the Romans, (Eus. &c.) or even till the end of the world, their obstinacy will continue.

 

Ver. 12.  Earth.  After the captivity, the people shall be more docile.  But this was more fully verified by the preaching of the gospel.

 

Ver. 13.  Tithing.  The land shall produce its fruits, and people shall bring their tithes.  Ezec. xx. 40.  There shall be some left; (c. i. 9. and iv. 3.  C.) though only a tenth part will embrace Christianity.  S. Bas. Made.  Sept. “ravaged.”  They shall be exposed to many persecutions under Epiphanes, and few shall escape the arms of the Romans, (C.) those particularly (H.) who shall be a holy seed.  C. The apostles were of Jewish extraction, (H.) and spread the gospel throughout the world.  M.

 

 

ISAIAS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Achaz.  This must be seventeen years later than the former prediction.  4 K. xv. 37.  The kings of Syria and Israel jointly attacked Juda, but were forced to raise the siege of Jerusalem.  The next year they came separately, and committed the following ravages.  The news of their junction threw all into confusion.  v. 2.  Isaias was then sent to inform the king, that the designs of his enemies should not take effect.  Yet the two kings obtained each a victory.  But they could not dethrone Achaz, as they intended.  C. Paine traduces this prophecy as a lie, asserting that they succeeded.  What! did they make Tabeel king?  v. 6.  The Israelites would not even keep the captives who had been taken.  2 Chron. xxviii. 15.  Watson, let. 5. Achaz had been made captive before.  But now the Lord defeated the projects of his enemies, as he will the conspiracy of heretics against his Church.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Jasub.  This name was mysterious: Shear-Jashub means “the rest shall return” from Babylon, or be converted under Ezechias.  C. x. 22.  C. Prot. Go “thou, and Shear-Jashub, thy son, at the end of the conduit,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Tails.  So he styles the two kings in derision.  The distrust of Achaz was punished by the loss of many of his subjects, but he was not dethroned, having engaged the Egyptians and Assyrians to attack his enemies.  v. 17.

 

Ver. 6.  Tabeel.  Chal. “whom we shall think proper.”  He will not so much as name him.

 

Ver. 8.  Rasin.  Both the king and his capital shall be ruined. And five.  Capellus (p. 497.) would read six and five; or, in eleven years time.  But (C.) Ephraim was led captive twenty-one years after, and the Cutheans took their place when sixty-five years had elapsed.  A. 3327.  Usher Most people date from the prophecy of Amos to the ruin of Samaria, just sixty-five years.  The former solution seems preferable.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Continue.  Sept. “and will not understand, even the Lord,” &c.  H. Heb. “and since you do not believe,” (C.) or “because you are not confirmed” by a miracle.  Grot.

 

Ver. 11.  Above.  Require it to thunder, (1 K. xii. 17.) or the earth to open.  Num. xvi. 28.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Lord.  He was afraid of being forced to relinquish his evil ways.  S. Jer. Though an idolater, he knew he ought not to tempt God.

 

Ver. 14.  Virgin, halma, (H.) one secluded from the company of men.  Alma in Latin signifies “a holy person,” and in Punic “a virgin.”  The term is never applied to any but “a young virgin.”  If it meant a young woman, what sort of a sign would this be?  S. Jer. It was indeed above the sagacity of man to declare that the child to be born would be a boy, and live till the kings should be destroyed.  But the prophet undoubtedly speaks of Jesus Christ, the wonderful, &c. (c. ix. 5.) as well as of a boy, who should prefigure him, and be an earnest of the speedy destruction of the two kings.  He was to be born of Isaias, (c. viii. 4.) and of all the qualities belonging to the true Emmanuel, only that regards him, which intimates that the country should be delivered before he should come to years of discretion.  v. 16.  C. Diss.  Bossuet The Fathers generally apply all to Christ. Called.  Or shall be in effect.  C. i. 26. C. The king hardly trusted in God’s mercies, whereupon the incarnation of Christ, &c. is foretold.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Honey.  Like other infants.  C. The new baptized received some to remind them of innocence.  Tert. cor. 3. Christ shall be true man.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Good.  Being arrived at the age of discretion, Achaz engaged the Assyrians to invade Damascus.  Its citizens and four tribes were carried into captivity the year following.  Phacee only survived another year, A. 3265.  This was a pledge, that what regarded the son of the virgin would also be accomplished.  C. Land of the enemy.  C.  4 K. xvi.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Assyrians.  His aid shall prove the greatest scourge, (2 Par. xxviii. 20.) while the Idumeans and Philistines shall also ravage the country.  Ib. 17.  Achaz has vainly trusted in man.

 

Ver. 18.  Of Egypt.  The Idumeans, &c. dwell on the borders.  C. v. 26.  Yet many explain this of the victories of Nabuchodonosor and Nechas.

 

Ver. 20.  Razor.  Or cut off with scissors all the hair, as was done with lepers, (Lev. xiv. 9.) and Levites.  Num. viii. 7.  The country shall be pillaged, and all shall be in mourning.  C. The men shall be despised as no better than women and cowards.  S. Jer.  Theod. Hired.  With large sums.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Land.  Pastures shall be so large, (M.) though uncultivated, the greatest part of the inhabitants being removed.

 

Ver. 23.  Pieces.  Sicles.  This was the price of the best vineyards.  Cant. viii. 2.  C. Now people may hunt in them.  H. The subjects of Achaz were much reduced.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Thither.  The hedges shall be rooted up (H.) or neglected, so that cattle may graze.  M. Two sorts of mountains are specified; some for vineyards, and others for pasture.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Book.  This mystery would require a large explanation.  W. Pen.  Lit. “style.”  H. Write intelligibly.  Here all is plain.  C. Take.  Prot. “concerning Mahershalalchashbaz.”  Marg. “in making speed to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey.”  H. Chashbaz, the son of Isaias, was a sign that Syria and Israel should soon be rendered desolate; and in a more elevated sense, he shewed that Christ should overturn the powers of hell.  C. The virgin’s son took the prey from the devil, who before possessed almost all the world.  W. Urias.  Probably the high priest, who afterwards weakly complied with the king’s idolatrous order.  4 K. xvi. 10.  C. Yet at this time, he was a credible witness.  H. Zacharias.  A person to us unknown.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Prophetess.  The blessed Virgin, (S. Chrys. &c.) or to his wife.  He gives his son a different name from Emmanuel, (c. vii. 14.) that they might not be confounded. Hasten.  Heb. Mahershalalchashbaz.  v. 1.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Assyrians.  Theglathphalassar, the next year, took the Damascenes to Kir, and Nephthali, Reuben, Gad, and Manasses into captivity.  Yet the kingdom continued some time longer.  Never was prediction more explicit.  Can the pagans produce any thing similar?

 

Ver. 6.  Silence.  Being willing to receive Tabeel, instead of their lawful prince.  Achaz was then terrified, and chose to become tributary, rather than to  lose his crown.  Herein both offended God, in whom they ought to have trusted; and the auxiliary king looked upon himself as master of the country.  2 Par. xxviii. 20.  C. Israel had  joined with the Syrian; but was reduced to the state of captivity, while Jerusalem was preserved.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  River.  Euphrates, (C.) with the overflowing of which the Assyrian is compared.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Wings.  Or troops. Emmanuel.  Christ was born in the country, and Lord of it: though it might be said to belong to the son of Isaias, as being his figure.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Overcome.  The defeat of Sennacherib, of the Idumeans, &c. under Ezechias, is intimated.  4 K. xviii. 8. and xix. 35.

 

Ver. 10.  God.  Heb. “Emmanuel.”  We have a pledge of God’s protection.

 

Ver. 12.  Conspiracy.  In despair, they wish to submit to the enemy.  v. 6.  Isaias exhorts them to have recourse rather to the Lord.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Two.  The wicked of both kingdoms, (H.) who choose to revolt from God.  Many of Israel were led into captivity, and the territory of Juda was laid waste.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Disciples.  Let some faithful witnesses keep this prophecy, (H.) that when it is verified, all may be convinced.

 

Ver. 17.  Jacob.  Having resolved on their ruin.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  I and my two children.  C. vii. 3. and viii. 4.  H. The actions of some were prophetical.  C. xx. 2.  Os. xii. 10.  C. God announces what will happen, by the names of my children, (H.) and by their age, as well as by my mouth.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Seek of pythons.  That is, people pretending to tell future things by a prophesying spirit. Should not the people seek of their God, for the living of the dead?  Here is signified, that it is to God we should pray to be directed, and not to seek of the dead, (that is, of fortune-tellers dead in sin) for the health of the living.  Ch. Mutter.  Lit. “use a shrill note,” strident.  H. so Horace, (1 Sat. viii.) says

Umbræ cum sagana resonarent triste et acutum.

Should.  Make this reply:  Should, &c.

 

Ver. 20.  Law.  Sealed, (v. 16.) or to the law of Moses.  Eccli. xxxiv. 28.  C. Sept. “why do they consult the dead concerning the living?  For he gave the law to assist us.”  H. Light.  They shall die or be miserable.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  By it.  The word of God.  H. God.  Elohim means also princes or idols.  C. Whether they seek God unwillingly, or the aid of men, (v. 22.) they shall perish.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Loaded.  Theglathphalassar took away whole tribes, (2 Par. v. 26.) the year after this.  Yet these people were the first enlightened with the rays of the gospel, (Matt. iv. 13.) though so much despised.  Jo. vii. 52.  C. Here Christ preached first.  But after his passion, few Jews believed in him.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Risen.  the kingdom of Juda hoped for redress, when they saw the people of Israel humbled, (H.) or rather after the defeat of Sennacherib.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  And hast.  Parkhurst says it should be, “(whom) thou hast not brought up (the Gentiles) with joy they,” &c.  Symmachus)  H. The numerous forces of the Assyrians could not save them from the angel.  Under Ezechias the people increased.  Was not his reign a figure of the Church persecuted and increasing: but on that account, in danger from a relaxation of discipline?  Lu. v. 5. Spoils.  They shall return thanks to God for the unexpected liberation.

 

Ver. 4.  Oppressor.  Who levied taxes for Assyria.  4 K. xviii. 7.  Sennacherib made war, because Ezechias refused to pay them any longer, and his troops fell upon each other, (C.) as the Madianites had done.  Judg. vii.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Fire.  Being cut and useless.  See Diss. on the defeat of Sennacherib.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Child.  The Messias, whom the son of Isaias prefigured. Shoulder.  Where the badges of royalty were worn.  C. Christ bore his cross.  Tert. &c. Wonderful.  In his birth, &c. Counsellor.  From whom all good advice proceeds.  Grotius falsely translates, “the consulter of the strong God,” meaning Ezechias.  Though he deemed the Socinians unworthy of the Christian name, (Ep. ad Valleum.) he too often sides with them.  Johets always means one who “gives counsel.”  C. xl. 13.  Ezechias was at this time ten years old, and he did not always take advice, nor was his reign peaceful, &c. God.  The three Greek versions maliciously render El “the strong,” though it be uncertain that it ever has that meaning, as it certainly has not when joined with gibbon, “mighty.”  Why should two terms of the same import be used?  The Sept. copies vary much.  Some read only, “he shall be called the angel of the great council, for I will bring peace upon the princes and his health.”  S. Jerom thinks they were afraid to style the child God.  But this reason falls to the ground, as other copies have, (C.) after council, “Wonderful, Counsellor, God, the Mighty, the Potent, exousiaszhV, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come, for, &c.  (7.) His.”  Grabe (de Vitiis lxx. p. 29.) asserts that the former is the genuine version, and that the inserted titles are a secondary one; so that there must have been two version before the days of Aquila, as the text is thus quoted at large by Clement and S. Iræneus, A. 180; Kennicott adds also by S. Ignatius, A. 110.  H. The omnipotent God became a little child, and without violence subdued the world, which he still governs.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Peace.  Christ gives it, and propagates his Church.  Heb. xii. 2.

 

Ver. 8.  Word.  Sept. “death.”  This also agrees with the Heb. term, and with the context.

 

Ver. 9.  Cedars.  They speak in a proverbial way, that they will shortly repair the injuries done by the Assyrians depending on king Osee.

 

Ver. 11.  Him.  Israel.  Salmanasar came to ruin the kingdom.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Still.  God punishes the impenitent throughout eternity.  v. 12.  c. x. 4.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Him.  Heb. “the branch and the rush.”  C. Sept. “the great and the small.”

 

Ver. 16.  Headlong.  If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch.  Matt. xv. 14.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Folly.  Sin.  They are all guilty.  He will shew no compassion.

 

Ver. 18.  High.  All shall witness the fall of Israel, (C.) like a forest on fire.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Brother.  Civil wars shall rage.  4 K. xv.  Josephus (Bel. vii.) perhaps alluded to this passage, when he said, that an ancient prophecy announced ruin to the Jews, when they should turn their arms against each other.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Injustice.  These great ones excite God’s indignation.  C. Jeroboam forbidding any to go to Jerusalem; and the Pharisees establishing their wicked traditions, ruined all.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Afar.  When Salmanasar shall come from Ninive to destroy Samaria, to punish the people for their idolatry (C.) and oppressions.  H. Glory.  Golden calves, (Ose. viii. 5. and x. 5.) or possessions.  C. ix. 8.

 

Ver. 5.  Woe.  Or come on, Heus, though (C.) ho is ordinarily rendered, alas!  It here indicates that God makes use of this scourge with regret, and will afterwards consign it to the flames.  H. The prophet speaks of Salmanasar, or of Sennacherib.  S. Cyr.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 6.  Deceitful.  Heb. “hypocritical,” joining my worship with that of idols.  C. They had solemnly promised to serve the Lord.  Ex. xix. 8.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  So.  He will not think that he is executing my vengeance, supposing that he conquers by his own power.

 

Ver. 9.  As.  Lit. “altogether kings.”  H. Thus Nabuchodonosor kept the conquered princes for derision.  Hab. i. 10.  Judg. i. 7. Arphad, Arad, or rather Raphanæ.  Jer. xlix. 23. Damascus.  These two cities were not yet subdued.

 

Ver. 10.  Idols.  He looks upon the true God as no better than any idols, (4 K. xviii. 32.) and falsely supposes that the latter were adored in Jerusalem.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Works.  Humbling and terrifying Ezechias and his subjects, who were reduced to great distress, in order to avert the impending war.  H. Eyes.  The Assyrians were punished in their turn.

 

Ver. 14.  Nest.  Some put these words in the mouth of God.  Tert. Abdias 4. But they shew the insolence of Sennacherib.

 

Ver. 15.  Axe.  The Assyrian has no right to boast.  What can man do without God’s assistance?  C. Gratiæ tuæ deputo et quæcumque non feci mala.  S. Aug. Conf. ii. 7. Sennacherib persecuted the Jews of his own free will, though he was God’s instrument.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Fire.  The Jews assert, that 185,000 perished by an inward burning, so that only ten men were left.  v. 19.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 17.  Light.  God.  H. Thorns.  Private soldiers.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Glory.  Officers. Flesh.  Or body.  All shall perish.  H. Fear.  Sennacherib escaped alone, and fell by the sword of his own sons.

 

Ver. 20.  Israel now submitted to Ezechias, as their kingdom was overturned in the sixth year of his reign, eight years before Sennacherib’s arrival.  Isaias speaks of this time, and therefore makes no distinction of the kingdoms.  Striketh the Assyrian.

 

Ver. 22.  Converted.  This was partly verified in the children of Israel who remained after the devastations of the Assyrians, in the time of king Ezechias: and partly in the conversion of a remnant of the Jews to the faith of Christ.  Ch. 4 K. xviii. 3.  Rom. ix. 27.  The apostle follows the Sept. (C.) “and if the people of Israel be.” Converted.  Sept. “saved, for perfecting the word and abridging in justice.  Because God, the Lord of hosts, will make an abridged word in the universe.”  H. As the apostle has explained this passage, “every other interpretation must cease.”  S. Jer. The few who were converted under Ezechias were a figure of those who should embrace the faith of Christ.  C. Consumption.  That is, the number of them cut short, and reduced to few, shall flourish in the abundance of justice.  Ch. Heb. “the desolation is decreed, justice shall overflow.”  God will treat all with rigour.  Nah. i. 8.  The incredulous Jews shall be rejected.  v. 23.  Rom. ix.

 

Ver. 24.  Egypt.  He sent Rabsaces from Lachis, when he set out to meet Tharaca.  4 K. xix.

 

Ver. 25.  Little.  Twenty-eight years, (Ps. lxxxix. 4.) or he alludes to the destruction which took place in a single night, (C.) or in a moment.  v. 16.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Oreb.  Judg. vii. 25. And his.  Moses thus let loose the waters of the Red Sea on the Egyptians, by stretching forth his rod.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Oil.  That is, by the sweet unction of divine mercy.  Ch. Chal. “before the anointed,” in consideration of Ezechias and Isaias.  In the higher sense, it denotes the victory of Christ over the devil.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Into Aiath, &c.  Here the prophet describes the march of the Assyrians under Sennacherib; and the terror they should carry with them; and how they should suddenly be destroyed.  Ch.

 

Ver. 29.  Lodging.  Here, say the Assyrians, we will encamp.

 

Ver. 31.  Take.  Prot. “gather themselves to flee.”  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Nobe.  He may arrive thither shortly, in the environs of Jerusalem.  C. Sept. “exhort to-day, that they may continue on the road.  Comfort with the hand the daughter of Sion, thou rock and hills within Jerusalem.”  H. Hand.  As Nicanor did against the temple.  2 Mac. xv. 32.  C.

 

Ver. 33.  Vessel.  Like Gideon, when he attacked Madian.  v. 26.  Judg. vii. 19.  Sept. “the nobles.”  H. Heb. “their beauty.”  The empire of Assyria shall presently fall.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Root.  Juda shall not be exterminated, like the Assyrians.  C. Christ shall spring from the blessed Virgin, (W.) for the salvation of mankind.  The Jews agree, that this prediction regards the Messias; though some, with Grotius, would explain it literally of Ezechias.  They do not reflect that he was now ten years old, and that the prophet speaks of an event which should still take place after he had been a long while upon the throne.  If we were to look for any figure of the Messias, to whom this might be applicable, it would be Zorobabel.  Zac. iii. 8.  But how disproportionate would be the promises to the execution?  Some passages may indeed relate to the return of the captives, (v. 11.) as the people must have a more  immediate object, to insure the accomplishment of the more elevated predictions concerning the Messias: but these also refer ultimately to the propagation of the gospel, which the prophet had also in view.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Him.  In the form of a dove.  Jo. i. 32.  H. “The whole fountain of the Holy Ghost descending.”  Ev. Nazar.  S. Jer. Christ was filled with his seven gifts, and of his fullness his servants receive.  W. Yet all virtues are the gifts of the holy Spirit, and the number seven is not specified in Hebrew, as the same word (C.) yirath, is rendered godliness, which (v. 3.) means, the fear of the Lord.  H. God enables us to penetrate the difficulties of Scripture, and to act with prudence, &c.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Filled.  Heb. “breath or smell.”  So S. Paul says, (2 Cor. ii. 15.) we are the good odour of Christ.  C. Prot. “he shall make him of quick understanding (marg. smell) in the fear,” &c.  H. Ears.  Which are often deceived.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Wicked.  Antichrist, (2 Thess. ii. 8.) and all impiety, by means of the apostles.

 

Ver. 5.  Reins.  He shall possess these virtues, performing his promises with the strictest fidelity.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Wolf.  Some explain this of the Millennium.  ap. S. Jer.  Lact. vii. 24. But the more  intelligent understand, that the fiercest nations shall embrace the gospel, and kings obey the pastors of the Church.  C. Lead.  Or “drive,” as the word is used by Festus.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Basilisk.  Ps. ix. 13.  The apostles subdued kings and philosophers, without any human advantages.

 

Ver. 9.  Kill.  The most inveterate pagans, being once converted, entirely alter their manners.  Ose. ii. 18.

 

Ver. 10.  Ensign.  the cross is the standard of Christians. Sepulchre.  Heb. Sept. &c. “rest.”  S. Jerom give the true sense.  The holy places have been greatly reverenced, and Christian princes strove for a long time to recover them.  C. They are respected even by the Turks.  Christ’s death was ignominious, but his monument was full of glory.  Thus the saints begin to shine, where the glory of the wicked ends.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Time.  After the deliverance from Sennacherib, they shall return from captivity.  Ezechias recalled some few.  2 Par. xxix. 9. Remnant.  Some embraced the gospel.  Rom. ii. 2.  Acts ii. 41. &c. Phetros, in Egypt. Of the Mediterranean sea, and all places to which the Jews went by water.

 

Ver. 13.  Away.  Under Ezechias the Israelites began to join with Juda.  But they did it more cordially after their return from Babylon.

 

Ver. 14.  Shoulders.  Or confines.  Ezec. xxv. 9.  Ezechias and the Machabees attacked the Philistines.  C. Sept. “and they shall fly on the ships of the strangers; they shall plunder the sea together, and those on the east, and Idumea.”  H. East.  Ammonites, &c. often defeated by the Machabees, and probably by Ezechias.

 

Ver. 15.  Tongue.  Gulf of the Mediterranean, near Pelusium, or the seven mouths of the river Nile.  The country was ravaged by Sennacherib, Cambyses, Alex. and Epiphanes.  C. xix. 4. &c.  The Jewish captives shall return thence.  C. l. 3.  Zac. x. 10.

 

Ver. 16.  Assyrians.  They shall march without impediment.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  Thanks.  Lit. “confess.”  The Jews thank God for their return, as the Church does for her deliverance from sin.  W. Canticles were composed on such occasions.  Ex. xv. Angry.  They do not thank God on this account; but because he had averted his indignation.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Fountains.  Instead of those which your fathers drank in the desert.  C. You shall have the holy Scriptures, (H.) sacraments, &c.  Jo. iv. 13. and vii. 38.

 

Ver. 6.  Of thee.  He alludes to the name Emmanuel.  Christ preached, and his own would not receive him.  Jo. i. 11. and 26.  C. He continues with us, concealed under the sacramental species.  M.

 

 

ISAIAS 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Burden.  That is, a prophecy against Babylon.  Ch. Nimrod began the kingdom.  Gen. x.  Belus and Ninus brought it to great eminence.  But after 1240 years, Babylon was taken by Cyrus.  W. Isaias delivered the seven following chapters in the first year of Ezechias.  C. xiv. 28.

 

Ver. 2.  Mountain of Media, whence Darius came.  It was usual to erect a signal, (c. xxx. 17.  Jer. vi. 1.) to call troops together.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Sanctioned.  The Medes and Persians were appointed by God to punish Babylon.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Kings.  Darius styles himself king of the Medes and Persians.  Dan. vi. 12.  Many princes and nations composed his army.

 

Ver. 5.  Heaven.  Where it seems to touch the horizon.  Thus the countries beyond the Euphrates are often designated.

 

Ver. 6.  Near.  Though one hundred and seventy-two years distant.

 

Ver. 8.  Burnt.  Black with despair.  Nah. ii. 10. and Joel ii. 6.

 

Ver. 9.  Desolate.  This was effected in the course of many centuries.  C. The building of Seleucia caused Babylon to be deserted.  Pliny vi. 27. Hence we know not at present where it was situated.

 

Ver. 10.  Stars.  This is not to be taken literally, but only implies that the people shall be in as much consternation (C.) as if the world were at an end.  v. 13.  H.  Grot.  Mat. xxiv. 27.  Apoc. vi. 12.  Jer. iv. 23.

 

Ver. 11.  World.  The vices of all nations were concentrated at Babylon.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Precious.  Rare, (W.) or sought after for destruction.  v. 17.

 

Ver. 13.  Heaven.  With thunders.

 

Ver. 14.  Land.  Baltassar shall be abandoned by his allies.  Crœsus had been already defeated, before Cyrus invested Babylon.

 

Ver. 17.  Medes.  Who had set themselves at liberty about twenty years before this.  They were not solicitous about gold.  Ezec. vii. 19.  Soph. i. 18.

 

Ver. 19.  Gomorrha.  Towards the end of the Macedonian empire.  C. The Persians kept wild beasts in it.  S. Jer. The palace of Nabuchodonosor subsisted in the days of Benjamin, (C.) but could not be approached on account of serpents.  Tudel. p. 70.

 

Ver. 20.  Tents.  To dwell, (C.) or to traffic.  Theod. Another city was built, but not so large, nor in the same place.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Beasts.  Heb. tsiim, “fishermen.” Serpents.  Heb. ochim.  Sept. “echo,” (H.) or “reeds.”  Babylon was built on a marshy situation, and Cyrus having let out the waters of the Euphrates, they could never be effectually stopped. Ostriches.  Or swans. Hairy.  Goats.  C. xxxiv. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Owls.  Or jackals, which resemble foxes, and going in packs, will devour the largest creatures.  Bochart.  Parkhurst in aje.  H. But S. Jer. explains it of birds.  Job xxviii. 7.  Lev. xiv. Sirens, fabulously supposed to be sweet singing women with wings. Thannim denotes some great sea monsters, such as whales or sea calves.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Prolonged.  Babylon was taken one hundred and seventy-two years after.  C. Yet this time is counted short, compared with the monarchy, which had lasted a thousand years.  W. Ground.  Cyrus restored the Jews; yet all did not return at that time. Stranger.  Converts.  Est. viii. 17.  All Idumea received circumcision under Hyrcan.

 

Ver. 2.  Place.  Cyrus probably granted an escort, as Artaxerxes did.  2 Esd. ii. 7. Servants.  They had purchased many slaves, (1 Esd. ii. 65.) as some were very rich in captivity, and were treated like other subjects. Oppressors.  Stragglers of the army of Cambyses, &c. though this was chiefly verified under the Machabees.  Jer. xxv. 14. and xxx. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Parable.  Sept. Jrhnon.  “Lamentation.”  H. Or mournful canticle.

 

Ver. 6.  Persecuted.  The Jews read incorrectly, “is persecuted.”

 

Ver. 7.  Earth.  Subject to, or bordering upon the Assyrian empire.  Under Darius the Mede, (the Cyaxares of Xenophon) and Cyrus, the people were little molested.  C.  The neighbouring princes (fir-trees, &c. v. 8.) were also at rest.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Hell is personified, deriding the Chaldee monarch, Baltassar, who perished the very night after he had profaned the sacred vessels.  Dan. v. 3.  He probably received only the burial of an ass.  v. 11. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  O Lucifer.  O day-star.  All this, according to the letter, is spoken of the king of Babylon.  It may also be applied, in a spiritual sense, to Lucifer, the prince of devils, who was created a bright angel, but fell by pride and rebellion against God.  Ch.  Lu. x. 18.  C. He fell by pride, as Nabuchodonosor did.  W. Homer (Iliad xix.) represents the demon of discord hurled down by Jupiter to the miserable region of mortals.

 

Ver. 13.  North.  And be adored as God in the temple of Jerusalem.  Ps. xlvii. 3.  The Assyrian and Persian monarchs claimed divine honours.  4 K. xviii. 33.  Judith iii. 13.

 

Ver. 15.  Depth.  Heb. “sides,” (v. 13.) or holes dug out of a cavern.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Turn.  From their respective holes in the monument.

 

Ver. 19.  Grave.  Strangers seized the crown of Baltassar, and neglected his sepulchre: or if we explain it of Nabuchodonosor, his tomb was probably plundered, (C.) as the Persians did not spare that of Belus.  In the reign of Alexander, the tombs of the kings were covered with water, and filled with serpents.  Arrian. vii.

 

Ver. 20.  Thy.  Sept. “my.”  Thou hast been a murderer instead of a shepherd. Ever.  The children and monarchy of Nabuchodonosor presently perished.  Evilmerodac and Baltassar reigned but a short time, and left no issue to inherit the throne.

 

Ver. 22.  Name.  It shall lose all its splendour, and be mentioned only with abhorrence.  1 Pet. v. 13.

 

Ver. 23.  Besom.  Reducing it to a heap of rubbish, (C. xiii. 21.  C.) as the event shewed.  Watson.

 

Ver. 25.  Assyrian.  4 K. xix.  W. Sennacherib, (S. Jer.) Cambyses, or Holofernes.  The sight of their chastisement would ben an earnest of the fall of Babylon.  C. The allies of Assyria, (M.) or the enemies of God’s people, will also be punished.  C. xv.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  Achaz.  When Ezechias was just seated on the throne.  The preceding and subsequent predictions were then delivered.  C. xiii. 20.

 

Ver. 29.  Rod.  Achaz. Bird.  Ezechias will openly attack thee.  4 K. xviii. 8.  C. Prot. “shall be a fiery flying serpent,” (H.) like that erected by Moses.  Num. xxi. 9.  Sennacherib and Assaraddon shall lay waste Philistia.  v. 31.  c. xx. 1.  C. Though Achaz be dead, Ezechias and Ozias will destroy more of that nation.  4 K. xviii. 8. and 2 Par. xxvi.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Nations.  Surprised that Ezechias should escape, while the power of the Philistines was overturned so easily; or when the king sent ambassadors to his allies, to announce the defeat of Sennacherib by the angel.  All confessed that this was an effect of the divine protection towards Sion.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 1.  Moab.  Which would be visited in three years’ time (c. xvi. 14.) either by Ezechias, or by Sennacherib, though history be silent on this head.  The Moabites had been very crue. , Amos i. and ii. Night.  Suddenly.  C. Their misery was so much the greater.  W. Ar.  The capital.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  House.  Prot. “he is come up to Baith,” (H.) or the royal family is gone to the temple of their idol, Chamos, to lament.  S. Jer.  M.  C. Shaven.  As in mourning.  Jer. xlviii. 37.

 

Ver. 4.  Itself.  Every one shall deplore his own distress.

 

Ver. 5.  My.  A charitable heart will grieve for the misfortune of an enemy.  W. I shall join in the general lamentations, though Moab has always been so great an enemy of Israel.  C. Sept. “the heart of Moab cries in itself to Segor.”  H. We will retire thither.  Chal. Bars.  Princes.  Prot. “his fugitives shall,” &c. Heifer.  Strong and ungovernable.  Heb. “to Heglath and to Shelishia for,” &c. though we may as well adhere to the Vulg. Sept. &c.

 

Ver. 6.  Nemrim.  Or Nemra, (Num. xxxii. 3.) to the north of Segor.  C. The country around hence became barren.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 7.  Willows.  That is, as some say, the waters of Babylon; others render it a valley of the Arabians, (Ch.) or “of crows,” to which their bodies will be exposed.  C. lvii. 6.

 

Ver. 8.  Cry.  Of iniquity, or rather of grief.

 

Ver. 9.  Dibon.  Sept. &c. read, “Dimon,” which signifies, “blood.”  I will give it a better claim to this appellation. Lion.  Nabuchodonosor.  C. Sept. “I will bring the Arabs up on Dimon, and will take away the seed of Moab, and Ariel, and the remnant of Adama.”  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Petra.  Heb. selah, “the rock.”  H. Our Saviour spring from Ruth, the Moabitess.  M. The original may insinuate, that the king of the country had neglected to pay the usual tribute to Juda.  4 K. iii. 4.  C. “Send the lamb to the ruler,” &c.  Tournemine.  Amid scenes of distress, the prophet perceives that the Saviour will proceed from one of this nation.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Arnon.  They shall not be able to fly over, or to escape the conqueror.

 

Ver. 3.  Night.  Seek a retreat in the darkest places; or protect Israel when they shall flee before the Assyrians.  Their cruelty is thus insinuated.  Amos i.

 

Ver. 4.  Dust.  Theglathphalassar.  I need not exhort you to receive my people, as I know your dispositions, and they are out of danger.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Just.  This regards Christ, (S. Jer.) prefigured by (H.) Ezechias.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Walls.  Heb. “Kir-hareseth.”  C. xv. 1.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Lords.  Princes of Jerusalem, (Lam. i. 1.) or of Assyria.  C. Sea.  Of Sodom, even as far as Jazer, (H.) in the tribe of Ruben.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  My tears.  C. xv. 5.  H. I announce a different sort of music from that which is customary in times of harvest, and of vintage.  The liquor shall be tears.  C. lxiii. 2.  Jer. xlviii. 32. 33.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Carmel.  This name is often taken to signify a fair and fruitful hill or field, such as Mount Carmel is.  Ch. It means, “the vine of God.”  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Wall.  Kir-hareseth.  v. 7.  I am grieved at your misfortunes.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Prevail.  Chamos shall not be able to help them.

 

Ver. 13.  That time.  A long while ago.  Ps. xcii. 2.

 

Ver. 14.  Not many.  It was laid waste in the third year of Ezechias.  But its final destruction took place only five years after that of Jerusalem.  C. The wars against Moab continued three years, after which it was reduced to servitude.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 17

 

CHAPTER XVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Damascus.  When it was taken by Theglathphalassar, or rather by Sennacherib.  C. x. 8.  It was again ruined by Nabuchodonosor.  Jer. xlix. 24.  But after the first taking, it never regained its power.  Magni nominis umbra.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Aroer.  Chal. “abandoned, shall be folds for sheep.”  Sept. “left for ever a resting place for flocks and herds, and none shall pursue.”  The tribes on the east of the Jordan shall be led captive, as well as those on the west, Ephraim, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Damascus.  Their too great union proved their ruin.  Sennacherib took Damascus, as Salmanasar had done Samaria.

 

Ver. 4.  Lean.  All the power of the kingdom shall fail, as in a mortal illness.

 

Ver. 5.  Raphaim.  Near Jerusalem.  3 K. xxiii. 13.  Sept. “of stones.”  C. It will be equally difficult to find any men left in the kingdom of Israel.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Israel.  They obeyed the summons of Ezechias and of Josias, (2 Par. xxx. 1. and xxxiv. 6.) and every after followed the same worship as Juda.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Left.  By the Chanaanites, when the children of Israel came into their land.  Ch. Their consternation was become proverbial.  Jos. ii. 9. and v. 11.

 

Ver. 10.  Good.  Sept. “fruitless.”  Israel had abandoned the Lord; and could expect nothing but the fruits of death.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Much.  Thou hast laboured earnestly, but reaped no benefit.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Multitude, &c.  This and all that follows to the end of the chapter, relates to the Assyrian army under Sennacherib, (Ch.) or rather to that of Israel and its allies.  C. After the Assyrians had afflicted Israel, they were also punished.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Not be.  Phacee and Rasin were presently exterminated. Spoiled us.  The kingdom of Achaz.  4 K. xvii. 5.

 

 

ISAIAS 18

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Cymbal.  Or sistrum, commonly used in Egypt.  Sept. “ship sails.” Ethiopia, or Chus, lying between the Nile (the branches of which are styled rivers) and the Red Sea.  He alludes to the kingdom of Tharaca.  4 K. xix. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Ambassadors.  Heb. “images,” (Bochart) in honour of Adonis; (S. Cyr.) or rather Ezechias, or Tharaca send to demand troops.  C. Bulrushes.  Lit. “paper.”  H. Formed of rushes which grow on the banks of the Nile.  Pliny vii. 56. and xiii. 11. Angels.  Or messengers. Pieces.  With factions after the death of Sabacon, or by the inroads of Sennacherib. Other.  He derides the vanity of the Egyptians.  C. Expecting the overflowing of the Nile.  H. Heb. “of line,” (C.) with which they marked out each person’s property, after the waters had subsided.  Strabo 17. Foot.  They worked their dough with their feet, and sent swine to trample on the seed, which required no more cultivation.  Herod. ii. 14. and 36. Spoiled.  The Nile made considerable alterations.

 

Ver. 4.  Place.  God rules all with ease. Harvest.  The allies shall comfort my people, (C.) or Sennacherib shall threaten ruin.  H. But I will frustrate his evil designs.  His army shall perish unexpectedly.  v. 5.  C. The Egyptians had sent messengers to assure the Israelites that they would come to assist them: but the prophet informs them of their own ruin.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Them.  Their bodies shall lie unburied.

 

Ver. 7.  Sion.  Egypt shall send presents to the Lord.  2 Par. xxxii. 23.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 19

 

CHAPTER XIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Egypt.  Many refer this to the coming of Christ, (C.) at whose presence the idols fell down, and many saints adorned the country.  W. But the prophet may also literally refer to the wars of the Assyrians against Egypt.  Sabacon having retired, after reigning fifty years, Anysis, and afterwards the priest of Sethon, succeeded to the throne.  The latter was attacked by Sennacherib.  After his death, twelve kingdoms were formed, but Psammitichus reunited them, and had Nechao for his successor.  Herod. ii. 141. 158. Behold.  The prophet speaks fourteen years before the attack of Sennacherib. Cloud.  Ps. xvii. 11.  Some Fathers explain it of the blessed Virgin.  C. Moved.  Plundered by the Assyrians.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Kingdom.  Under the twelve kings.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Egypt.  Sept. “of the Egyptians shall be troubled within them.”  H. Soothsayers.  Feeble but too common resource of superstitious people!

 

Ver. 4.  Masters.  Twelve kings.  Psammitichus, one of them, shall gain the ascendancy.

 

Ver. 5.  Dry.  The lakes and the Nile shall not afford sufficient  moisture.  C. If the Nile rose less than twelve or more than sixteen cubits famine ensued.  Pliny xviii. 18.

 

Ver. 7.  Fountain.  The Nile rises in Ethiopia.  But the canals alone were left dry.  C. Sept. “the achi, every green herb along the river, and every,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Fishers.  The lake Mœris produced a talent every day for the revenue, and so great was the abundance of fish, that they could hardly be salted.  The Nile was also well supplied with fish.

 

Ver. 9.  Linen.  Gr. “silk.”  Ezec. xvi. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  All they.  Sept. “and all who make strong drink (secer) shall be in sorrow, and shall afflict their souls.”  H. This version is perhaps the best, as the Egyptians used much ale or wine distilled from barley.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Tanis.  Or of the twelve kings.  v. 1.  They are disconcerted at the approach of Psammitichus, (C.) or at the want of water.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Memphis.  The seat of many kings, and a very ancient city.  Heb. “Hoph.” Stay.  Lit. “angle,” denoting the chiefs, or all the land.  Judg. xx. 2.

 

Ver. 15.  Back.  King and subject are equally confused.  C. ix. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Terror.  Hebrew also, “a rejoicing,” (S. Jer.) on account of Sennacherib’s defeat there.  C. xviii. 7.

 

Ver. 18.  Chanaan. Hebrew.  The Israelites had a connection with Egypt, which the prophets often blame.  C. xxx. 2.  Ezechias trusted in their aid, when he refused to pay tribute to the Assyrians.  Many at that time, or afterwards, retired thither, and served God unmolested.  C. xi. 2.  Jer. xlii.  More established themselves in the country under Alexander and the Ptolemies.  3 Mac. viii.  But this prediction was more fully accomplished by the propagation of the Christian religion.  Grace no where shone forth more brightly than in this country, once the seat of superstition. Sun.  Heb. “of desolation.”  But the copies have varied.  It is supposed to denote the city On.  Gen. xli. 45.  C. Prideaux (p. 2. b. 4.) accuses the Jews of willfully corrupting this text in the Sept.  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 19.  Altar.  If the Jews were forbidden to have any other than the one at Jerusalem, how can the prophet announce this as a blessing?  Onias being excluded from the high priesthood, retired into Egypt, and obtained leave to build the temple Onion, in the Nome, though not in the city of Helipolis, above Bubaste, on the Nile, alleging that Isaias had foretold this event, and that one was already built at Leontopolis.  Jos. Ant. xii. 15. and xiii. 6. But we must allow with the fathers and Jews in the days of S. Jerom, that this prediction regarded the Messias, when altars might be lawfully erected in every nation.  See Misna, tr. Moneuth, xiii. 10. Monument.  The cross is set up wherever Christ is adored.  C. The Egyptians shall embrace Christianity, and Anthony, &c. shall live a holy (W.) and austere life.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Them.  The Jews were miraculously rescued from the hands of Philopater, (c. Ap. ii.) or rather Christians are delivered from sin and Satan.

 

Ver. 21.  Egypt.  The kings often caused sacrifices to be offered for them; but they were not acceptable, as long as they continued idolaters.  The country was converted to Christianity, (C.) and the Anchorets performed their vows and penitential exercises, to the admiration of all.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Scourge.  By means of Sennacherib, Cambyses, and Ochus.  Afterwards the country was quietly subject to the kings of Persia, Alex. the Ptolemies, and the Romans.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Land.  The apostles, who were true Israelites, (H.) procured the blessing of faith for these nations, (C.) to serve God with concord.  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 20

 

CHAPTER XX.

 

Ver. 1.  Year.  Eighteen after the preceding predictions.  C. Sargon.  Sennacherib, (S. Jer.) Salmanasar, (Sanct.) or Assaradon, who intended to revenge Sennacherib, and sent his “collector of taxes” to take Azotus from Ezechias, and then to proceed farther.  C. Psammitichus having obtained the sole dominion of Egypt, besieged Azotus for 29 years.  Herod. ii. 157.  Amos i. 8.

 

Ver. 2.  Sackcloth.  The prophets lived in poverty.  Zac. xiii. 4.  Their persons were prophetic.  It is not agreed whether Isaias went quite naked, or only without his upper garment.  The former supposition would represent better the condition of slaves, (v. 4.) and is adopted by S. Jerom, &c.  C. People are said to be naked when they are almost so.  2 K. vi.  Jo. xxi.  H. Yet “nothing is more honest than to obey God.”  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Years.  Isaias went so long, or perhaps only three days undressed.  Num. xiv. 34.  Ezec. iv. 5.  Egypt and the Arabian Ethiopia were to be abandoned to the Assyrians, in or during three years.

 

Ver. 4.  Shame.  Thus captives were generally exposed to sale.  C. xlvii. 2.  Nah. iii. 5.

 

Ver. 5.  Glory.  The alliance of these nations shall not avail the Jews, who are said to inhabit an island, because they neglected God’s service no less than the most distant and abandoned nations.  C. The changes in empires must convince us to depend only on God, since Damascus and Egypt could not save the Hebrews, nor even themselves.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 21

 

CHAPTER XXI.

 

Ver. 1.  The desert of the sea.  So Babylon is here called, because from a city as full of people as the sea is with water, it was become a desert.  Ch. After its fall, it was mostly inundated.  C. xiii. 20. Land.  Media and Persia, which lay to the south, and were not so beautiful as the environs of Babylon.

 

Ver. 2.  Spoileth.  Baltassar is incorrigible, or his opponents must proceed.  C. Elam; that is, O Persia: (Ch.) Cyrus, and Darius, the Mede.  C. The former nation was weak, and the latter strong.  W. Cease.   The enemy will shew no pity; nor shall I; as Babylon did not heretofore.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Pain.  He bewails the crimes and the fall of Babylon, which at this time was in amity with Ezechias.  v. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Babylon.  Prot. “the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.”  Sept. “My soul is turned into fear.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Drink.  Persians refresh yourselves. Take up.  Heb. “anoint.”  He may also allude to the Babylonians, who were feasting.

 

Ver. 7.  Camel.  These two riders are the kings of the Persians and Medes.  Ch. The sentinel, placed by Isaias, in spirit, or rather by the king of Babylon, brings these tidings.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Out.  Lit. “He cried, a lion.”  H. Cyrus appears like one.  Sept. “And call Urias to the watch-tower,” &c.  C. viii. 2.

 

Ver. 9.  Horsemen, drawn by the ass and camel.  v. 7.  This was verified long after.

 

Ver. 10.  Floor: you who must shortly be reduced to the utmost distress.  Baladan was friendly to Ezechias.  But Assaradon having seized Babylon, took Manasses prisoner; and the city thenceforward continued to fill up the measure of its sins.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Duma.  That is, Idumea, or Edom.  Ch. It was a city of that country, twenty miles from Eleutheropolis.  S. Jer. Assaradon desolated Idumea the following year.  v. 16.  The Jews absurdly apply to Rome what is said of Edom.  S. Jer.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Night.  Instead of joy, I must announce dreadful things.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Arabia.  This sentence is not in the Rom. (C.) or Alex. Sept. (H.) and Dedan is a city of Idumea.  C. The Israelites are threatened.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Water.  To neglect this was to be accessary to another’s death, in those dreary regions.  C. xvi. 3.  Deut. xxiii. 2.

 

Ver. 16.  Hireling; counting precisely.  C. xvi. 14.  C. Cedar: Arabia, (Ch.) near to Edom.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 22

 

CHAPTER XXII.

 

Ver. 1.  The valley of vision: Jerusalem.  The temple of Jerusalem was built upon Mount Moria, or on the mountain of vision.  But the city is here called, the valley of vision, either because it was lower than the temple, or because of the low condition to which it was to be reduced, (Ch.) during the captivity.  W. Vision.  Sept. “Sion.”  H. This prophecy regards the devastation caused by Sennacherib, (S. Jer.) Nabuchodonosor, (Sanct.) the Romans, (Eus.) or by Assaradon, when he took Manasses.  2 Par. xxxiii. 11. and 4 K. xxi. 10. Tops, to weep.

 

Ver. 2.  Battle.  He taxes the king with cowardice.

 

Ver. 4.  People.  He saw this in spirit, though he might not live to witness it.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Searching.  That day beheld the Assyrians (H.) undermining the wall, and behaving with haughtiness (C.) on Mount Sion.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Wall.  Arms were frequently  hung thereon.  Cant. ix. 4.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Covering.  Heb. masac, (H.) “shade,” for the convenience of the people.  4 K. xvi. 18. Forest, built by Solomon.  Ezechias has also procured store of arms, which were now delivered out to the citizens.

 

Ver. 9.  Many, but you have neglected them, (C.) till it be too late.  H. Pool, communicating with Gehon on the west.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Walls.  Manasses enclosed the pool within walls, forming a second town.  4 K. xxii. 29. Ago.  You have not imitated the piety of Ezechias.

 

Ver. 13.  Die.  Thus the pagans encouraged themselves to feast.  C. Ergo vivamus dum licet esse benè.  Petron. This conduct betrayed an entire want of faith.  C. “Nothing offends God so much…as contempt proceeding from despair.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 14.  Die.  The repentance of Manasses, and the piety of Josias, could not avert the storm.  Discite justitiam moniti et non temnere divos.

 

Ver. 15.  Temple, in the place of Eliacim.  He had been secretary before, (C.) and had intruded himself into some office in the temple, which he abused.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Cock.  S. Jerom’s master assured him that the word which is usually rendered a warrior, has this meaning.  H. The comparison agrees well with a proud man reduced to misery.  C. Heb. “With the captivity of a man, and he will cover thee.”  Sept. “he will cast out and bruise the man, and will take away thy comely robe, and throw thee into,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Lord; Manasses, who hath exalted thee.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Eliacim, who had been displaced, v. 15.  He acted as regent after the departure of Manasses, who always followed his counsels at his return.  Judith iv. 5.  The priesthood was not then incompatible with civil and military functions.

 

Ver. 21.  Girdle, the badge of power.  Job xii. 18.

 

Ver. 22.  Shoulder.  Here the marks of dignity were worn.  Eliacim was appointed master of the palace, over all the other servants.  C. Thus we may gather what power Christ conferred on S. Peter, when he gave him the keys of heaven.  Mat. xvi. 19.  Apoc. iii. 7.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Peg, on which whatever is placed shall be secure.  1 Esd. ix. 8.

 

Ver. 24.  House.  He shall be the ornament of the priesthood. Music.  All affairs in church and state shall be at his disposal.

 

Ver. 25.  Fall.  Sobna shall lose all his employments, and ruin others.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 23

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Tyre was destroyed, in part, by Nabuchodonosor.  Cyrus permitted all the captives of this, as well as of other countries, to return. Cethim; Cyrus, or rather Macedonia.  Merchants come thence no longer.

 

Ver. 2.  Island.  Tyre was originally surrounded with water.  A communication with the land was made afterwards.  Jos. xix. 29.  C.  Ezec. xxvii.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Nile.  Heb. Shichor, or “muddy water,” designates that river.  Jos. xiii. 3. River.  The overflowing of the Nile gave fertility to Egypt, insomuch that Tyre and other nations were supplied by it with corn.

 

Ver. 4.  Strength: people who sail.  Sept. “but the strength…replied: I,” &c.  Sidon will not be concerned for the fall of her rival.  She alleges that she has nothing to do with Tyre.  That city would not allow that it was a colony of Sidon.  v. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Seas.  The rich Tyrians did so.  S. Jer. Sept. “to Carthage.”  Heb. Tharsis, is Cilicia.  C. Hence Nabuchodonosor did not find a sufficient reward.  Ezec. xxix. 18.

 

Ver. 7.  Sojourn.  Many fled, others were made captives.

 

Ver. 8.  Earth.  The merchants were as rich as kings, or the latter sent their merchandise to Tyre.  Ezec. xxvii. 33.

 

Ver. 10.  Girdle, fortress; or rather, thou art naked, like a slave.  C. xx. 4.

 

Ver. 12.  Daughter; colony.  C. Oppressed.  Lit. “calumniated.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  It. Hebrew adds, “for fishermen.”  It was formerly covered with water.  Euseb. præp. ix. Ruin.  The fall of Babylon has been denounced.  C. xiii.

 

Ver. 15.  King Nabuchodonosor, whose two sons reigned but a short time.  The captivity of the people of God began also A. 3398, and ended A. 3468, the first of Cyrus. Harlot.  She shall be re-established, (C.) and shall invite people to her markets.  Sanchez. Before Cyrus, she had kings, but they were of small power.  The city was become very rich, and well fortified, when Alexander was stopped by it for seven months.  See Ezec. xxvi. 14.  C. Tyre had rejoiced at the misfortunes of the Hebrews, and was punished by the like captivity.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Commit.  Sept. “be the emporium for all.”  Great injustice prevailed formerly among merchants, so that it is represented as a dishonest calling.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Sanctified to the Lord.  This alludes to the conversion of the Gentiles.  Ch. Before, the Tyrian were great enemies to the Jews.  2 Esd. xiii. 16. and 1 Mac. v. 15.  Our Saviour wrought a miracle in favour of one of this country.  Mat. v. 22.  Zac. viii. 20.  C. Continuance.  Lit. “old age.”  Aquila, “with changes of dress.”  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 24

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Earth.  After the ten preceding threats, the prophet denounces destruction to the whole world, (W.) at the day of judgment; though he may also allude to the desolation of the promised land, as our Saviour joins both in the same prediction.  Mat. xxiv.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Priest.  All distinctions shall be disregarded.  W. When Jerusalem was taken, all became captives.

 

Ver. 4.  Weakened: Joakim, &c. are made prisoners.  The greatest monarchs must come before God’s tribunal.

 

Ver. 6.  Sin.  Towards the end of the world iniquity will abound, and men shall rage against each other.  Mat. xxiv.  W. They will also feel the effects of sin. Mad: abandoned to their passions, (Deut. xxviii. 28.) excepting only the elect.  M. Few.  The Chaldees permitted only a few of the poorest sort to remain.  2 Par. xxix. 10.

 

Ver. 9.  The drink.  Heb. shecar, “palm wine.”

 

Ver. 10.  Vanity.  Jerusalem, (C.) or any other city, will be all in confusion.  H. In, as was the case in times of mourning.  Jer. ix. 21.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Sea.  The few elect (v. 13.) being rescued from the misery of the world, shall praise God.  H. They are exhorted to lift up their heads.  Lu. xxi. 28.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Instruction.  The Church is like an island, compared with the rest of the world; or it preaches the gospel to all nations, and to the islands, like Great Britain.  W. Apostolic men are required to preach incessantly to all sorts of people.  Heb. “in light;” or Pagn. “in vales.”  M.

 

Ver. 16.  I said.  The prophet, or any other, may speak thus in the latter days.  C. Myself.  I cannot recount what horrid pains I beheld.  S. Jer.  M.  2 Cor. xii. 4.

 

Ver. 17.  Snare.  He alludes to the methods of taking wild beasts.  Job xviii. 11. Opened, as they were in the days of Noe.  C. All sorts of misery hang over us.

 

Ver. 20.  Night, unexpectedly, (H.) and with the utmost speed.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  High.  The stars, which in many places of the Scripture are so called.  Some commentators explain that these words here signify the demons of the air.  Ch. The apostate angels will be judged.  1 Cor. vi. 6.  Mat. xxiv. 29.

 

Ver. 22.  Visited.  Hence Origen (Prin. iii. 6. &c.) took occasion to assert, that the damned would one day be released, though the Scripture so often declares the contrary.  The prophet speaks of the future liberation of the Jews; (C.) or he intimates that after many days, yea throughout eternity, the reprobate will still be punished.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  Blush: he turned into blood.  Joel ii. 10.  Dreadful calamities shall ensue, to usher in the great day of judgment.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 25

 

CHAPTER XXV.

 

Ver. 1.  Amen.  He approves of God’s judgments (H.) against Jerusalem.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  City; Jerusalem, or rather Babylon, (C. xxi.  C.) or every city (H.) in the world.  M. Strangers: the temples of idols.

 

Ver. 3.  People; the Chaldees, or their conquerors.

 

Ver. 4.  Poor; Juda, whom Nabuchodonosor’s fury could not exterminate.

 

Ver. 5.  Away.  Cyrus (C.) shall reduce Babylon the great.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Mountain of Sion, a figure of the Church, and of heaven.  The Jews shall feast: yea, some of all nations shall partake of the blessed Eucharist, and obtain heaven.  The expressions are too grand for a corruptible feast.  C. Wine.  Lit. “of vintage,” (H.) on which occasion great rejoicings were made.  Hesiod. Hercul. 297. Prot. “of wines on the lees.”  H. In the East, the wines were very thick.  Ps. lxxv. 9.  C. On the rejection of the Jews, the Gentiles were converted.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Tied.  He will open their eyes to the truth of the gospel.  They shall be no longer as criminals, expecting death, or mourning.

 

Ver. 8.  Ever.  Heb. “he shall swallow up death in victory.”  1 Cor. xv. 54.  Christ, by dying, conquered death, and rescued us from its power, if we do not voluntarily subject ourselves to it again.  This was faintly represented by the liberation of the captives.

 

Ver. 10.  Mountain: the Church.  C. Moab.  That is, the reprobate, whose eternal punishment, from which they can no way escape, is described under these figures.  Ch. The Machabees probably executed this vengeance on Moab.  1 Mac. v. 6.

 

Ver. 11.  Hands.  All his exertions and fury will prove useless.  H. Moab shall lie prostrate.

 

 

ISAIAS 26

 

CHAPTER XXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Day.  Under the law of grace, Christians sing this and such like canticles.  W. Sion.  This word is not in Heb. &c. though it be understood.  C. Other nations have their respective cities.  All Christians admit this one.  W. The captives continue to return thanks.  Yet the Holy Ghost speaks chiefly of the Church, and of the general resurrection.  C. Bulwark.  Faith and good works.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Truth.  The Jews who returned from Babylon, were more virtuous than their ancestors, as the prophets intimate; though they have Christians principally in view.

 

Ver. 3.  Away: condemning the virtuous, as if they were fools.  M. Sym. “our work, or fiction, is taken away.”  Heb. may have other meanings.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  You, people of Juda.

 

Ver. 5.  High: Nabuchodonosor and his empire.

 

Ver. 6.  Needy.  The Jews shall behold the ruin of the city by Cyrus, (C.) who was of a contemptible nation.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  In.  God will remove every obstacle, at their return.

 

Ver. 9.  Night of distress.

 

Ver. 10.  Justice.  Clemency would therefore be ill placed.  If the Israelites had not been led away captives, would they ever have been reformed?

 

Ver. 11.  Not see.  Let them perish, or live to witness the glory of the Jews.

 

Ver. 12.  Works, both in punishing and rewarding.  C. God crowns his own gifts.  E.

 

Ver. 13.  Lords of Babylon, (C.) and our own passions.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Giants; the proud emperors of Babylon, whom thou wilt destroy.  Sept. “physicians;” as Rephaim has also this meaning.

 

Ver. 15.  Nation of the Jews.  C. Sept. “add evils to them, O Lord; add evils to the nobles of the land.”  H. Heb. may have the same sense. Ends: princes, or the Chaldees, sending them also into captivity; or thou hast propagated thy Church over the world.

 

Ver. 16.  They.  Sept. “We,” &c.  C. Affliction is a wholesome medicine.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Wind.  Our expectation of aid from others has been disappointed.  C. Sept. “the spirit of thy salvation, which thou hast wrought on the earth.  We shall not fall, but the inhabitants of the earth shall fall.”  H. Their copies must have been different from ours. Fallen.  The Chanaanites are left for our trial and punishment.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Dead: a civil death, shall regain their liberty; and those who have left this world in a state of virtue, shall be happy. Ruin.  Cyrus liberated the Jews, having conquered Babylon.

 

Ver. 20.  Away, and Cambyses be destroyed.  Ezec. xxxviii. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Shall cover her stain no more.  This is said with relation to the martyrs, and their happy resurrection.  Ch. The blood of the saints shall demand vengeance.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 27

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Hard.  Sept. “holy.”  C. Leviathan.  That is, the devil, the great enemy of the people of God.  He is called the bar serpent from his strength, and the crooked serpent from his wiles, and the whale of the sea, from they tyranny he exercises in the sea of this world.  He was spiritually slain by the death of Christ, when his power was destroyed.  Ch. It may also literally refer to Nabuchodonosor, and the king of Egypt, or rather to Cambyses, or Holofernes, but particularly Cambyses.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Vineyard;  the Church of Christ, (Ch.) or Judea.  It may be the beginning of a noted song.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Drink; or, as the Hebrew may also be rendered, I will continually water it.  Ch. God will protect his people.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  In me, against the Church; nor shall I become as a thorn or brier in its regard; or march against it, or set it on fire: but it shall always take fast hold of me, and keep an everlasting peace with me.  Ch. God rather speaks of the enemy.  If he attempt to lay waste this vineyard, I will chastise him.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Rush in.  Some understand this of the enemies of the true Israel, that shall invade it in vain.  Others of the spiritual invasion made by the apostles of Christ.  Ch. Prot. “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root.”  Sept. “those who come are children of Jacob.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Struck.  Hath God punished the carnal persecuting Jews, in proportion to their doings against Christ and his saints?  Ch. God punished Israel as a father: but he will destroy the Chaldees, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Cast off.  When the synagogue shall be cast off, thou shalt judge it in measure, and in proportion to its crimes.  Ch. The Israelites have been rigorously punished.  C. He, &c.  God hath designed severe punishments in the day of his wrath.  Ch.

 

Ver. 9.  Jacob; viz. of such of them as shall be converted.  Ch. Altar, dedicated to idols: then he shall obtain pardon.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  City.  Jerusalem, (Ch.) or more probably Babylon, of which he is going to speak.

 

Ver. 11.  Women.  The princes shall be weak and irresolute.  C. Sept. “Hither, ye women, coming from the shew.  For it is not an intelligent people.”

 

Ver. 12.  River Euphrates, even to the Nile.  H. Nabuchodonosor laid waste all the intermediate countries.  Afterwards Cyrus gave the people liberty.  On the death of Cambyses, the nations were in consternation; and it was only during the peaceable reign of Darius that Israel returned, though not in a body, as the Jews had done twenty years before.  C. xxvi.  C. By one, into the Church of Christ.  Jo. xi.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Trumpet.  The preaching of the Gospel for the conversion of the Jews.  Ch.

 

 

ISAIAS 28

 

CHAPTER XXVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Ephraim.  That is, the kingdom of the ten tribes.  Ch. Flower.  The pride of the kingdom shall thus decay.  M. Head.  Samaria, situated on a hill, having under it a most fertile valley.  Ch. See Amos ii. 6. and iv. 2.  Samaria was taken in the sixth year of Ezechias.

 

Ver. 2.  The Lord.  By his instrument, Salmanasar.  H. Heb. “behold the strong one, and the mighty to the Lord, as,” &c.  C. Sept. “behold the Lord’s fury…as,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Up.  Theglathphalassar was captivated with the beauty of the country, and made it tributary.  But Salmanasar, fearing a revolt, destroyed it.  4 K. xvii. 4.

 

Ver. 5.  People, who returned to the service of God; or it refer to the kingdom of Juda.

 

Ver. 6.  Gate.  Ezechias reunited the divided kingdoms, and inspired his troops with courage, bringing them back victorious.  2 Par. xxx. 1. and 4 K. xviii. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  These also.  The kingdom of Juda.  Ch. Ezechias could not correct every abuse; though what is here specified, regards rather the reigns of his successors.

 

Ver. 8.  Place.  All was defiled: they gloried in their shame.

 

Ver. 9.  Breasts?  S. Paul seems to allude to this text.  1 Cor. iii. 2.  C. The abandoned Jews ask contemptuously, if they be to be taught like children?  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Command, &c.  This is said in the person of the Jews, resisting the repeated commands of God, and still putting him off.  Ch. They deride the prophets, speaking words of no meaning, as if their predictions were no better.  S. Jer. Think they that we have to learn the first elements, or to join syllables together?  C. Heb. Tsau latsau, &c.  H. The Nicholaites abused these words.  S. Epiph. 25. Why do they not speak plain?  Sometimes terrible things are denounced, God will lead them into a country where they shall indeed have to learn the language, like children.  C. xxix. 11.  C. Prot. “for precept must be upon precept…line upon line…here a little, and there a little.  For with stammering lips,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Hear.  To leave off their wicked practices, and cruelty.  The Jews would not understand: therefore Christ spoke to them in parables.  C. vi. 9.  Mat. xiii. 14. &c.

 

Ver. 13.  Taken.  God will make his prophets speak, notwithstanding your repugnance; or he will reduce you to the necessity of learning an unknown language.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Men, who make a parade of your knowledge, (H.) to turn the most sacred things into ridicule.

 

Ver. 15.  Protected.  Their conduct spoke this language.  They would not fail to make alliances with Egypt, and to trust in idols, whatever the prophets might say to dissuade them.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Stone.  Christ.  Ch. The Jews and Grotius would apply it to Ezechias.  But he was already on the throne, and never could realize these glorious promises.  The people were not to believe in him, &c.  C. Hasten.  Let him expect his coming with patience.  Ch. It would be delayed some time.  Heb. may also signify “stagger;” (C.) in which sense the Sept. and the authors of the New Test. seem to have taken it.  “Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be confounded.”  See Rom. ix. 33.  H. Isaias promises a Redeemer, though these people were unworthy; and then returns to his own times.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Measure.  In the days of the Redeemer, they shall lead a virtuous life, (C.) or the scorners shall be treated with rigour. Protection.  The wall, (M.) or lies, (v. 15.  C.) on which you depend, shall turn to your confusion.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Hear.  Under the last kings of Juda, the misery was continual.  Captivity opened the eyes of the people, and they were afterwards more docile.  The murder of Christ, and the subsequent evils which befell the nation, seem to have had a quite different effect.  They will at last submit to his yoke.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Straitened.  It is too narrow to hold two: God will have the bed of our heart all to himself.  Ch.  1 Cor. x. 20. and 2 Cor. vi. 14.  S. Jer. &c. The Jews explain it of the utmost distress, to which the people would be reduced, so that they would not be able to assist a friend.  Amos iii. 12.  Forcr.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  As in, &c.  As the Lord fought against the Philistines in Baal Pharisim, (2 K. v.) and against the Chanaanites, in the valley of Gabaon.  Jos. x.  Ch. Strange.  He punished unwillingly.  C. “It is not God’s work to ruin what he has created.”  S. Jer. He will punish in an extraordinary manner those scoffers.  v. 15.  Num. xvi. 29.  Piscat.

 

Ver. 22.  Earth.  Nabuchodonosor will take a complete and speedy vengeance.  C. x. 22.

 

Ver. 24.  Sow.  The works of the husbandman vary, so will God’s punishments be inflicted with measure, according to each one’s deserts.  v. 27.  Wisd. vi. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Gith.  Heb. ketsach.  Sept. melanqion.  H.  Pliny xx. 17.  M. Sept. have not expressed all the terms of the original, (H.) being perhaps ignorant of their meaning.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 26.  God.  From him proceeds every useful invention.  The pagans attributed the discovery of corn, &c. to their idols.

 

Ver. 27.  Saws, or heavy instruments.  It would be thus crushed too much.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  But.  Sept. “it shall be eaten with bread.  For I will not be angry with you for ever, nor shall the sounds of my bitter wrath trample upon you.”  H.

 

Ver. 29.  This also, &c.  Such also is the proceeding of the Lord with his land, and the diverse seeds he sows therein.  Ch.

 

 

ISAIAS 29

 

CHAPTER XXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Ariel.  This word signifies the lion of God, and here is taken for the strong city of Jerusalem.  Ch. It was destroyed by the Chaldees, (4 K. xxv.) and still more by the Romans, 40 years after.  C.  W. Ezechiel (xliii. 15.) styles the altar of holocausts Ariel. Took.  Sept.  The Heb. means also “inhabited.”  H. Sion was called the city of David.  C. The invasion (H.) of Sennacherib is here foretold (Forcr.) two years before.  C. xxxi. 10.

 

Ver. 2.  Trench.  Sennacherib did not besiege the city.  C. xxxvii. 33.  But he made preparations for it, and his sentiments are expressed, (C.) together with the fatal consequences which he felt, when his army was offered up (H.) as a victim on the altar of holocausts.  v. 1.

 

Ver. 3.  Circle.  Thus provisions were cut off.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  The Python.  The diviner by a spirit.  Ch. Jerusalem shall hardly dare to make a noise.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Away.  The numbers, and speedy downfall of the Assyrians, are described.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Thunder.  Ps. lxxv. 7.  Tharaca was coming to assist Ezechias.  C. xxxvii. 36.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  It, in their dreams.

 

Ver. 9.  Be, &c.  Though God spared the city, for the sake of the good, He will not fail to punish scoffers,  in due time, as He now declares.  H. Drunkenness.  You shall suffer for your crimes, (C. xxviii. 7.) or be affrighted.

 

Ver. 10.  Sleep, or compunction, (Rom. xi. 8.  C.) denoting their obstinacy.  S. Chrys. Visions.  Prot. “the seers.”  H. The Jews perceived but very imperfectly the meaning of the prophets, when they spoke of a future Redeemer, God and man.  They are now more infatuated, (C.) having a veil on their hearts.  1 Cor. iv. 3.  Both learned and ignorant refuse to believe, excusing themselves.  v. 12.  H. The more they read the Scriptures, the less do they understand.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Men.  Our Saviour applies this to the Jews.  The evangelists follow the Sept.  Mat. xv. 8.  Mark vii. 6.  C. “This people approacheth to me, (Grabe adds, with its mouth and with) their lips they honour me, but their heart is far from me.  Yet in vain do they honour me, teaching the commands of men  and doctrines.”  H. They still continue to corrupt God’s word by their false interpretations.

 

Ver. 14.  Hid.  At the approach of Sennacherib, the politicians were confounded.  But the obstinate blindness of the Jews in the midst of such a blaze of predictions, which are evidently accomplished in Jesus Christ, excites admiration.  That their ancestors should have found them obscure, is not so wonderful.  The prophets foretold this event; and the reprobation of the synagogue, which had been so highly favoured, is a proof of the truth of the Christian religion.  1 Cor. i. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Not.  So it is in vain to think that your hypocrisy or excuses will deceive God.  C. xxviii. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Charmel.  This word signifies a fruitful field.  Ch. Shall Carmel be presently a forest or barren mountain?  No.  But I will work a greater miracle.  v. 18.  Jerusalem shall rejoice, and Sennacherib shall be filled with dismay.

 

Ver. 19.  Rejoice.  Our Saviour alludes to this text, (Lu. vii. 22.) which, under the figure of the deliverance from captivity, points out the vocation of the Gentiles.  C. xxxv. 5. and xlii. 7. 19.

 

Ver. 20.  Prevail.  Wicked princes, scoffers, &c. (v. 10.  C. xxviii. 7.) shall be exterminated.  Ezechias promoted piety with greater zeal after his deliverance.

 

Ver. 21.  Gate.  False prophets rose up against those who spoke the truth, and condemned them unjustly.  C. The just, Christ.  M.

 

Ver. 23.  Israel.  They shall serve God with fidelity and gratitude.  C. xxx. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Murmured.  Magicians, (Grot.) or false sages.  C. xxviii. 9.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 30

 

CHAPTER XXX.

 

Ver. 1.  Of me.  Ezechias was guided by human prudence, in making an alliance with Egypt, though he might have just reasons for refusing to pay tribute to the Assyrians.  4 K. xviii. 20.  C. And.  Sept. “alliances not by,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Down, with presents.  v. 6.  4 K. xviii. 20.

 

Ver. 3.  Shame.  Egypt had been defeated before Sennacherib’s approach.

 

Ver. 4.  Hanes.  Chal. “Taphanes,” (Jer. ii. 16.) or Daphnæ Pelusiæ.  Herod. ii. 30. In the Arabic, Nome, which formed part of (H.) the dominions of Tharaca.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Burden.  This title seems unnecessary, and may be added by some Jew, (C. xxi. 13.) though the Chal. and others explain it, “They carry on their beasts, presents to the south,” to the nations of Arabia and Egypt, infested with lions, &c.  The rest of the prophecy is against the Jews, who cannot well be styled beasts of the south.  C. Basilisk.  The ibis devours many serpents on their flight from Arabia and Egypt.  Herod. ii. 5.  Solin. xxxii.

 

Ver. 7.  Cried.  Heb. “called it Rahab, (or pride) it is rest.”  The people are indolent, though they will make great promises.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Box.  This word was covered with wax.  Propert. iii. 3. Write, that none may pretend that they were not admonished.  Some think that this was addressed to Jeremias: but Isaias spoke to his incredulous countrymen.

 

Ver. 10.  See not.  Such were the dispositions of their heart.  C. xxviii. 15.

 

Ver. 11.  Us.  Mention God no more, or let him not meddle with our affairs.  Seek not to reclaim us, we are pleased with our delusion.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Oppression.  Lit. “calumny,” (H.) or rebellion against the Assyrians.  This was contrary to the respect due to God’s name, used in the ratification of treaties, how wicked soever those princes might be.

 

Ver. 13.  For.  Ps. lxi. 3.  If God had not miraculously cut off the army of Sennacherib, what would have become of the kingdom of Juda?

 

Ver. 15.  Be.  Sept. “groan,” as Origen, &c. read.  If you be seriously converted, and trust not in Egypt, you need not fear.

 

Ver. 16.  Ones, or chariots.  C. Egypt was famous for horses.  Deut. xvii. 16.  Forcr. Rebsaces ridicules the Jews for the want of them.  4 K. xviii. 23.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Five.  A small number shall put you to flight.  M. Mast, set up after a shipwreck, to warn others, or as a signal.  C. xxxiii. 23.

 

Ver. 18.  Wait for him.  Having convinced Ezechias that he ought to trust in on other, the Lord rescues him from the hand of Sennacherib.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Weep.  The citizens expected certain death, (H.) or slavery.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Water.  The land will be reduced to a miserable condition by the ravages of Sennacherib.  H. The following was a sabbatical year.  v. 23.  C. xxxvii. 30. Teacher.  It seems that Isaias, &c. had been silent.  He spoke after Ezechias had sent for him, and God promises that the people shall not be left without guides.  C. Christ will not abandon his Church.  M.

 

Ver. 22.  Garment.  Heb. “ephod,” belonging to the idol, or its priest.  Ezechias had prohibited idolatry at first.  After his deliverance he was still more zealous, and even those who had formerly retained an affection for idols, saw their vanity, and became sincere.

 

Ver. 24.  Floor.  They shall not have straw only, but wheat, &c. to denote abundance.

 

Ver. 25.  Towers, or chief officers of Sennacherib.  All shall be luxuriant.

 

Ver. 26.  Sevenfold.  Exceedingly great, equal to the light of 49 days.  C. The fame of Ezechias spread widely.  His kingdom was a figure of that of Christ, when this was more perfectly realized, the preaching of the gospel having dispelled the darkness of error.  C. He alludes to the day of judgment.  S. Jer.  M.

 

Ver. 27.  Name.  Majesty of God, (C.) in the future ages.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  Error.  The unjust government of Sennacherib, who endeavoured to engage all in idolatry.

 

Ver. 29.  Night.  When the festivals commenced.  C. He may particularly mean that night, when the destroying angel slew the Egyptians.  Vatab. Pipe.  Music.  H. This was not prescribed.

 

Ver. 30.  Stones.  The Angel raised the storm, which destroyed many, while the rest in a panic fell upon one another.  C. ix. 5. and xxvii. 36.

 

Ver. 31.  Rod.  Sennacherib is terrified, who a few days before insulted the living God.

 

Ver. 32.  Harps.  The sound of thunder will fill the people of Ezechias with joy, while the enemy shall perish irrecoverably.  C.

 

Ver. 33.  Topheth.  ‘Tis the same as Gehenna, and is taken for hell.  Ch. The Assyrians perish amid horrid cries (H.) and thunders, which resembled the noise made by drums, and by children who were burning in the arms of Moloc.  4 K. xviii. 4. and xxiii. 10. and 2 Par. xxix. 16.  Some think that the carcasses of the Assyrians were to be burnt in this common sewer of Jerusalem.  But they were too far distant.  C. xxxvii.  33.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 31

 

CHAPTER XXXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Chariots.  He continues to inveigh against this practice.  C. xxx. 16.  C. Salmanasar will ruin the ten tribes.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Words.  The Lord will punish the wicked Jews, (C.) after the Egyptians.  Joseph. x. 1. The former would not believe the prophets.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Hand.  If God neglect to support empires, they fall of themselves.

 

Ver. 4.  Thereof.  He will thence hurl destruction on the distant enemy.  C. He had destroyed Sennacherib’s army.  4 K. xix.  Yet they forgot this and other proofs of God’s power and love.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Over.  He will protect Jerusalem, notwithstanding the menaces of Sennacherib, as he did his people from the destroying angel.

 

Ver. 6.  Revolted.  Let your conversion bear proportion (C.) with your sins.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Idols.  Their worship was afterwards more severely prohibited.  C. xxx. 21.

 

Ver. 8.  Flee not.  Heb. “flee to himself,” lo.  Sept. and Vulg. have read la, “not.”  The angel destroyed the army, and the king was slain at his return. Tributaries.  Ninive being afterwards subject to the Chaldees, &c.  C. Heb. “shall melt.”  Vat.

 

Ver. 9.  Strength. Heb. “rock,” the king. Jerusalem, to protect it, (C.) and punish the guilty.  Chal.

 

 

ISAIAS 32

 

CHAPTER XXXII.

 

Ver. 1.  King.  Ezechias or Josias, as figures of Jesus Christ, who is meant.  C. They and their counsellors only foreshewed the advantages derived from Christ and his apostles in a more abundant manner.  S. Jer. Judgment and justice.  These words have a higher meaning than what is assigned to them by philosophers.  In God, the former implies the preparation of the means for man’s redemption, as the latter does the execution; and in man, judgment denotes the selection of what is right, and justice implies the putting it willingly in practice.  Thus Christ will fulfill all the he has graciously purposed, with the two other divine persons; and the princes, his pastors, shall discern what is good for their own and people’s eternal welfare.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Land.  Ezechias and Josias were both a defence to their subjects.

 

Ver. 3.  Dim.  True prophets shall speak, while false ones shall be silent.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Plain.  Some parts of the prediction relate literally to the Old Test.  But this alludes to the New, when the mysteries of religion are clearly confessed in the Catholic Church.  W. Even the most illiterate are guided with security, if they will but hear the Church.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Deceitful.  Heb. “miser be called liberal.”  Lu. xxii. 25.  These good princes are contrasted with Achaz, who had oppressed his subjects.

 

Ver. 7.  Vessels.  Arms, (C.) or all the words and actions of the miser are bent on evil.  H. The ministers of wicked princes resemble them.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Women.  Great cities.  He announces the impending dangers.

 

Ver. 10.  Year.  After a long time; or the prophet speaks two years before the arrival of Sennacherib, after the vintage was ended.  C. xxx. 20. and 4 K. xix. 29.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Mourn.  Sept. “beat.”  H. Breasts, suckling infants.  In mourning, women beat and uncovered their breasts, which, on any other occasion, would have been deemed very indecent.  C.  Ezec. xxiii. 34.  Herod. ii. 84.

 

Ver. 13.  Up.  Being uncultivated for two years.  This was still more the case during the captivity.  C. How.  Sept. “from every house joy shall be taken away, thou rich city.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Ever.  Some palaces had been demolished by Sennacherib, though this seems to refer to the Babylonian captivity.

 

Ver. 15.  High, as Ezechiel (xxxvii. 10.) saw the dry bones rise again.  Under this idea prosperity is frequently described.  The rest of the chapter may very well be explained of the propagation of the gospel. Forest.  Carmel was a fertile spot.  Judea shall flourish, and Assyria shall be laid waste.  The synagogue will be rejected, while the Gentiles, (C.) formerly so barren, shall embrace the faith and true piety.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Peace.  The just shall enjoy peace, under Ezechias.

 

Ver. 19.  Hail.  God’s judgment shall overtake Babylon, or rather Ninive.

 

Ver. 20.  Waters.  Fruitful soils, abounding with cattle.  C. Both Jews and Gentiles shall submit to Christ.  Clem. Strom. vi.  S. Jer.

 

 

ISAIAS 33

 

CHAPTER XXXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Spoilest.  This is particularly directed to Sennacherib.  Ch. He was a figure of persecutors of the Church, to which many passages here allude.  C. Remotâ justitiâ quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia?  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iv. 4. Sennacherib plundered Samaria and Juda, and despising God, was himself contemned.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Morning.  Speedily.  Heb. “mornings,” or every day.  Ezechias thus addressed God.

 

Ver. 4.  Them.  The neglect of burying these insects has often brought on the plague.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iii. 31.

 

Ver. 6.  Faith.  Sincerity and justice adorn the reigns of Ezechias and Christ.

 

Ver. 7.  Without.  The people of the country, and the envoys of Ezechias.  4 K. xviii. 14.  Heb. “Behold their Ariel, cried they without,” insultingly, (C.) pointing at Jerusalem.  C. xxix. 1.  At which (H.) the envoys rent their garments, &c.  C. xxxvi. 22.  C. “Behold I shall appear to them.”  Aquila.  S. Jer. Angels.  Messengers or deputies sent to negotiate a peace, (Ch.) who wept because they could not obtain it.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Void, though Sennacherib had received what he demanded.  4 K. xviii. 14.

 

Ver. 9.  Confounded.  Its trees were cut down.  C. xxxvii. 24.

 

Ver. 10.  Myself, when all human aid fails.

 

Ver. 11.  You, Assyrians, are bringing destruction upon yourselves.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Of you.  Heb. “of us.”  H. They are seriously alarmed at the sight of the fires prepared to burn the dead bodies of the Assyrians, (C. xxx. 33.) and begin to think of hell, (C.) which their sins deserve.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Blood.  Avoiding revenge, and punishing the guilty, without respect to persons.  Such was Ezechias, and therefore his enemies could not hurt him.

 

Ver. 16.  Sure.  Never failing.  C. This was a great advantage in those dry regions.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  King Ezechias, or he shall be one of his courtiers. Off.  Their limits shall be extended.  Those who believe in Christ, shall cast their eyes up towards their heavenly country.  Heb. ix. 13.

 

Ver. 18.  Ones.  These questions were put by the people, when the enemy approached; or they now rejoice that their severe masters were gone.

 

Ver. 19.  Shameless, unjust Assyrians.  Lu. xviii. 2.  When shame is gone, people give way to every excess. Profound.  Unknown to the Jews.  4 K. xviii. 26. No wisdom, manners, or piety.

 

Ver. 20.  Broken.  It was taken 125 years afterwards.  The Church remains till the end of time, (C.) whereas both the prophets and history assure us, that Jerusalem was subject to destruction.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Of rivers.  He speaks of the rivers of endless joys that flow from the throne of God to water the heavenly Jerusalem, like a deep river.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Thy tacklings.  He speaks of the enemies of the Church, under the allegory of a ship that is disabled.  Ch. Sennacherib shall attempt invasion no more than a ship without masts would put to sea.

 

Ver. 24.  Feeble.  All were obliged to collect the plunder, to be afterwards divided.  None shall plead illness.  The inhabitants of Jerusalem will not feel the effects of sin (C.) on this occasion.  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 34

 

CHAPTER XXXIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Come.  Both Gentiles and Jews are admonished of the world’s end before judgment.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Away.  These strong expressions denote great misery.  C. xiii.  Joel ii. 10.  Ezec. xxxii. 27.  C. Book.  Heb. “roll.”  H. Some thence foolishly inferred that the destiny of every one might be read in the heavens.  Huet.  Eus. præp. vi. 11.  Philoo. xxiii.  Pic. Astrol. viii. 5. The prophet only means that the heavens shall be devoid of beauty, (C.) and covered with darkness.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Heaven.  Casting down the rebel angels.  S. Jer. The resolution to destroy the Idumeans, for their cruelty to the Jews, has been taken long ago.  All these expressions allude to the last judgment.  C. Idumea.  Under the name of Idumea or Edom, a people that were enemies of God and his Church.  Ch. Assaradon fell upon Edom two years after Sennacherib’s death.  C. No strong place like Bosra, shall rescue any from destruction at the last day.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  The unicorns.  That is, the great and mighty.  Ch.

 

Ver. 8.  Recompenses.  When the persecutors of Sion, that is, of the Church, shall receive their reward.  Ch. The Idumeans had frequently shown their ill-will towards the Jews.  2 Par. xxviii. 17.  Amos i. 11.  C. Sion shall perish as the wicked in hell shall be tormented.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Pitch.  The soil was sulphureous, and became neglected, (v. 10.) like the territory of Sodom.  The people are now no more, and only a few miserable Arabs pitch their tents there.

 

Ver. 11.  Line.  Intimating entire destruction.  Lam. ii. 8. and 4 K. xi. 13.  C. Yet God will not punish more than people deserve.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Dragons, Thannim.  C. xiii. 22.  H. Ostriches, or swans.

 

Ver. 14.  Monsters.  Lit. “Ass-centaurs.”  H. Heb. “fishermen shall find islands.”  C. xiii. 21. Ones. Goats. Lamia.  Heb. lilith.  Chal. “owl,” the bird of Minerva, or the Moon, which the Arabs style Alilat.  C. Dicodorus (20) relates that Lamia was an African queen, who having last her children, was changed into a beast, and destroyed all the children she could catch; and the Jews deal still more in fables, (C.) asserting that Lilith was the first wife of Adam, &c.  Buxtorf. Syn. 2.

 

Ver. 15.  Ericius.  Heb. “kippoz, (H.) hath its nest.”  It may denote the serpent, acontias.  Bochart. All this shews the desolation of the country.

 

Ver. 16.  Read what I have written. The other.  All these beasts will be there, (C.) or all these declarations will be verified.  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 35

 

CHAPTER XXXV.

 

Ver. 1.  Lily.  Judea flourishes under Ezechias: but the Church does more so after the coming of Christ, to whom these expressions conduct us.  C. The Gentiles shall be converted and flourish, as this text shews.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Joy.  The primitive Christians rejoiced in a good conscience, and in suffering for the truth.

 

Ver. 3.  Knees.  Ye prophets, comfort the people with these promises.  C. The apostles taught the Gentiles to do good.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Recompense.  Christ will satisfy the justice of his Father.  H. He will redeem the world, and refute the false interpretations of the Bible.  C. He will bring the devil into subjection.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Free.  Our Saviour healed both soul and body, (C.) shewing by his works (Jo. x.  W.) that he had fulfilled this prediction.  Lu. vii. 22.  Mat. xi. 5. Waters.  Baptism has sanctified the most wicked.

 

Ver. 7.  Dragons.  Sea monsters.  C. xxxiv. 13.  C. All shall be in proper order, neither too dry nor too wet.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Way, leading to Jerusalem.  Idolaters, &c. shall not be there.  C. lii. 1.  This was only verified (C.) in the Catholic Church, where, though some wicked may be found, the truth still prevails; and holiness can be obtained no where else.  H. This Church is unspotted.  Eph. v. 27.  C. Fools.  The most simple may learn what is necessary for salvation, (M.) which will never be done by consulting Scripture alone.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Lion.  The devil’s power shall be repressed, so that none will be deluded except by their own fault.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Sion.  Before the defeat of Sennacherib, the roads were unsafe.  C. xxxviii. 8.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 36

 

CHAPTER XXXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  And.  These four chapters are taken from 4 K. xviii. &c. as a sort of explanation of what Isaias has been foretelling.  C. An abridgment also occurs, 2 Par. xxxii.

 

Ver. 7.  Altar.  Such is the blindness of infidels, that they confound what is done to destroy idols, with their worship.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 37

 

CHAPTER XXXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Sackcloth.  Emblems of repentance.  Sennacherib’s boasting (v. 13.) was chastised.  v. 36.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Spirit.  Angel, or a different design.  2 Thes. ii. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Lands.  Heb. “all the lands and their land.”  The parallel text is more correct, “the nations and their land.”  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 24.  Carmel.  See 4 K. xix.  Ch.

 

Ver. 25.  Shut, &c.  Heb. matsor, (H.) “of Egypt,” where Sennacherib had been.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Lips, and treat thee like some ungovernable beast.  H.  Ezec. xxix. 4. and xxxviii. 4.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Thee.  He directeth his speech to Ezechias.

 

Ver. 35.  Servant.  Hence it plainly appears that God protects the living for the sake of the saints departed.  To evade this proof, Prot. (Bible 1603) explain, “for God’s promise sake made to David.”  But God never made any such promise to him; otherwise the city would never have been destroyed.  W.

 

Ver. 36.  They.  The people of Jerusalem, or rather the soldiers of Ezechias, who saw those who had been slain, near Pelusium.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 38

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

 

Ver. 9.  Ezechias.  Sanchez groundlessly thinks it was composed by Isaias.  C. Ezechias was afflicted lest he should give way to dangerous joy.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Hell.  Sheol, or Hades, the region of the dead.  Ch. He was afraid to die without issue.  S. Jer.  v. 12. Manasses was born three years later.  C. The king would naturally have died.  S. Aug. de Gen. ad lit. vi. 17.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Living.  I shall not assist at the festivals of the Lord in the temple.

 

Ver. 14.  For me.  He represents his disease, as an inexorable creditor.

 

Ver. 18.  Truth.  He speaks only of the body.

 

Ver. 22.  Lord.  The answer is given, (4 K. xx. 9.) which seems to evince that this is only an extract.  C. The prophet prescribed the medicine, and the king asked for a sign before he sung the canticle.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 39

 

CHAPTER XXXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  And.  Sept. add, “ambassadors and presents.”  See 4 K. xx. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Days.  He is not unconcerned about his children, but dares not request more.  Having given way to immoderate joy and vanity, he was informed that all his treasures should be taken away.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 40

 

CHAPTER XL.

 

Ver. 1.  Be.  Sept. “comfort my people.”  Let them not be dejected.  H. The end of the captivity, and still more the coming of the Messias, afford consolation, (C.) and to this the prophet chiefly alludes.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Evil.  Heb. and some Latin copies have, “warfare.” Double.  A rigorous chastisement.  Apoc. xviii. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  God, that he may conduct his people from Babylon.  Sanchez. Yet the prophet speaks chiefly of the baptist, (Mat. iii. 3.  C.) who is evidently foretold.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Plain.  For the captives, or the conversion of the world.  Bar. v. 6.

 

Ver. 5.  Glory.  God will rescue his people.  Christ will redeem mankind.

 

Ver. 6.  Field.  On the downfall of the empire of Babylon, the Jews were liberated.

 

Ver. 9.  Thou, female.  How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good tidings!  Rom. x. 15.  H. Thus a feminine noun is applied to Solomon.  Eccle. i.  Prophets make known to all the coming of the Saviour.  C. Christ preaches from the mountain, and his apostles over the world.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Him.  Christ will reward and punish.  Jer. xxxi. 16.  Lu. ii. 34.

 

Ver. 11.  Young, or have lately had young lambs, fœtas.  Jesus is the good shepherd.  Jo. x. 14.

 

Ver. 12.  Who.  He now proceeds to shew the difference between God and idols. Fingers, is not expressed in Heb. which may denote the epha.  Ps. lxxix. 6.  C. God’s power and goodness in the works of the creation, shew what he will do for man.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Dust.  Heb. caddak, (H.) “as dok fallen.”  Sym. It may signify an atom.  S. Jer. If all nations be only like a drop, what portion of it do I occupy?  C. v. 17.

 

Ver. 18.  Image.  Catholics never pretend to represent the Deity, when they depict the Father as a venerable old man, &c.  The do not adore pictures, as our adversaries would insinuate.  If we were disposed to cavil, we might bring the same charge against them.  For a few weeks ago, “a beautiful altar-piece, painted and presented by the lady of major general Cheney, was put in Horn-sea church, representing Christ blessing the bread and wine.”  But Protestants can confine such things to their proper use, and Catholic must adore them.  H. “Such things the Jew, Apella, may believe: not I.”  Horace.

 

Ver. 19.  Silver.  Is God like these idols?  H. Who knows not that the  workman is better than they are?  Wis. xiii. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Wood.  Heb. hamsuccan, (H.) which Sept. Chal. and S. Jerom explain of a sort of wood used for idols.  Moderns take it to be “a rich,” or rather “a poor man.  He who is mean in his offering, chooses wood that,” &c.  C.  Prot.

 

Ver. 21.  Beginning, by the light of nature, and (W.) has not Moses declared that God alone created the world?  H. His power and goodness herein convince us that he will not deny grace.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Locusts, compared with the greatest animals. Nothing.  Heb. “a curtain.”  Sept. Syr. “vault, (C.) or chamber,” kamaran.

 

Ver. 23.  Searchers.  Heb. “princes to nothing.”  Prot.  H. Philosophers know nothing independently of God, nor can they subsist without him.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  Host of heaven, the stars, &c.  Gen. ii. 1.  Ps. cxlvi. 4.

 

Ver. 27.  Judgment, or conduct, (Gen. xl. 13.  C.) as if God minded not our affairs.

 

Ver. 31.  Eagles, who grow young, when they get new feathers.  Ps. cii. 5.  S. Jer. In this and the following 26 chapters the prophet chiefly comforts his people, as he had rebuked them for their crimes in the first part.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 41

 

CHAPTER XLI.

 

Ver. 1.  Islands, near Asia, whose conversion Isaias often predicts, (C.) as he does that of all nations.  H. God continues to prove his divinity, (C.) expostulating with idolaters, whose conversion is insinuated, and among the rest that of Britain, which is the most renowned island in Europe.  Bristow, anot. 11.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Just one.  Sept. “justice.”  Christ, (Eus.  S. Jer.) Abraham, (Chal.  Grot.) or Cyrus, whose conquests were effects of God’s providence.  v. 10.  C. xlv. Kings.  Cyrus liberated Persia, conquered Babylon and all Asia.

 

Ver. 3.  Feet.  His march and victories shall be so rapid, like those of Alexander.  Dan. viii. 5.

 

Ver. 4.  Beginning.  Disposing all things, as the conquests of Cyrus, announced so long before by name, evince. Last.  Alpha and Omega.  Apoc. i. 8. and xxii. 13.

 

Ver. 5.  Islands.  People of Asia Minor.  Gen. x. 5.  C. The Babylonians made a league with the most potent king Crœsus, to oppose the young conqueror.  Xen. B. i.

 

Ver. 7.  Moved.  Thus the nations conspire against Cyrus (C.) and the Messias.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Upheld thee.  Cyrus shall gain the victory, and give thee liberty.

 

Ver. 14.  Dead.  Though you were in the grave, I could protect you.  Captivity is often represented under this idea.  C. You who are despised, fear not, since Christ will protect and reward you.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Chaff.  Cambyses perished on the mountains of Judea, (H.) and the Machabees gained many victories over the Syrians.  Mic. iv. 13.  Ezec. xxxix.  C. They are here meant, as their exploits resembled those of Cyrus.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 18.  Waters.  The captives shall be refreshed in the deserts.  C. xxxv. 6. and xliii. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  The thorn.  In Hebrew, the shitta or settim, a tree resembling the whitethorn.  Ch.  S. Jer. A fragrant shade shall speedily rise up.  Bar. v. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Thing.  Add “strong,” forte, (H.) any good proof of idolatry.

 

Ver. 23.  Good.  The prescience and power of God prove his divinity.  Can idols produce any thing similar?  C. None can tell what will happen, unless God reveal it.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Work.  All that you can do or promise.  Heb. “your work is worse than a viper.”

 

Ver. 25.  Sun.  Cyrus had a Persian for his father, and a Mede for his mother; thus uniting both nations, (C.) so that he was styled a mule by an ancient oracle.  Eus. præp. ix. 41. These countries lay to the north-east of Judea.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Just, or “the just one,” (H.) that we may recognise Cyrus at once. Your words. He addresses the idols.  You cannot dive into futurity.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  I.  Isaias, (M.) or God, (H.) pronounces sentence against the speechless idols.  M.

 

 

ISAIAS 42

 

CHAPTER XLII.

 

Ver. 1.  My servant.  Christ, who, according to his humanity, is the servant of God, (Ch.) and Redeemer of others; none else being able to satisfy for themselves.  W.  Phil. ii. 7.  C. This passage clearly refers to the Messias, (Chal.  Kimchi) who was prefigured by Cyrus.  v. 6.  C.  Hugo. It is quoted by S. Mat. (xii. 18.) who has some variations both from the Heb. and the Sept. (C.) particularly the first part of v. 4. which the Sept. renders, “He shall shine, and shall not be broken.”

 

Ver. 4.  Islands.  Sept. and S. Mat. “the Gentiles shall hope in his name.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Gentiles.  This was literally verified in Christ.  Cyrus is also styled the just, (C. xli. 26.) and gave liberty to many nations.

 

Ver. 7.  House.  The Jews out of captivity, prefigured the redemption of mankind.  These miracles proved that Jesus was the Messias.  Lu. vii. 22.

 

Ver. 8.  Things.  They shall not partake of my divinity.  Our Saviour was truly God.  Phil. ii. 6.

 

Ver. 9.  Them.  The completion of former predictions enforces the belief of those which are yet to come.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  All.  Lit. “its fullness,” (H.) sailors, (C.) and fishes.  H. He concludes with a canticle.

 

Ver. 11.  Cedar, or the Jews in exile in the desert Arabia.  P. cxix. 5.  C. The people dwell in tents.  Roger. ii. 5. Petra.  A city that gives name to Arabia Petræa.  Ch.

 

Ver. 13.  Enemies.  The Chaldees, (C.) by the hand of Cyrus.

 

Ver. 15.  Pools.  Cyrus deluged the country about Babylon.  C. xiii. and xxi. 1.  H. The proud and covetous, who expected Christ to give them kingdoms, were deceived.  He came to teach humility, and to grant eternal rewards.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Blind captives, or converts to Christianity.

 

Ver. 18.  Deaf Jews, who would not listen to the prophets.  v. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Sold.  Heb. Cimshullam, (H.) the perfect, or favoured.  The Turks call “believers” Musselmans.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Men, whom they corrupt by their bad example.  H. Heb. “their young men are in chains,” during the last wars, and the captivity of Juda.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  We.  Sept. “they have sinned,” which seems preferable.  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 43

 

CHAPTER XLIII.

 

Ver. 1.  And.  Notwithstanding the sins of his people, God will deliver them, that they may be his witnesses.  v. 10.  C. Name.  As an intimate friend, (H.) or slave.  C. xlix. 1.  C. God grants grace without any preceding merit.  W. Forerius explains this mostly of the Gentile church, though it regards the converted Jews.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 2.  Waters.  In every emergency, God will protect thee, (C.) as he did the three children.  H. He will suffer none to perish, without their own fault.  Hence the Church still continues pure.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Ethiopia.  Heb. “Chus,” the isle of Meroe, (Grot.) or the country bordering on the Red Sea.  C. xlv. 14.  These were given to indemnify Cyrus.  They obtained their liberty to return home, after 40 years.  Ezec. xxix. 11.

 

Ver. 4.  Eyes, by a gratuitous choice. Men.  Chaldees, &c.

 

Ver. 5.  East.  Babylon. West.  The island beyond the Mediterranean.

 

Ver. 6.  North.  Assyria. South.  Egypt.  The captives returned from these countries under Cyrus, Alex. &c. so that before the coming of Christ, Judea was as well peopled as ever.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Calleth.  Heb. “is called by my name.”  Prot.  H. My people’s chastisements and liberation prove my divine perfections.

 

Ver. 8.  Ears.  Yet will not hear, (C.) or who are miraculously healed.  H. It seems rather to mean idolatrous nations, (v. 9.  C.) or rebellious Jews.  Forer.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 9.  Former.  The pagans were little acquainted with antiquity.  Such researches lead to the knowledge of the true religion.  H. Truth, if they can produce any true prophecy.

 

Ver. 10.  Witnesses.  The history of the Israelites was sufficient to shew who was God.  C. Thus the establishment of Christianity manifests its truth.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xxii. 6. Sept. add, “and I am witness.”  H.

 

Ver. 12.  One idol, to announce what would happen.

 

Ver. 14.  Bars.  Sept. “fugitives.”  Theodot. “strong ones.” Glorying.  Sept. “shall be bound in ships,” to be sent beyond the Caspian Sea.  C. Cyrus was victorious for the sake of God’s people; for he will not neglect his Church.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Waters. of the Jordan and the Red Sea, in the latter of which Pharao perished.  v. 17.

 

Ver. 19.  New.  I shall work the like miracles as were seen in the wilderness.

 

Ver. 20.  Chosen.  We know not that rivers were found in Arabia.  But the people were equally favoured.  Christ facilitates the road to heaven by his example and graces, while the most savage tempers are changed in baptism.

 

Ver. 23.  Incense.  My kindness is gratuitous.  In a strange land, thou couldst not offer sacrifice.  See C. xlviii. 9. and xlix. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Iniquities.  Thou hast shewn the greatest ingratitude.  H. Yet I will save thee.

 

Ver. 26.  Thyself.  God condescends to act thus with men.  C. xli. 20.  Osee iv. 1.

 

Ver. 27.  First father.  Adam, (Liran.) or rather Abraham sinned, by diffidence, (Gen. xv. 8.  S. Jer.) or was formerly an idolater.  Jos. xxiv. 2.  Geneb. A. 2049  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. 12.  C.  T. Teachers.  Lit. “interpreters,” (H.) Moses and Aaron.  Num. xx. 9.  C. All the patriarchs and teachers sinned, till Christ, the immaculate lamb, appeared.  Adam engaged all in guilt.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Profaned, or declared such, (H.) Nadab, &c. (Lev. x. 1.  C.) or Moses and Aaron.  M. Sept. “and the princes defiled my holy things.”  H. Slaughter.  Heb. “anathema.”  Yet I will re-establish all.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 44

 

CHAPTER XLIV.

 

Ver. 3.  Stock.  I will give fresh life to my people, as to the figure of Christ’s Church.

 

Ver. 5.  Israel.  They shall no longer be ashamed of being called Israelites or Christians.

 

Ver. 8.  Witnesses.  The history of the true religion is its best proof.  C. xliii. 9. 10. Known.  Ruled, consequently no other can be truly God.  C. Idolaters are foolish, trusting in those who cannot announce future events.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Ashamed of the origin and imbecility of their idols.  C. All this may be turned against heretics, who worship their own fictions; which the Church never does.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  File.  Heb. mahatsad, (H.  Jer. x. 3.) “to make an ax, with,” &c.  This is the remote cause of the idol.

 

Ver. 13.  Man.  To be styled afterwards a god.  C. Maluit esse deum.  Hor. i. ser. 8.

 

Ver. 18.  Covered.  Sept. “darkened.”  Are Catholics in the same predicament?  C. xl. 18.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Lie.  Can I assert in conscience that it is a god?

 

Ver. 22.  Return from captivity, (C.) and from their former errors.  Mat. xi. 26.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Mad.  That people  may be no longer deluded.

 

Ver. 26.  Servant.  The prophets and Jesus Christ, whose works never fail.  Mat. xxiv. 35.  C. In all this prediction of the Church, Isaias alludes to Jerusalem destroyed, and afterwards rebuilt.  W.

 

Ver. 27.  Deep.  Babylon, situated amid waters.  C. xxi. 1.  C. Rivers, as Cyrus did.  Herod. i. 191.

 

Ver. 28.  Cyrus.  This was spoken 110 years before his birth, which shews the prescience and power of God, so as not to injure free-will.  The parents of Cyrus could not give him this name to fulfill the prediction, as they knew nothing of it.  Amon was apprised that a person called Josias would overturn idolatry; but he had no reason to suppose that it would be his son.  1 K. xiii. 2. My shepherd.  Chal. “that he shall reign.”  This was shewn by the Jews to Cyrus, on which account, (C.) he gave them leave to return, &c.  Joseph. xi. 1. The title of shepherd is given to Agamemnon by Homer, and it denotes a good prince, such as historians represent Cyrus to have been.  He observed that kings and shepherds had the like duties to perform; (Xenoph. viii.) and after his death he was bewailed as a “father.”  Herod. iii. 89. At first he did not bear the name of Cyrus, (Herod. i. 113.) which in the Persian language means “the sun.”  Ctesias.  Plut.

 

 

ISAIAS 45

 

CHAPTER XLV.

 

Ver. 1.  Anointed, often implies one chosen for some great work.  Cyrus was to ruin the empire of Babylon, and to set the nations at liberty.  He was a proof of the Deity by executing his decrees. Cyrus.  Some copies of the Sept. seem to have read kuriw, “to the Lord,” incorrectly.  S. Jer. Though Cyrus was not anointed, he is styled thus, in allusion to the custom of the Jewish kings.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Brass.  Babylon had 100 such gates.  Herod. i. 179.

 

Ver. 3.  Treasures.  See Pliny xxxiii. 3.  He overcame the rich king of Lydia, &c.

 

Ver. 4.  Likeness of Christ. Known me.  Before the Jews had shewn Cyrus the prophecies, he did not attribute his success to the Lord, and even afterwards he seems not to have left the superstitions of his country, as his sacrifices to idols are described.  He resembled Nabuchodonosor and the philosophers, who did not glorify God according to their knowledge.  Dan. ii. 47.  Rom. i. 21.  Cyrus even revoked the decree for building the temple.  1 Esd. iv. 5.  C. He believed there was one God; (1 Esd. i.) yet he did not embrace the truth entirely.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Create evil, &c.  The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin.  Ch. I afflict and comfort my people.

 

Ver. 8.  Saviour.  Thus the ancient saints thirsted for the coming of Christ.  His figure is styled the just.  C. xli. 2. 25. Him.  Christ, born of the virgin, in time, and of God from all eternity.  I have appointed Cyrus to be his precursor, to set the captives free.  C. He has been spoken of before.  But now the prophet turns to Christ alone, who built his Church on a rock.  W. Cyrus had not a right faith in God, and Zorobabel was himself set free, and was not king.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 9.  Earthen.  Lit. “Samian.”  H. Samos was famous for its pottery.  Pliny xxxv. 12.  Heb. “Clay, disputest thou against the potters of the earth?”  He shews the folly of idols, after having proved his own divinity.  C. Prot. “Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth.”  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Forth.  As such language would be improper to parents, so it is wrong to complain that God places us in any situation.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  To me.  Ask what will come to pass, or direct me how to act.

 

Ver. 13.  Justice.  Cyrus shall punish the Chaldees and restore the Jews.  C. The prophet returns to him after having mentioned a greater Saviour.  v. 8.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 14.  Stature: the people of Saba were the tallest and best proportioned in Arabia.  Agathar. v. 50. Cyrus possessed all these countries.  He sent the Egyptians home in the third year of his reign, at Babylon, A. 3470.  Ezec. xxix. 11.  They never became subject to the Jews; but embraced the religion of Christ, acknowledging him for God.  v. 15.  C. Besides thee.  Prot. “Surely God is in thee, and there is none else, there is no God.”  Those whom we have hitherto adored, deserved not the name.  Vulg. and Sept. make the people address Christ, the God-man.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Saviour.  We confess that thou hast delivered the Jews; or rather, we acknowledge that thou, O Christ, art true God under the veils of thy human nature, and Saviour of all.  Cyrus was only a feeble representation of thee.

 

Ver. 16.  Confusion.  Idolaters shall be confounded, when they shall behold the glory of the elect.

 

Ver. 18.  In vain.  Heb. “to be a chaos.”  Gen. viii. 2.

 

Ver. 19.  Earth.  The pagan oracles were given chiefly in mountains, where the impostures of the priests might escape detection.  They were also generally ambiguous, or mere guesses.  The declarations of the true prophets were quite the reverse. In vain; without reward.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Gentiles: converts, (H.) or Jews, returning from Babylon.

 

Ver. 21.  Me.  He transports his auditors to the times succeeding the captivity, when the completion of the prophecies will be evident.

 

Ver. 23-24.  Myself, having none greater.  Heb. vi. 13. Justice: sure. To me.  All that are born belong to me.  The Jewish women had seldom recourse to midwives, (Ex. i. 19. and 1 K. iv. 19.  C.) no more than the Ethiopians.  Ludolf. i. 14. Swear, by the true God.  H. Oaths on proper occasions, honour him.  Deut. vi. 13.  Nothing could be spoken more plainly of the Gentiles’ conversion.

 

Ver. 25.  Empire.  Cyrus shall make this confession, (1 Esd. i. 2.) and all who embrace the religion of Christ, shall attribute all their virtue to him.

 

 

ISAIAS 46

 

CHAPTER XLVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Bel; perhaps Nimrod, (C.) or Saturn, to whom they sacrificed their children.  W. Nabo, “the oracle” of Belus.  The Chaldees adored statues and beasts.  But the Persians worshipped the elements.  C. Xerxes destroyed the tomb of Belus, after his expedition into Greece.  Arrian vii.)  He had there demolished the temples, (Herod. viii. 109.) pretending (H.) that “the world is the house of the gods.”  Cic. Leg. ii. Weariness.  The priests affected to be weighed down, as if the god were present.  Bar. vi. 25.  S. Cyr.

 

Ver. 2.  They.  Lit. “their soul.”  H. The pagans must have supposed they had one.  C. Captivity.  “There are as many triumphs over the gods as over men.”  Tert. The former shared the fate of their adorers.  Their statues were plundered.

 

Ver. 3.  By my.  Vulg.  may have read a me ab, (C.) instead of a meo.  Heb. and Sept. “taken from the womb,” (H.) and treated with the utmost tenderness.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Ashamed.  Sept. “groan.”  Prot. “shew yourselves men.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Bird; Cyrus, whose rapid conquests are thus denoted.  C. He chose a golden eagle, with wings expanded, for his standard.  Xen. vii. Christ came from heaven to redeem the world.  Ps. xviii. 6.  Mal. iv. 2.  C. He was the orient, adored by the eastern sages, to whom the prophet refers.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Israel.  It shall no longer be a reproach.  Cyrus shall restore my people to their own country.  But Christ more full accomplished what is here declared respecting the establishment of his Church.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 47

 

CHAPTER XLVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Virgin; delicate.  M. Cyrus overthrew this empire, (C.) which now felt its share of misery.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Shame.  Heb. tsammathec, Cant. iv. 1, 4.  Prot. “thy locks, make bare the legs, uncover the thigh, pass,” &c.  H. Thou shalt be reduced to a state of the most abject slavery.  Ex. xi. 5.  Sup. iii. 17. and xx. 4.  The Barbarians sold their slaves naked.

 

Ver. 6.  Polluted; deemed or declared unclean.  But thou hast sought to gratify thy vindictive temper, in punishing my people.  C. The sins of both called down vengeance.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Lady.  Pride goes before ruin.  Prov. xvi. 18.

 

Ver. 9.  Two.  The empire and the people shall be removed at once. Enchanters; princes or magicians, who gave them evil counsel.  v. 12.

 

Ver. 11.  Know.  All this shews the vanity of magic, which cannot announce future events to do any good.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Months, to tell which would prove lucky.  Est. iii. 7.

 

Ver. 14.  Thereat, to warm themselves, (H.) or to adore.  C. In Cappadocia are to be seen “Pyratheia,…in which the magi keep a perpetual fire, and sing hymns about the space of an hour.”  Strabo xv. These were a sort of open temples.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Merchants.  The city was well situated for trade.  C. xiii. 20.  Diod. ii.

 

 

ISAIAS 48

 

CHAPTER XLVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Waters; people, (Apoc. xvii. 15.  H.) or from the stock of Juda.  Prov. v. 15.  C. He claimed the sovereign power, but had not the fortitude or wisdom for Israel.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  City: citizens of Jerusalem.  Dan. iii. 28.  Mat. iv. 5.

 

Ver. 3.  Suddenly, when there was no human appearance of the event, as when I foretold the exploits of Cyrus and the ruin of Babylon so long before.

 

Ver. 4.  Brass; unblushing.  Jer. iii. 3.  C. Os tuum ferreum.  Cic. c. Piso.

 

Ver. 6.  Them.  Could you have believed them? Knowest not.  He upbraids their ignorance and indocility.

 

Ver. 7.  Knew.  Therefore I did not speak of the liberation from Egypt, but from Babylon, which is represented as just taking place.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Opened; docile, (Theod.) or acquainted with these things.  Isaias first made known the captivity of Babylon, and its end; and he insists so much, that people may discern the truth of his predictions, and of religion.  No atheist can, with a good conscience, hold out against  his arguments.  C. xl. &c.

 

Ver. 9.  Bridle thee, like a headstrong beast, (C.) running to its own ruin.  H. God pardons freely, that people may be saved if they will.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Poverty, at Babylon.  I have not treated thee with the utmost rigour, nor attempted to render thee free from every imperfection.  C. Sept. “Lo, I have sold thee, but not for silver; I have snatched thee from the,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Things, as I have done respecting Cyrus?  (S. Cyr. &c.) who was a figure of Christ.  v. 15.

 

Ver. 16.  Spirit.  The Fathers here find the three Persons of the blessed Trinity specified.  Isaias was not from the beginning, though the text may also speak of him C. as the spoke long before the event, by divine inspiration.  Chal.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 19.  Name.  The Jews were not forgotten, till they had rejected the Messias.

 

Ver. 21.  Out.  Their return was facilitated.  This may easily be applied (C.) to the conversion of the Gentiles.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 22.  Peace.  Sept. “rejoicing,” or prosperity for the Chaldees or wicked Jews.  v. 18.  C. It is promised only to the penitent.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 49

 

CHAPTER XLIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Give.  This fresh discourse continues to C. lvi. 9. relating to the Messias, who is introduced speaking to all the world.  Acts xiii. 47. and 2 Cor. vi. 2.  Some apply a part to Cyrus, Isaias, or the Baptist, as to his figures.  C. The prophet has foretold the conversion of the Gentiles, as he now does, like an evangelist.  S. Jer. Many Jews will embrace the gospel at the end of time.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Sword, penetrating the very soul, (Heb. iv. 12.) and slaying the wicked.  Apoc. i. 16. and 2 Thess. ii. 8.  Without Christ, his ministers can apply this sword to little purpose.  Cyrus cut asunder the bonds of the captives by his decree.  C. Grotius improperly explains all of Isaias.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 3.  Glory.  In the Church, God is adored in spirit and truth.  Isaias is ordered thus to address the Israelites.

 

Ver. 4.  God.  He will reward the labours of his ministers, though the people be obstinate.  The prophets and our Saviour frequently complain.  C. lxv. 2.  Mar. ix. 18.

 

Ver. 5.  Will not.  Heb. Sept. &c. “to be gathered.”  H. The original text, independent of the Masorets, may have the sense of the Vulg.  Yet there are other proofs of the synagogue’s rejection.  C. Prot. “though Israel be not gathered, yet,” &c.  Margin, or “that Israel may be gathered, and I may,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Earth.  S. Paul, explains this of Christ, (Acts xiii.) who said, Go teach all nations.  Mat. xxviii.  Isaias was one of his first preachers.

 

Ver. 7.  Despised, Christ, Cyrus, or Isaias; though it refer chiefly to our Saviour.

 

Ver. 9.  Ways.  The captives shall find every convenience.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  South.  Heb. Sinim; (H.) China, (S. Jer.) or rather Sin, or Pelusium, and Sinai, in Egypt and Arabia.  Sept. “Persians.”  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Sion, the Jews, who will at last be converted in great numbers.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 16.  Hands, which were nailed to the cross.  Sept. “I have delineated thy walls on my hands, and thou art before me always.”  H. The Assyrians wore such characters on their hands or necks.  Lucian.  Lev. xix. 28.  C. Christ will always love his Church, which is of all times and nations.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Of thee.  Sanballat, &c. shall yield to Zorobabel, Nehemias, &c.

 

Ver. 19.  Inhabitants.  The country was better peopled, (C.) and Jerusalem enlarged under the Machabees.  Jos.  Bel. v. 6.

 

Ver. 20.  Barrenness, of which thou complainest.  He alludes to the captives who returned, and to Christian converts.  M.

 

Ver. 22.  Shoulders.  Thus the Syrians commonly carried children astride.  Cotovic. xiv.

 

Ver. 23.  Nurses.  The Persian kings favoured the captives.  The greatest monarchs bow before the prelates of the Church, (M.) and kiss the Pope’s toe.  They venerate relics, (H.) and greatly enrich the Church.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Strong.  Can I force the Babylonians to yield?  Surely, and the devil also.  Lu. xi. 21. Mighty.  Heb. “just,” in lawful war.  Sept. “unjustly.”

 

Ver. 26.  Flesh.  They shall attack one another.  C. Neriglissor slew Evil-merodac.  Beros. c. Ap. i. Gobrias and Gadatas betrayed and killed Baltassar.  Xenoph. iv. 5. and 7.  C. In their fury they shall tear their own flesh.  M.

 

 

ISAIAS 50

 

CHAPTER L.

 

Ver. 1.  Away.  Such a one could not be received again, if she had taken another husband.  Deut. xxiv. 3.  Some explain this of the captives.  But God restored them to favour.  It seems rather to relate to the reprobation (C.) of the synagogue, which will never again become the true Church, (H.) though many of Israel will be converted.  Rom. xi. 25. Sold you, as a father might do.  Ex. xxi. 1.  Mat. xviii. 15.  S. Ambrose (Tob. viii.) inveighs against such cruel parents, as the Christian religion had not then entirely repressed this inhumanity.  C. God rejected the synagogue, not out of hard-heartedness or want, but because of her sins.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Hear.  My spouse had gone after other lovers.  The people refused to hear the prophets; and the priests were become as corrupt as the rest, when the city was taken by the Chaldees and by the Romans.  C. Sea.  Babylon.  C. xxi.  H. I could work the same miracles, as I did when Israel came out of Egypt.

 

Ver. 4.  Weary.  Isaias speaks in the name of Christ, whose words carried conviction and comfort along with them.  Jo. vi. 69. and vii. 46.  C. Wakeneth.  Lit. “lifteth up.” Cynthius âuremVellit. Ec. vi. Hear, or obey.  H. Christ preached more powerfully than Isaias, and continues to do so by his pastors.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Spit.  The greatest indignity.  Job xxx. 10.  Deut. xxv. 9.  Yet this was the treatment of our Saviour.  Lu. xviii. 31.  Mat. xxvi. 67.  C. “The great Grotius, (I wish he were great in explaining the prophets)” applies this to Jeremias.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 7.  Rock.  Christ heard the accusations of his enemies unmoved, as the had not been afraid to blame the conduct of the Pharisees.

 

Ver. 10.  Light.  The faithful are exhorted to take courage, while the Romans will destroy the rebellious Jews, (v. 11.  C.) and the wicked shall dwell in hell fire.  M.

 

 

ISAIAS 51

 

CHAPTER LI.

 

Ver. 1.  Lord.  He speaks of the redemption of mankind, under the allegory of the return from captivity.

 

Ver. 2.  Alone, and gave him children when he was grown old, and Sara barren.  I can surely save you likewise.  C. The example of these great progenitors is set before the Jews.  Thus S. Paul says: Remember your prelates.  Heb. xiii.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Nations.  This was verified when the Bible was translated into Greek, and still more by the preaching of the gospel.

 

Ver. 5.  Just.  Christ, prefigured by Cyrus, whose empire was very mild.  C. xliv. 28.

 

Ver. 6.  Fail.  Mat. xxiv. 35.  The prosperity of the Jews was not of long duration.  But the Church will remain till the end of time.

 

Ver. 9.  Proud.  Heb. “Rahab,” Pharao, king of Egypt.  Job xxvi. 12.  Ezec. xxix. 3.  C. God drowned in the water, which had retired for Israel.  He will thus destroy the devil.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Oppressor.  If thou hadst not abandoned God, thou wouldst have had no reason to fear Nabuchodonosor; and his power is now gone.

 

Ver. 14.  Fail.  Cyrus shall quickly restore the Jews to their country.  He shall not lay waste the provinces, like many conquerors.

 

Ver. 16.  People.  This may refer to Isaias, Cyrus, &c. as figures of Christ.  C. xlix. 1.  He has bestowed greater favours on Christians than Cyrus did on the Jews, opening the kingdom of heaven to true believers, &c.  Eph. ii. 19.

 

Ver. 17.  Dregs.  Take courage: Babylon’s turn is come.  v. 23.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Two.  War and famine cause desolation and destruction.  W. Jerusalem was reduced to the greatest misery in the last siege under Nabuchodonosor.  Lam. iv. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Ox, oryx.  Heb. Thua.  Deut. xiv. 5.  H. Many accounts respecting it are fabulous.  Some understand a sort of wolf, mentioned by Pliny viii. 34.  Sept. “like beet half boiled.”

 

Ver. 23.  Over.  This inhumanity was not uncommon.  Jos. x. 24.  Ps. cix. 1.

 

 

ISAIAS 52

 

CHAPTER LII.

 

Ver. 1.  Thee.  Judea was no more laid waste by its ancient enemies.  The persecution of Epiphanes did not continue long.  Many have attacked the Church; but they cannot overcome her, nor will she cease to preach the truth, and to continue pure and holy.

 

Ver. 3.  Money.  The Chaldees acted impolitically in leaving the country without inhabitants, and Cyrus will derive no immediate advantage from your return.  C. The Jews had not injured the Chaldees, nor mankind the devil.  But both had offended God, who out of mercy paid their ransom.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Assyrian.  Pharao, (Sa.  T.) or rather Nabuchodonosor, (C.) and the princes of Assyria, who acted tyrannically.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Long, by the Chaldees, weak Jews, and strangers, who misconstrue my conduct towards my people, and represent it as the effect of injustice, or of weakness.

 

Ver. 6.  Here.  Jesus Christ appears, the Redeemer foretold so long before.

 

Ver. 7.  Peace.  He come like a conqueror to save his people.  It may also be applied to the prophets and apostles, (C.) as S. Paul explains it.  Rom. x. 15.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Watchmen, prophets.  The angels sung at the birth of Christ.  Lu. ii. 14.

 

Ver. 10.  Arm.  The Saviour.  Lu. i. 51.

 

Ver. 11.  Lord, the Levites departing from Babylon.  1 Esd. i. 7.  Num. iii. 6. and iv. 5. &c.  C. S. Paul proves hence that communication with infidels in spiritual things is always unlawful.  2 Cor. vi. 17.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Servant, Christ.  In vain do the Jews attempt to apply this to any other.  It is wonderful that Grotius should follow their steps, and understand Jeremias to be meant; though elsewhere he allows that the prophet speaks only of the Messias.  De Verit. v. 19. This author has been of great prejudice to religion.  The Chaldee and many modern Jews have been  compelled by evidence to apply this to the Messias.  See Geir. &c.  Jesus was pleased to assume the form of a servant.  Phil. ii. 7.

 

Ver. 14.  Of men, who have disfigured the countenance of our Saviour with buffets, &c.  The Jews would not receive him under this abject form, though it had been foretold equally with his elevation.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Sprinkle with baptism, (H.) and his manifold graces.  C. Sept. “so many nations shall wonder at him.”  H. Mouth, out of reverence.  How many great princes have submitted to his yoke?  C. Beheld.  The Gentiles (M.) embrace the faith, at the sight of Christ’s miracles.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 53

 

CHAPTER LIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Revealed.  Who could have believed such things?  The apostles complain how few were converted.  Jo. xii. 38.  Rom. x. 16.  C. These would not submit, though the gospel was not against reason.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Plant.  Hebrew also, “suckling child.”  Sept. &c. Ground.  The blessed Virgin.  C. Was.  Sept. “he had no appearance nor beauty.  But his appearance was abject and deficient above all men; a,” &c. That we.  Lit. “and we have desired him.”  Notwithstanding his abject condition, He was the desired of all nations, and by his wounds we are healed.  H. Some assert that the person of Christ was not beautiful, while others think that his wounds prevented it from being discerned.  Salmeron would supply a negation from the first number: “We have not desired him.”

 

Ver. 3.  Not.  The whole life of Christ was spent in the midst of poverty, and contradictions.  Heb. iv. 15.   He has thus taught us to despise ourselves.

 

Ver. 4.  Sorrows.  Healing them by his own afflictions.  Mat. viii. 15.  Sickness is an effect of sin, which Jesus came to destroy.  1 Pet. ii. 24 Leper, who was bound to have his face covered.  v. 3.  Lev. xiii. 45. God.  Payva (Def. Trin. iv.) assures us that many Jews were converted by the perusal of this chapter, and particularly of this verse, which may be rendered “as a God wounded and afflicted.”  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Healed.  He inculcates this important truth repeatedly.  Christ nailed the hand-writing that was against us to the cross.  Col. ii. 14.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Astray.  We belong to his fold.  C. xl. 11.  Jo. x. 11.  Lu. xv. 4. Laid.  Sept. “abandoned him to our sins,” as to so many executioners; (C.) “and he, because he had been abused, opened,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Will.  The pagans were very attentive that the victim should not make much resistance.  Macrob. iii. 5.

 

Ver. 8.  Judgment, or by an unjust and cruel judgment.  H. Heb. “from prison and judgment.”  C. Sept. “in humiliation, (H.) or humility, his judgment was taken away,” or rescinded, by his glorious resurrection.  S. Philip follows this version in explaining this passage to the eunuch.  Acts viii. 33. Generation, from his eternal Father or from the Virgin, his incarnation, life, resurrection, or posterity in the Church.  All these may be meant, and are inexplicable.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Death.  Heb. “and he made his grave with the wicked men, and with the rich man, in his death.”  H. Grave and death seem to be transposed; and we might better read, “He was taken up with wicked men in his death, and with a rich man was his sepulchre.”  This indeed is only a conjecture, but well grounded in the context.  See Jos. xxiv. 19.  Kennicott. Sept. “and I will give the wicked for his grave, and the rich men for his death.”  H. The rich man may denote the small number of Jews who embraced the faith.  C. They esteemed themselves rich, and were highly favoured by God; yet they were blinded, (H.) and given up to the Romans, in punishment of their deicide.  Mat. xxvii. 25.  The Church is gathered both from Jews and Gentiles.  v. 10.  C.  S. Jer. “He will send to hell the wicked,” (Chal.) who slew him.  M. Christ was buried where malefactors were generally, yet honourably, in the tomb of Joseph.  W.  Mat. xxvii. 57.

 

Ver. 10.  Bruise.  Sept. “to cleanse him from the wound.”  H. God was pleased that he should satisfy fro our crimes. Hand.  Christ has died for all, and established a Church which shall not perish.

 

Ver. 12.  Many.  Even to the ends of the earth.  Ps. ii. 8. Strong.  Demons, Jews, &c.  Heb. “with the strong” apostles. Wicked thieves.  Barabbas, &c. Transgressors.  His executioners.  The gospel could not speak plainer.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 54

 

CHAPTER LIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Barren Jews in captivity, or Church of the Gentiles, to which alone the expressions can be applied.  C. The Gentiles were before unfruitful, as the Jews will be till towards the latter times.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Stakes, to receive so great a family.  All the Israelites did not return, and it does not appear that many embraced their religion, as they have done that of Christ.

 

Ver. 3.  Left.  To the north and south.  Jerusalem increased.  But what was it compared with the Christians establishment!

 

Ver. 4.  Widowhood.  Thy former excesses shall be forgotten.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Thee.  Heb. “Bohalaic (H.) shall be your Baalim,” or husband, who was styled Lord.  1 Pet. iii. 6.  Perhaps he may allude to the two wives, the synagogues and the Church, or to the idols, which should be adored no more.

 

Ver. 6.  Youth.  This enhances her fault.  God is pleased to overlook it, in the captives (C. l. 1.) and Gentiles.

 

Ver. 9.  Earth.  Giving him the rainbow for a sign.  My covenant with the Church is equally irrevocable: she is founded on a rock.  Mat. xvi. 18.  C. Christ will no more abandon her than he will drown the world.  Some mountains shall be moved out of their place, but she shall not.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Sapphires.  Heb. “antimony,” a mineral shining like silver.  4 K. ix. 30.

 

Ver. 12.  Bulwarks.  Heb. windows of crystal; (Ezec. xxvii. 16.  C.) Prot. “of agate.”  H. All this is allegorical, like the redemption of the new Jerusalem.  Apoc. xxi.

 

Ver. 13.  Lord, Christ.  Jer. xxxi. 33.  John vi. 45.

 

Ver. 14.  Thee.  The Cutheans rendered the Jews suspected.  1 Esd. iv. 2. and vi. 1

 

Ver. 15.  To thee, in the inheritance.  This was verified in the Church.  We have no accout of many being converted before.

 

Ver. 16.  Destroy.  I can give peace or war.  C. Sept. “but I have created thee not for utter destruction.”  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 55

 

CHAPTER LV.

 

Ver. 1.  Waters, which in that country are very scarce. Milk.  Sept. “fat.”  C. In the western Churches, wine and honey were given to the new baptized.  C. vii. 15.  S. Jer. Christ invites all to come to him.  John iv. 14,. and vii. 37.  The establishment of the Church is described under the figure of the return from Babylon.  C. Grace is offered to all.  But only those are justified who thirst, and do their best.  Mat. v. 6.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  David.  I will be equally faithful to you.  Ps. lxxxviii. 29.  Sept. “the holy things of David faithful.”  Acts xiii. 34.  The resurrection of Christ fully accomplished the promise made to David.

 

Ver. 4.  Him.  David, who continually proclaimed the divine mercies, (Ps. xvii. 1.) or rather Christ; though Grotius alone would refer it to Jeremias.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Not with approbation.  H. The Gentiles are converted.

 

Ver. 6.  Near.  He will shortly (C.) turn to the Gentiles.  John xii. 35.  Acts xiii. 46.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Way.  This is a necessary preliminary to God’s service.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  My ways.  I am not vindictive, but require a sincere conversion.  C. We cannot serve both God and the world.  We must therefore adhere to the former.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Sent it.  I will assuredly bring you from Babylon; and the rain shall sooner return upwards than I will break my promise.

 

Ver. 12.  Peace, by strangers.  C. xlix. 22. Hands, for joy.  C. Ipsa sonant arbusta Deus Deus ille, Menacla.  Virg. Ec. v.

 

Ver. 13.  Myrtle-tree.  Instead of the wicked, the just shall be seen.  Chal. Away.  The conversion and sanctity of the Gentiles shall be a trophy to the Lord.  M.

 

 

ISAIAS 56

 

CHAPTER LVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Judgment, the right resolution to do God’s will, which justice executes.  C. xxxii.  W. My justice.  Sept. “mercy.”  Christ is at hand.  Prepare for your deliverance, by keeping the commandments.

 

Ver. 2.  Sabbath.  All the Jewish festivals, (C.) as well as those of the Christian Church, (H.) and the whole law.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  People.  The Jews would not admit all nations to their communion.  Deut. xxxiii. 1.  A little before Christ’s coming, they began to make more proselytes; (Mat. xxiii. 15.) and the sacred books being translated, came to the knowledge of the Gentiles, who were thus induced by degrees to embrace the true faith.  The road to heaven was always open for those who kept the commandments, (v. 6.  C.) though they might not receive circumcision.  H. Christ has removed the wall of separation, (Eph. ii. 14.  C.) and established one fold for all.  Jo. x.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Eunuchs.  It was ignominious to have no children among the Jews, as the propagation of the true religion depended much on their numbers.  But now, since the Church is gathered from all nations, virginity is preferable to marriage, and those who keep the sabbath, or all the commandments, and choose this state freely, will receive greater glory than the other sons and daughters of God.  Against this plain meaning, P. Martyr (de Cœlib.) asserts that God prefers eunuchs only because before those who transgress the law.  But he gives them a place better than his other sons, &c.!  Prot. (Bib. 1603) understand that eunuchs shall be called after (or according to) God’s people, and be of the same religion, which implies no preference at all.  They add, therefore, yea, under Christ the dignity of the faithful shall be greater than the Jews were at that time; as if the comparison were between God’s servants before and after Christ, and not between eunuchs and such as have children.  How much better is it for us to follow the holy Fathers, who hence commend those who make a vow of perpetual chastity?  They shall possess an excellent dignity among the angels.  S. Bas. virg. The rewards of continency are great, eximia.  S. Cyr. Alex. hic. “In the eternal mansion they are preferred before children.”  S. Greg. past. iii. 29. &c.  W. Such spiritual eunuchs, as S. John the evangelist, are meant.  “He hath chosen what the Lord would, that he should offer more than was commanded…He who is an eunuch, and performs all that is prescribed, shall have…the best place, so that he shall be a tower, and occupy the rank of a priest, and instead of children of the flesh, shall have many spiritual children.”  S. Jer.  H. The law excluded eunuchs from the Church.  Deut. xxiii. 1.  But under the gospel, they may enter heaven.  Mat. xix. and 1 Cor. vii. 32. &c.  Daniel (i. 3.) and his companions were eunuchs, yet in high estimation; and virtuous eunuchs are commended.  Wisd. iii. 13.  C. Choose.  Observing the commandments and counsels, like religious men.  M. Those who choose to do more than is commanded, will have a greater reward.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Prayer.  So the temple is justly styled.  H. This shall be open to all nations.  After the captivity, the Jews condescended to let the Gentiles have a court, and they even suffered some princes to go into the court of the priests.  2 Mac. iii. 33.  Physcon wished to penetrate into the inner sanctuary, (3 Mac.  Eccli. l.) which could not be granted.

 

Ver. 9.  Beasts.  Here a fresh discourse begins to C. lxi.  The Chaldees and Romans are invited to punish God’s people for their sins, committed before the captivity.  Zac. xiv. 2.  C. The prophet foresees the negligence of some pastors, and denounces their rigorous chastisement.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Watchmen.  Priests and prophets.  C. We know (H.) only Jeremias who continued firm.  Lam. ii. 14.  In the days of Christ, the corruption was not diminished.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Last.  The scribes devour the houses of widows, making long prayers.  Mat. xxiii. 14.  They are blind.  Mat. xv. 14.  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 57

 

CHAPTER LVII.

 

Ver. 1.  The just.  Christ, (C.) Josias, (Grot.) or any whose cause is just, yet finds no protection from such corrupt magistrates.  H. Evil, by the wicked, or to prevent his fall.  4 K. xii. 20.  People little consider what a loss the world sustains, when those die who might have averted the divine wrath.  C. They are usually taken away, that they may not witness such misfortunes, and are settled in eternal peace.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Bed.  The grave which affords rest to the virtuous, Josias, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Sorceress.  Sept. “lawless” children.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Tongue, in contempt.  Saints, and particularly Jesus Christ, have been exposed to ridicule.

 

Ver. 5.  Comfort.  Heb. “heat,” abandoning yourselves to shameful excesses. Torrents, to avoid being seen.  Such sacrifices would have been incredible, if the Scriptures, and all history did not prove their existence.  Deut. xii. 31.  Wisd. xii. 3. and 4 K. xxiii. 10.

 

Ver. 6.  Them.  The stones of the torrent, which were often the objects of adoration.  Lev. xxvi. 1.  Gen. xxviii. 18.  The god, Helagabalus, was a rough boundary stone.

 

Ver. 7.  Bed, like a shameless prostitute.  The idols are generally represented in this light, as corrupting God’s people.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Remembrance.  Domestic gods.  S. Jer.  The Lares or Penates were usually placed in the court or porch.  The Jews probably used Hecate or Trivia, for the same purpose.  C. lxv. 11. and lxvi. 17.  To prevent this impiety, God had ordered some of the law to be written on the doors.  Deut. vi. 9.  But this it seems was disregarded.  4 K. xxiii. 8. and 1 Mac. i. 58.  Ezec. viii. 5. Near me.  Idols were placed in the very temple.  Jer. xxxv. 15. and 4 K. xxi. 4.  Ezec. viii. 3. and xvi. 17.  C. Hand.  Prot. “where thou sawest it.”  Thou didst even invite thy lovers by presents.  Ezec. xvi. 32.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  King.  Moloc, or (C.) any foreign king, of whose alliance God did not approve.  Theod. To please them, the true religion was adulterated.

 

Ver. 10.  Rest.  They were obstinate before the coming of Nabuchodonosor, and of the Romans. Asked.  Confiding in their own strength.

 

Ver. 11.  Afraid, since thou hast despised my, my laws and offers.

 

Ver. 12.  Justice.  He speaks ironically.  C. Self-righteousness is vicious.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Companies, or princes, in whom thou hast confided.  Assyria and Egypt cannot save themselves.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  And I.  Seeing there is no aid in man, God will save his people for his own goodness’ sake.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  End.  I will not always threaten or be angry.  Gen. vi. 3.  C. Spirit.  Holy Ghost.  S. Iræn. v. 12.  S. Aug. God spares the humble penitent, and grants what they desire with as much eagerness as a sailor does a fair wind.  W. He does not regard the indifferent.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Heart.  Dreadful state of the abandoned sinner!  Deut. xxxii.21.  Ps. xii. 2. and xliii. 24.

 

Ver. 19.  Lips.  Whatever they could ask, so that they might sing canticles.  All should be content.  He alludes to the liberation of the captives, which was near, and to the redemption of mankind far off.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Dirt.  Lit. “treading,” conculcationem.  H. The works of the wicked are fruitless.  They have no content.  C.

Non enim gazæ neque consularis

Summovet lictor miseros tumultus,

Mentis et curas laqueata circum,

Tecta volantes.  Hor. ii. ode 16.

The obstinate sinner can receive no pardon.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 58

 

CHAPTER LVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Sins.  During the captivity.  v. 11.  S. Thomas. Some will not hear, and those must be rebuked with all patience, till they follow virtue.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Approach, and contend with God, scrutinizing his conduct, (Prov. xxv. 27.) and doing good for the sake of applause and self-interest.

 

Ver. 3.  Will.  This alone suggested their fasts, and they did not shew compassion.  Ezec. vii. 2.  C. Debtors, who are not able to pay.  S. Jer.  Deut. xxiv. 12.

 

Ver. 4.  Strife.  The usual works were interrupted.  The Church formerly forbade law-suits on fast-days. Fist.  Mat. xviii. 28. Wickedly.  Sept. “the humble.”

 

Ver. 5.  Circle.  They affected extreme debility.  Mat. vi. 16.  C. Ashes.  These external marks of penance are not condemned, but the want of corresponding sentiments.  H. Prot. would hence infer that fasting from flesh is not requisite, or a religious worship.  But S. Jerom shews the contrary, provided it be joined with the observance of other commandments, as the saints and Christ himself have shewn us.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Bands.  Contracts of usury, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Deal.  Lit. “break.”  H. Thin cakes are still used in the East. Flesh, or relation.  Gen. xxvii. 27.

 

Ver. 8.  Light.  Prosperity, (C.) or Saviour.  H. Mat. iv. 2. and John i. 8.  C. Health.  Aquila, “the scar of thy wound shall soon be covered.”  S. Jer. Up.  He shall close the rear, like the angel in the cloud.  Ex. xiii. 21. and xiv. 19.  He will grant thee rest from bondage in the grave and in heaven.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Finger, contemptuously, or threatening.  S. Jer. Some explain it of the ordaining sacred ministers, or taking another’s property.

 

Ver. 10.  Soul, effectually, and with love relieving the distressed.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Fail.  Sept. Alex. adds, “and thy bones as a flower shall spring and grow fat, and shall inherit ages of ages.”  S. Jerom says this is not in the best copies. H.

 

Ver. 12.  Generation.  As the Jews did not comply with the condition, the Church falls heir to these promises.

 

Ver. 13.  Sabbath, doing no work, or refraining from the violation of festivals. Delightful.  We must not think the sabbath of the Lord a loss: (Amos viii. 5.) but rejoice in praising him.  Ps. xlv. 11.  C. A word, or to apply to God’s word.  Grot. Pious reading on holidays is the duty of all who have an opportunity.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Earth.  Judea.  C. Sept. “upon the good things of the land.”  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 59

 

CHAPTER LIX.

 

Ver. 2.  Iniquities.  The history of Susanna shews that the captives were not all free from sin, which alone prevented their liberation.  Lam. iii. 44.  C. God is willing and able to save.  He punishes for sin, to cause us to repent.  v. 20.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Justice.  They arraign unjustly.  None call upon the just God, but trust in idols. Iniquity.  They kill themselves, while they strive to injure others.  Ps. vii. 15.  Mic. ii. 1.

 

Ver. 5.  Basilisk, or viper.  C. The young ones “burst through the viper’s sides.”  Pliny x. 62. So the works of the wicked are useless or destructive.

 

Ver. 8.  Peace, or prosperity.  They quarrel with all, and ruin themselves.  Ps. xiii.

 

Ver. 9.  Therefore.  The wicked Jews nevertheless confess that their sins prove their destruction.

 

Ver. 10.  Dead.  The Jews will not recognize Christ, notwithstanding the prophecies and miracles.

 

Ver. 11.  Judgment, that God would avenge us, (v. 9.) and regard our fasts.  C. lviii. 3.

 

Ver. 14.  In.  Where truth is disregarded, there can be no justice.

 

Ver. 16.  Himself, to arrest his arm, stretched out to chastise his son; or to second him.  There is nothing in man to stop God’s vengeance.  He therefore pardons out of his own goodness.  C. lix. 2. and lxiii. 4.  C. He became man to redeem us, as no pure mortal could do it.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Justice.  None can blame his conduct.

 

Ver. 19.  On.  Heb. “is standard-bearer.”  Aq.   S. Jer. Cyrus, the figurative redeemer, proceeds rapidly.

 

Ver. 20.  To Sion.  Sept. “from Sion, and will turn away iniquity from Jacob.  (21) And this,” &c.  H. S. Paul hence proves that the Jews will at last be converted.  Rom. xi. 26.  The return of the captives prefigured this event.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Covenant.  Note here a clear promise of perpetual orthodoxy to the Church of Christ.  Ch. She hath still the spirit of truth.  W.  Mat. xxviii. 20. None will apply this to the synagogue, which is visibly in the dark, and abandoned.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 60

 

CHAPTER LX.

 

Ver. 1.  O Jerusalem, is not in Heb. or S. Jer. but in the Sept.  Some few things may refer to the terrestrial Jerusalem, though the prophet speaks chiefly of the celestial and of the Church. Lord, very great.  Christ came to save us.  C. God prevents by his grace, but man must co-operate to be justified.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  People.  Babylon shall suffer, while thou art relieved.  C. The Gentiles continue in darkness till they embrace the faith.  v. 3.  H. Only those who are in the Church receive the light of truth.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Rising.  The three wise men were the first.

 

Ver. 4.  Rise up.  S. Jer. “suck,” as the Heb. may imply.  C. Sept. “shall be carried on the shoulders.”  H. This  may refer to the captives and to the Church.

 

Ver. 5.  Wonder.  Heb. and Sept. in S. Jerom, “fear.”  This sensation is often mixed with joy.  Mat. xxviii. 8. Thee.  No such nations joined the Jews, as they did the Church.

 

Ver. 6.  Epha.  Abraham’s grandson, who dwelt near his father, Madian, in Arabia, which was famous for camels.  C. Saba.  India mittit ebur, molles sua thura Sabæi?  Geor. i. The Arabians embraced the gospel, but never brought their treasures to Jerusalem.  C. The three kings came on swift beasts to adore Christ, and fulfilled his prophecy.  Mat. ii.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Cedar and Nabaioth sprung from Ismael, and dwelt in desert Arabia, under tents, feeding flocks.  S. Jer.  Ezec. xxvii. 21. They also were converted to Christ.

 

Ver. 8.  Clouds.  They are thy children, accompanied by strangers.

 

Ver. 9.  Afar.  All nations shall receive the gospel.  Many made presents to the temple, after the return of the Jews.  C. The islands, Great Britain, &c. embrace the faith.  Tert.  Orig.  Ven. Bede, S. Chrys. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  To thee.  The Persians monarchs (C.) were mostly favourable to the Jews.  H. The Gentiles help to form the Church, which rejects no one.  v. 11.

 

Ver. 12.  Desolation.  Though the Machabees conquered several nations, this can only be verified in the Church of Christ, to which God has subjected all; so that out of his faith none can be saved.  Heb. ii. 8.

 

Ver. 13.  Glory; cedar, which was chiefly used in building the temple.  1 Esd. iii. 7.  C. This must be explained of the saints, who founded the Church, &c.  S. Jer. Emperors became Christians, with the most potent nations.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Feet.  Prot. “shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet.”  This posture is not then essentially idolatrous. H. Jerusalem shall be rebuilt by those who destroyed it.  C. xlix. 17.  It is not easy to prove this of the earthly city: but the pagans, who persecuted the Church, have embraced her communion, and begged to receive baptism.

 

Ver. 16.  Kings.  Thou shalt be treated like royal babes.  C. xlix. 23.  C. Sept. “and thou shalt eat the riches of kings.”  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Visitation.  Sept. “give thy chiefs in peace, and thy bishops in justice.”  S. Clement (ad Cor.) reads, “I will appoint their bishops in justice, and their deacons in faith.”  C. The Scripture thus specifies the name and duties of the pastors of the Church  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 18.  Gates.  Jerusalem was not less corrupt after the captivity than before, if we except idolatry.  C. Heaven alone enjoys a perfect peace and freedom from sin, (S. Cyr. &c.) though the Church is always holy.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Thou shalt, &c.  In this latter part of the chapter, the prophet passes from the illustrious promises made to the Church militant on earth, to the glory of the Church triumphant in heaven.  Ch. Glory.  S. John seems to have copied this.  Apoc. xviii. &c.

 

Ver. 22.  The least of the apostles shall bring many converts, (C.) or shall be spiritual (H.) governor of a great city, (Mic. v. 2.) in the Church militant.  C.   A small shoot, or family, in the Church, shall produce many others.  M.

 

 

ISAIAS 61

 

CHAPTER LXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Lord.  Heb. adds, “God.”  Adonai seems to have been inserted to prevent the pronunciation of Jehovah, (Kennicott) which alone occurs in the Sept. Arab. and in S. Luke, iv. 18.  H. Thus Elohim may have been substituted for Jehovah, Gen. xxii. 8. as v. 14, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah jireh, because he had said that day on the mount: Jehovah will provide” a victim, even Jesus Christ in the same place.  Perhaps no part of the Bible is “so absurdly translated” as this, (Ken.) by Protestants.  H. S. Luke follows the Sept. in his quotation, only instead of to preach a, &c. he has an explanation, to set at liberty them that are bruised.  Isaias may here speak of himself, (Chal.) yet only as a figure of Christ.  The Jews admit that the Messias is meant.  Christ had received the Holy Spirit at the Jordan.  John i. 32.  He performed these works, (Lu. vii. 22.) particularly addressing his discourse to the meek and poor.  Soph. iii. 12.  Zac. xi. 7. and 1 Cor. i. 26.  C. He was not anointed with oil, like Aaron, but with the Holy Ghost; so that of his fullness others must receive.  Acts x. 39. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Year of Jubilee, (Jer. xxv. 11.) when the Jews should be delivered, as a figure of Christ’s redemption. Vengeance, when the Chaldees, &c. should perish, (C.) and all obstinate sinners, at the day of judgment.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Glorify.  The rulers shall act with justice.  C. lx. 17, 21.

 

Ver. 4.  Ruins, as the Jews did.  C. lviii. 12.  The apostles preached to the Gentiles, who had been long neglected.

 

Ver. 5.  Vines.  Bishops were soon chosen from among the Gentiles.  The Machabees subdued the neighbouring nations.  1 Mac. xv. 28.

 

Ver. 6.  Priests.  They were greatly honoured, (Ex. xix. 6.) so that the sons of David had the appellation.  The Jews had still to labour as before.  Christians become heirs to these promises, and are styled a royal priesthood.  1 Pet. ii. 9.  Apoc. i. 6.  They have received the Scriptures from the Jews, and employ human sciences for the advancement of religion.  The wisest pagans yield to the force of truth.

 

Ver. 7.  Part: God, or the land.  Converts shall bless God for having withdrawn them from the crowd of infidels, and they will rejoice in suffering for his sake, (C.) preferring their lot before that of unbelievers.  Before this change the apostles grieved.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Holocaust.  The pagans saw such things were improper victims.  Eus. præp. iv. 14. Sept. “hate unjust plunder.”  H. Therefore will I subject the strangers to you.  v. 5. Truth.  I will grant a sure reward. Covenant.  These of Nehemias and the Machabees were soon forgotten: but Christ’s covenant shall abide for ever.

 

Ver. 9.  Blessed.  The Jews are visibly the reverse.  The Church flourishes in spite of domestic and foreign enemies.

 

Ver. 10.  Jewels.  Apoc. xxi. 2.  Jerusalem, or rather the Church, praises God.

 

Ver. 11.  Nations, whose conversion is implicitly foretold.  All behold the justice which God has treated both his people and their oppressors.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 62

 

CHAPTER LXII.

 

Ver. 1.  Rest, as  long as God grants me life, or till I behold the Saviour; or Cyrus, the figure of Christ.  C. True preachers will not be silent on account of any threats, but will labour for the Church.  2 Tim. ii.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  One.  No profane historian mentions what Cyrus did for the Jews; but all the world knows how much Christ has favoured his Church.  C. Name.  Thou shalt be no longer the rebellious Jerusalem, but the spouse and chosen people, the Church of Christ.  S. Ignat. ad Magnes.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 3.  Hand.  Chal. “before.”  Heb. “by the protection.”

 

Ver. 4.  Forsaken.  Yet the synagogue was again rejected, at the death of Christ.  The promises naturally relate to his Church.  C. Inhabited.  Prot. retain the Heb. words Chephtsi-bah, “my delight in her,” and Beulah, (marg.) “married.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Dwell.  Heb. “marry.”  They shall be attached to their country. Thee.  He shall love thee as a bridegroom does one whom he has lately married.  Christ never abandons his virgin spouse.  C. Isaias speaks of some state of the Jews which has not yet taken place.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 6.  Watchmen; priests and prophets, (Mat. ii. 1.  Ps. cxxxiii. 2.  C.) or angels.  S. Jer.  S. Bern. The synagogue has long been destitute of guides, but the Catholic Church has an uninterrupted succession of watchful pastors. Mindful whose duty it is to remind him of his promises, and to recite the Church office.  C. Heb. mazcirim, monitors.  2 K. viii. 16.  H. In these faithful watchman the Church is always visible.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Hand; inviolably.  Deut. xxxii. 40.  The Persians deemed this oath most sacred.  C. Darius just expiring, said to Polycrates, “By thee I give this right hand to Alexander,” (Plut.) that he may revenge my death. Wine.  The Church cannot be deprived of her faith or of her God.

 

Ver. 10.  People, that they may return to Judea, and be converted to Christ.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Work the redemption of mankind.  H. Though Cyrus was a figure of Christ, he was as much beneath him as earth is below heaven.  Zac. ix. 9.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 63

 

CHAPTER LXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Edom.  Edom and Bosra (a strong city of Edom) are here taken in a mystical sense for the enemies of Christ and his Church.  Ch. S. Jerom with reason finds it difficult to explain it of Christ, as it regards the Machabees.  Houbigant. The first six verses are applied to our Saviour’s ascension, which excites the admiration of angels.  Ps. xxiii. 7.  Judas, the Machabee, the glorious figure of Christ, is introduced speaking in this and the following chapter.  He conquered Idumea, (1 Mac. v. 3. and 2 Mac. x. 10.) and fought to save the people.  1 Mac. ix. 21.  C. The highest order of angels asks this question, admiring the beauty of Christ, though imbrued in blood after his victory.  S. Dionys. Hierar. vii.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Press.  Christ suffered, (S. Cyr.) and punished his enemies, Apocalypse xiv. 19.  Judas received God’s sword from Jeremias, (2 Mac. xv. 15.) and liberated his people.

 

Ver. 5.  Me.  I depended on the goodness of my cause, and on God’s aid.  C. lix. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Drunk with the wine of my fury.  Ps. lxxiv. 9.  Ezec. xxiii. 31.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  I, Isaias; or rather the hero mentions what induced him to rise up.  1 Mac. xvi. 10.  C. The Jews confess God’s mercies.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 8.  Deny, or prove degenerate.  C. God approves the conduct of the Machabees.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Presence, in high authority.  Ex. xxxiii. 20.  C. The angel guardian of the Church.  Particular guardians also see God’s face.  Mat. xviii.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  One; Moses.  Num. xiv. 29. and xx. 3, 12.

 

Ver. 11.  Flock.  Ps. lxxvi. 21. One.  Moses inspired by God.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Not, the road was so plain.  Wisd. xix. 7.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Back.  This is spoken by the prophet in the person of the Jews, at the time when for their sins they were given up to their enemies.  Ch. Judas uses the same language at Maspha.  1 Mac. iii. 50.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Abraham, &c.  That is, Abraham will not now acknowledge us for his children, by reason of our degeneracy; but thou, O Lord, art our true father and our redeemer, and no other can be called our parent in comparison with thee.  Ch. Abraham is not able to save us.  C. The patriarchs may justly disregard us, as degenerate children; yet we hope in God’s mercies.  Thus S. Jerom, &c. explain the passage, which does not favour the errors of Vigilantius and of Luther, who maintain that the saints departed do not know what passes in this world.  S. Aug. (Cura xv.) shews the contrary, from the example of Lazarus, Luke xvi.  They know each other, though they had not lived together, (S. Greg. Dial. iv. 33.) and beheld in the light of God what regards their clients.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xxii. 29.  We cannot decide how the martyrs do help those whom it is certain they assist.  S. Aug. cura xvi.  c. Faust. xx. 21.  S. Jer. c. Vigil.  S. Greg. 3 ep. 30. and 7 ep. 126. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Hardened, &c.  The meaning is, that God, in punishment of their great and manifold crimes, and their long abuse of his mercy and grace, had withdrawn his graces from them, and so given them up to error and hardness of heart.  Ch. They had abused his patience, to sin the more.  Theodoret The Jews are accustomed to attribute all to God, though they agree with us in reality God might prevent any sin.  C. But he chooses to leave man to the free exercise of his liberty.  He hardens (H.) “not by infusing malice, but by not shewing mercy; and those to whom he shews it not, are undeserving.”  S. Aug. ep. ad Sixt. cxciv. 14. God is never the author of error.  Man takes occasion from his indulgence to become obdurate.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Nothing; holding them in the greatest contempt.  Epiphanes though he should make them easily change their religion.  His persecution lasted only three years and a half. Sanctuary.  1 Mac. i. 23. 49. 57. and iii. 45.

 

Ver. 19.  Name.  We seem to have no distinction, temple, &c.  C. Prot. “We are thine.  Thou never bearest rule over them.  They were,” &c.  H.

 

 

ISAIAS 64

 

CHAPTER LXIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Presence, as at Sinai.  Ex. xix. 16.  Judg. v. 4.  Judas continues to pray.  C. The faithful sigh for Christ’s coming.  H. All good people desired it most fervently.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  They.  Sept. “As wax melts before the fire, so also fire will burn the adversaries, and thy,” &c.  H. Burn.  Sparks of fire seem to proceed from it.

 

Ver. 3.  Bear.  Ex. xx. 18.  Heb. “expect.”  Judas appeared victorious, when the nation was prostrate.

 

Ver. 4.  Thee.  Never was deliverance more unexpected or miraculous.  S. Paul quotes this passage, to shew the wisdom manifested in the incarnation.  1 Cor. ii. 9.  It is commonly applied to the glory of heaven.

 

Ver. 5.  Thee.  The little band of Judas was sincerely attached to the Lord.  2 Mac. i. 3. Sinned.  This excited thy anger.  Yet thou wilt shew mercy.  Sin is often put for punishment.  C. Vau means also, “for, and, yet.”  Prot. “for we have sinned.”  But we follow S. Jer. and the Vulg. W.

 

Ver. 6.  Unclean: leper.  Grot.  Lev. xiii. 45. Justices.  That is, the works by which we pretended to make ourselves just.  This is spoken particularly of the sacrifices, sacraments, and ceremonies of the Jews, after the death of Christ, and the promulgation of the new law.  Ch. The justice which is under the law is stated uncleanness, when compared with evangelical purity.  Phil. iii. 8. “If any one after the gospel…would observe the ceremonies of the law, let him hear the people confessing that all that justice is compared to a most filthy rag.”  S. Jer. The good works which are done by grace, and not by man alone, cannot be said to be of this description.  They constitute the internal glory of man, and God will one day crown these his gifts.  Of ourselves indeed we can do nothing, and the works of the Mosaic law will not avail, as S. Paul inculcates; but those works, point out the saint, which are preformed by charity with faith in Christ.  This justice is not imputed only, but real; and shews where true faith exists, according to S. James.  Thus the apostles explain each other.  H. Woman.  Sept. “of one sitting down;” like Rachel.  Gen. xxxi. 35.  Sym. “lying-in.”  Aq. “of proofs.”  Grot. “like a plaster on a sore, which is thrown away.”  Such were Alcimus, &c.  C. To practise (H.) the Jewish rites would now be sinful.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Of thee; to remove thy indignation, like Moses, Jeremias, (vii. 15.) &c.  See Ezec. xiii. 5.

 

Ver. 10.  Desolate, under Antiochus Epiphanes.  1 Mac. i. 31. and iv. 38.  C.

 

 

ISAIAS 65

 

CHAPTER LXV.

 

Ver. 1.  Me.  God answers the preceding prayer, and announces the rejection of the synagogue, alluding to the armies which prevailed in the days of the Machabees. Not.  S. Paul explains this of the conversion of the Gentiles.  Rom. x. 20.  C. It cannot regard the Jews, who are spoken of in the next verse.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Gardens, to the impure Venus and Adonis. Bricks, to the Manes.  C.

Tegula porrectis satis est velata coronis

                        Et sparsæ fruges parvaque mica salis.  Ovid, Fast. x.

 

Ver. 4.  Idols: to have dreams, (Strabo xvi.) and commit impurities. Broth of swine’s flesh, which was prohibited.  Lev. xi. 7.

 

Ver. 5.  Unclean.  Thus acted the hypocritical Pharisees. Smoke.  A just punishment of those who had sought the smoke of human applause.

 

Ver. 6.  Bosom: good measure.  Lu. vi. 38.  Rewards and punishments will be eternal.

 

Ver. 7.  Hills.  Some offered sacrifices to God, others to idols; both unlawfully.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Whole.  The good grain is preserved amid the general corruption.  H. A few of the Jews were chosen to believe in Christ.

 

Ver. 9.  Mountains of Judea, (Deut. iii. 25.) which the captives shall recover, as a figure of those who shall embrace the Christian faith.

 

Ver. 10.  Plains.  Heb. Sharon, in the land of Basan. Achor, near Jericho, called after Achan, (C.) who perhaps was more correctly styled Achor.  Jos. vii. 26.  Osee ii. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Fortune.  Heb. “Gad,” the sun.  Gen. xxx. 11. Upon it.  Sym. “without me.”  Sept. “to fortune.”  Heb. “to Meni,” the moon, or Queen of heaven.  Jer. vii. 18. and xliv. 17.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Chosen.  Free-will is clearly expressed, as rewards are, v. 13.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Servants; Christians, (C.) particularly the elect.  H. When the Romans approached Jerusalem, the Christians retired to Pella, and had plenty.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 15.  Execration.  They can wish to be preserved from nothing worse. Name.  The faithful shall be no longer called Jews.  C. They shall be hated, while the name of Christian shall point out God’s servants.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Amen, or “of truth.”  False gods shall be neglected.  They shall not swear by them, as formerly.  Soph. i. 5. Christ usually adopted the asseveration, Amen, Amen, to enforce his truths.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  New earth, in eternity, (Clarius) or here indeed, (2 Pet. iii. 3. &c.  Houbigant) having purified the former by the general conflagration, which many assert will take place at the end of 6,000 years.  S. Jer.  S. Aug. &c.  At the return of the captives, the country flourished again under the Machabees; (v. 18.  Grot.) or rather the gospel changes the face of the earth.  C. lxvi. 22.  C.  Forerius. After the resurrection the qualities, and not the substance, of the world, will be changed.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Fill up.  To die soon was deemed a misfortune.  Ps. liv. 24.  Ex. xx. 12.  Virtue is the measure of the Christian’s life, and God will reward those who labour even late.  Mat. xx. 13. Accursed.  This age will not be spared.  Both just and wicked shall be immortal in eternity.  Theod.

 

Ver. 22.  A tree.  Sept. “of the tree of life.”  Jer. xviii. 8.  C. Continuance.  Heb. “My elect shall long enjoy the works,” &c.  H. They shall not build for others to enjoy.

 

Ver. 23.  In.  Heb. “for trouble.”  Chal. “death.”  Sept. “malediction.”  The children shall not be cut off; and baptism shall secure their salvation.

 

Ver. 25.  Straw.  People of the most perverse tempers shall become mild by the influence of the gospel, and shall dwell together in perfect concord.  C. Food, according to the sentence.  Gen. iii. 14.  M. The devil’s power is abridged.  C. xi. 6.  C. The proudest Gentiles are converted, and adopt the mild manners of Christians, in fasting and mortification.  W.

 

 

ISAIAS 66

 

CHAPTER LXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  House.  This is a prophecy that the temple should be cast off.  Ch. Isaias alludes to the return of the captives, as to a figure of the Church.  They had flattered themselves with the idea of building a magnificent temple.  God regards it not, as long as they follow their own wills and cherish pride.  C. He is pleased with the piety of his servants, which may be exhibited any where, though the temple is the most proper place.  See Acts vii. and xiv.  After the gospel, the sacrifices of the law became unlawful.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  He.  Sept. “the wicked who.”  H. Ox.  This is a prophecy, that the sacrifices which were offered in the old law, should be abolished in the new; and that he offering of them should be a crime.  Ch. Without the proper dispositions, sacrifice only displeases God.  C. Brain, or slay.  H. Incense.  To offer it in the way of a sacrifice; (Ch.) or to remind God of his people.  The expression is popular, but energetic.  Lev. ii. 2, 9. and vi. 15. Ways, to please themselves, and to bind me.  But I will not have a divided heart.  C. i. 11. and lviii. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Mockeries. I will turn their mockeries upon themselves; and will cause them to be mocked by their enemies.  Ch.

 

Ver. 5.  Brethren, the Idumeans, &c. or the Jews, who would not believe in Christ.

 

Ver. 6.  Lord, who is about to quit the temple, and to abandon the Jews to their internal dissensions, and to the arms of the Romans.  Many prodigies announced this judgment.  C. One Jesus cried for seven years and five months, “Woe to the temple,” &c.  At last he cried, “Woe to myself;” when he was shot dead.  Jos. Bel. vii. 12.  Tacit. Hist. v. Angels were heard crying in the temple, “Let us go hence.”  Jos. There was contradiction in the city.  Ps. liv.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Before, &c.  This relates to the conversion of the Gentiles, who were born as it were all on a sudden to the Church of God.  Ch. Sion furnished the first preachers of the Gospel.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Day.  Shall a whole nation be born at once?  Twelve fishermen effect the most surprising change in the manners of the world.

 

Ver. 9.  God.  His grace converts the nations.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  For her.  Ye shall be comforted, (H.) when the captives return, and the gospel is propagated.

 

Ver. 12.  You.  S. Paul fed the weak with milk.  1 Cor. iii. 2.  Heb. v. 12. and 1 Pet. ii. 2.

 

Ver. 14.  Herb, in baptism and the resurrection. Enemies, the Chaldees, infidel Jews, and all the reprobate.  v. 15.  How many miracles were wrought by Christian preachers!  Persecutors have come to an untimely end.  C. Before judgment, the world shall be consumed.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Many.  Few are chosen.  H. All the wicked shall perish eternally.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Within the court, or gardens, where they purified themselves, foolishly supposing that this would remove their crimes, as the pagans did.  S. Jer.  Tert. Bapt. v. Instead of gate, S. Jerom wrote unam, “one,” moon or Hecate, which is obviously derived from Heb. Achat.  C. lvii. 8. and lxv. 11.  Chal. Syr. &c. “gardens, one after another with those who eat,” &c. Mouse, or “field-rat,” (Bochart) all declared unclean; (Lev. xi. 7. 29.  C.) or, “the dor-mouse,” (S. Jer.) which was looked upon as a delicacy by the Romans.  Varro iii. 15.  Pliny xxxvi. 1.

 

Ver. 18.  Gather them, thoughts, &c.  All is personified in poetry.  The Gentiles shall witness my judgments.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Sign; the cross, which Christ left to enlighten us, (Ezec. ix.  S. Jer.  W.) or the gospel, with the power of working miracles.  Some Jews shall be saved, and shall preach to others, as God’s servants. Sea.  Heb. “Tharsis, to Phul in Thebais, Lud, (Ethiopians. Bochart) who were expert archers.”  Sept. “Mosoch.” Italy.  Heb. “Thubal;” denoting Italy, Spain, Iberia, &c. Greece.  Heb. “Javan;” who peopled Ionia and the Archipelago.  Islands, near Asia, (C.) and all distant places.  Parkhurst, p. 4.  H. Men of all nations shall be converted, and brought by angels to the Church.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Brethren, as the converts may justly be styled.  C. Coaches, (carrucis.)  Heb. circaroth, (H.) “dromedaries,” (Bochart) “with songs of praise.”  Chal. &c.  The precise import is unknown.  Truth shall shew its sweet force. Offering; the first-fruits, brought by all with great solemnity.  Deut. xxvi. 4. and 2 Thes. ii. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Of them, Gentiles; (v. 19.) some of whom alone will be properly priests, though all enjoy the title in a figurative sense.  1 Pet. ii. 9.  The Jews strive in vain to elude this text.  C. Under the law, one family alone enjoyed this honour: but Christ chooses the most deserving pastors.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Name.  The faith and morals of Christianity shall subsist for ever, like the gospel, which is termed the new heavens.  C. lxv. 17.  Mat. xvi. 18.

 

Ver. 23.  Sabbath.  Grotius explains this of the Gentiles, who should come to Jerusalem.  But this was never realized before the propagation of the gospel.  The Jews came thrice a-year.  Christians shall attend the sacred mysteries every week.  Ex. xiii. 14.  Mal. i. 11.

 

Ver. 24.  Men; rebellious Jews and persecutors, who perish miserably. Flesh.  Josephus (Bel. vi. 16.) describes the horrors of the last siege of Jerusalem.  The prophet may allude to the fires kept up in the vale of Hinnon; (C. xxx. 33.) and our Saviour applies this text to the damned.  Mark ix. 43.  All shall condemn them.  C.

Accedat lacrymis odium, dignusque puteris

                        Ut mala cum tuleris plurima, plura feras.  Ovid in Ibin.

 

 

JEREMIAS

 

THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Jeremias was a priest, a native of Anathoth, a priestly city,  in the tribe of Benjamin, and was sanctified from his mother’s womb to be a prophet of God; which office he began to execute when he was yet a child in age.  He was in his whole life, according to the signification of his name, great before the Lord, and a special figure of Jesus Christ, in the persecutions he underwent for discharging his duty, in his charity for his persecutors, and in the violent death he suffered at their hands; it being an ancient tradition of the Hebrews, that he was stoned to death by the remnant of the Jews who had retired into Egypt, (Ch.) at Taphnes.  His style is plaintive, (W.) like that of Simonides, (C.) and not so noble as that of Isaias and Osee.  S. Jer. He was the prophet of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews, predicting many things which befell both, and particularly the liberation of the latter, A. 3485, after the seventy years’ captivity, dating from A. 3415, (C.) or 3398, the 4th of Joakim.  Usher  C. xxv.  H. He began to prophesy when he was very young, A. 3375, in the 13th year of Josias, (C.) before that prince had brought his reformation to any great perfection.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Helcias, the high priest who discovered the book of the law, (Clem. Strom. i. &c.) though this be uncertain. Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Joakim.  His immediate predecessor and successor, both called Jechonias, (H.) are passed over, as their reign was short, (C.) only lasting three months each.  H. Fifth.  Jerusalem was taken on the 9th of the preceding month.  But the temple was not burnt, nor the captives sent off till the fifth month, or the 10th of the civil year.  C. xxxix. 8. and lii. 13. and 4 K. xxv. 2.  C. Jeremias also prophesied in Egypt.  C. xliv.  W. But this title alludes to his principal predictions.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Knew, with affection, and designed thee for this office for eternity.  Many think (C.) that Jeremias was purified from original sin before his birth.  S. Aug. He had this privilege, and was also a priest, prophet, virgin, and martyr.  W. Yet to sanctify, often means only to set aside.  Ex. xiii. 2.  Eccli. xlix. 9. Nations, whose overthrow he points out.  C. xxv. 27. 44. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Ah.  Heb. ahah.  Sept. “thou Being.”  Prot. “Then said I: Ah, Lord God.”  H. He does not imitate a child.  He might be above 30 years old, though some say (C.) only 14, (T.) or less; yet he finds himself devoid of eloquence, like Moses.  Ex. xiv. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Mouth; perhaps H. with a coal, by means of an angel, (Is. vi. 5.) in a sort of dream.  He found himself changed into a new man.

 

Ver. 10.  Root up, to announce the fall and restoration of many nations.  Ezec. iv. 2.  C. Jeremias spoke of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Watching.  Heb. “of an almond.”  Sept. “nut-tree.”  H. The almond-tree flourishes in January, and bears fruit in March.  Theod.  Pliny xvi. 25. Thus God will speedily send his scourge from Babylon, to punish his people.  C. The sense is the same.  M. God’s law is outwardly bitter, but the kernel is sweet.  Theod.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  North, whence the wind blows, to make the fire burn more intensely.  Assyria lay to the north, and Babylon to the east of Judea; but the troops always penetrated the northern frontier, as they could not pass through the Desert Arabia.  The caldron represented Jerusalem.  Ezec. xi. 3. and xxiv. 3.

 

Ver. 14-15.  North.  The tributary kings were forced to attend.  Judith ii. 7. and 3 K. xx. 1. About.  The princes thus took Sedecias, and sent  him to Reblatha.  C. xxxix. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Loins.  Make haste, and take courage.  Job xxxviii. 3.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  Prevail.  God does not promise peace, but victory.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 2.  Espousals.  He speaks ironically.  Theod. Yet the Israelites at first shewed greater proofs of love than they did afterwards.  It is true they often prevaricated, in the wilderness.  Ex. xxxii. 1.  Amos v. 25.  Ps. lxxvii. &c.  C. The Lord declares his gratuitous love, and then upbraids his people.  H. He had caused them to multiply in Egypt, and gratuitously made choice of them.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Increase; most desirable.  Osee ix. 10.  God punished those who attempted to injure his people: yet they abandoned his service.

 

Ver. 5.  Vanity; idols, whom he will not mention, to spare their shame.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Carmel.  That is, a fruitful, plentiful land.  Ch.  W. All Palestine is thus designated.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Priests were silent, or abandoned themselves. Pastors; “princes.”  Chal.  Manasses, Amon, &c. In Baal, promoting his worship.  H. The land was full of false prophets, and none stood up for the Lord.

 

Ver. 9.  Children; the Israelites, under Moses, and their posterity transgressed.

 

Ver. 10.  Cethim; Macedon.  It here denotes the western nations, as Cedar does those of the east.

 

Ver. 11.  Glory; the true God and his ark.  Ps. iii. 4. and 1 K. iv. 21.

 

Ver. 12.  Gates; angels, or the temple.

 

Ver. 13.  Water.  The idols and nations, to which they have had recourse, injure them.  C. The Jews did just the reverse to what God commanded.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Slave.  From such, labour and tribute were required.  Mat. xvii. 24.  Jo. viii. 33.

 

Ver. 15.  Lions; kings of Assyria, &c.  The decree for the devastation of Juda had already passed, though it was not put in execution.

 

Ver. 16.  Taphnes, 16 miles from Pelusium, in Egypt.  The nation proved only detrimental to the Jews, by engaging them in their abominations, instead of affording relief.

 

Ver. 18.  Troubled.  Heb. shichor, or Nile water, (Jos. xiii. 3.) which was thought as good as wine, and grew better for keeping.  Strabo xvii. Hence the people adored it.  Vitruv. viii. God often reproached the Jews for distrusting in his protection, and seeking aid from the Egyptians, who deceived them.  We know not that Josias did so.  C. He even opposed them, and lost his life in defending the country.  4 K. xxiii. 29.  H. He was probably obliged to pay tribute to the Assyrians, whom Achaz had called in.  2 Par. xxviii. 23.  These alliances the Lord condemned.

 

Ver. 20.  Thou.  Sept.  Yet Heb. and Chal. have, “I have permissively broken,” or foretold this infidelity.

 

Ver. 21.  Chosen.  Heb. Sorek.  Judg. xvi. 4.  Is. v. 2. and xvi. 8.  C. God created all things good, planted his Church in justice, and no evil proceeds from Him.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Borith.  An herb used to clean clothes, and take out spots and dirt, (Ch.) like kali, soda, (C.) or soap.  Langius. Prot. “and take thee much soap.”  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Valley of Hinnom, under the very walls of Jerusalem.  C. Runner.  Heb. “dromedary,” which takes its name from its swiftness.  H. The female camel continues all day with the male, and cannot be approached.  Aristot.  Pliny x. 63. Juda is represented as no less libidinous.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Away.  The female may easily be found by the poisonous hippo-manes.  Georg. iii. Thus Jerusalem is an impudent prostitute.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Foot, and the parts which modesty covers.  My exhortations are slighted.  C. Despair opens the door to every sort of impurity.  Eph. iv. 19.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Taken.  Juda affected still to be very pious.  v. 23.

 

Ver. 28.  Cities.  All were abandoned.  Ezec. xvi. 24.  Osee x. 1.

 

Ver. 30.  Prophets; Zacharias, (2 Par. xxiv. 21.) Isaias, &c.  Mat. xxiii. 34.  C. Punishment is designed by God to cause people to repent.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  See, or hear.  The sword seems to be animated.  C. Lateward.  Heb. “darksome land.”  Have I not heaped blessings on my people? Revolted.  Prot. “Lords.”  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Thou who.  Heb. “Therefore have I.”  C. Prot. “hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.”  H. Thou hast opened a school of vice.

 

Ver. 34.  Innocent children, immolated to Moloc, or people murdered, whose blood thou hast not concealed.  4 K. xxi. 16.

 

Ver. 37.  Head, like the violated Thamar.  2 K. xiii. 19.  The king of Egypt was routed, when coming to assist Sedecias.  C. xxxvii. 3. 10.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  It.  Heb. “a saying.”  Sept. “If,” &c.  Deut. xxiv. 1.  H. Woman.  Heb. “land.” Lovers.  Sept. “shepherds,” C. seeking aid from idols and foreigners.

 

Ver. 2.  High.  Lit. “straight forward.”  H. On the hills, idolatry and immorality prevailed. Ways, where harlots used to sit.  Gen. xxxviii. 14.  Prov. vii. 9. and xxxiii. 27. Robber; “Arab,” (Chal. &c.) or “crow.” (Sept.)  C. No sin is so great as to be irremissible to the true penitent.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Rain; about November.  Deut. xi. 14.  This drought happened under Josias, (C. v. 24.) and was different from that specified, C. viii. 13. and xiv. 1.

 

Ver. 4.  Guide.  Husband.  Prov. ii. 16. and Joel i. 8.

 

Ver. 5.  Wilt.  Heb. “will he,” &c.  The faithless people will not use this language, but do all the evil possible.

 

Ver. 6.  Days, before the 18th year.  God now pronounces sentence (C.) on all.  H. Rebellious, a faithless wife.  The kingdom of Israel gave way to idolatry first.  But the people were less favoured than Juda, which had many prophets and good kings, the temple, &c.  Moreover, the misfortunes of Israel did not open the eyes of their brethren.  C. Both the ten tribes, and the two tribes (W.) which adhered to the line of David, prevaricated.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Falsehood.  Their reform was only apparent, under Joas, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Soul, and appeared comparatively innocent.  v. 6.  Ezec. xvi. 51.  S. Jer. Yet neither of them was excusable.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  North.  Samaria, or rather Assyria, where the people were captives. Face, in anger.

 

Ver. 13.  Ways, dividing thy love, and adoring idols with me.

 

Ver. 14.  Kindred.  Only few Israelites returned under Cyrus.  The rest came by degrees, though it was more fully accomplished by the conversion of the Gentiles.

 

Ver. 15.  Pastors.  Zorobabel, &c. but more particularly Christ and his apostles.

 

Ver. 16.  Ark.  It was no longer at Jerusalem.  The law and its figures cease.

 

Ver. 17.  All.  Many might embrace the Jewish religion.  But the predictions of the prophets on this head, were not verified, till the gospel was preached.  C. Then many embraced the faith: several captives also returned to God.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  North.  Sept. add, “and from all places” where the Jews were in captivity.  H. Many thus returned to their own country.  v. 14.  C. Israel had been led into captivity sooner, but all were released at once.  Theodor.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Gentiles, which they all covet, or to which they are invited in the Church.  C. Me.  On these conditions thou shalt be restored.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  God.  Hence proceed these miseries and lamentations.

 

Ver. 23.  Liars, unfruitful; and the idols have left us empty.  C. They were placed on the hills.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 24.  Confusion.  Thus Baal was styled Boseth, contemptuously.  Jer. xi. 13.

 

Ver. 25.  Shame.  We are justly punished with exile, (C.) and death.  M.

 

 

JEREMIAS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Blocks; idols, (C.) and other occasions of sin.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Swear, when requisite.  C. Thus thou wilt learn to confess one God.  Theod. If all were upright, oaths would be unnecessary.  Mat. v. 34.  But as they are not so, (C.) this may be a religious act.  W. Justice.  These three conditions are essential.  H. Him; the people, (C.) or God.  S. Jer. An oath must attest God, and be used when a thing is true and of moment.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Thorns.  Your misconduct hinders your advancement.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Hearts.  Understand, and act with purity.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Cities.  Nabuchodonosor is at hand.

 

Ver. 7.  Robber.  Nabuchodonosor attacks unjustly, (C.) though he be God’s scourge.

 

Ver. 9.  Heart; counsel and vigour. Prophets of falsehood.

 

Ver. 10.  Alas!  Prot. “Then I said: Ah! Lord God, surely thou hast deceived,” &c. (H.) by permitting the people to follow false prophets.  Is. lxi. 17.  Ps. xliii. 19.

 

Ver. 11.  Desert of Arabia.  It may designate Nechao, (2 Par. xxxv. 20.) who slew Josias, after whose death all fell to ruin.

 

Ver. 15.  Ephraim.  At Bethel and Dan the calves were adored.  C. But they were now no more.  H. The irruption of Nabuchodonosor is announced.  He set himself up for a god.

 

Ver. 16.  Guards.  The Chaldees will besiege the city, and prevent provisions from entering.  4 K. xxv. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  My.  God, (S. Jer.) the people, (Grot.) or rather Jeremias speaks.

 

Ver. 20.  Moment.  The cities are destroyed as easily as a tent.

 

Ver. 22.  Me, practically.  They have not honoured me as they ought.  C. If they were indeed devoid of sense, they would be excused.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  Void.  Heb. “Thohu and bohu,” like chaos.  Gen. i. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Gone.  Beasts feel the wrath of God, and in a land uninhabited; not even birds will remain.  Osee iv. 3.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 26.  Carmel: the beautiful country of Palestine, (H.) Jerusalem, (Theod.) or the mountain so called.

 

Ver. 27.  Destroy, when Jechonias was led captive.  God allowed the people still eleven years to repent; and he afterwards restored the Jews.  C. He will never suffer his church to perish.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Repented.  Only a finite being can do this.  God’s resolution is here unconditional and fixed.

 

Ver. 30.  Stone, or antimony, like Jazabel, (4 K. ix. 30.) to darken and enlarge the eye-lids. Lovers.  Infidel nations of Egypt, &c.

 

Ver. 31.  Child.  Heb. and Sept. “a first-born,” when the pains are most acute.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Go, Jeremias, and you who publicly adhere to me. Man.  Sodom would have been spared for the sake of ten just people.  Gen. xviii. 32.  Before the reform of Josias, Jerusalem was strangely corrupted, though these expressions be hyperbolical, and spoken  as it were in the heat of debate.  Josias, Holda, and others, were living at this time, and renowned for their piety.

 

Ver. 2.  Falsely.  Some may confess my name.  But they swear falsely.  C. iv. 2.  C. Unless the requisite conditions be observed, an oath is unlawful.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Return.  The miseries with which, Achaz, &c. were afflicted, produced no amendment.

 

Ver. 4.  Foolish idiots, (C.) who have had no means of receiving instruction.  H. Such might be more excusable; but when the chiefs offend, the evil is irremediable.

 

Ver. 6.  Lion.  Nabuchodonosor. Wolf.  Cambyses, (C.) and leopard.  Epiphanes.  H. The Chaldees, Persians and Greeks afflicted them.  S. Jer. The first beast may designate Nabuc: the second Nabuzardon: the third, Alexander or Epiphanes.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  How can.  I have only the character of judge left.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Stallions.  Heb. mashcim, (H.) “stretching out,” as others translate.  Ezec. xxiii. 20.  S. Jer. The horse is the most intemperate of all animals but man.  Aristot. Hist. vi. 22.

 

Ver. 10.  Destroy, at the first taking of the city, v. 18. and C. iv. 27. Branches.  Children of Jechonias, (C. xxii. 30.) and the people.  C. Heb. “her battlements,” (H.) Chal. “palaces.”

 

Ver. 13.  Them.  The evil shall fall on the head of these impostors.  So the wicked deride the prophets (C.) impugning the known truth.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Fire.  Thou shalt declare their impending ruin.

 

Ver. 15.  Ancient.  Nemrod founded the empire of Ninive and of Babylon.  Gen. x. 10.  Nabopolassar had succeeded to the ancient Assyrian and Chaldee sovereigns.  Under his son, Nabuchodonosor, the dominions were much enlarged. Say.  4 K. xviii. 26.

 

Ver. 17.  Devour.  Heb. “destroy.”  They did not eat human flesh.

 

Ver. 19.  Own.  You shall thus know the difference between the masters.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Understanding.  Lit. “heart.”  C. iv. 22.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  It.  Nature and chance are improper terms.  God regulates all, and has established those laws which preserve the world.

 

Ver. 24.  Rain, in autumn and in spring.  Deut. xi. 14.  C. Fulness.  Heb. “the weeks for harvest.”  H. That of barley began at the Passover, and that of wheat ended before the feast of weeks, (Ex. xxxiv. 22.  Lev. xxiii. 10.  C.) or Pentecost.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Away.  The rain comes unseasonably.

 

Ver. 26.  Man.  As some tyrants have done, though this implies (C.) the eagerness with which the wicked strive to corrupt mankind.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  Of the widow, is not in Heb.  C. Fatherless.  Prot. add, “yet they prosper, and they,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Nation?  It is contrary to God’s justice not to punish the guilty.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  Clapped.  Heb. “came down to, or received in, or domineered by their hands.”  The priests concurred with these impostors for their own ends.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Strengthen.  Heb. also, “Flee, Benjamites, from the midst,” &c.  Jerusalem belonged partly to this tribe, which prided itself on its valour. Thecua was in the lot of Juda, 15 miles south of Jerusalem. North.  The Chaldees approach.  C. i. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Shepherds.  So captains are styled, because they feed and govern soldiers.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Prepare.  Lit. “sanctify.”  Observe the usual formalities of demanding reparation, offering victims, &c.  The Chaldees thus encourage one another, and will allow themselves no rest day or night.  v. 5.

 

Ver. 7.  Cold.  Heb. “come forth.”  All the citizens imitate her vices.

 

Ver. 8.  Instructed, by afflictions and prosperity, by public and internal admonitions.  Willful ignorance is criminal, and drives God away.  C. li. 9.  Ps. lxxx. 12.

 

Ver. 9.  Basket.  Chaldees, destroy all.  Nabuchodonosor took Joakim twice, and afterwards Jechonias and Sedecias.  C. xxix. 2.

 

Ver. 10.  Uncircumcised.  Impure and deaf.  C. Non vocat impossibilitas supplicio quæ de contemptu et infidelitate descendit.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 11.  In.  Jeremias is indignant.  The Lord then orders him to pour, or declare what will ensue.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Prophet.  Sept. “false prophet.”  C. iv. 31.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Disgracefully.  They shall be ashamed, when the contrary to what they declared shall come to pass.  C. viii. 11.

 

Ver. 16.  Paths, of patriarchs, and of Moses.  Avoid novelty in religion.  C. This advice is very applicable to the present generation.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Watchmen.  Prophets.  Ezec. iii. 17. and xxxiii. 2.

 

Ver. 18.  Congregation.  Sept. “shepherds feeding their flocks have heard.”  The Chaldees are apprised of my resolution against Juda.  C. After the Jews had been called repeatedly in vain, the Gentiles obey.  Mat. x. 5.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  To me.  For want of proper dispositions; otherwise the offerings of the best things were enjoined, and commendable.  The Jews are taught not to depend on external observances, while they neglect the heart.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  North.  As Babylon lay with respect to Jerusalem, (W.) or rather to the east.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Only son.  Let thy grief be extraordinary.  Amos viii. 10.  Zac. xii. 10.

 

Ver. 27.  Trier of my people, as of gold in the furnace.  Job xxii. 25.

 

Ver. 29.  Bellows, or crucible. Lead, which was intermixed to purify the dross (S. Jer.) of gold and silver.  But brass and iron could not be thus purified.  All would be lost labour.  Afflictions do not correct the obstinate.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 2.  Gate, before all the people.  This discourse ends C. xiii.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Dwell.  Heb. “make you dwell here.”  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Lord.  The triple repetition shews the vain confidence of the people, who blindly imagined that the temple would screen them, (C.) and that external sacrifices would suffice.  But they were rejected with the temple.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Dwell.  Heb. and Sept. as v. 3.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Not, which have done you no good, and deserve not to be styled gods.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Because.  Hebrew also, “although,” (Sa.  Grot.) “to perform,” (Chal.  Mont.) or “by doing.”  God must surely approve of our conduct, since we are unmolested.  S. Tho.  Lyr. But the Vulg. seems preferable, and the people attribute their success to idols.  C. xliv. 17. and 2 Par. xxviii. 23.

 

Ver. 11.  Robbers.  Our Saviour alludes to this.  Mat. xxi. 13. Seen.  Think not to hide  yourselves, as in a den.  My temple shall not be an asylum for wretches.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Beginning, under Josue.  H. The sins of a few priests caused this place to be abandoned, (1 K. ii. 22. and iii. 4.  Ps. lxxviii. 60.) and shall the crimes of a whole people escape?  C. It is true, that place and Jerusalem were once sanctified: but the people being criminal, God retires.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Early.  Sparing no opportunity of reclaiming you.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Ephraim.  The ten tribes (W.) had been led into captivity in the days of Ezechias, the great-grandfather of Josias.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Praise, offered to appease my wrath.  H. This admirably shews the force of the saints’ intercession, which God does not reject, but rather encourages by such declarations.  Abraham and Moses did not leave off praying for the guilty, (Gen. xviii. 23.  Ex. xxxii. 10.) and the Lord complains that there was none to withhold him.  Is. lxiv. 7.  Ezec. xxii. 30.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Heaven.  That is, the moon, which they worshipped under that name.  Ch. Some understand the sun also the stars.  C. xliv. 17.  Is. lxv. 11.  All the family contributes to promote this idolatry.

 

Ver. 21.  Flesh.  I reject your holocausts.  Keep them for yourselves.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  I commanded them not: viz. such sacrifices as the Jews at this time offered without obedience; which was the thing principally commanded: so that in comparison with it, the offering of the holocausts and sacrifices was of small account.  Ch. The observance of the decalogue would suffice.  Victims were to teach internal  piety.  Lev. i.  W. God “brought them out of Egypt, not for the sake of their sacrifices, but that they might…hear his word.”  S. Iræn. iv. 17. This was the principal design.  See Mat. ix. 13.  Os. vi. 6. and 1 Cor. i. 17.  Maldon.  M.  C. The rules for sacrifices were given after the adoration of the calf, as necessary preservatives against idolatry.  S. Tho. i. 2. q. 102. a. 3. Yet the paschal lamb, &c. had been already commanded.  C. Many such absolute expressions imply a condition or comparison.  Gloss.  Prov. viii. 10. I brought.  Several MSS. read thus more accurately than the Heb. “He brought,” (Ken.) which Prot. abandon, (H.) though the present reading may stand.  Chappel.  Crat. Every variation should be noticed, as this and the former verse “seem greatly corrupted; perhaps the Syr. version will be the best guide to their true meaning.”  Kennicott. Yet the passage is sufficiently intelligible in the Vulg. and Sept..

 

Ver. 27.  Thee.  Sept. omit this verse, which Grabe replaces.  The people will be more inexcusable.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  High.  People lamented in such places.  C. ix. 13.  Judg. xi. 35.  C. Wrath, which he treats with the utmost severity.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Abominations.  Heb.  We have lit. “stumbling-blocks,” offendicula.  H. Manasses placed idols in the very temple, as the last kings of Juda did.  4 K. xxiii. 4.  Ezec. viii. 3.

 

Ver. 31.  Valley, to the south of the city.  Here Moloc was adored, and Josias therefore contaminated the place.  4 K. xxiii. 10.  C. It was very delightful.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 32.  Place, elsewhere.  H. This was verified when Nabuchodonosor and Titus besieged the city.  C. The latter was quite shocked.  Jos. Bel. vi. 14.  See C. xix. and xxxi. 40.

 

Ver. 34.  Bride.  None shall think of marrying, (C. xvi. 9. and xxv. 10.  C.) all being filled with lamentation.  M.

 

 

JEREMIAS 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Graves.  They might suppose that they would find treasures in them, as the tombs of Semiramis, Cyrus, &c. were thus enriched.  This inhumanity seems to have taken place before the last siege.  Bar. ii. 24.  C.

Quæque carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini

                        Nefas videre dissipabit insoleas.  Hor. epod. 16.

Cruelty and avarice cause persecutors to act thus.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Again.  Why then do not the people strive to repent?

 

Ver. 7.  Stork.  These birds retire at the approach of winter to warmer climates.  In Poland swallows  plunge into marshes, like frogs.  If instinct teach them to do so, for their preservation, is it not strange that men should be so inconsiderate?

 

Ver. 8.  Falsehood.  The impostors have deceived you, and they are themselves taken prisoners.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Them.  Those who understand, and do not observe the law, are not wise.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Others.  Idumeans, &c.  Yet most part of the land remained uncultivated.  C. The rest, to v. 13. “they will collect their fruits, says,” &c. is supplied by Grabe.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  They are.  Or, “are they?” &c.  S. Jer. No, they are too hardened.  C. vi. 14.

 

Ver. 13.  Gather into Jerusalem, to be butchered.  C. Away.  They are now in the greatest distress.  H. This probably happened a little before the last siege.  C. xiv.

 

Ver. 14.  Silent, in utter destruction.  1 K. ii. 9.  We cannot be in a worse condition.

 

Ver. 16.  Dan, by which the Chaldees must pass.  C. iv. 15.  Many have hence inferred that antichrist will be the serpent (v. 17.) of the tribe of Dan.  Gen. xlix. 17.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Charm.  The Chaldees will not be moved to pity (M.) by any words.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Me.  God, Jeremias, the people, or rather Jerusalem bewails her children.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Sion.  Thus the people complain, (M.) or God answers them that they had no reason to have recourse to idols for protection.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Saved.  Our hopes of redress are vanished.  We must still pine away for want of food.  H. The siege continues, though we had been assured it would shortly be terminated.  C. It commenced January 30, A. 3414.  Soon after Nabuchodonosor went to meet Pharao, and having defeated him, returned about June, A. 3415, and after 390 days took the city, 27th of July, A. 3416.  Usher  C. xxxix. 2.  C.  Ezec. iv. 5.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  I.  Jeremias.  M. The prophet continues to speak in the next chap.

 

Ver. 22.  Balm, (resina) “turpentine,” (C.) which was much used.  Dioscor. i. 66. Galaad was famous for the best.  C. xlvi. 11.  Gen. xxxvii. 25. Closed?  Have I not sent prophets?  But they will not be healed.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  To.  Heb. is more expressive.  C. “Who will give my head waters, (H.) or change it into water, and my eyes into a fountain.”  C. Prot. “Oh that my head were waters.”  H. The miseries of my people are so great, (C.) a few tears would not suffice to bewail them.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Men.  Why cannot I retire (M.) from this scene of misery, or afford some consolation to the captives?  Sept. “Who will give me the last station in the desert?”  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Lies.  They are bent on deceit (C.) and murder, (H.) v. 8.  Ps. lxiii. 4. and cxix. 2.

 

Ver. 4.  Deceitfully.  A man must guard against his relations and domestics.  Mic. vii. 5.  Mat. viii. 35.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Iniquity.  It is become natural to them.  S. Jer. They cannot lay the blame on the violence of passion.  They sin on purpose.  C. Sept. “they have not left off, (6.) in order to be converted.  Usury upon usury; fraud upon fraud; they,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Try them in the crucible of war.  C. vi. 27.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Owner.  Heb. mikne, “cattle,” or (H.) “substance.”  S. Jer. Departed.  Beasts and birds will not continue long after men cease to cultivate the country.  Theod.  C. iv. 25. and xii. 4.  Soph. i. 3.

 

Ver. 11.  Sand.  The stones were burnt to dust.  2 Esd. iv. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Gall.  Heb. rosh, “poison,” &c.  Deut. xxix. 18.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Consumed.  C. xliv. 27.  No country shall afford them protection.  C. The richer sort were made captives, and most of the people destroyed, but not all.  C. iv. 25.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Wise, in composing or singing the Nænia, or mournful songs, recording the praises of the deceased.  C. “This custom still subsists in Judea: women go about with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, with mournful tunes, exciting all to tears.”  S. Jer. Music was also used.  Mat. ix. 23.  Thus feigned tears, at least, would supply the want of real ones.

 

Ver. 21.  For.  This was the song.  C. Streets.  Death spares none.  The least suspecting fall.  H. It enters by the windows, if the doors be shut.  Joel ii. 8.

 

Ver. 22.  Speak.  Our editions of the Sept. omit this word, though S. Jerom found it in his copies, (C.) and in Theodotion, expressed by “death;” while others rendered it, “speak,” as the same letters dbr, may have both  meanings, according as people may please to pronounce them.  S. Jer. Grabe supplies, “by death.  (22.)  These things, says the Lord.”  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Me.  Virtue will save, when riches, &c. will prove useless.  M. Phocilides, a pagan, said, (C.) “Boast not of wisdom, strength, or riches great.  One God is wise, and potent too, and rich.”  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Egypt.  the uncircumcised shall be punished as well as Juda, if they transgress.  Only the Jewish nation properly observed the right of circumcision generally, or at first.  Others imitated them, but with various ceremonies.  C. Diss.  Ezec. xxxi. 18.  Judith xiv. 6. Hyrcan obliged the Idumeans to receive circumcision.  Jos. Ant. xiii. 17. Round.  The Arabs, &c.  Lev. xix. 27.  C. Heart.  All then became guilty.  Rom. ii. 25.  M. Neither these nations nor Juda was circumcised in heart, and of course were hypocrites.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 2.  Ways.  Religious rites.  v. 3. Fear.  Worship.  Lev. xix. 14. Signs.  They were designed to point out the seasons.  Gen. i. 14.  C. Heathens thought that they had a divine power.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Asunder.  Is. xliv. 8.  Bar. vi. 3.  Wisd. xiii. 11.  The pagans themselves laughed at such folly.  C. If such things were gods, the makers and tools deserved more adoration: Fabri deorum vel parentes numinum, says Prudentius.  The vanity of such idols was more easily discerned than that of the stars.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Tree.  The ancient statues were ill-formed, (Diodor. 4.) before Dedalus brought the art to greater perfection, and gave them a living attitude.

 

Ver. 6.  There.  Sept. omit the three following verses; and from v. 9. all these, &c. to the end of v. 10. which Grabe inserts in a different character.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Wise.  MS. 2. has in the margin “kings,” perhaps more correctly.  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 8.  Vanity, and shews them clearly to be foolish (C.) and wicked.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Ophaz, or Phison, (Gen. ii. 11.  C.) the coast of Pegu, Faprobana, &c.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Wrath.  God is the true cause of all that terrifies mankind.

 

Ver. 11.  Heaven.  This verse is in Chaldee, for the captives to use at Babylon, to defend themselves.  It should be in a parenthesis, as it interrupts the discourse.  Perhaps it was added during the captivity.

 

Ver. 13.  Voice.  Thunder, (Ps. xxviii. 3.) which is usually the forerunner of rain.  Lightning is occasioned by the inflamed exhalations of conflicting clouds.

 

Ver. 14.  Knowledge.  If it were real, he would see the vanity of idols.  v. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Portion.  The Lord.  H.  Ps. lxxii. 6. Rod, to measure, (Ps. lxxiii. 2.) or the sceptre and ruler.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Shame.  Idols.  See if they will keep thee.  Heb. “thy merchandise,” or most precious effects.

 

Ver. 18.  Found by the enemy.  Heb. also, “find” me, being taught by affliction.  C. xxix. 13.  C. Entering into sentiments of penance, they shall say, Woe, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  North.  He has announced this conqueror eight times. Dragons.  Tannim means “huge reptiles,” whether of sea or land.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  The way, &c.  Notwithstanding man’s free-will, yet he can do no good without God’s help, nor evil without his permission.  So that, in the present case, all the evils which Nabuchodonosor was about to bring upon Jerusalem, could not have come but by the will of God.  Ch.  W. This prince succeeds by thy order.  Theod. Yet chastise us as a father, and have us not to his fury.  v. 24.  C. “Let new preachers blush, who say that each one is governed by his own will,” (S. Jer.  C. ix. 23.) and able to do good without God’s grace.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Judgment.  C. xxx. 11.  Ps. vi. 1.  Justice is not contrary to mercy.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Glory.  This is repeated from Ps. lxxviii. 6.  M. The prophet supposes that these nations will not repent, and that their sins are more enormous.  To see God’s people treated with greater severity, might scandalize the weak, while infidels would take occasion to abuse their own impunity.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  The, &c.  He continues his discourse, (v. 15.) or rather addresses the people, when Josias renewed the covenant.  2 Par. xxxiv. 29.  Lev. xxvi.  Deut. xxvii.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Fathers.  God chooses his people for obedience, not for kindred, &c.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Amen.  Sept. “So be it.”  H. Thou hast fulfilled thy engagements.

 

Ver. 6.  Cities, or to those who come thence to the temple, that all may know.

 

Ver. 7.  For.  This and the next verse have not been read by Sept.; (C.) but only “and they did not comply.”  Grabe supplies the rest.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Brought; or “will bring,” seems preferable.  What does the history of God’s people till the captivity exhibit, but scenes of disorder and of succeeding misery?  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Conspiracy.  They are leagued together to do evil, with all earnestness.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 10.  To them, for a long time.  Yet they must not despair, or have recourse to idols, (v. 12.) or witches.  1 K. xxviii.

 

Ver. 13.  Confusion.  Thus he contemptuously denotes Baalim.  C. iii. 24.  C. Various idols were objects of adoration, (H.) so that no city or street, perhaps not any house, was pure.  C. vii. 18. and xliv. 17.  Is. lxv. 11.  Ezec. xvi. 25.

 

Ver. 15.  Beloved, dilectus.  Heb. and Sept. have the fem.  Chal. “people.”  They presumptuously thought that they would be freed from all their abominations, by partaking of the sacrifices.  C. But the offerings of such are not accepted.  M. The flesh is holy, but is of no service to the obstinate sinner.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Burnt, by lightning.  The olive was a most useful and beautiful tree.

 

Ver. 18.  Shewedst me.  He insinuates that something more than what appears must be understood.  Theod. All Christians explain what follows of Jesus Christ, (S. Jer.  W.) whom Jeremias prefigured in his sufferings.  C. “Let us follow the rule which shews that all the prophets did most things for a type of our Lord and Saviour; and what was now done by Jeremias, foreshewed what would happen to our Lord.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 19.  Meek: pet lamb.  The Arabs still keep one in their houses.  2 K. xii. 3.  Bochart ii. 46.  C. Knew.  I acted as if I had been ignorant.  M. Yet Christ foretold his sufferings.  Mat. xx. 18. &c.  W. Bread.  Christ, the bread of life, was nailed to the disgraceful wood.  S. Jer.  S. Greg. Mor. iii. 12. They threaten to beat him, (De Dieu) or to mix a poisonous wood with his food.  C.  M. Some Jews had corrupted this text in S. Justin’s time.  D.

 

Ver. 20.  Sabaoth.  That is, of hosts or armies; a name frequently given to God, in the Scriptures. Thy revenge.  This was rather a prediction of what was to happen, with an approbation of the divine justice, than an imprecation.  Ch. He speaks of the impenitent, (S. Jer.) and wishes they may be converted.

 

Ver. 21.  Life.  What precedes, was spoken concerning the prophet, though it regarded Christ also in a proper but more elevated sense.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Remains.  All these priests shall perish.  Ps. xxxvi. 28.  H. He speaks of the wicked, as a remnant was still left.  C. iv.  Is. x.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  Is just.  Heb. “judgment.”  Sept. “I will make my apology to thee.”  Jeremias had been grievously persecuted by his countrymen: he therefore mentions a subject which has been the source of much perplexity.  The success of the wicked is a temptation for weak souls.  See Job xxi.  Ps. lxxii. 3.  Hab. i. 13.  C. The prophets often speak in their names, not being ignorant or doubtful of the justice of divine providence.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Reins.  They have thy name in their mouth, but not in their heart.  Is. xxix. 13.  Mat. xv. 8.

 

Ver. 3.  Gather.  God orders his prophet to announce the misery of the wicked.

 

Ver. 4.  Mourn?  Is not this a proof of my providence in chastising Juda?  This famine is specified C. viii. 13. and xiv. 4.  C. Last end.  Two letters seem to be transposed in Heb. as the Sept. read “ways.”  Kennicott. The impious blaspheme as if all were ruled by chance.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Horses.  If thou hast been terrified at the threats of thy fellow-citizens, how wilt thou withstand those of Jerusalem? (M.) or he speaks to Juda, who would not be able to resist the Chaldees, since the Philistines, &c. had routed the Jews, though destitute of cavalry. Jordan, or the nations of Ammon, &c. on that side.  C. Prot. “if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  To thee.  Edom, &c. made a league with Sedecias, which they broke.  They always bore a hatred to the Jews, though sprung from the same stock.  C. xxvii. 1.  Lam. iv. 21.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Soul; people, (H.) whose punishment was decreed.  Say not, therefore, that the wicked always prosper.

 

Ver. 9.  As a.  Sept. “a den of the hyena:” Alex. “robbers.”  Grabe inserts, “or a den around it?”  H. They have read auss, “a den,” instead of hait, “a bird.”  Bochart, (iii. 11.) however, shews that the latter word denotes various wild beasts, and nearly follows the Sept.  Though the inheritance be most charming, it shall not pass unpunished.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Pastors; princes of my people, as well (H.) as of the Chaldees.  C. vi. 3.

 

Ver. 11.  Heart, to seek God and the cause of their misfortunes.

 

Ver. 13.  Fruits.  They shall not satisfy your expectations or wants.

 

Ver. 14.  Land.  Nabuchodonosor led the Ammonites, &c. into captivity, five years after the Jews.  Jos. Ant. x. 11.  C. After the children are chastised, the rod is burnt.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Land; the Jews, as well as their neighbours.  C. xlix. 6.  M.  Is. xxiii. 15.  Ezec. xvi. 55.

 

Ver. 16.  People.  After the captivity, converts were more cherished.  Yet the predictions concerning the call of the Gentiles were accomplished only by the preaching of the gospel.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Girdle, usually worn by women.  S. Jer.  Ex. xxviii. 42. It denoted the Jews, who became more corrupt during the captivity; (v. 7. 11.) so that God delivered them out of his pure mercy.  Thus He explains this prophetical action.  C. Loins.  God cherished his people.  M. Water.  He made choice of them when they were rough and deformed.  S. Jer. Their sins cause their ruin.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Euphrates, above 150 leagues distant.  Some think this was only to be done in spirit: but it is generally supposed that the prophet made this long journey twice.  Bochart suggests that Euphrates (Heb. Peratha) may be put for Ephrata, or Bethlehem, as the first syllable is often cut off.  C. Yet a journey to the Euphrates would represent more strikingly the destination of the people; and it would not be difficult for God to convey Jeremias thither in a short time, if requisite, as he sent Habacuc through the air to carry a dinner to Daniel; (xiv. 32.) though this supposition is not here necessary, as the labour to which Jeremias was repeatedly exposed, might shew the people their manifold transgressions and captivities.  H. Such prophetic actions make a deeper impression than words.  Heb. i.  The ingratitude of the people is here described, to C. xxi.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Rot.  I will bring them low.  M. They shall see that all their dependance must be on the divine mercy.

 

Ver. 11.  Glory; that they might serve me for the edification of the world.

 

Ver. 12.  Bottle, of earthen ware.  C. xxv. 27.  C. Every man shall suffer.  v. 13.  H. This is another prophetical similitude denoting extreme perplexity.  W. Do.  They deride the prophet, as if he said nothing worthy of notice.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Dark.  Jo. xii. 35. Mountains, beyond the Euphrates, resembling clouds.

 

Ver. 17.  My soul.  Jeremias can do no more.  C. Sept. “your soul,…your eyes,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Queen; Nohesta, mother of Joachim, or to the consort of Sedecias.  C. Sept. “to the princes.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  South, belonging to Juda; (C.) or Egypt will afford no protection.  Tournemine.  C. xxxvii. 3. 10.

 

Ver. 20.  North: ye Chaldees.  H. Heb. and Sept. “see those who come.” Cattle.  O king, what account wilt thou give of the people to the Almighty?  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Head.  Achaz called the Assyrians into the country, and Ezechias had shewn his treasures to the Babylonians.  Other kings excited God’s indignation.

 

Ver. 22.  Defiled.  Thou art exposed to the brutality of the soldiers.

 

Ver. 23.  Evil.  Bad habits are a sort of second nature.  I speak in vain.  C. Yet God sometimes converts inveterate sinners, who cannot rise of themselves.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  Appeared.  Thou art treated as a wretched and vile captive.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Me; to serve me.  M.

 

 

JEREMIAS 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Drought, during the last siege, (v. 18.  S. Jer.) or after the captivity of Jechonias; (C. viii. 13.) though the famine might happen in the days of Josias.  Joel i.  C. This scourge was in punishment of sin, and signified the privation of grace.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Water.  Siloe was the only spring near, and it was often dry, (S. Jer.) though it was formerly abundant, (Jos. Bel. vi. 6.) as well as the fountain of Gehon.  The city was furnished with cisterns.  C. But all was now dry.  H. Heads; mourning.  2 K. xv. 30.

 

Ver. 5.  Field.  They prefer places frequented by men.  Pliny viii. 32.

 

Ver. 6.  Wind, for refreshment. Failed, through want, though they be very piercing.

 

Ver. 7.  Sake.  We have the honour to be called thy people.  We urge no merit of our own.

 

Ver. 8.  Lodge.  The Fathers apply this to our Saviour, in a spiritual sense.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Wandering.  Sept. “sleeping;” (H.) or as a boaster, who thinks himself strong.  W. Upon us.  Shall strangers rule over thy people?

 

Ver. 10.  Rested.  They are inconstant, fond of novelties, and apply to idols.

 

Ver. 11.  Good, that the drought may be removed.  C.  See C. vii. 16. and xi. 14.  M. “It is folly to pray for him who has sinned unto death,” (S. Jer.  1 Jo. v. 16.) by final impenitence.  C. Sacrifices will not benefit the impenitent.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 13.  Ah.  Hebrew has only one exclamation, or three letters, which Aquila renders, Ah, ah, ah.  C. i. 6.  Ezec. iv. 14.  H. Jeremias lays the blame on false prophets.  C. Yet they afford no excuse to thy followers.  Both fall into the ditch.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  My.  Sept. “your eyes.”  Jeremias shews by his tears the future misery.  C. Virgin.  Though many were sinners, the Church had some just souls.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Famine.  Under Jechonias many were slain, and the chiefs carried into captivity.  4 K. xxiv. 12. Into.  Heb. “through the land, and are ignorant.”  Chal. “they apply to their business, to earthly concerns, and care not.”  C. v. 31.

 

Ver. 21.  Glory; heaven, the temple or Jerusalem.  How will infidels blaspheme!

 

Ver. 22.  Rain.  Let not the people have recourse to idols, (C.) in despair.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 1.  If.  The Geneva Bible reads corruptly, “Though Moses…stood,” contrary to Heb. and Gr.  W. And Samuel.  These two had shewn a particular love for the people.  Ex. xxxii. and 2 K. xii.  C. Ezechiel (xiv. 4.) specifies Noe, Daniel, and Job, who were eminent for sanctity.  Daniel was still alive.  Yet God will not grant their request; and he forbids his prophet to pray for those who were resolved not to repent.  C. xiv. 11.  H. Their punishment was fixed, and God will not remit it at the request either of the living or of the dead.  Hence it is evident, that the dead could and did sometimes make intercession, otherwise they would not here be mentioned.  To evade this argument, Prot. in the Geneva Bible, suppose God’s “meaning to be, that if there were any man living, moved with so great zeal towards the people as were these two, yet he would not grant their request, for so much as he had determined the contrary.”  Yet surely Jeremias, Daniel, &c. had a similar zeal; and therefore the text speaks of Moses and Samuel in a state of happiness, where their charity is greater than in this life, as S. Jer. S. Chrys. (hom. 1. in 1 Thess.) and S. Greg. (Mor. ix. 12.) explain it.  W. Jeremias had been praying earnestly for the people in the temple.  But God answers his request with a severity rarely witnessed in Scripture, ordering him to drive the people out, or to announce that they should be thus treated.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Death.  This Heb. phrase intimates that some should die by sickness, &c.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Kinds of persecutors, the sword, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Rage.  Heb. “agitation.”  C. Sept. “necessities.”  Prot. “to be removed into all,” &c.  H.  This the event verified.  Isai. xi. 11. Manasses.  Though he obtained pardon, the people would not imitate his repentance.  A dreadful warning for princes!  C. “The people generally perish by the fault of their governors.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 5.  Peace.  All will abhor thee.  C. “The creatures cannot be so clement as the Creator.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 6.  Intreating thee.  Heb. “of being intreated;” (S. Jer.) or, “of repenting,” and suspending the effects of my wrath.  C. Sept. “I will no longer spare them.”  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Will, or “have scattered” the ten tribes, and many of Juda, before the last siege.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Man, or “a spoiler of the young man,” (H.) so that the widow shall also be deprived of her children.  Heb. “the young spoiler,” Nabuchodonosor.  He shall not come like a night thief, to attack the metropolis.

 

Ver. 9.  Seven: many.  It is not common for a mother to lose so numerous a family; yet such shall be the misfortune of Jewish parents.  The synagogues shall decrease. Day.  Her prosperity shall end on a sudden.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Strife.  Jeremias was under continual persecution, (M.) yet ceased not to reprimand the wicked.  H. Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit.  Cic. Usury.  Such people are exposed to contention.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Remnant; posterity, (C.) or rather possessions, as the prophet never married.  C. xvi. 2.  H. God assures him that he shall be protected.  M. The Chaldees treated him with respect.  C. xxxix. 2. and xl. 1.  Sedecias and the people had often recourse to him.  Chal. “They will come to intreat thee, when the enemy shall straiten them.”  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Iron.  Shall the iron (that is, the strength of Juda) stand against the stronger iron of the north, (that is, of Babylon) or enter into an alliance upon equal footing with it?  No, certainly; but it must be broken by it.  Ch. Iron is not easily united with brass, though Pliny (xxxiv. 4.) mentions a statue of this nature.  Neither iron nor brass can stand against steel, which is meant by the iron from the north.  The Jews shall not hurt Jeremias, v. 20.  C. i. 17.  C. Prot. “shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?”  The riches of Juda shall become a prey, v. 13.  H. Stronger kingdoms easily oppress their weak allies.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Bring.  Sept. “enslave thee to thy,” &c.  Chal. “thou shalt serve.”  H. They have read (C.) hahabadti.  Heb. has r instead of d, “I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a,” &c.  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Patience.  That is, let not thy patience and long suffering, which thou usest towards sinners, keep thee from making haste to my assistance.  Ch. He is actuated by a zeal for God’s glory.  C. He is afraid of his own weakness, and begs to be delivered shortly.  Ps. xii. 2.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Eat them.  I received them most cordially, (Ezec. iii. 1.  H.) as one who is hungry. Upon me.  I was recognized as the prophet of the Lord.

 

Ver. 17.  Jesters, who deride religion, (Ps. i. 1.) or sport away their time.  C. Hand, through vanity.  Lit. and I boast of.”  H. I rejoiced in suffering, as this prophet.  Many (C.) supply nor from the former part of the sentence.  M. Threats.  I could not refrain from admonishing the people of their ways, (H.) which I would not countenance by my presence.  C. All indeed kept at a distance from me.

 

Ver. 18.  Trusted.  It is not cured as soon as might be expected.  H. It continually breaks out again, (M.) like a bog not properly drained.  H. Heb. “Thou art become,” &c.  Chal. “break not thy promise, as,” &c.  Do not reject me when I stand most in need of redress.  C. My hopes seem (H.) vain.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Converted, and cease to fear the people; (C.) and confide in my precious words, (H.) despising the vile threats of the people.  M. Mouth; interpreter.  Ex. iv. 16.  Chal. “If thou wilt recall the wicked into the way of justice, though shalt fulfill my will.”  See S. Jer. in Ps. cv. 32. To thee.  Thus Sedecias and the people acted, C. xxi. 1. and xlii. 2.  C. The prophet must not give way to sinners, but hey must be reclaimed.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Mighty; Chaldees.  Providence watched over Jeremias, amid all his enemies.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 2.  Place.  It was going to be destroyed, and the cares of a family might interrupt the prophet.  The Fathers believe that Jeremias never married, (see S. Jer. in C. xxii. Isidor.) which was then a rare example.  C. He always lived a single life, and not only in time of tribulation.  S. Jer. c. Jov. 1.  W. The Church enforces this law of God for her sacred ministers, in subdeacons and the higher orders.  S. Paul shews the propriety of such a regulation, (1 Cor. vii.) which innovators deem unnatural and tyrannical.  How then could God enforce it once?  With his grace we may observe celibacy like Jeremias.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Illnesses, denoting God’s wrath.  S. Jer. Earth.  The privation of sepulture was accounted one of the greatest evils.

 

Ver. 5.  Feasting: usual at burials for all relations.  C. This custom reduced many to poverty.  Jos. Bel. ii. 1.

Sed cænam funerishæres

                        Negliget iratus quod rem curtaverit.  Pers. vi.

Mourn, if thou shouldst meet a funeral.  Lu. vii. 32.

 

Ver. 6.  Cut.  Moses prohibited this being done in honour of Adonis.  Lev. xix. 27.  Deut. xiv. 1.  Ezec. xxvii. 31.  “The custom of cutting the arms and hair still subsists in Judea,” says S. Jerom; and in other countries.  Plut. Herodot. iv. 71.

 

Ver. 7.  Cup.  Most exquisite things were sent on such occasions.  Buxtorf, Syn. xxxv.  Prov. xxxi. 6.  Tob. iv. 18.  John xi. 19.

 

Ver. 8.  Feasting.  Heb. “of drinking,” in times of joy.

 

Ver. 12.  Fathers.  Hence you are justly partakers of their punishment.  Mat. xxiii. 32.  C. A continuance in sin brings on severe punishments; after which, God again shews mercy.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Gods.  Elohim, “masters,” &c.  C. xvii. 4.  Chal. “idolatrous nations.”

 

Ver. 15.  Fathers.  He joins consolation with distressing predictions, and alludes to the redemption of mankind, of which the return of the Jews was the most striking pledge.

 

Ver. 16.  Rocks.  They shall be found in all their lurking places.  Ezec. xii. 12.  Hab. i. 4.  C. The apostles shall save them.  Orig. The Medes and Persians shall grant them liberty; or rather Nabuchodonosor shall fish at first, and afterwards hunt or destroy more of the Jews.  C. Apostolical men (W.) shall be like rocks, (S. Jer.) for the protection of their hearers.

 

Ver. 18.  Double: enormous.  H.  C. xvii. 18. I will punish them doubly. Carcasses.  So he styles the victims, or idols, the representations of dead men.

 

Ver. 19.  Them.  After the captivity many were converted.  Esth. viii. and 1 Esd. vi. 21.  Edom was forced to receive circumcision.  But this was nothing in comparison with the crowds which embraced the gospel.

 

Ver. 20.  Make gods.  This consideration alone suffices to shew their absurdity.  C. “Man must now be merciful to god!”  Tert. Apol. No one can make even a man, much less a god.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Power, in taking vengeance on idolatry. Lord.  “He who is;” (C.) Jehova.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 17

 

CHAPTER XVII.

 

Ver. 1.  The.  Grabe (de Vit. p. 8.) observes that the four first verses were omitted in the Sept. by some careless transcriber, long before the days of Origen, who restored them from the Heb. and the other Gr. versions.  On such occasions his work was very useful; but the marks being soon neglected, great confusion ensued.  S. Jer.  Kennicott, Dis. ii. Grabe has restored these verses in his edition.  H. Eusebius (Dem. x.) and Theodoret acknowledged them; and Nobilius found the first verse thus expressed in many copies, (C.) as it is in Grabe: “The sin of Juda is expressed in writing with a finger nail of adamant, cleaving to the breast of,” &c.  H. Altars, to appear more conspicuously to the latest times.  This excited God’s indignation.  C. These figurative expressions shew the inveterate malice of the people.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Sin of idolatry.  C. xv. 13.

 

Ver. 4.  Be left.  Prot. “discontinue from thine,” &c.  H. The land shall have its sabbaths, which thou wouldst not allow.  Chal.  Ex. xxii. 11.  Lev. xxvi. 34.

 

Ver. 5.  Thus.  Sept. continue from the last chapter, “cursed,” &c.  H. Sedecias had formed alliances with several princes, instead of turning to the Lord.  C. xxvii. and xxxvii.  C. Our chief dependence must be on God, not on human policy.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Tamaric.  A barren shrub, that grows in the driest parts of the wilderness.  Ch. Harhar denotes some sort (H.) of “useless wood.”  Sym.  See C. xlviii. 6.  Isai. xvii. 2. Salt, like the environs of Sodom, the fruits of which were bad.

 

Ver. 8.  Fruit.  See Ps. i. 3.  Pindar, Nem. viii.  How different from the wicked!  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Perverse.  Sept. “deep.” Unsearchable.  Sept. “man, who shall know him?”  H. God alone can search the heart by his own power.  He enables saints to do it by the light of glory, or of prophecy; as Eliseus and S. Peter knew secret transactions.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Partridge.  Heb. kore, (H.) may mean the “coucou.”  The kra lays many eggs, all of which she does not hatch.  C. Prot. “As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not,” &c.  H. It is rare that all produce birds; so the unjust do not succeed (C.) in the end.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Throne.  The temple.  We may also read “O high,” &c.  C. xiv. 21.

 

Ver. 13.  Earth, where alone their portion shall be, (Apoc. iii. 5,) or they shall be forgotten.  It is a proverbial expression, like that of Catullus:

Dixit: sed mulier cupido quod dixit amanti

                        In vento et rapidâ scribere oportet aquâ.

Living, which never fail, unlike those of the wicked.  C. ii. 13.

 

Ver. 15.  Come.  We have several instances of such impious sarcasms.  Isa. xxviii. 10. and xxxiv. 13.  Amos ii. 12.  Mic. ii. 6.  C. We fear not the Chaldees.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Troubled.  Heb. “in haste to be a pastor after thee.”  Chal. “I delay not, at thy command, to announce thy truths to them.”  C. i. 6.  Jeremias was aware of the dangers attending his office, yet not dismayed. Day: approbation, (1 Cor. iv. 3.) or advantages of the world.  C. Of man.  Heb. also, “of the wretched:” anush.  I wished rather for the people’s welfare, (H.) and sought not their ruin.  Chal.  Theodor.

 

Ver. 18.  Let them be confounded, &c.  Such expressions as these in the writings of the prophets, are not to be understood as  imprecations proceeding from malice or desire of revenge, but as prophetic predictions of evils that were about to fall upon impenitent sinners, and approbations of the ways of the divine justice.  Ch. The prophet has already prevented this objection.  v. 16.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Gate of the palace, or that by which the kings entered the temple, on the west.  The time when this admonition was given is not ascertained.

 

Ver. 21.  Souls.  Those who broke the sabbath were to die.  Ex. xxx. 15.  Num. xv. 32. Burdens, or servile work.  C. The Jews trifle in deciding what is a burden.  Orig. prin. iv. 2. Sabbath often denotes the observance of the whole law.  W.

 

Ver. 25.  David.  I will observe my covenant.  2 K. vii. 12. Horses: in prosperity, (M.) provided this law, as well as all the rest, be observed.  H. Such temporal rewards were commonly proposed under the law, as spiritual ones are now.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  Sacrifices.  Heb. mincha, (H.) “offerings” of flour, wine, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Fire, by means of Nabuzardan.  M. The city shall be entirely destroyed.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 18

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Potter’s.  Thus God would shew his dominion over all.  Rom. ix. 21.

 

Ver. 3.  Wheel.  Heb. “stones.”  Sept. “seats;” or “wheel.”  Chal.  Ex. i. 16.  See Eccle. xxxviii. 32.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Broken.  So Providence ordered it.  S. Jer. How should this idea humble man!  C. A potter may mould afresh the clay as long as it is soft, but God can change the hardest heart.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Shall repent, having free-will, though prevented by grace.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 12.  Hopes.  C. ii. 25.  Sept. “we are valiant men.”  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Virgin.  The disorders of Israel are thus enhanced.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Snow.  It continues on Libanus seven or eight months, (La Roque quoted. Univ. Hist. ii. p. 363) or all the year; (Tacit. Hist. v. 6.) and hence the mountain is justly denominated “white,” as the Alps and Albion are from albon.  Bochart. Parkhurst, p. 155.  H. Away.  Yet my people abandon me, to serve idols!  Heb. may have many other senses to the same purpose.  Sept. “Shall the mountain springs fail, or snow from Libanus?  Shall a stream forcibly driven by the wind, turn aside?”  H. The laws of nature are observed by inanimate things, and shall my people be so foolish as to follow mere vanity.

 

Ver. 15.  Ancient; followed by the patriarchs.  C. vi. 16.

 

Ver. 16.  Head, through contempt (C.) and pity.  Lam. ii. 15.

 

Ver. 17.  Burning.  Heb. kadim, “eastern,” (H.) coming from Desert Arabia.  Ex. x. 13.  C. Back.  Thus the Lord now treats the synagogue.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 18.  Prophet.  Jeremias will not cease to upbraid us with our transgressions; or we have guides as good as him, and we shall not be left destitute, as he would intimate. Tongue, detraction; or make him suffer for what he says.  In all the transactions of this prophet, Christ was foreshewn; (C.) and here, particularly, the Jews demand the crucifixion.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Remember, &c.  This is spoken in the person of Christ, persecuted by the Jews, and prophetically denouncing the evils that should fall upon them in punishment for their crimes.  Ch. Jeremias had prayed earnestly for the people.  C. xiv. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Therefore.  He foretells of the event, and approves of the chastisement of the impenitent, (C.) whose “impurity might be a bad precedent for others.  S. Jer.  See C. xvii. 18.

 

Ver. 22.  For.  Prot. “when.”  H. Robber.  So Nabuchodonosor and all professional conquerors are styled.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Destroy.  Heb. “with them.”  use them as vessels of ignominy: abutere.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 19

 

CHAPTER XIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Priests.  They were to furnish the vessel, and accompany the prophets.  v. 10.  Sept. “and thou shalt take some of,” &c.  H. Words and actions together instruct most powerfully.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Gate, which must have been to the south-east of Jerusalem, leading to the valley.  C. Sept. “Charseith gate.”  H. Here the common people were buried, after the reign of Josias, who contaminated the place where the idol Moloc had been adored.

 

Ver. 3.  Tingle, as if he had heard a sudden noise or clap of thunder.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Profaned.  Lit. “rendered strange.”  H. I have no farther regard for it. Innocents: their own children.  v. 5.  C. vii. 31.

 

Ver. 5.  Mind.  Perhaps the people stupidly thought thus to honour him; but God pointedly condemns such sacrifices.

 

Ver. 6.  Valley.  Sept. “burial-place of slaughter.”  v. 2.  Here the Chaldees slew many.

 

Ver. 9.  Sons, to punish them for their cruel sacrifices.  S. Jer. This was verified under Sedecias.  Lam. ii. 10. and iv. 10.  Ezec. v. 10.

 

Ver. 11.  Again.  The captives indeed returned, so that this must not be urged too much.  C. Yet the Romans strictly fulfilled this prophecy, (S. Jer.  Sanctius) and the city was built in another place, and styled Ælia.  H. God can perform what is impossible to man.  C. xviii. 3.  Mat. xix.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Topheth.  This sentence was not in S. Jerom’s Hebrew copy, but in the Sept. (C.) with some variations: (H.) “All the houses of the kings of Juda, like the place of Topheth,” is added by the Sept.  S. Jer. In Grabe they agree with the present Heb. and Chal. only rendering, “shall be as a place in ruin, for the defilements in all,” &c.  H. Of heaven: the  moon, &c.  4 K. xxiii. 12.  Josias could not entirely root out this impiety.  C. xxxii. 29.  His wicked son Joachaz or Sellum, was probably now on the throne, when the prophet went to the potter, &c.  C. xviii. to xxi.

 

Ver. 14.  People.  Many still resorted to the temple.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 20

 

CHAPTER XX.

 

Ver. 1.  Son, or descendant.  His father was Melchia.  C. xxi. 1. and 1 Par. ix. 12.  C. Chief: high priest, (Theod.) or rather a chief officer, (C. xxix. 25.) or prince, (Matt. xxvi. 27.  Tolet.  Grot.) whose duty it was to take up impostors.  He treated Jeremias in this light.  C. See Lu. xxii. 52.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Struck, or seized.  Grot. Upper gate, nearer the temple.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Phassur.  This name signifies, increase and principality; and therefore is here changed to Magor-Missabib, or “fear on every side,” to denote the  evils that should come upon him in punishment of his opposing the word of God.  Ch. Aquila renders Posseur, “a stranger,” and S. Jer. “blackness of visage.”  H. It may also mean, “one who causes paleness.”  C. Mogur may signify “fear or distress.”  Sept. and Syr. “an exile.”  H. He deserved to be thus treated.  v. 6.  C. He would be terrified by many enemies.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Lie.  He was therefore a false prophet, and vexed that Jeremias should contradict him.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Thou hast deceived, &c.  The meaning of the prophet is not to charge God with any untruth; but what he calls deceiving, was only the concealing from him, when he accepted of the prophetical commission, the greatness of the evils which the execution of that commission was to bring upon him.  Ch. Heb. “thou hast enticed me,” when I declined the office.  T. God never promised that he should suffer no persecution.  H. Jeremias might also have supposed that he was to be sent to the Gentiles.  C. i. 5.  S. Jer. in C. xxv. 18. The oriental languages are much more lofty than ours, and express common things in the strongest manner.  C. We may perceive the different emotions of fear and joy (D.) with which the prophet was actuated, like S. Paul, and our Saviour himself.  The saints evince the weakness of man and the power of divine grace.  C. Heb. “If thou, Lord, hast deceived me, I am,” &c.  Tournemine.

 

Ver. 8.  Day.  They keep asking where are these enemies from the north, the plagues? &c.  C. He is sorry to see the word of God despised, (Theod.) and is guilty of a venial pusillanimity, concluding that his words had no good effect.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  And there, or “for,” &c.  I was grieved continually.  Sanctius. I could not however refrain from speaking.  Acts xvii. 16. and 1 Cor. ix. 16.  Job xxxii. 18.

 

Ver. 10.  Side, seeking an opportunity to ruin me, as the Pharisees did our Saviour.  Ps. xl. 10.  C. Prot. “familiars watched for my halting, saying, peradventure he,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Let me see, &c.  This prayer proceeded not from hatred or ill-will, but zeal of justice.  Ch. He expresses in a human manner a future punishment.

 

Ver. 13.  Sing.  God having shewn that his prayer should be heard, he gives thanks, (C.) and thus shews that what he is going to say proceeds not from impatience.  Theod.

 

Ver. 14.  Cursed, &c.  In these and the following words of the prophet, there is a certain figure of speech to express with more energy the greatness of the evils to which his birth had exposed him.  Ch. The wicked would deem the day of his birth cursed, or unlucky.  M. Jeremias was now in prison, (Grot.) and people in pain express themselves forcibly, particularly in the East.  v. 7.  Job iii. 2.  C. Perhaps no man had announced the tidings of his birth, or he might be  no longer living to feel the effects of a curse: as the day was certainly irrevocably past.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Repented, is decree for the ruin of Sodom being fixed. Noon.  This is more extraordinary than at midnight.  Let him always be terrified with dismal sounds.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Who.  Sept. “because he (the Lord.  D.  T.) slew me not in my mother’s womb.”  H. Syr. Grot. &c. explain the Heb. in the same sense, though it may also agree with the Vulg. from the womb, or as soon as I was born.  O that I had never seen the light!  C. He abstracts from the effects of original sin.  T. It is better not to exist than to be in constant misery.  Mat. xxvi.  S. Jer.  W. The prophet bewailed the abuse which was made of God’s word, by unbelievers.  v. 8.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 21

 

CHAPTER XXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Sent, after Nabuchodonosor had returned from Egypt.  A. 3415.  This consultation should be placed after C. xxxvii.  C. Phassur, specified above, and C. xxxviii. 1. (C.) or a different person.  S. Jer.  Pisc. Sophonias, the second priest, (C. xxxvii. 3. and lii. 24.) of the 24th class, (1 Par. xxiv. 18.) who was slain at Reblatha.  C. Jeremias threatens the great ones to C. xxix. and is persecuted.  He spoke this when Nabuchodonosor invaded the country.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  City.  The people shall turn their arms against each other; or rather the Chaldees shall use their weapons to destroy them.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Pestilence.  Sept. “death;” the sword, and various diseases.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  To them.  This was verified, C. lii. and 4 K. xxiv.

 

Ver. 8.  Death; the former if they submit, the latter if they fight, v. 9.  C. God’s grace is ever ready, that sinners may be converted.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Spoil.  He shall be happy to escape naked.  C. xxxviii. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Valley.  He speaks to Jerusalem, confiding in the strength of her situation, upon rocks, surrounded with a deep valley.  Ch. Lit. “valley, solid and in a plain.”  H. Isaias (xxii. 1.) styles it ironically, “the valley of vision.”  C. Jerusalem was situated on many rocks.  Jos. Bel. vi. 6.

 

Ver. 14.  Doings.  Heb. “studies.”  So “Your studious pursuits” occurs, v. 12, in many Heb. MSS. though the printed copy have, “their;” and “spoiled” for apprised.  Kennicott. Forest, the temple, which is called Libanus, (Zac. xi. 21.) and the houses built of cedar-wood, (4 K. xxv. 9.  C.) particularly the royal palace of the forest.  3 K. vii.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 22

 

CHAPTER XXII.

 

Ver. 1.  Go.  The contents of this chapter are of a more ancient date than those of the foregoing chapter; for the order of time is not always observed in the writings of the prophets.  Ch.  W. King Joakim, who succeeded Sellum, A. 3394.  Usher.

 

Ver. 5.  Myself, having none greater.  Heb. vi. 13.  Oaths evince the insincerity of men, who distrust each other; but when God condescends to use them, it shews men’s incredulity. House, the temple, or rather the palace, where the king was sitting at the gate, v. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Galaad, the head of Libanus.  By Galaad, a rich and fruitful country, is here signified the royal palace of the kings of the house of David; by Libanus, a high mountain abounding in cedar-trees, the populous city of Jerusalem.  Ch.  W.  Theodor. Both mountains are connected.  S. Jer.  Strabo xvi. Yet the proper Galaad was at some distance, and on the side of Ammon very barren.  The palaces had arisen from a miserable state to resemble Libanus.  They shall surely be destroyed.  C. The advantageous situation of Jerusalem should not protect it, no more than it had done Galaad.  4 K. xv. 29.  Jun.  Grot.

 

Ver. 7.  Prepare.  Lit. sanctify; (Ch.) as various religious ceremonies were used before the declaration of war, and to know what would be the success.  C. The Chaldees were destined to execute God’s decrees.  S. Jer. Cedars; fine buildings, (v. 14.  C.) and chiefs.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Dead.  He means the good king Josias, who by death was taken away, so as not to see the miseries of his country. Away.  Sellum, alias Joschaz, who was carried captive to Egypt.  Ch. v. 12. and 4 K. xxiii. 33.  C. He was the fourth son of Josias, (1 Par. iii. 15.) and had probably the title of king after the death of Sedecias.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Friend.  Joakim forced his subjects to work for him for nothing.

 

Ver. 14.  Wide.  Heb. “measured;” large, and well-proportioned. Vermilion, (cynopide.)  This colour was invented in the town of Pontus, and was used for statues, &c.  Pliny xxxiii. 6. and xxxv. 6.  Wisd. xiii. 14.  C. Heb. shashar (H.) may mean indigo.  Jun.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Cedar; Josias.  C. Shall thy magnificent palaces secure thy empire?  H. Him.  Obey the Lord, in like manner, that thou mayst prosper.

 

Ver. 18.  Sister.  They shall not condole with his consort.

 

Ver. 19.  Jerusalem.  C. xxxvi. 30.  He died indeed with or like his fathers.  4 K. xxiv. 6.  But it is not said that he was buried.  S. Jer. The Chaldees designed to send him to Babylon, (2 Par. xxxvi. 6.) but slew him on the road, (Usher, A. 3405) or treated his corpse ignominiously after his arrival.  Grot.

 

Ver. 20.  Go; Jerusalem.  The verbs are feminine. Lovers; citizens, or Egyptians, &c.  C. xxvii. 2.

 

Ver. 22.  Pastors, or princes, whose expectations of aid will be frustrated.  Osee xii. 1.  Chal. “Thy leaders shall be scattered to all the winds.”

 

Ver. 24.  Jechonias: Joachin, (4 K. xxiv. 6.  W.) or Chenias, who did not take warning by his predecessor’s misfortune. Ring, or seal, if he were most dear to me, the prime minister of the greatest monarch.  Agg. ii. 24.  C. Alexander gave his ring to Perdiccas, designating him his successor, or regent.  Curt. x.

 

Ver. 26.  Mother; Nohesta, (4 K. xxiv. 8.) who perverted, (C.) or did not correct him in his youth.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Mind; ardently desiring and expecting to be liberated.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Jechonias.  Prot. “Koniah, a despised broken idol? is he,” &c.  Sept. Alex. “Jechonias has been dishonoured as a vessel, or which there is no need, for he hath been snatched and cast,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Write this man barren.  That is childless: not that he had no children, but that his children should never sit on the throne of Juda.  Ch. v. 28.  Mat. i. 12.  Ezec. xvii. 24.  Zorobabel was of his seed, yet he never obtained the title or sovereign power of a king.  The Machabees were of a different family.  S. Jer. Joachin, or Jechonias, was restored indeed to some favour, (4 K. xxv. 27.) but not to the kingdom, no more than any of his posterity, till Christ.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 23

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Pastors.  Successors of Josias (C.) and false prophets.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Multiplied.  The prophets subjoin tidings of peace to such as might cause affliction.  Theodoret.

 

Ver. 4-5.  Pastors; Zorobabel, &c. as figures of Christ, and of the pastors of his Church. No more, as much as formerly.  So many expressions must be understood. Branch.  Sept. “orient.” Reign.  Zorobabel was not chief governor, (C.) though at the head of his tribe.  H. The kingdom of Christ was not of this world.  Jo. xviii. 36.  C. He alone imparts justice to others.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Saved: less disturbed.  The world shall be redeemed.  Lu. ii. 14.  Eph. ii. 14. Just.  Heb. “Justice,” by whom we are made just.  He is the true God.  Col. ii. 9. 14.  No man could bear this title: and Grotius insidiously attempts to apply it to the Jews, though the Chal. &c. clearly speak of the Messias.  He must be read with great caution.  C. Sept. “This is his name, which the Lord will call him, Josedech.  In the prophets.  9. My,” &c.  H. Josedech means “the Lord justice.”  C. Sym. “Lord, justify us.”

 

Ver. 8.  Land.  The deliverance from Egypt and Babylon were emblems of man’s redemption, which was accomplished by far greater miracles.

 

Ver. 9.  Prophets of falsehood.  He directs his discourse to them, and afterwards to the priests, being filled with amazement at their impending ruin.

 

Ver. 10.  Adulterers; impostors or idolaters. Cursing of the Lord, or the abuse of his sacred name.  C. Unlike.  Heb. “not right.”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Defiled.  Heb. “hypocrites.”  My priests retain the appearance of religion, to join with impostors in deluding the people.

 

Ver. 14.  Jerusalem.  These were far worse, as they pretended to be inspired by God, whereas those of Samaria publicly adhered to Baal; so that the people must have been foolish to have been deceived by them.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Gall, or something mortally bitter.  C. ix. 15. H.

 

Ver. 16.  Own.  To rely on private judgment, and not on the Church, is a mark of falsehood.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Blaspheme.  Heb. “despise;” or Sept. “reject disdainfully the word of the Lord, you,” &c.  C. vi. 14. and viii. 11.

 

Ver. 18.  Counsel.  Heb. “secret.”  Which of you is acquainted with his designs?  I will inform you, that your perdition is at hand.  v. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Not send.  The want of mission proves a prophet or preacher to be false.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  I should.  Some copies read avertissent, “they would have turned,” conformably with the Heb. &c. and we should suspect that this was a mistake of the transcriber, if S. Jerom did not agree with the Vulg. in his commentary, (C.) though not in express terms: (H.) “I also should not have abandoned them to impurity…Let us behold how heretics, having once given way to despair,…seek the gratification of their sensual appetite.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 23.  Off?  Can you so easily penetrate my designs, or escape my fury?  Am I like your idols of yesterday?  Sept. and Theodot. “I am a God at hand,” &c. which agrees with the sequel.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Dreams, as if God had favoured them with his revelations.  H. Fathers; the false prophets of Baal, whom these imitate.

 

Ver. 28.  Dream, to those who are really sent by God, (C.) and recognized.  1 Cor. xiv. 29.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Pieces?  True prophets will have a zeal fo the conversion of souls.  C. xx. 9.  Heb. iv. 12.

 

Ver. 30.  Neighbour, causing those whom I have sent to be disregarded.

 

Ver. 31.  Use.  Hebrew also, “sharpen, or render smooth,” and insinuating.  Ps. xlix. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 32.  Wonders.  Prot. “lightness.”  Sept. “frauds,” or pretended miracles.  H. False prophets cannot work true miracles: but it is more difficult to distinguish these than the former mark of being lawfully sent.  v. 21.  W.

 

Ver. 33.  Burden, Massa, (H.) denotes a weight, or sometimes a prediction.  C.

 

Ver. 34.  Burden of the Lord.  This expression is here rejected and disallowed, at least for those times: because it was then used in mockery and contempt by the false prophets, and unbelieving people, who ridiculed the repeated threats of Jeremias under the name of his burdens.  Ch.

 

Ver. 35.  Answered.  I will make you alter your language by chastisements.

 

Ver. 39.  Take.  Heb. of the Masorets, (C.) “I, even I, will utterly forget (Prot.  H.) or abandon you.”  Chal.  But the sense of the Sept. and Vulg. seems preferable.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 24

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Engravers.  Heb. “those who enclose.”  4 K. xxiv. 14. and 1 K. xiii. 19.

 

Ver. 2.  Season.  Appearing in autumn and ripe in spring.  Mic. vii. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Regard.  Lit. “know,” with love.  Ps. i. 6.  H. Jechonias was treated with honour, (4 K. xxv. 27.) as well as Daniel (ii. 48.) and Zorobabel, of the same family.  C. xxix. 5.  The captives, under Sedecias, (v. 8.) were much more abused.  C. xxix. 17.  C. This is the literal sense; the mystical shews that the good shall be rewarded.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Up, till the Messias appear, and the true Israel of God, his disciples, to whom the promises chiefly pertain.  They will continue for ever.  If this answer does not give satisfaction, as it ought, we may say that the Jews did not comply with the condition, and were therefore abandoned to the Romans.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Egypt, to which they fled contrary to the prophet’s advice.  4 K. xxv. 26.

 

 

JEREMIAS 25

 

CHAPTER XXV.

 

Ver. 1.  Babylon, when he was associated by Nabopolassar, three years before his death, A. 3397.  This year Joakim was taken to be conducted to Babylon, though he was afterwards permitted to remain on very hard conditions, while the sacred vessels, Daniel, &c. were taken away, and the 70 years of captivity commenced.  They ended in the first of Cyrus, A. 3468.  Usher This chap. should be placed before the 24th and after the 26th.  C. The prophets did not observe the order of time.  C. xxi.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Josias.  He prophesied nineteen years under him, and three under his successors.

 

Ver. 4.  All.  We know of Joel, Habacuc, Sophonias, and Holda.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  My servant.  So this wicked king is here called; because God made him his instrument in punishing the sins of his people.  Ch.  W. He thought himself more than man, but he was only the rod destined for the fire.

 

Ver. 10.  Sound, or songs of women turning the mill.  Mat. xxiv. 41.  C. Lamp, or illuminations, on account of some victory, (H.) or festival.  Pers. v. 180.  The Jews “light a lamp for the sabbaths,” (Sen. Ep. xcv.) before they commence.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Years.  Ver. 1.  The neighbouring nations were also involved in this calamity, and were to be sent back by Cyrus.  C. Another period of 70 years is specified, (C. xxix. 10.) during which the city and temple should remain in ruins, till the second of Hystaspes, A. 3485.  Usher This system is not without difficulties.  The present prediction seems rather to refer to the desolation, (Vatab.  Agg. i. 2.) as appears from Zac. i. 12. or the prophet speaks of the same event in both places, dating from the year preceding the capture of Jerusalem, (A. 3415), till Darius gave entire liberty to the Jews, A. 3485.  We differ from Usher in the years allotted to Cyrus, who began to restore the Jews.  1 Esd. i. 5.  C. These 70 years are dated from the 11th of Sedecias.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Punish.  Literally, visit upon.  Ch. Cyrus overturned the monarchy, and the city was ruined by degrees.  Is. xiii. and xiv. and xxi. 1.  Ezek. i. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Kings.  They perfidiously joined the Chaldees, after making a league with Sedecias.  C. xxvii. 3.  This is condemned, (C.) and not precisely their submitting to Nabuchodonosor.  C. xxviii. 8.  Their league with Juda was indeed wrong; but the infringement of it was another crime.  Sept. is here much transposed almost to the end.  See Grabe.  H. Jeremias had prophesied against the nations, though his words are given.  C. xlvi. &c.

 

Ver. 15.  Fury.  Chastisement.  Is. li. 17. All, who might be then at Jerusalem.  Sanctius thinks Jeremias travelled into all these countries: most believe it was only done in vision.  He might write to them.  C. The cup metaphorically denotes God’s wrath.  Ps. lxxiv. 9.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  As, &c.  He probably inserted this (H.) after the event, (Vat.) or the country was much distressed even under Sedecias.

 

Ver. 19.  Pharao, who was defeated (Ezec. xxx. 25.) coming to assist Juda, (C. xxxvii.) and again plundered after the taking of Tyre.  Ezec. xxix. 18.

 

Ver. 20.  In.  Heb. “the mixed multitude,” (Ex. xii. 38.  C.) or “Arabs.”  Grot. Ausitis, near Palmyra.  Job i. 1. Azorus, taken by the Egyptians, and afterwards by the Chaldees.  C. xlvii. 2.

 

Ver. 21.  Ammon.  The details are given in C. xlviii. and xlix.  Ezec. xxv. to xxxiv.  Abdias and Sophonias.

 

Ver. 22.  Kings.  Ithobaal (Jos. Ant. x. 11.) had many governors under him.  Nabuchodonosor besieged Tyre for 13 years.  Ezec. xxvi. &c. Sea, or Gibraltar.  See Jos. sup. v. 22.  H. He had navies on the Mediterranean.  Ezec. xxx. 9.

 

Ver. 23.  Buz.  Scenite Arabs, who cut off the hair of the eyebrows.  C. ix. 26.  These Saracens left the hair below the ears long, as the Polonians and Hungarians do.  W.

 

Ver. 25-26.  Zambri, sprung from Cethura, and dwelling in Arabia, (C.) or Persia, (S. Jer.) where Pliny (vi. 28.) places the Zamarenians. Elam.  Persians, (H.) by the sword of Alexander, (S. Jer.) or Cyrus subdued those who were subject to the Medes, and united the two nations. North.  Armenia, &c. subdued by Cyrus and by Alexander. Brother.  When Cyrus stood up for the Persians.  All shall drink, as at a feast, (C.) of this bitter wine. Face, and forming the empire of Babylon.  H. Sesac.  That is Babel, or Babylon; which after bringing all these people under her yoke, should quickly fall and be destroyed herself.  Ch. The Chaldees are not expressed, to avoid their resentment.  The sh in sheshac, is at the same distance from the end as b in Babel is from the beginning of the alphabet.  See S. Jer.  H.  2 Tim. iv. 17. Yet they are not elsewhere spared.  C. xlix. &c.  Sesac was probably the idol, “anais or the moon.”  C. The Sacean feasts were very dissolute, like the saturnalia at Rome.  Dio. Chrys. iv.  Strabo xi.  C. Cyrus took Babylon after he had conquered the rest of Asia, and then seizing Nabonides at Borsippe, which was sacred to Anais, “the moon,” (C.) or Diana, (Strabo xv.) suffered him to die in peace.  Berosus in Jos. c. Ap. 1. Thus fell the  king of Sesac, an idol worshipped both at Borsippe and at Babylon.

 

Ver. 29.  City.  Jerusalem first fell a prey.

 

Ver. 30.  Beauty.  The temple, which was like the palace (C.) of the great king.  H. Grapes.  Great feasting was then customary.  The soldiers rushing to battle, “answer” the Lord.  Sept.  C. People encouraged one another by songs under the labour of the vine-press, as those in distress must do.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  Flesh.  He will justify his conduct, particularly at the last day.

 

Ver. 32.  To nation.  Jerusalem, Tyre, Syria, desert Arabia, Ammon, Idumea, and Egypt, shall fall one after another.  Thus Cyrus will attack the Medes, Asia, and Babylon.

 

Ver. 34.  Leaders.  Sept. “rams.”  He addresses the princes. Vessels.  Sept. “chosen rams,” fattened for slaughter.

 

Ver. 37.  Silent.  The places where you fed your flocks so delightfully, are laid waste.

 

Ver. 38.  The dove.  This is commonly understood of Nabuchodonosor, whose military standard, they say, was a dove.  But the Hebrew word Jonah, which is here rendered a dove, may also signify a waster or oppressor, which name better agrees to that unmerciful prince; or by comparison, as a dove’s flight is the swiftest, so would their destruction come upon them.  Ch. Sept. “waste or impassible before the great sword.  C. iv. 7.  H. While God, like a lion, protected his people, none durst invade them.  M. What is said respecting the Babylonian standards is very dubious, (Grot.  C.) as the same expression is applied to the Persians, (C. l. 16.  M.) though it may there also be understood of the Chaldees. H. God is like a dove, yet terrible.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 26

 

CHAPTER XXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Beginning, after Joakim had reigned some time.  v. 21.

 

Ver. 2.  Word.  This example all pastors should follow, in the midst of dangers.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  If.  God is not ignorant, (C.) but he preserves man’s free-will.  S. Jer. He threatens conditionally, if people persist in evil.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Silo.  C. vii. 12.  C. Curse.  No greater punishment could be threatened or endured in this world.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Death.  The pretext was plausible, as God seemed to have promised the temple an eternal duration.  3 K. ix. 3.  The Jews accused Christ of the like crime.  Mat. xxvi. 61.  Such questions were brought before the sanhedrim and priests.  C. xxvi. 57.  But the latter are here (C.) the chief accusers with “the false prophets.”  Sept.  H. The princes, moved by the elders, (v. 17.) acquit the prophet, (C.) at the persuasion of Ahicam.  v. 24.  Several priests would probably judge along with the other princes, as the examination of impostors belonged chiefly to their tribunal.  H. All is often used for most part.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Sent me.  This was a complete justification.  C. None could deny but Jeremias had all the characters of a true prophet.  v. 16.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  All.  The populace easily changes either for better or for worse.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Ancients.  They declare what happened about 100 years before, respecting Micheas. iii. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Mountain.  Sion, on which the house of the Lord was built.  Conquerors have sometimes ploughed up cities.  C. Jam seges est ubi Troja fuit.  Ovid, ep. i.

 

Ver. 20.  There was.  The adversaries make this reply, or the others contrast the conduct of Joakim with the piety of Ezechias.

 

Ver. 23.  Egypt, as a seditious person…Joakim was tributary to Pharao.

 

Ver. 24.  Ahicam.  A man employed under Josias, (4 K. xxii. 12.) and father of Godolias, who was also the protector of Jeremias.  C. xxxix. 14. and 4 K. xxv. 22.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 27

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Joakim.  This revelation was made to the prophet in the beginning of the reign of Joakim: but the bands were not sent, to the princes here named, before the reign of Sedecias.  v. 3.  Ch. He wore them six or seven years.  Vat.  T. But this is uncertain.  Sept. omit this title.  Syr. Arab. &c. read “Sedecias.”  C. As far as Juda may belong to the last chapter.  S. Jerom includes the whole verse.  H. It seems to be rather a fresh prophecy, or the title may be spurious, like many in the Psalms.  See C. xxvi. 1. and xxviii. 1.  Is. xxi. 13.

 

Ver. 2.  Chains.  Heb. “a yoke and pole,” (C.) or piece of wood for the necks of slaves.  S. Jer. Thus would the servitude of these nations be clearly represented.  H. Bands and chains were proper signs, as they were used to bind captives.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Edom.  Thus he exercises the function of prophet among the nations.  C. i. 5.  These had come to compliment Sedecias, or rather to form a league.

 

Ver. 5.  Eyes.  God disposes of all princes, &c.  His prophets speak boldly.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Beasts.  The property of those people, or the most barbarous nations.  S. Jer. Hangmen and executioners may in the same sense be styled God’s servants.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  His son; viz. Evilmerodach, and his son’s son, viz. Nabonydus, or Nabonadius, the Baltassar of Daniel, (chap. v.) and the last of the Chaldean kings.  Ch. Come.  It will not be long before this rod is cast into the fire, the usual fate of those who execute God’s vengeance.

 

Ver. 9.  Prophets, who deluded the Jews, as diviners did the Gentiles.

 

Ver. 10.  To remove.  Heb. “that I may,” &c.  This will be the effect, though contrary to their intention.

 

Ver. 11.  In it.  None complied, and though the Idumeans, &c. joined the Chaldees against Juda, they were punished (C.) for their former league.  v. 3.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Time.  Hananias specified two years, (C. xxviii. 3.) which proved false.  Some “silver vessels,” (Bar. i. 8.) and not those of gold, it seems, (C.) or not all, (H.) were restored at the request of Saraias.  C. li. 59.

 

Ver. 18.  Hosts.  If they prevail, account me a false prophet.  C. The things taken shall not be soon restored; but more shall be conveyed away.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  To thee.  Hebrew also, “concerning,” as v. 21. (H.) though (C.) inanimate things are often spoken to.  S. Jer.

 

 

JEREMIAS 28

 

CHAPTER XXVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Juda.  So far Sanctius joins with the former chapter, improperly.  In the 4th year, seems rather an interpolation; though the Sept. omit in the beginning, &c. to reconcile the passage; and others date the 4th year from the last sabbatical one, which is quite unusual.  See C. xxvii. 1.  C. Sedecias reigned 11 years, so that the 4th might be said to be the beginning.  W. Prophet.  Sept. “false prophet,” to explain the meaning: the original denotes any prophet.  S. Jer.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Years.  Some were brought back in the 4th of Sedecias; (C. xxvii. 16.  H.) so that this must be false, whether  he spoke in the 1st or 4th year of his reign.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Do.  Heb. also, “will do.”  He speaks ironically; or shews that he wishes not the misfortune of his countrymen.  C. He approves of the good thing, but warns his people that is is falsely promised.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Truth.  This criterion was given by Moses; and another was assigned in case the prophet attempted to introduce idolatry, which was not here the case.  Deut. xiii. and xviii. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Chain, or wooden yoke.  C. xxvii. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Way, mildly.  God inspired him what to say soon after.

 

Ver. 13.  Iron.  Deut. xxviii. 48.  The rashness of Hananias brought a heavier punishment on his admirers, which is the lot of all who follow heresiarchs.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Seventh month.  He had spoken in the 5th of the sacred year.  v. 1.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 29

 

CHAPTER XXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Letter.  Lit. “book.”  H. It was probably sent at the beginning of the reign of Sedecias by his ambassadors, and is different from that sent by Baruch i. and C. lii. 28. Prophets.  Chal. “scribes.”  C. Sept. “false prophets.”  v. 8.  H. Daniel had begun to prophesy, A. 3402.  Ezechiel commenced only five years after the captivity of Jechonias.  One prophet frequently instructs another, as Nathan did David.  Dan. ix. 2. and 1 Pet. i. 11.  C. Jeremias declares that the captivity would continue long.  He comforts and rebukes to C. xl.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Queen.  Nohesta. Eunuchs.  Real, (Heb.) or “Grandee.”  Chal. Engravers.  C. xxiv. 2.

 

Ver. 3.  Gamarias, the son of Saphan, is different.  These two are unknown.

 

Ver. 5.  Build.  Establish yourselves, as you must remain a long time in captivity.  We are exhorted not to be attached to the things of the world, to remind us that we shall not live long.  C. xvi. 2. and xxxv. 7. and 1 Cor. vii. 29.

 

Ver. 7.  Peace.  We must submit to the magistrates, where we reside.  Bar. i. 11. and 1 Tim. ii. 1.

 

Ver. 8.  Prophets.  There were many false ones.  v. 21.  Ezec. xiii. Dreams.  The prophets, or people.  They are vain.

 

Ver. 10.  Seventy.  Dating from the 4th of Joakim to the 1st of Cyrus, A. 3468.  C.  See C. xxv. 1. 11.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  An end.  Sept. “these things.”  This version is much abridged.  From v. 15. to 21. is omitted in S. Jerom’s and the Rom. edit.; but not in the Comp. or Theodoret.  C. Grabe inserts what is wanting, and places the 15th at the end of our 20th verse.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Said.  Expressing your confidence in Providence; or rather, if we join this with what follows, he rebukes them for trusting in false prophets, who represented their condition as worse than that of their brethren, who were left behind; whereas it was really better.  v. 17. and C. xxiv. 2. 8.  C. The deluded people suppose that the false prophets had been sent by God.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  By night, or “early,” de nocte, as soon as the night was over.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Curse.  v. 18.  The malediction which has befallen the Jews, “overtake thee.”  W. Fire, in frying-pans, (see 2 Mac. vii. 5.) or cauldrons of boiling oil.  This death shews that these were not the infamous judges who tempted Susanna, (C.) as the Jews quoted by (H.) S. Jerom, Salien, &c. would infer from v. 23. and Dan. xiii. 57.  They were stoned to death by the people.  ib. lxii.  C. Yet the king might order their dead bodies to be cut in two and burnt, to express his horror of their wicked conduct.  Dan. xiii. 55. 59.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Folly.  A crime.  Judge xix. 23. and 2 K. xiii. 12. Witness, the sovereign truth.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  And.  God orders his prophet what to say, to an accusation sent from Babylon, in consequence of the former letter.  v. 5. 28.  H. Nehelamite, “torrent,” (S. Jer.) or “dreamer.”  We know of no place of this name.

 

Ver. 25.  The second priest, (4 K. xxv. 18.) a chief officer of the temple.  C. xxi. 1.

 

Ver. 26.  Joiada, whose zeal had been conspicuous long before, under Joas, in persuading him to destroy the false prophets.  4 K. xi. 17.  Sophonias is exhorted to imitate him, by treating Jeremias in like manner.  C. Thou.  Heb. “ye should be officers.”  Prot.  H. There were many chief priests. Raveth.  Heb. “is possessed, and counterfeits the prophet.”  Such were to be slain, being confined till sentence had been passed.  Deut. xviii. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  Time, before you will return.  H. Sophonias read the letter, approving of its contents, (S. Jer.) though this is not certain.  He took no violent steps against Jeremias, as Phassur had done.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Sit, in an honourable station, or they shall all die.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 30

 

CHAPTER XXX.

 

Ver. 2.  Book.  This was spoken in the reign of Sedecias, for the people’s conviction.  The prophet had received orders to write in the 4th year of Joakim.  C. xxxvi. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Come.  Some in S. Jerom explain this and the following chapter of the end of the world, when all shall confess Christ.  Others refer them to the preaching of the gospel alone.  E.  T. But the return from captivity is specified, as prefiguring that event.  S. Thomas, &c.  C. It is probable that many of the ten tribes returned to Samaria.  C. xxxi.  Ezec. xxxiii.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  To Juda.  All the race of Abraham are concerned.  The kingdom was no longer divided.

 

Ver. 5.  We.  Jeremias is ordered to express the alarms of the captives, at the news of the destruction of Jerusalem, or rather of the Chaldee empire, by Cyrus.  They were naturally afraid that they would also suffer.

 

Ver. 6.  Bear.  Lit. “beget,” generat.  But it has here the former signification, (H.) pariat.  Vat. Yellow.  The Babylonians are in great anxiety.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Great, and terrible for this city, the outer walls of which shall be demolished, (Beros.  C.) and all its glory perish.  H. Of it.  Cyrus liberated the Jews.  1 Esd. i.

 

Ver. 8.  Strangers.  Idols.  The people were not so prone to worship them.  Yet the Jews were almost constantly subject to foreigners (C.) despectissima pars servientium, Macedonibus invalidis…sibi ipsis reges imposuere.  Tacit. Hist. 5. Christ granted a more perfect liberty to the faithful.  Jo. viii. 33.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  David.  That is, Christ, of the house of David.  Ch.  Ezec. xxxvii. 24.  Osee iii. 5. Grotius and some modern Jews, in opposition to their ancestors, (Chal. Kimchi, &c.) and to all Christians, would understand Zorobabel, though he was never possessed of the title or authority of king.  C. The prophecy may allude to him, but it is fulfilled only in Christ.  Theodoret.

 

Ver. 11.  Nations, which are now no more.  Grabe supplies v. 10. 11. 15. and 22.  H. Judgment, like a father, (C.) though the chastisement may seem cruel.  v. 14.  H. Heb. “with justice, but I will not deny thee for ever.”  Chal. “utterly.”  C. Only the Church is preserved continually.  All other kingdoms change.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Up.  There is none to judge thy cause, or to be thy physician.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Lovers.  Nations which had seduced thee to worship their idols.  H. Enemy.  This judgment (v. 11.) was requisite.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Prey.  The Romans utterly overturned the Macedonian empire, (H.) as the former had done the Persian, and they the Chaldee monarchy, which has risen on the ruins of the Assyrian empire.  But the Jews rise as it were from their ashes.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Close.  Sept. “remove the healing plaster from thy painful wound.”  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Temple.  After 70 years, it was rebuilt.  The Church was founded on a rock.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Play, or laugh.  C. Prot. “make merry.”  C. xxxi. 4. Lessened.  The Jews were as numerous in our Saviour’s time H. as ever they had been.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Leader.  Zorobabel, the figure (Theod.) of Christ, who is here meant.  C. He springs from Jacob.  W. The sceptre was not taken away till his coming.  Gen. xlix.  H. Who.  Cyrus alludes to this passage in his decree.  1 Esd. i.  C. The prediction is fully verified in Christians.  S. Jer. Christ is near to God, being one.  Jo. xiv.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  Wicked, at Jerusalem, or rather the Chaldees; and the Jews, who crucified their Messias.  S. Jer. &c.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 31

 

CHAPTER XXXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  The ten tribes returned as well as Juda, &c.  C. They were more ready to receive Christ than the other two tribes.  Mat. xiii. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Desert.  From which the former inhabitants had been driven, (4 K. xvii. 6. 24.  C.) or, as those under Moses were favoured, (H.) so shall the captives.  Grot. Sept. “I found him warm,” (qermon, means also a lupin, which has misled the old Latin interpreters.  S. Jer.) murdered “in the desert, with those slain by the sword.  Go, and destroy not Israel.”  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Afar.  He has seemed to despise me, (S. Jer.) or he has spoken to my ancestors.  C. Chal. He has “manifested himself long ago to our fathers.  Prophet, tell them I have,” &c.  Ps. xxxv. 11. and cviii. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Samaria.  Its wine was famous.  Judg. ix. 27.  Jos. Bel. iii. 2. Time, three years being elapsed.  Lev. xix. 35.  C. Prot. “plant, and shall eat (marg. profane) them as common things.”  They shall not be too greedy, (H.) but shall have leisure to enjoy the fruits of their labour.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Watchmen.  Some were stationed on eminences to observe the first appearances of the moon, (C.) which was a sort of festival.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Head.  Rejoice over Babylon. Save.  Heb. Hoshang, “I beg,” was usually added; and this acclamation is used by the Church.

 

Ver. 8.  Together.  All shall hasten, and there shall be no impediment.  Is. xxxv. 5.

 

Ver. 9.  Shall, or “came” into captivity.  Bar. vi. 6.  Ps. cxxv. 6.  Is. lxvi. 20. Way.  They shall find every accommodation, and plenty of water.  Is. xxxv. 7. and xlix. 10. Born.  Chal. “beloved.”  I will treat the ten tribes as well as Juda.  Christ inebriates his disciples with his graces.  C. Ephraim shall be treated with all the love and attention shewn to the first-born.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Sion.  There shall be no farther schism or idolatry among them. No  more, if they prove faithful.  This was not the case.

 

Ver. 14.  Fatness.  Abundant crops secured them more plentiful tythes, as long as the people preserved their religion.  H. No nation had more priests, or better provided for.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  High.  Lit. “high places.”  Heb. Rama.  H. There was a city of this name near Bethlehem, where Rachel was buried.  Benjamin was her son, and was conducted by this road to Babylon.  Chal.  Grot.  T. Ephraim and Manasses were also her grandchildren, and she may bewail their captivity by personification.  S. Mat. (ii. 18.) shews that this prediction was more fully accomplished when the innocents were slain.  The same passage may allude to different events.  C. All the people of God, both of the ten and of the two tribes, bewailed their captivity, and the mothers lamented for those slain near Bethlehem.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Reward.  A time fixed for thy tears being dried up.  Is. xvi. 14. and xl. 10.

 

Ver. 18.  I was.  Chal. Theodoret, and S. Chrys. have “not.”  But chastisement produced a salutary effect upon the ten tribes.  Osee vi. 1. and xiv. 3. Convert.  Bring  me back from captivity and from my evil ways.  This must be attributed to grace.  C. We cannot repent without it.  S. Jer. Da quod jubes.  S. Aug. Conf. x. 19. and 31. and 37. God’s grace is the principal cause of justification.  Man’s co-operation is the secondary cause.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Thigh, through grief.  Femur mœrenti plangere dextrâ.  Metam. xi. Cyrus struck his thigh, mounted his horse, and went to attend the funeral of Abradates.  Xen. vii. So did Achilles for Patroclus.  Il. xvi. Youth, being seduced by Jeroboam.

 

Ver. 20.  I spoke.  Heb. “my word is in him,” and he is docile to my instructions.

 

Ver. 21.  Tower, to bewail thy past follies; or signals to know the way, or tombs for thy beloved.

 

Ver. 22.  Daughter.  Bury thy dead, and delay thy return no longer.  The Israelites did not soon make use of the leave granted by Cyrus.  C. Man.  Heb. “a hero.”  T. The fathers generally explain this of the incarnation.  C. Christ had the perfect use of reason in the virgin’s womb.  H. He was the brightness of his Father’s glory.  Heb. i. 3.  Even some ancient Jews apply this to the Messias.  Galatin. vii. 14.  But the moderns understand that women would offer themselves in marriage; the times would be so happy.  This was not so unusual in countries where polygamy prevailed.  Ruth iii. 9.  Is. iv. 1.  Cant. viii. 1.  C. Hence this is hardly the meaning; for God promises something new.  H. “The Lord hat created a new thing in a woman.”  Aquila. Symmachus agrees nearly with the Sept. “because the Lord has created thee by salvation a new plantation.  Men shall go about in thy salvation.”  This “might be explained, if it were not sacrilegious to argue respecting God’s word by human sense,” says S. Jerom; though this censure of “the Vulgate” (Sept.) seems rather harsh.  He complains here of his copy.  Theodoret explains it of the apostles going through the world to spread the gospel.  H. Behold whence thy happiness must come, (M.) O thou who hast so long proved faithless, going astray after many lovers.  H. Christ, in his mother’s womb, was in stature small, but a perfect man (W.) in the use of reason, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Bless thee.  Thus the captives speak in rapture at their return.

 

Ver. 24.  Together.  Jerusalem shall be large enough to contain all, at the great festivals.

 

Ver. 26.  To me.  Thus Jeremias concludes his prediction with joy.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Men.  They shall increase exceedingly by  my blessing.  H. Beasts were the source of their riches.  Hence pecunia is derived from pecus.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  Edge.  Such observations had been too often made.  Ezec. xviii. 12.  H. Henceforward you shall not suffer for the faults of Achab, Manasses, &c.  Each one shall bear his own burden.  The captivity has been like a deluge, cleaning all away.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Covenant.  That made with the captives was not such.  Their covenant is grown old, and at an end, as S. Paul shews.  Heb. viii. 8.  They were not indeed divided, as they had been.  Ezec. xxxvii. 16.

 

Ver. 32.  Dominion.  As a husband, (Heb.  C.) or “Lord.”  H. “I despised them.”  Sept.  Heb. viii.

 

Ver. 33.  Heart.  They were more docile after their return: yet still their service was very imperfect and forced.  How many false traditions were received, at the coming of Christ!  This of course, regards his disciples.

 

Ver. 34.  Lord.  Christ himself came to instruct mankind.  The true God was better known than ever, even by the illiterate.  Yet God requires us to have recourse to men, in order to know his truths, as S. Paul was sent to Hananias, and the eunuch to Philip.  H. The apostles were enlightened by the Holy Ghost, (Jo. vi. 45.  S. Aug. de Spir.  C.) who still guides the flock by his pastors.  The private spirit is too fanatical and delusive.  H. The most ignorant shall easily become acquainted with the truths of salvation.  External preaching is requisite, though of little use unless grace touch the mind and the heart.  T. All will hear successively, (H.) or embrace the gospel at the same time, for several years before the last day.  Houbig. pref. in Prop. 356.  Is. xi. 9. and xlv. 23.  Soph. iii. 9. &c.  H.

 

Ver. 36.  Ever.  Like the Chanaanites and Ephraim during the captivity.  Is. vii. 8.  God restored the latter.  Yet they are again dispersed from above 17 centuries, so that this perpetuity, which shall equal the world’s duration, belongs to the Church.  C. Israel remains, not in the incredulous Jews, but in those who with the apostles embraced and propagated the faith of Christ.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 37.  Out, experimentally, and not by philosophical hypotheses, which were little known in the days of Jeremias.  C. Sept. “if it be made lower.”  H. This is impossible; so it is that I should abandon Israel.  Theodor. All was not faithless.  C. The Israel of God embraced the gospel.  H.

 

Ver. 38.  Come, is only in the margin of the Hebrew, but is found properly in some MSS.  Kennicott. Corner.  On the south, opposite to the former.  2 Esd. iii. 1.

 

Ver. 40.  Valley of Hinnom, or Topheth, (C. vii. 32. and xix. 6.) where Cedron flowed.  Zac. xiv. 4.  C. The city was much enlarged on this side, under the Machabees.  Jos. Bel. vi. 6. Ever.  Yet the temple was utterly destroyed by the Romans, so that we must explain this of the Catholic Church, founded on a rock, and proof against the gates of hell, and all the  malice of heretics and persecutors.  Mat. xvi. 18.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 32

 

CHAPTER XXXII.

 

Ver. 1.  Tenth.  The city had been besieged about a year, (C. xxxix. 1.) and the prophet continued to admonish the king and people of their fate.  C. xxxiv.  C. He bought land, to shew that they should one day return.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Court, at large, so that people might come to him freely.  He was not chained or in prison, as C. xxxvii. 15. and xxxviii. 6. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Eyes.  They were afterwards put out at Reblatha, (H.) so that he could not see Babylon.  Ezec. xii. 13.  W. Sedecias was imprisoned, and buried there by the Jews.  C. xxxiv. 5. and 12.

 

Ver. 7.  Next.  Priests could sell only to their fellow priests.  Lev. xxv. 34.  S. Jer. Others might dispose of their landed property to any, until the year of jubilee.  The nearest relation had the first offer, but he was not obliged to purchase.  Jeremias now consented, to shew that the people should return to possess the land, though it was now in the enemy’s hands.  C. Thus a Roman purchased the land on which Hannibal was encamped, despising his power and threats.  V. Max. iii. 8.  Livy xxvi.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Came into the city clandestinely; or rather he entered before the siege.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Silver.  Heb. “seventeen sicles of silver.”  H. Coin was not yet used.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Outside.  “There was another copy left open for inspection, (v. 14.) which custom still prevails,” says S. Jerom.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Days, safe from dampness, &c.  Thus Origen found a version of the Bible preserved at Jericho.  C. After the captivity, the owners shall claim their land.

 

Ver. 17.  Alas.  Heb. ahah, ah! only once.  Sept. “O, thou Being, Lord God.”  H. Hard.  Heb. also, “hidden, wonderful,” &c.  C. “When the gods perform, nothing appears incredible.”  Pindar, Pyt. x.  See v. 27.  Lu. i. 37.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  After them, to the third and fourth generation.  Ex. xxxiv. 7.  His mercy is more exalted.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Day.  We remember thy ancient miracles, and witness others.

 

Ver. 23.  Any of.  Lit. “all those,” which seems better, as he who offends in one, becomes guilty of all; and the Jews certainly had observed some precepts, though they did not persevere unto the end.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  By.  Lit. “at the presence of the sword,” or by its force.  Ps. lix. 6.  W.

 

Ver. 25.  Is given, in the eternal decrees.  v. 28.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Baal, the sun, &c.  C. xix. 13.  Soph. i. 5. and 4 K. xxiii. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Continually, (Sym.) “moreover,” (Aq.) or “alone.”  Sept. and Theodot. v. 23.  H.

 

Ver. 31.  Built it.  The Jebusites polluted it.  David himself offended, as well as Solomon, and under all the kings many crimes were committed, (C.) which is always the case in large cities.  These general terms only denote a great corruption, tough some would be virtuous.  H.

 

Ver. 34.  It, under Achaz, Manasses, and perhaps the last kings of Juda.  Ezec. viii. 9.

 

Ver. 35.  Consecrate.  Heb. “make them pass” through or into the fire, to be consumed in honour of Moloc.  4 K. xxi. 6. Heart.  They perhaps meant to imitate Abraham.  C. vii. 31.

 

Ver. 37.  Lands.  What is here said must be understood of the captives, yet in such a manner that Christians are more particularly designated, for the Jews never enjoyed such perfect security, nor followed one way, nor enjoyed the eternal covenant, (v. 39. 40.  C. xxxi. 31.  C.) except those who embraced the true faith of Christ.  At all times one religion alone can be pleasing to God, (v. 39.) and those who were saved under the old law, must have believed in a Redeemer to come, as we must do in one already past.  H. God would not suffer true believers to become extinct under the old law; much less will he since Christ’s coming.  W.

 

Ver. 41.  Truth, like a tree which shall not be eradicated.

 

Ver. 44.  Juda, and in.  A farther description of these cities is given, situated about the capital, Hebron, Sephala, (the plain) near Gaza, (C.) and the Negeb or south country, (H.) towards Arabia.  Here the excellent commentary of S. Jerom ends, to our great loss.  C. It was perhaps his last work, undertaken after the twelve minor and the other three great prophets.  He never wrote on Baruch, on the epistle of Jeremias, the Gr. parts of Daniel, &c. as the Jews did not allow them to be canonical, and the point was not then decided.  The Church styles S. Jerom “the greatest doctor in expounding the sacred Scriptures,” as he translated and illustrated the greatest part of them; (H.) and indeed he seems to have been the best qualified for the undertaking, of all the fathers.  Du Pin. Hence we may lament the more that we have not all his works in their genuine purity and perfection, as even the latest editions are very faulty, and proceed upon a plan which the learned do not approve.  See A. Butler, Kennicott, &c.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 33

 

CHAPTER XXXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Time.  Soon after the former.  C. He was comforted in prison by two visions, shewing that the Church should not perish for the sins of many.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Thus.  Heb. uses the fem. for the neuter.  Sept. “forming the earth,” &c.

 

Ver. 3.  Cry.  The prophetic spirit was sometimes granted to earnest prayer.  Dan. ix. 2. and x. 3.

 

Ver. 4.  To.  “Concerning the houses…and the sword of them,” who would not obey God, thus bringing on their own destruction.

 

Ver. 6.  Their.  The houses, wounds, or breaches.  Heb. and Sept.  C. Peace.  That is, the peace and welfare which they pray for.  Ch. I will teach them how to pray for a durable peace.

 

Ver. 8.  Iniquity, by means of the captivity, which shall be a sort of baptism.  C. xxxi. 29.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  And it.  Jerusalem, as figure of the Church.  M. Fear, worship, and desist from persecuting God in his saints, (H.) whom he so highly favours.

 

Ver. 11.  Vows.  Promised victims of thanksgiving.  C. First, when they were settled in it under Josue.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Mountains.  C. xxxii. 44. Numbereth them, they come into the fold.  C. Chal. “my people shall be instructed, and formed by the hand of the Messias.”  Grabe supplies what follows to the end of the chap.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Bud, or orient, Christ, (C.) of whom Zorobabel was a figure.  Theodoret.   All cannot be verified of the latter.  v. 16.  C. The Jews themselves explain this of the Messias.  Calov. It evidently refer to him, as he was born of David, whose posterity should continue till Christ, the founder of an eternal kingdom.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Him.  Sept. Chal. &c.  The Heb. has “her” Jerusalem, or the Church, which receives all its beauty from Christ.  C. See C. xxiii. 5. where all read him.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  David.  This was verified in Christ, who is of the house of David; and whose kingdom in his Church shall have no end.  Ch. The tribe of Juda continued most eminent till his coming.  But there was no king till Hyrcan, and he was of another tribe.  The priests governed after Nehemias, till Herod was appointed by the Romans.  This must therefore be explained of Christ’s eternal kingdom.  Gen. xlix.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Priests.  This promise relates to the Christian priesthood; which shall also continue for ever: the functions of which (more especially the great sacrifice of the altar) are here expressed, by the name of holocausts, and other offerings of the law, which were so many figures of the Christian sacrifice.  Ch. The Levitical sacrifices have ceased for 17 centuries.  But Christ will officiate by his ministers till the end of time.  C. S. Hypolitus and all the fathers agree that the blessed Eucharist is the complement of all the ancient sacrifices.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Ministers.  The promise in not conditional, but as unchangeable as the course of the seasons.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Families of kings and priests, (Ch.) or the two kingdoms of Israel and Juda.  The people complained that God had broken his word, (C.) so heretics assert that he has abandoned his Church for above 800 years.  Providence watched in a particular manner over the families of Aaron and David, which enjoyed peculiar privileges, (H.) or blessings.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 34

 

CHAPTER XXXIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Came, in the 11th year of Sedecias, before the Chaldees returned to their siege.  C. xxxvii. 4.

 

Ver. 3.  Go to, yet shall not see Babylon, (Ezec. xii. 13.) his eyes being put out.  C. xxxii. 4.  C.  See 4 K. xxv. 7.  W. Paine objects this as a false prophecy, though it was verified so terribly.  Daniel, &c. would not neglect to bury the king.  Watson.

 

Ver. 5.  Peace.  That is, by a natural death.  Ch. Burn thee, like Asa; (2 Par. xvi. 14.  C.) or aromatical spices were only burnt over their dead bodies, which were also embalmed.  Sanct.  Vat. &c. Tostat says that Sedecias was intoxicated, for sport, (Hab. ii. 15.) and died of grief in prison.  C. lii. 11.  C. The king of Babylon would probably not refuse him a decent burial.  Watson, Let. vi.

 

Ver. 7.  Lachis, near Hebron.  Detachments were sent to different places.

 

Ver. 9.  Brethren.  The sabbatical year happened in the 9th of Sedecias, when the Chaldees approaching, caused him to shew some signs of religion.  But when they departed to meet the Egyptians, the people repented of what they had done well.  C. Such a relapse offends God more than the former sins, as our Saviour shews by a parable.  Mat. xviii.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  End, or commencement.  Glass.  Gram. iii. 6.  Ex. xxi. 2.  Deut. xv. 12.  Lu. ii. 21.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  And set.  Heb. “to their own soul,” to do as they pleased.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  For you.  I acknowledge you no longer as my servant.  I will let loose the sword, &c. against you.

 

Ver. 18.  Parts.  This was done to signify that if they transgressed, they consented to be slain.  Gen. xv. 9, 17.  It seems Sedecias and his subjects had solemnly ratified the covenant made at Sinai, being impressed with fear of the enemy.

 

Ver. 19.  Eunuchs, chief officers.  One was at the head of the army.  4 K. xxv. 19.

 

Ver. 21.  From you, to attack Egypt.  Afterwards the various detachments came and took Jerusalem.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Command.  He did not approve of their cruelty, but used them as scourges.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 35

 

CHAPTER XXXV.

 

Ver. 1.  Joakim, when Nabuchodonosor besieged him again in his 7th year.  The Rechabites then pitched their tents in Jerusalem.  v. 11.  C. Here we behold a figure of religious orders in the Church, as well as in the Nazarites and disciples of the prophets.  Num. vi. and 4 K. i.  They observed certain rules for acquiring greater perfection, and refrained from many things which were otherwise lawful.  Thus various religious orders, both of men and of women, have flourished in the Church, and though they have different names and regulations, yet they are not sects, as heretics would pretend, but all follow the same faith, use the same sacraments, and are a great ornament to the Catholic Church by their profession of the three essential vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in imitation of the apostles.  Mat. xix. 12. Joakim.  This happened before the preceding prophecies.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Rechabites.  These were of the race of Jethro, father-in-law to Moses.  Ch. All the Heb. and Latin doctors agree that the Rechabites were strangers.  v. 7. 19.  W. Treasures of corn, wine, &c.  Jeremias, as a priest, had free access.

 

Ver. 4.  Of God.  Prophets are generally thus designated.  4 K. iv. 7.  We know nothing more of this holy man. Princes of the priests; or where princes made their offerings, or assembled to judge.  C. xxvi. 10. Entry.  He was not removeable like the other Levites.  1 Par. ix. 19. 34.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Wine.  This was not an exhortation, but a trial.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Jonadab.  A man much esteemed by Jehu.  4 K. x. 15.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Days.  The reward of dutiful children.  Ex. xx. 12.  These are models of those Christians who follow the rule of some virtuous person, in order to be at a greater distance from any transgression of the law, and to observe it with more perfection.  C. “If a father could lay such an injunction on his descendants, and they receive commendation for observing it, why may not the fathers of the Church enjoin things which are not of themselves necessary, but…useful to avoid the occasions of evil, or to advance in virtue?” says Grotius, a Protestant, after S. Jerom, (ad Paulin.) S. Aug. in Ps. lxx. &c.  H.  Jonadab exhorted, and prescribed this rule, but it was not properly a command, being too arduous.  T.

 

Ver. 11.  Syria.  4 K. xxiv. 2.  The mention of these shews that this was the second siege, when Joakim was slain, and many led into captivity, (C. lii. 28.) with these Rechabites.  C. They lived under tents, but in case of necessity entered the city.  v. 10.  If they observe works of supererogation, all must surely keep God’s law.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Me.  What a contrast!  H. This was only a counsel, mine a law!  T.

 

Ver. 19.  Before me, in an honourable situation (1 Par. ii. 55.) about the temple.  It was not requisite that they should be Levites.  C. For ever.  Their reward shall be eternal bliss.  H. This they sought for, as they were strangers of Madian in the country.  v. 7.  M.

 

 

JEREMIAS 36

 

CHAPTER XXXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Fourth, towards the conclusion, after the siege was raised.  v. 6. 9.

 

Ver. 2.  Write.  He had already prophesied 22 years.  Now he was more frequently ordered to write.  C. He executed the order by the hand of Baruch.  v. 4.

 

Ver. 3.  If.  This indicates free-will.  H. God makes this last effort, that the hearing of so many separate prophecies together might make a deeper impression.

 

Ver. 4.  Book.  This was afterwards burnt.  What he wrote a second time has not come down to us, in the same order.  Jeremias made us of his memory, which was directed by the Holy Spirit.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Shut up.  Not that the prophet was now in prison; for the contrary appears from v. 19. but that he kept himself shut up, by reason of the persecutions he had lately met with.  See C. xxvi.  Ch. If he had been confined, as Grotius asserts, the king would easily have found him.  C. He and Baruch retired to some secret place, as most priests (W.) did formerly in England, (H.) that they might better exercise their functions than they could do in the hands of the persecutors.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Read.  This may sometimes have as good an effect as preaching without a book.  H. Fasting day of expiation, (Usher, A. 3398) or rather on (H.) the day prescribed in the 9th month.  v. 9.  Lyran.  T.

 

Ver. 7.  They.  Lit. “their supplication may fall prostrate before,” &c.  H. It is personified.  So Homer represents (C.) “supplications,” as daughters of Jupiter, lame, and with eyes averted, (Il. ix.) to shew how we ought to pray.  Jeremias finds means to instruct the people: the word of God is not bound.  2 Tim. ii. 9.  C. As  many refused to hear his discourses, God ordered him to write what might be a perpetual warning and reproach, or testimony against them.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Fast.  Probably on account of the catastrophe the second year.  Dan. i. 2.  Many such were afterwards appointed.  Zac. vii. 3. and viii. 19.  All came to Jerusalem on such occasions.

 

Ver. 10.  Gate, on the east, (2 Par. xx. 5.) leading to the court of the priests.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Reading.  No study was requisite.  H. Ink.  It formerly resembled that used by printers, (C.) being composed of soot and gum.  Vitruv. vii. 10.

 

Ver. 19.  Are.  Thus they provide for the safety of the prophets, and perform their duty to the king.

 

Ver. 21.  Read it.  This was the third time.  It was in vain afterwards to destroy the book.

 

Ver. 22.  Winter-house.  He was very magnificent, and had other apartments for summer.  Though the climate was warm, fires would be useful in November. Hearth.  There was no chimney used, and the smoke went out by the door, or by holes at the top of the room, as we see in some old monasteries.  C. Charcoal was probably used.  Bar. vi. 42.

 

Ver. 23.  Pages.  Perhaps what was written on so many skins, (H.) or sheets of paper, pasted together, and rolled up; or there might be some marks to shew the different subjects, like the sections used in the synagogue, (C.) or our chapters; though we are assured that all was formerly written without any separation even of letters.  Prot. have “leaves.”  H. Heb. “doors.”  C.  The secretary cut and burnt the leaves by the king’s order.  v. 25.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Afraid.  They saw all without any concern, not believing that God spoke to them.  They did not imitate Josias.  2 Par. xxxiv. 19.

 

Ver. 26.  Hid them, and prevented any one from betraying them.  C. He did not remove them to a place different from what they had chosen by his direction.  W.

 

Ver. 30.  None, &c.  Because his son, Joachin or Jechonias, within three months after the death of his father, was carried away to Babylon, so that his reign is not worthy to be taken notice of.  Ch.  Theodoret.  W. He was subject to the Chaldees; his uncle took his place.  Joakim had the burial of an ass.  C. xii. 18.  C. None of the following princes enjoyed the glory or power of the ancient king.  S. Tho. p. 3. qu. 31. a. 2.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Before.  We cannot tell what.  C. Prot. “many like words.”  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 37

 

CHAPTER XXXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Sedecias.  He was less impious than his two predecessors; but too weak to do good.

 

Ver. 3.  Pray, or consult.  He wished to know whether the Chaldees would return.  C. He feared, yet ill-treated the prophet, as Herod did the baptist. W.

 

Ver. 6.  Return, routed.  C. xlvi. 15.  His army was small.  Ezec. xvii. 17. and xxx. 21.  This king Ephree, (C. xliv. 30.) or Apries, had succeeded Psammis, after an interregnum of ten years’ continuance.  Herod. ii. 161. He foresaw that his own dominions would be invaded, after Jerusalem, the key, was taken.  The other allies of Juda perfidiously sat still, or joined the Chaldees.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Away.  They departed  indeed, but for a short time.

 

Ver. 9.  Tent.  So easy it is for God to destroy by few as well as by many!  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Possession, lately purchased.  C. xxxii.  Lyran. Yet some think this had not yet taken place.  C. Sept. “to buy provisions among.”  Heb. “to slip away thence in the midst of the people.”  H. He wished to escape the fury of his enemies at Jerusalem.  C. It is an old device of persecutors to lay false charges on the innocent, as Julian and the Arians did.  Hist. Tripart. vi. 27.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Beat him, as a traitor and fugitive. Prison, very deep.  v. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Prison.  Lit. “lake or pit,” (H.) such as was used to keep wine.  Thus God tries his chosen friends, according to their strength!

 

Ver. 18.  Prophets.  He insults over these impostors, and speaks boldly.  The Chaldees were now returned.  C. xxxviii.

 

Ver. 19.  Be.  Heb. “fall prostrate.”  C. xxxvi. 7.

 

Ver. 20.  Entry, where he had been already.  C. xxxii. 1. and xxxiv. 1. 7. Piece.  Roll, sufficient for a day’s maintenance.  C. Prot. “a piece of bread (Sept. a loaf) out of the baker’s street.”  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 38

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  And Phassur, the violent priest.  C. xx. 1. People, who might come to the entry of the prison.

 

Ver. 2.  Safe.  Heb. “a booty.”  C. xxi. 9. Sept. “like a thing found.”  C. The Hebrew idiom implies that he shall most surely live.  Voluntary offerings prevent eternal misery.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Lawful.  This is a compliment, or Sedecias complains indirectly that they had only left him the name of king.  He grieved at the treatment of the prophet.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Mire, up to the neck; so that he would soon have been smothered.  Jos. Ant. x. 10.

 

Ver. 7.  Eunuch.  Officer over 30.  v. 10.  H. He was afterwards rewarded.  C. xxxix. 15.  C. God moves some to pity the distressed, till he recompense their patience.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  City.  It was useless, therefore, to add the torment of the dungeon, since he must soon have perished.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Arms.  He was probably naked.  Sanctius.

 

Ver. 14.  Third, or officers of the guard’s gate, leading from the palace to the temple.  4 K. xi. 19.  C. Heb. hashelishi; (H.) the third denotes also an officer of the army.

 

Ver. 17.  King.  He was at Reblatha.  Though an usurper, he had claims upon Sedecias, whom he had appointed ruler, on his swearing to be faithful and to pay tribute.  The prophet’s advice was just.  C. Even conditional prophecies are certain, and the king would have been treated differently if he had complied.  But on his refusal, great misery ensued.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Jews.  Traitors, whom Sedecias had perhaps treated ill.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Say.  At parting, bewailing thy blindness, which has entailed misery upon all.  H. Of peace.  That is, thy false friends, promising thee peace and happiness, and by their evil counsels involving thee in misery.  Ch. Mire.  He alludes to his own treatment, (C.) which he had received from these false counsellors or princes.  v. 4.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  There.  This he had actually done.  C. xxxvii. 19.  He perhaps renewed the petition, at this interview, to satisfy the king.  H. We may conceal the truth, but must never speak what is false.  C. “In a matter, says Puffendorf, which I am not obliged to declare to another, if I cannot with safety conceal the whole, I may fairly discover no more than a part.”  Who can require a privy counsellor to reveal the king’s secret?  Yet Paine accuses the prophet of duplicity!  Watson.

 

 

JEREMIAS 39

 

CHAPTER XXXIX.

 

Ver. 2.  Fifth.  The parallel passages and other editions read ninth.  Some pretend that (C.) the city was taken on the 5th of the 4th month, and after being pillaged was burnt on the 7th (4 K. xxiv. 8.) or 10th of the 5th month.  C. lii. 12.  Sanct.  A. Lap. But the city was taken on the 9th of the 4th month, and Nabuzardan entered on the 7th of the 5th month, and burnt it and the temple on the 10th.  Salien, &c.  C. From the beginning of the siege (A. 3414) to the end (A. 3416.  Usher), two years and a half elapsed.  It was interrupted a short time.  Two fasts are still observed by the Jews to deplore these events.  Zac. vii. 3. and viii. 19.

 

Ver. 3.  Neregel, Sereser.  Perhaps Nabuzardan should be read, (v. 13.  H.) or these names are mentioned twice, probably by mistake of transcribers.  The former was an idol; (4 K. xvii. 30.) the latter word means “treasurer.”  C. Prot.  Nergal-Sharezer seems to be one person, as in Sept. or “treasurer of Nergel.”  H. Samgar-nebu, was “prefect of the temple of Nabo.” Sarsachim, “prince of the sacæ, or Scythians.” Rabsares, “master of the eunuchs,” or officers within the palace.  Such a one was employed by Sennacherib.  4 K. xviii. 17. Rebmag, “chief of the magi,” (C.) or “master of the camp.”  Jun. These entered the first wall.  C. i. 15.  Is. xxii. 7.

 

Ver. 4.   Walls.  This gate had  not yet been seized, (C.) leading to Jericho.  v. 5.  H.  Ezec. xii. 4. Sept. Rom. passes over the next 12 verses, which seem to be taken from 4 K. xxv. 4.  C. Grabe supplies v. 4. to 13. inclusively.  “And they sent,” &c. which is well connected with v. 3. The possession of one gate would let all the army enter: whereupon Sedecias fled by a postern gate.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  In the land, or environs of Emesa, in Syria.  Theod. Judgment.  Reproaching him with perfidy and ingratitude.  W. He slew the nobles, as his accomplices.

 

Ver. 9.  Army.  Heb. “slayers,” denoting soldiers, cooks, and sacrificers.  Gen. xxxvii. 36. Remained, having escaped the sword, &c.  They had been spared when Joakim and Jechonias were taken.

 

Ver. 10.  Cisterns, and fields.  4 K. xxv. 12.  They were thus attached to the Chaldees.

 

Ver. 11.  Had given, after the prisoners had got to Rama.  C. xl. 1.

 

Ver. 13.  Nabusezban perhaps stand for Semegar, Nabu, and Sarsachim.  The other four officers occur v. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Godolias.  The Jews say he had gone over to assist the Chaldees.  T.

 

Ver. 18.  Saved.  Heb. “a booty.”  C. xxi. 9.  Thus God rewards what is done to his servants.  Mat. xxv. 40.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 40

 

CHAPTER XL.

 

Ver. 1.  Word.  This happened to Jeremias; (Raban) or the prophet rather interrupts what he was about to say, to let the reader know the state of affairs, when he was consulted about the journey into Egypt.  C. xlii. 9. Rama; probably in Benjamin, near Bethel.  Judg. xix. 12.  C. In this last part, Jeremias foretells what would befall the Jews in Egypt, and other nations.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  You, people of Juda.  H. This pagan acknowledges that God had punished his people, (C. xviii. 16.  C.) as Titus did at the last siege.  Josephus.  H. He acknowledges the justice of God.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Eyes, with all kindness.  C. xxxix. 12.  H. Before thee.  Thou hast liberty to choose.  Gen. xiii. 9. and xx. 15. and xxiv. 51.

 

Ver. 5.  And.  Heb. “And as he (the people, or Godolias) will not return, dwell;” or, “He had not yet answered, when the general said: Return to Godolias.”  He perceived that the prophet was not desirous of going to Babylon; and he insinuated that such a step would not be for his advantage, as the captives would not return. Presents.  He had been plundered like the rest.

 

Ver. 6.  Masphath; because it was near Jerusalem, and an ancient place of devotion.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Captains, who had fled from Sedecias, and effected their escape.  Jos. Ant. x. 11.

 

Ver. 9.  With you.  They might naturally suspect Godolias, and think that the Chaldees would seize them as soon as they should know of their escape.

 

Ver. 10.  Answer.  Heb. “stand before,” as minister (H.) for the Chaldees.  You need not be jealous of my power; and I can answer that they will not hurt you, provided you continue quiet.  C. He promises to act in behalf of the people, as a governor ought to do.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Countries.  They had fled to avoid the taxes, &c. but found no redress.  Lam. i. 3.

 

Ver. 13.  Came, having discovered the design of Ismahel, whose ambition prompted him to murder the governor, that he might reign: as he was of the royal family.  C. xli. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Baalis.  Queen.  Grot. The Ammonites sought the entire ruin of the Jews.

 

Ver. 16.  Do not.  He did right in forbidding this assassination, which could never be authorized, even to prevent a similar crime.  Godolias should have taken precautions: but he was too open, (C.) like Eumenes.  Grot.

 

 

JEREMIAS 41

 

CHAPTER XLI.

 

Ver. 1.  Month; Tisri, the third of which is still observed as a fast by the Jews.  C. Godolias had given a supper to the traitors, and had drunk plentifully.  They set upon him while he and the people were retired to rest.  Jos. Ant. x. 11. This happened two months after the burning of Jerusalem.  C. xxix. 2.  Nabuchodonosor soon after punished this perfidy of the Ammonites.  C. Bread: feasted.  H. Such tragedies are usually performed with the show of friendship.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Second, or next day.  All had been slain in the night but some captives.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Rent, as people mourning.  Lit. “dirty.”  Heb. and Sept. “cut.” H.  C. xvi. 6.  Lev. xix. 28. Lord, Masphath, were people performed their devotions, as well as they could.  Judg. xx. 1. and 1 Mac. iii. 46.  Jeremias had probably ordered an altar to be erected, as Samuel had done.  1 K. vii. 6.  C. Others think that these people went thither for a priest, to offer what they had brought on the altar of Jerusalem.  Bar. i. 10.  T. Masphath lay to the south.  C. It seems many of the people about Samaria were true believers, and even more affected at the destruction of the temple.  H. Their city had been demolished by Salmanasar (C.) long before, and many fresh inhabitants introduced, who adhered to idols.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  He.  Sept. “they.”  Yet Heb. intimates that Ismahel feigned tears.  C. He did not weep sincerely.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Into.  Lit. “slew them about the,” &c.  H. The pit was not full of water, but had been intended by Asa for a reservoir, (v. 9. and 3 K. xv. 20.  C.) when he built Maspha.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Field.  It was usual to cover them up carefully.  Chardin. Avarice sometimes will set bounds to cruelty, when nothing else will.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  King’s; Sedecias, (C.) or some of his predecessors, as all the women were taken, (C. xxxviii. 22, 23.) unless those had escaped before.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Johanan.  He and the rest of the fugitives thus shewed that they were clean.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Gabaon, famous for the battle of Abner.  2 K. ii. 13.

 

Ver. 15.  Eight.  He had brought ten.  v. 1.

 

Ver. 16.  Eunuchs; officers of Sedecias, who had escaped.  C. xl. 9.

 

Ver. 17.  As.  Heb. “at the station or inn of Chamaam,” the son of Berzellai.  Chal.  Perhaps our Saviour was born in this (C.) “inn,” (Eus. Dem. vii. 4.) which was then deserted.  H. Egypt.  These poor wretches find no repose.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 42

 

CHAPTER XLII.

 

Ver. 2.  Pray; consult.  v. 4.  C. xxxvii. 3.  H. Few; comparatively, though there was a great number.  C. xliii. 5.

 

Ver. 5.  Witness.  Jeremias knew their fickle temper.  They will obey, only if God comply with their desires.  C. They began with piety, but soon refused to obey the directions given.  C. xliii. 2.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Good or evil.  That is, agreeable or disagreeable.  Ch. It would have been well for them if they had been sincere, (v. 10.  H.) and determined to comply whether the prophet announced prosperity or the reverse.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Days.  The Spirit breathes where he will, and the prophets must wait his good time.  Jeremias prayed for ten days in that place.  He now resumes his discourse.  C. xl 1.

 

Ver. 10.  Appeased.  Heb. “comforted.”  Sept. “at rest.”  I forget (C.) or pardon (H.) the past.

 

Ver. 12.  And will.  Heb. “and he will.”  The king will take pity on you. Dwell.  Sept. “return;” which is less correct.

 

Ver. 15.  Faces; obstinately.  v. 17. and C. xliv. 12.

 

Ver. 18.  Kindled.  Heb. “hath dropped.”  2 Par. xii. 7. Curse.  People can wish no greater misery to their enemies.  C. They shall be execrated.  Is. lxv. 15.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Deceived.  Sept. “done ill in your souls.”  Your intention was bad.  You thought that I should speak conformably to your wishes.  C. He saw by the prophetic light, or by their deportment, that they were bent on going.  H. They were doubly guilty in neither observing their promise nor obeying God’s decree.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 43

 

CHAPTER XLIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Proud and headstrong.  C. Sinful people easily become worse.  They are guilty of calumny, and comply not with their promise/  C. xlii. 5.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Baruch.  He had been at Babylon, and was liberated with Jeremias, always speaking with moderation of the king of Babylon, and exhorting the people to submission.  This was enough to make the populace suspect.  They are incapable of reasoning.

 

Ver. 6.  And Baruch, by compulsion.  W.  C. Hence God did not cease to speak by their mouth.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Taphnis, or Daphnæ Pelusiæ, sixteen miles from Pelusium, (Antonin.) the Hanes of Isaias, (xxx. 4.) and key of Egypt.  It was a royal city.

 

Ver. 9.  Wall; kiln, or court.  Heb. Justice was administered at the gate, and the magnificent throne of Solomon was placed in the court or porch.  3 K. x. 18.  C. The prophet preaches by facts, laying great stones in the chief city.  C. xix. 10.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Servant.  The greatest monarchs only execute God’s decrees.

 

Ver. 12.  Temples.  Heb. also, “the palaces of the princes,” as temples occur below. Captives.  The idols share the fate of their votaries.  C. xlviii. 7. Array; or Heb. “cover with soldiers the land.”  Sept. “he shall cleanse (C.) or destroy.”  Bochart.

 

Ver. 13.  Sun.  Sept. “of Heliopolis,” where the largest temple of the sun was seen.  Egypt was famous for its obelisks, erected by Pheron, successor of Sesostris.  Some have been removed to Rome. Fire.  History does not specify the particulars: but we may judge how the conqueror would treat these temples, &c. from what Xerxes and Ochus did afterwards.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 44

 

CHAPTER XLIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Magdal, the third station of the Israelites, (Ex. xiv. 2.) or another “tower” twelve miles from Pelusium.  C. xlvi. 14. Memphis, the capital of Nome, near the western banks of the Nile, and famous for its pyramids, which are standing, though the town be no more.  C. xlvi. 19. Phatures; perhaps in higher Egypt.  Jeremias might go or send to these cities, this his last prediction, (C.) to reclaim his countrymen from idolatry.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Inhabitant: or the number is exceedingly small.  C. All the Jews had retired.  H. It would be well if people would reflect, how those who have given way to heresy and infidelity have been treated.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Forth, drop by drop.  C. xlii. 18.  I have repeatedly warned them by punishments.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Gods.  Their blindness and malice was inconceivable.  They attribute their past miseries to the neglect of worshipping the moon!  v. 18.  They may be compared to a mixture of iron and brass, which is put through the crucible in vain.  C. vi. 29.  Ezec. xxii. 18.

 

Ver. 11.  Face, to punish grievously.  Ezec. iv. 3. and xx. 35.  C. All did not perish, but the far greatest part.  v. 14. 28.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Desire and expectation.  C. xxii. 27.  They meant to return as soon as the Chaldees had left the country: but their hose were vain.  The enemy would fall upon Egypt, after he had taken Tyre and the neighbouring provinces; and those who had not abandoned that country in time, would perish.  v. 12. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  The queen of heaven; the moon, which they worshipped under this name, (Ch.) as also under that of the Celestial Venus, (Theod.) Diana, and Isis.  It seems the Jews had engaged by vow (v. 27.) to restore her worship.  C. The women more particularly adored the moon: yet all were guilty.  C. vii. 18. and 4 K. xxiii. 5.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Famine.  They think nothing of the transgression of the law, &c.  v. 23.  Could obduracy and blindness go greater lengths?  1 Mac. i. 12.

 

Ver. 19.  Worship.  Heb. “to represent.”  The cakes had a crescent on them.  C.  See Hesychius in selhnai. Husbands.  The women are most zealous.  But all partook of this idolatry.  C. vii. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Heart, or mind to punish you for idolatry.  Sacrifices could be offered to the Lord only in his temple.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Liveth.  They swore by his name as by that of idols.  God could not abide such company.  C. Not one of these obstinate Jews shall be spared.  v. 14.  Others, like Jeremias, the Sept. and the holy family, no doubt called upon the Lord in the land of Egypt.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Enemies.  Herodotus (ii. 161. 169.) informs us that Apries reigned fortunately twenty-five years, when he lost many of his men fighting against the Cyreneans, and was dethroned by Amasis, and strangled by his subjects.  Usher (A. 3433) suspects that Amasis was assisted and confirmed by Nabuchodonosor, and he might this fulfill the prophecies.  C. xliii. 11. &c.  Ezec. xxix. &c.  Josephus (Ant. x. 11.) and Berosus (c. Ap. i.) assert, that Nabuchodonosor defeated and slew the king of Egypt, though Herodotus is silent on this subject, his account being communicated by the Egyptian priests, and full of fables.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 45

 

CHAPTER XLV.

 

Ver. 1.  Book, which Joakim burnt, and sought the life of the prophets.  C. xxxvi.  C. Baruch apprised of the general distress, weeps for it, and his life is spared.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Great: the spirit of prophecy; (Rabbins) or rather to be exempted from suffering, while all the neighbouring nations were perishing.  C. And save.  Lit. “for salvation.”  Heb. “booty.”  H. He seems to have been set at liberty with his master.  C. xl. 1.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 46

 

CHAPTER XLVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Gentiles, to whom Jeremias was sent.  C. i. 5.  What follows regards them, (C.) if we except the last chapter.  H. It was thought proper to place these predictions here, though out of their chronological order, to which the Sept. have more adhered, placing them after C. xxv.  C. The punishment of the chief enemies of the Jews is foretold.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Nechao.  He slew Josias, and took all as far as Charcamis.  4 K. xxiii.  Four years after Nabopolasser associated his son, and sent him to conquer these countries, which he effected.  4 K. xxiv. 7.  Jos.

 

Ver. 3.  Prepare Egyptians, the enemy is at hand.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Seen.  The prophets usually speak as if things were already past.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Away.  It will be in vain.  C. Nechao went to defend Charcamis, but lost “many myriads in the battle,” and all the country “as far as Pelusium, except Judea.”  Joseph.  x. 7.

 

Ver. 7.  Rivers.  He alludes to the Nile.  The king of Egypt had a numerous army.

 

Ver. 8.  City; Babylon, and every fort which shall oppose my progress.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Men.  Soldiers formed one of the principal classes among the Egyptians.  Herod. ii. 164. Ethiopians.  Heb. “Cush,” in Lower Egypt, on the Red Sea. Lybians.  Heb. “Phut, another son of Cham, inhabiting the Nome Phtenethu.”  Ezec. xxx. 5.  Nah. iii. 2. Lydians.  Their situation is not known.

 

Ver. 10.  Devour.  It seems animated, and eager to slay the victim.  Ezec. xxxix. 17.

 

Ver. 11.  Of Egypt; or ye Egyptians, who have been wounded.  The balm (H.) or resina of Galaad was then very famous.  Gen. xxxvii. 25.  C. Egypt thought itself invulnerable, and is derided.  Its cures was hopeless.  v. 16.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Egypt, under Apries, about thirty-five years after the former expedition.  C. xliv. 30.  Ezec. xxix. and xxxi. This country was invaded the last.  v. 14.

 

Ver. 15.  Men.  Lit. “man.”  Heb. abir, (H.) where Apis has been perhaps formed.  C. Sept. “Why has Apis (Comp. omits this word) fled from thee? thy calf, thy chosen one has not remained.”  H. He derides the chief idol of Egypt; or he alludes to those who fell at Charcamis, or rather who fled after they had come out to assist Sedecias.  C. xxxvii. 5.  Ezec. xxx. 21.

 

Ver. 16.  Dove.  Heb. also, “of the destroyer.”  Sept. “Greeks,” or Ionians.  C. See C. xxv. 35.  Ch. Nebuchodonosor came with expedition, or had a dove on his standards.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Pharao.  Sept. add, “Nechao.”  But Apries seems rather to be meant.  C. A.  Heb. shaon hehebir hamohed.  Prot. “is but a noise, he hath passed the time appointed;” (H.) or, “the height which the crowd (or God, who raised) hath displaced.”  C. Sept. retain the original: but the middle word varies in their copies.  H. All the boasts of Pharao ended in smoke.  He lost the proper opportunity, and caused his own kingdom to be laid waste.  Syr. “the disturber, who deranges the times.”  C.

 

Ver. 18.  He, the destroyer; (v. 16.) or “it,” my word (H.) shall surely stand as long as the mountains, (C.) yea, longer than heaven and earth.  H. My decrees shall be put in execution in spite of the efforts of man.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Furnish.  Lit. “make thyself vessels of captivity,” or pack up what thou mayst want there.  H.  Ezec. xii. 3. and xxix. 11.  Many returned under Cyrus.  v. 26.

 

Ver. 20.  Goad her.  Nabuchodonosor shall subdue the country.

 

Ver. 21.  Hirelings.  Apries had thirty thousand Carians, &c. who were defeated by Amasis.  Herod. ii. 163.

 

Ver. 22.  Brass.  Sept. “hissing serpent;” lamenting in secret.  Is. xxix. 4. Wood.  Battle-axes were then used.  Great cities and monarchs shall fall.  Zac. xi. 2.  Ezec. xxxi. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Above, or “more than locusts,” (H.) which destroy all herbs where they light.

 

Ver. 25.  Visit upon.  That is, punish. Alexandria.  In the Heb. No; which was the ancient name of the city, to which Alexander gave afterwards the name of Alexandria; (Ch.) or this city was built near Rachotes, the harbour.  “Ammon of No” was rather Diospolis, (Ezec. xxx. 14.  Sept.) in the Delta, north of Busiris.  Ammon was the chief god adored at No.  Nah. iii. 8.  Sept. Alex. “I will revenge myself on Ammon, her son, on Egypt, or Pharao, and on them.”  H. Ammon was of their invention, and for this the people were justly punished.  It means also, “a multitude.” Kings.  C. xlii. 12.  Apries was slain, (C. xliv. 33.  C.) and his two successors perished miserably by sentence of Cambyses.  Herod. iii. 14. and 16.

 

Ver. 26.  Afterwards, forty years being expired (Ezec. xxix. 14.) from the time when Apries made his unsuccessful attack on Cyrene, and his subjects revolted.

 

Ver. 27.  Off from all countries, (C.) particularly from Egypt; (H.) on occasion of which country’s deliverance, that of Jacob is foretold.  C. If God would bring the Egyptians back, much more would he deliver the Jews.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Nations of Assyria, Chaldea, &c.  C. xxx. 11.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 47

 

CHAPTER XLVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Gaza, going or returning from Charcamis.  Apries also attacked Tyre, and would of course invade the Philistines.  They had assisted the Tyrians against Nabuchodonosor, who therefore made incursions into their territory, and into that of Ammon, &c. while the main part of his army besieged Tyre for thirteen years.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Marching.  Lit. “pomp,” (H.) or warlike apparatus.  H. Prot. “stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at,” &c.  H. Children.  Fear makes one forget the nearest relations, while each one provides for himself.  C. ix. 4.  Mic. vii. 5.  Mat. x. 35.

 

Ver. 4.  Tyre.  See C. xlvii. 4.  Ezec. xxvi. &c. Sidon.  It had rejoiced at the downfall of its rival, (Is. xxiii. 4.) and of the Jews.  Joel iii. 4.  Ezec. xxviii. 24.  Artax Ochus punished it severely; (C.) and its own king, Tenner, betrayed his subjects, who were slain by the Persians, or burnt themselves in the conflagration of the city.  Diodor. Olym. 177. a. 2. Helpers; Philistines, who came originally from the isle of Caphtor, or Crete. Cappadocia was not an island, or near the sea, (C.) but at a distance from the Jews.  Sanct.

 

Ver. 5.  Baldness, the sign of mourning, (C.) or captivity.  H. Peace.  Heb. “shall be destroyed.”  Sept. “cast away.”  She has afforded no assistance to Gaza.  H. Valley, along the Mediterranean.  C. Lit. “And ye remnants of their valley, how?” &c. Cut, in despair or grief.  C. xli. 5.  Sept. “Remnants of the Enakeim, (giants) how long wilt thou make incisions?”  H. The race of Enack dwelt in those parts; though ankim seems to have been mistaken for ankom.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Sword.  He is moved with pity to see so much carnage, but reflects that such is the will of God.  Nabuchodonosor was his sword or scourge.  C.

 

 

JEREMIAS 48

 

CHAPTER XLVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Moab.  This people broke their covenant with Sedecias, yet were punished for having entered into it, five years after the taking of Jerusalem.  Jos.  S. Jer. in C. xxv. 32. The same war is described by Ezec. xxv. 8.  Soph. ii. 8.  Many words of Isaias (xv. and xvi. and xxiv.) are adopted, though he speaks of what happened under Ezechias. Nabo, a town at the foot of that mountain, where Moses died.  Deut. xxxiv.  It might have been famous for some pretended “oracle.”  Is. xv. 2. and xlvi. 1.  This chief city, with the rest, shall be destroyed.  W. Cariathaim.  This city, and most of the others, were repossessed by Moab after the Israelites were led into captivity.  C. City.  Heb. Hammisgab, a fortress.  Vat.

 

Ver. 2.  Hesebon, at the foot of Phasga, and one of the strongest cities. Shalt.  Heb. “shall Medemena hold her peace.”  C. “Thou shalt be cut down, O madmen.”  H. It signifies “silence.”  Thou silent city, thou shalt be reduced to a mournful silence or destruction.

 

Ver. 4.  Little ones.  Heb. “to Segor.”  v. 34.  Is. xv. 5.  C. Chal. “princes” of the second rank.  Vat.

 

Ver. 6.  Heath, or tamarick.  C. xvii. 6.  Heb. Haroher.

 

Ver. 7.  Bulwarks.  Heb. “works,” or possessions of corn, cattle, &c.  C. Chamos, the idol of the Moabites.  Ch. He was esteemed the king of the country, as the devil is the ape of God.  The prophets often deride the imbecility of these idols.  C. xliii. and xi.  The chief idol of Moab shall fall, to shew the vanity of trusting in idols.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Spoiler, or “thief,” (prædo) a title which Nabuchodonosor deserved, on account of his unjust conquests.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Flower: an usual ceremony at funerals.  A. Lapide.  M. Manibus date lilia plenis.  Æn. vi. Heb. “wings.”  Prot. “signs.”  Sept. (H.) “that they may know how to return.”  Let Moab flee.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Deceitfully.  In the Greek, negligently.  The work of God here spoken of, is the punishment of the Moabites.  Ch. Woe to those who spare those whom God orders to be destroyed, as Saul and Achab did.  1 K. xv. 8. 23. and 3 K. xx. 32. 42.  The zeal of the Levites, Phinees, &c. is rewarded.  Ex. xxxii. 27.  Num. xx. 8.

 

Ver. 11.  Fruitful as a vine. Lees.  The wine has not been disturbed.  It was customary to keep it first in pits, (Mark xii. 1.  Is. v. 1.) and afterwards in large earthen vessels.  Vina bibes Tauro diffusa: “Thou shalt drink wine bottled off in the consulship of Taurus.”  Hor. i. ep. 5. If the wine was weak, the vessels were put under ground.  Pliny xiv. 21. The better sort was arranged in order, (v. 12.) in some clean apartment.  Cant. ii. 4.  Odys. B. 237. Changed.  He alludes to the wine.  H. Moab has enjoyed a long peace and prosperity.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Of Bethel.  That is, of their golden calves, which they worshipped in Bethel.  Ch. Chamos and the golden calves were both taken away.  Osee viii. 5.  C. The ten tribes had foolishly trusted in the latter.  3 K. xii.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Swiftly; about twenty-three years from the fourth of Joakim.

 

Ver. 17.  His name, as particular friends.  Ex. xxxiii. 12. 17.  People in the East had a secret name, which they disclosed to very few, to prevent incantations. Rod.  This nation was exceedingly vain.  v. 29.

 

Ver. 18.  Thirst.  Dibon was well supplied with water.  Is. xv. 9.

 

Ver. 20.  Arnon, on which river Aroer stood.

 

Ver. 26.  Drunk with the wine of God’s wrath. Dash.  Heb. “roll in,” or “they shall clap hands over Moab, in,” &c.

 

Ver. 27.  Thieves.  C. ii. 26.  C. Prot. “was he found among thieves? for since thou speakest of him, thou skippest for joy.”  H. Chaldee agrees with the Vulg. which is clearer.  C. Sept. “hath he been found stealing from thee, since thou hast fought against him?”  Grabe subjoins, “Thou shalt go into banishment.  H. As Moab was related to Israel, his derision was the more criminal, and more grievously punished.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Place.  Seek for shelter in the caverns and highest mountains.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Able.  He hath attempted too much.

 

Ver. 31.  Brick wall.  Heb. Kir-cheres, (Is. xvi. 7.  C.) “the city of the sun;” (Grot.) Ar, the capital.  The prophet joins in the mournful canticle, as was usual.  Lu. vii. 32.  C. Those who boast of more than they have, are compared to an earthen wall.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Jazer, or “more than for Jazer;” about six leagues to the north of Sebama, which had a rivulet communicating with the sea of Jazer.

 

Ver. 33.  Carmel, which here denotes any fruitful vineyard or place. The, &c.  Prot. “none shall tread with shouting, their shouting shall be no shouting.”  Heb. hedad, “the cry” of the people in the vintage.  C.

 

Ver. 34.  As a.  Lit. “the heifer;” a title of Oronaim, which was proud and ungovernable.  H. Heb. also, “from Agelah to Salisa; the,” &c. Bad; abandoned.  Is. xv. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 36.  Pipes.  Heb. chalilim, (H.) lyre or flutes.  Such were used at funerals of children; (Mat. ix. 23.) trumpets sounded for men.  Servius. Could; opposing the conqueror of Asia.  v. 30. 31.  C. Prot. “the riches that he hat gotten is perished.”

 

Ver. 37.  Shaven, or “clipt,” (Prot.  H.) as in mourning. Tied.  Heb. “cut.”  C. xvi. 6.  C. Such signs of mourning were usual in those countries.  The Romans let their hair grow.  Cic. pro Sestio.  W.

 

Ver. 39.  Bowed.  Sept. and Chal. “turned his back.”

 

Ver. 41.  Carioth, probably Kir Hares, which the eagle of Babylon seized.  Sept. Rom. omits v. 40.  C. Grabe supplies, Behold, &c. and here, the heart, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 42.  Cease for a time, till he regain his liberty under Cyrus.  v. 47.

 

Ver. 43.  Fear.  It was customary to hand feathers near a wood, to frighten the prey into pits or nets.  Is. xxiv. 17.  Sanct.

 

Ver. 45.  There…saith, &c. to the end of the chapter is supplied by Grabe.  His copy subjoins, “What Jeremias prophesied against all nations.  Thus,” &c.  C. xxv. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 45.  Hesebon, expecting shelter.  But internal broils ruined them. There, &c. to 47, is borrowed from Num. xxi. 27.  Sehon had taken Hesebon from Moab. Part.  Moses has “Ar, of Moab, and the inhabitants of the heights of Arnon.”  C. Tumult.  Heb. shaon, (H.) means also pride, in which sense Balaam uses Seth.  Num. xxiv. 17.  C.

 

Ver. 47.  Days.  When they, Elam and the other Gentiles, shall be converted to the faith of Christ.  We read of no other bringing back, (W.) though it might take place.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 49

 

CHAPTER XLIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Melchom, the idol of the Ammonites.  Ch. Gad, to whom a part of their country was assigned.  After the captivity this tribe, the Ammonites seized the country, regardless of God’s appointment.  They joined the Chaldees afterwards; but the latter could not depend upon them, and sent them into captivity, to revenge the death of Godolias.  C. xli. 2.  Soph. ii. 8.  Ezec. xxv. 3.  C. They had taken the country as their right, as if all Israel had perished; which God resents.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Rabbath; called Amana, Astarte, and Philadelphia, by Stephanus. Possess; returning first from captivity, and subduing the cities of Ammon, under Hyrcan.  1 Mac. v. 6.

 

Ver. 3.  Hai, or Je-abarim.  Both these cities pertained also to Moab. Hedges.  Heb. Gederoth, may be the city Gadara. Melchom, or Moloc, who claimed dominion over this people.  If they had used their reason, they must have seen that he was no god, since the Lord disposed of him as he pleased so long before.

 

Ver. 4.  Delicate.  Heb. “rebel or dissolute.”  Sept. “impudent.”

 

Ver. 7.  Edom.  This nation was involved in the common ruin, for its barbarity towards God’s people.  Abd. x.  Ps. cxxxvi. 7.  Ezec. xxv. 12. Theman, renowned formerly for wisdom.  Job ii. 11.  Yet at the approach of danger, all were confounded.  C. They were only worldly wise.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Hole.  The territory of Edom, from Eleutheropolis to Elath, is full of such.  S. Jer. in Abd. Dedan lies south of the Dead Sea.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Secrets, or lurking holes.  v. 8.  H. God permits the Chaldees to plunder all. Brethren; Israelites. Neighbours; Moab, &c.

 

Ver. 12.  Was not so much.  There were some faithful Jews.  C. xxv. 28.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Bosra, different from that of Ammon; (C. xlviii. 24.  Cellar. iii. 14.) though this may be doubtful.  Could such a city be unknown?

 

Ver. 14.  Ambassador; Jeremias: or rather this is a personification of the passions, which would  sufficiently prompt the Chaldees.  C. A good angel might urge them to execute the divine decrees.  Theodoret. The greatest armies are thus made use of by Providence, without approving of their malicious designs.

 

Ver. 15.  Little.  Edom was scarcely known, except in sacred history; and it was forced to receive circumcision by the Machabees.

 

Ver. 16.  Hill. The mountains were numerous, and full of caverns.  v. 8.

 

Ver. 17.  Desolate.  The few who survived left their ancient territories, which are now a desert, like most of Stony Arabia. C. Hiss, out of contempt.  The punishment was so great as to excite surprise.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Swelling.  Lit. “pride;” (H.) or those banks which the Jordan reaches, when it overflows.  They are lined with woods, from which lions rush to devour the sheep.  C. Strong “one’s dwelling.”  Heb.  H.  Zac. xi. 3. Over her.  What sort of men come to the attack? or, who shall dare resist them?  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Little.  Chal. “chiefs of the people.”  Tsair (H.) is supposed to have this sense.  Mic. v. 2.  C. But the weakest of the Chaldees will be an overmatch for Edom.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Damascus, the capital of Syria.  Is. vii. 8.  W. It was punished at the same time as the rest.  Jos. Arphad; Arad, an island near Tyre, or Raphanæ.  Theod. Syr. “Rephad…they are troubled from the sea.”  Nabuchodonosor left Tyre to invade them.  C. As in.  The islands of the Mediterranean tremble for themselves, and all Syria is afraid, hearing of the fall of so many cities and nations.

 

Ver. 25.  They.  Heb. Sept. and Chal. add, “not.”  Why have they not spared this beautiful city? or, why have not its citizens given it up, to prevent its entire demolition?

 

Ver. 27.  Benadad.  So the kings were usually styled.  3 K. xv. 8.  Sept. “the son of Ader.”

 

Ver. 28.  Cedar and Asor were parts of Arabia; which, with Moab, Ammon, Edom, &c. were all brought under the yoke of Nabuchodonosor.  Ch. We know nothing of the situation of Asor, which means “a court.”  C. It might be the flying camp (Theod.) of the Saracens, (S. Jer. in Is. xxi. 16.) who dwelt under tents like the hordes of Tartars, the Ethiopian emperor, and the mogul.  Yet this seems to have been a fixed habitation.  v. 30. 33. East; the Desert Arabia.  v. 32.  C. Cedar was the son of Ismael, and Asor the chief city of the Agarens.  W.

 

Ver. 29.  About.  The enemy shall terrify them, and plunder all their riches.

 

Ver. 31.  Alone.  We need not fear any resistance.  They have no allies.  C. The ancient Suevi, of Germany, laid waste the surrounding countries, that they might appear more terrible.  Cesar iv. and vi.

 

Ver. 32.  Wind; throughout the world. Round.  C. ix. 26.  C. This the Arabs did, in imitation of Bacchus.  Herod. iii. 8.

 

Ver. 34.  Elam.  A part of Persia.  Ch. The Elamites had besieged Jerusalem, under Manasses, (C.) and are therefore punished.  W. They were subject to Aseradon: Nabuchodonosor subdued them after the other nations.  v. 36.  Cyrus set  his countrymen at liberty, (C.) and thus began his conquests.  H. Pagan historians assert, at random, that they were before subject to the Medes.

 

Ver. 38.  Thence.  Daniel (viii. 2.) governed at Susa, the capital of Elam, for Baltassar.

 

Ver. 39.  Return.  They joined the standards of Cyrus, and became masters of the East.  C. This and similar texts are understood of the conversion of the Gentiles.  Acts ii. 7.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 50

 

CHAPTER L.

 

Ver. 1.  Prophet.  He had spoken against them in the fourth year of Joachim, and now is more explicit in the fourth of Sedecias, (C. li. 60.) sending his predictions to be read, and then thrown into the Euphrates.  The fall of Babylon was gradual.  It was in consequence of her pride and cruelty, v. 11, 17, 23, 29.  Is. xlvii. 6.  C. It had shewn the greatest enmity to the Jews, and was at last overthrown by the Medes and Persians.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Declare.  This is grand.  Let all the captives publish these tidings.  C. Bel, &c.  Bel and Merodach were worshipped for gods by the men of Babylon.  Ch. Merodach might be an ancient king deified.  C. These greatest of their idols could neither save the people nor themselves.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  A nation, &c. viz. the Medes, (Ch.) under Darius, (Dan. v. 31.  Theod.  Grot.) or rather under Cyrus, who came upon Babylon from the north, after conquering Asia; though he was born to the east of that city.  Is. lxi. 2. 25.  He was a Mede by his mother, and ruler of that nation.  He gave liberty to the Jews, as the prophet inculcates ten times. Desolate.  Herodotus. Xenophon, &c. say not that Cyrus demolished any part of the city; but Berosus informs us that he took it without opposition, and levelled the outer walls.  Hystaspes did more damage.  Herod. iii. 150.

 

Ver. 4.  Weeping for joy and compunction.  Israel returns, as well as Juda.  C. Thus Joseph wept when he beheld his brethren.  Gen. xlii. 24.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Covenant.  They renewed the old one under Nehemias, and never publicly broke it, as they had done.  Yet the covenant of Christ is more properly meant.

 

Ver. 6.  Shepherds; kings, (C.) and false prophets.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Not sinned: the Jews were such notorious offenders.  But in what had they injured the Chaldees? Beauty.  Heb. “dwelling or fold.”

 

Ver. 8.  Kids; rams.  This comparison was not ignoble.  Go boldly out of the city, before it be besieged.

 

Ver. 9.  Nations.  Cyrus had Armenians, &c. in his army.  C. Thence, by the bed of the Euphrates, the waters of which were mostly let out into the marshes.  Thus the city was taken, while the people were feasting.  Herod. i. 191. Aristotle (Pol. iii. 3.) says, three days passed before all the citizens were apprised of its fate, it was so extensive: but this is incredible.  If we follow the account of Berosus, Cyrus routed Nabonides, who fled to Borsippe, while he took Babylon and demolished the outer walls.  Jos. c. Ap. i.  C. North, with respect to Babylon.  W. The Persians lay rather to the south, and to the east of Palestine, (H.) if our maps be accurate.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Bulls.  You have rioted in Juda, and treated my people cruelly.  H. In Hebrew four verbs have improperly i for v; but C. li. 34. v supplants i five times.  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 12.  Dust, like a suppliant.  Is. xlvii. 1.  C. Dry.  The country shall be equally unfruitful.  The waters of the Euphrates being let off, gave a passage to the enemy.  v. 9.  H. Babylon soon lost its splendour.  C. Vologeses completed its ruin.  Pliny vi. 26. It ceased to be the metropolis or mother city.  H. The whole country was laid waste.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Hand, to form leagues; or she faints, (Sept.) and submits.  Lam. v. 6.

 

Ver. 16.  Harvest.  Such were usually unmolested.  C. Babylon was so large, that people sowed corn within the walls.  Curt. v. The environs were well cultivated.  Pliny xviii. 17. Dove, or the destroyer; for the Hebrew word signifies either the one or the other.  Ch.  C. xxv. 38. and xlvi. 16. Lit. “from before the sword of the dove.”  The power of Babylon is no more.  H. The king is compared to a dove, for his swiftness; or God is meek, though terrible.  W. Land.  The other nations were set free as well as the Jews.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Bones.  He completely ruined the nation, which the Assyrians had left.  H. They led the ten tribes away, and the Chaldees took the rest.  4 K. xviii. and xxv.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Assyria.  This monarchy was subdued by Nabopolasser.

 

Ver. 19.  Israel; the ten tribes, whose country is specified.

 

Ver. 20.  None.  Idolatry shall not be re-established.

 

Ver. 21.  Rulers: the most potent empire of Babylon. All.  Heb. “anathematize them and their posterity.”

 

Ver. 23.  Hammer.  The violent injustice of the Chaldees is thus entitled.

 

Ver. 24.  Aware.  Men seemed to rise out of the earth.  v. 9.

 

Ver. 25.  Armoury.  Fire and war are the Lord’s weapons.  Job xxxviii. 22. Work: punishment.  C. xlviii. 10.

 

Ver. 26.  That.  Heb. “her granaries; trample on her as on heaps of corn, destroy,” &c.  He alludes to the custom of oxen trampling out  the corn.  C. li. 33.

 

Ver. 28.  Voice.  I hear the captives proclaiming this at their return.

 

Ver. 30.  Peace, in the grave; (C.) or shall submit quietly.  1 Mac. i. 3.  H.

 

Ver. 31.  Proud.  So the Chaldees are often styled in the Psalms.  C. The prophet addresses Nabuchodonosor, or rather Baltassar, (M.) under whom the city was taken, (Jos. &c.) by Darius and Cyrus.  He may be the Nabonides of Berosus, the question is so much perplexed.  Yet “we are convinced that Darius reigned at Babylon before Cyrus, and took the city after the death of Baltassar.”  C. Most commentators are of a difficult opinion.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Israel.  Samaria had been destroyed forty-four years before the fourth of Joakim, from which period many of Juda had been captives seventy years, till Cyrus became their deliverer, and chastised the Chaldees.  C. Both kingdoms had been oppressed by a strong hand, till a stronger, even God himself, delivered them.  W.

 

Ver. 34.  Name.  He gives victory to Cyrus.  Thus the Lord directs all for the sake of his elect, and laughs at the vain projects of men.  C.

 

Ver. 35.  Wise men.  They were styled Chaldees, and inhabited a certain part of the city, being employed in astronomical and mathematical observations.  They disapproved of those who cast nativities.  Strabo xvi.

 

Ver. 36.  Diviners.  Heb. “impostors.”  They were nowhere more plentiful.  Dan. i. 20.  Fortune-tellers were consulted on every occasion.  The eastern nations are still  much addicted to this superstition.

 

Ver. 38.  Drought.  Cyrus almost drained the Euphrates.  C. li. 42.  Is. xxi. Things, fit to terrify children.  Bar. vi. 14.  C. Prot. “they are made upon their idols.”  H.

 

Ver. 39.  Fig-fauns.  Monsters of the desert, or demons in monstrous shapes; such as the ancients called fauns and satyrs: and as they imagined them to live upon wild figs, they called them fauni-ficarii, or fig-fauns.  Ch. Maldonat reads sicariis, “ruffians.”  Sixtus V. and S. Jerom, (in Is. xiii. 21.) have fatuis, “foolish wild men.”  Heb. “the Tsiim iwth the iim shall dwell there, and the daughters of the Yahana (H. swans) shall there reside,” or “fishermen among the rushes shall dwell,” &c. Ever.  Its situation is unknown.  There is still a town of the same name, but not in the same place.

 

Ver. 42.  Cruel.  The Medes will not spare for money.  v. 3.  Is. xiii. 7.

 

Ver. 43.  King.  Baltassar, (though he was succeeded by Darius) or Nabonides.  v. 31.  C.

 

Ver. 44.  And beautiful.  Heb. “habitation.”  H. He will rush into the fold.  C. xlix. 19.  C. The king of Babylon had ruined many.  Others shall destroy him, rushing on like the Jordan.  W.

 

 

JEREMIAS 51

 

CHAPTER LI.

 

Ver. 1.  Thereof.  Heb. leb kamai, “of the heart, rising up against me.”  H. Many take Leb-kamai to be the enigmatical name of the Chaldees, by a secret combination of letters, (Kimchi.  Grot.) as if they were not clearly designated in the sequel.  C. The prophet expresses more pointedly what he had declared in the preceding chapter.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Fan her.  After the corn was trodden out, it was heaved into the wind.  This custom would insinuate the distress and captivity of the Chaldees.  Sept. “I will send…scoffers, and they shall treat her with scorn, kaqubriousin.  H. They have read (C.) zedim for zarim.

 

Ver. 3.  Mail.  There will be little or no resistance made.  C. l. 3.  H. The Persians denounce destruction to all taken in arms; or, according to Sept. and Syr. they exhort each other to fight.  C. “Let him,” &c.  H. Heb. of the Masorets, “you who bend…spare not.”  C. Prot. “against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow,” &c.  H. Heb. is printed ne tendat tendat tendans.  The second word is properly omitted in some MSS.  Thus (1 Chron. xxiv. 6.) we read taken taken, achuz having been put erroneously for achad, one.  Kennicott.

 

Ver. 5.  Forsaken, as a widow, viduatus.  H. God still considers the nation as his spouse. Their land.  That of the Chaldees, (C.) or of the Jews.  Theodoret. Sin, or punishment.

 

Ver. 6.  Silent.  Jews proclaim that Babylon is justly punished, (C.) lest you partake in her crimes.  Apoc. xviii. 4.  Prot. “be not cut off in her,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Cup.  She has exercised the vengeance of the Lord on Juda, Egypt, &c.

 

Ver. 8.  Suddenly.  She has not lost many battles; but is fallen at once from being the greatest city of the East.

 

Ver. 9.  We.  The guardian angels, or Jews reply.  Miracles are lost on her. Heavens.  Her crimes call for punishment.  Gen. xviii. 21. and Jon. i. 2.

 

Ver. 10.  Justices.  We had not injured the Chaldees, though we had offended God.

 

Ver. 11.  Sharpen.  He addresses ironically the citizens of Babylon. Medes.  Thus the subjects of the Persian monarchs are commonly styled.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Standard.  Call together thy subjects and allies.  H. This must be explained of Babylon.  M. Yet all will be in vain.  v. 11.  H. Ambushes.  Herein the valour and genius of heroes was most displayed.  Jos. viii. 2.  Homer.

 

Ver. 13.  Waters.  Not far from the Tigris, and divided into two parts by the Euphrates.  C. Entire, being cut up by the roots, pedalis, (Lyran.) or according to the measure of thy crimes.  Delrio.  C. Sept. “thy end is truly come into thy bowels.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Himself.  Sept. “his hand” lifted up, or by his power. Locusts.  Their ravages were equally dreaded.  Joel ii. 4.  Judg. vi. 5.

 

Ver. 16.  Rain.  Thunder and lightning are usually followed by showers.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Every man, &c.  That is, every maker of idols, however he boasts of his knowledge and skill, does but shew himself a fool in pretending to make a god.  Ch.  Wisd. xiv. 18. By his, or “by default of knowledge;” (a scientia.  H.) as the Heb. may also mean.  The Babylonians were so confounded, they knew not what to do.  C. Prot. “Every man is brutish by his knowledge.”  Marg. or “is more brutish than to know.”  C. x. 14.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Thou, Cyrus, (Grot.) or more commonly the Chaldees are understood.

 

Ver. 25.  Mountain.  So Babylon is styled in derision.  See C. xxi. 13.  Is. i. 10. and xx. 6. and xxii. 1.  The city stood on a plain.  Some think that its palace and walls are designated. Burnt; unfruitful.  This happened long after Cyrus, though it then ceased to be the capital, and became only a shadow of its former greatness.

 

Ver. 26.  Corner.  No king or conqueror shall spring thence.  Alexander thought of making it the seat of his empire, but was prevented by death.  Strabo xv.

 

Ver. 27.  Prepare.  Lit. “sanctify.”  H. Call together all nations to fight against Babylon.  W. Many religious ceremonies were used. Ararat, where the ark rested, (Gen. viii. 4.) near the Araxes, (S. Jer. in Is. xxxvii.) or in the Gordyean mountains, in Armenia, where the Menni dwelt. Ascenez, or Ascantes, (C.) near the Tanais.  Pliny vi. 7. Taphsar, “the prince.”  Nah. iii. 17.  Pagn.  “Warriors.”  Chal.  “Machines”  Sept. Caterpillar, or “locust,” (bruchum.  H.) which resembles more a body of cavalry.  C. Sept. “Push forward the cavalry against her, as a multitude of locusts.”  H.

 

Ver. 28.  Prepare; “sanctify.”  H. Media.  Cyrus.  v. 11. Captains: generals.  C. Rulers.  Lit. “magistrates.”  H. Heb. Seganim, a title used once by Isaias, and frequently by those who wrote after the Assyrians (C.) commenced their invasion.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Bars, fastening the gates.  C. Those who entered by the channel of the river, would seize the gates to let their companions enter.  H.

 

Ver. 31.  King, feasting in his palace, (Herod. i. 191.) or at Borsippe.  Berosus.  He sent to make inquiries, (C.) or his subjects hastened to convey the doleful tidings, and thus met each other.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Fords.  Thus the enemy entered. Marches.  Heb. “sedges,” which grew to the size of trees, and were burnt when the waters of the river and lakes were drained.  Herodotus (i. 185. 178.) specifies a lake four hundred and twenty stadia square, and says the ditches round the city were full of water.

 

Ver. 33.  Threshing, performed by oxen treading, and by rollers, &c.  Judg. viii. 16. and 2 K. xii. 31. Little; about fifty-six years.

 

Ver. 34.  Dragon, or huge fish, which swallows without chewing.  Sion is here venting her complaint.  Ps. cxxxvi. 8.  C. She shews that Babylon is justly punished for her cruelty towards God’s people.  W.

 

Ver. 36.  Spring; commerce, the source of her riches; or rather the waters shall be brought out of their usual channels.  For many ages (C.) the Euphrates has been lost in sands, and reaches not the Persian Gulph.  Pliny vii. 27.  Cellar. iii. 16.

 

Ver. 37.  Dragons.  This has been the case for above sixteen centuries.  C. l. 31.  Is. xiii. 21.

 

Ver. 38.  Roar.  They shall retain their haughty air and threaten others, when they themselves shall fall (C.) in the midst of their feasting.  Dan. v. 30.  Xen. vii.

 

Ver. 41.  Search, the city which worshipped the moon, (C. xxv. 26.) Bel, (C. l. 2.) &c.

 

Ver. 42.  Sea: numerous armies of Cyrus, or the waters of the Euphrates let loose.  C. In the days of Alexander, many tombs of the kings were inundated.  Strabo xv.

 

Ver. 44.  Down.  His priests pretended that he eat, (Dan. xiv. 11.) and a woman of their choice slept in the most retired part of the temple.  Herod. i. 181. The prophet derides this notion.  The idol, or rather his votaries, (H.) shall be forced to let go the Israelites.  C. Fall, by means of Cyrus and of Darius.  C. l. 3.  H.

 

Ver. 46.  Faint. You may apprehend that your miseries will increase in the midst of such confusion; but no, Baltassar, the last of your oppressor’s race, shall be assassinated by Neriglissor, who will be succeeded by Laborosoarchod and Nabonides.  This last shall yield to Cyrus, who well grant you liberty.  Baltassar reigned two years, Neriglissor four, his ill-tempered infant son nine months, when his followers murdered him, and gave the crown to a Babylonian called Nabonides,  who kept it seventeen years, till Cyrus took him prisoner.  This we learn from Berosus, quoted by Josephus, c. Ap. i.  On the other hand Daniel makes Darius, the Mede, succeed Baltassar, and after him Cyrus reigned.  To these changes and continual alarms the prophet alludes.

 

Ver. 47.  Idols; Bel, &c.  v. 41. Slain.  Heb. “dancers.”  The people were feasting.  C. It means also “slain,” (Prot.) or “soldiers.”

 

Ver. 48.  Praise, for the just punishment.  H. The crimes were public.  C.

 

Ver. 50.  Mind.  Offer sacrifices of thanks on Sion, (H.) both Jews and other nations.  C.

 

Ver. 51.  We.  The Jews answer: we are ashamed when we think of these places.  M.

 

Ver. 53.  High.  Her fortifications and ditches will prove fruitless.  C. xlviii. 7. 18.

 

Ver. 55.  Great voice, or boasting and songs of joy, usual at public meetings. Noise.  They groan under affliction.

 

Ver. 57.  Drunk, with the wine of fury.  v. 39.  C. xxv. 26.

 

Ver. 58.  Broad wall.  The pagan historians agree not in the dimensions, but allow it was excessively broad and lofty. C. Six chariots might go abreast.  It was 360 stadia long, (Ctesias); or 480 (Herod. i. 178.) that is above 23 leagues, allowing 2,500 paces for each.  This author says the breadth was fifty cubits of the king, three inches larger than  the common one, or about twenty-one inches.  Pliny (vi. 26.) improperly applies this to Roman feet, and says the walls were two hundred feet high; while Herodotus assigns so many cubits.  C. There were three different walls.  Curt. v. Cyrus demolished the outer one.  Beros. What remained, (C.) with the hundred brazen gates, Darius treated in like manner.  Herod. i. 179. and iii. 159. Thus was the prediction fulfilled, and the works of so many captive nations brought to nothing.  It is asserted that 200,000 (C.) daily finished a stadium, (Curt. v.) or 125 paces.  C.

 

Ver. 59.  With.  Heb. also, (C.) “on behalf of.”  Prot. marg.  H. It is no where else asserted that Sedecias went in person, and Sept. Chal. &c. explain it in this manner.  Baruch accompanied his brother Sararias, and probably took the letter.  Bar. i. 2.  Saraias went to petition for the sacred vessels. Prophecy, or of the embassy to speak (C.) in the king’s name.  Heb. menucha, was a caution of Benjamin.  It means, “rest;” whence some have inferred that he was chamberlain, (Cant. iii. 8.) or a favourite.  Most translate, “chief of the presents,” Sept. and Chal. as if they they had read mincha, which he carried as a tribute to Babylon.  Jeremias gave him charge of the parcel, perhaps before Baruch had determined to go.

 

Ver. 64.  Sink.  The angel did the like; (Apoc. xviii. 21.  C.) and the Phoceans, leaving their country, swore that they would return no more till a piece of red hot iron, which they threw into the sea, should swim.  Herod. i. 165. Thus, &c. was added by the compiler.  Sept. omit the sentence, as what relates to Babylon is place C. xxviii. in their copies.  C. Yet Grabe puts it in a different character.  H. Jeremias wrote a great deal, after the 4th year of Sedecias, v. 59.  C. He here finished his predictions against Babylon.  W. This does not mean that he did not write the next chapter, (M.) as Cappel allows, (Houbig.) though this may still be doubted.  H.

 

 

JEREMIAS 52

 

CHAPTER LII.

 

Ver. 1.  Sedecias.  This is purely historical, taken from 4 K. xxiv. 18, &c.  Many doubt with reason the Jeremias inserted it, as he could not well be alive at the time when Joakim was honoured.  v. 31.  If he had written both this and the Book of Kings, the variations which we here discover would not be seen.  It seems, therefore, that Esdras or some other has inserted it, to explain the fall of Jerusalem and the lamentations; as a similar addition has been made to Isaias.  C. xxxvi. &c.  See Grot.  C. The history occurs more at large, Par. ult.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Revolted, breaking his oath, which greatly offended God.

 

Ver. 12.  Tenth: 4 K. seventh, on which day Nabuzardan set out from Reblatha, according to some.  But it was above sixty leagues, or hours journey, distant.  C. He entered the city on the 7th, and put his orders in execution on the 10th.  Usher. Nothing of the king’s imprisonment, or of the city poor occurs.  4 K.

 

Ver. 15.  Poor.  He took those of the city, and left the poor of the country.  v. 16.  C. Sept. Alex. omits this verse, which Grabe inserts: 16.  “And the rest of the people, the chief cook or general, left for,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Under the sea the bases, (H.) or bowls, which, &c.

 

Ver. 23.  Hundred; four next the wall were not seen, or were fixed to the chaptrels.

 

Ver. 24.  Second in dignity to the high priest, a chief officer of the temple.

 

Ver. 25.  Seven: 4 K. has five.   But this seems more correct, as seven were commonly employed.  Est. i. 10.  Tob. xii. 15.  C. Two might be taken later.  H. A scribe.  S. Jerom has Sopher, (4 K.) as if it were a proper name, and not an office.

 

Ver. 28.  Seventh year of Nabuchodonosor, and last of Joakim.  4 K.  Sept. Rom. omits this and the next verse, which are found in Theodoret and the Compl. edit.  C. Grabe supplies all from, And Juda, v. 27, to 31.  H. Zuinglius observes that the Sept. have not a fragment of it, and that it has been added by some one to hide the ignominy of the Jews.  It is interpolated in the Arab. of the Lond. Polyglot, and seems contrary to the true history.  4 K. xxiv. 14.  Kennicott, Diss. 2.

 

Ver. 31.  Joachin.  He had been thrown into prison when 18 years old, and continued there 37 years.  It is not probable that Jeremias wrote this.  Evilmerodach had also been the same in prison. Five: 4 K. has seven.  Probably Nabuchodonosor died on the 25th, and his son then resolved to liberate Joachin; which he did on the 27th.

 

Ver. 32.  Kings, who had been conquered, and kept at court for parade.  C.

 

 

LAMENTATIONS

 

THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

In these Jeremias laments in a most pathetic manner the miseries of his people, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, in Hebrew verses, beginning with different letters according to the order of the Hebrew alphabet.  Ch. In the first chapter the order is exactly observed, but in the three next phe comes before ain, either for some mystery to us unknown, or by the derangement of transcribers, who perhaps thought that those verses were better connected, as they seem to be, (C.) though this is not very clear.  H. In such pieces the sentiments of a pensive heart are poured out without much connection.  W. The Greeks style this word qrhnoi, and Heb. kinoth, or lamentations.  H. S. Jerom, (2 Par. xxxv. 25.) thinks it was the first composition of Jeremias, and sung at the death of Josias.  W.  S. Jer. in Zac. xii. 11. The eulogy of the king seems to belong to him rather than to Sedecias.  C. iv. 20.  C. Yet it might afterwards be applied to the latter, (H.) and to the ruin of Jerusalem.  Eccli. xlix. 8.  S. Jer. Pref.  Theod. &c. The city is represented standing, and sometimes in ruins.  Chap. v. seems to have been written after the rest.  v. 4, 18.  C. It is not acrostic like them.  The prophet alludes to the wretched condition of the Jews, after the murder of their Messias; and hence the Church makes use of the lamentations on the anniversary of our Saviour’s passion, inviting all sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, to repent: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted to the Lord thy God.”  W. Many passages are applicable to a soul fallen into sin, as the commentary under the name of S. Jerom, (H.) compiled by Rabanus, (Du Pin) shews.  H.

 

 

LAMENTATIONS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

And, &c.  This preface was not written by Jeremias, but added by the seventy interpreters, to give the reader to understand upon what occasion the Lamentations were published.  Ch. The author is not known, (W.) and few assert with Gretser that it is canonical; as it is only a title, (C.) like those prefixed to the Psalms.  H. It is not found in Heb. Chal. Syr. or S. Jerom.  C.

 

Ver. 1.  City.  David had conquered many.  Jerusalem was long considered as the finest city in those parts. Tributary.  It had been so to the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Chaldees.  4 K. xxiv. 1.  From this and similar passages, it would seem that the city was still existing: yet in others it appears to have been demolished.  Here then the prophet declares what it had been: (C.) unless he wrote part after the death of Josias.  H. The beholders are astonished at the change and misery of the city.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Night; privately, or without ceasing. Friends, who had made a league with Sedecias.  C. xxvii. 3. and xlviii. 26.

 

Ver. 3.  Rest.  Many returning to join Godolias.  C. xl. 7.  C. The Jews who beheld their brethren led away to Babylon, retired into Egypt, but were in  misery.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Feast, thrice-a-year.  This was the most charming sight, when all the nation met to adore God, and to renew their friendship with one another.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Lords.  Lit. “at the head,” (H.) which Moses had threatened.  Deut. xxvi. 1. and 43.  C. This would be most cutting.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Beauty; princes’ palaces, but particularly the temple.  v. 10.  C. Rams, fleeing from place to place to seek relief.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Of all.  She compares her past happiness with her present chastisement. Sabbaths, or days of rest.  The pagans derided them as so much lost time.  Ignava et partem vitæ non attigit ullam.  Juv. v.  Seneca ap. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. vi. 11. If none of their legislators thought of such an institution, it was because they had not the spirit of Moses: their feasts were dissolute.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Unstable.  Heb. also, “removed,” (H.) like a woman unclean.  C. Such were excluded from places of prayer, and were not allowed to touch a sacred book, or to pronounce God’s name.  Their husbands could not look at their face, nor give them any thing, but laid it down for them to take.  Buxtorf. Syn. 31. No condition could be more distressing.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  End in her prosperity, to avert this misfortune.  H. Idolatry is a spiritual adultery, (W.) and one of the worst species of filth.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Church.  Deut. xxxiii. 1.  Ezec. xliv. 9.  The Chaldees disregarded the ordinance.

 

Ver. 11-12.  O.  Heb. of the Masor. “It is.”  C. Prot. “Is it nothing to you, all?” &c.  H. But the Vulg. is much clearer, and approved by many Protestants, lu being often used as an exclamation.  Gen. xvii. 18.  C. Vintage.  He has plundered all.  v. 22.  H. The king took a great deal, and his general the rest.  4 Kin. xxiv. and xxv.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Bones: fortresses.  Theod. I am like one in a burning fever.  Ezec. xxiv. 4.  C. Chastised.  Lit. “instructed.”  This is the good effect of affliction.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Watched.  This metaphor is not too harsh.  C. xxxi. 28.  The Masorets prefer, (C.) “is bound by his hand.”  Prot.  But miskad is explained (H.) by the Sept. &c. in the sense of the Vulg.  God lays the yoke on my neck suddenly.  My iniquities are like bands, and Nabuchodonosor has power over me.

 

Ver. 15.  Mighty.  Heb. “magnificent” princes, (Lu. xxii. 25.) or warriors. Time of vengeance.  All in animated.  Heb. also, “a troop” of Chaldees.  C. ii. 22. Juda.  God, as the first cause, punishes the Jews by war.

 

Ver. 17.  Then.  They surround the city, to starve the inhabitants.  v. 8.

 

Ver. 19.  Me.  Egypt attempted to relieve Juda, to no purpose.  v. 2.  C. It could not, or at least did not, prove of any service to the Jews.  C. ii. 18.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Alike, by famine, &c.  C.  W. Ubique pavor et plurima mortis imago.  Æn. ii.

 

Ver. 21.  Done it.  They conclude that I am cast off for ever.  But when I shall be comforted, their turn will come; (C.) or rather they will feel the scourge soon after me. Consolation.  Heb. “which thou hast appointed.”  H.  C. xlviii. 26. &c.  Ezec. xxv. &c.

 

Ver. 22.  Let.  He prays not for their ruin, but predicts it; and wishes rather that they would be converted.  C.

 

 

LAMENTATIONS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Obscurity.  He continues to bewail the misery of Jerusalem. Heaven, the highest glory.  Is. xiv. 12. Stool; the temple, and the land.  The ark fell not into the hands of the enemy.  C. The punishment which the Lord permits, is justly ascribed to Him.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Unclean, or treated it as such.  C. Sept. “he hath accounted profane the kings.”  H. Joakim, Jechonias, Sedecias, and the royal family, were exposed to the greatest ignominy and sufferings.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Horn: beauty and power, (H.) the two kingdoms, the fortresses, (C.) and all their strength, denoted by horns.  W. Hand; refusing us protection, and aiding the Chaldees.

 

Ver. 5.  Women, suffering them to be abused.  C. v. 11. 13.

 

Ver. 6.  Tent: the temple, with the same indifference as if it had been a hut, built to guard the fruit of a garden.  Is. v. 5.  Ps. lxxix. 13. Sabbaths.  The Jews rested, but could offer no sacrifices in captivity. Priest.  Saraias was slain, and Sedecias imprisoned, &c.  C. lii. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Cursed, or suffered it to be polluted, (W.) as he looked on it with horror, after it had been profaned by Achaz, &c. Towers.  Sept. “palaces;” barewn. Feast.  What a contrast!  The temple used to resound with songs of praise and music: the Chaldees fill it with insolent shouts of victory.

 

Ver. 8.  Line, to level it with the ground, (Is. xxxiv. 11.  C.) or to treat it with just severity.  Theod. Bulwark.  Lit. “the first wall,” (H.) or ditch, lined with palisades.  Alexander ordered the towers to be levelled, and the horses’ manes to be cut, when Hephæstion died, to denote the general sorrow.

 

Ver. 9.  Among, as slaves, or in prison. Law has been neglected; and now it cannot be observed, as to the ceremonial part.  There are no public instructions. No vision.  When Jeremias was consulted, he had to pray for ten days.  C. xlii. 7.

 

Ver. 10.  Ancients, even magistrates.  C. Canitiem multo deformat pulvere. Æn. x.

 

Ver. 11.  Earth, by an overflowing of the bile, occasioned by grief.  Job xvi. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Sea.  This is an hyperbole, to express the greatness of sorrow, as the sea surpasses all other waters.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Revelations.  Heb. Masoth, “burdens” for the enemy.  This sentence ought to come before and they, &c. as it is in the Vulg.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Mouth, with scorn.  Is. lvii. 4.  Ps. xxxiv. 21.

 

Ver. 17.  Old, by Moses, (Deut. xxviii. 15. 49. Lev. xxvi. 14.) Micheas, (C. xxvi. 18.) Holda, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Upon.  Heb. and Sept. “O wall,” &c.  v. 8.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Watches.  Jerusalem is here represented in the midst of danger and misery.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Dealt.  Lit. “gathered grapes.”  C. i. 12.  H. Long; quite small.  Ps. xxxviii. 9.  This has been denounced, C. xix. 9.  Deut. xxviii. 53.  C.  It took place at Samaria, and in the last siege of Jerusalem, (Jos. Bel. vii. and viii.  W.) as well as at this time.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Killed.  Lit. “stricken” (H.) with unusual severity.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  About.  The troops of the enemy resemble those multitudes, which come from all parts to Jerusalem.  Many kings could not raise such an army.  C.

 

 

LAMENTATIONS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Man.  Jeremias had a share in the common misery, (W.) and bewails his own condition, as a figure of Christ.  Ps. lxxxvii. 16.  Is. liii. 3.  C. His disciples must expect to suffer.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Led, or driven me with the rod.  H. God employs two.  Zac. xi. 7.  That of rigour was reserved for this prophet; (C. xxxviii.) none of them suffered more.

 

Ver. 4.  Old and wrinkled, the effect of misery.

 

Ver. 5.  Gall.  Sept. “head.”  Chal. “he hath seized the chief.”  Job xvi. 13.  He speaks in the name of the besieged, who had been threatened with this punishment.  v. 19.  C. viii. 14.  C. And labour.  Nabuzardan ransacked the city worse than his master, (W.) if the latter was at all present.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Ever indeed.  Eccle. xii. 5. and Ps. xlviii. 12.  Jeremias (xxxviii. 6.) was in imminent danger.

 

Ver. 8.  Prayer.  God would not allow him to pray for the people.  C. vii. 16.

 

Ver. 9.  Stones.   There is no passage.  Job xix. 8.

 

Ver. 10.  Places.  This may refer to the prophet or to the people.

 

Ver. 12.  Arrows.  Such places were common where shooting was practised.  1 Kin. xx. 36.  Job xvi. 11.

 

Ver. 14.  Song.  True prophets were derided on account of impostors, and because of their declarations were unpleasant, &c.  C. xvii. 15.  Ezec. xii. 22.

 

Ver. 15.  Wormwood, or a bitter poisonous herb.  C. ix. 26.  Deut. xxix. 18.

 

Ver. 16.  One.  Heb. “against a stone.”  My bread is full of them.  Ps. ci. 10.  C. He describes his afflictions, as if his teeth had been broken.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  End.  Heb. “strength.”  Sept. “victory.”  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Hope.  The remembrance fills him with grief and hope.  C. xx. 12.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  New.  Novi should be novæ, to agree with miserationes.  C. Chal. “new miracles” occur daily.  H. God’s mercies are ever fresh.  W.

 

Ver. 27.  Yoke.  Afflictions endured for justice sake ensure a blessing.  H. All may derive great benefit from suffering.

 

Ver. 28.  Himself, with perfect resignation.

 

Ver. 29.  Hope.  He does not doubt, but confides with great humility.

 

Ver. 30.  Him.  We cannot verify this of the prophet as we can of Christ, (Mat. xxvi. 62.  C.) to whom this particularly refers.  W.

 

Ver. 33.  Men.  He punishes with regret.  Ezec. xviii. 23.  Our crimes force him to chastise.  v. 36.  C. Yet he seeks our advantage.  W.

 

Ver. 37.  Commanded.  Heb. “said: It cometh to pass,” as if by chance.  There have always been Epicureans.  Ezec. viii. 12.  Ps. xciii. 7.  C. Those who deny Providence speak.  v. 30.  W.

 

Ver. 39.  Sins?  If all happened by inevitable necessity, or according to the laws of Providence, why should any one complain?

 

Ver. 41.  Up.  This posture “is the testimony of a soul naturally Christian.”  Tert. Apol. Our heart must accompany our hands.  1 Tim. ii. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 42.  Inexorable.  Heb. and Sept. “Thou hast not shewn pity.”  H.

 

Ver. 43.  Covered thyself, as if not to see our distress.

 

Ver. 44.  Cloud.  Is. lix. 2.  Eccli. xxxv. 21.  These expressions are admirable.

 

Ver. 47.  Prophecy.  Many would read, vastatio.  Heb. “ruin.”  Sept. “taking away.”  C. Prot. “Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.”  The prophets were continually in danger.  H. The preaching of false prophets has brought these evils upon the people.  W.

 

Ver. 51.  Wasted.  Lit. “robbed.”  H. I have felt more for my people than they have themselves.  Moral writers often product this text, to shew the dangers of an unguarded glance (C.) at women.

 

Ver. 53.  Over me, as if I were buried.  H. Jeremias was in prison (C. xxxviii. 6.) when he prayed.  v. 54.  C. xx. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 59.  Judge what they have judged unjustly.  W.

 

Ver. 62.  Lips; or language (Gen. xi. 1.) thou knowest.  v. 60.

 

Ver. 63.  Up, all their conduct. Song.  v. 14.

 

Ver. 65.  Buckler, to cover all the body.  They shall be surrounded with misery, (Ps. cviii. 29.) while God will protect his servants.  Ps. v. 13.  C. Let sorrow pierce their heart, as thy enemies are treated.  W.

 

 

LAMENTATIONS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Colour.  Heb. “gold.”  Sept. “silver;” (H.) denoting the patriarchs, (Theod.) chiefs, (Vatab.) or ornaments of the temple.  C. It had formerly glittered with gold; now there was nothing but smoke and ruins.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Best.  Heb. “gold of Phaz,” in Colchis.  Gen. ii. 11.  C. In Solomon’s reign, they powdered their hair with gold dust.  Jos. Ant. viii. 7. Vessels.  Is. xxx. 14.

 

Ver. 3.  Sea-monsters.  Lit. Lamia.  Heb. Tannim.  H. The lamia has a face like a woman, and a body like beasts; and is cruel, yet feeds its young.  W. The fabulous lamia is supposed to destroy all children, (Diod. Sic. xx.  Ovid. Fast. vi.) and cannot be meant.  But the sea dog, though most cruel will not neglect its young ones.  C. Ostrich.  Heb. henim, (H.) “swans.”  Is. xiii. 21.  Job xxix. 14.  The ostrich is said to break some of its eggs.  Elian iv. 37.) Swans do the like, and devour their young; for which reason they are hated by the Indians.  Elian xiv. 3. Sept. “their young (drajohs) have suckled the daughters of my people, so that they can find no remedy, like,” &c.  H. Though the ostrich has wings it never flies, but dwells in desert places.  Such is the condition of the Israelites.  Theodoret. The ostrich forsakes its eggs.  W. All are solicitous for themselves.

 

Ver. 5.  Scarlet.  Lit. “yellow;” croceis.  H. Heb. means purple.  Those who have been educated in the most delicate manner, are forced to feed on the most disgusting things.  4 K. vi. 25. and xviii. 27.  Deut. xxviii. 54.

 

Ver. 6.  In her.  Sodom was destroyed by God.  Her temporal misery was short.  H. Jerusalem was exposed to greater afflictions (C.) here, (H.) and her ingratitude and abominations were greater.  Ezec. xvi. 46.

 

Ver. 7.  Old ivory.  Whiteness shews its age.  Pliny iii. 8. As it grows old it turns yellow, and loses much of its value.  But the ancients had the art of dyeing it scarlet.  Æneid xii.  Iliad iv.  Ovid ii. Am. v.  C. Heb. poninim may signify (H.) “pearls,” the shells of which are stained with a delicate red; though the epithet ruddy may mean “shining,” in which sense purpureus is used.  Hor. iv. Od. 1. The complexion of the Nazarites was fair, with a mixture of red.  Cant. v. 10.  They were probably clothed in white, and were highly respected.  1 Mac. ii. 49.  Amos ii. 11.  Num. vi. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Coals.  Heb. “blackness.”  Sept. “soot.”  H. The people were naturally brown.  Fasting and distress cause them to turn black.  C. v. 10.  Joel ii. 6.  C. They were so changed, that old acquaintances knew not one another.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  For.  Lit. “by the barrenness of the earth.”  H. Such a death was, no doubt, more painful than to perish quickly by the sword.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Pitful.  So their nature dictates.  W. But hunger made them the reverse.  Some think they slew their children, to prevent them being exposed to more cruel torments, (C.) as the people of Colchis do their sick.  Chardin. Sodden: boiled or roasted; coxerunt.  v. 5.  Deut. xxviii. 55.  At the last siege of Jerusalem, this barbarity was manifested.  C.  Jos. Bel. vii. 8.  Gr. 21.  See C. ii. 20. Daughter.  So cities are styled.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Believed.  God had so often protected this city against Sennacherib, Holofernes, &c.  H. It had been also so strongly fortified.  2 K. v. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Priests.  They too generally favoured H. the false prophets.  C. ii. 26. &c.  They were judges, and condemned the innocent: or exposed (C.) the citizens to destruction, by not warning them to amend, (H.) and to submit to the Chaldees.  C. Impostors are called prophets, as they have the same outward appearance.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  They.  Sept. “Her guards have tottered in,” &c. When.  Prot. “so that men could not touch their garments,” as they were defiled.  H. These hypocrites were afraid of touching blood, as they observed external ceremonies, while they disregarded the spirit of religion.

 

Ver. 15.  Depart.  They were not ashamed to speak thus to others, or the citizens address the priests contaminated with blood.  Even the Chaldees looked upon the Jews with abhorrence, as an abandoned people. For they.  Heb. “but they understood not, and wandered about.  They, (C.) the Gentiles, said.”  H.

 

Ver. 16.  They, the Jews; or rather the prophet thus describes the Chaldees.  C. v. 12.  Deut. xxviii. 50.

 

Ver. 17.  Save.  The Egyptians attempted it in vain.  C. xxxiv. 8. and xxxvii. 10.

 

Ver. 18.  Streets.  There were enemies within as well as without.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Christ, &c.  According to the letter, is spoken of their king, who is called the Christ; that is, the anointed of the Lord.  But is also relates in the spiritual sense to Christ our Lord, suffering for out sins.  Ch.  Is. liii. 5.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 33. It literally speaks of Josias, or of Sedecias.  W. Josias was slain by the Egyptians.  S. Jer. in Zac. xii. But Sedecias seems chiefly to be meant.  The people were much attached to him, though he was wicked; and they expected that he would have rescued them from the power of the Chaldees, as his league with the neighbouring Gentiles (C.) seemed to insure, (H.) if they had proved faithful.  C. But all was useless against the Lord.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Rejoice.  Edom had manifested her joy at the misfortunes of Juda.  The prophet hints at this with a cutting irony.  Ps. cxxxvi. 7.  Abd. 11. Come, as at a feast.  Edom was visited five years after the Jews.  C. xlix. 7. Naked.  Sept. “and shalt pour it out,” (H.) or vomit.  C.  Grot.

 

Ver. 22.  Accomplished, and sufficiently punished by exile.  C. l. 20.  Is. xl. 2. Discovered.  Gen. xliv. 16. and 3 K. xvii. 18.  C. In vain wouldst thou hid them.  H.

 

 

LAMENTATIONS 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  The prayer, &c.  This title is not in Heb. Sept. &c.  Theodoret has passed over the chapter, as if he doubted of its authenticity.  It does not follow the order of Heb. letters like the preceding, and seems  to be a form of prayer for those who retired into Egypt.  C. Jeremias foresees what would happen, and prays as the people would do.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Aliens.  The Idumeans seized and kept possession of the southern parts.

 

Ver. 3.  Father.  Many had none surviving, and all had lost their king.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Water.  Even this was not given for nothing.

 

Ver. 6.  Hand; engaged to serve Egyptians, Babylonians, (C.) or other nations, to procure sustenance.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Iniquities.  This was the usual complaint of the Jews, (C. xxxi. 29.) as if they had committed no offence themselves.  If any virtuous people were involved in common ruin, they bore it with resignation, and acknowledged that they had deserved it.  1 Esd. ix. 6. and 2 Esd. i. 6.  Est. xiv. 6.  Dan. iii. 29.

 

Ver. 8.  Servants.  One had command over another.  Mat. xxiv. 45.  The Chaldees were like slaves, and the race of Cham was condemned to servitude.  Gen. ix. 26.  C. The Jews had formerly dominion over Edom, &c. who now treated them so cruelly.  M.  Lyran.

 

Ver. 9.  Sword.  Any one might kill us.

 

Ver. 11.  Oppressed.  Heb. “afflicted.”  Brutal insolence prevailed.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Hand.  Thus Leonidas was treated, after his head was cut off, by Xerxes.  Herod. vii. 238.

 

Ver. 13.  Indecently, like the Sodomites.  Heb. “they made the young men grind” at the mill, in their prison, (H.) as Samson (Judg. xvi. 21.) and Sedecias (according to the Sept.  C. lii. 11.) were forced to do.  To grind is often used in a bad sense; but it is not necessary to adopt it here.  C.  Amama. The Chaldees treated their captives without pity or shame.  H. Wood; burdens, or stumbling-blocks, unless they were crucified; or, “roasted,” if we admit a small alteration in the Heb.  C. iv. 10.  C. They were forced to grind naked, and were beaten with staves.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Gates, where sentence was usually passed.  H. The Jews had judges at Babylon, (Dan. xiii. 5.) but not at first, nor everywhere.

 

Ver. 16.  Crown, used at feasts; (C.) or, we have lost the sovereign power.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Dim, the natural consequence of extreme want.  1 K. xiv. 27.

 

Ver. 18.  Foxes, which were very common.  Judg. xv. 4.  Thus, Horace says:

Agros atque lares patrios, habitandaque fana

Apris relinquet et edacibus lupis.  Epod. 16.

 

Ver. 21.  Convert.  Thy grace must work upon our hearts, (C.) before we can expect redress, (H.) and an end of our banishment.  T.  Grot. Beginning, when our fathers observed the law.  S. Tho.  M.  See C. xxxi. 18.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. ii. and iv.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Thou hast.  We might read with an interrogation, (H.) in Heb. “Hast thou?” &c.  The Jews superstitiously repeat the last verse, for fear of ending the book in an ominous manner, as they do at the end of Isaias and Malachias.  C. Having treated us so severely, stop thy hand.  W. But I perceive it will be in vain to beg for redress till the seventy years be expired.  M.

 

 

BARUCH

 

THE PROPHECY OF BARUCH.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Baruch was a man of noble extraction, and learned in the law, secretary and disciple of the prophet Jeremias, and a sharer in his labours and persecutions; which is the reason why the ancient Fathers have considered this book as a part of the prophecy of Jeremias, and have usually quoted it under his name.  Ch. The frequent Heb. idioms shew it to have been originally in that language.  Baruch wrote by inspiration of the Holy Ghost the letter comprising the five first chapters, which he carried to the Jews from their brethren at Babylon.  The martyrologies place his death, Dec. 28.  The sixth chapter contains a letter of Jeremias, to which allusion is clearly made 2 Mac. ii. 2.  The Church still recites the works of Baruch under the name of Jeremias.  Sab. Pent. proph. 6.  C. Many Fathers did so formerly, though they doubted not but Baruch was the author.  See S. Iræn. v. 35.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 33. &c.  Others, with Origen (Prin. ii. 3.) specify the writer; and the Councils of Laodicea, Florence, and Trent, decide that it is canonical.  S. Jerom alleged it not against the Jews, as they denied its authority.  W. See Jer. xxxii. 44.  H. In his preface on Jeremias he testifies that “it contains many things relating to Christ and the latter times.”  W. Grotius in vain attempts to represent some parts as interpolated (C. iii. 38. &c.  C.) and L. Cappellus has left some posthumous notes, which would represent the author as a stupid impostor, though he acknowledges his great learning.  Houbigant.

 

 

BARUCH 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Babylonia.  Sept. “Babylon,” where Jechonias was in prison, (H.) now the 5th year.  v. 2.  Baruch accompanied his brother Saraias.  Jer. li. 59.  C. Capel. supposes that the author confounded them together, which is not probable.  Houb.

 

Ver. 2.  Month, in which the king was taken.  C. This was the fifth anniversary.  H. Fire: but soon extinguished.  Usher The taking of the city was effected at intervals, (H.) during eleven years, in the fifth of which this book was written.  Jerusalem was at last reduced to ashes.  As yet there were priests, a temple, &c.  v. 7, 14.  W.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Jechonias.  He was in prison, where the Jews met to hear the words of Jeremias; (li. 59. &c.  C.) or the king might hear the letter in private.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 4.  Sodi.  Heb. zud, (H.) means “pride,” and probably denotes the great river Euphrates.  C. Bochart reads Sur, (Houb.) or Sori.  The city Sura was there.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Joakim, or Eliacim, high priest under Manasses, &c.  Is. xxii. 20.  C. The text only says that he was priest, and Capellus asserts there was no pontiff then.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 8.  Siven; a Syriac  month, corresponding with our May.  M. Vessels; or, “the vessels were of silver.”  H. By retrenching a, which, it would seem that they asked for the golden vessels.  Sedecias had made silver ones to supply their place.  These also might have been taken away.  C. Baltassar had still those of gold, (Dan. v. 2.  M.) or at least some of them.  H. Sedecias, now in favour, only asked for what he had made while a private man.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 9.  All.  Cunctos should be vinclos, according to the Gr. “prisoners.”  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Meat.  Lit. “manna,” as Sept. express Heb. monée; (H.) or as it is pointed, mincha; which properly means an “oblation” (Jer. xvii. 26.  M.) of bread, wine, &c.  C. And offerings.  Lit. “offer.” Gr. “has for sin before frankincense.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  King.  Gratitude and duty prompted them.  Jer. xxix. 7. and 1 Tim. ii. 2. Baltassar.  Evilmerodac, his elder brother, was in disgrace.  Lyran.  Jer. lii. 31.  C. Heaven, as long and prosperous as possible.  H. It was a customary salutation to say, O king, live for ever.  Dan. ii. 4.  Ps. lxxxviii. 30.  C. Cappel. says Baltassar was not yet born.  But how does he know this?  It might be the title of the heir apparent, (H.) or of the king’s sons.  We need not decide in a point of such antiquity.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 12.  Eyes, putting an end to our captivity, (Badwell) or causing us to detest our sins.  C. Days.  This they knew was God’s decree, and they submit.  H. They prefer serving the Chaldees before other foreign nations.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Proper festival days.  C. Heb. mohed, or muád.  They were still observed (H.) in the temple.

 

Ver. 20.  Curses against transgressors.  Lev. xxvi.  Dan. ix. 11.  C. Day.  We feel the effects of sin.  The land of Juda was not flourishing, though not yet laid waste.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Serve, or sacrifice unto: (Sanct.) operata Deo: (Tibul.) or to worship.  C. ii. 21.  C.

 

 

BARUCH 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 2.  Heaven.  After the death of Josias, the nation was exposed to the greatest misery.  Its kings were imprisoned by the Egyptians, and then by the Chaldees; and surprising changes took place, all during the space of eight or nine years.

 

Ver. 3.  Daughter.  This is not mentioned in sacred history to have happened when this was written, (C.) except in the siege of Samaria.  Some of the captives of Israel might be now at Babylon, as the places to which they had been sent were under the same king; and they confess their common transgressions and chastisements.  All distinction of the kingdoms was now at an end.  Some might also have been reduced to this extremity, when Joakim or Jechonias were besieged and taken.  H. We should not know that a similar distress prevailed under Sedecias, if it had not been specified Lam. ii. 20. and iv. 10.  This prayer greatly resembles that of Dan. ix. 4.

 

Ver. 4.  Kings of Egypt and Babylon, while the Ammonites, &c. derided us.

 

Ver. 5.  Under; a proverbial expression.  Deut. xxviii. 13.

 

Ver. 9.  Watched, to punish.  When he spares, he seems to slumber.  Jer. xliv. 27.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Justices.  So God’s law is frequently called, (Ps. cxviii.) because its observance makes us just.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  House: the temple, or from heaven.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Justice, &c.  they that are in hell shall not give justice to God: that is, they shall not acknowledge and glorify his justice, as penitent sinners do upon earth.  Ch. And all in the grave are incapable of making known God’s perfections.  An appeal to his glory is thus often made.  Is. xxxviii. 18.  Ps. cxiii. 17.  Eccli. vii. 24.

 

Ver. 18.  Of evil is not in Greek.  A soul which bears grandeur with pain, like Esther, and humbles itself before God, is most graciously received.  H. Fail, by fasting.  Such are the dispositions required for prayer.  Ps. lxviii. 3.

 

Ver. 19.  Fathers.  Gr. adds, “and kings.” Prayers.  Gr. “mercy.”  We boast not of our good works.  H. Mercy may denote prayer or humiliation.  Theodoret gives a better sense: (C.) “We trust not in the just works of our fathers, or of ourselves, to receive any pity.”  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Serve, as Jeremias (xxv. 9. and xxvii. 7. and xxviii. 14.) repeatedly admonished.

 

Ver. 23.  Footstep.  It shall become a desert.  Isa. xxxiii. 8.  Lam. i. 4.

 

Ver. 24.  Place.  The soldiers ransacked the tombs in hopes of plunder.  Joakim was left unburied.  This would be very affliction to the Jews.  Jer. viii. 1. and xxii. 19. and xxxvi. 30.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Banishment.  Syr. “captivity;” (Theod.) or “by pestilence inflicted by God:” apostolh.  Grot.  Jer. xxxii. 36.

 

Ver. 26.  Day.  Its vessels were taken away, (C. i. 8.) and few were left to attend.  C. Grotius answers this difficulty.  Houbig. The prophet foresees the event.  W.

 

Ver. 30.  Heart, and be seriously converted, (H.) as the prophets had foretold.  Osee ii. 7. &c.

 

Ver. 33.  Neck.  Lit. “back,” insensible of stripes.  C.

 

Ver. 34.  Thereof.  Lit. “of them;” eis.  But ei is more (H.) conformable to the Greek.  C.

 

Ver. 35.  Another.  Gr. “an everlasting covenant,” (H.) by Christ, (Maldon.) prefigured by that which Nehemias renewed.  2 Esd. ix. 38.  C. The law of Moses was in force till Christ came.  His law continues unto the end.  W.

 

 

BARUCH 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 3.  Everlastingly.  is such a short-lived creature an object worthy of thy eternal wrath?  Job xiii. 25. and xiv. 1.  Ps. cii. 13.

 

Ver. 4.  Dead; banished, (v. 11.  Ezec. xxxvii. 5.) or of the ancient patriarchs.  This motive is frequently urged.

Ex. xxxii. 13.  Lev. xxvi. 41.  Deut. ix. 27.  Dan. iii. 35.  Jer. xv. 1.  C. People in sin and misery seem dead, (v. 11.) yet may revive by grace.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Hand.  Save us by thy power, and for thy own  name’s sake.  Jos. vii. 9.

 

Ver. 8.  Offence.  Gr. “debt.”  Parents might sell their children.  Mat. xviii. 25.  God threatens his rebellious people, that they shall be forced to borrow.  Deut. xxviii. 44.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Hear.  God replies.  H. The Church has long read this has holy scripture, on the eves of Easter and Pentecost.  W. This second part contains an instruction respecting true wisdom; which is to be found in God alone, (C.) in in the people to whom he is pleased to communicate it.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Grown.  Houbigant, “growing.”  Five years had not elapsed: (Cappel.) yet they knew their captivity would be long. Dead.  Some might yield to idolatry.  Dan. iii. 7. 12.  H. They were in a manner buried, (Ps. lxxxvii. 5.) and forced to dwell among people where they were exposed to many defilements, as if they had been near a dead body.  Lev. xi. 25.

 

Ver. 13.  Peace.  There is none for the wicked; but only for the observers of the law. For ever.  Many read, “upon the land,” conformably to the Greek.

 

Ver. 15.  Treasures?  How few are truly wise and virtuous!  The great men of the world have missed their aim.  Israel has received the law.  Yet where is the fruit of it?  This is developed in the sequel.

 

Ver. 16.  Nations of Assyria? &c.  They esteemed themselves as lords of nature, and delighted in hunting.  The beasts and birds are subject to them.  Gen. i. 26.  Jer. xxvii. 6.  Dan. ii. 38.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Unsearchable?  Shall they not find the fruit of their works?  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Men; heirs of those conquerors, and equally in the dark.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Theman, the capital city of Edom.  Ch. Eliphaz was king.  Jer. xlix. 7. The Phœnicians, so famous for industry, had no idea of true wisdom, no more then the Ismaelites, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Agar, the mother of the Ismaelites.  Ch. Merrha, probably in Arabia. Fables.  This may be a reproach, or a commendation.  Those nations delighted in enigmatical and sententious discourses.  3 K. x. 1.  C. Instructors of mankind deserve praise, not those who devise false gods for lucre.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. vi. 5. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Possession.  All the world belongs to him: yet how few partake of his wisdom!

 

Ver. 26.  Giants, before and after the deluge.  Gen. vi.  Noe and Israel were preferred before them.

 

Ver. 29.   Clouds?  No human industry can procure this blessing.  God alone is the dispenser of it.  Deut. xxx. 12.  C. His grace makes the discovery easy.  Mat. xi. 30.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Evermore.  Lit. “in the eternal time,” or so long ago; (H.) designed to continue, while kingdoms shall change.  Eccle. i. 4.

 

Ver. 33.  Trembling.  The sun stops, goes back, or withdraws its light, at his command.  Jos. x. 12. and 4 K. xx. 9.  Mat. xxvii. 45.  Job xxxvi. 30.

 

Ver. 34.  Watches.  They are like his soldiers.  Judg. v. 20.  Eccli. xliii. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 38.  Earth, &c. by the mystery of the incarnation, by means of which the son of God came visibly amongst us, and conversed with men.  The prophets often speak of things to come as if they were past, to express the certainty of the event of the things foretold.  Ch.  C. Most of the Fathers prove Christ’s divinity from this text.  W.  See Tert. c. Prax. 6.  S. Cyp. c. Jud. ii. 5.  Eus. Dem. vi. 19. If we explain it of wisdom, it comes to the same purpose, as Christ is the wisdom of God.  1 Cor. i. 30.  Compare Prov. viii. 30.  Eccli. xxiv. 12.  Wisd. ix. 10. which no one ever suspected to be interpolated.  C.  Pref.

 

 

BARUCH 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Ever.  True wisdom may be found in the law.  It constitutes the happiness of Israel.  Deut. iv. 7.  Christ perfected and fulfilled it.  Mat. v. 7. Life.  Moses promised temporal blessings; (C. iii. 14.  Deut. xxx. 15.) yet the faithful would be rewarded eternally.  C. Wisdom is the law of God.  C. iii. 12.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Nation.  Be faithful, lest another take thy place.  This Christians have done.  Deut. xxxii. 21.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Memorial.  Gr. lit. “O memorable Israel.”  H. Ye are left to support and restore the nation.  This part of the letter is for their comfort.

 

Ver. 6.  Sold, like slaves, or people taken in war.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  God.  Lit. “Him.”  Gr. “the Eternal.”  H. This is taken from Deut. xxxii. 15.  C. Nursed you.  The city is beautifully personified as a widow.  v. 12.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Near.  Hebrew would be “daughters of Sion.”  v. 14.

 

Ver. 15.  Tongue.  So the Chaldees are described, Deut. xxviii. 49.  Is. xxxiii. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Children.  Gr. “daughters.”  H. Many of both sexes were taken with Jechonias.  C. Jerusalem comforts her children, and assures them of God’s mercy.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Peace: the ornaments worn in my prosperity. Sackcloth, or a rough garment, used by penitents and in times of public distress.

 

Ver. 25.  Neck.  Mardochai, Daniel, &c. were governors.  Is. xl. 14.   These predictions were more fully verified when the Gentiles embraced the gospel.  C.

 

Ver. 28.  When.  Gr. “now ten times as much, being converted, seek him.”  H. The Jews became much more docile and attached to the law.

 

Ver. 30.  Named thee as his servant, spouse, (C.) and intimate friend.

 

Ver. 31.  The.  Gr. Deilaioi.  “wretched those who have injured thee, and rejoiced in thy fall!  Wretched the cities,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  She; Babylon.  Ch. Gr. “Wretched she,” &c.  H. Babylon shall fall a prey to Cyrus.

 

Ver. 35.  Fire of war. Devils.  Whether they really dwell in ruins, or the people were of that opinion, (as the common sort are still) is not clear.  Jer. l. 39.  Is. xxxiv. 14.

 

Ver. 37.  East and west.  From Babylon and from the islands.  Is. xi. 11.  Zac. viii. 7.

 

 

BARUCH 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 2.  Garment.  Heb. “cloak,” (Sanct.) such as were worn by people under no disgrace.  C. iv. 20.  Thamar had one very costly.  2 K. xiii. 18.  C. Justice, or mercy.  God is bound to fulfill his gracious promises.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  His.  Gr. “thy.”  Christ, the sun of justice, would effect this.  Is. lx. 1.

 

Ver. 4.  Piety.  Thus shall Jerusalem be distinguished after the captivity; but still more so when Christ shall appear, and give peace to his Church, after the ages of persecution.

 

Ver. 5.  Arise.  C. iv. 36.  Is. lii. 2. God.  They remember his law with pleasure.

 

Ver. 6.  Children.  Gr. “the throne.”  The return of the captives was a triumph.  Is. xlvi. 20. and xlix. 22.  They had abundance of horses, &c.  1 Esd. ii. 66.  Darius gave them a convoy of 1000 horsemen.  3 Esd. v. 2.  Jos. Ant. xi. 4.

 

Ver. 7.  Diligently, without stumbling under the pillar of God’s protection.  Is. xl. 3.  C.

Ad vos quâ veniet, tumidi subsidite montes

Et faciles curvis vallibus este viæ.  Ovid. Am. ii. 16.

 

Ver. 8.  Woods.  This is a poetical description.  They shall pass through the sands of Arabia, as if they were under a delightful shade.

 

 

BARUCH 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

A copy.  Sept. place this after the Lamentations, which follow Baruch.  H. Jeremias wrote it before the captives departed.  Baruch read it to them at Babylon, and it was sent back to Jerusalem.  W. It might be delivered to the captives at Reblatha.  We have it not entire, as another circumstance respecting the ark is mentioned.  2 Mac. ii. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Seven generations; that is, seventy years.  Ch. A generation sometimes consisted of seven, ten, fifteen, thirty, thirty-five, fifty, or a hundred years.  A. Lap.  Menage. Eighteen years of the seventy had already elapsed.  C. Seven is often put for many, (H.) or a general number, (W.) because so many days form a week.  H. Grotius substitutes dekadwn for genewn, “seven decads,” very properly.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 3.  Shoulders.  This custom was very ancient, suggested by the avarice of the priests, who begged on such occasions.  Menander, ap. Clem. protrep.

 

Ver. 4.  Fear.  Worship not such things.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Angel Michael, the conductor of Israel in the desert, &c.  Dan. x. 13.  Ex. xxxiii. 2.  C. He protected them also in Babylon.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Gay.  Nothing could be more despicable.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  The Harlots.  Their hire was rejected by the Lord.  But idols suffered themselves to be despoiled or adorned at pleasure.  Gr. “But they will give of them even to harlots under the same roof, while they adorn them (idols) like men with garments, gods of gold, silver, and wood.”  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Them, of account of the many votaries, v. 16.  Arnobius (6) ridicules such gods.  C. Prot. adopt similar arguments against the real presence as if we believed that Christ was hurt when the sacramental species were broken or devoured by vermin.  A little more boldness will prompt them to reject the divinity of Christ, who was pleased to give up his body to those who treated him shamefully.  Almost every argument which is levelled against Christ’s real presence in the blessed Eucharist, maybe turned against the incarnation; and hence so many now become Socinians, being unwilling to submit their understanding to the mysteries of religion.  To apply these texts to holy pictures, would be nugatory.  See Is. xl 18.  H. The absurdities here specified, shew how foolish are those who serve idols or take any images to be gods.  W. Calvin represents the pagans as adoring God under the images, as if they used them in the same light as Catholics do; which is contrary to this epistle, &c.  T.

 

Ver. 13.  Judge, or ruler.  C. The sceptre and spear were badges of power.  Eustath. Mars had a sword, Hercules a club.  We know little of the idols of Babylon.

 

Ver. 15.  Vessel; armour, or any utensil.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Candles.  Lit. “lamps.”  H. Some temples in Egypt were famous for their number.  Herod. ii. 62. The Lord prescribed them to be used.  But who ever imagined that they stood in need of them to see, as the idolaters supposed their idols did?

 

Ver. 19.  Hearts: the wood is worm-eaten.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Price, foolishly believing that they have divine power.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  Gifts.  The Chaldees supposed that Bel could eat.  Dan. xiv. Dead.  Food was placed on the tombs.  S. Aug. abolished this custom in Africa.

 

Ver. 27.  Take.  Gr. “salt.”  They give none to the poor, for fear of their imposture being detected, though they allow even the unclean to eat.  v. 28.  Lev. xii. 2.  Deut. xiv. 29.

 

Ver. 29.  Women.  They make gods.  C. Qui rogat, ille facit.  Mart. viii. 24.

 

Ver. 30.  Shaven, as in mourning, contrary to the custom of Israel.  Lev. xxi. 10.  C. Heads.  The Jewish priests wore mitres or caps.

 

Ver. 31.  Dead, even of Adonis, (H.) whose worship is here ridiculed.  C. At Biblos people bewailed his death, and the next day proclaimed that he was alive.  All cut off their hair, as the Egyptians do for Apis, except such as submitted to prostitute themselves to strangers.  The hire they consecrated to Venus.  Lucian, Dea Syra. At funerals a feast was usually made, as is still the custom in Syria, (Roger. ii. 14.) and near Bagdad.  Chardin. ii. 7.

 

Ver. 34.  Requite.  Gr. “brass,” much less gold.  H.

 

Ver. 40.  Chaldees.  The priests themselves despise the idols most, (C.) and expose them to contempt, by pretending that they work miracles.  H. “Those who first set up representations of the gods, deprived cities of reverential awe, and increased the error,” said Varro; “prudently supposing that gods might easily be contemned, when like stupid images.”  In simulacrorum stoliditate.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iv. 26.

 

Ver. 41.  They.  Gr. “he could perceive.  And they reflecting on this, cannot still abandon them; for they have no sense.”  H. They are so stupid, that they will not quit such impotent idols.  C.

 

Ver. 42.  Women.  Aristophanes calls harlots, “corded bodies.”  Eccles. Act. i.  The women of Babylon “prostituted themselves once, in honour of Venus, (H. Mylitta.  C.) sitting with crowns on their heads in the temple, till some stranger selected them, and took them from their partition, made with cords,” (H.) to some more secret place, where they broke their bands.  Herod. i. 199.  C. That some deluded women, led by various desires, should think thus to honour that impure deity, by an action which some modern casuists have not scrupled to rank among simple venial sins, cannot excite our astonishment so much, when we reflect on the tenets of the ancient Gnostics, and of Antinomians at the present day, whom J. Wesley, the last founder of the Methodists, applauded and followed even in the meridian of the gospel light!  See Deut. xvi. 22. and xxiii. 17.  Yet these men read and perhaps distributed the Bible! Stones.  Lit. “bones;” (H.) or the refuse  of what had been crushed, (pitura.  Athen. ii. 14.) to excite impure love.  M.  T. Theocritus (Phar.) represents a witch doing the like; and Sanchez tells us, that some were taken in the fact in Spain.  C. Fumigation, used by the Babylonians after marriage, (Herod. i. 198.) may be insinuated.  Grotius.

 

Ver. 45.  To be.  Is. xliv. 14.  Horace (i. Sat. 8) introduces Priapus thus ridiculously explaining his origin; “I was formerly an useless piece of a fig-tree; when the workman, not knowing whether to make a bench or a Priapus, chose rather that I should be a god.  Hence I am a god, the greatest terror of thieves and birds.”  Sept. “they are nothing but what the workmen wish to form.”  H.

 

Ver. 51.  Them.  Gr. has simply, (C.) “Who then knows not that they are no gods?”  H.

 

Ver. 53.  Daws.  They have no greater influence (C.) than jackdaws.

 

Ver. 58.  Gods.  Sept. repeat this after satisfied, or “will use;” and here add, “or a pillar of wood in palaces, than,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 59.  Obedient to God.  They were appointed to mark out the seasons, &c. (Gen. i. 14.) and if any creature were worthy of adoration, they would.  C. The Babylonians adored them as well as statues, and therefore their proper destination is specified here and by Moses.

 

Ver. 69.  Scarecrow.  Priapus answered this glorious purpose.  v. 45.  H. When birds become accustomed to such things, they mind them not.  C.

 

Ver. 71.  Scarlet.  Gr. “marble” coloured wood.  Grotius would substitute margarou, “a pearl,” which decays through age.  C. Gr. also, “From the purple, which also shines upon them rotting, you shall,” &c.  Marmarou means, “of marble or shining.”

 

Ver. 72.  Reproach, provided he also avoid the idols of the mind and of the heart.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL

 

THE PROPHECY OF EZECHIEL.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Ezechiel, whose name signifies the strength of God, was of the priestly race, and of the number of the captives that were carried away to Babylon with king Joachin.  He was contemporary with Jeremias, and prophesied to the same effect in Babylon as Jeremias did in Jerusalem; and is said to have ended his days in like manner, by martyrdom.  Ch. He strove to comfort the captives, who began to repine that they had listened too readily to Jeremias, exhorting them to submit to the king of Babylon.  Some think that part of his prophecies is lost, as Josephus mentions two books: but the nine last chapters, regarding the new city and temple, might form the second division.  The Jews hesitated whether to allow his works to be canonical, as they seemed to differ from Moses, and from the dimensions given of Solomon’s temple.   But the same God might surely suggest some improvements, and the morality of the prophet is most excellent.  C. His style may be compared to that of Homer (Grot.) and Alcæus.  Many have thought that (C.) Pythagoras was his disciple; (Eus. præp. xiii.) yet the latter seems to have lived after the prophet, who was led into captivity with Jechonias, A. 3410, and prophesied for twenty years.  He dates from this period, (C.) and from the renewal of the covenant under Josias, (C. i. 1.  H.) when the captivity was first announced.  W. The Jews allowed none to read the first and the nine (H.) last chapters, nor the beginning of Gen. nor the Cant. before they were thirty years old; and they never attempted to explain the vision nor the building of the temple, supposing it to be above the power of man.  St. Jerom.

 

 

EZECHIEL 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  And is either superfluous, as at the beginning of most of the sacred books, (C.) or shews the connection of what is written with what the prophet saw or heard internally.  S. Aug. in Ps. iv.  S. Greg.  W. Year: either of the age of Ezechiel, or (as others will have it) from the solemn covenant made in the eighteenth year of Josias; (4 K. xxiii.  Ch.  W.  C.) or he alludes to the era of Nabopolassur, used at Babylon, (M.) or to the last jubilee.  See Sanct.  The thirtieth year, from the prediction of Holda to Josias, (H.) concurs with the fifth of the prophet’s captivity.  C. xvii. 12.  Usher, A. 3410. Fourth of the sacred year, (C.) on Friday, 24th July, (Usher) or in Jan.  S. Jer. Chobar, or Aboras, which runs westward into the Euphrates, above Thapsacus.  Strabo. The captives were in those parts, though not present.  C. Opened, in spirit, (H.) by faith.  S. Jerom The prophet fell prostrate.  C. ii. 1.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Captivity.  Lit. “transmigration,” (H.) which is more agreeable to the Heb. &c.  Jechonias delivered himself up.  Six years after this, Sedecias was taken.  S. Jerom.

 

Ver. 3.  Hand; power, energy of the Holy Spirit.  Theod.

 

Ver. 4.  North, denoting the invasion of Judea by the Chaldees.  Is. xiv. 31.  Sanct. The Jews thought the following vision inexplicable, and deliberated about rejecting the book, when Ananias offered to answer every difficulty.  They assigned him three hundred barrels of oil to light his lamp, while he performed the task.  Rabbins. This hyperbole shews their idea of its obscurity.  C. Amber, (electri) a compound of four parts of gold and one of silver, (Pliny xxxiii. 4.) more precious than either.  S. Jer. It may also mean orichalchum, or a mixture of gold and brass, (Bochart, anim. 2 b. vi. 16.) which was also preferred before gold alone, as it had the hardness of brass.  Lucret. Serv. in xii. Æneid.

alboque orichalcho

                        Circumdat loricam humeris.

Two vessels are mentioned, probably of this composition.  1 Esd. viii. 27.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Living creatures.  Cherubims, (as appears from Eccles. xlix. 10.) represented to the prophet under these mysterious shapes, as supporting the throne of God, and as it were drawing his chariot.  All this chapter appeared so obscure and full of mysteries to the ancient Hebrews, that, as we learn from S. Jerom, (ep. ad Paulin.) they suffered none to read it before they were thirty years old.  Ch. The pagans had many such compound figures as are here represented.  Parkhurst, p. 411.  H. Sanchoniathon (ap. Eus. præp. 2.) seems to have borrowed his description from this place. In them.  They stood upright and had some parts of the human figure.  C. Indeed, it seems to have been predominant.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Faces.  This sometimes means shapes; and Pererius supposes that the animal had the head of a man, and the breast covered with lions’ hair, the feet or round cloven hoofs of an ox, and the wings of an eagle.  But it had rather four faces as well as wings, the faces of the man and lion being to the right, and the other two to the left; (C.  T.) or the eagle was behind (H.) or above the head of the man, and the lion and ox at his right and left.  Corn. a Lapide.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Straight.  Heb. “a straight foot.”  Prot. prefer “feet.”  H. Of a calf.  Aquila reads to the same import hagol, “round,” instead of hegel, (H.) “a calf.”  Sym. has “winged feet,” like Mercury.  C. Sept. omit this, says S. Jerom, though we have his version of Sym. as if it belonged to the Sept.; and it occurs in Grabe as genuine. Brass.  Sept. add, “and their feathers were very light.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Wings.  Their arms were covered with feathers, and the hand appeared at the extremity; or they had four arms under the wings.  C. x. 8.  They all came from the shoulders, so as to correspond with the four faced animal, v. 6.  C. Others believe that each face had four wings, so that the animal would have sixteen.  Maldonat. In Is. ix. 2. the cherub has six wings.  The form was variable, as there was nothing in nature similar.  They were perhaps designed to represent the eternity and dominion of God over the whole creation.  v. 28.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Another.  Two above were extended so as to support the throne, which seemed to rest on these eight wings connected together.  The others were joined so as perfectly to cover what was below the breast.  C. Sept. “And the wings of those four were touching each other, and their faces (Calmet reads with Chal. and Heb. wings) turned not,” &c.  H. The wings did not imitate those of birds, going to and fro, but were constantly in the same direction; or the animals did not change their respective situations: as they had four faces, there was always one of them turned to the opposite quarters of the world.  C. They turned not about, (v. 12.) but having faces on every side, were ready to go any way.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Over.  This is not specified in Heb. Chal. Sept. or S. Jer.  C. “The face of an eagle for all the four.”  It mist have been above or behind the man, as the situation of the other two faces is here determined.  v. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Faces.  Sept. “wings:” and indeed it does not appear how their faces were stretched upwards, (C.) unless they looked earnestly that way; though, out of respect, they covered their faces with two wings.

 

Ver. 14.  Flashes.  Heb. Bazak.  H. Theodotion retains the original.  His version seems to have been inserted in the Sept. (C.) who omitted this verse, as seeming to contradict v. 9. and 12.  S. Jer. Yet it only signifies that the motion was quick as lightning, though they did not alter their situation with respect to each other.

 

Ver. 15.  Faces.  One wheel crossed another at right angles, so that it was ready to move in any direction, (v. 17.  C.) like a globe.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Sea: sky blue.  Heb. “Tharsis,” which Sym. renders “the hyacinth;” a precious stone.  Ex. xxviii. 20.  C. Midst.  The evangelists and New Testament agree perfectly with the Old.  S. Greg. hom. vi.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Parts.  When they went, they went by their four parts.  That is, indifferently to any of their sides, either forward or backward, to the right or to the left.  Ch. Their motion was connected with the chariot.  v. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Eyes, like Argus, or the tail of a peacock.  C. The eye is sometimes put for a colour.  Grot.

 

Ver. 20.  Life.  They were moved like the rest by the whirlwind, or by living creatures.  They seemed to be animated, as Homer describes Vulcan’s tripods.

 

Ver. 22.  Crystal, or sapphire.  v. 26.  C. x. 1.  This shining sky was like the footstool of the Lord, and rested on eight wings. v. 9, 23.

 

Ver. 24.  Voice.  The motion of the wings made a noise like a torrent, or thunder. God.  Heb. “self-sufficient,” as Sept. &c. render it, ikanou.  C. Prot. “like the voice of the Almighty.”  H. Down; or rather ceased to make such a noise.  v. 25.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Upon it.  This might be omitted, as the Vulg. has only desuper, above.  H. God was pleased to assume the shape of a man, seated on the throne.

 

Ver. 27.  Amber, or orichalcum.  v. 4.

 

Ver. 28.  Rainbow, encircling the sky blue throne and the flame.  Nothing could be more dazzling, nor better manifest the subjection of man.  C. The prophet saw four visions at once; the whirlwind, (v. 4.) the living creatures, (v. 5.) the wheels, (v. 15.) and the man seated on a throne, in the sky, v. 26.  To explain all these mysteries, a large commentary would scarcely suffice.  W. The tempest, cloud, and fire, shew the impending ruin of the Jews.  The ministers of God are over ready to execute his orders.  The wisdom of Providence is denoted by the name of the cherubim, the connection of causes by the four wheels, &c.  M. God appears in his chariot going to war.  He denounces vengeance on the guilty.  C. ii. and xliii.  See Corn. a Lapide.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Face, to adore God.  M. Son of man.  Our Saviour, out of humility, takes this title, which no other gave him; as the angel does commonly to this prophet, who was his figure: few else have received it, (Dan. viii. 17.) but the reason is not known.  W. God here teaches Ezechiel not to boast of the honour shewn to him, since he must always remember that he is but a feeble mortal.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Spirit of prophecy; (S. Jer.  T.) or, I revived, and took courage.

 

Ver. 3.  Israel.  His commission was chiefly to them.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Forbear to sin.  H. He thus insinuates free-will.  S. Jer. If they refuse to hear my prophet, they will at least perceive that hey are inexcusable.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Scorpions.  This people is no less destructive (H.) and hardened.  Ps. cxvii. 12. For might be better rendered, “though.”  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Eat.  “If we do not eat the open book, we cannot teach.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 9.  Without.  This was only done when the work was long.  C.

Scriptus et in tergo, necdum finitus Orestes.  Juv. 1.

Sept. “past and present things were written in it.”  H. Woe, or the words of the penitent, of the blessed, and of the damned.  W. The canticles were of a mournful nature, and the prophet had sorrows to announce.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Eat this book, and go speak to the children of Israel.  By this eating of the book, was signified the diligent attention and affection with which we are to receive and embrace the word of God; and to let it as it were, sink into our interior by devout meditation.  Ch. The revelation came from God.  v. 10.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Book, in spirit; (C.) or in reality, he chewed the volume.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Mouth.  I readily accepted the commission, but soon found the difficulties to which it would expose me.  v. 12.  Jer. xv. 16.  Apoc. x. 10.

 

Ver. 6.  Unknown.  Heb. “heavy.”  C. Prot. “hard.”  H. It is not above thy strength.  Deut. xxx. 12. To thee.  He insinuates that the Gentiles would obey the apostles.  S. Jer. But the time was not yet come.  C. From this text and Mat. xi. 21. it appears that “the same grace” is accepted by some and rejected by others, as “more grace is added to the former, which was sufficient before, and by this…is made effectual” through God’s mercy.  Rom. ix.  W. Those who reject the first grace, can blame only themselves, if they receive no more.  The same grace falling on a heat better prepared by God, like seed on good soil, is more fruitful.

 

Ver. 7.  Hard.  Lit. “rubbed” like a stone, or brass; attritâ.  H. God’s ambassadors (Eph. vi. 20.  C.) must do their utmost.  H. The success must not puff them up, nor the failure too much depressed them, as all regards God, (Mat. x. 40.) who will know how to make things conduce to his own glory.  They must only bewail the blindness of sinners.  C. The care of them, and not the cure, will be required at their hands.  v. 19.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Harder.  If they will not blush, thou shalt not be ashamed to lay their disorders before their eyes, though they be such as ought not to be mentioned, as becomes saints.  H.  See C. xvi. and xxii.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Spirit; wind (Hugo) or angel, took me through the air; (Prado.) or, I went willingly.  S. Jer. Commotion, like an earthquake, (Heb.  Sept.) occasioned by the motion of the chariot, or the voice of the cherubim.  v. 13.

 

Ver. 14.  Spirit, resolved to rebuke (C.) sinners.  Sept. “the spirit of the Lord also lifted me…and I went aloft (like a meteor; metewroV) by the impulse of my spirit; for the hand of the Lord upon me was strong; and I went loft, to the captivity, and passed through them…conversing in the midst of them.”  H.

 

Ver. 15.  The heap of new corn.  It was the name of a place; in Hebrew, Telabib, (Ch.) as the Chal. leaves it (M.) with the three Greek interpreters.  C. Tel means “a heap,” and abib “new corn.”  H. There was no new wheat in the fourth month, but rather in May or June.  C. i. 1.  Ptolemy places Thelda near the Chaboras. Mourning; or Prot. “astonished,” like Job’s friends, for people dead in sin.  H. Many suppose that he never spoke.  Yet this is not certain, (v. 11.  C.) though probable from v. 16.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Watchman: the usual title of those placed over others.  C. xxxiii. 2.  Is. xxi. 6.  Let none perish through thy  neglect.  C. “He (the pastor) kills the man whom he delivers up to death by silence.”  S. Greg. hom. xi. 9.

 

Ver. 20.  Iniquity, for want of thy instruction; (H.) or, if thou neglect to reclaim him, (C.) and he perish, or owe his conversion to another, when duty requires thee to take care of him, thou shalt answer for the possible bad consequences.  Thy sin is great, whatever become of him.  But if he be damned, though he must blame himself chiefly, yet the blood of his soul shall cry for vengeance more than Abel’s.  H. Before him, taking away my grace in punishment of his revolt.  W. If thou neglect to attempt reclaiming him, thou shalt perish with him; (S. Greg.) or if he be exposed to trial, and thou abandon him, (Vat.) of if thou neglect to husband well the precious moments, when I open his eyes, and fill him with apprehensions of his dangerous state, I will require, &c.  Orig.  S. Jer. Remembered.  Ingratitude caused the fruits of virtue to decay, and former crimes to revive, in some sense.  S. Tho. iii. p. q. 88. a. 1.  Mat. v. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Warn.  It is the duty of a pastor to warn the just as well as sinners.  W. It will not suffice to do this publicly: sometimes we must go from house to house, like S. Paul, and compel those who are in the hedges to enter the marriage feast, by the most persuasive arguments.  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Bands.  It is uncertain whether by his order, or they supposed he was deranged, as our Saviour’s brethren meant to treat him.  Mar. iii. 21.  The Chal. explains it figuratively of God’s order, attaching the prophet to his service.  C. But real chains would more forcibly shew the future captivity of Juda (H.) which the prophet declared both by words and actions.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  House.  “When there is a multitude of sins, (or sinners; peccatorum) the offenders are unworthy of being corrected by the Lord.”  S. Jer. The prophet’s silence might suffice to admonish them.  C. He heard the Lord’s commands to C. xi. 24. before he spoke to the people.  M.

 

Ver. 27.  Forbeareth.  Sept. “disbelieveth, let him disbelieve.”  So we read, He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; (Apoc. xxii. 11.) which denotes the most desperate condition.  H. Aquila (2 edit.) has, “he who abandons, shall be abandoned.”  S. Jer. The man who makes good use of grace shall receive more; but he who despises the offers of God, shall be justly deprived of them in his greatest need.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Tile, very large.  C. Those of Italy were two feet large and one broad.  Pallad. This might be soft clay; (Grot.  M.) or the siege might be marked out upon it with chalk or a sharp stile.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Cast up.  The ditch would be about three feet deep, and the earth being thrown up, people might approach the town with less danger.  W. The besieged were thus also prevented from going out.  4 K. xxv. 1.  Forts or towers were erected to overlook and clear the walls. Rams.  This is the first time we find them mentioned.  Homer is silent about them; (C.) and the ancient sieges lasted so long, because people had not found out the art of demolishing the walls.  Diod. ii.

 

Ver. 3.  Pan, or plate, on which bread was usually baked.  This was to represent the walls of the city.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Sleep.  Heb. “lie down.”  M. He eat at intervals.  C. Iniquities, or punishments.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Three, &c.  S. Jerom says some “Vulgate,” (H.) Latin, (C.) or rather incorrect Greek (H.) copies read 100, others 150.  See Origen, &c.  C. The Alex. copy has the former, (H.) the Rom. edit. the latter number; and is followed by Theodoret and Maldonat.  C. But the more accurate Sept. agree with the Heb. &c.  The captivity of Israel must be dated from Phacee, (4 K. xv. 29.) to the end of the reign of Darius Memnon, who espoused Esther, and granted liberty “to all the Jews;” or rather from Manathem, (4 K. xv. 19.) to the 28th of the same king Assuerus.  Thus God’s “grace, we think, and we may so speak without arrogance, has enabled us to explain this difficulty, which no other has done.”  S. Jer. Many confound the duration of the iniquity of Israel with that of Juda, forming 430 years; and they explain it of the time during which the nation had prevaricated.  But this seems unnatural.  We may rather conclude, that the prophet speaks of a separate judgment, and dates from the destruction of Samaria and of Jerusalem.  The former city was taken A. 3283.  If we add 390 years, we shall find the year 3673 the very year when Alexander overcame Darius, and soon after granted the Jews full liberty to return, or live according to their own laws.  This he granted to those in Babylon, and to the Israelites (C.) in Media.  Jos. Ant. xi. ult. & c. Ap. i. Philadelphus afterwards liberated many in Egypt, (Jos. Ant. xii. 2.) as Osee (xi. 11.) had foretold.  The chastisement of Juda must be dated from the destruction of Jerusalem under Sedecias, till Darius, the Mede, favoured the Jews about forty years afterwards.  C. S. Jerom only allows forty years to have elapsed from the first of Jechonias till the first of Cyrus.  The want of an exact chronology gives rise to many such difficulties.  H. It is very hard to explain how the ten tribes were 390 and the two tribes 40 years in captivity, as it is certain that the latter were seventy year banished from their own country.  W. Perhaps during the last thirty their condition was greatly ameliorated, after the decree of Cyrus, though the liberation was only perfect under Hystaspes and Esther.  H. The iniquity of Israel, from Solomon to Salmanasar, lasted 390 years; and that of Juda, under the reign of Manasses, was most abominable for the space of forty years; (Tournemine) or it continued so long from the 18th of Josias till the 4th, after the city was destroyed, and the land became a desert.  Usher, A. 3380 to 3420. But how shall the reign of the virtuous Josias be included in this period?  H. The action of the prophet lying 430 days, denoted the length of the siege of Jerusalem, during which extreme scarcity should be felt, and also the captivity of the people.  Some have thought that he could not remain 390 days on one side, and that all passed in spirit.  But what impression would that make upon the people?  He was chained down, (C.) to represent their miserable condition.  H. Prædo saw a fool who lay tied in one posture for above fifteen years.  C. The remaining so long in one posture must have been painful to the prophet.  T.

 

Ver. 7.  Siege, which shall be most terrible; (H.) 390 days: the pillage shall last other forty.  T. So many years have the people transgressed. Out.  Heb. “naked.”  Thus various barbarians fight. Prophesy, not by words, (C. viii. 26.) but by actions.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Staters, sicles, each being equal to 9 dwt. 2.57 gr. Eng.  The hin contained 1 gal. 2 pints.  Arbuthnot.  H. He had an allowance of ten ounces a-day.  C.  T.

 

Ver. 12.  Barley, the worst or usual food of the poor.  H. Ashes, to denote hurry.  C. Cover with hot ashes, (H.) formed of dry excrements.  C. That of oxen is still used in Egypt, (Val. ep. xi.) and in some parts of England, by the poor people.  Hooke. This was more tolerable, (C.) and God agrees to substitute it.  v. 15.  Heb. “Thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and shalt bake,” (Prot.) or “hide it,” &c.  Sept.  H. “The law itself, which the Jews read and do not understand, is this ember cake covered with human dung.”  Phil. iii. 8. “They adore not idols, but do all for the belly and for earthly goods.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 13.  Filthy.  Israel was less careful to avoid uncleannesses than Juda.  Hence the prophet eats only during 390 days.  Osee ix. 3.  C. While the city was pillage for forty days, the prisoners would procure better food.  v. 7.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Ah.  He makes the same exclamation as Jeremias.  i. 6.  Heb. aha.  Theodot. “Oh!”  Sept. and Sym. “by no means.”  H. God forbid.  Excrements make a person legally unclean.  Deut. xxiii. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Neats, or “oxen;” boum.  Prot. “cow’s dung.”  H. God allows him to bake his bread under such ashes.  C. So great is his condescension towards his friends!  T.

 

Ver. 16.  Staff.  As this supports the weak, so bread nourishes all men, (W.) particularly the bread of life.  S. Jer. Very little food, (C.) and that of a nauseous kind, (H.) would be found during the siege.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  When.  Prot. “they may want bread and water, and be astonished one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.”  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  That.  Heb. “the scissors of clippers.”  The same term is used for clipping sheep as for cutting hair.  Shaving was not probably then in use. Beard, as in mourning or for ignominy.  2 K. x. 4.  Jer. xlvii. 5. Balance, to shew that God does nothing unjustly.  C. The hair.  Lit. “them.”  H. This was to be done before he lay down.  Hew was to burn, cut, and divide the hair as the siege represented on the tile advanced, to denote that some should perish in the city by famine, others by the sword, while a few should be scattered among the nations: yet of these a small number should be gathered round Godolias, and perish with him, or in Egypt, &c. and the rest be thence led captive to Babylon.

 

Ver. 2.  Third.  Sept. and Theod. read “a fourth,” as also v. 12. (C.) thus assigning half to be burnt by death (pestilence) and famine.  The other half of the people falls a prey to the sword and to captivity.  The pestilence, famine, and the sword, were the three usual scourges left to David’s choice, (2 K. xxiv.) which here destroy each a fourth part, while the rest become captives.  Yet even of this third or fourth part, many engage in civil broils, and perish.  S. Jerom hints that the Sept. is interpolated from Theodotion, v. 12, and that their version only comprised the pentateuch.  But the other books went at least under the same title; and there must be some mistake in the words asterisked, since they occur in the Heb. Vulg. &c. third being only substituted for fourth: “And a fourth part of thee shall fall by the sword.”  The Heb. is rather less degrading to the Jews, as there would be thus at most one-third preserved, instead of a part only of one-fourth.  See Deut. xxvii. 4.  Jer. lii. 28. Take.  Sept. add here, “a fourth part; and shalt burn it in the midst of it; and a fourth thou shalt cut,” &c.  H. He was thus to deal with a part of the hair during 390 days, (M.) or at the end of them.  R. Salom. Round, in the cities near Jerusalem, (W.) or round the picture of it.  C. iv. 1.

 

Ver. 4.  Out of it.  Some rose up against Godolias.  Jer. xl. &c.  C. The divisions of the Jews brought on the persecution of Epiphanes, (Sanct.) and introduced Pompey.  S. Jer.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Midst, distinguished above the rest.  Many have supposed that the city was in the exact middle of Palestine, or of the world.  Ps. lxxiii. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Surpassed. in numbers, (Sym.) or rather in wickedness.  Chal.  C. Sept. “because you have been incited by the,” &c.  H. Judgments.  You have been less attached to my service than the Gentiles have been to their idols.  Some think that not is here superfluous, as it is omitted C. xi. 12.  But it is wrong to imitate the Gentiles, and worse to surpass them in crimes.

 

Ver. 9.  Like.  The ruin of Jerusalem by the Chaldees was terrible, (C.) but that by the Romans was more so.  S. Jer. The reasons were different.

 

Ver. 10.  Fathers.  This is not specified in history.  Famine prevailed, 4 K. xxv. 3.; and we find something similar, Lam. iv. 10. C.  Bar. ii.  W. It is probable, therefore, that these threats were realized.  Theod.  Deut. xxviii. 53. Scatter.  Lit. “winnow.”  H. The Jewish nation was never again all together in the promised land.

 

Ver. 12.  Pestilence.  Sept. “death;” so they usually denote pestilence.  They add, “and a fourth part of thee shall be,” &c.  v. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Comforted, or revenged.  C. xxiv. 14.  Is. i. 24.

 

Ver. 14.  And a.  Sept. “and thy daughters (dependances.  C.) round,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Scoff.  Lit. “blasphemy;” which is here used improperly, to denote derision.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Arrows; inclemency of the seasons, &c. which bring on famine.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Beasts.  They usually take possession of abandoned countries.  S. Jer. The Chaldees may also be meant.  C. xvii. 3.

 

 

EZECHIEL 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 2.  Mountains, where idols were chiefly adored.  Here their votaries find death.  W. Israel, including all God’s people, as the sacred writers make no distinction (C.) after the destruction of Samaria.

 

Ver. 4.  Idols.  Protestant marginal note, “sun-images,” as v. 6.  The sun was much worshipped.  C. viii. 16.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Bones.  The Chaldees violated the tombs.  Bar. ii. 24.  Jer. viii. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Some.  Providence still preserves some faithful or penitent souls.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Broken.  Adversity has made them repent.

 

Ver. 11.  Foot, through indignation or pity.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  From, or, “more than,” (H.) as Heb. may signify.  Deblatha was in the land of Moab.  Num. xxxiii. 46.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 2.  Israel, or Judea, in all its parts.  W. In five or six years’ time all shall be destroyed.

 

Ver. 3.  Set, as accusers, to increase thy confusion.

 

Ver. 5.  One.  A second shall not be necessary.  Nah. i. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Awaked.  Justice seems to have slept.  H.  See v. 10.  Jer. i. 12.

 

Ver. 7.  Destruction, (contritio.)  S. Jerom reads “contraction,” as also v. 10.  Prot. “the morning.”  H. Chal. “the reign.”  C. Heb. tsephira, is variously rendered.  H. Joy.  Heb. “echo or cry” of people in the vintage.

 

Ver. 10.  Budded; figurative expressions, denoting a speedy vengeance.  C. Chal. “the reign is open, the ruler has flourished, the wicked hath appeared.”  In this reign of Nabuchodonosor ye shall be chastised.  H. Sept. or rather Theodotion, from whom many things have bee supplied according to S. Jerom, (C.) have, “The deceit (or thick foliage; plokh) has gone forth, the rod,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Iniquity.  What other fruit could be expected from wickedness?  It draws on chastisement. Noise, or grandees.  None will repent, and therefore none shall escape, from the highest to the lowest.

 

Ver. 13.  Sold, as in the year of jubilee.  Lev. xxv. 25.  C. Now there shall be no recovery.  W. They shall be driven from the land. Although.  By supplying the former negation, (C.) we may render “Nor,” &c. (H.) which seems better.  C. It may also mean, “those who are now alive” shall witness these things.  H.  Back.  It is not a mere threat.

 

Ver. 14.  Ready.  He describes the vain attempts of the Jews to make resistance.

 

Ver. 16.  Doves, not daring to vent their complaints.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Water; urine, (S. Jer.) sweat, &c. the usual effects of fear.

 

Ver. 18.  Heads.  They cut their hair in times of penance and of mourning.

 

Ver. 19.  Iniquity.  Riches have fostered their passions: they will not now procure food or liberty.  Soph. i. 18.  C. The riches of the idols invited the enemy to plunder.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  And.  Prot. “As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the,” &c.  The sacred ornaments of the temple, appointed by God, (H.) have been converted into idols, and shall be carried to Babylon.  v. 21.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Secret: the inward sanctuary, the holy of holies.  Ch. God would guard it no longer.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Shutting up.  Heb. “chain,” for imprisonment and captivity.  Ch. Pronounce sentence upon all.

 

Ver. 24.  Sanctuary; the temple of God, or of idols.  C. vi. 3.

 

Ver. 25.  Distress.  When the enemy is before the city, they will see their error; but it will be too late.  They shall not obtain peace.  Jer. xxxviii. 1.

 

Ver. 26.  Ancients.  Priests shall afford no consolation, nor counsellors any advice.  They shall be all confounded.  C. During the captivity a few only were found to give instruction.  Mal. ii.  W.

 

 

EZECHIEL 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Sixth of the prophet’s captivity, (C.) in August, A. 3411.  Usher He had rested on his left or right side, whenever he slept during 430 days, and on the following had this vision.  W. He was stationed in spirit at the northern gate leading to the court of the priests, and beheld the glory of God and the idol of jealousy.  He saw the people, men and women, adoring idols, and priests worshipping the sun.  C. ix.  God rests on the gate of the temple, and orders a man to sign those who were to live, and six others to destroy the rest.  The prophet prays.  C. x.  God orders the man clothed in linen to take coals from the cherubim, and sprinkle them through the city.  The throne goes to receive the Lord.  C. xi.  Ezechiel prophesies against many, at the eastern gate; and God informs him that the former captives shall return, but that the wicked at Jerusalem shall perish.  His chariot then rests on the mountain to the east of the city.  Thus his reasons for punishing the people become evident.

 

Ver. 2.  Likeness.  Sept. add, “of a man,” as it had appeared C. i. 27.

 

Ver. 3.  Lock, like Habacuc; (Dan. xiv. 35.) or by a bandage, on which parts of the law were written.  Heb.  C. Of jealousy; Baal, (S. Jer.) or any other idol, (H.) particularly Adonis.  v. 14.  He fell a victim to the jealousy of Mars.

 

Ver. 10.  About.  This was the council chamber.  Jer. xxvi. 10.  They durst not publicly adore the Egyptian, &c. idols.  C. They denied Providence.  v. 12.  H. The wicked do not regard it, and hence fall into idolatry.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Jezonias.  He probably was over the temple, as his father had been.  4 K. xxii. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Adonis, the favourite of Venus, slain by a wild boar, as feigned by the heathen poets, and which being here represented by an idol, is lamented by the female worshippers of that goddess.  In Heb. the name is Tammuz, (Ch.) which means “concealed,” as Adonis signifies “my lord.”  This idol, which the Egyptians called Osiris, was placed in a coffin, and bewailed till it was pretended he was come to life, when rejoicings took place.  Obscene pictures were carried about; and the more honest pagans were ashamed of these practices, which began in Egypt, and became almost general.  Moses alludes to them, Lev. xix. 27.  Deut. xiv. 1.  C. David and Solomon say that the image was made of brass, with eyes of lead, which seemed to weep, melting when it was hot.  W. But this is destitute of proof.

 

Ver. 16.  Men.  Twelve priests and as many Levites officiated daily.  The high priest made the twenty fifth.  1 Par. xxiv. Sun.  They prayed to God, turning their faces to the west: but here they despised him, and adored the sun.  Job xxxi. 26.  C. This posture was common.  Illi ad surgentem conversi lumina solum.  Æn. xii.  Serv. Christians did the like, though the reason is not ascertained.  C. It might be because Christ is the orient, and not to resemble the Jews.  There was no danger of their being taken for idolaters.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Nose, to hide their faces respectfully, (C.) when they look at the sun rising.  H. A thyrsus was used in honour of Bacchus, who is often confounded with the sun.  Various improbable versions of this text are given.  It may signify Heb. “they threw their instruments down before their faces,” like the twenty-four elders.  Apoc. v. 8.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 2.  Upper, leading to the court of the priests.  These were six angels, representing the army coming from Babylon.  The seventh was an angel of peace.  C. God never abandoned his whole Church.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  House; to the holy place, shewing that he abondoned those in the temple.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Mark Thau.  Thau, or Tau, is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and signifies a sign or a mark: which is the reason why some translators render this place set a mark, or mark a mark, without specifying what this mark was.  But S. Jerom, and other interpreters, conclude it was the form of the letter thau, which, in the ancient Hebrew character, was the form of a cross.  Ch. Of this many inscriptions still extant bear witness.  Montfaucon. Some Rabbins allow that the last letter was used but in honour of “the law,” Thorah.  The cross is supposed to be the hieroglyphic of a future life, (Hist. Rufini. ii. 29.) and found frequently in the pictures or (H.) in the tables of Isis.  But it rather represents a key.  Soldiers who were acquitted received the letter T, and those who were sentenced to die had Q, (C.) alluding to QanatoV, “death.”  H. We may, however, suppose that if God designated any letter, it would be some letter of the Heb. alphabet, and accordingly the last had formerly the figure of †. x. though this text may signify “a sign” in general.  The virtuous would be discriminated from the guilty, as if they were marked.  C. The door-posts of the Hebrews were stained with blood, in Egypt, to shew that all should be redeemed by that of Christ; and here those who shall be saved, received the mark of his cross.  This sign has always been held in veneration among Christians, (W.) and used in conferring baptism, consecrating the blessed Eucharist, &c.  S. Chrys. hom. lv. in Mat. and lxxxiv. in Jo.  S. Aug. tr. cxviii. in Jo.  Ser. ci. de temp. &c. It appeared to Constantine with this inscription, “In this conquer;” (Eus. vit. i. 22.) and again over Jerusalem; (S. Cyr. ep. ad Constantium.) and will be borne before Christ, at his last coming, (Mat. xxiv.) to the joy of those who have performed their baptismal promises, and to the confusion (W.) of the enemies of the cross of Christ.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Sanctuary.  Aquila, “temple,” or people (C.) consecrated to my service, (Sept.  T.) particularly (C.) the twenty-five idolaters, the ancients and women.  C.  C. viii. 16. Judgment beginneth at the house of God, (1 Pet. iv. 17.) and those (H.) who abuse holy things are justly cut off.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Defile.  Sept. “you have defiled.”  I regard the place no longer.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Perverseness, in “wresting of judgment.”  Prot. marg.  What else can be expected, when the judges deny Providence?  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Throne.  It was a sky blue crystal or sapphire colour, (C. i. 22, 26.) and was now empty.  C. i.  The Lord spoke from the temple door.  v. 4.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Out, to purify (S. Jer.) or punish the city, (Theod.) which would shortly be reduced to ashes.  Vat.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Right, south of the priests’ court.

 

Ver. 4.  Lifted up, before C. ix. 3.  C. A man seemed to be on the throne, (W.) or rather over the door of the holy place.

 

Ver. 5.  Court of the people. Speaking in thunder.

 

Ver. 8.  Wings.  They would seem to be distinct, or (C.) fingers appeared at the end of the wings.  Grot.

 

Ver. 9.  Stone.  Heb. Tharsis.  Sym. “Hyacinth.”  C. i. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  By four ways.  That is, by any of the four ways, forward, backward, to the right, or to the left.  Ch.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Wheels.  These, as well as (H.) the cherubim, (Theod.) were full of eyes.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Voluble.  That is, rolling wheels: galgal, (Ch.) which means “rolling:” (H.) or “he said to the wheels, Turn around about.”  Theodoret. This is the real import of Heb.  C. Prot. have, “O wheel.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Cherub, or “ox.”  All four seem to have had the resemblance of a man, but one more than the rest, which had respectively the appearance rather of an ox, a lion, or an eagle: (W.) or the ox was predominant in all, as both the head and feet were of it; (C.) which, however, does not constitute the greatest part.  C. i. 5.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Creature.  What I saw, was properly called cherubim.  Charab, in Syr. means “to labour;” (Spencer) or cherubim may imply any composed and unusual figure, or “mixture.”  Ex. xxv. 18.  C. Ezechiel being a priest, saw that the creatures resembled the cherubim of the temple.  T.

 

Ver. 17.  Life.  They were not mere machines; (H.) or they were pushed forward by an impetuous wind.

 

Ver. 19.  East gate, leading from the city to the court of the people.  C. How unwilling is this good father to leave his house!  T.

 

Ver. 20.  Creature.  The cherubim and all the throne seemed alive.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Forward, thus shewing God’s decree to abandon the synagogue.  T.

 

 

EZECHIEL 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Me.  The prophet in Chaldea, saw in spirit what was doing at Jerusalem.  W. Men.  Magistrates.  Prado.  T.  M. Jezonias, perhaps mentioned C. viii. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Built, &c.  These men despised the predictions and threats of the prophets; who declared them to be from God, that the city should be destroyed and the inhabitants carried into captivity: and they made use of this kind of argument against the prophets, that the city so far from being like to be destroyed, had lately be augmented by the building of new houses; from whence they further inferred, by way of a proverb, using the similitude of a cauldron, out of which the flesh is not taken till it is thoroughly boiled and fit to be eaten, that they should not be carried away out of thier city, but there end their days in peace.  Ch. They thought themselves secure, (W.) and laughed at the menaces of Jeremias, i. 15.  C. Heb. “The destruction is not soon coming.  Let us build;” (Pagn.  M.) or, “It is not time to build.”  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Slain, under Manasses, &c.  T.

 

Ver. 7.  Cauldron.  I will explain the prediction, which you turn to ridicule.  Those whom you have slain, are like the flesh (C.) boiled.  H. But you shall be treated still worse, being led captives and slain.  C. They feared wars, but had no dread of captivity.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Israel.  They pretended that they should die in peace in Jerusalem: God tells them it should not be so, but that they should be judged and condemned, and fall by the sword in the borders of Israel; viz. in Reblatha, in the land of Emath, where all their chief men were put to death by order of Nabuchodonosor.  4 K. xxv. and Jer. lii. 10. 27.  Ch.

 

Ver. 12.  But you.  Some copies of Sept. have, “neither have you done.”  C. v. 7.

 

Ver. 13.  Pheltias, the prince, (v. 1.  H.) or false prophet, whose death Ezechiel does not bewail, but fears the great destruction of the people; (W.  M.) though, if Pheltias died impenitent, his death might justly call for tears.  H. This happened in a vision.  Yet (C.) he probably died suddenly about his time.  Lyran.

 

Ver. 15.  Thy brethren, &c.  He speaks of them that had been carried away captives before, who were despised by them that remained in Jerusalem; but, as the prophet here declares to them from God, should be in a more happy condition than they, and after some time return from their captivity.  Ch. David had been insulted in like manner.  1 K. xxvi. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  A little.  Heb. “for a short time, a sanctuary,” or temple.  They shall find all things in me.  The Christian Church was never more pure than during the first persecutions, when her children could not assemble freely, or build temples.  C. God will never totally abandon her.  Jer. iv. 27. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Scandals: idols.  They relapsed no more into idolatry, (C.) as a nation, though some fell in the persecution of Epiphanes.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  One.  Sept. “another.”  They have read (C.) acher for echad, “one.”  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Head.  I will punish them as their crimes deserve.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Mount Olivet, whence he might behold the conflagration of the city, before his ascent into heaven.  M. He leaves his habitation by degrees, to shew how Jerusalem would be treated, and the Jews suffer after the ascension of our Saviour.  Theodoret well observes, that the person on the throne represented Him, the upper part of the body being different from the lower, (C. i. 26.) to denote the two natures.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 3.  Removing.  Lit. “vessels of transmigration,” (H.) or bundles, (C.) and what was requisite for travelling, (W.) or in exile.  H. All this, to C. xx. happened five years before the fall of Jerusalem.  C. See C. viii. 1.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Be carried.  Sept.  S. Jerom reads, “thou shalt carry thy bundles on the shoulder,” as many explain the Heb. (C.) and also v. 7.  “I bear it upon my shoulder.”  v. 12.  Prot.  H. Cover, to denote the blindness of Sedecias, (C.) or his attempt to disguise himself.  H. The faces of criminals were covered.  Est. vii.  The king and nobles escaped through a breach.  Jer. xxxix. 4.  C. Sign.  Lit. “a prodigy to,” &c.  H. The actions as well as the words of the prophet indicated what would happen.  S. Jer. v. 11.

 

Ver. 10.  Jerusalem.  The people regarded not Jeremias.  This prediction would be sent to them to confirm what he said, while it would tend to keep up the spirits of those who were in captivity.  Theod.  C. Israel.  The people, or those of the ten tribes who had retired thither.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Net, as was done in war, and to catch wild beasts.  Jer. xvi. 16.  C. Not see it, because his eyes shall be put out by Nabuchodonosor.  Ch. The false prophets thought they perceived a contradiction here; (W.) and Sedecias, confronting it with Jerem. xxxviii. 18. disregarded both.  Jos. Ant. x. 10. This was more pardonable than for Paine to object this as an inconsistency, after the event has so clearly verified the predictions of both, and shewed their consent.  H. The unhappy prince saw too late the true meaning.  C. He was put in a cage, like a wild beast, and conveyed blind to Babylon.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 14.  Them.  Many joined Godolias.  C. v. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Sorrow.  Act like one under great anxiety and distress.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Proverb, or common saying.  W. Prolonged.  They took occasion from God’s long suffering to become more wicked, (C.) and even asserted that the prophets told nothing but lies, (Theod.) and spoke of events at a great distance, that they might not be detected.  If what they announced came to pass, they attributed it to chance; (C.) if it did not, being only conditional, they ridiculed this idea as a mere subterfuge.  H. As the prophets had long before foretold the captivity, and it had not yet taken place, (W.) in general, though many were already in exile, (H.) they concluded that it would never be realized.  Thus heretics deny the general judgment.  1 Pet. iii.  W. Every vision, on this head.  v. 28.  Many events were revealed that regarded the times of Christ.  Dan. ix. &c.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Heart; what pleases them, (H.) without being inspired.  There were always such impostors.  These deluded the people at Jerusalem, (C.) or at Babylon.  v. 9.  Sanct. They might be distinguished by the sincere: yet caused irreparable injury to the ignorant people.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Nothing.  Yet would lead the blind, though they are not directed by God.

 

Ver. 4.  Deserts, or ruins.  They sought only to gratify themselves.

 

Ver. 5.  Enemy.  You do not admonish sinners of their evil ways, nor strive to avert God’s indignation, in imitation of true prophets, (Ex. xxxii. 10.) but rather undermine the wall like foxes.

 

Ver. 9.  Upon, to punish. Counsel.  They shall not be consulted, or have any credit. Writing.  They shall perish in the city, or in banishment.  C. Their works shall not be accounted canonical.  Sixt. Bib. ii. 2.

 

Ver. 10.  Straw.  Iniquity ruins my people, (C.) and these do not endeavour to reform their manners.  H. They ought to demolish such a work, and not dab it over.  Theod. One false prophet builds, and another strives to support his authority; (Jun.) or God has given the people his law, but these people corrupt it.  S. Jer. A wall built without proper mortar, will easily be washed down: so vain hopes of security, without amendment, deceive the people.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Hailstones.  Lit. “stones,” like those which fell on the enemies of Josue, (x. 11.  H.) or thunderbolts.  Grot.  C. Such will be the fate of all the buildings of the wicked.  Mat. vii. 27.  H. None can resist the judgments of God, who will employ the Chaldeans.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  You.  Lit. “it.”  But Heb. and Sept. have, “ye.”  H. The wall and the inhabitants shall perish.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Daughters: so false prophets are styled in scorn, (Vat.) or witches; (Rabbins) though it seems rather that there were false prophetesses as well as true ones.  Such were Prisca and Maximilla among the Montanists.  Women have commonly fostered heresies.  C. These pretended to be illuminated, like Debora and Holda; but flattered the people in their sins, instead of reclaiming them.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Cushions, by making people easy in their sins, and promising them impunity, (Ch.) by disguising the truth, or not admonishing people of their danger.  C. iii. 17.  He alludes to the cushions used on sofas. Pillows.  Sym. “veils;” (Sept. and Kimchi) or “nets” designed “to take” the unwary; as mispachot maybe properly rendered.  v. 20, 21.  Is. v. 7.  C. Souls.  That is, they flattered them with promises of life, peace, and security.  Ch.  W. People are often said to do what they only announce.  Lev. xiii. 11.  These impostors pretended to save, while they really destroyed.  They shewed a cruel mercy, detaining the people in captivity, or rather Heb. “shall you catch?” &c.  Do you expect to pass unpunished?  C. We might read the Vulg. “Did they give?” &c.  Prot. “Will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Violated me.  That is, dishonoured and discredited me.  Ch. Prot. “and will ye pollute?” &c.  H. They employed the name of God to give credit to their lies, for the smallest advantage. Souls, &c.  That is, to sentence souls to death, which are not to die: and to promise life to them who are not to live.  Ch. They contradicted Jeremias, who exhorted the people to surrender.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Catch.  Hebrew also, “hunt the souls to make them into gardens, (H.) or flourishing.”  Sept. “you gather souls there.”  The original seems to be incorrect.  v. 18.

 

Ver. 22.  Just.  Jeremias, or any other, particularly the more simple, who were easily seduced and filled with apprehensions.  You shall therefore die, (v. 23.) and your imposture shall be made known.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 3.  Uncleanness.  That is, their filthy idols, upon which they have set their hearts: and which are a stumbling-block to their souls.  Ch. They came, it seems, to tempt the prophet, (C.) as God shewed him.  Thus worldlings consult Catholic priests; yet are resolved to join with heretics.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  According.  Heb. “in (C.) the multitude of his idols.”  H. I will still disclose the truth; (Chal.) or a false prophet is here spoken of, whom God will suffer to deceive those who wish to be deluded.  He will not have his own prophets speak an untruth.  See 3 K. xxii. 10.  Christ evaded the insidious questions of his enemies.  Mat. xxi. 23.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  The.  Sept. “he may ensnare the house,” (H.) or “to bring” unto repentance.  Chal.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Turn.  Such people must first be admonished to relinquish idols, heresy, &c. that they may come to God.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  By myself, or on my own account.  God does not encourage falsehood.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Err.  He speaks of false prophets, answering out of their own heads, and according to their own corrupt inclinations. Deceived, &c.  God Almighty deceives false prophets, partly by withdrawing his light from them; and abandoning them to their own corrupt inclinations, which push them on to prophesy such things as are agreeable to those that consult them: and partly by disappointing them, and causing all things to happen contrary to what they have said.  Ch. God permits the deception, to punish both the impostor and his hearers.  W. Thus was Balaam treated.  C.  Num. xxii.  H. He could do nothing of himself.  S. Jer.  2 K. xxii. 22.  C. Here also an interrogation might be used (H.) in Heb. “have I?” &c.  Feiffer dub. cent. 4. b. lviii. I have manifested the deceit.  C. xiii. 18.

 

Ver. 10.  Be.  They shall be punished alike.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Job.  He and Noe were dead, yet undoubtedly  interceded for the people, or their names would not here be mentioned.  Jer. xv. 1.  W. When God is resolved to treat all with rigour, he will save only the just.  They shall not be able to protect even their children.  But Jerusalem shall not experience such severity.  v. 21.  C. Noe could not avert the deluge, nor Job the death of his children, neither could Daniel rescue his people from captivity.  S. Jer. The first denotes pastors, the second fathers of families, and Daniel such as live continent.  S. Aug. All three had been very merciful.  S. Chrys. hom. xliii. 1. in Gen.   Job is placed for holy laymen, and Daniel for people of religious orders.  S. Greg. Mor. i. 13.  W. Hence perhaps Job is placed last, though cotemporary with Moses, as most people suppose.  He is not therefore a fabulous personage.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Pestilence.  Sept. “death,” as v. 12. (C.) denoting the plague.  C. v. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Left.  Pastors will always remain to instruct God’s children.  W. Doings.  Their words (C.) and conduct even in captivity, will evince that they have not been punished unjustly.  S. Jer. From them you may judge what sort of men their fathers were; or, as they have been spared for their virtue, you may conclude that the rest would not have perished, if they had been innocent.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 15

 

CHAPTER XV.

 

Ver. 2.  Wood.  Small branches or tendrils.  The vines of that country were probably small.  C. The wild vine (Sanct.) grows very large, and the wood is durable, so that statues, pillars, and ladders were formed of it.  Pliny xiv. 1. Strabo (ii. and xi.) mentions the trunk of a vine which two men could hardly clasp, and the bunch of grapes was two cubits high.  But the prophet speaks of the small branches, which are fit only for the fire.  C. God’s Church is often compared to a vine on account of its fruit, and the branches separated from her resemble the useless cuttings.  S. Aug. tr. lxxxi. in Jo.  W. See Ward’s Tree of Life, where this is set in a very striking light.  In every age the Church makes fresh conquests, while heretics leave and persecute her.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Thereon.  Is. xxii. 23.  C. The Turkish lords have no furniture in their rooms, but hang their arms, saddles, &c. upon such pins, or on strings.  Roger. ii.

 

Ver. 4.  Ashes.  It is not even solid enough for fuel.  C. When a faggot is consumed in the middle, the ends are also put into the fire; so not one shall escape who dies out of the Church.  W. The wicked Jews shall surely suffer.  v. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  From fire.  If they escape one misery they shall fall into another, as the event shewed.  C. They shall be thrown back into the fire.  M.

 

 

EZECHIEL 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 3.  Cethite, or “Hethite.”  These two were probably the most abandoned of Chanaan.  Daniel (xiii. 56.) give the infamous judges the like appellation; and Isaias (i. 10.) calls the Jews princes of Sodom.  C. So Dido says to Eneas:

Nec te diva parens, generis nec Dardanus auctor

                        Perfide sed duris genuit te cautibus, &c.  Æn. iv.  H.

But we nowhere find such a vehement and continued reprimand.  The prophet seems to quit his proper character to make (C.) the abominations of the people known and detested.  C. iii. 8.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Cut.  By this the infant received nourishment in the womb.  Now it seems to be exposed by its parents.  C. The Jews in Egypt were abandoned to idolatry and distress.  Theod. in Cant. Health.  Many plunged the infant in cold water to brace its nerves, (C.) or to wash it.  Salt was also used to dry up the humidity and stop the pores, (S. Jer.) or it was mixed with water to harden the skin and navel.  Avicen. Gall. San. i. 7. Clouts, to keep the body straight.  The negroes who neglect this are stronger and better proportioned, (C.) and too much restraint is known to be detrimental to the tender limbs.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Born, as it were in Egypt.  He represents the Jews as a female from her infancy, till she be advanced in years.

 

Ver. 6.  Thy blood, unwashed after being born.  v. 4.  C. The Jews were solicitous to increase their numbers, and exposed none.  Tacit. Hist. v. But other nations did, if they thought the child would be troublesome, or a disgrace.  C. The prophet sends this admonition from Chaldea, and shews how God had selected his people from among the barbarous nations, and decorated them with many privileges of the law, sacrifices, &c.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Woman’s.  Heb. “the ornament of ornaments;” hadaiim instead of harim in Sept. “the city of cities,” (C.) or the highest glory, being arrived at that age when decorations are most sought after. Fashioned.  Lit. “swelling.”  Sept. “erect.”  H. Hair, (pilus.)  Women are allowed by canon law to marry at twelve.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Lovers.  Heb. dodim, “breasts, (H.) or espousals;” (Aq.) “loving.”  Sym. Garment, as a husband.  Ruth iii. 9.  Jer. ii. 2.

 

Ver. 9.  Oil, used after bathing, or with perfume.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Embroidery.  Lit. “various colours.”  H. But this is the import.  Ps. xliv. 10. Violet, or dark blue, appropriated to princes. Linen, or cotton.  Ex. xxv.  Prov. xxxi. 24.  C. Fine.  Lit. “thin.”  Heb. Mesi, (H.) “silken.”  Jarchi.  Pagn. &c.  Silk was used much later at Rome, (C.) and was reprobated as not covering the body sufficiently.

Cois tibi penè videre est

                        Ut nudam.  Hor. i. Sat. ii.

Sen. Ben. vii. 9. Sept. tricaptw, according to Hesyc. &c. denotes “a silk ribbon for the hair;” (C.) a robe as delicate as hair, (S. Jer.) or a transparent veil for the head.  Theod. Such are still worn in the East.  Hair is used in the veil opposite to the eyes, that the ladies may see without being seen.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Forehead.  Lit. “mouth.”  Heb. “nose.”  H. Women wore rings where spectacles are placed, and had others hung at their noses, so as to touch the mouth.  People who are not acquainted with this odd custom, which is still prevalent in Africa and Asia, suppose that the ornament hung upon the forehead, as S. Jerom does.  See Gen. xxiv. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Linen.  Heb. mossi.  v. 11.  H. Chal. understands these ornaments to pertain to the tabernacle, which was set up in the wilderness. Oil, enjoying a most fertile country, (C.) and the noblest sacrifices.  H. And wast, &c.  The kingdom had subsisted 1500 years.  C. Sept. omit this, for fear of giving umbrage to the Egyptians, according to S. Jerom, as if they could be ignorant of this circumstance.  C. Grabe supplies, “thou wast directed to the kingdom.”  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Renown, or name; thus dishonouring me, thy husband.  Is. iv. 1.

 

Ver. 16.  Places: pavilions, (A. Lap.  4 K. xvii. 30.  C.) or idols stuffed, (S. Jer.  Theod.) and outwardly adorned.  Such might easily be procured or removed.  1 K. xix. 13. Hereafter, with impunity.  The Jews were guilty of greater  ingratitude than other nations.

 

Ver. 17.  My gold, for the temple, or thy most precious ornaments, which were sacrificed to gratify thy lubricity, (C.) or to form the golden calf, &c.  Ex. xxxii.  H. Obscene representations were also used in the worship of Osiris.  Herod. ii. 48.

 

Ver. 18.  Oil, or perfume. which no man was allowed to use.  Ex. xxx. 9. 38.

 

Ver. 20.  Thy sons: so he calls them to shew his indignation, though he acknowledges them for his, (v. 21.) to enhance the crime.  Who could have thought that such cruel sacrifices would ever take place!  4 K. xxiii.  C. Adulteresses bring in the children of others; but the Jews sacrifice their own to idols.  4 K. xvi. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 25.  Sign; altars of idols.  H. She makes no secret of her apostacy.  The Greeks and Romans marked the houses of prostitutes, that honest men might avoid them.  “The deemed the profession of such a crime a sufficient punishment to repress  impure women.”  Tacit. Annal.

 

Ver. 26.  Bodies.  Lit. “flesh.”  H.  Juv. ix. 34.  M. The Egyptians are tall, but meagre.  Valle. Ep. xi. They were the most dissolute in their worship, and corrupted most other nations as well as the Jews.  C. xx. 8. and xxiii. 3.

 

Ver. 27.  Justification; law, &c.  Heb. “thy right,” or allowance.  Ex. xxi. 10. Hate thee.  To be abandoned to the will of a rival, is most dreadful for a woman.  The Jews were subjected to the nations which they had despised, as they are still to Christians.  Even other less favoured idolaters were astonished (C.) at their apostacy.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  Assyrians, adoring the sun, Baal, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Price, before she will yield, (H.) or who follow such practices for a livelihood.  C. Heb. “in that thou scornest hire.”  Prot.   Sept. “gathering rewards.”  The difference consisted in Jerusalem’s sinning through mere wantonness, and even to her loss.

 

Ver. 34.  Fornication unpunished, or comparable with thine.  v. 16.  H. All such actions are abominable; but still more so, when the woman solicts.  W.

 

Ver. 36.  Money.  Lit. “brass,” (H.) to adorn idols.  C. Prot. “thy filthiness;” (H.) virus.  Pagn. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 37.  Nakedness.  Friends and enemies (H.) saw that idols afforded no protection.  C. vi. 3.  Jer. xiii. 26.

 

Ver. 38.  Judge; punish thee by stoning to death.  Lev. xx. 10.  The walls of the Jews were battered to the ground.

 

Ver. 39.  House; the temple, which thou hast profaned, and the high places.  The idols shall be plundered, in which thou hast trusted.

 

Ver. 41.  Women: nations assembled against Jerusalem.

 

Ver. 42.  No more.  I will entirely repudiate thee, so as to observe thy conduct no longer, (C.) with the eyes of an husband.  H. This is the most terrible effect of God’s wrath, (C.) when the sinner is left to himself.  Osee iv. 14.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 43.  Youth, when thou wast destitute, (v. 4.) and more grateful for my favours, Jeremias ii. 2. Head.  I have punished thee, yet not as thy deeds require.  H.

 

Ver. 44.  Daughter.  They too commonly (C.) follow bad parents.  Juv. vi. 239. and xiv. 25. Jerusalem is more wicked than the Cethite, (H.) her mother, v. 3.  C. Even this nation had once received the principles of the true religion for the patriarchs, but cast them off to embrace idolatry, and to destroy her children.  H. Jerusalem was formerly and is till wicked.  W.

 

Ver. 46.  Right: southward. Sodom.  The city was more ancient than Jerusalem.  Hence it here designates Ruben, (H.) and the Jews east of the Jordan; (Prado) or rather Moab and Ammon, (v. 55.  C.) and the rest of the Gentiles.  H. Samaria shewed Jerusalem the road to idolatry, and therefore is called her elder sister.  The number of the ten tribes was also greater than that of the kingdom of Juda, which became corrupt as Sodom, only by degrees.  Theod.

 

Ver. 47.  Ways, but hast done even worse. Almost.  He seems to diminish their crimes, (C.) as if it could hardly be believed that Jerusalem should be more abandoned.  Heb. and Sept. “that would be but little: yea, thou hast done more,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 49.  Sodom, &c.  That is, these were the steps by which the Sodomites came to fall into those abominations for which they were destroyed.  For pride, gluttony, and idleness, are the high road to all kinds of lust; especially when they are accompanied with a neglect of the works of mercy.  Ch. These crimes alone are great enough; (Lu. xvi. 19.) and the prophets never accuse the Jews of unnatural lust.  Hence Ezechiel takes no notice of it here, as he probably refers to the manners of the Moabites, &c. who were then living.  Is. xvi. 6.  C. Abundance and idleness produce crimes; temperance and labour bring forth good fruit.  W.

 

Ver. 50.  Seen.  This would seem to allude to the Israelites beyond the Jordan, who had been led away into Assyria.  The Moabites, &c. beheld the downfall of Jerusalem, (H.) and were treated in like manner, only five years later.  Jos.  Jer. xlviii. &c.

 

Ver. 51.  Justified, as they are comparatively innocent.  S. Aug. c. Faust. xxii. 61. They had not the like advantages, (Mat. xi. 23.) nor the example of others’ punishment to open their eyes.  Thou hast pleaded for or with them, and hast lost thy cause.  C.

 

Ver. 53.  Back, &c.  This relates to the conversion of the Gentiles out of all nations, and of many of the Jews, to the Church of Christ.  Ch. Cyrus also liberated the tribes on the east as well as on the west of the Jordan, (H.) and in general all the captive nations.  C. And restore.  Heb. “the captivity, even the captivity of Sodom.”  Sept. “I will turn away their aversions, the,” &c.  I will give them a more docile spirit.  H.

 

Ver. 54.  Them.  It affords some consolation to have partners in misery.  C.

 

Ver. 55.  Ancient state.  That is, to their former state of liberty, and their ancient possessions.  In the spiritual sense, to the true liberty and the happy inheritance of the children of God, through faith in Christ.  Ch. All will be treated alike, whether Jew or Gentile.  H. When Sodom or the Gentiles shall have embraced the gospel, then also will the Jews.  Rom. x.  W.

 

Ver. 56.  Pride.  Thou scornedst to mention her, (Ps. xv. 4.  C.) or wouldst not take warning.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 59.  Covenant at Sinai, or under Josue. viii.  Ex. xix. 7.

 

Ver. 60.  Covenant.  After punishing thee I will fulfill my promises, as we see was done (C.) after the captivity, and (H.) in the Christian Church.  C. All shall be converted, not by the Jewish but by the evangelical covenant.  W.

 

Ver. 61.  Daughters.  The countries were conquered by the Machabees.  All nations embrace the gospel. Covenant.  It is broken.  I will, out of pity, re-establish it, or a better, to last for ever under Christ, free from the servitude and fear of the old law.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 17

 

CHAPTER XVII.

 

Ver. 2.  Riddle.  Thus the prophets and Christ often delivered their doctrine.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  A large eagle.  Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon.  Ch. The multitude of his subjects, and his rapid and cruel conquests, are designated.  C. He spoils the vineyard of Jerusalem, notwithstanding the Jews had applied to another eagle, the king of Egypt.  v. 12.  W. Libanus.  That is, Jerusalem; (Ch.) or invaded the country, (C.) entering by Libanus.  H. Cedar.  King Jechonias Ch. and his nobles, (4 Kin. xxiv. 11.) with the most precious effects.

 

Ver. 4.  Twigs.  The young king and his officers, who had scarcely got established.  C. Chanaan.  This name, which signifies traffic, is not taken here for Palestine, but for Chaldea; and the city of merchants here mentioned is Babylon.  Ch. It was so corrupt as to deserve this appellation, as Rome was afterwards styled Babylon.  Its situation was very favourable to traffic, and its dominions were very extensive.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Land.  Sedecias, whom he made king.  Ch. He was brother of the dethroned king, and have every prospect of reigning long, if he had proved faithful.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Towards him.  Nabuchodonosor, to whom Sedecias swore allegiance.  Ch. Lit. “to it,” eam, the eagle.  H. The dominions of Sedecias were extensive, but weak, and dependant on a foreign king.

 

Ver. 7.  Eagle.  The king of Egypt, (Ch.) Vaphres, who came at the request of Sedecias, to oppose the Chaldeans, but was routed; and they returned to the siege of Jerusalem.  Jer. xxxvii. 4. Plantation, as the waters of the Nile were conducted to different parts by ditches.  Deut. xi. 10.

 

Ver. 9.  Prosper.  Will God countenance perfidy?  C. “Faith must be kept even with enemies.”  S. Jer. Arm.  The conquest did not cost the Chaldeans much.  Sedecias fled by night, but was soon taken.  4 K. xxv. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Shall, or, “hath taken,” &c. Ch. as also (v. 13.) Sedecias was seized five years after.  C. viii. 1.  Jechonias, the princes, mighty warriors, (v. 13.) and expert artists, had been taken away six years before, with the prophet.  Prot. “is come,…and hath taken,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Die.  He had sworn fidelity, and was justly punished, dying blind, and in prison.  C. xii.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Souls.  Some refer this to Pharao; others to the enemy.  The former did not attempt to surround the besiegers, but after losing a battle retired.  C. xxx. 21.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Hand.  Swearing perhaps to both (H.) the Egyptian and to the Chaldean monarch.

 

Ver. 20.  Net.  C. xii. 13.  C. Judge, punish.  H. His sentence was pronounced at Reblatha.  4 Kin. xxv. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Cedar.  Of the Royal stock of David. Twig.  Jesus Christ, whom God hath planted in Mount Sion, that is, the high mountain of his Church, to which all nations flow.  Ch. The Jews in vain apply this to Zorobabel or to the Machabees.  Their power was never great enough to verify these expressions.  C. But Christ has united in his Church all the birds, or those who have strength enough to raise themselves above earthly things.  S. Jer.  Theod. &c. The  kingdom of Sedecias and that of Nabuchodonosor prospered not, or was soon at an end: Christ remains for ever.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  High and green denote Sedecias; low and dry Jechonias, who was exalted at Babylon, while his rival was hurled down from his present high estate.  The prophets speak of that as past, which God has decreed.  See Jer. xxii. 30.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 18

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Edge.  Those in captivity would not allow that they were punished for their own sins: God convinces them of the contrary.  W. They knew that he often visited the sins of the fathers upon the children, (Ex. xx. 5. and xxiv. 5.  C.) when they also hated him, (H.) and that many had suffered for their parents’ faults, like those of Saul, David, &c.  C. But these were all guilty of original sin at least, and death is not always a real misfortune.  H. God seems to allow that the complaints had hitherto had some grounds, (Jer. xxxi.) but that they should be removed after the captivity, and still more effectually by the death of Christ, who came to redeem sinners, and rejected none.  By baptism he cancels original sin, the sour grape, and those who cannot receive it are not innocent.  C. God chastises the body, but not the soul of children, for their parents’ faults: (M.) and this conduct is a trial for them, which may increase their glory.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Mine.  He insinuates the vocation of the Gentiles and the general redemption.  All will be treated according to their works.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Mountains: of the sacrifices there offered to idols; (Ch.) or partaken in their usual feasts.  Some irregularly worshipped God in these high places, under many pious kings; and were tolerated, (C.) though condemned for so doing.  H. Woman.  The pagans abstained by the light of reason.  C. The contrary practice, “it is said,” would give rise to lepers or monsters, (S. Jer.) as experience evinces.  C. It was forbidden in the Christian Church.  S. Aug. q. 64. in Lev. xx. 18.  S. Greg. resp. 10. ad Aug.  C. But no such questions are now asked.  The prophet insists on this no more.  v. 11, 15.

 

Ver. 7.  Wronged.  Lit. “constristated.”  H. Heb. “oppressed,” maliciously.

 

Ver. 8.  Increase more than what he lent, on any pretext.  S. Jer.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Robber.  Heb. “breaker;” rude and lawless.  Sept. “pestilent.”

 

Ver. 12.  Abomination.  This refers to the woman, (v. 6.) or to idolatry.

 

Ver. 13.  Him.  He alone is answerable, and shall suffer.

 

Ver. 20.  Sinneth.  God never acted otherwise, though the Jews seem to have thought so.  Temporal afflictions are the source of merit, and generally fall to the share of the saints, particularly under the new law.

 

Ver. 21.  Penance.  The end determines all.  If a person be then found just or unjust at his departure, he will be treated accordingly.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  Will.  God sincerely wishes that the sinner should be converted.  If he refuse grace, it is only in punishment of former transgressions.  S. Aug. ep. 217. He wills antecedently their salvation, (1 Tim. ii. 4.) though he has a consequent will to punish them, as they speak in the schools, because they themselves will not be saved.  Sanct.  C. God’s absolute will is always fulfilled, not that which is conditional.  S. Jo. Dam. (Fide ii. 29.)  S. Tho. p. 1. q. 19. a. 6. He does enough by offering his graces and the death of Christ, to shew that his will is sincere; though by a consequent will his justice punishes the impenitent.  Thus a virtuous judge would have all to observe the laws and live: but finding some transgress, so as to become pernicious, he punishes them with death.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Remembered, to procure him pardon; yet he will suffer less than if he had never done any good.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Not right, in thus punishing or rewarding for the last act; (Theod.) or rather, God shews that those who complain are guilty.

 

Ver. 27.  Alive.  Mortal sin destroys that life of grace.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Do penance.  This is requisite, as well as a change of conduct.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  New.  We can do no good of ourselves: but we are admonished of our free-will, that we may do what we can, and ask for grace.  Trid. Ses. vi. 5. 11.  Jam. i. 5. and 2 Cor. iii. 5.  S. Aug. &c.)  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 19

 

CHAPTER XIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Princes: sons of Josias, who were so wretched.  The latter part of this beautiful canticle, or allegory, (v. 10.) regards Sedecias.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Lioness; Jerusalem (Ch.) which made alliances with the lions, or nations.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Whelps; Joachaz, or Sellum, (Ch.) who reigned only three months, like his brother Jechonias.  H. The four last kings were all cruel.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  But.  Heb. “he was taken in their pit,” (Prot.  H.) as also v. 8.  Sept. “in his or their corruption.”  We do not read that Joachaz fought, (C.) though this passage insinuates as much.  Sanct.   4 K. xxiii. 30. &c.

 

Ver. 5.  Lions: Joakim.  Ch. He reigned eleven years; but was such a monster, that the prophet does not speak of him or bewail his fate.  4 K. xxiii. 34.  Jer. xxii. 19.  His words are applicable to Jechonias alone; who was cruel and banished to Babylon.  v. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Nations: rovers of Chaldea, Syria, &c.  4 K. xxiv. 2.  W. Wounds.  Heb. “pit.”  He was besieged, (4 K. xxiv. 11.  C.) and gave himself up. H.

 

Ver. 10.  Blood.  She has given birth to many kings.  M. The original may be inaccurate, and perhaps should be, “a vine-tree or branch:” (C.) cormoc instead of bedammecha.  Sept. read kerimmon, “like a rose-flower,” planted, &c.  H. He speaks of Sedecias more obscurely.  C. The kingdom had flourished under David and Solomon.  It afterwards lost its splendour under wicked kings, and all the tribes were removed.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Rods.  The king had many children, and confided in them, but they were slain.

 

Ver. 13.  Dry; unfit for vine-trees.  He speaks of the prison of Babylon.  C. The country was naturally wet.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Fire.  Ismael, who slew Godolias, was of the royal family.  Jer. xli. &c.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 20

 

CHAPTER XX.

 

Ver. 1.  Month: A. 3411, Aug. 27.  Usher. Ezechiel had prophesied in the fourth year; they was silent a year and two months, or 430 days.  He opened his mouth again in the sixth year, (C. viii. 1.) and now in the seventh year he is ordered not to answer.  W. We know not what the ancients wanted to know; but their design was evil.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Judgest them; or, if thou wilt enter into the cause, and plead against them.  Ch. Lay before them the iniquities of their fathers, and their own, which bring on the reprobation of the greatest part.  God will form his Church out of a few of them and of the Gentiles.  The return of a small number from captivity is also insinuated.

 

Ver. 6.  Excelleth.  Heb. “is beauty or a desire.”  Sept. “honeycomb.”  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Scandals, &c. (offensiones) that is, the abominations or idols, to the worship of which they were allured by their eyes.  Ch. Moses found them in this condition in Egypt, and he could not entirely reclaim them.  C. Many still secreted their idols.  C. xxiii. 1.  Acts vii. 42.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Egypt.  Their disorders called for such severity.  But God was restrained by the dangers (C.) of blasphemy, &c. to which the faithful and idolaters would thus have been exposed.  H. He saved them as he had promised, though they did not deserve it.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Brought.  Lit. “cast,” (H.) as if they had been reluctant.

 

Ver. 11.  Live, and enjoy temporal felicity, which was chief promised, though the faithful observers of the law would obtain an eternal reward.

 

Ver. 12.  Sign, as also to promote piety and instruction.

 

Ver. 13.  Sabbaths.  We only read of one man gathering sticks, and the people manna once on those days.  Ex. xv. and xvi.  But Moses does not mention all.  C. Sabbath often denotes the whole law, which they transgressed; and as long as they retained an affection for idols, they could not observe the sabbaths so as to please God.

 

Ver. 14.  But.  Lit. “And I did for,” &c.  This motive caused me to spare them.  H. I punished only the most guilty adorers of the calf, and murmurers, &c.  Num. xiv. 28.  C. Some were always preserved for a succession.  v. 9, 22.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  Again, or also.  H. Four times are specified v. 13, 15, 21. which may allude to the adoration of the calf, the graves of concupiscence, the murmuring, and commerce with the women and idols of Moab.  Ex. xxiii.  Num. x. and xiv. and xxv.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Not good.  The laws and ordinances of their enemies: or those imposed upon them by that cruel tyrant the devil, to whose power they were delivered up for their sins; (Ch.) which may be styled the statutes of your fathers, &c.  v. 18.  H. God is often said to do what he only permits.  C. He abandoned them to their own perversity.  S. Jer.  Deut. xxxii. 21. 37. If God had spoken of the Decalogue, &c. would he say such laws were not good, after he had testified that the observers shall live in them?  v. 11.  He established the ceremonial law, at the same time.  See Kimchi. M. &c.  Chal. “I have given them up to their foolish desires.  They have established bad statutes and laws which will not give them life.”  This seems the best explanation.  C. Heb. “Have I given…(26) and have I polluted them?” &c.  Manasse Ben. Israel.  The precepts had also a bad effect, and were given in condescension to the weakness of the people, (Orig.) particularly the ceremonial part.  S. Just.  S. Chrys.  S. Jer. &c. They did not justify, (S. Aug.) and were not good, compared with those of the new law.  S. Greg. mor. xxviii. 9. Thus Solon gave the Athenians “the best laws that they would receive,” (Plut.) though others more perfect might have been devised.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  I polluted them, &c.  That is, I gave them up to such blindness, in punishment of their offences, as to pollute themselves with the blood of all their first-born, whom they offered up to their idols in compliance with their wicked devices.  Ch.  M.  Lev. xviii. 21. and 4 Kin. iii. ultr. and xxi. 6.  C. Offered. Prot. “caused to pass through the fire all,” &c.  C. xvi. 21. For their.  Prot. “that I might make them desolate to the end, that,” &c.

 

Ver. 29.  Called high.  Heb. “Bamah,” (H.) out of contempt.  C. The Jews were so much attached to the high places, that they called the altar of the Lord by the same name.  Thus heretics are convicted by the very names they use, calling sacrifice service, &c.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Stones.  This was the secret intention of the ancients, (v. 1.  H.) and of many in captivity, who were only praise-worthy compared with those at Jerusalem.  C. xi. 15.

 

Ver. 33.  Out.  I will not allow you to follow idols with impunity.  C.

 

Ver. 35.  Of people.  That is, a desert, in which there are no people; (Ch.) meaning Judea, to which they should return.

 

Ver. 37.  Covenant of the gospel, by the powerful attractions of grace.  Lu. xiv. 24.  Jo. vi. 69. and vii. 46. and 2 Cor. x. 4.

 

Ver. 38.  Israel.  They shall continue in exile; or the rebel Jews who will not believe in Christ, shall be cast off.  C.

 

Ver. 39.  Walk, &c.  It is not an allowance, much less a commandment to serve idols; but a figure of speech, by which God would have them to understand, that if they would walk after their idols, they must not pretend to serve him at the same time: for that he would by no means suffer such a mixture of worship.  Ch.  S. Jer. Continue, if you dare, to serve idols.  I will still bring you back.  C. Sept. “take away each your devices; and then if you hear me, (Grabe’s copy adds, not) and defile not my,” &c.  H. God would rather have idolaters leave him wholly, than halt between two, (3 K. xviii.) neither hot nor cold; (Apoc. iii.) for such dishonour God’s name the most.  Rom. ii. 24.  W.

 

Ver. 40.  Mountain.  The foregoing verse, to make the sense complete, must be understood so as to condemn and reject that mixture of worship which the Jews then followed.  In this verse God promises to the true Israelites, especially to those of the Christian Church, that they should serve him in another manner in his holy mountain, the spiritual Sion, and shall be accepted of by him.  Ch.

 

Ver. 43.  Committed.  This is a picture of the converts to Christianity.  C.

 

Ver. 46.  Of the south.  Jerusalem lay towards the south of Babylon, where the prophet then was, and is here called the forest of the south field, and is threatened with utter desolation.  Ch.  See C. xxi.  C. In Jerusalem there were good and bad.  W.

 

Ver. 47.  Burned, with war and famine.  Jer. xxi. 14.  C. North, from Egypt to Mesopotamia.  Theod. Nabuchodonosor invaded those parts.  H.

 

Ver. 49.  Parables.  They were easy enough to understand, but the Jews would not comprehend them no more than our Saviour’s words.  Jo. x. 24.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 21

 

CHAPTER XXI.

 

Ver. 3.  Just.  But had not God declared the contrary, C. xviii?  The time was not yet arrived; or, he rescued the just from death, though he permitted them to experience the other common miseries.  C. He preserved them from eternal death.  E. The just often means those who are so only in appearance.  C. xvi. 51.  C. Temporal afflictions fall upon all; but the just derive benefit from them, while the wicked fall into eternal misery.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  North, including all the country belonging to Israel.

 

Ver. 5.  Back, (v. 30.) without doing execution.  Jer. l. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Bitterness.  Sept. “pains,” like those of child-bearing.  Is. xxi. 3.

 

Ver. 7.  Melt.  Lit. “decay.”  Jos. vii. &c. Knee.  C. vii. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  My son.  He speaks, according to S. Jerom, to the sword of Nabuchodonosor; which was about to remove the sceptre of Israel, whom God here calls his son.  Ch. This title belonged to all Israel.  Ex. iv. 22.  W. The Heb. seems to be corrupt, and we may adhere to the Vulg. or to the Sept. (C.) which has, (9,) “Sword be sharp, and raging to slay victims; be sharp to shine, ready for destruction; cut, reduce to nothing, remove all wood.”  H. Syr. “be ready to scatter the race of my son,” &c.  Heb. “Where shall we rejoice, sceptre of my son, thou sword which despisest every tree?”  C. Prot. “It contemneth the rod of my son as every tree?”  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Slayer.  He had conquered many nations before he attacked Israel.  Let none boast of being the scourges of the Lord.

 

Ver. 12.  Fled, with Sedecias, by night. Thigh, in surprise and grief.  v. 17.

 

Ver. 13.  God.  Perhaps you will say it is only a trial: but what will be your sentiments, when you behold the king and his people led away?  C. Prot. “Because it is a trial; and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Tripled.  Let the war be very bloody.  Nabuchodonosor often invaded Judea.  C. He raised the siege, but returned.  Vat.

 

Ver. 15.  Ready.  Lit. “covered,” (amicti.  H.) in the scabbard, and quite new and sharp.

 

Ver. 20.  Rabbath.  They had formed a league with Sedecias, and Nabuchodonosor thought of punishing them first.  H. But they joined his forces.  Jer. xii. 6. and xxvii. 3.

 

Ver. 21.  Shuffling.  Heb. “polishing.”  Syr. &c. “shooting an arrow upwards.”  He was undetermined which to attack first, and perhaps wrote Jerusalem on one and Rabbath on another arrow; (S. Jer. &c.  C.) or which way the arrow fell the army followed.  H. Many nations have adopted such superstitious practices. Idols.  Heb. Teraphim.  Gen. xxxi. 19.  C. Entrails.  The Chaldeans taught the Lydians and they the Tuscans.  Grot. At first this was done only to see if the victims were sound.  Cic. Div.

 

Ver. 22.  Right of one going by Thapsacus and Damascus, and not through the Desert Arabia, for thus Rabbath would have been to the right.  God permitted this divination to succeed in his wrath.  The devil pushed the Chaldeans forward, lest the Jews might be converted.  C. I they had attacked Rabbath first, they would probably have succeeded, as they did five years after.  But the time of vengeance was come for Jerusalem, (H.) and they were directed to assault it.  W. Voice: the din of war, (H.) or of soldiers, trumpets, &c.

 

Ver. 23.  Vain.  They shall think that Nabuchodonosor is wasting his time. Sabbaths.  Heb. “they have people who swear to them;” false prophets, or the Egyptians, on whom they depend.  Sept. “and counting the weeks,” like Aman.  Est. iii. 7. Iniquity, or perfidy of Sedecias.  C. xvii. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Remembered.  Heb. “caused…to be remembered,” (H.) sinning publicly.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Thou profane, &c.  He speaks to king Sedecias, who had broken his oath, and was otherwise a wicked prince.  Ch. Heb. “Criminal, (sentenced to die) wicked,” &c.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Diadem, (cidarim.)  Some think this was th ornament of the high priest, (S. Jer.  Chal.) denoting that he should perish as well as the king.  H. This.  The royal crown of Juda had exalted Sedecias from a private state and condition to the sovereign power, as the loss of it brought down Jechonias, &c.  Ch. It shall be given go Godolias.  Chal.  Heb. “it is not (H.) or shall be no more” the same, or for the posterity of Sedecias.  None of the tribe of Juda was truly king after him, till the Messias.  Sanct.  T. &c.  Gen. xlix. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Iniquity.  Or, I will overturn it, viz. the crown of Juda, for the manifold iniquities of the kings: but it shall not be utterly removed till Christ come, whose right it is; and who shall reign in the spiritual house of Jacob (that is, in his Church,) for evermore.  Ch. Heb. also, “sideways.”  Thou shalt no more wear the tiara erect, (H.) like a king: (Hesyc.) or rather, thy iniquity or punishment shall be most grievous. Him; Christ, or (C.) Nabuchodonosor.  Vat.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  Reproach, by which they had reproached and insulted over the Jews, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem.  Ch.  C. xxv. 6.  Soph. ii. 8. They were punished five years later (C.) by the same Babylonians whom they had encouraged. W.

 

Ver. 30.  Sheath.  The sword of Babylon, after raging against many nations, was shortly to be judged and destroyed at home by the Medes and Persians.  Ch. After Nabuchodonosor had chastised the nations around for 18 years, after the ruin of Jerusalem, he returned and died in peace.  Yet he first became like a beast.  v. 31.  Dan. iv. 30.  The rest of the prophecy regards his successors.  Cyrus waged war upon them, and Baltassar was slain in a conspiracy.  See Is. xlvii.  Jer. l.  C. At last the sword fell upon Babylon itself.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  Brutish, or devoid of sense.  H. Heb. “burning;” smiths.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 22

 

CHAPTER XXII.

 

Ver. 2.  Blood.  Why dost thou cease to admonish and rebuke the people?  W. Pronounce sentence on Jerusalem, (H.) for her cruelties.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Hath.  Sept. “was mixed with his relations,” v. 10. &c. (H.) fighting against them.  Theod.

 

Ver. 8.  Sabbaths, by servile works, and by their sinful deportment.

 

Ver. 9.  Slanderers, hateful to all.  Lev. xix. 16.  Prov. xi. 13. Mountains.  C. xviii. 6.

 

Ver. 10.  Father, his widow, their mother-in-law, or one of his wives.

 

Ver. 12.  Increase.  C. xviii. 18.  C. Me.  “The remembrance of God excludes all sins.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 13.  Hands, through surprise and sorrow.  C. God wishes the sinner’s salvation.  Gen. vi. 6.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  In thee.  I will purify thee by violent medicines.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Possess, “as an inheritance:” (Sept.  H.) “I will defile:” (Aq.) “wound thee.”  Sym.  Heb. is very different: (C.) “thou hast inherited in thyself,” (H.) being no longer willing to be subject.

 

Ver. 18.  Dross.  Heb. “a mixture.”  Sept. “God will purify the silver.”  Is. iv. 4.

 

Ver. 24.  Rained upon, or watered with the instructions of the prophets.  C. xx. 46.

 

Ver. 25.  Conspiracy.  The false prophets defend each other, (C.) while the priests connive at their proceedings, (H.) and set the example of wickedness.

 

Ver. 28.  Without.  Sept. “they shall fall, seeing,” &c.

 

Ver. 30.  None like Abraham, Moses, &c.  C. The prayers of the just are very powerful; and God wishes them to exert themselves for sinners.  S. Jer.om.  W.

 

 

EZECHIEL 23

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

 

Ver. 3.  Fornication.  That is, idolatry.  Ch. Down.  Virgins used the stomacher, or (H.) fascia pectoralis.  Is. iii. 24.  This chapter resembles the 16th.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Oolla and Ooliba.  God calls the kingdom of Israel Oolla, which signifies their own habitation, because they separated themselves from his temple; and the kingdom of Juda Ooliba, which signifies his habitation in her, because of his temple among them in Jerusalem.  Ch. The ten tribes first gave way to idolatry, and were more numerous.  C. In Egypt the people were united, yet abandoned to idolatry in their youth, when they were only beginning to increase.  Afterwards the ten tribes set up altars for themselves, at Dan and Bethel.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Assyrians.  That is, the idols of the Assyrians: for all that is said in this chapter of the fornications of Israel and Juda, is to be understood in a spiritual sense of their disloyalty to the Lord, by worshipping strange gods.  Ch.  W. The Assyrians taught the worship of Baal, the high places, &c. The Egyptians also promoted their abominations.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Blue, or purple.  This was reserved for the principal nobility.

 

Ver. 8.  Egypt.  They always retained an affection for those idols, the calf, Adonis, &c.

 

Ver. 10.  Disgrace: satisfying their passions.  v. 29.  C. Women.  Having once lost all sense of decorum, they became more abandoned.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  This; not chastisement, but dissolution.

 

Ver. 14.  Colours.  She was enamoured at the account or picture of these people, without ever having seen them.

 

Ver. 16.  Messengers.  Achaz invited the Assyrians, and imitated their altars, &c.  4 K. xvi. 2. &c.  C. The Chaldeans afterwards possessed the country.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Love.  Lit. “of breasts,” as Heb. also signifies.  Here it denotes the temples.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  Remembering, or “causing to be remembered” by God, who seemed to have forgotten those ancient scenes of wickedness.  C. xxi. 24.

 

Ver. 20.  Asses.  He means the Egyptians, (C. xvi. 26.) in whom the kings of Juda trusted.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  About.  The Philistines, Ammonites, &c. shall join the Chaldees, (H.) and Egypt shall desert the Jews in their greatest need.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Nobles.  Prot. “Pekod, and Shoah, and Roa:” (H.) which Junius takes to be the three great divisions of the empire.  Others suppose they denote the dignities, though they occur not in Daniel. Captains.  Heb. “Phachat, and Saganim, (v. 6, 12.) and Schalischim:” officers mentioned Ex. xiv. 7. and 2 K. xxiii. 8. Renowned, called to the assemblies and councils of the princes.  Num. i. 16.  C. Horsemen.  Prot. “all of them riding upon horses.”  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Judgments, at Reblatha.  4 K. xxv. 6.

 

Ver. 25.  Jealousy, the most violent of passions.  C. So the Chaldees are styled, as Assur is the rod.  Is. x. 5.  W. Ears, the punishment of adulteresses: both king and priests suffer.  S. Jer. Thus the captives were probably treated.  C.  See Sen.  Ira. iii. 20. Fire, by Ismahel.  C. xix. 14.

 

Ver. 26.  Glory; vanity, or of the temple.  C. xvi. 17.  Osee ii. 4.

 

Ver. 31.  Cup.  Thou shalt be punished like Samaria, dreadfully.  4 K. xvii. 4. C.

 

Ver. 34.  Fragments, as drunkards sometimes bite (H.) the cup in their rage. Rend.  What had been the occasion of thy fall: (C.) pectori planxi.  Ovid ep. 5.

 

Ver. 36.  Deeds.  He is thus admonished to condemn them; (C. xx. 4.) as times and places tended to aggravate their crimes, v. 39.  W.

 

Ver. 40.  Paint, with antimony.  Sept.  See 4 K. ix. 3.

 

Ver. 41.  Bed: it seems at table.  Amos ii. 8.  Tob. ii. 3. Ointment; using them for thyself, or presenting them to idols.  Ex. xxx. 23. and 33.  C.

 

Ver. 42.  And that.  Prot. “Sabeans (marg. and Sept. drunkards) from,” &c.  Any were admitted (H.) to the priesthood and to her favours, even the most rustic and deformed.  3 K. xii. 32.

 

Ver. 45.  Just, compared with the Jews, whom they shall chastise.  C.

 

Ver. 47.  Stones, like adulteresses.  C. xvi. 38.  Lev. xx. 10.  H. Let the walls be demolished.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 24

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Month; Jan. 30, A. 3414.  Usher. Ezechiel was then in Mesopotamia, when the news of the siege commencing on that very day, should arrive; it would make a great impression upon the people, so that they would have confidence in him, (C.) as the certainty of the prediction would appear.  4 K. xxv. 1.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Pot, to denote Jerusalem: the flesh boiled and consumed in the fire with the bones, would shew the future dismal condition of its chiefs and inhabitants.  H. The hardened Jews turned such things to ridicule.  C. xi. 3.

 

Ver. 4.  Choice.  Heb. “the choice of the bones,” or the finest pieces separated from the bones, as the Sept. and the sequel seem to require.  C. The bones might serve to burn.  v. 5.  H.  See S. Jer.  Vat. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  The, &c.  Lit. “its boiling has grown hot;” the citizens suffer terribly. Bones.  Heb. hatsamim, (H.) may denote the more solid meat.

 

Ver. 6.  Rust: the inveterate malice of the city.  v. 12. Upon it.  Hurl the pieces of meat out of the pot, without any choice.  C. All the people shall feel my indignation, the rich as well as the poor.  v. 13.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  She hath.  Sept. “I have let it corrupt upon.  I have not,” &c. (v. 8.  H.) as if God spoke.  The Jews had committed murder without fear.  They had naturally a horror for blood, and the law ordered even that of beasts to be covered.  Lev. xvii. 13.  Now innocent blood cries for vengeance.  Gen. iv. 10.  The punishment shall be as visible as the crime.  v. 8.

 

Ver. 10.  And the. Heb. “put in the seasoning and the bones,” &c.

 

Ver. 13.  Thy.  Heb. “In thy crime there is design,” or malice.  This rendered the Jews so hateful (C.) and irreclaimable.  H. God had given them abundant instructions (C.) and graces; but all was contemned.  H. When the fire of tribulation does not amend sinners, they are sentenced to hell fire.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Stroke; pestilence, or sudden death.  This would make the loss of a dear wife still more afflicting.  Yet such distress will fall upon the whole nation, (C.) and misery shall increase so much, that a private loss will be almost forgotten.  H. Curæ leves loquuntur, graviores silent.  Sen. Troad. When a loss is foreseen, it is more easily borne.  Private calamities sink in public ones.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Silence, for such manifold calamities, if thou canst screen thyself from the enemy, who will otherwise take offence, as he has brought them on.  H. Dead.  Priests were allowed to mourn only for father or mother, and their unmarried brothers and sisters.  Lev. xxi. 1.  Ezechiel (xliv. 25.) adds, Son and daughter.  Many think the wife must also be understood, as she is nearer than a brother.  The reasons for these prohibitions did not then subsist, as no sacrifice could be offered in Chaldea; and therefore God here specifies what the prophet was not to do, (C.) though lawful on other occasions.  Sanct. Tire.  Lit. “crown,” bandage, (C.) or parchment, on which parts of the law were written.  Sept. “Let (Rom. ed. adds, not) the hair of thy head be curled (or ruffed; sumpeplegmenon) upon thee.”  H. It was usually cut in mourning.  S. Jer. Feet.  They were bare, at funerals, and in times of sorrow.  2 K. xv. 30. Face, like David.  Heb. “the upper lip,” which mourners and lepers covered.  Lev. xiii. 45.  C. Mourners.  Feasts were prepared by the relations, (Jos. Bel. ii. 1.) and friends sent some food, but no delicacies, to those who mourned.  Lev. v. 9.

 

Ver. 21.  Profane, or esteem it no more, (H.) but abandon it to the Gentiles.  C. Feareth to lose; or on which it rests.  v. 25.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  No more, if thou darest to speak before the Chaldeans.  v. 17.  Reserve thy tears and lamentations for that time.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 25

 

CHAPTER XXV.

 

Ver. 2-3.  Ammon.  These nations were punished five years after the Jews.  C. xxi. 19.  Jer. xxvii. 3.  C. “Egypt, Syria, Phœnicia, and Arabia,” were conquered.  Beros. Hast.  God saw their dispositions, which they manifested afterwards.  C. They rejoiced most, and were therefore punished with other nations.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  East; the Chaldeans, (Sanct.) who conquered them, (H.) though the Scenite Arabs, who occupied the country after the inhabitants were removed, or the Armenians and Agarens, are rather meant than the Chaldees.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Rabbath, the capital city of the Ammonites: it was afterwards called Philadelphia.  Ch. Flocks.  These constituted the riches of those Arabians.

 

Ver. 7.  Lord, and that it was not through impotence that my people became a prey.  Ammon and Moab returned after some time.  v. 10.  C. xvi. 53.  Jer. xlix. 6.

 

Ver. 8.  Seir; Idumea. Nations, whose gods could not defend them.  C. Thus they blasphemed the Lord.  Theod.

 

Ver. 9.  Shoulder; reduce to slavery, (H.) or take the strong places, (Jer. xlviii. 7.  C.) or cities and strength of Moab.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  With, or “like thee.”  Moab (v. 11.) shall be treated like Ammon.  H. Heb. “As for the,” &c.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Revenge; exhorting the Chaldeans to destroy utterly, (Ps. cxxxvi. 7.) and seizing every opportunity of injuring the Jews.  2 Par. xxviii. 18.  Amos i. 11.

 

Ver. 13.  South.  Heb. “Theman,” a city at one extremity.  The Chaldeans laid waste the country, (C. xxxii. 29.) but did not remove the people, who seized the southern parts of Juda, till they were forced to submit to the Machabees.

 

Ver. 15.  Enmities.  They also watched every moment to injure the Jews, Amos i. 5.  But Nabuchodonosor was irritated, because they had assisted Tyre.  Jer. xlvii. 4.

 

Ver. 16.  Killers.  Heb. “Ceretheans.”  David’s guards were of this nation.  2 K. viii. 18.  They came originally from Crete; and the Sept. have here, “Cretans;” (C.) as Grabe substitutes for “Judges of Sidon.”  H. Chal. “archers.” Remnant.  They deserve not the name of a nation, having been much reduced by Egypt and the Chaldeans.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 26

 

CHAPTER XXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Year of the prophet’s captivity.  H. He still dates from the transmigration of Joachin.  C. i. &c.  W. Some think he speaks of the first, fourth, or fifth month.  Tyre was not besieged till after the ninth day of the fourth month, when Jerusalem was taken; nor could she express her joy for that event before, unless God allude to her dispositions, &c.  C. xxv. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Gates: places of resort and commerce.  The Jews came to Jerusalem frequently from all parts, which increased her beauty and trade.  New Tyre expects that more will come to her.

 

Ver. 3.  Up.  Nabuchodonosor besieged the city for thirteen years.  The profane historians read by S. Jerom took no notice of this; but Josephus quotes several.  An. x. 11. and c. Ap. i.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Dust.  She shall be demolished, and the rubbish thrown into the sea, to make a road by which New Tyre in the island might be attacked.  v. 12.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Sea.  S. Jerom explains this of New Tyre; Marsham of the Old.  To reconcile the different texts, we only need to suppose that both cities were connected by a road thrown up in the sea by Hiram, and repaired by Nabuchodonosor with great labour, (C. xxix. 18.) after it had been destroyed by the inhabitants of New Tyre, when they saw the old city on the continent fall a prey.  S. Jer.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Kings: Nabuchodonosor (4 K. xxv. 28.) or Alexander, who took Tyre.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Daughters.  Many towns were subject to Tyre: almost all Phœnicia acknowledged her dominion, as well as (C.) the seas to which her fleets went.  v. 15.  Selden. Mare i. 6.  Curt. iv. These smaller cities shall fall, and the town shall be of no service except to dry nets.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Engines.  Lit. “vine.”  H. A covert was thus made for the soldiers, (Veget. iv. 15.) when they approached the walls.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Destroyed.  Old Tyre was taken by storm.  It is doubtful whether it was pillaged.  C. xxix. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Statues.  The citizens chained the golden statue of Apollo to the altar of Hercules, for fear of its leaving them, when Alexander attacked the town.  Curt. iv. Hiram placed a pillar of gold in the temple of Hercules.  Jos. C. Ap. i. Herodotus (ii. 44.) saw another also of emerald stone, (smaragdon) which illuminated the temple in the night.  On such the Tyrian might depend; though some render, “the substance or guard of thy strength,” denoting the soldiers (C.) and towers.  H. The gods were treated like the people, and their precious ornaments plundered.

 

Ver. 14.  More, for seventy years.  Is. xxiii. 15.  The people returned at the same time as the Jews.  A. 3468.  Soon after, Zacharias (C. ix.) speaks of Tyre as then subsisting.  It was very strong in Alexander’s time, (who took it with difficulty, as Antigonus did eighteen years later) and had a very extensive commerce when S. Jerom wrote.  But all this must be understood of New Tyre.  The old city never regained much splendour.  C. It is still in ruins.  A modern traveller was struck with the completion of this prophecy, beholding a few miserable fishermen drying their nets on the spot!

 

Ver. 16.  Sea: colonies, or tributary to Tyre.  v. 8.  H. Leptis, Utica, Carthage,and Cadiz, were founded by Tyrians.  Pliny v. 19. Some pretend that these cities were attacked by the conquerors, for manifesting their grief.  See Jos. Ant. x.  Pineda, &c. But we shall not here follow conjectures. Astonishment.  Heb. “troubles,” or mourning.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Dwellest in.  Heb. “of the seas.”  Prot. “seafaring men,” (H.) being near the sea, or thence deriving thy riches.

 

Ver. 18.  Because.  Heb. “at thy departure.”  C. Sept. “into captivity.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 19.  Waters; great armies, (v. 3.) or when thou art in the regions below.  Job xxvi. 5.  C. Tyre was humbled for her pride, but restored after seventy years.  Is. xxiii.  Our Saviour retired into those parts.  Mat. xv. 21.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Everlasting: in the grave, till the day of judgment.  Ps. xlviii. 12.  Wisd. xii. 5. Living, assigned to Israel, (C. xxxii. 24.  C.) where holy people adore the true God, and shall rise to life eternal.  M.

 

Ver. 21.  For ever: for a long time, (Theod.) not at all in thy ancient glory.  H. The city subsisted after the days of Nabuchodonosor and of Alexander.  C. v. 14. But the ancient city was reduced to a mere nothing.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 27

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

 

Ver. 2.  Lamentation.  Such canticles were usual, and very poetical.

 

Ver. 3.  Entry, whence merchants may proceed from an excellent harbour to any place.

 

Ver. 4.  Neighbours of Sidon.  Jos. xix. 29.  C. Sept. “thy children.”  Prot. “thy builders.”  H. The description of the Tyrian grandeur, shews their more woeful ruin.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Thee.  Heb. “all thy ship-boards.”  Sept.  Prot.  H. S. Jerom has divided (C.) leuthim, “decks of the sea,” as yam denotes the sea.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Benches.  Sept. “temples.” Italy.  Heb. Cetim.  Macedonia.  Boch.  C. All distant places were styled islands, (H.) when they went by water to them.

 

Ver. 7.  Linen.  Cotton, (Ex. xxv. 4.) used for standards.  Sept. “for bed coverlets,” or for sails. Mast.  Cleopatra and Caligula were still more sumptuous in their sails. Elisa, or Elis, famous for purple: yet Tyre was more so.

 

Ver. 8.  Aradians.  Sidon and Arad were then subject to Tyre, and supplied rowers. Pilots.  They studied no other science.

 

Ver. 9.  Gebal.  Sept. “Biblos,” which is the same.  3 K. v. 18. Furnished.  Heb. “were in thee to repair thy breaches.”  Sept. “strengthened thy designs.”

 

Ver. 10.  Lybians.  Heb. “Phut.”  They had been expelled by the Cyreneans.  Tyre had in her pay the most warlike nations of Persia, &c.  Cyrus soon after shook off the yoke of the Medes, and conquered the Lydians. Hung up.  v. 11.  This was very usual.  Cant. iv. 4.  Is. xxii. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  The Pygmeans.  That is, strong and valiant men.  In Heb. Gammadim.  Ch. He does not speak of those fabulous men hardly a cubit high.  Gomed signifying a “cubit,” has caused them to be styled so here.  Sept. “guards;” or Sym. “Medes.”  Ezechiel (xxxviii. 6.) speaks of the Gomerim.

 

Ver. 12.  Carthaginians.  Heb. “Tharsis,” in Cilicia; (Gen. x. 4.  C.) or distant merchants, who came by sea.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Slaves.  Those from Greece were much esteemed.  C. Alas! thirty thousand Tyrians were themselves thus sold by Alexander!  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Horses.  Those of Sarmatia (C.) were in high repute.  Pliny viii. 42.

 

Ver. 15.  Dedan.  Sept. “Rhodians;” or rather Arabs are meant.  v. 20.  They might receive ivory from Ethiopia. Teeth.  Heb. “horns or tusks,” which the elephant casts every year.  The ivory is less brittle.  3 K. x. 18.  C. Ebony; a hard black wood, like horn.  Bochart.

 

Ver. 16.  Syrian: always much addicted to commerce.  S. Jer. Sept. read Adam for Aram, as if the traffic in men was meant: (C.) “ivory, and to those who brought, thou gavest thy rewards.  (16) Men of thy traffic,” &c.  H. Linen.  Heb. buts, “silk” extracted from the pinna fish.  1 Par. xv. 27.  Silk.  Heb. ramoth,  may rather denote unicorns.  Job xxviii. 18.  C. Chodchod.  It is the Hebrew name for some precious stone, but of what kind in particular, interpreters are not agreed.  Ch. Some say the carbuncle, &c.  S. Jerom renders it the jasper.  Is. liv. 12.  W. Here he confesses he knows not the meaning.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Rosin.  Our version generally renders this, balm.  H. It was much used to heal.  Jer. viii. 22.  Gen. xxxvii. 25.

 

Ver. 18.  Rich.  Heb. Chelbon; perhaps the city Chelba.  Jud. i. 31.  The kings of Persia used this wine, and planted vines at Damascus on purpose.

 

Ver. 19.  Dan: the citizens of Peneas, the tribe of Dan was in captivity.  Grotius places these nations in Zeilan, (C.) or Ceylon.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Seats, such as the Turks still use, or to throw over horses instead of saddles.

 

Ver. 23.  Haran, or Charæ, famous for the residence of Abraham and the defeat of Crassus. Eden, the province where Paradise was situated.

 

Ver. 24.  Cords, in boxes, which had then no locks.

 

Ver. 25.  Sea.  Heb. Tharsis, in Cilicia; or large, and fit for long voyages.  Thine were the best.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  South.  Heb. kodim, (H.) “eastern,” or rather “burning,” here means Nabuchodonosor, who came from the north, (C. xxvi. 7.  C.) or east.  The fall of Tyre is described as a shipwreck.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Ashes.  They followed the same customs as the Jews.  C. The latter were ordered to avoid cutting the hair, like them; yet did so.  Deut. xiv.  Is. xxii. 22.  W.

 

Ver. 36.  Hissed, through pity and astonishment.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 28

 

CHAPTER XXVIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Prince.  The Jews say Hiram, (S. Jer.) supposing that he lived a thousand years; though this is not requisite, as he died only four hundred and thirty years before.  The idea is childish.  The king who was taken and slain, at this siege, was probably (C.) Ithobalos.  Jos. Ant. x. 11. Origen applies this to the angel guardian of Tyre.  S. Aug. thinks an allusion is made to the fall of Lucifer.  But it may all refer to the king, (C.) though others explain part of him and the rest of the devil.  S. Jer.  E.

 

Ver. 3.  Than Daniel; viz. in thy own conceit.  The wisdom of Daniel was so much celebrated in his days, that it became a proverb among the Chaldees, when any one would express an extraordinary wisdom, to say he was as wise as Daniel.  Ch.  W. He was now at court, and had explained the dream of Nabuchodonosor.  Dan. ii. 27.

 

Ver. 10.  Uncircumcised.  The Jews deemed this a disgrace.  1 K. xxxi. 4.  The king would be exposed to eternal death, being devoid of faith, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Resemblance.  The king of Tyre, by his dignity and his natural perfections, bore in himself a certain resemblance to God, by reason of which he might be called the seal of resemblance, &c.  But what is here said to him is commonly understood of Lucifer, the king over all the children of pride.  Ch. A seal is perfect when it represents things exactly.  The prophet speaks ironically, to repress the king’s vanity.

 

Ver. 13.  Paradise.  Thou hadst every thing delightful at Tyre.  C. Covering.  Heb. “bandage;” diadem, (H.) or belt.  Sept. specify twelve stones.  See Ex. xxviii. 17. Pipes; music used at the coronation, which was celebrated as a birth-day.  C. God give and withdraws power from all kings.  As long as they act well, they are a sort of sanctuary.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Stretched out.  That is, thy wings extended.  This alludes to the figure of the cherubims in the sanctuary, which with stretched out wings covered the ark, (Ch.) on the holy mountain.  S. Jer. &c. Fire.  That is, bright and precious stones, which sparkle like fire.  Ch. With these the king’s robes glittered, or he walked upon them.  Est. i. 6.  C.  Calcacabatur onyx.  Lucan x.

 

Ver. 15.  Iniquity.  Tyre was before wicked; but when the king pretended to be a god, (v. 2.) it could no longer be endured.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Beauty.  Riches have corrupted thy heart.

 

Ver. 18.  Sanctuaries, or temples, which was a crime (C.) in an idolater, as he took them to be the temples of a real deity.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Sidon.  It gave rise to Tyre, yet was now inferior, though independent of it, (Is. xxiii. 4.) or subject to Egypt.  Diod. ii. 2. It was now pillaged.

 

Ver. 24.  Bitterness.  Jezabel came hence; (4 K. xvi. 31.) and the Phœnicians hemmed in the Israelites as much as possible, and fought against them.  C. Sidon was near Tyre, and imitating her crimes was also punished.

 

Ver. 25.  When.  All shall praise God, seeing that he receives his people again after he has justly chastised them.  W.

 

 

EZECHIEL 29

 

CHAPTER XXIX.

 

Ver. 1.  Eleventh.  Heb. “twelfth.”  Sept. “first of the twelfth month of the twelfth year.”  There are other variations in the versions.  S. Jerom reads the first in Heb. as Theodoret does, who says that it and the Syr. have the twelfth year: which is true, if we neglect the points.  C. The prophets do not observe the order of times.  What is here delivered, was sooner fulfilled; or Tyre and Sodom lay nearer than Egypt.  W. The three next chapters regard that country.

 

Ver. 2.  Pharao, Ephree.  Jer. xliv 30.  He came to assist Sedecias; but the Chaldeans raised the siege, went to meet him, an defeated his army.  After they had subdued the neighbouring  nations, Tyre, &c. they fell upon Egypt.  A. 3433.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Dragon.  Heb. tannin, (H.) whence thunnus may be derived, means any water monster, and seems here put for the crocodile, (C.) which Pharao signifies.  Grot. It was the symbol of Egypt, (C.) and adored by the people.  Juv. xv. 2. Rivers; the different branches of the Nile, and the canals. Myself.  I owe my power to no other.  C. “Apries is said to think that no god could deprive him of the kingdom, so well he seemed to have established it.”  Herod. ii. 169. So the ancient Pharao said; I know not the Lord.  Ex. v. 2.  He boasts of having conducted the waters of the Nile through the land.  v. 9.  M. This river was honoured as the greatest of the gods.  Heliod. 9.

Terra suis contenta bonis non indiga mercis

Aut Jovis; in solo tanta est fiducia Nilo.  Lucan viii.

 

Ver. 4.  Bridle.  The Tentyrians jump upon the crocodile’s back, give it a club to bite at, which they seize with both hands, and bring it to the shore.  Pliny viii. 25. Others throw a hook baited with swine’s flesh, and holding the rope on the shore, make a little pig squeak, with draws the attention of the crocodile; and, as it comes for its prey, it swallows the hook, and its eyes being filled with dust is easily slain.  Herod. ii. 70. Apries sent an army against Cyrene, which being defeated as it was thought by the king’s fault, many of the Egyptians revolted.  He sent Amasis to reduce them, but they gave him the crown.  Herod. ii. 161. and iv. 159. Nabuchodonsor taking advantage of these disturbances, and perhaps invited by Amasis, entered Egypt, drove Apries into Higher Egypt, slew many of the inhabitants, and Jews, &c. and left Amasis to govern the wretched remains of the kingdom.  Usher, A. 3430.  The Scripture, however, seems to say that Pharao was slain; (Jer. xliii. &c.  C.) which Ctesias assures us was done by Amasis, though Herodotus (ii. 169.) says he was killed by the people, and buried with his fathers.  This latter circumstance is not very probable: but the historian followed the account of the priests, who would mention what was most honourable for the nation.  He seems to have been left unburied.  v. 5.  Scales.  The people depended on the king and share his fate.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Israel, tempting them to rebel.  S. Jer. He promised more than he was able or strove to perform, though he made a show of giving aid.

 

Ver. 7.  Loins.  They fell upon thee, and thou didst wound (C.) or “dissolve” their loins.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Tower; or rather (C.) Heb. and Sept. “from Magdol to Syene.”  H. This was on the frontiers of Ethiopia, below the cataracts.  Pliny v. 9.

 

Ver. 11.  Years, till the third of Cyrus, who gave liberty to all the captives at the beginning of his reign. v. 13.  C. Amasis reigned forty-four years in Lower Egypt, (Herod. iii. 10.) over the few whom Nabuchodonosor spared.

 

Ver. 14.  Low.  The Jews were not more tempted to apply to them for aid.  C. Amasis strove to shake off the yoke: but Cambyses came and slew many.  Psammenites killed himself; (Herod. iii. 9.) or was taken to Susa, and the country laid waste.  Ctesias Egypt has almost ever since been subject to foreign princes, (H.) Persians, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Mamelukes, and Turks.  The trade of Egypt, by caravans, was in a manner destroyed for forty years by Nabuchodonosor, whose victories Megesthenes and Berosus attest 300 years before Christ.  Watson.

 

Ver. 17.  Year: fifteen (C.) or seventeen years after the preceding prophecy, (v. 1.  W.) but on the same subject.

 

Ver. 18.  Peeled, with carrying machines of war and burdens for thirteen years. No reward worth the labour.  The new city surrendered upon terms, (C.) or the citizens shipped off their most valuable goods, and retired to Carthage, &c.  God gives a temporal reward for moral virtues, (S. Jer.) even to infidels.  W. Thus he rewarded the ancient Romans, and the midwives.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. v. 12. and S. Tho. i. 2. q. 114. a. 10. They had no intention of pleasing God, (C.) or of directing their labours for his service.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Horn: Zorobabel; (S. Jer.) Jechonias, who was honoured by Evil-merodac; (T.) or Daniel and Mardochai, with all the nation. Month.  Thou shalt speak boldly, and they will give credit to thee henceforward.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 30

 

CHAPTER XXX.

 

Ver. 2.  Day of vengeance, (C.) when the Lord shall judge, (1 Cor. v. 2.) and Egypt shall fall a prey to the most powerful nation of the Chaldees.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Ethiopia.  Heb. “Chus,” denoting part of Arabia, or rather Ethiopia.

 

Ver. 5.  Lydia.  Heb. “Phut,” near Egypt.  C. These troops were paid.  H. Chub, in Mareotis. Covenant: the Jews or auxiliaries.  Sept. add, “the Persians and Cretans.”  C. There were Persians in Africa who followed Hercules.  Pliny v. 8.

 

Ver. 9.  Messengers; the Chaldeans.  C. The Nile was navigable as far as Syene.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 12.  Dry.  The canals were obstructed (C.) which rendered cavalry useless.  Herod. ii. 108.

 

Ver. 13.  Memphis, the capital of Lower Egypt, (C.) where the idol or bull (H.) Apis was fed.  C. Here Amasis overcame Apries.  Herod. ii. 168. The Chaldees made war on the gods as well as on the people. Prince  Amasis was tributary to Babylon.  Some of this probably regards the times of Cambyses and Ochus.  Usher, A. 3478 and 3653.  C.  See C. xxix. 14.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Taphnis, or Tanis, famous for the miracles of Moses.  C. Alexandria.  In the Heb. No, which was the ancient name of that city, which was afterwards rebuilt by Alexander the Great, and from his name called Alexandria.  Ch. Sept. “Memphis or Diospolis;” (C.) or Thebes, capital of Higher Egypt; (Boch.) though it seems rather a maritime town.  Nah. iii. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Pelusium.  Heb. Sin, (H.) “muddy,” has the same import as phloV.  C. The place is now called Damietta.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Darkened: war and misery shall ensue. Sceptres, by dethroning Apries. Pride; overflowing of the Nile.  See Jer. xlix. 19.

 

Ver. 20.  Year, in which Jerusalem was taken.  Pharao lost a battle.  His country was afterwards invaded, (C.) and his subjects rebelled.  v. 21.  H. Part of the kingdom had been already subdued.  4 K. xxiv. 7.  W.

 

 

EZECHIEL 31

 

CHAPTER XXXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Year, about a month before the fall of Jerusalem.

 

Ver. 3.  Assyrian.  The ruin of this great empire (C.) might have admonished the king of Egypt of his frail condition.  H. About thirty-eight years before (C.) Ninive had been taken, and its king (Sarac or Chinaladan) slain by his own general, Nabopolassar, and by Astyages, of Media.  They divided the empire between them, and the father of Nabuchodonosor fixed his residence at Babylon.  Usher, A. 3378. Cedar.  Sept. “cypress.” Top; the king of Ninive.  C. Egypt’s monarch thought himself invincible; yet would fall like the Assyrians.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Roots.  Various nations paid tribute to the Assyrians, (S. Jer.  C.) while he sent his troops, like rivulets, to keep all in subjection.  Theod.

 

Ver. 11.  I have delivered.  Here the time past is put for the future; i.e. I shall deliver. The mighty one, &c. viz. Nabuchodonosor, who conquered both the Assyrians and Egyptians; (Ch.) or rather his father, Nabopolassar, subdued the former.  v. 3.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Strangers; revolted Assyrians.  See Ps. xvii. 46.

 

Ver. 13.  Branches.  The nations continued, but submitted to another master.

 

Ver. 14.  Pit.  The new king would appoint fresh governors.

 

Ver. 15.  Waters, as if they bewailed his fate.  C. Those whom the king of Ninive had exalted, and the people, who wished not to submit to a foreigner, would no doubt lament the slaughtered monarch, new silent (H.) in the grave.  Theod.

 

Ver. 16.  Comforted.  The ghosts of princes who had been subject to Serac, seeing his fall, bore their own misfortune with greater content.  In the grave there is no distinction of master and slave.  C. Surviving princes expected some emolument from the change.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Arm; those in power.  Sept. “his seed.”  Heb. Zora, (H.) means both.

 

Ver. 18.  Famous king of Assyria, or of Egypt. Pharao.  C.

Mutato nomine de te

                        Fabula narratur.  Hor. 1. Sat. 1.

Though Egypt be like the most potent kingdoms, it shall likewise fall.  W.

 

 

EZECHIEL 32

 

CHAPTER XXXII.

 

Ver. 1.  Twelfth.  He counts from the captivity of Jechonias, as Sedecias reigned only eleven years.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Dragon, or crocodile; two of the most terrible creatures. With the horn is not expressed in Heb. and the crocodile has nothing like a horn.  It has four feet, with which it makes the water muddy.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Net.  Sept. “hook.”  C. xxix. 4.  C. Some take the crocodile with a net.  v. 3.  Elian. Hist. x. 21.

 

Ver. 5.  Corruption.  Sept. “blood.”  But romuth (H.) means rather “worms.”  Syr.  C.

 

Ver. 7-8.  Out, like a candle, by death; extinctus.  H. The glory of Egypt was so great, that at its fall the light of heaven seemed diminished.  W. Great desolation is thus intimated. When, &c. is not is some Latin copies, nor in Heb. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Anger, as they will not know why I have treated thee so severely: or rather, they shall be afraid for themselves.  v. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Invincible, when they wield God’s sword.  Cyrus easily conquered them.  H. Heb. “strong,.”  Sept. “pestiferous.”

 

Ver. 14.  Oil.  It is very transparent.  It seems the Nile was rendered muddy by cattle, &c.

 

Ver. 15.  Fulness, or all of it shall be desolate.

 

Ver. 17.  Month: probably the twelfth.  v. 1.

 

Ver. 18.  Down: announce this catastrophe.  C. Apries was slain by order of Amasis.  Diodor. 1.  Jer. xliv. 30.

 

Ver. 21.  Most.  Sept. “giants shall say to thee: Remain in the depth of the pit.  Whom dost thou excel? descend,” &c.  H. They vary much in this chapter from the Heb.  S. Jer. Helpers; Lybians, &c.  C. xxx. 5.  These shall come to compliment the king.  C. After a battle, those of the same nation were buried together.  v. 22.  Theod. The Egyptians had tombs like houses, in which there were separate holes or apartments (C.) as in large vaults.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Shame.  They are buried without any distinction.

 

Ver. 27.  Not.  Some copies of Sept. omit the negation.  Others render the Heb. “Have they not slept?” &c.  These nations were deprived of military honours, dying like cowards; and therefore their swords were not placed with them in the grave.  C. It was customary to inter such things as the deceased had like the most.  Serv. in Æn. x.  Arma quibus lætatus habe tus, &c.  Simon (1 Mac. xiii. 29.) placed arms and representations of ships on the pillars at Modin, in honour of his kindred.  If Elam, &c. had not received such distinction, why should the Egyptian repine?  Were they any better?  C. The country and king of the Elamites, Assyrians, and other infidels, shall be destroyed.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Midst.  This threat would make great impression on the Egyptians, who were particularly solicitous to be buried with their fathers.

 

Ver. 29.  Edom.  Sept. add, “and all the Assyrian princes.”  Some copies omit Edom.  H. This nation had laid aside circumcision, which Hircan forced them to resume.  They had been present at the siege of Jerusalem.  C. xxxv.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Hunters of men, like Nimrod, the first king of Assyria.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  My.  Heb. Sept. “his,” (C.) alluding to the ravages of Nechao; (Grot.) though the Hebrew may also signify my, as the Jews read Egypt, and Palestine, the land of the living, were filled with terror.  After the latter had been chastised, Pharao might dread (C.) a worse fate; (H.) and the multitudes slain before him, might afford him some (C.) wretched consolation.  H. It is evident that those nations believed the existence of separate spirits, and had not given in to the errors of the Sadducees, or of the Metempsychosis.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 33

 

CHAPTER XXXIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Take.  Before (C. iii. 17.) God made the choice, (C.) as he does here, v. 7.  He confirms the authority of those who are appointed to govern. Meanest.  Lit. “last,” (H.) which seems to denote such as are chosen without regard to their dignity or obscurity in life.  Gen. xlvii. 2. and 3 K. xii. 31.  C. Pastors are not excused from admonishing the people for fear of danger or despair of reclaiming them, as each one is bound to do his duty.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Iniquity, not regarding the admonitions of his pastor; (C. iii. 18.  C.) or rather of conscience, when the guide proves faithless and silent, as in this instance.  H. The people were persuaded that none suffered except for some fault.  v. 10.  Jer. xxxi. 30.  Dan. xiii. 52.  Gen. xliv. 16.  The author of the Book of Job takes great pains to remove this mistake.  God sometimes sends crosses for a trial, (C.) and to increase the merit of his servants; though it be very true, (H.) “no one is miserable except he deserve it.”  S. Aug.

 

Ver. 8.  Surely die a temporal, (Theod.) or rather an eternal death.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 10.  Live?  They suppose their case to be desperate, as their fathers had sinned.  C. xviii.  The prophet shews that none are punished except for their own faults, (C.) and that “each one has free-will to be saved or to be lost.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 11.  Desire.  The sinner’s  damnation is not an object of God’s pleasure.  C. xviii. 23.  C. He has an antecedent will to save all.  He knocks at the door of our heart, (Apoc. iii. 20.) and if man do what depends on him, nothing will be wanting on the part of God.  S. Tho. i. 2. q. 109. and 112.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Hurt him.  God effaces all past crimes: yet a relapse makes them as it were revive, and is pardoned with more difficulty.  Mat. xviii. 35.  Some read, “In what day the converted sinner groans, he shall be saved,” as if they had taken in part of Is. xxx. 15.

 

Ver. 17.  Equitable; as we are much more inclined to vice than to virtue.  This argumentation is inconclusive, as God owes nothing to man; and what good the latter does, is an effect of His grace.  The propensity to evil is no excuse, as man is still free.  He is judged according to the dispositions in which he is found at the hour of death; yet we must not infer, that those who have spent their lives in sinning will be no worse treated than the person who dies guilty of a single crime.

 

Ver. 21.  Twelfth.  Rom. Sept. “tenth.”  Syr. “eleventh year,…in the twelfth month;” which Theodoret thinks more probable, as the city was taken in the ninth of the fourth month of that year.  Yet even so, it is strange that the news should not arrive before.  Some think (C.) that the messenger came also to announce what happened after the death of Godolias.  Sanct. Captivity.  Here it is evident that the prophet dates from that event.  C. i. &c.  H. As he prophesied on the very day when the city was besieged, (C. xxiv. 2.) so (v. 26.) he foretold that one should come three years after to inform him of the capture.  W. Then the people would believe him, (ib. v. 27.  C.) and he would open his mouth boldly.  v. 22.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Places.  He has answered those who despaired.  v. 10.  Now he turns to the presumptuous, who expected to be treated like Abraham, though they did not imitate his virtues.  C. They perhaps entertained these sentiments before the death of Godolias, thinking to establish themselves in the land.  Afterwards the prophet Jeremias could not prevail on them to remain, though God promised them security.

 

Ver. 25.  To them.  Grabe marks to v. 27. Thus saith, &c. as wanting in the Sept. though not in the Alex. copy.  S. Jerom reckons eight verses or lines omitted.  H. The Comp. and Theodoret read them with some variations. The blood.  It must be carefully extracted.  Gen. ix. 4.  Lev. vii. 26. Uncleannesses; idols, in which you trust.

 

Ver. 26.  Swords, thinking to live thereby, (Gen. xxvii. 40.) and to be secure.  But I will disarm you.  The pestilence shall find out those in the rocks.  v. 27.

 

Ver. 30.  Walls, the resort of idle people.  C.

 

Ver. 31.  In to a religious meeting.  Chal.  Perhaps they came on the sabbath to his house.  Yet they made a just and song of his instructions.  C. They heard them with pleasure, but did not reform their lives.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Coming.  The desolation of Jerusalem, (H.) and what I have foretold, hath already taken place; or, the news will presently arrive: as it did the following morning.  v. 21.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 34

 

CHAPTER XXXIV.

 

Ver. 2.  Shepherds.  That is, princes, magistrates, chief priests, and scribes.  Ch. Shepherds may lawfully take milk, (1 Cor. ix. 7.) but the sheep and its wool belong to the master.  W. Excellent instructions are here given for all in authority.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Fat.  Pastors often disguise the truth to flatter the rich, or the more just souls are ruined by their negligence.

 

Ver. 4.  Healed.  God alone can restore to life.  But pastors will not be excused by ignorance if they know not the maladies and the remedies of their flock. Hand.  This was blamed in the Pharisees, and is contrary to the spirit of the gospel.  Mat. xxiii. 4.  1 Pet. v. 2.

 

Ver. 5.  Field.  The people being neglected, followed false prophets and idols.  Their teachers were so far from striving to reclaim them, that they perhaps shewed them the example.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  No shepherd.  Pastors who seek only their temporal advantage, (1 Tim. vi. 5.  Tit. i. 7.  H.) are hirelings; and if they teach false doctrine, they are wolves.  John x.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Cease.  Both the leaders and the people were led into captivity.

 

Ver. 12.  Day, in persecution.  I will count my sheep, lest any be lost.

 

Ver. 13.  Land.  All this cannot be understood of the synagogue alone.

 

Ver. 16.  Preserve, (Sept. Syr.) which seems more natural than Heb. and Chal. “destroy.”  I will not eat them, like bad shepherds.  v. 3.  C. God and those whom he sends, will take care of the flock.  Eph. iv.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Cattle.  The crimes of the pastors do not excuse the flock.  In it there are people of different dispositions.  The rich often destroy, and these are brought to an account.  v. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  David; Christ, who is of the house of David.  C. That king had been dead long before, so that no Jew or heretic can deny but that the Messias is here meant, as C. xxxvii. 24. &c.  W. He possessed eminently all the virtues of David, and was of his seed.  Zorobabel, &c. cannot be understood, as we have no proof that the governors after the captivity were chosen from the tribe of Juda.  C. xxi. 27.

 

Ver. 25.  Peace.  Christ pacifies all.  Rom. xv. 33.  Mic. v. 5.  Eph. vi. 15. Beasts: those who promote idolatry; or, speaking of Christians, who teach heretical doctrine and persecute the Church.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Make.  Lit. “place.”  H. Sept. read not a blessing, which seems superfluous.  C. Yet Chal. has it, and the idea is more complete.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  A bud of renown, (germen nominatum.)  He speaks of Christ, our Lord, the illustrious bud of the house of David, renowned over all the earth.  See Jer. xxxiii. 15.  Ch. Sept. Syr. “a plant of peace.”  Chal. “established.”  C.

 

Ver. 31.  Men.  What has been said of sheep (M.) relates to you. Am the Lord.  This is not in Heb. or Prot.  H. But it is found in one Heb. MS. and Sept. as this version is thus frequently confirmed.  Kennicott, Dis. ii.

 

 

EZECHIEL 35

 

CHAPTER XXXV.

 

Ver. 2.  Face.  Address, or speak without fearing any man.  W. Seir: Idumea.  He speaks of its devastation, both by Nabuchodonosor on the side of Moab, and by the Machabees in what remained.  Jer. xxvii. 7. and 1 Mac. iv. 60. and xiv. 33.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Enemy.  God revenges the injuries done to his Church, as if they were done to himself.  Acts ix. 4.  W. The enmity of Jacob and of Esau seemed to commence in the womb, and was increased by the purchase of the birth-right, till Jacob’s prudence disarmed his brother.  Their descendants sought every opportunity to injure one another.  The Idumeans shewed their ill-will particularly, when the Jews were most distressed.  This was a piece of the greatest cruelty.

 

Ver. 6.  Blood.  The Machabees sprung from the same stock.  Pursue the Idumeans, and force them to receive circumcision.  1 Mac. iv. 15.

 

Ver. 9.  Inhabited for a considerable time, as C. xxvi. 20.

 

Ver. 10.  Two.  I will add the country of the Jews to my own, or will possess the land belonging to the kingdoms of Juda and of Israel.  Their hopes were blasted.  They never occupied any thing belonging to the Israelites, and what they had taken from Juda, as far as Hebron, was recovered. There, witness of these designs, and guardian of his temple, &c.

 

Ver. 11.  Wrath.  The Jews shall treat you as you have threatened to do unto them. By them, my people.  Sept. “to thee.”

 

Ver. 13.  Derogated.  Sept. “bawled;” or Heb. “multiplied your words against me,” as if I could not protect my inheritance.  H. You would pretend to judge me, and to fathom my designs.

 

Ver. 14.  Rejoice.  After the captivity, the Machabees shall conquer Edom.

 

Ver. 15.  As, &c. is not in the Rom. Sept.  S. Jerom says it was marked with an asterisk, being taken from Theodotion.  C. Grabe supplies to thou shalt.  His copy has the rest:…”thou shalt know that I am their Lord.”  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 36

 

CHAPTER XXXVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  The restoration of the Jews and the redemption of Christ, constitute this fourth division.  W. Edom has seized parts of the country, as if I had abandoned my people for ever.

 

Ver. 2.  Heights.  Sept. “deserts.”  The mountains are often styled eternal, as being the best symbols of durability.  Deut. xxxiii. 15.

 

Ver. 3.  Reproach.  This God had repeatedly threatened.  Deut. xxviii. 37.  C.  Jer. xxiv. 9. People talked of their distress. W.

 

Ver. 8.  Israel.  Some apply what follows to the captives returning; others, perceiving that the expressions were not then literally verified, have recourse to the reign of 1000 years.  Others again explain the whole of Christ’s Church.  But some expressions refer to it, and others to the captives; which, though mixed together, induce no confusion, as what belongs to the Jews was a figure of what regarded Christ; and the predictions of the Messias might be applied to the Jews in a hyperbolical sense.  S. Aug. Doct. iii. 34.  S. Jer.  M.  T.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Greater.  Sept. “similar.”  H. It would be difficult to shew that the Jews arrived at greater eminence after the captivity than before, (C.) though they were less addicted to idolatry.  Their kingdom was not independent: they had no prophets, &c.  But the superior numbers and excellence of the Christian Church is manifest.

 

Ver. 12.  Them.  Antiochus and the Romans laid waste the country; (C.) and Adrian would not allow the Jews to come near Jerusalem.  S. Jer.  Eus. iv. 6. The people were not indeed removed together, as they had been.  But all this is verified only in the Church, which in the midst of persecutions always subsists.  Theodoret thinks these promises were conditional with respect to the Jews.

 

Ver. 13.  Men.  This remark was very ancient.  Num. xiii. 33.  Wars had almost always raged in the country.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  More.  This whole promise principally relates to the Church of Christ, and God’s perpetual protection of her; for to the carnal Jews, they have been removed out of their land these sixteen hundred years.  Ch.

 

Ver. 18.  Blood of their own children, and of the innocent.  C. xvi. 36. and xxii. 2. and xxxiii. 25.

 

Ver. 20.  Land.  Yet their conduct was no better than that of infidels.  Thus they throw the blame on the law, and upon God himself.  Jer. xlviii. 9. &c.  C. The Jews had provoked God to punish them with captivity; and hence the nations took occasion to blaspheme, that he could not protect them.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Holy, that my attributes of justice and mercy may be confessed.  Is. xlviii. 2.  Dan. iii. 49.  Judith viii. 24.

 

Ver. 25.  Water.  R. David and the Chal. explain this of the remission of sin; and all Christians understand it of baptism in water, remitting all offences.  Eph. v. 26.  Tit. iii. 5.  W. He alludes to the purification of the Jews, which prefigured baptism and penance, in which the blood of Christ is applied to our souls.  This of course was only fulfilled in his church.

 

Ver. 26.  Flesh.  The Jews at their return fell not so often into the sins of idolatry, &c. of which the prophets complained.  But yet they were far from answering this character.  Great irregularities prevailed under Nehemias, and in the days of the Machabees the priests publicly worshipped idols.  1 Esd. ix. and 2 Esd. v. and viii. and 2 Mac. iv. and v.  Christ enables his servants to act with purity unto the end, by the influence of his all-powerful grace.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Do them.  Hence the efficacy of grace appears, (S. Aug.  H.) and hereby some keep the commandments.  W. God assists our free-will.  Theod.  A.Lap.  C.

 

Ver. 37.  Find.  Heb. “seek.”  I will cause great multitudes to come to the solemn feast.  This was seen still more after the conversion of the Gentiles.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 37

 

CHAPTER XXXVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Spirit, by a divine impulse.  He was not really removed.  M.  C. Bones.  “This passage is very famous.”  S. Jer. It insinuates the liberation of the captives and of the Gentiles, as well as the mystery of the resurrection.  W. If this were not to take place, it would not be adduced as a figure.  Tert.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 5.  Spirit.  That is, life, soul, and breath.  Ch. At the resurrection, the same souls shall return to their respective bodies.

 

Ver. 7.  Noise of the bones moving, which denotes the wars of Cyrus and the hurry of the nations to which he restored liberty.

 

Ver. 9.  Spirit; wind or soul.  The latter animates the body, as the grace (C.) of the Holy Spirit does the soul.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Off, like branches.  Notwithstanding these desponding thoughts, God will restore his people, (W.) by means of Cyrus.  The grave is often put for punishment and grievous calamities.  Osee vi. 3.

 

Ver. 16.  Associates.  When Jeroboam caused the division, some of Israel adhered to Juda.  The prophet glued the pieces of wood together, or engrafted them one into the other, to shew that all the people should be united, and the Jews and Gentiles concur to form one church.  C.  Rom. xi. 17. Before the latter event took place God united the two kingdoms, to teach us that when we labour for the conversion of heretics, as in England, Catholics must first agree among themselves, that so all may more easily become one fold under one shepherd.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  King.  The Jews were long without kings, after the captivity; then they were not of the tribe of Juda, and all did not return.  Christ fulfils the prediction.

 

Ver. 23.  Idols.  The Jews, even many of the priests, worshipped them, under Antiochus.  C. But the Church is never defiled.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  David; Christ, the one shepherd, (Jo. x.) over all nations.  W. This cannot refer to Zorobabel, who was never king, nor perhaps even governor; as Sasabasar, who seems to have been a Persian, was appointed by Cyrus.  1 Esd. i. 8. Shepherd.  David have been one.  C. This title is more modest than that of king.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 25.  Ever.  Let the Jews shew how this had been accomplished.  We know that Christ preserves and rule his Church unto the end.

 

Ver. 26.  Peace.  Can this regard the synagogue?  Not a century passed without some flagrant misconduct, or chastisement.  But our Saviour is the mediator of peace.  Phil. iv. 7.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 38

 

CHAPTER XXXIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Gog.  This name, which signifies hidden, or covered, is taken in this place either for the persecutors of the Church of God in general, or some arch persecutor in particular; such as Antichrist shall be in the latter days.  See Apoc. xx. 8.  And what is said of the punishment of God, is verified by the unhappy end of persecutors. Magog.  Scythia or Tartary, whence the Turks and other enemies of the Church of Christ originally sprung.  Ch. These are supposed to be the princes of some northern and barbarous country, (W.) peopled by the son of Japhet.  S. Jer. S. Aug. (de Civ. Dei. xx. 11.) observes, that as the Church is spread everywhere, so also are persecutors.  But Christ will overcome them all.  W. This prophecy is very difficult.  It seems literally to refer to Cambyses, who invaded Judea about seventy years after the temple had been destroyed, and perished by the hand of God, at Ecbatana, upon Mount Carmel.  It is very usual with the prophets to give fictitious names; as the king of Tyre is called a cherub, and Jerusalem Ooliba.  Cambyses ruled over Scythia, in Iberia; styled Gogarene, by Strabo. xi.  C. The proper Scythia withstood all the attempts of his successors, and defeated Darius.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Jaws.  Thus Cambyses treated the son of Psammenites.  God has the most absolute dominion over all monarchs.  v. 7.

 

Ver. 8.  Visited, or rather “shall visit” Judea.  Chal.  Grot. Cambyses invaded Egypt twelve years after the Jews had returned, and came upon them two years later, designing to plunder them, at the instigation of their malevolent neighbours. He had sustained great losses in Egypt, and was arrived at Carmel when news was brought that the false Smerdis had declared himself king.  See Herod. iii. 61.

 

Ver. 12.  Midst.  Lit. “navel.”  Heb. “Thabor,” intimating a mountain rising in a plain.  Judg. ix. 7.  C. Alluding to this intended blunder of the Jews lately returned, he speaks of Antichrist and of all heretics, who seek to pervert or suppress Catholics rescued from the power of the devil, by the sacraments of Christ.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Tharsis.  Sept. “Carthage, and all their villages.”  The merchants or naval forces of Cambyses spurred him forward, (see Ps. lxxvii. 6.) as well as the Arabs, Cuthites, &c.  1 Esd. iv. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Latter.  Cambyses had punished Egypt, his turn came, and all his designs were baffled.

 

Ver. 17.  Prophets.  See Is. xiv. & xvi. 21. and xxvi. 1.  Jer. xxx. 3. and 23.  Joel ii. 30. iii. 1. &c.

 

Ver. 19.  Israel.  The Jews shall be full of dismay, (v. 20.) as the tyrant will vent some threats; (C.) or this commotion was in his own army.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Sword.  The Jews were not in a condition to make resistance.  C. Cambyses had his brother Smerdis slain.  But another was set on the throne; whereupon, mounting his horse in a fury, he wounded himself with his sword in the thigh, which mortifying, caused his death after twenty days.  Herod. iii. 21. &c. The historian does not mention what became of his army; but it seems to have perished by discord, as was very common among such a collection of nations.  See Jud. vii. 22.  Judith xv. 1. and 1 K. xiv. 20. and 4 K. ii. 21.  C. They were now without a head.  H. In the whole universe, God will at last destroy Antichrist and all his adherents.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Pestilence.  His wound might be thus described. Blood.  Thus was he punished for shedding that of innocent people.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 39

 

CHAPTER XXXIX.

 

Ver. 3.  Arrows.  Cambyses thought himself the most skilful at shooting.  This was the usual weapon of the Persians (C.) and Parthians.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Fall.  In every part some shall resist Antichrist, who shall be overpowered.  W. Cambyses died at Carmel.

 

Ver. 6.  Islands; in the naval forces, or in the places of his dominion where discord shall prevail.  C. Cambyses resolved to attack Ethiopia, the people near the temple of Ammon, and the Carthaginians: but his troops refused to go against the latter, and many were smothered in the sands, or starved to death in the other expeditions.  Just. i.  Lucan x. &c.

 

Ver. 9.  Years; for a long time.  v. 12.  Little fuel is necessary there.  Mariana (Hist. xi. 24.  A. 1212.) mentions, that the arms of the Moors supplied Spain four years with fuel.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Prey.  The Jews relate that Zorobabel went out to oppose these nations, and took so much plunder as to be able to begin the temple.  Theod.

 

Ver. 11.  East of the Mediterranean and of Carmel, the high road from Assyria to Egypt, (Gen. xxxvii. 2.  C.) where the Romans had a station at Legion.  Eus. Called, or shall be.  Is. vii. 14. and lx. 14.  C. Valley.  Sept. “Gai, the grave of Gog.”  Prot. “the valley of Haman-Gog.”  v. 16.  H. Antichrist will not be burnt iwth material fire.  But Catholics shall resist him zealously, and gain the victory.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Land, to prevent infection, and to comply with the law.  Num. xix. 16.

 

Ver. 13.  Day.  It does not occur in the calendar.  Yet Comestor and the Carthusian mentions Cambysa, the day when Bethulia was delivered.  Jud. xvi. 31.  The history of Judith may perhaps relate to the defeat of this prince.  The embellishments will not injure the truth.  The Jews immediately after his death recommence the building of the temple, (1 Esd. iv.  Agg. i. 14.) which they are forced to discontinue, till Hystaspes confirmed the decree of Cyrus.  This was the grand object of their desires, and therefore the day when Cambyses fell was ever memorable to them.  C.  Diss. So will that be for Christians, when Antichrist shall be no more.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Buriers.  These might be foreign slaves, or Jews, who followed this employment.  C. They would be  habitually (H.) unclean, and their company would be carefully avoided.  Those who sought after the dead remains, contracted no uncleanness.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Amona.  Heb. hamon, (H.) means “a multitude.”  C. Sept. “a place for many graves:” poluandrion.  H. So many would be buried there, that the place might justly receive such a name; though we find no such city in the neighbourhood.  C. Rabbath, of Ammon, was sometimes so called.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  That are.  Heb. “and of meries, (a species of oxen, in Syria.  Bellon. ii. 50.) all of them from Basan,” beyond the Jordan, a most fertile country.  Sept. “all calves fattened.”

 

Ver. 23.  Sword.  I could as easily have protected them against the Chaldeans as against this prince, if their sins had not been in the way.  C. These bring on the ruin of God’s people more than the power of the enemy.  W.

 

Ver. 25.  Israel.  All who please may now return.  Hystaspes was very favourable to them.  He married Esther, raised Mardochai to great power, and sent Esdras into Judea with ample privileges.  Many returned under him, Artazerxes, and Alexander. Jealous.  I will restore the people to favour, and will protect them (C.) like a husband.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  There, except such as refused to return.  They have entire liberty.  This and what follows was not fully accomplished till the propagation of the gospel.  God wished all to embrace it; and though Israel has been partly blind, they will enter the Church after the Gentiles.  Rom. xii. 26.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 40

 

CHAPTER XL.

 

Ver. 1.  Month; April 30, A. 3430.  Usher.  C. In explaining this last most obscure vision: I. The Jews say it was verified after the captivity.  But thus the temple would be four miles round, and the city thirty-six, which never was the case.  II. Hence more modern Jews assert it will be fulfilled by the Messias.  III. Rejecting these errors, Lyran, &c. suppose that the promise was conditional, and that the sins of the Jews prevented the city and temple from being so large; and that the mystical temple of the Church is also insinuated, into which both Jews and Gentiles shall enter.  IV. Though this opinion be probable, it seems better to follow S. Jerom, S. Greg. &c. who cannot apply al to the Old Testament, nor think that such a huge temple and city were indeed promised, but explain some parts of the captives at their return, as a figure of those redeemed by Christ, and brought into his Church, which is adorned with all graces.  Yet the greatest part must be understood of the Church triumphant.  W. S. Jerom confesses his ignorance of this subject; and those who have come after him, though they imitate not his modesty, add little to dissipate the mist with which this vision is surrounded.  Some have adhered too close to Josephus, while Villalpand has here discovered all the magnificence of Greek and Roman architecture, and has represented the temple six times as large as it really was.  It seems that the prophet has described the same temple of Solomon which he had seen, that the dimensions might be preserved, and the hopes of the people kept up; (C.) and that they might comprehend what a loss they actually sustained on account of their sins, (H.) and might strive to come up to this pattern (D.) as “near as they should be able,” the wealth of the people being much less than Solomon’s.  Grot. These arguments do not, however, shew that the buildings were to resemble each other.  They vary in many particulars; and the prophet would specify what was to be really executed.  He says nothing of the ornamental part, and little of the height, which are the most expensive.  Houbigant.  Pref. If some things appear to be too grand for the temple of Solomon, and of Zorobabel, we must reflect that the prophet passes from the figure to the Church of Christ, which is not unusual.  M. Alcasar and Bossuet explain it wholly of the Church, so that the letter requires few notes.  D.

 

Ver. 2.  Mountain; Moria, in spirit.  On the eastern side, the road to the city was level.  Walls were added after the captivity, on the other sides.  Jos. Bel. vi. 6. City, the temple was so large. South, to one coming from the north, though the temple lay on that side of the town.  Ps.  xlvii. 2.  C. Sept. read mongod, “over-against,” instead of mongob, “south,” which has perplexed many.  Houbig. Ezechiel was placed on Sion, which was not very high, but here it denotes the Church.  Jerusalem was in ruins.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Brass: shining.  H. This angel waited for the prophet at the northern gate, but introduced him by that looking towards the east.  v. 16. Line.  It seems never to have been used.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Breadth. Heb. Chal. Sept. “of six cubits, in a cubit and a palm;” imitating that the sacred cubit contained six palms, while the common one had only five, (C. xliii. 13.  W.) being half a yard; (Arbuthnot) or the Hebrew cubit was a hand’s breadth larger than the Babylonian, or about 21½ inches, (C.) which  may be styled (M.) the sacred cubit.  Arb.  H. Reed. This outer wall (C.  M.) was to prevent any from falling down the precipice.  It was about four yards nine inches in height and thickness, being so solid in order that the ground might not give way.  Josephus describes prodigious walls, (H.) reaching to the bottom of the mountain, three hundred cubits on the south and west; but then the temple was much enlarged.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  And.  In this verse occurs the first of thirty-four words where the j is allowed by the keri to be omitted in this one chapter, always when it is the sign of the plural number before a suffixed v, and of course by voluntary assimilation.  But Camb. MS. 1. has the j regularly in the thirty-two of these words.  Kennicott. Steps.  The ground was not quite level, which caused the buildings to rise one above another more elegantly.  There were four great gates.

 

Ver. 7.  Chamber, for the porters, (C.) three on each side of the porch.  v. 10.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Thirteen, or twenty-six feet high.

 

Ver. 14.  Cubits high, or else the elevation is nowhere specified.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Slanting, or “lattice.”  Sept. “dark.”  See 3 K. vii. 4.  H. They were larger within, to afford light, as in Solomon’s temple, and in castles.  Interpreters disagree in their sentiments: but all allow that God here insinuated that he would reward people in the Old Testament with temporal, and those in the New with spiritual blessings; first with grace in this life, and with glory in the next.  W. Yet we must not suppose that the saints of old were deprived of eternal goods.  H. About.  The other gates had the like ornaments.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  There were chambers.  Gazophylacia, so called, because the priests and Levites kept in them the stores and vessels that belonged to the temple.  Ch. They went all round the courts.  The women were in the second story.  Villalpand and Capel, who are deemed the most accurate, suppose that there were no chambers below, but an open gallery.  There seem, however, to have been chambers also.  C. viii. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Lower.  So that there was a step up to the threshold.  H. Marble was used in all places exposed to the weather.  Jos. Bel. vi. 14.

 

Ver. 26.  Seven.  There were eight to the inner court, (v. 31.) shewing that more perfection is now required, and a greater reward given.  S. Greg.  W.

 

Ver. 30.  Five cubits.  The parallel passages would intimate “fifty.”  C.  Villalp. But the texts all read five, and Maldonat understands the four vacant spaces between the chambers.  v. 7.  M.

 

Ver. 38.  Gates.  Heb. is very obscure.  The holocausts were slain on the north side of the altar.  Lev. i. 11.

 

Ver. 43.  Borders, to prevent any thing falling.  Chal. &c. have “hooks.”

 

Ver. 44.  North.  The singers occupied two wings.

 

Ver. 45.  Watch over the sacred ornaments, perfumes, lamps of the sanctuary, &c.  Num. iii. 28.

 

Ver. 46.  Altar.  Not on actual service, (C. xli. 13.) but to prepare the victims.

 

Ver. 48.  That side.  Sept. add, “and the opening (euroV, width) of the gate was 14 cubits, and the breadth (projections, epwmideV) of the,” &c. (H.) or the wall on each side of the door was three cubits, so that the porch was 20 cubits broad.  C.

 

Ver. 49.  Eleven.  3 K. vi. says ten.  The exact breadth was ten and a half, (Vill.  T.) or what the pavement covered is there specified according to some.  Sept. Rom. has “twelve.”  But the edition of Basil reads more correctly, ten.  C. Yet both ten and eleven may be right, if this temple be different.  H. Eight.  Heb. seems corrupt, a being substituted for á.  “They mounted by ten steps,” as the Sept. read.  Aquila has eleven; Sym. eight. Pillars of brass.  3 K. vii. 15.  C. As they are not measured, they were like Solomon’s.  W.

 

 

EZECHIEL 41

 

CHAPTER XLI.

 

Ver. 1.  The temple.  This plan of a temple, which was here shewn to the prophet in a vision, partly had relation to the material temple, which was to be rebuilt: and partly, in a mystical sense, to the spiritual temple of God, the Church of Christ.  Ch. The description seems grander than Solomon’s; and yet Zorobabel’s temple was meaner than his.  Hence this prophecy, and those of Aggeus and Zacharias, cannot be understood of it, but of the Church.  S. Jer.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 45.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Front, or door-posts.  The temple was 20 cubits broad.

 

Ver. 5.  Four.  Herein it differed from Solomon’s chambers, which were in breadth five, six, and seven cubits, in the three stories, respectively.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  One by another, or one over another: literally, side to side, or side upon side.  Ch. The word side is here equivocal, like Heb. tselá, sometimes denoting the boards, and at other times the apartments round the temple, except on the west, over against the sanctuary, which seems to be the case here.  It is true, we shall not easily find sixty-six chambers.  But the Heb. &c. have only thirty-three.  C. Villalpand rightly translated anterides, (v. 5.) but here he substitutes trabes, “beams or thick planks,” to make it agree with 3 K. vi. 6. as if the same temple were meant.  He also adopts the Vulg. bis. Twice.  Heb. pehamim.  Yet he afterwards places in his commentary, pedes, “thirty-three feet, that is twenty-two cubits,” though feet are never used at all as a measure in Scripture.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 7.  Broader, as the wall was not so thick.  H. Midst.  The two staircases were round in the hollow of the wall, (M.) at the eastern end of the chambers.  Jos.  See 3 K.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  House.  Because these side-chambers were in the very walls of the temple all around: or it may also be rendered, (more agreeably to the Heb.) so as to signify, that the thickness of the wall for the side-chambers within was the same as that of the wall without; that is, equally five cubits.  Ch. Prot. “and that which was left, was the place of the side-chambers that were within.”  H. To manifest a greater respect for God, the apartments of the priests were twenty-five cubits from the temple, (v. 10.) and divided by a wall, which Josephus describes as three cubits high.  Ant. viii. 2.  This wall was at the distance of five cubits from the temple.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Prayer, or “separated;” munnach, (H.) the inner house, v. 9.

 

Ver. 13.  Separate, different from that v. 9. (C.  Heb. gizra.  H.) between the temple and the priests’ apartments, which it may also designate, (C.) unless it (H.) mean the temple itself, which was divided from the rest, (M.) and set aside for prayer, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Galleries; Ethecas, or as the more correct MSS. of S. Jerom read, Ecthetas, seems to be formed from (C.) Heb. athikim, (H.) which S. Jerom explains a balcony, portico, or gallery.

 

Ver. 16.  About.  Thus he intimates the inner temple, which was covered with boards. Windows.  The temple was hidden so far by the chambers; or rather he measured (C.) “the ground and up to the windows, which were” shut up with lattices, affording light over the doors (H.) and apartments, fifteen cubits from the ground.

 

Ver. 18.  Two.  Before he describes them with four faces.  But they varied, (Ex. xxv. 18.) or the other two might be against the wall.  C. The cherub signified “knowledge,” and the palm-tree victory, to shew that man must be instructed with divine knowledge, and so fight for the victory.  The face of man implied that Christ would suffer, and that of a lion announced that he would overcome all his enemies.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  The threshold was four-square.  That is, the gate of the temple was four-square, and so placed as to answer the gate of the sanctuary within.  Ch. It was not an arch, though not a perfect square.  3 K. vi. 34.

 

Ver. 22.  Table, or altar of incense, larger than that of Moses.  Ex. xxx. 1.

 

Ver. 23.  Sanctuary.  One folding door opened into it, the other into the temple.

 

Ver. 24.  Other.  It was not perhaps necessary to open the large door.

 

Ver. 26.  Sides, (humerulis) or pilasters.  Heb. “on the shoulder of the porch, and on the sides of the house, and beams.”  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 42

 

CHAPTER XLII.

 

Ver. 1.  And.  S. Jerom finding the Sept. and others varying in the explanations, gives his own; yet adopts the saying of Socrates, “I know that I am ignorant:” for this also is a part of science.  W. Outward, with respect to the temple.  It is styled inner court, with reference to that of the people. Separate.  C. xli. 9.

 

Ver. 3.  Triple, one over another, (v. 6.) or on a level with the priests’ court.

 

Ver. 4.  One cubit, projecting out perhaps for seats, or for the pilasters.

 

Ver. 5.  Above.  The higher stories are not so lofty.

 

Ver. 6.  Fifty cubits.  We only allow thirty, as this is not in Heb. &c.  The text, v. 10. and 12, seems incorrect.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Holies.  Heb. “who are very holy,” and (H.) on duty.  See Lev. vi. 25.

 

Ver. 14.  People.  C. xliv. 17.  Ex. xxxiii. 42.  Christian priests use their vestments only when they are officiating.  Durand and Durant Rit. ii. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Five.  Heb. emoth should be meoth, “three hundred, as it is printed (yet not in the Prot. version.  H.) thrice just after, and as it is written here in MS. 4. Camb. 1. 2.”  Kennicott. Reeds.  Sept. “cubits,” as Heb. S. Jer. &c. insinuate.  The mountain was only five hundred paces square, even when it was enlarged in the time of Josephus.  Bel. vi. 14.  Gr. We must therefore read cubits.  C. If we retain reeds, (H.) the wall will be twelve thousand cubits, (M.) which seems improbable.  Tournemine.  See C. xlv.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Cubits.  This confirms the former correction.  v. 16.  H. Heb. has only, “of five hundred.”  Maldonat and A. Lapide would understand reeds, to agree with what goes before.  M. Separation.  Josephus mentions a wall three cubits high, on the pillars of which was written in Greek and Latin, that such as entered the temple must be pure, (C.) and no stranger.  H. Into this court all might come.  Philo.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 43

 

CHAPTER XLIII.

 

Ver. 2.  Majesty.  The world is enlightened by the preaching of the gospel; and the Church triumphant shall shine in perfection, when that which is sown in corruption shall put on incorruption.  1 Cor. xv.  S. Jer. The blessed Virgin conceiving Jesus Christ may be insinuated.  S. Tho. p. 3. q. 27. a. 3.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  He came.  Heb. “I came to destroy (Sept. to anoint) the city,” marking such as should be spared.  C. ix.  The glorious chariot entered by the eastern gate, and the prophet followed to the court of the priests. , v. 5. 13.  C. The Jews says the second temple was deprived of the Shekinah, or glory of the Lord.  Yet it seems here to enter; and Christ himself adorned this second house, more than the first, by his adorable presence.  Agg. ii. 8.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Said.  The Lord spoke, (Chal. Theod.) or the angel, (S. Jer.) in human shape.  H. He addresses the prophet, v. 12 to C. xliv. 5. though what follows immediately seems to belong to the Lord, (C.) in whose name he speaks. Name.  God hath abandoned the synagogue, but will remain with his Church unto the end.  Mat. xxiii. 38. and xxviii. 20.  Yet the perfect Church, without spot, is the triumphant; (Eph. v. 27.  W.) though the Catholic Church, on earth, is every holy and “the communion of saints.”  H. Carcasses.  Idols, according to some; or rather by the kings being buried on Sion.  This is nowhere else reprehended; neither is their building too near the temple, which the prophet here condemns.  v. 8.  C. It seems, however, that if these things had been blameable, such a number of pious and wise kings would not have acted thus, nor the prophets have neglected to admonish them of their duty.  The carcasses and houses here specified may have been vestiges of idolatry; or, in future, the tombs and palaces were to be at a more respectful distance.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Wall.  The kings of Juda had a door communicating with the temple, by which they entered on the west.  It was guarded by Levites.  1 Par. xxvi. 16.  Ezechiel places no door on that side.  Yet in Herod’s temple we find one leading to the adjacent palace, and three others into the town.  Jos. Ant. xv. 14.

 

Ver. 9.  Carcasses.  Lit. “ruins.”  H. The remains of the dead were probably not disturbed; but no more, that we know of, were placed on Sion.  C. Kings may signify idols, Moloc, &c. which they had worshipped, and which some had even placed in the holy place, to the nation’s ruin.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Measure, that they may be convinced of their ingratitude, (M.) which has deprived them of so noble a structure, and put them under the necessity of beginning so great a work again.  It required all the exertions of the prophets to make them go forward with it.  Agg. i.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  In the whole fabric, (M.) as thou hast described it, (H.) or received from the angel, with all the ceremonies to be observed.

 

Ver. 12.  Border.  Nothing but the temple shall be on his mountain.  It shall be wholly consecrated to the Lord.  This was ill observed.  The Asmonean princes erected the famous tower Antonia, at the north side.  Jos.  See v. 8.  The Jews assert that it was unlawful to spit on this ground, &c. but no such thing is specified in Josephus or in Scripture, only we find that none were to go out by the same door at which they had entered, (C. xlvi. 9.  C.) except the king.

 

Ver. 13.  By.  Heb. “by cubits.”  This cubit is a common cubit, &c.  The Babylonian, (H.) or sacred one, was a palm longer.  W.  C. xl. 5. Breadth.  It was the same as the depth, being designed to convey the blood by a conduit to the torrent Cedron. Trench, or bottom aforesaid.  Sept. “the height.”  H. Chal. “disposition of the altar,” which seems best.

 

Ver. 14.  Cubit.  they were each a cubit broad, but this greater means higher up.  Some assert that the priests stood on this base to avoid treading on the altar, when they place the wood or victims.  But it would be too low; and steps were made for that purpose.  The altar was ten, or rather twelve cubits high, and as many broad.  Solomon’s was ten high and twenty broad.  Herod’s was a square of forty cubits, raised fifteen from the ground.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  The ariel.  That is, the altar itself, or rather the highest part of it, upon which the burnt-offerings were laid.  In the Heb. it is harel, that is, the mountain of God; but in the following verse haariel, that is, the lion of God; a figure, from its consuming, and as it were devouring the sacrifices as a lion devours its prey.  Ch. Fire descending sometimes from heaven.  S. Jer.  W. It also appeared like a little mountain in the court.  See Is. xxix. 1.  The altar was probably made of brass, like Solomon’s.  Josephus and Philo say that rough stones were used after the captivity: but it seems little attention was paid to the dimensions of the temple, &c. given by Ezechiel.  C. Yet the prophets were present to see the laws of God executed, and never complain of their infringement in these particulars, which were attended with no great difficulty.  C. xl. 1.  H. It is certain the Jews never thought themselves bound to make their altars of a determinate size.

 

Ver. 17.  Crown, which was usually placed round altars and tables, that nothing might fall down. Bottom of the altar, or base, mentioned v. 13. Steps, boarded one each side.  Ex. xx. 26.

 

Ver. 19.  Levites.  Heb. “of the race of Levi, of the family of Sadoc.”  He had obtained the dignity under Saul, (C.) and after the deposition of Abiathar, under Solomon, (3 K. ii. 26.  H.) his posterity always preserved it.  C.  Diss. Calf.  Thou shalt give it, or make known these rites to the priests.  H. People are often said to do what they only command, as v. 20, &c.

 

Ver. 21.  Sanctuary, out of the precincts of the temple, but on the mountain.  Lev. iv. 3. and vi. 11.

 

Ver. 22.  He-goat.  Sept. add, “of the goats,” (hircum caprarum.  H.) denoting a young kid, (M.) or one selected (H.) rather from the flock.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Consecrate it.  Lit. “fill his hand;” that is, dedicate and apply it to holy service, (Ch.) as the Heb. &c. speak of the altar.  Sept. “they shall fill their hands,” seems more natural, (Ex. xxviii. 41.) and is adopted by Pagn. Vat. &c.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 44

 

CHAPTER XLIV.

 

Ver. 2-3.  Opened.  No man perfectly understands the Scriptures but the Son of God.  Mat. xi. 27.  S. Jer. This also insinuates, that Mary ever remained a pure virgin.  S. Aug. &c.  W. Shut, even for the prince.  Some (H.) kings of Juda claimed the privilege of entering by it at any time, and passed through a part of the court assigned to the priests.  2 Par. vi. 12. and 4 K. xvi. 18.  This shall be no longer tolerated.  The gate might be opened in the week days if the prince wished to offer sacrifice, but not else, except on the sabbaths.  C. xlvi. 1, 12. Lord, in peace offerings and religious feasts. Porch.  Each had two doors.  C. xlvi. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Face.  This astonishment and attention (v. 5.) intimate the mysteries of the Church, prefigured by the Jewish rites.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Ways, or “the going in,” and all that concerns the temple and sacrifices.

 

Ver. 7.  Flesh.  People of this description were not to enter the temple, which is here called the sanctuary, even though they adored God.  In some cases pagans were admitted into any part, except the most holy.  Epiphanes (C.) and Pompey forced their passage thither, to the great sorrow of the Jews.  Jos. Bel. i. 5.  See Eccli. lii.  Acts xxi. 28. During the plundering of the city, the Chaldees did the like; (Lam. i. 10.  H.) and while idols were set up, all rules were neglected. Doings.  You observe the exterior, and not the spirit of religion.

 

Ver. 8.  Yourselves, out of ambition, contrary to the regulations of David.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Levites, or priests, (H.) who were seduced by Jeroboam, or offered victims on the high places.  4 K. xxiii. 9.  Such lost their privileges and were condemned to serve in the meanest offices.  It seems the race of Ithamar was alone guilty, and the threat against his house was now put in execution.  1 K. ii. 39. and iii. 14.  Lev. xxi. 17. and 2 Esd. vii. 64.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Slay.  Levites  might do this, but the priests poured the blood round the altar.  v. 15.  They could not well slay all the victims.

 

Ver. 15.  And Levites, of the higher order.  H. No simple Levites wee of this family.  It enjoyed the high priesthood from the time of Solomon.

 

Ver. 17.  Court; that is to do duty. Linen.  Wool might have been taken from a dead sheep, which would render the person unclean.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Sweat, or so as to make them perspire.  Sept. “girded violently.”  H. They must have liberty to move, (S. Jer.) and have the girdle about their breast.  Braun.

 

Ver. 19.  Sanctify, by exposing them to the danger of touching the sacred vestments, which none were to touch but they that were sanctified.  Ch. Sanctify here means to defile.  Ex. xxx. 29.  C.  and xxix. 37.  Holy things must be done in holy places.  W. Divine religion has different clothing for the ministry, from what is used in common life.  S. Jer.  Ex. xxviii. 40.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Shave, like the priests of Isis.  Juv. vi.

 

Ver. 21.  Wine.  Lev. x. 9.  The priests on duty abstain from wine.  Jos. Bel. vi. 15.

 

Ver. 22.  Widow.  Moses laid this restraint upon the high priest.  Lev. xxi. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Unclean, attending the funeral, which inferior priests alone might do.  Lev. xxi. 10.  M.

 

Ver. 27.  Day, after the seven first, (C.) though this would be a new regulation.  M.

 

Ver. 28.  No.  This is omitted in Heb. Sept. &c.  God was their portion.  C. They had no land but what lay near their cities.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 45

 

CHAPTER XLV.

 

Ver. 1.  By lot.  MS. 2 reads bogurl; (printed benachala) so the Vulg. sortito.  Kennicott. Heb. “when you shall make the land fall,” which usually implies by lot: yet the partition was not made thus, (C. xlviii. 1.) nor at all, (C.) otherwise the prophet might mention how the lots would have fallen to Dan, in the north, &c.  H. The Jews either could not comply, or did not take this to be a command.  If they had returned all together, they might probably have put it in execution.  But many of them preferred staying where they had gotten a settlement, and the rest only returned in small parties, some not before the reign of Alexander.  Those who arrived first, occupied as much as possible their ancient limits.  1 Esd. iii. 1. and 2 Esd. viii. and xi.  C. Thousand: reeds, or cubits.  Ch. Many prefer the latter, which is specified v. 2. (H.) as it agrees with the dimensions of the temple.  C. xlii. 16.  If reeds or toises were meant, the city would be disproportionate with the rest of the divisions: 50,000 would make 25 leagues, of 2,500 paces each; and if each tribe had as much, the country must have comprised 325 leagues, whereas from Emath to Cadesbarne (C. xlvii. 17.) there at not above 150.  C. To form an idea of the proposed partition, we must suppose the country reached from a little north of Emesa, on the Orontes, to Cadesbarne south, and from the Mediterranean to Damascus, or a little farther east, and beyond the sources of Jazer.  1. Dan, 2. Aser, 3. Nephthali, 4. Manasses, 5. Ephraim, 6. Ruben, 7. Juda, had about equal portions with that designed for 8. the temple, the Levites, and prince, whose southern limits reached almost to Accaron and the Dead Sea.  9. Benjamin, 10. Simeon, 11. Issachar, 12. Zabulon, and 13. Gad, had each about half the quantity of the others, though the tribes occupied the whole extent from east to west, their lots being marked out by parallel lines.  Between Juda and Benjamin, a square of 500 cubits was assigned for the temple; another square of 4,500, or 18,000 in circuit, lay round the former for the city of the Levites: round this were suburbs 250 cubits broad, walled about, and having three gates on each side.  Next them dwelt their lay servants, in a space 5,000 cubits broad, and 25,000 long, from east to west.  A plot of ground on the north and south, sufficient to complete this square was to support them with provisions.  On the east side of the Jordan, and on the west of this square for the priests and their servants, two portions almost of equal dimensions with it, were appropriated to the prince.  His lot was 25,000 cubits long, and 12,500 broad.  C. xlviii. 21.  See Calmet’s plan.  H. About.  It couldn ot be alienated to private men, or for any other purpose.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Suburbs.  Heb. also, “vacant spaces.”

 

Ver. 3.  Measure, from the centre of the temple; so that the dimensions given must be doubled, (C. xlviii. 10.) as also v. 5.

 

Ver. 4.  Place.  There the priests shall dwell.

 

Ver. 5.  Chambers for the Levites on duty.  Sept. read, “towns.”  But only one seems to be specified, 18,000 cubits in circumference.

 

Ver. 6.  According.  Heb. “along or (C.) over-against the oblation of the holy portion.”  Prot. Israel, destined to serve the priests.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Border.  Two equal lots, one on the east and the other on the west, were assigned the prince, each 20,000 cubits broad, and 12,500 long.  C. xlviii. 21.  C. He dwelt near the priests, for their protection; as the people were on both sides of him, that he might sustain no injury.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Rob.  Instead of their right, (1 K. viii. 11.) the source of continual vexations, a certain revenue is specified, v. 13.

 

Ver. 9.  Confines: encroach not.  C. Heb. and Sept. “take away your oppressions;” (H.) Chal. “scandals.”  C.

 

Ver. 11.  The ephi and the bate.  These measures were of equal capacity; but the bate served for liquids, and the ephi for dry things.  Ch.  v. 13, 14.  W. Ezechiel specifies the measures, that the people might not use those of Babylon, after their return.

 

Ver. 12.  Sicles. It would be shorter to say, “sixty sicles make a mna.”

 

Ver. 13.  Take, for the prince’s revenue.  He had the sixtieth part of corn and of oil; or rather (C.) he had an exact tithe of the latter.  v. 14.  Chal.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  One ram.  He shall receive the tithe of sheep, &c. and take one out of two hundred, on condition that he furnish victims.  v. 17.  C. The obligation was mutual.  S. Jerom explains it of the high priest and people.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Holocaust.  This was given before perhaps gratis.  2 Par. xxxi. 3.  Solomon and Ezechias shewed great magnificence.  After the captivity the people laid on the third of a sicle per head, as this order was not observed.  2 Esd. x. 32.

 

Ver. 18.  Take, or order the priests to do this annually, to prepare for the Passover.  v. 21.  Moses mentions nothing of this, and it does not appear to have been put in execution.  C. Yet it might be the first year after the dedication of the temple.  The prophet does not say it was to be done every year.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Seventh, or so many days before the solemn feast.  Sept. “on the first of the seventh month,” the feast of trumpets.  Num. xxix. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Sacrifice.  Heb. mincha, flour.  Prot. “meat offering.”  H.

 

Ver. 25.  Day: the feast of tabernacles, to be observed like the Pasch.  Num. xxix. 12.  C.

 

 

EZECHIEL 46

 

CHAPTER XLVI.

 

Ver. 2.  Prince.  After the captivity, although the race of David continued in Salathiel, Zorobabel, &c. yet they had not the state of kings.  Hence Christians, R. David and other Jews, understand this of the Messias and the rites of his Church, with a literal allusion to the old law.  W. Without, not proceeding into the court of the priests.  C. xliv. 2.

 

Ver. 4.  Six.  Moses only prescribed two lambs for every day.  Num. xxviii. 9.

 

Ver. 5.  Sacrifice.  See C. xlv. 24.  Flour and oil accompanied the victim.  When lambs were presented, this was left to the prince’s devotion (v. 7. and 11.  C.) only.  If he gave three or four ephies of flour, he must give as many hins of oil.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Calf.  Moses orders two, and seven lambs.  Num. xxviii. 11.  C. The rams.  Heb. “a ram.  They shall,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  It, perhaps to avoid confusion, (M.) and turning the back on the temple, (C.) or to exercise their obedience.  As many might enter by one gate as by another, and thus the concourse would not be diminished.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Out.  The prince went in and out by the same gate, (v. 8.) and might order that on the east to be opened when he had to offer a voluntary sacrifice.  In other respects he was like a simple Israelite, and was to attend the temple and use the same gates as the rest.  Before, the kings had a gate on the west leading to their palace.  But this was no longer to subsist, and the palace was to be far removed.  C. xlviii. 21.

 

Ver. 11.  Solemnities.  Heb. “on feasts and on days of meeting.”  C. Sacrifice: mincha.  v. 7, and C. xlv. 24.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Morning.  That for the evening had the same ceremonies.  Lev. vi. 9.

 

Ver. 14.  By.  Cata seems to be taken C. from the Gr. kata, “according to,” or by.  v. 15.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Sons.  If any portion of his land was made over to them, it still remained in the family; but if any other had a present of it, the land must revert to the royal family, agreeably to the law.  Lev. xxv. 10.  C. This insinuates that works done by the true children of God, in the state of grace, merit an eternal reward, while moral good works performed in the state of sin, can only have a temporal one.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Gate, on the north.  C. xliv. 4. West.  At this corner was the kitchen for victims, which could only be eaten in the inner court.  If they had been brought into that without, the people would have become unclean; as it is equally wrong to touch holy or impure things when they are forbidden.  C. xliv. 19.  There were four other kitchens for the people who might choose to eat their peace-offerings.  v. 24.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Little.  Heb. “courts joined.”  Prot. or marg. “made with chimneys,” (H.) or “smoked,” as no chimneys were used.  Sept. “little courts,” as they have read differently.  C. Vulg. unites both meanings.  H.

 

Ver. 24.  Kitchens.  Sept. “porticoes,” or rather (C.) “boiling places;”  Prot. and v. 24.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 47

 

CHAPTER XLVII.

 

Ver. 1.  Waters.  These waters are not to be understood literally, (for there were none such that flowed from the temple) but mystically of the baptism of Christ, and of his doctrine and his grace; the trees that grow on the banks are Christian virtues; the fishes are Christians, that spiritually live in and by these holy waters; the fishermen are the apostles, and apostolic preachers; the fenny places, where there is no health, are such as by being out of the Church are separated from these waters of life.  Ch. It is not probable that real water or fishes were found, v. 9.  But this must be explained of the Church and of baptism, in a higher and more proper sense.  W. Joel, (iii. 18.) before the captivity, and Zacharias, (xiv. 8.) after that event, speak of fountains as still to appear, and of course not in either temple, though Pilate made aqueducts for the purpose, (Jos. Bel. ii. 13.) which Tacitus, (An. v.) Maundrel, (p. 148.) and others mention.  But the prophets allude not to them, but to Christ, the fountain of water springing up unto life eternal.  John iv. 14. and vii. 38.  C. Villalpand understands it of waters brought into the temple to wash the victims; but it seems to refer more to the grace and doctrine of Christ.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  East.  This gate was shut, and therefore he went out at the north gate.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  The.  Heb. “the east country,” (Prot.  H.) or “the frontiers (Gelilah) eastward,” by which some improperly suppose that one rivulet went to the sea of Galilee. And shall.  Heb. “the sea of the going out,” where the Jordan River empties itself into the Dead Sea; or, the second rivulet ran into the Mediterranean.  Zac. xiv. 8.  But this passage relates to the Dead Sea alone, (v. 18.) and Gelilah is a place near it, where the Israelites erected an altar of union.  Jos. xxii. 10.  C. Healed.  No fish can live in the sea of Sodom.  Solin xxxviii. Yet, let the place be ever so noxious, this water shall cure it; (see 4 K. ii. 19.  C.) which must be taken in a mystical sense.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Engallim, or “the fountain of Gallim,” in the tribe of Benjamin.  Is. xxv. 44.

 

Ver. 11.  Salt, or bitumen pits.  Schismatics and bad Christians, who do not live by the spirit of Christ, are meant.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  First-fruits, or most excellent.  H. S. John saw such W. a tree of life.  Apoc. xxii.  H. The doctrine of the gospel, and the study of the sacred books, have the most salutary effects; while the very leaves, or the example of the saints, heal the soul.  No more shall the deceitful fruits near Sodom be seen (C.) beautiful, but full of nothing but ashes.  Tacit.  An. v. Where Christ instructs, a torrent of grace and glory is presently formed.  Like the mustard seed growing into a large tree, in which the birds rest, its origin in mean; yet its progress is grand and astonishing.

 

Ver. 13.  Double portion.  Lit. “cord.”  H. His two sons would each have a share, as Levi was better provided for.  W. He had no portion of the land assigned to him by Josue, but here one part is appointed (C.) for the sacred ministers and the prince.  C. xlv. 1.

 

Ver. 14.  Brother.  The seven tribes to the north have each an equal share, as the five who lay to the south of the Levites had with respect to each other, though their portion must have been only about half of what the former possessed, according to the map.  C. xlv. 1.  H. Under Josue, the numbers of each tribe were considered.  The present mysterious equality shews, perhaps, that there is no distinction of Jew or Gentile in the Church, and that Christ would come to redeem all.  C. Lifted.  People taking an oath acted in this manner.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Sedada.  These places are not well known.  They seem to be near the highest mountain specified, (Num. xxxiv. 7.) west of Emesa.

 

Ver. 16.  Berotha, conquered by David.  2 K. viii. 8.

 

Ver. 17.  Emath was about the middle of the northern limits, between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates.

 

Ver. 18.  Auran.  Hence a line must be drawn through Damascus over Mount Galaad to the eastern or Dead Sea, to form the eastern borders.  C. The Jordan flowing from Genesareth to Sodom marked out this side, (M.) or rather was in this division; though the land as far as Galaad was to belong to Israel, as it had been before the captivity.  Prot. “by Jordan from the border unto,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Thamar.  Engaddi is sometimes understood: but it lay near Jericho, as this (C.) Thamar was to the south of the Dead Sea.  Ptolemy. Torrent, Besor.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Emath, not that it was on the sea: but a line was to be drawn over against this city, eastward from the Mediterranean.  Sept. “to opposite the entrance of Emath, as far as its entrance.”  But the territory extended farther.  Num. xxxiv.

 

Ver. 22.  Strangers.  This was never done by the Jews.  It signifies that Christ would give an inheritance, in the true land of promise, (C.) to all nations which should practice his religion.  Rom. x. 12.  H.

 

 

EZECHIEL 48

 

CHAPTER XLVIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Dan.  This division is very different from that of Josue, and was never literally executed, being rather of a mystical nature.  The limits are not marked out, as each lot was equal.  C.  See C. xlv. 1. and xlvii. 14.  H. By the twelve tribes all the glorified saints are meant.  No cities of refuge occur, because in heaven all are perfect, all secure.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Apart, for the Levitical tribe and the prince.  C. As the first-born and things which spring first, so also the land consecrated to the Lord is called first-fruits.  W. Thousand cubits (C. xlv. 1.) or 12,500 paces, (H.) allowing two cubits for each.  This would not reach to the Jordan River.  But thrice that space must be reckoned, the king having two of them (C.) on each side of the temple, namely, towards the sea, and on the other side of the Jordan.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Astray, &c.  By this we see, that in the worst of times God always preserves some of the priests from going astray; an that the synagogue never fell so universally into idolatry, but that a remnant was still left free from this corruption.  Ch.

 

Ver. 13.  Ten.  Their city was only 18,000 cubits in circumference.  v. 16.

 

Ver. 15.  Profane, where servants of the priests may reside.  C. On the north and south, (H.) 1000 cubits broad and 25,000 long were left for fields, gardens, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Five.  Heb. has, “five five hundred:” but one five is properly omitted in several MSS. and in all the ancient versions.  Kennicott. Four thousand five hundred cubits was the length and breadth of the town and temple, which were 18,000 cubits round, (C.) or so many reeds, which would make 36 miles of 1000 paces each.  As the earthly Jerusalem was certainly never so large, the modern rabbins assert that the Messias will build it to that extent; but Catholic doctors understand it mystically of the Church.  Thus S. John saw the New Jerusalem or Church triumphant.  Apoc. xxi. and xxii.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Suburbs, separating the Levites from laics, different from what is mentioned v. 15.

 

Ver. 18.  As the, &c.  They shall not be alienated, as some might infer from its being said to be profane, which term is used because it was the habitation of laymen.

 

Ver. 19.  Israel.  People from all parts might serve the Levites.  This tribe was not to engage in labourious or sordid employments, being attached to the service of the Lord, and bound to instruct others.  But this was more perfectly fulfilled in the Christian Church, where the clergy enjoy great immunities, and are forbidden to exercise any trade or employment which may take them off from their more important spiritual concerns, or render their ministry contemptible.  See Ex. xix. 6.

 

Ver. 20.  City, where the Levites and their servants, artisans, &c. dwelt.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Thereof.  The domains of the prince touched the limits of Juda on the north, and of Benjamin on the south, as the portion of Levi did also.  The prince occupied the east and west square of this division.  H.

 

Ver. 28.  Inheritance.  Heb. nachal, signifies also “torrent;” and S. Jerom seems to prefer this meaning, as he explains it of the torrent which goes by Rhinocorura, and is commonly supposed to be the southern boundary.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Out, or gates.  H. There were three on each of the four sides.  C.

 

Ver. 35.  The Lord is there.  This name is here given to the city; that is, the Church of Christ; because the Lord is always with her till the end of the world.  Mat. xxviii. 20.  Ch. He always adorns the Church triumphant; (Apoc. xxii.) but has deserted the synagogue.  Mat. xxiii. 38.  W. Jerusalem certainly never bore this name, nor is it requisite that she should, if the prophecy had been literally understood.  It would suffice, if she could justly claim such a prerogative.  See Is. vii. 14. and 2 K. xii. 25.  The Church of Christ possesses God for ever.  C.

 

 

DANIEL

 

THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

DANIEL, whose name signifies “the judgment of God,” was of the royal blood of the kings of Juda, and one of those that were first of all carried away into captivity.  He was so renowned for his wisdom and knowledge, that it became a proverb among the Babylonians, “as wise as Daniel;” (Ezech. xxviii. 3.) and his holiness was so great from his very childhood, that at the time when  he was as yet but a young man, he is joined by the Spirit of God with Noe and Job, as three persons most eminent for virtue and sanctity.  Ezech. xiv.  He is not commonly numbered by the Hebrews among the prophets, because he lived at court, and in high station in the world: but if we consider his many clear predictions of things to come, we shall find that no one better deserves the name and title of a prophet; which also has been given him by the Son of God himself.  Mat. xxiv.  Mark xiii.  Luke xxi.) Ch. The ancient Jews ranked him among the greatest prophets.  Jos. Ant. x. 12. and 1 Mac. ii. 59.  Those who came after Christ began to make frivolous exceptions, because he so clearly pointed out the coming of our Saviour, (Theod.) that Porphyrius has no other method of evading this authority except by saying, that the book was written under Epiphanes after the event of many of the predictions.  S. Jer. But this assertion is contrary to all antiquity.  Some parts have indeed been questioned, which are found only in Greek.  They must, however, have sometime existed in Heb. or Chal. else how should we have the version of Theodotion, which the Church has substituted instead of the Sept. as that copy was become very incorrect, and is now lost?  C. Some hopes of its recovery are nevertheless entertained; and its publication, at Rome, has been announced.  Kennicott. In a title, it seems to make the Daniel visited by Habacuc, a priest; but it is abandoned.  C. This version of course proves that the original was formerly known; and the loss of it, at present, is no more decisive against the authenticity of these pieces, that that of S. Matthew’s Heb. original, and of the Chaldee of Judith, &c. will evince that their works are spurious. H. Extracts of (C.) Aquila and Sym. seen by S. Jerom, (W.) are also given in the Hexapla.  Origen has answered the objections of Africanus, respecting the history of Susanna; and his arguments are equally cogent, when applied to the other contested works.  The Jews and Christians were formerly both divided in their sentiments about these pieces.  C.  See S. Jer. in Jer. xxix. 12. and xxxii. 44. But now as the Church (the pillar of truth) has spoken, all farther controversy ought to cease; (H.) and we should follow the precept, Remove not the landmarks which thy fathers have placed.  Deut. xix. 14.  See N. Alex. t. ii.  S. Jerom, who sometimes calls these pieces “fables,” explains himself, by observing, that he had delivered “not his own sentiments,” but those of the Jews: quid illi contra nos dicere soleant.  C. If he really denied their authority, his opinion ought not to outweigh that of so many other (H.) Fathers and Councils who receive them.  They admit all the parts, as the Council of Trent expressly requires us to do.  See S. Cyp. &c. also the observations prefixed to Tobias, (W.) and p. 597. H. Paine remarks that Daniel and Ezechiel only pretended to have visions, and carried on an enigmatical correspondence relative to the recovery of their country.  But this deserves no refutation.  By allowing that their works are genuine, he cuts up the very root of his performance.  Watson. Daniel, according to Sir Is. Newton, resembles the Apoc. (as both bring us to the end of the Roman empire) and is “the most distinct in order of time, and easiest to be understood; and therefore, in those things that relate to the last times, he must be made a key to the rest.”  Bp. Newton. Yet there are many difficulties which require a knowledge of history; (S. Jer.  W.) and we must reflect on the words of Christ, He that readeth, let him understand.  Mat. xxiv. 15.  Daniel (H.) is supposed to have died at court, (C.) aged 110, having written many things of Christ.  W. His name is not prefixed to his book, yet as Prideaux observes, he sufficiently shews himself in the sequel to be the author.  H.

 

 

DANIEL 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Third, at the conclusion, so that it is called the fourth.  Jer. xxv. 1.  A. Lap.  M. Nabuchodonosor began his expedition into Syria a year before he was king; (Salien, A. 3428.  Jos. &c.) or he had the title before his father Nabopolassar’s death.  Usher, A. 3397. The following year he took Joakim, with a design to convey him to Babylon; but left him on hard terms, and seized many of the sacred vessels, Daniel, &c. C. Joakim reigned other eight years.  2 Par. xxxvi. 5.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  His god; Bel, or Belas, the principal idol of the Chaldeans.  Ch. The king pretended to derive his pedigree from Belus, (Abyd.  Eus. præp. 1.) and greatly enriched his temple, (C.) which Xerxes demolished.  Arrian. God.  Some part might be kept in the palace.  C. v. 10. and 2 Par. xxxvi. 7.

 

Ver. 3.  Eunuchs, or chief officers.  The Jews assert that Daniel was made an eunuch.  Is. xxxix. 7.  But he might be so styled on account of his dignity.  C. Princes.  Lit. “tyrants.”  H. This name was afterwards only rendered odious by the misconduct of several kings.  C. Heb. parthemim, (H.) seems to be of Greek derivation, alluding to protimoi, or protoi, “the first or most honoured.”  Drus. We find here other Greek words.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Blemish.  Deformed people were excluded the throne, or the king’s presence.  Procop. 1. Science; well educated, or apt to learn.  They were first to be taught the Chaldee letters, which then differed from the Hebrew.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Meat: more exquisite.  De Dieu. All was first served on the king’s table.  Athen. vi. 14.

 

Ver. 6.  Juda.  It is thought all four were of royal blood.  C. Others were also kept at court.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Baltassar, or as Chaldees (C. or Masorets.  H.) pronounce, Beltesasar, “the treasurer of Baal.”  The names were changed to testify their subjection, (C.) and that they might embrace the manners of the Chaldees.  M. The new names alluded to the sun.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Daniel, as head and nearer the throne, gave good example to the rest. W. Defiled, either by eating meat forbidden by the law, or which had before been offered to idols.  Ch. It was customary among the pagans to make an offering of some parts to their gods, or throw it into the fire.  Theod.  C. These reasons determined the pious youths, (H.) who desired also to keep free from gluttony and other vices.  Theod.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Malassar, another inferior officer.  It means also one appointed over the mouth or provisions, (C.) and might be Asphenez.  v. 3, 9.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Pulse.  That is, pease, beans, and such like.  Ch. S. Basil hence shews the advantages of fasting; and Catholics, who imitate Daniel, may expect the like reward in heaven: and the hope that such a pattern would not displease their dissenting brethren, but rather screen them from their profane sarcasms.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Dreams.  He was learned in all the sciences of the country, like Moses.  Acts vii. 22.  C. They studies these things, in order to refute what was erroneous: discunt…ut judicent.  S. Jer. The Chaldeans paid great attention to dreams.  Daniel acquired the knowledge of such as were sent from heaven by the gift of God, as Joseph had done.  To pay any regard to common dreams would be childish (C.) and sinful, if the person depend on them for the knowledge of futurity.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Diviners, or fortune-tellers. Wise men.  Sept. “philosophers.”  C. Heb. Ashaphim, may come from the Gr. sophoi.  Grot. They had been educated three years.  v. 5.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Cyrus; and also to the third, (C. x) and of course during the whole of the captivity.  W. He was maintained in power by the conqueror of Babylon.  C. vi. 18. and xiv. 1.  He first displayed his sagacity in the cause of Susanna, (C. xiii.  C.) whose history was placed at the head of the book, in Theodotion, (S. Jer. in Isai. iii. 1.) as in its natural order.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Year, from the death of his father, Nabopolassar; for he had reigned before as partner with his father, in the empire.  Ch. In that quality he conquered Syria, (A. 3397) took Daniel, &c. in 3399.  He succeeded his father.  Usher.  C. After he had enlarged his empire by the conquest of Egypt, &c. he had this dream.  A. R. 25.  W. Mind.  Sept. “his sleep departed from him.”  H. He was restless, recollecting enough to fill him with trouble.  When the dream was repeated over, he knew that it was the same.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  The Chaldeans.  That is, the astrologers, that pretended to divine by stars.  Ch. They dwelt on the banks of the Euphrates, and were highly esteemed.  Diod. Sic. i. They were the most ancient philosophers.  Civ. Div. i.

 

Ver. 3.  I know.  Heb. also, “to know or understand what,” &c.

 

Ver. 4.  Syriac.  It was originally the same as the Chaldee.  Daniel understood this language, as well as Heb. and writes in it what concerned the Chaldees, to C. viii.  This shews his accuracy, as he makes his speakers use their own tongue.  Spinosa ignorantly asserts, that all the seven first chapters are in Chal. and taken from the records of that nation by Judas Macc.  How then did Matthathias become acquainted with the contents?

 

Ver. 5.  Put.  Chal. “torn to pieces, and your house become infamous places;” (C.)  Prot. “a dunghill”  H. Such cruel punishments were not uncommon.  1 Esd. vi. 11.  C. Bessus was torn in pieces by the relations of Darius; (Diod. xvii.) and the Persians generally cut off some member of criminals.  Brisson ii.

 

Ver. 8.  Gain.  Lit. “redeem”  H. S. Paul uses a similar expression, exhorting us to save our souls even at the expense of our temporal interest.  C. The diviners wished to give the king’s fury time to abate, (H.) and to save their lives; (C.) or delay punishment, at least, as much as possible.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  Thereof.  It is indeed more easy to discover what dream a person has had, than to explain it; since the devil might disclose the former, but he can only guess at what will happen, and herein his agents are often deceived.  See Gen. xl.  W. It is not even certain that the devil can know the dreams which we have not divulged, as it is the privilege of God to discern the secrets of the heart.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Men.  They acknowledged greater and less gods.  Stanley, p. 13. C. i. They pretend not to have any communication with the superior ones, (C.) and by their answer unguardedly bear testimony to the excellence of the God whom Daniel served.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 13.  Slain.  Lit. “were slaughtering;” interficiebantur. H. Many think that some had already suffered.  Geier.  M. The had been perhaps jealous of Daniel, and had not informed him of the matter.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 14.  General.  He occupied the same office as Putiphar, in Egypt.  Gen. xxxix. 1.  It was no disgrace for such a one to execute himself the king’s order, as Banaias slew the brother of Solomon.  3 K. ii.

 

Ver. 15.  Cruel.  Chal. also, “precipitate.”  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Declare the dream. H. The Chaldeans had promised only to explain it, and the king knew the superior merit of Daniel.  C. i. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Secret. Lit. “sacrament.”  Gr. “mystery,” which seems to be derived from (C.) mosthor, “a secret.”  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Night, while he was probably asleep, (C.) or praying with his companions.  Villet.

 

Ver. 20.  His.  He grants them to whom he pleases, and disposes of kingdoms (C.) without control.  v. 21.

 

Ver. 27.  Soothsayers.  Chal. Gazerin, (H.) who inspect entrails, (Ezec. xxi. 21.  S. Jer.) or tell fortunes by sticks.  C. iii. 3.

 

Ver. 28.  Times.  In the Old Test. this commonly signifies when Christ shall appear; but in the New, it refers to the end of the world.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Begin.  By thus telling what thoughts the king had entertained before his dream, he would be heard with greater confidence.  W.

 

Ver. 31.  Terrible, or unusual.  C. The statue denoted the four great empires of the Chaldees, Persians, Greeks and Romans.  The metals did not mean that the empire of gold was greater than the rest, as that signified by iron was far more powerful; but only that the empire of the Chaldees was then the greatest, and that the Persians would acquire still more power and be surpassed by the Greeks, as they were by the Romans, till the kingdom of Christ should be spread over all the earth.  W.

 

Ver. 37.  Of kings.  This title was used by the Persians.  Nabuchodonosor was at that time the most potent monarch on earth.  He conquered many nations, and greatly embellished the city of Babylon, surrounding it with three walls in fifteen days, and building hanging gardens, which were the wonder of the world.  See Eus. præp. ix. 41. and x. 42. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 39.  Another kingdom; viz. that of the Medes and Persians.  Ch. Inferior; later, of less duration and extent.  C. Third, &c.  That of Alexander the Great.  Ch. World.  Alexander received ambassadors at Babylon, from the most distant nations, testifying their submission.  He conquered beyond the river Indus, &c.  Diod. A. 1.  Olym. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 40.  The fourth kingdom, &c.  Some understand this of the successors of Alexander, the kings of Syria and Egypt: others, of the Roman empire and its civil wars.  Ch. The former supposition seems best, though the latter is almost universally received, and will be explained hereafter.  C. The Roman empire did not immediately rise out of Alexander’s, and had no relation to the Jews, &c.  Grot.  L’Empereus. But it surely swallowed up all that he had left to his generals, and proved the greatest scourge to the Jewish nation; which has been ever since scattered, while the kingdom of Christ gains ground, and will flourish till that of Rome shall be no more.  Antichrist will then appear to cast a cloud over, but not destroy it for three years and a half.  It is the opinion of many Fathers, &c. that the Roman empire will subsist till that event take place; (see 2 Thes. ii. 3. 7.) and thus it may be said, that the fourth empire shall not be given to another people.  For antichrist will not strive to exalt a particular nation, but to rule over all.  Yet his dominion will be short, and will end in the general dissolution of nature; so that the Roman empire maybe deemed to last for a long time, or even for ever.  v. 44.  Those who adopt the former system, allow (H.) that the stone designates both the Roman empire and that of Christ; so that some parts of the prediction may refer to one and some to the other.  The origin and progress of the Roman empire, might be a figure of the spiritual power of the Church.  It is certain that the successors of Alexander owed their dominion to their valour, and established it by the slaughter of many great generals.  The kings who followed Seleucus and Ptolemy were remarkable for a mixture of good and bad qualities.  Their efforts to preserve their power by intermarriages, proved abortive.  The prophet seems also to have had them in view, C. vii. 7. and viii. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 41.  Clay.  The iron was in a rude state, mixed with earth.  The Roman power was at last partly exercised by consuls and partly by emperors.  M. Florus (l.) compares it to the four states of a man, infancy, childhood, youth, and old age.  Its youth may be dated from the conquest of all Italy to Tiberius; afterwards it fell to decay, while the eternal kingdom of Christ was forming.  v. 44.

 

Ver. 43.  Man.  Pompey and Cæsar, Anthony and Augustus, married each other’s relations; but they soon quarrelled, and the race of the Cæsars was extinct in Nero.  But this is better understood of the kings of Syria and of Egypt.  C.

 

Ver. 44.  Kingdom of Christ, in the Catholic Church, which cannot be destroyed.  Ch. This alone cannot be destroyed.  W. All other empires change.  The Catholic Church has stood for seventeen centuries in the midst of persecutions, which gives us an assurance that she will continue for ever.  C. “Then,” says Munster, “was the kingdom of Christ set up, not by arms,…but by the divine power.”  This interpretation arises from the  improper version, without hands; whereas the sequel shews that the empire here spoken of, is attended with the like violence as the four others, which it destroys.  The Roman empire was in no degree connected with others by marriage.  In the following verse, Munster improperly turns to the second coming of our Saviour.  Grotius here asserts that the stone alludes to the Roman armies, prefiguring the Son of man, whose gospel is indicated by the progress of the Roman empire, as both sprung from small beginnings.  But who informed him that there were such figures in that empire as in the Old Testament?  All empires begin in that manner, and types should have some greater resemblance with the reality.  The Church meddles not with the temporal powers.  It is therefore plain that the prophet speaks of empires which shall succeed each other.  Houbigant. perf. Prop. 340. Kingdoms.  That of Rome comprised all the former.  The persecuting emperors are forced to yield, and the colossal power of infidelity and vice falls before the gospel.  Christ’s dominion is spiritual, exercised against wickedness; (C.) is heavenly and eternal.  H. The blood of martyrs was more efficacious in the establishing of Christianity, than fire and sword had been in forming other empires.  M.

 

Ver. 45.  Hands.  Prot. marg. “mountain, which was not in hand.”  H. Christ was born of a virgin; and his kingdom was not established by ambition, like others.  Yet it presently became a mountain, and filled the earth.  S. Just. dial.  S. Aug. tr. 9. in Jo. God himself sets up this kingdom.  C.

 

Ver. 46.  Daniel, taking him for a little god, under the great one, v. 17.  W. Victims.  Chal. mincha, (H.) of flour, &c.  But the prophet had already declared his sentiments on this head, (v. 28.) and abhorred such honours, like S. Paul, (Acts xiv. 10.  C.) though this is not here recorded.  M.

 

Ver. 47.  Of gods, above all those of the country for explaining hidden things: yet he did not acknowledge  him to be the only true God.  C. He afterwards erected an idol to represent his own greatness.  W.

 

Ver. 48.  Provinces, or that of Babylonia, which was the first. Wise men.  This would not engage him in any idolatrous practices.

 

Ver. 49.  Works of agriculture, (C.) which the ancient kings of Persia encouraged with great attention, appointing officers to reward or punish according as their land was cultivated.  Xenophon, Cyr. 8. & Œcon. S. Jerom thinks they were appointed judges, (C.) or assistants of Daniel.  Grot. Palace.  Lit. “gates,” (H.) as receiver of the taxes, particularly at Susa.  C. viii. 2.  Marsham Egypt. sæc. 18.

 

 

DANIEL 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Statue.  It was the figure of a man, (C.) the dimensions 90 feet high and 9 broad (W.) being disproportionate; though a man might be represented on the pillar.  Some take it for Nabolpolassar, (C.) or for the king himself.  S. Jer.  W. But he never complains of the injury shewn to his own person, and therefore it probably was meant for Bel, the chief god.  C. iv. 5. and xiv. 1.  This nation adored statues.  Bar. vi. 3.  The Persians worshipped only the elements. C. Ochus first set up the statue of the goddess Tanais or Anais.  Clem. Protr. Dura.  Sept. “enclosed.”  S. Jer. This happened towards the end of the king’s reign, (v. 98, &c.) of course the three young men might be about fifty years old.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Nobles.  Lit. “satraps,” or, “the king’s domestics.”  Sept. in 1 Esd. viii. 36. Judges, or “governors of provinces.”  ib. Theodotion, &c. Captains of the soothsayers. Rulers; “tyrants,” here denoting treasurers. C. Governors.  Lit. “the grandees who were in power;” (H.) counsellors.  The original adds, (C.) Thopthia, (H.) “lawyers” and orators.  The head of the Turkish religion is called muphti, from the root, (C.) peti, “to teach.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Symphony.  This and several other terms seem taken from the Greek, though the scythara and sambuca came originally from Chaldea.  C. Down.  This and offering incense were sometimes considered as marks of idolatry; so being present at the sermons and churches of Protestants was a sign of joining in their communion, being required for that purpose.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Jews: the three children whom they viewed with a jealous eye.  Daniel was too much exalted, or was absent with other Jews.

 

Ver. 15.  Hand?  Proof of this king’s inconstancy, as he had witnessed the power of God!

 

Ver. 18.  He.  Chal. “not”  C. By this modest yet resolute answer, they testified their faith in God’s power, and their determination rather to suffer death (W.) than to go against their conscience.  H. They were ignorant whether God would preserve them from the flames or not, (W.) as he is said to have rescued Abraham from a similar danger.  2 Esd. ix. 7.

 

Ver. 20.  Strongest.  Chal. “mighty in strength;” (H.) his own guards, the usual executioners.

 

Ver. 21.  Coats, or various coloured bandages for the thighs, used by men and women.  Aquila and Th. retain the original term, SarabaroiV.  Chal. saraballa.  C. Caps: “tiaras.”  H. The king alone wore them upright.

 

Ver. 22.  Slew.  They were working still at the furnace, when it burst out and destroyed them, (C.) while the three Jews were  praising God below.  H.  v. 46, 48.

 

Ver. 24.  And, &c.  “What follows I have not found in the Heb. volumes.”  S. Jer.  H. Here S. Jerom takes notice, that from this verse to v. 91 was not in the Heb. in his time.  But as it was in all the Greek Bibles, (which were originally translated from the Hebrew) it is more than probable that it had been formerly in the Hebrew; or rather in the Chaldaic, in which the Book of Daniel was written.  But this is certain: that it is and has been of old, received by the Church, and read as canonical Scripture in her liturgy and divine offices.  Ch. See the pref.  W.

 

Ver. 27.  True; not fickle, and liable to change.  C. Opera mutas non mutas consilium.  S. Aug. Conf. i. 4. Cappel. argues from this confession, that the piece is not divine, as they would rather have burst out into expressions of admiration, as they do in the canticle below.  But they had done so already, (v. 26) and make this confession, (H.) as Daniel does, C. ix.; reflecting, that if the nation had not transgressed, they would not thus have been exposed to the fury of the king.  Houbigant.  v. 40.  H.

 

Ver. 33.  Thee.  Pagans take occasion to vilify our religion.

 

Ver. 34.  Sake.  This disinterested motive is often urged.  Jos. vii. 9. and 2 Mac. viii. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 35.  One.  Moses used the like terms, and pacified God.  Ex. xxxii.  W.

 

Ver. 38.  Thee, in Jerusalem, (H.) or Judea.  There were chiefs and judges, (C. xiii.) as well as prophets, (Ezech. &c.) among the captives.  Yet the republic was in disorder.  C. Sedecias was dead, Joakim in prison, so that no Jewish king ruled over the people; nor was there any prophet in the promised land, Jeremias being either dead or in Egypt.  W. Prophets were at least very rare.  M.

 

Ver. 40.  Sacrifice of ourselves.  H. They knew not yet whether they would escape.  When they beheld the angel they had greater confidence, and broke forth into a hymn of praise.  Houbig. They now offer all they can, a humble heart!

 

Ver. 43.  Name, by rescuing us, that all may confess thy power.  C.

 

Ver. 46.  Brimstone.  Lit. naphtha, (H.) or bitumen, which was very inflammable. Tow, besmeared with pitch.  C. Dry (malleolis) “bundles” of sticks, or ropes, covered with pitch.  H. Manipuli spartœi pice contecti.  Nonius.

 

Ver. 48.  Furnace.  These might be other victims, (H.) or he recapitulates what had been said v. 22, (C.) which is by no means unusual, though Cappel. would hence reject the piece.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 49.  Furnace: so that it destroyed the Chaldeans, while it had no power to hurt God’s servants.  The operation of the laws nature was thus only restrained.  H.

 

Ver. 53.  Temple; heaven, styled the throne, v. 54.  The temple was now in ruins.

 

Ver. 55.  Depths, from whom nothing is hidden. Cherubims, as on thy chariot.

 

Ver. 65.  Spirits: winds.  Angels and men are mentioned elsewhere.  C. They rejoice that the angels always praise God, and wish that all would strive to imitate them.  W.

 

Ver. 67.  Heat.  Winter and summer.  Some copies have, æstas.  C.

 

Ver. 72.  Darkness.  The privation of light has its use, and invites men to praise.  S. Aug. de nat. Boni. 16.  W.

 

Ver. 86.  Souls, in a separate state.  Angels are invited before.  C.

 

Ver. 88.  Ananias, &c.  They retain their Hebrew names, despising those imposed by the Chaldeans, with their impious manners.  C. i. 7.  The inanimate creation is invited to praise God in its way, (Ps. cxlviii.) as well as those endued with reason.  The former never refuse obedience.  H. Hell: the grave.  C.

 

Ver. 90.  And ever.  “Hitherto does not occur in Heb.; and what we have written, is translated from the edition of Theodotion.”  S. Jer. v. 24.

 

Ver. 91.  Then hearing these praises, and seeing people walking in the fire.  Grabe’s edit. after v. 24, has only, “And Nabuchodonosor heard them singing hymns, and was, ” &c.

 

Ver. 92.   The son, or rather (H.) “a son;” niw.  Lowth’s Gram. He supposed this was some angel or petty god, like Hercules.  Carthus. It was the same angel who descended (W.) with them v. 49.  Some have taken him for Jesus Christ.  But S. Aug. observes, that most of these apparitions were made by angels, (Trin. iii. 11.) who are often styled “sons of God.”  Job i. 6.  T.  C.

 

Ver. 94.  Smell, such as is felt when people, (H.) or their garments, come too near the fire.  Pagans have sometimes walked through fire; but they first anointed their feet with certain preservatives, as Servius (in Æn. xi.) remarks from Varro.  C. Here the fire burnt only the bands, (v. 23, 92.  H.) God making his creatures afford comfort to his servants, as was the case when the Goths attempted to burn S. Benedict.  S. Greg. Dial. iii. 18.  W.

 

Ver. 95.  Changed, refusing to comply against their better knowledge.  The force of reason extorts this concession from the wicked king.  H.

 

Ver. 96.  Destroyed.  Chal. “torn limb from limb, (C.) and their houses be made a dunghill.”  C. ii. 5.  H. Manner.  One would suppose that he was really converted; but his heart was not changed.  C. iv.  C.

 

Ver. 97.  Promoted.  He granted them greater power: (W.) or Chal. “re-established” them in their former dignities.  Rom. Gr. “He elevated them in honour, and judged them worthy to rule over all the Jews in his kingdom.”  Theod.

 

Ver. 98.  Nabuchodonosor, &c.  These three last verses are a kind of preface to the following chapter, which is written in the style of an epistle from the king.  Ch. It was probably published in consequence of this miracle.  Here the chap. might properly commence, (C.) as it does in Heb. and Prot. Bibles.  H.

 

 

DANIEL 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Palace.  He continues the edict, having subdued all his enemies.  C. Daniel recites his words.  The king had the dream in the 34th year of his reign, which continued in all forty-three, including the seven of absence.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Colleague.  Chal. also, “another, or afterwards, (H.) or at last.”  C. My god.  He says this, because the name of Baltassar, or Belteshazzar, is derived from the name of Bel, the chief god of the Babylonians.  Ch. Gods.  He speaks conformably to his false opinion; (S. Jer.) or, being instructed by Daniel, he testifies that the Holy Spirit enlightens the prophet.  Theod.  Gr. has “god,” which S. Jerom disapproves; though the plural is often used for the true God.  Reason evinces that only the Deity can disclose the secrets of futurity.  Gen. xli. 38.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  And the.  He is convinced that Daniel could do both, but condescends now to relate his dream.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Tree often denotes princes; (Ezec. xxxi. 3.) and according to the false principles (C.) of those who pretend to explain dreams, always (H.)  implies some great personage.  Achmet. C. 200.  Grot. But nothing is more vain than these pretensions.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  A watcher.  A vigilant angel, perhaps the guardian of Israel.  Ch. Chal. hir; (H.) whence Iris the messenger of the gods, is derived.  S. Jer. Theodot. retains eir.  See S. Jer. in Ps. lxxvi. 4.  The Scholiast (Rom. ed.) says: “the Sept. renders it an angel, the rest a watcher.”  These supernatural agents H. and saints are represented as judges.  v. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Branches, to shew that all (H.) the king’s subjects should abandon him.

 

Ver. 12.  Let it, the tree, representing the king who was confined when he began to shew signs of madness: but he broke loose, and fled away.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Changed, &c.  It does not appear, by Scripture, that Nabuchodonosor was changed from human shape, much less that he was changed into an ox, but only that he lost his reason, and became mad; and in this condition remained abroad in the company of beasts, eating grass like an ox, till his hair grew in such a manner as to resemble the feathers of an eagle, and his nails to be like birds’ claws.  Ch. Origen represents the whole as an allegorical description of the fall of Lucifer.  See S. Jer.  But his arguments have made little impression: and it is universally believed that Nabuchodonosor was thus punished for his pride, after a whole year had been allowed him to see if he would repent.  The manner of this strange metamorphose has been variously explained.  But it seems that he was seized with the species of madness styled Lycanthropy, (C.) as Virgil (Ec. vi. 48.) relates of the daughters of Prœtus, who “with mimick’d mooings fill’d the fields.”  H. Thus many fancy they are kings, or horses, (C.) and that they are continually mounting above the clouds, of which we have an instance in a woman still living at Whitby, who in other respects appears to be sufficiently sensible, (H.) as Tertullian and others think Nabuchodonosor was, that he might suffer more.  Yet it is commonly supposed he lost his senses for a while, till God was pleased to restore them at the time appointed; when his former humiliating state might make a deep impression upon his mind, as well as upon his subjects, and caution all future generations to guard against the fatal consequences of pride.  His son, Evilmerodac, probably ruled during his absence.  Most of the Chaldee writings have perished; so that we need not be surprised if they take no notice of this event, wheich was so disgraceful to the nation.  Yet Megasthenes, (in Eus. præp. ix. ultra) seems to hint at it, when he represents the king seized with a divine fury, and crying out: (C. Diss.) “I, the same Nabuchodonosor, foretell unto you, Babylonians, a fatal calamity, which neither my ancestor Belus, nor even the kingdom of Bel, (H. the gods) have power to avert.  For a Persian mule (Cyrus.  C.) shall come, assisted by your demons, and bring on slavery…Having uttered this oracle, he suddenly disappeared.”  H. Beast’s heart.  In his hypochondriac temper he imagined himself (C.) to be an ox, (H.) avoided the society of men, going naked and feeding on grass, upon his hands and feet, till (after seven years) God restored him to his senses and kingdom.  W. The food which he used would tend to purge him, and naturally abate the disorder.  Barthol. Yet none but God could tell precisely when the madness would seize or leave him. Times.  This usually denotes years, in Daniel; (vii. 25. and xii. 7.) and of course (C.) we must understand it here in this sense; (W.) though some have explained it of an indeterminate length of time, or of weeks, months, or seasons.  Only winter and summer were admitted, so that his period would thus suffice.  See Theod.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Over it.  Kings are not always of the most noble dispositions.  H. “All honour comes from Jove.”  Homer. Ili. 17. Let the greatest monarchs be humble, (H.) and cast their crowns at the feet of God.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Hour.  Chal. shaha, (H.) implies “a little while;” (Grot.) yet of some duration, not precisely like one of the modern hours.  The prophet was silent, being troubled by the divine spirit, (C. x. 8.) at the view of impending misery; or unwilling to hurt the king’s feelings, till he should urge him to speak.  C. He was sorry to denounce such calamities, yet must speak the truth.  W. Trouble.  Theodot. “make thee hurry.”  He perceived the prophet’s anxiety, and encouraged him.

 

Ver. 23.  Remain.  His son and the nobles should act in his name.  v. 13.

 

Ver. 24.  Alms.  Chal. “justice,” is often taken in this sense.  Syr. &c.  2 Cor. ix. 9.  C. The prediction was conditional, and therefore Daniel exhorts the king to strive to obtain pardon by the powerful remedy of alms-deeds; as he did, after enduring some punishment.  W. Yet this is very doubtful.  v. 31.

 

Ver. 25.  Came.  Daniel informs us of this event, unless the king speak of himself in the third person, from v. 16 to 31, giving an account of what he had heard and experienced.  H. A year of trial was allowed him at first; (Theod.) or he obtained this reprieve by his alms, and lost his former merit by relapsing into pride.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 27.  Answered his own vain thoughts.  H. He was admiring the city, (C.) which he had greatly enlarged and beautified.  Berosus &c.

 

Ver. 31.  Heaven:  God having looked on me with pity.  S. Aug. (ep. 111.  C.  or 122.  W.) seems to think that he was saved; and the author of the B. on Pred. & grace, (c. 15) attributes to him, remarks that his repentance was different from  that of Pharao.  Hence none must despair.   S. Jer. ep. vii. to Læta. See Theod.  A. Lap. &c. who maintain that same opinion: but S. Thomas expresses his doubts.  Isaias (xiv. 9.) seems to condign him to hell; and the king here manifests his adhesion to Bel, (v. 5.) and great inconstancy.  C. ii. 47. and iii. 15.  His conviction seems therefore to have been only in speculation, (C.) or momentary, like that of the philosophers, (Rom. i.) which would render them more criminal; and we must confess, (H.) that this conversion is very equivocal.  Sanctius.  v. 24 and 34.  H.

 

Ver. 32.  With, or “by the powers (angels.  v. 10.)…as by men.”  Grot. The stars are also frequently thus described.  Mat. xxiv. 29.  The king probably believed that the God of the Jews was above his gods, the sun, fire, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 33.  Shape.  He had not assumed that of an ox, (H.) but had greatly neglected his person, (C.) so that he was covered with hair, &c.  v. 30.  H.

 

Ver. 34.  I, &c.  From this place some commentators infer, that this king became a true convert, and dying not long after, was probably saved.  Ch.  Jos. Ant. 10 This is the last act of his which is recorded.  If he had lived much longer, he would probably have restored the Jews.  W. But the time decreed by heaven for their liberation was not yet arrived.  H.

 

 

DANIEL 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Baltassar.  He is believed to be the same as Nabonides, the last of the Chaldean kings, grandson to Nabuchodonosor.  He is called his son v. 2, 11, &c. according to the style of the Scriptures, because he was a descendant from him.  Ch.  S. Jer. in Is. xiii.  Usher, &c. Some think that he was brother of Evilmerodac.  v. 11.  Bar. i. 11.  But he seems rather to have been his son.  Jer. xxvii. 7.  Profane authors place Neriglissor and Laborosoarchod between them.  They were not of the royal family, and might be looked upon as usurpers, or reigned in some other place; or they did not meddle with the Jews.  C. It is wonderful that Josephus should prefer these authors; (T.) yet he abandons the dates given by them.  Ant. x. 12. & c. Ap. 1.  They represent Nabonides as a simple Babylonian raised to the throne, defeated by Cyrus, and suffered to retire into Carmania; whereas, Baltassar was slain.  v. 29.  C. The others were of a different lineage, and are mentioned by Eus. &c.  Evilmerodac certainly preceded him on the throne, and honoured Joachim in the 37th years of his captivity. W. Thousand; or, “for his officers over a thousand men.”  Theodot. Every.  Chal. “and drank wine before the thousand,” more than any, for this was deemed a great perfection; or he drank in their presence, but apart.  C. The Persian monarchs used to sit in a separate apartment, with a veil before the door, so that they could see the guests without being seen.  A great chandelier was before them; (Athen. iv. 10.) probably on the outside, otherwise it would have defeated their purpose.  Light sufficient would appear for Baltassar to see the hand-writing on his chamber wall.  v. 5.  H. According to the order of time, this chapter should be placed after the vii. and viii.  C. But those contain visions.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Loosed, so that he quaked for fear.  Ezec. xxix. 7.  C. He was not so drunk as to be deprived of sense.  H. This happened in the 17th and last year of his reign, when Daniel was about a hundred years old, (W.) though we have no certain account of his age.  H. He might be eighty-two when he died.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Purple.  This and the chain were reserved for the highest nobility. Third, or one of the three great officers.  C. vi. 1. and 2 K. xxiii. 8. 19.

 

Ver. 8.  Read.  It was written in Samaritan characters; or, for want of vowels, could not be read or understood.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  The queen.  Not his wife, but the mother of the king; (Ch.) Amyit, widow of Nabuchodonosor, and sister of Darius, the Mede; or (C.) Nitocris, the mother of Labynithus, (Herod. i.) whom many confound with Baltassar.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Father.  So a grandfather might be styled.  Jer. xxvii. 7.  W. Daniel was not perhaps at the head of the wise men.  C. They were too jealous to mention him; and the intoxicated king and courtiers remembered not his merit, till an aged matron suggested that he should be consulted.  He was probably (H.) in some office, at Susa, yet happened to be then in Babylon, (C.) which was besieged; and thither he might have retired at the approached of Cyrus.

 

Ver. 16.  Difficult.  Lit. “things which are tied,” or perplexing.  H. The Persians still used the like expressions, to imply an intelligent governor.  Chardin.

 

Ver. 17.  Another.  He does not refuse the offers, but civilly replies that he will give satisfaction without regard to any recompense.

 

Ver. 19.  Slew.  He was an absolute monarch, and considered his subjects as so many slaves.  C. Xerxes having called together his nobles, that he might not seem to have resolved on the war with Greece alone, said: “Nevertheless, remember that you have to obey rather than to advise.”  V. Max. 9. 5. 2.

 

Ver. 21.  Beasts.  His disordered imagination made him dwell with them.  W. It is strange that such an example should have been so soon forgotten, that Daniel is forced to repeat it so explicitly.  C. iv. 13.

 

Ver. 23.  Vessels.  Only part had been returned to Sedecias: (C. i. 2.) but they were taken again, and kept in the palace, or in the temple of Bel.  H. Breath, or soul.  Gen. ii. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Phares.  These words consist of three letters, mona, thokol, pros, as we add o merely for pronunciation.  Being unconnected and almost destitute of vowels, (H.) it is not easy even for the learned to read these words, or to ascertain their meaning.  Thus d b r being placed in a similar situation, it would be impossible to determine the sense; as it may have ten different meanings, according as it is pronounced.  v. 8.   C. Mane is twice repeated, to shew the certainty and exactitude of the numbering.  M. Yet in the sequel each word occurs once and unconnected, as it is here in the Vulg.; not Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin, (Prot.  H.) “He hath numbered, weighed, and the dividers or the Persians” are upon thee, (T.) as Dalila said to Samson.  Only three words (H.) were written.  S. Jer. The rest contain the prophet’s explanation.  The Chaldean empire had now attained its utmost height.  Its king brought ruin upon himself by his wicked life.  H. He would soon be divided with the sword, and his kingdom shared between the Medes and Persians.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 28.  Persians.  Those who confound Baltassar with Nabonides, say that Cyrus made himself master of all the empire.  How then was it divided?  Darius rather took possession of the greatest part while Cyrus had Persia, (C.) till his uncle’s death.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  Third, or over a third part.  S. Jer. v. 7.  H.  The honours wee conferred without delay, and they would have been made public in the morning.  But death prevented the king; and Daniel did not enjoy them till they were ratified by Darius, to whom he adhered.  C. The Medes then besieged the city, which they took that night, when  most part were drunk.  W. It was a solemn festival.  Is. xxi.  S. Jer. Cyrus rushed in by the channel of the Euphrates, and two of the king’s guards slew him to revenge themselves.  Xenoph. 7.  Beros.

 

Ver. 31.  Darius.  He is called Cyaxares by the historians, and was the son of Astyages, and uncle to Cyrus (Ch.) as well as to Baltassar, by the mother’s side.  He is styled Astyages, (C. xiii. 65.) or Artaxerxes.  Sept. C. vi. 1.  He takes the title of king both of the Medes and Persians.  C. vi. 8. &c.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Kingdom.  Josephus, &c. say Darius had returned into Media, where he made these regulations.  But if this did not take place at Babylon, it would be rather at Susa.  C. viii.  Josephus counts 300 or 360 governments, though when the monarchy was increased there were only 127.  Est. i.  C. He may therefore speak here of large towns, which had each a magistrate.  Such regulations easily vary.  H. Darius acts as master of the whole empire.

 

Ver. 3.  Princes.  Th. “regulators.”  Chal. sacecin, (H.) may be put for (C.) scranim, (H.) the usual title (C.) of the highest officers, the surenas of Persia.  Ammian 30.

 

Ver. 4.  Kingdom, as prime minister, to whom the three princes should be accountable, as the inferior governors where to them.  H. The king was now advanced in years, and wished to ease himself of part of the burden, (C.) as he could entirely confide in Daniel.  H. He reigned only one year.  C. xiii. 65.  W. King.  Chal. “kingdom,” (H.) to accuse him of treason, (Grot.) or to get him removed.  C. This is an old and malignant trick, to call religion treason, and to get laws made for that purpose.  W. In him a great proof of integrity!  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Craftily.  Chal. “came tumultuously to,” &c.  C. They hoped thus to convince the king, as they were so unanimous.  He would not perceive the drift of their petition, and was flattered with the idea of being like a god.  Daniel was not consulted, though on other occasions the king reposed such confidence in him, as the deputies so impudently asserted that the wish was universal!  So easily are princes deceived!  H.

 

Ver. 8.  It, when it is confirmed both by the king and his nobility.  Est. viii. 8.

 

Ver. 9.  It.  Nabuchodonosor of Babylon, and of Ninive, had both pretended to be gods; (C. iii. 15.  Judith vi. 29.  C.) and Curtius (8.) remarks, “that the Persians follow the dictates of prudence as well as of piety, in worshipping their kings among the gods, the majesty of empire being its best protection.”  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Before.  He did not open the windows that he might be seen, as that would have been rashness; nor did many perceive what he was doing, (v. 11.  W.) as it was in an upper room, but only those who rushed in.  H. It was the usual practice of the Jews, (C.) to pray turning towards the temple, as Solomon had directed, (3 K. viii. 48.  S. Jer. in Ezec. viii. 16.) though it was now in ashes. H. Daniel observed the third, sixth, and ninth hours, as the Church still does.  Acts ii. 15. and x. 9.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 11.  Carefully.  Chal. “came in a tumultuous manner.” as v. 6. & 15.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Perceiving.  Chal. “assembled,” (Prot.  H.) or “came quickly in a body.”  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Own ring, that none of his enemies might injure Daniel.  The nobles also affixed their seal, (H.) that the king might not liberate him.  M. All this shews that aristocracy was mixed with the monarchical form of government.  Nothing of importance is done without the nobles.

 

Ver. 18.  Meat.  Chal. “music,” (C.) or “incense.”  De Dieu. He was tired of his godship, to which he had unguardedly opened his heart.  v. 6.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Offence, as I neglected thy decree to obey a higher Master.  C. The king had sense enough to approve of this distinction.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Believed, or trusted.  C. S. Paul alludes to this miracle.  Heb. xi. 33.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  Accused.  They were punished as false witnesses; (C.) and the king justly made them suffer what they would have inflicted on the innocent, being convinced that Daniel had only acted according to his devotion.  W. These wretches deserved to perish, though they had spoken nothing but the truth.  H. Wives.  Many examples of such punishments occur, (C.) as it was presumed that children and wives were infected by the bad example, and would imitiate it, (Jun.) if they had not concurred already.  M. This must have been the case, to make it just.  H.  See Jos. vii. Abominandœ leges, says Ammianus, (23) speaking of the customs of Persia, per quas ob noxam unius omnis propinquitas perit.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Baltassar.  Chal. a letter is wanting.  H. This Baltassar was slain.  C. v.  C. The two visions happened before that event.  W. The.  Prot. “visions of his head, upon his bed.  Then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Winds, to imply the tumults occasioned by fresh kingdoms (W.) in the world.  Theod.

 

Ver. 3.  Four great beasts; viz. the Chaldean, Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires.  But some rather choose to understand the fourth beast of the successors of Alexander the great, more especially of them that reigned in Asia and Syria, (Ch.) or in

Egypt.  C. ii. 40.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Man.  The emperors of Babylon were forced to confess that they were nothing more.  C. Their cruel and rapid conquests (W.) are denoted by this monstrous animal.  Its wings shew how the lands were divided between the Medes and Persians.  Perhaps Neriglissor, &c. shared a part.  C. v. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Bear, which is cruel, and eats what is set before it greedily.  W. Side.  Cyrus did not attack the Jews.  S. Jer. He stood ready to attack the Chaldeans. Three.  He ruled over the Medes and Chaldeans, as well as over the Persians.  C. Rows.  Gr. “wings or sides” of an animal, (H.) or “bones.”  Grot. Cyrus was always at war; and Justin (1.) says, that Tomyris II. of Scythia, ordered his head to be cut off, and thrown into a vessel full of blood.  His troops are styled robbers, Jer. li. 48.  The ambition of Cambyses, Hystaspes, &c. are insatiable.

 

Ver. 6.  Leopard, a small spotted beast, may denote the size and disposition of Alexander, as well as his rapid conquests.  When he was asked how he had subdued so many, he answered, “by never putting off.”  C. Four.  He led his forces on all sides; (H.) and after his death, his empire was divided into four, (W.) Egypt, Syria, Asia, and Macedon, (Theod.) as he had united in his person the empire of the Chaldees, Medes, Persians, and Greeks.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Unlike.  It is not named: but shews the incomparable power of the Romans, governed by kings, consuls, tribunes, dictators, emperors, at different times.  W. This in the opinion generally received, which we shall explain.  Yet many think that the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt are designated, as C. ii. 40.  S. Jerom acknowledged that what is understood of antichrist, had been partly verified in Epiphanes, his figure.  The beast was to be slain before the coming of the Son of man.  v. 11, 26.  It would persecute for three years and a half; but God would grant victory to his saints, as he did to the Machabees.  Yet they only exhibited a faint idea of what has been done by the Church.  The same subject is treated, C. xi.  Many things caused the dominion of the successors of Alexander to be unlike that of others.  It was never united, and was very destructive to the Jews.  C. Horns.  That is, ten kingdoms, (as Apoc. xvii. 12.) among which the empire of the fourth beast shall be parcelled: or ten kings of the number of the successors of Alexander, as figures of such as shall be about the time of antichrist.  Ch. Epiphanes was the eighth king, and Laomedon, Antigonus, and Demetrius, had been governors of Syria before.  Most understand this of antichrist, whom Epiphanes foreshewed.  Others think that it points out Vespasian, the tenth successor of Cæsar, who made war on the Jews.  The same prediction may regard different events, as the abomination (C. ix.) may allude to the profanations committed by Epiphanes, by the Romans at the last siege, and by antichrist.  Others apply this to the Turkish empire, which may be paving the way for the great antagonist of Christ.  C.  Dioclesian and Julian may also be meant, as well as other forerunners of the man of sin.  H. He shall overcome many, but his fury shall continue but a short time.  v. 25.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Little horn.  This is commonly understood of antichrist.  It may also be applied to that great persecutor, Antiochus Epiphanes, as a figure of antichrist.  Ch. He was the youngest son of Antiochus the great, and was a hostage of Rome.  While he was returning, his elder brother died, and Epiphanes excluded his son Philometor, of Egypt, and the usurper Heliodorus.  He also defeated three, Philometor, on the south; Artaxias, king of Armenia, on the east; and the strength, or God’s people, v. 24. and C. viii. 9. Man.  He gained several at first, by his affability. Things: blasphemy.  1 Mac. i. 23. 43.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Ancient.  The Son is born of the Father, and the Holy Ghost proceeds from both, yet all three are coeternal.  W. Hence the Father is sometimes painted in this manner, though he be a pure spirit.  His throne resembled that seen by Ezechiel, C. i.  H. He takes cognizance of all, and punishes accordingly.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Fire.  Ps. xcvi. 3. Thousands.  Gr. implies one million and one hundred millions.  M. The angels are very numerous, particularly the  highest, styled assistants.  S. Tho.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Spoke.  I wished to see how the king would be punished.  He felt the hand of God as he was going to destroy all the Jews, when he pretended to repent.  1 Mac. vi. and 2 Mac. ix. 4.  His successors could not much disturb the Jews.  v. 13.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Time.  Each of the four empires had its period assigned.  That of Rome attracted the prophet’s attention most, and is mentioned first.  M.

 

Ver. 13.  Heaven.  Christ appeared about sixty years after the subversion of the Syrian monarchy.  Yet these expressions literally refer to his second coming.  Mat. xxvi. 64.  C. He had the form of man, as he had the nature.  M. He is clearly predicted.  by his power antichrist is overthrown.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Destroyed.  The eternal dominion of Christ could not be expressed in stronger terms.  He seems to allude to them, Mat. xxviii. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Earth.  The first was on the point of disappearing.  C. v. 31.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Most High, (Th.) or rather Chal. “the very high saints of God;” as also v. 22, 25, and 27.

 

Ver. 21.  Saints.  The Machabees at last prevailed.  Christ will punish the Jews.  Mat. xxiv. 30.

 

Ver. 23.  Greater.  Chal. “unlike,” as v. 7.  Epiphanes was a greater scourge of the Jews than any of the preceding.

 

Ver. 24.  Mightier.  Chal. again, “unlike.”  Antiochus the great had lost many provinces: but his son was the most implacable enemy of God’s people.  He subdued them, Egypt and Armenia; or his three competitors.  v. 8.

 

Ver. 25.  Against, or “over against,” like an accuser.  Sym. “as if he were God.” Laws.  He did this with regard to the Jews, (1 Mac. i. 41.  C.) prohibiting their festivals.  Antichrist will do the like, and pretend to work miracles.  H. A time, &c.  That is, three years and a half; which is supposed to be the length of the duration of the persecution of antichrist.  Ch.  Apoc. xi. 2. and xii. 14. Josephus (Bel. pref.) says the sacrifices were discontinued so long, or rather this time elapsed from the publishing his edict till the temple was purified.  During six months, people offered sacrifice clandestinely.  1 Mac. iv. 36. 52.

 

Ver. 27.  Him.  The power of the Machabees was too limited, to be here understood.  The Church and Christ must be meant.

 

Ver. 28.  Word.  The angel spoke no more at this time.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 8

 

CHAPTER VIII

 

Ver. 1.  Beginning.  This vision was to explain what he had seen C. vii. respecting the four monarchies.  The conflict of the Persians with Alexander, after two hundred years and twenty years, is here described.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Castle; some read “city.”  Here the kings had a palace; and Hystaspes, &c. generally resided in it.  Nabuchodonosor seems to have subdued Elam.  Cyrus had it for his share; but Darius, the Mede, appears from Eschylus to have plundered Susa again.  Daniel probably spent the latter part of his life in this city.  C. Gate, or “stagnant water;” (paludem.  v. 3.  H.) though most understand the river Euleus, on the side of Susiana.  The prophets often sought retired places.  C. x. 4.  Ezec. i. l.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  A ram.  The empire of the Medes and Persians.  Ch.  W. Cyrus, the founder, was allied to both. Higher, denoting the Persians; or Hystaspes, and his posterity, the second branch of the royal family, which reigned to the end: whereas Cambyses was the only one of the race of Cyrus who succeeded to the throne.  Others think that he alludes to Codomannus, whom Alexander certainly attacked. Afterward is not in Heb.  S. Jerom supposed that another ram was designated, but it is the same.

 

Ver. 4.  South.  Codomannus reigned in peace for two years, when he was invaded.  But his predecessors had made war chiefly in Greece, Scythia, and Egypt.  The stupendous preparations of Xerxes against Greece only accelerated the fall of his own kingdom, by irritating the two nations.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  A he-goat.  The empire of the Greeks, or Macedonians. He touched not the ground.  He conquered all before him with so much rapidity, that he seemed rather to fly than to walk upon the earth. A notable horn.  Alexander the great.  Ch. He succeeded his father when only twenty years old, and the next year was chosen generalissimo of the Greeks against Persia, which he invaded at the head of 30,000 foot and 4,000 horses, having only seventy talents of silver and provisions for one month.  With this he attacked the most flourishing empire, and conquered it in less than four years’ time, when Darius was slain.  A. 3674.  Alexander survived only six years and ten months, yet subdued so many nations that it is almost incredible that he should have travelled over them.  He is the belly of brass and the leopard, C. ii. 39. and vii. 6.  C. He died in the midst of his prosperity, (H.) when not quite thirty-three years old, (W.) and left no heirs to succeed him.  This conqueror would be painted with two horns, to intimate that he was the son of Jupiter Ammon.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Hand.  He routed all the forces of his enemy (H.) at the Granicus, at Issus; and at Gaugamela, (C.) or Arbela, Darius escaped, but was slain by his own servants.  H. The clemency of the conqueror towards the fallen royal family is not here specified.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Broken, by death.  Usher, A. 3681. Four.  Seleucus, Antigonus, Philip, and Ptolemeus, the successors of Alexander, who divided his empire among them.  Ch. Other generals held out for some time.  Philip was only a nominal king; Antipater governed Macedon and Greece.  Syria, Asia, and Egypt, formed three other kingdoms.  All four marked out by the four heads of the leopard.  C. vii. 6.  But the prophet is intent upon Syria and Egypt, which had most to do with the Jews.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  A little horn.  Antiochus Epiphanes, a descendant of Seleucus.  He grew against the south and the east, by his victories over the kings of Egypt and Armenia; and against the strength, that is, against Jerusalem and the people of God.  Ch. He persecuted God’s people, and set up the idol of Jupiter Olympius in the very temple.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Even unto, or against the strength of heaven.  So are here called the army of the Jews, the people of God, (Ch.) and particularly the teachers.  Many priests gave way to idolatry.  1 Mac. i. 48. and 2 Mac. iv. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Strength; the God of armies, (H.) over whom Epiphanes seemed to triumph.

 

Ver. 12.  Strength.  Heb. “the army was delivered up to him, for the,” &c.  While several contended for the high priesthood, and imitated the manners of the Greeks, the sacrifices were neglected, and then Antiochus prevailed.  2 Mac. iv. 7. Ground.  The ambitious pontiffs, as well as the king and his officers, kept not their promises.  Onias, the lawful high priest, being displaced, went to seek redress at Antioch, in the asylum at Daphne.  Andronicus prevailed on him to come out by treacherous promises, and slew him; whereupon even Epiphanes wept, and ordered the murderer to be punished.  2 Mac. iv. 32.  The following year he entered Jerusalem, and committed horrible profanations.

 

Ver. 13.  Another.  We do not inquire how the angels explained themselves, or whether they instruct each other.  This conversation was for the prophet’s information.  C. One angel asked the other a question about futurity.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Days.  That is, six years and almost four months; which was the whole time from the beginning of the persecution of Antiochus till his death.  Ch. He began A. 143, and died A. 149, according to the era of Seleucus.  H. The temple was purified in the mean time.  1 Mac. i. 21. and vi. 16.  W. Full days are specified.  Sacrifice entirely ceased for three years, A. 145.  C. vii. 25.  Sym. has 2,400, others 2,200, as quoted by S. Jerom.  We know not whether the solar year of 365 days, or the lunar of 354, be meant.

 

Ver 16.  Between, in an island formed by the river.  It was the Son of God, (C.) or S. Michael, (S. Jer.) directing Gabriel to explain the vision.

 

Ver. 17.  Man.  So Ezechiel is usually styled, to shew that the human nature is different from that of angels, and would be greatly honoured by Jesus Christ, who takes this appellation.  W. Of the end, or determined.  This shall take place, (C.) but the period is distinct.  Grot. v. 26.

 

Ver. 19.  Malediction.  Hebrew: “wrath” against the people of God, and their enemies.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Is.  Heb. “are the kings,” (H.) including all.  v. 3.

 

Ver. 22.  Nation, yet not his children.  v. 8.

 

Ver. 23.  Shameless.  Heb. “hard,” cruel, and impudent, as Epiphanes was.  1 Mac. i. 2.  Marcellinus styles him “wrathful and savage.” Sentences, making use of artifice to seize the estates of his nephew Philometor, and to oppress the Jews.  2 Mac. v. 24.  C. The history speaks of Antiochus: antichrist is also meant, as C. xii. and Mat. xxiv.  W.

 

Ver. 24.  By.  Heb. “not to his (Alexander’s) strength.”  v. 22.  Epiphanes conquered Egypt and the Jews: but the former had an infant king, and the latter were unprovided.  He shewed more cunning than prowess.

 

Ver. 25.  Prince: God. Hand of man.  He confessed that he was justly punished.  1 Mac. vi. 10.  Gr. “He shall raise himself by the ruin of many, (Theod. and some MSS. add, and shall rise up against the prince of princes) and he shall break them like eggs with his hand.”

 

Ver. 26.  Morning of this day, or of what shall happen in certain full days.  v. 14. Seal.  When the predictions were to take place, soon they were dated and published.  C. This will remain obscure till after the event.  S. Jer. What regarded the temple, happened in 300 years’ time.  But it alludes also to antichrist.  S. Greg. Mor. xxx. 12.  W.

 

Ver. 27.  Business, at Susa.  Nabuchodonosor had given him the province of Babylon. It.  All prophecies have a degree of obscurity before they be accomplished.  Heb. may intimate that none could tell the cause of his anxiety.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Darius, the Mede.  C.  v. 31.   If his reign had commenced at the same time with that of Cyrus, at Babylon, as it is commonly supposed, Daniel would have been under no anxiety respecting the people’s liberation, as it took place that year, (C.) though perhaps not at the commencement.  H. Cyrus had now ruled over the Persians above two years, so that the first of Darius at Babylon agrees with the third of his reign over his countrymen.  C. x.  C. Assuerus, or Achasuerus, is not a proper name, but means “a great prince.”  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Jerusalem.  He read attentively the sacred volumes, particularly the prophecy of Jer. xxv. 11. and xxix. 10.  Knowing that many predictions were conditional, he was afraid lest this might be so; notwithstanding a part of it seemed to be verified by the death of Baltassar.  C. Darius had reigned in Persia before.  He only ruled part of a year, at Babylon, the 70th of the captivity.  2 Par. xxxvi. 22.  Daniel perceiving that the time of the Jews’ deliverance was at hand, prayed with great zeal and confidence. W.

 

Ver. 4.  Covenant.  God never breaks it first.  C. Deus suâ gratiâ semel justificatos non deserit, nisi ab eis prius diseratur.  Trid. Sess. vi. 11.

 

Ver. 9.  Mercy.  Thou art just, (v. 7.) and sovereignly merciful.  He speaks in the name of all.  Some had continued faithful; but the number was comparatively inconsiderable.  v. 11.

 

Ver. 11.  Fallen, by drops, (stillavit.  Deut. xxvii. 13. &c.  H.) like an inundation.

 

Ver. 13.  Truth, in executing thy promises and menaces.

 

Ver. 16.  Against.  Heb. “according to.” Justice.  Sept. “mercy.”  Let not the enemy boast that he has ruined thy temple, &c.  v. 17.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  The man Gabriel.  The angel Gabriel in the shape of a man.  Ch.  C. viii. 16. Sacrifice, between the two vespers, (Num. xxviii. 4.) after the ninth hour, which was a time of prayer.  Acts iii. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Desires.  His zeal and mortification merit this title.  W. He was an object of God’s love.  S. Jer.  C. x. 11. and xi. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Seventy weeks (viz. of years, or seventy times seven, that is, 490 years) are shortened; that is, fixed and determined, so that the time shall be no longer.  Ch. This is not a conditional prophecy.  Daniel was solicitous to know when the seventy years of Jeremias would terminate.  But something of far greater consequence is revealed to him, (W.) even the coming and death of the Messias, four hundred and ninety years after the order for rebuilding the walls should be given, (C.) at which period Christ would redeem the world, (W.) and abolish the sacrifices of the law.  C. Finished, or arrive at its height by the crucifixion of the Son of God; (Theod.) or rather sin shall be forgiven.  Heb. “to finish crimes to seal (cover or remit) sins, and to expiate iniquity.” Anointed.  Christ is the great anointed of God, the source of justice, and the end of the law and of the prophets, (Acts x. 38. and 1 Cor. i. 30.  Rom. x. 4.  C.) as well as the pardoner of crimes.  These four characters belong only to Christ.  W.

 

Ver. 25.  Word, &c.  That is, from the twentieth year of king Artaxerxes, when, by his commandment, Nehemias rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, 2 Esd. ii.  From which time, according to the best chronology, there were just sixty-nine weeks of years, the is 483 years, to the baptism of Christ, when he first began to preach and execute the office of Messias.  Ch. The prophecy is divided into three periods: the first of forty-nine years, during which the walls were completed; (they had been raised in fifty-two days, (2 Esd. vi. 15.) but many other fortifications were still requisite) the second of four hundred and thirty-four years, at the end of which Christ was baptized, in the fifteenth of Tiberius, the third of three years and a half, during which Christ preached.  In the middle of this last week, the ancient sacrifices became useless, (C.) as the true Lamb of God had been immolated.  Theod. A week of years denotes seven years, as Lev. xxv. and thus seventy of these weeks would make four hundred and ninety years.  V. Bede. Rat. temp. 6 &c.  W. Origen would understand 4900 years, and dates from the fall of Adam to the ruin of the temple.  Marsham begins twenty-one years after the captivity commenced, when Darius took Susa, and ends in the second of Judas, when the temple was purified.  This system would destroy the prediction of Christ’s coming, and is very uncertain.  Hardouin modifies it, and acknowledges that Christ was the end of the prophecy, though it was fulfilled in figure by the death of Onias III.  See 1 Mac. i. 19.  Senens. Bib. viii. hær. 12. and Estius.  From C. vii. to xii. the changes in the East, till the time of Epiphanes, are variously described.  After the angel had here addressed Daniel, the latter was still perplexed; (C. x. 1.) and in order to remove his doubts, the angel informs him of the persecution of Epiphanes, as if he had been speaking of the same event.  We may, therefore, count forty-nine years from the taking of Jerusalem (when Jeremias spoke, C. vi. 19.) to Cyrus, the anointed, (Is. xlv. 1.) who was appointed to free God’s people.  They would still be under the Persians, &c. for other four hundred and thirty-four years, and then Onias should be slain.  Many would join the Machabees; the sacrifices should cease in the middle of the seventieth week, and the desolation shall continue to the end of it.  Yet, though this system may seem plausible, it is better to stick to the common one, which naturally leads us to the death of Christ, dating from the tenth year of Artaxerxes.  C. He had reigned ten years already with his father.  Petau. All the East was persuaded that a great king should arise about the time; when our Saviour actually appeared, and fulfilled all that had been spoken of the Messias.  C.  Diss. Ferguson says, “We have an astronomical demonstration of the truth of this ancient prophecy, seeing that the prophetic year of the Messias being cut off was the very same with the astronomical.”  In a dispute between a Jew and a Christian, at Venice, the Rabbi who presided…put an end to the business by saying, “Let us shut up our Bibles; for if we proceed in the examination of this prophecy, it will make us all become Christians.”  Watson, let. 6. Hence probably the Jews denounce a curse on those who calculate the times, (H.) and they have purposely curtailed their chronology.  C. Times, &c. (angustia temporum) which may allude both to the difficulties and opposition they met with in building, and to the shortness of the time in which they finished the wall, viz. fifty-two days.  Ch.

 

Ver. 26.  Weeks, or four hundred and thirty-eight years, which elapsed from the twentieth of Artaxerxes to the death of Christ, according to the most exact chronologists.  C. Slain.  Prot. “cut off, but not for himself, and the people of the prince that,” &c.  H. S. Jerom and some MSS. read, Christus, et non erit ejus.  The sense is thus suspended.  The Jews lose their prerogative of being God’s people.  C. Christ will not receive them again.  S. Jer. Gr. “the unction shall be destroyed, and there shall not be judgment in him.”  The priesthood and royal dignity is taken from the Jews.  Theod. The order of succession among the high priests was quite deranged, while the country was ruled by the Romans, and by Herod, a foreigner. C. Leader.  The Romans under Titus.  Ch.  C.

 

Ver. 27.  Many.  Christ seems to allude to this passage.  Mat. xxvi. 28.  He died for all; but several of the Jews particularly, would not receive the proffered grace.  C. Of the week, or in the middle of the week, &c.  Because Christ preached three years and a half: and then, by his sacrifice upon the cross, abolished all the sacrifices of the law.  Ch. Temple.  Heb. “the wing,” (C.) or pinnacle, (H.) the highest part of the temple.  C. Desolation.  Some understand this of the profanation of the temple by the crimes of the Jews, and by the bloody faction of the zealots.  Others, of the bringing in thither the ensigns and standard of the pagan Romans.  Others, in fine, distinguish three different times of desolation: viz. that under Antiochus; that when the temple was destroyed by the Romans; and the last near the end of the world, under antichrist.  To all which, as they suppose, this prophecy may have a relation.  Ch. Prot. “For the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even unto the consummation; and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate.”  H. The ruin shall be entire.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Third.  This concurs with the first of Darius.  Cyrus then reigned in Persia, and the king is here often mentioned, as the vision happened near it, on the banks of the Tigris.  Only twenty-one days had elapsed since the former. Strength.  Heb. “warfare,” or determinate time.  Job vii. 1.  This shall surely take place, but not soon. C. For.  Prot. “and had understanding,” &c. H. He was informed of the meaning, or strove to know what the preceding vision denoted. C. Pharao and Baltassar were not prophets, as they did not comprehend what they saw.  For understanding is requisite, in order that a vision may be prophetical.  S. Tho. ii. 2. q. 175 a. 2.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Weeks.  Marsham says twenty-one years.  But it means only so many days.  He began to mourn on the third of Nisan, and continued fasting (v. 4) it seems even on the sabbaths, and on the feast of Passover, till the 24th.  C. He was grieved that the people did not make use of the leave granted by Cyrus; (Theod.) or because the Samaritans had prevailed at court to have the temple forbidden; (Usher, A. 3470, and 1 Esd. i. 14.) or rather because he could not fully understand the former visions.  C. ix. 30. and xii. 9. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Linen.  Heb. baddim.  Finest.  Heb. uphaz, (H.) from Phasis or Ophir.

 

Ver. 6.  Chrysolite.  Heb. “Tharsis.”  This precious stone was perhaps greenish.

 

Ver. 10.  Hand; the Holy Ghost, or rather the angel Gabriel.

 

Ver. 11.  Desires most amiable.  C. This new title is given to comfort the prophet.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  The prince, &c.  That is, the angel guardian of Persia: who, according to his office, seeking the spiritual good of the Persians, was desirous that many of the Jews should remain among them.  Ch. S. Jerom, &c. explain it of the angel guardian.  W. Each country has an archangel over it, as individuals have an angel.  Others assert that this was an evil angel; for how could a good one oppose so long the will of God?  Yet this argument may be retorted, as evil spirits themselves must comply.  It seems, therefore, that Cyrus was exhorted by the good angels to invade the Chaldeans, and thus to liberate God’s people.  He was afraid of the hazardous attempt, and free-will may resist the inspirations of God. One, or “prince.”  C. Michael, and the guardian of Daniel, joined their prayers for the liberation of the Jews.  v. 20.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Days.  It will not soon take place; or, I have many things to tell.

 

Ver. 20.  To thee?  He awakens his attention (v. 14.  C.) and gratitude.  H. Prince, angel guardian; or Alexander, who would one day rout the Persians.  C. xi. 2.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Of truth, in the former sealed visions.  C. Your prince.  The guardian general of the Church of God, (Ch.) as he was of the synagogue.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Confirmed.  Gabriel assisted Michael to comply with God’s orders.  C. x. 21.  C. The angel continues his speech, and informs us that he had prayed for Darius after the fall of Babylon, seeing that he was well-inclined towards the Jews, as his successor Cyrus (who liberated them) was also.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Three, &c.  Cambyses, Smerdis magus, and Darius the son of Hystaspes.  Ch.  W. Cyrus had been mentioned before.  C. x. 13. 20.  Smerdis, or Artaxerxes, (1 Esd. iv. 7.) was the chief of the seven magi, and usurped the throne for six months after the death of Cambyses.  C. He had been declared king before (H.) by Patizites, his own brother.  The news excited the fury of Cambyses, who mounting on horseback gave himself a mortal wound in the thigh.  Herod. iii. 21.  See Ezec. xxxviii. 21.  H. Fourth: Xerxes.  Ch. He invaded Greece with an immense army, forcing those on the road to join him.  Just. i. 10.  Herod. vii. and viii.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  A strong king: Alexander.  Ch. The sequel clearly points him out.  Before fifteen years had elapsed, his mother, brother, and children were slain.  Arideus, his brother, was declared regent till it should be seen what Rozanna should bring forth.  After the death of those who might be heirs of Alexander, four general took the title of kings.  Others governed in different places, but were destroyed by degrees.

 

Ver. 4.  These four; Ptolemy, Seleucus, Antigonus, and Antipater, kings of Egypt, Syria, Asia, and Greece.  C. vii. 6. and viii. 22.  Besides the other generals, (C.) foreigners began to erect new kingdoms in what had formed the empire of Alexander.  S. Jer.  Livy xlv.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  South: Ptolemeus, the son of Lagus, king of Egypt, which  lies south of Jerusalem.  Ch. S. Irenæus (iv. 43.) observes, that all prophecies are obscure till they be fulfilled.  History shews that this relates to Ptolemy.  The kingdoms of Egypt and of Syria are more noticed, as they had much to do with the Jews.  W. Ptolemy took Cyprus (C.) and Jerusalem.  Jos. Ant. xii. 12. His princes (that is, one of Alexander’s princes) shall prevail over him; that is, shall be stronger than the king of Egypt.  He speaks of Seleucus Nicator, king of Asia and Syria, whose successors are here called the kings of the north, because their dominions lay to the north in respect to Jerusalem.  Ch. Nicator means a “conqueror.”  H. This king was master of all from Media and Babylonia to Jerusalem.  Appian, &c.  C. Philadelphus was more powerful than his father.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  South.  Bernice, daughter of Ptolemeus Philadelphus, given in marriage to Antiochus Theos, grandson of Seleucus, (Ch.) and king of Syria.  She brought a great “dowry,” and was therefore styled Phernophoros.  Antiochus agreed to repudiate Laodicea; but he soon took her back.  Fearing his inconstancy, she poisoned him, and slew his son by Bernice.  This lady in a rage mounted her chariot, and having knocked down the cruel minister of such barbarity, trampled upon his body.  The rest pretended that the infant was still living, and delivered up a part of the palace to Bernice, yet slew her as soon as they had an opportunity.  S. Jer.  Usher, A. 3758.  V. Max. ix. 10. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  A plant, &c.  Ptolemeus Evergetes, the son of Philadelphus.  Ch. Three of Bernice’s maids of honour (H.) covered her body, and pretended that she was only wounded, till her brother Evergetes came and seized almost all Asia, Callinicus not daring to give him battle.  S. Jer. &c.  Vaillant. A. 79. Lagid.  C. He laid waste Syria.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Gods.  He took back what Cambyses had conveyed out of Egypt; and it was on this account that the people styled him “benefactor.”  S. Jer.  C. North.  Seleucus Callinicus.  Ch. If Evergetes had not been recalled into Egypt by civil broils, he would have seized all the kingdom of Seleucus.  Just. xvii. As he passed by Jerusalem (v. 9.) he made great presents, and caused victims of thanksgiving to be offered up.  Jos. c. Ap. ii.

 

Ver. 10.  His sons.  Seleucus Ceraunius and Antiochus the great, the sons of Callinicus.  Ch. The former was poisoned after three years’ reign, as he marched against Attalus.  Just. xxix. Antiochus the great reconquered many provinces from Egypt, but was beaten at Raphia, on the confines, and lost Cœlo-syria.  C. He shall, &c.  Antiochus the great.  Ch. He prosecuted the war, as his brother was prevented by death.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  South.  Ptolemeus Philopator, son of Evergetes.  Ch. He was an indolent prince; but his generals gained the victory. C.

 

Ver. 12.  Prevail.  Many fell on both sides.  H. But Antiochus did not prevail; (W.) or rather Philopator neglected the opportunity of dethroning his rival, (C.) as he might have seized all his dominions, if he had not been too fond of ease.  Just. xxx. He followed the suggestions of his proud heart, when he attempted to enter the most holy place of the temple; and though he was visibly chastised by God, he would have vented his resentment on the Jews, if Providence had not miraculously protected them.  3 Mac.  C.  See Eccli. l.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Times, seventeen years after the battle of Raphia.  When Philopator was dead, and his son Epiphanes not above five years old, Antiochus and Philip of Macedon basely attempted to divide his dominions.  Scopas engaged Antiochus, but lost the battle, and all that Philopator had recovered.  C. Many revolted in Egypt on account of the arrogance of Agathocles, who ruled in the king’s name.  v. 14.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 14.  Vision.  Many Jews, deceived by Onias, erected a temple in Egypt, falsely asserting that they fulfilled the prophecy of Isaias, xix. 19.  W. This Onias was the son of Onias III. who was slain at Antioch.  C. ix. 25.  H. The temple of Onion was called after him.  All allow that he transgressed the law, by offering sacrifice there after God had pitched upon Jerusalem.  But this was done (C.) under Philometor, forty-seven years (Usher) or longer after those times, when Epiphanes fought against Antiochus.  The rebellion of the Jews against Egypt may therefore be meant.  It was decreed that they should by under Antiochus, that his son might cause them to fall, (C.) and punish them for their crimes.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Cities; Sidon, Gaza, and the citadel of Jerusalem, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Upon him.  Antiochus shall come upon the king of the south. Land: Judea.  Ch. Consumed, or “perfected.”  Antiochus was very favourable to the Jews; (C.) invited all to return to Jerusalem, and furnished what was requisite for the sacrifices.  Jos. Ant. xii. 3.

 

Ver. 17.  Kingdom, viz. all the kingdom of Ptolemeus Epiphanes, son of Philopator.  Ch. The Romans interrupted Antiochus, who resolved to lull the young prince asleep, till he had subdued these enemies.  C. Of women.  That is, a most beautiful woman, viz. his daughter Cleopatra. It, viz. the kingdom of Epiphanes; but his policy shall not succeed; for Cleopatra shall take more to heart the interest of her husband than that of her father.  Ch. He came with her to Raphia, and gave her Judea, &c. for her dowry, reserving half of the revenues.  Heb. and Gr. have, “to corrupt her;” (C.) Vulg. eam; as he wished his daughter to act perfidiously, that he might seize the whole kingdom.  H. Epiphanes and his generals were on their guard, and Cleopatra took part with her husband.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 18.  Islands, near Asia.  He also went into Greece, and was master of that country when the Romans declared war against him.  C. Of his reproach.  Scipio, the Roman general, called the prince of his reproach, because he overthrew Antiochus, and obliged him to submit to very dishonourable terms, before he would cease from the war.  Ch. Prot. “for a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease, without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.”  H. Being defeated at Magnesia, he chose the wisest plan of avoiding fresh reproach, by making peace, though (C.) the terms were very hard.  Livy xxxvii. He jokingly observed, that he was obliged to the Romans for contracting his dominions.  Cic. pro Dejot.

 

Ver. 19.  Found.  Antiochus plundered the temple of the Elymaites to procure money; but they, (S. Jer.) or the neighbouring barbarous nations, rose up and slew him.  Just. xxxii.

 

Ver. 20.  One more vile.  Seleucus Philopator, who sent Heliodorus to plunder the temple; and was shortly after slain by the same Heliodorus.  Ch. He reigned about twelve years; and had sent his own son, Demetrius, to be a hostage at Rome instead of Epiphanes, whom he designed to place at the head of an army to invade Egypt.  Heb. “one who shall cause the exactor to pass over the glory of the kingdom,” the temple.  2 Mac. iii.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  One despised; viz. Antiochus Epiphanes, who at first was despised and not received for king.  What is here said of this prince, is accommodated by S. Jerom and others to antichrist, of whom this Antiochus was a figure.  Ch. He lived and died basely; as the origin and end of antichrist will be ignominious.  W. All that follows, to the end of C. xii. regards Epiphanes.  He had no title to the crown, which he procured by cunning, and held in the most shameful manner.  He canvassed for the lowest offices, so that many styled him Epimanes, “the madman.”  Diod. in Valesius, p. 305.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Fighter.  That is, of them that shall oppose him, and shall fight against him.  Ch. Heliodorus, who had murdered his brother and usurped the throne, and Ptolemy Epiphanes, were discomfited.  The latter was making preparations against Seleucus, and said that his riches were in the purses of his friends, upon which they poisoned him.  S. Jer.  C. Covenant, or of the league.  The chief of them that conspired against him; or the king of Egypt, his most powerful adversary.  Ch. This title belongs to antichrist, who will join the Jews, and be received as their Messias.  S. Iren. v. 25.  S. Jer. &c. Jo. 543.  W.

 

Ver. 23.  People.  Ephiphanes pretended to be tutor of Philometor.  But the nobles of Egypt distrusted him; whereupon he came to a battle, near Pelusium, and the young king surrendered himself.  His uncle thus took possession of Egypt with surprising facility.  Yet the people of Alexandria crowned Evergetes, which occasioned a civil war.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Places.  Theodot. reads, “Egypt,” omitting the b, (H.) which gives a good sense. C.

 

Ver. 25.  The king.  Ptolemeus Philometor.  Ch. Epiphanes came under the pretext of restoring Philometor, and gained a victory over Evergetes; but returned in Syria, that the two brothers might weaken each other, (C.) while the Syrians formed designs against both.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  Slain.  This was the perfidious policy of Epiphanes, who expected that the two brothers would destroy each other, so that he might easily seize Egypt, of which he kept the key, retaining the city of Pelusium.  They were however reconciled, and reigned together.  The Scripture often represents that as done which is only intended.

 

Ver. 27.  Two kings: Epiphanes and Philometor. Time.  Epiphanes, vexed that he should thus be duped, returned again into Egypt.  v. 29.

 

Ver. 28.  Riches, taken in Egypt (C.) and in Jerusalem.  H. The people had refused to receive Jason; and Epiphanes treated them in the most barbarous manner, profaned the temple, &c.  1 Mac. i. 23. and 2 Mac. vi. 21.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Galleys.  Heb. “ships of Chittim.”  H. The ambassadors probably came in vessels belonging to Macedonia, (C.) which they found at Delos.  Livy xliv. Romans.  Popilius and the other Roman ambassadors, who came in galleys, and obliged him to depart from Egypt.  Ch. He was only four or seven miles from Alexandria, and went to meet the ambassadors, who gave him the senate’s letter, ordering him to desist from the war.  He said he would consult his friends: but Popilius formed a circle round him with his wand, requiring an answer before he went out of it.   Hereupon the king withdrew his forces.  Polyb. xcii.  V. Max. vi. 4. Succeed.  Apollonius massacred many Jews on the sabbath.  1 Mac. i. 30. Against.  Heb. “respecting.”  Prot. “have intelligence with them,” &c.  H. These wretches prompted him to make such edicts, for he was attached to no religion.  2 Mac. iv. 9.

 

Ver. 31.  Arms, (brachia) or strong men, Apollonius, Philip, &c. (2 Mac. vi.) and likewise the senator from Antioch, who executed his decrees.  C. Abomination.  The idol of Jupiter Olympius, which Antiochus ordered to be set up in the sanctuary of the temple, which is here called the sanctuary of strength, from the Almighty that was worshipped there.  Ch. Other idols were set up, and the people were compelled to sacrifice.  C. Yet even in the hottest persecutions some remained faithful.  W.

 

Ver. 32.  Dissemble.  Thus acted the officers and apostate Jews. Know.  Such were the Assideans, Eleazar, and the Machabees.

 

Ver. 33.  Learned; the priests, Matthathias, &c.  Mal. ii. 7.

 

Ver. 34.  Help.  The victories of the Machabees were miraculous. Deceitfully, like those who took the spoils of idols, and were slain.  Heb. may imply, “secretly.”  C.

 

Ver. 35.  Fall, or became martyrs.  H. Such were Eleazar, &c.  C. Another time, after death; (H.) or the perfect deliverance shall take place later, v. 27.

 

Ver. 36.  Every god.  “He plundered many (C. or most; pleista.  H.) temples.”  Polyb. Athen. v. 6. The Samaritans, and even the priests of the Lord, obeyed the impious decree; so that the king looked upon himself as a sort of god. Accomplished against the Jews, when Epiphanes shall be punished.

 

Ver. 37.  God.  He laughed at religion, yet sometimes offered splendid presents and victims, which shewed his inconstancy.  C. Women.  He kept many concubines, (Diod.) and committed the greatest obscenities publicly: mimis et scortis.  S. Jer. Heb. may have quite a different sense.  He had no regard for the sex, (C.) killing all indiscriminately.  Grot.

 

Ver. 38.  The god Maozim.  That is, the god of forces or strong holds.  Ch. Mahuzzim denotes “strong ones,” (H.) guardians, &c.  Dr. Newton (Diss.) explains, the king (v. 36.) of the Roman state; and supposes that here the guardian saints and angels are meant, whose worship he shews “began in the Roman empire, very soon after it became Christian.  This exposition seems far preferable to that which interprets” Jupiter or the heavens, and understands the idol set up by Epiphanes.  See Univ. Hist. x.  Parkhurst. If these authors speak of the inferior veneration shewn to saints and angels in the Catholic Church, it had a much earlier commencement, being coeval with religion itself.  But only the blindest prejudice can represent this as idolatrous, and of course this system must fall to the ground.  H. Others suppose that Mars, Hercules, Azizus, or Jupiter, may be designated.  Heb. “He will rise up against all, (38) and against the strong God (of Israel. v. 31.  C. viii. 10.  C.) he will, in his place, worship a strange god, ” &c.  Jun. None of the ancestors of Epiphanes had ever adored Jupiter on the altar of holocausts.  C. He and antichrist adore either the great Jupiter or their own strength.  W.

 

Ver. 39.  To.  Heb. “in the most strong holds, with,” &c.  H. He built a fortress near the temple, styled Maoz, (Ezec. xxiv. 25.) on account of its strength.  C. Glory.  He shall bestow honours, riches, and lands, upon them that shall worship his god.  Ch. He will entrust the strong places to them.

 

Ver. 40.  Fight.  Epiphanes made war on Egypt, till the Romans forced him to desist.  The prophet explains his preceding attempts, to which he only alluded.  v. 29, 30.

 

Ver. 41.  Land; Egypt, or rather Judea.  C. Ammon.  He will not divide his forces.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 43.  Ethiopia.  Heb. “the Lubim and Cushim shall be at his steps.”  Theodot. reads, “in their fortresses.”  He had troops from these nations, or Egypt was guarded by them.

 

Ver. 44.  North.  Judas continued victorious.  Armenia (C.) and Parthia rebelled.  Tacit. v. 8. Many.  Epiphanes left three generals and half his army to destroy the Jews.  C.

 

Ver. 45.  Apadno.  Some take it for the proper name of a place; others, from the Heb. translate it, his palace.  Ch. He fixed his royal tent between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.  W. Porphyrius explains this of the march beyond the Euphrates, which S. Jerom does not disapprove.  Apadno may denote Mesopotamia, which is styled Padan Aram. Glorious.  Heb. Zebi, C. or Tsebi, (H.) may allude to Mount Taba, where the king perished, without help.  1 Mac. vi. 11. and 2 Mac. ix. 9.  S. Jerom and many others explain all this of antichrist, and no doubt he was prefigured.  The like events will probably take place again towards the end of the world.  But as the particulars cannot be ascertained, we have adhered to the history of Antiochus.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  Michael, “who is like God,” alludes to the name of the Machabees; Who is like unto thee among the gods?  The archangel protected the Jews, while Epiphanes was engaged beyond the Euphrates. Time.  The nation was in the utmost distress.  Only about seven thousand ill-armed men adhered to Judas: yet these delivered the country by God’s decree. Book.  God seemed to keep a register of his friends.  C. Michael, the guardian of the Church, will protect her against antichrist, as her pastors will do visibly.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Many.  This shews the great number.  All shall rise again.  In a figurative sense, the Jews who seemed buried shall appear and fight. To see. Heb. “everlasting.”  C. S. Jerom has not seen a d (H.) in the word.  This text is express for eternal happiness or misery.  C. Some have understood, deraon, “stench,” or contempt, to denote the ignominy of the damned; but the prophet speaks of the times of the Machabees.  Houbigant. All shall rise in their bodies, but all shall not be changed for the better.  1 Cor. xv. 51.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Learned in the law of God and true wisdom, which consists in knowing and loving God.  Ch. Heb. “instructors.” Instruct.  Heb. “justify,” in the same sense.  The Machabees and other priests, &c. who instructed people in the law, and stood up for its defence, may be meant.  C. “There is as much difference between a learned sanctity and a holy rusticity, as there is between heaven and the stars.”  S. Jer. Teachers, martyrs, and virgins are entitled to an aureola, or accidental reward, besides the essential beatitude.  W. Many.  Th. and the Vulg. read, “and of the just many shall be like for an age and after.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 4.  Shut.  The vision will not be understood till the event.  C. It is not to be interpreted by human wit, but by the spirit of God, wherewith the Church is enlightened and governed.  S. Jer. in Gal.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Two angels of Persia and Greece, near the Tigris.  Maldon.

 

Ver. 6.  I.  Heb. “He.”  Theod. Syr. and Arab. “they said” to Gabriel.  C. x. 5.  Angels ask questions of each other.  C. viii. 13. Wonders.  How long shall this be in the dark, and the misery continue?

 

Ver. 7.  Heaven.  He thus shews that he is not God.  C. Time often implies a year.  C. iv. 13.  Hence he means three years and a half.  Christ assures us that those days shall be shortened, (Mat. xxiv. 22.) and the persecutor shall tarry a short time.  Apoc. xvii. 10. and xii. 14.  The same period is insinuated by 1290 days, (v. 11) and 1330.  v. 12.  The two witnesses prophesy 1260 days, during which the Church shall be fed in the wilderness. (Apoc. xii. 6.)  But the term is most exactly specified by forty-two months.  Apoc. xi. 2. and xiii. 5.  Hence all the Fathers agree that the last persecution shall continue no longer.  W. How absurdly do some Prot. explain this of years during which, they say, the papacy shall subsist!  Whence will they date its origin?  But they will readily trifle with the word of God, and admit any one to indulge his fancy, as long as he does not strike at the thirty-nine articles.  If he do, he may expect that treatment of poor Stone, (H.) whose death in the King’s Bench, aged 75, has been just announced.  He pleaded that one article decided, “nothing was to be maintained which could not be proved by Scripture.”  Yet he was deprived of his living by Dr. Porteus, who at one time was as eager to procure a change in the articles, yet was not prevented by his scruples from mounting the episcopal throne of Chester or of London.  Stone had not this discretion.  Rock. N. 306.  He fell a victim to contradictory articles.  He might be in error.  But what right had Proteus to throw the first stone at him? or how will Protestants shew that any man is reprehensible for adopting the principles of the Reformation, which was entirely built on private interpretation?  The applaud Luther, who established Scripture self-interpreted for the only rule, and they condemn Stone, Wesley, &c. for acting accordingly.  If they have such just weights and measures for their own, what wonder then if the rights of Catholics be disregarded?  H. Half a time.  The idol of Jupiter remained just three years.  Yet the temple was not ready for sacrifices till other ten days had elapsed.  They had been interrupted six months before that idol was set up.  C. We must date from the profanation and distress caused by Apllonius.  1 Mac. iv. 52.  Jos. S. Hypol.  Usher, A. 3836.  C. Band.  Lit. “hand.”  H. When the people shall be destitute of strength, God will miraculously deliver them.

 

Ver. 8.  Understand not.  The prophets were obliged to pray, and sometimes to receive a fresh revelation to explain what they had seen.  C. ix. 2.  1 Pet. i. 11. and 1 Cor. xiv. 26.  What regarded Antiochus and the Church was almost inexplicable before the event, as the times of antichrist are to us.  v. 9.

 

Ver. 10.  White, by persecution endured with patience.  C. xi. 35. Learned.  While the weak Jews will be scandalized at this treatment, the virtuous will reflect that suffering is a trial of God’s servants, and a mark of predestination.

 

Ver. 11.  Days: thirteen more than three and a half, as we reckon.  The odd number might be neglected.  v. 7.  The abomination continued three years and ten days, but the sacrifices had been discontinued six months and three days before.  See C. viii. 14.  If Daniel speak of lunar years, as is probable, the difference would only be two days.  C. From the abolishing of the mass as much as possible, and the practice of heresy and abomination, unto the end of antichrist’s persecution, 1290 days shall elapse.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Days.  After the three years and a half, fifty-eight days will occur before the death of Antiochus, when Judas will disperse the troops of his three generals.  C. Some respite will be granted for forty-five days, during which sinners may repent.  M. It is difficult to say why forty-five days are here added to the former number.  We are content to depart with Daniel, (v. 9.) without searching any farther into these high mysteries.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Lot.  Thou shalt enjoy a glorious resurrection, (M.) and thy dignities till death, for which thou must prepare.  C. Days.  “Hitherto,” says S. Jerom, “we read Daniel, in the Heb. volume; what follows, to the end, is translated from Theodotion’s edition.”  H. The history of Susanna is there placed at the beginning.  C. According to the order of time, it should be placed after the first chapter.  M.

 

 

DANIEL 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

This history of Susanna, in all the ancient Greek and Latin Bibles, was placed in the beginning of the Book of Daniel, till S. Jerom, in his translation, detached it from thence, because he did not find it in the Hebrew; which is also the case of the history of Bel and the dragon.  But both the one and the other are received by the Catholic Church, and were from the very beginning a part of the Christian Bible.  Ch. Daniel seems not to have written the history of Susanna, at least in the volume which contains his prophecies, though it be unquestionably canonical.  A. Lapide. It has been doubted whether it was ever in Heb.  C. But Origen solves the difficulties of Africanus.  H. Susanna means “lily,” and is proposed as a pattern of conjugal chastity. C. Daniel was about twelve years old when he disclosed the malice of her accusers.  S. Aug. ser. 242. de temp.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Judges.  The Jews say they were Achab and Sedecias, (Orig.) as this text seems to allude to Jer. xxix. 21. or xxxiii. 14.  But how were they burnt? since the Jews appear to have stoned them, unless they were delivered up to the king’s officers.  v. 61.  C. The captives under Joakim, were better treated than those who were taken nineteen years afterwards, when all fell into a heavier bondage.  W. The might enjoy possessions, (H.) and have judges of their nation.  C. Cappel. urges this difficulty, and many others, to shew that this account is fabulous.  But as the Jews were allowed to follow their religion, the Chaldees would strive to keep them in good order.  It is not said that Joakim was one of the captives.  He might have settled long before at Babylon, where Helcias probably brought up his daughter in the fear of God.  v. 3.  The judges might also have had authority before over the Israelites, in Assyria, who were now all under the same government.  v. 57.  Houbigant.  Pref.

 

Ver. 7.  Noon, at which time the Jews dined, (v. 13.  Jos. vita) and the streets were as little frequented as they are at night among us.  Hence the judges thought this a fit opportunity.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Mind.  They were distracted by love, (H.) and rendered foolish.

 

Ver. 18.  Back door, leading from the house.  Strangers came by the other gates.  C. Susanna had not perhaps at first intended to bathe.  Cappel. accuses her of imprudence, without reason.  He cannot believe that the old judges would be so sottish as they appear to have been.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 22.  Death of the soul, (S. Jer.) and also of the body, if the adultery were detected.  How much does Susanna surpass the famed Lucretia, who slew herself to shew that she had not consented to her violation!  Si adultera cur laudata?  Si pudica cur occisa?  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. i. 19.  S. Amb. de Sp. iii. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  Out.  so the law ordained, when a woman was assaulted.  H.

 

Ver. 29.  People, for greater shew of justice.  W. We here behold the forms.

 

Ver. 32.  Uncovered, pretending that respect for the company required it, or perhaps that they might detect her guilt by her blushes.  C. But their real motive is here disclosed.  H.

 

Ver. 34.  Head, saying, “Thy malice brings on this chastisement, and not we.”  Lyran. They appear to discharge their conscience, (Lev. i. 4. and xxiv. 14.) no as judges but as accusers.  The people pass sentence.  v. 41.  Adulteresses were stoned.  Lev. xx. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 41.  Death.  The multitude approved of this sentence, which the judges pronounced, pretending to act agreeably to the law.  Deut. xxii.  W.

 

Ver. 45.  Boy.  He was about twelve years old.  S. Ign. ad Magn.  Sulpit. ii.  Theod. He might walk out, though he lodged at court.  Houbig. God enabled him to declare that Susanna was innocent.  The people had consented to her death, but he stands up in her defence.  W.

 

Ver. 46.  Clear.  This form is often used.  Acts xviii. 6.  Mat. xxvii. 24.

 

Ver. 48.  Truth.  They had taken no precautions to ascertain it; which they ought to have done the more, as Susanna had always been highly esteemed.  C. As the witnesses were positive, she must die, except their falsehood could be manifested, which not suspected.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 50.  Old men.  They speak sarcastically; or rather other senators, who had not been in the plot, address Daniel.

 

Ver. 55.  Two.  This punishment was not unusual: yet it is probable that the two old men were stoned to death by the law of retaliation.  v. 61.  Ex. xix. 4.  There is an allusion, in Greek, between schinon and schisei, and also between Prinos and prisei; (v. 58, 59) and hence it is concluded that this work was originally in that language.  But there might be a similar allusion in Heb. or Chal. or the translator might think it lawful to put one tree for another.  C. We find a tree called shinar, in Persia.  Tavern. iv. 6.  It would be easy to produce similar allusions in the Latin ilex; thus ilico peribis, &c.  M.

 

Ver. 57.  Israel, when you were judges in Assyria.  v. 5.  H. Conversed.  No one could be alone with women, in the East, without suspicion.

 

Ver. 61.  Neighbour; stoning or strangling them, unless they gave them up to Nabuchodonosor’s officers.  v. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 64.  Forward.  By this first prophetical act Daniel acquired fame, (W.) which he retained till the death of Astyages.  Maldon..  M.

 

Ver. 65.  Astyages, or Darius.  C. v. 31.  This belongs to the following chapter (C.) or to the 9th.  W. Cyrus.  Little is known about his birth or death.  Yet all agree that he conquered the Chaldeans.  C.

 

 

DANIEL 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Guest.  It seems most probable that the king here spoken of was Evilmerodac, the son and successor of Nabuchodonosor, and a great favourer of the Jews; (Ch.  W.) or it might be Darius, (Houbig.) or Cyrus, under whose reign S. Irenæus (iv. 11.) and others place this history.   C. The more correct Greek editions begin with the preceding verse.  M. Sept. read, “Prophecy of Abaum, son of Juda, of the tribe of Levi.  There was a priest, Daniel, son of Abda, who was a guest of the king of Babylon,” &c.  See Pref.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Angry.  Cappel thinks the priests would not be so easily caught, or that such an imposture would not be so long concealed.  But it was their interest to keep the secret, particularly if the king furnished the provisions; and in the night time they would not perceive the small ashes.  Houbig. The pagans stupidly believed (C.) that the idols eat.  Aristoph. Plutus. iii. 2. All the objections against this history are refuted by Jer. li. 5.  Houbigant. It is wonderful that so learned a man as Cappel should urge so many.  H.

 

Ver. 22.  Dragon.  The devil had seduced our first parents in the form of a serpent, and caused most nations to adore it.  C. They expected benefit, or to be preserved from harm.  Valer. i. 8.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xiv. 11.  W.

 

Ver. 26.  Asunder, being choked, and not poisoned.  Vales. 81.  M. The throat is narrow.  Solin. 43.

 

Ver. 27.  Jew, or “a Jew is king;” Daniel governs all.  Grot.

 

Ver. 28.  House.  Religion is daring.  Darius was weak, and only a sort of viceroy, left by Cyrus.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 30.  The den of lions.  Daniel was twice cast into the den of lions: once under Darius, the Mede, because he had transgressed the king’s edict, by praying three times a day; and another time under Evilmerodac, by a sedition of the people.  This time he remained six days in the lions’ den; the other time only one night.  Ch.

 

Ver. 31.  Carcasses: people condemned, (C.) or dead.  Houbig.

 

Ver. 32.  Habacuc.  The same, as some think, whose prophecy is found among the lesser prophets: but others believe him to be different.  Ch. About twenty years before there was no prophet in Judea.  C. iii. 38.  Habacuc, the eighth of the minor prophets, lived before the Babylonian monarchy was formed.  C. i. 6.  W. Yet he might still survive.  If this had not been a true history, such an extraordinary mode of conveyance would not have been mentioned.  Cappel imagines it was an allusion to Philip, the deacon, and fabricated by some Christian.  But Theodotion found it in Heb. (Houbig.) and he was no friend to Christianity when he wrote; though he had once followed Tatian, and the Marcionites.  H.

 

Ver. 39.  Seventh.  He had not come before, supposing he was dead, till at last a rumour got to his ears, notwithstanding the precautions of the Babylonians, who hoped that Daniel would be starved to death.  Houbigant, Proleg. p. 2. p. 425 which end here.

 

Ver. 40.  Daniel.  Gr. adds, “besides thee there is no other.”  H.

 

Ver. 41.  Den, by the law of retaliation.  C. vi. 24.  M.

 

Ver. 42.  Then, &c. is not in Greek nor in the ancient MSS. of S. Jerom.  The verse may be taken from C. ii. 26.  C.

 

 

OSEE

 

THE PROPHECY OF OSEE.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Osee, or Hosea, whose name signifies a saviour, was the first in the order of time among those who are commonly called lesser prophets, because their prophecies are short.  He prophesied in the kingdom of Israel, (that is, of the ten tribes) about the same time that Isaias prophesied in the kingdom of Juda.  Ch. The chronological order is not observed in any edition.  The Sept. vary from the rest.  They place the less before the greater prophets, and read some of the names rather differently, as Prot. do also, though they have nothing but novelty to recommend the change.  We shall here specify the Prot. names, (H.) in the order in which these prophets appeared: (C.) 1. Hosea, 2. Amos, 3. Jonah, 4. Micah, 5. Nahum, 6. Joel, 7. Zephaniah, 8. Habakkuk, 9. Obadiah, 10. Haggai, 11. Zechariah, 12. Malachi.  H. It is not known who collected them into one volume.  but the book of Ecclesiasticus (xlix. 12.) speaks of the twelve; and 4 Esd. i. 39. specifies them as they are found in the Sept. Osee, Amos, Micheas, Joel, Abdias, Jonas, Nahum, &c. as in the Vulg.  C. Many other prophets appeared before these, (W.) but Osee is the first of the sixteen whose works are extant.  He must have continued his ministry about eighty-five years, and lived above one hundred and ten, if the first verse speaks of him alone.  But some take it to regard the whole collection, and may be added by another hand.  C. The style of Osee is sententious and very hard to be understood, (S. Jer.) as but little is known of the last kings of Israel, in whose dominions he lived, and to whom he chiefly refers, though he speaks sometimes of Juda, &c.  C. By taking a wife, and other parables, he shews their criminal conduct and chastisment, and foretells their future deliverance and the benefits to be conferred by Christ.  We must observe that the prophets often style the kingdom of the two tribes, Juda, Benjamin, Jerusalem, or the house of David; and that of the ten tribes, Ephraim, Joseph, Samaria, Jezrahel, Bethel, or Bethaven; and often Israel or Jacob till after the captivity of these tribes, when the latter titles refer to Juda, who imitated the virtues of Jacob better than the other kingdom.  W. Then all distinction of this nature was at an end.  H.

 

 

OSEE 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  He reigned forty-one years, till A.M. 3220.  Usher. The prophets usually give the date, that the prediction may be verified.  Some Latin MSS. intimate, that “the Jews attribute these titles to Esdras, (who is Malachias) or to the respective prophets, which is more probable.”  S. Jer. t. i. Jeroboam II. died twenty-six years before Ozias, towards the end of whose reign Isaias commenced; so that Osee was more ancient.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Fornications.  That is, a wife that hath been given to fornication.  This was to represent the Lord’s proceedings with his people Israel, who, by spiritual fornication, were continually offending him.  Ch. The prophet reclaimed her.  S. Jer. She denoted Samaria, abandoned to idolatry.  Ezec. xvi. 15.  Several such actions were prophetical.  Many have supposed that this was only a parable; but the sequel proves the contrary.  C. Of fornications.  So called from the character of the mother, if not also from their own wicked dispositions.  Ch. He is ordered to marry a woman who had been of a loose character, and to have children who would resemble her; (W.) or he takes her children to his house; (Grot.) unless the children of the prophet were so styled because the mother had been given to fornication.  So the rod of Aaron retains its name when it was become a serpent.  Ex. vii. 12. Shall, or rather, “has departed;” and therefore he denounces future chastisements.

 

Ver. 4.  Jezrahel.  Jehu slew Joram in this place.  He was the instrument of God’s justice, yet acted himself through malice and ambition, and was therefore deservedly punished.  Zacharias, the fourth of his family, lost the crown, and was slain by Sellum, at Jezrahel.  4 K. ix. &c.  C. The offspring of Jehu, now on the throne, solicited Jezrahel or the ten tribes to idolatry, which God will revenge.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Without mercy.  Lo Ruchamah.  Ch. Some copies of Sept. and S. Paul read, “not beloved.”  Rom. ix. 25.  Samaria shall surely perish.  After the death of Jeroboam II. the kingdom was all in confusion, and in sixty-two years time became extinct.  It was afterwards blended with Juda.

 

Ver. 7.  Horsemen.  Sennacherib was miraculously disconcerted.  Juda returned from captivity and became more flourishing, giving birth to the Messias.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Not my people.  Lohammi.  Ch. The kingdom of Israel seemed to be quite cast off; and in captivity it was hardly distinguished from other nations.  Juda was preserved longer, and at all times was under the divine protection.  Ezechiel, Daniel, &c. comforted the people in the worst of their afflictions.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  The number, &c. viz. of the true Israelites, the children of the Church of Christ.  Ch. This is the primary sense.  Rom. ix. 25.  Yet the Israelites are here also assured of their return from captivity.  C. God.  Among many sinners, some are chosen.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Head; Christ, (Ch.) the head of all the faithful, (W.) consisting both of Jews and Gentiles.  Israel and Juda returned under Zorobabel, &c.  C. The prophets blend present and future transactions together.  S. Jer. in C. iii. Jezrahel.  That is, of the seed of God; for Jezrahel signifies the seed of God.  Ch. For may also be rendered, “when or though.”  The seed of Jehu shall be exterminated.  The kingdom, signified by Jezrahel, a great city, shall fall.  C.

 

 

OSEE 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Brethren, &c.  Or, call your brethren, My people; and your sister, Her that hath obtained mercy.  This is connected with the latter end of the foregoing chapter, and relates to the converts of Israel.  Ch. I seemed to have abandoned them at the great day of carnage; (H.) but I will still receive (C.) this portion of my people, as well as Juda.  H. Disdain not to call them brethren.  More of the ten tribes than of the others embraced the faith of Christ, and more Gentiles than Jews became converts.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Your mother: the synagogue.  C. He addresses Juda, (v. 11, 15.) or all God’s people.  C. i. 11.  This vineyard yields no good fruit.  Is. v.  Idolatry prevails.  Ezec. xvi. 5. and xxiii. 3.

 

Ver. 3.  Drought.  In Egypt the people were plunged into idolatry, and oppressed.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Fornications.  They imitate their parents.  H. I will not spare them, as I did some in the wilderness.  S. Jer. Punishment will not cease till people repent.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Lovers: idols, and foreign nations. Ezec. xvi. 15, 33.

 

Ver. 6.  Paths.  The aid which she sought from foreigners shall prove vain. It is often an effect of mercy, when our wicked plans miscarry.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 8.  Baal: or they formed idols.

 

Ver. 9.  Season.  When the harvest is ripe, the loss is more afflicting.  God withdraws what proves an occasion of sin. Liberty.  The creature serves unwillingly.  Rom. viii. 21.

 

Ver. 10.  Folly, or shame.  Gen. xxxiv. 7.  Judg. xix. 23.

 

Ver. 11.  Times.  This was verified during the captivity.

 

Ver. 13.  Ear.  Heb. “nose-ring,” or ornaments hanging from the nose.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  I will allure her, &c.  After her disloyalties, I will still allure her by my grace, &c. and send her vine-dressers, viz. the apostles, originally her own children, who shall open to her the gates of hope; as heretofore, at her coming into the land of promise, she had all good success after she had satisfied the divine justice by the execution of Achan, in the valley of Achor.  Jos. vii.  Ch. Sept. “I will seduce or make her stray;” planw.  H. I will permit her to yield to error, in captivity; (Theod.) or will cause her hopes to be frustrated yet in exile I will comfort her.  The Jews were not changed till they had seen the vanity of idols, and suffered much.  C. God’s grace prevents sinners, that they may be converted.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Vine.  Heb. “vineyards there,” (C.) or “from,” &c.  H. Achor.  The environs of Jericho were very enchanting.  Is. lxv. 10. Sing is better than Sept. “shall be humbled.”  Heb. “shall answer,” as people singing alternately.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  My husband.  In Heb. Ishi. Baali: my lord.  The meaning of this verse is: that, whereas, Ishi and Baali were used indifferently in those days by wives speaking to their husbands, the synagogue, whom God was pleased to consider as his spouse, should call him only Ishi, and abstain from the name of Baali, because of his affinity with the name of the idol Baal.  Ch. The very name shall become obsolete.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Baalim.  It is the plural number of Baal; for there were divers idols of Baal.  Ch. The Jews hence styled Esbaal, Isboseth; as boseth means “confusion.”  1 Par. viii. 33.

 

Ver. 18.  Beasts.  The most savage nations shall receive the gospel, and become mild.  Is. xi. 6.  Theod. Wild beasts shall not infest the land.  Lev. xxvi. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  I will espouse thee, &c.  This relates to the happy espousals of Christ with his Church, which shall never be dissolved.  Ch. God gives the dowry, justice, &c.

 

Ver. 20.  Faith, the root of all virtues.  We shall be true to each other.  This has been realized only in the Church of Christ.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Hear the heavens, &c.  All shall conspire in favour of the Church, which in the following verse is called Jezrahel, that is, the seed of God.  Ch. Harmony shall subsist between all the parts of the universe.  The earth shall receive rain, &c.  This happiness was enjoyed in figure by the Jews, after their return, and in reality by Christians.  Theod.

 

Ver. 22.  Jezrahel.  This most fruitful valley shall again be covered with abundant crops.  The whole nation of the Jews shall be happy.  C.

 

Ver. 24.  That which is not my people, &c.  This relates to the conversion of the Gentiles, (Ch.) as the apostles explain it.  1 Pet. ii. 10.  Rom. ix.  W.

 

 

OSEE 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Woman.  This second woman denotes the penitent Israel, yet not quite reconciled.  The people in captivity are separated both from her idols and from God, though the latter still retains an affection for them.  Osee does not marry this woman, but gives his word.  We must not urge the parable too far.  He acts as a figure of the Lord, who had received an outrage.  C. Grace is still offered to sinners, whose persons are never hated by God.  W. Husks.  Sept. &c. “cakes made with grapes,” for idols.  Theod.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 2.  Core.  Sept. “gomor of barley, and for a nebel of wine.”  The woman must consequently have been of very mean condition.  In the East wives are still, even among Christians, purchased according to their rank, often without being seen or consulted.  The parents give part of the price to the bride.  C. The unbelieving Jews, who refrain from idols, receive some temporal advantages; but not thirty pieces of silver, or three cores of wheat, denoting the faith of the blessed Trinity and the observance of the decalogue, whereby they might obtain eternal life.  Towards the end of the world they shall be converted.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Man’s.  After the person was espoused, any infidelity was punished as if she had been married.  It does not appear that Osee took this woman to wife.  C. But he signified that the people must wait for God, in captivity.  Theod.  Sanct. lv.

 

Ver. 4.  Altar.  Heb. “statue;” matseba instead of mozbe, as (H.) others agree with S. Jerom, and there seems to have been no variation in his time. Theraphim.  Images or representations, (Ch.) either good or bad.  As the other things mentioned were good, such lawful images as were used in the temple must be meant.  3 K. vii. 36.  W. S. Jerom explains it of cherubim.  Sept. “altar, priesthood, and manifestations (Urim, &c.) being wanting.”  H. Yet some take it in a bad sense.  The Jews adhere neither to God nor to idols.   Vat. &c. What misfortune, however, would the latter be?  In exile the Jews were deprived of the exercise of their religion, and of their princes.  C. But this was only a figure of what they endured since they rejected Christ.  Orig.  Philoc. i.  S. Jer. This wretched state will probably continue till they at last embrace the yoke of Christ, the true king of ages.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  David, their king.  That is, Christ, who is of the house of David.  Ch. After the captivity, the Jews submitted to Zorobabel.  Yet this only foreshewed a more sincere conversion to Jesus Christ.  In fact, the house of David never regained the throne, (C.) and it is not clear that Zorobabel had any authority over the people.  H. Christ is the literal object of this prediction.  C.

 

 

OSEE 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  They are chiefly addressed, (Chal.  S. Jer.  C.) or what follows to v. 15, regards all.  W. Judgment.  Heb. “a trial.” Mercy.  The want of humanity and of practical knowledge is urged.  C. The knowledge of God includes the observance of the commandments.  1 Jo. ii. 4.  W. This science alone is requisite.  Jer. ix. 3.  Is. v. 13.  Blind leaders prove their own and other’s ruin.

 

Ver. 2.  Blood.  The successors of Jeroboam II. were mostly murdered.  C. Incestuous marriages take place.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Together.  The waters shall be dried up, or infected.  C. When the people are taken away, beasts will not long remain.  Jer. ix. 10.  Soph. i. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Judge, &c.  As if he would say: It is in vain to strive with them, or reprove them, they are so obstinate in evil.  Ch. Priest.  Such must be slain.  Deut. xvii. 12.  C. Sept. “my people are like a priest contradicted,” (H.) or degraded.  Theod.

 

Ver. 5.  Prophet, both true and false. Night of tribulation.  Heb. and Sept. “I have compared thy mother to the night.”

 

Ver. 6.  Silent.  Sept. “like those who had,” &c. Knowledge.  Jeroboam I. had appointed unlawful priests, and some of the house of Aaron went over to him, and were excluded from officiating at Jerusalem, after the captivity.  1 K. xii. 31.  Ezec. xliv. 10.  Knowledge is always expected of priests.  Deut. xvii. 8.  Mal. ii. 7.  Gratian. dist. 38. c. omnes.  C. When the power of sacrificing is withdrawn, all spiritual functions cease, as sacrifice belongs properly to a priest.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Me.  A father rejoices in a numerous offspring.  But my people take occasion to offend me the more they increase.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Sins: victims.  W. Iniquity; or “they seek for support in their propitiatory offerings,” and lull the people asleep in their sins.  The priests of the golden calf imitated the sacred rites of Moses.  It would have been too difficult to make the people change altogether.

 

Ver. 9.  Priest.  They are equally dissolute, and shall meet the like punishment. Devices, or thoughts.  C. Cogitatio mali operis pænas luet.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 10.  Ceased.  Heb. “increased.”  They have no children living.  C. Sept. “let them not succeed.”

 

Ver. 11.  Understanding.  Lit. “heart.”  H. Some sins darken reason more than others; but none so much as spiritual fornication.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Staff.  It was customary to use this mode of divination, (Ezec. xxi. 21.) and likewise incense.  v. 13. Oak.  These terms are variously rendered as the trees and stones mentioned in Scripture, will probably never be ascertained.

 

Ver. 14.  Visit.  This is the most dreadful of God’s judgments.  He permits those who offend him to receive discontent from their own families. Effeminate, like the Galli, &c. (S. Jer.) and votaries of Priapus.  3 K. xv. 11.  Heb. “the consecrated women.”  Sept. “initiated,” to honour a lewd idol by prostitution.  C. Beaten.  Sept. “adhere to a harlot.  But thou, Israel, be not ignorant, and Juda go,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 15.  Offend.  It was  more culpable for Juda to commit idolatry (as they had the temple, &c. of the true God) than for Israel, whom Jeroboam hindered from going to Jerusalem, after he had set up his golden calves.  W. Galgal and Bethaven.  Places where idols were worshipped.  Bethel, which signifies the house of God, is called by the prophet Bethaven, that is the house of vanity, from Jeroboam’s golden calf which was worshipped there.  Ch. Galgal was on the confines of the two kingdoms, and always venerated by the Jews.  Idols had been there in ancient times, and probably a sort of oracle.  Judg. iii. 19.  If Israel be thus abandoned, let not Juda imitate them.  C. Lord.  Profane not this sacred name by giving it to idols.  Theod. Use not this expression, since you do not worship me.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 16.  Wanton.  Sept. “stung,” or rendered furious.  Thus Israel gives way to ungovernable passions.  The people shall be led into captivity, and have room to range about.

 

Ver. 17.  Partaker.  Heb. “tied to abominations.” Alone.  His case is desperate.  C. Sept. “he has placed stumbling-blocks for himself.”  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Separated from that allowed to God’s people.  Deut. xii. 12.  Heb. “insipid,” or spoiled.  Chal. “their princes have sought after banquets.”  Sept. “He has provoked (surpassed) the Chanaanites.”  These two have not read as we do. They.  Heb. “their shields (chiefs) have loved shame:” dissolute practices, or “presents,” which are disgraceful.  C. Sept. “They have loved shame by her rage.  (19) A whirlwind shall whistle in,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Wings.  They shall be quickly removed hence.  C.

 

 

OSEE 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver 1.  Of priests.  What is said of priests in this prophecy is chiefly understood of the priests of the kingdom of Israel; who were not true priests of the race of Aaron, but served the calves at Bethel and Dan.  Ch. They had the name of priests, and pretended to act as such.  3 K. xii.  W. There were some apostates among them.  C. iv. 6.  But they lost all authority. To them.  Lit. “to the watch:” speculationi.  Heb. “at Maspha,” (H.) in Galaad, where a profane altar was erected.  C. vi. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Depth, or pits of fire, where victims were sometimes thrown.  Iphigen.  Grot. By substituting th for t, we might read, “they have dug pits to take them.”  C. ix. 9.  Jos. xxiii 13.  C. Idolatry leads to the abyss.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Known.  Fornication had darkened their intellect.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Answer.  Sept. “be humbled.”  It appears openly, so as to deserve condemnation.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Them.  He will receive their victims no longer.  Is. i. 11.  C. In vain do they expect to escape by this appearance of sanctity, while they continue in sin.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Strangers.  That is, aliens from God: and therefore they are threatened with speedy destruction.  Ch. Their offspring is rebellious, and deserves no longer to be called my people.  C. i. 9. Month.  Every month the Assyrians shall come upon them; (Chal.  S. Jer.) or, in the space of one month, they shall perish.  C. Sept. “the mildew shall eat them and their portions.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Back.  Bethel lay northwest of Benjamin.  The two tribes would hear the distress of Israel, that they might beware and avoid the like misconduct.  C. The captivity is here described.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  That.  Lit. “faith,” (H.) that my word shall come to pass.

 

Ver. 10.  Bound.  This was a capital crime, under Numa, and forbidden.  Deut. xix. 14.  C. Juda hoped to seize what was abandoned.  S. Jer. They deferred doing penance, and removed the boundaries set by their fathers, (Theod.  C.) the virtuous patriarchs, whom they would not imitate.

 

Ver. 11.  Oppression.  Lit. “calumny.”  H.  Is. lii. 4. The Assyrians had no just reason for attacking Israel, though their crimes called for punishment (C.) from God.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Avenging.  Heb. and Sept. Jareb, (S. Jer.) which some explain of the king of Egypt; others understand the Assyrian; (C. x. 6.) while most suppose that Ephraim applied to Phul, and Juda sent to a protecting king, Theglathphalassar.  4 K. xvi. 7. and xvii. 4.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Lioness.  Heb. and Sept. “panther.”  H. The Assyrians, instead of assisting, proved the ruin of both kingdoms.

 

Ver. 15.  Place; to heaven.  I will abandon my temple.  C. Face: “they will seek the absent.”  S. Jer.

 

 

OSEE 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Early,  or in haste.  All the people will repent.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Cure us.  God is always ready to receive penitents.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Third.  In a short time the Lord will easily set us free.  But the prophet refers more directly to the resurrection of the faithful, and of Christ.  Eph. ii. 5. and 1 Cor. xv. 4.  C. S. Paul mentions the third day according to the Scriptures, which nowhere else so clearly specify it.  W.  See S. Jer.  S. Cyp. Sanct. 9. Know.  Hitherto we have been reproached with voluntary ignorance in adoring idols.  C. iv. 6.  We will amend. His, Christ’s. Rain.  It falls only in autumn and in spring.  Deut. xi. 14.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Mercy.  Heb. chesed, (H.) “piety,” &c. (Grot.) whence the word Assideans is derived.  1 Mac. ii. 42.  The captives flattered themselves, that as soon as they began to entertain sentiments of repentance, God would relieve them.  But he answers that their virtue is  inconstant, and that they must suffer in proportion to their crimes.

 

Ver. 5.  Mouth.  I have ordered my prophets to denounce death unto them, and to treat them roughly, like a piece of marble designed for a statue.  Sept. &c. “I have slain thy prophets,” &c. by Elias, Jehu, &c.  The former sense is preferable. Thy judgments, or condemnation.  C. Heb. “and thy judgments light shall go forth.”  H. Pocock labours hard, but in vain, to explain this; as all the old versions, except the Vulg. have, “my judgments as the light,” &c.  Heb. letters may probably have been ill joined, (Kennicott) as Meibomius suspects they have been also.  Jer. xxiii. 33.  Here umospoti caur, “my judgments as the light,” &c. is exchanged for umishpatec or.  This would be very easy when words were written undivided, as in ancient MSS.  H. “Some transcriber upon hearing umishpatecaor, from the person dictating to him, writ umishpateca or instead of umishpate caor.  Kennicott, Diss. 1.

 

Ver. 6.  Mercy: sincere piety.  v. 4. Sacrifice.  They had offered many.  C. v. 6.  C. “My victims are the salvation of the faithful, and the conversion of sinners.”  S. Jer. Knowledge, of a practical nature, which was deficient.  C. iv. 6. and vi. 4.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Adam.  A compact was made with him, that if he continued faithful or otherwise, his posterity should be born in original justice or sin.  H. He transgressed, and was expelled from paradise, as the Jews were from their land.  Sept. “like a man:” like any who had not been so highly favoured with the law, &c.  C. Adam means “a man,” and sometimes it would be as well rendered in this sense.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Supplanted with blood.  That is, undermined and brought to ruin for shedding of blood; and, as it is signified in the following verse, for conspiring with the priests, (of Bethel) like robbers, to murder in the way such as passed out of Sichem to go towards the temple of Jerusalem.  Or else supplanted with blood signifies flowing in such a manner with blood, as to suffer none to walk there without embruing the soles of their feet in blood.  Ch. Thus they would become unclean, and might easily slip.  H. Galaad was famous for the treaty between Laban and Jacob; and all such places were chosen for altars in the latter times of the two kingdoms.  Maspha or Ramoth were the usual resorts.  Theodoret reads, “Galgal.”  C. iv. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Robbers.  Jephte had infested those parts, and the country was noted for murders; whence more cities of refuge were appointed in it.  Judg. xi.and  Jos. xx. 8.  The prophet alludes to what had been said to Gad.  Gen. xlix. 19. Out of, or to Sichem.  They were jealous of people going thither, (C.) wishing to receive their offerings themselves.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Harvest.  This implies punishment or felicity.  The turn of Juda shall come, and he shall be chastised; but after the captivity, he shall enjoy plenty.  C. ii. 15.  Is. ix. 3.  C.

 

 

OSEE 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  Israel.  God divided the kingdom, that by this chastisement the people might be converted.  But Jeroboam set up calves, and caused them to grow worse.  W. How often did God send his prophets to reclaim them! Without.  Most of the kings were of this stamp, while foreign nations invaded the land.

 

Ver. 2.  Face.  I do not search (C.) into their past lives; they sin publicly, and without ceasing.  I have been too indulgent.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Glad, &c.  To please Jeroboam and their other kings, they have given themselves up to the worship of idols, which are mere falsehood and lies.  Ch. We do not find one good king of Israel.  C. But Jeroboam principally caused Israel to sin.  H. His infernal policy changed the religion of his subjects.

 

Ver. 4.  Leaven.  Jeroboam invited the people simply to a feast, and used no violence to make them adopt his novelties.  But they soon prevailed, and brought on ruin.  The cake, or whole nation, was burnt, (v. 8.) as well as the princes.  v. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Princes.  The chief men joined in the schism and idolatry.  W. Mad, with drinking at the king’s coronation, or at his coming to the crown.  C. Bacchus presents three cups to the wise; the fourth is the cup of petulance, the fifth of shouts, the sixth of debauchery, &c.  Athen. Dipsc. ii. 1.  Eccli. xxxi. 38. Scorners.  Sept. “pestilent people,” who turn religion and piety to ridicule.  Instead of repressing them, the king admits them to favour.

 

Ver. 6.  Them.  Jeroboam seduces the subjects of the house of David, by indulging the passions of the great and small.  He may then sleep; the poison gains ground.  C. But soon his own family will feel the direful effects of his policy.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Judges, or rulers.  Idolatry proved fatal to all.  v. 3.

 

Ver. 8.  Mixed, like oil and flour.  Heb. Ashes.  Thin cakes (C.) of this kind are used by the poor, in Spain, (Sanct.) and by the Arabs.  Thevenot. Levant. xxxii. Turned.  There was no time allowed by the enemy, who came and took the Israelites away.  C. They became like other nations, and would not repent.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Strangers: kings of Assyria, Damascus, &c. Hairs.  He is grown old in misery, and yet is insensible of it, and sees not that he will shortly cease to be a people.  Is. vii. 8.

 

Ver. 10.  Humbled.  Heb. “answer.”  C. v. 5.  Pride is visible on his face, though he be so much reduced.  C. For all these sins Israel shall be severely punished.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Decoyed.  Heb. “stupid.”  C. iv. 11.  The dove is the only bird which is not grieved at the loss of its young.  S. Jer. It returns to the same nest, though repeatedly robbed, forgetting past dangers.  Theod. Thus Israel is not reclaimed, though idolatry has so often proved its ruin. Egypt.  Jeroboam had returned thither, and at his return brought about a division of the kingdom.  3 K. xi. 40.  Osee, the last king, applied to Sua, and this provoked the Assyrians to destroy the kingdom.  They pretended that it was tributary to them, after Phul had been invited to assist Manahem for a thousand talents.  4 K. xv. 19. and xvii. 4.  Thus was a worldly policy confounded.

 

Ver. 12.  Heard the menaces of Moses, (Deut. xxvii.) and of the prophets.  4 K. xxvii. 13.  C. Sept. “I will instruct (or chastise) them by the hearing of their misery,” (H.) when it shall become the subject of conversation throughout the world.

 

Ver. 13.  Lies, attributing their deliverance to the golden calf, (3 K. xii. 28.  C.  Ex. xxxii. 8.  M.) and always denying my justice and power.

 

Ver. 14.  Thought: “ruminated.”  H. Heb. “assembled, or been afraid.”  Sept. “they were cut,” (C.) in honour of idols, hoping to avert the famine.  S. Cyr.

 

Ver. 15.  Arms.  I gave them my laws and power to resist the enemy.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Returned, imitating Apis, the folly of Egypt.  They have repeatedly followed idols in Egypt, and in the desert, under Jeroboam, Achab, Jehu, &c. Deceitful.  Sept. “bent.”  Theodoret reads, “unbent.”  It never hits the mark, (C.) but wounds the person who uses it.  S. Jer. Derision.  The Egyptians laugh at them; (C.) or thus they acted heretofore, in Egypt.  Chal.

 

 

OSEE 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Eagle.  It makes a noise like a trumpet.  Pliny x. 3. Osee denounces judgments on the house of Israel, which, though schismatical, was not entirely abandoned by the Lord.  Salmanasar overturned the kingdom, and may be compared to an eagle, as Nabuchodonosor is frequently, Ezechiel xvii. 3.  But he is not here meant.  C. The temple shall be destroyed by him; (S. Jer.) yet not so soon.  W. Sept. “In their bosom like earth appears, like an eagle,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Know thee.  They resemble those to whom our Saviour will reply, Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Mat. vii. 22.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Him.  Sept. “they have pursued the enemy.”  But the former sense is better.  H. The Assyrians prevailed.  S. Jer. They carried Israel into captivity, before Juda.  v. 9.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  They.  Jeroboam and Jehu were assured by the prophets that they should reign, yet this was not a sanction of their right.  God condemned their ambition and wicked conduct.  The successors of Zarharias had still less pretensions to the throne.  God permits such things.  The people had not consulted him in these changes.  C. Kings were their own choice.  1 K. xviii.  Saul rose by their “error.”  S. Jer. Knew, or approved not.  v. 2.  Mat. xxv. 12.  C. Perish.  This was the effect, though contrary to their intention.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Calf.  The idol is broken in pieces, and carried away by the victorious enemy.  Thus does the vanity of such gods appear.  Their captivity is therefore often foretold.  Jer. xliii. 12. Cleansed.  The physician is disgusted with the obstinacy of the sick.  C. How long will Israel resist the Holy Ghost?  Acts vii. 51.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Israel.  This enhances the crime.  Can a people so highly favoured adore the work of an artist? Webs, such as appear on a fine day in autumn.  S. Jerom’s master suggested that this was the sense.  Interpreters vary.  C. Sept. and Th. “is delusive.”  Sym. &c. “instable;” shebabim.  H. Some erroneously read v instead of i.  “The Lord casts off the calves of heretics, … and wonders that people should prefer heretical filth before the cleanliness of the Church.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 7.  Whirlwind.  They shall be punished for their folly, nor shall they reap any advantage from idols. In it, or in Israel.  The seed which I have sown yields no fruit.  If any come up, the mildew destroys it.  Yea, though any should come to perfection, which is impossible, it should be given to strangers.  My people perform no acts of religion; or at least they render them useless, by adoring idols.  C. He speaks in general terms, as few continued faithful.  Yet even in the worst of times, seven thousand were found.  3 K. xix. 18.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Vessel.  The nations around despised them, after they had applied to the Assyrians, who were looked upon as enemies of all independent states.  Israel was not yet in captivity: but this event may be spoken of as if already past.

 

Ver. 9.  Wild ass.  It is very jealous of liberty, (Job xi. 12.) and of its females, so that it prevents the young males from becoming its rivals.  Pliny viii. 30.  Solin xxx. If this were true, the species would soon perish.  H. The Israelites disdained subjection to strangers.  They even rejected God, their king; for which reason he abandons them to servitude, in a foreign land.  They had run furiously after idols, and had given presents to such lovers.

 

Ver. 10.  Princes.  Heb. “king of kings.”  This proud title was afterwards taken by the monarchs of Babylon and Persia.  Israel ceased to pay taxes, having nothing left.  They shall cease to be a people.  C. Sept. “I will receive them, and they shall cease a  little to anoint a king and princes.”  H. They had none during the captivity, as they would not consult God before in their appointment.  v. 4.  He speaks ironically.  I will conduct them beyond the Euphrates, where they shall have nothing to pay for some time.  C. This wretched condition was of long continuance; (Tournemine) though short, if compared with their crimes.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Foreign.  Shall I give them laws again to despise?  Sept. “I shall write down their number.”  It will be an easy task, they shall be so diminished.  “His laws,” &c. (C.) or, “I will describe to him a multitude, and his regulations: The beloved altars have been deemed foreign.  S. Jerom’s and Grabe’s edit.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Egypt, to escape the Assyrian.  C. ix. 3.  C. They have imitated the Egyptian idols.  S. Jer. Osee had applied to their king for aid.  4 K. xvii. 4.

 

Ver. 14.  Temples, or “palaces.”  C. Cities.  The two tribes, witnessing the calamities of their brethren, will not avoid a similar conduct, but trust in their fortifications.  W. Fire of war destroys both kingdoms. Thereof.  Sept. of S. Jerom adds, “and among the Assyrians they have eaten unclean things,” which may be taken from C. ix. 3.  H. It is not found in the present Heb. or Gr. copies.  C.

 

 

OSEE 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Reward, or “present.”  The kings took the tithe.  1 K. viii. 15.  Other infidel nations rejoice in their wealth.  Israel ought not to do so; and, in punishment of idolatry, it shall be despoiled.  After Jeroboam II. all went to ruin.

 

Ver. 2.  Deceive.  The grapes shall yield no wine.  C. Spem mentita seges.  Hor. ii. ep. 2. and 3. ode 1. and 16.)

 

Ver. 3.  Egypt, through distress.  C. viii. 13.  S. Jer. v. 6.  W. Sua afforded no protection, and the country proved a grave to those who retired thither. Unclean.  The people observed these prescriptions, though they neglected the more important duties.  Only some pious souls, like Tobias, Daniel, &c. refrained from such meats in exile.  C. Ezechiel (iv. 9.) foreshewed this by his bread.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 4.  Wine.  They shall be at a distance from the temple, and in a country where the wine will not be deemed pure.  The Jews will drink none which they have not made; and they usually lift up the cup, and pour out a little in God’s honour.  This they could  not do in Assyria, (C.) not having liberty to do all about the wine. Sacrifices.  The Israelites  had long neglected to offer any in the temple, (H.) though they had no hindrance.  In exile, the fruits, &c. were all accounted unclean, like meats used in mourning, (C.) which defiled those who partook of them.  Deut. xxvi. 14.  Num. xix. 11.  “The sacrifices of heretics are the bread of mourning.  They offer them not to God, but to the dead, to wicked heresiarchs.”  S. Jer. Soul.  They have need enough of it.  H. “Let them gratify their appetite; I love not what is unclean.”  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 5.  Lord, when he shall punish you.  Is. xxxiv. 6.  H. Israel did not go to the temple, but they kept the festivals and banquets in their own manner, the privation of which they would feel.

 

Ver. 6.  Gather into the grave.  Yet some shall escape.  C. xi. 11. Silver, which they buried at the approach of the enemy, hoping to recover it when they should depart.  The Arabs do so still, (C.) and the Indians likewise, that they may have something to support them in the next world!  Bernier. Bur.  Heb. “thorns.”  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Mad.  Israel shall promise itself all prosperity, not being inspired by God, but full of madness.  W. There were many false prophets.  The true ones were often accounted idols.  4 K. ix. 11.  Ezec. iii. 25.  C. “What is said respecting Israel, in this prophet, must be understood of heretics, who being truly mad, utter falsehoods against God.  S. Jer. Sept. “and Israel shall be hurt like the prophet beside himself, the man having (or hurried away by) the spirit.”  H.

 

Ver. 8.  My God.  I am such; but the false prophets strive to seduce you.  C. Jeroboam ought to have restrained the people, and he did the reverse, setting up a calf at Bethel, which proved more ruinous than the crime of Gabaa, (Jud. xix.) or the election of Saul.  “In ancient records, I cannot find that any have divided the Church but those who were appointed by God, priests  and prophets, that is watchmen.”  S. Jer. Indeed, almost all heresies owe their rise to the pride or lust of some who have been in high stations. Madness.  Heb. “and hatred in (marg. against) the,” &c.  Prot.  H. Instead of standing up for the people, he provokes God.

 

Ver. 9.  Sin.  As they have imitated the citizens of Gabaa, they may expect a similar fate.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Top.  These are the best.  H. The patriarchs were pleasing to God.  He chose the Hebrews; but they began to worship Beelphegor or Adonis, even before the death of  Moses.  This worship was most shameful.  What will not passion do when the gods shew the example!

 

Ver. 11.  Conception.  Their children, in whom they glory, shall be destroyed (C.) in the very embryo.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  When.  Sept. Th. “my flesh is taken from them,” which Theodoret, Lyran, &c. explain of the incarnation; but Aquila, &c. agree with the Vulg. which is more natural.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Tyre.  The kingdom of Israel was no less proud.  Ezec. xxvi.  W. It was in the highest prosperity under Jeroboam II.  Osee saw this and the subsequent overthrow.  Tyre was a most populous and wealthy city.  C. Other interpreters have, “a rock;” Sept. “a prey.”  The latter read d for r.  S. Jer.  H. The Vulg. seems best.  C. Tsor denotes, “Tyre and a rock.”  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Children, as they have exposed them to the fury of the Assyrians, (C.) or to their idols.  Drus. The prophet appears to demand vengeance through zeal; but it is only a prediction.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Galgal: “heaped together.”  H. When they erected profane altars here, I could spare them no longer.  C. No more, so as to suffer them to pass unpunished.  H. He afterwards restored them to favour.  C. i. 10. and ii. 14.  C. At Galgal they rejected the Lord’s spiritual and temporal dominion.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Dried up.  They are compared to a vine.  C. x. 1.  C.

 

 

OSEE 10

 

CHAPTER X.

 

Ver. 1.  Branches.  Sept. “Wood.”  Sym. This is all: it yields no fruit.  Prot. “empty.”  H. Heb. “plucked.”  The grapes are taken away, as the Israelites were; though they boasted of their numbers.  C. ix. 16.  They are often compared to a vine, the symbol of fecundity.  Is. v. 3.  Ps. cxxvii. 3.  C. The greater benefits of God enhanced their ingratitude.  W. On every noted hill (H.) profane altars were erected.

 

Ver. 2.  Divided between the Lord and idols.  3 K. xviii. 21.  C. The Jews relate that Osee, the last king of Israel, gave the people leave to go to Jerusalem; (4 K. xvii. 2.) and as they would not take advantage of it, their ruin was decreed.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 3.  No king, in captivity; or they give this title to the golden calf.  Manahem had destroyed one, so that they could not but see its vanity.  The neighbouring nations looked upon their idols as their kings.

 

Ver. 4.  Covenant with Phul, who seeks only your destruction.  4 K. xv. 19.  C. Bitterness.  Heb. “poison,” (H.) or a bitter herb.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  The kine of Bethaven.  The golden calves of Jeroboam, (Ch.) one of which (H.) was set up at Bethel.  W. The feminine cows, is spoken in ridicule; as (C.) O verè Phrygiæ, Æn. ix.  Isis was represented with a cow’s head.  Herod. ii. 41. Rejoiced.  To avoid this apparent contradiction, the Jews relate that the priests had sent a brazen calf to the Assyrians, and secreted the golden one.  While they rejoiced at their success, Salmanasar, (Seder. Olam.) or Sennacherib, discovered the cheat, and came to destroy the kingdom.  S. Jer. This has the air of a fable.  If (C.) we substitute e for g, in yagilu, (H.) we may give a good sense to the Heb. “The people shouting, or in black, (cemaraiv) have been  in sorrow, because their glory is taken from them: so the idol is called.  Ps. cv. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Itself also is carried, &c.  One of the golden calves was given by king Manahem to Phul, king of the Assyrians, to engage him to stand by him.  Ch. Avenging.  C. v. 13. Will, or expectation of aid.  C. He had recourse to this nation, without consulting God.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Pass.  Heb. “As for Samaria, it is undone.  Its king is like froth, or a bubble,” &c. C. xi. 1.  The calf; (v. 3.) Zacharias or Osee  may be meant.

 

Ver. 8.  Us, as the Jews would do at the last siege, and sinners before the day of judgment.  Lu. xxiii. 30.  Apoc. vi. 14.  Too happy, if they could by a speedy death escape eternal torments!  C. People shall be in the utmost consternation at the approach of the Assyrians.  H. They will not think themselves secure enough in their caverns.

 

Ver. 9.  Gabaa.  Sept. “high places;” or he alludes to the brutality of the citizens.  Judg. xx. 13. Stood.  Those of Gabaa were speedily punished by the other tribes.  Now, all are perverse.  At that time one tribe was guilty, and yet some were spared; but all Israel shall be now led into captivity.  C. From the time that Dan adored Micha’s idol, (Jud. xviii. 14.) the evil has spread among the rest of the tribes, which did not punish this transgression.  Hence all shall at last suffer.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Their two iniquities.  Their two calves; (Ch.) or because they have abandoned God, and followed idols.  Jer. ii. 13.  Many render, “when I shall have tied them, like oxen, in their two furrows.”  But the Vulg. is plainer, and adopted by most.

 

Ver. 11.  Neck.  I will confine her to harder labour.  While the oxen tred out corn, they may eat.  Deut. xxv. 4. Himself.  Juda shall be chastised after the ten tribes; so that none of my people shall escape.

 

Ver. 12.  Mouth.  Heb. “in proportion to (C.) your piety.”  Sept. “gather a vintage of the fruit of life.”  H. Ground.  Reform you conduct.  C. Justice, when Christ shall appear, the source of all our grace and justice.  S. Jer. &c.  C. Sept. “Light up for yourselves the light of knowledge, for it is time; seek the Lord, till ye obtain the fruit of justice.”

 

Ver. 13.  Ploughed.  Sept. “Why have you concealed impiety,” refusing to confess?  H. Iniquity, or punishment. Lying.  Your hopes are frustrated, and no fruit is seen.  C. Ways: idols.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 14.  Tumult.  Heb. shaon; the din of war, (H.) or cry of soldiers.  C. Salmana, king of the Madianites, was destroyed by the house; that is, by the followers of him that judgeth Baal; that is, of Gedeon, who threw down the altar of Baal, and was therefore called Jerobaal.  See Judg. vi. and viii.  Ch. Of him.  Sept. Rom. “of Jeroboam.”  But S. Jer. &c. have, Jerobaal.  Theodoret, “in the house of Arbeel.”  Heb. “as Salmana ruined the house of Arbela.”  There were many places of this name; but none of great note, taken by Salmanasar.  Some think that he took it before he was king.  Yet this is all uncertain, and the Heb. seems rather changed, so that we should read with the Alex. MS.  S. Jer. &c. Jerobaal, who defeated the Madianites, and treated Succoth with great severity.  Judg. viii. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Bethel.  This place, defiled by an idol, shall be the scene of your misery.  Sept. “So I will treat you, O house of Israel,” &c. (H.) which is not in Heb. (S. Jer.) but seems as good.  H. Heb. adds here properly, (C.) “Presently, or in the morning, shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off,” which we have in the next chapter.

 

 

OSEE 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Away.  The last kings of Israel lived in the midst of troubles.  H. Osee, though one of the best, brought ruin on the nation.  C. Son: Israel.  But as the calling of Israel out of Egypt was a figure of the calling of Christ from thence; therefore this text is also applicable to Christ, as we learn from S. Mat. ii. 15.  Ch.  Julian pretends that the apostle has abused this text.  But it speaks of both events.  S. Jer. Eusebius (Dem. ix. 3.) thinks that S. Mat. refers to Balaam; (Num. xxiv. 8.) and S. Jerom does not reject this opinion, (in Mat. ii.  C.) to avoid “wrangling,” though he repeatedly alleges this text as a proof his version being more accurate than that of the Sept. which has his children.  This reading the best editions retain; so that it may seem a matter of surprise, that Fabricius should give this verse as a specimen of Origen’s Hexapla, and still print my son, taking it, as he says, from the Barbarini copy, the London Polyglot, and Cave. Bib. Gr. iii. 12.  The first column has the Heb. text, and the second the same in Greek characters, &c.  The reader may form a judgment of this work from the following specimen: 1. Heb. (which we shall express) karathi bani.  2. Gr. karaqi bani.  3. Aq. ekalesa ton uion mou.  4. Sym. keklhtai uioV mou.  5. Sept. keklhtai uioV mou.  6. Th. kai ekalesa uion mou.  If any other versions were added, to form Octapla, &c. they were placed after Theodotion, who, though prior to Symmachus, is placed after him, because his version was not so unlike that of the Sept. and the deficiencies were chiefly supplied from him.  In the Rom. and Alex. edit. instead of the above we find, metekalesa ta tekna autou.  “I have recalled his children.”  H. This is literally spoken of Israel, (styled God’s son, Ex. iv 23.) and mystically, (W.) though no less (H.) truly, of Jesus Christ, as the inspired evangelist shews.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  They called: viz. Moses and Aaron called: but they went away after other gods, and would not hear.  Ch. Sept. “As I called them back, or (repeatedly; metekalhsa.  Grabe has, “he called;” meaning any of God’s ministers) so they rushed away from my presence.”  H. This sense appears preferable to the Heb.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Healed them.  My laws were designed to counteract idolatry.  H. I treated them with the utmost tenderness.  Deut. i. 31. and xxxii. 11.

 

Ver. 4.  Adam.  I placed my people in a sort of paradise, (C.) like the first man; and as they have imitated him, they shall suffer accordingly.  Rufin. Haimo. But Sept. &c. render, “of a man.”  They shall be treated like the rest.  C. Grace draws man by sweet means.  His free-will is not destroyed, nor is he impelled, like beasts, by force or fear, (W.) though the latter is often used for the most salutary purposes. Yoke, or muzzle, which prevents them from eating.  H. I furnish them with manna.  Can it be suspected that I wish to oppress them?  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Egypt.  Many went, contrary to this prohibition.  H. Yet they did not prosper, as they expected.  The Hebrews had also often murmured  in the desert, and threatened to return to Egypt.

 

Ver. 6.  Heads.  Heb. “counsellors.”  Civil war desolated the kingdom, and made way for the Assyrians.  Sept. “they are devoured on account of their projects.”  C. They are at a loss what to do.

 

Ver. 7.  Off, for a long time; and indeed Israel never recovered its former state, after the captivity.  H. Then they became more docile.  Heb. is very ambiguous.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Adama, &c.  Adama and Seboim were two cities in the neighbourhood of Sodom, and underwent the like destruction.  Ch. God punishes, like a father, with regret.

 

Ver. 9.  Not man.  I am not actuated by the spirit of revenge, nor do I fear lest my enemy escape.  C. I punish in order to reclaim, (S. Jer.) and reserve eternal vengeance only for those who die impenitent. Holy one.  If there be a just man in Israel, I will spare the nation; (Gen. xviii. 32.) or there are some just, like Tobias, and therefore a part shall be reserved; or, (C.) I am the just (H.) God.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 10.  Lion.  His power is most terrible, and his commands must be obeyed.  C. All nations shall permit the return of Israel.  H. They shall  come from the sea, of from its islands.

 

Ver. 11.  Egypt.  Some returned soon; others not before the reign of Alexander, or perhaps later.  C. Diss.

 

Ver. 12.  Denials; refusing to adhere to my worship.  H. They wished to unite it with that of idols.  3 K. xviii.  C. Saints.  The priests and temple are preserved in Juda.  Ezechias brought the people to serve God faithfully, while Israel was led captive.  Sept. “the house of Israel and Juda with impiety.  Now God hath known them lovingly, and it shall be called the holy people of God.”  Thus both kingdoms were criminal, and God exercised his mercy towards both.  H. The Jews relate that when their ancestors were pursued by the Egyptians, and the people were desponding, Juda signalized his courage by entering the bed of the sea.  S. Jer. These traditions are suspicious.  C.

 

 

OSEE 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  On.  Lit. the wind.  H. To trust in men is no less vain.  W. Sept. “Ephraim is an evil spirit,” &c. Heat.  Heb. “eastern or burning wind.”  H. Manahem attempted to engage Egypt on his side, but he was frustrated in his hopes, (4 K. xv.  S. Jer.) as Osee was likewise; to which king the sense conducts us better.  C. xiii. 15. Oil.  That of Palestine was very excellent.  Ezec. xxvii. 17.

 

Ver. 2.  Judgment.  Heb. “trial.”  What follows refers to all the people, whose impiety is contrasted with Jacob’s virtue.

 

Ver. 3.  Brother Esau, thus foreshewing what would happen.  Gen. xxv. Angel.  Sept. “God,” whose place this angel held.  Elohim  implies both.  v. 4.  Gen. xxxii. 24.

 

Ver. 4.  Wept.  Sept. “they wept, and besought me.”  Other interpreters agree with the Vulg. Us.  By changing a vowel point, in Hebrew, it  might be, “He spoke to him.”  Cap. Grot. The most magnificent promises were made, at Bethel, regarding the Israelites: this made the profanation of the place more horrible.  C. Sept. “They found me in the house of On, and there the word was addressed to them.” Bethaven was the name of Bethel, among the pious Jews, in the days of Osee.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Memorial, and the object of worship; or this great Jehovah spoke to Jacob.

 

Ver. 7.  Chanaan.  The Phœnicians were so called, and all merchants.  Here the title is given reproachfully (C.) to all the posterity of Jacob.  H. None more ignominious could be used.  Dan. xiii. 56.  Thus Rome is styled Babylon.

 

Ver. 8.  Idol.  Heb. also, “vanity.”  Riches are vain, and lead to idolatry when people place their affections on them.  Mat. xiii. 22.  Eph. v. 5. Committed.  I am conscious of no injustice.  C. Yet he had used a deceitful balance, and his judgment is equally perverse.  H. “What rich man shall be saved?”  Clem. Alex.

 

Ver. 9.  Egypt.  At Sinai the covenant between God and Israel was chiefly ratified.  The former ceased not to perform the conditions, but the latter repaid him with ingratitude. Feast.  The people shall be brought back, (C.) or they shall again be forced to dwell under tents.  Theod. “Shall I still cause?” &c.  Tournemine.

 

Ver. 10.  Prophets.  They have represented me as it were under visible forms, that you cannot plead ignorance.  The prophets prefigured Christ, the end of the law, &c.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Idol.  That is, if Galaad, with all its idols and sacrifices, be like a mere idol itself, being brought to nothing by Theglathphalassar, how vain is it to expect that the idols worshipped in Galgal shall be of any service to the tribes that remain.  Ch. Will these idols be more powerful?  Sept. copies vary.  Rom. ed. has Galaad, and Comp. Galgal in both places.  But that of S. Jer. and of Theodoret is better. Heaps of stones.  They are in ruins, or very numerous: (C.) yet have not secured the country.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Jacob.  The history of the patriarch, and of his posterity, serves to place the ingratitude of the people in the clearest light.  W. The prophet had interrupted the account of Jacob, (v. 4.) who had signalized his piety in Galaad.  Gen. xxxi. 46.

 

Ver. 13.  Prophet.  Josue put the people in possession of the country, and offered sacrifice at Galgal, where the rite of circumcision was performed.  This place is now defiled.  What perfidy (H.) and ingratitude.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Him.  He shall suffer for his crimes.  M. He can blame only himself.  C.

 

 

OSEE 13

 

CHAPTER XIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Spoke.  When Jeroboam proposed to erect the golden calves, people were seized with horror; yet they consented, and soon after Baal and other idols were worshipped.  W. Ephraim was one of the greatest tribes, and by its example the rest were drawn into idolatry.  Achab principally introduced the worship of Baal, which caused God to decree the misery of his people.  3 K. xvi. 31.

 

Ver. 2.  Calves.  A cutting reproach!  Those who could stoop to adore a calf, might be so blind as to sacrifice men!  Heb. “sacrifice, ye men who,” &c.  Jeroboam issues this edict.  C. Sept. “immolate men; calves are wanting.”  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Away.  C. vi. 4. Chimney, or hole, at the side or top of the room.  C. Heb. arubba, (H.) means also “a locust,” as the Sept. render it, though here it affords no sense.

 

Ver. 5.  Knew: treated thee with kindness, or tried thee.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Pastures: the more they were indulged.  H.  Deut. xxxii. 15.

 

Ver. 7.  Lioness.  Sept. “panther.”  I will pursue them even in their captivity.

 

Ver. 8.  Whelps; with the greatest fury.  2 K. xvii. 8. Inner.  Heb. “what encloses the heart;” or, I will break their hard heart.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Own.  Evils are brought on by the sins of men, which God does not cause.  W. Sept. “who will aid to prevent thy perdition, O Israel.”  H. God alone is the author of salvation.  He also punishes, (Amos iii. 6.) but for man’s amendment in life.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Princes.  It was on this pretext that a king was demanded.  1 K. viii. 20.  Will any now save you?  M.

 

Ver. 11.  King; Saul, Jeroboam, or the Assyrian. Away.  Osee, (C.) so that you shall have no more kings of Israel.  H. Sept. alone have, “I took (C.) or had him in,” &c.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 12.  Hidden.  He thinks to escape.  H. But I keep it like pieces of silver, bound up in my treasury.  S. Jer.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Him.  He shall be taken when he least expects it.  His fruit shall come forth.  Jer. iv. 31. Children.  He shall have no share in the division of property, or shall not escape when the father shall bring his children to an account.  The Chal. &c. insinuate, that the infant affords no help to come forth, as it would if it had sense.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Death.  This must be understood of eternal misery, from which the just are preserved.  All must die, and many suffered a violent death from the Assyrians.  W. After denouncing the severest judgments, the prophet promises redress and a sort of resurrection, which was a figure of the real sufferings and rising of Jesus Christ.  The apostle applies this text to him, but follows not the Heb. or Sept.  1 Cor. xv. 55.  C. Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy victory?  O death, where is thy sting?  Prot. read, O grave, (marg. hell) instead of the latter death.  Heb. ehi has been twice placed for aie, I will be instead of where? (H.) as the Gr. Arab. and Syr. versions, as wll as the context, evince.  All the versions prove the same corruption to be.  v. 10.  Kennicott, Aquila, and the 5. edit. read where?  Sym. I will be: (S. Jer.) so that the change probably took place between A. 130 and 200.  Sept. “Where is thy cause gained, (in a lawsuit, or thy justice; dikh.  H.) O death?” &c. Eyes.  I can find no consolation, (S. Jer.) because the people cause dissension by their perseverance in evil.  Hebrew also, “repentance,” &c.  I will utterly destroy Ephraim; or rather, “vengeance…because he shall flourish,” &c.  If Ephraim would repent, this should not take place; but now, the Lord will bring Salmanasar, a burning wind.  v. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Springs of death; or the sins which Christ, born of a virgin, shall destroy, and liberate the vessels of election from hell.  S. Jer.  H.

 

 

OSEE 14

 

CHAPTER XIV.

 

Ver. 1.  Perish, because she hath stirred up her God to bitterness.  It is not a curse or imprecation, but a prophecy of what should come to pass (Ch). to Israel, in Assyria.  Many such expressions occur.  Ps. lxviii. 25. &c.  S. Jer. Sometimes they are the efforts of zeal, conformable to divine justice.  Ps. cxl. 6.  W. Heb. “Samaria has sinned, or shall perish.”  C. Bitterness.  Sept. “she hath resisted her God.”  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Words.  In captivity, legal victims cannot be offered.  C. But a contrite heart is always acceptable.  Ps. l. Good.  While engaged  in sin, (H.) “we can offer thee nothing good.” Calves: victims of praise.  S. Jer. Heb. parim.  Sept. omit m, (H.) and render fruit.  They are followed by the Arab. and Syr. as well as by the apostle.  Heb. xiii. 15.  C. We will offer what victims we please.  E.  Ps. lxix. 23. and lxv. 13.

 

Ver. 4.  Gods.  The Assyrians, instead of protecting, oppress us; while Egypt, famous for horses, sits unconcerned.  C. But the source of all our evils are the idols, which we will follow no more. In thee: adheres to the true faith in practice.  H. Israel was like an orphan during the captivity.  Lam. i. 1.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Breaches, when Israel shall be converted, as some were to Christ, and many will be at the end of the world.  W. Heb. “their return.”  Sept. “dwellings.”  They shall be purified. Freely.  I have been forced to chastise, My heart dilates.  C. Sept. “I will love them manifestly.”  Syr. “accept their free offerings.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Dew.  Israel has been like a plant dried up.  C. xiii. 15. Libanus.  The cedars were tall and bulky, being well rooted.

 

Ver. 7.  Glory.  Sept. “he shall be as fruitful as the olive-tree.” Libanus, or incense.  C. The term has both meanings.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  His.  This may refer to the tree, or to God.  The captives shall return, and be happy.  But in a more sublime sense it refers to the nations which shall embrace the gospel. Libanus, or fragrant.  Such wine was esteemed in which certain odoriferous herbs were infused.  Cant. vii. 2.  C. Libanus was also famous for generous wines.  Siconita 11.

 

Ver. 9.  Idol? or God will no more reproach them, as their conversion is sincere. Make.  Heb. “be to him like,” &c.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Wise.  This denotes the obscurity of the prophecy.  Theod. No human wit can explain the prophets: yet the just shall understand as much as shall  be necessary.  S. Jer.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 28.  W. Only few will make good use of these admonitions, and share in the promises.  C.

 

 

JOEL

 

THE PROPHECY OF JOEL.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Joel, whose name, according to S. Jerom, signifies the Lord God, (or, as others say, the coming down of God) prophesied about the same time in the kingdom of Juda as Osee did in the kingdom of Israel.  He foretells, under figures, the great evils that were coming upon the people for their sins; earnestly exhorts them to repentance, and comforts them with the promise of a teacher of justice, viz. Christ Jesus, our Lord, and of the coming down of his Holy Spirit (Ch). upon the hundred and twenty faithful assembled in Sion.  He describes the land of the twelve tribes made desolate, and the people cast off.  S. Jer. ad Paulin. Yet he speaks chiefly of the kingdom of Juda, and mentions the house of God, sacrifices, &c.  W. S. Jerom infers from his being placed after Osee, without any fresh title, (C.) that he lived in that order of time.  W. But this rule is not general, as Jonas lived before Amos; and Sept. observe not the same disposition of the prophets as we do.  The exact time of the famine, when Joel prophesied, cannot be ascertained.  It seems he addressed the people in autumn, when a second year’s famine was apprehended.  He paints every thing with great force and beauty of style.  C.

 

 

JOEL 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Planted.  Sept. “Bathuel.”  He was born in the tribe of Gad, at Bethaven, the town which Herod styles Livias  Jos. xiii. 27.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Men.  Magistrates, and all who have children.  H.  He speaks to Juda, as the kingdom of Israel was ruined.  C. iii. 2.  His principal object is to describe the ravages of locusts, and to exhort the people to repent, promising them better times after the captivity, and under the Messias.  C. ii. 28. and iii. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Generation.  Prophecies relate to all future times, that people may see their accomplishment, (W.) and believe.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Left, &c.  Some understand this literally of the desolation of the land by these insects: others understand it of the different invasions of the Chaldeans, or other enemies.  Ch. Jerusalem was four times plundered by the Babylonians, and every time worse than before, as these four sorts of destructive things shew.  But we shall not enlarge upon these points, nor pursue the mystical sense of the prophets, which may be found in the fathers and Ribera.  W. Others suppose that the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, (particularly Epiphanes) and Romans, are meant.  We explain it simply of the devastation by insects.  C. Four different species of locusts are denoted.  Bochart, p. 2. b. iv. 1. Mildew.  Heb. chasil, (H.) is often rendered “a locust,” by Sept. (C. ii. 25. &c.) and most suppose this is here the sense.  The mildew destroys corn chiefly in low damp situations.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Sweet.  Heb. “wine, because of the sweet wine,” (H.) or liquors extracted from fruit.  The things which you have abused, are now taken away.

 

Ver. 6.  Nations.  Some understand the Assyrians or Chaldeans.  But locusts are here styled a nation.  Prov. xxx. 25. Lion.  Such locusts are described.  Apoc. ix. 8.  C. “In India they are said to be three feet long, and their legs and thighs are used for saws when dried.”  Pliny xi. 29. They were attacked by regular troops in Syria.  Ib.

 

Ver. 8.  Youth, whom she espoused first.  Such are more tenderly loved, particularly where polygamy prevails.  C. So Dido speaks of Sichæus, Virg. Æn. iv.:

Ille meos primus qui se mihi junxit amores

Abstulit, ille habeat secum servetque sepulchro.

 

Ver. 9.  Lord.  No harvest being reaped, the fruits could not be paid.  Yet it is thought that what was requisite for sacrifice, would be procured from other countries.  C. When Jerusalem was destroyed, sacrifices ceased.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Withered.  The bite of locusts corrupts the juice of plants.

 

Ver. 13.  Go in to the temple, or sleep on sackcloth.  Judith iv. 9.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Sanctify.  Appoint (H.) or proclaim a general fast, as was usual in such emergencies.  3 K. xxi. 9. and 2 Par. xx. 3.  Fasting and other good works are calculated to appease God’s wrath.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Day.  Heb. ahah layom: (H.) “Ah, what a day!” Mighty.  Sept. “destruction.”  They have read in a different manner.  God is about to give sentence, (C.) and to send Nabuchodonosor, (S. Jer.) or to destroy by famine.  v. 17.

 

Ver. 16.  God.  None can bring the first-fruits.  All appear in mourning.

 

Ver. 17.  Dung.  Horse-dung dried for bedding, was used in the East instead of straw, (Busb. 3.) as it is still by the Arabs.  Darvieux. 11. Heb. “the seeds are rotten under their clods,” (H.) finding no moisture.  Sept. “the cows have stamped in their stalls;” or Syr. “remain without food in their cribs.”  Chal. “the pitchers of wine have been corrupted under their covers,” as there was no new wine.  C. Houses.  Heb. mammeguroth.  Prot. “barns, (H.) or country houses;” which means cabins erected for the season, (Ruth ii. 7.) the Magaria (C.) or Mopalia of the Africans.  S. Jer. pref. Amos. Sept. “the wine presses.”  Wine and corn were preserved in pits carefully covered over.  Agg. ii. 20.  These fell to decay, as there was no use for them.

 

Ver. 19.  Places.  Heb. “dwellings,” or shepherds’ huts. Wilderness, denoting all pasture land unploughed.

 

Ver. 20.  Up, as if to pray for rain.  Jer. xiv. 6.  C. Heb. “cry,” (H.) or “pant.” As…rain is not in Heb. or Sept.  C.

 

 

JOEL 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Blow.  The prophets often ordered, to signify what will take place.  W. The people were gathered by the sound of trumpets.  The danger from the locusts was imminent; and all are exhorted to avert it, by praying in the temple, &c. Tremble at the sound.  Amos iii. 6.  C. Extemplò turbati.  Virgil, Æneid viii. Lord.  That is, the time when he will execute justice on sinners, (Ch.) and suffer affliction to fall upon them.  W.  C. i. 15.

 

Ver. 2.  Darkness.  This implies great misery.  v. 10.  C. People.  The Assyrians or Chaldeans.  Others understand all this of the army of locusts laying waste the land.  Ch. Morning; unexpectedly, (C.) and soon.  H. No human force can prevent the ravages of the locusts Beginning, in Palestine.  Moses  says the same; but speaks of Egypt.  Ex. x. 14.

 

Ver. 3.  Flame.  They destroy all by their bite.  C. i. 12.  C.  Theod. Pleasure.  Heb. “Eden.”  So luxuriant was Palestine.

 

Ver. 4.  Horsemen.  The head of a locust bears some resemblance with that of a horse, and its flight is rapid.  Apoc. ix. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Mountains.  “The beat their wings so loudly, that they may be taken for other birds.”  Pliny xi. 29. They are much larger in hot climates, (C. i. 6.  H.) and may be heard at the distance of two miles, (Bochart) darkening the air for the space of four leagues.  Yet this description is poetical, and perhaps an allegory is nowhere better kept up.

 

Ver. 6.  Kettle.  The Jews were naturally of a dark complexion.  Fear causing the blood to retire, would make them black.  Is. xiii. 8.  Lam. iv. 8. and v. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Ranks.  Locusts march like a regular army.  Theod. No fortification can keep them out.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Brother.  S. Jerom saw a cloud of them in Judea.  They were not “a finger-nail’s breadth from each other.”  C. The Arabs discover the military art in them.  Bochart. They invested France (A. 874) with all the skill of an army, the chiefs marking out the place for the camp the night before.  Sigebert. Windows.  They eat the wood, (H.) and the windows were simple lattices or curtains.  C. Heb. “they fall upon the sword, and shall not be hurt.”  Sept. “consumed or filled.”  H. They are never satisfied.  Theod.

 

Ver. 10.  Shining.  The cloud of locusts intercepts the light; or, people in distress think all nature is in confusion.  S. Jer.  Ezec. xxxii.  Jer. iv. 23. Aloysius (13.) saw locusts in the air for the space of twelve miles; and among the Cossacks, clouds of them may be found six leagues in length and three in breadth.  They frequently occasion a famine in Ethiopia.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Voice; thunder, (H.) or the noise of locusts.  v. 5.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Mourning.  For moving the heart to repentance these external works are requisite, at least in will: if they be wilfully omitted, it is a sure sign that the heart is not moved.  S. Jer.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Garments, as was customary in great distress.  God will not be satisfied with mere external proofs of repentance.  C. Evil.  He will forego his threats if we do penance.  S. Jer. He punishes unwillingly.  Is. xxviii. 21.

 

Ver. 14.  Who knoweth.  Confidence in God and repentance must accompany prayer. Blessing; plentiful crops, so that the usual sacrifices may be performed again.  C. i. 9.

 

Ver. 15.  Trumpet.  Thus were festivals announced.  Num. x. 7.

 

Ver. 16.  Sanctify.  Let all make themselves ready to appear. Ones.  Their cries would make an impression on men, and prevail on God to shew mercy.  Judith iv. 9.

 

Ver. 17.  Altar of holocausts.  They turned towards the holy place, lying prostrate.  1 Esd. x. 1. and 2 Mac. x. 26.  C. Hither the victim of expiation was brought, and the high priest confessed.  Maimon. Over them, as they might easily have done during the famine.

 

Ver. 18.  Zealous.  Indignation is excited when a person perceives any thing contemned which he loves.  So God resented the injuries done maliciously by the Gentiles towards his people; though he often punished them for their correction or greater merit.  W. He will resent the blasphemies uttered by infidels against his holy name, and will restore fertility to the land.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Nations.  This did not take place till after the seventy years captivity, nor then fully.  It is verified in true believers, and after death in the glory of the saints.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  The northern enemy.  Some understand this of Holofernes and his army, others of the locusts.  Ch. Prot. “the northern army.”  Heb. may denote (H.) wind.  This often drives away locusts.  Those here spoken of were drowned in the Mediterranean and Dead Seas.  C. This occasioned a pestilence, (S. Jer.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iv. 31.) to prevent which the locusts were to be speedily buried.  Is. xxxiii. 4. Proudly.  Heb. “great things.”  God, or the locusts are meant.

 

Ver. 22.  Strength; fruit, as formerly.

 

Ver. 23.  Teacher; Joel, &c. or rather the Messias.  John i. 9.  Mat. xxiii. 8.  Some translate Heb. “rain.”  Sept. “meat,” (C.) sufficient for the people.  Theod.

 

Ver. 24.  Presses, or subterraneous reservoirs.

 

Ver. 25.  Host.  God could have hurled his thunderbolts, or mountains, to destroy all mankind; but he chooses to shew their insignificance, (C.) by employing the vilest insects, which they cannot withstand.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 28.  After.  From this verse to the end the prophet speaks of the times succeeding the captivity, and more especially of the propagation of the gospel.  The enemies of God’s people shall be destroyed, (C. iii. 1.) which seems to refer to Cambyses.  Ezec. xxxviii.  C. My spirit.  This plainly foretells the coming of the Holy Ghost.  Acts ii.  W. The Jews never had such a multitude of prophets after the captivity as the Church had.  1 Cor. xiv. 24.  What relates to them was only a shadow of what would befall true believers.

 

Ver. 29.  Handmaids.  Sept. of S. Jer. and S. Peter read, my handmaids.  “My,” is omitted in both places in Complut. and Heb. and the latter word in the Rom. Sept..

 

Ver. 30.  Wonders.  Many prodigies preceded the persecution of Epiphanes, the death of Christ, the ruin of the temple, and more will be seen before the day of judgment.  Though we cannot prove the same with respect to Cambyses, it suffices that the people were thrown into the utmost consternation (v. 2. 11.) when he forebade the building of the temple, (1 Esd. iv. 6.) and designed to plunder them.  Ezechiel (xxxviii. 11.) speaks of the same event, as the Jews assert.  Ctesias also mentions that when he offered sacrifice, the victims would not bleed; and that his wife, Roxana, brought forth a child without a head, implying, according to the magi, that he should have no heir.  His mother also frequently appeared, and reproached him with the murder of his brother.  See C. iii. 15.  Ezec. xxxviii. 22.

 

Ver. 32.  Call.  Amid these fears, those who trust in the Lord shall have nothing to suffer.  Cambyses could not execute his designs.  But the prophet here alludes still more to the conversion of the Gentiles.  Acts ii. 21.  Rom. x. 13.  Some returned from Babylon, as a figure of this great event.  Only a few Jews embraced the faith.  C. Salvation.  Sept. “shall be saved, as the Lord hath spoken, and the person preaching the gospel, whom the Lord hath called.”  H.

 

 

JOEL 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Back.  The people were just returned when the nations around fell upon them, and were miraculously defeated.  Theod. We shall follow the system respecting God, given Ezec. xxxviii.  C. Most people, with S. Jerom, suppose that the general judgment is described, though some explain it of the captives delivered from their enemies.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Josaphat, “the judgment of the Lord,” (H.) marks the place where the Judge will sit, on the east of Jerusalem, between the temple and Olivet, whence our Lord ascended into heaven.  W. There also had been seized and treated contumeliously.  H. But many of the Fathers assert that the whole world will be  the scene of judgment, and the first author who determines the situation of Josaphat, is one in the works of V. Bede.  Here it may denote the great plain reaching from Carmel to the Jordan, where the army of Cambyses perished with its chief.  People of almost all nations were there.  Ezec. xxxviii. Land.  The Chaldees, now governed by a Persian, had scattered the Jews, and the Idumeans had seized part of their land.

 

Ver. 3.  Boy, to gratify their brutal passions; (Lam. v.) or, they have exchanged such for harlots, (C.) and paid the latter with captive boys.  Sept.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Me.  These cities and nations had rejoiced at the ruin of the Jews.  Ezec. xxv.  C. Coast.  Sept. “Galilee of strangers.”  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Temples, or palaces.  The Chaldeans had done so, and perhaps had sold some to others.

 

Ver. 6.  Greeks: the Ionians carried on such a traffic.  Ezec. xxvii. 13.  Tyre and the Philistines were ready to sell.  ib. xxvi. 2. and xxv. 15.

 

Ver. 7.  Them, particularly under Hystaspes and Artaxerxes.

 

Ver. 8.  Sabeans; probably at the bottom of Arabia.  C. Thirty thousand Tyreans were sold by Alexander.  Arrian ii. The Jews would not fail to purchase.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Prepare.  Lit. “sanctify.”  H. God sends Cambyses to chastise Egypt.  His turn will then come.

 

Ver. 11.  Down.  Many perished in Egypt, the rest in Judea.  v. 2.

 

Ver. 11.  Valley, at Jezrahel, the valley of destruction.  v. 14.

 

Ver. 13.  Harvest, the time of vengeance.  Mat. xiii. 30.  Apoc. xiv. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Nations.  Heb. hamonim, “multitudes.”  H. This alludes to the place Amona, where God was buried.  Ezec. xxx. 15. 18.  C. Sept. “sounds have been heard in the vale of justice,” where sentence has been pronounced and executed.  H. The repetition of peoples and destruction, shews the crowds (H.) which shall be judged and cut in pieces like fuel for the fire.  Ps. cxxviii. 4.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Shining.  All shall be amazed at the fall of Cambyses.  C. ii. 30.  Ezec. xxviii. 30.  A storm shall overwhelm his army.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Roar, in thunder.  Jer. xxv. 30.  Amos i. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  No more, for a long time.  Antiochus and the Romans again profaned the temple.  But the Church of Christ is always holy.

 

Ver. 18.  Sweetness; oil and honey.  C. Fountain, &c. viz. the fountain of grace in the Church militant, and of glory in the Church triumphant; which shall water the torrent or valley of thorns, that is, the souls that before, like barren ground, brought forth nothing but thorns, or that were afflicted with the thorns of crosses and tribulations.  Ch. Sept. have, “bands.”  Heb. shittim.  H. Abundance shall ensue after the death of Cambyses, as a figure of the graces which shall be granted to Christians.  Ezec. xlvii. 2.

 

Ver. 19.  Desolation.  Cambyses laid it waste for three years, as Ochus did afterwards. Edom.  Judas and Hican punished them for their former barbarity.  Ps. cxxxvi. 7. and 2 Mac. x. 16.  Ezechiel xxv. 12.  C.

 

Ver. 20.  Judea and Jerusalem.  That is, the spiritual Jerusalem, viz. the Church of Christ.  Ch. Judea was unmolested for a considerable time.

 

Ver. 21.  Which must be supplied in Hebrew.  The Idumeans had been spared for a long time.  But they shall not escape.  Chal. &c.  C. The rites of the law could not purify, as the sacraments of Christ do.  S. Jer. God will cleanse his people, and will chastise the Ammonites, &c. who had injured them.  Sept. “I will seek (or avenge) their blood, and will not pronounce innocent;” aqwwsw.  H. Sion, in heaven, (M.) and in the tabernacles of the Catholic Church, from the beginning of the world unto eternity.  H.

 

 

AMOS

 

THE PROPHECY OF AMOS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Amos prophesied  in Israel about the same time as Osee, and was called from following the cattle to denounce God’s judgments to the people of Israel and the neighbouring nations, for their repeated crimes, in which they continued with repentance.  Ch. The kingdom was then almost free from idolatry, except that of the calves, yet dissolute and flourishing under Jeroboam II.  The prophet spoke at Bethel, (C. vii.) till the idolatrous priest, Amasias, forced him to flee to Thecua, four leagues south of Jerusalem, where he continued to prophesy against the various nations of Damascus, Juda, &c. but particularly against Israel.  C. i. &c.  How long he continued is uncertain.  S. Jerom and others account his style rustic; but S. Aug. (Doct. iv. 7.) as good a judge, pronounces that it was eloquent, and like that of the other inspired writers, suited to the speakers.  C. Amos means “one carrying,” or “a people torn away.”  S. Jer. in Joel.  H. He deals in metaphors agreeably to his pastoral education, but is profound in sense.  Id. ep. ad Paulin. After denouncing judgments on different nations, he foretells the coming of Christ and abundance of grace.  W.

 

 

AMOS 1

 

CHAPTER I.

 

Ver. 1.  Herdsmen.  S. Jerom’s MSS. after Aquila, have “pastorals,” (H.) pastoralibus.  C. Theodotion retains Nokedim.  Sept. read Accarim, (H.) substituting r for d, (S. Jer.) and perhaps a for n.  H. They have also “Jerusalem,” for Israel, though the prophecy regard the latter.  The country south of Thecua has no towns, and is solely for pasture.  S. Jer. Amos might have many flocks, like Mesa and king Dejotarus.  4 K. iii. 4.  C. David was taken from the flocks to be king, and Amos to be a prophet.  W. King.  These two lived long in prosperity.  C. Earthquake.  Many understand this of a great earthquake, which, they say, was felt at the time that king Ozias attempted to offer incense in the temple.  But the best chronologists prove that the earthquake here spoken of must have been before that time: because Jeroboam the second, under whom Amos prophesied, was dead long before that attempt of Ozias.  Ch. This is asserted by Usher.  Yet his arguments are not conclusive.  If the attempt and earthquake happened in the 23d year of Ozias, Amos might commence A. 3215, six years before the death of Jeroboam.  4 K. xv. 5.  Zac. xi. 15.  C. Josephus (ix. 1.) fixes upon the former period.  Jeroboam, however, died in the 38th of Ozias, who was deposed 14 years later.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Carmel.  “God’s vineyard,” may dente any fruitful mountain.  Amos refers to pastoral affairs.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Threefour.  That is, for their many unrepented of crimes.  Ch. three is the first number of which we can say “many or all.”  Four denotes excess.  Thus God forgives many sins, yet punishes when they become excessive.  W. Thus profane authors say, (C.)

Terque quaterque pectus percussa decorum.  Æn. iv.

Convert it.  That is, I will not spare them, nor turn away the punishments I design to inflict upon them.  Ch. My decree is absolute. Wains, designed to make the corn come out, (C.) or to cut the straw.  S. Jer. Such instruments were sometimes trailed over men.  Sept. “they have sawed the pregnant women,” &c.  This circumstance is borrowed from 4 K. viii.  Damascus was often at war with Israel.  But Jeroboam punished it as Theglathphalassar did afterwards, v. 5. and 4 K. xvi. 9.  Amos might witness the ravages of the former.  C. Azael, or Hazael, who slew his master, Benadad.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Plain.  The city “Bikhath-Aven,” or the latter word, probably denotes Baal, as the Syrians style Baal-Bek, the city which the Greeks call Heliopolis.  The valley between the two mountains extending northward, is still called Bucca. Pleasure.  Heb. “Beth Heden.”  We find Eden in a delightful part of Libanus. Cyrene, not in Africa, but on the river Cyrus, in Albania.  4 K. xv. 29.

 

Ver. 6.  Edom.  the Philistines and Tyrians (v. 9.) exercised this inhumanity on the Idomeans, probably before they had thrown off the yoke of Juda, under Joram, (4 K. viii. 21.) as the Lord seems concerned for them; (C.) or they sold the captive Israelites to Edom, to increase their misery.  S. Jer. Sept. “the captivity of Solomon,” or the subjects of that monarch.  But the Heb. word means also perfect, (H.) or absolute, (Jer. xiii. 19.  C.) or “pacific,” seizing the citizens in times of peace.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Gaza. Ozias, Ezechias, and Psammetichus, ravaged the country.  2 Par. xxvi. 6. and 4 K. xviii. 8.  Is. xiv. 29.  The Philistines recovered strength; but Nabuchodonosor, Alexander, and the Machabees conquered them again.

 

Ver. 9.  Brethren; for Edom and the Jews sprung from the same stock.  Some think that he alludes to the alliance of the king of Tyre and David.  But that had long ceased, and was not agreeable to the law; (Ex. xxii. 32. and 3 K. ix. 13.  C.) at least when it was attended with much danger.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Thereof.  Salmanasar besieged it five years (Menander) and Nabuchodonosor thirteen, when he destroyed Tyre.  Ezec. xxvi.

 

Ver. 11.  Sword.  Edom was subdued by David, and remained tributary till Joram.  It attempted to recover its liberty under Josaphat, though the Heb. text have improperly Aram.  2 Par. xx. 2, 23.  The two nations were often at variance.  C. Cast off.  Sept. “violated the womb, or the mother on the earth.”

 

Ver. 12.  Houses, &c.  Sept. “its foundations,” (H.) or the fortified country.  S. Jer. Bosor lay towards Philadelphia, in the ancient territory of Edom.  Their strong places were seized by Ozias, by the Chaldeans, and by the Machabees.

 

Ver. 13.  Border.  They pretended that Galaad belonged to them.  Judg. xi. 12.  David subdued Ammon; but after the division of the kingdom, they recovered their independence, and took occasion to commit these cruelties, while Israel had to contend with Syria.  Jeremias (xlix. 1.) speaks of a later period.

 

Ver. 14.  Babba, the capital, called also Philadelphia.  Ozias and Joatham attacked the people with advantage.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Melchom, the god or idol of the Ammonites, otherwise called Moloch, and Melech; which, in Heb. signifies a king, or Melchom their king.  Ch. He assumed the title of “their king.”  Judg. xi. 14.  Jer. xlix. 3.  H. Blind people, who could not see the vanity of such impotent gods!  C. Both he.  Sept. “and their priests.”  H.

 

 

AMOS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  Ashes.  Some think that he alludes to 4 K. iii. 27. or rather to some war, the ashes of the dead were disturbed.  C. Both these acts of inhumanity deserved severe punishment.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Fire: war under Ozias.  C. Carioth.  Sept. “the cities.”  Carioth has this meaning, but is was also the name of a great city.  Jer. xlviii. 24.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Judge, ruler, or head, shall be no more.

 

Ver. 4.  Walked.  After Solomon, scarcely a good prince appeared, till the days of Amos.  Juda imitated the idolatry of Israel, hoping thus to find assistance.  C. His crime was the more grievous, as they had the law.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Fire.  Under Joathan, Rasin, &c. invaded the country.  Achaz increased the misery, by applying to the Assyrians.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Just man.  Joseph, (Rupert) or our Saviour, (Sanct.) or any other.  The expression is proverbial.  Ezec. xiii. 19.  C. Israel contemned the law, and adopted the abominations of all.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Humble, provoking him to anger. Name.  Such incests caused infidels to blaspheme.  Lev. xviii. 8.  C. They must be punished with severity.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Altar.  Herein they offended doubly, (Ex. xxii. 26.) as they used the garments of others to hide their shameful actions.  4 K. xxiii. 7.  C. Sept. “and tying up their garments with cords, they made veils touching the altar, and drank wine procured by calumnies,” (H.) or “rapine,” &c.  Chal. Condemned by them unjustly, though some think that a very delicious and intoxicating wine is meant, such as was given to people in grief.  Prov. xxxi. 6.  Mark xv. 23.  Helena learnt in Egypt how to compose such wine.  Odys. iv. Feasting in temples on carpets was an ancient custom.

 

Ver. 9.  Beneath.  The Israelites seemed like locusts in comparison.  Num. xiii. 34.

 

Ver. 11.  Nazarites.  Some went secretly to Jerusalem for this purpose; or perhaps they performed these rites illegally at Bethel: for many parts of the law were observed, though not perfectly.  C. iv. 4.  The Nazarites were in high estimation.  Lam. iv. 7.  But the dissolute Israelites (C.) derided them as well as the prophets, (H.) and attempted to make them transgress.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  I will screek.  Unable to bear any longer the enormous load of your sins, &c.  The Spirit of God, as S. Jerom takes notice, accommodates itself to the education of the prophet, and inspires him with encouragements taken from country affairs.  Ch. Sept. “I am overturned.”  Heb. “pressed.”  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Swift.  Jeroboam I.  Other kings are described afterwards.  S. Jer. In the latter times all was in confusion.  C.

 

 

AMOS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Family, including all the posterity of Jacob.  W. He afterwards addresses the ten tribes in particular.  S. Jer.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Known, with love, (H.) and favoured with the law, &c.  Above all, styling you my people.  Ex. xix. 6.  Ezec. xx. 5.  C. Visit.  That is, punish.  Ch. I will treat you like my children, that I may spare you in eternity.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Agreed?  As t hey cannot do this well, so neither can man be acceptable to God, unless he keep his laws.  W. The prophet here proves his mission, intimating that if he were not inspired, he would soon be open to detection.  He had been banished from Bethel.  C. 7.  By many similes, he shows that the event will prove the sincerity of his character, and that he cannot resist the holy spirit which is in him.

 

Ver. 4.  Nothing?  Thus, shall I inveigh against your crimes, if there were no need?

 

Ver. 5.  Somewhat?  When the prophet speaks, has he no reason?  God shews that he has sent him, by inflicting the punishments which he denounces.

 

Ver. 6.  Afraid.  Yet you can hear these terrible truths without consternation!  Will you therefore escape?  C. Evil.  He speaks of the evil of sin, of which God is not the author.  Ch. All evil of punishment is sent by God, either to reclaim sinners or to be the beginning of sorrows, if they die impenitent.  W. You know that He rewards or punishes.  If, therefore, what I foretell come to pass, do not blame me.

 

Ver. 7.  Prophets.  In vain then would you silence them.  C. ii. 12, and vii. 12.  He always tends to the conclusion.  v. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Azotus.  Sept. “Assyrians.” Follies.  Sept. “wonders.”  Let you greatest enemies know what crimes you commit against yourselves (H.) and others.

 

Ver. 11.  About, As oxen tread out corn, going round a tree.  C. Sept. “Tyre even all round, thy land shall be a desert.”  Tsar means “Tyre and tribulation,” according to S. Jerom’s master.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Ear: things of small value.  Thus few even of the poor will escape the Assyrians.  M. Damascus.  Some render “couch side.”  But there is no proof of this being accurate.  Jeroboam II. subdued Damascus, and reigned in prosperity.  Who would then have thought that Israel should so soon be removed into Media?  C. Sept. “over-against the tribe of Juda, and in Damascus, priests hear,” &c.  They probably left hares, (H.) “couches,” (Aquila) untranslated, and some person has substituted “priests.”  S. Jer. Only the miserable M. or fugitives escape the enemy.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Bethel.  Manahem seems to have sent one of the calves to engage Phul to come to his assistance.  Osee x. 5. and 4 K. xv. 19.  Salmanasar had both.  Osee viii. 5.  Josias afterwards defiled the profane altars.  4 K. xxiii. 15. Horns, made of brass, which the Assyrians carried off.  C. The fairest possessions of sinners will at last perish.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Winter.  Sept. “winged house,” to keep off cold, (S. Jer.) or to give air.  C. Summer-house.  The noblemen had such is cooler regions.  M. The kings of Persia passed the summer at Ecbatana.  Xen. Cyr. viii. Palladius (i. 12.) orders that the summer apartments must look to the north. Ivory.  Many ornaments of this nature appeared in them, (C.) whence Achab’s palace was so called.  3 K. xxii. 39.  H.

 

 

AMOS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Fat kine.  He means the great ones that lived in plenty and wealth, (Ch.) and without restraint, (Is. xv. 5.  Jer. xlvi. 20.  C.) having no compassion for the poor.  W. The women who had too great an ascendency over their husbands, like Jezabel, may also be meant.  Theod. Grot. In many parts of the East the women affect being fat.

 

Ver. 2.  Holiness.  He has none but himself to swear by.  Heb. vi. 13.  His word is infallible; but he condescends to use an oath to make a deeper impression on man. Pikes; spits, or large shields.  Heb. also, “They will lead you away with hooks, (in the nose, Is. xxxvii. 29.) and your children with fish-hooks,” or pots.  You shall be treated like victims, being either roasted or boiled.  No part shall be left.

 

Ver. 3.  Breaches of the city.  C. Sept. “naked.”  Heb. “apart.”  H. The victors shall divide you among them.  C. Armon, a foreign country; some understand it of Armenia, (Ch.) and this is the general opinion.  M. Sept. “on Mount Remmon.”  Theodot. “Mona.”  Israel was removed into Armenia, “the mountain of Menni.”  Jer. li. 27.

 

Ver. 4.  Galgal.  Thither the people went of their own accord, as to a place of devotion.  Osee iv. 15.  Amos ironically tells them to proceed, as Christ addressed the Jews.  Mat. xxiii. 32.  C. After many admonitions have proved fruitless, God suffers infidels to act as they please.  W. This is the most dreadful of his judgments.  H. Morning, with haste. Three days.  This also may denote the false exactitude of the Israelites to perform what God did not require, while they neglected the most essential duties, like the Pharisees.  It may also imply the giving tithes every third year, (Deut. xiv. 28.) or presenting themselves at the three great festivals.  Ex. xxiii. 14.  The schismatics observed parts of the law, and had a devotion of their own choice.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  With.  Heb. mechamets, (H.) also “without leaven.”  It was expressly forbidden, (Lev. ii. 11.) though not in the first fruits.  Lev. xxiii. 17. It, to beg that God would remember you.  Num. x. 10.  Hence the Pharisees did so when they gave alms, (Mat. vi. 2.  C.) but out of ostentation. H. Sept. “And they read the law of their own invention, (Theod.) or of God, out of the land, (which the Jews were not to do.  S. Chrys. or. 3. c. Jud. Const. Apost. vi. 24.) and proclaimed praise or confession.”  H. These interpreters read inaccurately, (C.) krau méuts thure, &c. yet S. Jerom explains their words of heretics reading the Scriptures out of the true Church, and misapplying them.

 

Ver. 6.  Dulness, (stuporem) as when the teeth have bitten at a stone (H.) and are edged.  Jer. xxxi. 29.  Sept. “gnashing.”  Heb. “cleanness,” through want of food.  Eliseus foretold a famine under Achab.  4 K. viii. 1.  That of Joel (i.) seems to have happened later than this.  C. God sent these afflictions for their amendment.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Months.  The latter rain falls in April.  See Deut. xi. 14.  C. Harvest.  Sept. have as usual, “vintage.”  But this is less accurate, as it never rains in the preceding summer months.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 9.  Wind.  Prot. “blasting.”  H. “Pestilential air,” (Sept. Sym. &c.) which destroys the corn (C.) and men.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Egypt, as I published the Egyptians, (C.) or the Hebrews, when they came thence, and wished to return.  Chal.  S. Cyr. Horses.  I have deprived you of them, (H.) under Achab and Joachaz.  4 K. vi. and xiii. Nostrils.  Hazael slew many subjects of Jehu.  4 K. x. 32.  C. The stench of their carcasses and of the locusts caused death or the plague.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Burning.  This comparison shews the condition of Israel.  Hardly any escaped.  Zac. iii. 2. and 1 Cor. iii. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  These.  He mentions not what, to keep them in greater suspense and dread; (S. Jer.) or he will put in execution what he had threatened before.  v. 2. Meet.  Sept. “beseech.”  Aq. “oppose,” or to receive the Messias.  S. Jer. Prepare by repentance to find mercy.  C. After long captivity, Christ will save some.  W.

 

Ver. 13.  Wind.  Sept. “the Spirit, and announcing to man his Christ,” (H.) or Cyrus.  Theod. But this version has read improperly.  C. Some hence brought an argument against the divinity of the Holy Spirit.  S. Jer. Mist.  Sept. “the morning and the cloud,” spreading light or darkness over man. Earth, on the wings of the wind.  Ps. xvii. 11.  C.

 

 

AMOS 5

 

CHAPTER V.

 

Ver. 1.  Lamentation.  Such canticles were usual.  Is. xiv. Israel.  It no longer formed a separate kingdom.  C. When the people fear no evil, God laments for them.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  City, before (C.) or after the captivity.  It required a long time to fill the cities as they had been.  H. When the Assyrians invaded the country, it was greatly reduced.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Bethel,…Galgal,…Bersabee.  The places where they worshipped their idols.  Ch. They had all been honoured by the patriarchs.  Bersabee had belonged to Juda under Achab.  3 K. xix. 3.  But it was originally in the tribe of Simeon, and Jeroboam II. recovered all that had been lost.  4 K. xiv. 25.  C. Unprofitable.  Heb. leaven, “for vanity,” (H.) Bethaven.

 

Ver. 6.  Joseph.  His two grandchildren gave name to the principle tribes of the kingdom. Bethel.  Sept. “Israel,” which seems preferable.  C. Yet Bethel may stand, as it denotes the apostate Israelites.

 

Ver. 7.  You.  Sept. “the Lord, [God] who does judgment on high, and has placed justice on the earth; (8) who maketh and transformeth all things, and turneth,” &c.  H. Heb. agrees with the Vulg.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Arcturus and Orion.  Arcturus is a bright star in the north, Orion a beautiful constellation in the south.  Ch. Shepherds in Arabia and Spain are well acquainted with the stars.  C. We have examined the meaning of cima and cesil, Job ix. 9. and xxxviii. 31.  S. Jerom’s master asserts that the latter means “efflugence.”  Cima is rendered the Pleiades by Aquila and Th.; “the seven stars,” by Prot..  H. When such allusions to the heathen mythology occur, they give no sanction to it, but serve to explain what is meant.  S. Jer. Morning, affording comfort.  C. iv. 13. Earth, by floods (C.) or rain.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 9.  With a smile.  That is, with all ease, and without making any effort.  Ch. Aquila has “grinning,” to shew displeasure.  S. Jer. Heb. “he strengthens the oppressor against the strong,” so that those whom he pleases to chastise cannot escape.

 

Ver. 10.  They, the wicked, could not endure Amos, (C. vii. 12.) nor those who rebuked them.

 

Ver. 12.  Grievous.  Heb. also, “numerous.”

 

Ver. 13.  Time.  It is to no purpose speaking to the deaf, (Eccli. xxxii. 9.) or throwing pearls before swine.  Mat. vii. 6.  Amos was silent for a while, till God opened his mouth again.  C. iii. 8. and vii. 12.

 

Ver. 14.  Said.  Probably Amaias took occasion, from the flourishing state of the kingdom, to assert that the Lord approved of their conduct.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  May be.  God will not  be wanting on his side.  But this implies that man may find a difficulty in seeking good, and neglect to do it, though he  may if he please, with God’s assistance.  W. Remnant.  Posterity.  C.

 

Ver. 16.  Lament.  Such hired mourners often seemed more grieved than those who were really affected.  Hor. art.  All were invited to join in the common sorrow.  Jer. ix. 17. and xlviii. 31.

 

Ver. 18.  The day.  Some imprudently laughed at the prophets.  Is. v. 19.  Jer. xvii. 15.  Others wished for the coming of the Lord, not reflecting that he would punish their guilt.  C. Thus, many through impatience, desire to die.  We must rather, repent, and leave our lives at God’s disposal.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 19.  Serpent.  All his attempts would thus proved abortive.  The Israelites were not ruined by Phul, or by Theglathphalassar.  But the serpent, (H.) Salmanasar, came and took them in their own houses.  4 K. xvii. 7.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Festivities.  Some were still observed.  C. iv. 4.

 

Ver. 22.  Vows.  Heb. “peace-offerings of your mercies;” a sort of oxen.  2 K. vi. 13. and 3 K. i. 9.  Sept. “the salvation of your appearance,” or what you offer for your welfare.

 

Ver. 23.  Harp. Praise ill becomes the sinner.  Eccli. xv. 9.  Ps. xlix. 17.

 

Ver. 24.  Mighty.  Heb. “Ethan.”  Let your virtue appear, or the greatest miseries will shortly overwhelm you.  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Did you offer, &c.  Except the sacrifices that were offered at the first, in the dedication of the tabernacle, the Israelites offered no sacrifices in the desert.  Ch. They ceased after the beginning of the second year.  S. Aug. q. 47 in Ex. Lev. vii. &c.  W. God did not require sacrifices when the people came out of Egypt.  Jer. vii. 22.  Deut. xii. 8.  They were not performed so regularly in the desert, (C.) and the people still bore a secret affection for idols, (v. 26.) which rendered all their victims useless.  H.

 

Ver. 26.  A tabernacle, &c.  All this alludes to the idolatry which they committed, when they were drawn away by the daughters of Moab to the worship of their gods.  Num. xxv.  Ch. They imitated the superstitions of Egypt, and bore the image of Osiris, adorned with a star and crescent, on a sort of base, under a canopy.  Heb. “You carried the tents of your king and the base of your statues, the star of your gods, which you have made for yourselves.”  Sept. by changing (C.) ciun in Rephan, or raifan, (H.) have caused great confusion among commentators.  If any change were requisite, (C.) cima (H.) would be preferable.  v. 8.  Job ix. 9.  Yet the Heb. seems to be correct, and chiun denotes a pedestal rather than an idol.  Some read Kevan, the Saturn of the Arabs, &c. and think that Rephan has been mistaken for it.  The only difficulty is the authority of S. Stephen, who follows the Sept.  Acts vii. 43.  Yet he probably spoke in Syriac, and might pronounce Chevan; though S. Luke might adopt the Sept. in a matter of so little consequence.  C. Diss. This decision may not probably give satisfaction to those who reflect that both these authors were under the immediate influence of the Holy Ghost, and that if an error had crept into the copy of the Sept. he would have corrected it.  Truth is always of sufficient consequence.  See Kennicott, Diss. ii. p. 344.  H. Chiun and Rephan are “expressive of the same” god or idol, representing the machine of the heavens.  The people of Peru worshipped Choun.  Parkhurst, p. 137. Remvan may be Remmon, (4 K. vi. 18.) or Saturn.  Grot. In a Coptic alphabet of the planets it is thus explained: (De Dieu. Collier. Dict. Sept. and Acts) “You have taken the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your Rempham, figures,” &c.  Prot. marg. “the Siccuth, your king, and Chiun, your images, the star,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 27.  Damacus, or Babylon, (Acts vii.) into Mesopotamia, &c.  The sense is the same.  C. When the apostles quote passages, “they do not consider the words but the sense.”  S. Jer. One Greek copy, however, has Damascus in the Acts.  H.

 

 

AMOS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Wealthy.  Sept. Syr. and Arab. “despisers of Sion.”  Heb. also, “who hate Sion.”  The prophecy wholly regards Israel.  C. It is a great crime for the rich to neglect the poor; but still more so, when wealthy clergymen shew no compassion for the spiritual or corporal wants of their neighbours.  W. State.  Heb. “to whom the house of Israel comes” for judgment.

 

Ver. 2.  Chalane.  Ctesiphon (C.) was built on its ruins.  Gen. x. 10.  H. Why do you imitate these cities? or, has their greatness protected them?  Phul probably took Chanane, and Jeroboam II. the other cities.  v. 15. and 4 K. xiv. 25.  At that time there was no appearance of the kingdom being destroyed; yet Amos composes a funeral canticle, to shew the certainty of the event.

 

Ver. 3.  Separated.  Heb. “remove the evil day,” as if it would not overtake you.  Ezec. xii. 22.  Sept. “who are praying (C.) or coming (Grabe) to the evil day, approaching and touching false sabbaths.”  H. They pray to be delivered, while they continue (C.) their false worship.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Ivory, with which the beds for eating were adorned.  v. 7.  C. Wanton.  Heb. “stretch themselves out upon their,” &c.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  David.  They think they excel him in music; but he consecrated his talent to a better purpose.  C. Sept. “they deemed them stable, and not fugitive things.”  H. They have placed their chief good in such pleasures.  Theod.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  In bowels.  Sept. “refined,” (H.) or cleared of the dregs.  Joseph, of their brethren, or they seem to have no share in the sufferings of mankind.  Ps. lxxii. 5.

 

Ver. 7.  Luxurious.  Heb. “the feast of those who stretch themselves out, shall,” &c.  Sept. “the neighing shall be removed from Ephraim.”  His lusts shall be punished.  Jer. v. 8. Some translate Heb. “the mourning of those who stretch themselves on their beds is at hand.”  Others, “their funeral feast is distant.”  None shall bewail their death.  So ambiguous is the original.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Jacob.  God loved the humility of the patriarch, and hated the pride of his posterity.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Die.  Their numbers will not protect them from the plague.

 

Ver. 10.  Burn.  After the captivity, it was more common to bury or to embalm the dead.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Lord.  He has done it.  Do not repine.  Theod.  S. Cyr. Heb. “Be silent, and not to remember the,” &c.  He will offer comfort.  C. Still, none will return to the Lord.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 12.  Clefts.  All shall perish, (C.) both Israel and Juda.  Chal.  Grot. But he speaks only of the former.

 

Ver. 13.  Buffles, which cannot be tamed.  Heb. “with oxen.”  We must understand, on rocks.  C. Sept. “Shall they be silent when they are with females?”  H. To turn the works of justice into sins, is no less unnatural than to plough with wild buffles.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Naught: in your idols, which are nothing, (1 Cor. viii. 4.) or in your own strength, fortifications, or allies. Horns: glory and power.  C. Pa rata tollo cornua.  Hor. epod. 6.

 

Ver. 15.  Nation; the Assyrians. Desert, commonly called Bezor, (C.) between Damietta and Rhinocorura.  S. Jer. The whole territory of Israel, reaching so far, (v. 2.) shall be laid waste.  C.

 

 

AMOS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  The locust, &c.  These judgments by locusts and fire, which by the prophet’s intercession were moderated, signify the former invasions of the Assyrians under Phul and Theglathphalassar, before the utter desolation of Israel by Salmanasar.  Ch. Locusts denoted the Assyrian invaders.  4 K. xviii.  W. Formed.  Lit. “the maker of the locust, in the beginning of the herbs shooting,” &c. (H.) in spring.  S. Jer. They pasture in our January: yet the grass of autumn may be meant.  The king took the best which grows in summer.  C. Sept. “and lo, a swarm of locusts coming in the morning; and lo, one bruchus, Gog, the king,” (H.) or “against king Gog.”  C. Aquila has, “of the king of Gaza.”  He probably left the original term, (S. Jer.) gizze.  H. The invasion of the Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Scythians is insinuated.  Theod. The latter came the year after the earthquake.  C. i.  Pezron. This was the first vision of Amos.  C. He saw the first and last inroads of the Assyrians, as well as the prosperity of Jeroboam.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  When.  Sept. “If it shall eat up,” &c.  H. Little.  After Jeroboam II. the kingdom fell to decay, when Manahem called in the Assyrians.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  The.  Sept. “Repent, O Lord, on this head, and this shall,” &c. Not be: the grass shall not be totally devoured.  H. The king of the Assyrians invaded Juda in vain.  4 K. xix.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Part of the land, if the prophet had not interposed; (v. 6.  C.) or rather civil wars desolated a great part of the kingdom, before the Lord was appeased.  H. The fire foreshewed the captivity of the two tribes.  4 K. xxiv.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  The.  Sept. as v. 3.  H. We read not of locusts being sent, v. 1.  But fire of war certainly raged before the final catastrophe of Jehu’s family, when Sellum slew Zacharias.  4 K. xv. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Plastered.  Heb. “wall, made by a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in his hand.”  Prot.  H. But Sept. Syr. &c. seem more literal, (C.) “on a wall of adamant, and a diamond in his hand.”  Heb. anac, (H.) whence a diamond was called anactites, (Orpheus) or anachites.  Pliny xxxvii. 4. Saturn had a scythe of adamant, and walls of this kind were deemed impervious even to the inhabitants of heaven.  Thus Virgil describes the gates of hell:

Porta adversa ingens solidoque adamante columnæ,

                        Vis ut nulla virum non ipsi exscindere ferro

                        Cœlicolæ valeant.  Æn. vi.

God appearing on such a wall, intimated that the separation between him and his people was complete.  C. Hic murus aheneus esto.  Hor. i. ep. 1.

 

Ver. 8.  Plaster.  Sept. “I will no more pass over it,” the adamantine wall.  I will hide their faults no longer.  H. this third vision alluded to the distress of the ten tribes.  4 K. xv. 20.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  Idol.  Heb. “Isaac.”  C. Sept. “laughter.”  H. Isaac had resided for some time at Bersabee, which was place frequented by idolaters.  C. v. 5. and viii. 14.  Josias overthrew (4 K. xxiii. 8.  C.) the profane “altars.”  H. Sword.  His son Zacharias was slain after six months reign.  v. 6. 11.

 

Ver. 10.  Words.  Nothing could be more unfounded.  Amos had indeed denounced many judgments; but he was not wanting in respect to the king.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Sword.  the prophet did not say this, but that the Lord would rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword; which was verified when Zacharias, the son and successor of Jeroboam, was slain by the sword.  4 K. xv. 10.  Ch. The false prophet was therefore guilty of a lie.  They accuse the preachers of truth as traitors.  W. Thus many missionary priests have been traduced in England.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Seer.  This was the ancient title of prophets; (1 K. ix. 9.  C.) but it is here used contumeliously.  H. We know not whether Amasias acted by the king’s order or not.  He was less afraid of the predictions than of  losing his employment.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Sanctuary, or “palace.”  Kimchi. The kings resided commonly in Samaria; but they came hither to practise their religion, and had a palace.  C. The king’s choice was all that Amasias regarded, as many seem still to do, without examining whether the religion be true or false!  Will the king screen them from the indignation of the just Judge at the hour of death?  H.

 

Ver. 14.  I am not a prophet.  That is, I am not a prophet by education: nor is prophesying my calling or profession: but I am a herdsman, whom God was pleased to send hither to prophesy to Israel.  Ch. He speaks with the like humility as the baptist, John i. 21.  Lu. vii. 26.  It seems the prophets usually left their trade, and applied to meditation.  Zac. viii. 5.  Sept. “I was not a prophet, nor,” &c. Plucking.  Sept. (Th.) “pricking.”  C. This was requisite to make the fruit ripen in four days’ time.  Pliny xiii. 7. and xvi. 27. Wild fig-trees have three sorts of fruits.  The flies which proceed from some of them, prick the sweet figs, and make them ripen.  Tourefort i. let. 8. Amos probably conveyed such wild figs to be near those of the garden, while at other times he fed his cattle.

 

Ver. 16.  Drop.  menaces.  Ezec. xx. 46.  Sept. “thou shalt not disturb (C.) or threaten the house of Jacob.”  S. Jer. Idol; the calf, worshipped in Bethel.  Ch. Heb. “Isaac,” as v. 9.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Play.  Symmachus has better, “shall be treated as a harlot.”  A “husband would rather hear that his wife had been slain than defiled.”  S. Jer. Line, and divided among strangers. Land, out of Palestine.  All other countries were deemed unclean.  Amasias was probably exiled, or led captive by Theglathphalassar, as Salmanasar did not come till sixty-two years after the death of Jeroboam.  We know no more of the history of Amasias.  The martyrologies say he slew Amos.  C. His name means “rigid,” and he was a true image of a heretic.  “All that he possesses shall fall to the share of devils.”  S. Jer.

 

 

AMOS 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Hook.  Heb. “basket of summer fruit.”  Sept. “bird cage or net.”  H. Israel was ripe for destruction.  v. 2.  C. vii. 8.  C. Not only those who were near, (4 K. xv. 29.) but the rest also were taken, (4 K. xvii. 6.) as we pull with a hook the fruit when we cannot reach otherwise.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Temple, when God comes like a mighty warrior; or when the profane temples shall be pillaged.  C. ix. 1.  Heb. also, “the canticles of the temple or palace shall be changed into lamentations.” Place.  Heb. “a multitude of dead bodies shall be cast in every place.  Keep silence.”  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Mouth: the first day was observed as a festival.  Num. x. 10.  H. At the expiration of the month usurers demanded their money.  Hor. i. sat. 3.  Aristoph. Nub. ii. 1. Corn, to sell after the sabbatical year, when it was dearest.  Sabbath also denotes all “festivals.”  These misers think that there are too many. Sicle.  Having a large measure to buy, and a small one to sell again.  Deut. xxv. 13.  Prov. xx. 10.

 

Ver. 6.  Shoes, for almost nothing.  Thus they forced the poor to serve, or to sell their effects.

 

Ver. 7.  Jacob, because the rich despise the poor.  It may also mean, that he swore by heaven, or the temple, (Lev. xxvi. 19.) or that he would destroy the high places.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Altogether.  Sept. “its total ruin shall rise as a river.” Egypt.  The whole land shall be visited with misery, as Egypt is by the Nile.  H. The enemy shall retire with the booty.  The Nile overflows in summer, and covers Egypt for six weeks, carrying much earth with its impetuous waves.  Is. xviii. 2.

 

Ver. 9.  Light.  Usher (A. 3213.) explains this of an eclipse, at Pentecost.  The Fathers generally understand that which accompanied the death of Christ; but it only implies great desolation and terror.  Jer. xv. 9.  Joel iii. 11.  S. Jer. &c.  C. In their greatest prosperity, calamities shall unexpectedly fall upon them.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Baldness, the hair being cut in mourning.  Job i. 20. Son, most afflicted.  Zac. xii. 10.  Jer. vi. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Lord.  During the siege provisions were wanting, but instruction still more so.  W. Israel had banished Amos.  They would be left destitute.  We find no prophet among the during the captivity, except Tobias.  C. xiii. 3.  We may apply this to the state of the Jews since the death of Christ.  They have no guides.  C. They read incessantly, and do not  understand (S. Jer.  Mercer.) the Bible, which non will ever penetrate who refuse to receive the key from the Church.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Sea to sea: from west to south, or to the ocean; in whatever part of the world they may be.  C.

 

Ver. 14.  Sin.  Sept. “propitiation,” which the pagans deemed requisite; (Hor. i. ode 2.) or worship (H.) of Baal, (4 K. xvii. 16.  C.) and all the other superstitions.  H. Way.  Sept. “thy God,” or religion, (Acts ix. 2.) or pilgrimage to Bersabee.  C. v. 5.  Perhaps the true God was here adored; but it was in a manner which he condemned.  C. In vain do those pretend to honour Him, who follow the traditions of unbelieving men.  H.

 

 

AMOS 9

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

Ver. 1.  Altar, in Jerusalem.  C. viii. 3. and i. 2.  God is going to punish Israel, (C.) or the two tribes.  Chal.  S. Jer. The ruin of the altar and temple, imply the abolishing of sacrifices during the captivity, at Babylon.  W. But Amos speaks rather of Israel.  C. Sword.  The princes and people are all guilty.  Sept. “strike or cut on the heads of all.”  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Hell; to the deepest caves, where they used to flee.  Ps. cxxxviii. 8.

 

Ver. 3.  Top, in woods, or caverns. Serpent.  Fishes and sea monsters are so called.

 

Ver. 5.  A river.  Sept. “the river of Egypt.”  C. viii. 8. and v. 24.  C. Grabe’s ed. has “its consummation (or utter ruin) shall rise up as a river.”  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Ascension, or his high throne.  Ch. Sept. “the ascent, and hath founded the declarations (H.) or promise upon,” &c. which must be explained in a moral sense.  C. Bundle.  That is, his Church, bound up together by the bands of one faith and communion, (Ch.) which God will protect, and punish sinners.  W. Heb. “his apartments in heaven, and his assembly (or footstool) on earth.” Sea, by floods, or rather by rain.  C. v. 8.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Ethiopians.  That is, as black as they, by your iniquities.  Ch. Chus was father of the Scythians, Arabs, &c.  Yet none of these nations were under the peculiar protection of God.  The Israelites depended too much on this prerogative, (C.) which they deserved to lose by their sins.  H. God brought them out of Egypt.  But he also took the Philistines from Caphtor, (C.) and enabled them to settle in the country.  H. Cappadocia.  Cyprus, (Gen. x. 14.) or rather Crete.  1 K.  C. Cyrene, (Sym.) “wall,” (Th.) or “pit.”  Sept.  Theglathphalassar took Aram or the people of Damascus into captivity.  C. Their future return is represented as already past.  Vat. Mercer.

 

Ver. 9.  Ground, to be mixed with the good corn. Israel shall be purified in captivity.  C. Though many perished, God still preserved his Church.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Us.  Such infidels delayed repentance, (H.) or laughed at the menaces of impending ruin.  C. v. 18.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  David.  S. James, after S. Peter, explains this of the vocation of the Gentiles.  Acts xv. 15.  W. After the fall of Israel, Juda still flourished: but this cannot be meant.  The prosperity after the return from Babylon, or rather under Jesus Christ, must fulfil the prediction.  Zorobalel had a very precarious authority, and the Machabees were not of the tribe of Juda, nor was their kingdom so flourishing or durable.  C.

 

Ver. 12.  Edom, subdued by Hircan, with the surrounding nations.  The same letters may be read Adam, “man,” as the Sept. have, agreeably to Acts xv. 17.  C. “That the rest of men might seek the Lord, (Grabe substitutes me) and all the nations upon whom my,” &c.  Edom and all mankind shall receive the glad tidings of salvation.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Shall overtake, &c.  By this is meant the great abundance of spiritual blessings; which, as it were, by a constant succession, shall enrich the Church of Christ.  Ch. Munster, and his imitator, Clarius, see nothing but an allegory in this abundance and return, v. 14.  Yet the literal sense ought to be adopted, when it involves no contradiction.  Houbigant, pref. p. 297. God promised a succession of crops to the faithful Israelites, (Lev. xxvi. 5.) and the return of the ten tribes is frequently specified.  C.

 

 

ABDIAS

 

THE PROPHECY OF ABDIAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Abdias, whose name is interpreted the servant of the Lord, is believed to have prophesied about the same time as Osee, Joel, and Amos: though some of the Hebrews, who believe him to be the same with Achab’s steward, make him much more ancient.  his prophecy is the shortest of any in number of words, but yields to none, says S. Jerom, in the sublimity of mysteries.  It contain