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Ibid. For your hands-] Ai yor ZEIRES, LXX. Manus enim vestræ, Vulg. They seem to have read it ).
16. Wash ye—] Referring to the preceding verse, “ your hands are full of blood;" and alluding to the legal washings commanded on several occasions. See Lev. xiv. 8, 9, 47.
17. amend that which is corrupted] yoran 10x. In rendering this obscure phrase I follow Bochart, (Hieroz. Part I. lib. ii. cap. 7.), though I am not perfectly satisfied with his explication of it.
18. Though your sins were as scarlet-] ', “ scarlet, or crimson,” dibaphum, twice dipped, or double-dyed : from JJW, iterare, to double, or to do a thing twice. This derivation seems much more probable than that which Salmasius prefers, from yw, acuere, from the sharpness and strength of the colour; oğuporvinov. yan, the same; properly the worm, vermiculus, (from whence vermeil); for this colour was produced from a worm, or insect, which grew in a coccus, or excrescence, of a shrub of the ilex kind, (see Plin. Nat. Hist. xvi. 8.); like the cochineal worm in the opuntia of America, (see Ulloa's Voyage, b. v. ch. 2. note to p. 342.)
There is a shrub of this kind that grows in Provence and Languedoc, and produces the like insect, called the kermes oak, (see Miller, Dict. Quercus ); from kermez, the Arabic word for this colour; whence our word crimson is derived.
“ Neque amissos colores
Lana refert medicata fuco," says the poet; applying the same image to a different purpose. To discharge these strong colours is impossible to human art or power; but to the grace and power of God, all things, even much more difficult, are possible and easy.
19. Ye shall feed on the good of the land] Referring to ver. 7.; it shall not be “ devoured by strangers.”
20. Ye shall be food for the sword] The LXX and Vulg. read 0 2x), “ the sword shall devour you ;" which is of much more easy construction than the present reading of the text.
ye shall" ,בחרב אויב תאכלו The Chaldee seems to read
be consumed by the sword of the enemy.” Syr. also reads 2002, and renders the verb passively. And the rhythmus seems to require this addition. Dr JUBB.
21.-become a harlot] See Lowth, Comment. on the place; and De S. Poes. Hebr. Præl. xxxi.
22. wine mixed with water] An image used for the adulteration of wine, with more propriety than may at first appear, if what Thevenot says of the people of the Levant of late times was true of them formerly: He says, “they never mingle water with their wine to drink; but drink by itself what water they think proper for abating the strength of the wine.” “Lorsque les Persans boivent du vin, ils le prennent tout pur, à la façon des Levantins, qui ne le melent jamais avec de l'eau; mais en beuvant du vin, de temps en temps ils prennent un pot d'eau, et en boivent de grands traits.” Voyage, Part II. liv. ii. chap. 10. “Ils (les Turcs) n'y meslent jamais d'eau, et se moquent des Chrestiens, qui en mettent, ce qui leur semble tout-à-fait ridicule.” Ibid. Part I. chap. 24.
It is remarkable, that whereas the Greeks and Latins by mixed wine always understood wine diluted and lowered with water, the Hebrews on the contrary generally mean by it wine made stronger and more inebriating, by the addition of higher and more powerful ingredients; such as honey, spices, defrutum, (or wine inspissated by boiling it down to two-thirds, or one-half, of the quantity), myrrh, mandragora, opiates, and other strong drugs. Such were the exhilarating, or rather stupifying, ingredients, which Helen mixed in the bowl together with the wine for her guests oppressed with grief, to raise their spirits; the composition of which she had learned in Egypt:
Αντικ’ αρ' εις δινον βαλε φαρμακον, ενθεν επινον,
Nyrevdes Taxonov te, xarWV ETT TAndov AT AVTWv. Hom. Oyds. iv. 220. “ Mean while, with genial joy to warm the soul, Bright Helen mix'd a mirth-inspiring bowl; Temper'd with drugs of sovereign use, t' assuage The boiling bosom of tumultuous rage: Charm’d with that virtuous draught, th' exalted mind All sense of woe delivers to the wind."
Pope. Such was “the spiced wine and the juice of pomegranates," mentioned Cant. viii. 2. And how much the eastern people to this day deal in artificial liquors of prodigious strength, the use of wine being forbidden, may be seen in a curious chapter. of Kempfer upon that subject. Amon. Exot. Fasc. iii. Obs. 15.
Thus the drunkard is properly described, (Prov. xxiii. 30.), as one “ that seeketh mixt wine;" and is "mighty to mingle strong drink; Isaiah v. 22. And hence the Psalmist took that highly poetical and sublime image of the cup of God's wrath, called by Isaiah (li. 17.) “ the cup of trembling,” (causing intoxication and stupefaction; see Chappelow's note on Hariri, p. 33.); containing, as St John expresses in Greek this Hebrew idea with the utmost precision, though with a seeming contradiction in terms nenspagpevov angarov, merum mixtum, pure wine made yet stronger by a mixture of powerful ingredients; Rev. xiv. 10. “In the hand of JEHOVAH,” saith the Psalmist, (Psal.lxxv. 9.) “there is a cup, and the wine is turbid; it is full of a mixed liquor, and he poureth out of it: (or rather, “he poureth it out of one vessel into another,” to mix it perfectly: according to the
:(ויגר מזה אל זה ,reading expressed by the ancient versions
verily the dregs thereof, (the thickest sediment of the strong ingredients mingled with it), all the ungodly of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.”
23. associates—] The LXX, Vulg. and four MSS. read 720, without the conjunction 1.
24. Aha! I will be eased—] Anger, arising from a sense of injury and affront, especially from those who, from every consideration of duty and gratitude, ought to have behaved far otherwise, is an uneasy and painful sensation; and revenge, executed to the full on the offenders, removes that uneasiness, and consequently is pleasing and quieting, at least for the present. Ezekiel introduces God expressing himself in the same manner; “And mine anger shall be fully accomplished ; And I will make my fury rest upon them; And I will give myself ease.”
Chap. v. 13. This is a strong instance of the metaphor called Anthropopathia; by which, throughout the Scriptures, as well the historical as the poetical parts, the sentiments, sensations, and affections, the bodily faculties, qualities, and members of men, and even of brute animals, are attributed to God; and that with the utmost liberty and latitude of application. The foundation of this is obvious; it arises from necessity : we have no idea of the natural attributes of God, of his pure essence, of his manner of existence, of his manner of acting; when therefore we would treat on these subjects, we find ourselves forced to express them by sensible images. But necessity leads to beauty; this is true of metaphor in general, and in particular of this kind of metaphor; which is
used with great elegance and sublimity in the sacred poetry: and what is very remarkable, in the grossest instances of the application of it, it is generally the most striking and the most sublime. The reason seems to be this: When the images are taken from the superior faculties of the human nature, from the purer and more generous affections, and applied to God, we are apt to acquiesce in the notion; we overlook the metaphor, and take it as a proper attribute : but when the idea is gross and offensive, as in this passage of Isaiah, where the impatience of anger, and the pleasure of revenge, is attributed to God; we are immediately shocked at the application; the impropriety strikes us at once ; and the mind, casting about for something in the divine nature analogous to the image, lays hold on some great, obscure, vague idea, which she endeavours in vain to comprehend, and is lost in immensity and astonishment See De S. Poesi Hebr. Præl. xvi. sub fin. where this matter is treated and illustrated by examples.
25. in the furnace] The text has 72); which some render “as with soap;" as if it were the same with 01722; so Kimchi : but soap can have nothing to do with the purifying of metals: others, “according to purity, or purely," as our version. Le Clerc conjectured, that the true reading is 7100, “as in the furnace :” see Ezek. xxii. 18, 20. Dr Dilrell proposes only a transposition of letters 73; to the same sense: and so likewise Archbishop Secker. That this is the true reading is highly probable.
26. And after this-] The LXX, Syr. Chald. and eighteen MSS. add the conjunction 1.
27. —in judgment;] by the exercise of God's strict justice in destroying the obdurate, (see verse 28.), and delivering the penitent:-in righteousness; by the truth and faithfulness of God in performing his promises.
29, 30. For ye shall be ashamed of the ilexes—] Sacred groves were a very ancient and favourite appendage of idolatry. They were furnished with the temple of the god to whom they were dedicated; with altars, images, and every thing necessary for performing the various rites of worship offered there; and were the scenes of many impure ceremonies, and of much abominable superstition. They made a principal part of the religion of the old inhabitants of Canaan; and the Israelites were commanded to destroy their groves, among other monuments of their false worship.
The Israelites themselves became afterward very much ad-
Ezek. xx. 28. “ On the tops of the mountains they sacrifice;
And on the hills they burn incense:
And the ilex, because her shade is pleasant.” Hosea iv. 13. Of what particular kinds the 'trees here mentioned are, it cannot be determined with certainty. In regard to i7x, in this place of Isaiah, as well as in Hosea, Celsius (Hierobot.) understands it of the terebinth; because the most ancient interpreters render it so; in the first place the LXX. He quotes eight places; but in three of these eight places the copies vary, some having dous instead of repeGovdos. And he should have told us, that these same LXX render it in sixteen other places by dgus: so that their authority is really against him; and the LXX stant pro quercu, contrary to what he says at first setting out. Add to this, that Symmachus, Theodotion, and Aquila, generally render it by deus; the latter only once rendering it by regerivbos. His other arguments seem to me not very conclusive: he says, that all the qualities of 775X agree to the terebinth; thatit grows in mountainous countries; that it is a strong tree; long-lived: large and high; and deciduous. All these qualities agree just as well to the oak, against which he contends; and he actually attributes them to the oak in the very next section. But, I think, neither the oak nor the terebinth will do in this place of Isaiah, from the last circumstance which he mentions, their being deciduous; where the Prophet's design seems to me to require an ever-green: otherwise the casting of its leaves would be nothing out of the common established course of nature, and no proper image of extreme distress, and total desolation; parallel to that of a garden without water, that is, wholly burnt up and destroyed. An ancient, who was an inhabitant and a native of this country, understands it, in like manner, of a tree blasted with uncommon and immode
that their XX reno
ed: large amous count, agree to rhonclusi veroos.