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in all these and the like cases, a mistake of the transcribers, by not observing a small stroke, which in many MSS is made to supply the O of the plural, thus '777. D'777 77 is the same with 77agy , Psal. xlv. I. In this way of understanding it, we avoid the great impropriety of making the author of the song, and the person to whom it is addressed, to be the same.
Ibid. On a high and fruitful hill] Heb. “ on a horn the son of oil.” The expression is higly descriptive and poetical. “ He calls the land of Israel a horn, because it is higher than all lands; as the horn is higher than the whole body: and the son of oil, because it is said to be a land flowing with milk and honey.” Kimchi on the place. The parts of animals are, by an easy metaphor, applied to parts of the earth, both in common and poetical language. A promontory is called a cape or head; the Turks call it a nose. “ Dorsum immane mari summo ;' Virg. a back, or ridge of rocks.
“ Hanc latus angustum jam se cogentis in arctum
Adriacas flexis claudit quæ cornibus undas.” Lucan. ii. 612. of Brundusium, i. e. Bpevtkolov, which; in the ancient language of that country, signifies stag's head, says Strabo. A horn is a proper and obvious image for a mountain, or mountainous country. Solinus, cap. viii, says, “ Italiam, ubi longius processerit, in cornua duo scindi:” that is, the high ridge of the Alps, which runs through the whole length of it, divides at last into two ridges, one going through Calabria, the other through the country of the Brutii. “ Cornwall is called by the inhabitants in the British tongue Kernaw, as lessening by degrees like a horn, running out into promontories like so many horns. For the Britains call a horn corn, in the plural kern :" Camden. “ And Sammes is of opinion, that the country had this name originally from the Phenicians, who traded hither for tin: keren, in their language, being a horn:" Gibson.
Here the precise idea seems to be that of a high mountain standing by itself: “ vertex montis, aut pars montis ab aliis divisa ;" which signification, says I. H. Michaelis (Bibl. Hallens. Not. in loc.) the word has in Arabic.
Judea was in general a mountainous country; whence Moses sometimes calls it the Mountain :-" Thou shalt plant them in the Mountain of thine inheritance;" Exod. xv. 17. “ I pray thee let me go over, and see the good land
that is beyond Jordan; that goodly Mountain, and Lebanon;" Deut. iii. 25. And in a political and religious view it was detached and separated from all the nations round it. Whoever has considered the descriptions given of Mount Tabor, (see Reland, Palæstin.; Eugene Roger, Terre Sainte; p. 64.), and the views of it which are to be seen in books of travels, (Maundrell, p. 114. Egmont and Heyman, vol. ii. p. 25. Thevenot, vol. i. p. 429.); its regular conic form, rising singly in a plain to a great height from a base small in proportion; its beauty and fertility to the very topwill have a good idea of “a horn the son of oil;" and will perhaps be induced to think, that the prophet took his image from that mountain.
2. and he cleared it from the stones.] This was agreeable to the ancient husbandry: “ Saxa, summa parte terræ, et vites et arbores lædunt; ima parte, refrigerant;" Columell. De Arb. 3. “ Saxosum facile est expidire lectione lapidum;" Id. ii. 2. “ Lapides, qui supersunt, [al. insuper sunt] hieme rigent, æstate fervescunt; idcirco satis, arbustis, et vitibus nocent;" Pallad. i. 6. A piece of ground thus cleared of the stones, Persius, in his hard way of metaphor, . calls “ Exossatus ager;" Sat. vi. 52.,
Ibid. Sorek.] Many of the ancient interpreters, LXX, Aq. Theod. have retained this word as a proper name ; I think, very rightly. Sorek was a valley lying between Ascalon and Gaza, and running far up eastward in the tribe of Judah. Both Ascalon and Gaza were anciently famous for wine: the former is mentioned as such by Alexander Trallianus; the latter by several authors: (quoted by Reland, Palæst. p. 589 and 986.) And it seems, that the upper part of the valley of Sorek, and that of Eshcol, where the spies gathered the single cluster of grapes which they were obliged to bear between two upon a staff, being both near to Hebron, were in the same neighbourhood; and that all this part of the country abounded with rich vineyards. Compare Numb. xiii. 22, 23. Judg. xvi. 3, 4. P. Nau supposes Eshcol and Sorek to be only different names for the same valley: Voyage Nouveau de la Terre Sainte, liv. iv. chap. 18. So likewise De Lisle's posthumous map of the Holy Land; Paris, 1763. See Bochart, Hieroz. ii. col. 725.
Thevenot, i. p. 406. Michaelis (note on Judg. xvi. 4. German translation) thinks it probable, from some circumstances of the history there given, that Sorek was in the tribe of Judah, not in the country of the Philistines.
anery rightly.shed this word na interpreters, LXV
met of Egypt. r' there are in they had nome used an arti fines
The vine of Sorek was known to the Israelites, being mentioned by Moses (Gen. xlix. 11.) before their coming out of Egypt. Egypt was not a wine country: “ Throughout this country there are no wines;" Sandys, p. 101. At least in very ancient times they had none. Herodotus, ii. 77. says, it had no vines; and therefore used an artificial wine made of barley. That is not strictly true; for the vines of Egypt are spoken of in Scripture, (Psal. lxxviii. 47. cv. 33., and see Gen. xl. 11. by which it should seem, that they drank only the fresh juice pressed from the grape, which was called orvos al tenevos, Herodot. ii. 37.): but they had no large vineyards; nor was the country proper for them, being little more than one large plain, annually overflowed by the Nile. The Mareotic in later times is, I think, the only celebrated Egyptian wine which we meet with in history. The vine was formerly, as Hasselquist tells us it is now, “ cultivated in Egypt for the sake of eating the grapes, not for wine ; which is brought from Candia,” &c. « They were supplied with wine from Greece, and likewise from Phenicia," Herod. iii. 6. The vine and the wine of Sorek, therefore, which lay near at hand for importation into Egypt, must, in all probability, have been well known to the Israelites when they sojourned there. There is something remarkable in the manner in which Moses makes mention of it, which, for want of considering this matter, has not been attended to : It is in Jacob's prophecy of the future prosperity of the tribe of Judah :
“ Binding his foal to the vine,
And his ass's colt to his own Sorek;,
And his cloak in the blood of grapes.” Gen. xlix. 11. I take the liberty of rendering 7770, for pow, his Sorek,
.his foal עירו for ,עירה as the Masoretes do of pointing
might naturally enough appear in the feminine form, but it is not at all probable that pow ever should. By naming particularly the vine of Sorek, and as the vine belonging to Judah, the prophecy intimates the very part of the country which was to fall to the lot of that tribe. Sir John Chardin says, " That at Casbin, a city in Persia, they turn their cattle into the vineyards, after the vintage, to browse on the vines.” He speaks also of vines in that country, so large that he could hardly compass the trunks of them with his arms. Voyages, tom. iii. p. 12. 12mo. This shows, that
the ass might be securely bound to the vine; and without danger of damaging the tree by browsing on it. • Ibid. And he built a tower in the midst of it.] Our Saviour, who has taken the general idea of one of his parables (Matt. xxi. 33. Mark xii. 1.) from this of Isaiah, has likewise inserted this circumstance of building a tower; which is generally explained by commentators, as designed for the keeper of the vineyard to watch and defend the fruits. But for this purpose it was usual to make a little temporary hut, (Isa. i. 8.), which might serve for the short season while the fruit was ripening, and which was removed afterwards. The tower, therefore, should rather mean a building of a more permanent nature and use; the farm, as we may call it, of the vineyard, containing all the offices and implements, and the whole apparatus necessary for the culture of the vineyard, and the making of the wine. To which image in the allegory, the situation, the manner of building, the use, and the whole service of the temple, exactly answered. And so the Chaldee paraphrast very rightly expounds it :-" Et statui eos (Israelitas) ut plantam vineæ selectæ, et ædificavi sanctuarium meum in medio illorum.” So also Hieron. in loc. “ Ædificavit quoque turrim in medio ejus : templum videlicet in media civitate.” That they have still such towers, or buildings, for use or pleasure, in their gardens in the East, see Harmer's Observations, ii. p. 241.
Ibid. And hewed out a lake therein.] This image also our Saviour has preserved in his parable. ap', LXX render it here προληνιον; and in four other places υπoληνιον; Isa. xvi. 10. Joel üi. 13. Hagg. ii. 17. Zech. xiv. 10.; I think more properly: and this latter word St Mark uses. It means, not the wine-press itself, or calcatorium, which is called na, or 7719, but what the Romans called lacus, the lake ; the large open place, or vessel, which, by a conduit or spout, received the must from the wine press. In very hot countries it was perhaps necessary, or at least very convenient, to have the lake under ground, or in a cave hewed out of the side of the rock, for coolness; that the heat might not cause too great a fermentation, and sour the must. « Vini confectio instituitur in cella, vel intimæ domus camera quadam, a ventorum ingressu remota :” Kempfer, of Schiras wine; Amon. Exot. p. 376.: For the hot wind to which that country is subject, would injure the wine. 66 The wine-presses in Persia,” says Sir John Chardin, sare formed
plum videli Ædificavitom in median vinea Pounds it and so
That 1 medio ein lieron.
or use of
by making hollow places in the ground, lined with mason's work.” Harmer's Observations, i. p. 392. See a print of one in Kempfer, p. 377. Nonnus describes, at large, Bacchus hollowing the inside of the rock, and hewing out a place for the wine-press, or rather the lake:
Και σκοπελους ελαχηνε πεδoσκαφεος δε σιδηρου
Αφρον [f. ακρον.] ευσταφυλοιο τυπον ποιησατο ληνου.
Of steel well temper'd scoop'd its inmost depth :
Ibid. And he expected—] Jeremiah uses the same image, and applies it to the same purpose, in an elegant paraphrase of this part of Isaiah's parable, in his flowing and plaintive manner : “ But I planted thee a Sorek, a cion perfectly genuine : How then art thou changed, and become to me the degenerate shoots of the strange vine !”
Chap. ii, 21. Ibid. poisonous berries] D'
WXI, not merely useless unprofitable grapes, such as wild grapes; but grapes offensive to the smell, noxious, poisonous. By the force and intent of the allegory, to good grapes ought to be opposed fruit of a dangerous and pernicious quality; as, in the explication of it, to judgmeut is opposed tyranny, and to righteousness oppression. , the vine, is a common name, or genus, including several species under it; and Moses to distinguish the true vine, or that from which wine is made, from the rest, calls it, Numb. vi. 4. 7977 192, the wine-vine. Some of the other sorts were of a poisonous quality; as appears from the story related among the miraculous acts of Elisha : 2 Kings iv. 39—41. “ And one went out into the field to gather pot-herbs : and he found a field-vine ; and he gathered from it wild fruit, his lapful; and he went, and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. And they poured it out for the men to eat: and it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, There is death in the pot, O man of God! and they could not eat of it. And he said, Bring meal ; (leg. Inp, nine MSS, one edition); and he threw it into the pot. And he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was nothing hurtful in the pot.”
Some of the the stov. 391 and he lapful;