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were of a very different kind; they enclosed the whole hoof as in a case, or as a shoe does a man's foot, and were bound or tied on. For this reason, the strength, firmness, and solidity of a horse's hoof was of much greater importance with them than with us; and was esteemed one of the first praises of a fine horse. Xenophon says, that a good horse's hoof is hard, hollow, and sounds upon the ground like a cymbal Hence the yan. KOTOOS ITTol of Homer; and Virgil's “solido graviter sonat ungula cornu.” And Xenophon gives directions for hardening the horse's hoofs, by making the paveinent on which he stands in the stable with round-headed stones. For want of this artificial defence to the foot, which our horses have, Amos (vi. 12.) speaks of it as a thing as much impracticable to make horses run upon a hard rock, as to plough up the same rock with oxen:
“Shall horses run upon a rock ?
Shall one plough it up with oxen?” These circumstances must be taken into consideration, in order to give us a full notion of the propriety and force of the image by which the Prophet sets forth the strength and excellence of the Babylonish cavalry; which made a great part of the strength of the Assyrian army. Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. ii.
27, 28. None among them-] Kimchi has well illustrated this continued exaggeration, or hyperbole, as he rightly calls it, to the following effect:—“ Through the greatness of their courage, they shall not be fatigued with their march: nor shall they stumble, though they march with the utmost speed: they shall not slumber by day, nor sleep by night; neither shall they ungird their armour, or put off their sandals, to take their rest: their arms shall be always in readiness, their arrows sharpened, and their bows bent: the hoofs of their horses are hard as a rock; they shall not fail, or need to be shod with iron : the wheels of their carriages shall move as rapidly as a whirlwind.”
30. And these shall look to the heaven upward, and down to the earth.] 1985 ya. Kui subas GOVTai sig snu you. So the LXX, according to Vat. and Alex. copies; but the Compl. and Ald. editions have it more fully thus, Kas su Che YOUTUI SIS TOV Ougavov avw, xol xatw: and the Arabic, from the LXX, as if it had stood this, Και εμβλεψονται εις τον ουρανον, και εις την γην natu: both of which are plainly defective; the words siç thu ynu being wanted in the former, and the word avw in the latter. But an ancient Coptic version from the LXX, supposed to be of the 2d century, some fragments of which are preserved in the library of St Germain des Prez at Paris, completes the sentence; for, according to this version, it stood thus in LXX, Και εμβλεψονται εις τον ουρανον ανω, και εις την ynu natW; and so it stands in LXX, MSS Pachom. and 1. D. II. according to which they must have read in their Hebrew text in this manner: Tuas y789 byo Dinus 22). This is probably the true reading; with which I have made the translation agree. Compare chap. viii. 22. where the same sense is expressed in regard to both particulars, which are here equally and highly proper, the looking upwards, as well as down to the earth; but the form of expression is varied. I believe the Hebrew text in that place to be right, though not so full as I suppose it was originally here; and that of the LXX there to be redundant, being as full as the Coptic version, and MSS Pachom. and 1. D. II, represent it in this place, from which I suppose it has been interpolated.
Ibid. the gloomy vapour] Syr. and Vulg. seem to have read any). But Jarchi explains the present reading as signifying darkness; and so possibly Syr. and Vulg. may have understood it in the same manner.
As this vision seems to contain a solemn designation of Isaiah to the prophetical office, it is by most interpreters thought to be the first in order of his prophecies. But this perhaps may not be so: for Isaiah is said, in the general title of his Prophecies, to have prophesied in the time of Uzziah; whose acts first and last he wrote, 2 Chron. xxvi. 22. which was usually done by a contemporary Prophet: and the phrase, “ in the year when Uzziah died,” probably means after the death of Uzziah; as the same phrase, chap. xiv. 28. means after the death of Ahaz. Not that Isaiah's prophecies are placed in exact order of time: chapters ii. iii. iv. v. seem by internal marks to be antecedent to chap. i.: they suit the time of Uzziah, or the former part of Jotham's reign; whereas chap. i. can hardly be earlier than the last years of Jotham. See note on chap. i. 7. and ii. 1. This might be a new designation, to introduce more solemnly a general declaration of the whole course of God's dispensations in regard to his people, and the fates of the nation; which are even now still
placed in exaes to be antecedeart of Jothanst years of Joew de
depending, and will not be fully accomplished till the final restoration of Israel.
In this vision the ideas are taken in general from royal majesty, as displayed by the monarchs of the East: for the Prophet could not represent the ineffable presence of God by any other than sensible and earthly images. The particular scenery of it is taken from the temple. God is represented as seated on his throne above the ark in the most holy place, where the glory appeared above the cherubim, surrounded by his attendant ministers. This is called by God himself, “ The place of his throne, and the place of the soles of his feet;" Ezek. xliii. 7. “A glorious throne, exalted of old, is the place of our sanctuary,” saith the Prophet Jeremiah, chap. xvii. 12. The very posture of sitting is a mark of state and solemnity: “ Sed et ipsum verbum sedere regni significat potestatem,” saith Jerom, Comment. in Ephes. i. 20. See note on chap. lii. 2. St John, who has taken many sublime images from the Prophets of the Old Testament, and in particular from Isaiah, hath exhibited the same scenery, drawn out into a greater number of particulars, Rev. chap. iv.
The veil, separating the most holy place from the holy, or outermost part of the temple, is here supposed to be taken away: for the Prophet, to whom the whole is exhibited, is manifestly placed by the altar of burnt-offering, at the entrance of the temple, (compare Ezek. xliii. 5, 6.), which was filled with the train of the robe, the spreading and overflowing of the divine glory. The Lord upon the throne, according to St John, xii. 41. was Christ; and the vision related to his future kingdom; when the veil of separation was to be removed, and the whole earth was to be filled with the glory of God, revealed to all mankind: which is likewise implied in the hymn of the seraphim; the design of which is, saith Jerom on the place, " ut mysterium Trinitatis in una Divinitate demonstrent; et nequaquam templum Judaicum, sicut prius, sed omnem terram illius gloria plenam esse testentur.” It relates indeed primarily to the Prophet's own time, and the obduration of the Jews of that age, and their punishment by the Babylonish captivity; but extends in its full latitude to the age of Messiah, and the blindness of the Jews to the gospel; (see Matt. xiii. 94. John xii. 40. Acts xxviii. 26. Rom. xi. 8.); the desolation of their country by the Romans, and their being rejected by God: that nevertheless a holy seed, a remnant, should be preserved; and that the nation should sprout out and flourish again from the old stock.
In the 1st verse, fifty-one MSS, and one edition; in the 8th verse, forty-four MSS, and one edition; and in the Ilth verse, thirty-three MSS, and one edition, for 'J7X, “ the Lord,” read 71', “JEHOVAH:” which is probably the true reading, (compare verse 6th;) as in many other places, in which the superstition of the Jews has substituted
.יהוה for אדני
2. he covereth his feet.] By the feet the Hebrews mean all the lower parts of the body. But the people of the East generally wearing long robes reaching to the ground, and covering the lower parts of the body down to the feet, it may hence have been thought want of respect and decency to appear in public, and on solemn occasions, with even the feet themselves uncovered. Kempfer, speaking of the king of Persia giving audience, says: “ Rex in medio supremi atrii cruribus more patrio inflexis sedebat: corpus tunica investiebat flava, ad suras cum staret protensa; discumbentis vero pedes discalceatos pro urbanitate patria operiens :" Aman. Exot. p. 227. Sir John Chardin's MS note on this place of Isaiah is as follows: “Grande marque de respect en Orient de se cacher les pieds, quand on est assi, et de baisser le visage. Quand le soverain se monstre en Chine et à Japon, chacun se jette le visage contre terre, et il n'est pas permis de regarder le roi.”
3. Holy, holy, holy-] This hymn, performed by the seraphim, divided into two choirs, the one singing responsively to the other, which Gregory Nazian. Carn. 18. very elegantly calls Purpwvov, avtIqwvov, ayyawy otagi, is formed upon the practice of alternate singing, which prevailed in the Jewish church from the time of Moses, whose ode at the Red Sea was thus performed, (see Exod. xv. 20, 21.), to that of Ezra, under whom the priests and Levites sung alternately,
“O praise JEHOVAH, for he is gracious;
For his mercy endureth for ever:” Ezra iii. 11. See De S. Poes. Hebr. Præl. xix. at the beginning.
5. I am struck dumb.] 7072, twenty-eight MSS (five ancient) and three editions. I understand it as from 017, or 037, silere; and so it is rendered by Syr. Vulg. Sym. and
re; and e editions.
by some of the Jewish interpreters, apud Sal. b. Melec. The rendering of the Syriac is, 'JX 77, stupens, attonitus sum. He immediately gives the reason why he was struck dumb; because he was a man of polluted lips, and dwelt among a people of polluted lips; and was unworthy either to join the seraphim in singing praises to God, or to be the messenger of God to his people. Compare Exod. iv. 10. vi. 12. Jer. i. 6.
6. from off the altar.] That is, from the altar of burntofferings, before the door of the temple; on which the fire that came down at first from heaven, Lev. ix. 24. 2 Chron. vii. 1. was perpetually kept burning: it was never to be ex-, tinguished, Lev. vi. 12, 13.
9. Thirteen MSS have 787, in the regular form.
10. Make gross—] The Prophet speaks of the event, the fact as it would actually happen; not of God's purpose and act by his ministry. The Prophets are in other places said to perform the thing which they only foretell:
“Lo! I have given thee a charge this day,
Jer. i, 10. And Ezekiel says, “ when I came to destroy the city;" that is, as it is rendered in the margin of our version, “ when I came to prophesy that the city should be destroyed;" chap. xliii. 3. To hear, and not understand; to see, and not perceive; is a common saying in many languages. Demosthenes uses it, and expressly calls it a proverb: WOTE TO ans Tagoquias ögwetas un ogav, za AZOVOVTAS un amouer: Contra Aristogit. i. sub fin. The Prophet, by the bold figure in the sentiment above-mentioned, and the elegant form and con. struction of the sentence, has raised it from a common proverb into a beautiful mashal, and given it the sublime air of poetry.
Ibid. —close up] ywn: this word Sal. b. Melec explains to this sense, in which it is hardly used elsewhere, on the authority of Onkelos. He says, it means closing up the eyes, so that one cannot see; that the root is yw, by which word the Targum has rendered the word nu, Lev. xiv. 42. n] ag 70, " and shall plaster the house.” And the word nu is used in the same sense, Isa. xliv. 18. So that it signifies to close up the eyes by some matter spread upon the lids. Mr Hariner very ingeniously applies to this pas