صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

ing.” (for soding to its usu because there is in these

now well supported in Christ. Muller Satura Observationum Philolog. p. 53. Lugd. Bat. 1752. The morning seems to be an idea wholly incongruous in the passage of Joel: And in this of Isaiah, the words, “in which there is no morning,” (for so it ought to be rendered, if now in this place signifies, according to its usual sense, morning), seem to give no meaning at all. “ It is because there is no light in them,” says our translation; If there be any sense in these words, it is not the sense of the original; which cannot justly be so translated. Qui n'a rien d'obscur; Deschamps. The reading of LXX and Syr. 99w, gift, affords not any assistance towards the clearing up of this difficult place.

21. --distressed] Instead of Tupa,, distressed, the Vulg. Chald. and Sym. manifestly read Swa, stumbling, tottering through weakness, ready to fall ; a sense which suits very well with the place.

22. And he shall cast his eyes upward] The learned Professor Michaelis, treating of this place, (Not. in De S. Poes. Hebr. Præl. ix.), refers to a passage in the Koran, which is similar to it. As it is a very celebrated passage, and on many accounts remarkable, I shall give it here at large, with the same author's further remarks upon it in another place of his writings. It must be noted here, that the learned Professor renders U) in this and the parallel place, chap. v. 30. which I translate he looketh, by it thundereth, from Schultens, Orig. Ling. Hebr. lib. i. chap. 2.; of the justice of which rendering I much doubt. This brings the image of Isaiah more near, in one circumstance, to that of Mohammed, than it appears to be in my translation,

“ Labid, contemporary with Mohammed, the last of the seven Arabian poets who had the honour of having their poems, one of each, hung up in the entrance of the Temple of Mecca, struck with the sublimity of a passage in the Koran, became a convert to Mohammedism; for he concluded, that no man could write in such a manner, unless he were divinely inspired.

One must have a curiosity to examine a passage which had so great an effect upon Labid. It is, I must own, the finest that I know in the whole Koran; but I scarce think it will have a second time the like effect, so as to tempt any one of my readers to submit to circumcision. It is in the second chapter; where he is speaking of certain apostates from the faith. They are like,' saith he,' to a man who kindleth a light. As soon as it begins to shine, God takes from them the light, and leaves them in darkness, that they see nothing. They are deaf, dumb, and blind; and return not into the right way. Or they fare as when a cloud, full of darkness, thunder, and lightning, covers the heaven: when it bursteth, they stop their ears with their fingers, with deadly fear; and God hath the unbelievers in his power. The lightning almost robbeth them of their eyes: as often as it flasheth, they go on by its light; and when it vanisheth in darkness, they stand still. If God pleased, they would retain neither hearing nor sight. That the thought is beautiful, no one will deny; and Labid, who had probably a mind to flatter Mohammed, was lucky in finding a passage in the Koran, so little abounding in poetical beauties, to which his conversion might with any propriety be ascribed. It was well that he went no further; otherwise his taste for poetry might have made him again an infidel.” Michaelis, Erpenii Arabische Grammatik abgekurzt, Vorrede, s. 32.

23. -accumulated darkness] Either N79, fem. to agree

-alluding perhaps to the pal ,אפל המנדח or ; אפלה with

pable Egyptian darkness, Exod. x. 21.

Ibid. The land of Zebulon-] Zebulon, Naphtali, Manasseh, that is, the country of Galilee all round the Sea of Genesareth, were the parts that principally suffered in the first Assyrian invasion under Tiglath Pileser : see 2 Kings xv, 29. 1 Chron. y. 26.: and they were the first that enjoyed the blessing of Christ's preaching the gospel, and exhibiting his miraculous works among them. See Mede's Works, p. 101. and 457.


2. Thou hast increased their joy] Eleven MSS (two ancient) read 95, according to the Masoretical correction

Ibid. -as with the joy of harvest] 798p) now). For

one of which :הקציר and another ,קציר a MS has בקציר

seems to be the true reading, as the noun preceding is in regimine.

4. The greaves of the armed warrior] 180 118D. This word, occurring only in this place, is of very doubtful signification. Schindler fairly tells us, that we must guess at it by the context. The Jews have explained it, by guess I

believe, as signifying battle, conflict : the Vulgate renders it violenta prædatio. But it seems as if something was rather meant which was capable of becoming fuel for the fire, together with the garments mentioned in the same sentence. In Syriac, the word, as a noun, signifies a shoe or a sandal, as a learned friend suggested to me some years ago: see Luke xv. 22. Acts xii. 8. I take it therefore to mean that part of the armour which covered the legs and feet, and I would render the two words in Latin by caliga caligati. The burning of heaps of armour, gathered from the field of battle, as an offering made to the god supposed to be the giver of victory, was a custom that prevailed among some heathen nations; and the Romans used it as an emblem of peace: which perfectly well suits with the design of the Prophet in this place. A medal, struck by Vespasian on finishing his wars both at home and abroad, represents the goddess Peace, holding an olive branch in one hand, and with a lighted torch in the other setting fire to a heap of armour. Virgil mentions the custom:

“ Cum primam aciem Præneste sub ipsa

Stravi, scutorumque incendi victor acervos.” Æn. viii. 561. See Addison on Medals, Series ii. 18. And there are notices of some such practice among the Israelites, and other nations of the most early times. God promises to Joshua victory over the kings of Canaan : “ To-morrow I will deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire ;" Josh. xi. 6. See also Nahum ii. 13. And the Psalmist employs this image to express complete victory, and a perfect establishment of peace: . “ He maketh wars to cease, even to the end of the land :

He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
And burneth the chariots in the fire."

Psal. xlvi. 9. 07509, properly plaustra, the baggage-waggons; which however the LXX and Vulg. render scuta, shields, and Chald. round shields, to show the propriety of that sense of the word from the etymology; which, if admitted, makes the image the same with that used by the Romans.

Ezekiel, in his bold manner, has carried this image to a degree of amplification which, I think, hardly any other of the Hebrew poets would have attempted. He describes the burning of the arms of the enemy, in consequence of

em up all their chariots with mist employs high

the complete victory to be obtained by the Israelites over
Gog and Magog:
“ Behold, it is come to pass, and it is done ;

Saith the Lord JEHOVAH.
This is the day, of which I spake:
And the inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall go forth;
And shall set on fire the armour, and the shield,
And the buckler, and the bow, and the arrows,
And the clubs, and the lances;
And they shall set them on fire for seven years :
And they shall not bear wood from the field;
Neither shall they hew from the forest ;
For of the armour shall they make their fires ;
And they shall spoil their spoilers,
And they shall plunder their plunderers.” Ezek. xxxix. 8-10.

5. The government shall be upon his shoulder.] That is, the ensign of government; the sceptre, the sword, the key, or the like, which was borne upon or hung from the shoulder. See note on chap. xxii. 22.

Chap. ix. 7.—Chap. x. 4.] This whole passage, reduced to its proper and entire form, and healed of the dislocation which it suffers by the absurd division of the chapters, makes a distinct prophecy, and a just poem, remarkable for the regularity of its disposition, and the elegance of its plan. It has no relation to the preceding or the following prophecy; though the parts, violently torn asunder, have been, on the one side and the other, patched on to them. Those relate principally to the kingdom of Judah; this is addressed exclusively to the kingdom of Israel. The subject of it is a denunciation of vengeance awaiting their crimes. It is divided into four parts, each threatening the particular punishment of some grievous offence—of their pride; of their perseverance in their vices; of their impiety; and of their injustice. To which is added a general denunciation of a further reserve of divine wrath, contained in a distich before used by the Prophet on a like occasion, chap. v. 25. and here repeated after each part: this makes the intercalary verse of the poem, or as we call it, the burthen of the song.

“ Post hoc comma (cap. x. 4.) interponitur spatium unius lineæ, in cod. 2. et 3.: idemque observatur in 245. in quo nullum est spatium ad finem capitis ix.” Kennicott, Var. Lect.

7. JEHOVAH.] For 1978, thirty MSS and three editions read 1717).

8. --carry themselves haughtily] 97"), and they shall know: so ours, and the versions in general. But what is it that they shall know? The verb stands destitute of its object; and the sense is imperfect. The Chaldee is the only one, as far as I can find, that expresses it otherwise. He renders the verb in this place by 127377x1, they exalt themselves, or carry themselves haughtily; the same word by which he renders 172), chap. iii. 16. He seems therefore in this place to have read 1731y; which agrees perfectly well with what follows, and clears up the difficulty. Arch

in לאמר referring it to ,וידברו bishop Secker conjectured

the next verse; which shows, that he was not satisfied with the present reading. Houbigant reads ", et pravi facti sunt ; which is found in a MS; but I prefer the reading of the Chaldee, which suits much better with the context.

9. The bricks—] “ The eastern bricks, (says Sir John Chardin, see Harmer, Obser. i. p. 176.), are only clay well moistened with water, and mixed with straw, and dried in the sun.” So that their walls are commonly no better than our mud-walls: see Maundrell, p. 124. That straw was a necessary part in the composition of this sort of bricks, to make the parts of the clay adhere together, appears from Exodus, chap. V. These bricks are properly opposed to hewn stone, so greatly superior in beauty and durableness.

The sycamores, which, as Jerom on the place says, are timber of little worth, with equal propriety are opposed to the cedars. “As the grain and texture of the sycamore is remarkably coarse and spongy, it could therefore stand in no competition at all (as it is observed Isa. ix. 10.) with the cedar for beauty and ornament:" Shaw, Supplement to Travels, p. 96. We meet with the same opposition of cedars to sycamores, 1 Kings x. 27. where Solomon is said to have made silver as the stones, and cedars as the sycamores in the vale, for abundance. By this mashal, or figurative and sententious speech, they boast, that they shall easily be able to repair their present losses, suffered perhaps by the first Assyrian invasion under Tiglath Pileser; and to bring their affairs to a more flourishing condition then ever.

10. the princes of Retsin against him] For '73, enemies, Houbigant by conjecture reads yw, princes; which is confirmed by twenty-one MSS (two ancient), and nine more have 3 upon a rasure, and therefore had probably at first '90. The princes of Retsin, the late ally of Israel, that is,

« السابقةمتابعة »