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tichus, which he held for fifty-four years. Not long after that, followed the invasion and conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar; and then by the Persians under Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. The yoke of the Persians was so grievous, that the conquest of the Persians by Alexander may well be considered as a deliverance to Egypt; especially as he and his successors greatly favoured the people, and improved the country. To all these events the prophet seems to have had a view in this chapter; and in particular from ver. 18. the prophecy of the propagation of the true religion in Egypt seems to point to the flourishing state of Judaism in that country, in consequence of the great favour shown to the Jews by the Ptolemies. Alexander himself settled a great many Jews in his new city of Alexandria, granting them privileges equal to those of the Macedonians. The first Ptolemy, called Soter, carried great numbers of them thither, and gave them such encouragement, that still more of them were collected there from different parts; so that Philo reckons, that in his time there were a million of Jews in that country. These worshipped the God of their fathers; and their example and influence must have had a'great effect in spreading the knowledge and worship of the true God through the whole country. See Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, Dissert. xii.

4. cruel lords ] Nebuchadnezzar in the first place, and afterwards the whole succession of Persian kings, who in general were hard masters, and grievously oppressed the country. Note, that for yop, a MS reads d'up, agreeable to which is the rendering of LXX, Syr. and Vulg.

6. shall become putrid] 9073187. This sense of the word, which Simonis gives in his Lexicon from the meaning of it in the Arabic, suits the place much better than any other interpretation hitherto given. And that the word in Hebrew had some such signification is probable from 2 Chron. xxix. 19. where the Vulgate renders it by polluit, and the Targum by profanavit and abominabile fecit, which the context in that place seems plainly to require. The form of the verb here is very irregular; and the rabbins and grammarians seem to give no probable account of it.

8. And the fishers—] There was great plenty of fish in Egypt: see Numb. xi. 5. "The Nile,” says Diodorus, lib. 1. “abounds with incredible numbers of all sorts of fish.” And much more the lakes; Egmont, Pococke, &c.

10.her stores-] Tinnu, atoonnai, Aquila.

Ibid. all that make a gain of pools for fish] This obscure line is rendered by different interpreters in very different manners. Kimchi explains DIX, as if it were the same with pay, from Job xxx. 25. In which he is followed by some of the rabbins, and supported by LXX: and yw, which I translate gain, and which some take for nets, or inclosures, the LXX render by Cubov, strong drink, or beer, which it is well known was much used in Egypt: and so likewise the Syriac, retaining the Hebrew word 8 0 . I submit these very different interpretations to the reader's judgment. The version of the LXX is as follows:--Kai παντες οι ποιουντες τον ζυθον λυπηθησονται, και τας ψυχας πονεσoυσι : 6 And all they that make barley-wine shall mourn, and be grieved in soul.”

11.have counselled a brutish counsel] The sentence, as it now stands in the Hebrew, is imperfect; it wants the verb. Archbishop Secker conjectures, that the words 'syn

y should be transposed; which would in some degree remove the difficulty. But it is to be observed, that the translator of the Vulgate seems to have found in his copy

: פרעה added after יעצו the verb

Sapientes consiliarii

Pharaonis dederunt consilium insipiens.” This is probably the true reading ; it is perfectly agreeable to the Hebrew idiom, makes the construction of the sentence clear, and renders the transposition of the above words unnecessary.

12. let them come] Here too a word seems to have been left out of the text. After Ton, two MSS (one ancient) add 182', let them come. Which, if we consider. the form and the construction of the sentence, has very much the appearance of being genuine; otherwise the connective conjunction, at the beginning of the next member, is not only superfluous but embarrassing. See also the version of LXX, in which the same deficiency is manifest.

Ibid. --and let them declare-] « For wyg', let them know, perhaps we ought to read 1977, let them make known :" SECKER. T'he LXX and Vulg. favour this reading ; sITATwoav, indicent.

13. They have caused- The text has lydin), and they have caused to err. Fifty MSS, thirteen editions, Vugl. and Chald. omit the 1.

Ibid. --pillars-] 1939, to be pointed as plural without doubt. So Grotius, and so Chald.

14. —in the midst of them] “onpa, LXX, quod forte rectius:" SECKER. So likewise Chald.

16. -the Egyptians shall be-] 1979, plural, MS Bodl. LXX, and Chald. This is not proposed as an emendation, for either form is proper.

17. And the land of Judah-] The threatening hand of God will be held out and shaken over Egypt, from the side of Judea ; through which the Assyrians will march to invade it. Five MSS and two editions have Tans.

18. the City of the Sun] Donit 7y. This passage is attended with much difficulty and obscurity. First, In regard to the true reading. It is well known, that Onias applied it to in his own views, either to procure from the king of Egypt permission to build his temple in the Hieropolitan Nome, or to gain credit and authority to it when built ; from the notion which he industriously propagated, that Isaiah had in this place prophesied of the building of such a temple. He pretended, that the very place where it should be built was expressly named by the Prophet Onni ry, the city of the sun. This possibly may have been the original reading. The present text has 097 7y, the city of destruction: which some suppose to have been introduced into the text by the Jews of Palestine afterwards; to express their detestation of the place, being much offended with this schismatical temple in Egypt. Some think the latter to have been the true reading, and that the Prophet-himself gave this turn to the name out of contempt, and to intimate the demolition of this Hieropolitan temple; which in effect was destroyed by Vespasian's orders after that of Jerusalem.

ut ,חרס. pro הרס Videtur Propheta consulto scripsisse <<

alibi scribitur 118 m2 pro 58 no, noW'X pro hyd w'X, &c. Vide Lowth in loc.:" SECKER. But on supposition that 0577 7y is the true reading, others understand it differently. The word 0707 in Arabic signifies a lion : and Conrad Ikenius has written a dissertation (Dissert. Philol. Theol. xvi.) to prove that the place here mentioned is not Heliopolis, as it is commonly supposed to be, but Leontopolis in the Heliopolitan Nome; as it is indeed called in the letter, whether real or pretended, of Onias to Ptolemy, which Josephus has inserted in his Jewish Antiquities, lib. xiii. cap. 3. And I find, that several persons of great learning and judgment think that Ikenius has proved the point beyond contradiction. See Christian Muller, Satura Observ.

to the Hebated from ave the san

Philolog.; Michaelis Bibliothek Oriental, Part v. p. 171 But after all, I believe, that neither Onias, nor Heliopolis, nor Leontopolis, has any thing to do with this subject. The application of this place of Isaiah to Onias's purpose seems to have been a mere invention; and, in consequence of it, there may perhaps have been some unfair management to accommodate the text to that purpose; which has been carried even further than the Hebrew text; for the Greek version has here been either translated from a corrupted text, or wilfully mistranslated or corrupted to serve the same cause. The place is there called tonis Adden, the city of righteousness; a name apparently contrived by Onias's party to give credit to their temple, which was to rival that of Jerusalem. Upon the whole, the true reading of the Hebrew text in this place is very uncertain ; nine MSS and seven editions have Onn, so likewise Sym. Vulg. Arab. LXX, Compl. On the other hand, Aquila, Theodot, and Syr, read 077: the Chaldee paraphrase takes in both readings.

The reading of the text being so uncertain, no one can pretend to determine what the city was that is here mentioned by name; much less to determine, what the four other cities were which the Prophet does not name. I take the whole passage, from the 18th verse to the end of the chapter, to contain a general intimation of the future propagation of the knowledge of the true God in Egypt and Syria, under the successors of Alexander ; and, in consequence of this propagation, of the early reception of the gospel in the same countries, when it should be published to the world. See further on this subject, Prideaux's Connect. an. 149.; Dr Owen's Inquiry into the Present State of the LXX Version, p. 41., and Bryant's Observations on Ancient History, p. 124.

CHAPTER XX.

THARTHAN besieged Ashdod or Azotus, which probably belonged at this time to Hezekiah's dominions: see 2 Kings xviii. 8. The people expected to be relieved by the Cushites of Arabia, and by the Egyptians. Isaiah was ordered to go uncovered, that is, without his upper garment, the rough mantle commonly worn by the Prophets, (see Zech. xiii. 4.), probably three days, to show that within three years the town should be taken, after the defeat of the Cushites and Egyptians by the king of Assyria; which event should make their case desperate, and induce them to surrender. Azotus was a strong place: it afterwards held out twenty-nine years against Psammitichus, king of Egypt, Herod. ii. 157. T'harthan was one of Senacherib's generals, 2 Kings xviii. 17., and Tirhakah king of the Cushites was in alliance with the king of Egypt against Senacherib. These circumstances make it probable, that by Sargon is meant Senacherib. It might be one of the seven names by which Jerom, on this place, says he was called. He is called Sacherdonus and Sacherdan in the book of Tobit. The taking of Azotus must have happened before Senacherib's attempt on Jerusalem; when he boasted of his late conquests, chap. xxxvii. 25. And the warning of the Prophet had a principal respect to the Jews also, who were too much inclined to depend upon the assistance of Egypt. As to the rest, history and chronology affording us no light, it may be impossible to clear either this, or any other hypothesis, (which takes Sargon to be Shalmaneser, or Asarhaddon, &c.), from all difficulties.

It is not probable that the Prophet walked uncovered and barefoot for three years: his appearing in that manner was a sign, that within three years the Egyptians and Cushites should be in the same condition, being conquered and made captives by the king of Assyria. The time was denoted, as well as the event; but his appearing in that man. ner for three whole years, could give no premonition of the time at all. It is probable, therefore, that the Prophet was ordered to walk so for three days, to denote the accomplishment of the event in three years; a day for a year, according to the prophetical rule: Numb. xiv. 34. Ezek. iv. 6. The words D'a' wow, three days, may possibly have been lost out of the text, at the end of the second verse, after 917), barefoot; or after the same word in the third verse : where, in the Alexandrine and Vatican copies of LXX, and in MSS Pachom. and 1. D. II. the words triae etn are twice expressed. Perhaps, instead of by wow, the Greek translator might read D'ju www, by his own mistake, or by that of his copy, after any in the third verse, for which stands the first reice etn in the Alexandrine and Vatican LXX, and in the two MSS above-mentioned.

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