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Secker. Which reading is confirmed by Chald. where "D', my word, answers to 1717, my spirit.
15. -the proposal of bloodshed] A MS reads O'72.
18. Where is he that numbered the towers?] That is, the commander of the enemy's forces, who surveyed the fortifications of the city, and took an account of the height, strength, and situation of the walls and towers, that he might know where to make the assault with the greatest advantage; as Capaneus before Thebes is represented in a passage of the Phænissæ of Euripides, which Grotius has applied as an illustration of this place:
Εκεινος επτα προσβασεις τεκμαίρεται
ver. 187. 20. Thou shalt see-] For 1710 read ginn with the Chaldee: Houbigant.
21. But the glorious name of JEHOVAH-] I take ow for a noun, with LXX and Syr.: see Psal. xx. 1. Prov. xviii. 10.
23. Thy mast--] For Dinn, their mast, Syr. reads 70277, LXX and Vulg. 7270, LOTOS OOU eräivev, thy mast is fallen aside: LXX, they seem to have read 70), or (79) 7000; or rather 12 x5, is not firm, the negative having been omitted in the present text by mistake. However, I have followed their sense, which seems very probable; as the present reading is to me extremely obscure.
24. Neither shall the inhabitant say—] This verse is somewhat obscure: the meaning of it seems to be, that the army of Senacherib shall by the stroke of God be reduced to so shattered and so weak a condition, that the Jews shall fall upon the remains of them, and plunder them without resistance: that the most infirm and disabled of the people of Jerusalem shall come in for their share of the spoil; the lame shall seize the prey; even the sick and the diseased shall throw aside their infirmities, and recover strength enough to hasten to the general plunder.
The last line of the verse is parallel to the first, and expresses the same sense in other words. Sickness being considered as a visitation from God, and a punishment of sin; the forgiveness of sin is equivalent to the removal of a disease. Thus the Psalmist :
“Who forgiveth all thy sin ;
Psal. ciii. 3.
Where the latter line only varies the expression of the former. And our blessed Saviour reasons with the Jews on the same principle: “ Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk ?” Mark ii. 9. See also Matt. viii. 17. Isa. liii. 4. “Qui locus Isaiæ, i Pet. ii. 24. refertur ad remissionem peccatorum: hic vero ad sanationem morborum, quia ejusdem potentiæ et bonitatis est utrumque præstare; et, quia peccatis remissis, et morbi, qui fructus sunt peccatorum, pelluntur:" Wetstein on Matt. viii. 17.
That this prophecy was exactly fulfilled, I think we may gather from the history of this great event given by the Prophet himself. It is plain that Hezekiah, by his treaty with Senacherib, by which he agreed to pay him three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold, bad stripped himself of his whole treasure: he not only gave him all the silver and gold that was in his own treasury, and in that of the temple, but was even forced to cut off the gold from the doors of the temple and from the pillars, with which he had himself overlaid them, to satisfy the demands of the king of Assyria : but after the destruction of the Assyrian army we find, that he “ had exceeding much riches, and that he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones,” &c.; 2 Chron. xxxii. 27. He was so rich, that out of pride and vanity he displayed his wealth to the ambassadors from Babylon. This cannot be otherwise accounted for, than by the prodigious spoil that was taken on the destruction of the Assyrian army.
CHAPTERS XXXIV. & XXXV.
These two chapters make one distinct prophecy; an entire, regular, and beautiful poem, consisting of two parts: the first containing a denunciation of Divine vengeance against the enemies of the people or church of God; the second describing the flourishing state of the church of God, consequent upon the execution of those judgments. The event foretold is represented as of the highest importance, and of universal concern: all nations are called upon to attend to the declaration of it; and the wrath of God is denounced against all the nations, that is, all those that had provoked to anger the defender of the cause of Sion. Among those, Edom is particularly specified. The principal provocation of Edom was their insulting the Jews in their distress, and joining against them with their enemies the Chaldeans: see Amos i. 11. Ezek. xxv. 12. xxxv. 15. Psal. cxxxvii. 7. Accordingly the Edomites were, together with the rest of the neighbouring nations, ravaged and laid waste by Nebuchadnezzar: see Jer. xxv. 15—26. Mal. i. 3, 4.; and see Marsham, Can. Chron. Sæc. xviii. who calls this the age of the destruction of cities. The general devastation spread through all these countries by Nebuchadnezzar, may be the event which the Prophet has primarily in view in the xxxivth chapter; but this event, as far as we have any account of it in history, seems by no means to come up to the terms of the prophecy, or to justify so highwrought and so terrible a description. And it is not easy to discover what connexion the extremely flourishing state of the church or people of God, described in the next chapter, could have with those events; and how the former could be the consequence of the latter, as it is there represented to be. By a figure very common in the prophetical writings, any city, or people, remarkably distinguished as enemies of the people and kingdom of God, is put for those enemies in general. This seems here to be the case with Edom and Botsra. It seems therefore reasonable to suppose, with many learned expositors, that this prophecy has a further view to events still future; to some great revolutions to be effected in later times, antecedent to that more perfect state of the kingdom of God upon earth, and serving to introduce it, which the Holy Scriptures warrant us to expect.
That the xxxvth chapter has a view beyond any thing that could be the immediate consequence of those events, is plain from every part, especially from the middle of it, ver. 5, 6.; where the miraculous works wrought by our blessed Saviour are so clearly specified, that we cannot avoid making the application. And our Saviour himself has moreover plainly referred to this very passage as speaking of him and his works: Matt. xi. 4, 5. He bids the disciples of John to go and report to their master the things which they heard and saw; that the blind received their sight, the lame walked, and the deaf heard; and leaves it to him to draw the conclusion in answer to his inquiry, whether he who performed the very works which the Prophets foretold should be performed by the Messiah, was not indeed the Messiah himself? And where are these works so distinctly marked by any of the Prophets as in this place? and how could they be marked more distinctly? To these the strictly literal interpretation of the Prophet's words directs us. According to the allegorical interpretatio they may have a further view: This part of the prophecy may run parallel with the former, and relate to the future advent of Christ; to the conversion of the Jews, and their restitution to their land; to the extension and purification of the Christian faith;-events predicted in the Holy Scriptures as preparatory to it.
i. And attend unto me-], A MS adds in this line the word °58, unto me, after D'OX5; which seems to be genuine.
4. And all the host of heaven-] See note on chap. xxiv. 21. and De S. Poesi Hebræorum Præl. ix.
5. For my sword is made bare in the heaven] There seems to be some impropriety in this, according to the present reading, “my sword is made drunken, or is bathed, in the heavens;" which forestalls, and expresses not in its proper place, what belongs to the next verse: for the sword of JEHOVAH was not to be bathed or glutted with blood in the heavens, but in Botsra and the land of Edom: In the heavens it was only prepared for slaughter. To remedy this, Archbishop Secker proposes to read, for DQwa, ; referring to Jer. xlvi. 10. But even this is premature, and not in its proper place. The Chaldee, for 7777, has ann, shall be revealed, or disclosed: perhaps he read 7870, or Oxy). Whatever reading, different I presume from the
present, he might find in his copy, I follow the sense which he has given of it.
6. For JEHOVAH celebrateth a sacrifice] Ezekiel has manifestly imitated this place of Isaiah: he hath set forth the great leaders and princes of the adverse powers under the same emblems of goats, bulls, rams, fatlings, &c. and has added to the boldness of the imagery, by introducing God as summoning all the fowls of the air, and all the beasts of the field, and bidding them to the feast which he has prepared for them by the slaughter of the enemies of his people :
“ And thou, son of man,
Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH :
Say to the bird of every wing,
Ezek. xxxix. 16, 17. The sublime author of the Revelation (chap. xix. 17, 18.) has taken this image from Ezekiel, rather than from Isaiah.
7. —with their blood] 272: so an ancient MS, Syr. and Chald.
8. —the defender of the cause of Sion] As from 777, 707, a judge; so from 217, 209, an advocate, or defender : Judici Sionis, Syr.
11. —over her scorched plains] The word 7'un, joined to the 12th verse, embraces it, and makes it inexplicable. At least I do not know that any one has yet made out the construction, or given any tolerable explication of it. I join it to the 11th verse, and supply a letter or two, which seem to have been lost. Fifteen MSS (five ancient), and two editions, read qiyin. The first printed edition of 1486, I think nearer to the truth, Tin 711. I read
,חדיח see Jer
. xvii . 6 . A MS has :על חרריה or ,בחרריה
and the Syriac reads 7171, gaudium, joining it to the two preceding words; which he likewise reads differently, but without improving the sense. However, his authority is clear for dividing the verses, as they are here divided. I read ow as a noun. They shall boast, 1877'; see Prov. xx. 6.
13. And in her palaces shall spring up-] 9999 ninia78); so read all the ancient versions. ". 15. Every one her mate] A MS adds 58 after 708 which seems necessary to the construction; and so Syr. and Vulg. Another MS adds in the same place nx, which is equivalent.
16. For the mouth of JEHOVAH] For X97, five MSS three ancient) read 777', and another is so corrected : so