Page images



21 Hear now this, o "foolish people, and 26 For among my people are found without understanding; which have eyes, wicked men : Sthey lay wait, as he that and see not; which have ears, and hear not: setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch

22 Fear not me ? saith the LORD : will ye not tremble at my presence, which have 27 As a "cage is full of birds, so are their placed the sand for the bound of the sea by houses full of deceit: therefore they are bea perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it : come great, and waxen rich. and though the waves thereof toss themselves, 28 They are waxen "fat, they shine : yea, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they yet can they not pass over it ?

judge not i the cause, the cause of the father23 But this people hath a revolting and less, yet they prosper ; and the right of the a rebellious heart; they are revolted and needy do they not judge. gone.

29 Shall I not visit for these things ? saith 24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, such a nation as this? both the former and the latter, in his season : 30 q "A wonderful and horrible thing is he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of committed in the land ; the harvest.

31 The prophets prophesy 9°falsely, and 25 Your iniquities have turned away these the priests * 'bear rule by their means; and things, and your sins have withholden good my people love to have it so: and what will things from you.

ye do in the end thereof ?

il Isa. 6. 9. Matt. 13. 14. John 12. 40. Acts 28. 26. Rom. 11. 8.

19 Heb, heart. 13 Job 38. 10, 11. Psal. 104. 9. 14 Deut. 11. 14. 15 Or, they pry as fowlers lie in wait.

17 Deut. 32. 15. 18 Isa. 1. 23. Zech. 7. 10.

19 Or, astonishment and filthiness. 20 Chap. 14. 14, and 23. 25, 26. Ezek. 13. 6.

21 Or, take into their hands.

16 Or, coup

Verse 1. Broad places.'— This, no doubt, means the market-places, and other spacious areas in the city, where citizens used to meet for doing business with each other.

6. • A lion out of the forest ....a wolf of the evenings.... a leopard,' etc.-A lion is scarcely a beast of the forest'in our sense of the term. Its haunt is rather in the burning desert plains and wide karroos, covered only with shrubby vegetation or low brushwood; and such districts are included in the signification of the Hebrew word hy ya'ar. here translated forest. We are assured by Campbell and others, who have had much opportunity of observing the habits of the lion, that although its habits are nocturnal, they are much less exclusively so than those of the wolf, being, at least in South Africa, not unfrequently abroad in the daytime. The wolf much more rarely makes its appearance before sunset, and hence the distinct emphasis of *the wolf of the evenings. The traveller just named says—'I never, when moving about in Africa, saw more than one wolf stalking about in daylight, and that was in a most forsaken part, where, to a great extent, the land was absolutely paved with flag-stones, the same as the side pavements in our streets; but when night came they were

constantly howling and hovering around our encampment. The habit of the leopard, also, is to be slumbering in concealment during the day, but the darkness rouses him, and he comes forth seeking what he may devour. It is of the tiger species, and rather smaller. The text indicates that the wolves and leopards should have the boldness to prowl about their cities, as the wild beasts did about our waggons in the wilderness, so that it should be most hazardous for man or beast to venture outside their walls.'

10. Take away her battlements,' etc.-Instead of battlements,' the Vulgate, followed by Blayney and hers,


reads branches,' that is, particularly vine branches, which is certainly the usual meaning given to the word. But as the sense is better sustained by a reference to the walls of Jerusalem, Houbigant and others conclude in favour of that reading which the Seventy must have found in their copies when they translated, Leave her foundations, for they are the Lord's ;' so also the Syriac and Arabic. This perhaps produces a clear sense: and it is a fact that the Babylonians did leave the foundations. The same sense may indeed be elicited from our version; for a command to destroy the battlements, because they were not the Lord's, may be understood as equivalent to an order to leave the foundations, because they were the Lord's.

27. 'A cage is full of birds.'—There is no intimation in Scripture that the Hebrews kept singing birds in cages; although it might be hazardous, merely from this silence, to affirm that they did not. That nothing of the kind is here intended, is evident from the fact that the cage is described as full, which would not be the case were the birds kept to amuse by their singing. From this it is possible that the cage was one in which birds intended for food were kept to be fattened, or what we call a penn; and it was thus understood by the Targum, which renders, ‘a house or place of fattening.' It may, however, signify a cage in which birds taken by snares or hawking were put till it was full; and the Seventy, by rendering it a snare, seem to understand that it was a kind of decoy in which birds were put to ensnare others, until, with those already in it and those thus taken, it became full. One of these two last senses seems favoured by the context, and by the manner in which the illustration is applied. The word rendered 'cage' is the same as the basket' of Amos, viii. 1, 2; and, in fact, the cages used in the East are a sort of baskets, usually made from the mid-rib of the palm-frond. CHAPTER VI.

others, with their fields and wives together : for I will stretch out


hand 1 The enemies sont against Judah 4 encourage them


the inselves. 6 God setteth them on work because of their

habitants of the land, saith the LORD. sins. 9 The prophet lamenteth the judgments of

13 For from the least of them even unto God because of their sins. 18 He proclaimeth God's the greatest of them every one is given to wrath. 26 He calleth the people to mourn for the 'covetousness; and from the prophet even judgment on their sins.

unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. O YE children of Benjamin, gather your- 14 They have "healed also the ‘hurt of the selves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up peace; when there is no peace. a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil 15 Were they "ashamed when they had appeareth out of the north, and great de- committed abomination? nay, they were not struction.

at all ashamed, neither could they blush : 2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a therefore they shall fall among them that 'comely and delicate woman.

fall : at the time that I visit them they shall 3 The shepherds with their flocks shall be cast down, saith the LORD. come unto her; they shall pitch their tents 16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the against her round about; they shall feed ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, every one in his place.

where is the good way, and walk therein, 4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and and ye shall find "rest for your souls. But let us go up at noon. Woe unto us ! for the they said, We will not walk therein. day goeth away, for the shadows of the even- 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, ing are stretched out.

Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But 5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us they said, We will not hearken. destroy her palaces.

18 | Therefore hear, ye nations, and 6 of For thus hath the Lord of hosts said, know, O congregation, what is among them. Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against 19 Hear, earth : behold, I will bring Jerusalem : this is the city to be visited ; evil upon this people, even the fruit of their she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. thoughts, because they have not hearkened

7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected she casteth out her wickedness : violence and it. spoil is heard in her; before me continually is 20 "To what purpose cometh there to me grief and wounds.

incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from 8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest a far country? your burnt offerings are not my soul "depart from thee; lest I make acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto thee desolate, a land not inhabited.

9 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They 21 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, as a vine : turn back thine hand as a grape

and the fathers and the sons together shall gatherer into the baskets.

fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend 10 To whom shall I speak, and give shall perish. warning, that they may hear? behold, their 22 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people 'ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot cometh from the north country, and a great hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is nation shall be raised from the sides of the unto them a reproach; they have no delight earth. in it.

23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; 11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will roareth like the sea ; and they ride upon pour it out upon the children abroad, and horses, set in array as men for war against upon the assembly of young men together : thee, O daughter of Zion. for even the husband with the wife shall 24 We have heard the fame thereof: our be taken, the aged with him that is full of hands wax feeble : anguish hath taken hold of days.

us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 12 And their houses shall be turned unto 25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by 1 Or, dwelling at home. 2 Or, pour out the engine of shot.

4 Heb. be loosed, or, disjointed. Chap. 7. 26. 7 Chap. 8. 11. Ezek. 13. 10. & Heb. bruise, or, breach. Chap. 3. 3, and 8. 12.


3 Isa. 57. 20.


19 Isa. 1. 11, and 66. 3. Amos 5. 21. Mic. 6. 6, &c. 13 Chap. 1. 15, and 5, 15, and 10. 22.

6 Isa. 56. 11. Chap. 8. 10.

10 Isa. 8. 20. Mal. 4. 4. Luke 16. 29.

11 Matt. 11. 29.

the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear 28 They are all grievous revolters, walking is on every side.

with slanders: they are obrass and iron ; they 26 T O daughter of my people, gird thee are all corrupters. with 'sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes : 29 The bellows are burned, the lead is make thee mourning, as for an only son, most consumed of the fire; the founder melteth bitter lamentation : for the spoiler shall sud- in vain: for the wicked are not plucked denly come upon us.

away. 27 I have set thee for a tower and "a for- 30 " '*Reprobate silver shall men call them, tress among my people, that thou mayest because the Lord hath rejected them. know and try their way. 14 Chap. 4. 8, and 25. 34. 15 Chap. 1. 18, and 15, 80.

18 Or, Refuse silver.

16 Ezek. 22. 18.

17 Isa. 1. 22.

Verse 1. Beth-haccerem.'— This name means, literally, "house of the vineyard. Jerome says that the place was between Jerusalem and Tekoa. The Targum gives the signification, the house of the valley of vineyards. This valley perhaps took its name from the town, which may have been on a summit of its confining hills. The valley of Beth-haccerem is also mentioned in the Mishnah, which says that its dust was red, and that it became hard when water was poured upon it. Kimchi understands the word Beth-haccerem to denote a high tower, such as those in which the keepers of vineyards watched. It was evidently some elevated station, a sign of fire' kindled on which could be seen afar. The passage clearly shews that was customary among the Jews, as with other nations, in this manner to telegraph good or evil tidings from tower to tower and mountain to mountain. In the Agamemnon of Æschylus there is a fine passage describing such firesignals, and the process of transmission, with reference to that series which made known in Greece that Troy was taken. The passage is rather long, but does not admit of abridgment.

''Twas Vulcan, sending forth the blazing light
From Ida's grove, and thence along the way
Hither the estafette of fire ran quick:
Fire kindled fire, and beacon spoke to beacon,
Ida to Lemnos, and the Hermæan ridge:
Next Athos, craggy mountain, Jove's own steep,
Took the great torch held out by Vulcan's isle.
Standing sublime, the seas to overcast,
Shone the great strength of the transmitted lamp;
And the bright heraldry of burning pines
Shone with a light all golden like the sun
Rising at midnight on Macistus' watch-tower :
Nor did Macistus not bestir him soon,
Oppress'd with sleep, regardless of his watch;
But kindled fires, and sent the beacon blaze
To distance far beyond Euripus' flood,
To watchmen mounted on Messapian hills :
They answer'd blazing, and pass'd on the news,
The grey heath burning on the mountain top.
And now the fiery unobscured lamp,
At distance far shot o'er Asopus' plain;
And up the steep, soft rising like the moon,
Stood spangling bright upon Cithæron's hill.
There rose, to give it conduct on the road,
Another meeting fire; nor did the watch
Sleep at the coming of the stranger light,
But burnt a greater blaze than those before;
Thence o'er the lake Gorgopis stoop'd the light,
And to the mount of Ægiplancton came,
And bade the watch shine forth, nor scant the blaze.
They, burning high with might unguenchable,
Send up the waving beard of fire aloft,
Mighty and huge, so as to cast its blaze
Beyond the glaring promontory steep
Athwart the gulf Saronic all on fire;
Thence stoop'd the light, and reach'd our neighbour

Arachne's summit; and from thence derived,
Here to the Atridæ's palace, comes this light
From the long lineage of the Idæan fire.'

SYMMONS. 9. “As grape gatherer into the baskets'-Harmer doubts that a basket can be intended by the word 50 sal, since it would not retain the liquor draining from the bruised grapes. But he is mistaken, since close-wrought baskets are still much used by grape-gatherers in even the vine countries of Europe, although sometimes a wooden dosser is employed (see Redding On Wines, p. 25). They are very careful that the grapes shall not be bruised. The form of the baskets in which the Egyptian grape-gatherers put the grapes may be seen in the cuts at the end of Nehemiah,

20. The sweet cane from a far country.'—See the note under Exod. xxx. 23.

29. The bellows.' —Bellows are scarcely at all used in the East, except by workers of metal. The mouth is there much employed for common purposes, where bellows would be used in England. When a stronger blast was required than could be given by blowing naturally with the mouth, a hollow reed, and subsequently a metal tube, seems to have been at first employed, through which the blast from the mouth was impelled. In the figures of Rosellini, from Egyptian paintings, we sometimes observe such tubes in action, some of them terminating in a sort of funnel. The most complicated and apparently effective implement of this class is shewn in our cut, from Rosellini. The manner of the operation in these bellows is best seen here. The men are heating a vessel over a charcoal fire, to each side of which is applied a pair of bellows. These are worked by the feet, the operator standing upon and pressing them alternately, while he pulls up each exhausted skin by a string he holds in his hand. In one instance the man has left the bellows, which are raised as if full of air; which would imply a knowledge of the valve. Our common bellows, consisting of two boards joined together by a piece of leather, were known very early to the Greeks; and it also appears, from a representation on an ancient Roman lamp, engraved in Montfaucon, that even the wooden bellows were not anciently unknown; although Beckmann affirms that they were invented in the seventeeuth (or perhaps the sixteenth) century, by the Germans.

- The lead is consumed of the fire,' etc.—The description here given by the prophet seems to be very well explaiued by the process called . cupellation ; in which the precious metal, known to be combined with metals of a baser kind, is put together with a due proportion of lead, into a shallow crucible, made of burnt bones, called a cupel; after which the fusion or melting of the two metals is effected by exposing them to a considerable degree of heat in a muffle, or a small earthen oven, fixed in the midst of a furnace. The lead, during this exposure, vitrifies or becomes converted into a glassy calx, which dissolves and attracts all the imperfect metals, and leaves the precious

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]


8 1 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that

cannot profit. 1 Jeremiah is sent to call for true repentance, to prevent the Jews' captivity. 8 He rejecteth their vain con

9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adulfidence, 12 by the example of Shiloh. 17 He threat tery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto eneth them for their idolatry. 21 He rejecteth the Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye sucrifices of the disobedient. 29 He exhorteth to

know not ; mourn for their abominations in Tophet, 32 and the

10 And come and stand before me in this judgments for the same.

house, 'which is called by my name, and say, The word that came to Jeremiah from the We are delivered to do all these abominaLORD, saying,

tions? 2 Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, 11 Is 'this house, which is called by my and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear name, become a 'den of robbers in your eyes? the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord. enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. 12 But go ye now unto my place which

3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the of Israel, 'Amend your ways and your doings, first, and see what I did to it for the wickedand I will cause you to dwell in this place. ness of my people Israel.

4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The 13 And now, because ye have done all temple of the Lord, 'í'he temple of the

Lord, these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto The temple of the Lord, are these.

you, rising up early and speaking, but ye 5 For if ye throughly amend your ways

heard not; and I called you, but ye answered and your doings; if ye throughly execute not; judgment between a man and his neighbour; 14 Therefore will I do unto this house,

6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fa- which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, therless, and the widow, and shed not inno- and unto the place which I gave to you and cent blood in this place, neither walk after to your fathers, as I have done to 'Shiloh. other gods to your hurt:

15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as 7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this I have cast out all your brethren, even the place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, whole seed of Ephraim. for ever and ever.

16 Therefore @pray not thou for this people, Chap. 18. 11, and 26. 13.

71 Sam. 4. 10, 11. Psal. 78. 60, and 132. 6. Chap. 6. 20.

2 Heb. whereupon my name is called. 61 Sam. 4. 10, 11. Psal. 78. 60. Chap. 26. 6.

3 Isa. 56. 7. 4 Matt. 21. 13. Mark 11. 17. Luke 19. 46.

6 Prov. 1. 24. Isa. 65. 12, and 66. 4.
8 Exod. 32. 10. Chap. 11, 14, and 14. 11.

neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, nei- the prophets, daily rising up early and sendther make intercession to me: for I will not

ing them : hear thee.

26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor 17 | Seest thou not what they do in the inclined their ear, but 'hardened their neck: cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusa- | they did worse than their fathers. lem?

27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these 18 "The children gather wood, and the fa- words unto them; but they will not hearken thers kindle the fire, and the women knead to thee : thou shalt also call unto them; but their dough, to make cakes to the queen of they will not answer thee. heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto 28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a other gods, that they may provoke me to nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD anger.

their God, nor receiveth ''correction : truth 19 Do they provoke me to anger ? saith is perished, and is cut off from their mouth. the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to 29 Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and the confusion of their own faces ?

cast it away, and take up a lamentation on 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; high places; for the LORD hath rejected and Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be forsaken the generation of his wrath. poured out upon this place, upon man, and 30 For the children of Judah have done upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shali set their abominations in the house which is burn, and shall not be quenched.

called by my name, to pollute it. 21 q Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the 31 And they have built the "high places God of Israel; "Put your burnt offerings of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.

Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daugh22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor ters in the fire ; which I commanded them not, commanded them in the day that I brought neither came it into my heart. them out of the land of Egypt, "concerning

32 1 Therefore, behold, the days ?come, burnt offerings or sacrifices.

saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called 23 But this thing commanded I them, say- Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, ing, "Obey my voice, and "*I will be your but the valley of slaughter: for they shall God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye bury in Tophet, till there be no place. in all the ways that I have commanded you, 33 And the carcases of this people shall that it may be well unto you.

be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray their ear, but walked in the counsels and in them away. the 'imagination of their evil heart, and 34 Then will I cause to ạ*cease from the went backward, and not forward.

cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusa25 Since the day that your fathers came lem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladforth out of the land of Egypt unto this day ness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice I have even "sent unto you

my servants

of the bride : for the land shall be desolate. 9 Chap. 44. 19. 10 Or, frame, or, workmanship of heuven.

11 Isa. 1. 11. Chap. 6. 20. 12 Heb. concerning the matter of.

15 Or, stubbornness. 99 Chap. 19. 6. 23 Psal. 79.2. Chap. 16. 4, and 34. 20. 24 Isa. 24. 7. Chap. 16, 9, and 25. 10, and 33. 11. Ezek. 26. 13. Hos. 2. 11.


13 Deut, 6. 3. 17 2 Chron. 36. 15. 18 Chap. 16. 12.

21 Heb. came it upon my heart.

14 Exod. 19. 5. Levit. 26. 12.

19 Or, instruction,

Amos 5. 21.

16 Heb. were, 20 2 Kings 23. 10. Chap. 19.5.

Verse 18. Make cakes to the queen of heaven.'— The heathen writers consider that the first offerings to their gods consisted of the simple products of the field; then, as a further progress, of cakes baked with salt, and honey, oil, and wine; to which, in due course, followed animal sacrifices. Some of the idols, however, always continued to be honoured with cakes only; and others, to whom animal victims were offered, received also offerings of cakes. Horace finely alludes to the practice : "A graceful cake, when on the hallow'd shrine

Offer'd by hands that know no guilty stain,
Shall reconcile th' offended powers divine,

When bleeds the pompous hecatomb in vain.'
The act of these apostate Israelites was thus notoriously

idolatrous; but it may be hard to say whether this cake offering was intended as a substitute for an animal sacrifice, or as a presentation offering, to be laid before the idol, like the shew-bread in the Temple, of which it was perhaps a most profane imitation. Our present cut, from specimens in Mr. Salt's collection, will be considered interesting, as shewing the forms which the Egyptians gave to their cakes, and which probably offer a resemblance to the present and other cakes mentioned in Scripture.

There has been some discussion as to the idol intended by the title of the queen of heaven;' but that it was Ashtaroth, or the moon, is the most common and seems the most probable opinion.

32. They shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.'

« PreviousContinue »