Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][ocr errors]

PETRA: MOUNT SEIR.- From Laborde. which the more recent travellers, even though themselves plete fulfilment of the prophecies against Edom, without divines (as Dr. Olin), begin to protest. This is the natural descending to these minute and literal details, to which so recoil of attempts to prove too much, and to find in the much importance has been attached. I have seen nothing language of prophecy a more than usually minute appli- to confirm the statements we have read of the very minute cation of the general images and expressions by which the coincidences between the present condition of the country desolation of Edom is described. The prophets foretold and the very words of prophecy; as if there were not a those desolations. They foretold many of the attendant plant or animal mentioned in the highly figurative decircumstances; and they employed expressions and images scription of the desolation which was to come upon Edom naturally derived from the well-known position of the that might not be found in or near the deserted city. Edomites as a people dwelling among rocks and preci- The ruins of Petra teach a far more impressive lesson pices. It is indeed probable that many of these expres- than is to be learned in curiously searching after these sions have a special reference to the capital of Petra, to minute literalities. We see in her present condition not whose wonderful excavated remains so much attention has only the accomplishment of all the denunciations against of late years been directed. The present ruins belong to Edom, but a warning of the certainty with which all constructions which were made long after these prophe- God's righteous judgments against sin will be fulfilled; cies were delivered, but the town was then and long before and, if we read the lesson aright, every fragment of the the capital of Edom (2 Kings xiv. 7), and as such there desolated city will seem to address us with the solemn would naturally be a prominent reference to it in the pre- admonition—“ Think ye that they were sinners above all dictions. There is,' says Mr. Kinnear (Cairo, Petra, and men because they suffered such things : I tell ye nay, but Damascus, pp. 155, 159), abundant evidence of the com- except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.”

CHAPTER L.

2 Declare ye among the nations, and pub1, 9, 21, 35 The judgment of Babylon. 4, 17, 33 The lish, and 'set up a standard; publish, and

conceal not : say, Babylon is taken, Bel is redemption of Israel.

confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces ; The word that the LORD spake against Baby- her idols are confounded, her images are lon and against the land of the Chaldeans 'by broken in pieces. Jeremiah the prophet.

3 For out of the north there cometh up a 1 Heb. by the hand of Jeremiah.

? Heb. lift up.

nation against her, which shall make her land 16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they him that handleth the 'sickle in the time of shall remove, they shall depart, both man and harvest : for fear of the oppressing sword beast.

they shall turn every one to his people, and 4 1 In those days, and in that time, saith they shall flee every one to his own land. the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, i7 | Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions they and the children of Judah together, have driven him away: first the king of going and weeping: they shall go, and seek Assyria hath devoured him; and last this the LORD their God.

Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with his bones. their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and 18 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, let us join ourselves to the Lord in a per- the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the petual covenant that shall not be forgotten. king of Babylon and his land, as I have

6 My people hath been lost sheep : their punished the king of Assyria. shepherds have caused them to go astray, 19 And I will bring Israel again to his they have turned them away on the moun- habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and tains : they have gone from mountain to hill, Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon they have forgotten their #restingplace. mount

Ephraim and Gilead. 7 All that found them have devoured them : 20 In those days, and in that time, saith and their adversaries said, We offend not, the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be because they have sinned against the LORD, sought for, and there shall be none ; and the the habitation of justice, even the Lori), the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found : hope of their fathers.

for I will pardon them whom I reserve. 8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, 21 I Go up against the land 'of Meraand

go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, thaim, even against it, and against the inhaand be as the he goats before the flocks. bitants of 'Pekod : waste and utterly destroy

9 | For, lo, I will raise and cause to come after them, saith the Lord, and do according up against Babylon an assembly of great to all that I have commanded thee. nations from the north country : and they 22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of shall set themselves in array against her; great destruction. from thence she shall be taken : their arrows 23 How is the hammer of the whole earth shall be as of a mighty 'expert man ; none cut asunder and broken ! how is Babylon beshall return in vain.

come a desolation among the nations ! 10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that 24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. art also taken, 0 Babylon, and thou wast

11 Because ye were glad, because ye not aware : thou art found, and also rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, caught, because thou hast striven against the

, because ye are grown 'fat as the heifer at LORD. grass, and bellow as bulls;

25 The LORD hath opened his armoury, 12' Your mother shall be sore confounded ; and hath brought forth the weapons of his she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, indignation : for this is the work of the Lord the hindermost of the nations shall be a wil- God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. derness, a dry land, and a desert.

26 Come against her from the utmost 13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it border, open her storehouses : "cast her up shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing desolate : 'every one that goeth by Babylon of her be left

. shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. 27 Slay all her bullocks ; let them go down

14 Put yourselves in array against Baby- to the slaughter : woe unto them ! for their lon round about : all ye that bend the bow, day is come, the time of their visitation. shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath 28 The voice of them that flee and escape sinned against the Lord.

out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion 15 Shout against her round about : she the vengeance of the LORD our God, the hath given her hand: her foundations are vengeance of his temple. fallen, her walls are thrown down : for it is 29 Call together the archers against Babythe vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance lon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against upon her; as she hath done, do unto her. it round about ; let none thereof escape : 3 Heb. place to lie down in. * Isa. 48. 20., Chap. 51. 6. Rev. 18. 4. 5 Or, destroyer. 6 Heb. big, or, corpulent. Or, scythe.

11 Heb. from the end. !! Or, tread her.

7 Chap 49. 17.

9 Or, of the rebels,

10 Or, visitation,

recompense her according to her work ; there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it according to all that she hath done, do unto shall be no more inhabited for ever ; neither her : for she hath been proud against the shall it be dwelt in from generation to geneLORD, against the Holy One of Israel

ration. 30 Therefore shall her young men fall in 40 'As God overthrew Sodom and Gothe streets, and all her men of war shall be morrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith cut off in that day, saith the LORD.

the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither 31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou "most shall any son of man dwell therein. proud, saith the Lord God of hosts : for thy 41 Behold, a people shall come from the day is come, the time that I will visit thee. north, and a great nation, and many kings shall

32 And the most proud shall stumble and be raised up from the coasts of the earth. fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will 42. They shall hold the bow and the lance: kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their all round about him.

voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall 33 1 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The ride upon horses, every one put in array, like children of Israel and the children of Judah a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter were oppressed together : and all that took of Babylon. them captives held them fast ; they refused 43 The king of Babylon hath heard the to let them go.

report of them, and his hands waxed feeble : 34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a hosts is his name : he shall throughly plead woman in travail. their cause, that he may give rest to the land, 44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. from the swelling of Jordan unto the habita

35 TA sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith tion of the strong: but I will make them sudthe LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, denly run away from her: and who is a chosen and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. man, that I may appoint over her? for who is

36 A sword is upon the 15 liars; and they like me ? and who will m'appoint me the shall dote : a sword is upon her mighty men ; time? and who is that shepherd that will stand and they shall be dismayed.

before me? 37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon 45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the their chariots, and upon all the mingled people LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon ; that are in the midst of her; and they shall and his purposes, that he hath purposed become as women: a sword is upon her trea- against the land of the Chaldeans : Surely sures; and they shall be robbed.

the least of the flock shall draw them out : 38 A drought is upon her waters; and they surely he shall make their habitation desolate shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven with them. images, and they are mad upon their idols. 46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon

39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert the earth is moved, and the cry is heard with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell

among the nations. 13 Feb. pride. 14 Heb. pride. 15 Or, chief stays.

17 Gen. 19. 25. Chap. 49. 18. 18 Chap 49. 19.

20 Or, convent me to plead.

16 Heb. bars.

19 Job 41. 10. Chap. 49. 19.

CHAPS. L. and Li.— These two chapters contain most important and instructive predictions concerning Babylon, every one of which has been fulfilled, as historians and travellers have concurred to demonstrate. The prophecies relate by anticipation the circumstances which should attend, and which did attend, the conquest of Babylon by the Medes and Persians; and they also describe that condition of the city and country which should be the immediate or final effect of that great overthrow, and which has been and is its condition. We had some intention of taking up the subject rather fully, in a general notice, under these two chapters; but, considering how much we have already said concerning Babylon, in separately illustrating different passages of historical and prophetical Scripture, it seems best to continue the same plan by separately noticing the more prominent circumstances which these chapters offer, omitting further notice of those to which our aitention has on former occasions been directed, and reserving some points for future illustration. The reader is aware that the more conspicuous remains

of this renowned city consist of two vast heaps of ruin, the Birs Nemrud and the Mujelibe, which have been fully described in a note on Gen. xi. A representation of both was there given from drawings made on the spot by Mr. James Baillie Fraser, and kindly presented to us. The same objects in other points of view are shewn in this and the next chapter; and the engraving at Isa. xiii. exhibits the Mujelibe, as it appeared in the time of Pietro della Valle.

Verse 8. 'As the he goats before the flocks.'— It would appear from this that it was customary among the ancient Israelites to have he-goats among their flocks of sheep, and that in travelling the goats went foremost. In Eastern flocks goats are now rarely seen; and we have met with no certain illustration of this practice but that furnished by Campbell, who calls it a judicious custom,' and states that it exists in South Africa to this day. “The goat,' he says, ' possesses much more fortitude than the sheep, and is more forward in advancing through difficulties, especially in crossing rivers; and the sheep, who are uot fand of such exploits, implicitly follow them. While tra- 38. “A drought is upon her waters ; and they shall be velling in Africa, I was obliged to have a small flock of dried up!-- This may possibly refer to a circumstance sheep to secure food when game was scarce; and as in- attending the capture of the city by the Persians, which stigators to bold and rapid travelling I was necessitated we shall have occasion to notice; but it more probably always to have a few goats in the flock. They always alludes to the physical condition of the country. The took the lead, especially in crossing rivers, one of which, plain in which Babylon stands is exposed to long drought the Great Orange River, was about a quarter of a mile and intense heat in summer, so that the dry soil must have across, and there the goats behaved nobly. Had they been been at all times perfectly barren without artificial irrigarational creatures, I should have returned them public tion; but with such irrigation the ground is, even at this day, thanks. They always take the lead, seemingly aware of of unexampled fertility, except upon the wide-spread grit possessing superior powers.'

and debris of desolated cities. Therefore it was that the 16. • Cut off the sower from Babylon.'-If we under- land exhibited one of the most extensive and complicated stand this of Babylonia or Chaldæa, in the large sense, it systems of irrigation that the world ever saw. It was has long been accomplished. Herodotus declares that, of overrun with innumerable canals, in all directions the all the countries he had seen, none was so suitable as Ba- largest of them navigable, and feeding others, diminishing bylonia for the culture of corn; and says that the returns in importance with their distance from the trunk. These, were generally two hundred, and sometimes three hundred as well as the parent river, were bordered with innumerfold. But all is now an utter desert, offering only some able hydraulic machines, by which the water was raised patches of cultivation near the few settlements which it and distributed into the fields and gardens. The same contains. But perhaps the prophecy has a more definite plan is still pursued, to a limited extent, at some spots in application to the city of Babylon itself; for it appears the immediate vicinity of the rivers. But it is now litefrom the ancient historians that it was very loosely built, rally true of Babylon, that a drought is upon her waters; with detached buildings and large open places; and that and they are dried up. Yet still the lines and ridges of much of this spare ground was cultivated and ploughed innumerable canals remain, which enable the spectator to for corn; so that, in case of a siege, the inhabitants were trace the general system, and to verify the ancient histoenabled to support themselves by their internal resources: rians as well as the prophecies of Scripture; the whole and the common plan among ancient besiegers, of starving being strongly calculated to shew the extent to which hua populous city into a surrender, was impracticable with man skill and industry were once employed in giving to respect to Babylon. We have already shewn that now this now desolate region that fertility for which it was in the sower is cut off from Babylon,' and that no cultiva- old times celebrated. This explanation seems to us to tion does or can take place upon its site.

give much force to the present prediction, since there can 29. The archers.'-The conquerors of Babylon are re- be no country the subsistence of which more entirely de peatedly described as archers.' The Persians, who are pended upon a complicated system of irrigation. Wherintended, were in ancient times famous for their general ever water is applied in this region (with the exception and very skilful use of the bow, which was in fact the already made), the productive powers of the soil and clicharacterizing arm of that people. Even at present the mate cannot be exceeded; but where that is wanting it bow still continues to be a favourite weapou, although in becomes a naked desert. effective use it has been nearly superseded by the gun.

CHAPTER LI.

6 °Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and

deliver every man his soul : be not cut off in 1 The severe judgment of God against Babylon in re

venge of Israel. 59 Jeremiah delivereth the book of her iniquity ; for this is the time of the Lord's this prophecy to Seraiah, to be cast into Euphrates, vengeance ; he will render unto her a recomin token of the perpetual sinking of Babylon.

pence.

7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Tuus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: against Babylon, and against them that dwell the nations have drunken of her wine ; therein the 'midst of them that rise up against me, fore the nations are mad. a destroying wind;

8 Babylon is suddenly 'fallen and destroyed: 2 And will send unto Babylon fanners, that howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be shall fan her, and shall empty her land : for she may be healed.

. in the day of trouble they shall be against her 9 We would have healed Babylon, but she round about.

is not healed : forsake her, and let us go every 3 Against him that bendeth let the archer one into his own country: for her judgment bend his bow, and against him that lifteth reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye the skies. not her young men ; destroy ye utterly all her 10 The Lord hath brought forth our righthost.

eousness : come, and let us declare in Žion 4 Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the work of the LORD our God. the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through 11 Make 'bright the arrows; gather the in her streets.

shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit 5 For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor of the kings of the Medes : for his device is Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts ; against Babylon, to destroy it ; because it is though their land was filled with sin against the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of the Holy One of Israel.

his temple. 2 Chap. 60. 8. Revel. 18. 4.

4 Heb. prere.

i Heb. heart,

442

8 Isa. 21. 9. Revel. 14, 8, and 18, 2.

12 Set up the standard upon the walls of upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the

and will make thee a burnt mountain. watchmen, prepare the 'ambushes : for the 26 And they shall not take of thee a stone LORD hath both devised and done that which for a corner, nor a stone for foundations ; he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon. but thou shalt be 'desolate for ever, saith 13 Othou that dwellest upon many waters,

the LORD. abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and 27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the measure of thy covetousness.

the trumpet among the nations, prepare the 14 "The Lord of hosts hath sworn by nations against her, call together against her himself, saying, Surely I will fill thee with the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashmen, as with caterpillers ; and they shall @lift chenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause up a shout against thee.

the horses to come up as the rough cater15 'He hath made the earth by his power, pillers. he hath established the world by his wisdom, 28 Prepare against her the nations with and hath stretched out the heaven by his the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, understanding

and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of 16 When he uttereth his voice, there is a his dominion. 'multitude of waters in the heavens ; and he 29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow : causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends for every purpose of the Lord shall be perof the earth : he maketh lightnings with rain, formed against Babylon, to make the land of and bringeth forth the wind out of his Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. treasures.

30 The mighty men of Babylon have for17 "Every man "Pis brutish by his know- born to fight, they have remained in their ledge ; every founder is confounded by the holds : their might hath failed; they became graven image: for his molten image is false- as women : they have burned her dwellinghood, and there is no breath in them.

places; her bars are broken. 18 They are vanity, the work of errors : in 31 One post shall run to meet another, the time of their visitation they shall perish. and one messenger to meet another, to shew

19 **The portion of Jacob is not like them; the king of Babylon that his city is taken at for he is the former of all things: and Israel is one end, the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts 32 And that the passages are stopped, and is his name.

the reeds they have burned with fire, and the 20 Thou art my battle ax and weapons of men of war are affrighted. war : for 'with thee will I break in pieces 33 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the the nations, and with thee will I destroy God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is kingdoms;

a , it is time to 21 And with thee will I break in pieces yet a little while, and the time of her harvest the horse and his rider; and with thee will I shall come. break in pieces the chariot and his rider ; 34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon

22 With thee also will I break in pieces hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he man and woman; and with thee will I break hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swalin pieces old and young; and with thee will I lowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled break in pieces the young man and the maid ; his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me

23 I will also break in pieces with thee the out. shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I 35 "The violence done to me and to my break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke Aesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of oxen ; and with thee will I break in pieces of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants captains and rulers.

of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. 24 And I will render unto Babylon and to 36 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for that they have done in Zion in your sight, thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her saith the LORD.

springs dry. 25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying 37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, all the earth : and I will stretch out mine hand and an hissing, without an inhabitant. 6 Amos 6.8. 1 Heb. by his soul.

like a

IC

13 Chap. 10. 16. 14 Or, in thee, or, by thee. 15 Heb. everlasting desolations. 16 Or, in the time that he thresheth her. 17 Heb. my violence. 18 Or, remainder.

5 Heb. liers in wait. 11 Chap. 10. 14. 12 Or, is more brutish than to knoro.

8 Hleb, utter.

9 Gen. 1. 1, 6. Chap. 10. 12, &c.

10 Or, noise.

19 Heb. inhabitress.

« PreviousContinue »