Page images
PDF
EPUB

ness.

roll that I give thee. Then did I 'eat it ; 17 °Son of man, I have made thee and it was in my mouth as honey for sweet- watchman unto the house of Israel : therefore

hear the word at my mouth, and give them 4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, warning from me. get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou with my words unto them.

shalt surely die ; and thou givest him not 5 For thou art not sent to a people of a warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from strange speech and of an hard language, but his wicked way, to save his life; the same to the house of Israel ;

wicked man shall die in his iniquity ; but his 6 Not to many people ‘of a strange speech blood will I require at thine hand. and of an hard language, whose words thou 19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he canst not understand. Surely, had I sent turn not from his wickedness, nor from his thee to them, they would have hearkened unto wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thee.

thou hast delivered thy soul. 7 But the house of Israel will not hearken 20 Again, When a "righteous man doth unto thee ; for they will not hearken unto me: turn from his righteousness, and commit for all the house of Israel are 'impudent and iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before hardhearted.

him, he shall die : because thou hast not given 8 Behold, I have made thy face strong him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his against their faces, and thy forehead strong righteousness which he hath done shall not be against their foreheads.

remembered; but his blood will I require at 9 As an adamant harder than flint have I thine hand. made thy forehead : 'fear them not, neither 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous be dismayed at their looks, though they be a man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth rebellious house.

not sin, he shall surely live, because he is 10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul. all words that I shall speak unto thee re

22 9 And the hand of the LORD was there ceive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go

11 And go, get thee to them of the cap- forth into the plain, and I will there talk with tivity, unto the children of thy people, and thee. speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith 23 Then I arose, and went forth into the the Lord God; whether they will hear, or plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD whether they will forbear.

stood there, as the glory which I \*saw by the 12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard river of Chebar: and I fell on my face. behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, 24 Then the spirit entered into me, and Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and place.

said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine 13 I heard also the noise of the wings of house. the living creatures that 'touched one another, 25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they and the noise of the wheels over against them, shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee and a noise of a great rushing.

with them, and thou shalt not go out among 14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me them : away, and I went oin bitterness, in the "heat 26 And I will make thy tongue cleave to of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be strong upon me.

dumb, and shalt not be to them "a reprover : 15 1 Then I came to them of the captivity for they are a rebellious house. at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river of Che- 27 But when I speak with thee, I will bar, and I sat where they sat, and remained open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto there astonished among them seven days. them, Thus saith the Lord God; He that

16 And it came to pass at the end of seven heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, days, that the word of the Lord came unto let him forbear: for they are a rebellious me, saying,

my

house. 2 Heb. deep of lip, and heavy of tongue ; and so verse 6. 3 Heb, deep of lip, and heary of language. • Or, if I had scnt thee, &c., would they not have hearkened unto thee? 5 Hel. stiff of forchead, and hard of heart.

10 Chap. 33. 7. 11 Chap. 18. 24. 19 Heb, righteousnessCS. 13 Chap. 1.

14 IIeb. a man reproving.

1 Revel. 10. 9.

6 Jer. 1. 8.

7 lieb. kissed.

8 Heb. bitter.

9 Heb, hot anger.

Verse 15. Tel-abib.'-Names of places beginning with to or traversed by the Chebar. Junius thinks it was the • Tel' are still common in Assyria, Mesopotamia, and name of the district extending from Mount Masius to the Syria. The word, in its present usage, indicates an arti- Euphrates; but perhaps a more distinct recognition may ficial height, or loosely, any height; and when used as a be obtained in the Thallaba, which the Theodosian table prefix, intimates that the place is situated on some eleva- places in Mesopotamia, on the banks of the Chaborus tion. Tel-abib means · heaps of ears of corn,' and we are (Khabur or Chebar), and the situation of which is not sure whether it is the name of a town, so called from marked in the map of D'Anville as in about the centre part the fertility of its neighbourhood, or of the fertile district of the district which Junius supposes the present name to itself. Whether a town or a district it was certainly near describe.

CHAPTER IV.

to another, till thou hast ended the days of 1 Under the type of a siege is shewed the time from thy siege.

the defection of Jeroboam to the captivity. 9 By 9 Take thou also unto thee wheat, and the provision of the siege is shewed the hardness of barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, the famine.

and ofitches, and put them in one vessel, and Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and make thee bread thereof, according to the lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon city, even Jerusalem :

thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt 2 And lay siege against it, and build a thou eat thereof. fort against it, and cast a mount against it; 10 And thy meat which thou shalt eat set the camp also against it, and set battering shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: rams against it round about.

from time to time shalt thou eat it. 3 Moreover take thou unto thee 'an iron 11 Thou shalt drink also water by measure, pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee the sixth part of an hin: from time to time and the city: and set thy face against it, and shalt thou drink. it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege 12 And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, against it. This shall be a sign to the house and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh of Israel.

out of man, in their sight. 4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay 13 And the LORD said, Even thus shall the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: the children of Israel eat their defiled bread according to the number of the days that among the Gentiles, whither I will drive thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their them. iniquity.

14 Then said I, Ah Lord God! behold, 5 For I have laid upon thee the years of my soul hath not been polluted: for from my their iniquity, according to the number of the youth up even till now have I not eaten of days, three hundred and ninety days : so that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces ; shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of neither came there abominable flesh into my Israel.

mouth. 6 And when thou hast accomplished them, 15 Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty shalt prepare thy bread therewith. days : I have appointed thee *each day for a 16 T Moreover he said unto me, Son of year.

man, behold, I will break the staff of bread 7 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall weight, and with care ; and they shall drink be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against water by measure, and with astonishment: it.

17 That they may want bread and water, 8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and be astonied one with another, and conand thou shalt not turn thee "from one side sume away for their iniquity. I Or, chief leaders. 2 Or, a flat plate, or, slice.

4 Heb. a day for a year, a day for a year. 7 Lev. 26. 26. Chap. 5. 16, and 14. 13.

3 Num, 14. 34.

5 Heb, from thy side to thy side.

6 OT, spelt.

Verse 1. Take thee a tile ... and pourtray upon it the city.'-For .tile,' we may read 'brick, and for 'pourtray,' 'engrave.' This is a striking reference to the Chaldæan usage of writing and portraying by indented figures upon broad and thin bricks. Great numbers of such bricks, charged with inscriptions in the arrow-headed character,

2 D

and with figures of animals and other objects, are found among the ruins of Babylon and other ancient sites in Chaldæa. The bricks applied to this use are of fine clay, much hardened in the fire. They are of different sizes, but very commonly a foot square by three inches in thickHeeren thinks it probable that the usual process in

465

ness.

VOL. III.

forming the inscriptions was to impress the characters The stalks grow very high. In the countries south of upon the brick by means of forms which they applied Egypt, the same species that is there cultivated often before the mass was submitted to the fire. If so, they rises to the height of from sixteen to twenty feet. In touched upon the invention of printing as nearly as the those countries wheat is scarcely known; and dhourra materials would allow. Some of these bricks, besides the forms the principal product of the ground, and the chief lines of inscribed writing, bear the impression of seals, food of man and beast. Besides being made into bread, offering the figures of animals and other objects, with much of it is also consumed in the form of pap, seasoned other lines of inscription attached to them ; whence it has with salt; and sometimes the grains are hoiled and eaten been conjectured that these bricks contain public or private documents, with the names and seals of witnesses, and that the ruined edifices from which they are obtained were the repositories of such archives. It is however not necessary to generalize this opinion, and to suppose that all the inscribed bricks were such documents, some of which may possibly contain the astronomical observations for a long series of years, which the ancient Chaldæans are said to have recorded on bricks. But it is difficult to explain, under any hypothesis, how it happens that such bricks should have been employed in the construction of walls, with their inscribed faces downward-their edges, which formed the front of the wall, only appearing-and connected by a strong cement, so as to preclude the possibility of their being read till after the destruction of the buildings of which they were composed. However, enough has been stated to illustrate, from the common practice of the country, the act of the prophet when he took a tile to portray' Jerusalem thereon. How this was done, we do not know; but probably by inscribing its name or symbol upon the brick, or possibly by making a representation of some conspicuous part or building of the city. [APPENDIX, No. 68.]

3. “An iron pan.'—Or "an iron plate,' probably such as was employed for baking cakes of bread." See Lev. ii. 5.

9. Beans.'-50 pul, whence the Latin puls, and our English pulse, as a general appellation for the seeds of leguminous plants. The kinds most common in Syria are the white horse-bean and the kidney-bean. The paintings of Egypt shew that the bean was cultivated in that country in very ancient times. It is stated by Herodotus that beans were held in abhorrence by the Egyptian priesthood, and that they were never eaten by the people. But, as they were nevertheless cultivated, the intimation of Diodorus, that the abstinence from beans was not general, is more than probable, though it is not likely that they formed so considerable an article in the diet of the poorer people as they do at present in the same country. It will be observed that the prophet is directed to make his bread with

Holcus SORGKUN. beans, dhourra, lentiles, and other coarse, inferior matters,

like rice. The poorer inhabitants of Arabia have little mixed with wheat, to shew that wheat should become too

other food than the dhourra-bread, which, from its coarsecostly to be used alone, and to express the shifts to which

ness, is seldom much liked by Europeans, till necessity the besieged people should be driven. Thus the Romans

accustoms them to it. The usual way of preparing it in were in the habit of mixing the meal of the bean with that

Arabia is by kneading it with camel's milk, oil, butter, or of corn-grasses, in times of scarcity, and the practice has been imitated in modern times. The present passage

grease. Niebuhr says he could not eat of it at first, and

that he should have preferred to it the worst bread he shews the antiquity of this resource.

had ever eaten in Europe. But the people of the country, Millet.'— The millet is the Panicum miliaceum of

being used to it, prefer it to barley, which they think too Linnæus, and is a kind of grass, which has a most exten

light. sive cultivation for the sake of its nutritive seeds. Pa

Notwithstanding its present extensive use, it might be nicum is from panis, ' bread,' and shews in what estimation

and has been questioned whether the dhourra was so it was held by the ancients. There is also another species

early cultivated in the south-west of Asia as the time of which is called Panicum Italicum and Setaria. It is an

Ezekiel. On this subject we have however no doubt. annual, in the warmer parts of Europe, and produces a

The dhourra does still also bear the Scriptural name of seed that is smaller than the foregoing species. The dochen or dokhen. Wilkinson, in his enumeration of the original word, in the present instance, is 107 dokhan, and

products of ancient Egypt, as evinced by paintings and may, very possibly have been the dhourra, or holcus seeds preserved in the ancient tombs, mentions dhourra, sorghum, of which we give a representation, and which is wheat, beans, lentiles-all of which are specified in this now so extensively cultivated and used in Palestine, Syria,

In another place, after having spoken of wheat, Arabia, Egypt, Nubia, etc.; being in some of these he says, “Another species of grain, with a single round countries the principal food of the lower classes. It is head, was plucked up by the roots, but formed, in the sometimes called the greater millet,' though belonging Thebaid at least, a much smaller proportion of the cultito a different genus. All these grasses have large spread- vated produce of the country. Its height far exceeds the ing clusters of flowers at the top of the stem, and present wheat, near which they represent it growing; and its a curious appearance to the eye that has been accustomed

[graphic]

general appearance cannot better answer to any of the to regard wheat as the staff of life. In Egypt three order of gramina than to the sorghum, or Egyptian harvests of the dhourra are obtained in one year; in dhourra.' He adds, in a note, that of the fifteen species other places two or one only, according to circumstances. of holcus, five at least appear to be natives of Egypt: and

verse.

[graphic]

COLLECTING OF DUNG FOR Fuel. that there seem also to be two unnoticed varieties. In children who were old enough would come out with another place this writer expresses his full conviction baskets and wait long and patiently to receive all the that the Holcus sorghum was grown in ancient Egypt. animal dung that occurred, to secure which there was

15. Cow's dung for man's dung.—The command, in often much rushing, contention, and violence among the the first instance, to use dung, implies that the siege numerous claimants for its possession. Cow-dung is should be of such duration that the supply of firewood in deemed much preferable to any other ; but all animal the town would be exhausted, and, being precluded from dung is considered valuable. When collected it is made having more from the country, the inhabitants must into cakes, which are stuck against the sunny side of the necessarily resort to dung to prepare such miserable food houses, giving them a curious and rather unsightly apas remained to them. In such cases, and in all cases pearance. When it is quite dry and falls off, it is stored where wood is scarce, animal dung, and especially cow's away in heaps for future use. It is much used for baking, dung, is much employed in the East. But the command being considered preferable to any other fuel for that to use human dung intimates, further, that not only was purpose, as it is by the villagers in Devonshire. In the the wood exhausted, but that no animal dung could be East, they either heat with it the portable oven, or iron obtained, probably because all the animals in the town plate, or else lay their cakes upon the fire of dung. A bad been killed for food, or had perished for want of very common resource, in the want of a plate or oven, is nourishment. Thus, as cow.dung is a common resource to form the dough into balls, which are placed either in the East, the command to use that at first would not among live coals or into a fire of camel's dung, and have conveyed that intimation of distress which is in- covered over till penetrated by the heat. The ashes are volved in the other direction.

then removed and the bread eaten hot, with much enThere is sufficient intimation that the Hebrews some- joyment by the natives; but it sometimes contracts a times employed atímal dung for fuel; but this could not flavour and appearance which is not pleasant to Eurogenerally have been the case in a country so tolerably peans. It seems very probable that it was such cakes well wooded as Palestine appears to have been. But in or balls, baked in immediate contact with the fire, which some regions of Western Asia, where wood is scarce, it the prophet intended to provide, and which made him the forms the common fuel; and, as the supply of this is often more abhor the idea of employing human dung for the inadequate to the occasions of the people, great anxiety is purpose. Our cut (from the great work on Egypt) shews exhibited in collecting a sufficient quantity, and in regu. the process followed in Egypt, which is precisely the same lating the consumption. In winter we have seen it used that we have described. Two females bear on their in the best rooms of some of the most respectable houses heads the baskets made of date-leaves, full of what they in towns of northern Persia ; and while travelling through have collected, while another makes the dung-cakes by the same country, and some parts of Media and Armenia, breaking up the dried dung, and compounding it with a when we formed our camp near the villages, all the little water, chopped straw and dust.

CHAPTER V.

more the like, because of all thine abomina

tions. 1 Under the type of hair, 5 is shewed the judgment of

10 Therefore the fathers 'shall eat the sons Jerusalem for their rebellion, 12 by famine, sword, in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat and dispersion.

their fathers; and I will execute judgments And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause scatter into all the winds. it to pass upon thine head and upon thy 11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord beard : then take thee balances to weigh, and God; Surely, because thou hast defiled my divide the hair.

sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and 2 Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in with all thine abominations, therefore will I the midst of the city, when the days of the also diminish thee; "neither shall mine eye siege are fulfilled : and thou shalt take a third spare, neither will I have any pity. part, and smite about it with a knife: and a 12 1 A third part of thee shall die with third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and the pestilence, and with famine shall they be I will draw out a sword after them.

consumed in the midst of thee : and a third 3 Thou shalt also take thereof a few in part shall fall by the sword round about thee; number, and bind them in thy 'skirts. and I will scatter a third part into all the

4 Then take of them again, and cast them winds, and I will draw out a sword after into the midst of the fire, and burn them in them. the fire ; for thereof shall a fire come forth 13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, into all the house of Israel.

and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, 5 q Thus saith the Lord God; This is and I will be comforted : and they shall know Jerusalem : I have set it in the midst of the that I the Lord have spoken it in my zeal, nations and countries that are round about when I have accomplished my fury in them. her.

14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and 6 And she hath changed my judgments a reproach among the nations that are round into wickedness more than the nations, and about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. my statutes more than the countries that are 15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, round about her : for they have refused my an instruction and an astonishment unto the judgments and my statutes, they have not nations that are round about thee, when I walked in them.

shall execute judgments in thee in anger and 7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD Because ye multiplied more than the nations have spoken it. that are round about you, and have not 16 When I shall send upon them the evil walked in my statutes, neither have kept my arrows of famine, which shall be for their dejudgments, neither have done according to struction, and whieh I will send to destroy the judgments of the nations that are round you: and I will increase the famine upon you,

and will break your 'staff of bread : 8 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; 17 So will I send upon you famine and Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will Sevil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and execute judgments in the midst of thee in the pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; sight of the nations.

and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the 9 And I will do in thee that which I have Lord have spoken it. not done, and whereunto I will not do any 1 Heb. wings.

3 Chap. 7. 4,9. 5 Levit. 26. 26. Chap. 4. 16, and 14. 13.

about you;

9 Levit. 26. 29. Deut. 28. 53. 4 Deut. 28, 37,

2 Kings 6. 29. Lam. 4. 10. Baruch 2. 3.

6 Levit. 26. 22.

Verse 1. A sharp knife....A barber's razor.'-The word rendered a sharp knife' is a general one denoting a sword, a knife, and other cutting instruments. Newcome bas • a sharp tool,' Boothroyd, a sharp instrument;' and some of the ancient versions understand a sword to be intended, and that the second clause does not define it to be a barber's razor, but describes it as sharper than a barber's razor. The word rendered 6 razor' (vyn tu'ar) is of more limited application to a sharp knife or a razor for shaving. As the Jews allowed their beards to grow, and did not

habitually shave their heads like the modern Orientals, there could have been little occasion among them for the use of the razor. Perhaps the allusion in Isa. vii. 20, to a razor that is hired,' suggests that the suitable implements were so uncommon as to be hired from the persons who possessed them, on those occasions of mourning when it was usual to shave the head ; or, as possibly, that there were professional barbers, little as their services were generally required--the employment of the hired barber being perhaps involved in the hiring of the razor. The

« PreviousContinue »