Page images
PDF
EPUB

the waters exalt themselves for their height, with them that descend into the pit: and all neither shoot up their top among the thick the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Leboughs, neither their trees 'stand up in their banon, all that drink water, shall be comforted height, all that drink water: for they are all in the nether parts of the earth. delivered unto death, to the nether parts of 17 They also went down into hell with the earth, in the midst of the children of men, him unto them that be slain with the sword; with them that go down to the pit.

and they that were his arm, that dwelt under 15 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day his shadow in the midst of the heathen. when he went down to the grave I caused a 18 | To whom art thou thus like in glory mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I and in greatness among the trees of Eden? restrained the floods thereof, and the great yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees waters were stayed : and I caused Lebanon of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth : loto mourn for him, and all the trees of the thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumfield fainted for him.

cised with them that be slain by the sword. 16 I made the nations to shake at the This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell the Lord God.

2 Or, stand upon themselves for their height.

10 Heb. to be back.

Verse 3. The Assyrian.'-Bishop Lowth thinks this the higher ascents of the mountain from which they take noble parable much confused by the translation here of

their name.

This is not on the summit of Lebanon, or ou ex asshur, as a proper name, 'the Assyrian,' which, he

any of the summits which that rauge of mountains offers, says, can have no meaning at all in this passage. He would as sometimes has been imagined; but is at the foot of a therefore, with Meibonius, understand it here as an epithet, lofty mountain, in what may be considered as the arena of

tall,' or 'straight,' applied to the cedar. This is certainly a vast amphitheatre, open on the west, but shut in by high an unusual sense, but occurs in Isa. i. 17; 1 Kings v. 13. mountains on the north, south, and east. The cedars here It is adopted by Boothroyd, who translates, Lo, he is as a stand upon five or six gentle elevations, and occupy a spot tall cedar in Lebanon ;' and adds in a note, • The exigence of ground about three-fourths of a mile in circumference. of the place requires this unusual sense, or else that we A person may walk around it in fifteen minutes. The should suppose the word a mistake for some other.' This largest of the trees is about forty feet in circumference. is possible: but we do not see much difficulty in the common Six or eight others are also very large, several of them interpretation, or that any force is lost by supposing that nearly of the size of the largest. But each of these is the king of Egypt is admonished by the account of the glory manifestly one or more trees, which have grown together, and downfall of the Assyrian empire, under the image of and now form one. They generally separate a few feet a cedar. The doom of Assyria had been foretold by the from the ground into the original trees. The handsomest prophets, and the recent accomplishment of their predic- and tallest are those of two and three feet in diameter. In tions might well be adduced as an argumentative con- these the body is straight, the branches almost horizontal, firmation of the prophet's veracity, in declaring that forming a beautiful cone, and casting a goodly shade. Egypt should soon meet with a like fate. For such reasons Pliny. Fisk (Memoir of the Rev. Pliny Fisk, A.M., lule Newcome, though aware of the objections we have stated, Missionary to Palestine, Boston, 1828, p. 327), whose aeprefers the common interpretation.

count we are now following, measured the height of one of - A cedar in Lebanon with fair branches,' etc.- them by the shade, and found it ninety feet. The largest Whatever be the wider significance of the word rendered were not so high, but some of the others seemed to him a • cedar' in Scripture, there is no question that in the noble little higher. He counted them, and made the whole description here given, it has a special reference to the number three hundred and eighty-nine ; but his companion tree usually distinguished by that name. Indeed, Lebanon (Rev. J. King), who in counting omitted the saplings, made affords no other trec to which it could be applicable. See the number three hundred and twenty-one. "I know not,' the note on Lev. xiv. 4. It might indeed be plausibly observes Fisk, “why travellers have so long and so genecontended that the prophet has in view the very grove of rally given twenty-eight, twenty, fifteen, five, as the numtrees in the Upper Lebanon which travellers usually visit; ber of the cedars. It is true that of those of superior size for the nearest village to that spot bears to this day the and antiquity there are not a greater number; but then name of Eden, and Ezekiel speaks repeatedly of the there is a regular gradation in size, from the largest down tree from which he draws his figures being the chief of to the merest sapling.' This is confirmed by another and those in Eden,' though his meaning in this allusion is later American traveller, who confesses he did not count rendered to some readers less definite than was probably them, which, from the nature of the ground and the situaintended, by the occasional glance of the prophet to the tion of the trees, would be no easy matter (Rev. J. Paxton, fact that the garden of God' bore the same name. It is p. 81); but he counted a small section, and was disposed to not, however, by any means certain that even this side al- think that there might be from three hundred to five hunlusion is to Adam's Paradise, seeing that the phrase 'gar- dred trees that are above a foot in diameter-possibly one den of God’ may, in Scripture phraseology, denote any hundred and fifty that may be above two feet--and abont great and magnificent garden or plantations; and to this fifty or sixty that may be from three to four feet. Of the day, as Forbes states, the royal gardens in Hindustan are few he measured the largest was thirty-nine feet in circumoften called the gardens of God. It is right to observe ference-one thirty-two-one twenty-nine-one twentythat this is not the only place of cedars: many other eight-one twenty-three. These may serve for a sample. clumps of them have now been found in other parts of It is pretty certain,' remarks this traveller, that this the mountains, but nowhere else have any trees go large grove did not furnish wood for Solomon. It lies opposite and venerable as this place exhibits been discovered. to Tripoli, which is two days north of Beirut, and Beirut

The trees which bear the honoured name of the cedars is [forty-five miles) north of Tyre, and (twenty-five from] of Lebanon' are the most conspicuously exhibited among Sidon. It lies far from the sea, and has a piece of country between it and the sea, as rough as can well be found any- Such undervaluing impressions had been fairly met, where. The grove does not appear to be diminishing, but or rather anticipated, by Fisk, who observes Let rather increasing. I saw no stumps of fallen trees, and such a one put himself in the place of an Asiatic passyoung ones were springing up. There is a kind of reli- ing from barren desert to barren desert, traversing oceans gious reverence for these trees among the neighbouring of sand, and mountains of naked rock, accustomed to villagers. They have a singular appearance standing countries like Egypt, Arabia, Judæa, and Asia Minor, alone in the midst of a small plain on which no other trees abounding, in the best places, only with shrubbery and grow, with no other trees above them, nor for a consider- fruit-trees, let him, with the feelings of such a man, able space below. Another singular fact is, that there is climb the rugged rocks, and cross the naked ravines of no running water among them. There is a stream on the Lebanon, and suddenly descry among the hills a grove side of the plain, but it comes not near them. The ground of three hundred trees, such as the cedars actually are, appears enriched with the leaves that fall from them, and even at the present day, and he will confess that to be looks precisely as the soil usually does in a pine grove? a fine comparison in Amos ii. 9,—“Whose height was Upon the whole, the grove failed to make upon this tra- as the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the veller the impression for which he was prepared—and oaks,”—let him, after a long ride in the heat of the perhaps because he was prepared. On approaching them san, sit down in the shade of a cedar, and contemplate at first, he says:- Near the middle of the little plain, at the exact conical form of its top, and the beautiful symthe foot of the steep ascent below us, we saw a clump of metry of its branches, and he will no longer wonder that trees; but they looked too few or too small for the cedars. David compared the people of Israel, in the days of their They resembled a small orchard of evergreens. We found, prosperity, to “the goodly cedars” (Ps. lxxx. 10). A trahowever, on reaching the plain that these were the cedars veller who has just left the forests of America may think this we sought. They stand in irregular groups, spread over little grove of cedars not worthy of so much notice, but several little stony knolls, and may possibly cover eight the man who knows how rare large trees are in (southor ten acres of ground.'

western] Asia, and how difficult it is to find timber for build

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

CHAPTER XXXII.

will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain 1 A lamentation for the fearful fall of Egypt. 11

upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of the The sword of Babylon shalt destroy it. 17 It shall whole earth with thee. be brought down to hell, among all the uncircumcised 5 And I will lay thy flesh upon

the mounnations.

tains, and fill the valleys with thy height. And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the 6 I will also water with thy blood "the land twelfth month, in the first day of the month, wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains ; that the word of the LORD came unto me, and the rivers shall be full of thee. saying,

7 And when I shall "put thee out, 'I will 2 Son of man, take up a lamentation for cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, dark ; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and the moon shall not give her light. thou art as a 'whale in the seas: and thou 8 All the bright lights of heaven will I camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst make "dark over thee, and set darkness upon the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their thy land, saith the Lord God. rivers :

°9 I will also Svex the hearts of many people, 3 Thus saith the Lord God; I will there when I shall bring thy destruction among the fore 'spread out my net over thee with a com- nations, into the countries which thou hast not pany of many people; and they shall bring known. thee up in my net.

10 Yea, I will make many people amazed 4 Then will I leave thee upon the land, I at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid will cast thee forth upon the open field, and for thee, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at every which caused "terror in the land of the moment, every man for his own life, in the day living. of thy fall.

i Or, dragon

Chap. 12. 13, and 17. 20. 3 Or, the land of thy swimming. 5 Isa. 13. 10. Joel 2. 31, and 3. 15. Matth. 24. 29. 6 Heb. light of the light in heaven.

8 Heb. provoke to anger, or, grief.

4 Or, extinguish.

7 Heb. then dark.

24 There is Elam and all her multitude 11 T For thus saith the Lord God; The round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon by the sword, which are gone down uncircumthee.

cised into the nether parts of the earth, which 12 By the swords of the mighty will I cause caused their terror in the land of the living ; thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, yet have they borne their shame with them : pomp that go to the pit.

be destroyed.

the slain with all her multitude: her graves 13 I will destroy also all the beasts thereof are round about him : all of them uncircumfrom beside the great waters; neither shall cised, slain by the sword : though their terror the foot of man trouble them any more, nor was caused in the land of the living, yet have the hoofs of beasts trouble them.

they borne their shame with them that go down 14 Then will I make their waters deep, and to the pit: he is put in the midst of them that cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord be slain. GOD.

26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her 15 When I shall make the land of Egypt multitude : her graves are round about him : desolate, and the country shall be 'destitute of all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, that whereof it was full, when I shall smite all though they caused their terror in the land of them that dwell therein, then shall they know the living that I am the Lord.

27 And they shall not lie with the mighty 16 This is the lamentation wherewith they that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are shall lament her : the daughters of the nations gone down to hell with their weapons of war: sball lament her: they shall lament for her, and they have laid their swords under their even for Egypt, and for all her multitude, saith heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their the Lord God.

bones, though they were the terror of the 17 9 It came to pass also in the twelfth mighty in the land of the living. year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the 28 Yea, thou shalt be broken in the midst word of the Lord came unto me, saying, of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with them

18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of that are slain with the sword. Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the 29 There is Edom, her kings, and all her daughters of the famous nations, unto the princes, which with their might are 'laid by nether parts of the earth, with them that go them that were slain by the sword: they shall down into the pit.

lie with the uncircumcised, and with them that 19 Whom dost thou pass in beauty ? go go down to the pit. down, and be thou laid with the uncircum- 30 There be the princes of the north, all of cised.

them, and all the Zidonians, which are gone 20 They shall fall in the midst of them that down with the slain ; with their terror they are are slain by the sword : ''she is delivered ashamed of their might; and they lie uncirto the sword : draw her and all her multi- cumcised with them that le slain by the sword, tudes.

and bear their shame with them that

go

down 21 The strong among the mighty shall

to the pit. speak to him out of the midst of hell

with them 31 Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be that help him : they are gone down, they lie comforted over all his multitude, even Pharaoh uncircumcised, slain by the sword.

and all his army slain by the sword, saith the 22 Asshur is there and all her company :

Lord God. his graves are about him : all of them slain, 32 For I have caused my terror in the land fallen by the sword :

of the living: and he shall be laid in the 23 Whose graves are set in the sides of the midst of the uncircumcised with them that are pit, and her company is round about her slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, multitude, saith the Lord God. 9 Heb. desolate from the fulness thereof. 10 Or, the sword is lid. 11 Or, dismaying. 12 Heb. with weapons of their war.

13 feb. given, or, put.

Verse 14. Their rivers to run like oil--that is, width or in length, have no openings on the sides to which smoothly and calmly, untroubled, without a wave or the bodies may be said to go down.'--We may observe, storm.

once for all, that the frequently recurring expression here 18. 'Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt.'— alluded to by Mr. Taylor, seems generally to refer to exLowth justly regards this prophetic ode, vv. 18-32, as a cavated sepulchral chambers, in the sides of which were masterpiece in that species of poetry which is calculated recesses to receive the bodies of the dead. Many sepulto excite terror.

chres of this description occur in different parts of the The daughters of the famous nations'—that is, the East. inferior cities and towns belonging to them.

With respect to the present allusion to the Assyrians, 22. • Asshur is there and all her company ; his graves are Taylor acknowledges that nothing is known about their about him.'—The latter portion of this remarkable chap- mode of sepulture, except that it appears to have been siter describes the nations in the state of the dead, and as milar to that of the Persians; and, he might have added, some curious distinctions occur in the mention of some of the Babylonians: and this resemblance is corroborated by them, it would appear that there are several allusions to the evidence, with which Taylor does not seem to have the different modes of sepulture which prevailed among been acquainted, of many existing sepulchral sites on the them. When one of the nations is mentioned thus in banks of the Tigris and Euphrates—the rivers of Assyria nearly the same terms as another, we may perhaps infer and Babylonia. Some of these have been examined with that no remarkable distinction existed. This view has interest by the present writer, and they contain urns of not entirely escaped the notice of some commentators; but various forms, lined with bitumen, and sometimes glazed, we are aware of none who have given it so much atten- containing bones and dust. They are found in almost tion as Mr. Charles Taylor, in one of the 'Fragments' ap- every situation-in mounds of ruin, in the cliffs of the ripended to his edition of Calmet. In adopting the same vers, and even within the thick walls of ancient towns view, we are glad that the plan of our work enables us to and fortresses: in some places where the stream has cut give the subject that pictorial illustration which it has not the bank perpendicularly, its steep face presents multitudes hitherto received, and which is calculated to afford the of urns, from the summit to the water's edge, in every vamost effective elucidation of the prophet's meaning, In riety of form and size, arranged sometimes regularly, and introducing the subject, Mr. Taylor well observes, It is sometimes not; which, with the occasional discovery of more than possible that if we could discriminate accu- lines of brick-work connected with these sepulchral rerately the meaning of words employed by the sacred mains, suggests the idea, sanctioned by the Desatir, that writers, we should find them adapted with a surprising most of the public buildings of the country had within precision to the subjects on which they treat. Of this the their mass receptacles of various kinds, as cellars, niches, various construction of sepulchres might, probably, afford etc., for sepulchral urns. These seem to have been formed convincing evidence; and perhaps it is a leading idea in of kiln-dried brick, investing an interior mass of sun-dried passages where it has not hitherto been observed. The

material. Few of the urns are large enough to contain an numerous references in the Sacred Scriptures to sepulchres adult human body, and which therefore could not have supposed to be well peopled, would be misapplied to na- been deposited entire. The statement of Taylor, that tions which burned their dead, as the Greeks and Romans bodies were not burnt in this region, though a very comdid, or to those who committed them to rivers, as the mon one, is incorrect; and we have ourselves seen bones Hindoos; or to those who expose them to birds of prey, that bore traces of the action of fire. But this is not as the Parsees. Nor would the phrase, "to go down to the always the case: and, upon the whole, the evidence of sides of the pit” be strictly applicable to, or be properly existing remains tends strongly to confirm the account of descriptive of, that mode of burial which prevails among the prevalent modes of sepulture, in this part of the world, ourselves. Single graves, admitting one body only, in which is given in the Desatir. Text.—'A corpse you

[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »