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cir 7M°' Et ln
xvi. 3. mayed at the seeing of it.
cir. nnmun . •»« i /• /• i
Nurow Pompiiii, 4 « My heart panted, feartul
R. Roman. 2. negg affrighted me . h ^ nighj
of my pleasure hath he 'turned into fear unto me.
5 k Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint live shield.
6 For thus'hath tlie Lord saidunto me. Go, set & watchman, let him declare what he secth.
7 l And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:
8 And - he cried, A lion: My *; «• cir
_ - o. \^. cir. *J*.
lord, I stand continually upon the oiymp. xvi. i 11 watchtower in the day-time, and Ni^po^Lii. I am set in my ward "whole nights: *• H"""-*
9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and « all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.
10 r O my threshing,' and the • scorn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, havel declared unto yoa.
11 'The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night \ Watchman, what of the night?
have put an end to all her vexations"] Hob, "Her sighing; that is, the sighing caused by her." So Kuncht on the place: "It means those who groaned through fear of him: for the suffixes of the nouns refer both to the agent and the patient. All those who groaned before the. face of the king of Babylon he caused to rest;" l'/inl,1. And so likewise Ephrem Syr. in loo., edit. Asseinani: "His groans, viz., the grief and tears which the Chaldeans occasioned'through the rest of the nations."
Verse 6. Prepare the table—" The table is prepared"] In Hebrew the verbs are in the infinitive mood absolute, as in Ezek. i. 14: "And the animals ran and returned, 31571 N1YT ratio veshob, like the appearance of the lightning;" just as the Latins say, currere et rer-r.'i. for currebant et revertebantur. See chap, xxxii. 11, and the note there.
Ante, yt protest, and anoint the shield.] Kimchi observes that several of the rabbins understood this of Belshazzar's impious feast and death. The king of a people is termed Me thield, because he is their defence. The command, Attaint the thield, is the same with Anoint m Ikw Inng. fielshaizar being now suddenly slain, while they were -all eating and drinking, he advises the princes, whose business it was, to make speed and anoint another in his stead.
Verse 7. And he saw a chariot, 4*-—" And he saw a chariot with two riders; a rider on an ass, a rider on a camel"] This passage is extremely obscure from the ambiguity of the term 331 recheb, which is used three times, and which signifies a chariot, or any oilier vehicle, or the riderin it; or a rider on a horse, or any oUter animal; er a company of chariots, or riders, The prophet-mar possibly mean a cavalry in two parts, with two softs of riders; riders on aims or mules, and riders on camels; or led on by two riders, one on an ass, and one «b a camel. However, no far it is pretty clear, that Darius and, Cyrus, the Modes nnd the Persians, are intended to be distinguished by the two riders on the tiro sorts of cattle. It appears lVi>m Hrrodotus, i- 80> that the baps-ape of Cyrus' army \vn» rarriod on camels. Ib his encasement with fiti-sus, ho t(H»k off the bag
gage from the camels', and mounted his horsemen upon them; the enemy's horses, offended with the smell of the camels, turned back add fled.—L.
Verse 8. And he cried, A lion—:" He that looked out on the watch"] The present reading, n~lK arych, a lion, is so unintelligible, and the mistake so obviooa, that I make no doubt that the true reading is mnn liarneh, the teer; as the Syriac translator manifestly found it in his copy, who renders it by spn data, a watchmen.
Verse 9. Here cometh a chariot of mm, 4*.—" A man, one of the two riders"] So the (tynoc understands it, and Ephrem Syr.
•Verse 10. O my threthihg] - O thou, the object upon which I shall exercise the severity of my discipline; that shall lie under my afflicting hand, like corn spread upon the floor to be threshed out and winnowed, to separate the chaff from the wheat!" The image of threshing is frequently used by the Hebrew poets, with great elegance and force, to-express the punishment of the wicked and the trial of the good, or the otter dispersion and destruction of God's enemies. Of the different ways of threshing in use among the Hebrews, and the manner of performing them, see the note Ob chap, xxviii. 27.
Our translators have taken the liberty of using the word threshing in a passive sense, to express the object or matter that is threshed; m which I have followed them, not being able to express it more properly, without departing too muoh from the form and letter of the original "Son of my floor," Heb. It is an idiom of the Hebrew language to call the effect, the object, the adjunct, any thing that belongs in almost any way to another, the ton of it. - "0 my threshing." The prophet abruptly breaks off the speech of God; and instead of continuing it in the form in which he had begun, and in the person of God, " This I declare unto you by my prophet," he changes the form of address, and adds, in his own person, "This I declare unto you from God."
Verse 11. The but-dun .of Dumah—"The oracle eoncerning Dumah."] Pro non Dinnah, Codex R. Meiri habet OHM Edam; and so the Septuagini; Vid
Kimchi ad h. 1. Biblia • Michaelis, Hal*, 1720, not. ad 1. See also De Rossi. . Bishop Lowlh translates the prophecy thus :—
11. THE ORACLE CONCERNING DUMAH. ,
A voice crieth to me from Seir:
12. The watchman replieth:—
The morning^cometh, and also the night.
This differs very little from our common Version. One of KennicotCs MSS., and one of my own, omit the repetition, "Watchman, what from the night?"
This prophecy, from the uncertainty of the occasion on which it was uttered, and from the brevity of the expression, is extremely obscure. The Edomites as weH as the Jews were subdued by the Babylonians. They inquire of the prophet how long .their subjection is to last: he intimates that the Jews should be delivered from their captivity; not so the Edomites. Thus far the interpretation seems to carry with il some degree of probability. What the meaning of the last line may be, I cannot pretend to divine. In this difficulty the Hebrew MSS. give no assistance. The MSS. Of the Septuosm/, and the fragments of the other Greek Versions, give some variations, but no fight. This being the case, I thought it best to give an exact literal translation of the whole two verses, which may serve to enable the English reader to judge in some measure of the foundation of the various interpretations that have been "given of them.
The burden of Dumah.—R. D. Kimchi says, " His father understood this of the destruction of Dumah (one of the cities of the Ishmaelitcs) by the inhabitants of Seir; and that they 'inquired of the prophet to know the particular time in which God had given them i commission against it. The prophet answered: The morning—the time of success to you, cometh, is just at hand; and the night—the time of utter destruction to the inhabitant^ of Dumah, is also ready."
I have heard the words applied in the way of general exhortation. 1. Every minister of God is a watchman. He is continually watching for the tafety and interests of his people, and looking "for the counsel of God that he may be properly'qualified to warn and to comfort. 2. Such are often called to denounce heavy judgments; they have the burden of the word of the Lord to denounce against the impenitent, the backslider, the luke-warm, and the careless. 3. When the watchman threatens judgments, some are awakened, and some mocit: Watchman, what of the night? "What are the judgments thou threatenest, and when are they to take place t" 4. To this question, whether seriously or tauntingly'proposed, the watchman answers: 1. The morning cometh—there is a time of repentance granted; a morning of God's long-stiffering kindness
now appears: and also the night-—the time in which God will no longer wait to be gracious, but will cut you off as cumberers of the ground. 2. But if you will inquire- seriously how you are to escape God'a judgments, inquire ye. 3. There is still a door of hope; continue to pray for mercy. 4. Return from your iniquities. 5. Come'la God, through Christ, that ye may obtain salvation.
Verse .13. The Burden upon Arabia—"The Coracle concerning Arabia"] This title is of doubtful authority. In'the first place, because it is not in many of 'the MSS. of the Septuagint; it is in MSS, Pachom. and i. D. n. only, as far as 1 can find with certainty. Secondly, from the singularity of the phraseology; for XE*!3 massa is generally prefixed to its object without a preposition, as "723 SWD massa babel; and never but in this place with-the preposition 3 beth. Besides, as the word 3^J,'3 baarab occurs at the very beginning of the prophecy itself, the first word but one, it is much to be suspected that some one, taking it for a proper name and the object of the prophecy, might note it as such by the words 31J73 tmm massa baarab written in the margin, which he might easily transfer to the text. The Septuagint did not take it for a proper name, but render it ev rtfi Sfv^
ifspaf, "in the forest, in the evening," and so the Cfialdee, which 1 follow; for otherwise, the forest in Arabia is so indeterminate and vague a description, that in effect it means nothing at all. This observation might have been of good use in clearing up the foregoing very obscure prophecy, if any light had arisen from joining the two together by removing the separating title; but I see no connexion between them. The Arabic Version has, "The prophecy concerning the Arabians, and the children of Chedar."
This prophecy was to have been fulfilled within a year of the time of its delivery, see ver. 16; and it was probably delivered about the same time with the rest in this part of the book, that is, soon before or after the 14th of Hezekiah, the year of Sennacherib's invasion. In-his first march into Judea, or in his return from the Egyptian expedition, he might perhaps overrun these several clans of Arabians; their distress on some such occasion is the subject of this prophecy.—L.
Terse 14. 'The land of Tema—" The southern country"] ©aifiav, Sept.; Austri, Vtilg. They read 3'fl leiman, which seems to be right; for probably the inhabitants of Tema might be involved in the same calamity with their brethren and neighbours of Kedar, and not in a condition to give them assistance, and to relieve them, in their flight before the enemy, with bread and water. To bring forth bread and water is an instance of common humanity in such cases of distress; especially in those desert countries in which the common necessaries of life, more particularly water, are not easily to be met with or pro»
Witliin a year, * according to the
For the Lord—hath spoken it—« For Jehovah hath sjrnken it."] The prophetic Carmina of Marcios, foretelling the battle of Cannte, lib. xxv. 12, conclude with the same kind of solemn form: Nam. jnUn iff Juptler J'nius eat; "Thus hath Jupiter spoken to me." Observe that the word DW noam, to pronouce, to declare, is the solemn word appropriated to the delivering of prophecies: "Behold, I am against the prophets, saith (C3XJ naam, prorumnceth) Jehovah. who use their tongues, OKJ 13XJ'l raiyinamu nnon, and tolemnly pronounce, He hath pronounced it;" Jer. xxiii. 31. What God says shall most assuredly come to pass; he cannot be deceived.
thy rulers are fled tOJ
A. M. cir. 3892. 9
B. C. cir. 712.
CMymp. xvii. j. gether, they are bound b by the Num« Fbmpilii, archers: all that are found in thee, R. Roman.. 4. ^ bound togetlier, which have fled from far.
4 Therefore, said I, Look away from me; c I d will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.
5 • For it is a day of trouble,.and of treading down, and of perplexity f by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.
6 'And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and h Kir ' uncovered the shield.
I And it shall come to pass, that Ag *£ «r
k thy choicest valleys shall be full Olymp. xvii. i.
..... . . . cir. annum
of chariots, and the horsemen Nnma;Pompiiii, shall set themselves in array 'at R- Ron""h- *• the gate. .'
8 And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour m of the house of the forest.
9 "Ye have seen also the breaches of tEe city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool.
10 And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down, to fortify the wall,
II °Ye made also a ditch between the two
or heard in the streets, any public spectacle, any alarm of a public nature, every one immediately goes up to the house-top to satisfy his curiosity. In the same manner, when any one has occasion to make any thing public, the readiest and most effectual way of doing it is to proclaim it from the house-tops to the people in the streets. "What ye hear in the ear, that publish ye on the house-top," saith our Saviour, Matt. x. 27. The people running all to the tops of their houses gives a lively image pf a sudden general alarm. Sir John Chardin's MS. note on this place is as follows: "Dans les festes pour voir passer quelque chose, et dans les maladies pour les annoncer aux voisins en allumant des lumieres, le peuple monte sur les terrasses." "In festivals, in order to see what is going forward, and in times of sickness, in order to indicate them to neighbours by lighting of candles, the people go up to the house-tops."
Verse 3. All thy rulers—are bound by the archers— "All thy leaders—are fled from the bow"] There seems to be somewhat of an inconsistency in the'Sense according to the present reading. If the leaders were bound, 113X usseru, how could they flee away 1 for their being bound, according to the obvious construction and course of the sentence, is a circumstance prior to their flight. I therefore follow Houbigant, who reads non huseru, remoti sunt, "they are gone off." iSj galu, transmigraverunt, Qhaldee; which seems to confirm this emendation.
Verse 6. Chariots of men—"The Syrian"] .It is not easy to say what O1S SZn recheb adam, a chariot of men, can mean. It seems by the form of the sentence, which consists of three members, the first and tfie third mentioning a particular people, that the second should do so likewise. Thus CD'inDi mx 3313 berecheb aram aparashim, "with chariots the Syrian-, and with horsemen :" the similitude of the letter* 1 daleth Mi ii I i resh is so great, and the mistakes arising from if are so frequent, that I readily adopt the correction of Iloubigant, a^X aram, Syria, instead of OIK adorn,
man; which seems to me extremely probable. The conjunction 1 vau, and, prefixed to O'KTtfl parashitn, horsemen, seems necessary in whatever way the sentence may be taken; and it is confirmed by five MSS., (one ancient,) four of De Rossi's, and two ancient of my own; one by correction of Dr. KennicotCs, and three editions. Kir was a city belonging to the Medes. The Medes were subject to the Assyrians in Hczekiah's time, (see 2 Kings xvi. 9, and xvii. 6 ;) and so perhaps might Elam (the Persians) likewise be, or auxiliaries to them.
Verse 8. The armour—"The arsenal"] Built by Solomon within the city, and called the house of the forest of Lebanon; probably from the great quantity of cedar from Lebanon which was employed in the building. See 1 Kings vii. 2, 3.
Verse 9. Ye gathered toge(her the waters-^" And ye shall collect the waters"] There were two pools in or near Jerusalem, supplied by springs: the upper pool, or the old pool, supplied by the spring called Gihon, 2 Chron. xxxii. 30, towards the higher part of the city, near Sion, or the city of David, and the lower pool, probably supplied by Siloam, towards the lower part. When Hezekiah was threatened with a siege by Sennacherib, he stopped up all the waters of the fountains without the city; and brought them into the city by a conduit, or subterranean passage cut through the rock; those of the old pool, to the place where he had a double wall, so that the pool was between the two walls. This he did in order to distress the enemy, and to supply the city during the siege. This was so great a work that not only the historians have made particular mention of it, 2 Kings xx. 20; 2 Chron. xxxii. 2, 3, 5, 30; but the son of Sirach also has celebrated it in his encomium on Hezekiah. "Hezekiah fortified his city, and brought in water into the midst thereof; he digged the hard rock with iron, and made wells for •water," Ecclus. xlviii. • .
Verse 11. Unto the maker thereof—"To him that hath disposed this"] That is, to God the Author and
Disposer of this visitation, the invasion with which he now threatens you." The very same expressions are applied to God, and upon the same occasion, chap, xxxvii. 26 :—
"Hast thou not heard of old, that I have disposed it; And of ancient times, that I have formed it t"
Verse 13. Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow vie shall die.] This has been the language of alt those who have sought their portion in this life, since the foundation of the world. So the poet :—
IIrii. hen nos miseri! quam totus homuncio nil eat ! Sic erimus cuncti, poetqnam nos auferet orcua. Ergo vivamiis, dum licet ease, bene.
Alas, alas! what miserable creatures are we, only the semblance of men! And so shall we be all when we come to die. Therefore let us live joyfully while we may.
Domitian had an image of death hung up in his dining-room, to show his guests that as life was uncertain, they should make the best of it by indulging themselves. On this Martial, to flatter the emperor, whom he styles god, wrote the following epigram • —
Frange thoroa, pete vines, tingere nardo.
Sit down to table—drink heartily—anoint thyself with spikenard: for God himself commands thee to remember death.
So the adage $—•,;
Ede, bibe, hide: post mortem nulla volnptas.
"Eat, drink, and play, while here ye may: .
St. Paul quotes the same heathen sentiment, 1 Cor. xv. 32: "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."
Anacreon is full in point, and from him nothing better can be expected:—
'fiff ouv tr' evSi'-etfnv,
Anac. Od. xv., 1. 11.
"While no tempest blots your sky,
mine ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely iniquity "shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord God of hosts.
15 Thus saith the Lord Gob of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto * Shebna, 'which is over the house, and say,
Ere you push the goblet round;
Lest some fatal illness cry,
'Drink no more the cup of joy.'" Addisos.
Verse 14. // teas revealed in mine ears—"The voice of Jehovah"] The Vulgate has vox Domini; as if in his copy he had read niTT Sip kol Yehorah; and in truth, without the word Sip kol, voice, it is not easy to make out the sense of the passage; as appears from the strange versions which the rest of the ancients, (except the Chaldcr,) and many of the modems, have given of it; as if the matter were revealed in or to the ears of Jehovah: fv <ntf u(ti Kufiou, in the ears of the Lord, Septuagint. Vitringa translates it, Rcvelatus est in auribas meis Jehovah, " Jehovab hath revealed if in mine ears ;" and refers to 1 Sam. ii. 27; iii. 21 : but the construction in those places is different, and there is no speech of God added; which here seems to want something more than the verb n% nigleh to introduce it. Compare chap. v. 9, where the text IN still more imperfect.
The Lord God of hosts] rOK3X fiTT '31K Adann Yehovah tsebaoth. But 'J1K Adonai, Lord, is omitted by two of Kenmcotfs and De Rossi's MSS., and by two of my own; by-three editions, and the Septvagtxt* Syriac, and Arabic.
Verse 15. Go—unto Shebna] The following prophecy concerning Shebna seems to have very little relation to the foregoing, except that it might have been delivered about the same time; and Shebna might be a principal person among those whose luxury and profaneness is severely reprehended by the prophet in the conclusion of that prophecy, ver. 11—14.
Shebna the scribe, mentioned in the history of He zekiah, chap, xxxvi., .seems to have been a different person from this Shebna, the treasurer or steward of the household, to whom this prophecy relates. The Eliakim here mentioned was probably the person who, at the time of Sennacherib's invasion, was actually treasurer, the son of Hilkiah. If so, this prophecy was delivered, as the preceding, (which makes the former part of the chapter,) plainly was, some time before the invasion of Sennacherib. As to the rest, history affords us no information.
"And say unto him"] Here are 'two words lost out of the text, which are supplied by two of Dr. Kennicotfs MSS., one ancient, which read Pm mow veamarta elaiv, and thou shalt say unto him; by the Septuagint, xai $ivw avru, and in the same manner by all the ancient versions. It is to be observed that