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B. C. 562.
A. M. 3415.
A. M. 3120.
Jehoiachin is brought
out of prison. A. M. 3-404,
A. M. 3442 28 This is the people whom persons were four thousand and B. C. 600. Ol. XLV. 1. Nebuchadrezzar carried away six hundred.
OI. LIV. 3. farquinii Prisci, captive: in the i seventh year 31 » And it came to pass in the Servii Tullii, R. Roman., 17.
R. Roman., 17. k three thousand Jews and three seven and thirtieth year of the and twenty:
captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the 29 In the eighteenth year of twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day 01. XLVII. 4. Nebuchadrezzar he carried away of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Tarquinii Prisci, captive from Jerusalem eight Babylon in the first year of his reign • lifted R. Roman., 28. hundred thirty and two persons: up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and
30 In the three and twentieth brought him forth out of prison, B. C. 584. 01. XLIX. 1 year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzar- 32 And spake P kindly unto him, and set his Tarquinii Prisci, adan the captain of the guard throne above the throne of the kings that were R. Roman., 33. carried away captive of the Jews with him in Babylon, seven hundred forty and five persons : all the 33 And changed his prison garments : 9 and b 2 Kings xxiv. 2. See 2 Kings xxiv. 12.- See 2 Kings 2 Kings xxv. 27, 28, 29, 30.- Gen xiv. 13, 20.
- Heb. xxiv. 14.— See ver. 12;. chap. xxxix. 9.- Heb. souls.
good things with him. -42 Sam. ix. 13. Verses 28-30. On these verses Dr. Blayney has at which time they might think it proper to send off some sensible remarks ; I will extract the substance. the prisoners that were in camp, under a guard to These verses are not inserted in 2 Kings xxv. Are Babylon. we to conclude from these verses that the whole num- And the last, in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadber of the Jews which Nebuchadnezzar, in all his ex- nezzar, was when that monarch, being engaged in the peditions, carried away, was no more than four thou- siege of Tyre, sent off Nebuzar-adan against the Moab. sand six hundred ? This cannot be true; for he car- ites, Ammonites, and other neighbouring nations, who' ried away more than twice that number at one time ; at the same time carried away the gleanings of Jews and this is expressly said to have been in the eighth that remained in their own land, amounting in all to no year of his reign, 2 Kings xxiv. 12–16." Before that more than seven hundred and forty-five. time he had carried off a number of captives from Je- Josephus speaks of this expedition against the Moabrusalem, in the first year of his reign, among whom ites and Ammonites, which he places in the twentywere Daniel and his companions, Dan. i. 3-6. These third year of Nebuchadnezzar; but mentions nothing are confessedly not noticed here. And as the taking and done in the land of Israel at that time. Only he says, burning of Jerusalem is in this very chapter said to that after the conquest of those nations, Nebuchadnezhave been in the fourth and fifth months of the nine- zar carried his victorious arms against Egypt, which teenth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, those who he in some measure reduced, and carried the Jews were carried into captivity at the date of those events whom he found there captives-to Babylon. But the cannot possibly be the same with those that are said to Egyptian expedition was not till the twenty-seventh be carried away either in the eighteenth or twenty-third year of Jehoiachin's captivity, i. e., the thirty-fifth of year of that prince. Nor, indeed, is it credible that Nebuchadnezzar, as may be collected from Ezek. xxix. the number carried away at the time that the city was 17; so that those who were carried away in the twentaken, and the whole country reduced, could be so few ty-third year were not from Egypt, but were, as before as eight hundred and thirty-two, (see ver. 29 ;) sup- observed, the few Jews that remained in the land of posing a mistake in the date of the year, which some Judah. are willing to do without sufficient grounds.
Verse 31. In the twelfth month] Answering nearly Here then we have three deportations, and those the to our twenty-fifth of April, A. M. 3442. most considerable ones, in the first, in the eighth, and Lifted up the head of Jehoiachin] This phrase is nineteenth years of Nebuchadnezzar, sufficiently dis- taken from Gen: xl. 13. It is founded on the obsertinguished from those in the seventh, eighteenth, and vation that those who are in sorrow hold down their twenty-third years. So that it seems most reasonable heads, and when they are comforted, or the cause of to conclude with Abp. Usher, in Chronologia Sacra, their sorrow removed, they lift up their heads. The that by the latter three the historian meant to point out Hebrew phrase, lift up the head, signifies to comfort, deportations of a minor kind, not elsewhere noticed in cheer, make happy. direct terms in Scripture.
Verse 32. Spake kindly]
Conversed freely The first of these, said to have been in the seventh with him. year of Nebuchadnezzar, was one of those that had Set his throne] Gave him a more respectable seat been picked up in several parts of Judah by the band than any of the captive princes, or better than even of Chaldeans, Syrians, and others, whom the king of his own princes had, probably near his person. Babylon sent against the land previously to his own Verse 33. And changed his prison garments) That coming, 2 Kings xxiv. 2.
is, Jehoiachin changed his own garments, that he might That in the eighteenth year corresponds with the be suited in that respect to the state of his elevation. time when the Chaldean army broke off the siege be- Kings also, in token of favour, gave caftans or robes fore Jerusalem, and marched to meet the Egyptian army, to those whom they wish to honour.
Jehoiachin treated kindly
by the king of Babylon. A. M. 3442. he did continually eat bread be- of the king of Babylon, Fevery
A. M. 3442. B. C. 562.
B. C. 562. OI. LIV. 3. fore. him all the days of his life. day a portion until the day of Ol. LIV. 3. Servii Tullii, 34 And for his diet, there his death, all the days of his Servii Tullii, R. Roman., 17.
R. Roman., 17. was a continual diet given him life.
rHéb. the matter of the day in his day. And he did continually eat bread before him] Was the following words : And done is aftir that into a constant guest at the king's table.
cattifte is brougt Esrael, and Jerusalem is destrowe, Verse 34. And—there was a continual diet given satte Jerempe the prophet weepund, and weiled with him) This was probably a ration allowed by the king this lamentacion Jerusalem; and with bitter inwit for the support of Jehoiachin's household. For other sighand and criand weilawai, seide. Then follows particulars, see the note on 2 Kings xxv. 30. in red letters : Dere beginneth the Lamentación of
All the days of his life.] I believe these words have Jerempe, that is intitle Cenoth; with the sortynge out been by mistake added from the preceding verse. of Ebrue letters. ALEPH : Dow sittith aloon the There, they are proper ; here, they are tautological. city, &c. See something of a similar kind from other They are wanting in the Septuagint and in the Arabic. authorities, at the beginning of "Lamentations.
The preceding words, ima. Dr ad yom motho, “ to the day of his death,” are wanting in two of De
Masoretic Notes. Rossi's and one of Kennicott's MSS.
Number of verses in this Book, 1365. Coverdale ends thus : all the days of his life untill he died. This is better than the common Version.
Middle verse, chap. xxviii. 11 Immediately after this verse my old MS. Bible adds
Masoretic sections, 31.
L À M E N TATIONS
THIS book, like the several books of the Pentateuch, is denominated in Hebrew 13w eicah,
how, from its first word; and sometimes m'p kinnoth, lamentations, from its subject. In the Septuagint it is termed ©PHNOI TOT IEPEMIOY, for the same reason. The Syriac and Arabic copy or follow the Septuagint; and so does the Vulgate, from the Lamentationes of which, the book has that name which it bears in our language. In the Chaldee it has no name ; and in it, and perhaps, anciently in the Hebrew, it was written consecutively with the last chapter of Jeremiah...
It is one of the books of the niban Megilloth, or Roll, among the Jews; and because it relates to the ruin of their affairs, and contains promises of restoration, it is peculiarly prized, and frequently read. The five Megilloth are : Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Lamentations, Ruth, and Esther.
There has been little difference among learned men concerning the author of this book. The whole current of antiquity and modern times has pointed out Jeremiah as the writer of this the style is a sufficient evidence. Mr. John Henry Pareau, in a Dissertation prefixed to his Translation and Notes on this book, (8vo. Lugd. Bat. 1790,) has proved this point amply from a general collation of the prophecy of Jeremiah with select passages in this book. I have heard of but one learned man who has entertained serious doubts on the subject, Mr. Herman Van der Hardt, who has supposed the five chapters were written by Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Jeconiah. To this opinion I suppose none has ever been converted.
There has been more difference of opinion relative to the subject and occasion. Some have thought the book was composed on the death of Josiah ; others that it was composed on occasion of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the various desolations connected with it. To this all its parts and its general phraseology seem best to apply; and this is the sentiment most generally embraced at present. This will receive much proof from a minute consideration of the book itself., The composition of this poem is what may be called very technical.
technical. Every chapter, except the last, is an acrostić. Of the two first, each verse begins with a several letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in the order of the letters, with this exception, that in the second, third, and fourth chapters, the ophe is put before the y ain; whereas in all the acrostic Psalms the latter precedes the former, as it does in all grammars of the Hebrew language. In the first and second chapters each verse is composed of three hemistichs or half verses, except the seventh verse of the first, and the nineteenth of the second chapter, which have each four hemistichs.
The third chapter contains sixty-four verses, each, as before, formed of three hemistichs, but with this difference, that each hemistich begins with the same letter, so that the whole alphabet is thrice repeated in this chapter.
INTRODUCTION TO THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH. The fourth chapter is made up of twenty-two verses, according to the number of the Hebrew letters ; but the composition is different from all the rest, for each verse consists of only two hemistichs, and those much shorter than any in the preceding chapters.
I have called this an inimitable poem ; better judges are of the same opinion. “Never," says Bishop Lowth, “was there a more rich and elegant variety of beautiful images and adjuncts arranged together within so small a compass, nor more happily chosen and applied.”
“One would think,” says Dr. South, “ that every letter was written with a tear; every word, the sound of a breaking heart: that the author was compacted of sorrows ; disciplined to grief from his infancy; one who never breathed but in sighs, nor spoke but in a groan.”
“ Nor can we too much admire,” says Dr. Blayney, “ the full and graceful flow of that pathetic eloquence in which the author pours forth the effusions of a patriotic heart, and piously weeps over the ruins of his venerable country. But it was observed before thất the prophet's peculiar talent lay in working up and expressing the passions of grief and pity; and, unhappily for him as a man and a citizen, he met with a subject but too well calculated to give his genius its full display.”
David in several places has forcibly depicted the sorrows of a heart oppressed with penitential sorrow; but where, in a composition of such length, have bodily misery, and mental agony been more successfully painted? All the expressions and images of sorrow are here exhibited in various combinations, and in various points of view. Misery has no expression that the author of the Lamentations has not employed. Patriots ! you who tell us you burn for your country's welfare, look at the prophecies and history of this extraordinary man; look at his Lamentations; take him through his life to his death, and learn from him what true patriotism means ! The man who watched, prayed, and lived for the welfare of his country; who chose to share her adversities, her sorrows, her wants, her afflictions, and disgrace, where he might have been a companion of princes, and have sat at the table of kings; who only ceased to live for his country when he ceased to breathe ;—that was a patriot, in: comparison with whom almost all others are obscured, minished, and brought low, or are totally annihilated !
L. Α Μ Ε Ν Τ Α Τ Ι Ο Ν 8
J E RE MI A H.
Chronological notes relative to the Book of the Lamentations. Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3416.—Year of the Jewish era of the world, 3173.
-Year from the Deluge, 1760.-First year of the forty-eighth Olympiad.—Year from the building of Rome, according to the Varronian account, 166.-Year before the birth of Christ, 584.-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 588.-Year of the Julian Period, 4126.-Year of the era of Nabonassar, 160.--Cycle of the Sun, 10.-Cycle of the Moon, 3.-Second year after the fourth Sabbatic year after the seventeenth Jewish jubilee, according to Helvicus.—Twenty-ninth year of Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of the Romans : 'this was the seventy-ninth year before the commencement of the consular government.
-Thirty-eighth year of Cyaxares or Cyaraxes, the fourth king of Media.—Eighteenth year of Agasicles, .. king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Proclidæ.-Twentieth year of Leon, king of Lacedæmon, of the
family of the Eurysthenidæ. Thirty-second year of Alyattes II., king of Lydia. This was the father of the celebrated Cresus.-Fifteenth year of Æropas, the seventh king of Macedon.-Nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.-Eleventh year of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah.
CHAPTER 1. The prophet begins with lamenting the dismal reverse of fortune that befell his country, confessing at the
same time that her calamities were the just consequence of her sins, 1-6. Jerusalem herself is then per
sonified and brought forward to continue the sad complaint, and to solicit the mercy of God, 7-22. A. M. cir. 3416.
HOW doth the city sit solitary, and princess among the pro- 13.c. cir: 388. B. C. cir. 588. OI. XLVIII.1. that was full of people: a how vinces, 'how is she become tribų. 01. XLVIII. 1. Tarquinii Prisci,
Tarquinii Prisci, is she become as a widow ! she tary!
R. Roman., that was great among the nations, 2 She weepeth sore in the cir. annum 29.
R. Roman., cir, annum 29.
a Isa. xlvii. 7, 8.b Ezra iv. 20.
c Jer. xiii. 17.
In all copies of the Septuagint, whether of the I subjoin another taken from the first PRINTED ediRoman or Alexandrian editions, the following words tion of the English Bible, that by Coverdale, 1535. are found as a part of the text : Kar EYEVETO META TO “ And it came to passe, (after Israel was brought into orxualassoorvaus sov Ioganh, xas Ispovdahnje spouw- captyvitie, and Jerusalem destroyed ;) that Jeremy the θηναι, εκαθισεν Ιερεμιας κλαιων, και εθρηνησεν τον prophet sat weeping, mourmynge, and makinge his mone 8pqvov TOUTOV Eki Isgouoad nlxas E1TEV" And it in Jerusalem ; so that with an hevy herte he sighed and came to pass after Israel had been carried away cap- sobbed, sayenge.' tive, and Jerusalem was become desolate, that Jeremiah Matthew's Bible, printed in 1549, refines upon this : sat weeping: and he lamented with this lamentation “It happened after Israell was brought into captyvite, over Jerusalem; and he said."
and Jerusalem destroyed, that Jeremy the prophet sate The Vulgate has the same, with some variations :- wepyng, and sorrowfully bewayled Jerusalem; and sygh“ Et factum est, postquam in captivitatem redactus est ynge and hewlynge with an hevy and wooful hert, sayde.” Israel, et Jerusalem deserta est, sedit Jeremias pro- Becke's Bible of the same date, and Cardmarden's pheta flens, et planxit lamentatione hac in Jerusalem, of 1566, have the same, with a trifling change in the et amaro animo suspirans et ejulans, dixit.” The trans- orthography. lation of this, as given in the first translation of the On this Becke and others have the following note :Bible into English, may be found at the end of Jere- “ These words are read- in the LXX. interpreters : but miah, taken from an ancient MS. in my own possession. not in the Hebrue.”