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R. Roman.. cir. annum 30.
The Edomites are reproved
OBADIAH. for their enmity against Israel. A. M. cir. 3417. 8 Shall I not in that day, 13 Thou shouldest not have A. M. cir. 3417. B. C. cir. 587.
B. C. cir. 587. 01. XLVIII.2. saith the LORD, even destroy the entered into the gate of my peo- 01. XLVIII. 2, Tarquinii Prisci,
Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., wise men out of Edom, and un- ple in the day of their calamity; cir.
derstanding oụt: of the mount yea, thou shouldest not have of Esau?
looked on their affliction in the day of their 9 And thy 9 mighty men, 0 Teman, shall calamity, nor have laid hand on their bsubbe dismayed, to the end that every one of the stance in the day of their calamity. mount-of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. 14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the
10 For thy s violence against thy brother crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; Jacob shame shall cover thee, and * thou shalt neither shouldest thou have o delivered up those be cut off for ever.
of his that did remain in the day of distress. 11. In the day that thou stoodest on the other 15 d For the day of the Lord is near upon side, in the day that the strangers carried all the heathen : e as thou hast done, it shall away captive his forces, and foreigners entered be. done unto thee : thy reward shall return into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, upon thine own head. even thou wast as one of them.
16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy 12 But w thou shouldest not have a looked mountain, so shall all the heathen drink conon the day of thy brother in the day that he tinually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have & swallow down, and they shall be as though z rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day they had not been. of their destruction ; neither shouldest thou 17" But upon Mount Zion shall be ik dehave a spoken proudly in the day of distress. liverance, and there shall be holiness; and the
P Job v. 12, 13; Isa. xxix. 14; Jer. xlix. 7.- Psa. lxxvi. z Job xxxi. 29; Mic. vii. 8; Prov. xvii. 5;. xxiv. 17, 18. 5; Amos ii. 16. * Jer, xlix. 7. — Gen. xxvii. 11; Psa. a Heb. magnified thy mouth.
- Or, forces. -c Or, shut up ; exxxvi. 7; Ezek. xxv. 12; xxxv. 5; Amos i. 11.- Ezek. Psa. xxxi. 8. d Ezek. Xxx. 3; Joel jij. 14. xxxv. 9; Malachi i. 4. - Or, carried away his substance. 15; Hab. ii. 8.- - Jer. xxv. 28, 29 ; xlix. 12; Joel iii. 17; Joel 11.3; Nah. iii. 10. Or, do not behold, &c.* Psa. 1 Pet. iv. 17.- < Or, sup up.
ch Joel ii. 32.- i Amos ix. xxii. 17; liv. 7; lix, 10; Mic. iv. Il ; vi. 10.- y Psa. xxxvü. 8.
Or, they that escape.
Or, it shall be holy; Joel 13 ; cxxxvii. 7.
Verse 8. Shall I nol—destroy the wise men] It 'who have acted unkindly or wickedly towards us. appears, from Jer. xlix. 7, that the Edomites were The Edomites triumphed when they saw the judg remarkable for wisdom, counsel, and prudence. See ments of God fall upon the Jews. This the Lord on the above place.
-severely reprehends in verses 12-15. · If a man have Verse 9. Thy mighty men, 0 Teman] This was acted cruelly towards us, and God punish him for this one of the strongest places in Idumea ; and is put here, cruelty, and we rejoice in it, we make his crime our as in Amos i. 2, and elsewhere, for Idumea itself. own ; and then, as we have done, so shall it be done Mount of Esau] Mount Seir.
unto us; see ver. 15. All these verses point out the Verse 10. For thy violence against thy brother part the Edomites 'took against the Jews when the Jacob] By this term the Israelites in general are Chaldeans besieged and took Jerusalem, destroyed the understood; for the two brothers, Jacob, from whom temple, and divided the spoils. sprang the Jews, and Esau, from whom sprang the · Verse 14. Neither shouldest thou have stood in the Idumeans or Edomites,--are here put for the whole crossway) They are represented here as having stood people or descendants of both. We need not look for in the passes and defiles to prevent the poor Jews from particular cases of the violence of the Edomites against escaping from the Chaldeans. By stopping these the Jews. Esau, their founder, was not more inimi- passes, they threw the poor fugitives back into the eal to his brother Jacob, who deprived him of his teeth of their enemies. They had gone so far in this birthright, than the Edomites uniformly were to the systematic cruelty as to deliver up the few that had Jews. See 2 Chron. xxviii. 17, 18. They had even taken refuge among them. stimulated the Chaldeans, when they took Jerusalem, Verse 15. The day of the Lord is near] God will to destroy the temple, and level it with the ground. not associate thee with him in the judgments which See Psa. cxxxvii. 7.
he inflicts. Thou also art guilty, and shalt have thy Verse 11. Thou stoodest on the other side] Thou punishment in due course with the other sinful nations. not only didst not help thy brother when thou mightest, Verse 16. For as ye have drunk) This address is but thou didst assist his foes against him.
to the Jews. As ye have been visited and punished And cast lots) When the Chaldeans cast lots on upon my holy mountain in Jerusalem, so shall other the spoils of Jerusalem, thou didst come in for a share nations be punished in their respective countries. See of the booty; “thou wast as one of them.”
Jer. xlix. 12. Verse 12. Thou shouldest not have looked] It shows Verse 17. But upon Mount Zion shall be deliver. a malevolent heart to rejoice in the miseries of those l'ance) . Here is a promise of the return from the Baby
The Israelites shall
destroy the Edomites. A M. cir. 3417. house of Jacob shall possess their of Ephraim, and the fields of AM. cir. 3417. 01. XLVIII.2. possessions.
Samaria : and Benjamin shall 01. XLVIII. 2. Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman.,
Tarquinii Prisci, 18 And the house of Jacob possess Gilead.
R. Roman., cir. annum 30.
m shall be a fire, and the house 20. And the captivity of this cir. annum 30 of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau host of the children of Israel shall possess for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, that of the Canaanites, even Punto Zarephath ; and devour them; and there shall not be any and the captivity of Jerusalem, ? which is in remaining of the house of Esau; for the Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the Lord hath spoken it.
south. 19 And they of the south shall possess the 21 And • saviours shall come up on Mount mount of Esau ; and they of the plain the Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the Philistines : and they shall possess the fields kingdom shall be the Lord's.
m Isa. x. 17; Zech. xii. 6. n Amos ix. 12.- Zeph. ii. Jer, xxxii. 44.—1 Tim. iv. 16;, James v. 20.—Psa. 7. —P 1 Kings xvii. 9, 10.- Or, shall possess that which is xxii. 28; Dan. iiv 44 ; vii. 14, 27 ; Zech. xiv. 9; Luke i. 33 ; in Sepharad.
Rev. xi. 15; xix. 6.
lonish captivity. They shall come to Zion, and there from Babylon were to extend themselves everywhere. they shall find safety; and it is remarkable that after See Newcome ; and see, for the fulfilment, 1 Macc. x their return they were greatly befriended by the Per- 9, 35, 45; and ix. 35, 36. sian kings, and by Alexander the Great and his suc- Verse 20. Zarephath) Sarepta, a city of the Si cessors; so that, whilst they ravaged the neighbouring donians, 1 Kings xvii. 9. That is, they should pos nations, the Jews were unmolested. See Calmet. sess the whole city of Phænicia, called here that of the
And there shall be holiness) They shall return to Canaaniles. God, separate themselves from their idols, and become Which is in Sepharad] This is a difficult word. a better people than they were when God permitted Some think the Bosphorus is meant; others, Spain; them to be carried into captivity.
others, France; others, the Euphrates; others, some The house of Jacob shall possess] They were re- district in Chaldea ; for there was a city called Sistored to their former possessions. But this may refer phora, in Mesopotamia; above the division of the Eu. also to their future restoration under the Gospel, when phrates. Dr. Lightfoot says it was a part of Edom. they shall be truly converted, and become holiness to Those who were captives among the Canaanites should the Lord; for salvation and holiness shall be the cha- possess the country of the Canaanites ; and those racteristics of Zion—the Christian Church, for ever. whom the Edomites had enslaved should possess the
Verse 18. The house of Jacob shall be a fire] After cities of their masters. See Newcome and Loroth. their return from captivity, the Jews, called here the Verse 21. And saviours shall come up] Certain house of Jacob and the house of Joseph, did break out persons whom God may choose to be deliverers of his as a flame upon the Idumeans ; they reduced them people ; such as Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the into slavery ; and obliged them to receive circumcision, Maccabees. and practise the rites of the Jewish religion. See Some think these såviours, Dyvio moshiim, mean 1 Macc. v. 3, &c.; 2 Macc. x. 15–23; and Joseph. the apostles of our Lord. Several MSS. have drug Antiq., lib. xiii. c. 17.
mushaim, the preserved; those that are saved, i. e., There shall not be aný remaining] As a people and they who were delivered from the captivity; and those a nation they shall be totally destroyed. This is the of Mount Zion shall judge, that is, shall execute judge meaning; it does not signify that every individual ment on the Edomites. And as the Asmonean princes shall be destroyed.
joined the priesthood to the state, it might be what the Verse 19. They of the south) The Jews who pos- prophet means when he says, “ the kingdom shall be sessed the southern part of Palestine, should render the Lord's," the high priest having both the civil and themselves masters of the mountains of Idumea which ecclesiastical power in his own hands. And these acwere contiguous to them.
tually were masters of Edom, and judged and governed They of the plain] From Eleutheropolis to the the mountain of Esau. And thus this prophecy apMediterranean Sea. In this and the following verse pears to have had a very literal fulfilment. the prophet shows the different districts which should
But if we take the whole as referring to the times be occupied by the Israelites after their return from of the Gospel, which I believe is not its primary sense, Babylon.
it may signify the conversion and restoration of the The fields of Samaria) Alexander the Great gave Jews, and that under Jesus Christ the original theoSamaria to the Jews; and John Hyrcanus subdued the cracy shall be restored ; and thus, once more, in the same country after his wars with the Syrians. See promised land, it may be said,Josephus, contra App. lib. ii., and Antiq. lib. xiii., c. 18.
Benjamin shall possess Gilead.) Edom lay to the south; the Philistines to the west ; Ephraim to the
hammeluchah laihovah vehayethah. north; and Gilead to the east. Those who returned " And the kingdom shall belong to Jehovah.”
P R O P H ET JO N A H.
JONAH, the son of Amittai, the fifth of the minor prophets, was a Galilean, a native of
Gath-hepher, which is believed to be the same as Jotapata, celebrated for the siege which Josephus the historian there maintained against the Roman army, a little before the destruction of Jerusalem. Gath-hepher was situated in the land of Zebulon, where was the canton of Ophir or Hepher. St. Jerome places it two miles from Sepphoris, in the way towards Tiberias. Some rabbins are of opinion țhat Jonah was the widow of Sarepta's son, restored to life by Elijah.
What we know with certainty of Jonah is, that God having commanded him to go to Nineveh, and there proclaim that the cry of the inhabitants' sins was come up to heaven, and they were threatened with approaching ruin; instead of obeying these orders, he resolved to flee away, and go to Tarsus in Cilicia. For this purpose he einbarked at Joppa ; but the Lord having sent a violent tempest while he was upon the sea, the mariners, with great fear, cried each of them to his god. In the meantime Jonah slept in the hold; whereupon the pilot wakened him; and they who were in the ship cast lots to know how this tempest was occasioned. The lot falling upon Jonah, they asked him who he was, and what he had done to bring upon them such a storm ? He told them he was a Hebrew ; that he worshipped the God of heaven ; was one of his prophets; and fled from his presence to avoid going to Nineveh, whither he was sent. They asked him what was to be done to secure them from shipwreck ? He replied : Throw me into the sea, and the tempest will cease.
God prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. This fish, according to some, was a whale ; or, as others say, the lamia, canis carcharias, or the sea-dog. The prophet continued in the fish three days and three nights. He cried unto the Lord, and the Lord heard him, and commanded the fish to cast him upon the shore, as it is believed, at the foot of a mountain which projects a great way into the sea, between Berytus and Tripoli. Others think it was upon the coast of Cilicia, two leagues north from Alexandretta.
After this the word of the Lord came a second time to Jonah, and directed him to go to Nineveh. When he came into the city, which was three days' journey in extent, about twenty-five leagues in circumference, Jonah walked up and down a whole day, crying out, “ In forty days Nineveh shall be destroyed.” - The Ninevítes believed his word; they appointed a public fast to be observed ; and, from the meanest of the people to the greatest, covered themselves with sackcloth. The king of Nineveh, supposed to have been Sardanapalus, known in profane authors by the name of Anacyndaraxa or Anabazarus, descended from his throne, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat down upon ashes. God suffered himself to be moved with their repentance, and did not execute the sentence which he had pronounced against them..
Jonah was afflicted at this ; and complained to God, saying, that he had always questioned whether, as being a God of clemency and mercy, he would not be flexible to their prayers
After this, in all probability, Jonah returned from Nineveh into Judea.
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF JONAH.
The Greeks have for a long time expressed their veneration for Jonah. There was a church dedicated to this prophet in the sixth age.
We do not know when it was that Jonah foretold how Jeroboam II., king of Israel should restore the kingdom of Samaria to its former extent, from the entrance of Hamath to the Dead Sea. Whether this was before or after his going to Nineveh, we cannot tell.
Our Saviour makes frequent mention of Jonah in the Gospels. He says that the Ninevites shall one day rise in judgment against the Jews, and condemn them, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and the Jews would not hearken to Him who was greater than Jo nah. And when the Pharisees required a sign of him to prove his mission, he said he would give them no other than that of the prophet Jonah, that is to say, of his resurrection, which would complete all his miracles, and render the Jews inexcusable in their hardness of heart For a discussion of the question concerning the three days and three nights which Jonah lay in the belly of the fish, see Matt. xii. 40, and the notes there. And for Oriental and Jewish legends and fabulous relations relative to the history of this prophet, see Calmet in his preface to this book.
That there are difficulties in this book every man must allow; and that learned men have differed greatly in their mode of interpreting the book, and explaining these difficulties, is well known. Some have considered it an allegory; referring entirely to Manasseh, and what was done before, during, and after the war with Esar-haddon, king of Assyria. Manasseh being taken prisoner by the Assyrians, and thrust into a dungeon; where, having lain three days and three nights, on his earnest prayer to God in the dungeon, he was delivered, &c. Others have thought, that instead of a fish, a ship is meant, which had the image of a whale on the stern, and might be called Kn70s, or the whale. Others have thought that the whole of the account of Jonah's being swallowed by a great fish, his praying in its belly, and being cast on dry land, was a dream which he had while fast asleep in the ship. See chap. i. 5. And others state that the whole book is a parable, intending to point out God's justice and mercy, and how prevalent repentance is to turn aside the threatened stroke of Divine wrath.
There is a fable, most probably of Phænician origin, which, bearing some siinilitude to the history of Jonah, may have been taken from this book." Laomedon, king of Troy, having displeased Neptune, to appease him, was required to expose his daughter Hesione to be devoured by a sea-monster. She was chained to a rock, and was awaiting her fate at the next flux of the lide. In the interim Hercules slew the sea-monster, and delivered the princess. To this Lycophron, in his Cassandra, ver. 33, &c., is supposed to allude :
Τριεσπερου λεοντος, ον ποτε γναθοις
Τριτωνος ημαλαψε καρχαρος κυων. . “Of the lion the offspring of three nights, which the fierce dog of Triton swallowed down greedily."
The scholiasts explain this in the following manner: While the princess was standing chained to the rock, expecting the greedy dog (xapxapos kuwv, the shark) to come and devour her, Hercules stood by ready armed; and, when the monster came forward with open mouth, he jumped directly down his throat, and spent three days in cutting and hacking his entrails ; and afterwards came out of the monster, with the loss of all the hair on his head. Cyril, in his comment, says this was occasioned by the incredible heat of the monster's stomach.
This fable might have been easily taken from the true history; though some have been ready enough to intimate that the history of the prophet was taken from the fable.
The appeal made to the main facts of this history by our Lord, proves that we are to admit of no allegorical exposition of these facts. 1. There was such a person as Jonah. 2. He was swallowed by a sea-monster, in whose belly he was miraculously preserved three days and three nights. 3. This same prophet preached to the Ninevites ; and they repented, and turned from their sins, under his ministry. This testimony puts an end to all mythological, allegorical
, and hypothetical interpretations of those great facts. And in its literal sense alone, I undertake the interpretation of this book
PROP HET JONA H.
Chronological Notes relative to this Book, upon the supposition that the repentance of the
Ninevites happened in the twenty-third year of the reign of Jehu, king of Israel. Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3142.-Year of the Julian Period, 3852.-Year
since the Flood, 1486.-Year from the foundation of Solomon's temple, 150.—Year since the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 114.-Year before the first Olympiad, 86.Year before the building of Rome, according to the Varronian computation, 109.—Year before the birth of Jesus Christ, 858.-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 862.—Twelfth year of Charilaus, king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Proclidæ. -Fifty-second year of Archelaus, king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Eurysthenidæ.-Second year of Phereclus, perpetual archon of the Athenians.Fourteenth year of Alladius Sylvius, king of the Albans.—Twenty-third year of Jehu, king of Israel. Seventeenth year of Joash, king of Judah.
cir, anum 14.
CHAPTER J. Tonah, sent to Nineveh, flees to Tarshish, 1–3. He is overtaken by a great tempest, 4-14; thrown into the
sea, 15, 16; and swallowed by a fish, in the belly of which he is miraculously preserved alive three days
and three nighis, 17. A. M. cir. 3142. B. C. cir. 862
NOW the word of the Lord o great city, and cry against it; 4M. cir. 3142. Ante U. C. 109. came unto a Jonah bthe son for a their wickedness is come Ante U. C. 109 Alladii Sylvii,
Alladii Sylvii, R. Alban., of Amittai, saying,
up before me.
cir, annum 14. 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that 3 But Jonah rose up to flee a 2 Kings xiv. 25.0 Called, Matt. xii. 39, Jonas.- - Gen. 4 Gen. xviii. 20, 21; Ezra ix. 6; James v. 4; Rev. xvii. 5. x. 11, 12; chap. iii. 2, 3; iv. 11.
e Chap. iv. 2. NOTES ON CHAP. I.
fifty-four English miles : see on chap. iii. 3. But Verse 1. Now the word of the Lord came unto we must not suppose that all this space was covered Jonah] All that is certainly kpown about this prophet with compact streets and buildings; it took in a conhas already been laid before the reader. He was of siderable space of country, probably all the cultivated Gath-hepher, in the tribe of Zebulun, in lower Galilee, ground necessary to support all the inhabitants of that Josh. xix. 13; and he prophesied in the reigns of Jero- district. Calmet computes the measurement of the boam the Second, and Joash, kings of Israel. · Jero-circumference to be equal to twenty-five French leagues. boam came to the throne eight hundred and twenty. It is reported to have had walls one hundred feet high, three years before the Christian era, and reigned in and so broad that three chariots might run abreast upon Samaria forty-one years, 2 Kings xiv. 23-25. As a them. It was situated on the Tigris, or a little to the prophet, it is likely that he had but this one mission. west, or on the west side of that river. It was well
Verse 2. Go to Nineveh} This was the capital of peopled, and had at this time one hundred and twenty the Assyrian empire, and one of the most ancient cities thousand persons in it reputed to be in a state of inof the world, Gen. x. 10; and one of the largest, as fancy, which on a moderate computation would make it was three days' journey in circumference. Ancient the whole number six hundred thousand persons. But writers represent it as oblong ; being in length one some, supposing that persons not being able to distinhundred and fifty stadia, and ninety in breadth, the guish their right hand from their left must mean chil. compass being four hundred and eighty stadia. . Now dren under two years of age, and reckoning one such as the stadium is allowed to have been equal to our child for every twenty persons from that age upwards, .furlong, eight of which make a mile, this amounts to make the population amount to two millions five hun