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we doubt that the first method of treating the vine was constantly describing their learned predecessors as sitting the prevalent one in Syria and Asia generally, as Pliny and studying the law, meditating or conversing, on partiseems to intimate, it no doubt existed there, the vineyard cular occasions, under fig-trees, olive-trees, and vines. being probably, as now, laid out in ridges over which the Where the fig-tree grows, its broad leaf and expanded vines extended. May not this explain the 'spreading shade naturally point it out for that preference which the vine of low statare' of Ezek. xvii. 6? But some one of Scriptural intimations assign. the other vines, or all of them, did of course supply the Although, in the note referred to, we have assumed that shade under which the Hebrews delighted to repose. In the vine and fig-tree alluded to may have been generally reading this and the parallel passages, it is by no means in the court of the house, this does not by any means prenecessary to suppose that vines were trained over a trellis, clude the notion that the people may not also have rejoiced and formed a sheltering arbour ; since one or more of the in the shelter of the fig-trees and the vines which grew in standard vines, which grow unsupported, and which to a their suburban gardens. Indeed, as these became danconsiderable extent form the vineyards of the East, would gerous places in troublous times, when it is unsafe to venextend a grateful shade, whether in the suburban garden ture beyond the walls of a town, the blessed condition of or in that which the house enclosed. Vine-shades, or the times of which the prophet speaks would be beautifully arbours, such as our cuts exhibit, must however be under- evolved by our understanding him to intimate that the stood as included, and are perhaps principally intended. people might then repair in safety to their gardens, and They are and have been in use wherever the vine is com- that none should make them afraid as they sat there under mon. The old rabbinical writers attest the prevalence of their own vine and ander their own fig-tree. the general custom to which the text alludes, as they are
7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in 2 The birth of Christ. 4 His kingdom. 8 His con
the midst of many people as a dew from the
LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that quest.
tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of of men. troops : he hath laid siege against us: they 8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon among the Gentiles in the midst of many the cheek.
people as a lion among the beasts of the fo2 But thou, 'Beth-lehem Ephratah, though rest, as a young lion among the flocks of thou be little among the thousands of Judah, sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me down, and teareth in pieces, and none can dethat is to be ruler in Israel ; whose goings liver. forth have been from of old, from 'everlasting. 9 Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine
3 Therefore will he give them up, until the adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut time that she which travaileth hath brought off. forth : then the remnant of his brethren shall 10 And it shall come to pass in that day, return unto the children of Israel,
saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses 4 9 And he shall stand and 'feed in the out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the thy chariots : name of the Lord his God; and they shall '11 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, abide : for now shall he be great unto the and throw down all thy strong holds : ends of the earth.
12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of 5 And this man shall be the peace, when thine hand; and thou shalt have no more the Assyrian shall come into our land : and soothsayers : when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall 13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, we raise against him seven shepherds, and and thy "standing images out of the midst of eight principal men.
thee; and thou shalt no more worship the 6 And they shall 'waste the land of Assy- work of thine hands. ria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod 14 And I will pluck up thy groves out of 'in the entrances thereof: thus shall he de- the midst of thee : so will I destroy thy 'cities. liver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh 15 And I will execute vengeance in anger into our land, and when he treadeth within and fury upon the heathen, such as they have our borders.
5 Heb, eat ep.
I Matt, 2.6. John 7. 42.
6 Or, with her oton naked swords.
7 Or, gouts.
8 Or, statues.
9 Or, enemies.
Verse 5. ' When the Assyrian shall come into our land.' - There is little if any difference of opinion that by the Assyrian’ is here meant the Syro-Macedonian empire founded by Seleucus; for to apply it to the Assyrian em
pire which existed in the time of the prophet does not at all suit the connection, which has regard to the distant future, and not to contemporary events. The prophet could only describe the future empire by a name already
known. The only other term he could have used was empire did comprehend the realm over which the Assyrians 'Syrian,' which, although it seems more correct to us, had ruled. Thus understood, the prophecy is taken to vould have been very confusing to those who heard this have reference to the noble stand made by the Jews under prophecy, when another realm more usually distinguished the Maccabees against the encroachments of Antiochus by that title existed. Besides, the term Assyrian' is cor- Epiphanes upon their rights and their laws. rect in this appropriation, seeing that the Syro-Grecian
thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and 1 God's controversy for unkindness, 6 for ignorance,
to 'walk humbly with thy God? 10 for injustice, 16 and for idolatry.
9 The Lord's voice crieth unto the city,
and the man of wisdom shall see thy name : HEAR ye now what the LORD saith ; Arise, hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it. contend thou 'before the mountains, and let 10°. "Are there yet the treasures of the hills hear thy voice.
wickedness in the house of the wicked, and 2 Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord's con- the ''scant measure that is abominable ? troversy, and ye strong foundations of the 11 "Shall I count them pure with the earth : for the LORD hath a controversy with wicked balances, and with the bag of deceithis people, and he will plead with Israel. ful weights ?
3 O my people, what have I done unto 12 For the rich men thereof are full of thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? tes- violence, and the inhabitants thereof have tify against me.
spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in 4 For I brought thee up out of the land of their mouth. *Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house 13 Therefore also will I make thee sick in of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, smiting thee, in making thee desolate because Aaron, and Miriam.
of thy sins. 5 O my people, remember now what ‘Ba- 14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied ; lak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaain and thy casting down shall be in the midst of the son of Beor answered him from 'Shittim thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not unto Gilgal ; that ye may know the righteous- deliver; and that which thou deliverest will i ness of the LORD.
give up to the sword. 6 | Wherewith shall I come before the 15 Thou shalt 'sow, but thou shalt not LORD, and bow myself before the high God ? reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shall I come before him with burnt offerings, shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet with calves of a year old ?
wine, but shalt not drink wine. 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands 16 For the statutes of 'Omri are kept, of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of and all the works of the house of "Ahab, and oil ? shall I give my firstborn for my trans- ye walk in their counsels ; that I should make gression, the fruit of my "body for the sin of thee a 'desolation, and the inhabitants thereof
an hissing : therefore ye shall bear the re8 He hath 'shewed thee, O man, what is proach of my people. good; and what doth the LORD 'require of
5 Nam. 25. Josh. 5. 6 Heb. sons of a yeur.
9 Hob. humble thyself to walk. 10 Or, thy name shall see ihat which is. 11 Or, is there yet unto every man an house of the wicked, &c.
13 Or, Shall I be pure with, &c. 15 Or, he doth much keep the, &c. 16 1 Kings 16. 25, 26. 17 i Kings 16. 30, &c.
1 Or, with.
9 Isa. 1. 2.
7 Heb. belly.
3 Exod. 12. 51, and 14. 30.
4 Num. 22. 5. and 23. 7. 8 Deut. 10. 12.
19 Heb. measure of leanness.
14 Deut. 28. 38. Hag. 1. 6.
18 Or, astonishment.
Verse 6. "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord.'Bishop Butler (Serm. vii. p. 121) thinks that we have here the demand of Balak and the answer of Balaam. This idea is adopted by Lowth, and also by Peters (Sermons, p. 333), who say that we have a sort of dialogue between Balak and Balaam represented to us in the prophetical way. The king of Moab speaks in verse 6; Balaam replies by another question in the first two hemistichs of verse 7; the king of Moab rejoins in the remaining part of the verse, and Balaam replies in verse 8.
7. Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, etc. -We may refer the reader back to the considerations on human sacrifice stated under Jer. xx. 5; where we have supposed that the horrid custom originated in the impres
sion that the life of the most valuable creature must needs be most acceptable to the gods. This verse announces a principle of the practice--a reason for it--not distinct from, nor adverse to, that which we have considered, but connected with and involved in it. We are told that such sacrifices were sometimes intended to be expiatory-were sacrifices of atonement. A father offered his firstborn, or his other children, for his transgression-for the sin of his soul. No one conversant with the principles and practice of heathenism can be unaware that common animal sacrifices were often regarded as expiatory. In the heathen poets, the gods are continually requiring from particular persons, or bodies of men, sacrifices at their shrines, to appease their anger and atone for offences committed against them: and in these and other ancient 15. · Thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint writings, where a person sees cause to fear that by some thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shult not drink wine.' act he has incurred the displeasure of some god, he -The word translated sweet wine,’and usually so transhastens, as soon as he can, to offer a sacrifice to appease lated in the Auth. Vers. is vino tirosh, and that reudered the incensed deity. This being the case, it follows, on • wine' is 1., yayin. No one questions that the latter word the principle alleged in the previous note, that when men
means 'wine,' but it is much questioned, by the writers on became familiar with human sacrifices, the life most
what is called the wine question, whether the former precious to the offerer himself was deemed to furnish the
means anything else, wherever it occurs, than the solid promost acceptable and prevailing atonement for his offences.
ducts of the vine. In the note on Gen. xxvii, 28, we have And, to a father, the most precious lives were those of his children; and of his children, that of the firstborn
expressed the view we take of the word, and in reverting
to that note we take the opportunity of stating, at the reabove all. And as even men the most besotted in superstition could not, we should suppose, be induced frequently
quest of Dr. F. R. Lees, that we had no authority for
ascribing the tract called Tirosh lo Yayin to his pen, to offer such costly sacrifices without a powerful constrain
although we had always understood that he was the ing motive, we may perhaps believe that, when we read
writer. The present text is that which is regarded by of such sacrifices, we are always to understand them
those who take the view of that writer as the one which rather as sacrifices of atonement than as freewill offerings.
establishes beyond doubt the point for which they contend. This might be clearer if our information were more com
In a tract called Tirosh, by the Rev. Peter Mearns, Glasplete: but the ancient writers, and the moderns also, usually mention the custom in general terms, without
gow, 1844, that view is clearly stated as follows. After stating on what principle it proceeded : but, when they giving the text thus, Thou shalt tread the olives, but
shalt not anoint thee with oil; and (thou shalt tread) the happen to do so, it generally proves that the horrid sacrifice was made to pacify an incensed god, or to atone for
grapes (tirosh), but thou shalt not drink wine (yayin),'
the writer proceeds: 'A moment's reflection may satisfy the past offences of a nation, city, family, or individual. Indeed it is surprising to what an extent this principle has
every reader that the English version is inaccurate here.
It is plain that the term here improperly rendered sweet operated, among nations in every respect most different
wine is employed to designate the solid article out of from each other, not merely in the East, but also in America and in the regions of the Northern Sea. To
which wine was pressed, as oil from olives. We may illustrate this, one or two examples may suffice. When
also remark, that the term (yayin) bere employed to deno
minate the wine which it yields is used only of that which we learn from Eusebius that the Phænicians sacrificed
is obtained from the vine, which establishes the fact that children once a-year to Saturn, may we not, under the
this term is connected with the vine. The passage obview suggested by the prophet, understand that the day on which
this was done had a similar object with the Day of viously refers to the treading of olives and grapes. The Atonement among the Hebrews; and that the design of
custom of treading grapes is said to exist still in the East, the horrid rites then performed was to atone for the
and in different parts of Europe. There is no propriety, offences of the past year? The famous sacrifice of
however, in speaking of treading sweet wine. It is pos
sible to wade in it, where there is abundance of it, but Iphigenia, with the consent of her father, seems a very striking illustration of the subject, if taken in the version
not to tread it. In the passage under consideration the of Æschylus. The sacrifice was avowedly one of expia
prophet is speaking of a time of famine, when the people
would have olives, but would obtain little or no oil from tion—to atone for the offence which the goddess avenged by tempests and contrary winds, which kept the Argive
them; and the few grapes they would have would be fleet from sailing. The victim was her demand; and
almost destitute of juice. Whatever be the meaning of nothing is more instructive as to the real character of
the term in other passages it must refer to a solid here. such transactions than the grief and horror which the
Bishop Lowth saw this, and (in his Prel. Diss. to Trans. demand inspired, and which attended and followed the
of Isaiah) rendered the verse thusconsummation. From this we may gather, that the
“ Thou shalt sow, but shalt not reap; offerers might, as is alleged, consider it duty to seem
Thou shalt tread the olive, but shalt not anoint thee cheerful, and even joyous, but that their real feelings were
with oil; agonized and their hearts rent at the inevitable necessity And the grape, but shalt not drink wine.” which their dark idolatries' laid upon them. In this in- Dr. Lowth was not the first who saw the propriety of as. stance the father did not, as the mother bitterly alleges signing the term a solid interpretation here. In fact, the that he did,-
Chaldee version, which was written a short time before _Think no more his tender child to spare
the birth of Christ, renders this text thus :-" thou shalt Than a young lamb from fleecy pastures torn
tread the grapes,” etc. The Septuagint omits the term From out the midst of his unnumber'd sheep.' altogether, and the Syriac version, which was executed
about the close of the first century of the Christian era, But rather, when the prophet announced the fatal de is chargeable with the same error, probably from a culmand,
pable unwillingness to deviate from the former, which • The sons of Atreus, starting from their thrones,
was then held in high estimation. Drusius, whose comDash'd to the ground their sceptres, nor withheld
mentaries on the minor prophets were originally published The bursting tears that dew'd their warrior cheeks;
between the years 1595 and 1627, remarks on this passage And thus exclaiming spoke the elder king:
that the term here has been “improperly rendered must ; O heavy, fatal doom! to disobey!
for it is not the must (or fresh juice) which is trodden, O heavy, fatal doom! my child to slay!
but the grapes whence the must is expressed. Must, My child! the idol-treasure of my house !
therefore, has been put here instead of grapes, which a Must I, her father, all bedabbled o'er
certain poet calls hanging wine.” Archbishop Newcome In streaming rivers of her virgin gore,
(Improv. Vers. of Min. Proph., published in 1785, being Stand by the altar with polluted hands?
after Lowth, whose work on Isaiah was published in 1778) O woe! woe! woe!
renders this text “ the grape of the choice wine.” It were Where shall I turn me?",
easy to add other translations similar to those we have Agamemnon.-SYMMONS. already given (for instance, Julius Bate [Crit. Hebr. 1767]
observes on this passage, “ It is plain that tirosh is what is 'The whole of this powerful tragedy is most instructive pressed, the grapes ;" Dr. Conquest, in his amended transas to the ideas, feelings, and practices connected with such lation, here follows Lowth; Ray, in his revised translasacrifices as the inspired prophet mentions : but we cannot tion, renders, “ And the grape, but shalt not drink," omitadvert to them further, or produce the other examples ting the word for wine altogether, as the Septuagint and which press upon our recollection.
Syriac that for grape), but let those given suffice.'
The view which ourselves take of the text may now be indicated. We suppose that the meaning of a word must be determined by the general sense which may be collected from the great body of the examples in which it occurs. If in the great number of cases the word can only mean a description of wine, the present text must be read in conformity with them, and cannot be regarded, on any just rule of criticism, as a sufficient authority for a different signification. In other cases when a word in a particular text seems at the first view opposed to that which it obviously bears in many others, we do not feel authorized to turn all the other texts from their obvious sense to meet the interpretation which this one text seems to sanction, but we conclude that our interpretation of this one text must be wrong, since it contradicts the prevailing sense of many passages, and we apply ourselves to seek another interpretation which shall be consistent with them. In the present case we easily obtain an interpretation conformable to the others, by supposing that the word 'grape has, by a licence common in Hebrew poetry, been omitted, and if we supply it a sense entirely conform
able to that which is generally assigned to the word TI-
with the oil,
the wine.' Dr. Henderson, in his more recent version of the Minor Prophets, takes the same view, and translates• Thou mayest tread the olive, but shalt not pour out
the oil, And the grape of the new wine, but the wine thou
shalt not drink.' In both these translations the writers do not say that tirosh means "grape,' but that it means 'choice wine,' or 'new wine,' and the grape of' are words which they introduce arbitrarily, but very properly, to complete the sense which the particular text requires.
12 In that day also he shall come even to
9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, 1 The church, complaining of her small number, 3 and
because I have sinned against him, until he the general corruption, 5 putteth her confidence not plead my cause, and execute judgment for in man, but in God. 8 She triumpheth over her
me: he will bring me forth to the light, and inemies. 14 God comforteth her by promises, 16 by
I shall behold his righteousness. confusion of the enemies, 18 and by his mercies.
10 "Then she that is mine enemy shall see Woe is me! for I am as 'when they have it, and shame shall cover her which said unto gathered the sunımer fruits, as the grape- me, "Where is the LORD thy God ? mine gleanings of the vintage : there is no cluster eyes shall behold her : now shall she be to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. trodden down as the mire of the streets.
2 The good man is perished out of the 11 In the day that thy 'walls are to be carth : and there is none upright among men : built, in that day shall the decree be far rethey all lie in wait for blood ; they hunt every moved. man his brother with a net.
3 4 That they may do evil with both hands thee from Assyria, and from the fortified earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge cities, and from the fortress even to the river, asketh for a reward ; and the great man, he and from sea to sea, and from mountain to uttereth ‘his mischievous desire : so they wrap mountain.
13 "Notwithstanding the land shall be de4 The best of them is a brier: the most solate because of them that dwell therein, for upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the the fruit of their doings. day of thy watchmen and thy visitation 14 "Feed thy people with thy rod, the cometh ; now shall be their perplexity. flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily
5 I Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. old.
6 For 'the son dishonoureth the father, the 15 | According to the days of thy coming daughter riseth up against her mother, the out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him daughter in law against her mother in law; marvellous things. a man's enemies are the men of his own house. 16 The nations shall see and be con
7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I founded at all their might: they shall lay will wait for the God of my salvation : my their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall God will hear me.
be deaf. 8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: 17 They shall lick the ''dust like a serwhen I fall, I shall arise ; when I sit in dark- pent, they shall move out of their holes like ness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. *worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of 1 Heb, the gatherings of summer.
3 Or, godly, or, merciful. • Heb. the mischief of his soul.
6 Or, And thou wilt see her that is mine enemy, and cover her with shame. 7 Psal. 79. 10, and 115. 2. Joel 2. 17.
9 Amos 9. 1!, &c.
11 Or, creeping things. 2 o
2 Psal. 12. 1. Isa. 57. !. 5 Matt. 10. 21, 35, 36.
Luke 12. 53.
8 Heb, she shall be fur a treading down. 11 Or, After that it hath been.
12 Or, rule.
13 Psal. 72. 9. VOL. III.
10 Or, even to.