Page images


-"neither fear ye their fear.” The fear of the people of Judea at the time when this prophecy was delivered, was a fear of the allied forces of Resin and Pekaiah. The fear of the Jews in the time of our Saviour, was " that all men would believe in him, and that the Romans would come and take away their place and nation.” John xi, 48. And the fear of the heathens, upon the first promulgation of the gospel, was a fear of the vengeance of their imagin. ary gods.

Verse 13. “ Sanctify"See the note on the preceding verse.

Verse 14. _"he shall be for a. sanctuary Vipps 77979, read, with Vulgate and Bishop Lowth,

. - And he shall be to you for a sanctuary."

--" to both the houses of Israel;" i. e, to both the branches of the Jewish nation.

Verse 16. “ Bind up the testimony"-mm, “ the oracular warning." -among my disciples ;” rather,

for my disciples.” —“ pro illis qui docentem me audient.” Houbigant. This command to the Prophet to bind up this prediction, and seal the com mand, or doctrine, as a thing to be laid by, for fu. ture use, together with the Prophet's declaration

,והיה לכם למקדש

[ocr errors]

مرز ۲۰

that immediately follows, that he will wait for Jehovah, &c. clearly shews that these oracular warnings and admonitions, which he is commanded to bind

up and seal, relate to the events of distant times. Verse 18. “ Behold, I,” &c. The application of

" this passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews, to prove the truth of the human nature in the Redeemer, is very extraordinary. It shews that from the 16th verse the Prophet personates the humanity of the Messiah,

Verse 19. —" for the living to the dead?” After

Bishop ; אם ידרש Houbigant would insert ,ידרש

Lowth *7797. The version of the LXX in some degree justifies the conjecture. The words, if not inserted, must be understood,

Verse 20. “ To the law and to the testimony." To the revealed doctrine and the oracular warning. See verse 16.

-"if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

אם לא יאמרו כדבר הזה


אשר אין

Bishop Lowth makes this the beginning of a new period, connecting it with what follows,


“ If they will not speak according to this word [the word of

the command and the testimony, as the Bishop ander

stands it],
In which there is no obscurity,

Every one of them shall pass through," &c. But the word nie, though it denotes a black swarthy colour, never signifies the perfect darkness of the night, but the imperfect feeble light of the break of day. It is not used, that I can find, to de. note the last stage of the evening twilight, but the first of the dawn. It expresses nascent, not evanescent light. Therefore the 798 is more properly light” than “ no obscurity," and seems to be used here as a proverbial expression for writings in which the sense is supposed to be studiously concealed under harsh metaphors and dark ænigmata. The words

may verbial expression which follows them, full as naturally as to the word of God mentioned before under the appellations of the doctrine and the oracular warning. My be is a phrase of asseveration ; · See if I do not,' or, See if they do not,' according to the person of the verb: or of interrogation, Nonne.' Sometimes, but less frequently, it signifies · If notas The whole verse may be thus rendered:

-may be understood to relate to this pro כדבר הזה

To the doctrine and the testimony

See if they do not say, according to the proverb, that there

is not a ray of light in it.” The first line is an admonition, in opposition to those who advise a consultation with wizards and diviners. - Rather consult the doctrine and predictions of your sacred books. But see," says God to the Prophet, “ when they are referred to these, if they do not complain of their utter obscurity.” Or the sense of the passage may be, what our public translation seems to give: “ If they [i. e. those whom you are advised to consult] do not speak ac. cording to this word [the word of the revealed doctrine and the oracular warning), it is because there is no glimmering of light in them [no glimmering of the light of Divine knowledge].” What follows is very difficult. The feminine

pronoun ma has no antecedent. Houbigant, for ma,

he would ,נקשה and for the participle ;כיהורה reads

read wap, observing that the sentence requires a noun in this place. The Vulgate, Symmachus, and the Chaldee, seem to have had in their capies some word derived from the root boys. Bishop Lowth thinks it was the participle buss. But I agree with Houbigant, that the sentence wants a noun in this


place, to be either the object or the nominative of the verb. I would (with much less alteration of the text than Houbigant proposes) read

ועבר בהם קשי ורעב

or rather,

אעכר בהם קשי, ורעב

According to the first emendation, up and Sys are


.עבר subjects of the verb

" And there shall come upon them stubbornness and famine."

According to the second emendation, which I great. ly prefer, these two words are objects of the verb



“ I will bring upon them stubbornnes and famine."

Not a famine of meat and drink, but of religious knowledge and comfort. In this and all that follows to the word 775 in the 23d verse, according to the Hebrew, or the words “ her vexation” in the 1st verse of the following chapter, according to the English Bible, the prophecy respects the religious blindness and obstinacy of the Jews, in the days of our Lord's appearance in the flesh, and the judg. ments which fell upon them. I render the whole thus,

“ I will bring upon them stubbornness and famine ;

« PreviousContinue »