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TABLE OF KENNICOTT'S MSS. OF THE TENTH, ELEVENTH, AND
11th 12th 12th 12th
continued ; continued.
The whole number of MSS. collated by Dr Ken-
CHAP. I. All that the Prophet says in this chapter, either in his own person or Jehovah's, hath reference to a scene exhibited to his imagination. The scene seems not to represent the manners of the Jews in any one of the four reigns in which he prophesied. For of the four kings named in the title of the book, the first two and the last were godly princes, and in their reigns there was no heavy complaint against the people. But in the reign of Ahaz, idolatry was established, and the temple-service neglected. In his reign therefore there could be little of that hypocritical attachment to the ritual service, with which the people are reproached, verses 10-17; whereas this was the great crime of the Jewish people in our Saviour's days. Vitringa indeed argues
with great ability, that idolatry had taken root so deep among the Jewish people in the reign of Ahaz, that it is not to be supposed that Hezekiah's reformation was much more than a restoration of the external form and order of the true religion. The majority of the people in their hearts were still idolaters, and might justly be taxed with hypocrisy in the profession and exercise of the religion which was countenanced and protected by their king. But it seems to me that the language of the Prophet describes not the flattery of courtiers, but that serious sort of hypocrisy, which, without any true principles of religion in the heart, is much in earnest in the rites which it performs, and values itself on the merit of that legal righteousness.
Verse 7. _" and it is desolate as overthrown by strangers;” rather, “ and it is a perfect waste, like a country ravaged by strangers;" i. e. by foreign armies. The new Morgia of the LXX is a good paraphrastic rendering of '91, and is no indication of a various reading. The layman's conjecture, that
.is plausible צרים should be זרים the first