Page images

-"burnt-devoured" rather, "are burning -are devouring." This is the language of a man describing a scene lying before him.

Verse 9. This 9th verse must allude to some greater desolation of the country, than can be supposed to have been effected by Sennacherib's invasion.

Verse 12.-" at your hand to tread my courts;" rather, "at your hand. Tread my courts no more." LXX, and Bishop Lowth. St Jerome divides the sentence in the same manner: but he understands the latter clause, (as indeed the LXX understood it), not as a prohibition to tread the courts, but as a prediction that the courts of the temple at Jerusalem should be no more trodden; which he makes an argument, that the prophecy respects the last destruction of the temple by the Romans, rather than the former by the Babylonians. For after the former destruction the temple was rebuilt, and its courts trodden again for a long series of years. The words in the Hebrew have certainly more the form of a prediction, than a prohibition. But who shall say, that the temple may not be again rebuilt, and its courts again trodden, though vain oblations shall no more be offered? The latter part of the chapter

gives the Jews a hope of a restoration from the ruin threatened in this prophecy. Nevertheless, I agree with St Jerome, that the ruin threatened is that which took place after our Lord's ascension and the publication of the gospel, rather than the prelusive judgments executed by the Babylonians. The whole section, from the 10th to the 15th verse, seems to allude to the abolition of the Mosaic law, though the expressions are too general to be understood in that sense by the Jews of Isaiah's time. Indeed the whole of the vision, exhibited to the prophet, seems to have been a general view of national guilt, punishment, reformation, pardon, and restoration, and the prophecy is a general prediction of guilt, and threat. ening of punishment, and, in some degree, received a completion in every great judgment that fell upon the people. At the same time, that the allusions to the particular guilt of the Jews, in their treatment of our Lord, though oblique, are now so evident, and the description of their punishment corresponds so much more exactly with their final dispersion, than with any previous calamity, that little room is left to doubt that these were the things principally in view of the inspiring Spirit.

Verse 17. _" seek judgment.” The Jewish go

[ocr errors]

vernment never was more guilty of a perversion of judgment than in the case of our Lord.

Verse 23. -" companions of thieves." -" associated with thieves." Judas was a thief; with him the princes of the Jews were associated.

Verse 24. "I will ease me of mine adversaries;" rather, "I will take satisfaction upon mine adversaries."

Verse 25. —" and purely purge away thy dross." For, Archbishop Secker, Dr Durell, and Bishop Lowth, agree to read ; "in the crucible;" but the alteration is by no means necessary. See Parkhurst,, IX.

Verse 29. "For they shall be ashamed of the oaks," &c. This may allude to the idolatry of the reign of Ahaz.

The whole of this chapter should be distributed into parts, between Jehovah and the Prophet, in this manner. After the exordium, After the exordium, "Hear, O heavens," &c. Jehovah speaks to the end of the 3d verse. In the six following verses, the Prophet, in terms of concern, astonishment, and horror, describes the degeneracy of the people, and their rejection. In the 10th verse he calls upon them again to hearken to Jehovah, who speaks in his own person to the end

of the 20th. In the 21st, the Prophet, still contemplating the scene, which lies before him, of the future degeneracy of his countrymen, renews his lamentation, which goes on to the end of the 23d. In the beginning of the 24th, Jehovah is introduced again, and speaks in his own person to the end of the chapter.

CHAP. ii, 3. —“ many people”- rather, " many peoples❞—

4" And he shall judge among the nations,
And rebuke many people."


"And he shall govern* among the nations,
And work conviction in many peoples."

See Vitringa and Bishop Lowth.

-"plough-shares"- rather, "coulters."

Verse 6. "Therefore thou hast," &c. 66 Surely, [or verily] thou hast forsaken thy people! the house of Jacob!"

The 5th verse is an invitation, addressed by the peoples resorting to the place of God's worship, to the Jews to accompany them. To their amazement

* « Verbum judicandi Hebræis per synecdochen pro gubernare,' vel regere,' accipitur." Calvin. ad locum.

[ocr errors]

they find the Jews refuse to join in this worship, and are smarting under the heavy punishment of their apostacy, and in this first part of the 6th verse they express their astonishment. This circumstance, the devotion and acceptance of the peoples [the Gentiles], and the apostacy and rejection of the chosen people, the Jews, clearly proves the necessity of referring this prophecy to the times of Christianity, and confutes those commentators, who think to find its completion in the restoration of the temple after the Babylonish captivity.

Verse 6. —" house of Jacob, because they be replenished," &c. The sentence ends with the word Jacob. Thence the Prophet takes up

the discourse, assigning the cause of that rejection, which struck the Gentile worshippers with so much astonishment. “Yes--they are replenished from the east.” The Prophet's discourse is addressed to the Gentiles, be. ing an answer to their expressions of surprise, to the end of the 9th verse.

-“ replenished from the east;" i. e. they are full of the eastern manners,” as Queen Elizabeth's translators rendered it; full of the corruptions that reigned chiefly in the eastern parts. I see no absolute necessity for the alterations proposed by Houbi

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »