Page images

could not be fulfilled by the restoration of a small number of the remnant of Judah only, as at the restoration, when Cyrus had taken the city of Babylon. And as little does what follows agree with the circumstances of that remnant, in the city they built after the captivity.

And the stranger shall be joined to them,

And shall cleave to the house of Jacob; 2. And the nations shall take them,

And shall bring them to their place :
And the house of Israel shall inherit them ;
Upon the land of Jehovah “ shall they be"
For servants and for handmaids :
And they shall lead them captive whose captives they were,
And they shall subdue their oppressors.

What will be the scenes of Israel's prosperity, in the days to come, which will answer to this prediction, it is not so easy to say, as it is to affirm, that it relates to nothing which has yet taken place.

The“ Mashal” “parable,” or “song of triumph,” which follows, must be understood, as to the circumstances of its application, with the same latitude of interpretation as the prophecy to which it is annexed. If the prophecy received not its full accomplishment at the time of Judah's restoration from the Babylonian captivity, neither are we to suppose, that this song of triumph is to be confined to the literal Babylon and its fallen head. But we know, from a comparison of other Scriptures, that the last great enemy of Israel, and of the church of God, is “spiritually called Babylon :” no doubt, in reference to these Scriptures, where the fall of this ancient enemy of the Jews is made to stand as a type of the fall of that last enemy, and is celebrated in a language, that may form a song of anticipated triumph of future deliverance. It is in this point of view that the following song falls within the

present work:

scope of the

4. How hath the oppressor ceased!

Ceased the spoiler!' 5. Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked,

The sceptre of the rulers.
6. The stroke on him, that struck the nations in his anger,

Is without intermission;
He that trampled the nations in his wrath,

Is chased, and none hindereth.
7. The whole earth resteth and is in quiet,

They shout for joy;
The fir trees also rejoice over thee,

The cedars of Lebanon :
8. « Since thou hast fallen, there hath come up

No feller against us."
9. Hades below is in motion for thee,

To greet thy coming:
Rousing for thee the souls of the deceased,

All the leaders of the earth :
Making to rise from their seats

All the kings of the nations.
10. These all will accost thee, and say to thee:

“ Hast thou too failed as well as we,

Art thou become like us?


1 "Spolia agens," à rad. voj 277, abegit, abstulit, scil. prædam. SCHULTENS.

O'xs), mortui, qui vivere desierent. Manes (proprie faccidi) ad inferos ainandati vel orco clami.

3 Literally “ all the be-goats of the earth;" in allusion, no doubt, to the manner in which these animals are accustomed to march like chiefs or leaders before the flock. “Dux gregis ipse caper."


11. Thy pomp is led down to Hades,

The music of thy viols ;
Thy mattress the maggot' has spread,

The worm thy covering !
12. How hast thou fallen from the skies,

Lucifer, son of the morning?
How art thou cast prostrate on the earth,

Among the nations ?
13. But thou saidst in thine heart,

I will ascend the heavens ;
Above the stars of God,
I will raise


throne: I will sit on the mount of the testimony,

In the recesses of the sanctuary: :

'Thus explained, it has been supposed to refer to the Chaldean notion of the local station of the divine throne; but I rather adopt the interpretation of Bishop Lowth and others; referring it to the sanctuary on Mount Zion,—the prophecy having in its view, what that chosen spot of divine revelation is one day to become. In the opening of the forty-eighth psalm we have also the same expression : “ Sides of the north,”

“ the northern quarters ;” and it is found in the same connexion. “ The hill of Zion, with the northern quarters, is the city of the great King. God is in her towers, he is made known as a defence." From Ezek. vii. 22, we may, bowever, argue that by means the secret place of a sanctuary.




0729 I render maggot, to distinguish it from my bun, which is the red-coloured of the soil. The non appears to be that which breeds in the putrid corpse : compare computruit, cariosus evasit.

? The greater part of interpreters follow the Septuagint, in supposing 55 to be a term denoting the morning star. Michaelis, however, could render “Howl, son of the morning :” others compose the term of bob and 57, i. e. splendor noctis. Sim. Lex. Heb.

3 Or, “ In the northern quar-

mons conventus deorum septentrionalis sub ipso

.” quoad sensum interiora alicujus

. , plaga septentrionis." See Simon.

הר מועד ",ters


ירכה ".polo arctico stellaque polari

,ירכתי צפון. .res designat


14. I will ascend above the cloudy heights,

And be as the Most High.

15. Nay, but to Hades must thou go down,

To the recesses of the pit !
16. They that see thee shall view thee closely,

They shall consider thee;
" Is this the man that made the earth to tremble,

That did shake kingdoms?
17. That made the world as a wilderness,

And destroyed its cities?
That opened not the house of his prisoners,

All the kings of the nations? 18. They all lie in honour,

Each in his house;
19. But thou art cast out from thy tomb,

As a rejected sucker;
Clothed with the slain, with the pierced by the sword,

They cast thee on the stones of the pit.
20. As a trampled carcase, thou canst not be put together,

To be with them in thy burial :
Because thou hast destroyed thy land,

Hast slain thy people.
Never more shall be renowned'

The seed of the wicked.

21. Prepare ye slaughter for his children,

For the sin of their father:
That they rise not, nor inherit the earth,

Nor fill the face of the earth with cities.

The commencement of this song of triumph might be applied to the fall of the king of Babylon, or of any great conqueror and tyrant that had been the



· Rather, “Shall not be named for ever;" į. . the family shall not be perpetuated. See Vitringa on the place, vol. i.

p. 439.

mankind; but must be especially applicable to the fallen hero of that great day, when“ the Lord of hosts shall break the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of rulers," in his last conflict with the apostate nations. At that time, we know from other Scriptures,

“ the oppressor” and “the spoiler ceaseth for ever.” The sword of the warrior, like the axe in the hand of the woodcutter, will no more thin the earth of its inhabitants, or invade the chosen residence of Israel. God's enemies too, at that time, we know, will “ not die the common death of all men,” or “ be visited after the visitation of all men;" but “ the Lord will make a new thing, and the earth shall open her mouth and swallow them up, and all that appertain to them, and they will go down alive into the pit.” The same fate, we shall learn hereafter, awaits a still mightier foe, in a still more distant period. The fall of Satan himself is, perhaps, included in the type, and indeed part of the language used respecting the typical personage, is such as could hardly be applied to any objects of human ambition.

The “ morning star” of the twelfth verse appears to be another symbol to denote the former splendor of the now fallen foe. His arrogancy, too, in opposing himself to the God of heaven, is strongly marked in the thirteenth and fourteenth verses. If we have respect to the Babylonian monarch, he had violated his sanctuary upon earth, the holy places of Jerusalem, with apparent impunity; and, puffed up with pride, he seemed to bid defiance to the Almighty himself, like another Pharaoh, exclaiming, “ Who is the Lord, that I should let Israel go? I know not the Lord.”

But the language of the sacred song evidently describes a threat of the adversary against the holy place of the

« PreviousContinue »