Page images

5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest. 6¶ The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.

7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

9 And it came to pass through the 'lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but 'feignedly, saith the LORD.

11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion :

15 And I will give you 'pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

16 And it shall come to pass, when

5 Chap. 2. 20. 6 Or, fame. 7 Heb. in falsehood.
1 Or, it be magnified. 12 Or, stubbornness.
16 Heb. an heritage of glory, or, beauty.

multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it "come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall "that be done any more.

17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations | shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the "imagination of their evil heart.

18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have "given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a "pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.

20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.

21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.

22 "Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.

24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

8 Psal. 86. 15, and 103. 8,9.
13 Or, to.
14 Or, caused your
17 Heb. from after me.

Chap. 23. 4. fathers to possess. 18 Heb. friend.

10 Heb. come upon the heart. 15 Heb. land of desire 19 Hos. 14. 1.

Verse 2. "As the Arabian in the wilderness”—The strongest possible idea of vigilant and eager watching is conveyed by this figure, derived from the practice of the desert Arabians, when in wait for their prey on caravans and travellers. Their avidity, acuteness, and perseverance, on such occasions, are equally surprising. They never relinquish their object from delay in its attainment, nor until they feel assured that ultimate success is hopeless. While out on this pursuit, they are continually turning their regards to every quarter, raising themselves occasionally upon their horses to extend their view, and scouring about in all directions-thus endeavouring to discover some indication whether people have passed over the ground, or are within their reach. For this purpose the slightest and most distant indi

cation of smoke or dust, and the faintest track on the ground, is instantly perceived, and conveys to them the information they desire. With like eagerness and zeal did Israel watch in her corruptions.

24. "Shame;" better definitely, "the shame," or "the confusion." The Hebrews, when repentant or abhorring idolatry, avoided pronouncing even the name of Baal, but substituted for it, when an allusion was necessary, bosheth, 'shame," or "confusion." Guided by this understanding, Blayney translates That thing of shame;" and Boothroyd, "That shameful idol." The word occurs in the same sense in ch. xi. 13, and Hos. ix. 16.


1 God calleth Israel by his promise. 3 He exhorteth Judah to repentance by fearful judgments. 19 A grievous lamentation for the miseries of Judah. If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, 'return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.

2 And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they 'glory.

3¶ For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.

6 Set up the standard toward Zion: 'retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the *north, and a great 'destruction.

7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.

8 For this 'gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.

9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.

10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.

11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,

12 Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I'give sentence against them.

13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.

14 O Jerusalem, 'wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

15 For a voice declareth "from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.

16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.

17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.

18 "Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee: this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.

19 My "bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.

21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

[blocks in formation]

Chap. 6. 26. Isa. 50. 1.

25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.

27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; "yet will I not make a full end.

28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

29 The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks:

14 Chap. 5. 18.

every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.

30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy "face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.

31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

15 Heb. eyes.

Verse 11. "A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness."-Blayney's translation, "A wind that scorcheth the plains in the wilderness," is doubtless preferable, both as regards the interpretation of the original, and the nature of the phenomenon to which it refers. This will appear from the account of the simoom which we have given in the note on Isa. xxxvii.

17. "As keepers of a field," &c.-We have on former occasions mentioned the single keeper and his lodge. When a field or plantation is extensive, several men are employed, as the season of fruition approaches, to prevent the encroachment of cattle and other marauders. These guards are most numerous near frequented roads, and fewer in remote districts. They keep an easy watch on the borders of the ground, and sometimes tend a few sheep, or amuse the time with some other light employment. They sleep together at night in some such frail lodge or shed as we have formerly described.

30. "Rentest thy face with painting."-For "face," read "eyes," as in the margin. The word yp kara, "to rend" or "tear," is probably here to be understood in the sense of tearing open, or distending, and perhaps refers to the effect of the operation of painting the eyes. Large eyes are much affected in the East; and the black border, by its contrast to the white of the eye, does certainly give a much enlarged appearance to that organ. The process of painting the eyes has already been noticed in this work; and we take the present opportunity of introducing an engraving which will illustrate the observations we have made on this subject. The figure also shows one form in which the women of the Levant are fond of exhibiting blue marks, formed by puncture, upon their hands, arms, faces, and bosoms




1 The judgments of God upon the Jews, for their perverseness, 7 for their adultery, 10 for their impiety, 19 for their contempt of God, 25 and for their great corruption in the civil state, 30 and ecclesiastical.

RUN ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely.

3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast 'stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder. than a rock; they have refused to return.

4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. 5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.

6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the 'evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.

7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.

8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's


9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10 ¶ Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S.

11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD.

12 They have belied the LORD, and said,

Isa. 9. 13. Chap. 2. 30. 2 Or, deserts.

"It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine :

13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.

14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, 'behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

15 Lo, I will bring a 'nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation. a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.

16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.

17 And they shall eat up thine 'harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.

18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the LORD, I 'will not make a full end with you.

19¶ And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, "Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not your's.

20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,

21 Hear now this, O "foolish people, and without "understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the "bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.

24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the "former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

Ezek. 92. 11.

3 Heb. are strong. 7 Deut. 28. 49. Chap. 1. 15, and 6. 29. 8 Levit. 26. 16. Deut. 28. 31, 33. Isa, 6.9. Matt. 13. 14 John 12. 40. Acts 28. 26. Rom. 11. 8. 12 Heb, heart. с


5 Isa 28. 15. Chap. 1. 9. Chap. 4. 27. 10 Chap 13. 29, and 16. 10. 13 Job 38. 10, 11. Psal. 104. 9. 1 Dent. 11 14.

[blocks in formation]

judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged ou such a nation as this?

30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;

31 The prophets prophesy "falsely, and the priests "bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

17 Deut. 32. 15.
20 Chap. 14. 14, and 23. 25, 26. Ezek. 13. 6.

18 Isa. 1. 23. Zech. 7. 10. 19 Or, astonishment and filthiness. 21 Or, take into their hands.

Verse 1. "Broad places."-This, no doubt, means the market-places, and other spacious areas in the city, where citizens used to meet for doing business with each other.—Blayney.

10. "Take away her battlements," &c.-Instead of "battlements," the Vulgate, followed by Blayney and others, read "branches," that is, particularly vine branches, which is certainly the usual meaning given to the word. But as the sense is better sustained by a reference to the walls of Jerusalem, Houbigant and others conclude in favour of that reading which the Seventy must have found in their copies when they translated, "Leave her foundations, for they are the Lord's;" so also the Syriac and Arabic. This perhaps produces a clear sense; and it is a fact that the Babylonians did leave the foundations. The same sense may indeed be elicited from our version; for a command to destroy the battlements, because they were not the Lord's, may be understood as equivalent to an order to leave the foundations, because they were the Lord's.

27. "A cage is full of birds."-There is no intimation in Scripture that the Hebrews kept singing birds in cages; although it might be hazardous, from the mere silence of Scripture, to affirm that they did not. That nothing of the kind is here intended, is evident from the fact that the cage is described as full, which would not be the case were the birds kept to amuse by their singing. From this it is possible that the cage was one in which birds intended for food were kept to be fattened, or what we call a penn; and it was thus understood by the Targum, which renders, " a house or place of fattening." It may however signify a cage in which birds taken by snares or hawking were put till it was full; and the Seventy, by rendering it a snare, seem to understand that it was a kind of decoy in which birds were put to ensnare others, until, with those already in it and those thus taken, it became full. One of these two last senses seems favoured by the context, and by the manner in which the illustration is applied. The word rendered “cage” is the same as the "basket" of Amos, viii. 1, 2; and, in fact, the cages used in the East are a sort of baskets, usually made from the mid-rib of the palm-leaf.


1 The enemies sent against Judah 4 encourage
themselves. 6 God setteth them on work because
of their sins. 9 The prophet lamenteth the judg-
ments of God because of their sins. 18 He pro-
claimeth God's wrath. 26 He calleth the people
to mourn for the judgment on their sins.
O YE children of Benjamin, gather your-
selves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem,
and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up
a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil ap-
peareth out of the north, and great destruc-

2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a 'comely and delicate woman.

3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.

4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.

Or, dwelling at home.

Or, pour out the engine of shot.

[blocks in formation]

7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds.

8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul 'depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.

9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as grapegatherer into the baskets.

10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their sear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken : behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.

$ Isa, 57, 20. Heb. he loosed or disjointed. 5 Chap. 7.26.


« PreviousContinue »