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The margin has, instead of "answer it,". or witness against.” When a man denies what he has solemnly promised, the person who complains of his perfidy, says,

The place where you stood shall witness against you." " A beautiful princess was once enjoying herself in a fragrant grove, when a noble prince passed that way; she became enamoured of his person, and he solemnly promised to return and marry her. When he left her, she wept bitterly, and said, 'Ah! should he not return, this tāli-tree (pandanus odoratissima) shall witness against him. Yes, the birds shall be my witnesses.'”–ROBERTS. Ver. 17. For the violence of Lebanon shall cover

thee, and the spoil of beasts, which make them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

Habakkuk seems to allude. The violence of Lebanon is
a beautiful and energetic expression, denoting the ferocious
animals that roam on its mountains, and lodge in its thick-
ets; and that, occasionally descending into the plain in quest
of prey, ravage the fold or seize upon the unwary villager.
-Paxton.

CHAPTER III.
Ver. 4. And his brightness was as the light; he

had horns coming out of his hand; and there

was the hiding of his power. See on Ps. 92. 10. Ver. 9. Thy bow was made quite naked, accord

ing to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word.

Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. The oriental bows, according to Chardin, were usually carried in a case hung to their girdles; it was sometimes of cloth, but more commonly of leather. The expression in these words of the prophet must consequently be understood of the bow when out of the case.-HARMER. Ver. 19. The LORD God is my strength, and he

will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon my high places. To

the chief singer on my stringed instruments. See on Ps. 18. 33.

The lofty summits of Lebanon were the chosen haunts of various beasts of prey; the print of whose feet Maundrell and his party observed in the snow. But they are not confined to these situations: a recent traveller continued descending several hours, through varied scenery, presenting at every turn some new feature, distinguished either by its picturesque beauty or awful sublimity. On arriving at one of the lower swells, which form the base of the mountain, he and his party broke rather abruptly into a deep and thick forest. As they traversed the bocage, the howlings of wild animals were distinctly heard from the recesses. To these savage tenants of the desert, the prophet

ZEPHANIA H.

CHAPTER I.

very small, partly to hinder the Persians from entering into Ver. 8. And it shall come to pass in the day of them on horseback, and partly that they may less observe

the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the what he elsewhere observes, that these Armenians are princes, and the king's children, and all such treated with great rigour and insolence by the Persians. Ir as are clothed with strange apparel. 9. In the this text refers to a violence of this sort, they are the threshsame day also will I punish all those that leap olds of the oppressive masters, which some have supposed, on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses when they returned laden with spoil.—HARMER. with violence and deceit.

Ver. 12. And it shall come to pass at that time, “Those that wear strange apparel.” These are words that that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and in this connexion seem to mean only the rich that were conscious of such power and influence as to dare in time of

punish the men that are settled on their lees: oppression and danger, to avow their riches, and who there

that
say

in their heart, The LORD will not do fore were not afraid to wear the precious manufactures of good, neither will he do evil. strange countries, though they were neither magistrates, nor yet of royal descent. A great number of attendants is The margin has, in place of " settled," "curdled or thicka modern piece of oriental magnificence; as I shall here- ened.” The Tamul translation has this, " dregs stirred after have occasion to remark it appears to have been so up," i. e. sediment shaken together well thickened. Of anciently, Eccles. v. 11; these servants, now, it is most cer- people who are in great straits, of those who are a strange tain, frequently attend their master on horseback, richly at- compound of good and evil, of things which are difficult to tired, sometimes to the number of twenty-five or thirty: if understand, it is said, " Ah! this is all kullumbin-vandal," they did so anciently, with a number of servants attending i. e. stirred up dregs. This appears to have been the state great men, who are represented by this very prophet as at that of the Jews, and they wanted to show that the Lord would time in common terrible oppressors, ch. iii. they may be neither do good nor evil; that in him was not any distinct naturally supposed to ride into people's houses, and having character; and that he would not regard them in their gained admission by deceit, to force from them by violence thickened and mixed condition; that though they were considerable contributions for this riding into houses is joined to the heathen, it was not of any consequence. "I not now only practised by the Arabs; it consequently might will search Jerusalem with candles;" thus were they misbe practised by others, too, anciently. It is not now peculiar taken in their false hopes. Does a man declare his innoto the Arabs, for Le Bruyn, after describing the magnifi- cence of any crime, the accusers say, “ We will search thee cent furniture of several of the Armenian merchants at with lamps.

“Yes, yes, I will look into that affair with Julfa, that suburb of Ispahan in which they live, tells us, lamps." " What! have your lamps gone out ? You see that the front door of the greatest part of these houses is l I am not guilty.”—ROBERTS.

of a port.

CHAPTER II.

and shall He not do it? The oracle was delivered by the Ver. 4. For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashke- prophet (Zechariah) more than five hundred years before lon a desolation ; they shall drive out Ashdod teen hundred years after that event, and see with our eyes

the Christian era, and we bebold its accomplishment eighat the noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up. that the king has perished from Gaza, and that Ashkelon is

not inhabited ; and were there no others on which the mind The city of Ashkelon or Ascalon, was one of the five could confidently rest, from the fulfilment of this one proprincipalities of the ancient Philistines: it is situated on phecy even the most skeptical may be assured, that all that ihe coast of the Mediterranean Sea, between Azotus, or is predicted in the sacred volume shall come to pass.”— Ashdod, and Gaza. Ashkelon is mentioned in Judg. i. HORNE. 18, as having been taken by the tribe of Judah; alterward it fell successively under the dominion of the As- Ver. 6. And the seacoast shall be dwellings, and syrians, Persians, Macedonians, and Romans. This city

cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. had a temple dedicated to Venus Urania, which was destroyed by the Scythians, six hundred and thirty years be- Archbishop Newcome has remarked, that many manufore the Christian era ; another dedicated to Derceto, a tu- scripts and three editions have a single letter in one of these telary deity of the Philistines; and another consecrated to

words more than appears in the common editions; which, Apollo, of which Herod, the grandfather of Herod the instead of cherith, gives us a word which signifies cares; Greal, was priest : the latier was born here, and from this and he thus renders the words : and the seacoast shali be circumstance he has sometimes been called the Ascalonite. sheep-coles ; caves for shepherds, and folds for flocks. This In the early ages of Christianity, Ascalon was a bishop's translation will appear perfectly correct, if it be considered see. During the crusades it was a place of considerable that the mountains bordering on the Syrian coast are reimportance ; but having been repeatedly captured and re- markable for the number of caves in them. In the history captured by the Saracens, it was finally reduced to a heap of the crusades it is particularly mentioned that a number of ruins. Though it was one of the chief maritime cities

of persons retired with their wives and children, their locks of Phenicia, at present it does not exhibit the least vestige and herds, into subterraneous caves, to find shelter from the

enemy.-HARMER. "The position of Ashkelon is strong : the walls are built on the top of a ridge of rock that winds round the town in a Ver. 7. And the coast shall be for the remnant of semicircular direction, and terminates at each end in the

the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon : sea. The foundations remain all the way round; the walls are of great thickness, and in some places of considerable

in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down height, and flanked with towers at different distances. in the evening : for the LORD their God shall Patches of the wall preserve their original elevation ; but visit them, and turn away their captivity. in general it is ruined throughout, and the materials lie scattered around the foundation, or rolled down the hill on

An extract from Dr. Chandler's Travels furnishes a either side. The ground falls within the walls, in the same manner that it does without: the town was situated in the disposed among the walls and rubbish, (of Ephesus,) with

very lively comment on these words: “Our horses were hollow, so that no part of it could be seen from the outside of the walls . Numerous small ruined houses still remain, We sat here in the open air while supper was preparing ;

their saddles on; and a mat was spread for us on the ground. with small gardens interspersed among them. In the highest when suddenly fires began to blaze up among the bushes, part of the town are the remains of a Christian convent

and we saw the villagers collected about them in savage close upon the sea, with a well of excellent water beside it.

groups, or passing to and fro, with lighted brands for The sea beats strongly against the bank on which the con

torches. The flames, with the stars and a pale moon, afvent stands; and six prostrate columns of gray granite, forded us a dim prospect of ruin and desolation. A shrill half covered with the waves, attest the effects of its encroachments. There is no bay or harbour for shipping; fitted near us; and a jackal cried mournfully, as if for

owl, called cucuvaia from its nole, with a nighthawk, but a small harbour, advancing a little way into the town

saken by his companions on the mountain."-BURDER. towards its eastern extremity, seems to have been formed for the accommodation of such small craft as were used in the better days of the city.” The water, seen in the fore

Ver. 9. Therefore, as I live saith the LORD of ground of our view, is ihe result of the overflowing of a

hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be torrent during the rainy season, the channel of which is as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Godry at other times.

morrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltAshkelon was one of the proudest satrapies of the Philistines : now there is not an inhabitant within its walls; and

pits, and a perpetual desolation : the residue of the predictions of Jeremiah, Amos, Zephaniah, and Zecha- my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of riah, have been literally fulfilled :-"Ashkelon is cut off my people shall possess them. . with the remnant of their valley." (Jer. xlvii. 5.) He " that holdeth the sceptre” has been cut off “from Ashke

See on Jer. 17. 5, 6. lon.” (Amos i. 8.) “Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation.”. (Zeph. ii. 4.) "The king shall perish from

Ver. 14. And flocks shall lie down in the midst Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.” (Zech. ix. 5.) of her, all the beasts of the nations : both the At the time the two last-cited predictions were uttered, both cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the these satrapies of the Philistines were in a flourishing condition ; each the capital of its own petty state : "and noth

upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the ing but the prescience of heaven could pronounce on which windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds : of the two, and in what manner, the vial of his wrath should for he shall uncover the cedar-work. thus be poured out." Gaza is still a large and respectable town, but truly without a king: the walls of Ashkelon are Margin, “knobs or chapiters." Chardin, describing the broken down, its lofty towers lie scattered on the ground, magnificent pillars that he found at Persepolis, tells us, that and the houses are lying in ruins without a human inhabit- the storks (birds respected by the Persians) make their ant to occupy them, or to build them up. “How is the nests on the tops of these columns with great boldness, and wrath of man made to praise his Creator! Hath He said, I are in no danger of being dispossessed.-BURDER.

ZECHARIAH.

or

CHAPTER I.

accused sometimes appeared before the judges clothed in Ver. 8. I saw by night, and behold a man riding black, and his head covered with dust. In allusion to this upon a red horse, and he stood among the

ancient custom, the prophet Zechariah represents Joshua, the high-priest

, when he appeared before the Lord, and myrtle-trees that were in the bottom: and be- Satan stood at his right hand to accuse him, as clothed with hind him were there red horses, speckled, and filthy garments: After the cause was carefully examined, white.

and all parties impartially heard, the public crier, by com

mand of the presiding magistrate, ordered the judges to The word here translated red signifies blood-red, not

bring in their verdict.-PAXTON. any kind of bright bay, or other colour usual among horses. But the custom of painting or dying animals for riding,

Ver. 10. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, whether asses or horses, explains the nature of this de

shall ye call cvery man his neighbour under scription. Tavernier, speaking of a city which he visited, the vine and under the fig-tree. says, “five hundred paces from the gate of the city we met a young man of a good family, for

he was attended by

See on Ps. 78. 47, and 1 Kings 1. 9. two servants, and rode upon an ass, the hinder part of

The oriental banquet, in consequence of the intense heat, which was painted red." And Mungo Park informs us, that

is often spread upon the verdant turf, beneath the shade of the Moorish sovereign Ali, always rode upon a milk-white

a tree, where the streaming rivulet supplies the company horse, with its tail died red. See also Zech. vi. 2. Rev. vi.

with wholesome water, and excites a gentle breeze to cool 4.-BURDER.

their burning temples. The vine and the fig, it appears

from the faithful page of inspiration, are preferred on such CHAPTER II.

joyous occasions.-PAS Ver. 4. And said unto him, Run, speak to this

CHAPTER IV. young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of

Ver. 10. For who hath despised the day of small men and cattle therein: 5. For I, saith the

things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round

plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which

run to and fro through the whole earth. The promise of God's being to Jerusalem, or his church, a wall of fire, seems to be spoken in allusion to the manner

The margin has, instead of "they shall rejoice," in which travellers in desert parts of the earth defend them

since the seven eyes of the Lord shall.” (iii. 9, “ Seven selves in the nighttime from the attacks of ferocious ani- eyes.") Dr. Boothroyd says, these eyes represent the permals. They place fires in various directions around their

fect oversight and providence of God," which I doubt not is encampment. This was our constant practice in the wilds

the true meaning. It is a curious fact that the sun which of Africa, when timber to burn could be obtained. While

shines seven times in the course of the week, is spoken of the fires kept burning, we were in perfect safety, as no un

seven eyes” of the deity, because there is an eye domesticated animal, however ferocious, will approach

for each day. Thus, the Sunday, the “first eye" of God near 10 fire. Something in its brightness seems to give shines, and so on through the rest of the days. In the

9th alarm.-CAMPBELL.

verse mention is made of laying the foundation stone of a

temple for Jehovah, and again in the 10th verse it is asked, CHAPTER III.

“Who hath despised the day of small things ?" saying it is Ver. 2. And the LORD said unto Satan, The for the

“ seven eyes” of the Lord are over the work. His

ONLY the foundation, this is a small beginning: fear not, LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD good providence shall accomplish the whole, because he that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not has an eye for each day of the week. Has a man suffered this a brand plucked out of the fire ?

a great evil, has an antagonist triumphed over another,

either in a court of justice or any other way, he says, in When a man has had a very narrow escape from dan- talking about his misfortunes, "God has lost his eyes, or I

should not have fallen into this trouble." " Well, friend, ger or from death, he is called a firebrand! Thus, when the cholera rages, should only one in a family escape, he is

how is this? I hear you have gained the day.”—" True, named "the firebrand.” When a person talks of selling true, the eyes of God were upon me." Should there not his property in consequence

of not having an heir, people have been rain for some time, the people say, "God has no say, “Sell it not, there will be yet a firebrand to inherit it.”

eyes in these days," i. e. he does not lake care of us. In the Alas! alas! my relations are all dead, I am a firebrand.”

book Neethe-veanpå it is said, “ To all there are two eyes; -ROBERTS.

to the learned there are three; to the giver of alms there

are seyen eyes, (alluding to each day ;) but to those who Ver. 3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy gar- through penance have received gracious gifts, there are inments, and stood before the angel.

numerable eyes."— ROBERTS.

CHAPTER V. It was usual, especially among the Romans, when a man was charged with a capital crime, and during his arraign- Ver. 9. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, ment, to let down his hair, suffer his beard to grow long, to and, behold, there came out two women, and wear filthy ragged garments, and appear in a very dirty and sordid habit; on account of which they were called

the wind was in their wings; (for they had sordidati. When the person accused was brought into

wings like the wings of a stork ;) and they court to be tried, even his near relations, friends, and ac- lifted up the ephah between the earth and the quaintances, before the court voted, appeared with dishev. heaven. elled hair, and clothed with garments foul and out of fashion, weeping, crying, and deprecating punishment. The In the vision of which these words are a part, the prophet

as the "

beheld in fearful perspective, the future calamities of his him the nail, out of him the battle-bow, out of nation. The ephah represented the measure of iniquity

him every oppressor together. which the Jews were fast filling up by their increasing enormities. The woman whom he saw sitting in the midst See on Is. 22. 23. of the ephah, signified the Jewish nation in their degene

CHAPTER XI. rate state ; this woman the angel calls wickedness, the abstract being put for the concrete, the wicked people of the

Ver. 1. Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire Jews, to whom God was about to render according to their may devour thy cedars. works. Into the ephah the woman is thrust down, and a talent of lead cast upon the mouth of it, to keep her a close

See on Ps. 72. 16. prisoner; denoting that the condemned sinner who has

Ver. 1. Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire filled up the measure of his iniquity, can neither escape from the curse of God, nor endure the misery which it in- may devour thy cedars. 2. Howl, fir-tree, for flicts. The ephah containing this mystical woman, he now the cedar is fallen ; because all the mighty are sees carried away into a far country'; that is, the nation of

spoiled: howl, Oye oaks of Bashan; for the the Jews overthrown, their civil and religious polity extinguished, their temple burned, their priests slain, and the

forest of the vintage is come down. poor remains of their people scattered over the face of all

The mountainous range of Lebanon was celebrated for the earth. This great and terrible destruction is accom

the extent of its forests, and particularly for the size and plished by the Roman emperors, Vespasian and Titus, sym- excellence of its cedars. The ascent from the village of bolized by “iwo women who had' wings like a stork,”

Eden, or Aden, near Tripoli, to the spot where the cedars which are sufficiently powerful to waft that bird to a very

grow, is inconsiderable. This distance is computed by distant country. These symbolical women lifted up the

Captains Irby and Mangles to be about five miles, allowing ephah between the earth and the heaven ; which was sul

for the windings of the road, which is very rugged, and filled when

the Roman armies, with a rapidity resembling passes over hill and dale. These far-famed trees are situthe flight of a bird of passage, came up against the Jews, ated on a small eminence in a valley at the foot of the highnow ripe for destruction, and swept them from the land of

est part of the mountain: the land on the mountain's side has their fathers into regions far remote, from which they were a steril aspect, and the trees are remarkable by being alnot, as in the first captivity, to return after seventy years, together in one clump. By the natives they are called Arbut to remain in a state of depression and suffering for silebân. There are, in fact, two generations of trees; the many generations. Under the curse of incensed heaven they still remain, and must do so, till the fulness of the springing from one base ; they rear their heads to an enor

oldest are large and massy, four, five, or even seven trunks Gentiles be come in, and then all Israel shall be saved.

mous height, spreading their branches afar; and they are PAXTON. .

not found in any other part of Lebanon, though young trees CHAPTER VIII.

are occasionally met with. Ver. 7. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I secrated as holy, and which are the chief object of the

The ancient cedars—those which superstition has conwill save my people from the east country, and traveller's curiosity, have been gradually diminishing in from the west country.

number for the last three centuries. In 1550, Belloni found

them to be twenty-eight in number: Rauwolf, in 1575, The margin has, instead of "west country," "country of counted twenty-four; Dandini, in 1600, and Thevenot, about the going down of the sun." The form in the margin is fifty years after, enumerated twenty-three, which Maunexceedingly common; thus people do not always say, We drell, in 1697, states were reduced to sixteen. Dr. Pococke, are to go to the east or west, but “to the side where is in 1738, found fifteen standing, and one which had been rethe going down," or " to the side where is the ascending cently blown down. Burckhardt, in 1810, counted eleven place.” In what direction are you going ?”—“To the

or twelve; twenty-five others were very large ones, about place of the going down."—ROBERTS.

fifty of middling size, and more than three hundred smaller

and young ones. Lastly, in 1818, Dr. Richardson found that Ver. 16. These are the things that ye shall do, the old cedars," the glory of Lebanon,” were no more than

Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; probable that not a vestige of them will remain, and the execute the judgment of truth and peace in predictions of the prophets will then be most literally fulyour gates.

filled :-“ Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down. The high

ones of stature shall be hewn down: Lebanon shall fall It appears from the above, and other passages of scrip-mightily.” (Isa. xxxiii. 9; 4: 33, 34.) “Upon the mountture, that the kings of Israel distributed justice, or sat in ains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen; to the judgment to decide causes that might be brought before end that none of all the trees by the water exalt themselves ihem, at the gate,- that the gate of the city was the place for their height, neither

shoot up the top among the thick where these causes came before them, and where they pro- boughs.” (Ezek. xxxi. 12, 14.) Open thy doors, 0 Lenounced their decision ;--that the king held his councils at banon, that the fire may destroy thy cedars. The cedar is the gate, or where the elders or chiefs met the king, to con- fallen; the forest of the vintage is come down." (Zech. sider the affairs of the nation ;-and that, in fact, all their xi. 1, 2.) principal assemblies were held at the gates of the city. The írunks of the old trees are covered with the names This Jewish custom still exists high in the interior of South of travellers and other persons who have visited them, some Africa. While in Kurreechane, a city about twelve or of which go as far back as 1640. These trunks are dethirteen hundred miles up from the Cape of Good Hope, I scribed by Burckhardt as seeming to be quite dead; their was told that a cause was going to be brought before the wood is of a gray teint. Maundrell, in 1697, measured one, king. Being anxious to witness it, I was led in haste to which he found to be twelve yards and six inches in girth, the gate, where I saw the king sit down at the right side of and thirty-seven yards in the spread of its boughs : at above it, with his secretary on his right hand, and the prosecutor, five or six yards from the ground it was divided into five or complainer, on his left, who stated his case across to the limbs, each of which was equal to a great tree. Forty-one secretary. During his narrating his case, the king was look- years afterward, (viz. 1738) Dr. Pococke measured one ing about as if not attending to what was said, but I saw which had the roundest body, though not the largest, and from his eye that he was attending to what, for form's found it twenty-four feet in circumference ; another, with sake, was addressed to the secretary. When the party had a sort of triple body and of a triangular figure, measured finished what he had to say, the secretary repeated the twelve feet on each side. In 1818, Dr. Richardson measwhole to the king, as if he had been entirely ignorant of ured one, which he afterward discovered was not the larthe matter. The 'king immediately gave judgment.- gest in the clump, and found it to be thirty-two feet in cirCAMPBELL.

cumference. Finally, in 1824, Mr. Madox rested under CHAPTER X.

the branches of a cedar, which measured twenty-seven feet Ver. 4. Out of him came forth the corner, out of he measured the largest of the trees now standing, which

in circumference, a little way from the ground: after which

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