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[estate bewailed 5 Our necks are under persecution; 14 The elders have ceased from we labour, and have no rest.
the gate, the young men from their 6 We have given the hand to the E- musick. gyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be 15 The joy of our heart is ceased; satisfied with bread.
our dance is turned into mouro7 Our fathers have sinned, and ing. are not; and we have borne their ini. 16 The crown is fallen from our quities.
head: woe unto us, that we have 8 Servants have ruled over us: there sinned ! is none that doth deliver us out of their 17 For this our heart is faint; for band.
these things our eyes are dim. 9 We gat our bread with the peril 18 Because of the mountain of of our lives because of the sword of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk the wilderness.
10 Our skin was black like an oven 19 Thou, O LORD, remainest for because of the terrible famine.
ever ; thy throne from generation to 11 They ravished the women in generation. Zion, and the maids in the cities of 20 Wherefore dost thou forget w Judah.
for ever, and forsake us so long 12 Princes are hanged up by their time? hand : the faces of elders were not ho- 21 Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, noured.
and we shall be turned ; renew our 13 They took the young men to days as of old. grind, and the children fell under the 22 But thou hast utterly rejected wood.
us: thou art very wroth against us.(Q)
the whole body of Jewish exiles, the many CHAP. V. and grievous hardships they groaned under
, (0) Zion's complaint and prayer to God. and humbly entreating God to commiserale
"In the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulgate ver- their wretchedness, and to restore them sions this chapter is entitled The Prayer of once more to his favour, and to their ancient Jeremiah; but no such title appears, either prosperity. The whole inay be considered in the Hebrew or the Septuagint : it is rather as an epilogue or conclusion, well adapted a memorial, representing, in the name of to the contents of the preceding chapters.
NOTES CHAP. V. Ver. 4. Is sold unto us-Heb.“ Cometh burnt, by the heat of the climate, with the want el for price;" i. e. they were obliged to purchase, not drink and food. See Job xxx. 30, Jer. ir. 8; viii.SI. only wood, but water also.
Ver. 12. Princes are hanged by their hand-i.e Ver. 5. Our necks are under persecution-Heb. tied up by one hand and let to perish : a cruel mate “ On our necks are we persecuted " i. e. we are of execution, sometimes practised. under the yoke of foreigners.
Ver. 13. Under the wood—that is, under the berVer. 6. We have given the hand-i, é. submitted. dens or wood they were compelled to carry. See Jer. I. 15.
Ver. 16. The crown is fallen from our head-Heb. Ver. 9. The sword of the wilderness-that is, the "The crown of our head is fallen.” Arabian free-booters, to which they were probably Ver. 20. So long time-Heb. "For length of days. exposod, in seeking for wood, &c.
Ver. 22. But thou hast, &c. --Marg. * Wilt thoa Ver. 10. Our skin was black-that is, scorched, or utterly reject us?"
END OF THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
INTRODUCTION. “We have now come to the prophecies of Ezekiel, which were addressed to the captives at Babylon, before aud after the captivity of Zedekiah, and the destruction of the temple. They must therefore be delivered at the same time, and against the same crimes against which Jeremiah was denouncing the judgments of Gud at Jerusalem. Both prophets predicted the same events, promised to the faithful the same consolations, and threatened the disobedient and idolatrous among their countrymen with the same punishments. Buth prophets united in denunciation against the false prophets, and in inticipations of the ultimate restoration of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity.'
Ezekiel, as himself tells us, (chap. i. 3.) was a priest, as well.as Jeremiah, though of different family; he was carried captive from Jerusalem at the same time with Tehoiachin, and stationed on the borders of the river Chebar, where he continued tatedly to reside.
In the fifth year of this captivity, the era from which he dates his prophecies, Szekiel began his office, which he exercised about 25 years. The commencement of his period falls on the year before Christ 593, and 34 years after Jeremiah had begun iis office; so that the last eight years of Jeremiah coincide with the first eight of Ezekiel. The desigu of this prophet seeins to be, chiefly, to convince his fellow captives u Babylon, that they were mistaken in supposing that their brethren, who still renained in Judea, were in happier circumstances than themselves : for this end, he lescribes the awful judgments impending over that country, with the complete destrucion of Jerusalem, both city and temple; and ipveighs against those heinous sins vhich were the cause of such calamities.
As to the style of the prophet Ezekiel, Bishop Lowth, the most unquestionable udge of Hebrew composition, thus describes it: 66 Ezekiel is much iuferior Jeremiah in elegance; in sublimity, he is not even excelled by Isaiah : ut his sublimity is of a totally different kind.-He is deep, vehement, tragical ; be only sensation he affects to excite, is the terrible; his sentiments are elevated, ervid, full of fire, indignant,” &c. He is generally charged with being obscure; but iis obscurity is that necessary to the sublime ; and the great critic just quoted remarks,
His diction is sufficiently perspicuous; all his obscurity consists in the nature of the ubject."
In our Introduction to Isaiah we have remarked, that the prophets frequently made se of actions as well as words, in the delivery of their predictions; and this was parİcularly the case with Ezekiel, “ who delineates the siege of Jerusalem on a tilereighs the hair of his beard in balances-carries out his household stuff--and joins ogether the two sticks of Judah and Israel. By these actions, the prophets instructed he people in the will of God, and conversed with them in signs : but where God eaches the prophet, and in coinpliance with the custom of that time, condescends to he same mode of instruction, then the signification generally changed into a vision, ither natural or extraordinary, as in the prophet Ezekiel) the ideal scene of the resurection of dry bones." I
Townsend's 0. Test. arranged, vol, ii, p. 529.
Lowth's Lect. xxi. : See Bp. Warburton's Divine Legat. Tol, iii. bk. 4. 8. 4. quoted Tonnsendo 0, T, arran, vol. il. p. 937
EZEKIEL. In our humble Exposition of this sublime prophet, beside the general commentators referred to on preceding books, we have constantly consulted, and frequently referred to, Archbishop Newcome's scarce and valuable work on this propbet. That learned prelate fully justifies the character given of him by Bp. Lowth, and vindicates the sublimity of his style, in reply to some eminent foreigu eritics.
CHRONOLOGICAL ARRANGEMENT of Ezekiel's prophecies, according to
Archbishop NEWCOME. CHAP. I. to VII. inclusive
Year 5 of Jehoiachin's captivity.-B. C. 595. VIII. to XIX.
6 - Ditto. XX. to XXIII.
7 - Ditto. XXIV.
9 - Ditto, when the siege began.
After the destruction of Jerusalem.
Year 25 of Jehoiachin's captivity.
27 – Ditto.
4 And I looked, and, behold, a CHAP. I.
whirlwind came out of the north, a NOW it came to pass in the thirti- great cloud, and a fire infolding itself,
eth year, in the fourth month, in and a brightness was about it, and the fifth day of the month, as I was out of the midst thereof as the colour among the captives by the river of of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Chebar, that the heavens were opened, 5 Also out of the midst thereof and I saw visions of God.
came the likeness of four living crea2 In the fifth day of the month, tures.
And this was their appearwhich was the fifth year of king Je- ance; they had the likeness of a man. hoiachin's captivity,
6 And every one had four faces, 3 The word of the Lord came ex- and every one had four wings. pressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son 7 And their feet were straight feet; of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans the sole of their feet was like the sole by the river Chebar; and the hand of of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the LORD was there upon him. the colour of burnished brass.
NOTES. CHAP. I. Ver. 1. In the thirtieth year-that is, prophet says he knew them to be the cherubim: of the prophet's life, as it is generally underatood but gives no further information. The Editor is but Calmet thinks these years must rather be dated perfectly aware of the different systems of interpre: from the revival of religion, and the covenant made tation advanced on this subject, and particularly ibat with God in the time of king Josiab. The river of the ingenious Mr. Hutchinson, who supposed of Chebar.-The station here referred to, is sup- them intended to represeut the several offices and posed to have been about 200 miles north of Baby- relations of the persons of the Trinity. Bat to this
he has two most decided objections: 1. The Jews Ibid. Among the captives - Heb. In the midst were utterly forbidden to make any represeatsina of the captivity."
of the Deity. See Exod. xx. 4; Deut. iv, 12, 16, &c. Ver. 2. The fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity, 2. These living creatures are represented as worwas also the 5th of Zedekiah's reign, who immedia shipping the great Being he supposes then to reately suceeeded him, 2 Kings xxiv. 17. and as the present. Isà. vi. 3; Rev. v. 8, 14. city and temple were destroyed in the 17th year of Ver. 6. Every one four wings. The seraphim is Zedekiah, 2 Kings xxv. 2. the prophet, of course, Isaiah had each six wings, and so the living dress had this vision six years before that event took tures in Rev. ir. 8. But in both places it may be place.
recollected they are described as in the act of Ver. 3. The hand of the Lord was there upon sbip. Comp. Isa. vi. 2. him-that is, he was under prophetic influence. See Ver. 7. Straight feet-Heh. " A straight fort." + Kings xviii. 46; 2 Kings iii. 15, &c.
This description supposes the body of each corered Yer. 4. A fire infolding-Heb. « Catching itself,” by its two lower wings, and terminating in one #r. 5. Your living creatures - Chap. X. 20, the straight
and round foot, like a call's, se Parka,
Ezekiel's vision of ]
(wheels and cherubim. 8 And they had the hands of a creatures, their appearance was like man under their wings on their four burning coals of fire, and like the apsides ; and they four had their faces pearance of lamps: it went up and and their wings.
down among the living creatures ; and 9 Their wings were joined one to the fire was bright, and out of the fire another; they turned not when they went forth lightning. went; they went every one straight 14 And the living creatures ran and forward.
returned as the appearance of a flash 10 As for the likeness of their faces, of lightning. (A) they four had the face of a man, and 15 Now as I beheld the living creathe face of a lion, on the right side: tures, behold one wheel upon the earth and they four had the face of an ox on by the living creatures, with his four the left side; they four also had the faces. face of an eagle.
16 The appearance of the wheels 11 Thus were their faces: and and their work was like unto the heir wings were stretched upward; colour of a beryl: and they four had wo wings of every one were joined one likeness : and their appearance ibe to another, and two covered their and their work was as it were a wheel Jodies.
in the middle of a wheel. , 12 And they went every one straight 17 When they went, they went orward : whither the spirit was to go, upon their four sides : and they turned hey went; and they turned not when not when they went. hey went.
- 18 As for their rings, they were so 13 As for the likeness of the living high that they were dreadful; and
of the centre of all this splendour, comes (A) Ver. 1-14. Ezekiel's prophetic call, forth the stupendous figures there exhind introductory vision. It is difficult tó bited. (Comp. also 1 Kings, xix. 12.) onceive any thing more magnificent or With respect to the living creatures, there ublime than the scene now before us. can be no doubt that they were the sera
has been considered as the chariot of phim which Isaiah saw when he receivedl he Deity; and the living creatures, or his prophetic mission. (Is. vi. 2, &c.) From herubic figures as the agents employed to the readiness also with which Ezekiel onvey it through the universe. Two knew them to be the Cherubim, as well as bjects here particularly demand the similitude of description, there is as ttention, the vehicle itself, and the ani- little doubt that they strongly resembled ials attached to it. The former we con- the Mosaic emblems in the teniple. Dider as emblematic of the immense ma- vines, however, are much divided as to the hine of Providence (so to speak ;) and the class of intelligences they are intended to itter of the various agency by which that represent. The strength and courage of rovidence is administered.
the lion, the patient laboriousness of the The introduction to this scene may re- ox, and the soaring eye of the eagle, are riod us of the first cherubic exhibition all proverbial, and "the human face corded in tbe Bible. When God drove divine seems the proper emblem of phidam without the boundaries of Paradise, lanthropy. That these attributes are e placed there Cherubim and a flaming applicable to angels will hardly be denied, Ford : that is, a terrific revolving flame, or that these angels are ministering spirits 1 which the Deity is supposed to have to the heirs of salvation. (See Heh. i. 14.) sided. (See Gen. iii. 24, with our exposi.. That they are also ministers of justice is on.) Here we have a whirlwind from no less evident froin the sacred scriptures le north, a great cloud, a fire ipfolding of both the Old and New Testaments : but self," surrouuded with a glory, and out. our limits will not admit of amplification,
NOTES. Ver. 1. Siretched upward that is, the upper Ver. 15. With his four faces--that is, as Abp. ait of wings belonging to each ligure being spread N wcome explains it, . One wheel intersected anpen, kere, as the margin presses it, "divided," ot lier at right angles, like the two colures; and the
opened above;" and joined to, or touched those four spherical portions thus formed, seem to he s the other tigure.
called the four faces, or sides ;"rer, 17. See ch. x, 13
Vision of wheels)
[and cherubim. their rings were full of eyes round the noise of their wings, like the noise about them four..
of great waters, as the voice of the 19 And when the living creatures Almighty, the voice of speech, as the went, the wheels went by them : and noise of an host: when they stood, when the living creatures were lifted they let down their wings. up from the earth, the wheels were 25 And there was a voice from the
firmament that was over their heads, 20 Whithersoever the spirit was to when they stood, and had let down go, they went, thither was their spirit their wings. to go; and the wheels were lifted up 26 And above the firmament that over against them : for the spirit of was over their heads was the likeness the living creature was in the wheels. of a throne, as the appearance of a
21 When those went, these went; sapphire stone : and upon the likeness and when those stood, these stood; of the throne was the likeness as the and when those were lifted up from appearance of a man above upon it. the earth, the wheels were lifted up 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, over against them : for the spirit of as the appearance of fire round about the living creature in the within it, from the appearance of his wheels.
loins even upward, and from the ap22 And the likeness of the firma- pearance of his loins even downward, ment upon the heads of the living crea- I saw as it were the appearance of fire, ture was as the colour of the terrible and it had brightness round about. crystal, stretched forth over their 28 As the appearance of the bow heads above.
that is in the cloud in the day of rain, 23 And under the firmament were so was the appearance of the brightness their wings straight, the one toward round about. This was the appearthe other: every one had two, which ance of the likeness of the glory of the covered on this side, and every one Lorp. And when I saw it, I fell had two, which covered on that side, upon my face, and I heard a voice of their bodies.
one that spake. (B) 24 And when they went, I heard.
EXPOSITION_Chap. I. Continued. (B) Ver. 13–28. The vision of the im- -2. Here was a display of infinite wisdom mense wheels and the celestial throne.--The and intelligence. Not only had one of whole vision being now before us, we shall these living creatures the eyes of an cagle, offer a few remarks on its general import, commanding the whole horizon, but the considering it designed to represent, as wheels themselves were full of eyes. All alrearly hinted, the doctrine of divine the plans of the Almighty are full of intelagency and a universal providence.
ligence, and all his agents are under divine 1. We are called upon to admire the guidance.-3. We see the absolute irresisimmensity and magnificence of God's pro- tibility of God's providence. The wheels vidence. These wheels (like Jacob's lad- went straight forward, and no impediments der) reached from earth to heaven, extend- could make them change their course.-4. ing to all the works and ways of God. The We may remark the unity and harmowy of magnitude and the splendour of their divine providence. Not only was there a appearance, gave them also a high degree perfect consistency between all the parts of of sublimity : they were dreadful to behold. this machine, but they were animated with
NOTES-Chap. I. Con. Ver. 16, Colour of a beryl-that is, pale sea-green. and supposed to be here repeated by mistake from Ver. 18. Their rings--that is, the outer circles. the verse preceding. Ver.22. Firmament upon-raher," expanse over," Ver. 26. Sapphire stone. - See Note on Exod. &c.-See Note on Gen. 1.8. As the terrible or xxiv. 10. “sparkling ” crystal; perhaps so called from its Ver. 27. And it had brightness round abeutreseinblance to icicles in the sun : for the word re- Newcome, “ And a brightness was round about fers primarily to ice, and is here so rendered by New. him:" i. é. the man in glory: the representative me and others.
of the invisible God, his erer blessed and only be 1. 25. And had let down their wings. These are omitted by the LXX, Syriac, and Arabic,
gotten Son." Compare Rev. iv. 3.