« PreviousContinue »
The gospel dispensation) CHAP. II.
7 Their land also is full of silver CHAP. II.
and gold, neither is there any end of THE word that Isaiah the son of their treasures; their land is also full Amoz saw concerning Judah and of horses, neither is there
end of Jerusalem.
their chariots : 2 And it shall come to pass in the 8 Their land also is full of idols; last days, that the mountain of the they worship the work of their own Lord's house shall be established in hands, that which their own fingers the top of the mountains, and shall be have made : exalted above the bills; and all na- 9 And the
boweth tions shall flow unto it.
down, and the great man humbleth 3 And many people shall go and himself: therefore forgive them not. say, Come ye, and let us go up to the 10 Enter into the rock, and hide mountain of the Lord, to the house of thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, the God of Jacob; and he will teach and for the glory of his majesty. us of his ways, and we will walk in 11 The lofty looks of man shall be his paths : for out of Zion shall go humbled, and the haughtiness of men forth the law, and the word of the shall be bowed down, and the LORD Lord from Jerusalem.
alone shall be exalted in that day. 4 And he shall judge among the 12 For the day of the Lord of nations, and shall rebuke many peo- hosts shall be upon every one that ple: and they shall beat their swords is proud and lotty, and upon every into plowshares, and their spears into one that is lifted up; and he shall be pruning hooks : nation shall not lift brought low : up sword against nation, neither shall 13 And upon all the cedars of Lethey learn war any more.
banon, that are high and lifted up, 5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and and upon all the oaks of Bashan, let us walk in the light of the Lord. 14 And upon all the high moun
6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy tains, and upon all the hills that are people the house of Jacob, hecause they lifted up, be replenished from the east, and are 15 And upon every high tower, soothsayers like the Philistines, and and upon every fenced wall, they please themselves in the children 16 And upon all the ships of Tarof strangers.
shish, and upon all pleasant pictures,
EXPOSITION. effect, he bitterly laments their degene- rence of every thing connected with idolaracy; and concludes with declaring, in the try, the source of all their misery. name of Jehovah, his purpose of inflicting “ The whole chapter affords a beautiful still heavier judgments, such as would de- example of this great Prophet's mauner : stroy the wicked, and excite in the righ- whose writings, like his lips, were touchteous (who should also pass through the ed with haliowed fire." furnace) an everlasting shame and abhor.
NOTES CHIAP. II. Ver. 1. That Isaiah san---Lowth, Ver. 7. Full of silver and gold ... horses, &c " That was revealed to Isaiah.”
-This was contrary to Deut. xvii, 16, 17. He fol. Ver. 2. Established – or “ prepared," Margin. lowed the example of Solomon, 2 Chron. i. 14, 15. Compare Micah iv, 1-4.
Ver. 9. The mean nan boneth, &c.-that is, all Ver. 4. Pruning hooks-or" scythes,” Morgin. ranks bow down to idols : but Bp. Lowth renders Ver. 6. Replenished from the East - Lowth,
this in the future; "therefore shall the mean man " Filled (with diviners) from,” &c.
be bowed :" so Boothroyd.- Forgire them notIbid. They please themselves – Marg. “ Abound Lowtı, " Thou wilt mot forgive them.” with," &e. Lowth, “ They multiply a spurious
Ver. 12. Shall be upon--"Is against," and so in brood of strange children." This refers to the ille- the four following verses. Lowth. gitimate produce of their licentious connexion with
Ver. 13. Cedars of Lebanon, &c.--that is, great the heathen, which is here compared (in the original)
men, princes, &c. with the corn, or grass, springing from seed accia Ver. 14. High mountains – kingdoms, states, r dentally sattered.
Ver. 15. Every high lower-military state,
[of idolatry. 17 And the loftiness of man shall glory of his majesty, when he ariseth be bowed down, and the haughtiness to shake terribly the earth. of men shall be made low : and the 22 Cease ye from man, whose Lord alone shall be exalted in that breath is in his nostrils : for wherein day.
is he to be accounted of? (B) 18 And the idols he shall utterly
CHAP. III. abolish.
19 And they shall go into the holes FOR, behold, the Lord, the LORD of the rocks, and into the caves of the of hosts, doth take away from Je. earth, for fear of the LORD, and for rusalem and from Judah the stay and the glory of his majesty, when hè the staff, the whole stay of bread, and ariseth to shake terribly the earth. the whole stay of water,
20 In that day a man shall cast his 2 The mighty man, and the man idols of silver, and his idols of gold, of war, the judge, and the prophet, which they made each one for him- and the prudent, and the ancient, self to worship, to the moles and to 3 The captain of fifty, and the hothe bats ;
nourable man, and the counsellor, and 21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, the cunning artificer, and the eloquent and into the tops of the ragged rocks, orator. for fear of the Lord, and for the 4 And I will give children to be
Perhaps we ought pot to confive the words (B) Isaiah prophecies the coming of Mes- to any one of these events exclusively, siah's kingdom, and the destruction of Ido. The prophecy bas, no doubt, been in a latry. This and the two following chap- great measure fulfilled by the early and ters make one section of prophecy, to astonishing success of the gospel: ret the which the verse with which it opeus is happy period so beautifully predicted in the title. The first five verses foretel the verse 4th, has only yet dawved, and some kingdom of the Messiah, and the couver- signal revolutions may yet be necessary siou of the Gentiles : for it is the opinion of to the establishment of universal peace. the most learned Rabbins, that the term of part of these predictions at least we “ latter days" always refers to the times have lived to see the fulfilinent. Messiah of the Messiah. In the remaining part of is come; the Gentiles have been admitted the chapter is foretold the punishment of into his church. Idolatry in many nations the unbelieving Jews for their idolatrous has been suppressed; and, even in our owu practices; their self-contideuce and dis- time, the iuhabitants in the South Sea trust in God; also the destruction of ido- Islands, as also in some parts of Africa, latry, iv consequence of the establishment and even India, have thrown away their of Messiah's kingdom. The description idols. We cannot indeed say that men
hich this chapter contains of the terrible “ learn war no more;" but the calamities consternation that will seize the wicked, attending the late European wars, bave inwho shall in vain seek for rocks and moun- duced the nations to make a pause; and it tains to hide them from the face of God in is now generally admitted awong civilized the day of his judgments, is beautifully governmeuts, that no wars are defensible and highly worked up. But w what period that are not founded on privciples of jus. these judgments are to be referred is tice. This is a grand poiut gained, and, doubtful. Some have applied them to the we think, may lead eventually to the atfirst, and some to the second coming of tainment of universal peace, the principles our Lord; some to the destruction of the of which canvoi be too much cherished in Jews, and some to the fall of Anti-christ! the Christian world.
NOTES. Ver. 16. Ships of Tarshish-maritime powers. and to the bats-that is, for shame and fear, he shall Pleasant pictures - Margiu, “ Pictures of desire." hide thein in darkuess and obscurity. Lowth, " 'Every lovely work of art. V r. 18. And the idols, &c.-Mary. “The idols CHAP. III. Ver. 3. The honourable re-Heb. nttuly pass away;" Lowth, “ Totally dis. “ The man eminent in countenance."Tke ete
quent orator-Marg. “ Shilful of speech." faile each one for himself - Marg. Which Ver. 4. C'kildi en to be their princes.-See Eccles. him to worship," &c.To the moles x. 16.
The erimes of men)
CHAP. III. (and follies of women. their princes, and babes shall rule their oppressors, and women rule over over them.
them. O my people, they which lead 5 And the people shall be oppress- thee cause thee to err, and destroy the ed, every one by another, and every way of thy paths. one by his neighbour: the child shall 13 The Lord standeth up to plead, bebave himself proudly against the and standeth to judge the people. ancient, and the base against the ho- 14 The Lord will enter into judgnourable.
ment with the ancients of his people, 6 When a man shall take hold of and the princes thereof: for ye have his brother of the house of his fatber, eaten up the vineyard ; the spoil of the saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou poor is in your houses. our ruler, and let this ruin be under 15 What mean ye that ye beat thy hand :
my people to pieces, and grind the 7 In that day shall he swear, say- faces of the poor? saith the LORD ing, I will not be an healer ; for in my God of hosts. house is neither bread nor clothing: 16 Moreover the LORD saith, Bemake me not a ruler of the people. cause the daughters of Zion are haugh
8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and ty, and walk with stretched forth Judah is fallen : because their tongue necks and wanton eyes, walking and and their doings are against the mincing as they go, and making a LORD, to provoke the eyes of his tinkling with their feet. glory.
17 Therefore the LORD will smite 9 The shew of their countenance with a scab the crown of the head of doth witness against them; and they the daughters of Zion, and the Lord declare their sin 'as Sodom, they hide will discover their nakedness. it not. Woe unto their soul! for they 18 In that day the LORD will take have rewarded eyil unto themselves. away the bravery of their tinkling or
10 Say ye to the righteous, that it naments about their feet, and their shall be well with him: for they shall cauls, and their round tires like the eat the fruit of their doings.
moon, 11 Woe unto the wicked ! it shall 19 The chains, and the bracelets, be ill with him : for the reward of his and the mufflers, hands shall be given him.
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments 12 As for my people, children are of the legs, and the head-bands, and
NOTES Ver. 7. Swear--Heb. Lift up” the hand; the Lowth, " The pendents.”—The mifflers- Marg. teal form of swearing.-An healer-Heb. " A “ Spangled ornaments;" Lowth, " Their veils." binder up.” He had not means to support the dig. Ver. 20. The bonnets-Lowth, Tires;" i.e. bigh nity of oibce.
head dresses. The tablets-Heb.“ Hjuses of the Ver. 8. The eyes of his glory-that is, his om- soul;" which Lowth ingeniously explains of “perAiscience.
fume boxes," and the ear rings as “ amulets," or Ver. 11. Given-Heb. “ Dope" to him.
ornaments worn as charins against disease. Ver. 12. They which lead-Heb. “ They which Ver. 21. Nose jewels were certainly used by ladies bless thee;" i. e. the priests.- And destroy-Heb. in the East, as they are in some parts to this day. " Swallow up;''so the monsters of the deep de- See Note on Gen. xxiv. 47; also Ezek. xvi. 12. stroy: but to swallow a way," seems to refer to an Lowth reads, “ Jewels of the nostril." inundation of error and vice, which prevented their Ver. 22. The chungeable suits, &c.-Lowth, “ The progress in the way of duty.
embroidered robes and the tanics,'-The nimples Ver. Jt. The ancients-- Looth, “ Elders."
and the crisping pins-Lowth,“ The cloaks and the Ver, 16. Wanton eyes - Heb.“ Deceiving with little purses." their
eyes;" i, e, by a norons glancs. Lowth thioks Ver. 23. The glasses - Lowth, " The transparent this refers to painting the eyes. See Jer. iv. 30 garments ;" a kind of silken gauze, worn by women Mincing as they yo--Heb. * Tripping nicely." of light character. The honds and the veils
Ver. 17. Discorer their nakedness.-The autho- Lowth, " The turbans and the mantles."
Ver. 18. Tinkling ornaments - lowth, "Feet- And burning-Lowth, * A *un burnt skin.”
The love of Christi
EXPOSITION-Chap. VIII. Continued. quin approach, enquire, as on a former kind of plantation, which the Hebrews occasion, “Who is this that cometh ?” would comprehend under the general name &c. It need not, however, be referred to of vineyard, which she here speaks of as the
the wilderness here hers, and from which she received a cermeant, may probably intend only one of taip revenue. This falling iuto the bands the small wildernesses, or uncultivated of Solomon, npon his marriage, some spots, of which there were many in Judea, years afterwards, he rebuilt the city, which, and sone not far from the metropolis. according to Reland, was called Gazara, These might, in the allegory, very pro- near Joppa. Now the object of mentionperly represent barren and neglected spots ing this vineyard, (as at that time it prowithin the boundary of the Christian hably was) seems to be, that its revenue church. The words I raised thee," &c. might be transferred to her younger sister: are those of the bridegroom, reminding but this is offered only as a conjecture. the spouse of her engagements to hiru by To allegorize these vineyards, with any betrothment; and she begs (ver.6.) to have degree of propriety, is not easy; nor would a perpetual memorial in his heart. He then the genius of Bunyan, united to the Oriassures her, in return, (ver. 7.) that his ental literature of a Jones, be sufficient to love is as unextinguishable as it was un- open all the allegories of Scripture, withpurchaseable.
out a degree of local knowledge, now un. The spouse, in ver. 8. presents a petition attainable. It is therefore much better to on the behalf of a younger sister, not yet leave many passages in the obscurity in marriageable, which Christian commenta- which tiine has involved them, than to tors in general apply to the case of the make them more obscure by“ words witti. Gentiles, and ground here the calling of out knowledge;" at least by words withthe Gentile church; and though some out that knowledge which is indispensable have objected to this interpretation, they to their proper explication. The Scriptures do not appear to have supplied a better. nave, perhaps, suffered more from the de
The bridegroom returns a kind reply: termination of cuinmentators to explain “ If she be a wall, thongli low, we will all difficulties, than from any other cause raise her by “ turreis of silver;" that is, whatever. There are mysteries in Scrip give her a marriage portion, that shall ture as well as in nature, that every atcompensate all defects : and if sbe
tempt to penetrate only renders more obunprotected virgin, we will enclose and secure her from every danger.
The two last verses are, however, more The bride then turns his attention to intelligible. In ver. 13, the church is adherself : “I (was) a wall, and my breasts dressed by her beloved as one that delike towers :" that is, the Jewish church lighted to " dwell in the gardens ;” joti was, by the Spirit of prophecy, prepared mating rot only commendation of a taste for the coming of her Lord; then, says for rural empljyment and felicity, but sbe, I was in his eyes “ as one that found mure especially a pleasure in mental culpeace,” or happiness. It was a time of tivation.' Schools for moral and religious jove, when the bridegroom spread his instruction, are gardens of immortal souls: skirt over her, and took her under his aud wlien Christians are thus employed protection. (See Ruth iii. 9; Ezek xvi. 8.) with children, companions or spectators
At ver. 11. the subject again chavges, who listen to their instruction, are often and this verse is supposed to be addressed excited to inquire, "whether these things by the spouse to the virgins, as the next be so," and ihe beloved himself deligbes is to the bridegroom himself; neither of to hear. “ Cause me to hear it." them are easy of explication. The situa- But a!l which believers saw or hearil of tion of Baal-hamon is unknown aud the Messiah, under the Old Testament, unimportaut; but what was the vineyard was at a distance. Like Abraham, the of the bride? The sacred history informs saw his day afar off, and were glad; while us, that Pharaoh (her father) having pre- at the same time, they sighed for his comviously taken Gezer from the Canaanites, ing, and, in the figurative language i and burnt it, afterwards made a present of
wbich the spouse concludes this book it to his daughter, the wife of Solomon. their prayers bastened bis approach : It is very probable, that after having burnt “Make baste, my beloved, and be thos the city, and destroyed its inhabitants, like a roe, or a yung hart upon th Pharaoh might have turued it in!o sume
spicy mountains !"
(END OF THE SONG OF SOLOMON
INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHETS. " THE early Prophets committed vothing to writing : their predictions being only, or chiefly of a temporal nature, are inserted in the historical books, together with their fulfilment. Sueh appears to have been the case with Elijah, Elisha, Micaian, and others; but those who were gifted with the spirit of prophecy in its most exalted sense, and were commissioned to utier predictions, the accomplishment of which was as yet far distant, were directed to write them, or cause them
to be written in a book (compare Isa. viii. 1-x*x.8; der. x11. 2–xxxvi. 2, 22; Ezek. xliii. 11 ; Hab. ij. 2, &c.) The predictions thus committed to writing were carefully preserved, under a conviction that they contained important truths, thereafter to be more fully revealed, which were to receive their accomplishment il the appointed periods. It was also the office of the Prophets to commit to writing the history of the Jews ; and it is on this account that, in the Jewish classification of the books of the Old Testament, we find several historical writings arranged among the Prophets
. Throughout their prophetic and historical books, the utmost plainness and sincerity prevail. "They record the idolatries of the nation, and foretel the judgments of God, which were to befal the Jews, in consequence of their forsaking bis worship and service; and they have transmitted a relation of the crimes and misconduct of their best princes, David, Solomon, and others ;-who were types of the Messiah, and from ikuse race they expected that he would descend: regarding the glories of their several reigas, as presages of bis,-are described, not only without flattery, but also without any reserve or extenuation. They write like men who had no regard to any thing but truth and the glory of God.
"The manner in which the Prophets announced their predictions varied according to eircumstances. Sometimes they uttered them aloud in a public place: and it is in alluSion to this practice that Isaiah is commanded to “ like a trumpet, and show the people of God their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sius." (Isa. lviii. 1.) Sometimes their predictions were affixed to the gates of the temple, where they might be generally read, (Jer. vii. 2); but upon important occasions, * when it was vecessary to rouse the fears of a disobedient people, and to recal them to repentance, the Prophets, as objects of universal attention, appear to have walked about publicly in sackcloth, and with every external inark of humiliation and sorrow. They then adopted extraordinary modes of expressing their convictions of impending wrath, and endeavoured to awaken the apprehensions of their countrymen, by the most striking beat them on his neck, (Jer. xxvii.) strongly to intimate the subjection that God would
on the nations whom Nebúchainezzar should subdue. Isaiah likewise walked naked; that is, without the rough garment of the propbet ; and barefoot, (Isa. xx. 2.) as a high of the distress that awaited the Eyyptians. So Jeremiah broke the potter's vessel, (xix. 20.); and Ezekiel publicly removed his household goods from the city, more forcibly to represent, by these actions, some correspondent calamities ready to fall on nation's obnoxious to God's wrath : this mode of expressing important circumstances by action being customary and familiar among all Eastern nations.
"Sometimes the prophets were commanded to seal and shut up their prophecies, that the originals might be preserved until they were accomplished, and then compared with the event, (Isa. viii. 16; Jer. xxxii. 14; Dan. viii. 26-avd xii. 4.) For, when the prophecies were not to be fulfilled till after many years, and in sovie cases nut till after