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Jehovah executeth righteousness,
The days of man are as grass :
Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens,
Of the odes which occur in the Hebrew scriptures some are remarkable for grace and elegance, others for grandeur and sublimity. Of the beautiful odes the most distinguished seem to be the * xixth psalm, the * xxivth, the lxxiid, and the cxivth; which last I shall subjoin.
When Israel went forth from Egypt,
+ Secker. Lowth.
The lxx. Ar. Æth. Vulg. 4 MSS. The following similar letters, Sa, seem to have exclu led 5d, See v. 21, 22,
Judah was 1 his holy portion,
What befel thee, thou sea, that thou fleddest ?
4 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord ;
The loftiness of Isaiah's triumphal ode over the fall of Babylon is justly insisted on by Bishop 6 Lowth with an enthusiastic warmth of admiration.
How hath the oppressor ceased ! the ? exactress of gold ceased !
+ H. sons.
1-his.- Jehovah's, by way of eminence. There is no doubt, says Hare, but that the suffix must be referred to God. He suspects that this is a fragment. Otherwise, he observes that it is a remarkable example of the relative without the antecedent.
, i, e. : of Jehovah, But there is no trace of this reading in versions or MSS. We have an instance v. 7, how easily the 7 and · are confounded.
Judah is used in the feminine gender; as Jer. xxiii, 6. Hare. It is equivalent to Israel ; and put, by synecdoche, for the whole people of God, See ps. Ixxvi, 1, 2. “ Judah was his holy, or peculiar inheritance ; Israel was the people over whom he vouchsafed to bear sway."
Δή τότε μούνον έην όσιον γέιος υιες Ιούδα.
Milton. saw him.-787 : vidit eum. Syr. Secker. 3 The mountains skipped.—Lightnings and earthquake caused Sinai, Horeb, and their range of hills, to tremble. Exod. xix. 18. Ps. xxix. 6. lxviii, 7, 8, Hab, iii. 6.
4 Tremble. “ The lxx and Syr, have the preterperfect.” Secker. Kennicott adopts this reading; but with some doubt. Remarks on select passages &c. 1787. But Mudge justly observes, that “the answer is elegantly understood, and turned into a command.” Ye had just cause to tremble : the earth hath just cause, when God appeareth.
- springs.- Jyn, lxx. Syr. Vulg. Houbigant, Secker, Kennicott. 1 Kings xviii. 5.
6 See the close of his viith, xiïith, and xxviïith prelections : and his notes on Isaiah p. 88. The beautiful conduct and bold imagery of this ode are illustrated with great spirit and taste in his remarks; and strongly represented in his version of it into Alcaics. Two of our best poets, Mason and Potter, have also given excellent poetical translations of it in our own language. See other sublime odes Exod. xv. Deut xxxii. Judg. v. Hab. iij.
-the exactress of gold.-—" A Chaldee word for the Hebrew hann. Aurea,
How hath Jehovah broken the staff of wicked men, the sceptre of
the rulers ! He that smote the people in wrath is' smitten, without any to avert
the stroke; He that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted without any to
hinder. The ? whole earth is at rest, and is quiet : Even the fir-trees break forth into singing, And the cedars of Lebanon rejoice over thee: “Since thou hast lain down, no feller cometh up against us." The grave from beneath is troubled because of thee, to meet thee
at thy coming : He stirreth up for thee the mighty dead, all the 3 chiefs of the
earth : He raiseth up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All of them speak and say unto thee : “ Art thou also made weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Is thy pride brought down to the grave, and the sound of thy viols? Is the worm * spread under thee, and doth the earth-worm 5
thee?" How art thou fallen from heaven, O bright star # of the morning! How art thou cut down to the earth, that didst weaken o the nations ! Yet thou didst say in thine heart, “ I will ascend into the heavens; Above the stars of God I will exalt my throne ; ? And I will sit upon the appointed mount, and upon the sides 8 of
the north :
+ H. son of the morning,
auro ornata. Apoc, xvii. 4. in the Syriac version; where the very word in the text occurs." See J. D. Michaelis suppl. ad Lex. Hebr. But both this critic and Doederlein prefer 12078; which the latter commentator renders turbatrix, from 207 Syr, A gate of the temple of Mecca was called nx277n, inaurata. Rob. clav. pent. diss.
--smitten.-09, 7 MSS. 3 originally. This is the learned Mr. Green's division. Poetical parts, p. vii.
2 See also poetical parts &c. p. vii.
3 Hebr. rams. See Jer. 1. 8. Zech. x. 3, in both which places the Chaldee explains rams by princes. Ulysses is compared to a ram by Homer:
Αυτός δε, κτίλος ώς, έπιπωλειται στίχας ανδρών. Il. iii. 196. - spread.—y87: 4 MSS. But the lxx. yyye otpácovo..
--cover thee. — 707ni, et operiens te: above 60 MSS. and 12 edd. Defectiva sane lectio et singularis longe præferenda. De Rossi.
-the nations.-'1 he lxx and Ar. add 52: all the nations. ? And I will sit -The lxx, Ar. Vulg. onit and.
of the north. The temple might be situated in the northern division of the city. But it is not necessary to suppose the latter clause in apposition with the former.
-the heights.-nina, 5 MSS.
They that see thee narrowly look at thee, and consider thee:
All the kings of the nations, all of them,
with the sword,
trodden under foot, thou art not joined ? to them in
? That dismissed not gic.-Literally, That loosed not his prisoners homeward. There is no trace of ons in versions or MSS. Were this reading admitted, the literal rendering would be ;
As for his prisoners, he opened not their prison-house : and a more elegant one, that of our English version :
That opened not the house of his prisoners.
-of thy sepulchre.—It is said, v. 15, that the king of Babylon was brought down to the grave, to the sides of the pit.” Death had brought him down to the lower parts of the earth, to the caverns which were the receptacles of the dead. But he had not his honourable place allotted him in this mansion : he had no cell, or niche, where he was laid with his weapons of war, and his ensigns of royalty.
-branch.-_Where 789 occurs elsewhere, Isai. xi. 1. Ix. 21. Dan. xi. 7, it signifies a young branch; which, according to the sense of the verb 78, requires to be preserved with care. See Tayl. conc. Christ says, “ If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered. Cocceius, in his lexicon, voc. ayn, has this illustration : ut surculus abominabilis, venenatæ, noxiæ arboris ; qui non conditur in terra, ut crescat, sed projicitur, ut exarescat. Vulg. Syr. Chald. Theod. represent the present reading in the text.
But ó. Ar. have vekpos, nos, as an abominable dead body:" Aq. has ixwp, tabes :" and Symm. ěktpwa, “an untimely birth,” 50), which last would suit the place perfectly well.
783 seems a corrupt reading. 4 As the raiment. Thus ó. Syr. Ar. But Vulg. has obvolutus ; Chald. tectus, obductus ; Bp. Lowth, cloathed ; and Doederlein, obtectus. wiah, the reading of many MSS. is either the substantive, or the participle passive. On the latter supposition I would render,
Thou art covered with them that are slain, that are thrust through with the
sword, “ That go down to the stones of the pit; thou art as a carcase trodden under foot." I prefer the former sense. Where the prosopopæia is not used, I conclude from v. 4 that a Jew speaks : and, according to Jewish ideas, the bloody raiment of the slain was an object of abhorrence.
But the reader will observe that in ó. there are two translations; and that, in the former of them, the words 0.2707 was are rendered, Metè momwv TEOVNKÓTWY. This circumstance may lead him to suspect the genuineness of the text.
5-to the stones of the pit.-An emphasis will be given to this phrase, if we suppose a reference to the promiscuous burial of the common slain in pits covered with stones,
- trodden under foot.- A great indignity. 2 Kings ix. 33. The punctuation is Green's, ubi supra.
to them. – Unto the kings, who partake of an honourable burial.
Because thou hast destroyed 'thy country, and slain thy people.
3 their fathers :
And the son, and the son's son, saith Jehovah.
tread him under foot:
This is the decree which is † determined on the whole earth;
Isai. xiv. 4-27.
I cannot close this very confined and imperfect enumeration of the excellencies contained in the Hebrew poets, without adding a few instances of grand and sublime passages, 8 where the conception is elevated or the passion vehement. I need not remind the reader that detached beauties of composition create a glare, which is softened down by the gradation of colouring, and proper degree of shade, allotted them in their natural situation.
♡ H. decreed.
be ,יקוס as if the reading in the Hebrew had been ;נקום
.and Syr ,יתקיס renders
-thy country.—“My country, my people.” ó. Ar. Aq. Synım. Theod. But Bp. Lowth.
be renowned.-0*8777 occurs for renowned, Ezek. xxiii. 23. Chald.
, , ; , established.
-their fathers.-072x, their father, ó. Syr. This resembles onlax. 4 And the son.-703, the son, 6 MSS. 3 originally, I ed.
in deep mire.—See Bp. Lowth, and Michaelis : præl. Hebr. xxviii.
-their shoulder.-All the ancients in the London polyglot render as if they read on av, except the lxx: and in that translation aŭtâv occurs Polygl. Antw. and is added in edd. Grabe, Breit. as found by Origen in some other Greek versions.
These remarks are intended as supplemental to Bishop Lowth's. 6 See Hebrew prelections : xvi. xvii.