Page images

and the vehement noise of the nations, as the noise. of mighty waters they vociferate! 13. The nations shall roar indeed as the roaring of many waters: yet he shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off; and they shall be chased as the chaff of the moun. tains before the wind, and as a rolling thing before the whirlwind. 14. In the time of the evening, and behold destruction ! before morning, and they are not. This is the portion of them that trouble us, and the lot of them that spoil us.

xviii. 1. Ho! land spreading wide the shadow of thy wings *, which art beyond the rivers of

* Shadow of thy wings.] The shadow of wings is a very “ usual image in prophetic language for the protection affordod by the stronger to the weak. God's protection of his servants is described by their being safe under the shadow of “ his wings. And, in this passage, the broad shadowing wings

may be intended to characterize some great people, who

should be famous for the protection they should give to " those whom they received into their alliance; and I cannot " but think this the most simple and natural exposition of " the expression” (Bp. Horsley's Letter on Isaiah xviii.). It is not impossible however, and certainly not incongruous with the figurative language of prophecy, that, since the messen. gers described in this prediction are plainly a maritime nation, the shadowy wings here spoken of may mean the sails of their ships. Indeed the learned prelate, to whom I am so much, or rather so wholly, indebted for all the succeeding remarks on this chapter, seems liimself to allow, that something like this may be insinuated in the imagery of the first



Cush. 2. Accustomed to send messengers * by sea, even in bulrush vessels t, upon the surface of the waters ! Go, swift messengers, unto a nation dragged away and plucked, unto a people wonderful from their beginning hitherto, a nation expecting, expecting, and trampled under foot, whose land rivers have spoiled. 3. All the inhabitants of the world, and dwellers upon earth, shall see the lifting up, as it were, of a banner upon the mountains, and shall hear the sounding, as it were, of a trumpet. 4. For thus saith the Lord unto me: I will sit still (but I will keep my eye upon my prepared habitation), as the parching heat just before lightning, as the dewy cloud in the heat of harvest. 5. For afore the harvest, when the bud is coming to perfection, and the blossom is become à juicy berry, he will cut off the useless shoots with

Accustomed to send messengers.]. “ The form of the expression in the original signifies, not a single act of sending once, but the habit of sending perpetually. The word bigos

may be taken for persons employed between nution and nation, “ for the purposes either of negociation or commerce.” Letter on Isaiah xviii.

+ Bulrush vessels.] “ This is a figurative expression; de“ scriptive of skill in navigation, and of the safety and ex

pedition with which the inhabitants of the land called to “ are supposed to perform distant voyages. Navigable vessels

are certainly meant. If the country spoken to be distant “ from Egypt, vessels of bulrush are only used as an apt “ image, on account of their levity, for quick-sailing vessels of any material.Letter on Isaiab xviii. LO


[ocr errors]

pruning hooks, and the bill shall take away the luxuriant branches. 6. They shall be left together to the bird of prey of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth. And upon it shall the bird of prey summer, and all the beasts of the earth upon it shall winter. 7. At that season a present shall be led to the Lord of hosts, a people dragged away and plucked, even of a people wonderful from their beginning hitherto; a nation expecting, expecting, and trampled under foot, whose land rivers have spoiled, unto the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, mount Sion.

xix. 1. The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and cometh unto Egypt: and the idols of Egypt are moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. 2. And I will cover in tents * the Egyptians against the Egyptians : and they shall fight, every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. 3. And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards. 4. And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of cruel lords; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts. 5. And the waters shall fail from the sea, even the river shall be wasted and dried up. 6. And the rivers shall be removed away; and the streams of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall withcr. 7. The plants by the streams, by the mouth of the streams, and every thing sown by the streams, shall wither, be driven away, and be no

* I will cover in tents.] So I have ventured to render 'n2d3d, attributing to the primitive the sense of one of its derivatives. The context shews, that it cannot mean I will protect. The Vulgate reads concurrere faciam; the Lxx, επεγερθήσονται Αιγυπτιοι επ’ Αιγυπτιες ; the Clhaldee Paraphrast, concurrere faciam ; the Syriac, concitabo; and the Arabic, irruent Egyptii in Ægyptios. All these convey the very same idea of the Ægyptians being in a state of civil war with the Egyptians,


8. The fishers also shall mourn; even all they, that cast the hook into the streams, shall lament; and they, that spread nets upon the waters, shall languish. 9. Moreover they that work in yellow flax, and they that weave nets *, shall be confounded. 10. And their toils t shall be broken, even all they that earn wages † at the fish-pools. 11. Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh * is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings! 12. Where are thy wise men ? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath counselled against Egypt. 13. The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived, and the corner stones of its tribes have seduced Egypt. 14. The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to stagger in all its works, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit. 15. Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do. . 16. In that day shall Egynt be like unto women; and it shall be afraid and fear, because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which he shaketh over it. 17. And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt: every one, that maketh mention thereof, shall be afraid in himself; because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts, which he hath determined against it. 18. In that day shall-five cities in the land of Egypt speak the religious confession of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts : one shall


* They that work in yellow flax, and they that weave nets.] Bp. Lowth translates this passage, They that work the fine flax shall be confounded, and they that weave network. But the context seems to shew, that not fine flax fit for the purposes of weaving ornamental net-work is here intended, but coarse flar for the making of fishing-nets,

+ Their toils,] So I render jinnw. See Parkhurst's Heb. Lex. Vox nw.

Earn wages.) So I render now 'wp.


* The wise counsellors of Pharaoh.] Isaiah describes the future state of Egypt in terms, strictly applicable only to his own times ; 'as, in verses 19, 20, 21, he represents the worship of future times, according to the rites and ceremonies of his



« EelmineJätka »