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Leviathan in the natural sea, takes his pastime in the troubled sea of many nations, and rules uncontrolled over the mighty waters of the Latin empire *
* In the first edition of my Dissertation on the 1260 years, Vol. 1. p. 83, I was led into an error relative to the passage here commented upon, by following Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton. I supposed with them, that the dragon, mentioned in Isaiah xxvii. 1. and in Ezek. xxix. 3, is such a dragon as that mentioned in the Apocalypse, namely a large serpent; and I thence concluded, that, like the apocalyptic dragon, it symbolizes the devil acting through the instrumentality of certain heatheń powers. I am now convinced, that I was mis. taken. The dragon or aquatic monster, described by Ezekiel, seems plainly, as Abp. Newcome properly observės, to be the crocodile, the constant symbol of Egypt; while the dragon or aquatic monster, mentioned by Isaiah, appears to be some large sea-fish or possibly a water-snake. In the passage of Ezekiel, Pharaoh is undoubtedly intended: but the passage of Isaiah, connected as it manifestly is with the restoration of the Jews and the destruction of Antichrist, cannot, with any degree of propriety, be applied to the ancient sovereigns of Egypt. In *short, Í conceive that the huge sea-monster Leviathan is used in the present prophecy to symbolize, not Satan, but Antichrist in the midst of his overgrown power, and while lording it like the apocalyptic harlot over many waters. Bp. Lowth translates 'the passage, Leviathan the rigid serpent, and Leviathan the winding serpent, and shall slay the monster that is in the sea, From these words he concludes, that three different animals are here mentioned : “ the crocodile, rigid, by the stiffness " of the back-bone, so that he cannot readily turn himself " when he pursues liis prey; the serpent or dragon, flexible it and winding; the sea-monster, or the whale." Upon which e 2
When God hath amply taken vengeance of his enemies, then will the Jews, as forinerly, once more become the vineyard of his church. His
his Lordship remarks, “ These are used allegorically, no “ doubt, for great potentates, enemies and persecutors of the " people of God." I freely confess, that I prefer my own translation of the passage, and that I think it much more natural to consider the prophet as speaking of only one sea. monster. To annex the sense of rigid or stiff to the adjective 792 seems to me very far-fetched. The primiiive verb na signifies to flee or shoot along : hence nga denotes at once a fugitive and a bar; the latter, from the idea of a bar shooting through the rings, within which it is confined, in the act of barring a door. What then is the meaning of the adjective 773? The Lexicographers' tell us long and stiff, because a bolt is both long and stiff. But this is surely departing very far from the original sense of the root, and annexing to one of its derivatives a mere incidental idea which belongs to another of its derivatives. A bolt is called nya, not because it is long and stiff, but because it shoots through its rings. The second idea, not the first, is that which connects it with its primitive. Hence it appears to me utterly incomprehen. sible upon any consistent principle of derivation, how the adjective 092, which springs from the radical verb 792 to flee or shoot along, can signify long and stiff. At least, if we annex such a meaning to it, there is certainly no common idea that connects the root with its derivative. On these grounds I have translated the passage, “ Leviathan, the serpent that “ rapidly darteth along;" namely, as a fish darts along through the water: and I am supported in my translation both by the Lxx, who render the words darovla o@ wv Qevyoulet, and by the Arabic version, which reads draconem serpentem fugientem. It may be observed, that Mr. Parkhurst, in the
protecting care had long been withdrawn from it; its hedge had been broken down; it had been laid waste; it had been neither pruned nor digged; it had produced nought but briars and brambles ; the clouds had been withheld from refreshing it with rain * : but now it is become a vineyard of desire; the Lord himself keepeth it; he watereth it every moment; he keepeth it night and day, lest any hurt it. He causeth Jacob to take root, and Israel to fill the face of the whole world with fruit. Severely as he hath smitten him for his manifold, iniquities; yet he hath moderated his anger, he hath not smitten him with the stroke which he hath finally laid upon his persecutors, the stroke of utter excision. On the contrary, he hath debated with his ancient church in exact measure; he hath meditated, as it were by rule, upon her chastisements, even when riding in
sense which he ascribes to the adjective 772, intirely departs from the excellent rule, which he himself had laid down in the Preface to his Hebrew Lexicon : “ Wherever the radical e letters are the same, the leading idea or notion runs through “ all the deflexions of the word, however numerous or diver“ sified.” How can this be the case, if the adjective 7772, to which he ascribes the signification of struight and rigid, be derived from the verb 772 to flee ? What common leading idea runs through the primitive, which means to flee; and its deflexion, if it signify straight and rigid? Mr. Lowth observes, like myself, that “ the Hebrew word Beriah, which our • English translates piercing, signifies likewise running away." Mr. Lowth in loc.
* See Isaiah v. 6.
the whirlwind and directing the storm. He de clareth, that her sin shall be taken away, when she forsaketh her abominations.
In fine, at the very time when the affairs of Israel appear most desperate; when his cities are desolate, and his habitations forsaken; when his land is a wilderness; and when even women stretch forth their hands, and pluck off his withered branches: then will the Lord begin a work, which shall rouse the slumbering attention of all the inhabitants of the earth. He will thresh, as it were with a threshing instrument, from the river Euphrates to the river of Egypt*. Both those mystic streams shall be dried up, in order that a way may be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun. He will gather together the children of Israel, one by one, from the land of their dispersion. He will cause the greaț țrumpet of the
* The river is here spoken by way of eminence, and is mą.nifestly placed in contradiction to the river of Egypt: hence I apprehend, according to the usual phraseology of Scripture, that the Euphrates is intended. This idea perfectly agrees both with the context of the present passage, and with other parallel prophecies. Compare Isaiah xi. 15, 16. xix. 5, 23, 24-Zechar. x: 10, 11, 12. From the same parallel prophecies Į think we may likewise conclude, that by the river of Egypt we are here to understand the Nile, not the small river in the neighbourhood of Gaza which was the southern boundary of the dominions of Israel. See Gen. xv. 18. Numb. xxxiv. 5. Josh. xv. 4. 47. See also Well’s Geog. of the Old Test: Vol. 1. p. 158; and Mr. Lowth in loc.
Gospel to be heard to the very extremities of the earth. And they, that are now lost in the land of Assyria, the remnant of the ten tribes * ; and they, that were thrust down into the land of Egypt, the wreck of Judah after the desolation of their country by the Romans t; all these shall obey the call,
* Although Ephraim is broken that he shall never more be a distinct people ; yet we are expressly taught by the voice of prophecy, that the ten tribes which were carried away into the land of Assyria shall be restored no less than the tribe of Judah, and that the two divided kingdoms of Israel will for ever coalesce into one kingdom. Isaiah represents them here, precisely what they have been for ages, as being lost; and never. theless declares, that in God's own appointed season they shall come. It is well known how many have fruitlessly wearied themselves to find them, (See Bp. Newton's Dissert. . VII.): that they will however be found, Scripture asserts in the most positive terms, as we shall see when we arrive at those prophecies which peculiarly treat of the subject. Since the second advent of the Messiah is the time of the restoration of Israel, and since the finding these lost ones seems to be a knot which God alone can untie, perhaps there may be more truth in the Jewish notion than has commonly been imagined, that, when “ the Messiah shall come, it will be part of his office " to sort their families, restore their genealogies, and set aside * strangers.”
+ “ When Jerusalem was taken by Titus, of the captives u who were above seventeen years he sent many bound to the ?" works in Egypt; those under seventeen were sold; but so * little care was taken of these captives, that 11,000 of them se perished for want. And we learn from St. Jerome, that 66 after their last overthrow by Adrian, many thousands of