Page images
PDF
EPUB

that are turned back from the Lord, and have not sought the Lord, nor inquired for him.

7. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand, for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. 8. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed in the apparel of strangers *. 10. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish-gate, and a howling from the second city t, and a great crashing from the hills 1. 11. Howl, ye inhabitants of the valley S, for all the Canaanitish people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. 12. And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees; that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. 13. Therefore their goods shall be

aerosols South come a booty, and their houses a desolation : for they have built houses, but they shall not inhabit them; and

tion of the two clauses in the original, both of which are emphatically mark. ed by an ns. As thus: Both (nov) them that worship and swear by the Lord, even swear by their king; and (nny) them that are turned back from the Lord.

* Clothed in the apparel of strangers.] Affecting the manners and habits of Gentiles, the Hellenizing party among the Fews.

The second city.] In the whole of this passage, Jerusalem is very graphically described. It consisted of two cities; the old, and the new. One of these, in opposition to the other, was called Mishnah or the second city (See Well's Geog. of O. and N. Test. Vol. II. P. 23, 24.). It was in this second city, that Huldah the prophetess dwelt. Our translators have singularly rendered it college. See 2 Kings xxii. 14. and 2 Chron. xxxiv. 22. In the first of these passages, the lxx merely transcribe the Hebrew word, writing it Motiva. In the second they do the same, writing it with some little variation Marava. In the present passage of Zephaniah, they simply translate it ano ang deuTegas, from the second. In a similar manner the Vulgate, a secunda: the Latin translation of the Syriac, ab altera : and the Latin translation of the Arabic, e secunda.

# A great crashing from the hills.] “ From the mountains of Zion and Moriah, whereon the temple and the king's palace was built. See 2 Chron. ii. 1." Mr. Lowth in loc.

$ Ye inhabitants of the valley.] Michtash in the Chaldee Targum is rendered the brook or torrent of Kedron. This brook was near the fish-gate. The pas. sage therefore may relate to those who lived in the valley through which this brook flowed. But I am more inclined to think with Castell, that Michtash means the valley, which (according to Josephus's description of Jerusalem) divided the upper from the lower city. See Joseph. Ant. L. v. C. 4. 5 1. Parkhurst's Heb. Lex. Vox unan, and Well's Geog. Vol. II. P. 28, 29, 30, and the map of Jerusalem at P. 23.

they have planted vineyards, but shall not drink the wine thereof.

14. The great day of the Lord is near; it is near, and hasteth greatly: the voice of the day of the Lord is bitter: there the mighty one roareth aloud. 15. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloomi. ness, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16. A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities and against the high towers. 17. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord : and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. 18. Nei. ther their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath ; but the whole earth shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy : for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the earth. i

ii. l. Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired. 2. Before the decree, bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. 3. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness : it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. 4. For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon à desolation-5.--O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.--7. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah ; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and bring back their captivity *-9. As I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah:the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the rem. nant of my people shall possess them t-ll. The Lord

* Their captivity.] A noun of number, meaning, as elsewhere, the mula titude of their captives.

The remnant of my people shall possess them ] Though Mr. Lowth refers this passage primarily to the conquests of the Macabees, he allows that “this and the seventh verse will receive their utmost completion at the general res.

will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place; all the isles of the nations. 12. Ye Cuthim also, ye shall be slain by my sword.

13. And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria : and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. 14. And flocks shall lie

down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations ; - both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in her upper

lintels; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedarwork. 15. This is the exulting city, that dwelt in confident security; that said in her heart, I am she, and there is none beside me. How is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! Every one, that passeth by her, shall hiss and wag his hand. iii. 1. Woe to her that swelleth with pride, and yet is polluted! woe to the city of the dove! 2. She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction ; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God. 3. Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are wolves of the evening, they finish not until the morning. 4. Her prophets are licentiously extravagant, hypocritical men: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. 5. The just Lord is in the midst of her; he will not do iniquity : morning by morning will he bring his judgment to light ; he will not fail : but the unjust knoweth no shame. 6. I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate: I made their streets waste, that none passeth hy: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant. 7. I said, surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; and her dwelling-place shall not entirely be cut off, inasmuch as I have visited her. Yet they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.

8. Therefore wait ye for me *, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey : for my determination

toration of the Jewish nation. Those, that then escape and return from their several dispersions, are else where called by the name of the residue and the remnant. Compare chap. iii. 13. and Micah iv.7.Mr. Lowth in loc.

* Therefore wait ye for me.] “I exhort the godly among you to expect the fulfilling of the promises I have made of restoring the Jewish nation to my

is to gather the nations, * to assemble unto me the kingdoms, to pour upon them my indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

9. But then will I turn unto the peoples a pure religious confession t, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, that they may serve him with one consent.

10. My worshippers, beyond the rivers of Cush I, shall conduct, as an offering to me, the daughter of my dispersion S. ll. In that day thou shalt not be ashamed for all thy doings wherein thou hast transgressed against me : for then will I take away out of the midst of thee them that exult in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty in my holy mountain. 12. I will also leave in the midst of thee a humble and poor people; and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. 13. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity ll, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth : for they shall feed, and lie down; and none shall make them afraid. 14. Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel ; be glad, and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments; he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, the Lord, is in the midst of thee : thou shalt not see evil

wonted favour in the latter ages of the world : in order to which great crisis, I will execute remarkable judgments upon the unbelievers and disobedient." Mr. Lowth in loc. i

* My determination is to gather the nations.] “ This may perhaps be meant of the same general summons which Joel speaks of, when the nations shall be gathered into the valley of Jehoshaphat” (Mr. Lowth in loc.). Mr. Lowth, as we have already seen, rightly refers the general summons, mentioned by Joel, to the last ages and the era of the restoration of the Fews.

f I will turn unto the peoples a pure, religious confession.] I will turn them from their idolatry and other wickedness to glorify me with one mind and one mouth. The same thing is expressed by speaking the language of Canaan (Isaiah xix. 18.). This is a blessing reserved for the latter ages, after the conversion of the Jews and the Gentiles, when there shall be one Lord, and his name one. Zech. xiv. 9.” Mr. Lowth in loc.

# My worshippers beyond the rivers of Cush.] This passage plainly relates to the same people as that described in Isaiah xviii. 1, 7. I have adopted Bp. Horsley's translation of it, which I am persuaded is the true one (See his letter on Isaiah xvii. p. 102, 103.). Mr Lowth justly refers this passage to the restoration of the Jews, though he retains the common translation. $ Dispersion.] A noun of number, meaning the dispersed.

| The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity.] “ The remnant of Israel shall be holy, the rebels being purged out of them. See Ezek. xx. 38." Mr. Lowth in loc.

any more. 16. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. 17. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty: he will save; he will rejoice over thee with joy: he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing

19. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out: and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. 20. At that time, I will bring you again, even in the time that I gather you : for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth; when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.

COMMENTARY. I wish not to deny, that Zephaniah may be considered as here predicting the Babylonian captivity of Judah, the sacking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and the destruction of the literal Nineveh, together with some of the conquests of Nebuchadnezzar *. But I think, that the whole context of the prophecy decidedly forbids us to limit it to those events ; compels us to believe, that in them it received only an inchoate accomplishment; and directs us to look for its ultimate completion to the last disper. sion of Judah, to the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans, and to the yet future day in which Antichrist will be overthrown and the converted of Judah restored by the instrumentality of some great maritime nation. In fact, the prophecy contains many matters which must be exclusively thus referred: and yet those matters are so interwoven into the very body of the prediction, that they cannot with any propriety be considered in an insulated state. As the inchoate accomplishment of the prophecy comes not within the limits of my plan, I shall confine myself to what I believe will be its ultimate accomplishment; premising, that Mr. Lowth thinks like

* See Bp. Newton's Dissert. IX.-Mr. Lowth in loc.mwand Dr. Gray's Key, p. 482-485.

« EelmineJätka »