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THE design of the following translation of Isaiah, is not only 
to give an exact and faithful representation of the words and 
of the sense of the Prdphet, by adhering closely to the letter of 
the text, and treading as nearly as may be in his footsteps ; 
but, moreover, to imitate the air and manner of the author, to 
express the form and fashion of the composition, and to give 
the English reader some notion of the peculiar turn and cast 
of the original. The latter part of this design coincides per- 
fectly well with the former : it is indeed impossible to give a 
just idea of the Prophet's manner of writing, otherwise than 
by a close literal version. And yet,, though su many literal 
versions of this Prophet have been given, as well of old as in 
later times, a just representation of his manner, and of the 
form of his composition, has never been attempted, or even 
thought of, by any translator, in any language, whether an- 
cient or modern. Whatever of that kind has appeared in 
former translations, (and much indeed must appear in eve^ 
literal translation), has been rather the effect of chance than 
of design, of necessity than of study: for what room could 
there be for study or design in this case, or at least for success 
in it, when the translators themselves had but a very imperfect 
notion, an inadequate or even false idea, of the real character 
of the author as a writer ; of the general nature, and of the 
peculiar form, of the composition ? 

It has, I think, been universally understood, that the 
Prophecies of Isaiah are written in prose. The style, the 
thoughts, the images, the expressions, have been allowed to 
be poetical, and that in the highest degree; but that they 


are written in verse, in measure, or rhythm, or whatever it 
is that distinguishes, as poetry, the composition of those 
books of the Old Testament which are allowed to be poetical, 
such as Job, the Psalms, and the Proverbs, from the 
historical books, as mere prose ; this has never been supposed, 
at least has not been at any time the prevailing opinion. 
The opinions of the learned concerning Hebrew verse 
have been various; their ideas of the nature of it vague, 
obscure, and imperfect : yet still there has been a general 
persuasion, that some books of the Old Testament are 
written' in verse ; but that the writings of the prophets are 
not of that number. 

The learned Vitringa says,* that Isaiah's composition has 
a sort of numbers, or measure; "esse orationem suis ad- 
strictam numeris : n he means, that it has a kind of oratorial 
number, or measure, as he afterwards explains it ; and he 
quotes Scaliger as being of the same opinion, and as adding, 
that "Jiowever upon this account it could not rightly be 
called poetry ."t About the beginning of this century, 
Herman Von der Hardt, t the Hardouin of Germany, 
attempted to reduce Joel's Elegies, as he- called them, to 
iambic verse : and, consistently with his hypothesis, he 
affirmed, that the prophets wrote in verse. This is the only 
exeption I meet with to the universality of the contrary 
opinion. It was looked upon as one of his paradoxes, and 
little attention was paid to it. But what was his success in 
making out Joel's iambics, and in helping his readers to 
form in consequence a more just idea of the character of the 
prophetic style, I cannot say, having never seen his treatise 
on that subject. 

The Jews of early times were of the same opinion, that 
the books of the prophets are written in prose, as far as we 
have any evidence of their judgment on this subject. Je- 
rome certainly speaks the sense of his Jewish preceptors 
as to this matter. Having written his translation of Isaiah 
from the Hebrew Verity in stiehi^ or lines divided according 
to the cola and commata, after the manner of verse, 
which was II often done in the prophetic writings for the 

* ProlegomTin lesaiam, p. 8. 

t Scaligcr, Animadvere. in Chron. Eusebii, p. 6. 

t See Wolfii Biblioth. Hebr. torn. ii. p. 169. 

i Prf. in TransL Esaiae ex Heb. Veritate. 

II See Grabe, Proleg. in LXX Intt. torn. i. cap. i. S 6. 


sak of perspicuity, he cautions his reader " not to mistake 
it for metre, as if it were any thing like the Psalms, or the 
writings of Solomon; for it was nothing more than what 
was usual in the copies of the prose works of Demosthenes 
and Cicero." The later Jews have been uniformly of the 
same opinion ; and the rest of the learned world seem to 
have taken it up on their authority, and have generally 
maintained it. 

But if there should appear a manifest conformity between 
the prophetical style and that of the books supposed to be 
metrical, a conformity in every known part of the poetical 
character, which equally discriminates the prophetical and 
the metrical books from those acknowledged to be prose it 
will be of use to trace out and to mark this conformity with 
all possible accuracy ; to observe how far the peculiar charac- 
teristics of each style coincide ; and to see whether the agree- 
ment between them be such as to induce us to conclude, 
that the poetical and the prophetical character of style and 
composition, though generally supposed to be different, yet 
are really one and the same. 

This I purpose to do in the following dissertation; and 
I the more readily embrace the present opportunity of re- 
Burning this subject, as what I have formerly written* upon 
it seems to have met with the approbation of the learned, 
And here I shall endeavour to treat it more at large; to 
pursue it further, and to a greater degree of minuteness ; 
and to present it to the English reader in the easiest and 
most intelligible form that I am able to give it. The ex- 
amples with which I shall illustrate it, shall be more nume- 
rous, and all (a very few excepted) different from those ak 
ready given ; that they may serve by way of supplement to 
that part of the former work, as well as of themselves to 
place the subject in the fullest and clearest light. 

Now, in order to make this comparison between the pro- 
phetical and the poetical books, it will be necessary, in the 
first place, to state the true character of the poetical or 
metrical style, to trace out carefully whatever plain signs or 
indications yet remain of metre, or rhythm, or whatever else 
it was that constituted Hebrew verse ; to separate the true, 
or at least the probable, from the manifestly false ; and to 

* De Sacra Pogsi Hebrorum Prelect, xyiii, ;tix, 


give as clear and satisfactory an explanation of the matter 
as can now reasonably be expected, in the present imperfect 
state of the Hebrew language, and on a subject which for 
near two thousand years has been involved in great obscurity, 
and only rendered still more obscure by the discordant opin- 
ions of the learned, and the various hypotheses which they 
have formed concerning it. 

The first and most manifest indication of verse in the 
Hebrew poetical books, presents itself in the acrostic or al- 
phabetical poems ; of which there happily remain many ex- 
amples, and those of various kinds ; so that we could not 
have hoped, or even wished, for more light of this sort to 
lead us on in the very entrance of our inquiry. The na- 
ture, or rather the form, of these poems is this : The poem 
consists of twenty-two lines, or of twenty-two systems of 
lines, or periods, or stanzas, according to the number of 
the letters of the Hebrew alphabet ; and every line, or 
every stanza, begins with each letter in its order, as it 
stands in the alphabet ; that is, the first line, or first stan- 
za, begins with x, the second with 3, and so on. This 
was certainly intended for the assistance of the memory, 
and was chiefly employed in subjects of common use, as 
maxims of morality, and forms of devotion; which being 
expressed in detached sentences, or aphorisms, (the form 
in which the sages of the most ancient times delivered 
their instructions,) the inconvenience arising from the sub- 
ject, the want of connexion, in the parts, and of a regular 
train of thought carried through the whole, was remedied 
by this artificial contrivance in the form. There are stilt 
extant, in the books of the Old Testament, twelve* of 
these poems ; (for I reckon the four first chapters of the 
Lamentations of Jeremiah as so many distinct poems) ; 
three of them perfectly f alphabetical, in which] every line 
is marked by its initial letter ; the other nine less perfectly 
alphabetical, in which every stanza only is so distinguished. 
Of the three former it is to be remarked, that not only 
every single line is distinguished by its initial letter, but 
that the whole poem is laid out into stanzas ; two I of these 

* Psal. xxv. xxxiv. xxxvii. cxi. cxii. cxix. cxlv. Prov. xxxi. 1031. 
JLam. i. ii. iii. iv. 

t Psal. cxi. cxii. Lam. iii. J Psal. cxi. exit, 


poems each into ten stanzas, all of two lines, except the two 
last stanzas in each, which are of three lines :'in these, the 
sense and the construction manifestly point out the division 
into stanzas, and mark the limit of every stanza. The 
third* of these perfectly alphabetical poems consists of 
twenty-two stanzas of three lines ; but in this the initial let- 
ter of every stanza is also the initial letter of every line of 
that stanza ; so that both the lines and the stanzas are in- 
fallibly limited : And in all the three poems, the pauses of 
the sentences coincide with the pauses of the lines and 

It is also further to be observed of these three poems, that 
the lines so determined by the initial letters in the same 
poem, are remarkably equal to one another in length, in the 
number of words nearly, and probably in the number of 
syllables ; and that the lines of the same stanza have a re- 
markable congruity one with another, in the matter and the 
form, in the sense and the construction. 

Of the other nine poems less perfectly alphabetical, in 
which the stanzas only are marked with initial letters, six t 
consist of stanzas of two lines, two* of stanzas of three 
lines, and one of stanzas of four lines ; not taking into the 
account at present some irregularities, which in all proba- 
bility are to be imputed to the mistakes of transcribers. 
And these stanzas likewise naturally divide themselves into 
their distinct lines, the sense and the construction plainly 
pointing out their limits ; and the lines have the same con- 
gruity one with another in , matter and form, as was above 
observed in regard to the poems more perfectly alpha- 

Another thing to be observed of the three poems perfectly 
alphabetical is, that in two II of them the lines are shorter 
than those of the third ** by about one-third part, or almost 
half; and of the other nine poems, the stanzas only of 
which are alphabetical, that threett consist of the longer 
lines, and the six others of the shorter. 

T\ow from these examples, which are not only curious, 
but of real use, and of great importance in the present 

* Lam. iii. 

t Psal. xxv. xxxiv. cxix. cxlv. Prov. xxxi. Lam. iv. 

I Larn. i. ii. p sa l. xxxvii. 

II Psal. cxi. cxii. * Lam. iii. 
tt Lam. i. ii. iv. 



inquiry, we may draw some conclusions, which plainly fol- 
low from the premises, and must be admitted in regard to the 
alphabetical poems themselves ; which also may by analogy 
be applied with great probability to other poems, where the 
lines and stanzas are not so determined by initial letters, 
yet which appear in other respects to be of the same kind. 

In the first place, we may safely conclude that the poems 
perfectly alphabetical consist of verses properly so called ; 
of verses regulated by some observation of harmony or ca- 
dence ; of measure, numbers, or rhythm. For it is not at 
all probable in the nature of the thing, or from examples of 
the like kind in other languages, that a portion of mere 
prose, in which numbers and harmony are totally disregard- 
ed, should be laid out according to a scale of division, which 
carries with it such evident marks of study and labour, of 
art in the contrivance, and exactness in the execution. And 
I presume it will be easily granted in regard to the other 
poems which are divided into sfanzas by the initial letters, 
which stanzas are subdivided by the pauses of the sentence 
into lines easily distinguished one from another, commonly 
the same number of lines to a stanza in the same poem, 
that these are of the same kind of composition with the 
former, and that they equally consist of verses : And, in 
general, in regard to the rest of the poems of the Hebrews, 
bearing evidently the same marks and characteristics of 
composition with the alphabetical poems in other respects, 
and falling into regular lines, often into regular stanzas, 
according to the pauses of the sentences ; which stanzas and 
lines have a certain parity or proportion to one another ; 
that these likewise consist of verse, of verse distinguished 
from prose, not only by the style, the figures, the diction, 
by a loftiness of thought and richness of imagery, but by 
being divided into lines, and sometimes into systems of 
lines ; which lines, having an apparent equality, similitude, 
or proportion one to another, were in some sort measured 
by the ear, and regulated according to some general laws 
of metre, rhythm, harmony, or cadence. 

Further, we may conclude, from the example of the per- 
fectly alphabetical poems, that whatever it might be that 
constituted Hebrew verse, it certainly did not consist in 
rhyme, or similar and correspondent sounds at the ends of 
the verses ; for, as the ends of the verses in those poems are 
infallibly marked, and it plainly appears that the final sylla- 


; bles of the correspondent verses, whether in distichs or 
triplets, are not similar in sound to one another, it is mani- 
fest that rhymes, or similar endings,' are not an essential 
part of Hebrew verses. The grammatical forms of the 
Hebrew language in the verbs, and pronouns, and the 
plurals of nouns, are so simple and uniform, and bear so 
great a share in the termination of words, that similar end- 
ings must sometimes happen, and cannot well be avoided ; 
but, so far from constituting an essential or principal part 
of the art of Hebrew versification, they seem to have been 
no object of attention and study, nor to 'have been industri- 
ously sought after as a favourite accessary ornament. 

That the verses had something regular in their form and 
composition, seems probable from their apparent parity and 
uniformity, and the relation which they manifestly bear to 
the distribution of the sentence into its members. But as 
to the harmony and cadence, the metre or rhythm, of what 
kind they were, and by what laws regulated, these examples 
give us no light, nor afford us sufficient principles on which 
to build any theory, or to form any hypothesis. For har- 
mony arises from the proportion, relation, and correspond- 
ence of different combined sounds -, and verse, from the 
arrangement of words, and the disposition of syllables, ac- 
cording to number, quantity, and accent ; therefore the 
harmony and true modulation of verse depends upon a per- 
fect pronunciation of the language, and a knowledge of the 
principles and rules of versification ; and metre supposes an 
exact knowledge of the number and quantity of syllables, 
and, in some languages, of the accent. But the true pro- 
nunciation of Hebrew is lost, lost to a degree far beyond 
what can ever be the case of any European language pre- 
served only in writing ; for the Hebrew language, like most 
of the other Oriental languages, expressing -only the con- 
sonants, and being destitute of its vowels, has lain now for 
two thousand years in a manner mute and incapable of 
utterance : the number of syllables is in a great many words 
uncertain, the quantity and accent wholly unknown. We 
are ignorant of all these particulars, and incapable of ac- 
<quiring any certain knowledge concerning them } how then 
is it possible for us to attain to the knowledge of Hebrew 
verse 1 That we know nothing of the quantity of the sylla- 
bles in Hebrew, and of the number of them in many words, 
and of the accent, will hardly now be denied by any man ; 


but if any should still maintain the authority of the Masoret- 
ical punctuation, (though discordant in many instances from 
the imperfect remains of a pronunciation of much earlier date, 
and of better authority, that of the Seventy, of Origen, and 
other writers,) yet it must be allowed, that no one, accord- 
ing to that system, hath been able to reduce the Hebrew 
poems to any sort of harmony.* And indeed it is not to 
be wondered, that rules of pronunciation, formed, as it is 
now generally admitted, above a thousand years after the 
language ceased to be spoken, should fail of giving us the 
true sound of Hebrew verse. But if it was impossible for 
the Masoretes, assisted in some measure by a traditionary 
pronunciation delivered down from their ancestors, to attain 
to a true expression of the sounds of the language, how is it 
possible for us at this time, so much further removed from 
the only source of knowledge in this case, the audible voice, 
to improve or to amend their system, or to supply a more 
genuine system in its place, which may answer our purpose 
better, and lay open to us the laws of Hebrew versification ? 
The pursuit is vain ; the object of it lies beyond our reach ; 
it is not within the compass of human reason or invention. 
The question concerning Hebrew metre is now pretty much 
upon the same footing with that concerning the Greek ac- 
cents. That there were' certain laws of ancient Hebrew 
metre is very probable ; and that the living Greek language 
was modulated by certain rules of accent is beyond dispute: 
but a man born deaf may as reasonably pretend to acquire 
an idea of sound, as the critic of these days to attain to the 
true modulation of Greek by accent, and of Hebrew by 

Thus much then, I think, we may be allowed to infer 
from the alphabetical poems ; namely, that the Hebrew 
poems are written in verse, properly so called ; that the 
harmony of the verses does not arise from rhyme, that is, 
from similar corresponding sounds terminating the verses, but 
from some sort of rhythm, probably from some sort of metre, 
the laws of which are now altogether unknown, and wholly 
undiscoverable ; yet that there are evident marks of a cer- 
tain correspondence of the verses with one another, and of 
a certain relation between the composition of the verses and 

* See Hare, Prolegomena in Psalmos, p. xl. &c. 

t See A Larger Confutation of Bishop Hare's Hebrew Metre; London, 
17CC ; where I have fully treated of this subject. 


the composition of the sentences, the formation of the for- 
mer depending in some degree upon the distribution of the 
latter, so that generally periods coincide with stanzas, mem- 
bers with verses, and pauses of the one with pauses of the 
other ; which peculiar form of composition is so observable, 
as plainly to discriminate in general the parts of the Hebrew 
Scriptures which are written in verse, from those which are 
written in prose. This will require a larger and more 
minute explication, not only as a matter necessary to our 
present purpose, that is, to ascertain the character of the 
prophetical style in general, and of that of the Prophet 
Isaiah in particular, but as a principle of considerable use, 
and of no small importance, in the interpretation of the 
poetical parts of the Old Testament. 

The correspondence of one verse or line with another, I 
call parallelism. When a proposition is delivered, and a 
second is subjoined to it, or drawn under it, equivalent, or 
contrasted with it in sense, or similar to it in the form of 
grammatical construction, these I call parallel .lines ; and 
the words or phrases, answering one to another in the cor- 
responding lines, parallel terms. 

Parallel lines may be reduced to three sorts, parallels 
synonomous, parallels antithetic, and parallels synthetic. 
Of each of these I shall give a variety of examples, in order 
to shew the various forms under which they appear ; first, 
from the 'books universally acknowledged to be poetical ; 
then, correspondent examples from the Prophet Isaiah, and 
sometimes also from the other prophets, to shew that the 
form and character of the composition is in all the same. 

As some of the examples which follow are of many lines, 
the reader may perhaps note a single line or two intermixed, 
which do not properly belong to that class under which they 
are ranged. These are retained^ to preserve the connexion 
and harmony of the whole passage ; and it is to be observed, 
that the several sorts of parallels are perpetually mixed with 
one another, and this mixture gives a variety and beauty to 
the composition. 

First, of parallel lines synonomous ; that is, which corre- 
spond one to another, by expressing the same sense in dif- 
ferent but equivalent terms ; when a proposition is delivered, 
.and is immediately repeated, in the whole or in part, the 


expression being varied, but the sense entirely or nearly the 
same. As in the following examples : 

"O-Jehovah, in-thy-strength the-king sh all-rejoice; 
And-in-thy-salvation how greatly shall-he-exult! 
The-desire of-his-heart thou-hast-granted unto-him; 
And-the-request of-his-lips thou-hast-not denied." 

Psal. xxi. 1,2. 

u Because I-called, and-ye-refused; 
J-stretched-out my-hand, and-no-one regarded; 
But-ye-have-defeated all my-counsel; 
And-would-not incline to-my-reproof: 
I also will-laugh at-your-calamity ; 
I-will-mock, when-what-you-feared cometh ; 
When-what-you-feared cometh like-a-devastation ; 
And-your-calamity advanceth like-a-tempest; 
When-distress and-anguish come upon-yon: 
Then shall-they-call-upon-me, but-I-will-not answer; 
They-shall seek-me-early, but-they-shall not find-me; 
Because they-hated knowledge; 
And-did-not choose the-fear of-Jehovah; 
Did-not incline to-my-counsel; 
Contemptuously-rejected all my-reproof : 
Therefore-shall-they-eat of-the-fruit of-their-waysj 
And-shall-be-satiated with-their-own-devices. 
For the-defection of-the-simple shall-slay-them ; 
And-the-security of-fools shall-destroy them." 

Prov. i. 2432. 

" Seek-ye Jehovah, while-he-may-be-found; 
Call-ye-upon-him, while-he-is-near; 
Let-the-wicked forsake his-way; 
And-the-vmrighteous man his-thoughts: 
And-let-him-return to Jehovah, and-he-will-compassionate 

And-unto our-God, for he-aboundeth in forgiveness." 

Isa. Iv. 6, 7. 

" Fear not, for thou-shalt-not be-ashamed; 
And-blush not, for thou-shalt-not be-brought-to-reproach: 
For thou-shalt-forget the-shame of-thy-youth; 
And-the-reproach of-thy-widowhood thou-shalt-remember no 
more." Isa. liv. 4. 

tf Hearken unto-me, ye-that-know righteousness; 
The-people in-whose-heart is-my-law: 
Fear not the-reproach of-wretched-man ; 
Neither be-ye-borne-down by-their-revilings; 


For the-moth shall-consume-them like-a-garmentj 
And-the-worm shall-eat-them like wool : 
But-my-righteousness shall-endure for-ever; 
And-my-salvation to-the-age of-ages." Isa. li. 7, 8. 

" Like-mighty-men shall-they-rush-on; 
Like-warriors shall-they mount the-wall : 
And-every-one in-his-way shall-they-march; 
And-they-shall-not turn-aside from-their paths." Joel, ii. 7. 

" Blessed-is the-man, that-feareth Jehovah; 
That-greatly delighteth in-his-commandments." Psal. cxii. 1. 

" Hearken unto me, O-house of-Jacob; 
And-all the-remnant of-the-house of-Israel. Isa. xlvi. 3. 

" Honour Jehovah with-thy-riches; 
And-with-the-first-fruits of-all thine-increase." Prov. iii. 9. 

" Incline your-ear, and-come unto-me; 
Hearken, and-your-soul shall-live." Isa. Iv. 3. 

In the foregoing* examples may be observed the diffe- 
rent degrees of synonymous parallelism. The parallel lines 
sometimes consist of three or more synonymous terms ; 
sometimes of two, which is generally the case when the 
verb, or the nominative case of the first sentence is to be 
carried on to the second, or understood there ; sometimes 
of one only, as in the four last examples. There are also 
among the foregoing a few instances, in which the lines con- 
sist each of double members, or two propositions. I shall 
add one or two more of these, very perfect in their kind : 

ee Bow thy heavens, O Jehovah, and descend; 
Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke: 
Dart forth lightning, and scatter them; 
Shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them." Psal. cxliv. 5, 6. 

" And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them; 
And they shall plant vineyards, and shall eat the fruit thereof: 
They shall not build, and another inhabit; 
They shall not plant, and another eat: 
For as the days of a tree, shall be the days of my people; 
And they shall wear out the works of their own hands." 

Isa. Ixv. 21, 22. 

* The terms in English, consisting of several words, are hitherto distinguish- 
ed with marks of connexion, to shew, that they answer to single words in 


Parallels are also sometimes formed by a repetition of 
part of the first sentence : 

"My voice is unto God, and I cry aloud; 

My voice is unto God^ and he will hearken unto me." 
" I will remember the works of Jehovah; 

Yea, I will remember thy wonders of old." 
" The waters saw thee, O God! 

The waters saw thee; they were seized with anguish." 

Psal. Ixxvii. 1. 11. 16. 

" For he hath humbled those that dwell on high; 
The lofty city, he hath brought her down: 
He hath brought her down to the ground, 
He hath levelled her with the dust. 
The foot shall trample upon her; 
The feet of the poor, the steps of the needy." 

Isa. xxvi. 5, 6, 

" What shall I do unto thee, O Ephraim! 
What shall I do unto thee, O Judah! 
For your goodness is as the morning cloud, 
And as the early dew it passeth away." Hosea, vi. 4. 

Sometimes in the latter line a part is to be supplied from 
the former to complete the sentence : 

" And those that persecute me thou wilt make to turn their 

backs to me; 
Those that hate me,* and I will cut them off." 

2 Sam. xxii. 41. 

t{ The mighty dead tremble from beneath; 
The waters, and they that dwell therein. Job, xxvi. 5. 

a And I looked, and there was no man; 
Even among the idols,| and there was no one that gave ad- 
vice; " 

" And I inquired of them, and [there was no one] that returned 
an answer." Isa. xli. 28. 

Further, there are parallel triplets when three lines cor- 
respond together, and form a kind of stanza, of which, how- 
ever, only two commonly are synonymous : 

* In the parallel place, Psal. xviii. the poetical form of the sentence is much 
hurt, by the removing of the conjunction from the second to the first word in 
this line ; but a MS. in that place reads as here. 

t See the note on the place. 


-"'The wicked shall see it and it shall grieve him ; 
He shall gnash his teeth, and pine away ; 
The desire of the wicked shall perish." Psal. cxii. JO, 

" That day, let it become darkness ; 

Let not God from above inquire after it ; 

Nor let the flowing light -radiate upon it. 

That night, let utter darkness seize it. 

Let it not be united with the days of the year ; 

Let it not come into the number of the months. 

Let the stars of its twilight be darkened ; 

Let it look for light, and may there be none ; 

And let it not behold the eyelids of the morning." 

Job, iii. 4. 6. 9. 

" And he shall snatch on the right, and yet be hungry ; 
And he shall devour on the left, and not be satisfied ; 
Every man shall devour the flesh of his neighbour."* 

Isa. ix. 20. 

" Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe ; 

Come away, get you down, for the wine-press is full ; 
The vats overflow ; for great is their wickedness." 

Joel, iii. 13. 

There are likewise parallels consisting of four lines ; two 
dislichs being so connected together, by the sense and the 
construction, as to make one stanza. Such is the form of 
the xxxviith Psalm, which is evidently laid out by the initial 
letters in stanzas of four lines; though in regard to that 
disposition some irregularities are found in the present copies. 
iFrom this Psalm, which gives a sufficient warrant for consid- 
ering the union of two disiichs as making a stanza of four 
lines, I shall take the first example -: 

" Be not moved with indignation against the evil-doers ; 
Nor with zeal against the workers of iniquity : 
For like the grass they shall soon be cut off; 
And like the green herb they shall wither. 

Psal. xxxvii. 1, 2. 

'" The ox knoweth his possessor ; 
And the ass the crib of his lord : 
But Israel doth not know Me ;* 
Neither doth my people consider." Isa. i. 3. 

" And I said, I have laboured in vain ; 

For nought and for vanity I have spent my strength : 

* See the note on the place. 


Nevertheless my cause is with Jehovah ; 

And the reward of my work with my God. Isa. xlix. 4, 

" Jehovah shall roar from Sion ; 

And shall utter his voice from Jerusalem : 

And the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn ; 

And the head of Carmel shall wither." Amos, i. 2. 

In like manner, some periods may be considered as mak- 
ing stanzas of five lines, in which the odd line or member 
either comes in between two dislichs, or after two distichs 
makes a full close : 

" If thou wouldst seek early unto God ; 

And make thy supplication to the Almighty ; 

If thou wert pure and upright; 
Verily now would he rise up in thy defence ; 
And make peaceable the dwelling of thy righteousness. 

Job, viii. 5, 6. 

" They bear him on the shoulder ; they carry him about ; 
They set him down in his place, and he standeth; 

From his place he shall not remove; 
- To him, that crieth unto him, he will not answer; 
Neither will he deliver him from his distress." 

Isa. xlvi. 7. 

" Who is wise, and will understand these things? 
Prudent, and will know them ? 

For right are the ways of Jehovah; 
And the just shall walk in them; 
But the disobedient shall fall therein." Hosea, xiv. 9. 

" And Jehovah shall roar out of Sion; 
And from Jerusalem shall utter his voice; 

And the heavens and the earth shall tremble : 
But Jehovah will be the refuge of his people; 
And a strong defence to the sons of Israel." Joel, iii. 16. 

" Who establisheth the word of his servant; 

And accomplisheth the counsel of his messengers : 
Who sayeth to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; 
And to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built; 

And her desolate places I will restore." Isa. xliv. 26. 

In stanzas of four lines, sometimes the parallel lines an- 
swer to one another alternately ; the first to tlie third, arid 
the second to the fourth : 


" As the heavens are high above the earth ; 

So high* is his goodness over them that fear him: 
As remote as the east is from the west; 

So far hath he removed from us our transgressions." 

Psal. ciii. 11, 12. 

'" And ye said, Nay, but on horses will we flee; 

Therefore shall ye be put to flight: 
And on swift coursers will we ride ; 

Therefore shall they be swift, that pursue you." 

Isa. xxx. 16, 

And a stanza of five lines admits of the same elegance : 

" Who is there among you that feareth Jehovah? 

Let him hearken unto the voice of his servant: 
That walketh in darkness, and hath no light? 
Let him trust in the name of Jehovah; 
And rest himself on the support of his God." Isa. 1. 10. 

The second sort of parallels are the antithetic, when two 
lines correspond with one another by an opposition of terms 
and sentiments; when the second is contrasted with the 
first, sometimes in expressions, sometimes in sense only. 
Accordingly the degrees of antithesis are various ; from an 
exact contraposition of word to word through the whole 
sentence, down to a general disparity, with something of a 
contrariety, in the two propositions. 

Thus, in the following examples : 

" A wise son rejoiceth his father ; 
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother," Prov. x. 1. 

Where every word hath its opposite ; for the terms father 
and mother are, as the logicians say, relatively opposite. 

" The memory of the just is a blessing ; 
But the name of the wicked shall rot. 7 ' Prov. x. 7. 

Here there are only two antithetic terms ; for memory and 
name are synonymous. 

'" There is that scattereth, and still increaseth ; 

And that is unreasonably sparing, yet groweth poor." 

Prov. xi. 24. 

* Pill ; compare the next verse ; and see Isaiafe, Iv. 9, and the note there. 


Here there is a kind of doable antithesis ; one between tHe 
t\vo lines themselves ; and likewise a subordinate opposition, 
between the two parts of each. 

" Many seek the face of the prince ; 

But the determination concerning a man is from Jehovah." 

Prov. xxix. 26. 

Where the opposition is chiefly between the single terms, 
she Prince and Jehovah : but there is an opposition like- 
wise in the general sentiment ; which expresses, or inti- 
mates, the vanity of depending an the former, without 
seeking the favour of the latter.. In the following, there is 
much the same opposition of sentiment, without any con- 
traposition of terms at all : 

a The lot is cast into the lap ; 
But the whole determination of it is from Jehovah." 

Prov. xvi. 33. 

That is, the event seems to be the work of chance, but is 
really the direction of Providence. 

The foregoing examples are all taken from the Proverbs 
of Solomony where they abound : for this form is peculiarly 
adapted to that kind of writing to adages, aphorisms, and 
detached sentences. Indeed, the elegance, acuteness, and 
force of a great number of Solomon's wise sayings, arise in 
a great measure from the antithetic form, the opposition of 
diction and sentiment. We are not therefore to expect 
frequent instances of it in the other poems of the Old Tes- 
tament ; especially- those that are elevated in the style,, and 
more connected in the parts. However, I shall add a few 
examples of the like kind from the higher poetry. 

" These in chariots, and those in horses ; 
But we in the name of Jehovah our God will be strong.* 
They are bowed down, and fallen ; 
But we are risen, and maintain ourselves firm." Psal. xx. 7, 8.. 

" For his wrath is but for a moment, his favour for life ; 
Sorrow may lodge for the evening, but in the morning glad- 
ness." Psal. xxx. .5* 

" Yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more ; 
Thou shalt look at his place, and he shall not be found :. 

* T3J1, so LXX, Syr. 


But the meek shall inherit the land; 

And delight themselves in abundant prosperity." 

Psal. xxxvii. 10, 11, 

In the last example the opposition lies between the two parts 
of a stanza of four lines, the latter distich ;being opposed to 
the former. So likewise the following : 

" For the mountains shall be removed; 
And the hills shall be overthrown : 
But my kindness from thee shall not be removed; 
And the covenant of my peace shall not be overthrown." 

Isa. liv. 10. 

" The bricks are fallen, but we will build with hewn stone; 
The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with 
cedars." Isa. ix. 10. 

Here the lines themselves are synthetically parallel; and the 
opposition lies between the two members of each. 

The third sort of parallels I call synthetic or constructive 
where the parallelism consists only in the similar form of 
construction ; in which word does not answer to word, and 
sentence to sentence, as equivalent or opposite ; but there is a 
correspondence and equality between different propositions, in. 
respect of the shape and turn of the whole sentence, and of 
the constructive parts such as noun answering to noun, verb 
to verb, member to member, negative to negative, interroga- 
tive to interrogative. 

" Praise ye Jehovah, ye of the earth; 
Ye sea-monsters, and all deeps: 
Fire and hail, snow and vapour; 
Stormy wind, executing his command: 
Mountains, and all hills; 
Fruit-trees, and all cedars": 
Wild beasts, and all cattle; 
Reptiles, and birds of wing: 
Kings of the earth, and all peoples; 
Princes, and all judges of the earth: 
Youths, and also virgins; 
Old men, together with the children: 
Let them praise the name of Jehovah; 
For his name alone is exalted; 

His majesty, above earth and heaven." Psal. cxlviii. 7 13, 


" With him is wisdom and might; 
To him belong counsel and understanding. 
Lo! he pulleth down, and it shall not be built; 
He encloseth a man, and he shall not be set loose. 
Lo! he withholdeth the waters, and they are dried up; 
And he sendeth them forth, and they overturn the earth. 
With him is strength, and perfect existence; 
The deceived, and the deceiver, are his." Job, xii. 13 1& 

tl Is such then the fast which I choose; 
That a man should afflict his soul for a day ? 
Is it, that he should bow down his head like a bulrush; 
And spread sackcloth and ashes for his couch? 
Shall this be called a fast; 
And a day acceptable to Jehovah ? 
Is not this the fast that 1 choose ? 
To dissolve the bands of wickedness; 
To loosen the oppressive burthens; 
To deliver those that are crushed by violence; 
And that ye should break asunder every yoke? 
Is it not to distribute thy bread to the hungry; 
And to bring the wandering poor into thy house? 
When thou seest the naked, that thou clothe him; 
And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 
Then shall thy light break forth like the morning; 
And thy wounds shall speedily be healed over: 
And thy righteousness shall go before thee; 
And the glory of Jehovah shall bring up thy rear." 

Isa. Ixiii. 5 8, 

Of the constructive kind is most commonly the parallelism 
of stanzas of three lines ; though they are sometimes synony- 
mous throughout, and often have two lines synonymous ; 
examples of both which are above given. The following are 
constructively parallel : 

" Whatsoever Jehovah pleaseth, 
That doeth he in the heavens, and in the earth; 
In the sea, and in all the deeps: 

Causing the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; 
Making the lightnings with the rain; 
Bringing forth the wind out of his treasures." 

Psal. cxxxv 6, 7 

" The Lord Jehovah hath opened mine ear. 
And I was not rebellious; 
Neither did I withdraw myself backward, 
I gave my back to the smiters, 


And my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair ; 

My face I hid not from shame and spitting." Tsa. 1. 5, 6. 

" Thou shalt sow, but shall not reap; 

Thou shalt tread the olive, but shalt not anoint thee with oil; 
And the grape, but shalt not drink wine." Micah, vi. 15. 

Of the same sort of parallelism are those passages fre- 
quent in the poetic books, where a definite number is twice 
put for an indefinite ; this being followed by an enumera- 
tion of particulars, naturally throws the sentences into a 
parallelism, which cannot be of any other than the synthetic 
kind. This seems to have been a favourite ornament. There 
are many elegant examples of it in the xxxth chapter of 
Proverbs, to which I refer the reader ; and shall here give 
one or two from other places. 

" These six things Jehovah hateth ; 
And seven are the abomination of his soul : 
Lofty eyes, and a lying tongue ; 
And hands shedding innocent blood : 
A heart fabricating wicked thoughts ; 
Feet hastily running to mischief : 
A false witness breathing out lies ; 
And the sower of strife between brethren." Prov. vi. 16 19. 

" Give a portion to seven, and also to eight ; 
For thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth." 

Eccl. xi. 2. 

" These two things have befallen thee; who shall bemoan thee? 

Desolation and destruction, the famine and the sword ; who 

shall comfort thee? " Isa. li. 19. 

that is, taken alternately, desolation by famine, and de- 
struction by the sword. Of which alternate construction I 
shall add a remarkable example or two, where the parallel- 
ism arises from the alternation of the members of the sen- 
tences : 

" I am black, but yet beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem : 
Like the tents of Kedar ; like the pavilions of Solomon." 

Cant. i. 5. 

that is, black as the tents of Kedar, ' (made of dark-colour- 
ed goats hair) ; beautiful as the pavilions of Solomon. 

" On her house-tops, and to her open streets, 
Every one howleth, descendeth with weeping." Isa. xv. 3. 


that is, every one howleth on her house-tops, and descend- 
eth with weeping to her open streets. 

The reader will observe in the foregoing examples, that 
though there are perhaps no two lines corresponding one 
with another as equivalent, or opposite in terms ; yet there 

is a parallelism equally apparent, and almost as striking, 
which arises from the similar form and equality of the lines, 
from the correspondence of the members and the construc- 
tion ; the consequence of which is a harmony and rhythm 
little inferior in effect to that of the two kinds preceding. 

The degrees of the correspondence of the lines in this last 
sort of parallels must, from the nature of it, be various. 
Sometimes the parallelism is more, sometimes less exact ; 
sometimes hardly at all apparent. It requires indeed parti- 
cular attention, much study of the genius of the language, 
much habitude in the analysis of the construction, to be able 
in all cases to see and to distinguish the nice rests and 
pauses which ought to be made, in order to give the period 
or the sentence its intended turn and cadence, and to each 
part its due time and proportion. The Jewish critics, 
called the Masoretes, were exceedingly attentive to their 
language in this part, even to a scrupulous exactness and 
subtile refinement, as it appears from that extremely compli- 
cated system of grammatical punctuation, more embarrass- 
ing than useful, which they have invented. It is therefore 
not improbable, that they might have had some insight into 
this matter ; and, in distinguishing the parts of the sentence 
by accents, might have had regard to the harmony of the 
period and the proportion of the members, as well as to the 
strict grammatical disposition of the constructive parts. Of 
this, I think, I perceive evident tokens ; for they sometimes 

( seem to have more regard in distributing the sentence to 
the poetical or rhetorical harmony of the period, and the 

| proportion of the members, than to the grammatical con- 

I struction. To explain what I mean, I shall here give some 
examples, in which the Masoretes, in distinguishing the sen- 
tence into its parts, have given marks of pauses perfectly 
agreeable to the poetical rhythm, but such as the gramma- 
tical construction does not require, and scarcely admits. 
Though it is a difficult matter to know the precise quantity 
of time which they allot to every distinctive point; for it 
depends on the relation and proportion which it bears to 
the whole arrangement of points throughout the sentence; 


and though it is impossible to express the great variety of 
them by our scanty system of punctuation, yet I shall en- 
deavour to mark them out to the English reader, in a rude 
manner, so as to give him some notion of what I imagine rt 
to have been their design to express. Thus then they dis- 
tinguish the following sentences : 

" And they that recompense evil for good ;* 
Are mine adversaries, because I follow what is good." 

Psal. xxxviii. 2Qf. 

" Upon Jehovah, in my distress ;* 

I called, and he heard me." 
" Long hath my soul had her dwelling ;* 

With him that hateth peace." Psal. exx, 1. 6', 

" I love Jehovah, for he hath heard * 
The voice of my supplication. 
I will walk, before Jehovah j* 
In the land of the living. 
What shall I return unto Jehovah ;* 
For all the benefits which he hath bestowed on me? 
My vows I will pay to Jehovah ;* 
Now in the presence of all his people. 
Precious in the eyes of Jehovah ;* 
Is the death of his saints." Psal. cxvi. 1. 9. 12. 14, 15. 

"Yea the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof,! 
Shall not send forth their light." Isa. xiii. 10. 

" In that day, shall his strongly fenced cities become,J 
Like the desertion of the Hivites and the Araorites. 

Isac xvii. 9. 

" For the glorious name of Jehovah shall be unto us,| 
A place of confluent streams, of broad rivers." 

Isa. xxxiii. 21. 

" That she hath received at the hand of Jehovah,f 
Double of the punishment of all her sins." Isa. xl. 2. 

Of the three different sorts of parallels, as above explain- 
ed, every one hath its peculiar character and pyoper. effect ; 

* Athnac. f Zakeph-katoiu t Rebiah, 

Athnac in the three metrical books, as the Jews account them, is but the third 
in order of power among the distinctive points ; but, however, always takes 
place when the period is of two members only ; in all the other books he is 
second : in the latter, therefore, Rebiah and Zakeph-katon, which come next to 
Athnac, have nearly the same distinctive power as Athnac has in the former. 
They will scarce be thought over-rated at a comma. 


and therefore they are differently employed on different 
occasions ; and that sort of parallelism is chiefly made use 
of which is best adapted to the nature of the subject and of 
the poem. Synonymous parallels have the appearance of 
art and concinnity, and a studied elegance : they prevail 
chiefly in shorter poems ; in many of the Psalms ; in Ba- 
laam's prophecies ; frequently in those of Isaiah which are 
most of them distinct poems of no great length. The an- 
tithetic parallelism gives an acuteness and force to adages 
and moral sentences ; and therefore, as I observed before, 
abounds in Solomon's Proverbs, and elsewhere is not often 
to be met with. The poem of Job, being on a large plan, 
and in a high tragic style, though very exact in the division 
of the lines, and in the parallelism, and affording many fine 
examples of the synonymous kind, yet consists chiefly of the 
constructive. A happy mixture of the several sorts gives an 
agreeable variety ; and they serve mutually to recommend 
and set off one another. 

I mentioned above, that there appeared to be two sorts 
of Hebrew verses, differing from one another in regard to 
their length : the examples hitherto given are all, except 
one, of the shorter kind of verse. The longer, though they 
admit of every sort of parallelism, yet belonging for the 
most part to the last class, that of constructive parallels, I 
shall treat of them in this place, and endeavour to explain 
the nature, and to point out the marks of them, as fully and 
exactly as I can. 

This distinction of Hebrew verses into longer and shorter, 
is founded on the authority of the alphabetical poems ; one 
third of the whole number of which are manifestly of the 
longer sort of verse, the rest of the shorter. I do not pre- 
sume exactly to define by the number of syllables, supposing 
we could with some probability determine it, the limit that 
separates one sort of verse from the other, so that every 
verse exceeding or falling short of that number should be 
always accounted a long or a short verse ; all that I affirm 
ig this, that one of the three poems perfectly alphabetical, 
and therefore infallibly divided into its verses ; and three of 
the nine other alphabetical poems, divided into their verses, 
after the manner of the perfectly alphabetical, with the 
greatest degree of probability ; that these four poems, being 
the four first Lamentations of Jeremiah, fall into verses 


about one-third longer, taking them one with another, than 
those of the other eight alphabetical poems. I shall first 
give an example of these long verses from a poem perfectly 
alphabetical, in which therefore the limits of the verses are 
unerringly defined : 

u I am the man that hath seen affliction, by the rod of his 

He hath led me, and made me walk, in darkness, not in 


Even again turneth he his hand against me, all the day long. 
He hath made old my flesh and my skin, he hath broken my 

He hath built against me, and hath compassed me, with gall 

and travail: 

He hath made me dwell in dark places, as the dead of old." 

Lam. iii. 1 6.. 

The following is from the first Lamentation, in which the 
stanzas are defined by initial letters, and are, like the former,, 
of three lines : 

" How doth the city solitary sit, she that was full .of people! 
How is she become a widow, that was great among the na- 

Princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary f 
She weepeth sore in the night, and her tear is upon her 


She hath none to comfort her, among all her lovers: 
All her friends have betrayed her, they became her enemies." 

Lam. i. 1, 2. 

I shall now give examples of the same sort of verse, where 
the limits of the verses are to be collected only from the poeti- 
cal construction of the sentences ; and first from the books 
acknowledged on all hands to be poetical ; and of these we 
must have recourse to the Psalms only, for I believe there 
is not a single instance of this sort of verse to be found in 
the poem of Job, and scarce any in the Proverbs of Solo- 

" The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul; 
The testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple: 
The precepts of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart; 
The commandment of Jehovah is clear, enlightening the 

The fear of Jehovah is pure, enduring for ever; 


The judgments of Jehovah are truth; they are altogether 


More desirable than gold, and than much fine gold; 
And sweeter than honey, and the dropping of honey-combs." 

Psal. xix. 7 10. 

" That our sons may be like plants, growing up in their 
youth ; 

Our daughters like the corner-pillars, carved for the struc- 
ture of a palace : 

Our store-houses full, producing all kinds of provision : 

Our flocks bringing forth thousands, ten thousands in our 
fields : 

Our oxen strong to labour ; no irruption, no captivity ; 

And no outcry in our streets." Psal. cxliv. 12 14. 

" Oh ! how great is thy goodness which thou hast treasured 

up, for them that fear thee ; 
Which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee, before 

the sons of men ! 
Thou wilt hide them in the secret place of thy presence, 

from the vexations of man ; 
Thou wilt keep them safe in the tabernacle, from the strife 

of tongues." Psal. xxxi. 19, 20. 

" A sound of a multitude in the mountains, as of many people ; 
A sound of the tumult of kingdoms, of nations gathered to- 

'gether : 

Jehovah God of Hosts mustereth the host for the battle. 
They come from a distant land, from the end of heaven ; 
Jehovah and the instruments of his wrath, to destroy the 
whole land." Isa. xiii. 4, 5. 

" They are turned backward, they are utterly confounded, 

who trust in the graven image ; 
Who say unto the molten image, ye are our gods !" 

Isa. xlii. 17. 

" They are ashamed, they are even confounded, his * adver- 
saries all of them ; 

Together they retire in confusion, the fabricators of images : 

But Israel shall be saved in Jehovah, with eternal salvation ; 

Ye shall not be ashamed, neither shall ye be confounded, to 

the ages of eternity. " Isa. xlv. 16, 17. 

These examples, all except the two first, are of long 
verses thrown in irregularly, but with design, between 

* Sec the note on the place. 


'verses of another sort ; among which they stand out, as it 
were, somewhat distinguished in regard to their matter as 
well as their form. 

I think I perceive some peculiarities in the cast and 
structure of these verses, which mark them, and distinguish 
them from those of the other sort. The closing pause of 
each line is generally very full and strong; and m each line, 
commonly towards the end, at least beyond the middle of 
K, there is a small >rest or interval, depending on the sense 
and grammatical construction, which I would call a half- 

The conjunction \ the common particle of connexion, 
which abounds in the Hebrew language, and is very often 
used without any 'necessity at all, seems to be frequently and 
studiously omitted at the halfy>ause ; the remaining clause 
being added, to use u grammatical term, by apposition to 
some word preceding; or coming in. as -an adjunct, or cir- 
cumstance depending on the former part, and completing 
the sentence. This -gives a certain air to these verses, 
which may be esteemed in some sort as characteristic of the 

The first four Lamentations are four distinct poems, con- 
sisting uniformly and entirely of * the long verse, which may 
therefore be properly called the Elegiac verse- from those 
elegies, which give the plainest and the most undoubted ex- 
amples of it. There may perhaps be found many other 
very probable examples in the same kind ; but this is what 1 
cannot pretend to determine with any certainty. Such, I 
think, are the 42cl and 43d Psalms ; which I imagine make 

* In the second Lamentation, the second 11 ro of the fourth period is deficient 
in length ; and so -likewise is the 31st verse of the third Lamentation. In the 
former, two words are lost out of the text ; in the latter, one. This will plain 
appear by supplying those words from the Chaldee paraphrase, which has hap- 
pily preserved them. They prove their own genuineness by making the line 
of a just length, and by completely restoring the sense ; which in the former is 
otherwise not. unexceptionable, in the latter manifestly imperfect. I will ad 
the lines, with the words supplied included in crotchets. 

n;u D :nm 

" And he slew [every youth] all that were desirable to the eye." 

'nx [n2>] 0^7 rov yh o 

M For the Lord will not cast off [his servants] forever. 1 ' 



one entire poem,* and ought not to have been divided into 
two Psalms : the lines are all of the longer kind, except the 
v third line of the intercalary stanza three times inserted ; 
which third line, like that at the close of an example given 
above from the 144th Psalm, is of the shorter kind of verse, 
somewhat like the Paroemiac verse of the Greeks, which 
commonly makes the close of a set of Anapaestic verses. 
Such likewise may perhaps be the 101st Psalm, which seems 
to consist of fourteen long verses, or seven distichs, thus di- 
vided : 

" Mercy and judgment will 1 celebrate ; to thee, O Jehovah, 
will I sing. 

I will act circumspectly in the perfect way ; when wilt thou 
come unto me ? 

I will walk with a perfect heart, in the midst of my house ; 

I will not set before mine eyes, a wicked thing ; 

Him that dealeth unfaithfully, I hate ; he shall not cleave 
unto me ; 

A perverse heart shall remove from me ; the wicked I will not 

Whoso slandereth in secret his friend, him will I destroy. 

The lofty of eyes, and the proud of heart, him I will not en- 

Mine eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may 
dwell with me : 

Whoso walketh in the perfect way, he shall minister unto me. 

He shall not dwell within my house, who practiseth deceit. 

He that speaketh falsehood, shall not be established in my 

Every morning will I destroy all the wicked of the land ; 

To cut off, from the city of Jehovah, all the workers of ini- 

The sublime ode of Isaiah in the 14th chapter is all of 
this kind of verse, except, perhaps, a verse or two towards 
the end ; and the prophecy against Senacherib in the 37th 
chapter, as far as it addressed Senacherib himself. 

I venture to submit to the judgment of the candid reader 
the preceding observations, upon a subject which hardly 
admits of proof and certainty ; which is rather a matter of 
opinion and of taste, than of science ; especially in the latter 

* This conjecture, offered some years age, has since been confirmed by twen- 
ty-two MSS, which join them together, 


part, which endeavours to establish, and to point out the dif- 
ference of two sorts of verse, the longer and the shorter. For 
though the third Lamentation of Jeremiah gives a clear and 
indubitable example of the elegiac or long verse, and the two 
Psalms perfectly alphabetical of the shorter; yet the whole 
art of Hebrew versification, except only what appears in the 
construction of the sentences, being totally lost, it is not easy 
to try by them other passages of verse, so as to draw any 
certain conclusion in all cases, whether they are of the same 
kind or not : And that, for this among other reasons ; be- 
cause what I call the half-pause., which I think prevails for 
the most part in the longer verses, is sometimes so strong 
and so full in the middle of the line, that it seems naturally 
to resolve it into a distich of two short verses. I readily 
therefore acknowledge, that in settling the distribution of 
the lines, or verses, in the following translation, I have had 
frequent doubts and particularly in determining the long 
and short verses. I arn still uncertain in regard to many 
places, whether two lines ought not to be joined to make one, 
or one line divided into two. But whatever doubts may re- 
main concerning particulars, yet, upon the whole, I should 
hope that the method of distribution here proposed, of sen- 
tences into stanzas and verses in the poetical books of Scrip- 
ture, will appear to have some foundation, and even to cany 
with it a considerable degree of probability. Though no 
complete system of rules concerning this matter can perhaps 
be formed, which will hold good in every particular ; yet 
this way of considering the subject may have its use, in fur- 
nishing a principle of interpretation of some consequence, 
in giving a general idea of the style and character of the 
Hebrew poetry, and in shewing the close conformity of style 
and character between great part of the prophetical writings, 
and the other books of the Old Testament universally ac- 
knowledged to be poetical. 

And that the reader may not think his pains wholly lost, 
in labouring through this long disquisition concerning sen- 
tences and members of sentences, in weighing words and 
balancing periods, I shall endeavour to shew him something 
of the use and application of the preceding observations ; 
and to convince him, that this branch of criticism, minute 
as it may appear, yet merits the attention of the translator 
and of the interpreter of the Holy Scriptures ; so large a part 


of which is entirely poetical, and where occasional pieces of 
poetry are interspersed through the whole. 

It is incumbent on every translator to study ifee manner 
of his author ; to mark the peculiarities of his style, to imi- 
tate his features, his air, his gesture, and, as far as the dif- 
ference of language will permit, even his voice ; in a word, 
to give a just and expressive resemblance of the original. 
If he does not carefully attend to this, he will sometimes fail 
of entering into his meaning ; he will always exhibit him un- 
like himself; in a dress, that will appear strange and unbe- 
coming to all that are in any degree acquainted with him. 
Sebastian Castellio stands in the first rank for critical abili- 
ties and theological learning, among the modem translators 
of Scripture ; but, by endeavouring to give the whole compo- 
sition of his translation a new cast, to throw it out of the 
Hebrew idiom, and to make it adopt the Latin phrase and 
structure in its steai^ he has given us something that is 
neither Hebrew nor Latin : the Hebrew manner is destroyed, 
and the Latin manner is not perfectly acquired ; we regret 
the loss of the Hebrew simplicity, and we are disgusted with 
the perpetual affectation of Latin elegance. This is in gen- 
eral the case, but chiefly in the poetical parts. Take the 
following for a specimen. 

" Quum Israelitse ex JEgypto, quuna Jacobsea domus emigraret 

ex populo barbaro, 

Judsei Israelite Deo fuere sanctitati atque potestati. 
Quo viso, mare fugit, et Jordanis retrocessit. 
Montes arietum, colles ove natorum ritu exiliverunt." 

Surely to this even the barbarism of the Vulgate is pre- 
ferable ; for though it has no elegance of its own, yet it still 
retains the form, and gives us some idsa of the force and 1 
spirit of the Hebrew. 1 will subjoin it here, for it needs not 
fear the comparison. 

u In exitu Israel de JEgypto, domus Jacob dc populo barbaro, 
Facta est Judaia sanctificatio ejus, Israel potestas ejus. 
Mare vidit, et fugit: Jordanis conversus est retrorsum. 
Montes exultaverunt ut arietes: et colles sicut agni ovium.' r 

Flatness and insipidity will generally be the consequence 
of a deviation from the native mariner of an original, which 
has a real merit and a peculiar force of its own : for it will 
be very difficult to compensate the loss of this by any adveu.- 


titious ornaments. To express fully and exactly the sense 
of the author is indeed the principal, but not the whole duty 
of the translator. In a work of elegance and genius, he is 
not only to inform, he must endeavour to please ; and to 
please by the same means, if possible, by which his author 
pleases. If this pleasure arises in a great measure from the 
shape of the composition and the form of the construction, 
as it does in the Hebrew poetry perhaps beyond any other 
example whatsoever, the translator's eye ought to be always 
intent upon this : to neglect this, is to give up all chance of 
success, and all pretension to it. The importance of the sub- 
ject, and the consequent necessity of keeping closely to the 
letter of the original, has confined the translators of Scrip- 
ture within such narrow limits, that they have been forced, 
whether they designed it or not, and even sometimes con- 
trary to their design, as in the case of Castellio, to retain 
much of the Hebrew manner. This is remarkably the case 
in our vulgar translation, the constant use of which has ren- 
dered this manner familiar and agreeable to us. We have 
adopted the Hebrew taste ; and what is with judgment, and 
upon proper occasion, well expressed in that taste, hardly ever 
fails to suggest the ideas of beauty, solemnity, and elevation. 
To shew the difference in this respect, I shall here give an 
example or two of a free and loose translation, yet suffi- 
ciently well expressing the sense, contrasted with another 
translation of the same, as strictly literal as possible. 

1 . " The merciful and gracious Lord hath so done his mar- 
vellous works, that they ought to be had in remembrance." 

Psal. cxi. 4. Old Version. 

2. " Lo! children and the fruit of the womb are an heritage 
and gift, that cometh from the Lord." Psal. cxxvii. 4. O. V. 

3. " O put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of 
man; for there is no help in them. 

"For when the breath of man goeth forth, he shall turn 
again to his earth; and then all his thoughts perish. 

4. " The Lord thy God, O Sion, shall be king for evermore, 
and throughout all generations. Psal. cxlvi. 2, 3. 10. O. V. 

1. " He hath made a memorial of his wonders: gracious and 
of tender mercy is Jehovah." 

2. "Behold, an heritage from Jehovah are children; are- 
ward, the fruit of the womb." 



3. " Trust ye not in princes; in the son of man, in whom is 
no salvation. 

" His breath goeth forth; he returneth to his earth; in that 
day his thoughts perish. 

4. " Jehovah shall reign for ever; thy God, O Sion, from 
age to age." 

The former examples are mere prose ; the latter retain 
the outlines and the features of the original Hebrew, and 
from that cause alone are still poetry. 

But this strict attention to the form and fashion of the 
composition of the sacred writings of the Old Testament 
is not only useful, and even necessary, in the translator 
who is ambitious of preserving in his copy the force, 
and spirit, and elegance of the original ; it will be of 
great use to him likewise merely as an interpreter, and 
will often lead him into the meaning of obscure words 
and phrases: sometimes it will suggest the true reading, 
where the text in our present copies is faulty ; and wilt 
verify and confirm a correction offered on the authority 
of MSS, or of the ancient versions. I shall add a few ex- 
amples, as evidences of what is here advanced. One short 
passage of Isaiah will furnish a number sufficient for our 
purpose ; and the observant reader will find several more in 
the version and notes subjoined. 

" Wherefore hear ye the word of Jehovah, ye scoffers ; 

Ye who to this people in Jerusalem utter sententious speeches. 
Who say, We have entered into a covenant with death ; 

And with the grave we have made a treaty. 

But your covenant with death shall be broken ; 
And your treaty with the grave shall not stand." 

Isa. xxviii. 14, 15. 18*. 

'bi: *:, ye that rule this people, says our version ; and so the 
generality of interpreters ancient and modern. But this 
prophecy is not addressed to the rulers of the people, nor 
is it at all concerned with them in particular, but is directed 
to the Ephrairmtes in general ; and this part to the scoffers 
among them, who ridiculed the denunciations of the pro- 
phets, by giving out parabolical sentences, and solemn 
speeches, somewhat in the prophetic style, in opposition to 
their prophecies ; of which speeches he gives specimens in the 
next verse, as he had done before in the 9th and 10th verses, 
therefore is parallel and synonymous to ~\\>h 


scoffers ; and is not to be translated rulers, but to be taken' in 
the other sense of the word, and rendered, " those that speak 
parables." And larch i in this place very properly .explains 
it, "qui dicunt verba irrisionis parabolice." 

The next verse gives us an instance still more remarkable 
of the influence which the parallelism has in determining 1 
the sense of words : 

" We have entered into a covenant with death ; 
And with the grave we havejnade " 

what? Every one must answer immediately, an agreement, 
a bargain, a treaty, or something to the same sense: and so 
in effect say all the versions, ancient and modem. But the 
word nrn means no such thing in any part of the Bible; 
(except in the 18th verse of this chapter, here quoted, where 
it is repeated in the same sense, and nearly in the same 
form) ; nor can the lexicographers give any satisfactory 
account of the word in this sense ; which however they are 
forced to admit from the necessity of the case ; u Recte verto 
vocem nin? perinde ac rwn, v. 18. transactionem, licet 
neutra hac significatione alibi occurrat : circumstantia enim 
orationis earn necessario exigit; " says the learned Vitringa 
upon the place. It could not otherwise have been known 
that the word had this meaning ; it is the parallelism alone 
that determines it to this meaning ; and that so clearly, that 
no doubt at all remains concerning the sense of the passage. 
Again : 

" And your covenant with death shall be broken : >J 

But n3D means to cover, to cover sin, and so to expiate, <fcc. 
and is never used in the sense of breaking or dissolving' a 
covenant, though that notion so often occurs in the Scrip- 
tures ; nor can it be forced into thi's sense, but by a great deal 
of far-fetched reasoning. Besides, it ought to be m3D, or 
I33n, in the feminine form, to agree with ma. So that 
the word, as it stands, makes neither grammar nor sense. 
There is great reason therefore to suspect some mistake 
In our present copy. The true reading is probably nan, 
differing by one letter. So conjectured Houbigant ; and 
so Archbishop Seeker: and I find their conjecture con- 
firmed by the Chaldee paraphrast, who renders it by tea, 
the word which he generally uses in rendering this common 


phrase, rro "van* And this reading is still further con- 
firmed by the parallelism ; for isn, shall be broken, in the 
first line, is parallel and synonymous toCDipn vh, shall not 
stand, in the second. 

The very same phrases are parallel and synonymous, Isa. 
viii. 10. 

<( Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought, isni ; 
Speak the word, and it shall not stand, LDip 1 K^l." 

I shall add one example more; and that of a reading 
suggested by the parallelism, and destitute of all authority 
of MSS, or ancient versions. 

" But mine enemies living are numerous ; 

And they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied." 

Psal. xxx viii. 19. 

The word cm, living, seems not to belong to this place; 
besides, that the construction of it in the Hebrew is very 
unusual and inelegant. The true reading in all probability 
is mn, without cause ; parallel and synonymous to np&y,. 
wrongfully, in the next line, (as in Psal. xxxv. 19.) ; which 
completes the parallelism through both lines. Let the reader 
compare Psal. Ixix. 5. where the very same three terms 
in each line are set parallel to one another, just in the same 
manner as I suppose they must have been originally here. 
Which place likewise furnishes another example in the same 
kind: for a fourth term being there introduced in each 
line, the fourth term in the last line has been corrupted by 
the small mistake of inserting a ' in the middfe of it. It has 
been well restored by a conjecture of the learned and ingeni- 
ous Bishop Hare. 

" They that hate me without cause are multiplied beyond the 

hairs of my head; 

They that are mine enemies wrongfully are more numerous 
then the hairs of my locks." 

For TPOtfD, who destroy me, read T>D*D, more than my locks, 
parallel to ^xt nnjwo, more than the hairs of my head, in 
the first line. The Bishop's conjecture is since confirmed by 
seven MSS. 

Thus two inveterate mistakes, which have disgraced the 
text above two thousand years, (for they are prior to the 


Tcrsion of the seventy,) are happily corrected, and that, I 
think, beyond a doubt, by the parallelism supported by the 
example of similar passages. 

RABBI Az ARIAS,* a learned Jew of the sixteenth century, 
has treated of the ancient Hebrew versification upon prin- 
ciples similar to those above proposed, and partly coincident 
with them : he makes the form of the verse to depend on 
the structure of the sentence, and the measures in every 
verse to be determined by the several parts of the proposi- 
tion. As he is the only one of the Jewish writers, who ap- 
pears to have had any just idea at all of this matter ; as his 
system seems to be well founded ; and as his observations 
may be of use on the present occasion, both by giving some 
degree of authority to the hypothesis above explained, and 
by setting the subject in a light somewhat different, I shall 
here give the reader at large his opinion upon it, 

This author in a large work entitled Meor Enajim, (that 
is. The light of the Eyes?) containing a great variety of mat- 
ter, historical, critical, and philosophical, takes occasion to 
treat of the Hebrew poetry in a separate chapter ; of which 
the younger Buxtorf has given a Latin translation, t 

" Azarias finding little satisfaction in what former writers 
had said upon the subject ; whether those who make the- 
Hebrew verse consist of a certain number of syllables and 
certain feet, like that of the Greeks and Latins ; or those 
who exclude all metre, and make the harmony of their verse 
to arise from accents, tones, and musical modulations ; which 
latter opinion he thinks agreeable to truth ; and having con- 
sulted the most learned of his nation without being able to 
obtain any solution of his difficulties ; for they allowed that 
there was a sensible difference between the songs and the 
other parts of the Hebrew Scriptures when they were read ; 

* R. Azarias Min Haaduraim, i.e. do Rubcis, or Rossi, of Ferrara, finish- 
ed his. treatise entitled Meor Enajim, A. D. 1573, and published it at Mantua, 
the place of his birth, 1574. Wolfii Biblioth. Hebrsea, vol. i. p. 944. 

t Mantissa Dissertationum, p. 415. at the end of his edition 'of Cosri. 
Suspecting, from some obscurities, that Buxtorf's translation was not very 
accurate, I procured the original edition ; and having carefully examined k t 
I corrected from it this account of. the author's sentiment?.,. 


a kind of metrical sweetness in the former, which the latter 
had not ; but whence that difference arose no one could ex- 
plain ;- in this state of uncertainty, he long considered the 
matter, endeavouring to obtain some satisfaction in his in- 
quiries. He at lasr came to the following determination 
upon it : That the sacred songs have undoubtedly certain 
measures and proportions ; which, however, do not consist 
in the number of syllables, perfect or imperfect, according 
to the form of the modern verse which the Jews make use" 
of, and which is borrowed from the Arabians ; (though the 
Arabic prosody, he observes, is too complicated to be ap- 
plied to the Hebrew language) ; but in the number of things, 
and of the parts of things, that is, the subject, and the pre- 
dicate, and their adjuncts, in every sentence and proposition. 
Thus a phrase, containing two parts of a proposition, con- 
sists of two measures ; add another containing two more, and 
they become four measures ; another again, containing three 
parts of a proposition, consists of three measures ; add to it 
another of the like, and you have six measures. 

" For example ; in the Song of Moses, " Thy-right-hand, 
O- Jehovah," is a phrase consisting of two terms, or parts of 
a proposition ; to which is connected, " is-glorious in-power," 
consisting likewise of two terms : these joined together make 
four measures, or a tetrameter : " Thy-right-hand, O- 
Jehovah," repeated, makes two more ; " hath-crushed the- 
enemy," two more ; which, together, make four measures, or 
a second tetrameter. So likewise, 

tc The-enemy said, I-will-pursue, I-will overtake ; 

I-will-divide the-spoil ; my-lust shall-be-satisfied-upon-them ; 
I-will-draw my-sword ; my-hand shall-destroy-them ; 
Thou-didst-blow with-thy-wind ; the-sea covered-them." 

" The Song of Deuteronomy consists of propositions of 
three parts, or three measures; which, doubled in the same 
manner, make six, or hexameters : thus, 

(t Hearken, O-heavens, and-I-will-speak ; and-let-the-earth 

hear the-words-of-my-mouth :* 

My-doctrine shall-drop, as-the-rain ; my-word shall-distil, as 

* Two words joined together by maccaph are considered as a single word* 
according to the laws of punctuation ; so '3" 1 13N is one word. 


" Sometimes in the same period, much more in the same 
song, these two kinds meet together, according to the divine 
impulse moving the prophet, and as the variety suited his 
design, and the nature of the subject. For example, 

" And-by the-blast of-thy-nostrils, the-waters were-compress- 

These are each two measures, which together make a tetra- 
meter: it follows, 

" The-floods stood-upright, as-in-a-heap : 

The-deeps were-congealed in-the-heart-of-the-sea :"* 

These are two trimeters, which make an hexameter. So the 
Song of the Well begins with trimeters ; to which are after- 
wards subjoined t dimeters. So in the prayer of Habakkuk 
the verses are trimeters: 

" God came from-Teman ; 

And-the-Holy-One from the-mount-of-Paran.J Selah. 
His-glory covered the-heavens ; 
And-his-splendour filled the-earth." 

" The author proceeds to observe, that in some verses certain 
words occur, which make no part of the measures, or are 
not taken into the account of the verse ; as in the Song of 
Deuteronomy : 

" And-he-said, 

I-will-hide my-face from-them :" 

The word, " And-he-said," II stands by itself, and the re- 
maining words make a trimeter : 

* D^y?3, one word. 

t The Song of the Well, Numb, xxi. 17, 18., according to our way of fixing 
the conclusion of it, and if we measure it by Azarias's rules, consist of three 
trimeters and one dimeter only. But the Targum of Onkelos continues the 
song to the end of the 20th verse, taking in the catalogue of stations, (as we 
understand it), which immediately follows, as part of the song ; and interpret- 
ing it as such. Azarias follows his authority: so Aben Tybbon, (see Cozri, 
p. 431.), and larchi upon the place. At this rate we shall have half a dozen 
dimeters more. 

\ "pN3"*ino, (from-the-mount-of-Paran,) being joined by maccaph, and so 
making but one word, the author is obliged to take in Selalt as part of the 
verse, to make out his third term or measure. The authority of the Masoretic 
maccaph has led him into an error. The verse without Selah is a trimeter ; as 
it ought to be in conformity with the rest. 

il So far the observation seems to be just; and perhaps there maybe two 
more examples of it in the same poem, vcr. 26. and 37. ; where, according to 


" I-will-see, what-is their-latter-end," 

is the trimeter answering to it. So in the prayer of Habak- 
ktik : 


I-have-heard thy-speech ; I-was-afraid ; 


Revive thy-work in-the-midst-of-the years :"* 

The word, " O-Jehovah," is twice to be read separate ; and 
the words added to it make a trimeter, But this verse, 

" Though the-fig-tree shall-not blossom," 

is of a different sort, consisting of the subject and predicate : 
" Though the fig-tree," being the subject; " shall not blos- 
som,''' the predicate. So in a verse containing twelve terms, 
those terms may be reduced to six measures. For you are 
not to l)e reckon, either the syllables, or the words, but only 
the things. And for this reason a particle is often joined to 
the word next to it. The verses of the Psalms observe the 
same order: 

" Have-mercy-upon-me, O-God, according-to-thy-goodness ; 
According-to-the-multitude-of-thy-mercies, f blot-out my- 

Azarias's doctrine, the words, / said, And he shall say, may conveniently 
enough be considered as making no part of the verse. So in Isaiah, the com- 
mon forms, Thussaitk Jehovah, And it shall come to pass in that day, and the 
\ like, probably arc not always to be reckoned as- making part of the measure. 
The period D in the 4th Lamentation cannot well be divided into two lines, as 
jt ought to be ; but if the words ID 1 ? IKIp, they cried unto them, and TDK 
D^JH, they said among the heathen, are excluded from the measure, the re- 
mainder will make two lines of just length : 

" Depart, ye are polluted, depart; depart ye, forbear to touch : 
Yea, they are fled, they are removed ; they shall dwell here no more." 

Or perhaps they may be two marginal interpretations, which by mistake have 
get into the text; which, I think, is better without them. So likewise, Lam. 

ii. 15. the word YT2X'tP, of-*chich-they-said, either does not reckon in the 
verse, which with it is too long ; or, as I rather think, should be omitted, as 
an interpolation. 

* In order to make out the trimeter, it is necessary to suppose that Azarias 
reads DTiirmp3 as one word. 

t Azarias takes the liberty of joining the two words "V^m 3*O together 
by a maccaph, which is not to be found in our editions, in order to bring the 
vl-iv.e within his rules. The render will observe, that this distirh, which in the 
Hebrew contains but seven words, cannot be rendered in English in less than 


These arc trimeters. So likewise, 

" In-God I-will-praise his-word ; 
In-Jehovah I-will-praise his-word." 

So likewise the Proverbs of Solomon, 

" Wisdom crieth without ; 
In-the-streets she-uttereth her-voice," 

" I am aware, adds he, that some verses are to be found, 
which I cannot accommodate to these ruler, and forms; and 
perhaps a great number. But by observing iheije things, 
the intelligent may perhaps receive new light, rnd discover 
what has escaped me. However, they may be assured, that 
all the verses that are found in the Sacred Writings; such 
as the song at the Red Sea, of the Well, of MoVe's, of 
Deborah, of David, of the Book of Job, the Psalms, and the 
Proverbs; all of them have an established order and measure, 
different in different places, or even sometimes different in 
one and the same poem; as we may perceive, in reading 
them, an admirable propriety and fitness, though we can- 
not arrive at the true method, of measuring or scanning 

O C3 


" It is not to be wondered, that the same song should 
consist cf different measures; for the case is the same in the 
poetry of the 'Greeks and Romans: they sailed their mea- 
sures to the nature cf the subject and (he argument; and ' 
the variations which they admitted, were accommodated to j 
the motions of the body, and the affections . of the soul, 
Every kind of measure is not proper for every subject; and 
an ode, a panegyric, or a prayer, should not be composed 
in. the same measure with an elegy. Do not you observe, 
says he, in the Book of Lamentations of Jeremiah, that the 
periods of the first and second chapters each cf them consist 
of three prepositions; and everyone of these of a subject, 
and a predicate, and of the adjuncts belonging to them? ' 
The third chapter follows (.he same method; and for this 
reason is placed next to them in order: but of this chapter 
every period is distributed into three initial leUera. But 
the fourth chapter does not perfect the senses in every 

one-and-twenty words. By Ibis he will judge, under what great disadvantage 
all the foregoing examples, whether of the parallelism or of the metre of things, 
must appear in an English version, in which many words are almost always 
necessary to render what is expressed by one word in. Hclrcw. 



verse ; * but consists of two and two, which make four. Bu 
the fifth chapter,, which contains a prayer, you will find to 
be built on another plan ; that is, one and one, which matke 
two,t or a dimeter ;. like the verses of the Books of Job 7 
Psalms, and Proverbs. So the Song of Moses, and the 
Song of Deborah, have a different form ; consisting of three 
and three, which make six ; that is, hexameters : like the 
heroic measure, which is the noblest of all measures. 

;c Upon the whole, the author concludes, that the poetical 
pasts of the Hebrew Scriptures are not composed according 
to the rales- and measures of certain feet, dissyllables, tri- 
syllubres r or the like, as the poems of the modern Jews are : 
but nevertheless have undoubtedly other measures which de- 
pend on things, as above explained. For which reason, they 
are more excellent than those which consist of certain feet, 
according to the number and quantity of syllables. Of this, 
says he, you may judge yourself in the Songs of the Prophets. 
For do you not see, if you translate some of them into another 
language, that they still keep and retain their measure, if 
not wholly, at least in part ? which cannot be the case in those 
verses, the measures of which arise from a certain quantity 
and number of syllables," 

* He said abovc r that m the 1st aiwl 2d chapters each separate verse, or iine r 
was a single proposition : he now says, that this is not the case in the 4th chap- 
ter ; for it does not perfect the sense in every verse ; that is, each verse docs 
not consist of one single proposition. As, for example the line or verse, 

" How is obscured the gold ! changed the fine gold ! " 

" How is obscured | the gold ! " makes one proposition, and two* measures r 
" changed | the fine gold ! " another proposition, and two other measures ; 
which, according to him make a tetrameter. This, he says, makes the diffe- 
rence between the three first and the 4th chapter. But there seems to be no 
such difference ; many single lines in the three first containing two propositions, 
and nrany in the 4th containing only one. 

t According to the author's own definition of his terms, one and one which 
make two, should mean, one term and one term making two measures, or a 
dimeter : but the 5th chapter does not at all seem to answer that description. 
Besides, he says, the verses of it arc like those of Job, Psalms, and Proverbs, 
of two of which books he said before, that the verses wore trimeters. I know 
not what he means* unless it be that one and one sentences make two, that is a 
distich ; and that this chapter consists of distichs, of two short lines, as the 
Books of Job, Psalms, and Proverbs, for the most part do ; which is true. 

{: Perhaps the harmony might depend in some degree on both ; for it may be 
often observed, that where the words of an hemistich happen to be longer, and 
consequently to consist of more syllables than the words of the adjoining hemis- 
tich, there the things expressed are fewer. See, for example, Psal. cviii. 4, 5. 
Which seerns to prove, that the measures of the verses did not depend on the 
things expressed only, but on the syllables also. 


Such is R. Azarias's hypothesis of (he rhythmus of things'; 
'that is, of terms and of senses: of the grammatical parts of 
speech, and of the logical parts of propositions. The prin- 
ciple seems to be right ; hut, I think, he has not made the 
best use, of which it was capable, in (he application. He 
acknowledges, that it will not hold in all cases. I believe, 
there is n0 such thing to be found ra the Hebrew Bible, as 
a whole poem consisting of trimeters, tetrameters, or hexa- 
meters only, measured and scanned -according -to his rules. 
The Song of Moses, Dent, xxxii. is a very apt example for 
his purpose ; but will not in all parts fall in with his measures. 
^Besides, there is no sort of reason for "his making it to con- 
sist -of hexameters, rather than trimeter distkhs ; such, as 
he says, the Psalms and Proverbs consist of. Examine the 
cxith and cxiith Psalms 'by his rules; and though they will 
<fall into his trimeters for the most .part pretty well, yet we 
are sure, that these were not to be coupled together to make 
hexameters ; for they are necessarily divided into twenty-two 
distinct short lines by the initial letters. The Hebrew poe- 
try, consisting for the most part of short sentences, must 
an general naturally fall into such measures as Azarias estab- 
lishes ; or with some management may be easily reduced 
sto his yules. Every proposition must consist of a subject 
.and a predicate, joined together by a .copula; and <the pre- 
dicate including the copula will generally consist of two 
.terms, expressing the action, and .the thing acted- upon. In 
Hebrew, sometimes the subject is comhin-ed with the copula 
in one word, and sometimes the predicate ; sometimes ali 
three make but one term. In (these cases, the addition of a 
simple adjunct (for the shortness of the style will not admit 
of much more) to the subject, or the predicate, or both, 
-furnishes a second, a third, and sometimes a fourth term ; 
-that is, makes the verse a dimeter, trimeter, or tetrameter. 
For instance, in dimeters, 

il They-made-him-^ealous, .with-st range- Gods ; 

They-provoked-him, with-abominations." Deut. xxxii. 16~ 

In trimeters, 

-" I-will-bless Jehovah, at-all-time ; 

His-praise [shall be] in my mouth, continually. 
My-soul shall-make-her-boast, in-Jehovah j 
The meek shall-hear-it, and-rejoice,. 


O-mngnify-yc Jehovah, with-me ; 

And-lct-us -praise his-name, together." Psal. xxxiv. 1 3. 

7:i thcso examples, the first part, of every lino makes an en- 
propcsition, anil the last is an adjunct making the se- 
cond, or the third, term. In the following, the subject, and 
she predicate, with their adjuncts, consist of two term?, each 
of them : that is,, of two measures; and, being joined toge- 
ther, make a tetrameter : 

" The-counsel of-Jehovah shall-stand for-ever."' 

The next line is in the same form, except that the verb is 
understood, and the la-tier adjunct divided into two terms ;. 
and makes a second tetrameter to pair with the first: 

" The-thoughts of-hfs-heart r frcm-age to-age." 

Something of this kind must necessarily be the result of this 
vntiovis way of writing : it is what comes of course, with- 
out much stud}*. But whatever attention the Hebrew poets 
might give to the scanning oC their verses by the number Q 
k-mi.-r, it does not appear to have been their design to corr- 
fine all the verses of the same poem to any set number of 
terms ; whereas they do plainly appear to have studied to 
throw the corresponding liaes of the same distich into the 
same number of terms, into the same form of construction, 
and stiil more into an identity, or opposition, or a general 
conformity of sense. I agree therefore with Azarias in his 
general principle of a rhythmus of things : but instead of 
considering terms, or phrases, or senses, in single lines, as 
measures ; determining the nature and denomination of 
the verse, as dimeter, trimeter, or tetrameter; I consider 
only that relation and proportion of one verse to another, 
which arises from the correspondence of terms, and from the 
form of construction ; from whence results a rhythmus of 
propositions, and a harmony of sentences. 

This peculiar conformation of sentences; short, concise, 
with frequent pauses, and regular intervals, divided into 
pairs, for the most part, of corresponding lines ; is the most 
evident characteristic now remaining of poetry among the 
Hebrews, as distinguished from prose : and this, I suppose, 
is what is implied in the name, Mizmvr'f* which I under- 

* *YID?D *I3T signifies to cut, to prune, to sing, to play on a musical in- 
strument. Caesura is the common idea, which prevails in all. 


stand to be the proper name for verse; that is, for numerous, 
rhythmical, or metrical -language. This form made their 
verse peculiarly fit for music and dance ; which with them 
were the usual concomitants of poetry, on occasions of public 
joy, and in the most solemn offices of religion.* Both their 
dance and song were on such occasions performed by t\vo 
-choirs t taking their parts alternately in each : the regular 
form of the stanzas, chiefly distichal, and the parallelism of 
the lines, were excellently well suited to this purpose, and 
fell in naturally with the movements of the body, of the 
voice, and of the instruments, and with die division of the 
.parts between the .two sets of performers. 

But, besides the poetical structure of the sentences, there 
are other indications of verse in the poetical and prophetical 
parts of the Hebrew Scriptures : such are, peculiarities of 
language ; unusual and foreign words ; phrases, and forms 
of words, uncommon in prose ; bold elliptical expression ; 
frequent and abrupt change of persons, and an use of the 
tenses out of the common order ; and lastly, the poetical 
dialect, consisting chiefly in certain anomalies ^peculiar Ito 
poetry ; in letters and syllables added to -the ends of words ; 
a kind of license commonly permitted to poetry in every 
language. But as these cannot be explained by a few ex- 
amples, nor perfectly understood without some knowledge 
of Hebrew ; I must beg leave to refer the learned reader, 
who would inquire further into this subject, to what I have 
said upon it in another place ;J or rather, to recommend it 
to his own observation, in reading the sacrecl poets in their 
own language. 

THUS far of tbo genuine form and character of the Pro- 
phet's composition ; which it has been the translator's endea- 
vour closely to follo\v, and as exactly to express, as the dif- 
ference of the languages would permit : in which indeed he 
has had great advantage in the habit, which our language 
has acquired, of expressing with ease, and not without ele- 
gance, Hebrew ideas andllebrew forms of speaking, from 

* See Exod. v. 20. 21. 2 Sam. vi. 14. 1C. 

t See 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 7. Ezra Hi. 11 . Nehcm. xii. 24. and Philo's Obser- 
vations (Hty Twfti&f) on the Song at the Red Sea. 
i De Sacra Peesi Heliraeorum, Pnelect. iii. xiv. xv, 



our constant use of a clo?s verbal translation of both the Old 
and Nc\v Testament ; which has by degrees moulded our 
language into such a conformity with that of the original 
Scriptures, that it can upon occasion assume the Hebrew 
character without appearing altogether forced and unnatural. 
It remains to say something of the Translation in regard to 
its fidelity ; and of the principles of interpretation by which 
the translator has been guided in the prosecution of it. 

THE first and principal business of a translator, is to give 
the plain literal and grammatical sense of his author; the 
obvious meaning of his words, phrases, and sentences ; and 
to express them in the language into which he translates, as 
far as may be, in equivalent words, pli rases, and sentences. 
Whatever indulgence may be allowed him in other respects ; 
however excusable he may be, if he fail of attaining the ele- 
gance, the spirit, the sublimity of his author, which will 
generally be in some degree the case, if his author excels at 
all in those qualities ; want of fidelity admits of no excuse, 
and is entitled to no indulgence. This is peculiarly so in 
subjects of high importance, such as the Holy Scriptures, in 
which so much depends on the phrase and expression ; and 
particularly in the prophetical books of Scripture ; where 
from the letter are often deduced deep and recondite senses, 
which must owe all their weight and solidity to the just and 
accurate interpretation of the words of the prophecy. For 
whatever senses are supposed to be included in the Prophet's 
words, spiritual, mystical, allegorical, analogical, or the like, 
they must all entirely depend on the literal sense. This 
is the only foundation upon which such interpretations can 
be securely raised ; and if this is not firmly and well estab- 
lished, all that is built upon it will fall to the ground. 

For example ; if IMD wro, Isa. li. xx. does not signify 
& 5 revrXM 'tip.tep6n, like parboiled bete, as the LXX render it; 
bi.t like an oryx (a large, fierce, wild beast) in the toils ; 
what becomes of Theodoret's explication of this image? 

[K*0y^flv7f$ #5 c-fvTAfov Sj/LUf^tfov] E(5V/|fv ccvruv Slot, fttv TX uTrvy TO fec6vfMV^ 

of* oc TU **xetvv TO cuwfyw. According to this interpretation, 
the Prophet would express the drowsiness and flaccidity, the 
slothfulness and want of spirit, of his countrymen : where- 
as his idea was impotent rage, and obstinate violence, sub- 
dued by a superior power ; the Jews taken in the snares of 
their own wickedness, struggling in vain, till, overspent and 


exhausted, they sink under the weight of God's judgmenls. 
And Procopius's explication of the same passage, according 
to the rendering of the words by Aquila, Symmachus, and 
Theodction. which is probably the true one, is almost as 
foreign to the purpose : " He compares, saitli he, the people 
of Jerusalem to the oryx, that is, to a bird ; because they 
are taken in the snares of the devil, and therefore are de- 
livered over to wrath." Such strange and absurd deduc- 
tions of notions and ideas, foreign to the author's drift and 
design, will often arise from the invention of commentators 
who have nothing but an inaccurate translation to work 
upon. This was the case of the generality of the Fathers of 
the Christian Church, who wrote comments on the Old 
Testament : and it is no wonder, that we find them of little 
service in leading us into the true meaning and the deep 
sense of the prophetical writings. 

It being then a translator's indispensable duty faithfully 
and religiously to express the sense of his author, he ought 
to take great care that he proceed upon just principles of 
criticism, in a rational method of interpretation ; and that 
the copy from which he translates be accurate and perfect in 
itself, OL- corrected as carefully as possible by the best autho- 
rilies, and on the clearest result of critical inquiry. 

The method of studying the Scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment has been very defective hitherto in both these respects. 
Beside the difficulties attending it, arising from the nature 
of the thing itself, from the language in which it is written, 
and the condition in v\hich it is come down to us through 
so many ages ; what we have of it being the scanty relics of 
a language formerly copious, and consequently the true 
meaning of many words and phrases being obscure and du- 
bious, and perhaps incapable of being clearly ascertained ; 
beside these impediments, necessarily inherent in the subject, 
others have been thrown in the way of our progress in the 
study of these writings, from prejudice, and an ill-founded 
opinion of the authority of the Jews, both as interpreters 
and conservators of them. 

The Masoretic punctuation, by which the pronunciation of 
the language is given, the forms of the several parts of speech, 
the construction of the words, the distribution and limits of 
the sentence?, and the connexion of the several members 
are fixed, is in eficct an interpretation of the Hebrew text 


made by the Jews of late ages, probably not earlier than 
the eighth century ; and may be considered as their trans- 
lation of the Old Testament. Where the words unpointed 
are capable of various meanings, according as they may be 
variously pronounced and constructed, the Jews by their 
pointing have determined them to one meaning and con- 
struction ; and the sense which they thus give, is their sense 
of the passage : just as the rendering of a translator into 
another language is his sense ; that is, the sense in which, 
in his opinion, the original words are to be taken ; and it 
has no other authority, than what arises from its being 
agreeable to the rules of just interpretation. But because 
in the languages of Europe the vowels are essential parts 
of written words, a notion was too hastily taken up by the 
learned at the revival of letters, when the original Scriptures 
began to be more carefully examined, that the vowel points 
were necessary appendages of the Hebrew letters, and there- 
fore coeval with them ; at least, that they became absolutely 
necessary when the Hebrew was become a dead language, 
and must have been added by Ezra, who collected and 
formed the canon of the Old Testament, in regard to all 
the books of it in his time extant. On this supposition, the 
points have been considered as part of the Hebrew text, 
and as giving the meaning of it on no less than divine 
authority. Accordingly our public translations in the mo- 
dern tongues for the use of the church among Protestants, 
and so likewise the modern Latin translations, are for the 
most part close copies of the Hebrew pointed text, and 
are in reality only versions at second hand, translations of 
the Jews' interpretation of the Old Testament. We do not 
deny the usefulness of this interpretation, nor would we be 
thought to detract from its merit by setting it in this light : 
it is perhaps, upon the whole, preferable to any one of the 
ancient versions ; it has probably the great advantage of 
having been formed upon a traditionary explanation of the 
text, and of being generally agreeable to that sense of Scrip- 
ture which passed current, and was commonly received by 
the Jewish nation in ancient times ; and it has certainly 
been of great service to the moderns, in leading them into 
txe knowledge of the Hebrew tongue. But they would have 
made a much better use of it, and a greater progress in the 
explication of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, had they 
consulted it, without absolutely submitting to its authority^; 


had they considered it as an assistant, not as an infallible 

To what a length an opinion lightly taken up, and em- 
braced with a full assent, without due examination, may he 
carried, we may see in another example of much the same 
kind. The learned of the Church of Rome, who have 
taken the liberty of giving translations of Scripture in the 
modern languages, have for the most part subjected and 
devoted themselves to a prejudice equally groundless and ab- 
surd. The Council of Trent declared the Latin translation 
of the Scriptures called the Vulgate, which had been for 
many ages in use in their church, to be authentic. a very 
ambiguous term, which ought to have been more precisely 
defined than the Fathers of this Council chose to define it. 
Upon this ground many contended, that the Vulgate ver- 
sion was dictated by the Holy Spirit : at least was provi- 
dentially guarded against all error was consequently of 
divine authority, and more to be regarded than even the 
original Hebrew and Greek text?. And in effect the decree 
of the Council, however limited atid moderated by the ex j 
planation of some of their judicious divines, has given to the 
Vulgate such a high degree of authority, that, in this in- 
stance at least, the translation has taken place of the original i 
for these translators, instead of the Hebrew and Greek texts, 
profess to translate the Vulgate. Indeed, when they find the 
Vulgate very notoriously deficient in expressing the sense, 
they do the original Scriptures the honour of consulting 1 
them, and take the liberty, by following them, of departing 
from their authentic guide: but in general the Vulgate is 
their original text, and they give us a translation of a trans- 
lation ; by which second transfusion of the Holy Scriptures 
into another tongue, still more of the original sense must 
be lost, and more of the genuine spirit must evaporate. 

The other prejudice, which has stood in the way, and 
obstructed our progress in the true understanding of the 
Old Testament. n prejudice even more unreasonable than 
the former, is the notion that has prevailed of the great care 
and skill of the Jews in preserving the text, and transmitting 
it down to the present times pure, and entirely free from all 
mistakes, as it came from the Jiands of the authors. In 
opposition to which opinion it has been often observed, that 
?uch a perfect degree of integrity no human skill or care 


could warrant ; it must imply no less than a constant mira- 
culous superintendence of divine Providence, to guide the 
hand of the copyist, and to guard him from error, in re- 
spect to every transcript that has been made through so 
long a succession of ages. And it is universally acknow- 
ledged, that Almighty God has not thought such a miracu- 
lous ^interposition necessary in regard to the Scriptures of 1 
the New Testament, at least of equal authority and impor- 
tance with those of the Old : We plainly see, that he has not 
exempted them from the common lot of other books ; the 
copies of these, as well as of other ancient writings, differ- 
ing in some degree from one another, go that no one of them 
has any just pretension to be a perfect and entire copy, 
truly arid precisely representing in every word and letter 
the originals, as they came from the hands of the several 
authors. All writings transmitted, to us, like these, from 1 
barly times) the original copies of which have lon/r ago 
pferished, have suffered in their passage to us by the mistake^ 
of many transcribers through whose hands we have received 
them ; errors continually accumulating in proportion to the 
number of transcripts, and the stream generally becoming 
more impure, the more distant it is from the source. Now, 
the Hebrew writings of the Old Testament being for much 
the greater part the most ancient of any ; instead of finding 
jhem absolutely perfect, we may reasonably expect to fiiid ; 
that they have suffered in this respect more ihan others of 
less antiquity generally have done. 

But beside this common source of errors, there is a cir- 
cumstance very unfavourable in this respect to these writings 
in particular, which makes them peculiarly liable to mis- 
takes in transcribing ; that is, the great similitude which 
some letters bear to others in the Hebrew alphabet: such 
as a to 3, T to i, n to n, J to j ; i, I, and I, to one another 
more perhaps than are to be found in any other alphabet 
-whatsoever ; and in so great a degree of likeness, that they 
are hardly distinguishable even in some printed copies ; and 
not only these letters, but others likewise beside these, are 
not easily distinguished from one another in many manu- 
scripts. This must have been a perpetual cause of frequent 
mistakes ; of which, in regard to the two first pairs of letters 
above noted, there are many undeniable examples ; inso- 
much that a change of one of the similar letters for the 
other, when it remarkably clears up the sense, may be fairly 


allowed to criticism, even without any other authority than 
that of the context to support it. 

But to these natural sources of error, as we may call them, 
the Jewish copyists have added others, by some absurd prac- 
tices which they have adopted in transcribing ; such as 
their consulting more the fair appearance of their copy than 
the correctness of it ; by wilfully leaving mistakes uncor- 
rected, lest by erasing they should diminish the beauty and 
the value of the transcript ; (for instance, when they had 
written a word, or part of a word, wrongly, and immediate- 
ly saw their mistake, they left the mistake uncorrected. and 
wrote the word anew after it) : their scrupulous regard to 
the evenness and fulness of their lines ; which induced them 
to cut oft' from the ends of lines a letter or letters, for which 
there was not sufficient room, (for they never divided a 
word so that the parts of it should belong to two lines) : 
and to add to the ends of lines letters wholly insignificant, 
by way of expletives, to fill up a vacant space : their custom 
of writing part of a word at the end of a line, where there 
was not room for the whole, and then giving the whole word 
at the beginning of the next line. These and some other 
like practices manifestly tended to multiply mistakes : they 
were so man} 7 traps and snares laid in the way of future 
transcribers, and must have given occasion to frequent 

These circumstances considered, it would be the most 
astonishing of all miracles, if, notwithstanding the acknow- 
ledged fallibility of transcribers, and their proneness to 
error, from the nature of the subject itself on which they 
were employed, the Hebrew writings of the Old Testament 
had come down to us through their hands absolutely pure, 
and free from all mistakes whatsoever. 

If it be asked, what then is the real condition of the 
present Hebrew text ; and of what sort, and in what num- 
ber, are the mistakes which we must acknowledge to be 
found in it 7 it is answered, That the condition of the He- 
brew text is such as, from the nature of the thing, the an- 
tiquity of the writings themselves, the w T ant of due care, or 
critical skill, (in which latter at least the Jews have been 
exceedingly deficient,) might in all reason have been ex- 
pected ; that the mistakes are frequent, and of various 
kinds ; of letters, words, and sentences : by variation, omis- 


sion, transposition ; such as often injure the beauty and 
elegance, embarrass the construction, alter or obscure the 
sense, and sometimes render it quite unintelligible. If it 
be objected, that a concession so large as this is, tends to 
invalidate the authority of Scripture ; that it gives up in 
effect the certainty and authenticity of the doctrines con- 
tained in it, and exposes our religion naked and defenceless 
to the assaults of its enemies ; this, 1 think, is a vain and 
groundless apprehension. Casual errors mny blemish parts, 
but do not destroy, or much alter, the whole. If the Iliad 
or the jSneid had come do\vn to us with more errors in all 
the copies than are to be found in the worst, manuscript 
now extant of either, without doubt many particular pas- 
sages would have lost much of their beauty ; in many the 
sense would have been greatly injured ; in some rendered 
wholly unintelligible ; but the plan of the poem in the whole 
and in its parts, the fable, the mythology, the machinery, 
the characters, the great constituent parts, would slill have 
been visible and apparent, without having suffered any 
essential diminution of their greatness. Of all the precious 
remains of antiquity, perhaps Aristotle's treatise on Poetry 
is come down to us as much injured by time as any : an it 
has been greatly mutilated in the whole, some considerable 
members of it being lest ; so the parts remaining have 
suffered in proportion, and many passages are rendered very 
obscure, probably by the imperfection and frequent mistakes 
of the copies now extant. Yet, notwithstanding these dis- 
advantages, this treatise, so much injured by time and so 
mutilated, still continues to be the great code of criticism; 
the fundamental principles of which are plainly deducible 
from it : we still have recourse to it for the rules and laws 
of epic and dramatic poetry, and the imperfection of the 
copy does not at all impeach the authority of the legislator. 
Important and fundamental doctrines do not wholly depend 
on single passages; an universal harmony runs through the 
Holy Scriptures; the parts mutually support < ach other, 
and supply one another's deficiencies and obscurities. > 
flcial damages and partial defects may greatly diminish the 
beauty of the edifice, without injuring its strength, and bring- 
ing on utter ruin and destruction/ 

* " Librariorum discordiam ostendunt varia exemplar!;!, in quibus idem 
locns alitcr at quo a!iter legitur. Sod ca discord h oflendrrc nos non <vl>t t ; 
primuin, quia autorurn non cst, sod librariorum, quorum culpam preestarc 


r The copies of the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament 
being then subject, like all other ancient writings, to mistakes 
arising from the unskilfulness or inattention of transcribers, a 
plain matter of fact, which cannot be denied, and needs not 
be palliated ; it is to be considered, what remedy can be 
applied in this case; how such mistakes can be corrected 
upon certain or highly probable grounds? Now the case 
being the same, the method which has been used with good 
effect in correcting the ancient Greek and Latin authors, 
ought in all reason to be applied to the Hebrew writings. 
At the revival of literature, critics and editors finding the 
Greek and Latin authors full of mistakes, set about cor- 
recting them, by procuring different copies, and the best 
that they could meet with : these they compared together, 
and the mistakes not being the same in all, one copy 
corrected another; and thus they easily got rid of such 
errors as had not obtained possession in all the copies : 
and generally the more copies they had to compare, the 
more errors were corrected, and the more perfect the text 
was rendered. This, which common sense dictated in 
the first place as necessary to be done in order to the 
removing of difficulties in reading ancient Greek and Latin 

autores nee possunt nee debent. Deinde, quia plerumque ejusmodi discordia 
unius aut alterius verbi est, in quo nihil leeditur sententia ; aut si quid forte 
Iseditur, aliunde corrigi potest ; quandoquidem autorum sententioe non 
semper ex singulis verbis superstitiosius observandis, sed plerumque ex 
orationis tenore, aut similium locorum observatione, aut mentis ratiocinatione 
sunt investigandae. Ac tales librariorum discordise etiam in profanis autoribus 
inveniuntur ; ut in Platone, in Aristotele, in Homero, in Cicerone, in Virgilio, et 
ceeteris. duamvis enim summo in pretio semper fuerint apud gentiles hi autores, 
summaque cum diligentia describi soliti, tamen caveri non potuit, quin multa 
scripturse menda et discrepantiae annorum longitudine obrepserint ; nee tamen 
ea res studiosos deterret ; nee facit, ut qui libri Ciceronis habentnr, ii aut non 
boni aut non Ciceronis esse ducantur : ^icut enim detorti aut etiam decussi 
ramuli agricolam non offendunt, nee arborem vitiant, quippe quse ramorum 
infinita multitudine sic abundet, ut tantulam jacturam alibi sine ullo detrimento 
resarciat ; ita si in autore pauculis in locis simile quidpiam usu venit, id nee 
bonum lectorem offendit, nee autorem vitiat. Manet enim ipsa stirps, et, ut ita 
loquar, corpus autoris, ex cujus perpetuo tenore dictorumque ubertate percipi 
possunt sine ullo detrimento fructus pleni. 

Ad scrupulum eorum, qui metuunt, ne, si hoc concessum fuerit, labescat 
sacrarum literarum autoritas, hoc respondeo ; non esse scriptorum autoritatem 
in paucis quibusdam verbis, quse vitiari detrahive potuerunt, sed in perpetuo 
orationis tenore, qui mansit incorruptus, positam. Itaque quemadmodum 
Cicero apud sui studiosos nihilo minoris est autoritatis propter paucula quaedam 
mutilata aut depravata, quam esset, si id non accidisset ; ita debet et sacrarum 
literarum autoritati nihil dctrahi, si quid in eis tale, quale ostendimus,contigit.'' 
Sebast. Castellio, quoted by Wetstein, Nov. Test. torn. ii. p. 856. 



authors, we have had recourse to in the last place in regard 
to the ancient Hebrew writers. Hebrew manuscripts have 
at length been consulted and collated, notwithstanding the 
unaccountable opinion which prevailed, that they all exactly 
agreed with one another, and formed precisely one uniform 
text. An infinite number of variations have been collected; 
from above six hundred manuscripts, and some ancient 
printed editions, collated or consulted, in most parts of 
Europe ; and have been in part published, and the publication 
of the whole will I hope soon be completed, by the learned 
Dr. Kennicott, in his edition of the Hebrew Bible with 
various readings j a work, the greatest and most important 
that has been undertaken and accomplished since the revival 
of letters. 

But the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, compared 
with the text of ancient Greek and Latin authors, has in 
one respect greatly the disadvantage. There are manu- 
scripts of the latter, which are much nearer in time to the 
age of the authors ; and have suffered much less in propor- 
tion to the shorter space of time intervening. For example, 
the Medicean manuscript of Virgil was written probably 
within four or five hundred years after the time of the 
poet ; whereas the oldest of the Hebrew manuscripts now 
known to be extant, do not come within many centuries of 
the times of the several authors ; not nearer than about 
fourteen centuries to the age of Ezra, one of the latest of 
them, who is supposed to have revised the books of the 
Old Testament than extant, and to have reduced them to a 
perfect and correct standard : so that we can hardly expect 
much more from this vast collection of variations, taken in 
themselves as correctors of the text, exclusively of other 
consequences, than to be able by their means to discharge 
and eliminate the errors that have been gathering and 
accumulating in the copies for about a thousand years past; 
and to give us now as good and correct a text as was com- 
monly current among the Jews, or might easily have been 
obtained, so long ago. Indeed, some of the oldest manu- 
script?, from which these variations have been collected, may 
possibly be faithful transcripts of select manuscripts at that 
time very ancient, and so may really carry us nearer to 
the age of Ezra j but this is an advantage which we cannot 
be assured of, and upon which we must not presume. But 


to get so far nearer to the source, as we plainly do by the 
assistance of manuscripts, though of comparatively late date, 
is an advantage by no means inconsiderable, or lightly to be 

On the other hand, we have a great advantage in regard 
to the Hebrew text, which the Greek and Latin authors 
generally want, and which in some degree makes up for the 
defect of age in the present Hebrew manuscripts ; that is, 
from the several ancient versions of the Old Testament in 
different languages, made in much earlier times, and from 
manuscripts in all probability much more correct and per- 
fect than any now extant. These versions, for the most 
part, being evidently intended for exact literal renderings 
of the Hebrew text, may be considered in some respects as 
representatives of the manuscripts from which they were 
taken : and when the version gives a sense better in itself 
and more agreeable to the context, than the Hebrew text 
offers, and at the same time answerable to a word or words 
similar to those of the Hebrew text, and only differing from 
it by the change of one or more similar letters, or by the 
different position of the same letters, or by some other in- 
considerable variation ; we have good reason to believe, 
that the similar Hebrew words answering to the version, 
were indeed the very reading that stood in the manuscript 
from which the translation was made. To add strength to 
this way of reasoning, it is to be observed, that the manu- 
scripts now extant frequently confirm such supposed read- 
ing of those manuscripts from which the ancient versions 
were taken, in opposition to the authority of the present 
printed Hebrew text ; and make the collection of variations, 
now preparing for the public, of the highest importance ; 
as they give a new evidence of the fidelity of the ancient 
versions, and set them upon a footing &f authority which 
tthey never could obtain before. They were looked upon 
as the work of wild and licentious interpreters, who often 
departed from the text, which they undertook to render, 
without any good reason, and only followed their own fancy 
<and caprice. The present Hebrew manuscripts so often 
justify the versions in such passages, that we cannot but 
conclude, that in many others likewise the difference of the 
version from the present original is not to be imputed to 
the licentiousness of the translator, but to the carelessness 


of the Hebrew copyist ; and this affords a just and reasonable 
ground for correcting the Hebrew text on the authority of 
the ancient versions. 

But the assistance of manuscripts'' and ancient versions 
united will be found very insufficient perfectly to correct 
the Hebrew text. Passages will sometimes occur, in which 
neither the one nor the other give any satisfactory sense; 
which has been occasioned probably by very ancient mistakes 
of the copy, antecedent to the date of the oldest of them* 
On these occasions, translators are put to great difficulties, 
through which they force their way as well as they can : 
they invent new meanings for words and phrases, and 
put us off either with what makes no sense at all, or with a 
sense that apparently does not arise out of the words of the 
text. The renderings of such desperate places, when they 
carry any sense with them, are manifestly conjectural ; and 
full as much so, as the conjectures of the critic who hazards 
an alteration of the text itself. The fairest way of proceeding 
in these cases seems to be, to confess the difficulty, and to 
lay it before the reader; and to leave it to his judgment 
to decide, whether the conjectural rendering, or the conjec- 
tural emendation, be more agreeable to the context, to the 
exigence of the place, to parallel and similar passages, to 
the rules and genius of the language, and to the laws of 
sound and temperate criticism. 

The condition of the present text of Isaiah in particular 
is answerable to the representation above given of the He- 
brew text in general. It is, I presume, considerably injured 
and stands in need of frequent emendation. Nothing is 
more apt to affect, and sometimes utterly to destroy, the 
meaning of a sentence, than the omission of a word ; than 
which no sort of mistake is more frequent. I reckon, that 
in the book of Isaiah, the words omitted in different places 
amount to the number of fifty. I mean whole words, not 
including particles, prepositions, and pronouns affixed ; and 
I speak of such as I am well persuaded are real omissions ; 
much the greater part of which, I flatter myself, the reader 
will find supplied in the translation and notes, with a good 
degree of probability, from manuscripts and ancient ver- 
sions. Beside these, there are some other places, in which 1 
suspect some omission, though there may be no evidence to- 


prove it. If there be any truth in this account of words 
omitted, the reader will easily suppose, that mistakes of 
other kinds must be frequent in proportion, and amount all 
together to a considerable number. 

The manuscripts and ancient versions afford the proper 
means of remedying these and other defects of the present 
copy. It is manifest, that the ancient interpreters had be- 
fore them copies of the Hebrew text different in many places 
from that which passes current at present ; and the manu- 
scripts even now extant frequently vary from that, and from 
one another. Neither is there any one manuscript or edi- 
tion whatever, that has the least pretension to a superior 
authority, so as to claim to be a standard to which the rest 
ought to be reduced. A true text, as far as it is possible to 
recover it, is to be gathered from the manuscripts now ex- 
tant, and from the evidence furnished by the ancient ver- 
sions of the readings of manuscripts of much earlier times. 
This being the case, the first care of the translator should 
be, especially in places obscure and difficult, to consider 
whether the words which he is to render be indeed the 
genuine words of the Prophet, and to ascertain, as far as 
may be, the true reading of the text. 

The ancient versions above-mentioned as the principal 
sources of emendation, and highly useful in rectifying, as 
well as in explaining, the Hebrew text, are contained in 
the London Polyglott. 

The Greek version, commonly called the Septuagint, or 
of the seventy interpreters, probably made by different hands, 
(the number of them uncertain,) and at different times, as 
the exigence of the Jewish church at Alexandria and in 
other parts of Egypt required, is of the first authority, and 
of the greatest use in correcting the Hebrew text ; as being 
the most ancient of all ; and as the copy, from which it was 
translated, appears to have been free from many errors, 
which afterwards by degrees got into the text. But the 
version of Isaiah is not so old as that of the Pentateuch by 
a hundred years and more ; having been made in all pro- 
bability after the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, when the 
reading of the Prophets in the Jewish synagogues began to 
be practised ; and even after the building of Onias's temple, 
to favour which there seems to have been some artifice em- 


ployed in a certain passage of Isaiah * in this version. And 
it unfortunately happens, that Isaiah has had the hard fate 
to meet with a translator very unworthy of him, there being 
hardly any book of the Old Testament so ill rendered in 
that version as this of Isaiah. Add to this, that the version 
of Isaiah, as well as other parts of the Greek version, is 
come down to us in a bad condition, incorrect, and with 
frequent omissions and interpolations. Yet, with all these 
disadvantages, with all its faults and imperfections, this ver- 
sion is of more use in correcting the Hebrew text than any 
other whatsoever. 

The Arabic version is sometimes referred to as verifying 
the reading of the LXX, being, for the most part at least, 
taken from that version. 

The learned Mr. Woide, to whom we are indebted for 
the publication of a Coptic lexicon and grammar, very use- 
ful and necessary for the promotion of that part of litera- 
ture, has very kindly communicated to me his extracts from 
the fragments of a manuscript of a Coptic version of Isaiah, 
made from the LXX, with which he has collated them. 
They are preserved in the Library of St. Germain de Prez at 
Paris. He judges this Coptic version to be of the second 
centuty. The manuscript was written in the beginning of 
the fourteenth century. The same gentleman has had the 
goodness, at my request, to collate with Bos's edition of the 
LXX, through the book of Isaiah, two manuscripts of the 
King's Library, now in the British Museum, the one mark- 
ed i. B. n. the other i. D. n. The former manuscript, con- 
taining the Prophets of the version of the LXX, was writ- 
ten in the eleventh or twelfth century, according to Grabe ; 
(in the tenth or eleventh century, in Mr. Woide's opinion) ; 
and by a note on the back of the first leaf appears to have 
belonged to Pachomius, patriarch of Constantinople in the 
beginning of the sixteenth century. Grabe highly valued 
this manuscript ; and intended to write a dissertation on the 
superiority of this and of the Alexandrian manuscript to that 
of the Vatican ; but did not live to execute his design. See 
Prolegom. ad torn. 3tium, LXX Interp. edit. Grabe, sect, 
iii. and v., and Grabe de Vitiis LXX Interp. p. 118. I 
quote this manuscript by the title of MS Pachom. for the 
reason above given. 

* Chap, xix, 18. See the note there. 



The latter manuscript i. D. n. above-mentioned, contains 
many of the historical books, beginning with Ruth, and 
ending with Ezra, according to the order of the books in 
our English Bible ; and also the prophet Isaiah, of the ver- 
sion of the LXX. This manuscript in the book of Isaiah 
consists of two different parts : the first from the beginning 
to the word 0Ay, chap. xxxv. 5. written in a more ancient 
and better character, and upon better vellum ; which Mr. 
Woide judges to be of the eleventh or twelfth century : the 
remaining part he refers to the beginning of the fourteenth 
century ; which Grabe supposes to be the age of the whole : 
See Grabe de Vitiis, LXX Interp. p. 104, This manu- 
script seems to have been taken from a good copy, as it fre- 
quently agrees with the best and most ancient manuscripts, 
and in particular with the manuscript of Pachomius. 

The Coptic fragments above-mentioned, and these manu- 
scripts, are useful for the same purpose of authenticating the 
reading of the LXX ; and, in consequence, of ascertaining or 
correcting the Hebrew text in some places. 

My examination of Mr. Woide's collation ' of the two 
Greek manuscripts of Isaiah, has been confined to this single 
view in respect of the Hebrew text. Were these manuscripts 
to be applied more extensively, and to their proper use, that 
of correcting the text of the LXX, through all the parts of 
it which they contain, I am persuaded they would be found 
to be of very great importance, and would contribute largely 
to the revision and emendation of that ancient and very 
valuable version : a work, which may be now considered as 
one of the principal desiderata of sacred criticism; and 
which ought to follow that arduous undertaking, which has 
so happily succeeded, the collation of Hebrew manuscripts ; 
to which it stands next in order of importance and usefulness 
towards our attaining a more perfect knowledge of the Holy 

The Chaldee paraphrase of Jonathan Ben Uziel, made 
about or before the time of our Saviour, though it often 
wanders from the text in a wordy allegorical explanation, yet 
very frequently adheres to it closely, and gives a verbal 
rendering of it ; and accordingly is sometimes of great use in 
ascertaining the true reading of the Hebrew text. 

The Syriac version stands next in order of time, but is 
superior to the Chaldee in usefulness and authority, as well 
in ascertaining as in explaining the Hebrew text. It is a 


close translation of the Hebrew into a language of near 
affinity to it. It is supposed to have been made as early as 
the first century. 

The fragments of the three Greek versions of Aquila, 
Symmachus, and Theodotion, all made in the second century, 
which are collected in the Hexapla of Montfaucon, are of 
considerable use for the same purpose. 

The Vulgate, being for the most part the translation of 
Jerome, made in the fourth century, is of service in the same 
way, in proportion to its antiquity. 

I am greatly obliged to several learned friends for their 
observations on particular passages : To one great person more 
especially, whom I had the honour to call my friend, the late 
excellent Archbishop Seeker; whose marginal notes on the 
Bible, deposited by his order in the library at Lambeth, I had 
permission to consult by the favour of his most worthy 
successor. There are two Bibles with his notes : one a fob'o 
English Bible interleaved, containing chiefly corrections of 
the English translation; the other a Hebrew Bible of the 
edition of Michaelis, Halle, 1720, in 4to. ; the large margins 
of which are filled with critical remarks on the Hebrew text, 
collations of the ancient versions, and other short annotations ; 
which stand an illustrious monument of the learning, judgment 
and indefatigable industry of that excellent person : I add also, 
of his candour and modesty ; for there is hardly a proposed 
emendation, however ingenious and probable, to which he has 
not added the objections which occurred to him against it. 
These valuable remains of that great and good man will be of 
infinite service, whenever that necessary work, a new transla- 
tion, or a revision of the present translation, of the Holy 
Scriptures, for the use of our church, shall be undertaken. 
To his observations I have set his name. And to the remarks 
of others of my learned friends, I have likewise subjoined in 
the notes their names respectively. Among these I must here 
particularly mention the late learned Dr. Durell, Principal of 
Hertford College in Oxford ; who some years ago communi- 
cated to me his manuscript remarks on the Prophets. With 
his leave I took short memorandums of some of his corrections 
of the text ; and had his permission to make what use I pleased 
of them. 

I am in a more particular manner obliged to my learned 
friend Dr. Kennicott, for his singular favour in frequently 


communicating to me his collations while they were collecting, 
and the printed copy of the book of Isaiah itself, as soon as it 
was finished at the press, for my private use, while the 
remainder of the volume is in hand and preparing for the 
public. These I have examined with some attention ; and I 
hope the reader, whose expectations do not exceed the bounds 
of reason and moderation, will be satisfied with the assistance 
and benefit which he will find they have afforded me. But I 
must beg to have it well understood, that I do by no means 
pretend to have exhausted these valuable stores : many 
things may have escaped me, which may strike the eye of 
another observer ; many a variation, which appears at first 
sight very minute and trifling, and manifestly false and absurd, 
may by some side-light tend to useful discoveries. To apply 
these materials to all the uses which can possibly be made of 
them, will require much labour and consideration, much 
judgment and sagacity, and repeated trials by a variety of 
examiners, to whose different views they may shew themselves 
in every possible light. Some critics may be very forward 
and hasty in pronouncing their judgments ; but it must 
be left to time and experience to establish their real and full 

In regard to the character and authority of the several 
manuscripts which have been collated and which in the 
notes are referred to, we must wait for the information 
which Dr. Kennicott will give us in his general Dissertation. 
The knowledge of Hebrew manuscripts is almost a new 
subject in literature : little progress has been made in it hither- 
to ; and no wonder, when they were esteemed uniformly 
consonant one with another, and with the printed text ; con- 
sequently useless, and not worth the trouble of examining. 
Dr. Kennicott, and his worthy and very able assistant Mr. 
Bruns, who have been more conversant with Hebrew manu- 
scripts, and have had more experience, and more insight into 
the subject, than any, or than all, of the learned of the 
present age, will give us the best information concerning it 
that can yet be obtained. It must be left to the attentive 
observation, and mature experience, of the learned of suc- 
ceeding times, to perfect a part of knowledge which, like others, 
must, in its nature, wait the result of diligent inquiry, and be 
carried on by gradual improvements. 

In referring to Dr. Kennicott's Variations, I have given 
the whole number of manuscripts or editions which concur 


in any particular reading: what proportion that number 
bears to the whole number of collated copies which contain 
the book of Isaiah, may, I hope, soon be seen by Comparing 
it with the catalogue of copies collated, which will be given 
at the end of that book. But that the reader in the mean 
time, till he can have more full information concerning the 
value and authority of the several manuscripts, may at least 
have some mark to direct his judgment in estimating the 
credit due to the manuscripts quoted, I have, from the kind 
communication of Dr. Kennicott concerning the dates of the 
manuscripts, whether certain or probable, given some gene- 
ral intimation of their value in this respect : for though an- 
tiquity is no certain mark of the goodness of a manuscript, 
yet it is one circumstance that gives it no small weight and 
authority, especially in this case; the Hebrew manuscripts 
being in general more pure and valuable in proportion to 
their antiquity; those of later date having been more stu- 
diously rendered conformable to the Masoretic standard.* 
Among the manuscripts which have been collated, I con- 
sider those of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, as 
ancient, comparatively and in respect of the rest. There- 
fore in quoting a number of manuscripts, where the varia- 
tion is of some importance, I have added, that so many of 
that number are ancient, that is, are of the centuries above 

I have ventured to call this a New Translation, though 
much of our vulgar translation is retained in it. As the 
style of that translation is not only excellent in itself, but 
has taken possession of our ear, and of our taste, to have 
endeavoured to vary from it, with no other design than that 
of giving something new instead of it, would have been to 
disgust the reader, and to represent the sense of the Pro- 
phet in a more unfavourable manner; besides that it is im- 
possible for a verbal translator to follow an approved verbal 
translation, which has gone before him, without frequently 
treading in the very footsteps of it. The most obvious, the 
properest, and perhaps the only terms which the language 
affords, are already occupied ; and without going out of his 
way to find worse, he cannot avoid them. Every translator 
has taken this liberty with his predecessors : it is no more 

* See Kwmicott, State of the Printed Hob. Text, Dissert, ii. p. 470. 


than the laws of translation admit, nor indeed than the ne- 
cessity of the case requires. And as to the turn and modi- 
fication of the sentences, the translator, in this particular 
province of translation, is, I think, as much confined to the 
author's manner, as to his words : so that too great liberties 
taken in varying either the expression or the composition, 
in order to give a new air to the whole, will be apt to have 
a very bad effect. For these reasons, whenever it shall be 
thought proper to set forth the Holy Scriptures for the 
public use of our church to better advantage, than as they 
appear in the present English translation, the expediency of 
which grows every day more and more evident, a revision 
or correction of that translation may perhaps be more ad- 
visable, than to attempt an entirely new one : For as to the 
style and language, it admits of but little improvement; 
but, in respect of the sense and the accuracy of interpreta- 
tion, the improvements of which it is capable are great and 

The translation here offered will perhaps be found to be 
in general as close to the text, and as literal, as our English 
version. When it departs at all from the Hebrew text on 
account of some correction, which I suppose to be requisite, 
I give notice to the reader of such correction, and offer my 
reasons for it : if those reasons should sometimes appear 
insufficient, and the translation to be merely conjectural, I 
desire the reader to consider the exigence of the case, and 
to judge, whether it is not better, in a very obscure and 
doubtful passage, to give something probable by way of 
supplement to the author's sense, apparently defective, than 
either to leave a blank in the translation, or to give a merely 
verbal rendering, which would be altogether unintelligible. 
I believe that every translator whatever of any part of the 
Old Testament, has taken sometimes the liberty, or ratherj 
has found himself under the necessity, of offering such ren-j 
derings as, if examined, will be found to be merely conjecf 
tural. But I desire to be understood as offering this apo- 
logy in behalf only of translations designed for the private 
use of the reader ; not as extended, without proper limita- 
tions, to those that are made for the public service of the 

The design of the Notes is to give the reasons and autho- 
rities on which the translation is founded ; to rectify or to 
explain the words of the text j to illustrate the ideas, the 


images, and the allusions of the Prophet, by referring to 
objects, notions, and customs, which peculiarly belong to his 
age and his country ; and to point out the beauties of par- 
ticular passages. I sometimes indeed endeavour to open the 
design of the prophecy, to shew the connexion between its 
parts, and to point out the event which it foretells. But in 
general I must entreat the reader to be satisfied with my en- 
deavours faithfully to express the literal sense, which is all 
that I undertake. If he would go deeper into the mystical 
sense, into theological, historical, and chronological disquisitions, 
there are many learned expositors to whom he may have 
recourse, who have written full commentaries on this Prophet ; 
to which title the present work has no pretensions. The 
sublime and spiritual uses to be made of this peculiarly 
evangelical Prophet, must, as I have observed, be all founded 
on a faithful representation of the literal sense which his words 
contain. This is what I have endeavoured closely and exactly 
to express. And within the limits of this humble, but neces- 
sary province, my endeavours must be confined. To proceed 
further, or even to execute this in the manner I could wish, 
were it within my abilities, yet would hardly be consistent 
with my present engagements ; which oblige me to offer rather 
prematurely to the public, what further time, with more leis- 
ure, might perhaps enable me to render more worthy of their 




\2 HEAR, O ye heavens ; and give ear, O earth ! 
For it is JEHOVAH that speaketh. 
I have nourished children, and brought them up ; 
And even they have revolted from me. 

3 The ox knoweth his possessor ; 
And the ass the crib of his lord : 
But Israel knoweth not Me ; 
Neither doth my people consider. 

4 Ah, sinful nation ! a people laden with iniquity ! 
A race of evil doers ! children degenerate ! 
They have forsaken JEHOVAH ; 

They have rejected with disdain the Holy One of Israel ; 
They are estranged from him ; they have turned their 
back upon him. 

5 On what part will ye smite again, will ye add correction? 
The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint: 

6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no 

soundness therein ; 

It is wound, and bruise, and putrefying sore : 


It hath not been pressed, neither hath it been bound ; 
Neither hath it been softened with ointment. 
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burnt with fire ; 
Your land, before your eyes strangers devour it ; 
And it is become desolate, as if destroyed by an inun- 

S And the daughter of Sion is left, as a shed in a vineyard ; 
As a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a city taken by 


9 Had not JEHOVAH God of Hosts left us a remnant, 
We had soon become as Sodom ; we had been like unto 

10 Hear ye the word of JEHOVAH, O ye princes of Sodom ! 
Give ear to the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah ! 

11 What have I to do with the multitude of your sacrifices ? 

saith JEHOVAH : 
I am cloyed with the burnt-offerings of rams, and the 

fat of fed beasts ; 
And in the blood of bullocks, and of lambs, and of goats, 

I have no delight. 

12 When you come to appear before me, 
Who hath required this at your hands ? 

13 Tread my courts no more ; bring no more a vain obla- 

tion : 

Incense ! it is an abomination unto me. 

The new moon, and the sabbath, and the assembly pro- 

I cannot endure ; the fast, and the day of restraint. 

14 Your months, and your solemnities, my soul hateth : 
They are a burthen upon me ; I am weary of bearing 


15 When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes 

from you ; 

Even when ye multiply prayer, I will not hear ; 
For your hands are full of blood, 

16 Wash ye, make ye ctean ; remove ye far away 
The evil of your doings from before mine eyes : 

17 Cease to do evil ; learn to do well ; 

Seek judgment ; amend that which is corrupted ; 
Do justice Xo the fatherless ; defend the cause of the 


18 Come on now, and let us plead together, saith JE- 

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white 

as snow ; 
Though they be red as crimson, they shall be like wool. 

19 If ye shall be willing and obedient, 
Ye shall feed on the good of the land ; 

20 But if ye refuse, and be rebellious, 

Ye shall be food for the sword of the enemy : 
For the mouth of JEHOVAH hath pronounced it. 

21 How is the faithful city become a harlot ! 

She that was full of judgment, righteousness dwelled in 

But now murtherers ! 

22 Thy silver is become dross; thy wine is mixed with 


23 Thy princes are rebellious, associates of robbers ; 

Every one of them loveth a gift, and seeketh rewards : 

To the fatherless they administer not justice ; 

And the cause of the widow cometh not before them. 

24 Wherefore saith the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts, the 

Mighty One of Israel ; 
Aha ! I will be eased of mine adversaries ; 
I will be avenged of mine enemies. 

25 And I will bring again mine hand over thee ; 
And I will purge in the furnace thy dross ; 
And I will remove all thine alloy. 

26 And I will restore thy judges, as at the first ; 
And thy counsellors, as at the beginning : 
And after this thy name shall be called, 

The city of righteousness, the faithful metropolis. 

27 Sion shall be redeemed in judgment, 
And her captives in righteousness : 

28 But destruction shall fall at once on the revolters and 

the sinners ; 
And they that forsake JEHOVAH shall be consumed. 

29 For ye shall be ashamed of the ilexes, which ye have 

desired ; 

And ye shall blush for the gardens, which ye have 
chosen ; 


30 When ye shall be as an ilex, whose leaves are blasted ; 
And as a garden, wherein is no water. 

31 And the strong shall become tow, and his work a spark 

of fire ; 

And they shall both burn together, and none shall 
quench them. 



2 IT shall come to pass in the latter days ; 

The mountain of the house of JEHOVAH shall be estab- 
lished on the top of the mountains ; 
And it shall be exalted above the hills : 
And all nations shall flow unto it. 

3 And many peoples shall go, and shall say, 

Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of JEHO- 
VAH ; 

To the house of the God of Jacob ; 
And he will teach us of his ways ; 
And we will walk in his paths : 
For from Sion shall go forth the law ; 

4 And the word of JEHOVAH from Jerusalem. 
And he shall judge among the nations ; 
And shall work conviction in many peoples : 

And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, 
And their spears into pruning-hooks : 
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation ; 
Neither shall they learn war any more. 

5 O house of Jacob, come ye, 

And let us walk in the light of JEHOVAH ! 

6 Verily thou hast abandoned thy people, the house of 

Jacob : 

Because they are filled with diviners from the east ; 
And with soothsayers like the Philistines ; 
And they multiply a spurious brood of strange children. 

7 And his land is filled with silver and gold ; 
And there is no end to his treasures : 
And his land is filled with horses ; 
Neither is there any end to his chariots. 


8 And his land is filled with idols ; 

He boweth himself down to the work of his hands ; 
To that which his fingers have made : 

9 Therefore shall the mean man be bowed down, and the 

mighty man shall be humbled ; 
And thou wilt not forgive them. 

10 Go into the rock, and hide thyself in the dust ; 

From the fear of JEHOVAH, and from the glory of his 

When he ariseth to strike the earth with terror. 

11 The lofty eyes of men shall be humbled ; 
The highth of mortals shall bow down : 

And JEHOVAH alone shall be exalted in that day. 

12 For the- day of JEHOVAH God of Hosts is against every 

thing great and lofty ; 

And against every thing that is exalted, and it shall be 

13 Even against all the cedars of Lebanon, the high and the 

exalted ; 
And against all the oaks of Basan : 

14 And against all the mountains, the high ones ; 
And against all the hills, the exalted ones ; 

15 And against every tower, high-raised ; 
And against every mound, strongly fortified. 

16 And against all the ships of Tarshish ; 
And against every lovely work of art. 

17 And the pride of man shall bow down ; 
And the highth of mortals shall be humbled ; 
And JEHOVAH alone shall be exalted in that day : 

18 And the idols shall totally disappear. 

19 And they shall go into caverns of rocks, and into holes of 

the dust ;. 
From the fear of JEHOVAH, and from the glory of his 

When he ariseth to strike the earth with terror. 

20 In that day shall a man cast away his idols of silver, 
And his idols of gold, which they have made to worship : 
To the moles and to the bats : 

21 To go into caves of the rocks, and into clefts of the craggy 

rocks ; 



From the fear of JEHOVAH, and from the glory of his 

When he ariseth to strike the earth with terror. 

22 Trust ye no more in man, whose breath is in his nos- 
trils ; 
For of what account is he to be made ? 


1 For behold the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts 
Removeth from Jerusalem, and from Judah, 
Every stay and support ; 

The whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water ; 

2 The mighty man, and the warrior ; 

The judge, and the prophet, and the diviner, and the 
sage : 

3 The ruler of fifty, and the honourable person ; 

And the counsellor, and the skilful artist, and the power- 
ful in persuasion. 

4 Arid I will make boys their princes ; 
And infants shall rule over them. 

5 And the people shall be oppressed, one man by another : 
And every man shall behave insolently towards his neigh- 
bour ; 

The boy towards the old man, and the base towards the 

6 Therefore shall a man take his brother, of his father's 

house, by the garment ; 
Saying, Come, and be thou ruler over us ; 
And let thine hand support our ruinous state. 

7 Then shall he openly declare, saying, 

I will not be the healer of your breaches ; 

For in my house is neither bread, nor raiment : 

Appoint not me ruler of the people. 

8 For Jerusalem tottereth, ancl Judah falleth ; 

Because their tongues, and their hands, are against JE- 
To provoke by their disobedience the cloud of his glory. 

9 The stedfastness of their countenance witnesseth against 

them ; 
For their sin, like Sodom, they publish, they hide it 

Wo to their souls ! for upon themselves have they brought 

down evil. 


10 Pronounce ye a blessing on the just : verily good [shall 

be to him] ; 
For the fruit of his deeds shall he eat. 

11 Wo to the wicked : evil [shall be his portion] ; 

For the work of his hands shall be repaid unto him. 

12 As for my people, children are their oppressors ; 
And women bear rule over them. 

O my people, thy leaders cause thee to err ; 
And pervert the way of thy paths. 

13 JEHOVAH ariseth to plead his cause ; 
He standeth up to contend with his people. 

14 JEHOVAH will meet in judgment. 

The elders of his people, and their princes : 
As for you, ye have consumed my vineyard ; 
The plunder of the poor is in your houses. 

15 What mean ye, that ye crush my people ; 
And grind the faces of the poor ? 

Saith JEHOVAH, the Lord of Hosts. 

16 Moreover JEHOVAH hath said : 
Because the daughters of Sion are haughty; 
And walk displaying the neck. 

And falsely setting off their eyes with paint ; 

Mincing their steps as they go, 

And with their feet lightly tripping along : 

17 Therefore will the Lord humble the head of the daughters 

of Sion ; 
And JEHOVAH will expose their nakedness. 

18 In that day will the Lord take from them the ornaments 
Of the feet-rings, and the net-works, and the crescents ; 

19 The pendents, and the bracelets, and the thin veils ; 

20 The tires, and the fetters, and the zones, 
And the perfume-boxes, and the amulets ; 

21 The rings, and the jewels of the nostril ; 

22 The embroidered robes, and the tunics ; 
And the cloaks, and the little purses ; 

23 The transparent garments, and the fine linen vests ; 

And the turbans, and the mantles : 

24 And there shall be, instead of perfume, a putrid ulcer ; 
And, instead of well-girt raiment, rags ; 

And, instead of high-dressed hair, baldness ; 

ISAIAIT. eiTAp. in. 

And, instead of a zone, a girdle of sackcloth r 
A sun-burnt skin, instead of beauty. 

25 Thy people shall fall by the sword ; 
And thy mighty men in the battle. 

26 And her doors shall lament and mourn ; 
And desolate shall she sit on the ground. 


1 And seven women shall lay hold on one man in that day* 

saying : 

Our own bread will we eat, 
And with our own garments will we fee clothed ; 
Only let us be called by thy name ; 
Take away our reproach. 

2 In that day shall the branch of JEHOVAH 
Become glorious and honourable ; 

And the produce of the land excellent and beautiful. 
For the escaped of the house of Israel. 

3 And it shall come to pass, whosoever is left in Sion r 
And remaineth in Jerusalem, 

Holy shall he be called ; 

Every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem. 

4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the 

daughters of Sion ; 
And the blood of Jerusalem shall have removed from the 

midst of her, 

By a spirit of judgment, and by a spirit of burning : 
6 Then shall JEHOVAH create upon the station of Mount 


And upon all her holy assemblies, 
A cloud by day, and smoke ; 
And the brightness of a flaming fire by night : 
Yea, over all shall the Glory be a covering. 
6 And a tabernacle it shall be, for shade by day from the 

heat ; 
And for a covert, and a refuge, from storm and rain. 

CHAP. v. 

1. LET me sing now a song to my Beloved ; 
A song of loves concerning his vineyard. 
My Beloved had a vineyard, 
On a high and fruitful hill : 

2 And he fenced it round, and he cleared it from the 


And he planted it with the vine of Sorek ; 

And he built a tower in the midst of it, 

And he hewed out also a lake therein : 

And he expected, that it should hring forth grapes. 

But it brought forth poisonous berries. 

3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and ye men of Ju- 

Judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard : 

4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, 
Than I have done unto it? 

Why, when I expected that it should bring forth grapes, 
Brought it forth poisonous berries 1 

5 But come now, and I will make known unto you, 
What I purpose to do to my vineyard : 

To remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured ; 
To destroy its fence, and it shall be trodden down. 

6 And I will make it a desolation : 

And it shall not be pruned, neither shall it be digged ; 
But the briar and the thorn shall spring up in it ; 
And I will command the clouds, 
That they shed no rain upon it. 

7 Verily, the vineyard of JEHOVAH GOD of Hosts is the 

house of Israel ; 

And the men of Judah the plant of his delight : 
And he looked for judgment, but behold tyranny ; 
And for righteousness, but behold the cry of the oppressed. 

8 Wo unto you, who join house to house ; 
Who lay field unto field together ; 

Until there be no place, and ye have your dwelling 
Alone to yourselves, in the midst of the land. 

9 To mine ear hath JEHOVAH GOD of Hosts revealed it : 
Surely many houses shall become a desolation ; 

The great and the fair ones, without an inhabitant. 

10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield a single bath of 

And a chomerof seed shall produce an ephah. 

11 Wo unto them, who rise early in the morning, to follow 

strong drink ; 
Who sit late in the evening, that wine may inflame them : 

12 And the lyre, and the harp, the tabor, and the pipe, 
And wine, are their entertainments : 

10 ISAIAH; CHAP, v, 

But the works of JEHOVAH they regard not ; 

And the operation of his hands they do not perceive. 

13 Therefore my people goeth into captivity for want of 

knowledge ; 

And their nobles have died with hunger ; 
And their plebeians are parched up with thirst. 

14 Therefore Hades hath enlarged his appetite ; 

And hath stretched 1 open his mouth without measure : 
And down go her nobility, and her populace ; 
And her busy throng, and all that exult in her. 

15 And the mean man shall be bowed down, and the great 

man shall be brought low ; 
And the eyes- of the haughty shaH be humbled : 

16 And JEHOVAH God of Hosts shall be exalted in judgment ;. 
And God the Holy One shall be sanctified by displaying 

his righteousness. 

17 Then shall the sheep feed without restraint ; 

And the kids shall depasture the desolate fields of the lux- 

18 "Wo unto them, who draw out iniquity, as a:; long ca- 

And sin, as the thick traces of a wain : 

19 Who say, let him make speed then, let him hasten* 
His work, that he may see it ; 

And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel 

Draw near, and come to pass, that we may know it. 

20 Wo unto them who call evil good, and good evil ; 
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness ; 
Who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 

21 Wo unto them, who are wise in their own eyes, 
And prudent in their own conceit. 

22 Wo unto them, who are powerful to drink wine ; 
And men of might to mingle strong drink : 

23 Who justify the guilty for reward, 

And take away the righteousness of the righteous from him 

24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire licketh up the stubble, 
And as the flame dissolveth the chaff; 

So shall 1 their root become like touchwood, 

And their blossom shall go up like the dust : 

Because they have despised the law of JEHOVAH God of 

And scornfully rejected the word of the Holy One of- 



25 Wherefore the anger of JEHOVAH is kindled against his 

people ; 

And he hath stretched out his hand against them : 
And he smote them ; and the mountains trembled ; , 
And their carcasses became as the dung in the midst of 

the streets. 

For all this his anger is not turned away:; 
But still is his hand stretched out. 

25 And lie will erect a standard for the nations afar off ; 
And he will hist every one of them from the ends of the 

ea-rth ; 
And behold, with speed swiftly shall they come. 

27 None among them is faint, and none stumbleth 
None shall slumber, nor sleep : 

Nor shall the girdle of their loins be loosed.; 
Nor shall the latchet of their shoes be unbound. 

28 Whose arrows are sharpened.; 
And all their bows are bent: 

The hoofs of their. horses shall be counted as adamant ; 
And their wheels as a whirlwind, 

29 Their growling is like the growling of the lioness ; 
Like the young lions shall they growl : 

They s-hall roar and shall seize the prey ; 

And they shall bear it away, and none shall rescue it. 

30 In that day, shall they roar against them, like the roar- 

ing of the sea ; 
And these shall look to the heaven upward, and down to 

the earth ; 

And lo ! darkness, distress ! 
And the light is obscured by the gloomy vapour. 


1 In the year in which Uzziah the king died, I saw JE- 
HOVAH sitting on a throne high and lofty ; and the train 

2 of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood seraphim : 
each one of them had six wings: with two of them he cov- 
ereth his face, with two of them he coverelh his feet, and 

3 two of them he useth in flying. And they cried alternately, 
and said : 

Holy, holy, holy, JEHOVAH God of Hosts ! 
The whole earth is filled with his glory. 


4 And the pillars of the vestibule were shaken with the voice 
of their cry ; and the temple was filled with smoke. And 

5 I said, Alas for me ! I am struck dumb : for I am a man 
of polluted lips ; and in the midst of a people of polluted 
lips do I dwell : for mine eyes have seen the King, JE- 

6 HOVAH God of Hosts. And one of the seraphim came 
flying unto me ; and in his hand was a burning coal, 
which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And 

7 he touched my mouth, and said : 

Lo ! this hath touched thy lips ; 

Thine iniquity is removed, and they sin is expiated. 

8 And I heard the voice of JEHOVAH, saying : Whom shall 
I send ; and who will go for us ? And I said : Behold, 

9 Here am I ; send rne. And he said : 

Go, and say thou to this people : 
Hear ye indeed, but understand not ; 
See ye indeed, but perceive not : 
Make gross the heart of this people ; 
Make their ears dull, and close up their eyes ; 
Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, 
And understand with their hearts, and be converted ; 
and I should heal them. 

11 And I said : How long, O JEHOVAH ? And he said: 

Until cities be laid waste, so that there be no inhabitant ; 
And houses, so that there be no man : 
And the land be left utterly desolate. 

12 Until JEHOVAH remove man far away ; 

And there be many a deserted woman in the midst of 
the land. 

13 And though there be a tenth part remaining in it. 
Even this shall undergo a repeated destruction ; 

Yet, as the ilex, and the oak, though cut down, hath its 

stock remaining, 
A holy seed shall be the stock of the nation. 


1 In the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of 
Uzziah king of Judah, Retsin king of Syria, and Pekah, 
the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up against 
Jerusalem, to besiege it ; but they could not overcome 

2 it. And when it was told to the house of David, that 
Syria was supported by Ephraim ; the heart of the king, 


and the heart of his people, was moved ; as the trees of 
the forest are moved before the wind. 

3 And JEHOVAH said to Isaiah : Go out now to meet 
Ahaz ; thou and Shearjashub thy son ; at the end of the 
aqueduct of the upper pool, at the causeway of the ful- 

4 ler's field. And thou shalt say unto him : 

Take heed, and be still; fear not, neither let thy lieart 

be faint, 

Because of the two tails -of these smoking firebrands ; 
For the 'fierce wrath ef Retsin, and of -the son of Re 


5 Because Syria hath devised evil against thee ; 
Ephraim, and the son of Remalkdi, saying : 

6 Let us go up against Jadah, and harass it ;. 
And let us rend off a part of it for ourselves ; 
And let us set a king to reign in the midst of it ; . 
Even the son of Tabeal. 

7 Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH : 

It shall not stand, neither shall it be. 

8 Though the head of Syria be Damascus, 
And the head of Damascus, Retsin ; 
Yet within threescore and five years 

Ephraim shall be broken, that he be no more ;. 
people : 

9 Though the hcad^of Ephraim be Samaria ; 
And the head of Samaria, Remaliah's son. 

If ye believe not in me, ye shall not be established. 

10 And JEHOVAH spake yet again to Ahaz, saying : 

11 Ask thee a sign from JEHOVAH thy Ged-: 

Go deep to the grave, or high to the 'heaven above. 

12 And Ahaz said : I will not ask ; neither will I tempt 

13 JEHOVAH. And he said : 

Hear ye now, O house of David : 

Is it a small thing for you to weary men, 

That you should weary my God also ? 

14 Therefore JEHOVAH himself shall give you a sign : 
Behold, the Virgin conceived), and beareth a son ; 
And she shall call his name, Immanuel. 

15 Butter and honey shall he eat, 

When he shall know to refuse what is evil, and to choose 
what is good : 

16 For before this child shall know 



To refuse the evil, and to choose the good ; 
The land shall become desolate, 
By whose two kings thou art distressed. 

17 But JEHOVAH shall bring upon thee, 

And upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, 

Days, such as have not come, 

From the day that Ephraim departed from Judah. 

18 And it shall co?ne to pass in that day ; 
JEHOVAH shall hist the fly, 

That is in the utmost part of the rivers of Egypt ; 
And the bee, that is in the land of Assyria : 

19 And they shall come, and they shall light all of them 
On the desolate vallies, and on the craggy rocks, 
And on all the thickets, and on all the caverns. 

20 In that day, JEHOVAH shall shave by the hired razor, 

By the people beyond the river, by the king of 


The head and the hair of the feet ; 
And even the beard itself shall be destroyed, 

21 And it shall come to pass in that day, 

That if a man shall feed a young cow, and two sheep ; 

22 From the plenty of milk, which they shall produce, he 

shall eat butter : 

Even butter and honey shall he eat, 
Whosoever is left in the midst of the land. 

23 And every vineyard, that hath a thousand vines, 
Valued at a thousand pieces of silver, 

Shall become in that day briers and thorns. 

24 With arrows and with the bows shall they come thither j 
For the whole land shall become briers and thorns. 

25 And all the hills, which were dressed with the mattock, 
Where the fear of briers and thorns never came, 

Shall be for the range of the ox, and for the treading of 


1 AND JEHOVAH said unto me : Take unto thee a large 
mirror, and write on it with a workman's graving tool, 

2 To hasten the spoil, to take quickly the prey. And 
I called unto me for a testimony faithful witnesses ; 
Uriah the priest, and Zachariah the son of Jeberechiah. 


3 And I approached unto the prophetess ; and she con- 
ceived, and bare a son. And JEHOVAH said unto me : 
Call his name Maher-shalal hash-baz ; 

4 For before the child shall know 

To pronounce, My father and My mother, 

The riches of Damascus shall be borne away, 

And the spoil of Samaria, before the king of Assyria. 

5 Yet again JEHOVAH spake unto me, saying : 

6 Because this people hath rejected 

The waters of Siloah, which flow gently ; 

And rejoiceth in Retsin, and the son of Remaliah : 

7 Therefore behold the Lord bringeth up upon them 
The waters of the river, the strong and the mighty ; 
Even the king of Assyria, and all his force. 

And he shall rise above all their channels, 
And shall go over all their banks, 

8 And he shall pass through Judah. overflowing and 


Even to the neck shall he reach : 
And the extension of his wings shall be 
Over the full breadth of thy land, O Immanuel ! 

9 Know ye this, O ye peoples, and be struck with con- 

sternation ; 

And give ear to it, alt ye of distant lands : 
Gird yourselves, and be dismayed ; gird yourselves, and 
be dismayed. 

10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought ; 
Speak the word, and it shall not stand : 

For God is with us. 

11 For thus said JEHOVAH unto me ; 

As taking me by the hand he instructed me, 
That I should not walk in the way of this people, 
saying : 

12 Say ye not, It is holy, 

Of every thing of which this people shall say, It is holy : 
And fear ye not the object of their fear, neither be ye ter- 

13 JEHOVAH God of Hosts, sanctify ye him ; 

And let him be your fear, and let him be your dread: 

14 And he shall be unto you a sanctuary ; 

But a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, 
To the two houses of Israel ; 



A tmpfrtfcTa snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 

15 And many among them shall stumble. 

And shall faJl, and be broken; and shall be ensnared acd 

16 Bind up the testimony, seal the command, among my 


17 I will therefore wait for JEHOVAH*, whx> hideth his 

From the house of Jacob ; yet will I look for him. 

18 Behold, I, and the children, 

Whom JEHOVAH hath given unto me - 
For signs and for wonders in Israel, 
From JEHOVAH God of Hosts, 
Who dwelleth in the mountain of Sion. 

19 And when they shall say unto you : 
Seek unto the necromancers and the wizards; 
To them that speak iawardly, and that mutter : 
Should not a people seek unto their God ? 

Should they seek, instead of the living, unto the dead ? 

20 Unto the cominand r and unto the testimony, 1st them 

seek : 

If they will not speak according to this word, 
In which there is no obscurity ; 

21 Every one of them shall pass through &be land distressed 

and famished : 

And when he shall be famished, and angry with himself, 
He shall curse his kirag and his God. 

22 And he shall cast his eyes upwards, and look down to tfte 

earth : 

And lo ! distress and darkness ! 
Gloom, tribulation, and accumulated darkness! 

23 But there shall not hereafter be- darkness in the land) 

which was distressed : 
In the former time he debased 
The land of Zebuto, and' the land of> Naphthali ; 
But in the latter time he hath made- it glorious : 
Even the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the* 


1 The people, that walked in darkness, 
Have seen- a great; light ; 

They that dwelled in the land of the shadow of death,. 
Unto them liath the light shined. 

fcHAP, IX. ISAIAH. 1? 

2 Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their 

jy : 

They rejoice before thee, as with the joy of harvest ; 
As they rejoice, who divide the spoil. 

3 For the yoke of his burthen, the staff laid on his shoul- 


The rod of his oppressor, hast thou broken, as in the day 
of Midian. 

4 For the greaves of the armed warrior in the conflict, 
And the garment rolled in much blood, 

Shall be for a burning, even fuel for the fire. 

5 For unto us a Child is born ; unto us a Son is given ; 
And the government shall be upon his shoulder : 
And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor. 
The mighty God, the Father of the everlasting age, the 

Prince of peace. 

6 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be 

no end ; 

Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom ; 
To fix it, and to establish it 
With judgment and with justice, henceforth and for 

ever : 
The zeal of JEHOVAH God of Hosts will do this. 

7 JEHOVAH hath sent a word against Jacob ; 
And it hath lighted upon Israel. 

8 Because the people all of them carry themselves haugh- 

tily 5 

Ephraim, and the inhabitant of Samaria ; 
In pride and arrogance of heart, saying: 

9 The bricks are fallen, but we will build with hewn stone; 
The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with 

cedars : 

10 Therefore will JEHOVAH excite the princes of Retsin against 

him ; 
And raise up his enemies together : 

11 The Syrians from the east, and the Philistines from the 

west ; 

And they shall devour Israel on every side. 
For all this his anger is not turned away 5 
But his hand is still stretched out. 

12 Yet this people have not turned unto him that sirjote* 

them : 
And JEHOVAH' God of Hosts they have not sought. 

13 Therefore shall JEHOVAH cut off from- Israel the head and 

the tail ; 
The branch and the rush, in one day : 

14 The aged, and the honourable person, he is the head; 
And the prophet that teacheth falsehood, he is the tail. 

1 5 For the leaders of this people lead them astray ; 
And they that are led by them shall be devoured. 

16 Wherefore JEHOVAH shall not rejpice over their young 

men ; 
And on their orphans, and their widows, he shall have no 1 


For everyone of them is a hypocrite and evil-doer f 
And every mouth speaketh folly. 

For alt this his anger is not turned away ; 

But his hand is still stretched out. 

\1 For wickedness burneth like a fire ; 

The brier and the bramble it shall consume : 

And it shall kindle the thicket of the wood ; 

And they shall mount up in volumes of rising smoke. 

18 Through the wrath of JEHOVAH God of Hosts is the land 

darkened ; 

And the people shall be as fuel for the fire : 
A man shall not spare his brother. 

19 But he shall snatch on the right, and yet be hungry ; 
And he shall devour on the left, and not be satisfied : 
Every man shall devour tbe flesh of his neighbour. 

20 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manas^ 

seh ; 

And both of them shall be united against Judah. 
For all this his anger is not turned away ; 
But his hand is still stretched out. 


1 Wo unttfthem, trxit decree unrighteous decrees j 
Unto the scribes, that prescribe oppression : 

2 To turn aside the needy from judgment ; 
To rob of their right the poor of rny people ; 

CHAP. x. ISAIAH. 19 

That the widows may become their prey ; 
And that they may plunder the orphans. 

3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation ? 

And in the desolation, which shall come from afar ? j 
To whom will ye flee for succour ? 
And where will ye deposit your wealth 1 

4 Without me, they shall bow down under the bounden, 
And under the slain shall they fall. 

For all this his anger is not turned away ; 
But his hand is still stretched out* 

5 Ho ! to the Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, 

The staff in whose hand is the instrument of mine indig- 
nation ! 

6 Against a dissembling nation will I send him; 

And against a people the object of my wrath will I give 

him a charge : 

To gather the spoil, and to bear away the prey ; 
And to trample them under foot like the mire of the 


7 But he doth not so purpose ; 
And his heart doth not eo intend : 
But to destroy is in his heart ; 
Arid to cut off nations not a few. 

8 For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings 1 

9 Is not Calno as Carchemish ? 
Is not Hamath as Arphad ? 
Is not Samaria as Damascus ? 

10 As my hand hath seized the kingdoms of the idols, 
Whose graven images were superior to those of Samaria and 

Jerusalem ; 

11 As I have done unto Samaria and her idols, 

Shall I not likewise do unto Jerusalem, and her images ? 

12 But it shall be, when JEHOVAH hath accomplished his 
whole work 

Upon Mount Sion, and upon Jerusalem ; 

I will punish the effect of the proud heart of the king of 

Assyria J 
And the triumphant look of his haughty eyes. 

13 For he hath said, By the strength of my hand have I done 

And by my wisdom ; for I am endowed with prudence. 


I have removed the bounds of the peoples ; 
And i have plundered their hoarded treasures ; 
And I have brought down those, that were strongly 

14 And my hand hath found, as a nest, the riches of the 

peoples ; 

And as one gathereth esrgs deserted, 
So have I made a general gathering of the earth : 
And there was no one, that moved the wing ; 
That opened the beak, or that chirped. 

15 Shall the axe boast itself against him, that heweth 

therewith ? 

Shall the saw magnify itself against him, that moveth it ? 
As if the rod should wield him, that lifteth it ; 
As if the statT should lift up its master. 

16 Wherefore JEHOVAH the Lord of Hosts shall send 
Upon his fat ones leanness ; 

And under his glory shall he kindle 
A burning as of a conflagration. 

17 And the light of Israel shall become a fire, 
And his Holy One a flame ; 

And he shall burn, and consume his thorn 
And his brier in one day. 

18 Even the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, 
From the soul even to the flesh, shall he consume ; 
And it shall be, as when one fleeth out of the fire. 

19 And the remainder of the trees of his forest shall be a small 

So that a child may write them down. 

20 And it shall come to pass in that day, 
No more shall the remnant of Israel, 
And the escaped of the house of Jacob, 
Lean upon him, that smote them : 

But shall lean upon JEHOVAH, 
The Holy One of Israel, in truth. 

21 A remnant shall return, a remnant of Jacob, 
Unto God the Mighty. 

22 For though thy people, O Israel, shall be as the sand of the 


A remnant of them only shall return. 
The consummation decided, overflowed! with strict jus* 




23 For a full and decisive decree 

Shall JEHOVAH the Lord of Hosts accomplish in the midst 
of the land. 

24 Wherefore thus saith Jehovah the Lord of Hosts : 
Fear not, O my people, that dwellest in Sion, because of 

the Assyrian : 

With his staff indeed shall he smite thee, 
And his rod shall he lift up against thee, in the way of 


25 But yet a very little time, and mine indignation shall 

cease ; 
And mine anger in their destruction : 

26 And JEHOVAH God of Hosts shall raise up against him a 


Like the stroke upon Midian at the rock of Oreb, 
And like the rod which he lifted up over the sea ; 
Yea he will lift it up, after the manner of Egypt. 

27 And it shall come to pass in that day, 

His burthen shall be removed from off thy shoulder, 

And his yoke from off thy neck : 

Yea the yoke shall perish from off your shoulders. 

28 He is come to Aiath ; he hath passed to Migron ; 
At Michmas he will deposit his baggage. 

29 They have passed the strait ; Geba isjjifik lodging for 

the night : 
Ramah is frightened ; Gibeah of Saul fleeth. 

30 Cry aloud with thy voice, O daughter of Gallirn ; 
Hearken unto her, O Laish ; answer her, O Anathoth. 

31 Madmena is gone away; the inhabitants of Gebim flee 


32 Yet this day shall he abide in Nob : 

He shall shake his hand against the mount of the daugh- 
ter of Sion ; 
Against the hill of Jerusalem. 

33 Behold JEHOVAH, the Lord of Hosts, 

Shall lop the flourishing branch with a dreadful crash ; 
And the high of stature shall be cut down, 
And the lofty shall be brought low : 

34 And he shall hew the thickets of the forest with iron, 
And Lebanon shall fall by a mighty hand. 



1 BUT there shall spring forth a rod from the trunk of 

Jesse ; 
And a scion from his roots shall become fruitful. 

2 And the spirit of JEHOVAH shall rest upon him ; 
The spirit of wisdom, and understanding ; 
The spirit of counsel, and strength ; 

The spirit of the knowledge, and the fear of JEHOVAH. 

3 And he shall be of quick discernment in the fear of JEHO- 

VAH : 

So that not according to the sight of his eyes shall he 
judge ; 

Nor according to the hearing of his ears shall he re- 

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, 

And with equity shall he work conviction in the meek of 

the earth. 

And he shall smite the earth with a blast of his mouth, 
And with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked 


5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins ; 
And faithfulness the cincture of his reins. 

6 Then shall the wolf take up his abode with the lamb ; 
And the leopard shall lie down with the kid : 

And the calf, and the young lion, and the fading shall 

come together ; 
And a little child shall lead them. 

7 And the heifer and the she-bear shall feed together ; 
Together shall their young ones lie down ; 

And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 

8 And the suckling shall play upon the hole of the aspic; 
And upon the den of the basilisk shall the new- weaned 

child lay his hand. 

9 They shall not hurt, nor destroy, in all my holy moun- 

tain ; 

For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of JEHOVAH, 
As the waters that cover the depths of the sea. 
10 And it shall come to pass in that day, 

The root of Jesse, which starideth for an ensign to the 


Unto him shall the nations repair, 
And his resting-place shall be glorious. 


11 And it shall come to pass in that day, 

JEHOVAH shall again the second time put forth his hand. 
To recover the remnant of his people 
That remaineth, from Assyria, and from Egypt ; 
And from Pathros, and from Gush, and from Elam ; 
And from Shinear, and from Hamath, and from the 
western regions. 

12 And he shall lift up a signal to the nations ; 
And he shall gather the outcasts of Israel, 
And the dispersed of Judah shall he collect, 
From the four extremities of the earth. 

13 And the jealousy of Ephraim shall cease ; 
And the enmity of Judah shall be no more : 
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah ; 

And Judah shall not be at enmity with Ephraim. 

14 But they shall invade the borders of the Philistines west- 

ward ; 

Together shall they spoil the children of the east : 
On Edom and Moab they shall Jay their hand ; 
And the sons of Ammon shall obey them. 

15 And JEHOVAH shall smite with a drought the tongue of 

the Egyptian sea ; 

And he shall shake his hand over the river with his vehe- 
ment wind ; 

And he shall strike it into seven streams, 

And make them pass over it dry-shod. 

16 And there shall be a high-way for the remnant of his 


Which shall remain from Assyria : 
As it was unto Israel, 
In the day when he came up from the land of Egypt. 


1 AND in that day thou shalt say : 

I will give thanks unto thee, O JEHOVAH ; for though 

thou hast been angry with me. 
Thine anger is turned away, and thou hast comforted me. 

2 Behold, God is my salvation ; 

I will trust, and will not be afraid ; 

For my strength, and my song, is JEHOVAH ; 

And he is become unto me salvation. 

3 And when ye shall draw waters with joy from the foun- 

4 tains of salvation ; in that day ye shall say : 

Give ye thanks to JEHOVAH; call upon" his name ; 


Make known among the peoples his mighty deeds : 
Record ye, how highly his name is exalted. 

5 Sing ye JEHOVAH ; for he hath wrought a stupendous 

work : 
This is made manifest in all the earth. 

6 Cry aloud, and shout for joy, O inhabitress of Sion ; 
For great in the midst of thee is the Holy One of 




2 UPON a lofty mountain erect the standard ; 
Exalt the voice ; beckon with the hand ; 
That they may enter the gates of princes. 

3 I have given a charge to mine enrolled warriors ; 

I have even called my strong ones to execute my wrath ; 
Those that exult in my greatness. 

4 A sound of a multitude in the mountains, as of a great 

A sound of the tumult of kingdoms, of nations gathered 

together ! 
JEHOVAH, God of Hosts, mustereth the host for the 


5 They come from a distant land, from the end of the 

heavens ; 

JEHOVAH, and the instruments of his wrath, to destroy the 
whole land. 

6 Howl ye, for the day of JEHOVAH is at hand: 
As a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. 

7 Therefore shall all hands be slackened ; 

And every heart of mortal shall melt ; and they shall be 
terrified : 

8 Torments and pangs shall seize them ; 

.As a woman in travail, they shall be pained : 
They shall look one upon another with astonishment ; 
Their countenances shall be like flames of fire. 

9 Behold, the clay of JEHOVAH cometh, inexorable : 
Even indignation, and burning wrath : 

To make the land a desolation ; 

And her sinners he shall destroy from out of her. 



10 Yea the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, 
Shall not send forth their light : 

The sun is darkened at his going forth, 

And the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 

11 And I will visit the world for its evil, 
And the wicked for their iniquity : 

And I will put an end to the arrogance of the proud ; 
And I will bring down the haughtiness of the terrible. 

12 I will make a mortal more precious than fine gold ; 
Yea a man, than the rich ore of Ophir. 

13 Wherefore I will make the heavens tremble ; 
And the earth shall be shaken out of her place : 
In the indignation of JEHOVAH God of Hosts ; 
And in the day of his burning anger. 

14 And the remnant shall be as a roe chased ; 

And as sheep, when there is none to gather them to- 
gether ; 

They shall look, every one towards his own people ; 
And they shall flee every one to his own land. 

15 Every one, that is overtaken, shall be thrust through ; 
And all that are collected in a body shall fall by the 


16 And their infants shall be dashed before their eyes ; 
Their houses shall be plundered, and their wives ravished. 

17 Behold, I raise up against them the Medes ; 
Who shall hold silver of no account ; 

And as for gold, they shall not delight in it. 

18 Their bows shall dash the young men ; 

And on the fruit of the womb they shall have no mercy ; 
Their eye shall have no pity even on the children. 

19 And Babylon shall become, she that was the beauty of 


The glory of the pride of the Chaldeans, 
As the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah by the hand of 


20 It shall not be inhabited for ever ; 

Nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation : 
Neither shall the Arabian pitch his tent there ; 
Neither shall the shepherds make their folds there. 

21 But there shall the wild beasts of the deserts lodge ; 
And howling monsters shall fill their houses : 
And there shall the daughters of the ostrich dwell ; 
And there shall the satyrs hold their revels. 




22 And wolves shall howl to one another in their palaces } 
And dragons in their voluptuous pavilions. 
And her time is near come ; 
And her days shall not be prolonged. 


1 FOR JEHOVAH will have compassion on Jacob, 
And will yet choose Israel. 

And he shall give them rest upon their own land : 
And the stranger shall be joined unto them, 
And shall cleave unto the house of Jacob. 

2 And the nations shall take them, and bring them into their 

own place ; 
And the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of 


As servants and as handmaids : 
And they shah 1 take them captive, whose captives they 

were ; 
And they shall rule over their oppressors. 

3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that JEHOVAH 
shall give thee rest from thine affliction, and from thy 
disquiet, and from the hard servitude which was laid 

4 upon thee ; and thou shalt pronounce this parable upon 
the king of Babylon ; and shalt say : 

How hath the oppressor ceased ! the eractress of gold 
ceased ! 

5 JEHOVAH hath broken the staff of the wicked, the sceptre 

of the rulers. 

6 He that smote the peoples in wrath, with a stroke unre- 

mitted ; 

He that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none 

7 The whole earth is at rest, is quiet ; they burst forth into 

a joyful shout : 

8 Even the fir-trees rejoice over thee, the cedars of Li- 

banus : 
Since thou art fallen, no feller hath come up against us. 

9 Hades from beneath is moved because of thee, to meet 

thee at thy coming : 
He rouseth for thee the mighty dead, all the great chiefs of 

the earth ; 
He maketh to rise up from their thrones, all the kings of 

the nations. 


10 All of them shall accost thee 3 and shall say unto thee : 
Art thou, even thou too, become weak as we ? art thou 

made like unto us? 

11 Is then thy pride brought down to the grave ; the sound of 

thy sprightly instruments ? 

Is the vermin become thy couch, and the earth-worm thy 
covering ? 

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the 

morning ! 

Art cut down to the earth, thou that didst subdue the na- 
tions ! 

13 Yet thou didst say in thy heart : I will ascend the hea- 

vens ; 

Above the stars of God I will exalt my throne ; 
And I will sit upon the mount of the divine presence on 

the sides of the north : 

14 I will ascend above the highths of the clouds; I will belike 

the Most High. 

15 But thou shalt be brought down to the grave, to the sides 

of the pit. 

16 Those that see thee shall look attentively at thee ; they 

shall well consider thee : 

Is this the man, that made the earth to tremble ; that 
shook the kingdoms ? 

17 That made the world like a desert ; that destroyed the 

cities ? 
That never dismissed his captives to their own home"? 

18 All the kings of the nations, all of them, 

Lie down in glory, each in his own sepulchre : 

19 But thou art cast out of the grave, as the tree abomi- 

nated ; 

Clothed with the slain, with the pierced by the sword, 
With them that go down to the stones of the pit; as a 

trodden carcass. 

20 Thou shalt not be joined unto them in burial ; 
Because thou hast destroyed thy country, tliou hast slain 

thy people : 
The seed of evil doers shall never be renowned. 

21 Prepare ye slaughter for his. children, for the iniquity of 

their fathers ; 

Lest they rise, and possess the earth : and fill the face of 
the world with cities. 


22 For I will arise against them, saith JEHOVAH God of 

Hosts : 

And I will cut off from Babylon the name, and the rem- 
nant ; 

And the son, and the son's son, saith JEHOVAH. 

23 And I will make it an inheritance for the porcupine, and 

pools of water; 

And I will plunge it in the miry gulf of destruction, saith 
JEHOVAH God of Hosts. 

24 JEHOVAH God of Hosts hath sworn, saying : 
Surely as I have devised, so shall it be ; 

And as I have purposed, that thing shall stand : 

25 To crush the Assyrian in my land, and to trample him on 

my mountains. 

Then shall his yoke depart from off them ; 
And his burthen shall be removed from off their shoulder. 

26 This is the decree, which is determined on the whole 

earth ; 

And this the hand, which is stretched out over all the na- 
tions : 

27 For JEHOVAH God of Hosts hath decreed ; and who shall 

disannul it ? 

And it is his hand that is stretched out ; and who shall 
turn it back ? 


29 REJOICE not, O Philistia, with one consent, 
Because the rod that smote thee is broken : 

For from the root of the serpent shall come forth a basi- 
lisk ; 
And his fruit shall be a flying fiery serpent. 

30 For the poor shall feed on my choice first-fruits ; 
And the needy shall lie down in security : 

But he will kill thy root with drought : 
And thy remnant he will slay. 

31 Howl, O gate ; cry out, O city ! 

O Philistia, thou art altogether sunk in consternation f 1 

For from the north cometh a smoke ; 

And there shall not be a straggler among his levies. 


23 And what answer shall be given to the ambassadors of the 

nations ? 

That JEHOVAH hath laid the foundation of Sion ; 
And the poor of his people shall take refuge in her. 


BECAUSE in the night Ar is destroyed, Moab is un 

done ! 
Because in the night Kiris destroyed, Moab is undone ! 

2 He goeth up to Beth-Dibon, to the high places to weep : 
Over Nebo, and over Medeba, shall Moab howl : 

On every head there is baldness ; every beard is shorn. 

3 In her streets they gird themselves with sackcloth ; 
On her house-tops, and to her open places, 
Every one howleth, descended] with weeping. 

4 And Heshbon and Eleale cry out aloud ; 
Unto Jahats is their voice heard : 

Yea the very loins of Moab cry out ; 
Her life is grievous unto her. 

5 The heart of Moab crieth within her 

To Tsoar [she crieth out] like the lowing of a young 

heifer : 

Yea the ascent of Luhith with weeping shall they ascend ; 
Yea in the way of Horonaim they raise a cry of destruc- 

9 For the waters of Nimrim shall become desolate : 

For the pasture is withered, the tender plant faileth, the 

green herb is no more. 
7 Wherefore the riches, which they have gained, shall 

perish ; 
And what they have deposited, to the valley of willows 

shall be carried away. 
3 For the cry encompasseth the border of Moab : 

To Eglaim reacheth her moan j and to Beer-Elim her 


9 Yea the waters of Dimon are full of blood i 
Yet will I bring more evils upon Dirnon ; 
Upon the escaped of Moab and Ariel, and the remnant of 




1 I will send forth the son of the ruler of the land, 1 
From Selah of the desert to the mount of the daughter of 


2 And as wandering birds, driven from the nest, 

So shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of Ar- 

3 Impart counsel ; interpose with equity ; 

Make thy shadows as the night in the midst of noon-day. 
Hide the outcasts ; discover not the fugitive. 

4 Let the outcasts of Moab sojourn with thee, [O Sion] ; 
Be thou to them a covert from the destroyer. 

For the oppressor is no more, the destroyer ceaseth ; 
He that trampled you under foot is perished from the 

5 And the throne shall be established in mercy, 
And in truth shall One sit thereon ; 

In the tabernacle of David a judge ; 

Carefully searching out the right, and dispatching justice. 

6 We have heard the pride of Moab ; he is very proud ; 
His haughtiness, and his pride, and his anger : vain are 

his lies. 

7 Therefore shall Moab lament aloud ; 

For the whole people of Moab shall he lament ; 
For the men of Kirhares shall ye make a moan. 

8 For the fields of Heshbon are put to shame ; 
The vine of Sibmah languisheth, 

Whose generous shoots overpowered the mighty lords of 

the nations ; 

They reached unto Jazer ; they strayed to the desert ; 
Her branches extended themselves, they passed over the 


9 Wherefore I will weep, as with the weeping of Jazer, for 

the vine of Sibmah ; 
I will water thee with my tears, Heshbon and Elea- 

For upon thy summer fruits, and upon thy vintage, the 

destroyer hath fallen. 
10 And joy and gladness is taken away from the fruitful 

field ; 
And in the vineyards they shall not sing, they shall not 

shout : 

In the vats the treader shall not tread out the wine ; 
An end is put to the shouting. 


11 Wherefore my bowels for Moab like a harp shall sound ; 

And my entrails for Kirhares. 

12 And it shall be, when Moab shall see, 

That he hath wearied himself out on the high place, 
That he shall enter his sanctuary, 
To intercede : but he shall not prevail. 

13 This is the word, which JEHOVAH spake concerning 

14 Moab long ago ; but now JEHOVAH hath spoken, say- 


After three years, as the years of an hireling. 

The glory of Moab shall be debased, in all his "great 

multitude ; 
And the remnant shall be few, small, and without 




BEHOLD Damascus is removed, so as to be no more a 

city : 
It shall even become a ruinous heap. 

2 The cities are deserted for ever ; 
They shall be given up to the flocks, 

And they shall lie down, and none shall scare them 

3 And the fortress shall cease from Ephraim, 
And the kingdom from Damascus : 

And the pride of Syria shall be as the glory of the sons of 

Israel ; 
Saith JEHOVAH the God of Hosts. 

4 And it shall come to pass in that day, 
The glory of Jacob shall be diminished, 
And the fatness of his flesh shall become lean. 

5 And it shall be, as when one gathereth the standing 


And his arm reapeth the ears of corn : 
Or as when one gleaneth ears in the valley of Rephaim. 

6 A gleaning shall be left in it, as in the shaking of the 

olive tree ; 

Two or three berries on the top of the uppermost bough ; 
Four or five on the straggling fruitful branches : 
Saith JEHOVAH the God of Israel. 


7 In that day shall a man regard his Maker, 

And toward the Holy One of Israel shall his eyes look : 

8 And he shall not regard the altars dedicated to the work 

of his hands ; 

And what his fingers have made, he shall not respect ; 
Nor the groves, nor the solar statues. 

9 In that day shall his strongly fenced cities become 
Like the desertion of the Hivites and the Atnorites, 
When they deserted the land before the face of the 

sons of Israel ; 
And the land shall become a desolation. 

10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, 
And hast not remembered the rock of thy strength ; 
Therefore, when thou shalt have planted pleasant plants^ 
And shalt have set shoots from a foreign soil ; 

11 In the day when thou shalt have made thy plants to 

And in the morning, when thou shalt have made thy shoots 

to spring forth ; 
Even in the day of possession/ shall the harvest be taken 

And there shall be sorrow without hope. 

12 Wo to the multitude of the numerous peoples, 
Who make a sound like the sound of the seas : 
And to the roaring of the nations, 

Who make a roaring like the roaring of mighty waters. 

13 Like the roaring of mighty waters do the nations roar ; 
But he shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far away ; 
And they shall be driven like the chaff of the hills before 

the wind, 
And like the gossamer before the whirlwind. 

14 At the season of evening, behold terror ! 
Before the morning, and he is no more ! 
This is the portion of those that spoil us ; 
And the lot of those that plunder us. 


1 Ho ! to the land of the winged cymbal, 
Which borders on the rivers of Gush ; 

2 Which sendeth ambassadors on the sea. 

And in vessels of papyrus on the face of the waters. 


Go, ye swift messengers, 

To a nation stretched out in length, and smoothed ; 
To a people terrible from the first, and hitherto ; 
A nation meted out by line, and trodden down ; 
Whose land the rivers have nourished. 

3 Yea, all ye that inhabit the world, and that dwell on the 


When the standard is lifted up on the mountainsj be- 
hold ! 

And when the trumpet is sounded, hear ! 

4 For thus hath JEHOVAH said unto me : 

I will sit still, and regard my fixed habitation ; 

Like the clear heat after rain, 

Like the dewy cloud in the day of harvest. 

5 Surely before the vintage, when the bud is perfect, 
And the blossom is become a swelling grape ; 

He shall cut off the shoots with pruning-hooks, 

And the branches he shall take away, he shall cut down. 

6 They shall be left together to the rapacious bird of the 

mountains ; 

And to the wild beasts of the earth : 
And the rapacious bird shall summer upon it ; 
And every wild beast of the earth shall winter upon it. 

7 At that time shall a gift be brought to JEHOVAH the God 

of Hosts, 

From a people stretched out in length, and smoothed ; 
A nation meted out by line, and trodden down ; 
And from a people terrible from the first, and hitherto ; 
Whose land the rivers have nourished ; 
To the place of the name of JEHOVAH God of Hosts, to 

Mount Sion. 



On a swift cloud, and cometh to Egypt ! 
And the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence ; 
And the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of her. 

2 And I will excite Egyptians against Egyptians, 

And they shall fight, every man against his brother, and 
every man against his neighbour : 


City against city, kingdom against kingdom. 

3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of her ; 
And I will swallow up her counsel : 

And they shall seek to the idols, and to the sorcerers, 
And to the necromancers, and to the wizards. 

4 And I will give up Egypt bound into the hands of cruel 


And a fierce king shall rule over them ; 
Saith the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts. 

5 Then shall the waters fail from the sea, 
And the river shall be wasted and dried up. 

6 And the streams shall become putrid ; 

The canals of Egypt shall be emptied and dried up. 
The reed and the lotus shall wither : 

7 The meadow by the canal, even at the mouth of the 


And all that is sown by the canal, 
Shall wither, be blasted, and be no more. 

8 And the fishers shall mourn, and lament ; 
All those that cast the hook in the river, 

And those that spread nets on the face of the waters, 
shall languish. 

9 And they that work the fine flax shall be confounded, 
And they that weave net-work. 

10 And her stores shall be broken up , 

Even of all that make a gain of pools for fish. 

11 Surely, the princes of Zoan are fools ; 

The wise counsellors of Pharaoh have counselled a bru- 
tish counsel. 

How will ye boast unto Pharaoh : 
I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings ? 

12 Where are they ; where, thy wise men ? let them come ; 
And let them tell thee now, arid let them declare, 
"What JEHOVAH God of Hosts hath determined against 


13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of 

Noph are deceived ; 

They have caused Egypt to err, even the chief pillars of 
her tribes. 

14 JEHOVAH hath mingled in the midst of them a spirit of 

giddiness ; 

And they have caused Egypt to err in all her works, 
As a drunkard staggeretli in his vomit : 


15 Nor shall there be any work in Egypt, 

Which the head or tail, the branch or rush, may per- 

16 In that day the Egyptians shall be as women : 
And they shall tremble and fear, 

At the shaking of the hand of JEHOVAH God of Hosts, 
Which he shall shake over them. 

17 And the land of Judah shall become a terror to the 

Egyptians : 

If any one mention it unto them, they shall fear ; 
Because of the counsel of JEHOVAH God of Hosts, 
Which he hath counselled against them. 

18 In that day, there shall be five cities in the land of 

Speaking the language of Canaan, 

And swearing unto JEHOVAH God of Hosts : 

One of them shall be called the City of the Sun. 

19 In that day, there shall be an altar to JEHOVAH 
In the midst of the land of Egypt ; 

And a pillar by the border thereof to JEHOVAH : 

20 And it shall be for a sign, and for a witness, 

To JEHOVAH God of Hosts in the land of Egypt : 
That, when they cried unto JEHOVAH because of oppres- 

He sent unto them a saviour, and a vindicator, and he 

delivered them. 

21 And JEHOVAH shall be known to Egypt, 

And the Egyptians shall know JEHOVAH in that day ; 
And they shall serve him with sacrifice and oblation, 
And they shall vow a vow unto JEHOVAH, and shall per- 
form it. 

22 And JEHOVAH shall smite Egypt, smiting and healing 

her ; 

And they shall turn unto JEHOVAH, and he will be en- 
treated by them, and will heal them. 

23 In that day, there shall be a high-way from Egypt to 

Assyria ; 
And the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the 

Egyptian into Assyria : 
And the Egyptian shall worship with the Assyrian. 

24 In that day, Israel shall be reckoned a third, 
Together with Egypt and Assyria ; 

A blessing in the midst of the earth : 


25 Whom JEHOVAH God of Hosts hath blessed, saying : 
Blessed be my people, Egypt ; 
And Assyria, the work of my hands ; 
And Israel, mine inheritance. 

CHAP. xx. 

1 IN the year that Tharthan marched to Ashdod f 
whither he was sent by Sargon king of Assyria ; (and he 
fought against Ashdod, and took it) ; at that time JE- 

2 HOVAH spake by Isaiah, the son of Amots, saying : 

Go, loose the sackcloth from off thy loins ; 
And put off thy shoes from thy feet. 

3 And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And JE- 
HOVAH said : 

As my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and bare- 

A sign and a prodigy of three years, 
Upon Egypt and upon Gush : 

4 So shall the king of Assyria lead 

The captives of Egypt, and the exiles of Gush, 
The young and the old, naked and barefoot ; 
With their hind-parts discovered, to the shame of the 

5 And they [of Ashdod] shall be terrified, and ashamed 

of Gush in whom they trusted, 
And of Egypt, in whom they gloried. 

6 And the inhabitant of this country shall say, in that 


Behold, such is the object of our trust, 
To whom we fled for succour, 

That we might be delivered from the king of Assyria I 
How then shall we escape ? 



LIKE the southern tempests violently rushing along, 
From the desert he cometh, from the terrible country. 

2 A dreadful vision ! it is revealed unto me : 

The plunderer is plundered, and the destroyei is de- 
stroyed ! 


Go up, O Elam ; from the siege, O Media ! 
I have put an end to all her vexations. 

3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain : 

Anguish hath seized me, as the anguish of a woman in 

I am convulsed, so that I cannot hear ; I am astonished, 

so that I cannot see. 

4 My heart is bewildered ; terrors have scared me : 

The evening, for which I longed, hath he turned into 

5 The table is prepared, the watch is set ; they eat, they 

drink : 
Rise, O ye princes ; anoint the shield. 

6 For thus hath the Lord said unto me : 
Go. set a watchman on his station ; 
Whatever he shall see, let him report unto thee. 

7 And he saw a chariot with two riders ; 
A rider on an ass, a rider on a camel. 

And he observed diligently with extreme diligence. 

8 And he that looked out on the watch cried aloud : 
O my Lord, I keep my station all the day long ; 
And on my ward have I continued every night. 

9 And behold, here cometh a man, one of the two riders : 
And he answereth, and sayeth, Babylon is fallen, is 

fallen ; 
And all the graven idols of her gods are broken to the 

10 O my threshing, and the corn of my floor ! 

What I have heard from JEHOVAH God of Hosts, the 

God of Israel, 
That I have declared unto you. 

11 THE 


A VOICE crieth unto me from Seir : 
Watchman, what from the night? 
Watchman, what from the night ? 
12 The watchman replieth : 

The morning cometh, and also the night. 
If ye will inquire, inquire ye : come again, 



IN the forest, at even, shall ye lodge, 
O ye caravans of Dedan ! 

14 To meet the thirsty bring ye forth water, 
O inhabitants of the southern country ; 
With bread prevent the fugitive. 

15 For from the face of the sword they shall flee : 
From the face of the drawn sword ; 

And from the face of the bended bow ; 
And from the face of the grievous war. 

16 For thus hath the Lord said unto me : 
Within yet a year, as the years of an hireling, 
Shall all the glory of Kedar be consumed ; 

17 And the remainder of the number of the mighty bow- 


Of the sons of Kedar, shall be diminished : 
For JEHOVAH the God of Israel hath spoken it. 



WHAT aileth thee now, that all thine inhabitants are 
gone up to the house-tops? 

2 O thou, that wast full of noise, 
A tumultuous city, a joyous city ! 
Thy slain were not slain by the sword, 
Neither did they die in battle. 

3 All thy leaders are gone off together ; they are fled from 

the bow ; 

All that were found in thee are fled together, they are 
gone far away. 

4 Wherefore I said : Turn away from me ; I will weep 

bitterly : 

Strive not to comfort me for the desolation of the daugh- 
ter of my people. 

5 For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of 

perplexity ; 

The day of the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts in the 
valley of vision : 



Breaking down the wall, and crying to the mountain. 

6 And Elam beareth the quiver ; 

With chariots cometh the Syrian, and with horsemen ; 
And Kir uncovereth the shield. 

7 And thy choicest valleys shall be filled with chariots ; 
And the horsemen shall set themselves in array against 

the gate ; 

8 And the barrier of Judah shall be laid open : 

Then thou shall look towards the arsenal of the house 
of the forest. 

9 And the breaches of the city of David, ye shall see that 

they are many ; 
And ye shall collect the waters of the lower pool ; 

10 And the houses of Jerusalem ye shall number ; 

And ye shall break down the houses to fortify the ram- 
part : 

11 And ye shall make a lake between the two walls, 
To receive the waters of the old pool. 

But ye look not to him, that hath disposed this : 
And him that formed it of old, ye regard not. 

12 And the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts called in that day. 
To weeping, and to lamentation ; 

And to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth : 

13 But, behold, joy and gladness, 

Slaying of oxen, and killing of sheep ; 

Eating of flesh, and drinking of wine : 

Let us eat, and drink : for to-morrow we die. 

14 And the voice of JEHOVAH God of Hosts was revealed 

to mine ears : 
Surely this your iniquity shall not be expiated, till ye 

Saith the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts. 

15 THUS saith the the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts : Go, 
get thee to this treasurer, unto Shebna, who is over the 
household ; and say unto him : 

16 What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here? 
That thou hast hewn out here a sepulchre for thy- 

O thou that hewest out thy sepulchre on high, 
That gravest in the rock an habitation for thyself ! 


17 Behold JEHOVAH will cast thee out, 

Casting thee violently out, and will surely cover thee : 
IS He will whirl thee round and round, and cast thee away, 

Like a ball [from a sling] into a wide country : 

There shalt thou die ; and there shall thy glorious 

Become the shame of the house of thy lord. 

19 And I will drive thee from thy station, 
And from thy state will I overthrow thee. 

20 And in that day I will call my servant. 
Even Eiiakim the son of Hilkiah : 

21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, 

And with thy baldric will I strengthen him : 
And thy government will I commit to his hand ; 
And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusa- 
And to the house of Judah : 

22 And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his 

shoulder ; 

And he shall open, and none shall shut ; 
And he shall shut, and none shall open. 

23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place ; 

And he shall become a glorious seat for his father's 

24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his 

father's house, 

The offspring of high and of low degree ; 
Every small vessel ; from every sort of goblets, 
To every sort of meaner vessels. 

25 In that day, saith JEHOVAH God of Hosts, 

The nail once fastened in a sure place shall be moved ; 
And it shall be hewn down, and it shall foil ; 
And the burthen which was upon it, shall be cut off: 
For JEHOVAH hath spoken it. 


HOWL, O ye ships of Tarshish ! 
For she is utterly destroyed both within and without : 
From the land of Chittim the tidings are brought unto 



2 Be silent, O ye inhabitants of the sea-coast : 

The merchants of Sidon, they that pass over the sea, 
crowded thee. 

3 And the seed of the Nile, growing from abundant wa- 

ters ; 

The harvest of the river, was her revenue : 
And she became the mart of the nations. 

4 Be thou ashamed, O Sidon ; for the sea hath spoken, 
Even the mighty fortress of the sea, saying : 

I am as if I had not travailed, nor brought forth chil- 
dren ; 
As if I had not nourished youths, nor educated virgins. 

5 When the tidings shall reach Egypt, 

They shall be seized with anguish at the tidings of Tyre. 
G Pass ye over to Tarshish ; howl, O ye inhabitants of the 
sea-coast ! 

7 Is this your triumphant city ; whose antiquity is of the 

earliest date ? 
Her own feet bear her far away to sojourn. 

8 Who hath purposed this against Tyre, who dispensed 

crowns ; 

Whose merchants were princes ; whose traders were no- 
bles of the land I 

9 JEHOVAH God of Hosts had counselled it ; 
To stain the pride of all beauty ; 

To make contemptible all the nobles of the earth. 

10 Overflow thy land, like a river, 

O daughter of Tarshish ; the mound [that kept in thy wa- 
ters] is no more. 

11 He hath stretched his hand over the sea ; he hath shaken 

the kingdoms : 

JEHOVAH hath issued a command concerning Canaan, 
that they should destroy her strong places. 

12 And he hath said : Thou shalt triumph no more, 
O thou deflourcd virgin, the daughter of Sidon ! 

To Chittim arise, pass over ; even there thou shalt have no 

13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans ; 
This people was of no account ; 

(The Assyrian founded it for the inhabitants of the 
desert ; 


They raised the watch-towers, they set up the palaces 

thereof) : 
This people hath reduced her to a ruin. 

14 Howl, O ye ships of Tarshish ; for your stronghold is de- 


15 And it shall come to pass in that day ; 
That Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, 
According to the days of one king : 

At the end of seventy years, 

Tyre shall sing, as the harlot singeth. 

16 Take thy lyre, go about the city, O harlot long forgotten ; 
Strike the lyre artfully ; multiply the song ; that thou 

mayest again be remembered. 

17 And at the end of seventy years, 
JEHOVAH will take account of Tyre : 

And she shall return to her gainful practice ; 

And she shall play the harlot with all the kingdom of the 

That are upon the face of the earth. 
IS But her traffic, and her gain, shall be holy to JEHOVAH : 

It shall not be treasured, nor shall it be kept in store ; 

For her traffic shall be for J,hem, that dwell before JEHO- 

For food sufficient, and for durable clothing. 


1 BEHOLD, JEHOVAH emptieth the land, and maketh it 

waste ; 

He even turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the 

2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest ; 
As with the servant, so with his master ; 

As with the handmaid, so with her mistress ; 
As with the buyer, so with the seller ; 
As with the borrower, so with the lender ; 
As with the usurer, so with the giver of usury. 

3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled j 
For JEHOVAH hath spoken this word. 

4 The land mourneth, it withereth ; 
The world languished), it withereth ; 
The lofty people of the land do languish. 


5 The land is even polluted under her inhabitants ; 

For they have transgressed the law, they have changed 
the decree ; 

6 They have broken the everlasting covenant. 
Therefore hath a curse devoured the land ; 
Because they are guilty, that dwell in her. 

Therefore are the inhabitants of the land destroyed; 
And few are the mortals that are left in her. 

7 The new wine mourneth ; the vine languisheth ; 
All, that were glad of heart, sigh. 

8 The joyful sound of the tabour ceaseth ; 
The noise of exultation is no more ; 
The joyful sound of the harp ceaseth : 

9 With songs they shall no more drink wine ; 

The palm-wine shall be bitter to them that drink it. 

10 The city is broken down ; it is desolate: 

Every house is obstructed, so that no one can enter. 

11 There is a cry in the streets for wine ; 
All gladness is passed away ; 

The joy of the whole land is banished. 

12 Desolation is left in the city ; 

And with a great tumult the gate is battered down. 

13 Yea thus shall it be in the very centre of the land, in 

the midst of the people ; 

As the shaking of the olive ; as the gleaning, when the 
vintage is finished. 

14 But these shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; 
The waters shall resound with the exaltation of JEHO- 

15 Wherefore in the distant coasts, glorify ye JEHOVAH ; 

In the distant coasts of the sea, the name of JEHOVAH, 
the God of Israel. 

16 From the uttermost part of the land, we have heard 

songs, Glory to the righteous ! 

But I said, Alas, my wretchedness, my wretchedness ! 

Wo is me ! the plunderers plunder ; 

Yea the plunderers still continue their cruel depreda- 

17 The terror, the pit, and the snare, 

Are upon thee, O inhabitant of the land : 

18 And it shall be, that whoso fleeth from the terror, 
He shall fall into the pit ; 

And whoso escapeth from the pit, 


He shall be taken in the snare : 

For the flood-gates from on high are opened ; 

And the foundations of the earth tremble. 

19 The land is grievously shaken ; 

The land is utterly shattered to pieces ; 
The land is violently shaken out of its place ; 

20 The land reeleth to and fro like a drunkard ; 

And moveth this way and that, like a lodge for a night : 
For her iniquity lietli heavy upon her ; 
And she shall fall, and rise no more. 

21 And it shall come to pass in that day, 

JEHOVAH shall summon on high the host that is on high ; 
And on earth the kings of the earth : 
And they shall be gathered together, as in a bundle for 
the pit ; 

22 And shall be closely imprisoned in the prison : 

And after many days, account shall be taken of them. 

23 And the moon shall be confounded, and the sun shall 

be ashamed ; 

For JEHOVAH God of Hosts shall reign 
On Mount Sion, and in Jerusalem ; 
And before his ancients shall he be glorified.. 


1 O JEHOVAH, (hou art my God : 

I will exalt thee ; I will praise thy name : 
For thou hast effected wonderful things ; 
Counsels of old time, promises immutably true. 

2 For thou hast made the city an heap ; 
The strongly fortified citadel a ruin : 

The palace of the proud ones, that it should be no more 

a city ; 
That it never should be built up again. 

3 Therefore shall the fierce people glorify thee ; 
The city of the formidable nations shall fear thee ; 

4 For thou hast been a defence to the poor ; 
A defence to the needy in his distress : 

A refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat ; 
When the blast of the formidable rages like a winter 

5 As the heat in a parched land, the tumult of the proud 

shalt thou bring low ; 

falTH FT 

CHAP. XXV. ISAIAH. ^^^il! 5 

As the heat by a thick cloud, the triumph of the formi- 
dable shall be humbled. 

6 And JEHOVAH God of Hosts shall make, 
For all the peoples, in this mountain, 

A feast of delicacies, a feast of old wines : 
Of delicacies exquisitely rich, of old wines perfectly re- 

7 And on this mountain shall he destroy 

The covering, that covered the face of all the peoples ; 
And the vail, that was spread over all the nations. 

8 He shall utterly destroy death forever ; 

And the Lord JEHOVAH shall wipe away the tear from off 

all faces ; 
And the reproach of his people shall he remove from 

off the whole earth : 
For JEHOVAH hath spoken it. 

9 In that day shall they say : 
Behold, this is our God ; 

We have trusted in him, and he hath saved us : 
This is JEHOVAH ; we have trusted in him ; 
We will rejoice, and triumph, in his salvation. 

10 For the hand of JEHOVAH shall give rest upon this 

mountain ; 

And Moab shall be threshed in his place, 
As the straw is threshed under the wheels of the car. 

11 And he shall stretch out his hands in the midst thereof, 
As he, that sinketh, stretcheth out his hands to swim : 
But God shall bring down his pride with the sudden gripe 

of his hands. 

12 And the bulwark of thy high walls shall he lay low : 

He shall bring them down to the ground ; he shall lay 
them in the dust. 


1 IN that day shall this song be sung : 

In the land of Judah we have a strong city ; 
Salvation shall he establish for walls and bulwarks. 

2 Open ye the gates, and let the righteous nation enter ; 

3 Constant in the truth, stayed in mind : 
Thou shalt preserve them in perpetual peace, 
Because they have trusted in thee. 


4 Trust ye in JEHOVAH forever; 

For in JEHOVAH is never-failing protection. 

5 For he hath humbled those, that dwell on high ; 
The lofty city, he hath brought her down ; 

He hath brought her down to the ground : 
He hath levelled her with the dust. 

6 The foot shall trample upon her ; 

The feet of the poor, the steps of the needy. 

7 The way of the righteous is perfectly straight ; 
Thou most exactly loveliest the path of the righteous. 

8 Even in the way of thy laws, O JEHOVAH, 
We have placed our confidence in thy name ; 

And in the remembrance of thee is the desire of our soul. 

9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night ; 

Yea with my inmost spirit in the morn have I sought 


For when thy judgments are in the earth, 
The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 

10 Though mercy be shewn to the wicked, yet will he not 

learn righteousness : 

In the very land of rectitude he will deal perversely ; 
And will not regard -the majesty of JEHOVAH. 

11 JEHOVAH, thy hand is lifted up, yet will they not see : 
But they shall see, with confusion, thy zeal for thy 

people * 
Yea the fire shall burn up thine adversaries. 

12 JEHOVAH, thou wilt ordain for us peace : 

For even all our mighty deeds thou hast performed for 

13 O JEHOVAH, our God ! 

Other lords, exclusive of thee, have had dominion over 

us : 

Thee only, and thy name, henceforth will we celebrate. 
11 They are dead, they shall not live ; 

They are deceased tyrants, they shall not rise. 
Therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them ; 
And all memorial of them thou hast abolished. 

15 Thou hast added to the nation, O JEHOVAH ; 
Thou hast added to the nation ; thou art glorified : 
Thou hast extended far all the borders of the land. 

16 O JEHOVAH, in affliction have we sought thee; 

AVe have poured out humble supplication, when thy 
chastisement was upon us. 


17 As a woman, that hath- conceived, when her delivery 


Is in anguish, crieth out aloud, in her travail ; 
Thus have \ve been before thee, O JEHOVAH. 

18 We have conceived ; we have been in anguish j we have, 

as it were, brought forth wind : 
Salvation is not wrought in the lancf ; 
Neither are the inhabitants of the world fallen. 

19 Thy dead shall live ; my deceased, they shall rise : 
Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in the dust ! 

For thy dew is as the dew of the dawn ; 
But the earth shall cast forth, as an abortion, the de- 
ceased tyrants. 

20 Come, O my people ; retire into thy secret apart- 

ments ; 

And shut thy door after thee : 
Hide thyself for a little while, for a moment ; 
Until the indignation shall have passed away. 

21 For behold, JEHOVAH issueth forth from his place ; 
To punish .for his iniquity the inhabitant of the earth : 
And the earth shall disclose the blood that is upon her ; 
And shall no longer cover her skin. 


1 In that day shall JEHOVAH punish with his sword 
His well-tempered, and great, and strong sword j 
Leviathan "the rigid serpent, 
And Leviathan the winding serpent : 
And shall slay the monster, that is in the sea. 

2 IN that daft 

To the beloved Vineyard, sing ye a responsive song. 

3 J. It is I, JEHOVAH, that preserve her ; 

I will water her every moment j 
1 will take care of her by night ; 
And by day I will keep guard over her. 

4 V. I have no wall for my defence : 

that I had a fence of the thorn and brier !' 
J. Against them should 1 march in battle, 

1 should burn them up together. 


5 All ! let her rather take hold of my protection. 
V. Let him make peace with me ! 

Peace let him make with me ! 

6 J. They that come from the root of Jacob shall flourish, 

Israel shall bud forth ; 
And they shall fill the face of the world with fruit. 

7 Hath he smitten him, as he smiteth those that smote 

him ? 

And like the slaughter of those, that slew him, is he 
slain ? 

8 In just measure, when thou inflictest the stroke, wilt 

thou debate with her ; 

With due deliberation, even in the rough tempest, in 
the day of the east wind. 

9 "Wherefore on this condition shall the iniquity of Jacob 

be expiated ; 
And so shall he reap the whole benefit of the removal 

of his sin ; 

If he shall render all the stones of the altar, 
Like the limestones scattered abroad j 
And if the groves and the images rise no more. 

10 But the strongly fortified city shall be desolate ; 

An habitation forsaken, and deserted as a wilderness. 
There shall the bullock feed, and there shall he lie down ,' 
And he shall browse on the tender shoots thereof. 

11 When her boughs are withered, they shall be broken : 
Women shall come, and set them on a blaze. 
Surely it is a people void of understanding ; 
Wherefore he, that made him, shall not have pity on 

him ; 
And he, that formed him, shall shew him no favour. 

12 And it shall come to pass in that day, 

JEHOVAH shall make a gathering of his fruit, from the 

flood of the river, 
To the stream of Egypt ; 
And ye shall be gleaned up, 
One by one, O ye sons of Israel. 

13 And it shall come to pass in that day, 
The great trumpet shall be sounded ; 

And those shall come, who were perishing in the land 

of Assyria ; 
And who were dispersed in the land of Egypt : 


And they shall bow themselves down before JEHOVAH, 
In the holy mountain, in Jerusalem. 


1 Wo to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, 
And to the fading flower of their glorious beauty ! 

To those, that are at the head of the rich valley, that are 
stupified with wine ! 

2 Behold the mighty one, the exceedingly strong one ! 
Like a storm of hail, like a destructive tempest ; 
Like a rapid flood of mighty waters pouring down ; 
He shall dash them to the ground with his hand. 

3 They shall be trodden under foot, 

The proud crowns of the drunkards of Ephraim : 

4 And the fading flower of their glorious beauty, 
"Which is at the head of the rich valley, 
Shall be as the early fruit before the summer ; 
Which whoso seeth, he plucketh it immediately ; 

And it is no sooner in his hand, than he swalloweth it. 

5 In that day shall JEHOVAH God of Hosts become a 

beauteous crown, 
And a glorious diadem, to the remnant of his people : 

6 And a spirit of judgment, to them that sit in judgment ; 
And strength to them, that repell the war to the gate 

[of the enemy]. 

7 But even these have erred through wine, and through 

strong drink they have reeled ; 

The priest and the prophet have erred through strong 
drink ; 

They are overwhelmed with wine ; they have reeled 
through strong drink : 

They have erred in vision, they have stumbled in judg- 

8 For all their tables are full of vomit ; 
Of filthiness, so that no place is free. 

9 " Whom [say they] would he teach knowledge ; and to 

" whom would he impart instruction ? 
" To such as are weaned from the milk, as are kept back 

" from the breast ? 

10 " For it is command upon command ; command upon 
" command ; 



" Line upon line ; line upon line : 
" A little here, and a little there." 

11 Yea verily, with a stammering lip, and a strange tongue, 
He shall speak unto this people. 

12 For when he said unto them : 

This is the true rest ; give ye rest unto the weary ; 
And this is the refreshment ; they would not hear. 

13 Therefore shall the word of JEHOVAH be indeed unto 


Command upon command, command upon command ; 
Line upon line, line upon line ; 
A little here, and a little there : 
That they may go on, and fall backward ; 
And be broken, and snared, and caught. 

14 Wherefore hear ye the word of JEHOVAH, ye scoffers ; 
Ye of this people in Jerusalem, who utter sententious 

speeches : 

15 Who say, we have entered into a covenant with death ; 
And with the grave we have made a treaty : 

The overflowing plague, when it passeth through, shall 

not reach us : 

For we have made falsehood our refuge ; 
And under deceit we have hidden ourselves. 

16 Wherefore thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH : 

Behold, I lay in Sion for a foundation a stone, an ap- 
proved stone ; 

A corner-stone, precious, immoveably fixed : 
He, that trusteth in him, shall not be confounded. 

17 And I will mete out judgment by the rule ; 
And strict justice, by the plummet : 

And the hail shall sweep away the refuge of falsehood ; 
And the hiding-place the waters shall overwhelm. 

18 And your covenant with death shall be broken ; 
And your treaty with the grave shall not stand : 
When the overflowing plague passeth through, 
By it shall ye be beaten down. 

19 As soon as it passeth through, shall it seize you ; 

Yea morning after morning shall it pass through, by 

day and by night ; 
And even the report alone shall cause terror. 

20 For the bed is too short, for one to stretch himself out 

at length ; 


And the covering is too narrow, for one to gather him- 
self up under it. 

21 For as in Mount Peratsim, JEHOVAH will arise ; 

As in the valley of Gibeon, shall he be moved with an- 
ger ; 

That he may execute his work, his strange work ; 
And effect his operation, his unusual operation. 

22 And now, give yourselves up to scoffing no more, 
Lest your chastisements become more severe : 
For a full and decisive decree have I heard, 

From the Lord JEHOVAH God of Hosts, on the whole 

23 Listen ye, and hear my voice ; 
Attend, and hearken unto my words. 

24 Doth the husbandman plough every day that he may 

Opening, and breaking the clods of his field ? 

25 When he hath made even the face thereof, 

Doth not he then scatter the dill, and cast abroad the 

cummin ; 

And sow the wheat in due measure ; 
And the barley, and the rye, hath its appointed limit ? 

26 For his God rightly instructeth him ; he furnisheth him 

with knowledge. 

27 The dill is not beaten out with the corn-drag ; 

Nor is the wheel of the wain made to turn upon the 

cummin : 
But the dill is beaten out with the staff; 

28 And the cummin with the flail : but the bread-corn with 

the threshing-wain. 

But not for ever will he continue thus to thresh it ; 
Nor to vex it with the wheel of his wain ; 
Nor to bruise it with the hoofs of his cattle. 

29 This also proceedeth from JEHOVAH God of Hosts : 

He sheweth himself wonderful in counsel, great in ope- 



1 Wo to Ariel, to Ariel, the city which David be- 
sieged ! 
Add year to year ; let the feasts go round in their course. 

2 Yet will I bring distress upon Ariel ; 

And there shall be continual mourning and sorrow : 
And it shall be unto me as the hearth of the great altar. 

3 And I will encamp against thee, like David ; 
And I will lay siege against thee with a mound ; 
And I will erect towers against thee. 

4 And thou shalt be brought low ; thou shalt speak as from 

beneath the earth : 
And from out of the dust thou shalt utter a feeble 

speech ; 
And thy voice shall come out of the ground, like that 

of a necromancer : 
And thy words from out of the dust shall give a small 

shrill sound. 

5 But the multitude of the proud shall be like the small 


And like the flitting chaff the multitude of the terrible : 
Yea, the effect shall be momentary, in an instant. 

6 From JEHOVAH God of Hosts there shall be a sudden 


With thunder, and earthquake, and a mighty voice ; 
With storm, and tempest, and flame of devouring fire. 

7 And like as a dream, a vision of the night, 

So shall it be with the multitude of all the nations, thai 

fight against Ariel ; 
And all their armies, and their towers, and those that 

distress her. 

8 As when a hungry man dreameth ; and lo ! he seemrth 

to eat ; 

But he awaketh, and his appetite is still unsatisfied : 
And as a thirsty man dreameth ; and lo ! he seemeth to 

drink ; 
But he awaketh, and he is still faint, and his appetite 

still craving : 

So shall it be with the multitude of all the nations, 
Which have set themselves in array against Mount 




9 They are struck with amazement, they stand aston- 
ished ; 

They stare with a look of stupid surprise : 
They are drunken, but not with wine ; 
They stagger, but not with strong drink. 

10 For JEHOVAH hath poured upon you a spirit of pro- 

found sleep ; 

And hath closed up your eyes ; 

The prophets, and the rulers ; the seers hath he blind- 

11 So that all the vision is to you, as the words of a book 

sealed up ; 

Which if one delivers to a man, that knoweth letters, 
Saying, Read this, 1 pray thee ; 
He answereth, I cannot read it ; for it is' sealed up : 

12 Or should the book be given to one, that knoweth not 


Saying, Read this, I pray thee ; 
He answereth, 1 know not letters. 

13 Wherefore JEHOVAH hath said : 

Forasmuch as this people draweth near with their mouth, 
And honoureth me with their lips, 
While their heart is far from me ; 
And vain is their fear of me, 
Teaching the commandments of men : 

14 Therefore behold, I will again deal with this people, 
In a manner so wonderful and astonishing ; 
That the wisdom of the wise shall perish, 

And the prudence of the prudent shall disappear. 

15 Wo unto them, that are too deep for JEHOVAH in 

forming secret designs ; 
Whose deeds are in the dark ; and who say, 
Who is there, that seeth us ; and who shall know us ? 

16 Perverse as ye are ! shall the potter be esteemed as the 

clay '? 
Shall the work say of the workman, He hath not made 

me ? 
And shall the thing formed say of the former of it, He 

hath no understanding ? 

17 Shall it not be but a very short space, 
Ere Lebanon become like Carmel, 
And Carmel appear like a desert ? 



18 Then shall the deaf hear the words of the book ; 

And the eyes of the blind, covered before with clouds 
and darkness, shall see. 

19 The meek shall increase their joy in JEHOVAH ; 
And the needy shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. 

20 For the terrible one faileth, the scoffer is no more ; 

And all that were vigilant in iniquity are utterly cut off 

21 Who bewildered the poor man in speaking ; 

And laid snares for him, that pleaded in the gate ; 
And with falsehood subverted the righteous. 

22 Therefore thus saith JEHOVAH the God of the house 

of Jacob, 

He who redeemed Abraham : 
Jacob shall no more be ashamed ; 
His face shall no more be covered with confusion : 

23 For when his children shall see the work of my hands, 
Among themselves shall they sanctify my name : 
They shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, 

And tremble before the God of Israel. 

24 Those, that were led away with the spirit of error, shall 

gain knowledge ; 
And the malignant shall attend to instruction. 


1 Wo unto the rebellious children, saith JEHOVAH ; 
Who form counsels, but not from me ; 

Who ratify covenants, but not by my spirit : 
That they may add sin to sin. 

2 Who set forward to go down to Egypt ; 
But have not inquired at my mouth : 

To strengthen themselves with the strength of Pharaoh ; 
And' to trust in the shadow of Egypt. 

3 But the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame ; 
And your trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. 

4 Their princes were at Tsoan ; 

And their ambassadors arrived at Hanes : 

5 They were all ashamed of a people, that profited them 


Who were of no help, and of no profit ; 
But proved even a shame, and a reproach unto them. 

6 The burthen of the beasts travelling southward, 
Through a land of distress and difficulty : 
Whence come forth the lioness, and the fierce lion ; 
The viper, and the flying fiery serpent : 


They carry on the shoulder of the young cattle their 

wealth ; 

And on the bunch of the camel their treasures : 
To a people, that will not profit them. 

7 For Egypt is a mere vapour ; in vain shall they help : 
"Wherefore have I called her, Rahab the inactive. 

8 Go now, write it before them on a tablet ; 
And record it in letters upon a book : 
That it may be for future times ; 

For a testimony for ever. 

9 For this is a rebellious people, lying children ; 
Children who choose not to hear the law of JEHOVAH : 

10 Who say to the seers, See not ; 

And to the prophets, Prophesy not right things : 
Speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. 

11 Turn aside from the way ; decline from the straight path ; 
Remove from our sight the Holy One of Israel. 

12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel : 
Because ye have rejected this word ; 

And have trusted in obliquity, and perversion ; 
And have leaned entirely upon it : 

13 Therefore shall this offence be unto you, 

Like a breach threatening ruin ; a s welling in a high 

wall ; 
Whose destruction cometh suddenly, in an instant. 

14 It shall be broken, as when one breaketh a potter's 

vessel : 

He dasheth it to pieces, and spareth it not ; 

So that there shall not be found a sherd among its frag- 

To take up fire from the hearth, 

Or to dip up water from the cistern. 

15 Verily thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH, the Holy one of 

Israel : 
By turning from your ways, and by abiding quiet, ye 

shall be saved ; 

In silence, and in pious confidence, shall be your strength : 
But ye would not hearken. 

16 And ye said : Nay, but on horses will we flee ; 
Therefore shall ye be put to flight : 

And on swift coursers will we ride ; 
Therefore shall they be swift, that pursue you. 


17 One thousand, at the rebuke of one ; 

At the rebuke of five, ten thousand of you shall flee : 
Till ye be left as a standard on the summit of a moun- 
tain ; 
And as a beacon on a high hill. 

18 Yet for this shall JEHOVAH wait to shew favour unto you ; 
Even for this shall he expect in silence, that he may 

have mercy upon you : 
(For JEHOVAH is a God of judgment ; 
Blessed are all they that trust in him) : 

19 When a holy people shall dwell in Sion ; 

When in Jerusalem thou shalt implore him with weep- 
ing : 

At the voice of thy cry he shall be abundantly gracious 
unto thee ; 

No sooner shall he hear, than he shall answer thee. 

20 Though JEHOVAH hath given you bread of distress, and 

water of affliction ; 

Yet the timely rain shall no more be restrained ; 
But thine eyes shall behold the timely rain. 

21 And thine ears shall hear the word prompting thee be- 


Saying, This is the way ; walk ye in it ; 
Turn not aside, to the right, or to the left. 

22 And ye shall treat as defiled the covering of your idols 

of silver ; 

And the clothing of your molten images of gold : 
Thou shalt cast them away like a polluted garment ; 
Thou shalt say unto them, Be gone from me. 

23 And he shall give rain for thy seed, 
With which thou shalt sow the ground ; 
And bread of the produce of the ground : 
And it shall be abundant and plenteous. 
Then shall thy cattle feed in large pasture ; 

24 And the oxen, and the young asses, that till the ground, 
Shall eat well-fermented maslin, 

Winnowed with the van and the sieve. 

25 And on every lofty mountain, 
And on every high hill, 

Shall be disparting rills, and streams of water, 

In the day of the great slaughter, when the mighty fall. 


26 And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the me- 

ridian sun ; 

And the light of the meridian sun shall be seven-fold : 
In the day when JEHOVAH shall bind up the breach of 

his people ; 

And shall heal the wound, which his stroke hath in- 

27 Lo ! the name of JEHOVAH cometh from afar ; 
His wrath burneth, and the flame rageth violently : 
His lips are filled w T ith indignation ; 

And his tongue is as a consuming fire. 

28 His spirit is like a torrent overflowing ; 
It shall reach to the middle of the neck : 

He cometh to toss the nations with the van of perdition ; 
And there shall be a bridle, to lead them astray, in the 
jaws of the people. 

29 Ye shall utter a song, as in the night when the feast is 

solemnly proclaimed ; 
With joy of heart, as when one marcheth to the sound 

of the pipe j 
To go to the mountain of JEHOVAH, to the rock of Israel. 

30 And JEHOVAH shall cause his glorious voice to be 


And the lighting down of his arm to be seen ; 

With wrath indignant, and a flame of consuming fire ; 

With a violent storm, and rushing showers, and hail- 

31 By the voice of JEHOVAH the Assyrian shall be beaten 

down ; 
He, that was ready to smite with his staff. 

32 And it shall be, that wherever shall pass the rod of cor- 


Which JEHOVAH shall lay heavily upon him ; 
It shall be accompanied with tab rets and harps ; 
And with fierce battles shall he fight against them. 

33 For Tophet is ordained of old ; 

Even the same for the king is prepared : 
He hath made it deep ; he hath made it large ; 
A fiery pyre, and abundance of fuel ; 
And the breath of JEHOVAH, like a stream of sulphur, 
shall kindle it. 



1 Wo unto them, that go down to Egypt for help ; 
Who trust in horses for their support : 

Who confide in chariots, because they are many ; 
And in horsemen, because they are very strong : 
But look not unto the Holy One of Israel ; 
And of JEHOVAH they not counsel. 

2 But he in his wisdom will bring evil upon them ; 
And he will not set aside his word : 

But will rise against the house of the wicked ; 
And against the helpers of those that work iniquity. 

3 For the Egyptians are man, and not God ; 
And their horses are flesh, and not spirit : 
And JEHOVAH shall stretch forth his hand; 

And the helper shall fall, and the holpen shall be over- 
thrown ; 
And together shall all of them be destroyed. 

4 For thus hath JEHOVAH said unto me : 
Like as the lion growleth, 

Even the young lion, over his prey ; 
Though the whole company of shepherds be called to- 
gether against him : 
At their voice he will not be terrified, 
Nor at their tumult will he be humbled : 
So shall JEHOVAH God of Hosts descend to fight 
For Mount Sion, and for his own hill. 

5 As the mother birds, hovering over their young. 

So shall JEHOVAH God of Hosts protect Jerusalem ; 
Protecting, and delivering ; leaping forward, and rescu- 
ing her. 

6 Return unto him, from whom ye have so deeply c 

gaged in revolt, 
O ye sons of Israel ! 

7 Verily in that day shall they cast away with contempt, 
Every man his idols of silver, and his idols of gold ; 
The sin, which their own hands have made. 

8 And the A ssyrian shall fall by a sword riot of man ; 
Yea a sword not of mortal shall devour him. 
And he shall betake himself to flight from the face of 

the sword ; 
And the courage of his chosen men shall fail. 

9 And through terror he shall pass beyond his strong- 

hold ; 
And his princes shall be struck with consternation at his 


Thus saith JEHOVAH, who hath his fire in Sion, 
And his furnace in Jerusalem. 


1 BEHOLD, a king shall reign in righteousness ; 
And princes shall rule with equity : 

2 And the man shall be as a covert from the storm, as a 

refuge from the flood ; 
As canals of waters in a dry place ; 
As the shadow of a great rock in a land fainting with 

heat : 

3 And him the eyes of those, that see, shall regard ; 
And Uie ears of those, that hear, shall hearken. 

4 Even the heart of the rash shall consider, and acquire 

knowledge ; 

And the stammering tongue shall speak readily and 

5 The fool shall no longer be called honourable ; 
And the niggard shall no more be called liberal : 

6 For the fool will still utter folly ; 
And his heart will devise iniquity : 

Practising hypocrisy, and speaking wrongfully against 


To exhaust the soul of the hungry, 
And to deprive the thirsty of drink. 

7 As for the niggard, his instruments are evil : 
He plotteth mischievous devices ; 

To entangle the humble with lying words ; 

And to defeat the assertions of the poor in judgment. 

8 But the generous will devise generous things ; 

And he by his generous purposes shall be established. 

9 O YE women, that sit at ease, arise, hear my voice ! 

O ye daughters, that dwell in security, give ear unto my 
speech ! 

10 Years upon years shall ye be disquieted, O ye careless 

women : 

For the vintage hath failed, the gathering of the fruits 
shall not come. 


11 Tremble, O ye that are at ease ; be ye disquieted, O ye 

careless ones ! 
Strip ye, make ye bare ; and gird ye sackcloth 

12 Upon your loins, upon your breasts; 

Mourn ye for the pleasant field, for the fruitful vine. 

13 Over the land of my people the thorn and the brier 

shall come up; 
Yea, over all the joyous houses, over the exulting city. 

14 For the palace is deserted, the populous city is left deso- 

late ; 
Ophel and the watch-tower shall for a long time be a 

A joy of wild asses, a pasture for the flocks : 

15 Till the spirit from on high be poured out upon us ; 
And the wilderness become a fruitful field ; 

And the fruitful field be esteemed a forest : 

16 And judgment shall dwell in the wilderness; 
And in the fruitful field shall reside righteousness. 

17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace ; 

And the effect of righteousness perpetual quiet and secu- 

18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceful mansion, 
And in habitations secure, 

And in resting places undisturbed. 

19 But the hail shall fall, and the forest be brought down ; 
And the city shall be laid level with the plain. 

20 Blessed are ye, who sow your seed in every well-watered 

place ; 
Who send forth the foot of the ox and the ass. 


1 Wo unto thee, thou spoiler, who hast not been spoiled 


And thou plunderer, who hast not been plundered : 
W T hen thou hast ceased to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled ; 
When thou art weary of plundering, they shall plunder 

2 O JEHOVAH, have mercy on us ; we have trusted in 


Be thou our strength every morning ; 
Even our salvation in the time of distress. 


3 From thy terrible voice the peoples fled ; 

When thou didst raise thyself up, the nations were dis- 

4 But your spoil shall be gathered, as the locust gathereth ; 
As the caterpillar runneth to and fro, so shall they run, 

and seize it. 

5 JEHOVAH is exalted ; yea, he dwelleth on high : 
He hath filled Sion with judgment and justice. 

6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy 


The possession of continued salvation ; 
The fear of JEHOVAH, this shall be thy treasure. 

7 Behold the mighty men raise a grievous cry ; 
The messengers of peace weep bitterly. 

8 The highways are desolate ; the traveller ceaseth : 

He hath broken the covenant ; he hath rejected the of- 
fered cities ; 
Of men he maketh no account. 

9 The land mourneth, it languisheth ; 
Libanus is put to shame, it withereth : 
Sharon is become like a desert ; 

And Bashan and Carmel are stripped of their beauty. 

10 Now will 1 arise, saith JEHOVAH ; 

Now will I lift myself up on high ; now will I be exalted. 

11 Ye shall conceive chaff; ye shall bring forth stubble ; 
And my spirit like fire shall consume you. 

12 And peoples shall be burned, as the lime is burned ; 
As the thorns are cut up, and consumed in the fire. 

13 Hear, O ye that are afar off, my doings ; 

And acknowledge, O ye that are near, my power. 

14 The sinners in Sion are struck with dread ; 
Terror hath seized the hypocrites : 

Who among us can abide this consuming fire ? 
Who among us can abide these continued burnings? 

15 He who walketh in perfect righteousness, and speaketh 

right things : 

Who detesteth the lucre of oppression ; 
Who shaketh his hands from bribery ; 
Who stoppeth his ears to the proposal of bloodshed ; 


Who shutteth his eyes against the appearance of evil : 

16 His dwelling shall be in the high places ; 

The strongholds of the rocks shall be his lofty fortress : 
His bread shall be duly furnished ; his waters shall not 

17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty ; 
They shall see thine own land far extended. 

18 Thine heart shall reflect on the past terror : 

Where is now the accomptant? where the weigher of 

tribute ? 
Where is he, that numbered the towers ? 

19 Thou shalt see no more that barbarous people ; 

The people of a deep speech, which thou couldst not 

hear ; 

And of a stammering tongue, which thou couldst not 

20 Thou shalt see Sion, the city of our solemn feasts ; 
Thine eyes shall behold Jerusalem, 

The quiet habitation, the tabernacle unshaken : 
Whose stakes shall not be plucked up for ever, 
And of whose cords none shall be broken. 

21 But the glorious name of JEHOVAH shall be unto us, 
A place of confluent streams, of broad rivers ; 
Which no oared ship shall pass, 

Neither shall any mighty vessel go through. ( 

22 For JEHOVAH is our judge ; JEHOVAH is our lawgiver ; 
JEHOVAH is our king : he shall save us. 

23 Thy sails are loose ; they cannot make them fast : 
Thy mast is not firm ; they cannot spread the ensign. 
Then shall a copious spoil be divided ; 

Even the lame shall seize the prey. 

24 Neither shall the inhabitant say, I am disabled with 

sickness : 

The people, that dwelleth therein, is freed from the 
punishment of their iniquity. 

CHAP, xxxiv. 

1 DRAW near, ye nations, and hearken ; 
And attend unto me, O ye peoples ! 
Let the earth hear, and the fulness thereof; 
The world, and all that spring from it. 


2 For the wrath of JEHOVAH is kindled against all the 

nations ; 

And his anger against all the orders thereof: 
He hath devoted them ; he hath given them up to 


3 And their slain shall be cast out ; 

And from their carcasses their stink shall ascend ; 
And the mountains shall melt down with their blood. 

4 And all the host of heaven shall waste away ; 
And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll : 
And all their host shall wither ; 

As the withered leaf falleth from the vine, 
And as the blighted fruit from the fig-tree. 

5 For my sword is made bare in the heavens : 
Behold, on Edom it shall descend ; 

And on the people justly by me devoted to destruction. 

6 The sword of JEHOVAH is glutted with blood ; 
It is pampered with fat : 

With the blood of lambs, and of goats ; 
With the fat of the reins of rams : 
For JEHOVAH celebrateth a sacrifice in Botsrah, 
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 

7 And the wild goats shall fall down with them ; 
And the bullocks, together with the bulls : 

And their own land shall be drunken with their blood. 
And their dust shall be enriched with fat. 

8 For it is the day of vengeance to JEHOVAH ; 

The year of recompense to the defender of the cause of 

9 And her torrents shall be turned into pitch, 
And her dust into sulphur ; 

And her whole land shall become burning pitch. : 

10 By night or by day it shall not be extinguished 
For ever shall her smoke ascend : 

From generation to generation she shall lie desert; 
To everlasting ages no one shall pass through her ; 

11 But the pelican and the porcupine shall inherit her ; 
And the owl and the raven shall inhabit there : 
And he shall stretch over her the line of devastation, 
And the plummet of emptiness over her scorched plains. 

12 No more shall they boast the renown of the kingdom ; 
And all her princes shall utterly fail. 


13 And in her palaces shall spring up thorns ; 
The nettle and the bramble, in her fortresses : 
And she shall become an habitation for dragons, 
A court for the daughters of the ostrich. 

14 And the jackals and the mountain-cats shall meet one 

another ; 

And the satyr shall call to his fellow : 
There also the screech-owl shall pitch ; 
And shall find for herself a place of rest. 

15 There shall the night-raven make her nest, and lay her 

eggs ; 
And she shall hatch them, and gather her young under 

her shadow : 

There also shall the vultures be gathered together ; 
Every one of them shall join her mate. 

16 Consult ye the book of JEHOVAH, and read : 
Not one of these shall be missed ; 

Not a female shall lack her mate : 

For the mouth of JEHOVAH hath given the command ; 

And his spirit itself hath gathered them. 

17 And he hath cast the lot for them ; 

And his hand hath meted out their portion by the line : 
They shall possess the land for a perpetual inheritance ; 
From generation to generation shall they dwell therein. 

CHAP. xxxv. 

1 THE desert, and the waste, shall be glad ; 
And the wilderness shall rejoice, and flourish : 

2 Like the rose shall it beautifully flourish ; 

And the well-watered plain of Jordan shall also rejoice : 
The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, 
The beauty of Carmel and of Sharon : 
These shall behold the glory of JEHOVAH, 
The majesty of our God. 

3 Strengthen ye the feeble hands, 
And confirm ye the tottering knees. 

4 Say ye to the faint-hearted : Be ye strong ; 
Fear ye not ; behold your God ! 
Vengeance will come ; the retribution of God : 
He himself will come, and will deliver you. 

5 Then shall be unclosed the eyes of the blind ; 
And the ears of the deaf shall be opened : 

6 Then shall the lame bound like the hart, 
And the tongue of the dumb shall sing : 


For in the wilderness shall burst forth waters. 
And torrents in the desert : 

7 And the glowing sand shall become a pool, 
And the thirsty soil bubbling springs : 

And in the haunt of dragons shall spring forth 
The grass, with the reed, and the bulrush. 

8 And a highway shall be there ; 

And it shall be called the way of holiness : 

No unclean person shall pass through it : 

But He himself shall be with them, walking in the way, 

And the foolish shall not err therein. 

9 No lion shall be there ; 

Nor shall the tyrant of the beasts come up thither : 
Neither shall he be found there ; 
But the redeemed shall walk in it. 
10 Yea the ransomed of JEHOVAH shall return : 

They shall come to Sion with triumph ; 

And perpetual gladness shall crown their heads. 

Joy and gladness shall they obtain ; 

And sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 


1 IN the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Senacherib 
king of Assyria came up against all the fenced cities of 

2 Judah, and took them. And the king of Assyria sent 
Rabshakeh, from Lachish to Jerusalem, to the king 
Hezekiah, with a great body of forces : and he presented 
himself at the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway 

3 that leads to the fuller's field. Then came out unto him 
Eliakim, the son of Hilldah, who was over the house- 
hold, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, 

4 the recorder. And Rabshakeh said unto them : Say 
ye to Hezekiah ; Thus saith the great king, the king of 
Assyria: What is this ground of confidence, in which 

5 thou confidest? Thou hast said, (but they are vain 
words), I have counsel and strength sufficient for the 
war. Now in whom dost thou confide, that thou re- 

6 bellest against me ? Thou certainly confidest in the 
support of this broken reed, in Egypt ; on which if a 
man lean, it will pierce his hand, and go through it: 
such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that confide in 

7 him. But if ye say to me, We confide in JEHOVAH our 


God ; is it not He, whose high places and whose altars 
Hezekiali hath removed ; and hath commanded Judah 

8 and Jerusalem to worship only before this altar ? Enter 
now, I pray thee, into an engagement with my lord the 
king of Assyria ; and I will give thee two thousand 
horses, on condition, that thou canst on thy part provide 

9 riders for them. How then wilt thou turn back any one 
commander, among the least of my lord's servants, ad- 
vancing against thee? And trustest thou, that Egypt 

10 will supply thee with chariots and with horsemen ? And 
am I now come up without JEHOVAH against this land 
to destroy it ? JEHOVAH hath said unto me, Go thou up 
against this land, and destroy it. 

11 Then said Eliakim, and Shebna, and Joah, unto 
Rabshakeh : Speak, we beseech thee, to thy servants in 
the Syrian language, for we understand it ; and speak 
not to us in the Jewish language, in the hearing of the 

12 people, who are upon the wall. And Rabshakeh said, 
Hath my lord sent me to thy lord and to thee, to speak 
these words ? and not to the men, that sit on the wall, 
destined to eat their own dung, and drink their own 

13 urine, together with you ? Then Rabshakeh stood, and 
cried with a loud voice in the Jewish language, and 
said : Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of 

14 Assyria. Thus saith the king : Let not Hezekiah de- 

15 ceive you ; for he will not be able to deliver you. And 
let not Hezekiah persuade you to trust in JEHOVAH ; 
saying, JEHOVAH will certainly deliver us; this city 
shall not be given up into the hand of the king of 

16 Assyria. Hearken not unto Hezekiah ; for thus saith 
the king of Assyria : Make peace with me, and come 
out unto me. And eat ye every one of his own vine, 
and every one of his own fig-tree ; and drink ye every 

17 one the waters of his own cistern : until I come and 
take you to a land like your own land ; a land of corn 

18 and of wine, a land of bread and of vineyards. Nor let 
Hezekiah seduce you, saying, JEHOVAH will deliver us. 
Have the gods of the nations delivered each his own 

19 land from the hand of the king of Assyria ? Where are 
the gods of Hamath, and of Arphad ? where are the 
gods of Sepharvaim ? have they delivered Samaria out 

20 of my hand ? Who are there among all the gods of 


these lands, that have delivered their own lands out of 
my hand ; that JEHOVAH should deliver out of ray hand 

21 Jerusalem ? But the people held their peace, and an- 
swered him not a word : for the king's command was, 
Answer him not. 

22 Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was 
over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, 
the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah, with their 
clothes rent ; and reported unto him the words of Rab- 


1 And when king Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, 
and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the 

2 house of JEHOVAH. And he sent Eliakim, who was 
over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the 
elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah, 

3 the son of Amots, the prophet. And they said unto 
him : Thus saith Hezekiah; This day is a day of dis- 
tress, and of rebuke, and of contumely : for the children 
are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring 

4 forth. O that JEHOVAH thy God would hear the words 
of Rabshakeh, whom his lord the king of Assyria hath 
sent to reproach the living God ! and that he would 
refute the words, which JEHOVAH thy God hath heard ! 
And do thou offer up thy prayer for the poor remains 

5 of the people. And the servants of king Hezekiah came 

6 to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them ; Thus shall ye 
say to your lord : Thus saith JEHOVAH, Be not afraid, 
because of the words which thou hast heard, with which 
the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 

7 Behold, I will infuse a spirit into him ; and he shall 
hear a rumour, and return to his own land ; and I will 
cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. 

8 But Rabshakeh returned ; and found the king of 
Assyria besieging Libnah : for he had heard, that he 

9 had decamped from Lachish. And when Senacherib 
had received advice concerning Tirhakah king of Gush, 
that he was advancing to give him battle ; he sent mes- 

10 sengers again to Hezekiah, saying ; Thus 'shall ye say 
to Hezekiah king of Judah : Let not thy God, in whom 
thou confidest, deceive thee ; by assuring thee, that Je- 
rusalem shall not be given up into the hand of the king 


11 of Assyria. Thou hast certainly heard, what the kings 
of Assyria have done to all lands, which they have ut- 

12 terly destroyed : and shalt thou be delivered ? Have the 
gods of the nations delivered those, which my fathers 
have destroyed ? Gozan, and Haran, and Retseph ; and 

13 the sons of Eden, which were in Thelassar ? Where is 
the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the 
king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Henah, and of Ivah ? 

14 And Hezekiah received the letters from the hand of 
the messengers, and read them ; and he went up to the 
house of JEHOVAH : and Hezekiah spread them before 

15 the presence of JEHOVAH. And Hezekiah prayed be- 

16 fore JEHOVAH, saying : O JEHOVAH, God of Hosts, thou 
God of Israel, who art seated on the cherubim ! Thou 
art the God, thou alone, to all the kingdoms of the 
earth ! Thou hast made the heavens, and the earth ! 

17 Incline, O JEHOVAH, thine ear, and hear ; open, O JE- 
HOVAH, thine eyes, and see : yea, hear all the words of 
Senacherib, which he hath sent to reproach the living 

18 God. In truth, O JEHOVAH, the kings of Assyria have 
destroyed all the nations, and their lands ; and have 

19 cast their gods into the fire : for they were not gods, 
but the work of the hands of man, wood and stone ; 

20 therefore they have destroyed them. And now, O JE- 
HOVAH, our God, save us, we beseech thee, from his- 
hand; that all the kingdoms of the earth may know, 
that thou JEHOVAH art the only God. 

21 , Then Isaiah the son of Amots sent unto Hezekiah, 
saying : Thus saith JEHOVAH the God of Israel : Thy 
prayer unto me, concerning Senacherib king of Assyria, 

22 I have heard. This is the word, which JEHOVAH hath 
spoken concerning him : 

THE virgin daughter of Sion hath despised thee, 

she bath laughed thee to scorn ; 

The daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head be- 
hind thee. , 

23 Whom hast thou reproached, and reviled ; and against 

whom hast thou exalted thy voice? 
And hast lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against 
the Holy One of Israel. 


24 By thy messengers hast thou reproached JEHOVAH, 

and said : 

By the multitude of my chariots have I ascended 

The highth of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon ; 

And I will cut down his tallest cedars, Ids choicest fir- 
trees ; 

And 1 will penetrate into his extreme retreats, his 
richest forests. 

25 I have digged, and I have drunk strange waters ; 
And I have dried up with the sole of my feet all the 

canals of fenced places. 

26 Hast thou not heard, of old, that I have disposed it? 
And, of ancient times, that I have formed it ? 

Now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldst be 

to lay waste 
Warlike nations, strong-fenced cities. 

27 Therefore were their inhabitants of small strength j 

they were dismayed and confounded : 
They were as the grass of the field, and as the green 

herb ; 
The grass of the house-top ; and as the corn blasted 

before it groweth up. 

28 But thy sitting down, and thy going out, and thy 

coming in, 
And thy rage against me, I have known, 

29 Because thy rage against me, and thy insolence, is 

come up into mine ears ; 
Therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my 

bridle in thy jaws ; 

And I will turn thee back by the way in which thou 

30 And this shall be a sign unto thee : 
Eat this year that which groweth of itself; 

And the second year, that which springeth up of the 

same ; 

And in the third year sow ye, and reap ; 
And plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. 

31 And again shall the escaped, the remnant of the house 

of Judah, 

Strike root downward, and bear fruit upward. 
For from Jerusalem shall go forth the remnant ; 
And the part escaped from Mount Sion : 
The zeal of JEHOVAH God of Hosts shall effect this. 


32 Therefore thus saith JEHOVAH concerning the king of 

Assyria : 

He shall not enter into this city ; 

Nor shall he shoot an arrow there ; 

Nor shall he present a shield before it ; 

Nor shall he cast up a mound against it. 

33 By the way, in which he came, by the same shall he 

return ; 
And into this city shall he not come ; saith JEHOVAH. 

34 And I will protect this city. to deliver it ; 

For mine own sake, and for the sake of David my 

35 And the angel of JEHOVAH went forth, and smote in 
the camp of the Assyrians an hundred and fourscore and 
five thousand men : and when the people arose early in 

36 the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. Then 
Senacherib king of Assyria decamped, and departed, and 

37 returned ; and dwelt at Nineveh. And as he was wor- 
shipping in the temple of Nisroc his god, Adramelec and 
Sharetser, his sons, smote him with the sword : and they 
escaped into the land of Armenia ; and Esarhaddon his 
son reigned in his stead. 


1 AT that time Hezekiah was seized with a mortal sick- 
ness : and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amots, came 
unto him ; and said unto him : Thus saith JEHOVAH : 
Give orders concerning the affairs of thy family ; for 

2 thou must die ; thou shall no longer live. Then Heze- 
kiah turned his face to the wall ; and made his suppli- 

3 cation to JEHOVAH. And he said : I beseech thee, O 
JEHOVAH, remember now, how I have endeavoured to 
walk before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart ; and 
have done that which is good in thine eyes. And He- 

4 zekiah wept, and lamented grievously. Now [before 
Isaiah was gone out into the middle court,] the word of 
JEHOVAH came unto him, saying : Go [back], and say 

5 unto Hezekiah : Thus saith JEHOVAH, the God of David 
thy father : I have heard thy supplication ; I have seen 
thy tears. Behold [I will heal thee ; and on the third 
day thou shalt go up into the house of JEHOVAH. And] 

6 I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will de- 


liver thee, and this city, from the hand of the king of 

22 Assyria ; And I will protect this city. And [Hezekiah 

said : By what sign shall I know, that I shall go up into 

7 the house of JEHOVAH ? And Isaiah said : ] This shall 
be the sign unto thee from JEHOVAH, that JEHOVAH will 

8 bring to effect this word which he hath spoken. Behold, 
I will bring back the shadow of the degrees, by which 
the sun is gone down on the degrees of Ahaz, ten de- 
grees backward. And the sun returned backward ten de- 
grees, on the degrees by which it had gone down. 

21 And Isaiah said : Let them take a lump of figs : and they 
bruised them, and applied them to the boil ; and he re- 


10 I said, when my days were just going to be cut off, 
I shall pass through the gates of the grave ; 

I am deprived of the residue of my years ! 

11 I said, 1 shall no more see JEHOVAH in the land of 

the living ! 

I shall no longer behold man, with the inhabitants of 
the world ! 

12 My habitation is taken away, and is removed from me, 

like a shepherd's tent : 
My life is cut off, as by the weaver ; he will sever me 

from the loom ; 
In the course of the day thou wilt finish my web. 

13 I roared until the morning, like the lion ; 
So did he break to pieces all my bones. 

14 Like the swallow, like the crane did 1 twitter ; 
I made a moaning like the dove. 

Mine eyes fail with looking upward : 

O Lord, contend thou for me ; be thou my surety. 

15 What shall I say? he hath given me a promise, and 

he hath performed it. 

Through the rest of my years will I reflect on this 
bitterness of my soul. 

16 For this cause shall it be declared, O JEHOVAH, con- 

concerning thee, 
That thou hast revived my spirit ; 


That thou hast restored my health, and prolonged my 

17 Behold my anguish is changed into ease ! 
Thou hast rescued my soul from perdition ; 
Yea thou hast cast behind thy back all my sins. 

18 Verily the grave shall not give thanks unto thee; 

death shall not praise thee ; 

They that go down into the pit shall not await thy 
truth : 

19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do 

this day ; 

The father to the children shall make known thy faith- 

20 JEHOVAH was present to save me : therefore will we 

sing our songs to the harp, 
All the days of our life, in the house of JEHOVAH. 


1 At that time Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan 
king of Babylon, sent letters, and ambassadors, arid a 
present to Hezekiah ; for he had heard that he had been 

2 sick, and was recovered. And Hezekiah was rejoiced 
at their arrival : and he shewed them 'his magazines, the 
silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious 
ointment, and his whole arsenal, and all that was con- 
tained in his treasures : there was not any thing in his 
house, and in all his dominion, that Hezekiah did not 
shew them. 

3 And Isaiah the prophet came unto king Hezekiah, 
and said unto him : What say these men ? and from 
whence came they unto thee ? And Hezekiah said : They 
are come to me from a distant country ; from Babylon. 

4 And he said : What have they seen in thy house ? And 
Hezekiah said : They have seen every thing in my 
house : there is nothing in my treasures, which I have 

5 not shewn them. And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah : 
Hear thou the word of JEHOVAH God of Hosts. 

6 Behold, the day shall come, when all that is in thy 
house, and that thy fathers have treasured up unto this 
day, shall be carried away to Babylon : there shall not 

7 any thing be left, saith JEHOVAH. And of thy sons, 
which shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall 
they take : and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of 


8 the king of Babylon. And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah : 
Gracious is the word of JEHOVAH, which thou hast de- 
livered ! For, added he, there shall be peace, according to 
his faithful promise, in my days. 


1 COMFORT ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God : 

2 Speak ye animating words to Jerusalem, and declare unto 

That her warfare is fulfilled ; that the expiation of her 

iniquity is accepted ; 

That she shall receive at the hand of JEHOVAH 
[Blessings] double to the punishment of all her sins. 

3 A voice crieth : In the wilderness prepare ye the way 

Make straight in the desert a highway for our God ! 

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and 

hill be brought low ; 

And the crooked shall become straight, and the rough 
places a smooth plain : 

5 And the glory of JEHOVAH shall be revealed ; 

And all flesh shall see together the salvation of our God : 
For the mouth of JEHOVAH hath spoken it. 

6 A voice sayeth : Proclaim ! And I said, What shall 

I proclaim ? 

All flesh is grass, and all its glory like the flower of the 

7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; 
When the wind of JEHOVAH bloweth upon it. 
Verily this people is grass. 

8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; 

But the word of our God shall stand for ever. 

9 Get thee up upon a high mountain, O daughter lhat 

bringest glad tidings to Sion : 
Exalt thy voice with strength, O daughter that bringest 

glad tidings to Jerusalem. 
Exalt it ; be not afraid : 
Say to the cities of Juclah, Behold your God ! 
10 Behold, the Lord JEHOVAH shall come against the 

strong one, 

And his arm shall prevail over him. 


Behold, his reward is with him, and the recompense of 
his work before him. 

11 Like a shepherd shall he feed his flock ; 
In his arm shall he gather up the lambs, 

And shall bear them in his bosom ; the nursing ewes 
shall he gently lead. 

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his 

hand ; 

And hath meted out the heavens by his span ; 
And hath comprehended the dust of the earth in a tierce ; 
And hath weighed in scales the mountains, and the hills 
in a balance? 

13 Who hath directed the spirit of JEHOVAH ; 
And, as one of his council, hath informed him? 

14 Whom hath he consulted, that he should instruct him. 
And teach him the path of judgment ; 

That he should impart to him science, 

And inform him in the way of understanding'? 

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop from the bucket ; . 

As the small dust of the balance shall they be accounted : 
Behold, the islands he taketh up as an atom. 

16 And Lebanon is not sufficient for the fire ; 
Nor his beasts sufficient for the burnt-offering. 

17 AH the nations are as nothing before him ; 

They are esteemed by him as less than nought, and 

18 To whom therefore will ye liken God? 

And what is the model of resemblance, that ye will pre- 
pare for him ? 

19 The workman casteth an image ; 

And the smith overlayeth it with plates of gold ; 
And forgeth for it chains of silver. 

20 He that cannot afford a costly oblation, chooseth a piece 

of wood that will not rot ; 
He procureth a skilful artist, 
To erect an image, which shall not be moved. 

21 Will ye not know ? will ye not hear ? 

Hath it not been declared to you from the beginning? 
Have ye not understood it from the foundations of the 
earth ? 

22 It is lie, that sitteth on the circle of the earth ; 



And the inhabitants are to him as grasshoppers : 
That extendeth the heavens, as a thin veil ; 
And spreadeth them out, as a tent to dwell in : 

23 That reduceth princes to nothing ; 

That maketh the judges of the earth a mere inanity. 

24 Yea they shall not leave a plant behind them, they shall 

not be sown, 

Their trunk shall not spread its root in the ground : 
If he but blow upon them, they instantly wither ; 
And the whirlwind shall bear them away like the stubble. 

25 To whom then will ye liken me ? 

And to whom shall I be equalled? saith the Holy One. 

26 Lift up your eyes on high ; 
And see, who hath created these. 

He draweth forth their armies by number ; 

He calleth them all by name : 

Through the greatness of his strength, and the mightiness 

of his power, 
Not one of them faileth to appear. 

27 Wherefore sayest thou then, O Jacob, 
And why speakest thou thus, O Israel, 
My way is hidden from JEHOVAH, 

And my cause passeth unregarded by my God. 

28 Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, 
That JEHOVAH is the everlasting God, 
The Creator of the bounds of the earth 1 
That he neither fainteth, nor is wearied ; 
And that his understanding is unsearchable ! 

29 He giveth strength to the faint, 

And to the infirm he multiplied! force. 

30 The young men shall faint and be wearied ; 
And the chosen youths shall stumble and fall : 

31 But they that trust in JEHOVAH shall gather ne\r 

strength ; 
They shall put forth fresh feathers like the moulting 

eagle : 

They shall run, and not be wearied ; 
They shall march onward, and shall not faint. 


1 LET the distant nations repair to me with new force of 

mind ; 
And let the peoples recover their strength. 


Let them draw near ; then let them speak ; 
Let us enter into solemn debate together. 

2 Who hath raised up the righteous man from the 

east : 

Hath called him to attend his steps ? 
Hath subdued nations at his presence ; 
And given him dominion over kings? 
Hath made them like the dust before his sword ; 
And like the driven stubble before his bow 'I 

3 He pursueth them ; he passeth in safety ; 
By a way never trodden before with his feet. 

4 Who hath performed, and made these things, 
Calling the several generations from the beginning ? 
I JEHOVAH, the first ; 

And with the last, I am the same. 

5 The distant nations saw, and they were afraid ; 
The remotest parts of the earth, and they were terrified. 
They drew near, they came together ; 

6 Every one assisted his neighbour, 

And said to his brother, Be of good courage. 

7 The carver encourageth the smith ; 

He that smootheth with the hammer, him that smiteth 

on the anvil ; 

Saying of the solder, It is good ; 
And he fixeth the idol with nails, that it shall not move. 

8 But thou, Israel, my servant ; 
Thou. Jacob, whom I have chosen ; 
The seed of Abraham my friend : 

9 Thou, whom I have led by the hand from the ends of 

the earth ; 

And called from the extremities thereof ; 
And I said unto thee, Thou art my servant ; 
I have chosen thee, and will not reject thee : 

10 Fear not, for I am with thee ; 

Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. 

I have strengthened thee, I have assisted thee ; 

I have even supported thee with my faithful right hand. 

11 Behold, they, that were enraged against thee, shall be 

ashamed and confounded ; 


They, that contended with thee, shall become as nothing, 
and shall utterly perish. 

12 Thou shall seek them, and shalt not find them, even the 

men that strove with thee : 

They shall become as nothing, and as mere nought, 
even the men that opposed thee in battle. 

13 For I am JEHOVAH thy God, that hold thee fast by thy 

right hand ; 
That say unto thee, Fear not j I am thy helper. 

14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob ; ye mortals of Israel : 
I am thy helper, saith JEHOVAH ; 

And thine avenger is the Holy One of Israel. 

15 Behold, I have made thee a thrashing wain ; 
A new corn-drag armed with pointed teeth : 

Thou shalt thrash the mountains, and beat them smal ; 
And reduce the hills to chaff: 

16 Thou shalt winnow them, and the wind shall bear them 

away ; 

And the tempest shall scatter them abroad : 
But thou shalt rejoice in JEHOVAH ; 
In the Holy One of Israel shalt thou triumph. 

17 The poor and the needy seek for water, and there is 

none ; 

Their tongue is parched with thirst : 
I JEHOVAH will answer them ; 
The God of Israel, I will not forsake them. 

18 I will open in the high places rivers ; 
And in the midst of the vallies, fountains : 
I will make the desert a standing pool; 
And the dry ground streams of waters. 

19 In the wilderness I will give the cedar ; 

The acacia, the myrtle, and the tree producing oil : 
I will plant the fir-tree in the desert ; 
The pine, and the box together : 

20 That they may see, and that they may know; 
And may consider, and understand at once, 
That the hand of JEHOVAH hath done this, 
And that the Holy One of Israel hath created it. 

21 Draw near, produce your cause, saith JEHOVAH : 
Produce these your mighty powers, saith the Jking of 




22 Let them approach, and tell us the things that shall 

happen ; 
The things that shall first happen, what they are, let 

them tell us : 

And we will consider them ; and we shall know the event. 
Or declare to us things to come hereafier : 

23 Tell us the things, that will come to pass in later times ; 
Then shall we know that ye are Gods. 

Yea, do good, or do evil ; 

Then shall we be struck at once with admiration and 

24 But, behold, ye are less than nothing ; 
And your operation is less than nought ; 
Abhorred be the man that chooseth you ! 

25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall 

come ; 

From the rising of the sun he shall invoke my name : 
And he shall trample on princes, like the mortar ; 
Even as the potter treadeth down the clay. 

26 Who hath declared this from the beginning, that we 

should know it? 
And beforehand, that we might say, The prediction is 


There was not one, that foretold it ; not one, that de- 
clared it ; 

There was not one, that heard your words : 
26 I first to Sion [give the word], Behold they are here ; 
And to Jerusalem I give the messenger of glad tidings. 

28 But I looked, and there was no man ; 

And among the idols, and there was no one that gave 
warning ; 

29 And I inquired of them, and [there was no one] that 

could return an answer. 
Behold, they are all of them vanity ; their works arc 

nought : 
Mere wind and emptiness are their molten images. 


1 BEHOLD my servant, whom I will uphold ; 
My chosen, in whom my soul delighteth : 
I will make my spirit rest upon him ; 
And he shall publish judgment to the nations. 


2 He shall not cry aloud, nor raise a clamour, 

Nor cause his voice to be heard in the public places : 

3 The bruised reed he shall not break ; 

And the dimly burning flax he shall not quench : 
He shall publish judgment, so as to establish it per- 

4 His force shall not be abated, nor broken ; 

Until he hath firmly seated judgment in the earth : 
And the distant nations shall earnestly wait for his law. 

5 Thus saith the God, even JEHOVAH, 

Who created the heavens, and stretched them out ; 
Who spread abroad the earth, and the produce thereof; 
Who giveth breath to the people upon it, 
And spirit to them that tread thereon : 

6 I JEHOVAH have called thee for a. righteous purpose ; 
And I will take hold of thy hand, and will preserve 

thee ; 

And I will give thee for a covenant to the people, for a 
light to the nations : 

7 To open the eyes of the blind; 

To bring the captive out of confinement ; 

And from the dungeon, those that dwell in darkness. 

8 I a in JEHOVAH, that is my name; 
And my glory will I not give to another, 
Nor my praise to the graven images. 

9 The former predictions, lo ! they are come to pass ; 
A nd new events I now declare : 

Before they spring forth, I make them known unto you. 

10 Sing unto JEHOVAH a new song ; 
His praise, from the ends of the earth : 

Ye that go down upon the sea, and all that fill it ; 
Ye distant sea-coasts, and ye that dwell therein : 

11 Let the desert cry aloud, and the cities thereof; 
The villages, and they that dwell in Kedar : 

Let the inhabitants of the rocky country utter a joyful 

sound ; 
Let them shout aloud from the top of the mountains : 

12 Let them ascribe glory to JEHOVAH ; 

And among the distant nations make known his praise. 

13 JEHOVAH shall march forth like a hero ; 

Like a mighty warrior shall he rouse his vengeance : 


He shall cry aloud ; he shall shout amain ; 
He shall exert his strength against his enemies. 

14 I have long holden my peace ; shall I keep silence for 

ever ? 

Shall I still contain myself? I will cry out like a woman 
in travail; 

Breathing short, and drawing in my breath with vio- 

15 I will make barren the mountains and hills; 
And burn up all the grass, that is upon them : 
I will make the rivers dry daserts ; 

And scorch up the pools of water. 

16 I will lead the blind in a way, which they have not 

known ; 
And through paths, which they have not known, will I 

make them go : 

I will turn darkness into light before them ; 
And the rugged ways into a smooth plain. 
These things will 1 do for them, and will not forsake 


17 They are turned backward, they are utterly confound- 

ed, who trust in the graven image ; 
Who say unto the molten image. Ye are our gods ! 

18 Hear, O ye deaf; 

And, ye blind, look attentively, that ye may see ! 

19 Who is blind, but my servant ; 

And deaf, as he to whom I have sent my messengers? 
Who is blind, as he who is perfectly instructed ; 
And deaf, as the servant of JEHOVAH ? 

20 Thou hast seen indeed, yet thou dost not regard ; 
Thine ears are open, yet thou \\ilt not hear. 

21 Yet JEHOVAH was gracious unto him, for his truth's 

snke : 
He hath exalted his own praise, and made it glorious. 

22 But this is a people spoiled and plundered : 
Ail their chosen youths are taken in the toils, 
And are plunged in the dark dungeons : 

They me become a spoil, and there was none to rescue 

them ; 
A plunder, and no one said, Restore. 



23 Who is there among you, that will listen to this ; 
That will hearken, and attend to it, for the future? 

24 Who hath given Jacob for a spoil ; 
And. Israel to the plunderers ? 

Was it not JEHOVAH ; He, against whom they have 


In whose ways they would not walk ; 
And whose law they would not obey ? 

25 Therefore poured he out upon them the heat of his 

wrath, and the violence of war : 
And it, kindled a flame round about him, yet he did not 

regard it ; 
And it set him on fire, yet he did not consider it. 


1 Yet now, thus saith JEHOVAH ; 

Who created thee, O Jacob ; and who formed thee, O 

Israel : 

Fear thou not, for I have redeemed thee ; 
I have called thee by thy name ; thou art mine. 

2 When thou passest through waters, I am with thee; 
And through rivers, they shall not overwhelm thee : 
When thou walkest in the fire, thou shalt not be 

scorched ; 
And the flame shall not take hold of thee. 

3 For I am JEHOVAH, thy God ; 

The Holy One of Israel, thy redeemer : 
I have given Egypt for thy ransom ; 
Gush, and Saba, in thy stead. 

4 Because thou hast been precious in my sight, 
Thou hast been honoured, and I have loved thee : 
Therefore will I give men instead of thee ; 

And peoples instead of thy soul. 

5 Fear thou not, for I am with thee : 
From the east I will bring thy children, 

And from the west I will gather thee together : 

6 I will say to the north, Give up ; 
And to the south, Withhold not : 
Bring my sons from afar; 

And my daughters from the ends of the earth : 

7 Every one that is called by my name. 
Whom for my glory I have created ; 

Whom 1 have formed, yea whom I have made. 


8 Bring forth the people, blind, although they have 

eyes ; 
And deaf, although they have ears. 

9 Let all the nations be gathered together, 
And let the peoples be collected. 

"Who among them will declare this ; 
And will tell us, what first shall come to pass '? 
Let them produce their witnesses, that they may be jus- 
tified : 
Or let them hear in their turn, and say, This is true. 

10 Ye are my witnesses, saith JEHOVAH ; 
Even my servant, whom I have chosen : 
That ye may know, and believe me ; 
And understand, that I am He. 

Before me no god was formed ; 
And after me none shall exist. 

11 I, even I, am JEHOVAH ; 

And beside me there is no saviour. 

12 I declared my purpose, and I have saved : 

1 made it known ; nor was it any strange god among 

you : 
And ye are my witnesses, saith JEHOVAH, that I am 


13 Even before time was, I am He ; 

And there is none that can rescue out of my hand : 
I work ; and who shall undo what I have done ? 

14 Thus saith JEHOVAH, 

Your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 
For your sake have I sent unto Babylon ; 
And I will bring down all her strong bars; 
And the Chaldeans, exulting in their ships : 

15 I am JEHOVAH, your Holy One; 
The creator of Israel, your king. 

16 Thus saith JEHOVAH ; 
Who made a way in the sea, 
And a path in the mighty waters ; 

17 Who brought forth the rider and the horse, the army and 

the warrior ; 

Together they lay down, they rose no more; 
They were extinguished, they were quenched like tow : 


18 Remember not the former things ; 

And the things of ancient times regard not ; 

19 Behold, I make a new thing ; 

Even now shall it spring forth : will ye not regard it ? 
Yea I will make in the wilderness a way ; 
In the desert, streams of water. 

20 The wild beast of the field shall glorify me ; 
The dragons, and the daughters of the ostrich : 
Because I have given waters in the wilderness ; 
And flowing streams in the desert ; 

To give drink to my people, my chosen : 

21 This people, whom I have formed for myself; 
Who shall recount my praise. 

22 But thou hast not invoked me, O Jacob ; 
Neither on my account hast thou laboured, O Israel. 

23 Thou hast not brought to me the lamb of thy burnt- 

offering ; 

Neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices : 
I have not burthened thee with exacting oblations ; 
Nor wearied thee with demands of frankincense : 

24 Thou hast not purchased for me with silver the aromatic 

reed ; 

Neither hast thou satiated me with the fat of thy sacri- 

On the contrary, thou hast burthened me with thy sins; 

Thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. 

25 I, even I, am He ; 

I blot out thy transgressions for mine own sake ; 
And thy sins I will not remember. 

26 Remind me of thy plea : let us be judged on equal 

terms : 

Set forth thine own cause, that thou mayest clear thy- 

27 Thy chief leader hath sinned ; 

And thy public teachers have revolted from me ; 

28 And thy princes have profaned my sanctuary : 
Therefore will I give up Jacob for a devoted thing, 
And Israel to reproach. 


1 BUT hear now, 6 Jacob, my servant ; 
And Israel, whom I have chosen : 

2 Thus saith JEHOVAH, thy maker ; 


And he that formed thee from the womb, and will help 


Fear thou not, O my servant Jacob ; 
And, O Jeshurun, whom I have chosen : 

3 For I will pour out waters on the thirsty ; 
And flowing streams on the dry ground : 
I will pour out my spirit on thy seed j 
And rny blessing on thine offspring. 

4 And they shall spring up as the grass among the waters; 
As the willows beside the aqueducts. 

5 One shall say ; I belong to JEHOVAH ; 

And another shall be called by the name of Jacob : 
And this shall inscribe his hand to JEHOVAH ; 
And shall be surnamed by the name of Israel. 

6 Thus saith JEHOVAH, the king of Israel ; 
And his redeemer, JEHOVAH God of Hosts : 
I am the first, and I am the last ; 

And beside me there is no God. 

7 And who is like me, that he should call forth this event, 
And make it known beforehand, and dispose it for me, 
From the time that I appointed the people of the destined 

age ? 

The things that are now coming, and are to come hereaf- 
ter, let them declare unto us. 

8 Fear ye not, neither be ye afraid : 

Have I not declared it unto you from the first ? 
Yea, I have foreshewn it ; and ye are my witnesses. 
Is there a God beside me ? 
Yea, there is no other sure protector ; I know not any. 

9 They that form the graven image are all of them vanity ; 
And their most curious works shall not profit. 

Yea, their works themselves bear witness to them, 
That they see not, and that they understand not : 
10 That every one may be ashamed, that he hath formed a 

And cast a graven image, that profiteth not. 
11 Behold, all his associates shall be ashamed ; 
Even the workmen themselves shall blush : 
They shall assemble all of them ; they shall present 

themselves ; 
They shall fear, and be ashamed together. 



12 The smith cutteth off a portion of iron : 

He worketh it in the coals, and with hammers he form- 

eth it ; 

And he exerteth upon it the force of his arm. 
Yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth him ; 
He drinketh no water, and he is faint. 

13 The carpenter stretcheth his line ; 

He marketh out the form of it with red ochre: 
He worketh it with the sharp tool ; 
He figureth it with the compass : 
He maketh it according to the fashion of a man ; 
According to the beauty of the human form, that it may 
abide in the house. 

14 He heweth down cedars for his use : 
And he taketh the pine, and the oak ; 

And layeth in good store of the trees of the forest. 
He planteth the ash, and the rain nourisheth it ; 

15 That it may be for the use of man, for fuel: 
And he taketh thereof, and warmeth himself; 

Yea he heateth the oven with it, and baketh bread : 
He also formeth a god, and worshippeth it : 
He maketh of it a graven image, and boweth down unto 

16 Part of it he burneth in the fire ; 

And with part of it he dresseth flesh, and eateth : 
He roasteth meat, and his hunger is satisfied ; 
He also warmeth himself, and sayeth, 
Aha ! 1 am warmed, 1 have enjoyed the fire : 

17 And the remainder thereof he maketh a god, even his 

graven image ; 

He boweth down to it, and worshippeth it : 
And he prayeth unto it, and sayeth ; 
Deliver me, for thou art my God ! 

18 They know not, neither do they understand : 
Verily their eyes are closed up, that they cannot see ; 
And their heart, that they cannot rightly discern : 

J.9 Neither doth he consider in his heart ; 

Neither hath he knowledge, nor understanding 1 , to say : 
Part of it 1 have burned in the fire ; 
I have also baked bread on the coals thereof; 
I have roasted flesh, and I have eaten : 
And shall I make the remnant an abomination ? 


Shall I bow myself down to the stock of a tree ? 

20 He feedeth on ashes ; a deluded heart leadeth him aside ; 
So that he cannot deliver his own soul, nor say, 

Is there not a lie in my right hand? 

21 Remember these things, O Jacob ; 
.And, Israel ; for thou art my servant : 

I have formed thee ; thou art a servant unto me ; 

Israel, by me thou shalt not be forgotten. 

22 I have made thy transgressions vanish away like a cloud ; 
And thy sins like a vapour : 

Return unto me ; for I have redeemed thee. 

23 Sing, O ye heavens, for JEHOVAH hath effected it ; 
Utter a joyful sound, O ye depths of the earth : 
Burst forth into song, O ye mountains ; 

Thou, forest, and every tree therein ! 
For JEHOVAH hath redeemed Jacob ; 
And will be glorified in Israel. 

24 Thus saith JEHOVAH, thy redeemer ; 
Even he, that formed thee from the womb : 

1 am JEHOVAH, who make all things ; 
Who stretch out the heavens alone ; 
Who spread the firm earth by myself : 

25 I am he, who frustrateth the prognostics of the impos- 

tors ; 

And maketh the diviners mad : 
Who reverseth the devices of the sages, 
And infatuateth their knowledge : 

26 Who establisheth the word of his servant ; 

And accomplished! the counsel of his messengers : 
Who sayeth to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited ; 
And to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built ; 
And her desolated places I will restore : 

27 Who sayeth to the deep, Be thou wasted ; 
And I will make dry thy rivers : 

28 Who sayeth to Cyrus, Thou art my shepherd ! 
And he shall fulfil all my pleasure : 

\Vlio sayeth to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built ; 
And to the temple, Thy foundations shall be laid. 



1 THUS saith JEHOVAH to his anointed ; 

To Cyrus, whom I hold fast by the right hand : 
That I may subdue nations before him ; 
And ungird the loins of kings : 
That I may open before him the valves ; 
And the gates shall not be shut. 

2 I will go before thee ; 

And make the mountains level : 

The valves of brass I will break in sunder ; 

And the bars of iron will I hew down. 

3 And I will give unto thee the treasures of darkness. 
And the stores deep hidden in secret places : 

That thou mayest know, that I am JEHOVAH ; 
He that calleth thee by thy name, the God of Israel. 

4 For the sake of my servant Jacob ; 
And of Israel, my chosen ; 

I have even called thee by thy name ; 

I have surnamed thee, though thou knowest me not. 

5 I am JEHOVAH, and none else ; 
Beside me there is no God : 

I will gird thee, though thou hast not known me. 

6 That they may know, from the rising of the sun, 
And from the west, that there is none beside me : 
I am JEHOVAH, and none else ; 

7 Forming light, and creating darkness ; 
Making peace, and creating evil : 

I JEHOVAH am the author of all these things. 

8 Drop down, O ye heavens, the dew from above ; 
And let the clouds shower down righteousness : 

Let the earth open her bosom, and let salvation produce 

her fruit ; 

And let justice push forth her bud together : 
I JEHOVAH have created it. 

9 Wo unto him, that contendeth with the power that 

formed him ; 

The potsherd with the moulder of the clay ! 
Shall the clay say to the potter, What makest thou , 
And to the workman, Thou hast no hands ? 
10 Wo unto him that sayeth to his father, What begettest thou ? 
And to his mother, What dost thou bring forth 1 


11 Thus saith JEHOVAH, the Holy One of Israel ; 
And he that formeth the things, which are to come : 
Do ye question me concerning my children ? 

And do ye give me directions concerning the works of 
my hands ? 

12 I have made the earth ;, 

And man upon it I have created : 

My hands have stretched out the heavens ; 

And to all the host of them I have given command : 

13 I have raised him up in righteousness ; 
And I will make level all his ways. 

He shall build my city, and release my captives ; 
Not for price, nor for reward : 
Saith JEHOVAH God of Hosts. 

14 Thus saith JEHOVAH : 

The wealth of Egypt, and the merchandise of Gush, 
And the Sabeans tall of stature, 
Shall come over to thee, and shall be thine : 
They shall follow thee ; in chains shall, they pass along ; 
They shall bow down to thee, and in suppliant guise ad- 
dress thee : 

In thee alone is God ; 
And there is no God besides whatever. 

15 Verily, thou art a God that hidest thy counsels, 
O God of Israel, the saviour ! 

16 They are ashamed, they are even confounded, his ad- 

versaries, all of them ; 

Together they retire in confusion, the fabricators of im- 

17 But Israel shall be saved in JEHOVAH with eternal sal- 

vation : 

Ye shall not be ashamed, neither shall ye be confounded, 
to the ages of eternity. 

18 For thus saith JEHOVAH, 

Who created the heavens ; he is God : 

Who formed the earth and made it ; he hath established 

He created it not in vain ; for he formed it to be inha- 
bited : 


I am JEHOVAH, and none besides : 

19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth ; 
I have not said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain : 
I am JEHOVAH, who speak truth ; who give direct 


20 Assemble yourselves together, and come ; 

Gather yourselves together, ye that are escaped from 
among the nations. 

They know nothing, that carry about the wood, which 
they have carved ; 

That address themselves in prayer to a god, which can- 
not save. 

21 Publish it abroad, and bring them near ; and let them 

consult together : 
Who hath made this known long before, hath declared it 

from the first ? 

Is it not I JEHOVAH, than whom there is no other God ? 
A God, that uttereth truth, and granteth salvation ; there 

is none beside me ? 

22 Look unto me, and be saved, O all ye remote people of 

the earth ; 
For I am God, and there is none else. 

23 By myself have I sworn ; truth is gone forth from my 

mouth ; 

The word, and it shall not be revoked : 
Surely to me shall every knee bow, shall every tongue swear: 

24 Saying, Only to JEHOVAH belongeth salvation and power : 
To him they shall come ; they shall be ashamed, all that 

are incensed against him : 

25 In JEHOVAH shall be justified, and make their boast, all 

the seed of Israel. 


1 BEL boweth down, Nebo croucheth ; 

Their idols are laid on the beasts and the cattle ; 
Their burthens are heavy, a grievous weight to the weary 
beast. ' 

2 They crouched, they bowed down together : 
They could not deliver their own charge ; 
Even they themselves are gone into captivity. 

3 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob ; 

And all ye the remnant of the house of Israel : 



Ye that have been borne by me from the birth ; 
That have been carried from the womb. 

4 And even to your old age, I am the same ; 
And even to your grey hairs, I will carry you. 
I have made, and I will bear ; 

I will carry, and will deliver you. 

5 To whom will ye liken me, and equal me ? 

And to whom will ye compare me, that we may be like? 

6 Ye that lavish gold out of the bag ; 
And that weigh silver in the balance ? 

They hire a goldsmith, and he maketh it a god : 
They worship him ; yea they prostrate themselves before 

7 They bear him on the shoulder : they carry him about ; 
They set him down in his place, and he standeth : 
From his place he shall not remove ; 

To him that crieth unto him, he will not answer ; 
Neither will he deliver him from his distress. 

8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men : / 
Reflect on it deeply, O ye apostates. 

9 Remember the former things, of old time : 
Verily I am God, and none else ; 

I am God, nor is there any thing like me. 

10 From the beginning making known the end ; 

And from early times, the things that are not yet done ; 

Saying, My counsel shall stand ; 

And whatever I have willed. I will effect. 

11 Calling from the east the eagle ; 

And from a land far distant, the man of my counsel : 
As I have spoken, so will I bring it to pass ; 
I have formed the design, and I will execute it. 

12 Hearken unto me, O ye stubborn of heart ; 
Ye that are far distant from deliverance : 

131 bring my promised deliverance near, it shall not be far 

distant ; 

And my salvation shall not be delayed. 
And I will give in Sion salvation j 
To Israel I will give my glory. 



1 DESCEND, and sit on the dust, O virgin daughter of 

Babylon ; 
Sit on the bare ground without a throne, O daughter of 

the Chaldeans : 
For thou shall no longer be called the tender, and the 


2 Take the mill, and grind the corn : 
Uncover thy locks, disclose thy flowing hair ; 
Make bare thy leg ; wade through the rivers. 

3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered; even thy shame shall 

be seen : 

I will take full vengeance ; neither will I suffer man to in- 
tercede with me. 

4 Onr avenger, JEHOVAH God of Hosts, 
The Holy One of Israel, is his name ! 

5 Sit thou in silence, go into darkness, O daughter of the 

Chaldef ns * 

For thou shalt no longer be called the lady of the king- 

6 I was angry with my people ; I profaned my heritage ; 
And I gave them up into thy hand : 

Thou didst not shew mercy unto them ; 
Even upon the aged didst thou greatly aggravate the 
weight of thy yoke. 

7 And thau saidst, I shall be a lady for ever : 

Because thou didst not attentively consider these things ; 
Thou didst not think on what was in the end to befall 

8 But hear now this, O thou voluptuous, that sittest in se- 

curity ; 

Thou that sayest in thy heart, I am, and there is none 
else ; 

I shall not sit a widow ; I shall not know the loss of chil- 

9 Yet shall these two things come upon thee in a moment ; 
In one day, loss of children and widowhood : 

On a sudden shall they come upon thee ; 
Notwithstanding the multitude of thy sorceries, and the 
great strength of thine enchantments. 


10 But thou didst trust in thy wickedness, and saidst, None 

seeth me : 
Thy wisdom and thy knowledge have perverted thy 

mind ; 
So that thou hast said in thy heart, I am, and there is 

none besides. 

11 Therefore evil shall come upon thee, which thou shalt not 

know how to deprecate ; 
And mischief shall fall upon thee, which thou shalt not 

be able to expiate ; 
And destruction shall come upon thee suddenly, of which 

thou shalt have no apprehension. 

12 Persist now in thine enchantments ; 

And in the multitude of thy sorceries, in which thou 

hast laboured from thy youth : 
If peradventure thou mayest be profited, if thou mayest be 

strengthened by them. 

13 Thou art weaned in the multiplicity of thy counsels : 
Let them stand up now, and save thee ; 

The observers of the heavens, the gazers on the stars ; 
They that prognosticate at every new moon, 
What are the events, that shall happen unto thee. 

14 Behold they shall be like stubble ; the fire shall burn 

them up : 
They shall not deliver their own souls from the power 

of the flame ; 
Not a coal to warm one, not a fire to sit by, shall be left 

of them. 

15 Such shall these be unto thee, with whom thou hast la- 

boured ; 
Thy negociators, with whom thou hast dealt from thy 

youth : 
Every one shall turn aside to his own business ; none 

shall deliver thee. 


1 HEAR this, O house of Jacob ; 

Ye that are called by the name of Israel : 
Ye that flow from the fountain of Judah ; 
Ye that swear by the name of JEHOVAH, 
And publicly acknowledge the God of Israel ; 
But not in sincerity, nor in truth : 

2 Who take their name from the Holy City, 



And make the God of Israel their support ; 
JEHOVAH God of Hosts is his name : 

3 The former things I shewed unto you from the first ; 
And from my mouth they proceeded, and I declared 

them : 
On a sudden I effected them, and they came to pass. 

4 Because I knew, that thou wast obstinate, 
And that thy neck was a sinew of iron, 
And that thy front was brass : 

5 Therefore I shewed them unto thee from the first ; 
Before they should come to pass, I made thee hear them : 
Lest thou shouldst say, Mine idol hath caused them ; 
And my graven and my molten image hath directed them. 

6 Thou didst hear it beforehand ; behold, the whole is ac- 

complished : 

And will ye not openly acknowledge this? 
From this time I make thee hear new things, 
Kept secret hitherto, and of which thou hast no know- 
ledge : 

7 They are produced now, and not of old ; 

And before this day thou hast not heard them : 
Lest thou shouldst say, Lo ! I knew them. 

8 Yea, thou hast not heard, thou hast not known, 

Yea, from the first thine ear was not opened to receive 

them : 

For I knew, that thou wouldst certainly deal falsely, 
And that Apostate was thy name from thy birth. 

9 For the sake of my name I will defer mine anger ; 

And for the sake of my praise 1 will restrain it from thee, 
That T may not utterly cut thee off. 

10 Behold, I have purified thee in the fire, but not as silver ; 
I have tried thee in the furnace of affliction. 

11 For mine own sake will 1 do it ; for how would my name 

be blasphemed ? 
And my glory I will not give to another. 

12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob my servant ; 
And Israel, whom I have called. 

I am He ; lam the first, and I am the last : 

13 Yea my hand hath founded the earth ; 

And my right hand hath spanned the heavens: 
I summon them ; they present themselves together. 


14 Gather yourselves together all of you, and hear : 
Who among you hath predicted these things ? 
He, whom JEHOVAH hath loved, will execute 

His will on Babylon, and his power on the Chaldeans. 

15 I, even I, have spoken ; yea I have called him : 
I have brought him, and his way shall prosper. 

16 Draw near unto me, and hear ye this : 
From the beginning I have not spoken in secret ; 
Before the time when it began to exist, I had decreed it. 
And now the Lord JEHOVAH hath sent me, and his 


17 Thus saith JEHOVAH, 

Thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel : 

I am JEHOVAH, thy God ; 

Who teacheth thee what will tend to thy profit ; 

Who directeth thee in the way wherein thou shouldst go. 

18 O that thou hadst attended to my commands ! 
Then had thy prosperity been like the river ; 
And thy blessedness, as the floods of the sea : 

19 And thy seed had been as the sand ; 

And the issue of thy bowels, like that of the bowels 

Thy name should not be cut off, nor destroyed from be- 
fore me. 

20 Come ye forth from Babylon ; flee ye from the land of 

the Chaldeans with the voice of joy : 
Publish ye this, and make it heard ; utter it forth even to 

the end of the earth : 
Say ye, JEHOVAH hath redeemed his servant Jacob ; 

21 They thirsted not in the deserts, through which he made 

them go ; 

Waters from the rock he caused to flow for them ; 
Yea he clave the rock, and forth gushed the waters. 

22 There is no peace, saith JEHOVAH, to the wicked. 


1 HEARKEN unto me, O ye distant lands ; 
And ye peoples, attend from afar. 
JEHOVAH from the womb hath called me ; 


From the bowels of my mother hath he mentioned my 

2 And he hath made my mouth a sharp sword ; 

In the shadow of his hand he hath concealed me : 
Yea he hath made me a polished shaft ; 
He hath laid me up in store in his quiver : 

3 And he hath said unto me, Thou art my servant ; 
Israel, in whom I will be glorified. 

4 And I said : I have laboured in vain ; 

For nought, and for vanity, I have spent my strength : 
Nevertheless my cause is with JEHOVAH ; 
And the reward of my work with my God. 

5 And now thus saith JEHOVAH, 

(Who formed me from the womb to be his servant, 
To bring back again Jacob unto him, 
And that Israel unto him may be gathered : 
Therefore am I glorious in the eyes of JEHOVAH, 
And my God is my strength ) : 

6 It is a small thing for thee, that thou shouldst be my ser- 


To raise up the scions of Jacob, 
And to restore the branches of Israel : 
I will even give thee for a light to the nations, 
To be my salvation to the end of the earth. 

7 Thus saith JEHOVAH, 

The redeemer of Israel, his Holy One ; 

To him, whose person is despised, whom the nation holds 
in abhorrence ; 

To the subject of rulers : 

Kings shall see him, and rise up ; 

Princes, and they shall worship him : 

For the sake of JEHOVAH, who is faithful ; 

Of the Holy One of Israel, for he hath chosen thee. 
Thus saith JEHOVAH : 

In the season of acceptance have I heard thee, 

And in the day of salvation have I helped thee ; 

And I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of 
the people ; 

To restore the land, to give possession of the desolate her- 
9 Saying to the bounden. Go forth ; 

And to those that are in darkness, Appear : 


They shall feed beside the ways, 

And on all the eminences shall be their pasture. 

10 They shall not hunger, neither shall they thirst ; 
Neither shall the glowing heat, or the sun, smite them : 
For he, that hath compassion on them, shall lead them ; 
And shall guide them to the bursting springs of water. 

11 And I will make all my mountains an even way; 
And my causeways shall be raised on high. 

12 Lo ! these shall come from afar ; 

And lo ! these from the north and the west ; 
And these from the land of Sinim. 

13 Sing aloud, O ye heavens ; and rejoice, O earth ; 
Ye mountains, burst forth into song : 

For JEHOVAH hath comforted his people, 
And will have compassion on his afflicted. 

14 But Sion sayeth: JEHOVAH hath forsaken me ; 
And my Lord hath forgotten me. 

15 Can a woman forget her sucking infant ; 

That she should have no tenderness for the son of her 


Even these may forget ; 
But 1 will not forget thee. 

16 Behold, on the palms of my hands have I delineated 

thee : 
Thy walls are for ever in my sight. 

17 They, that destroyed thee, shall soon become thy build- 


And they, that laid thee waste, shall become thine off- 

18 Lift up thine eyes around, and see ; 

All these are gathered together, they come to thee. 

As I live, saith JEHOVAH, 

Surely thou shalt clothe thyself with them all, as with a 

rich dress ; 
And bind them about thee, as a bride her jewels. 

19 For thy waste, and thy desolate places, 
And thy land laid in ruins ; 

Even now it shall be straitened with inhabitants ; 

And they, that devoured thee, shall be removed far away. 

20 The sons, of whom thou wast bereaved, shall yet say in 

thine ears : 


This place is too strait for me ; make room for me, that 
I may dwell. 

21 And thou shall say in thine heart : Who hath begotten 

me these ? 

I was bereaved of my children, and solitary ; 
An exile, and an outcast ; who then hath nursed these up ? 
Lo ! I was abandoned, and alone; these then, where 
were they ? 

22 Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH : 

Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations; 
And to the peoples will 1 exalt my signal ; 
And they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, 
And thy daughters shall be borne on their shoulder : 

23 And kings shall be ihy foster-fathers, 
And their queens thy nursing mothers: 

With their faces to the earth they shall bow down unto 


And shall lick the dust of thy feet. 
And thou shall know, that 1 am JEHOVAH ; 
And that they, who trust in him, shall not be ashamed. 

24 Shall the spoil be taken away from the mighty ? 
Or shall the prey seized by the terrible be rescued? 

25 Yea, thus saith JEHOVAH : 

Even the prey of the mighty shall be retaken ; 
And the spoil seized by the terrible shall be rescued : 
For with those., that contend with thee, I will contend ; 
And thy children I will deliver. 

26 And I will gorge thine oppressors with their own flesh ; 
And with their own blood, as with new wine, will I 

drench them : 
And all flesh shall know, 
That I JEHOVAH am thy saviour ; 
And thai thy redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob. 


1 THUS saith JEHOVAH : 
Where is this bill of your mother's divorcement, 
By which I dismissed her ? 
Or who is he among my creditors, 
To whom I have sold you ? 
Behold, for your iniquities are ye sold ; 
And for your transgressions is your mother dismissed. 


2 Wherefore came I, and there was no man ? 
Called I, and none answered ? 

Is then my hand so greatly shortened, that I cannot re- 
deem ? 

And have I no power to deliver ? 
Behold, at my rebuke I make dry the sea ; 
I make the rivers a desert : 
Their fish is dried up, because there is no water ; 
And dieth away for thirst. 

3 I clothe the heavens with blackness ; 
And sackcloth I make their covering. 

4 THE Lord JEHOVAH hath given me the tongue of the 

learned ; 
That I might know how to speak a seasonable word to 

the weary. 

He wakeneth, morning by morning, 
He wakeneth mine ear, to hearken with the attention of 

a learner. 

5 The Lord JEHOVAH hath opened mine ear ; 
And I was not rebellious ; 

Neither did I withdraw myself backward. 

6 I gave my back to the sinkers, 

And my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair : 
My face I hid not from shame and spitting. 

7 For the Lord JEHOVAH is my helper ; 
Therefore I am not ashamed. 
Therefore have I set my face as a flint ; 
And 1 know, that I shall not be confounded. 

8 He that justifieth me is near at hand : 

Who is he that will contend with me ? let us stand forth 

together : 
Who is mine adversary ? let him come on to the contest. 

9 Behold, the Lord JEHOVAH is my advocate : 
Who is he that shall condemn me ? 

Lo ! all of them shall wax old as a garment ; 
The moth shall consume them. 

10 Who is there among you, that feareth JEHOVAH ? 
Let him hearken unto the voice of his servant : 
That walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? 
Let him trust in the name of JEHOVAH ; 



And rest himself on the support of his God. 
11 Behold, all ye who kindle a fire ; 
Who heap the fuel round about : 
Walk ye in the light of your fire, 
And of the fuel, which ye have kindled. 
This ye shall have at my hand ; 
Ye shall lie down in sorrow. 


1 HEARKEN unto me, ye that pursue righteousness, 
Ye that seek JEHOVAH. 

Look unto the rock, from whence ye were hewn ; 
And to the hollow of the cave, whence ye were digged. 

2 Look unto Abraham your father ; 
And unto Sarah, who bore you : 

For I called him, being a single person, 
And I blessed him, and I multiplied him. 

3 Thus therefore shall JEHOVAH console Sion ; 
He shall console all her desolations : 

And he shall make her wilderness like Eden ; 
And her desert like the garden of JEHOVAH : 
Joy and gladness shall be found in her ; 
Thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. 

4 Attend unto me, O ye peoples ; 
And give ear unto me, O ye nations : 
For the law from me shall proceed ; 

And my judgment will I cause to break forth for a light 
to the peoples. 

5 My righteousness is at hand ; my salvation goeth forth ; 
And mine arm shall dispense judgment to the peoples : 
Me the distant lands shall expect ; 

And to mine arm shall they look with confidence. 

6 Lift up unto the heavens your eyes ; 
And look down unto the earth beneath : 
Verily the heavens shall dissolve, like smoke ; 
And the earth shall wax old, like a garment ; 

And its inhabitants shall perish, like the vilest insect : 
But my salvation shall endure for ever ; 
And my righteousness shall not decay. 

7 Hearken unto me, ye that know 7 righteousness; 
The people, in whose heart is my law : 

Fear not the reproach of wretched man ; 


Neither be ye borne down by their revilings. 

8 For the moth shall consume them, like a garment ; 
And the worm shall eat them, like wool : 

But rny righteousness shall endure for ever ; 
And my salvation to the age of ages. 

9 Awake, awake, clothe thyself with strength, O arm 


Awake, as in the days of old, the ancient generations. 
Art thou not the same thai smote Rahab, that wounded 
the dragon ? 

10 Art thou not the same, that dried up the sea, the waters 

of the great deep ? 

That made the depths of the sea a path for the redeemed 
to pass through ? 

11 Thus shall the ransomed of JEHOVAH return, 
And come to Sion with loud acclamation : 

And everlasting gladness shall crown their heads ; 
Joy and gladness shall they obtain, 
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you : 

Who art thou, that thou shouldst fear wretched man, that 

dieth j 
And the son of man, that shall become as the grass ? 

13 And shouldst forget JEHOVAH thy maker, 

Who stretched out the heavens, and founded the earth ; 

And shouldst every day be in continued fear, 

Because of the fury of the oppressor, 

As if he were just ready to destroy ? 

And where now is the fury of the oppressor ? 

14 He marcheth on with speed, who cometh to set free the 

captive ; 

That he may not die in the dungeon, 
And that his bread may not fail. 

15 For I am JEHOVAH thy God ; 

He, who stilleth at once the sea, though the waves there- 
of roar ; 
JEHOVAH God of Hosts is his name. 

16 I have put my words in thy mouth ; 

And with the shadow of my hand have I covered thee : 
To stretch out the heavens, and to lay the foundations of 

the earth ; 
And to say unto Sion, Thou art my people. 


17 Rouse thyself, rouse thyself up ; arise, O Jerusalem ! 
Who hast drunken from the hand of JEHOVAH the cup of 

his fury : 
The dregs of the cup of trembling thou hast drunken, 

thou hast wrung them out. 
IS There is not one to lead her, of all the sons which she 

hath brought forth ; 

Neither is there one to support her by the hand, of all the 
sons which she hath educated. 

19 These two things have befallen thee ; who shall bemoan. 


Desolation, and destruction ; the famine, and the sword ; 
who shall comfort thee ? 

20 Thy sons lie astounded ; they are cast down ; 

At the head of all the streets, like the oryx taken in the 

toils ; 

Drenched to the full with the fury of JEHOVAH, with the 
rebuke of thy God. 

21 Wherefore hear now this, O thou afflicted daughter ; | 
And thou drunken, but not with wine* 

22 Thus saith thy Lord JEHOVAH ; 

And thy God, who avengeth his people : 
Behold, I take from thy hand the cup of trembling ; 
The dregs of the cup of my fury ; 
Thou shalt drink of it again no more. 
33 But I will put it into the hand of them who oppress 

thee ; 
Who say to thee, Bow down thy body, that we may go 

over : 

And thou layedst down thy back, as the ground ; 
And as the street, to them that pass along. 


1 AWAKE, awake ; be clothed with thy strength. O Sion : 
Clothe thyself with thy glorious garments, O Jerusalem, 

thou holy city ! 

For no more shall enter into thee the uncircumcised and 
the polluted. 

2 Shake thyself from the dust, ascend thy lofty seat, O Je- 

rusalem : 

Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive 
daughter of Sion ! 


3 For thus saith JEHOVAH : 
For nought were ye sold ; 

And not with money shall ye be ransomed. 

4 For thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH : 
My people went down to Egypt, 
At the first, to sojourn there ; 

And the Assyrian, at the last, hath oppressed them. 

5 And now, what have I more to do, saith JEHOVAH : 
Seeing that my people is taken away for nought ; 

And they, that are lords over them, make their boast of 
it, saith JEHOVAH ; 

And continually every day is my name exposed to con- 
tempt ? 

6 Therefore shall my people know my name in that day : 
For I am he, JEHOVAH, that promised ; and lo ! here I 

am ! 

7 How beautiful appear on the mountains 

The feet of the joyful messenger ; of him, that announc- 

eth peace ! 
Of the joyful messenger of good tidings ; of him, that an- 

nounceth salvation ! 
Of him, that sayeth unto Sion, Thy God reigneth ! 

8 All thy watchmen lift up their voice; they shout toge- 


For face to face shall they see, when JEHOVAH returneth 
to Sion. 

9 Burst forth into joy, shout together, ye ruins of Jerusa- 

lem ! 

For JEHOVAH hath comforted his people ; he hath re- 
deemed Israel. 

10 JEHOVAH hath made bare his holy arm, in the sight of all 

the nations ; 

And all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of 
our God. 

1 1 Depart, depart ye, go ye out from thence ; touch no 

polluted thing : 

Go ye out from the midst of her ; be ye clean, ye that 
bear the vessels of JEHOVAH ! 

12 Verily not in haste shall ye go forth ; 
And not by flight shall ye march along : 
For JEHOVAH shall march in your front ; 

And the God of Israel shall bring up your rear. 


13 BEHOLD, my servant shall prosper; 

He shall be raised aloft, and magnified, and very highly 

14 As many were astonished at him ; 

(To such a degree was his countenance disfigured, more 

than that, of man ; 
And his form, more than the sons of men ) ; 

15 So shall he sprinkle many nations : 
Before him shall kings shut their mouths ; 

For what was not before declared to them, they shall 

And what they had not heard, they shall attentively con- 


1 Who hath believed our report ; 

And to whom hath the arm of JEHOVAH been manifested? 

2 For he groweth up in their sight like a tender sucker ; 
And like a root from a thirsty soil: 

He hath no form, nor any beauty, that we should regard 

him ; 
Nor is his countenance such, that .we should desire him. 

3 Despised, nor accounted in the number of men ; 
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; 
As one that hideth his face from us : 

Ho was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

4 Surely our infirmities he hath borne ; 
And our sorrows, he hath carried them : 
Yet we thought him judicially stricken ; 
Smitten of God, and afflicted. 

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions ; 
Was smitten for our iniquities : 

The chastisement, by which our peace is effected, wa 

laid upon him ; 
And by his bruises we are healed. 

6 We all of us like sheep have strayed ; 

We have turned aside, every one to his own way ; 
And JEHOVAH hath made to light upon him the iniquity 
of us all. 

7 It was exacted, and he was made answerable ; and he 

opened not his mouth : 
As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, 


And as a sheep before her shearers 
Is dumb ; so he opened not his mouth. 

8 By an oppressive judgment he was taken off; 
And his manner of life who would declare ? 
For he was cut off from the land of the living ; 

For the transgression of my people he was smitten to death. 

9 And his grave was appointed with the wicked ; 
But with the rich man was his tomb. 
Although he had done no wrong, 

IN either was there any guile in his mouth ; 
1 Yet it pleased JEHOVAH to crush him with affliction. 
If his soul shall make a propitiatory sacrifice, 
He shall see a seed, which shall prolong their days, 
And the gracious purpose of JEHOVAH shall prosper in 
his hands. 

1 1 Of the travail of his soul he shall see [the fruit], and be 

satisfied : 

By the knowledge of him shall my servant justify many ; 
For the punishment of their iniquities he shall bear. 

12 Therefore will I distribute to him the many for his por- 

tion ; 

And the mighty people shall he share for his spoil : 
Because he poured out his soul unto death ; 
And was numbered with the transgressors : 
And he bare the sin of many ; 
And made intercession for the transgressors. 


1 SHOUT for joy, O thou barren, that didst not bear ; 
Break forth into joyful shouting, and exult, thou that 

didst not travail : 

For more are the children of the desolate, 
Than of the married woman, saith JEHOVAH. 

2 Enlarge the place of thy tent ; 

And let the canopy of thy habitation be extended : 
Spare not ;. lengthen thy cords, 
And firmly fix thy stakes : 

3 For on the right hand, and on the left, thou shalt burst 

forth with increase ; 
And thy seed shall inherit the nations ; 
And they shall inhabit the desolate cities. 

4 Fear not, for thou shalt not be confounded ; 

And blush not, for thou shalt not be brought to reproach : 


For thou shall forget the shame of thy youth ; 
And the reproach of thy widowhood thou shalt remember 
no more. 

5 For thy husband is thy maker; 
JEHOVAH God of Hosts is his name : 

And thy redeemer is the Holy One of Israel ; 
The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 

6 For as a woman forsaken, and deeply afflicted, hath JE- 

HOVAH recalled thee ; 

And as a wife, wedded in youth, but afterwards rejected, 
saith thy God. 

7 In a little anger have I forsaken thee ; 

But with great mercies will I receive thee again : 

8 In a short wrath I hid my face for a moment from thee ; 
But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee j 
Saith thy redeemer JEHOVAH. 

9 The same will I do now, as in the days of Noah, when I 

That the waters of Noah should no more pass over the 

earth : 
So have I sworn, that I will not be wroth with thee, nor 

rebuke thee. 

10 For the mountains shall be removed ; 
And the hills shall be overthrown : 

But my kindness from thee shall not be removed ; 
And the covenant of my peace shall not be overthrown j 
Saith JEHOVAH, who beareth towards thee the most ten- 
der affection. 

11 O thou afflicted, beaten with the storm, destitute of con- 

solation ! 

Behold 1 lay thy stones in cement of vermilion, 
And thy foundations with sapphires : 

12 And I will make of rubies thy battlements ; 
And thy gates of carbuncles ; 

And the whole circuit of thy walls shall be of precious 

13 And all thy children shall be taught by JEHOVAH ; 
And great shall be the prosperity of thy children. 

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established : 

Be thou far from oppression ; yea thou shalt not fear it; 
And from terror; for it shall not approach thee. 

15 Behold, they shall be leagued together, but not by my 

command : 


Whosoever is leagued against thee, shall come over to thy 

16 Behold, I have created the smith, 
Who bloweth up the coals into a fire, 

And produceth instruments according to his work ; 
And 1 have created the destroyer to lay waste. 

17 Whatever weapon is formed against thee, it shall not pros- 

per ; 
And against every tongue, that contendeth with thee, 

thou shall obtain thy cause. 
This is the heritage of JEHOVAH'S servants, 
And their justification from me, saith JEHOVAH. 


1 Ho ! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ! 
And that hath no silver, come ye, buy, and eat ! 

Yea, come, buy ye without silver ; 
And without price, wine and milk. 

2 Wherefore do ye weigh out your silver for that which is 

no bread ? 

And your riches, for that which will not satisfy ? 
Attend, and hearken unto me ; and eat that which is truly 


And your soul shall feast itself with the richest delicacies. 
4 Incline your ear, and come unto me ; 
Attend, and your soul shall live : 
And I will make with you an everlasting covenant ; 
1 will give you the gracious promises made to David, 

which shall never fail. 

4 Behold, for a witness to the peoples I have given him ; 
A leader, and a lawgiver to the nations. 

5 Behold, the nation, whom thou knewest not, thou shalt 

call ; 

And the nation, who knew not thee, shall run unto thee, 
For the sake of JEHOVAH thy God ; 
And for the Holy One of Israel, for he hath glorified 


6 Seek ye JEHOVAH, while he may be found ; 
Call ye upon him, while he is near at hand : 

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, 

And the unrighteous man his thoughts; 


And let him return unto JEHOVAH, for he will receive him 

with compassion ; , 

And unto our God, for he ahoundeth in forgiveness. 

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts ; 
Neither are your ways my ways, saith JEHOVAH. 

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth ; 
So are my ways higher than your ways, 
And my thoughts than your thoughts. 

10 Verily, like as the rain descended!, 
And the snow, from the heavens ; 
And thither it doth not return ; 

But moisteneth the earth, 

And maketh it generate, and put forth its increase ; 
That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the 
eater : 

11 So shall be the word, which goeth forth from my mouth ; 
It shall not return unto me fruitless ; 

But it shall effect what I have willed ; 

And make the purpose succeed, for which I have sent it. 

12 Surely with joy shall ye go forth, 

And with peace shall ye be led onward : 

The mountains and the hills shall burst forth before you 

into song ; 
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 

13 Instead of the thorny bushes shall grow up the fir-tree ; 
And instead of the bramble shall grow up the myrtle : 
Arid it shall be unto JEHOVAH for a memorial ; 

For a perpetual sign, which shall not be abolished. 


1 THUS saith JEHOVAH : 

Keep ye judgment, and practise righteousness ; 
For my salvation is near, just ready to come ; 
And my righteousness, to be revealed. 

2 Blessed is the mortal that doeth this ; 
And the son of man that holdeth it fast ; 
That keepeth the sabbath, and profaneth it not ; 
And restraineth his hand from doing evil. 

3 And let not the son of the stranger speak, 
That cleaveth unto JEHOVAH, saying : 
JEHOVAH hath utterly separated me from his people. 


Neither let the eunuch say : 
Behold, I arn a dry tree. 

4 For thus saith JEHOVAH to the eunuchs : 
Whoever of them shall have kept my sahbaths, 
And shall have chosen that in which I delight, 
And shall have steadfastly maintained my covenant j 

5 To them I will give in my house, 

And within my walls, a memorial and a name, 
Better than that of sons and daughters: 
An everlasting name will I give them, 
Which shall never be cut off. 

6 And the sons of the stranger, who cleave unto JEHOVAH ; 
To minister unto him, and to love the name of JEHOVAH, 
And to become his servants : 

Every one that keepeth the sabbath, and profaneth it not ; 
And that steadfastly maintaineth my covenant: 

7 Them will I bring unto my holy mountain ; 

And I will make them rejoice in my house of prayer : 
Their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted 

on mine altar ; 

For my house shall be called, The house of prayer for all 
the peoples. 

8 Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH, 

Who gathereth together the outcasts of Israel : 
Yet will I gather others unto him, beside these that are 
already gathered. 

9 ALL ye beasts of the field, come away ; 
Come to devour, O all ye beasts of the forest ! 

10 His watchmen are blind, all of them ; they are igno- 

rant ; 

They are all of them dumb dogs, they cannot bark : 
Dreamers, sluggards, loving to slumber. 

11 Yea these dogs are of untamed appetite ; 
They know not to be satisfied. 

And the shepherds themselves cannot understand : 
They all of them turn aside to their own way ; 
Each to his own lucre, from the highest to the lowest. 

12 Come on, let us provide wine ; 
And let us swill strong drink : 

And as to-day, so shall be the cheer of to-morrow j 
Great, even far more abundant. 



1 THE righteous man perisheth, and no one considereth ; 
And pious men are taken away, and no one understand- 

That the righteous man is taken away, because of the evil, 

2 He shall go in peace : he shall rest in his bed ; 

Even the perfect man ; he that waiketh in the strait path. 

3 But ye, draw ye near hither, O ye sons of the sorcer- 

ess ; 
Ye seed of the adulterer, and of the harlot ! 

4 Of whom do ye make your sport ? 

At whom do ye widen the mouth, and loll the tongue ? 
Are ye not apostate children, a false seed ? 

5 Burning with the lust of idols under every green tree ; 
Slaying the children in the vallies, under the clefts of the 

rocks ? 

6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is thy portion ; 
These, these are thy lot : 

Even to these hast thou poured out thy libation, 

Hast thou presented thine offering. 

Can I see these things with acquiescence ? 

7 Upon a high and lofty mountain hast thou set thy bed : 
Even thither hast thou gone up to offer sacrifice. 

8 Behind the door and the door-posts hast thou set thy me- 

morial : 
Thou hast departed from me, and art gone up ; thou hast 

enlarged thy bed ; 

And thou hast made a covenant with them : 
Thou hast loved their bed ; thou hast provided a place 

for it. 

9 And thou hast visited the king with a present of oil; 
And hast multiplied thy precious ointments: 

And thou hast sent thine ambassadors afar ; 
And hast debased thyself even to Hades. 

10 In the length of thy journeys thou hast wearied thyself ; 
Thou hast said, There is no hope : 

Thou hast found the support of thy life by thy labour: 
Therefore lhou,hast not utterly fainted. 

11 And of whom hast thou been so anxiously afraid, that 

thou shouldst thus deal falsely ? 

And hast not remembered me, nor revolved it in thy 
mind ? 



Is it not because I was silent, and winked ; and thou 
fearest me not ? 

12 But I will declare my righteousness ; 
And thy deeds shall not avail thee. 

13 When thou criest, let thine associates deliver thee: 

But the wind shall bear them away ; a breath shall take 

them off. 

But he that trusteth in me shall inherit the land, 
And shall possess my holy mountain. 

14 Then will I say : Cast up, cast up the causeway ; 

make clear the way ; 
Remove every obstruction from the road of my people. 

15 -For thus saith JEHOVAH, the high, and the lofty ; 

Inhabiting eternity ; and whose name is the Holy One : 

The high and the holy place will I inhabit ; 

And with the contrite, and humble of spirit : 

To revive the spirit of the humble ; 

And to give life to the heart of the contrite. 

16 For I will not alway contend ; 
Neither for ever will I be wroth : 

For the spirit from before me would be overwhelmed ; 
And the living souls, which I have made. 

17 Because of his iniquity for a short time I was wroth : 
And I smote him ; hiding my face in mine anger. 

And he departed, turning back in the way of his own heart. 

18 I have seen his ways ; and I will heal him, and will be 

his guide ; 

And I will restore comforts, to him, and to his mourners. 
191 create the fruit of the lips : 
Peace, peace, to him that is near, 

And to him that is afar off, saith JEHOVAH ; and I will 
heal him. 

20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea ; 
For it never can be at rest ; 

But its waters work up filth and mire. 

21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. 


1 CRY aloud ; spare not : 
Like a trumpet lift up thy voice : 
And declare unto my people their transgression ; 
And to the house of Jacob their sin. 


2 Yet me day after day they seek ; 

And to know my ways they take delight : 

As a nation that doeth righteousness, 

And hath not forsaken the ordinance of their God. 

They continually inquire of me concerning the ordinances 

of righteousness ; 
They take delight to draw nigh unto God. 

3 Wherefore have we fasted, and thou seest not ? 
Have we afflicted our souls, and thou dost not regard ? 
Behold, in the day of your fasting, ye enjoy your pleas- 
ure ; 

And all your demands of labour ye rigorously exact. 

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and contention ; 
And to smite with the fist the poor. 
Wherefore fast ye unto me in this manner ; 
To make your voice to be heard on high 1 

5 Is such then the fast which I choose ; 
That a man should afflict his soul for a day ? 

Is it, that he should bow down his head like a bulrush ; 
And spread sackcloth and ashes for his couch ? 
Shall this be called a fast, 
And a day acceptable to JEHOVAH? 

6 Is not this the fast which I choose ? 
To dissolve the bands of wickedness ; 
To loosen the oppressive burthens ; 

To deliver those that are crushed by violence ; 
And that ye should break asunder every yoke ? 

7 Is it not to distribute thy bread to the hungry ; 
And to bring the wandering poor into thy house ? 
When thou seest the naked, that thou clothe him ; 
And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh ? 

8 Then shall thy light break forth like the morning 
And thy wounds shall speedily be healed over : 
And thy righteousness shall go before thee ; 

And the glory of JEHOVAH shall bring up thy rear. 

9 Then shalt thou call, and JEHOVAH shall answer ; 
Thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Lo I am here ! 
If thou remove from the midst of thee the yoke ; 
The pointing of the finger, and the injurious speech : 

10 If thou bring forth thy bread to the hungry, 
And satisfy the afflicted soul ; 
Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, 
And thy darkness shall be as the noon-day. 


11 And JEHOVAH shall lead thee continually, 
And satisfy thy soul in the severest drought ; 
And he shall renew thy strength : 

And thou shalt be like a well-watered garden, and like a 

flowing spring, 
"Whose waters shall never fail. 

12 And they that spring from thee shall build the ancient 

ruins ; 

The foundations of old times shall they raise up : 
And thou shalt be called the repairer of the broken 

mound ; 
The restorer of paths to be frequented by inhabitants. 

13 If thou restrain thy foot from the sabbath ; 
From doing thy pleasure on my holy day : 
And shalt call the sabbath, a delight ; 

And the holy feast of JEHOVAH, honourable : 
And shalt honour it, by refraining from thy purpose ; 
From pursuing thy pleasure, and from speaking vain 
words : 

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in JEHOVAH ; 

And I will make thee ride on the high places of the 

earth ; 
And I will feed thee on the inheritance of Jacob thy 

father : 
For the mouth of JEHOVAH hath spoken it. 


1 BEHOLD, the hand of JEHOVAH is not contracted, so 

that he cannot save ; 
Neither is his ear grown dull, so that he cannot hear. 

2 But your iniquities have made a separation 

Between you and your God ; 
And your sins have hidden 

His face from you, that he doth not hear. 

3 For your hands are polluted with blood, 

And your ringers with iniquity ; 
Your lips speak falsehood, 

And your tongue muttereth wickedness. 

4 No one prefer reth his suit in justice, 

And no one pleadeth in truth : 
Trusting in vanity, and speaking lies ; 

Conceiving mischief, and bringing forth iniquity. 



5 They hatch the eggs of the basilisk, 

And weave the web of the spider : 
He that eateth of their eggs dieth ; 

And when it is crushed, a viper breaketh forth. 

6 Of their webs no garment shall be made ; 

Neither shall they cover themselves with their works : 
Their works are works of iniquity, 

And the deed of violence is in their hands. 

7 Their feet run swiftly to evil, 

And they hasten to shed innocent blood : 
Their devices are devices of iniquity ; 

Destruction and calamity is in their paths. 

8 The way of peace they know not j 

Neither is there any judgment in their tracks : 
They have made to themselves crooked paths ; 
Whoever goeth in them, knoweth not peace. 

9 Therefore is judgment far distant from us ; 

Neither doth justice overtake us : 
We look for light, but behold darkness ; 
For brightness, but we walk in obscurity. 

10 We grope for the wall, like the blind ; 

And we wander, as those that are deprived of sight : 
We stumble at mid-day, as in the twilight ; 
In the midst of delicacies, as among the dead. 

1 1 We groan all of us, like the bears ; 

And like the doves, we make a continued moan. 
We look for judgment, and there is none ; 
For salvation, and it is far distant from us. 

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee ; 

And our sins bring an accusation against us : 
For our transgressions cleave fast unto us ; 
And our iniquities we acknowledge. 

13 By rebelling, and lying, against JEHOVAH ; 

And by turning backward from following our God : 
By speaking injury, and conceiving revolt ; 
And by meditating from the heart lying words. 

14 And judgment is turned away backwards; 

And justice standeth aloof: 
For truth hath stumbled in the open street ; 
And rectitude hath not been able to enter. 

15 And truth is utterly lost ; 

And he that shunneth evil, exposeth himself to be 
plundered : 



And JEHOVAH saw it. 

And it displeased him, that there was no judgment. 

16 And he saw, that there was no man ; 

And he wondered, that there was no one to interpose : 
Then his own arm wrought salvation for him ; 
And his righteousness, it supported him. 

17 And he put on righteousness, as a hreast-plate ; 

And the helmet of salvation was on his head : 
And he put on the garments of vengeance for his cloth- 
ing ; 
And he clad himself with zeal, as with a mantle. 

18 He is mighty to recompense ; 

He that is mighty to recompense will requite : 
Wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies ; 
To the distant coasts a recompense will he requite. 

19 And they from the west shall revere the name of JEHO- 

VAH ; 

And they from the rising of the sun, his glory ; 
When he shall come, like a river straitened in his course, 
Which a strong wind driveth along. 

20 And the Redeemer shall come to Sion ; 

And shall turn away iniquity from Jacob ; saith JEHO- 

21 And this is the covenant, which I make with them. 

saith JEHOVAH : 
My spirit, which is upon thee, 
And my words, which I have put in thy mouth ; 
They shall not depart from thy mouth, 
Nor from the mouth of thy seed, 

Nor from the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith JEHOVAH ; 
From this time forth for ever. 


1 ARISE, be thou enlightened ; for thy light is come ; 
And the glory of JEHOVAH is risen upon thee. 

2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth ; 
And a thick vapour the nations : 

And upon thee shall JEHOVAH arise ; 

And his glory upon thee shall be conspicuous. 

3 And the nations shall walk in thy light ; 
And kings in the brightness of thy sun-rising. 

4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see ; 

All of them are gathered together, they come unto thee : 


ISAIAH. 115 

Thy sons shall come from afar ; 

And thy daughters shall be carried at the side. 

5 Then shalt thou fear, and overflow with joy ; 
And thy heart shall be ruffled, and dilated ; 

When the riches of the sea shall be poured in upon thee ; 
When the wealth of the nations shall come unto thee. 

6 An inundation of camels shall cover thee ; 
The dromedaries of Midian and Epha ; 
All of them from Saba shall come : 
Gold and frankincense shall they bear ; 

And the praise of JEHOVAH shall they joyfully proclaim. 

7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered unto thee : 
Unto thee shall the rams of Nebaioth minister : 
They shall ascend with acceptance on mine altar ; 
And my beauteous house I will yet beautify. 

8 Who are these, that fly like a cloud ? 
And like doves upon the wing ? 

9 Yerily the distant coasts shall await me ; 
And the ships of Tarshish among the first : 
To bring thy sons from afar ; 

Their silver and their gold with them : 
Because of the name of JEHOVAH thy God ; 
And of the Holy One of Israel ; for he hath glorified 

10 And the sons of the stranger shall build up thy walls j 
And their kings shall minister unto thee : 

For in my wrath I smote thee ; 

But in my favour I will embrace thee with the most 
tender affection. 

11 And thy gates shall be open continually ; 
By day, or by night, they shall not be shut : 
To bring unto thee the wealth of the nations ; 

And that their kings may come pompously attended. 

12 For that nation, and that kingdom, 
Which will not serve thee, shall perish ; 
Yea, those nations shall be utterly desolated. 

13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee ; 
The fir-tree, the .pine, and the box together : 
To adorn the place of my sanctuary ; 

And that I may glorify the place, whereon I rest my 

14 And the sons of thine oppressors shall come bending be- 

fore thee ; 


And all, that scornfully rejected thee, shall do obeisance to 

the soles of thy feet : 

And they shall call thee, The City of JEHOVAH ; 
The Sion of the Holy One of Israel. 

15 Instead of thy being forsaken, 

And hated, so that no one passed through thee ; 
I will make thee an everlasting boast ; 
A subject of joy for perpetual generations. 

16 And thou shalt suck the milk of nations ; 

Even at the breast of kings shalt thou be fostered : 
And thou shalt know, that I JEHOVAH am thy saviour j 
And that thy redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob. 

17 Instead of brass, I will bring gold ; 
And instead of iron, I will bring silver : 
And instead of wood, brass ; 

And instead of stones, iron. 

And I will make thine inspectors peace ; 

And thine exactors, righteousness. 

18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land ; 
Destruction and calamity, in thy borders : 
But thou shalt call thy walls. Salvation ; 
And thy gates, Praise. 

19 No longer shalt thou have the sun for a light by day ; 
Nor by night shall the brightness of the moon enlighten 


For JEHOVAH shall be to thee an everlasting light, 
And thy God shall be thy glory. 

20 Thy sun shall no more go down ; 
Neither shall thy moon wane : 

For JEHOVAH shall be thine everlasting light ; 
And the days of thy mourning shall be ended. 

21 And thy people shall be all righteous ; 
For ever shall they possess the land : 

The cion of my planting, the work of my hands, that I 
may be glorified. 

22 The little one shall become a thousand ; 
And the small one a strong nation : 

I JEHOVAH in due time will hasten it. 



1 THE spirit of JEHOVAH is upon me, 
Because JEHOVAH hath anointed me. 

To publish glad tidings to the meek hath he sent me ; 
To bind up the broken hearted : 
To proclaim to the captives freedom ; 
And to the bounded, perfect liberty : 

2 To proclaim the year of acceptance with JEHOVAH ; 
And the day of vengeance of our God. 

To comfort all those that, mourn ; 

3 To impart [gladness] to the mourners of Sion : 
To give them a beautiful crown, instead of ashes ; 
The oil of gladness instead of sorrow ; 

The clothing of praise, instead of the spirit of heaviness. 
That they may be called trees approved ; 
The plantation of JEHOVAH for his glory. 

4 And they that spring from thee shall build up the ruins 

of old times ; 

They shall restore the ancient desolations : 
They shall repair the cities laid waste ; 
Tire desolations of continued ages. 

5 And strangers shall stand up and feed your flocks; 
And the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen and 


6 But ye shall be called the priests of JEHOVAH ; 
The ministers of our God, shall be your title. 
The riches of the nations shall ye eat ; 

And in their glory shall ye make your boast. 

7 Instead of your shame, ye shall receive a double inheri- 

tance ; 

And of your ignominy, ye shall rejoice in their portion : 
For in their land a double share shall ye inherit ; 
And everlasting gladness shall ye possess. 

8 For I am JEHOVAH, who love judgment ; 
"Who hate rapine and iniquity : 

And I will give them the reward of their work with 

faithfulness ; 
And an everlasting covenant I will make with them : 

9 And their seed shall be illustrious among the nations ; 
And their offspring, in the midst of the peoples. 

And they that see then) shall acknowledge them, 
That they are a seed which JEHOVAH hath blessed. 


10 I will greatly rejoice in JEHOVAH ; 
My soul shall exult in my God. 

For he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation ; 
He hath covered me with the mantle of righteousness : 
As the bridegroom decketh himself with a priestly crown ; 
And as the bride adorneth herself with her costly jewels. 

11 Surely, as the earth pusheth forth her tender shoots ; 
And as a garden maketh her seed to germinate : 

So shall the Lord JEHOVAH cause righteousness to spring 

forth ; 
And praise, in the presence of all the nations. 


1 FOR Sion's sake I will not keep silence ; 
And for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest : 
Until her righteousness break forth as a strong light ; 
And her salvation, like a blazing torch. 

2 And the nations shall see thy righteousness ; 
And all the kings, thy glory : 

And thou shalt be called by a new name, 

Which the mouth of JEHOVAH shall fix upon thee. 

3 And thou shalt be a beautiful crown in the hand of JE- 

And a royal diadem in the grasp of thy God. 

4 No more shall it be said unto thee, Thou forsaken ! 
Neither to thy land shall it be said any more, Thou de- 
solate ! 

But thou shalt be -called, The object of my delight ; 
And thy land, The wedded matron : 
For JEHOVAH shall delight in thee ; 
And thy land shall be joined in marriage. 

5 For as a young man weddeth a virgin, 
So shall thy restorer wed thee : 

And as the bridegroom rejoiceth in his bride, 
So shall thy God rejoice in thee. 

6 Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, 
Have I set watchmen all the day; 

And all the night long they shall not keep silence. 
O ye, that proclaim the name of JEHOVAH ! 

7 Keep not silence yourselves, nor let him rest in silence ; 


Until he establish, and until he render, 
Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 

8 JEHOVAH hath sworn by his right hand, and by his 

powerful arm : 

I will no more give thy corn for food to thine enemies ; 
Nor shall the sons of the stranger drink thy must, for 

which thou hast labored : 

9 But they, that reap the harvest, shall eat it, and praise 


And they, that gather the vintage, shall drink it in my 
sacred courts. 

10 Pass ye, pass through the gates ; prepare the way for 

the people ! 
Cast ye up, cast up the causeway ; clear it from the 

stones ! 
Lift up on high a standard to the nations ! 

11 Behold, JEHOVAH hath thus proclaimed to the end of 

the earth : 

Say ye to the daughter of Sion, Lo thy saviour cotneth ! 
Lo ! his reward is with him, and the recompense of his 

work before him. 
And they shall be called, The holy people, the redeemed 


12 And thou shalt be called, The much desired, The city 



1 CHO. WHO is this, that cometh from Edorn ? 

With garments deeply dyed from Botsra ? 
This, that is magnificent in his apparel ; 
Marching on in the greatness of his strength ? 
MES. I, who publish righteousness, and am mighty to 

2 CHO. Wherefore is thine apparel red ? 

And thy garments, as of one that treacleth the 
wine- vat ? 

3 MES. I have trodden the vat alone ; 

And of the peoples there was riot a man with me. 
And I trod them in mine anger; 
And I trampled them in mine indignation : 
And their life-blood was sprinkled upon my gar- 
ments t 


And I have stained all mine apparel. 

4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart ; 
And the year of my redeemed was come. 

5 And I looked, and there was no one to help ; 

And I was astonished, that there was no one to 

uphold : 

Therefore mine own arm wrought salvation for me. 
And mine indignation itself sustained me. 

6 And I trod down the peoples in mine anger ; 
And I crushed them in mine indignation ; 
And I spilled their life-blood on the ground. 

7 THE mercies of JEHOVAH will I record, the praise of 


According to all that JEHOVAH hath bestowed upon us : 
And the greatness of his goodness to the house of Israel ; 
Which he hath bestowed upon them, through his ten- 
derness and great kindness. 

8 For he said : Surely they are my people, children that 

will not prove false ; 
And he became their saviour in all their distress. 

9 It was not an envoy, nor an angel of his presence, that 

saved them : 

Through his love, and his indulgence, he himself re- 
deemed them ; 

And he took them up, and he bare them, all the days 
of old. 

10 But they rebelled, and grieved his holy spirit ; 

So that he became their enemy ; and he fought against 

11 And he remembered the days of old, Moses his servant ; 
How he brought them up from the sea, with the shep- 
herd of his flock ; 

How he placed in his breast his holy spirit : 

12 Making his glorious arm to attend Moses on his right 

hand in his march ; 

Cleaving the waters before them, to make himself a name 
everlasting ; 

13 Leading them through the abyss, like a courser in the 

plain, without obstacle. 

14 As the herd descendeth to the valley, the spirit of JE- 

HOVAH conducted them : 


So didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a name il- 

15 Look down from heaven, and see, from thy holy and 

glorious dwelling : 

Where is thy zeal, and thy mighty power ; 
The yearning of thy bowels, and thy tender affections ? 
are they restrained from us ? 

16 Verily, Thou art our father ; for Abraham knoweth us not, 
And Israel doth not acknowledge us. 

Thou, O JEHOVAH, art our father : 
O deliver us for the sake of thy name ! 

17 Wherefore, O JEHOVAH, dost thou suffer us to err from 

thy ways ? 

To harden our hearts from the fear of thee ? 
Return for the sake of thy servants ; 
For the sake of the tribes of thine inheritance. 

18 It is little, that they have taken possession of thy holy 

mountain ; 
That our enemies have trodden down thy sanctuary : 

19 We have long been as those, whom thou hast not ruled 5 
Who have not been called by thy name. 


1 O ! that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou 

wouldst descend ; 
That the mountains might flow down at thy presence ! 

2 As the fire kindleth the dry fuel ; 

As the fire causeth the waters to boil : 

To make known thy name to thine enemies ; 

That the nations might tremble at thy presence. 

3 When thou didst wonderful things, which we expected 


Thou didst descend ; at thy presence the mountains flowed 

4 For never have men heard, nor perceived by the ear, 
Nor hath eye seen, a God beside thee, 

Who doeth such things for those that trust in him. 

5 Thou meetest with joy those who work righteousness ; 
Who in thy ways remember thee. 

Lo ! Thou art angry ; for we have sinned : 
Because of our deeds ; for we have been rebellious. 

6 And we are all of us as a polluted thing ; 

And like a rejected garment are all our righteous deeds: 


And we are withered away, like a leaf, all of us ; 
And our sins, like the wind, have borne us away. 

7 There is no one that invoketh thy name ; 
That rouseth himself up to lay hold on thee : 
Therefore thou hast hidden thy face from us ; 

And hast delivered us up into the hand of our iniquities. 

8 But thou, O JEHOVAH, thou art our father ; 
We are the clay, and thou hast formed us : 
We are all of us the work of thy hands. 

9 Be not wroth, O JEHOVAH, to the uttermost ; 
Nor forever remember iniquity. 

Behold, look upon us, we beseech thee; we are all thy 

10 Thy holy cities are become a wilderness ; 

Sion is become a wilderness ; Jerusalem is desolate. 

11 Our holy and glorious temple, 
Wherein our fathers praised thee, 
Is utterly burnt up with fire ; 

And all the objects of our desire are become a devasta- 

12 Wilt thou contain thyself at these things, O JEHOVAH? 
Wilt thou keep silence, and still grievously afflict us ? 


1 I AM made known to those, that asked not for me ; 
I am found of those, that sought me not : 

I have said : Behold me, here I am, 

To the nation, which never invoked my name : 

2 I have stretched out my hands all the day to a rebellious 

Who walk in an evil way, after their own devices. 

3 A people, who provoke me to my face continually ; 
Sacrificing in the gardens, and burning incense on the 

tiles : 

4 Who dwell in the sepulchres, and lodge in the caverns ; 
Who eat the flesh of the swine ; 

And the broth of abominable meats is in their vessels : 

5 Who say : Keep to thyself ; come not near me ; for I am 

holier than thou. ' 

These kindle a smoke in my nostrils, a fire burning all 
the day long. 

6 Behold, this is recorded in writing before me: 

1 will not keep silence, but will certainly requite ; 


7 I will requite into their bosom their iniquities ; 

And the iniquities of their fathers together, saith JEHO- 
VAH : 

Who burnt incense on the mountains, and dishonoured 
me upon the hills : 

Yea, I will pour into their bosom the full measure of their 
former deeds. 

8 Thus saith JEHOVAH : 

As when one findeth a good grape in the cluster ; 
And sayeth, Destroy it not ; for a blessing is in it : 
So will I do for the sake of my servants ; I will not de- 
stroy the whole. 

9 So will I bring forth from Jacob a seed ; 

And from Judah an inheritor of my mountain : 
And my chosen shall inherit the land ; 
And my servants shall dwell there. 

10 And Sharon shall be a fold for the flock, 

And the valley of Achor a resting for the herd ; 
For my people, who have sought after me. 

11 But ye, who have deserted JEHOVAH ; 
And have forgotten my holy mountain : 
Who set in order a table for Gad ; 

And fill out a libation to Meni : 

12 You will I number out to the sword ; 

And all of you shall bow down to the slaughter. 

Because I called, and ye answered not ; 

I spake, and ye would not hear : 

But ye did that, which is evil in my sight ; 

And that, in which I delighted not, ye~chose. 

13 Wherefore thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH : 

Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be famished ; 
Behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty ; 
Behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be con- 
founded : 

14 Behold, my servants shall sing aloud, for gladness of 

heart ; 

But ye shall cry aloud, for grief of heart ; 
And in the anguish of a broken spirit shall ye howl. 

15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse to my chosen : 
And the Lord JEHOVAH shall slay you ; 

And his servants shall he call by another name. 

124 ISAIAH. 


16 Whoso blesseth himself upon the earth, 
Shall bless himself in the God of truth ; 
And whoso sweareth upon the earth, 
Shall swear by the God of truth. 

Because the former provocations are forgotten ; 
And because they are hidden from mine eyes. 

17 For behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth : 
And the former ones shall not be remembered, 
Neither shall they be brought to mind any more. 

18 But ye shall rejoice and exult in the age to come, which 

I create : 

For lo ! I create Jerusalem a subject of joy, and her 
people of gladness ; 

19 And I will exult in Jerusalem, and rejoice in my people. 
And there shall not be heard any more therein, 

The voice of weeping, and the voice of a distressful cry : 

20 No more shall be there an infant short-lived ; 
Nor an old man who hath not fulfilled his days : 

For he, that dieth at an hundred years, shall die a boy ; 
And the sinner that dieth at an hundred years, shall be 
deemed accursed. 

21 And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them ; 
And they shall plant vineyards, and shall eat the fruit 


22 They shall not build, and another inhabit ; 
They shall not plant, and another eat : 

For as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people ; 
And they shall wear out the works of their own hands. 

23 My chosen shall not labour in vain ; 
Neither shall they generate a short-lived race : 
For they shall be a seed blessed of JEHOVAH ; 
They, and their offspring with them. 

24 And it shall be, that before they call, I will answer ; 
They shall be yet speaking, and I shall have heard. 

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together ; 
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox : 
But as for the serpent, dust shall be his food. 
They shall not hurt, neither shall they destroy, 
In all my holy mountain, saith JEHOVAH. 



1 THUS saith JEHOVAH : 

The heavens are my throne ; and the earth is my foot- 
stool : 

Where is this house, which ye build for me ? 
And where is this place of my rest? 

2 For all these things my hand hath made ; 
And all these things are mine, saith JEHOVAH. 

But such a one will I regard, even him that is humble, 
And of a contrite spirit, and that revereth my word. 

3 He that slayeth an ox, killeth a man ; 
That sacrificeth a lamb, beheadeth a dog ; 

That maketh an oblation, [offereth] swine's blood ; 
That burneth incense, blesseth an idol : 
Yea, they themselves have chosen their own ways ; 
And in their abominations their soul delighteth. 

4 I will also choose their calamities ; 

And what they dread, I will bring upon them ; 

Because I called, and no one answered ; 

I spake, and they would not hear : 

And they have done what is evil in my sight ; 

And that, in which I delighted not, they have chosen. 

5 Hear ye the word of JEHOVAH, ye that revere his 

word : 

Say ye to your brethren, that hate you ; 
And that thrust you out, for my name's sake : 
JEHOVAH will be glorified, and he will appear ; 
To your joy [will he appear], and they shall be con- 

6 A voice of tumult from the city ! a voice from the 

temple ! 

The voice of JEHOVAH ! rendering recompense to his 

7 Before she was in travail, she brought forth ; 
Before her pangs came, she was delivered of a male. 

8 Who hath heard such a thing ? and who hath seen th 

like of these things ? 
Is a country brought forth in one day ? 
Is a nation born in an instant ? 


For no sooner was Sion in travail, than she brought 

forth her children. 
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth ? 

saith JEHOVAH : 

Shall I, who beget, restrain the birth? saith thy God. 
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and exult on her account, all ye 

that love her ; 
Be exceedingly joyful with her, all ye that mourn over 

her : 
12 That ye may suck, and be satisfied, from the breast of 

her consolations ; 

That ye may draw forth the delicious nourishment from 
her abundant stores. 

12 For thus saith JEHOVAH : 

Behold, I spread over her prosperity, like the great 
river ; 

And like the overflowing stream the wealth of the na- 
tions : 

And ye shall suck at the breast ; 

Ye shall be carried by the side ; 

And on the knees shall ye be dandled. 

13 As one, whom his mother comforteth, 
So will I comfort you : 

And in Jerusalem shall ye receive consolation. 

14 And ye shall see it, and your heart shall rejoice ; 
And your bones shall flourish, like the green herb: 

And the hand of JEHOVAH shall be manifested to his 
servants ; 

And he will be moved with indignation against his ene- 

15 For, behold ! JEHOVAH shall come, as a fire ; 
And his chariot, as a whirlwind : 

To breathe forth his anger in a burning heat, 
And his rebuke in flames of fire. 

16 For by fire shall JEHOVAH execute judgment ; 
And by his sword, upon all flesh : 

And many shall be the slain of JEHOVAH. 

17 They who sanctify themselves, and purify themselves, 
In the gardens, after the rites of Achad ; 

In the midst of those who eat swine's flesh, 
And the abomination, and the field-mouse ; 


ISAIAH. 127 

Together shall they perish, saith JEHOVAH. 

18 For I know their deeds, and their devices : 

And I come to gather all the nations and tongues to- 
gether ; 
And they shall come, and shall see my glory. 

19 And I will impart to them a sign ; 

And of those that escape I will send to the nations : 

To Tarshish, Phul, and Lud, who draw the bow ; 

Tuba!, and Javan, the far distant coasts: 

To those, who never heard my name ; 

And who never saw rny glory : 

And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 

20 And they shall bring all your brethren, 

From all the nations, for an oblation to JEHOVAH ; 

On horses, and in litters, and in coune^ ; 

On mules, and on dromedaries ; 

To my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith JEHOVAH : 

Like as the sons of Israel brought the oblation, 

In pure vessels, to the house of JEHOVAH. 

21 And of them will I also take, 

For priests, and for Levites, saith JEHOVAH. 

22 For like as the new heavens, 
And the new earth, which I make, 

Stand continually before me, saith JEHOVAH ; 
So shall continue your seed, and your name. 

23 And it shall be, from new moon to new moon, 
And from sabbath to sabbath ; 

All flesh shall come to worship before me, saith JEHO- 


24 And they shall go forth, and shall see 

The carcasses of the men who rebelled against me. 
For their worm shall not die, 
And their fire shall not be quenched ; 
And they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. 



ISAIAH exercised the prophetical office during a long period 
of time, if he lived to the reign of Manasseh ; for the lowest 
computation, beginning from the year in which Uzziah died, 
when some suppose him to have received his first appoint- 
ment to that office, brings it to 61 years. But the tradition 
of the Jews, that he was put to death by Manasseh, is very 
uncertain ; and one of their principal rabbins (Aben Ezra, 
Com. in Isa. i. 1.) seems rather to think, that he died before 
Hezekiah ; which is indeed more probable. It is however 
certain, that he lived at least to the 15lh or 16th year of 
Hezekiah : this makes the least possible term of the duration 
of his prophetical office about 48 years. The time of the 
delivery of some of his prophecies is either expressly marked, 
or sufficiently clear from the history to which they relate : 
that of a few others may with some probability be deduced 
from internal marks ; from expressions, descriptions, and 
circumstances interwoven. It may therefore be of some use 
in this respect, and for the better understanding of his pro- 
phecies in general, to give here a summary view of the his- 
tory of his time. 

The kingdom of Judah seems to have been in a more 
flourishing condition during the reigns of Uzziah and Jo- 
tham, than at any other time after the revolt of the ten 
tribes. The former recovered the port of Elath on the Red 
Sea, which the Edomites had taken in the reign of Joram : 
he was successful in his wars with the Philistines, and took 
from them several cities, Gath. Jabneh, Ashdod ; as likewise 
against some people of Arabia Deserta ; and against the 
Ammonites, whom he compelled to pay him tribute. He 
repaired and improved the fortifications of Jerusalem ; and 


had a great army well appointed and disciplined. He was 
no less attentive to the arts of peace; and very much en- 
couraged agriculture, and the breeding of cattle. Jotham 
maintained the establishments and improvements made by 
his father ; added to what Uzziah had done in strengthen- 
ing the frontier places ; conquered the Ammonites, who had 
revolted, and exacted from them a more stated and pro- 
bably a larger tribute. However, at the latter end of his 
time, the league between Pekah king of Israel and Retsin 
king of Syria was formed against Judah ; and they began 
to carry their designs into execution. 

But in the reign of Ahaz his son, not only all these ad- 
vantages were lost, but the kingdom of Judah was brought 
to the brink of destruction. Pekah king of Israel overthrew 
the army of Ahaz, who lost in battle 120,000 men ; and 
the Israelites carried away captives 200,000 women and 
children ; which however were released, and sent home 
again, upon the remonstrance of the prophet Oded. After 
this, as it should seem, (see Vitringa on chap. vii. 2.), the two 
kiogs of Israel and Syria, joining their forces, laid siege to 
Jerusalem ; but in this attempt they failed of success. In 
this distress Ahaz called in the assistance of Tiglath-Pileser 
king of Assyria ; who invaded the kingdoms of Israel and 
Syiia, and slew Retsin : but he was more in danger than ever 
from his too powerful ally ; to purchase whose forbearance, 
as he had before bought his assistance, he was forced to strip 
himself and his people of all the wealth he could possibly 
raise, from his own treasury, from the temple, and from the 
country. About the time of the seige of Jerusalem, the 
Syrians took Elath, which was never after recovered. The 
Edomites likewise, taking advantage of the distress of Ahaz, 
ravaged Judea, and carried away many captives. The Phi- 
listines recovered what they had before lost ; and took many 
places in Judea, and maintained themselves there. Idolatry 
was established by the command of the king in Jerusalem, 
and throughout Judea; and the service of the temple was 
either intermitted, or converted into an idolatrous worship. 

Hezekiah, his son, at his accession to the throne, imme- 
diately set about the restoration of the legal worship of God, 
both in Jerusalem and through Judea. He cleansed and 
repaired the temple, and held a solemn passover. He im- 
proved the city, repaired the fortifications, erected magazines 
of all sorts, and built a new aqueduct. In the fourth year of 


his reign, Shalmaneser king 1 of Assyria invaded the kingdom 
of Israel, took Samaria, and carried away the Israelites into 
captivity ; and replaced them hy different people sent from 
his own country ; and this was the final destruction of that 
kingdom, in the sixth year of the reign of Hezekiah. 

Hezekiah was not deterred by this alarming example 
from refusing to pay the tribute to the king of Assyria, 
which had been imposed on Ahaz. This brought on the in- 
vasion of Senacherib in the fourteenth year of his reign ; an 
account of which is inserted among the prophecies of Isaiah. 
After a great and miraculous deliverance from so powerful 
an enemy, Hezekiah continued his reign in peace : he pros- 
pered in all his works, arid left his kingdom in a flourishing 
state to his son Manasseh ; a son in every respect unworthy 
of such a father. 


1. The vision of Isaiah ] It seems doubtful, whether 
this title belong to the whole book, or only to the prophecy 
contained in this chapter. The former part of the title 
seems properly to belong to this particular prophecy : the 
latter part, which enumerates the kings of Judah, under 
whom Isaiah exercised his prophetical office, seems to ex r 
tend it to the whole collection of prophecies delivered in 
the course of his ministry. Yitringa (to whom the world 
is greatly indebted for his learned labours on this Prophet; 
and to whom we should have ow r ed much more, if he had 
not so totally devoted himself to Masoretic authority) has> 
I think, very judiciously resolved this doubt. He supposes, 
that the former part of the title was originally prefixed to 
this single prophecy ; and that, when the collection of alt 
Isaiah's prophecies was made, the enumeration of the kings 
of Judah was added, to make it at the same time a proper 
title to the whole book. As such it is plainly taken in 2 
Chron. xxxii. 32. where the book of Isaiah is cifed by this 
title : " The vision of Isaiah the Prophet, the son of 

The prophecy contained in this first chapter stands single 
and unconnected, making an entire piece of itself. It con- 
tains a severe remonstrance against the corruptions pre- 
vailing among the Jews of that time; powerful <" hcrtations 


to repentance; grievous threatenings to the impenitent; 
and gracious promises of better times, when the nation shall 
have been reformed by the just judgments of God. The 
expression upon the whole is clear ; the connexion of the 
several parts easy ; and, in regard to the images, sentiments, 
and style, it gives a beautiful example of the Prophet's 
elegant manner of writing ; though perhaps it may not be 
equal in these respects to many of the following prophecies. 
2. Hear, O ye heavens ] God is introduced as enter- 
ing upon a solemn and public action, or pleading, before 
the whole world, against his disobedient people. The pro- 
phet, as herald, or officer to proclaim the summons to the 
court, calls upon all created beings, celestial and terrestrial, 
to attend, and bear witness to the truth of his plea, and the 
justice of his cause. The same scene is more fully displayed 
in the noble exordium of Psalm 1. where God summons 
all mankind, from east to west, to be present to hear his 
appeal ; and the solemnity is held on Sion, where he is at- 
tended with the same terrible pomp that accompanied him 
on mount Sinai : 

"A consuming fire goes before him, 
And round him rages a violent tempest: 
He calleth the heavens from above, 

And the earth, that he may contend in judgment with his 
people." Psal. 1. 3, 4. 

By the same bold figure, Micah calls upon the mountains, 
that is, the whole country of Judea, to attend to him : Chap, 
vi. 1, 2. 

"Arise, plead thou before the mountains, 
And let the hills hear thy voice. 
Hear, O ye mountains, the controversy of JEHOVAH; 
And ye, O ye strong foundations of the earth: 
For JEHOVAH hath a controversy with his people, 
And he will plead his cause against Israel." 

With the like invocation Moses introduces his sublime 
song ; the design of which was the same as that of this pro- 
phecy, " to testify, as a witness, against the Israelites," for 
their disobedience, Deut. xxxi. 21. 
" Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; 
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth." 

Deut. xxxii. 1. 

This in the simple yet strong oratorical style of Moses is, 
<{ 1 call heaven and earth to witness against thee this day : 


life and death have I set before thee ; the blessing and the 
curse : choose now life, that thon niayest live, thou and thy 
seed." Dent. xxx. 19. The poetical style, by an apostrophe, 
sets the personification in a much stronger light. 

Ibid. that speaket/t] I render it in the present time, 
pointin^ it *Q"i. There seems to be an impropriety in de- 
manding attention to a speech already delivered. 

Ibid. / have nourished ] The LXX have f/Wr*, / 
have begotten. Instead of Tftia, they read wiV ; a word 
little differing from the other, and perhaps more proper: 
which the Chaldee likewise seems to favour ; " vocavi eos 
filios." See Exod. iv. 22. Jer. xxxi. 9. 

3. The ox knowetft ] An amplification of the gross in- 
sensibility of the disobedient Jews, by comparing them with 
the most heavy and stupid of all animals, yet not so insensible 
as they. Bochart has well illustrated the comparison, and 
shewn the peculiar force of it. " He sets them lower than 
the beasts, and even than the stupidest of all beasts ; for 
there is scarce any more so than the ox and the ass. Yet 
these acknowledge their master ; they know the manger of 
their lord : by whom they are fed, not for their own, but for 
his good ; neither are they looked upon as children, but as 
beasts of burthen ; neither are they advanced to honours, 
but oppressed with great and daily labours : While the Is- 
raelites, chosen by the mere favour of God, adopted as sons, 
promoted to the highest dignity, yet acknowledged not their 
Lord and their God ; but despised his commandments, 
though in the highest degree equitable and just." Hieroz. i. 
col. 409. 

Jeremiah's comparison to the same purpose is equally 
elegant ; but has not so much spirit and seventy as this of 
Isaiah : 

" Even the stork in the heavens knoweth her season ; 
And the turtle, and the swallow, and the crane, observe the 

time of their coming : 
But my people doth not know the judgment of JEHOVAH." 

Jer. viii. 7. 

Hosea has given a very elegant turn to the same image, in 
the way of metaphor or allegory : 

" I drew them with human cords, with the bands of love: 
And I was to them, as he that lifteth up the yoke upon their 


And I laid down their fodder before them." Hosea, xi. 4. 


Salomo ben Melech thus explains the middle part of the 
verse, which is somewhat obscure : " I was to them at their 
desire, as they that have compassion on a heifer, lest she 
be over- worked in ploughing ; and that lift up the yoke 
from off her neck, and rest it upon her cheek, that she may 
not still draw, but rest from her labour an hour or two in 
the day." 

Ibid. But Israel ] The LXX, Syriac, Aquila, Theo- 
dotion, and Vulgate, read ^XT^n, adding the conjunction ; 
which, being rendered as an adversative, sets the opposition 
in a stronger light. 

Ibid, Me.] The same ancient versions agree in adding 
this word ; which very properly answers, and indeed is 
almost necessarily required to answer, the words possessor 
and lord preceding. I0?A & ME eyv, LXX. " Israel 
autem ME non cognovit," Vulg. irpwx & MOT UK eyw, Aq. 
Theod. The testimony of so scrupulous an interpreter 
as Aquila is of great weight in this case. And both his 
and Theodotion's rendering is such, as shews plainly, that 
they did not add the word MOT to help out the sense ; for 
it only embarrasses it. It also clearly determines what was 
the original reading in the old copies, from which they trans- 
lated. It could not be 'J;rr, which most obviously answers 
to the version of LXX and Vulg. for it does not accord 
with that of Aquila and Theodotion. The version of these 
latter interpreters, however injudicious, clearly ascertains 
both the phrase, and the order of the words, of the original 
Hebrew : it was yr K 1 ? Mix bsnsn. The word THX has 
been lost out of the text. The very same phrase is used by 
Jeremiah, chap. iv. 22. ijrv vh "nix 'ay : and the order of 
the words must have been as above represented ; for they 
have joined bxTtf* with TrtN, as in regimine : they could 
not have taken it in tins sense, Israel MEUS non cognovit, 
had either this plxrase, or the order of the words, been dif- 
ferent. I have endeavoured to set this matter in ci ^ lenr 
light, as it is the iirst, example of a whole word lost out of 
the text ; of which the reader will find many other plain 
examples in the course of these notes. 

The LXX, Syr. Vul?. read ^;'i, " and my people ; " 
and so likewise sixteen MSS. 

4. degenerate] Five MSS (one of them ancient) read 
without the first ' ; in Ilophal, corrupted, not 


corrupters. See the same word, in the same form, in. the 
same sense, Prov. xxv. 26. 

Ibid. arc estranged] Thirty-two MSS (five ancient) 
and two editions, read vmj : which reading determines the 
word to be from the root nit, to alienate, not from nu, to 
separate: "so Kimchi understands it. See also Annotat. in 
Noldium, 68. 

Ibid, they have turned their backs upon him] So Kimclii 
explains it : " they have turned unto him the back, and 
not the face : " see Jer. ii. 27. vii. 24. I have been forced 
to render this line paraphrastically ; as the verbal transla- 
tion " they are estranged backward," would have been unin- 

5. On wJiat part ] The Vulgate renders nn ty, super 
quo, (see Job xxxviii. 6. 2 Chron. xxxii. 10.), upon what 
part : and so Abendana, on Sal. b. Melech : " There are 
some who explain it thus : Upon what limb shall you be 
smitten, if you add defection ? for already for your sins have 
you been smitten upon all of them ; so that there is not to 
be found in you a whole limb, on which you can be smitten." 
Which agrees with what follows: "From the sole of the 
foot even to the head, there is no soundness therein : " and 
the sentiment and image is exactly the same with that of 
Ovid, Pont. ii. 7. 42. 

" Yix habet in nobis jam nova plaga locum." 

Or that still more expressive line of Euripides; the great 
force and effect of which Longinus ascribes to its close and 
compressed structure, analogous to the sense which it ex- 
presses : 

KXKUV <5y ' yjcer 1 trf? OTTJJ rtCy. 
I'm full of miseries: there's no room for more. 

Here. Fur. 1245. Long. sect. 40. 

"On what part will ye strike again ; will ye add, correc- 
tion ?" This is addressed to the instruments of God's ven- 
geance ; those that inflicted the punishment, who or whatso- 
ever they were. " Ad verbum certae personse intelligenda3 
sunt, quibus ista actio [quae per verbum exprimiturj corn- 
petit : " as Glassius says in a similar case, Phil. Sacr. i. 3. 22. 
See chap. viii. 4. 

As from ;rr, nn, knowledge ; from pr, rrep, counsel ; 
from JBP, rut?, sleep, &c. ; so from ip* is regularly derived rno, 


6. It hath not been pressed ] The art of medicine in 
the East consists chiefly in external applications : accord- 
ingly the Prophet's images in this place are all taken from 
surgery. Sir John Chardin, in his note on Prov. iii. 8. " It 
shall he health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones," 
observes, that " the comparison is taken from the plasters, 
ointments, oils, frictions, which are made use of in the East 
upon the belly and stomach in most maladies. Being 
ignorant in the villages of the art of making decoctions and 
potions, and of the proper doses of such things, they gene- 
rally make use of external medicines." Manner's Observa- 
tions on Scripture, vol. ii. p. 4S8. And in surgery their 
materia medica is extremely simple; oil making the prin- 
cipal part of it. "In India," says Tavernier, "they have 
a certain preparation of oil and melted grease, which they 
commonly use for the healing of wounds." Voyage Ind. So 
the good Samaritan poured oil and wine on the wounds of 
the distressed Jew : wine, cleansing and somewhat astrin- 
gent, proper for a fresh wound ; oil, mollifying and healing. 
Luke x. 34. 

Of the three verbs in this sentence, one is in the singular 
number in the text, another is singular in two MSS (one 
of them ancient) riBOn; and Syr. and Vulg. render all of 
them in the singular number. 

7 9. Yoiir country is desolate ] The description of 
the ruined and desolate state of the country in these verses, 
does not suit with any part of the prosperous times of Uzziah 
and Jotham. It very well agrees with the time of Ahaz, 
when Judea was ravaged by the joint invasion of the Israel- 
ites and Syrians, and by the incursions of the Philistines and 
Edomites. The date of this prophecy is therefore generally 
fixed to the time of Ahaz. But on the other hand it may 
be considered, whether those instances of idolatry, which 
are urged in the 29th verse, (the worshipping in groves and 
gardens), having been at all times too commonly practised, 
can be supposed to be the only ones which the Prophet 
\vould insist upon in the time of Ahaz ; who spread the 
grossest idolatry through the whole country, and introduced 
it even into the temple ; and, to complete his abominations, 
made his son pass through the fire to Moloch. It is said, 
2 Kings xv. 37. that in Jotham's time " the Lord began to 
send against Judah Rotsin and Pekah :" If we may suppose 
any invasion from that quarter to have been actually made 


at the latter end of Jotham's reign, I should choose to refer 
this prophecy to that time. 

7. onr, (at the end of the verse). This reading, though 
confirmed by all the ancient versions, gives us no good sense ; 
for, your land is devoured by " strangers ; and is desolate, as 
if overthrown by strangers" is a mere tautology, or, what is 
as bad, an identical comparison. Aben Ezra thought, that 
the word, in its present form, might be taken for the same 
with D-IT, an inundation : Schtiltens is of the same opinion, 
(see Taylor's Concord.) ; and Schindler in his Lexicon ex- 
plains it in the same manner : and so, says Kimchi, some 
explain it. Abendana endeavours to reconcile it to gram- 
matical analogy in the following manner: "ffii is the 
same with D-I? ; that is, as overthrown by an inundation of 
waters: and these two words have the same analogy as Dip 
and DHp. Or it may be a concrete, of the same form with 
n3Br ; and the meaning will be, as overthrown by rain 
pouring down violently, and causing a flood." On Sal. b. 
Melech, in loc. But I rather suppose the true reading to 
be D^I, and have translated it accordingly : the word D^T, 
in the line above, seems to have caught the transcriber's eye 
and to have led him into this mistake. 

8. as a shed in a vineyard ] A little temporary hut 
covered with boughs, straw, turf, or the like materials, for a 
shelter from the heat by day, and the cold and dews by night, 
for the watchman that kept the garden, or vineyard, during 
the short season while the fruit was ripening ; (see Job xxvii. 
18.) : and presently removed, when it had served that pur- 
pose. See Harmer, Obser. i. 454. They were probably 
obliged to have such a constant watch, to defend the fruit 
from the jackals." The jackal," (chical of the Turks,) 
says Hasselquist, (Travels, p. 277.), " is a species of mustela 
which is very common in Palestine, especially during the 
vintage, and often destroys whole vineyards, and gardens of 
cucumbers." " There is also plenty of the canis vulpes, the 
fox, near the convent of St. John in the desert, about vin- 
tage time ; for they destroy all the vines, unless they are 
strictly watched." Ibid. p. 184. See Cant. ii. 15. 

Fruits of the gourd kind, melons, water-melons, cucum- 
bers, &c. are much used, and in great request^ in the Le- 
vant, on account of their cooling quality. The Israelites in 
the wilderness regretted the loss of the cucumbers and the 
melons, among the other good things of Egypt ; Numb. xi. 5. 



In Egypt, the season of water-melons, which are most in re- 
quest, and which the common people then chiefly live upon, 
lasts but three weeks. See Hasselquist, p. 256. Tavernier 
makes it of longer continuance : " L'on y void de grands 
carreaux de melons et de concombres ; mais beaucoup plus 
des derniers, dont les Levantins font leur delices. Le plus 
souvent ils les mangent sans les peler, apres quoy ils vorit 
boire une verre d'eau. Dans toute PAsie c'est la nourriture 
ordinaire du petit peuple pendant trois ou quatre mois; toute 
la famille en vit, et quand un enfant demande a manger, au 
lieu qu'en France on ailleurs nous luy donnerions du pain, 
dans le Levant on luy presente un concornbre, qu'il mange 
cm comme on le vient de cueillir. Les concombres dans le 
Levant ont une bonte particuliere, et quoyqu' on les mange 
crus, ils ne font jamais de raal." Tavernier, Relat. du Ser- 
rail, c. xix. 

Ibid, a city taken by seige.] So LXX and Vulg. 

9. Jehovali God of Hosts] As this title of God nitoy 
mrr, " JEHOVAH of Hosts," occurs here for the first time, 
I think it proper to note, that I translate it always, as in this 
place, " JEHOVAH God of Hosts ; " taking it as an elliptical 
expression for niaav % rhx rnrr. This title imports, that 
JEHOVAH is the God, or Lord, of hosts or armies ; as he is 
the Creator, and supreme Governor of all beings in heaven 
and earth ; and disposeth and ruleth them all in their several 
orders and stations ; the Almighty, Universal Lord. 

10. Ye princes of Sodom ] The incidental mention of 
Sodom and Gomorrah in the preceding verse, suggested to 
the Prophet this spirited address to the rulers and inhabi- 
tants of Jerusalem, under the character of princes of Sodom 
and people of Gomorrah. Two examples of a sort of ele- 
gant turn of the like kind may be observed in St. Paul's 
Epistle to the Romans, xv. 4, 5. and 12, 13. See Locke 
on the place ; and see 29, 30. of this chapter ; which gives 
another example of the same. 

1 i. the fat of fed beasts ; And in the blood} The fat 
and the blood are particularly mentioned, because these 
were in all sacrifices set apart to God. The fat was always 
burnt upon the altar ; and the blood was partly sprinkled, 
differently on different occasions, and partly poured out at 
the bottom of the altar. See Lev. iv. 

11 16. What have I to do ] The prophet Amos has 
expressed the same sentiments with great elegance : 


" I hate, I despise your feasts; 

And I will not delight in the odour of your solemnities; 
Though ye offer unto me burnt-offerings: 
And your meat-offerings I will not accept; 
Neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your failings. 
Take away from me the noise of your songs; 
And the melody of your viols I will not hear. 
But let judgment roll down like waters; 
And righteousness like a mighty stream." Amos, v.2l 24. 

12. Tread my courts no more ] So the LXX divide 
the sentence ; joining the end of this verse to the beginning 
of the next. 

13. Tlie fast and the day of restraint] mypi px- These 
words are rendered in many different manners by different 
interpreters ; to a good and probable sense by all ; but, I 
think, by none in such a sense as can arise from the phrase 
itself, agreeably to the idiom of the Hebrew language. In- 
stead of px, the LXX manifestly read ore, *, " the 
fast." This Houbigant has adopted. The Prophet could 
not well have omitted the fast in the enumeration of their 
solemnities ; nor the abuse of it, among the instances of their 
hypocrisy, which he has treated at large with such force and 
elegance in his 58th chapter. Observe also, that the pro- 
phet Joel twice joins together the fast, and the day of re- 
straint : 

i&np mv ian p 
" Sanctify a fast; proclaim a day of restraint." Joel i. 14. ii. 15. 

Which shews how properly they are here joined together. 
mxj,*, the restraint, is rendered, both here and in other 
places in our English translation, the solemn assembly. Cer- 
tain holy days, ordained by the law, were distinguished by 
a particular charge, that " no servile work should be done 
therein." Lev. xxiii. 36. Numb. xxix. 35. Deut. xvi. 8. 
This circumstance clearly explains the reason of the name, 
the restraint, or the day of restraint, given to those days. 

If I could approve of any translation of these two words, 
which I have met with, it should be that of the Spanish ver- 
sion of the Old Testament, made for the use of the Spanish 
Jews : " tortura y detenimiento," " it is a pain and a con- 
straint unto me." But I still think, that the reading of the 
LXX is more probably the truth. 

15. When ye spread-} The Syr. LXX, and MS, read 
, without the conjunction i. 


Ibid. For your hands ] Ai ya.% #^$. LXX. Manus 
enim vestrte. Vulg. They seem to have read DITY 'D. 

16. Wash ye ] Referring to the preceding verse, " your 
hands are full of blood ; " and alluding to the legal washings 
commanded on several occasions. See Lev. xiv. 8, 9, 47. 

17. amend that which is corrupted] pan VUPX. In 
rendering this obscure phrase I follow Bochart, (Hieroz. 
Part. I. l|b. ii. cap. 7.), though I am not perfectly satisfied 
with his explication of it. 

.18. Though your sins were as scarlet ] ^jy, " scarlet, 
or crimson," dibaphum } twice dipped, or double-dyed; from 
W, iterare, to double, or to do a thing twice. This deriva- 
tion seems much more probable than that which Salmasius 
prefers, from pw, acuere^ from the sharpness and strength 
of the colour ; t^w*ov. /?n, the same ; properly the 
worm, vermiculuS) (from whence vermeil) ; for this colour 
was produced from a worm, or insect, which grew in a coc- 
cus, or excrescence, of a shrub of the ilex kind, (see Plin. 
Nat. Hist. xvi. 8.) ; like the cochineal worm in the opuntia 
of America, (see Ulloa's Voyage, b. v. ch. 2. note to p. 342.) 
There is a shrub of this kind, that grows in Provence and 
Languedoc, and produces the like insect, called the kermes 
oak) (see Miller, Diet. Quercus); from kermez, the Arabic 
word for this colour ; whence our word crimson is derived. 

" Neque amissos colores 
Lana refert medicata fuco." 

says the poet ; apptying the same image to a different pur- 
pose. To discharge these strong colours is impossible to hu- 
man art or power ; but to the grace and power of God, all 
things, even much more difficult, are possible and easy. 

19. Ye shall feed on the good of the land} Referring 
to ver. 7.; it shall not be " devoured by strangers." 

20. Ye shall be food for the sword] The LXX and 
Vulg. read D^DKP, " the sword shall devour you;" which 
is of much more easy construction than the present reading 
of the text. 

" The Chaldee seems to read toxn 2'IN mra ; ' ye shall be 
consumed by the sword of the enemy} Syr. also reads Dins, 
and renders the verb passively. And the rhythmus seems to 
require this addition." Dr. JUBB. 

21. become a harlot] See Lowth, Comment, on the 
place ; and De S. Poes. Hebr. PrseL xxxi. 


22. wine mixed with water] An image used for the 
adulteration of wine, with more propriety than may at first 
appear, if what Thevenot says of the people of the Levant 
of late times was true of them formerly : He says. " they 
never mingle water with their wine to drink ; but drink by 
itself what water they 'think proper for abating the strength 
of the wine." " Lorsque les Persans boivent du vin, ils le 
prennent tout pur, a la facon des Levantins, qui ne le me- 
lent jamais avec de 1'eau ; mais en heuvant du vin, de temps 
en temps ils prennent un pot d'eau, et en boivent de grand 
traits." Voyage, Part. II. liv. ii. chap. 10. " Ils (les Turcs) 
n'y melent jamais d'eau, et se moquent des Chrestiens, qui 
en mettent, ce qui leur semble tout-a-fait ridicule." Ibid. 
Part. I. chap. 24. 

It is remarkable, that whereas the Greeks and Latins by 
mixed wine always understood wine diluted and lowered w T ith 
water, the Hebrews on the contrary generally mean by it 
wine made stronger and more inebriating, by the addition 
of higher and more powerful ingredients ; such as honey, 
spices, defrutum, (or wine inspissated by boiling it down to 
two-thirds, or one-half, of the quantity), myrrh, mandra- 
gora, opiates, and other strong drugs. Such were the ex- 
hilarating, or rather stupifying, ingredients, which Helen 
mixed in the bowl together with the wine for her guests op- 
pressed with grief, to raise their spirits ; the composition of 
which she had learned in Egypt : 

C ccp sis 6tvov /3Af ^tf^ajtflv, v&v eirivov, 

r* et%o*ov TS, Kttxav eTribnOov otTrotvlav. Hom. OdjS. IV. 220. 

" Mean while, with genial joy to warm the soul, 
Bright Helen mix'd a mirth-inspiring bowl ; 
Temper'd with drugs of sovereign use, t' assuage 
The boiling bosom of tumultuous rage : 
Charm'd with that virtuous draught, th' exalted mind 
All sense of woe delivers to the wind." Pope. 

Such was "the spiced wine and the juice of pome- 
granates," mentioned Cant. viii. 2. And how much the east- 
ern people to this day deal in artificial liquors of prodigious 
strength, the use of wine being forbidden, may be seen in a 
curious chapter of Kempfer upon that subject. Amren. Exot. 
Fasc. iii. Obs. 15. 

Thus the drunkard is properly described, (Prov. xxiii. 
30.), as one "that seeketh mixt wine ; " and is " mighty to 
mingle strong drink : " Isaiah, v. 22. And hence the Psal- 


mist took that highly poetical and sublime image of the 
cup of God's wrath, called by Isaiah, (li. 17.) " the cup of 
trembling," (causing intoxication and stupefaction ; see 
Chappelow's note on Hariri, p. 33.) ; containing, as St. John 
expresses in Greek this Hebrew idea, with the utmost pre- 
cision, though with a seeming contradiction in terms, x.iy.spac.0- 
jwov jc*7v, menim mixtum, pure wine made yet stronger by 
a mixture of powerful ingredients : Rev. xiv. 10. " In the 
.hand of JEHOVAH," saith the Psalmist, (Psal. Ixxv. 9.), " there 
is a cup, and the wine is turbid : it is full of a mixed liquor, 
and he poureth out of it : (or rather, " he poureth it out of 
one vessel into another," to mix it perfectly ; according to 
the reading expressed by the ancient versions, m ^s HTD 
in): verily the dregs thereof, (the thickest sediment of the 
strong ingredients mingled with it), all the ungodly of the 
earth shall wring them out, and drink them." 

23. associates] The LXX, Vulg. and four MSB, 
read nan, without the conjunction i. 

24. Aha ! I will be eased ] Anger, arising from a sense 
of injury and affront, especially from those who, from every 
consideration of duty and gratitude, ought to have behaved 
far otherwise, is an uneasy and painful sensation ; and re- 
venge, executed to the full on the offenders, removes that 
uneasiness, and consequently is pleasing and quieting, at 
least for the present. Ezekiel introduces God expressing 
Inniself in the same manner : 

" And mine anger shall be fully accomplished: 
And I will make my fury rest upon them ; 
And I will give myself ease." Chap. v. 13. 

This is a strong instance of the metaphor called Anthropo- 
pathia ; by which, throughout the Scriptures, as well the 
historical as the poetical parts, the sentiments, sensations, 
and affections, the bodily faculties, qualities, and members 
of men, and even of brute animals, are attributed to God ; 
and that with the utmost liberty and latitude of application. 
The foundation of this is obvious ; it arises from necessity : 
we have no idea of the natural attributes of God, of his pure 
essence, of his manner of existence, of his manner of acting : 
when therefore we would treat on these subjects, we find 
ourselves forced to express them by sensible images. But 
necessity leads to beauty : this is true of metaphor in gene- 
ral, and in particular of this kind of metaphor ; which is 


used with great elegance and sublimity in the sacred poetry : 
and what is very remarkable, in the grossest instances of the 
application of it, it is generally the most striking and the 
most sublime* The reason seems to be this : When the 
images are taken from the superior faculties of the human 
nature, from the purer and more generous affections, and 
applied to God, we are apt to acquiesce in the notion ; we 
overlook the metaphor, and take it as a proper attribute: 
but when the idea is gross and offensive, as in this passage 
of Isaiah, where the impatience of anger, and the pleasure 
of revenge, is attribute ,i to God ; we are immediately shock- 
ed at the application ; the impropriety strikes us at once ; 
and the mind, casting about for something in the divine 
nature analogous to the image, lays hold on some great r 
obscure, vague idea, which she endeavours in vain to com- 
prehend, and is lost in immensity and astonishment. See 
De S. Poesi Hebr. Prael. xvi. sub fin. where this matter 
is treated and illustrated by examples. 

25. in the furnace] The text has *OD ; which some ren- 
der, " as with soap ; " as if it were the same with mi:D ; so 
Kimchi : but soap can have nothing to do with the purifying 
of metals : others, " according to purity, or purely" as our 
version. Le Clerc conjectured, that the true reading is 
103, " as in the furnace : " see Ezek. xxii. 18. 20. Dr. Du- 
rell proposes only a transposition of letters 13D ; to the same 
sense : and so likewise Archbishop Seeker. That this is the 
true reading is highly probable. 

26. And after this} The LXX, Syr. Chald. and 
eighteen MSS, add the conjunction i. 

27. in judgment ;] by the exercise of God's strict jus- 
tice in destroying the obdurate, (see ver. 28.), and delivering 
the penitent: in righteousness; by the truth and faithful- 
ness of God in performing his promises. 

29, 30. For ye shall be ashamed of the ilexes ] Sacred 
groves were a very ancient and favourite appendage of idol- 
atry. They were furnished with the temple of the god to 
whom they were dedicated ; with altars, images, and every 
thing necessary for performing the various rites of worship 
offered there ; and were the scenes of many impure cere- 
monies, and of much abominable superstition. They made 
a principal part of the religion of the old inhabitants of Ca- 
naan ; and the Israelites were commanded to destroy their 
groves, among other monuments of their false worship. 


The Israelites themselves became afterward very much ad- 
dicted to this species of idolatry. 

" When 1 had brought them into the land, 

Which I sware that I would give unto them ; 

Then they saw every high hill, and every thick tree: 

And there they slew their victims ; 

And there they presented the provocation of their offerings; 

And there they placed their sweet savour; 

And there they poured out their libations." Ezek. xx. 28. 
" On the tops of the mountains they sacrifice; 

And on the hills they burn incense: 

Under the oak, and the poplar; 

And the ilex, because her shade is pleasant." Hosea, iv. 13. 
Of what particular kinds the trees here mentioned are, it 
cannot be determined with certainty. In regard to n 1 ?^, in 
this place of Isaiah, as well as in Hosea, Celsius (Hierobot.) 
understands it of the terebinth ; because the most ancient 
interpreters render it so; in the first place the LXX. He 
quotes eight places ; but in three of these eight places the 
copies vary, some having 3%vs instead of nfj&fcfi And he 
should have told us, that these same LXX render it in six- 
teen other places by fyvs : so that their authority is really 
against him ; and the LXX st 'ant pro quercu, contrary to 
what he says at first setting out. Add to this, that Sym- 
machus, Theodotion, and Aquila, generally render it by 
tyvt ; the latter only once rendering it by rig*frfr* His 
other arguments seem to me not very conclusive : he says, 
that all the qualities of rrbx agree to the terebinth ; that it 
grows in mountainous countries ; that it is a strong tree ; 
long-lived ; large and high ; and deciduous. All these 
qualities agree just as well to the oak, against which he 
contends ; and he actually attributes them to the oak 
in the very next section. But, I think, neither the oak 
nor the terebinth will do in this place of Isaiah, from the 
last circumstance which he mentions, their being deci- 
duous ; where the Prophet's design seems to me to require 
an ever-green : otherwise the casting of its leaves would 
be nothing out of the common established course of nature, 
and no proper image of extreme distress, and total desola- 
tion ; parallel to that of a garden without water, that id, 
wholly burnt up and destroyed. An ancient, who was an 
inhabitant and a native of this country, uaderstaode it, in 
like manner, of a tree blasted with uncommon and ion mode- 


rate beat: " velut arbores, cum frondcs aestu torrenle de- 
cusserunt." Ephraem Syr. in loc. edit. Assemani. Com- 
pare Psal. i. 4. Jer. xvii. 8. Upon the whole, I have chosen 
to make it the ilex ; which word Vossius (Etymolog.) de- 
rives from the Hebrew nb ; that, whether the word itself 
be rightly rendered or not, I might at least preserve the pro- 
priety of the poetical image. 

29. For ye shall be ashamed} r^inn, in the second per- 
son, Vulg. Chald. two MSS. and one edition ; and in agree- 
ment with the rest of the sentence. 

30. whose leaves] Twenty-six MSS and three editions 
read rp^S in its full and regular form. This is worth re- 
marking', as it accounts for a great number of anomalies of 
the like kind, which want only the same authority to rectify 

30. a garden wherein is no water.] In the hotter 
parts of the eastern countries, a constant supply of water 
is so absolutely necessary for the cultivation, and even for 
the preservation and existence of a garden, that should it 
want water but for a few days, every thing in it would be 
burnt up with the heat, and totally destroyed. There is 
therefore no garden whatever in those countries, but what 
lias such a certain supply ; either from some neighbouring 
river, or from a reservoir of water collected from springs, 
or filled with rain-water in the proper season, in sufficient 
quantity to afford ample provision for the rest of the year. 

Moses, having described the habitation of man newly 
created, as a garden, planted with every tree pleasant to the 
sight and good for food, adds, as a circumstance necessary 
to complete the idea of a garden, that it was well supplied 
with water : (Gen. ii. 10. and see xiii. 10.) " And a river 
went out of Eden to water the garden." 

That the reader may have a clear notion of this matter, 
it will be necessary to give some account of the management 
of their gardens in this respect. 

" Damascus, (says Maundrell, p. 122.), is encompassed 
with gardens, extending no less, according to common 
estimation, than thirty miles round ; which makes it look 
like a city in a vast wood. The gardens are thick set with 
fruit-trees of all kinds, kept fresh and verdant by the waters 
of Barrady, (the Chrysorrhoas of the ancients), which 
supply both the gardens and city in great abundance. This 
river, as soon as it issues out from between the cleft of the 


mountain before mentioned into the plain, is immediately 
divided into three streams ; of which the middlemost and 
biggest runs directly to Damascus, and is distributed to all 
the cisterns and fountains of the city. The other two 
(which I take to be the work of art) are drawn round, one 
to the right hand, and the other to the left, on the borders 
of the gardens, into which they are let as they pass, by little 
currents, and so dispersed all over the vast wood : inso- 
much, that there is not a garden but has a fine quick stream 
running through it. Barrady is almost wholly drunk up by 
the city and gardens. What small part of it escapes is 
united, as I was informed, in one channel again, on the 
south-east side of the city ; and, after about three or four 
hours' course, finally loses itself in a bog there, without ever 
arriving at the sea." This was likewise the case in former 
times, as Strabo. lib. xvi. Pliny, v. 13. testify; who say, 
" that this river was expended in canals, and drunk up by 
watering the place." 

" The best sight (says the same Maundrell, p. 39.) that 
the palace [of the Emir of Beroot, anciently Berytus] 
affords, and the Worthiest to be remembered, is the orange 
garden. It contains a large quadrangular plat of ground, 
divided into sixteen lesser squares, four in a row, with walks 
between them. The walks are shaded with orange-trees, of 
a large spreading size. Every one of these sixteen lesser 
squares in the garden was bordered with stone ; and in the 
stone-work were troughs, very artificially contrived, for con- 
veying the water all over the garden : there being little 
outlets cut at every tree, for the stream, as it passed by, to 
flow out, and water it." The royal gardens at Ispahan are 
watered just in the same manner, according to Kempfer's de- 
scription, Amoen. Exot. p. 193. 

This gives us a clear idea of the D*2 ^hs, mentioned in 
the first Psalm, and other places of Scripture. " the divisions 
of waters," the waters distributed in artificial canals; for so 
the phrase properly signifies. The prophet Jeremiah has im- 
itated, and elegantly amplified, the passage of the Psalmist 
above referred to : 

" He shall be like a tree planted by the water- side, 
And which sendeth forth her roots to the aqueduct: 
She shall not fear, when the heat cometh; 
But her leaf shall be green; 

And in the year of drought she shall not be anxious, 
Neither shall she cease from bearing fruit." Jer. xvii. 8. 



From this image the son of Sirach has most beautifully 
illustrated the influence and the increase of religious wisdom 
in a well-prepared heart : 

" I also come forth as a canal from a river, 
And as a conduit flowing into a paradise. 
I said: I will water my garden, 
And I will abundantly moisten my border: 
And lo ! my canal became a river, 
And my river became a sea." Eccl'us, xxiv. 30, 31. 

This gives us the true meaning of the following elegant 
proverb : 

" The heart of the king is like the canals of waters in the hand 

Whithersoever it pleaseth him, he inclineth it." Prov. xxi. 1 . 

The direction of it is ih the hand of JEHOVAH, as the distri- 
bution of the water of the reservoir, through the garden, by 
different canals, is at the will of the gardener : 
" Et, quum exustus ager morientibus aBstuat herbis, 
Ecce supercilio clivosi tramitis undam 
Elicit: ilia cadens raucum per levia murmur 
Saxa ciet, scatebrisque arentia temperat arva." 

Virg. Georg. i. 107. 
Solomon mentions his own works of this kind : 

" I made me gardens, and paradises; 

And I planted in them all kinds of fruit-trees. 

1 made me pools of water, 

To water with them the grove flourishing with trees." 

Eccles. ii. 5. 6. 

Maundrell (p. 88.) has given a description of the remains, as 
they are said to be, of these very pools made by Solomon, 
for the reception and preservation of the waters of a spring, 
rising at a little distance from them ; which will give us a 
perfect notion of the contrivance and design of such reser- 
voirs. " As for the pools, they are three in number, lying 
in a row above each other ; being so disposed, that the waters 
of the uppermost may descend into the second, and those of 
the second into the third. Their figure is quadrangular ; 
the breadth is the same in all, amounting to about ninety 
paces : in their length there is some difference between them ; 
the first being one hundred and sixty paces long ; the se- 
cond two hundred; the third two hundred and twenty. 
They are all lined with wall, and plastered : and contain a 
great depth of water." 



The immense works which were made by the ancient 
kings of Egypt, for receiving the waters of the Nile when 
it overflowed, for such uses, are well known. But there 
never was a more stupendous work of this kind, than the 
reservoir of Saba, or Merab, in Arabia Felix. According 
to the tradition of the country, it was the work of Baikis, 
that queen of Sheba who visited Solomon. It was a vast 
lake formed by the collection of the waters of a torrent in 
a valley, where, at a narrow pass between two mountains, a 
very 'high mole, or dam, was built. The water of the lake 
so formed had near twenty fathom depth ; and there were 
three sluices at different heights, by which, at whatever 
height the lake stood, the plain below might be watered. 
By conduits and canals from these sluices the water was 
constantly distributed in due proportion to the several lands; 
so that the whole country for many miles became a perfect 
paradise. The city of Saba, or Merab, was situated imme- 
diately below the great dam : a great flood came, and raised 
the lake above its usual height: the dam gave way in the 
middle of the night ; the waters burst forth at once, and 
overwhelmed the whole city, with the neighbouring towns, 
and people. The remains of eight tribes were forced to 
abandon their dwelling, and the beautiful valley became a 
morass and a desert. This fatal catastrophe happened long 
before the time of Mohammed, who mentions it in the 
Koran, chap, xxxiv. See also Sale, Prelim, sect. i. ; and 
Michaelis, Questions aux Voyageurs Danois, No. 94. ; Nie- 
buhr, Descrip. de 1' Arabic, p. 240. 


THE prophecy contained in the second, third, and fourth 
chapters, makes one continued discourse. The first five 
verses of chapter second foretell the kingdom of Medial), 
the conversion of the Gentiles, and their admission into it. 
From the sixth verse to the end of the second chapter is fore- 
told the punishment of the unbelieving Jews, for their idola- 
trous practices, their confidence in their own strength, and 
dUnirit of God's protection ; and moreover the destruction 
of idolatry, in consequence of the establishment of Messiah's 
kingdom. The whole third chapter, with the first verse of 
the fourth, is a prophecy of the calamities of the Babylonian 


invasion and captivity ; with a particular amplification of 
the distress of the proud and luxurious daughters of Sion. 
Chap. iv. 2 6. promises to the remnant, which shall have 
escaped this severe purgation, a future restoration to the favour 
and protection of God. 

This prophecy was probably delivered in the time of 
Jotham, or perhaps in that of Uzziah ; as Isaiah is said to 
have prophesied in his reign ; to which time not any of his 
prophecies is so applicable as that of these chapters. The 
seventh verse of the second, and the latter part of the third 
chapter, plainly point out times in which riches abounded, 
and luxury and delicacy prevailed. Plenty of silver and 
gold could only arise from their commerce ; particularly 
from that part of it which was carried on by the Red Sea. 
This circumstance seems to confine the prophecy within the 
limits above mentioned, while the port of Elath was in their 
hands : it was lost under Ahaz, and never recovered. 

2. iu the latter days ] " Wherever the latter times 
are mentioned in Scripture, the days of the Messiah are 
always meant;" sajs Kimchi on this place: and, in regard 
to this place, nothing can be more clear and certain. The 
Prophet Micah (chap. iv. 14.) has repeated this proplfecy 
of the establishment of the kingdom of Christ, and of its 
progress to universality and perfection, in the same words, 
with little and hardly any material variation : for as he did 
not begin to prophesy till Jotham's time, and this seems to 
be one of the first of Isaiah's prophecies, I suppose Micah to 
have taken it from hence. The variations, as I said, are of 
no great importance. Verse 2. Kin after wyr, a word of some 
emphasis, may be supplied from Micah, if clropt in Isaiah : 
an ancient MS has it here in the margin : It has in like 
manner been lost in chap. liii. 4. (see note on the place) ; and 
in Psal. xxii. 29. where it is supplied by Syr. and LXX. In- 
stead of D'un ^D, all the nations, Micah has only D's;v peo- 
ples; where Syr. has D'DJ7 ^D, all peoples, as probably it 
ought to be. Verse 3. for the 2d bx read 'TNI, seventeen MSS, 
two editions, LXX, Vulg. Syr. Chald. and so Micah iv. 2. 
Verse 4. Micah adds, pm TJ% afar off] which the Syriac also 
reads in ibis parallel place of Isaiah. It is also to be ob- 
served, that Micah has .improved the passage by adding a 
verse, or sentence, for imagery and expression worthy even of 
the elegance of Isaiah : 


" And they shall sit, every man under his vine, 
And under his fig-tree, and none shall affright them: 
For the mouth of JEHOVAH God of Hosts hath spoken it." 

The description of well-established peace, by the image of 
" beating their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into 
pruning-hooks," is very poetical. The Roman poets have 
employed the same image : Martial, xiv. 34. " Falx ex ense." 

" Pax me certa ducis placidos curvavit in usus: 
Agricoloe nunc sum; militis ante fui." 

The Prophet 'Joel hath reversed it, and applied it to war pre- 
vailing over peace : 

a Beat your ploughshares into swords; 

And your pruning-hooks into spears." Joel, iii. 10. 

And so likewise the Roman poet : 

u Non ullus aratro 

Dignus honos: squalent abductis arva colonis, 
Et curvae rigidum falces conflantur in ensem.*' 

Virg. Georg. i. 506. 
" Bella diu tenuere viros: erat aptior ensis 

Vomere: cedebat taurus arator equo. 
'Sarcula cessabant; versique in pila ligones; 

Factaque de rastri pondere cassis erat." Ovid. Fast. i. C97. 

The Prophet Ezekiel has presignified the same great event 
wilh equal clearness, though in a more abstruse form, in an 
allegory ; from an image, suggested by the former part of the 
prophecy, happily introduced, and well pursued : 

" Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH: 
I myself will take from the shoot of the lofty cedar; 
Even a tender cion from the top of his cions will I pluck off: 
And I myself will plant it on a mountain high and eminent. 
On the lofty mountain of Israel will I plant it; 
And it shall exalt its branch and bring forth fruit; 
And it shall become a majestic cedar: 
And under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; 
In the shadow of its branches shall they dwell: 
And all the trees of the field shall know, 
That I JEHOVAH have brought low the high tree; 
Have exalted the low tree; 
Have dried up the green tree; 
And have made the dry tree to nourish: 
I JEHOVAH have spoken it, and will do it." Ezek. xvii. 22-24. 

The word wui in this passage, verse 22. as the sentence 
now stands, seems incapable of being reduced to any proper 


construction or sense ; none of the ancient versions acknow- 
ledge it, except Theodotion and Vulg. ; and all but the latter 
vary very much from the present reading of this clause, 
Houbigant's correction of the passage, by reading, instead of 
Tirol, npJn, (and a tender cion), which is not very unlike it, 
(perhaps better pjn, with which the adjective -p will agree 
without alteration), is ingenious and probable ; and I have 
adopted it in the above translation. 

6. they are filled with diviners ] Heb. They are filled 
from the east ; or, more than the east. The sentence is ma- 
nifestly imperfect. The LXX, Vulg. and Chaldee, seem 
to have read Dip33 ; and the latter, with another word be- 
fore it signifying idols : They are filled with idols as from 
of old. Houbigant for DnprD, reads DDpo, as Brentius had 
proposed long ago. I rather think, that both words together 
give us the true reading : DipD, DDpc 7 with divination from 
the east ; and that the first word has been by mistake omit- 
ted, from its similitude to the second. 

Ibid. And they multiply ] Seven MSS and one edition 
read ip'DD\ " Read vrrazr ; and have joined themselves to 
the children of strangers ; that is, in marriage, or worship." 
Dr. JUBR. So Vulg. adhceserunt. Compare chap. xiv. 1. 
But the very learned professor Chevalier Michaelis has 
explained the word inJD', Job, xxx. 7. (German transla- 
tion, note on the place) in another manner ; which perfectly 
well agrees with that place, and perhaps will be found to 
give as good a sense here, rrao, the noun, means corn 
springing up, not from the seed regularly sown on cultivated 
land, but in the untilled field, from the scattered grains of 
the former harvest. This, by an easy metaphor, is applied 
to a spurious brood of children irregularly and casually begot- 
ten. The LXX seem to have understood the verb here 
in this sense, reading it as Vulg. seems to have done : this 
justifies their version, which it is hard to account for in any 
other manner : *x.t TSKVU VTOM& oAXopt/A* sywfa xvro^. Compare 
Hos. v. 7. and LXX there. 

7. And Ids land is filled with horses] This was in direct 
contradiction to God's command in the law: "But he [the 
king] shall not multiply horses to himself; nor cause the 
people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should mul- 
tiply horses : neither shall he greatly multiply to himself 
silver and gold : " Deut. xvii. 16, 17. Uzziah seems to 
have followed the example of Solomon, (see 1 Kings x. 26, 


29.), who first transgressed in these particulars : he re- 
covered the port of Elath on the Red Sea, and with it that 
commerce, which, in Solomon's days, had " made silver and 
gold as plenteous at Jerusalem as stones : " 2 Chron. i. 15. 
He had an army of 307,500 men ; in which, as we may 
infer from this testimony of Isaiah, the chariots and horse 
made a considerable part. " The law above-mentioned 
was to be a standing trial of prince and people, whether they 
had trust and confidence in God their deliverer." See Bp. 
Sherlock's Discourses on Prophecy, Dissert, iv. where he has 
excellently explained the reason and effect of the law and the 
influence which the observance or neglect of it had on 
the affairs of the Israelites. 

8. And his land is filled with idols] Uzziah and Jotham 
are both said (2 Kings xv. 3, 4. and 34, 35.) " to have 
done that which was right in the sight of the Lord ; " (that 
is, to have adhered to, and maintained the legal worship of 
God, in opposition to idolatry, and all irregular worship ; 
for to this sense the meaning of that, phrase is commonly to 
be restrained) ; c: save that the high places were not removed, 
where the people still sacrificed and burned incense." There 
was hardly any time when they were quite free from this 
irregular and unlawful practice ; which they seem to have 
looked upon as very consistent with the true worship of 
God ; and which seems in some measure to have been tole- 
rated, while the tabernacle was removed from place to place, 
and before the temple was built. Even after the conversion 
of Manasseh, when he had removed the strange gods, and 
commanded Judah to serve JEHOVAH the God of Israel ; 
it is added, "Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still on 
the high places, yet unto JEHOVAH their God only : " 2 
Chron. xxxiii. 17. The worshipping on the high places 
therefore does not necessarily imply idolatry : and from 
what is said of these two kings, Uzziah and Jotham, we may 
presume, that the public exercise of idolatrous worship was 
not permitted in their time. The idols therefore here spoken 
of, must have been such as were designed for a private and 
secret use. Such probably were the Teraphim so often 
mentioned in Scripture ; a kind of household gods, of human 
form, as it should seem, (see 1 Sam. xix. 13. and compare 
Gen. xxxi. 34.), of different magnitude, used for idolatrous 
and superstitious purposes ; particularly for divination, and 
as oracles, which they consulted for direction in their affairs. 


9. shall be bowed down] This has reference to the 
preceding verse : they bowed themselves down to their idols ; 
therefore shall they be bowed down and brought low under 
the avenging hand of God. 

10. When he ariseth to strike the earth with terror.] On 
the authority of LXX, confirmed by the Arabic and an an- 
cient MS, I have here added to the text a line, which in the 
19th and 21st verses is repeated together with the preceding 
line, and has, I think, evidently been omitted by mistake 
in this place. The MS here varies only in one letter from 
the reading of the other two verses : it has pjo instead of 

11. be humbled} " For rim ^isv, read nt? ^3ty." Dr. 
DURELL. Which rectifies the grammatical construction. 

13 16. Even against all the cedars ] These verses 
afford us a striking example of that peculiar way of writing, 
which makes a principal characteristic of the parabolical or 
poetical style of the Hebrews, and in which their prophets 
deal so largely ; namely, their manner of exhibiting things 
divine, spiritual, moral, and political, by a set of images taken 
from things natural, artificial, religious, historical ; in the way 
of metaphor or allegory. Of these, nature furnishes much 
the largest and the most pleasing share ; and all poetry has 
chiefly recourse to natural images, as the richest and most 
powerful source of illustration. But it may be observed of the 
Hebrew poetry in particular, than in the use of such images, 
and in the application of them in the way of illustration and 
ornament, it is more regular and constant than any other poe- 
try whatever ; that it has, for the most part, a set of images 
appropriated in a manner to the explication of certain sub- 
jects. Thus you will find, in many other places beside this 
before us, that cedars of Libanusand oaks of Basan are used, 
in the way of metaphor and allegory, for kings, princes, po- 
tentates, of the highest rank ; high mountains and lofty hills, 
for kingdoms, republics, states, cities ; towers and fortresses, 
for defenders and protectors, whether by counsel or strength, 
in peace or war ; ships of Tai shish, and works of art and in- 
vention employed in adorning them, for merchants, men en- 
riched by commerce, and abounding in all the luxuries and 
elegancies of life ; such as those of Tyre and Sidon : for it 
appears from the course of the whole passage, and from the 
train of ideas, that the fortresses and the ships are to be taken 
metaphorically, as well as the high trees arid the lofty moun- 


Ships of Tarshish are in Scripture frequently used by a 
metonymy for ships in general, especially such as are em- 
ployed in carrying on traffic between distant countries ; as 
Tarshish was the most celebrated mart of those times, fre- 
quented of old by the Phenicians, and the principal source of 
wealth to Judea and the neighbouring countries. The 
learned seem now to be perfectly well agreed, that Tarshish 
is Tartessus, a city of Spain, at the mouth of the river Baetis ; 
whence the Phenicians, who first opened this trade, brought 
silver and gold, (Jer. x. 9. Ezek. xxvii. 12.), in which that 
country then abounded ; and pursuing their voyage still fur- 
ther to the Cassiterides, [Bochart. Canaan, I. cap. 39. Huet, 
Hist, de Commerce, p. 194.), the islands of Scilly and Corn- 
wall, they brought from thence lead and tin. 

Tarshish is celebrated in Scripture (2 Chron. viii. 17, 
18. ix. 21.) for the trade which Solomon carried on thither, 
in conjunction with the Tyrians. Jehosaphat (1 Kings 
xxii. 48. 2 Chron. xx. 36.) attempted afterward to renew 
that trade; and from the account given of his attempt it 
appears, that his fleet was to sail from Eziongeber on the 
Red Sea : they must therefore have designed to sail round 
Africa, as Solomon's fleet probably had done before, (see 
Huet, Histoire de Commerce, p. 32.) ; for it was a three 
years' voyage, (2 Chron. ix. 21.) ; and they brought gold 
from Ophir, probably on the coast of Arabia, silver from 
Tartessus, and ivory, apes, and peacocks from Africa. 
" T3ix, Afri, Africa, the Roman termination, Africa terra. 
tsrenn, some city, or country, in Africa. So Chald. on 1 
Kings xxii. 49. where he renders win, by np-\3N % ; and 
compare 2 Chron. xx. 36. from whence it appears, that to 
go to Ophir and to Tarshish is one and the same thing." 
Dr. JUBB. It is certain, that under Pharaoh Necho, about 
two hundred years afterward, this voyage was made by the 
Egyptians. (Herodot. iv. 42.) They sailed from the Red 
Sea, and returned by the Mediterranean, and they perform- 
ed it in three years ; just the same time that the voyage 
under Solomon had taken up. It appears likewise from 
'Pliny, (Nat. Hist. ii. 67.), that the passage round the Cape 
of Good Hope was known and frequently practised before 
his time; by Hanno the Carthaginian, when Carthage was 
in its glory; by one Eudoxus, in the time of Ptolemy La- 
thyrus king of Egypt; and Caelius Antipater, an historian 
of good credit, somewhat earlier than Pliny, testifies 


he had seen a merchant, who had made the voyage from 
Gades to ^Ethiopia. The Portuguese under Vasco de 
Gama, near three hundred years ago, recovered this navi- 
gation, after it had been intermitted and lost for many 

18. shall disappear] The ancient versions, and an an- 
cient MS. read "abrr, plural. 

1921. into caverns of rocks ] The country of Judea, 
being mountainous and rocky, is full of caverns ; as it ap- 
pears from the history of David's persecution under Saul. 
At Engedi, in particular, there was a cave so large, that 
David with six iiundred men hid themselves in the sides of 
it; and Saul entered the mouth of the cave without per- 
ceiving that any one was there : 1 Sam. xxiv. Josephus 
(Antiq. lib. xiv. cap. 15. ; and Bell. Jud. lib. i. cap. 16.) 
tells us of a numerous gang cf banditti, who, having in- 
fested the country, and being pursued by Herod with his 
army, retired into certain caverns, almost inaccessible, near 
Arbela in Galilee, where they were with great difficulty sub- 
dued. Some of these were natural, others artificial. '"Be- 
yond Damascus," says Strabo, lib. xvi. u are two mountains 
called Trachones; [from which the country has the name 
of Trachonitis] : and from hence, towards Arabia and Itu- 
rea, are certain rugged mountains, in which there are deep 
caverns ; one of which will hold four thousand men." Taver- 
nier (Voyage de Perse, Part II. chap. 4.) speaks of a grot, 
between Aleppo and Bir, that would hold near three thou- 
sand horse. Three hours distant from Sidon, about a 
mile from the sea, there runs along a high rocky mountain ; 
in the sides of which are hewn a multitude of grots, all very 
little differing from each other. They have entrances about 
two feet square : on the inside, you find in most or all of 
them a room of about four yards square. There are of 
these subterraneous caverns two hundred in number. It 
may, with probability at least, be concluded that these places 
were contrived for the use of the living, and not of the dead. 
Strabo describes the habitations of the to have 
been somewhat of this kind :" Maundrell, p. 118. The 
Horites, who dwelt in Mount Seir, were Troglodytes, as 
their name cnn imports. But those mentioned by Strabo 
were on each side of the Arabian Gulf. Mohammed (Ko- 
ran, chap. xv. and xxvi.) speaks of a tribe of Arabians, the 
tribe of Thamud, " who hewed houses out of the mountains, 


to secure themselves." Thus, " because of the Midianites, 
the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the 
mountains, and caves, and strongholds." Judges, vi. 2. To 
these they betook themselves for refuge in times of distress 
and hostile invasion : " When the men of Israel saw that 
they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed), then 
the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, 
and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits;" 1 Sam, 
xiii. 6. and see Jer. xii. 9. Therefore, " to enter into the 
rock ; to go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of 
the earth," was to them a very proper and familiar image to 
express terror and consternation. The Prophet Hosea hath 
carried the same image further, and added great strength and 
spirit to it : Chap. x. 8. 

" They shall say to the mountains, Cover us; 
And to the hills, Fall on us." 

Which image, together with these of Isaiah, is adopted by 
the sublime author of the Revelation, (chap. vi. 15, 16.), who 
frequently borrows his imagery from our Prophet. 

20. which they have made to worship ] The word 
lb, for himself, is omitted by an ancient MS, and is un- 
necessary. It does not appear that any copy of LXX has it, 
except MS Pachom. and MS i. D. u. arid they have eavrots, 
on 1 ?, plural. 

Ibid. to the moles ] They shall carry their idols with 
them into the dark caverns, old ruins, or desolate places, to 
which they shall flee for refuge ; and so shall give them up, 
and relinquish them to the filthy animals that frequent such 
places, and have taken possession of them as their proper 
habitation. Bellonius, Greaves, P. Lucas, and many other 
travellers, speak of bats of an enormous size as inhabiting the 
great Pyramid. See Harmer, Obser. vol. ii. 455. Three 
MSS express nn-n-jn, the moles, as one word. 


1. Every stay and support ] Heb. " the support mas- 
culine, and the support feminine ; " that is, every kind of 
support, whether great or small, strong or weak : " Al 
kanitz, wal-kani tzah ; the wild beast, male and female: Pro- 
verbially applied both to fishing and hunting ; i. e. I seized 
the prey, great or little, good or bad. From hence, as 


Schultens observes, is explained Isa. iii. 1. literally the male 
and female stay: i. e. the strong and weak, the great and 
small." Chappelow, note on Hariri, Assembly 1. Compare 
Eccles. ii. 8. 

The two following verses, 2, 3. are very clearly explained 
by the sacred historian's account of the event, the captivity of 
Jehoiachin by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon : "And he 
carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the 
mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the 
craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of 
the people of the land : " 2 Kings xxiv. 14. 

4. / uill make boys their princes ] This also was fully 
accomplished in the succession of weak and wicked princes, 
from the death of Josiah to the destruction of the city and 
temple, and the taking of Zedekiah, the last of them, by 

6. of his father's house.] For ri*3, the ancient inter- 
preters seem to have read JVUD : r& oiium r& va,r^ avrx - 3 
LXX : domesticum patris sui ; Vulg. which gives no good 
sense. (But LXX, MS i. D. n. for *, has *.) And, 
his brother, of his fathers house, is little better than a tau- 
tology. The case seems to require, that the man should ap- 
ply to a person of some sort of rank and eminence ; one that 
was the head of his father's house, (see Josh. xxii. 14.) ; 
whether of the house of him who applies to him, or of any 
other ; rax r.3 tf*n. I cannot help suspecting, therefore, that 
the word pan has been lost out of the text. 

Ibid. saying ] Before nSstf, garment, two MSS (one 
ancient), and the Babylonish Talmud, have the word "rax 1 ?: 
and so LXX, Yulg. Syr. Chald. I place it with Houbigant, 
after n^DB*. 

Ibid. take by the garment.} That is, shall entreat him 
in an humble and supplicating manner. " Ten men shall 
take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew ; saying, Let 
us go with you ; for we have heard that God is with you : " 
Zech. viii. 23. And so in Isaiah, chap. iv. 1. the same 
gesture is used to express earnest and humble entreaty. 
The behaviour of Saul towards Samuel was of the same 
kind, when he laid hold on the skirt of his raiment: 1 Sam. 
xv. 27. The preceding and following verses shew, that his 
whole deportment, in regard to the prophet, was full of sub- 
mission and humility. 

Ibid. And let thy hand support ] Before "p* nnn a 


MS adds rrnn ; another MS adds in the same place npn 
which latter seems to be a various reading of the two preced- 
ing words, making a very good sense ; " take into thy hand 
our ruinous state." Twenty-one MSS, and three editions, 
and the Babylonish Talmud, have TT, plural. 

7. Then shall he openly declare ] The LXX, Syr. and 
Jerom. read KS?M, adding the conjunction ; which seems 
necessary in this place. 

Ibid. For in my house is neither bread nor raiment.] 
" It is customary through all the East," says Sir J. Chardin, 
" to gather together an immense quantity of furniture and 
clothes ; for their fashions never alter." Princes and great 
men are obliged to have a great stock of such things in 
readiness for presents upon all occasions. " The kings of 
Persia," says the same author, " have great wardrobes, where 
there are always many hundreds of habits ready, designed for 
presents, and sorted." Harmer, Observ. ii. 11. and 88. A 
great quantity of provision for the table was equally neces- 
sary. The daily provision for Solomon's household, whose 
attendants were exceedingly numerous, was proportionably 
great: 1 Kings, iv. 22,23. Even Nehemiah, in his strait 
circumstances, had a large supply daily for his table; at 
which were received an hundred and fifty of the Jews and 
rulers, beside those that came from among the neighbouring 
heathens : Neh. v. 17, 18. 

This explains the meaning of the excuse made by him 
that is desired to undertake the government : he alleges, that 
he has not wherewithal to support the dignity of the station 
by such acts of liberality and hospitality as the law of custom 
required of persons of superior rank. See Banner's Observa- 
tions, i. 340. ii. 88. 

8. the cloud] This word appears to be of very doubt- 
ful form, from the printed editions, the MSS, and the an- 
cient versions. The first jod in :y, which is necessary, 
according to the common interpretation, is in many of them 
omitted : the two last letters are upon a rasure in two MSS. 
I think it should be pj?, as the Syriac reads ; and that the 
allusion is to the cloud, in which the glory of the Lord ap- 
peared above the tabernacle. See Exod. xvi. 9, 10. xl. 34 
38. Numb. xvi. 41, 42. 

10. Pronounce ye ] The reading of this verse is very 
dubious. The LXX for nnx read now ; or both, 

and W*7 3U3 N 1 ? J. Ayra/MV TOY 


e^t. Perhaps, for nDK, the true reading may be wx, bless 
ye : or n^x vrotf, say ye, blessed is . Vulg. and an ancient 
MS read, in the singular number, *?3K, comedet. 

12. Pervert] urn, swallow. Among many unsatisfac- 
tory methods of accounting for the unusual meaning of this 
word in this place, I chose Jarchi's explication, as making 
the best sense. " Read Ma, confound. Syr." Dr. JUBB. 
"Read ibro, disturb or trouble" SECKER. So LXX. 

13. his people] ID;*, LXX. 

14. my vineyard] ,TQ, LXX, Chald. Jerom. 

15. And grind the faces} The expression and the image 
is strong, to denote grievous oppression ; but is exceeded by 
the prophet Micah : 

" Hear, I pray you, ye chiefs of Jacob; 
And ye princes of the house of Israel: 
Is it not yours to know what is right ? 
Ye that hate good, and love evil: 
Who tear their skin from off them; 
And their flesh from off their bones: 
Who devour the flesh of my people; 
And flay from off them their skin: 
And their bones they dash in pieces; 
And chop them asunder, as morsels for the pot; 
And as flesh thrown into the midst of the cauldron." 

Micah, iii. 1 3. 

In the last line but one, for IB?JQ, read, by the transposition 
of a letter, IXBO with the LXX, and Chald. 

16. And falsely setting off their eyes with paint} Heb. 
falsifying their eyes. 1 take this to be the true meaning 
and literal rendering of the word ; from ipb. The Maso- 
retes have pointed it, as if it were from ipiy, a different 
word. This arose, as I imagine, from their supposing that 
the word was the same with npD, Chald. intueri, innuere 
oculis ; or that it had an affinity with the noun *npD, 
which the Chaldeans, or the Rabbins at least, use for sti- 
bium, the mineral which was commonly used in colouring 
the eyes. See Jarchi's comment on the place. Though 
the colouring of the eyes with stibium be not particularly 
here expressed, yet I suppose it to be implied : and so the 
Chaldee paraphrase explains it ; " stibio linitis oculis" 
This fashion sems to have prevailed very generally among 
the eastern people in ancient times ; and they retain the 
very same to this day. 


Pietro della Valle, giving a description of his wife, an 
Assyrian lady, born in Mesopotamia, and educated at 
Baghdad, whom he married in that country, (Viaggi, torn. 
i. lettera 17.), says, " Her eye-lashes, which are long, and, 
according to the custom of the East, dressed with stibium, 
(as we often read in the Holy Scriptures of the Hebrew 
women of old, Jer. iv. 30. Ezek. xxiii. 40. ; and in Xeno- 
phon of Astyages the grandfather of Cyrus, and of the 
Medes of that time, Cyropeed. lib. i.), give a dark, and at 
the same time a majestic shade to the eyes." " Great eyes 
(says Sandys, Travels, p. 67., speaking of' the Turkish 
women) they have in principal repute ; and of those, the 
blacker they be, the more amiable : insomuch that they put 
between the eye-lids and the eye a certain black powder, 
with a fine long pencil, made of a mineral brought from the 
kingdom of Fez, and called alcohole ; which, by the not dis- 
agreeable staining of the lids, doth better set forth the white- 
ness of the eye ; and though it be troublesome for a time, 
yet it comforteth the sight, and repelleth ill humours/' 
" Vis ejus [stibii] astringere ac refrigerare, principalis autem 
circa oculos ; namque ideo etiam pleriqu3 Platyophthalmon 
id appellavere, quoniarn in calliblepharis mulierum dilatat 
oculos ; et fluxiones inhibet oculorum exulcerationesque." 
Plin. Nat. Hist, xxxiii. 6. 

" Ille supercilium madida fultgine tinctum 
Obliqua producit acu, pingitque trementes 
Attollens oculos." Juv. Sat. ii. 92. 

" But none of those [Moorish] ladies," says Dr. Shaw, 
(Travels, p. 294. fol.), " take themselves to be completely 
dressed, till they have tinged the hair and edges of their 
eye-lids with al-kaltolj the powder of lead ore. This opera- 
tion is performed by dipping first into the powder a small 
wooden bodkin of the thickness of a quill, and (hen draw-. 
ing it afterwards through the eye-lids, over the ball of the 
eye." Ezekiel (xxiii. 40.) uses the same word in (he form 
of a verb, ^yy n^ro, u thou didst dress thine eyes with 
al-cahol ;" winch the LXX render ini& rx$ o<p6x*uxs <ry, 
"thou didst dress thine eyes with stibium ; " just as they do 
when the word -pa is employed : (compare 2 Kings ix. 30. 
Jer. iv. 30.) : they supposed therefore, that -pa and Sro, or, 
in the Arabic form, al-cahol^ meant the same thing ; and 
probably the mineral used of old, for this purpose, was the 
same that is used now ; which Dr. Shaw (Ibid, note) says, 


is " a rich lead ore, pounded into an impalpable powder." 
Alcoholados ; the word nnpffa, in this place, is thus ren- 
dered in an old Spanish translation. Sanctius, See also 
Russell's Nat. Hist, of Aleppo, p. 102. 

The following inventory, as one may call it, of the ward- 
robe of a Hebrew lady, must, from its antiquity, and from 
the nature of the subject, have been very obscure, even to 
the most ancient interpreters which we have of it ; and, 
from its obscurity, must have been also peculiarly liable to 
the mistakes of transcribers : however, it is rather matter of 
curiosity than of importance ; and indeed it is, upon the 
whole, more intelligible, and less corrupted, than one might 
have reasonably expected. Clemens Alexandrinus (Paedag. 
lib. ii. cap. 12.) and Julius Pollux (lib. vii. cap. 22.) have 
each of them preserved, from a comedy of Aristophanes, 
now lost, a similar catalogue of the several parts of the dress 
and ornaments of a Grecian lady ; which though much more 
capable of illustration from other writers, though of later 
date, and quoted and transmitted down to us by two dif- 
ferent authors ; yet seems to be much less intelligible, and 
considerably more corrupted, than this passage of Isaiah. 
Sahnasius has endeavoured, by comparing the two quota- 
tions, and by much critical conjecture and learned disquisi- 
tion, to restore the true reading, and to explain the particu- 
lars ; with what success, I leave to the determination of the 
learned reader, whose curiosity shall lead him to compare 
the passage of the comedian with this of the Prophet, and 
to examine the critic's learned labours upon it. Exercit. 
Plinian. p. 1148.; or see Clem. Alex, as cited above, edit. 
Potter, where the passasre as corrected by Salmasius is given. 

Nich. Guil. Schroederus, professor of Oriental languages 
in the university of Marpurg, has published a very learned 
and judicious treatise upon this passage of Isaiah. The 
title of it is. " Cornmentarius Philologico-Criticus De Vestitu 
Mulierum Hebrsearum ad lesai, iii. ver. 16 24. Lugd. Bat. 
1745." 4to. As I think no one has handled this subject with 
so much judgment and ability as this author, I have for the 
most part followed him, in giving the explanation of the sev- 
eral terms denoting the different parts of dress, of which this 
passage consists ; signifying the reasons of my dissent, where 
he does not give me full satisfaction. 

17. will the Lord humble ] Tax-sivam, LXX ; and so 
Syr. and Chald. For nas? they read 


Ibid. expose their nakedness} It was the barbarous 
custom of tbe conquerors of those times to strip their cap- 
tives naked, and to make them travel in that condition, 
exposed to the inclemency of the weather ; and the worst 
of all, to the intolerable heat of the sun. But this to the 
women was the height of cruelty and indignity ; and espe- 
cially to such as those here described, who had indulged 
themselves in all manner of delicacies of living, and all the 
superfluities of ornamental dress ; and even whose faces had 
hardly ever been exposed to the sight of man. This is al- 
ways mentioned as the hardest part of the lot of captives. 
Nahum, denouncing the fate of Nineveh, paints it in very 
strong colours : 

" Behold, I am against thoe, saith JEHOVAH God of Hosts: 

And I will discover thy skirts upon thy face ; 

And I will expose thy nakedness to the nations; 

And to the kingdoms thy shame. 

And I will throw ordures upon thee; 

And I will make thee vile, and set thee as a gazing-stock." 

Nahum, iii. 5, 6. 

18. the ornaments of the feet rings ] The late learn- 
ed Dr. Hunt, professor of Hebrew and Arabic in the uni- 
versity of Oxford, has very well explained the word D3JN 
both verb and noun, in his very ingenious Dissertation on 
Prov. vii. 22, 23. The verb means to skip, to bound, to 
dance along ; and the noun, those ornaments of the feet 
which the eastern ladies wore; chains, or rings, which 
made a tinkling sound as they moved nimbly in walking. 
Eugene Roger, Description de la Terre Sainte, liv. . ii. 
chap. 2. speaking of the Arabian women of the first rank 
in Palestine, says, " Au lieu de brasselets elles ont de me- 
nottes d'argent, qu'elles portent aux poignets et aux pieds ; 
ou sont attachez quantity de petits annelets d'argent, qui font 
im cliquetis com me d'une cymbale, lorsqu'elles cheminent ou 
se mouvent quelque peu." See Dr. Hunt's Dissertation ; 
where he produces other testimonies to the same purpose from 
authors of travels. 

Ibid. the net-works] I am obliged to differ from the 
learned Schroederus, almost at first setting out ; he renders 
the word D'o 1 ^ by soliculi, little ornaments, bulla 1 , or 
studs in shape representing the sun, and so answering to 
the following word c'MHtf, Ivimla., crescents. He supposes 
the word to be the same with D& f D#, the * in the second 


syllable making the word diminutive, and the letter a being 
changed for 3, a letter of the same organ. How just and 
Well-founded his authorities for the transmutation of these let- 
ters in the Arabic language are, I cannot pretend to judge; 
but, as 1 know of no such instance in Hebrew, it seems to 
me a very forced etymology. Being dissatisfied with this ac- 
count of the matter, 1 applied to my good friend above-men- 
tioned, the late Dr. Hunt, who very kindly returned the fol- 
lowing answer to my inquiries : 

"1 have consulted the Arabic lexicons, as well MS as 
printed, but cannot find Lc*3&? in any of then), nor any thing 
belonging to it. So that no help is to be had from that lan- 
guage towards clearing up the meaning of this difficult word. 
But what the Arabic denies, the Syriac perhaps may afford ; 
in which I find the verb W2W to entangle, or interweave, an. 
etymology which is equally favourable to our marginal 
translation, net-works, with pp, to make chequer-work, or 
embroider, (the word by which Kimchi andj othere have 
explained D3tf), and has moreover this advantage over it, 
that the letters & and D are very frequently put for each 
other, but v and D scarce ever. Aben Ezra joins D'u>3tf. 
and D'DDy (which immediately precedes it) together ; and 
says, that 0*21? was the ornament of the leg's, as DD^ was 
of the feet. His words are, D3y ^ L fl ?:n D'3ff D'Bon ^ C'pw 


21. The jewels of the nostril ] ]xn *au. Schroederus 
explains this, as many others do, of jewels, or strings of pearl, 
hanging from the forehead, and reaching to the upper part 
of the nose. But it appears from many passages of Holy 
Scripture, that the phrase is to be literally and properly un- 
derstood of nose-jewels, rings set with jewels hanging from 
the nostrils, as ear-rings from the ears, by holes bored to re- 
ceive them. 

Ezekiel, enumerating the common ornaments of women 
of the first rank, has not omitted this particular, and is to be 
understood in the same manner; chap. xvi. 11, 12. (See 
also Gen. xxiv. 47.) 

" And I decked thee with ornaments; 
And I put bracelets upon thine hands, 
And a chain on thy neck: 
And I put a jewel on thy nose, 
And ear-rings on thine ears, 
And a splendid crown upon thine head." 


And in an elegant proverb of Solomon there is a manifest 
allusion to this kind of ornament, which shews it to have been 
used in his time : 

" As a jewel set in gold in the snout of a swine; 
So is a woman beautiful, but wanting discretion." 

Prov. xi. 22. 

This fashion, however strange it may appear to us, was 
formerly, and is still, common in many parts of the East, 
among women of all ranks. Paul Lucas, speaking of a 
village, or clan, of wandering people, a little on this side of 
the Euphrates ; " The women," says he, (2d Yoyage du 
Levant, torn. i. art. 24.), " almost all of them, travel on foot : 
I saw none handsome among them. They have almost all 
of them the nose bored, and wear in it a great ring, which 
makes them still more deformed." But in regard to this 
custom, better authority cannot be produced than that of 
Pietro della Yalle, in the account which he gives of the 
lady before-mentioned, Signora Maani Gioerida, his own 
wife. The description of her dress, as to the ornamental 
parts of it, with which he introduces the mention of this 
particular, will give us some notion of the taste of the eastern 
ladies for finery. C The ornaments of gold, and of jewels, 
for the head, for the neck, for the arms, for the legs, and 
for the feet, (for they wear rings even on their toes), are in- 
deed, unlike those of the Turks, carried to great excess, but 
not of great value ; for in Baghdad jewels of high price 
either are not to be had, or are not used ; and they wear 
such only as are of little value ; as turquoises, small rubies, 
emeralds, carbuncles, garnets, pearls, and the like. My 
spouse dresses herself with all of them according to their 
fashion ; with exception, however, of certain ugly rings of 
very large size, set with jewels, which in truth, very absurd- 
ly, it is the custom to wear fastened to one of their nostrils, 
like buffaloes : an ancient custom however in the East, which, 
as we find in the Holy Scriptures, prevailed among the 
Hebrew ladies even in the time of Solomon : Prov. xi. 22. 
These nose-rings in complaisance to me she has left off; 
but I have not yet been able to prevail with her cousin and 
her sisters to do the same : so fond are they of an old cus- 
tom, be it ever so absurd, who have been long habituated to 
it." Viaggi, torn. i. lett. 17. 

23. The transparent garments ] Djrb;n, TO. hetpeun 
LXX. A kind of silken dress, transparent, like 


gauze ; worn only by the most delicate women, and such as 
dressed themselves " eleganlius, qimm necesse esset probis." 
This sort of garments was afterwards in use among the Greeks. 
Prodicus, in his celebrated fable (Xenoph. Memorab. Socr. 
lib. ii.) exhibits the personage of Sloth in this dress : 

" Her robe betray'd 

Through the clear texture every tender limb, 
Heightening the charms it only seemed to shade; 
And as it flow'd adown so loose and thin, 
Her stature shew'd more tall, more snowy white her skin." 

They were called Multitia and Coa (sc. vestimenta) by the 
Romans, from their being invented, or rather introduced into 
Greece, by one Pampliila of the island of Cos. This, like 
other Grecian fashions, was received at Rome when luxury 
began to prevail under the Emperors ; it was sometimes worn 
even by the men, but looked upon as a mark of extreme ef- 
feminacy: (see Juvenal, Sat. ii. 65, &c.) Publius Syrus, who 
lived when the fashion was first introduced, has given a hu- 
morous satirical description of it in two lines, which by chance 
have been preserved : 

" ./Equum est, induere nuptam ventum textilem ? 
Palam prostare nudain in nebula linea ? " 

24. Instead of perfume ] A principal part of the delicacy 
of the Asiatic ladies consists in the use of baths, and of the 
richest oils and perfumes : an attention to which is, in some 
degree, necessary in those hot countries. Frequent mention 
is made of the rich ointments of the spouse in the Song of 
Solomon : 
" How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse ! 

How much more excellent than wine; 

And the odour of thine ointments than all perfumes ! 

Thy lips drop as the honey-comh, my spouse ! 

Honey and milk are under thy tongue: 

And the odour of thy garments is as the odour of Lebanon." 

Cant. iv. 10, 11. 

The preparation for Esther's being introduced to King 
Ahasuenis was a course of bulbing and perfuming for a 
whole year; "Six months with oil of myrrh, and six 
months with sweet odours:" Eslh. ii. 12. A diseased and 
loathsome habit of body, instead of a beautiful skin, softened 
and made agreeable with all that art could devise, and all 
that nature, so prodigal in those countries of the richest per- 


fumes, could supply, must have been a punishment the most 
severe, and the most mortifying to the delicacy of these 
haughty daughters of Sion. 

Ibid. A sun-burnt skin ] Caspar Sanctius thinks the 
words nnn O an interpolation, because the Vulgate has omit- 
ted them. The clause 3 nnn T D seems to me rather to be 
imperfect at the end. Not to mention that o, taken as a noun, 
for adustio, burning, is without example, and very improb- 
able : the passage ends abruptly, and seems to want a fuller 

In agreement with which opinion of the defect of the He- 
brew text in this place, the LXX, according to MSS Pachom. 
and i. D. n. and Marchal. which are of the best authority, 
express it with the same evident marks of imperfection at 
the end of the sentence ; thus, retvroc. rot ccvn KAX^U^KT^ 
The two latter add c-. This chasm in the text, from the loss 
probably of three or four words, seems therefore to be of long 

Taking o in its usual sense, as a particle, and supplying 
Y? from <roi of the LXX, it might possibly have been original- 
ly somewhat in this form : ' 

: n&rra n;n -p n^nn ^ nnn '3 

" Yea, instead of beauty, thou shalt have an ill- favoured coun- 
tenance.' 7 

*P nnn o [<! nn s ] " for beauty shall be destroyed" Syr. 
from nnn, or nm. Dr. DURELL. 

May it not be TO, " wrinkles instead of beauty ? " as from 
nsr is formed ^r ; from n"D, 'ID, &c. so from nnD, to be wrink- 
led, TD." Dr. JUBB. 

25. thy mighty men ] For ^rrfcl, an ancient MS has 
pDJ. The true reading from LXX, Vulg. Syr. Chald. seems 
to be pn:. 

26 sit on the ground.] Sitting on the ground was a 
posture that denoted mourning and deep distress. The 
Prophet Jeremiah has given it "the first place, among many 
indications of sorrow, in the following elegant description of 
the same state of distress of his country : 

" The elders of the daughter of Sion sit on the ground, they 

are silent: 
They have cast up dust on their heads; they have girded 

themselves with sackcloth: 
The virgins of Jerusalem have bowed down their heads to 

the ground." Lam. ii. 10. 


" We find Judea," says Mr. Addison, (on Medals, Dial, ii.) 
" on several coins of Vespasian and Titus, in a posture that 
denotes sorrow and captivity. I need riot mention her sit- 
ting on the ground, because we have already spoken of the 
aptness of such a posture to represent an extreme affliction. 
I fancy the Romans "might have an eye on the customs of 
the Jewish nation, as well as those of their country, in the 
several marks of sorrow they have set on this figure. The 
Psalmist describes the Jews lamenting their captivity in the 
same pensive posture. " By the waters of Babylon we sat 
down and wept, when we remembered thee, O Sion." But 
what is more remarkable, we find Judea represented as a 
woman in sorrow sitting on the ground, in a passage of the 
Prophet that foretells the very captivity recorded on this 
medal." Mr. Addison, I presume, refers to this place of 
Isaiah ; and therefore must have understood it as foretelling 
the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation by the 
Romans : whereas it seems plainly to relate, in its first and 
more immediate view at least, to the destruction of the city by 
Nebuchadnezzar, and the dissolution of the Jewish state under 
the captivity at Babylon. 


1. And seven women ] THE division of the chapters 
has interrupted the Prophet's discourse, and broken it off 
almost in the midst of the sentence. " The numbers slain 
in battle shall be so great, that seven women shall be left to 
one man." The Prophet has described the greatness of this 
distress by images and adjuncts the most expressive and for- 
cible. The young women, contrary to their natural modesty, 
shall become suitors to the men : they will take hold of 
them, and use the most pressing importunity to be married : 
in spite of the natural suggestions of jealousy, they will be 
content with a share only of the rights of marriage in com- 
mon with several others; and that on hard conditions, re- 
nouncing the legal demands of the wife on the husband, (see 
Exod. xxi. 10.), and begging only the name and credit of 
wedlock, and to be freed from the reproach of celibacy, (see 
chap. liv. 4, 5.) Like Marcia, on a different occasion, and in 
other circumstances, 

" Da tantum nomen inane 
Connubii : liceat tumulo scripsisse, Catonis 
Marcia." Lucan. ii 342. 


Ibid. in that day ] These words are omitted in LXX 
and MS. 

Ibid. The branch of JEHOVAH ] The Messiah of JE- 
HOVAH, says the Chaldee. The branch is an appropriated 
title of the Messiah ; and the fruit of the land means the 
great Person to spring from the house of Judah, and is only 
a parallel expression signifying the same ; or perhaps the 
blessings consequent upon the redemption procured by him. 
Compare chap. xlv. 8. where the same great event is set forth 
in similar images ; and see the note there. 

Ibid. the house of Israel.} A MS has V 7&n!&'n3. 

3. written among the living.] That is, whose name 
stands in the enrolment or register of the people; or every 
man living, who is a citizen of Jerusalem. See Ezek. xiii. 9. 
where " they shall not be written in the writings of the house 
of Israel," is the same with what immediately goes before, 
" they shall not be in the assembly of my people." Compare 
Psal. Ixxxvii. 6. Ixix. 28 ; Exod. xxxii. 32. To number and 
register the people was agreeable to the law of Moses, and 
probably was always practised ; being, in sound policy, useful 
and even necessary. David's design of numbering the people 
was of another kind ; it was to enrol them for his army. Mi- 
chaelis, Mosaisches Recht, Part 111. p. 227. See also his 
Dissert, de Censibus Hebraeorum. 

4. " The spirit of burning"] means the fire of God's 
wrath, by which he will prove and purify his people ; gather- 
ing them into his furnace, in order to separate the dross from 
the silver, the bad from the good. The severity of God's 
judgments, the fiery trial of his servants, Ezekiel (chap. xxii. 
18 22.) has set forth at large, after his manner, with great 
boldness of imagery and force of expression. God threatens 
to gather them into the midst of Jerusalem, as into the fur- 
nace ; to blow the fire upon them, and to melt them. Malachi 
(chap. iii. 2, 3.) treats the same subject, and represents the 
same event under the like images : 

" But who may abide the day of his coming? 
And who shall stand when he appeareth? 
For he is like the fire of the refiner, 
And like the soap of the fullers. 
And he shall sit refining and purifying the silver ; 
And he shall purify the sons of Levi, 
And cleanse them like gold, and like silver; 
That they may be JEHOVAH'S ministers, 
Presenting unto him an offering in righteousness." 


5. the station ] The Hebrew text has, every station; 
but four MSS (one ancient) omit *?D; very rightly, as it 
should seem ; for the station was Mount Sion itself, and no 
other. See Exod. xv. 17. And the LXX and MS add the 
same word "73 before rvanpa, probably right : the word has 
only changed its place by mistake. n*np!3, " the place where 
they were gathered together in their holy assemblies," says 
Sal. b. Melee. 

Ibid. A cloud by day ] This is a manifest allusion to 
the pillar of a cloud and of fire, which attended the Israelites 
in their passage out of Egypt, and to the glory that rested 
on the tabernacle, Exod. xiii. 21. xl. 38. The prophet Ze- 
chariah applies the same image to the same purpose : 

" And I will be unto her a wall of fire round about; 

And a glory will I be in the midst of her." Zech. ii. 5. 
That is, the visible presence of God shall protect her. 
Which explains the conclusion of this verse of Isaiah ; 
where the makkaph between "73 and mD, connecting the 
two words in construction, which ought not to be connected, 
has thrown an obscurity upon the sentence, and misled most 
of the translators. 

6. And a tabernacle ] In countries subject to violent 
tempests, as well as to intolerable heat, a portable tent is a ne- 
cessary part of a traveller's baggage, for defence and shelter. 


THIS chapter likewise stands single and alone, unconnect- 
ed with the preceding or following. The subject of it is near- 
ly the same with that of the first chapter. It is a general 
reproof of the Jews for their wickedness : but it exceeds that 
chapter in force, in severity, in variety, and elegance ; and it 
adds a more express declaration of vengeance, by the B ,bylo- 
nian invasion. 

1. Let me sing now a song] A MS, respectable for its 
antiquity, adds the word v# (a song) after jo; which gives 
so elegant a turn to the sentence by the repetition of it in the 
next member, and by distinguishing the members so exactly 
in the style and manner of the Hebrew poetical composition, 
that I am much inclined to think it genuine. 

Ibid. A song of loves] nn, for onn; status constructus 
pro absolute, as the grammarians say, as Micah, vi. 16.; 
Lament, iii. 14. and 66.; so Archbishop Seeker. Or rather, 


in all these and the like cases, a mistake of the transcribers, 
by not observing a small stroke, which in many MSS is 
made to supply the D of the plural, thus 'nn. cnn nvzr 
is the same with JYVV w, Psal. xlv. 1. In this way of un- 
derstanding it, we avoid the great impropriety of making the 
author of the song, and the person to whom it is addressed, to 
be the same. 

Ibid. On a high and fruitful hill] Heb. " on a horn the 
son of oil." The expression is highly descriptive and poet- 
ical. " He calls the land of Israel a horn, because it is 
higher than all lands; as the horn is higher than the 
whole body : and the son of oil, because it is said to be a 
land flowing with milk and honey." Kirnchi on the place. 
The parts of animals are, by an easy metaphor, applied to 
parts of the earth, both in common and poetical language. A 
promontory is called a cape, or head ; the Turks call it a 
nose. " Dorsum immane mari sum mo ; " Yirg. a back, or 
ridge of rocks. 

" Hanc latus angustum jam se cogentis in arctum 
Hesperiae tenuem producit in sequora linguam^ 
Adriacas flexis claudit quae cornibus undas." 
Lucan. ii. 612. of Brundusium, i. e. B^vrcow, which, in the 
ancient language of that country, signifies stag's-head, says 
Strabo. A horn is a proper .and obvious image for a moun- 
tain, or mountainous country. Solinus, cap. viii. says, 
" Italiam, ubi longius processerit, in cortma duo scindi : " 
that is, the high ridge of the Alps, which runs through the 
whole length of it, divides at last into two ridges, one going 
through Calabria, the other through the country of (he 
Brutii. " Cornwall is called by the inhabitants in the British 
tongue Kernaw, as lessening by degrees like a horn, running 
out into promontories like so many horns. For the Britain^ 
call a horn corn, in the plural kern : " Camden. " And 
Sammes is of opinion, that the country had this name origi- 
nally from the Phenicians, who traded hither for tin ; kercn, 
in their language, being a horn : " Gibson. 

Here the precise idea seems to be that of a high mountain 
standing by itself: "vertex montis, aut pars montis ab aliis 
divisa ; " which signification, says I. H. Michaelis, (Cibl. 
Hnllens. Not. in loc.) the word has in Arabic. 

Judea was in general a mountainous country ; whence 
Moses sometimes calls it the Mountain : " Thou shalt 
plant them in the Mountain of thine inheritance ; " Exod. 
xv. 17. "I pray thee let me go over, and see the good land 


that is beyond Jordan ; that goodly Mountain, and Leba- 
non ; " Deut. iii. 25. And in a political and religious view 
it was detached and separated from all the nations round it. 
Whoever has considered the descriptions given of Mount 
Tabor, (see Reland, Pakestin. ; Eugene Roger, Terre Sainte, 
p. 64.), and the views of it which are to be seen in books of 
travels, (Maundrell, p. 114. Egrnont and Heyman, vol. ii. p. 
25. Thevenot, vol. i. p. 429.) ; its regular conic form, 
rising singly in a plain to a great height from a base small 
in proportion ; its beauty and fertility to the very top ; will 
have a good idea of u a horn the son of oil ; " and will perhaps 
be induced to think, that the Prophet took his image from 
that mountain. 

2. and he cleared it from the stones.} This was agreea- 
ble to the ancient husbandry : " Saxa, summa parte terra, et 
vites et arbores leedunt; ima parte, refrigerant;" Columell. 
De Arb. 4. " Saxosum facile est expedire lectione lapidum ; " 
Id. ii. 2. " Lapides, qui supersunt, [al. insuper sunt] hieme 
rigent, sestate fervescunt ; idcirco satis, arbustis, et vitibus no- 
cent; " Pallad. i. 6. A piece of ground thus cleared of the 
stones, Persius, in his hard way of metaphor, calls u Exossa- 
tus ager ; ' 1 Sat. vi. 52. 

Ibid. Sorek,} Many of the ancient interpreters, LXX, Aq. 
Theod. have retained this word as a proper name ; 1 think 
very rightly. Sorek was a valley lying between Ascaion and 
Gaza, and running, far up eastward in the tribe of Judah. 
Both Ascaion and Gaza were anciently famous for wine : 
the former is mentioned as such by Alexander Trallianus ; 
the latter by several authors : (quoted by Reland, Palaest. p. 
589. and 986.) And it seems, that the upper part of the 
valley of Sorek, and that of Eshcol, where the spies gathered 
the single cluster of grapes which they were obliged to bear 
between two upon a staff, being both near to Hebron, were 
in the same neighbourhood ; and that all tin's part of the 
country abounded with rich vineyards. Compare Numb. xiii. 
22, 23. Jud. xvi. 3, 4. P. Nan supposes Eshcol and Sorek 
to be only different names for the same valley : Voyage Nou- 
veau cle la Terre Sainte, liv. iv. chap. 18. So likewise De 
Lisle's posthumous map of the Holy Land ; Paris, 1763. See 
Bochart, Hieroz. ii. col. 725. Thevenot, i. p. 406. Michaelis 
(note on Judg. xvi. 4. German translation) thinks it proba- 
ble, from some circumstances of the history there given, that 
Sorek was in the tribe of Judah, not in the country of the 


The vine of Sorek was known to the Israelites, being 
mentioned by Moses (Gen. xlix. 11.) before their coming 
out of Egypt. Egypt was not a wine country. " Through- 
out this country there are no wines;" Sandys, p. 101. At 
least in very ancient times they had none. Herodotus, ii. 
77. says, it had no vines ; and therefore used an artificial 
wine made of barley. That is not strictly true ; for the vines 
of Egypt are spoken of in Scripture, (Psal. Ixxviii. 47. cv. 
33;, and see Gen. xl. 11. by which it should seem, that they 
drank only the fresh juice pressed from the grape, which 
was called /vo$ *HAH$, Herodot. ii. 37.) ; but they had no 
large vineyards ; nor was the country proper for them, be- 
ing little more than one large plain, annually overflowed by 
the Nile. The Mareotic in later times is, I think, the only 
celebrated Egyptian wine which we meet with in history. 
The vine was formerly, as Hasselquist tells us it is now, 
" cultivated in Egypt for the sake of eating the grapes, not 
for wine ; which is brought from Candia," &c. " They were 
supplied with wine from Greece, and likewise from Phenicia ; " 
Herod, iii. 6. The vine and the wine of Sorek, therefore, 
which lay near at hand for importation into Egypt, must, in 
all probability, have been well known to the Israelites when 
they sojourned there. There is something remarkable in the 
manner in which Moses makes mention of it, which, for 
want of considering this matter, has not been attended to : 
It is in Jacob's prophecy of the future prosperity of the tribe of 
Judah : 

" Binding his foal to the vine, 

And his ass's colt to his own Sorek; 

He washeth his raiment in wine, 

And his cloak in the blood of grapes." Gen. xlix. 11. 

I take the liberty of rendering np-w, for ipw, his Sorek, 
as the Masoretes do of pointing rrvy, for n 1 ;', his foal, vy 
might naturally enough appear in the feminine form, but it 
is not at all probable that p-iiy ever should. By naming 
particularly the vine of Sorek, and as the vine belonging to 
Judah, the prophecy intimates the very part of the country 
which was to fall to the lot of that tribe. Sir John Chardin 
says, " That at Casbin, a city in Persia, they turn their 
cattle into the vineyards, after the vintage, to browse on the 
vines/'' He speaks also of vines in that country, so large 
that he could hardly compass the trunks of them with his 
arms. Voyages, torn. iii. p. 12. 12mo. This shews, that 


the ass might be securely bound to the vine ; and without 
danger of damaging the tree by browsing on it. 

Ibid. And he built a tower in the midst of it.] Our Sa- 
viour, who has taken the general idea of one of his parables 
(Matt. xxi. 33. Mark xii. 1.) from this of Isaiah, has like- 
wise inserted this circumstance of building a tower ; which 
is generally explained by commentators, as designed for the 
keeper of the vineyard lo watch and defend the fruits. But 
for this purpose it was usual to make a little temporary hut, 
(Isa. i. 8.), which might serve for the short season while the 
fruit was ripening, and which was removed afterwards. The 
tower, therefore, should rather mean a building of a more 
permanent nature and use ; the farm, as we may call it, of 
the vineyard, containing all the offices and implements, and 
the whole apparatus necessary for the culture of the vine- 
yard, and the making of the wine. To which image in the 
allegory, the situation, the manner of building, the use, a ii 
the whole service of the temple, exactly answered. And so 
the Chaldee paraph rast very rightly expounds it : " Et 
statui eos ( Israeli tas) ut plantain vineae selectae, et aedifi- 
cavi sanctuarium meum in medio illorum." So also Hieron. 
in loc. "JEdificavit quoque turrim in medio ejus: tern- 
plum videlicet in media civitate." That they have still such 
towers or buildings, for use or pleasure, in their gardens in 
the East, see Manner's Observations, ii. p. 241. 

Ibid. And Jtewed out a lake therein.] This imasre also 
our Saviour has preserved in his parable. 2p 1 , LXX ren- 
der it here trgotopM : and in four other places UTT^VIOV Isa. 
xvi. 10. Joel, iii. 13. Hagg. ii. 17. Zech. xiv. 10.; I think, 
more properly : and this latter word St. Mark uses. It 
means, not the wine-press itself, or calcatonum, which is 
called ro, or miD, but what the Romans called lacus, the 
lake; the large open place, or vessel, which, by a conduit 
or spout, received the must from the wine-press. In very 
hot countries it was perhaps necessary, or at least very con- 
venient, to have the lake under ground, or in a cave hewed 
out of the side of the rock, for coolness ; that the heat might 
not cause too great a fermentation, and- sour the must. 
"Vini confectio instil uitur in cella, vet intimae dotnus ca- 
mera quadam, a venlorum ingressu remota:' J Kempfer, of 
Schiras wine ; Amoen. Exot. p. 376 : For the hot wind, to 
which that country is subject, would injure the wine. " The 
\vine-pressesin Persia," says Sir John Chardin, "are formed 


by making hollow places in the ground, lined with mason's 
work." Harmer's Observations, i. p. 392. See a print of 
one in Kempfer, p. 377. Nonnus describes, at large, Bac- 
chus hollowing the inside of the rock, and hewing out a place 
for the wine-press, or rather the lake : 

<5V rifryov 


[f. Ct^dV.J fV^Oi^V^OlO TV7TOV "STO lytfOLTO 

He pierc'd the rock; and with the sharpen'd tool 

Of steel well temper'd, scoop'd its inmost depth: 

Then smooth'd the front, and form'd the dark recess 

In just dimension for the foaming lake." Dionysiac. lib. xii. 

Ibid. And he expected ] Jeremiah uses the same image, 
and applies it to the same purpose, in an elegant paraphrase 
of this part of Isaiah's parable, in his flowing and plaintive 
manner : 

" But I planted thee a Sorek, a cion perfectly genuine: 
How then art thou changed, and become to me the degene- 
rate shoots of the strange vine! " Chap. ii. 21. 

Ibid, poisonous berries] twi&o, not merely useless un- 
profitable grapes, such as wild grapes ; but grapes offensive 
to the smell, noxious, poisonous. By the force and intent 
of the allegory, to good grapes ought to be opposed fruit 
of a dangerous and pernicious quality ; as, in the expli- 
cation of it, to judgment is opposed tyranny, and to right- 
eousness oppression. jaj, the vine, ig a common name, 
or genus, including several species under it ; and Moses, to 
distinguish the true vine, or that from which wine is made, 
from the rest, calls it, Numb. vi. 4. pn |DJ, the wine-vine. 
Some of the other sorts were of a poisonous quality ; as ap- 
pears from the story related among the miraculous acts of 
Elisha, 2 Kings iv. 3941. " And one went out into the 
field to gather pot-herbs ; and he found a field-vine : and 
he gathered from it wild fruit, his lapful ; and he went, and 
shred them into the pot of pottage : for they knew them 
not. And they poured it out for the men to eat : and it 
came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they 
cried out, and said, There is death in the pot, O man of 
God ! and they could not eat of it. And he said, Bring 
meal ; (leg. inp, nine MSS, one edition) ; and he threw it 
into the pot. And he said, Pour out for the people, that 
they may eat. And there was nothing hurtful in the pot." 



From some such sorts of poisonous fruits, of the grape 
kind, Moses has taken those strong and highly poetical 
images, with which he has set forth the future corruption 
and extreme degeneracy of the Israelites, in on allegory which 
has a near relation, both in its subject and imagery, to this of 
Isaiah : 

" Their vine is from the vine of Sodom, 
And from the fields of Gomorrah: 
Their grapes are grapes of gall; 
Their clusters are bitter: 
Their wine is the poison of dragons, 
And the cruel venom of aspics." Deut xxxii. 32, 33, 

" I am inclined to believe, (says Hasselquist), that the 
Prophet here (Isa. v. 2. and 4.) means the hoary night- 
shade, solanum incanum ; because it is common in Egypt, 
Palestine, and the East ; and the Arabian name agrees well 
with it. The Arabs call it aneb el dib, i. e. wolf-grapes. 
The Prophet could not have found a plant more opposite 
to the vine than this ; for it grows much in 'the vineyards, 
and is very pernicious to them ; wherefore they root it out : 
it likewise resembles a vine by its shrubby stalk : " Travels, 
p. 289. See also Michaelis, Questions aux Yoyageurs Da- 
nois, No. 64. 

3. inhabitants] w, in the plural nujnber ; three MSS, 
(two ancient) ; and so likewise LXX and Vulg. 

6. the horns shall spring up in it.] A MS has VDSSO ; 
the true reading seems to be TOP 13: which is confirmed by 
LXX, Syr. Vulg. 

7. And he looked for judgment ] The paronomasia, or 
play on the words, in this place, is very remarkable : mis pat, 
mispach ; zedakah, zeakah. There are many examples of 
it in the other Prophets ; but Isaiah seems peculiarly fond of 
it : see chap. xiii. 6. xxiv. 17. xxvii. 7. xxxiii. 1. Ivii, 6. Ixi. 3. 
Ixv. 11, 12. The Rabbins esteem it a great beauty: their 
term for it is jwbn mrw, " elegance of language." 

Ibid. tyranny] nWD, from nap, servum fecit, Arab. 
Houbigant: nnajy, is. serva, a handmaid, or female slave. 
HSDD, eighteen MSS. 

8. You who lay field ] Read innpn, in the second per- 
son ; to answer to the verb following ; so Vulg. 

9. To mine ear ] The sentence in the Hebrew text 
seems to be imperfect in this place ; as likewise in chap, 
xxii. 14. where the very same sense seems to be required 


as here. See the note there : and compare 1 Sam. ix. 15. 
In this place LXX supply the word JJ*<T&?, and Syr. yon^x, 
auditus est JEHOVAH iu auribus rneis : i. e. rr?:j, as in chap, 
xxii. 14. 

9, 1 0. many houses ] This has reference to what 
was said in the preceding verse : " In vain are ye so intent 
upon joining house to house, and field to field: your houses 
shall be left uninhabited, and your fields shall become de- 
solate and barren ; so that a vineyard of ten acres shall pro- 
duce but one bath (not eight gallons^) of wine, and the hus- 
bandman shall reap but a tenth part of the seed which he lias 

11. to follow strong- drink] Theodoret and Chrysos- 
tom on this place, both Syrians, and unexceptionable wit- 
nesses in what belongs to their own country, inform us, 
that -OB?, (<n* in the Greek of both Testaments, rendered 
by us by the general term strong drink), meant properly 
palm-wine, or date-wine, which was and is still much in 
use in the eastern countries. Judea was famous for the 
abundance and excellence of its palm-trees ; and conse- 
quently had plenty of this wine. "Fiunt (vina) et e pomis : 
primumque e palmis, quo Parthi et Indi utuntur, et Oriens 
totus : maturarum motiio in aquae congiis tribus macerato 
expressoque : " Pljn. xiv. 19. " Ab his cariotcc [palmte] 
maxime celebrantur ; et cibo quidem, sed etsucco, uberrimae. 
Ex quibus praecipua yina Orieuti ; iniqua capiti, unde porno 
nomen : " Id. xi.ii. 9. Ka^es signifies stupefaction: and in 
Hebrew likewise, the w r ine has its name from its remarkable 
inebriating quality. 

11, 12. Wo unto them who rise early ] There is a 
likeness between this and the following passage of the Prophet 
Amo-j, who probably wrote before Isaiah : if the latter is the 
copyer, he seems hardly to have equalled the elegance of the 
original : 

" Ye that put far away the evil day, 

And affect the seat of violence ; 

Who lie upon beds of ivory, 

And stretch yourselves upon your couches ; 

And eat the lambs from the flock, 

And calves from the midst of the stall ; 

Who chant to the sound of the viol, 

And like David invent for yourselves instruments of music; 

Who quaff wine in large bowls, 

And are anointed with the choicest ointments : 

But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." Amos vi. 3-6. 


13, 14. And their nobles ] These verses have likewise 
a reference to the two preceding. They, that indulged in 
feasting and drinking, shall perish with hunger and thirst ; 
and Hades shall indulge his appetite as much as they had 
done, and devour them all. The image is strong, and ex- 
pressive in the highest degree. Habakkuk uses the same 
image with great force : the ambitious and avaricious con- 

"Enlargeth his appetite like Hades; 
And he is like death, and will never be satisfied." Hab. ii. 5. 

But, in Isaiah, Hades is introduced, to much greater advan- 
tage, in person ; and placed before our eyes in the form of a 
ravenous monster, opening wide his unmeasurable jaws, and 
swallowing them all together. 

17. without restraint ] DWD, secundum ductum 
eorum : i. e. suo ipsorurn ductu ; as their own will shall lead 

Ibid. And the kids ] Heb. cm, strangers. The LXX 
read, more agreeably to the design of the Prophet, D-O, *?> 
the lambs : DHJ, the kids, Dr. DURELL ; nearer to the present 
reading : and so Archbishop Seeker. The meaning is, their 
luxurious habitations shall be so entirely destroyed, as to be- 
come a pasture for flocks. 

18. as a long cable} The LXX, Aquila, Sym. and 
Theod. for ^am read t^aro, w c-^w*'? or <rwo/$ : and the 
LXX, instead of &oty, read some other word signifying long ; 
as <r%otvito f^xx.^ \ and so likewise the Syriac, KJ'IN. Houbi- 
gant conjectures, that the word which the LXX had in their 
copies was ynv, which is used, Lev. xxi. 18. xxii. 23. for 
something in an animal body superfluous, lengthened beyond 
its natural measure. And he explains it of sin added to sin, 
and one sin drawing on another, till the whole comes to an 
enormous length and magnitude ; compared to the work of 
a rope-maker, still increasing and lengthening his rope, with 
the continued addition of new materials. " Eos propheta 
similes facit homini restiario, qui funem torquet, cannabe 
addita et contorta, eadem iterans, donee funem in longum 
duxerit, neque eum liceat protrahi longius." " An evil in- 
clination (says Kimchi on the place, from the ancient Rab- 
bins) is at the beginning like a fine hair-string, but at the 
finishing like a thick cart-rope." By a long progression n 
iniquity, and a continued accumulation of sin, men arrive 
at length to the highest degree of wickedness ; bidding open 


defiance to God, and scoffing at his threatened judgments, as 
it is finely expressed in the next verse. The Chaldee para- 
phrast explains it in the same manner, of wickedness increas- 
ing from small beginnings, till it arrives to a great magnitude. 

23. the righteous} pn*, singular, LXX ; Vulg. and two 

24. the tongue of fire] " The flame, because it is in the 
shape of a tongue ; and so it is called metaphorically :" Sal. 
b. Melee. The metaphor is so exceedingly obvious, as well as 
beautiful, that one may wonder that it has not been more fre- 
quently used. Virgil very elegantly intimates, rather than 
expresses, the image : J3n. ii. 682. 

" 4 Ecce levis summo de vertice visus luli 
Fundere lumen apex; tractuque innoxia molli 
Lambere flamma comas, et circum tempora pasci" 

And more boldly of J3tna darting out flames from its top : 
Mn. iii. 574. 

" Attollitque globos flammarum, et sidera lambit." 

The disparted tongues, as it were, of fire, (Acts ii. 3.), which 
appeared at the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, 
give the same idea ; that is, of flames shooting diversely into 
pyramidal forms, or points, like tongues. It may be further 
observed, that the Prophet in this 'place has given the meta- 
phor its full force, in applying it to the action of fire in eat- 
ing up and devouring whatever conies in its way, like a 
ravenous animal, whose tongue is principally employed in 
taking in his food or prey ; which image Moses has strongly 
exhibited in a most expressive comparison : " And Moab 
said to the elders of Midian, Now shall this collection of 
people lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh 
up the grass of the field ;" Numb. xxii. 4. See also 1 Kings 
xviii. 38. 

25. and the mountains trembled} Probably referring 
to the great earthquakes in the days of Uzxiah king of Ju- 
dali, in, or not long before, the time of the Prophet himself: 
recorded as a remarkable era in the title of the Prophecies of 
Amos, chap. i. 1. and by Zechariah, chap. xiv. 5. 

26. he will hist ] " The metaphor is taken from the 
practice of those that keep bees; who draw them out of their 
hives into the fields, and lead them back again, a-v^te-fieca-i, by 
a hiss, or a whistle:" Cyril, on the place; and to the same 
purpose, Theodoret, ibid. In chap. vii. 18. the metaphor is 


more apparent, by being carried further ; where the hostile 
armies are expressed by the fly and the bee : 
" JEHOVAH shall hist the fly, 
That is in the utmost parts of Egypt; 
And the bee, that is in the land of Assyria." 
On which place see Deut. i. 44. Psal. cxviii. 12.; and God 
calls the locusts his great army, Joel, ii. 25. Exod. xxiii. 28.^ 
See Huet. Q,uoest. Alnet. ii. 12. 

Ibid. Wi tk speed ] This refers to the 19th verse. As 
the scoffers had challenged God to make speed and to hasten 
his work of vengeance; so now God assures them, that with 
speed and swiftly it shall come. 

27. Nor shall the girdle ] The eastern people, wear- 
ing long and loose garments, were unfit for action or busi- 
ness of any kind, without girding their clothes about them : 
when their business was finished, they took off their girdles. 
A girdle therefore denotes strength and activity ; and to un- 
loose the girdle, is to deprive of strength, to render unfit fqr 
action. God promises to unloose the loins of kings before 
Cyrus, chap. xlv. 1. The girdle is so essential a part of a 
soldier's accoutrement, being the last that he puts on to 
make himself ready for action, that to be girded, (imvriat, 
with the Greeks, means to be completely armed, and ready 
for battle : 

II. xi. 15. 

To <5e tifrvvai TCC oirXot, exoe,tev oi zra.teiot fanvvftV* Pausan. Bo30t. 

It is used in the same manner by the Hebrews : " Let not 
him, that girdeth himself, boast, as he that unlooseth his 
girdle," 1 Kings xx. 11.; that is, "triumph not, before the 
war is finished." 

28. The hoofs of their horses shall be counted as ada- 
mant.] Tiie shoeing of horses with iron plates nailed to the 
hoof is quite a modern practice, and unknown to the ancients ; 
as appears from the silence of the Greek and Roman writers, 
especially those that treat of horse-medicine ; who could not 
have passed over a matter so obvious, and of such impor- 
tance, that now the whole science takes its name from it, 
being called by us Farriery. The horse-shoes of leather and 
of iron, which are mentioned ; the silver and the gold shoes 
with which Nero and Poppea shod their mules, used occa- 
sionally to preserve the hoofs of delicate cattle, or for vanity, 


were of a very different kind ; they inclosed the whole hoof 
as in a case, or as a shoe does a man's foot, and were bound 
or tied on. For this reason, the strength, firmness, and so- 
lidity of a horse's hoof was of much greater importance with 
them than with us ; and was esteemed one of the first praises 
of a fine horse. Xenophon says, that a good horse's hoof is 
hard, hollow, and sounds upon the ground like a cymbal. 
Hence the %*****&* ' I7r7r l of Homer; and Virgil's "solido 
graviter sonat ungula cornu." And Xenophon gives direc- 
tions for hardening the horse's hoofs, by making the pave- 
ment, on which he stands in the stable, with round-headed 
stones. For want of this artificial defence to the foot, which 
our horses have, Amos (vi. 12.) speaks of it as a thing as 
much impracticable to make horses run upon a hard rock, as 
to plough up the same rock with oxen : 

" Shall horses run upon a rock ? 
Shall one plough it up with oxen ? " 

These circumstances must be taken into consideration, in or- 
der to give us a full notion of the propriety and force of the 
image, by which the Prophet sets forth the strength and ex- 
cellence of the Babylonish cavalry ; which made a great part 
of the strength of m the Assyrian army. Xenoph. Cyrop* 
lib. ii. 

27, 28. None among them ] Kimchi has well illustrated 
this continued exaggeration, or hyperbole, as he rightly calls 
it, to the following effect : " Through the greatness of their 
courage, they shall not be fatigued with their march ; nor 
shall they stumble, though they march with the utmost speed : 
they shall not slumber by day, nor sleep by night ; neither 
shall they ungird their armour, or put off their sandals, to 
take their rest : their arms shall be always in readiness, their 
arrows sharpened, and their bows bent : the hoofs of their 
horses are bard as a rock ; they shall not fail, or need to be 
shod with iron : the wheels of their carriages shall move as 
rapidly as a whirlwind." 

30. And these shall look to the heaven upward, and down 

to the earth.] pK 1 ? tMJl. IG** epfcte-^nleu t(t> rtjv yjjv. So the 

LXX, according to Vat. and Alex, copies; but the Com pi. 
and Aid. editions have it more fully thus, K*< ep&tefafltu $ 
TO* ugoaov v<y, xcti Kot]ui and the Arabic, from the LXX, as 

if it had Stood thus, Kt< epJo&r^otfoti ti$ rtv xgetvov, x,a.t ei$ rr,v <ytp 

Kttlu : both of which are plainly defective ; the words e/$ TV 
w* being wanted in the former, and the word *v in the 


latter. But an ancient Coptic version from the LXX, sup- 
posed to be of the 2d century, some fragments of which are 
preserved in the library of St. Germain des Prez at Paris, 
completes the sentence; for, according to this version, it 

Stood thus in LXX, Kat ef&te-^ovla.i /$ rov xgavov ctvu, X.CM e/$ rsjy 

yj *atli and so it stands in LXX, MSS Pachom. and i. 
D. ii. according to which they must have read in their He- 
brew text in this manner : T\urh ptfji rhynh Dwb ami. 
This is probably the true reading ; with which I have made 
the translation agree. Compare chap. viii. 22. where the 
same sense is expressed in regard to both particulars, which 
are here equally and highly proper, the looking upwards, as 
well as clown to the earth ; but the 'form of expression is 
varied. I believe the Hebrew text in that place to be right, 
though not so full as I suppose it was originally here ; and 
that of the LXX there to be redundant, being as full as the 
Coptic version, and MSS Pachom. and i. D. u. represent it 
in this place, from which I suppose it has been interpolated. 

Ibid, the gloomy vapour] Syr. and Vulg. seems to have 
read nbavs- But Jarchi explains the present reading as 
signifying darkness; and so possibly Syr. and Yulg. may 
have understood it in the same manner. 


As this vision seems to contain a solemn designation of 
Isaiah to the prophetical office, it is by most interpreters 
thought to be the first in order of his prophecies. But this 
perhaps may not be so : for Isaioh is said, in the general title 
of his Prophecies, to have prophesied in the time of Uzziah ; 
whose acts first and last he wrote, 2 Chron. xxvi. 22. which 
was usually done by a contemporary Prophet : and the phrase, 
" in the year when Uzziah died," probably means after the 
death of Uzziah ; as the same phrase, chap. xiv. 28. means 
after the death of Ahaz. Not that Isaiah's prophecies are 
placed in exact order of time : chapters ii. iii. iv. v. seem by 
internal marks to be antecedent to chap. i. ; they suit the time 
of Uzziah, or the former part of Jotham's reign ; whereas 
chap. i. can hardly be earlier than the last years of Jotham. 
See note on chap. i. 7. and ii. 1. This might be a new de- 
signation, to introduce more solemnly a general declaration 
of the whole course of God's dispensations in regard to his 


people, and the fates of the nation ; which are even now still 
depending, and will not be fully accomplished till the final 
restoration of Israel. 

In this vision the ideas are taken in general from royal 
majesty, as displayed by the Monarchs of the East ; for the 
Prophet could not represent the ineffable presence of God 
by any other than sensible and earthly images. The partic- 
ular scenery of it is taken from the temple. God is repre- 
sented as seated on his throne above the ark in the most 
holy place, where the glory appeared above the cherubim, 
surrounded by his attendant ministers. This is called by 
God himself, " The place of his throne, and the place of the 
soles of his feet ; >; Ezek. xliii. 7. " A glorious throne, ex- 
alted of old, is the place of our sanctuary," saith the Prophet 
Jeremiah, chap. xvii. 12. The very posture of sitting is a 
mark of state and solemnity: "Sed et ipsuin verbum sedere 
regni significat potestatem," saith Jerome, Comment, in 
Ephes. i. 20. See note on chap. lii. 2. St. John, who has 
taken many sublime images from the Prophets of the Old 
Testament, and in particular from Isaiah, hath exhibited the 
same scenery, drawn out into a greater number of particulars, 
Rev. chap. iv. 

The veil, separating the most holy place from the holy, or 
outermost part of the temple, is here supposed to be taken 
away ; for the Prophet, to whom the whole is exhibited, is 
manifestly placed by the altar of burnt-offering, at the en- 
trance of the temple, (compare Ezek. xliii. 5, 6.), which was 
filled with the train of the robe, the spreading and overflow- 
ing of the divine glory. The Lord upon the throne, accord- 
ing to St. John, xii. 41. was Christ; and the vision related 
to his future kingdom ; when the veil of separation was to 
be removed, and the whole earth was to be filled with the 
glory of God, revealed to all mankind : which is likewise im- 
plied in the hymn of the seraphim ; the design of which is, 
saith Jerom on the place, ' ut mysterium Triuitatis in una 
Divinitate demonstrent ; et neqimquam templum Judaicum, 
sicut prius, sed omnem terram illius gloria plenam esse tes- 
tentur." It relates indeed primarily, to the Prophet's own 
time, and the obdu ration of the Jews of that age, and their 
punishment by the Babylonish captivity ; but extends in its 
full latitude to the age of Messiah, and the blindness of the 
Jews to the gospel ; (see Matt. xiii. 14. John xii. 40. Acts 
xxviii. 26. Rom. xi. 8.); the desolation of their country by 
the Romans, and their being rejected by God : that never- 


theless a holy seed, a remnant, should be preserved, and that 
the nation should sprout out and flourish again from the old 

In the first verse, fifty-one MSS, and one edition ; in the 
8th verse, forty-four MSS, and one edition ; and in the llth 
verse, thirty-three MSS, and one edition, for nx, " the 
Lord," read mn% " JEHOVAH ;" which is probably the true 
reading, (compare verse 6th) ; as in many other places, in 
which the superstition of the Jews has substituted tnx for 

2. he cover eth his feet.} By the feetlbe Hebrews mean 
all the lower parts of the body. But the people of the East 
generally wearing long robes reaching to the ground, and 
covering the lower parts of the body down to the feet, it may 
hence have been thought want of respect and decency to 
appear in public, and on solemn occasions, with even the 
feet themselves uncovered. Kcmpfer, speaking of the king 
of Persia giving audience, says ; " Rex in medio supremi 
atrii cruribus more patrio inflexis sedebat : corpus tunica in- 
vestiebat flava, ad suras cum staret protensa ; discumbentis 
vero pedes discalcealos pro urbanitate patria operiens: " 
Arnoeri. Exot. p. 227. Sir John Chardin's MS note on this 
place of Isaiah is as follows : " Grande marque de respect en. 
Orient de se cach^r les pieds, quand on est assis, et de b tisser 
le visage. Quand le soverain se monstre en Chine et a Jap- 
on, chacun se jette le visage centre terre, ei il n'est pas permis 
de regarder le roi." 

3. Holy, holy, holy ] This hymn, performed by the 
seraphim, divided into two choirs, the one singing respon- 
sively to the other, which Gregory Nazian. Carm. 18. very 
elegantly calls St^^vey, avrtipavovj a/yeA^v rxnv, is formed upon 
the practice of alternate singing, which prevailed in the 
Jewish church from the time of Moses, whose ode at the 
Red Sea was thus performed, (see Exod. xv. 20, 21.), to 
that of Ezra, under whom the priests and Levites sung al- 

" O praise JEHOVAH, for he is gracious; 
For his mercy endureth for ever." 

Ezra iii. 11. See De S. Poes. Hebr. Prael. xix. at the be- 

5. lam struck dumb.] Man:, twenty-eight MSS (five 
anc'eni) and three editions. I understand it as from on, or 
and so it is rendered by Syr. Vulg. Sym. and 


by some of the Jewish interpreters, apud. Sal. b. Melee. 
The rendering of the Syriac. is, jx Tin, stupens, attonitus 
sum. He immediately gives the reason why he was struck 
dumb ; because he was a man of polluted lips, and dwelt 
among a people of polluted lips ; and was unworthy either to 
join the seraphim in singing praises to God, or to be the mes- 
senger of God to his people. Compare Exod. iv. 10. vi. 12. 
Jer. i. 6. 

6. from off the altar J\ That is, from the altar of burnt- 
offering, before the door of the temple ; on which the fire that 
came down at first from heaven, Lev. ix. 24. 2 Chron. vii. 1. 
was perpetually kept burning : it was never to be extinguish- 
ed, Lev. vi. 12, 13. 

9. Thirteen MSS have n*o, in the regular form. 

10. Make gross ] The Prophet speaks of the event, the 
fact as it would actually happen ; not of God's purpose and 
act by his ministry. The Prophets are in other places said to 
perform the thing which they only foretell : 

" Lo ! I have given thee a charge this day, 

Over the nations, and over the kingdoms ; 

To pluck up, and to pull down ; 

To destroy, and to demolish ; 

To build, and to plant." Jer. i. 10. 

And Ezekiel says, " when I came to destroy the city ; " 
that is, as it is rendered in the margin of our version, 
" when I came to prophesy, that the city should be destroy- 
ed ; " chap, xliii. 3. To hear, and not understand ; to see, 
and not perceive ; is a common saying in many languages. 
Demosthenes uses it, and expressly calls it a proverb : *Ve ro 

TV& zragtifAtots ogavTctt fuj ogety, MU ctxovovrcv; fw ctKovtn : Contra 

Aristogit. i. sub fin. The Prophet, by the bold figure in the 
sentiment above-mentioned, and the elegant form and con- 
struction of the sentence, has raised it from a common proverb 
into a beautiful mashaL and given it the sublime air of poetry. 
Ibid. close up] jwn : this word Sal. b. Melee, ex- 
plains to this sense, in which it is hardly used elsewhere, on 
the authority of Onkelos. He says, it means closing up the 
eyes, so that one cannot see ; that the root is yw t by which 
word the Targum has rendered the word no, Lev. xiv. 42. 
nD nx MB), " and shall plaster the house." And the 
word nD is used in the same sense, Isa. xliv. 18. So that it. 
signifies to close up the eyes by some matter spread upon 
the lids. Mr. Harmer very ingeniously applies to this pas- 


gage a practice of sealing up the eyes as a ceremonv, or as a 
kind of punishment, used in the East, from which the image 
may possibly be taken. Observations, ii. 278. 

Ibid. with their hearts.] laa^i, fifteen MSS, arid two 

Ibid. and I should heal] N*nw, LXX, Vulg. So 
likewise Matt. xiii. 14. John xii. 4.0. Actsxxviii. 27. 

11. be left.] For rwffn, LXX and Vulg. read ix#n. 

13. a tenth part] This passage, though somewhat 
obscure, and variously explained by various interpreters, 
yet, I think, has been made so clear by the accomplishment 
of the prophecy, that there remains little room to doubt of 
the sense of it. When Nebuchadnezzar had carried away 
the greater and better part of the people into captivity, 
there was yet a tenth remaining in the land, the poorer 
sort, left to be vine-dressers and husbandmen, under Geda- 
liali, 2 Kings xxv. 12. 2.; and the dispersed Jews gathered 
themselves together, and returned to him, Jer. xl. 12.: yet 
even these, fleeing into Egypt after the death of Gedaliah, 
contrary to the warning of God given by the Prophet Jere- 
miah, miserably perished there. Again, in the subsequent 
and more remarkable completion of the prophecy, in the 
destruction of Jerusalem and the dissolution of the com- 
monwealth by the Romans, when the Jews, after the loss of 
above \\ million of men. had increased from the scanty resi- 
due that was left of them, and had become very numerous 
again in their country; Hadrian, provoked by their rebel- 
lious behaviour, slew above half a million more of them, and 
a second time almost extirpated the nation. Yet after these 
signal and almost universal destructions of that nation, and 
after 'so many other repeated exterminations and massacres 
of them, in different times a-nci on various occasions since, 
we yet sen, with astonishment, that the stock still remains, 
froii, which God. according to his promise, frequently given 
by his Prophets, will cause his people to shoot forth again, and 
to flourish. 

Pof rr, above seventy MSS (eleven ancient") read H2 ; and 
so LXX. 


THE confederacy of Relsin king of Syria, and Pekah 
kin : of Israel, against the kingdom of Judah, was formed in 
the -ime of Jotham ; and perhaps the effects of it were felt 


in the latter part of his reign : see 2 Kings xv. 37. and 
note on chap. i. 7 9. However, in the very beginning 
of the reign of Ahaz, they jointly invaded Judah with a 
powerful army, and threatened to destroy, or to dethrone, 
the house of David. The king and royal family being in 
the utmost consternation on receiving advices of their designs, 
Isaiah is sent to them to support and comfort them in their 
present distress, by assuring them, that God would make 
good his promises to David and his house. This makes the 
subject of this, and the following, and the beginning of the 
ninth chapters ; in which there are many and great diffi- 

Chapter vii. begins with an historical account of the occa- 
sion of this prophecy ; and then follows, ver. 4 16. a pre- 
diction of the ill success of the designs of the Israelites and 
Syrians against Judah ; and, from thence to the end of the 
chapter, a denunciation of the calamities to be brought upon 
the king and people of Judah by the Assyrians, whom they 
had now hired to assist them. Chapter viii. has a pretty 
close connexion with the foregoing : it contains a confirma- 
tion of the prophecy before given of the approaching de- 
struction of the kingdoms of Israel and Syria by the Assy- 
rians ; of the denunciation of the invasion of Judah by the 
same Assyrians : ver. 9, 10. give- a repeated general assur- 
ance, that all the designs of the enemies of God's people shall 
be in the end disappointed, and brought to nought : ver. 11, 
&c. admonitions and threatenings, (I do not attempt a more 
particular explanation of this very difficult part), concluding 
with an illustrious prophecy (chap. ix. I 6.) of the mani- 
festation of Messiah ; the transcendent dignity of his char- 
acter ; and the universality and eternal duration of his 

4. The Syriac omits-DiNi ; Vulg. reads DIX -J^D : one or the 
other seems to be the true read i no-. I prefer the former ; or, 
instead of pi DIM, read p np3i, MS. 

8, 9. Though the head of Syria be Damascus, 

And the head of Damascus, Retsin ; 

Yet within threescore and five years 

Ephraim shall be broken, that he be no more a people : 

And the head of Ephraim be Samaria; 

And the head of Samaria, Remaliah's son.] 

" Here are six lines, or three distichs, the order of which 
seems to have been disturbed by a transposition, occasioned 
by three of the lines beginning with the same word 


which three lines ought not to have been separated by any 
other line intervening; but a copyist, having written the 
first of them, and casting his eye on the third, might easily 
proceed to write, after the first line beginning with mm, 
that which ought to have followed the third line beginning 
with ty&ni. Then, finding his mistake, to preserve tire 
beauty of his copy, added at the end the distich which 
should have been in the middle ; making that the second 
distich which ought to have been the third. For the order 
as it now stands is preposterous : the destruction of Ephraim 
is denounced, and then their grandeur is set forth j whereas 
naturally the representation of the grandeur of Ephraim 
should precede that of their destruction. And the destruc- 
tion of Ephraim has no coherence with the grandeur of 
Syria, simply as such, which it now follows ; but it naturally 
and properly follows the grandeur of Ephraim, joined to that 
of Syria their ally. 

" The arrangement then of the whole sentence seems 
originally to have been thus : 

" Though the head of Syria be Damascus; 
And the head of Damascus, Retsin: 
And the head of Ephraim be Samaria; 
And the head of Samaria, Remaliah's son: 
Yet within threescore and five years 
Ephraim shall be broken, that he be no more a people." 

Dr. JUBB. 

8. threescore and Jive years\ It was sixty-five years 
from the beginning of the reign of Ahaz, when this pro- 
phecy was delivered, to the total depopulation of the king- 
dom of Israel by Esarhaddon, who carried away the re- 
mains of the ten tribes which had been left by Tiglath 
Pileser and Shalmaneser, and who planted the country with 
new inhabitants. That the country was not wholly stripped 
of its inhabitants by Shalmaneser, appears from many pas- 
sages of the history of Josiah ; where Israelites are men- 
tioned as still remaining there, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 6, 7. 33. 
and xxxv. 18. 2 Kings xxiii. 19, 20. This seems to be the 
best explanation of the chronological difficulty in this place, 
which has much embarrassed the commentators: see Usserii 
Anna!. V. T. ad an. 3327 ; and Sir I. Newton, Chronol. p. 283. 

" That the last deportation of Israel by Esarhaddon was 
in the sixty-fifth year after the second of Ahaz, is probable, 
for the following reasons : The Jews, in Seder Olam Rabba, 


and the Talmudist*, in D. Kimchi on Ezek. iv. say, that 
Manasseh king of J idah was carried to Babylon by the king 
of Assyria's captains, 2 Chron. xxxiii. 11. in the twenty- 
second year of his reign ; that is, before Christ 676, accord- 
ing to Dr. Blair's tables. And they are probably right in 
this. It could not be much earlier ; as the king of Assyria 
was not king of Babylon till 680 ; ibid. As Esarhaddon 
was then in the neighbourhood of Samaria, it is highly pro- 
bable that he did then carry away the last remains of Israel ; 
and brought those strangers thither, who mention him as 
their founder, Ezra iv. 2. But this year is just the 'sixty- 
fifth year from the second of Ahaz, which was 740 before 
Christ. Now the carrying away of the last remains of 
Israel, (who, till then, though their kingdom was destroyed 
forty-five years before, and though small in number, yet 
might keep up some form of being a people, by living ac- 
cording to their own laws), entirely put an end to the peo- 
ple of Israel, as a people separate from all others : for from 
this time they never retnrne I to their own country in a body, 
but were confounded with the people of Judah in the captivity ; 
and the whole people, the ten tribes included, were called 
Jews." Dr. JUBB. 

9. If ye believe not ] " This clause is very much illus- 
trated, by considering the captivity of Manasseh as happen- 
ing, at the same lime with this predicted final ruin of 
Ephraim as a people. The near connexion of the two 
facts makes the prediction of the one naturally to cohere 
with the prediction of the other. And tho words are well 
suited to this event in the history of the people of Judah. 
"If ye believe not, ye shall not. be established;" ihnt is, 
unless ye believe this prophecy of the destruction of Israel, 
ye Jews also, as well as the people of Israel, shall not re- 
main established as a kingdom and people ; ye also shall be 
visited with punishment at the same time: As our Saviour 
told the Jews in his time, " unless ye repent, ye shall all 
likewise perish;" intimating their destruction by the Ro- 
mans ; to which also, as well as to the captivity of Manas^eh, 
and to the Babylonish captivity, the views of the Prophet 
might here extend. The close connexion of this threat IP the 
Jews, with the prophecy of the destruction of Israel, is another 
strong proof, that the order of the preceding lines above pro- 
posed is right." Dr. JUBB. 

Ibid. If ye believe not in. me ] The exhortation of Je- 
hoslmplial to his people, when God had promised to them, by 


the Prophet Jahaziel, victory over the Moabites and Ammon- 
ites, is very like this, both in sense and expression, and seems 
to be delivered in verse : 

" Hear me, O Judah ; and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem! 
Believe in JEHOVAH your God, and ye shall be established: 
Believe his prophets, and ye shall prosper." 2 Chron xx. 20. 

Where both the sense and construction render very proba- 
ble a conjecture of Archbishop Seeker on this place ; that 
instead of o we should read vj. "If ye will not believe in 
me, ye shall not be established." So likewise Dr. Durell. 
The Chaldee has, " If ye will not believe in the words of the 
Prophet , " which seems to be a paraphrase of the reading 
here proposed, In favour of which it may be further ob- 
served, that in one MS o is upon a rasure ; and another for 
the last x 1 ? reads *6i ; which would properly follow o, but 
could not follow '3. 

11. Go deep to the grave ] So Aquila, Sym. Theodot. 

14. JEHOVAH] For TIN, twenty-five MSS (nine ancient) 
read mrr. And so ver. 20. eighteen MSS. 

14 16. When he shall know ] "Though so much 
has been written on this important passage, there is an ob- 
scurity and inconsequence which still attends it, in the gen- 
eral run of all the interpretations given to it by the most 
learned. Arid this obscure incoherence is given to it by the 
false rendering of a Hebrew particle, viz. b in in^i 1 ?. This 
has been generally rendered, either " that he may know," 
or " till he know." It is capable of either version, without 
doubt. But either of these versions makes ver. 15. incoherent 
and inconsistent with ver. 16. For ver. 16. plainly means to 
give a reason for the assertion in ver. 15. ; because it is sub- 
joined to it. by the particle 3, for. But it is no reason why 
a child should eat butter arid honey till he was at an age to 
distinguish, that before that time the land of his nativity 
should be free from its enemies. This latter supposition 
indeed implies what is inconsistent with the preceding asser- 
tion : For it implies, that in part of that time of the infancy 
spoken of, the land should not be free from enemies, and 
consequently these species of delicate food could not be at- 
tainable., as they are in times of peace. The other version, 
" that he may know," has no meaning at all : For what sense 
is there in asserting, that a child shall eat butter and honey, 


that he may know to refuse evil and choose good ? Is there 
.any such effect in this food ? Surely no. Besides, the child 
is thus represented to eat (hose things, which only a state of 
peace produces, during its whole infancy, inconsistent ly with 
ver. 16. which promises a relief from enemies only before the 
end of this infancy ; implying plainly, that part of it would 
l>e passed in distressful times of war and siege ; which was 
the state of things when the prophecy was delivered. 

' But all these objections are cut off, and a clear cohe- 
rent sense is given to this passage, by giving another sense 
to the particle *? ; which never occurred to me till I saw it 
in Harmer's Observat. vol. i. p. 299. See how coherent 
the words of the Prophet run, with how natural a connexion 
one clause follows another, by properly rendering this one 
panicle : " Behold this virgin shall conceive and bear a son, 
and thou shalt call his name Immanuel : Butter and honey 
shall he eat, when he shall know to refuse evil, arid choose 
good. For, before this child shall know to refuse evil, and 
choose good, the land shall be desolate, by whose two kings 
thou art distressed." Thus ver. 16. subjoins a plain reason 
why the child should eat butter and honey, the food of plen- 
tiful times, when he came to a distinguishing age ; viz. be- 
cause before that time the country of the two kings, who now 
dis ressed Judea, should be desolated ; and so Judea should 
recover that plenty which attends peace. That this render- 
ing, which gives perspicuity and rational connexion to the 
passage, is according to the use of the Hebrew particle is 
certain. Thus, ip3 nua 1 ?, " at the appearing of morning, 
or, 10. ten morning appeared;" Exod. xiv. 27. b^xn nyS, 
(i at meal-time, or, when it was time to eat ; " Ruth. ii. 14. 
In the same riianner, my*! 1 ?, " at his knowing, that is, when 
he knows." 

" Harmer (Ibid.)) has clearly shewn, that these articles of 
food are delicacies in the East ; and as such denote a state 
of plenty. See also Josh. v. 6. They therefore naturally 
express the plenty of the country, as a mark of peace re- 
stored to it. Indeed, ver. 22. it expresses a plenty arising 
from the thinness of the people; but that it signifies, ver. 15. 
a plenty arising from deliverance from war then present, ig 
evi lent ; because otherwise there is no expression of this 
deliverance. And that a deliverance was intended to be 
here expressed is plain, from calling the child, which should 
be born, Immanuel, God with us. It is plain, also, because 


it is before given to the Prophet, in charge ta make a decla- 
ration of the deliverance, vei\ 3 7.; and k is there made j 
and this prophecy must undoubtedly be conformable to that in 
this matter." Dr. JUBB. 

The circumstance of the child's eating butter and honey 
is explained by Jarchi as denoting a state of plenty : " Buty- 
rum et mel comedet infans iste, quoniam terra nostra plena 
erit omnis boni : " Comment, in locum. The int'aQt Jupiter, 
says Callimachus, was tenderly nursed with goat's milk and 
honey : Hymn, in Jov. 48. Homer, of the orphan daughters 
of Pandareus, 

" KajW./c-3-f Jg ft Afyohry 
Tyfo>, ttxt /u.*.irt yXvMfta, *< *r,}ei ofvo>." OdySS. XX. 68. 

" Venus in tender delicacy rears 

With honey, milk, and wine, their infant years." Pope, 

/v iv}eit? " This is a description of delicate food," 
says Eusiathius on the place. 

Agreeably to the observations communicated by the 
learned person above-mentioned, which perfectly well ex- 
plain the historical sense of this much-disputed passage, not 
excluding a higher secondary sense, the obvious and literal 
meaning of the prophecy is this : ' That within the time that 
a young woman, now a virgin, should conceive and bring 
forth a child, and that child should arrive at such an ago 
as to distinguish between good and evil, that is, within a 
few years, (compare chap. viii. 4), the enemies of Judah 
should be destroyed.' But the prophecy is introduced in so 
solemn a, manner ; the sign is so marked, as a sign selected 
and given by God himself, after Ahaz had rejected the offer 
of any sign of his own choosing out of the whole compass 
of nature; the terms of the prophecy are so peculiar, and 
the name of the child so expressive, containing in them 
much more than the circumstances of the birth of a common 
child required, or even admitted ; that we may easily sup- 
pose, that, in minds prepared by the general expectation of 
a great Deliverer to spring from the house of David, they 
raised hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested ; 
especially when it was found, that in the subsequent pro- 
phecy, delivered immediately afterward, this child, called 
Immanuel, is treated as the Lord and Prince of the land of 
Judah. Who could this be, other than the heir of the 
throne of David ? under which character a great and even 


a divine person had been promised. INo one of that age 
answered to this character, except Hezekiah ; but he was 
certainly born nine or ten years before the delivery of this 
prophecy. That this was so understood at that time, is 
collected, I think, with great probability, from a passage of 
Micah, a Prophet contemporary with Isaiah, but who began 
to prophesy after him ; and who, as I have already observed, 
imitated him, and sometimes used his expressions. Micah, 
having delivered that remarkable prophecy, which deter- 
mines the place of the birth of Messiah, " the ruler of God's 
people, whose goings forth have been of old, from everlast- 
ing ;" that it should be Bethlehem Ephrata; adds imme- 
diately, that nevertheless, in the mean time, God would 
deliver his people into the hands of their enemies : " he will 
give them up. till she, who is to bear a child, shall bring 
forth ; " Micah. v. 3. This obviously and plainly refers to 
some known prophecy concerning a woman to bring forth 
a child ; and seems much more properly applicable to this 
passage of Isaiah, than to any others of the same Prophet, 
to which some interpreters have applied it. St. Matthew, 
therefore, in applying this prophecy to the birth of Christ, 
does it not merely in the way of accommodating the words of 
the Prophet to a suitable case not in the Prophet's view ; but 
takes it in its strictest, clearest, and most important sense, and 
applies it according to the original design and principal inten- 
tion of the Prophet. 

17. But JEHOVAH will bring] Houbigant reads arm, 
from LXX ; *M* eKafyi o Ow : to mark the transition to a 
new subject. 

Ibid. Even the king of Assyria ] Houbigant supposes 
these words to have been a marginal gloss, brought into the 
text by mistake ; and so likewise Archbp. Seeker. Besides 
their having no force or effect here, they do not join well in 
construction with the words preceding ; as may be seen by 
the strange manner in which the ancient interpreters have 
taken them ; and they very inelegantly forestall the mention 
of the king of Assyria, which comes in with great propriety 
in the 20th verse. 1 have therefore taken the liberty of omit- 
ting them in the translation. 

18. hist the fly] See note on chap. v. 26. 

Ibid. Egypt and Assyria] Senacherib, Esarhaddon, 
Pharao Necho, and Nebuchadnezzar, who one after another 
desolated Judea. 


19. caverns] So LXX, Syr. Vulg. whence Houbigant 
supposes the true reading to betrVTfWl. 

20. the river] That is, the Euphrates ; iron, so read 
the LXX, and two MSS. 

Ibid. JEHOVAH shall shave by the hired rasor ] To 
shave with the hired rasor the head, the feet, and the heard, 
is an expression highly parabolical ; to denote the utter de- 
vastation of the country from one end to the other, and the 
plundering of the people, from the highest to the lowest, by 
the Assyrians ; whom God employed as his instrument to 
punish the Jews. Ahaz himself, in the first place, hired the 
king of Assyria to come to help him against the Syrians, 
by a present made to him of all the treasures of the temple, 
as well as his own : And God himself considered the great 
nations, whom he thus employed, as his mercenaries, and 
paid them their wages : thus lie paid Nebuchadnezzar for 
his services against Tyre, by the conquest of Egypt ; Ezek. 
xxix. 18 20. The hairs of the head are those of the high- 
est order in the state ; those of the feet, or the lower parts, 
are the common people ; the beard is the king, the high- 
priest, the very supreme in dignity arid majesty. The 
eastern people have always held the beard in the highest 
veneration, and have been extremely jealous of its honour. 
To pluck a man's beard is an instance of the greatest in- 
dignity that can be offered. See Isa. 1. 6. The king of the 
Ammonites, to shew the utmost contempt of David, "cut 
off half the beards of his servants ; and the men were greatly 
ashamed : and David bade them tarry at Jericho till their 
beards were grown ; " 2 Sam. x. 4, 5. Niebuhr, Arabie, p. 
275. gives a modern instance of the very same kind of insult. 
" The Turks," says Thevenot, "greatly esteem a man who 
has a fine beard : it is a very great affront to take a man by 
his beard, unless it be to kiss it: they swear by the beard ; " 
Voyages, i. p. 57. D'Arvieux gives a remarkable instance 
of an Arab, who, having received a wound in his jaw, chose 
to hazard his life, rather than suffer his surgeon to take off 
his beard. Me moires, torn. iii. p. 214. See also Niebuhr, 
Arabie, p. 61. 

The remaining verses of this chapter, 21 25. contain 
an elegant and very expressive description of a country 
depopulated, and left to run wild, from its adjuncts and cir- 
cumstances: the vineyards and corn-fields, before well cul- 
tivated, now overrun with briers and thorns ; much grass, 


so that the few cattle that are left, a young cow and two 
sheep, have their full range, and abundant pasture, so as 
to yield milk in plenty to the scanty family of the owner ; 
the thinly scattered people, living not on corn, wine and oil, 
the produce of cultivation, but. on milk and honey, the gifts 
of nature ; and the whole land given up to the wild beasts ; 
so that the miserable inhabitants are forced to go out armed 
with bows and arrows, either to defend themselves against 
the wild beasts, or to supply themselves with necessary food 
by hunting. 


THE prophecy in the foregoing chapter relates directly to 
the kingdom of Judah only : the first part of it promises them 
deliverance from the united invasion of the Israelites and 
Syrians ; the latter part, from vcr. 17. denounced the de- 
solation to be brought upon the kingdom of Judah by the 
Assyrians. The 6th, 7th, and 8th verses of this chapter, 
seem to take in both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. 
" This people, that refuseth the waters of Siloah," may be 
meant of both: the Israelites despised the kingdom of Judah, 
which they had deserted, and now attempted to des:roy ; the 
people of Judah, from a consideration of their own weak- 
ness, and a distrust of God's promises, being reduced to 
despair, applied to the Assyrians for assistance against the 
two confederate kings. But how could it be said of Judah, 
that they rejoiced in Retsin and the son 'of Remaliah, the 
enemies confederated against them ? If some of the people 
were inclined to revolt to the enemy, which however does 
not clearly appear from any part of the history or the pro- 
phecy, yet there was nothing like a tendency to a general 
defection. This, therefore, must be understood of Israel. 
The Prophet denounces the Assyrian invasion, which should 
overwhelm the whole kingdom of Israel under Tiglath Pile- 
ser and Shalmaneser : and the subsequent invasion of Judah 
by the same power under Senacherib, which would bring 
them into the most imminent danger, like a flood reaching 
to the neck, in which a man can but just keep his head 
above water. The two next verses, 9, 10. are addressed by 
the Prophet, as a subject of the kingdom of Judah, to the 
jsmrlites and Syrians ; and perhaps to all the enemies of 
God's people j assuring them, that their attempts against 


that kingdom shall be fruitless ; for that the promised Im- 
manuel, to whom he alludes by using his name, to express 
the signification of it, for God is with its, shall be the de- 
fence of the house of David, and deliver the kingdom of 
Judah out of their hands. He then proceeds to warn the 
people of Judah against idolatry, divination, and the like 
forbidden practices ; to which they were much inclined, and 
which would soon bring down God's judgments upon Israel. 
The prophecy concludes, at- the 6th verse of chap. ix. with 
promises of blessings in future times, by the coming of the 
great Deliverer already pointed out by the name of Imman- 
uel, whose person and character is set forth in terms the most 
ample and magnificent. 

And here it may be observed, that it is almost the con- 
stant practice of the Prophet to connect in like manner de- 
liverances temporal with spiritual. Thus the xith chapter, 
setting forth the kingdom of Messiah, is closely connected 
with the xtb, which foretells the destruction of Senacherib. 
So likewise the destruction of nations, enemies to God, in 
the xxxivth chapter, introduces the flourishing state of the 
kingdom of Christ in the xxxvth. And thus the chapters,, 
from xl. to xlix. inclusive, plainly relating to the deliverance 
from the captivity of Babylon, do in some parts as plainly 
relate to the great deliverance by Christ. 

1. Take unto tkee a large mirror ] The word vbl is 
not regularly formed from W, to roll, but from nSi ; as jvna 
from ma, JV^D from rrio, jvpj from npj, jvty from nSy,, 
&c. the ^ supplying the place of the radical n. rhi signifies 
to shew, to reveal ; properly, as Schroederus says, (De 
Vestitu Mulier. Hebr. p. 294.), to render clear and bright 
by rubbing, to polish : jv^jf, therefore, according to this de- 
rivation, is not a roll, or volume, but may very well signify 
a polished tablet of metal, such as anciently was used for a 
mirror : the Chaldee paraphrast renders it by nib, a tablet ; 
and the same word, though somewhat differently' pointed, 
the Chaldee paraphrast and the Rabbins render a mirror, 
chap. iii. 23. The mirrors of the Israelitish women were 
made of brass finely polished, Exod. xxxviii. 8. ; from which 
place it likewise appears, that what they used were little 
hand-mirrors, which they carried with them, even when they 
assembled at the door of the tabernacle. I have a metalline 
mirror, found in Herculaneurn, which is not above three 
inches square. The prophet is commanded to take a 


mirror, or brazen polished tablet, not like tbese little hand- 
mirrors, but a large one ; large enough for him to engrave 
upon it. in deep and lasting characters, BMN Dire, with a 
workman's graving tool, the prophecy which he was to de- 
liver, tain in this place certainly signifies an instrument 
to write, or to engrave with ; but D'in, the same word, only 
differing a little in the form, means something belonging to 
a lady's dress, chap. iii. 22. (where however five MSB leave 
out the % whereby only it differs from the word in this 
place) ; either a crisping-pin, which might be riot unlike a 
graving tool, as some will have it ; or a purse, as others 
infer from 2 Kings v. 23. It may therefore be called here 
BMX Din, a workman's instrument, to distinguish it from 
nt?x trin, an instrument of the same name used by the 
women. In this manner he was to record the prophecy of 
the destruction of Damascus and Samaria by the Assyrians : 
the subject and sum of which prophecy is here expressed 
with great brevity in four words, maker skalal, li,ash baz ; 
i. e. "to hasten the spoil, to take quickly the prey :" which 
are afterwards applied as the name of the Prophet's son, 
who was made a sign of the speedy completion of it : Maher- 
shalal Hash-baz ; Haste-to-the-spoil Quick-to-the-prey. And 
that it might be done with the greater solemnity, and to pre- 
clude all doubt of the real delivery of the prophecy before the 
event, he calls witnesses to attest the recording of it. 

4. For before the child ] The prophecy was according- 
ly accomplished within three years ; when Tiglath Pileser, 
king of Assyria, went up against Damascus, and took it, and 
carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Retsin ; and 
also took the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe 
of Manasseh, and carried them captive to Assyria ; 2 Kings 
xvi. 9. xv. 29. 1 Chron. v. 26. 

6, 7. Because this people have rejected ] The gentle 
waters of Siloah, a small fountain and brook just without 
Jerusalem, which supplied a pool within the city for the use 
of the inhabitants, is an apt emblem of the state of the king- 
dom and house of David, much reduced in its apparent 
strength, yet supported by the blessing of God : and is fine- 
ly contrasted with the waters of the Euphrates, great, rapid, 
and impetuous; the image of the Babylonian empire, which 
God threatens to bring down, like a mighty flood, upon all 
these apostates of both kingdoms, as a punishment for their 
manifold iniquities, and their contemptuous disregard of his 


promises. The brook and the river are put for the king- 
doms to which they belong, and the different states of which, 
respectively they most aptly represent. Juvenal, inveighing 
against the corruption of Rome by the importation of Asiatic 
mariners, says, with great elegance, that the Orontes has been 
long discharging itself into the Tiber : 

l< Jampridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes." 

And Virgil, to express the submission of some of the eastern 
countries to the Roman arms, says, that the waters of Eu- 
phrates now flowed more humbly and gently: "Euphrates 
ibat jam mollior undis : " -ZEn. viii. 726. But the happy 
contrast between the brook and the river gives a peculiar 
beauty to this passage of the Prophet, with which the simple 
figure in the Roman poets, however beautiful, yet uncon- 
trasted, cannot contend. 

8. Even to the neck shall he reach} He compares Jeru- 
salem (says Kimchi) to the head in the human body : as 
when the waters come up to a man's neck, he is very near 
drowning ; for a little increase of them would go over his 
head : so the king of Assyria coming up to Jerusalem was 
like a flood reaching to the neck ; the whole country was 
overflowed, and the capital was in imminent danger. Ac- 
cordingly the Chaldee renders reaching to the neck, by reach- 
ing to Jerusalem. 

9. Know ye this] God by his Prophet plainly declares 
to the confederate adversaries of Judah, and bids them regard 
and attend to his declaration, that all their efforts shall be in 
vain. The present reading i;n, is subject, to many difficul- 
ties : I follow that of the LXX, i;n> yvw f . Archbishop 
Seeker approves this reading. \jn, know ye this, is parallel 
and. synonymous to inxn, give ear to it, in the next line. 
The LXX have likewise very well paraphrased the conclu- 
sion of this verse : " When ye have strengthened yourselves, 
ye shall be broken ; and though ye again strengthen your 
selves, again shall ye be broken : " taking inn as meaning the 
same with nriBtt. 

11. As taking- me by the hand] Eleven MSS (two an- 
cient) read npiro : and so Sym. Syr. Vulg. 

12. Say ye not, It is holy ] ityp. Both the reading 
and the sense of this word are doubtful. The LXX mani- 
festly read rwp ; for they render it by <r*.^ov, hard. Syr. 
and Chald. render it NTID and nno, rebellion. How they 
came by this sense of the word, or what they read in their 



copies, is not so clear. But the worst of it is, that neither 
of these readings or renderings, gives any clear sense in this 
place : For why should God forbid his faithful servants to 
say, with the unbelieving Jews, it is hard ; or, there is a 
rebellion ; or, as our translators render it, a confederacy ? 
And how can this be called, "walking in the way of this 
people," ver. 11. which usually means, following their exam- 
ple ; joining with them in religious worship ? Or what con- 
federacy do they mean ? The union of the kingdoms of 
Syria and Israel against Judah ? That was properly a 
league between two independent states ; not an unlawful 
conspiracy of one part against another in the same state ; for 
this is the meaning of the word iBp. For want of any satis- 
factory interpretation of this place, that I can meet with, I 
adopt a conjecture of Archbishop Seeker, which he proposes 
with great diffidence ; and even seems immediately to give 
up, as being destitute of any authority to support it. I will 
give it in his own. words: " Videri potest ex cap. v. 16. et 
hujus cap. 13, 14. 19. legendum tsnp, vel t?np, eadem sen- 
ten tia, qua wrVw, Hos. xiv. 3. Sed nihil necesse est. Vide 
enim Jer. xi. 9. Ezek. xxii. 25. Optime tamen sic responde- 
rent huic versiculo versiculi 13, 14." The passages of Jere- 
miah and Ezekiel, above referred to, seem to me not at all to 
clear up the sense of the wordityp in this place. But the con- 
text greatly favours the conjecture here given, and makes it 
highly probable : " Walk not in the way of this people ; call 
not their idols holy ; nor fear ye the object of their fear : (that 
is, the o-eSarfixTx, or gods of the idolaters ; for so fear here 
signifies, to wit, the thing feared ; so God is called "" the fear 
of Isaac," Gen. xxxi. 42. 53.): but look up to JEHOVAH as 
your Holy One ; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be 
your dread ; and He shall be a holy refuge unto you.'' Here 
there is a harmony and consistency running through the 
whole sentence ; and the latter part naturally arises out of the 
former, and answers to it. Observe, that the difference be- 
tween -ityp and imp is chiefly in the transposition of the two 
last letters ; for the letters i and n are hardly distinguishable 
in some copies, printed as well as MS ; so that the mistake. 
in respect of the letters themselves, is a very easy and a very 
common one. 

14. And He shall be unto you a sanctuary.} The word 
tth, unto you, absolutely necessary, as I conceive, to the 
sense, is lost in this place : it is preserved by the Vulgate ; 


" et erit vobis in sanctificationem : " the LXX have it in the 
singular number ; f?xi rot us a,yitx.r^M\. Or else, instead of EnpD, 
a sanctuary, we must read t&pVD, a snare, which would then 
be repeated, without any propriety or elegance, at the end of 
the verse. The Chaldee reads instead of it DD^D, judgment ; 
for he renders it by jjnia I which word frequently answers to 
D)^D in his paraphrase. A MS has (instead of p&6i lanpo) 
pN 1 ? on 1 ? 5 which clears the sense and construction. But the 
reading of the Vulgate is, I think, the best remedy to this 
difficulty ; and is in some degree authorized by nrh, the read- 
ing of the MS above mentioned. 

16. among- my disciples] nD 1 ?^. " The LXX render it, 
T w [*.x6tv. Bishop Chandler, Defence of Christianity, p. 
308. " thinks they read is 1 ?;:, that it be not understood; 
and approves this reading : " Archbishop SECKER. 

18. God of Hosts} A MS reads ni*m Tr?x. 

19. Should they seek ] After &vr, the LXX, repeating 
the word, read tsnYn : Ovx t6vo$ Trpos S-eoi XVTX tK^Tyrw, rt 
exftjTtjTXTt wepi rav g&>vT&>v TJ vsxws j and this repetition of the verb 
seems necessary to the sense ; and, as Procopius on the place 
observes, it strongly expresses the Prophet's indignation at 
their folly. 

20. Unto the command, and unto the testimony ] " Is 
not rm; ? n here the attested prophecy, ver. 1 4.? and perhaps 
mm the command, ver. 11 15.7 for it means sometimes a 
particular, and even a human command ; see Prov. vi. 20. 
and vii. 2, 3. where it is ordered to be hid, that is, secretly 
kept : " Archbishop SECKER. So Deschamps in his transla- 
tion, or rather paraphrase, understands it: " Tenons-nous a 
1'instrument authentique. mis en depot par ordre du Seigneur." 
If this be right, the 10th verse must be understood in the same 

Ibid. Li which there is no obscurity] *TO, as an adjec- 
tive, frequently signifies dark, obscure; and the noun W 
signifies darkness, gloominess, Joel ii. 2. if we may judge 
by the context : 

" A day of darkness and obscurity ; 

Of cloud, and of thick vapour ; 

As the gloom spread upon the mountains : 

A people mighty and numerous ; " 

Where the gloom, inp, seems to be the same with the 
cloud and thick vapour, mentioned in the line preceding : 
see Lam. iv. 8. Job xxx. 30. See this meaning of the word 


well supported in Christ. Muller Satura Observationum 
Philolog. p. 53. Ludg. Bat. 1752. The morning seerns to 
be an idea wholly incongruous in the passage of Joel : And 
in this of Isaiah, the words, " in which there is no morning," 
(for so it ought to be rendered, if "TO in this place signifies, 
according to its usual sense, morning), seem to give no mean- 
ing at all. " It ie because there is no light in them," says our 
translation : If there be any sense in these words, it is not the 
sense of the original ; which cannot justly be so translated. 
Gtui n'a rien d'obscur ; Deschamps. The reading of LXX 
and Syr. nrw, gift, affords not any assistance towards the 
clearing up of this difficult place. 

21. distressed ] Instead of nwpj, distressed, the 
Vulg. Chald. and Syrn. manifestly read ^BOJ, stumbling, tot- 
tering through weakness, ready to fall ; a sense which suits 
very well with the place. 

22. And he shall cast his eyes upward ] The learn- 
ed professor Michaelis, treating of this place, (Not. in De S. 
Poes. Hebr. Prsel. ix.), refers to a passage in the Koran, which 
is similar to it. As it is a very celebrated passage, and on 
many accounts remarkable, I shall give it here at large, with 
the same author's further remarks upon it in another place of 
his writings. It must be noted here, that the learned profes- 
sor renders D3J in this and the parallel place, chap. v. 30. which 
I translate he looketh. by it thundereth, from Schultens, Orig. 
Ling. Hebr. lib. i. chap. 2.; of the justness of which rendering 
I much doubt. This brings the image of Isaiah more near, 
in one circumstance, to that of Mohammed, than it appears to 
be in my translation. 

" Labid, contemporary with Mohammed, the last of the 
seven Arabian poets who had the honour of having their poems, 
one of each, hung up in the entrance of the Temple of Mecca, 
struck with the sublimity of a passage in the Koran, became 
a convert to Mohammedism ; for he concluded, that no mart 
could write in such a manner, unless he were divinely 

" One must have a curiosity to examine a passage which 
had so great an effect upon Labid. It is, 1 must own, the 
finest that I know in the whole Koran ; but I scarce think 
it will have a second time the like effect, so as to tempt any 
one of my readers to submit to circumcision. It is in the 
second chapter ; where he is speaking of certain apostates 
from the faith. 'They are like,' saith he, 'to a man who 


kindlelh a light. As soon as it begins to shine, God takes 
from them the light, and leaves them in darkness, that they 
see nothing. They are deaf, dumb, and blind ; and return 
not into the right way. Or they fare, as when a cloud, full 
of darkness, thunder, and lightning, covers the heaven : 
when it bursteth, they stop their ears with their fingers, with 
deadly fear ; and God hath the unbelievers in his power. 
The lightning almost robbeth them of their eyes : as often 
as it flashed), they go on by its light; and when it vanisheth 
in darkness, they stand still. If God pleased, they would re- 
tain neither hearing nor sight.' That the thought is beauti- 
ful, no one will deny ; and Labid, who had probably a mind 
to flatter Mohammed, was lucky in finding a passage in the 
Koran, so little abounding in poetical beauties, to which Ins 
conversion might with any propriety be ascribed. It was 
well that he went no further ; otherwise his taste for poetry 
might have made him again an infidel." Michaelis, Erpenii 
Arabische Gramniatik abgekurzt, Vorrede, s. 32. 

23. accumulated darkness} Either nmJD, fern, to agree 
withruax; or rnion ^ax, alluding perhaps to the palpable 
Egyptian darkness, Exod. x. 21. 

Ibid. The land of Zebulon ] Zebulon, Naphthali, Ma- 
nasseh, that is, the country of Galilee, all round the Sea of 
Genesareth, were the parts that principally suffered in the 
first Assyrian invasion under Tiglath Pileser : see 2 Kings 
xv. 29. 1. Cbron. v. 26,: and they were the first that en- 
joyed tbe blessing of Christ's preaching the gospel, and ex- 
hibiting his miraculous works among them. See Mede's 
Works, p. 101. and 457. 


2. Tliou hast increased their jc,y\ Eleven MSS (two 
ancient) read ib, according to the IVlasoretical correction. 

Ibid. as with the joy of harvest] T2fp3 nnDBO. For 
TXpu a MSS has Yp, and another Tifpn: one of which 
seems to be the true reading, as the noun preceding is in reg~ 

4. The greaves of the armed warrior] JND JIND- This 
wordj occurring ojily in this place, is of very doubtful sig- 
nification. Schfndler fairly tells us, that, we must guess at 
it by the context, The Jews have explained it, by guess I 



believe, as signifying battle, conflict : the Vulgate renders it 
violenta prccdatio. But it seems as if something was rather 
meant, which was capable of becoming fuel for the fire 
together with the garments mentioned in the same sentence. 
In Syriac, the word, as a noun, signifies a shoe or a sandal, 
as a learned friend suggested to me some years ago : see 
Luke xv. 22. Acts xii. 8. I take it therefore to mean that 
part of the armour which covered the legs and feet, and 
I would render the two words in Latin by caliga caligati. 
The burning of heaps of armour, gathered from the field of 
battle, as an offering made to the god supposed to be the 
giver of victory, was a custom that prevailed among some 
heathen nations ; and the Romans used it as an emblem of 
peace: which perfectly well suits with the design of the 
Prophet in this place. A medal, struck by Vespasian on 
finishing his wars both at home and abroad, represents the 
goddess Peace, holding an olive branch in one hand, and 
with a lighted torch in the other setting fire to a heap of ar- 
mour. Virgil mentions the custom : 

" Cum primam aciem Prseneste sub ipsa 
Stravi, scutorumque incendi victor acervos. " .ZEn. viii. 561. 

See Addison on Medals, Series ii. 18. And there are notices 
of some such practice among the Israelites, and other nations 
of the most early times. God promises to Joshua victory 
over the kings of Canaan ; " T9-morrow I will deliver 
them up all slain before Israel : thou shalt hough their 
horses, and burn their chariots with fire ; " Josh. xi. 6. See 
also Nahutn ii. 13. And the Psalmist employs this image 
to express complete victory, and a perfect establishment of 
peace : 

" He maketh wars to cease, even to the end of the land: 
He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; 
And burneth the chariots in the fire." Psal. xlvi. 9. 

?,. properly plaustra, the baggage-waggons ; which how- 
ever the LXX and Vulg. render scuta, shields, and Chald. 
round shields, to shew the propriety of that sense of the 
word from the etymology; which, if admitted, makes the 
image the same with that used by the Romans 

Ezekiel, in his bold manner, has carried this ima^e to a 
degree of amplification, which, I think, hardly any other of 
the Hebrew poets would have attempted. He describes 
the burning of the arms of the enemy, in consequence of 


the complete victory to be obtained by the Israelites over Gog 
and Magog : 

<( Behold, it is come to pass, and it is done; 
Saith the Lord JEHOVAH. 
This is the day, of which I spake: 

And the inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall go forth;. 
And shall set on fire the armour, and the shield, 
And the buckler, and the bow, and the arrows, 
And the clubs, and the lances; 
And they shall set them on fire for seven years: 
And they shall not bear wood from the field; 
Neither shall they hew from the forest: 
For of the armour shall they make their fires; 
And they shall spoil their spoilers, 
And they shall plunder their plunderers." Ezek. xxxix 8-10,. 

5. The government shall be upon his shoulder.] T hat is 7 
the ensign of government ; the sceptre, the sword, the key, 
or the like, which was borne upon or hung from the shoul- 
der. See note on chap. xxii. 22. 

Chap. ix. 7. Chap. x. 4.] This whole passage, reduced 
to its proper and entire form, and healed of the dislocation 
which it suffers by the absurd division of the chapters, makes 
3. distinct prophecy, and a just poem, remarkable for the 
regularity of its disposition, and the elegance of its plan. It 
has no relation to the preceding or the following prophecy ; 
though the parts, violently torn asunder, have been, on the 
one side and the other, patched on to them. Those relate 
principally to the kingdom of Judah ; this is addressed ex- 
clusively to the kingdom of Israel. The subject of it is a 
denunciation of vengeance awaiting their crimes. It is di- 
vided into four parts, each threatening the particular pun- 
ishment of some grievous offence, of their pride; of their 
.perseverance in their vices : of their impiety ; and of their 
injustice. To which is aaded a general denunciation of a 
further reserve of divine wrath, contained in a distich, be- 
fore used by the Prophet on a like occasion, chap. v. 25. and 
here repeated after each part : this makes tbe intercalary 
verse of the poem, or, as we call it, the burthen of tbe song. 

" Post hoc comma (chap. x. 4.) interponitur spatium 
unius linea?, in cod. 2. et 3. : idemque observatur in 245. 
in quo null urn est spatium ad finem capitis ix." Kcnnicott, 
Yar. Lect. 

7. JEHOVAH.] For MIK, thirty MSS and three editions 
read rnrr. 


8. carry themselves haughtily} i;m, and they shall 
know : so ours, and the versions in general. But what is it 
that they shall know 'I The verb stands destitute of its ob- 
ject ; and the sense is imperfect. The Chaldee is the only 
one, as far as I can find, that expresses it otherwise. He 
renders the verb in this place by u"Oiro, they exalt them- 
selves, or carry themselves haughtily ; the same word by 
which he renders irru, chap. iii. 16. He seems therefore 
in this place to have read iron; which agrees perfectly 
well with what follows, and clears up the difficulty. Arch- 
bishop Seeker conjectured roYi, referring it to invh in 
the next verse ; which shews, that he was not satisfied with 
the present reading. Houbigant reads ijrvi, et pravi facti 
sunt ; which is found in a MS ; but I prefer the reading of 
the Chaldee, which suits much better with the context. 

9. The bricks} " The eastern bricks, (says Sir John 
Chardin, see Harmer, Obser. i. p. 176.), are only clay well 
moistened with water, and mixed with straw, and dried in 
the sun." So that their walls are commonly no better than 
our mud-wall : see Maundrell, p. 124. That straw was a 
necessary part in the composition of this sort of bricks, to 
make the parts of the clay adhere together, appears from 
Exodus, chap. v. These bricks are properly opposed to 
hewn stone, so greatly superior in beauty and durableness. 
The sycamores, which, as Jerom on the place says, are tim- 
ber of little worth, with equal propriety are opposed to the ce- 
dars. " As the grain arid texture of the sycamore is remark- 
ably coarse and spongy, it could therefore stand in' no com- 
petition at all (as it is observed. Isa. ix. 10.) with the cedar 
for beauty and ornament : " Shaw, Supplement to Travels, 
p. 96. We meet with the same opposition of cedars to syca- 
mores, 1 Kings x. 27. where Solomon is said to have made 
silver as the stones, and cedars as the sycamores in the vale, 
for abundance. By this mashal, or figurative and senten- 
tious speech, they boast, that they shall easily be able to re- 
pair their present losses, suffered perhaps by the first As- 
syrian invasion under Tiglath Pileser; and to bring their 
affairs to a more flourishing condition than ever. 

10. the princes of Retsin against him} For nv, ene- 
mies, Houbigant by conjecture reads 'T^, princes ; which is 
confirmed by twenty-one MSS (two ancient), and nine more 
have y upon a rasure, and therefore had probably at first 
*w. The princes of Retsin, the late ally of Israel, that is, 


the Syrians, expressly named in the next verse, shall now be 
excited against Israel. 

The LXX in this place gives us another variation : for 
pxi, they read |Vi* in, o^ s<v, Mount Sion ; of which this 
may be the sense : But JEHOVAH shall set up the adversaries 
of Mount Sion against him (i. e. against Israel), and will 
strengthen his enemies together : the Syrians,-the Philis- 
tines, who are called the adversaries of Mount Sion. See 
Simonis Lex. in voce "po. 

11. on every side] ns to, in every corner; in every 
part of their country, pursuing them to the remotest extrem- 
ities, and the most retired parts. So the Chald. irux to, in 
every place. 

13. in one day] Eight MSS read on ; and another 
has a rasure in the place of the letter 3. 

16. JEHOVAH] For *JIK, eighteen MSS read nin\ 

17. For wickedness ] Wickedness rageth like a fire, 
destroying and laying waste the nation : but it shall be its 
own destruction, by bringing down the fire of God's wrath, 
which shall burn up the briers and the thorns ; that is, the 
wicked themselves. Briers and thorns are an image fre- 
quently applied in Scripture, when set on fire, to the rage of 
the wicked, violent yet impotent, and of no long continuance, 
"they are extinct as the fire of thorns ; " Psal. cxviii. 12. ; 
to the wicked themselves, as useless and unprofitable, proper 
objects of God's wrath, to be burned up, or driven away by the 
wind, " as thorns cut up, they shall be consumed in the fire ; " 
Isa. xxxiii. 12. Both these ideas seem to be joined in Psal. 
Iviii. 9. 

" Before your pots shall feel the thorn, 

As well the green as the dry, the tempest shall bear them 

away.' 7 

The green and the dry is a proverbial expression, meaning all 
sorts of them, good and bad, great and small, &c. ; so Ezekiel : 
" Behold, I will kindle a fire, and it shall devour every 
green tree, and every dry tree ; " chap. xx. 47. D'Herbelot 
quotes a Persian poet describing a pestilence under the image 
of a conflagration : " This was a lightning that, falling upon 
a forest, consumed there the green wood with the dry." See 
Harmer, Obser. ii. p. 187. 

19. the flesh of his neighbour] li Tov pga%iovo$Tov ahxpov 
avrov, LXX, Alexand. Duplex Versio, quarum altera legit 
i>'i, quae vox extat Jer. vi. 21. Nam jn, *<JVApos, Gen. xliii. 


33. Recte, ni fallor : " SECKER. I add to this excellent 
remark, that the Chaldee manifestly reads i;n, not ijnr ; for 
he renders it by rranp, his neighbour. And Jeremiah has 
the very same expression: "hiw in;n i^a BPKI, "And every 
one shall eat the flesh of his neighbour;" chap. xix. 9. 
This observation, I think, gives the true reading and sense 
of this place ; and the context strongly confirms it, by explain- 
ing the general idea by particular instances, in the following 
verse : " Every man shall devour the flesh of his neighbour"; 
(that is, they shall harass and destroy one another) ; Ma- 
nasseh shall devour Ephraim, and EphrainiManasseh ; (which 
two tribes were most closely connected both in blood and 
situation, as brothers and neighbours) ; and both of them in 
the midst of their own dissensions shall agree in preying upon 
Judah." The common reading, " shall devour the flesh of 
his own arm" in connexion with what follows, seems to make 
either an inconsistency, or an anticlimax ; whereas by this 
correction the following verse becomes an elegant illustration 
of the foregoing. 


4. Without me ] That is, without my aid, they shall 
be taken captive even by the captives, and shall be subdued 
by the vanquished. " The * in vhz is a pronoun, as in Hos. 
xiii. 4. : " Kimchi on the place. 

5. Ho to the Assyrian ] Here begins a new and dis- 
tinct prophecy ; continued to the end of the xiith chapter : 
and it appears from ver. 9 11. of this chapter, that this 
prophecy was delivered after the taking of Samaria by 
Shalmaneser ; which was in the sixth year of the reign of 
Hezekiah : and as the former part of it foretells the invasion 
of Senacherib, and the destruction of his army, which makes 
the whole subject of this chapter, it must have been delivered 
before the fourteenth of the same reign. 

Ibid. The staff in whose hand] The word &on in this 
place seems to embarrass the sentence. 1 omit it on the au- 
thority of the Alexandrine copy of LXX; and five MSS, 
(two ancient), for wn nDOi, read irro. Archbishop Seeker 
was not satisfied with the present reading : he proposes 
another method of clearing up the sense, by reading era 
instead of ora: " And he is a staff in the day of mine indig- 


12. JEHOVAH] For J-IN, fourteen MSS, and three edi- 
tions, read mrr. 

Ibid. the effect ] " na, f. 3y, vid. xiii. 19. sed confer 
Prov. i. 31. xxxi. 16. 31:" SECKER. The Chaldee renders 
the word na by T n3iy, opera ; which seems to be the true 
sense ; and I have followed it. 

13. strongly ] Twelve MSS agree with the Keri in 
reading Y2D without the x. And S. b. Melee and Kimchi 
thus explain it : " Them, who dwelled in a great and strong 
place, I have brought down to the ground." 

15. its master} I have here given the meaning, with- 
out attempting to keep to the expression of the original : vh 
p*, " the no-wood ;" that which is not wood like itself, but of 
a quite different and superior nature. The Hebrews have a 
peculiar way of joining the negative particle vh to a noun, to 
signify in a strong manner a total negation of the thing ex- 
pressed by the noun. 

" How hast thou given help,"riD N 1 ? 1 ?, to the no-strength? 
And saved the arm, 13? N 1 ?, of the no-power? 
How hast thou given counsel, nDDfl N^?, to the no-wisdom?" 

that is, to the man totally deprived of strength, power, and 
wisdom : Job xxvi. 2. 3. 

" Ye that rejoice, w V?, in no-thing :." 
that is, in your fancied strength, which is none at all, a mere 
nonentity : Amos vi. 13. 
" For I am God, #\s % N*X and no-man; 

The Holy One in the midst of thee, yet do not frequent ci- 
ties." Hosea xi. 9. 
" And the Assyrians shall fall by a sword, $'&* K 1 ?, of no-man; 
And a sword of, DIN N 1 ?, no-mortal shall devour him." 

Isa. xxxi. 8. 

" Wherefore do ye weigh out your silver, on 1 ? &0 1 ?::, for the 
no-bread." Isa. Iv. 2. 

So here ]y vh means him who is far from being an inert piece 
of wood, but is an animated and active being ; not an instru- 
ment, but an agent. 

16. JEHOVAH] For rnx, fifty-two MSS, and six editions, 
read mrr. 

Ibid. And under his glory] That is, all that he could 
boast of as great and strong in his army ; (Sal. b. Melee in 
loc.); expressed afterwards, ver. 18. by the glory of his forest, 
and of his fruitful field. 


17, 18. And he shall burn and consume his thorn ] 
The briers and thorns are the common people; the glory of 
his forest are the nobles, and those of highest rank and im- 
portance. See note on chap. ix. 17. and compare Ezek. xx. 
47. The fire of God's wrath shall destroy them both great 
and small, it shall consume them from the soul to the flesh : 
a proverbial expression ; soul and body, as we say ; it shall 
consume them entirely and altogether. And the few that 
escape shall be looked upon as having escaped from the most 
imminent danger ; " as a firebrand plucked out of the fire ; " 
Amos iv. 11. 'n$ h# zryfes, 1 Cor, iii. 15. as a man, when a 
house is burning, is forced to make his escape by running 
through the midst of the fire. 

I follow here the reading of the LXX ; DDJ *:>, as * pwyw 
a, p^/os xeuofunK- Symmachus also renders the latter word 
by <pwy*>v. 

22, 23. For though thy people, O Israel ] I have en- 
deavoured to keep to the letter of the text, as nearly as I can, 
in this obscure passage. But it is remarkable, that neither the 
LXX, nor St Paul, Rom. ix. 28. who, except in a few words 
of no great importance, follows them nearly in this place, nor 
any one of the ancient versions, take any notice of the word 
fp?, overflowing ; which seems to give an idea not easily 
reconcileable with those with which it is here joined. I. S. 
Moeiiius (Schol. Philolog. ad Select a S. Cod. loca) conjec- 
tures, that the two last letters of this word are by mistake 
transposed, and that the true reading is vsv, judging with 
strict justice. The LXX might think this sufficiently ex- 
pressed by fv fauwtinifi A IMS, with St Paul and LXX Alex, 
omits '3 in the 22d verse: sixty-nine MSS, and six editions, 
omit ^3 in the 23d verse : and so St. Paul, Rom. ix. 28. 

The learned Dr. Bagot, dean of Christen urch, Oxford, 
in some observations on this place, which he has been so 
kind as to communicate to me, and which will appear in 
their proper light when he himself shall give them to the 
public, renders the w r ord JV'JD by accomplishment, and makes 
it refer to the predictions of Moses ; the blessing and the 
curse which he laid before the people ; both conditional, 
and depending on their future conduct. They had by their 
disobedience incurred those judgments which were now to 
be fully executed upon them. His translation is : " The 
accomplishment determined overflows with justice ; for it is 


accomplished, and that which is determined the Lord God of 
Hosts doeth in the midst of the land." 

24. and 26. in the way of Egypt} I think there is a 
designed ambiguity in these words. Senacherib, soon after 
his return from his Egyptian expedition, which, I imagine, 
took him up three years, invested Jerusalem. He is repre- 
sented by the Prophet as lifting up his rod in his march from 
Egypt, and threatening the people of God, as Pharaoh and 
the Egyptians had done when they pursued them to the Red 
Sea. But God in his turn will lift up his rod over the sea, 
as he did at that time, in the way, or after the manner of 
Egypt : and as Senacherib has imitated the Egyptians in his 
threats, and came full of rage against them from the same 
quarter ; so God will act over again the same part that he 
had taken formerly in Egypt, and overthrow their enemies 
in as signal a manner. It was all to be, both the attack and 
the deliverance, "jvo, or yro, as a MS has it in each place, in 
the way, or after the manner, of Egypt. 

25. mine indignation} Indi^natio mea, Yulg. ; \ ogwi 

LXX ; fix > ogw Koiroe. <r, MS. Pachom. ; ^ ogyy xxree, <r#, 

MS i. D. ii. : so that ^r, or ppm, as a MS has it, seems to 
be the true reading. 

26. And like his rod which he lifted up over the sea] The 
Jewish interpreters suppose here an ellipsis of 2, the particle 
of similitude, before jrttts, to be supplied from the line above : 
so that here are two similitudes ; one comparing the destruc- 
tion of the Assyrians to the slaughter of the Midianites at 
the rock of Oreb ; the other to that of the Egyptians at the 
Red Sea. Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Salomo b. Melee. 

27. -from off your shoulders} I follow here the LXX, 
who, for joty S JDD, read DJODiya, an* T&V ay^v vu.&v, not being 
able to make any good sense out of the present reading. I 
will add here the marginal conjectures of Archbishop Seeker, 
who appears, like all others, to have been at a loss for a 
probable interpretation of the text as it now stands. u . leg. 
row ; forte legend, pisr T 33D, vid. cap. v. 1. Zech. iv. 14. Et 
possunt intelligi Judaei uricti Dei ; Psal. cv. 15. vel Assyrii 
D*:opn, hie ver. 16. ut dicat Propheta depulsum iri jugum ab 
hisimpositum : sed hoc durius. Vel potest legi w:sn: n 

28 32. He is come to Aiath ] A description of the 
march of Senacherib's army approaching Jerusalem in order 
to invest it. and of the terror and confusion spreading and 


increasing through the several places as he advanced ; ex- 
pressed with great brevity, but finely diversified. The places 
here mentioned are all in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem ; 
from Ai northward, to Nob westward of it ; from which last 
place he might probably have a prospect of Mount Sion. 
Anathoth was within three Roman miles of Jerusalem ; ac- 
cording to Eusebius, Jerom, and Josephus : Onomast. Loc. 
Hebr. et. Antiq. Jud. x. 7. -3. Nob probably still nearer. 
And it should seem from this passage of Isaiah, that Sena- 
cherib's army was destroyed near the latter of these places. 
In coming out of Egypt, he might perhaps join the rest of 
his army at Ashdod, after the taking of that place, which 
happened about that time, (see chap, xx.) ; and march from 
thence near the coast by Lachish and Libnah, which lay in 
his way, from south to north, and both which he invested, 
till he came to the north-west of Jerusalem ; crossing over to 
the north of it, perhaps by Joppa and Lydda, or still more 
north through the plain of Esdraelon. 

29. They have passed the strait ] The strait here 
mentioned is that of Mich mas, a very narrow passage be- 
tween two sharp hills of rocks, (see 1 Sam. xiv. 4, 5.), where 
a great army might have been opposed w T ith advantage by a 
very inferior force. The author of the book of Judith might 
perhaps mean this pass, at least among others : " Charging 
them to keep the passages of the hill country ; for by them 
there was an entrance into Judea, and it was easy to stop 
them that w r ould come up ; because the passage was strait, 
for two men at the most : " Judith iv. 7. The enemies 
having passed the strait without opposition, shews that all 
thoughts of making a stand in the open country were given 
up, and that their only resource w r as in the strength of the 

Ibid. their lodging ] The sense seems necessarily 
to require, that w r e read ipb instead of u 1 ?. These two 
words are in other places mistaken one for the other. Thus 
Isa. xliv. 7. for ID 1 ? read u% with the Chaldee : and in the 
same manner Psal. Ixiv. 6. with Syr. and Psal. Ixxx. 7. on 
the authority of LXX and Syr. beside the necessity of t e 

30. Hearken unto her, O Laish ; answer her, O Ana- 
thoth /] I follow in this the Syriac version. The Prophet 
plainly alludes to the name of the place ; and with a pecu- 
liar propriety, if it had its name from its remarkable echo. 


" mw, responsiones : eadem ratio nominis, quse in rqy 
n'3, locus echus ; nam hodienum ejus rudera ostenduntur 
in valle, scil. in medio montium, ut referunt Robertas in 
Itiner. p. 70. et Monconnysius, p. 301." Simonis Onomas- 
ticon Vet. Test. 


THE Prophet had described the destruction of the Assy- 
rian army under the image of a mighty forest, consisting of 
nourishing trees, growing thick together, and of a great 
height of Lebanon itself crowned with lofty cedars ; but 
cut down and laid level with the ground by the axe, wielded 
by the hand of some powerful and illustrious agent. In op- 
position to this image he represents the great person, who 
makes the subject of this chapter, as a slender twig, shooting 
out from the trunk of an old tree, cut down, lopped to the 
very root, and decayed ; which tender plant, so weak in ap- 
pearance, should nevertheless become fruitful and prosper* 
This contrast shows plainly the connexion between this and 
the preceding chapter ; which is moreover expressed by the 
connecting particle : And we have here a remarkable instance 
of that method so common with the Prophets, and particu- 
larly with Isaiah, of taking occasion, from the mention of 
some great temporal deliverance, to launch out into the 
display of the spiritual deliverance of God's people by the 
Messiah : for that this prophecy relates to the Messiah, 
we have the express authority of St. Paul, Rom. xv. 12. 
" Conjungit Parasciam hanc, quse respicit dies futuros 
Messiae, cum fiducia, quae fuit in diebus Ezekiae : " Kimchi 
in ver. 1. Thus, in the latter part of Isaiah's prophecies, the 
subject of the great redemption, and of the glories of Mes- 
siah's kingdom, arises out of the restoration of Judah by the 
deliverance from the captivity of Babylon, and is all along 
connected and intermixed with it. 

4. By the blast of his mouth] For D3#3, by the rod, 
Houbigant reads raaa, by the blast of his mouth, from 
3iw, to blow. The conjecture is ingenious and probable ; 
and seems to be confirmed by the LXX and Chaldee, who 
render it, by the word of his mouth ; which answers much 
better to the correction than to the present reading. Add 
to this, that the blast of his mouth, is perfectly parallel to 
the breath of his lips in the next line. 


5. the cincture ] All the ancient versions, except 
that of Symmachus, have two different words for girdle, in 
the two hemistichs. It is not probable that Isaiah would 
have repeated ni'X, when a synonymous w r ord so obvious as 
Mn occurred. The tautology seems to have arisen from 
the mistake of some transcriber. The meaning of this verse 
is, that a zeal for justice and truth shall make him active 
and strong in executing the great work which he shall un- 
dertake. See note on chap. v. 27. 

68. Then shall the wolf] The idea of the renewal 
of the golden age, as it is called, is much the same in the 
oriental writers with that of the Greeks and Romans : the 
wild beasts grow tame ; serpents and poisonous herbs become 
harmless ; all is peace and harmony, plenty and happiness : 

". Occidet et serpens, et fallax herba veneni 


- " Nee magnos metuent armentaleones." 
" Nee lupus insidias pecori - ." Virg. 

" Nee vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile, 
Nee intumescit alta viperis humus." Hor. 

1} TXT oif^a,^ oTTwiKct vegov ev evvoi 

rtvecrQcti tfrav XVKOC, yx, g&Aajo-f/." Theoc. 

I have laid before the reader these eomrnon passages 
from the most elegant of the ancient poets, that he may see 
how greatly the Prophet on the same subject has the advan- 
tage upon the comparison ; how much the former fall short 
of that beauty and elegance, and variety of imagery, with 
which Isaiah has set forth the very same ideas. The wolf 
and the leopard not only forbear to destroy the lamb and 
the kid, but even take their abode and lie down together 
with them. The calf, and the young lion, and the falling, 
not only come together, but are led quietly in the same band, 
and that by a little child. The heifer and the she-bear not 
only feed together, but even lodge their young ones, for 
whom they used to be most jealously fearful, in the same 
place. All the serpent kind is so perfectly harmless, thstf, the 
sucking infant, and the newly weaned child, puts his hand 
on the basilisk's den, and plays upon the hole of the aspic. 
The lion not only abstains from preying on the weaker ani- 
mals, but becomes tame and domestic, and feeds on straw 
like the ox. These are all beautiful circumstances, not 
one of which has been touched upon by the ancient poets. 


The Arabian and Persian poets elegantly apply the same 
ideas, to shew the effects of justice impartially administered, 
and firmly supported, by a great and good king : 

" Rerum dominus Mahmud, rex potens ; 
Ad cujus aquam potum veniunt simul agnus et lupus." 


ct Justitia, a qua mansuetus fit lupus fame astrictus, 
Esuriens, licet hinnuleum candidum videat." Ibn Onein. 
Jones, Poes. Asiat. Comment, p. 380. 

The application is extremely ingenious and beautiful ; but the 
exquisite imagery of Isaiah is not equalled. 

7. Together ] Here a word is omitted in the text, nrr, 
together ; which ought to be repeated in the second hemis- 
tich, being quite necessary to the sense. It is accordingly 
twice expressed by the LXX, and Syr. 

10. The root of Jesse, which standeth ] St. John hath 
taken this expression from Isaiah, Rev. v. 5. and xxii. 16. 
where Christ hath twice applied it to himself. Seven MSS 
have ir:i;', the present participle " Radix Issei dicitur jam 
stare, et aliquantum stetisse, in signum populorum :" Vitringa. 
Which rightly explains either of the two readings. 

11. JEHOVAH} For -nx, thirty-three MSS, and two edi- 
tions, read mrr. 

11 16. And it shall come to pass in that day ] This 
part of the chapter contains a prophecy, which certainly re- 
mains yet to be accomplished. See Lowth on the place. 

13. And the enmity of Judah ] oniy. "Postulat pars 
posterior versus, ut intelligantur inimicitice Judee in Eph- 
raimum : et potest D'-m inimicitiam notare, ut D'DHJ pceniten- 
tiam, Hos. xi. 8 ;" SECKER. 

15. smite with a drought ] The Chaldee reads mnn ; 
and so perhaps LXX, who have f^tuyov*, the word by which 
they commonly render it. Vulg. desolabit. The LXX, 
Vulg. and Chald. read inimrr, " shall make it passable," add- 
ing the pronoun, which is necessary. 

F^re is a plain allusion to the passage of the Red Sea. 
And the Lord's shaking his hand over the river with his 
vehement wind, refers to a particular circumstance of the 
same miracle : for " he caused the sea to go back by a 
strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land : " 
Exod. xiv. 21. The tongue; a very apposite and descrip- 
tive expression for a bay, such as that of the Red Sea : it is 


used in the same sense, Josh. xv. 2. 5. xviii. 19. The Latins 
gave the same name to a narrow strip of land running into 
the sea: "tenuein producit in scquora linguam :" Lucan, ii. 

Herodotus, i. 189. tells a story of his Cyrus, (a very differ- 
ent character from that of the Cyrus of the Scriptures and 
Xenophon), which may somewhat illustrate this passage ; in 
which it is said, that God would inflict a kind of punishment 
and judgment on the Euphrates, and render it fordable, by 
dividing it into seven streams. " Cyrus being impeded iu his 
march to Babylon by the Gyndes, a deep and rapid river 
which falls into the Tigris, and having lost one of his sacred 
white horses that attempted to pass it, was so enraged against 
the river, that he threatened to reduce it, and make it so shal- 
low, that it should be easily fordable even by women, who 
should not be up to their knees in passing it. Accordingly, 
he set his whole army to work ; and, cutting three hundred 
and sixty trenches, from both sides of the river, turned the 
waters into them, and drained them off." 


THIS hymn seems, by its whole tenor, and by many ex- 
pressions in it, much better calculated for the use of the 
Christian church, than for the Jewish in any circumstances, 
or at any time that can be assigned. The Jews themselves 
seem to have applied it to the times of Messiah. On the 
last day of the feast of tabernacles, they fetched water in a 
golden pitcher from the fountain of Siloah, springing at the 
foot of Mount Sion without the city : they brought it through 
the water-gate into the temple, and poured it, mixed with 
wine, on the sacrifice as it lay upon the altar, with great re- 
joicing. They seem to have taken up this custom, for it is not 
ordained in the law of Moses, as an emblem of future bless- 
ings, in allusion to this passage of Isaiah, " Ye shall draw 
waters with joy from the fountains of salvation :" expres- 
sions, that can hardly be understood of any benefits afforded 
by the Mosaic dispensation. Our Saviour applied the cere- 
mony, and the intention of it, to himself, and to the effu- 
sion of the Holy Spirit, promised, and to be given, by him. 
The sense of the Jews in this matter is plainly shewn by the 
following passage of the Jerusalem Talmud: "Why is it 


called the place, or house, of drawing ? " (for that was tire 
term for this ceremony, or for the place where the water 
was taken up) : " Because from thence they draw the Holy 
Spirit ; as it is written, And ye shall draw water with joy 
from the fountains of salvation." See Wolf. Curee Philol. in 
N. T. on John vii. 37. 39, 

1. /or, though tkou hast been angry ] The Hebrew 
phrase, to which the LXX, Vulg. and our translation, have 
too closely adhered, is exactly the same with that of St. Paul, 
Rom. vi. 17. " But thanks be to God, that ye were the slaves 
of sin ; but have obeyed from the heart " that is, " that, 
whereas, or though, ye were the slaves of sin ; yet ye have 
now obeyed from the heart the doctrine, on the model of which 
ye were formed." 

2, my sons' ] The pronoun is here necessary and it 
is added by LXX, Vulg. Syr. who read vrar ; as it is in a 
MS. Two MSS omit rr : See Houbigant, not. in loc. An- 
other MS has it in one word, rvrnnT. Seven others omit miY- 
See Exod. xv. 2. with Var. Lect. Kennkott. 


THESE two chapters (striking off the five last verses of the 
'latter, which belong to a quite different subject), contain one 
entire prophecy, foretelling the destruction of Babylon by 
the Medes and Persians ; delivered probably in the reign of 
Ahaz, (see Vitringa, i. 380.), about 200 years before the com- 
pletion of it. The captivity itself of the Jew 7 s at Babylon, 
(which the Prophet does not expressly foretell, but supposes, 
in the spirit of prophecy, as what was actually to be effected), 
did not fully take place till about 130 years after the 
delivery of this prophecy : and the Medes, who are ex- 
pressly mentioned, chap. xiii. 17. as the principal agents 
in the overthrow of the Babylonian monarchy, by which 
the Jews were released from that captivity, were at this 
time an inconsiderable people ; having been in a state of 
anarchy ever since the fall of the great Assyrian Empire, of 
which they had made a part, under Sardanapalus, and did 
not become a kingdom under Deioces till about the 17th of 

The former part of this prophecy is one of the most beauti- 
ful examples, that can be given, of elegance of composition, 


variety of imagery, and sublimity of sentiment and diction, in 
the prophetic style ; and the latter part consists of an ode of 
supreme and singular excellence. 

The prophecy opens with the command of God to gather 
together the forces which he had destined to this service, ver. 
2, 3. Upon which the Prophet immediately hears the tu- 
multuous noise of the different nations crowding together to 
his standard ; he sees them advancing, prepared to execute 
the divine wrath, ver. 4, 5. He proceeds to describe the dread- 
ful consequences of this visitation ; the consternation which 
will seize those that are the objects of it ; and, transferring 
unawares the speech from himself to God, ver. 11. sets forth, 
under a variety of the most striking images, the dreadful de- 
struction of the inhabitants of Babylon which will follow, ver. 
11 16. ; and the everlasting desolation to which that great 
city is doomed, ver. 17 22. 

The deliverance of Judea. from captivity, the immediate 
consequence of this great revolution, is then set forth, with- 
out being much enlarged upon, or greatly amplified ; chap, 
xiv. 1, 2. This introduces, with the greatest ease, and the 
utmost propriety, the triumphant song on that subject, ver. 
4 28. The beauties of which, the various images, scenes, 
persons introduced, and the elegant transitions from one to 
another, I shall here endeavour to point out in their order ; 
leaving a few remarks upon particular passages of these two 
chapters to be given, after these general observations on the 

A chorus of Jews is introduced, expressing their surprise 
and astonishment at the sudden downfall of Babylon, and the 
great reverse of fortune that had befallen the tyrant, who, like 
his predecessors, had oppressed his own, and harassed the 
neighbouring kingdoms. These oppressed kingdoms, or their 
rulers, are represented under the image of the fir-trees and the 
cedars of Libanus, frequently used to express any thing in the 
political or religious world that is supereminently great and 
majestic : the whole earth sliouteth for joy ; the cedars of Li- 
banus utter a severe taunt over the fallen tyrant, and boast 
their security now he is no more. 

The scene is immediately changed ; and a new set of per- 
sons is introduced : The regions of the dead are laid open, 
and Hades is represented as rousing up the shades of the 
departed monarchs : they rise from their thrones to meet 
the king of Babylon at his coming ; and insult him on his 


being reduced to the same low estate of impotence and dis- 
sokition with themselves. This is one of the boldest proso- 
popoeias that ever was attempted in poetry; and is executed 
with astonishing brevity and perspicuity, and with that pe- 
culiar force which in a great subject naturally results from 
both. The image of the state of the dead, or the Infernum 
Poeticum of the Hebrews, is taken from their custom of 
burying, those at least of the higher rank, in large sepulchral 
vaults hewn in the rock. Of this kind of sepulchres there 
are remains at Jerusalem now extant ; and some that are 
said to be the sepulchres of the kings of Judah : see Maun- 
drell, p. 70. You are to form to yourself an idea of an 
immense subterraneous vault, a vast gloomy cavern, all 
round the sides of which there are cells to receive the dead 
bodies : Here the deceased monarchs lie in a distinguished 
soJt of state, suitable to their former rank, each on his own 
couch, with his arms beside him, his sword at his head, and 
the bodies of his chiefs and companions round about him : 
see Ezek. xxxii. 27. On which place Sir John Chardin's 
MS note is as follows : " En Mingrelie ils dorment tons 
leur epee sous leurs tetes, et leurs autres armes a leur cote ; 
et on les enter re de mesme, leurs armes posees de cette fa- 
^on." These illustrious shades rise at once from their couches, 
as from their thrones ; and advance to the entrance of the 
cavern to meet the king of Babylon, and to receive him with 
insults on his fall. 

The Jews now resume the speech : They address the king 
of Babylon as the morning-star fallen from heaven, as the 
first in splendour and dignity in the political world fallen from 
his high state ; they introduce him as uttering the most ex- 
travagant vaunts of his power and ambitious designs in his 
former glory : these are strongly contrasted in the close with 
his present low and abject condition. 

Immediately follows a different scene, and a most happy 
image, to diversify the same subject, to give it a new turn 
and an additional force. Certain persons are introduced, 
who light upon the corpse of the king of Babylon, cast out 
and lying naked on the bare ground, among the common 
slain, just after the taking of the city ; covered with wounds, 
and so disfigured, that it is some time before they know him. 
They accost him with the severest taunts, and bitterly re- 
proach him with his destructive ambition, and his cruel 
usage of the conquered ; which have deservedly brought 


upon him this ignominious treatment, so different from that 
which those of his rank usually meet with, and which shall 
cover his posterity with disgrace. 

To complete the whole, God is introduced, declaring the 
fate of Babylon, the utter extirpation of the royal family, and 
the total desolation of the city ; the deliverance of his people, 
and the destruction of their enemies ; confirming the Irrever- 
sible decree by the awful sanction of his oath. 

I believe it may with truth be affirmed, that there is no 
poem of its kind extant in any language, in which the sub- 
]ect is so well laid out, and so happily conducted, with such 
a richness of invention, with such variety of images, persons, 
and distinct actions, with such rapidity and ease of transi- 
tion, in so small a compass, as in this ode of Isaiah. For 
beauty of disposition, strength of colouring, greatness of sen- 
timent, brevity, perspicuity, and force of expression, it stands 
among all the monuments of antiquity unrivaled. 

2. Exalt the voice ] The word on 1 ?, to them, which is 
of no use, and rather weakens the sentence, is omitted by an 
ancient MS and Vulg. 

4. for the battle] The Bodley MS lias HDrftn 1 ?. Cyrus's 
army was made up of many different nations. Jeremiah 
calls it " an assembly of great nations from the north coun- 
try," chap. 1. 9. And afterwards mentions the kingdoms of 
" Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz, (i. e. Armenia, Corduene, 
Pontus vel Phrygia ; Vitring.), with the kings of the Medes ; " 
chap. li. 27. 28. See Xenophon. Cyrop. 

8. an d they shall be terrified] I join this verb, ibniui, 
to the preceding verse, with Syr. and Vulg. 

Ibid, pangs shall seize them ] The LXX, Syr. and 
Chald. read oiiriK*, instead of JITHN*, which does not express 
the pronoun them, necessary to the sense. 

10. Yea the stars of heaven ] The Hebrew poets, to 
express happiness, prosperity, the instauration and advance- 
ment of states, kingdoms, and potentates, make use of images 
taken from the most striking parts of nature, from the heav- 
enly bodies, from the sun, moon, and stars ; which they de- 
scribe as shining with increased splendour, arid never setting ; 
the moon becomes like the meridian sun, and the sun's light 
is augmented sevenfold ; see Isa. xxx. 26. : new heavens and 
a new earth are created, and a brighter age commences. 
On the contrary, the overthrow and destruction of king- 
doms is represented by opposite images: the stars are ob- 


scured, the moon withdraws her light, and the sun shines no 
more ; the earth quakes, and the heavens tremble ; and all 
things seem tending to their original chaos. See Joel ii. 10. 
iii. 15, 16. Amos viii. 9. Matth. xxiv. 29. and De S. Poes. 
Hebr. Prael. vi. and ix. 

11. I will visit the world] That is, the Babylonish em- 
pire : as o/x,.5vj, for the Roman empire, or for Judea ; 
Luke ii. 1. Acts xi. 28. So, universus orbis Romanus, for 
the Roman empire; Salvian. lib. v. Minos calls Crete his 
world : " Creten, quee meus est orbis ; " Ovid. Metamorph. 
viii. 99. 

14. And the remnant ] Here is plainly a defect in this 
sentence, as it stands in the Hebrew text ; the subject of the 
proposition is lost. What is it, that shall be like a roe chased? 
The LXX happily supply it: 01 x,cc,Tottetetw.vot y iyw , the rem- 
nant. A MS here supplies the word a^v, the inhabitant, 
which makes a tolerably good sense ; but I much prefer the 
reading of the LXX. 

Ibid. They shall look ] That is, the forces of the king 
of Babylon, destitute of their leader, and all his auxiliaries, 
collected from Asia Minor and other distant countries, shall 
disperse, and flee to their respective homes. 

15. Every one that is overtaken ] That is, none shall 
escape from the slaughter ; neither they who flee singly, dis- 
persed and in confusion ; nor they who endeavour to make 
their retreat in a more regular manner, by forming compact 
bodies, they shall all be equally cut off by the sword of the 
enemy. The LXX have understood it in this sense ; which 
they have well expressed : 

t( C$ yet* 
Kat oirtvfs 

Where for 'w?^**?*/, MS Pachom. has exxev6r,rerM ; and '< 
r Cod. Marchal. in margine, and MS i. D. n. txxevTrfarfTeu : 
which seems to be right, being properly expressive of the 

17. Who shall hold silver of no account] That is, who 
shall not be induced, by large offers of gold and silver for 
ransom, to spare the lives of those whom they have subdued 
in battle: their rage and cruelty will get the better of all 
such motives. We have many examples in the Iliad and in 
the ^Eneid of addresses of the vanquished to the pity and 
avarice of the vanquishers, to induce them to spare their 


" Est domus alta: jacent penitus defossa talenta 
Cselati argenti: sunt auri pondera facti 
Infectique mihi: non hie victoria Teucrum 
Vertitur; aut anima una dabit discrimina tanta. 
Dixerat: ^Eneas contra cui talia reddit: 
Argenti atq.ue auri memoras quac multa talenta 
Gnatis parce tuis." Jn. x. 526. 

" High in my dome are silver talents roll'd, 
"With piles of labour'd and unlabour'd gold: 
These, to procure my ransom, I resign; 
The war depends not on a lite like mine: 
One, one poor life can no such difference yield, 
Nor turn the mighty balance of the field. 
Thy talents, (cried the prince), thy treasur'd store., 
Keep for thy sons." Pitt, 

It is remarkable, that Xenophon makes Cyrus open a speech 
to his army, and in particular to the Medes, who made the 
principal part of it, with praising them for their disregard of 

riches. Al4X*$ M&<, KOU -Browns ot 3T<5frovTf$, tyu uf*.x$ ot^ot, <r#<>&>$, CTI 

are ^Y^ATut hofisvoi <rw tf^i tfyiXfars'. li Ye Medes, and others 
who now hear me, I well know that you have not accom- 
panied me in this expedition with a view of acquiring wealth: " 
Cyrop. lib. v. 

18. Their bows shall dash ] Both Herodotus, i. 01. 
and Xenophon, Anab. iii. mention, that the Persians used 
large bows, TO& ^<yac.\y.\ and the latter says particularly, that 
iheir bows were three cubits long ; Anab. iv. They were 
celebrated for their archers : see chap. xxii. 6. Jer. xlix. 35. 
Probably their neighbours and allies, the Medes, dealt much 
in the same sort of arms. In Psal. xviii. 35. and Job. xx. 
24. mention is made of a bow of brass : If the Persian bows 
were of metal, we may easily conceive, that with a metalline 
bow of three cubits length, and proportionately strong, the 
soldiers might dash and slay the youn<r men, the weaker and 
unresisting part of the inhabitants, (for they are joined with 
the fruit of the womb and the children), in the general car- 
nage on taking the city. 

18. And on the fruit] A MS reads '-13 b;M. And 
nine MSS (three ancient) and two editions, with LXX, Vulg. 
Syr. add likewise the conjunction i to ^ afterward. 

19. And Babylon] The great city of Babylon was at this 
time rising to its height of glory, while the Prophet Isaiah, 
was repeatedly denouncing its utter destruction. From the 
first of Hezekiah to the first of Nebuchadnezzar, under 



whom it was brought to the highest degree of strength and 
splendour, are about one hundred and twenty years. I will 
here very briefly mention some particulars of the greatness 
of the place, and note the several steps by which this re- 
markable prophecy was at length accomplished in the total 
ruin of it. 

It was, according to the lowest account given of it by 
ancient historians, a regular square, forty-five miles in com- 
pass, enclosed by a wall two hundred feet high, fifty broad ; 
in which there were a hundred gates of brass. Its principal 
ornaments were the temple of Belus, in the middle of which 
was a tower of eight stories of building, upon a base of a 
quarter of a mile square ; a most magnificent palace ; and the 
famous hanging gardens ; which were an artificial mountain, 
raised upon arches, and planted with trees of the largest as 
well as the most beautiful sorts. 

Cyrus took the city by diverting the waters of the Eu- 
phrates, which ran through the midst of il, and entering the 
place at night by the dry channel. The river, being never 
restored afterward to its proper course, overflowed the whole 
country, and made it little better than a great morass : This, 
and the great slaughter of the inhabitants, with other bad 
consequences of the taking of the city, was the first step to 
the ruin of the place. The Persian monarchs ever regarded 
it with a jealous eye; they kept it under, and took care to 
prevent its recovering its former greatness. Darius Hystas- 
pis not long afterward most severely punished it for a re- 
volt, greatly depopulated the place, lowered the walls, and 
demolished the gates. Xerxes destroyed the temples, and 
with the rest the great temple of Belus ; Herod, iii. 159. 
Arrian. Exp. Alexandri, lib. vii. The building of Seleucia 
on the Tigris exhausted Babylon by its neighbourhood, as 
well as by the immediate loss of inhabitants taken away by 
Seleucus to people his new city : Strabo, lib. xvi. A king 
of the Parthians soon after carried away into slavery a great 
number of the inhabitants, and burnt and destroyed the 
most beautiful parts of the city : Valesii Excerpt. Diodori, 
p. 377. Strabo (ibid.) says, that in his time great part of 
it was a mere desert ; that the Persians had partly destroyed 
it; and that time, and the neglect of the Macedonians, while 
they were masters of it, had nearly completed its destruction. 
Jerom (in loc.) says, that in his time it was quite in ruins, 
and that the walls served only for the inclosure of a park or 


forest for the king's hunting. Modern travellers, who have 
endeavoured to find the remains of it, have given but a very 
unsatisfactory account of their success: what Benjamin of 
Tuclela and Pietro della Valle supposed to have been some 
of its ruins, Tavernier thinks are the remains of some late 
Arabian building. Upon the whole, Babylon is so utterly 
annihilated, that even the place where this wonder of the 
world stood cannot now be determined with any certainty. 
See also note on chap, xliii. 14. 

We are astonished at the accounts which ancient histo- 
rians of the best credit give, of the immense extent, height, 
and thickness of the walls of Nineveh and Babylon : nor are 
we less astonished when we are assured, by the concurrent 
testimony of modern travellers, that no remains, not the 
least traces, of these prodigious works are now to be found. 
Our wonder will, I think, be moderated in both respects, if 
we consider the fabric of these celebrated walls, and the na- 
ture of the materials of which they consisted. Buildings in 
the East have always been, and are to this day, made of earth 
or clay, mixed or beat up with straw, to make the parts 
cohere, and dried only in the sun. This is their method of 
making bricks : see note on chap. ix. 9. The walls of the 
city were built of the earth digged out on the spot, and dried 
upon the place ; by which means both the ditch and the wall 
were at once formed ; the former furnishing, materials for 
the latter. That the walls of Babylon were of this kind is 
well known ; and Berosus expressly says, (apud Joseph. 
Antiq. x. 11.), that Nebuchadnezzar added three new walls 
both to the old and new city, partly of brick and bitumen, 
and partly of brick alone. A wall of this sort must have a 
great thickness in proportion to its height, otherwise it can- 
not stand. The thickness of the walls of Babylon is said to 
have been one-fourth of their height, which seems to have 
been no more than was absolutely necessary. Maundrell, 
speaking of the garden walls of Damascus, "They are," 
says he, " of a very singular structure. They are built of 
great pieces of earth, made in the fashion of brick, and 
hardened in the sun. In their dimensions they are two 
yards long each, and somewhat more than one broad, and 
lialf a yard thick." And afterward, speaking of the walls of 
the houses : " From this dirty way of building they have 
this amongst other inconveniences, that upon any violent 
rain the whole city becomes, by the washing of the houses, aa 
it were a quagmire," p. 124. ; and see note on chap. xxx. 13. 


When a wall of this sort comes to be out of repair, and is 
neglected, it is easy to conceive the necessary consequences ; 
namely, that in no long course of ages it must be totally de- 
stroyed by the heavy rains, and at length washed away, and 
reduced to its original earth. 

22. in their palaces] t*rttiO ( 7tQ, a plain mistake, I 
presume, for rmrnxs. It is so corrected in one MS. 

ovrat euajkat, x,r,rei Aawv." Homer. Hymn, in Apol.77. 
Of which the following passage of Milton may be taken for 
a translation, though not so designed : 
" And in their palaces, 

Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd, 
And stabled." P. L. xi. 750. 


1. And will yet choose Israel] That is, will still regard 
Israel as his chosen people ; however he may seem to- desert 
them, by giving them up to their enemies, and scattering 
them among the nations. Judah is sometimes called Israel ; 
see Ezek. xiii. 16. Mai. i. 1. ii. 11. ; but the name of Jacob, 
and of Israel, used apparently with design in this place, 
each of which names includes the twelve -tribes, and the other 
circumstances mentioned in this and the next verse, which 
did not in any complete sense accompany the return from the 
captivity of Babylon ; seem to intimate, that this whole proph- 
ecy extends its views beyond that event. 

3. in that day] Ninn Dm. The word Kinn is added 
in two MSS, and was in the copies from which the LXX 
and Vulg. translated : v TI '**? v ?i, in die ilia, ('y xvcc^-oivo-siy. 
MS Pachom. adding ). This is a matter of no great con- 
sequence : however, it restores the text to the common form 
almost constantly used on such occasions ; arid is one among 
many instances of a word lost out of the printed copies. 

4. this parable ] Mashal. I take this to be the gen- 
eral name for poetic style among the Hebrews, including 
every sort of it, as ranging under one, or other, or all of the 
characters, of sententious, figurative, and sublime; which 
are all contained in the original notion, or in the use and 
application of the word mashal. Parables or proverbs, 
such as those of Solomon, are always expressed in short 
pointed sentences ; frequently figurative, being formed on 


?:ome comparison ; generally forcible and authoritative, both 
n the matter and the form. And such in general is the style 
<f the Hebrew poetry. The verb mas/ial signifies to rule, 
& exercise authority ; to make equal, to compare one thing 
yith another; to utter parables, or acute, weighty, and 
powerful speeches, in the form and manner of parables, though 
not properly such. Thus Balaam's first prophecy. Numb, 
xxiii. 7 10. is called his mashal ; though it has hardly any 
:.hing figurative in it : but it is beautifully sententious, and, 
rom the very form and manner of it, has great spirit, force, 
and energy. Thus Job's last speeches, in answer to the 
,hree friends, chap, xxvii xxxi. are called mashals ; from 
.10 one particular character which discriminates them from 
:,he rest of the poem, but from the sublime, the figurative, 
;,he sententious manner, which equally prevails through the 
whole poem, and makes it one of the first and most eminent 
examples extant of the truly great and beautiful in poetic 

The LXX in this place render the word by fywos, a la- 
mentation. They plainly consider the speech here intro- 
duced as a piece of poetry ; and of that species of poetry 
which we call the elegiac, either from the subject, it being 
a poem on the fall and death of the king of Babylon ; or 
from the form of the composition, which is of the longer 
sort of Hebrew verse, in which the Lamentations of Jeremiah,, 
called by the LXX 3-zvvot, are written. 

11. thy covering] Twenty-eight MSS (ten ancient) 
and seven editions, with the LXX and Vulg. read "pDoi, in 
the singular number. 

12. O Lucifer, son of the morning] See note on xiii. 10. 

13. the mount of the divine presence ] It appears 
plainly from Exod. xxv. 22. and xxix. 42, 43. where God 
appoints the place of meeting with Moses, and promises to 
meet with him before the ark, to commune 'with him, and 
to speak unto him ; arid to meet the children of Israel at the 
door of the tabernacle ; that the tabernacle, and afterward 
the temple, and Mount Sion, (or Moriah, which is reckoned 
a part of Sion), whereon it stood, was called the tabernacle, 
and the mount, of convention-, or of appointment ; not from 
the people's assembling there to perform the services of their 
religion, (which is what our translation expresses by calling 
it the tabernacle of the congregation), but because God ap- 
pointed that for the place where he himself would meet with 


Moses, and commune with him, and would meet with the 
people. Therefore, "ijna in, or TJND hruv, means the place ap- 
pointed by God, where he would present himself; agreeably 
to which I have rendered it, in this place, the mount of the 
divine presence. 

19. like the free abominated] That is, as an object of 
abomination and detestation ; such as the tree is on which a 
malefactor has been hanged. " It is written," saith St. Paul, 
Gal. iii. 13. " Cursed is every man that hangeth on a tree ;" 
from Dent. xxi. 23. The Jews therefore held also as ac- 
cursed and polluted the tree itself on which a malefactor had 
been executed, or on which he had ben hanged after having 
been put to death by stoning. " Non suspendunt super 
arbore, qua? radicibus solo aclhsereat; sed super ligno era- 
clicato, ut ne sit excisio molesta : warn lignum, super quo 
fuit aliquis suspensus, cum suspend ioso sepelitur ; ne maneat 
illi maluin women, et dicant homines, Istud est lignum, in 
quo suspensus est ille, o fetvct. Sic lapis, quo aliquis fuit la- 
pidatus ; et gladius, quo fuit occisus is qui est occisus ; et 
sudarium sive mantile, quo fuit aliquis strangulatus ; omnia, 
heec cum iis, qui perierunt, sepeliuntur :" Maimonides, 
apud Casaub. in Baron. Exercitat. xvi. An. 34. Num. 134. 
"Cum itaque homo suspensus maximse esset abomination! 
Judaei quoque prse cseteris abominabantur lignum quo fuerat 
suspensus, ita ut illud quoque terra tegerent, tanquam rein 
abominabilem. Unde Interpres Chaldaeus haec verba trans- 
tulit TOO DHD, sicut virguitum absconditum, sive sepulturn :" 
Kalinski, Vaticinia Observationibus illustrata, p. 342. Agree- 
ably to which, Theodoret, Hist. Ecclesiast. i. 17, 18. in his 
account of the finding of the cross by Helena, says, that the 
three crosses were buried in the. earth near the place of our 
Lord's sepulchre. 

Ibid. Clothed with the slain.] Thirty-five MSS(ten 
ancient), and three editions, have the word fully written, 
D'nV It is not a noun, but the participle passive : thrown 
out among the common slain, and covered with the dead 
bodies. So ver. 11. the earth-worm is said to be his bed-cov- 

20. Because thou hast destroyed thy country ; thou hast 
slain thy people.} Xenophon gives an instance of this king's 
wanton cruelty in killing the son of Gobrias, on- no other pro- 
vocation than that, in hunting, he struck a boar and a lion, 
which the king had missed : Cyrop. iv. p. 309. 


23. I will plunge it ] I have here very nearly followed 
the version of the LXX : the reasons for which see in the 
ast note on De Poesi Hebr. Preelect. xxviii. 

25. To crush the Assyrian on my mountains] The As- 
syrians and Babylonians are the same people : Herod, i. 199, 
200. Babylon is reckoned the principal city in Assyria: 
ibid. 178. Strabo says the same thing ; lib. xvi. sub init. 
The circumstance of this judgment's being to be executed on 
God's mountains is of importance : it may mean the destruc- 
tion of Senacherib's army near Jerusalem; and have still a 
further view : Compare Ezek. xxxix. 4.; and see Lowth on 
this place of Isaiah. 

28. Uzziah had subdued the Philistines, 2 Chron. xxvi. 
6, 7.; but taking advantage of the weak reign of Ahaz, they 
invaded Judea, and took and held in possession s-ome cities 
in the southern part of the kingdom. On the death of 
Ahaz, Isaiah delivers this prophecy, threatening them with 
the destruction that Hezekiah, his son, and great-grandson 
of Uzziah, should bring upon them : which he effected ; for 
"he smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders 
thereof;" 2 Kings xviii. 8*. Uzziah therefore must be 
meant by the rod that smote them, and by the serpent, from 
whom should spring the flying fiery serpent ; that is, Heze- 
kiah, a much more terrible enemy than even Uzziah had 

30. he will slay] The LXX read n'on, in the third 
person, cwtoi >, and so Chald. The Vulgate remedies the 
confusion of persons in the present text, by reading both the 
verbs in the first person. 

31. From the north cometh a smoke] That is, a cloud of 
dust, raised by the march of Hezeldah's army against 'Phi- 
listia ; which lay to the south-west from Jerusalem. A great 
dust^raised has, at a distance, the appearance of smoke : 
" fu mantes pulvere carnpi :" Virg. jEn. xi. 908. 

32. to the ambassadors of the nations] The LXX read 
D'U, f6vavj plural ; and so the Chaldee, and one MS. The 
ambassadors of the neighbouring nations, that send to con- 
gratulate Hezekiah on his success ; which in his answer he 
will ascribe to the protection of God. See 2 Chron. xxxii. 
23. Or, if ', singular, the reading of the text, be prefer- 
red, the ambassadors sent by the Philistines to demand 



THIS and the following- chapter, taken together, make one 
entire prophecy, very improperly divided into two parts. 
The time of the delivery, and consequently of the completion 
of it, which was to be in three years from that time, is un- 
certain ; the former not being marked in the prophecy it- 
self, nor the latter recorded in history. But the most pro- 
bable account is, that it was delivered soon after the foregoing, 
in the first year of Hezckiah ; and that it was accomplished 
ia his fourth year, when Shalmaneser invaded the kingdom 
of Israel. He might probably march through Moab ; and y 
to secure every thing behind him, possess himself of the whole 
country, by taking their principal strong places, Ar and Kir- 

Jeremiah has happily introduced much of this prophecy of 
Isaiah into his own larger prophecy against the same people 
in his xlviiith chapter ; denouncing God's judgments on Moab, 
subsequent to the calamity here foretold, and to be executed by 
Nebuchadnezzar: by which means several mistakes in the 
present text of both Prophets may be rectified. 

1. Because in the night ] y?3. That both these cities 
should be taken in the night, is a circumstance somewhat 
unusual ; and not so material as to deserve to be so strongly- 
insisted upon. Vitringa, by his remark on this word, shews, 
that he was dissatisfied with it in its plain and obvious mean- 
ing ; and is forced to have recourse to a very hard metapho- 
rical interpretation of it : " ISoctu, vel nocturne impetu ; vel 
metaphorice, repente, subito, inexpectata destructione : placet 
posteiius." Calmet conjectures, and I think it probable, that 
the true reading is V?D. There are many mistakes in the 
Hebrew text arising from the very great similitude of the letters 
"2 and D, which in many MSS, and even in some printed edi- 
tions, are hardly distinguishable. Admitting this reading, the 
translation will be : 

" Because Ar is utterly destroyed, Moab is undone ! 
Because Kir is utterly destroyed, Moab is undone !" 

2. Beth-Dibon : ] This is the name of one place ; and 
the two words are to be joined together, without the i inter- 
vening: so Chald. and Syr. 

Ibid. on every head] For rt^jo, read ty&n. So the paral- 
lel place, Jer. xlviii. 37. and so three MSS(one ancient). An 
ancient MS reads 


Ibid, On every head there is baldness and every beard is 
-shorn.] Herodotus, ii. 36. speaks of it as a general practice 
among all men, except the Egyptians, to cut off their hair as a 
token of mourning. "Cut oft thy hair and cast it away," 
says Jeremiah, vii. 29. " and take up a lamentation." 

T&ro vv yeotg otov oivgoi<ri figoTolcrt 

KttgoirQoti.Tt Ko/x.qVj fixfaeiv r' MTTO ^OCK^V TTctgstav. Hom. Od.1V. 197. 

" The rites of woe 

Are all, alas ! the living can bestow ; 
O'er the congenial dust enjoin'd to shear 
The graceful curl, and drop the tender tear." Pope. 

Ibid. shorn] The printed editions, as well as the MSS, 
xire divided on the reading of this word : some have n;ru, 
others njru- The similitude of the letters"! and i has like- 
wise occasioned many mistakes. In the present case, the 
sense is pretty much the same with either reading. The text 
of Jer. xlviii. 37. has the latter. 

4. the very loins ] So the LXX, orpv$, and Syr. 
They cry -out violently, with their utmost force. 

5. The heart of Moab crieth within her.] For 13*7, LXX, 
read 13% or sS; the Chald. is 1 ?. For rrnna, Syr. reads nnro ; 
and so likewise the LXX, rendering it sv avry, Edit. Tat. 
or * eetvni, Edit. Alex, and MS i. D. n. 

Ibid a ymtng heifer] Heb. a heifer three years old, 
in full strength ; as Horace uses equa trima, for a young mare 
just coming to her prime. Bochart observes from Aristotle, 
Hist. Animal, lib. iv., that, in this kind of animals alone, the 
voice of the female is deeper than that of the male ; there- 
fore the lowing of the heifer, rather than of the bullock, is 
chosen by the Prophet as the properer image to express the 
mourning of Moab, But I must add, that the expression here, 
is very short tind obscure, and the opinions of interpreters are 
various in regard to the meaning. Compare Jer. xlviiL 

Ibid. they shall ascend] For n^ T , LXX and a MS 
read in the plural hy. And from this passage the parallel 
place in Jer. xlviii. 5. must be corrected ; where, for 33 rhy y 
which gives no good sense, read 13 rhy. 

7 shall perish] nax, or rrcx. This word seems to 
have been lost out of the text : it is supplied by the parallel 
place, Jer. xlviii. 36. Syr. expresses it by 13;', prseteriit ; and 
Chald. by jnarr, diripientur. 

Ibid, to the valley of willows.] That is, to Babylon. 


Hieron. and Jarchi in loc. both referring to Psal. cxxxvii. 2. 
So likewise Prideaux, Le Clerc, &c. 

9. Upon the escaped of Moab and Ariel, and the rem- 
nant of Admah] The LXX for mx read bxr\x. Ar Moab 
was called also Ariel or Areopolis ; Hieron. and Theodoret. 
See Cellarius. They make nmx also a proper name. 
Michaelis thinks, that the Moabiies might be called the 
remnant of Admah, as sprung from Lot and his daughters 
escaped from the destruction of that and the other cities ; or 
metaphorically, as the Jews are called the princes of Sodom 
and people of Gomorrah, chap. i. 10. Bibliothek Orient. 
Part. V. p. 195. The reading of this verse is very doubtful ; 
and the sense, in every way in which it can be read, very 


1. I will send forth the son ] Both the reading and 
meaning of this verse are still more doubtful than those 
of the preceding. The LXX and Syr. read nVtfK, in the 
first person sing, future tense : the Vulg. and Talmud Baby- 
lon, read rr7#, sing, imperative. The Syr. for *o reads 
13, which is confirmed by one MS, and perhaps by a se- 
cond. The two first verses describe the distress of Moab on 
the Assyrian invasion ; in which even the son of the prince 
of the country is represented as forced to flee for his life 
through the desert, that he may escape to Judea ; and the 
young women are driven forth, like young birds cast out of 
the nest, and endeavouring to wade through the fords of the 
river Arnon. 

3. Impart counsel ] The Vulg. renders the verbs in 
the beginning of this verse in the singular number. So the 
Ken ; and so likewise many MSS have it, and some editions, 
and Syr. The verbs throughout the verse are also in the 
feminine gender ; agreeing with Sion, which I suppose to be 

4. the outcasts of Moab ] Setting the points aside, this 
is by much the most obvious construction of the Hebrew, 
as well as most agreeable to the context, and the design of 
the Prophet. And it is confirmed by the LXX, 01 <pvya&s 
M*>*, et Syr. 

Ibid. the oppressor ] Perhaps the Israelites ; who 
in the time of Ahaz invaded Judah, defeated his army, slay- 


ing- 120.000 men ; and brought the kingdom to the brink of 
destruction. Judah, being now in a more prosperous condi- 
tion, is represented as able to receive and to protect the fugi- 
tive Moabites. And with those former times of distress, the 
security and nourishing state of the kingdom under the gov- 
ernment of Hezekiah is contrasted. 

6. We have heard the pride of Moab ] For &o, read 
n*O; two MSS, (one ancient), and Jer. xlviii. 29. Zepha- 
niah, in his prophecy against Moab, the subject of which is 
the same with that of Jeremiah in his xlviiith chapter, (see 
above Note on xv. 1.), enlarges much on the pride of Moab, 
and their insolent behaviour towards the Jews : 

"I have heard the reproach of Moab; 
And the revilings of the sons of Ammon: 
Who have reproached my people; 
And have magnified themselves against their borders. 
Therefore, as I live, saith JEHOVAH God of Hosts, the God 

of Israel, 

Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, 
And the sons of Ammon as Gomorrah: 
A possession of nettles, and pits of salt, 
And a desolation forever. 
The residue of my people shall spoil them, 
And the remnant of my nation shall dispossess them : 
This shall they have for their pride; 
jBecause they have raised a reproach, and have magnified 

Against the people of JEHOVAH God of Hosts." 

Zeph. ii. 8 10. 

7. For the men of Kirhares ] A palpable mistake in 
this place is happily corrected by the parallel text of Jer. 
xlviii. 3L where, instead of >#, foundations or flagons, 
we rend '&UK, men. In the same place of Jeremiah, and in 
ver. 36., and here in ver. 11., the name of the city is Kir- 
hares, not Kirharesheth. 

Ibid. are put to shame] Here the text of Jeremiah 
leaves us much at a loss, in a place that seems to be greatly 
corrupted. The LXXjoin the two last words of this verse 
with the beginning of the following. Their rendering is ; 
KM UK. evr^otTrr^ rx vt^tat ET^M. For -]N they must have read 
bxj otherwise, how came they by the negative, which seems 
not to belong to this place ? Neither is it easy to make sense 
of the rest without a small alteration, by reading, inste id of 
In u word, the Arabic version taken 


from the LXX, plainly authorizes this reading of the LXX, 
and without the negative ; and it is fully confirmed by SlSS 
Pachom. and i. D. n. which have both of them evr^xTrtj^Toci 
vehat Erf, without the negative ; which makes an excellent 
sense, and, I think, gives us the true reading of the Hebrew 
text : JISBTI niDlt? ID^DJ IN. They frequently render the verb 
Dtaj by mf*4ui. And ID^OJ answers perfectly well to V7DK, 
the parallel word in the next line. The MSS vary in ex- 
pressing in the word D'JOJ, which gives no tolerable sense in 
this place : one reads D'WDU, two others C'iQ2, in another theD 
is upon a rasure of two letters ; and Vulg. instead of it reads 
OHD3, plagas suas. 

8. Her branches extended themselves ] For it&tM a 
MS has ijyjj; which may perhaps be right: Compare Jer. 
xlviii. 32. which has in this part of the sentence the synony- 
mous word IJ.MJ. 

The meaning of this verse is, that the wines of Sibmah and 
Heslibon were greatly celebrated, and in high repute with all 
the great men and princes of that and the neighbouring coun- 
tries; who indulged themselves eyen to intemperance in the 
use of them. So that their vines were so much in request, as 
not only to be propagated all over the country of Moab, to the 
sea of Sodom ; but to have cions of them sent even beyond 
the sea into foreign countries. 

10*?n, knocked clown, demolished ; that is, overpowered, in- 
toxicated. The drunkards of Ephraim are called by the 

Prophet,- chap, xxviii. 1. j* T 'Dibn. See Schultens on Prov. 

xxiii. 25. Gratius, speaking of the Mareotic wine, says of it, 

" Pharios quae fregit noxia reges. " Cyneg. ver. 312. 

9. as with the weeping ] For 2n a MS reads 'J2.- 
In Jer. xlviii. 32. it is 'DUD. LXX read D33, which I fol- 

Ibid. And upon thy vintage the destroyer hath fallen] 
^33 Tvn "p'i'p Syi. In these few words there are two great 
mistakes; which the text of Jer. xlviii. 32.- rectifies: 
for yvvp, it has -pm ; and for Tvn, vuy: both which 
corrections the Chaldee in this place confirms. As to the 

" Hesebon and Eleale, and 
The flowery dale of Sibmah clad with vines," 

were never celebrated for their harvests ; it was the vintage 
that suffered by the irruption of the enemy : and so read LXX 


and Syr. rrn is the noisy acclamation of the t readers of 
the grapes : and see what sense this makes in the literal ren- 
dering of the Vulgate super m< m " vox calcantium 
irruit." The reading in Jer. xlvii. 32. is certainly right, 
Saj Tiff jVastator irruit. The shout of the treadersdoes not come 
in till the next verse; in which the text of Isaiah in its turn 
mends that of Jeremiah, xlviii. 33. where, instead of the first 
-nn, the shout, we ought undoubtedly to read, as here, -pin, 
I he t reader. 

10. An end is put to the shouting] The LXX read 
rotsm, passive, and in the third person, rightly ; for God is 
not the speaker in this place. The rendering of L?. 
a-rx-ttvrou */*{ >u*ivrfta j which last word, necessary to the ren- 
dering of the Hebrew, and to the sense, is supplied by MSS 
Pachora. and i. D. u., having been lost out of the other 

12. when Moab shall see -] For rwnj a MS reads ruo, 
and so Syr. and Chald. " Perhaps n&nj *D is only a va- 
rious reading of rrato '3 ; " SECK very probable con- 

without strength] An ancient MS, with LXX 


THIS prophecy by its title should relate only to Damas- 
cus ; but it full as much concerns, and more largely treats of, 
the kingdom of Samaria and the Israelites, confederate with 
Damascus and the Syrians against the kingdom of Judah. It 
was delivered probably soon after the prophecies of the viith 
and viiith chapters, iti the beginning of the reign of Ahaz ; 
and was fulfilled by Tiglath Pileser's taking Damascus, and 
carrying the people captives to Kir, (2 Kings xvi. 9.) ; and 
overrunning great part of the kingdom of Israel, and carrying 
a great number of the Israelites also captives to Assyria 
still more fully in regard to Israel, by the conquest of the king- 
dom, and the captivity of the people, effected a few years after 
by Shalmaneser. 

1. a ruinous heap] For 73 the LXX read 7*7, Vulg. 
73. I follow the former. 

2. The cities are deserted for ever} "What has Aroer on 
the river Arnon to do with Damascus? and if there be 


ano'lier Arocr on tlio northcn border of the tribe of Gad, 
(as Reland seems to think there might be), this is not much 
more to the purpose. Besides, the cities of Aroer, if Aroer 
itself is a city, make-; no good sense. The LXX, for ijn;*, 
Arocr i read nr n.r, f? w >, for ever, or for a long dura- 
tion. The Chald. takes the word for a verb from mj,', trans- 
lating it imn, deyastabuntur. The Syr. read Y;TI). So 
that the reading is very doubtful. I follow the LXX, as 
making the plainest sense. 

3. the pride of Syria ] For ixw Houbigant reads: 
nxtf, the pride, answering, as the sentence seems evidently 
to require, to 103, the glory of Israel. The conjecture id 
so very probable, that I venture to follow it. 

5. as when oiif ^<i!Ji< rcth ] That is, the kihg of As- 
syria shall sweep away the whole body of the people, as the 
reaper strippeth off the whole crop of corn ; and the rem- 
nant shall be no more, in proportion, than the scattered ears 
left to the gleaner. The valley of Rephaim near Jerusalem 
was celebrated for its plentiful harvests ; it is here used poet- 
ically for any fruitful country. 

8. the altars dedicated to the work of his hands] The 
construction of the words, and the meaning of the sentence, 
in this place, are not obvious: all the ancient versions, and 
most of the modern, have mistaken it. The word nts^o 
stands/// ri'^iininc with mn3T3, not in apposition with it : 
it means the altars of the work of their hands ; that is, of 
the idols; not which are the work of their hands. Thus 
Kiinchi has explained it, and Le Clerc has followed him. 

9. the Hivitcs and the Amorites ] "vaxrn tmnn. 
No one has ever yet been able to make any tolerable sense 
of these words. The translation of the LXX has happily 
preserved what seems to be the true reading of the text, as 
it stood in the copies of their time ; though the words are 
now transposed, either in the text, or in their version: 01 
Au.olu.toi MI 01 Evxiot. It is remarkable, that many commen- 
tators, who never thought of admitting the reading of the 
LXX, yet understand the passage as referring to that very 
event which their version expresses : so that it is plain, that 
nothing can be more suitable to the context. My Father 
saw the necessity of admitting this variation, at a time when 
it was nut usual to make so free with the Hebrew text. See 
Lowth on the place. 

10. shoots from a foreign soil] The pleasant plants, 



and shoots from a foreign soil, are allegorical expressions for 
strange and idolatrous worship; vicious and abominable prac- 
tices connected with it ; reliance on human aid. and on al- 
liances entered into with the neighbouring nations, especially 
Egypt : to all which the Israelites wera greatly addicted ; 
and in their expectations from which they should be grievous- 
ly disappointed. 

12 14. Wo to the multitude ] The three last verses 
of this chapter seem to have no relation to the foregoing 
prophecy, to which they are joined. It is a beautiful piece, 
standing singly and by itself; for neither has it any con- 
nexion with what follows : whether it stands in its right 
place, or not, I cannot say. It is a noble description of the 
formidable invasion, and of the sudden overthrow, of Sena- 
cherib ; which is intimated in the strongest terms, and the 
most expressive images, exactly suitable to the event. 

12, 13. Like the roaring of mighty waters ] Five words, 
three at the end of the 12th verse, and two at the beginning 
of the 13th, are omitted in five MSS ; that is, in effect, the 
repetition, contained in the first line of verse 13, in this 
translation, is not made. After having observed, that it is 
equally easy to account for the omission of these words by a 
transcriber, if they are genuine; or their insertion, if they are 
not genuine : occasioned by his carrying his eye backwards 
to the word D'DN 1 ?, or forwards to pxp; I shall leave it to the 
reader's judgment to determine, whether they are genuine, 
or not. 

14. and he is no more] For w:x, ten MSS (three an- 
cient) and two editions, and LXX, Syr. Chald. Vulg. have 
UJ'W. This particle, authenticated by so many good vouch- 
ers, restores the sentence to the true poetical form, implying 
a repetition of some part of the parallel line preceding, 
thus : 

" At the season of evening, behold terror! 
Before the morning, and [behold] he is no more! " 

See Prelim. Dissert, p. xii. note. 


THIS is one of the most obscure prophecies in the whole 
book of Isaiah. The subject of it, the end and design of it, 
the people to whom it is addressed, the history to which it 
belongs, the person who sends the messengers, and the na- 


tion to whom the messengers are sent ; are all obscure and 

1. The winged cymbal] D'DJD Wy. I adopt this as the 
most probable of the many interpretations that have been given 
of these words. It is Bochart's : see Phaleg iv. 2. The Egyp- 
tian Sistrum is expressed by a periphrasis ; the Hebrews had 
no name for it in their language, not having in use the 
instrument itself. The cymbal they had ; an instrument in 
its use and sound not much unlike to the sistrum ; and to dis- 
tinguish from it the sistrurn, they called it the cymbal with 
wings. The cymbal was a round hollow piece of metal, 
which being struck against another, gave a ringing sound : 
the sistrum was a round instrument, consisting of a broad rim 
of metal, through which from side to side ran several loose 
laminae, or small rods, of metal, which being shaken, gave a 
like sound : These projecting on each side, had somewhat of 
the appearance of wings ; or might be very properly expressed 
by the same word which the Hebrews used for wings, or for 
the extremity, or a part of any thing projecting. The sistrum 
is given in a medal of Adrian, as the proper attribute of Egypt. 
See Addison on Medals, Series iii. No. 4. where the figure of 
it may be seen. 

In opposition to other interpretations of these words which 
have prevailed, it may be brjefly observed, that Wv is 
never used to signify shadow, nor ppu applied to the sails of 

If therefore the words are rightly interpreted the winged 
cymbal, meaning the sistrum, Egypt must be the country to 
which the prophecy is addressed : And upon this hypothesis 
the version and explanation must proceed. I further suppose, 
that the prophecy was delivered before Senacherib's return 
from his Egyptian expedition, which took up three years ; 
and that it was designed to give to f the Jews, and perhaps 
likewise to the Egyptians, an intimation of God's counsels in 
regard to the destruction of their great and powerful ene- 

Ibid. Which borders on the rivers of Cusli] What are 
the rivers of Gush, whether the eastern branches of the lower 
Nile, the boundary of Egypt towards Arabia, or the parts of 
the upper Nile towards Ethiopia, it is not easy to determine. 
The word la^D signifies either on this side or on the further 
side : I have made use of the same kind of ambiguous expres- 
sion in the translation. 


2. in vessels of papyrus] This circumstance agrees per- 
fectly well with Egypt. It is well known, that the Egyp- 
tians commonly used on the Nile a light sort of ships, or boats, 
made of the reed papyrus. " Ex ipso quidem papyro navigia 
texunt :" Plin. xiii. 11. 

" Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymba papyro." Luc. iv. 136. 

Ibid. Go, ye swift messengers ] To this nation before 
mentioned, who, by the Nile, and by their numerous canals. 
have the means of spreading the report, in the most expedi- 
tious manner, through the whole country ; go, ye swift mes- 
sengers, and carry this notice of God's designs in regard to 
them. By the swift messengers are meant, not, any particu- 
lar persons specially appointed to this office, but any the usu- 
al conveyers of news whatsoever, travellers, merchants, and 
the like, the instruments and agents of common fame : 
these are ordered to publish this declaration made by the 
Prophet throughout Egypt, and to all the world ; and to ex- 
cite their attention to the promised visible interposition of God. 

Ibid. stretched out in length ] Egypt, that is, the 
fruitful part of it, exclusive of the deserts on each side, is one 
long vale, through the middle of which runs the Nile, bound- 
ed on each side to the east and west by a chain of mountains ; 
seven hundred and fifty miles in length ; in breadth, 
from one to two or three days' journey : even at the widest 
part of the Delta, from Pelusium to Alexandria, not above two 
hundred and fifty miles broad. Egmont and Hey man, and 
Pococke's Travels. 

Ibid. smoothed ] Either relating" to the practice of the 
Egyptian priests, who made their bodies smooth by shav- 
ing off their hair; see Herod, ii. 37.; or rather to the coun- 
try's being made smooth, perfectly plain and level, by the 
overflowing of the Nile.^ 

Ibid. meted out by line ] It is generally referred to 
the frequent necessity of having recourse to mensuration in 
Egypt, in order to determine the boundaries after the inun- 
dations of the Nile ; to which even the origin of the science of 
geometry is by some ascribed. Strabo, lib. xvii. sub init. 

Ibid. trodden down ] Supposed to allude to a peculiar 
method of tillage in use among the Egyptians. Both Her- 
odotus (lib. ii.) and Diodorus (lib. i.) say, that when the 
Nile had retired within its banks, and the ground became 
somewhat dry, they sowed their land, and then sent in their 



cattle (their hogs, says the former) to tread in the seed ; 
and without any further care expected the harvest. 

Ibid. the rivers have nouriihdd] The word IKD is 
generally taken to he an irregular form for 1112, have spoiled, 
as an ancient MS has it in this place ; and so most of the 
versions, both ancient and modern, understand it. On 
which Schultens, Gram. Hob. p. 491. has the following 
remark: " Ne minimam quidcm specinn veri habet INTD, 
Esai. xvii. 2. elatum pro i??2, diripiunt. Haec esset ano- 
nialia, cui nihil simile in toto lingua? ambitu. In talibus nil 
finire, vel fateri ex mera agi conjectura, tutius jusliuscjue. 
Radicem ^?3 olim extare poiuisse, quis neget'/ Si cogna- 
tum quid sectandum erat, ad nn, contemsit, potius decur- 
rendum fuisset : ut ixn pro m sit enuntiatum, vel W3. 
Digna phrasis, flnmina coiitemuunt terram, i. e. inun- 
dant? ' Kir, Arab, extulit se superbius, item subjecit sibi: 
unde praet. pi. IXD subjccerunt sibi, i. e. inundarunt : " 
Simonis Lexic. Heb. 

A learned friend has suggested lo me another explanation 
of the word. xr2, Syr. ana NIT, Chald. signifies uber, mam- 
ma ; agreeably to which the verb might signify to nourish. 
This would perfectly well suit with the Nile : whereas nothing 
can be more discordant than the idea of spoiling and plun- 
dering; for to the inundation of the Nile Egypt owed every 
thing, the fertility of the soil, and the very soil itself. Be- 
sides, the overflowing of the Nile came on by gentle degrees, 
covering without laying waste the country. "Mira eeque 
natura fluminis, quod cum caeteri omnes abluant terras 
et eviscerent, Nilus tanto ceeteris major adeo nihil exedit, 
nee abradit, ut contra adjiciat vires ; rninimumque in eo sit, 
quod solum temperet. lllato enim limo arenas saturat ac 
jungit : debetque illi jEgyptus non tantuin fertilitatem terra- 
rum, sed ipsas : " Seneca, Nat. Q,uo3st. iv. 2. I take the 
liberty, therefore, which Schultens seems to think allowable 
in this place, of hazarding a conjectural interpretation. 

3. When the standard is lifted up ] I take God to be 
the 'agent in this verse ; and that by the standard and the 
trumpet are meant the meteors, the thunder, the lightning, 
the storm, earthquake, and tempest, by which Senacherib's 
army shall be destroyed, or by which at least the destruc- 
tion of it shall be accompanied ; as it is described in chap, 
xxix. 6. and xxx. 30, 31. and x. 16, 17. See also Psal. 
Ixxvi. and the title of it according to LXX, Vulg. and 



JEthiop. They are called by a bold metaphor, the standard 
lifted up, and the trumpet sourided. The latler is used by 
Homer, I think, with great force, in his introduction to the 
battle of the gods ; though 1 find it has disgusted some of 
the minor critics : 

svgetet ftfav, 

puyets X*ctvo<;. II. XXI. 388. 

" Heaven in loud thunders bids the trumpet sound, 
And wide beneath them groans the rending ground." Pope. 

4. For thus hath JEHOVAH said unto me ] The sub- 
ject of the remaining part of the chapter is, that, God would 
comfort and support his own people, though threatened with 
immediate destruction by the Assyrians ; that Senacherib's 
great designs and mighty efforts against them should be 
frustrated, and that his vast expectations should be rendered 
abortive, when he thought them mature, and just ready to be 
crowned with success ; that the chief part of his army should 
be made a prey for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of 
the air, (for this is the meaning of the allegory continued 
through the 5th and Oth verses) ; and that Egypt, being de- 
Ijvered from his oppression, and avenged by the hand of God 
of the wrongs which she had suffered, should return thanks 
for the wonderful deliverance, both of herself and of the 
Jews, from this most powerful adversary. 

Ibid. Like the dear heat ] The same images are em- 
ployed by an Arabian poet : 

" Solis more fervens, dum frigus ; quumque ardet 
Sirius, turn vero frigus ipse et umbra." 

Which is illustrated in the note by a like passage from 
another Arabian poet : 

" Calor est hyeme, refrigerium sestate." 

Excerpta ex Hamasa ; published by Schultens, at the end of 
Erpenius's Arabic Grammar, p. 425. 

Ibid. after rain ] "nix hie significat pluviam ; juxta 
illud, sparget nubes pluviam suam, Job xxxvii. 1 1." Kimchi. 
In which place of Job the Chaldee paraphrast does indeed 
explain nix by H^UD; and so again ver. 21.; and chap. 
xxxvi. 30. This meaning of the word seems to make the 
best sense in this place it is to be wished, that it were bet- 
ter supported. 

Ibid. in the day of harvest.} For nrP, in the heat, 


five MSS, (three ancient), LXX, Syr. and Vulg, read Dip, 
in the day. The mistake seems to have risen from oro in 
the line above. 

5. the blossom ] Heb. her blossom ; nJ : that is, 
the blossom of the vine. JDJ, understood, which is of the 
common gender. See Gen. xl. 10. Note, that, by the de- 
fective punctuation of this word, many interpreters, and our 
translators among the rest, have been led into a grievous 
mistake, (for how can the swelling grape become a blossom ?) 
taking the word n*J for the predicate ; whereas it is the sub- 
ject of the proposition, or the nominative case to the verb. 

7. a gift ] The Egyptians were in alliance with the 
kingdom of Judah, and were fellow-sufferers with the Jews 
under the invasion of their common enemy Senacherib ; and 
so were very nearly interested in the great and miraculous de- 
liverance of that kingdom by the destruction of the Assyrian 
army. Upon which wonderful event, it is said, 2 Chron. 
xxxii. 23. that " many brought gifts unto JEHOVAH to Jeru- 
salem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah ; so that he 
was magnified of ail nations from thenceforth." It is not to 
be doubted, that among these the Egyptians distinguished 
themselves in their acknowledgments on this occasion. 

Ibid, from a people ] The LXX and Vulg. read 
pj,D ; which is confirmed by the repetition of it in the next 
line. The difference is of importance ; for, if this be the true 
reading, the prediction of the admission of Egypt into the 
true church of God is not so explicit as it might otherwise 
seem to be. However, that event is clearly foretold at the 
end of the next chapter. 


NOT many years after the destruction of Senacherib's 
army before Jerusalem, by which the Egyptians were freed 
from the yoke with whiclV they were threatened by so 
powerful an enemy, who had carried on a successful war of 
three years' continuance against them ; the affairs of Egypt 
were again thrown into confusion by intestine broils among 
themselves ; which ended in a perfect anarchy, that lasted 
some few years. This was followed by an aristocracy, or 
rather tyranny, of twelve princes, who divided the country 
between them ; and at last by the sole dominion of Psammi- 


tichus, which he held for fifty-four years. Not loner after 
that, followed the invasion and conquest of Egypt hy Nebu- 
chadnezzar ; and then by the Persians under Cambyses, the 
son of Cyrus. The yoke of the Persians was so grievous, 
that the conquest of the Persians by Alexander may well 
be considered as a deliverance to Egypt ; especially as he and 
his successors greatly favoured the people, and improved the 
country. To all these events the Prophet seems to have had 
a view in this chapter; and in particular, from ver. 18. the 
prophecy of the propagation of the true religion in Egypt 
seems to point to the flourishing state of Judaism in that 
country, in consequence of the great favour shewn to the 
Jews by the Ptolemies. Alexander himself settled a great 
many Jews in his new city Alexandria, granting them privi- 
leges equal to those of the Macedonians. The first Ptolemy, 
called Soter, carried great numbers of them thither, and gave 
them such encouragement, that still more of them were 
collected there from different parts ; so that Philo reckons, 
that in his time there were a million of Jews in that coun- 
try. These worshipped the God of their fathers ; and their 
example and influence must have had a great effect in spread- 
ing the knowledge and worship of the true God through the 
whole country. See Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, 
Dissert, xii. 

4. cruel lords] Nebuchadnezzar in the first place, and 
afterwards the whole succession of Persian kings, who in gen- 
eral were hard masters, and grievously oppressed the coun- 
try. Note, that for ntyp, a MS reads D'pp, agreeable to which 
is the rendering of LXX, Syr. and Vulg. 

6. shall become putrid] in'Jfxn. This sense of the 
word, which Simonis gives in his Lexicon from the meaning 
of it in the Arabic, suits the place much better than any 
other interpretation hitherto given. And that the word in 
Hebrew had some such signification is probable from 2 Chron. 
xxix. 18. where the Vulgate renders it by polluif, and the 
Targum by profanavit and abominabile fecit, which the 
context in that place seems plainly to require. The form of 
the verb here is very irregular ; and the rabbins and gram- 
marians seem to give no probable account of it. 

8. And the fishers ] There was great plenty of fish 
in Egypt : see Numb. xi. 5. " The Nile," says Diodorus, 
lib. 1. " abounds with incredible numbers of all sorts of fish." 
And much more the lakes ; Egmont, Pococke, &c. 


10. her stores ] nvw, *aroh*ou y Aqttila. 

Ibid, all that make a gain of pools for fish] This ob- 
scure line is rendered by different interpreters in very differ- 
ent manners. Kimchi explains ajx, as if it were the same 
with OJ>', from Job xxx. 25. In which he is followed hy 
some of the rabbins, and supported by LXX : and "oy, 
which I translate gain, and which some take for nets, or i/t- 
closures, the LXX render by 0v, strong drink, or beer, 
which it is well known was much used in Egypt : and so 
likewise the Syriac, retaining the Hebrew word vnyy. I 
submit these very different interpretations to the reader 
judgment. The version of the LXX is as follows : *#< 

TTOtVTeS 01 7TQlXVTt$ TOV l>6oV ^VTT^roVTXl , KCCt Tcl$ "^V^C^ TTOVtCrXO-l I "Atld 

all they that make barley-wine shall mourn, and be grieved 
in soul." 

11. have counselled a brutish conns I] The sentence, 
as it now stands in the Hebrew, is imperfect ; it wants the 
verb. Archbishop Seeker conjectures, that the words xj;i* 
TVG should be transposed ; which would in some degree 
remove the difficulty. But it is to be observed, that the 
translator of the Vulgate seems to have found in his copy 
the verb 1>" added after njna : " Sapientes consiliarii Phar- 
aonis dederunt consilium insipiens." This is probably the 
true reading ; it is perfectly agreeable to the Hebrew idiom, 
makes the construction of the sentence clear, and renders the 
transposition of the above words unnecessary. 

12. let them come ] Here too a word seems to have 
been left out of the text. After yMn, two MSS (one ancient) 
add IST, let them come. Which, if we consider the form and 
the construction of the sentence, has very much the appear- 
ance of being genuine ; otherwise the connective conjunction 
at the beginning of the next member, is not only superflu- 
ous but embarrassing. See also the version of LXX, in which 
the same deficiency is manifest. 

Ibid. and let them declare ] " For ii-v, let them know, 
perhaps we ought to read i^nv, let them make known: 71 
SECKER. The LXX and Yulg. favour this reading : 

etTrntTarav, indicent. 

13. They have caused ] The text has i^nm, and they 
have caused to err. Fifty MSS, thirteen editions, Yulg. and 
Chald. omit the i. 

Ibid. pillars ] n:a to be pointed as plural without doubt. 
So Grotius, and so Chald. 


14 in the midst of them ] "ornpa, LXX, quod forte 
rectius : : ' SECKER. So likewise Chald. 

16. the Egyptians shall be ] vrv, plural, MS Bodl. 
LXX. and Chald. This is not proposed as an emendation, 
for either form is proper. 

17. And the land of Judah ] The threatening hand of 
God will be held out and shaken over Egypt, from the side of 
Judea ; through which the Assyrians will march to invade it. 
Five MSS and two editions have run 1 ?. 

18. the City of the Sun] DTin T>*. This passage is 
attended with much difficulty and obscurity. First, in re- 
gard to the true reading. It is w T ell known, that Onias ap- 
plied it to his own views, either to procure from the king of 
Egypt permission to build his temple in the Hieropolitan 
Nome, or to gain credit and authority to it when built ; from 
the notion which he industriously propagated, that. Isaiah 
had in this place prophesied of the building of such a temple. 
He pretended, that the very place were it should be built 
was expressly named by the Prophet Dinn n*;, the city of 
the sun. This possibly may have been the original reading. 
The present text has Dinn Y>', the city of destruction : which 
some suppose to have been introduced into the text by 
the Jews of Palestine afterwards ; to express their de- 
testation of the place, being much offended with this schis- 
matical temple in Egypt. Some think the latter to have been 
the true reading, and that the Prophet himself gave 
this turn to the name out of contempt, and to intimate the 
demolition of this Hieropolitan temple ; which in effect was 
destroyed by Vespasian's orders after that of Jerusalem. 
" Videtur Propheta consulto scripsisse Din pro Din, ut alibi 
scribitur p rra pro ^x rv3, ntw T x pro tyn wx, &c. 
Vide Lowth in loc. : " SECKER. But on supposition 
that Dinn T>', is the true reading, others understand it 
differently. The word Din in Arabic signifies a lion : and 
Conrad Ikertius has written a dissertation (Dissert. Philol. 
Theol. xvi.) to prove that the place here mentioned is not 
Heliopolis, as it is commonly supposed to be, but Leonto- 
polis in the Heliopolitan Nome ; as it is indeed called in the 
letter, whether real or pretended, of Onias to Ptolemy, 
which Josephus has inserted in his Jewish Antiquities, lib. 
xiii. cap. 3. And I find, that several persons of great learn- 
ing and judgment think that Ikenius has proved the point be- 
yond contradiction. See Christian. Mullcr. Satura. Obscrv. 


Philolog. Michaelis Bibliothek Oriental, Part V. p. 171. 
But after all, I believe, that neither Onias, nor Heiiopolis, 
nor Leontopolis, has any thing to do with this subject. The 
application of this place of Isaiah to Onias's purpose seems 
to have been a mere invention ; and, in consequence of it, 
there may perhaps have been some unfair management to 
accommodate the text to that purpose; which has been carried 
even further than the Hebrew text ; for the Greek version 
has here been either translated from a corrupted text, or wil- 
fully mistranslated or corrupted, to serve the same cause. The 
place is there called WA?$ Areh*, the city of righteousness ; a 
name apparently contrived by Onias's party to give credit to 
their temple, which was to rival that of Jerusalem. Upon 
the whole, the true reading of the Hebrew text in this 
place is very uncertain ; nine MSS and seven editions have 
Din, so likewise Sym. Vulg. Arab. LXX, Oompl. On the 
other hand, Aquila, Theodot. and Syr. read onn ; the Chaldee 
paraphrase takes in both readings. 

The reading of the text being so uncerta ; n, no one can 
pretend to determine what the city was that is here men- 
tioned byname ; much less to determine, what the four other 
cities were which the Prophet does not name. I take the 
whole passage, from the 18th verse to the end of the chap- 
ter, to contain a general intimation of the future pro- 
pagation of the knowledge of the true God in Egypt and Sy- 
ria, under the successors of Alexander ; and, in consequence 
of this propagation, of the early reception of the gospel in 
the same countries, when it should be published to the world. 
See further on this subject, Prideaux's Connect, an. 149.; 
Dr. Owen's Inquiry into the Present State of the LXX Ver- 
sion, p. 41., and Bryant's Observations on Ancient History, p. 


THARTHAN beseiged Ashdod or Azotus, which probably 
belonged at this time to Hezekiah's dominions: see 2 Kings 
xviii. 8. The people expected to be relieved by the Cush- 
ites of Arabia, and by the Egyptians. Isaiah was ordered to 
go uncovered, that is, without his upper garment, the 
rough manile commonly worn by the prophets, (see Zech. 
xiii. 4.), pnbably three days, to shew that within three years 


the town should be taken, after the defeat of the Cushites 
and Egyptians by the king of Assyria, which event should 
make their case desperate, and induce them to surrender. 
Azotus was a strong place : it afterwards held out twenty-nine 
years against Psammitichus, king of JCgypt, Herod, ii. 157. 
Tharihan was oneofSenacnerib's generals, 2 Kings xviii. 17., 
and Tirluikah king of the Cushites was in alliance with the 
king of Egypt against Senacherib. These circumstances 
make it probable, that by Sargon is meant Senacherib. It 
might be one of the seven names by which Jerom, on this 
place, says he was called. He is called Sacherdonus and Sa- 
cherdan in the book of Tobil. The taking of Azotus must 
have happened before S nacherib's attempt on Jerusalem ; 
when he boasted of his late conquests, chap. xxx\ ii. 25. And 
the warning of the Prophet had a principal respect to the 
Jews also, who were too much inclined to depend upon the as- 
sistance of Egypt. As to the rest, history and chronology af- 
fording us no light, it may be impossible to clear, either this 
cr any other hypothesis, (which takes Sargon to be Shalman- 
cser, or Asarhaddon, &c.), from all difficulties. 

It is not prob'.ible that the Prophet walked uncovered and 
barefoot for three years : his appearing in that manner was a 
sign, that within three years the Egyptians and Cushites 
should be in the same condition, being conquered and made 
captives by the king of Assyria. The time was denoted, as 
well as the event; but his appearing in that manner for three 
whole years, could give no premonition of the time at all. 
It is probable, therefore, that the Prophet was ordered to walk 
so for three days, to denote the accomplishment of the event 
in three years ; a day for a year, according to the prophetical 
rule : Numb. xiv. 34. Ezek. iv. 6. The words cs* tfbjy, 
three days, may possibly have b< en 'ost out of the text, at the 
end of the second verse, after pjrp, barefoot ; or after the same 
word in the third verse: where, in the Alexandrine and Va- 
tican copies of LXX, and in MSS Pachom. and i. D. ii. the 
words rgia, ert, are twice expressed. Perhaps, instead oft^t? 
jyp', the Greek translator might read DTtf &Vtf, by his o\\ u 
mistake, or by that of his copy, after sjrv in the third vci 
for which stands the first rfietern in the Alexandrine and Va- 
tican LXX. and in the two MSS above-mentioned. 



THE ten first verses of this chapter contain a prediction of 
the taking of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. It is 
a passage singular in its kind, for its brevity and force ; for 
the variety and rapidity of the movements ; and for the 
strength and energy of colouring with which the action and 
event is painted. It opens with the Prophet's seeing at a 
distance the dreadful storm that is gathering, and ready to 
burst upon Babylon : The event is intimated in general 
terms ; and God's orders are issued to the Persians and 
Medes to set forth upon the expedition which he has given 
them in charge. Upon this the Prophet enters into the midst 
of the action ; and, in the person of Babylon, expresses in the 
strongest terms the astonishment and horror that seizes her 
on the sudden surprise of the city, at the very season dedica- 
ted to pleasure and festivity, ver. 3, 4. : then in his own per- 
son describes the situation of things there ; the security of the 
Babylonians, and in the midst of their feasting the sudden 
alarm of war, ver. 5. The event is then declared in a very 
singular manner. God orders the Prophet to set a watchman 
to look out, and to report, what he sees : he sees two com- 
panies marching onward, representing by their appearance 
the two nations that \vere to execute God's orders, W 7 ho de- 
clare, that Babylon is fallen, ver. 6 9. 

But what is this to the Prophet, and to the Jews, the ob- 
ject of his ministry ? The application, the end, and design of 
the prophecy is admirably given in a short expressive address 
to the Jews, partly in the person of God, partly in that of the 
Prophet : " O my threshing !" " O my people, whom for your 
punishment I shall make subject to the Babylonians, 
to try and to prove you, and to separate the chaff from 
the corn, the bad from the good among you ; hear this for 
your consolation : Your punishment, your slavery and op- 
pression, w 7 ill have an end in the destruction of your oppres- 

1. the desert of the sca\ This plainly means Babylon, 
which is the subject of the prophecy. The country about 
Babylon, and especially below it towards the sea, was a great 
flat morass, often overflowed by the Euphrates and Tigris. 
It became habitable by being drained by the many canals 
that were made in it. 



Herodotus, i. 184. says, that " Semiramis confined the Eu- 
phrates within its channel, by raising great darns against it ; 
for before it overflowed the whole country like a se i." 
And Abydenus, (quoting Megasthenes, apud Euseb. Pru-p. 
Evang. ix. 41.), speaking of the building of Babylon by 
Nebuchadonosor, " It is reported, that all this part wa^ 
covered with water, and was called the sea ; and that Belus 
drew off the waters, conveying them into proper receptacles, 
and surrounded Babylon with a wall." When the Euphrates 
was turned out of its channel by Cyrus, it was suffered still to 
drown the neighbouring country. The Persian government, 
which did not favour the place, taking no care to remedy 
this inconvenience, it became in time a great barren morassy 
desert ; which event the title of the prophecy may perhaps 
intimate. Such it was originally ; such it became after the 
taking of the city by Cyrus ; and such it continues to this 

Ibid. Like the southern tempests ] The most vehement 
storms, to which Judea was subject, came from the great 
desert country to the south of it. <; Out of the south 
cometh the whirlwind;" Job xxxvii. 9. "And there came 
a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners 
of the house;" Ibid. i. 19; For the situation of Id urn a, the 
country, as I suppose, of Job, (see Lam. iv. 21. compared 
with Job i. 1.), was the same in this respect with that of 
11 And JEHOVAH shall appear over them, 

And his arrow shall go forth as the lightning : 

And the Lord JEHOVAH shall sound the trumpet; 

And shall march in the whirlwinds of the south." Zech. ix. 14. 

2. The plunderer is plundered, and the destroyer is de- 
stroyed] iw iTOrn uia 1:1:371. The MSS vary in 
expressing or omitting the i in these four words. Ten MSS 
are without the i in the second word, and eight MSS are 
without the i in the fourth word ; which justifies Symmachus, 
who has rendered them passively: <J etforen erterttreu, xttt o 
r**euir*(tin +*>&!**(** He read m^,iU3. Cocceius (Lexi- 
icori in voce) observes, that the Chaldee very often renders 
the verb ua by ia, spoliarii; and in this place, and in 
xxxiii. I. by the equivalent word WN; and in chap. xxiv. 16. 
both by D2N and 112; and Syr. in this place renders it by D^D, 

Ibid. her vexations ] Heb. her sighing ; that is. '.he 


sighing caused by her. So Kimchi on the place: " Innuit 
illos, qui gemebant ob timorem ejus; quia stiffixa nom iimn 
referuntur ad a gen tern et ad patientem." " Omnes q i e- 
mebant a facie regis Babylonia, requiescere feci eos ;" dial I. 
And so likewise Ephreem Syr. in loc. edit. Assemani : " G;- 
mitum ejus: ciolorem scilicet et lachrymas, quas Chal.l.ui 
reliqu.< per orbem gentibus ciere pergunt." 

5, The table is prepared ] In Heb. the verbs are in 
the infinitive mode absolute; as in Ezek. i. 14. "And 'he 
animals ran and returned, 3\ur\ Kin, like the appearance 
of lightning : " just as the Latins say currere et reverli, >r 
currebant et revertebantur. See chap, xxxii. 2. and the no e 

7. And he saw a chariot with tw ri 'crs ; a rider on n 
ass, a rider on a camel.] This passage is extremely obscure, 
from the ambiguity of the term 331, which is used threa 
times ; and which signifies a chariot, or any other vehicle, or 
the rider in it ; or a rider on a horse, or any other animal ^ 
or a company of chariots or riders. The Prophet may 
possibly mean a cavalry in two parts, with two sorts of riders ; 
riders on asses or mules, and riders on camels : or led on 
hy two riders, one on an ass, and one on a camel. However, 
so far it is pretty clear, that Darius and Cyrus, the Medes 
and the Persians, are intended to be distinguished by the 
two riders, or the two sorts of cattle. It appears from Hero- 
dotus, i. SO. that the baggage of Cyrus's army was carried 
on camels. In his engagement with Croesus, he took off the 
baggage from the camels, and mounted his horsemen n >a 
them : the enemy's horses, offended with the smell of the 
camels, turned back and fled. 

8. he that looked out on the watch] The present read- 
ing nnx, a lion, is so unintelligible, and the mistake so ob- 
vious, that I make no doubt that the true reading is n*nn, 
as the Syriac translator manifestly found it in his copy, who 
renders it by Kpn, speculator. 

9. a man, one of the two riders] So the Syriac un- 
derstands it ; and Ephreem Syr. 

18. O my threshing ] " O thou, the object upon which 
I shall exercise the severity of my discipline ; that shalt lie 
under my afflicting hand, like corn spread upon the floor to 
be threshed out and winnowed, to separate the chaff from 
the wheat ! " The image of threshing is frequently used by 
the Hebrew poets with great elegance and force, to express 


the punishment of the wicked and the trial of the good, or 
the niter dispersion and destruction of Go<T enemies. Of 
the different ways of threshing in use among the Hebrews, 
and the manner of performing them, see note on chap, xx lii. 

Our translators have taken the liberty of u ing the word 
threshing in a passive sense, to express the object or matter 
that is threshed : in which I have followed them, not being 
able to, express it more properly, without departing too much 
from the form and letter of the original. Son of my floor, 
Heb. It is an idiom of the Hebrew language to ca'l the 
effect, the object, the adjunct, any thing that belongs in al- 
most any way to another, the son of it. u O my threshing " 
The Prophet abruptly breaks off the speech of God, and, 
instead of continuing it in the form in which he had beg in, 
and in the person of God, " This I declare unto you by my 
Prophet ; " he changes the form of address, and adds, in his 
own person, " This I declare unto you from God." 

11, 12. The oracle concerning Dnmah.} "Pro rran 
Codex R. Meiri habet ; QHK et sic LXX. Vid. Kimchi ad 
h. I. ; " Biblia Michaelis, Hate 1720, not. ad 1. 

This prophecy, from the uncertainty of the occasion on 
which it was uttered, and from the brevity of (he expression, 
is extremely obscure. The Edomites as well as Jews were 
subdued by the Babylonians. They inquire of the Prophet, 
how long their subjection is to last? he intimates, th t the 
Jews should be delivered from their captivity ; not so the 
Edomites. Thus far the interpretation seems to carry with 
it some degree of probability. What the meaning of the last 
line may be, I cannot pretend to divine. In this difficulty 
the Hebrew MSS give no assistance. The MSS of LXX, 
and the fragments of the other Greek versions, give some 
variations, but no light. This being the case, 1 thought it 
best to give an exact literal translation of the whole two verses ; 
which may serve to enable the English reader to judge in 
some measure of the foundation of the various interpreUiiions 
that have been given of them. 

13. The oracle com-cr/tht^- Arabia.'} This title is of doubt- 
ful authority. In the first place, because it is not in many 
of the MSS of the LXX; it is in MSS Pachom. and i. 1). 
ii. only, as far as 1 can find with certainty : secondly, from 
the singularity of the phraseology; for WD i u generally pre- 
fixed to its object without a proposition, as te KB::; and 


never but in this place with the preposition X Besides, as 
the word m; % :3 occurs at the very beginning 1 of the prophecy 
itself, the first word but one, it is much to be suspected that 
some one, taking it for a proper name and the object of the 
prophecy, might note it as such by the words :np K^a 
written in the margin, from whence they might easily get in- 
to the text. The LXX did not take it lor a proper name, 
but render it ey-Tr^as; and so Chald. whom I follow: for, 
otherwise ; the forest in Arabia is so indeterminate and vague 
a description, that in effect it means nothing- at all. This 
observation might, have been of good use in clearing up the 
foregoing very obscure prophecy, if any light had arisen from 
joining the two together by removing the separating title ; but 
I see no connexion between them. 

This prophecy was to have been fulfilled within a year of 
the time of its delivery, see ver. 16.; and it was probably de- 
livered about the same time with the rest in this part of the 
book, that is, soon before or after the 14th of Hezekiah, the 
year of Seriacherib's invasion. In his first march into Ju- 
dea, or in his return from the Egyptian expedition, he might 
perhaps overrun these several clans of Arabians : thei distress 
on some such occasion is the subject of this prophecy. 

14. the southern country} 0^/^v, LXX ; Aust -i, Vulg. 
They read j&v\, which seems to be right ; for probably the 
inhabitants of Tema might be involved in the same calamity 
with their brethren and neighbours of Kedar, and not in a 
condition to give them assistance, and to relieve them, in 
their flight before the enemy, with bread and water. To 
bring forth bread and water is an instance of common hu- 
manity in such cases of distress ; especially in these desert 
countries, in which the common necessaries of life, more 
particularly water, are not easily to be met with or procured. 
Moses forbids the Ammonite and Moabite to be admitted 
into the congregation or the Lord to the tenth generation ; 
one reason which he gives for this reprobation is, their omis- 
sion of the common offices of humanity towards the Israel- 
ites ; " because they met them not with bread and water in 
the way, when they came forth out of Egypt.;" Deut. xxiii. 4. 

17. the mighty bowmen] Sagittariomm fortium, Vulg. 
transposing the two words, and reading . . . i_ ; which seems 
to be right. 

Ibid. For JEHOVAH hath spoken it.} The prophetic Car- 
mina of Marcius, foretelling the battle of Cannae. Liv. xxv. 12. 


conclude with the same kind of solemn form : "Nam vnihi 
ita Jupiter fatus est." Observe, that the word DXJ , (to pro- 
nounce, to declare), is the solemn word appropriated to the 
delivering of prophecies: "Behold, I am against the pro- 
phets, saith (GNJ) JEHOVAH, who use their tongues, IDWI 
DNJ, and solemnly pronounce, He hath pronounced it ; : ' Jer. 
xxiii. 31. 


THIS prophecy, ending with the 14th verse of this chap- 
ter, is entitled, " The Oracle concerning the Valley of 
Vision," by which is meant Jerusalem, because, says Sal. h. 
Melech, it was the place of prophecy. Jerusalem, accord- 
ing to Josephus, was built upon two opposite hills, Sion and 
Acra, separated by a valley in. the midst : he speaks of ano- 
ther broad valley between Acra and Moriah, Bell. Jud. v. 
13. vi. 6. It was the seat of divine revelation, the place 
where chiefly prophetic vision was given, and where God 
manifested himself visibly in the holy place. The prophecy 
foretells the invasion of Jerusalem by the Assyrians under 
Senacherib ; or by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar. 
Vitringa is of opinion, that the Prophet has both in view ; 
that of the Chaldeans in the first part, ver. 1 5. (which he 
thinks relates to the flight of Zedekiah, 2 Kings xxv. 4, 5.); 
and that of the Assyrians in the latter part ; which agrees 
with the circumstances of that time, and particularly describes 
the preparations made by Hezekiah for the defence of the 
city, ver. 8 11. Compare 2 Chron. xxxii. 2 5. 
fr 1. are gone up- to the house-tops] The houses in the 
East were in ancient times, as they are still generally, built 
in one and the same uniform manner. The roof or top of 
the house is always flat, covered with broad stones, or a 
strong plaster of terrace, and guarded on every side with a 
low parapet wall : see Deut. xxii. 8. The terrace is fre- 
quented as much as any part of the house. On this, as the 
season favours, they walk, they eat, they sleep, they transact 
business, (1 Sain. ix. 25. see also the LXX in that place), 
they perform their devotions, (Acts x. 9.) The house is 
built with a court within, into which chiefly the windows 
open ; those that open to the street are so obstructed with 
lattice- work, that no one either without or within can see 
through them. Whenever therefore any thing is to be seen 


or beard in the streets, any public spectacle, any alarm of a 
public nature, every one immediately goes up to the house- 
top to satisfy his curiosity. In the same manner, when any 
one had occasion to make any thing public, the readiest and 
most effectual way of doing it was to proclaim it from the 
house-tops to the people in the streets : " What ye hear in the 
ear, that publish ye on the house-top," saith our Saviour, 
Matt. x. 27. The people's running all to the tops of their 
houses gives a lively image of a sudden general alarm. Sir 
John Chardin's MS note on this place is as follows : "Dans 
les festes pour voir passer quelque chose, et dans les maladies 
pour les annoncer aux voisins en allumant des lumieres, le 
peuple monte sur les terrasses." 

3. are gone off together.] There seems to be some- 
what of an inconsistency in the sense, according to the pre- 
sent reading. If the leaders were bound, rex, how could they 
flee away? for their being bound, according to the obvious 
construction and course of the sentence, is a circumstance 
prior to their night. I therefore follow Houbigant, who reads 
rcn, remoti sunt, they are gone off. ibj, transmigraverunt, 
Chald. which seems to confirm this emendation. 

6. the Syrian ] It is not easy to say what DtN Dn, 
a chariot of men, can mean. It seems, by the form of the 
sentence, which consists of three members, the first and the 
third mentioning a particular people, that the second should 
do so likewise ; thus cBnai D*!K 3D13, " with chariots the 
Syrian, and with horsemen : " the similitude of the letters n 
and i is so great, and the mistakes arising from it so frequent, 
that I readily adopt the correction of Houbigant, DIX instead 
of -.,:, which seems to me extremely probable. The con- 
junction i prefixed to D'Bna seems necessary, in whatever 
way the sentence is taken ; and it is confirmed by five MSS 
(one ancient) and three editions. Kir was a city belonging 
to the Medes. The Medes were subject to the Assyrians in 
Hezekiah's time : see 2 Kings xvi. 9. and xvii. 6. ; and so 
perhaps might Elam (the Persians) likewise be, or auxiliaries 
to them, 

8. the arsenal ] Built by Solomon within the city, 
and called the House of the forest of Lebanon ; probably from 
the great quantity of cedar from Lebanon which was em- 
ployed in the building : see 1 Kings vii. 2, 3. 

9. And ye shall collect the ivaters ] There were two 
pools in or near Jerusalem, supplied by springs : the upper 


pool, or the old pool, supplied by the spring called Gihon, 2 
Chron. xxxii. 30. towards the higher part of the city, near 
Sion or the city of David ; and the lower pool, probably sup- 
plied by Siloam, towards the lower part. When Hezekiah 
was threatened with a siege by Senacherib, he stopped up all 
the waters of the fountains without the city, and brought 
them into the city by a conduit, or subterraneous passage cut 
through the rock ; those of the old pool, to the place where 
he made a double wall, so that the pool was between the two 
walls. This he did in order to distress the enemy, and to 
supply the city during the siege. This was so great a work, 
that not only the historians have made particular mention 
of it, 2 Kings xx. 20. 2 Chron. xxxii. 2, 3. 5. 30. ; but the 
son of Sirach also has celebrated it in his encomium on Hez- 
ekiah : " Hezekiah fortified his city, and brought in water 
into the midst thereof: he digged the hard rock with iron, and 
made wells for water : " Eccl'us xlviii. 17. 

11. to him that hath disposed this] That is, to God, 
the author and disposer of this visitation, the invasion with 
which he now threatens you. The very same expressions are 
applied to God, and upon the same occasion, chap, xxxvii. 26. 

"Hast thou not heard, of old, that I have disposed it; 
And, of ancient times, that I have formed it?" 

14. the voice of JEHOVAH ] The Vulg. has vox Do- 
mini ; as if in his copy he had read ni!T bip: and, in truth, 
without the word ^ip, it is not easy to make out the sense of 
the passage ; as it appears from the strange versions which 
the rest of the ancients, (except Chald.), and many of the 
moderns, have given of it ; as if the matter were revealed in, 
or to, the ears of JEHOVAH ; & rot$ <a<ri K.vgix, LXX. Vitringa 
translates it, "revelatus est in auribus meis JEHOVAH ; " and 
refers to 1 Sam. ii. 27. iii. 21: : but the construction in those 
places is different, and there is no speech of God added ; 
which here seems to want something more than the verb 
rtaj to introduce it. Compare chap. v. 9. where the text is 
still more imperfect. 

15. Go unto Shebna ] The following prophecy con- 
cerning Shebna seems to have very little relation to the fore- 
going ; except that it might have been delivered about the 
same time, and Shebna might be a principal person among 
those whose luxury and profaneness is severely reprehended 
by the Prophet in the conclusion of that prophecv, ver. 


Shebna the scribe, mentioned in the history of Hezekiah, 
chap, xxxvi. seems to have been a different person from this 
Shebna, the treasurer or steward of the household, to whom 
the prophecy relates. The Eliakim here mentioned was 
probably the person, who, at the time of Senacherib's inva- 
sion, was actually treasurer, the son of Hilkiah. If so, this 
prophecy was delivered, as the preceding, which makes the 
former part of the chapter, plainly was, some time before the 
invasion of Senacherib. As to the rest, history affords us no 

Ibid. and say unto him] Here are two words lost out of 
the text ; which are supplied by two MSS, (one ancient), 
which read vbx rraxi ; by LXX, */ eix-ov avrca -, and in the 
same manner by all the ancient versions. It is to be observed, 
that this passage is merely historical, and does not admit of 
that sort of ellipsis by which, in the poetical parts, a person 
is frequently introduced speaking, without the usual notice 
that what follows was delivered by him. 

16. thy sepulchre on high in the rock] It has been 
observed before on chap. xiv. that persons of high rank in 
Judea, and in most parts of the East, were generally buried 
in large sepulchral vaults hewn out in the rock for the use 
of themselves and their families. The vanity of Shebna is 
set forth by his being so studious and careful to have his 
sepulchre on high ; in a lofty vault, and that probably in a 
high situation, that it might be more conspicuous. Heze- 
kiah was buried Tihprh, ev cimGatrei, LXX ; in the chiefest, 
says our translation ; rather, in the highest part of the se- 
pulchres of the sons of David, to do him the more honour ; 
2 Chron. xxxii. 33. There are some monuments still re- 
maining in Persia of great antiquity, called Naksi Rustam, 
which give one a clear idea of Shebna's pompous design for 
his sepulchre. They consist of several sepulchres, each of 
them hewn in a high rock near the top ; the front of the 
rock to the valley below is adorned with carved work in re- 
lievo, being the outside of the sepulchre. Some of these se- 
pulchres are about thirty feet in the perpendicular from the 
valley ; which is itself raised perhaps above half as much by 
the accumulation of the earth since they were made. See 
the description of them in Chardin, Pietro della Valle, The- 
venot, and Kempfer. Diodorus Siculus, lib. xyii. mentions 
these ancient monuments, and calls them the sepulchres of 
the kings of Persia. 



17. cover thee] That is, thy face. This was the con- 
dition of mourners in general, and particularly of condemned 
persons : see Esther vi. 12. vii. 8. 

19. / will drive thee] p-intf, in the first person, Syr. 

21. to M inhabitants ] 'DtfV 1 ?, in the plural number, 
four MSS, (two ancient), LXX, Syr. Vulg. 

22. the key upon his shoulder.} As the robe and the 
baldric, mentioned in the preceding verse, were the ensigns 
of power and authority, so likewise was the key the mark of 
office, either sacred or civil. The priestess of Juno is said 
to be the key-bearer of the goddess, xtedu%ct H^ 5 : ^Esrhyl. 
Suppl. 299. A female high in office under a great queen 
has the same title : 

Auctor Phoronidis ap. Clem. Alex. p. 418. Edit. Potter. 
This mark of office was likewise among the Greeks, as here 
in Isaiah, borne on the shoulder : the priestess of Ceres 
itxrtf/uuhtf) % **#*: Callim. Ceres, ver. 45. To compre- 
hend how the key could be borne on the shoulder, it will be 
necessary to say somewhat of the form of it: but without 
entering into a long disquisition, and a great deal of obscure 
learning, concerning the locks arid keys of the ancients, it 
will be sufficient to observe, that one sort of keys, and that 
probably the most ancient, was of considerable magnitude, 
and as to the shape very much bent and crooked. Aratus, 
to give his reader an idea of the form of the constellation 
Cassiopeia, compares it to a key. It must be owned, that 
the passage is very obscure ; but the learned Huetius has 
bestowed a great deal of pains in explaining it, Animadvers. 
in Manilii, lib. i. 355. and I think has succeeded very well 
in it. Homer, Odyss. xxi. 6. describes the key of Ulysses's 
storehouse as twutponx) of a large curvature ; which Eusta- 
thius explains by saying it was %7r*voe/<$V$, in shape like a 
reap-hook. Huetius says, the constellation Cassiopeia an- 
swers to this description ; the stars to the north making the 
curve part, that is, the principal part of the key ; the 
southern stars, the handle. The curve part was introduced 
into the key-hole ; and, being properly directed by the 
handle, took hold of the bolts within, and moved them from 
their places. We may easily collect from this account, that 
such a key would lie very well upon the shoulder ; that it 
must be of some considerable size and weight, and could 


hardly be commodiously carried otherwise. Ulysses's key 
was of brass, and the handle of ivory : but this was a royal 
key ; the more common ones were probably of wood. In 
Egypt they have no other than wooden locks and keys to 
this day ; even the gates of Cairo have no better : Baumgar- 
ten, Peregr. i. 18. Thevenot, Part II. ch. 10. 

In allusion to the image of the key as the ensign of 
power, the unlimited extent of that power is expressed, 
with great clearness as well as force, by the sole and exclu- 
sive authority to open and shut. Our Saviour therefore 
has upon a similar occasion made use of a like manner of 
expression, Matt. xvi. 19.; and in Rev. iii. 7. has applied to 
himself the very words of the Prophet. 

23. a nail ] In ancient times, and in the eastern 
countries, as the way of life, so the houses were much more 
simple then ours at present. They had not that quantity 
and variety of furniture, nor those accommodations of all 
sorts, with w.hich we abound. It was convenient and even 
necessary for them, and it made on essential part in the 
biiikmig of a house, to furnish the inside of the several 
apartments with sets of spikes, nails, or large pegs, upon 
which to dispose of, and to hang up, the several moveablesand 
utensils in common use, and proper to the apartment. These 
spikes they worked into the walls at the first erection of 
them the walls being of such materials, that they could not 
bear their being driven in afterwards ; and they were con- 
trived so as to strengthen the walls, by binding the parts 
together, as well as to serve for convenience. Sir John 
Chardin's account of this matter is this : " They do not 
drive with a hammer the nails that are put into the eastern 
walls: the walls are too hard, being of brick; or if they are 
of clay, too mouldering : but they fix them in the brick- 
work as they are building. They are large nails, with 
square heads like dice, well made ; the ends being bent so as 
to make them cramp-irons. They commonly place them 
at the windows and doors, in order to hang upon them, 
when they like, veils and curtains :" Harmer, Observat. i. 
p. 191. And we may add, that they were put in other 
places too, in order to hang up other things of various 
kinds ; as it appears from this place of Isaiah, and from 
Ezekiel xv. 3. who speaks of a pin, or nail, " to hang any 
vessel thereon." The word used here for a nail of this sort, 
is the same by which they express that instrument, the stake, 


or large pin of iron, with which they fastened down to the 
ground the cords of their tents. We see, therefore, that 
these nails were of necessary and common use, and of no 
small importance, in all their apartments; conspicuous, and 
much exposed to observation : and if they seem to us mean 
and insignificant, it is because we are not acquainted with 
the thing itself, and have no name to express it by, but 
what conveys to us a low and contemptible idea. "Grace 
hath been shewed from the Lord our God, (saithEzra ix. 8.), 
to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his 
holy place :" that is, as the margin of our Bible explains it, 
' a constant and sure abode." 

" He that doth lodge near her [Wisdom's] house, 

Shall also fasten a pin in her walls." Eccl'us xiv. 24. 
The dignity and propriety of the metaphor appears from the 
Prophet Zechariah's use of it : 

" From him shall be the corner-stone; from him the nail, 
From him the battle-bow, 
From him every ruler together." Zech. x. 4. 

And Mohammed, using the same word, calls Pharaoh the 
lord or master of the Nails; that is, well attended by nobles 
and officers capable of administering his affairs ; Koran 
Sur. xxxviii. 11. and Ixxxix. 9. So some understand this 
passage of the Koran : Mr. Sale seems to prefer another in- 

Taylor, in his Concordance, thinks in 11 means the pillar or 
post that stands in the middle, and supports the tent, in 
which such pegs are fixed to hang their arms, &c. upon ; 
referring to Shaw's Travels, p. 287. But nn' is never used, 
as far as it appears to me, in that sense. It was indeed 
necessary that the pillar of the tent should have such pegs 
on it for that purpose ; but the hanging of such tilings in 
this manner upon this pillar, does not prove that nrr was the 
pillar itself. 

23. a glorious seat ] That is, his father's house, and 
all his own family, shall be gloriously sealed, shall flourish 
in honor and prosperity ; and shall depend upon him, and be 
supported by him. 

24. all the glory ] One considerable part of the mag- 
nificence of the eastern princes, consisted in the great quanti- 
ty of gold and silver vessels which they had for various uses. 
" Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels 


of the House of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold : 
none were of silver ; it was nothing accounted of in Solo- 
mon's days ;" 1 Kings x. 21. " The vessels in the House 
of the forest of Lebanon (the armory of Jerusalem so 
called) were two hundred targets, and three hundred shields, 
of beaten gold ; ;5 Ibid. ver. 16,17. These were ranged in 
order upon the walls of the. armoury, (see Cant. iv. 4.) upon 
pins worked into the walls on purpose, as above mentioned. 
Eliakim is considered as a principal stake of this sort, im- 
inoveably fastened in the wall, for the support of all vessels 
destined for common or sacred uses : that is, as the principal 
support of the whole civil and ecclesiastical polity. And the 
consequence of his continued power will be the promotion and 
flourishing condition of his family and dependents, from the 
highest to the lowest. 

Ibid. meaner vessels] D'bsj seems to mean earthen ves- 
sels of common use, brittle, and of little value, (see Lam. iv. 
2. Jer. xlviii. 12.), in opposition to nu:, goblets of gold and 
silver used in the sacrifices ; Exod. xxiv. 6. 

25. The nail fastened ] This must be understood of 
Shebna, as a repetition and confirmation of the sentence above 
denounced agraiust him. 


1. Howl, O ye ships of Tarshish ] This prophecy cle- 
nounceth the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar. It 
opens with an address to the Tynan, negociators and sailos 
at Tarshish, (Tartessus in Spain), a place which, in the 
course of their trade, they greatly frequented. The news 
of the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar is said to be 
brought to them from Chittim, the islands and coasts of the 
Mediterranean : ". For the Tynans, (says Jerom on ver. 6.), 
when they saw they had no other means of escaping, fled in 
their ships, and took refuge in Carthage, and the islands of 
the Ionian and Egean Sea : " from whence the news would 
spread and reach Tarshish. So also Jarchi 'on the place. 
This seems to be the most probable interpretation of this 

2. Be silent] Silence is a mark of grief and consterna- 
tion : see chap, xlvii. 5. Jeremiah has finely expressed this 
image : 



" The elders of the daughter of Sion sit on the ground, they 

are silent: 
They have cast up dust on their heads, they have girded 

themselves with sackcloth. 

The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the 
ground." Lam. ii. 10. 

3. And the seed of the Niler] The Nile is called here 
Shichor, as it is Jer. ii. 18. and 1 Chrori. xiii. 5. It had this 
name from the blackness of its waters charged with the mud 
which it brings down from Ethiopia, when it overflows, " Et 
viridem ./Egyptum nigra fcecundat arena : " as it was called 
by the Greeks Melas, and by the Latins Melo, for the same 
reason. See Servius on the above line of Virgil, Georg. iv. 
291. It was called Siris by the Ethiopians ; by some sup- 
posed to-be the same with Shichor. Egypt, by its extraordi- 
nary fertility, caused by the overflowing of the Nile, supplied 
the neighbouring nations with corn ; by which branch of 
trade the Tyrians gained great wealth. 

4. Be ashamed, O Sidon ] Tyre is called, ver. 12. the 
daughter of Sidon. " The Sidonians, (says Justin, xviii. 3.), 
when their city was taken by the king of Ascalon, betook 
theinsleves to their ships, and landed, and built Tyre." Si- 
don, as the mother city, is supposed to be deeply affected 
with the calamity of her daughter. 

Ibid. nor educated ] Tiaom, so an ancient MS, pre- 
fixing the i, which refers to the negative preceding, and is 
equivalent to N*?I. See Deut. xxxiii. 6. Prov. xxx. 3. 

7. whose antiquity is of the earliest date.] Justin, in 
the passage above quoted, had dated the building of Tyre at 
a certain number of years before the taking of Troy ; but the 
number is lost in the present copies. Tyre, though not so 
old as Sidon, yet was of very high antiquity : it was a strong 
city, even >in the time of Joshua : it is called ijf WD vy, 
" the city of the fortress of Sor," Josh. xix. 29. Interpre- 
ters raise difficulties in regard to this passage, and will not 
allow it to have been so ancient : with what good reason, I 
do not see ; for it is called by the same name, " the fortress 
of Sor," in the history of David, 2 Sam. xxiv. 7. ; and the 
circumstances of the history determine the place to be tbe 
very same. 

10. O daughter of Tarshish ] Tyre is called the daugh- 
ter of Tarshish ; perhaps ^because, Tyre being ruined, Tar- 
shish was become the superior city, and might be considered 
as the metropolis of the Tyrian people ; or rather, because of 


the close connexion and perpetual intercourse between them ; 
according to that latitude of signification in which the He- 
brews use the words son and daughter, to express any sort 
of conjunction and dependence whatever, rus, a girdle, 
which collects, binds, and keeps together the loose raiment, 
when applied to a river, may mean a mound, mole, or arti- 
ficial dam, which contains the waters, and prevents them from 
spreading abroad. A city, taken by seige, and destroyed, 
whose walls are demolished, whose policy is dissolved, whose 
wealth is dissipated, whose/ people is scattered over the wide 
country, is compared to a river whose banks are broken down, 
and its waters, let loose and overflowing all the neghbouying 
plains, are wasted and lost. This may possibly be the mean- 
ing of this very obscure verse ; of which I can find no other 
interpretation that is at all satisfactory. 

1*3. Behold the land of the Chaldeans ] This verse is 
extremely obscure : the obscurity arises from the ambiguity 
of the agents which belong to the verbs, and of the objects 
expressed by the .pronouns ; from the change of number in 
the verbs, and of gender in the pronouns. The MSS 
gives us no assistance ; and the ancient versions very little. 
The Chaldee and Vulg. read mat? in the plural number. 
I have followed the interpretation, which among many 
different ones seemed to me most probable, that of Perizonius 
and Vitringa. 

The Chaldeans, Chasdim, are supposed to have had their 
origin, and to have taken their name, from Chesed the son 
of Nachor, the brother of Abraham. They were known by 
that name in the time of Moses ; who calls Ur in Mesopo- 
tamia, from whence Abraham came, to distinguish it from 
other places of the same name, Ur of the Chaldeans. And Je- 
remiah calls them an ancient nation. This is not inconsis- 
tent with what Isaiah here says of them : " This people was 
not ;" that is, they were of no account, (see Deut. xxxii. 21.); 
they were not reckoned among the great and potent nations 
of the world, till of later times : they were a rude, uncivilized, 
barbarous people, without laws, without settled habitations ; 
wandering in a wide desert country, D"y, and addicted to 
rapine, like the wild Arabians. Such they are represented 
to have been in the time of Job, (i. 16.), and such they con- 
tinued to be till Assur, some powerful king of Assyria, ga- 
thered them together, and settled them in Babylon, and the 
neighbouring country. This probably was Ninus, whom I 


suppose to have lived in the time of the Judges. In this r 
with many eminent chronologers. I follow the authority of 
Herodotus ; who says, that the Assyrian monarchy lasted 
but five hundred and twenty years. Ninus got possession of 
Babylon from the Cuthean Arabians, the successors of Nim- 
rod in that empire, collected the Chaldeans, and settled a 
colony of them there, to secure the possession of the city, 
which he and his successors greatly enlarged and ornamented. 
They had perhaps been useful to him in his wars, and might 
be likely to be further useful in keeping under the old inhabi- 
tants of that city, and of the country belonging to it ; ac- 
cording to the policy of the Assyrian kings, who generally 
brought new people into the conquered countries. See Isa. 
xxxvi. 17. 2 Kings xvii. 6. 24. The testimony of Dicee- 
archus, a Greek historian contemporary with Alexander, 
(apud Steph. de Urbibus, in v. Xa^atos), in regard to the 
fact is remarkable, though he is mistaken in the name of the 
king he speaks of: He says, " That a certain king of Assy- 
ria, the fourteenth in succession from Ninus," (as he might 
be, if Ninus is placed, as in the common chronology, eight 
hundred years higher than we have above set him), " named 
as it is said Chaldseus. having gathered together and united 
all the people called Chaldeans, built the famous city Ba- 
bylon, upon the Euphrates." 

14. Howl, O ye ships ] The Prophet Ezekiel hath 
enlarged upon this part of the same subject with great force 
and elegance : 

" Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH concerning Tyre : 

At the sound of thy fall, at the cry of the wounded, 

At the great slaughter in the midst of thee, shall not the is- 
lands tremble ? 

And shall not all the princes of the sea descend from their 

And lay aside their robes, and strip off their embroidered gar- 
ments ? 

They shall clothe themselves with trembling, fhey shall sit on 
the ground ; 

They shall tremble every moment, they shall be astonished at 

And they shall utter a lamentation over thee, and shall say un- 
to thee : 

How art thou lost, thou that wast inhabited from the seas ! 

The renowned city, that was strong in the sea, she and her 


That struck with terror all her* neighbours! 
Now shall the coasts tremble in the day of thy fall, 
And the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy de- 
parture." Ezek. xxvi. 15 18. 

15. According to the days of one king ] That i?, of 
one kingdom. See Dan. vii. 17. viii. 20. Nebuchadnezzar 
began his conquests in the first year of his reign ; from thence 
to the taking of Babylon by Cyrus are seventy years ; at 
which time the nations conquered by Nebuchadnezzar were 
to be restored to liberty. Tbese seventy years limit the du- 
ration of the Babylonish monarchy. Tyre was taken by him, 
towards the middle of that period ; so did not serve the king 
of Babylon during the whole period, but only for the remain- 
ing part of it. This seems to be the meaning of Isaiah : 
The days allotted to the one king, or kingdom, are seventy 
years ; Tyre, with the rest of the conquered nations, shall 
continue in a state of subjection and desolation to the end of 
that period not from the beginning and through the whole 
of the period; for, by being one of I he- In test conquests, the 
duration of that state of subjection in regard to her was not 
much more than half of it. " All these nations," saith Jer- 
emiah, (xxv. 11.), "shall serve the king of Babylon seventy 
years." Some of them were conquered sooner, some later ; 
but the end of this period was the common term for the de- 
liverance of them all. 

There is another way of computing the seventy years, 
from the year in which Tyre was actually taken to the nine- 
teenth of Darius Hystaspis ; whom the Phenicians, or Tyri- 
ans, assisted against the lonians, and probably on that ac- 
count might then be restored to their former liberties and priv- 
ileges. But I think the former the more probable interpre- 

Ibid, sing as the harlot singeth ] " Fidicinam esse 
meretricum est," says Donatus in Terent. Eunuch, hi. 2. 4. 

" Nee meretrix tibicina, cujus 

Ad strepitum salias." Hor. I. Epist. xiv. 25. 

Sir John Chardin, in his MS note on this place, says : " C'est 
que les vieilles prostituees ne font que chanter quand les 
jeunes dancet, et les animer par ('instrument et par la voix." 
17, 18. And at the end of seventy years ] Tyre, after 
its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, recovered, as it is here 
foretold, its ancient trade, wealth, and grandeur ; as it did 


likewise after a second destruction by Alexander. It be- 
came Christian early with the rest of the neighbouring coun- 
tries. St.. Paul himself found many Christians there, Acts 
xxj. 4. It suffered much in the Diocletian persecution. It 
was an archbishoprick under the patriarchate of Jerusalem, 
with fourteen bishopricks under its jurisdiction. It. con- 
tinued Christian till it was taken by the Saracens in 639 : 
was recovered by the Christians in 1124. But in 1280 
was -conquered by the Mamelukes; and afterwards taken 
from them by the Turks in 1516. Since that time it has 
sunk into utter decay ; is now a mere ruin ; a bare rock ; 
"a place to spread nets upon," as the Prophet Ezekiel fore- 
told it should be, chap. xxvi. 11. See Sandys's Travels ; 
Viti inga on the place ; Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, 
Dissert, xi. 


FROM t.ho xiiith chapter to the xxiiid inclusive, the fate 
of several cities and nations is denounced; of Babylon, of 
the Philistines, Moab, Damascus, Egypt, Tyre. Alter hav- 
ing foretold the destruction of the foreign nations, enemies of 
Judah, the Prophet declares the judgments impending on the 
people of God themselves, for their wickedness and apostasy ; 
and the desolation that shall be brought on their whole coun- 

The xxivth, and the three following chapters, seem to 
have been delivered about the same time before the de- 
struction of Moab by Shalmaneser, (see xxv. 10.) ; conse- 
quently before the destruction of Samaria ; probably in the 
beginning of Hezekiah's reign. But concerning the partic- 
ular subject of the xxivth chapter, interpreters are not at 
all agreed : some refer it to the desolation caused by the in- 
vasion of Shalmaneser ; others to the invasion of Nebuchad- 
nezzar ; and others to the destruction of the city and 
nation by the Romans. Vitringa is singular in his opinion, 
who applies it to trie persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. 
Perhaps it may have a view to all of the three great desola- 
tions of the country, by Shalmaneser, by Nebuchadnezzar, 
and by the Romans ; especially the last, to which some parts 
of it may seem more peculiarly applicable. However, the 
Prophet chiefly employs general images ; such as ?et forth 
the greatness and universality of the ruin and desolation 


that is to be brought upon the country by these great revo- 
lutions, involving all orders and degrees of men, changing 
entirely the face of things, and destroying the whole polity 
both religious and civil ; without entering into minute circum- 
stances, or necessarily restraining it by particular marks to one 
great event, exclusive of others of the same kind. 

4. The world languisheth} The world is the same with 
the land ; that, is, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel ; orbis 
Israeliticus. See note on chap. xiii. 11. 

5. tJte law] mm, singular: so read LXX, Syr. 

6. are destroyed] For iin, read mn * see LXX, Syr. 
Chald. Sym. 

9. palm wine ] This is the proper meaning of the 
word "o#, PIMP*-, see note on chap. v. 11. All enjoyment 
shall cease ; the sweetest wine' shall become bitter to their 

11. is passed away] For rimy, read may; transpos- 
ing a letter : Houbigant, SECKEU. Five MSS (two an- 
cient) add ^D after BWD : LXX add the same word before 

11. But these ] That is, they that escaped out of these 
calamities. The great distresses brought upon Israel and 
Judah drove the people away, and dispersed them all over 
the neighbouring countries : they fled to Egypt, to Asia 
Minor, to the islands and the coasts of Greece. They were 
to be found in great numbers in most of the principal cities 
of these countries. Alexandria was in a great, measure 
peopled by them. They had synagogues for their worship 
in many places ; and were greatly instrumental in propagat- 
ing the knowledge of the true God amongst these heathen 
nations, and preparing them for the reception of Christian- 
ity. This is what the Prophet seems to mean by the cele- 
bration of the name of JEHOVAH in the waters, in the dis- 
tant coasts, and in the uttermost parts of the land. D*D> 

the waters ; wJ^, LXX ; eJJ*T, Theod.; not Do,/row2> the 

15. In the distant coasts of the sea] For anto, I sup- 
pose we ought to read D'n-o ; which is in a great degree 
justified by the repetition of the word in the next member 
of the sentence, with the addition of c'n to vary the phrase, 
exactly in the manner of the Prophet. D"K is a word 
chiefly applied to any distant countries, especially those 


lying on the Mediterranean Sea. Others conjecture 
onra, L'DJO, D 1 ^, omro ; Dniaa, a IM, illustrati ; Le Clerc. 
Twenty -three MSS read D'IIJO. The LXX do not acknowl- 
edge the reading of the text, expressing here only the word 
D", ev rat vqrois, and that not repeated. But MSS Pachom. 
and i, D. n. supply in this place the defect in the other co- 

v pies of LXX, thus : A/ rxro tj Jo|# Kvpty t^a.i ev TCC,I$ wi<roi$ Tr.$ 
9-othaa-rtK' sv Tot.i$ vqrots TO, TX Kvpix e& l<?gou)& tv^ofyv erai. Ac- 

cording to which the LXX had in their Hebrew ccpy cja, 
repeated afterward, not on*a. 

16. But I said ] The Prophet speaks in the person 
of the inhabitants of the land still remaining' there ; who 
should be pursued by divine vengeance, and suffer repeated 
distresses from the inroads and depredations of their powerful 
enemies. Agreeably to what he said before in a general de- 
nunciation of these calamities. 

" Though there be a tenth part remaining in it; 
Even this shall undergo a repeated destruction." 

Chap. vi. 13. See the note there. 

Ibid. The plunderers plunder} The note on chap. xxi. 2. 

17, 18. The terror, the pit, ] If they escape one cala- 
mity, another shall overtake them ; 

" As if a man should flee from a lion, and a bear should over- 

take him: 
Or should betake himself to his house, and lean his hand on 

the wall, 
And a serpent shall bite him." Amos v. 19. 

For, as our Saviour expressed it in a like parabolical man- 
ner, "wheresoever the carcass is, there shall the eagles -be 
gathered together ;" Matt. xxiv. 28. The images are taken 
from the different methods of hunting and taking wild beasts, 
which were anciently in use. The terror was a line strung 
with feathers of all colours, which fluttering in the air scared 
and frightened the beasts into the toils, or into the pit, which 
was prepared for them. " Nee est minim, cum maximos 
ferarum greges linea pennis distincta contineat, et in insidias 
agat, ab ipso eiFectu dicta Formido:" Seneca de ira, H. 
12. The pit, or pit-fall, Fovea ; digged deep in the ground, 
and covered over with green boughs, turf, (fee. in order to 
deceive them, that they might fall into it unawares. The 
snare, or toils, Indago ; a series of nets, inclosing at first a 
great space of ground, in which the wild beasts were known 
to be ; and then drawn in by degrees into a narrower com- 


pass, till they were at last closely shut up, and entangled in 

For Sips a MS reads 13533, as it is in Jer. xlviii. 44. ; and 
so the Vulg. and Chald. Hut perhaps it is only, like the 
latter, a Hebraism, and means no more than the simple pre-, 
position 3. See Psal. cii. 6. For it does not appear, that 
the terror was intended to scare the wild beasts by its noise. 
The paronomasia is very remarkable ; pachadpachath pack: 
and that it was a common proverbial form, appears from Jer- 
em i:ilrs repeating it in the same words, chap, xlviii. 43, 

18. from the pit] For "pro, from the midst of : a MS 
reads p,y>0;7z, as it is in Jer. xlviii. 44. ; and so likewise 
LXX, Syr. VuUr. 

19. The land] " pn, forte delendum n, lit ex prance- 
den te ortum. Vid. seqq." SECKER. 

20. like a lodge for a night.] See note on chap. i. 8. 

21 23. on high, on earth ] That is, the ecclesias- 
tical and civil polity of the Jews ; which shall be destroyed : 
The nation shall continue in a state of depression and dere- 
liction for a long time. The image seems to be taken from 
the practice of the great monarchs of that time ; who, when 
they had thrown their wretched captives into a dungeon, 
never gave themselves the trouble of inquiring about them ; 
but let them lie a long time in that miserable condition, 
wholly destitute of relief, and disregarded. God shall at 
length revisit and restore his people in the last age ; and then 
the kingdom of God shall be established in such perfection, 
as wholly to obscure and eclipse the glory of the temporary, 
typical, preparative kingdom now subsisting. 

" The figurative language of the Prophets is taken from 
the analogy between the world natural, and an empire or 
kingdom considered as a world politic. Accordingly the 
whole world natural, consisting of heaven and earth, signifies 
the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people, 
or sb much of it as is considered in prophecy ; and the 
things in that world signify the analogous things in this. 
For the heavens and the things therein signify thrones and 
dignities, and those who enjoy them ; and the earth, with 
the things thereon, the inferior people ; and the lowest parts 
of the earth, called hades or hell, the lowest or most misera- 
ble part of them. Great earthquakes, and the shaking of 
heaven and earth, are put for the shaking of kingdoms, so 


as to distract and overthrow them ; the creating a new 
heaven and earth, and the passing of an old one, or the be- 
ginning and end of a world, for the rise and ruin of a body 
politic signified thereby. The sun, for the whole species 
and race of kings, in the kingdoms of the world politic ; 
the moon, for the body of the common people, considered 
as the king's wife,; the stars, for subordinate princes and 
great men ; or for bishops and rulers of the people of God, 
when the sun is Christ : setting of the sun, moon, and 
stars ; darkening the sun, turning the moon into blood, and 
falling of the stars, for the ceasing of a kingdom." Sir I. 
Newton, Observations on the Prophecies, Part I. chap. ii. 


TT doth not appear to me, that this chapter hath any close 
and particular connexion with the chapter immediately pre- 
ceding, taken separately, and by itself. The subject of that 
was the desolation of the land of Israel and Judah, by the 
just judgment of God, for the wickedness and disobedience 
of the people ; which, taken by itself, seems not with any 
propriety to introduce a hymn of thanksgiving to God for 
his mercies to his people in delivering them from their ene- 
mies. But taking the whole course of prophecies, from the 
xiiith to the xxivth chapter inclusive, in which the Prophet 
foretells the destruction of several cities and nations, enemies 
to the Jews, and of the land of Judah itself, yet with inti- 
mations of a remnant to be saved, and a restoration to be at 
length effected by a glorious establishment of the kingdom 
of God ; with a view to this extensive scene of God's pro- 
vidence in all its parts, and in all its consequences, the Pro- 
phet may well be supposed to break out into this song of 
praise ; in which his mind seems to be more possessed with 
the prospect of future mercies than with the recollection of 
the past. 

2. the city ] Nineveh, Babylon, Ar Moab, or any 
other strong fortress possessed by the enemies of the people 
of God. 

For the first *v;'3, Syr. Yulg. read vyn; LXX. and 
Chald. read, in the plural, cnj, transposing the letters. 
After the second Y;VO, a MS adds b: 1 ?. 

Ibid. the proud otie* ] For onr, strangers, MS 



Bocll. and another read DHT, the proud : so likewise the 
LXX ; for they render it cc^av here, and in verse 5th, as 
they do in some other places : see Dent, xviii. 20. 22. 
Another MS reads onjf, adversaries; which also makes a 
good sense. But DHT and onr are often confounded by the 
great similitude of the letters T and i. See Mai. iii. 15. 
iv. 1. Psal. xix. 14. apud LXX ; and Psal. liv. 5. (where 
Chald. reads DHT) compared with Psal. Ixxxvi. 14. 

4. winter storm.] For Yp read nip : or as Yy from 
Tip, so Yp from Tip : Capellus. 

5. /je proud } The same mistake here as in ver. 2. : 
see note there. Here DHT, fAe proud, is parallel to rryn;, 
the formidable ; as in Psal. liv. 5. and Ixxxvi. 14. 

Ibid. As the heat by a thick cloud.'] For :nn, Syr Chald. 
Vnlg. and two MSS, read airo; which is a repetition of 
the beginning of the forgoing parallel line : and the verse 
taken out of the parallel form, and more fully expressed, 
would run thus : " As a thick cloud interposing tempers 
die heat of the sun on the burnt soil, so shalt thou, by the 
interposition of thy power, bring low and abate the tumult 
of the proud, and the triumph of the formidable." 

6. shall make for all the people a feast.] A feast is a 
proper and usual expression of joy in consequence of vic- 
tory, or any other great success. The feast here spoken of 
is to be celebrated on Mount Sion, and all the peoples with- 
out distinction are to be invited to it. This can be no other 
than the celebration of the establishment of Christ's king- 
dom, which is frequently represented in the gospel under 
the image of a feast ; where many shall come from the east 
and west, and shall sit down at table with Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven ;" Matt. viii. 11. See 
also Luke xiv. 16. xxii. 29, 30. This sense is fully con- 
firmed by the concomitants of this feast expressed in the 
next verse ; the removing of the veil from the face of the 
nations, and the abolition of death : the first of which is 
obviously and clearly explained of the preaching of the gos- 
pel ; and the second must mean the blessing of immortality 
procured for us by Christ, " who hath abolished death and 
through death hath destroyed him that had the power of 

Ibid. *-~of old wines] Heb. lees ; that is, of wines kept 
long on the lees. The word used to express the lees in the 
original signifies the preservers ; because they preserve the 


strength and flavour of the wine. "All recent wines, after 
the fermentation has ceased, ought to be kept on their lees 
for a certain time ; which greatly contribute to increase 
their strength and flavour. Whenever this first fermenta- 
tion has been deficient, they will retain a more rich and 
sweet taste than is natural to them in a recent true vinous 
state ; and unless further fermentation is promoted by their 
lying longer on their own lees, they will never attain their 
genuine strength and flavor, but run into repeated and 
ineffectual fermentations, and soon degenerate into a liquor 
of an acetous kind. All wines of a light and austere kind, 
by a fermentation too great, or too long continued, cer- 
tainly degenerate into a weak sort of vinegar ; while the 
stronger not only require, but will safely bear a stronger 
and often repeated fermentation ; and are more apt to de- 
generate from a defect than excess of fermentation, into a 
vapid, ropy, and at length into a putrescent state :" Sir 
Edward Barry, Observations on the YVines of the Ancients, 
p. 9. 10. 

Thevenot observes particularly of the Schiras wine, that, 
after it is refined from the lees, it is apt to grow sour: "II 
a beaticoup de lie ; c'est pourquoi il donne puissemment 
dans la teste ; et pour le rend re plus traitable, on le passe 
par un chausse d'hypocras : apres quoi il est fort clair, et 
moins fumeux. Us mettent ce vin dans des grandes jarres 
de terre, qui tiennent dix ou douze jusqu'a quatorse cara- 
bas : mais quand Ton a entame une Jarre, il faut la vuider 
au plutost, et melt re le vin qu'on en tire dans des bouteilles 
ou carabas ; car si Ton y manque en le laissant quelque terns 
apr'es que la jarre est entam6e, il se gate et s'aigrit :" 
Voyages, torn. ii. p. 245. 

This clearly explains the very elegant comparison, or 
rather allegory, of Jeremiah ; where the reader will find a 
remarkable example of the mixture of the proper with the 
allegorical, not uncommon in the Hebrew poets : 

" Moab hath been at ease from his youth, 
And he hath settled upon his lees ; 
Nor hath he been drawn off* from vessel to vessel, 
Neither hath he gone into captivity : 
Wherefore his taste rernaineth in him, 
And his flavor is not changed. 7 ' Jer. xlviii. 11. 

Sir John Chardin's MS note on this place of Jeremiah 
is as follows : u On change ainsi le vin de cupe en cupe en 


Orient ; et quand on en entame line, il faut la vuider en 
petites cupes ou bouteilles, sans quoy il s'aigrit." 

7. the fa ceof all] MS Bodl. reads ^>&ty. The 
word ja has been removed from its right place into the 
line above, where it makes no sense ; as Houbigant conjec- 

9. shall they say ] So LXX and Vulg. in the plural 
number. They read IIDNI. Syr. reads rns&n, Thou shalt 

10. shall give rest ] " Heb. nun, quiescet. Annon 
TTJn, quietem dabit, ut Graeci, avaTroivo-iv JWow, et Copt. ?" 
Mr. WOTDE. That is, " shall give peace and quiet to Sion, 
by destroying the enemy ;" as it follows. 

Ibid. As the straw is threshed ] " Hoc juxta ritum 
loquitur Pala?stinae et multarum Orientis provinciarum, 
qua? ob pratorum et feeni penuriam paleas preparant esui 
animantium. Sunt autem carpenta ferrata rotis per medium 
in serrarum modum se volventibus, quae stipulam conterunt ; 
et comminuunt in paleas. Quomodo igitur plaustris ferratis 
paleee conteruntur, sic contexetur Moab sub eo ; sive sub 
Dei potentia, sive in semetipso, ut nihil in eo integri "rema- 
neat :" Hieron. in loc. See Note on chap, xxviii. 27. 

Ibid. under the wheels of the car.} For rumn, LXX, 
Syr. Vulg. read roDTO ; which I have followed. See Joshua 
xv. 21. compared with xix. 5. where there is a mistake very 
nearly the same. The Keri, IM, is confirmed by twenty-eight 
MSS (seven ancient) and three editions. 

11. As he that sinketh stretchcth out his hands to swim} 
There is great obscurity in this place : some understand 
God as the agent ; others Moab. I have chosen the latter 
sense, as I cannot conceive that the stretching out of the 
hands of a swimmer in swimming, can be any illustration of 
the action of God stretching out his hands over Moab to 
destroy it. I take nni^n, altering the point on the w on the 
authority of LXX, to be the participle of pint?, the sarne 
with nw and nn#, inclinari, deprimi; and that the Prophet 
designed a paronomasia here, a figure which he frequent- 
ly uses, between the similar words rmiy and rnnt?. As 'nnn, 
in his place, or on the spot, as we say, in the preceding 
verse, gives us an idea of the sudden and complete destruc- 
tion of Moab ; so 13103, in the midst of him, means that 
this destruction shall be open, and exposed to the view 
of all : The neighbouring nations shall plainly see him strug- 



gling against it, as a man in the midst of the deep waters 
exerts all his efforts, by swimming, to save himself from 


1. we have a strong city] In' opposition to the city of 
the enemy, which God hath destroyed, chap. xxv. 2.; see the 
note there. 

3. they have trusted] So Chald. int33. Syr. and Vulg. 
read uriM, we have trusted. Schroeder, Gram. Hebr. p. 360. 
explains the present reading, niLD, impersonally, confisum 

4. in JEHOVAH\ In JAH JEHOVAH, Heb.; but see 
Houbigant, not. in cap. xii. 2. 

8. We have placed our confidence in thy name] LXX, 
Syr. and Chald. read unp, without the pronoun annexed. 

9. have I desired t/iee] Forty-one MSS (nine ancient), 
and five editions, read yn"i. It is proper to note this ; be- 
cause the second i being omitted in the text, Vulg. and many 
others have rendered it in the third person. 

16. we have sought thee ] So LXX, and two MSS, 
pJlp3, in the first person. And so perhaps it should be 
Up, in the first person : but how LXX read this word is not 
clear ; and this last member of the verse is extremely ob- 
scure. . 

For ID 1 ? the LXX read \h t in. the first person likewise : a 
frequent mistake ; see note on chap. x. 29. 

1$^ we have brought forth wind] The learned pro- 
fessor Michaelis explains this image in the following man- 
ner : " Rariorem morbutn describi, empneumatosin, aut 
ventosarn molam, dictum ; quo quae laborant diu et sibi et 
peritis medicis gravidae videntur, tandemque post omnes verae 
graviditatis molestias et laborcs ventum ex utero emittunt : 
quern morbum passim describunt medici :" Syntagma- Com- 
ment, vol. ii. p. 165. The Syriac translator seems to have 
understood it in this manner : " Enixi sumus, ut illae, quse 
ventos pariunt." 

Ibid. in the land) px3, so a MS, LXX, Syr. and 

19. my deceased] All the ancient versions render it 
in the plural ; they read 'ni^m, my dead bodies. Syr. and 
Chald. read DTPnma, their dead bodies. 


Ibid. of the dawn} Lucis, Yulg. ; so also Syr. and 

The deliverance of the people of God from a state of the 
lowest depression, is explained by images plainly taken from 
the resurrection of the dead. In the same manner the Pro- 
phet Ezekiel represents the restoration of the Jewish nation 
from a state of utter dissolution, by the restoring of the dry 
bones to life, exhibited to him in a vision, chap, xxxvii. 
which is directly thus applied and explained, ver. 11 13. 
And this deliverance is expressed with a manifest opposition 
to what is here said above, ver. 14. of the great lords and 
tyrants under whom they had groaned ; 

" They are dead, they shall not live ; 
They are deceased tyrants, they shall not rise :" 

that they should be destroyed utterly, and should never be 
restored to their former power and glory. It appears from 
hence that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was 
at that time a popular and common doctrine : for an image 
which is assumed in order to express or represent any thing 
in the way of allegory or metaphor, whether poetical or pro- 
phetical, must be an image commonly known and under- 
stood ; otherwise it will not answer the purpose for which it 
is assumed. 

20. Come O my people ; retire ] An exhortation to 
patience and resignation under oppression, with a confident 
expectation of deliverance, by the power of God manifestly 
to be exerted in the destruction of the oppressor. It seems 
to be an allusion to the command of IVIoses to the Israelites, 
when the destroying angel was to go through the land of 
Egypt, " not to go out at the door of their houses until the 
morning ;" Exod. xii. 22. And before the passage of the 
Red Sea : " Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation 
of JEHOVAH : JEHOVAH shall fight for you, and ye shall 
hold your peace ;" Exod. xiv. 13, 14. 


THE subject of this chapter seems to be the nature, the 
measure, and the design of God's dealings with his people : 
ver. 1. his judgments inflicted on their great and powerful 
enemies : ver. 2. his constant care and protection of his fa- 
vourite vineyard, in the form of a dialogue : ver. 7. the mo- 


deration and lenity with which the severity of his judgments 
have heen tempered : ver. 9. the end and design of them, 
to recover them from idolatry j and, ver. 12. the recalling* 
of them, on their repentance, from their several disper- 
sions. The first verse seems connected with the two last 
verses of the preceding chapter. 

1. Leviathan, $*c.] The animals here mentioned seem 
to be, the crocodile, rigid, by the stiffness of the back-bone, 
so that he cannot readily turn himself, when he pursues his 
prey ; hence the easiest way of escaping from him is by 
making frequent and short turnings : the serpent, or dragon, 
flexible and winding ; which coils himself up in a circular 
form : the sea-monster, or the whale. These are used alle- 
gwically, without doubt, for great potentates, enemies and 
persecutors of the people of God : but to specify the parti- 
cular persons or states designed by the Prophet under these 
images is a matter of great difficulty, and comes not neces- 
sarily within the design of these notes. 

2. The beloved vineyard} For nan, a great number of 
MSS, and some printed editions, have ion ; which is con- 
firmed by LXX, and Chald. 

Ibid. a responsive song] That nay, to answer, signi- 
fies occasionally to sing responsively ; and that this mode of 
singing was frequently practised among the ancient Jews, 
see De S. Poes. Hebr. Preel. xix. at the beginning. 

3. I will take care of her} For np*r |3, Syr. read npajo: 
and fifteen MSS (six ancient), and six editions, read npax,. 
in the first person. 

4. / have no wall] For nnn, LXX and Syr. read 
n?m An ancient MS has riD'n. For TO, two MSS 
read D3, plural. The vineyard wishes for a wall, and a 
fence of thorns ; human strength and protection ; (as the 
Jews were too apt to apply to their powerful neighbours for 
assistance, and to trust to the shadow of Eygpt) : JEHOVAH 
replies, that this would not avail her, nor defend her against 
his wrath : he counsels her therefore to betake herself to his 
protection. On which she entreats him to make peace with 

"About Tripoly there are abundance of vineyards and 
gardens, enclosed for the most part with hedges; which 
chiefly consist of the rhamnus, paliurus, oxyacantha," &c. : 
Rawolf, p. 21, 22. A fence of thorns is esteemed equal to 
a wall for strength, being commonly represented as impene- 
trable. See Micah vii. 4. Hos. ii. 6. 


of the thorn and brier] Seven MSS (two an- 
cient), and one edition, and Syr. Vulg. Aquila, read n r tfi, with 
the conjunction i prefixed. 

5. Ah !] For ix, I read 'ix, as it was at first in a MS. 
The was easily lost, being followed by another \ 

6. -from the root] For tn# T , I read with the Syr. Bnaro. 
And for msi }' T i' T , ms wy, joining the i to the first word, and 
taking that into construction with- the first part of the sen- 
tence. I suppose the dialogue to be continued in this verse, 
which pursues the same image of the allegory, but in the way 
of metaphor. 

9. And if ] K 1 ?!', four MSS (two ancient), and LXX. 

11. her boughs] rrYjfp, MS and Vulg. ; that is, the 
boughs of the vineyard, referring still to the subject of the di- 
alogue above. 

The scarcity of fuel, especially wood, in most parts of the 
East is so great, that they supply it with every thing capable 
of burning; cow dung dried, roots, parings of fruit, withered 
stalks of herbs and flowers : see Matt. vi. 28-^30. Tine-twigs 
are particularly mentioned, as used for fuel in dressing their 
food, by D'Arvieux ; La Roque, Palestine, p. 1 98. Ezekiel 
says, in his parable of the vine, used figuratively for the peo- 
ple of God, as the vineyard is here, " Shall wood be taken 
thereof to do any work ? or will men take a pin of it to hang 
any vessel thereon ? Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel ; )} 
chap. xv. 3, 4. '* If a man abide not in me," saith our Lord, 
" he is cast forth as a branch [of the vine], and is withered ; 
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they 
are burned ; " John xv. 6. They employed women and chik 
dren to gather these things ; and they laid them up in store 
for use. The dressing and pruning of their vines afforded 'a 
good supply of the last sort of fuel : but the Prophet says, 
that the vines themselves of the beloved vineyard shall be 
blasted, withered, and broken ; and the women shall come, 
and gather them up, and carry away the whole of them, to 
make their fires, for domestic uses, See Harmer. Qbserv, i, 
p. 254. &c, 


1. The proud crown ] " Sebaste, the ancient Samaria, 
situated on a long mount of an oval figure | having 


a fruitful valley, and then a ring of bills, running round about 
it : " Maundrell, p. 58. " E regione horum ruderum mons 
est peramcenus, planitie admodum frugifera circmnseptus. su- 
per quern olim Samaria urbs coridita fuit : " Fureri Itinerati- 
um, p. 93. The city, beautifully situated on the top of a 
round hill, and surrounded immediately with a rich valley, 
and a circle of other hills beyond it, suggested the idea of a 
chaplet, or wreath of flowers, worn upon their heads on occa- 
sions of festivity ; expressed by the proud crown, and the 
fading flower of the drunkards. That this custom of wear- 
ing chaplets in their banquets prevailed among the Jews, as 
well as among the Greeks and Romans, appears from the 
following passage of the book of Wisdom : 

" Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments, 
And let no flower of the spring pass by us; 
JLet us crown ourselves with rose-buds, before they are 
withered." Wisd. ii. 7, 8. 

2. - the exceedingly strong one] ? n&6 pax, fords Dom- 
ino, i. e. fortissimus, a Hebraism. For oix 1 ?, thirty-eight 
JMSS, and two editions, read mrr 1 ?. 

3. crowns] I read nnpj?, plural, to agree with the 
Terb moDin. 

4. The early fruit before summer'] " No sooner doth the 
boccore [the early fig] draw near to perfection, in the middle 
or latter end of June, than the kermez, or summer fig, be- 
gins to be formed, though it rarely ripens before August ; 
about which time the same tree frequently throws out a third 
crop, or the winter fi>, as we may call it. This is usually 

% of a much longer shape and darker complexion than the 
fcermez, hanging and ripening upon the tree even after the 
leaves are shed ; and, provided the winter proves mild and 
temperate, is gathered as a delicious morsel in the spring : " 
Shaw, Travels, p, 370. fol, The image was very obvious to 
the inhabitants of Judea and the neighbouring countries, and 
is frequently applied by the Prophets to express a desirable 
object ; by none more elegantly than by Hosea, chap. ix. 


" Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel; 
Like the first ripe fig in her prime, I saw your fathers." 

Ibid. he plucketh it] For HXT, which with ruon 
makes a miserable tautology, read by a transposition of a 
letter mx T ; a happy conjecture of Houbigant, The image 


expresses in the strongest manner the great ease with which, 
the Assyrians shall take the city and the whole kingdom, 
and the avidity with which they shall seize the rich prey 
without resistance. 

5. In that day ] Thus far the prophecy relates to the 
Israelites, and manifestly denounces their approaching de- 
struction hy Shalinaneser. Here it turns to the two tribes 
ofJudah and Benjamin, the remnant of God's people, who 
were to continue a kingdom after the final captivity of the 
Israelites. It begins with a favourable prognostication of 
their affairs under Hezekiah ; but soon changes to reproofs 
and threateningSj for their intemperance, disobedience, and 

6. to the gate of the enemy] That is, who pursue the 
fleeing enemy even .to the very gates of their own city: 
"But we were upon them even unto the entering of the 
gate ;" 2 Sam. xi. 23. ; that is, we drove the enemy back to 
their own gates : see also 1 Sam. xvii. 52. 

9. Whom [say they} would he teach ] The scoffers 
mentioned below, ver. 14. are here introduced as uttering 
their sententious speeches : they treat God's method of deal- 
ing with them, and warning them by his Prophets, with 
contempt and derision. What, say they, doth he treat us 
as mere infants just weaned ? doth he teach us like little 
children, perpetually inculcating the same elementary les- 
sons, the mere rudiments of knowledge ; precept after pre- 
cept, line after line, here and there, by little and little? 
imitating at the same time, and ridiculing, ver. 10. the con- 
cise prophetical manner. God by his Prophet retorts upon 
them, with great seventy, their own contemptuous mockery ; 
turning it to a sense quite different from what they intended. 
Yes, saith he. it shall be in fact as you say : ye shall be 
taught by a strange tongue, and a stammering lip ; in a 
strange country : ye shall be carried into captivity by a 
people whose language shall be unintelligible to yon, and 
which ye shall be forced to learn like children : and my 
dealing with you shall be according to your own words ; it 
shall be command upon command for your punishment ; it 
shall be line upon line, stretched over you to mark out your 
destruction ; (compare 2 Kings xxi. 13.) : it shall come upon 
you at different times, and by different degrees ; till the 
judgments, with which from time to time I have threatened 
3^011, shall have their full accomplishment. 


Jerom seems to have rightly understood the general de- 
eign of this passage, as expressing the manner in which the 
scoffers, by their sententious speeches, turned into ridicule 
the warnings of God by his Prophets ; though he has not 
so well explained the meaning of the repetition of their 
speech in the 13th verse. His words, are, on ver. 9. "Sole- 
bant hoc ex persona Prophetarum ludentes dicere :" and on 
ver. 14. " Quod supra diximus, cum irrisione solitos prin- 
cipes Judreorum Prophetis dicere, manda^ remanda, et 
csetera his similia, per, quae ostenditur, riequaquani eos Pro- 
phetarum credidisse sermonibus, seel Prophetiam habuisse 
despectui, prsesens ostendit capitulum, per quod appellantur 
v ? iri illusores :" Hieron. in loc. 

And so Jarchi interprets the word D'VtfD in the next 
verse : " Q,ui dicunt verba irrisionis parabolice." And the 
Chaldee paraphrases the llth verse to the same purpose, 
understanding it as spoken not of God, but of the people 
deriding his prophets : " Gtuoniam in mutatione loquel&e et 
in lingua subsannationis irridebant contra Prophetas qui 
prophetabant populo huic." 

12. This is the true rest] The sense of this verse is : 
God had warned them by his prophets, that their safety 
and security, their deliverance from their present calamities, 
and from the apprehensions of still greater approaching, 
depended wholly on their trust in God, their faith and obe- 
dience ; but they rejected this gracious warning with con- 
tempt and mockery. 

15. a covenant with death] To be in covenant with, 
is a kind of proverbial expression to denote perfect security 
from evil and mischief of any sort : 

<c For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field ; 
And the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee." 

Job v.,23. 

" And I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the 


And with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping thin 
of the ground." Hos. ii. IB. 

That is, none of these shall hurt them. But Lucan, speak- 
ing of the Psylli, whose peculiar property it was to be unhurt 
by the bite of serpents, with which their country abounded, 
comes still nearer to the expression of Isaiah in this place : 



" Gens unica terras 
Incolit a ssevo serpentum innoxia morsu 

Marmaridoe Psylli. 

Pax illis cum morte data est." Pharsal. ix. 894. 

" Of all who scorching Afric's sun endure, 
None like the swarthy Psyllians are secure; 
With healing gifts and privileges graced, 
Well in the land of serpents were they placed: 
Truce with the dreadful tyrant death they have, 
And border safely on his realm the grave." Rowe. 

18. shall be broken] For ^DD, which seems not to be- 
long to this place, Chald. reads nan; which is approved by 
Houbigant and SECKER : see Jer. xxxiii. 21. where the very 
same phrase is used. See Prelim. Dissert, p. xxxi. 

20. For the bed is too short j A mashal or prover- 
bial saying, the meaning of which is, that they will find all 
means of defence and protection insufficient to secure them, 
and cover them from the evils coming upon them, pa, chap, 
xx ii. 8. the covering, is used for the outworks of defence, 
the barrier of the country; and here in the allegorical sense 
it means much the same thing. Their beds were only mat- 
tresses laid on the floor ; and the coverlet, a sheet, or in the 
winter a carpet, laid over it, in which the person wrapt him- 
self. For DJDnrp, it ought probably to be DJDnna: Houbigant, 

23. Listen ye, and hear my voice ] The foregoing dis- 
course, consisting of severe reproofs, and threatenings of 
dreadful judgments impending on the Jews for their vices, 
and their profane contempt of God's warnings by his mes- 
sengers, the Prophet concludes with an explanation and de- 
fence of God's method of dealing with his people in an ele- 
gant parable or allegory ; in which he employs a variety of 
images, all taken from the science of agriculture. As the 
husbandman uses various methods in preparing his land, and 
adapting it to the several kinds of seed to be sown, with a 
due observation of times and seasons ; and, when he hath 
gathered in his harvest, employs methods as various in sepa- 
rating the corn from the straw and the chaff by different in- 
struments, according to the nature of the different sorts of 
grain : so God, with unerring wisdom, and with strict jus- 
tice, instructs, admonishes, and corrects his people; chastise* 
and punishes them in various ways, as the exigence of the 
case requires; now more moderately, now more severely; 
always tempering justice with mercy ; in order to reclaim 


the wicked, to improve the good ; and finally, to separate the 
one from the other. 

26. For his God instructeth him] All nations have agreed 
in attributing agriculture, the most useful and the most ne- 
cessary of all sciences, to the invention and to the suggestions 
of their deities. " The Most High hath ordained husbandry," 
saith the son of Sirach ; Eccl'us vii. 15. H 

" Namque Ceres fertur fruges, Liberque liquoris 
Vitigeni laticem mortalibus instituisse." Lucretius, v. 14, 

siri eeyov eyeigst 
fitoroio' teyei $* ore /3<yAo$ 
re KM [MixeXyrt' teyei <P ore 
Ka PVTOC yvgatrsu, x.ett FTrtgfActToe, TTCCVTOC. fiaXir&ix,!. Aratus, PllSBn. 5. 

He (Jupiter) to the human race 
Indulgent, prompts to necessary toil 
Man provident of life; with kindly signs 
The seasons marks, when best to turn the glebe 
With spade and plough, to nurse the tender plant, 
And cast o'er fostering earth the seeds abroad. 

27, 28. Four methods of threshing are here mentioned, by 
different instruments ; the flail, the drag, the wain, and the 
treading of the cattle. The staff, or flail, was used for the 
tnfirmiora semina, says Hieron. the grain that was too tender 
to be treated in the other methods. The drag consisted of 
a sort of frame of strong planks, made rough at the bottom 
with hard stones or iron : it was drawn by horses or oxen over 
the corn-sheaves spread on the floor, the driver sitting upon 
it. Kempfer has given a print representing the manner of 
using this instrument : Amoen. Exot. p. 682. fig. 3. The 
wain was much like the former, but had wheels with iron 
teeth or edges like a saw. " Ferrata carpenta rotis per me- 
dium in serrarum mod um se volventibus : " Hieron. in loc. ; 
by which it should seem that the axle was armed with iron 
teeth, or serrated wheels, throughout. See a description 
and print of such a machine used at present in Egypt for 
the same purpose; it moves upon three rollers armed with 
iron teeth or wheels, to cut the straw ; in Niebuhr's Voyage 
en Arabie, tab. xvii. p. 123. In Syria they make use of the 
drag, constructed in the very same manner as above de- 
scribed : Niebuhr, Description de 1' Arabie, p. 140. This 
not only forced out the grain, but cut the straw in pieces 
for fodder for the cattle ; for in the eastern countries they 


have no hay. See Harmer's Observ. i. p. 425. The last 
method is well known from the law of Moses, which " forbids 
the ox to be muzzled, when he treadeth out the corn ;" Dent. 
xxv. 4. 

28. but the bread-corn ] I read on 1 ?!, on the author- 
ity of Vulg. and Symmachus : the former expresses the 
conjunction i, omitted in the text, by autem ; the latter by 

Ibid. hoofs ] For rana, horsemen, read roia, hoofs: so 
Syr. Sym, Theod. Vulg. 


THE subject of this and the four following chapters is the 
invasion of Senacherib ; the great distress of the Jews while 
it continued; their sudden and unexpected deliverance by 
God's immediate interposition in their favour ; the subse- 
quent prosperous state of the kingdom under Hezekiah ; 
interspersed with severe reproofs, and threats of punishment, 
for their hypocrisy, stupidity, infidelity, their want of trust 
in God, and their vain reliance on the assistance of Egypt ; 
and with promises of better times, both immediately to suc- 
ceed, and to be expected in the future age. The whole 
making not one continued discourse, but rather a collection 
of different discourses upon the same subject ; which is treat- 
ed with great elegance and variety : though the matter is va- 
rious, and the transitions sudden, )^et the Prophet seldom goes 
far from his subject. It is properly enough divided by the 
chapters in the common translation. 

I. Ariel ] That Jerusalem is here called by this name 
is very certain ; but the reason of this name, and the mean- 
ing of it as applied to Jerusalem, is very obscure and doubt- 
ful. Some, with the Chaldee, suppose it to be taken from 
the hearth of the great altar of burnt-offerings, which Ezekiel 
plainly calls by the same name ; and that Jerusalem is here con- 
sidered as the seat of the fire of God, *->$. IIK, which should 
issue from thence to consume his enemies : compare chap, 
xxxi. 9. Some, according to the common derivation of the 
word, ^x *"ix, the lion of God, or the strong, lion, suppose 
it to signify the strength of the place, by which it was en- 
abled to resist and overcome all its enemies. T/y<$ h 
sirei dice, 


Procop. in loc. There are other explanations of 
this name given, but none that seems to be perfectly satisfac- 

Ib\d"Add year to year ] Ironically : Go on year after 
year ; keep your solemn feasts : yet know, that God will 
punish you for your hyp< critical worship, consisting of mere 
form destitute of true piety. Piobably delivered at the time 
of some great feast, when they were thus employed. 

2. mourning and sorrow ] Instead of your present 
joy and festivity. 

Ibid. as the hearth of the great altar ] That is, it 
shall be the seat of the fire of God ; which shall issue from 
thence to consume his enemies. See note on ver. 1. Or, 
perhaps, all on flame, as it was when taken by the Chal- 
deans ; or covered with carcasses and blood, as when taken 
by the Romans : an intimation of which more distant events, 
though not immediate subjects of the prophecy, may perhaps 
be given in this obscure passage. 

3. like David] For 11-0 read iro; So LXX, and two 
MSS, and f. two more. 

Ibid. towers ] For nma read nmn ; so LXX, and 
five MSS, one of them ancient. 

4. a feeble speech] That the souls of the dead uttered 
a feeble stridulous sound, very different from the natural 
human voice, was a popular notion among the heathens as 
well as among the Jews. This appears from several pas- 
sages of their poets ; Homer, Virgil, Horace. Tta pre- 
tenders to the art of necromancy, who were chiefly women, 
had an art of speaking with a feigned voice ; so as to deceive 
those who applied to them, by making them believe that it 
was the voice of the ghost. They had a way of uttering 
sounds, as if they were formed, not by the organs of speech, 
but deep in the chest, or in the belly ; and were thence 
called ry/rtfftpvfcf, ventriloqui : they could make the voice 
seem to come from beneath the ground, from a distant part, 
in another direction, and not from themselves, the better to 
impose upon those who consulted them. Egnrmifa r yfvo$ 

TOVTO Toy etfivfyov r,%ov t^rtrij^evovrott j fMI/hl TJJV a.<rct@ictv TK fiavrt rov rev 

j/fvhvg *inJbtyt*to*vi fAfy^ov : Psellus de Da;monibus, apud 
Bochart. i. p. 731. "These people studiously acquire, and 
affect on purpose, this sort of obscure sound, that by the 
uncertainty of the voice they may the better escape being 
detected in the cheat." From these arts of the necromaa- 


cers, the popular notion seems to have arisen, that the ghost's 
voice was a weak, stridulous, almost inarticulate sort of 
sound, very different from the speech of the living-. 

5. the proud ] For "pr, thy strangers, read D'lT, the 
proud, LXX ; parallel and synonymous to D'2f T "ip the terrible, 
in the next line : the i was at first n in a MS. See note on 
xxv. 2. 

5 7. But the multitude of the proud ] These verses 
contain an admirable description of the destruction of Se- 
nacherib's army, with a beautiful variety of the most expres- 
sive and sublime images ; perhaps more adapted to shew 
the greatness, the suddenness, and horror, of the eve'nt, 
than the means and manner by which it was effected. Com- 
pare chap xxx. 30 33. 

7. like as a dream ] This is the beginning of the 
comparison, which is pursued and applied in the next verse. 
Senacherib and his mighty army are not compared to a 
dream, because of their sudden disappearance : but the dis- 
appointment of their eager hopes is compared to what hap- 
pens to a hungry and thirsty man, when he awakes from a 
dream in which fancy had presented to him meat and drink 
in abundance, and finds it nothing but a vain illusion. 
The comparison is elegant and beautiful in the highest de- 
gree, well wrought up, and perfectly suited to the end pro- 
posed : the image is extremely natural, but not obvious ; it 
appeals to our inward feelings, not to our outward senses ; 
and is applied to an event in its concomitant circumstances 
exactly similar, but in its nature totally different. See De 
S. Poes. Hebr. Prselect. xii. For beauty and ingenuity it 
may fairly come in competition with one of the most elegant 
of Virgil, (greatly improved from Homer, Iliad xxii. 199.), 
where he has applied to a different purpose, but not so hap- 
pily, the same image of the ineffectual working of imagina- 
tion in a dream : 

" Ac veluti in somnis oculos ubi languida pressit 
Nocte quies, necquicquam avidos extendere cursus 
Velle videmur, et in mediis conatibus aegri 
Succidimus ; non lingua valet, non corpore notae 
Sufficiunt vires, nee vox, aut verba sequuntur." jEn. xii. 908. 

" And as, when slumber seals the closing sight, 
The sick wild fancy labours in the night ; 
Some dreadful visionary foe we shun 
With airy strides, but strive in vain to run ; 


In vain our baffled limbs their powers essay ; 

We faint, we struggle, sink, and fall away ; 

Drain'd of our strength, we neither fight nor fly, 

And on the tongue the struggling accents die." Pitt. 

Lucretius expresses the very same image with Isaiah : 

"Ac veluti in somnis sitiens quum quurit, et humor 
Non datur, ardorem in membris qui stinguere possit : 
Sed laticum simulachra petit, frustraque laborat, 
In medioque sitit torrenti flumine potans." iv. 1091. 

Ibid. their armies and their towers] For nmroi rr3, 
I read with the Chald. omVDi DKav. 

9. They are drunken, but not with wine.] See note on 
chap. li. 21. 

11. J cannot read it ] An ancient MS and LXX have 
preserved a word here, lost out of the text, nnp 1 ?, (for 

nJOpS), ctvovyvavat. 

13. JEHOVAH ] For 'rus% sixty-three MSS and three 
editions read nirr, and five MSS add mrr. 

Ibid. And vain ] I read, for nrn, mm with LXX, 
Matt. xv. 9. Mark vii. 7. ; and for rnnba, DHD^D with 

17. Ere Lebanon become like Carmel ] A mashal, or 
proverbial saying, expressing any great revolution of things; 
and, when respecting two subjects, an entire reciprocal 
change : explained here by some interpreters, I think with 
great probability, as having its principal view beyond the 
revolutions then near at hand ; to the rejection of the Jews, 
and the calling of the Gentiles. The first were the vine- 
yard of God, *7N D-o, (if the Prophet, who loves an allu- 
sion to words of like sounds, may be supposed to have 
intended one here), cultivated and watered by him in vain, 
to be given up, and to become a wilderness : compare chap. 
v. 1 7. The last had been hitherto barren,*but were, by 
the grace of God, to be rendered fruitful. See Matt. xxi. 
43. Rom. xi. 30, 31. Carmel stands here opposed to Le- 
banon, and therefore is to be taken as a proper name. 

21. that pleaded in the gate] " They are heard by 
the treasurer, master of the horse, and other principal offi- 
cers of the regency [of Algiers], who sit constantly in the 
gate of the palace f6r that purpose ;" [that is, the distribu- 
tion of justice] : Shaw's Travels, p, 315. fol. He adds, in 
the note, " That we read of the elders in the gate, Deut. 
xxii. 15. xxv. 7. ; and Isa. xxix. 21. Amos. v. 10. of him 


that reproveth and rebnketh in the gate. The Ottoman 
Court likewise seems to have been called the Port, from the 
distribution of justice, and the despatch of public business, 
that is carried on in the gates of it." 

22. the God of the house of Jacob.} I read bx as a 
noun, not a preposition : the parallel line favours this sense ; 
and there is no address to the house of Jacob, to justify the 

Ibid. covered with confusion} " miT, Chald. ut 
DtfraCotoi"), Theod. evrfctmiFsTai, Syr. narw, videtur legend urn 
ran* : hie enim solum legitur verbum im, nee in linguis 
affinibus habet pudoris significationem : " SECKER. 

23. When his children shall see ] For in&ro, I 
naro, with LXX and Syr. 


1. Who ratify covenants ] Heb. "Who pour out a 
libation." Sacrifice and libation were ceremonies constant- 
ly used, in ancient times, by most nations, in the ratifying 
of covenants : a libation therefore is used for a covenant, as 
in Greek the word evoi^ for the same reason, stands for 
both. This seems to be the most easy explication of the 
Hebrew phrase ; and it has the authority of the LXX, 

4. at Hones] Six MSS, and perhaps six others, read 
in vain, for wn, Hanes ; and so also LXX, who read 

likewise iyr, laboured, for i;n', arrived at. 

5. were ashamed ] Eight MSS (one ancient) read 
isran without K. So Chald. and Vulg. 

Ibid. But proved ] Four MSS (three ancient) after 
3 add DK, which seems wanted to complete the phrase in its 
usual form. 

6. The burthen ] N^D seems here to be taken in its 
proper sense ; the load, not the oracle. The same subject 
is continued ; and there seems to be no place here for a new 
title to a distinct prophecy. 

Ibid. a land of distress ] The same deserts are here 
spoken of, which the Israelites passed through when they 
came out of Egypt ; which Moses describes, Dent. viii. 15. 
as " that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery 
serpents, and scorpions, and .drought ; where there was no 


water." And which was designed to be a kind of barrier 
between them and Egypt, of which the Lord had said, " Ye 
shall henceforth return no more that way ; " Deut. xvii. 16. 

6. will not profit them'] A MS adds in the margin the 
word is 1 ?, which seems to have been lost out of the text : it 
is authorized by LXX and Vulg. 

7. Rahab the Inactive] The two last words, rot? on, 
joined into one, make the participle pihel, rotynn. find, 
that the learned professor Doederlein, in his version of Isaiah, 
and note on this place, has given the same conjecture ; 
which he speaks of as having been formerly published by 
him. A concurrence of different persons in the same conjec- 
ture, adds to it a greater degree of probability. 

8. For a testimony] V?, so Syr. Chald. Vulg. and LXX, 
in MSS Pachom. and i. D. n. tt$ t*M%lv%tov , which two words 
have been lost out of the other copies of LXX. 

12. in obliquity] Bpjn, transposing the two last letters 
of pBfltt, in oppression, which seems not to belong to this 
place : a very probable conjecture of Houbigant. 

13. a swelling in a high wall] It has been observed 
before, that the buildings in Asia generally consist of little 
better than what we call mud-walls. " All the houses at 
Ispahan," says Thevenot, vol. ii. p. 159. "are built of bricks 
made of clay and straw, and dried in the sun ; and covered 
with a plaster made of a fine white stone. In other places 
in Persia, the houses are built with nothing else but such 
bricks, made with tempered clay and chopped straw, well 
mingled together, and dried in the sun, and then used : but 
the least rain dissolves them." Sir John Chardin's MS re- 
mark on this place of Isaiah is very apposite : " Murs en Asie 
etant fails de terre se fendent ainsi par milieu et de haut en 
bas." This shews clearly how obvious and expressive the 
image is. The Psalmist has in the same manner made use 
of it, to express sudden and utter destruction : 

" Ye shall be slain all of you; 

[Ye shall be] like an inclining wall, like a shattered fence." 

Psal. Ixii. 4. 

14. and spareth it not] Five MSS add the conjunc- 
tion i to the negative ; a6i. 

17. ten thousand ] In the second line of this verse 
a word is manifestly omitted, which should answer to one 
thousand in the first: LXX supply voMot, D'm. But the 
true word is ram; as, I am persuaded, any one will be 


convinced, who will compare the following passage with 
this place : 

" How should one chase a thousand : 
And two put ten thousand [mm] to flight ?" 

Deut. xxxii. 30. 

" And five of you shall chase a hundred ; 
And a hundred of you shall chase [roDi] ten thousand." 

Lev. xxvi. 8. 

18. shall he expect in silence'] For D"v, he shall be 
exalted, which belongs not to this place, Houbigant reads 
DVY, he shall be silent : and so it seems to be in a MS. 
Another MS instead of it reads yw, he shall return. The 
mistakes occasioned by the similitude of the letters n and *i 
are very frequent, as the reader may have already observed. 

1 9. When a holy people ] Aao$ y*0$, LXX, amp pp. 
The word ump, lost out of the text, but happily supplied 
by LXX, clears up the sense, otherwise extremely obscure. 

Ibid. shalt implore him with weeping] The negative 
particle *6 is not acknowledged by LXX. It may perhaps 
have been written by mistake for 1*7, of which there are 
many examples. 

20. Though JEHOVAH ] For TIN, sixteen MSS and 
three editions have rnrp. 

21. to the right, or to the left} Syr. Chald. Vulg. 
translate as if, instead of 01 'D, they read vh] yh. 

22. And ye shall treat ] The very prohibition of Mo- 
ses, Deut. vii. 25. only thrown out of the prose into the 
poetical form. " The graven images of their gods ye shall 
burn with fire : thou shalt not desire the silver or the gold 
that is on them ; nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared 
therein ; for it is an abomination to JEHOVAH thy God." 

25. the mighty ] D'blJD, tteyettovf, Sym. 

Aquila ; |Oi3i, Chald. 

26. shall be sevenfold] The text adds, 

t'irn, "as tne light of seven days ;" a manifest gloss, taken 
in from the margin : it is not in most of the copies of LXX ; 
it interrupts the rhythmical construction, and obscures the 
sense by a false, or at least an unnecessary interpretation. 

27. the flame ] HN^D; this word seems to be rightly 
rendered in our translation, -the flame, Judg. xx. 30. 40. 
&c. ; a sign of fire, Jer. vi. 1. called properly rWD, an ele- 
vation, from its tending upwards. 

28. to toss the nations with the van of perdition] The 


word ns^nb is in its form very irregular. Kimchi says it is 
for eyjn 1 ?. Houbigant supposes it to be a mistake, and shews 
the cause of it ; ihe adjoining it to the n, which should begin 
the following word. The true reading is D'un spn 1 ?. 

The Vulgate seems to be the only one of the ancient in- 
terpreters who has explained lightly the sense : but he has 
dropped the image : " ad perdendas gentes in niliilum." 
Kimchi's explanation is to the following effect : " r?3j is 
a van with which they winnow corn ; and its use is to 
cleanse the corn from the chaff and straw : but the van, with 
which God will winnow the nations, will be the van of emp- 
tiness, or perdition ; for nothing useful shall remain behind, 
but all shall come to nothing, and perish. In like manner, 
a bridle is designed to guide the horse in the right way ; but 
the bridle which God will put in the ja\vs of the people, 
shall not direct them aright, but shall make them err, and 
lead them into destruction." This latter image the Prophet 
has applied to the same subject afterward, chap, xxxvii. 29. 

" I will put my bridle in thy jaws, 
And turn thee back by the way in which thou earnest." 

And as to the former it is to be observed, that the van of 
the ancients was a large instrument, somewhat like a shovel, 
with a long handle, with which they tossed the corn mixed 
with the chaff and chopped straw into the air that the wind 
might separate them. See Hammond on Matt. iii. 12. 

31. He, that was ] " Post -WN forte excidit -I#K :" 

32. the rod of correction] For mom, the grounded 
staff, of which no one yet has been able to make any tolera- 
ble sense, Le Clerc conjectured mojn, of correction ; see 
Prov. xxii. 15. ; and so it is in two MSS (one of them an- 
cient), and seems to be so in the Bodley MS. Syr. has 
rrajwi, virga domans, vel subjectionis. 

Ibid. against them} For ro, fifty-two MSS and five 
editions read 02. 

Ibid. with tabrcts and harps] With every demonstra- 
tion of joy and thanksgiving for the destruction of the enemy 
in so wonderful a manner: with hymns of praise, accom- 
panied with musical instruments. See ver. 29. 

33. For Tophct is ordained ] Tophet is a valley very 
near to Jerusalem, to the south-east, called also the valley of 
Hinnom, or Gehenna ; where the Canaanites, and afterwards 
the Israelites, sacrificed their children, by making them pass 


through the fire that is, by burning them in the fire to 
Moloch. Jt is therefore used for a place of punishment by 
fire ; and by our blessed Saviour in the gospel for hell-fire ; 
as the Jews themselves had applied it. See Chald. on Isa. 
xxxiii. 14. where zhy npis is rendered c 'the Gehenna of 
everlasting fire." Here the place where the Assyrian army 
was destroyed is called Tophet by a metonymy; for the As- 
syrian army was destroyed probably at a greater distance 
from Jerusalem, and quite on the opposite side of it : for 
Nob is mentioned as the last station from which the king 
of Assyria should threaten Jerusalem, chap. x. 32. where 
the Prophet seems to have given a very exact chorographical 
description of his march in order to attack the city. 


1. Who trust} For *yn, l mo , twenty MSS, and LXX 
and Vulg. read 1 ?;?, without the conjunction. 

2. his word] mi, singular, without ; MS and LXX, 
and Targ. Hieros. 

4. Like as the lion ] This comparison is exactly in 
the spirit and manner, and very nearly approaching to the ex- 
pression of Homer : 

BJJ pifiev, O>?E 


/cng % evgyrt TT^ avTofii p<arogot<; a 

pec, T' 

oy at,** t] y^TTct, /aeTotX/AtvoS) qs x.xt ctvTo$ 

ev TrgaToirt Soys KTTO X,H%O$ CMOVTI. Iliad, Xli. 299. 

As the bold lion, mountain-bred, now long 
Famish'd, with courage and with hunger stung, 
Attempts the thronged fold : him nought appals, 
Though dogs and armed shepherds stand in guard 
Collected; he nathless undaunted springs 
O'er the high fence, and rends the trembling prey; 
Or rushing onward in his breast receives 
The well-aimed spear. 

Of metaphors, allegories, and comparisons of the Hebrew 
poets, in which the divine nature and attributes are repre- 
sented under images taken from brutes and other low ob- 


jects ; of their effect, their sublimity, and the cause of it ; see 
De S. Poes. Hebr. Prselect. xvi. sub fin. 

5. leaping forward ] . The generality of interpreters 
observe, in this place, an allusion to the deliverance which 
God vouchsafed to his people, when he destroyed the first- 
born of the Egyptians, and exempted those of the Israelites 
sojourning among them by a peculiar interposition. The 
same word is made use of here which is used upon that oc- 
casion, and which gave the name to the feast which was 
instituted in commemoration of that deliverance ; nD3. But 
the difficulty is, to reconcile the commonly received meaning 
of that word with the circumstances of the similitude here 
used to illustrate the deliverance represented as parallel to the 
deliverance in Egypt. 

" As the mother-birds hovering over their young; 
So shall JEHOVAH God of Hosts protect Jerusalem, 
Protecting and delivering, passing over, and rescuing her." 

This difficulty is, 1 think, well solved by Vitringa ; whose 
remark is the more worthy of observation, as it leads 
to the true meaning of an important word, which hitherto 
seems greatly to have been misunderstood ; though Vitringa 
himself, as it appears to me, has not exactly enough defined 
the precise meaning of it. He says, " HDD signifies to 
cover, to protect by covering ; mira v^, LXX ; JEHOVAH 
obteget ostium :" whereas it means that particular action 
or motion, by which God at that time placed himself in. 
such a situation as to protect the house of the Israelite 
against the destroying angel, to spring forward, to throw 
one's self in the way, in order to cover and protect. Coc- 
ceius comes nearer to the true meaning than Vitringa, by 
rendering it gradumfacere, to march, to step forward : Lexi- 
con in v. The common meaning of the word noa upon 
other occasions is to halt, to be lame, to leap as in a rude 
manner of dancing, (as the prophets of Baal did, 1 Kings 
xviii. 26.); all which agrees very well together ; for the motion 
of a lame person is a perpetual springing forward, by throw- 
ing himself from the weaker upon the stronger leg. The 
common notion of God's passing over the houses of the Is- 
raelites is, that in going through the land of Egypt to smite 
the first-born, seeing the blood on the door of the houses of 
the Israelites, he passed over, or skipped, those houses, and 
forbore to smite them. But that this is not the true notion 
of the thing, will be plain from considering the words of the 


sacred historian ; where he describes very explicitly the ac- 
tion : " For JEHOVAH will pass through, to smite the Egyp- 
tians ; and when he seeth the blood on the lintels and on 
the two side-posts, JEHOVAH will spring forward over (or be- 
fore) the door, nnan V nirv HDDi, and will not suffer the de- 
stroyer to come into your houses to smite you ;" Exod. xii. 
23. Here are manifestly two distinct agents, with which the 
notion of passing over is not consistent ; for that supposes 
but one agent : The two agents are the destroying angel 
passing through to smite every house; and JEHOVAH the 
protector, keeping pace with him ; and who, seeing the door 
of the Israelite marked with the blood, the token prescribed, 
leaps forward, throws himself with a sudden motion in the 
way, opposes the destroying angel ; and covers and protects that 
house against the destroying angel, nor suffers him to smite 
it. In this way of considering the action, the beautiful simil- 
itude of the bird protecting her young, answers exactly to 
the application by the allusion to the deliverance in Egypt : 
As the mother-bird spreads her wings to cover her young, 
throw's herself before them, and opposes the rapacious bird 
that assaults them ; so shall JEHOVAH protect, as with a 
shield, Jerusalem from the enemy, protecting and delivering, 
springing forward and rescuing her ; virtgGouven, as the 
three other Greek interpreters, Aquila, Symmachus, and The- 
odotion, render it: LXX, iregi7roir t <rerett ; instead of which, MS 
Pachom. has SK^W**, circumeundo proteget, which I 
think is the true reading. Homer (II. viii. 331.) expresses 
the very same image by this word : 

But Ajax his broad shield displayed, 
And screen'd his brother with a mighty shade." Pope. 

- '05 X^t/STjy up0tettxetg. ' II. i. 37. 

Which the Scholiast explains by 7rf<f&jx$, vregpaxeie. 

6, ye have so deeply ] All the ancient versions read 
Ip'pjtfi, in the second person. 

7. The sin, which their own hands have made] The con- 
struction of the word NDH, sin, in this place is not easy. 
The LXX have omitted it : MSS Pachom. and i. D. n. and 
Cod. Marchal. in margine, supply the omission by the word 
KpagTiotv, or <*^*Tjj^, said to be from Aquila's version ; 
which 1 have followed. The learned professor Schroeder, 
Institut. Ling. Hebr. p. 298. makes it to be in regiminc with 



DDT, as an epithet ; your sinful hands. The LXX render 
the pronoun in the third person, < %etgft vrv; and an an- 
cient MS has, agreeably to that rendering, on 1 ?, for DD 1 ?; 
which word they have likewise omitted, as not necessary to 
complete the sense. 


1. And princes ] Dntsn, without S ; so the ancient 
versions. An ancient MS has man, and to princes, 

2. ^4s */ie shadow of a great rock] The shadow of a 
great projecting rock is the most refreshing that is possible in 
a hot country ; not only as most pe fe;tly excluding the rays 
of the sun, but also having in itself a natural coolness, which 
it reflects and communicates to every thing about it. 

" Speluncaeque tegant, et saxea procubet umbra." 

Virg. Georg. iii. 145. 
" Let the cool cave and shady rock protect them." 

rt my KM B;A/VO$ o>vo$. Hesiod. ii. 206. 

When Sirius rages, and thine aching head, 
Parch'd skin, and feeble knees, refreshment need; 
Then to the rock's projected shade retire, 
With Biblin wine recruit thy wasted powers, 

3. And him the eyes] For vh) Le Clerc reads hi ; of 
which mistake the Masoretes acknowledge there are fifteen 
instances ; and many rnoie are reckoned by others. The re- 
moval of the negative restores to the verb its true and usual 

6. The fool will still utter folly] A sort of proverbial 
saying ; which Euripides (Bacchse, 369.) has expressed in 
the very same manner and words : /*> * ya,% ^u^ teyei. Of 
this kind of simple and unadorned proverb or parable, see 
De S. Poes. Hebr. Prselect. xxiv. 

Ibid. Against JEHOVAH] For bx, two MSS read V, 
more properly. 

7. As for the niggard his instruments ] His machi- 
nations, his designs. The paronomasia, which the Prophet 
frequently deals in, suggested this expression : v^D ^31. The 
first word is expressed with some variety in the MSS : se.en 
MSS read >V3i, one to, another ^oi. 


Ibid. And to defeat the assertions ] A word seems to 
have been lost here, and two others to have suffered a small 
alteration ; which has made the sentence very obscure. The 
LXX have happily retained the rendering of the lost word, 
and restored the sentence in all its parts : < ^MPXU&MVM Ao- 
yw Txreivav tv xpurer 33iyM fi'DK nin i)if?i. They frequent- 
ly render the verb nan by <2w*e<J*5-/. A MS reads lanbi ; 
which gives authority for the preposition b necessary to the 
sense ; and LXX, Syr. Chald. read D3^D3. 

8. And he by his generous ] " Of the four sorts of per- 
sons mentione i ver. 5. three are described, ver. 6, 7, and 8. 
but not the fourth:" SECKER. Perhaps for xim we ought 
to read yvy\. 

11. Gird the sackcloth ] pjy, sackcloth, a word neces- 
sary to the sense, is here lost, but preserved by LXX, MSS 
Alex, and Pacliom. and i. D. n. and Edit. Aid. and Comp. 
and Arab, and Syr. 

Ibid. Tremble be disquieted strip ye ] nr;n, rws, 
<fcc. These are infinitives, with a paragogic n, according 
to Schultens, Institut. Ling. Hebr. p. 453. and are to be 
taken in an imperative sense. 

12. Mourn ye for the pleasant field] The LXX, Syr. 
and Vulg. read I-JDD, mourn ye, imperative : twelve MSS 
(five ancient), two editions, LXX, Aquilla, Sym. Theod. 
Syr. Vulg. all read rntf, field ; not nt?, breasts. 

13. And the brier shall come up] All the ancient ver- 
sions read TDjyi, with the conjunction. And an ancient 
MS has n ntyn, which seems to be right ; or rather ro: 
and there is a rasure in the place of n in another ancient MS. 

Ibid. Yea over all ] For >3, the ancient versions, ex- 
cept Vulg. seem to have read i. j may perhaps be a mis- 
take for n or ro above-mentioned. It is not necessary in 
this place. 

13 18. Over the land of my people ] This description 
of impending distress belongs to other times than that of 
Senacherib's invasion, from which they were so soon de- 
livered. It must at least extend to the ruin of the country 
and city by the Chaldeans. And the promise of blessings, 
which follows, was not fulfilled under the Mosaic dispensa- 
tion ; they belong to the kingdom of Messiah. Compare 
ver. 15. with chap xxix. 17. and see the note there. 

14. Ophel] It was a part of Mount Sion, rising higher 
than the rest ; at the eastern extremity, near to the temple. 


a little to the south of it ; called by Micah, iv. 8. " Ophel of 
the daughter of Sion." It was naturally strong by its situa- 
tion, and had a wall of its own, by which it was separated 
from the rest of Sion. 

15. And the fruitful field] ^rrorn, fifteen MSS (six 
ancient), and two editions ; which seems to make the noun 
an appellative. 

10. The city shall be laid level with the plain] For 
rrbsaai, Syr. reads n^ssjoi. The city, probably Nineveh, 
or Babylon : but this verse is very obscure. " Saltus ; As- 
syriorum regnum: civitas : magnifica Assyriorum castra :" 
Ephraem. Syr. in loc. For 1131, a MS has YVI ; and so 
conjectured Archbishop Seeker, referring to Zech. xi. 2 

20. who sow your seed in every watery place] Sir John 
Chardin's note on this place is : " This exactly answers the 
manner of planting rice; for they sow it upon the water: 
and before sowing, while the earth is covered with water, 
they cause the ground to be trodden by oxen, horses, and 
asses, who go mid-leg deep; and this is the way of prepar- 
ing the ground for sowing. As they sow the rice on the 
water, they transplant it in the water ; Harmer's Observ- 
i. p. 280. " Rice is the food of two-thirds of mankind :" 
Dr. Arbuthnot. "It is cultivated in most of the eastern 
countries:" Miller. "It is good for all, and at all times:" 
Sir J. Chardin, ibid. " La ris, qui est leur principal aliment 
et leur froment (i. e. des Siamois), n'est jamais assez arrose ; 
il croit an milieu de I'eau, et les campagnes ou on le cultive 
ressemblent plutot a de marets que non pas a des terres 
qu'on laboure avec la charue. Le ris a bien cette force, que 
quoy qu'il y ait six ou sept pieds d'eau sur lui, il pousse 
toujours sa tige au dessus, et le tuyau qui le porte s'eleve et 
croit a proportion de la hauteur de I'eau qui noye son 
champ :" Voyage de 1'Eveque de Beryte, p. 144. ; Paris, 


THE plan of the prophecy, continued in this chapter, and 
which is manifestly distinct from the foregoing, is peculiarly 
elegant. To set it in a proper light, it will be necessary to 
mark the transitions from one part of it to another. 

In ver/ 1. the Prophet addresses himself to Senacherib, 
briefly, but strongly and elegantly, expressing the injustice 


of his ambitious designs, and the sudden disappointment of 

Ver. 2. the Jews are introduced offering np their earnest 
supplications to God in their present distressful condition; 
with expressions of their trust and confidence in his pro- 

Ver. 3. and 4. the Prophet, in the name of God, or ra- 
ther God himself, is introduced addressing himself to Sena- 
cherib, and threatening him, that notwithstanding the terror 
which he had occasioned in the invaded countries, yet he 
should fall, and become an easy prey to those whom he had 
intended to subdue. 

Yer. 5. and 6. a chorus of Jews is introduced, acknow- 
ledging the mercy and power of God, who had undertaken 
to protect them ; extolling it with direct opposition to the 
boasted power of their enemies ; and celebrating the wis- 
dom and piety of their king Hezekiah. who had placed his 
confidence in the favour of God. 

Then follows, ver. 7 9. a description of the distress and 
despair of the Jews, upon the king of Assyria's marching 
against Jerusalem, and sending his summons to them to 
surrender, after the treaty he had made with Hezekiah on 
the conditions of his paying, as he actually did pay to him, 
three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold ; 
2 Kings xviii. 14 16. 

Ver. 10. God himself is again introduced, declaring that 
he will interpose in this critical situation of affairs, and dis- 
appoint the vain designs of the enemies of his people, by 
discomfiting and utterly consuming them. 

Then follows, ver. 11 22. still in the person of God, 
(which however falls at last into that of the Prophet), a 
description of the dreadful apprehensions of the wicked in 
those times of distress and imminent danger ; finely con- 
trasted with the confidence and security of the righteous, 
and their trust in the promises of God, that he will be their 
never-failing strength and protector. 

The whole concludes, in the person of the Prophet, with 
a description of the security of the Jews under the protection 
of God, and of the wretched state of Senacherib and his army, 
wholly discomfited, and exposed to be plundered even by the 
weakest of the enemy. 

Much of the beauty of this passage depends on the expla- 
nation above given of ver. 3, and 4. as addressed bv the 


Prophet, or by God himself, to Senacherib ; not, as it is usually 
taken, as addressed by the Jews to God, ver. 3. and then, ver. 
4. as addressed to the Assyrians. To set this in a clear light, 
it may be of use to compare it with a passage of the Prophet 
Joel ; where, speaking of the destruction caused by the locusts. 
he sets in the same strong light of opposition, as Isaiah does 
here, the power of the enemy, and the power of JEHOVAH who 
would destroy that enemy. Thus Isaiah, to Senacherib ; 

" When tbou didst raise thyself up, the nations were dispersed. 

ver. 3. 

" But now will I arise, saith JEHOVAH; 
Now will I be exalted." ver. 10. 

And thus Joel, ii. 20, 21. 

" His stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall ascend; 
Though he hath done great things. 
Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice; 
For JEHOVAH will do great things." 

1. thou plunderer ] See note on chap. xxi. 2. 

Ibid. when thou art weary ] "-jrto, alibi non extat 
in s. s. nisi f. Job. xv. 29. simplicius est legere -pbzo. Vid. 
Capell. nee repugnat Yitringa. Vid. Dan. ix. 24. rhl, 
trnn: " SECKER. 

2. our strength ] For pjnr, Syr. Chald. Vulg. read 
Uinr, in the first person of the pronoun, not the third : the 
edition of Felix Pratensis has irnpf in the margin. 

3. From thy terrible voice ] For pan, LXX and Syr. 
read -pK ; whom I follow. 

6. thy treasure ] ofyravgos nv, Sym. He had in his 
copy pxtf, not TON. 

7. the mighty men raise a grievous cry] Three MSS 
read D'^NIN; that is, lions of God, or strong lions : so they 
called valiant men, heroes ; which appellation the Arabians 
and Persians still use. See Bochart. Hieroz. Part I. lib. iii. 
cap. 1. " Mahomet ayant reconnu Hamzeh son oncle pour 
homme de courage et de valeur, lui donne le titre ou surnom 
d' Assad Allah, qui signifie, le Lion de Dieu : " D'Herbe- 
lot, p. 427. And for nvn, Syr. and Chald. read n&p: 
whom I follow. Chald. Syr. Aquila, Sym. and Theod. 
read on 1 ? n*nN, or PINT ; with what meaning, is not 

9. are stripped ] LXX, pKf tw they read m;'j% 
11, And my spirit ] "For conn, read 133 nn:" 


SECKER. Which reading" is confirmed by Chald. where 
nsD, my word, answers to 'mi, my spirit. 

15. the proposal of bloodshed] A MS reads D'?m. 

18. Where is he that numbered the towers ?] That is, 
the commander of the enemy's forces, who surveyed the 
fortifications of the city, and took an account of the height, 
strength, and situation of the walls and towers, that he might 
know where to make the assault with the greatest advan- 
tage ; as Capaneus before Thebes is represented in a pas- 
sage of the Phceriissse of Euripides, which Grotius has ap- 
plied as an illustration of this place : 

KOCI xara Tei%i) psTgav. VCr. 187. 

20. Thou shall see ] For n?n, read nmn with the Chaldee : 

21. But the glorious name of JEHOVAH ] I take DB? 
for a noun, with LXX and Syr. : see Psal. xx. 1. Prov. xviii. 

23. Thy mast ] For win, their mast, Syr. reads yjin, 
LXX and Vul. pin, o KS-K <rov tuKnv, thy mast is fallen aside: 
LXX, they seem to have read npJ, or (rus) pin; or rather *6 
p, is not firm, the negative having been omitted in the pres- 
ent text by mistake. However, I have followed their sense, 
which seems very probable ; as the present reading is to me 
extremely obscure. 

24. Neither shall the inhabitant say ] This verse is some- 
what obscure : the meaning of it seems to be, that the army 
of Senacherib shall by the stroke of God be reduced to so 
shattered and so weak a condition, that the Jews shall fall 
upon the remains of them, and plunder them without resis- 
tance : that the most infirm and disabled of the people of Je- 
rusalem shall come in for their share of the spoil ; the lame 
shall seize the prey ; even the sick and the diseased shall 
throw aside their infirmities, and recover strength enough to 
hasten to the general plunder. 

The last line of the verse is parallel to the first, and ex- 
presses the same sense in other words. Sickness being con- 
sidered as a visitation from God, and a punishment of sin ; 
the forgiveness of sin is equivalent to the removal of a disease. 
Thus the Psalmist; 

"Who forgiveth all thy sin; 
And healeth all thine infirmities." Psal. ciii. 3. 


Where the latter line only varies the expression of the for- 
mer. And our blessed Saviour reasons with the Jews on the 
same principle : " Whether is it easier to say to the sick 
of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven thee ; or to say, Arise, 
and take up thy bed. and walk ?" Mark ii. 9. See also 
Matt. viii. 17. Isa. liii. 4. " dui locus Isaiae, 1 Pet. ii. 
24. referlur ad remissionem peccatorum : hie vero ad sana- 
tionetn morborum, quia ejusdem potentise et bonitatis est 
utrumque prrestare ; et, quia peccatis remissis, et morbi, qui 
fructus sunt peccatorum, pelluntur :" Wetstein on Matt. viii. 

That this prophecy was exactly fulfilled, I think we may 
gather from the history of this great event given by the 
Prophet himself. It is plain, that Hezekiah, by his treaty 
with Senacherib, by which he agreed to pay him three hun- 
dred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold, had stripped 
himself of his whole treasure : he not only gave him all the 
silver and gold that was in his own treasury, and in that of 
the temple, but was even forced to cut off the gold from the 
doors of the temple and from the pillars, with which he had 
himself overlaid them, to satisfy the demands of the king of 
Assyria : but after the destruction of the Assyrian army we 
find, that he " had exceeding much riches, and that he made 
himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious 
stones," &c.; 2 Chron. xxxii. 27. He was so rich, that out 
of pride and vanity he displayed his wealth to the ambassadors 
from Babylon. This cannot be otherwise accounted for, than 
by the prodigious spoil that was taken on the destruction of 
the Assyrian army. 


THESE two chapters make one distinct prophecy ; an 
entire, regular, and beautiful poem, consisting of two parts : 
the first containing a denunciation of Divine vengeance 
against the enemies of the people or church of God ; the 
second describing the flourishing state of the church of God, 
consequent upon the execution of those judgments. The 
event foretold is represented as of the highest importance, 
and of universal concern: all nations are called upon to 
attend to the declaration of it; and the wrath of God is 
denounced against all the nations ; that is, all those that 


had provoked to anger the defender of the cause of Sion. 
Among those, Edom is particularly specified. The prin- 
cipal provocation of Edom was their insulting the Jews in. 
their distress, and joining against them with their enemies 
the Chaldeans: see Amos i. 11. Ezek. xxv. 12. xxxv. 15. 
Psal. cxxxvii. 7. Accordingly the Edomites were, toge- 
ther with the rest of the neighbouring nations, ravaged and 
laid waste by Nebuchadnezzar : see Jer. xxv. 15. 26 Mai. 
i. 3, 4. ; and see Marsham. Can. Chron. Ssec. xviii. who calls 
this the age of the destruction of cities. The general de- 
vastation spread through all these countries by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, may be the event which the Prophet has primarily 
in view in the xxxivth chapter ; but this event, as far as we 
have any account of it in history, seem by no means to 
come up to the terms of the prophecy, or to justify so high- 
wrought and so terrible a description. And it is not easy 
to discover what connexion the extremely flourishing state 
of the church or people of God, described in the next chap- 
ter, could have with those events, and how the former could 
he the consequence of the latter, as it is there represented 
to be. By a figure very common in the prophetical writ- 
ings, any city, or people, remarkably distinguished as ene- 
mies of the people and kingdom of God, is put for those 
enemies in general. This seems here to be the case with 
Edorn and Botsra. It seems therefore reasonable to sup- 
pose, with many learned expositors, that this prophecy has 
a further view to events still future ; to some great revo- 
lutions to be effected in later times, antecedent to that more 
perfect state of the kingdom of God upon earth, and serv- 
ing to introduce it, which the Holy Scriptures warrant us 
to expect. 

That the xxxvth chapter has a view beyond any thing 
that could be the immediate consequence of those events, is 
plain from every part, especially from the middle of it, ver. 
5, 6. ; whsre the miraculous works wrought by our blessed 
Saviour are so clearly specified, that we cannot avoid mak- 
ing the application. And our Saviour himself has moreover 
plainly referred to this very passage as speaking of him and 
his works : Matt. xi. 4, 5. He bids the disciples of John 
to go and report to their master the things which they 
heard and saw ; that the blind received their sight, the lame 
walked, and the deaf heard ; and leaves it to him to draw 
the conclusion in answer to his inquiry, whether he who 


performed the very works which the Prophets foretold 
should be performed by the Messiah, was not indeed the= 
Messiah himself? And where are these works so distinctly 
marked by any of the Prophets as in this place ; and ho\v 
could they be marked more distinctly ? To these the strictly 
literal interpretation of the Prophet's words directs us. 
According to the allegorical interpretation they may have 
a further view : This part of the prophecy may run parallel 
with the former, and relate to the future advent of Christ; 
to the conversion of the Jews, and their restitution to their 
land ; to the extension and purification of the Christian 
faith ; events predicted in the Holy Scriptures, as preparatory 
to it. 

1. And attend unto me ] A MS adds in this line the 
word %l ?x, unto me, after &nyh; which seems to be genuine. 

4. And all the host of heaven ] See note on chap, 
xxiv. 21. and De S. Poesi Hebreeorum Prsel. ix. 

5. For my sword is made bare in the heaven} There 
seems to be some impropriety in this, according to the pre- 
sent reading, " my sword is made drunken, or is bathed, in 
the heavens ;" which forestalls, and expresses not in its pro- 
per place, what belongs to the next verse : for the sword of 
JEHOVAH was not to be bathed or glutted with blood in the 
heavens, but in Botsra and the land of Edom. In the 
lieavens it was only prepared for slaughter. To remedy 
this, Archbishop Seeker proposes to read, for D*DBa,DDi3; 
referring to Jer. xlvi. 10. But even this is premature, and 
not in its proper place. The Chaldee, for nnn, has ^:nn, 
ehall be revealed, or disclosed : perhaps he read n*nn, or 
nntra. Whatever reading, different I presume from the 
present, he might find in his copy, I follow the sense which 
he has given of it. 

6. For JEHOVAH celebrateth a sacrifice} Ezekiel has 
manifestly imitated this place of Isaiah : he hath set forth 
the great leaders and princes of the adverse powers under 
the same emblems of goats, bulls, rams, fallings, &c. and 
lias added to the boldness of the imagery, by introducing 
God as summoning all the fowls of the air, and all the beasts 
of the field, and bidding them to the feast which he has 
prepared for them by the slaughter of the enemies of his 
people : 

11 And thou, son of man, 

Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH : 


Say to the bird of every wing, 

And to every beast of the field, 

Assemble yourselves, and come ; 

Gather together from every side, 

To the sacrifice which I make for you, 

A great slaughter on the mountains of Israel. 

And ye shall eat flesh and drink blood : 

The flesh of the mighty shall ye eat, 

And the blood of the lofty of the earth shall ye drink; 

Of rams, of lambs, and of goats, 

Of bullocks, all of them the fat ones of Basan. 

And ye shall eat fat, till ye are cloyed, 

And drink blood till ye are drunken; 

Of my slaughter, which I have slain for you." 

Ezek. xxxix. 16. 17, 

The sublime author of the Revelation (chap. xix. 17, 18.) 
has taken this image from Ezekiel, rather than from Isaiah. 

7. with their blood] DDHD: so an ancient MS, Syr. and 

8. the defender of the cause of Sion] As from }n, p r 
a judge ; so from an, a*-), an advocate, or defender : Judici 
Sionis, Syr. 

11. over her scorched plains'] The word mn> joined 
to the 12th verse, embarrasses it, and makes it inexplicable, 
At least I do not know that any one has yet made out the 
construction, or given any tolerable explication of it. 1 join 
it to the llth verse, and supply a letter or two, which seem 
to have been lost. Fifteen MSS (five ancient), and two- 
editions, read TVrtn. The first printed edition of 1486, I 
think nearer to the truth, mn iin I read jvnro, or rvnn 
V : see Jer. xvii. 6. A MS has nnn, and the Syrian? 
reads nnn, gaudium, joining it to the two preceding- 
words ; which he likewise reads differently, but without 
improving the sense. However, his authority is clear for 
dividing the verses, as they are here divided. I read D# as 
a noun. They shall boast, i*np' j see Prov. xx. 6. 

13. And in her palaces shall spring up ] ibjn 
jrniwiNai so read all the ancient versions. 

15. Every one her mate] A MS adds btf after nn% 
which seems necessary to the construction ; and so Syr. and 
Vulg. Another MS adds in the same place nx, which is 

16. For the mouth of JEHOVAH} For Kin, five MSS 
(three ancient) read mrr, and another is so corrected: so 


likewise LXX. Two editions have DIS, and so LXX and 
Vulg. ; and a MS has D2ttp, wilh the masculine pronoun, 
instead of the feminine : and so in the next verses it is on 1 ?, 
instead of jrV?, in fourteen MSS, six of them ancient. 


1. shall be glad,~] Dm- : In a MS the D seems to 
have been added ; and DIP is upon a rasure in another. 
None of the ancient versions acknowledge it : it seems to 
have been a mistake arising from the next word's beginning 
"\viih the same letter. Sixteen MSS have Di&Ttf 11 , and five 

MSS QBfi&'. 

2. The well-watered plain of Jordan."] For pm, the 
LXX read pr ; TO. e^u* TOV I*?}*. Four MSS read rhi ; 
see Joshua xv. 19. irrigua Jordan! ; Houbigant : rn'J, ripa 
Jordani ; Kennicott. See De S. Poesi Hebr. Prelect. xx. 

Ibid. For rh, to it, nine MSS read ]*?, to thce. See ibid. 

7. the glowing sand] :nty: This word is Arabic as 
well as Hebrew, expressing in both languages the same 
thing ; the glowing sandy plain, which in the hot countries 
at a distance has the appearance of water. It occurs in the 
Koran, chap, xxiv. " But as to the unbelievers, their works 
are like a vapour in a plain ; which the thirsty traveller 
thinketh to be water, until, when he comet h thereto, he 
fmdeth it to be nothing." Mr. Sale's note on this place is : 
"The Arabic word serab signifies that false appearance 
which in the eastern countries is often seen in sandy plains 
about noon, resembling a large lake of water in motion, and 
is occasioned by the reverberation of the sunbeams : [' by 
the quivering undulating motion of that quick succession of 
vapours and exhalations, which are extracted by the power- 
ful influence of the sun ; ' Shaw, Trav. p. 378.] It some- 
times tempts thirsty travellers out of their way, but deceives 
them, when they come near, either going forward, (for it 
ahvays appears at the same distance), or quite vanishes." 
Q,. Curtius has mentioned it: "Arenas vapor aestivi solis 
accendit ; camporumque non alia, quam vasti et profnndi 
sequoris species est ; " lib. vii. cap. 5. Dr. Hyde gives us 'the 
precise meaning and derivation of the word : " Dictum 
nomen [Barca] np-cn, splendorem seu splendentcm rcgio- 


nem notat ; cum ea regio radiis solaribus tarn copiose collus- 
tretur, ut renexum ab arenis lumen adeo intense fulgens, a 
longinquo spectantibus, ad instar corpora Solaris, aquarum 
speciem referat ; et hinc arenarum splendor et radiatio (ex 
lingua Persica petito nomine) dicittir serab, i. e. aqua) super- 
ficies, seu superficialis aquarum species :" Annot, in Peritsol. 
cap. 2. 

Ibid. shall spring forth ] The n, in nvm, seems to 
have been at first D in MS Bodl. ; whence Dr. Kennicott 
concludes it should he D3O1. But instead of this word, 
Syr. Vulg. and Chald. read some word signifying to grow, 
spring up, or abound ; perhaps nna, or ims ; or pa 
Tiffin, as Houbigant reads. 

8. And a highway} The word -pii is by mistake added 
to the first member of the sentence from the beginning of 
the following member : sixteen MSS (seven ancient) have 
it but once ; so likewise Syr. 

Ibid. err therein} A MS adds 13, which seems neces- 
sary to the sense : and so Vulg. per earn. 

Ibid. But He shall be with them walking ] That is, 
God ; see ver. 4. " Who shall dwell among them, and set 
them an example, that they should follow his steps." Our 
old English versions translated the place to this purpose : our 
last translators were misled by the authority of the Jews, who 
have absurdly made a division of the verses in the midst of 
the sentence, thereby destroying the construction and the 

9. Neither shall he be found there] Three MSS read 
vh), adding the conjunction ; and so likewise LXX and 
Vulg. And four MSS (one ancient) read KVE', the verty 
as it certainly ought to be, in the masculine form. 

For further remarks on the two foregoing chapters, see 
De S. Poesi Hebr. Prelect, xx. 


THE history of the invasion of Senacherib, and of the 
miraculous destruction of his army, which makes the subject 
of so many of Isaiah's prophecies, is very properly inserted 
here, as affording the best light to many parts of those pro- 
phecies ; and as almost necessary to introduce the prophecy in 
the xxxviith chapter, being the answer of God to Hezekiah's 


prayer, which could not be properly understood without it. 
We find the same narrative in the second book of Kings, 
chapters xviii. xix. xx. ; and these chapters of Isaiah, xxxvi. 
xxxvii. xxxviii. xxxix. for much the most part, (the account 
of the sickness of Hezekiah only excepted), are but a differ- 
ent copy of that narration. The difference of the two copies 
is little more than what has manifestly arisen from the mis- 
takes of transcribers : they mutually correct each other, and 
most of the mistakes may be perfectly rectified by a collation 
of the two copies, with the assistance of the ancient versions. 
Some few sentences, or members of sentences, are omitted 
in this copy of Isaiah, which are found in the other copy in 
the book of Kings. Whether these omissions? were made by 
design or by mistake, may be doubted : these therefore I 
have not inserted in the translation ; I shall only report them 
in the notes. 

3. Then came out unto him] Before these words, the 
other copy, 2 Kings- xviii. 18. adds "j^nn bx i&np'i, " and 
they demanded audience of the king." 

5. Thou hast said] Fourteen MSS (three ancient) have 
it in the second person, rna'tf; and so the other copy, 2 Kings 
xviii. 20. 

6. in Egypt] MS Bodl. adds -r^n, the Icing- of Egypt : 
and so perhaps Chald. migftt read. 

< 7. But if ye say] Two ancient MSS have na^n in the 
plural number: so likewise LXX, Chald. and the other 
copy, 2 Kings xviii. 22. 

Ibid, only before this altar ] See 2 Chron. xxxii. 12. 

12. destined to eat their own dung] biyh, " that they 
may eat," as our translation literally renders it. But Syr. 
reads hoxn, " that they may not eat," perhaps rightly ; and 
afterwards nin^ai, or rowi, to the same purpose. 

17. and of vineyards] The other copy, 2 Kings xviii. 
32. adds here, " a land of oil-olive, and of honey ; that ye 
may live, and not die ; and hearken not unto Hezekiah, 
when he seduceth you." 

19. of Sepliarvaim ] The other copy, 2 Kings xviii. 
34. adds of " Henah and Ivah." 

Ibid, have they delivered} 01, the copulative is not ex- 
pressed here by LXX, Syr. Yulg. and three MSS ; nor is it 
in the other copy : Ibid. Houbigant reads on, with the 
interrogative particle : a probable conjecture, which the ancient 
versions, above quoted, seem to favour. 


21. But the people held their peace'] The word D^n, the 
people, is supplied from the other copy ; and is authorized 
by a MS, which inserts it after m. 


7. I will infuse a spirit into him] "rm 13 pro never 
signifies any thing but putting a spirit into a person ; this 
was, ^ttxtat'* " SECKER. 

9. he sent messengers again] The word j?DBn, (and he 
heard) , which occurs the second time in this verse, is re- 
peated by mistake from the beginning of the verse. It is 
omitted in an ancient MS. It is a mere tautology, and em- 
barrasses the sense. The true reading, instead of it, is nun, 
which the LXX read in this place nain^t^'y and which is 
preserved in the other copy, 2 Kings xix. 9. " He returned 
and sent ''" that is, according to the Hebrew idiom, " he sent 

14. and read them] DJOp"), so MS Bodl. in this place ; 
and so the other copy ; instead of inx^pn, and read it. 

Ibid. and spread them] iriBHsn; in is upon a rasure 
in a MS ; which probably was at first D. The same mistake 
as in the foregoing note. 

15. before JEHOVAH] That is, in the sanctuary. For 
^N, Syr. Chald. and the other copy, 2 Kings xix. 15. read 

18. the nations ] nijnxn, the lands : instead of this 
word, which destroys the sense, ten MSS (one ancient) have 
here DTI, nations; which is undoubtedly the true reading, 
being preserved also in the other copy, 2 Kings xix. 17. 
Another MS suggests another method of rectifying the sense 
in this place, by reading DD^D, their king, instead of orux, 
their land ; but it ought to be DHO^D, "all the countries 
and their kings." 

20. Save its, we beseech thee ] The supplicating per 
ticle w is supplied here from eighteen MSS (three ancient), 
and from the other copy. 

Ibid. that thou JEHOVAH art the only God] The 
word D^rbx, God> is lost here in the Hebrew text, but pre- 
served in the other copy, 2 Kings xix. 19. Syr. and LXX 
seem here to have had in their copies DVT7X, instead of mrr. 

21. Then Isaiah sent unto Hezckiah} Syr. and LXX 
understand and render the verb passively, was sent. 


Ibid. I have heard] wyiyy: this word, necessary to the 
sense, is lost in this place out of the Hebrew text. A MS 
has it written above the line in a later hand. LXX and 
Syr. found it in their copies ; and it is preserved in the other 
copy, 2 Kings xix. 20. 

23. against the Holy One of Israel] For *K, the other 
copy has fy, rather more properly. 

24. By thy messengers ] The text has "pap ; thy 
servants: but the true reading seems to be 73*613, thy mes- 
sengers, as in the other copy, 2 Kings xix. 23. ; and as LXX 
and Syr. found it in their copies in this place. 

Ibid. his extreme retreats] The text has onn, the 
highth ; which seems to have been taken by mistake from 
the line but one above. A MS has here j6a, the lodge, or 
retreat ; which is the word in the other copy, 2 Kings xix. 
23. ; and I think is the true reading. 

25. strange waters] The word D"IT, strange, lost out 
of the Hebrew text in this place, is supplied from the other 
copy. A MS supplies the word 0*31, many, instead of it. 

Ibid, all the canals of fenced places] The principal cities 
of Egypt, the scene of his late exploits, were chiefly defended 
by -deep moats, canals, or large lakes, made by labour and 
art, with which they were surrounded. SeeHarmer's Observ. 
ii. p. 304. Clandian introduces Alaric boasting of his con- 
quests in the same extravagant manner : 

" Subsidere nostris 

Sub pedibus montes; arescere vidimus arnnes. 
Fregi Alpes, galeisque Padum victricibus hausi." 

De Bello Getic. 526. 

26. warlike nations] o2tt D ll ?j. It is not easy to give a 
satisfactory account of these two words ; which have greatly 
embarrassed all the interpreters, ancient and modern. For 
D^J, I read D'U, as the LXX do in this place, &*>. The 
word D'VJ, Vulg. renders in this place compugnantium ; in 
the parallel place, 2 Kings xix. 25. pugnantium, and LXX, 
f4.^i/uMv, fighting, warlike. This rendering is as well autho- 
rized as any other that I know of, and, with the reading of 
LXX, perfectly clears up the construction. 

27. corn blasted] rranty. It does not appear that there 
is any good authority for this word. The true reading seems 
to be naiff, as it is in four MSS (two ancient), here, and in 
the other copy. 

29. I will put my hook in thy nose] " Etffanwn meum: 


Jonathan vocem ana interpretatus est DDT, i. e. annulum, 
sive uncurn, eumque ferreum, quern infigunt naribus ca- 
metre : eoque trahilur, quoniam ilia feris motibus agitur : et 
hoc est, quod discimus in Talmude ; et camela cum annulo 
narium : scilicet, egreditur die Sabbathi :" Jarchi in 2 Reg. 
xix. 28. " Ponam circulum in naribus tuis :" Hieron. Just 
as at this day they put a ring into the nose of the bear, the 
buffalo, and other wild beasts, to lead them, and to govern 
them when they are unruly. 

35. And the angel ] Before "the angel," the other 
copy, 2 Kings xix. 35. adds, " it came to pass the same night, 

The Prophet Hosea has given a plain prediction of this 
miraculous deliverance of the kingdom of Judah : 

" And to the house of Judah I will be tenderly merciful: 
And I will save them by JEHOVAH their God. 
And I will not save them by the bow; 
Nor by sword, nor by battle; 
By horses, nor by horsemen. Hosea i. 7. 


2. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall} The fur- 
niture of an eastern divan, or chamber either for the recep- 
tion of company or for private use, consists chiefly of carpets 
spread on the floor in the middle, and of sophas or couches 
ranged on one or more sides of the room, on a part raised 
somewhat above the floor. -On these they repose themselves 
in the day, and sleep at night. It is to be observed, that 
the corner of the room is the place of honour. Dr Pococke. 
when he was introduced to the Sheik of Furshout, found 
him sitting in the corner of his room. He describes ano- 
ther Arab Sheik, " as sitting in a corner of a large green 
tent, pitched in the middle of an encampment of Arabs ; 
and the Bey of Girge as placed on a sopha in a corner to 
the right as one entered the room :' 7 . Harmer's Obs. ii. p. 60. 
Lady Mary W. Montague, giving an account of. a visit 
which she made to the Kahya's lady at Adrianople, says, 
" She ordered cushions to be given me, and took care to place 
me in the corner, which is the place of honour :" Letter 
xxxiii. The reason of this seems to be, that the person, so 
placed, is distinguished, and in a manner separated from the 


rest of the company, and as it were guarded by the wall on 
each side. We are to suppose Hezekiah's couch placed in the 
same situation : in which, turning on either side, he must 
turn his face to the wall ; by which he would withdraw him- 
self from those who were attending upon him in his apart- 
ment, in order to address his private prayer to God. 

4, 5. The words in the translation included within crotchets 
are supplied from the parallel place, 2 Kings xx. 4, 5. to 
make the narration more perfect. 1 have also taken the 
liberty, with Houbigant, of bringing forward the two last 
verses of this chapter, and inserting them in their proper 
places of the narration with the same mark. Kimchi's note 
on these two verses is as follows : " This and the following 
verse belong not to the writing of Hezekiah : and I see no 
reason why they are written here after the writing ; for their 
right place is above, toft&r And twill protect this city, ver. 6. 
And so they stand in the book of Kings ;" 2 Kings xx. 7, 8. 
The narration of this chapter seems to be in some parts an 
abridgment of that of 2 Kings xx. The abridger, having 
finished his extract here with the llth verse, seems to have 
observed, that the 7th and 8th verses of 2 Kings xx. were 
wanted to complete the narration : he therefore added them 
at the end of the chapter, after he had inserted the song of 
Hezekiah, probably with marks for their insertion in their 
proper places ; which marks were afterwards neglected by 
transcribers : or a transcriber might omit them by mistake, 
and add them at the end of the chapter with such marks. 
Many transpositions are, with great probability, to be account- 
ed for in the same way. 

0. 1 will protect this city ] The other copy, 2 Kings 
xx. 6. adds, " for mine own sake, and for the sake of David 
my servant ;" and the sentence seems somewhat abrupt with- 
out it. 

8. by which the sun is gone down ] For BfoBO,LX3t, 
Syr. Chald. read vns&n: Houbigant. In the history of 
this miracle in the book of Kings, 2 Kings xx. 9 11. them 
is no mention at all made of the sun, but only of the going 
backward of the shadow ; which might be effected by a su- 
pernatural refraction. The first <5 **/$ in this verse is omitted 
in LXX, MS Pachom. 

9. The writing of Hezekiah."] Here the book of Kings 
deserts us, the song of Hezekiah not/ being inserted in it. 
Another copy of this very obscure passage (obscure not only 


from the concise poetical style, but because it is probably 
very incorrect) would have been of great service. The MSS 
and ancient versions, especially the latter, will help us to get 
through, some of the many difficulties which we meet with in 

11. JEHOVAH] rv rv seems to be mrv in MSS Bodl. 
and it was so at first written in another ; so Syr. See Hou- 

12. a shepherds tent ] ;n is put for njn, say the 
Rabbins ; Sal. b. Melee on the place : but much more proba- 
bly is written imperfectly for D r ;n. See note on chap. v. 1. 

Ibid. My life is cut off ] -map: this verb is rendered 
passively, and in the third person, by Syr. Chald. Vulg. 

13. The last line of the foregoing verse, nV 1 ? ny DTTD 
'JJT^n, " In the course of the day thou wilt finish my web," 
is not repeated at the end of this verse in the Syriac version ; 
and a MS omits it. It seems to have been inserted a second 
time in the Hebrew text by mistake. 

Ibid. I roared ] For r mtf, the Chaidee has jvnru: he 
read n:xiy, the proper term for the roaring of a lion ; often 
applied to the deep groaning of men in sickness : see Psal. 
xxii. 2. xxxii. 4. xxxviii. 9. Job. iii. 24. The Masoretes di- 
vide the sentence, as I have done, taking ijo, like a lion, 
into the first member ; and so likewise LXX. 

14. Like the swallow ] D^DD; so read two MSS, Theod. 
and Hieron. 

Ibid. mine eyes fail] For iVi, the LXX read to, 
f|eAHTv. Compare Psal. Ixix. 4. cxix. 82. 123. Lain. ii. 11. iv. 
17. in the Hebrew and in LXX. 

Ibid. O Lord ] For mrr, thirty MSS and eight edi- 
tions read 'JIN. 

Ibid. contend thou ] npB>>% with \y, Jarchi. This 
sense of the word is established by Gen. xxvi. 20. " he called 
the- name of the well p#y, Esek, because they strove with 
him : " ip^nn, equivalent to irr at the beginning of the 

15. will I reflect ] mix, recogitabo, Yulg. reputabo, 
Hieron. in loc. 

16. Por this cause shall it be declared ] n 

ei, KM ffyystgcts fu>v ryv wow, LXX. They read in 
their copies, nn "nm ^i nrv rvty; not very different from 
the present text, from which all the ancient versions vary. 
They entirely omit two words, p3 Wi; as to which there is 


eome variation in the MSS. A MS has ^331, two others ^m, 
and ten MSS have oro. 

Ibid. hast prolonged my Ufe.~] A MS and the Baby- 
lonish Talmud read j"nm; and so the ancient versions. It 
must necessarily be in the second person. 

17. My anguish is changed into ease ] ID ?i ? -o, 
" mutata mihi est amaritudo." Paronomasia ; a figure, 
which the Prophet frequently admits : I do not always note 
it, because it cannot ever be preserved in the translation, and 
the sense seldom depends upon it. But here it perfectly clears 
up the great obscurity of the passage. See Lowth on the 

Ibid. Thou hast rescued ] ro&>n, with D instead of p ; 
so LXX and Vulg. : Houbigant. See Chappelow on Job 
xxxiii. 18. 

Ibid. -from perdition ] '^ nnspn, ** w avo^ou, 
LXX; ut non periret, Vulg. ; perhaps inverting the order of 
the words. See Houbigant. 

19. thy truth~\ ]nDK *?x. A MS omits SN; and instead 
of ^N, an ancient MS and one edition read nx. The same 
mistake as in Psal. ii. 7. 

21. Let them take a lump of figs : and they bruised 
them ] God, in effecting this miraculous cure, was pleased 
to order the use of means not improper for that end. " Folia, 
et, quae non maturuere, fici, strumis illinuntur, omnibusque 
quee emollienda sunt discutiendave : " Plin. Nat. Hist, xxiii. 
7. " Ad discutienda ea, quae in corporis parte aliqua coierunt. 
maxime possunt ficus arida," &c. : Celsus. v. 11. 


HITHERTO the copy of this history in the second book of 
Kings has been much the most correct : in this chapter, that 
in Isaiah has the advantage. In the two first verses two 
mistakes in the other copy are to be corrected from this : for 
irvprn, Hc^ekiah, read pirn, and was recovered; and for 
jjnan, he heard, read rwi, he rejoiced. 

1. and ambassadors.] The LXX add here XM.I .*fr0&/$; 
that is, DOK^DI, and ambassadors ; which word seems 
necessary to the sense, though omitted in the Hebrew text 
both here and in the other copy, 2 Kings xx. 12. For the 
subsequent narration refers to them all along; "these men, 


whence came they ? " &c. plainly supposing them to have 
been personally mentioned before. See Houbigant. 

6. to Babylon ] nta ; so two MSS (one ancient) ; 
rightly without doubt, as the other copy, 2 Kings xx. 17. has 

8. And Hezekiah said ] The nature of Hezekiah's 
crime, and his humiliation on the message of God to him 
by the Prophet, is more expressly declared by the author of 
the book of Chronicles : " But Hezekiah rendered not again, 
according to the benefit done unto him ; for his heart was 
lifted up : therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon 
Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding, Hezekiah humbled 
himself for the pride of his heart, (both he and the inhabi- 
tants of Jerusalem), so that the wrath of the LORD came 
not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. And Hezekiah 
prospered in all his works. Howbeit, in the business of the 
ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him 
to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left 
him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his 
heart ; " 2 Chron. 25, 26. 30 ; 31. 


THE course of prophecies, which follow from hence to the 
end of the book, and which taken together constitute the most 
elegant part of the sacred writings of the Old Testament ; 
interspersed also with many passages of the highest sublimi- 
ty ; was probably delivered in the latter part of the reign of 
Hezekiah. The Prophet in the foregoing chapter had de- 
livered a very explicit declaration of the impending dissolution 
of the kingdom, and of the captivity of the royal house of 
David, and of the people, under the kings of Babylon. As 
the subject of his subsequent prophecies was to be chiefly of 
the consolatory kind, he opens them w r ith giving a promise of 
the restoration of the kingdom, and the return of the people 
from that captivity, by the merciful interposition of God in 
their favour. But the views of the Prophet are not confined 
to this event. As the restoration of the royal family, and 
of the tribe of Judah, which would otherwise have soon be- 
come undistinguished, and have been irrecoverably lost, was 
necessary, in the design and order of Providence, for the ful- 
filling of God's promises of establishing a more glorious and 


an everlasting kingdom, under the Messiah to be born of the 
tribe of Judah, and of the family of David ; the Prophet 
connects these two events together, and hardly ever treats of 
the former without throwing in some intimations of the 
latter ; and sometimes is so fully possessed with the glories of 
the future more remote kingdom, that he seems to leave the 
more immediate subject of his commission almost out of the 

Indeed this evangelical sense of the prophecy is so apparent, 
and stands forth in so strong a light, that some interpreters 
cannot see that it has any other ; and will not allow the 
prophecy to have any relation at all to the return from the 
captivity of Babylon. It may be useful, therefore, to ex- 
amine more attentively the train of the Prophet's ideas, and 
to consider carefully the images under which he displays his 
subject. He hears a crier giving orders by solemn proclama- 
tion to prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness ; to 
remove all obstructions before JEHOVAH marching through 
the desert ; through the wild, uninhabited, unpassable coun- 
try. The deliverance of God's people from the Babylonish 
captivity is considered by him as parallel to the former de- 
liverance of them from the Egyptian bondage. God was 
then represented as their king, leading them in person through 
the vast deserts, which lay in their way to the promised land 
of Canaan. It is not merely for JEHOVAH himself, that in 
both cases the way was to be prepared, and all obstructions 
to be removed; but for JEHOVAH marching in person at 
the head of his people. Let us first see, how this idea is 
pursued by the sacred poets who treat of the Exodus, which 
is a favourite subject with them, and affords great choice of 
examples : 

" When Israel came out of Egypt; 

The house of Jacob, from the barbarous people; 

Judah was his sanctuary, 

Israel his dominion." Psal. cxiv. 1, 2. 

" JEHOVAH his God is with him; 

And the shout of a king is among them: 

God brought them out of Egypt." Numb, xxiii. 21, 22. 
" Make a highway for him that rideth through the deserts: 

O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people; 

When thou marchedst through the wilderness, 

The heavens dropped.' 7 Psal. Ixviii. 4. 7. 

Let us now see how Isaiah treats the subject of the return 


of the people from Babylon : they were to march through 
the wilderness with JEHOVAH at their head, who was to lead 
them, to smooth the way before them, and to supply them 
with water in the thirsty desert ; with perpetual allusion to 
the Exodus : 

" Come ye forth from Babylon, flee ye from the land of the 

Chaldeans with the voice of joy: 
Publish ye this, and make it heard; utter it forth even to 

the end of the earth : 

Say ye, JEHOVAH hath redeemed his servant Jacob: 
They thirsted not in the deserts, through which he made 

them go; 

Waters from the rock he caused to flow for them; 
Yea he clave the rock, and forth gushed the waters." 

Chap, xlviii. 20, 21. 
" Remember not the former things; 
And the things of ancient times regard not: " 

(That is, the deliverance from Egypt) : 
" Behold, I make a new thing; 

Even now shall it spring forth: will ye not regard it? 
Yea I will make in the wilderness a way; 
In the desert, streams of water." Chap, xliii. 18, 19. 
" But he that trusteth in me shall inherit the land, 
And shall possess my holy mountain. 
Then will I say, Cast up, cast up the causeway; make 

clear the way ; 
Remove every obstruction from the road of my people." 

Chap. Ivii. 13, 14. 

" How beautiful appear on the mountains 
The feet of the joyful messenger, of him that announceth 


Of the joyful messenger of good tidings, of him that an- 
nounceth salvation; 

Of him that sayeth to Sion, Thy God reigneth! 
All thy watchmen lift up their voice, they shout together; 
For face to face shall they see, when JEHOVAH returneth 

to Sion. 

Verily not in haste shall ye go forth; 
And not by flight shall ye march along: 
For JEHOVAH shall march in your front ; 
And the God of Israel shall bring up your rear." 

Chap. Hi. 7, 8. 12. 

Babylon was separated from Judea by an immense tract 
of country, which was one continued desert ; that large part 
of Arabia called very properly Deserta. It is mentioned 


in history as a remarkable occurrence, that Nebuchadnezzar, 
having received the news of the death of his father, in order 
to make the utmost expedition in his journey to Babylon from 
Egypt and Phoenicia, set out with a few attendants, and 
passed through this desert. Berosus, apud Joseph. Antiq. x. 
11. This was the nearest way homewards for the Jews ; 
and whether they actually returned by this way or not, the 
first thing that would occur on the proposal or thought of 
their return, would be the difficulty of this almost impractica- 
ble passage. Accordingly the proclamation for the prepara- 
tion of the way is the most natural idea, and the most obvious 
circumstance, by which the Prophet could have opened his 

These things considered, I have not the least doubt, that 
the return of the Jews from the captivity of Babylon is the 
first, though not the principal, thing in the Prophet's view. 
The redemption from Babylon is clearly foretold ; and at the 
same time is employed as an image to shadow out a redemp- 
tion of an infinitely higher and more important nature. I 
should not have thought it necessary to employ so many 
words in endeavouring to establish what is called the literal 
sense of this prophecy, which I think cannot be rightly un- 
derstood without it, had I not observed, that many interpre- 
ters of the first authority, in particular the very learned Vit- 
ringa, have excluded it entirely. 

Yet obvious and plain as I think this literal sense is, we 
have nevertheless the irrefragable authority of John the Bap- 
tist, and of our blessed Saviour himself, as recorded by all the 
Evangelists, for explaining this exordium of the prophecy of 
the opening of the gospel by the preaching of John, and of 
the introducing of the kingdom of Messiah ; who was to ef- 
fect a much greater deliverance of the people of God, Gen- 
tiles as well as Jews, from the captivity of sin and the domin- 
ion of death. And this we shall find to be the case in many 
subsequent parts also of this prophecy, where passages mani- 
festly relating to the deliverance of the Jewish nation, effected 
by Cyrus, are with good reason, and upon undoubted author- 
ity, to be understood of the redemption wrought for mankind 
by Christ. 

If the literal sense of this prophecy, as above explained, 
cannot be questioned, much less surely can the spiritual ; 
which, I think, is allowed on all hands even by Grotius 
himself. If both are to be admitted, here is a plain example 


of the mystical allegory, or double sense, as it is commonly 
called, of prophecy ; which the sacred writers of the New Tes- 
tament clearly suppose, and according to which they frequent- 
ly frame their interpretation of passages of the Old Testa- 
ment. Of the foundation and properties of this sort of alle- 
gory, see De S. Poes. Hebr. Prelect, xi. 

2. Blessings double to the punishment] It does not 
seem reconcileable to our notions of the divine justice, which 
always punishes less than our iniquities deserve, to suppose, 
that God had punished the sins of the Jews in double pro- 
portion : and it is more agreeable to the tenor of this con- 
solatory message, to understand it as a promise of ample 
recompense for the effects of past displeasure, on the recon- 
ciliation of God to his returning people. To express this 
sense of the passage, which the words of the original will 
very well bear, it was necessary to add a word or two in 
the version to supply the elliptical expression of the He- 
brew. Compare chap. Ixi. 7. Job. xlii. 10. Zech. ix. 12. 
nxttn signifies punishment for sin, Lam. hi. 39. Zech. xiv. 19. 

3. A voice crieth : In the wilderness ] The idea is 
taken from the practice of eastern monarchs, who, whenever 
they entered upon an expedition, or took a journey, especially 
through desert and unpractised countries, sent harbingers be- 
fore them to prepare all things for their passage, and pioneers 
to open the passes, to level the ways, and to remove all im- 
pediments. The officers appointed to superintend such prep- 
arations the Latins call Stratores. " Ipse (Johannes Bap- 
tista) se stratorem vocat Messiae, cujus esset alta et elata voce 
homines in desertis locis habitantes ad itinera et vias Regi 
mox venture sternendas et reficiendas hortari : " Mosheim, 
Instituta Majora, p. 96. 

Diodorus's account of Semiramis's marches into Media 
and Persia, will give us a clear notion of the preparation of 
the way for a royal expedition : " In her march to Ecbatane 
she came to the Zarcean mountain ; which extending many 
furlongs, and being full of craggy precipices and deep hol- 
lows, could not be passed without taking a great compass 
about. Being therefore desirous of leaving an everlasting 
memorial of herself, as well as of shortening the way, she 
ordered the precipices to be digged down, and the hollows 
to be filled up ; and at a great expense she made a shorter 
and more expeditious road, which to this day is called from 


her the Road of Semiramis. Afterward she went into Per- 
sia, and all the other countries of Asia subject to her domin- 
ion ; and wherever she went, she ordered the mountains and 
precipices to be levelled, raised causeways in the plain coun- 
try, and at a great expense made the ways passable : " Diod. 
Sic. lib. ii. 

The writer of the apocryphal book called Baruch, expresses 
the same subject by the same images ; either taking them 
from this place of Isaiah, or from the common notions of his 
countrymen : " For God hath appointed, that every high hill, 
and banks of long continuance, should be cast down, and 
vallies filled up, to make even the ground, that Israel may go 
safely in the glory of God ; " chap. v. 7. 

The Jewish church, to which John was sent to announce 
the coming of Messiah, was at that time in a barren and 
desert condition, unfit without reformation for the reception 
of her king. It was in this desert country, destitute at that 
time of all religious cultivation, in true piety and good 
works unfruitful, that John was sent to prepare the way of 
the Lord by preaching repentance. I have distinguished 
the parts of the sentence according to the punctuation of the 
Masoretes, which agrees best both with the literal and the 
spiritual sense ; which the construction and parallelism of 
the distich in the Hebrew plainly favours ; and of which the 
Greek of the LXX and of the Evangelists is equally suscep- 

John was born in the desert of Judea, and passed his whole 
life in it, till the time of his being manifested to Israel. He 
preached in the same desert : it was a mountainous coun- 
try ; however, not entirely and properly a desert, for, though 
less cultivated than other parls of Judea, yet it was not unin- 
habited : Joshua (chap. xv. 61, 62.) reckons six cities in it. 
We are so prepossessed with the idea of John's living and 
preaching in the desert, that we are apt to consider this par- 
ticular scene of his preaching as a very important and essen- 
tial part of his history : whereas I apprehend this circumstance 
to be no otherwise important, than as giving us a strong 
idea of the rough character of the man. which was answera- 
ble to the place of his education ; and as affording a proper 
emblem of the rude state of the Jewish church at that time ; 
which was the true wilderness meant by the Prophet, in 
which John was to prepare the way for the coming of the 


4. The word spy is very generally rendered crooked ; but 
this sense of the word seems not to be supported by any good 
authority. Ludolphus, Comment, ad Hist. ./Ethiop. p. 206. 
says, that in the jEthiopic language it signifies clivus, locus 
editus ; and so the Syriac version renders it in this place 
NOV, Heb. nsyip, tumulus, acervus. Thus the parallelism 
would be more perfect : " the hilly country shall be made 
level, and the precipices a smooth plain." 

5. the salvation of our God} These words are added 
here by LXX : TO a-ar^tev TOV GEOV, irn^N n>w r,x, as it is in 
the parallel place, chap. lii. 10. The sentence is abrupt with- 
out it, the verb wanting its object ; and I think it is genuine. 
Our English translation has supplied the word it, which is 
equivalent to this addition from LXX. 

This omission in the Hebrew text is ancient, being prior 
to the Chaldee, Syriac, and Vulgate versions : but the words 
stand in all the copies of the LXX ; and they are acknowl- 
edged by Luke, iii. 6. 

6. its glory ] For non read nn; LXX, and Vulg. and 
1 Pet. i. 24. 

7. this people ] So Syr. who perhaps read HTH D#n. 

6 8. A voice sayeth. Proclaim ] To understand right- 
ly this passage is a matter of importance ; for it seerns de- 
signed to give us the true key to the remaining part of Isaiah's 
prophecies ; the general subject of which is the restoration 
of the people and church of God. The Prophet opens the 
subject with great, clearness and elegance : he declares at once 
God's command to his messengers, (his Prophets, as the 
Chaldee rightly explains it,) to comfort his people in captivi- 
ty, to'lmpart to them the joyful tidings, that their punish- 
ment has now satisfied the divine justice, and the time of 
reconciliation and favour is at hand. He then introduces a 
harbinger giving orders to prepare the way for God leading 
his people from Babylon, as he did formerly from Egypt, 
through the wilderness ; to remove all obstacles, and to clear 
the way for their passage. Thus far nothing more appears 
to be intended than a return from the Babylonish captiv- 
ity : but the next wor-ds seem to intimate something much 
greater : 

" And the glory of JEHOVAH shall be revealed; 
And all flesh shall see together the salvation of our God." 

He then introduces a voice commanding him to make a 
solemn proclamation. And what is the import of it ? That 


the people, the flesh, is of a vain temporary nature ; that all 
its glory fadeth, and is soon gone ; but that the word of 
God endiireth for ever. What is this, but a plain opposi- 
tion of the flesh to the spirit ; of the carnal Israel to the 
spiritual ; of the temporary Mosaic economy to the eternal 
Christian dispensation ? You may be ready to conclude, 
(the Prophet may be supposed to say), by this introduction 
to my discourse, that my commission is only to comfort you 
with a promise of the restoration of your religion and polity, 
of Jerusalem, of the temple, and its services and worship in 
all its ancient splendour : These are earthly, temporary, 
shadowy, fading things, which shall soon pass away, and be 
destroyed for ever ; these are not worthy to engage your 
attention, in comparison of the greater blessings, the spirit- 
ual redemption, the eternal inheritance, covered under the 
veil of the former, which I have it in charge to unfold unto 
you. The law has only a shadow of good things ; the sub- 
stance is the gospel. I promise you a restoration of the 
former ; which, however, is only for a time, and shall be 
done away, according to God's original appointment: but 
under that image I give you a view of the latter ; which 
shall never be done away, but shall endure for ever. This 
I take to be agreeable to St. Peter's interpretation of this 
passage of the Prophet, quoted by him 1 Pet. i. 24, 25. 
" All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower 
of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth 
away ; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And 
this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." 
This is the same word of the Lord of which Isaiah speaks, 
which hath now been preached unto you by the gospel. The 
law and the gospel are frequently opposed to one another by 
St Paul under the images of flesh and spirit : " Having begun 
in the spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh ? " Gal. 
iii. 3. 

7. When the wind of JEHOVAH ] mrr nn, a wind of 
JEHOVAH, is a Hebraism, meaning no more than a strong 
wind. It is well known, that a hot wind in the East destroys 
at once every green thing. Compare Psal. ciii. 16. Two 
MSS omit the word mrr, JEHOVAH. 

9. O daughter that bringest glad tidings] That the true 
construction of the sentence is this, which makes Sion the 
receiver, not the publisher, of the glad tidings, (which latter 
has been the most prevailing interpretation), will, I think* 


very clearly appear, if we rightly consider the image itself, 
and the custom and common practice from which it is taken. 
I have added the word daughter, to express the feminine 
gender of the Hebrew participle, which I know not how 
to do otherwise in our language. And this is absolutely 
necessary in order to ascertain the image ; for the office of 
announcing and celebrating such glad tidings as are here 
spoken of, belonged peculiarly to the women. On occasion 
of any great public success, a signal victory, or any other 
joyful event, it was usual for the women to gather together, 
and with music, dances, and songs, to [publish and celebrate 
the happy news. Thus, after the passage of the Red Sea, 
Miriam, and all the women, with trimbrels in their hands, 
formed a chorus, and joined the men in their triumphant 
song, dancing, and throwing in alternately the refrain or 
burthen of the song : 

Sing ye to JEHOVAH, for he is greatly exalted; 
The horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea." 

Exod. xv. 20, 21. 

So Jephthah's daughter collected a chorus of virgins, and 
with dances and songs came out to meet her father, and to 
celebrate his victory ; Judg. xi. 34. After David's conquest 
of Goliah, " all the women came out of the cities of Israel, 
singing and dancing, to meet Saul, with tabrets, with joy, 
and with instruments of music :" and forming themselves in- 
to two chorusses, they sung alternately, 
" Saul has slain his thousands; 

And David his ten thousands." 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 7. 
And this gives us the true sense of a passage in the Ixviiith 
Psalm, which has frequently been misunderstood : 
" JEHOVAH gave the word; (that is, the joyful news); 

The women, who published the glad tidings, were a great 
company : 

The kings of mighty armies did flee, did flee; 

And even the matron, who staid at home, shared the spoil." 

The word signifying the publishers of glad tidings is the 
same, and expressed in the same form by the feminine par- 
ticiple, as in this place ; and the last distich is the song which 
they sung. So in this place, JEHOVAH having given the 
word by his Prophet, the joyful tidings of the restoration of 
Sion, and of God's returning to Jerusalem, (see chap. Hi. 
8.), the women are exhorted by the Prophet to publish the 


joyful news with a loud voice from eminences, whence they 
might best be heard all over the country ; and the matter and 
burthen of their song was to be, " Behold your God !" 

JO. his reward, and the recompense of his work] That 
is, the reward and recompense, which he bestows and 
which he will pay to his faithful servants : this he has ready 
at hand with him, and holds it out before him, to encourage 
those who trust in him, and wait for him. 

11. The nursing ewes shall he gently lead] A beautiful 
image, expressing, with the utmost propriety as well as ele- 
gance, the tender attention of the shepherd to his flock. 
That the greatest care in driving the cattle in regard to the 
dams and their young was necessary, appears clearly from 
Jacob's apology to his brother Esau, Gen. xxxiii. 13. " The 
flocks and the herds giving suck to their young are with 
me ; and if they should be over-driven, all the flock will die." 
Which is set in a still stronger light by the following remark 
of Sir John Chardin : " Their flocks, (says he, speaking 
of those who now live in the East after the patriarchal man- 
ner), feed down the places of their encampments so quick, 
by the great numbers that they have, that they are obliged 
to remove them too often ; which is very destructive to their 
flocks on account of the young ones, who have not strength 
enough to follow :" Harmer's Observ. i. p. 126. 

16. And Lebanon is not sufficient ] The image is beau- 
tiful and uncommon : it has been imitated by an apocryphal 
writer, who however comes far short of the original : 
" For all sacrifice is too little for -a sweet savour unto thee; 
And all the fat is not sufficient for thy burnt offering." 

Judith xvi. 16. 

19. and forgeth ] For epiy, the participle, twenty- 
seven MSS (five ancient), and three editions, read tpy, praet. 
3d person. 

21. understood it from the foundation ] The true 
reading seems to be nnoiDD, to answer to tf&nn in the fore- 
going line. It follows a word ending with D; and out of three 
mems concuring, it was an easy mistake to drop the middle one. 

22. as a thin veil] " It is usual in the summer season, 
and upon all occasions, when a large company is to be re- 
ceived, to have the court sheltered from heat, or inclemency 
of the weather, by a vein umbrella, or veil, as I shall call 
it ; which, being expanded on ropes from one side of the 
parapet-wall to the other, may be folded or unfolded at 


pleasure. The Psalmist seems to allude to some covering 
of this kind in that beautiful expression of spreading out the 
heavens like a curtain :" Shaw, Trav. p. 274. 

24. If he but blow upon them] The LXX, Syr. Vulg. 
and MS Bodl. and another, have DJ without the conjunc- 
tion i. 

28. And that his understanding [ Twenty-four MSS, 
two editions, LXX, and Vulg. read pn, with the conjunc- 
tion i. 

31. They shall put forth fresh feathers.'] It has been a 
common and popular opinion, that the eagle lives and re- 
tains his vigour to a great age ; and that, beyond the com- 
mon lot of other birds, he moults in his old age, and renews 
his feathers, and with them his youth. " Thou shalt renew 
thy youth like the eagle," says the Psalmist, ciii. 5. ; on which 
place St. Ambrose notes, " Aquila longam setatem ducit, 
dum, vetustis plumis fatiscentibus, nova pennarum succes- 
sione juvenescit." Phile, de Animalibus, treating of the 
eagle, and addressing himself to the Emperor Michael 
Palaeologus junior, raises his compliment upon the same 
notion : 

Tovrov G-V) fictriteVj TOV TTO^VV 

Ast vsovgyavj KSCI Kgarvvav TJJV 

Long may'st thou live, O king ; still like the eagle 

Renew thy youth, and still retain thy vigour. 
To this many fabulous and absurd circumstances are added 
by several ancient writers and commentators on Scripture: 
see Bochart, Hieroz. II. ii. 1. Whether the notion of the 
eagle's renewing his youth is in any degree well founded of 
not, I need not inquire ; it is enough for a poet, whether 
profane or sacred, to have the authority of popular opinion 
to support an image introduced lor illustration or ornament. 


1 . repair to me with new sentiments] Eyiucntgerte, LXX. 
For itynnn, be silent^ they certainly read in their copy 
winn, be renewed ; which is parallel and synonymous with 
ro lirVr, recover their strength ; that is, their strength of 
mind, their powers of reason ; that they may overcome those 
prejudices by which they have been so long held enslaved 
to idolatry. A MS has in upon a rasure. ^The same mi- 


take seems to have been made in this word, Zeph. iii. 17. : 
for iroruo Bnrr, " silebit in dilectione sua," as the Vul- 
gate renders it, which seems not consistent with what im- 
mediately follows, " exultabit super te in laude ;" LXX and 
Syr. read iran&o BHrV, "renovabitur in amore suo." 

2. the righteous man.} The Chald. and Vulg. seem to 
have read p^v- But Jerom, though his translation has 
justum, appears to have read piv; for in his comment he 
expresses it byjustum, sive jusiitiam. However, I think 'all 
interpreters understand it of a person. So the LXX, in 
MS Pachom. txaterev CLVTOV, but the other copies have eumn. 
They are divided in ascertaining this person : some explain 
it of Abraham ; others of Cyrus. I rather think that the 
former is meant ; because the character of the righteous 
man, or righteousness, agrees better with Abraham than with 
Cyrus. Besides, immediately after the description of the suc- 
cess given by God to Abraham and his posterity, (who, I 
presume, are to be taken into the account), the idolaters are 
introduced as greatly alarmed at this event. Abraham was 
called out of the east ; and his posterity were introduced 
into the land of Canaan, in order to destroy the idolaters of 
that country ; and they were established there, on purpose 
to stand as a barrier against idolatry, then prevailing, and 
threatening to overrun the whole face of the earth. Cyrus, 
though not properly an idolater, or worshipper of images, 
yet had nothing in his character to cause such an alarm 
among the idolaters, ver. 5 7. Further, after having just 
touched upon that circumstance, the Prophet with great ease 
returns to his former subject, and resumes Abraham and the 
Israelites ; and assures them, that as God had called them, 
and chosen them for this purpose, he would uphold and 
support them to the utmost, and at length give them victory 
over all the heathen nations, their enemies ; ver. 8 16. 

Ibid. made them like the dust ] The image is strong 
and beautiful ; it is often made use of by the sacred poets ; 
see Psal. i. 4. xxxv. 5. Job. xxi. 18. and by Isaiah himself in 
other places, chap. xvii. 13. xxix. 5. But there is great 
difficulty in making out the construction. The LXX read 
Drwp, DJTi, their sword, their bow, understanding it of the 
sword and bow of the conquered kings ; but this is not so 
agreeable to the analogy of the image, as employed in other 
places. The Chaldee Paraphrast and Kimchi solve the dif- 
ficulty by supposing an ellipsis of 'ja 1 ? before those words. 


It must be owned, that the ellipsis is hard and unusual : but 
I choose rather to submit to this, than, by adhering with 
Vitringa to the more obvious construction, to destroy entirely 
both the image and the sense. But the Vulgate by gladio 
ejuSy and arcui ejus, seems to express lannb and rwp 1 ? ; the 
admission of which reading may perhaps be thought prefera- 
ble to Kimchi's ellipsis. 

3. he passeth in safety} The preposition seems to have 
been omitted in the text by mistake : LXX and Vulg. seem 
to have had it in their copies ; *v etgwy, in pace, vhwi. 

4. and made these things} A word is here lost, out of 
the text. It is supplied by an ancient MS, rhx, these things ; 
and by LXX, ravr**, and by Vulg. hcec ; and by Chald. 

5. and they were terrified} Three MSS have mm, 
adding the conjunction i, which restores the second member 
of the sentence to its true poetical form. 

7. that it shall not move.} Five MSS (two ancient), 
and the ancient versions, add the conjunction i, reading *6i ; 
which seems to be right. 

9. from the extremities thereof} rvVvxn: VN signi- 
fies the arm, axilla, ala ; and is used like fp, the wing, for 
any thing extended from the extremity of another, or joined 
on to it. It is here parallel and synonomous to mypD,//w?i 
the ends, in the preceding member. 

15. a threshing" wain, a corn-drag-} See note on 
chap, xxviii. 27, 28. 

19. In the wilderness I will give the cedar} The two 
preceding verses express God's mercy to them in their pas- 
sage through the dry deserts, in supplying them with abun- 
dant water, when distressed with thirst, in allusion to the 
Exodus : this verse expresses the relief afforded to them, faint- 
ing with heat in their journey through that hot country, des- 
titute of shelter, by causing shady trees, and those of the 
tallest and most beautiful kinds, to spring up for their defence. 
The apocryphal Baruch, speaking of the return from Baby- 
lon, expresses God's protection of his people by the same 
image : " Even the woods and every sweet smelling tree shall 
overshadow Israel by the commandment of God ; " chap. 
v. 8. 

20. and may consider ] The verb iD'tf', without 3 1 ? 
added, cannot signify to apply the heart, or to attend to a 
thing, as Houbigant has observed : he therefore reads W, 


they shall wonder. The conjecture is ingenious : but it is 
much more probable that the word ^ is lost out of the text ; 
for all the ancient versions render the phrase to the same 
sense, as if it were fully expressed, 3b iw; and the Chaldee 
renders it paraphrastically, yet still retaining the very words 
in his paraphrase, pro 1 ? ty 'rbm pun, " ut ponant timorem 
meum in corde suo." See also ver. 22. where the same phrase 
is used. 

21. Produce these your mighty powers] " Accedant, in- 
quit, idola vestra, quse putatis esse fortissima :" Hieron. Com. 
in loc. I prefer this to all other interpretations of this place, 
and to Jerom's own translation of it, which he adds immedi- 
ately after, " Afferte, si quid forte habetis." The false gods 
are called upon to come forth, and appear in person ; and to 
give evident demonstration of their fore-knowledge and power, 
by foretelling future events, and exerting their power in doing 
good or evil. 

23. and terror] The word aroi is written imperfectly in 
the Hebrew text : the Masoretes supply n at the end ; and 
so it is read in twenty-two MSS, and four editions : that is, 
n*roi, and we shall see. But the true reading seems to be 
KYJI, and we shall /ear, with r supplied, from *o. 

24. than nought] ForyDND, read DSHD; so Chald. and 
Vulg. A manifest error of the text : compare chap. xl. 17. 
The Rabbins acknowledge no such error ; but say, that the 
former word signifies the same with the latter, by a change 
of the two letters o and y: Sal. b. Melech in loc. 

25. j ie shall trample ] For *o>, Le Clerc reads D3, 
from the Chaldee, who seems to read both words. " Forte 
legend. Dm, vel DDTI ; sequitur D : " SECKER. See Na- 
hum iii. 14. 

27. I first to Sion ] This verse is somewhat obscure by 
the transposition of the parts of the sentence, and the peculiar 
manner in which it is divided into two parallel lines. The 
verb at the end of the sentence belongs to both parts ; and 
the phrase, Behold they are here ! is parallel to the messen- 
ger of glad tidings ; and stands, like it, as the accusative 
case to the verb. The following paraphrase will explain the 
form and the sense of it : "I first, by my Prophets, give no- 
tice of these events, saying, Behold, they are at hand ! and I 
give to Jerusalem a messenger of glad tidings." 

28. And among the idols "J For H^KDI, I read Q^XDI, 
with the LXX, **< *TF* f <^A. See Exod. xv. 11. Isa. Ivii. 5. 



THE Prophet, having opened his subject with the pre- 
paration for the return from captivity at Babylon, and in- 
timated that a much greater deliverance was covered un- 
der the veil of that event ; proceeded to vindicate the power 
of God, as creator and disposer of all things ; and his infi- 
nite knowledge, from his prediction of future events, and in 
particular of that deliverance. He went still further, and 
pointed out the instrument by which he should effect the 
redemption of his people the Jews from slavery, namely, a 
great conqueror, whom he would call forth from the north 
and the east to execute his orders. In this chapter he pro- 
ceeds to the greater deliverance; and at once brings forth in- 
to full view, without throwing any veil of allegory over the 
subject, the Messiah. " Behold, my servant, Messiah," says 
the Chaldee. St Matthew has applied it directly to Christ ; 
nor can it with any justice or propriety be applied to any oth- 
er person or character whatever. 

1. And he shall publish judgment] Four MSS (two an- 
cient) add the conjunction DSPDI. See Matt. xii. 18. 

The word DD^D, judgment, like npi, righteousness, is 
taken in a great latitude of signification. It means rule, 
form, order, model, plan ; rule of right, or of religion ; an 
ordinance, institution ; judicial process, cause, trial, sentence, 
condemnation, acquittal, deliverance, mercy, &c. It certain- 
ly means in this place the law to be published by Messiah ; 
the institution of the gospel. 

4. His force shall not be abated nor broken} " Rabbi 
Meir ita citat locum istum, ut post pw addat inTD, robur ejus, 
quod hodie non comparet in textu Hebraeo, sed addendum 
videtur, ut sensus fiat planior :" Capel. Crit. Sac. p. 382. 
For which reason I had added it in the translation, before I 
observed this remark of Capellus. 

6. a covenant to the people] For qy, two MSS read thy, 
the covenant of the age to come, or the everlasting- cove- 
nant ; which seems to give a clearer and better sense. 

7. To open the eyes of the blind ] In this verse the 
Prophet seems to set forth the spiritual redemption, under 
images borrowed from the temporal deliverance. 

Ibid. and from the dungeon ] The LXX, Syr. and 
four MSS (one ancient), add the conjunction i, mini. 


10. Ye that go down upon the sea\ This seerhs not to 
belong to this place ; it does not well consist with what fol- 
lows, " and the fulness thereof." They that go down upon 
the sea, means navigators, sailors, traders, such as do busi- 
ness in great waters : an idea much too confined for the 
Prophet, who means the sea in general, as it is used by the 
Hebrews, for the distant nations, the islands, the dwellers 
on the sea-coasts all over the world. I suspect that some 
transcriber had the 23d verse of Psal. cvii. running in his 
head, nnxa DTI m ; and wrote in this place DTI -nv 
instead of DTI pjrv, or ;n', or p ; "let the sea roar, or 
shout, or exult." But as this is so different in appearance 
from the present reading, I do not take the liberty of in- 
troducing it into the translation. " Conjeceram legendum 
rrr ,ut ver. 12. ; sed non favent versioues :" SECKER. 

11. Let the desert ] The most uncultivated countries, 
and the most rude and uncivilized people, shall confess and 
celebrate with thanksgiving the blessing of the knowledge 
of God graciously imparted to them. By the desert is 
meant Arabia Deserta ; by the rocky country, Arabia Pe- 
treea : by the mountains, probably those celebrated ones, 
Paran, Horeb, Sinai, in the same country ; to which also 
belonged Kedar, a clan of Arabians, dwelling for the most 
part in tents : but there were others of them, who inhabited 
or frequented cities and villages, as may be collected from 
this place of the prophet. Pietro della Valle, speaking of 
the people of Arabia Deserta, says, " There is a sort of 
Arabs of that country called Maedi, who with their herds, 
of buffaloes for the most part, sometimes live in the deserts, 
and sometimes in cities ; from whence they have their name, 
which signifies wandering, going from place to place. They 
have no professed homes ; nor . are they properly Bedaui, or 
Beduui, that is, Deserticoli, who are the most noble among 
them, and never abide within walls, but always go wandering 
through the open country with their black tents; nor are 
they properly Hhadesi, as they call those who dwell in cities 
and lands with fixed houses : these by the latter are esteemed 
ignoble and base ; but by both are considered as of low con- 
dition :" Viaggi, Parte III. lett. 2. 

14. shall 1 keep silence for ever 1] After Dityn, in the 
copy which the LXX had before them, followed the word 

DlS^H, e<riairi}<rt6 aw? eitavos' put xxt ctet o-iaTryro/Actf, according to 

MSS Pachom. and i. D. n. and edition Complut. ; which 


word Dbijftn has been omitted in the text by an easy mistake 
of a transcriber, because of the similitude of the word preced- 

15. dry deserts] Instead of D T % islands, read D"2f; a 
very probable conjecture of Houbigant. 

16. And through paths] The LXX, Syr. Vulg. and 
nine MSS (two ancient), read myntti. 

Ibid. will 1 do for them] orvwjp: This word so written, 
as it is in the text, means, Thou wilt do, in the second per- 
son : the Masoretes have indeed pointed it for the first per- 
son ; but the ' in the last syllable is absolutely necessary to 
distinguish the first person ; and so it is written in forty MSS, 

Jarchi, Kimchi, Sal. b. Melech, &c. agree, that the past 
time is here put for the future, wvy for n^K; and indeed the 
context necessarily requires that interpretation. Further, it is 
to be observed, that D'rvBrp is for orft n T P,y, / have done 
them, for I have done for them ; as on'tfy is for ft irvifipp, / 
have made myself, for / have made for myself ; Ezek. 
xxix. 3. : and in the celebrated passage of Jephthah's vow, 
Judges xi. 31. rftiy ijvnft.prn, for rftiy ft 'nftyn, / will offer 
him a burnt-offering, for 1 will offer unto him (that is 
unto JEHOVAH) a burnt-offering ; by an ellipsis of the prep- 
osition, of which Buxtorflf gives many other examples, Thes. 
Grammat. lib. ii. 17. See also note on chap. Ixv. 5. A late 
happy application of this grammatical remark to that much 
disputed passage, has perfectly cleared up a difficulty which 
for two thousand years had puzzled all the translators and 
expositors, had given occasion to dissertations without num- 
ber, and caused endless disputes among the learned, on the 
question, whether Jephthah sacrificed his daughter, or not : 
in which both parties have been equally ignorant of the mean- 
ing of the place, of the state of the fact, and of the very terms 
of the vow ; which now at last has been cleared up beyond 
all doubt by my very learned friend Dr. Randolph, Margaret 
Professor of Divinity in the university of Oxford, in his ser- 
mon on Jephthah's vow ; Oxford, 1766. 

19. as he, to whom I have sent my messengers.] oaftnD 
rft^K, "ut ad quern nuncios meos misi ; " Vulg. Chald. ; 
almost the only interpreters who render it rightly, in consis- 
tence with the rest of the sentence, and in perfect agreement 
with the Hebrew idiom ; according to which the ellipsis is to 
be thus supplied, 



Ibid. as he that is perfectly instructed] See note on 
chap. xliv. 2. 

Ibid. And deaf [as the servant of JEHOVAH] For-njn, 
and blind, we must read mm, and deaf: **>$, Symmachus ; 
and so MS. The mistake is palpable, and the correction 
self-evident ; and admissible, though there had been no au- 
thority for it. 

20. Thou hast seen indeed] The text has rn:n n&o, 
which the Masoretes in the marginal Keri have corrected to 
man man ; as indeed a hundred and seven MSS, and five 
editions, now have it in the text. This was probably the 
reading of most of the MSS in their time ; which, though 
they approved of it, out of some superstition they would not 
admit into their standard text. But these wretched critics, 
though they perceived there was some fault, yet did not 
know where the fault lay, nor consequently how to amend 
it; and yet it was open enough to a judicious eye: a nm, 
sic ve.teres ; et tamen forte legendum, niao : vide cap. vi. 9 : " 
SECKER. That is, rn*n rvao. I believe no one will doubt 
of admitting this as the true reading. 

Ibid. yetthou wilt not hear] Forjw, read ynpn, in 
the second person : so all the ancient versions, and forty 
MSS (four of them ancient), and perhaps five more. Two 
others have WDBTI, second person, plural. 

21. his own praise] For mm, the LXX read min. 

22. are taken in the toils] For nan, read main, in the 
plural number, Hophal ; as i&onn, which answers to it in 
the following member of the sentence : Le Clerc, Houbigant. 
nan, SECKER. 

24. they have sinned] For uwan, first person, LXX 
and Chald. read iKOn, in the third person. 

25. the heat of his wrath] For non, the Bodley MS has 
non, in regimine ; more regularly. 


1. I have called thee by thy name] pisa n&op. "Sicver- 
siones. Videtur ex versu septimo et reipsa legendum yn&np 
'DUO, [vocavi te raeo nomine] ; nam saepe usurpatur heec 
phrasis, nunquam altera. Nam xlv. 24. de Gyro alia res est. 
Sed dum Deus Jacobum Israelem vocat, Dei nomine vocat. 
Vide Exod. xxxi. 2." SECKER. 



3. I have given Egypt for thy ransom] This is commonly 
supposed to refer to the time of Senacherib's invasion ; who, 
when he was just ready to fall upon Jerusalem, soon after 
his entering Judea, was providentially diverted from that 
design, and turned his arms against the Egyptians, and their 
allies the Cushean Arabians, with their neighbours the Sa- 
beans probably joined with them, under Tirhakah. See 
chap. xx. and xxxvii. 9. Or, as there are some reasonable 
objections to this opinion, perhaps it may mean more gene- 
rally, that God had often saved his people at the expense of 
other nations, whom he had, as it were in their stead, given 
up to destruction. Vitringa explains this of Shalmaneser's 
designs upon the kingdom of Judea, after he had destroyed 
that of Samaria ; from which he was diverted by carrying 
the war against the Egyptians, Cusheans, and Sabeans ; but 
of this, I think, he has no clear proof in history. It is not 
to be wondered, that many things of this kind should re- 
main very obscure for want of the light of history, which in 
regard to these times is extremely deficient. 

" Did not Cyrus overcome these nations ? and might they 
not be given him for releasing the Jews ? It seems to have 
been so from chap. xlv. 14 :" SECKER. 

7. Whom for my glory ] Ten MSS (three ancient), 
Syr. and Vulg. read nus 1 ?, without the conjunction i. 

8. Bring forth the people blind ] I understand this of 
the Gentiles, as the verse following, not of the Jews. Their 
natural faculties, if they had made a proper use of them, 
must have led them to the knowledge of the being and attri- 
butes of the one true God ; " for his eternal power and 
Godhead, if well attended to, are clearly seen in his works ;" 
Rom. i. 20. ; and would have preserved them from running 
into the folly and absurdity of worshipping idols. They are 
here challenged to produce the evidence of the power and 
foreknowledge of their idol-gods ; and the Jews are just 
afterward, ver. 10, appealed to as witnesses for God in this 
cause : therefore these latter cannot here be meant by the 
people blind with eyes, and deaf with ears. 

9. Who among them ] Seven MSS (three ancient), 
and the first edition, 1486, with Syr. and Vulg. read 033, 
who among you. The present reading is preferable. 

14. the Chaldeans exulting in their ships] Babylon 
was very advantageously situated, both in respect to com- 
merce and as a naval power. It was open to the Persian 


Gulf by the Euphrates, which was navigable by large ves- 
sels ; and being joined to the Tigris above Babylon by the 
canal called Naharmalca, or the Royal River, supplied the 
city with the produce of the whole country to the north of 
it, as far as the Euxine and -Caspian Seas: Herod, i. 194. 
Semiramis was the foundress of this part also of the Baby- 
lonian greatness : she improved the navigation of the 
Euphrates ; Herod, i. 184. Strabo, lib. xvi. : and is said to 
have had a fleet of three thousand gallies : Huet, Hist, du 
Commerce, chap. xi. We are not to wonder, that in later 
times we hear little of the commerce and naval power of 
Babylon; for, after the taking of the city by Cyrus, the 
Euphrates was not only rendered less fit for navigation, by 
being on that occasion diverted from its course, and left to 
spread over the whole country, but the Persian monarchs, 
residiag in their own country, to prevent any invasion by 
sea on that part of their empire, purposely obstructed the 
navigation of both the rivers, by making cataracts in them ; 
Strabo, ibid. ; that is ? by raising dams across the channel, and 
making artificial falls in them, that no vessel of any size or 
force could possibly come up. Alexander began to restore 
the navigation of the rivers by demolishing the cataracts 
upon the Tigris as far up as Seleucia ; Arrian. lib. vii. ; but, 
he did not live to finish his great designs ; those upon the 
Euphrates still continued, ^.mmianus,- xxiv. 1. mentions 
them as subsisting in his time. 

The Prophet therefore might very justly speak of the 
Chaldeans as glorying in their naval power in his time, 
though afterward they had no foundation for making any- 
such boast. 

15. The Creator of Israel] For fcnia, creator, six MSS 
(two ancient) have TI^K, God. 

20. The wild beast of the field shall glorify me} The 
image is elegant and highly poetical. God will give such an 
abundant miraculous supply of water to] his people traversing 
the dry desert, in their return to their country, that even the 
wild beasts, the serpents, the ostriches, and other animals 
that haunt those adust regions, shall be sensible of the bless- 
ing ; and shall break forth into thanksgiving and praises to 
him for the unusual refreshment, which they receive from 
his so plentifully watering the sandy wastes of Arabia De- 
serta, for the benefit of his people passing through them. 
22 24. But thou hast not invoked ] The connexion 


is But thou, Israel, whom I have chosen, whom I have 
formed for myself, to be my witness against the false gods 
of the nations ; even thou hast revolted from me, hast neg- 
lected my worship, and hast been perpetually running after 
strange gods. The emphasis of this and the following parts 
of the sentence, on which the sense depends, seems to lie on 
the words Me, on My account. &c. The Jews were dili- 
gent in performing the external services of religion ; in of- 
fering prayers, incense, sacrifices, oblations : but their pray- 
ers were not offered with faith ; and their oblations were 
made more frequently to their idols than to the God of their 
fathers. The Hebrew idiom excludes with a general nega- 
tive, in a comparative sense, one of two objects opposed to 
one another : thus, " I will have mercy, and not sacrifice ; " 
Hosea vi. 6. u For I spake not to your fathers, nor com- 
manded them concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices ; but 
this thing I commanded them, saying, Obey my voice ; " 
Jer. vii. 22, 23. And the meaning of this place of Isaiah 
seems to be much the same with that of Amos ; who however 
has explained at large both parts of the comparison, and 
specified the false service opposed to the true : 

" Have ye offered unto Me sacrifices and offerings 
In the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel ? 
Nay, but ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch, 
And Chiun, your images ; 

The star of your God, which you made to yourselves." 

Amos v. 25, 26. 

22. Neither hast thou laboured ] For njw O, LXX 
and Vulg. read nyri: Houbigant. The negative is re- 
peated, or referred to,1 by the conjunction i ; as in many 
other places. See note on chap, xxiii. 4. 

20. And thy princes have profaned ] Instead of ^rw 
"y, read "pp Mm. So Syr. and LXX, KM ti**w o* 
*ZX*Tet ret uyict, IMV, ?tsnp * Houbigant. 'o/ f#m$ rev, MSS 
Pachom. and i. D. n. and Marchal. 

Ibid. to reproach.} nan: 1 ?, in the singular number; 
so an ancient MS, and LXX, Syr. Vulg. 


2. Jeshurun means Israel. This name was given to that 
people by Moses, Deut. xxxii. 15. xxxiii. 5. and 26. The 


most probable account of it seems to be that in which the 
Jewish commentators agree ; namely, that it is derived from 
"ttsr, and signifies upright. In the same manner, Israel, as 
a people, is called D^IPD, perfect, chap. xlii. 19. They were 
taught of God. and abundantly furnished with the means of 
rectitude and perfection in his service and worship. 

4. as the grass among the waters} Tvn pa , " They 
shall spring up in the midst of, or rather, in among, the 
grass" This cannot be right : ten MSS, and two editions, 
have pa, or pD. Twenty-four MSS read it without the 
', p3 ; and so reads the Ohaldee ; tiie Syriac, yan. The 
true reading is in all probability "pD; and the word D-D, 
which should have followed it, is lost out of the text ; but it 
is happily supplied by the LXX : aq a** pew oSem*. " In 
every place where there is water, there is always grass ; for 
water makes every thing grow in the East :" Sir John Char- 
din's note on 1 Kings xviii. 5. ; Harmer's Observ. i. p. 54. 

5. shall be called] Passive, *ap' x^^raM, Symma- 

Ibid. And this shall inscribe his hand to JEHO VAH.] K*< 

fregos wyga^ei xetgt (%etga 9 Aq. Sym.) etvrev, rev Geov ei^t : " And 

another shall write upon his hand, I belong to God : " LXX. 
They seem to have read here, as before, % JN rnrvb. But 
the repetition of the same phrase without any variation is 
not elegant. However, they seem to have understood it 
rightly as an allusion to the marks which were made, by 
punctures rendered indelible by fire or by staining, upon 
the hand or some other part of the body, signifying the state 
or character of the person, and to whom he belonged : the 
slave was marked with the name of his master ; the soldier, 
of his commander; the idolater, with the name or ensign of 

Ills god : rey/twwa eTTiygecipefMva, otat, ttat s-getTevoftevuv ev Tec,t$ %eg<rn : 

Aelius apud Turnebum Advers. xxiv. 12. "Victuris in 
cute punctis milites scripti et matriculis inserti jurare solent:" 
Vegetius, ii. 5. And the Christians seem to have imitated 
this practice, by what Procopius says on this place of Isaiah : 

T Je TH< XEIPI, hot. TO ngeti to-aq iroMws ITTI xotgnrav, q /3f*/ov, 

TU rxvgov TO e-Efiutov, tj TJJ Xgwj Treoff-tyogioui : " Because many 
marked their wrists, or their arms, with the sign of the 
cross, or with the name of Christ." See Rev. xx. 4. 
Spencer, De Leg. Hebr. lib. ii. cap. 20. 

7. let them declare unto us] For is 1 ?, unto them, the 
Chaldee reads u% unto us. The LXX read nib, unto you : 


which is preferable to the reading of the text. But \ch and 
U 1 ? are frequently mistaken one for the other : see chap. x. 
29. Psal. Ixxx. 7. Ixiv. 6. 

8. Fear ye not ] " imn nusquam occurrit : forte 
ix-vn, timete :" SECKER. Two MSS read imn. 

9, 10. That every one may be ashamed, that he hath 
formed a god] The Bodleian MS, one of the first ex- 
tant for its antiquity and authority, instead of 'o at the 
beginning of the 10th verse has -o, which greatly clears up 
the construction of a very obscure passage. The LXX 
likewise closely connect in construction the end of ver. 9. 
with the beginning of ver. 10. and wholly omit the interro- 
gative 'D, which embarrasses the sentence : a/o-xvy^nvrcu 01 

wAa<ro-avT5 fov, xcti yAypams aravTss <6va^fA?j : agreeably to the 

reading of the MS above-mentioned. 

11. Even the workmen themselves shall blush'] I do not 
know, that any one has ever yet interpreted these words to 
any tolerably good sense: DIND nan D'Bnni- The Vul- 
gate, and our translators, have rendered them very fairly, 
as they are written and pointed in the text : " Fabri enim 
sunt ex hominibus :" " And the workmen, they are of men." 
Out of which the commentators have not been able to ex- 
tract any thing worthy of the Prophet. I have given an- 
other explanation of the place ; agreeable enough to the 
context, if it can be deduced from the words themselves. I 
presume, that mx, rubuit may signify erubuit, to be red 
through shame, as well as from any other cause ; though I 
cannot produce any example of it in that particular sense : 
and the word in the text I would point D^KD ; or if any 

one should object to the irregularity of the number, I would 
read DDIKD. But I rather think, that the irregularity of 
the construction has been the cause of the obscurity, and 
has given occasion to the mistaken punctuation. The sin- 
gular is sometimes put for the plural ; see Psal. Ixviii. 31. ; 
and the participle for the future tense ; see Isa. Ix. 11. 

12. cutteth off} -tf;>D, participium pihel of iyy, to 

" - 

cut ; still used in that sense in the Arabic. See Simonis 
Lex. Heb. The LXX and Syr. take the word in this form ; 
but they render it, sharpeneth the iron. See Castell. Lex. 
in voce. 

The sacred writers are generally large and eloquent upon 
the subject of idolatry : they treat it with great severity, and 
set forth the absurdity of it in the strongest light. But this 


passage of Isaiah, ver. .12 20. far exceeds any thing that 
ever was written upon the subject, in force of argument, 
energy of expression, and elegance of composition. One 
or two of the apocryphal writers have attempted to imitate 
the Prophet, but with very ill success ; Wisd. xiii. 11 19. 
xv. 7, &c. Baruch, chap. vi. ; especially the latter, who, 
injudiciously dilating his matter, and introducing a number 
of minute circumstances, has very much weakened the force 
and effect of his invective. On the contrary, a heathen au- 
thor, in the ludicrous way, has, in a line or two, given idol- 
atry one of the severest strokes it ever received : 

" Olim truncus eram ficulnus, inutile lignum ; 
Cum faber, incertus scamnum faceretne Priapum, 
Maluit esse Deum." Horat. 

14. He heweth down] For ntfc, the LXX and Vulg. 
read mD, or rro' 

16. And with part ] Twenty-three MSS, LXX, and 
Vulg. add the conjunction i, tyi. 

18. their eyes are closed up} The LXX, Chald. and 
Vulg, for nt3 read inB. See note on chap. vi. 10. 

20. Hefeedeth on ashes] He feedeth on that which af- 
fordeth no nourishment: a proverbial expression for using 
ineffectual means, and bestowing labour to no purpose. In 
the same sense Hosea says, " Ephraim feedeth on wind," 
chap. xii. 1. 

22. / have made thy transgressions vanish away like a 
cloud, and thy sins like a vapour.] Longinus admired the 
sublimity of the sentiment, as well as the harmony of the 
numbers, in the following sentence of Demosthenes : Tovro 

TO fylpirijut TOV Tore ry irotei &tf>ierxf\ot> x/vJWv vrocg cA0e/y cvrotijtrgi aitnrep 

K<pos: " This decree made the danger then hanging over the 
city pass away like a cloud." 

24. by myself] Thirteen MSS (six ancient), confirm 
the reading of the Keri, VINE. 

27. Who sayeth to the deep, Be thou wasted] Cyrus took 
Babylon by laying the bed of the Euphrates dry, and lead- 
ing his army into the city by night through the empty chan- 
nel of the river. This remarkable circumstance, in which 
the event so exactly corresponded with the prophecy, was also 
noted by Jeremiah : 

" A drought shall be upon her waters, and they shall be dried up. 
I will lay her sea dry ; 
And I will scorch up her springs.' 1 Jer. 1. 38. li. 36. 


It is proper here to give some account of the means and 
method by which the stratagem of Cyrus was effected. 

The Euphrates in the middle of summer, from the melt- 
ing of the snows on the mountains of Armenia, like the Nile, 
overflows the country. In order to diminish the inundation, 
arid to carry off the waters, two canals were made by Neb- 
uchadnezzar a hundred miles above the city ; the first on 
the eastern side, called Naharmalca, or the royal river, by 
which the Euphrates was let into the Tigris ; the other on 
the western side, called Pallacopas, or Naharaga, (wx TIJ, 
the river of the pool), by which the redundant waters were 
carried into a vast lake, forty miles square, contrived not 
only to lessen the inundation, but for a reservoir, with sluices, 
to water the barren country on the Arabian side. Cyrus, by 
turning the whole river into the lake by the Paliacopas, laid 
the channel, where it ran through the city, almost dry ; so 
that his army entered it, both above and below, by the bed 
of the river, the water not reaching above the middle of the 
thigh. By the great quantity of water let into the lake, the 
sluices and dams were destroyed ; and being never repaired 
afterward, the waters spread over the whole country below, 
and reduced it to a morass, in which the river is lost. " In- 
gens modo et navigabilis, inde tenuis rivus, despectus emori- 
tur ; et nusquam manifesto exitu effluit, ut alii omnes, sed 
deficit:" Mela, iii. 8. Herod, i. 185. 190. Xenophon. Cyrop. 
vii. Arrian. vii. 

28. Who sayeth to Cyrus, Thou art my shepherd} " Pas- 
tor meus es : " Vulg. The true reading seems to be jn 
nnK ; the word nntf has probably been dropt out of the text. 
The same word is lost out of the text. Psal. cxix. 57. It is 
supplied in LXX by the word et. 

Ibid. Who sayeth to Jerusalem] For noxbi, LXX and 
Vulg. read imxn. 

Ibid. and to the temple] brwVn, as thvnh before : the 
preposition is necessary ; and the Vulgate seems to read so : 


1. And ungird the loins of kings] ' See note on chap. v. 
27. Xenophon gives the following list of the nations con- 
quered by Cyrus : the Syrians, Assyrians, Arabians, Cappa- 
docians, both the Phrygians, Lydians, Carians, Phenicians, 


Babylonians. He moreover reigned over the Bactrians, In- 
dians, Cilicians, the Sacae, Paphlagones, and Mariandyni : 
Cyrop. lib. i. p. 4. edit. Hutchinson, 4lo. All these king- 
doms he acknowledges, in his decree for the restoration of 
the Jews, to have been given to him by JEHOVAH, the God 
of heaven : Ezra i. 2. 

Ibid. That I may open before him the valves ; and the 
gates shall not be shut.] The gates of Babylon within the 
city, leading from the streets to the river, were providentially 
left open, when Cyrus's forces entered the city in the night 
through the channel of the river, in the general disorder oc- 
casioned by the great feast which was then celebrated ; other- 
wise, says Herodotus, i. 191. the Persians would have been 
shut up in the bed of the river, and taken as in a net, and 
all destroyed : And the gates of the palace were opened im- 
prudently by the king's orders, to inquire what was the cause 
of the tumult without ; when the two parties under Gobrias 
and Gadatas rushed in, got possession of the palace, and 
slew the king : Xenoph. Cyrop. vii. p. 528. 

2. the mountains ] For D'inn, a word not easily ac- 
counted for in this place, the LXX read D r "nn, ** op. Two 
MSS have a T Yn, without the 1 ; which is hardly distinguish- 
able from the reading of the LXX. The divine protection 
which attended Cyrus, and rendered his expedition against 
Babylon easy and prosperous, is finely expressed by God's 
going before him, and making the mountains level. The 
image is highly poetical : 

" At vos, qua veniet, tumidi subsidite montes, 

Et faciles curvis vallibus este vise." Ovid. Amor. ii. 16-. 

Ibid. The valves of brass ] Abydenus, apud Euseb. 
Prp. Evang. ix. 41. says, that the wall of Babylon had 
brazen gates. And Herodotus, i. 179. more particularly : 
" In the wall all round there are a hundred gates, all of brass : 
and so in like manner are the sides and the lintels." The 
gates likewise within the city, opening to the river from the 
several streets, were of brass ; as were those also of the tem- 
ple of Belus: Id. i. 180,181. 

3. I will give unto thee the treasures of darkness] Sardes 
and Babylon, when taken by Cyrus, were the wealthiest 
cities in the world. Croesus, celebrated beyond all the kings 
of that age for his riches, gave up his treasures to Cyrus, 
with an exact account in writing of the whole, containing 
the particulars with which each waggon was loaded, when 


they were carried away ; and they were delivered to Cyrus 
at the palace of Babylon : Xenoph. Cyro'p. lib. vii. p. 503. 
515. 540. 

Pliny gives the following account of the wealth taken by 
Cyrus in Asia. " Jam Cyrus devicta Asia, pondo xxxiv 
millia [auri] invenerat ; prseter vasa aurea, aurumque fac- 
tuni, et in eo folia, ac platanum, vitemque. Qua victoria 
argenti quingenta millia talentorum reportavit ; et craterem 
Semiramidis, cujus pondus quindecim talenta colligebat. 
Talentum autem JEgyptium pondo Ixxx patere [1. capere] 
Varro tradit : " Nat. Hist, xxxiii. 15. 

The gold and silver, estimated by weight in this ac- 
count, being converted into pounds sterling, amount to 
. 126,224,000 : Brerewood, De Ponderibus, cap. x. 

7. Forming light, and creating darkness] It was the 
great principle of the Magian religion, which prevailed in 
Persia in the time of Cyrus, and in which probably he was 
educated, that there are two supreme, co-eternal, and inde- 
pendent Causes, always acting in opposition one to the other ; 
one the author of all good, the other of all evil ; the good Be- 
ing they called Light ; the evil Being, Darkness : that, when 
light had the ascendant, then good and happiness prevailed 
among men ; when darkness had the superiority, then evil 
and misery abounded : an opinion that contradicts the 
clearest evidence of our reason, which plainly leads us to the 
acknowledgment of one only Supreme Being, infinitely good 
as well as powerful. With reference to this absurd opinion, 
held by the person to whom this prophecy is addressed, God 
by his Prophet, in the most significant terms, asserts his om- 
nipotence and absolute supremacy : 

" I am JEHOVAH, and none else; 
Forming light,, and creating darkness j 
Making peace, and creating evil : 
I JEHOVAH am the author of all these things. " 

Declaring, that those Powers whom the Persians held to 
be the original authors of good and evil to mankind, repre- 
senting them by light and darkness as their proper em- 
blems, are no other than creatures of God, the instruments 
which he employs in his government of tfre world, ordained 
or permitted by him in order to execute his wise and just 
decrees ; and that there is no Power, either of good or evil, 
independent of the One Supreme God, infinite in power and 
in goodness. 


There were, however, some among the Persians, whose 
sentiments were more moderate as to this matter ; who held 
the evil principle to be in some measure subordinate to the 
good ; and that the former would at length be wholly sub- 
dued by the latter: See Hyde, De Relig. Vet. Pers. cap, 

That this opinion prevailed among the Persians as early 
as the time of Cyrus, we may, I think, infer, not only from 
this passage of Isaiah, which has a manifest reference to it, 
but likewise from a passage in Xenophon's Cyropeedia, 
where the same doctrine is applied to the human mind. 
Araspes, a noble young Persian, had fallen in love with the 
fair captive Panthea, committed to his charge by Cyrus. 
After all his boasting, that he was superior to the assaults of 
that passion, he yielded so far to it, as even to threaten 
violence, if she would riot comply with his desires. Awed 
by the reproof of Cyrus, fearing his displeasure, and having 
by cool reflection recovered his reason ; in his discourse with 
him on this subject he says, " O Cyrus, I have certainly 
two souls ; and this piece of philosophy I have learned from 
that wicked sophist Love. For if I had but one soul, it 
would not be at the same time good and evil ; it would not 
at the same time approve of honourable and base actions ; 
and at once desire to do, and refuse to do, the very same 
things. But it is plain, that I am animated by two souls ; 
and when the good soul prevails, I do what is virtuous ; and 
when the evil one prevails, I attempt what is vicious. But 
now the good soul prevails, having gotten you for her as- 
sistant, and has clearly gained the superiority :" Lib. vi. 
p. 424. 

8. Drop dow^ O ye heavens ] The eighty-fifth Psalm 
is a very elegant ode on the same subject with this part of 
Isaiah's prophecies the restoration of Judah from captivity ; 
and is, in the most beautiful part of it, a manifest imitation 
of this passage of the Prophet : 

" Verily his salvation is nigh unto them that fear him, 
That glory may dwell in our land. 
Mercy and truth have met together ; 
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 
Truth shall spring from the earth, 
And righteousness shall look down from heaven. 
Even JEHOVAH will give that which is good, 
And our land shall yield her produce. 


Righteousness shall go before him, 

And shall direct his footsteps in the way." 

Psal. Ixxxv. 1014. 

These images of the dew and the rain descending from 
heaven, and making the earth fruitful, employed by the pro- 
phet, and some of those nearly of the same kind which are 
used by the Psalmist, may perhaps be primarily understood as 
designed to set forth in a splendid manner the happy state 
of God's people restored to their country, and flourishing 
in peace and plenty, in piety and virtue: but justice and 
salvation, mercy and truth, righteousnesss and peace, and 
glory dwelling in the land, cannot with any sort of pro- 
priety, in the one or the other, be interpreted as the conse- 
quences of that event ; they must mean the blessings of the 
great redemption by Messiah. 

Ibid. let salvation produce her fruit] For r^n, the 
LXX, Vulg. arid Syr. read ma'i ; and a MS has a rasure 
close after the letter i, which probably was n at first. 

9. Wo unto him, that contendeth with the power that 
formed him] The Prophet answers or prevents the objec- 
tions and cavils of the unbelieving Jews, disposed to mur- 
mur against God, and to arraign the wisdom and justice of 
his dispensations in regard to them ; in permitting them to 
be oppressed by their enemies, and in promising them de- 
liverance instead of preventing their captivity. St Paul 
has borrowed the image, and has applied it to the like pur- 
pose with equal force and elegance : " Nay, but, O man ! 
who art thou that repliest against God ? Shall the thing 
formed say to him that formed it. Why hast thou made me 
thus ? Hath not the potter power over the clay, out of the 
same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dis- 
honour ? Rom. ix. 20, 21. 

Ibid. and to the workmen, Thou hast no hands] The 
Syr. renders as if he had read -p* tya rrn *6i, " Neither 
am I the work of thy hands ;" the LXX, as if they had 
read, -j 1 ? on pxi rhys *6i, " Neither hast thou made me ; 
and thou hast no hands." But the fault seems to be in the 
transposition of the two pronouns : for 'ftysi read ibyai; 
and for i 1 ? read "]b. So Houbigant corrects it, reading 
also i^abi ; which last correction seems not altogether 
necessary. The LXX in MSS Pachom. and i. D. u. have 
it thus : xou TO egyov, ovx, e^fi^ %e<fs j which favours the reading 
here proposed. 



1 1 . And he thatformeth the things which are to come'] I 
read wi, without the i suffixed, from the LXX, who join it 
in construction with the following word ; ?w<o-* roe. m^^a.,- 

Ibid. Do ye question me ] " ^Ktfn, Chald. recte : 
praecedit n ; et sic forte legerunt reliqui Intt. :" SECKER. 

14. The wealth of Egypt ] This seems to relate to the 
future admission of the Gentiles into the church of God, 
Compare Psal. Ixviii. 32. Ixxii. 10. chap. Ix. 6 9. And 
perhaps these particular nations may be named, by a me- 
tonymy common in all poetry, for powerful and wealthy 
nations in general. See note on chap. Ix. 1. 

Ibid. The Sabeans tall of stature-*-] That the Sabeans 
were of a more majestic appearance than common, is par- 
ticular y remarked by Agatharchides, an ancient Greek his- 
torian quoted by Bochart, Phaleg. ii. 26. vet. o-aiMt.?* s?t rw 
)ca.loncowlay eeto*0y*itga. So also the LXX understand it, ren- 
dering it enfyft ufafoi. And the same phrase, rm WK, is 
used for persons of extraordinary stature, Numb. xiii. 32. 
and 1 Chron. xx. 6, 

Ibid. and in suppliant guise ] The conjunction i is 
supplied by the ancient versions, and confirmed by fifteen 
MSS (seven ancient), and six editions. -J^KI. Three MSS 
(two ancient), omit the i before -fix at the beginning of the 

16. They arc ashamed ] The reader cannot but ob- 
serve the sudden transition from the solemn adoration of 
the secret and mysterious nature of God's counsels, in re- 
gard to his people, to the spirited denunciation of the con- 
fusion of idolaters, and the final destruction of idolatry ; 
contrasted with the salvation of Israel, not from temporal 
captivity, but the eternal salvation by Messiah, strongly 
marked by the repetition and augmentation of the phrase, 
to the ages of eternity. But there is not only a sudden 
change in the sentiment ; the change is equally observable 
in the construction of the sentences ; which from the usual 
short measure runs out at once into two distichs of the longer 
sort of verse: See Prelim. Dissert, p. xli. &c. There is 
another instance of the same kind, and very like to this, of 
a sudden transition in regard both to the sentiment and 
construction in chap. xlii. 17. 

Ibid. his adversaries, all of them.} This line, to the 
great diminution of the beauty of the distich, is imperfect 
in the present text ; the subject of the proposition is not 


particularly expressed, as it is in the line following. The 
version of the LXX happily supplies the word that is lost ; 
ci avTiKeifuvot otvrca : the original word was ri2f . 

18. for heformeth it to be inhabited} An ancient Iv S 
has 3 before rot? 1 ?; and so the ancient versions. 

19. / have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the 
earth] In opposition to the manner in which the heathen 
oracles gave their answers ; which were generally delivered 
from some deep and obscure cavern. Such was the seat of 
the Cumean Sybil : 

" Excisum Euboicse latus ingens rupis in antrum." 

Virg. ^En. vi. 42. 

Such was that of the famous oracle at Delphi: of which, 

says Strabo, lib. 9. <pot<ri F eivetiro f^cvleiov <MTgov xotbov pel* fixOovf, 

v ft#A* fvfvrofv: '' The .oracle is said to be a hollow cavern 
of considerable depth, with an opening not very wide." 
And Diodorus, giving an account of the origin of this oracle, 
says, " that there was in that place a great chasm, or cleft, 
in the earth ; in which very place is now situated what is 
called the Adytum of the temple." A<$V7v G-^A^/OV, y TO etyr^v 
<pov (4,to$ TOV isgov : Hesych. " Adytum means a cavern, or 
the hidden part of the temple." 

Ibid. I am JEHOVAH, who speak truth, who give direct 
answers.] This also is said in opposition to the false and 
ambiguous answers given by the heathen oracles ; of which 
there are many noted examples ; none more so than that 
of the answer given to Croesus, when he had marched against 
Cyrus, which piece of history has some connexion w th 
this part of Isaiah's prophecies. Let us hear Cicero's account 
of the Delphic answers in general, and of this in particular. 

" Sed jam ad te venio, 

O Sancte Apollo, qui umbilicum certum terrarum obsides, 
Unde superstitiosa primum saeva evasit vox fera. 

Tuis enim oraculis Chrysippus totum volumen implevit, 
partim falsis, ut ego opinor ; partim casu veris, ut fit in 
omni oratione ssepissime; partim flexiloquis et obscuris, ut 
interpret egeat interprete, et sors ipsa ad sortes referenda 
sit ; partim ambiguis, et quae ad dialecticum deferenda sint. 
Nam cum sors ilia edita est opulentissimo regi Asise, 

Cro3sus Halym penetrans magnam pervertet opum vim: 

hostium vim sese perversurum putavit ; pervertit autem 
suam. Utrum igitur eorum accidisset, verum oraculum 
fuisset :" De Divinat. ii. 56. 


21. bring them near, and let them consult together} For 
rayr, let them consult, the LXX read i;n, let them know ; 
but an ancient MS has nyv, " let them come together by 
appointment ;" which may probably be the true reading. 

23. truth is gone forth from my mouth ; The word ] 
So the LXX distinguish the members of the sentence ; pre- 
serving the elegance of the construction, and the clearness 
of the sense. 

24. Saying, Only to JEHOVAH ] A MS omits '% unto 
me ; and instead of not* *?, he said or shall say unto rne. 
the LXX read, in the copy which they used, IDK% saying, 
For JO T , he shall come, in the singular, twelve MSS (three 
ancient) read 1*0% plural ; and a letter is erased at the end 
of the word in two others : and so the Alexandrine copy of 
the LXX, Syr. and Yulg. read it. For nipiy, plural, two 
MSS read npitf, singular : and so LXX, Syr. Chald. 


1. Their burthens are heavy] For DSTINBO, your bur- 
thens, the LXX had in their copy DTWXBU, their burthens. 

2. They could not deliver their own charge] That is. 
their worshippers ; who ought to have been borne by them. 
See the two next verses. The Chaldee and Syriac versions 
render it in effect to the same purpose, port antes se, those 
that bear them> meaning their worshippers : but how they 
can render wyn in an active sense. I do not understand. 

Ibid. Even they themselves ] For D^D:I, an ancient MS 
has DtfSj D, with more force. 

3 7. Ye that have been borne by me from the birth [ 
The Prophet very ingeniously, and with great force, con- 
trasts the power of God, and his tender goodness effectually 
exerted towards his people, with the inability of the false 
gods of the heathen : He like an indulgent father had car- 
ried his people in his arms, " as a man carrieth his son ; r 
Deut. i. 31. ; he had protected them, and delivered them fron. 
their distresses : whereas the idols of the heathen are forced 
to be carried about themselves, and removed from place to 
place, with great labour and fatigue, by their worshippers; 
nor can they answer, or deliver their votaries, when they crv 
unto them. 

Moses, expostulating with God on the weight of the 


charge laid upon him as leader of his people, expresses that 
charge, under the same image of a parent's carrying his 
children, in very strong terms : " Have I conceived all this 
people ? have I begotten them ? that thou shouldest say unto 
me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth 
the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto 
their fathers ;" Numb. xi. 12. 

Pindar has treated with a just and very elegant ridicule 
the work of the statuary, even in comparison with his own 
poetry, from this circumstance of its being fixed to a certain 
station. " The friends of Pytheas, says the Scholiast, came 
to the poet, desiring him to write an ode on his victory. Pin- 
dar demanded three drachms (minte, I suppose it should be) 
for the ode. No, say they, we can have a brazen statue 
for that money, which will be better than a poem. However, 
changing their minds afterwards, they came and offered him 
what he had demanded." This gave him the hint of the follow- 
ing ingenious exordium of his ode : 

Ovx. e 

TrotyKgotrtx rspavov. Nem. V. 

Thus elegantly translated by Mr Francis in a note to Hor. 
Carm. iv. 2. 19. 

" It is not mine with forming hand 
To bid a lifeless image stand 

For ever on its base : 
But fly, my verses, and proclaim 
To distant realms, with deathless fame, 

That Pytheas conquered in the rapid race." 

Jeremiah seems to be indebted to Isaiah for most of the fol- 
lowing passage : 

"The practices of the people are altogether vanity; 
For they cut down a tree from the forest; 
The work of the artificer's hand with the axe: 
With silver and with gold it is adorned; 
With nails and with hammers it is fastened, that it may not totter. 
Like the palm-tree they stand stiff, and cannot speak ; 


They are carried about, for they cannot go : 
Fear them not, for they cannot do harm, 
Neither is it in them to do good." Jer. JT. 3 5. 

8. shew yourselves men} iBrpxnn. This word is rath- 
er of doubtful derivation and signification. It occurs only in 
this place ; and some of the ancient interpreters seem to have 
had something different in their copies. Vulg. read wann, 
take shame to yourselves ; Syr. iwunn, consider with your- 
selves ; LXX, wet^ere; perhaps iSaxTWi, groan, or mourn, 
within yourselves. 

11. Calling from the cast the eagle\ A very proper em- 
blem for Cyrus, as in other respects, so particularly because 
the ensign of Cyrus was a golden eagle, AETOS xgvrovs -, the 
very word Dy, which the Prophet uses here, expressed as near 
as may be in Greek letters. Xcnoph. Cyrop. lib. vii. sub. 

Ibid. And from a land] Two MSS add the conjunction 
; and so LXX, Syr. Vulg. 


1. Descend, and sit on the dmt~] See note ou chap, iii. 
26. and on chap. Iii. 2. 

2. Take the mill, and grind the corn] It was the \\ oik 
of slaves to grind the corn. They used handmills : water- 
mills were not invented till a little before the time of Augus- 
tus ; (see the Greek epigram of Antipater, which seems to 
celebrate it as a new invention : Anthol. Cephalae, 653.): 
wind-mills, long after. It was not only the work of slaves, 
but the hardest work: and often inflicted on them as a se- 
vere punishment. 

" Molendum in pistrino ; vapulandum: habendae coinpedes.'" 

Terent. Phormio, ii. 1. 19. 

" Hominem pistrino dignum!" Id. Heaut. iii. 2. 19. 

But in the East it was the work of the female slaves. Sec 
Exod. xi. 5. xii. 29. (in the version of the LXX), Matt 
xxiv. 41. Homer. Odyss. xx. 105 108. And it is the same 
to this day : "Women alone are employed to grind ilieh 
corn ;" Shaw, Algiers and Tunis, p. 297. " They arc tin- 
female slaves that are generally employed in the en si. ,ii 
those Un ml -mills [for grinding- corn]: it. is extremely laborious. 
and esteemed the lowest employment in (.lie house :" t-ir . 
Chardin. Harmer's Observ. i. p. 153. 



2. I will not suffer man to intercede] The verb should 
be pointed, or written, jnSK, in Hiphil. 

4. Our avenger ] Here a chorus breaks in upon the 
midst of the subject ; with a change of construction, as well 
as sentiment, from the longer to the shorter kind of verse, 
for one distich only ; after which the former subject and style 
is resumed. See note on xlv. 16. 

6. / was angry with my people ] God, in the course of 
his providence, makes use of great conquerors and tyrants as 
his instruments to execute his judgments in the earth : he 
employs one wicked nation to scourge another. The inflic- 
tor of the punishment may perhaps be as culpable as the 
sufferer : and may add to his guilt by indulging his cruelty 
in executing God's justice. When he has fulfilled the work 
to which the divine vengeance has ordained him, he will be- 
come himself the object of it. See chap. x. 5 12. God 
charges the Babylonians, though employed by himself to 
chastise his people, with cruelty in regard to them. They 
exceeded the bounds of justice and humanity in oppressing 
and destroying them ; and though they were really executing 
the righteous decree of God, yet, as far as it regarded them- 
selves, they were only indulging their own ambition and 
violence. The Prophet Zechariah sets this matter in the 
same light : " I was but a little angry, and they helped for- 
ward the affliction ; " chap. i. 15. 

7. Because thou didst not ] For -\y read hy : so two 
MSS, and one edition. And for nmns*, the latter end of it, 
read ];VTIK, thy latter end : so thirteen MSS, and two edi- 
tions, and Vulg. 

9. On a sudden ] Instead of cnro, in their perfection, 
as our translation renders it, the LXX and Syr. read, in the 
copies from which they translated, OKHS, suddenly ; parallel 
to>';n, in a moment, in the preceding alternate member of 
the sentence. The concurrent testimony of LXX and Syn. 
favoured by the context, may be safely opposed to the author- 
ity of the present text. 

Ibid. Notwithstanding the multitude ] ma, for this 
sense of the particle n, see Numb. xiv r . 11. 

11. how to deprecate] rnnfc' : so the Chaldee renders 
it ; which is approved by Jarchi on the place, and Michaelis 
Epim. in Prselect. xix. ; see Psal. Ixxviii. 34. 

Ibid. " Videtur in fine [hujus commatis] deesse verbum ut 
hoc mernbrum prioribus respondeat : " SECKER. 


In order to set in a proper light this judicious remark, it is 
necessary to give the reader an exact verbal translation of the 
whole verse : 

" And evil shall come upon thee, thou shall not know how to 

deprecate it; 
And mischief shall fall upon thee, thou shalt not be able to 

expiate it; 
And destruction shall come suddenly upon thee, thou shalt 

not know " 

What ? how to escape, to avoid it, to be delivered from it ; 
(perhaps nJDO nxv, Jer. xi. 11.) I am persuaded, that a 
phrase is here lost out of the text. But as the ancient ver- 
sions retain no traces of it, and a wide field lies open to un- 
certain conjecture, I have not attempted to fill up the chasm ; 
but have in the translation, as others have done before me, 
palliated and disguised the defect, which I cannot with any 
assurance pretend to supply. 

13. What are the events ] For -WKD, read i^x no ; 
so the LXX. 

15. to his own business] nay*?. Expositors give no 
very good account of this word in this place. In a MS it was 
at first nny 1 ?, which is probably the true reading. The sense 
however is pretty much the same with the common inter- 


1. Ye that flow from the fountain ofjudah] DD, from 
the waters. " Perhaps ^DD, from the bowels , [so many 
others have conjectured], or [mtfv] 'JD, or mrPD,/rom Ju- 
dah : " SECKER. But see Michaelis in Praelect. not. 22. 
And we have upy }';', the fountain of Jacob, Deut. xxxiii. 28. 
and ^arw "npDD, from the mountain of Israel, Psal. Ixviii. 27. 
Twenty-seven MSS, and three editions, have >D'D, from the 
days ; which makes no good sense. 

6. behold, the whole is accomplished] For run, see, a 
MS has nin, this ; thou hast heard the whole of this : the 
Syriac has rvrn), thou hast heard, and thou hast seen, the 
whole. Perhaps it should be njn, behold. In order to ex- 
press the full sense, I have rendered it somewhat pharaphras- 

9. And for the sake of my praise] I read 'n^nn jyo 1 ?!. 
The word pzh, though not absolutely necessary here, for 


it may be understood as supplied from the preceding mem 
her, yet seems to have been removed from hence to ver. 11. ; 
where it is redundant, and where it is not repeated, in LXX< 
Syr. and a MS. I have therefore omitted it in the latter 
place, and added it here. 

10. I have tried thce ] For "[mm* I have chosen thee- 
a MS has yruro* I have tried thee. And so perhaps read 
the Syriac and Chaldee interpreters : they retain the same 
word imro ; but in those languages it signifies. I have tried 
thee. cpDD, quasi argentum, Vulg. 

11. for how would my name be blasphemed ?] The word 
W, my name, is dropt out of the text : it is supplied by a 
MS which has *Q# ; and by LXX, on TO e/u>v ovofAx ^i^areti 
The Syr. and Vulg. get over the difficulty, by making the 
verb in the first person, that I may not be blasphemed. 

12. "O Jacob, my servant] After apjr$ a MS, and the 
two old editions of 1486 and 1488, add the word fqp$ which 
is lost out of the present text ; and there is a rasure in its 
place in another ancient MS, The Jerusalem Talmud ha? 
the same word. 

Ibid. For 'jx ]K, even I, two ancient MSS, and the ancient 
versions, read JNI, and I ; more properly. 

14. Who among you ] For Dro a among them, twenty- 
one MSS (nine ancient), and two editions (one of them 
that of the year 1488), have DDD, among you ; and so the 

Ibid. He, whom JEHOVAH hath loved, will execute] That 
is, Cyrus : so Symmachus has well rendered it ; *o o 

Ibid. on the Chaldeans] The preposition is lost ; it is 
supplied in the edition of 1486, which has D^KCD; and so 
Chald. and Vulg, 

16. Draw near unto me, and hear ye this ] After the 
word nip, draw near, a MS adds o'U, O ye nations; 
which, as this and the two preceding verses are plainly ad- 
dressed to the idolatrous nations, reproaching their gods as 
unable to predict future events, is probably genuine, 

Ibid. and hear] A MS adds the conjunction, i;wi; 
and so LXX, Syr. Vulg. 

Ibid. 1 have not spoken in secret} The Alexandrine 
copy of LXX adds here, OwJfe e TOTTM yj$ o-wTsivca, nor in a dark 
place of the earth, as in xlv. 19. That it stands rightly, or 
at least stood very early, in this place of the version of th* 


LXX, is highly probable; because it is acknowledged by 
the Arabic version, and by the Coptic, MS St Germain 
<le Prez, Paris, translated likewise from the LXX. But 
whether it should be inserted as of right belonging to the 
Hebrew text, may be doubted ; for a transcriber of the Greek 
version might easily add it by memory from the parallel 
place ; and it is not necessary to the sense. 

Ibid. when it began to exist] An ancient MS has onrn, 
they began to exist : and so another had it at first. 

Ibid. I had decreed it] I take uv for a verb, not an ad- 

Ibid. And now the Lord JEHOVAH hath sent me, and hi$ 

Spirit] Ttf e?n o iv T<a Hnx,toi teyav ; xotv vvv K.vgt6$ ctTres-e&e (AS unit 
vQ HVEV/UM etvTov' tv ca Mpjp&ofav ovTog TOV pyToVj iroTegov o TIctTtjg KMI TO 
'Aytov Hvtvjjux, ctTrs^etXstv TOV IqrovVj jj o HotTyg aTrerette TOV TS Xgtrov x.ttt 

ro 'A? lev Tiievfur T hvTtgov tnv ettojOes: "Who is it that saith 
in Isaiah, And now the Lord hath sent me and his Spirit ? 
in which, as the expression is ambiguous, is it the Father 
and the Holy Spirit who hath sent Jesus ; or the Father 
who hath sent both Christ and the Holy Spirit ? The latter 
is the true interpretation : " Origen. cont. Cels. lib. i. 1 have 
kept to the order of the words of the original, on purpose 
that the ambiguity, which Origen remarks in the version of 
LXX, and which is the same in the Hebrew, might still re- 
main, and the sense which he gives to it be offered to the 
reader's judgment ; which is wholly excluded in our vulgar 

18. like the river] That is, the Euphrates. 

19. like that of the bowels thereof] D*n 'pD KVKVJ oni 
aj-in : " As the issue of the bowels of the sea ; that is, the 
iishes ; " Salom. b. Melee. And so likewise Aben Ezra, 
Jarchi, Kimchi, &c. 

Ibid. Thy name] For IDP, his name, the LXX had in 
the copy from which they translated -pp, thy name. 

20. and make it heard ] Twenty-seven MSS (ten 
ancient), and one edition, prefix to the verb the conjunction i, 

21. They thirsted not in the deserts ] Kimchi has a 
surprising observation upon this place : u If the prophecy;' 
-ays he, " relates to the return from the Babylonish captivity, 
as it seems to do, it is to be wondered how it comes to pass, 
that in the book of Ezra, in which he gives an account of 
their return, no mention is made that such miracles were 


wrought for them ; as, for instance, that God clave the 
rock for them in the desert/' It is really much to be won- 
dered, that one of the most learned and judicious of the 
Jewish expositors of the Old Testament, having advanced 
so far in a large comment on Isaiah, should appear to be 
totally ignorant of the Prophet's manner of writing ; of the 
parabolic style which prevails in the writings of all the 
Prophets j and more particularly in the Prophecy of Isaiah, 
which abounds throughout in parabolic images from the 
beginning to the end ; from " Hear, O heavens, and give 
ear, O earth," to " the worm and the fire " in the last verse. 
And how came he to keep his wonderment to himself so 
long ? Why did he not expect, that the historian should 
have related, how, as they passed through the desert, cedars, 
pines, and olive-trees, shot up at once on the side of the 
way to shade them ; and that, instead of briers and brambles, 
the accacia and the myrtle sprung up under their feet, ac- 
cording to God's promises, chap. xli. 19. and Iv. 13. ? These, 
and a multitude of the like parabolical or poetical images, 
were never intended to be understood literally : all that 
the Prophet designed in this place, and which he has exe- 
cuted in the most elegant manner, was an amplification and 
illustration of the gracious care and protection of God, 
vouchsafed to his people in their return from Babylon, by 
an allusion to the miraculous Exodus from Egypt. See 
De S. Poesi Hebr. Prael. ix. 

22 There is no peace, saith JEHO VAH-, to the icicked.} 
See below, note on chap.lvii. 21. 


1. Hearken unto me, O ye distant lands ] Hitherto 
the subject of the prophecy has been chiefly confined to the 
redemption from the captivity of Babylon ; with strong in- 
timations of a more important deliverance sometimes thrown 
in ; to the refutation of idolatry ; and the demonstration of 
the infinite power, wisdom, and foreknowledge of God. The 
character and office of the Messiah was exhibited in gene- 
ral terms at the beginning of chap. xlii. but here he is in- 
troduced in person, declaring the full extent of his commis- 
sion ; which is not only to restore the Israelites, and recon- 
cile them to their Lord and Father, from whom they had 


so often revolted ; but to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, 
to call them to the knowledge and obedience of the true God, 
and to bring them to be one church together wtih the Israel- 
ites, and to partake with them of the same common salvation 
procured for all by the great Redeemer and Reconciler of man 
to God. 

2. And he hath made my mouth a sharp sword ] The 
servant of God, who speaks in the former part of this chap- 
ter, must be the Messiah. If any part of this character 
can, in any sense, belong to the Prophet, yet in some parts 
it must belong exclusively to Christ; and, in all parts, to 
him in a much fuller and more proper sense. Isaiah's 
mission was to the Jews, not to the distant nations, to whom 
the speaker in this place addresses himself. " He hath 
made my mouth a sharp sword," " to reprove the wicked, 
and to denounce unto them punishment," says Jarchi, un- 
derstanding it of Isaiah ; but how much better does it suit 
him, who is represented as having "a sharp two-edged 
sword going out of his mouth," Rev. i. 16. who is himself 
the Word of God ? which " Word is quick and powerful, 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to 
the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and 
marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the 
heart ;" Heb. iv. 12. This mighty agent and instrument 
of God, " long laid up in store with him, and sealed up 
among his treasures," is at last revealed, and produced by 
his power, and under his protection, to execute his great 
and holy purposes: he is compared to a polished shaft 
stored in his quiver for use in his due time. The polished 
shaft denotes the same efficacious word, which is before 
represented by the sharp sword. The doctrine of the gos- 
pel pierced the hearts of its hearers, " bringing into capti- 
vity every thought to the obedience of Christ." The meta- 
phor of the sword and the arrow, applied to powerful speech, 
is bold, yet just. It has been employed by the most inge- 
nious heathen writers, if with equal elegance, not with equal 
force. It is said of Pericles by Aristophanes, (see Cicero, 
Epist. ad Atticum, xii. 6.) 

T KjT^y fyx-ecTfXftTTf Tots outf>oa(4,ew$. Apud Diod. lib. xii. 

His powerful speech 

Pierced the hearer's soul, and left behind 
Deep in his bosom its keen point infixt. 


Pindar is particularly fond of this metaphor, and frequently 
applies it to his own poetry : 

Aye, Svtu. 

Ex. fMi.h6otx.ots otvre 

Olymp. ii. 160. 
" Come on! thy brightest shafts prepare, 
And bend, O Muse, thy sounding bow; 
Say, through what paths of liquid air 
Our arrows shall we throw?" West. 

See also ver. 149. of the same ode, and Olymp. ix. 17.; on 
the former of which places the Scholiast says, T^KIM^ o toyo? 

fifX>) JV TOV$ foyov$ eigwe, Slot TO o%v XMI x-otigiov ruv eyxM/MW. lt He 

calls his verses shafts by a metaphor, signifying the acuteness 
and the apposite application of his panegyric." 

This person who is, ver. 3. called Israel, cannot in any sense 
be Isaiah. That name, in its original design and full import, 
can only belong to him who contended powerfully with 
God in behalf of mankind, and prevailed : Gen. xxxii. 

5. And now thus saith JEHOVAH] The word ro, before 
IDK, is dropt out of the text : it is supplied by eight MSS (two 
ancient), and LXX, Syr. Vulg. 

Ibid. And that Israel unto him may be gathered] Five MSS 
(two ancient), confirm the Keri, or marginal correction of 
the Masoretes, ib, unto him, instead of vhi not, in the text ; and 
so read Aquila and Chald.: LXX and Arab, omit the nega- 
tive. But LXX, MSS Pachom. and i. D. n. express also 
the Keri i 1 ? by ^o? avrov. 

6. And to restore the branches of Israel] *1^3, or myj, 
as the Masoretes correct it in the marginal readings This 
word has been matter of great doubt with interpreters : the 
Syriac renders it the branch, taking it for the same with nyj,, 
chap. xi. 1.: see Michaelis, Epim. in Praelect. xix. 

7. The Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One] " Forte, wnp 1 ? j" 
SECKER : that is, to his Holy One. The preceding word ends 
with a *?, which might occasion that letter's being lost here. 
The Talmud of Babylon has wnpi. 

Ibid. To him, whose person is despised] " Forte, nTjMj" SEC- 
KER : or "no, Le Clerc : that is, instead of the active, the 
sive form, which seems here to be required, 


9. And to those that are in darkness ] Fifteen MSS 
(five ancient), and the two old editions of 1486 and 1488, add 
the conjunction i at the beginning of this member : another 
MS had it so at first ; and two others have a rasure at the 
place : and it is expressed by LXX, Syr. Chald. Vulg. 

12. Lo! and these shall come from afar] " Babylon was far, 
and east, miDD; (non sic Vett.); Sinim, Pelusians, to the south:" 

Ibid. the land of Sinim] Prof. Deoderlein thought of 
Syene, the southern limit of Egypt ; but does not abide by 
it. Michaelis thinks it is right ; and promises to give his 
reasons for so thinking in the second part of his Specilegium 
Geographic Hebreeorum Exterae. See Biblioth. Oriental. 
Part XI. p. 176. 

13. Ye mountains burst forth] Three ancient MSS are 
without either the , or the conjunction 1, before the verb : and 
so LXX, Syr. Vulg. 

16. Behold, on the palms of my hands have I delineated thee] 
This is certainly an allusion to some practice, common among 
the Jews at that time, of making marks on their hands or arms 
by punctures on the skin, with some sort of sign or representa- 
tion of the city or temple, to shew their affection and zeal for 
it. They had a method of making such punctures indelible 
by fire, or by staining. See note on chap. xliv. 5. It is well 
known, that the pilgrims at the holy sepulchre get themselves 
marked in this mariner with what are called the ensigns of 
Jerusalem ; Maimdrell, p. 75.; where he tells us how it is 
performed : and this art is practised by travelling Jews all over 
the world at this day. 

17. They that destroyed thee shall soon become thy builders] 
" Auctor Vulgatse pro :pa videtur legisse .-pu, unde vertit, 

structores tui ; cui et LXX fere consentiunt, qui verterunt 
a>x030w0w, ccdifaata es. prout in Plantiniana editione habetur ; 
in Vaticana sive Romana legitur, 0&jwofo, adifaaberis. 
Hisce etiam Targum Jonathanis aliquatenus consentit, ubi, 
et ccdifaabunt. Confer infra Esai. cap. liv. ver. 13. ad quern 
locum Rabbini quoque notarunt ex tractatu Talmudico Bera- 
chot. cap. ix. quod non legendum sit ."pa, id est,filiitui ; sed 

:pa, adificatores tui. Confer not. ad librum Prec. Jud. Part. 
II. p. 226. ut et D. Wagenseil Sot. p. 253. n. 9.:" Breith- 
aupt. not. ad Jarchi'in loc. See also note on this place in De 
Sac. Poes. Hebr. Prselect. xxxi. 



Ibid. shall become thine offspring] ir pn, shall 
proceed, spring, issue, from thee, as thy children. The 
phrase is frequently used in this sense : see chap. xi. 1. 
Micah v. 2. Nahum i. 11. The accession of the Gentiles 
to the church of God is considered as an addition made to 
the number of the family and children of Sion : see ver. 21, 
22. and chap. Ix. 4. The common rendering, "shall go 
forth of thee, or depart from thee," is very flat, after their 
zeal had been expressed by " shall become thy builders ; " 
and as the opposition is kept up in one part of the sentence, 
one has reason to expect it in the other, which should have 
been parallel to it. 

18. And bind them about thee, as a bride'] The end 
of the sentence is manifestly imperfect. Does a bride bind 
her children, or her new subjects, about her? Sion clothes 
herself with her children, as a bride clothes herself with 
what ? some other thing certainly. The LXX help us out 
in this difficulty, and supply the lost word : $ xoo-ftov wpQy 
r^D rvto, or n^D nto. The great similitude of the 
two words has occasioned the omission of one of them. See 
chap. Ixi. 10. 

21. these then, where were they 1 ?] The conjunction is 
added before n u m, thai is, nSw, ia above thirty MSS (nine 

ancient) ; and so LXX, Chald. Vulg. 

23. With their faces to the earth ] It is well known, 
that expressions of submission, homage, and reverence, al- 
ways have been, and are still, carried to a great degree of 
extravagance in the eastern countries. When Joseph's 
brethren were introduced to him, " they bowed down them- 
selves before him with their faces to the earth ; " Gen. xlii. 6. 
The kings of Persia never admitted any one to their pre- 
sence without exacting this act of adoration ; for that was 
the proper term for it. "Necesse est," says the Persian 
courtier to Conon, "si in conspectum veneris, venerari te 
regem ; quod ^oo-Kwetv illi vocant ; " Nepos in Conone. Alex- 
ander, intoxicated with success, affected this piece of oriental 
pride : " Itaque more Persarum Macedonas venerabundos 
ipsum salutare, prosternentes humi corpora : " Curtius, lib. 
viii. The insolence of eastern monarchs to conquered prin- 
ces, and the submission of the latter, is astonishing. Mr. 
Harmer, Obs. ii. 43. gives the following instance of it from 
D'Herbelot ; " This prince threw himself one day on the 
ground, and kissed the prints that his victorious enemy's 


horse had made there ; reciting some verses in Persian, 
which he had composed, to this effect : 

" The mark that the foot of your horse has left upon the 
dust, serves me now for a crown. 

" The ring, which I wear as the badge of my slavery, is 
become my richest ornament. 

" While I shall have the happiness to kiss the dust of your 
feet, I shall think that fortune favours me with its tenderest 
caresses, and its sweetest kisses." 

These expressions, therefore, of the Prophet, are only 
general poetical images, taken from the manners of the 
country, to denote great respect and reverence : and such 
splendid poetical images, which frequently occur in the pro- 
phetical writings, were intended only as general amplifica- 
tions of the subject, not as predictions to be understood and 
fulfilled precisely according to the letter. 

24. Shall the prey seized by the terrible be rescued ?] For 
pn3f read jv A palpable mistake, like that in chap, 
xlii. 19. The correction is self-evident from the very terms 
of the sentence ; from the necessity of the strict correspond- 
ence in the expressions between the question and the answer 
made to it ; and it is apparent to the blindest and most pre- 
judiced eye. However, if authority is also necessary, there 
is that ot Syr. and Vulg. for it ; who plainly read ]'ny in 
the 24th as well as in the 25th verse, rendering it in the 
former place by the same word as in the latter. 


1. WHERE is this bill ] Husbands, through moroseness 
or levity of temper, often sent bills of divorcement to their 
wives on slight occasions, as they were permitted to do by 
the law of Moses, Deut. xxiv. 1. And fathers, being op- 
pressed with debt, often sold their children ; which they 
might do, for a time, till the year of release : Exod. xxi. 7. 
That this was frequently practised, appears from many 
passages of Scripture ; and that the persons and the liberty 
of the children were answerable for the debts of the father. 
The widow, 2 Kings iv. 1. complains, " that the creditor is 
come to take unto him her two sons to be bondmen.'' And 
in the parable, Matt, xviii. 25. "The lord, forasmuch as 
his servant had not to pay, commands him to be sold, and 


his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to 
be made." Sir John Chardin's MSS note on this place of 
Isaiah is as follows : " En Orient, on paye ses dettes avec 
ses esclaves, car ils sont des principaux meubles ; et en plu- 
sieurs lieux on les paye aussi de ses enfans." But this, saith 
God, cannot be my case : I am not governed by any such 
motives ; neither am I urged by any such necessity : your 
captivity, therefore, and your afflictions, are to be imputed to 
yourselves, and to your own folly and wickedness. 

2. Their fish is dried up] For arcan, stinketh, read tm% 
is dried up : so it stands in the Bodleian MS, and it is con- 
firmed by the LXX, fy%*v6tiwroit. 

5. Neither did 1 withdraw ] Eleven MSS, and the 
oldest edition, prefix the conjunction i ; and so also LXX 
and Syr. 

6. And my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair] The 
greatest indignity that could possibly be offered. See note 
on chap. vii. 20. 

Ibid. My face I hid not from shame and spitting] Anoth- 
er instance of the utmost contempt and detestation. It was 
ordered by the law of Moses, as a severe punishment, carry- 
ing with it a lasting disgrace : Deut. xxv. 9. Among the 
Medes, it was highly offensive to spit in any one's presence, 
Herod, i. 99. ; and so likewise among the Persians, Xeno- 
phon. Cyrop. lib. i. p. 18. 

" They abhor me; they flee far from me; 
They forbear not to spit in my face." Job. xxx. 10. 

And JEHOVAH said unto Moses : " If her father had but spit 
in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days ? " Numb. 
xii. 14. ; on which place Sir John Chardin remarks, " that 
spitting before any one, or spitting upon the ground in 
speaking of any one's actions, is through the East an expres- 
sion of extreme detestation : " Harmer's Observ. ii. 509. 
See also, of the same notions of the Arabs in this respect, 
Niebuhr, Description de 1'Arabie, p. 26. It so evidently 
appears, that in those countries spitting has ever been an 
expression of the utmost detestation, that the learned doubt 
whether in the passages of Scripture above quoted, any thing 
more is meant than spitting (not in the face, which perhaps 
the words do not necessarily imply, but only) in the presence 
of the person affronted. But in this place it certainly means 
spitting in the face : so it is understood in St Luke, where 
our Lord plainly refers to this prophecy : " All things that 


are written by the Prophets concerning the Son of Man shall 
be accomplished ; for he shall be delivered to the Gentiles, 
and shall be mocked and spitefully entreated, and spitted on, 
sftaFlvrtojo-ileu," xviii. 31, 32. ; which was in fact fulfilled ; w 
jf|*T Tint epTrlveiv cuflu, Mark xiv. 65. xv. 19. If spitting in 
a person's presence was such an indignity, how much more 
spitting in his face? 

7. Therefore have I set my face as a flint ] The Pro- 
phet Ezekiel has expressed this with great force, in his bold 
and vehement manner : 

" Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, 
And thy forehead strong against their foreheads : 
As an adamant, harder than a rock, have I made thy fore- 

Fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, 
Though they be a rebellious house." Ezek. iii. 8. 9. 

8. Who is he that will contend] The Bodleian MS, and 
another, add the word Kin ; m' Kin a, as in the like phrase 
in the next verse : and in the very same phrase, Job xiii. 19. ; 
and so likewise in many other places, Job xvii. 3. xli. 1. 
Sometimes, on the like occasions, it is nr D, and ni Kin T ,o. 
The word has been probably lost out of the present text : 
and the reading of the MS above-mentioned seems to be 

10. Let him hearken to the voice of his servant .] For 
JDBT, pointed as the participle, the LXX and Syr. read ywi, 
future or imperative : this gives a much more elegant turn 
and distribution to the sentence. 

11. ye ivho kindle afire ] The fire of their own kind- 
ling, by the light of which they walk with security and satis- 
faction, is an image designed to express, in general, human 
devices, and mere worldly policy, exclusive of faith and tiust 
in God ; which, though they natter them for a while with 
pleasing expectations and some appearance of success, shall 
in the end turn to the confusion of the authors. Or, more 
particularly, as Vitringa explains it, it may mean the designs 
of the turbulent and factious Jews in the times succeeding 
tho-e of Christ ; who, in pursuit of their own desperate 
schemes, stirred up the war against the Romans, and kindled 
a fire which consumed their city and nation. 

Ibid. who heap the fuel round about] " 7i ??UD, accen- 
dentes, Syr. forte legerunt [pro niKo] T TKD; nam sequitur 
UK : " SECKER. Lud. Capellus, in his criticarnotes on this 
place, thinks it should be npra, from the LXX, 



4. O ye people; O ye nations] For fpp, my people, the 
Bodley MS, and another, read D'pp, ye peoples; and for 
'Dix 1 ?, my nation, the Bodley MS, and eight others (two of them 
ancient), read D'iM6, ye nations ; and so the Syriac in both 
words. The difference is very material : for in this case the 
address is made, not to the Jews, but to the Gentiles, as 
in all reason it ought to be ; for this and the two following- 
verses express the call of the Gentiles, the islands, or the dis- 
tant lands on the coasts of the Mediterranean and other seas. 
It is also to be observed, that God in no other place calls his 
people 'DX 1 ?. It has been before remarked, that transcribers 
frequently omitted the final D of nouns plural, and supplied 
it, for brevity-sake, and sometimes for want of room at the 
end of a line, by a small stroke thus, ''Dy; which mark, being 
effaced or overlooked, has been the occasion of many mistakes 
of this kind. 

5. My righteousness is at hand ] The word pis?, right- 
eousness, is used in such a great latitude of signification, for 
justice, truth, faithfulness, goodness, mercy, deliverance, sal- 
vation, &c., that it is not easy sometimes to give the precise 
meaning of it without much circumlocution : it means here 
the faithful completion of God's promises to deliver his peo- 

11. shall they obtain, and sorrow and sighing shall flee 
away} Nineteen MSS, and the two oldest editions, have 
\w; and forty-six MSS, and the same two editions, and 
agreeably to them Chald. and Syr. have IDJI : and so both 
words are expressed, chap. xxxv. 10. of which place this is 
a repetition. And from comparing both together it appears, 
that the i in this place is become by mistake in the present 
text the final j of the preceding word. 

13. of the oppressor, as if he ] " The 3 in IPJO seems 
clearly to have changed its situation from the end of the 
preceding word to the beginning of this ; or rather, to have 
been omitted by mistake there, because it was here. That it 
was there, the LXX shew by rendering ip'sfon, $* n r 
of him that oppressed thee. And so they render this word 
in both its places in this verse. The Yulgate also has the 
pronoun in the first instance : furoris ejus qui te tribulabat : " 
Dr. JUBB. The correction seems well founded. I have not 


conformed the translation to it, because it makes very little 
difference in the sense. 

14. He marcheth on with speed ] Cyrus, if understood 
of the temporal redemption from the captivity of Babylon ; 
in the spiritual sense, the Messiah. 

16. To stretch out the heavens] In the present text it is 
j to plant the heavens. The phrase is certainly very ob- 
scure, and in all probability is a mistake for niBjS. This 
latter is the word used in ver. 13. just before, in the very same 
sentence : and this phrase occurs frequently in Isaiah, chap, 
xl. 22. xlii. 5. xliv. 24. xlv. 12. ; the former in no other place. 
It is also very remarkable, that in the Samaritan text, Numb, 
xxiv. 6. these two words are twice changed, by mistake, 
one for the other, in the same verse. 

19. These two things desolation and destruction, the fam- 
ine and the sword] That is, desolation by famine, and de- 
struction by the sword ; taking the terms alternately : of 
which form of construction see other examples, De S. Poesi 
Heb. Prsel. xix. and Prelim. Dissert, p. xix. The Chaldee 
paraphrast, not rightly understanding this, has had recourse 
to the following expedient : " Two afflictions are come upon 
thee, and when four shall come upon thee, depredation and 
destruction, and the famine and the sword " Five MSS 
have 3;nn, without the conjunction i; and so LXX and Syr. 

Ibid. Who shall comfort thee?] A MS, LXX, Syr. 
Chald. and Vulg. have it in the third person, "pnr ; which is 
evidently right. 

20. in the toils, drenched to the full ] " Forte moan 
&vhv: " SECKER. The demonstrative n, prefixed to O'x^o. 
seems improper in this place. 

21. And thou drunken, but not with wine.] ^schylus has 
the same expression : 

AOIVOIS f*uavti$ S-vfAafAeiri. Eumen. 863. 

Intoxicate with passion, not with wine. 

Schultens thinks, that this circumlocution, as he calls it, 
" gradum adfert incomparabiliter majorem ; " and that it 
means not simply without wine, but much more than with 
wine : Gram. Hebr. p. 182. See his note on Job xxx. 28. 

The bold image of the cup of God's wrath, often em- 
ployed by the sacred writers, (see note on chap. i. 22.), is no 
where handled with greater force and sublimity than in this 
passage of Isaiah, ver. 17 23. Jerusalem is represented in 


person as staggering under the effects of it, destitute of that 
assistance which she might expect from her children ; not 
one of them being able to support or to lead her. They, 
abject and amazed, lie at the head of every street, over- 
whelmed with the greatness of their distress : like the oryx 
entangled in a net, in vain struggling to rend it, and extri- 
cate himself. This is poetry of the first order, sublimity of 
the highest proof. 

Plato had an idea something like this : " Suppose, says he, 
God had given to men a medicating potion inducing fear ; 
so that the more any one should drink of it, so much the 
more miserable he should find himself at every draught, and 
become fearful of every thing both present and future ; and 
at last, though the most courageous of men, should be totally 
possessed by fear ; and afterward, having slept off the effects 
of it, should become himself again : " De Leg. i. near the 
end. He pursues at large this hypothesis, applying it to his 
purpose, which has no relation to the present subject. Homer 
places two vessels at the threshold of Jupiter, one of good, 
the other of evil : he gives to some a potion mixed of both, to 
others from the evil vessel only : these are completely misera- 
ble : Iliad, xxvi. 527. 

23. who oppress thee] " Videntur, LXX, Chald. Syr. 
Tuig. legisse piti; ut xl. 26. : " SECKER. And so it is in 
edit. Gersom. 

Ibid. That say to thee, Sow down thy body] A very 
strong and most expressive description of the insolent pride 
of eastern conquerors ; which, though it may seem greatly 
exaggerated, yet hardly exceeds the strict truth. An ex- 
ample has already been given of it in note to chap. xlix. 23. 
I will here add one or two more. " Joshua called for all 
the men of Israel ; and said unto the captains of the men of 
war that went with him : Come near, put your feet upon 
the necks of these kings ; " Josh. x. 24. " Adonibezek said, 
Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their 
great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table : as I 
have done, so hath God requited me ; " Judg. i. 7. The 
Emperor Valerianus being through treachery taken prisoner 
by Sapor king of Persia, was treated by him as the basest 
and most abject slave : for the Persian monarch commanded 
the unhappy Roman to bow himself down, and offer him 
his back, on which he set his foot, in order to mount his 
chariot or his horse, whenever he had occasion : Lactan- 


tius, De Mort. Persec. cap. v. ; Aurel. Victor. Epitome, cap. 


2. ascend thy lofty seat] The literal rendering here 
is, according to our English translation, " arise, sit : " on 
which a very learned person remarks : "So the old versions. 
But sitting is an expression of mourning in Scripture and 
the ancients ; and doth not well agree with the rising just 
before/ 5 It doth not indeed agree according to our ideas : 
but considered in an oriental light, it is perfectly consistent. 
The common manner of sitting in the eastern countries is 
upon the ground or floor, with the legs crossed. The 
people of better condition have the floors of their chambers 
or divans covered with carpets for this purpose ; and round 
the chamber broad couches, raised a little above the floor. 
spread with mattresses handsomely covered, which are called 
sophas. When sitting is spoken of as a posture of more 
than ordinary state, it is quite of a different kind ; and means 
sitting on high, on a chair of state or throne ; for which a 
footstool was necessary., both in order that the person might 
raise himself up to it, and for supporting the legs when he 
was placed in it. " Chairs (saith Sir John Chardin) are 
never used in Persia but at the coronation of their kings. 
The king is seated in a chair of gold set with jewels, three 
feet high. The chairs which are used by the people in the 
East are always so high as to make a footstool necessary. 
And this proves the propriety of the style of Scripture, which 
always joins the footstool to the throne: " (Isa. Ixvi. 1. Psal. 
ex. 1.) : Voyages, torn. ix. p. 85. 12 mo . Beside the six steps 
to Solomon's throne, there was a footstool of gold fastened 
to the seat, 2 Chron. ix. 18. which would otherwise have 
been too high for the king to reach, or to sit on conveniently. 

When Thetis comes to wait on Vulcan to request armour 
for her son, she is received with great respect, and seated 
on a silver-studded throne, a chair of ceremony, with a foot- 
stool : 

fiev tirftroc, xctOfio-fV tin 3-govov 

e)?ra & jju? itonv w. Iliad, xviii. 389. 

" High on a throne, with stars of silver graced, 
And various artifice, the queen she placed; 
A footstool at her feet." Pope. 


en xedefyec <rvv wTaTflJW. Athenaeus, 

v. 4. : "A throne is nothing more than a handsome sort of 
chair, with a footstool." 

5. And they that are lords over them ] For *hwn, sin- 
gular. in the text, more than a hundred and twenty MSS 
have V-^D, plural, according to the Masoretical correction 
in the margin : which shews, that the Masoretes often super- 
stitiously retained apparent mistakes in the text, even when 
they had sufficient evidence to authorize the introduction of 
the true reading. 

Ibid. make their boast of it] For iy?rv, " make them 
to howl," five MSS (two ancient) have iV?n r , " make their 
boast ; " which is confirmed by the Chaldee paraphrast, who 
renders it jTDrwD. 

6. Therefore shall my people ] The word {3% occur- 
ring the second time in this verse, seems to be repeated by 
mistake. It has no force or emphasis as a repetition ; it 
only embarrasses the construction and the sense. It was 
not in the copies from which ,the LXX, Syr. and Vulg. 
were translated; it was not in the copy of LXX from 
which the Arabic was translated : but in tl^e Aldine and 
Complutensian editions <JW TWO is repeated ; probably so 
corrected, in order to make it conformable with the Hebrew 

Ibid. For 1 am He that promised} For Kin, the Bodley 
MS, and another, have nin; " for I am JEHOVAH that prom- 
ised : " and another ancient MS adds nin after Kin. The 
addition of JEHOVAH seems to be right, in consequence of 
what was said in the preceding line, " My people shall know 
my name." 

7. How beautiful ] The watchmen discover afar off, 
on the mountains, the messenger bringing the expected and 
much wished-for news of the deliverance from the Babylonish 
captivity. They immediately spread the joyful tidings, ver. 
8. and with a loud voice proclaim that JEHOVAH is returning 
to Sion, to resume his residence on his holy mountain, which 
for some time he seemed to have deserted. This is the literal 
sense of the place. 

" How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the 
joyful messenger," is an expression highly poetical ; for, how 
welcome is his arrival ! how agreeable are the tidings which 
he brings ! 

Nahum, who is generally supposed to have lived after 


Isaiah, has manifestly taken from him this very pleasing 
image ; but the imitation ^does not equal the beauty of the 
original : 

<( Behold upon the mountains the feet of the joyful messenger, 

Of him that announceth peace: 

Celebrate, O Judah, thy festivals; perform thy vows: 

For no more shall pass through thee the wicked one; 

He is utterly cut off. Nah. i. 15, 

But it must at the same time be observed, that Isaiah's sub- 
ject is infinitely more interesting, and more sublime, than 
that of Nahum : The latter denounces the destruction of the 
capital of the Assyrian empire, the most formidable enemy 
of Judah ; the ideas of the former are in their full extent 
evangelical : and accordingly St Paul has, with the utmost 
propriety, applied this passage to the preaching of the gos- 
pel, Rom. x. 15. The joyful tidings here to be proclaimed, 
" Thy God, O Sion, reigneth," are the same that John the 
Baptist, the messenger of Christ, and that Christ himself 
published, " The kingdom of heaven is at hand." 

8. Ml thy watchmen ] There is a difficulty in the con- 
struction of this place, which, I think, none of the ancient 
versions, or modern interpreters, have cleared up to satisfac- 
tion. Rendered word for word it stands thus : " The voice 
of thy watchmen : they lift up their voice." The sense of 
the first member, considered as elliptical, is variously sup- 
plied by various expositors ; by none, as it seems to me, in 
any way that is easy and natural. I am persuaded there is 
a mistake in the present text, and that the true reading is 
yD *, " all thy watchmen ; " instead of yav *?ip. The 
mistake was easy from the similitude in sound of the two let- 
ters D and p. And in one MS the p is upon a rasure. This 
correction perfectly rectifies the sense and the construction. 

Ibid. when JEHOVAH returneth to Sion.~\ So the Chal- 
dee : jvv 1 ? rvnoy a;y "O, " when he shall bring back his 
presence to Sion," God is considered as having deserted 
his people during the captivity ; and, at the restoration, as 
returning himself with them to Sion his former habitation : 
See Psal. Ix. 1. chap. xl. 9. and note. 

9. he hath redeemed Israel] For the word DVtfW, 
which occurs the second time in this verse, MS Bodley, and 
another, read bvw. It is upon a rasure in a third ; and 
left unpointed at first, as suspected, in a fourth. It was an 
easy mistake, by the transcriber's casting his eye on the line 


above ; and the propriety of the correction, both in regard to 
sense and elegance, is evident. 

11. Depart, depart ye ; go ye out from thence} The 
Prophet Jeremiah seems to have had his eye on this passage 
of Isaiah, and to have applied it to a subject directly oppo- 
site. It is here addressed by the Prophet in the way of en- 
couragement and exhortation to the Jews coming out of 
Babylon : Jeremiah has given it a different turn, and has 
thrown it out as a reproach of the heathen upon the Jews, 
when they were driven from Jerusalem into captivity : 
" Depart; ye are polluted, depart; depart ye, forbear to touch: 

Yea, they are fled, they are removed: they shall dwell here 
no more." Lam. iv. 15. 

Of the metrical distribution of these lines, see the Prelim. 
Dissertation, p. xxxvi. note. 

13. The subject of Isaiah's prophecy, from the fortieth 
chapter inclusive, has hitherto been, in general, the deliver- 
ance of the people of God. This includes in it three distinct 
parts ; which, however, have a close connexion with one 
another : that is, the deliverance of the Jews from the cap- 
tivity of Babylon ; the deliverance of the Gentiles from their 
miserable state of ignorance and idolatry ; and the deliver- 
ance of mankind from the . captivity of sin and death. 
These three subjects are subordinate to one another ; and 
the two latter are shadowed out under the image of the 
former. They are covered by it as by a veil ; which how- 
ever is transparent, and suffers them to appear through it* 
Cyrus is expressly named as the immediate agent of God in 
effecting the first deliverance : A greater Person is spoken 
of as the agent who is to effect the two latter deliverances ; 
called the servant, the elect of God, in whom his soul de- 
lighteth ; Israel, in whom God will be glorified. Now these 
three subjects have a very near relation to one another ; for, 
as the agent who was to effect the two latter deliverances, 
that is, the Messiah, was to be born a Jew, with particular 
limitations of time, family, and other circumstances ; the 
first deliverance was necessary in the order of Providence, 
and according to the determinate counsel of God, to the 
accomplishment of the two latter deliverances ; and the se- 
cond deliverance was necessary to the third, or rather, was 
involved in it, and made an essential part of it. This being 
the case, Isaiah has not treated the three subjects as quite 
distinct and separate in a methodical and orderly manner, 


like a philosopher or a logician, but has taken them in their 
connective view : he has handled them as a prophet and a 
poet ; he hath allegorized the former, and under the image 
of it has shadowed out the two latter ; he has thrown them 
all together ; has mixed one with another, has passed from 
this to that with rapid transitions, and has painted the whole 
with the strongest and boldest imagery. The restoration of 
the Jews from captivity, the call of the Gentiles, the redemp- 
tion by Messiah, have hitherto been handled interchangeably 
and alternately : Babylon has hitherto been kept pretty much 
in sight ; at the same time that strong intimations of some- 
thing much greater have frequently been thrown in. But 
here Babylon is at once dropped ; and I think hardly ever 
comes in sight again : unless perhaps in chap. Iv. 12. and Ivii. 14. 
The Prophet's views are almost wholly engrossed by the su- 
perior part of his subject. He introduces the Messiah as ap- 
pearing at first in the lowest state of humiliation, which he 
had just touched upon before, chap. 1. 5, 6. and obviates the 
offence which would be occasioned by it, by declaring the 
important and necessary cause of it, and foreshewing the 
glory which should follow it. 

This seems to me to be the nature and the true design of 
this part of Isaiah's prophecies ; and this view of them seems 
to afford the best method of resolving difficulties in which 
expositors are frequently engaged, being much divided be- 
tween what is called the literal and the mystical sense not 
very properly ; for the mystical or spiritual sense is very often 
the most literal sense of all. 

Abarbanel seems to have had an idea of this kind, as he is 
quoted by Vitringa on chap. xlix. 1. who thus represents his 
sentiments : " Censet Abarbanel Prophetam hie transitum 
facere a liberations ex exilio Babylonico ad liberationem ex 
exilio Romano, (for this he takes to be the secondary sense) ; 
et, quod hie animadversu dignum est, observat liberationem 
ex exilio Babylonico esse rrsni niK, signum et argumentum 
liberationis futurse ; atque adeo orationem Prophetsede duabus 
hisce liberationibus in superioribus concionibus saepe inter se 
permisceri. Verba ejus : ' Et propterea verba, sive res, in 
prophetia superiore inter se permixtse occurrunt ; modode lib- 
eratione Babylonica, modo de liberatione extrema accipiendae. 
ut orationis necessitas exigit.' Nullum hie vitium, nisi quod 
redemptionem veram et spiritualem a Messia vero Jesu ad- 
ductam non agnoscat." 


14. were astonished at him] For y 1 ?^ read vty: so 
Syr. Chald. and Vulg. in a MS ; and so likewise two ancient 

15. So shall he sprinkle many nations] I retain the com- 
mon rendering, though I am by no means satisfied with it. 
" nr } frequent in the law, means only to sprinkle : but the 
water sprinkled is the accusative case ; the thing, on which, 
has ^y or *7N. at^c-ovr**, o, makes the best apodosis. any 
would do. nnr is used ii. 2. Jer. xxxi. 12. li. 44. but is unlike. 
Kings shall shut, &c. is good ; but seems to want a first 
part : " SECKER. Munster translates it, " Faciet loqui (de 
se) ; " and in his note thus explains it: "nr proprie signifi- 
cat spargere et stillas disseminare : hie vero capitur pro loqui, 
et verbum disseminare." This is pretty much as the Rab- 
bins, Kimchi, and Salomo ben Melee, explain it, referring to 
the expression of '' dropping the word." But the same ob- 
jection lies to this as to the common rendering ; it ought to 
be D y u by (-on) nr. Bishop Chandler, Defence, p. 148. says, 
" that to sprinkle, is used for to surprise and astonish, as peo- 
ple are that have much water thrown upon them. And this 
sense is followed by the LXX." This is ingenious, but rather 
too refined. Dr DURELL conjectures, that the true reading 
may be NIT, they shall regard, which comes near to the 
ftavftatioi'tca of the LXX ; who seem to give the best sense of 
any to the place. 

" I find in my papers the same conjecture which Dr 
DURELL made from bawtuvroflou in LXX. And it may be 
added, that run is used to express " looking on any thing 
with admiration ; " Psal. xi. 7. and xvii. 15. and xxvii .4. and 
Ixiii. 2. Cant. vi. 13. It is particularly applied to " looking 
on God," Exod. xxiv. 11. and Job xix. 26. Gisbert Cuper, 
in Observat. lib. ii. 1. though aliud agens, has some obser- 
vations which shew how nearly o^eta and d-avfutga are allied, 
which (with the peculiar sense of the verb run above noted) 
add to the probability of S-avftotrovlcii being the version of ITTV 
in the text : < JV w *aot navies ^ etvlov ogao-i. Hesiod. id est, 
cum veneratione quadam admirantur. Hinc o$*a et 
junxit Themistius Or. 1. E/? 7r*tW7< < w^um 
ogavlttj KXI G-e (Mvov ^vfjux^o^. Theophrastus in Charact. cap. 
iii. EvSvfii) aq et7rote7ry<rit ei$ <re oi owfyaTrot. Hence the rendering 
of this verse seems to be : 

So many nations shall look on him with admiration; 
Kings shall stop their mouths " Dr JUBB. 




2. He hath no form, nor any beauty ] Ov% tihs etvrea y & 

iiec ifrau.ev O.VTOV' xfe $-eagiei, ivce, e i 7ri6vf^.u^v ctvrov'. Symma- 

chus ; the only one of the ancients that has translated it 

3. and acquainted with grief ] For yrri, eight MSS 
and one edition have jm; LXX, Syr. and Yulg. read it. 


Ibid. as one that hideth his face] For "inDDDi, four 
MSS (two ancient) have TnDDDi, one MS TnDDi. For 
o ? :3, two MSS have VJ3; and so likewise LXX and Vulg. 
Mourners covered up the lower part of their faces, and their 
heads ; 2 Sam. xv. 30. Ezek. xxiv. 17. ; and lepers were 
commanded by the law. Lev. xiii. 45. to cover their upper 
lip. From which circumstance it seems, that Vulg. Aquiia, 
Symmachus, and the Jewish commentators, have taken the 
word;n:j, stricken, in the next verse, as meaning stricken 
with the leprosy, ev a$y evict, Sym : 0wtsw, Aq. : leprosunru 

4. Surely our infirmities ] Seven MSS (two ancient), 
and three editions, have ir^n, in the plural number. 

Ibid. he hath carried them} Fifteen MSS (two ancient). 
and two editions, have the word Nin before 0*730 in the text: 
lour other MSS have it in the margin. This adds force to 
the sense, and elegance to the construction. 

5. by which our peace is effected] Twenty-one MSS 
and six editions have the word fully and regularly expressed. 
O'D 1 ^; " pacificationum nostrarum : " Ar. Montan. 

6. the iniquities of us all] For jrp, the ancient inter- 
preters read nui;% plural ; and so Vulg. in MS Blanchini. 

8. Jlnd his manner of life who would declare ?] My 
learned friend Dr KENNICOTT has communicated to me the 
following passages from the Mishna, and the Gemara of 
Babylon, as leading to a satisfactory explication of this diffi- 
cult place. It is said in the former, that, before any one 
was punished for a capital crime, proclamation was made 
before the prisoner by the public crier in these words : 
'^y -roVi X3 1 HDT V? yrwv ! D ^DJ " quicunque noverit ali- 
(juid de ejus innocentia. venial et doceat cle eo:" Tract. 
Sanhedrim. Surenhus. Par. IV. p. 233. On which passage 
the Gemara of Babylon adds. that. " before the death of 


Jesus, this proclamation was made for forty days ; but no 
defence could be found." On which words Lardner ob- 
serves," It is truly surprising to see such falsities, contrary 
to well known facts :" Testimonies, vol. i. p. 198. The 
report is certainly false ; but this false report is founded on 
the supposition that there was such a custom, and so far 
confirms the account above given for the Mishna. The 
Mishna was composed in the middle of the second century, 
according to Prideaux : Lardner ascribes it to the year of 
Christ 180. 

Casaubon has a quotation from Maimonides, which fur- 
ther confirms this account : Exercitat. in Baronii Annales, Art. 
Ixxxvi. Ann. 34. Num. 119. "Auctor est Maimonides in 
Perek xiii. ejus Libri ex opere Jad, solitum fieri, ut cum Reus, 
sententiam mortis passus, a loco judicii exibat ducendus ad 
supplicium, prsecederet ipsum mm, xjj?v|, prseco ; et heec verba 
diceret : llle exit occidendus rnorte ilia, quia transgressus est 
transgressione ilia, in loco illo, tempore illo, et sunt ejus rei 
testes ille et ille. Q,ui noverit aliquid ad ejus innocentiam 
probandam, veniat, et loquatur pro eo." 

Now it is plain from the history of the four Evangelists, that 
in the trial and condemnation of Jesus no such rule was ob- 
served, (though, according to the account of the Mishna, it 
must have been in practice at that time); no proclamation was 
made for any person to bear witness to the innocence and 
character of Jesus ; nor did any one voluntarily step forth to 
give his attestation to it. And our Saviour seems to refer to 
such a custom, and to claim the benefit of it, by his answer 
to the High Priest, when he asked him of his disciples and of 
his doctrine : " I spake openly to the world ; I ever taught in 
the synagogue and in the temple, whither the Jews always 
resort ; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? 
ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them : be- 
hold, they know what I said ;" John xviii. 20, 21. This there- 
fore was one remarkable instance of hardship and injustice, 
among others, predicted by the prophet, which our Saviour un- 
derwent in his trial and sufferings. 

St. Paul likewise, in similar circumstances, standing before 
the judgment-seat of Festus, seems to complain of the same 
unjust treatment ; that no one was called, or would appear 
to vindicate his character : " My manner of life (TV ptartv pav, 
"in), from my youth, which was at the first among my own 


nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews : which knew me from 
the beginning, if they would testify : that after the straitest 
sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee ;" Acts xxvi. 4, 5. 

-in signifies age, duration, the time which one man or many 
together pass in this world ; in this place, the course, tenor, or 
manner of life. The verb in signifies, according to Castell. 
"ordinatam vitam sive aetatem egit, ordinavit, ordine constitu- 
it." In Arabic, " curavit, administravit." 

Ibid. he was smitten to death'] The LXX read mrh, 
ets Seuefln. And so the Coptic and Sahidic versions from LXX, 
MSS St. Germain de Prez. 

" Origen, (contra Celsum. lib. i. p. 370. edit. 1733), after 
having quoted at large this prophecy concerning the Messiah. 
tells us, that having once made use of this passage in a dispute 
against some that were accounted wise among the Jews ; one 
of them replied, that the words did not mean one man, but 
one people, the Jews ; who were smitten of God, and dis- 
persed among the Gentiles for their conversion : that he then 
urged many parts of this prophecy, to shew the absurdity of 
this interpretation ; and that he seemed to press them the 
hardest by this sentence : a rav aaofUM ra A** /u# v%6n tit Swain. 
Now as Origen, the author of the Hexapla, must have un- 
derstood Hebrew, we cannot suppose that he would have urged 
this last quotation as so decisive, if the Greek version had not 
agreed here with the Hebrew text ; nor that these wise Jews 
would have been at all distressed by this quotation, unless 
their Hebrew text had read agreeably to ei$ ftavaxov. on which 
the argument principally depended : for, by quoting it imme- 
diately, they would have triumphed over him. and reprobated 
his Greek version. This, whenever they could do it. was 
their constant practice, in their dispute with the Christians. 
Jerom, in his preface to the Psalms, says. ;; Nuper cum 
Ilebrax) disputan?, queedam pro Domino salvatore de 
Psalmis testimonia protulisti : volensque ille te illudere, 
per sermones fere singulos asserebat, non ita haberi 
in - Hebrseo, ut tu de LXX opponebas/' And Origen 
himself, who laboriously compared the Hebrew text with the 
LXX has recorded the necessity of arguing with the 
Jews from such passages only as were in the LXX 
agreeable to the Hebrew : /* ^05 

See Epist. ad African, p. 15. 17. 


Wherefore, as Origen had carefully compared the Greek 
version of LXX with the Hebrew text, and speaks of the 
contempt with which the Jews treated all appeals to the 
Greek version, where it differed from their Hebrew text ; 
and as he puzzled and confounded the learned Jews, by urg- 
ing upon them the reading eis ftavaiov in this place ; it seems 
almost impossible not to conclude, both from Origen's argu- 
ment and the silence of his Jewish adversaries, that the He- 
brew text at that time actually had mo 1 ?, agreeably to the 
version of the LXX : " Dr. KENNICOTT. 

7. But with the rich man was his tomb] Among the 
various opinions which have been given on this passage, I 
have no doubt in giving my assent to that which makes the 
2 in rniM radical, and renders it cxcelsasua. This is men- 
tioned by Aben Ezra, as received by some in his time ; and 
has been long since approved by Schindler, Drusius 3 and 
many other learned Christian interpreters. 

The most simple tombs or monuments of old consisted of 
hillocks of earth heaped up over the grave : of which we 
have numerous examples in our own country, generally 
allowed to be of very high antiquity. The Romans called 
it monument of this sort very properly tumulus : and the 
Hebrews as properly HIM, for that is the form of the noun in 
the singular number ; and sixteen MSS, and the two oldest 
editions, express the word fully in this place, vmoa. " Tu- 
mulus et collem et sepulchrum fuisse significat. Potest enirn 
tumulus sine sepulchro interpretatione collis interdum accipi. 
Nam et terree congestio super ossa tumulus dicitur : " Servius, 
in jEneid iii. 22. And to make the tumulus still more ele- 
vated and conspicuous, a pillar or some other ornament was 
often erected upon it : 

%evctvTeSj KOU SKI rqhyv Egvo-avrss, 

i>oTct.T(a, TVfi<<f) evtiges eger/nov. Odyss. Xli. 14. 

" A rising tomb, the silent dead to grace, 
Fast by the roarings of the main we place : 
The rising tomb a lofty column bore, 
And high above it rose the tapering oar." Pope. 

The tomb therefore might with great propriety be called the 
high place. The Hebrews might also call such a tomb niD3, 
from the situation ; for they generally chose to erect them on 
eminences. The sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea, in which 
the body of Christ was laid, was upon a hill, Mount Calvary. 
See chap. xxii. 16. and the note there. 


" It should be observed, that the word vrrtna is not formed 
from moa, the plural of noa, the feminine noun, but from 
DTnoa, the plural of a masculine noun, nioa. This is noted, 
because these two nouns have been negligently confounded 
with one another, and absurdly reduced to one, by very 
learned men. So Buxtorff, Lex. in v. rroa, represents >nioa, 
though plainly without any pronoun suffixed, as it governs 
the word px following it, as only another form of maa; 
whereas the truth is, that rona and ovnDa are different words, 
and have through the whole Bible very different significa- 
tions : nna, whether occurring in the singular or plural num- 
ber, always signifying " a place, or places, of worship ; " and 
DTnna always signifying " heights." Thus in Deut. xxxii. 
13. Isa. Iviii. 14. Amos iv. 13. and Mic. i. 3. p won signifies 
;i the heights of the earth : " Isa. xiv. 14. ay niDa, c; the 
heights of the clouds ; " and in Job ix. 8. D 1 *ma, " the 
heights of the sea," i. e. the high waves of the sea, as Virgil 
calls a wave " praeruptus aquae mons." These being all the 
places where this word occurs without a suffix, the sense of 
it seems clearly determined by them. It occurs in other 
instances with a pronoun suffixed, which confirm this signi- 
fication. Unluckily our English Bible has not distinguished 
the feminine noun rroa from the masculine singular noun 
nioa; and has consequently always given the signification 
of the latter to the former, always rendering it " a high 
place : " whereas the true sense of the word appears plainly 
to be, in the very numerous passages in which it occurs, " a 
place of worship," or "a sacred court," or "a sacred inclo- 
sure," whether appropriated to the worship of idols, or to 
that of the true God : for it is used of both passim. Now, 
as the Jewish graves are shewn, from 2 Chron. xxxii. 33. 
and Isa. xxii. 16. to have been in high situations ; to which 
may be added the custom of another eastern nation from 
Osbeck's Travels, who says, vol. i. p. 339. " The Chi- 
nese graves are made on the side of hills ; " " his heights " 
becomes a very easy metaphor to express his sepulchre : " 
Dr. JUBB. 

The exact completion of this prophecy will be fully shewn, 
by adding here the several circumstances of the burial of 
Jesus, collected from the accounts of the Evangelists : 

" There was a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, a 
member of the Sanhedrim, and of a respectable character, 
who had not consented to their counsel and act : he went 


to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus ; and he laid it in 
his own new tomb, which had been hewn out of the rock, 
near to the place where Jesus was crucified ; having first, 
wound it in fine linen with spices, as the manner of the 
Jews was to bury the rich and great." 

10. with grief] For >l ?nn, the verb, the construction 
of which seems to be hard and inelegant in this place, Yulg. 
reads '^ro, in infirmitate. 

Ibid. If his soul shall make] For D'tyn, a MS has 
D#n, which may be taken passively, " If his soul shall be 
made ," agreeably to some copies of LXX, which have 
dwTcci. So likewise Syr. 

11. and be satisfied -] LXX, Vulg. Syr. and a MS, 
add the conjunction to the verb j yzvw* 

Ibid, -^-shall my servant justify] Three MSS (two of 
them ancient), omit the word p*ny; it seems to be only an 
imperfect repetition, by mistake, of the preceding word. It 
makes a solecism in this place ; for, according to the con- 
stant usage of the Hebrew language, the adjective, in a 
phrase of this kind, ought to follow the substantive ; and 
"py p"i in Hebrew would be as absurd as " shall my ser- 
vant righteous justify/' in English. Add to this, that, it 
makes the hemistich too long, 

12. And made intercession- ] For y&, in the future, 
a MS has yjan, preterit; rather better, as agreeable with 
i,.he other verbs immediately preceding in the sentence. 


1. Shout for joy, O thou barren- ] The church of God 
under the Old Testament, confined within the narrow 
bounds of the Jewish nation, and still more so in respect of 
the very small number of true believers, and which some- 
times seemed to be deserted of God her husband ; is the 
barren woman, that did not bear, and was desolate. She is 
exhorted to rejoice, and to express her joy in the strongest 
manner, on the reconciliation of her husband, see ver. 6. 
and on the accession of the Gentiles to her family. The 
converted Gentiles are all along considered by the Prophet 
as a new accession of adopted children, admitted into the 
original church of God, and united with it. See chap, xlix, 
20, 21. 

3f<3 ttOtES ON ISAIAH. CtiAP. LlV, 

4. For thou shalt forget] " Shame of thy youth ; i. e* 
the bondage of Egypt i widowhood, the Captivity of Baby- 
lon : ? ' SECKER. 

7. Jw a little anger ] So the Chald. and Syr. either 
reading m for >U1$ or understanding the latter word as 
meaning the same with the former, which they both make 
use of. See Psal. xxx. 5. xxxv. 20. in LXX, where they 
render #n by 6^. 

8. I hid my face \f or a moment] from thee] The word 
>jn is omitted by LXX, Syr. and two MSS. It seems to 
embarrass rather than to help the sentence. " Forte reponi 
debet pro *pn0j quod potest a f]Vp errore scribee originem 
duxisse : " SECKER. 

9. -^-as in the days of Noah] 'D'Dj in one word, in a 
MS, and some editions ; and so Syr. Chald. Vulg. Sym. 
Theod. Abarbartel, Salomo b. Melee, and Kirachij ac- 
knowledge that their copies vary in this place. 

11, 12. Behold, I lay thy stones-] These seem to be 
general images to express beauty, magnificence} purity^ 
strength, and solidity, agreeably to the ideas of the eastern 
nations ; and to have never been intended to be strictly 
scrutinized, or minutely and particularly explained, as if 
they had each of them some precise moral or spiritual 
meaning. Tobit, in his prophecy of the final restoration of 
Israel, describes the New Jerusalem in the same oriental 
manner : " For Jerusalem shall be built up with sapphires, 
and emeralds, and precious stones ; thy walls, and towers, 
and battlements, with pure gold. And the streets of Jeru- 
salem shall be paved with beryl, and carbuncle, and stones 
of Ophir : " Tob, xiii, 16, 17, Compare also Rev. xxi, 

15. ^-,shall come over to thy side] For Vi3% twenty- 
eight MSS (eight ancient) have *?S', in its more common 
form. For the meaning of the word in this place, see Jer, 
xxxvii, 13, 


9. Fer us the heavens are higher >] I am persuaded 
that 3, the particle of comparison, is lost in this place, from 
the likeness of the particle 4 Z) immediately preceding it. So 
Houbigant, and SECKER. And their remark is confirmed 
by all the ancient versions, which express it ; and by the 


following passage of Psalm, ciii. 11. which is almost the 
same : 

VIM H3JD '3 

.van' hy non naa 

" For as the heavens are high above the earth, 
So high is his goodness over them that fear him." 

Where, by the nature of the sentence, the verb in the 
second line ought to be the same with that in the first : HDJ, 
not 13J : so Archbishop Seeker conjectured ; referring how- 
ever to Psal. cxvii. 2. 

12. The mountains and the hills ] These are highly 
poetical images, to express a happy state attended with joy 
and exultation. 

" Ipsi laetitia voces ad sidera jactant 
Intonsi montes: ipsae jam carmina rupes, 
Ipsa sonant arbusta." Virg. Eel. v. 

13. Instead of the thorny bushes ] These likewise (see 
note on the preceding verse, and on chap. liv. 11.) are gen- 
eral poetical images, expressing a great and happy change 
for the better. The wilderness turned into a paradise, 
Lebanon into Carmel : the desert of the Gentiles watered 
with the heavenly snow and rain, which fail not to have 
their due effect, and becoming fruitful in piety and right- 
eousness ; or, as the Chaldee gives the moral sense of the 
emblem, u Instead of the wicked shall arise the just, and 
instead of sinners, such as fear to sin." Compare ch. xxxv. 
1, 2. xli. 19. 

Ibid. And instead of ] The conjunction i is added, 
nnni, in forty -five MSS, and five editions ; and it is acknowl- 
edged by all the ancient versions. The Masoretes therefore 
might have safely received it into the text, and not have re- 
ferred us for it to the margin. 


5. will / give them] For i 1 ? in the singular, it is evi- 
dent that we ought to read in 1 ? in the plural : so read LXX, 
Syr. Chald and Vulg. 

7. shall be accepted] A word is here lost out of the 
text : it is supplied from the LXX, rrr, ftiovccu : Houbigant. 

9. Oall ye beasts of the field ] Here manifestly begins 


a new section. The Prophet, in the foregoing chapters, 
having comforted the faithful Jews with many great promises 
of God's favour to be extended to them, in the restoration 
of their ruined state, and of the enlargement of his church 
by the admission of the Gentiles ; here, on a sudden, makes 
a transition to the more disagreeable part of the prospect ; 
and to a sharp reproof of the wicked and unbelievers, and 
especially of the negligent and faithless governors and teach- 
ers, of the idolaters and hypocrites, who would still draw 
down his judgments upon the nation : probably having in 
view the destruction of their city and polity by the Chal- 
deans, and perhaps by the Romans. The same subject is 
continued in the next chapter ; in which the charge of cor- 
ruption and apostasy becomes more general against the 
whole Jewish church. Some expositors have made great 
difficulties in the 9th verse of this chapter, where there seems 
to be none. It is perfectly well explained by Jeremiah : 
where, having introduced God declaring his purpose of 
punishing his people, by giving them up as a prey to their 
enemies the Chaldeans, a charge to these his agents is given 
in words very nearly the same with those of Isaiah in this 
place : 

" I have forsaken my house; I have deserted my heritage; 
I have given up the beloved of my soul into the hands of her 

Come away, be ye gathered together, all ye beasts of the 

Come away to devour." Jer. xii. 7. 9. 

Ibid. beasts of the forest] Instead of ijra, three MSS 
have ^jr, without the preposition : which seems to be right ; 
and is confirmed by all the ancient versions. 

10. dumb dogs, they cannot bark] See below, note on 
chap. Ixii. 6. 

Ibid. Dreamers] D'in, fvtwr^(t/, LXX. This seems 
to be the best authority for the meaning of this word, which 
occurs only in this place : but it is to be observed, that three 
MSS, and three editions, have D'?n; and so Vulg. seems to 
have read, videntes vana. 

12. let us provide wine] For nnpx, first person sin- 
gular, an ancient MS has nnpJ, first person plural ; and 
another ancient MS has pK upon a rasure. So Syr. Chald. 
and Vulff. render it. 



2. He shall go in peace} uhv KIT : the expression is 
elliptical, such as the Prophet frequently uses. The same 
sense is expressed at large and in full terms, Gen. xv. 15. 
01^3 I'muN ^ wan nnw, " And thou shalt go to thy fathers 
in peace." 

Ibid. he shall rest in his bed; even the perfect man] 
This obscure sentence is reduced to a perfectly good sense, 
and easy construction, by an ingenious remark of Dr DURELL. 
He reads on ttDttfD ty MM*. Two MSS (one of them ancient) 
have mr, singular; and so Vulg. renders it, requiescat. 
The verb was probably altered to make it plural, and so con- 
sistent with what follows, after the mistake had be en made 
in the following words, by uniting ODPD arid on into one 
word. See Merrick's Annotations on the Psalms, Addenda ; 
where the reader will find, that J. S. Moerlius, by the same 
sort of correction, and by rescuing the adjective on, which 
had been swallowed up in another word in the same* manner, 
has restored to a clear sense a passage before absolutely un- 
intelligible : 

ir: 1 ? nunn }' o 

u For no distresses happen to them; 
Perfect and firm is their strength." Psal. Ixxiii. 4. 

6. Among the smooth stones of the valley ] The Jews 
were extremely addicted to the practice of many supersti- 
tious and idolatrous rites, which ihe Prophet here inveighs 
against with great vehemence. Of the worship of rude 
stones consecrated, there a> many testimonies of the an- 
cients. They were caWed XMTV*OI and Eeurv*i*i probably 
from the stone which Jacob erected at Bethel, pouring oil 
upon the top of it. The practice was very common in dif- 
ferent ages and places. Arnobius, lib. i. gives an account 
of his own practice in this respect, before he became a Chris- 
tian : " Si quando conspexeram lubricatum lapidem, et ex 
olivi unguine sordidatum ; tanquam inesset vis praesens, 
adulabar, affabar, et beneficia poscebam nihil sentiente de 
trunco." Clemens Alex. Strom, lib. vii. speaks of a wor- 
shipper of every smooth stone in a proverbial way, to denote 
one given up to superstition. And accordingly Theophras- 
tus has marked this as one strong feature in the character 


of the superstitious man : KM TV Mveqcn A<0v TUV & rxig r$ <- 

J0<$ iretgMVj ex. rr^ >yiK.vQov e^otttv x,XTct%&V) YM.I ITTI yovarec Tso-av KOU 

Tgoo-KwtirMs ctTrotMscrleo-Oxt: -'Passing by the anointed stones 
in the streets, he takes out his phial of oil, and pours it on 
them ; and having fallen 011 his knees, and made his adora- 
tions, he departs," 

8. Behind the door, and the door-posts, hasi thou set thy 
memorial] That is, the image of their tutelary gods, or 
something dedicated to them ; in direct opposition to the 
law of God, which commanded them to write upon the door- 
posts of their house, and upon their gates, the words of God's 
law : Deut. vi. 9. xi. 20. If they chose for them such a 
situation as more private, it was in defiance of a particular 
curse denounced in the law against the man who should 
make a graven or a molten image, and put it in a secret place ; 
Deut. xxvii. 15. An ancient MS, with another, has ins, 
without the conjunction i. 

9. And thou hast visited the king with a present of oil.} 
That is, the king of Assyria, or Egypt. Hosea reproaches 
the Israelites for the same practice : 

" They make a covenant with Assyria, 

And oil is carried to Egypt." Hosea xii. 1. 

It is well known, that in all parts of the East, whoever visits 
a great person must carry him a present. " It is counted 
uncivil," says Maundrell, p. 26. " to visit in this country 
without an offering \n hand. All great men expect it as a 
tribute due 10 their character and authority ; and look upon 
themselves as affronted, &nd indeed defrauded, when the 
compliment is omitted." Htnce insr, to visit a person, is 
equivalent to making him a present :. and miffn signifies 
a present made on such occasions ; as our translators have 
rightly rendered it, 1 Sam. ix. 7. : on which Jarchi says, 
"Menachem exponit rrwn quod sigiAficet oblationem sive 
munus, ut aliquis aspiciat faciem regis, auialicujus magnatis." 

10. Thou hast said. There is no hope\ In one of the 
MSS at Konirigsberg, collated by Lilienthal, the words 
maw N 1 ? are left in the text unpointed, as suspected ; and in 
the margin the corrector has written "ro^ni- Now, if we com- 
pare Jer. ii. 25. and xviii. 12. we shall find, that the subject 
is in both places quite the same with this of Isaiah, and the 
sentiment expressed, that of a desperate resolution to continue 
at all hazard in their idolatrous practices ; the very thing that 
jn all reason we might expect here. Probably therefore the 

atter is the true reading in this place. 


11. nor revolved it] Eight MSS (four ancient), 
and the two oldest editions, with another, add the conjunc- 
tion i, *6i : which is confirmed by all the ancient versions. 

Ibid. and winked] For DTp&lj which makes no good 
sense or construction in this place, twenty-three MSS 
(seven ancient), and three editions, have thyn, (to be thus 
pointed D 1 ?^); Tre^o^a, LXX; quasi non videns, Vulg. : see 

Psal. x. 1. The truth of this reading so confirmed admits 
of no doubt. 

12. my righteousness] For ppiy, thy righteousness, 
Syr. LXX, MSS Alex, and Pachora. and i. D. n., and 
Marchal. and ot r, and Arab, read 'npiy, my righteousness. 

13. let thine associates deliver thee] Thirty-nine MSS 
(ten ancient), and the two oldest editions, have "jiVar, plural. 

14. then will I say] IDW, to be pointed as the first per- 
son future : they are the words of God, as it is plain from 
the conclusion of the verse ; my people, pp. 

15. Far thus sn*th JnrTnvATt] A MS adds rnrp after 
-10*, and edition Prag. 1518. So LXX, Alex, and Arab. 
An ancient MS adds rr. 

Ibid. And with the contrite ] Twelve MSS have r, 
without the conjunction i. " Pro nw, forte legendum 
n*ow : confer Psal. cxiii. 5. et cxxxviii. 6. : " SECKER. 

16. For I will not alway ] The learned have taken a 
great deal of pains to little purpose on the latter part of this 
verse, which they suppose to be very obscure. After all their 
labours upon it. I think the best and easiest explication of it 
is given in the two following elegant passages of the Psalms, 
which I presume are exactly parallel to it, and very clearly 
express the same sentiment. 

" But He in his tender mercy will forgive their sin, 

And will not destroy them; 

Yea oftentimes will he turn away his wrath, 

And will not rouse up all his indignation : 

For he remembereth that they are but flesh, 

A breath that passeth, and returneth not." Ixxviii. 38. 39. 
" He will not always contend, 

Neither will he for ever hold his wrath : 

As a father yearneth towards his children, 

So is JEHOVAH tenderly compassionate towards them that fear 

For he knoweth our frame; 

He remembereth that we are but dust." ciii. 9. 13, 14. 


la the former of these two passages, the second line seems 
to be defective both in measure and sense: I suppose the 
word oniN, them, is lost at the end ; which seems to be ac- 
knowledged by Chald. and Vulg. who render as if they had 
read, omx nw ? vbi. 

17. Because of his iniquity for a short time I was wroth] 
For 1^3, 1 read #30, paululum, a jraa, abscidit ; as LXX 
read and render it, /3f^y n. "Propter iniquitatem avariticc 
ejus" the rendering of Vulg., which our translators, and 1 
believe all others follow, is surely quite beside the purpose. 

19. / create the fruit of the lips ; ] " The sacrifice of 
praise," saith StPaul, Heb. xiii. 15. "is the fruit of the lips. : ' 
God creates this fruit of the lips, by giving new subject and 
cause of thanksgiving, by his mercies conferred on those 
among his people who acknowledge and bewail their trans- 
gressions, and return to him. The great subject of thanks- 
giving is peace ; reconciliation and pardon offered to them 
that are nigh, and to them that are afar off ; not only to the 
Jew, but also to the Gentile, as St Paul more than once 
applies these terms, Eph, ii. 13. 17. : see also Acts ii. 39. 

21. There is no peace, saith my God ] For >rf?x, 
twenty-two MSS (five ancient) read rnn. Vulg. LXX 
Alex. Arab, and three MSS, have both. This verse has 
reference to the 19th. The wicked and impenitent are ex- 
cluded from all share in that peace above-mentioned, that 
reconcilement and pardon, which is promised to the penitent 
only. The xlviiith chapter ends with the same declaration : 
to express the exclusion of the unbelievers and impenitent 
from the benefit of the foregoing promises. 


3. afflicted our souls j Twenty-seven MSS (six an- 
cient), and the old edition of 1488, have the noun in the 
plural number, WSJ : and so LXX, Chald. Vulg. 

4. And to smite with the fist the poor. Wherefore fast ye 
unto me ] I follow the version of the LXX, which gives 
a much better sense than the present reading of the Hebrew. 
Instead of N 1 ? jrcn, they seem to have read in their copy 
'S no ty en : the four first letters are the same, but other- 
wise divided in regard to the words ; the four last are lost, 
and K added in their place, in order to make some sort of 
sense with Sytzn. The version of the LXX is / iW?rre 

Tctiretoo*' Ivcc n (MI vy.rtvtre . 


7. the wandering poor* ] 5r7^ot/$ ctreyovs, LXX ; ege- 
nos vagosque, Vulg. ; and j^D^DD, Chald. They read, in- 
stead of Dino, onwn. ia is upon a rasure in the Bodleian 
MS. The same MS reads nn% in domum. 

8. And thy wounds shall speedily be healed] " Et cica- 
trix vulneris tui cito obducetur." Aquila's version, as reported 
by Jerom ; with which agrees that of the Chaldee. 

Ibid. And the glory ] Sixteen MSS (five ancient), and 
LXX, Syr. Vulg. add the conjunction i, IUDI. 

10. If thou bring forth thy bread] " To draw out thy 
soul to the hungry," as our translators rightly enough express 
the present Hebrew text, is an obscure phrase, and without 
example in any other place. But instead of "JBPSJ, thy soul, 
eight MSS (three ancient) read priS, thy bread ; and so the 
Syriac renders it. The LXX express both words, ror CCQTOV 
fx TIIS yvxns tiov, thy bread from thy soul. 

11. And he shall renew thy strength] " Oaldaeus forte 
legit tjnDxy sybrv. Confer cap. xl. 29. 31. et xli l. : " SECKER. 

Chald. has vzhy "HD "n *\aui, " et corpus tdum vivificabit in 
vita aeterna." The rest of the ancients se-sni not to know what 
to make of yVr ; and the rendering jf the Vulgate, which 
seems to be the only proper one, OSSP tua liber obit, makes no 
sense. I follow this excellent emendation ; to favour which, 
it is still further to be observed, that three MSS, instead of 
Tnoxp, have IHDV^, singular. 

12. to be frequented by inhabitants] To this purpose 
it is rendered by Syr. Syn?- and Theod. 

13. From doing thy pleasure] The LXX, Syr. and 
Chald. for rwy manifestly express rwyn. So likewise a MS 
has it ; but with the omission of the words ytoi rap. 

Ibid. And the holy feast] Twenty-eight MSS (seven 
ancient) add the injunction i, wnfi\' and so Syr. and Chald. 

Ibid. and from speaking vain words] It is necessary 
to add some epithet to make out the sense : the LXX say 
angry words ; Chald. words of violence. If any such epithet 
is lost here, the safest way is to supply it by the Prophet's own 
expression, ver. 9. JIN wi, vain words ; that is, profane, im- 
pious, injurious, &c. 

"The additional epithet seems unnecessary. The Vulg. 
and Syr. have it not. And the sense is good without it ; two 
ways, first by taking -cni for a noun, and *oi for the participle 
pahul, and rendering, 

" From pursuing thy pleasure* and the thing resolved on: " 


Or, secondly, by supposing the force of the preposition a to \>e 
continued from the verb m*DD to the verb-cm immediately fol- 
lowing, and rendering. 

" From executing thy pleasure, and from speaking words 

concerning it." 
But the first seems the easier rendering/' Dr. JUBR. 


THE foregoing elegant chapter contained a severe reproof 
of the Jews, in particular for their hypocrisy in pretending to 
make themselves accepted with God by fasting and outward 
humiliation without true repentance, while they still continued 
to oppress the poor, and to indulge their own passions and 
vices ; \vith great promises, however, of God's favour on con- 
dition of th&ir reformation. This chapter contains a more gen- 
eral reproof of their wickedness ; bloodshed, violence, falsehood, 
injustice. At vtr. 9. they are introduced as making them- 
selves an ample confession of their sins, and deploring their 
wretched state in co^equence of them. On this act of humi- 
liation a promise is giv^n, that God, in his mercy and zeal for 
his people, will rescue ft^em from this miserable condition ; 
that the Redeemer will coie like a mighty hero to deliver 
them : he will destroy his Demies, convert both Jews and 
Gentiles to himself, and give <.hem a new covenant, and a 
law, which shall never be abolisi^d. 

As this chapter is remarkable fort,he beauty, strength, and 
variety of the images with which it abounds ; so is it peculiar- 
ly distinguished by the elegance of tin composition, and the 
exact construction of the sentence? : fror* the first verse to the 
two last, it falls regularly into stanzas of fc>ur lines, (see Prel. 
Dissert, p. xiii.), which I have endeavoured tt express as near- 
ly as possible in the form of the original. 

2. His face ] For cna, faces , I read VJS, \is face. So 
Syr. LXX, Alex. Arab. Vulg. '32, MS. - Fortt'legenduni 
33 ; nam n sequitur, et loquitur Deus : confer lviV\ 14. : " 
SECKER. I rather think that the speech of God wa^ closed 
with the last chapter ; and that this chapter is delivered i the 
person of the Prophet. 

3. And your t9ngue ] An ancient MS, and LXX and 
Vulg. add the conjunction. 

8. Whoever goeth in them ] For ro singular, read D3 
plural, with LXX, Syr. Vulg. Chald. The n is upon a rasure 
in MS. Or for nrrnrru plural, we must read oroTO singular, 


as it is in an ancient MS, to preserve the grammatical 

10. And we wander ] I adopt here an emendation of 
Houbigant, TUIBO, instead of the second rrcrau:,- the repetition 
of which has a poverty and inelegance extremely unworthy 
of the Prophet, and unlike his manner. The mistake is of 
long standing, being prior to all the ancient versions : it was 
a very easy and obvious mistake ; and I have little doubt of 
our having recovered the true reading in this ingenious cor- 

11. and it is far distant from us.] The conjunction i 
must necessarily be prefixed to the verb, as Syr. Chald. Vulg. 
found it in their copies, n^rW- 

15. And JEHOVAH saw it, ........ ] This third line 

of the stanza appears manifestly to rne to be imperfect by the 
loss of a phrase. The reader will perhaps more perfectly con- 
ceive my idea of the matter, if I endeavour to supply the sup 
posed defect. I imagine it might have stood originally in this 
manner : 

lh TW] mrr KTI 

" And JEHOVAH saw it, [and he was wroth] : 

And ifv displeased him, that there was no judgment." 
We have had already many examples of mistakes of omis- 
sion : this, iC it be such, is very ancient, being prior to all the 

17. -for his clothing] niBO^n. " I cannot but think 
that ftEttfrfl is ay interpolation. 1. It is in no one ancient 
version. 2. It is xedundant in the sense, as it is before ex- 
pressed in n:o. ^It makes the hemistich just so much 
longer than it ought >fl be, if it is compared with the others 
adjoining. 4. It make\a form of construction in this clause 
less elegant than that i\ the others. 5. It might probably 
be in some margin a various reading for njo and thence 
taken into the text. This \ the more probable, as its form is 
such as it would be if it were^i regimine. as it must be be- 
fore opy: " Dr. JUBB. 

18. He is mighty ] The former part of this verse, as 
it stands at present in the Hebrew text, seems to me to be 
very imperfect, and absolutely unintelligible. The learned 
Vitringa has taken a great deal of pains upon it, after 
Cocceius ; who, he says, is the only one of all the interpre- 
ters, ancient or modern, who has at all understood it, and 
has opened the way for him. He thinks, that both of them 


together have clearly made out the sense : I do not expect 
that any third person will ever be of that opinion. He 
says. " Videtur sententia ad verbum sonare : quasi propter 
facta [adversariorum] quasi propter rependet; excandescen- 
tiarn, &c. et sic reddidit Pagninus." This he converts, by 
a process which will not much edify my reader, into " Se- 
cundum summe merita, secundum summe [merita] repen- 
det : " which is his translation. They that hold the present 
Hebrew text to be absolutely infallible, must make their way 
through it as they can ; but they ought surely to give us some- 
what that has at least the appearance of sense. However, 
I hope the case here is not quite desperate : the Chaldee 
leads us very fairly to the correction of the text, which is 
both corrupted and defective. The paraphrase runs thus : 
chw *6w Kin K^DJ '-ID, " Dominus retributionum ipse retribu- 
tionem reddet." He manifestly read tyjj, instead of tyD. 
K^DJ *ID is rnSnji tya ; as wnnono *ID, is f|K Sjo, Prov. xxii. 
24. And so in the same Chaldee paraphrase on Isaiah 
xxxv. 4. *MJV wn whoi no, " Dominus retributionum JE- 
HOVAH ipse revelabitur." Words very near to those of 
the Prophet in this place. The second *?;>, which the 
Chaldee has omitted, must be read ^3 likewise With 
this only addition to the Chaldee, which the Hebrew text 
justifies, we are supplied with the following clear reading of 
the passage : 

xin rn^iDJ tyrs 
.chip* rn^Dj ^3 

The 3 in 'TJQ twice seems to have been * first 3 in MS. 
This verse in LXX is very imperfect. In the first part of it 
they give us no assistance ; the last part is wholly omitted in 
the printed copies ; but it is thus suppled in MSS Pachom. 
and i. D. u. rotg vxevavTiois avrtw afivvav TOI$ t%6gois 


19. which a strong wind driveth along] " Quam spi- 
ritus Domini cogit ; " Vulg. non3> pihel a D13 fugit. Kimchi 
says, his father thus explained ihis word : " nDDU interpreta- 
tur in significatione fugffi ; et ait, Spiritus Domini fugabit 
hostem ; nam secundum eum noou est ex conjugatione 
quadrata, ej usque radix est Dtt." The object of this action I 
explain otherwise. The conjunction i prefixed to nn seems 
necessary to the sense : it is added by the corrector in one of 
the Koningsberg MSS colkted by Lilienthal. 

20. And shall turn away iniquity from Jacob] So LXX, 
and St. Paul. Rom. xi. 26. ; reading, instead of woh and 


apjra, rtym and apjpo. Syr. likewise reads 3ro; and 
Chald. to the same sense, U'fcTibi. Our translators have 
expressed the sense of the present reading of the Hebrew text : 
" And unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob." 

21. which 1 make with them] For oniN, them twenty 
four MSS (four ancient) and nine editions have DDK, with 


THE subject of this chapter is the great increase and 
flourishing state of the church of God, by the conversion and 
accession of the heathen nations to it ; which is set forth in 
such ample and exalted terms as plainly shew, that the full 
completion of this prophecy is reserved for future times. 
This subject is displayed in the most splendid colours, under 

ft frreat V** r ^***y **^ imag^a liigpl-ily j-" -ti.^ly -.1 v^j^.... wV tor gp*** 

<* general idea of the glories of that perfect state of the 
church of God which we are taught to expect in the latter 
times ; when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, and 
the Jews shall be converted and gathered from their disper- 
sions ; and the kingdoms of this world shall become the 
kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. 

Of the use in prophecy of general or common poetical 
images, in setting forth the greatness and importance of a 
future event universally, without descending to particulars, 
or too minutely explaining circumstances, I have already 
pretty largely treated in the xxth Prelection on the Hebrew 
Poetry ; and have more than once observed in these notes, 
that such images are not always to be applied particularly 
to persons and things, and were never intended to be 
minutely explained. I shall add here the opinion of a very 
learned and judicious person upon this subject : " It is, I think, 
a mark of right understanding in the language of prophecy, 
and in the design of prophecy too, to keep to what appears 
the design and meaning of the prophecy in general, and 
what the whole of it, laid together, points out to us ; and 
not to suffer a warm imagination to mislead us from the real 
intention of the spirit of prophecy, by following uncertain 
applications of the parts of it : " Lowman on the Revelation, 
note on chap. xix. 21. 

4. shall be carried at the side] For mnwi, shall la 
nursed, LXX and Chald. read nj&awn, shall be carried. 
A MS has ruwwn *]ro hp, instead of ruDn ns ty ; shall 


be carried on the shoulder, instead of shall be nursed on the 
side. Another MS has both *]ro and i*. Another MS 
has it thus: mbxn: ruxiwn, with a line drawn over the 
first word. Sir John Chardin says, that it is the general 
custom in the East to carry their children astride upon the 
hip, with the arm round their body. His MS note on this 
place is as follows : " Coutume en Orient de porter les en- 
fans sur le coste a califourchqn sur la hanche : cette facon 
est generale aux Indes ; les enfans se tiennent comme cela, 
et la personne qui les porte les embrasse et serre par le 
corps ; parceque sont [ni] emmaillottes. ni en robes qui les 

" Non brachiis occidentalium more, sed humeris, diva- 
ricatis tibiis, impositos circumferunt : " Cotovic. Iter Syr. 
cap. xiv. This last quotation seems to favour the reading 
r |TO by, as the. LXX likewise do : but upon the whole I 
UiinH btMb i w>w.^ i* v :. *u 4 -.,~ - r ,a;^ gy/ which the 
Chaldee favours ; and I have accordingly followed it. c^. 
chap. Ixvi. 12. 

5. Then shalt thou fear ] For 'son, thou shalt see, as 
ours, and much the greater number of the translators, an- 
cient and modern, render it ; forty MSS (ten ancient), and 
the old edition of 1488. have ? mn, thou shalt fear ; the 
true reading, confirmed by the perfect parallelism of the 
sentences : the heart ruffled and dilated in the second line 
answering to the fear and joy expressed in the first. The 
Prophet Jeremiah (chap, xxxiii. 9.) has the same natural and 
elegant sentiment : 

" And [this city] shall become to me a name of joy ; 
A praise and an honour for all the nations of the earth ; 
Which shall hear all the good that I do unto them ; 
And they shall fear, and they shall tremble, at k all the good- 
And at all the prosperity, that I procure unto her." 

And David, (Psal. cxxxix. 14.) 

" I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.'* 
" His tibi me rebus quaedam divina voluptas 

Percipit atque horror." Lucret. iii. 28. 

" Recenti mens trepidat metu, 

Plenoque Bacchi pectore turbidum 

Laetatur." Hor. Carm. ii. 19. 

6. And the praise of JEHOVAH ] Thirty-three MSS 
and three editions have n^nm, in the singular number ; and 
so read the ancient versions. 


7. Unto thee shall the rams of Nebaioth minister} Vi- 
triuga (on the place) understands their ministering 1 , and. 
ascending, or going up on the altar, as offering themselves 
voluntarily : " Ipsi se, non expectato sacerdote alio, gloriae 
et sanctificationi Divini nominis ultro ac libenter oblaturi." 
This gives a very elegant and poetical turn to the image. 
It was a general notion that prevailed with sacrificers among 
the heathen, that the victim's being brought without reluc- 
tance to the altar \\ as a good omen ; and the contrary a bad 
one. " Sabinos petit aliquanto tristior ; quod sacrificanti 
hostia aufugerat : " Sueton. Titus, cap. x. " Accessit dirum 
omen, profugus altaribus taurus : " Tacit. Hist. iii. 56. 

8. And like doves upon the wing~\ Instead of btf, to, for- 
ty-two MSS have ty, upon. For orrnrnx, their windows, 
read DrrrrON, their wings, transposing a letter : Houbi- 
gant. The LXX render it <$w veotidois, with their young : 
they read Dirrrfltf; nearer to the latter, than to the present 

9. among the first ] For r^jou, twenty-five MSS 
and Syr. read rutsrtrDD, as at the first. 

13. the place whereon I rest my feet] The temple of 
Jerusalem was called the house of God, and the place of his 
rest or residence : the visible symbolical appearance of God. 
called by the Jews the Shechinah, was in the most holy 
place, between the wings of the cherubim above the ark. 
This is considered as the throne of God, presiding as king 
over the Jewish state ; and as a footstool is a necessary ap- 
pendage of a throne, (see note on chap. Iii. 2.), the ark is con- 
sidered as the footstool of God ; and is so called, Psal. xcix. 5. 
I Chron. xxviii. 2. 

Ibid. The glory of Lebanon] That is,' A the cedar. 

19. Nor by night shall the brightness of the moon en- 
lighten thee] This line, as it stands in the present text, 
seems to be defective. The LXX and Chald. both express 
the night, which is almost necessary to answer to day in the 
preceding line, as well as to perfect the sense here. I there- 
fore think that we ought, upon the authority of LXX and 
Chald. to read either rr?' 1 ?), and by night, instead of 
and for brightness : or nVSa ruj^i, adding the word 
by night. 

21. of my planting] ^EOD, so with the Keri read forty- 
four MSS (seven ancient) and six editions ; with which agree 
Syr. Chald. Vulg. 



1. The Spirit of JEHOVAH] The LXX, Vulg. and 
St Luke iv. 18. and MS. and two old editions, omit the word 
\nx, the Lord; which was probably added to the text through 
the superstition of the Jews, to prevent the pronunciation of 
the word rnrv following. See Kennicott on the State of the 
Printed Heb. Text, i. p. 510. 

Ibid. perfect liberty] Ten MSS and one edition have 
mpnpa in one word ; and so the LXX and Vulg. appear to 
have taken it. 

The proclaiming of perfect liberty to the bounden, and the 
year of acceptance with JEHOVAH, is a manifest allusion to 
the proclaiming of the year of jubilee by sound of trumpet : 
see Lev. xxv. 9. &c. This was a year of general release 
of debts and obligations ; of bond men and women ; of lands 
and possessions, which had been sold from the families and 
tribes to which they belonged. Our Saviour, by applying this 
text to himself, Luke iv. 18, 19. a text so manifestly relating 
to the institution above-mentioned, plainly declares the typical 
design of that institution. 

3. To impart [gladness] to the mourners] A word ne- 
cessary to the sense is certainly lost in this place ; of which 
the ancient versions have preserved no traces. Houbigant, 
by conjecture, inserts the word pBrar, gladness, taken from the 
line next but one below, where it stands opposed to ^x, sor- 
row, or mourning ; as the word lost here was to San, mourn- 
ers ; I follow him. 

Ibid. a beautiful crown, instead of ashes] In times of 
mourning the Jews put on sackcloth, or coarse and sordid 
raiment ; and spread dust and ashes on their heads : on the 
contrary, splendid clothing, and ointment poured on the 
head, were the signs of joy. " Feign thyself to be a mourn- 
er," says Joab to the woman of Tekoah, " and put on now 
mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil ; " 2 Sam. 
xiv. 2. These customs are at large expressed in the book of 
Judith : " She pulled off the sackcloth which she had on, 
and put off the garments of her widowhood, and washed her 
body all over with water, and anointed herself with precious 
ointment, and braided the hair of her head, and put on a tire 
[mitre, marg.] upon it ; and put on her garments of glad 
ness ; " chap. x. 3. 

Phear, instead of apher ; a paronomasia, which the Pro- 


phet often uses : a chaplet, crown, or other ornament of the 
head, (for so the Vulgate renders the word here, and in the 
10th verse ; in which last place the LXX agree in the same 
rendering), instead of dust and ashes, which before covered 
it ; and the costly ointments used on occasion of festivity, in- 
stead of the ensigns of sorrow. 

Ibid. trees approved] Heb. oaks of righteousness, or 
truth ; that is, such as by their flourishing condition should 
shew that they were indeed " the cion of God's planting, and 
the work of his hands : " under which images, in the preced- 
ing chap. ver. 21. the true servants of God, in a highly im- 
proved state of the church, were represented ; that is, says Vi- 
tringa on that place, " commendable for the strength of their 
faith, their durability, and firmness." 

4. And they that spring from thee] A word is lost here 
likewise. After wat, they shall build, add ]Dn, they that 
spring from thce. Four MSS have it so, (two of them an- 
cient), and it is confirmed by chap. Iviii. 12. where the sen- 
tence is the very same, this word being here added. Kimchi 
makes the same remark : " the word -JOD is omitted here ; but 
is found in chap. Iviii. 12," 

7. Instead of your shame ] The translation of this 
verse, which is very confused, and probably corrupted in the 
Hebrew, is taken from the Syriac version ; except that the 
latter has not expressed the word mi?D, double, in the first 
place. Five MSS add the conjunction i to nrw. Syr. reads 
inn and iBnn in the second person, " ye shall rejoice, ye shall 
inherit." And for on 1 ?, to them, two MSS (one of them 
ancient), and Syr. read DD 1 ?, to you, in the second person 

The version of the LXX is imperfect in this place : the 
first half of the verse is entirely omitted in all the printed 
copies. It is supplied by MSS Pachom. and i. D. n. in the 
following manner : 

Am TK eur%wi)s vfM TIK JV?rAj, 

Kott ecvri TW (vrgoTTtx evyechtocccrerw /uc*f avritr 

Aiac rtvro rtjv yjjv etvrav etc fevregov 

In which the two MSS agree, except that i. D. n. has by 
mistake rintQcts for 77 p^is. And Cod. Marchal. in the mar- 
gin, has pretty nearly the same supplement as from Theodotion. 

8. and iniquity] Syr. and Chald. prerix the conjunc- 
tion i, instead of the preposition 3, to rfay ; which they render 
iniquity or oppression ; and so the LXX, 



10. As the bridegroom decketh himself with a priestly 
crown] An allusion to the magnificent dress of the High 
Priest, when performing his functions ; and particularly to 
the mitre, and crown, or plate of gold on the front of it ; 
Exod. xxix. 6. The bonnet or mitre of the priests also was 
made, as Moses expresses it, " for glory and for beauty ; *' 
Exod. xxviii. 40. It is difficult to give its full force to the 
Prophet's metaphor in another language ; the version of 
Aquila and Symmachus comes nearest to it : cos wp(ptoi 
iegarevoaevov tirftpavG). 

11. The Lord JEHOVAH ] " jnx, the Lord, makes the 
line longer than the preceding and following : and LXX. 
Alex, [and MSS Pachom. and i. D. n.] and Arab, do not 
render it. Hence* it seems to be interpolated : " Dr. JUBB. 
Three MSS have it not : See note on ver. 1. of this chapter. 


5. For as a young man so ] The particles of com- 
parison are not at present in the Hebrew text ; but the LXX, 
Syr. and Chald. seem to have read in their copies D prefixed 
to the verb bipTD '3, which seems to have been omitted 
by mistake of a transcriber, occasioned by the repetition of 
the same two letters. And before the verb in the second 
line a MS adds p, so ; which the LXX, Syr. and Chald. 
seem also to have had in their copies. In the third line of 
this verse the same MS has in like manner Bn^DDi, and two 
MSS and the Babylonish Talmud B^DD, adding the D: and 
in the fourth line, the Babylonish Talmud likewise adds p, so. 
before the verb. 

Sir John Chardin, in his note on this place, tells us, " that 
it is the custom in the East for youths, tnat were never mar- 
ried, always to marry virgins ; and widowers, however young, 
to marry widows : " Harmer, Observ. ii. p. 482. 

Ibid. thy restorer ] rpji; see note on chap. xlix. 17. 

6. O ye that proclaim ] The faithful, and in particu- 
lar the priests and Levites, are exhorted by the Prophet to 
beseech God, with unremitted importunity, (compare Luke 
xviii. 1. &c.), to hasten the redemption of Sion. The image 
in this place ii taken from the temple service : in which there 
was appointed a constant watch, day and night, by the Le- 
vites : and among them this service seems to have belonged 
particularly to the singers ; see 1 Chron. ix. 33, Now the 
watches in the East, even to this day, are performed by a loud 
cry from time to time of the watchmen, to mark the time, and 


that very frequently, and in order to show that they them- 
selves are constantly attentive to their duty. Hence the 
watchmen are said by the Prophet, chap. Hi. 8. to lift up 
their voice ; and here they are commanded, not to keep 
silence ; and the greatest reproach to them is, that they arc 
dumb dogs ; they cannot bark ; dreamers, sluggards, lov- 
ing to slumber : chap. Ivi. 10. " The watchmen in the 
camp of the caravans go their rounds, crying one after another, 
; God is One, He is merciful ; ' and often add, ' Take heed to 
yourselves:" Tavernier, Voyage de Perse, liv. i. chap. x. 
The cxxxivth Psalm gives us an example of the temple 
watch. The whole Psalm is nothing more than the alternate 
cry of two different divisions of the watch. The first watch 
addresses the second, reminding them of their duty ; the 
second answers by a solemn blessing : the address and the 
answer seem both to be a set form, which each division pro- 
claimed, or sung aloud, at stated intervals, to notify the time 
of the night : 

First Chorus. 
(l Come on now, bless ye JEHOVAH, all ye servants of JEHOVAH; 

Ye that stand in the house of JEHOVAH in the nights: 

Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary, 

And bless ye JEHOVAH." 

Second Chorus. 
u JEHOVAH bless thee out of Sion; 

He that made heaven and earth." 

" Qui statis in loco custodies, domus sanctuarii JEHOV.E, 
et laudatis per noctes ; " says the Chaldee paraphrase on the 
second line. And this explains what is here particularly 
meant by proclaiming, or making remembrance of, the name 
of JEHOVAH. The form which the watch made use of on 
these occasions was always a short sentence, expressing some 
pious sentiment, of which JEHOVAH was the subject : and it 
is remarkable, that the custom in the East in this respect also 
still continues the very same ; as it appears by the example 
above given from Tavernier. 

And this observation leads to the explanation of an obscure 
passage in the Prophet Malachi, ii. 12. 
" JEHOVAH will cut off the man that doeth this ; 

The watchman and the answerer, from the tabernacles of 

And him that presenteth an offering to JEHOVAH God of 


mjn 13;, the master and the scholar, says our translation after 
Yulg. ; the son and the grandson, says Syr. and Chald. as 
little to the purpose : Arias Montanus has given it. vigilantem 
et respondentem, the watchman and the answerer ; that is, 
the Levite : and him thatpresenteth an offering to Jehovah ; 
that is, the priest. 

9. But they that reap the harvest shall eat it, and praise 
JEHO VAH ] This and the following line have reference to 
the law of Moses : " Thou mayest not eat within thy gates 
the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil ; but thou 
must eat them before the Lord thy God, in the place which 
the Lord thy God shall choose ; " Deut. xii. 17. 18. " And 
when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all 
manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the jfruit there- 
of as uncircumcised : three years it shall be as uncircumcised 
unto you ; it shall not be eaten of. But in the fourth year 
all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord withal 
And in the fifth year ye shall eat the fruit thereof: " Lev. xix. 
23 25. This clearly explains the force of the expressions, 
" shall praise JEHOVAH," and " shall drink it in my sacred 

Five MSS (one ancient) have ini^DN*, fuljy expressed : 
and so likewise imnBN is found in nineteen MSS, three of 
them ancient. 

10 -for the people] Before the word oyn, the people, 
two MSS insert mrr, Jehovah ; one MS adds the same word 
after it : and eight MSS (three ancient), instead of pyn have 
mrv, and so likewise one edition. But though it makes a 
good sense either way, I believe it to be an interpolation, as 
the ancient versions do not favour it. The LXX indeed read 
my people. 

11. Lo ! thy Saviour ] So all the ancient versions 
render the word yw. 

Ibid. Lo ! his reward ] See note on chap. xl. 10. 


THE very remarkable passage with which this chapter be- 
gins, seems to me to be in a manner detached from the rest, 
and t stand singly by itself ; having no immediate connec- 
tion with what goes before, or with what follows ; otherwise 
than as it may pursue the general design, and stand in its 
proper place in the order of prophecy. It is by many learned 


interpreters supposed, that Judas Maccabeus and his victories 
make the subject of it. What claim Judas can have to so 
great an honour, will, I think, be very difficult to make 
out ; or how the attributes of the great person introduced 
can possibly suit him. Could Judas call himself the an- 
nouncer of righteousness, mighty to save ? Could he talk of 
the day of vengeance being in his heart, and the year of his 
redeemed being come ? or that his own arm wrought salva- 
tion for him ? Besides, what were the great exploits of Judas 
in regard to the Idumeans ? he overcame them in battle, and 
slew twenty thousand of them : and John Hyrcanus, his 
brother Simon's son and successor, who is called in to help 
out the accomplishment of the prophecy, gave them another 
defeat some time afterward, and compelled them by force to 
become proselytes to the Jewish religion, and to submit to 
circumcision ; after which they were incorporated with the 
Jews, and became one people with them. Are these events 
adequate to the Prophet's lofty prediction ? Was it so great 
an action to win a battle with considerable slaughter of the 
enemy ; or to force a whole nation by dint of the sword into 
Judaism ? or was the conversion of the Idumeans, however 
effected, and their admission into the church of God, equi- 
valent to a most grievous judgment and destruction threat- 
ened in the severest terms ? But here is another very ma- 
terial circumstance to be considered, which, I presume, en- 
tirely excludes Judas Maccabeus, and even the Idumeans 
properly so called : The Idumea of the Prophet's time was 
quite a different country from that which Judas conquered ; 
for, during the Babylonish captivity, the Nabatheans had 
driven the Edomites out of their country, who upon that took 
possession of the southern parts of Judea, and settled them- 
selves there ; that is, in the country of the whole tribe of 
Simeon, and in half of that of Judah : See Prideaux, ad An. 
740 et 165. : And the metropolis of the Edomites, and of the 
country thence called Idumea, which Judas took, was Hebron, 
1 Mace. v. 65. not Botsra. 

I conclude therefore, that this prophecy has not the least 
relation to Judafe Maccabeus. It may be asked, To whom, 
and to what event does it relate ? I can only answer, that 
I know of no event in history to which, from its importance 
and circumstances, it can be applied ; unless perhaps to the 
destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity, which in 
the gospel is called the coming of Christ, and the days of 


vengeance ; Matt. xvi. 28. Luke xxi. 22. But, though this 
prophecy must have its accomplishment, there is no necessity 
of supposing that it has been already accomplished. There 
are prophecies, which intimate a great slaughter of the 
enemies of God and his people, which remain to be fulfilled. 
Those in Ezekiel, chap, xxxviii. and in the Revelation of St. 
John, chap. xx. are called Gog and Magog. This prophecy 
of Isaiah may possibly refer to the same or the like event. 
We need not be at a loss to determine the person who is 
here introduced as stained with treading the wine-press, if 
we consider how St. John in the Revelation has applied this 
image of the Prophet ; Rev. xix. 13. 15, 16. : compare chap. 

1. 1 who announce righteousness, and ] A MS has 
131DH, with the demonstrative article added, with greater force 
and emphasis. The announcer of righteousness. A MS has 
np*iy, without n prefixed ; and so L XX and Vulg. And 
thirty-eight MSS (seven ancient) add the conjunction i to ai; 
which the LXX Syr. and Vulg. confirm. 

2. Wherefore is thine apparel red ] For jtsn:: 1 ?'?, twen- 
ty-nine MSS (nine ancient), and one edition, have "]DV? in 
the plural : so LXX and Syr. And all the ancient versions 
read it with D instead of the first *?. But the true reading is 
probably "jt^n^D in the singular, as in ver. 3. 

3. And I have stained ] For ;V?JOX, a verb of very 
irregular formation, compounded, as they say, of the two forms 
of the preterite and future, a MS has inStUN, the regular 
future with a pleonastic pronoun added to it, according to the 
Hebrew idiom : "And all my raiment, I have stained it." 
The necessity of the verb's being in the past time, seems to 
have given occasion to the alteration made in the end of the 
word. The conversive i at the beginning of the sentence 
affects the verb, though not joined to it ; of which there are 
many examples : 

" And thou wilt hear me, (or hear thou me), from among 
the horns of the unicorns." Psal. xxii. 22. 

7. And mine indignation ] For vmrn, nineteen MSS 
(three ancient), and four editions, have *np"i, and my right- 
eousness; from chap. lix. 16. which, I suppose, the trans- 
criber retained in his memory. 

6. And 1 crushed them] For DTDBW, " and I made 
them drunken," twenty-seven MSS (three ancient), and 


the old edition of 1488, have Diaw, " and I crushed them :" 
and so Syr. and Chald. The LXX have omitted this whole 

7. The remaining part of this chapter, with the whole 
chapter following, contains a penitential confession and sup- 
plication of the Israelites in their present state of dispersion, 
in which they have so long marvellously subsisted, and still 
continue to subsist, as a people ; cast out of their country ; 
without any proper form of civil polity, or religious worship ; 
their temple destroyed, their city desolated and lost to them ; 
and their whole nation scattered over the face of the earth ; 
apparently deserted and cast off by the God of their fathers, 
as no longer his peculiar people. 

They begin with acknowledging God's great mercies and 
favours to their nation, and the ungrateful returns made 
to them on their part ; that by their disobedience they had 
forfeited the protection of God, and had caused him to be- 
come their adversary. And now the Prophet represents 
them, induced by the memory of the great things that God 
had done for them, as addressing their humble supplication 
for the renewal of his mercies : They beseech him to regard 
them in consideration of his former loving-kindness ; they 
acknowledge him for their Father and Creator ; they confess 
their wickedness and hardness of heart ; they entreat his 
forgiveness ; and deplore their present miserable condition 
under which they have so long suffered. It seems designed 
as a formulary of humiliation for the Israelites, in order to 
their conversion. 

The whole passage is in the elegiac form, pathetic and ele- 
gant ; but it has suffered much in our present copy by the 
mistakes of transcribers. 

Ibid. the praise of JEHOVAH} For nibnn, plural, 
twenty-nine MSS (three ancient), and two editions, have 
nbnn, in the singular number : and so the Vulgate renders 
it ; and one of the Greek versions, in the margin of Cod. 
Marchal. and in the text of MSS Pachom. and i. D. n. irp 
cuvttiiv xvgiov. 

8, 9. And he became their saviour in all their distress ] 
I have followed the translation of the LXX in the latter 
part of the 8th and the former part of the 9th verse ; which 
agrees with the present text, a little differently divided, as 
to the members of the sentence. They read ^DD, out of all, 
instead of to, in all, which makes no difference in the 
sense ; and iv they understand as T. Kcu eyevevo avuois et$ 


jtatirjs 'O'Ati^fcos CCVTCOV ov 7iQti6vs, ovde ayy&og 
An angel of his presence means an angel of superior order, in 
immediate attendance upon God. So the angel of the Lord 
says to Zacharias, " I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence 
of God ; " Luke i. 19. The presence of JEHOVAH, Exod. 
xxxiii. 14, 15. and the angel, Exod. xxiii. 20, 21. is JEHOVAH 
himself : here, an angel of his presence is opposed to JEHOVAH 
himself; as an angel is in the following passages of the same 
book of Exodus. After their idolatrous worshipping of the 
golden calf, " when God had said to Moses, I will send an an- 
gel before thee I will not go up in the midst of thee the 
people mourned," Exod. xxxiii. 2 4. God afterwards com- 
forts Moses by saying, "My presence (that is, I myself in 
person, and not by an angel) will go with thee," ver. 14. avros 
xQOTiogtvtiofjiai tfov, as the LXX render it. 

The MSS and editions are much divided between the two 
readings of the text and margin in the common copies, xb and 
i 1 ?. All the ancient versions express the chetib 16. 

Ibid. And he took them up, and he bare them] See the 
note on chap. xlvi. 3. 

10. And he fought against them] Twenty-six MSS 
(ten ancient), and the first edition, with another, add the con- 
junction i, Kirn. 

11. How he brought them up from the sea with the shep- 
herd of his flock ; How ] For n% how, interrogative, 
twice, the Syriac version reads ytf, how, without interrogation : 
as that particle is used in the Syriac language, and sometimes 
in the Hebrew. See Ruth iii. 18. Eccles. ii. 16. 

Ibid. Moses his servant ] For my, his people, two 
MSS (one of them ancient), and the old edition of 1488, 
and Syr. read nay, his servant. These two words have been 
mistaken one for the other in other places : Psal. Ixxviii. 
71. and Ixxx. 5. for ioy and py, the LXX read nay and 

Ibid. the shepherd of his flock] That is, Moses. The 
MSS and editions vary in this word : some have it nyi in 
the singular number ; so LXX, Syr. Chald. ; others yi, 

14. The spirit of Jehovah conducted them] For umn, 
caused him to rest, the LXX have wd^^efcv avtovs, conduct- 
ed them. They read omn : Syr. Chald. Vulg. read wron, 
conducted him. Two MSS have the word without the * in 
the middle. 

15. and thy mighty power] For -pmiaj, plural, thirty- 


two MSS (seven ancient), and seven editions, have -jmi:u, sin- 

Ibid. are they restrained from us] For ^,from (or 
in regard to) me, LXX and Syr. read wbKjfrom us. 

16. O deliver us for the sake of thy name] The present 
text reads, as our translation has rendered it, " Our Re- 
deemer, thy name is from everlasting." But instead of 
D^iyD, from everlasting, an ancient. MS has \ydi t for the 
sake of, which gives a much better sense. To shew the 
impropriety of the present reading, it is sufficient to observe, 
that the LXX and Syriac translators thought it necessary 
to add why, upon us, to make out the sense ; that is, " Thy 
name is upon us, or we are called by thy name, from of old. 77 
And the LXX have rendered ubw in the imperative mood, 

13. It is little that they have taken possession of thy holy 
mountain] The difficulty of the construction in this place 
is acknowledged on all hands. Vitringa prefers that sense 
as the least exceptionable, which our translation has ex- 
pressed ; in which however there seems to me to be a great 
defect ; that is, the want of what in the speaker's view must 
have been the principal part of the proposition, the object 
of the verb, the land, or it, as our translators supply it ; which 
surely ought to have been expressed, and not to have been 
left to be supplied by the reader. In a word, I believe, there 
is some mistake in the text. And here the LXX help us out : 
they had in their copy ^n, mountain, instead of pp, people ; 
Tov ogovs TOV dyiov tiov. " Not only our enemies have taken 
possession of Mount Sion, and trodden down thy sanctuary ; 
even far worse than this has befallen us : Thou hast long 
since utterly casfe us off; and dost not consider us as thy pe- 
culiar people." 


2. the dry fuel ] D'DDH. " It means dry stubble, 
and the root is onn, " says Rabbi Jonah, apud Sal. ben Melech 
in loc. Which is approved by Schultens, Orig. Hebr. p. 30. 

" The fire kindling the stubble does not seem like enough 
to the melting of the mountains to be brought as a simile to it. 
Quid si sic? 

That the mountains might flow down at thy presence ! 
As the fire of things smelted burneth, 
As the fire causeth the waters to boil 


There is no doubt of the Hebrew words of the second line 
bearing that version : " DR JUBB. 

I submit these different interpretations to the readers judg- 
ment. For my own part, I am inclined to think that the 
text is much corrupted in this place. The ancient versions 
have not the least traces of either of the above interpretations. 
The LXX and Syr. agree exactly together in rendering this 
line by, " As the wax melted before the fire," which can by 
no means be reconciled with the present text. Vulg. for 
D'DDn reads IDD*. 

Ibid. That the nations ] For o f u, the nations, four 
MSS (one of them ancient) have Dnn, the mountains. 

4. For never have men heard ] St. Paul is generally 
supposed to have quoted this passage of Isaiah, 1 Cor. ii. 9. ; 
and Clemens Romanus, in his first epistle, has made the 
same quotation, very nearly in the same words with the 
apostle. But the citation is so very different both from the 
Hebrew text and the version of LXX, that it seems very 
difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile them by any literal 
emendation, without going beyond the bounds of temperate 
criticism. One clause, " neither hath it entered into the 
heart of man," (which, by the way, is a phrase purely He- 
brew, ih by rhy, and should seem to belong to the Pro- 
phet), is wholly left out ; and another is repeated without 
force or propriety, viz. " nor perceived by the ear," after 
" never have heard : " and the sense and expression of the 
apostle is far preferable to that of the Hebrew text. Under 
these difficulties, I am at a loss what to do better than to 
offer to the reader this, perhaps disagreeable, alternative ; 
Either to consider the Hebrew text and LXX in this place 
as wilfully disguised and corrupted by the Jews ; of which 
practice, in regard to other quotations in the New Testa- 
ment from the Old, they lie under strong suspicions ; (see 
Dr. Owen on the Version of the Seventy, sect. vi. ix.) ; or 
to look upon St. Paul's quotation as not made from Isaiah, 
but from one or other of the two apocryphal books en- 
titled, The Ascension of Esaiah, and The Apocalyps of 
Elias, in both of which this passage was found ; and the 
apostle is by some supposed in other places to have quoted 
such apocryphal writings. As the first of these conclusions 
will perhaps not easily be admitted by many ; so I must 
fairly warn my readers, that the second is treated by Jerom 
as little better than heresy. See his comment on this place 
of Isaiah. 


The variations on this place are as follows : for }ynw, they 
have heard, a MS and LXX read vynv, we have heard : 
for the second N 1 ?, sixty-nine MSS and four editions have s6i ; 
and Syr. Chald. Vulg. ; and so j'jn, LXX Syr. n is added be- 
fore DTi 1 ?** in MS Bodl. onn 1 ?, plural, two MSS, and all the 
ancient versions. 

5. Thou meetest with joy those ] Syr. reads nnx ;uia 

Ibid. Because of our deeds, for ice have been rebellious.'] 
obiy oro. I am fully persuaded, that these words, 
as they stand in the present Hebrew text, are utterly unin- 
telligible : there is no doubt of the meaning of each word 
separately, but put together they make no sense at all. 1 
conclude, therefore, that the copy has suffered by mistakes 
of transcribers in this place. The corruption is of long 
standing ; for the ancient interpreters were as much at a 
loss for the meaning as the moderns, and give nothing satis- 
factory. The LXX render these words by dux. TOVTO exlavr,- 
Or lt ufv : they seem to have read jwaa Dirty, without helping 
the sense. In this difficulty, what remains but to have re- 
course to conjecture ? Archbishop SECKER was dissatisfied 
with the present reading : he proposes, jwui U'ty twn ; " look 
upon us, and we shall, or that we may, be saved ; " which 
gives a very good sense, but seems to have no sufficient foun- 
dation. Besides, the word jwwi, which is attended with great 
difficulties, seems to be corrupted, as well as the two pre- 
ceding ; and the true reading of it is, I think, given by the 
LXX, JWDJI, ejilavrflrmtv , (so they render the verb yva, chap. 
xlvi. 8. and Ezek. xxxiii. 12), parallel to NBTUI, ri[ta<>TO{tv. 
For thy ore, which mean nothing, I would propose wbtyon ; 
which I presume was first altered to Dn ?t ?tyD3, an easy and 
common mistake of the third person plural of the pronoun 
for the first, (see note on chap, xxxiii. 2.), and then with 
some further alteration to DViy oro. The Dirty, which the 
LXX probably found in their copy, seems to be a remnant of 

This, it may be said, is imposing your sense upon the 
Prophet. It may be so ; for perhaps these may not be the 
very words of the Prophet : but however it is better than to 
impose upon him what makes no sense at all ; as they gene- 
rally do who pretend to render such corrupted passages. 
For instance, our own translators : " In those is continu- 
ance, and we shall be saved : " In those in whom, or what ? 



There is no antecedent to the relative. In the ways of God, 
say some : with our fathers, says Vitringa, joining it in con- 
struction with the verb nsvp, thou hast been angry with 
them, 'our fathers ; and putting KDTOI, for we have sinned, 
in a parenthesis. But there has not been any mention of 
our fathers: and the whole sentence, thus disposed, is 
utterly discordant from the Hebrew idiom and construction. 
In those is continuance : thy means a destined, but hidden 
and unknown, portion of time ; but cannot mean continua- 
tion of time, or continuance, as it is here rendered. Such 
forced interpretations are equally conjectural with the boldest 
critical emendation ; and generally have this further disad- 
vantage,' that they are altogether unworthy of the sacred 

6. There is no one ] Twelve MSS have j'K, without the 
conjunction i prefixed : and so read Chald. and Vulg. 

Ibid. And hast delivered us up ] For tiJinm, hast dissolved 
us, LXX, Syr. Chald. had in their copies wunn, hast delivered 
us up : Houbigant ; SECKER. 

7. But Thou, O JEHOVAH, Thou ] Fornryn, and now. 
live MSS (one of them ancient), and the two oldest editions 
of 1486 and 1488, have nnw, and thou ; and so Chald. seems 
to have read. The repetition has great force. The other 
word may be well spared. 

Ibid. We are all of us the work of thy hands.] Three 
MSS (two of them ancient), and LXX, read n^D, with- 
out the conjunction i prefixed. And for -p>, the Bodl. and 
two other MSS, LXX,Syr.Vulg. read -p, in the plural number. 


THIS chapter contains a defence of God's proceedings in 
regard to the Jesvs, with reference to their complaint in the 
chapter preceding. God is introduced declaring, that he 
had called the Gentiles, though they had not sought him ; 
and had rejected his own people, for their refusal to attend 
to his repeated call ; for their obstinate disobedience, their 
idolatrous practices, and detestable hypocrisy. That never- 
theless he would not destroy them all ; but would preserve a 
remnant, to whom he would make good his ancient promises. 
Severe punishments are threatened to the apostates ; and 
great rewards are promised to the obedient in a future flour- 
ishing state of the church. 

1. lam made known to those that asked not for me] 


LXX, Alex, and St Paul, Rom. x. 20. ; who 
has however inverted the order of the phrases, fpfimK f/evofw, 
and evfebp, from that which they have in LXX. 'rnsrvu 
means, "qusesitus sum cum effectu I am sought, so as to 
be found : " Vitring. If this be the true meaning of the 
word; then I^KIP, that asked, which follows, should seem to 
be defective, the verb wanting its object ; but two MSS (one 
of them ancient) have lyhwy, asked me ; and another MS 
>C 7 htiw, asked for me ; one or other of which seems to be 
right. But Cocceius in Lex. and Vitringa in his translation- 
render wru by " I have answered ; " and so the word s 
rendered by all the ancient versions in Ezek. xx. 3. 31. If 
this be right, the translation will be, " I have answered those 
that asked not." I leave this to the reader's judgment : but 
have followed in my translation the LXX, and St Paul, and 
the MSS above mentioned. 'Jtypa is written regularly and fully 
in above a hundred MSS, and in the oldest edition, Wp3. 

3, 4. Sacrificing in the gardens, and ] These are in- 
stances of heathenish superstition, and idolatrous practices, 
to which the Jews were immoderately ^addicted before the 
Babylonish captivity. The heathen worshipped their idols 
in groves j whereas God, in opposition to this species of 
idolatry, commanded his people, when they should come 
into the promised land, to destroy all the places wherein the 
Canaanites had served their gods, and in particular to burn 
their groves with fire ; Deut. xii. 2, 3. These apostate Jews 
sacrificed upon altars built of bricks, in opposition to the 
command of God in regard to his altar, which was to be of 
unhewn stone ; Exod. xx. 25. c - et pro uno altari, quod 
impolitis lapidibus Dei erat lege constructum, coctos la- 
teres et agrorum cespites hostiarum sanguine cruentabant : " 
Hieron. in loc. Or it means, perhaps, that they sacrificed 
upon the roofs of their hpuses, which were always flat, and 
paved with brick, or tile, or plaster of terrace. An instance 
of this idolatrous practice we find in 2 Kings xxiii. 12. where 
it is said, that Josiah " beat down the altars that were on 
the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of 
Judah had made." See also Zeph. i. 5. Sir John Chardin's 
MS note on this place of Isaiah is as follows : " Ainsi font 
tous les Gentiles, sur les lieux eleves, et sur les terrasses. 
appellez lateres, parceque sont faits de briq." " Who dwell 
in the sepulchres, and lodge in the caverns" for the pur- 
poses of necromancy and divination ; to obtain dreams and 


revelations. Another instance of heathenish superstition : 
" Hue donasacerdos 

Cum tulit, et caesarum ovium sub nocte silenti 

Pellibus incubuit stratis, somnosque petivit; 

Multa modis simulacra videt volitantia miris, 

Et varias audit voces, fruiturque deorum 

Colloquio, atque imis Acheronta affatur Avernis." 

Virg. -/En. vii. 86. 
" Here in distress the Italian nations come, 

Anxious to clear their doubts, and learn their doom: 

First, on the fleeces of the slaughtered sheep, 

By night the sacred priest dissolves in sleep; 

When, in a train, before his slumbering eye, 

Thin airy forms and wondrous visions fly : 

He calls the Powers who guard the infernal floods, 

And talks, inspired, familiar with the gods." Pitt. 

" Who eat swine's flesh" which was expressly forbidden 
by the law, Lev. xi. 7. ; but among the heathen was in 
principal request in their sacrifices and feasts. Antiochus 
Epiphanes compelled the Jews to eat swine's flesh, as a full 
proof of their renouncing their religion, 2 Mace. vi. 18. and 
vii. 1. "And the broth of abominable meats" for lustra- 
tions, magical arts, and other superstitious and abominable 

Ibid. in the caverns.} onuna, a word of doubtful sig- 
nification. An ancient MS has onrea, another D'ljfa, in 
the rocks ; and Le Clerc thinks the LXX had it so in their 
copy. They render it by rots <rm)*ouoi$. 

Ibid. in their vessels.] For on' *?D, a MS had at first 
DTV^aa : so Vulg. and Chald. ; and the preposition seems 
necessary to the sense. 

5. For 1 am holier than thou] So the Ohaldee renders 
it. ynenp is the same with po 'fiunp. In the same 
manner ^npin, Jer. xx. 7. is used for 'JDD npm, thou art 
stronger than I. 

7. into their bosom] For ty, ten MSS and five edi- 
tions have ^x. So again, at the end of this verse, seventeen 
MSS and four editions have SK. 

6, 7. their iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers} 
For the pronoun affixed of the second person oa, your, twice, 
read on, their, in the third person ; with LXX, and Houbigant. 

8. -for the sake of my servants'] It is to be observed, 
that one of the Koningsberg MSS collated by Lilienthal 
points the word naj?, singular ; that is, my servant^ meaning