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10 Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.
11 Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their 'multitude, nor of any of their's: neither shall there be wailing for them.
12 The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
13 For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive:
1 Heb. give. 2 Heb. awaketh against thee. 7 Heb. though their life were yet among the living. ..Heb. go into water. 12 Isa. 15. 2. 3. Jer. 48. 37.
8 Or, echo. 4 Heb. upon thee. 5 Or, tumult. 6 Or, their tumultuous persons. 8 Or, whose life is in his iniquity. Heb. his iniquity. 10 Isa. 13. 7. Jer. 6. 24. 13 Heb. for a separation, or uncleanness. 14 Prov. 11. 4. Zeph. 1. 18. Ecclus. 5. 8 15 Or, because their iniquity is their stumbling-block. 16 Or, made it unto them an unclean thing. 17 Or, burglers. 18 Or, they shall inherit their holy places. 19 Heb. cutting off.
26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, | and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
27 The king shall mourn, and the prince
20 Heb. with their judgments.
Verse 16. "Shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys."-Newcome has. "as moaning doves;" following the reading of Houbigant, founded on some Greek copies. This certainly makes a good sense; but so does the common reading, which therefore we see no reason to disturb. Paxton is mistaken in supposing the "doves of the valleys were necessarily tame ones; for the wild ones not only harbour in valleys, but in the trees around and in Oriental cities, and even in the courts of houses. These would naturally fly to the security and quiet of the mountains, when alarmed by the noise and confusion of war, supplying the very apt comparison which the prophet employs. Two pairs of wild doves harboured and reared their young in the palm-trees which grew in the court of the house in which the writer of this note resided at Bagdad; but they disappeared, as did others which had settled in the town, during the siege of the place by Ali Pasha-being doubtless frightened by "the noise of war." The flight of doves under similar circumstances, to the clefts and caverns of the mountains, has supplied many allusions also to the heathen poets. Thus Homer describes the flight of Diana from the power of Juno's arm (Il. xxi. 493.)—
So when the falcon wings her way above,
1 Ezekiel, in a vision of God at Jerusalem, 5 is shewed the image of jealousy, 7 the chambers of imagery, 13 the mourners for Tammuz, 15 the worshippers towards the sun. 18 God's wrath for their idolatry.
AND it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.
2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.
shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I um the LORD.
3 And he 'put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I 'saw in the plain.
great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
7¶And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, "The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
13 ¶ He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
14 Then he brought me to the door of
3 Chap. 9. 9.
* Chap. 1. 23.
the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine 'eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they 'cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
Prov. 1. 28. Isa. 1. 15. Jer. 11. 11. Mic. 3. 4.
5 Chap.5. 11, and 7. 4.
"CHAMBERS OF IMAGERY." INTERIOR OF THE PORTICO OF THE GREAT TEMPLE OF DENDERAH.
Verse 2. “ Amber.”—The original chasmal) is rendered 12xrgov by the Septuagint; and this was certainly the Greek name for amber. but it was also the name of a very precious metal, so called from being of the colour of amber. The question is. which of the two is intended? The general opinion is perhaps in favour of the metal called electrum, and which we may therefore describe as being composed of fine gold alloyed with one fifth of silver. The brilliant lustre of this compound, and its paler colour, was considered to render it more agreeable to the eye, and in other respects preferable to pure gold. We have not, however, been able to meet with one good reason why amber itself should not be here understood. That amber becomes dim when it feels the fire is no reason at all, because the prophet does not say that what he saw was amber, but of the colour of amber; and as the electrum itself derives its name from being of the colour of amber, it seems far more reasonable to suppose that the reference is to the colour of
the amber itself than to the colour of that which was distinguished for being like amber. We think there can be no reason to doubt that amber was known to the Hebrews. It is found in different parts of the world, but most abundantly on the shores of the Baltic. Without inquiring whether it might not have been obtained from sources known to the Hebrews, it will be enough to show that it might have been obtained through the Phoenicians, their neighbours; for Herodotus expressly says that amber was brought by that enterprising people from the northern sea, coupling which with the fact that the Baltic was always celebrated for its amber, we may gather that the Phoenician traffic extended even to that remote region. But indeed amber is also found in Spain, with which country the Phoenicians maintained extensive and intimate connections.
This beautiful substance is found floating on the coasts, particularly after tempests, having doubtless been detached from the shore or the submarine repositories; and it is also obtained from mines often far removed from the sea. When obtained from the latter source, the upper surface is composed of sand, under which is found a stratum of loam ; below this is a bed of wood, partly entire, and partly changed into a bituminous substance, and under this occurs a stratum of an aluminous mineral in which the amber is found in lumps of various forms and sizes. This solid, hard, semi-pellucid substance is too well known to need description. Numerous and conflicting conjectures have been in all ages formed concerning its origin and formation. It has, under different theories, been ascribed to the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. It was, however, most generally regarded as a sort of bitumen. Pliny regarded it as a resinous juice oozing from ancient pines, and subsequently indurated. The researches of Sir David Brewster have led him to about the same conclusion. Instructed by the presence of certain optical phenomena, he considers it as an indurated vegetable juice, allied to the gums and resins, by the effect which it has upon polarised light. A practical confirmation of this theory is derived from the presence of insects imbedded in amber, since it is easy to conceive that the luckless creatures, after being caught by the feet in the adhesive substance, were overwhelmed by the resinous distilment, which continued to flow till a beautiful tomb was formed for the dead. Chemical analysis concurs with the laws of optics in assigning a vegetable origin to this remarkable substance. The beautiful science of electricity derives its name from the Greek word for amber, on account of the remarkable property which this substance has of attracting light bodies towards it when excited by friction. This singular property was very anciently observed, as well as that by friction it may be brought, to yield light rather copiously in the dark. On account of its beautiful yellow colour, its transparency, and the fine polish it receives, amber was anciently ranked among gems of the first class, and employed in all kinds of ornamental dress. The wax and honey yellow colours were most esteemed, not only on account of their beauty, but because they are more solid than the yellowish white varieties. This therefore may explain the particular colour of amber which the prophet had in view. The high esteem in which it was held may be judged from Pliny's statement, that a small piece of wrought amber was more than equivalent to the price of a strong and robust slave. Its present uses for necklaces, bracelets, snuff-boxes, and other articles of luxury, is well known; and it is still highly valued in the East to form the mouth-pieces of tobacco-pipes, for which it is admirably adapted. The varieties of colour already mentioned are still those to which the preference is given.
3. "The seat of the image of jealousy."-Much ingenious conjecture has been expended in the attempt to discover what false god this "image of jealousy" represented. If any particular idol be intended, it seems impossible to ascertain what it was; but, as a mere conjecture, the opinion that it represented a personification of the sun or moon (Baal or Astarte), seems the most probable. It will be recollected that the Lord is often described as “jealous” at the idolatries of his people, and that idols are mentioned as the objects of his "jealousy ;" and therefore "the image of jealousy" is to be understood of some idol by which the Divine jealousy was provoked. This chapter contains a lively representation of the principal forms of idolatry to which the Hebrews were addicted; and Bishop Warburton conjectures, with some reason, that the image of jealousy which introduces the description, is idolatry itself personified and described as an idol.
10. “Behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about."-Here begins the description of the idolatries which the Hebrews borrowed from their neighbours. This first was unquestionably taken from the Egyptians. How exactly it describes the inner chambers and sanctuaries of the Egyptian temples, the tombs, and mystic cells, must be obvious to any one who has read the various descriptions and seen the representations which modern travellers have supplied. The walls are covered with representations, sculptured or painted in vivid colours, of sacred animals; gods represented in the human form, and under various circumstances, or in various monstrous combinations of the animal and human forms. These things now appear even more conspicuously in the tombs than in the temples, perhaps because the decorations of the latter have suffered more from the hand of man. And although the illustration to be derived from the existing temples is abundantly adequate to the elucidation of the prophetical description, that to be obtained from tombs is not to be regarded as something different and distinct; for we are to recollect that the Egyptian tombs and temples appear to have been closely connected in their origin, and that those of royal persons often formed in fact cells of the temple, being within its sacred inclosure; and there is every probability and some authority for the conclusion, which is also supported by the character of the decorations which many of them exhibit, that they were not merely tombs, but cells for the celebration of the darker mysteries and idolatries of a most debasing superstition. A pious traveller, the Rev. W. Jowett, who visited Thebes, quotes the present text as furnishing an exact description of the tombs found there, adding, "The Israelites were but copyists, the master sketches being to be seen in all the ancient temples and tombs of Egypt." Having already noticed the idolatries of Egypt (Deut. iv.), and given the figures of many of their monstrous idols; and having also frequently had occasion to allude to the paintings of their tombs and temples, no particular description appears to be now necessary. We may however quote a passage in which Mr. Salt enumerates in verse the forms of creeping things, abominable beasts, and idols, which are pourtrayed upon their walls.
"And of such mystic fancies, in the range
Bulls, rams, and monkeys, hippopotami,
'EGYPT,' in Hall's Life of Salt,' vol. ii. P. 416.
Under 1 Kings vi. we gave a representation of the great temple at Edfou, with the view of suggesting some idea as to the possible general disposition of parts in Solomon's temple. Now this temple has precisely such a "chamber of
imagery” as the idolatrous Jews had at this time formed in that same temple at Jerusalem. The only means of access now afforded also suggests an analogy to the present text by which we were much struck when reading it in Madden's Travels in Turkey, Egypt,' &c. The Arabs have a miserable village upon the roof of this temple; its sanctuary is blocked up with a dunghill; part of the splendid portico is converted into a stable, and the whole interior is so filled up with rubbish that it is deemed impossible to enter. But an old man, to whose family the traveller had afforded medical relief, apprized him of a secret passage, which had never before been made known to any Frank, and through which he undertook to conduct him. "Considerably below the surface of the adjoining buildings, he pointed out to me a chink in an old wall, which he told me I should creep through on my hands and feet; the aperture was not two feet and a half high, and scarcely three feet and a half broad; my companion had the courage to enter first, thrusting in a lamp before him. I followed, and after me the son of the old man crept also; the passage was so narrow, that my mouth and nose were sometimes buried in the dust, and I was nearly suffocated. After proceeding about ten yards in utter darkness, the heat became excessive, breathing was laborious, the perspiration poured down my face, and I would have given the world to have got out; but my companion, whose person I could not distinguish, though his voice was audible, called out to me to crawl a few feet further, and that I should find plenty of space. I joined him at length, and had the inexpressible satisfaction of standing once more on my feet. We found ourselves in a splendid apartment of great magnitude, adorned with sacred paintings and hieroglyphics." The ceiling, which was also painted, was supported by several rows of pillars. How similar to this was the entrance of the prophet, througn "a hole in the wall," to a similar chamber of imagery in the Lord's own temple! Our present engraving affords a view of one of the richest and best preserved of those Egyptian "chambers of imagery" which the Hebrew idolaters imitated.
14. Women weeping for Tammuz.” -As the former description referred to forms of idolatry borrowed from the Egyptians, so this applies to another form derived from the Phoenicians; but which was however in many respects similar to the Egyptian worship of Osiris and Isis. We do not find any reason to doubt the correctness of the usual identification of this Tammuz with the being who is better known to most readers by the classical name of Adonis. The story seems to be a mixture of history and allegory, as most of the ancient mythological fables are-arising from the fact that most, perhaps all, of the beings to which they refer were once living persons, deified after death, and whose memories were made the types and symbols of some ordinary or extraordinary phenomena of nature. There are different versions of the story of Adonis: but as the one best known, that of Ovid, bears evident marks of alteration from the original Phoenician fable, to adapt it to classical notions, we shall, in the brief explanation which seems necessary, follow the version which is preferred by Selden, Marsham and Le Clerc, as derived from Phurnutus and other mythologists. It will be seen that this story essentially identifies him with the Osiris of Egypt, and his wife Astarte with the Egyptian Isis.
Adonis was the son of Ammon, by Myrrha the daughter of Cinyras, a Phoenician king, whose residence was at Byblos. Myrrha, having given offence to her father, was banished, and withdrew, with her husband and infant son, into Arabia. After some stay there, they went into Egypt, where, after his father's death, the young Adonis applied himself to the improvement of the Egyptians, teaching them agriculture, and enacting many laws concerning the property of lands. There Astarte become his wife, and the greatest attachment subsisted between them. Adonis, having gone into Syria, was wounded by a wild boar in the forests of Mount Lebanon, where he had been hunting. Astarte thought his Wound mortal, and manifested such an intensity of grief that the people believed him to be actually dead, and Egypt and Phoenicia made great lamentation for him. However, he recovered, and their mourning was then exchanged for the most rapturous joy. To perpetuate the memory of this event, an annual festival was instituted, during which the people first mourned bitterly for him as dead, and then abandoned themselves to joy for his restoration to life. The story adds that Adonis was in the end killed in battle, and his wife procured his deification. She continued to govern Egypt peacefully for many years; and after her death, divine honours were paid to her also. Such, in brief, is the story of Adonis, which, thus told, is clearly but a different version of that of Osiris and Isis; and as these were in Egypt the representatives of the sun and moon, so were Adonis and Astarte in Phoenicia. We are also told, that while the feast of Osiris was celebrated in Egypt, another like it was observed in Phoenicia for Adonis-first mourning, and then rejoicing. Indeed, it is stated that the Egyptians, during their celebration of the festival, used to set upon the Nile an osier basket containing a letter, which by the course of the waves was conveyed to the coast of Phoenicia, near Byblos, where it no sooner arrived than the people gave over their mourning for Adonis, and began to rejoice for his return to life. In fact, the circumstance which was, both by the Egyptians and Phoenicians, celebrated with mourning succeeded by rejoicing, was, as acknowledged by themselves, the same thing differently typified-being the annual diminution and recovery of the power and glory of the sun; expressed in Egypt, by the death and dismemberment of Osiris and the recovery of his scattered remains, and in Phoenicia, by the wound and revival of Adonis. It is no use to expound this story further, or to seek analogies, or to settle the discrepancies of different versions. Our only intention is to explain the object of the mourning which the prophet mentions, and concerning which all the versions agree. Lucian says he was a witness of the celebration of the festival in Phoenicia. There was a great mourning throughout the country-the people shaved their heads, smote themselves, and lamented bitterly, offering sacrifices to Adonis; but suddenly all was changed when the time came to celebrate his revival. We purposely omit to mention the atrocious obscenities which attended this celebration, and which, in the Divine view, rendered it a "greater abomination" than even the deeds of the elders in their " chambers of imagery."
The name of Adonis was given to a river of Lebanon, which was supposed to have been stained with his blood when wounded by the wild boar; and which was alleged annually to commemorate the event by renewing its discolouration. In fact, Maundrell describes the stream as of a surprising redness, when seen by him, owing, no doubt, as he explains, to a sort of red earth washed into its bed by the violence of the rains. We cannot forbear from citing, in conclusion, the lines in which Milton alludes to these circumstances:
"Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: The love-tale
16. "They worshipped the sun."-To this other leading form of idolatry to which the Hebrews were addicted, we have already given some attention under Job xxxi.