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6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?
8 Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea? 9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were 'thy helpers.
10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets : and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains. 11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.
12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the
thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.
14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, ake strong the brickkiln.
13 Behold, thy people in the midst of
5 Or, nourishing.
Heb. No Amon. 7 Heb. in thy help.
10 Or, valiant ones
Verse 12. "If they be shaken, they shall even fall," &c.-This will appear from the fact that all figs, when ripe, fall of their own accord; a little shaking of the tree will therefore bring down many figs, when the fruit is ripe, or approaching ripeness. The "firstripe figs," that is, the early or spring figs, drop with more facility than those of summer or late autumn.
14. "Tread the morter."-We have explained, under Ezek. xiii., that mortar is usually trodden by the feet in the East. So is the clay for making bricks; and, from the context, we should rather suppose that this is to be understood in the present passage.
17. "The great grasshoppers.”—We are strongly of opinion that the construction here employed (1) al gob gobai) does not express the size of the species, but the vastness of the aggregate number. We have been furnished with some ingenious arguments to show that the mole cricket is to be understood. But the insect in question is described in Amos vii. 1, as very destructive to vegetable produce, while the food of the mole cricket is chiefly composed of insects; and the fact that it does much damage to the roots of vegetables when burrowing in the earth, like the mole (whence its name), does not appear sufficiently to meet the required conditions. We are therefore more disposed to acquiesce in the conclusion that the locust, before it is in a condition for flight, is to he understood: particularly as the ravages of the locust, in this state of its existence, could not fail to have been a matter of sad experience to the Hebrews. It will also appear from the following statement, that this part of the natural history of the locust fully corresponds to all the Scriptural intimations.
The female locust lays her eggs in autumn. She makes choice of a light earth, under the shelter of a bush or hedge, where she deposits, and carefully covers over, an oblong substance of the shape of her own body, containing a great number of eggs. These are protected by their situation from the cold of winter, and are hatched early in the spring by the heat of the sun. Consequently, in the places which have been visited by the plague of locusts, the hedges and ridges swarm with the young ones about the middle of April. In this their larva state, they differ from the perfect insect only in their colour, size, and in the absence of the wings and wing-cases, and in the incapacities which hence arise. In other respects they enjoy the same faculties, except of reproduction, as in their ultimate condition. The same observation extends to their adolescent, or nympha. condition, when the wings and wing-cases remain enclosed in covers.
Their formal and wholesale ravages begin before they are in a condition for flight; and are then indeed far more ruinous than those of the winged invaders. When they leave their native hedges, they march along, as it were in battalions, devouring every leaf and bud as they pass, and not sparing even the bark of trees. The husbandmea, who dread this visitation above all things, have various expedients for preventing or lessening the calamity. They have much tact in discovering the places where the eggs are deposited, great quantities of which they sometimes extract and destroy; and when the evil day has actually arrived, a common plan is to dig ditches across their path, into which they fall, and are destroyed in vast numbers. Great quantities are also devoured by birds and domestic fowls. At last, when the sun has waxed warm, about the end of June, they acquire their perfect condition by the development of their wings, and “flee away," to inflict on other places the desolation to which they have reduced the place of their birth.
Heb, breadths. 6 Heb. sharp.
1 Job 21. 7. Jer. 12. 1.
2 Or, wrested.
3 Acts 13. 41.
7 Zeph. 3. 3.
5 Or, from them shall proceed the judgment of these, and the captivity of these. 8 Or, the supping up of their faces, &c., or, their faces shall look toward the east.
10 Heb. rock. 11 Heb. founded. 18 Or, grievance. 13 Or, moving. 14 Or, flue-net. 15 Or, dainty. 10 Heb. fat.
Heb. the opposition of their faces toward the east.
HABAKKUK.-There have been singularly different opinions as to the time of this prophet. Some of the old Jewish writers thought him to have been the son of the Shunamite woman, so noted in the history of Elisha; while the author of the apocryphal story of Bel and the Dragon introduces him into his narrative, which he lays in the time of Cyrus,
in the last years of Daniel. The former account makes him far the earliest of the collected prophets, and the latter the latest except Daniel. But both of the accounts are entitled to equal disbelief. We have no positive information; but the probability is that Habakkuk prophesied in the reign of Jehoiakim, which would make him a contemporary of Jeremiah. The Jews generally place him in the reign of Manasseh: and certainly he may be allowed to have lived partly in that reign, although his present prophecies may not have been delivered till that of Jehoiakim. The traditions preserved by the pseudo-Epiphanius and Dorotheus, state, that Habakkuk was of the tribe of Simeon, and was born and died at Bethzacar. The same account states that he withdrew into Arabia on the approach of the Chaldean army against Jerusalem; but returned and cultivated his paternal fields after the Babylonians had retired. Little faith is however to be placed in these accounts. Habakkuk's tomb is spoken of as existing at Bethzacar, Keila, Echela, or Gabbatha, by the early Christian writers. As they are all mentioned as in the neighbourhood of Eleutheropolis, perhaps the tomb was about equally near the places thus named, and its situation denoted by different authors with varied references to the neighbouring towns or villages.
The general subject of Habakkuk's prophecy is the same as that of Jeremiah. He foretells the approaching punishment of the Jewish nation for its iniquities, by the hands of the Chaldeans; suggests ultimate objects of hope and consolation; and predicts the final ruin of the Babylonian empire. The style of Habakkuk gives to his prophecy a high place among the poetical parts of Scripture. The sublime song with which it concludes is considered by Bishop Lowth as one of the most perfect specimens of the Hebrew ode; and from the repetition of the word "Selah," which occurs so frequently in the Psalms, it would appear to have been adapted to music, and was perhaps intended to be nsed in the public worship.
Swifter than the leopards."-The swiftness of the leopard is proverbial in all countries where it is found. This, conjoined with its other qualities, suggested the idea, in the East, of partially taming it, that it might be employed in hunting; and Harmer ingeniously conjectures that the image here employed by the prophet may have been the more familiar and striking to the people, from their having had opportunities of witnessing the prodigious feats of leopards used in the royal hunts. He would have considered this the more probable if he had known that the leopard was certainly thus employed in ancient Egypt. as appears from existing paintings. Leopards are now rarely kept for hunting in Western Asia, unless by kings and governors; but they are more common in the eastern parts of Asia. Osorius relates that one was sent by the king of Portugal to the Pope, which excited great astonishment by the velocity with which it overtook and the facility with which it killed deer and wild boars. Le Bruyn mentions à leopard kept by the pasha who governed Gaza and the other territories of the ancient Philistines, and which he frequently employed in hunting jackals. But it is in India that the cheetah, or hunting leopard, is most frequently employed, and is seen in the perfection of his power. There is an interesting account of a cheetah hunt in Forbes's 'Oriental Memoirs,' vol. i. pp. 170-175, from which it appears that the cheetah, when the prey is in view, endeavours to steal undiscovered within the distance of seventy yards before it starts against the game, and seldom perseveres in the chace if it does not overtake it in a very short run, which, however, it seldom fails to do. "When the cheetah resolves to exert himself, his velocity is astonishing; for although the antelope is esteemed the swiftest species of the deer, and the course generally begins at the distance of seventy or eighty yards, yet the game is usually caught, or else makes his escape within the distance of three or four hundred yards, the cheetah seldom running a greater distance, and in that I have measured repeated strokes of seven or eight paces. On coming up with the game, especially if a doe or fawn, it is difficult to describe the celerity with which it overthrows its prey. But the attack of an old buck is a mere arduous task: his great strength sometimes enables him to make a hard struggle, though seldom with success; for although I have known a buck get loose two or three times, yet I never saw one escape after having been fairly
FISHING WITH NETS.
15. "They take... them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag."-This verse is remarkable for the various modes of fishing to which it alludes; and to complete the list, the "fish-spears," mentioned by Job, might be added. There appears indeed to have been no mode of fishing now in use which was not known to and practised by the ancient nations. The subject of ancient fishing is susceptible of extensive illustration (from which we must abstain); and it is one of peculiar interest to the Christian reader from the numerous circumstances connected with fishing which occur in the Gospels, arising from the fact that several of those whom Christ called to follow him, and who became his apostles, were fishermen.
Angling seems to have been regarded among the Egyptians and Romans much in the same light as at present; and
was pursued very much in the same manner. Figures of persons angling occur frequently in the paintings of the Egyptian tombs, and on the walls of the Roman Herculaneum. From the former we have copied one specimen, showing the mode of angling with the rod and line, and with the line alone. The difference between the two processes is well discriminated in the different attitudes of the anglers, and in the decided manner with which the one with the rod draws out his fish, as contrasted with the caution of the one who fishes with the line only. The ancient rods seem to have been shorter than the modern; and we are not aware that they were ever jointed. The lies in our specimen look very clumsy, and we do not know what they are made with. Horse-hair was anciently much employed in the lines used by anglers, as it has been since. We may observe that the mode of angling without a rod, as shown in our cut, is exactly the same as is still practised by the fellahs of modern Egypt.
The other cut is copied from a painting in the same tomb, at Beni-Hassan-from which the other is taken. From a comparison with other examples it appears to exhibit the common mode of fishing by a net in the river Nile. In other representations there are some variations; but none very essential. Fishing with nets seems to have been a very ancient practice in different nations. The angle was most generally employed by those who fished for sport, as at present, and the net more exclusively by those who made fishing their business. Yet the Romans used the net as well as the angle for sport, and Suetonius states that Nero was accustomed to fish with a net of gold and purple. There were a variety of nets for varied uses-for different waters and for taking different sized fishes. Plutarch mentions corks and leaden weights as an addition which nets had received. Harmer supposes that nets were not used by the ancient Egyptians, and consequently that the word rendered "nets" in the account of Egyptian fishery which we have given in Isa. xix. 8-10, must be understood of weirs or toils. He adds, "the not using them (the nets) in Egypt, I should think must be in consequence of its being an old custom not to use them in that country." The painting from which our engraving is copied, with others of a similar character, evince that it was an old custom to use the net in Egypt. We are of course aware that the Egyptians did use weirs and toils in their fisheries; but we do not feel assured that Scripture contains any allusion to them.
The use of fish-spears, however, to which there are distinct references in the sacred writings, appears very clearly in the paintings of ancient Egypt. The spear consists of a long and stout pole terminating in two long and fine prongs single barbed, and one of them longer than the other. One of Rosellini's engravings (Monum. Civili. pl. xxv. fig. 2), shows a man standing up in his boat who has struck two fish at once with this instrument, one on each prong. These fish-spears appear to have been employed by the fishers as they gently floated down the stream in their boats.
Our present note will of course be understood as an illustration not only of the text before us, but of that in Isaiah, and others in which fishing is mentioned.
1 Unto Habakkuk, waiting for an answer, is shewed that he must wait by faith. 5 The judgment upon the Chaldean for unsatiableness, 9 for covetousness, 12 for cruelty, 15 for drunkenness. 18 and for idolatry.
I WILL 'stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say 'unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will 'surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the 'just shall live by his faith.
5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but
1 Isa. 21. 8.
Heb. fenced place. 3 Or, in me. 4 Or, when I am argued with.
Rom. 1. I'
Gal. 3. 11.
Heb. 10. 38. 8 Or, How much more.
10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.
11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, Heb. upon my reproof, or, arguing. 6 Heb 10. 37.
10 Heb. bloods.
Jer. 22. 13.
9 Or, H., he. of the hand.
and the "beam out of the timber shall "answer it.
12 ¶ Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves 'for very vanity?
14 For the earth shall be filled with the "knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: "drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD's
14 Or. piece, or, fastening.
15 Or, witness against it. 19 Or, by knowing the glory of the LORD. 20 Isa. 11 9. 23 Jer. 10. 8, 14. Zech. 10. 2. Heb. the fashioner of his fashion.
right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
1 Habakkuk in his prayer trembleth at God's ma-
2 O LORD, I have heard 'thy speech, and was afraid O LORD, 'revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
16 Ezek. 24. 9. Nahum 3. 1. 17 Hel, bloods.
18 Or, in vain.
4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
Verse 11. "The stone shall cry out of the wall," &c.-The sure revelation of those deeds of shame and darkness which the perpetrators would fain conceal, is in almost every country expressed by a similar form of speech, declaring that the very walls have a voice to make known the things which they have witnessed. Does "the beam out of the timber." answering to "the stone out of the wall," imply that beams of timber were used by the Hebrews, to unite and strengthen the mass of masonry? Walpole, in his Memoirs of Turkey,' is of this opinion; and his statement renders it probable. “The ancient architects of Egypt, Syria, and Italy used wood to unite and bind the stones together. The French, during their expedition to Egypt, observed, at Ombos and Phila, that pieces of the sycamore had been formed for that purpose into a dove-tail shape; at Ombos they appear to have been covered with bitumen. Fastenings made of wood, of similar forms, were used in the ancient buildings of Italy, and were seen and described by F. Vacca. The Greeks, as we learn from Jerome, expressed this mode of binding stones together by the word artwσis. In the prophet Habakkuk ii. 11, the Hebrew term bearing a similar meaning is caphis. In the first Bible printed in English, by Coverdale, the passage is rendered like as the bond of wood bound together in the foundation of a house." We should add, that the word in question (D) occurs only in this text; and the explanation suggested by the above statement is corroborated by the author of the Apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus:-"Timber girt and bound together in a building cannot be loosened with shaking" (xxii. 16). And conformably to the same view, Jerome renders the present text "Lignum quod ad continendos parietes in medio structuræ ponitur."
5 Before him went the pestilence, and 'burning coals went forth at his feet.
20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: "let all the earth keep silence before him.
1 Or, according to variable songs, or, tunes, called in Hebrew, Shigionoth. * Heb. thy report, or, thy hearing. 3 Or, preserve alive. Or, The south. 5 Or, bright beans nw of his side Or, burning diseases 7 Or, Ethiopia. 8 Or, under affliction, or, vanity. Or, thy chariots were su vution. 10 Or, Thou didst cleave the rivers of the earth.