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the lothing of thy person, in the day that given thee, and madest to thyself images thou wast born.

Tof men, and didst commit whoredom with 6 And when I passed by thee, and saw them, thee 'polluted in thine own blood, I said 18 And tookest thy broidered garments, unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy oil and mine incense before them. blood, Live.

19 My meat also which I gave thee, fine 7 I have 'caused thee to multiply as the flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed bud of the field, and thou hast increased and thee, thou hast even set it before them for a waxen great, and thou art come to 'excellent sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and Lord God. thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast 20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and naked and bare.

thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto 8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of 'to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and a small matter, covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto 21 That thou hast slain my children, and thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, delivered them to cause them to pass through saith the Lord God, and thou becamest the fire for them? mine.

22 And in all thine abominations and thy 9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I whoredoms thou hast not remembered the throughly washed away thy 'blood" from days of thy youth, when thou wast naked thee, and I anointed thee with oil.

and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood. 10 I clothed thee also with broidered 23 And it came to pass after all thy wickwork, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and edness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord I girded thee about with fine linen, and I GOD;) covered thee with silk.

21 That thou hast also built unto thee an 11 I decked thee also with ornaments, eminent place, and hast made thee an high and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a place in every street. chain on thy neck.

25 Thou hast built thy high place at every 12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and head of the way, and hast made thy beauty earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to upon thine head.

every one that passed by, and multiplied 13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and thy whoredoms. silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, 26 Thou hast also committed fornication and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper provoke me to anger. into a kingdom.

27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out 14 And thy renown went forth among the my hand over thee, and have diminished heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto through my comeliness, which I had put the will of them that hate thee, the daughupon thee, saith the Lord God.

ters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of 15 | But thou didst trust in thine own thy lewd way. beauty, and playedst the harlot because of 28 Thou hast played the whore also with thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornica- the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; tions on every one that passed by; his it yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, ,

and

yet couldest not be satisfied. 16 And of thy garments thou didst take, 29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy and deckedst thy high places with divers fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chalcolours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: dea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. the like things shall not come, neither shall 30 How weak is thine heart, saith the

Lord God, seeing thou doest all these 17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels things, the work of an imperious whorish of my gold and of my silver, which I had woman ; 8 Or, trodden under frot.

was.

7 Heb. of a made

it be so.

• Heb. made thee a million, 5 Heb, ornament of ornaments, 8 Heb. a savour of rest.

9 Heb. to devour.

10 Or, brothel-house.

6 Heb. Bloods

11 Or, cities.

31 "In that thou buildest thine eminent 43 Because thou hast not remembered place in the head of every way, and makest the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me thine high place in every street; and hast in all these things; behold, therefore I also not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest will recompense thy way upon thine head, hire;

saith the Lord God: and thou shalt not 32 But as a wife that committeth adul- commit this lewdness above all thine abotery, which taketh strangers instead of her minations. husband!

44 , Behold, every one that useth pro33 They give gifts to all whores: but verbs shall use this proverb against thee, thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and saying. As is the mother, so is her daughter. lshirest them, that they may come unto thee 45 Thou art thy mother's daughter, that on every side for thy whoredom.

lotheth her husband and her children; and 34 And the contrary is in thee from other thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothwomen in thy whoredoms, whereas none fol-ed their husbands and their children : your loweth thee to commit whoredoms: and in mother was an Hittite, and your father an that thou givest a reward, and no reward is Amorite. given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary. 46 And thine elder sister is Samaria, she

35 F Wherefore, Oharlot, hear the word and her daughters that dwell at thy left of the LORD:

hand: and 'thy younger sister, that dwelleth 36 Thus saith the Lord God; Because at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughthy filthiness was poured out, and thy na- ters. kedness discovered through thy whoredoms 47 Yet hast thou not walked after their with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy ways, nor done after their abominations : abominations, and by the blood of thy chil- but, as if that were a very little thing, thou dren, which thou didst give unto them; wast corrupted more than they in all thy

37 Behold, therefore I will gather all thy ways. lorers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure,

48 As I live, saith the Lord Gop, Sodom and all them that thou hast loved, with all thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughthem that thou hast hated; I will even ga- ters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughther them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy may see all thy nakedness.

sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and 38. And I will judge thee, 'as women that abundance of idleness was in her and in her break wedlock and shed blood are judged; daughters, neither did she strengthen the and I will give thee blood in fury and jea- hand of the poor and needy.

50 And they were haughty, and com39 And I will also give thee into their mitted abomination before me : therefore "I hand, and they shall throw down thine emi- took them away as I saw good. Dent place, and shall break down thy high 51 Neither hath Samaria committed half places : they shall strip thee also of thy of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine clothes

, and shall take thy fair jewels, and abominations more than they, and hast justileave thee naked and bare.

fied thy sisters in all thine abominations 40 They shall also bring up a company which thou hast done. against thee, and they shall stone thee with 52 Thou also, which hast judged thy sisstones , and thrust thee through with their ters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that

thou hast committed more abominable than 41 And they shall "burn thine houses with they: they are more righteous than thou: fire

, and execute judgments upon thee in yca, be thou confounded also, and bear thy the sight of many women : and I will cause shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters. thee to cease from playing the harlot, and 53 When I shall bring again their capthou also shalt give no hire any more.

tivity, the captivity of Sodom and her 42 So will I make my fury toward thee daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from her daughters, then will I bring ayain the thee , and I will be quiet, and will be no captivity of thy captives in the midst of

them :

lousy.

swords.

more angry.

Or, In thy daughters is thins, &c.

19 2 Kings 25. 9. Jer. 52. 13.

13 Heh. bribest. 14 Heb. with judgments of 15 Heb. instruments of thine ornament 17 Heb. lesser than thou. 18 Or, that was lothed as a simall thing. 19 Gen. 19. 24.

54 That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them.

55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to

your

former estate. 56 For thy sister Sodom was not ?mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride,

57 Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of “Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which **despise thee round about.

58 Thou hast "borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD.

59 For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

60 q Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.

61 Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger : and I will give them unto thee for "zsdaughters, but not by thy covenant.

62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:

63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast

" Broidered Work." Verse 13.- Specimen of Ancient Egyptian done, saith the Lord God.

Embroidery. 20 Heb. for a report, or hearing. 31 Heb. prides, or escellencies.

24 Heb. bore them. 25 Galat. 4. 26. Verse 4. “ Thou wast not salted at all.”—The treatment of new-born children, mentioned in this verse, consists of various acts—some of which are physically necessary, and are universally practised, while others are matters of usage ; examples oť which may be found in some countries, and not in others. The passage is interesting, as showing what the customs of the ancient Hebrews were in this matter. According to R. Kimchi, all these acts were considered of such immediate necessity, that the traditions of the elders allowed them to be performed even on the sabbath-day.

As to the salting, it is said to have been performed either by sprinkling the infant with salt. or by using salt and water. The custom was by no means confined to the Hebrews ; it was in extensive use, and is still preserved, in some parts of the East. The salting was considered to dry up all superfluous humours, to purify the body, and prevent putrefaction. Galen recommends the sprinkling of a little salt upon the infant, to render its skin more dense and solid.

10. Broidered work." —As we have on several occasions mentioned ancient and modern Oriental embroidery and embroidered dresses, we are now happy in affording the subject some pictorial illustration by adding two engravings. The first, from the ancient Egyptian paintings, shows a lady attired in one of those rich embroidered dresses to which the Scripture itself, on more than one occasion, alludes, and which have been mentioned by ourselves. The other engraving shows the manner in which kerchiefs and other small pieces are embroidered by the modern Egyptians, whose usages in this and many oter respects are the same as those of south-western Asia in general.

Shod thee with badgers' skin." - See the note on Exod. xxv. 5. Most of the details enumerated in this description of a rich female dress, have already been considered under different texts of Scripture. See, in particular, Isa, iii. Sólk." - This is the only chapter in which the word (vo meshi) occurs, which the generality of the Jewish

[graphic]

29 Heb. Aram.

23 Or, spoil.

[graphic][merged small]

interpreters, and most modern translators, understand to denote silk. But to this it has been objected, that silk was not likely to have been known to the Jews, since the Romans were not acquainted with it till the time of Augustus ; and since, if it was known to them, it will be necessary to suppose an intercourse with China, which has always been regarded as the native country of silk, and from which only it is probable that raw silk could be obtained. The obscurity of the ancient intimations does certainly involve the subject in great uncertainty. For as those from whom the western nations obtained their silk, made a great mystery of its origin and manufacture, the ancient writers give such intimations and explanations made up of conjecture founded on some obscure hints which had, in the course of time, been collected that it might be at times doubtful whether they at all spoke of silk and the silk-worm, were it not that the later ancient writers, who lived when the article had become well known, continue to speak as obscurely as their predecessors about its origin.

The question may be narrowed a little by the observation, that it is not necessary to suppose that the Hebrews of Palestine had any knowledge of silk as a material of dress. If silk be intended in the present instance, it proves nothing on this point; for Ezekiel had spent many years in captivity to the Babylonians, and the question evidently is only, whether silk was known to that people. Indeed. that the question should be strictly limited to this. seems evident from the fact, that the word does not occur in any portion of Scripture written in Palestine. In estimating this probability, we are to recollect that Ezekiel himself, in the ensuing chapter (verse 4), calls Babylonia “a land of traffic,” and Babylon a city of merchants.” This passage forms the text of Heeren's inquiry into the commerce of the Babylonians, to which it makes a most interesting commentary. Babylon was in fact a great commercial city, forming the entrepôt for the commerce of the countries to the east and west, being, from the advantages of its intermediate situation, upon a great navigable river opening to the gulf of Persia, an immense caravanserai, in which character it has in later days been, on a more humble scale, represented by Bagdad. Babylon was itself a place of great demand and consumption for all the luxuries of far countries ; and hence such luxuries were songht by its merchants, or brought to them by the great mercantile people of the time ; and that these luxuries included goods obtained on the shores of India has already been intimated in the note on 2 Chron. xx. 36, to which we beg to refer the reader. It is quite true that silk does not occur in the list of the articles which was the object of the Indian trade ; but that this list is very incomplete and unsatisfactory has been intimated in the note to which we refer. The country of silk, however, is not India, but China ; the Indians them elves having been, down to a very modern date, supplied from that country. It is not, however, necessary to exterd the voyages of the Babylonians, Phænicians, or Arai ians to China, in order to bring them into a condition to obtai silk. It is sufficient to suppose that they got it from the Indians, who, not only from a very obvious probability, but from historical intimations, would appear to have traded with China, and to have partially arrayed themselves with its silks. As worn by them, it could not fail to attract the attention of the traders from Western Asia, who would desire to obtain it, and did obtain it at an enhanced price, from the Indians, and sold it at a price still more euhand at Babylon. Indeed, the scarcity of silk even in Roman times, and the prodigious price which it brought (weig! for weight with gold), seems to demonstrate that it had passed through several hands in its progress westward, and th the merchants did not immediately derive it from the country in which it was produced

The conjectures would be of little positive worth were they supported by probabilities only. But, in fact, “ Assyria” (under d of Babylonia in the large sense) was the source from which the Romans continued to derive their silk even in the time of Pliny; and this is always mentioned, previously, as the country from which silk was brought ; although the nations of Eastern Europe were not ultimately unaware that it came from a more remote country, which they called Serica, concerning which they had many absurd ideas, but by which China appears to have been vaguely underVOL. III. т

137

stood. From this it will appear that the question as to the existence of silk in Babylonia is merely one of date, and although it may not be possible to find any positive statement to indicate its presence there at the time when Ezekiel wrote, there is every probability in favour of this conclusion; as, when we first find it in those intermediate countries, there is not the least intimation that it had there only newly become known; and we can come near enough to show, that, if it had not been newly introduced, it must have been known there in the time of Ezekiel.

It is a remarkable fact, that the first persons who brought wrought silk into Europe were the Greeks of Alexander's army. which conquered the Persian empire, in which Babylon was then included. In other words, about 250 years after Ezekiel, silk is known to have been used in the dress of the Persians. Jahn even conjectures that the famous robe, which the Persians adopted from the Medes as a dress of honour, was of silk; and if so, as the luxury of the Medes was contemporary with that of the Babylonians, we should find silk on the frontiers of Babylonia even about the time of Ezekiel. Now, what was known to the Persians, and possibly to the Medes, was not likely to be unknown to the still more luxurious Babylonians, who moreover had access to the shores of the country where silk might be found; and should it be alleged that the Persians had greater facilities of obtaining silk by the land route from the frontiers of China, the effect will be the same, for we may be sure that the results of Persian, as well as of Arabian and Phænician, commerce, found their way to the great mart of Babylon. As the Medes and Babylonians (or at least the latter) were luxurious and wealthy, and fond of rich dresses, it may well be supposed that they absorbed all the limited supily which reached them; and as the nations more west were less rich and of plainer manners, the merchants had no motive to carry the commodity to a more western market. This will show that silk may long have been in use in Babylonia before it was known in Europe and on the western shores of Asia. It is a remarkable circumstance that the silk came to the west manufactured in cloth half silk ; and it is said the plan was devised of unravelling the stuff, which was rewoven into cloth of entire silk. The only proper silk manufactures that we can find to have existed in the west were those of the Phænicians at Tyre and Berytus ; which seems to show that the Phænicians not only possessed the trade in silk but the process of manufacture, which they carefully kept secret.

As the dress described in this chapter is intended to be of the richest materials, it might well be supposed that the prophet would mention silk, if silk were known to him. Silk continued to bear an astonishing high price down to a comparatively late period. Thus we find that silk was forbidden to be worn by men, under Tiberius. When they did wear it, silk formed only a part of the fabric, robes entirely of silk being left to the women. It is numbered among the most extravagant luxuries or effeminacies of Heliogabalus, that he was the first man who wore a robe of entire silk; and the anecdotes are well known of the emperor M. Antonious, who caused a silk robe which had become his property to be sold: and of the Emperor Aurelian, who refused, on the ground of its extravagant cost, a silk dress which his consort earnestly requested from him. Such anecdotes have an emphasis here, where, by a figurative reference to the most rich and costly articles of dress then known, God describes the precious and glorious things with which he had invested the people he redeemed from the bondage and misery of Egypt.

12.A jewel on thy ead." This doubtless means a nose-jewel, we have explained on former occasions. See the marginal reading.

13. “ Thou didst eal fine flour, and honey, and oil.—This probably means that the honey and oil were mixed with the fine flour to make cakes. Such are still made in the East, and are much liked. It may be, however, that cakes of fine flour were dipped in the honey or oil, this being also an Oriental custom of eating.

26. “ The Egyptians. .. great of flesh.—This certainly cannot mean that the Egyptians were a corpulent, full-fleshed people, as some commentators imagine. Their climate is not favourable to corpulency; and among the thousands of figures of ancient Egyptians which occur in the remaining paintings and sculptures, a corpulent person is almost never seen. They appear to have been a light and active race of people. The word (wa bashar) “flesh" is here, and in one or two other places, used, by an euphemism, to intimate what could not be plainly expressed, in describing the sensual character of the Egyptians.

CHAPTER XVII.

6 And it grew, and became a spread1 Under the parable of two eagles and a vine, 11 is ing vine of low stature, whose branches shewed God's jadgment upon Jerusalem for re

turned toward him, and the roots therevolting from Babylon to Egypt. 22 God pro- of were under him: so it became a vine, miseth to plant the cedar of the Gospel.

and brought forth branches, and shot forth And the word of the LORD came unto me, sprigs. saying,

7 There was also another great eagle 2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and with great wings and many feathers: and, speak a parable unto the house of Israel; behold, this vine did bend her roots toward

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A him, and shot forth her branches toward great eagle with great wings, long-winged, him, that he might water it by the furrows full of feathers, which had 'divers colours, of her plantation. came unto Lebanon, and took the highest

8 It was planted in a good ‘soil by great branch of the cedar :

waters, that it might bring forth branches

, 4 He cropped off the top of his young and that it might bear fruit, that it might twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; be a goodly vine. he set it in a city of merchants.

9 Say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; 5 He took also of the seed of the land, Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the and 'planted it in a fruitful field; he placed roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, it by great waters, and set it as a willow that it wither? it shall wither in all the tree.

leaves of her spring, even without great • Heb, embroidering. % Heb. put it in a field of seed. 8 Hob. field.

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