12. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.
12. Obstupescite coeli super hoc, et expavescite, desolamini (vel, arescite) valde, dicit Jehova.
When the Prophet saw that he had to do with besotted men, almost void of all reason, he turned to address the heavens: and it is a way of speaking, common in the Prophets, -- that they address the heaven and the earth, which have no understanding, and leave men endued with reason and knowledge. This they were wont to do in hopeless cases, when they found no disposition to learn.
Hence now the Prophet bids the
As to the words, some render them, "Be desolate, ye heavens," and then repeat the same: but as
1 Blarney, following the Septuagint, renders the verbs as in the third person plural. "The heavens are astonished," etc.; but it is better to take them as being in the second person in the imperative mood, as both Aquila and Symmachus do. Similar passages are so construed, see Isaiah 1:2. There is alliteration in the two first words, as though we said in our language, "Heave, ye heavens:" and there is a gradation in the expressions-be astonished-be horrified-be wholly wasted, or consumed, or dried up,-
Astonished be ye, the heavens, for this, And be horrified, Be ye wholly wasted, saith Jehovah.
The alteration in the last verb, in accordance with the Syriac,
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