22. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
22. Sic dicit Jehovah, Ecce populus veniet e terra Aquilonis, et gens magna excitabitur e lateribus terrae:
23. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.
23. Arcum et hastam (alii vertunt, clypeum) apprehendent; crudeles erunt et non parcent; vox eorum quasi mare tumultuabitur, et super equos ascendent; erunt dispositi sicuti vir ad proelium, super to, filia Sion.
It was no useless repetition when the Prophet said so often that God said. He might have said only, "Behold, a nation shall come from the north;" but he premises by saying that he derived this message from God, and not only so, but he introduces God as the speaker, that his message might be more impressive. In the former verse he had also said,
He adds other particulars, in order more fully to render the Chaldeans objects of dread:
He afterwards adds, that they would be cruel, according to what Isaiah says, when he speaks of the Persians and Medes,
"They will covet neither gold nor silver," (Isaiah 13:17)
and yet they were a rapacious people. This is indeed true; but the Prophet meant both these things, that as the Persians and Medes were to be the executioners of divine vengeance, they would come with a new disposition and character, despising gold and silver, and other kinds of spoil, and seeking only blood.
Grant, Almighty God, that as we cease not daily to give thee occasion of offense, and as thou ceasest not, in order to promote our salvation, to call us to the right way, -- O grant, that we may be attentive to thy voice, and suffer ourselves to be reproved by it, and so submit ourselves to thee, that we may continually go on towards the mark to which thou invitest us, and that having at length finished our course in this life, we may enjoy the fruit of our obedience and faith, and possess that eternal inheritance which has been obtained for us by Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 The ancient versions render it, "from the end, or ends, or extremities, of the earth."-Ed.
2 It is rendered "a spear, "or a lance, by the Septuagint, the Syriac, and the Arabic; but improperly "a shield" by the Vulgate and the Targum. It is not true that it ever means a shield. It was a short spear or javelin. "It is evident, "says Parkhurst, "that this word signifies neither the larger spear nor the shield, because it is distinguished from both. See 1 Samuel 17:6; 41:45; Job 39:23."-Ed.
3 Literally it is, "And on horses shall they ride." Then the following line is, referring to the nation in verse 21,-
Set in order it shall be, like a man for war, Against thee, daughter of Sion. Then the next verse refers to the same, the nation,- Heard have we the report of it; Relaxed have become our hands, Distress has laid hold on us, The pain like that of one in travail.
The effect is first stated, the relaxation of the hands; then the cause, the distress and anguish they felt.-Ed.
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