9. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold fromUphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing; they are all the work of cunning men.
9. Argentum percussum (vel, diductum, hoc est, malleo sic contusum, ut redactum sit in laminas; hoc enim significat verbum
The Prophet, anticipating what might be said, refers to the splendor and pomp of idols, and declares that all was frivolous and extremely puerile. Whence was it that the world shewed so much honor to idols, except that their pomp dazzled the eyes of men? The devil has also by this artifice ever deluded the unbelieving; for he has exhibited in idols something that involved men's minds in darkness.
The Prophet then assails these foolish imaginations, and says,
But the Prophet, though he concedes generally to the unbelieving that they added whatever could add beauty to their idols, yet declares that they were mere trumperies: they are puppets, he says; for man, who is a mortal, cannot make a god: and then, what can art and the toil and labor of man do in this respect? can he change the nature of things? can he make a god from wood and stone? and when a vestment covers the idol of gold or of silver, can it raise it above the heavens, that it may attain a new divinity? We hence see that the Prophet mentions all that was done, that he might taunt the heathens and ridicule their fatuitous trifles; for in their idols there was nothing real, nothing that could be dependd upon. He then subjoins --
1 The verse is literally thus, --
9.Silver extended, from Tarsis it is brought, And gold from Uphaz, -- The work of the artizan And of the hands of the founder; Blue and purple their garments, -- The work of the wise, all of them.
The Septuagint and Arabic have "Mophaz;" the Vulgate, " Ophaz;" the Syriac and the Targum, "Ophir." Probably the same country is meant, and that it had two names. "Blue" is rendered "hyacinth," violet-color, by all the versions and the Targum.
"Uphaz," according to Bochart, was a country near the Ganges in India, and the same with Ophir. -- Ed.
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