4. And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.
4. Et derelinqueris et in te ab haereditate tua, quam dedi tibi, et servire to faciam inimicis tuis in terra quam non cognoscis: quia ignem succendistis in excandescentia mea (vel, in nare mea, vultu meo) in saeculum usque (id est, in perpetuum) ardebit.
Here, as it is a concise mode of speaking, there seems to be some obscurity; but as to the subject handled, the meaning of the Prophet is evident, that they would be
And he says,
For the same purpose he adds,
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou kindly invitest us every day to repentance, and shewest thyself ready to be reconciled, -- O grant that we may not through our perverseness reject so inestimable a favor, but submit ourselves to thee, and become so displeased with our vices as to be touched with a true and sincere concern for religion, and to labor through the whole course of our life for nothing else but to render ourselves and our duties approved by thee, and thus to glorify thy name, so that we may become at last partakers of that celestial and eternal glory which thine only-begotten Son has attained for us. -- Amen.
1 The whole of this passage, from the first to the end of the fourth verse, is wanting in the Septuagint and Arabic, but is found in the other versions and the Targum. The many emendations of Houbigant and Horsley are quite unwarrantable; the first makes his mostly from the Syriac; and the second from various readings, and those of no value, except in one or two instances, as "their" instead of "your altars" in the first verse, countenanced by very many MSS.; the other nine emendations have, for the most part, nothing of any weight in their favor. The transpositions of Houbigant are quite irreconcilable with any thing like errors incidentally committed by scribes. The same objection does not lie against the emendations of Horsley; but that ten mistakes should occur in the space of four verses is not credible; nor are most of the emendations at all necessary.
The received text is no doubt materially correct, there being no different readings of any weight or suitable, except the one noticed above. The Vulgate, the Syriac, and Targum, differ from one another as much as they do from the Hebrew. They indeed all agree materially as to the beginning of the third verse, in regarding "the mountain" and "the field" as places where the people worshipped idols; and the Vulgate and the Syriac connect the words with the former verse; and this, I believe, is what ought to be done. Then the passage will read as follows: --
1. The sin of Judah is written by a pen of iron, By the point of adamant it is graven, On the tablet of their heart, And on the horns of their altars:
2. As a memorial to their children Are their altars and their idols, Near the green tree, on the high hills, On the mountains, in the field. --
3. Thy substance, all thy treasures For a plunder will I give, Thy high places also for sin in all thy borders;
4. And thou shalt be removed, even for thyself, From thine inheritance which I gave thee; And I will make thee to serve thine enemies In a land which thou knowest not; For a fire have ye kindled in mine anger, Perpetually shall it burn.
According to the frequent manner of the prophets, the last line in the first verse is connected with the first line, and the third with the second. The sin of Judah was "written" on "the horns of the altars;" it was "graven" on "the tablet of their heart." The services at the altars were visible; the impressions within were seen only by God. They left their altars and their idols to their children. The genitive case in Hebrew may often be rendered by a dative, as here, "A memorial to their children." All emendations as to the beginning of the third verse are unsatisfactory: it will bear the rendering above; "for thyself," that is, for thine own fault. -- Ed.
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