« PreviousContinue »
that Chittim is a name common to Greeks and Romans. On, in Arabic, is to hide.'
therefore I take to be a general name for those parts of our western world which were the least known to the Jews and other eastern nations; the 'terra incognita occidentalis:' although Vitringa, with Bochart, takes to be the peculiar
name of Italy.
"Far as the land of Chittim"
It may seem strange to suppose that the preposi
Noldius cites 2 Sam.
should render far as.'
vi, 2, as an instance in which directly renders the preposition of the place whither. But he mistakes the true sense of the passage, in which is clearly the preposition of the place whence. He cites to the same purpose Psalm lxviii, 30, where has quite another meaning; and Cant. iv, 1, where the force of will depend upon the sense given to the verb wa. Upon the whole, I am not satisfied that the prefix in any instance directly renders the preposition of the place whither. But in describing great distances, the Hebrew and the European languages take contrary ways. The Hebrew language always measures backward from the farthest boundary to the place of the writer or speaker. The Greek and
Latin languages for the most part, and the English language always (some texts in the Bible excepted, in which the Hebrew idiom is retained), measure forward from the station of the writer or speaker to the farthest boundary. In either way, the thing expressed is the whole space between the writer's station and the utmost limit mentioned. Hence it often happens, that although the prefixed never directly renders the preposition of the place whither, yet its effect in describing distance can be no otherwise so perspicuously rendered in English as by as far as to, or some equivalent phrase. Thus, in
' to the utmost west,' and 'to the rising of the sun.' The thing intended is the whole surface of the habitable globe, measured first from the utmost west back to Judea, and again from the utmost east back to Judea. Again, in Is. xvii, 13, p is to a great distsnce;'* and in the text, ND describes the whole space between the farthest shores of Chittim and the Tyrian shore. Inde usque a terrâ Chittim fama pervulgata est.
Another difficulty in this line is to expound the pronoun
. I think it is used indefinitely for all
* And see this chapter, verse 7.
in effect render ממדרח שמש and ממערב,Is. lix
the inhabitants of the space described, whoever they might be, and in whatever part of it. So we might say in English, They have heard of the rupture with Spain ere this in the East Indies;' i. e. they [who live] in the East Indies ere this have heard, &c. Some, with the LXX, render the verb it is carried away captive.” ἧκται αἰχμαλωτος. Others take ́ for a noun rendering captivity; but I find no authority for this sense of the verb in Niphal, nor for any use
as a noun.
Verse 2.-" are still." The bustle and noise of traffic and business is heard no more in the streets of Tyre. All interpreters have taken the verb as an imperative; for which I see no reason but the authority of the points.
Verse 3." the factoress of nations." See Herodot. lib. i, 1.
Verse 6. "Pass ye over to Tarshish”— The prophet addresses his hearers. He has described the consternation of the Egyptians. "Go on (he says) to Tartessus; see the state of things there." Verse 10. "Overflow thy land," &c. "A city," says Bishop Lowth, " taken by siege and destroyed, whose walls are demolished, whose policy is dissolv ed, whose wealth is dissipated, whose people is scat
tered over the wide country, is compared to a river whose banks are broken down, and its waters let · loose and overflowing all the neighbouring plains, are wasted and lost." This interpretation (which is indeed Vitringa's) is certainly the most satisfactory that has ever been given of this obscure verse. But I cannot agree with Bishop Lowth (who in this too follows Vitringa) that the daughter of Tarshish sig. nifies Tyre. I believe no other instance can be found, in which the parent state is called the daughter of the colony. The daughter of Tarshish I take to be Tarshish itself, or its inhabitants; as the daughter of Sion and the daughter of Jerusalem, are Sion itself and Jerusalem itself, or rather inhabitants described under the image of the children of the towns. Upon occasions of distress and danger the address is to the female sex, as the most obnoxious to alarm and injury. The prophet describes the distant colonies, Tartessus in particular, as suffering, together with Tyre, by the arms of Nebuchadnezzar. By the testimony of Megasthenes, it appears that the conquests of that monarch extended to the farthest coasts of Spain. Megasthenes, as cited by Strabo, says, that "Nebuchadnezzar, whose reputation among the Chaldeans surpassed that of Hercules,
pushed his conquests as far as the Pillars." Strabo, lib. xv, p. 687. As he is cited by Eusebius, from Abydemus, he says, that "Nebuchadnezzar, more valiant than Hercules, led his armies as far as Libya and Iberia; and having subdued these countries, settled a portion of the people on the right of the Euxine." Euseb. Præp. lib. ix, p. 267. R. Steph. Sir John Marsham indeed understands this Iberia to be the country of that name near the Caspian, and the Pillars to be the pillars which Alexander the Great erected in Sarmatia.* But the Iberia mentioned in connexion with Libya could be no other Iberia than Spain; and the Pillars mentioned in connection with Hercules could be no other than the Pillars of Hercules. And this is further evident from the general purport of the passage of Megasthenes, in which this mention of Nebuchadnezzar's conquests occurs; which, as it appears from Strabo, was to prove that conquest had been pushed to a much greater extent westward than towards the east. Nebuchadnezzar's conquests are given as an instance of distant conquests westward; whereas the conquest of the Asiatic Iberia by a Babylonian had been ra
* Vide Can. Chron. ad Sæc. 18, tit. Nabo-col-assams Rex.