James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 8) online

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j mentioned by different travellers, which clearly ^how the niean-
j ing of the Prophet in these words. Sonnini relates a circum-
stance of this kind, to which he was a witness in pas.>;ing down
the Nile. He says. " The reis and the sailors were asleep upon
the beach ; I had" passed half of the night wati.hing. and I com-
posed my.- elf to sleep, after giving the watch to two of my com-
panions, but they too had sunk into slumber. The kanja, badly
fastened against the shore, broke loose, and the current carried
it away with the utmost rapidity. We were all asleep ; not one

cap. xviii.3.4.]



of us, not even the boatmen stretched upon the sand, perceived
our manner of sailing down at the mercy of the current. After
having- floated with the stream for the space of a good league,
the boat hurried along with violence, struck with a terrible crash
against the shore, precisely a little below the place from whence
the greatest part of the loosened earth fell down. Awakened by
this furious shock, we were not slow in perceiving the critical
situation into which we were thrown. The kanja, repelled by the
laud, which was cut perpendicularly, and driven towards it again
by the violence of the current, turned round in eveiy direction,
and dashed against the shore in such a manner as excited an
apprehension that it would be broken to pieces. The darkness of
the night, the frightful noise which the masses separated from
the shore spread far and wide as they fell into deep water— the
bubbling which they excited, the agitation of which commu-
nicated itself to the boat, rendered our awakening a veiy melan-
choly one. There was no time to be lost. I made my companions
take the oars, which the darkness prevented us from finding so
soon as we could have wished ; I sprung to the helm, and
encouraging my new and very inexperienced sailors, we succeeded
in making our escape from a repetition of shocks by which we
must at length all have inevitably perished : for scarcely had we
gained, after several efforts, the middle of the river than a piece
of hardened mud, of an enormous size, tumbled down at the very
spot we had just quitted, which must, had we been but a few
minutes later, have carried us to the bottom.""

3, 4. (3) all ye, etc., this is the call to the nations to learn a
lesson fr. Sennach.'s overthrow. See what Jehovah can do !
ensign . . mountains, calling His angel hosts to the Mount of
Olives, wh. point the Assyr. army had reached. (4) take my
rest, for a time it seemed as if God did not notice the progress
of the Assyr. consider, look on, watch, wait My time, clear . .
herbs, i.e. God was really ready to give sunshine or shade when
each was needed. Or, God was looking on the prosperity of the
Assyr., which seemed to be steady as sunshine or dew."

Grace of God as dew. — The grace of God is like dew to the
barren and parched hearts of men, to make them fruitful. And
there are many things wherein the proportion and resemblance
stand. I. None can give the dew but God. It comes from above ;
it is of a celestial original ; the nativity thereof is from " the
womb of the morning." None can give grace but God. II. Dew
is the fruit of a serene, clear, and quiet heaven : for dew never
falleth either in scorching or tempestuous weather, as philosophers
have observed. In like manner, the grace, favour, and blessings
of God are the fruits of His reconciled affection towards us. III.
Dew is abundant and innumerable. "Who can number the drops
of dew on the ground, or the " hairs of little rain ? " — for so they
are called in the original, because of their smallness and number
(Deut. xxxii. 2). So Hushai expresseth the multitude of all
Israel : " We will light upon him as the dew falleth upon the
ground." Such is the grace of God unto His people after their
conversion ; unsearchable, it cannot be comprehended or measured,
nor brought under any number or account (Ps. Ixxi. 1.5, cxxxix.
17, IS). IV. Dew is silent, slow, insensible in its descent. You
cannot see, hear, feel, or smell its coming ; you see it when it is
eome, bu^ cannot observe how it comes. In. this manner was


rr. 1.2. J.C. Die-

leric, Anlif;. :,ii\.
"A Clnifti.'in
man's lift- is laid
in the Ici'ni of
time to a pattern
whifb he does
not see, Init God
does ; and his
licart isashuttle.
On one side of,
tlie loom is sor-
row, and on the
other is lov ; and
t li e shuttle,
struck alter- ■

nately by each,
flies back and
forth, carrying
the thread, wliich
is white or bhick
as the pattern
needs. And in
the end, when
God sliall lift up
the finished gar-
ment, and all its
changing hues
shall glance out,
it will then ap-
pear that this
deep and dark
colours were as
needful to beauty
as the bright and
high colours." —
c Trav. in Egypt.

a " This quiet ob-
servant waiting
of God's, the Pro-
phet compares to
that weather wh.
is most favour-
able for maturing
the harvest,
warm days and
dewy nights."^

"God would let
the enemy pro-
ceed in the exe-
cution of his pur-
poses until they
were nearly ac-
complished." — /.
A. Alexander.

"And you, dear
dangrhters of the
humid air, begot-
ten by the influ-
ence of the moon,
you fruitful
nnurishers of
herbs and flow-
ers, — fresh morn-
ing dews.— now
shut your silver
urns, for now the
fields have satis-




fled their thirst,
and m™ds liave
drunk their fill."
— Prologue to
Phillis of Sq/ros.
b Bp. Reynolds.
" A globe of dew,
filling in the
morning new
6ome eyed flnvt-r
whose young
leaves waken on
an uuimagiiif'd
world : constel-
lated suus un-
shaken, orbits
measureless, are
furrd In that
frail and failing
sphere, with ten
millions gather'd
there, to tremble,
gleam, and disap-
pear."— .S/ie»fy

"I must go seek
some (lewdrops
here, and hang a
pearl i n every
cowslip's ear." —
" The dews of
the evening most
carefully shun ;
those tears of the
sky fur the loss
of the sun."—
e And. Marvel.

a Such a multi-
tude as miglit
furnish a feast
for a whole year.

"A certain em-
peror coming in-
to Egvpt, tosliow
the zeal he ha<l
to the i)ublic
gooil, saiil to the
Egyptians, 'Draw
from me as from
your river Nilus;'
but wliat Ciin be
drawn from a
man but dopes,
which swell like
bul.l les of water
till thev bursty
It is from God
th.-it we mii<l
draw, for lie is a
fountain which
perpetually tlis-
tilleth. " wlifi
quenclieth tlie
tliirst of all the
world, and bath

] God pleased to fill the world with the knowledge of His Gospel,
and with the grace of His Spirit, by quiet, small, and. as it were,
by insensible means. V. Dew is of a soft and l)enign nature,
which gently iusinuateth and workoth itself info the ground, and
by degree moisteneth and moUifieth it. In like manner, the
Spirit, the Grace, the Word of God is of a searching, insinuating,
softening quality. VI. Dew is of a vegetating and quickening
nature. So is the Grace, and Word, and Spirit of God. VII.
Dew is of a refre,shiug and comforting nature — causes the face
of 'Jiings to flourish with beauty a d d^-light. os]iecially in the
hot conn trios of the East. So God promises to be unto His people
in their troubles, "■ as a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." His
grace gives comfort, peace, joy, strength, and the beauty of
holiness to them.*
A droj} of (le>r. —

See liow the orient dew.

Shed from the bosom of the mom,

Into the blowing roses.

Yet careless of its mansion new.

For the clear region where "twas bom
Round in itself encloses :
And in its little globe's extent,
Frames as it can its native clement.
How it the purple flower does slight :
Scarce touching where it lies :
But giving back upon the skies,
Shines with a mournful light,

Like its own tear.
Because so long divided from the sphere.
Restless it rolls and insecure.
Trembling lest it grow impure.
Till the warm sun pities its pain.
And to the skies exhales it back again.«
5, 6. (5) afore, i.e. just immediately before ; when the In-
vader is feeling perfectly sure of accomplishing his purpose;
then, and in the most humiliating way, his desolation shall come.
t bud is perfect, or past, changed into ripe fruit, just ready for
gathering. CUt ofF, fig. of ruinous destruction of a fnuttree.
I ((J) left together, i.e. the carcases of thousands of the Assyr.
[ army. They shall be a prey to the ravenous mountain birds,
^ who shall have a long feast on the slain."

j Ukc of nature to vitni. — Evfry p.irt of nature seems to pay its
tribute to man, in the great variety of kinds or tribes, as well as
the prodigious number of individuals of each vai ions tribe, of all
creatures. There are so many beasts, so many birds, so many
insects, so many reptiles, so many trees, so many plants upon the
land : so many fishes, sea-plants, and other creatures, in tiie
waters ; so many minerals, metals, and fossils, in the subter-
raneous regions : that there is nothing \\anting to the use of
man. or any other creature of this lower world. The munificence
of the Crentor is such, that there is enough to supply the wants
and conveniences of all creatures, in all places, all ages, and
upon all occasions. And this boundless variety is a most wise
provision for the nses of this world in every age and in every
place. God has created nothing in vain. SoTue things are for
food, some for physic, some for habitation, some for uteusils.

Cap. xviU. 7.]



some for tools and instruments of work, and some for recreation
and jJeasure, either to man, or to some of the inferior creatures
themselves. It is evident that all the creatures of God (beasts,
birds, insects, and plants) have, or may have, their several uses
even among men. For although in one place things may lie
neglected, and out of use, yet in another place they may be of
great use. So what has been rejected in one age has been
received in another ; as the new discoveries in physic, and altera-
tions of diet, sufficiently witne.?s. Or if thei-e be many things of
little immediate use to man, in this or any other age, yet to other
creatures they may afford food or physic, or be of some necessary
use. How many trees and plants, nay, even the veiy carcases of
animals, the very dust of the earth, and the prodigious swarms
of insects in the air and in the waters, of no apparent use to
man, yet are food, or medicine, or places of retreat and habitation
to birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects themselves ; for whose
happy and comfortable subsistence the bountiful Creator has
liberally provided, as well as for that of man.*

7. in that time, the thing referred to in this v. cannot be
certainly ascertained. Some think the hearty retm-n of depressed
and afflicted Israel to God is meant." Others apply to Ethiopia,
and think that, on reception of the news of Sennac.'s defeat,
Tirhakah offered some solemn acknowledgment and homage to
Jehovah.* to the place, etc., the simplest explanation is that
some present came fr. Ethiopia to Zion in grateful acknowledg-
ment of this deliverance.

Earthly judgnwuts {v. 7).— I. Are intended not to destroy, but
to benefit mankind. II. Must ultimately command attention and
belief. III. Then respectful homage wiU be presented in Zion.
IV. Even the most distant and unlikely nations shall be con-
verted unto Him."^

God — the great first cause. —

Great System of perfections I mighty Cause

Of causes mighty ! Cause uncaused ! Sole root

Of Nature, that luxuriant growth of God 1

First Father of effects ! that progeny

Of endless series ; where the golden chain's

Last linK admits a period, who can tell ?

Father of all that is or heard, or hears I

Father of all that is or seen, or sees I

Father of all that is, or shall arise I

Father of this immeasurable mass

Of matter multiform ; or dense, or rare ;

Opaque, or lucid ; rapid, or at rest ;

JMinute, or passing bound 1 in each extreme

Of like amaze, and mystery, to man.

Father of these bright millions of the night I

Of which the least full godheM had proclaimed,

And thrown the gazer on his knee. Or, say,

Is appellation higher still Thy choice ?

Father of matter's temporary lord 1

Father of spirits ! nobler offspring ! sparks

Of high paternal glory ; rich endowed

With various measures, and with vaiious modes

Of instinct, reason, intuition ; beams

More pale, or bright from day divine, to break
H 2

in Himself bufc
one want, wliich
is tliat all men
should still tliirst
for His bounty
and have it."^

" I consider it the
best I'art of an
education to havo
betii I'orn and
brought up in
the country." —

b Derham

a Others make it
a proplieoy of re-
turn from e.\ile.
b •' It is curious
to note the fact
that Abyssinia
(Ethiopia) is the
only great Chris-
tian power in the
E. at this day."—
J. A. Alexander,
c Dr. Lyih.
" Justice and
mercy are the
two arms of God,
which embrace,
bear, and govern
the whole world :
they are the two
engines of the
great Archime-
des, which malce
heaven descend
upon earth, and
earth mount to
heaven. They
are the bass and
treble strings of
the great lute of
heaven, which
make all the
harmonies and
tunable sym-
phonies of this
universe. Now,
as mercy is in-
finite, so is jus-
tice. The Divine
essence holJeth
these two per-
fections as the
two sciiles of the
balance,— always
equally poised."
^jV. Caussin.
"That you may
find succc-ss, let
me tell you bow
to proceed. To-
nig'at begin youj



[Cap. xix. 1, &

(Treat plan of life.
You Iiavfi but one
life to live ; and
It is most impor-
tant that you do
not make a mis-
take. To-nigUt
begin carefully.
Fi.\ your eye on
the fortietli year
of your age, and
then say to your-
self, 'At the a?e
Of forty. I tvill be
an industrious
man. a benevo-
lent man, a well-
read man, a reli-
gious man, and a
useful man. I re-
solve ; and I will
stand to it.' lly
young friends,
pray to Croil that
this resolution
may stand like
the oak, which
cannot be wind-
shake n." — C.
d Young.

a Egypt stretch-
ed fr. the Medit.
Sea on the N. to
Ethiopia on the
S., with the Red
Sea on the E.,
anil the Lybian
desert on the W.
It was intersect-
ed by the Nile
throughout the
•whole of its

b Da. vji. 13;

c Of the colossal
fig. of 1 Jameses
" Nothing wh.
now exists in the
■world can give
any notion of
W'liat the effect
must have been
when he was

rf Dr. Lyth.

Et. xii. 12; Je.

xliii. 7—13.

Dr. R. JIatcker,

ix. 759.

«r. 2—4. Ahp.
Driimmri}ul CSor.
6). Srr. hcf. 11. of
Com. I.

The darker matter organised (the vrare

Of all created spirit) : beam?;, that rise

Each over other in superior light,

Till the last ripens into lustre strong.

Of next approach to gotlhead. Father fond

(Far fonder than e'er bore that name on earth_)

Of intellectual beings ! beings blest

With powers to please Thee ! not of passive ply

To laws they know not : beings lodged in sesttS

Of well-adapted joys, in different domes

Of this imperial palace for thy .«ons ;

Of this proud, populous, well-jxjliced.

Though boundless habitation, planned by Thee :

Whose several clans their several climates suit ;

And transposition, doubtless, would destroy.

Or, oh ! indulge, immortal King, indulge

A title less august indeed, but more

Endearing. Ah ! how sweet in human cars ;

Sweet in our ears and triumph in our hearts I

Father of Immortality to man I <^


1, 2. (1) burden, or sentence upon. Egypt, called
Mizraim, and Ham, from its founder, Ge. x. fi." The Egyptians
called their land Cham., i.e. black, rideth, etc.. the fig. is of
holding an assize : to it God goeth in state, cloud, the Scrip,
sign of august majesty.* The sivi/t cloud here is Ui/ht cloud, wh.
therefore moves swiftly, idols, lit. no/ienfifir.t. a striking word
when the grandeur of the idol-figures of Eg. is considered."
When this prophecy was given, a prifst was on the Eg. throne,
and idolatry was fully established, heart . . melt, fig. for loss
of national confidence. (2) against his brother, i.e. one part
of the country against the other. Civil war does more mischief
to a nation than foreign war.

JiuJijment vpon Eiiijpt (vr. 1 — 17).— I, Effected by the direct
interijosition of God, a cloud comes from cloudless Plgypt, comes
from heaven, moves slowly. II. Affects its social conditions,
puts contempts on its idolatry, dis.solves the bonds of society,
destroys its superstitious hopes, subjects it to an oppressive
tyranny. III. Affects its physical conditions, dries up the river,
ruins vegetation, destroys the fisheries, puts an arrest upon tra/^le
and manufactures. IV. Affects its int(>llectual condition : the
wise become fools, the brave cowards, the industrious idle, the
people are filled with drcaxi of the anger of the Lord.**

Jlixtoricnl nofct on Eipjpt. — Egypt i.^ supposed to be a contrac-
tion of Aia-gyptos = land of Kyptos : or. the black land. Acconl-
ing to ancient mythology, the name is derived from ^gy[ tiis,
the son of Belus. 1. Egypt, the Mizvaim of the LXX.. is "called
Matzor (Is. xix. (i. xxxvii." 25 : Mic. vii. 12) : Eretz nham = land
of Ham (Ps. Ixxviii. .->]. cv. 23): Rahab (Is. xxx. 7. li. 9; Ps.
Ixxxvii. 4) : Rihor (Is. xxiii. .3) : and house of bondmen (Ex xiii.
3. 14 : Deu. vii. 8). In Scripture the name is often used in the
singular misr., and Kochart is of opinion that jMi/.niim, the dual
form, refers tp Upper and Lower Egypt. To this day the Araba

Cap. xix. 3, 4.]



call it misr. 2. Race : it was peopled by Mizraim's posterity
(Gen. X. 6, 13. 14) ; idolatrous (Ex. xii. 12 ; Nu. xxxiii. 4 ; Is. xix.
1; Ez. xxix. 7): practised mag-ic (Ex. vii. 11, 12, 22, viii. 7);
were ruled by kings called Pharaohs (Gen. xii. 14, 15, xl. 1, 2 ;
Ex. i. 8. 22) : aided by a governor (Gen. xii. 41 — 44) ; and princes
and counsellors (Gen. xii. 15 : Is. xix. 11) ; people were super- '■
stitious (Is. xix. 3) ; hospitable (Gen. xlv. 5, 6 ; 1 Ki. xi. 18) ;
often intermarried with strangers (Gen. xxi. 21 ; 1 Ki. iii. 1, xi.
19 ; 1 Chr. ii. 34, 35) : hated shepherds (Gen. xlvi. 34) ; abhorred

" Life, like their
Bibles,coolly men
turu o'er : hence
un experienced
children of three-
score. True, all
meu think, of
course, as all men
dream ; ami if
they sliprhtly

think, 'tis nmcU

sacrifice of oxen (Ex. viii. 2(5 ) ; they were not to be hated by roung. ^™'" ~
Israel (Deu. xxiii. 7) ; received into congregation in third genera- j
tion (Deu. xxiii. 8). 3. Customs : mode of entertaining (Gen.
xliii. 32, 34) ; diet (Nu. xi. 5) : embalming (Gen. 1. 3). 4. Poli-
tical character : proud (Ez. xxix. 3. xxx. 6) ; pompous (Ez. xxxii.
12) ; mighty (Is. xxx. 2, 3) ; ambitious (Jer. xlvi. 8) ; treacherous
(Is. xxxvi. 6 ; Ez. xxix. 6, 7) ; yet offered an asylum to strangers misfortune."
(Gen. xii. 10, xlvii. 4 ; 1 Ki. xi. 17. 40 ; 2 Ki. xxv. 26 ; Matt. ii. i Goldsmith.
12. 13). 5. Its armies : described (Ex. xiv. 7 — 9) ; captured Gezer
(1 Ki. ix. 16) ; besieged Jerusalem (1 Ki. xiv. 25, 26) ; invaded i
Assyria and killed Josiah (2 Ki. xxiii. 29) ; deposed Jehoahaz,
and made Judfea tributary (2 Ki. xxiii. 31 — 35).'

" AU that the
wisdom of the
proud can teach
is to be stubborn
or sullen under


a The land of
Eg. fell into a

districts. One
killed another in

From papyrus of

3, 4. (3) counsel thereof, the policy of the governors : the
confidence in statesmanship. The sagacity of the rulers should
fail." seek, for advice, charmers, <Yr.. the sign of want of < ^'^*^''"^' ^'^^T^
confidence in the government.* (4) cruel lord, diff. opinions j pressed; ^long
are held as to the king or conqueror referred to. The first refer- j years there was
ence may well be to Psammetichus, who combined the 12 rival i °° sovereign for
states of Egypt under his sway, B.C. 670, and called in foreign I H^l"^ ^^supreme
aid to support his dominion. But the prophecy may include \ power over the
later troubles of Eg., under Sargon, Cambyses. or Darius Ochus." I rest of things.

GciKirajjhical notes, etc., on lujupt. — 1. Situation : in Africa, at j J^^ ^^°^ ?^ 5^-
the N.E. corner. 2. Extent : about 480 miles long, by 250 at its \ crincfs^ of° thn
widest. Area capable of cultivation about 16,000 square miles,
or about half area of Ireland. 3. Boundaries : (Ez. xxix. 10) on
north the Mediterranean ; east. Red Sea and Isthmus of Suez ;
Bouth, Ancient Ethiopia ; west. Lybia. 4. Divisions : (1) Lower called also the delta. This portion borders on the Medifcer- I Ramses III., dis
ranean south, and being enclosed by the two chief mouths of the } ^/In 1855^ ^'"^'
Kile, takes the form of the Greek delta, or D., thus— A. This
district is about 80 miles from north to south. (2 ) Central Egypt, ; * Is. viii. 19.
or Heptanomis : extending about 150 miles further south. (3)1 ...p, j^.
Upper Egypt, or Thebais, reaching still further south about 250 I mentioned"^ ^^s
miles. 5. Physical features : Egypt may be described as the valley identified by J.
of one great river— the Nile (Gen. xii. 1—3; Ex. i. 22). This ^•^'^''^aelis with
river is constantly bringing down a quantity of alluvial soil, tius'°*' Gesen^us"
which it deposits throughout its whole course. At the delta this and' others, with
soil has been deposited to a thickness, in the banks, of 30 feet Psammetichus,by
(Amos viii. 8). Hence Egypt is slowly undergoing a process of len^a^l^herib'^by
elevntion. Little rain falls in Egypt, about four or five showers Hitzig and ken-
annually at Thebes (Deu. xi. 10, 11)— (Wilkinson). Absence of dewerk with sar
rain is compensated by copious night dews. 6. Productions : a
great corn country ; to this day its com exportations very great.
Turkey is mainly dependent on Egj'pt for corn, and it was
anciently the granary of the Romans. It produces also large
quantities of flax and cotton. The " fine linen " of Egypt was
lamous. Many birds, of different kinds, " the numbers number-

gon, by Clericus
with Nebuchad-
nezzar, by \ itrin-
ga with Camby-
ses or Ochus, ani
by Cocceius wi'h' —
/. A. Alexander,



(Cap. xix. 5— 1<X

'We rise in slory less, of all manner of birds — vultures and cormorants, and peese,
flyin'^ like constellations thioiig-li the blue hi-avcus : pelieans
standiii','- in long an-ay on the \\ater-side ; hoojioos and ziczacs,
and the (so-called) white ibis, the gentle symbol of the god Osiris,
in his robes of white ; — walking under one's very feet."

priJe."— yount?.

a Is. xviii. 2.
xxvii. 1 ; Xah.
iii. 8.

"It was called a
sea, not merely
bee. of its normal
breailtli within
its own banks,
but also bee. it
really spreads out
like a sea at the
time of its over-
flow." — NtlgeU-

» « The Nile, be-
ing the source of
her plenty, was
■worstiii)p'.>(l by
the Eg. ; and the
Div. iudgmcnt on
the Nile was like
a suiitiuK of her
god."— iro7-dj-

c Ex. ii. 3.

See also under
verses 11, 12.

See that you per-
sonally know and
daily live upon

d The Far East,
bjr Dr. Hurl.

n " Both flax and
cotton aboun'led
in Eg., and the
linen and cottoti
cloths alVorded
support to many
thousands of its
inhabitants. In
ancient times
linen was worn
by the pc(i))le
generally : the
pricfU officiated
in linen dre.sses;
onl we know
tliat the cloths
forming the bau-

5 — 7. (5) waters, of their river, on wh. the prosperity of
their country so directly depended, sea, the Nile appears to
have boon callod the sea." Bnhr-cn-Xil, or the Nile-Sea. wasted,
or parched up. by withholding of the usual flood.* ((">) turn . .
away, better rend., " and the branches of the river shall become
loathsome." brooks of defence, those acting as moats to forti-
fied places, reeds and flags,*" growing on the mud banka.
(7) paper reeds, or >nar.^h iira.s.s. sown, in garden or field.

The paper reeds. — The tourist in Egypt, looking for Bible illus-
trations, is likely to be disappointed wheu he finds no " bulrushes"
I or '-reeds,'" answerisig to those spoken of in the hi.story of the
j infant Moses. No sign of flag. reed, or other a^iuatic plant
api^ears, either along the Nile or elsewhere. Yet there must
have been such j)lants in former times. The monuments depict

Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 8) → online text (page 20 of 68)