« PreviousContinue »
No. 579.-2 PETER i. 5.
And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith
DODDRIDGE thus paraphrases and explains this passage; and for this purpose applying with all possible diligence, as you have believed the gospel, be careful to accompany that belief with all the lovely train of attendant graces; associate as it were to your faith, virtue, true fortitude, and resolution of mind, which may enable you to break through that variety of dangers with which your faith,may be attended. The word εTXоpyyσale, επιχορηγησαίε, translated add, associate, properly signifies to lead up, as in dance, one of these virtues after another, which he mentions, in a beautiful and majestic order.
No. 580.-i. 20. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.] The word ETAUTIç seems to be agonistical, and signifies the starting, or watch-word, or sign, upon which the racers set out, or began their course. The place from whence they set out is called QETиpia, where, when then they set out, they are said to be let loose, and this is literally εTAUE; to this is the sending of prophets here compared, who are said to run. (Jer. xxiii. 21. Ezek. xiii. 6, 7.) They run, and I sent them not, i. e. I gave them no watch-word to run, as in the Psalmist, God gave the word, great was the company of preachers. HAMMOND, in loc.
No. 581. JUDE 4.
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation.
THOSE who were summoned before the courts of judicature, were said to be προγεγραμμένοι εις κρισιν, because they were cited by posting up their names in some public place, and to these judgment was published or declared in writing. Elsner remarks, that the Greek writers apply the term προγεγραμμένους, to those whom the Romans called proscriptos, or proscribed, i. e. whose names were posted up in writing in some public place, as persons doomed to die, with a reward offered to whoever would kill them. He says also, that those persons who are spoken of by St. Jude, as before of old ordained to this condemnation, must not only give an account to God for their crimes, and are liable to his judgment, but are destined to the punishment they deserve, as victims of the divine anger.
No. 582.-REVELATION i. 9.
I, John, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
THIS punishment, in the Roman law, is called capitis diminutio, because the person thus banished was disfranchised, and the city thereby lost an head. It succeeded in the room of that ancient punishment, aquá et igni interdicere, whereby it was implied, that the man must, for his own defence, betake himself into banishment,
when it became unlawful for any to accommodate him with lodging, diet, or any other necessary of life. But this banishing into islands was properly called disportatio, being accounted the worst kind of exile, whereby the criminal forfeited his estate, and being bound, and put on board ship, was, by public officers, transported to some certain island, (which none but the emperor himself might assign) there to be confined in perpetual banishment. The place to which St. John was carried was Patmos, a little island in the Archipelago, now called Palmosa, mountainous, but moderately fruitful, especially in wheat and pulse, though defective in other commodities. The whole circumference of the island is about thirty miles, and on one of the mountains stands a town of the same name, having on the top of it a monastry of Greek monks; and on the north side of the town the inhabitants by tradition shew an house in which the apocalypse was written, and, not far off, the cave where it was revealed, both places of great esteem and veneration with the Greeks and Latins.
WELLS'S Geography of the New Testament, part ii. p. 128.
No. 583.-i. 16. Out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword.] The sword is sometimes used in a figurative and metaphorical sense in the scriptures. Thus the Psalmist says, speaking of his enemies, that swords are in their lips (Psal. lix. 7.); and it is said of our Lord, that out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. This representation appears to correspond with the practice. of some people with respect to this weapon. Thevenot has mentioned an incident which throws considerable light upon this point; he says, (part i. p. 229.) " The galliot being out a cruising, met with a Turkish galliot, and having laid her athwart hauze, met with a stout resistance. The Turks who were on board of her, having
a naked sword between their teeth, and a musket in their hands, beat off their adversaries." How this naked sword was used in combat does not appear, but if this ever had been part of a military custom, the figure of a sword issuing from the mouth seems as if it might be justified by matter of fact; and this expression may rank among those which occurrent circumstances may have ormed.
No. 584.-ii. 17. A white stone.] The stone here referred to is such an one as was used in popular judicature, or in elections, the custom being to give the votes in either of these by such stones. These were either white or black; the white was a token of absolution or approbation, the black of condemnation or rejection. There were judges in the agonistical games, who awarded the prizes to the conqueror by the use of these stones, a white one, with the name of the person and the value of the prize, being given to such as were victorious.
Ovid expressly mentions, that black and white stones were used to absolve or condemn persons at Argos.
Mos erat antiquus, niveis atrisque lapillis,
Metam. lib. xv. lin. 42.
No. 585.—ii. 17. A new name written, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it.] Doddridge on this passage says, I have sometimes thought o λaußavav may signify one that hath received it, as it seems a name given to any person must be known to others, or it would be given in vain; and then it intimates, that honour should be conferred upon such an one, which shall only be known to the inhabitants of that world to which he shall be admitted, and who have already received it; otherwise it must refer to a custom which has sometimes prevailed among princes, of giving particular names,
expressing familiarity and delight, to distinguished favourites, by which to call them in the greatest intimacy of converse, whether by discourse, or by letter, and which have not been communicated to others, or used by them at other times.
No. 586.-iii. 12. I will write upon him the name of my God.] Great numbers of inscriptions are yet remaining, brought from the Grecian cities of Europe and Asia, and some from islands in the neighbourhood of Patmos, in which the victories of eminent persons are commemorated. Some of these were placed near the temples of their deities, others were in the temples, to signify that they were put under their particular protection; upon these were inscribed the names of the deities, of the conquerors, and of the cities to which they belonged, and the names of the generals by whose conduct the victory was gained. Inscriptions also were sometimes placed upon pillars, to record the privileges granted to cities, and also the names of their benefactors.
No. 587.-iv. 4. Round about the throne.] The situation of the elders is agreeable to the ancient manner of sitting in council or consistory among the Jews. There is a representation of this in Daniel vii. 9. I beheld til the seats or thrones were pitched, not thrown down, as in our translation, and the ancient of days did sit in the midst of the other thrones, as the father or head of the consistory, and the judgment was set, (ver. 10.) that is, the whole sanhedrim; the rest of the elders were seated on those thrones which were round about, and the books were opened preparatory to the judicature.
HAMMOND, in loc.
No. 588. v. 8. When he had taken the book.] Some interpreters understand the delivering of this book into