Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.1. ye that follow after (lit. “pursue”) righteousness] “Righteousness” here means, not “salvation” (as in Isaiah 51:5-6; Isaiah 51:8), but righteousness in conduct, a way of life in accordance with the will of God (as Isaiah 51:7); cf. Proverbs 15:9; Romans 9:30 f.
look unto the rock &c.] The ancestors of the nation are compared to a quarry, the Israelites to the stones hewn from it,—a peculiar image found nowhere else. The word for hole does not occur again in the O.T.; but a noun from the same root is found in the first line of the Siloam Inscription with the sense of “perforation” or “excavation.”
1–3. The opening exhortation alludes to a difficulty naturally arising in the minds of believing exiles, viz., that they were too few in number to inherit the glorious promises made to them. This is removed by pointing to the marvellous increase of the nation from a single patriarchal family. There is a curious coincidence between this passage and Ezekiel 33:24, where a parallel line of reasoning, on the part of the ungodly remnant left in the land of Canaan, is denounced by the prophet as impious. The history of Abraham and the religious lessons to be drawn from it must have been familiar in the age of the Captivity.
Ch. Isaiah 51:1-16. Encouragements addressed to true Israelites
The strain of consolation, which was interrupted by the soliloquy of the Servant at ch. Isaiah 50:4, is now resumed, and is continued till we reach the fourth and last of the Servant-passages, Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 53:12. Throughout this long passage (Isaiah 51:1 to Isaiah 52:12) the prophet’s thoughts are occupied with the near prospect of deliverance, and his high-strung emotion finds vent in a series of short impassioned oracles, mostly of a lyrical character. These may be divided into two groups, each consisting of three oracles. While those of the second group (Isaiah 51:17 to Isaiah 52:12) are addressed to the prostrate and desolate Zion, the first (Isaiah 51:1-16) contains words of cheer to the faithful but timid hearts in whom the prophet’s message had found an entrance. This section shews some points of contact with the preceding descriptions of the Servant, and the line of thought was probably influenced by the last of these, in Isaiah 50:4-9. The contents of the section are as follows:—
i. Isaiah 51:1-8. A glowing and animated appeal to the believing exiles to put away the fears and misgivings which hinder their full acceptance of the promise of salvation. The thrice-repeated “Hearken to me” (see, however, on Isaiah 51:4) indicates a division into three strophes. (1) The first draws a lesson of encouragement from the example of the solitary patriarch Abraham, who by the blessing of Jehovah became the progenitor of a great nation. Let the true-hearted believers, therefore, take courage, in spite of the fewness of their number, for the same blessing rests on them, and will transform the waste places of Zion into a scene of joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:1-3). (2) The next strophe directs the hope of the loyal Israelites to the glorious future that belongs to those who wait for Jehovah’s salvation; though heaven and earth pass away that world-wide salvation is imperishable and eternal (Isaiah 51:4-6). (3). The last strophe, re-echoing one of the voices of the Prologue (Isaiah 40:6-8), reminds the exiles that the reproach they fear is that of frail and short-lived mortals, while the salvation they hope for endures for ever.
ii. Isaiah 51:9-10. Here for a moment the prophetic discourse is interrupted by a magnificent apostrophe to the “arm” of Jehovah. The speakers are most probably those to whom the previous words were addressed. As if all their doubts had been swept away by the impressive appeals to which they have listened, their impatience breaks forth in this impetuous challenge to Jehovah to reveal His power as in the days of old. (Isaiah 51:11 has been inserted from ch. Isaiah 35:10.)
iii. Isaiah 51:12-16. The Divine voice is again heard (in answer to the people’s prayer). Since their comforter is Jehovah Himself, the Creator of heaven and earth, how unreasonable is their craven fear of their cruel oppressors! (Isaiah 51:12-13). Towards the close, however, the connexion becomes very obscure (see the notes).
Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.2. The explanation of the figure.
I called him alone] lit. “as one,” i.e. a single individual.
blessed him, and increased him] Cf. Genesis 12:2-3; Genesis 22:17. The strict rendering of the Massoretic text would be “that I might bless” &c.; but the verbs should no doubt be pointed as consec. impfs. Without completing the analogy, the prophet proceeds at once in the next verse to comfort the spiritual children of Abraham with the assurance of the restoration of Zion.
For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.3. shall comfort … will comfort … will make] lit. as R.V. hath comforted … hath made (perf. of certainty).
like the garden of the Lord] Genesis 13:10; cf. Ezekiel 28:13; Ezekiel 31:8 f.
joy and gladness &c.] Cf. Jeremiah 33:11.
Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.4. Hearken unto me] Better as R.V. Attend unto me, the verb being different from that used in Isaiah 51:1; Isaiah 51:7.
a law shall proceed from me] See ch. Isaiah 2:3 (“for out of Zion shall go forth Tôrâh”). For a law (tôrâh) read, as usual, instruction. The word judgment in the next line is probably to be rendered “religion” as in Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 42:3-4 (see on Isaiah 42:1).
The verb rendered “make to rest” has three meanings in the O.T. (a) to “cause to rest” (Jeremiah 31:2) or “be at rest” (ch. Isaiah 34:14), (b) to “set in commotion” (Jeremiah 50:34, see on Isaiah 51:15 below), and (c) to “do a thing in the twinkling of an eye” (Jeremiah 49:19). Of these (a) is alone possible in the present connexion, though hardly quite suitable; the sense “establish,” given by some critics, seems to have no sufficient support. By the LXX. the word is taken with Isaiah 51:5, and in the sense (c), and this suggests the true reading, although it requires a slight modification of the following word. The construction would be the same as in Jeremiah 49:19, and the rendering perhaps, “Suddenly I bring near my righteousness.” The word is at all events superfluous in Isaiah 51:4, the last clause of which reads simply: and my judgement for a light of the peoples (cf. Isaiah 49:6).
4–6. The universal extension of the true religion is the second ground of comfort which the prophet is commissioned to offer to his fellow believers. The language of Isaiah 51:4-5 is obviously moulded on that of ch. Isaiah 42:1-4; the functions there assigned to the Servant of the Lord are here assumed by Jehovah Himself. At the same time the thought is implied that the restored Israel is to be the bearer of salvation to the world at large, and thus the further idea is suggested that the ideal represented by the Servant will be realised by the people of Israel when it emerges purified from the discipline of the Captivity.
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.5. My righteousness is near] See the last note and cf. ch. Isaiah 46:13. For people read peoples (as R.V.).
the isles shall wait upon me] Cf. Isaiah 42:4.
on mine arm] i.e. “on my strength,” my protection (Isaiah 33:2).
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.6. From the thought of the universality of religion the prophet rises to that of its eternity, which is here expressed by a contrast of surprising boldness between the “things which are seen” and the “things which are not seen.” The whole visible creation, the heavens above and the earth beneath, are transitory, but Jehovah’s salvation endures for ever.
the heavens shall vanish away (or “be dissolved”) like smoke] To feel the force of the metaphor we must bear in mind the ancient conception of the “firmament” as a solid vault overarching the earth. The word for “vanish away” is connected with noun rendered “rotten rags” in Jeremiah 38:11 f.
wax old like a garment] see on ch. Isaiah 50:9, from which the expression is taken. Cf. also Psalm 102:26.
shall die in like manner] Rather, as R.V. marg., shall die like gnats. The word kçn does not occur elsewhere in this sense, unless Numbers 13:33 be an instance, which is doubtful. It might be a collective noun corresponding to the fem. kinnâh (noun of unity = a single gnat), found in Talmudic Hebrew. Several commentators, however, think it necessary to read kinnîm (also a collective), a word used in Exodus 8:16-18 of the “lice” of Egypt. The Ancient Versions and the Jewish interpreters explain as E.V., taking kçn to be the common particle “so.”
salvation and righteousness are practically synonymous, as often. see Appendix, Note II.
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.7. To know righteousness does not differ in meaning from “follow after righteousness” in Isaiah 51:1. Both expressions refer to righteousness in the ethical sense; there it is represented as an ideal steadily pursued, here as a rule of life apprehended by the heart and conscience. This inward possession of righteousness is the earnest of the external righteousness, the vindication of right, spoken of in Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 51:8.
the people in whose heart is my instruction] Cf. Jeremiah 31:33.
7, 8. In the hope of this everlasting salvation the true Israelites may well endure for a season the reproach of men.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.8. For the moth &c.] See again ch. Isaiah 50:9; another indication that the Servant is the type of the true Israel, and hence an example to individual Israelites.
The word rendered “worm” (ṣâṣ, cf. the Greek σής) means strictly “moth.” Although common in Semitic, it is found only here in Hebr.
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?9. put on strength] Lit. “clothe thyself with strength,” as Psalm 93:1.
The arm of the Lord is apostrophised, as the symbol of His might, possibly with a reference back to Isaiah 51:5.
that hath cut Rahab &c.] R.V. that cut Rahab in pieces, that pierced the dragon. The verb “cut” is strictly “hewed” or “split.” Rahab is the sea-monster (ch. Isaiah 30:7); and the “dragon” (tannín) probably one of the “helpers of Rahab” (Job 9:13); both together represent the chaotic elements from whose dominion the habitable world had to be recovered; hence the line expresses poetically the same thought as the following “Art thou not it which dried up the sea” &c.? The original mythical emblem survives in one of the most beautiful personifications of O.T. poetry, the comparison of the sea to a restless, unruly creature, waging impotent war with heaven, and seeking to devour the land, but a creature whom Jehovah holds completely in His power, now stirring it to fury (see Isaiah 51:15) by His rebuke, and again stilling its commotions.
9, 10. These verses are addressed to Jehovah, either by the prophet himself, or by the community of true Israelites. It is difficult to decide between these two views, but the dramatic unity of the passage is best preserved if we adopt the latter, taking Isaiah 51:9-10 as a prayer called forth by the previous exhortation, and Isaiah 51:12 ff. as the Divine answer to this prayer.
The imagery of the verses is obviously mythological. It rests on the conception of a conflict in days long past between Jehovah and the monsters called Rahab and the Dragon. Now both these names came to be used as symbols of Egypt (see on ch. Isaiah 30:7, and Isaiah 27:1); and most commentators have thought that this is the case here, the historic reference being to the humiliation of Egypt, and the dividing of the Red Sea in the days of Moses. But it is doubtful if this interpretation exhausts the significance of the passage. The prophet seems to make direct use of current mythological representations, as is frequently done by the author of the Book of Job (see the notes on Isaiah 3:8, Isaiah 9:13, Isaiah 26:13 in Davidson’s Book of Job). And if this be so there cannot be much doubt as to the nature of the myth in question. It is most probably a Hebrew variation of the Babylonian creation-hymn, according to which the creation of the world was preceded by a conflict between the God of light and order and the monsters that symbolise the dark powers of Chaos (so Duhm; see also Gunkel, Schöpfung und Chaos, pp. 30 ff.). The fundamental idea of the verses would therefore seem to lie in the analogy between the original creation of the material world, and the restoration of the moral order of the universe, which has been disturbed by the reign of brute force in the Babylonian empire (cf. Isaiah 51:16). At the same time, the undoubted allusion to the Exodus in 10 b, shows that the historical application of the imagery was present to the mind of the prophet (see below).
Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?10. the great deep] (Genesis 7:11; Amos 7:4; Psalm 36:6) is the primeval ocean of Genesis 1:2, out of which the dry land appeared. The Hebrew (těhôm) is connected etymologically with Tiâmat, the name of the Chaos-monster in the Babylonian creation tablets.
a way for the ransomed to pass over] The reference to the Exodus is here unmistakeable. The transition is explained by the fact that every exhibition of Jehovah’s power over the sea was regarded as a repetition on a smaller scale of the original miracle of creation. Both alike are illustrations of what the “arm of the Lord” can do, and of the great miracle of redemption to which the prophet looks forward.
Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.11. For Therefore render as R.V. And. The verse is almost verbally identical with Isaiah 35:10, which is clearly its original setting. Here its connexion with what precedes is somewhat loose, and since ch. 35 is of more recent date than this prophecy, the verse must have been transferred by a copyist.
I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;12. I am he that comforteth you] Cf. Isaiah 40:1, Isaiah 49:13. The Israelites are here addressed as individuals; this gives place immediately to the feminine collective, Who art thou &c.? and this again in Isaiah 51:13 to the masc. sing. The rhetorical question means simply “How is it that thou fearest” &c.? (on the use of the consec. impf. see Davidson’s Syntax § 51. R. 3). For made as grass we may translate “given up (to destruction) as grass” (cf. ch. Isaiah 40:6).
12, 13. An expostulation with the exiles, who having the Almighty Creator for their God, live in constant terror of being destroyed by their oppressors.
12–16. Jehovah again speaks as the comforter of His people. That the passage is a direct answer to the importunate appeal of Isaiah 51:9 f., seems probable, although it cannot be confidently affirmed; it is at all events virtually an answer. A point of contact might be found in Jehovah’s assertion of His power over the sea in Isaiah 51:15; but the connexion of ideas in the last three verses is difficult to make out, and the text itself probably confused.
And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?13. And forgettest the Lord] Not in the sense of apostatising from Him (as ch. Isaiah 17:10 and often), but of failing to realise His omnipotence as the Creator of all things (see ch. Isaiah 49:14).
that hath stretched forth the heavens &c.] Cf. Isaiah 40:22, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:12.
and hast feared … day] Better as R.V. and fearest continually all the day. The oppressor is of course the Chaldæan Empire (see ch. Isaiah 47:6), a proof that this part of the book was not written after the fall of Babylon.
as if he were ready to destroy] R.V. when he maketh ready to destroy; lit. “aims (his arrow) to destroy,” the verb being used technically of an archer directing his arrow; so Psalm 21:13, cf. Psalm 7:13; Psalm 11:2.
and where is the fury of the oppressor?] Cf. ch. Isaiah 33:18. The question gives a weak ending to the verse, and indeed both in this clause and the preceding the soundness of the text is doubtful.
The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.14. The received text is probably best rendered as follows: Speedily shall the crouching (prisoner) be set free, and he shall not die (and go down) to the pit, nor shall his bread fail (see R.V.); Israel in exile being compared to a prisoner in danger of death through starvation. The image reminds us of Jeremiah in the dungeon (Isaiah 38:9-10). The verse is full of obscurities, and its connexion with what precedes is of the loosest kind. The LXX. gives what is obviously a conjectural rendering, and it is not unlikely that the Hebr. represents another attempt to restore an illegible text.
But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.15. that divided the sea &c.] Render with R.V. which stirreth up (see on Isaiah 51:4) the sea so that the waves thereof roar (cf. Job 26:12).
The idea is parallel with that of Isaiah 51:9 f., being an illustration of Jehovah’s power over the elements. He can, as it were, play with the sea, for His stirring it up to fury implies that He is able to restrain it, and at the right time to still it again.
the Lord of hosts is his name] Chs. Isaiah 47:4, Isaiah 48:2, Isaiah 54:5.
15, 16. These verses contain a remarkable number of resemblances to other passages (see below). Isaiah 51:15, apart from the introductory words, occurs in Jeremiah 31:35, though it is doubtful to which passage it originally belongs. Giesebrecht (on Jeremiah) unhesitatingly pronounces it a citation from this verse.
And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.16. I have put my words in thy mouth] recurring in ch. Isaiah 59:21.
covered thee in the shadow of mine hand] Taken almost exactly from Isaiah 49:2.
that I may plant &c.] This is no doubt the right translation, not “that thou mayest plant” (lit. “to plant”). The metaphor of “planting” the heavens is strange; some critics substitute “to stretch forth” (changing a letter), as in Isaiah 51:13, with which likewise the following words correspond.
The verse is remarkable in two respects. (1) It throws an important light on the idea of the Servant of the Lord. Language which is elsewhere used of the Servant is here applied to Israel, to whom the verse is undoubtedly addressed. This would be a strong confirmation of the theory that the Servant is in some sense a personification of Israel. (2) The conception of a new moral universe about to be created is partly anticipated both in Isaiah 51:6 (where the transitoriness of the present world is asserted), and in Isaiah 51:9 f. (see the notes above). This verse, however, adds the further idea that the new creation is the ultimate goal of God’s dealings with Israel, whose religious mission culminates in a universal and everlasting salvation.
Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.17–20. The description of Jerusalem’s degradation. The rhythm is that of the qínah, and the resemblances to the book of Lamentations are so striking that Ewald has conjectured that the passage is taken from one of the elegies composed during the Exile.
Awake] Better Arouse thee (Cheyne); the verb being a reflexive as distinct from the simple “Awake” of Isaiah 52:1 (and Isaiah 51:9).
which hast drunk … the cup of his fury] The image of the cup of the Divine wrath originated in Jeremiah’s great vision of judgement (ch. Jeremiah 25:15 ff.), where the prophet hands the cup to all nations, beginning with Jerusalem. Cf. also Jeremiah 49:12; Habakkuk 2:16; Ezekiel 23:31-34; Lamentations 4:21; Obadiah 1:16; Revelation 14:10.
the dregs of the cup of trembling] R.V. the bowl of the cup of staggering. “Dregs” is a mistaken Jewish rendering of a word (qubba‘ath), found only here and in Isaiah 51:22. It means undoubtedly a “bowl” or “chalice,” and the pleonasm “bowl of the cup” has probably arisen through the common word for cup being added as an explanatory gloss.
of trembling] of intoxication. Psalm 60:3 (A.V. “wine of astonishment”).
and wrung them out] drained (cf. Ezekiel 23:34)—an asyndetic construction in the Hebr.—“hast drunk, hast drained,” i.e. “hast drunk to the dregs.” The whole clause reads:—
Thou who hast drunk from Jehovah’s hand—the cup of His wrath, The chalice of intoxication—hast thou drunk to the dregs.
Ch. Isaiah 51:17 to Isaiah 52:12. The Lord will turn the Captivity of Zion
The three oracles into which this passage naturally falls are these:—(1) Isaiah 51:17-23. The prophet, returning to the thought with which the book opens (ch. Isaiah 40:2), announces that the period of Jerusalem’s degradation has expired. The city is figured as a woman lying prostrate and senseless, intoxicated with the cup of the Lord’s indignation which she has drunk to the dregs, her sons unable to help her (17–20). But the cup is now taken from her and passed to the enemies who had oppressed and insulted her (21–23).
-2Isaiah 52:1-6. In a new apostrophe, the image is carried on; let Zion lay aside her soiled raiment, and the emblems of her slavery, and put on her holiday attire (1, 2). Jehovah will no longer endure that His name should be blasphemed through the banishment of His people (3–6).
(3) Isaiah 51:7-12. A description of the triumphal return of Jehovah to Zion, obviously based on the last section of the Prologue (ch. Isaiah 40:9-11). The writer pictures the scene of joy within the city when the heralds of the King arrive (7, 8); he calls on the waste places of Jerusalem to break forth into singing (9, 10); and finally, turning to the exiles (as in Isaiah 48:20 f.) he summons them to hasten their escape from the land of their captivity (11, 12).
There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.
These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?19. These two things] (ch. Isaiah 47:9), i.e. two kinds of calamities; namely, devastation and destruction on land and city; famine and sword on the inhabitants.
who shall be sorry for thee] Better who condoles with thee (Jeremiah 15:5; Nahum 3:7), i.e. “thou hast no sympathizers.” To “condole” is in Hebr. to shake the head (cf. Jeremiah 16:5; Job 2:11; Job 42:11 &c.), a similar gesture, expressed by a different verb, denotes contempt (see on ch. Isaiah 37:22).
by whom shall I comfort thee?] Rather: how (lit. who) shall I comfort thee? The idiom cannot be reproduced exactly; see Amos 7:2; Amos 7:5 and comp. Davidson’s Synt. § 8 R. 1 (where it is suggested that the peculiar use of the pronoun may be provincial or colloquial). The Ancient Versions, however, read the third person, which is far easier; “who comforts thee?”
Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.20. Thy sons have swooned] lit. “were shrouded,”—a usual oriental metaphor (Amos 8:13; Jonah 4:8; Nahum 3:11). For the idea cf. Lamentations 2:11; Lamentations 2:19; Lamentations 2:21. at the head of all the streets] Lamentations 2:19; Lamentations 4:1.
as a wild bull in a net] R.V., rightly, as an antelope (Deuteronomy 14:5) in a net, exhausted by its vain struggles to get free.
they are full of the fury &c.] The children have drunk of the same cup as their mother.
Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:21. hear now this] see ch. Isaiah 47:8.
drunken, but not with wine] Cf. ch. Isaiah 29:9.
21–23. The message of comfort.
Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:22. thy Lord the Lord] thy Lord Jehovah. It is in cases like this that we are made to feel the inconvenience arising from the Jewish reluctance to pronounce the sacred Name Yahveh.
I have taken] Better I take (a perf. of instant action, as 1 Samuel 2:16).
the cup of trembling … fury] the cup of intoxication, the chalice of mine indignation (see on Isaiah 51:17).
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.23. them that afflict thee] thy tormentors. The word occurs three times in the Lamentations (Lamentations 1:5; Lamentations 1:12, Lamentations 3:32).
to thy soul] i.e. “to thyself,” although without special emphasis (cf. Psalm 3:2; Psalm 11:1).
Bow down, that we may go over] The figure is taken from the Eastern custom of treading or even riding on the backs of conquered enemies. Comp. Lane’s account of the Mohammedan ceremony of the Dooseh or “Treading,” as he witnessed it at Cairo in 1834; when the Sheikh of the Saadîyeh dervishes, mounted on horseback, rode over the prostrate bodies of a large number of dervishes. (See Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, pp. 417 f., 432 f. [Ed. 1890].)
and thou hast laid &c.] so that thou madest thy back as the earth. Gesenius cites in illustration an Arabic proverb: “To him who pleases me, I will be earth.”