And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, beating on their breasts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And Huzzab shall be led away captive. . . .—Better, And it is decided. She is laid bare. She is removed away. And her maidens moan, as with the cry of doves, smiting on their breasts.
It is decided, or established—c’est un fait accompli. The Authorised Version apparently follows those Rabbinic commentators who treat the Hebrew expression hutstsab as the name of an Assyrian queen, or as a symbolical designation of Nineveh. The word is best regarded as a verb-form cognate to the expression rendered by the Authorised Version “of certainty,” “certain,” “true,” in Daniel 2:48; Daniel 3:24; Daniel 7:16. Laid bare, the common figure of the virgin city put to shame by capture (comp. Isaiah 47:1-5). The “maidens” who “moan as with the cry of doves” (comp. Isaiah 38:14; Isaiah 59:11; Ezekiel 7:16) are probably Nineveh’s dependent cities. These are represented as standing gazing on the awful catastrophe, groaning aloud and beating the breast (comp. Luke 23:48) in a horror of despair.Nahum 2:7. And Huzzab shall be led away captive — By Huzzab the Chaldee understands the queen, who, without due respect to her royal dignity, should be hurried away, among other captives, into a strange land; and exposed, as they, to danger and insolence. And her maids — The ladies that waited on her in her state of royalty, shall now be her companions in her captivity; shall lead her — Shall support their sorrowful, weary, and fainting queen, spent with such travel as she had not been used to; with the voice of doves, tabering, &c. — Mourning like doves, and beating their breasts, instead of musical instruments. But, as the word Huzzab signifies a strong, or impregnable fortress, some understand thereby Nineveh itself. If this be the meaning of the term, Nineveh is here figuratively represented as a great princess carried captive, with her maids of honour attending her, and bewailing hers and their own condition, with every sign and expression of lamentation: whereby was denoted, that the lesser cities under her jurisdiction should be sharers with her in her calamity. Thus Babylon is represented by Isaiah as a tender and delicate lady, undergoing the hardships of a captivity, Isaiah 47:1-8.
led away captive—The Hebrew requires rather, "she is laid bare"; brought forth from the apartments where Eastern women remained secluded, and is stripped of her ornamental attire. Compare Isa 47:2, 3, where the same image of a woman with face and legs exposed is used of a city captive and dismantled (compare Na 3:5), [Maurer].
brought up—Her people shall be made to go up to Babylon. Compare the use of "go up" for moving from a place in Jer 21:2.
her maids … as … doves—As Nineveh is compared to a queen dethroned and dishonored, so she has here assigned to her in the image handmaids attending her with dove-like plaints (Isa 38:14; 59:11. The image implies helplessness and grief suppressed, but at times breaking out). The minor cities and dependencies of Nineveh may be meant, or her captive women [Jerome]. Grotius and Maurer translate, for "lead her," "moan," or "sigh."
tabering—beating on their breasts as on a tambourine.Huzzab: this is variously taken, but the most probable guess is, that it is meant of the queen, who kept close in the palace, or temple, as where she might be most safe in the strength and supposed sacredness of the place.
Shall be led away captive; without due respect to her royal dignity, shall be hurried into a strange land with other captives, and (as they) be exposed to danger and insolence.
Her maids, ladies that waited on her in her royal state, now shall be her companions in captivity.
Shall lead her; support their sorrowful, weary, and fainting queen, spent with such travel as she had not been used unto.
As with the voice of doves; sighing out the complaints they durst not speak out.
Tabering upon their breasts; these maids of honour should now in captivity strike on their breasts, but with such caution and fear of being discovered in their lamenting their state, as should be but like the noise of a taber lightly struck; or else, instead of musical instruments on which they were used to play, and to which they were used to sing, now they strike their own breasts, and sigh out their sorrows. Psalm 45:9 who, when the royal palace was destroyed, was taken out, and carried captive with the rest, who before was in a well settled and tranquil state and condition: or perhaps the king himself is designed, who may be represented as a woman, as follows, for his effeminacy; conversing only with women; imitating their voice; wearing their apparel; and doing their work, spinning, &c. which is the character historians (l) give of the last king of the Assyrians: some (m) take it to be the idol Venus, worshipped by the Ninevites: though it may be meant either of the palace itself, as Kimchi's father, which was firm and well established; or rather Nineveh itself, thought to be stable and secure, the inhabitants of which should be carried into a strange land:
she shall be brought up; the queen, or the king, out of the palace or private retirement, where they were in peace and safety; or Nineveh, and the inhabitants of it, out of their secure state and condition:
and her maids shall lead her; her maids of honour, supporting her on the right hand and left, ready to sink and faint under her misfortunes: this may also be understood of towns and villages, and the inhabitants of them, that should go into captivity along with Nineveh:
as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts; mourning like doves, inwardly and secretly, not daring to express their sorrow more publicly, because of their enemies; but knocking and beating upon their breasts, as men do upon tabrets or drums, thereby expressing the inward grief of their minds; see Ezekiel 7:16.And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. And Huzzab] The word is altogether obscure, and Assyriology has not been able to throw any light upon it. Reference must be to the queen, but whether she be called by her name, or whether some epithet be applied to her is uncertain. The text even may be faulty. Some would read hazzab, “the lizard,” a creature which takes refuge in holes, fancying that the queen was so called because she was detected and dragged from her hiding-place. This poor witticism need not be attributed to the prophet. There is another word hazzab signifying “the litter” or palanquin (Isaiah 66:20), and in lieu of anything better one might be tempted to think that the litter might mean the woman or lady, just as in Arab. ḍḥa‘inah means a woman’s litter and then a woman.
shall be led away captive] is detected, or uncovered.
shall be brought up] she is brought up (or, out), her maids moaning as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts (Jdt 8:5). The phrase “brought up” following “detected” probably means dragged out; R.V. carried away. To “taber” is to drum or beat. Beating the breast was a gesture of grief or despair, Luke 18:13; Luke 23:27; people also smote upon the thigh, Jeremiah 31:19; Ezekiel 21:12 (Heb. 21:17). The moaning of mourners is often compared to the complaint of the dove, see Ezek. Cambridge Bible, p. 49. In Assyrian the dove is called summatu, the mourner or complainer.Verse 7. - And Huzzab. The Anglican rendering (which has the authority of the Jewish commentators, and is endorsed by Ewald and Ruckert) takes Huzzab as an appellative, either the name of the Queen of Nineveh, or a symbolical name for Nineveh itself, as Sheshach, Peked, and Merathaim were for Babylon (see Jeremiah 25:26: 1:21; 51:41; Ezekiel 23:23), which was formed or adopted by Nahum for the purpose of describing its character. Huzzab may mean "established," "act firm" (Genesis 28:12), and confident in its strength; pual from natsab," to set," "to fix" (Wordsworth). We may dismiss the idea that Huzzab is the name of the queen. Such a personage is unknown to history; and there is no reason why she should be mentioned rather than the king; and persona are not introduced by name in prophecy except for some very special reason, as Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28). The alternative rendering, "it is decreed," adopted by Keil, Pusey, and many modern commentators, is unexampled, and comes in baldly, and not at all according to the prophet's manner. Henderson joins the clause with the proceiling, thus: "The palace is dissolved, though firmly established." The Septuagint gives, Ἡ ὑπόστασις ἀπεκαλύφθη, "The hidden treasures are revealed," or, "The foundation is exposed;" Vulgate, Miles captivus abductus est. It seems best to take Huzzab as an appellative representing either Nineveh or Assyria, as the country between the Upper and Lower Zab (Rawlinson, in 'Dictionary of the Bible'), or as meaning "firm," "bold." Thus Egypt is called Rahab, "arrogant" (Isaiah 30:7); the King of Assyria, Jareb, "contentious" (Hosea 5:13); Jerusalem, Ariel, "God's lion" (Isaiah 29:1). Shall be led away captive; better, is laid bare. She, the queen of nations, is stripped of her adornments and igno miniously treated. She shall be brought up. She is carried away into captivity. "Brought up" may mean brought up to judgment, as Nahum 3:5; Isaiah 47:2, 3 (Pusey). Her maids shall lead her; rather, her handmaids moan. The inhabitants of Nineveh, personified as a queen, or the lesser cities of her empire, follow their mistress mourning. As with the voice of doves (comp. Isaiah 38:14; Isaiah 59:11; Ezekiel 7:16), They shall not only show the outward tokens of sorrow, but shall mourn inwardly in their hearts, as the LXX. renders the whole clause, καθὼς περιστεραὶ φθεγγόμενει ἐν καρδίαις αὐτῶν "as down moaning in their hearts." Tabering; beating on a tabret. (For smiting the breast in token of sorrow, setup. Luke 18:13; Luke 23:48; Homer, 'Il.,' 18:31, Ξεροὶ δὲ πἇσαι Στήθεα πεπλήψοντο.)
Forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice to Thee with the call of thanksgiving.
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is with Jehovah.
In order to express the thought emphatically, that salvation and deliverance are only to be hoped for from Jehovah the living God, Jonah points to the idolaters, who forfeit their mercy. משׁמּרים הבלי־שׁוא is a reminiscence of Psalm 31:7. הבלי־שׁוא, worthless vanities, are all things which man makes into idols or objects of trust. הבלים are, according to Deuteronomy 32:21, false gods or idols. Shâmar, to keep, or, when applied to false gods, to keep to them or reverence them; in Hosea 4:10 it is also applied to Jehovah. חסדּם signifies neither pietatem suam nor gratiam a Deo ipsis exhibitam, nor "all the grace and love which they might receive" (Hitzig); but refers to God Himself, as He whose government is pure grace (vid., Genesis 24:27), and might become the grace even of the idolatrous. Jonah, on the contrary, like all the righteous, would sacrifice to the Lord beqōl tōdâh, "with the voice or cry, of thanksgiving," i.e., would offer his sacrifices with a prayer of sincere thanksgiving (cf. Psalm 42:5), and pay the vow which he had made in his distress (cf. Psalm 50:14, Psalm 50:23). These utterances are founded upon the hope that his deliverance will be effected (Hitzig); and this hope is based upon the fact that "salvation is Jehovah's," i.e., is in His power, so that He only can grant salvation.
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