English Standard Version
on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
King James Bible
In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
American Standard Version
in the four and twentieth day of the month, in the sixth month , in the second year of Darius the king.
In the four and twentieth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king, they began.
English Revised Version
in the four and twentieth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
Webster's Bible Translation
In the four and twentieth day of the same month, in the second year of Darius the king.
Haggai 1:15 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The Assyrian tries to repel this attack, but all in vain. Nahum 2:5. "He remembers his glorious ones: they stumble in their paths; they hasten to the wall of it, and the tortoise is set up. Nahum 2:6. The gates are opened in the rivers, and the palace is dissolved. Nahum 2:7. It is determined: she is laid bare, carried off, and her maids groan like the cry of doves, smiting on their breasts." On the approach of the war-chariots of the enemy to the attack, the Assyrian remembers his generals and warriors, who may possibly be able to defend the city and drive back the foe. That the subject changes with yizkōr, is evident from the change in the number, i.e., from the singular as compared with the plurals in Nahum 2:3 and Nahum 2:4, and is placed beyond the reach of doubt by the contents of Nahum 2:5., which show that the reference is to the attempt to defend the city. The subject to yizkōr is the Assyrian (בּליּעל, Nahum 2:1), or the king of Asshur (Nahum 3:18). He remembers his glorious ones, i.e., remembers that he has 'addı̄rı̄m, i.e., not merely generals (μεγιστᾶνες, lxx), but good soldiers, including the generals (as in Nahum 3:18; Judges 5:13; Nehemiah 3:5). He sends for them, but they stumble in their paths. From terror at the violent assault of the foe, their knees lose their tension (the plural hălı̄khōth is not to be corrected into the singular according to the keri, as the word always occurs in the plural). They hasten to the wall of it (Nineveh); there is הסּכך set up: i.e., literally the covering one, not the defender, praesidium militare (Hitzig), but the tortoise, testudo.
(Note: Not, however, the tortoise formed by the shields of the soldiers, held close together above their heads (Liv. xxxiv. 9), since these are never found upon the Assyrian monuments (vid., Layard), but a kind of battering-ram, of which there are several different kinds, either a moveable tower, with a battering-ram, consisting of a light framework, covered with basket-work, or else a framework without any tower, either with an ornamented covering, or simply covered with skins, and moving upon four or six wheels. See the description, with illustrations, in Layard's Nineveh, ii. pp. 366-370, and Strauss's commentary on this passage.)
The prophet's description passes rapidly from the assault upon the city wall to the capture of the city itself (Nahum 2:6). The opened or opening gates of the rivers are neither those approaches to the city which were situated on the bank of the Tigris, and were opened by the overflowing of the river, in support of which appeal has been made to the statement of Diodor. Sic. ii. 27, that the city wall was destroyed for the space of twenty stadia by the overflowing of the Tigris; for "gates of the rivers" cannot possibly stand for gates opened by rivers. Still less can it be those roads of the city which led to the gates, and which were flooded with people instead of water (Hitzig), or with enemies, who were pressing from the gates into the city like overflowing rivers (Ros.); nor even gates through which rivers flow, i.e., sluices, namely those of the concentric canals issuing from the Tigris, with which the palace could be laid under water (Vatabl., Burck, Hitzig, ed. 1); but as Luther renders it, "gates on the waters," i.e., situated on the rivers, or gates in the city wall, which were protected by the rivers; "gates most strongly fortified, both by nature and art" (Tuch, de Nino urbe, p. 67, Strauss, and others), for nehârōth must be understood as signifying the Tigris and its tributaries and canals. At any rate, there were such gates in Nineveh, since the city, which stood at the junction of the Khosr with the Tigris, in the slope of the (by no means steep) rocky bank, was to some extent so built in the alluvium, that the natural course of the Khosr had to be dammed off from the plain chosen for the city by three stone dams, remnants of which are still to be seen; and a canal was cut above this point, which conducted the water to the plain of the city, where it was turned both right and left into the city moats, but had a waste channel through the city. To the south, however, another small collection of waters helped to fill the trenches. "The wall on the side towards the river consisted of a slightly curved line, which connected together the mouths of the trenches, but on the land side it was built at a short distance from the trenches. The wall on the river side now borders upon meadows, which are only flooded at high water; but the soil has probably been greatly elevated, and at the time when the city was built this was certainly river" (see M. v. Niebuhr, Geschichte Assurs u. Babels, p. 280; and the outlines of the plan of the ground oh which Nineveh stood, p. 284). The words of the prophet are not to be understood as referring to any particular gate, say the western, either alone, or par excellence, as Tuch supposes, but apply quite generally to the gates of the city, since the rivers are only mentioned for the purpose of indicating the strength of the gates. As Luther has correctly explained it, "the gates of the rivers, however firm in other respects, and with no easy access, will now be easily occupied, yea, have been already opened." The palace melts away, not, however, from the floods of water which flow through the open gates. This literal rendering of the words is irreconcilable with the situation of the palaces in Nineveh, since they were built in the form of terraces upon the tops of hills, either natural or artificial, and could not be flooded with water. The words are figurative. mūg, to melt, dissolve, i.e., to vanish through anxiety and alarm; and היכל, the palace, for the inhabitants of the palace. "When the gates, protected by the rivers, are broken open by the enemy, the palace, i.e., the reigning Nineveh, vanishes in terror" (Hitzig). For her sway has now come to an end.
הצּב: the hophal of נצב, in the hiphil, to establish, to determine (Deuteronomy 32:8; Psalm 74:17; and Chald. Daniel 2:45; Daniel 6:13); hence it is established, i.e., is determined, sc. by God: she will be made bare; i.e., Nineveh, the queen, or mistress of the nations, will be covered with shame. גּלּתה is not to be taken as interchangeable with the hophal הגלה, to be carried away, but means to be uncovered, after the piel to uncover, sc. the shame or nakedness (Nahum 3:5; cf. Isaiah 47:2-3; Hosea 2:12). העלה, for העלה (see Ges. 63, Anm. 4), to be driven away, or led away, like the niph. in Jeremiah 37:11; 2 Samuel 2:27.
(Note: Of the different explanations that have been given of this hemistich, the supposition, which dates back as far as the Chaldee, that huzzab signifies the queen, or is the name of the queen (Ewald and Rckert), is destitute of any tenable foundation, and is no better than Hitzig's fancy, that we should read והצּב, "and the lizard is discovered, fetched up," and that this "reptile" is Nineveh. The objection offered to our explanation, viz., that it would only be admissible if it were immediately followed by the decretum divinum in its full extent, and not merely by one portion of it, rests upon a misinterpretation of the following words, which do not contain merely a portion of the purpose of God.)
The laying bare and carrying away denote the complete destruction of Nineveh. אמהתיה, ancillae ejus, i.e., Nini. The "maids" of the city of Nineveh personified as a queen are not the states subject to her rule (Theodor., Cyr., Jerome, and others), - for throughout this chapter Nineveh is spoken of simply as the capital of the Assyrian empire, - but the inhabitants of Nineveh, who are represented as maids, mourning over the fate of their mistress. Nâhag, to pant, to sigh, for which hâgâh is used in other passages where the cooing of doves is referred to (cf. Isaiah 38:14; Isaiah 59:11). כּקול יונים instead of כּיּונים, probably to express the loudness of the moaning. Tophēph, to smite, used for the smiting of the timbrels in Psalm 68:26; here, to smite upon the breast. Compare pectus pugnis caedere, or palmis infestis tundere (e.g., Juv. xiii. 167; Virg. Aen. i. 481, and other passages), as an expression of violent agony in deep mourning (cf. Luke 18:13; Luke 23:27). לבבהן for לבביהן is the plural, although this is generally written לבּות; and as the י is frequently omitted as a sign of the plural (cf. Ewald, 258, a), there is no good ground for reading לבבהן, as Hitzig proposes.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet:
In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying,
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