1. Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
1. Super palatum tuum tuba, tanquam aquila super domum Jehovae, 1 quia transgressi sunt foedus meum, et contra legem meam impie egerunt (vel, perfide segesserunt.)
Interpreters nearly all agree in this, that the Prophet threatens not the kingdom of Israel, but the kingdom of Judah, at the beginning of this chapter, because he names the house of God, which they take to be the temple. I indeed allow, that the Prophet has spoken already, in two places, of the kingdom of Judah, but as it were in passing. He has, it is true, introduced some reproofs and threatening, but so that the distinction was quite clear; and we see that he now goes to the kingdom of Judah, but in the second verse, he names Israel, and yet continues hid discourse.
Had the Prophet added any thing which could be referred peculiarly to the kingdom of Judah, I should willingly accede to their opinion, who think that the house of God is the sanctuary. But let the whole context be read, and any one may easily perceive, that the Prophet speaks of Israel no less in the first verse than in the second and third. For, as it has been said, he lays down no difference, but pursues throughout his teaching or discourse in the same strain.
He says first,
He then says,
Grant, Almighty God, that since thou continues daily to restore us to thyself, both by scourges and by thy word, though we cease not to go astray after sinful desires, -- O grant, that by the direction of thy Spirit, we may at length so return to thee, that we may never afterwards fall away, but be preserved in pure and true obedience, and thus constantly continue in the pure worship of thy majesty and in true, obedience, that after this life past, we may at last reach that blessed rest, which is reserved for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We were not able yesterday to complete the first verse of the eighth chapter. It then remains for us to consider the latter clause, in which the Prophet expresses the cause of the war which he had previously proclaimed by God's command. He says, that the Israelites had transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and conducted themselves perfidiously against his law. He repeats the same thing twice, for the covenant and the law are synonymous; only the word, law, in my view, is added as explanatory, as though he had said, that they had violated the covenant of the Lord, which had been sanctioned or sealed by the law. God then had made a covenant with Israel, which he designed to be comprehended in the tables. Since then it was not unknown to the Israelites what they owed to God, they were covenant-breakers. It was then the doubling of their crime, as the Prophet shows, that they had not fallen through mistake when they transgressed the covenant of the Lord, for they had been more than sufficiently taught by the law what faith and what purity the Lord required of them: at the same time, the covenant which the Lord so openly made with them was yet neglected. It follows --
1 "The cornet at thy mouth, be it like the eagle over the house of Jehovah." -- Horsley. It is in a note added, -- "Let the sound of the cornet in thy mouth be shrill and terrible, as the ominous scream of the eagle hovering over the roof of the temple." But the literal rendering of the words with admit more naturally another sense. I translate it thus: --
"To thy mouth the trumpet,
Like the eagle over the house of Jehovah."
That is, seize the trumpet ass quickly as the eagle flies. He thereby denotes that judgment was to come without delay; or the distich may be thus rendered, --
"To thy mouth the trumpet, like an eagle,
Against the house of Jehovah."
That is, "Apply the trumpet quickly, imitate the quickness of the eagle, and use it to proclaim war against the house of Jehovah." -- Ed.