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+ Heb. cord.
1 Or, compassed him about.
9 For the Lord's portion is his 13 He made him ride on the high
eat the increase of the fields; and
11 As an eagle stirreth up her sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of
over her young, the breed of Bashan, and goats, with
12 So the Lord alone did lead grape.
kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art
10. He found him in a desert land,] There He first furnish honey. See the instance of Jonathan, 1 Sam. took the Israelites to be his peculiar people; for so the xiv. 25. Hasselquist says, between Acra and Nazareth, word, rendered here “found,” frequently signifies. Bp. “great numbers of wild bees breed, to the advantage of Patrick. Or, There He sustained them, and made for the inhabitants.” Maundrell observes of the great salt them sufficient provision. Bp. Kidder.
plain near Jericho, that "he perceived in it, in many - he led him about, &c.] Irwin describes the places, a smell of honey and wax, as strong as if he had mountains of the desert of Thebais as sometimes so been in an apiary.” See the account of the wild honey steep and dangerous, as to induce even very bold and of John the Baptist, Matt. iï. 4; Mark i. 6. Script. hardy travellers to avoid them, by taking a large circuit; illust. and says, that, for want of a proper knowledge of the — oil out of the finty rock ;] That is, the olive way, such a wrong path may be taken as may on a trees grow in the crevices of rocks, and these yield oil. sudden bring them into the greatest dangers : at other Hasselquist tells us, that “ he ate olives at Joppa, which times a dreary waste may extend itself so prodigiously, were said to grow on the mount of Olives near Jeruas to make it difficult, without assistance, to find the salem; and that, independent of their supposed holiness, way to a proper outlet. This shews the meaning of the they were of the best kind he tasted in the Levant." words of Moses. God instructed Israel how to avoid That Syria abounded in oil is evident, from its being the dangers of the journey, by "leading the people exported into Egypt, Hos. xii. 1 ; and we find William about" this and that dangerous precipitous hill, direct- of Tyre, in the time of the crusades, describing Syriaing them to proper passes through the mountains, and Sobal as all thick set with olive trees, making prodigious guiding them through the intricacies of their difficult woods that covered the country, and afforded subsistjourney, which might have confounded the most con ence to the inhabitants. Script. illust. Some naturalists summate Arab guides. Harmer.
observe, that olive trees grow most prosperously in he kept him as the apple of his eye.] As the stony and barren places. Bp. Patrick. sight of the eye is by God's care and wise providence 14. — rams of the breed of Bashan,] That is, of the fenced about and preserved from harm by the eyelids, fairest and best kind. Bashan was famous for cattle, by its deep situation, and by several other means; so Numb. xxxii. 4. Bp. Kidder. did he in the wilderness preserve Israel from harm and the fat of kidneys of wheat ;] The Hebrews call danger. Bp. Kidder.
the best of every kind of thing, “The fat." And “the 11. As an eagle &c.] This admirable similitude, so kidneys of wheat," signifies large and plump corn, sublimely beautiful, and yet so simple and natural, of affording great plenty of flour. It is a metaphorical the parent eagle, training his young nestlings to fly; expression; there being some resemblance between the first, stirring them up,' or rousing them from the figure of that grain, and the kidneys. Bps. Patrick and nest; then "horering about them,” to watch and en- Kidder. This expression has been adopted by the courage their timid efforts; “ spreading abroad his Psalmist twice, who speaks of “the fat of wheat,” Ps. wings,” to receive them, when drooping ; " taking them lxxxi. 16; cxlvii. 14; which our translation renders up, carrying them on his shoulder," to ease them, when *“ the finest wheat." Dr. Hales. wearied and exhausted by unusual efforts; is probably Some of the greatest delicacies in India are now made painted from the life, with so much circumstantial from the rolong-flour, which is called the heart, or kidimagery, from the scenes which Moses might often ney, of the wheat. Forbes's Oriental Memoirs. have witnessed in the deserts of Arabia Petrea. God the pure blood of the grape.] Most generous red Himself had been pleased to employ this comparison, wine; very clear and bright. Bp. Patrick. Red wine, “I bare you on eagles' wings, Exod. xix. 4. Dr. in colour like blood. Bp. Kidder. Hales.
13. But Jeshurun &c.] The third part of the song, 12. — there was no strange god with him.] To help or to the end of the 18th verse, describes the usual but assist him: but by his Almighty power alone they were ungenerous effect of prosperity, upon
Jeshurun," or protected and preserved. This made their sin the more righteous Israel heretofore, in the adoption of the false heinous in sacrificing to other gods, ver. 17, as if they gods of the neighbouring nations, and forgetfulness of liad been their benefactors. Bp. Patrick.
the true God, their Creator and Protector. This is ex13.— ride on the high places of the earth,] Or, of pressed in the most animated and glowing apostrophes, the land: that is, conquer, and in a triumphant manner or changes of person, in which this most highly wrought possess, Canaan, full of lofty and fruitful hills. Dr. lyric composition abounds: uniting all the fire and Wells.
richness of oriental eloquence, with the close and accusuck honey out of the rock,] That is, the country rate reasoning of occidental composition. Dr. Hales. abounds in wild bees, which, hiving in the rocks, Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked:] That is, Is
| Or, des
20 And he said, I will hide my pised.
17 They sacrificed unto devils, is no faith.
knew not, to new gods that came lousy with that which is not God;
with their vanities: and I will
voke them to anger with a foolish 19 And when the LORD saw it, nation.
were not God.
rael grew rich, &c. Jeshurun comes from a word, that fastnesses of this kind were in a manner impregnable. signifies upright; and it is evidently put for Israel, who Hence we see the propriety of considering the protection were under great obligations to be upright; but instead of God as a “rock;" which often occurs in Scripture. of that, in their prosperity they rebelled against God, Fragments to Calmet
. as a pampered horse kicks. Bp. Kidder.
17 - devils,] The original word imports destroyers, Moses, by Divine inspiration, perceiving that nefa- as the devil is called in the book of Revelation, chap. ix. rious dereliction of the Divine worship, into which the 11, evil spirits, delighting in mischief, and leading their Israelites would in aftertimes fall, speaks of their worshippers into perdition. Bp. Patrick. They sacricrimes, as if already committed. See also above, ver. 5, ficed unto evil spirits, who seek only their destruction, “ They have corrupted themselves, &c." Nothing can the wasters and destroyers of mankind : and not unto represent events more clearly and evidently than such God, their Saviour and Protector, who seeks only their anticipation; and therefore in the writings of the Pro- welfare. Bp. Kidder, Dr. Wells, Pyle. phets the use of it is most frequent. See Isa. X. 28. 30. gods whom they knew not,] Or, as the words Bp. Lowth. See Jer. ii. 15, and the note there.. may be translated, "gods, who knew not them;" that
waxed fat, and kicked :] As Israel, (whom God is, from whom they had received no benefits, as they compares to an heifer, fed in large and fruitful pastures,) had from the Lord, the God of Israel.
Bps. Patrick enjoying always a full range, grew fat, and wanton, and and Kidder. kicked with the heel; so are we apt, the more plenti that came newly up,] New, and fresh invented fully God heapeth his blessings upon us, the more imaginary demons of the Gentiles, of whom their forewantonly to follow the bent of our own hearts, and the fathers never heard so much as the name. Pyle. Such more contemptuously to spurn at his holy command- as were lately, in comparison of the sun and moon, &c. ments. Bp. Sanderson.
set up for gods, as were the demon-gods or dead men The Church teaches us to pray God to deliver us "in deified. Dr. Wells. They seem to have been the local all time of our tribulation, in all time of our wealth;" gods of the neighbourhood. Dr. Hales. that is, as well in our prosperity as adversity ; from the 19. And when the Lord saw it, &c.] The fourth part, dangers and temptations that beset us in every condi- to the end of the 25th verse, expresses the indignation tion of life. A petition for deliverance in the time of of the Lord, and his denunciations, that He would rewealth and prosperity may appear to a worldly-minded ject apostate Israel, and adopt in their room the believperson needless, if not absurd.
But our blessed Lord ing Gentiles ; according to the interpretation of St. teaches us a very different lesson ; warning us, in the Paul, Rom. x. 19, citing ver. 21; and the parallel prostrongest terms, of the great danger attending a state phecy of Isaiah, chap. lxv. 1, 2. This part describes of affluence; which our daily experience and observation also in the glowing colours of the preceding prophecies, most abundantly confirm. The Jews of old were a re- all the calamities of the Babylonian and Roman captimarkable instance of this : “Jeshurun waxed fat, &c. vities. Dr. Hales. then he forsook God which made him, and lightly the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.] esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” And the Prophet For such they were, till they corrupted themselves, and to the same effect; “They were filled, and their heart thereby highly incensed Him against them. For nowas exalted; therefore have they forgotten me," Hos. thing can be so provoking as the rebellion of children xii. 6. If therefore to forget and forsake God be too against a most indulgent parent. Bp. Patrick. often the consequence of a prosperous condition, how The daughters” are here expressly named, because earnestly ought we to pray for his grace, to deliver us the women were notoriously guilty of provoking God from the power of its temptations ! Waldo.
by their idolatry. See Jer. vii. 18; xliv. 15; Ezek. viii. In this and in the following verses Moses speaks in 14. Bp. Kidder. the prophetick style, in which the past tense is fre 20. – I will see what their end shall be:] I will not quently used for the future; and things to come repre cease my judgments, till I have brought the sorest sented as already past, to denote the certain event of calamities upon them, and made an end of their polity the things predicted. Pyle.
and government. Bp. Patrick. the Rock of his salvation.] We have in Scrip 21. – I will move them to jealousy &c.] The meaning ture several instances of persons retiring to rocks for is, that God would, by a people that was not peculiar safety; and it appears that rocks are still resorted to in to Him, as the Israelites were, provoke them to jealousy. the East as places of security. Before the invention of And this He fulfilled, by delivering them to the Assygunpowder, and before its explosive power was known, rians, Chaldeans, and their other enemies, who were
and not the
done all this.
+ Heb. bereare.
and || shall burn unto the low- among men:
est hell, and || shall consume the 27 Were it not that I feared the | Or, hath
earth with her increase, and set on wrath of the enemy, lest their ad1 Or, hath
fire the foundations of the moun- versaries should behave themselves
strangely, and lest they should say,
high hand, them; I will spend mine arrows upon hath not done all this. them.
28 For they are a nation void of LORD, hath 24 They shall be burnt with hun- counsel, neither is there any under
ger, and devoured with + burning standing in them. burning
heat, and with bitter destruction: I 29 O that they were wise, that they
30 How should bone chase a thou- b Josh. 23. 25 The sword without, and terror sand, and two put ten thousand to + Heb. from + within, shall + destroy both the flight, except their Rock had sold the chambers.
young man and the virgin, the them, and the Lord had shut them
31 For their rock is not as our
into corners, I would make the re- being judges. not his people ; and by rejecting them, and taking the 27. Were it not that I feared &c.] He, that is OmniGentiles into his favour and into the Church of Christ, potent, is not capable of fearing any thing: but He Rom. xi. 14. And to this purpose the Apostle applies speaks in our language, and gives this reason why He the words of the Prophet, “I will call them my people, did not make them cease to be a nation, because He which were not my people,” Rom. ix. 25. This would not have their enemies insult, and use insolent greatly “provoked” the Jews, to see “a foolish nation” language even against Himself. Of this we have an taken into God's Church: for such the Gentiles were, instance, Isa. xxxvii. 28, 29. Bp. Patrick. Fear is imwhile they served idols, and divers lusts, Rom. i. 21, puted to God after the manner of men, who refrain from 22. Compare Acts xi. 2, 3; 1 Thess. ii. 15, 16; Acts doing things from that principle. Bp. Kidder. xxii. 21, 22. Bp. Kidder.
28. --- void of counsel, &c.] He that considers the lives 22. For a fire is kindled in mine anger,] Great and sore and actions of the greatest part of men would verily calamities are compared to "fire” in Scripture, Ezek. think, that they understood not that there is such a xxx. 8. God here threatens to send such calamities being as God, and that it is their duty to demean themupon the Jews, as the woeful effects of his heavy dis- selves religiously towards Him. Therefore the Scrippleasure, which should never cease till they were de- tures represent wicked men as without understandstroyed. For“ hell” and “ destruction” seem to be the ing:" not that they are destitute of the natural faculty same, Prov. xv. 11. And therefore “the lowest hell” of understanding, but they do not use it as they ought: signifies the depth of misery. Bp. Patrick. This verse they are not blind, but they wink; they “hold the truth gives an account, in a figurative manner, of the destruc- of God in unrighteousness, and though they know God, tion of the land, in words which seem to import the yet they do not glorify him as God,” nor suffer the total consumption of it. “Hell” signifies the lower parts apprehension of Him to have a due influence upon of the earth, Numb. xvi. 30. Bp. Kidder. Such a fire their hearts and lives. Abp. Tillotson. is threatened, as should not only burn the earth, but 30. How should one chase a thousand, &c.] Whence penetrate the abyss below, an in its way consume the should such an amazing change proceed, that the Israelvery “ foundations of the mountains.” Edit.
ites, who formerly with an handful of men put vast armies 24. — the teeth of beasts &c.] They were exposed to to flight, Lev. xxvi. 8, should now, though never so these calamities, when they were forced to fly into wil- numerous, be beaten by one or two of their enemies, dernesses, and hide themselves in dens and caves : and flee when none pursued them ? Bp. Patrick. The where some of them could not avoid being devoured Prophet here states the true reason of the timidity of by wild beasts, and stung by serpents, the sting of which the Israelites, so that a thousand would flee from one is venomous, and which creep upon “the dust." It enemy; as God had warned them repeatedly before in has been observed, that this denunciation was partly even stronger terms. See Lev. xxvi. 17–36; Deut. fulfilled, when the Jews were thrown by the Romans to xxviii. 25. Dr. Hales. wild beasts in the theatre, as Josephus relates. Bp. 31. For their rock is not &c.] This is a parenthetical Patrick. Or the words may be a prophecy of the deso- observation of Moses himself, introduced incidentally late state of the country, which should be overrun with into the Divine speech, stating the superiority of the wild beasts and serpents. Edit.
God of Israel over the gods of their enemies, even by 26. I said, I would scatter them &c.] The fifth part, to their own confession. Thus Jethro acknowledged it, the end of ver. 35, states the wise and gracious reasons Exod. xviii. 11; the Egyptians confessed it, Exod. xiv. of the dispersion of the Jews into all lands, rather than 25; Balaam, Numb. xxiii. 19-23; the Canaanites, their confinement to one corner, as in the Assyrian cap- Josh. ii. 11; the Gibeonites, Josh. ix. 9. 24; the Phitivity, both for their preservation from the collected listines, 1 Sam. iv. 7; Nebuchadnezzar, the haughty force of their enemies; and to prevent the boasts of king of Babylon, Dan. iii. 29 ; iv. 37; Darius the Mede, the latter, ascribing to themselves their destruction. Dan. vi. 26, 27; Cyrus, king of Persia, Ezra i. 3; Dr. Hales.
Artaxerxes Longimanus, Ezra vii. 23. And Philostratus
+ Heb. hand.
1. Or, is worse than the vine of Sodom, &c.
37 And he shall say,
38 Which did eat the fat of their
help you, and be + your protection. 35 To me belongeth vengeance,
39 See now that I, even I, am he, you. and recompence; their foot shall slide and there is no god with me : I kill, Tob. 73. : Hebr. 10.30. in due time: for the day of their ca- and I make alive; I wound, and I wisd. 16. 13.
lamity is at hand, and the things heal: neither is there any that can
40 For I lift up my hand to hea-
+ Heb. an hiding for
c Ecclus. 28. 1 Rom. 12. 19.
has preserved a remarkable declaration of Titus, mo Moses speaks, may have been well acquainted with him. destly attributing his conquest over the Jews to the His poison, for its noxious qualities, is justly associated Divine assistance: “That he was only an instrument in with the cruel venom of asps : his slaver, &c. being colthe hand of God, whose wrath had been so signally lected for the express purpose of smearing arrows, and manifested against them.” Dr. Hales.
rendering the wounds made by them fatal. Script. 32. For their vine &c.] The Prophet next proceeds illust. to state, that the enemies of the Jews had no claim to 34. Is not this laid up in store with me, &c.] That is, the Divine assistance from any superior merits of their is not this vengeance, with which I now threaten them, own: for that, on the contrary, their idolatries and cor- though they flatter themselves in their present impunity, ruptions were still more abominable than those of the reserved for them, and kept in store for them against Jews; not only compelling them in their captivities to the time, when their iniquities shall be full and shall serve their gods, by the most dreadful persecutions, require it? Bp. Kidder. such as those of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. iii. 8—28; of 36. For the Lord shall judge &c.] The sixth and last Antiochus Epiphanes, 1 Mac. i. 41–64; of the Ro- part of the song rehearses the consolation of Israel, and mans, &c. Dan. xi. 35; xii. 1; but corrupting the whole signal punishment of their foes. It begins with God's world by their mischievous example and influence. expostulation with his people, when reduced to their Thus Babylon is represented as making all the nations lowest state of desolation, referring them for relief, iroof the earth drunken, and mad with the wine of her nically, to the vain idols in which they had trusted, and idolatrous fornication, Jer. li. 7; and the mystical Baby- to which they had sacrificed; and by an admirable conlon, or Rome Imperial and Papal, likewise, Rev. xvii. trast describing his own self-existence, as “living for 2; xviii. 3. The bitter and poisonous ingredients of evermore;" and his sole and exclusive power “to kill” which are here emphatically described. Of all these, and “to make alive," to "wound” and “to heal.” God declares in the sequel, that He will keep an ac- Hence the captivity is called the wound of Israel, which count, or registry, and severely punish them in the day is to be healed at the restoration of Israel, Isa. xxx. 26 : of vengeance. Dr. Hales.
while his power to “kill” or destroy his adversaries, the vine of Sodom,] This is a vine of a plant as a mighty warriour, with “sword and arrows," or the from Sodom, which brings only bitter and useless miseries of war, forms the conclusion of it. Dr. Hales. grapes ; wine as bad or deadly as the gall of a serpent; shall judge his people, &c.] After having punished grapes as bitter as gall; the fruits which grow about them, “the Lord shall judge” or plead the cause of the Dead sea are said to be rotten within, and only full his people," and act as one that “ repents himself” of dust. Calmet.
for the evils which He has been obliged in justice to 33. — the poison of dragons,] As the Hebrew word bring upon “his servants :” “when He sees that their signifies any kind of serpent, so it is certain that the power is gone,” so that they cannot help themselves; dragons of Africa and Arabia had in them a deadly and that “there is none shut up or left;" that is, that poison, though those of Greece had not, as Bochart they have neither garrisons nor army left sufficient for observes. The poison of asps is called “cruel,” be- their deliverance. Dr. Wells. cause it is accounted particularly acute, instantly pene 40. For I lift up my hand &c.] In Scripture there trating into the vital parts; whence the proverb, the are two ceremonies mentioned of swearing. One, of biting of asps, for an incurable wound. Those, who are putting the hand under the thigh of him to whom the bitten by an asp, seldom escape with life; as many oath was made, Gen. xxiv. 2, and xlvii. 29. The other naturalists observe. Bp. Patrick.
was by lifting up the hand to heaven, Gen. xiv. 22. It is probable, that by the word, rendered“ dragons" Thus God, condescending to the manner of men, exin this place, it is to be understood, a species of lizard, presses Himself in this place. In allusion to this cuscalled Gekko, extremely venomous and deadly. This tom the Psalmist describes the perjured person, “whose reptile yields in malignity to no serpent whatever : he mouth speaketh vanity, and whose right hand is a right inhabits Cairo, and the country of Egypt, so that he hand of falsehood,” Ps. cxliv. 8. Abp. Tillotson. could not have been unknown to Moses : nor is he con This verse is connected with the two next, and the fined to desert places, but visits houses, and makes his sense of the whole is as follows: “For I lift up my abode in them, so that the people of Israel, to whom hand to heaven, and say, As I live for ever,” (the cere
| Or, Praise his people, ye
and mine hand take hold on judg- your hearts unto all the words which
observe to do, all the words of this
over Jordan to possess it. 43 | Rejoice, O ye nations, with 48 8 And the Lord spake unto Numb. 27. sations: or, his people : for he will avenge the Moses that selfsame day, saying, e Matt. 7. 6. blood of his servants, and will render 49 Get thee up into this mountain
vengeance to his adversaries, and will Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is
against Jericho; and behold the land
all the words of this song in the ears children of Israel for a possession : | Or, Joshua. of the people, he, and ii Hoshea the 50 And die in the mount whither son of Nun.
thou goest up, and be gathered unto 45 And Moses made an end of thy people; as · Aaron thy brother h Numb. 20. speaking all these words to all Israel: died in mount Hor, and was gathered 35: 28. & 33.
46 And he said unto them, 'Set unto his people :
Rom. 15. 10.
f Chap. 6. 6. & 11. 18.
monial and form of the oath,) “If I whet my glittering Such was the extensive range of prophetick vision sword, &c. I will render vengeance to mine enemies, vouchsafed to the great lawgiver of the Jews, comprisand will reward them that hate me. I will make mine ing the whole fortunes of their state, from the first rearrows drunk with blood, &c.” Edit.
demption, after the Egyptian bondage, until the last, on 42. — from the beginning of revenges] That is, from their final return to their own land, after the long-consuch time as I shall begin to take vengeance. Bp. Kid- tinued Roman desolation, which it is the business of der. Instead of the received translation of the last line, the succeeding Prophets under the former dispensation, “ from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy,'
," and of our Lord and his Apostles under the new, until their final completion, in which the rendering of to unfold more explicitly and circumstantially. Dr. the original word by “revenges” is unsupported by any Hales. of the ancient versions, the phrase may be translated It would be endless to quote the various passages in “hairy head :" and by adjusting the order of the lines, the Old Testament, in which the Gentiles are called the whole verse will run thus : “I will make mine upon to glorify God for his mercy. St. Paul in Rom. arrows drunk with blood, with the blood of the slain xv. points out some of the most remarkable; in partiand of the captives ; and my sword shall devour flesh, cular this from Moses. The prophecy of Isaiah is full from the hairy head of the enemy." The literal expres of them; and the Psalmist, in many of his divine sion “ head of locks,” remarkably corresponds to "scalp hymns, no less clearly declares those " glad tidings of of hair,” or “hairy scalp,” in the following parallel pas- great joy which shall be to all people.” Rejoice in the sage: "God shall wound the head of his enemies, and Lord” is the language of the inspired writings throughthe hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his out: " Rejoice in the Lord alway,” says the Apostle ; trespasses,” Ps. lxviii. 21. Dr. Hales.
“and again, I say, rejoice,” Phil. iv. 4. Exhortations 43. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people :] This of this kind, one would think, were needless to those last verse terminates the whole song with the joint exul- who live under the light of the Gospel, and steadfastly tation of the Gentile with the Jewish converts to Chris- believe the promises of God in Christ Jesus.
Can they tianity, arising from the prospect of the approaching who are redeemed from endless death and misery, and judgments of God to be inflicted both upon his adver- made capable of obtaining everlasting life and happiness, saries and the persecutors of his servants. St. Paul want motives or persuasions to rejoice? Can the “light has cited this verse to prove the future conversion of afflictions” of this world, “which are but for a moment,” the Jews and of the Gentiles to Christ, Rom. xv. 10— depress the spirits, or abate the joy, of those who firmly 12, supported by the parallel prophecies of Ps. cxvii. 1; expect "an eternal weight of glory?". Does our graIsa. xi. 1-10.
cious and merciful God require us to be joyful and happy; Theodoret has well paraphrased the last verse : “The and shall we refuse to obey so pleasing a command? Gentiles and the Jews, the people of God, might well Yet, if one might judge from the gloomy and dejected rejoice together : for even among the Jews there were appearance of many Christians, one would imagine that many myriads who believed (early) in Christ, Acts xxi. they thought it their duty to be melancholy, and to make 20, as well as by far the greatest part of the Gentile themselves unhappy. Šo prevalent is the force of suworld. But the heathens were indebted to the Jewish perstition and enthusiasm against the plainest dictates believers for their knowledge, and received the princi- of reason and religion. Waldo. ples and precepts of the Christian religion solely from 30. And die in the mount] It was no small favour, them: for the holy Apostles were Jews. The Prophet that God warned Moses of his end. He that had so therefore, enjoying a clear view of this great period, often apprized Moses of what He meant to do to Israel, exults, "Rejoice, o ye nations, with his people," the would not now do aught to himself, without his knowconverted heathens with the believing Jews.
ledge. Expectation of any important event is a great