a medicine useful in so many diseases was made, as to originate the common word panacea. This is the ginsang of the Chinese. But whatever Pannag was, it must have been as thoroughly associated with Palestine as the wheat of Minnith. This is not the case with the Panax to which one or two interpreters have been led, by the phonetic resemblance of the Hebrew and Latin terms. We must as yet remain satisfied with the information, that it was an article in which the Hebrews traded with the people of Tyre. The most likely supposition is that it was a kind of spice for which the land of Judah was noted.

“Behold the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs,” &c. (xxxi. 3-9.) This passage is one of great

. beauty. The imagery is of the richest kind. His theme is “the glory of Assyria,” and the Lord's ways with “him who had lifted himself up in height.” He was like the giant cedar of Lebanon, whose "fair branches” cast a welcome shadow for the wayfarer, when the sun burned fiercely on his path. He was like the tree planted by the rivers of water. The deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants. That from which he drew strength yielded strength for his children also. “His height was above all the trees :" he stood out as a political power above all other nations. " The fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs :” surrounding tribes sought his protection, and believed themselves safe under his care. But tall as might be the cedars in the garden of God-in the place specially suited for them—they could not hide this one who towered above them all. The fir-tree might stretch out its arm-like and goodly branches, but these were not to be compared with Assyria's commanding influence and protecting power. Yea the plane-tree, noted in these lands for its beauty of form, wide-spreading shade, magnificent trunk, and rich palmate foliage, could serve only as a faint and imperfect emblem of the grandeur, majesty, and attractive lustre of the Assyrian power. “There was no tree in the garden of God like unto him in his beauty." God had “made him fair by the multitude of his branches."

“Cedar," Heb. erez. The species named here is the cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus Libani). See under 1 Kings iv. 33.

“Fir,” Heb. berösh. This tree is again mentioned by Ezekiel (xxvii. 5). See under 1 Kings v. 10.

“ Chestnut,” Heb. armön. That the plane-tree (Platanus orientalis), should be understood here, has already been pointed out.—(Vol. i. 440.)


3 U



REFERENCE was made to the poplar (iv. 13) under Gen. xxx. 37, where two derivatives from the same Hebrew root

The tree whose rods Jacob pilled was the poplar (livneh), and the result of taking off the green bark was to

make the rods white (lāvāhn). This should be kept in mind in every attempt to identify the tree mentioned here. The general natural appearance of the plant was like the branch when the bark was taken off. I refer to this because several interpreters hold that the tree mentioned in Gen. xxx. and in this verse is the storax (Styrax officinale). I have noticed the storax under Gen. xxxvii. 25, where a woodcut is likewise introduced, with the view of indicating that it was little likely, from any outstanding features, to be named with the oak and the elm. The chief ground for holding "storax” the right rendering here is, that in Arabia it is named lobnah, a a word from the same root as livneh. But if a little attention be given to the Scripture references, when the Arabic name held to shed light on them is noticed, little force would be attached to this. Jacob had clearly in view a tree not unlike the pilled rods. He had respect to the wood and the general appearance of the plant. The branching white, or cream-coloured flower-stalk of the storax was as likely to lead the Arab to name it lobnah, as the blossoms of the hawthorn have led to its being often spoken of as white-thorn. Again, the distinctive feature noticed by Hosea is the shade of the tree:-“They burn incense under oaks, and poplars, and elms, because the shadow thereof is good.” The oak (Quercus robur) and the terebinth-tree (Pistacia terebinthus), here rendered elm, but which is the same word as that used by Isaiah (vi. 13), both answer the prophet's description ; but the common storax does not. The livneh may thus be regarded as the white poplar, which is a common tree in Palestine. It is to be found by the way-sides near villages. In the outskirts of towns it is sometimes met with bordering the roads, and a sight not uncommon is the

“Spring and vale

Edged with poplar pale." In every case it is noted for the cool shade it affords in the heat of the

Fig. 157.

day. The poplar is one of the catkin-bearing group of trees (Amentacece), and belongs to a sub-family of the group — the willows (Salicinece). The species best known in Britain are the black, the white, the aspen (P. tremula), and the Lombardy poplar (P. fastigiata). The last named throws little shade. It gathers its branches close around the main stem, and shoots up perpendicularly towards the sky. The aspen bas touched the eye and heart of almost every poet. Chaucer writes :


"And quake as doth the leaf of aspen green." And Spenser speaks of one--

“ Whose hand did quake And tremble like the leaf of aspen greene.'

White Poplar (Populus alba).

The white species is"The poplar, that with silver lines his leaf.” This tree is united by yet another feature with the thoughts of the prophet. He sees it used for purposes of idolatrous worship. So was it among the Gentiles. Hercules is often represented with a garland of white poplar on his head. It was, likewise, the only wood permitted to be burned on the altar of Jupiter at Elis.

It is said of Ephraim-“The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices' (ver. 19). Ephraim was joined to idols, and the Lord left the people to the fruit of their grievous apostasy from him. That fruit was vanity and prevailing unrest-constant changes, as if they were bound up in the cloud driven across the sky by every changing breeze.

Another figure is used (vi. 4) for the inconstancy of Israel and Judah—“O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? 0 Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.” Even while it lasts, it is no more to be reckoned on than the cloud which hangs on the sky at early dawn. To this uncertainty is added the fact of its short-lived nature. “It goeth away as the early dew.” Slight trials as surely bring it to an end as the first acts of radiation after sunshine clear the dew from the


herbage. “Leavened” (vii. 4), see under Prov. x. 26; verses 11, 13,

. see Ps. lv. 6; viii. 7, see 2 Kings xix. 26.

Chapter ix. 1.—Backsliding Israel was taking a joy to which they were not entitled. “Rejoice not,” said the prophet, “ for joy as other people.” Egypt and Assyria were again to spoil them, and the consequent desolation is described in verse 6—“Lo, they are gone because of destruction : Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them;

: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.Nettles," Heb. kimoshsee under Zeph. ii. 9.

“Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images (x. 1). The change was not one of unfruitfulness, but of intense selfishness. The fruits which should have been “unto God” were “consumed on their own lusts” (James iv. 3). Israel was greatly blessed, but it was with them like heaping favours on a naughty child. The evil increased. Self-absorbed, mercies were esteemed only as they gratified the longings of sinful nature.

The influence of the divided heart (ver. 2) told directly for evil, both on the religious profession and on the social life of Israel. Mad upon their idols, they multiplied altars; and, regardless of the claims of truth on man's dealings with man, they were not careful of it in their transactions with one another—“They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant; thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field” (ver. 4). The word rösh, here rendered "hemlock," has been fully considered under her. viii. 14. Its usual meaning is gall, and it may refer to bitter things in general. The meaning in this passage is limited, and requires a specific translation. This has been felt by our translators, who have attached to it the signification given above. The word hemlock occurs only once more in the English Bible—“Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock” (Amos vi. 12). See under Jer. viii. 14. The Hebrew in this passage is laănāh, a word which elsewhere is more correctly rendered “wormwood.” If hemlock is mentioned in Scripture, it is in the verse under notice.

Some of the oldest and most judicious Jewish rabbins are agreed, that the hemlock is the plant named rosh by Hosea. This verse itself leaves little doubt on the subject. The context requires a noxious plant

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