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driving to and fro and insidious snaring of his fellow-creatures. The phrase translated in our version “before the Lord” is explained by the commentators in two ways—as meaning either “in opposition to or in despite of God,” or “in subordination to God;" and Milton (lines 34, 35) gives the choice of these two explanations-making Nimrod either usurp his sovereignty in spite of Heaven, or claim it jure divino, as God's vice-gerent. There are various etymologies of the name Nimrod; but the one which Milton adopts derives the name from a Hebrew word marad, signifying to rebel. Observe, as characteristic, the use made of this etymology. Kings and tyrants are always accusing their sub. jects of “rebellion," although the very first of their own order had a name which signified that he was “the rebel” par excellence.—Recent commentators on Gen. x. 8-10 deny that the passage neces
essarily implies the character attributed to Nimrod by the traditional interpretation ; and they find no authority in the Bible for connecting Nimrod with the building of the Tower of Babel.
40--62. "Marching from Eden," &c. Gen. xi. 2-9.
42. “the mouth of Hell" : not the Hell of the rest of the poem, but the Hell of the ordinary mythology-Tartarus under the Earth.
56-59. “ Forthwith a hideous gabble," &c. The following is the description of the Confusion of Tongues in Sylvester's Du Bartas :
“ This said, as soon confusedly did bound
Through all the work I wot not what strange sound-
Make fast this rope,' and then they let it flee :
Thus crossly-crost they prate and point in vain,” &c. 69–71. man over men he made not lord," &c.
Hume compares a passage in St. Augustine's De Civ. Dei, where it is said of God's having made man in his own image, noluit nisi irrationalibus dominari, non hominem homini, sed hominem pecori.”
85. “dividual” : divided, separate. See note, VII. 382; also note, IV. 486.
95, 96. " tyranny must be, though," &c. Matt. xviii. 7. (Todd.)
97—101. Yet sometimes," &c. Todd quotes from Milton's History of England (Book V.) the same idea : “ But, when God hath decreed servitude on a sinful nation, fitted by their own vices for no condition but servile, all Estates of the Government are alike unable to prevent it.” 101–104. “witness the irreverent son," &c.
Gen. ix. 22--25. Michael assumes that the story of Ham is known to Adam, though, as Thyer noted, there is no mention of it as having been as yet told him.
106-108. "till God," &c. Isaiah xliii. 24, Hos. v. 6. (Dunster.)
115. “Bred up in idol-worship." As Abraham's father Terah is mentioned, Josh. xxiv. 2, as having “served other gods,” it is assumed that Abraham was bred up in a false religion.
117--120. “While yet the patriarch lived who," &c. Noah, according to the Biblical chronology, survived the Flood 350 years, while Terah, Abraham's father, was born 222 years after that event. Bishop Newton says that, according to Jewish tradition, Terah, and his father Nachor, and his father Serug, were "statuaries and carvers of idols.” 120-126. “voutsafes to call by vision,” &c. Gen. xii. 1
3; but see also Acts vii. 2, 3. (Hume.)
127. “ Not knowing," &c. Heb. xi. 8. (Newton.)
130—137. “Ur of Chaldæa,” &c. Milton here traces Abraham's route from his native Chaldæa (between the Euphrates and the Tigris) into Palestine. First, leaving Ur (now Orfah, once Edessa) in Chaldæa, he sees him crossing the Euphrates at a ford, with all his wealth and retinue (his father Terah among them, as we learn from Gen. xi. 31; where indeed Terah is represented as heading the expedition), and arriving in Haran in Mesopotamia. There, hardly allowing time for that stay in Haran during which Terah died (Gen. xi. 32, and Acts vii. 4), he follows Abraham in the continuation of his journey westward till he reaches Canaan, and settles first about Sichem in the plain of Moreh, near the centre of the land (Gen. xii. 4–6).
137, 138. “ There, by promise," &c. Gen. xii. 7. 139–146.
“ From Hamath,” &c. A poetical survey of the extent of the Holy Land, according to these texts—Numb. xxxiv. 3—12, Deut. iii. 8, 9. Hamath is a town in northern Galilee; the Desert is the desert of Zin, bordering Palestine on the south ; Hermon is the range of moun: tains of that name to the east of upper Jordan ; the great western Sca is the Mediterranean; Mount Carmel is on the Mediterranean coast; Jordan is called “the double-founted stream as being formed by the junction of two streams in the extreme north of Palestine ; Senir is properly another name for Mont Hermon (Deut. iii. 9), but seems to be used by Milton for some range, also east of Jordan, but stretching farther to the south.
152. “ faithful Abrahan:" Gen. xvii. 5; but the exact phrase, as Mr. Keightley points out, is from Gal. iii. 9.
173, 174. “ who denies,” &c. Exod. v. 2.
180. “ emboss”: cover with lumps or swellings (Fr. bosse, a lump, or swelling). Shakespeare, as Todd noted, has the phrase "an embossed carbuncle” (Lear, 11. 4).
190, 191. “the river-dragon." So in the Second Edition, but this in the First. Hume noted that the authority for the phrase, as a name for Pharaoh, is Ezek. xxix. 3.
207. “ Darkness defends between ":1.6. intervening darkness forbids. 208-210. “ Then through," &c. Exod. xiv. 24. 210. “ crase," break (Fr. accraser, to break, bruise, crush). 217. “Lest, entering," &c. Exod. xiii. 17, 18.
220—222. " for life,” &c. The meaning is : “For life is more cared for by those who are not trained to military exercises, whether they are constitutionally noble or ignoble, than by those who are so trainedexcept in those cases where mere rashness may lead untrained men to risk their lives."
227. “whose grey top," as covered with clouds and smoke. Exod. xix. 16-18.
238. “he grants what they besought.” So in the Second Edition, but in the First “he grants them their desire."
242—244. “ Of whose day he shall foretell,” &c. Acts iïi. 22-24.
350. “of cedar." Mr. Keightley notes this as an error—the sanctuary being of shittim-wood or acacia.
255. “as in a sodiac," &c. That the seven lamps had this astronomical significance is, as Newton noted, an idea of Josephus.
256—260.“ Over the tent,” &c. Exod. xi. 34 et seq.
283-306. “ So many laws argue," &c. On the question here propounded by Adam, and on Michael's reply, Bishop Newton remarks, “ The scruple of our first Father, and the reply of the Angel, are grounded upon St. Paul's Epistles, and particularly those to the Ephesians, Galatians, and Hebreios. Compare the following texts with the poet—Gal. iii. 19; Rom. vii. 7-8; Rom. ii. 20; Heb. ix. 13-14; Heb. x. 4-5; Rom. iv. 22-24; Rom. v. 1; Heb. vii. 18-19; Heb. x. 1 ; Gal. iii. 11, 12, 23; Gal. iv. 7; Rom. viii. 15. Milton has here, in a few verses,
admirably summed up the sense and argument of these and more texts of Scripture.” Most of the texts had been traced by Hume.
310. "But Foshua, whom the Gentiles Fesus call.” Jesus is used as the Greek equivalent to Joshua in the Septuagint, and also in Acts vii. 15, and Heb. iv. 8. Joshua, Jeshua, Jehoshua, Hoshea, Oshea, and Jesus, are, in fact, but various forms of the same word, meaning either “whose help is Jehovah” or “God the Saviour."
322—330. “a promise shall receive," &c. 2 Sam. vii. 16; Psalm lxxxix. 34-36; Isaiah xi. 10; Luke i. 32, 33. (Hume.)
338. “ Heaped to the popular sum”: i.e. added to the aggregate of the sins of the whole people.
348–350. “Returned from Babylon," &c. B.C. 536. The "Kings' meant are Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes. See the Book of Ezra.
353-358. But first among the priests,” &c. The events of later Jewish history here referred to are—the contest for the high-priesthood between Jason and Menelaus, in consequence of which Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria, came to Jerusalem, plundered and polluted the Temple, and put the Maccabees to death (B.C. 173); the union of the kingly power with the high-priesthood in the person of Aristobulus, eldest son of the high-priest John Hyrcanus (B.C. 107); and, finally, the abolition of this native dynasty by Pompey (B.C. 61), who appointed Antipater, the Idumaan, to the government. Antipater's son, Herod, became King of Judæa, B.C. 38, in whose reign Christ was born.
366-367. “They gladly thither haste," &c. Milton, as Dunster observed, has here deviated from the exact Scriptural account ; which is that the carol of angels was heard by the shepherds in the fields, and before they set out for Bethlehem (Luke ii. 8—18).
374. " which these;" a very peculiar construction. 393
recure": i.e. recover, heal again. The word, though now obsolete, was
It occurs in Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakespeare.
394. "his works," &c. 1 John iii. 8. (Hume.) 401. "appaid," paid, satisfied—a word used by Chaucer and Spenser.
402-435. “ The Law of God," &c. Among the texts recollected in these thirty-four lines Hume pointed out these-Rom. xiii. 10; Gal. ii. 16 and iii. 13; Col. ii. 14; Matt. xxviii. 1. Gillies added Rom. vi. 9.
409-410. “his merits to save them," &c. The construction is “who shall believe his merits to save them,” &c.
436—465. “ Nor after resurrection," &c. Among the texts recollected or cited in these thirty lines are—Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; Rom. iv. 16 ; Col.
ii. 15; Rev. xx. 2 ; Luke xxiv. 26 ; Eph. i. 20—21 and iv. 8 ; Luke
Most of them were pointed out by Hume. 442. “Baptising in the proflucnt stream." Mr. Keightly notes that it was Milton's opinion, expressed in his Treatise on Christian Doctrine, that baptism ought to be by immersion in running water.
486-497. “Be sure," &c. Texts recollected in these lines areJohn xv. 26; Luke xxiv. 49; Gal. v. 6; John xvi. 13 ; Eph. vi. 11-16; Psalm lvi. II. Hume pointed out three of them; Newton and Keightley the others.
508-530.“ Wolves shall succeed," &c. There are references in these lines to the following texts. Acts xx. 29 ; 1 Pet. v. 2–3; 1 Cor. ii. 14 ; Jer. xxxi. 33 ; 2 Cor. iii. 16, 17. The whole passage is interesting as a summary of those opinions of Milton, as to the state of the Church from the Apostolic time downwards, which he had expressed more at large in some of his prose-pamphlets.
522-524. "lave's which," &c. The meaning is “laws which none shall find either in Scripture or to be such as accord with what the Spirit tells the heart to be true.”
537-551. “ So shall the world,” &c. Rom. viii. 22, Acts iii. 19, Matt. xxiv. 30, and xvi. 27, 2 Thess. i. 7, 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13.
540. "respiration": an equivalent to the word avdivers, translated "refreshing” in our version, Acts iii. 19. In one Latin version the word respiratio is used.
552. “last”: i.e. for the last time,
561----568. “ Henceforth I learn," &c. 1 Sam. xv. 22; 1 Peter v. 7; Psalm cxlv. 9 ; Rom. xii. 21; 1 Cor. i. 27.
581—585. "only add,” &c. 2 Peter i. 5-7; 1 Cor. xiii. 2 and 13. (Hume.)
588-589. "top of speculation": both literally and metaphorically, literally, as they were on a mountain-top, whence they could watch or look far around; and, metaphorically, as they had just attained the highest point of philosophy or speculative wisdom.
608. "found her wakal": not quite consistent with the phrase in the Argument prefixed to the Book -“wakens Eve."
611. “ For God is also in sleep,” &c. Numb. xii. 6 (Hume); and Newton quotes Homer, Iliad, 1. 63.
και γάρ τ' όναρ έκ Διός έστιν. . 615. “ In me is no delay.” Bishop Newton quotes Virg. Ed. 11. 52 : “In me mora non erit ulla.”
630. “marish”: the old form of “marsh,” used down to Milton's time, and found, as Keightley notes, in the English Bible (Ezek. xlvii. 11).