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Micah 1:8

Micah 1:8

Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked,
&c.] To his shut, putting off his upper garment; the rough one, such as the prophets used to wear; which he did as the greater sign of his mourning: sometimes, in such cases, they rent their garments; at other times they stripped themselves of them, and walked naked, as Isaiah did, ( Isaiah 20:3 Isaiah 20:4 ) ; he went about like a madman, one disturbed in his mind, bereft of his senses, because of the desolation coming upon Israel; and without his clothes, as such persons often do: so the word rendered "stripped" signifies, as the Jewish commentators observe. This lamentation, and with these circumstances, the prophet made in his own person, to show the reality and certainty of their ruin, and to represent to them the desolate condition they would be in, destitute of all good things, and to them with it; as well as to express the sympathy of his heart, and thereby to assure them that it was not out of ill will to them, or a spirit of revenge, that he delivered such a message: or this he did in the person of all the people, showing what they would do, and that this would be their case shortly. So the Targum,

``for this they shall wail and howl, and go naked among the spoilers;''
I will make a wailing like the dragons;
as in their fight with elephants, at which time they make a hideous noise F14; and whose hissings have been very terrible to large bodies of men. Aelianus F15 speaks of a dragon in India, which, when it perceived Alexander's army near at hand, gave such a prodigious hiss and blast, that it greatly frightened and disturbed the whole army: and he relates F16 of another, that was in a valley near Mount Pellenaeus, in the isle of Chios, whose hissing was very terrible to the inhabitants of that place; and Bochart
FOOTNOTES:

F17 conjectures that this their hissing is here referred to; and who observes of the whale, that it has its name from a word in the Hebrew tongue, which signifies to lament; and which word is here used, and is frequently used of large fishes, as whales, sea calves, dolphins which make a great noise and bellowing, as the sea calf; particularly the balaena, which is one kind of a whale, and makes such a large and continued noise, as to be heard at the distance of two miles, as Rondeletius F18 says; and dolphins are said to make a moan and groaning like human creatures, as Pliny F19 and Solinus F20 report: and Peter Gillius relates, from his own experience, that lodging one night in a vessel, in which many dolphins were taken, there were such weeping and mourning, that he could not sleep for them; he thought they deplored their condition with mourning, lamentation, and a large flow of tears, as men do, and therefore could not help pitying their case; and, while the fisherman was asleep, took that which was next him, that seemed to mourn most, and cast it into the sea; but this was of no avail, for the rest increased their mourning more and more, and seemed plainly to desire the like deliverance; so that all the night he was in the midst of the most bitter moaning: wherefore Bochart, who quotes these instances, elsewhere F21 thinks that the prophet compares his mourning with the mourning of these creatures, rather than with the hissing of dragons. Some F23 think crocodiles are here meant; and of them it is reported F24, that when they have eaten the body of a creature, which they do first, and come to the head, they weep over it with tears; hence the proverb of crocodiles tears, for hypocritical ones; but it cannot well be thought, surely, that the prophet would compare his mourning to that of such a creature. The learned Pocock thinks it more reasonable that the "jackals" are meant, called by the Arabians "ebn awi", rather than dragons; a creature of a size between a fox and a wolf, or a dog and a fox, which makes a dreadful howling in the night; by which travellers, unacquainted with it, would think a company of women or children were howling, and goes before the lion as his provider; and mourning as the owls;
or "daughters of the owl" F25; which is a night bird, and makes a very frightful noise, especially the screech owl. The Targum interprets it of the ostrich F26; and it may be meant either of the mourning it makes when its young are about to be taken away, and it exposes itself to danger on their account, and perishes in the attempt. Aelianus F1 reports that they are taken by sharp iron spikes fixed about their nest, when they are returning to their young, after having been in quest of food for them; and, though they see the shining iron, yet such is their vehement desire after their young, that they spread their wings like sails, and with great swiftness and noise rush into the nest, where they are transfixed with the spikes, and die: and not only Vatablus observes, that these creatures have a very mournful voice; but Bochart F2 has shown, from the Arabic writers, that they frequently cry and howl; and from John de Laet, who affirms that those in the parts about Brazil cry so loud as to be heard half a mile; and indeed they have their name from crying and howling. The Targum renders it by a word which signifies pleasant; and so Onkelos on ( Leviticus 11:16 ) , by an antiphrasis, because its voice is so very unpleasant. Or, since the words may be rendered, "the daughters of the ostrich" {c}, it may be understood of the mourning of its young, when left by her, when they make a hideous noise and miserable moan, as some observe {d}.
F14 Aelian. de Animal. l. 6. c. 22. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 11.
F15 Ib. l. 15. c. 21.
F16 Ib. l. 16. c. 39.
F17 Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 3. c. 14. col. 437.
F18 Apud Bochart. ib. par. 1. l. 1. c. 7. col. 47.
F19 Nat. Hist. l. 9. c. 9.
F20 Polyhistor. c. 22.
F21 Ut supra, (Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 3. c. 14.) col. 48.
F23 Ludolphus apud Burkium in loc.
F24 Vid. Frantzii Hist. Animal. Sacr. par. 1. c. 26. sect. 2.
F25 (hney twnbk) "ut filiae ululae", Piscator, Burkius; "instar filiarum. ululae", Cocceius. So Montanus.
F26 So the Vulgate Latin, Munster, Pagninus, Drusius, Bochartus, and others.
F1 De Animal. l. 14. c. 7.
F2 Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 2. c. 14. col. c. 228.
F3 "Filiarum struthionis", Pagninus; "juvenes struthiones", Tigurine version.
F4 Vid. Frantz. Hist. Animal. Sacr. par. 2. c. 2. p. 339, 342.
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