Page images




"and (2.) a time to die, according as he had not kept “ what He had commanded him, for he was driven “ from the garden of Eden, and poured forth his “ soul unto death*. (3.) A time to plant:- When “ he knew his wife Eve, they became fruitful, and “ multiplied until they became a great people; " and they were planted in the world in security, “ their houses being safe from fear. (4.) Anda time “ to pluck up that which is planted :-So great was “ the wickedness of man in the earth, and every

imagination of the thoughts of his heart was

only evil all the days, that he rooted them out “ from the world by the waters of the flood.-(5.) A “ time to kill:—When all the earth was one tongue,

they said each one to his neighbour, ‘Come on, “ let us build a city;' and the Lord scattered them “ abroad upon the face of the whole earth, and

they were forgotten as the dead out of mind. “ (6.) And a time to heal:—When Abraham our “ father came, he brought a remedy into the world ; “ for they were sick by the sickness of idolatry as it “ is written ; · And the souls which they had gotten “ in Haranş. (7.) A time to break down :- When “ wicked Esau came, he made a breach in the “ holy seed, and went in the way of the old serpent,

* Is. liii. 12. † Gen. vi. 5. I Ps. xxx. 12 (13).

$ The Jewish commentators make of Gen. xii. 5. The souls that they had regenerated (i.e. converted) in Haran."




“ which made a breach in the world. (8.) A time “ to build up:—When Jacob came to complete

the building of the world by the Twelve Tribes, “ the tribes of Jah*. (9.) A time to weep :-By “ the spies; for it is written, and the people wept in “ that night, and it was instituted to weep for the

generation in the ninth night of Ab. (10.) A time “ to laugh :—When Israel was in Egypt, they made “ them to serve with rigor, but the Lord saw their “affliction and their oppression; the Holy One

(blessed be He!) saw fit to hasten the end, by the merit of the patriarchs; and he said unto them, “• Diminish your name by one letter, then I “ will hasten the end unto your children.' Then “ said Abraham, our father, before him, "Lord of “ the world, how shall I do this, when thou gavest

me the 17, to become the father of many nationsf. “ And should I give it thee back, then should I “ be left as at the first (O7388).' Jacob said, 'If I “ give up yod () of my name, then will remain

apy (deceive).' Isaac said, “ If I should give up yod (), then there would remain priu,

(laughter).' For at first my name was Isaac “ with a ing; to reveal unto us this mystery, it

is so written four times in scripture, as a true

† Gen. xvii. 5.

father of a אברהם means illustrious father , but אברס *

* The Eternal Lord. Ps. cxxii. 4.

, multitude. Gen. xvii. 5.




“ witness, that so was his name on the four wings “ of the earth. And Isaac said before the Holy “One (blessed be He!), · Lord of the universe, take “ from me the in, which contains the number of thy “ name in the alphabet Atbash v"n'x*, and give

me a y instead, and Israel shall be in the captivity “ of Egypt two hundred and ten, with so much as “ [173] the iv is more than the 3, and no more.' “ And so it was for the sake of Isaac, Israel went “ out from Egypt to receive the law, which was “ rejoicing always before himt. (11.) A time to “ mourn:— The angels of peace wept bitterly over “ the destruction of the temple. (12.) A time to “ dance:- When Israel entered the land ; and then “ he mentions the coming out of Egypt after the “ matter of the spies, and the entering into the “ land after the destruction; in order to mention the “ punishment first, and after it the good. For so is “ the manner with Israel according to the blessing

of Isaac, but not according to the blessing of “ Balaam ; but first before the birth of Abraham, “ he saith the good first, viz. the time to be born, “ &c. (13.) A time to cast away stones :- When “ he threw from heaven to the earth, the beauty of

The alphabet Atbash wa ng is that cabalistical spelling according to which the first letter of the usual alphabet retains its place, but the last is put for the second, the second for the third, the last but one for the fourth letter, and so on.

† Prov. viii. 30, 31.




“ Israel*, the stones of the sanctuary were dispersed “ in the streets; then Israel went into captivity.

(14.) A time to gather stones:—The time of Mor“decai and Esther, to go and gather all the Jewst.

(15.) A time to embrace:- In the time of Ezra, “ when they went out from Babylon; for it is said, “• And I gathered them unto the river, &c.'; for so “ is the manner of them that return, that one “ embraces his neighbour. (16.) A time to refrain “ from embracing :- In the time of the kings of the “ house of Chashmonimf, when the kingdom of Greece was strong, and they sentenced evil sentences upon

the daughters of Israel. (17.) A time " to get wisdom :-The time of Hillel the aged, “and Rabbi Akibah, when they asked of the “ Lord to deliver into their hand the guardian “ angel of the law. (18.) A time to lose :- When “ Israel went into the captivity of Edom, then “ was wisdom lost from among them; and to

recompense measure with measure, it is writ

ten, “And I will destroy the wise men from “ Edom.' (19.) A time to keep the Law :- In the

same captivity, when so many destructionsg and so many slaughters passed over Israel in the captivity of Edom, and the law was not forgotten by them. (20.) A time to cast away :- When

they could not stand the trial like the former, * Lam. ii. 1. + Esther iv. 16. Maccabees. § Baptism.




“ under the weight of oppression they cast from “ themselves the yoke of the commandments, and

went out from the communion of the children of “ Israel. (21.) A time to rend:--Those who brought “ destruction tore the law, and translated it in “ divers tongues, and exposed it for schism ; and “ of these is said, “ Look not upon me, because I

am black, because the sun hath looked upon me, my mother's children were angry with me, &c*.' • (22.) A time to sew :- When Onkelos, with many “ others, were converted, he translated the law and “ made a seam against the tearings which the “ wicked had madet. Upon this it is said, “ I am

black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,

as the tents of Kedarf;' that is to say, 'comely “ and fair,' in the translation which is made in the

language of Kedar, whose meaning and comment “ is, · white and clean like the curtains of Solo“ mon.' (23.) A time to keep silence:- In the time “ when wrath is in the world, as it is said, 'Hide

thyself a little moment until the indignation be

overpastş.' (24.) A time to speak:- When a time “ of benevolence is awakened in the world, then “the gates of mercy are opened; and the man

* Cant. i. 6.

† Solomon Molcho means to say here that Onkelos, by his Targum or Chaldee paraphrase, in the vulgar tongue, stopped the progress of heresy and vice. Cant. i. 5, 6.

$ Is. xxvi. 20.

« PreviousContinue »