Lo, we heard of it at Ephrathah: we found it in the fields of the woods.
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Augustine of Hippo
5. "Lo, we heard of the same at Ephrata" (ver. 6). What? A place for the Lord. "We heard of it at Ephrata: and found it in the plains of the forests." Did he hear it where he found it? or did he hear it in one place, find it in another? Let us therefore enquire what Ephrata is, where he heard it; let us also enquire what mean the plains of the forests, where he found it. Ephrata, a Hebrew word, is rendered in Latin by Speculum, as the translators of Hebrew words in the Scriptures have handed down to us, that we might understand them. They have translated from Hebrew into Greek, and from Greek we have versions into Latin. For there have been who watched in the Scriptures. If therefore Ephrata meaneth a mirror, that house which was found in the woodland plains, was heard of in a mirror. A mirror hath an image: all prophecy is an image of things future. The future house of God, therefore, was declared in the image of prophecy. "We have found it in the plains of the forests." What are the ...
Heard of it in Ephrata. When I was young, and lived in Bethlehem, otherwise called Ephrata, I heard of God's tabernacle and ark, and had a devout desire of seeking it; and accordingly I found it, at Cariathiarim, the city of the woods: where it was, till it was removed to Jerusalem. See 1 Paralipomenon xiii. (Challoner)
Or it was revealed to David, that the temple should be built in that part of Jerusalem, which looked towards Bethlehem, and is surrounded with woods. All the plan was laid before him, 1 Paralipomenon xxviii. (Worthington)
But it is not probable that Jerusalem should be thus described, and there is no proof that the threshing-floor of Ornan was woody. It seems rather, that the psalmist alludes to the ark, first at Silo, secondly in the country of Ephraim, or the Ephratheans, (Psalm lxxvii. 60, 67., and Judges xii. 5.) for 328 years, and afterwards at Cariathiarim, for other 70. The captives may also recount its different stations, and pray that it may be restored; thou...