Christian Biblical Reflections.44

                7. Keil.

06.p2.BibCommOT.v24.TwelveMinorProphets.v1.Keil.Delitzsch.Tr

06.p3.BibCommOT.v25.TwelveMinorProphets.v2.Keil.Delitzsch.Tr

The Twelve Minor Prophets by Keil, Carl Friedrich, 1807-1888; Martin, James. T&T Clark. 1878.

Commentary  Old Testament in Ten Vols by C. F. Keil &  F. Delitzsch This is Vol. X Minor Prophets. Still in Print to this date. Clarke’s Foreign Theological Library. Keil-Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament.

                Contents.

                Introduction to Twelve (12) Minor Prophets:  Exposition:

                HOSEA. Introduction, Exposition:

                I. Israel’s Adultery (Chap. 1-3).

Israel Adulteress, & her Children (Chap. 1:2-2:3).  Chastisement of idolatrous Israel,& its Conversion & final Restoration (Chap. 2:2-23).  Adulteress & her fresh Marriage (Chap. 3).

                II. Ungodliness of Israel: its Punishment & final Deliverance (Chap. 4-14).

       1. Depravity of Israel, & its Exposure to Punishment (Chap. 4-6:3).  Sins of Israel & Visitation of God (Chap. 4).   Judgment (Chap. 5-6:3).

       2. Ripeness of Israel for Judgment of Destruction (Chap. 6:4-11:11).  Incurableness of Corruption (Chap. 6:4-7:16).  Judgment consequent upon Apostasy (Chap. 8-9:9).   Degeneracy of Israel, & Ruin of its Kingdom (Chap. 9:10-11:11).

       3. Israel’s Apostasy & God’s Fidelity (Chap. 12:14). Israel’s Degeneracy into Canaanitish Ways (Chap. 12). Israel’s deep Fall (Chap. 13-14:1).  Israel’s Conversion & Pardon (Chap. 14).

                JOEL. Introduction, Exposition:

                I. Judgment of God, &  Prophet’s Call to Repentance (Chap. 1:2-2:17).  Lamentation over Devastation of Judah by Locusts & Drought (Chap. 1).   Summons to Penitential Prayer for & Removal of &  Judgment (Chap. 2:1-17).

                II. Promise of God to avert  Judgment, and bestow an abundant Blessing (Chap. 2:18-3:21).

Destruction of Army of Locusts, & Renewal of  spiritual & earthly Blessings (Chap. 2:18-27). Outpouring of  Spirit of God upon all Flesh; Judgment upon World of Nations, & Eternal Deliverance & Glorification of  People of God (Chap. 2:28-3:21).

                AMOS.  Introduction, Exposition:

                I. Approaching Judgment (Chap. 1 and 2),

                II. Prophecies concerning Israel (Chap. 3-6).  Announcement of Judgment (Chap. 3).

Impenitence of Israel (Chap. 4).  Overthrow of Kingdom of Ten (10) Tribes (Chap. 5 and 6).

                III. Sights or Visions. Visions of Locusts, Fire, & Plumb-Line.  Prophet’s Experience at Bethel (Chap. 7).  Ripeness of Israel for Judgment (Chap. 8). Destruction of Sinful Kingdom, & Establishment of new Kingdom of God (Chap. 9).

                OBADIAH.  Introduction, Exposition:

Judgment upon Edom, and  Establishment of  Kingdom of God upon Zion.

                JONAH.  Introduction, Exposition:

Mission of Jonah to Nineveh —his Flight and Punishment (Chap. 1).  Jonah’s Deliverance (Chap. 1:17-4:10).  Jonah’s Preaching in Nineveh (Chap. 3).  Jonah’s Discontent & Correction (Chap. 4).

                MICAH.  Introduction, Exposition:

                I. Israel’s Banishment into Exile & Restoration (Chap. 1 & 2).  Judgment upon Samaria & Judah (Chap. 1).  Guilt & Punishment of Israel —its Future Restoration (Chap. 2).

                II. Zion’s deepest Degradation & highest Exaltation (Chap. 3-5).  Sins of Leaders of Nation, & Destruction of Jerusalem (Chap. 3). Glorification of House of the Lord, & Restoration of Dominion of Zion (Chap. 4).  Birth of Ruler in Israel, & His peaceful Rule (Chap. 5:2-15).

                III. Way to Salvation (Chap. 6 & 7). Exhortation to Repentance, & Divine Threatening (Chap. 6).  Church’s Penitential Prayer, & Divine Promise (Chap. 7).

                NAHUM:  Introduction, Exposition:

Judgment upon Nineveh decreed by God (Chap. 1).  Conquest, Plundering, & Destruction of Nineveh (Chap. 1-2:13). Nineveh s Sins and inevitable Destruction (Chap. 2).

                HABAKKUK.  Introduction, Exposition:

Judgment upon Wicked (Chap. 1 & 2).  Chastisement of Judah through  Chaldaeans (Chap. 1).  Destruction of  Ungodly World-Power (Chap. 2).  Prayer for Compassion in Midst of Judgment (Chap. 3).

                ZEPHANIAH.  Introduction, Exposition:

Judgment upon all World, & upon Judah in particular (Chap. 1).  Exhortation to Repentance in View of Judgment (Chap. 2:1-3:8).  Promise of Conversion of Nations & Glorification of Israel (Chap. 3:9-20).

                HAGGAI.  Introduction, Exposition:

Admonition to Build Temple, & its Result (Chap. 1). Glory of New Temple, & Blessings of New Era (Chap. 2).

                ZECHARIAH.  Introduction, Exposition:

Introductory Admonition (Chap. 1:1-6).

                I. Night-Visions (Chap. 1:7-6:15).

First Vision:  Rider among Myrtles (Chap. 1:8-17).

Second Vision: Four Horns & Four Smiths (Chap. 1:18-21).

Third Vision:  Man with Measuring Line (Chap. 2).

Fourth Vision: High Priest Joshua in  presence of Angel of the Lord (Chap. 3).

Fifth Vision: Candlestick with Two Olive Trees (Chap. 4).

Sixth Vision: Flying Roll, & Woman in Ephah (Chap. 5).

Seventh Vision:  Four Chariots (Chap. 6:1-8).

Crown upon Joshua’s Head (Chap. 6:9-15).

                II. Answer to Question concerning Fasting (Chap. 7 & 8).

Fast-Days of Israel, & Obedience to Word of God (Chap. 7).

Renewal & Completion of Covenant of Grace (Chap. 8).

                III. Future of World-Powers, & of Kingdom of God (Chap. 9-14).

Fall of Heathen World, & Deliverance & Glorification of Zion (Chap. 9 & 10).

Israel under Good Shepherd & Foolish One (Chap. 11).  Israel s Conflict & Victory, Conversion & Sanctification (Chap. 12:1-13:6).  Judgment of Refinement for Israel, &  Glorious End of Jerusalem (Chap. 13:7-14:21).

                MALACHI. Introduction, Exposition:

God s Love, & Contempt of His Name (Chap. 1:1-2:9). Condemnation of Marriages with Heathen Women & of Divorces (Chap. 2:10-16).  Day of the Lord (Chap. 2:17-4:6).

                Introduction to Twelve (12) Minor Prophets:

                In our editions of the Hebrew Bible, the book of Ezekiel is followed by the book of the Twelve (12) Prophets (tōn dōdeka prophētōn, Sir. 49:10; called (sheneym `asar) by the Rabbins; Chaldee, e.g., in the Masora, (thereysar = terey `asar)), who have been called from time immemorial the smaller prophets (qetannim, minores) on account of the smaller bulk of such of their prophecies as have come down to us in a written form, when contrasted with the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. (* Augustine (De civit. Dei, xviii. 29) observes: “Qui propterea dicuntur minores, quia sermones eorum sunt breves in eorum comparatione, qui majores ideo vocantur, quia prolixa volumina condiderunt.” [“The prophecy of Isaiah is not in the book of the twelve prophets, who are called the minor from the brevity of their writings, as compared with those who are called the greater prophets because they published larger volumes. Isaiah belongs to the latter, yet I connect him with the two above named, because he prophesied at the same time.”] Compare with this the notice from b. Bathra 14b, in Delitzsch on Isaiah, vol. i. p. 25, translation.] On the completion of the canon these twelve (12) writings were put together, so as to form one prophetic book. This was done “lest one or other of them should be lost on account of its size, if they were all kept separate,” as Kimchi observes in his Praef. Comm. in Ps., according to a rabbinical tradition. They were also reckoned as one book, (mono-biblos, to dōdeka-prophētōn) (see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung in d. A. T. § 156 and 216, Anm. 10ff.). Their authors lived and laboured as prophets at different periods, ranging from the ninth (9th) century B.C. to the fifth (5th); so that in these prophetic books we have not only the earliest and latest of the prophetic testimonies concerning the future history of Israel and of the kingdom of God, but the progressive development of this testimony. When taken, therefore, in connection with the writings of the greater prophets, they comprehend all the essentials of that prophetic word, through which the Lord equipped His people for the coming times of conflict with the nations of the world, endowing them thus with the light and power of His Spirit, and causing His servants to foretell, as a warning to the ungodly, the destruction of the two sinful kingdoms, and the dispersion of the rebellious people among the heathen, and, as a consolation to believers, the deliverance and preservation of a holy seed, and the eventual triumph of His kingdom over every hostile power.

                In the arrangement of the twelve (12), the chronological principle has so far determined the order in which they occur, that the prophets of the pre-Assyrian and Assyrian times (Hosea to Nahum) are placed first (1st), as being the earliest; then follow (2nd) those of the Chaldean period (Habakkuk and Zephaniah); and lastly (3rd), the series is closed by the three (3) prophets after the captivity (Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi), arranged in the order in which they appeared.     (* Compare Delitzsch on Isaiah, p. 16.*) Within the first (1st) of these three (3) groups, however, the chronological order is not strictly preserved, but is outweighed by the nature of the contents. The statement made by Jerome concerning the arrangement of the twelve prophets –namely, that “the prophets, in whose books the time is not indicated in the title, prophesied under the same kings as the prophets, whose books precede theirs with the date of composition inserted” (Praef. in 12 Proph.) –does not rest “upon a good traditional basis,” but is a mere conjecture, and is proved to be erroneous by the fact that Malachi did not prophesy in the time of Darius Hystaspes, as his two (2) predecessors are said to have done. And there are others also, of whom it can be shown, that the position they occupy is not chronologically correct. Joel and Obadiah did not first begin to prophesy under Uzziah of Judah and Jeroboam II of Israel, but commenced their labours before that time; and Obadiah prophesied before Joel, as is obvious from the fact that Joel (in Joel 2:32) introduces into his announcement of salvation the words used by Obadiah in 1:17, “and in Mount Zion shall be deliverance,” and does so with what is equivalent to a direct citation, viz., the expression “as the Lord hath said.” Hosea, again, would stand after Amos, and not before him, if a strictly chronological order were observed; for although, according to the headings to their books, they both prophesied under Uzziah and Jeroboam II, Hosea continued prophesying down to the times of Hezekiah, so that in any case he prophesied for a long time after Amos, who commenced his work earlier than he. The plan adopted in arranging the earliest of the minor prophets seems rather to have been the following: Hosea was placed at the head of the collection, as being the most comprehensive, just as, in the collection of Pauline epistles, that to the Romans is put first on account of its wider scope. Then followed the prophecies which had no date given in the heading; and these were so arranged, that a prophet of the kingdom of Israel was always paired with one of the kingdom of Judah, viz., Joel with Hosea, Obadiah with Amos, Jonah with Micah, and Nahum the Galilean with Habakkuk the Levite. Other considerations also operated in individual cases. Thus Joel was paired with Hosea, on account of its greater scope; Obadiah with Amos, as being the smaller, or rather smallest book; and Joel was placed before Amos, because the latter commences his book with a quotation from Joe. 3:16, “Jehovah will roar out of Zion,” etc. Another circumstance may also have led to the pairing of Obadiah with Amos, viz., that Obadiah’s prophecy might be regarded as an expansion of Amo. 9:12, “that they may possess the remnant of Edom.” Obadiah was followed by Jonah before Micha, not only because Jonah had lived in the reign of Jeroboam II, the contemporary of Amaziah and Uzziah, whereas Micah did not appear till the reign of Jotham, but possibly also because Obadiah begins with the words, “We have heard tidings from Judah, and a messenger is sent among the nations;” and Jonah was such a messenger (Delitzsch). In the case of the prophets of the second  (2nd) and third (3rd) periods, the chronological order was well known to the collectors, ad consequently this alone determined the arrangement. It is true that, in the headings to Nahum and Habakkuk, the date of composition is not mentioned; but it was evident from the nature of their prophecies, that Nahum, who predicted the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, must have lived, or at any rate have laboured, before Habakkuk, who prophesied concerning the Chaldean invasion. And lastly, when we come to the prophets after the captivity, in the case of Haggai and Zechariah, the date of their appearance is indicated not only by the year, but by the month as well; and with regard to Malachi, the collectors knew well that he was the latest of all the prophets, from the fact that the collection was completed, if not in his lifetime and with his co-operation, at all events very shortly after his death.

                The following is the correct chronological order, so far as it can be gathered with tolerable certainty from the contents of the different writings, and the relation in which they stand to one another, even in the case of those prophets the headings to whose books do not indicate the date of composition:

1. Obadiah: in  Reign of Joram king of Judah:  (889–884 B.C.).

2. Joel: in Reign of Joash king of Judah:  (875–848 B.C.).

3. Jonah: in Reign of Jeroboam II of Israel:  (824–783 B.C.).

4. Amos: in Reign of Jeroboam II of Israel:  (810–783 B.C.) & Uzziah of Judah.

5. Hosea: in Reign of Jeroboam II of Israel:  790–725 B.C. & from Uzziah to Hezekiah of Judah.

6. Micah: in Reign of Jotham, Ahaz:  (758–710 B.C.) & Hezekiah of Judah.

7. Nahum: in 2nd Half of Reign of Hezekiah: (710–699 B.C.).

8. Habakkuk: in Reign of Manasseh or Josiah:  (650–628 B.C.).

9. Zephaniah: in Reign of Josiah:  (628–623 B.C.).

10. Haggai: in 2nd Year of Darius Hystaspes:  viz. (519 B.C.). 

11. Zechariah: in Reign of Darius Hystaspes:  from (519 B.C.).

12. Malachi: in Reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus:  (433–424 B.C.).

                Consequently the literature of the propehtic writings does not date, first of all, from the time when Assyria rose into an imperial power, and assumed a threatening aspect towards Israel, i.e., under Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, and Uzziah king of Judah, or about 800 B.C., as is commonly supposed, but about ninety (90) years earlier, under the two (2) Jorams of Judah and Israel, while Elisha was still living in the kingdom of the ten (10) tribes. But even in that case the growth of the prophetic literature is intimately connected with the development of the theocracy. The reign of Joram the son of Jehoshaphat was one of eventful importance to the kingdom of Judah, which formed the stem and kernel of the Old Testament kingdom of God from the time that the ten (10) tribes fell away from the house of David, and possessed in the temple of Jerusalem, which the Lord Himself had sanctified as the dwelling-place of His name, and also in the royal house of David, to which He had promised an everlasting existence, positive pledges not only of its own preservation, but also of the fulfilment of the divine promises which had been made to Israel. Joram had taken as his wife Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab and of Jezebel the fanatical worshipper of Baal; and through this marriage he transplanted into Judah the godlessness and profligacy of the dynasty of Ahab. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab did. He slew his brethren with the sword, and drew away Jerusalem and Judah to idolatry (2nd Ki. 8:18, 19; 2nd Ch. 21:4-7, 11). After his death, and that of his son Ahaziah, his wife Athaliah seized upon the government, and destroyed all the royal seed, with the exception of Joash, a child of one year old, who was concealed in the bed-chambers by the sister of Ahaziah, who was married to Jehoiada the high priest, and so escaped. Thus the divinely chosen royal house was in great danger of being exterminated, had not the Lord preserved to it an offshoot, for the sake of the promise given to His servant David (2nd Ki. 11:1-3; 2nd Ch. 22:10-12). Their sins were followed by immediate punishment. In the reign of Joram, not only did Edom revolt from Judah, and that with such success, that it could never be brought into subjection again, but Jehovah also stirred up the spirit of the Philistines and Petraean Arabians, so that they forced their way into Jerusalem, and carried off the treasures of the palace, as well as the wives and sons of the king, with the exception of Ahaziah, the youngest son (2nd Ki. 8:20-22; 2nd Ch. 21:8-10, 16, 17). Joram himself was very soon afflicted with a painful and revolting disease (2nd Ch. 21:18, 19); his son Ahaziah was slain by Jehu, after a reign of rather less than a year, together with his brethren (relations) and some of the rulers of Judah; and his wife Athaliah was dethroned and slain after a reign of six (6) years (2nd Ki. 9:27-29; 11:13ff.; 2nd Chron. 22:8, 9; 23:12ff.). With the extermination of the house of Ahab in Israel, and its offshoots in Judah, the open worship of Baal was suppressed in both kingdoms; and thus the onward course of the increasing religious and moral corruption was arrested. But the evil was not radically cured. Even Jehoiada, who had been rescued by the high priest and set upon the throne, yielded to the entreaties of the rulers in Judah, after the death of his deliverer, tutor, and mentor, and not only restored idolatry in Jerusalem, but allowed them to stone to death the prophet Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, who condemned this apostasy from the Lord (2nd Ch. 24:17-22). Amaziah, his son and successor, having defeated the Edomites in the Salt valley, brought the gods of that nation to Jerusalem, and set them up to be worshipped (2nd Ch. 25:14). Conspiracies were organized against both these kings, so that they both fell by the hands of assassins (2nd Ki. 12:21; 14:19; 2nd Ch. 24:25, 26; 25:27). The next two kings of Judah, viz., Uzziah and Jotham, did indeed abstain from such gross idolatry and sustain the temple worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem; and they also succeeded in raising the kingdom to a position of great earthly power, through the organization of a powerful army, and the erection of fortifications in Jerusalem and Judah. But the internal apostasy of the people from the Lord and His law increased even in their reigns, so that under Ahaz the torrent of corruption broke through every dam; idolatry prevailed throughout the entire kingdom, even making its way into the courts of the temple; and wickedness reached a height unknown before (2nd Ki. 16; 2nd Ch. 28). Whilst, therefore, on the one hand, the godless reign of Joram laid the foundation for the internal decay of the kingdom of Judah, and his own sins and those of his wife Athaliah were omens of the religious and moral dissolution of the nation, which was arrested for a time, however, by the grace and faithfulness of the covenant God, but which burst forth in the time of Ahaz with terrible force, bringing the kingdom even then to the verge of destruction, and eventually reached the fullest height under Manasseh, so that the Lord could no longer refrain from pronouncing upon the people of His possession the judgment of rejection (2nd Ki. 21:10-16); on the other hand, the punishment inflicted upon Judah for Joram’s sins, in the revolt of the Edomites, and the plundering of Jerusalem by Philistines and Arabians, were preludes of the rising up of the world of nations above and against the kingdom of God, in order, if possible, to destroy it. We may see clearly of what eventful importance the revolt of Edom was to the kingdom of Judah, from the remark made by the sacred historian, that Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah “unto this day” (2nd Ki. 8:22; 2Ch. 21:10), i.e., until the dissolution of the kingdom of Judah, for the victories of Amaziah and Uzziah over the Edomites did not lead to their subjugation; and still more clearly from the description contained in Obad. 1:10- 14, of the hostile acts of the Edomites towards Judah on the occasion of the taking of Jerusalem by the Philistines and Arabians; from which it is evident, that they were not satisfied with having thrown off the hateful yoke of Judah, but proceeded, in their malignant pride, to attempt the destruction of the people of God.

                In the kingdom of the ten tribes also, Jehu had rooted out the worship of Baal, but had not departed from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Therefore even in his reign the Lord “began to cut off from Israel” and Hazael the Syrian smote it in all its coasts. At the prayer of Jehoahaz, his son and successor, God had compassion once more upon the tribes of this kingdom, and sent them deliverers in the two kings Joash and Jeroboam II., so that they escaped from the hands of the Syrians, and Jeroboam was able to restore the ancient boundaries of the kingdom (2Ki. 10:28-33; 13:3-5, 23-25; 14:25). Nevertheless, as this fresh display of grace did not bear the fruits of repentance and return to the Lord, the judgments of God burst upon the sinful kingdom after the death of Jeroboam, and hurried it on to destruction.

                In this eventful significance of the reign of Joram king of Judah, who was related to the house of Ahab and walked in his ways, with reference to the Israelitish kingdom of God, we may doubtless discover the foundation for the change which occurred from that time forward in the development of prophecy: –namely, that the Lord now began to raise up prophets in the midst of His people, who discerned in the present the germs of the future, and by setting forth in this light the events of their own time, impressed them upon the hearts of their countrymen both in writing and by word of mouth. The difference between the prophetae priores, whose sayings and doings are recorded in the historical books, and the prophetae posteriores, who composed prophetic writings of their own, consisted, therefore, not so much in the fact that the former were prophets of “irresistible actions,” and the latter prophets of “convincing words” (Delitzsch), as in the fact that the earlier prophets maintained the right of the Lord before the people and their civil rulers both by word and deed, and thereby exerted an immediate influence upon the development of the kingdom of God in their own time; whereas the later prophets seized upon the circumstances and relations of their own times in the light of the divine plan of salvation as a whole, and whilst proclaiming both the judgments of God, whether nearer or more remote, and the future salvation, predicted the onward progress of the kingdom of God in conflict with the powers of the world, and through these predictions prepared the way for the revelation of the glory of the Lord in His kingdom, or the coming of the Saviour to establish a kingdom of righteousness and peace. This distinction has also been recognised by G.F. Oehler, who discovers the reason for the composition of separate prophetical books in the fact, that “prophecy now acquired an importance which extended far beyond the times then present, inasmuch as the consciousness was awakened in the prophets’ minds with regard to both kingdoms, that the divine counsels of salvation could not come to fulfilment in the existing generation, but that the present form of the theocracy must be broken to pieces, in order that, after a thorough judicial sifting, there might arise out of the rescued and purified remnant the future church of salvation;” and who gives this explanation of the reason for committing the words of the prophets to writing, that “it was in order that, when fulfilled, they might prove to future generations the righteousness and faithfulness of the covenant God, and that they might serve until then as a lamp to the righteous enabling them, even in the midst of the darkness of the coming times of judgment, to understand the ways of God in His kingdom.” All the prophetical books subserve this purpose, however great may be the diversity in the prophetical word which they contain, –a diversity occasioned by the individuality of the authors and the special circumstances among which they lived and laboured.                 For the exegetical writings on the Minor Prophets, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p.273ff.

                HOSEA. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person of Prophet.

                2. Times of Prophet.

                3. Book of Hosea. Called as he was at such a time as this to proclaim to his people the word of the Lord, Hosea necessarily occupied himself chiefly in bearing witness against the apostasy and corruption of Israel, and in preaching the judgment of God. The ungodliness and wickedness had become so great, that the destruction of the kingdom was inevitable; and the degenerate nation was obliged to be given up into the power of the Assyrians, the existing representatives of the heathen power of the world. But as God the Lord has no pleasure in the death of the sinner, but that he should turn and live, He would not exterminate the rebellious tribes of the people of His possession from the earth, or put them away for ever from His face, but would humble them deeply by severe and long-continued chastisement, in order that He might bring them to a consciousness of their great guilt and lead them to repentance, so that He might at length have mercy upon them once more, and save them from everlasting destruction. Consequently, even in the book of Hosea, promises go side by side with threatenings and announcements of punishment, and that not merely as the general hope of better days, kept continually before the corrected nation by the all-pitying love of Jehovah, which forgives even faithlessness, and seeks out that which has gone astray (Sims.), but in the form of a very distinct announcement of the eventual restoration of the nation, when corrected by punishment, and returning in sorrow and repentance to the Lord its God, and to David its king (Hos. 3:5), –an announcement founded upon the inviolable character of the divine covenant of grace, and rising up to the thought that the Lord will also redeem from hell and save from death, yea, will destroy both death and hell (Hos. 13:14). Because Jehovah had married Israel in His covenant of grace, but Israel, like an unfaithful wife, had broken the covenant with its God, and gone a whoring after idols, God, by virtue of the holiness of His love, must punish its unfaithfulness and apostasy. His love, however, would not destroy, but would save that which was lost. This love bursts out in the flame of holy wrath, which burns in all the threatening and reproachful addresses of Hosea. In this wrath, however, it is not the consuming fire of an Elijah that burns so brightly; on the contrary, a gentle sound of divine grace and mercy is ever heard in the midst of the flame, so that the wrath but gives expression to the deepest anguish at the perversity of the nation, which will not suffer itself to be brought to a consciousness of the fact that its salvation rests with Jehovah its God, and with Him alone, either by the severity of the divine chastisements, or by the friendliness with which God has drawn Israel to Himself as with cords of love. This anguish of love at the faithlessness of Israel so completely fills the mind of the prophet, that his rich and lively imagination shines perpetually by means of changes of figure and fresh turns of thought, to open the eyes of the sinful nation to the abyss of destruction by which it is standing, in order if possible to rescue it from ruin. The deepest sympathy gives to his words a character of excitement, so that for the most part he merely hints at the thoughts in the briefest possible manner, instead of carefully elaborating them, passing with rapid changes from one figure and simile to another, and moving forward in short sentences and oracular utterances rather than in a calmly finished address, so that his addresses are frequently obscure, and hardly intelligible.

                His book does not contain a collection of separate addresses delivered to the people, but, as is generally admitted now, a general summary of the leading thoughts contained in his public addresses. The book is divisible into two (2) parts, viz., Hos. 1-3 and 4-14, which give the kernel of his prophetic labours, the one in a more condensed, and the other in a more elaborate form. In the first part, which contains the “beginning of the word of Jehovah by Hosea” (Hos. 1:2), the prophet first (1st) of all describes, in the symbolical form of a marriage, contracted by the command of God with an adulterous woman, the spiritual adultery of the ten (10) tribes of Israel, i.e., their falling away from Jehovah into idolatry, together with its consequences, –namely, the rejection of the rebellious tribes by the Lord, and their eventual return to God, and restoration to favour (Hos. 1:2; 2:3). He then (2nd) announces, in simple prophetic words, not only the chastisements and punishments that will come from God, and bring the people to a knowledge of the ruinous consequences of their departure from God, but also the manifestations of mercy by which the Lord will secure the true conversion of those who are humbled by suffering, and their eventual blessedness through the conclusion of a covenant founded in righteousness and grace (Hos. 2:4-25); and this attitude on the part of God towards His people is then (3rd) confirmed by a symbolical picture in Hos. 3.

                In the second (2nd) part, these truths are expanded in a still more elaborate manner; but the condemnation of the idolatry and moral corruption of Israel, and the announcement of the destruction of the kingdom of the ten (10) tribes, predominate, –the saving prediction of the eventual restoration and blessedness of those, who come to the consciousness of the depth of their own fall, being but briefly touched upon. This part, again, cannot be divided into separate addresses, as there is an entire absence of all reliable indices, just as in the last part of Isaiah (Isa. 40-66); but, like the latter, it falls into three (3) large, unequal sections, in each of which the prophetic address advances from an accusation of the nation generally and in its several ranks, to a description of the coming punishment, and finishes up with the prospect of the ultimate rescue of the punished nation At the same time, an evident progress is discernible in the three (3), not indeed of the kind supposed by Ewald, namely, that the address contained in Hos. 4-9:9 advances from the accusation itself to the contemplation of the punishment proved to be necessary, and then rises through further retrospective glances at the better days of old, at the destination of the church, and at the everlasting love, to brighter prospects and the firmest hopes; nor in that proposed by De Wette, viz., that the wrath becomes more and more threatening from Hos. 8 onwards, and the destruction of Israel comes out more and more clearly before the reader’s eye. The relation in which the three (3) sections stand to one another is rather the following: In the first (1st), Hos. 4-6:3, the religious and moral degradation of Israel is exhibited in all its magnitude, together with the Judgment which follows upon the heels of this corruption; and at the close the conversion and salvation aimed at in this judgment are briefly indicated. In the second (2nd) and much longer section, Hos. 6:4-11:11, the incorrigibility of the sinful nation, or the obstinate persistence of Israel in idolatry and unrighteousness, in spite of the warnings and chastisements of God, is first (1st) exposed and condemned (Hos. 6:4-7:16); then, secondly (2nd), the judgment to which they are liable is elaborately announced as both inevitable and terrible (Hos. 8:1-9:9); and thirdly (3rd), by pointing out the unfaithfulness which Israel has displayed towards its God from the very earliest times, the prophet shows that it has deserved nothing but destruction from off the face of the earth (Hos. 9:10-11:8), and that it is only the mercy of God which will restrain the wrath, and render the restoration of Israel possible (Hos. 11:9-11). In the third (3rd) section (Hos. 12-14) the ripeness of Israel for judgment is confirmed by proofs drawn from its falling into Canaanitish ways, notwithstanding the long-suffering, love, and fidelity with which God has always shown Himself to be its helper and redeemer (Hos. 12, 13). To this there is appended a solemn appeal to return to the Lord; and the whole concludes with a promise, that the faithful covenant God will display the fulness of His love again to those who return to Him with a sincere confession of their guilt, and will pour upon them the riches of His blessing (Hos. 14).

                This division of the book differs, indeed, from all the attempts that have previously been made; but it has the warrant of its correctness in the three (3) times repeated promise (Hos. 6:1-3; 9:9-11, and 14:2-9), by which each of the supposed sections is rounded off. And within these sections we also meet with pauses, by which they are broken up into smaller groups, resembling strophes, although this further grouping of the prophet’s words is not formed into uniform strophes. (* All attempts that have been made to break up the book into different prophecies, belonging to different periods, are wrecked upon the contents of the book itself; single sections being obliged to be made into prophetic addresses, or declared to be such, and the period of their origin being merely determined by arbitrary conjectures and assumptions, or by fanciful interpretations, e.g., as that of the chodesh, or new moon, in ch 5:7, which is supposed to refer to the reign of Shallum, who only reigned one month.*) For further remarks on this point, see the Exposition.

                From what has been said, it clearly follows that Hosea himself wrote out the quintessence of his prophecies, as a witness of the Lord against the degenerate nation, at the close of his prophetic career, and in the book which bears his name. The preservation of this book, on the destruction of the kingdom of the ten (10) tribes, may be explained very simply from the fact that, on account of the intercourse carried on between the prophets of the Lord in the two (2) kingdoms, it found its way to Judah soon after the time of its composition, and was there spread abroad in the circle of the prophets, and so preserved. We find, for example, that Jeremiah has used it again and again in his prophecies (compare Aug. Kueper, Jeremias librorum ss. interpres atque vindex. Berol. 1837 p. 67 seq.). For the exegetical writings on Hosea, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p. 275.

                JOEL. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person & Times of Prophet Joel.

                2. Book of Joel. The writings of Joel contain a connected prophetic proclamation, which is divided into two (2) equal halves (1/2) by Joel 2:18 and 19a. In the first (1st) half the prophet depicts a terrible devastation of Judah by locusts and scorching heat; and describing this judgment as the harbinger, or rather as the dawn, of Jehovah’s great day of judgment, summons the people of all ranks to a general day of penitence, fasting, and prayer, in the sanctuary upon Zion, that the Lord may have compassion upon His nation (Joel 1:2-2:17). In the second (2nd) half there follows, as the divine answer to the call of the people to repentance, the promise that the Lord will destroy the army of locusts, and bestow a rich harvest blessing upon the land by sending early and latter rain (Joel 2:19b-27), and then in the future pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28-32), and sit in judgment upon all nations, who have scattered His people and divided His land among them, and reward them according to their deeds; but that He will shelter His people from Zion, and glorify His land by rivers of abundant blessing (Joel 3). These two (2) halves are connected together by the statement that Jehovah manifests the jealousy of love for His land, and pity towards His people, and answers them (Joel 2:18, 19a). So far the commentators are all agreed as to the contents of the book. But there are differences of opinion, more especially as to the true interpretation of the first (1st) half, –namely, whether the description of the terrible devastation by locusts is to be understood literally or allegorically. (* The allegorical exposition, is found even in the Chaldee, where thefour names of the locusts are rendered literally in ch. 1:4, whereas in ch. 2:25 we find hostile tribes and kingdoms instead; also in Ephraem Syrus, Cyril of Alex., Theodoret, and Jerome, although Theodoret regards the literal interpretation as also admissible, and in Abarb., Luther, and many other expositors. And lately it has been vigororusly defended by Hengstenberg in his Christology (i. p. 302 translation), and by Havenick (Introduction, ii. 2, p. 294 sqq.), who both of them agree with the fathers in regarding the four swarms of locusts as representing the imperial powers of Chaldea, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. On the other hand, Rufinus, Jarchi, Ab. Ezra, Dav. Kimchi, support the literal view that Joel is describing a terrible devastation of the land by locusts; also Bochart, Pococke, J.D. Michaelis, and in the most recent times, Hofmann and Delitzsch. *)     The decision of this question depends upon the reply that is given to the prior question, whether Joel 1:2-2:17 contains a description of a present or a future judgment. If we observe, first (1st) of all, that the statement in Joel 2:18 and 19a, by which the promise is introduced, is expressed in four (4) successive imperfects with Vav. consec. (the standing form for historical narratives), there can be no doubt whatever that this remark contains a historical announcement of what has taken place on the part of the Lord in consequence of the penitential cry of the people. And if this be established, it follows still further that the first (1st) half of our book cannot contain the prediction of a strictly future judgment, but must describe a calamity which has at any rate in part already begun. This is confirmed by the fact that the prophet from the very outset (Joel 1:2-4) described the devastation of the land by locusts as a present calamity, on the ground of which he summons the people to repentance. As Joel begins with an appeal to the old men, to see whether such things have happened in their own days, or the days of their fathers, and to relate them to their children and children’s children, and then describes the thing itself with simple perfects, (yether haggazam ‘akal wgn ‘), it is perfectly obvious that he is not speaking of something that is to take place in the future, but of a divine judgment that has been inflicted already. (* “Some imagine,” as Calvin well observes, “that a punishment is hero threatened, which is to fall at some future tim e;. but the context shows olearly enough that they are mistalten and mar the prophet’s true meaning. He is rather reproving the hardness of the people, because they do not feel their plagues.” *)      It is true that the prophets frequently employ preterites in their description of future events, but there is no analogous example that can be found of such a use of them as we find here in Joel 1:2-4; and the remark made by Hengstenberg, to the effect that we find the preterites employed in exactly the same manner in Joel 3, is simply incorrect. But if Joel had an existing calamity before his eye, and depicts it in Joel 1:2ff., the question in dispute from time immemorial, whether the description is to be understood allegorically or literally, is settled in favour of the literal view. “An allegory must contain some significant marks of its being so. Where these are wanting, it is arbitrary to assume that it is an allegory at all.” And we have no such marks here, as we shall show in our exposition in detail.  “As it is a fact established by the unanimous testimony of the most credible witnesses, that wherever swarms of locusts descend, all the vegetation in the fields immediately vanishes, just as if a curtain had been rolled up; that they spare neither the juicy bark of woody plants, nor the roots below the ground; that their cloud-like swarms darken the air, and render the sun and even men at a little distance off invisible; that their innumerable and closely compact army advances in military array in a straight course, most obstinately maintained; that it cannot be turned back or dispersed, either by natural obstacles or human force; that on its approach a loud roaring noise is heard like the rushing of a torrent, a waterfall, or a strong wind; that they no sooner settle to eat, than you hear on all sides the grating sound of their mandibles, and, as Volney expresses it, might fancy that you heard the foraging of an invisible army; –if we compare these and other natural observations with the statements of Joel, we shall find everywhere the most faithful picture, and nowhere any hyperbole requiring for its justification and explanation that the army of locusts should be paraphrased into an army of men; more especially as the devastation of a country by an army of locusts is far more terrible than that of an ordinary army; and there is no allusion, either expressed or hinted at, to a massacre among the people. And if we consider, still further, that the migratory locusts (Acridium migratorium, in Oken, Allg. Naturgesch. v. 3, p. 1514ff.) find their grave sometimes in dry and barren steppes, and sometimes in lakes and seas, it is impossible to comprehend how the promise in Joel 2:20 –one part of the army now devastating Judah shall be hurled into the southern desert, the van into the Dead Sea, and the rear into the Mediterranean– can harmonize with the allegorical view” (Delitzsch). The only thing that appears to favour the idea that the locusts are used figuratively to represent hostile armies, is the circumstance that Joel discerns in the devastation of the locusts as depicted by him, the drawing near or coming of the day of the Lord (Joel 1:15; 2:1), connected with the fact that Isaiah speaks of the judgment upon Baal, which was accomplished by a hostile army, in the words of Joel (Joel 1:15; see Isa. 13:6). But on closer examination, this appearance does not rise into reality. It is true that by the “day of Jehovah” we cannot understand a different judgment from the devastation of the locusts, since such a supposition would be irreconcilable with Joel 2:1ff. But the expression, “for the day of Jehovah is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty does it come,” shows that the prophet did not so completely identify the day of the Lord with the plague of locusts, as that it was exhausted by it, but that he merely saw in this the approach of the great day of judgment, i.e., merely one element of the judgment, which falls in the course of ages upon the ungodly, and will be completed in the last judgment. One factor in the universal judgment is the judgment pronounced upon Babylon, and carried out by the Medes; so that it by no means follows from the occurrence of the words of Joel in the prophecy of Isaiah, that the latter put an allegorical interpretation upon Joel’s description of the devastation by the locusts. But even if there are no conclusive indications or hints, that can be adduced in support of the allegorical interpretation, it cannot be denied, on the other hand, that the description, as a whole, contains something more than a poetical painting of one particular instance of the devastation of Judah by a more terrible swarm of locusts than had ever been known before; that is to say, that it bears an ideal character surpassing the reality, –a fact which is overlooked by such commentators as can find nothing more in the account than the description of a very remarkable plague. The introduction, “Hear this, ye old men; and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land: hath this been in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the following generation” (Joel 1:2,3); and the lamentation in v. 9, that the meat-offering and drink-offering have been destroyed from the house of Jehovah; and still more, the picture of the day of the Lord as a day of darkness and of gloominess like the morning red spread over the mountains; a great people and a strong, such as has not been from all eternity, and after which there will be none like to for ever and ever (Joel 2:2), –unquestionably show that Joel not only regarded the plague of locusts that came upon Judah in the light of divine revelation, and as a sign, but described it as the breaking of the Lord’s great day of judgment, or that in the advance of the locusts he saw the army of God, at whose head Jehovah marched as captain, and caused His voice, the terrible voice of the Judge of the universe, to be heard in the thunder (Joel 2:11), and that he predicted this coming of the Lord, before which the earth trembles, the heavens shake, and sun, moon, and stars lose their brightness (Joel 2:10), as His coming to judge the world. This proclamation, however, was no production of mere poetical exaggeration, but had its source in the inspiration of the Spirit of God, which enlightened the prophet; so that in the terrible devastation that had fallen upon Judah he discerned one feature of the day of judgment of the Lord, and on the ground of the judgment of God that had been thus experienced, proclaimed that the coming of the Lord to judgment upon the whole world was near at hand. The medium through which this was conveyed to his mind was meditation upon the history of the olden time, more especially upon the judgments through which Jehovah had effected the redemption of His people out of Egypt, in connection with the punishment with which Moses threatened the transgressors of the law (Deu. 28:38,39, 42), –namely, that locusts should devour their seed, their plants, their fields, and their fruits. Hengstenberg has correctly observed, that the words of Joel in Joel 2:10, “There have not been ever the like,” are borrowed from Exo. 10:14; but it is not in these words alone that the prophet points to the Egyptian plague of locusts. In the very introduction to his prophecy (Joel 1:2,3), viz., the question whether such a thing has occurred, and the charge, Tell it to your children, etc., there is an unmistakeable allusion to Exo. 10:2, where the Lord charges Moses to tell Pharaoh that He will do signs, in order that Pharaoh may relate it to his son and his son’s son, and then announces the plague of locusts in these words: “that thy fathers and thy fathers’ fathers have not seen such things since their existence upon the earth” (Exo. 10:6). As the basis of this judgment of God which fell upon Egypt in the olden time, and by virtue of a higher illumination, Joel discerned in the similar judgment that had burst upon Judah in his own time, a type of the coming of Jehovah’s great day of judgment, and made it the substratum of his prophecy of the judgment of the wrath of the Lord which would come upon Judah, to terrify the sinners out of their self-security, and impel them by earnest repentance, fasting, and prayer, to implore the divine mercy for deliverance from utter destruction. This description of the coming day of Jehovah, i.e., of the judgment of the world, for which the judgment inflicted upon Judah of the devastation by locusts prepared the way, after the foretype of these occurrences of both the olden and present time, is no allegory, however, in which the heathen nations, by whom the judgments upon the covenant nation that had gone further and further from its God would be executed in the time to come, are represented as swarms of locusts coming one after another and devastating the land of Judah; but it has just the same reality as the plague of locusts through which God once sought to humble the pride of the Egyptian Pharaoh. We are no more at liberty to turn the locusts in the prophecy before us into hostile armies, than to pronounce the locusts by which Egypt was devastated, allegorical figures representing enemies or troops of hostile cavalry. Such a metamorphosis as this is warranted neither by the vision in Amo. 7:1-3, where Amos is said to have seen the divine judgment under the figure of a swarm of locusts; nor by that described in Rev. 9:3ff., where locusts which come out of the bottomless pit are commanded neither to hurt the grass nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only to torment men with their scorpion-stings: for even in these visions the locusts are not figurative, representing hostile nations; but on the basis of the Egyptian plague of locusts and of Joel’s prophecy, they stand in Amos as a figurative representation of the devastation of the land, and in the Apocalypse as the symbol of a supernatural plague inflicted upon the ungodly. Lastly, another decisive objection to the allegorical interpretation is to be found in the circumstance, that neither in the first (1st) nor in the second (2nd) half of his book does Joel predict the particular judgments which God will inflict in the course of time, partly upon His degenerate people, and partly upon the hostile powers of the world, but that he simply announces the judgment of God upon Judah and the nations of the world in its totality, as the great and terrible day of the Lord, without unfolding more minutely or even suggesting the particular facts in which it will be historically realized. In this respect, the ideality of his prophecy is maintained throughout; and the only speciality given to it is, that in the first (1st) half the judgment upon the covenant people is proclaimed, and in the second (2nd) the judgment upon the heathen nations: the former (1st) as the groundwork of a call to repentance; the latter (2nd) as the final separation between the church of the Lord and its opponents. And this separation between the covenant nation and the powers of the world is founded on fact. The judgment only falls upon the covenant nation when it is unfaithful to its divine calling, when it falls away from its God, and that not to destroy and annihilate it, but to lead it back by means of chastisement to the Lord its God. If it hearken to the voice of its God, who speaks to it in judgments, the Lord repents of the evil, and turns the calamity into salvation and blessing. It was Joel’s mission to proclaim this truth in Judah, and turn the sinful nation to its God. To this end he proclaimed to the people, that the Lord was coming to judgment in the devastation that the locusts had spread over the land, and by depicting the great and terrible day of the Lord, called upon them to turn to their God with all their heart. This call to repentance was not without effect. The Lord was jealous for His land, and spared His people (Joel 2:18), and sent His prophets to proclaim the removal of the judgment and the bestowal of a bountiful earthly ad spiritual blessing: viz., for the time immediately ensuing the destruction of the army of locusts, the sending of the teacher for righteousness, and a plentiful fall of rain for the fruitful supply of the fruits of the ground (Joel 2:19, 27); and in the more remote future, the pouring out of His Spirit upon the whole congregation, and on the day of the judgment upon all nations the deliverance and preservation of His faithful worshippers; and finally, after the judgment, the transformation and eternal glory of Zion (Joe. 2:28-3:21). Here, again, the ideality of the prophetic announcement is maintained throughout, although a distinction is made between the inferior blessing in the immediate future, and the higher benediction of the church of God at a more distant period. The outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh is followed, without any intervening link, by the announcement of the coming of the terrible day of the Lord, as a day of judgment upon all nations, including those who have shown themselves hostile to Judah, either in Joel’s own time or a little while before. The nations are gathered together in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and there judged by Jehovah through His mighty heroes; but the sons of Israel are delivered and sheltered by their God. Here, again, all the separate judgments, which fall upon the nations of the world that are hostile to God, during the many centuries of the gradual development of the kingdom of God upon earth, are summed up in one grand judicial act on the day of Jehovah, through which the separation is completely effected between the church of the Lord and its foes, the ungodly power of the world annihilated, and the kingdom of God perfected; but without the slightest hint, that both the judgment upon the nations and the glorification of the kingdom of God will be fulfilled through a succession of separate judgments.

                The book of Joel, therefore, contains two (2) prophetic addresses, which are not only connected together as one (1) work by the historical remark in Joel 2:18,19a, but which stand in the closest relation to each other, so far as their contents are concerned, though the one (1) was not delivered to the people directly after the other (2nd), but the first (1st) during the devastation by the locusts, to lead the people to observe the judgment of God and to assemble together in the temple for a service of penitence and prayer; and the second (2nd) not till after the priests had appointed a day of fasting, penitence, and prayer, in the house of the Lord, in consequence of His solemn call to repentance, and in the name of the people had prayed to the Lord to pity and spare His inheritance. The committal of these addresses to writing did not take place, at any rate, till after the destruction of the army of the locusts, when the land began to recover from the devastation that it had suffered. But whether Joel committed these addresses to writings just as he delivered them to the congregation, and merely linked them together into one single (1) work by introducing the historical remark that unites them, or whether he merely inserted in his written work the essential contents of several addresses delivered after this divine judgment, and worked them up into one connected prophecy, it is impossible to decide with certainty. But there is no doubt whatever as to the composition of the written work by the prophet himself. –For the different commentaries upon the book of Joel, see my Introduction to the Old Testament.

                AMOS. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Prophet.

                2. Book. Although Amos was sent by the Lord to Bethel, to prophesy to the people of Israel there, he does not restrict himself in his prophecy to the kingdom of the ten (10) tribes, but, like his younger contemporary Hosea, notices the kingdom of Judah as well, and even the surrounding nations, that were hostile to the covenant nation. His book is not a mere collection of the addresses delivered in Bethel, but a carefully planned, complete work, in which Amos, after the occurrence of the earthquake in the time of Uzziah, gathered together all the essential contents of the prophecies he had previously uttered at Bethel. It consists of a lengthy introduction (Amos 1, 2) and two parts, viz., simple prophetic addresses (Amos 4-6), and visions with short explanations (Amos 7-9). In the introduction the prophet proclaims, in the following manner, the judgment about to fall upon Damascus, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, and Israel. The storm of the Lord, which bursts upon all these kingdoms, remains suspended over the kingdom of Israel, which is mentioned last. This is evident from the fact, that the sin of Israel is depicted more fully than that of the other nations; and the threatening of judgment is couched in such general terms, that it can only be regarded as a provisional announcement, or as the introduction to the body of the book by which it is followed. The first (1st) part contains an extended address, divided into three (3) sections by the recurrence of (shim`u) (hear ye) in Amos 3:1; 4:1, and 5:1. The address consists of a “great warning to repent,” in which the prophet holds up before the sinful Israelites, especially the rulers of the kingdom, the arts of injustice and wickedness that are current among them, and proclaims a judgment which embraces the destruction of the palaces and holy places, the overthrow of the kingdom, and the transportation of the people. In Amos 3 the sin and punishment are described in the most general form. In Amos 4 the prophet sweeps away from the self-secure sinners the false ground of confidence afforded by their own worship, recals to their mind the judgments with which God has already visited them, and summons them to stand before God as their judge. In Amos 5 and 6, after a mournful elegy concerning the fall of the house of Israel (Amos 5:1-3), he points out to the penitent the way to life coupled with the repeated summons to seek the Lord, and that which is good (Amos 5: 4, 6, 14); and then, in the form of a woe, for which a double reason is assigned (Amo. 5:18; 6: 1), he takes away all hope of deliverance from the impenitent and hardened. Throughout the whole of this address Amos prophesies chiefly to the ten (10) tribes, whom he repeatedly addresses, predicting ruin and exile. At the same time, he not only addresses his words in the introduction (Amos 3:1,2) to all Israel of the twelve (12) tribes, whom Jehovah brought out of Egypt, but he also pronounces the last woe (Amos 6:1) upon the secure ones on Zion, and the careless ones on the mountain of Samaria; so that his prophecy also applies to the kingdom of Judah, and sets before it the same fate as that of the kingdom of the ten (10) tribes, if it should fall into the same sin. The second (2nd) part contains five (5) visions, and at the close the proclamation of salvation. the first two (1st & 2nd)  visions (Amos 7:1-3 and 4-6) threaten judgments; the next two (3rd & 4th) (Amos 7:7-9; 8:1-3) point out the impossibility of averting the judgment, and the ripeness of the people for it. Between these, viz., in Amos 7:10-17, the conversation between the prophet and the chief priest at Bethel is related. The substance of the fourth (4th) vision is carried out still further, in a simple prophetic address (Amos 8:4-14). Lastly, the fifth (5th) vision (Amos 9:1) shows the overthrow and ruin of the whole of Israel, and is also still further expanded in a plain address (Amos 9: 2-10). To this there is appended the promise of the restoration of the fallen kingdom of God, of its extension through the adoption of the Gentiles, and of its eternal glorification (Amos 9:11-15). This conclusion corresponds to the introduction (Amos 1 and 2). Like all the nations that rise up in hostility to the kingdom of God, even Judah and Israel shall fall victims to the judgment, on account of their unrighteousness and idolatry, in order that the kingdom of God may be purified from its dross, be exalted to glory, and so be made perfect. This is the fundamental thought of the writings of Amos, who was called by the Lord to preach this truth to the nation of Israel. And just as the close of his book points back to the introduction (Amos 1 and 2), so also do the visions of the second (2nd) part correspond to the addresses of the first (1st), embodying the substance of the addresses in significant symbols. The parallel between the fifth (5th) vision and the elegy struck up in Amos 5:1 is very conspicuous; and it is also impossible to overlook the material agreement between the first (1st) and second (2nd) visions and the enumeration in Amos 4: 6-11, of the divine visitations that had already fallen upon Israel; whilst the third (3rd) and fourth (4th) visions set clearly before the eye the irrevocable character of the judgments with which careless and wanton sinners are threatened in Amos 3-6.           

                There is evidently no foundation for the assumption that the second (2nd) part contains “the true kernel of his work,” namely, “the addresses which Amos originally delivered at Bethel;” and that the first (1st) part, together with the introduction (Amos 1-6) and the Messianic conclusion (Amos 9:11-15), is purely a written description, composed by Amos after his return from Bethel to Judah, to give a further expansion to his original utterances (Ewald, Baur). This by no means follows, either from the fact that the account of what the prophet experienced at Bethel is inserted in the series of visions, as it moves on step by step, and that the place in which it occurs (viz., Amos 7) is evidently its original position, or from the circumstance that Amos commences his work with a saying of Joel (compare Amos 1:2 with Joe. 4:16), and evidently refers to Joel (Joe. 3:18) even in the promise at the close (Amo. 9:13). For the position of this account in Amos 7 proves nothing further than that Amos related those visions in Bethel; and the allusion to Joel simply presupposes an acquaintance with the predictions of this prophet. If there were no previous addresses, the visions in Amos 7 and 8 would have nothing to explain their occurrence, and would also be lacking in the requisite clearness. Moreover, the work of Amos in Bethel cannot possibly be limited to Amos 7-9. And lastly, the addresses in Amos 4-6 are throughout so individual, so full of life, and so impressive, that they clearly reflect the original oral delivery, even though it may be nothing more than the essential substance of what was orally delivered, that has been given here. Only Amos 1 and 2 appears to have been really conceived in the form of a written composition, and placed at the head of the book at the time when it was first (1st) compiled, although certain thoughts that had been orally expressed may lie at the foundation even there. For the exegetical writings upon Amos, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, pp. 284-5.

                OBADIAH. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                As to the person and circumstances of Obadiah, nothing certain is known….

                The writing of Obadiah contains but one single prophecy concerning the relation in which Edom stood to the people of God. It commences with the proclamation of the destruction with which the Lord has determined to visit the Edomites, who rely upon the impregnability of their rocky seat (vv. 1-9); and then depicts, as the cause of the divine judgment which will thus suddenly burst upon the haughty people, the evil which it did to Jacob, the covenant nation, when Judah and Jerusalem had been taken by heathen nations, who not only plundered them, but shamefully desecrated the mountain of Zion (vv. 10-14). For this the Edomites and all nations will receive retribution, even to their utter destruction in the approaching day of the Lord (vv. 15, 16). But upon Mount Zion there will be delivered ones, and the mountain will be holy. The house of Jacob will take possession of the settlement of the Gentiles, and, in common with Israel, will destroy the Edomites, and extend its territory on all sides (vv. 17-19). That portion of the nation which has been scattered about in heathen lands will return to their enlarged fatherland (v. 20). Upon Mount Zion will saviours arise to judge Edom, and the kingdom will then be the Lord’s (v. 21). This brief statement of the contents is sufficient to show that Obadiah’s prophecy does not consist of a mere word of threatening directed against Edom, or treat of so special a theme as that his chazon could be compared to Ahijah’s nebhu’ah, and Yehdi’s (Iddo’s) chazoth against Jeroboam I (2nd Ch. 9:29); but that Obadiah takes the general attitude of Edom towards the people of Jehovah as the groundwork of his prophecy, regards the judgment upon Edom as one feature in the universal judgment upon all nations (cf. vv. 15,16), proclaims in the destruction of the power of Edom the overthrow of the power of all nations hostile to God, and in the final elevation and reestablishment of Israel in the holy land foretels the completion of the sovereignty of Jehovah, i.e., of the kingdom of God, as dominion over all nations; so that we may say with Hengstenberg, that “Obadiah makes the judgment upon the Gentiles and the restoration of Israel the leading object of his prophetic painting.” Through this universal standpoint, from which Edom is taken as a representative of the ungodly power of the world, Obadiah rises far above the utterances of the earlier prophets contained in the historical books of the Old Testament, and stands on a level with the prophets, who composed prophetic writings of their own for posterity, as well as for their own age; so that, notwithstanding the small space occupied by his prophecy, it has very properly had a place assigned it in the prophetic literature. At the same time, we cannot agree with Hengstenberg, who gives the following interpretation to this view of the attitude of Edom towards the people of God, namely, that Obadiah simply adduces Edom as an example of what he has to say with regard to the heathen world, with its enmity against God, and as to the form which the relation between Israel and the heathen world would eventually assume, and therefore that his prophecy simply individualizes the thought of the universal dominion of the kingdom of God which would follow the deepest degradation of the people of God, the fullest and truest realization of which dominion is to be sought for in Christ, and that the germ of his prophecy is contained in Joe. 3:19, where Edom is introduced as an individualized example and type of the heathen world with its hostility to God, which is to be judged by the Lord after the judgment upon Judah. For, apart from the fact that Obadiah does not presuppose Joel, but vice versa, as we shall presently see, this mode of idealizing our prophecy cannot be reconciled with its concrete character and expression, or raised into a truth by any analogies in prophetic literature. All the prophecies are occasioned by distinct concrete relations and circumstances belonging to the age from which they spring. And even those which are occupied with the remote and remotest future, like Isa. 40-66 for example, form no real exception to this rule. Joel would not have mentioned Edom as the representation of the heathen world with its hostility to God (Joel 3:19), and Obadiah would not have predicted the destruction of Edom, if the Edomites had not displayed their implacable hatred of the people of God on one particular occasion in the most conspicuous manner. It is only in this way that we can understand the contents of the whole of Obadiah’s prophecy, more especially the relation in which the third (3rd) section (vv. 17-21) stands to the first two (1st & 2nd), and explain them without force.

                The time of the prophet is so much a matter of dispute, that some regard him as the oldest of the twelve minor prophets, whilst others place him in the time of the captivity, and Hitzig even assigns him to the year 312 B.C., when prophecy had long been extinct. (For the different views, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, § 88)…..

                All this leads to the conclusion, that we must regard Obadiah as older than Joel, and fix upon the reign of Joram as the date of his ministry, but without thereby giving him “an isolated position;” for, according to the most correct chronological arrangement of their respective dates, Joel prophesied at the most twenty (20) years after him, and Hosea and Amos commenced their labours only about seventy-five (75) years later. The calamitous event which burst upon Judah and Jerusalem, and gave occasion for Obadiah’s prophecy, took place in the latter part of Joram’s eight (8) years’ reign. Consequently Obadiah cannot have uttered his prophecy, and committed it to writing, very long before Jehoram’s death. At the same time, it cannot have been at a later period; because, on the one hand, it produces the unquestionable impression, that the hostilities practised by the Edomites were still kept in the most lively remembrance; and on the other hand, it contains no hint of that idolatrous worship to which the ruthless Athaliah endeavoured to give the pre-eminence in Judah, after the one (1) year’s reign of Ahaziah, who succeeded Joram. For the commentaries on Obadiah, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, § 88.

                JONAH. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Prophet.

                2. Book of Jonah resembles, in contents and form, the narratives concerning the prophets in the historical books of the Old Testament, e.g., the history of Elijah and Elisha (1st Ki. 17-19; 2nd Ki. 2:4-6), rather than the writings of the minor prophets. It contains no prophetic words concerning Nineveh, but relates in simple prose the sending of Jonah to that city to foretel its destruction; the behaviour of the prophet on receiving this divine command; his attempt to escape from it by flight to Tarshish; the way in which this sin was expiated; and lastly, when the command of God had been obeyed, not only the successful result of his preaching of repentance, but also his murmuring at the sparing of Nineveh in consequence of the repentance of its inhabitants, and the reproof administered by God to the murmuring prophet. If, then, notwithstanding this, the compilers of the canon have placed the book among the minor prophets, this can only have been done because they were firmly convinced that the prophet Jonah was the author. And, indeed, the objections offered to the genuineness of the book, apart from doctrinal reasons for disputing its historical truth and credibility, and the proofs adduced of its having a much later origin, are extremely trivial, and destitute of any conclusive force. It is said that, apart from the miraculous portion, the narrative is wanting in clearness and perspicuity. “The author,” says Hitzig, “leaps over the long and wearisome journey to Nineveh, says nothing about Jonah’s subsequent fate, or about his previous abode, or the spot where he was cast upon the land, or the name of the Assyrian king; in brief, he omits all the more minute details which are necessarily connected with a true history.” But the assertion that completeness in all external circumstances, which would serve to gratify curiosity rather than to help to an understanding of the main facts of the case, is indispensable to the truth of any historical narrative, is one which might expose the whole of the historical writings of antiquity to criticism, but can never shake their truth. There is not a single one of the ancient historians in whose works such completeness as this can be found: and still less do the biblical historians aim at communicating such things as have no close connection with the main object of their narrative, or with the religious significance of the facts themselves. Proofs of the later origin of the book have also been sought for in the language employed, and in the circumstance that Jonah’s prayer in Jon. 2:3-10 contains so many reminiscences from the Psalms, that Ph. D. Burk has called it praestantissimum exemplum psalterii recte applicati. [excellent example of proper psalm application]. But the so-called Aramaisms, such as (hetil) to throw (Jon. 1:4,5, 12, etc.), the interchange of (sephinah) with (‘aniyah) (Jon. 1:5), (minnah) to determine, to appoint (Jon. 2:1; 4: 6ff.), (chathar) in the supposed sense of rowing (Jon. 1:13), (hith`ashsheth) to remember (Jon. 1:6), and the forms (beshelllemiy) (Jon. 1:7), (beshelliy) (Jon. 1:12), and (sh) for (‘asher) (Jon. 4:10), belong either to the speech of Galilee or the language of ordinary intercourse, and are very far from being proofs of a later age, since it cannot be proved with certainty that any one of these words was unknown in the early Hebrew usage, and (sh) for (‘asher) occurs as early as Jud. 5:7; 6:17, and even (shelliy) in Song of Sol. 1: 6; 8:12, whilst in the book before us it is only in the sayings of the persons acting (Jon. 1:7, 12), or of God (Jon. 4:10), that it is used. The only non-Hebraic word, viz., (ta`am), which is used in the sense of command, and applied to the edict of the king of Assyria, was heard by Jonah in Nineveh, where it was used as a technical term, and was transferred by him. The reminiscences which occur in Jonah’s prayer are all taken from the Psalms of David or his contemporaries, which were generally known in Israel long before the prophet’s day. Lastly, the statement in Jon. 3:3, that “Nineveh was an exceeding great city,” neither proves that Nineveh had already been destroyed at the time when this was written nor that the greatness of Nineveh was unknown to the contemporaries of Jonah, though there would be nothing surprising in the latter, as in all probability very few Israelites had seen Nineveh at that time. (haiythah) is the synchronistic imperfect, just as in Gen. 1:2. Nineveh was a great city of three days’ journey when Jonah reached it, i.e., he found it so, as Staeudlin observes, and even De Wette admits.

>p382-383           The doctrinal objections to the miraculous contents of the book appear to be much more weighty; since it is undeniable that, if they were of the character represented by the opponents, this would entirely preclude the possibility of its having been composed by the prophet Jonah, and prove that it had originated in a mythical legend. “The whole narrative,” says Hitzig in his prolegomena to the book of Jonah, “is miraculous and fabulous. But nothing is impossible with God. Hence Jonah lives in the belly of the fish without being suffocated; hence the Qiqayon springs up during the night to such a height that it overshadows a man in a sitting posture. As Jehovah bends everything in the world to His own purposes at pleasure, the marvellous coincidences had nothing in them to astonish the author. The lot falls upon the right man; the tempest rises most opportunely, and is allayed at the proper time; and the fish is ready at hand to swallow Jonah, and vomit him out again. So, again, the tree is ready to sprout up, the worm to kill it, and the burning wind to make its loss perceptible.” But the coarse view of God and of divine providence apparent in all this, which borders very closely upon atheism, by no means proves that the contents of the book are fabulous, but simply that the history of Jonah cannot be vindicated, still less understood, without the acknowledgement of a living God, and of His activity in the sphere of natural and human life. The book of Jonah records miraculous occurrences; but even the two most striking miracles, the three (3) days’ imprisonment in the belly of the sea-fish, and the growth of a Qiqayon to a sufficient height to overshadow a sitting man, have analogies in nature, which make the possibility of these miracles at least conceivable (see the comm. on Jon. 2:1 and 4:6). The repentance of the Ninevites in consequence of the prophet’s preaching, although an unusual and extraordinary occurrence, was not a miracle in the strict sense of the word. At the same time, the possibility of this miracle by no means proves its reality or historical truth. This can only be correctly discerned and rightly estimated, from the important bearing of Jonah’s mission to Nineveh and of his conduct in relation to this mission upon the position of Israel in the divine plan of salvation in relation to the Gentile world. The mission of Jonah was a fact of symbolical and typical importance, which was intended not only to enlighten Israel as to the position of the Gentile world in relation to the kingdom of God, but also to typify the future adoption of such of the heathen, as should observe the word of God, into the fellowship of the salvation prepared in Israel for all nations.   (* The offence taken at the miracles in the book originated with the heathen. Even to Lucian they apparently presented an occasion for ridicule (see Verae histor. lib. i. § 30 sq., ed. Bipont). With regard to the three days’ imprisonment in the belly of the fish, and on the Qiqayon, Augustine in his Epist. 102 says, “I have heard this kind of inquiry ridiculed by pagans with great laughter;” and Theophylact also says, “Jonah is therefore swallowed by a whale, and the prophet remauns in it three days and the same number of nights; which appears to be beyond the power of the hearers to believe, chiefly of those who come to this history fresh from the schools of the Greeks and their wise teaching.” This ridicule first found admission into the Christian church, when the rise of deism, naturalism, and rationalism caused a denial of the miracles and inspiration of the Scriptures to he exalted into an axiom of free inquiry. From this time forward a multitude of marvellous hypotheses and trivial ideas concerning the book of Jonah have been brought out, which P. Friedrichsen has collected and discussed in a most unspiritual manner in his Kritische Uebersicht der verschiedenen Ansichten von dem Buche Jona. *)

                As the time drew nigh when Israel was to be given up into the power of the Gentiles, and trodden down by them, on account of its stiff-necked apostasy from the Lord its God, it was very natural for the self-righteous mind of Israel to regard the Gentiles as simply enemies of the people and kingdom of God, and not only to deny their capacity for salvation, but also to interpret the prophetic announcement of the judgment coming upon the Gentiles as signifying that they were destined to utter destruction. The object of Jonah’s mission to Nineveh was to combat in the most energetic manner, and practically to overthrow, a delusion which had a seeming support in the election of Israel to be the vehicle of salvation, and which stimulated the inclination to pharisaical reliance upon an outward connection with the chosen nation and a lineal descent from Abraham. Whereas other prophets proclaimed in words the position of the Gentiles with regard to Israel in the nearer and more remote future, and predicted not only the surrender of Israel to the power of the Gentiles, but also the future conversion of the heathen to the living God, and their reception into the kingdom of God, the prophet Jonah was entrusted with the commission to proclaim the position of Israel in relation to the Gentile world in a symbolico-typical manner, and to exhibit both figuratively and typically not only the susceptibility of the heathen for divine grace, but also the conduct of Israel with regard to the design of God to show favour to the Gentiles, and the consequences of their conduct. The susceptibility of the Gentiles for the salvation revealed in Israel is clearly and visibly depicted in the behaviour of the Gentile sailors, viz., in the fact that they fear the God of heaven and earth, call upon Him, present sacrifice to Him, and make vows; and still more in the deep impression produced by the preaching of Jonah in Nineveh, and the fact that the whole population of the great city, with the king at their head, repent in sackcloth and ashes. The attitude of Israel towards the design of God to show mercy to the Gentiles and grant them salvation, is depicted in the way in which Jonah acts, when he receives the divine command, and when he goes to carry it out. Jonah tries to escape from the command to proclaim the word of God in Nineveh by flight to Tarshish, because he is displeased with the display of divine mercy to the great heathen world, and because, according to Jon. 4:2, he is afraid lest the preaching of repentance should avert from Nineveh the destruction with which it is threatened. In this state of mind on the part of the prophet, there are reflected the feelings and the general state of mind of the Israelitish nation towards the Gentiles. According to his natural man, Jonah shares in this, and is thereby fitted to be the representative of Israel in its pride at its own election. At the same time, it is only in this state of mind that the old man, which rebels against the divine command, comes sharply out, whereas his better I hears the word of God, and is moved within; so that we cannot place him in the category of the false prophets, who prophesy from their own hearts. When the captain wakes him up in the storm upon the sea, and the lot shows that he is guilty, he confesses his fault, and directs the sailors to cast him into the sea, because it is on his account that the great storm has come upon them (Jon. 1:10-12). The infliction of this punishment, which falls upon him on account of his obstinate resistance to the will of God, typifies that rejection and banishment from the face of God which Israel will assuredly bring upon itself by its obstinate resistance to the divine call. But Jonah, when cast into the sea, is swallowed up by a great fish; and when he prays to the Lord in the fish’s belly, he is vomited upon the land unhurt. This miracle has also a symbolical meaning for Israel. It shows that if the carnal nation, with its ungodly mind, should turn to the Lord even in the last extremity, it will be raised up again by a divine miracle from destruction to newness of life. And lastly, the manner in which God reproves the prophet, when he is angry because Nineveh has been spared (Jon. 4), is intended to set forth as in a mirror before all Israel the greatness of the divine compassion, which embraces all mankind, in order that it may reflect upon it and lay it to heart.

                But this by no means exhausts the deeper meaning of the history of Jonah. It extends still further, and culminates in the typical character of Jonah’s three (3) days’ imprisonment in the belly of the fish, upon which Christ threw some light when He said, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Mat. 12:40). The clue to the meaning of this type, i.e., to the divinelyappointed connection between the typical occurrence and its antitype, is to be found in the answer which Jesus gave to Philip and Andrew when they told Him, a short time before His death, that there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast who desired to see Jesus. This answer consists of two distinct statements, viz., (Joh. 12:23,24): “The time is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except the grain of wheat fall into the earth, and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit;” and (v. 32), “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” This answer of Jesus intimates that the time to admit the Gentiles has not yet come; but the words, “the hour is come,” etc., also contain the explanation, that “the Gentiles have only to wait patiently a little longer, since their union with Christ, with which the address concludes (v. 32), is directly connected with the glorification of the Son of man” (Hengstenberg on Joh. 12:20). This assertion of the Lord, that His death and glorification are necessary in order that He may draw all men, even the heathen, to Himself, or that by His death He may abolish the wall of partition by which the Gentiles were shut out of the kingdom of God, at which He had already hinted in Joh. 10:15,16, teaches us that the history of Jonah is to be regarded as an important and significant link in the chain of development of the divine plan of salvation. When Assyria was assuming the form of a world-conquering power, and the giving up of Israel into the hands of the Gentiles was about to commence, Jehovah sent His prophet to Nineveh, to preach to this great capital of the imperial kingdom His omnipotence, righteousness, and grace. For although the giving up of Israel was inflicted upon it as a punishment for its idolatry, yet, according to the purpose of God, it was also intended to prepare the way for the spread of the kingdom of God over all nations. The Gentiles were to learn to fear the living God of heaven and earth, not only as a preparation for the deliverance of Israel out of their hands after it had been refined by the punishment, but also that they might themselves be convinced of the worthlessness of their idols, and learn to seek salvation from the God of Israel. But whilst this brings out distinctly to the light and deep inward connection between the mission of Jonah to Nineveh and the divine plan of salvation, the typical character of that connection is first made perfectly clear from what Jonah himself passed through. For whereas the punishment, which he brought upon himself through his resistance to the divine command, contained this lesson, that Israel in its natural nationality must perish in order that out of the old sinful nature there may arise a new people of God, which, being dead to the law, may serve the Lord in the willingness of the spirit, God also appointed the mortal anguish and the deliverance of Jonah as a type of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the whole world. As Jonah the servant of God is given up to death that he may successfully accomplish the work committed to him, namely, to proclaim to the Ninevites the judgment and mercy of the God of heaven and earth; so must the Son of God be buried in the earth like a grain of wheat, that He may bring forth fruit for the whole world. The resemblance between the two is apparent in this. But Jonah deserved the punishment of death; Christ, on the contrary, suffered as the innocent One for the sins of mankind, and went voluntarily to death as One who had life in Himself to accomplish His Father’s will. In this difference the inequality appears; and in this the type falls back behind the antitype, and typifies the reality but imperfectly. But even in this difference we may perceive a certain resemblance between Jonah and Christ which must not be overlooked. Jonah died according to his natural man on account of the sin, which was common to himself and his nation; Christ died for the sin of His people, which He had taken upon Himself, to make expiation for it; but He also died as a member of the nation, from which He had sprung according to the flesh, when He was made under the law, that He might rise again as the Saviour of all nations.

                This symbolical and typical significance of the mission of the prophet Jonah precludes the assumption that the account in his book is a myth or a parabolical fiction, or simply the description of a symbolical transaction which the prophet experienced in spirit only. And the contents of the book are at variance with all these assumptions, even with the last. When the prophets are commanded to carry out symbolical transactions, they do so without repugnance. But Jonah seeks to avoid executing the command of God by flight, and is punished in consequence. This is at variance with the character of a purely symbolical action, and proves that the book relates historical facts. It is true that the sending of Jonah to Nineveh had not its real purpose within itself; that is to say, that it was not intended to effect the conversion of the Ninevites to the living God, but simply to bring to light the truth that even the Gentiles were capable of receiving divine truth, and to exhibit the possibility of their eventual reception into the kingdom of God. But this truth could not have been brought to the consciousness of the Israelites in a more impressive manner than by Jonah’s really travelling to Nineveh to proclaim the destruction of that city on account of its wickedness, and seeing the proclamation followed by the results recorded in our book. Still less could the importance of this truth, so far as Israel was concerned, be exhibited in a merely symbolical transaction. If the intended flight of the prophet to Tarshish and his misfortune upon the sea were not historical facts, they could only be mythical or parabolical fictions. But though myths may very well embody religious ideas, and parables set forth prophetical truths, they cannot be types of future facts in the history of salvation. If the three (3) days’ confinement of Jonah in the belly of the fish really had the typical significance which Christ attributes to it in Mat. 12:29ff. and Luk. 11:29ff., it can neither be a myth or dream, nor a parable, nor merely a visionary occurrence experienced by the prophet; but must have had as much objective reality as the facts of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

                But if it follows from what has been said, that our book contains facts of a symbolico-typical meaning from the life of the prophet Jonah, there is no tenable ground left for disputing the authorship of the prophet himself. At the same time, the fact that Jonah was the author is not in itself enough to explain the admission of the book among the writings of the minor prophets. This place the book received, not because it related historical events that had happened to the prophet Jonah, but because these events were practical prophecies. Marck saw this, and has the following apt remark upon this point: “The writing is to a great extent historical, but so that in the history itself there is hidden the mystery of a very great prophecy; and he proves himself to be a true prophet quite as much by his own fate as he does by his prophecies.”

                For the exegetical literature on the book of Jonah, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p. 291.

                MICAH. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person of the Prophet.

                2. The Book of Micah.  The contents of the book consist of three (3) prophetic addresses, which are clearly distinguished from one another in form by similarity of introduction (all three (3) commencing with (), Mic. 1:2; 3:1; 6:1), and substantially by their contents, which pass through the various stages of reproof, threat, and promise, and are thereby rounded off; so that all attempts at any other division, such as that of Ewald to connect Mic. 3 with the first (1st) address, or to arrange the book in two (2) parts (Mic. 1-5 and 6,7), are obviously arbitrary. Ch. 3 can only be connected with Mic. 1 and 2 so as to form one (1) address, on the groundless assumption that Mic. 2:12,13 are a later gloss that has crept into the text; and though the () before () Mic. 3:1 does indeed connect the second (2nd) address more closely with the first (1st) than with the third (3rd), it by no means warrants our dividing the whole book into two (2) parts. In the three (3) addresses, Mic. 1, 2, 3-5, and 6, 7, we have not “three (3) prophecies of Micah, delivered to the people at three (3) different times,” as Hitzig and Maurer still suppose, but merely a condensation rhetorically arranged of the essential contents of his verbal utterances, as committed to writings by Micah himself at the end of his prophetic course in the time of Hezekiah. For these addresses are proved to be merely portions or sections of a single (1) whole, by the absence of all reference to the concrete circumstances of any particular portion of time, and still more by their organic combination, as seen in the clearly marked and carefully planned progressive movement apparent in their contents. In the first (1st) address, after a general announcement of judgment on account of the sins of Israel (Mic. 1:2-5), Micah predicts the destruction of Samaria (vv. 6,7), and the devastation of Judah with the deportation of its inhabitants (vv. 8-16), and justifies this threat by an earnest and brief reproof of the existing acts of injustice and violence on the part of the great men (Mic. 2:1-5), and a sharp correction of their abettors the false prophets. (vv. 6-11); after which this address closes with a brief promise of the eventual restoration of the remnant of Israel to favour (vv. 12,13). The second (2nd) address closes with a brief promise of the eventual restoration of the remnant of Israel to favour (vv. 12,13). The second (2nd) address spreads itself out still more elaborately in the first (1st) half (Mic. 3) over the sins and crimes of the heads of the nation, viz., the princes, the false prophets, the unjust judges and bad priests; and because of these sins threatens the destruction and utter devastation of Zion, and the temple hill. As an antithesis to this threat, the second (2nd) half (Mic. 4 and 5) contains a promise, commencing with the opening of a prospect of the glorification of Zion and Israel at the end of the days (Mic. 4:1-7), advancing to an assurance of the restoration of the former dominion of the daughter of Zion, after the people have first (1st) been carried away to Babel, and rescued again out of the hand of their enemies, and of her triumph in the last conflict with the nations of the world (vv. 8-14), and culminating in the announcement of the birth of the great Ruler in Israel, who will arise out of Bethlehem, and feed His people in the majesty of Jehovah (Mic. 5:1-5), and not only protect the rescued remnant of Jacob against the attacks of the imperial kingdom, but exalt it into a beneficent, and at the same time fearful, power to the heathen nations (vv. 6-8), and establish a kingdom of blessed peace (vv. 9-14). The third (3rd) address sets forth the way to salvation in the dramatic dress of a law-suit between Jehovah and His people, by exhibiting the divine benefits for which Israel had repaid its God with ingratitude, and by a repeated allusion to the prevailing sins and unrighteousness which God must punish (Mic. 6), and also by showing how the consciousness of misery will lead to the penitential confession of guilt and to conversion, and by encouraging to believing trust in the compassion upon His people, rebuild Zion, and humble the foe, and by renewing the miracles of the olden time fill all nations with fear of His omnipotence (Mic. 7:1-17); after which the prophet closes his book with praise for the sin-forgiving grace of the Lord (vv. 18-20).

                From this general survey of the contents of the three (3) addresses, their internal connection may be at once perceived. In the first (1st) the threatening of judgment predominates; in the second (2nd) the announcement of the Messianic salvation; in the third (3rd) there follows the paraenesis or admonition to repentance and humiliation under the chastising hand of the Lord, in order to participate in the promised salvation. As this admonition rests upon the threat of judgment and promise of salvation in the two (2nd) previous addresses, so does the allusion to the judgment contained in the words, “Then will they cry to Jehovah, and He will not answer them” (Mic. 3:4), presuppose the announcement in Mic. 1 of the judgment about to burst upon the land, without which it would be perfectly unintelligible. Consequently there can be no doubt whatever that Micah has simply concentrated the quintessence of his oral discourses into the addresses contained in his book. This quintessence, moreover, shows clearly enough that our prophet was not at all behind his contemporary Isaiah, either in the clearness and distinctness of his Messianic announcements, or in the power and energy with which he combated the sins and vices of the nation. There is simply this essential difference, so far as the latter point is concerned, that he merely combats the religious and moral corruptness of the rulers of the nation, and does not touch upon their conduct on its political side. (For the exegetical literature, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p. 296.)

                NAHUM. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person of the Prophet.

                2. Book of Nahum contains one (1) extended prophecy concerning Nineveh, in which the ruin of that city and of the Assyrian world-power is predicted in three (3) strophes, answering to the division into chapters; viz., in Nah. 1 the divine purpose to inflict judgment upon this oppressor of Israel; in Nah. 2 the joyful news of the conquest, plundering, and destruction of Nineveh; and in Nah. 3 its guilt and its inevitable ruin. These are all depicted with pictorial liveliness and perspicuity. Now, although this prophecy neither closes with a Messianic prospect, nor enters more minutely into the circumstances of the Israelitish kingdom of God in general, it is rounded off within itself, and stands in such close relation to Judah, that it may be called a prophecy of consolation for that kingdom. The fall of the mighty capital of the Assyrian empire, that representative of the godless and God-opposing power of the world, which sought to destroy the Israelitish kingdom of God, was not only closely connected with the continuance and development of the kingdom of God in Judah, but the connection is very obvious in Nahum’s prophecy. Even in the introduction (Nah. 1:2ff.) the destruction of Nineveh is announced as a judgment, which Jehovah, the zealous God and avenger of evil, executes, and in which He proves Himself a refuge to those who trust in Him (Nah. 1:7). But “those who trust in Him” are not godly Gentiles here; they are rather the citizens of His kingdom, viz., the Judaeans, upon whom Asshur had laid the yoke of bondage, which Jehovah would break (Nah. 1:13), so that Judah could keep feasts and pay its vows to Him (Nah. 1:15). On the destruction of Nineveh the Lord returns to the eminence of Israel, which the Assyrians have overthrown (Nah. 2:2). Consequently Nineveh is to fall, and an end is to be put to the rule and tyranny of Asshur, that the glory of Israel may be restored.

                The unity and integrity of the prophecy are not open to any well-founded objection. It is true that Eichhorn, Ewald, and De Wette, have questioned the genuineness of the first (1st) part of the heading (the Massa of Nineveh), but without sufficient reason, as even Hitzig observes. For there is nothing that can possibly astonish us in the fact that the object of the prophecy is mentioned first, and then the author. Moreover, the words (moss’ nynwh) cannot possibly have been added at a later period, because the whole of the first half of the prophecy would be unintelligible without them; since Nineveh is not mentioned by name till Nah. 2:8, and yet the suffix attached to (meqomah) in Nah. 1:8 refers to Nineveh, and requires the introduction of the name of that city in the heading. There is just as little force in the arguments with which Hitzig seeks to prove that the allusion to the conquest of No-Amon in Nah. 3:8-10 is a later addition. For the assertion that, if an Assyrian army had penetrated to Upper Egypt and taken that city, Nahum, when addressing Nineveh, could not have related to the Assyrians what had emanated from themselves, without at least intimating this, would obviously be well founded only on the supposition that the words “Art thou better than No-Amon,” etc., could be taken quite prosaically as news told to the city of Nineveh, and loses all its force, when we see that this address is simply a practical turn, with which Nah. describes the fate of No-Amon not to the Ninevites, but to the Judaeans, as a practical proof that even the mightiest and most strongly fortified city could be conquered and fall, when God had decreed its ruin. From the lively description of this occurrence, we may also explain the change from the third (3rd) person to the second (2nd)  in Nah. 3:9b, at which Hitzig still takes offence. His other arguments are so subjective and unimportant, that they require no special refutation.

                With regard to the date of the composition of our prophecy, it is evident from the contents that it was not written before, but after, the defeat of Sennacherib in front of Jerusalem in the reign of Hezekiah, since that event is not only clearly assumed, but no doubt furnished the occasion for the prophecy. Asshur had overrun Judah (Nah. 1:15), and had severely afflicted it (Nah. 1:9,12), yea plundered and almost destroyed it (Nah. 2:2). Now, even if neither the words in Nah. 1:11, “There is one come out of thee, who imagined evil against Jehovah,” etc., nor those of Nah. 1:12b, according to the correct interpretation, contain any special allusion to Sennacherib and his defeat, and if it is still less likely that Nah. 1:14 contains an allusion to his death or murder (Isa. 37:38), yet the affliction (tsarah) which Assyria had brought upon Judah (Nah. 1:9), and the invasion of Judah mentioned in Nah. 1:15 and 2: 2, can only refer to Sennacherib’s expedition, since he was the only one of all the kings of Assyria who so severely oppressed Judah as to bring it to the very verge of ruin. Moreover, Nah. 2:13, “The voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard,” is peculiarly applicable to the messengers whom Sennacherib sent to Hezekiah, according to Isa. 36:13ff. and 37:9ff., to compel the surrender of Jerusalem and get Judah completely into his power. But if this is established, it cannot have been a long time after the defeat of Sennacherib before Jerusalem, when Nah. prophesied; not only because that event was thoroughly adapted to furnish the occasion for such a prophecy as the one contained in our prophet’s book, and because it was an omen of the future and final judgment upon Asshur, but still more, because the allusions to the affliction brought upon Judah by Sennacherib are of such a kind that it must have still continued in the most vivid recollection of the prophet and the men of his time. We cannot do anything else, therefore, than subscribe to the view expressed by Vitringa, viz., that “the date of Nah. must be fixed a very short time after Isaiah and Micah, and therefore in the reign of Hezekiah, not only after the carrying away of the ten tribes, but also after the overthrow of Sennacherib (Nah. 1:11, 13), from which the argument of the prophecy is taken, and the occasion for preaching the complete destruction of Nineveh and the kingdom of Assyria” (Typ. doctr. prophet. p. 37). The date of the composition of our book cannot be more exactly determined. The assumption that it was composed before the murder of Sennacherib, in the temple of his god Nisroch (Isa. 37:38; 2Ki. 19:37), has no support in Nah. 1:14. And it is equally impossible to infer from Nah. 1:13 and 1:15 that our prophecy was uttered in the reign of Manasseh, and occasioned by the carrying away of the king to Babylon (2nd Ch. 33:11).

                The relation which exists between this prophecy and those of Isaiah is in the most perfect harmony with the composition of the former in the second (2nd) half of the reign of Hezekiah. The resemblances which we find between Nah. 3:5 and Isa. 47:2,3, Nah. 3:7, 10 and Isa. 51:19,20, Nah. 1:15 and Isa. 52:1 and 7, are of such a nature that Isaiah could just as well have alluded to Nah. as Nah. to Isaiah. If Nah. composed his prophecy not long after the overthrow of Sennacherib, we must assume that the former was the case. The fact that in Nah. 1:8, 13 and 3:10 there are resemblances to Isa. 10:23, 27 and 13:16, where our prophet is evidently the borrower, furnishes no decisive proof to the contrary. For the relation in which prophets who lived and laboured at the same time stood to one another was one of mutual giving and receiving; so that it cannot be immediately inferred from the fact that our prophet made use of a prophecy of his predecessor for his own purposes, that he must have been dependent upon him in all his kindred utterances. When, on the other hand, Ewald and Hitzig remove our prophecy to a much later period, and place it in the time of the later Median wars with Assyria, either the time of Phraortes (Herod. i. 102), or that of Cyaxares and his first siege of Nineveh (Herod. i. 103), they found this opinion upon the unscriptural assumption that it was nothing more than a production of human sagacity and political conjecture, which could only have been uttered “when a threatening expedition against Nineveh was already in full operation” (Ewald), and when the danger which threatened Nineveh was before his eyes, –a view which has its roots in the denial of the supernatural character of the prophecy, and is altogether destitute of any solid foundation. The style of our prophet is not inferior to the classical style of Isaiah and Micah, either in power and originality of thought, or in clearness and purity of form; so that, as R. Lowth (De sacr. poësi Hebr. § 281) has aptly observed, ex omnibus minoribus prophetis nemo videtur aequare sublimitatem, ardorem et audaces spiritus Nahumi; whereas Ewald, according to his preconceived opinion as to the prophet’s age, “no longer finds in this prophet, who already formed one of the later prophets, so much inward strength, or purity and fulness of thought.” For the exegetical writings on the book of Nahum, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, § 299, 300.

                HABAKKUK. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person of the Prophet.

                2. Book of Habakkuk contains neither a collection of oracles, nor the condensation into one (1) discourse of the essential contents of several prophetic addresses, but one single (1) prophecy arranged in two (2) parts. In the first (1st) part (Hab. 1 and 2), under the form of a conversation between God and the prophet, we have first (1st) of all an announcement of the judgment which God is about to bring upon the degenerate covenant nation through the medium of the Chaldaeans; and secondly (2nd), an announcement of the overthrow of the Chaldaean, who has lifted himself up even to the deification of his own power. To this there is appended in Hab. 3, as a second part, the prophet’s prayer for the fulfilment of the judgment; and an exalted lyric psalm, in which Habakkuk depicts the coming of the Lord in the terrible glory of the Almighty, at whose wrath the universe is terrified, to destroy the wicked and save His people and His anointed, and gives utterance to the feelings which the judgment of God will awaken in the hearts of the righteous. The whole of the prophecy has an ideal and universal stamp. Not even Judah and Jerusalem are mentioned, and the Chaldaeans who are mentioned by name are simply introduced as the existing possessors of the imperial power of the world, which was bent upon the destruction of the kingdom of God, or as the sinners who swallow up the righteous man. The announcement of judgment is simply a detailed expansion of the thought that the unjust man and the sinner perish, whilst the just will live through his faith (Hab. 2:4). This prophecy hastens on towards its fulfilment, and even though it should tarry, will assuredly take place at the appointed time (Hab. 2:2,3). Through the judgment upon the godless ones in Judah and upon the Chaldaeans, the righteousness of the holy God will be manifested, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Hab. 2:14). Although the fact that the Chaldaeans are mentioned by name leaves no doubt whatever that the judgment will burst upon Judah through this wild conquering people, the prophecy rises immediately from this particular judgment to a view of the universal judgment upon all nations, yea, upon the whole of the ungodly world, to proclaim their destruction and the dawning of salvation for the people of the Lord and the Lord’s anointed; so that the trembling at the terrors of judgment is resolved at the close into joy and exultation in the God of salvation. There can be no doubt as to the unity of the book; and the attempt to interpret the threat of judgment in Hab. 2 by applying it to particular historical persons and facts, has utterly failed. For the exegetical works on Habakkuk, see my Einleitung in das alte Testament, § 302-3.

                ZEPHANIAH. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person of the Prophet.

                2. Book of Zephaniah does not contain two (2) or three (3) prophetic addresses, but the quintessence of the oral proclamations of the prophet condensed into one lengthened prophecy, commencing with the threat of judgment (Zep. 1), proceeding to an exhortation to repentance (Zep. 2-3:8), and concluding with a promise of the salvation which would flourish for the remnant of Israel after the termination of the judgment (Zep. 3:9-20). This is arranged in three () sections. The first () section consists of the first () chapter; the second () reaches from Zep. 2:1 to Zep. 3:8; and the third () comprises Zep. 3:9-20. This division is indicated by both the contents and the form of the announcement: by the contents, since the first two (1st, 2nd) parts threaten the judgment and assign the reason, whilst the third (3rd) follows with the promise; by the form, inasmuch as the thought in Zep. 1:18, “All the earth shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy,” is repeated as a refrain in Zep. 3:8, and the (hoi) in Zep. 2:5 answers to the (hoi) in Zep. 3:1, the former announcing the judgment upon the nations, the latter the judgment upon Jerusalem, which assigns the motive for the summons to repentance in Zep. 2:1-4. Zephaniah proclaims the judgment upon the whole earth, upon all the heathen nations, and upon Judah and Jerusalem, in the following order: In the first (1st) part of his prophecy he threatens the near approach of the judgment upon the whole earth (Zep. 1:2-7) and upon Judah (Zep. 1:8-13), and depicts its terrible character (Zep. 1:14-18); and in the second (2nd) part (Zep. 2-3:8) he exhorts the people to repent, and the righteous to persevere (Zep. 2:1-3), and assigns a reason for this exhortation, by announcing that the Lord will judge the heathen nations both near and at hand and far off for the reproach which they have cast upon His people, and by destroying their power lead them to reverence His name (Zep. 2:4-15), and will also bring His righteousness to light in Jerusalem and Judah by the destruction of the ungodly (Zep. 3:1-8). Then (3rd) (the announcement of salvation commences thus in Zep. 3:9,10) will the nations serve Jehovah with one accord, and lead His scattered people to Him. The remnant of Israel will be made into a humble nation of God by the destruction of the wicked one out of the midst of it; and being sheltered by its God, it will rejoice in undisturbed happiness, and be exalted to “a name and praise” among all the nations of the earth (Zep. 3:11-20).

                Zephaniah’s prophecy has a more general character, embracing both judgment and salvation in their totality, so as to form one (1 ) complete picture. It not only commences with the announcement of a universal judgment upon the whole world, out of which the judgment rises that will fall upon Judah on account of its sins, and upon the world of nations on account of its hostility to the people of Jehovah; but it treats throughout of the great and terrible day of Jehovah, on which the fire of the wrath of God consumes the whole earth (Zep. 1:14-18; 2:2; 3:8). But the judgment, as a revelation of the wrath of God on account of the general corruption of the world, does not form the centre of gravity or the sole object of the whole of the predictions of our prophet. The end and goal at which they aim are rather the establishment of divine righteousness in the earth, and the judgment is simply the means and the way by which this the aim of all the development of the world’s history is to be realized. This comes clearly out in the second (2nd) and third (3rd) sections. Jehovah will manifest Himself terribly to the nations, to destroy all the gods of the earth, that all the islands of the nations may worship Him (Zep. 2:11). By pouring out His wrath upon nations and kingdoms, He will turn to the peoples a pure lip, so that they will call upon His name and serve Him with one (1) shoulder (Zep. 3:8, 9). The idolaters, the wicked, and the despisers of God will be destroyed out of Judah and Jerusalem, that the righteousness of Jehovah may come to the day (Zep. 3:1-7). The humble, who do God’s righteousness, are to seek Jehovah, to strive after righteousness and humility, and to wait for the Lord, for the day when He will arise, to procure for Himself worshippers of His name among the nations through the medium of the judgment, and to gather together His dispersed people, and make the remnant of Israel into a sanctified and blessed people of God (Zep. 3:11-20).

                It is in this comprehensive character of his prophecy that we find the reason why Zephaniah neither names, nor minutely describes, the executors of the judgment upon Judah, and even in the description of the judgment to be inflicted upon the heathen nations (Zep. 2:4-15) simply individualizes the idea of “all the nations of the earth,” by naming the nearer and more remote nations to the west and east, the south and north of Judah. He does not predict either this or that particular judgment, but extends and completes in comprehensive generality the judgment, by which God maintains His kingdom on the earth. This peculiarity in Zephaniah’s prophecy has been correctly pointed out by Bucer (in his commentary, 1528), when he says of the book before us: “If any one wishes all the secret oracles of the prophets to be given in a brief compendium, let him read through this brief Zephaniah.” There are many respects in which Zephaniah links his prophecy to those of the earlier prophets, both in subject-matter and expression; not, however, by resuming those prophecies of theirs which had not been fulfilled, or were not exhausted, during the period of the Assyrian judgment upon the nations, and announcing a fresh and more perfect fulfilment of them by the Chaldaeans, but by reproducing in a compendious form the fundamental thoughts of judgment and salvation which are common to all the prophets, that his contemporaries may lay them to heart; in doing which he frequently appropriates striking words and pregnant expression taken from his predecessors, and applies them to his own purpose. Thus, for example, the expression in Zep. 1:7 is compiled from earlier prophetic words: “Be silent before the Lord Jehovah (from Hab. 2:20), for the day of Jehovah is at hand (Joe. 1:15 and others); for Jehovah has prepared a sacrificial slaughter (Isa. 34:6), has consecrated His invited ones (Isa. 13:3).” (For further remarks on this point, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p. 307). In this respect Zephaniah opens the series of the less original prophets of the Chaldaean age of judgment, who rest more upon the earlier types; whilst in more material respects his predecessor Habakkuk acted as pioneer to the prophets of this period.

                Ewald’s view bears evidence of a strong misapprehension of the nature of the prophecy generally, and of the special peculiarities of the prophecy before us. “The book of Zephaniah,” he says, “must have originated in a great commotion among the nations, which threw all the kingdoms round about Judah far and wide into a state of alarm, and also threatened to be very dangerous to Jerusalem,” –namely, on account of the invasion of Upper and Hither Asia by the Scythians, which is mentioned by Herodotus in i. 15, 103-6, iv. 10ff. For there is not a trace discoverable in the whole book of any great commotion among the nations. The few allusions to the fact that a hostile army will execute the judgment upon Jerusalem and Judah (in Zep. 1:12,13, 16, and 3:15) do not presuppose anything of the kind; and in the threatening of the judgment upon Philistia, Moab and Ammon, Cush, and Asshur with Nineveh, Jehovah only is named as executing it (Zep. 2:4-15). Moreover, neither Herodotus nor the historical books of the Old Testament mention any conquest of Jerusalem by the Scythians; whilst, even according to the account given by Herodotus, the Scythian hordes neither destroyed Nineveh nor made war upon the Cushites (Aethiopians), as would be predicted by Zephaniah (Zep. 2:12-15), if he had the Scythians in his eye; and lastly, Jeremiah, upon whose prophecies Ewald, Hitzig, and Bertheau have principally based their Scythian hypothesis, knows nothing of the Scythians, but simply expects and announces that the judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem will come from the Chaldaeans. Zephaniah found the historical occasion for his prophecy in the moral depravity of Judah and Jerusalem, in the depth to which his people had fallen in idolatry, and in their obstinate resistance to all the efforts made by the prophets and the pious king Josiah to stem the corruption, and thus avert from Judah the judgment threatened even by Moses and the earlier prophets, of the dispersion of the whole nation among the heathen. On the ground of the condition of his people, and the prophetic testimonies of his predecessors, Zephaniah, under the impulse of the Spirit of God, predicted the near approach of the great and terrible day of Jehovah, which came upon Judah and the heathen nations far and wide through the instrumentality of the Chaldaeans. For Nebuchadnezzar laid the foundation of the empire which devastated Judah, destroyed Jerusalem with its temple, and led the degenerate covenant nation into exile. This empire was perpetuated in the empires of the Persians, the Macedonians, and the Romans, which arose after it and took its place, and in whose power Judah continued, even after the return of one portion of the exiles to the land of their fathers, and after the restoration of the temple and the city of Jerusalem during the Persian rule; so that the city of God was trodden down by the heathen even to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, whereby the desolation of the holy land, which continues to the present day, was produced, and the dispersion of the Jews to all quarters of the globe accomplished, and both land and people were laid under the ban, from which Israel can only be liberated by its conversion to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all nations, and from which it will assuredly be redeemed by virtue of the promise of the faithful covenant God. For the exegetical literature, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, pp. 305-6.

                HAGGAI. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person of the Prophet.

                2. Book of Haggai contains four (4) words of God uttered by the prophet in the second (2nd) year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes, which had for their object the furtherance of the building of the temple, and in all probability simply reproduce the leading thought of His oral addresses. In the first (1st) prophecy, delivered on the new moon’s day of the sixth (6th) month of the year named (Hag. 1), he condemns the indifference of the people concerning the building of the temple, and represents the failure of the crops and the curse under which the people were suffering as a divine punishment for the neglect of that work. In consequence of this admonition the building was resumed. The three (3) following prophecies in Hag. 2 encourage the people to continue the work they have begun. The second (2nd), which was delivered only twenty-four (24) days after the first (1st) (Hag. 2:1-9), consoles those who are desponding on account of the poverty of the new building, by promising that the Lord will keep the covenant promise made to His people when they came out of Egypt, and by shaking the whole world and all the heathen, will give the new temple even greater glory than that of Solomon had. The last two (2) words of God were delivered to the people on the twenty-fourth (24th) day of the ninth (9th) month of the same year. They predict in the first (1st) place the cessation of the previous curse, and the return of the blessings of nature promised to the church which had remained faithful to the covenant (vv. 10-19); and in the second (2nd) place, the preservation of the throne of Israel, represented in the person and attitude of Zerubbabel, among the tempests which will burst upon the kingdoms of this world, and destroy their might and durability (vv. 20-23).

                In order to understand clearly the meaning of these prophecies and promises in relation to the development of the Old Testament kingdom of God, we must look at the historical circumstances under which Haggai was called by God to labour as a prophet. Haggai was the first prophet who rose up after the exile in the midst of the congregation of Judah that had returned from Babylon, to proclaim to it the will and saving purposes of its God. Between him and Zephaniah there lay the seventy years’ exile, and the labours of the great prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. What all the earlier prophets had foretold, and Jeremiah especially, in a comprehensive and most impressive manner –namely, that the Lord would thrust out Judah also among the heathen, on account of its obstinate idolatry and resistance to the commandments of God, and would cause it to be enslaved by them– had been fulfilled. As the ten (10) tribes had been carried away by the Assyrians long before, so had the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem been also carried into exile by the Chaldaeans through Nebuchadnezzar. The Lord had now banished all His people from before His face, and sent them away among the heathen, but He had not cast them off entirely and for ever. He had indeed suspended His covenant with Israel, but He had not entirely abolished it. Even to the people pining in exile He had not only renewed the ancient promises through the prophet Ezekiel, after the dissolution of the kingdom of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, viz., that He would restore the nation to favour again, when it should come to the knowledge of its grievous sins, and turn to Him with penitence, and that He would redeem it from exile, lead it back to its own land, and exalt it to great glory; but He had also caused the might and duration of the kingdoms of the world to be proclaimed through Daniel, and their eventual overthrow through the kingdom of God from heaven. The seventy (70)years, during which the land of Judah was to lie waste and the nation to serve Babel (Jer. 25:11), had now passed away. The Babylonian empire had fallen, and Koresh (Cyrus), the founder of the Persian empire, had given the Jews permission to return to their own land in the first (1st) year of his sole dominion, and had commanded that the temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem should be rebuilt. In consequence of this, a considerable number of the captives of Judah and Benjamin, viz., 42,360 freemen, with 7337 men-servants and maidservants, led by Zerubbabel prince of Judah, a descendant of David, who was appointed governor in Judah, and by the high priest Joshua, had returned to their homes (Ezr. 1 and 2). Having arrived there, they had restored Jehovah’s altar of burnt-offering in the seventh (7th) month of the year, and re-established the sacrificial worship prescribed in the law. They had also so far made preparations for the rebuilding of the temple, that even in the second (2nd) month of the second (2nd) year after their return they were able solemnly to lay the foundation for the new temple (Ezr. 3).

                They had hardly commenced building, however, when the Samaritans came with a request that they might take part in the building of the temple, because they also sought the God of the Jews. Now, when the chiefs of Judah refused to grant them this request, as being a mixed people, composed of the heathen colonists who had been transplanted into the kingdom of the ten (10) tribes and a few Israelites who were left behind in the land, whilst their worship of God was greatly distorted by heathenism (see at 2nd Ki. 17:24-41), they endeavoured to disturb the work already begun, and to prevent its continuation and completion. They made the hands of the people of Judah idle, as we read in Ezr. 4:4,5, frightening them while building, and hiring counsellors against them to frustrate their design, the whole of the still remaining time of Cyrus, and even till the reign of king Darius of Persia, so that the work at the house of God at Jerusalem ceased and was suspended till the second (2nd) year of the reign of this king (Ezr. 4:24). But even if these machinations of the adversaries of Judah furnished the outward occasion for the interruption and suspension of the work they had begun, we must not seek for the sole and sufficient reason for the breaking off of the work in these alone. Nothing is recorded of any revocation of the edict issued by Cyrus during his reign; and even if the letter to Artachsata given in Ezr. 4:7ff. referred, as is generally assumed, to the building of the temple, and the reply of this king, which prohibited the continuation of the building, was issued by Pseudo-Smerdis, this only took place under the second (2nd) successor of Cyrus, twelve (12) years after the laying of the foundation-stone of the temple. What the enemies of Judah had previously undertaken and accomplished consisted simply in the fact that they made the hands of the Jewish people idle, frightening them while building, and frustrating their enterprise by hiring counsellors. (* So much is evident from the account in the book of Ezra, concerning the machinations of the Samaritans to frustrate the building. The more precise determination of what they did namely, whether they obtained a command from the king to suspend the building depends upon the explanation given to the section in Ezra (4:6-23), into which we need not enter more minutely till we come to our exposition of the book itself, inasmuch as it is not important to decide this question in order to understand our prophet. *)   The latter they would hardly have succeeded in, if the Jews themselves had taken real pleasure in the continuation of the work, and had had firm confidence in the assistance of God. These were wanting. Even at the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone, many of the old priests, Levites and heads of tribes, who had seen the first (1st) temple, spoiled the people’s pleasure by loud weeping. This weeping can hardly be explained merely from the recollection of the trials and sufferings of the last fifty (50) years, which came involuntarily into their mind at that moment of solemn rejoicing, but was no doubt occasioned chiefly by the sight of the miserable circumstances under which the congregation took this work in hand, and in which they could not help saying to themselves, that the execution of the work would not correspond to the hopes which might have been cherished from the restoration of the house of God. But such thoughts as these would of necessity greatly detract from their pleasure in building, and as soon as outward difficulties were also placed in their way, would supply food to the doubt whether the time for carrying on this work had really come. Thus the zeal for building the house of God so cooled down, that they gave it up altogether, and simply began to provide for their own necessities, and to establish themselves comfortably in the land of their fathers, so far as the circumstances permitted (Hag. 1:4). This becomes perfectly intelligible, if we add that, judging from the natural character of sinful men, there were no doubt a considerable number of men among those who had returned, who had been actuated to return less by living faith in the Lord and His word, than by earthly hopes of prosperity and comfort in the land of their fathers. As soon as they found themselves disappointed in their expectations, they became idle and indifferent with regard to the house of the Lord. And the addresses of our prophet show clearly enough, that one principal reason for the suspension of the work is to be sought for in the lukewarmness and indifference of the people.

                The contents and object of these addresses, viz., the circumstance that they are chiefly occupied with the command to build the temple, and attach great promises to the performance of this work, can only be explained in part, however, from the fact that the fidelity of the nation towards its God showed itself in zeal for the house of God. The deeper and truer explanation is to be found in the significance which the temple possessed in relation to the kingdom of God in its Old Testament form. The covenant of grace, made by the God of heaven and earth with the nation of Israel which He had chosen for His own peculiar possession, required, as a visible pledge of the real fellowship into which Jehovah had entered with Israel, a place where this fellowship could be sustained. For this reason, directly after the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai, God commanded the tabernacle to be erected, for a sanctuary in which, as covenant God, He would dwell among His people in a visible symbol; and, as the sign of the fulfilment of this divine promise, at the dedication of the tabernacle, and also of the temple of Solomon which took its place, the glory of Jehovah in the form of a cloud filled the sanctuary that had been built for His name. Hence the continuance of the ancient covenant, or of the kingdom of God in Israel, was bound up with the temple. When this was destroyed the covenant was broken, and the continuance of the kingdom of God suspended. If, therefore, the covenant which had been dissolved during the exile was to be renewed, if the kingdom of God was to be re-established in its Old Testament form, the rebuilding of the temple was the first (1st) and most important prerequisite for this; and the people were bound to pursue the work of building it with all possible zeal, that they might thereby practically attest their desire and readiness to resume the covenant fellowship which had been interrupted for a time. After the people had thus fulfilled the duty that devolved upon them, they might expect from the faithfulness of the Lord, their covenant God, that He would also restore the former gracious connection in all its completeness, and fulfil all His covenant promises. It is in this that the significance ofHaggai’s prophecies consists, so far as they have regard to the furthering of the work of building the temple. And this object was attained. The building of the temple was resumed in consequence of his admonition, and at the end of four (4) years and a half (1/2) –namely, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius– the work was finished (Ezr. 6:14, 15). But at its dedication the new temple was not filled with the cloud of the glory of Jehovah; yea, the most essential feature in the covenant made at Sinai was wanting, viz., the ark with the testimony, i.e., the tables of the law, which no man could restore, inasmuch as the ten (10) words of the covenant had been written upon the tables by God Himself. The old covenant was not to be restored in its Sinaitic form; but according to the promise made through Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31ff.), the Lord would make a new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah; He would put His law into their heart, and write it in their minds. The people, however, were not sufficiently prepared for this. Therefore those who had returned from Babylon were still to continue under the rule of the heathen powers of the world, until the time had arrived for the conclusion of the new covenant, when the Lord would come to His temple, and the angel of the covenant would fill it with the glory of the heathen. Thus the period of Zerubbabel’s temple was a time of waiting for Judah, and a period of preparation for the coming of the promised Saviour. To give the people a pledge during that period of the certainty of the fulfilment of the covenant grace of God, was the object of Haggai’s two (2) promises of salvation.

                So far as the form is concerned, the prophecies of Haggai have not the poetical swing of the earlier prophetical diction. They were written in the simplest rhetorical style, and never rise very far above the level of good prose, although vivacity is given to the delivery by the frequent use of interrogatives (cf. Hag. 1:4, 9; 2:3, 12,13, 19), and it by no means infrequently opens into full oratorical rhythm (cf. Hag. 1:6, 9-11; 2:6-8, 22). One characteristic of Haggai’s mode of description is the peculiar habit to which Naegelsbach has called attention –namely, of uttering the main thought with concise and nervous brevity, after a long and verbose introduction (cf. Hag. 1:2b, 1:12b, 2:5b, 2:19b); so that it might be said that he is accustomed “to conceal a small and most intensive kernel under a broad and thick shell.” His language is tolerably free from Chaldaeisms.

                For the exegetical literature, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p. 308; to which add Aug. Koehler’s die Weissagungen Haggai’s erklärt, Erlangen 1860.

                ZECHARIAH. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. The Prophet.

                2. The Book of Zechariah contains, besides the brief word of God, which introduces his prophetic labours (Zec. 1:1-6), four longer prophetic announcements: viz., (1) a series of seven visions, which Zechariah saw during the night, on the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, in the second year of Darius (Zec. 1:7-6:8), together with a symbolical transaction, which brought the visions to a close (Zec. 6:9-15); (2) the communication to the people of the answer of the Lord to a question addressed to the priests and prophets by certain Judaeans as to their continuing any longer to keep the day appointed for commemorating the burning of the temple and Jerusalem by the Chaldaeans as a fast-day, which took place in the fourth year of Darius (Zec. 7 and 8); (3) a burden, i.e., a prophecy of threatening import, concerning the land of Hadrach, the seat of the ungodly world-power (Zec. 9-11); and (4) a burden concerning Israel (Zec. 12-14). The last two oracles, which are connected together by the common epithet massaÑÿ, are distinguished from the first two announcements not only by the fact that the headings contain neither notices as to the time, nor the prophet’s name, but also by the absence of express allusions to the circumstances of Zechariah’s own times, however unmistakeably the circumstances of the covenant nation after the captivity form the historical background of these prophecies also; whilst there is in general such a connection between their contents and the prophetic character of the nightvisions, that Zec. 9-14 might be called a prophetic description of the future of the kingdom of God, in its conflict with the kingdoms of the world, as seen in the night-visions. For example, in the night-visions, as a sequel to Haggai, who had predicted two months before the overthrow of the might of all the kingdoms of the world and the preservation of Zerubbabel in the midst of that catastrophe (Hag. 2:20-23), the future development of the kingdom of God is unfolded to the prophet in its principal features till its final completion in glory. The first vision shows that the shaking of the kingdoms of the world predicted by Haggai will soon occur, notwithstanding the fact that the whole earth is for the time still quiet and at rest, and that Zion will be redeemed from its oppression, and richly blessed (Zec. 1:7-17). The realization of this promise is explained in the following visions: in the second (Zec. 2:1-4), the breaking in pieces of the kingdoms of the world, by the four smiths who threw down the horns of the nations; in the third (Zec. 2:5-17), the spread of the kingdom of God over the whole earth, through the coming of the Lord to His people; in the fourth (Zec. 3), the restoration of the church to favour, through the wiping away of its sins; in the fifth (Zec. 4), the glorifying of the church through the communication of the gifts of the Spirit; in the sixth (Zec. 5), the sifting out of sinners from the kingdom of God; in the seventh (Zec. 6:1-8), the judgment, through which God refines and renews the sinful world; and lastly, in the symbolical transaction which closes the visions (Zec. 6:9-15), the completion of the kingdom of God by the Sprout of the Lord, who combines in His own person the dignity of both priest and king. If we compare with these the last two oracles, in Zec. 9-11 we have first of all a picture of the judgment upon the kingdoms of the world, and of the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, through the gathering together of the scattered members of the covenant nation, and their exaltation to victory over the heathen (Zec. 9, 10), and secondly, a more minute description of the attitude of the Lord towards the covenant nation and the heathen world (Zec. 11); and in Zec. 12-14 we have an announcement of the conflict of the nations of the world with Jerusalem, of the conversion of Israel to the Messiah, whom it once rejected and put to death (Zec. 12, 13); and lastly, of the final attack of the heathen world upon the city of God, with its consequences, — namely, the purification and transfiguration of Jerusalem into a holy dwelling-place of the Lord, as King over the whole earth (Zec. 14); so that in both oracles the development of the Old Testament kingdom of God is predicted until its completion in the kingdom of God, which embraces the whole earth. The revelation from God, which stands between these two principal parts, concerning the continuance of the fast-days (Zec. 7, 8), does indeed divide the two from one another, both chronologically and externally; but substantially it forms the connecting link between the two, inasmuch as this word of God impresses upon the people the condition upon which the attainment of the glorious future set before them in the night-visions depends, and thereby prepares them for the conflicts which Israel will have to sustain according to the announcement in Zec. 9-14, until the completion of the kingdom of God in glory.

                Thus all the parts of the book hang closely together; and the objection which modern critics have offered to the unity of the book has arisen, not from the nature of the last two longer oracles (Zec. 9-14), but partly from the dogmatic assumption of the rationalistic and naturalistic critics, that the biblical prophecies are nothing more than the productions of natural divination, and partly from the inability of critics, in consequence of this assumption, to penetrate into the depths of the divine revelation, and to grasp either the substance or form of their historical development, so as to appreciate it fully.f ft[FOOTNOTE=For the history of these attacks upon the genuineness of the last part of Zechariah, and of the vindication of its genuineness, with the arguments pro and con, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, § 103, and Koehler’s Zechariah, ii. p. 297ff.] The current opinion of these critics, that the chapters in question date from the time before the captivity— viz. Zec. 9-11 from a contemporary of Isaiah, and Zec. 12-14 from the last period before the destruction of the kingdom of Judah — is completely overthrown by the circumstance, that even in these oracles the condition of the covenant nation after the captivity forms the historical ground and starting-point for the proclamation and picture of the future development of the kingdom of God. The covenant nation in its two parts, into which it had been divided since the severance of the kingdom at the death of Solomon, had been dispersed among the heathen like a flock without a shepherd (Zec. 10:2). It is true that Judah had already partially returned to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah; but the daughter Zion had still “prisoners of hope” waiting for release (Zec. 9:11, 12, compared with Zec. 2:10, 11), and the house of Joseph or Ephraim was still to be gathered and saved (Zec. 10:6-10). Moreover, the severance of Judah and Ephraim, which lasted till the destruction of both kingdoms, had ceased. The eye of Jehovah is now fixed upon all the tribes of Israel (Zec. 9:1); Judah and Ephraim are strengthened by God for a common victorious conflict with the sons of Javan (Zec. 9:13); the Lord their God grants salvation to His people as a flock (Zec. 9:16 compared with 8:13); the shepherd of the Lord feeds them both as a single flock, and only abolishes the brotherhood between Judah and Israel by the breaking of his second staff (Zec. 11:14). Hence the jealousy between Judah and Ephraim, the cessation of which was expected in the future by the prophets before the captivity (cf. Isa. 11:13; Hos. 2:2; Eze. 37:15ff.), is extinct; and all that remains of the severance into two kingdoms is the epithet house of Judah or house of Israel, which Zechariah uses not only in Zec. 9-11, but also in the appeal in Zec. 8:13, which no critic has called in question. All the tribes form one nation, which dwells in the presence of the prophet in Jerusalem and Judah. Just as in the first part of our book Israel consists of Judah and Jerusalem (Zec. 1:19, cf. 2:12), so in the second part the burden pronounced upon Israel (Zec. 12:1) falls upon Jerusalem and Judah (Zec. 12:2, 5ff., 14:2, 14); and just as, according to the night-visions, the imperial power has its seat in the land of the north and of the south (Zec. 6:6), so in the last oracles Asshur (the north land) and Egypt (the south land) are types of the heathen world (Zec. 10:10). And when at length the empire of the world which is hostile to God is more precisely defined, it is called Javan, — an epithet taken from Dan. 8:21, which points as clearly as possible to the times after the captivity, inasmuch as the sons of Javan never appear as enemies of the covenant nation before the captivity, even when the Tyrians and Philistines are threatened with divine retribution for having sold to the Javanites the prisoners of Judah and Jerusalem (Joe. 3:6).

                On the other hand, the differences which prevail between the first two (2) prophecies of Zechariah and the last two (2) are not of such a character as to point to two (2) or three (3) different prophets. It is true that in Zec. 9-14 there occur no visions, no angels taking an active part, no Satan, no seven (7) eyes of God; but Amos also, for example, has only visions in the second (2nd) part, and none in the first (1st); whilst the first (1st) part of Zechariah contains not only visions, but also, in Zec. 1:1-6, Zec. 7 and 8, simple prophetic addresses, and symbolical actions not only in Zec. 6:9-15, but also in Zec. 11:4-17. The angels and Satan, which appear in the visions, are also absent from Zec. 7 and 8; whereas the angel of Jehovah is mentioned in the last part in Zec. 12:8, and the saints in Zec. 14:5 are angels. The seven (7) eyes of God are only mentioned in two (2) visions (Zec. 3:9 and 4:10); and the providence of God is referred to in Zec. 9:1, 8, under the epithet of the eye of Jehovah. This also applies to the form of description and the language employed in the two (2) parts. The visionary sights are described in simple prose, as the style most appropriate for such descriptions. The prophecies in word are oratorical, and to some extent are rich in gold figures and similes. This diversity in the prophetic modes of presentation was occasioned by the occurrence of peculiar facts and ideas, with the corresponding expressions and words; but it cannot be proved that there is any constant diversity in the way in which the same thing or the same idea is described in the two (2) parts, whereas there are certain unusual expressions, such as (me`ober umishshab) (in Zec. 7:14 and 9:8) and (he`ebir) in the sense of removere (in Zec. 3:4 and 13:2), which are common to both (2)parts. Again, the absence of any notice as to the time in the headings in Zec. 9:1 and 12:1 may be explained very simply from the fact, that these prophecies of the future of the kingdom are not so directly associated with the prophet’s own time as the visions are, the first (1st) of which describes the condition of the world in the second (2nd) year of Darius. The omission of the name of the author from the headings no more disproves the authorship of the Zechariah who lived after the captivity, than the omission of the name from Isa. 15:1; 17:1; 19:1, disproves Isaiah’s authorship in the case of the chapters named. All the other arguments that have been brought against the integrity or unity of authorship of the entire book, are founded upon false interpretations and misunderstandings; whereas, on the other hand, the integrity of the whole is placed beyond the reach of doubt by the testimony of tradition, which is to be regarded as of all the greater value in the case of Zechariah, inasmuch as the collection of the prophetic writings, if not of the whole of the Old Testament canon, was completed within even less than a generation after the prophet’s death. Zechariah’s mode of prophesying presents, therefore, according to the cursory survey just given, a very great variety. Nevertheless, the crowding together of visions is not to be placed to the account of the times after the captivity; nor can any foreign, particularly Babylonian, colouring be detected in the visions or in the prophetic descriptions. The habit of leaning upon the prophecies of predecessors is not greater in his case than in that of many of the prophets before the captivity. The prophetic addresses are to some extent rich in repetitions, especially in Zec. 7 and 8, and tolerably uniform; but in the last two (2) oracles they rise into very bold and most original views and figures, which are evidently the production of a lively and youthful imagination. This abundance of very unusual figures, connected with much harshness of expression and transitions without intermediate links, makes the work of exposition a very difficult one; so that Jerome and the rabbins raise very general, but still greatly exaggerated, lamentations over the obscurity of this prophet. The diction is, on the whole, free from Chaldaisms, and formed upon the model of good earlier writers.    For the proofs of this, as well as for the exegetical literature, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p. 310ff.

                MALACHI. Translated by James  Martin.  Introduction:

                1. Person of the Prophet……Period of Malachi…..

                2. Book of Malachi contains one single prophecy, the character of which is condemnatory throughout. Starting with the love which the Lord has shown to His people (Mal. 1:2-5), the prophet proves that not only do the priests profane the name of the Lord by an unholy performance of the service at the altar (Mal. 1:6; 2:9), but the people also repudiate their divine calling both by heathen marriages and frivolous divorces (Mal. 2:10-16), and by their murmuring at the delay of the judgment; whereas the Lord will soon reveal Himself as a just judge, and before His coming will send His messenger, the prophet Elijah, to warn the ungodly and lead them to repentance, and then suddenly come to His temple as the expected angel of the covenant, to refine the sons of Levi, punish the sinners who have broken the covenant, and by exterminating the wicked, as well as by blessing the godly with salvation and righteousness, make the children of Israel the people of His possession (Mal. 2:17-4:6). The contents of the book, therefore, arrange themselves in three (3) sections: Mal. 1:6-2:9; 2:10-16; 2:17-4:6. These three (3) sections probably contain only the leading thoughts of the oral addresses of the prophet, which are so combined as to form one single (1) prophetic address. Throughout the whole book we meet with the spirit which developed itself among the Jews after the captivity, and assumed the concrete forms of Phariseeism and Saduceeism. The outward or grosser kind of idolatry had been rendered thoroughly distasteful to the people by the sufferings of exile; and its place was taken by the more refined idolatry of dead-work righteousness, and trust in the outward fulfilment of the letter of the divine commands, without any deeper confession of sin, or penitential humiliation under the word and will of God. Because the fulness of salvation, which the earlier prophets had set before the people when restored to favour and redeemed from captivity, had not immediately come to pass, they began to murmur against God, to cherish doubts as to the righteousness of the divine administration, and to long for the judgment to fall upon the Gentiles, without reflecting that the judgment would begin at the house of God (Amos 3:2; 1st Pe. 4:17). Malachi fights against this spirit, and the influence of the time in which he lived is apparent in the manner in which he attacks it. This style is distinguished from the oratorical mode of address adopted by the earlier prophets, and not unfrequently rises into a lyrico-dramatical diction, by the predominance of the conversational form of instruction, in which the thought to be discussed is laid down in the form of a generally acknowledged truth, and developed by the alternation of address and reply. In this mode of developing the thought, we can hardly fail to perceive the influence of the scholastic discourses concerning the law which were introduced by Ezra; only we must not look upon this conversational mode of instruction as a sign of the defunct spirit of prophecy, since it corresponded exactly to the practical wants of the time, and prophecy did not die of spiritual exhaustion, but was extinguished in accordance with the will and counsel of God, as soon as its mission had been fulfilled. Malachi’s language, considering the later period in which he lived and laboured, is still vigorous, pure, and beautiful. “Malachi,” as Nägelsbach says in Herzog’s Cyclopaedia, “is like a late evening, which brings a long day to a close; but he is also the morning dawn, which bears a glorious day in its womb.”

                For the exegetical literature, see my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, p. 318; also Aug. Koehler’s Wiessagungen Maleachi’s erklärt, Erl. 1865.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.43

                6. Pusey.

The Minor Prophets: With a Commentary Explanatory & Practical & Introductions to the Several Books. Volume 1-2. Hosea-Jonah, Micah-Malachi. By Edward Bouverie Pusey, D.D. Regius Professor of Hebrew, & Canon of Christ Church. New York. Funk & Wagnalls. 1885. gs.as.  (I have omitted many of the lesser notes & references in this work.)

                {{ Introductory Statement on the Principles & Object of the Commentary:

                The object of the following pages is to evolve some portion of the meaning of the Word of God. In regard to the literal meaning of the sacred text, I have given that which, after a matured study spread over more than thirty (30) years, I believe to be the true, or, in some cases , the more probable only. In so doing, I have purposely avoided all show of learning or embarrassing discussion, which belong to the dictionary or grammar rather than to a commentary on Holy Scripture. Where it seemed to me necessary, on some unestablished point, to set down in some measure, the grounds of the rendering of any word or phrase, I have indicated it very briefly in the lower margin. (* As time went on, and the use and abuse of Hebrew increased, I increased the remarks on the Hebrew in the lower margin, as I hoped might be useful to those who had some knowledge of Hebrew, without distracting those who had not. 1877. *)   I hoped, in this way, to make it intelligible to those acquainted with the sacred language, without interrupting the development of the meaning of the text, which presupposes a knowledge of the verbal meaning. Still less have I thought the discussion of different renderings of ancient Versions suited to a commentary of this sort. As soon as one is satisfied that any given rendering of an ancient version does not correctly represent the Hebrew original, the question how the translators came so to render it, by what misreading or mishearing, or guess, or paraphrase, belongs to a history of that Version, not to the explanation of the sacred original. Still more distracting is a discussion of the various expositions of modern commentators, or an enumeration of names, often of no weight, who adhere to one or the other rendering, or perhaps originated some crotchet of their own. These things, which so often fill modern commentaries, have a show of learning, but embarrass rather than aid a reader of Holy Scripture. I have myself examined carefully every commentator, likely or unlikely to contribute any thing to the understanding of the sacred text; and, if I have been able to gain little from modern German commentaries, (except such as Tholuck, Hengstenberg, Keil, Delitzsch , and Hävernick ) it is not that I have not sifted them to the best of the ability which God gave me. Even Luther said  of his adherents, that they were like Solomon’s fleet; some brought back gold and silver; but the younger, peacocks and apes. On the other hand, it has been pleasurable to give (at times somewhat condensed) the expositions of Pococke, extracted from the folio, in which, for the most part, they lie entombed amid the heaps of other explanations which his learning brought together. Else it has been my desire to use what learning of this sort I have, in these many years, acquired, to save a student from useless balancing of renderings, which I believe that no one, not under a prejudice, would adopt.

                If, in the main, I have adhered to the English Version, it has been from the conviction that our translators were in the right. They had most of the helps for understanding Hebrew, which we have, the same traditional knowledge from the ancient Versions, Jewish commentators or lexicographers or grammarians, (with the exception of the Jewish-Arabic school only,) as well as the study of the Hebrew Scriptures themselves; and they used those aids with more mature and even judgment than has mostly been employed in the subsequent period. Hebrew criticism has now escaped, for the most part, from the arbitrariness, which detected a various reading in any variation of a single old Version, or in the error of some small fraction of MSS., which disfigured the commentaries of Lowth, Newcome, and Blayney.  (* Ewald re-opened a system of boundless licence which has been copied by his followers; only, instead of drawing from some mistake or paraphrase of an ancient version, such draw from their own imagination. It comes to this, Had I been the prophet, I would have written so and so. “As the pious and original Claudius pictures the commentators on the Gospels In his day, “There crossed my mind a random thought: Had I been Christ, so had I taught.”  It is very piteous, that a mind, with such rare grammatical gifts, which, at 19, laid the foundation of scientiflc study of Hebrew grammar, should, by over-con fldence in self, have become so misled and misleading. 1877. *)     But the comparison of the cognate dialects opened for the time an unlimited licence of innovation. Every principle of interpretation, every rule of language, was violated. The Bible was misinterpreted with a wild recklessness, to which no other book was ever subjected. A subordinate meaning of some half-understood Arabic word was always at hand to remove whatever any one misliked. Now, the manifoldness of this reign of misrule has subsided. But interpretations as arbitrary as any which have perished still hold their sway,  or from time to time emerge, and any revisal of the authorized Version of the O.T., until the precarious use of the dialects should be far more settled, would give us chaff for wheat, introducing an indefinite amount of error into the Word of God. In some places, in the following pages, I have put down what I thought an improvement of the Eng. Version; in others, I have marked, by the word, or a rendering which I thought equally or more probable than that which our Translators adopted. Where I have said nothing, it has not been that I have been unaware of any other translation (for I have proved all), but that I thought the received Version most in accordance with the Hebrew, or at least the most probable. For the most part, I have pointed out simple things, which any one would see, who could read the Hebrew text, but which cannot mostly be preserved in a translation without a cumbrousness which would destroy its beauty and impressiveness.

                The literal meaning of the words lies, of course, as the basis of any further developement of the whole meaning of each passage of Holy Scripture. Yet any thoughtful reader must have been struck by observing, how independent that meaning is of single words. The general meaning remains the same, even amid much variation of single words. This is apparent in the passages which the Apostles quote from the LXX, where it is not an exact translation of the Hebrew. The variation arising from any single word does not mostly extend beyond itself.

                This is said, that I may not seem to have neglected the letter of Holy Scripture, because I have not set down what is now commonly found in books, which profess to give an explanation of that letter. My wish has been to give the results rather than the process by which they were arrived at; to exhibit the building, not the scaffolding. My ideal has been to explain or develop each word and sentence of Holy Scripture, and, when it should be required, the connection of verses, to leave nothing unexplained, as far as I could explain it; and if any verse should give occasion to enter upon any subject, historical, moral, doctrinal, or devotional, to explain this, as far as the place required or suggested. Then, if any thoughtful writers with whom I am acquainted, and to whom most English readers have little or no access, have expanded the meaning of any text in a way which I thought would be useful to an English reader, I have translated them, placing them mostly at the end of the comment on each verse, so that the mind might rest upon them, and yet not be sensible of a break or a jar, in passing on to other thoughts in the following verse.

                The nature of the subjects thus to be expanded must, of course, vary with the different books of Holy Scripture. The prophets are partly teachers of righteousness and rebukers of unrighteousness; partly they declared things then to come, a nearer and a more distant future, God’s judgments on unrighteousness, whether of His own sinful people or of the nations who unrighteously executed God’s righteous judgments upon them, and the everlasting righteousness which He willed to bring in through the Coming of Christ. Of these, the nearer future, by its fulfillment of their words, accredited to those who then would hear, the more distant; to us, (with the exception of those more lasting visitations, as on Nineveh and Babylon and God’s former people, whose destructions or dispersion have lived on to the present day) the then more distant future, the prophecies as to Christ, which are before us in the Gospels, or of the Church among all nations, whose fulfillment is around us, accredit the earlier. The fulfillments of these prophecies, as they come before us in the several prophets, it lies within the design of the present work, God giving us strength, to vindicate against the unbelief, rife in the present day. Where this can be done without disturbing the interpretation of the Scripture itself, the answers may often be tacitly supplied for those who need them, in the course of that interpretation. Where a fuller discussion may be necessary, it will probably be placed in the Introduction to the several books.

                To this employment, which I have had for many years at heart, but from which the various distresses of our times, and the duties which they have involved, have continually withheld me, I hope to consecrate the residue of the years and of the strength which Grod may give me. “Vitae summa brevis spem vetat inchoare longam.” The wonderful volume of the twelve prophets, “brief in words, mighty  in meaning“, and, if God continue my life, the Evangelical Prophet, are what I have specially reserved for myself. The New Testament except the Apocalypse, and most of the rest of the Old Testament, have been undertaken by friends whose names will be published, when the arrangement shall finally be completed”.    (* It is useless to say, how these hopes, as to myself; or others have failed. God removed some, by death, as my friend C. Marriott, that beaatiful mind and ripe scholar, James Riddell of Balliol, and when he, at last, had accomplished his 16 years’ labor of love for the memory of the Apostolic Bishop Wilson, the revered John Keble. Some thought the plan on too large a scale for them. I myself have only to thank God for enabling me to do the little I could do, praying Him to accept anything which He gave, and to forgive anything amiss for Jesus’ sake. 1877. *)   The Commentary on the Minor Prophets is in the course of bemg printed; the Commentary on S. Matthew is nearly ready for the press. Other portions are begun. But the object of all, who have been engaged in this work, is one and the same, to develop, as God shall enable us, the meaning of Holy Scripture out of Holy Scripture itself; to search in that deep mine and –not bring meanings into it, but –(Christ being our helper, for “the well is deep,”) to bring such portions, as they may, of its meaning out of it; to exhibit to our people, truth side by side with the fountain, from which it is drawn; to enable them to see something more of its riches, than a passer-by or a careless reader sees upon its surface.

                To this end, it is our purpose to use those more thoughtful writers of all times, who have professedly, or, as far as we know, incidentally developed the meaning of portions or texts of the sacred volume, men who understood Holy Scripture through that same Spirit by Whom it was written, to whom prayer, meditation, and a sanctified life laid open its meaning. For He, Who first gave to man the words of eternal life, still hides their meaning from those who are wise and prudent in their own eyes, and giveth  wisdom to the simple. “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” “The reading of the Scripture is the opening of Heaven.” “In the words of God, we learn the Heart of God.”

                “O Eternal Truth, and True Love, and loving Light, our God and our All, enlighten our darkness by the brightness of Thy light; irradiate our minds by the splendor of holiness, that in Thy Light we may see light, that we, in turn, may enlighten others, and kindle them with the love of Thee. Open Thou our eyes, that we may see wondrous things out of Thy law. Who makest eloquent the minds and tongues of the slow of speech. To Thee, to Thy glory, to the good of Thy Church and people, may we labor, write, live. Thou hast said, Lord, to Thine Apostles and Prophets, their followers earth; ‘ye are the light of the world.’ Thou hast said it, and, by saying it, hast done it. Grant to us, then, Lord, that we too, like them, may be preachers of heaven, sowers for eternity, that they who read, may, by the knowledge of Thy Scriptures, through the graveness and the weight of Thy promises and threats, despise the ensnaring entanglements of earth, and be kindled with the love of heavenly goods, and the effectual earnest longing for a blessed eternity. This be our one desire, this our prayer, to this may all our reading and writing and all our toil tend, that Thy Holy Name may be hallowed. Thy Holy Will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Thy Holy kingdom of grace, glory, and endless bliss, where Thou wilt be all things in all, may come to us. Amen.” }}

                (Christ Church,   Easter; 1860.)

                Contents.

                I. HOSEA. Introduction. Order of the Twelve. Length of Hosea’s ministry. State of Israel. His own personal circumstances, a picture of the love of God. Order of his book. His mournful love for his people. References to the Pentateuch.

                II. JOEL. Introduction. His office exclusively for Judah. Quoted by Amos and Isaiah. No other dates as to his period. The locusts which he foretells symbols of conquerors from the North. Beauty of his style and his tenderness. Extent of his predictions.

                III. AMOS. Introduction. His early life and birthplace, Tekoah. His prophecies at Samaria, for a period in the later part of the reign of Jeroboam II; Joined his prophecy to Joel’s. His  descriptions of God’s power over nature trom his shepherd-life: his simple eloquence: no variation of dialect: evidence of the retention of the law in Israel. Distinctness of his prophecies. Prophecy that the heathen should be converted, when the family of David should be fallen. 

                IV. OBADIAH. Introduction. Dates, assigned by German critics from internal evidence, vary 600 years. Prophesied earlier than Jeremiah: internal proof: external, from comparison with Jeremiah: but since earlier, much earlier: uses language of Hosea, Amos, Balaam, but no later prophet. His style. Answers to Ewald’s assumption. 

                V. JONAH. Introduction. His date — variations of German critics — grounds of it: the use of the 3rd or 1st persons by the prophets, when speaking of themselves: arguments trom Ianguage; graphicalness: his hymn: his description of Nineveh, ground of his unwillingness to proceed to Nineveh. The miracles and the authority of our Lord. The fish: the ricinus: Heathen fables.

                VI. MICAH. Introduction. His name: a villager: his date: earlier than Isaiah, yet prophesied under Ahaz and in beginning of Hezekiah’s reign: divisions of his book: simplicity

but vividness and energy of his style. His extreme tenderness. His use of the Pentateuch, and use of his book by later prophets.

                VII. NAHUM. Introduction. His date: date of the conquest of No, mentioned by him. Strength of Nineveh: its history: its might enlarged, until within 22 years of its fall. Suddenness of its fall. Its rivers were its strength and weakness. Commerce continued its old course on the opposite side of the river, but itself perished. Pseudo-criticisms as to his style.

                VIII. HABAKKUK. Introduction. Prophet of faith: earlier than Zephaniah: pseudo-criticism as to his language. Suddenness of the rise and fall of the strength of Babylon: mistake of Assyria in placing Chaldees there. Magnificence of Habakkuk’s style.

                IX. ZEPHANIAH. Introduction. Correspondence with Habakkuk. His date, use of former prophets. Distinct prophecies. Myth of critics as to Scythians being formidable to the Jews. Vividness and tenderness. Moabite stone, translation of its inscription.

                X. HAGGAI. Introduction. Lukewarmness of his times; greatness of the repentance wrought through him. Energy of his style.

                XI. ZECHARIAH. Introduction. Called early to his office. Imaginative richness in both parts of his book: correspondence between them: references in both to prophets before the  captivity: correspondence in language and style and rhythm; captivity spoken of as past In later chapters also: identity of authorship: author of these chapters, had he lived before the captivity, would have been one of the false prophets condemned by Jeremiah. German criticism, on grround of philology and history, assigns dates varying by nearly 500 years; alleged grounds of preexile date, or of the relation of c. 11 to times of Menahem. Arguments of philology for weightier, allowed to be invalid as to Plato. Table of discrepant dates assigned to Zecharlah by modem German critics.

                XII. MALACHI. Introduction. His date: characteristics of his call to repentance; co-operated effectively in Nehemiah’s reformation. Poetry would have been misplaced in his prophecy .

                Introduction to the Minor Prophets, & Chiefly to HOSEA.

                The Twelve (12) Prophets, at the head ot whom Hoeea has been placed, were called of old “the lesser, or minor prophets,” by reason of the smaller compass of their prophecies, not as though their prophecies were less important than those of the four (4) greater prophets. (* S. Aug. de Civ. D. xviii. 29. “The Prophet Isaiah is not in the books of the 12 prophets who are therefore called minor, because their discourses are brief in comparison with those who are called ‘greater’ because they composed considerable volumes.” *) Hosea, at least, must have exercised the prophetic office longer than any besides; he must have spoken as much and as often, in the Name of God. A prophecy of Micah and words of Joel are adopted by Isaiah; Jeromiah employs verses of Obadiah to denounce anew the punishment of Edom; a prophecy of Joel is expanded by Ezekiel. “The twelve” (12) were the organs of important prophecy, as to their own people, or foreign nations, or as to Him Whom they looked for, our Lord. Now, since the first five (5) were earlier than Isaiah, and next, in order of time, to the Prophetic Psalms of David, Solomon, Asaph and the sons of Korah, the revelations made to these lesser Prophets even ante-date those given through the four (4)greater. The general out-pouring of the Spirit on all flesh and the Day of the Lord were first spoken of by Joel. Our resurrection in Christ on the 3rd day; the inward graces which Christ should bestow on His Church in its perpetual union with Him; the entire victory over death and the grave; and the final conversion of Judah and Israel, were first prophesied by Hosea. When S. James wished to shew that the conversion of the  Gentiles had been foretold by a prophet, he quoted a passage of Amos. “The twelve,” (12) as ley begun, so they closed the cycle of those whom God employed to leave written prophecies. Yet God, Who willed that of all the earlier prophets, who prophesied from the time of Samuel to Elisha, no prophecy should remain, except the few words in the books of Kings, willed also, that little, in comparison, should be preserved, of what these later prophets spake in His Name. Their writings altogether are not equal in compass to those of the one prophet, Isaiah. And so, like the twelve Apostles, they were enrolled in one prophetic band; their writings, both in the Jewish and Christian Church, have been counted as one book; and, like the Apostles, they were called “the twelve.” (12) (* The Jewish tradition ran, “our fathers made them one book, that they might not perish, for their littleness.” Bava Bathra (c. 1. f. 14. col. 2.) in Carpzov Intr. iii. p. 72. Josephus must so have counted them, since he counted all the books of the O.T., besides the five books of Moses and the Psalms and books of Solomon, as 13. c. Ap. i. 8. see  Cosin. Hist. of the Canon § 25.  (*See Cosin. § 47. sqq.*) *)

                The earliest of this band followed very closely upon the ministry of Elijah and Elisha. Elisha, in his parting words, foretold to Joash the three victories whereby he recovered from Syria the cities of Israel which Hazael had taken from his father Jehoahaz. In the next reign, viz., that of Jeroboam II, there arose the first of that brilliant constellation of prophets, whose light gleamed over the fall of Israel and Judah, shone in their captivity, and set at last, with the prediction of him, who should precede the rising of the Sun of Righteousness.

                In the reign of Jeroboam II, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, prophesied in the kingdom of Israel. Joel was probably called at the same time to Prophesy in Judah, and Obadiah to deliver is prophecy as to Edom; Isaiah, a few years later: Micah, we know, began his office in the following reign of Jotham, and then prophesied, together with Isaiah, to and in the reign of Hezekiah.

                The order, then, of “the twelve” (12) was probably, for the most part, an order of time. We know that the greater prophets are placed in that order, as also the three last of the twelve (12), Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Of the five (5) first, Hosea, Amos and Jonah were nearly contemporary; Joel was prior to Amos; and of the four remaining, Micah and Nahum were later than Jonah, whom they succeed in order; Nahum refers to Jonah; Zephaniah quotes Habakkuk. It may be from an old Jewish tradition, that S. Jerome says, “know that those prophets, whose time is not prefixed in the title, prophesied under the same kings, as those other prophets, who are placed before them, and who have titles.”

                Hosea, the first (1st) of the twelve (12), must have prophesied during a period, as long as the ordinary life of man. For he prophesied (the title tells us) while Uzziah king of Judah and Jeroboam II, king of Israel, were both reigning, as also during the reigns of Jotham Ahaz, and Hezekiah. But Uzziah survived Jeroboam, 26 years. Jotham and Ahaz reigned, each, 16 years. Thus we have already 68 years complete, without counting the years of Jeroboam, during which Hosea prophesied at the beginning of his office, or those of Hezekiah which elapsed before its close. But since the prophecy of Hosea is  directed almost exclusively to Israel, it is not probable that the name of Jeroboam would alone have been selected for mention, unless Hosea had prophesied for some time during his reign. The house of Jehu, which sunk after the death of Jeroboam, was yet standing, and in its full strength, when Hosea first prophesied. Its might apparently is contrasted with the comparative weakness of Judah. On the other hand, the office of Hosea probably closed before the end of the 4th year of Hezekiah. For in that year, B.C. 721, the judgment denounced by Hosea upon Samaria was fulfilled, and all his prophecy looks on to this event as yet to come: the 13th chapter closes with the prophecy of the utter destruction of Samaria: and of the horrible cruelties which would befall her helpless ones. The last chapter alone winds up the long series of denunciations by a prediction of the future conversion of Israel. This chapter, however, is too closely connected with the preceding, to admit of its being a consolation after the captivity had begun. If then we suppose that Hosea prophesied during 2 years only of the reign of Hezekiah, and 10 of those in wliich the reigns of Jeroboam II. and Uzziah coincide, his ministry will have lasted 70 years. A long and heavy service for a soul full of love like his, mitigated only by his hope of the Coming of Christ, the final conversion of his people, and the victory over the grave! But the length is nothing incredible, since, about this time, Jehoiada “did good in Israel both towards God and towards His House;” until he “was 130 years.” The shortest duration of Hosea’s office must have been some 65 years. But if God called Him quite young to his office, he need but have lived about 96 years, whereas Anna the Prophetess served God in the temple with fasting and prayer night and day, after a widowhood probably of 84 years; and S. John the Evangelist lived probably until 84 years; and S. Polycarp became a martyr, when he was about 104 years old, having served Christ for 86 years, and having, when 95, sailed from Asia to Italy.  (* So S. Ambrose and others understand the words “a widow of about fourscore and four years (84);” (S. Luke 2:37.) and it seems the most natural. If, according to Jewish law and practice, she was married at 12. her widowhood, after 7 years, began when she was 19, and when she was permitted to see our Lord, she was 103. *)   Almost in our own days, we have heard of 100 centenarians, deputed by a religious order who ate no animal food, to bear witness that their rule of life was not unhealthy. Not then the length of Hosea’s life, but his endurance, was superhuman. So long did God will that His prophets should toil; so little fruit were they content to leave behind them. For these few chapters alone remain of a labour beyond the ordinary life of man. But they were content to have God for their exceeding great reward.

                The time, during which Hosea prophesied, was the darkest period in the history of the kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam II was almost the last king who ruled in it by the appointment of God. The promise of God to Jehu in reward of his partial obedience, that his “children of the fourth (4th) generation should  sit on the throne of Israel,” expired with Jeroboam’s son, who reigned but for 6 months after an anarchy of 11 years. The rest of Hosea’s life was passed amid the decline of the kingdom of Israel. Politically all was anarchy or misrule; kings made their way to the throne through the murder of their predeceseors, and made way for their successors through their own. Shallum slew Zechariah; Menahem slew Shallum; Pekah slew the son of Menahem; Hoshea slew Pekah. The whole kingdom of Israel was a military despotism, and, as in the Roman empire, those in command came to the throne. Baasha, Zimri, Omri, Jehu, Menahem, Pekah, held military office before they became kings.

                Each usurper seems to have strengthened himself by a foreign alliance. At least, we find Baasha in league with Benhadad, king of Syria; Ahab marrying Jezebel, daughter of a king of Tyre and Zidon; Menahem giving Pul king of Assyria tribute, that he might “confirm the kingdom in his hand;” Pekah confederate with Rezin. These alliances brought with them the corruptions of the Phoenician and Syrian idolatry, wherein murder and lust became acts oi religion. Jehu also probably sent tribute to the king of Assyria, to secure to himself the throne which God had given him. The fact appears in the cuneiform inscriptions; it falls in with the character of Jehu and his half-belief, using of all means, human or divine, to establish his own end. (* Sir H. Rawlinson and Dr. Hincks separately decyphered the name “Jahua (yhw’a) son of Khumri” as one of those whose tribute is recorded on the Black obelisk [probably of Shalmanubar,] now in the British Museum. In the same inscription Beth-Khumri i.e. house or city of Omri (q, k for `o) occurs for Samaria. Jehu may be so named from his capital, or from supposed or claimed descent from Omri. See Layard Nin. and Bab. p. 613. Rawlins. Herod. I. 466. Dr. Hincks Dublin Univ. Mag. 1853. p. 426. Scripture ascribes to Jehu personal might (nkurh), but in his days Israel lost to Hazael all the country beyond Jordan. The attack of Hazael may have been the cause or the effect of his seeking help of Assyria. *)  In one and the same spirit, he destroyed the Baal-worshippers, as adherents of Ahab, retained the calf-worship, courted the ascetic Jonadab son of Rechab, spoke of the death of Jehoram as the fulfilment of prophecy, and sought help from the king of Assyria.

                These irreligious had the more deadly sway, because they were countenanced by the corrupt worship, which Jeroboam I had set up as the state religion, over against the worship at Jerusalem. To allow the people to go up to Jerusalem, as the centre of the worship of God, would have risked their owning the line of David as the kings of God’s appointment. To prevent this, Jeroboam set up a great system of rival worship. Himself a refugee in Egypt he had there seen nature (i.e. what are God’s workings in nature) worshiped under the form of the calf. He adopted it, in the words in which Aaron had been overborne to sanction it, as the worship of the One True God under a visible form: “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”  With great human subtlety, he laid nold of Israel’s love for idol-worship, and their reverence for their ancestors, and words which even Aaron had used, and sought to replace, by this symbol of God’s working. His actual presence over the mercy-seat. Around this he gathered as much of the Mosaic ritual as he could. The Priests and Levites remaining faithful to God, he made others priests, not of the line of Aaron. Then, while he gratified the love of idolatry, he decked it out with all the rest of the worship which God had appointed for Himself. He retained the feasts which God had appointed, the three great festivals, their solemn assemblies, the new moons and sabbaths; and these last feasts were observed even by those, to whose covetousness the rest on the festival was a hindrance. Every kind of sacrifice was retained, the daily sacrifice, the burnt-offering, the meal-offering, the drink-offering, thank-offerings, peace-offerings, free-will offerings, sin-offerinps. They had hymns and instrumental music. They paid the tithes of the third year: probably they gave the first fruits, they had  priests’ and prophets, and temples; the temple at Bethel was the king’s chapel, the temple of the state.  (* These were brought to Elisha (2nd Kgs 4:42.) from  Baal-Shalisha in the mountainous country or Ephraim. where “the land of Shalisha” was, (1st Sam. 9:4.) by one probably who could not own the calf-priests. The prophets acted as priests in the kingdom of Israel. 1st Kgs 18:36, 2nd Kgs 4:23.) Hence the mention of “altars of the Lord” in Israel also, 1st Kgs 18:30, 19:10. *)  The worship was maintained by the civil authority. But all this outward shew was rotten at the core. God had forbidden man so to worship Him, nor was it He Who was worshiped at Bethel and Dan, though Jeroboam probably meant it. People, when they alter God’s truth, alter more than they think for. Such is the lot of all heresy. Jeroboam probably meant that God should be worshiped under a symbol, and he brought in a worship, which was not, in truth, a worship of God at all. The calf was the symbol, not of the personal God, but of ever-renewed life, His continued vivifying of all which lives, and renewing of what decays. And so what was worshiped was not God, but much what men now call “nature.” The calf was a symbol of “nature” much as men say, “nature does this or that;”  “nature makes man so and so;” “nature useth simplicity of means;” “nature provides,” &c.; as if “nature were a sort of semi-deity,” or creation were its own Creator. As men now profess to own God, and do own Him in the abstract, but talk of “nature,” till they forget Him, or because they forget Him, so Jeroboam, who was a shrewd, practical, irreligious man, slipped into a worship of nature, while he thought, doubtless, he was doing honor to the Creator, and professing a belief in Him.

                But they were those same workings in creation, which were worshiped by the neighboring heathen, in Baal and Ashtaroth; only there the name of the Creator was altogether dropped. Yet it was but a step from one to the other. The calf was the immediate and often the sole object of worship. They “sacrificed to the calves;” “kissed the calves”, in token of worship; swore by them as living gods. They had literally “changed their Glory [i. e. God] into the similitude of a  bull which eateth hay.” Calf-worship paved the way for those coarser and more cruel worships of nature, under the names of Baal and Ashtaroth, with all their abominations of consecrated child-sacrifices, and degrading or horrible sensuality. The worship of the calves led to sin. The heathen festival was one of unbridled licentiousness. The account of the calf-festival in the wilderness agrees too well with the heathen descriptions. The very least which can be inferred from the words ”Aaron had made them naked to their shame before their enemies,” is an extreme relaxednesS) on the borders of further sin.

                And now in Hosea’s time, these idolatries had yielded their full bitter fruits. The course of iniquity had been run. The stream had become darker and darker in its downward flow. Creature worship (as S. Paul points out), was the parent of every sort of abomination; and religion having become creature-worship, what God gave as the check to sin became its incentive. Every commandment of God was broken, and that, habitually. All was falsehood, adultery, bloodshedding; deceit to God produced faithlessness to man; excess and luxury were supplied by secret or open robbery, oppression, false dealing, perversion of justice, grinding of the poor. Blood was shed like water, until one stream met another, and overspread the land with one defiling deluge. Adultery was consecrated as an act of religion. Those who were first in rank were first in excess. People and king vied in debauchery, and the sottish king joined and encouraged the freethinkers and blasphemers of his court. The idolatrous priests loved and shared in the sins of the people; nay, they seem to have set themselves to intercept those on either side of Jordan, who would go to worship at Jerusalem, laying wait to murder them. Corruption had  spread throughout the whole land; even the places once sacred through God’s revelations  or other mercies to their forefathers, Bethel, Gilgal, Gilead, Mizpah, Shechem, were especial scenes of corruption or of sin. Every holy memory was effaced by present corruption. Could things be worse? There was one aggravation more. Remonstrance was useless; the knowledge of God was wilfully rejected; the people hated rebuke; the more they were called, the more they refused; they forbade their prophets to prophesy; and their false prophets hated God greatly. All attempts to heal all this disease only shewed its incurableness.

                Such was the condition of the people among whom Hosea had to prophesy for some 70 years. They themselves were not sensible of their decay, moral or political. They set themselves, in despite of the Prophet’s warning, to prop up their strength by aid of the two heathen nations, Egypt or Assyria. In Assyria they chiefly trusted, and Assyria, he had to denounce to them, should carry them captive; stragglers at least, from them fled to Egypt, and in Egypt they should be a derision and should find their grave. This captivity he had to foretell as imminent, certain, irreversible. Once only, in the commencement of his prophecy, does he give any hope, that the temporal punishment might be averted through repentance. This too he follows up by renewing the declaration of God expressed in the name of his daughter, ‘I will not have mercy.” He gives them in Grod’s Name, a distant promise of a spiritual restoration in Christ, and forewarns them that it is distant. But, that they might not look for any temporal restoration, he tells them, on the one and, in peremptory terms, of their dispersion; on the other, he tells them of their spiritual restoration without any intervening shadows of temporal deliverance. God tells them absolutely, “I will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease;” “I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel;” “they shall be wanderers among the nations;” “they shall not dwell in the Lord’s land;” “Israel is swallowed up; she shall be among the nations like a vessel in which is no pleasure.” On the other hand, the promises are markedly spiritual; “Ye are the sons of the living God;” “I will betroth her to Me for ever;” “they shall fear the Lord and His goodness;” “He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight;” “till He come and rain righteousness upon you.” I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death.” Again, God contrasts with this His sentence on Israel, His future dealings with Judah, and His mercies to her, of which Israel should not partake, while of Judah’s spiritual mercies, He says, that Israel should partake by being united with Judah.

                The ground of this difference was, that Israel’s separate existence was bound up with that sin of Jeroboam, which clave to them throughout their history, and which none of their least bad kings ventured to give up. God tried them for two centuries and a half (2 1/2); and not one king was found, who would risk his throne for God. In merciful severity then, the separate kingdom of Israel was to be destroyed, and the separate existence of the ten (10) tribes was to be lost.

                This message of woe gives a peculiar character to the prophecies of Hosea. He, like St. Paul, was of the people, whose temporary excision he had to declare. He calls the wretched king of Israel “our king”; and God calls the rebellions people “thy people.” Of that people, he was specially the prophet. Judah he mentions incidentally, when he does mention them, not in his warnings only, but in his prophecies of good also. His main commission lay among the ten (10) tribes. Like Elijah and Elisha whom he succeeded, he was raised up out of them, for them. His love could not be tied down to them; and so he could not but warn Judah against sharing Israel’s sin. But it is, for the most part, incidentally and parenthetically. He does not speak of them equally, except as to that which was the common sin of both, the seeking to Assyria for help, and unfulfilled promise of amendment. And so, on the otner hand, mercies, which belong to all as God’s everlasting betrothal of His Church, and our redemption from death and the grave, he foretells with special reference to Ephraim, and in one place only expressly includes Judah”.

                The prophecies of Hosea (as he himself collected them) form one whole, so that they cannot be distinctly separated. In one way, as the second chapter is the expansion and  application of the first, so the remainder of the book after the third is an expansion and application of the third, The first (1st) and third (3rd) chapters illustrate, summarily, Ephraim’s ingratitude and desertion of God and His dealings with her, by likening them to the wife which Hosea was commanded to take, and to her children. The second chapter expands and applies the picture of Israel’s unfaithfulness, touched upon in the first (1st), but it dwells more on the side of mercy; the remaining chapters enlarge the picture of the third (3rd), although, until the last (14th), they dwell chiefly on the side of judgment. Yet while the remainder of the book is an expansion of the third (3rd) chapter, the three first chapters, (as every reader has felt) are united together, not by their narrative form only, but by the prominence given to the history of Hosea which furnishes the theme of the book, the shameful unfaithfulness of Israel, and the exceeding tenderness of the love of God, Who, “in wrath, remembers mercy.”

                The narrative leads us deep into the Prophet’s personal sorrows. There is no ground to justify our taking as a parable, what Holy Scripture relates as a fact. There is no instance in which it can be shewn, that Holy Scripture relates that a thing was done, and that, with the names of persons, and yet that God did not intend it to be taken as literally true. There would then be no test left of what was real, what imaginary; and the histories of Holy Scripture would be left to be a prey to individual caprice, to be explained away as parables, when men misliked them. Hosea, then, at God’s command, united to himself in marriage, one who, amid the widespread corruption of those times, had fallen manifoldly into fleshly sin. With her he was commanded to live holily, as his wife, as Isaac lived with Rebecca whom he loved. Such an one he took, in obedience to God’s command, one Gomer. At some time after she bore the prophet’s children, she fell into adultery, and forsook him. Perhaps she fell into the condition of a slave. God anew commanded him to shew mercy to her, to redeem her from her fallen condition, and, without restoring to her the rights of marriage, to guard and protect her from her sins. Thus, by the love of God and the patient forbearance which He instructed the prophet to shew, a soul was rescued from sin unto death, and was won to God; to the children of Israel there was set forth continually before their eyes a picture and a prophecy of the punishment upon sin, and of the close union with Himself which He vouchsafes to sinners who repent and return to Him.

                “Not only in visions which were seen,” says S. Irenseus, “and in words which were preached, but in acts also was He [the Word] seen by the Prophets, so as to prefigure and foreshew things future, through them. For which cause also, the Prophet Hosea took a wife of whoredoms, prophesying by his act, that the earth, i.e. the men wno are on the earth, shall commit whoredoms, departing from the Lord; and that of such men God will be pleased to take to Himself a Church, to be sanctified by the communication of His Son, as she too was sanctified by the communion of the Prophet. Wherefore Paul also saith, that ‘the unbelieving woman is sanctified in her believing husband.'” “What,” asks S. Augustine, of the scoffers of his day, “is there opposed to the clemency of truth, what contrary to the Christian faith, that one unchaste, leaving her fornication, should be converted to a chaste marriage? And what so incongruous and alien from the faith of the Prophet, as it would have been, not to believe that all the sins of the unchaste were forgiven, when she was converted and amended? So then, when the Prophet made the unchaste one his wife, a kind provision was made for the woman to amend her life, and the mystery [of the union of Christ Himself with the Church of Jews and Gentiles” Church of Jews and Gentiles] was expressed.”  (* “The prophet obeys and marries one Impure, whose name and her father’s name he t«lls, that what he says might seem not to be a mere fiction, but a true history of facts.” Theod. Mops. *)  “Since the Lord, through the same Scripture, lays clearly open what is figured by this command and deed, and since the Apostolic Epistles attest that this prophecy was fulfilled in the preaching of the New Testament, who would venture to say that it was not commanded and done for that end, for which He who commanded it, explains in the holy Scripture that He commanded, and that the Prophet did it?”

                The names which Hosea, by God’s command gave to the children who were bom, expressed the temporal punishment, which was to come upon the nation. The prophet himself, in his relation to his restored yet separated wife, was, so long as she lived, one continued, living prophecy of the tenderness of God to sinners. Fretful, wayward, jealous, ungovernable, as are mostly the tempers of those who are recovered from such sins as her’s, the Prophet, in his anxious, watchful charge was a striking picture of the forebearing loving-kindness of God to us amid our provocations and infirmities. Nay, the love which the Prophet bare her, grew the more out of his compassion and tenderness for her whom God had commanded him to take as his own. Certain it is, that Holy Scripture first (1st) speaks of her as the object of his love, when (God commanded him a second (2nd) time to take charge of her who had betrayed and abandoned him. God bids him shew active love to her, whom, amid her unfaithfulness, he loved already. Go yet, love a woman beloved of her huband, yet an adulteress. Wonderful picture of God’s love for us, for whom He gave His Only-begotten Son, loving us, while alien from Him, and with nothing in us to love!

                Such was the tenderness of the Prophet, whom God employed to deliver such a message of woe; and such the people must have known to be His personal tenderness, who had to speak so sternly to them.

                The three (3) first (1st) prophecies, contained severally in the three (3) first (1st) chapters, form each, a brief circle of mercy and judgment. They do not enter into any detail of Israel’s sin, but sum up all in the one, which is both centre and circumference of all sin, the all-comprehending sin, departure from God, choosing the creature rather than the Creator. On this, the first (1st) prophecy foretells the entire irrevocable destruction of the kingdom; God’s temporary rejection of His people, but their acceptance, together with Judah, in One Head, Christ. The second (2nd) follows the same outline, rebuke, chastisement, the cessation of visible worship, banishment, and then the betrothal for ever. The third (3rd) speaks of offence against deeper love, and more prolonged punishment. It too ends in the promise of entire restoration; yet only in the latter days, after many days of separation, both from idolatry and from the true worship of God, such as is Israel’s condition now. The rest is one continuous prophecy, in which the Prophet has probably gathered into one the substance of what he had delivered in the course of his ministry. Here and there, yet very seldom in it, the Prophet refers to the image of the earlier chapters. For the most part he exhibits his people to themselves, in their varied ingratitude, folly, and sin. The prophecy has many pauses, which with one exception coincide with our chapters. It rises and falls, and then bursts out in fresh tones of upbraidings, and closes mostly in notes of sorrow and of woes for the destinction which is coming. Yet at none of these pauses is there any complete break, such as would constitute what preceded, a separate prophecy; and on the other hand, the structure of the last portion of the book corresponds most with that of the first (1st) three (3) chapters, if it is regarded as one whole. For as there, after rebuke and threatened chastisement, each prophecv ended with the promise of future mercy, so here, after finally fore-announcing the miseries at the destruction of Samaria, the Prophet closes his prophecy and his whole book with a description of Israel’s future repentance and acceptance, and of his flourishing with manifold grace.

                The brief summary, in which the Prophet calls attention to all which he had said, and foretells, who would and who would not understand it, the more marks the prophecy as one whole.

                Yet, although these prophecies as wrought into one by the Prophet, bear a strong impress of unity, there yet seem to be traces, here and there, of the different conditions of the kingdom of Israel, amid which different parts were first uttered. The order, in which they stand, seems, upon the whole, to be an order of time. In the first (1st) chapters, the house of Jeroboam is still standing in strength, and Israel appears to have trusted in its own power, as the prophet Amos also, at the same time, describes them. The fourth (4th) chapter is addressed to the ”house of Israel” only, without any allusion to the king, and accords with that time of convulsive anarchy, which followed the death of Jeroboam II. The omission of the king is the more remarkable, inasmuch as the “house of the king” is included in the corresponding address in ch. 5. The “rulers” of Israel are also spoken of in the plural; and the bloodshed described seems to be more than individual insulated murders. In this case, the king upbraided in ch. 5 would, naturally, be the next king, Zechariah, in whom God’s promise to the house of Jehu expired. In the seventh (7th) chapter a weak and sottish king is spoken of, whom his princes misled to debauchery, disgusting drunkenness and impiety. But Menahem was a general of fierce determination, energy and barbarity. Debauchery and brutal ferocity are natural associates; but this sottishness here described was rather the fruit of weak compliance with the debauchery of others. “The princes made him sick” it is said. This is not likely to have been the character of successful usurpers, as Menahem, or Pekah, or Hoshea. It is far more likely to have been that of Zechariah, who was placed on the throne for 6 months, “did evil in the sight of the Lord,” and then was “slain publicly before the people,” no one resisting. Him, as being the last of the line of Jehu, and sanctioned by God, Hosea may the rather have called “our king” owning in him, evil as he was, God’s appointment. The words, “they have devoured their judges, all their kings have fallen“, had anew their fulfillment in the murder of Zechariah and Shallum (B.C. 772) as soon as the promise to the house of Jehu had expired. The blame of Judah for “multiplying fenced cities,” instead of trusting in God, probably relates to the temper in which they were built in the days of Jotham between B.C. 758, and 741. Although Jotham was a religious king, the corruption of the people at this time is especially recorded; “the people did corruptly.” Later yet, we have mention of the dreadful battle, when Shalman, or Shalmanezer, took and massacred women and children at Betharbel in the valley of Jezreel, about B.C. 729. Hosea, thus, lived to see the fulfillment of his earlier prophecy, “I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” It has been thought that the question “where is thy king?” relates to the captivity of Hoshea, three (3) years before the destruction of Samaria. This sort of question, however, relates not to the actual place where the king was, but to his ability or inability to help.

                It belongs to the mournful solemnity of HoBea’s prophecy, that he scarcely speaks to the people in his own person. The ten chapters, which form the centre of the prophecy, are almost wholly one long dirge of woe, m which the prophet rehearses the guilt and the punishment of his people. If the people are addressed, it is, with very few exceptions, God Himself, not the Prophet, Who speaks to them; and God speaks to them as their Judge. Once only does the Prophet use the form, so common in the other Prophets, “saith the Lord.” As in the three (3) first (1st) chapters, the Prophet, in his relation to his wife, represented that of God to His people, so, in these ten (10) chapters, after the first words of the fourth (4th) and fifth (5th) chapters, “Hear the word of the Lord, for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land,” “Hear ye this, O priests,” whenever the prophet uses the first (1st) person, he uses it not of himself, but of God. “I” “My” are not Hosea, and the things of Hosea, but God and what belongs to God. God addresses the Prophet himself in the second person. In four (4) verses only of these chapters does the Prophet himself apparently address his own people Israel, in two (2) expostulating with them; in two (2), calling them to repentance. In two (2) other verses he addresses Judah, or foretells to him judgment mingled with mercy. The last (14th) chapter alone is one of almost unmingled brightness; the Prophet calls to repentance and God in His own Person accepts it, and promises large supply of grace. But this too closes the prophecy with the warning, that righteous as are the ways of God, the transgressors should stumble in them.

                 It is this same solemn pathos, which has chiefly occasioned the obscurity, complained of in Hosea. The expression of S. Jerome has often been repeated; ”Hosea is concise, and speaketh, as it were, in detached sayings.” The words of upbraiding, of judgment, of woe, burst out, as it were, one by one, slowly, heavily, condensed, abrupt, from the Prophet’s heavy and shrinking soul, as God commanded and constrained him, and put His words, like fire, in the Prophet’s mouth. An image of Him Who said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not,” he delivers his message, as though each sentence burst with a groan from his soul, and he had anew to take breath, before he uttered each renewed woe. Each verse forms a whole for itself, like one heavy toll in a funeral knell. The Prophet has not been careful about order and symmetry, so that each sentence went home to the soul. And yet the unity of the prophecy is so evident in the main, that we cannot doubt that it is not broken, even when the connection is not apparent on the surface. The great difficulty consequently in Hosea is to ascertain that connection in places where it evidently exists, yet where the Prophet has not explain it. The easiest and simplest sentences are sometimes, in this respect, the most difficult. It is in remarkable contrast with this abruptness in the more mournful parts, that when Hosea has a message of mercy to deliver, his style becomes easy and flowing. Then no sign of present sin or impending misery disturbs his brightness. He lives wholly in the future bliss which he was allowed to foretell. Yet, meanwliile, no prophet had a darker future to declare. The prophets of Judah could mingle with their present denunciations a prospect of an early restoration. The ten tribes, as a whole, had no future. The temporal part of their punishment was irreversible. Hosea lived almost to see its fulfillment. Yet not the less confidently does he foretell the spiritual mercies in store for his people. He promises them as absolutely as if he saw them. It is not matter of hope, but of certainty. And this certainty Hosea announces, in words expressive of the closest union with God; an union shadowed by the closest union which we know, that, whereby a man and his wife are no more twain, but one flesh. Here, as filled and overfilled with joy, instead of abrupt sentences, he gladly lingers on his subject, adding in every word something to the fulness of the blessing contained in the preceding. He is, indeed, (if one may venture so to speak) eminently a prophet I of the tenderness of the love of God. In foretelling God’s judgments, he ventures to I picture Him to us, as overcome (so to speak) by mercy, so that He would not execute His full sentence. God’s mercies he predicts in the inmost relation of love, that those whom He had rejected. He would own, as “sons of the living God;” that He would betroth them to Himself in righteousness, in judgment, loving-kindness, mercies, faithfulneas, and that, for ever; that He would raise us up on the third (3rd) day, and that we should live in His sight, ransoming us, Himself, and redeeming us, as our Kinsman, from death and the grave .

                In this prophecy of the betrothal of the Church to God, he both applies and supplies the teaching of the forty-fifth (45th) Psalm and of the Song of Solomon. Moses had been taught to declare to his people that God had, in a special way, made them His people, and was Himself their God. The violation of this relation, by taking other ‘Gods’, Moses had also spoken of under the image of married faithlessneas. But faithlessness implies the existence of the relation, to which they were bound to be faithful. The whole human family, however, had once belonged to God, and had fallen away from Him. And so Moses speaks of the heathen idolatry also under this name, and warned Israel against sharing their sin. “Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, — and their daughters go a whoring after their ‘gods’, and make thy sons go a whoring after their ‘gods’.” The relation itself of betrothal Moses does not mention; yet it must have been suggested to the mind of Israel by his describing this special sin of choosing other ‘gods’, under the title of married faithlessness and of desertion of God, and by his attributing to God the title of “Jealous” It was reserved to Hosea, to exhibit at once to Israel under this image, God’s tender love for them and their ingratitude, to dwell on their relation to God Whom they forsook, and explicitly to foretell to them that new betrothal in Christ which should abide for ever.

                The Image, however, presupposes an acquaintance with the language of the Pentateuch; and it has been noticed that Hosea incidentally asserts that the written Pentateuch was still used in the kingdom of Israel. For God does not say, “I have given to him,” but “I have written,” or “I write to him the great” or “manifold” things of the law. The “ten thousand things” which God says that He had written, cannot be the decalogue only, nor would the word “written” be used of an unwritten tradition. God says moreover, “I write,” in order to express that the law, although written once for all, still came from the ever-present authority of Him Who wrote it.

                The language of Hosea is, for the most part, too concise and broken, to admit of his employing actual sentences of the Pentateuch. This he does sometimes, as has been pointed out. On the other hand, his concise allusions would scarcely be understood by those who were not familiar with the history and laws of the Pentateuch. Since then plainly a prophet spoke so as to be understood by the people, this is an evidence of the continual use of the Pentateuch in Israel, after the great schism from Judah. The schools of the Prophets, doubtless, maintained the teaching of the law, as they did the public worship. The people went to Elisha on new moons and sabbaths, and so to other prophets also. Even after the great massacre of the prophets by Jezebel we have incidental notices of schools of the prophets at Bethel, Jericho, Gilgal, Mount Ephraim, Samaria, from which other schools were formed. The selection of Gilgal, Bethel, and Samaria, shews that the spots were chosen, in order to confront idolatry and corruption in their chief abodes. The contradiction of men’s lives to the law, thus extant and taught among them, could scarcely have been greater than that of Christians now to the Bible which they have in their houses and their hands and their ears, but not in their hearts.

                Introduction to the Prophet JOEL.

                The Prophet Joel relates nothing of himself. He gives no hints as to himsdf, except the one fact which was necessary to authenticate his prophecy, that the word of the Lord came to him, and that the hook to which that statement is prefixed is that “word of the Lord.” The word of the Lord which came to Joel son of Pethuel. Like Hosea, he distinguished himself from others of the same name, by the mention of the name of his unknown father. But his whole book bears evidence, that he was a prophet of Jerusalem. He was living in the centre of the public worship of God: he speaks to the priests as though present, Come ye, lie all night in sackcloth; he was, where the solemn assembly which he bids them proclaim would be held; the house of the Lord,  from which meat-offering and drink-offering were cut off, was before his eyes. Whether for alarm, or for prayer, he bids, blow ye the trumpet in Zion. The city, which he sees the enemy approaching to beleaguer and enter, is Jerusalem. He addresses the children of Zion; he reproaches Tyre, Zidon, and philistia, with selling to the Greeks the children of Zion and Jerusalem. God promises by him to bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. Of Israel, in its separated existence, he takes no more notice, than if it were not. They may be included in the three (3) places in which he uses the name; Ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel; I will plead for My people and My heritage Israel; the Lord will be the strength of lsrael; but, (as the context shews) only as included, together with Judah, in the one people of God. The promises to Judah, Jerusalem, Zion, with which he closes his book, being simply prophetic, must, so far remain the same, whomsoever he addressed. He foretells that those blessings were to issue from Zion, and that the Church was to be founded there. Yet the absence of any direct promise of the extension of those blessings to the ten (10) tribes, (such as occur in Hosea and Amos) implies that he had no office in regard to them.

                Although a prophet of Jerusalem, and calling, in the name of God, to a solemn and strict fast and supplication, he was no priest. He mentions the priests as a class to which he did not belong, the priests, the Lord’s ministers; ye priests; ye ministers of the altar; ye ministers of my God; let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, the place where they officiated. He calls upon them to proclaim the fast, which he eijoined in the Name of God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, he says to those, whom he had just called to mourn, ye priests, ye ministers of the altar. As entrusted  with a revelation from God, he had an authority superior to that of the priests. While using this, he interfered not witn their own special office.

                Joel must have completed his prophecy in its present form, before Amos collected his prophecies into one whole. For Amos takes as the key-note of his prophetic words with which Joel almost closes his; The Lord shall roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem. Nor only so, but Amos inserts at the end of his own prophecy some of Joel’s closing words of promise. Amos thus identified his own prophecy with that of Joel. In the threatening with which he opens it, he retains each word of Joel, in the self-same order, although the words admit equally of several different collocations, each of which would have had an emphasis of its own. The symbolic blessing, which Amos takes from Joel at the close of his prophecy the mountains shall drop with new wine, is found in these two prophets alone; and the language is the bolder and more peculiar, because the word drop is used of dropping from above, not of flowing down. It seems as if the picture were, that the mountains of Judaea, the mountains, instead of mist or vapor, should distill that which is the symbol of joy, wine which maketh glad the heart of man. The ground why Amos, in this marked way, joined on his own book of prophecy to the book of Joel, must remain uncertain, since he did not explain it. It may have been, that, being called in an unusual way to the Prophetic office, he would in this way identify himself with the rest of those whom God called to it. A prophet, out of Judah but for Israel, Amos identified himself with the one prophet of Judah, whose prophecy was committed to writing. Certainly those first words of Amos, The Lord shall roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem, pointed out to the ten (10) tribes, that Zion and Jerusalem were the place which God had chosen to place His Name there, the visible centre of His government, whence proceeded His judgments and His revelation. Others have supposed that bad men thought that the evil which Joel had foretold would not come, and that the good may have looked anxiously for the fulfillment of God’s promises; and that on that ground, Amos renewed, by way of allusion, both God’s threats and promises, thereby impressing on men’s minds, what Habakkuk says in plain terms. The vision is for the appointed time, and it hasteth to the end: though it tarry, wait for it; for it will come, it will not tarry, or be behindhand.

                However this may have been, such marked renewal of threatenings and promises of Joel by Amos, attests two things; 1) that Joel’s prophecy must, at the time when Amos wrote, have become part of Holy Scripture, and its authority must have been acknowledged; 2) that its authority must have been acknowledged by, and it must have been in circulation among, those to whom Amos prophesied; otherwise he would not have prefixed to his book those words of Joel. For the whole force of the words, as employed by Amos, depends upon their being recognized by his hearers, as a renewal of the prophecy of Joel. Certainly bad men jeered at Amos, as though his threatenings would not be fulfilled.

                Since, then, Amos prophesied during the time, when Azariah and Jeroboam II reigned together, the book of Joel must have been at that time written, and known in Israel also. Beyond this, the brief, although full, prophecy of Joel affords no clue as to its own date. Yet probably it was not far removed from that of Amos. For Amos, as well as Joel, speaks of the sin of Tyre and Zidon and of the Philistines in selling the children of Judah into captivity. And since Amos speaks of this, as the crowning sin of both, it is perhaps likely that some signal instance of it had taken place, to which both prophets refer. To this, the fact that both prophets speak of the scourge of locusts and drought, (if this were so) would not add any further evidence. For Joel was prophesying to Judah; Amos to Israel. The prophecy of Joel may indeed subordinately, although very subordinately at the most, include real locusts: and such locusts, if he meant to include them, could have been no local plague, and so could hardly have passed over Israel. But Amos does not speak of the ravages of the locusts, by which, in addition to drought, mildew, pestilence, God had, when he prophesied, recently chastened Israel, as distinguished above others which God had sent upon this land. There is nothing therefore to identify the locusts spoken of by Amos with those which Joel speaks of as an image of the terrible, successive, judgments of God. Rather Amos enumerates, one after the other, God’s ordinary plagues in those countries, and says that all had failed in the object for which God sent them, the turning of His people to Himself.

                Nor, again, does anything in Joel’s own prophecy suggest any particular date, beyond what is already assigned through the relation which the book of Amos bears to his book. On the contrary, in correspondence, perhaps, with the wide extent of his prophecy, Joel says next to nothing of what was temporary or local. He mentions, incidentally, in one place the drunkards ‘ of his people; yet in this case too, he speaks of the sin as especially affected and touched by the chastisement, not of the chastisement, as brought upon the sinner or upon the sinful people by that sin. Beyond this one case, the Prophet names neither sins nor sinners among his own people. He foretells chastisement, and exhorts to repentance as the means of averting it, but does not specify any sins. His prophecy is one declaration of the displeasure of God against all sin, and of His judgments consequent thereon, one promise of pardon upon earnest repentance; and so, perhaps, what is individual has, for the most part been purposely suppressed.

                The notices in the book of Joel, which have been employed to fix more precisely the date of the Prophet, relate 1) to the proclamation of the solemn assembly, which, it is supposed, would be enjoined thus authoritatively in a time when that injunction would be obeyed; 2) to the mention of certain nations, and the supposed omission of certain other nations, as enemies of Judah. Both arguments have been overstated and misstated.

                1) The call to public humiliation implies, so far, times in which the king would not interfere to prevent it. But ordinarily, in Judah, even bad and irreligious kings did not interfere with extraorainaiy fasts in times of public distress. Jehoiakim did not; the king, who hesitated not to cut in shreds the roll of Jeremiah’s prophecies when three or four columns or chapters* had been read before him, and burnt it on the hearth by which he was sitting. The fast-day, upon which that roll had been read in the ears of all the people, was an extraordinary fast before the Lord, proclaimed to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem. This fasting day was not their annual fast, the day of Atonement.  For the day of Atonement was in the seventh (7th) month; this Jeremiah tells us, was in the ninth month. When such a king as Jehoiakim tolerated the appointment of an extraordinary fast, not for Jerusalem only, but for all the people who came from the cities of Judah, we may well think that no king of ordinary impiety would, in a time of such distress as Joel foretells, have interfered to hinder it. There were, at most, after Athaliah’s death, two periods only of decided antagonism to God. The first was at the close of the reign of Joash, after the death of Johoiada, when Joash with the princes gave himself to the idolatry of Ashtaroth and put to death Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, upon whom the Spirit of God came, and he foretold their destruction; Because ye have forsaken the Lord, He had also forsaken you. The period after the murder of Zecharah was very short. As the year came round, the Syrians came against them; and when they departed, his own servants slew him. The only place, left uncertain, is the length of time, during which the idolatry lasted, before the murder of Zechariah. The second period, that in which Amaziah fell away to the idolatry of the Edomite & silenced the prophet of God, and was abandoned by him to his destruction, was also brief, lasting probably some sixteen (16) years.

                2) The argument from the Prophet’s mention of some enemies of God’s people and the supposed omission of other later enemies, rests partly on a wrong conception of prophecy, partly on wrong interpretation of the Prophet. On the assumption that the Prophets did not speak of nations as instruments of God’s chastisements on His people until they had risen above the political horizon of Judah, it has been inferred that Joel lived before the time when Assyria became an object of dread, because, mentioning other enemies of God’s people, he does not mention Assyria. The assumption, which originated in unbelief is untrue in fact. Balaam prophesied the captivity through Assyria when Israel was entering on the promised land; he foretold also the destruction of Assyria or the great empire of the East through a power who should come from Europe. The prophet Ahijah foretold to Jeroboam I that the Lord would root up Israel out of the good land which He gave to their fathers, and would scatter them beyond the river. Neither in temporal nor spiritual prophecy can we discern the rules, by which, at sundry times and in divers manners, God revealed Himself through the Prophets, so that we should be able to reduce to one strict method the manifold wisdom of God, and infer the age of a prophet from the tenor of the prophecy which God put into his mouth.

                It is plain, moreover, from the text of Joel himself that God had revealed to him, that other more formidable enemies than had yet invaded Judah would hereafter come against it, and that those enemies whom he speaks of he mentions only, as specimens of hatred against God’s people and of its punishment. There can really be no question, that by the Northern army, he means the Assyrian. God foretells also by him the capture of Jerusalem, and the punishment of those who scattered Israel, My heritage, among the heaihen, and divided My land. Such words can only be understood of an entire removal of Judah, whereby others could come and take possession of his land. In connection with these great powers occurs the mention of Tyre Sidon and Philistia, petty yet vexatious enemies, contrasted with the more powerful. The very formula with which that mention is introduced, shews that they are named only incidentally and as instances of a class. And also, what are ye to Me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? The mighty nations were to come as lions, to lay waste ; thes& like jackals, made their own petty mercnants gain. The mighty divided the land ; these were plunderers and mennstealers. In both together, he declares that nothing, either great or small, should escape the righteous judgments of God. Neither shall might save the mighty, nor shall the petty malice of the lesser enemies of God be too small to be requited. But not only is there no proof that Joel means to enumerate all the nadons who had hitherto infested Judah, but there is proof that he did not.

                One only has been found to place Joel so early as the reign of Jehoshaphat But in his reign, after the death of Ahab, (B.C. 897) Moab and Ammon and with them others, a great multitude, of invaded Judah. Since then it is tadtly admitted, that the absence of the mention of Moab and Ammon does not imply that Joel prophesied before their invasion (R G. 897.) neither is the non-mention of the invasion or the Syrians any argument that he lived before the end of the reign of Jehoash (B. G. 840). Further, not the mere invasion of Judah, but the motives of the invasion or cruelty evinced in it, drew down the judgments of God. The invasion of Hazael was directed not against Judah, but against Gath. But a small company of men went up against Jerusalem; and the Lord delivered a very great company into their hand, because that had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. They executed, we are told, judgment against Joash, Nor does it appear, that they, like the Assyrians, exceeded the commission for which God employed them. They destroyed all the princes of the people  from among the people, the princes who had seduced Joash to idolatn^ and were the authors of the murder of Zechariah. They conspired against him, and stoned him (Zechariah) with stones at the commandment of the king. Amos mentions, as the last ground of God’s sentence against Damascus, not this incursion, but the cruelty of Hazael to Gilead. The religious aspect of the single invasion of Judah by this band of Syrians was very different from the perpetual hostility of the Philistines, or the malicious cupidity of the Phoenicians.

                Still less intelligible is the assertion, that Joel would not have foretold any punishment of Edom, had he lived after the time when Amaziah smote 20,000 of them in the valley of salt, and took Selah, or Petra B.C.838. For Amos confessedly prophesied in the reign of Azariah, the son of Amaziah. Azariah recovered Elath also from Edom; yet Amos, in his time, foretells the utter destruction of Bozra and Teman. The victory of Amaziah did not humble Edom. They remained the same embittered foe. In the time of Ahaz they again invaded Judah and smote it and carried away a captivity. Prophecy does not regard these little variations of conquest or defeat. They do not exhaust its meaning. It pronounces God’s judgment against the abiding character of the nation; and while that continues unchanged, the sentence remains. Its fulfillment seems often to linger, but in the end, it does not fail nor remain behind God’s appinted time. Egypt and Edom moreover, Joel, stand also as symbols of nations or people like themselves. They stand for the people themselves, but they represent also others of the same character, as long as the struggle between “the city of God” and “the city of the devils” shall last, i.e. to the end of time.

                There being then no internal indication of the date of Joel, we cannot do better than acquiesce in the tradition, by which his book is placed next to that of Hosea, and regard Joel as the prophet of Judah, during the earlier part or Hosea’s office toward Israel, and rather earlier than Isaiah. At least, Isaiah, although he too was called to the prophetic office in the days of Uzziah, appears to nave embodied in his prophecy, words of Joel, as well of Micah, bearing witness to the unity of prophecy, and, amid the richness and fullness of his own prophetic store, purposely borrowing from those, of whose ministry God did not will that such large fruit should remain. The remarkable words, Near is the Day of the Lord, like destruction from the Almighty shall it come, Isaiah inserted, word for word, from Joel, including the remarkable alliteration, (ceshod mishshaddai), “like a mighty destruction from the Almighty.”

                The prophecy of Joel is altogether one. It extends from his own day to the end of time. He gives the key to it in a saying, which he casts into the form of a proverb that judgment shall follow after judgment. Then he describes that first desolation, as if present, and calls to repentance; yet withal he says expressly, that the day of the Lord is not come, but is at hand. This he repeats at the beginning of the second (2nd) chapter  in which he describes the coming judgment more fully, speaks of it, as coming, and, when, he has pictured it as just ready to break upon them, and God, as giving the command to the great camp assembled to fulfill His word, he calls them, in God’s name, yet more earnestly to repentance, and promises, upon that repentance, plenary forgiveness and the restoration of eyerything which God had withdrawn from them. These promises culminate in the first (1st) Coming of Christ, the outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh, and the enlarged gift of prophecy at the same time among the sons and daughters of Judah. Upon these mercies to His own people, follow the judgments upon His and their enemies, reaching on to the second (2nd) Coming.

                                                                                                                                      An attempt has been made to sever the prophecy into two (2) discourses, of which the first (1st) is to end at c. 2:17, the second (2nd) is to comprise the remainder of the book. That scheme severs what is closely united, God’s call to prayer and His promise that He will answer it. According to this severance of the prophecy, the first (1st) portion is to contain the exhortation on the part of God, without any promise; the second (2nd) is to contain an historical relation that God answered, without saying what He answered. The notion was grounded on unbelief, that God absolutely foretold, that He would, beyond the way of nature, bring, what He would, upon repentance, as certainly remove. It is rested on a mere error in grammar.  (* Forms, like (waiqanna’ wai`an) are only used of the past, when a past has been already expressed or implied, as, in English, we may use a present in vivid description, in which the mind, as it were, accompanies and sees the action, although past. The past having once been expressed, we might say  “and he goes” &c. without ambiguity. But the form being relative, it must be understood of the same time, as that which has preceded. Here the time, which has preceded, is future. So also then is the word. The same form is used of the future, Hos. 8:10, Am. 9:5, Is. 9:6, 10, 13. Haev. Einl. ii. 262. *)   The grammatical form was probably chosen, in order to express how instantaneously God would hearken to real repentance, that the Lord is jealous for His land. The words of prayer should not yet have escaped their lips, when God answered. As He says, And it shall be, before they shall call, I will answer; while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Man has to make up his mind on a petition; with God, hearing and answering are one.

                The judgments upon God’s people, described in the two (2) first (1st) chapters of Joel, cannot be limited to a season of drought and a visitation of locusts, whether one or more,  i) The prophet includes all which he foretells, in one (1) statement, which, both from its form and its preternatural character, has the appearance of a proverbial saying. It does stand, as a summary. For he draws the attention of all to this; Hear this, ye old men and give ear all ye inhabiianis of the land. Hath this been in your days &c He appeals to the aged, whether they had heard the like, and bids all transmit it to their posterity. The summary is given in a very measured form, in three (3) divisions, each consisting of four (4) words, and the four (4) words standing, in each, in the same order. The first (1st) and third (3rd) words of the four (4) are the same in each; and the fourth (4th) of the first (1st) and second (2nd) four (4) become the second (2nd) of the second (2nd) and third (3rd) four (4), respectively. Next to Hebrew, its force can best be seen in Latin:  Residunm erucae  comedit  locusta;   Residuumque locustae  comedit  bruchus;   Residuumque  bruchi  comedit  exesor. (* Hebrew: ythr  hnzm  ‘akl h’arbhwythr  h’arbh  ‘akl  hylqwythr  hylq ‘akl  hchsil *) The structure of the words resembles God’s words to Elijah, whose measured rhythm and precise order of words may again be best, because most concisely, exhibited in Latin. Each division contains five (5) words in the same order; and here, the first (1st), second (2nd), and fourth (4th) words of each five (5) remain the same, and the Proper name which is the fifth(5th)  in the first (1st) five (5) becomes the third (3rd) in the second (2nd) five (5):   Profugum  gladii  Hazaelis occidet  Jehu;   Profugumque  gladii  Jehu  occidet  Elisha. (* Hebrew:   hnmlat  mchrb  chz’el  ymyth  yhw’a;   hnmlat  mchrb  chz’el  ymyth  ‘alysh`a *)

                In this case, we see that the form is proverbial, because the slaying by Elisha is different in kind from the slaying by Jehu and Hazael, and is the same of which God speaks by Hosea, I hewed them by the Prophets; I slew them by the words of my mouth. But so also is it with regard to the locust. Except by miracle, what the Prophet here describes, would not happen. He foretells, not only that a scourge should come, unknown in degree and number, before or afterward, in Palestine, but that four sorts of locusts should come successively, the latter destroying what the former left. Now this is not God’s ordinary way in bringing this scourge. In His ordinary Providence dififerent sorts of locusts do not succeed one another. Nor would it be any increase of the infliction, anything to record or forewarn of.  At times, by a yery rare chastisement, God has brought successive flights of the same insect from the same common birthplace; and generally, where the female locusts deposit their eggs and die, imless a moist winter or maii*8 forethoaght destroy the eggs, the brood which issues from them m the next spring, being as voracious as the full grown locusts, but crawling through the land, does, in that immediate neighborhood, destroy the produce of the second year, more fatally than the parent had that of the preceding. This however is, at most, the ravage of two stages of the same insect, not four successive scourges, the three last destroying what the former had spared. What the Prophet predicted, if taken literally, was altogether out of the order of nature, and  yet its literal fulfillment has not the character of a miracle; for it adds nothing to the intensity of what is predicted. The form of his prediction is proverbial; and this coincides with the other indications that the Prophet did not intend to speak of mere locusts.

                1) In order to bring down this summary of the Prophet to the level of an ordinary event in God’s ordinary Providence, a theory has been invented, that he is not here speaking of different sorts of locusts, but of the same locust in different stages of its growth, from the time when it leaves the egg, until it attains its full development and its wings. According to the inventor of this theory, the first (1st), the gazam (the palmer-worm of our version) was to be the migratory locust, which visits Palestine (it was said) chiefly in Autumn; the second (2nd), arbeh, (the ordinary name of the locust) was to stand for the young locust, as it first (1st) creeps out of the shell; the yelek (translated cankerworm) was to be the locust, in what was supposed to be the third (3rd) stage of development; the chasil (translated caterpillar) was to be the fullgrown locust. According to this form of the theory, the gazam was to be the same as the chasil the first (1st) as the last (4th); and two (2) of the most special names of the locust, gazam and chasil were, without any distinction, to be ascribed to the full-grown locust, of one and the same species. For, according to the theory, the gazam was to be the full-grown locust which arrived by flight and deposited its eggs; the arbeh, yelek, chasil, were to be three (3) chief stages of development of the locusts which left those eggs. So that the chasil, although not the same individual, was to be exactly the same insect as the gazam, and at the same stage of existence, the fullgrown locust, the gryllus migratorius with wings. But while these two, more special, names were appropriated to the self-same species of locust, in the same, its full-grown stage (which in itself is unlikely, when they are thus distinguished from each other) one of the two names which remained to describe (as was supposed) the earlier, (so to speak) infantine or childish stages of its development, arbeh is the most general name of locust. This was much as if, when we wished to speak of a “colt” as such, we were to call it “horse,” or were to ase the word “cow” to designate a “calf.” For, according to this theory, Joel, wishing to mark that he was speaking of the pupa, just emerged from the egg, called it “arbeh,” the most common name of the locust tribe.

                i. This theory then was tacitly modified. In the second (2nd) form of the theory, which is more likely to be introduced among us, gazam was to be the locust in its first (1st) stage; arbeh was to be the second (2nd), instead of the first (1st); yelek was to be the last but one; chasil  was, as before, to be the full-grown locust. This theory escaped one difficulty, that of making the gazam and chasil full-grown locusts of the same species. It added another. The three moultings which it assumes to be represented by the arbeh, yelek, and gazam, correspond neither with the actual moults of the locust, nor with those which strike the eye. Some observers have noticed four moultings of the locust, after it had left the egg ‘. Some write, as if there were yet more. But of marked changes which the eye of the observer can discern, there are two only, that by which it passes from the larva state into the pupa, and that by which it passes from the pupa to the full-grown locust. The three (3) names, arbitrarily adapted to the natural history of the locust, correspond neither with the four (4) actual, nor with the two (2) noticeable changes.

                But even these terms larva and pupa, if taken in their popular sense, would give a wrong idea of the moults of the locust. The changes with which we are familiar under these names, take place in the locust, before it leaves the egg. “The pupae are equally capable of eating and moving with the larvae, which they resemble except in having rudiments of wings or of wings and elytra:” having in fact ”complete wings, only folded up longitudinally and transversely, and inclosed membranous cases.” ”The pupae of the orthoptera” [to which the locust belongs] “resemble the perfect insect, both as to shape and the organs for taking their food, except in not having their wings and elytra fully developed.”

                These changes regard only its outward form, not its habits. Its voracity begins almost as soon as it has left the egg. The first change takes place “a few days” after they are first in motion. “They fast, far a short time” before each change. But the creature continues, throughout, the same living, devouring, thing, from the first, “creeping and jumping in the same general direction, they begin their destructive march“. The change, when it is made, takes place “in seven or eight minutes” by the creature disengaging itself firom its former outward skin. All the changes are often completed in six weeks. In the Ukraine, six weeks after it has left the egg, it has wings and flies away. In the warmer climate of Palestine, the change would be yet more rapid. “They attain their natural size” Niebuhr says of those in Mosul, “with astonishing rapidity.” “Tis three weeks,” says Le Bruyn, “before they can use their wings.”

                {[ Wikipedia: Life cycle of the Australian Plague Locust: (Egg pods; Egg incubation (about 2 weeks). 1st instar (small cricket size). 2nd instar (large cricket size). 3rd instar – 5th instar Hopper development wingless state (about 5 weeks). Fledging – Adult (about 2 weeks) wings developed. ]}

                But 2) the Prophet is not writing on “natural history,” nor noticing distinctions observable only on minute inspection. He is foretelling God’s judgments. But, as all relate, who have described the ravages of locusts, there are not three, four or five, but two stages only, in which its ravages are at all distinct, the unwinged and the winged state.

                3) Probably, only in a country which was the birthplace of locusts, and where consequently they would, in all the stages of their existence, be, year by year, before the eyes of the people, would those stages be marked be different names. Arabia was one such birthplace, and the Arabs, living a wild life of nature, have invented, probably beyond any other nation, words with very special physical meanings. The Arabs, who have above fifty names for different locusts, or locusts under different circumstances, as they distinguished the sexes of the locust by different names, so they did three of its ages. “When it came forth out of its egg, it was called doba; when its wings appeared and grew, it was called ghaugha; and this, when they jostled one another; and when their colors appeared, the males becoming yellow, the females black, then they were called jerad” This is no scientific description; for the wings of the locust are not visible, until after the last moult. But in the language of other countries, where this plague was not domestic, these different stages of the existence of the locust are not marked by a special name. The Syrians added an epithet “the flying,” “the creeping,” but designated by the “creeping” the chasil as well as the yelek, which last the Chaldees render by (parecha) “the flying.” In Joel where they had to designate the four kinds of locusts together, they were obliged, like our own version, in one case to substitute the name of another destructive insect; in another, they use the name of a different kind of locust, the tearteuro, or tearteero, the Syrian and Arabic way of pronouncing the Hebrew tselatsal. In Greek the (Bpouchos) and (Attelabos) of have been thought to be two stages of the unwinged, and so, unperfected, locusts. But S. Cyril  and Theodoret speak of the (Bpouchos) as having wings; Aristotle and Plutarch speak of the eggs of the (Attelabos). (*  In Joel 1:2, 2:25, the Syriac renders the arbeh, (kamtso porecho) (the flying locust), and the yelek, (kamtso dsochelo), (the creeping locust). In 1st Kgs 8:37 and 2nd Cnron. 6:28, it renders chasil by (dsochelo) creeping. In Ps. 78:46, it renders chasil by kamtso, locust, and arbeh, by dsochelo, creeper. In Ps. 105:34, it renders arbeh, by kamtso only [as also in 2nd Cnron. 6] and yelek again by dsochelo. *)

                4) The Prophet is speaking of successive ravagers, each devouring what the former left. If the theory of these writers was correct, the order in which he names them, would be the order of their development. But in the order of their development, they never destroy what they left in their former stages. From the time when they begin to move, they march right onward “creeping and jumping, all in the same general direction.” This march never stops. They creep on, eating as they creep, in the same tract of country, not in the same spot. You could not say of creatures (were we afflicted with such,) who crawled for six (6) weeks, devouring, over two (2) counties of England, that in their later stage they devoured what in their former they left. We should speak of the plague “spreading” over two (2) counties. We could not use the Prophet’s description, for it would not be true. This mere march, however destructive in its course, does not correspond with the Prophet’s words. The Prophet then must mean something else. When the locust becomes winged it flies away, to ravage other countries. So far from destroying what, in its former condition, it left, its ravages in that country are at an end. Had it been ever so true, that these four (4) names, gasam, arbeh, yelek, chasil, designated four (4) stages of being of the one locust, of which stages gasam was the first (1st), chasil the last, then to suit this theory, it should have been said, that gasam,  the young locust, devoured what the chasil , by the hypothesis the full-grown locust, left, not the reverse, as it stands in the Prophet. For the young, when hatched, do destroy in the same place which their parents visited, when they deposited their eggs; but the grown locust does not devastate the country which he wasted before he had wings. So then, in truth, had the Prophet meant this, he would have spoken of two (2) creatures, not of four; and of those two he would have spoken in a different order from that of this hypothesis.

                5) Palestine not being an ordinary breeding place of the locusts, the locust arrives there by flight. Accordingly, on this ground also, the first (1st) mentioned would be the winged, not the crawling, locust.         

                 6) The use of these names of the locust, elsewhere in Holy Scripture, contradicts the theory, that they designate different stages of growth, of the same creature.     a) The arbeh is itself one (1) of the four (4) kinds of locust, allowed to be eaten, having subordinate species. The locust (arbeh) after his kind, and the bald locust (sol’am the devourer) after his kind, and the beetle (chargol, lit. the springer) after his kind, and the grasshopper (chagab, perhaps, the overshadower) after his kind. It is to the last degree unlikely, that the name arbeh, which is the generic name of the most common sort of the winged locust, should be given to one imperfect, unwinged, stage of one species of locust.      b) The creeping, unwinged, insect, which has just come forth from the ground^ would more probably be called by yet another name for “locust,” gob, gobai, “the creeper,” than by that of gasam, But though such is probably the etymology of gob, probably it too is winged.      c) Some of these creatures here mentioned by Joel are named together in Holy Scripture as distinct and winged. The arbeh and chasil, are mentioned together; as are also the arbeh and the yelek.  The arbeh, the yelek, and the chasil, are all together mentioned in regard to the plague of Egypt, and all consequently, as winged, since they were brought by the wind. The prophet Nahum also speaks of the yelek, a spoiling and fleeing away. According to the theory, the yelek, as well as the arbeh, ought to be unwinged.

                Nor, again, can it be said, that the names are merely poetic names of the locust. It is true that arbeh, the common name of the locust, is taken from its number; the rest, gazam, yelek, chasil are descriptive of the voracity of that tribe. But both the arbeh and the chasil occur together in the historical and so in prose books. We know of ninety (90) sorts of locusts, and they are distinguishecl from one another by some epithet. It would plainly be gratuitous to assume that the Hebrew names, although epithets, describe only the genus in its largest sense, and are not names of species. If moreover these names were used of the same identical race, not of different species in it, the saying would the more have the character of a proverb. We could not say, for instance, “what the horse left, the steed devoured,” except in some proverbial meaning.

                This furnishes a certain probability that the Prophet means something more under the locust, than the creature itself, although this in itself too is a great scourge of God.

                ii. In the course of the description itself, the Prophet gives hints, that he means, under the locust, a judgment far greater, an enemy far mightier, than the locust. These hints have been put together most fully, and supported in detail by Hengstenberg, so that here they are but re-arranged.

                1) Joel calls the scourge, whom he describes, the Northern or Northman. But whereas the Assyrian invaders of Palestine did pour into it from the North, the locust, almost always, by a sort of law of their being, make their inroads there from their birth-place in the south.

                2) The Prophet directs the priests to pray, O Lord give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. But there is plainly no connection, between the desolation caused by locusts, and the people being given over to a heathen conqueror.

                3) The Prophet speaks of, or alludes to, the agent, as one responsible. It is not likely that, of an irrational scourge of God, the Prophet would have assigned as a ground of its destruction, he hath magnified to do; words used of human pride which exceeds the measure appointed to it by God. On the other hand, when God says, a nation is come up upon My land then will the Lord be jealous for His land, the words belong rather to a heathen invader of God’s land, who dispoted with His people the possession of the land which He had given them, than to an insect, which was simply carried, without volition of its own, by the wind. With this falls in the use of the title people, goi, used often of heathen, not (as is ‘am); of irrational creatures.

                4) After the summary which mentions the simply different kinds ot locusts, the prophet speaks of fire, flame, drought, which shew that he means something beyond that plague.

                5) The imagery, even where it has some  correspondence with what is known of locustai  soes beyond an^ mere plague of locusts.     a) People are terrified at their approach ; but  Joel says not people, but peoples, nations. It was a scourge then, like those great conquering Empires, whom God made the hammer of the whole earth.    b) The locusts darken the air as they come; but the darkening of the sun and moon, the withdrawing of the shining of the stars (which together are incompatible) are far beyond this, and are symbols elsewhere of the trembling of all things before the revelation of the wrath of God.        c) Locusts enter towns and are troublesome to their inhabitants; but the fields are the scenes of their desolation, in towns they are destroyed. These in Joel are represented as taking the city, Jerusalem, symbols of countless hosts, but as mere locusts, harmless.

                6) The effects of the scourge are such as do not result from mere locusts, a) The quantity used for the meat-offering and drink-offering was so small, that even a famine could not occasion their disuse. They were continued even in the last dreadful siege of Jerusalem. Not materials for sacrifice, but sacrificers were wanting”, b) God says, I will restore the years which the locust hath eaten. But the locust, being a passing scourge, did not destroy the fruits of several years, only of that one year, c) The beasts of the field are bidden to rejoice, because the tree beareth her fruit. This must be metaphor, for the trees are not food for cattle, d) The scourge is spoken of as greater than any which they or their fathers knew of, and as one to be ever remembered; but Israel had many worse scourges than any plague of locusts, however severe. God had taught them by David,  It is better to fall into the hands of God, than into the hands of men.

                7) The destruction of this scourge of God is described in a way, taken doubtless in its details from the destruction of locusts, yet, as a whole, physically impossible in a literal sense.

                8) The Day of the Lord, of which bespeaks, is identical with the scourge which he describes, but is far beyond any plague of locusts. It includes the captivity of Judah, the division of their land, its possession by strangers, since it is promised that these are no more to pass through her. It is a day of utter destruction, such as the Almighty aJone can inflict. It shall come like a mighty destruction from the Almighty.

                Attempts have been made to meet some of these arguments; but these attempts for the most part only illustrate the strength of the arguments, which they try to remove.

                I. 1) Northern has been taken in its natural sense, and it has been asserted, contrary to the fact, that locusts did come from the North into Palestine; or it has been said, that the locusts were first (1st) driven from their birthplace in Arabia Deserta through Palestine to the North, and then brought back again into Palestine from the North; or that Northern meant that part of the whole body of locusts which occupied the Northern parts of Palestine, Judea lying to the extreme south.

                But an incidental flight of locusts^ which should have entered Palestine from the North, (which they are not recorded to have done) would not have been called “the Northern.” The object of such a name would be to describe the locale of thoee spoken of, not a mere accident or anomaly. Still less, if this ever happened, (of which there is no proof) would a swarm of locusts be so called, which had first oome from the South. The regularity, with whidi the winds blow in Palestine, makes such a bringing back of the locusts altogether improbable. The South wind blows chiefly in March ; the East wind in Siunmer, the North wind mostly about the Autumnal equinox. But neither would a body so blown to and fro, be the fearful scourge predicted by the Prophet, nor would it have been odled the Northern. The i of the word tsephoni, like our ern in Northern, designates that which is spoken of, not as coming incidentally from the North, but as having an habitual relation to the North. A flight of locusts driven back, contrary to continual experience, from the North, would not have been designated as the Northern, any more than a Lowlander who passes some time in the Highlands would be called a Highlander, or a Highlander, passing into the South, would be called a “Southron.” With regard to the third explanation, Joel was especially a prophet of Judah. The supposition that, in predicting the destruction of the locusts, he spoke of the Northern not of the Southern portion of them, implies that he promised on the part of God, as the reward of the humiliation of Judah, that God would remove this scourge from the separated kingdom of the ten (10) tribes, without any promise as to that part which immediately concerned themselves. Manifestly also, the Northern does not, by itself, express the Northern part of a whole.

                It is almost incredible that some have understood by the Northern, those driven toward the North, and so tliose actually in the South*; and / will remove far from you the Northern, ” I will remove tar from you who are in the South, the locusts who have come to you from the South, whom I will drive to

the North.”

                2) Instances have been brought from other lands, to which locusts have come from the North. This answer wholly misstates the point at issue. The question is not as to the direction which locusts take, in other countries, whither God sends them, but as to the quarter from which they enter Judea. The direction which they take, varies in different countries, but is on one and the same principle. It is said by one observer, that they have power to fly against the wind. Yet this probably is said only of light airs, when they are circling round in preparation for their flight. For the most part, they are carried by the prevailing wind, sometimes, if God so wills, to their own destruction, but, mostly, to other counties as a scourge. “When they can fly, they go,” relates Beauplan of those bred in the Ukraine, “wherever the wind carries them. If the North-east wind prevails, when they first take flight, it carries them all into the Black Sea; but if the wind blows from any other quarter, they go into some other country, to do mischief.” Lichtenstein writes, “They never deviate from the straight line, so long as the same wind blows.” Niebuhr says, “I saw in Cairo a yet more terrible cloud of locusts, which came by a South-west wind and so from the desert of Libya.” “In the night of Nov. 10, 1762, a great cloud passed over Jidda with a West wind, consequently over the Arabian gulf which is very broad here.” Of two flights in India which Forbes witnessed, he relates, “Each of thest flights were brought by an East wind; they took a Westerly direction, and, without settling in the country, probably perished in the gulf of Cambay.” Dr. Thomson who had spent 26 years in the Holy Land, says in illustration of David’s words, I am tossed up and down like the locust,  “This refers to the flying locust. I have had frequent opportunities to notice, how these squadrons are tossed up and down, and whirled round and round by the evervarying currents of the mountain winds.” Morier says, “The South-east wind constantly brought with it innumerable flights of locusts,” but also “a fresh wind from the South-west which had brought them, so completely drove them forward that not a vestige of them was to be seen two hours afterward.” These were different kinds of locusts, the first (1st) “at Bushire,” having “legs and body of a light yellow and wings spotted brown;” the second (2nd) at Shiraz (which ”the Persians said came from the Germesir,”) being “larger and red.”

                The breeding country for the locust in South-western Asia, is the great desert of Arabia reaching to the Persian gulf. From this, at God’s command, the East wind brought the locust to Egypt. They are often carried by a West or South-west wind into Persia. “I have often in spring,” relates Joseph de S. Angelo, “seen the sun darkened of very thick clouds (so to say) of locusts, which cross the sea from the deserts of Arabia far into Persia.” In Western Arabia, Burckhard writes, “the locusts are known to come invariably from the East,” i.e. from the same deserts. The South wind carries them to the different countries Northward. This is so general, that Hasselquist wrote; “The locusts appear to be directed –in a direct meridian line by keeping nearly from South to North, turning very little either to the East or West. They come from the deserts of Arabia, take their course on through Palestine, Syria, Carmania, Natolia, go sometimes through Bithynia. They never turn from their course, for example, to the West, wherefore Egypt is not visited by them, though so near their usual tract. Neither do they turn to the East, for I never heard that Mesopotamia or the confines of the Euphrates are ravaged by them.” And Volney reports, as the common observation of the natives; “The inhabitants, of Syria remarked that the locusts only came after over-mild winters, and that they always came from the deserts of Arabia.” Whence S. Jerome, himself an inhabitant of Palestine, regarded this mention of the North as an indication that the prophet intended us to understand under the name of locusts, the mat Coaquerors who did invade Palestine from the North. “According to the letter, the South wind, rather than the North, hath been wont to bring the flocks of locusts, i.e. they come not from the cold but from the heat. But since he was speaking of the Assyrians, under the image of locusts, therefore he inserted the mention of the North, that we may understand, not the actual locust, which hath been wont to oome from the South, but under the locust, the Assyrians and Chaldees.”

                On the same ground, that the locusts came to Palestine from the South, they were brought from Tartary, (the breeding-place of the locust thence called the Tartarian locust) by an East or South-east wind to the Ukraine. “They generally come [to the Ukraine] from toward Tartary, which happens in a dry spring; for Tartary and the countries East of it, as Circassia, Bazza and Mingrelia, are seldom free from them. The vermin being driven by an East or Southeast wind come into the Ukraine.”  To the coasts of Barbary or to Italy for the same reason they come from the South; to Upper Egypt from Arabia; and to Nubia from the North, viz. from Upper Egypt. “In the summer of 1778,” Chenier says of Mauritania, there “were seen, coming from the South, clouds of locusts which darkened the sun“. Strabo states, that, “the strong S.W. or W. winds of the vernal equinox drive them together into the country of Acridophagi.” To the Cape of Good Hope they come from the North, whence alone they could come; to Senegal they come with the wind from the East. “They infest Italy,” Pliny says, “chiefly from Africa;” whence of course, they come to Spain also’. Shaw writes of those in Barbary; “Their first appearance was toward the latter end of March, the wind having been for some time Southerly.” “As the direction of the marches and flight of them both,” [i.e. both of the young brood and their parents, their “marches” before they had wings, and their “flight” afterward] “was always to the Northward, it is probable that they perished in the sea.”

                All this, however, illustrates the one rule of their flight, that they come with the wind from their birthplace to other lands. On the same ground that they come to Italy or Barbary from the South, to the Ukraine or Arabia Felix from the East, to Persia from the South or South-west, to Nubia or to the Cape, or Constantinople sometimes, from the North, they came to Judea from the South. The word “Northern” describes the habitual character of the army here spoken of. Such was the character of the Assyrian or Chaldean conquerors, who are described oftentimes, in Holy Scripture, as coming “out of the North,” and such was not the character of the locusts, who, if described by the quarter from which they habitually came, must have been called “the Southern.”

                3) The third mode of removing the evidence of the word “Northern,” has been to explain its meaning. But in no living, nor indeed in any well-known language, would any one have recourse to certain or uncertain etymology, in order to displace the received meaning of a word. Our “North” originally meant “narrowed, contracted;” the Latin “Septentrionalis” is so called from the constellation of the Great Bear; yet no one in his right mind, if he understood not how anything was, by an English author, called “Northern,” would have recourse to the original meaning of the word and say “Northem” might signify “hemmed in,” or that “septentrionalis” or septentrionel meant “belonging to the seven (7) plowers,” or whatever other etymology might be given to septentrio. No more snoula they, because they did not or would not understand the use of the word tsephoni, have had recourse to etymologies. Tsaphon uniformly signifies the North, as our word “North” itself. Tsephoni signifies Northern the i having the same office as our ending ern in Northern, The word Tsaphan originally signified hid; then, laid up; and, it may be, that  the North was called tsaphon as the hidden, “shrouded in darkness.” But to infer from that etymology, that tsephoni here may signify the hider. “that which obscures the rays of the sun,” is, apart from its grammatical incorrectness, much the same argument as if we were to say that Northern meant, that which “narrows, contracts, hems in,” or “is fast bound.”

                Equally capricious and arbitrary is the coining of a new Hebrew word to substitute for the word tsephoni; as one *, first reading it tsipponi supposes it to mean captain, or main army, because in Arabic or Aramaic, tsaphpha means, “set things in a row,” “set an army in array,” of which root there is no trace in Hebrew. Stranger yet is it to identify the well-known Hebrew word Tsaphon with the Greek (tuphōn), and tsephoni with (tuphōnikos); and  because Typhon was, in Egyptian mythology, a principle of evil, to infer that tsephoni meant a destroyer. Another’, who would give tsephoni the meaning of “Barbarian,” admits in fact the prophetic character of the title; since the Jews had as yet, in the time of Joel, no external foe on their North border; no one, except Israel, as vet invaded them from the North. Not until the Assyrian swept oyer them, was the Northern any special enemy of Judah. Until the time of Ahaz, Syria was the enemy, not of Judah, but of Israel.

                This varied straining to get rid of the plain meaning of the word the Northern, illustrates the more the importance of the term as one of the keys of the prophecy.

                One and the same wind could not drive the same body of locusts, to perish in three (3) different, and two (2) of them opposite, directions. Yet it is clear that the Prophet speaks of them as one and the same. The locusts are spoken of as one great army, (as God had before called them,) with front and rear. The resource has been to say that the van and rear were two different bodies of locusts, destroyed at diflerent times, or to say that it is only Hebrew parallelism. In Hebrew parallelism, each portion of the verse adds something to the other. It does not unite things incompatible. Nor is it here the question of two but of three directions, whither this enemy was to be swept away and perish.

                But Joel speaks of them first as one whole. I will drive him into a land barren and desolate, the wastes South of Judah, and then of the front and rear, as driven into the two seas, which bound Judah on the East and West. The two Hebrew words, (paniu vesopho), his front and his rear, can no more mean two (2) bodies, having no relation to one another and to the whole, than our English words could, when used of an army.

                II. Equally unsuccessful are the attempts to get rid of the proofs, that the invader here described is a moral agent. In regard to the words assigned as the ground of his destruction, for he hath magnified to do,   1) it has been denied, contrary to the Hebrew idiom and the context, that they do relate to moral agency, whereas, in regard to creatures, the idiom is used of nothing else, nor in any other sense could this be the ground why God destroyed them. Yet, that this their pride was the cause of their destruction, is marked by the word for. 2) (Strange to say) one has been found who thought that the Prophet spoke of the locusts as moral agents.  3) Others have applied the words to God, again contrary to the context. For God speaks in this same verse of Himself in the first (1st) person, of the enemy whom He sentences to destruction, in the third (3rd). ”And I will remove far off from you the Northern army, and I will drive him into a land barren and desolate, his face towards the Eastern sea, and his rear towards the Western sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savor shall come up, because he hath magnified to do.” Joel does not use rapid transitions. And rapid transitions, when used, are never without meaning. A sacred writer who has been speaking of God, does often, in holy fervor, turn suddenly to address God; or, having upbraided a sinful people, he turns away from them, and speaks, not to them any more but of them. But it is unexampled in Holy Scripture, that in words in the mouth of God, God should speak of Himself first (1st) in the first (1st) person, then in the third (3rd).

                III. Instead of “that the heathen should rule over them,” they render, “That the heathen should jestat them.” But besides this place, the phrase occurs fifty (50) times in the Hebrew Bible, and in every case means indisputably “rule over.” It is plainly contrary to ali rules of language, to take an idiom in the fifty-first (51st) case, in a sense wholly difierent from that which it has in the other fifty (50). The noun also signifying “proverb,” is derived from a root entirely distinct from the verb to rule; the verb which Ezekiel perhaps formed (as verbs are formed in Hebrew) from the noun, is never used except in connection, direct or implied, with that noun. The idiom “became a proverb,” “make a proverb of,” is always expressed, not by the verb, but by the noun with some other verb, as ” became, give, set, place.” It is even said, I  will make him desolate to a proverb,  shall take up a parable against him, but in no one of these idioms is the verb used.

                IV. The word “jealousy” is used twenty (20) times in the Old Testament, of that attribute in God, whereby He does not endure the love of His creatures to be transferred from Him, or divided with Him. Besides this place, it is used by the Prophets fifteen (15) times, of God’s love for His people, as shewn against the Heathen who oppressed them. In all the thirty-five (35) cases it is used of an attribute of Almighty God toward His rational creatures. And it is a violation of the uniform usage of Holy Scripture in a matter which relates to the attributes of Almighty God and His relation to the creatures which He has made, to extend it to His irrational creation. It is to force on Holy Scripture an unauthorized statement as to Almighty God.

                Of these hints that the prophecy extends beyond any mere locusts, five (5) are given in the space of four (4) verses at the close of that part of the prophecy, and seem to be condensed there, as a key to the whole. Joel began his prophecy by a sort of sacred enigma or proverb, which waited its explanation. At the close of the description of God’s judgments on His people, which he so opened, he concentrates traits which should indicate its fullest meaning. He does not exclude suffering by locusts, fire, drought, famine, or any other of God’s natural visitations. But he indicates that the scourge, which he was chiefly foretelling, was man. Three (3) of these hints combine to shew that Joel was speaking of Heathen scourges of God’s people and Church. The mention of the Northern fixes the prophecy to enemies, of whom Joel had no human knowledge, but by whom Judah was carried away captive, and who themselves were soon afterward destroyed, while Judah was restored. Not until after Joel and all his generation were fallen asleep, did a king of Assyria come up against Israel, nor was the North a quarter whence men would then apprehend danger. Pul came up against Menahem, king of Israel, at the, close of the reign of Uzziah. The reign of Jotham was victorious. Not until invited by his son Ahaz, did Tiglath-pileser meddle with the affairs of Judah. In yet another reign, that of Hezekiah, was the first (1st) invasion of Judah. Sennacherib, first (1st) the scourge of God, in his second (2nd) invasion blasphemed God, and his army perished in one night, smitten by the Angel of God.

                It seems then probable, that what Joel escribes was presented to him in the form of a vision, the title which he gives to his prophecy. There, as for as we can imagine what was exhibited by God to His prophets, he saw before him the land wasted and desolate; pastures and trees burned up by fire; the channels of the rivers dried up, the dams broken down as useless, and withal, the locusts, such as he describes them in the second (2nd) chapter, advancing, overspreading the land, desolating all as they advanced, marching in the wonderful order in which the locust presses on, indomitable, unbroken, unhindered; assaulting the city Jerusalem, mounting the walls, possessing themselves of it, entering its houses, as victorious. But withal he knew, by that same inspiration which spread this scene before his eyes, that not mere locusts were intended, and was inspired to intermingle in his description expressions which forewarned his people of invaders yet more formidable.

                It may be added, that S. John, in the Revelation, not only uses the symbol of locusts as a type of enemies of God’s Church and people, whether actual persecutors or spiritual foes or both, but, in three successive verses of his description, he takes from Joel three traits of the picture. The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; their teeth were as the teeth of lions; the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. It seems probable, that as S. John takes up anew the prophecies of the Old Testament, and embodies in his prophecy their language, pointing on to a fulfillment of it in the Christian Church, he does, by adopting the symbol of the locusts, in part in Joel’s own words, express that he himself understood the Prophet to speak of enemies, beyond the mere irrational scourge.

                The chief characteristic of the Prophet’s style is perhaps its simple vividness. Every thing is set before our eyes, as though we ourselves saw it. This is alike the character of the description of the desolation in the first chapter; the advance of the locusts in the second; or that more awful gathering in the valley of Jehoshaphat, described in the third. The Prophet adds detail to detail; each, clear, brief, distinct, a picture in itself yet adding to the effect of the whole. We can, without an effort, bring the whole of each picture before our eyes. Sometimes he uses the very briefest form of words, two words, in his own language, sufficing for each feature in his picture. One verse consists almost of five such pairs of words Then, again, the discourse flows on in a soft and gentle cadence, like one of those longer sweeps of an AEolian harp. This blending of energy and softness is perhaps one secret, why the diction also of this Prophet has been at all times so winning and so touching. Deep and full, he pours out the tide of his words, with an unbroken smoothness, carries all along with him, yea, like those rivers of the new world, bears back the bitter, restless billows which oppose him, a pure strong stream amid the endless heavings and tossings of the world.

                Poetic as Joel’s language is, he does not much use distinct imagery. For his whole  picture is one image. They are God’s chastenings through inanimate nature, picturing the worse chastening through man. So much had he, probably, in prophetic vision the symbol spread before his eyes, that he likens it in one place to that which it represents, the men of war of the invading army. But this too adds to the formidableness of the picture.

                Full of sorrow himself, he summons all with him to repentance, priests and people, old and young, bride and bridegroom, let his very call, let the bridegroom go forth out of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet, shews how tenderly he felt for those, whom he called from the solaces of mutual affection to fasting and weeping and girding with sackcloth. Yet more tender is the summons to all Israel, Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth, The tenderness of his soul is evinced by his lingering over the desolation which he foresees. It is like one, counting over, one by one, the losses he endures in the privations of others. Nature to him “seemed to mourn;” he had a feeling of sympathy with the brute cattle which in his ears mourn so grievously; and, if none else would mourn for their own sins, he himself would mourn to Him Who is full of compassion and mercy. He announces to the poor cattle the removal of the woe. Fear not, fear ye not. Few passages in Scripture itself are more touching, than when, having represented God as marshalling His creatures for the destruction of His people, and just ready to give the word, having expressed the great terriblcness of the Day of the Lord, and asked who can abide it? he suddenly turns. And now too, and calls to repentance.

                Amid a wonderful beauty of language, he employs words not found elsewhere in Holy Scripture. In one verse, he has three such words. The degree to which the prophecies of Joel reappear in the later prophets has been exaggerated. The subjects of the prophecy recur; not, for the most part, the form in which they were delivered. The subjects could not but recur. For the truths, when once revealed, became a part of the hopes and fears of the Jewish Church; and the Prophets, as preachers and teachers of their people, could not but repeat them. But it was no mere repetition. Even those truths which, in one of their bearings or, again, in outline were fully declared, admitted of subordinate enlargement, or of the revelation of other accessory truths, which filled up or determined or limited that first outline. And as far as anything was added or determined by any later prophet, such additions constituted a fresh revelation by him. It is so in the case of the wonderlul image, in which, taking occasion of the fact of nature, that there was a fountain under the temple, which carried off the blood of the sacrifices, and, carrying it off, was intermingled with that blood, the image of the All-atoning Blood, Joel speaks of a fountain flowing forth from the House of the Lord and watering the valley cf Shittim, whither by nature its waters coufd not flow. He first describes the holiness to be bestowed upon Mount Zion; then, how from the Temple, the centre of worship and of revelation, the place of the shadow of the Atonement, the stream should gush forth, which, pouring on beyond the bounds of the land of Judah, should carry fertility to a barren and thirsty land. (For in such lands the shittab grows.) To this picture Zechariah adds the permanence of the life-giving stream and its perennial flow, in summer and in winter shall it be. Ezekiel, in his full and wonderful expansion of the image, adds the ideas of the gradual increase of those waters of life, their exceeding depth, the healing of all which could be healed, the abiding desolation where those waters did not reach; and trees, as in the garden of Eden, yielding food and health. He in a manner anticipates our Lord’s prophecy, ye shall be fishers of men. S. John takes up the image, yet as an emblem of such fullness of bliss and glory, that, amid some things, which can scarcely be understood except of this life, it seems rather to belong to life eternal.

                Indeed, as to the great imagery of Joel, it is much more adopted and enforced in the New Testament than in the Old. The image of the locust is taken up in the Revelation; that of the “pouring out of the Spirit” (for this too is an image, how largely God would bestow Himself in the times of the Gospel) is adopted in the Old Testament by Ezekiel , yet as to the Jews only; in the New by St. Peter and St. Paul. Of those condensed images, under which Joel speaks of the wickedness of the whole earth ripened for destruction, the harvest and the wine-treading, that of the harvest is employed by Jeremiah as to Babylon, that of the wine-press is enlarged by Isaiah. The harvest is so employed by our Lord as to explain the imagery of Joel; and in that great embodiment of Old Testament prophecy, the Revelation, St. John expands the image of the wine-press in the same largeness of meaning as it is used by Joel.

                The largeness of all these declarations remains peculiar to Joel. To this unknown Prophet, whom in his writings we cannot but love, but of whose history, condition, rank, parentage, birth-place, nothing is known, nothing beyond his name, save the name of an unknown father, of whom moreover God has allowed nothing to remain save these few chapters, –to him Crod reserved the prerogative, first (1st) to declare the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost upon all flesh, the perpetual abiding of tne Church, the final struggle of good and evil, the last rebellion against God, and the Day of Judgment. The Day of the Lord, the great and terrible day, the belief in which now forms part of the faith of all Jews and Christians, was a title first (1st) revealed to this unknown Prophet

                The primaeval prophecy on Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, had been renewed to  Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon. In Abraham’s seed were all nations of the earth to be blessed; the obedience of the nations was to be rendered to Shiloh the Peacemaker; the nations were to rejoice with the people of God; God’s anointed king was from Mount Zion to have the heathen for his inheritance: David’s Son and David’s Lord was to be a king and priest forever after the order of Melchizek; the peoples were to be willing in the Day of His power. All nations were to serve him. This had been prophesied before. It was part of the body of belief in the time of Joel. But to Joel it was first foreshown that the Gentiles too should be filled with the Spirit of God. To him was first declared that great paradox, or mystery, of faith, which, after his time, prophet after prophet insisted upon, that while deliverance should be in Mount Zion, while sons and daughters, young and old, should prophesy in Zion, and the stream of God’s  grace should issue to the barren world from the Temple of the Lord, those in her who should be delivered should be a remnant only.

                Marvelous faith, alike in those who uttered it and those who received it; marvelous disinterested faith! The true worship of  God was, by the revolt of the ten (10) tribes, limited to the two (2) tribes, the territory of the largest of which was but some 50 miles long, and not 30 miles broad; Benjamin added but 12 miles to the length of the whole. It was but 12 miles from Jerusalem on its Southern Border to Bethel on its Northern. They had made no impression beyond their own boundaries. Edom, their “brother”, was their bitterest enemy, wise in the wisdom of the world”, but worshiping false gods”. Nay they themselves still borrowed the idolatries of their neighbors. Beset as Judah was by constant wars without, deserted by Israel, the immediate band of worshipers of the one God within its narrow borders thinned by those who fell away from Him, Joel foretold, not as uncertainly, not as anticipation, or hope, or longing, but absolutely and distinctly, that God would pour out His Spirit upon all fleeh; and that the healing stream should issue forth from Jerusalem. Eight centuries rolled on, and it was not accomplished. He died, of Whom it was said, we trusted that it had been He Who should have redeemed Israel; and it was fulfilled. Had it failed, justly would the Hebrew Prophets have been called fanatics. The words were too distinct to be explained away. It could not fail; for God had said it.

                Introduction to the Prophet AMOS.

                “He Who made, one by one, the heatis of men, and understandeth all their works, knowing the hardness and contrariousness of the heart of Israel, reasoneth with them not through one Prophet only, bat, employing as His ministers many, ana those, wondrous men, both monisheth them and foretelleth the things to come, evidencing through the harmony of many the truthfiuness of their predictions.”

                As the contradiction of false teachers gave occasion to St. Paul to speak of himself, so the persecution of the priest of Bethel has brought out such knowledge as we have of the life of Amos, before God called him to be a prophet, I, he says, was no prophet, neither was I a prophets son. He had not received any of the training in those schools of the prophets which had been founded by Samuel, and through which, amid the general apostacy and corruption, both religious knowledge and religious life were maintained in the remnant of Israel. He was a herdsman, whether (as this word would naturally mean) a cowherd or (less obyiously) a shepherd. He was among the herdsmen of Tekoah; among them, and, outwardly, as they, in nothing distinguished from them. The sheep which he tended (for he also kept sheep) may have been his own. There is nothing to prove or to disprove it. But any how he was not like the king of Moab, “a sheep-master” as the Jews, following out their principle, that “prophecy was only bestowed by God on the rich and noble,” wish to make him. Like David, he was following the sheep, as their shepherd. But his employment as a gatherer (or more probably, a cultivator) of sycamore fruit, the rather designates him, as one among by a rural employment for hire. The word probably, designates the artificial means by which the sycamore fruit was ripened, irritating, scraping, puncturing, wounding it. Amos does not say that these were his food, but that one of his employments was to do a gardener’s office in maturing them. A sort of gardener then he was and a shepherd among other shepherds. The sheep which he fed werealso probably a matter of trade. The breed of sheep and goats, nakad, from keeping which his peculiar name of shepherd, noked, was derived, is still known by the same name in Arabia: a race, small, thin short-legged, ugly and stunted. It furnished a proverb, “viler than a nakad;” yet the wool of the sheep was accounted the very best. The goats were found especially in Bahrein, among the Arabs also, the shepherd of these sheep was known by a name derived from them. They were called nakad; their shepherd “nokkad

                The prophet’s birthplace, Tekoah, was a town which, in the time of Josephus and of S. Jerome, had dwindled into a “village,” ”a little village,” on a high hill, twelve (12) miles from Jerusalem, “which” St. Jerome adds. “we see daily.” “It lay,” St. Jerome says, “six (6) miles southward from holy Bethlehem where the Saviour of the world was born, and beyond it is no village save some rude huts and movable tents. Such is the wide waste of the desert which stretcheth to the Red Sea, and the bounds of the Persians, Ethiopians, and Indians. And no grain whatever being grown upon this dry and sandy soil, it is all full of shepherds, in order, by the multitude of the rocks to make amends for the barrenness of the land.” From Tekoah Joab brought the wise woman to intercede for Absalom; Rehoboam built it; i.e. whereas it had been before (what it afterward again became) a village, and so was not mentioned in the book of Joshua, he made it a fortified town toward his South-Eastem border. The neighboring wilderness was called after it. Besides its sycamores, its oil was the best in Judah. War and desolation have extirpated both from this as well as from other parts of Palestine. Its present remains are Christian, ruins of 4 or 5 acres. It, as well as so manv other places near the Dead Sea, is identified by the old name, slightly varied in pronunciation, Theku’a as also by its distance from Jerusalem In the sixth (6th) century we hear of a chapel in memory of the holy Amos at Tekoa, where the separated monks of the lesser laura of S. Saba communicated on the Lord’s day. The wide prospect from Tekoa embraced both the dead and the living, God’s mercies and His judgments. To the South-East the view is bounded only by the level mountains of Moab, with frequent bursts of the Dead Sea, seen through openings among the rugged and desolate mountains which intervene. On the North, the Mount of Olives is visible, at that time dear to sight, as overhanging the place, which God had chosen to place His Name there, Tekoah, however, although the birthplace, was not the abode of the prophet. He was among the herdsmen from Tekoa, their employment, as shepherds, leading them away from Tekoah, In the wilds of the desert while he was following his sheep, God saw him and revealed Himself to him, as he had to Jacob and to Moses, and said to him, Go prophesy unto My people Israel. And as the Apostle left their nets and their father, and Matthew the receipt of custom, and followed Jesus, so Amos left his sheep and Ids cultivation of sycamores, and appeared suddenly in his shepherd’s dress at the royal but idolatrous ^ sanctuary, the temple of the. state, to denounce the idolatry sanctioned by the state, to foretell the extinction of the Boyal family, and the captivity of the people. This, like Ho-sea, he had to do in the reign of the mightiest of the sovereigns of Israel, in the midst of her unclouded prosperity. Bethel was but twelve miles Northward from Jerusalem*, as Tekoah was twelve miles toward the South-East. Six or seven hours would suffice to transport the shepherd from his sheep and the wilderness to that fountain of Israel’s corruption, the high places of Bethel, and to confront the inspired peasant with the priests and the prophets of the state-idolatry. There doubtless he said, the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and there, like the former man of God, while standing over against the altar, he renewed the prophecy against it, and prophesied that in its destruction it should involve its idolatrous worshipers. Yet althongh he did deliver a part of his prophecy at Bethel, still, like his great predecessors Elijah ana Elisha, doubtless he did not confine his ministry there. His summons to the luxurious ladies of Samaria, whose expenses were supported by the oppressions of the poor, was questionless delivered in Samaria itself. The call to the heathen to look down into Samaria from the heights which girt in the valley out of which it rose thence to behold its din and its oppressions, to listen to the sound of its revelries and the wailings of its oppressed, and so to judge between God and His people, would also be most effectively given within Samaria. The consciences of the guilty inhabitants to whom he preached, would people the heights around them, their wall of safety, as they deemed, between them and the world, with heathen witnesses of their sins, and heathen avengers. The Prophet could only know by inspiration the coming destruction of the house of Jeroboam and the captivity of Israel. The sins which he rebuked, he probably knew from being among them. As S. Paul’s spirit was stirred in him at Athens, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry, so that of Amos must have been stirred in its depths by that grievous contrast of luxury and penury side by side, which he describes in such vividness of detail. The sins which he rebukes are those of the outward prosperity especially of a capital, the extreme luxury, revelries, debauchery, of the rich, who supported their own reckless expenditure by oppression of the poor, extortion, hard bargains with their necessities, perversion of justice, with bribing by false measures, a griping, hard-fisted, and probably usurious sale of corn. In grappling with sin, Amos deals more with the details and circumstances of it than Hosea. Hosea touches the centre of the offence; Amos shews the hideousness of it in the details into which it branches out. As he is everywhere graphic, so here he points out the events of daily life in which the sin shewed itself, as the vile price or, it may be, the article of luxury, the pair of sandals, for which the poor was sold, or the refuse of wheat (he invents the word) which they sold, at high prices and with short measure to the poor.

                According to the title which Amos prefixes to his prophecy, his office fell within the 25 years, during which Uzziah and Jeroboam II were contemporary, B.C. 809-784. This falls in with the opinion already expressed, that the bloodshed mentioned by Hosea in the list of their sins, was rather blood shed politically in their revolutions after the death of Jeroboam II, than individual murder. For Amos while upbraiding Israel with the sins incidental to political prosperity and wealth, (such as was the time of Jeroboam II.) does not mention bloodshed.

                It has been thought that the mention of the earthquake, two years before which Amos besnin his prophecy, furnishes us with a more dennite date. That earthquake must have been a terrible visitation, since it was remembered after the captivity, two centuries and a half afterward. Ye shall flee says Zechariah, as of a thing which his hearers well knew by report, as ye fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Josephus connects tne earthquake with Uzziah’s act of pride in offering the incense, for which God smote him with leprosy. He relates it as a fact. ”Meanwhile a great earthquake shook the ground, and, the temple parting, a bright ray of the sun shone forth, and fell upon the king’s face, so that forthwith the leprosy came over him. And before the city, at the place called Eroge, the Western half of the hill was broken off and rolled half a mile to the mountain Eastward, and there stayed, blocking up the ways and the king’s gardens.” This account of Josephus, however, is altogether unhistorical. Not to argue from the improbability, that such an event as the rending of the temple itself should not have been mentioned, Josephus has confused Zechariah’s description of an event yet future with the past earthquake under Uzziah. Nor can the date be reconciled with the history. For when Uzziah was stricken with leprosy, Jotham, his son, was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land. But Jotham was only twenty-five (25) years at his father’s death, when he himself began to reign. And Uzziah survived Jeroboam 26 years. Jotham then, who judged for his father after his leprosy, was not born when Jeroboam died. Uzziah then must have been stricken with leprosy some years after Jeroboam’s death; and consequently, after the earthquake also, since Amos, who prophesied in the days of Jeroboam, prophesied two (2) years before the earthquake.

                An ancient Hebrew interpretation of the prophecy of Isaiah, within threescore and five (65) years shall Ephraim he broken that it be no more a people, assumed that Isaiah was foretelling the commencement of the captivity under Tiglath-Pileser or Sargon, and since the period of Isaiah’s own prophecy to that captivity was not 65 years, supposed that Isaiah counted from a prophecy of Amos, Israel shall surely be led captive out of his own land. This prophecy of Amos they placed in the 25th year of Uzziah. Then his remaining 27 years, Jotham’s 16, Ahaz 16, and the six (6) first (1st) of Hezekiah would have made up the 65. This calculation was not necessarily connected with the error as to the supposed connection of the earthquake and the leprosy of Uzziah. But it is plain from the word of Isaiah, in yet threescore and five (65) years, that he is dating from the time when he uttered the prophecy; and so the prophecy relates, not to the imperfect captivity which ended the kingdom of Israel, but to that more complete deportation under Esarhaddon 7, when the ten (10) tribes ceased to be any more a people (Ahaz 14, Hezekieh 29, Manasseh 22, in all 65). Neither then does this fix the date of Amos.

                Nor does the comparison, which Amos bids Israel make between his own borders, and those of Calneh, Hamath and Grath, determine the date of the prophecy. Since Uzziah brake down the walls of Gath and Hamath was recovered by Jeroboam II to Israel, it is probable that the point of comparison lay between the present disasters of these nations, and those with which Amos threatened Israel, and which the rich men of Israel practically did not believe. For it follows, ye that put far away the evil day. It is probable then that Calne (the very ancient city which subsequently became Ctesiphon,) on the other side of the Euphrates, had lately suffered from Assyria, as Gath and Hamath from Judah and Israel. But we know none of these dates. Isaiah speaks of the Assyrian as boasting that Calno was as Carchemish, Hamath as Arpad, Samaria as Damascus. But this relates to times long subsequent, when Hamath. Damascus, and Samaria, had fallen into the hands of Assp^ria. Our present knowledge of Assyrian history giyes us no clue to the eyent, which was well known to those to whom Amos spoke.

                Although however, the precise time of the prophetic office of Amos cannot thus be fixed, it must have fallen within the reign of Jeroboam, to whom Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, accused him. For this whole prophecy implies that Israel was in a state of prosperity, ease, and security, whereas it fell into a state of anarchy immediately upon Jeroboam’s death. The mention of the entering in of Hamath as belonging to Israel implies that this prophecy was after Jeroboam had recovered it to Israel; and the ease, pride, luxury, which he upbraids, evince that the foreign oppressions had for some time ceased. This agrees with the title of the prophecy, but does not limit it further. Since he prophesied while Uzziah and Jeroboam II reigned together, his prophetic office must haye fallen between  B.C. 809 and B.C. 784, in the last 25 years of the reign of Jeroboam II. His office, then, began probably after that of Hosea, and closed long before its close. He is, in a manner then, both later and earlier than Hosea, later than the earliest period of Hoeea’s prophetic office, and long earlier than the latest.

                Within this period, there is nothing to limit the office of Amos to a yeiy short time. The message of Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, implies that Amos’ words of woe had shaken Israel through and through. Amos hath conspired affatnst thee in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. It may be that God sent him to the midst of some great festival at Bethel, as, at Jeroboam’s decucation-feast, He sent the prophet who afterward disobeyed Him, to foretell the desecration of the Altar, which Jeroboam was consecrating, in God’s Name, against God. In this case, Amos might, at once, like Elijah, have been confronted with a great concourse of the idol-worshipers. Yet the words of Amaziah seem, in their obvious meaning, to imply that Amos had had a more pervading influence than would be produced by the delivery of God’s message in one place. He says of the land, i.e. of all the ten (10) tribes generally, it is not able to bear all his words. The accusation also of a conspiracy probably implies, that some had not been shaken only, but had been converted by the words of Amos, and were known by their adherence to him and his belief.

                Amos seems also to speak of the prohibition to God’s prophets to prophesy, as something habitual, beyond the one opposition of Amaziah, which he rebuked on the spot. I raised up of your sons for prophets; but ye commanded the prophets saying, Prophesy not. Nor, strictly speaking, was Amos a son of Ephraim. The series of images in the 3rd chapter seem to be an answer to an objection, why did he prophesy among them? People, he would say, were not, in the things of nature, surprised that the effect followed the cause. God’s command was the cause; his prophesying, the effect. Then they put away from them the evil day, forgetting future evil in present luxury; or they professed that God was with them; the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken; or trusting in their half-service of God and His imagined Presence among them, they jeered at Amos’s prophecies of ill and professed to desire the Day of the Lord, with which he threatened them; they said that evil should not reach them; Woe unto you that desire the Day of the Lord! to what end is it to you? All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, the evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. They shewed also in deed that they hated those who publicly reproved them; and Amos, like Hosea, declares that they are hardened, so that wisdom itself must leave them to themselves. All this implies a continued intercourse between the prophet and the people, so that his office was not discharged in a few sermons, so to say, or inspired declarations of God’s purpose, but must have been that of a Pastor among them during a course of years. His present book, like Hosea’s, is a summary of is prophecies.

                That book, as he himself subsequently gathered into one his prophetic teaching, is one well-ordered whole. He himself, in the title, states that it had been spoken before it was written. For in that he says, these are the words which in prophetic vision he saw, two (2) years before the earthquake, this portion of his prophecies must nave preceded his writings by those two years at least. That terrible earthquake was probably the occasion of his collecting those prophecies. But that earthquake doubtless was no mere note of time. Had he intended a date only, he would probably have named, as other prophets do, the year of the king of Judah. He himself mentions earthquakes, as one of the warnings of God’s displeasure. This more destructive earthquake was probably the first great token of God’s displeasure daring the prosperous reign of Jeroboam II, the first herald of those heavier judgments which Amos had predicted, and which brake upon Israel, wave after wave, until the last carried him away captive. For two (2) years, Israel had been forewarned; now the beginning of sorrows had set in.

                Amos, at the beginning of his book, (as has been already noticed) joins on his book with the book of the prophet Joel. Joel had foretold, as instances of God’s judgments on sin, how He would recompense the wrongs, which Tyre, Zidon, Philistia and Edom haa done to Judah, and that He would make Egypt desolate. Amos, omitting Egypt adds Damascus, Ammon and Moab, ana Judah itself. It may be, that he selects seven (7) nations in all, as a sort of whole (as that number is so often used, or that he includes all the special enemies of the Theocracy, the nations who hated Israel and Judah, because they were the people of God, and God’s people itself, as far as it too was alienated from its God. Certainly, the sins denounced are sins against the Theocracy or government of God. It may be, that Amos would exhibit to them the truth, that God is no respecter of persons; that He, the Jud^ of the whole earth, punishes every sinful nation: and that he would, by this declaration or God’s judgments, prepare them for the truth, from which sinful man so shrinks; –that God punishes most, where He had most shewn His light and love. The thunder-cloud of God’s judgments, having passed over all the nations round about, Syria and Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and even discharged the fire from heaven on Judah and Jerusalem, settles at last on Israel. The summary which closes this circle of judgments on Israel, is fuller in regard to their sins, since they were the chief objects of his mission. In that summary he gathers in one the sins with which he elsewhere upbraids them, and sets before them their ingratitude and their endeavors to extinguish the light which God gave them.

                Our chapters follow a natural division, in that each, like those of Hosea, ends in woe. The 3d, 4th, and 5th are distinguished by the three-fold summons, Hear ye this word. In each, he sets before them some of their sins, and in each pronounces God’s sentence upon them. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus. On this follows a twofold  woe. Woe unto you that desire; Woe to then that are at ease; both which sections alike end in renewed sentences of God’s judgment; the first (1st), of the final captivity of Israel beyond Damascus; the second (2nd), of their nearer afflictions through the first (1st) invasion of Tiglath-pileser. In the 7th chapter he begins a series of visions. In the two first, God forgives, at the intercession of the prophet ^ The 8d vision God interprets, that He would forgive no more”. On this followed the prohibition from Amaziah to prophesy, and God’s sentence against him. In the 8th chapter, Amos resumes (as though nothing had mtervened), the series of visions, npon which Amaziah had broken in. He resumes them exactly where he had been stopped. Amaziah broke in, when he declared that Grod would not pass by the house of Israel any more, but would desolate the idol-sanctuaries of Israel and bring a sword against the house of Jeroboam. The vision in which Amos resumes, renews the words’. I will not again pass by them any more, ana foretells that the songs of the idol-temple should be turned into howlings. The last (9th) chapter he heads with a vision, that not only should the idol-altar and temple be destroyed, but that it should be the destruction of its worshipers. Each of these visions Amos makes a theme which he expands both ending in woe; the first (1st), with the utter destruction of the idolaters of Israel; the 2d, with that of the sinful kingdom of Israel. With this he unites the promise to the house of Israel, that, sifted as they should be among the nations,not one grain should fall to the earth. To this he, like Hosea, adds a closing promise, the first (1st) in his whole book, that God would raise the fallen tabernacle of David, convert the heathen, and therewith restore the captivity of Israel, amid promises which had already, in Joel, symbolized spiritual blessings.

                Amos, like Hosea was a prophet for Israel. After the 2nd chapter in which he includes Judah in the circle of God’s visitations, because he had despised the law of the Lord, Amos only notices him incidentally. He there foretells that Jerusalem should (as it was) be burned with fire. Judah also must be included in the words, **^ against the whole family which Grod brought up out of the land of Egypt,” and woe is pronounced against those wno are at ease in Zion, Else, Israel, the house of Israel, the virgin of lsrael, the sanctuaries of Israel, Jacob, the house of Jacob, and (in the same sense) the high places of Isaac, the house of Isaac; the house of Joseph, the remnant of Joseph, the affliction of Joseph, the mountain, or the mountains of Samaria, Samaria itself, Bethel, occur interchangeably as the object of his prophecy. Amaziah’s taunt, that his words, as being directed against Israel and Bethel, would be acceptable in the kingdom of Judah, implies the same; and Amos himself declares that this was his commission, go, prophesy unto My people Israel. In speaking of the idolatry of Beersheba, he uses the word, pass not over to Beersheba, adding the idolatries of Judah to their own. The word, pass not over, could only be used by one prophesying in Israel. It must have been then the more impressive to the faithful in Israel, that he closed his prophecy by the promise, not to them primarily, but to the house of David, and to Israel through its restoration. Amos, like Hosea, foretells the utter destruction of the kingdom of Israel, even while pronouncing that God would not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, but would save the elect in it.

                The opposition of Amaziah stands out, as one signal instance of the manifold cry. Prophesy not, with which men sought to drown the Voice of God. Jeroboam left the complaint unheeded. His great victories had been foretold to him by the Prophet Jonah; and he would not interfere with the Prophet of God, although he predicted, not as Amasiah distorted his words, that Jeroboam should die by the sword, but that the house of Jeroboam should so perish. But his book is all comprised within the reign of Jeroboam and the kingdom of Israel. He was called bypass God to be a prophet there; nor is there any, the slightest, trace of his having exercised his office in Judah, or having retired thither in life.

                A somewhat late tradition places Amos among the many prophets, whom, our Lord says, His people slew. The tradition bore, “that after he had been often beaten (the writer uses the same word which occurs in Heb. 11:35) by Amaziah the priest of Bethel, the son of that priest Osee, broke his temples with a stake. He was carried half-dead to his own land, and, after some days, died of the wound, and was buried with his others.” But the anonymous Greek writer who relates it (although it is in itself probable) has not, in other cases, trustworthy information and S. Jerome and S. Cyril of Alexandna knew nothing of it. S. Jerome relates only that the tomb of Amos was still shewn at Tekoa, his birthplace.

                The influence of the shepherd-life of Amos appears most in the sublimest part of his prophecy, his descriptions of the mighty workings of Almighty God. With those awful and sudden changes in nature, whereby what to the idolaters was an ooject of worship, was suddenly overcast and the day made dark with night, his shepherd-life has made him familiar. The starry heavens had often witnessed the silent intercourse of his soul with God. In the calf, the idolaters of Ephraim worshiped “nature.” Amos then delights in exhibiting to them his God, Whom they too believed that they worshiped, as the Creator of “nature,” wielding and changing it at His Will. All nature too should be obedient to its Maker in the punishment of the ungodly, nor should any thing hide from Him. The shepherd-life would also make the Prophet familiar with the perils from wild beasts which we know of as facts in David’s youth. The images drawn from them were probably reminiscences of what he had seen or met with. But Amos lived, a shepherd in a barren and for the most part treeless wild, not as a husbandman. His was not a country of com, nor of cedars and oaks; so that images from stately trees”, a heavy-laden wain’, or the sifting of corn*, were not the direct results of his life amid sights of nature. The diseases of corn, locusts, drought, which, the Prophet says, God had sent among them, were inflictions which would be felt in the corn-countries of Israel, rather than in the wilderness of Tekoah. The insensibility for which he upbraids Israel was of course, their hardness of heart amid their own sufTerings; the judgments, with which he threatens them in God’s Name, can have no bearing on his shepherd-life in his own land.

                Even S. Jerome, while laying down a true principle, inadvertently gives as an instance of the images resulting from that shepherd-life, the opening words of his book, which are in part words of the Prophet Joel. “It is natural,” he says, “that all who exercise an art, should speak in terms of their art, and that each should bring likenesses from that wherein he hath spent his life. –Why say this? In order to shew, that Amos the Prophet too, who was a shepherd among shepherds, and that, not in cultivated places, or amid vineyards, or woods, or green meadows, but in the wide waste of the desert, where were witnessed the fierceness of lions and the destruction of cattle, used the language of his art, and called the awful and terrible Voice of the Lord, the roaring of lions, and compared the overthrow of the cities of Israel to the lonely places of shepherds or the drought of mountains.”

                The truth may be, that the religious life of Amos, amid scenes of nature, accustomed him, as well as David, to express his thoughts in words taken from the great picture-book of nature, which, as being also written by the Hand of God, so wonderfiilly expresses the things of God. When his Prophet’s life brought him among other scenes of cultivated nature, his soul, so practiced in reading the relations of the physical to the moral world, took the language of his parables alike from what he saw, or from what he remembered. He was what we should call “a child of nature,” endued with power and wisdom by his God. Still more mistaken has it been, to attribute to the Prophet any inferiority even of outward style, in consequence of his shepherd-life. Even a heathen has said, “words readily follow thought;” much more, when thoughts and words are poured into the soul together by God the Holy Ghost. On the contrary, scarcely any Prophet is more glowing in his style, or combines more wonderfully the natural and moral world, the Omnipotence and Omniscience of God. Visions, if related, are most effectively related in prose. Their efficacy depends, in part, on their simplicity. Their meaning might be overlaid and hidden by ornament of words. Thus much of the book of Amos, then, is naturally in prose. The poetry, so to speak, of the visions of Amos or of Zechariah is in the thoughts, not in the words. Amos has also chosen the form of prose for his upbraidings of the wealthy sinners of Israel. Yet, in the midst of this, what more poetic than the summons to the heathen enemies of Israel, to people the heights about Samaria, and behold Its sins? What more graphic than that picture of utter despair which dared not name the Name of God? What bolder than the summons to Israel to come, if they willed, at once to sin and to atone for their sin? What more striking in power than the sudden turn, “You only have I known: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities?” or the sudden summons, “because I will do this unto thee,” (the silence, what the this is, is more thrilling than words)prepare to meet thy God, O Israel?” Or what mor pathetic than the close of the picture of the luxurious rich, when, having said, how thev heaped luxuries one on another, he ends with what they did not do; they are not grieved for the afflictions of Joseph?

                S. Augustine selects Amos, as an instance of unadorned eloquence. Having given instances from S. Paul, he says,”These things, when they are taught by professors, are accounted great, bought at a great price, sold amid great boasting. I fear these discussions of mine may savor of the like boasting. But I have to do with men of a spurious learning, who think meanly of our writers, not because they have not, but because they make no shew of the eloquence which these prize too highly.    –”I see that I must say something of the eloquence of the prophets. And this I will do, chiefly out of the book of that prophet, who says that he was a shepherd or a cowherd, and was taken thence by God and sent to prophesy to His people.    ”When then this peasant, or peasant-prophet, reproved the ungodly, proud, luxurious, and therefore most careless of brotherly love, he cries aloud. Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, &c. Would they who, as being learned and eloquent, despise our prophets as unlearned and ignorant of elocution, had they had aught of this sort to say, or had they to speak against such, would they, as many of them as would fain not be senseless, wish to speak otherwise? For what would any sober ear desire more than is there said? First, the inveighing itself, with what a crash is it hurled as it were, to awaken their stupefied senses!”

                Then, having analysed these verses, he says, “How beautiful this is and how it affects those who, reading, understand, there is no use in saving to one who does not himself feel it. More illustrations of the rules of rhetoric may be found in this one place, which I have selected. But a good hearer will not be so much instructed by a diligent discussion of them, as he will be kindled by their glowing reading. For these things were not composed by human industry, but were poured forth in eloquent wisdom from the Divine mind, wisdom not aiming at eloquence, but eloquence not departing fiom wisdom.” ”For if, as some most eloquent and acute men could see and tell, those things which are learned as by an art of rhetoric, would not be observed and noted and reduced to this system, unless they were first found in the genius of orators, what wonder if they be found in those also, whom He sends. Who creates genius? Wherefore we may well confess that our canonical writers and teachers are not wise only but eloquent, with that eloquence which beseems their character.”

                S. Jerome, in applying to Amos words which 8. Paul spaJce of himself”, rude in speech but not in knowledge, doubtless waa tninking moetlv of the latter words; for he adds, **KOT the same Spirit Who spake through all the Prophet^ spake in him.” Bp. Lowth says happily”, “Jerome calls Amos, rude in speech but not in knowledge, implying of him what Paul modestly professed as to himself on whose authority many have spoken of this Prophet, as though he were altogether rude, ineloquent, unadorned. Far otherwise! Let any fair judge read his writings, thinking not who wrote them, but what he wrote he will think that our shepherd was in no wise behind the very chiefest Prophets; in the loftiness of his thoughts and the magnificence of his spirit, nearly equal to the highest, and in the splendor of his diction and the elegance of the composition scarcely inferior to any. For the same Divine Spirit moved by His Inspiration Isaiah and Daniel in the court, David and Amos by the sheep-fold; ever choosing fitting interpreters of His Will and sometimes perfecting praise out of the mouth of babes. Of some He useth the eloquence; others He maketh eloquent”

                It has indeed been noticed that in regularity of structure he has an elegance peculiar to himself. The strophaic form, into which he has cast the heavy prophecies of the two first chapters adds much to their solemnity; the recurring “burden” of the fourth (4th), Yet have ye not returned unto Me, saith the Lord, gives it a deep pathos of its own. Indeed no other prophet has bound his prophecies into one, with so much care as to their outward form, as this inspired shepherd. Amos (to use human terms) was not so much the poet as the sacred orator. One of those energetic turns which have been already instanced, would suffice to stamp the human orator. Far more, they have shaken through and through souls steeped in sin from the Prophet’s time until now. It has been said of human eloquence, “he lightened, thundered, he commingled Greece.” The shepherd has shaken not one country, but the world; not by a passing earthquake, but by the awe of God which, with electric force, streamed through his words.

                Some variation of dialect, or some influence of his shepherd-life on his pronunciation, has been imagined in Amos. Bat it relates to five words only. In three, his orthography differs by a single letter from that found elsewhere in Hebrew. In two cases, the variation consists in the use of a different sibilant; the 3rd in the use of a weaker guttural. Besides these, he uses a softer sound of the name Isaac, which also occurs in Jeremiah and a Psalm; and in another word, he, in common with two Psalms, employs a root with a guttural, instead of that common in Hebrew which has a strong sibilant. In four of these cases, Amos uses the softer form; in the 5th, we only know tliat the two sibilants were pronounced differently once, but cannot guess what the distinction was. The two sibilants are interchanged in several Hebrew words, and on no rule, that we can discover. In another of the sibilants, the change made by Amos is just the reverse of that of the Ephraimites who had only the pronunciation of s for sh; “sibboleth” for “shibboleth.” But the Ephraimites could not pronounce the sh at all; the variation in Amos is limited to a single word. The like variations to these instances in Amos are also found in other words in the Bible. On the whole, we may suspect the existence of a softer pronunciation in the South of Judea, where Amos lived; but the only safe inference is, the extreme care with which the words have been handed down to us, just as the Prophet spoke and wrote them.

                It has been noticed already that Amos and Hosea together shew, that all the Mosaic festivals and sacrifices, priests, prophets, a temple, were retained in Israel, only distorted to calf-worship. Even the third-year’s tithes they had not ventured to get rid of. Amos supplies some yet more minute traits of ritual; that they had the same rules in regard to leaven that their altar too had horns (as prescribed in the law), on which the blood of the sacrifices was to be sprinkled, they had the altar-bowl whence the blood of the victim was sprinkled, such as the princes of the congregation offered in the time of Moses, and their rich men, at times  at least, plundered to drink wine from. They had also true Nazarites, raised up among them, as well as true prophets; and they felt the weight of the influence of these Religious against them, since they tried by fraud or violence to make them break their vow. Amos, while upbraiding their rich men for breaking the law between man and man, presupposes that the law of Moses was, in this respect also, acknowledged among them. For in his words, “they turn aside the way of the meek“, “They turn aside the poor in the gate,” “they take a ransom” (from the rich for their misdeeds), he retains the peculiar term of the Pentateuch; as also in that, “on clothes laid to pledge they lie down by every altar;”  “who make the Ephah small.” “Balances of deceit” are the contrary of what are enjoined in the law, “balances of right” In upbraiding them for a special impurity, forbidden in principle by the law, he uses the sanction often repeated in the law, “to profane My Holy Name.” In the punishments which he mentions, he uses terms in which God threatens those punishments. The two remarkable words, rendered “blasting and mildew” occur only in Deuteronomy, and in Solomon’s prayer founded upon it, and in Haggai where he is referring to Amos. In the words, “as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,” the peculiar term and form of Deuteronomy, as well as the threat, are retained. The threat, “Ye have built houses of hewn stone, and ye shall not dwell therein; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink the wine thereof;” but blends and enlarges those in Deuteronomy. The remarkable term describing their unrepentance is taken from the same. So also the image of “gall and wormwood,” two bitter plants, into which they turned judgment and righteousness. There are other verbal reminiscences of the Pentateuch, interwoven with the words of Amos, which presuppose that it was in the memory of both the Prophet and his hearers in Israel. Indeed, after that long slavery of four hundred (400) years in Egypt, the traditions of the spots, hallowed by God’s intercourse with the Patriarchs, probably even their relations to “Edom their brother,” must have been lost. The book of Genesis did not embody popular existing traditions of this sort, but must have revived them. The idolatry of Beersheba, as well as that of Gilead, alluded to by Hosea, as also Jeroboam’s choice of Bethel itself for the calf-worship, imply on the part of the idolaters a knowledge and belief of the history, which they must have learned from the Pentateuch. Doubtless it had been a part of Jeroboam’s policy to set up, over-against the exclusive claim for the temple at Jerusalem, rival places of traditionary holiness from the mercies of God to their forefathers, much as Mohammed availed himself of the memory of Abraham, to found his claim for an interest in Jerusalem. But these traditions too must have been received by the people not derived from them. They were not brought with them from Egypt. The people, enslaved, degraded, sensualized, idolatry-loving, had no hearts to cherish the memories of the pure religion of their great forefathers, who worshiped the un-imaged Self-existing God.

                As Amos employed the language of the Pentateuch and cited the book of Joel, so it seems more probable, that in the burden of his first (1st) prophecies, “I will send a fire upon and it shall devour the palaces of–” he took the well-known words of  Hosea , and, by their use, gave an unity to their prophecies, than that Hosea, who uses no language except that of the Pentateuch, should, in the one place where he employs this form, have limited the “burden” of Amos to the one case of Judah. Besides, in Hosea, the words, declaring the destruction of the cities and palaces of Judah, stand in immediate connection with Judah’s wrong temper in building them whereas in Amos they are insulated. Beside this, the language of the two prophets does not bear upon each other, except that both have the term “balances of deceit,” which was originally formed in contrast with what God had enjoined in the law, “balances of right,” and which stands first in the Proverbs of Solomon.

                Of later prophets, Jeremiah renewed against Damascus the prophecy of Amos in his own words; only, the memory of Hazael having been obliterated perhaps in the destruction under Tiglath-Pileser, Jeremiah calls it not after Hazael, but by its own name and that of Benhadad. The words of Amos had once been fulfilled, and its people had been transported to Kir. Probably fugitives had again repeopled it, and Jeremiah intended to point out that the sentence pronounced through Amos was not yet exhausted. On the like ground probably, when upbraiding Ammon for the liKe sins and for tnat for which Amos had denounced woe upon it, its endeavor to displace Israel, Jeremiah used the words of Amos, their king shall go into captivity, –and his princes together. In like way Haggai upbraids the Jews of his day for their impenitence under God’s chastisements, in words varied in no essential from those of Amos. The words of Amos, so repeated to the Jews upon their restoration, sounded, as it were, from the desolate heritage of Israel, Sin no more, lest a worse thing happen unto thee.

                Other reminiscences of the words of Amos are only a part of the harmony of Scripture, the prophets in this way too indicating their unity with one another, that they use the words, the one of the other.

                The might of his teaching at the time, the state-priest Amaziah impressed on Jeroboam. Contemptuous toward Amos himself, Amaziah admitted the truth to Jeroboam. The land is not able to bear all his words. Doubtless, as the Jews were mad against S. Stephen, not being able to resist the wisdom and Spirit by which he spake, so God accompanied with power His servant’s words to His people. They had already seen God’s words fulfilled against the houses of Jeroboam I, of Baasha of Ahab. That same doom was now renewed against the house of Jeroboam, and with it the prophecy of the dispersion of the ten (10) tribes, which Hosea contemporaneously foretold. The two prophets of Israel confirmed one another, but also left themselves no escape. They staked the whole reputation of their prophecy on this definite issue. We know it to have been fulfilled on the house of Jeroboam; yet the house of Jeroboam was firmer than any before or after it. We know of the unwonted captivity of the ten (10) tribes. Had they not been carried captive, prophecy would have come to shame; and such in proportion is its victory. Each step was an instalment, a pledge of what followed. The death of Zechariah, Jeroboam’s son, was the first step in the fulfillment of the whole; then probably, in the invasion of Pul against Menahem,  followed the doom of Amaziah. God is not anxious to vindicate His word. He does not, as to Shebna, or Amaziah, or the false prophets. Ahab, Zedekiah or She-maiah, or Pashur  or other false prophets. At times, as in the case of Hananiah, Scripture records the individual fulfillment of God’s judgments. Mostly, it passes by unnoticed the execution of God’s sentence. The sentence of the criminal, unless reprieved, in itself implies tlie execution. The fact impressed those who witnesed it; the record of the judgment suffices for us.  (* A recent writer “on the interpretation of Scripture” (Essays and Reviews, p. 343.) ventures to give this (Amos 7:10-17) as one of three (3) instances in proof that “the failure of prophecy is never admitted in spite of Scripture and of history.”  Certainly, no Christian thinks that God’s word can have failed. But unless the execution of God’s sentence on one of the many calf-priests of Bethel is necessarily matter of history, it has rather to be shewn why it should be mentioned, than why it was omitted. *)

                Then followed, under Tiglath-pileser, the fulfillment of the prophecy as to Damascus, and Gilead. Under Saigon was fulfilled the prophecy on the ten (10) tribes. That on Judah yet waited 133 years, and then was fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar. A few years later, and he executed God’s judgments foretold by Amos on their enemies, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Tyre. Kings of Egypt, Assyria, and the Macedonian Alexander fulflled in succession the prophecy as to Philistia. So various were the human wills, so multitudinous the events, which were to bring about the simple words of the shepherd-prophet. Amos foretells the events; he does say, why the judgments should come; he does not foretell “when,” or “through whom:” but the events themselves he foretells absolutely, and they came. Like Joel, he foretells the conversion of the Heathen and anticipates so far the prophecies of Isaiah, that God would work this through the restoration of the house of David, when fallen. Strange comment on human greatness, that the royal line was not to be employed in the salvation of the world, until it was fallen! The Royal Palace had to become the hut of Nazareth, ere the Redeemer of the world could be born, Whose glory and kingdom were not of this world. Who came, to take from us nothing but our nature, that He might sanctify it, our misery, that He might bear it for us. Yet flesh and blood could not foresee it ere it came, as flesh and blood could not believe it, when He came.

                Introduction to Prophet OBADIAH.

                The silence of Holy Scripture as to the Prophet Obadiah stands in remarkable contrast with the anxiety of men to know something of him. It were even waste labor to examine the combinations, by which, of old, the human mind tried to justify its longins to know more of hiuL than God had willed to be preserved. Men go over them with the view of triumphing in the superior sagadtj of later da3nB, and slaying the slain. It was a good and pious feeling which longed to know more of the men of (lod, whose prophecies He has preserved to us, and, with this view, looked about whether they could not identify their benefactor (such as each Prophet is) with some one of whom more details are recorded. Hence they hoped that Obadiah might prove to have been the faithful protector of the prophets under Ahabu or the son of the Shunamite, whom Elijah recalled to life, or the Obadiah whom Jehosh-aphat sent to teach in the cities of Judah or the Levite who was selected, with one other, to be the overseer set over the repair of the temple in the reign of Josiah. Fruitless guesses at what God has hidden! God has willed that his name alone and this brief prophecy should be known in this world. Here, he is known only as Obadiah, “worshiper of God.”

                Yet these guesses of pious minds illustrate this point, that the arranger of the Canon had some other ground upon which he assigned to Obadiah his place in it, than any identification of the Prophet with any other person mentioned in Holy Scripture. For whereas, of the Obadiahs, of whom Holy Scripture mentions more than the name, two lived in the reign of Ahab, one after the captivity of the ten (10) tribes, the Prophet is, by the framer of the Canon, placed in the time of Uzziah and Jeroboam II, in which those placed before and after him, flourished. lodems, having slighted these pious longings, are still more at fault in their way. German critics have assigned to the Prophet dates, removed from each other by aoove 600 years; just as if men doubted, from internal evidence whether a work were written in the time of William the Conqueror, or in that of Cromwell; of S. Louis, or Louis XVIII; or whether Hesiod was a contemporary of Callimachus, and Ennius of Claudian; or the author of the Nibelungen Lied lived with Schiller. Such difference, which seems grotesque, as soon as it is applied to any other case, was the fruit of unbelief. Two (2) or rather three (3) great facts are spoken of in the prophecy, the capture of Jerusalem, and a two-fold punishment of Edom consequent on his malicious triumph over his brother’s fall; the one through Heathen, the other through the restored Jews. The punishment of Edom the Prophet clearly foretells, as yet to come; the destruction of Jerusalem, which, according to our version is spoken of as past, is in reality foretold also. Unbelief denies all prophecy. Strange, that unbelief, denying the existence of the jewel – God’s authentic and authenticated voice to man–  should trouble itself about the age of the casket. Yet so it was. The prophets of Israel used a fascinating power over those who denied their inspiration. They denied prophecy, but employed themselves about the Prophets. Unbelief denying prophecy, had to find out two events in history, which should correspond with these events in the Prophet, a capture of Jerusalem, and a subsequent, –it could not say, consequent, – suffering; on the part of Edom. And since Jerusalem was first (1st) taken under Shishak king of Egypt, in the 5th year of Rehoboam, B.C. 970, and Josephus relates, that B.C. 301, Ptolemy Lagus treacherously got possession of it under plea of offering sacrifice, treated it harshly, took many captive from the mouutainous part of Judaea and the places round Jerusalem, from Samaritis, Gerizim, and settled them all in Egypt; unbelieving criticism had a wide range, in which to vacillate. And so it reeled to and fro between the first (1st) and last of these periods, agreeing that Obadiah did not prophesy, and disagreeing as to all besides. Eichhorn, avowedly on his principle of unbelief, that God’s prophets, when they spoke of detailed events, as future, were really describing the past, assumed that the last five verses were written in the time of Alexander Janneus, two centuries later than the latest, about B.C. 82. As though a Hebrew prophet would speak of one, detestable for his wanton cruelty, as a Saviour!

                The real question as to the age of Obadiah turns upon two points, the one external, the otner internal. The external is, whether in regard to those verses which he has in common with Jeremiah, Obadiah gathered into one, verses which lie scattered in Jeremiah, or whether Jeremiah, in renewing the prophecies against Edom, incorporated verses ot Obadiah. The question, internal to Obadiah, is, whether he speaks of the capture of Jerusalem in the prophetic or the real past, and (as determining this), whether he reproves Edom for past malice at the capture of Jerusalem, or warns him against it in the future.

                The English version in the text supposes that Obadiah reproves for past sin. For it renders; Thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother, in the day when he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of their distress. The English margin gives the other, as a probable rendering, do not behold, &c. But it is absolutely certain that (al) with the future forbids or deprecates a thing future. In all the passages, in which al occurs in the Hebrew Bible, it signifies “do not.” We might as well say that “do not steal” means “thou shouldest not have stolen,” as say that (veal tereh), and do not look means ”thou shouldest not have looked.” It is true that in a vivid form of question, belonging to strong feeling, the soul going back in thought to the time before a thing happened, can speak of the past as yet future. Thus David says, The death of fools shall Abner die? while mourning over his bier; or Job, having said to God, why didst Thou bring me forth from the womb? places himself as at that time and says (literally), I shall expire, and eye shall not see me; as if I had not been, I shall be; from, the womb to the grave I shall be carried. He contemplates the future, as it would have been, had he died in the birth. It was a relative future. We could almost, under strong emotion, use our “is to” in the same way. We could render, Is Abner to die the death of fools? But these cases have nothing to do with the uniform idiom; “do not.” We must not, on any principle of interpretation, in a single instance, ascribe to a common idiom, a meaning which it has not, because the meaning which it has, does not suit us. There is an idiom to express this. It is the future with (lo), not with (al).

                It agrees with this, that just before, where our version renders, thou wert as one of them, the Hebrew (as, in our Bibles, is marked by the Italics) has only, thou as one of them! not expressing any time. The whole verse expresses no time as to Edom. In the day of thy standing on the other side, in day of strangers carrying captive his might and strangers entered his gates and cast lots on Jerusalem, thou too as one of them.

                This too is a question not of rhetoric, but of morals. We cannot imagine that Almighty God, Who warns that he may not strike, would eight (8) times repeat the exhortation, –a repetition which in itself has so much earnestness, “do not,” “do not,” “do not,” in regard to sin which had been already ended. As to past sin, God exhorts to repent, to break it off, not to renew it. He does not exhort to that which would be a contradiction even to His own Omnipotence, not to do what had been already done.

                According to the only meaning, then, which the words bear, Edom had not yet committed the sin against which Obadiah warns him, and so Jerusalem was not yet destroyed, when the Prophet wrote. For the sevenfold, the day of thy brother, (which is explained to be the day of his calamity), the day of their destruction, the day of distress, the mention whereof had just preceded, can be no other than the day when strangers carried away his strenath, and foreigners entered his gates, and cast lots on Jerusalem. But no day was the day of utter destruction to Jerusalem, except that of its capture by Nebuchadnezzar, its capture by Shishak, or by the Chaldees under Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin, left it uninjured; Jehoash, when he had defeated Amaziah, broke down a part of its walls only.

                The relation of Obadiah to Jeremiah agrees with this. This argument in proof of that relation has been so carefully drawn out by Caspari, that little is needed except clearly to exhibit it. Few indeed, I should think, (unless under some strong contrary bias), could read the five (5) first (1st) verses of Obadiah in the book of the Prophet himself, and, as they oocur, scattered in the 49th chapter of Jeremiah, and not be convinced that Jeremiah reset the words of Obadiah in his own prophecy.

                This is, in itself, probable, because Jeremiah certainly incorporated eight (8) verses of Isaiah in his prophecy against Moab, and four of the same Prophet in his prophecy against Babylon, in addition to several allusions to his prophecies contained in a word or idiom, or mode of expression. In like way, he closes his prophecy against Damascus, with a verse from the prophecy of Amos against it; and he inserts a verse of Amos against Ammon in his own prophecy against that people. This is the more remarkable, because the prophecy of Amos against each people consists of three verses only. This, of course, was done designedly. Probably in renewing the prophecies against those nations, Jeremiah wished to point out that those former prophecies were still in force; that they had not yet been exhausted; that the threatenings of God were not the less certain, because they were delayed; that His word would not the less come true, because He was long-suffering. The insertion of these former prophecies, longer or shorter, are a characteristic of Jeremiah’s prophecies against the nations, occuiring, as they do, in those against Babylon, Damascus, Moab, Ammon, and therefore probably in that also against Edom.

                The eight (8) verses, moreover, common to Obadiah and Jeremiah form one whole in Obadiah; in Jeremiah they are scattered amid other verses of his own, in precisely the same way as we know that he introduced verses of Isaiah against Moab. But beside this analogy of the relation of the prophecy of Jeremiah to that of Isaiah, it is plainly more natural to suppose that Jeremiah enlarged an existing prophecy, adding to it words which God gave him, than that Obadiah put together scattered sayings of Jeremiah, and yet that these sayings, thus severed from their context, should still have formed as they do, one compact, connected whole.

                Yet this is the case as to these verses of Obadiah. Apart, for the time, from the poetic imagery, the connection of thought in Obadiah’s prophecy is this; 1) God had commanded nations to come against Edom. 2) determining to lower it; 3) it had trusted proudly in its strong position; 4) yet God would bring it down; and that, 6) through no ordinary spoiler, but 6) by one who should search out its most hidden treasures; 7) its friends should be its destroyers; 8) its wisdom, and 9) might should fail it, and 10) it should perish, for its malice to its brother Jacob; the crowning act of which would be at the capture of Jerusalem; (11-14) but God’s day was at hand, the heathen should be requited; (15,16) the remnant of Zion, being delivered, would dispossess their dis-possessors, would spread far and wide; (17-20) a Saviour should arise out of Zion, and the kingdom should be the Lord’s. (21)

                Thus, not the eight (8) verses only of Obadiah, five (5) of which recur in Jeremiah, and three (3) others, to which he allude & stand in close connection in Obadiah, but they form a part of one well-arranged whole. The connection is sometimes very close indeed; as when, to the proud question of Esau, (mi yorideni arets), who will bring me down to the ground? God answers, though thou place thy nest among the stars, (mishsham orideca), thence will I bring thee down.

                Jeremiah, on the contrary, the mourner among the prophets, is plaintive, even in his prophecies against the enemies of God’s people. Even in this prophecy he mingles words of tenderness; Leave thy fatherlss children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in Me. Jeremiah, accordingly, has a succession of striking pictures; but the connection in him is rather one of oratory than of thought His object is to impress; he does impress, by an accumulation of images of terror or desolation. Closeness of thought would not aid his object, and he neglects it, except when he retains the order of Obadiah. But plainly it is most probable that that is the original form of the prophecy, where the order is the sequence of thought. That sequence is a characteristic, not of these verses only of Obadiah, but of the whole. The whole twenty-one (21) verses of the Prophet pursue one connected train of thought, from the beginning to the end. No one verse could be displaced, without injuring that order. Thoughts flow on, the one out of the other. But nothing is more improbable than to suppose that mis connected train of thought was produced by putting togetlier thoughts, which originally stood unconnected.

                The slight variations also in these verses, as they stand in the two prophets, are characteristic. Wherever the two prophets in any degree vary, Obadiah is the more concise, or abrupt; Jeremiah, as belongs to his pathetic character, the more flowing. Thus Obadiah begins, Thus saith the Lord God, of Edom, A report we have heard from the Lord and a messenger among the heathen is sent; Arise and let us arise against her to battle. The words, Thus saith the Lord God, of Edom, declare that the whole prophecy which follows came from God; then Obadiah bursts forth with what he had heard from God, A report we have heard from the Lord. The words are joined in meaning; the grammatical connection, if regarded, would be incorrect. Again, in the words, we have heard, the Prophet joins his people with himself. Jeremiah substitutes the more precise, I have heard, transposes the words to a later part of the prophecy, and so obviates the difficulty of the connection: then he substitutes the regular form, (shaluach), for the irregular, (shullach); and for the one abrupt sentence, Arise, and arise we against her to battle, he substitutes the Hebrew parallelism. Gather ye yourselves and come against her; and arise to battle. Next, Obadiah has, Behold!  small have I made thee among the nations; despised art thou exceedingly. Jeremiah connects the verse with the preceding by the addition of the particle for, and makes the whole flow on, depending on the word, I have made. For behold! small have I made thee among the heathen, despised among men. Obadiah, disregarding rules of parallelism, says; The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee, dweller in rock-clefts, his lofty seat;  who says in his heart, who will bring me down to the earth? Jeremiah with a softer flow; Thy alarmingness hath deceived thee, the pride of thy heart; dweller in the clefts of the rock, holding the height of a hill. Obadiah has very boldly; Though thou exalt as the eagle, and though amid stars set thy nest, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord. Jeremiah contracts this, omits an idiom, for boldness, almost alone in Hebrew, (veim bein cocabim sim), and though amid stars set, and has only, when thou exaltest, as an eagle, thy nest, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord, where also, through the omission of the words “amid stars,” the word  “thence” has, in Jeremiah, no exact antecedent. In like way Jeremiah smooths down the abrupt appeal. If thieves had come to thee, if spoilers of the night (how art thou cut off!) will they not steal their enough? If grape-gatherers had come to thee, will they not leave gleanings? Jeremiah changes it into two (2) even (1/2) half-verses; If grape-gaiherers had come to thee, will they not leave gleanings? If thieves by night, they had spoiled their enough. Again, for the 5 bold words of Obadiah, (eik nechphesu Eaau, nib’u matsmunaiv), lit. how are Esau outsearched, sought out his hidden places, Jeremiah substitutes, For I have laid bare Eaau; I have discovered his hidden places, and he cannot be hid.

                Again, even an English reader of Jeremiah will have noticed that Jeremiah has many idioms or phrases or images, which he has pleasure in repeating. They are characteristic of his style. Now, in these verses which Obadiah and Jeremiah have in common, there is no one idiom which occurs elsewhere in Jeremiah; whereas, in the other verses of the prophecy of Jeremiah against Edom, in which they are, as it were, inlaid, there are several such, so to say, favorite turns of expressions. As such, there have been noticed, the short abrupt questions with which Jeremiah opens his prophecy against Edom; Is wisdom no more in Teman? the hurried imperatives accumulated on one another. Flee, turn, dwell deep; the accumulation or words expressive of desolation; Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste and a curse; and all her cities, perpetual wastes; the combination of the two strong words, shall be stupefied, shall hiss, in amazement at her overthrow; Every one who goeth by her shall be stupefied [we say “struck dumb”] and shall hiss at all her plagues. Such again are the comparison to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah; the image of “the lion coming up from the pride of Jordan;” the burden of these prophecies, the day of the destruction of Edom and the time of his visitation. Wherefore hear ye the counsel of the Lord against Edom and His purposes which He has purposed toward Teman. Then also, whole verses are repeated in these prophecies.

                Out of 16 verses of which the prophecy of Jeremiah against Edom consists, four (4) are identical with those of Obadiah; a fifth (5th) embodies a verse of Obadiah’s; of the eleven (11) which remain, ten (10) have some turns of expression or idioms, more or fewer, which recur in Jeremiah, either in these prophecies against foreign nations, or in his prophecies generally. Now it would be wholly improbable that a prophet, selecting verses out of the prophecy of Jeremiah, should have selected precisely those which contain none of Jeremiah’s characteristic expressions; whereas it perfectly fits in with the supposition that Jeremiah interwove verses of Obadiah with his own prophecy, that in verses so interwoven there is not one expression which occurs elsewhere in Jeremiah.

                One expression, which has been cited as an exception, if it is more than an accidental coincidence, the rather confirms this. Obadiah, in one of the earlier verses which Jeremiah has not here employed, says, To the border have sent thee forth the men of thy covenant; the men of thy peace have deceived thee, have prevailed againat thee; thy bread [i. e. the men of thy bread, they who ate bread with thee] have laid a snare under thee. In the middle of this (3) threefold retribution for their misdealing to their brother Judah, there occur the words, the men of thy peace, wliich are probably taken from a Psalm of David. But the word (hishshiucha), “have deceived thee,” corresponds to the word (hishshiecha) in v. 3. “deceived thee hath the pride of thy heart.” The deceit on the part of their allies was the fruit and consequence of their self-deceit through the pride of their own heart. The verse in Obadiah then stands in connection with the preceding, and it is characteristic of Obadiah to make one part of his prophecy bear upon another, to shew the connection of thoughts and events by the connection of words. The taunting words against Zedekiah, which Jeremiah puts into the mouth of the women left in the house, when they should be brought before the king of Babylon’s princes, Thy friends, lit. the men of thy peace, have set thee on, (hissithuca), and have prevailed against thee, may very probaby be a reminiscence of the words of Obadiah (although only the words, men of thy peace are the same): but they stand in no connection with any other words in Jeremiah, as those of Obadiah do with the previous words.

                The prophecy of Jeremiah in which he incorporated these words of Obadiah, itself also speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem as still future. For he says to Edom, Lo! they whose judgment was not to drink the cup, shall indeed drink it; and shalt thou be unpunished? Thou shalt not be unpunished; for thou shalt indeed drink it. It is plainly wrong (as even our own Version has done) to render the self-same expression (shatho yishtu) as past, in the first (1st) place, have assuredly drunken, and as future in the second (2nd), (ki shatho tishteh),for thou shalt surely drink of it. Since they must be future in the second (2nd) place, so must they also in the first (1st). Jeremiah too elsewhere contrasts, as future, God’s dealings with His own people and with the nations, in this selfsame form of words. Thus saith  the Lord of hosts, Ye shall certainly drink; for lo! I begin to bring evil on the city which ia called by My Name, and shall ye be utterly unpunished?  Ye shall not be unpunished; for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts. The form of words, (hinneh bair anochi mechel leharea‘), in itself requires, at least a proximate future, (for hinneh with a participle always denotes a future, nearer or further) and the words themselves were spoken in the fourth (4th) year of Jehoiakim.

                In that same fourth (4th) year of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah received from God the command to write in that roll which Jehoiakim burnt when a little of it had been read to him, all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel and against Juaah and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah even unto this day. After Jehoiakim had burnt the roll, that same collection was renewed, at God’s command, with many like words. Now immediately upon this, follows, in the book of Jeremiah, the collection of prophecies against the foreign nations, and in this collection three (3) contain some notice that they were written in that 4th year of Jehoiakim, and only the two last, those against Elam and Babylon, which may have been added to the collection, bear any later date. The prophecy against Babylon is at its dose marked as wholly by itself. For Seraiah is bidden, when he had come to Babylon, and had made an end of reading the book, to bind a stone upon it, and cast it into the Euphrates, and say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again from the evil which I bring upon her. These chapters then as to Babylon, although connected with the preceding in that they are prophecies against enemies of God’s people, are marked as in one way detached from them, a book by themselves. And in conformity with this, they are stated, in the beginning, to have been written in the 4th year of Zedekiah. In like way, the prophecy against Elam, which was uttered in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, was occasioned probably by misdeeds of that then savage people, serving, as they did, in the army of the Chaldees against Jerusalem, when Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiakim captive to Babylon. It is distinguished from the earlier prophecies, in that Elam was no inveterate enemy of God’s people, and the instrument of his chastisement was not to be Babylon.

                Those earlier prophecies (ch. 46-49:33.) against Egypt, Philistia (including Tyre and Zidon), Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, all have this in common;  1) that they are directed against old and inveterate enemies of God’s people; 2) they all threaten destruction from one source, the North, or Nebuchadnezzar himself, either naming or describing him. They are then probably one whole, a book of the visitations of God upon His enemies through Nebuchadnezzar. But the first of the two prophecies against Egypt relates to the expedition of Pharaoh Necho against Assyria, the utter overthrow of whose vast army at the Euphrates he foretells. That overthrow took place at Carchemish in the fourth (4th) year of Jehoiakim. The next (2nd) prophecy against Egypt relates to the expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against it, which followed immediately on the defeat of Pharaoh. The third (3rd) prophecy against Philistia before Pharoah smote Gaza; but this was ably on his march against Assyria in that same fourth (4th) year of Jehoiakim, before his own power was broken for ever.

                But since the prophecy of Obadiah was anterior to that of Jeremiah, it was probably long anterior to it. For Jeremiah probably incorporated it, in order to shew that there was yet a fulfillment in store for it. And with this it agrees, that Obadiah does employ in his prophecy language of Balaam, of a Psalm or David, of Joel and Amos, and of no later prophet. This could not have been otherwise, if he lived at the time, when he is placed in the series of the Minor Prophets. Had he lived later, it is inconceivable that, using of set purpose, as he does, language of Joel and Amos, his prophecy should exhibit no trace of any other later writing. The expressions taken from the book of Joel are remarkable, considering the small extent of both books. Such are undoubtedly the phrases; it, Jerusalem, shall be holiness (kodesh); In mount Zion there shall he a remnant; For near is the Day of the Lord; I will return thy recompense upon thy head, the phrase (yaddu goral) for “cast lots.” These are not chance idioms. They are not language of imagery. They are distinguished in no poetiod or rhetorical manner from idioms which are not used. They are not employed, because they strike the senses or the imagination. One prophet does not borrow the imagery of another. They are part of the religious language of prophecy, in which when religious truth had once been embodied, the prophets handed it on from one generation to another. These words were like some notes of a loved and familiar melody, which brought back to the soul the whole strain, of which they were a part. The Day of the Lord having been described in such awful majesty by Joel thenceforth the saying, near is the Day of the Lord, repeated in his own simple words, conveyed to the mind all those circumstances of awe, with which it was invested. In like way the two words, it shall be holiness, suggested all that fullness of the outpouring of God’s Spirit, the sole Source of holiness, with which the words were associated in Joel; they are full of the Gospel promise, that the Church should be not holy only, but the depository of holiness, the appointed instrument through which God would diffuse it. Equally characteristic is that other expression; In Mount Sion shall be a remnant. It gives prominence to that truth, so contrary to flesh and blood, which S. Paul had to develop, that all were not Israel who were of Israel. It presented at once the positive and negative side of God’s mercies, that there would be salvation in Mount Zion, but of a remnant only. So, on the other side, the use of the idiom (mechamas achica Yaakob), repeated but intensified from that of Joel, (mechamas bene Yehudah), continued on the witness against that abiding sin for which Joel had foretold the desolation of Edom, his violence toward his brother Jacob.

                The promise in Amos of the expansion of Jacob, that they may inherit the residue of Edom, and all nations upon whom My Name is caUed, is, in like way, the basis of the detailed promise of its expansion in all directions, E. W. N. S. which Obadiah, like Amos, begins with the promise, that the people of God should inherit Edom: And the South shall inherit Esau, and the plain the Philistines. Amos, taking Edom as a specimen and type of those who hated God and His people, promises that they and all nations should become the inheritance of the Church. Obadiah, on the same ground, having declared God’s sentence on Edom, describes how each portion of the people of God should be enlarged and overspread beyond itself. While thus alluding to the words of Amos, Obadiah further embodies an expression of Balaam, to which Amos also refers. Balaam says, Edom shall be an heritage (yereshah), Seir also shall be an heritage to his enemies; and Jacob shall do valiantly; and one out of Jacob shall have dominion, and shall destroy the remnant (sarid) out of the city. The union of these two declarations of Balaam (one only of which had been employed by Amos) cannot be accidental. They lie in the two adjacent verses in each. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame and the houee of Esau stubble, and they shall burn them and devour them; and there shall be no remnant (sarid) to the home of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it; and the south shall inherit (yereshu) the mount of Esau. In the fourth (4th) verse, also, Obadiah has an idiom from the prophecy of Balaam, which occurs nowhere besides; strong is thy dwelling, and place (vesim kinnecha) in the rock thy nest. This infinitive here is a very vivid but anomalous construction. It cannot be by accident, that this idiom occurs in these two places alone in the Hebrew Scriptures.

                This employment of prophetic language of earlier prophets is the more remarkable, from the originality and freshness of Obadiah’s own diction. In his 21 verses he has several words which occur nowhere else. They are mostly simple words and inflections of words in use. Still they were probably framed by the Prophet himself. One, who himself adds to the store of words in a language, has no occasion to borrow them of another. Obadiah adopts that other prophetic language, not as needing it to express his own meaning, but in order to give to it a fresh force and bearing.

                But on the same ground, on which Obadiah employs the language of prophets who lived before him, he would have used the words of later prophets, had he lived later.

                The framing of single words or forms is the least part of the originality of Obadiah’s style. Vividness, connectedness, power, are characteristics of it. As it begins, so it continues and ends. It has no breaks, nor interruptions. Thought follows on thought, as wave rolls upon wave, but all marshalled to one end, marching on, column after column, to the goal which God hath appointed for them. Each verse grows out of that which was before it, and carries on its thought. The cadence of the words in the original is a singular blending of pathos and strength. The pathos of the cadence consists in a somewhat long sustained measure, in which the Prophet dwells on the one thought which he wishes to impress; the force, in the few brief words in which he sums up some sentence. That lengthened flow will have struck even an Engbsh reader; the conciseness can only be seen in Hebrew. Those 5 words, how are Esau outsearched! outsought his secret places! have been already alluded to. Other such instances are, (Ein tebunah bo) with which v. 7. closes; (gam attah ceuchad mehem), “thou too as one of them,” V. 11; (caasher ‘asitha ye’aseh lac) after the long exhortation in v. 12-14. or the 3 words (vehaid celo haiu), which close the description in V. 16, 17. or those three which so wonderfully sum up the whole prophecy, (vehayethah ladonai hammeluchah), and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. Even the repetition which occurs in the Prophet, adds to the same effect, as in the two brief words, (beyom nochro, beyom obdam, beyom zarah, beyom eidam, beyom eido), with which he closes each clause of the exhortation against malicious joy in the calamity of their brother. The characteristic, vivid detail in description, and, in the midst of it, great conciseness without sameness, occurs throughout Obadiah.

                It would then be the more strange, that a prophecy so brief and so connected as that of Obadiah should have been severed into two (one (1st) part of which is to belong to some earlier prophet, the other (2nd) is to have been written after the destruction of Jerusalem), but that the motive of this disruption of the prophecy is apparent. “The oracle on Edom preserved under the name of Obadiah can,” says one, “in its present form, be of no earlier date than the Babylonish Captivity. The destruction and entire desolation of Jerusalem is here described; the prophet himself wrote among the exiles.” It cannot be of any earlier date, according to this writer, because, in his belief, there cannot be any certain prediction of details of the future, or any knowledge of that future, beyond those dim anticipations which man’s own conscience and the survey of God’s ordinary Providence may suggest; a cannot, which presupposes another cannot, that God cannot reveal Himself to His creatures.

                But then this writer also could not altogether escape the impression, that great part of this prophecy must belong to a period long before the captivity. The only way of reconciling these contradictions, this must of external evidence, and this cannot of anti-doctrinal prejudice, was to divide in twain this living whole, and to assign to the earlier period such portions relating to Edom, as contained no allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem. This then is done. “Further investigation,” the writer proceeds, “shews, that the later prophet employed a fragment of an earlier prophet as to Edom. More than half of what is now extant, i.e. v. 1-10, half of v. 17. and v. 18. by their contents, language, and coloring, indicate very clearly such an earlier prophet, and moreover, about the same time Jeremiah employed the earlier fragment, in that very much out of verses 1-9, recurs in Jeremiah, but nothing of the words which belong most visibly to the later prophet, 11-16, 19-21.”

                i. Now, plainly, as Jeremiah is not here to tell us, why he did incorporate in his pro-phecv certain verses, and did not refer to certain other verses of Obabiah it is, in the last degree, rash to make a positive inference from the mere fact of his not employing those verses, that he had them not to employ. He does embody in his prophecy the five (5) first (1st) verses of Obadiah, and there the correspondence between the two (2) Prophets almost ceases. The thought of ver. 6, but not one word of it recurs in Jeremiah; to ver. 7. there is no allusion whatever; of ver. 8. again, the thought is retained, but only one word, and that, in a form altogether different. This eighth verse is the last in Obadiah, to which Jeremiah refers. Ewald then has to manufacture his ”earlier prophet” out of those five (5) first (1st) verses, whicn Jeremiah does embody; of other two (2), of which the thought only recurs in Jeremiah; and five (5) more, to which there is, in Jeremiah, no allusion whatever; and having culled these ad libitum out of the whole chapter, he argues against the non-existence of the rest on the ground that Jeremiah does not employ them, whereas Jeremiah equally does not employ five of those, the existence of which at that same time Ewald acknowledges, and to two others Jeremiah alludes but very distantly. Since Jeremiah’s not alluding to five of these verses, does not prove, according to Ewald, that they did not then exist, neither does his not employing the remainder prove it as to them.

                ii. Jeremiah assigns no ground for the punishment of Edom, except his pride; nor does he, in any of those prophecies as to those lesser nations, foretell anything as to the future of Judah. This was not assigned to him, as his subject here. He does in the prophecies against Egypt and Babylon; for those were the great dynasties, on whom, in human eyes, the existence of Judah depended. There he fortells, that God would make a full end of all the nations whither He had driven them, but not of Jacob His servant. The future lot of Judah, as a whole, did not depend on those little nations. It mav be on this ground, that Jeremiah foretells their destruction and the restoration of Moab and Ammon, and is silent as to Judah. Again, the immediate punishment of all these petty nations through Nebuchadnezzar was the subject of Jeremiah’s prophecy, not ulterior suffering at the hands of Judah. Now these subjects, the violenee of Esau against his brother Jacob, as the ground of Edom’s punishment, the future enlargement of Jacob, and an ulterior retribution on Edom through Judah, occupy most of those verses of Obadiah, to which there is no allusion in Jeremiah. This accounts (if there were any need to account for it) for the absence of allusion to almost all of Obadiah to which Jeremiah does not allude, both as to the part which Ewald accounts for in his way, and as to most of that part which he leaves unaccounted for.

                But altogether, it must be said, that God’s Prophets employ freely, as God taught them, what they do employ or the former Prophets. They do not copy them in a mechanical way, as if they were simply re-writing a work which lay before them, so that we should have to account for anything which they did not think good to repeat. In making the like use of Isaiah’s prophecy as to Moab, Jeremiah makes no reference to the five (5) first (1st) verses.

                iii. So far from “writing among the exiles” Obadiah implies that the Captivity had not yet commenced. He speaks of Judah and Benjamin, as in their own land, and foretells that they shall enlaige themselvee on all sides. Hosea and Amos had, at that time, prophesied the final destruction of the kingdom of Israel and the dispersion of the ten (10) tribes. In conformity vrith this, Obadiah foretells to the two tribes, that they should occupy the vacated places of the land of promise. In contrast with this enlargement of Judah and Benjamin, he speaks of those already in captivity, and prophesies their restoration. He speaks of two bodies of present exiles, “the captivity of this host of the children of Israel,” “the captivity of Jerusalem which is at Sepharad.”  Of these he probably says, The captivity of this host of the children Israel which are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath, and the captivity of Jerusalem which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the South, Both these sets of captives must have been limited in number. Those of Jerusalem at Sepharad or Sardis, the capital of the Lydian empire, could only have been such as were exported by means of the slave trade. The only public settlement of Jews there, was in times long subsequent, about B.C. 200, when Antiochus the Great, in order to check the seditions in Lydia and Phiygia, “removed thither at much cost 2000 Jewish families out of Mesopotamia and Babylonia, with their goods,” on account of their tried faithfulness and zealous service to his forefathers. This removal, accompanied with grants of land, exemption from tribute for ten (10) years, personal and religious protection, was a continuation of the commenced dispersion; it was not a captivity. They were the descendants of those who might have returned to their country, if they would. They were in the enjoyment of all the temporal benefits, for which their forefathers had bartered their portion in their own land. There was nothing peculiar why they should be singled out as the objects of God’s promise. Jews were then dispersing everywhere, to be the future disciples or persecutors of the Gospel in all lands. Seleucus Nicator, a century before, had found Jews in Asia and Lower Syria, and had given them like privileges with the Macedonians and Greeks whom he settled there. Jews had shared his wars. Alexander had, at Alexandria, bestowed like privileges on the Egyptian Jews. In such times, then, there was no captivity at Sepharad; no Lydian empire; nothing to distinguish the Jews there, from any others who remained willingly expatriated. (* ”CPaRaD occurs three (3) times in Cuneiform Inscriptions in a list of Asiatic nations after ARMIN between KaTaPaTUK (Cappadocia) and laUNA (Ionia), Niebuhr Reiseb. T. ii. Tab. xxxi. 1. 12. p. 152, In the Epitaph of Darius at Nakahi Rustam 1. 28. before Ionia, in Col. 1 of the Inscription of Bisutun, 1.15.” After It had been decyphered, De Sacy identified the CPRD of the Inscriptions with the “Sepharad” of Obadiah. (Burnouf, Memoire sur deux Inscriptions Cuneiformes, 1836. p. 147.) Then Lassen (Hall. Encyclop. v. Persepolis, 8. iii. Vol. 17. p. 86.) identified C&PD with SaRDls, the Greeks omitting the v or ph and adding, according to their wont, their termination to the Asiatic name. S. Jerome’s Hebrew Instructor told him that it meant the “Bosphorus:” but this may have been his own conjecture, the letters “sphr” occurring in both: and if he took in the Prepos. (b), he had “bsphr” as the ground of his conjecture, taking in the (b) which he ought not, and leaving out the (d) which he ought to have accounted for. *)

                On the other side, the place which the Prophet assigns to those captives on their return IS but a portion of Judah, the cities of the South, which he does not represent as unpeopled. In like way, whether the words as to Israel are rendered, “which are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,” or, “shall possess the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,” in either case the Prophet must be speaking of a very limited number. Had he been speaking in reference to the ten (10) tribes or their restoration, he would not have assigned their territory, ”Ephraim, Samaria, Gilead,” to the two (2) tribes, nor would he have assigned to them so small a tract. This limited number of captives exactly agrees with the state of things, supposing Obadiah to have lived, when, according to his place in the Canon, he did live, near the time of Joel. For Joel denounces God’s judgments on Tyre, Zidon and Phllistia for selling unto the Grecians the children of Judah and Jerusalem. These captives, of whom Obadiah speaks, were some probably yet unsold, at Sarepta, and some at Sepharad or Sardis among the Grecians. On the other hand, it is inconceivable that Obadiah would have contrasted the present captivity, “this captivity of the children of Israel,” “the captivity of Jerusalem which is in Sepharad,” with Judah and Bemamin in their ancient possessions, had Judah and Benjamin been, when he wrote, themselves in captivity in Babylon, or that he would have prophesied concerning some little fragment of Israel, that it should be restored, and would have passed over the whole body of the ten (10) tribes, if, when he prophesied, it had been in captivity. Nor is there again any likelihood, that by “this captivity of Jerusalem in Sepharad,” Obadiah means any captives, among whom he himself was, (which is the whole ground-work of this theory of Ewald) for, in that case, he would probably have addressed the consolation and the promise of return to them (as do the other prophets) and not have spoken of them only.

                A few years hence, and this theory will be among the things which have been. The connection of thought in Obadiah is too close, the characteristics of his style occur too uniformly throughout his brief prophecy, to admit of its being thus dislocated. Nowhere, throughout his prophecy, can one word or form be alleged, of which it can even be said, that it was used more frequently in later Hebrew. All is one original, uniform, united whole.                “Obadiah,” says Hugh of S. Victor, “is simple in language, manifold in meaning; few in words, abundant in thoughts, according to that, ‘the wise man is known by the fewness of his words.’ He directs his prophecy, according to the letter, against Edom; allegorically, he inveighs against the world; morally, against the flesh. Bearing an image of the Saviour, he hinteth at His Coming Through Whom the world is destroyed through Whom the flesh is subdued, through Whom freedom is restored.” “Among all the prophets,” says another, “he is the briefest in number of words; in the grace of mysteries he is their equal.”

                Introduction to the Prophet JONAH.

                The Prophet Jonah, who was at once the author and in part the subject of the book which bears his name, is, beyond question, the same who is related in the book of Kings to have been God’s messenger of comfort to Israel, in the reign of Jeroboam II. For his own name, in English “Dove” as well as that of his father, Amittai, “The Truth of God,” occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament; and it is wholly improbable that there should have been two prophets of the same name, sons of fathers of the same name, when the names of both son and father were so rare as not to occur elsewhere in the Old Testament. The place which the Prophet occupies among the twelve (12) agrees therewith. For Hosea and Amos, prophets who are known to have prophesied in the time of Jeroboam, and Joel, who prophesied before Amos, are placed before him; Micah, who prophesied after the death of Jeroboam and Uzziah, is placed after him.

                A remarkable and much-misunderstood expression of the Prophet shews that this mission fell in the later part of his life, at least after he had already exercised the prophetic office. Our translation has, Jonah rose up to flee from the presence of the Lord. It has been asked, “How could a Prophet imagine that he could flee from the presence of God?” Plainly he could not. Jonah, so conversant with the Psalm & doubtless knew well the Psalm of David, Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit and whither shall I flee from Thy presence? He could not but know, what every instructed Israelite knew. And so critics should have known that such could not be the meaning. The words are used, as we say, “he went out of the king’s presence,” or the like. It is literally, he rose to flee from being in the Presence of the Lord, i.e. from standing in His Presence as His Servant and Minister. Then he must have so stood before: he must have had the office, which he sougnt to abandon.  (* It is (mlpny), not (mpny). But (lpny yhwh) and (mlpny yhwh), which correspond to one another, have very definite meanings, (lpny yhwh) is ” before the Lord;” (mlpny yhwh) is “from being before the Lord.” (lpny yhwh) is used In a variety of ways, of the place where God specially manifests Himself the tabernacle, or the temple. With verbs, it is used of passing actions, as sacrificing (with different verbs, Ex. 29:11, Lev. 7:1-7, 2nd Chr. 7:4); of sprinkling the blood (Lev. 4:16, &c. often); entering His Presence (Ex. 34:34, Lev. 15:14); drawing near (Ex. 16:9); rejoicing In His Presence (2nd Sam. 6:5, 21, &c.); weeping before Him (Judg. 20:23): or of abiding conditions, as walking nabitually (Ps. 55:14); dwelling (Is. 23:18); or standing, as His habitual Minister, as the Levites (Deut 10:8,  2nd Chr. 29:11, Ezek. 44:16); or a prophet (1st Kings 17:1, Jer. 16:19); or the priest or the Nazarite (see ab. p. 170. col. 1). In correspondence with this, (mlpny yhwh) signifies “from before the Lord.” It Is used in special reference to the tabernacle, as of the fire which went forth from the Presence of God there (Lev. 9:24, 10:2); the plague (Num. 17:11 Heb. [16:46 Eng.]); the rods brought out (Num. 17:24 Heb. [10 Eng.]); or the shew bread removed thence (1st Sam. 21:6). And so it signifies, not that one fled from God, but that he removed from standing in His Presence. So Cain went out from the Presence of God (mlhny,  Gen. 4:16); and of an earthly ruler it is said, a man “went forth out of his presence” [Gen. xli. 41:46, 47:10 &c.]; and to David God promises, “there shall not be cut off to thee a man from before Me,” i.e., “from standing before Me,” (mlpny 1st Kings 8:25, 2nd Chr. 6:16; comp. Is. 48:19, Jer. 33:18. of Israel) and David prays, “Cast me not away from Thy presence,” lit. “from before Thee” (Ps. 51:11). Aben Ezra noticed the distinction in part, “And as I have searched in all Scripture, and I have not found the word (brch) used otherwise than united with the word (mpny) as ia Ph. 139:7 and Judg. 11:3, and in the prophecy of Jonah I have not found that he fled (mpny) ‘from the face of the Lord’ but (mlpny) ‘from before the Presence of the Lord;’ and it is written, ‘As the Lord liveth, before Whom I stand’ (lmpnyu). And so, on the other hand, it is always (mlpny) And so it is, ‘And Cain went out (mlpny) from before the presence of God –And it is written ‘to go into the clefts of the rocks and into the fissures of the cliff from the fear (lbu’-mpny pachad) of the Lord’ (Is. 2:21), and (in Jonah) it is written, to go with them from the Presence (lbu’-mpny) of the Lord (Jon. 1:3), and the wise will understand.” In one place (1st  Chr. 19:18) (mlpney), not with (brch)  (of which alone Aben Ezra speaks) but with (num). The idiom also is different, 1) since the two armies had been engaged face to face, (as Amaziah said, ‘Let us look one another in the face, 2nd Kings 14:8, and the like idioms,) but 2) chiefly, in that (mlpny yhwh) is, by the force of the term, contrasted with the other idiom (lpny yhwh), and therefore cannot be a mere substitute for (mpny). *)

                He was then a prophet of Israel, born at Gath-hepher, “a small village” of Zabulon, which lies, S. Jerome says, “two miles from Sipphorim which is now called Diocaesarea, in the way to Tiberias, where his tomb also is pointed out.” His tomb was still shewn in the hills near Sipphorim in the 12th century, as Benjamin of Tudela’ relates; at the same place, “on a rocky hill 2 miles East of Sepphuriah,” is still pointed out the tomb of the Prophet, and “Moslems and the Christians of Nazareth alike regard the village (el-Meshhad) as his native village.” The tomb is even now venerated by the Moslem inhabitants.

                But although a prophet of Israel, he, like Daniel afterward or his great predecessor Elisha, had his mission also beyond the bounds of Israel. Whenever God brought His people into any relation with other people, He made Himself known to them. The mode of His manifestation varied; the fact remained uniform. So He made Himself known to Egypt through Joseph and Moses; to the Philistines at the capture of the ark; to the Syrians by Elisha; to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar Dy Daniel, as again to Darius and Cyrus. The hindrances interposed to the edict of Darius perpetuated that knowledge among his successors. Yet further on, the High Priest Jaddua shewed to Alexander the prophecy of Daniel “that a Greek should destroy the Persian Empire.” For there is no ground to question the account of Josephus. The mission then of Jonah to Nineveh is in harmony with God’s other dealings with heathen nations, although, in God’s manifold wisdom, not identical with any.

                To Israel the history of that mission revealed that same fact which was more fully declared by S. Peter; I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. This righteous judgment of God stands out the more, alike in the history of the mariners and of the Ninevites, in that the character of both is exhibited advantageously, in comparison with that of the Prophet. The Pn>phet brings out the awe, the humanity, the earnestness of the natural religion, and the final conversion of the sailors, and tlie zealous repentance of the Ninevites, while he neglects to explain his own character, or, in the least, to soften its hard angles. Rather, with a holy indifference, he has left his character to be hardly and unjustly judged by those who, themselves sharing his infirmities, share not his excellences. Disobedient once, he cares only to teach us what God taught him for us. The mariners were spared, the Hebrew Prophet was cast forth as guilty. The Ninevites were forgiven: the Prophet, rebuked.

                That other moral, which our Lord inculcated, that the heathen believed and repented with less light, the Jews, amid so much greater light, repented not, also lay there, to be drawn out by men’s own consciences. “To the condemnation of Israel,” says S. Jerome, “Jonah is sent to the Gentiles, because, whereas Nineveh repented, Israel persevered in his iniquity.” But this is only a secondary result of his prophecy, as all Divine history-must be full of teaching, because the facts themselves are instructive. Its instructiveness in this respect depends wholly upon the truth of the facts. It is the real repentance of the Ninevites, which becomes the reproach of the impenitent Jew or Christian.

                Even among the Jews, a large school, the Cabbalists, (although amid other error,) interpreted the history of Jonah as teaching the resurrection of the dead, and (with that remarkable correctness of combination of different passages of Holy Scripture which we often find) in union with the prophecy of Hosea. “The fish’s belly, where Jonah was enclosed, signifies the tomb, where the body is covered and laid up. But as Jonah was given back on the third (3rd) day, so all we also on the third (3rd) day rise again and be restored to life. As Hosea says, “On the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” Talmudic Jews identified Jonah with their Messiah ben Joseph, whom they expected to die and rise again. The deeper meaning then of the history was not, at least in later times, unknown to them, a meaning which entirely depended on its truth.

                The history of his mission, Jonah doubtless himself wrote. Such has been the uniform tradition of the Jews, and on this principle alone was his book placed among the prophets. For no books were admitted among the prophets but those which the arranger of the Canon believed (if this was the work of the great synagogue) or (if it was the work of Ezra) knew to have been written by persons called to the prophetic office. Hence the Psalms of David, (although many are prophetic, and our Lord declares him to have been inspired by the Holy Ghost®,) and the book of Daniel, were placed in a separate class, because their authors, although eminently endowed with prophetic gifts, did not exercise the pastoral office of the Prophet. Histories of the Prophets, as Elijah and Elisha, stand, not under their own names, but in the books of the prophets who wrote them. Nor is the (book of Jonah a history of the Prophet, but of that one mission to Nineveh. Every notice of the Prophet is omitted, except what bears on that mission. The book also begins with just that same authentication, with which all other prophetic books begin. As Hosea and Joel and Micah and Zephaniah open, The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, Joel, Micah, Zephaniah, and other prophets in other ways ascribe their books not to themselves, but to God, so Jonah opens, And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying. This inscription is an integral part of the book; as is marked by the word, saying. As the historical books are joined on the sacred writings before them, so as to form one continuous stream of history, by the and, with which they begin, so the book of Jonah is tacitly joined on to other books of other prophets by the word, and with which it commences. The words, The word of the Lord came to, are the acknowledged form in which the commission of God to prophesy is recorded. It is used of the commission to deliver a single prophecy, or it describes the whole collection of prophecies, with which any prophet was entrusted; The word of the Lord which came to Micah or Zephaniah. But the whole history of the prophecy is bound up with, and a sequel of these words.

                Nor is there anything in the style of the Prophet at variance with this.

                It is strange that, at any time beyond the babyhood of criticism, any argument should be drawn from the fact that the Prophet writes of himself in the third person. Many criticism has been ashamed to use the argument, as to the commentaries of Caesar or the Anabasis of Xenophon. However the genuineness of those works may have been at times questioned, here we were on the ground of genuine criticism, and no one ventured to use an argument so palpably idle. It has been pointed out that minds so different, as Barhebraeus, the great Jacobite historian of the East, and Frederick the Great wrote of themselves in the third person; as did also Thucydides and Josephus, even after they had attested that the history, in which they so speak, was written by themselves.

                But the real ground lies much deeper. It is the exception, when any sacred writer speaks of himself in the first person. Ezra and Nehemiah do so; for they are giving an account, not of God’s dealings with His people, but of their own discharge of a definite office, allotted to them by man. Solomon does so in Ecclesiastes, because he is giving the history of his own experience; and the vanity of all human things, in themselves, could be attested so impressively by no one, as by one, who had all which man’s mind could imagine.

                On the contrary, the Prophets, unless they speak of God’s revelations to them, speak of themselves in the third (3rd) person. Thus Amos relates in the first (1st) person, what God shewed him in vision; for God spoke to him, and he answered and pleaded with God. In relating his persecution oy Amaziah, he passes at once to the third; Amaziah said to Amos; Then answered Amos and said to Amaziah. In like way, Isaiah speaks of himself in the third (3rd) person, when relating how God, sent him to meet Ahaz; commanded him to walk three (3) years, naked and barefoot, Hezekiah’s message to him, to pray for his people, and his own prophetic answer; his visit to Hezekiah in the king’s sickness, his warning to him, his prophecy of his recovery, the sign which at God’s command Isaiah gave him, and the means of healing he appointed Jeremiah, the mourner over his people more than any other prophet, speaks and complains to his God in the midst of his prophecy. In no other prophet do we see so much the workings of his inmost souL.  Such souls would most use the first (1st) person; for it is in  the use of the first (1st) person that the soul pours itself forth. In relating of himself in the third (3rd) person, the Prophet restrains himself, speaks of the event only. Yet it is thus that Jeremiah relates almost all which befell him; Pashur’s smiting him and putting him in the stocks; the gathering of the people against him to put him to death, his hearing before the princes of Judah and his deliverance; the contest with Hananiah, when Hananiah broke off the symbolic yoke from his neck and prophesied lies in the name of God, and Jeremiah foretold his death by which followed; the letters of Shemaiah against him, and his own prophecy against Shemaiah; his trial of tlie Rechabites and his prophecy to them; the writing the roll, which he sent Baruch to read in God’s house, and its renewal when Jehoiakim had burnt it, and God’s concealing him and Baruch from the king’s emissaries; his purpose to leave Jerusalem when the interval of the last siege gave him liberty; the false accusations agamst him, the designs of the princes to put him to death, their plunging him in the yet deeper pit, where was no water but mire, the milder treatment through the intercession of Ebed-melech; Zedekiah’s intercourse with him; his liberation by Nebuzaradan, his choice to abide in the land, his residence with Gedaliah; Johanan’s hypocritical enquiring of God by him and disobedience, his being carried into Egypt, the insolent answer of the Jews in Egypt to him and his denunciation upon them. All this, the account of which occupies a space, many times larger than the book of Jonah, Jeremiah relates as if it were the history of some other man. So did God teach His prophets to forget themselves. Haggai, whose prophecy consists of exhortations which Gcid directed him to address to the people, speaks of himself, solely in the third (3rd) person. He even relates the questions which he puts to the priests and their answers still in the third (3rd) person; “then said Haggai;” “then answered Haggai.” Daniel relates in the third (3rd) person, the whole which he does give of his history; how when young he obtained exemption from the use of the royal luxuries and from food unlawful to him; the favor and wisdom which God gave him; how God saved him from death, revealing to him, on his prayer, the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and its meaning; how Nebuchadnezzar made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon; how he was brought into Belshazzar’s great impious feast, and interpreted the writing on the wall; and was honored; how, under Darius, he persevered in his wonted prayer against the king’s command, was cast into the den of lions, was delivered, and prospered in the reign Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. When Daniel passes from history to relate visions vouchsafed to himself, he authenticated them with his own name, I Daniel. It is no longer his own history. It is the revelation of God by him. In like way, S. John, when referring to himself in the history of his Lord, calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. In the Revelations, he authenticates his visions bv his own name; “I John, Moses relates how God commanded him to write things which he wrote, in the third (3rd) person. S. Paul, when he has to speak of his overpowering revelations, says,  I knew a man in Christ. It seems as if he could not speak of them as vouchsafed to himself. He lets us see that it was himself, when he speaks of the humiliations, which God saw to be necessary for him. To ordinary men it would bo conceit or hypocrisy to write of themselves in the third (3rd) person. They would have the appearance of writing impartially of themselves, of abstracting themselves from themselves, when, in reality, they were ever present to themselves. The men of God were writing of the things of God. They had a God-given indifference how they themselves would be thought of by man. They related, with the same holy unconcern, their praise or their blame. Jonah has exhibited himself in his infirmities, such as no other but himself would have drawn a Prophet of God. He has left his character, unexplained, unsoftened; he has left himself lying under God’s reproof; and told us nothing of all that which God loved in him, and which made him too a chosen instrument of God. Men, while they measure Divine things, or characters formed by God, by what would be natural to themselves, measure by a crooked rule. It is a very small thing, says S. Paul, that I should be judged of you or of man’s judgment. Nature does not measure grace; nor the human spirit, the Divine.

                As for the few words, which persons who disbelieved in miracles selected out of the book of Jonah as a plea for removing it far down beyond the period when those miracles took place, they rather indicate the contrary. They are all genuine Hebrew words or forms, except the one Aramaic name for the decree of the king of Nineveh, which Jonah naturally heard in Nineveh itself.

                A writer, equally unbelieving, who got rid of the miracles by assuming that the book of Jonah was meant only for a moralizing fiction, found no counter-evidence in the language, but ascribed it unhesitatingly to the Jonah, son of Amittai, who prophesied in the reign of Jeroboam II. He saw the nothingness of the so-called proof, which he had no longer any interest in maintaining.

                The examination of these words will require a little detail, yet it may serve as a specimen (it is no worse than its neighbors) of the way in which the disbelieving school picked out a few words of a Hebrew Prophet or section of a Prophet, in order to disparage the genuineness of what they did not believe.

                The words are these:

                1) The word sephinah, lit. “a decked vessel” is a genuine Hebrew word from saphan, “covered, ceiled.” The word was borrowed from the Hebrew, not by Syrians or Chaldees only but by the Arabians, in none of which dialects is it an original word. A word plainly is original in that language in which it stands connected with other meanings of the same root, and not in that in which it stands isolated. Naturally too, the term for a decked vessel would be borrowed by inland people, as the Syrians, from a notion living on the sea shore, not conversely. This is the first (1st) occasion for mentioning a decked vessel. It is related that Jonah went in fact “below deck,” was gone down into the sides of the decked vessel. Three (3) times in those verses, when Jonah did not wish to express that the vessel was decked, he uses the common Hebrew word, (oniyyah). It was then of set purpose that he, in the same verse, used the two words, (oniyyah) and (sephinah),

                2) (Mallach) is also a genuine Heb. word from (mclach), salt sea, as (alieus) from (als) “salt,” then (masc.) in poetry “brine.” It is formed strictly, as other Hebrew words denoting an occupation. It does not occur in earlier books, because “seamen” are not mentioned earlier.

                3) (Rab hachobel), “chief of the sailors,” “captain.” (Rab) is Phoenician also, and this was a Phoenician vessel. It does not occur earlier, because “the captain of a vessel” is not mentioned earlier. One says “it is the same as (sar), chiefly in later Hebrew.” It occurs, in all only four (4) times, and in all cases, as here, of persons not Hebrew; Nebuzaradan, (rab Tahbachim), captain of the guard;” rab Sarisim, “chief of the eunuchs;” col (rab baitho),   “every officer of his house.” Sar, on the other hand, is never used except of an office of authority, of one who had a place of authority given by one higher. It occurs as much in the later as in the earlier books, but is not used in the singular of an inferior office. It is used of military, but not of any inferior secular command. It would probably have been a solecism to have said (sar hachobel), as much as if we were to say “prince of sailors.” Chobel, which is Joined with it, is a Hebrew not Aramaic word.

                4) (Ribbo), ” ten thousand (10,000),” they say, “is a word of later Hebrew.” Certainly neither it, nor any inflection of it occurs in the Pentateuch, Judges, Samuel, Canticles, in all which we have the word rebabah. It is true also that the form ribbo or derivative forms occur in books of the date of the Captivity, as Daniel, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. But it also occurs in a Psalm of David, and in Hosea who is acknowledged to have prophesied in the days of Jeroboam, and so was a contemporary of Jonah. It might have been, accordingly, a form used in Northern Palestine, but that its use by David does not justify such limitation.

                5) Yith ashshath, “thought, purposed,” is also an old Hebrew word, as appears from its use in the number eleven (11), as the first (1st) number which is conceived in thought, the ten (10) being numbered on the fingers. The root occurs also in Job, a Psalm, and the Canticles. In the Syriac, it does not occur; nor, in the extant Chaldee, in the sense in which it is used in Jonah. For in Jonah it is used of the merciful thoughts of God; in Chaldee, of the evil thoughts of man. Beside, it is used in Jonah not by the Prophet himself, but by the shipmaster, whose words he relates.

                6) The use of the abridged forms of the relative she for asher, twice (2) in composite words beshellemi, beshelli, (the fuller form, baasher lemi, also occurring) and once in union with a noun shebbin.

                There is absolutely no plea whatever for making this an indication of a later style, and yet it occurs in every string of words, which have been assumed to be indications of such style. It is not Aramaic at all, but Phoenician, and old Hebrew. In Phoenician, esh is the relative, which corresponds the more with the Hebrew in that the following letter was doubled, as in the Punic words in Plautus, syllohom, siddoberim, it enters into two Proper names, both of which occur in the Pentateuch, and one, only there, Methushael, “a man of God,” and Mishael, the same as Michael, “who is like God?” lit. “Who is what God is?” Probably, it occurs also in the Pentateuch in the ordinary language. Perhaps it was used more in the dialect of North Palestine. Probably it was also the spoken language”, in which abridged forms are used in all languages. Hence perhaps its frequent use in the Song of Solomon, which is all dialogue, and in which it is employed to the entire exclusion of the fuller form; and that, so frequently, that the instances in the Canticles are nearly 1/4  those in the whole Old Testament. In addition to this, half of the whole number of instances, in which it occurs in the Bible, are found in another short book, Ecclesiastes. In a book, containing only 222 verses, it occurs 66 times. This, in itself, requires some ground for its use, beyond that of mere date. Of books which are really later, it does not occor in Jeremiah’s prophecies, Ezekiel, Daniel, or any of the 6 later of the Minor Prophets, nor in Nehemiah or Esther. It occurs once (1) only in Ezra, and twice (2) in the first book of Chronicles, whereas it occurs four (4) times in the Judges, and once in the Kings, and once probably in Job. Its use belongs to that wide principle of condensation in Hebrew, blending in one, in different ways, what we express by separate words. The relative pronoun is confessedly, on this ground, very often omitted in Hebrew poetry, when it would be used in prose. In the Canticles Solomon does not once use the ordinary separate relative, asher. Of the 19 instances in the Psalms, almost half, 9, occur in those Psalms of peculiar rhythm, the gradual Psalms; four (4) more occur in two (2) other Psalms, which belong to one another, the latter of which has that remarkable burden, for His mercy endureth forever. Three (3) are condensed into a solemn denunciation of Babylon in another Psalm. Of the ten (10) Psalms, in which it occurs, four are ascribed to David, and one (1) only, the 137th, has any token of belonging to a later date. In the two (2) passages in the Chronicles, it occurs in words doubly compounded. The principle of rhythm would account for its occurring four (4) times in the five (5) chapters of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, while in the 52 chapters of his prophecies it does not occur once (1). In Job also, it is in a solemn pause. Altogether, there is no proof whatever that the use of she for asher is any test of the date of any Hebrew book, since 1) it is not Aramaic, 2) it occurs in the earlier and 3) not in the latest books: 4) its use is idiomatic and nowhere except in the Canticles and Ecclesiastes does it pervade any book. Had it belonged to the ordinary idiom at the date of Ezra, it would not have been so entirely insulated as it is, in the three instances in the Chronicles and Ezra. It would not have occurred in the earlier books in which it does occur, and would have occurred in later books in which it does not in Jonah, its use in two (2) places is peculiar to himself, occurring nowhere else in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the first (1st), its Phoenician form is used by the Phoenician mariners; in the 2nd it is an instance of the spoken language in the mouth of the Prophet, a native of North Palestine and in answer to Phoenicians. In the third (3rd) instance, (where it is the simple relative) its use is evidently for condensation. Its use in any case would agree with the exact circumstances of Jonah, as a native of North Palestine, conversing with the Phoenician mariners. The only plea of argument has been gained by arguing in a circle, assuming without any even plausible ground that the Song of Solomon or Psalms of David were late, because they had this form, and then using it as a test of another book being late; ignoring alike the earlier books which have it and the later books which have it not, and its exceptional use (except in the Canticles and Ecclesiastes,) in the books which have it.

                7) It is difficult to know to what end the use of manah, “appoint” or “prepare,” is alleged, since it occurs in a Psalm of David. Jonah uses it in a special way as to acts of God’s Providence, “preparing” before, what he wills to employ. Jonah uses the word of the  “preparing” of the fish, the palm-christ, the worm which should destroy it, the East wind, he evidentlv used it with a set purpose, to express what no other word expressed equally to his mind, how God prepared by His Providence the instruments which He willed to employ.

                8) There remains only the word used for the decree of the king of Nineveh, (taam). This is a Syriac word; and accordingly, since it has now been ascertained beyond all question, that the language of Nineveh was a dialect of Syriac, it was, with a Hebrew pronunciation, the very word used of this decree at Nineveh. The employment of the special word is a part of the same accuracy with which Jonah relates that the decree used was issued not from the king only, but from the king and his nobles, one of those minute touches, which occur in the writings of those who describe what they have seen, but supplying a fact as to the Assyrian polity, which we should not otherwise have known, that the nobles were in some way associated in the decrees of the king.

                Out of these eight words or forms, three (3) are naval terms, and, since Israel was no sea-faring people, it is in harmony with the history, that these terms should first occur in the first prophet who left the land of his mission by sea. So it is also, that an Assyrian tecnnical term should first occur in a Prophet who had been sent to Nineveh. A fifth (5th) word occurs in Hosea, a contemporary of Jonah, and in a Psalm of David. The abridged grammatical form was Phoenician, not Aramaic, was used in conversation, occurs in the oldest proper names, and in the Northern tribes. The 7th and 8th do not occur in Aramaic in the meaning in which they are used by Jonah.

                In truth, often as these false criticisms have been repeated from one to the other, they would not have been thought of at all, but for the miracles related by Jonah, which the devisers of these criticisms did not believe. A history of miracles, such as those in Jonah, would not be published at the time, unless they were true. Those then who did not believe that God worked any miracles, were forced to have some plea for saying that the book was not written in the time of Jonah. Prejudices against faith have, sometimes openly, sometimes tacitly, been the ruling principle on which earlier portions of Holy Scripture have been classed among the latter by critics who disbelieved what those books or passages related. Obviously no weight can be given to the opinions of critics, whose criticisms are founded, not on the study of the language, but on unbelief. It has recently been said, “the joint decision of Gesenius, De Wette and Hitzig ought to be final.” A joint decision certainly it is not. For De Wette places the book of Jonah before the captivity ; Gesenius  and Ewald, when prophecy had long ceased; Ewald, partly on account of its miracles, in the 5th century, B.C.; and Hitzig, with his wonted wilfulness and insulatedness of criticism, built a theory that the book is of Egyptian origin on his own mistake that the kikaion grew only in Egypt, and placed it in the 2nd century, B.C, the times of the Maccabees. The interval is also filled up. Every sort of date and contradictory grounds for those dates have been assigned. So then one places the book of Jonah in the time of Sennacherib, i. e. of Hezekiah; another under Josiah; another before the Captivity; another toward the end of the Captivity, after the destruction of Nineveh by Cyaxares; a fifth (5th) lays chief stress on the argument that the destruction of Nineveh is not mentioned in it; sixth (6th) prefers the time after the return from the Captivity to its close; a seventh (7th) doubted not, “from its argument and purpose, that it was written before the order of prophets ceased , others of the same school are as positive from its arguments and contents, that it must have been written after that order was closed.

                The style of the book of Jonah is, in fact pure and simple Hebrew, corresponding to the simplicity of the narrative and of the Prophets character. Although written in prose, it has poetic language, not in the thanksgiving only, but whenever it suits the subject. These expressions are peculiar to Jonah. Such are, in the account of the storm, ”the Lord cast a strong wind,” ”the vessel thought to be broken,” ”the sea shall be silent” (hushed, as we say) i.e. calm: “the wind was advancing and storming as with a whirlwind; [the word is used as to the sea by Jonah only,] “the men ploughed ” or “dug'” [in rowing] “the sea sood from its raging.” Also “let man and beast clothe themselves with sackcloth and that touching expression, “son of a night” it [the palma Christi] came to being, and son of a night [i.e. in a night] it perished.” It is in harmony with his simplicity of character, that he is fond of the old idiom, by which the thought of the verb is carried on by a noun formed from it “The men feared a great fear,” “It displeased Jonah a great displesure” “Jonah joyed a great joy. Another idiom has been observe, which occurs in no writer later than the judges.

                But in the history every phrase is vivid and graphic. There is not a word which does not advance the history. There is no reflection. All hastens on to the completion, and when God has given the key to the whole, the book closes with His words of exceeding ten Jem ess, lingering in our ears. The Prophet, with the same simplicity and beginning with the same words, says he did not, an:l he did, obey <iod. The book opens, ailer the first authenticating words, Arise and  go to Nineveh that great city, and cry against it; for the wickedness is come up before Me. God had bidden him arise; the narrative simply repeats the word, And Jonah arose, –but for what? to flee in the very opposite direction from being before the Lord, i.e. from standing in His presence, as His servant and minister. He lost no time, to do the contrary. After the miracles, by which he had been both punished and delivered, the history is resumed with the same simple dignity as before, in the same words; the disobedience being noticed only in the word, a second time. And the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry unto it that cry which I say unto thee. This time it follows, And Jonah arose and went to Nineveh.

                Then in the history itself we follow the Prophet step by step. He arose to flee to Tarshish, went down to Joppa, a perilous, yet the only sea-port for Judsea . He finds the ship, pays its fare, (one of those little touches of a true narrative); God sends the storm, man does all he can; and all in vain. The character of the heathen is brought out in contrast with the then sleeping conscience and despondency of the Prophet. But it is all in act. They are all activity; he, simply passive. They pray, (as they can) each man to his gods; he is asleep: they do all they can, lighten the ship, the ship-masler rouses him, to pray to his God, since their own prayers avail not; they propose the lots, cast them: the lot falls on Jonah. Then follow their brief accumulated enquiries; Jonah’s calm answer, increasing their fear; their enquiry of the Prophet himself, what they are to do to him; his knowledge that he must be cast over; the unwiliingneas of the Heathen; one more fruitless effort to save both themselves and the Prophet; the increasing violence of the storm; the prayer to the Prophet’s God, not to lay innocent blood to them, who obeyed His Prophet; the casting him forth; the instant hush and silence of the sea; their conversion and sacrifice to the true God –the whole stands before us, as if we saw it with our own eyes.

                And yet, amid, or perhaps as a part of, that vividness, there is that characteristic of Scripture-narratives, that some things even seem improbable, until, on thought, we discover the reason. It is not on a first (1st) reading, that most perceive the naturalness either of Jonah’s deep sleep, or of the increase of the mariner s fear, on his account of himself. Yet that deep sleep harmonizes at least with his long hurried flight to Joppa, and that mood with which men who have taken a wrong step, try to forget themselves. He relates that he was gone down, i. e. before the storm began. The sailors’ increased fear surprises us the more, since it is added, “they knew that he had fled from before the presence of God, because he had told them.” One word explained it He had told them, from Whose service he had fled, but not that He, againsi Whom he had sinned, and Who, they would think, was pursuing His fugitive, was “the Maker of the sea,” whose raging was threatening their lives.

                Again, the history mentions only, that Jonah was cast over; that God prepared a fish to swallow him; that he was in the belly of the fish three (3) days and three (3) nights; that he, at the end of that time, prayed to God out of the fish’s belly, and at the close of the prayer was delivered. The word “prayed ” obviously includes “thanksgiving” as the act of adoring love from the creature to the Creator. It is said that Hannah prayed; but her hymn, as well as Jonah’s, does not contain one (1) petition. Both are the outpouring I of thanksgiving from the soul, to which God had given what it had prayed for. As, before, it was not said, wliether he prayed, on the ship-master’s upbraiding, or no, so here nothing is said in the history, except as to the last moment, on which he was cast out on the dry ground. The prayer incidentally supplies the rest. It is a simple thanksgiving of one who had pra\’ed, and had been delivered. I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me. In the first (1st) mercy, he saw the earnest of the rest. He asks for nothing, he only thanks. But that for which he thanks is the deliverance from the perils of the sea. The thanksgiving corresponds with the plain words, that he prayed out of the fishes belly. They are suited to one so praying, who looked on in full faith to the future completion of his deliverance, although our minds might rather have been fixed on the actual peril. It is a thanksgiving of faith, but of stronger faith than many moderns have been able to conceive.

                The hymn itself is a remarkable blending of old and new, as our Lord ssiys; Therefore is the kingdom of heaven like a householder, who bringeth out of his treasure new and old. Tlie Prophet teaches us to use the Psalms, as well as how the holy men of old used them. In that great moment of religious life, the well-remembered Psalms, such as he had often used them, were brought to his mind. What had been figures to David or the sons of Korah, as, the waters are come in even unto my soul; all Thy billows and Thy waves passed over me, were strict realities to him. Yet only in this last sentence and in one other sentence which doubtless had become a proverb of accepted prayer, I cried out of my trouble unto the Lord and He heard me, does Jonah use exactly the words of earlier Psalms. Elsewhere he varies or amplifies them according to his own special circumstances. Thus, where David said, the waters are come in, even unto my soul,” Jonah substitutes the word which described best the condition from which God had delivered him, ” The water compassed me about, even to the soul.” Where David said, “I am cut off from before Thine eyes,” expressing an abiding condition, Jonah, who had for disobedience been cast into the sea, uses the strong word, “I am cast out from before Thine eyes.” David says, “I said in my haste;” Jonah simply, “I said;” for he had deserved it. David said, “when my spirit was over whelmed” or ” fainted within me,” “Thou knewest my path; ” Jonah substitutes, “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord,”for when he rebelled, he forgat Him. David said, “I hate them that observe lying vanities;” Jonah, who had himself disobeyed God, says mournfully, “‘They that observe lying vanities, forsake their own mercy, i.e. their God, Who is Mercy.

                Altogether, Jonah’s thanksgiving is that of one whose mind was stored with the Psalms which were part of the public worship, but it is the language of one who uses and re-casts them freely, as he was taught of God, not of one w ho copies. No one verse is taken entirely from any Psalm. There are original expressions everywhere. The words, “I went down to the cuttings-off of the mountains,” “the sea-weed bound around my head;” “the earth, its bars around me for ever;” perhaps the coral reefs which run along all that shore, vividly exhibit him, sinking, entangled, imprisoned, as it seems, inextricably; he goes on; we should expect some further description of his state; but he adds, in five simple words. Thou broughtest up my life from corruption, O Lord My God. Words, somewhat like these last, occur elsewhere thou hast brought up my soul from hell, agreeing in the one word “brought up.”  (* Considerable quantities of coral are found in the adjacent sea.”  W.G. Browne, writing of Jaffa, Travels, p. 360. “Coral-reefs  run along the coast as far as Gasa, which cut the cables in two, and leave the ships at the mercy of the storms. None lie here on the coast, which is fuller of strong surfs (brandings,) and unprotected against the frequent west winds.” Ritter, ii. 399. ed. 1. *)  But the majesty of the Prophet’s conception is in the connection of the thought; the sea-weed was bound round his head as his grave-clothes; the solid bars of the deep-rooted earth, were around him, and –God brought him up. At the close of the thanksgiving, Salvation is the Lord’s, deliverance is completed, as though God had only waited for this act of complete faith.

                So could no one have written, who had not himself been delivered from such an extreme peril of drowning, as man could not, of himself, escape from. True, that no image so well expresses the overwhelmedness under affliction or temptation, as the pressure of storm by land, or being overflooded by the waves of the sea. Human poetry knows of “a sea of troubles,” or “the triple wave of evils.” It expresses how we are simply passive and powerless under a trouble, which leaves us neither breath nor power of motion; under which we can be but still, till, by God’s mercy it passes. “We are sunk, over-head, deep down in temptations, and the masterful current is sweeping in eddies over us.” Of this sort are those images which Jonah took from the Psalms. But a description so minute as the whole of Jonah’s would be allegory, not metaphor. What, in it, is most descriptive of Jonah’s situation^, as ” binding; of the sea-weed around the head, the sinking down to the roots of the mountains, the bars of the earth around him,” are peculiar to this thanksgiving of Jonah; they do not occur elsewhere; for, except through miracle, they would be images not of peril but of death.

                The same vividness, and the same steady directions to its end, characterizes the rest of the book. Critics have wondered, why Jonah does not say, on what shore he was cast forth, why he does not describe his long journey to Nineveh, or tell us the name of the Assyrian king, or what he himself did, when his mission was closed. Jonah speaks of himself, only as relates to his mission, and God’s teaching through him; he tells us not the king’s name, but his deeds. The description of the size of Nineveh remarkably corresponds alike with the ancient accounts and modem investigations. Jonah describes it as “a city of three days  journey.” This obviously means its circumference; for, unless the city were a circle, as no cities are, it would have no one diameter. A person might describe the average length and breadth of a city, but no one who gave any one measure, by days or miles or any other measure, would mean anything else than its circumference. Diodorus (probably on the authority of Ctesias) states that “it was well-walled, of unequal lengths. Each of the longer sides was 150 furlongs; each of the shorter, 90. The whole circuit then being 480 furlongs [60 miles] [? = 6 miles primary city, 15 miles with suburbs around the city] the hope of the founder was not disappointed. For no one afterward built a city of such compass, and with walls so magnificent.” To Babylon Clitarchus and the companions of Alexander in their writings, assigned a circuit of 305 furlongs, adding that the number of furlongs was conformed to the number of days in the year.  Ctesias, in round numbers, calls them 360; Strabo, 385. All these accounts agree with the statement of Strabo, “Nineveh was much larger than Babylon” The 60 miles of Diodorus exactly correspond with the three dayas journey of Jonah. A traveler of our own at the banning of the 17th century, J. Cartwright, states that with his own eyes he traced out the ruinous fonn-j dationa and gives their dimensions. “It seems by the ruinous foundation (which  I thoroughly viewed) that it was built with four sides, but not equal or square. For the two I longer sides had each of them (as we guess) 150 furlongs, the two shorter sides ninety (90) furlongs, which amounteth to four hundred and eighty furlongs (480) of ground, which makes the threescore (60) miles, accounting eight (8) furlongs to an Italian mile.” No one of the four great mounds, which lie around the site of ancient Nineveh, Nimrud, Konynnjik, Khorsabad, Karamless, is of sufficient moment or extent to be identified with the old Nineveh. But they are connected together by the sameness of their remains. Together they form a parallelogram, and this of exactly the dimensions assigned by Jonah. “From the Northern extremity of Kouvnn-jik to Nimrud, is about 18 miles, the distance from Nimrud to Karamless, about 12; the opposite sides, the same.” A recent trigonometrical survey of the country by Captain Jones proves, I am informed,” says Layard,  “that the great ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud, Karamless, and Khorsabad form very nearly a perfect parallelogram.

                This is perhaps also the explanation, how, seeing its circumference was three days’ journey, Jonah entered a day’s journey in the city and, at the close of the period, we find him at the East side of the city, the opposite to that at which he had entered.

                His preaching seems to have lasted only this one (1) day. He went, we are told, one (1) day’s  journey in the city. The 150 stadia are nearly 119 miles, a day’s journey, so that Jonah walked through it from end to end, repeating that one (1) cry, which God had commanded him to cry. We seem to see the solitary figure of the Prophet, clothed (as was the prophet’s dress) in that one (1) rough garment of hair cloth, uttering the cry which we almost hear, echoing in street after street, “od arbaim yom venineveh nehpacheth,” “yet forty (40) days and Nineveh overthrown.” The words which he says he cried and said, belong to that one (1) day only. For on that one day only, was there still a respite of forty (40) days. In one (1) day, the grace of God prevuled. The conversion of a whole people upon one (1) day’s preaching of a single stranger, stands in contrast with the many years during which, God says, since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day, I have sent unto you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them, yet they hearkened not unto Me. Many of us have wondered what the Prophet did on the other thirty-nine days; people haye imagined the Prophet preaching as moderns would, or telling them his own wondrous story of his desertion of God, his miraculous punishment, amd, on his repentance, his miraculous deliverance. Jonah says nothing of this. The one point he brought out was the conversion of the Ninevites. This he dwells on in circumstantial details. His own part he suppresses; he would be, like  S. John Baptist, but the voice of one crying in the wild waste of a city of violence.

                This simple message of Jonah bears an analogy to what we find elsewhere in Holy Scripture. The great preacher of repentance, S. John Baptist, repeated doubtless oftentimes that one cry, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Our Lord youchsafed to begin His own office with those self-same words. And probably, among the civilized but savage inhabitants of Nineyeh, that one cry was more impressive than any other would have been. Simplicity is always impressive. They were four words which God caused to be written on the wall amid Bel-shazzar’s impious revelry; Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. We all remember the touching history of Jesus the son of Anan, an unlettered rustic, who, “four years before the war, when Jerusalem was in complete peace and affluence,” burst in on the people at the feast of tabernacles with one oft-repeated cry, “A voice from the East, a voice from the West, a voice from the four winds, a voice on Jerusalem and the temple, a voice on the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice on the whole people;” how he went about through all the lanes of the city, repeating, day and night, this one cry; and when scourged until his bones were laid bare, echoed every lash with “woe, woe, to Jerusalem,” and continued as his daily dirge and his one response to daily good or ill-treatment, “woe, woe, to Jerusalem.” The magistrates and even the cold Josephus thought that there was something in it above nature.

                In Jerusalem, no effect was produced, because they had  filled up the measure of their sins and God had abandoned them. All conversion is the work of the grace of God. That of Nineveh remains, in the history of mankind, an insulated instance of God’s overpowering grace. All which can be pointed out as to the book of Jonah, is the latent suitableness of the instruments employed. We know from the Cuneiibrro Inscriptions that Assyria had been for successive generations at war with Syria. Not until the time of Ivalush or Pul, the Assyrian monarch, probably, at the time of Jonah’s mission, do we find them tributary to Assyria. They were hereditary enemies of Assyria, and probably their chief opponents on the North East. The breaking of their power then, under Jeroboam, which Jonah had foretold, had an interest for the Assyrians: and Jonah’s prophecy and the fact of its fulfillment may have reached them. The history of his own deliverance, we know from our Lord’s own words, did reach them. He was a sign unto the Ninevites. The word, under which he threatened their destruction, pointed to a miraculous overthrow. It was a turning upside down, like the overthrow of the five cities of the plain which are known throughout the Old Testament, and still throughout the Mohammedan East, by the same name, “almoutaphikat, the overthrown.”

                The Assyrians also, amidst their cruelties, had a great reverence for their gods, and (as appears from the inscriptions, ascribed to tnem their national greatness .  (* Thus in one inscription, “Ashur, the giver of sceptres and crowns, the appointer of sovereignty;” “the gods, the guardians of the kingdom of Tiglath-plleaer, gave government and laws to my dominions, and ordered an enlarged frontier to my territory;”  “they withheld the tribute due to Ashur my Lord;” “the exceeding fear of the power of Ashur, my Lord, overwhelmed them: my valiant Servants (or powerful arms) to which Ashur the Lord gave strength.” “In the service of my Lord Ashur:” “whom Ashur and Ninep have exalted to the utmost wishes of his heart;” “the great gods, guardians of my steps,” &c. Journ. Asiat. Soc. 1880. xviii pp. 104, 170, 4, 6, (and others 172. 8, 180, 4) 192, 8, 206, 10, 14. and Rawl. Herod, i. 457, 587, and note 7. *)  The variety of ways in which this is expressed, implies a far more personal belief, than the statements which we find among the Romans, and would put to shame almost every English manifesto, or the speeches put into the mouth of the Queen. They may have been, then, the more prepared to fear the prophecy oi their destruction from the true God. Layard relates that he has “known a Christian priest frighten a whole Mussulman town to repentance, by proclaiming that he had a Divine mission to announce a coming earthquake or plague.”

                These may have been predisposing causes. But the completeness of the repentance, not outward only, but inward, “turning from their evil way,” is, in its extent, unexampled.

                The fact rests on the authority of One greater than Jonah. Our Lord relates it as a fact. He contrasts people with people, the penitent heathen with the impenitent Jews, the inferior messenger who prevailed, with Himself, Whom His own received not. The men of Nineveh shall raise up with this generation and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas, and behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

                The chief subject of the repentance of the Ninevites agrees also remarkably with their character. It is mentioned in the proclamation of the king and his nobles, “let them turn every one from his evil way and from the violence that is in their hands.’‘ Out of the whole catalogue of their sins, conscience singled out violence. This incidental notice, contained in the one word, exactly corresponds in substance with the fuller description in the Prophet Nahum, ”Woe to the bloody city; it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not.” “The lion did not tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey and iiLj dens with rarin.” “Upon whom hath not thy wickedness [ill-doing] passed continually?” “The Assyrian records,” says Layard, “are nothing but a dry register of military campaigns, spoilations and cruelties.

                The direction, that the animals also should be included in the common mourning, was accordlng to the analogy of Eastern custom. When the Persian general Masistius fell at the battle of Plataea, the “whole army and Mardonius above all, made a mourning, shaving themselves, and the horses, and the beasts of burden, amid surpassing wailing –Thus the Barbarians after their manner honored Masistius on his death.” Alexander imitated apparently the Persian custom in his mourning for Hephaestion. The characteristic of the mourning in each case is, that they include the animals in that same mourning which they made themselves. The Ninevites had a right feeling, (as God Himself says) that the mercies of God were over man and beast; and so they joined the beasts with themselves, hoping that the Creator of all would the rather have mercy on their common distress. His tender mercies are over otf His works; Thou, Lord, shall save both man and beast.

                The name of the king cannot yet be ascertained. But since this mission of Jonah fell in the latter part of his prophetic office, and so probably in the latter part of the reign of Jeroboam or even later, the Assyrian king was probably Ivalush III (3rd) or the Pul of Holy Scripture. Jonah’s human fears would, in that case, have been soon fulfilled. For Pul was the first Assyrian Monarch tkrough whom Israel was weakened; and God hAii foreshewn by Amos that through the third it would Le destroyed. Characteristic, on account of the eamestnees which it implies, is the account that the men of Nineveh proclaimed the fast, before tidings reached the king himself. This is the plain meaning of the words; yet on account of the obviona difficulty they have been rendered, and word had come to the king. The account is in harmony with that vast extent of the city, as of Babylon, of which “the residents related that, after the outer portions of the city were taken, the inhabitants of the central part did not know that they were taken.” It could scarcely have occurred to one who did not know the fact.

                The history of Jonah, after God had spared Nineveh, has the same characteristic touches. He leaves his own character unexplained, its severity rebuked by God, unexcused and unpalliated. He had some special repugnance to be the messenger of mercy to the Ninevites. For this cause, he says to God, I fled before to Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a merciful God, and repentest Thee of the evil. The circumstances of his time explain that repugnance. He had already been employed to prophesy the partial restoration of the boundaries of Israel. He was the contemporary of Hosea who foretold of his people, the ten tribes, they shall not dwell in the Lord’s land, they shall eat unclean things in Assyria. God, in giving him his commission to go to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, and cry against it, assigned as the reason, for its wickedness is come up before Me; words which to Jonah would suggest the memory of the wickedness of Sodom and its destruction. Jonah was a Prophet, but he was also an Israelite. He was commanded by God to call to repentance the capital of the country by which his own people, nay the people of his God, were to be carried captive. And he rebelled. We know more of the love of God than Jonah, for we have known the love of the Incarnation and the Redemption. And yet, were it made known to us, that some  European or Asiatic people were to carry our own people captive out of our land, more than would be willing to confess it of themselves, (whatever sense they might have of the awfulness of God’s judgments, and whatever feelings belonging to our common humanity,) would still inwardly rejoice to hear that such a calamity as the earthquake at Lisbon befell its capital. It is the instinct of self-preservation and the implanted love of country. Jonah’s murmuring related solely to God’s mercy shewn to them as to this world. For the Ninevites had repented, and so were in the grace of God. The older of us remember what awful joy was felt when that three days’ mortal strife at Leipzig at length was won, in which 107,000 were killed or wounded; or when out of 647,000 men who swept across Europe (a mass larger than the whole population of Nineveh) only “85,000 escaped; 125,000 were slain in battle, 132,000 perished by cold, fatigue and famine.” A fewyears ago, how were Sebastopol and the Krimea in men’s mouths, although that war is reputed to have cost the five (5) nations involved in it 700,000 lives, more, probably, than all the inhabitants of Nineveh. Men forget or abstract themselves from all the individual sufferings, and think only of the result of the whole. A humane historian says of the battle of Leipzig, “a prodigious sacrifice, but one which, great as it was, humanity has no cause to regret, for it delivered Europe from French bondage, and the world from revolutionary aggression.” He says on the Russian campaign of Napoleoh I, “the faithful throughout Europe repeated the words of the Psalm, Efflavit Deus et dissipantur.

                Look at Dr. Arnold’s description of the issue of the Russian campaign. “Still the flood of the tide rose higher and higher, and every successive wave of its advance swept away a kingdom. Earthly state has never reached a prouder pinnacle, than when Napoleon in June, 1812, gathered his army at Dresden, that mighty host, unequalled in all time, of 450,000, not men merely but, effective soldiers, and there received the homage of subject kings. And now, what was the principal adversary of this tremendous power? by whom was it checked, resisted, and put down? By none and by nothing but the direct and manifest interposition of God. I know no language so well fitted to describe the victorious advance to Moscow, and the utter humiliation of the retreat, as the language of the prophet with respect to the advance and subsequent destruction of the host of Sennacherib. When they arose early in the morning, behold they were all dead corpses, applied almost literally to that memorable night of frost in which 20,000 horses perished, and the strength of the French army was utterly broken. Human instruments no doubt were employed in the remainder of the work, nor would I deny to Germany and to Russia the glories of that great year 1813, nor to England the honor of her victories in Spain or of the crowning victory of Waterloo. But at the distance of thirty (30) years those who lived in the time of danger and remember its magnitude, and now calmly review what there was in human strength to avert it, must acknowledge, I think, beyond all controversy, that the deliverance of Europe from the dominion of Napoleon was effected neither by Russia nor by Germany nor by England, but by the hand of God alone.” Jonah probably pictured to himself some sudden and almost  painless destruction, which the word, over-thrown, suggested, in which the whole city would be engulfed in an instant and the power which threatened his people, the people of God, broken at once. God reproved Jonah; but, before man condemns him, it were well to think, what is the prevailing feeling in Christian nations, at any signal calamity which befalls any people who threaten their own power or nation –we cannot, in Christian times, save their existence. “Jonah,” runs an old traditional saying among the Jews, ”sought the honor of the son [Israel], and sought not the honor of the Father.”

                An uninspired writer would doubtless at least have brought out the relieving points of Jonah’s character, and not have Teh him under the unmitigated censure of God. Jonah tells the plain truth of himself, as S. Matthew relates his own desertion of his Lord among the Apostles, or S. Mark, under the guidance of S. Peter, relates the great fall of the great Apostle.

                Amid this, Jonah remains the same throughout. It is one strong impetuous will, bent on having no share in that which was to bring destruction on his people, fearless of death and ready to give up his life. In the same mind he gives himself to death amid the storm, and, when his mission was accomplished, asks for death in the words of his great predecessor Elyah, when he fled from Jezebel. He probably justified his impatience to himself by the precedent of so great a prophet. But although he complains, he complains to God of Himself. Having complained, Jonah waits. It may be that he thought, although God did not execute His judgments on the 40th day, He might still fulfill them. He had been accustomed to the thought of the long-suffering of God, delaying even when He struck at last. “Considering with himself,” says Theodoras, ”the greatness of the threat, he imaged that something might perchance still happen even after this.” The patience of God amid the Prophet’s impatience, the still, gentle inquiry, such as He often puts to the conscience now,) Doest thou well to be angry? and his final conviction of the Prophet out of his own feelings towards one of God’s inanimate creatures, none would have ventured to picture, who had not known or experienced it.

                In regard to the miracles in Jonah’s history, over and above the fact, that they occur in Holy Scripture, we have our Lord’s own word for their truth. He has set His seal on the whole of the Old Testament; He has directly authenticated by His own Divine authority the physical miracle of Jonah’s preservation for three (3) days and nights in the belly of the fish, and the yet greater moral miracle of the conversion of the Ninevites. He speaks of them both, as facts, and of the stay of Jonah in the fish’s belly, as a type of His own stay in the heart of the earth. He speaks of it also as a miraculous si.

                The Scribes and Pharisees, unable to answer His refutation of their blasphemy, imputing His miracles to Beelzebub, asked of Him a miraculous sign from Heaven. Probably, they meant to ask that one sign, for which they were always craving. Confounding His first Coming with His second, and interpreting, according to their wishes, of His first Coming all which the prophets foretold of the Second, they were ever looking out for that His Coming in glory with the clouds of heaven to humble, as they thought, their own as well as His enemies. Our Lord answers, that this their craving for a sign was part of their faithlessness. An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign: and there shall no sign be given them but the sign of the Prophet Jonas. He uses three (3) times their own word sign. He speaks of a miraculous sign, the sign of Jonas, a miracle which was the sign of something beyond itself. For as Jonas was three (3) clays and three (3) nights in the whales belly, so shall the Son of Man be three (3) days and three (3) nights in the heart of the earth. He gave them the sign from earth, not from Heaven; a miracle of humility, not of glory; of deliverance from death, and, as it were, a resurrection. A sign such as Holy Scripture speaks of, need not at all times be a miraculous, but it is always a real sign. Isaiah and his sons, by real names, given to them by God, or the prophet by his walking barefoot, or Ezekiel by symbolic acts, were signs; not by miraculous but still by real acts. In this case, the Jews asked for a miraculous sign; our Lord promises them a miraculous sign, although not one such as they wished for, or which would satisfy than; a miraculous sign, of which the miracalous preservation of Jonah was a type. Our Lord says, “Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly,” and no one who really brieves in Him, dare think that he was not.

                It is perhaps a part of the simplicity of Jonah’s narrative, that he relates these great miracles, as naturally as he dftea the most ordinary events. To God nothing is great or small; and the Prophet, deeply as he feels God’s mercy, relates the means which God employed, as if it had been one of those every day miracles of His power and love, of which men think so little because God worketh them every day.

                God prepared a great fish, he says, God prepared a palmchrist; God prepared a worm; God prepared a vehement East wind. Whether Jonah relates God’s ordinary or His extra-ordinary workings. His workings in the way in which He upholdeth in being the creatures of His Will, or in a way which involves a miracle, i.e. God’s acting in some unusual way, Jonah relates it in the same way, with the same simplicity of truth. His mind is fixed on God’s Providence, and he relates God’s acts, as they bore upon God’s Providential dealings with him. He tells of God’s preparing the East Wind which smote the palmchrist, in the same way in which he speaks of the supernatural growth of the palmchrist, or of God’s Providence, in appointing that the fish should swallow him. He mentions this, which was in the order of God’s Providence; he nowhere stops to tell us the ”how.” How God converted the Ninevites, how He sustained his life in the fish’s belly, he tells not. He mentions only the great facts themselves, and leaves them in their mysterious greatness.

                It is not strange, the heathen scoffers fixed upon the physical miracles in the history of Jonah for their scorn. They could have no appreciation of the great moral miracle of the conversion of a whole Heathen city at the voice of a single unknown Prophet. Such a conversion is unexampled in the whole revelation of God to man, greater in its immediate effects than the miracle of the Day of Pentecost. Before the stupendous power of God’s grace over the unruly will of savage, yet educated, men, the physical miracles, great as they are, shrink into nothing. The wielding and swaying of half a million of human wills, and turning them from Satan to God, by a power of grace, as much above and beyond all changes of the unresisting physical creation, as the spirits and intelligences which God has created are higher than insentient matter. Physical miracles are a new exercise of the creative power of God: the moral miracles were a sort of firstfruit of the re-creation of the Gentile world. Physical miracles were the simple exercise of the Will of God; the moral miracles were, in these hundreds (100s) of thousands (1000s), His overpowering grace, pouring itself into the heart of rebellious man and re-creating it. As many souls as there were, so many miracles were there, greater even than the creation of man.

                The miracles too are in harmony with the nature around. The Hebrews, who were, at this time, not a maritime people, scarcelv knew probably of those vast monsters, which our manifold researches into God’s animal kingdom have laid open to us. Jonah speaks only of a great fish. The Greek word, by which the LXX translated it, and which our Lord used, is, (like our “cetacea” which is taken from it,) the name of a genus, not of any individual fish. It is the equivalent of the great fish of Jonah. The Greeks use the adjective, as we do, but they also use the substantive which occurs in S. Matthew. This designates a class which includes the whale, but is never used to designate the whale. In Homer, it includes dolphins and the dog.  In the natural historians, (as Aristotle) it designates the whole class of sea-creatures which are viviparous, “as the dolphin, the seal, the whale;” Galen adds the Zygsena (a shark) and large tunnies; Photius says that “the Carcharias,” or white shark, “is a species of it.” Oppian recounts, as belonging to the Cete, several species of sharks and whales, some with names of land animals, and also the black tunnies. Aelian enumerates most of these under the same head. Our Lord’s words then would be rendered more literally, in the fish’s belly, than in the whale’s belly. Infidels seized eagerly on the fact of the narrowness of the whale’s throat; their cavil applied only to an incorrect rendering of modern versions. Fish, of such size that they can swallow a man whole, and which are so formed as naturally to swallow their prey whole, have been found in the Mediterranean. The white shark, having teeth merely incisive, has no choice, except between swallowing its prey whole, or cutting off a portion of it. It cannot hold its prey, or swallow it piecemeal. Its voracity leads it to swallow at once all which it can. Hence Otto Fabricius  relates , “its  wont is to swallow down dead and, sometimes also, living men, which it finds in the sea.”

                A natural historian of repute relates, “In 1758 in stormy weather a sailor fell overboard from a frigate in the Mediterranean. A shark was close by, which, as he was swimming and crying for help, took him in his wide throat, so that he forthwith disappeared. Other sailors had leapt into the sloop, to help their comrade, while yet swimming; the captain had a gun which stood on the deck discharged at the fish, which struck it so, that it cast out the sailor which it had in its throat, who was taken up, alive and little injured, by the sloop which had now come up. The fish was harpooned, taken up on the frigate, and dried. The captain made a present of the fish to the sailor who, by God’s Providence, had been so wonderluUy preserved. The sailor went round Europe exhibiting it. He came to Franconia, and it was publicly exhibited here in Erlangen, as also at number and other places. The dried fish was delineated. It was 20 feet long, and, with expanded fins, nine feet wide, and weighed 3924 pounds. From all this, it is probable that this was the fish of Jonah.”

                This is by no means an insulated account of the size of this fish. Blumenbach  states, “the white shark, or Canis carcharias, is found of the size of 10,000 lbs, and horses have been found whole in its stomach.” A writer of the 16th century on “the fish of Marseilles‘” says, ” they of Nice attested to me, that they had taken a fish of this sort, approaching to 4000 lbs weight, in whose body they had found a man whole. Those of Marseilles told something similar, that they had once taken a Lamia (so they still popularly call the Carcharias) and found in it a man in a coat of mail [loricatus.]” Rondelet says, “sometimes it grows to such size that, placed on a carriage, it can hardly be drawn by two horses. I have seen one of moderate size, which weighed 1000 Ibs,  and, when disembowelled and cut to pieces, it had to be put on two carriages.” “I have seen on the shore of Saintonge a Lamia, whose mouth and throat were of such vast size, that it would easily swallow a large man.”

                Richardson, speaking of the white shark in N. America, says they attain the length of 30 feet, i.e. a 3rd larger than that which swallowed the sailor whole. Lacepede speaks of fish of this kind as “more than 30 feet long.” “The contour,” he adds, “of the upper jaw of a requin of 30 feet, is about 6 feet long; its swallow is of a diameter proportionate.”

                “In all modern works on Zoology, we find 30 feet given as a common length for a shark’s body. Now a shark’s body is usually only about eleven (11)  times the length of the half of its lower jaw. Consequently a shark of 30 feet would have a lower jaw of nearly six (6) feet in its semicircular extent. Even if such a jaw as this was of hard bony consistence instead of a yielding cartilaginous nature, it would qualify its possessor for engulfing one of our own species most easily. The power which it has, by virtue of its cartilaginous skeleton, of stretching, bending and yielding, enables us to understand how the shark can swallow entire animals as large or larger than ourselves. Such an incident is related to have occurred A. D. 1802, on the authority of a Captain Brown, who found the body of a woman entire with the exception of the head within the stomach of a shark killed by him at Surinam.” (* “We have ascertained, from several comparisons, that the contour of one side of the upper jaw, measured from the angle of the two jaws to the summit of the upper Jaw nearly equals one-eleventh (1/11th) of the animal. One ought not then to be surprised, to read in Rondelet and other authors, that large requins can swallow a man whole.” *) 

                In the Mediterranean there are traces of a yet larger race, now extinct. (* This appears from the following statement with which Prof. Phillips has kindly furnished me. “The earliest notice of them which has met my eye is in Scilla’s very curious work, La vana Specu-lazione disingannata. Napoli. 1670.”   Tav. iii. fig. 1. gives a fair view of some of their teeth, which are stated to have been found in ‘un Sasso di Malta’; he rightly enough calls them teeth of Lamia (i. e. Shark) petrified. Mr. Bowerhank, in Reports of the Brit. Association, 1861, gives measures of these teeth, and estimates of the Blaze of the animal to which they belonged. His specimens are from Suffolk, from the Red Crag, where sharks’ teeth, of several sorts, and a vast variety of shells, corals, &c. are mixed with some remains of mostly extinct mammalia. The marine races are also for the most part of extinct kinds. These deposits in Suffolk and Malta are of the later Tertiary period; specimens derived from them may be found on the shores no doubt, bat there is also no doubt of their original situation being in the stratified earth-crust. The living sharks to which the fossiI animal may have most nearly approached are included in the genus Carcharias, the teeth being beautiftilly serrated on the edges.” *)   “However large or dangerous the existing race may be, yet from the magnitude of the fossil teeth found in Malta and elsewhere, some of which measure 4 1/2 inches from the point to the base, and 6 inches from the point to the angle, the animal, to which they belonged, must have much exceeded the present species in size.” “The mouth of a fish of this sort,” says Bloch, “is armed with 400 teeth of this kind. In the Isle of Malta and in Sicily, their teeth are found in great numbers on the shore. Naturalists of old took them for tongues of serpents. They are so compact that, after having remained for many centuries in the earth, they are not yet decayed. The quantity and size of those which are found proves that these creatures existed formerly in great numbers, and that some were of extraordinary size. If we were to calculate from them what should, in proportion, be the size of the throat which should hold such a number of such teeth, it ought to be at least 8 or 10 feet wide. In truth, these fish are found to this day of a terrific size –This fish, celebrated for its voracity and courage, is found in the Mediterranean and in almost every Ocean. It generally keeps at the bottom, and rises only to satisiy its hunger. It is not seen near shores, except when it pursues its prey, or is pursued by the mular, which it does not venture to approach, even when dead. It swallows all sorts of aquatic animals, alive or dead, and pursues especially the sea-calf and the tunny. In its pursuit of the tunny, it sometimes falls into nets, and some have   been thus taken in Sardinia, which weighed 400 lbs and in which 8 or 10 tunnies were found still undigested. It attacks men wherever it can find them, whence the Germans call it ‘menschen-fresser’ (men-eater.) Gunner speaks of a sea-calf of the size of an ox, which has also been found in one of these animals; and in another a reindeer without horns, which had fallen from a rock. This fish attains a length of 25-30 feet. Milller says that one was taken near the Island of St. Marguerite which weighed 1500 lbs. On opening it they found in it a horse, quite whole: which had apparently been thrown overboard. M. Brunniche says that during his residence at Marseilles, one (1) was taken near that city, 15 feet long, and that two (2) years before, two (2), much larger, had been taken, in one (1) of which had been found two (2) tunnies and a man quite dressed. The fish were injured, the man not at all. In 1760 there was exhibited at Berlin a requin stuffed, 20 feet long, and 9 in circumference, vrhere it was thickest. It had been taken in the Mediterranean. Its voracity is so great, that it does not spare its own species. Leem  relates, that a Laplander, who had taken a requin, fastened it to his canoe; soon after, he missed it. Some time after, having taken a larger, he found in its stomach the requin which he had lost” “The large Australian shark (Carcharias glaucus), which has been measured alter death 37 feet long, has teeth about 2 5/8 inches long.”

                Such facts ouglit to shame those who speak of the miracle of Jonah’s preservation through the fish, as a thing less credible than any other of God’s miraculous doings. There is no greater or less to Omnipotence. The creation of the Universe, the whole stellar system, or of a fly, are alike to Him, simple acts of His Divine Will. He spake and it was. What to men seem the greatest miracles or the least, are alike to Him, the mere Let it be of His All-Holy Will, actine in a different way for one and the same end, the instruction of the intelligent creatures which He has made. Each and all subserve, in their several places and occasions, the same end of the manifold Wisdom of God. Each and all of these, which to us seem interruptions of His ordinary workings in nature, were from the beginning, before He had created anything, as much a part of His Divine purpose, as the creation of the Universe. They are not disturbances of His laws. Night does not disturb day which it closes, nor day night. No more does any work which God, before the creation of the world, willed to do, (for, known unto God are all His ways from the beginning of the world,) interfere with any other of His workings. His workings in nature, and His workings above nature, form one harmonious whole. Each are a part of His ways; each is essential to the manifestation of God to us. That wonderful order and symmetry of God’s creation exhibits to us some effluences of the Divine Wisdom and Beauty and Power and Goodness; that regularity itself sets forth these other foreknown operations of God, whereby he worketh in a way different from His ordinary mode of working in nature. “They who know not God, will ask,” says S. Cyril, “how was Jonah preserved in the fish? how was he not consumed? how did he endure that natural heat, and live, surrounded by such moisture, and was not rather digested? For this poor body is very weak and perishable. Truly wonderful was it, surpassing reason and wontedness. But if God be declared its Author, who would any more disbelieve? For God is All-powerful, and transmouldeth easily the nature of things which are, to what He willeth, and nothing resisteth His ineffable Will. For that which is perishable can at His Will easily become superior to corruption; and what is firm and unshaken and undecaying is easily subjected thereto. For nature, I deem, to the things which be, is, what seemeth good to the Creator.” S. Au-gustine well points out the inconsistency, so common now, of excepting to the one or the other miracle, upon grounds which would in truth apply to many or to all. “The answerto the mockery of the Pagans, “is that either all Divine miracles are to be disbelieved, or there is no reason why  this should not be believed. For we should not believe in Christ Himself that He rose on the third (3rd) day, if the faith of the Christians shrank from the mockery of Pagans. Since our friend does not put the question. Is it to be believed that Lazarus rose on the 4th day, or Christ Himself on the third (3rd) day, I much marvel that He put this as to Jonah as a thine incredible, unless he think it easier for one dead to be raised from the tomb, than to be preserved alive in that vast belly of the fish. Not to mention how vast the size of marine creatures is said to be by those who have witnessed it, who could not conceive what numbers of men that stomach could contain which was fenced by those ribs, well known to the people at Carthage, where they were set up in public? –how vast must have been the opening of that mouth, the door, as it were, to that cave.” “But, truth, they have found in a Divine miracle something which they need not believe; viz. that the gastric juice whereby food is digested could be so tempered as not to injure the life of man. How still less credible would they deem it, that those three (3) men, cast into the furnace by the impious king, walked up and down in the midst of the fire! If then they refuse to believe any miracles of God, they must be answered in another way. But they ought not to question any one as though it were incredible, but at once all which are as, or even more, marvelous. He who proposed these questions, let him be a Christian now, lest, while he waits first to finish the questions on the sacred books, he come to the end of his life, before he have passed from death to life. –Let him, if he will, first ask questions such as he asked concerning Christ, and those few great questions to which the rest are subordinate. But if he think to finish all such questions as this of Jonah, before he becomes a Christian, he little appreciates human mortality or his own. For they are countless; not to be finished before accepting the faith, lest life be finished without faith. But, retaining the faith, they are subjects for the diligent study of the faithful; and what in them becomes clear is to be communicated without arrogance, what still lies hid, to be borne without risk to salvation.”

                The other physical miracle of the rapid production of the Palma Christi, which God created to overshadow Jonah, was plainly supernatural in that extreme rapidity of growth, else in conformity with the ordinary character of that plant. “The kikaion, as we read in the Hebrew, called kikeia [or, Elkeroa,] in Syriac and Punic.” says S. Jerome, “is a shrub with broad leaves like vine-leaves. It gives a very dense shade, supports itself on its own stem. It grows most abundantly in Palestine, especially in sandy spots. If you cast the seed into the ground, it is soon quickened, rises marvelously into a tree, and a few days what you had beheld an herb, you look up to, a shrub. –The kikaion, a miracle in its instantaneous existence, and an instance of the power of God in the protection given by this living shade, followed the course of its own nature.” It is a native of all North Africa, Arabia, Syria, India. In the valley of the Jordan it still grows to a “large size, and has the character,” an eyewitness writes, “of a perennial tree, although usually described as a biennial plant.” “It is of the size of a small fig tree. It has leaves like a plane, only larger, smoother, and darker.” The name of the plant is of Egyptian origin, kiki; which Dioscorides and Galen identify with the croton; Herodotus with the Silicyprion, which, in the form sesclicyprion, Dioscorides mentions as a name given to the kiki or kroton; Pliny with the Ricinus also (the Latin name for the croton), our Palma Christi; Hebrews with the Arabic Elkeroa, which again is known to be the Ricinus. The growth and occasional perishing of the Palma Christi have both something analogous to the growth and decay related in Jonah. Its rapidity of growth is remarked by S. Jerome and Pliny, who says. “in Spain it shoots up rapidly, of the heignt of an olive, with hollow stem,” and branches.

                “All the species of the Ricinus shoot up quickly, and yield fruit within three months and are so multipled from the seed shed, that, if left to themselves) they would occupy in short space the whole country.” In Jamaica, “it grows with surprising rapidity to the height of 15 or 16 feet.” Niebuhr says, “it has the appearance of a tree. Each branch of the kheroa has only one leaf  with 6,7, or 8 indentures. This plant was near a stream which watered it adequately. At the end of Oct. 1765, it had, in 5 months, grown about 8 feet, and bore, at once, flowers and fruit, green and ripe.” This rapidity of grrowth has only a sort of likeness to the miracle, which quickened in a way far above nature the powers implanted in nature. The destruction may have been altogether in the way of nature, except that it happened at that precise moment, when it was to be a lesson to Jonah. ”On warm days, when a small rain falls, black caterpillars are generated in great numbers on this plant, which, in one night, so often and so suddenly cut off its leaves, that only their bare ribs remain, which I have often observed with much wonder, as though it were a copy of that destruction of old at Nineveh.” The Ricinus of India and Assyria furnishes food to a different caterpillar from that of Amboyna, but the account illustrates the rapidity of the destruction. The word “worm” is elsewhere also used collectively, not of a single worm only, and of creatures which, in God’s appointment, devour the vine. There is nothing in the text, implying that the creature was one which gnawed the stem rather than the leaves. The peculiar word, smote, is probably used, to correspond with the mention of the sun smiting on the head of Jonah.

                These were miracles, like all the other miracles of Scripture, ways, in which God made Himself and His power known to us, shewing Himself the Lord of that nature which men worshiped and worship, for the present conversion of a great people, for the conviction of Israel, a hidden prophecy of the future conversion of the heathen, and an example of repentance and its fruits to the end of time. They have no difficulty except to the rebelliousness of unbelief.

                Other difficulties people have made for themselves. In a planked-roof booth such as ours, Jonah would not have needed the shadow of a plant. Obviously then, Jonah’s booth, even if we knew not what it was, was not like our’s. A Grerman critic has chosen to treat this as an absurdity. “Although Jonah makes himself a shady booth, he still further needs the overshadowing kikaion.” Jonah however, being an Israelite, made booths, such us Israel made them. Now we happen to know that the Jewish succah, or booth, being formed of the interlaced branches of trees, did not exclude the sun. We know this from the rules in the Talmud as to the construction of the Succah or “tabernacle” for the feast of Tabernacles. It lays down, ”A Succah whose height is not ten palms, and which has not three sides, and which has more sun than shade [i.e. more of whose floor is penetrated by light through  the top of the Succah, than is left in shade], is profane.” And again, “Whoso spreadeth a linen cloth over the Succah, to protect him from the sun, it is profane.” “Whoso raiseth above it the vine or gourd or ivy, and so covers it, it is profane; but if the roof be larger than they, or if one cut them, they are lawful.” “With bundles of straw, and bundles of wood, and bundles of faggots, they do not cover it; and all these, if undone, are lawful.” “They cover it with planks according to R. Jonah; and R. Meir forbids; whoso putteth upon it one plank of four palms’ breadth it is lawful, only he must not sleep under it.” Yet all held that a plank thus broad was to overlap the booth, in which case it would not cover it. The principle of all these rules is, that the rude hut, in which they dwelt during the feast of Tabernacles, was to be a shade, symbolizing God’s overshadowing them in the wilderness; the Succah itself, not anything adscititious, was to be their shade; yet it was but an imperfect protection, and was indeed intended so to be, in order to symbolize their pilgrim-state. Hence the contrivances among those who wished to be at ease, to protect themselves; and hence the inconvenience which God turned into an instruction to Jonah. Even “the Arabs,” Layard tells us, “in a Nineveh summer, struck their black tents and lived in sheds, constructed of reeds and grass along the banks of the river.”  “The heats of summer made it impossible to live in a white tent.” Layard’s resource of a “recess, cut into the bank of the river where it rose perpendicularly from the water’s edge, screening the front with reeds and boughs of trees, and covering the whole with similar materials,” corresponds with the hut of Jonah, covered by the Kikaion.

                No heathen scoffer, as far as we know, when he became acquainted with the history of Jonah, likened it to any heathen fable. This was reserved for so-called Christians. Some heathen mocked at it, as the philosophers of Mars’-hill mocked at the resurrection of Christ. “This sort of question” [about Jonah], said a heathen, who professed to be an enquirer, “I have observed to be met with broad mockery by the pagans.” They mocked, but they did not insult the history by likening it to any fable of their own. S. Jerome, who mentions incidentallv that “Joppa is the place in which, to this day, rocks are pointed out in the shore, where Andromeda, being bound, was once on a time freed by the help of Perseus,” does not seem aware that the fable could be brought into any connection with the history of Jonah. He urges on the heathen the inconsistency of believing their own fables, which besides their marvelousness were often immoral, and refusing to believe the miracles of Scripture histories; but the fable of Andromeda or of Hesione do not even occur to him in this respect. “I am not ignorant that to some it will seem incredible that a man could be preserved alive 3 days and nights in the fish’s belly. These must be either believers or unbelievers. If believers, they must needs believe much greater things, how the three (3) youths, cast into the burning  fiery furnace, were in such sort unharmed, that not even the smell of fire touched their dress; how the sea retired, and stood on either side rigid like walls, to make a way for the people passing over; how the rage of lions, aggravated by hunger, looked, awe-stricken, on its prey, and touched it not, and many like things. Or if they be unbelievers, let them read the 15 books of Ovid’s metamorphoses, and all Greek and Latin story, and there they will see – where the foulness of the fables precludes the holiness of a divine origin. These things they believe, and that to God all things are possible. Believing foul things and defending them by alleging the unlimited power of God, they do not admit the same power as to things moral.” In Alexandria and in the time of S. Cyril, the old heathen fables were tricked up again. He alludes then to Lycophron’s version of the story of Hercules, in order, like S. Jerome, to point out the inconsistency of believing heathen fables and rejecting Divine truth. “We,” he says, “do not use their fables to confirm things Divine, but we mention them to a good end, in answer to unbelievers, that their received histories too do not reject such relations.” The philosophers wished at once to defend their own fables and to attack the Gospel. Yet it was an unhappy argumentum ad hominem. Modern infidelity would find a likeness, where there is no shadow of it. The two heathen fables had this in common; that, in order to avert the anger of the gods, a virgin was exposed to be devoured by a sea-monster, and delivered from death by a hero, who slew the monster and married the princess whom he delivered. This, as given by S. Cyril, was a form of the fable, long subsequent to Jonah. The original simple form of the story was this, “Apollo and Poseidon, wishing to make trial of the insolence of Laomedon, appearing in the likeness of men, promised for a consideration to fortify Pergamus. When they had fortified it, he did not pay them their hire. Wherefore Apollo sent a pestilence, and Poseidon a sea-monster, cast on shore by the flood-tide, who made havoc of the men that were in the plain. The oracle said that they should be freed from these misfortunes, if Laomedon would set his daughter Hesione as food for the monster; he did so set her, binding her to the rocks near to the plain; Hercules, seeing her thus exposed, promised to save her, if he might have from Laomedon the horses, which Zeus had given in compensation for the rape of Ganymede. Laomedon saying that he would give them, he slew the monster and set Hesione free.”

                This simple story is repeated, with unimportant variations by Diodorus Siculus, Hyginus, Ovid, Valerius Flaccus. Even later, the younger Philostratus, depicting the story, has no other facts. An old icon represents the conflict in a way inconsistent with the later form of the story.

                The story of Andromeda is told by Apollodorus, in part in the very same words. The Nereids were angered by Cassiope the mother of Andromeda, for boasting herself more beautiful than they. Then follows the same history, Poseidon sending a flood-tide and a sea-monster; the same advice of the oracle; the setting Andromeda in chains, as food for the sea-monster; Perseus’ arrival, bargain with the father, the killing of the sea-monster, the deliverance of Andromeda. Fable as all this is, it does not seem to have been meant to be fable. Pliny relates, “M. Scaurus, when AEdile, exhibited at Rome, among other marvels, the bones of the monster to which Andromeda was said to have been exposed, which bones were brought from Joppa, a city of Judaea, being 40 feet long, in height greater than the ribs of the Indian elephant, and the vertebrae a foot and a half thick.” He describes Joppa as  “seated on a hill, with a projecting rock, in which they shew the traces of the chains of Andromeda.” Josephus says the same. Pausanias relates, “the country of the Hebrews near Joppa supplies water blood-red, very near the sea. The natives tell, that Perseus, when he had slain the monster to which the daughter of Cepheus was exposed, washed off the blood there.”   Mela, following perhaps his Greek authority, speaks in the present, “an illustrious trace of the preservation of Andromeda by Perseus, they shew vast bones of a sea-monster.”

                But, whether the authors of these fables meant them for matters of fact, or whether the fables had any symbolical meaning, they have not, in any form which they received until long after the time of Jonah, any connection with the book of Jonah.

                The history of Andromeda has in common with the book of Jonah, this only, that, whereas Apollodorus and the ancients placed the scene of her history in Ethiopia, writers who lived some centuries after the time of Jonah removed it to Joppa, the seaport whence Jonah took ship.  (* Euripides (in Plutarch de and. poet) speaks of the animal as “rushing from the Atlantic sea.” (Fragm. Androm. T. ix. p. 45. ed. Matth.). Tacitus, in giving the heathen notions of the origin of the Jews, says “most think that they are offspring of Ethiopians, whom, when Cepheus was (king of AEthiopia) fear and hatred compelled to change their abode.” (Hist. v. 2.) Ovid still placed the scene in AEthiopia. (Met. iv. 668.) and ascribed the Oracle to Ammon. (670.) *)  “There are some,” says Strabo, speaking of his own day, “who transfer Ethiopia to our Phoenicia, and say that the matters of Andromeda took place at Joppa; and this, not out of ignorance of places, but rather in the form of a myth.” The transfer, doubtless, took place in the 800 years which elapsed between Jonah and Strabo, and was occasioned perhaps by the peculiar idolatry of the coast, the worship of Atargatis or Derceto. Pliny, at least, immediately after that statement about the chains of Andromeda at Joppa, subjoins, “The fabulous Ceto is worshiped there.” Ceto is doubtless the same as “Derceto,” of which Pliny uses the same epithet a little afterward. “There,” at Hierapolis, “is worshiped the prodigious Atargatis, which the Greeks call Derceto.” The Greeks appear (as their way was), on occasion of this worship of Ceto, to have transferred here their own story of Andromeda and the Cetos.

                Ceto, i.e. Derceto, and Dagon were the corresponding male and female deities, ander whose names the Philistines worshiped the power which God has implanted in nature to reproduce itself. Both were fish-forms, with human hands and face. Derceto or Atarfatis was the Syriac Ter’to, whose worship at Hierapolis or Mabug had a far-known infamy, the same altogether as that of Rhea or Cyhele. The maritime situation of Philistia probably led them to adopt the fish as the symbol of prolific reproduction. In Holy Scripture we find chiefly the worship of the male god Dagon, lit. “great fish.” He had temples at Gaza, and Ashdod, whither all the lords of the Philistines assembled. Five other places are named from his worship, four near the sea coast, and one close to Joppa itself. But in later times the name of the goddess became more prominent, and, among the Greeks, exclusive. Atargatis or Derceto had, in the time of the Maccabees, a celebrated temple at Camion, i.e. Ashteroth Carnaim in Gilead, and, according to Pliny, at Joppa itself. This furnished an easy occasion to the Greeks to transfer thither their story of the Cetos. The Greeks had peopled Joppa, before Simon retook it from Antiochus. In Jonah’s time it was Phoenician. It was not colonized by Greeks until 5 centuries later. Since then Andromeda is a Greek story which they transferred to Joppa with themselves, the existence of the Greek story, at a later date, can be no evidence for “Phoenician legend,” of which the rationalists have dreamed, nor can it have any connection with Jonah who lived half a millennium before the Greeks came, eight hundred (800) years before the story is mentioned in connection with Joppa.

                With regard to the fables of Hercules, Diodorus Siculus thought that there was a basis of truth in them. The story of Hercules and Hesione, as alluded to by Homer and told by Apollodorus, looks like an account of the sea breaking in upon the land and wasting it; a human sacrifice on the point of being offered, and prevented by the removal of the evil through the building of a sea-wall. Gigantic works were commonly attributed to superior agency, good or evil. In Homer, the mention of the sea-wall is prominent. “He led the way to the lofty wall of mounded earth of the divine Hercules, which the Trojans and Minerva made for him, that, eluding the sea-monster, he might escape, when he rushed at him from the beach toward the plain.” In any case a monster, which came up from the sea and wasted the land, is no fish; nor has the story of one who destroyed such a monster, any bearing on that of one whose life God preserved by a fish. Nor is the likeness really mended by the later version of the story, originating in an Alexandrian, after the book of Jonah had been translated into Greek at Alexandria. The writer of the Cassandra, who lived at least five centuries after Jonah, represents Hercules as ”a lion, the offspring of three nights, which aforetime the jagged-toothed dog of Triton lapped up in his jaws; and he, a living carver of his entrails, scorched by the steam of a cauldron on the fireless hearths, shed the bristles of his head upon the ground, the infanticide waster of my country.” In that form the story re-appears in a heathen philosopher, and an Alexandrian father, but, in both, as borrowed from the Alexandrian poet. Others, who were unacquainted with Lycophron, heathen and Christian alike, knew nothing of it. One Christian writer, at the end of the 5th century, a Platonic philosopher, gives an account, distinct from any other, heathen or Christian, probably confused from both. In speaking of marvelous deliverances, he says; “As Hercules too is sung” [i.e. in Greek poetry], ”when his ship was broken, to have neen swallowed up by a ketos, and, having come within, was preserved.” In the midst of the 11th century after our Lord, some writers on Greek fable, in order to get rid of the very offensive story of the conception of Hercules, interpreted the word of Lycophron which alludes to it, of his employing, in the destruction of the monster, three periods of 24 hours, called “nights” from the darkness in which he was enveloped. Truly, full often have those words of God been fulfilled, that men shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables. Men, who refused to believe the history of Jonah, although attested by our Lord, considered AEnesis Gazsaeus, who lived about 13 centuries after Jonah, to be an authentic witness of an imaginary Phoenician tradition, 13 centuries before his own time; and that, simply on the ground that he has his name from Gaza; whereas he expressly refers, not to Phcenician tradition but to Greek poetry.

                Such are the stories, which became a traditional argument among unbelieving critics to justify their disbelief in miracles accredited by our Lord. Flimsy spider-webs, which  a critic of the same school brushes away, as soon as he has found some other expedient,  as flimsy, to serve his purpose!  (* What has the myth of Perseus, rightly understood, and with no foreign ingredients, in common with the history of Jonah, but the one circumstance, that a sea-creature is mentioned in each? And how different the meaning! Neither the myth of Perseus and Andromeda, nor the fully corresponding myth of Hercules and Hesione, can serve either to confirm the truth of the miracles in the book of Jonah [as though the truth needed support firom a fable], nor fo explain it as a popular heathen tradition, inasmuch as the analogy is too distant and indefinite to explain the whole. Unsatisfactory as such parallels are, as soon as we look, not merely at incidental and secondary points, but at the central point to be compared,” &c. Baur (in Illgen Zeitschr. 1837 p. 101), followed by Hitzig. Winer also rejects it.  The majestic simplicity of Holy Scripture and its moral greatness stand out the more, in contrast with which men have dared, amid much self-applause, to compare it. A more earnest, but misled, mind, even while unhappily disbelived the miracle of Jonah, held the comparison, on ground of reason, ludicrous; but not the leas frivolous and irreverent, as applied to Holy Scripture.”

                It was assumed by those who first wrote against the book of Jonah, that the thanksgiving in it was later than Jonah, “a cento from the Psalms.” They objected that it did not allude to the history of Jonah. One critic repeated after the other that the Psalm was a “mere cento” of Psalms. However untrue, nothing was leas doubted. A later critic felt that the Psalm must have been the thanksgiving of one delivered firom great peril of life in the sea. “The images” he says, “are too definite, they relate loo exclusively to such a situation, to admit of being understood vaguely of any great peril to life, as may Psalms 18 and 42, (which the writer may have had in his mind) or Psalm 124.” Another, to whom attention has been recently drawn, maintained the early date of the thanksgiving, and held that it contained so much of the first part of Jonah’s history, that that history might be founded on the thanksgiving. This was one step backward toward the truth. It is admitted that the thanksgiving is genuine, is Jonah’s, and relates to a reiu deliverance of the r^ Ptophet. But the thanksgiving would not suggest the history.  (* The heathen ode in praise of the god of the waters which appears in AElian (Hist Anim. xii. 45) about 220, A.D. (Fabr. Bibl. Gr. iv. 21. 1) contains the whole fable about Arion (B.C. 625 or 615) being thrown overboard treacherously and borne to shore on the backs of dolphins. The ode then did not suggest the fable (as Bunsen makes it); for it contains it. The Dolphin, playing as it does about vessels, was a Greek symbol of the sea; and the human figure upon it a votive offering for a safe arrival. Welcker gives 6 fables of persons, dead or alive, brought ashore by Dolphins. (Welcker, KI. Schrift, i. 90 1) The symbol was turned by the fertile Greek into the myth. *)  Jonah thanks God for his deliverance from the depths of the sea, from which no man could be delivered, except by miracle. He describes himself, not as struggling with the waves, but as sunk beneath them to the bottom of the sea, whence no other ever rose. Jonah does not tell God, how He  delivered him. On this the soul dwells; for this is the ground of its thankfulness. The delivered soul loves to describe to God the death out of which it had been delivered. Jonah thanks God for one miracle; he gives no hint of the other, which, when he uttered the thanksgiving, was not yet completed. The thanksgiving bears witness to a miracle; but does not suggest its nature. The history supplies it.

                It is instructive that the writer who, disbelieving the miracles in the book of Jonah, “restores his histoiy” by effacing them, has also to “restore the history” of the Saviour of the world, by omitting His testimony to them. But this is to subject the revelation of God to the variations of the mind of His creatures, believing what they like, disbelieving what they dislike.

                Our Lord Himself attested that this miracle on Jonah was an image of His own entombment and Resurrection. He has compared the preaching of Jonah with His own. He compares it as a real history, as He does the coming of the Queen of Sheba to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Modern writers have lost sight of the principle, that men, as individuals, amid their infirmities and sins, are but types of man; in their history alone, their office, their sufferings, can they be images of their Redeemer. God portrayed doctrines of the Grospel in the ritual of the law. Of the offices of Christ and, at times, His history, He gave some faint outline in offices which He instituted, or persons whose history He guided. But they are types only, in that which is of God. Even that which was good in any was no type of His goodness; nay, the more what is human is recorded of them, the less they are types of Him. Abraham who acted much, is a type, not of Christ, but of the faithful. Isaac, of whom little is recorded, except his sacrifice, becomes the type of Christ. Melchisedek, who comes forth once in that great loneliness, a King of Righteousness and of peace, a Priest of God, refreshing the father of the faithful with the sacrificial bread and wine, is a type, the more, of Christ’s everlasting priesthood, in that he stands alone, without father, without known descent, without known banning or end, majestic in his one office, and then disappearing from our sight. Joseph was a type of our Lord, not in his chastity or his personal virtues but in his history: in that he was rejected by his brethren, sold at the price of a slave, yet, with kingly authority, received, supported, pardoned, gladdened, feasted, his brethren who had sold him. Even so the history of Jonah had two aspects. It is at once, the history of his mission and of his own personal conduct in it. These are quite distinct. The one is the history of God’s doings in him and through him; the other is the account of his own soul, its rebellions, struggles, conviction. As a man, he is himself the penitent; as a Prophet, he is the preacher of repentance. In what was human infirmity in him, he was a picture of his people, whose cause he espoused with too narrow a zeal. Zealous too for the honor of God, although not with God’s all-enfolding love, willing that that honor should be vindicated in his own way, unwilling to be God’s instrument on God’s terms, yet silenced and subdued at last, he was the image and lesson to those who murmured at S. Peter’s mission to Cornelius, and who, only when they heard how God the Holy Ghost had come down upon Cornelius’ household, held their peace and glorified God saying, then hath God to the Gentiles also granted repentance unto life. What coinciding visions to Cornelius and S. Peter, what evident miracles of power and of grace were needed after the Resurrection to convince the Jewish converts of that same truth, which God made known to and through Jonah! The conversion of the Gentiles and the saving of a remnant only of the Jews are so bound together in the prophets, that it may be that the repugnance of the Jewish converts was founded on an instinctive dread of the same sort which so moved Jonah. It was a superhuman love, through which S. Paul contemplated their fall as the riches of the Gentiles.

                On the other hand, that, in which Jonah was an image of our Lord, was very simple and distinct. It was where Jonah was passive, where nothing of his own was mingled. The storm, the casting over of Jonah, were the works of God’s Providence; his preservation through the fish was a miracle of God’s power; the conversion of the Ninevites was a manifold miracle of His grace. It might have pleased God to send to convert a heathen people one whom He had not so delivered; or to have subdued the will of the Prophet whom He sent on some other mission. But now sign answers to sign, and mission shadows out mission. Jonah was first delivered from his three days burial in that living tomb by a sort of resurrection, and then, whereas he had previously been a Prophet to Israel, he thenceforth became a Prophet to the heathen, whom, and not Israel, he converted, and, in their conversion, his, as it were, resurrection was operative. The correspondence is there. We may lawfully dwell on subordinate details, how man was tempest-tost and buffeted by the angry waves of this perilous and bitter world; Christ, as one of us, gave His life for our lives, the storm at once was hushed, there is a deep calm of inward peace, and our haven was secured. But the great outstanding facts which our Lord Himself has pointed out, are, that he who had heretofore been the Prophet of Israel only, was, after a three (3) days burial, restored through miracle to life, and then the heathen were converted. Our Lord has set His seal upon the facts. They were to Israel a sacred enigma, a hidden prophecy, waiting for their explanation. They were a warning, how those on whom God then seemed not to have pity, might become the object of His pity, while they themselves were cast out. Now the marvelous correspondence is, even on the surface, a witness to the miracle. Centuries before our Lord came, there was the history of life preserved by miracle in death and oat of death;  and thereupon the history of heathen converted to God and accepted by Him. Is this, even a doubting mind might ask, accidental coincidence? or are it and the other like semblances, the tracing of the finger of God, from whom is all harmony, Who blends in one all the gradations of His creation, sdl I the lineaments of history, His natural and His moral world, the shadow of the law with the realities of the Gospel? How should such harmony exist, but for that harmonizing Hand, Who “binds and blends in one” the morning and evening of His creation.

                Introduction to the Prophet MICAH.

                MICAH, or Micaiah, this Morasthite, was so called, probably, in order to distinguish him from his great predecessor, Micaiah, son of Imlah, in the reign of Ahab. His name was spoken in its fuller form, by the elders of the land whose words Jeremiah has preserved. And in that fuller form his name is known, where the Greek and Latin translations of the Scriptures are used. (* Michaias is used by the LXX in Jer. 26:18 and Micah 1:1, as also in the other places where the name occurs, except Neh. 11:17, 22, where for (mik’) they have (Micha). Josephus calls both prophets (Michaias), Micah son of Imlah, Ant. 8. 14. 5, and our prophet, Ant. 10. 6. 2. The Vulgate uses for both, Michaeas. *)  By the Syrians, and by the Jews ”he is still called, as by us, Micah. The fullest and original form is Micaiahu, “who is like the Lord?” In this fullest form, it is the name of one of the Levites sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the people”, as also of the mother of king Asa, (the same name serving sometimes both for men and women). Then according to the habit of abridging names, in all countries, and especially those of which the proper name of the Lord is a part, it is diversely abridged into Micaihu, Micahu, whence Micah is readily formed, on the same rule as Micaiah itself from Micaiahu. The forms are all found indifferently. The idolatrous Levite in the time of the Judges, and the son of Imlah, are both called in the same chapter Micaihu and Micah; the father of one of Josiah’s officers is called Micaiah in the book of Kings, Micah in the Chronicles.

                The Prophet’s name, like those of Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, was significant. Joshua’s, we know, was changed of set purpose. The rest seem to have been given in God’s Providence, or taken by the Prophets, in order to enunciate truths concerning God, opposed to the idolatries or self-dependence of the people. But the name of Micah or Micaiah, (as the elders of the land called him on a solemn occasion, some 120 years afterward) contained more than teaching. It was cast into the form of a challenge. Who is like the Lord? The form of words had been impressed on Israel by the song of Moses after the deliverance at the Red sea. In the days of Elijah and that first (1st) Micaiah, the strife between God and man, the true Prophet and the false, had been ended at the battle of Ramoth-Gilead; it ceased for a time, in the reigns of Jehu and his successors, because in consequence of his partial obedience, God, by Elisha and Jonah, promised them good: it was again resumed, as the promise to Jehu was expiring, and God’s prophets had anew to proclaim a message of woe. Hast thou found me, mine enemy? and, I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good, concerning me, but evil, Ahab’s words as to Elijah and Micaiah, were the types of the subsequent contradiction of the false prophets to Hosea and Amos, which closed only with the destruction of Samaria. Now, in the time of the later Micaiah, were the first dawnings of the same strife in Judah, which hastened and brouglit about the destruction of Jerusalem under Zedekiah, which re-appeared after the Captivity, and was the immediate cause of the second destruction under the Romans *>. Micah, as he dwells on the meaning of names generally, so, doubtless, it is in allusion to his own, that, at the close of liis prophecy, he ushers in his announcement of God’s incomparaljle mercy with the words , Who is a God like unto Thee? Before him, whatever disobedience there was to God’s law in Judah, there was no systematic, organized, opposition to His prophets. There is no token of it in Joel. From the times of Micah it is never missing. We find it in each prophet (however brief the remains of some are), who prophesied directly to Judah, not in Isaiah only, but in Habakkuk and Zephaniah. It deepened, as it hastened toward its decision. The nearer God’s judgments were at hand, the more obstinately the false prophets denied that they would come. The system of false prophecy, which rose to its height in the time of Jeremiah, which met and thwarted him at every step, and deceived those who wished to be deceived,was dawning in the time of Micah. False prophecy arose in Judah from the self-same cause whence it had arisen in Israel, because Judah’s deepening corruption drew down the prophecies of God’s displeasure, which it was popular to disbelieve. False prophecy was a gainful occupation. The false prophets had men’s wishes on their side. They had the people with them. My people love to have it so, said God. They forbade Micah to prophesy; prophesied peace, when God foretold evil; prophesied for gain, and proclaimed war in the Name of God  against those who fed them not.

                At such a time was Micah called. His name which he himself explains, was no chance name. To the Hebrews, to whom names were so much more significant, parts of the living language, it recalled the name of his great predecessor, his standing alone against all the prophets of Ahab, his prophecy, his suffering, his evidenced truth. The truth of prophecy was set upon the issue of the battle before Ramoth-Gilead. In the presence of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, as well as of Ahab, the 400 prophets of Ashtaroth had promised to Ahab the prize he longed for. One solitary, discriminating voice was heard amid that clamorous multitude, forewarning Ahab that he would perish, his people would be scattered. On the one side, was that loud triumphant chorus of all the prophets, Go up to Ramoth-Gilead, and prosper; for the Lord shall deliver it into the king’s hand. On the other, one solemn voice, exhibiting before them that sad spectacle which the morrow’s sun should witness, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd, and the Lord said, these have no master, let them return every man to his house in peace. Micaiah was smitten, imprisoned, and, apparently, ended his ministry, appealing from that small audience of the armies of Israel and Judah to the whole world, which has ever since looked back to that strife with interest and awe.  Hear ye peoples, each one of them. God, who guided the archer shooting at a venture, fulfilled the words which He had put into the Prophet’s mouth. God’s words had found Ahab, although disguised; Jehoshaphat, the imperilled, returned home, to relate the issue. The conflict between God’s truth and idol falsehood was doubtless long remembered in Judah. And now when the strife had penetrated into Judah, to be ended some 170 years afterward in the destruction of Jerusalem, another Micaiah arose, his name the old watchword. Who is like the Lord? He prefixed to his prophecy that same summons to the whole world to behold the issue of the conflict, which God had once accredited and, in that issue, had given an earnest of the victory of His truth, there thenceforth and for ever.

                The prophet was born a villager, in Moresheth Gath, “a village“, S. Jerome says; (“a little village“, in S. Jerome’s own days), “East of Eleutheropolis,” where what was “formerly his grave,” was “now a church.” Since it was his birthplace and his burial-place, it was probably his home also. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the elders of the land  speak of him with this same title, the Morasthite. He lingers, in his prophecy, among the towns of the maritime plain (the Shephelah) where his birthplace lay. Among the ten (10) places in that neighborhood, which he selects for warning and for example of the universal captivity, is his native village, “the home he loved.” But the chief scene of his ministry was Jerusalem. He names it in the beginning of his prophecy, as the place where the idolatries, and, with the idolatries, all the other sins of Judah were concentrated. The two capitals, Samaria and Jerusalem, were the chief objects of the word of God to him, because the corruption of each kingdom streamed forth from them. The sins which he relates are chiefly those of the capital. Extreme oppression, violence among the rich, bribing among judges, priests, prophets; building up the capital even by cost of life, or actual bloodshed; spoilation; expulsion of the powerless, women and children from their homes; covetouness; cheating in dealings; pride. These, of couree, may be manifoldly rei)eated in lesser places of resort and of judgment. But it is Zion and Jerusalem which are so built up with blood; Zion and Jerusalem, which are. on that ground, to be plowed as a field; it is the city to which the Lord’s voice crieth; whose rich men are full of violence; it is the daughter of Zion, which is to go forth out of the city and go to Babylon. Especially, they are the heads and princes of the people, whom he upbraids for perversion of justice and for oppression. Even the good kings of Judah seem to have been powerless to restrain the general corruption.

                Micah, according to the title which he prefixed to his prophecy, was called to the prophetic office somewhat later than Isaiah. His ministry began later, and ended earlier. For Uzziah, in whose reign Isaiah began to prophesy, was dead before Micah was called to his office; and Micah probably was called away early in the reign of Hezekiah, whereas some of the chief public acts of Isaiah’s ministry fell in the 17th and 18th years of the reign of Hezekiah. Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, had doubtless been withdrawn to their rest. Hosea alone, in “grey-haired might,” was still protesting in vain against the deepening corruptions of Israel.

                The contents of Micah’s prophecy and his relation to Isaiah agree with the inscription. His prophecy has indications of the times of Jotham, perhaps also of those of Ahaz; one signal prophecy, we know historically, was uttered in the reign of Hezekiah.

                It is now owned, well nigh on all hands, that the great prophecy, three (3) verses of which Isaiah prefixed to his 2nd chapter, was originally delivered by Micah. But it appears from the context in Isaiah, that he delivered the prophecy in that 2nd chapter, in the reign of Jotham. Other language of Micah also belongs to that same reign. No one now thinks that Micah adopted that great prophecy from Isaiah. The prophecy, as it stands in Micah, is in close connection with what precedes it. He had said, the mountain of the house shall be as the high places of the forest; he subjoins instantly God’s reversal of that sentence, in the latter days. “And in the last days it shall be that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established on the top of the mounfains, and peoples shall flow unto it.” He had said, Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps; he adds forthwith, in reversal of this, the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. The two sentences are joined as closely as they can be; Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house shall become high places of a forest; and it shall be, in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be (abidingly) established on the top of the mountains. Every reader would understand, that the elevation intended, was spiritual, not physical. They could not fail to understand the metaphor; or imagine that the Mount Zion, on part of which, (Mount Moriah,) the house of the Lord stood, should be physically placed on other hills. But the contrast is marked. The promise is the sequel of the woe; the abiding condition is the reversal of the sentence of its desolation. Even the words allude, the one to the other.

                In Isaiah, there is no such connection. After the first chapter and its summary of rebuke, warning, threatening, and final weal or woe resting on each class, Isaiah, in his second chapter, begins his prophecy anew with a fresh title; The word that Isaiah the son of Amos saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem; and to this he prefixes three verses from Micah’s prophecy. He separates it in a marked way from the preceding summary, and yet connects it with some other prophecy by the word, And. He himself marks that it is not in its original place here. So then, in the prophet Micah, the close connection with the foregoing marks that it is in its original place; Isaiah marked purposely that in his prophecy it is not.

                But Isaiah’s prophecy belongs to a time of prosperity; such as Judah had not, after the reign of Jotham. It was a time of great warlike strength, diffused through the whole land. The land was full, without end, of gold, silver, chariots, horses, of lofty looks and haughtiness. The images which follow are shadows of the Day of Judgment, and extend beyond Judah; but the sins rebuked are the sins of strength and might, self-confidence, oppression, manifold female luxury and bravery. Isaiah prophesies that God would take away their strength. Then they still had it. Judah trusted not at that time in God nor in foreign alliances, but in self. Yet, from the time of Ahaz, trust in foreign help infected them to the end. Even Hezekiah, when he received the messengers of Merodach-baladan, fell into the snare; and Josiah probably lost his life, as a vassal of Assyria. This union of inherent strength and unconcernedness about foreign aid is an adequate test of days anterior to Ahaz.

                But since Isaiah prefixed to a prophecy in the days of Jotham this great prophecy of Micah, then Micah’s prophecy must have been already current. To those same days of strength it belongs, that Micah could prophesy as a gift, the cutting oil” of horses and chariots, the destruction cities and strong towers, all, in which Judah trusted instead of God. The prophecy is a counterpart of Isaiah’s. Isaiah prophesied a day of Judgment, in which all these things should be removed; Micah foretold that their removal should be a mercy to those who trust in Christ.

                On the other hand, the utter dislocation of society, the bursting of all the most sacred bands which bind man to man together, described in his last chapter, perhaps belong most to the miserable decay in the reign of Ahaz. The idolatry spoken of also belongs probably to the time of Ahaz. In Jotham’s time, the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places; yet, under a king so highly praised, these are not likely to have been in Jerusalem. But Micah, in the very head of his prophecy, speaks of Jerusalem  as the centre of the idolatries of Judah. The allusion also to child-sacritices belongs to the time of Ahaz, who sacrificed sons of his own, and whose sacrifice others probably imitated. The mention of the special idolatry of the time, the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, belong to the same reign, it being recorded of Ahaz especially, he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and made also molten images for Baalim ; the special sin of the house of Ahab. That character too which he describes, that, amid all that idolatry, practical irreligion, and wickedness, they leant upon the Lord, and said, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us; was just the character of Ahaz. Not until the end of his reign was he so embittered by God’s chastisements, that he closed His temple. Up to that time, even after he had copied the brazen altar at Damascus, he still kept up a divided allegiance to God. Urijah, the high Priest, at the king’s command, offered the sacrifices for the king and the people, while Ahaz used the brazen altar, to enquire by. This was just the half-service which God by Micah rejects. It is the old history of man’s half-service, faith without love, which provides, that what it believes but loves not, should be done for it, and itself enacts what it prefers. Urijah was to offer the lawful sacrifices for the king and the people; Ahaz was to obtain knowledge of the future, such as he wished in his own way, a lying future, by lying acts.

                Micah renewed under Hezekiah the prophecy of the utter destruction of Jerusalem, which he had pronounced under Jotham. The prophets did not heed repeating themselves. Eloquent as they were, they are the more eloquent because eloquence was not their object. Even our Lord, with Divine wisdom, and the more, probaldy, because He had Divine wisdom, repeated in His teaching the same words. Those words sank the deeper, because often repeated. So Micah repeated doubtless oftentimes those words, which he first uttered in the days of Jotham; Zion shall be plowed like a field and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. Often, during those perhaps thirty (30) years, he repeated them in vain. At the last, they wrought a great repentance, and delayed, it may be for 136 years, the destruction which he was constrained to foretell. Early in the days of Jehoiakim, about 120 years afterward, in the public assembly when Jeremiah was on trial for his life, the eders of the land said explicitly, that the great conversion at the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah, nay, of that king himself, was wrought by the teaching of Micah. Then rose up, says Jeremiah, certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, saying. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Zion shall be ploughed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house, as the high places of the forest. Did Hezekiah king of Judah, and all Judah, put him at all to death? Did he not fear the Lord, and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented Him of the evil which He had pronounced against them?

                It may have been that single prophecy which Micah so delivered; some have thought that it was his whole book. Jeremiah, at God’s command, at one time uttered single prophecies; at another, the summary of all his prophecies. This only is certain, that the prophecy, whether these words alone or the book containing them, was delivered to all Judah, and that God moved the people through them to repentance.

                The words, as they occur in Jeremiah, are the same, and in the same order, as they stand in Micah. Only in Jeremiah the common plural termination is substituted for the rarer and poetic form used by Micah. The elders, then, who quoted them, probably knew them, not from tradition, but from the written book of the Prophet. But those elders speak of Micah, as exercising his prophetic office in the days of Hezekiah. They do not say, he prophesied which might have been a single act; but he was prophesying, hayah nibbah, a form of speaking which is only used of an abiding, habitual, action. They say also, “he was habitually prophesying, and he said,” i.e. as we should say, “in the course of his prophesying in the days of Hezekiah, he said.”Still it was to all the people of judah that he said it. The elders say so, and lay stress upon it by repeating it. Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? It must have been then on some of the great festivals, hen all Judah was gathered together, that Micah so spake to them.

                Probably, shortly afterward, in those first (1st) years of Hezekiah, Micah’s office on earth closed. For, at the outset and in the summary of his prophecy, not incidentally, he speaks of the destruction of Samaria, which took place in the 4th year of Hezekiah, as still to come; and however practical or partial idolatry continued, such idolatry as he throughout describes, did not exist after the reformation by Hezekiah. This conversion, then, of the king and of some considerable part of Judah was probably the closing harvest of his life, after a long seed-time of tears. So God allowed His servant to depart in peace. The reformation itself, at least in its fullness, took place after the kingdom of Samaria had come to an end, since Hezekiah’s messengers could, unhindered, invite all Israel to join in his great Passover. Probably, then, Micah lived to see the first dawnings only of the first reformation which God wrought by his words.

                At the commencement, then, of Hezekiah’s reign he collected the substance of what God had taught by him, re-casting it, so to speak, and retaining of his spoken prophecy so much as God willed to remain for us. As it stands, it belongs to that early time of Hezekiah’s reign, in which the sins of Ahaz still lived on. Corruption of manners had been hereditary. In Jotham’s reign too, it is said expressly, in contrast with himself, the people were still doing corruptly. Idolatry had, under Ahaz, received a fanatic impulse from the king, who, at last, set himself to close the worship of God. The strength of Jotham’s reign was gone; the longing for its restoration led to the wrong and destructive policy, against which Isaiah had to contend. Of this Micah says, such should not be the strength of the future kingdom of God. Idolatry and oppression lived on; against these, the inheritance of those former reigns, the sole residuum of Jotham’s might or Ahaz’ policy, the breach of the law of love of God and man, Micah concentrated his written prophecy.

                This book also has remarkable symmetry. Each of its three (3) divisions is a whole, beginning with upbraiding for sin, threatening God’s judgments, and ending with promises of future mercy in Christ. The two later divisions begin again with that same characteristic. Hear ye, with which Micah. The three (3) divisions an also connected, as well by lesser references of the later to the former, as also by the advance of the prophecy. Judah could not be trusted now with any simple declaration of God’s future mercy. They supposed themselves, impenitent as they were and with no purpose of repentance, to be the objects of God’s care, and secure from evil. Unmixed promise of good would but foment this irreligious apathy. Hence on the promises at the end of the first portion, and their king shall pas before them and the Lord at the head of them, he turns abruptly, And I said, Hear, I pray you, Is it not for you to know judgment? The promise had been to Jacob and the remnant of Israel. He renews his summons to the heads of Jacob and the princes of the house of Israel. In like way, the last section, opening with that wonderful pleading of God with His people, follow’s upon that unbroken declaration of God’s mercies, which itself issues out of the promised Birth at Bethlehem.

                There is also a sort of progress in the promises of the three (3) parts. In the first, it is of deliverance generally, in language taken from that first (1st) deliverance irom Egypt. The 2nd is objective, the Birth of the Redeemer, the conversion of the Gentiles, the restoration of the Jews, the establishment and nature of His kingdom. The third (3rd) is mainly subjective, man’s repentance, waiting upon God, and God’s forgiveness of his sins.

                Throughout, the metropolis is chiefly addressed, as the main seat of present evil and as the centre of the future blessings; where the reign of the long-promised Ruler should be; whence the revelation of God should go forth to the heathen; whither the scattered and dispersed people should be gathered.

                Throughout the prophecy also, Micah upbraids the same class of sins, wrong dealing of man to man, oppression of the poor by the rich. Throughout, their future captivity and dispersion are either predicted, or assumed as the basis of the prediction of good. Throughout, we see the contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. Beside that great prediction, which Isaiah inserted verbally from Micah, we see them, as it were, side by side, in that city of God’s visitation and of His mercy, prophesying the same respite, the same place of captivity and deliverance from it, the same ulterior mercies in  Christ. “The more to establish the faith, God willed that Isaiah and Micah should speak together, as with one mouth, and use such agreement as might the more convict all rebels.” Assyria was then the monarchy of the world; yet both prophets promise deliverance from it; both foretell the captivity in the then subordinate Babylon; both, the deliverance from it. Both speak in the like way of the gathering together of God’s people from lands, to some of which they were not yet dispersed. Isaiah prophesied the Virgin-Birth of Immanuel; Micah, the Birth at Bethlehem of Him Whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting. Both speak in the like way of the reverence for the Gentiles thereafter for her, by reason of the presence of her God. Even, in outward manner, Micah, representing himself, as one who went mourning and wailing, stripped and naked“, is a sort of forerunner of tlie symbolic acts of Isaiah. Micah had this also common with Isaiah, that he has a predominance of comfort. He is brief in upbraiding, indignant in casting back the pleas of the false prophets, concise in his threatenings of woes, save where he lingers mournfully over the desolation, large and flowing in his descriptions of mercy to come. He sees and pronounces the coming punishment, as absolutely certain; he does not call to repentance to avert it; he knows that ultimately it will not be averted; he sees it irrespectively of time, and says that it will be. Time is an accident to the link of cause and effect. Sin consummated would be the cause; punishment, the effect. He spoke to those who knew that God pardoned on repentance, who had lately had before them that marvelous instance in Nineveh. He dashes to the ground their false security, by reason of their descent from Jacob”, of God’s Presence among them in the Temple; the multitude of their offerings amid the multitude of their sins. He rejects in God’s name, their false, outward, impenitent, penitence; and thereby the more implies that He would accept a true repentance. They knew this, and were, for a time, scared into penitence. But in his look, as God willed it to remain, he is rather the prophet of God’s dealings, than the direct preacher of repentance to individuals. Yet he is the more an evangelic preacher, in that bespeaks of repentance, only as the gift of God. He does not ignore that man must accept the grace of God; but, as Isaiah foretells of the days of the Gospel, the idols He shall utterly abolish, so Micah first (1st) foretells that God would abolish all wherein man relied out of God, all wherein he prided himself, every form ol idolatry, and subsequently describes the future evangelic repentance, submission to, and waiting upon God and His righteousness; and God’s free plenary forgiveness .

                Micah’s rapid unprepared transitions from each of his main themes to another, from upbraiding to threatening, from threatening to mercy and then back again to upbraiding, is probably a part of that same vivid perception of the connection of sin, chastisement, forgiveness, in the will and mind of God. He sees them and speaks of them in the natural sequence in which they were exhibited to him. He connects most commonly the sin with the punishment by the one word, therefore, because it was an object with him to shew the connection. The mercies to come he subjoins either suddenly without any conjunction, or

with the simple and. An English reader loses some of the force of this simplicity by the paraphrase, which, for the simple copula, substitutes the inference or contrast, therefore, then, but, notwithstanding, which lie in the subjects themselves. An English reader might have been puzzled, at first sight, by the monotonous simplicity of the, and, and, joining together the mention of events, which stand, either as the contrast or the consequence of those which precede them. The English version accordingly has consulted for the reader or hearer, by drawing out for him the contrast or consequence which lay beneath the surface. But this gain of clearness involved giving up so far the majestic simplicity of the Prophet, who at times speaks of things as they lay in the Divine Mind, and as, one by one, they would be unfolded to man,without explaining the relation in which they stood to one another. Micah knew that sufferings were, in God’s purpose, travailpains. And so, immediately after the denunciation of punishment, be adds so calmly “And in the last days it shall be;” “And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah.” Or in the midst of his descriptions of mercies, bespeaks of the intervening troubles, as the way to them. Now why dost thou cry aloud? –pangs have taken thee, as a woman in travail –be in pain– thou shalt go even unto Babylon; there shall thou be delivered: or, Therefore will He give thee up until the time, &c. i.e. because He has these good things in store for thee, He will give thee up, until the time comes.

                With this great simplicity Micah unites great vividness and energy. Thus in predicting

punishment, he uses the form of command, bidding them, as it were, execute it on themselves; Arise, depart: as, in the Great Day, our Lord shall say, Depart, ye cursed. And since God does in us or by us what He commands to be done, he uses the imperative to Zion, alike as to her victories over God’s enemies, or her state of anxious fear.

                To that same vividness belong his rapid changes of person or gender; his sudden questions; his unmarked dialogues. The changes of person and gender occur in all Hebrew poetry; all have their emphasis. He addresses the people or place as a whole (fem.), then all the individuals in her; or turns away and speaks of it; or contrariwise, having spoken of the whole in the third person, he turns round and drives the warning home to individuals. The variations in the last verse of ch. 6 are unexampled for rapidity even in Hebrew.

                And yet the flow of his words is smooth and measured. Without departing from the conciseness of Hebrew poetry, his cadence, for the most part, is of the more prolonged sort, as far as any can be called prolonged, when all is so concise. In some 8 verses, out of 104, he is markedly brief, where conciseness corresponds with his subject, as in an abrupt appeal as to their sins, or an energetic announcement of judgment or of mercy, or in that remarkable prophecy of both, how God would, in mercy, cut off all grounds of human trust. Else, whereas in Nahum and Habakkuk, not quite 1/3, and in the eleven last Chapters of Hosea much less than 1/3, of verses contain moru than 13 words, in Micah above 3/7 (as, in Joel, nearly 3/7) exceed that niunber. The verses are also distributed in that ever-varying cadence, whereby, in Hebrew poetry, portions of their short sentences being grouped together, the harmony of the whole is produced by the varied disipositions of these lesser groups of 2, 3, 4, and but rarely 5 words; scarcely any two verses exactly corresponding, but all being united by the blending of similar cadences. In Micah, as in all Hebrew poetry, the combination of 3 words is the most frequent, and this, sometimes by itself, sometimes in union with the number 4, making the sacred number 7; or, with 2, making a number which we find in the tabernacle, but which dwells more in the hearts of the disciples of the Crucified. The same exact rhythm seldom recurs, and that, naturally, chiefly in the shorter verses, the longer admitting or requiring more combinations. Wherever also there is more than one pause in the verse, a further and very considerable variety of rhythm may be produced, even when the several clauses of two verses contain the same number of words in the same order. The difference of cadence is far more influenced by the place, where the verse is divided, than by the exact number of words contained in it. The rhetorical force of the distribution of the words into the several clauses depends mainly upon the place of the Athnach or semicolon. The same exact rhythm, (in which both the same number of words occur in the verse, and the verse is divided in the same place) recurs only seven times in Micah, in verses capable of a variation. The other four cases of repetition occur in short verses which have one division only  according to the place where the main division of the verse falls.

                His description of the destruction of the cities or villages of Judah corresponds in vividness to Isaiah’s ideal march of Sennacherib. The flame of war spreads from place to place; but Micah relieves the sameness of the description of misery by every variety which language allows. He speaks of them in his own person, or to them; he describes the calamity in past or in future, or by use of the imperative. The verbal allusions are crowded together in a way unexampled elsewhere. Moderns have spoken of them, as not after their taste, or have apologized for them. The mighty Prophet, who wrought a repentance greater than his great contemporary Isaiah, knew well what would impress the people to whom he spoke. The Hebrew names had definite meanings.  [To facilitate comparison, I subjoin a like analysis of the other prophets mentioned. This is omitted.]         We can well imagine how, as name after name passed from the Prophet’s mouth, connected with some note of woe, all around awaited anxiously, to know upon what place the fire of the Prophet’s word would next fall; and as at last it had fallen upon little and mighty round about Jerusalem, the names of the places would ring in their ears as heralds of the coming woe; they would be like so many monuments, inscribed beforehand with the titles of departed greatness, reminding Jerusalem itself of its portion of the prophecy, that evil should come from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem.

                Wonderful must have been his lightningflash of indignation, as, when the false prophet or the people had forbidden God’s word to be spoken, he burst upon them, Thou, called house of Jacob, shortened is God’s Spirit? Or these His doings? And then follow the plaintive descriptions of the wrongs done to the poor, the peaceful, the mothers of his people and their little ones. And then again the instantaneous dismissal, Arise and depart. But, therewith, wonderful also is his tenderness. Burning as are his denunciations against the oppressions of the rich, (words less vehement will not pierce hearts of stone) there is an under-current of tenderness. His rebukes evince not indignation only against sin, but a tender sympathy with the sufferers. He is afflicted in the afflictions which he has to denounce. He yearns for his people; nay, until our Lord’s Coming, there is scarcely an expression of such yearning longing: he hungers and thirsts for their good.

                God’s individual care of His people, and of each soul in it, had, since David’s time and even since Jacob, been likened to the care of the shepherd for each single sheep. The Psalm of Asaph must have familiarized the people to the image, as relating to themselves as a whole, and David’s deep Psalm had united it with God’s tender care of His own in, and over, death. Yet the predominance of this image in Micah is a part of the tenderness of the Prophet. He adopts it, as expressing, more than any other natural image, the helplessness of the creature, the tender individual care of the Creator. He forestalls our Lord’s words, I am the good shepherd, in his description of the Messiah, gathering the remnant of Israel together, as the sheep of Bozrah; His people are as a flock, lame and despised, whom God would assemble; His royal seat, the tower of the flock; the Ruler of Israel should stand unresting, and feed them; those whom He should employ against the enemies of His people, are shepherds  under Him, the true shepherd. He sums up his prayer for his people to God as their Shepherd; Feed Thy people with Thy rod, the flock of Thine heritage.

                Directly, he was a Prophet for Judah only. At the beginning of his book, he condemns the idolatries of both capitals, as the central sin of the two kingdoms. The destruction of Samaria he pronounces at once, as future, absolutely certain, abiding. There he leaves her, declares her wound incurable, and passes forthwith to Judah, to whom, he says, that wound should pass, whom that same enemy should reach. Thereafter, he mentions incidentally the infection of Israel’s sin spreading to Judah. Else, after that first sentence on Samaria, the names of Jacob (which he had given to the ten (10) tribes) and Israel are appropriated to the kingdom of Judah: Judah is mentioned no more, only her capital; even her kings are called the kings of Israel. The ten (10) tribes are only included in the general restoration of the whole. The future remnant of the two (2) tribes, to be restored after the captivity of Babylon, are called by themselves the remnant of Jacob: the Messiah to be born at Bethlehem is foretold as the ruler in Israel: the ten (10) tribes are called the remnant of His brethren, who were to return to the children of Israel, i.e. Judah.

                This the more illustrates the genuineness of the inscription. A later hand would have been unlikely to have mentioned either Samaria or those earlier kings of Judah. Each part of the title corresponds to something in the prophecy; the name Micah is alluded to at its close; his birthplace, the Morasthite, at its beginning; the indications of those earlier reigns lie there, although not on its surface. The mention of the two capitals, followed by the immediate sentence on Samaria, and thenby the fuller expansion of the sins and punishment of Jerusalem, culminating in its sentence, in Micah, corresponds to the brief mention of the punishment of Judah in Amos the Prophet of Israel, and then the fuller expansion of the sins and punishments of Israel. Further, the capitals, as the fountains of idolatry, are the primary object of God’s displeasure. They are both specially denounced in the course of the prophecy; their special overthrow is foretold. The title corresponds with the contents of the prophecy, yet the objections of modern critics shew that the correspondence does not lie on the surface.

                The taunt of the false priest Amaziah  to Amos may in itself suggest that prophets at Jerusalem did prophesy against Samaria. Amaziah, anyhow, thought it natural that they should. Both Isaiah and Micah, while exercising their office at Jerusalem, had regard also to Samaria. Divided as Israel and Judah were, Israel was not yet cut off. Israel and Judah were still, together, the one people of God. The prophets in each had a care for the other.

                Micah joins himself on to the men of God before him, as Isaiah at the time, and Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Ezekiel, subsequently, employed words or thoughts of Micah. Micah alludes to the history, the laws, the promises, the threatenings of the Pentateuch; and that in such wise, that it is plain that lie had, not traditional laws or traditional history, but the Pentateuch itself before him ”. Nor were those books before himself only. His book implies not an acquaintance only, but a familiar acquaintance with it on the part of the people. The title, the land of Nimrod, the house of bondage, for Egypt, the allusions to the miraculous deliverance from Egypt, the history of Balaam; the whole summary of the mercies of God from the Exodus to Gilgal, the faithfulness pledged to Abraham and Jacob, would be unintelligible without the knowledge of the Pentateuch. Even single expressions are taken from the Pentateuch. Especially, the whole sixth chapter is grounded upon it. Thence is the appeal to inanimate nature to hear the controversy; thence the mercies alleged on God’s part; the offerings on man’s part to atone to God (except the one dreadful superstition of Ahaz) are from the law; the answer on God’s part is almost verbally from the law; the sins upbraided are sins forbidden in the law; the penalties pronounced are also those of the law. There are two allusions also to the history of Joshua, to David’s elegy over Saul and Jonatlian, and, as before said, to the history of Micaiah son of Imlah in the book of Kings. Single expressions are also taken from the Psalms and the Proverbs. In the descriptions of the peace of the kingdom of Christ, he appears purposely to have reversed God’s description of the animosity of the nations against God’s people. He has also two characteristic expressions of Amos. Perhaps, in the image of the darkness which should come on the false prophets, he applied anew the image of Amos, adding the ideas of spiritual darkness and perplexity to that of calamity.

                The light and shadows of the prophetic lite fell deeply on the soul of Micah. The captivity of Judah too had been foretold before him. Moses had foretold the end from the beginning, had set before them the captivity and the dispersion, as a punishment which the sins of the people would certainly bring upon them. Hosea presupposed it; Amos foretold that Jerusalem, like the cities of its heathen enemies, should be burned with fire. Micah had to declare its lasting desolation. Even when God wrought repentance through him, he knew that it was but for a time; for he foresaw and foretold that the deliverance would be, not in Jerusalem, but at Babylon, in captivity. His prophecy sank so deep, that, above a century afterward, just when it was about to have its fulfillment, it was the prophecy which was remembered. But the sufferings of time disappeared in the light of eternal truth. Above seven centuries rolled by, and Micah re-appears as the herald, not now of sorrow but of salvation. Wise men from afar, in the nobility of their simple belief, asked, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? A king, jealous for his temporal empire, gathered all those learned in Holy Scripture, and echoed the question. The answer was given, unhesitatingly, as a well-known truth of God, in the words of Micah. For thus it is written in the Prophet. Glorious peerage of the two contemporary prophets of Judah. Ere Jesus was born, the Angel announced the birth of the Virgin’s Son, God with us, in the words of Isaiah. When He was born, He was pointed out as the Object of worship to the first converts from the heathen, on the authority of God, through Micah.

                Introduction to the Prophet NAHUM.

                The prophecy of Nahum is both the complement and the counterpart of the book of Jonah. When Moses had asked God to shew him His glory, and God had promised to let him see the outskirts of that glory, and to proclaim the Name of the Lord before him, the Lord, we are told, passed by before him and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. God proclaimed at once His mercy and His justice. Those wondrous words echo along the whole of the Old Testament. Moses himself, David, other Psalmists, Jeremiah, Daniel, Nehemiah, plead them to God or rehearse some part of them in thanksgiving. Joel repeated them as a motive to repentance. Upon the repentance of Nineveh, Jonah had recited to God the bright side of that His declaration of Himself, I knew that Thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great goodness, repeating to God His words to Moses, and adding, and repenting of the evil. Nineveh, as appears from Nahum, had fallen back into the violence of which it had repented. Nahum then, in reference to that declaration of Jonah, begins by setting forth the awful side of the attributes of God. First, in a stately rhythm, which, in the original, reminds us of the gradual Psalms, he enunciates the solemn (3) threefold declaration of the severity of God to those who will be His enemies.

               A jealous God and Avenger is the Lord:    An Avenger is the Lord, and lord of wrath;

               An Avenger is the Lord to His adversaries:  And a Reserver of wrath to His enemies.

                Then, he too recites that character of mercy recorded by Moses,  The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power. But anger, although slow, comes, he adds, not the less certainly on the guilty; and will not at all clear the guilty. The iniquity is full. As a whole, there is no place more for repentance. Nineveh had had its prophet, and had been spared, and had sunk back into its old sins. The office of Nahum is to pronounce its sentence. That sentence is fixed. There is no healing of thy bruise. Nothing is said of its ulterior conversion or restoration. On the contrary, Nahum says, He will make the place thereof an utter desolation.

                The sins of Nineveh spoken of by Nahum are the same as those from which they had turned at the preaching of Jonah. In Jonah, it is, the violence of their hands. Nahum describes Nineveh as p a dwelling of lions, filled with prey and with ravin, the feeding-place of young lions, where the lion tore enough for his whelps; a city of bloods, full of lies and robbery, from which the prey departeth not.

                But, amid this mass of evil, one was eminent, in direct antagonism to God. The character is very peculiar. It is not simply of rebellion against God, or neglect of Him. It is a direct disputing of His Sovereignty. The prophet twice repeats the characteristic expression, What will ye devise so vehemently against the Lord? devising evil against the Lord; and adds, counsellor of evil. This was exactly the character of Sennacherib, whose wars, like those of his forefathers, (as appears from the cuneiform inscriptions,) were religious wars, and who blasphemously compared God to the local deities of the countries, which his forefathers or himself had destroyed. Of this enemy Nahum speaks, as having “gone forth;” out of thee (Nineveh) hath gone forth one, devising evil against the Lord, a counsellor of Belial. This was past. Their purpose was inchoate, yet incomplete. God challenges them, What will ye devise so vehemently against the Lord? The destruction too is proximate. The prophet answers for God, “He Himself, by Himself, is already making an utter end.”  To Jerusalem he turns, “And now I will break his yoke from off thee, and will break his bonds asunder.” Twice the prophet mentions the device against God; each time he answers it by the prediction of the sudden utter destruction of the enemy, while in the most perfect security. While they are intertwined as thorns, and swallowed up as their drink, they are devoured as stubble fully dry; and, If they be perfect, unimpaired in their strength, and thus many, even thus shall they be mown down. Their destruction was to be, as their numbers, complete. With no previous loss, secure and at ease, a mighty host, in consequence of their prosperity, all were, at one blow, mown down; “and he (their king, who counselled against the Lord) shall pass away and perish. “The abundance of the wool in the fleece is no hindrance to the shears,” nor of the grass to the scythe, nor of the Assyrian host to the will of the Lord. After he, the chief, had then passed away, Nahum foretells that remarkable death, in connection with the house of his gods; Out of the house of thy gods I will cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave. There is no natural construction of these words, except, I will make it thy grave. Judah too was, by the presence of the Assyrian, hindered from going up to worship at Jerusalem. The prophet bids proclaim peace to Jerusalem; keep thy feasts –for the wicked shall no more pass through thee. It was then by the presence of the wicked, that they were now hindered from keeping their feasts, which could be  kept only at Jerusalem.

                The prophecy of Nahum coincides then with that of Isaiah, when Hezekiah prayed against Sennacherib. In the history, and in the prophecy of Isaiah, the reproach and blasphemy and rage against God are prominent, as an evil design against God is in Nahum. In Isaiah we have the messengers sent to blaspheme; in Nahum, the promise, that the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard. Isaiah prophesies the fruitlessness of his attempt against Jerusalem; his disgraced return; his violent death in his own land; Nahum prophesies the entire destruction of his army, his own passing away, his grave. Isaiah, in Jerusalem, foretells how the spontaneous fruits of the earth shall be restored to them, and so, that they shall have possession of the open corn-country; Nahum, living probably in the country, foretells the free access to Jerusalem, and bids them to keep theirfeasts, and perform the vows, which, in their trouble, they had promised to God. He does not only foretell that they may, but he enjoins them to do it. The words, the emptiers have emptied them out and marred their vine branches, may relate to the first expedition of Sennacherib, when, Holy Scripture says, he “came up against all the fenced cities of Judah and took them, and Hezekiah gave him thirty (30) talents of gold, and 300 talentsof silver. Sennacherib himself says”, “Hezekiah, king of Judah, who had not submitted to my authority, forty-six (46) of his principal cities, and fortresses and villages depending upon them of which I took no account, I captured, and carried away their spoil. And from these places I captured and carried off as spoil 200,150 people,” &c. This must relate to the first expedition, on account of the exact correspondence of the tribute in gold, with a variation in the number of the talents of silver, easily accounted for. In the first invasion Sennacherib relates that he besieged Jerusalem. ”Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem his capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the city to fence him in, and raising banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent escape.” It is perhaps in reference to this, that, in the second invasion, God promises by Isaiah; He shall not come into this city, and shall not shoot an arrow there; and shall not present shield before it, and shall not cast up bank against it. Still, in this second invasion also, Holy Scripture relates, that the king of Assyria sent Rahshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. Perhaps it is in regard to this second expedition, that God says, Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more; i.e. this second invasion should not desolate her, like that first. Not that God absolutely would not again afflict her, but not now. The yoke of the Assyrian was then broken, until the fresh sins of Manasseh drew down their own punishment.

                Nahum then was a prophet for Judah, or for that remnant of Israel, which, after the ten (10) tribes were carried captive, became one with Judah, not in temporal sovereignty, but in the one worship of God. His mention of Basan, Carmel and Lebanon alone, as places lying under the rebuke of God, perhaps implies a special interest in Northern Palestine. Judah may have already become the name for the whole people of God who were left in their own land, since those of the ten (10) tribes who remained had now no separate religious or political existence. The idolcentre of their worship was gone into captivity.

                With this agrees the old tradition as to the name of the birth-place of Nahum, the Elkoshite.Some think,” says St. Jerome, “that Elcesaeus was the father of Nahum, and, according to the Hebrew tradition, was also a prophet; whereas Elcesi is even to this day a little village in Galilee, small indeed, and scarcely indicating by its ruins the traces of ancient buildings, yet known to the Jews, and pointed out to me too by my guide.” The name is a genuine Hebrew name, the El, with which it begins, being the name of God, which appears in the names of other towns also, as, El’ale, Eltolad, Elteke, Eltolem. The author of the shortlived Gnostic heresy of the Elcesaites, called Elkesai, elkasai, elxai, elxaios, Elkasaios, probably had his name from that same village. Eusebius mentions Elkese, as the place “whence was Nahum the Elkesaean.” S. Cyril of Alexandria says, that Elkese was a village somewhere in Judaea.

                On the other hand Alcush, a town in Mosul, is probably a name of Arabic origin, and is not connected with Nahum by any extant or known writer, earlier than Masius toward the end of the 16th century, and an Arabic scribe in 1713. Neither of these mention the tomb. “The tomb,” says Layard, “is a simple plaster box, covered with green cloth, and standing at the upper end of a large chamber. The house containing the tomb is a modern building. There are no inscriptions, nor fragments of any antiquity near the place.” The place is now reverenced by the Jews, but in the 12th century Benjamin of Tudela supposed his tomb to be at Ain Japhata, South of Babylon. Were anything needed to invalidate statements above 2000 years after the time of Nahum, it might suffice that the Jews, who are the authors of this story, maintain that not Jonah only but Obadiah and Jephthah the Gileadite are also buried at Mosul. Nor were the ten (10) tribes placed there, but “in the cities of the Medes.” The name Capernaum, “the village of Nahum,” is probably an indication of his residence in Galilee. There is nothing in his language peculiar to the Northern tribes. One very poetic word, common to him with the song of Deborah, is not therefore a “provincialism,” because it only happens to occur in the rich, varied, language of two prophets of North Palestine. Nor does the occurrence of a foreign title interfere with “purity of diction.” It rather belongs to the vividness of his description.

                The conquest of No-Ammon or Thebes and the captivity of its inhabitants, of which Nahum speaks, must have been by Assyria itself. Certainly it was not from domestic disturbances; for Nahum says, that the people were carried away captive. Nor was it from the Ethiopians; for Nahum speaks of them, as her allies. Nor from the Carthaginians; for the account of Ammianus, that “when first Carthage was beginning to expand itself far and wide, the Punic generals, by an unexpected inroad, subdued the (100) hundred-gated Thebes,” is merely a mistaken gloss on a statement of Diodorus, that “Hanno took Hekatompylos by siege;” a city, according to Diodorus himself, “in the desert of Libya.” Nor was it from the Scythians; for Herodotus, who alone speaks of their maraudings and who manifestly exaggerates them, expressly says, that Psammetichus induced the Scythians by presents not to enter Egypt; and a wandering predatory horde does not besiege or take strongly-fortified towns. There remain then only the Assyrians. Four successive Assyrian Monarchs, Sargon, his son, grandson and great grandson, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, Asshurbanipal, from B.C. 718 to about B.C. 657, conquered in Egypt. The hostility was first provoked by the encouragement  given by Sabacho the Ethiopian (Sab’e, in the cuneiform inscriptions, (S b k), in Egyptian), the (So) of Holy Scripture, to Hoshea to rebel against Shalmaneser. Sargon, who, according to his own statement, was the king who actually took Samaria, led three (3) expeditions of his own against Egypt. In the first (1st), Sargon defeated the Egyptian king in the battle of Raphia; in the second (2nd), in his seventh (7th) year, he boasts that Pharaoh became his tributary; in a third (3rd), which is placed three (3) years later, Ethiopia submitted to him. A seal of Sabaco has been found at Koyunjik, which, as has been conjectured, was probably annexed to a treaty. The capture of Ashdod by the Tartan of Sargon, recorded by Isaiah, was probably in the second (2nd) expedition, when Sargon deposed its king Azuri, substituting his brother Akhimit: the rebellion of Ashdod probably occasioned the third (3rd) expedition, in which as it seems, Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled, that Egyptians and Ethiopians, young and old, should be carried captive by the king of Assyria. The king of Ashdod, Yaman, is related to have fled to Egypt, which was subject to Merukha or Meroe; and to have been delivered up by the king of Meroe who himself fled to some unnamed desert afar, a march of (it is conjectured) months. The king of Meroe, first, from times the most distant, became tributary. “His forefathers had not” in all that period “sent to the kings my ancestors to ask for peace and to acknowledge the power of Merodach.” The fact, that his magnificent palace, “one of the few remains of external decoration,” Layard says, “with which we are accquainted in Assyrian architecture,” “seems” according to Mr. Fergusson, “at first sight almost purely Egyptian,” implies some lengthened residence in Egypt or some capture of Egyptian artists.

                Of Sennacherib, the son of Sargon, Josephus writes, “Berosus, the historian of the Chaldee affairs, mentions the king Sennacherib, and that he reigned over the Assyrians, and that he warred against all Asia and Egypt, saying as follows.” The passage of Berosus itself is wanting, whether Josephus neglected to fill it in, or whether it has been subsequently lost; but neither Chaldee nor Egyptian writers record expeditions which were reverses; and although Berosus was a Babylonian, not an Assyrian, yet the document, which he used, must have been Assyrian. In the second (2nd) expedition of Sennacherib, Rabshakeh, in his message to Hezekiah, says, “Behold thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, upon Egypt. The expression is remarkable. He does not speak of Egypt, as a power, weak, frail, failing, but, passively, as crushed  by another. It is the same word and image which he uses in his prophecy of our Lord, a bruised reed (kaneh ratsuts) shall He not break, i.e. He shall not break that which is already bruised. The word implies, then, that the king of Egypt had already received some decided blow before the second expedition of Sennacherib. The annals of Sennacherib’s reign, still preserved in his inscriptions, break off in the eighth of his twenty-two years, and do not extend to the time of this second expedition against Hezekiah. Nor does Holy Scripture say, in what year this 2nd expedition took place. In this he defeated “the kings of Egypt and the king of Meroe at Altakou [Elteke] and Tamna [Timnatha].”

                Sennacherib’s son Esarhaddon appears for the time to have subdued Egypt and Ethiopia, and to have held them as kingdoms dependent on himself.  “He acquired Egypt and the inner parts of Asia,” is the brief statement of Abydenus: (i.e. of Berosus.) “He established” (his son relates) “twenty (20) kings, satraps, governors in Egypt,” among which can be recognized Necho, (the father of Psammetichus) king of Memphis and Sais; a king of Tanis, or Zoan (now San); Natho (or, according to another copy, Sept), Hanes, Sebennytus, Mendes, Bubastis, Siyout or Lycopolis, Chemmis, Tinis, and No. These were all subordinate kings; for so he entitles each separately in the list, although he sums up the whole, “These are the names of the Kings, Pechahs, Satraps who in Egypt obeyed my father who begat me.” Tearcho or Taracho himself, “king of Egypt and Ethiopia”, was in like way subject to Esarhaddon. The account of the revolt, which his son Asshur-bani-pal quelled, implies also a fixed settlement in Egypt. The 20 kings were involved in the rebellion through fear of Taracho, but there is notice of other servants of Esarhaddon who remained faithful and were maltreated by Taracho. Asshur-bani-pal says also, that he strengthened his former garrisons. One (1) expedition of Esarhaddon (probably toward the close of his reign, since he does not mention it in his own annals which extend over eight (8) years) is related by his son Asshur-bani-pal. ”He defeated Tirhakah in the lower country, after which, proceeding Southward, he took the city, where the Ethiopian held his court,” and assumed the title, “king of the kings of Egypt and conqueror of Ethiopia.” On another inscription in a palace built for his son, at Tarbisi, now Sherif-khan, he entitles himself “king of the kings of Egypt, Pathros, Ethiopia.” We do not, however, find the addition, which appears to recur upon every conquest of a people not before conquered by Assyria, “which the kings, my fathers, had not subdued.” This addition is so regular, that the absence of it, in itself, involves a strong probability of a previous conquest of the country.

                The subdual apparently was complete. They revolted at the close of the reign of Esarhaddon (as his son Asshur-bani-pal relates) from fear of Taracho rather than from any wish of their own to regain independence. Asshur-bani-pal accordingly, alter the defeat of Taracho, forgave and restored them. Even the second treacherous revolt was out of fear, lest Taracho shall return, upon the withdrawal of the Assyrian armies. This second (2nd) revolt and perhaps a subsequent revolt of Urdamanie  a stepson of Taracho, who succeeded him, Asshur-bani-pal seems to have subdued by his lieutenants, without any necessity of marching in person against them. Thebes was taken and retaken; but does not appear to have offered any resistance. Taracho, upon his defeat at Memphis, fled to it, and again abandoned it as he had Memphis, and the array of Asshur-bani-pal made a massacre in it. Once more it was taken, when it had been recovered by Urdamanie, and then, if the inscriptions are rightly deciphered, strange as it is, the carrying off of men and women from it is mentioned in the midst of that of “great horses and apes.” “Silver, gold, metals, stones, treasures of hispalace, dyed garments, berom and linen, great horses, men, male and female, immense apes —they drew from the midst of the city, and brought as spoils to Nineveh the city of my dominion, and kissed my feet.

                All of those kings having been conquerors of Egypt, the captivity of No might equally have taken place under any of them. All of them employed the policy, which Sargon apparently began, of transporting to a distance those whom they had conquered. Yet it is, in itself, more probable, that it was at the earlier than at the later date. It is most in harmony with the relation of Nahum to Isaiah that, in regard to the conquest of Thebes also, Nahum refers to the victory over Egypt and Ethiopia foretold by Isaiah, when Sargon’s general, the Tartan, was besieging Ashdod. The object of Isaiah’s prophecy was to undeceive Judah in regard to its reliance on Egypt and Ethiopia against Assyria, which was their continual bane, morally, religiously, nationally. But the prophecy goes beyond any mere defeat in battle, or capture of prisoners. It relates to conquest within Egypt itself. For Isaiah says, “the king of Assyria shall lead into captivity Egyptians and Ethiopians, young and old.” They are not their choice young men, the flower of their army, but those of advanced age and those in their first youth, such as are taken captive, only when a population itself is taken captive, either in a marauding expedition, or in the capture of a city. The account of the captivity of No exactly corresponds, with this. Nahum says nothing of its permanent subdual, only of the captivity of its inhabitants. But Esarhaddon apparently did not carry the Egyptians captive at all. Every fact given in the Inscriptions looks like a permanent settlement. The establishment of the 20 subordinate kings, in the whole length and breadth of Egypt, implies the continuance of the previous state of things, with the exception of that subordination. No itself appears as one of the cities settled apparently under its native though tributary king.

                In regard to the fulfillment of prophecy, they who assume as an axiom, or petitio principii (petitioning principle, begging the question), that there can be no prophecy of distant events, have overlooked, that while they think that, by assuming the later date, they bring Nahum’s prophecy of the capture of Nineveh nearer to its accomplishment, they remove in the same degree Isaiah’s prophecy of the captivity of Egyptians and Ethiopians, young and old, from its accomplishment. “Young and old” are not the piisoners of a field ot battle; young and old of the Ethiopians would not be in a city of lower Egypt. If Isaiah’s prophecy was not fultilled under Sargon or Sennacherib, it must probably have waited for its fulfilment until this last subdual by Asshurbanipal. For the policy of Esarhaddon and also of Asshurbanipal, until repeated rebellions wore his patience, was of settlement, not of deportation. If too the prophecy of Nahum were brought down to the reign of Asshurbanipal, it would be the more stupendous. For the empire was more consolidated. Nahum tells the conqueror, flushed with his own successes and those of his father, that he had himself no more inherent power than the city whose people he had carried captive. Thebes too, like Nineveh, dwelt securely, conquering all, unreached by any ill, sea-girt, as it were, by the mighty river on which she rested. She too was strengthened with countless hosts of her own and of allied people. Yet she fell. Nineveh, the prophet tells her, was no mightier, in herself. Her river was no stronger defence than that sea of fresh water, the Nile; her tributaries would disperse or become her enemies. The Prophet holds up to her the vicissitudes of No-amon, as a mirror to herself. As each death is a renewed witness to man’s mortality, so each marvelous reverse of temporal greatness is a witness to the precariousness of other human might. No then was an ensample to Nineveh, although its capture was by the armies of Nineveh. They had been, for centuries, two rivals for power. But the contrast had far more force, when the victory over Egypt was fresh, than after 61 years of alternate conquest and rebellion.

                But, anyhow, the state of Nineveh and its empire, as pictured by Nahum, is inconsistent with any times of supposed weakness in the reign of its best king: the state of Judah, with reference to Assyria, corresponds with that under Sennacherib but with none below. They are these. Assyria was in its full unimpaired strength. She still blended those two characters so rarely combined, but actually united in her and subsequently in Babylon, of a great merchant and military people. She had, at once, the prosperity of peace and of war. Lying on a great line of ancient traffic, which bound together East and West, India with Phoenicia, and with Europe through Phoenicia, both East and West poured their treasures into the great capital, which lay as a centre between them, and stretched out its arms, alike to the Indian sea and the Mediterranean. Nahum can compare its merchants only to that which is countless by man, the locusts or the stars of heaven. But amid this prosperity of peace, war also was enriching her. Nineveh was still sending out its messengers (such as was Rabshakeh), the leviers of its tribute, the demanders of submission. It was still one vast lion-lair, its lions still gathering in prey from the whole earth, still desolating, continually, unceasingly, in all directions, and now, specially, devising evil against God and His people. Upon that people its yoke already pressed, for God promises to break it off from them; the people was already afflicted, for God says to it, Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more, viz. by this invader. The solemn feasts of Judah were hindered through the presence of ungodly invaders; Belial, the counsellor of evil spoken of underthat name, already passing through her. War was around her, for he promises that one should publish peace upon her mountains. This was the foreground of the picture. This was the exact condition of things at Hezekiah’s second invasion, just before the miraculous destruction of his army. Sennacherib’s yoke was heavy; for he had exacted from Hezekiah three hundred (300) talents of silver and thirty (30) talents of gold; Hezekiah had not two thousand horsemen; the great host of the Assyrians encircled Jerusalem. They summoned it to surrender on the terms, that they should pay a new tribute, and that Sennacherib, whenever it pleased him, should remove them to Assyria.

                At no subsequent period were there any events corresponding to this description. Manasseh was carried captive to Babylon by Esarhaddon; but probably this was no formidable or resistecl invasion, since the book of Kings passes it over altogether, the Chronicles mention only that the Assyrian generals took Manasseh prisoner in a thicket, accordingly not in Jerusalem, and carried him to Babylon. Probably, this took place, in the expedition of Esarhaddon to the West, when he settled in the cities of Samaria people of ditlerent nations, his captives. The capture of Manasseh was then, probably, a mere incident in the hstory. Since he was taken among the thickets, he had probably fled, as Zedekiah did atterward, and was taken in his place of concealment. This was simply personal. No taking of towns is mentioned, no siege, no terror, no exaction of tribute, no carrying away into captivity, except of the single Manasseh. The grounds of his restoration are not mentioned. The Chronicles mention only the religious aspect of his captivity and his restoration, his sin and his repentance. But it seems probable that he was restored by Esarhaddon, upon the same system of policy, on which he planted subjects of his own in Samaria and the country around Zidon, built a new town to take the place of Zidon, and joined in the throne of Edom one, brought up in his own palace. For, when restored, Manasseh was set at full liberty to fortify Jerusalem, as Hezekiah had done, and to put “captains of war in all the cities of Judah.”  This looks as if he was sent back as a trusted tributary of Esarhaddon, and as a frontier-power against Egypt. At least, sixty (60) years afterward, we find Josiah, in the like relation of trust to Nebuchadnezzar, resisting the passage of Pharaoh-Necho. However, the human cause of his restoration must remain uncertain. Yet clearly, in their whole history, there is nothing to correspond to the state of Judaea, as described by Nahum.

                A recent critic writes, “Nahum’s prophecy must have been occasioned by an expedition of mighty enemies against Nineveh. The whole prophecy is grounded on the certain danger, to which Nineveh was given over; only the way in which this visible danger is conceived of, in connection with the eternal truths, is here the properly prophetic.” Ewald does not explain how the danger, to which “Nineveh was given over” was certain, when it did not happen. The explanation must come to this. Nahum described a siege of Nineveh and its issue, as certain. The description in itself might be either of an actual siege, before the Prophet’s eyes, or of one beheld in the Prophet’s mind. But obviously no mere man, endowed with mere human knowledge, would have ventured to predict so certainly the fall of such a city as Nineveh, unless it was “given over to certain danger.” But according to the axiom received in Ewald’s school, Nahum, equally with all other men, could have had only human prescience. Therefore Nahum, prophesying the issue so confidently, must have prophesied when Nineveh was so “given over.” The a priori axiom of the school rules its criticism. Meanwhile the admission is incidentally made, that a prophecy so certain, had it related to distant events, was what no man, with mere human knowledge, would venture upon. Ewald accordingly thinks that the prophecy was occasioned by a siege of Phraortes; which siege Nahum expected to be successful; which however failed, so that Nahum was mistaken, although the overthrow which he foretold came to pass afterward! The siege, however, of Nineveh by Phraortes is a mere romance. Herodotus, who alone attributes to Phraortes a war with Assyria, has no hint, that he even approached to Nineveh. He simply relates that Phraortes “subdued Asia, going from one nation to another, until, leading an army against the Assyrians, he perished himself, in the 22d year of his reign, and the greater part of his army.” It is not neces.sary to consider the non-natural expositions, by which the simple descriptions of Nahum were distorted into conformity with this theory, which has no one fact to support it. Herodotus even dwells on the good condition of the Assyrian affairs, although isolated from their revolted allies, and seemingly represents the victory as an easy one. And, according to Herodotus, whose account is the only one we have, Phraortes (even if he ever fought with the Ninevites, and Herodotus account is not merely the recasting of the history of another Median Frawartish who, according to the Behistun Inscription, claimed the throne of Media against Darius, and perished in battle with him) had only an unorganized army. Herodotus says of Cyaxares, his son, “He is said to have been more warlike far than his forefathers, and he first distributed Asiatics into distinct bands, and separated the spearmen and archers and horsemen from one another, whereas, before, everything had alike mixed into one confused mass.” Such an undisciplined horde could have been no formidable enemy for a nation, whom the monuments and their history exhibit as so warlike and so skilled in war as the Assyrians.

                Another critic, then, seeing the untenableness of this theory, ventures (as he never hesitated at any paradox) to place the prophet Nahum, as an eye-witness of the first (1st) siege of Cyaxares.

                Herodotus states that Cyaxares, the son of Phraortes, twice  besieged Nineveh. First (1st), immediately after his father’s death, to avenge it; the second (2nd), after the end of the Scythian troubles, when he took it. The capture of Nineveh was in the first year of Nabopolassor B.C. 625. The accession of Cyaxares, according to Herodotus, was B.C. 633. Eight (8) years then only elapsed between his first (1st) siege and its capture, and, if it be true, that the siege lasted two (2) years, there was an interval of six (6) years only. But, at this time, the destruction of Nineveh was no longer a subject of joy to Judah. Since the captivity of Manasseh, Judah had had nothing to fear from Assyria; nor do we know of any oppression fi-om it. Holy Scripture mentions none. The Assyrian monuments speak of expeditions against Egypt; but there was no temptation to harass Judah, which stood in the relation of a faithful tributary and an outwork against Egypt, and which, when Nineveh fell, remained in the same relation to its conquerors, into whose suzerainty it passed, together with the other dependencies of Assyria. The relation of Josiah to Babylon was the continuation of that of Manasseh to Esarhaddon.

                The motive of this theory is explained by the words, “With a confidence, which leaves room for no doubt, Nahum expects a siege and an ultimate destruction of Nineveh. The security of his tone, nay that he ventures at all to hope so enormous a revolution of the existing state of things, must find its explanation in the circumstances of the time, out of the then condition of the world; but not till Cyaxares reigned in Media, did things assume an aspect, corresponding to this confidence. It is well that this writer doffs the courteous language, as to the “hopes,” “expectations,” “inferences from God’s justice,” and brings the question to the issue, ” there is such absolute certainty of tone,” that Nahum must have had either a Divine or a human knowledge. He acknowledges the untenableness of any theory which would account for the prophecy of Nahum on any human knowledge, before Cyaxares was marching against the gates of Nineveh. Would human knowledge have sufficed then? Certainly, from such accounts as we have, Nineveh might still have stood against Cyaxares and its own rebel and traitorous general, but for an unforeseen event which man could not bring about, the swelling of its river.

                But, as usual, unbelief fixes itself upon that which is minutest, ignores what is greatest. There are, in Nahum, three (3) remarkable predicticms.   1) The sudden destruction of Sennacherib’s army and his own remarkable death in the house of his god.   2) The certain, inevitalde, capture of Nineveh, and that, not by capitulation or famine, not even by the siege or assault, which is painted so vividly, but the river, which was its protection, becoming the cause of its destruction.   3) Its utter desolation, when captured. The first, men assume to have been the description of events past; the second (2nd), the siege, they assume to have been present; and that, when human wisdom could foresee its issue; the third (3rd), they generalize. The first (1st) is beyond the reach of proof now. It was a witness of the Providence and just judgment of God, to those days, not to our’s. A brief survey of the history of the Assyrian Empire will shew, that the second (2nd) and third (3rd) predictions were beyond human knowledge.

                The Assyrian Empire dated probably from the ninth (9th) century before Christ. Such, it has been pointed out, is the concurrent result of the statements of Berosus and Herodotus. Moses, according to the simplest meaning of his words, spake of the foundation of Nineveh as contemporary with that of Babylon. The beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod, he relates, was Babel and Erech, and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, cmd builded Nineveh. Oppressed probably and driven forth by Nimrod, Asshur and his Semitic descendants went forth from the plain of Shinar, the Babylonia of after-ages. Had Moses intended to express (what some have thought), that Nimrod “went forth out of that land to Assyria,” he would doubtless have used the ordinary style of connected narrative; “And he went forth thence.” He would probably also have avoided ambiguity, by expressing that Nimrod “went forth to Asshur,” using a form, which he employs a little later. As it is, Moses has used a mode of speech, by which, in Hebrew, a parenthetic statement would be made, and he has not used the form, which occurs in every line of Hebrew narrative to express a continued history. No one indeed would have doubted that such was the meaning, but that they did not see, how the mention of Asshur, a son of Shem, came to be anticipated in this account of the children of Ham. This is no ground for abandoning the simple construction of the Hebrew. It is but the history, so often repeated in the changes of the world, that the kingdom of Nimrod was founded on the expulsion of the former inhabitants. Nimrod began his kingdom; “Asshur went forth.”

                It is most probable, from this same brief notice, that Nineveh was, from the first, that agregate of cities, which it afterward was. Moses says, “And he builded Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calach and Resen, between Nineveh and Calach; this is that great city“.” This cannot be understood as said exclusively of Nineveh; since Nineveh was mentioned first in the list of cities, and the mention of the three others had intervened; and, in the second place where it is named, it is only spoken of indirectly and subordinately; it is hardly likely to be said of Resen, of whose unusual size nothing is elsewhere related. It seems more probable, that it is said of the aggregate of cities, that they formed together one great city, the very characteristic of Nineveh, as spoken of in Jonah.

                Nineveh itself lay on the Eastern side of the Tigris, opposite to the present Mosul. In later times, among the Syrian writers, Asshur becomes the name for the country, distinct from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, from which it was separated by the Tigris, and bounded on the North by Mount Niphates.

                This distinction, however, does not occur until after the extinction of the Assyrian empire. On the contrary, in Genesis, Asshur, in one place, is spoken of as West of the Hiddekel or Tigris, so that it must at that time have comprised Mesopotamia, if not all on this side of the Tigris, i.e. Babylonia.  (* Gen. 2:14. There is no reason, with Keil, to disturb the rendering. (qidmat) is most naturally rendered Eastward, in the other three (3) places; Michmash was E.S.E. of Bethaven (1st Sam. 13:5), but was not over-against it, being some four miles from it, in a valley. The battle which began at Michmash, passed over to Bethaven. (1st Sam. 14:23). The Philistines too were obviously facing Saul who was at Gilgal (1st Sam. 13:12). In Ezek. 39:11, the words “eastward of the sea,” express that the carcases were outside the promised land. In Gen. 4:1(Cain was not one to linger over-against the lost Eden. Probably he went Eastward, because then too the stream of population went Westward. In Isaiah 7:20 the king of Assyria is spoken of as beyond the river, i.e. the Euphrates. *) In another place, it is the great border-state of Arabia on the one side, as was Egypt on the other. The sons of Ishmael, Moses relates, dwelt from Havilah unto Shur that is before Egypt, as thou goest to Assyria; i.e. they dwelt on the great caravan-route across the Arabian desert from Egypt to Babylonia. Yet Moses mentions, not Babylon, but Asshur. In Balaam’s prophecy, Asshur stands for the great Empire, whose seat was at one time at Nineveh, at another at Babylon, which should, centuries afterwards, carry Israel captive.

                Without entering into the intricacies of Assyrian or Babylonian history further than is necessary for the immediate object, it seems probable, that the one or other of the sovereigns of these nations had an ascendency over the others, according to his personal character and military energy. Thus, in the time of Abraham, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, in his expedition against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, took with him, as subordinate allies, the kings of Shinar, (or Babylon) and Ellasar, as well as Tidal king of nations, a king probably of Nomadic tribes. The expedition was to avenge the rebellion of the petty kings in the valley of Siddim against Chedorlaomer, after they had been for twelve (12) years tributary. But, although the expedition closed with the attack on the five (5) kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar, its extent on the East side of the Jordan from Ashteroth Karnaim in Basan to Elparan ( perhaps Elath on the Red Sea), and the defeat of the giant tribes, the Kephaim, Zuzim, Emim, Horites, the Amalekites and the Amorites in their several abodes, seems to imply one of those larger combinations against the aggressions of the East, which we meet with in later times. It was no insulated conflict which spread over nearly tliree degrees of latitude. But it was the king of Elam, not the king of Babylon or of Asshur, who led this expelitio; and those other kings, according to the analogy of the expeditions of Eastern monarchs, were probably dependent on him. It has been ol served tliat the inscriptions of a monarch whose name partly coincides with that of Chedorlaomer, viz. Kudurmabuk, or Kudurmapula, shew traces of a Persian influence on the Chaldee characters; but cuneiform decipherers having desponded of identifying those monarchs, Chedorlaomer appears as yet only so far connected with Babylon, that its king was a tributary sovereign to him or a vice-king like those of later times, of whom Sennacherib boasts, “Are not my princes altogether kings?”

                Assyria, at this time, is not mentioned, and so, since we know of its existence at an earlier period, it probably was independent. Lying far to the North of any of the nations here mentioned, it, from whatever cause or however it may have been engaged, took no share in the war. Subsequently also, down to a date almost contemporary with the Exodus, it has been observed that the name of Asshur does not appear on the Babylonian inscriptions, nor does it swell the titles of the king of Babylon. A little later than the Exodus, however, in the beginning of the 14th century B.C., Asshur and Egypt were already disputing the country which lay between them. The account is Egyptian, and so, of course, only relates the successes of Egypt. Thothmes III, in his fortieth (40th) year, according to Mr. Birch, received tribute from a king of Nineveh. In another monument of the same monarch, where the line, following on the name Nineveh, is lost, Thothmes says that he “erected his tablet in Naharaina (Mesopotamia) for the extension of the frontiers of Kami” [Egypt]. Amenophis III, in the same century, represented Asiatic captives, with the names of Patana [Padan-Aram], Asuria, Karukamishi [Carchemish]. “On another column are Saenkar (Shinar), Naharaina, and the Khita (Hittites).” The mention of these contiguous nations strengthens the impression that the details of the interpretation are accurate. All these inscriptions imply that Assyria was independent of Babylon. In one, it is a coordinate power; in the two others, it is a state which had measured its strength with Egypt, under one of its greatest conquerors, though, according to the Egyptian account, it had been worsted.

                Another account, which has been thought to be the first instance of the extension of Babylonian authority so far northward, seems to me rather to imply the ancient self-government of Assyria. “A record of Tiglathpileser I, declares him to have rebuilt a temple in the city of Asshur, which had been taken down 60 years previously, after it had lasted for 641 years from the date of its first foundation by Shamas-Iva, son of Ismi-Dagon.”  Sir H. Rawlinson thinks that it is probable (although only probable), that this Ismi-Dagon is a king, whose name occurs in the brick-legends of Lower Babylonia. Yet the Ismi-Dagon of the bricks does not bear the title of king of Babylon, but of king of Niffer only  “his son,” it is noticed, “does not take the title of king; but of governor of Hur.”  The name Shamas-Iva nowhere occurs in connection with Babylonia, but it does recur, at a later period, as the name of an Assyrian Monarch. Since the names of the Eastern kings so often continue on in the same kingdom, the recurrence of that name, at a later period, makes it even probable, that Shamas-Iva was a native king. There is absolutely nothing to connect his father Ismi-Dagon with the Ismi-Dagon king of Niffer, beyond the name itself, which, being Semitic, may just as well have belonged to a native king of Nineveh as to a king of Lower Babylonia. Nay, there is nothing to shew that Ismi-Dagon was not an Assyrian Monarch who reigned at Niffer; for the name of his father is still unknown; there is no evidence that his father was ever a king, or, if a king, where he reigned. It seems to me in the last degree precarious to assume, without further evidence, the identity of the two kings. It has, further, yet to be shewn that Lower Babylonia had, at that time, an empire, as distinct from its own local sovereignty. We know from Holy Scripture of Nimrod’s kingdom in Shinar, a province distinct from Elymais, Mesopotamia, Assyria, and probably Chaldaea. In Abraham’s time, 1900 B.C, we find again a king of Shinar. Shinar again, it is supposed, appears in Egyptian inscriptions, in the 14th century, B.C.; and, if so, still distinct from Mesopotamia and Assyria. But all this implies a distinct kingdom, not an empire.

                Again, were it ever so true, that Shamas-Iva was a son of a king in Lower Babylonia, that he built a temple in Kileh-Shergat, as being its king, and that he was king, as placed there by Ismi-Dagon, this would be no proof of the continual dependence of Assyria upon Babylonia. England did not continue a dependency of France, because conquered by William of Normandy. How was Alexander’s empire broken at once! Spain under Charles the V. Avas under one sovereignty with Austria; Spain with France had, even of late, alike Bourbon kings. A name would, at most, shew an accidental, not a permanent, connection.

                But there is, at present, no evidence implying a continued dependence of Assyria upon Babylon. Two facts only have been alleged; 1) that the cuneiform writing of inscriptions at Kileh-Shergat, 40 miles South of Nineveh, has a Babylonian character; 2) that, on those bricks, four (4) names have been found of inferior Satraps.

                But 1) the Babylonian character of the inscriptions would show a dependence of civilization, not of empire. Arts flourished early at Babylon, and so the graven character of the Inscriptions too may have been carried to the rougher and warlike North. The garment, worked at Babylon, was, in the 15th century B.C, exported as far as Palestine, and was, for its beauty, the object of Achan’s covetousness.

                2) In regard to the satraps whose names are found on the bricks of Kileh-Shergat, it does not appear, that they were tributary to Babylon at all; they may, as far as it appears, have been simply inferior officers of the Assyrian empire. Anyhow, the utmost which such a relation to Babylon would evince, if ever so well established, would be a temporary dependence of Kileh-Shergat itself, not of Nineveh or the Assyrian kingdom. Further, the evidence of the duration of the dependency would be as limited at its extent. Four satraps would be no evidence as to this period of 700 years, only a century less than has elapsed since the Norman conquest. The early existence of an Assyrian kingdom has been confirmed by recent cuneiform discoveries, which give the names of 8 Assyrian kings, the earliest of whom is supposed to have reigned about 3 1/2 centuries before the commencement of the Assyrian Empire.

                The “empire,” Herodotus says, “Assyria held in Upper Asia for 520 years;” Berosus’, “for 526 years.” The Cuneiform Inscriptions give much the same result. Tiglath-pileser, who gives five (5) years’ annals of his own victories, mentions his grandfather’s grandfather, the 4th  king before him, as the king who “first organized the country of Assyria,” who “established the troops of Assyria in authority.” The expression, “established in authority,” if it may be pressed, relates to foreign conquest. If this Tiglath-pileser be the same whom Sennacherib, in the 10th year of his own reign, mentions as having lost his gods to Merodach-ad-akhi, king of Mesopotamia, 418 years before, then, since Sennacherib ascended the throne about 703 B.C., we should have B.C. 1112 for the latter part of the reign of Tiglath-pileser I, and counting this and the six preceding reigns at 20 years each, should have about 1252 B.C. for the beginning of the Assyrian empire. It has been calculated that if the 526 years, assigned by Berosus to his 45 Assyrian kings, are (as Polyhistor states Berosus to have meant) to be dated back from the accession of Pul who took tribute from Menahem, and so from between B.C. 770 and B.C. 760, they carry back the beginning of the dynasty to about 1290 B.C. If they be counted, (as is perhaps more probable) from the end of the reign of Pul, i.e. probably B.C. 747, “the era of Nabonassar,” the Empire would commence about 1273 B.C. Herodotus, it has been shewn, had much the same date in his mind, when he assigned 520 years to the Assyrian empire in upper Asia, dating back from the revolt of the Medes. For he supposed this revolt to be 179 years anterior to the death of Cyrus B.C. 529 (and so, B.C. 708) + a period of anarchy before the accession of Deioces. Allowing 30 years for this period of anarchy, we have 738 B.C. + 520, i.e. 1258 B.C, for the date of the commencement of Assyrian empire according to Herodotus. Thus, the three (3) testimonies would coincide in placing the beginning of that Empire anyhow between 1258 and 1273 B.C.

                But this Empire started up full-grown. It was the concentration of energy and power, which had before existed. Herodotus’ expression is “rulers of Upper Asia.” Tiglathpileser attributes to his forefather, that he “organized the country,” and “established the armies of Assyria in authority.” The 2nd king of that list takes the title of “ruler over the people of Bel,” i.e. Babylonia. The 4th boasts to have reduced “all the lands of the Magian world.” Tiglath-pileser I, claims to have conquered large parts of Cappadocia, Syria from Tsukha to Carchemish, Media and Muzr. According to the inscription at Bavian, he sustained a reverse, and lost his gods to a king of Mesopotamia, which gods were recovered by Sennacherib from Babylon. Yet this exception the more proves that conquest was the rule. For, had there been subsequent successful invasions of Assyria by Babylonia, the spoils of the 5th century backward would not have been alone recovered or recorded. If the deciphering of the Inscriptions is to be trusted, Nineveh was the capital, even in the days of Tiglath-pileser I. For Sennacherib brought the gods back, it is said, and put them in their places, i.e. probably where he himself reigned, at Nineveh. Thence then they were taken in the reign of Tiglathpileser. Nineveh then was his capital also.

                Of an earlier portion we have as yet but incidental notices; yet the might of Assyria is attested by the presence of Assyrian names in the Egyptian dynastic lists, whether the dynasties were themselves Assyrian, or whether the names came in through matrimonial alliances between two great nations.

                With few exceptions, as far as appears from their own annals (and these are in the later times confirmed by Holy Scripture), the Assyrian Empire was, almost whenever we hear of it, one long series of victory and rapine. It is an exception, if any monarch is peaceful, and content to “repair the buildings” in his residence, “leaving no evidence of conquest or greatness.” Tiglathi-Nin, father of the warlike Asshur-i-danipal or Sardanapalus, is mentioned only in his son’s monument, “among his warlike ancestors, who had carried their arms into the Armenian mountains, and there set up stelae to commemorate their conquests.” Civil wars there were, and revolutions. Conquerors and dynasties came to an untimely end; there was pariricide, fratricide; but the tide of war and conquest rolled on. The restless warriors gave no rest. Sardanapalus terms himself, “the conqueror from the upper passage of the Tigris to Lebanon and the great sea, who all countries, from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, has reduced under his authority.” His son, Shalmanubar or Slialmaneser, in his thirty-five (35) years of reign led, in person twenty-three (23) military expeditions. 20,000,16,000, are the numbers of his enemies left dead upon a field of battle with Benhadad and Hazael. Cappadocia, Pontus, Armenia, Media, Babylonia, Syria, Phoenicia, 15 degrees of longitude and 10 of latitude, save where the desert or the sea gave him nothing to conquer, were the range of his repeated expeditions. He circled round Judaea. He thrice defeated Benhadad with his allies (on several occasions, twelve kings of the Hittites). His own army exceeded on occasions 100,000 fighting men. Twice he defeated Hazael. Israel under Jehu, Tyre, Sidon, 24 kings in Pontus, kings of the Hittites, of Chaldaea, 27 kings of Persia are among his tributaries; “the shooting of his arrows struck terror,” he says, “as far as the sea” [Indian Ocean]; “he put up his arrows in their quiver at the sea of the setting sun.” His son Shamasiva apparently subdued Babylonia, and in the West conquered tribes near Mount Taurus, on the North the countries bordering on Armenia to the South and East, the Medes beyond Mount Zagros, and “the Zimri in upper Luristan.” His son Ivalush III, or IV, received undisturbed tribute from the kingdoms which his fathers conquered, and ascribes to his god Asshur the grant of “the kingdom of Babylon to his son.” Thus “Assyria with one hand grasped Babylonia; with the other Philistia and Edom; she held Media Proper, S. Armenia, possessed all Upper Syria, including Commagene and Amanus, bore sway over all the whole Syrian coast from Issus to Gaza, and from the coast to the desert.” Tiglath-pileser II, and Shalmaneser are known to us as conquerors from Holy Scripture. Tiglath-pileser, we are told from the inscriptions, warred and conquered in Upper Mesopotamia, Armenia, Media, Babylonia, drove into exile a Babylonian prince, destroyed Damascus, took tribute from a Hiram king of Tyre, and from a Queen of the Arabs. And so it continued, until nearly the close of the Monarchy.

                The new dynasty which began with Sargon were even greater conquerors than their predecessors. Sargon, in a reign of seventeen (17) or nineteen (19) years, defeated the king of Elam, conquered in latbour beyond Elam, reigned from Ras, a dependency on Elam, over Poukoud (Pekod), Phoenicia, Syria, &c. to the river of Egypt, in the far Media to the rising sun, in Scythia, Albania, Parthia, Van, Armenia, Colchis, Tubal to the Moschi: he placed his lieutenants as governors over these countries, and imposed tribute upon them, as upon Assyrians; he, probably, placed Merodach-Baladan on the throne of Babylon, and after 12 years displaced him; he reduced all Chaldaea under his rule; he defeated “Sebech (i.e., probably, So), Sultan of Egypt, so that he was heard of no more;” he received tribute from the Pharaoh of Egypt, from a Queen of Arabia and from Himyar the Sabaean. To him first the king of Meroe paid tribute. He finally captured Samaria: he took Gaza, Kharkar, Arpad and Damascus, Ashdod (which it cost Psammetichus 29 years to reconquer), and Tyre, (which resisted Nebuchadnezzar for 13 years). He added to the Satrapy of Parthia, placed a Satrap or Lieutenant over Commagene and Samaria, Kharkar, Tel-Garimmi, Gamgoum, Ashdod, and a king of his own choice over Albania. He seized 55 walled cities in Armenia, 11, which were held to be “inaccessible fortresses;” and 62 great cities in Commagene; 34 in Media; he laid tribute on the “king of the country of rivers.” He removed whole populations at his will; from Samaria, he carried captive its inhabitants, 27,800, and placed them in “cities of the Medes;” he removed those of Commagene to Elam; all the great men of the Tibareni, and the inhabitants of unknown cities, to Assyria Cammanians, whom he had conquered, to Tel-Garimmi, a capital which he rebuilt; others whom he had vanquished in the East he placed in Ashdod: again he placed “Assyrians devoted to his empire” among the Tibareni; inhabitants of cities unknown to us, in Damascus; Chaldaeans in Commagene. “The Comukha were removed from the extreme North to Susiana, and Chaldaeans were brought from the extreme South to supply their place.” “Seven kings of Iatnan, seven days’ voyage off in the Western seas, whose names were unknown to the kings” his “fathers, hearing of” his “deeds, came before” him to Babylon with”presents;” as did the king of Asmoun, who dwelt in the midst of the Eastern sea (the Persian gulf). He placed his statue, “writing on it the glory of Asshur his master,” in the capital of Van, in Kikisim (Circesium) as also in Cyprus, which he does not name, but where it has been discovered in this century. The Moschian king, with his 3000 towns, who had never submitted to the kings his predecessors, sent his submission and tribute to him.

                Sennacherib, the son of Sargon, says of himself, “Assour, the great Lord, has conferred on me sovereignty over the peoples; lie has extended my dominion over all those who dwell in the world. From the upper Ocean of the setting sun to the lower Ocean of the rising sun, I reduced under my power all who carried aloft their head.” He defeated Merodach Baladan and the king of Elara together; took in one expedition, “79 great strong cities of the Chaldaeans and 820 small towns;” he took prisoners by hundreds of thousands; 200,150 in his first expedition against Hezekiah, from 44 great walled cities which he took and little villages innumerable; 208,000 from the Nabathaeans and Hagarenes: he employed on his great buildings 360,000 men, gathered from Chaldaea and Aramaea, from Cilicia and Armenia; he conquered populations in the North, which “had of old not submitted to the kings my brothers,” annexed them to the prefecture of Arrapachitis and set up his image; he received tribute from the governor of Khararaf, wasted the 2 residence-cities, 34 smaller cities of Ispahara king of Albania, joining a part of the territory to Assyria, and calling its city, Ilhinzas, the city of Sennacherib; he reduced countries of  “Media, whose names the kings his brothers had not heard;” he set a king, Toubaal, over the great and little Sidon, Sarepta, Achzib, Acco, Betzitti, Mahalliba; the kings of Moab, Edom, Bet-Amman, Avvad, Ashdod, submitted to him; he defeated an “innumerable host” of Egyptians at Altakou [Elteke]; sons of the king of Egypt fell into his hands; he captured Ascalon, Bene-Barak, Joppa, Hazor; put back at Amgarron [Migron] the expelled king Padi, who had been surrendered to Hezekiah; gave portions of the territory of Hezekiah to the kings of Ashdod, Migron, Gaza; he drove Merodach-baladan again to Elam, captured his brothers, wasted his cities, and placed his own eldest son, Assurnadin, on the throne of Babylon; took seven (7) impregnable cities of the Toukharri, placed like birds’ nests on the mountains of Nipour; conquered the king of Oukkou in Dayi, among mountains which none of his ancestors had penetrated; took Oukkou and 33 other cities; attached Elam, “crossing” the Persian gulf “in Syrian vessels;” capturing the men, and destroying the cities; in another campaign, he garrisoned, with prisoner-warriors of his own, cities in Elam which his father had lost; destroyed 34 large cities and others innumerable of Elam. His account of his reign closes with a great defeat of Elam, whom the escaped Souzoub had hired with the treasures of the temples of Babylon, and of 17 rebel tribes or cities, at Khalouli, and their entire subdual. He repelled some Greeks in Cilicia, set up his image there, with a record of his deeds, and built Tarsus, on the model of Babylon. It has been noticed, what a “keen appreciation of the merits of a locality” his selection of its site evinced. The destruction of his army of 185,000 men, at the word of God, might well deter him from again challenging the Almighty; but we have seen, in the wars of Napoleon I, that such losses do not break the power of an empire. It was no vain boast of Sennacherib, that he had gathered all the earth, and carried captive the gods of the nations. The boast was true; the application alone was impious. God owned in him the instrument which He had formed, the rod of His anger. He condemned him, only because the axe boasted itself against Him Who hewed therewith. Victorious, except when he fought against God, and employed by God to tread down the people as the mire of the streets, Sennacherib was cut off as God foretold, but left his kingdom to a victorious son.

                His son, Esarhaddon, takes titles, yet more lofty than those of Sennacherib. He calls himself, “King of Assyria, Vicar of Babylon, King of the Sumirs and Accads, King of Egypt, Meroe and Cush, who reigned from sunrising to sun-set, unequalled in the imposition of tributes.” In Armenia, he killed Adrammelech, his half-brother, one of his father’s murderers, who fled to Armenia, probably to dispute thence his father’s crown. In every direction he carried his conquests further than his powerful father. He speaks of conquests in the far Media, “where none of the kings, our fathers,” had conquered, whose kings bore well-known Persian names.

                They and their subjects were carried off to Assyria. Others, who “had not conspired against the kings my fathers and the land of Assyria, and whose territories my fathers had not conquered,” submitted voluntarily in terror, paid tribute and received Assyrian governors. In the West, he pursued by sea a king of Sidon who rebelled, divided the Syrians in strange countries, and placed mountaineers, whom his bow had subdued in the East, with a governor, in a castle of Esarhaddon which he built in Syria. He warred successfully in Cilicia, Khoubousna, and destroyed 10 large cities of the Tibareni and carried their people captive; trod down the country of Masnaki, transported rebels of Van; he established on the Southern shore that son of Merodach-baladan who submitted to him, removing the brother who trusted in Elam, himself reigned in Babylon, whither he carried Manasseh . He reconquered “the city of Adoumou (Edom), (the city of the power of the Arabs,) which Sennacherib had conquered, and carried off its people to Assyria;”  he named as Queen of the Arabs, Tabouya, born in his palace; put the son of Hazael on his father’s throne. An expedition to “a far country to the bounds of the earth beyond the desert,” Bazi (Buz), reached by traversing 140 farsakhs (?) of sandy desert, then 20 farsakhs (?) of fertile land and a stony region, Khazi (Uz), looks like an expedition across Arabia, and, if so, was unparalleled except by Nushirvan. Some of the other names are Arabic. Anyhow, it was a country, whither none of his predecessors had gone; he killed 8 kings, carried off their subjects and spoils. He conquered the Gomboulou in their marshes. Twelve kings on the coast of Syria whom he recounts by name, (Ba’lou king of Tyre, Manasseh king of Judah, and those of Edom, Maan, Gaza, Ascalon, Amgarron, Byblos, Aradus, Ousimouroun, Bet-Ammon, Ashdod) and 10 kings of Yatnan in the sea (Cyprus), –AEgisthus (Ikistousi), King of Idalion (Idial), Pythagoras (Pitagoura) K. of Citium (Kitthim), Ki–,K. of Salamis (Silhimmi), Ittodagon (“Dagon is with him,” Itoudagon), K. of Paphos (Pappa), Euryalus (Irieli), K. of Soli (Sillou), Damasou, K. of Curium (Kuri,) Ounagousou, K. of Limenion (Limini), Roumizu, K. of Tamassus (Tamizzi,) Damtsi of Amti-Khadasti, Puhali of Aphrodisium (Oupridissa), –held their rule from him.

                The names of the countries, from which he brought those whom he settled in Samaria, attest alike his strength and the then weakness of two of the nations, which afterward concurred to overthrow his empire. The colonists, according to their own letters to Artaxerxes, comprehended, among others, Babylonians; Archevites i.e. inhabitants of Erech, mentioned in Genesis, as, together with Babel, part of the beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod; Susanchites, i.e. inhabitants of Susiana or Chusistan; Dehavites, Daans in Herodotus, one of the wandering Persian tribes, whose name (Taia) still exists; Elamites, or the dwellers on the Persian gulf, bordering on Susiana; Apharsites or the Persians in their original abode in Paracs, Paraic, now Farsistan. It seems also probable that the Apharsachites are those more known to us as Sacae or Scythians, whom Esarhaddon says that he conquered; and that the Apharsachthites (with the same word Aphar prefixed) are the Sittaceni on the Caspian. The Dinaites and the Tarphelites are as yet unidentified, unless the Tarpetes of the Palus Maeotis near the Sittaceni, or the Tapiri in Media be a corruption of the name. The Samaritan settlers add, And the rest of the nations, whom the great and noble Asnapper carried captive, and settled in the cities of Samaria and the rest on this side the river. Under this general term, they include the Mesopotamian settlers brought from Avvah and Sepharvaim, and those from Hamath, probably wishing to insist to the Persian Monarch on their Persian, Median, or Babylonian descent. They attest at the same time that their forefathers were not willingly removed but transported, carried into exile, and accordingly that Esarhaddon, in whose reign they were removed, had power in all these countries. The condensation also of settlers trom twelve (12) nations in so small a space as the cities of Samaria (analogous as it is to the dispersion of the Jews over so many provinces of their captors) illustrates the policy of these transportations, and the strength which they gave to the empire. Nations were blended together among those foreign to them, with no common bond except their relation to their conqueror. A check on those around them, and themselves held in check by them, they had no common home to which to return, no interest to serve by rebelling. Esarhaddon built 36 temples in Assyria by the labor of foreign slaves, his captives, who worshiped his gods.

                This collection of people of twelve (12) nations in the cities of Samaria represents moreover one portion only of the conquests of Esarhaddon, and, for the most part, that furthest from Judiva. For the principle of the policy was to remove them far fiom their owi! land. Ethiopian and Egyptian captives would be placed, not here whence they could easily return, but, like Israel in the cities of the Medes, whence they could find no escape.

                The son of Esarhaddon, Asshurbanipal II, yet further enlarged and consolidated the conquests of his conquering father. His expeditions into Egypt have been already dwelt upon; his victories were easy, complete. Tirhaka, himself a great conqueror, fed into unknown deserts beyond reach of pursuits. His step-son Urdaminie attempted to recover his kingdom, was defeated at once, fled and his capital was taken. In Asia, he took away the king of Tyre, who offended him; made conquests beyond Mt. Taurus, where his fathers had never been; received an embassy from Gyges; attached to Assyria a tract of Minni or Persarmenia, took the capital of Minni; took Shushan and Badaca, slew their kings, united Susiana to Babylonia; subdued anew Edom, Moab, Kedar, the Nabathaeans; received the submission of the king of Urarda, Ararat. While Assyria was extended wider than before, its old enemies were more incorporated with it, or, at least, more subdued; it was more at one within itself. Egypt, the great rival Empire, had tried to shake off the yoke, but was subdued; no people in Syria or the valley of the Euphrates stirred itself; the whole tract within the Taurus, once so rife with enemies, lay hushed under his rule: hushed were the Hittites, Hamathites, the (Syrians of Damascus, the Tibareni who had once held their own against his father; war was only at the very extremities, in Minni or Edom, and tliat, rather chastisement than war; Babylon was a tranquil portion of his empire, except during the temporary rebellion of the brother, whom he had placed over it, and whom he pardoned. His death, amid the tranquil promotion of literature, when he had no more enemies to conquer or rebels to chasten, left his empire at the zenith of its power, some 22 years before its destruction. Calno had become, as Sennacherib boasted, like Carchemish; Hamath like Arpad; Samaria of Damascus. He had removed the bounds of the people and gathered all the earth, as one gathereth eggs, left by the parent bird, undefended even by its impotent love. There was not a cloud on the horizon, not a token whence the whirlwind would come. The bas-reliefs attest, that neither the energy nor the cruelty of the Assyrians were diminished.

                Of those twenty-two (22) years, we have nothing reliable except their close. There was probably nothing to relate. There would not be anything, if Asshurbanipal had consolidated his empire, as he seems to have done, and if his son and successor inherited his father’s later tastes, and was free from the thirst of boundless conquest, which had characterized the earlier rulers of Assyria. Anyhow, we know nothing authentic. The invasion of Assyria by Phraortes, which Herodotus relates, is held, on good grounds, to be a later history of a rebellion against Darius Hystaspes, adapted to times before the Medes became one nation. There was no reason why it should not have been recorded, had it taken place, since it is admitted to have been a total defeat, in which Phraortes lost his life. The invasion of the Scythians, which is to have stopped the siege of Nineveh under Cyaxares, was reported in a manifestly exaggerated form to Herodotus. The 28 years, during which Herodotus relates the Scythian rule to have lasted, is longer than the whole of the reign of the last king of Assyria; and yet, according to Herodotus, is to have been interposed between the two sieges of Cyaxares. And as its empire gave no sign of decay, so far as we can trace its history within 22 years before its destruction, so, with the like rapidity, did the empire rise, which was to destroy it. The account which Herodotus received, that the Medians had thrown off the yoke of Assyria before Deioces, is in direct contradiction to the Assyrian inscriptions. This was, they state, the time, not of the revolt, but of the conquest of Media. They are confirmed by Holy Scripture, which says that the Assyrian king [Sargon] placed in the cities of the Medes his Israelitish captives. The utmost, which Herodotus ascribes to Deioces however, is, that he consolidated the six Median tribes and built a capital, Agbatana. It is an union of wild hordes into one people, held together for the time by the will of one man and by their weariness of mutual oppressions. Even according to their accounts, Cyaxares (about B.C. 633, i.e. 8 years before the fall of Nineveh) first organized the Median army; the Greeks, in the time of AEschylus, believed Cyaxares to have been the first of the Median kings; rebels in Media and Sagartia claimed the Median throne against Darius, as descended from Cyaxares, as the founder of the Monarchy.

                Further, the subsequent history supports the account of Abydenus against Herodotus, that not the Medes, but the rebel general of the last Monarch of Nineveh was, with his Babylonian troops, the chief author of the destruction of Nineveh. The chief share of the spoil, where no motives of refined policy intervene, falls to the strongest, who had chief portion in the victory. “The Medes,” says Herodotus, “took Nineveh, and conquered all Assyria, except the Babylonian portion.” But Babylon was no spared province, escaping with its independence as again. Babylonia, not Media, succeeded to the Southern and Western dominions of the Assyrian empire, and the place, where Nineveh had stood, Cyaxares retaining the North. This was a friendly arrangement, since subsequently too we had a Babylonian prince in the expedition of Cyaxares against Asia Minor, and Medians assisting Nebuchadnezzar against the king of Egypt. Abydenus represents the Babylonians and Medes, as equal, but exhibits the rebel general, as the author of the attack. “After him [Sardanapal], Sarac held the empire of Assyria, who, being informed of a horde of mingled troops which were coming against him from the sea, sent Busalossor [Nebopalassar] general of his army, to Babylon. But he, having determined to revolt, betrothed to his son, Nebuchodrossor, Amuhea, daughter of Asdahag, prince of the Medes, and soon made a rapid attack on Nineveh. King Sarac, when he knew the whole, set the palace Evorita on fire. Then Nebuchodrossor, attaining to the empire, encircled Babylon with strong walls.”

                The “horde of mingled troops” “from the sea” were probably those same Susians and Elymsaeans, whom the Assyrians had, in successive reigns, defeated. If the account of Herodotus were true, the father of the Median Monarch had perished in conflict with Assyria. The grandfather of the Assyrian Monarch had himself reigned in Babylon. Assyria ruled Babylon by viceroys to the end. It has been noticed that Nahum mentions no one enemy who should destroy Nineveh. True, for no one enemy did destroy her.

                Even now its fall is unexplained. The conquests of its Monarchs had not been the victories of talented individuals. They were a race of world-wide conquerors. In the whole history, of which we have the annals, they are always on the aggressive. They exacted tribute where they willed. The tide of time bore them on in their conquests. Their latest conquests were the most distant. Egypt, her early rival, had been subdued by her. The powers, which did destroy her, had no common bond of interest. They were united, for one reign, not by natural interests, but, as far as we see, by the ambition of two individuals. These crushed, at at once for ever, the empire which for so many centuries had been the ravager of the world. But who could have foreseen such a combination and such results, save God, in Whose hands are human wills and the fate of empires?

                The fiery empire of conquerors sank like a tropic sun. Its wrath had burned, unassuaged, “from” (in their own words) “the rising to the setting sun.” No gathering cloud had tempered its heat or allayed its violence. Just ere it set, in those last hours of its course, it seemed, as if in its meridian. Its bloodstained disk cast its last glowing rays on that field of carnage in Susiana; then, without a twilight, it sank beneath those stormy waves, so strangely raised, at once and for ever. All, at once, was night. It knew no morrow.

                Its fall is inexplicable still. It may have accelerated its own destruction by concentrating the fierce Chaldees at Babylon. It was weakened by the revolt of its own general, and with him the defection of an army. Still, in those days, the city of 1200 towers, each 200 feet high, its ordinary wall 100 feet high and of such breadth, that three chariots could drive on it abreast, could not be taken by mounds, except by some most gigantic army with patience inexhaustible. Famine could not reduce a city, which, in its 60 miles in circumference, enclosed, like Babylon, space for much cattle, and which could, within its walls, grow corn enough for its population of 600,000. With its perennial supply of provision, it might have laughed to scorn a more formidable foe than the Medes, Elamites and Babylonians, unaccustomed to sieges, except in as far as any had fought in its armies, while the Ninevites possessed the hereditary skill of centuries. Babylon, smaller than Nineveh, was at rest amidst the siege of the more powerful grandson of Cyaxares. Cyrus could only take it by stratagem; Darius Hystaspes, by treachery. Then, every Ninevite was a warrior. Their descendants, the Curds, are still among the fiercest and most warlike people of Asia. The bas-reliefs, which bear internal evidence of truth, exhibit a wonderful blending of indomitable strength of will, recklessness of suffering, inherent physical energy, unimpaired by self-indulgence. A German writer on art says, “You recognize a strong thickset race, of very powerful frame, yet inclined to corpulence, a very peculiar blending of energy and luxury. –The general impression of the figures, whether men, women or eunuchs, has uniforndy something earnest and imposing.” An English writer says still more vividly; “All the figures indicate great physical development, animal propensities very strongly marked, a calm, settled ferocity, a perfect nonchalance amidst the most terrible scones; no change of feature takes place, whether the individual is inflicting or experiencing horrid sufferings. –The pictures are very remarkable as indicating the entire absence of higher mental and moral qualities: and the exuberance of brutal parts of man’s nature. At the same time there is not wanting a certain consciousness of dignity and of inherent power. There is a tranquil energy and fixed determination, which will not allow the beholder to feel any contempt of those stern warriors.

                How then could it fall? The prophecy of Nahum describes, with terrible vividness, a siege; the rousing of its king from a torpor of indolence;  he remembereth his nobles; the orderly advance, the confused preparations for defence; and then, when expectation is strung, and we see besiegers and besieged prepared for the last decisive strife, there is a sudden pause. No human strength overthrows the city.  The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved. And it is decreed, she shall be led away captive. Her captivity follows on the opening of the gates of the rivers. The rivers, ordinarily her strength, were also her weakness. The annals of Sennacherib relate, how he repaired a palace which had been undermined by the Tigris. “The small palace, which was become very ruinous in every part, because the river Tigris, during 16 years, had undermined and ravaged it, [I repaired.]” Dionysius, the Jacobite Patriarch, relates how in his own time, A.D. 763, “the Tigris, overflowing, laid waste all the towns around it, and especially Mosul” (opposite to Nineveh). Barhebraeus, in four different years, mentions the destruction of houses in Bagdad through the overflow of the Tigris. He mentions also a city-wall, overthrown by an inundation, so that 3000 men were drowned in their houses. Ives relates; “The Bishop (of Babylon) remembers that” about 1733 “the Euphrates and Tigris were so overflown, that the whole country between them appeared as one large sea. Over all the plain between Bagdad and Hilla, people could pass only in boats. The Avater flowed quite up to the glacis, the ditch was full, the city also overflown, and the foundation of most of the buildings hurt; 300 houseswere entirely destroyed. To prevent as much as possible” the recurrence of such a calamity, “the Turks now face the foundation-wall of their houses with a composition of charcoal, ashes, and Demar (bitumen).” “The river Khosar,” also, which would be swollen by the same causes as the Tigris, “entered the city,” says Ainsworth, “by an aperture in the walls on the East side, which appears to have formed part of the original plan and to have been protected by a gateway and walls, vestiges of which still remain.” “The Khausser,” says Mr. Rich, “is generally drawn off for irrigating the cotton-plantations in the alluvial ground of the river; when it is much overflowed, it discharges itself into the Tigris above the bridge.” “The Khausser now [Dec. 1. after ” very heavy tropical rain,”] discharges itself direct into the Tigris, and brings an immense body of water.” “After rain, it becomes an impetuous torrent, overflowing its banks and carrying all before it.” “The stone-bridge was carried away one night by the violence of the Khausser, on a sudden inundation.” On a lesser swelling of the river, –”the water-wheels were removed” in precaution “and the bridge of boats opened.” Cazwini, the Arabic geographer, speaks of “the rivers of Nineveh.”

                Ctesias, being a writer of suspected authority, cannot safely be alleged in proof of the fulfillment of prophecy. Yet in this case his account, as it is in exact conformity with the obvious meaning of the prophecy of Nahum, so it solves a real difficulty, how Nineveh, so defended, could have fallen. It seems certain that the account of the siege taken from him by Diodorus, is that of the last siege. It has been remarked that the only event of the siege, known from any other source, viz. that the last Assyrian king, when he had learned the combination of the Medes and Babylonians against him, set fire to his palace, is related also by Ctesias. Ctesias has also the same fact, that the Babylonian revolt was recent; the name of the revolted general in Ctesias, Belisis, is the latter half of that given to him by Abydenus, Nebopalassar, omitting only the name of the god, Nebo. The rest of the history is in itself probable. The success of the Assyrian monarch at first against the combined armies, and the consequent revelry, are that same blending of fierceness and sensuality which is stamped on all the Assyrian sculptures, continued to the end. The rest of his relation, which, on account of the facts of nature, which we know, but which, since they are gathered from sources so various, Ctesias probably did not know, is, in itself, probable, accounts for what is unaccounted for, and corresponds with the words of Nahum. It is, “Sardanapalus, seeing the whole kingdom in the greatest danger, sent his three sons and two daughters with much wealth to Paphlagonia to Cotta the Governor, being the best-disposed of his subjects. He himself sent by messengers to all his subjects for forces, and prepared what was needed for the siege. He had an oracle handed down from his forefathers, that no one should take Nineveh, unless the river first became an enemy to the city. Conceiving that this never would be, he held to his hopes, purposing to abide the siege and awaited the armies to be sent by his subjects.” “The rebels, elated by their successes, set themselves to the siege, but on account of the strength of the walls, could in no wise injure those in the city.” “But these had great abundance of all necessaries through the foresight of the king. The siege then being prolonged for two years, they pressed upon it; assaulting the walls and cutting off those therein from any exit into the country.” “In the 3rd year, the river, swollen by continuous and violent rains, inundated a part of the city and overthrew 20 stadia of the wall. Then the king, thinking that the oracle was fulfilled, and that the river was plainly an enemy to the city, despaired of safety. And, not to fall into the enemy’s hands, he made an exceeding great pile in the palace, heaped up there all the gold and silver and the royal apparel, and having shut up his concubines and eunuchs in the house formed in the midst of the pile, consumed himself and all the royalties with them all. The rebels, hearing that Sardanapalus had perished, possessed themselves of the city, entering by the broken part of the wall.”

                Yet Nahum had also prophesied; “the fire shall devour thy bars;” “fortify thy strong holds, there shall the fire devour thee;” “I will burn her chariots in the smoke,” and all the ruins of Nineveh still speak from beneath the earth where they lie interred, that, overthrown as they have been by some gigantic power, fire consumed them within. “The palaces of Khorsabad (Dur Sarjina) and Nimrud shew equal traces of fire with those of Koyunjik.” “The recent excavations have shown that fire was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh palaces. Calcined alabaster, masses of charred wood and charcoal, colossal statues split through with the heat, are met with in parts of the Ninevite mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy.” “It is evident from the ruins that Khorsabad and Nimroud were sacked, and set on fire.”

                Yet this does not exhaust the fullness of the prophecy. Nahum not only foretold the destruction of Nineveh, that it should be empty, void, waste, there is no healing of Ihy bruise, but in emphatic words, that its site also should be a desolation. With are overrunning flood He shall make the place thereof (mekomah) a desolation. This was then new in the history of the world. Cities have remained, while empires passed away. Rome, Constantinople, Athens, Damascus, Alexandria, Venice, abide, although their political might is extinct. No or Thebes itself survived its capture by Sargon and a yet later loss of its inhabitants nearly two (2) centuries, when the more fatal conquest of Cambyses, and perhaps the rise of Memphis perpetuated its destruction. Nahum foretells emphatically as to Nineveh, “He will make the place thereof an utter consumption.” Not only would God destroy the then Nineveh; but the very place or site thereof should be an utter desolation. There was, then, no instance of so great a city passing away. Such had not been Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian policy. It had become an established policy in Sennacherib’s time to remove populations, not to destroy cities. And these two policies were incompatible. For a conqueror who would remove populations must have, whither to remove them. Nineveh itself had conquered Babylon and Shushan, and the cities of the Medes; but had placed her own lieutenants in them. The mere destruction of such a city as Nineveh was “contrary to experience.” Even later than this, Babylon, notwithstanding its rebellions, was spared by its first (1st) conqueror, and survived to be the grave of its second (2nd), Alexander. Xenophon describes Nineveh under the name of Mespila (of which Mosul has been supposed to be a corruption) “a wall, void, large, lying against the city –the basement was of polished stone, full of shells, its width 50 feet, its height 50 feet. Thereon was built a wall of brick, its breadth 50 feet, the height 100; the circuit was six farsangs,” i.e. 22 1/2 miles. The shell remained; the tumult of life was gone. Its protecting bulwarks remained; all, which they protected, had disappeared. They had forgotten already on the spot what it had been or by whom it had perished. “The Medes inhabited it formerly. It was said that Media, a king’s wife, had fled thither, when the Medes were losing their power through the Persians. The Persian king, besieging this city, could not take it, either by time or force; but Zeus made the inhabitants senseless, and so it was taken.” A little later, Alexander marched over its site to gain the world, not knowing that a world-empire, like that which he gave his life to found, was buried under his feet. Gaugamela, near which Darius lost his empire, must have been close to its site. Yet three centuries (300 yrs), and history, not its mere neighbors only, had forgotten when it had perished. Strabo says, “It was effaced immediately after the destruction of the Syrians.” Nearly two centuries later is Lucian’s saying, “Nineveh has perished, and there is no trace left where it once was.” Yet before this time, in the reign of Claudius, the Romans had built a new Nineveh which they called by his name “Ninive Claudiopolis.” In the 6th century, it is mentioned as a Christian see. Its episcopate was taken away, probably on account of its decline, early in the 9th century; and it was united to Mosul. It was still in being at the beginning of the 14th century. Yet, in the 12th century, as a whole, “it was desolate, but there were there many villages and castles.” This was not the Nineveh of prophecy; but it too was swept away, and a few coins alone attest the existence of the Roman city. “The city, and even the ruins of the city,” relates Gibbon of the last victory of Heraclius, “had long since disappeared; the vacant space afforded a spacious field for the operation of the two armies.” A line of lofty mounds, on the East of Tigris, long drew but a momentary gaze from the passers-by; a few cottages surmounted the heaps, which entombed the palaces of king’s, who were the terror of the East; the plough turned up, unheeded, the bricks, which recorded their deeds; the tide of war swept over it anew; the summer’s sands again filled up “the stupendous mass of brick-work, occasionally laid bare by the winter rains.” The eyes rested on nothing but “the stern shapeless mound, rising like a hill from the scorclied plain.” “The traveler is at a loss to give any form to the rude heaps, upon which he is gazing. Those of whose works they are the remains, unlike the Roman and the Greek, have left no visible traces of their civilization or of their arts; their influence has long since passed away. The scene around him is worthy of the ruin he is contemplating; desolation meets desolation; a feeling of awe succeeds to wonder, for there is nothing to relieve the mind, to lead to hope, or to tell of what has gone by. Those huge mounds of Assyria made a deeper impression upon me, gave rise to more serious thoughts and more earnest reflection, than the temples of Baalbec and the theatres of Ionia.”

                In 1827, Buckingham still wrote: “we came in about an hour to the principal mounds which are thought to mark the site of the ancient Nineveh. There are four of these mounds, disposed in the form of a square; and these, as they shew neither bricks, stones, nor other materials of building, but are in many places overgrown with grass, resemble the mounds left by entrenchments and fortifications of ancient Roman camps. The longest of these mounds runs nearly N. and 8. and consists of several ridges of unequal height, the whole appearing to extend for four or five miles in length. There are three other distinct mounds, which are all near to the river, and in the direction of E. and W.—There are appearances of mounds and ruins extending for several miles to the southward; and still more distinctly seen to the Northward of this, though both are less marked than the mounds of the centre. The space between these is a level plain, over every part of the face of which, broken pottery, and the other usual debris of ruined cities are seen scattered about.” “Mounds and smaller heaps of ruins were scattered widely over the plain, sufficient to prove, that the site of the original city occupied a vast extent.” Niebuhr had ridden through Nineveh unknowingly. “I did not learn that I was at so remarkable a spot, till near the river. Then they showed me a village on a great hill, which they call Nunia, and a mosque, in which the prophet Jonah was buried. Another hill in this district is called Kalla Nunia, or the Castle of Nineveh. On that lies a village Koindsjug. At Mosul, where I dwelt close by the Tigris, they showed me in addition the walls of Nineveh, which in my journey through I had not observed, but supposed to be a set of hills.”  “It is well-known,” begins an account of the recent discoveries, “that in the neighborhood of Mosul, travelers had observed some remarkable mounds, resembling small hills, and that Mr. Rich had, thirty (30) years ago, called attention to one called Koyunjik; in which fragments of sculpture and pottery had been frequently discovered.

                And yet, humanly speaking, even if destroyed, it was probable before-hand, that it would not altogether perish. For a town near its site was needed for purposes of commerce. Of the two routes of commerce from the Persian gulf to the North by the Euphrates or by the Tigris, the Tigris-route was free from the perils of the arid wilderness, through which the line

by the Euphrates passed. If, for the downward course, the Euphrates itself was navigable, yet the desert presented a difficulty for caravans returning upward from the Persian Gulf. Arrian, who mentions the two lines of travel, says that Alexander, having crossed the Euphrates at Thapsacus, chose the less direct line by the Tigris, as having a better supply of all things, food

for his cavalry, and a less scorching heat. The mention of Haran (afterward Carrhae) Canneh, and Asshur in Ezekiel, (in one verse) seems to indicate tlie continuation of the same line of commerce with Tyre, which must have existed from praehistoric times (i.e. from times of which we have no definite historic account), since there is no ground to question the statement of the Phoenicians themselves in Herodotus, that they had come from the Erythraean sea, i.e. the Persian gulf. The later hindrances to the navigation of the Tigris by the great dams (probably for irrigation), were of Persian date; but they could have had no great effect on the actual commerce; since for the greater part of the upward course on the Tigris line, this also must, on account of the rapidity of the river, have been by caravans. The route was still used in the middle ages. “The ancient road and the modern one on the upper Tigris follow, pretty nearly throughout, the same line, it being determined by the physical necessities of the soil.” In the 16th century, “from the head of the Persian gulf two commercial lines existed: by one of them goods were carried some way up the Euphrates, and then by land to Bir, Aleppo, Iskenderun. By the other they followed the Tigris to Baghdad and were carried by Diyar-Bekr and Sivas to Terabuzum.” [But Mosul was necessarily on the way from Baghdad to Diyar Bekr]. Mosul still lies on the line of commerce, from the Persian gulf, Basrah, Baghdad, Mosul, Mardin, Diyar-Bekr to Iskenderun, the port of Aleppo, or Trebizond [Tarabuzum]. It still carries on some commerce with Kurdistan and other provinces [beside Diyar-Bekr and Baghdad]. Col. Chesney, in 1850, advocated the advantages of extending the line of commerce by British stations at Diyar-Bekr and Mardin, in addition to and connection with those already existing at Baghdad and Mosul. There is, in fact, a consent as to this. Layard writes; “The only impediment between tiie Syrian coast and the Tigris and Euphrates in any part of their course, arises from the want of proper security. The navigation of the Persian gulf is, at all times, open and safe; and a glance at the map will shew that a line through the Mediterranean, the port of Suedia, Aleppo, Mosul, Baghdad, Busrah, and the Indian Ocean to Bombay is as direct as can well be desired. With those prospects, and with the incalculable advantages, which a flourishing commerce and a safe and speedy transit through, perhaps, the richest portions of its dominions would confer upon the Turkish empire, it would seem that more than Eastern apathy is shown in not taking some steps, tending to restore security to the country watered by the Tigris and Euphrates.” Ainsworth suggests a still wider commerce, of which Mosul might be the centre. “With a tranquil state of the surrounding country, Mosul presents mercantile advantages of no common order. –There are several roads open to Persia, across the mountains; a transit from five (5) to seven (7) days, and by which, considering the short distance and good roads from Mosul to Iskenderun, British manufactures might be distributed into the heart of Persia, in a time and at an expense, which the line of Trebizond Erzrum and Tabriz, that of Bushire and Baghdad, or the Russian line of Astrakhan Bakhu and Mazenderan can never rival.”

                But although marked out by these advantages for continuance, even when its power was gone, Nineveh was to perish and it perished. Nor ought it to be alleged, that in other cases too, “if the position of the old capital was deemed, from political or commercial reasons, more advantageous than any other, the population was settled in its neighborhood, as at Delhi, not amidst its ruins.” For 1) there was, at the time of Nahum, no experience of the destruction of any such great city as Nineveh; 2) In the case of conquest, the capital of the conquering empire became, ipso facto, the capital of the whole; but this did not, in itself, involve the destruction of the former. Babylon, from having been the winter residence of Cyms, became the chief residence of the Persian Emperor at the time of Alexander, and continued to exist for many centuries, after the foundation of Seleucia, although it ceased to be a great city. And this, notwithstanding its two rebellions under Darius, and that under Xerxes. There was no ground of human policy against Nineveh’s continuing, such as Mosul became, any more than Mosul itself. It existed for some time, as a Christian See.

                The grandeur, energy, power, vividness of Nahum, naturally can be fully felt only in his own language. The force of his brief prophecy is much increased by its unity. Nahum had one sentence to pronounce, the judgments of God upon the power of this world, which had sought to annihilate the kingdom of God. God, in His then kingdom in Judah, and the world, were come face to face. What was to be the issue? The entire final utter overthrow of whatever opposed God. Nahum opens then with the calm majestic declaration of the majesty of God; who God is, against whom they rebelled; the madness of their rebellion, and the extinction of its chief: (c. 1); then in detail, what was to come long after that first overthrow, the siege and capture of Nineveh itself, (c. 2.); then, in wider compass, the overthrow of the whole power (c. 3.). It was to be the first instance, in the history of mankind, of a power so great, perishing and forever. Nahum’s office Mas not, as Jonah’s, to the people itself. There is then no call to repentance, no gleam of God’s mercy toward them in this life. Nineveh was to perish wholly, as the habitable world had perished in the time of Noah. The only relief is in the cessation of so much violence. There is no human joy expressed at this destruction of the enemy of God and of His people; no sorrow, save that there can be no sorrow ; “who will bemoan her? whence shall I find comforters for her?”

                In conformity with this concentration of Nahum’s subject, there is little in outward style or language to connect him with the other Prophets. His opening (as already observed) bears upon God’s declarations of mercy and judgment; but, Nineveh having filled up the measure of its iniquites, he had to exhibit the dark side of those declarations; how much lay in those words, “that will by no means clear the guilty.” “Jonah and Nahum form connected parts of one moral history, the remission of God’s judgment being illustrated in the one, the execution of it in the other: the clemency and the just severity of the Divine government being contained in the mixed delineation of the two books.” His evangelic character just gleams through, in the eight (8) tender words, in which he seems to take breath, as it were; (“Tob Yhvh lemaoz beyomtsarah, veyodeah chose bo,”) “Good is God (Yhvh), refuge in day of trouble, and knowing trusters in Him;” then again, in the few words, which I think Isaiah expanded, “Lo on the mountains the feet of a good-tidings-bearer, peace-proclaimer.” Else there is only the mingled tenderness and austereness of truth, which would sympathize with the human being, but that that object had, by putting off all humanity, alienated all which is man. “Who will bemoan her? Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?” Who? and Whence? None had escaped evil from her. “Upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?”

                It is difficult for us, who have to gather up our knowledge of the sacred language from the fragments which remain, in which also the number of words forms and idioms, which stand out singly here and there, seem but so many specimens of lost treasure, to judge with any certainty, whether any approximation of idiom, which we may observe, implies any connection between the writers in whom it occurs. Nahum has, especially in his picture of the capture of Nineveh, so many of those (hapax legomena), consisting often of slight modifications, his language is so rich and so original, that one the more doubts whether in those idioms, in which he seems to approximate to other prophets, the expressions in common do not belong to the common stock of the language; and that the more, since mostly part of the idiom only coincides, the rest is ditferent. As for the so-called Syriasms or other peculiarities of language which Hitzig would have to be evidences of a later date, and from some of which others would infer that Nahum lived at Nineveh itself, “the wish has been father to the thought.” One only solid ground there would be why Nahum should not have written his prophecy, when, according to all history, it could alone have any interest for Judah, long before the event itself, viz. if He to Whom all, past and future, are present, could

not or did not declare beforehand things to come.  (* “Did Nahum predict the downfall of Nineveh a century before the event? If he was a younger contemporary of Isaiah, he did so. He prophesied, say some, about the 14th year of Hezekiah and graphically painted the overthrow of Assyria’s metropolis. The interval consists of about one hundred (100) years. Is not the analogy of Prophecy violated here? If a specific event be foretold long before it happened, what becomes of the canon or principle that prophecy presents nothing more than the prevision of events in the immediate future?  [Dr. Ds. italics.]” The principle in question is almost axiomatic.”  [Introd. iii. 298]. It passes for an axiom in the school, whose results Dr. Davidson gives to the English ; i.e. it is a petitio principii applied to each prophecy in turn. *) If there be prophecy, the siege of Nineveh might be as vividly presented to the Prophet’s mind, as if he saw it with his bodily eyes.

                Introduction to the Prophet HABAKKUK.

                Habakkuk is eminently the prophet of reverential, awe-filled faith. This is the soul and centre of his prophecy. One word alone he addresses directly to his people. It is of marvel at their want of faith. Behold among the heathen and gaze attentively, and marvel, marvel; for I am working a work in your days; ye will not believe, when it is declared nto you. He bids them behold, and gaze, for God is about to work in their own days; he bids them prepare themselves to marvel, and marvel on; for it was a matter, at which political wisdom would stagger; and they, since they had not faith, would not believe it. The counterpart to this, is that great blessing of faith, which is the key-stone of his whole book, the just shall live by his faith.

                Isaiah had foretold to Hezekiah that his treasures should be carried to Babylon, his sons be eunuchs in the palace of its king. He had foretold the destruction of Babylon and the restoration of the Jews. Prophecy in Habakkuk, full as it is, is almost subordinate. His main subject is, that which occupied Asaph in the 73rd Psalm, the afflictions of the righteous amid the prosperity of the wicked. The answer is the same; the result of all will be one great reversal, the evil drawing upon themselves evil, God crowning the patient waiting of the righteous in still submission to His holy Will. The just shall live by his faith, occupies the same

place in Habakkuk, as I know that my Redeemer liveth, does in Job, or Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and after that receive me into glory, in Asaph.

                His first subject is, faith struggling under the oppressive sight of the sufferings of the good from the bad within God’s people; the second, the sufferings at the hands of those who are God’s instruments to avenge that wickedness. The third, that of his great hymn, is faith, not jubilant until the end, yet victorious, praying, believing, seeing in vision what it prays for, and triumphing in that, of which it sees no tokens, whose only earnest is God’s old loving-kindnesses to His people, and His Name, under which He had revealed Himself, “He Who Is,” the Unchangeable.

                The whole prophecy is, so to speak, a colloquy between the prophet and God. He opens it with a reverential, earnest, appeal to God, like that of the saints under the heavenly Altar in the Revelations, How long? The prophet had prayed to God to end or mitigate the violence, oppressions, strife, contention, despoiling, powerlessness of the law, crookedness of justice, entrapping of the righteous by the wicked. God answers, that a terrible day of retribution was coming, that He Himself would raise up the Chaldees, as the instruments of His chastisements, terrible, self-dependent, owning no law or authority but their own will, deifying their own power, sweeping the whole breadth of the land, possessing themselves of it, taking every fenced city, and gathering captives as the sand. This answers the one half of Habakkuk’s question, as to the prosperity of the wicked among his people. It leaves the other half, as to the condition of the righteous, unanswered. For such scourges of God swept away the righteous with the wicked. Habakkuk then renews the question as to them. But, as Asaph began by declaring his faith, All-good is God to Israel, the true Israel, the pure of heart, so Habakkuk, “Israel would not die, because He, their God, is Unchangeable.” “Art not Thou of old, Lord, my God, my holy One? we shall not die; Thou, Lord, has set him [the Chaldee] for judgment, and Thou, Rock; has founded him to chasten. Then he appeals to God, “Why then is this? Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil –wherefore keepest Thou silence, when the wicked devoureth him who is more righteous than he.” This closes the first chapter and the first vision, in which he describes, with the vividness of one who saw it before him, the irresistible invasion of the Chaldaeans. Israel was meshed as in a net; should that net be emptied?

                The second chapter exhibits the prophet waiting in silent expectation for the answer. This answer too dwells chiefly on those retributions in this life, which are the earnest of future judgments, the witness of the sovereignty of God. But although in few words, it does answer the question as to the righteous, that he has abiding life, that he lives and shall live. God impresses the importance of the answer in the words, Write the vision i.e. the prophecy, and make it plain on the tables, whereon the prophet was wont to write, that he may run who reads it. He says also, that it is for a time fixed in the mind of God, and that however, in man’s sight, it might seem to linger, it would not be aught behind the time. Then he gives the answer itself in the words, Behold his soul which is puffed up is not upright in him; and the just shall live by his faith. The swelling pride and self-dependence of the Chaldee stands in contrast with the trustful submission of faith. Of the one God says, it has no ground of uprightness, and consequently will not stand before God; of faith, he says, the righteous shall live by it. But the life plainly is not the life of the body. For Habakkuk’s ground of complaint was the world-wasting cruelty of the Chaldees. The woe on the Chaldee which follows is even chiefly for bloodshed, in which the righteous and the wicked are massacred alike. The simple word, shall live, is an entire denial of death, a denial even of any interruption of life. It stands in the same fullness as those words of our Lord, because I live, ye shall live also. The other side of the picture, the fall of the Chaldees, is given in greater fullness, because the fulfillment of God’s word in things seen was the pledge of the fulfillment of those beyond tlie veil of sense and time. In a measured dirge he pronounces a five-fold woe on the five great sins of the Chaldees, their ambition, covetousness, violence, insolence, idolatry. It closes with the powerlessness of the Chaldee idols against God, and bids the whole world be hushed before the presence of the One God, its Maker, awaiting His sentence.

                Then follows the prayer, that God would revive His work for Israel, which now seemed dead. He describes the revival as coming, under the images of God’s miraculous deliverances of old. The division of the Red Sea and the Jordan, the standing-still of the sun and moon under Joshua, are images of future deliverances; all nature shakes and quivers at the presence of its Maker. Yet not it, but the wicked were the object of His displeasure. The prophet sees his people delivered as at the Red Sea, just when the enemy seemed ready to sweep them away, as with a whirlwind. And, in sight of the unseen, he closes with that wondrous declaration of faith, that all nature should be desolate, all subsistence gone, everything, contrary to God’s promises of old to His people, should be around him, and I will rejoice in the Lord, Iivill exult for joy in the God of my salvation.

                This prophecy is not less distinct, becausefigurative. Rather it is the declaration of God’s deliverance of His people, not from the Chaldees only, but at all times. The evil is concentrated in one Evil one, who stands over against the One anointed. Thou art gone forth for the salvaiioii of Thy people ; for salvation with Thine anointed One. Thou crushedst the head out of the house of the wicked One, laying bare the foundation unto the neck, i. e. smiting the house, at once, above and below ; with an utter destruction. It belongs then the more to all times, until the closing strife between evil and good, Christ and Antichrist, the (anomos) and the Lord. It includes the Chaldee, and each great Empire which opposes itself to the kingdom of God, and declares that, as God delivered His people of old, so He would unto the end.

                It may be that Habakkuk chose this name to express the strong faith, whereby he embraced the promises of God. At least, it means one who “strongly enfolds.”

                Perhaps too it is on account of the form in  which his prophecy is cast, as being spoken (with the exception of that one verse) to God or to the Chaldaean, not to his own people, that he added the title of Prophet to his name. The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. For, however the name “prophet” includes all to whom revelations from God came, it is nowhere, in the Old Testament, added as the name of an office to any one, who did not exercise the practical, office of the Prophet. Our Lord quotes David as the Prophet, and God says to Abimelech of Abraham, He is a Prophet, and, in reference to this, the Psalmist speaks of the Patriarchs, as Prophets. He reproved kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not Mine anointed and do My prophets no harm, and Hosea speaks of Moses as a prophet, and St. Peter says of David, He being a prophet. But the title is nowhere in the Old Testament added to the name as it is here, Habakkuk the prophet, and as it is elsewhere Samuel the prophet, the prophet Gad’, Nathan the prophet, Ahijah the prophet, the prophet Jehu, Elijah the prophet, Elisha the prophet, Shemaiah the prophet, the prophet Iddo, the prophet Obed, Isaiah the prophet, Jeremiah the prophet, Haggai the prophet, unless any have exercised the prophetic office. The title of the Prophet is not, in the Old Testament, added to the names of Jacob or even of Moses or David or Solomon or Daniel, although they all prophesied of Christ.               Since Holy Scripture often conveys so much incidentally, it may be that a large range of ministerial office is hinted in the words “write on the tables;” for “the tables” must have been well-known tables, tables upon which prophets (as Isaiah) and probably Habakkuk himself was accustomed to write. The writing of a few emphatic unexplained words in a public place, which should arouse curiosity, or startle passers-by, would be in harmony with the symbolical actions, enjoined on the prophets and used by them. The Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin, had, from their mysteriousness, an impressiveness of their own, apart from the miracle of the writing.                

                The words appended to the prophecy, to the chief singer, (as we should say, “the leader of the band”) with or on my stringed instruments, imply, not only that the hymn became part of the devotions of the temple, but that Habakkuk too had a part in the sacred music which accompanied it. The word so rendered, neginothai, could only mean my stringed instruments, or “my song accompanied with music,” as Hezekiah says, we will sing my songs on the stringed instruments nenaggen neginothai. But in Habakkuk’s subscription, “To the chief musician binginothai,” neginoth can have no other meaning than in the almost identical inscription of Psalms, “To the chief muisician binginoth,” nor this any other than with stringed instruments, “instruments struck with the hand.” The addition, “with my stringed instruments,” shews that Habakkuk himself was to accompany his hymn with instrumental music, and since the mention of the chief musician marks out that it was to form part of the temple-service, Habakkuk must have been entitled to take part in the temple-music, and so must have been a Levite. The Levitical order then had its prophet, as the sacerdotal in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The tradition in the title to Bel and the Dragon, whatever its value, agrees with this; “from the prophecy of Ambakum, son of Jesus, of the tribe of Levi.”

                This, however, does not give us any hint as to the time when Habakkuk prophesied. For, bad as were the times of Manasseh and Amon, their idolatry consisted in associating idols with God, setting them up in His courts, bringing one even into His temple, not in doing away His service. They set the two services, and the two opinions, side by side, adding the false, but not abolishing the true, “consenting to differ,” leaving to the worshipers of God their religion, while forcing them to endure, side by side, what seemed an addition, but what was, in fact, a denial. Habakkuk then might have been allowed to present his hymn for the temple-service, while the king placed in the same temple the statue of Astarte, and required its devil’s worship to be carried on there. The temple was allowed to go into some degree of decay, for Josiah had it repaired; but we read only of his removing idols, not of his having to restore the disused service of God. Of Ahaz it is recorded, that he shut up the doors of the home of the Lord, which Hezekiah had to open. Nothing of this sort is told of Manasseh and Amon. 

                Habakkuk, however, has two hints, which determine his age within a few years. He says that the invasion of the Chaldseans was to be in the days of those to whom he speaks; in you days. Accordingly he must have spoken to adults, many of whom would survive that invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, in the 4th year of Jehoiakim B.C. 605. He can hardly have prophesied before B.C. 645, about the close of Manasseh’s reign; for at this date, those who were 20 at the time of the prophecy, would have been 60, at the time of its commenced fulfillment at the battle of Carchemish. On the other hand, in that he speaks of that invasion as a thing incredible to those to whom he was speaking, he must have prophesied before Babylon became independent by the overthrow of Nineveh, B.C. 625. For when Babylon had displaced Nineveh, and divided the Empire of the East with Media and Egypt, it was not a thing incredible, that it would invade Judah in their own days, although it was beyond human knowledge to declare that it certainly would. The Babylonian Empire itself lasted only eighty-nine years; and, to human sight, Judah had as much or more to fear from Egypt as from Babylon. The Median Empire also might as well have swallowed up Judah for the time, as the Babylonian.

                The relation of Zephaniah to Habakkuk coincides with this. Zephaniah certainly adopted the remarkable word, lit. Hush at the presence of the Lord God, from Habakkuk’s fuller form, the Lord is in His holy temple; hush at His presence all the earth.

                But Zephaniah prophesied under Josiah, before the destruction of Nineveh B.C. 625, which he foretold, Habakkuk was also, at latest, an earlier contemporary of Jeremiah who, in one place, at least, in his earlier prophecies, used his language, as he does so often, of set purpose, that of the prophets before him, in order to shew that the fullness of their prophecies was not yet exhausted. But Jeremiah began to prophesy in the thirteenth (13th) year of Josiah B.C. 629. Habakkuk, on the other hand, joins himself on with the old prophets and Psalms by the employment of language of Isaiah and perhaps of Micah, by the use of language of Deuteronomy, and by the expansion of a Psalm of Asaph in his own Psalm, but does not systematically renew their prophecies like Jeremiah or Zephaniah.  

                The ministry then of Habakkuk falls in the latter half of the reign of Manasseh or the earlier half of that of Josiah, (for the reign of Amon, being of two years only, is too short to come into account), and there is no decisive evidence for either against the other. In the reign of Manasseh, we are expressly told, that there were prophets, sent to foretell a destruction of Jerusalem as complete as that of Samaria, on account of the exceeding wickedness, into which Manasseh seduced his people. The Lord spake by His servants, the prophets, saying, Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down; and I will forsake the remnant of their inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and spoil to all their enemies.            

                The sinful great men of Manasseh’s and Amon’s court and judicature are but too likely to have maintained their power in the early years of the reign of Josiah. For a boy of eight (8) years old (at which age Josiah succeeded his father) could, amid whatsoever sense of right and piety,  do little to stem the established wrong and ungodliness of the evil counsellors and judges of his father and grandfather. The sins, which Jeremiah denounces, as the cause of the future captivity of Jerusalem, are the very same, of which Habakkuk complains, “oppression, violence, spoil.” Jeremiah speaks, in the concrete, of total absence of right judgment, as Habakkuk, in the abstract, of the powerlessness of the law. Zephaniah gives the like picture of those earlier years under Josiah. But Habakkuk’s description would not suit the later years of Josiah, when judgment and justice were done. Did not thy father, Jeremiah appeals to Jehoiakim, eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him; he judged the cause of the poor and needy, then it was well with him; was not this to know Me saith the Lord. But while there is nothing to preclude his having prophesied in either reign, the earliest tradition places him in the close of the reign of Manasseh                         Modern critics have assigned an earlier or later date to Habakkuk, accordingly as they believed that God did, or did not, reveal the future to man, that there was or was not, superhuman prophecy. Those who denied that God did endow His prophets with knowledge above nature, fell into two classes; 1) Such as followed Eichhorn’s unnatural hypothesis, that prophecies were only histories of the past, spoken of, as if it were still future, to which these critics gave the shameless title of “vaticinia post eventum.” (prediction after it happens) These plainly involved the prophets in fraud. 2) Those who laid down that each prophet lived at a time, when he could, with human foresight, tell what would happen. Would that those who count certainty, as to even a near future, to be so easy a thing, would try their hands at predicting the events of the next few years or months, or even days, and, if they fail, acknowledge God’s Truth! This prejudice, that there could be no real prophecy, ruled, for a time, all German criticism. It cannot be denied, that “the unbelief was the parent of the criticism, not the criticism of the unbelief.” It is simple matter of history, that the unbelief came first; and, if men, a priori, disbelieved that there could be prophecy, it must needs be a postulate of their criticism, that what seemed to be prophecy could not have belonged to a date, when human foresight did not suffice for positive prediction. I will use the words of Delitzsch rather than my own;

                (“The investigation into the age of Habakkuk could be easily and briefly settled, if we would start from the prejudice, which is the soul of modern criticism, that a prediction of the future, which rested, not on human inferences or on a natural gift of divination, but on supernatural illumination, is impossible. For since Habakkuk foretold the invasion of the Chaldees, he must, in such case, have come forward at a time, at which natural acuteness could, with certainty, determine beforehand that sad event; accordingly in or after the time of the battle of Carchemish in the 4th year of Jehoiakim 606 B.C. In this decisive battle Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Necho, and it was more than probable that the king of Babylon would now turn against Judaea, since Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, had been set on the throne by Pharaoh Necho, and so held with Egypt. And this is in reality the inference of modern critics. They bring the Chaldaeans so close under the eyes of the prophet, that he could, by way of nature, foresee their invasion; and so much the closer under his eyes, the more deeply the prejudice, that there is no prophecy in the Biblical sense of the word, has taken root in them, and the more consistently they follow it out. ‘Habakkuk prophesied under Jehoiakim, for,’ so Jager expresses himself, ‘since Jehoiakim was on the side of the Egyptians, it was easy to foresee, that‘; &c.’ Just so Ewald; ‘One might readily be tempted to think, that Habakkuk wrote, while the pious king Josiah was still living; but since the first certain invasion of the Chaldaeans, of which our account speaks, falls within the reign of king Jehoiakim, somewhat between 608-604 B.C. we must abide by this date.’ Hitzig defines the dates still more sharply, according to that principle of principles, to which history with its facts must adapt itself unconditionally. ‘The prophet announces the arrival of the Chaldaeans in Judaea, as something marvelous.’  Well then, one would imagine, that it would follow from this, that at that time they had not yet come. But no! ‘Habakkuk,’ says Hitzig, ‘introduces the Chaldaeans as a new phaenomenon, as yet entirely unknown; he prophesied accordingly at their first arrival into Palestine. But this beyond question falls in the reign of Jehoiakim”. In Jehoiakim’s fourth (4th) year, i.e. 606, they had fought the battle at Carchemish; in 605 the Chaldaean army seems to have been on its march; the writing of Habakkuk is placed most correctly in the beginning of the year 604 accordingly, at the time, when the Chaldaeans were already marching with all speed straight on Jerusalem, and (as Hitzig infers from Hab. 1:9) after they had come down from the North along the coast, were now advancing from the West, when they, as Ewald too remarks (resting, like Maurer on 1:2-4), ‘already stood in the holy land, trampling everything under foot with irresistible might, and allowing their own right alone to count as right.  Holding fast to that naturalist a priori, we go yet further. In 2:17, the judgment of God is threatened to the Chaldaean, on account of the violence practiced on Lebanon, and the destruction of its animals. Lebanon is, it is said, the holy land; the animals, its inhabitants: in 3:14, 17, the prophet sees the hostile hordes storming in: the devastation wrought through the war stands clearly before his eyes. This is not possible, unless the Chaldaeans were at that time already established in Judaea. However, then, c.1 was written before their invasion, yet c. 2, 3, must have been written after it. ‘Wherefore,’ says Maurer, ‘since it is evident from Jer. 46:2, and 36:9, that the Chaldaeans came in the year B.C. 605, in the 9th month of the 5th year of the reign of Jehoiakim, it follows that c. 1 was written at that very time, but c. 2,  3, at the beginning of B.C. 604, the 6th of Jehoiakim.’  

                “Turn we away from this cheap pseudocriticism, with its ready-made results, which sacrifices all sense for historical truth to a prejudice, which it seems to have vowed not to allow to be shaken by anything. It seeks at any cost to disburden itself of any prophecy in Scripture, which can only be explained through supernatural agency; and yet it attains its end, neither elsewhere nor in our prophet. Chapter 2 contains a prediction of the overthrow of the Chaldaean empire and of the sins whereby that overthrow was effected, which has been so remarkably confirmed by history even in details, that that criticism, if it would be true to its principles, must assume that it was written while Cyrus, advancing against Babylon was employed in punishing the river Gyndes by dividing it off into 360 channels.”)

                This major premiss, “there can be no superhuman prediction of the future,” (in other words, “Almighty God, if He knows the future, cannot disclose it!”) still lurks under the assumptions of that modern school of so-called criticism. It seems to be held no more necessary, formally to declare it, than to enounce at full length any axiom of Euclid. Yet it may, on that very ground, escape notice, while it is the unseen mainspring of the theories, put forth in the name of criticism. “That Habakkuk falls at a later time,” says Stahelin, “is clear out of his prophecy itself; for he speaks of the Chaldaeans, and the controversy is only, whether he announces their invasion, as Knobel, Umbreit, Delitzsch, Keil hold, or presupposes it, as Ewald, Hitzig, E. Meier maintain.  (* Stahelin mixed up Delitzsch and Keil, who believed in superhuman prediction, and Knobel &c who denied it, joining himself on to the class in general and ignoring the radical difference. Dr. Davidson assumes tne same principle. “As he mentions the Chaldaeans by name, and his oracle refers to them, he lived in the Chaldaean period. The safest conclusion respecting the time of the prophet is that he lived in the time of Jehoiakim 606-604. B.C.” “To put the prophet in Manasseh’s reign is incorrect because the Chaldaeans were not a people formidable to the Jews at that time.” (Introd. iii. pp. 304, 305). And so Habakkuk, without superhuman knowledge, could not foretell it! *) To me the first (1st) opinion appears the right, since not only do 1:5. sqq. plainly relate to the future, but the detailed description of the Chaldaeans points at something which has not yet taken place, at something hitherto unknown, and the terror of the prophet in announcing their coming, 1:12. sqq., recurs also 3:1, 16, 17; and so, I think, that the time of Habakkuk’s activity may be placed very soon after the battle of Carchemish, in the first half of the reign of Jehoiakim, and so his prophecy as contemporary with Jeremiah 25.”)  “Habakkuk,” says De Wette, “lived and prophesied in the Chaldee period. It is, however, matter of dispute at what point of time in this period he lived, 1:5. sqq. clearly points to its beginning, the reign of Jehoiakim. Even ch. 3 seems to require no later point of time, since here the destruction of Judah is not yet anticipated. He was then Jeremiah’s younger contemporary. Rightly do Perschke, Ranitz, Stickel, Knobel, Hitzig, Ewald, let the prophet prophesy a little before the invasion of the Chaldaeans in Judah, which the analogy of prophecy favors;” for prophecy may still be human at this date, since so far it foretells only, what any one could foresee. A prophet of God foretells, these critics admit, an invasion which all could foresee, and does not foretell, what could not humanly be foreseen, the destruction of Jerusalem. The theory then is saved, and within these limits Almighty God is permitted to send His prophet. Condescending criticism          

                Mostly criticism kept itself within these limits, and used nothing more than its axiom, “there was no prophecy.” The freshness and power of prophetic diction in Habakkuk deterred most from that other expedient of picking out some two (2) or three (3) words as indicative of a later style. Stahelin however says; “His language too, although on the whole pure and without Aramaisms,” (truly so! since there is not even an alleged or imagined Aramaism in his prophecy,) “still betrays, in single cases, the later period.” And then he alleges that  1) one verb “only occurs beside in the books of Kings and in Ezekiel;”  2) another word, “with the exception of Nahum, only in Jeremiah and Malachi;”  3) “the image of the cup of destiny only occurs in prophecies subsequent to Jeremiah.” Marvelous precision of criticism, which can infer the date of a book from the facts,  1) that a verb, formed from a noun, occurs four (4) times only in Holy Scripture, in 2nd Kings, Habakkuk, and Ezekiel, whereas the noun from which it is derived occurs in a Psalm, which fits no later time than David’s; 2) that a word, slightly varied in pronunciation from a common Hebrew word “, occurs only in Nahum, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, and Malachi, once in each, when that word is the basis of the name of the river Pishon, mentioned in Genesis, and Stahelin himself places Nahum in the reign of Hezekiah; or that  3 ) no prophet before Jeremiah speaks of the image of the “cup of destiny”, whereas the portion given by God for good or for ill, occurs under that same image in Psalms of David and Asaph; and if the question is to be begged as to the date of Isaiah  51:17, 22, the corresponding image of “drinking wine, of reeling,” occurs in a Psalm of David, and being “drunk, but not with wine” is imagery of an earlier chapter in Isaiah; the image occurs fully in Obadiah.          

                Such criticism is altogether childish. No one would tolerate it, except that it is adduced to support a popular and foregone conclusion. It would be laughed to scorn, were it used by believers in revelation. In the small remains of the Hebrew Scriptures and language, an induction, if it is to be of any value, must be very distinct. The largeness of Greek literature enables critics to single out Homeric, Herodotean, AEschylean, Pindaric words. In Hebrew we meet with (hapax legomena) (said once, single occurence) in perhaps every prophet, in many Psalms; but it requires far more than the occurrence of the word in one single place, to furnish any even probable inference, that it was framed by the Prophet or Psalmist himself. Still less can it be inferred safely that because, in the scanty remains of Hebrew, a word does not occur before e. g. a certain historical book, it did not exist before the date of that book. Rather the occurrence of any word in language so simple as that of the historical books, is an evidence that it did exist and was in common use at the time. Poets and orators coin words, in order to give full expression for their thoughts. The characteristic of the sacred historians, both of the Old and New Testament, is to relate the facts in most absolute simplicity. It would be a singular “history of the Hebrew language,” which should lay down as a principle, that all those are later words, which do not happen to occur before the books of Kings, Habakkuk, or any other prophet, whom this criticism is pleased to rank among the later books. What are we to do with Habakkuk’s own (hapax legomena)? Granted, that he framed some of them, yet it is impossible that he framed them all. As specimens of the results of such a critical principle, that words, occurring for the first time in any book, are characteristic of the date ot that word, let us only take roots beginning with s. Had then the Hebrew no name for nails (as distinct from hooks, pegs,) before those whom these critics would make late writers, as Ecclesiastes and Isaiah 41? Or had they none for ceiling a building before the book of Kings; although the ark had a third (3rd) story, and Lot speaks of “the shadow of my roof?” Or had they none for a “decked vessel” before Jonah 8, although the Indian names of Solomon’s imports show that Ophir, whither his navy sailed, was in India, Ophir itself being Abhira in the province of Cutch? Or had they no name for “divided opinions” before Elijah? Seed shed, which sprang up in the second (2nd) year, was known in the Pentateuch; but that of the third (3rd) year would, on that hypothesis, remain unknown till Hezekiah; nor did the Hebrews express to “drag along the ground,” till Hushai, and, after him, Jeremiah. They had no name for winter, as distinct from autumn, until the Canticles, and, but for the act of the Philistines in stopping up Abraham’s wells, it might have been said that Hebrew had no word for this act, till the time of Jehoshaphat.

                 Or as to the criticism itself, (qlm) is to be a later word, because, except in that Psalm of the sons of Corah, it occurs first in the history of Elishai. Perhaps it is so rare (and this may illustrate the history of Elisha) because, as used, it seems to have been one of the strongest words in the language for “derision;” at least the verb is used in an intensive form only, and always of strong derision. But then, did the old Hebrews never use derision? Happy exception for one nation, if they never used it wrongly or had no occasion to use it rightly! Yet even though (by a rare exception) Ewald allows the second Psalm to be David’s, (Job however being placed about the 7th century B.C.) the evidence for (l`g), as strong a word, would be of the time of David. “Scorning” “scoffing,” (unless Psalm 1 be allowed to be David’s) did not begin till Solomon’s time. “Mocking” was yet later. As belongs to a rude people, insult was only shewn in acts, of which (hth`ll) is used; and from those simple times of the Patriarchs, they had no stronger word than “to laugh at.” For this is the only word used in the Pentateuch”.

                But to what end all this? To prove that Habakkuk had no superhuman knowledge of what he foretold? Prophecy occupies, as I said, a subordinate place in Habakkuk. He renews the “burden” of former prophets, both upon his own people and upon the Chaldaeans; but he does not speak even so definitely as they. His office is rather to enforce the connection of sin and punishment: he presupposes the details, which they had declared. Apart from those chapters, which pseudo-criticism denies to Isaiah, on account of the distinctness of the temporal prophecies, Isaiah had, in plainest words, declared to Hezekiah the carrying away of all the royal treasures to Babylon, and that his offspring should be eunuchs there; Micah had declared not only the complete desolation of Jerusalem, but that the people should be “carried to Babylon, and there delivered, there redeemed from the hands of the enemy.” In the 13th year of Josiah, B.C. 628, and so, three (3) years before the fall of Nineveh, while Babylon was still dependent on Nineveh and governed by a vice-roy, and while Nabopolassar was still in the service of the king of Nineveh, Jeremiah foretold, that evil should break forth from the North upon all the inhabitants of the land, and all the families of the kingdoms of the North shall come and set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about and against oil the cities of Judah, to execute the judgments of God against them for their wickedness. This was his dirge over his country for twenty-three (23) years, ere yet there was a token of its fulfillment. Babylon had succeeded to Nineveh in the West and SouthWest, and Judah had fallen to the share of Babylon; but the relation of Josiah to Nabopolassar was of a tributary sovereign, which rebellion only could disturb. The greater part of Nabopolassar’s 21 year’s reign are almost a blank. Chastisement had come, but from the South, not from the North. Eighteen (18) years had passed away, and Josiah had fallen, in resisting Pharaoh-Necho in discharge of his fealty to the king of Babylon. Pharaoh-Necho had taken away one king of Judah, Jehoahaz, the people’s choice, whose continued fealty to Babylon represents their minds, and had set up another, Jehoiakim. For three (3) years Judah’s new allegiance was allowed to continue. Who, but God, could tell the issue of the conflict of those two great armies at Carchemish? Egypt with her allies, the Ethiopians, Phut and Lud, were come, rising up like a flood covering the earth with her armies, as her rivers, when swollen, made her own land one sea. Necho had apparently in his alliance all the kings of the countries West of the Euphrates: for to them all, in connection with Egypt and subordinate to her, does Jeremiah at that moment give to drink the cup of the wrath of God; to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants and his princes and all his people, and all the mingled people [his auxiliaries] and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines and Ashkelon and Azzah and Ekron and the remnant of Ashdod; Edom and Moab and the children of Amman; and all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon and the kings of the isle beyond the sea [probably Caphtor, or Crete, or Cyprus] Dedan and Tema and Buz, and those whose hair is shorn [Arabians] and all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert, and all the kings of Zimri [descendants of Abraham and Keturah.] It was a mighty gathering. All the kings of Elam, all the kings of the Medes, all the kings of the North far and near, all was hostile to Babylon; for all were to drink of the cup beforehand, at the hands of the king of Babylon, and then the king of Sheshach [Babylon] was to drink after them. Necho was one of the most enterprising monarchs. Nabopolassar had shewn no signs of enterprise. Nebuchadnezzar, the first (1) and last conqueror of the Babylonian empire, though the alliance with Media and his father’s empire had been cemented by his marriage, had, as far as we know, remained inactive during 20 years of his father’s life. He was as yet untried. So little did he himself feel secure as to his inheritance of the throne, even after his success at the head of his father’s army, that his rapid march across the desert, with light troops, to secure it, and its preservation for him by the chief priest, are recorded in a very concise history. Neither Egypt nor Jehoiakim foresaw the issue. Defeat taught neither. Two voices only gave, in God’s name, one unheeded warning. Pharaoh Hophra, the Apries of Herodotus, succeeded Pharaoh Necho in his self-confidence, his aggressions, his defeat. “I am against thee,” God says”, “Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own and I have made it for myself.” “It is said,” relates Herodotus, “that Apries believed that there was not a god which could cast him down from his eminence, so firmly did he think that he had established himself in his kingdom.”                

                For a time, Nebuchadnezzar must have been hindered by Eastern wars, since, on Jehoiakim’s rebellion and perjury, he sent only bands of the Chaldees, with bands of tributary nations, the Syrians, Moabites, Ammonites, against him. But not in his time only, even after the captivity under his son Jehoiachin and his men of might, the conviction that Nebuchadnezzar could be resisted, still remained in the time of Zedekiah both in Egypt and Judah. Judah would have continued to hold under Babylonia that same position toward Egypt which it did under Persia, only with subordinate kings instead of governors. Apart from God’s general promise of averting evil on repentance, Jeremiah, too, expressly tells Israel, “If thou wilt put away thine abominations out of My sight, thou shalt not remove;” “Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.” And “in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim“, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words which ye have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will repent Him of the evil that He hath pronounced against you.” Still later, to Zedekiah, “The nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, them will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it and dwell therein.” “I have sent unto you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way and amend your doings, and go not after other (gods) to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers.” Even on the very verge of the capture of Jerusalem, Jeremiah promised to Zedekiah; “If thou wilt go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes; –this city shall not be burned with fire.”  Pharaoh Hophra was still strong enough to raise the siege of Jerusalem, when invested by the Chaldaean army. Jeremiah had the king, his princes, his prophets, all the people of the land against him, because he prophesied that Jerusalem should be burned with fire, that those already taken captives should not return, until the whole had been carried away, and the seventy (70) years of captivity were accomplislied. The warning and the promise of Jeremiah’s Inaugural vision had its accomplishment. ”I have made thee a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls, against the king of Judah, against the princes thereof and against the people of the land; and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.” Had it been matter of human foresight, how was it, that all nations, all their politicians, all their wise men, all their prophets, all Judah, kings, priests, princes, people, were blinded, (as in Him of Whom Jeremiah was a shadow,) and Jeremiah alone saw? “Vaticinia post eventum” are, in one sense, easy; viz. to imagine, after an event has taken place, that one could have foreseen it. And yet who, after the retreat to Corunna, could have foreseen the victories of the Peninsular war? Or, when that tide of 647,000 men was rolling on toward Russia, who could imagine that only a small fraction of those hosts should return, that they should capture Moscow, but find it a tomb; and hunger and cold, reaching at last to 36 degrees below Zero, should destroy more than the sword?  ”What was the principal adversary of this tremendous power ? By whom was it checked and resisted and put down? By none and by nothing but the direct and manifest interposition of God.”

The distinctness and perseverance of tlie prophecy are the more remarkable, because the whole of the greatness of the Chaldsean empire was that of one man. Assyria, in this one case, overreached itself in its policy of transporting conquered populations. It had, probably to check the rebellions of Babylon, settled there a wild horde, which it hoped would neither assimilate with its people, nor itself rebel. Isaiah relates the fact in simple words: Behold the land of the Chaldaeans; this people was not; the Assyrian founded  it for them that dwelt in the wilderness. This does not seem to me necessarily to imply, that the wild people, for whom Assyria founded it, were Chaldaeans or Curds, whom the king of Assyria had brought from their Northern dwellings in the Curduchaean mountains near Armenia, where Sennacherib conquered. Isaiah simply uses the name, the land of the Chaldaeans, as does Jeremiah  after him, as the name of Babylonia; the word Babylonia, had it existed, might have been substituted for it. Of this, he says, that it was not, i.e. was of no account, but that Assur founded it for wild tribes, whom he placed there. Whence he brought those tribes, Isaiah does not say. AEschylus (although indeed in later times) as well as Isaiah and Jeremiah, speak of the population of Babylon, as mingled of various nations; and the language is too large to be confined simply to its merchant-settlers. In AEschylus, “the all-mingled crowd,” wliich “it sends out in long array,” are its military contingents. It is its whole population, of which Isaiah and Jeremiah say, it will flee, each to his own land. It [Babylon] shall be us a chased roe, and as a sheep which no man gathereth; they shall, every man, turn to his own people, and flee every man to his own land. For fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people:  And they shall flee, every one to his own land.

                Thus Babylonia received that solid accession of strength which ultimately made it a powerful people, sixty (60) years before the beginning of the reign of Josiah; its ancient and new elements would take some time to blend: they did not assume importance until the capture of Nineveh; nor had Judah any reason to dread anything from them, until itself rebelled, early in the reign of Jehoiakim. But 18 years before the death of Josiah, while Judah was a trusted and faithful tributary kingdom, Jeremiah foretold that evil should come upon them from the North, i.e. as he himself explains it, from the Chaldees. Even then if Habakkuk were brought down to be a contemporary of Jeremiah, still in the 13th year of Josiah, there was nothing to fear. Judah was not in the condition of an outlying country, which Babylonian ambition might desire to reduce into dependence on itself. It was already part of the Babylonian empire, having passed into it, in the partition with Assyria, and had no more to fear from it, than any of the conquered nations of Europe have now from those who have annexed them, unless they rebel. God alone knew the new ambition of the kings of the smitten and subdued Egypt, their momentary success, Josiah’s death, Judah’s relapse into the old temptation of trusting in Egypt –all, conditions of the fuliillment of Habakkuk’s and Jeremiah’s prophecies. Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, Zidon, sent embassadors to Zedekiah, to concert measures of resistance against Nebuchadnezzar; they were encouraged by their ”diviners, dreamers, enchanters, sorcerers, which spake to them, ye shall not serve the king of Babylon. One alone told them that resistance would but bring upon them destruction, that submission was their only safety; there was prophecy against prophecy, among these nations, in Jerusalem, in Babylon; the recent knowledge of the political aspect of Babylon deterred not the false prophets there; all, with one voice, declared the breaking the yoke of the king of Babylon: Jeremiah only saw, that they were framing for themselves  yokes of iron. Had Jehoiakim or Zedekiah, their nobles, and their people possessed that human foresight which that pseudo-critical school holds to be so easy, Judah had never gone into captivity to Babylon. But He Who fashioneth the heart of man knoweth alone the issue of the working of those hearts, which He over-rules.    

                From the necessity of its case, the pseudocritical school lowers down the words, in which Habakkuk declares the marvelousness of the event which he foretells, and the unbelief of his people. “Look well,” he bids them, “marvel ye, marvel on; for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, when it shall be told you.” It is “something which had not hitherto been, something hitherto unknown,” says Stahelin. Yet things hitherto unknown, are not therefore incredible. “It is clear from the contents,” says Bleek, “that the Chaldees had at that time already extended to the West their expeditions of conquest and destruction, and on the other side, that this had only lately begun and that they were not yet come to Judah and Jerusalem, so that here they were hitherto little known.” “The appearance of the Chaldees as world-conquerors was, in Judah, then a quite new phenomenon,” says Ewald. “The description of the Chaldees altogether is of such sort, that they appear as a people still little known to the Jews,” says Knobel. “That which is incredible for the people consists therein, that God employs just the Chaldees, such as they are described in what follows, for the unexpected chastisement of Israel,”  says even Umbreit.

                What was there incredible, that, when the king of Jerusalem had revolted from Babylon, and had sided with Egypt, its chief enemy, the Chaldaeans, should come against it? As soon might it be said to be incredible that France should invade Prussia, when its hundred thousands (100,000s) were on their march toward the Rhine. During the reign of Manasseh it was incredible enough, that any peril should impend from Babylon; for Babylon was still subordinate to Assyria: in the early years of Josiah it was still incredible, for his thirty-one (31) years were years of peace, until Pharaoh Necho disputed the cis-Euphratensian countries with Babylon. When the then East and West came to Carchemish, to decide whether the empire should be with the East or with the West, nothing was beyond human foresight but the result. Expectation lately hung suspended, perplexed between the forces of Europe. None, the most sagacious, could predict for a single day. Men might surmise; God only could predict. For three and twenty (23) years Jeremiah foretold, that the evil would come from the North, not from the South. The powers were well-balanced. Take Habakkuk’s prophecy as a whole –not that the Chaldaeans should invade Judaea, (which in Jehoiakim’s time was already certain) but that Egypt shoulu be a vain help, and that the Chaldaeans should mesh its people like the fishes of the sea, yet they should still have to disgorge them, because God’s judgment would come upon them also. This too were incredible. Incredible it was to the kings, the wise, the politicians, the political prophets of Judaea, that Jerusalem itself should be taken. Incredible it was, and there was much human reason for the incredulity. Egypt and Assyria had been matched during centuries. Until the Sargonides, Egypt had, during centuries, the unbroken advantage. But the Sargonides had passed away. Yet Chaldaea had not, alone, prevailed against Assyria. Why should the yet untried Babylonian be so certain of success, when the whole West of the Euphrates was banded together against him, and fought within their own ground? The kings of Elam and the kings of the Medes  were now, as under Cyrus, enemies of Babylon. Babylon had enemies before and behind. But God had raised up Nebuchadnezzar to be the hammer of the whole earth, and had given those cis-Euphratensian lands which leagued against him into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, God says, and all nations shall serve him and his son and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come; and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him. Whence this combination of almost superhuman but short-lived might, this certainty of wide sway down to the third generation, this certainty of its cessation afterward ‘.’ There was no time for decay. Alexander’s empire was yet more short-lived, but it was divided among his successors. Alexander had, by his genius, founded his own empire, which the able generals, whom he had trained, divided among themselves. In the Chaldaean empire, we have an enterprising conspirator, who seizes an occasion, but does little beside which is recorded, nothing alone, nothing, beside that first grasp at power, for himself. He appears only as the ally of Media: then a son, a world-wide conqueror, with a genius for consolidating the empire which he inherited, forming an impregnable city, which should also be a province, tilling his empire with fortresses, but leaving none after him to maintain what he had so consolidated. By whom could this be foreknown save by Him, with Whom alone it is, to root out and to pull down and to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant?    

                It has been common to praise the outside of Habakkuk’s prophecy, the purity of his language, the sublimity of his imagery. Certainly it is, humanly speaking, magnificent: his measured cadence is impressive in its simplicity. He too has words and forms, which are peculiar to him among the remains of Hebrew. But his eminence is rather the condensed thought, expressed often in the simplest words; as when, having carried on the tide of victory of the Chaldaean to its height, everything human subdued before him, all resistance derided, he gathers up his fall and its cause in those eight words, “Then sweeps-he-by, wind, and-passes, and-is-guilty; this his-strength (is) his-god.” Yet more striking is the religious greatness, in which he sums up the meaning of all this oppressiveness of man. “Thou, Lord, has placed him for judgment, and, O Rock, has founded him to correct.” Or, take the picture, prolonged relatively to his conciseness, of the utter helplessness of God’s people, meshed, hooked, dragged in their net; their captors worshiping the instrument of their success, revelling in their triumph, and then the sudden question, “Shall they therefore empty their net?” He waits to hear the answer from God. Or, again, the antiphonal dirge of the materials of the blood-built city over him. Or the cutting off of every stay, sustenance, hope, promise of God, and, amid this universal crash, what does he ? It is not as the heathen, “fearless will the ruins strike him:” but, “And I,” as if it were the continuance and consequence of the failure of all human things ; “I would exult in the Lord, I would bound for joy in the God of my salvation.” His faith triumphs most, when all, in human sight, is lost.      

                                   “Ill which Thou blessest is most good,: And unblest good is ill;

                               And all is right which seems most wrong,: So it be Thy sweet Will.”

                Introduction to the Prophet ZEPHANIAH.

                Zephaniah was called to his office, at all events not long after Habakkuk. As his time was near to that of Habakkuk, so his subject also was kindred. Both lived when, for the sins of the reign of Manasseh, God had pronounced upon Jerusalem an irreversible sentence of destruction. The mission of both was not to the whole people whose sentence was fixed, but to the individuals who would flee from the wrath to come. The form of Habakkuk’s prophecy was (as we might say) more subjective; that of Zephaniah, more objective. Habakkuk exhibits the victory of faith in the oppressed faithful; how it would hold to God amid the domestic oppressions, amid the oppressions of the Chaldees by whom those oppressions were to be punished, and, when all shall seem to fail, should, in the certainty of its unseen life, joy in its God. The characteristic of Zephaniah is the declaration of the tenderness of the love of God for that remnant of Israel, the afflicted and poor people, whom God would leave in the midst of them.

                Zephaniah has, like Habakkuk, to declare the judgment on the world. He renews the language of Joel as to “the day of the Lord,” and points it to nations and individuals. He opens with the prophecy of one wide destruction of the land and all the sinners in it, its idolaters and its oppressors, its princes, its royal family, its merchants, its petty plunderers, who used rapine under color of their masters’ name, and brought guilt on themselves and them. Nothing is either too high or too low to escape the judgments of God. But the visitation on Judah was part only of a more comprehensive judgment. Zephaniah foretells the wider destruction of enemies of God’s people on all sides; of Philistia, Moab, Ammon, on each side of them, and the distant nations on either side, Ethiopia (which then included Egypt) and Assyria. All these particular judgments contain principles of God’s judgments at all times. But in Zephaniah they seem all to converge in the love of God for the remnant of His people. The nation he calls a nation not desired. Individuals he calls to God; it may be, ye shall be hid in the Day of the Lord’s anger. He foretells a sifting time, wherein God would take away the proud among her; yet there follows a largeness of Gospel promise and of love, the grounds of which are explained in the Gospel, but whose tenderness of language is hardly surpassed even by the overwhelming tenderness of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.

                The prophet’s own name “the Lord hath hid” corresponds with this. The Psalmist had said, using this same word, “He shall hide me in His tabernacle in the day of evil: in the secret of His tabernacle He shall hide me;” and, “O how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man. Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.” “They take counsel against Thy hidden ones.”          

                The date which Zephaniah prefixed to his prophecy, has not been disputed; for no one felt any interest in denying it. Those who disbelieve definite prophecy invented for themselves a solution, whereby they thought that Zephaniah’s prophecy need not be definite, even though uttered in the time of Josiah; so the fact remained unquestioned.

                The unwonted fullness with which his descent is given implies so much of that personal knowledge which soon fades away, that those who speak of other titles, as having been prefixed to the books, or portions of books of the prophets, by later hands, have not questioned this. The only question is, whether he lived before or in the middle of the reformation by Josiah. Josiah, who came to the throne when eight years old B.C. 641, began the reformation in the twelfth (12th) year of his reign, when almost twenty (20); B.C. 630. The extirpation of idolatry could not, it appears, be accomplished at once. The finding of the ancient copy of the law, during the repairs of the temple in the eighteenth (18th) year of his reign, B.C. 624, gave a fresh impulse to the king’s efforts. He then united the people with himself, bound all the people present to the covenant to keep the law, and made a further destruction of idols before the solemn passover in that year. Even after that passover some abominations had to be removed. It has been thought that the words, I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, imply that the worship of Baal had already in some degree been removed, and that God said, that He would complete what had been begun. But the emphasis seems to be rather on the completeness of the destruction, as we should say, that He would efface every remnant of Baal, than to refer to any effort which had been made by human authority to destroy it.           

                The prophet joins together, I will cat off the remnant of Baal, the name of the Chemarim. The cutting off the name of the Chemarim, or idolatrous priests, is like that of Hosea, I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. As the cutting off of the name of the Chemarim means their being utterly obliterated, so, probably, does the cutting off the remnant of Baal. The worship of Baal was cut off, not through Josiah, but (as Zephaniah prophesied) through the captivity. Jeremiah asserts its continuance during his long prophetic office.

                In the absence of any direct authority to the contrary, the description of idolatry by Zephaniah would seem to belong to the period, before the measures to abolish it were begun. He speaks as if everything were full of idolatry, the worship of Baal, the worship of the host of heaven upon the housetops, swearing by Malcham, and probally the clothing with strange apparel.     

                The state also was as corrupt as the worship. Princes and judges, priests and prophets were all alike in sin; the judges distorted the law between man and man, as the priests profaned all which related to God. The princes were roaring lions; the judges, evening wolves, ever famished, hungering for new prey. This too would scarcely have been, when Josiah was old enough to govern in his own person. Both idolatry and perversion of justice were continued on from the reign of his father Amon. Both, when old enough, he removed. God Himself gives him the praise, that he “did judgment and justice, then it was well with him; he judged the cause of the poor and needy, then it was well with him; was not this to know Me, saith the Lord.” His conversion was in the eighth (8th) year of his reign. Then, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father.

                The mention of the king’s children, whom, God says, He would punish in the great day of His visitation, does not involve any later date. They might, anyhow have been brothers or uncles of the king Josiah. But, more probably, God declares that no rank should be exempt from the judgments of that day. He knew too that the sons of Josiah would, for their great sins, be then punished. The sun of the temporal rule of the house of David set in unmitigated wickedness and sorrow. Of all its kings after Josiah, it is said, they did evil in the sight of the Lord; some were distinguished by guilt; all had miserable ends; some of them aggravated misery.

                Zephaniah then probably finished his course before that 12th year of Josiah, (for this prophecy is one whole) and so just before Jeremiah was, in Josiah’s 13th year, called to his office, which he fulfilled for half a century, perhaps for the whole age of man.

                The foreground of the prophecy of Zephaniah remarkably coincides with that of Habakkuk. Zephaniah presupposes that prophecy and fills it up. Habakkuk had prophesied the great wasting and destruction through the Chaldaeans, and then their destruction. That invasion was to extend beyond Judah (for it was said he shall scoff at kings), but was to include it. The instrument of God having been named by Habakkuk, Zephaniah does not even allude to him. Rather he brings before Judah the other side, the agency of God Himself. God would not have them forget Himself in His instruments. Hence all is attributed to God. I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked, and I will cut off man from the land, saith the Lord. I will also stretch out Mine hand upon Judah; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal. In the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, I will punish the princes, etc. In the same day also I will punish all those &c. I will search Jerusalem with candles. The great day of the Lord is near, and I will bring distress upon, &c. O Canaan, land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee. The Lord will be terrible upon them. Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by My sword. And He will destroy Nineveh. The wicked of the people had said in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. Zephaniah inculcates, throughout his brief prophecy, that there is nothing, good or evil, of which He is not the Doer or Over-ruler.  

                But the extent of that visitation is co-extensive with that prophesied by Habakkuk. Zephaniah indeed speaks rather of the effects, the desolation. But the countries, whose desolation or defeat he foretells, are the lands of those, whom the Chaldaeans invaded, worsted, in part desolated. Beside Judah, Zephaniah’s subjects are Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Ethiopia (which included Egypt), Nineveh. And here he makes a remarkable distinction corresponding with the events. Of the Ethiopians or Egyptians, he says only, ye shall be slain by My sword. Of Assyria he foretells the entire and lasting desolation; the capitals of her palaces in the dust; her cedar-work bare; flocks, wildbeasts, pelican and hedgehog, taking up their abode in her. Moab and Amnion and Philistia have at first sight the two-fold, apparently contradictory, lot; the remnant of My people, God says, shall possess them; the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; and, that they should be a perpetual desolation. This also was to take place, after God had brought back His people out of captivity. Now all these countries were conquered by the Chaldaeans, of which at the time there was no human likelihood. But they were not swept away by one torrent of conquest. Moab and Ammon were, at first, allies of Nebuchadnezzar, and rejoiced at the miseries of the people, whose prophets had foretold their destruction. But, beyond this, Nineveh was at that time more powerful than Egypt. Human knowledge could not have discerned, that Egypt should suffer defeat only, Nineveh should be utterly destroyed. It was the wont of the great conquerors of the East, not to destroy capitals, but to re-people them with subjects obedient to themselves. Nineveh had held Babylon by viceroys; in part she had held it under her own immediate rule. Why should not Babylon, if she conquered Nineveh, use the same policy? Humanly speaking, it was a mistake that she did not. It would have been a strong place against the inroads of the Medo-Persian empire. The Persians saw its value so far for military purposes, as to build some fort there; and the Emperor Claudias, when he made it a colony, felt the importance of the well-chosen situation. It is replaced by Mosul, a city of some 20000 to 40000 inhabitants. Even after its destruction, it was easier to rebuild it than to build a city on the opposite bank of the Tigris. God declared that it should be desolate. The prediction implied destruction the most absolute. It and its palaces were to be the abode of animals which flee the presence of man; and it perished.                

                Again, what less likely than that Philistia, which had hud the rule over Israel, strong in its almost impregnable towns, three of whose five cities were named for their strength, Gaza, strong; Ashdod, mighty; Ekron, deeprooting; one of which, Ashdod, about this very time, resisted for 29 years the whole power of Egypt, and endured the longest siege of any city of ancient or modern times —what, to human foresight, less likely, than that Philistia should come under the power of the remnant of the house of Judah, when returned from their captivity ? Yet it is absolutely foretold. The sea-coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down in the evening. For the Lord their God, shall visit them, and restore their captivity. As unlikely was it, that Moab and Ammon, who now had entered upon the territory of the two and a half (2 1/2) tribes beyond Jordan, should themselves become the possession of the remnant of Judah. Yet so it was.           

                It is then lost labor, even for their own ends, when moderns, who believe not definite prophecy, would find out some enemy whom Zephaniah may have had in mind in foretelling this wide destruction. It still remains that all that Zephaniah says beforehand was fulfilled. It is allowed that he could not foretell this through any human foresight. The avowed object in looking out for some power, formidable in Zephaniah’s time, is, that he could not, by any human knowledge, be speaking of the Chaldaeans. But the words stand there. They were written by Zephaniah, at a time when confessedly no human knowledge could have enabled man to predict this of the Chaldaeans; nay, no human knowledge would have enabled anyone to predict so absolutely a desolation so wide and so circumstantially delineated.      

                That school however has not been willing to acquiesce in this, that Zephaniah does not speak of the instrument, through whom this desolation was effected. They will have it, that they know, that Zephaniah had in his mind one, who was not the enemy of the Jews or of Nineveh or of Moab and Ammon, and through whom no even transient desolation of these countries was effected. The whole argument is a simple begging of the question. “The Egyptians cannot be meant; for the Cushites, who are threatened, themselves belong to the Egyptian army, and Psammetichus only besieged Ashdod which he also took, without emblazoning ought greater on his shield. The Chaldaeans come still less into account, because they did not found an independent kingdom until B.C. 625, nor threaten Judaea until after Josiah’s death. On the other hand an unsuspicious and well accredited account has been preserved to us, that somewhere about this time the Scythians overflowed Palestine too with their hosts. Herodotus relates, that the Scythians, after they had disturbed Cyaxares at the siege of Nineveh, turned toward Egypt; and when they had already arrived in Palestine, were persuaded by Psammetichus to return, and in their return plundered a temple in Ascalon.”                    It is true that Herodotus says that “a large Scythian army did, under their king Madyes, burst into Asia in pursuit of the Cimmerians and entered Media, –keeping Mount Caucasus on the right,” and that “the Medes opposed and fought them and, being defeated, lost their rule.”     It is true also that Herodotus relates, that “they went thence toward Egypt, and when they were in Palestine-Syria, Psammetichus king of Egypt, meeting them, turned them by gifts and entreaties from going further; that when in their return they were in Ascalon, a city of Syria, whereas most of the Scythians passed by without harming ought, some few of them, being left behind, plundered the temple of Venus Ourania.” In this place also, it is true, Herodotus uses a vague expression, that “for 28 years the Scythians ruled over Asia, and that all things were turned upside down by their violence and contempt. For beside the tributes, they exacted from each what they laid upon each, and beside the tribute, they drove together and took what each had. And most of them Cyaxares and the Medes entertaining as guests, intoxicated and slew. And then the Medes recovered their empire and became masters of what they held before.”                

                But, apart from the inconsistency of the period here assigned to their power, with other history, it appears from the account itself, that by “all Asia” Herodotus means “all upper Asia,” as he expresses himself more accurately, when relating the expedition of Darius against them. “Darius wished to take revenge on the Scythians, because they first, making an inroad into Media and defeating in battle those who went against them, began the wrong. For the Scythians, as I have before said, ruled upper Asia for 28 years. For, pursuing the Cimmerians, they made an inroad into Asia, putting down the Medes from their rule; for these, before the Scythians came, ruled Asia.” The Asia then, which Herodotus supposes the Scythians to have ruled, is co-extensive with the Asia which he supposes the Medes to have ruled previously. But this was all in the North; for having said that “Phraortes subdued Asia, going from one nation to another,” he adds that, having brought Persia under his yoke, “he led an army against those Assyrians who had Nineveh, and there lost most of his army and his own life.” Apart then from the fabulousness of this supposed empire, established by Phraortes, (Cyaxares having been the real founder of the Median empire,) it is plain that, according to Herodotus himself, the Asia, in which the Scythians plundered and received tribute, were the lands North of Assyria. The expedition against Egypt stands as an insulated predatory excursion, the object of which having been mere plunder, they were bought off by Psammetichus and returned (he tells us) doing no mischief*’ in their way, excej)t that a few lingerers plundered a temple at Ascalon. It was to Media that they first came; the Medes, which they defeated; the Median  empire to which they succeeded; Cyaxares and the Medes, who treacherously destroyed most of them; the Medes, whose empire was restored by the destruction of some, and the return of the rest to their own hind. With this agrees the more detailed account of the Scythians by Strabo, who impeaches the accuracy of the accounts of Herodotus. Having spoken of the migrations of leaders, and by name, of “Madyes the Scythian” (under whom Herodotus states the irruption to have taken place), he says, “the Sacae made the like inroad as the Cimmerians and the Trerians, some Ionger, some nigh at hand; for they took possession of Bactriana, and acquired the best land of Armenia, which they also left, named after them Sacasene, and advanced as far as to the Cappadocians and especially those on the Euxine, whom they now call of Pontus (Pontians). But the generals of the Persians who were at the time there, attacking them by night, while they were making a feast upon the spoils, utterly extirpated them.” The direction which he says they took, is the same as that of the Cimmerians, whom Herodotus says that they followed. “The Cimmerians, whom they also call Trerians, or some tribe of them, often overrun the right side of the Pontus, sometimes making inroads on the Paphlagonians, at others, on the Phrygians. Often also the Cimmerians and Trerians made the like attacks, and they say that the Trerians and Cobus [their king] were, at last expelled by Madyes king of the [Scythians].” Strabo also explains, what is meant by the tributes, of which Herodotus speaks. He is speaking of the Nomadic tribes of the Scythians generally: “Tribute was, to allow them at certain stated times, to overrun the country [for pasturage] and carry off booty. But when they roamed beyond the agreement, there arose war, and again reconciliations and renewed war. Such was the life of the nomads, always setting on their neighbors and then being reconciled again.”         

                The Scythians then were no object of fear to the Jews, whom they passed wholly unnoticed and probably unconscious of their existence in their mountain country, while they once and once only swept unharming along the fertile tracks on the sea-shore, then occupied by the old enemies and masters of the Jews, the Philistines. But Herodotus must also have been misinformed as to the length of time, during which they settled in Media, or at least as to the period during which their presence had any sensible effects. For Cyaxares, whom he represents as having raised the siege of Nineveh, in consequence of the inroad of the Scythians into Media, came to the throne, according to tlie numbers of Herodotus, B.C. 633. For the reign of Cyaxares having lasted according to him 40 years, that of Astyages 35, and that of Cyrus 29, these 104 years, counted back from the known date of the death of Cyrus, B. C. 529 or 530, bring us to B.C. 633 or 636 as the beginning of the reign of Cyaxares. But the invasion of the Scythians could not have taken place at the first accession of Cyaxares, since, according to Herodotus, he had already defeated the Assyrians, and was besieging Nineveh, when the Scythians burst into Media. According to Herodotus, moreover, Cyaxares “first distributed Asiatics into troops, and first ordered that each should be apart, spearmen, and archers and cavalry; for before, all were mixed pele-mele together.” Yet it would not be in a very short time, that those who had been wont to fight in a confused mass, could be formed into an orderly and disciplined army. We could not then, anyhow, date the Scythian inroad, earlier than the second (2nd) or third (3rd) year of Cyaxares. On the other hand the date of the capture of Nineveh is fixed by the commencement of the Babylonian Empire, Babylon falling to Nabopolassar. The duration of that empire is measured by the reigns of its kings, of whom, according to Ptolemy’s Canon, Nabopolassar reigned 21 years; Nebuchadnezzar, (there called Nabocollasar) 43; Evil-Merodach (Iluaroadam) 2; Neriglissar (Niricassolassar) 4; Nabunahit (Nabonadius with whom his son Belshazzar was co-regent) 17; in all 87 years; and it ends in an event of known date, the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, B.C. 538. The addition of the 87 years of the duration of the empire to that date carries us back to the date assigned to the capture of Nineveh by Nabopolassar in conjunction with Cyaxares, B.C. 625. The capture then of Nineveh was removed by 8 or 9 years only from that, which Herodotus gives as the time of the accession of Cyaxares, and since the attack upon Nineveh can hardly have been in his first year, and the last siege probably occupied two, the 28 years of Scythian dominion would dwindle down into something too inconsiderable for history. Probably they represent some period from their first incursion into Media, to the final return of the survivors, during which they marauded in Media and Upper Asia. The mode, by which “the greater part” (Herodotus tells us) were destroyed, intoxication and subsequent murder at a banquet, implies that their numbers were no longer considerable.                

                History, with the exception of that one marauding expedition toward Egypt, is entirely silent as to any excursions of the Scythian, except in the North. No extant document hints at any approach of theirs to any country mentioned by Zephaniah. There was no reason to expect any inroad from them. With the exception of Bactriana, which lies some 18 degrees East of Media and itself extended over some 7 degrees of longitude, the countries mentioned by Strabo lie, to what the kings of Assyria mention as the far North, Armenia, and thence they stretched out to the West, yet keeping mostly to the neighborhood of the Euxine. Considering the occasion of the mention of the invasion of the Scythians, the relief which their invasion of Media gave to Nineveh, it is even remarkable that there is no mention of any ravages of theirs throughout Mesopotamia or Babylonia. Zephaniah speaks, not of marauding, but of permanent desolation of Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Amnion, and of destructive war also on Ethiopia. There is no reason to think that the Scythians approached any of these lands, except Philistia, which they passed through unharming. The sacred writers mention even smaller nations, by whom God chastised Judah in their times, as well as Assyria and Babylon. Ezekiel, when he prophesies of the inroad of Northern nations, Meshech and Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah, speaks of it as far removed in the future, prophesies not their destroying but their own destruction.    

                It does not affect the argument from prophecy, whether Zephaniah did or did not know, through whom the events, which he predicted, should be brought to pass. But, setting aside the question whether he had from the prophecies of Habakkuk and Isaiah, a human knowledge of the Chaldees, or whether God instructed him, how what he foretold should be accomplislied, or whether God spread out before his mind that which was to be, apart from time, in prophetic vision, Zephaniah did picture what came to pass. But it is an intense paradox, when men, 2500 years after his date, assert, not only that Zephaniah’s prophecies had no relation to the Chaldees, in whom his words were fulfilled, and who are the objects of the prophecies of Habakkuk and Jeremiah, but that they know, what must have been, and (as they assert) what was in the prophet’s mind; and that he had in his mind, not those in whom his words were fulfilled, Init others in whom they were not lultilled, to whom he does not allude in one single trait, who left no trace behind them, and whose march along an enemy’s tract on the seacoast was of so little account, that no contemporary historian, nor Josephus, even alludes to it.               

                It has been already observed, that each prophet connects himself with one or more of those before them. They use the language of their predecessors in some one or more sentences, apparently with this precise object. They had overflowing fullness of words; yet they chose some saying of the former prophet, as a link to those before them. We have seen this in Amos, then in Obadiah, who uses the language of Balaam, David, Joel, Amos; of Jeremiah, in regard to Obadiah; of Micah to his great predecessor, Micaiah, and Amos; of Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Ezekiel to Micah; of Nahum to Jonah; and of Isaiah (I think), to Nahum; of Habakkuk, to Isaiah and Micah. It is in conformity with this, that Zephaniah, even more than those before him, uses language of earlier prophets. It arises, not (as people have been pleased to say) from any declension in the originality of prophets at his date, but from his subject. It has been said, “If any one desire to see the utterances of the prophets in brief space, let him read through this brief Zephaniah.” The office of Zephaniah was not to forewarn of any instrument of God’s judgments. The destruction is prophesied, not the destroyer. His prophecy is, more than those of most other prophets, apart from time, to the end of time. He prophesies of what shall be, not when it shall be, nor by whom. He does not “expect” or “anticipate” or “forebode!” He absolutely declares the future condition of certain nations; but not the how of its coming to pass. If Nineveh, Edom and Ammon had not been desolated, his prophecy would have been falsified; each fulfillment became the earnest of a larger fulfillment ; but all shall not be completed until the earth and all that is therein shall be burned up.         

                It belongs to this character of Zephaniah, that he gathers from other prophets before him, especially Isaiah, Joel, Amos, Habakkuk, expressions relating to, or bearing on, judgment to come, or again to that his other great subject, God’s love for the remnant of His people; yet mostly in fragments only and allusively. They were key-notes for those who knew the prophets. Thus, in calling on man to hushed submission before God, because a day of judgment was coming, he blends into one verse, Habakkuk’s call, hush before the Lord, and the warning words of Isaiah, Joel, Obadiah, nigh is the day of the Lord; the image of the sacrifice, which God had commanded, and the remarkable word, consecrated, of God’s instruments. The allusion is contained in single words, sacrifice, consecrated; the context in which they are embodied is different. The idea only is the same, that Almighty God maketh, as it were, a sacrifice to Himself of those who incorrigibly rebel against Him. Else Isaiah draws out the image at much length; A sword of the Lord is full of bloods; it is smeared with fat, with the blood of lambs and of goats; with the fat of kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. Jeremiah uses the image in equal fullness of the overthrow of Pharaoh-Necho at the Euphrates; This is a day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that He may avenge Him of His adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk ivith blood; for the Lord God hath a sacrifice in the North country by the river Euphrates. Ezekiel expands it yet more boldly. Zephaniah drops everything local, and condenses the image into the words, The Lord hath prepared a sacrifice; He hath consecrated His guests, adding the new bold image, that they whom God employed were, as it were. His invited guests, whom He consecrated thereto.

                In like way, as to the day of the Lord itself, he accumulates all words of terror from different prophets; from Joel the words, a day of darkness and of gloominess; a day of clouds and of thick darkness: to these he adds of shouting and the sound of the trumpet, used by Amos in relation to the destruction of Moab; the two combinations, which precede, occur, the one in a different sense, the other with a slightly different grammatical inflection, in Job.       

                From Isaiah, Zephaniah adopts that characteristic picture of self-idolizing, which brings down God’s judgments on its pride; (the city) that dwelleth securely, that said in her heart, l and no I beside.    

                Even where Isaiah says, For a consumption and that decreed, the Lord God of hosts makes in the midst of all the earth and, slightly varying it, For a consumption and that decreed, I have heard from the Lord God of hosts upon all the earth, Zephaniah, retaining the two first words, which occur in both places, says more concisely, For a consumption, nought but terror, will He make all the inhabitants of the earth. Yet simple as the words are, he pronounced, that God would not only bring a desolation upon the earth, or in the midst of the earth, but would make its inhabitants one consumption. Nahum had said of Nineveh, with an overflowing flood He will make the place thereof an utter consumption. The most forceful words are the simplest.               

                He uses the exact words of Isaiah, From beyond the rivers of Cush, than which none can be simpler, and employs the word of festive procession, though in a different form, and having thus connected his prophecy with Isaiah’s, all the rest, upon which the prophecy turns, is varied.  

                In like way he adopts from Micah the three words, her-that-halteth, and-will-gather her-that-is-driven-out. The context in which he resets them is quite different.   

                It has been thought, that the words, I have heard the reproach of Moab, may have been suggested by those of Isaiah, who begins his lament over Moab, We have heard of the pride of Moab; but the force and bearing of the words is altogether different, since it is God Who says, I have heard, and so He will punish.                         

                The combination, the exulters of pride, is common to him with Isaiah: its meaning is uncertain; but it is manifestly different in the two places, since the one relates to God, the other to man.                     

                The words, They shall build houses and shall not dwell therein; they shall plant vineyards and not drink the wine thereof, are from the original threat in Deuteronomy, from which also the two words, They-shall-walk as-the-blind, may be a reminiscence, but with a conciseness of its own and without the characteristic expressions of Deuteronomy, adopted by other sacred writers: They shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness.

                Altogether these passages are evidence that Zephaniah is of later date than the prophecies in which the like language occurs; and the fact that he does employ so much language of his predecessors furnishes a strong presumption in any single case, that he in that case also adopted from the other sacred writer the language which they have in common.            

                It is chiefly on this ground, that a train of modern critics have spoken disparagingly of the outward form and style of Zephaniah. It has however a remarkable combination of fullness with conciseness and force. Thus, he begins the enumeration of those upon whom the destruction should fall, with the words, consuming I will consume all: to an enumeration co-extensive with the creation, he adds unexpectedly, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked, anticipating our Lord’s words of the Day of Judgment, they shall gather the stumblingblocks and them that do iniquity: to the different idolatries he adds those of a divided faith, swearers to the Lord and swearers by Malcham; to those who turned away from God he adds those who were unearnest in seeking Him.           

                Again, after the full announcement of the destruction in the Day of the Lord, the burst, in those five words, sift-yourselves and-sift (on) nation unlonged for, is, in suddenness and condensation, like Hosea; and so again, in live words, after the picture of the future desolation of Nineveh, the abrupt turn to Jerusalem, Woe rebellious and-defiled (thou) oppressive city, and then follow the several counts of her indictment, in brief disjointed sentences, first negatively, as a whole; each in three or four words, she-listened not to voice; she-received not correction; in-the-Lord she-trusted not; to-her- God she-approached not; then, in equally broken words, each class; is characterized by its sins; her-princes in-her-midst are roaring lions; her-judges evening wolves; not gnawed-they-bones on-the-morrow; her-prophets empty-babblers, men of-deceits; her-priests profaned holiness, violated law. Then in sudden contrast to all this contumacy, neglect, despite of God, He Himself is exhibited as in the midst of her; the witness and judge of all; there, where they sinned. The-Lord righteous in-her-midst; He-doth not iniquity; by-morning by-morning His-judgment He-giveth to-light; He-faileth not; and then in contrast to the holiness and the judgments of God, follows in four words, the perseverance of man in his shamelessness, and –the fruit of all this presence and doings of the Holy and Righteous God and Judge is, and-not-knoweth the wrong-doer shame. Zephaniah uses the same disjoining of the clauses in the description of God’s future manifestation of His love toward them. Again it is the same thought, The-Lord thy-God (is) in-thy-midst; but now in love; mighty, shall-save; He-shall-rejoice over-thee with-joy; He-shall-keep-silence in-His-love; He-shall-rejoice over-thee with-jubilee. The single expressions are alike condensed; she-hearkened not to-voice, stands for what Jeremiah says at such much greater length, how God had sent all His servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them, but they hearkened not unto Me nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck. The words shall-be-silent in-His-love, in their primary meaning, express the deepest human love, but without the wonted image of betrothal.      

                The whole people of Canaan reminds one of Hosea; the-men-coagulated on-their-lees is much expanded by Jeremiah, his word occurs before him in Job only and the song of Moses. Single poetic expressions are, that Moab should become the possession of briars, the word itself being framed by Zephaniah; in the description of the desolation of Nineveh, a voice singeth in the window; desolation is on the threshold, the imagery is so bold, that modern criticism has thought that the word voice which occurs in the O.T. 328 times and with pronouns 157 times more, must signify “an owl,” and desolation must stand for “a crow.” Very characteristic is the word, “He  shall famish all the gods of the earth,” expressing with wonderful irony, the privation of their sacrifices, which was the occasion of the first Heathen persecutions of the Christians.  

                When then a writer, at times so concise and poetic as Zephaniah is in these places, is, at others, so full in his descriptions, this is not prolixity, but rather vivid picturing; at one time going through all the orders of creation; at another, different classes of the ungodly; at yet another, the different parts of the scared woe-stricken city, to set before our eyes the universality of the desolation. Those who are familiar with our own great Northern poet of nature, will remember how the accumulation of names adds to the vividness of his descriptions. Yet here too there is great force in the individual descriptions, as when he pictures the petty plunderers for their mastei”, and fill their masters’ houses –not with wealth but– with violence and fraud, all which remains of wealth gained by fraud and extortion being the sins themselves, which dwell in the house of the fraudulent to his destruction.            

                In the strictly prophetic part of his office, Jerusalem having been marked out by Micah and Isaiah before him, as the place where God would make the new revelation of Himself, Zephaniah adds, what our Lord revealed to the Samaritan woman, Hhat Jerusalem should no longer be the abiding centre of worship. They shall worship Him, every man from his place, all the isles of the nations, is a prophecy which, to this day, is receiving an increasing accomplishment. It is a projihecy, not of the spread of Monotheism, but of the worship of Him, to Whose worship at that time a handful of Jews could with difficulty be brought to adhere, the desertion or corruption or association of Whose worship with idolatry Zephaniah had to denounce and to foretell its punishment. The love which God should then shew to His own is expressed in words, unequaled for tenderness ; and in conformity to that love is the increasing growth of holiness, and the stricter requirements of God’s holy justice. Again, Zephaniah has a prelude to our Blessed Lord’s words, “to whom much is given, of him shall much be required, or His Apostle’s, of the great awe in working out our salvation ”. Progress is a characteristic and condition of the Christian life ; We beseech you, that as ye have received of us, how ye ought to walk and to please God, ye would abound more and more. Even so Zephaniah bids  all the meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgments or law to seek diligently that meekness, which had already characterized them, and that, not in view of great things, but, if so be they might be saved; it may be that ye may be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger, as S. Peter saith, If the righteous scarcely he saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? It is again remarkable, how he selects meekness, as the characteristic of the new state of things, which he promises. He anticipates the contrast in the Magnificat, in which the lowest lowliness was rewarded by the highest exaltation. As it is said there, He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek, so the removal of the proud from within thee, and the “leaving of an afflicted and poor people within thee,” is the special promise by Zephaniah.

                Little is said of the captivity. It is a future variously assumed. Judah in the furthest lands, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, is the daughter of My dispersed; the whole earth is the scene of their shame; their praises should be commensurate with their shame, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes. But this turning away of their captivity is the only notice, that their punishment should be the going into captivity. The captivity itself is pre-supposed, as certain and as known. So neither are there any images from temporal exaltation. All pride should be removed, as utterly unbefitting God’s holy presence: thou shall no more be haughty in My holy mountain. The words expressive of the abasement of those within her are proportionably strong, My afflicted and poor. Some are wont, in these days, to talk of God’s prophets as patriots. They were such truly, since they loved the land of the Lord with a Divine love. But what mere “patriot” would limit his promises to the presence of ” a poor people in a low estate,” with an unseen presence of God ? The description belongs to His kingdom, which was not of this world: the only king whom Zephaniah speaks of, the king of Israel, is Almighty God. The blessing which he promises, is the corresponding blessing of peace, Fear thou not; thou shalt not see evil any more, none shall make them afraid. But the words Let not thy hands be slack, imply that they shall be aggressive on the world; that they were not to relax from the work which God assigned to them, the conversion of the world.       

                An allusion to the prophet Joel makes it uncertain whether words of Zephaniah relate to the first Coming of our Lord, or the times which should usher in the Second, or to both in one; and so, whether, in accordance with his general character of gathering into one all God’s judgments to His end, he is speaking of the first restoration of the one purified language of faith and hope, when the multitude of them that bdieved were of one heart and of one soul, or whether he had his mind fixed rather on the end, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in. The words also (since they may be taken either way) leave it uncertain whether the Gentiles are spoken of as bringing in the people of God, (as they shall at the end) or whether the  first conversion of the Jews, even in the most distant countries, is his subject.              

                In any case, Zephaniah had a remarkable office, to declare the mercy and judgment of God, judgments both temporal and final, mercies, not of this world, promised to a temper not of this world, the wisdom which is from above, pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypociisy.

                Introduction to the Prophet HAGGAI.     

                Haggai  is the eldest of the three-fold band, to whom, after the Captivity, the word of God came, and by whom He consecrated the beginnings of this new condition of the chosen people.  (* His name is explained by S. Jerome “festive.” But although there are Prop. Names with (ai) which are Adjectives, as (sheshai, barzillai)(Ezr. 9:40. (thalmai) and (shashai) are foreign names) (yeshishai) the termination (ai) is more frequently an abbreviation of the Name of God, which enters so largely into Hebrew names, as indeed we have (chaniah) 1st Chr. 6:15. And this occurs not only, when the first part of the word is a verb, (‘achasbai, yeheddai, yechmai, ya`enai, yaa`sai, ‘achzai, ye’atrai, yeribai, yishmerai) (as Kohler observes p. 2.) but when it is a noun, as (matnai, hiddai, ‘amittai, shalmai, tzillethai,) (coll. (mattanyah), and (mattanyahu) (shimshai) Ezr. 4,  Ph`ullethai (1st Chr. 26:5) perhaps (shabbethai, shitrai)or again (‘ittai) *) He gave them these prophets, connecting their spiritual state after their return with that before the Captivity, not leaving them wholly desolate, nor Himself without witness. He withdrew them about 100 years after, but some 420 years before Christ came, leaving His people to long the more for Him, of Whom all the prophets spake. Haggai himself seems to have almost finished his earthly course, before he was called to be a prophet; and in four months his office was closed. He speaks as one who had seen the first house in its glory, and so was probably among the very aged men, who were the links between the first and the last, and who laid the foundation of the house in tears. After the first two months of his office, Zechariah, in early youth, was raised up to carry on his message; yet after one brief prophecy was again silent, until the aged prophet had ended the words which God gave him.   (* The prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah are thus intertwined. Haggai prophesies in the 6th and 7th months of the 2nd year of Darius Hystaspis, B.C. 520, (Hagg. 1:1, 2:1) Zechariah first prophesies in the 8th month (Zech. 1:1). Haggai resumes at the close of the 9th and there ends (2:10, 20). On the same day in the 11th month, the series of visions were given to Zechariah. (Zech. 1:7.) *) Yet in this brief space he first stirred up the people in one month to rebuild the temple, prophesied of its glory through the presence of Christ, yet taught that the presence of what was holy sanctified not the unholy, and closes in Him Who, when Heaven and earth shall be shaken, shall abide, and they whom God hath chosen in Him.

                It has been the wont of critics, in whose eyes the Prophets were but poets, to speak of the style of Haggai as “tame, destitute of life and power,” shewing “a marked decline in” what they call “prophetic inspiration.” The style of the sacred writers is, of course, conformed to their mission. Prophetic descriptions of the future are but incidental to the mission of Haggai. Preachers do not speak in poetry, but set before the people their faults or their duties in vivid earnest language. Haggai sets before the people vividly their negligence and its consequences; he arrests their attention by his concise questions; at one time retorting their excuses; at another asking them abruptly, in God’s name, to say why their troubles came. Or he puts a matter of the law to the priests, that they may draw the inference, before he does it himself. Or he asks them, what human hope had they, before he tells them of the Divine. Or he asks them (what was in their heart), “Is not this house poor“? before he tells them of the glory in store for it. At one time he uses heaped and condensed antitheses, to set before them one thought; at another he enumerates, one by one, how the visitation of God fell upon all they had, so that there seemed to be no end to it. At another, he uses a conciseness, like S. John Baptist’s cry. Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, in his repeated Set your heart to your ways; and then, with the same idiom, set your heart viz. to God’s ways, what He had done on disobedience, what He would do on obedience. He bids them work for God, and then he expresses the acceptableness of that work to God, in the three words, And-I-will-takep-leasure in-it and-will-be-glorified. When they set themselves to obey, he encouraged them in the four words, I with-you saith the-Lord. This conciseness must have been still more impressive in his words, as delivered. We use many words, because our words are weak. Many of us can remember how the House of Lords was hushed, so hear the few low, but sententious words of the aged general and statesman. But conceive the suggestive eloquence of those words, as a whole sermon. Set your-heart on-your-ways.      

                Of distant prophecies there are but two, so that the portion to be compared with the former prophets consists but of at most 7 verses. In these the language used is of the utmost simplicity, Haggai had but one message as to the future to convey, and he enforced it by the repeated use of the same word, that temporal things should be shaken, the eternal should remain, as S. Paul sums it up. He, the long-longed for, the chosen of God, the signet on His Hand, should come; God would fill that house, so poor in their eyes, with glory, and there would He give peace. Haggai had an all-containing but very simple message to give from God. Any ornament of diction would but have impaired and obscured its meaning. The two or three slight idioms, noticed by one after another, are, though slight, forcible.      

                The office of Haggai was mainly to bring about one definite end, which God, Who raised him up and inspired him, accomplished by him. It is in the light of this great accomplishment of the work entrusted to him at the verge of man’s earthly course, that his power and energy are to be estimated. The words which are preserved in his book are doubtless (as indeed was the case as to most of the prophets) the representatives and embodiment of many like words, by which, during his short office, he roused the people from their dejection indifference and irreligious apathy, to the restoration of the public worship of God in the essentials of the preparatory dispensation.            

                Great lukewarmness had been shewn in the return. The few looked mournfully to the religious centre of Israel, the ruined temple, the cessation of the daily sacrifice, and, liice Daniel, confessed their sin and the sin of their people Israel, and presented their supplication before the Lord their God for the holy mountain of their God. The most part appear, as now, to have been taken up with their material prosperity, and, at best, to have become inured to the cessation of their symbolical worship, connected, as it was, with the declaration of the forgiveness of their sins. Then too, God connected His declaration of pardon with certain outward acts: they became indifferent to the cessation of those acts. For few returned. The indifference was even remarkable among those, most connected with the altar. Of the 24  orders of priests, only, 4 orders returned; of the Levites only 74 individuals; while of those assigned to help them, the Nethinim and the children of Solomon’s servants, there were 392. This coldness continued at the return of Ezra. The edict of Artaxerxes, as suggested by Ezra, was more pious than those appointed to the service of God. In the first instance no Levite answered to the invitation; on the special urgency and message of Ezra, by the good hand of God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Levi; some 3 or 4 chief Levites; their sons and brethren; in all, 38; but of the Nethinim, nearly six (6) times as many, 220. Those who thought more of temporal prosperity than of their high spiritual nobility and destination, had flourished doubtless in that exile as they have in their present homelessness, as wanderers among the nations. Haman calculated apparently on being able to pay out of their spoils ten thousand (10,000) talents of silver, some £300,000,000 [in 1900], two-thirds of  the annual revenue of the Persian Empire into the king’s treasuries.  [If 2020, a silver talent = 50 pounds weight X 10,000 = 500,000 pounds (1/2 million) of silver shekels = 4 slvr shkl coins to a US dollar = 125,000 silver coins = $125,000 dollars; if the talent is 100 pounds in weight then the figures are doubled; & much more in buying power; & in gold 10 times more.]    

                The numbers who had returned with Zerubbabel had been (as had been foretold of all restorations) a remnant only. There were 42,360 free men, with 7337 male or female slaves. The whole population which returned was not above 212,000, freemen and women and children. The proportion of slaves is about 1/12th, since in their case adults of both sexes were counted. The enumeration is minute, giving the number of their horses, mules, camels, asses. The chief of the fathers however were not poor, since (though unspeakably short of the wealth, won by David and consecrated to the future temple) they offered freely for the house of God, to set it up in its place, a sum about £117,100  of our money [1900]. They had, beside, a grant from Cyrus, which he intended to cover the expenses of the building, the height and breadth whereof were determined by royal edict.

                The monarch, however, of an Eastern empire had, in proportion to its size, little power over his subordinates or the governors of the provinces, except by their recall or execution, when their oppressions or peculations notably exceeded bounds. The returned colony, from the first, were in fear of the nations, the peoples of those countries, their old enemies probably; and the first service, the altar to offer burnt-offerings thereon, was probably a service of fear rather than of love, as it is said, they set up the altar upon its bases; for it was in fear upon them from the peoples of the lands, and they offered burnt-offerings thereon unto the Lord. They hoped apparently to win the favor of God, that He might, as of old, protect them against their enemies. However, the work was carried on according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia; and the foundations of the temple were laid amidst mixed joy at the carrying on of the work thus far, and sorrow at its poverty, compared to the first temple. The hostility of the Samaritans discouraged them. Mixed as the religion of the Samaritans was,  –its better element being the corrupt religion of the ten (10) tribes, its worse the idolatries of the various nations, brought thither in the reign of Esarhaddon, –the returned Jews could not accept their offer to join in their worship, without the certainty of admitting, with them, the idolatries, for which they had been punished so severely. For the Samaritans pleaded the identity of the two religions. Let us build with you, for we serve your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esarhaddon which brought us up hither. But in fact this mixed worship, in which  they feared the Lord and served their own ‘gods’, came to this, that they feared not the Lord, neither did they after the law and commandment which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob. For God claims the undivided allegiance of His creatures; these feared the Lord and served their graven images, both their children and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they to this day. But this worship included some of the most cruel abominations of heathendom, the sacrifice of their children to their ‘gods’.    

                The Samaritans, thus rejected, first themselves harassed the Jews in building, apparently by petty violence, as they did afterward in the rebuilding of the walls by Nehemiah. The people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and wore them out in building. This failing, they hired counsellors (doubtless at the Persian court), to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, until the reign of Darius king of Persia. The object of the intrigues was probably to intercept the supplies, which Cyrus had engaged to bestow, which could readily be effected in an Eastern Court without any change of purpose or any cognizance of Cyrus.             

                In the next reign of Ahashverosh (i.e. Khshwershe, a title of honor of Cambyses) they wrote accusations against the Jews, seemingly without any further effect, since none is mentioned. Perhaps Cambyses, in his expedition to Egypt, knew more of the Jews, than the Samaritans thought, or he may have shrunk from changing his father’s decree, contrary to the fundamental principles of Persism, not to alter any decree, which the sovereign (acting, as he was assumed to do, under the influence of Ormuzd) had written. Pseudo-Smerdis (who doubtless took the title of honor, Artachshatr) may, as an impostor, have well been ignorant of Cyrus’ decree, to which no allusion is made. From him the Samaritans, through Rehum the chancellor, obtained a decree prohibiting, until further notice, the rebuilding of the city. The accusers had overreached themselves; for the ground of their accusation was, the former rebellions of the city; the prohibition accordingly extended only to the city, not to the temple. However, having obtained the decree, they were not scrupulous about its application, and made the Jews to cease by arm and power, the governor of the Jews being apparently unable, the governor of the cis-Euphratensian provinces being unwilling, to help. As this, however, was, in fact, a perversion of the decree, the Jews were left free to build, and in the second year of Darius Ilystaspis, Haggai, and then Zechariah, prophesied in the name of the God of Israel to Zerubbabel, the native Governor, and Joshua the high-priest, and the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem; and they began to build the house of God in Jerusalem. Force was no longer used. Those engaged in building appealed to the edict of Cyrus; the edict was found at Ecbatana, and the supplies which Cyrus had promised, were again ordered. The difficulty was at the comraenceinent. The people had been cowed perhaps at first by the violence of Rehum and his companions; but they had acquiesced readily in the illegal prohibition, and had run each to his own house, some of them to their ceiled houses. All, employers or employed, were busy on their husbandry. But nothing flourished. The laborers’ wages disappeared, as soon as gained. East and West wind alike brought disease to their corn; both, as threatened upon disobedience in the law. The East wind scorched and dried it up; the warm West wind turned the ears yellow and barren; the hail smote the vines, so that when the unfilled and mutilated clusters werepressed out, two-fifths (2/5ths) only of the hopedfor produce was yielded; of the corn, only one half.      

                In the midst of this, God raised up an earnest preacher of repentance. Haggai was taught, not to promise anything at the first, but to set before them, what they had been doing, what was its result. °He sets it before them in detail ; tells them that God had so ordered it for their neglect of His service, and bids them amend. He bids them quit their wonted ways; go up into the mountain; bring wood; build the house. Conceive in Christian England, after some potato-disease, or foot-and-mouth-disease (in Scripture language “a murrain among the cattle”), a preacher arising and bidding them, consider your ways, and as the remedy, not to look to any human means, but to do something, which should please Almighty God; and not preaching only but effecting what he preached. Yet such was Haggai. He stood among his people, his existence a witness of the truth of what he said; himself one, who had lived among the outward splendors of the former temple; a contemporary of those, who said the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these; who had held it to be impossible that Judah should be carried captive; who had prophesied the restoration of the vessels of God, which had been carried away, not, as God foretold, after the captivity, but as an earnest that the fuller captivity should not be; yet who had himself, according to the prophecies of the prophets of those days, been carried into captivity, and was now a part of that restoration which God had promised. He stood among them “in gray-haired might,” bade them do, what he bade them, in the name of God, to do; and they did it. When they had set about the work, he assured them of the presence of God with them. A month later, when they were seemingly discouraged at its poorness, he promised them in God’s name, that its glory should be greater than that of Solomon’s. Three (3) days after, in contrast with the visitations up to that time, while there was as yet no token of any change, he promised them in the name of God, From this day will I bless you.           

                He himself apparently saw only the commencement of the work; for his prophecies lay within the second (2nd) year of Darius and the temple was not completed till the sixth (6th). Even the favorable rescript of Darius must have arrived after his last prophecy, since it was elicited by the enquiry of the governor, consequent upon the commenced rebuilding, three (3) months only before his office closed.             

                While this restoration of the public worship of God in its intregrity was his main office, yet he also taught by parable  that the presence of what was outwardly holy did not, in itself, hallow those, among whom it was; but was itself unhallowed by inward unholiness.                 Standing too amid the small handful of returned e.xiles, not, altogether, more than the inhabitants of Sheffield, he foretold, in simple all-comprehending words, that central gift of the Gospel, In this place will I give peace, saith the Lord. So had David, the sons of Korah, Micah, Isaiah, Ezekiel prophesied; but the peace was to come, not then, but in the days of the Messiah. Other times had come, in which the false prophets had said, Peace, peace, when there is no peace; when God had taken away His peace from this people. And now, when the chastisements were fulfilled, when the land lay desolate, when every house of Jerusalem lay burned with tire, and the “blackness of ashes” alone “marked where they stood;” when the walls were broken down so that, even when leave was given to rebuild them, it seemed to their enemies a vain labor to revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish which were burned; when the place of their fathers’ sepulchres lay waste, and the gates thereof where consumed with fire; when, for their sakes, Zion was ploughed as a field and Jerusalem was become heaps –let any one picture to himself the silver-haired prophet standing, at first, alone, rebuking the people, first through their governor and the high-priest, then the collected multitude, in words, forceful from their simplicity, and obeyed! And then let them think whether anything of human or even Divine eloquence was lacking, when the words Hew straight like arrows to the heart, and roused the people to do at once, amid every obstacle, amid every downheartedness or outward poverty, that for which God sent them. The outward ornament of words would have been misplaced, when the object was to bid a downhearted people, in the Name of God, to do a definite work. Haggai sets before his people cause and effect; that they denied to God what was His, and that God denied to them what was His to give or to withhold. His sermon was, in His words Whom he foretold; Seek yefirsi the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. He spake in the name of God, and was obeyed.

                ”The Holy Ghost, Who spake by the mouth of the prophets, willed that he by a foreboding name should be called Haggai, i.e. ‘festive,’ according to the subject whereof He should speak by his mouth. Yet was there not another festiveness in the prophet’s heart, than the joy which he had or could have with the people, from the rebuilding of that temple made with hands, again to be defiled and burned with fire irrecoverably? Be it that the rebuilding of that temple, which he saw before him, was a matter of great festive joy; yet not in or for itself, but for Him, the festive joy of saints and angels and men, Christ; because when the temple should be rebuilt, the walls also of the city should be rebuilt and the city again inhabited and the people be united in one, of whom Christ should be born, fulfilling the truth of the promise made to Abraham and David and confirmed by an oath. So then we, by aid of the Holy Spirit, so enter upon what Haggai here speaketh, as not doubting that he altogether aimeth at Christ. And so may we in some sort be called or be Haggais, i.e. ‘ festive,’ by contemplating that same, which because he should contemplate, he was, by a Divine foreboding, called Haggai.”.

                Introduction to the Prophet ZECHARIAH.              

                Zechariah entered on his prophetic office, two (2) months after Haggai’s first (1st) prophecy. He was still a youth, when God called him, and so, since in the second  year | of Darius Hystaspis IS years had elapsed j from the first of Cyrus, he must have been bi’ought in infancy from Babylon. His father Berechiah probably died young, since, ‘ in Ezra, the prophet is called after his grandj father, Zechariah the son of Iddo. He suceeded his grandfather in the office of the priest, the chief of the fathers, (of which there were twelve (12)) in the days of Joiakim the son of Joshua, the High priest. Since then, while he prophesied together with Haggai, Joshua was still high priest, and it is Joshua whom he sees in his vision in that same year, he must have entered on his prophetic office before he succeeded to that other dignity. Yet neither is there any reason to think that he ever laid it aside, since we hear not of any prophet, called by God, who did abandon it. Rather, like Jeremiah, he exercised both; called to the priesthood by the birth given to him by God, called to the prophetic office by Divine inspiration.       

                Like Jeremiah, Zechariah was called in early youth to the prophetic office. The same designation, by which Jeremiah at first excused himself as unfit for the office, is given to Zei-liariah, youth. The term does not indeed mark any definite age; for Joseph, when he was so designated by the chief butler, was 28; Benjamin and Absalom had sons of their own. They were probably so called as terms of affection, the one by his brother Judah, the other by David his father. But his grandfather Iddo was still in the discharge of his office. The length of his ministry is equally unknown. Two years after his first entrance upon it, when Haggai’s office was closed, he was bidden to answer from God those who enquired whether, now that they were freed from the captivity, they should keep the national fasts which they had instituted on occasion of some of the mournful events which had ushered it in. His remaining prophecies bear no date. The belief, that he lived and prophesied to old age, may have a true foundation, though to us unknown. We only know that he survived the high priest, Joshua, since his own accession to his office of head of the priests, in his division, was in the days of Joiakim, the son of Joshua.     

                His book opens with a very simple touching call to those returned from the captivity, linking himself on to the former prophets, but contrasting the transitoriness of all human things, those who prophesied and those to whom they prophesied, with the abidingness of the word of God. It consists of four (4) parts [c.1-14 = 1-4, 5-8; 9-11, 12-14], differing in outward character, yet with a remarkable unity of purpose and end. All begin with a foreground subsequent to the captivity; all reach on to a further end; the two first (1st, 2nd) to the coming of our Lord; the third (3rd) from the deliverance of the house then built, during the invasion of Alexander, and from the victories of the Maccabees, to the rejection of the true Shepherd and the curse upon the false; the last (4th), which is connected with the third (3rd) by its title, reaches from a future repentance for the death of Christ to the final conversion of the Jews and Gentiles.   

                The outward difference, that the first (1st) prophecy is in visions; the second (2nd), a response to an enquiry made of him; the two last (3rd, 4th) in free delivery, obviously did not depend upon the prophet. The occasion also of the two first (1st, 2nd) bodies of prophecy involved that they were written in prose. For the imagery was borne on the prophet’s mind in visions. The office of the prophet was only to record them and the explanations given to him of parts of them, which could only be done in prose. He was so far like the Apostles, who enquired of our Lord, when in the flesh, the meaning of His parables. There is, as in the later chapters, abundance of imagery; and it may have pleased God to adapt the form of His revelation to the imaginative mind of the young prophet who was to receive it. But the visions are, as the name implies, pictures which the prophet sees, and which he describes. Even a rationalist writer saw this.  “Every vision must form a picture, and the description of a vision must have the appearance of being read from a picture. It follows from the nature of the description of a vision, that for the most part it cannot be composed in any elevated language. The simplest prose is the best vehicle for a relation (and such is the description of a vision), and elaborate ornament of language were foreign to it. The beauty, greatness, elevation of a vision, as described, must lie in the conception, or in the symmetry, or wondrous boldness in the grouping of the images. Is the whole group, piece by piece, in all its parts, to the most minute shading, faithful and described with the character of truth, the exhibition of the vision in words is perfect.”           

                The four (4) portions were probably of different dates, as they stand in order in the prophet’s book, as indeed the second (2nd) is dated two (2) years later than the first (1st). For in the first (1st) part God’s people are exhorted to come from Babylon, which command, many in the time of Ezra, obeyed, and doubtless individuals subsequently, when a prosperous polity was restored; in the latter part, Babylon is mentioned no more; only in one place, in the imagery of earlier prophets, the future gathering of God’s people is symbolized under the previous deliverance from West and East, Egypt and Assyria.

                But they (4) agree in this, that the foreground is no longer, as in the former prophets, deliverance from Babylon. In the first part (1st), the reference to the vision of the four (4) empires in Daniel removes the promise of the Deliverer to the fourth (4th) Empire. For the series of visions having closed with the vision of the four (4) chariots, there follows at once the symbolic act of placing the crown or crowns on the head of the high priest and the promise of the Messiah, Who should be king and priest. In the later part (3rd) the enemies spoken of are in one place the Greeks, subsequent to the protection of the temple under Alexander; in another (4th) the final gathering of all nations against Jerusalem, which Joel also places at the end of all things, after the outpouring of the Spirit, as it was outpoured on the day of Pentecost.         

                In both parts alike, there is no mention of any king or of any earthly ruler; in both, the ruler to come is the Messias. In both, the division of the two kingdoms is gone. The house of Israel and house of Judah are united, not divided; they had been distinct wholes, now they are in interests as one. Zechariah promises a future to both collectively, as did Jeremiah long after the captivity of Israel, and Ezekiel promised that they should both again be one in the hand of God. The brotherhood between Judah and Israel still existed, after they had weighed the thirty (30) pieces of silver for the Good Shepherd. The captivity, in God’s Providence, ended at once the kingdom of Israel and the religious schism, the object of which was to maintain the kingdom. Even before the captivity, divers of Asher and Manasaeh and Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem, to the passover of Hezekiah; nay, a great multitude of the people from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, who had neglected or despised the first (1st) invitation, came subsequently. In the great passover of Josiah, we hear of all Judah and Israel that were present. The edict of Cyrus related to the people of the Lord God of heaven, and was published throughout all his kingdom, which included the cities of the Medes, whither Israel had been removed. The sacred history is confined to Jerusalem, whence the Gospel was to go forth; yet even the sons of Bethel, the centre of the rival, idolatrous worship, which was among the mountains of Ephraim, were among those of the people of Israel who returned with Zerubbabel. It is inconceivable that, as the material prosperity of Palestine returned, even many of the ten (10) tribes should not have returned to their country. But place was no condition of the unity of the Church. Those who returned recognized the religious oneness of all the twelve (12) tribes, wherever dispersed. At the dedication of the house of God, they offered a sin-offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. At that passover were present, not only the children of Israel which had come again out of the captivity, but, all such as had separated themselves unto them from the defilements of the people of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel, i.e., Israelites, who had been defiled by the heathen idolatries. The house of David is mentioned; for of his seed according to the flesh Messiah was to be born, but it is his house, not any earthly ruler in it.              

                In both parts alike, Zechariah connects his prophecies with the former prophets, the fulfillment of whose warnings he impressed upon his people in his opening exhortation to them’, and in his answer to the question about keeping the fasts” which related to the destruction of the city and temple. In the first part, the title ” ‘ the Branch ” is used as a proper name, recalling tiie title of the Messiah in Isaiah and Jeremiah, the Branch of the Lord, a righteous Branch, a Branch of righteousness, whom God would raise up to David. The prophecy of the mutual exhortation of peoples and cities to worship at Jerusalem is an echo of those of Isaiah and Micah, prolonging them. The prophecy of the four chariots, the symbol of those world empires, would be unintelligible without the visions in Daniel which it presupposes. The union of the offices of priest and king in the Messiah is a renewal of the promise through David. In the last chapters (c.9-14), the continuousness of the prophet’s diction admits still more of this interweaving of the former prophecies, and these alike from the earlier and later prophets. The censure of Tyre for its boast of its wisdom is a renewal of that of Ezekiel; the prophecy against the Philistine cities, of that of Zephaniah; the remarkable prediction that, when the king should come to Zion, chariots and horses, not of the enemy but of Judah should be cut off, is renewed from Micah; the extent of his peaceful kingdom is from a psalm of Solomon; the loosing of the exile from the pit, and God’s rendering double unto them, are in Isaiah. The description of the sifting, in which, two parts having been cut off, even the remaining third should be anew tried and cleansed, is condensed from Ezekiel, so that, shall be cut off, shall expire, correspond to the natural and violent deaths, by famine and by the sword, spoken of in Ezekiel. The words, I have said, it is My people, and it will say, the Lord my God, are almost verbally from Hosea, I say to not-my-people, thou art My people, and it will say, my God; only omitting the allusion to the significant name of the prophet’s son.  “The first part of 14:10, the whole land shall be turned as a plain from Gebah to Rimmon, and Jerusalem shall be exalted, reminds of Isaiah and Ezekiel; the latter part, it shall be inhabited in her place from the tower of Hananeel to the king’s winepresses, and men shall dwell in it and there shall be no more utter desolation, but Jerusalem shall dwell securely, reminds of Jeremiah, The city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner; it shall not be plucked up nor thrown down, any more. The words, and every one that is left of all the nations shall go up to worship the king, the Lwd of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles, reminds of Isaiah. From new-moon to his newmoon, and from sabbath to his sabbath shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord. v.17-19 are an expansion of Isaiah 60:12; v.20 expresses the thought of Ez. 43:13: the prophecy, there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord for ever, refers back to Ezekiel.” The symbolizing of the Gospel by the life-giving waters which should flow forth from Jerusalem, originally in Joel 3:18, is a miniature of the full picture in Ezekiel. The promise, “I will cut off the names of the idols from the land and they shall be no more remembered,” in part verbally agrees with that of Hosea, “And I will remove the names of the Baalim from her mouth, and they shall be no more remembered by their names;” only, since the Baal-worship was destroyed by the captivity, the more general name of idols is substituted.

                Equally, in descriptions not prophetic, the symbolizing of the wicked by the title of the goats, I punished the goats, is renewed from Ezekiel; I judge between flock and flock, between the rams and the he-goats. The description of the shepherds who destroyed their flocks retains from Jeremiah the characteristic expression, and hold thonselves not guilty. The minuteness of the enumeration of their neglects and cruelties is the same (amid differences of the words whereby it is expressed): “the perishing shall he not visit, those astray shall he not seek, and the broken shall he not heal; the sound shall he not nurture, and the flesh of the fat shall he eat and their claws he shall split.” In Ezekiel, “Ye eat the fat and clothe you with the wool; the fat ye slay; the flock ye feed not; the diseased have ye not healed; and the broken have ye not bound, and the wandering have ye not sought.” The imagery of Obadiah, that Israel should be a flame amidst corn to consume it, is retained; the name of Edom is dropped, for the prophecy relates to a larger gathering of enemies. Zechariah has, “In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among wood and like a lamp of fire in a sheaf of corn, and they shall eat on the right hand and on the left all nations round about:” Obadiah; “The house of Jacob shall be fire and the house of Jacob a flame, and the house of Esau stubble, and it shall kindle on them and shall eat them.” Even so slight an expression as the pride of Jordan, as designating the cane-brake around it, is peculiar to Jeremiah.      

                Zechariah is eminently an Evangelic prophet, as much as Isaiah, and equally in both portions.

                The use of different words in unlike subjects is a necessary consequence of that unlikeness. In contrast with that pseudo-criticism, which counts up the unlike words in different chapters of a prophet, the different words used by the same modern poet have been counted. A finer perception will see the correspondence of a style, when the rhythm, subject, words, are ditlerent. No one familiar with English poetry could doubt that “the Bard,” and “the Elegy in a country Churchyard,” however different in subject and style and words, were by the same hand, judging alone from the labored selection of the epithets, however different. Yet there is not one characteristic word or idiom which occurs in both. But the recurrence of the same or like words or idioms, if unusual elsewhere, is a subordinate indication of sameness of authorship.                        

                They are thus enumerated by the writers who have answered the attacks on the authorship of Zechariah.

                Common to both parts are the idioms, from him who goeth and from him who returneth, which do not occur elsewhere; the whole Jewish people are throughout designated as “the house of Israel and the house of Judah,” or “the house of Judah and the house of Joseph,” or “Judah Israel and Jerusalem,” or “Ephraim and Jerusalem,” or “Judah and Ephraim,” or “Judah and Israel.” There is in both parts the appeal to future knowledge of God’s doings to be obtained by experience; in both, internal discord is directly attributed to God, Whose Providence permits it; in both the prophet promises God’s gifts of the produce of the earth; in both he bids Jerusalem burst out for joy; in the first (1st), “for lo, God says, I come and will dwell in the midst of thee; in the second (2nd), behold thy King cometh unto thee.      

                The purity of language is alike in both parts of the book. No one Syriasm occurs in the earlier chapters. The prophet, who returned as a child to Judaea, formed his language upon that of the older prophets.              In both there is a certain fullness of language, produced by dwelling on the same thought or word: in both, the whole and its parts are, for emphasis, mentioned together. In both parts, as a consequence of this I’ullness, there occui-s the division of the verse into five sections, contrary to the usual rule of Hebrew parallelism.              

                This rhythm will appear more vividly in instances;       

         “And he shall build the temple of the Lord ;               And he shall bear majesty ;      

          And he shall sit and rule on his throne ;       And he shall be a priest on his throne ;      

      And a counsel of peace shall be between them both.    Ashkelon shall see, & shall fear ;

          Gaza, and shall tremble exceedingly ;        And Ekron, and ashamed is her expectation;

         And perished hath a king from Gaza,        And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

    & I will take away his blood from his mouth,    & his abominations from between his teeth:

         And he too shall be left to our God,        And he shall be as a governor in J udah,

                               And Ekron as a Jebusite.        ” ^ In that day, saith the Lord,

          I will smite every horse with astonishment.        And his rider with madness;

    & upon the house of Judah I will open my eyes, “& every horse of the nations I will smite with blindness.”

                With one considerable exception, those who would sever the six last (9-14) chapters from Zechariah, are now at one in placing them before the captivity. Yet Zechariah here too speaks of the captivity as past. Adopting the imagery of Isaiah, who foretells the delivery from the captivity as an opening of a prison, he says, in the name of God, “By the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” Again, “The Lord of hosts hath visited His flock, the house of Judah. I will have mercy upon them [Judah and Joseph] and they shall be as though I had not cast them off.” The mention of the mourning of all the families that remain implies a previous carrying away. Yet more; Zechariah took his imagery of the future restoration of Jerusalem, from its condition in his own time. “It shall be lifted up and inhabited in its place from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner-gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.” “The gate of Benjamin” is doubtless “the gate of Ephraim,” since the road to Ephraim lay through Benjamin; but the gate of Ephraim existed in Nehemiah’s time, yet was not then repaired, as neither was the tower of Hananeel, having been left, doubtless, at the destruction of Jerusalem, being useless for defence, when the wall was broken down. So at the second (2nd) invasion the Romans left the three (3) impregnable towers, of Hippicus, Phasaelus, and Mariamne, as monuments of the greatness of the city which they had destroyed. Benjamin’s gate, the corner gate, the tower of Hananeel, were still standing; “the king’s winepresses” were naturally uninjured, since there was no use in injuring them ; but the first gate was destroyed, since not itself, but the place of it is mentioned.              

                The prophecy of the victory over the Greeks fits in with times when Assyria or Chaldaea were no longer the instruments of God in the chastisement of His people. The notion that the prophet incited the few Hebrew slaves, sold into Greece, to rebel against  their masters, is so absurd, that one wonders that any one could have ventured to forge it and put it upon a Hebrew prophet.     

                Since, moreover, all now, who sever the six last (6 = 9-14) chapters from the preceding, also divide these six (6) into two halves (9-11; 12-14), the evidence that the six (6) chapters are from one author is a separate ground against their theory. Yet not only are they connected by the imagery of the people as the floc of God, whom God committed to the hand of the Good Shepherd, and on their rejecting Him, gave them over to an evil shepherd; but the good Shepherd is One with God. The poor of the flock, who would hold to the Shepherd, are designated by a corresponding word.

                A writer has been at pains to shew that two (2) different conditions of things are foretold in the two (2) prophecies. Granted. The first (1st), we believe, has its foreground in the deliverance during the conquests of Alexander, and under the Maccabees, and leads on to the rejection of the true Shepherd and God’s visitation on the false. The later relates to a later repentance and later visitation of God, in part yet future. By what law is a prophet bound down to speak of one future only?            

                For those who criticize the prophets, resolve all prophecy into mere “anticipation” of what might, or might not be, denying to them all certain knowledge of any future, it is but speaking plainly, when they imagine the author of the three last chapters to have “anticipated” that God would interpose miraculously to deliver Jerusalem, then, when it was destroyed. It would have been in direct contradiction to Jeremiah, who for 39 years in one unbroken dirge predicted the evil which should come upon Jerusalem. The prophecy, had it preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, could not have been earlier than the reign of the wretched Jehoiakim, since the mourning for the death of Josiah is spoken of as a proverbial sorrow of the past. This invented prophet then would have been one of the false prophets, who contradicted Jeremiah, prophesying good, while Jeremiah prophesied evil; who encouraged Zedekiah in his perjury, the punishment whereof Ezekiel solemnly denounced, prophesying his captivity in Babylon as its penalty; he would have been one of those, of whom Jeremiah said, that they spake lies “in the name of the Lord. It was not “anticipation” on either side. It was the statement of those who spoke more certainly than we could say, “the sun will rise to-morrow.” They were  the direct contradictories of one another. The false prophets said, “the Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace;” the true, “they have said. Peace, peace, when there is no peace:” the false said, “sword and famine shall not be in the land;” the true, “By sword and famine shall their prophets be consumed;” the false said, “ye shall not serve the king of Babylon; thus saith the Lord, even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years;” the true, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts. Now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and all nations shall serve him, and his son and his son’s son.” The false said, “I will bring again to this place Jeconiah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon;” the true, “I will cast thee out and the mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born, and there ye shall die. But to the land, whereunto they desire to return, thither they shall not return.” The false said; “The vessels of the Lord’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon;” the true, “the residue of the vessels that remain in this city, –they shall be carried to Babylon.”             

                If the writer of the three (3) last chapters had lived just before the destruction of Jerusalem in those last reigns, he would have been a political fanatic, one of those who, by encouraging rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar, brought on the destruction of the city, and, in the name of God, told lies against God. “That which is most peculiar in this prophet,” says one “is the uncommon high and pious hope of the deliverance of Jerusalem and Judah, notwithstanding all visible greatest dangers and threatenings. At a time when Jeremiah, in the walls of the capital, already despairs of any possibility of a successful resistance to the Chaldees and exhorts to tranqiullity, this prophet still looks all these dangers straight in the face with swelling spirit and divine confidence, holds, with unbowed spirit, firm to the like promises of older prophets, as Is. c.29, and anticipates that, from that very moment when the blind fury of the destroyers would discharge itself on the sanctuary, a wondrous might would crush them in pieces, and that this must be the beginning of the Messianic weal within and without.”

                Chapter 14 in to this writer a modification of those anticipations. In other words there was a greater human probability, that Jeremiah’s prophecies, not his, would be fulfilled: yet he cannot give up his sanguineness, though his hopes had now become fanatic. This writer says on chap. 1-4, “This piece cannot have been written till soinewhat later, when facts made it more and more improbable, that Jerusalem would not any how be conquered, and treated as a conquered city by coarse foes. Yet then too this prophet could not yet part with the anticipations of older prophets and those which he had himself at an earlier time expressed: so boldly, amid the most visible danger, he holds firm to the old anticipation, aiter that the great deliverance of Jerusalem in Sennacherib’s time (Is. c.37) appeared to justify the most fanatic hopes for the future, (comp. Ps. 59). And so now the prospect moulds itself to him thus, as if Jerusalem must indeed actually endure the horrors of the conquest, but that then, when the work of the conquerors was half-completed, the great deliverance, already suggested in that former piece, would come, and so the Sanctuary would, notwithstanding, be wonderfully preserved, the better Messianic time would notwithstanding still so come.”                            

                It must be a marvelous fascination, which the old prophets exercise over the human mind, that one who can so write should trouble himself about them. It is such an intense paradox, that the writing of one convicted by the event of uttering falsehood in the name of God, incorrigible even by the thickening tokens of God’s displeasure, should have been inserted among the Hebrew prophets, in times not far removed from those whose events convicted him, that one wonders that any one should have invented it, still more that any should have believed in it. Great indeed is “the credulity of the incredulous.”      

                And yet this paradox is essential to the theories of the modern school which would place these chapters before the captivity. English writers, who thought themselves compelled to ascribe these chaptere to Jeremiah, had an escape, because they did not bind down prophecy to immediate events. Newcome’s criticism was the conjectural criticism of his day; i.e. bad, cutting knots instead of loosing them. But his faith, that God’s word is true, was entire. Since the prophecy, placed at the time where he placed it, had no immediate fulfillment, he supposed it, in common with those who believe it to have been written by Zechariah, to relate to a later period. That German school, with whom it is an axiom, “that all definite prophecy relates to an immediate future,” had no choice but to place it just before the destruction of the temple by the Chaldees, or its profanation by Antiochus Epiphanes; and those who placed it before the Captivity, had no choice, except to believe, that it related to events, by which it was falsified.               

                Nearly half a centuiy has passed, since a leading writer of this school said, “One must own, that the division of opinions as to the real author of this section and his time, as also the attempts to appropriate single oracles of this portion to different periods, leave the result of criticism simply negative; whereas on the other hand, the view itself, since it is not yet carried through exegetically, jacks the completion of its proof. It is not till criticism becomes positive, and evidences its truth in the explanation of details, that it attains its completion; which is not, in truth, always possible.” Hitzig did what he could, “to help to promote the attainment of this end according to his ability.” But although the more popular theory has of late been that these chapters are to be placed before the captivity, the one portion somewhere in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, or Hezekiah; the other, as marked in the chapters themselves, after the death of Josiah. There have not been wanting critics of equal repute, who place them in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Yet criticism which reels to and fro in a period of near 500 years, from the earliest of the prophets to a period, a century after Malachi, and this on historical and philological grounds, certainly has come to no definite basis, either as to history or philology. Rather, it has enslaved both to preconceived opinions; and at last, as late a result as any has been, after this weary round, to go back to where it started from, and to suppose these chapters to have been written by the prophet whose name they bear “. (* De Wette ed. 4 (after maintaining the contrary ed. 1-3) and Stahelin, Einl. 1862. ” De Wette often assured me orally, that since he felt himself compelled to admit, that this portion evinces acquaintance with the latest prophets, he could not deny it to be Zechariah’s.” Stahelia p. 323. De Wette, Stiihelin, Koster, Burger, were of a diflFerent school from Hengstenberg, Havernick, Keil, or again from Jahn and Herbst. Stahelin says, ” in the investigation I kept myself free from any influence from without, and first found the facts, which attest the post-exile origin of this section, given by Hengstenberg and de Wette, when 1 subsequently compared “the labors of others, especially those two scholars.” Messiau. Weissag. p. 174. 1847.  *)           

                It is obvious that there must be some mistake either in the tests applied, or in their application, which admits of a variation of at least 450 years from somewhere in the reign of Uzziah (say B.C. 770) to “later than B.C. 330.”

                Philological and historical criticism, bearing on events (as it is assumed) of the day,             which should, in its variations, oscillate between the reign of John or of Charles I, or (to bring it nearer to ourselves) the first half of the 14th century or the latter part of the 18th, would not gain much attention. Indeed, it is instructive, that after the philological argument has figured so much in all questions about the date of books of Holy Scripture, it is virtually admitted to be absolutely worthless, except negatively. For, in regard to Zechariah, the argument is not used, except in proof that the same writer cannot have written prose and poetry, which would establish that Hosea did not write either his three first chapters or his nine last; or Ezekiel his inaugural (1st) vision, the visions of the ninth (9th) and tenth (10th) chapters, and the simple exhortations to repentance in his eighteenth (18th) and thirty-third (33rd). Only I know not on the same evidence, how, of modern writers, Scott and Southey could be supposed to have written their prose and their poetry. How easy it would be to prove that the author of Thalaba did not write the life of Wesley or the history of the peninsular war, nor Shakespeare Macbeth and any comedy which criticism may yet leave to him; still more that he cannot have written the deep tragic scenes of Hamlet and that of the gravediggers.   

                Yet such negations have been practically considered as the domain of the philological neo-criticism. Style is to be evidence that the same prophet did not write certain prophecies; but, this being demonstrated, it is to yield no evidence, whether he wrote, when Hebrew was a dead language or in the time of its richest beauty. Individuals indeed have their opinions; but philological criticism, as a whole, or as relates to any acknowledged result, is altogether at fault. Having done its office of establishing, that, in the mind of the critic and his disciples, certain chapters are not Zechariah’s, the witness is forthwith dismissed, as incompetent even to assist in proving anything beside. The rest is to be established by historical allusions, which are by some adapted to events in the reign of Uzziah, by others to those of the Maccabees: or rather, it being assumed that there is no prophecy, this latter class assumes that the book is to belong to the times of the Maccabees, because one part of it predicts their victories. Those who tell us of the unity of the results of this modern criticism, must have been thinking of the agreement of its negations. As to the positive results, a table will best shew their harmony. Yet the fault is not in the want of an ill-exercised acumen of the critics; their principle, that nothing in the prophets can relate to any distant future, even though that future exactly realized the words, is the mainspring of their confusions. Since the words of Zechariah do relate to, and find their fulfillment in, events widely separated from each other, and the theory of the critics requires that they should belong to some proximate event, either in the present or some near future, they have to wrest those words from the events to which they relate, some in this way, some in that; and the most natural interpretations are those which are least admitted. Certainly since the descriptions in c.9 suit with the wars of Alexander and the Maccabees, no one, but for some strong antecedent exigency, would assume that they related to some expected expedition of an Assyrian monarch, “which may be conjectured as very probable, by which, for want of historical data, cannot be indicated more circumstantially,” or to “a plan of the Assyrians which was not then carried out,” or Uzziah’s war with the Philistines, and some imagined “attitude of Jeroboam II against Damascus and Hamath,” or “a concealed denunciation against Persia,” against which Zechariah did not wish to prophesy openly, or to have had no special meaning at all.

                It is marvelous, on what slight data this modern school has satisfied itself that these chapters were written before the captivity. To take the statement of an epitomator” of German pseudo-criticism : ” Damascus, Tyre, and Sidon, Philistia, Javan {ix. 1, 6-P2) Assi/ ria and Ef/ypt (x. 10.) are the enemies of judah.” ” The historical stand-point is different from that of Zech. i-viii.” Of all these, Javan, the Greeks, alone are spoken of as enemies of Judah, who before the captivity were known only as purchasers of Hebrew captives ; the only known wars are those of the Maccabees. ” The two kingdoms of Judah and Israel still exist. Surely the language, ‘ that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel,’ implies that both kingdoms existed as part of th* covenant nation.” Zechariah speaks of Judah and Israel, but not as kingdoms. Before the captivity, except during the effects of the inter-marriage with Athaliah, there was not brotherhood but enmity. In the reigns of Amaziah and Aliaz there was war.

                “The house of David is spoken of 13:1.” The house, not the kingdom. The house existed after the captivity. Zeruhbabel, whom the Persians made governor, was its representative.

                ”Idols and false prophets (10:2, 13:2 &c.) harmonize only with a time prior to the exile.”

                Idolatry certainly was not the prevailing national sin, after God had taught the people through the captivity. It is commonly taken for granted, that there was none. But where is the proof? Malachi would hardly have laid the stress on marrying the daughters of a strange ‘god‘, had there been no danger that the marriage would lead to idolatry. Nehemiah speaks of the sin, into which Solomon was seduced by “outlandish women,” as likely to recur through the heathen marriages; but idolatry was that sin. Half of the children could only speak the language of their mothers. It were strange, if they had not imbibed their mothers’ idolatry too. In a battle in the Maccabee war, it is related “under the coats of every one that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden the  Jews by their law.”          

                The Teraphim were, moreover, an unlawful and forbidden means of attempting to know the future, not any coarse form of idolatry; much as people now, who more or less earnestly have their fortunes told, would be surprised at being called idolaters. But Zechariah was probably speaking of sins which had brought on the captivity, not of his own day. The prediction repeated from an older prophet, that in the true Judah, the Church, God would cut off even the names and the memory of idols, does not imply that they existed.            

                False prophets continued after the captivity. Shemaiah, who uttered a prophecy against Nehemiah, the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, are known to us from Nehemiah’s relation. Such there were before our Lord came, of whom He said, that they were thieves and robbers: He warned, against them, as coming in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves; He foretold that many false prophets shall arise and deceive many; the Acts tell us of the false prophet, a Jew, Bar-jesus; and Theudas, and Judas of Galilee. S. John says, many false prophets have gone out into the world. False prophets aggravatwd the resistance to the Romans and the final destruction of Jerusalem.

                “The mention of a king or kingdom, in 11:6, 13:7, does not suit the age of Zechariah.”       Zechariah had already implied that they had no king then, for he had bidden Zion to rejoice that her king would come to her; accordingly she had none. In 11:6, God says, “I will no more pity the land; I will deliver man, every one into the hand of his king.” It is an event, not of the prophet’s time, but of the future; in 13:7, there is no mention of any king at all.

                Such being the entire absence of proof that these chapters were written before the captivity, the proof that c. 11 relates to the time of Menahem is even absurd. The process with those who maintained this, has been, assuming as proved, that it was written before the captivity, and that it contained no prophecy of the future, to ask, to what period before the captivity does it relate? One verse relates to civil confusion, such as is foretold also, with the same metaphor, by Isaiah and Jeremiah. The choice was large, since the kingdom of Israel had the curse of discord and irreligion entailed upon it, and no king ventured to cut off the entail by cutting off the central sin, the worship of the calves, which were to consolidate it by a worship, the rival of that at Jerusalem. Of the 18 kings between Jeroboam and Hosea, 9, including Tibni, died violent deaths. The choice was directed to Menahem, because of the words in Zechariah, three shepherds also I cut off in one month, and Shallum murdered Zachariah the son of Jeroboam; and he himself, after he had reigned a full month in Samaria, was murdered by Menahem. Here then were two (2) kings cut off. But the third (3rd)? Imagination is to supply it. One conjectures Menahem; but he reigned 10 years, and so, he invents a meaning for the word, that the prophet does not mean cut off, but denied them, leaving it open whether he meant “removed” or merely “did not acknowledge them, as Menahem at first certainly found no recognition with the prophetic order (2nd Kgs 15:16, 19);” another imagined “some third (3rd) rival of Zachariah and Shallum, of whom there is no mention in the historical books;” but there is no room for a third (3rd) king, since Shallum murdered Zachariah;  and Menahem, Shallum; another found in Hebrew words which had crept into the LXX, an usurper Kobal-am, of whom he says truly, “we hear nothing;” another “conceived of same usurper after the murder of Zachariah or of Shallum (this is left free), who about this time may have set himself at the head of the kingdom, but scarcely maintained himself some weeks ; another ‘ says, “This refers probably to the Interregnum 784-773, in which many may have set tliemselves as kings, but none have maintained themselves.” Another “An anti-king may at this time have set himself up in other parts of the kingdom, whom Menahem overthrew as he did that murderer.”  Others say of the whole, “The symbolical representation, verss. 3 sqq., admits of no detailed explanation, but can be undei-stood only as a whole. It describes the evil condition of Judah untler Ahaz.” Another, equally certain that it relates to Ahaz, says, “the three (3) shepherds, who perished in one and the same month, were probably men who, in the long anarchy before Hosea ascended the throne, contended for the sceptre.”         

                Yet another is so confident in this interpretation as to the three (3) kings, Shallum, Zechariah and Menahem, that, whereas the book of Kings says expressly that Shallum reigned “a full month” lit. “a month of days,” the commentator says, “The month cannot have been full?; Zechariah 11:8 evidently refers to the three Kings, Sachariah, Sallum and Menahem,” while others will have it that Zechariah by one month means some indefinite space more than a month. This is indeed required (although not stated) by all these theories, since Shallum alone reigned “a full month,” and, consequently, the other two kings (if intended at all by the term “shepherds“) must have been cut off at some period, outside of that “one month.”      

                Truly, theory is a very exacting taskmaster, though strangely fascinating. It is to be one of the triumphs of the neo-criticism to distinguish between tlie authorship of Zech. 9-11 and 12-14. The point alleged to prove that c.11 belongs to the time of Menahem is one at variance with history. It is not that the whole is like, while in one point the likeness is imperfect. It is the point, alleged as the keystone of the whole, which fails. The words of God by the prophet are, “Three(3) shepherds have I cut off in one month.” It lies on the surface of the history, that Zachariah, son of Jeroboam, was murdered by Shallum, after reigning 6 months; and that Shallum, after reigning one full month, was himself murdered by Menahem. The succession of murders was not so rapid as when Zimri had murdered Elah, Baasha’s son, and after reigning 7 days, committed suicide, lest he should fall into the hands of Omri. Elah and Zimri were cut off in one month; Zachariah and Shallum, in two. But in neither case was there any visible result, except a partial retribution of God’s justice. The last executioner of God’s justice slept with his fathers; his retribution was after death. He was not cut off. And this is the proof, which is to supplant the testimony to Jesus. The Apostle’s words come true, as so often beside: They shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables.                     

                Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way, yet saidst thou not, there is no hope. One should have thought that some must have, at times, thought of the old days, when the prophecy was interpreted of the Good Shepherd and of the 30 pieces of silver which were the price of His Blood, and which were cast into the house of the Lord. But this would have been fatal to “historical criticism,” whose province was to find out events of the prophet’s own day to fill up the words of prophecy.          

                The human authorship of any books of Holy Scripture, and so of these chapters of Zechariah is, in itself, a matter which does not concern the soul. It is an untrue imputation, that the date of books of the Bible is converted into matter of faith. In this case Jesus has not set His seal upon it; God the Holy Ghost has not declared it. But, as in other cases, what lay as the foundation of the theory was the unbelief that God, in a way above nature, when it seemed good to Him, revealed a certain future to His creature man. It is the postulate, (or axiom, as appears to these critics), that there is no superhuman prophecy, which gives rise to their eagerness, to place these and other prophetic books or portions of books where they can say to themselves that they do not involve such prophecy. To believers it has obviously no religious interest, at what time it pleased Almighty God to send any of His servants the prophets. Not the dates assigned by any of these self-devouring theories, but the grounds alleged in support of those dates, as implying unbelief in God’s revelation of Himself, make the question one of religious interest, viz. to shew that these theories are as unsubstantial, as their assumed base is baseless.

                It is an infelicity of the modern German mind, that it is acute in observing detailed differences, rather than comprehensive in grasping deeper resemblances. It has been more busied in discovering what is new, than in observing the grounds of what is true. It does not, somehow, acquire the power of balancing evidence, which is habitual to the practical minds of our own countrymen. To take an instance of criticism, apart from Theology, the genuineness of a work of Plato.   

                “The genuineness of the Laws,” says their recent translator is sufficiently proved 1) by more than 20 citations of them in the writings of Aristotle [whom Plato designated the intellect of the school,” and who must have been intimate with him for some 17 years] who was residing at Athens during the last years of the life of Pluto, and who returned to Athens at the time when he was himself writing his Politics and Constitutions; 2) by the allusion of Isocrates, writing B.C. 346, a year after the death of Plato, and not more than 2 or 3 years after the composition of the Laws; –3) by the reference of the comic poet Alexis, a younger contemporary of Plato (B.C. 356.); 4) by the unanimous voice of later antiquity, and the absence of any suspicion among ancient writers worth noticing.

                Yet German acuteness has found out reasons, why the treatise should not be Plato’s. Those reasons are plausible, as most untrue things are. As put together carefully by one who yet attaches no weight to them, they look like a parody of the arguments, produced by Germans to take to pieces books of Holy Scripture. Mutatis mutandis [changes, mutations, modifications, alternations], they have such an absurdly ludicrous resemblance, that it provokes a smile. Some 50 years ago, there was a tradition at Gottingen, where Heyne had lived, that he attributed the non-reception of the theories as to Homer in England to the English Bishops, who “apprehended that the same principle would be applied to Holy Scripture.” Now, for half a century more, both sets of critics have had full scope. The classical sceptics seem to me to have the advantage. Any one, who knew but a little of the uncritical criticism, applied to the sacred books, could imagine, what a jubilee of triumph it would have occasioned, could such differences as those pointed out between “the Laws” and other treatises of Plato, have been pointed out to detach any book of Holy Scripture from its traditional writer. Yet it is held inadequate by one, of whom an admirer said, that “his peculiar mode of criticism cut the very sinews ot belief.” I insert the criticisms” , (omitting the details of illustration) because their failure may upon the eyes of some to the utter valuelessness of this sort of criticism.[*Pusey’s note gives a very long citation from Prof. Jowett’s Introduction to the ‘Laws pf Plato‘, T. iv. pp. 11-16. *]    The accuracy of the criticisms is not questioned; the statements are not said to be exaggerated; yet they are held invalid. The question then comes with great force to the conscience; “Why, rejecting arguments so forcible as to a treatise of Plato, do I accept arguments very inferior, as to such or such a book of the Old or New Testament, –certain chapters of Isaiah, or Ecclesiastes, or these chapters of Zechariah, or the Epistle to the Hebrews, or the Revelation of S. John the Divine, –except on grounds of theology, not of criticism, and how am I true to myself in rejecting such arguments as to human books, and accepting them as to Divine books?”  

                Table of Dates, which in this Century have been Assigned to Zechariah 9-14:     

                (* J.D. Michaelis, 1786, was uncertain. The opinions or doulits in the last century were altogether vague. “I have as yet no certainty, but am seeking: am also not opposed, if any deny these chapters to be Zechariah’s.” Neue Orient, u. Exeg. Biblioth. 1. 128.                     Augusti stated attack and defence, but gave no opinion, Einl. 1806. G. L. Bauer (1793) said generally, “c.9-14 seem not to be Zechariah’s,” but professed himself in utter uncertainty as to the dates. Scholia T. viii. On 9-14 he says, “which seems not to be Zechariah’s,” but whether Flugge was right who thought c.9 belonged to the time of Jeroboam II, or Eichhorn, who doubted whether it was not later than Zechariah, he says, “I decide nothing, leaving the whole question uncertain.” p. 74. On 11 he says, “we find no indication when the desolation was inflicted,” though he would rather understand the Assyrians, than Ant. Epiph. or the Romans, pp. 90, 97. Of 12-14 he leaves subject and time uncertain, pp. 109, 119, 121. Doderlein also seems uncertain, Auserl. theol. Biblioth. iv. 2. p. 81. (1787.) *)

                After Date of Zechariah:

c.9-14: “At the earliest, in the first half and middle of the fifth century (400-450 B.C.),” Vatke.  “The younger poet, whose visions were added to those of Zechariah.” Geiger.   Last years of Darius Hystaspis, or first of Xerxes. Gramberg.   After the battle of Issus B.C. 333. Eichhorn.  After 330. Bottcher.

c.14: Antiochus Epiphanes.  “many interpreters.

c.9: On Hyrcanus 1, as the Messiah.        

                Zechariah Himself: [Beckhaus 1792] Jahn, Koster, Henstenberg, Burger, De Wette (edd. 4-6). A. Theiner, Herbst, Umbreit, Havernick, Keil, Stahelin, von Hoffmann, Ebrard, Schegg, Bauragarten, Neumann, Kliefoth, Kohler, Sandrock.                                

                (* Einl. ins. A. T. n. 605. iv. 445, 449, 450, 1824. “If it is true, that all prophecies start from the present, and prophets threaten with no people, and promise nothing of any, till the people itself is come on the scene and into relation with their people, the poet cannot have spoken of the relation of Alexander to the Jews, till after the battle of Issus.” “Altogether, no explanation of the whole section (9:1-10:17) is possible, if it be not gained from the history of Alexander the Great. History relates expressly, how after the battle of Issus he took possession of all Syria and Zidon without great difficulties; how, with an employment of military contrivance unheard of elsewhere, he conquered and destroyed island-Tyre; how, of the maritime cities of Philistia, with indomitable perseverance he is specified to have besieged and taken Gaza, punished with death the opposition of its commander and its inhabitants, can any require mure to justify this explanation?” “The portions 11, 12-13:6, have no matter, from which their age could be determined; yet neither do they contain any thing to remove them to an early time; rather has the language much which is late; if then the contents of 13:7-end, set it late, they too may be accounted late. This last must either have been to comfort the people on the first tidings of the death of Judas Maccabi in the battle with Bacchides, or have no definite subject. –In that case it would belong to B.C. 161, yet one must own that there is not the same evidence for this, as that 9:1-10:17, belongs to the time of Alexander. –These must be the proofs, that the 2nd half of Zechariah cannot have the same author as the first, or one must allow what tradition gives out, and since there are great doubts against it, one must regret that one can come to no clear result as to Zechariah. For the other proofs which could be brought are not decisive.” pp. 450, 451.                Corrodi had on the same grounds assigned c.9 to the time of Alexander; c.14 to that of Antiochus Epiphanes. Versuch e. Beleuchtung d. Gesch. d. Jud. u. Christl. Bibel-Canons i. 107. *)             

                (* Ausf. Lehrbuch d. Hebr. Sprache. n. 45. p. 23. 1868. “The way in which Greece is named as a chief enemy of Zion (quite ditterent from that of Joel 4:6, Is. 66:19), chiefly shews that the sections Zech. 9 sqq. which resist every assured collocation in the prae-exile or ante-Macedonian period, could only have been written after Alexander’s march through Palestine. With this agree the later coloring, the Levitical spirit, the style full of compilation and of imitation, as also the phantastic messianic hopes. These last must have been revived among the Jews after the overthrow through Alexander. In comparison with the lifeless language of these chapters, as to which we cannot at all understand how any can have removed them into so early prae-exile times, the Psalms attributed to the times of the Maccabees are amazingly fresh. On this, as well as other grounds, we can admit of no Psalms of the Maccabee times.” Neue Aehrenlese ii. 215-127. One ground, which has by others of this school been alleged for not ascribing them to Zechariah, had been that they were so much more poetic &c. “In regard to language also, the style in the second Part is wholly different, c.9. and 10, are energetic, vivid, &c.” Hitzig, Vorbemerkk. z. d. ii. u. iii. Zech. n. 2. “Rosenmuller says truly: –How much the poetic, weighty, concise, fervid style of the six last chapters differs from the prosaic, languid, humble style of the eight first.” Maurer on Zech. 9-14 p. 667. “These prophecies [Zech. 9-14] cannot be from Zechariah, not on account of the un-symbolic style (comp. xi. 11:4-17), but on account of the more forceful style” &c. De Wette Einl § 250 ed. 2. *)

                Dates before Captivity: B.C.: Chapters & Verses:

9-14: Uzziah B.C. 772.  Hitzig, Rosenmuller.

9-11: Under Ahaz, during war with Pekah. Bertholdt.    Beginning of Ahaz.   Credner, Herzteld.

9-11: Later time of Hezekiah.  Herzfeld, Baur.

9-11: Between B. C. 771-740, i.e. between invasion of Pul, (2nd Kgs 15:19) & capture of Damascus by Tiglath-Pileser (2nd Kgs 16:9.) i.e. between 40th of Uzziah & 3rd of Ahaz.  Knobel.

9-11; 13:7-9: In first 10 years of Pekah before war with Ahaz [i.e. between B.C. 759-749].  Ewald.

9-11: “Very probably Uzziah’s favorite prophet in his prosperous days.”  Stanley.

9-11: Contemporary with Isaiah under Ahaz toward B.C. 736.  Bunsen.

9-11: Perhaps contemporary with Zephaniah [in time of Josiah].  De Wette.

11: Might be put in time of Ahaz.  De Wette.

9: Perhaps out of  time of Zephaniah.  Gesenius.

9: Uzziah.  Bleek, Forberg. 10: Ahaz, soon after war with Pekah & Rezin.  Bleek.

11:1-3: Invasion of some Assyrian king.

12:4-17: Menahem, & end of Uzziah.

9: Between  carrying away of 2 1/2 tribes &  fall of Damascus.

10: Between 739-731, 7 years anarchy between Hosea’s murder of Pekah & his own accession.  Maurer.

11: In reign of Hosea.

9: Under Uzziah & Jeroboam.

10: Anarchy after death of Jeroboam 2nd. [B. C. 784-772.]  V. Ortenberg.

11:1-3: B.C. 716.

11:4-17, 13:7-9: Shortly after the war of Pekah and Rezin.

9-10: Not before Jeroboam, nor before Uzziah’s accession, but before the death of Zechariah son of Jeroboam.  Hitzig.

11: Beginning of reign of Menahem.  Hitzig.

11: Possibly contemporary with Hosea.  Bauer.

9: After capture of Damascus by Tiglath-Pileser.  Movers.

12-14: Manasseh, in view of a siege by Esarhaddon.  Hitzig.          

                Between B.C. 607-604 (though falsified.)  Knobel. Soon after Josiah’s death, by Uriah, Jeremiah’s contemporary, B.C. 607 or 606.  Bunsen. Most probably, while Chaldees were already before Jerusalem, shortly before Jerusalem was first conquered (599).  Schrader.

12:1-13:6: Under Joiakim or Jeconiah or Zedekiah in Nebuchadnezzar’s last expedition (no objection that it was falsified).  Bertholdt.

13:7-end: Soon after Josiah’s death.  Bertholdt.

12:1-13:6: Last years of Jehoiakim, or under Jehoiachin or Zedekiah.  Bleek.

13:7-end: “Exceeding probably under Josiah or Jehoiakim.”  Bleek.

12:1-13:6: Fourth year of Jehoiakim.  Maurer.

13:7-end: Fifth. 12:1-13:6: Latter half of 600 B.C..  V. Ortenberg.  

14: Later than 12:1-13:6. 

12:1-13:6: 12 years after Habakkuk [abt B.C. 607, Ewald] shortly before destruction of Jerusalem. Ewald.

13:7-9: Same date as 9-11 (see above).

14: Little later than 12-13 or, In 1st rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar “by Chananiah, or one of the many prophets who contradicted Jeremiah.”  Ewald.

12-13:6; 14:  Zedekiah, “Beginning of revolt.”  Stanley.

12:1-13:6; 13:7-end: Prophecies of fanatic contents, which deny all historical explanation, but 13:7. must rather be conceived as future than ‘past,’ as Bertholdt.”  De Wette ed. 2.

12:1-13:6; 14: After death of Josiah, yet relating to repentance for putting the Messias to death, and so independent of  times in which it is placed.  Kahnis.

                Introduction to the Prophet MALACHI.  

                [Malachai:] The last prophet of the Old Testament, like the Forerunner of our Lord, whom he foreannounced under his own name, “the messenger of the Lord,”  willed to be but “the voice of one crying in the wilderness;” as his great successor, who took up his message, when asked. Who art thou? What sayest thou of thyself? said, I am the voice of one crying in the wildernes. Make straight the way of the Lord. He mentions neither his parentage, nor birthplace, nor date; nor did he add the name of his office, and has left it to be guessed, whether the name under which he is known, was the name which he bore among men; so wholly did he will to be hidden. No one before him is recorded to have borne his name. It may be that he framed it for himself, and willed to be known only as what it designated, “the messenger of the Lord.” This was a favorite title with him, since, in this brief prophecy, he uses it, as describing the priest’s office, and that of the forerunner; whereas, before him, except once by Haggai and once by Isaiah, it had been used only of the blessed Angels.               

                There is, however, no ground to think that it was not his name. Even the Seventy, who paraphrase it, “His messenger,” prefix to the book the name Malachi; and the title, “my messenger,” would not have described that he was “the messenger of God,” since the name of God had not preceded. “If names are to be interpreted,” S. Jerome says, “and history is to be framed from them, not a spiritual meaning to be derived, then Hosea who is called Saviour, and Joel whose name means, ‘Lord God,’ and the other prophets will not be men, but rather angels or the Lord and Saviour, according to the meaning of their name.” No special stress was laid upon the name, even by the Origenists, who supposed Haggai, Malachi and S. John Baptist to have been angels. Origen himself supposed S. John Baptist to have been an angel in human form, and Melchisedek, as well as Malachi. More widely, that “they became the words in the prophets.”          

                At the time of our Lord, some accounted him to have been Ezra, perhaps for his zeal for the law. His date must, however, have been later, since there is no mention of the building of the temple, whose service was in its regular order. In the New Testament, like others of the twelve, he is cited without his name, or the substance of his prophecy, is spoken of or alluded to, without any reference to any human author; so entirely was his wish to remain hidden fulfilled.

                Yet he probably bore a great part in the reformation, in which Nehemiah cooperated outwardly, and to effect which, after he had, on the expiring of his 12 years of office, returned to Persia, he obtained leave to visit his own land again, apparently for a short time. For he mentions his obtaining that leave, in connection with abuses at Jerusalem, which had taken place in his absence, and which he began reforming, forthwith on his arrival. But three (3) chief abuses, the neglect of God’s service, the defilement of the priesthood and of their covenant, and the cruelty to their own Jewish wives, divorcing them to make way for idolatresses, are subjects of Malachi’s reproofs. Nehemiah found these practices apparently rampant. It is not then probable that they had been, before, the subjects of Malachi’s denunciation, nor were his own energetic measures probably fruitless, so that there should be occasion for these denunciations afterward. It remains, then, as the most probable, that Malachi, as the prophet, cooperated with Nehemiah, as the civil authority, as Haggai and Zechariah had with Zerubbabel. “So Isaiah cooperated with Hezekiah; Jeremiah with Josiah. Of a mere external reformation there is no instance” in Jewish history.         

                It does not appear, whether Nehemiah, on his return, was invested by the king of Persia with extraordinary authority for these reforms, or whether he was appointed as their governor. The brief account affords no scope for the mention of it. It is not then any objection to the contemporaneousness of Malachi and Nehemiah, that, whereas Nehemiah, while governor, required not the bread of the governor, i.e. the allowance  granted him by the Persian government, as an impost upon the people, Malachi upbraids the people that they would not offer to their governor the poor things which they offered to Almighty God, or that the governor would not accept it, in that it would be an insult rather than an act of respect. For 1) the question in Malachi is of a free-offering, not of an impost; 2) Nehemiah says that he did not require it, not that he would not accept it; 3) there is no evidence that he was now governor, nor 4) any reason why he should not accept in their improved condition, what he did not require, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. Presents were, as they are still, a common act of courtesy in the East.     

                Like S. John Baptist, though afar off, he prepared the way of the Lord by the preaching of repentance. More than other prophets, he unveils priests and people to themselves, interprets their thoughts to them, and puts those thoughts in abrupt naked language, picturing them as demurring to every charge which he brought against them. They were not, doubtless, conscious hypocrites. For conscious hypocrisy is the sin of individuals, aping the graces which others possess and which they have not, yet wish to be held in estimation for having. Here, it is the mass which is corrupt. The true Israel are the exception; those who feared the Lord, the jewels of Almighty God. It is the hypocrisy of self-deceit, contented with poor, limited, outward service, and pluming itself upon it. Malachi unfolds to them the meaning of their acts. His thesis is themselves, whom he unfolds to them. He interprets himself, putting into their mouths wt)rds, betokening a simple unconsciousness either of God’s goodness or their own evil. Yet ye say, Wherein hast Thou loved us? This was their inward thought, as it is the thought of all, ungrateful to God. But his characteristic is, that he puts these thoughts into abrupt, bold bad words, which might startle them for their hideousness, as if he would say, “This is what your acts mean.” He exhibits the worm and the decay, which lay under the whited exterior. Ye say, Wherein have we despised Thy Name? Perhaps, they were already learning, not to pronounce the proper Name of God, while they caused it to be despised. Or they pronounced it with reverent pause, while they shewed that they held cheap God and His service. Ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptibleYe say, the table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, his meat, is contemptible. Their acts said it. What a reading of thoughts! Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness! It is the language of the heart in all indevotion. Ye say. Wherefore? as if innocently unconscious of the ground of God’s judgment. Wherein have we robbed Thee? The language of those who count the earth as their own. Ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and in them doth He delight, or, Where is the God of judgment? The heart’s speech in all envy at the prosperity of the wicked!                               

                Yet the object of all this unfolding them to themselves, is their repentance. We have already the self-righteousness of the Pharisees, and the Sadducees’ denial of God’s Providence. And we have already the voice of S. John Baptist, of the wrath to come. They professed to delight in the coming of the messenger of the covenant; yet their deeds were such as would be burned up with the fire of His Coming, not, rewarded.        

                Pharisees and Sadduces are but two offshoots of the same ungodliness; Pharisees, while they hoped by outward acts to be in favor with God, they become, at least, secret Sadducees, when the hope fails. First, they justify themselves. God had said to them, Ye are departed out of the way: I have made you base, as ye have not kept My ways. They say, It is vain to serve God; and what profit, that we have kept His ordinance? (affirming that they had done, what God called them to repentance for not doing). God said, Ye have covered the altar of the Lord with tears, the tears of their wronged wives; they insist on their own austerities, we have walked mournfully before the Lord our God. Then comes the Sadducee portion. God had called them to obedience and said, Prove Me now herewith: they say, the workers of wickedness have proved God, and are saved. God promised, All nations shall call you blessed; they answer, and now we call the proud blessed. What have we spoken against Thee? is the last self-justifying question, which Malachi records of them; and this, while reproaching God for the uselessness of serving Him, and choosing the lot of those who rejected Him.    

                Thereon Malachi abandons this class to their own blindness. There was hope amid any sin, however it rebelled against God. This was a final denial of God’s Providence and rejection of Himself. So Malachi closes with the same prophecy, with which S.John Baptist prepared our Lord’s coming, His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner, but the chaff He shall hurn with fire unquenchable. The unspeakable tenderness of God toward those who fear His name, and the severity to those who finally rebel, are perhaps nowhere more vividly declared, than in these closing words of the Old Testament. Yet the love of God, as ever, predominates; and the last prophet closes with the word “Remember,” and with one more effort to avert the curse which they were bringing upon themselves. Yet no prophet declares more expressly the rejection of the people, to whom he came to minister, the calling of the Gentiles, the universal worship, in all the earth, of Him Who was hitherto worshiped by the Jews only; and that, not at Jerusalem, but each offering, in his own place, the sacrifice which hitherto (as they had recently experienced, in their captivity at Babylon) could be offered up in Jerusalem only. To him alone it was reserved to prophesy of the unbloody Sacrifice, which should be offered unto God in every place throughout the world from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. It has been said, “Malachi is like a late evening, which closes a long day, but he is at the same time the morning twilight which bears in its bosom a glorious day.”                

                “When Prophecy was to be withdrawn from the ancient Church of God, its last light was mingled with the rising beams of the Sun of Righteousness. In one view it combined a retrospect of the Law with the clearest specific signs of the Gospel advent. Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb,for all Israel, with the statutes and the judgments. Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Prophecy had been the oracle of Judaism and of Christianity, to uphold the authority of the one, and reveal the promise of the other. And now its latest admonitions were like those of a faithful departing minister, embracing and summing up his duties. Resigning its charge to the personal Precursor of Christ, it expired with the Gospel upon its lips.”                

                A school, wiiich regards the ” prophets ” chiefly as ” poets,” says that ” the language is prosaic, and manifests the decaying spirit of prophecy.” Tiie office of the prophets was, to convey in forceliil words, which God gave them. His message to His people. The poetic form was but an accident. God, Who knows the hearts of His creatures whom He has made, knows better than we, why He chose such an instrument. Zechariah, full of imagination. He chose some years before. But He preserved in history the account of the words which Zecliariah spoke, not tlie words wherewith he urged the rebuilding of the temple, in his own book. Had Malachi spoken in imaginative language, like that of Ezekiel, to whom God says, thou art unto them like a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument, and they hear thy words and they do them not, it may be that they would have acted then, as they did in the time of Ezekiel. It may be, that times like those of Malachi, apathetic, self-justifying, murmuring, selfcomplacent, needed a sterner, abrupter, more startling voice to awaken them. Wisdom was justified of her children. God wrought by him a reformation for the time being: He gave through him a warning to the generation, when our Lord should come, that He should come, as their Judge as well as their Saviour, and, how they should stand in the day of His Coming. He gave it as a book to His whole Church, whereby to distinguish seeming from real service. Parting words are always solemn, as closing the past, and opening out a future of expectation before us. The position of Malachi, as the last of the prophets, bids us the more solemnly prepare for that  dread Day, our Lord’s Second Coming, which he foretold, in one with the First, warning us that we deceive not ourselves, in unconsciousness of our own evil and remembrance of our seeming good, until He profess unto us, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.42

                5. Wordsworth.

Commentary on the Holy Bible. The Old Testament in the Authorized Version with Notes & Introductions. volume 6 part 2. Minor Prophets. Chr. Wordsworth. Index by F.H.  Scrivener. 2nd edition. 6 vols in 12 parts. 1868. 1876. gs, as.

                {{ Introduction to the Minor Prophets:  The twelve (12) Minor Prophets form one book.  This is the light in which they were viewed by the ancient Hebrew and Christian Churches; and in order that their works may be profitably studied, they ought not to be regarded as separate writings, but as constituting one harmonious whole. (*1  See Acts 7:42; 15:15. Josephus, C. Apion. i. 8. Kimchi (Praef. ad Hoseam). S. Greg. Nazianz. (Carm. xxxiii.)  says, ” The twelve ( 12 prophets) are joined in one book ;” and  so Theodoret, Prooem. in Duodecim Prophetas, p. 1308, ed.  Schulze, Hal., 1769. Cp. Hottinger, Thesaur. Philol. 477. Keil,  Einleitung, § 81. *)

                It is true that each of these prophetical writings has a distinct character of its own; each does its own appointed work. But that appropriate work of each fits in with accurate precision, and is adjusted with beautiful symmetry, to that which is done by the rest and by all.  (Compare Delitzsch (Einleitung in die Prophet. Weissagungbucher, prefixed to his Commentary on Isaiah, p. xx); and Dr. Pusey’s Lectures on Daniel, p. 308, who thus writes:          “It has been pointed out how the citations of each earlier Prophet by those who came after, presuppose that those former books were of recognized authority. Amos, when he opens and almost closes his prophecy with the words of Joel, or applies more extensively those of Hosea, intends manifestly to carry on a message already recognized as Divine. So also Obadiah, when he uses words of the prophecies of Balaam, Amos, Joel, and a Psalm. Micah alludes emphatically to those parting words of his great predecessor in the Book of Kings, to expressions of the Psalms and Proverbs, to Joshua, to David’s elegy over Saul and Jonathan, as well as to the Pentateuch; Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Ezekiel, employ words or thoughts of his. Jonah, by adopting the form ‘And’ joins on his prophetic history to the sacred histories before him, and blends his mission to the heathen with the history of the people of God.                     Nahum, in the opening of his prophecy against Nineveh, manifestly refers to Jonah’s appeal to God in regard to it. For Nahum had to exhibit the stricter side of God’s dealings as to that same city. God had said in Jonah how He forgave on repentance; Nahum opens his book by saying in that selfsame form of words, that He was indeed longsuffering, but would not finally spare the guilty. Nahum and Zephaniah use of Isaiah. Zephaniah uses that of Habakkuk, as also of Joel, Amos, Micah; Habakkuk’s hymn shows one well acquainted with the Psalms. Whom does not Jeremiah employ?         The appeal in his day to the great prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in Micah, in its own words, shows that the book must have been in public use.          Even before the Captivity, God, by Ezekiel, speaks of the prophets before Him as one whole; Ezek. 38:17,  ‘Thus saith the Lord God, Art thou [Gog] he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel which prophesied in those days many years, that I would bring thee against them?’       When, then, Daniel, studying Jeremiah’s the prophet, to fulfill prophecy of the seventy (70) years of the Captivity, says, ‘I understood by books‘ (Dan. 9:2, i.e. the biblia, scriptures) ‘the number of the years which the Word of God was to Jeremiah the prophet, to fulfil, as to the desolations of Jerusalem seventy (70) years,’  this exactly expresses what we see from the writings of the prophets before the Captivity to have been the fact, that the books of the prophets were collected together.           “The ‘Captivity‘ set God’s seal on the true prophets of God over against the false prophets, and gained a reverence for them among those also of the people who had derided and persecuted or slain them before. The former prophets (Zech. 1:4, 6), is a standing expression for the prophets before the Captivity.” *)

                “The goodly fellowship of the prophets” may be compared to a row of statues standing in their niches in the west front of some noble cathedral: each has its proper place; but each has also a relation to the others and to the whole; and together they form a group, graceful in unity as well as in its constituent parts.

                The writings of the twelve (12) Minor Hebrew Prophets, as well as those of the four (4) Major Prophets, are arranged in chronological order (*See below.*) in the Hebrew Bibles, and in our authorized English Version. Hosea, who stands at the head of the Minor Prophets, was contemporary with Isaiah, who holds the first place among the Major Prophets. The names of both have a similar meaning. Both prophesied in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah, that is, at the beginning of the ninth (9th) century, and during the greater part of the eighth (8th) century before Christ.

                The writings of the Minor Prophets extend in a continuous chain with successive links in a parallel line with those of the Major Prophets till the days of the Captivity at Babylon. The series of the Major Prophets ends with Daniel at Babylon. But the line of the Minor Prophets reaches beyond the Captivity to the restoration of the Jews by Cyrus, and to the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem under Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and also to the reparation of the walls of the City under Nehemiah and Ezra, in the fifth (5th) century before Christ.

                The prophets Haggai and Zechariah strengthened the hands of Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and stirred up the people to rebuild the Temple. The prophet Malachi saw it rebuilt; and he was a fellow-laborer with Ezra, “the Priest and Scribe,” in a still greater work, that of completing the Canon of the Old Testament. Malachi is called by the Jews “the Seal of the Prophets.”

                In reading the Hebrew Prophets, it is requisite to have a careful regard to those principles of interpretation which were laid down by our Blessed Lord and by the Apostles, and which were applied by ancient Christian Expositors, such as S. Cyril of Alexandria in the Eastern Church, and S. Jerome and S. Augustine (especially in his work on the City of God) in the Western.

                This has been too often forgotten. The system of Interpretation, which is more popular in recent times, is that described by St. Paul when he says, “The letter (that is the letter of Scripture taken alone, without the spirit) killeth; but the spirit giveth life.” This kind of exposition has had the effect of separating Hebrew Prophecy from Christianity, and of isolating it, as if it were a thing to be contemplated at a distance, with which we ourselves have little to do.

                The Infidelity now prevalent is due in a great measure to the abandonment of the ancient principles of Interpretation, in the exposition of the Old Testament.

                In our own times the Old Testament has been regarded for the most part as a subject for critical disquisitions on matters of History, Geography, and Physics –things most useful and absolutely necessary in themselves, but by no means sufficient for the Interpretation of the Old Testament.

                The design of the Old Testament is to prepare the way for Christ; and every reverent expositor of it will make it his principal study to enable the readers of it to see Christ in every part of it.

                Unless he does this, he is untrue to his mission; and he is leaving open a wide door for the entrance of Unbelief.

                How mean and trivial must many of the incidents in the history of the Patriarchs appear, unless, with St. Paul, S. Justin Martyr, S. Irenaeus, S. Jerome, S. Chrysostom, and S. Augustine, and all Christian Antiquity, we read that history by the light of the Gospel, and regard the acts of the Patriarchs as foreshadowing of the history of Christ! As S. Augustine says in his book against Faustus the Manichean, “Not only the words of the Patriarchs were prophetical, but their lives were a prophecy. All the Hebrew Monarchy was like a grand Prophecy of a Mighty One, namely, of Christ. Therefore not only in those things which the Patriarchs said, but also in what they did, and in all things which happened by God’s providence to the Hebrew Nation, we ought to search for prophecies concerning Christ and His Church. As the Apostle St. Paul says, ‘figurte nostras fuerunt,’  ‘they were types of us‘.”

                If we dwell on the letter of the Old Testament, and do not endeavour to penetrate beneath the surface into its inner spiritual meaning –if we look at it merely as a book affording scope for critical, geographical, and historical discussions, we may become what the Manichaeans of old were –ingenious disputers about the Old Testament; but we shall not be firm believers in it, nor make others to be so; but perhaps cavillers against it.

                Again, how cumbrous, slavish, and even repulsive, will many of the ritual requirements prescribed in the Books of Leviticus and Numbers appear, if considered simply in themselves, without continual reference to Christ, and to the Great Sacrifice of Calvary!

                How superfluous, unaccountable, and incredible are the miracles recorded in the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt –the three days’ darkness, the slaying of the first-born of Egypt, the passage through the Red Sea, the Pillar of the Cloud and Fire; and the Giving of the Law, amid thunders, on Mount Sinai, and the Manna coming down from heaven for forty (40) years, and the smitten Rock gushing with water in the wilderness, and the flowing back of the river Jordan at the presence of the Ark, and the falling down of the walls of Jericho at the sound of the trumpets, and the staying of the sunlight at Bethhoron at the command of Joshua –if these things are regarded merely as incidents in the records of the Hebrew Nation, not exceeding the population of London in numbers, and going to take possession of a petty strip of territory, not much larger than Devonshire and Cornwall! Must not every critical reader, and even a thoughtful child, reject such histories as fabulous, if he is not continually invited by the commentator and preacher on the Old Testament, to read the books of Exodus, Numbers, and Joshua, not merely as historical annals of the Hebrew Nation, but as having a spiritual, prophetical, and typical character, and as recording events which were foreshadowing of the Son of God Himself, and of His Death and Resurrection and Victory over Death and Satan, and of the mysteries of the Gospel, which concern the welfare of all men and all Nations in every age and clime, even to the Day of Doom, and in the countless ages of Eternity?

                An Expositor of the Old Testament, who does not continually remind his readers of these truths, is surrendering them into the hands of Skepticism. There may be, and doubtless have been, many fanciful allegorical speculations of wild enthusiasts in the interpretation of the Old Testament, and these are much to be regretted. But the abuse of what is good does not take away its use; and what is here advocated, is that sound, sober, spiritual interpretation of the Old Testament which is commended to our acceptance and imitation by Christ and His Apostles in the New, and by all primitive Antiquity. The right clue for commenting on the Old Testament was put into the hands of the Church by her Divine Master on the Day of His Resurrection, when He had overcome Sin, Satan, and Death by His Divine Power. In His walk to Emmaus with the two disciples on that day He “began with Moses and all the Prophets, and expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” And He said to His assembled Apostles, “These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures.”

                It is evident from these words of Christ Himself, that the primary duty of the Christian

Commentator on the Old Testament is to lead his readers to behold Christ “in all the Scriptures;” and that there cannot be any right understanding of the Scriptures, unless their eyes are opened to see Him there. It is much to be feared, therefore, that with all our boasting of greater advances in Biblical Criticism, we have fallen very low from the standard of Apostolic and primitive times, in many of our expositions of the Old Testament. We are wise in the “letter that killeth,” but not “in the spirit that giveth life.”

                We have a warning against this servile system of exposition in the history of Hebrew Criticism.

                Many of the Jewish Rabbis in our Lord’s age had an accurate knowledge of the original language of the Old Testament; they held it in their hands, and heard it read in their synagogues. Many of them dwelt in the country where most of the events took place which it records. But they did not understand it. The great “Hebrew of the Hebrews,” the holy Apostle St. Paul expressly affirms that the most learned among the Jews did not know (that is, did not comprehend) “the voices of the Prophets” which were read in the synagogues every Sabbath day; and that “they fulfilled those Scriptures by condemning Him” of Whom the Prophets wrote. He affirms that “a veil was on their hearts in the reading of the Old Testament” and he does not hesitate to say, that the manner in which the Spirit giveth life to the reader, is by enabling the inner eye to see Christ in the Old Testament: or, in the Apostle’s words, “the veil is done away in Christ, in the Old Testament: When the heart turneth to the Lord, then the veil is taken away from it.”

                Many in the present day study the Old Testament in a spirit not unlike that of the Hebrew Rabbis. They treat it as a common book; and rely on their own philological skill alone for its interpretation. No wonder that a veil is on their hearts in reading and expounding it.

                Holy Scripture cannot be otherwise than a sealed book to the most learned and laborious critics, if they do not approach it with meekness and reverence, but handle it with familiarity, and cavil at it in a self-confident, disdainful, and presumptuous temper, as if they themselves were wiser than St. Paul and St. Peter, and all the prophets, and even than He Who inspired them. That such persons as these should not be permitted to understand Scripture, is no marvel. Rather it would be a marvel if they were permitted to do so. Scripture would not be true, if they could interpret it aright. For Scripture tells us that men cannot understand Scripture except by the help of the Spirit Who wrote it. And the Spirit will not deign to enlighten those who grieve Him by self-confident presumption. God is “the Father of lights.” And we cannot see “the wondrous things of His law,” unless He vouchsafes to open our eyes and enlighten them. It is only in His light that we can see light. But He will not enlighten the proud. “He resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” “Surely He scorneth the scorners.” “Mysteries are revealed unto the meekThem that are meek shall He guide in judgment; and such as are gentle, them shall He learn His way.” “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” “He that keepeth the law getteth the understanding thereof.” “If any man willeth to do God’s will, he shall know of the doctrine.” We must become like little children if we would enter the kingdom of God. He hideth mysteries from the wise and prudent, and “revealeth them unto babes.” Balaam’s ass saw the angel, and rebuked the disobedient prophet who rode upon her, who did not see the angel. Spiritual pride is punished by spiritual blindness. The will must be rectified, and the heart must be purified, if the mind is to be clarified, and if the spirit is to be glorified. “In the Scriptures,” says George Herbert “heaven lies flat, subject to every mounter’s bended knee.” Doubtless the reader of Scripture, and much more the preacher of God’s Word, and the interpreter of Holy Scripture, must use all helps of sound reason and critical learning, and diligent labour, and careful study, for the understanding of that Word. He must use them with as much industry as if everything depended on his use of them. But he must use them with reverence, humility, and faith, and with constant and fervent prayer for the illumination and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He must use them with continual and loving communion with Christ, Who is ever walking with devout souls to a spiritual Emmaus, and is opening to them the Scriptures, and is making Himself known to them in the “breaking of bread.” He must use them with devout attention to every whisper of the Holy Spirit, interpreting one portion of Scripture by another, and to His voice in the Church Universal, especially in her Creeds, which we have received from the unanimous consent of undivided Christendom, and which our Reformers commend to our reverent use in the exposition of Scripture. “Faith,” says St. Augustine, “opens the door to the understanding; but unbelief shuts it.” “When I was a young man,” says that great expositor, “I approached the study of the Bible with shrewdness of disputation, and not with meekness of inquiry. And thus by my own perverse temper, I closed the door of the Bible against myself, because I sought with pride for what can only be found by humility. The Written Word is like the Incarnate Word, “it is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against.” What Christ says of Himself, the Incarnate Word, is true of the Written Word, “Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, and on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder.” It is like Him, “a stumbling stone and a rock of offence,” to some; but to others it is like Him, “Who is the corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth in Him shall not be ashamed.” (* See the Reformatio Legum, by Archbishop Cranmer and others, where it is said that the Articles of the Christian Faith set down in the Creeds, ought always ever to be before the eyes of the expositors of Scripture, who ought never to interpret Scripture so as to be at variance with them(Ref. Leg., De  Summa Trinitate, c. 13). *)

                The writer of this Introduction has ventured to dwell longer on this all-important subject in this place, because the present portion of a work in which he has now been permitted to labour for nearly twenty (20) years, affords the last opportunity which he can expect to have of stating the principles on which it has been his earnest endeavour to compose this Commentary on the Prophetical Books, and on the other parts of the Old Testament.

                We may now revert to the point from which we have digressed.

                The holy Apostles teach us that “whatever things were written aforetime” (that is, were written in the Old Testament) were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Whatever the Hebrew Prophets spoke, was not spoken by any private utterance of their own, but by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, by Whose power they were borne along as on a strong stream. The Apostles teach us that “all the Prophets give witness to Christ”, and that the Spirit which was in the Prophets was “the Spirit of Christ”. They assure us that the Prophets “inquired and searched diligently concerning the salvation” purchased for us by Christ, and of the grace vouchsafed to us through Him; and that “it was revealed unto them, that not unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things which are now reported unto us, by them that have preached the Gospel unto us, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into”.

                It is this characteristic of Hebrew Prophecy which imparts a special interest to it. The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Who was afterwards sent by Christ to teach the Apostles all things, and to guide them into all truth, speaks to us in the Hebrew Prophets. The Hebrew Prophets were not the original authors of their own prophecies. The Holy Ghost was the Author. He speaks in them, by them, and through  (* dia ‘prep. in Grk NT of agency of the Holy Spirit in prophetical writings.’ *) them. The prophetic writings are ‘not sources‘ from which, but they are ‘channels‘ through which, the living waters of the Holy Spirit flow. 

                The truth therefore is, that we, who live under the Gospel, and have the benefit of the exposition which our Blessed Lord and the Apostles and Evangelists have given us, in the New Testament, of the meaning of the prophetic writings, and who stand on the vantage-ground of more than two thousand (2000) years after them, and see how they have been fulfilled, have a much clearer view of their scope and purport, than the Prophets themselves had, by whose instrumentality they were written. They “searched and inquired diligently” what that meaning was. We know what it is. The Holy Spirit, which was in the Prophets, has revealed it to us in the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament. He has taught us there what He Himself meant when He spake by the Prophets in the Old, and what the Prophets by whom He spake earnestly longed to know; and therefore our Lord says, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see; for verily I say unto you, that many Prophets have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them.”

                It would therefore be a low and erroneous notion, to imagine that the Hebrew Prophets have done their work, and that their prophecies belong only to the past. Rather, we may say that they are co-extensive with Christianity, and that they possess a living and growing energy, and are ever adapting themselves to events that are arising from time to time in the Christian Church; and that they will continue to possess this vitality, and to exert this elastic and expansive agency, even to the end.

                The Son of Sirach, speaking of them, says, “Let the memorial of the Twelve Prophets be blessed; and let their bones flourish again out of their placed” This prayer is verified. By reason of the presence and might of the Holy Spirit moving in them and speaking by them, they have a perpetual freshness, a perennial spring; their prophecies have a luxuriant exuberance, and are ever putting forth new leaves, and buds, and blossoms; and they wait for the full ripeness of their summer season, in the last ages of the Church and the World, when they will bear an abundance of spiritual fruitage to be gathered by the hand of Faith.       (* This truth, which is so well expressed by Lord Bacon, of the place, and respectively towards that present occasion (Advancement of Learning, p. 101), ought ever to be present to the mind of the expounder and reader of Hebrew Prophecy. Lord Bacon says, “Divine Prophecies, being of the nature of their Author, ‘with Whom a thousand (1000) years are as one day,‘  have springing and germinant accomplishment through many ages.” And the same writer well observes (Ibid. p. 267), “that the Scriptures, being written to the thoughts of men and to the succession of all ages, with a foresight of all heresies, contradictions, and different estates of the Church, are not to be interpreted only according to the latitude of the proper sense of the place, and respectively towards that present occasion whereupon the words were uttered, but have in themselves infinite springs and streams of doctrine to water the Church in every part; and therefore, as the literal sense is, as it were, the main stream, or river, so the moral sense chiefly, and sometimes the allegoric or typical, is that of which the Church has the most use.” *)

                Hence we need not scruple to say that among all the writings of the Old Testament, none possess a more practical value for all classes of society in the present age, than those of the Hebrew Prophets.

                The most illustrious evidence of the divine truth and inspiration of the Hebrew Prophets is reserved to be displayed in the latter days, in the great conflict, which seems even now to be near at hand, between Truth and Error, between Faith and Unbelief, between the Church and the World, between Christ and Antichrist; and in the final victory, which will crown the patience and courage of the faithful, at the consummation of all things, and at the general Resurrection of the dead, and at the Universal Judgment, when Christ will appear in glory. The prophetical writings may be rightly regarded as a Manual, not only for the Christian Preacher, but also for the Christian Citizen, Patriot, and Statesman, who are called to do battle for the Truth in days of doubt and distress, and who may be perplexed and staggered by the temporary success of evil in Civil Polity, and may even be tempted to despair of the cause of piety and of God in the moral government of the world.

                If there is anything which the Hebrew Prophets declare with a more distinct and articulate utterance than another, it is this –that in the latter days of the world, Unbelief and Iniquity will abound, and will triumph for a time; but that eventually all things will be put under the feet of the Divine Governor of the World, the Great Arbiter of the Destinies of Nations; and that all willful and presumptuous sin will then be punished and crushed; and that Faith, having struggled steadfastly unto the end, will receive a glorious reward.

                Thus the Hebrew Prophets supply spiritual comfort to the Christian Confessor in public and private life. They inspire the heart of the soldier of Christ with holy courage, and give him hopes full of immortality.

                In the following pages the design has been to supply at the beginning of the work of each several Prophet, a clue to the main purport of his prophecy. The reader is requested to refer to what is there said. But it may be of use to state in a brief synoptical summary what seems to be their leading principle respectively; and thus to exhibit, as it were, in one view the component parts of the whole.

                The prophet ‘HOSEA’, who stands at the head of the Minor Prophets, justifies God’s dealings with the Hebrew Nation from the beginning to the end.

                Hosea, the first of the Prophets, takes up the language of the last preceding Book of Holy Scripture, that of the Canticles, or Song of Solomon. In order to show that Hosea’s language is not to be understood literally, but spiritually, and that the Marriage between God and Israel is mystical, Israel is represented by Hosea not only as a beloved Wife (as the Church is in the Canticles), but also as a dear Son, a type of Christ the beloved Son Himself.

                He treats the relation of God to His People under the endearing figure of that of a Bridegroom to a Bride. The Church of Israel was espoused to God in the Wilderness of Sinai; but, as the Prophet declares, she was unfaithful to Him: she followed strange gods; and she is therefore charged by Him with spiritual harlotry and adultery. This, he tells us, was the cause of all her misery. No failure of God’s love to her –far from it– was the origin of her woe. He was very merciful and longsuffering to her; but her own sins of unthankfulness and faithlessness to Him, even in those places which had been distinguished by His wonderful acts of love to her, such as the wilderness of Arabia, even Horeb itself, in the first instance, and, when she had been brought by God into the promised Land of Canaan, such places as Beersheba, Bethel, and Gilgal, places illustrious in her past history as the scenes of God’s miracles of mercy to her fathers, were polluted by her sins, which were the bitter source of all her sorrows.

                On account of her long-continued and inveterate sins, the Prophet warns her that she must expect to suffer severe punishment. She will be carried away captive from her own land –the land of promise –and be scattered in a distant region. But even in this captivity and dispersion there will be divine love. By the merciful discipline of chastisement she will be weaned from her idolatry; she will be made sensible of her misery, and be humbled and brought to repentance; and she will at last be betrothed again to God, and be restored to Him in Christ.

                There will always be a faithful remnant in Israel. Christ Himself will be born of the seed of Abraham. Some of this faithful remnant, especially the Apostles and primitive Preachers of Christ (who were all Jews), will convert the Heathen to the Gospel, which is the fulfilment of the Mosaic Law; and Gentile Teachers will be employed by God to bring the Jews back to Him in Christ. This will be like a resurrection from the dead, a new birth from the grave, into life with God in Christ.

                Such is a brief summary of Hosea’s prophecy. It is a prophetic history of Israel for nearly four thousand (4000) years. It teaches us how to read that history; it gives cheering hopes of the future; and shows that all God’s dealings with Israel have been dictated by righteousness and love. And therefore the Prophet concludes with this question and answer:

            Who is wise? & he shall understand these things; Prudent? & he shall know them.

                         For the ways of the Lord are right.  And the just shall walk in them.

                ‘JOEL’, the prophet of Judgment, takes up the message of Hosea, the prophet of Salvation. By a grand and sublime generalization, Joel teaches his readers to regard the Lord God of Israel as ever speaking to Mankind in His judicial character and office, and leads them to recognize and admire Him as Ruler of the natural world, and as Arbiter of the destinies of Nations, according to certain fixed laws of moral government, by which He orders all things, and will continue to order them even to the end of time.

                All judicial visitations upon men and nations, whether they be in the natural world, as plagues of locusts, and other physical epidemics, or by means of mighty Empires, which are instruments in God’s hands for punishing sins and for working out His own plans –are parts of one great “Day of the Lord.” They are only like oscillations of the pendulum, and like faint notes of the clock, which will sound a final alarum with deep and solemn tones in the summons of the World to the Judgment-seat of Christ.

                Joel proclaims God’s offers of mercy and salvation to the penitent and faithful; and he foretells the first Advent of the Great “Teacher of righteousness,” and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, the fruit of Christ’s coming, on all nations, and the overthrow of all enemies of Christ and His Church in the great final conflict, where they will be gathered together, in what is called by a grand metaphor “the Valley of Jehoshaphat,” (that is, of the Judgment of the Lord) for His great Harvest and Vintage, when they will be crushed by Him with the same ease as sheaves of corn are crushed under the sharp-toothed engine on the threshing floor, or as ripe clusters of grapes are crushed beneath the feet of him who treadeth the wine-press.

                Then will be the delivery and victory of the faithful; then will be new outpourings of grace, symbolized by the gushing forth of living waters from the House of the Lord, to water the parched and barren places of the earth, as in the vision of Ezekiel; and Judah will dwell safely forever, for the Lord dwelleth in Zion, the Church militant on earth, to be glorified forever in heaven.

                The next prophet, ‘AMOS’, takes up the words of Joel, and continues the chain of prophecy. Joel had displayed a sublime view of God’s judicial majesty in one magnificent panorama. Amos disintegrates that great whole, and represents the divine attribute of Justice, in its visitations on individual Nations. These Nations not only have a literal significance, but are representatives of various forms of hostility to God and His Church in every age, and especially in the latter days. Such were the heathen nations of Syria, Palestine, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab. All of these are typical nations, and find their counterpart in the history of Christendom.

                Amos also declares that God will visit with special judicial chastisement all forms of corrupt religion, and all sins of evil living in His Church. Indeed he dwells upon them with special emphasis and with comprehensive fulness, in seven consecutive chapters. Israel, the ancient Church of God, had received signal blessings from Him; but (as Hosea had already shown) it had requited those favours with unthankfulness. Therefore, after long forbearance, God will scatter Israel. But in that dispersion (as Hosea had already declared) there would be mercy. The chastisement will bring Israel to repentance; and Israel will be gathered in Christ and His Church. Then the tabernacle of David, that was fallen, will be reared from its ruins. A faithful remnant of Israel –the Apostles and first Preachers of the Gospel– will go forth and bring the heathen to Christ; and the heathen, in their turn, when they have been converted to Christianity, will assist in restoring the Jews to God in Christ. The Gentiles, having been evangelized by faithful Jews, will evangelize the Jewish Nation; and finally, Jews and Gentiles will dwell together as brethren and fellow-citizens in the spiritual Sion of the Universal Church of Christ.

                The prophets Joel and Amos prepared the way for ‘OBADIAH, JONAH, NAHUM’, and ‘HABAKKUK’. Joel had proclaimed God’s judicial majesty in a sublime and comprehensive prophecy, displaying its acts in one grand panorama, embracing all nature and history, civil and ecclesiastical, even to the Day of doom, and the full and final victory of Christ.

                Amos had particularized God’s judicial workings in the moral government of the world, and in

the divine visitations on its several kingdoms. Heathen and Hebrew, and in the ordering all things, even the penal discipline of Israel’s dispersion, for the future triumph of the Gospel, and for the reception of all the faithful of all nations into the Christian Church.

                The four Prophets, ‘Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum‘, and ‘Habakkuk‘, exhibit God’s judicial dealings in a still more special and particular manner, in what may be termed a characteristic series of four prophetic ‘monographies‘.

                Obadiah directs his prophecy against Edom; Jonah and Nahum address their predictions to Nineveh, the great capital of Assyria. Habakkuk concentrates his utterances on Babylon, the great city which succeeded Nineveh in the Empire of the East.

                But it must be remembered that Edom, Nineveh, and Babylon are not merely literal and historical countries and cities, hostile to Israel and Judah; but they have also a prophetic, representative, and symbolical character. They foreshadow three distinct forms of enmity to the Church and people of God. They exhibit three peculiar phases of the Anti-Christianism of the latter days. Edom, the neighbour and kinsman of Israel and Judah, and yet eagerly seizing every opportunity of displaying an unfriendly and unbrotherly spirit toward the Hebrew People of God; exulting with savage and perfidious delight in their distresses, and especially in the fall of Jerusalem and in the captivity of its king and inhabitants by the armies of Babylon, represents the uncharitable temper of those who have some ties of spiritual neighbourhood and alliance with the Church of Christ, and yet, instead of sympathizing with her in her sorrows, and aiding her in her warfare against unbelief and vice, find pleasure in her sufferings, and exert their influence to thwart, hamper, vex, and weaken her. These are the modern Edomites, who are ready to make common cause even with Babylon itself against the Christian Sion; and they may read a solemn warning to themselves in the prophecy of Obadiah. On the other hand, the faithful Church of God, and every true member of it, may find comfort there, in the assurance of future glory and eternal felicity in Christ.

                The prophet ‘JONAH’ was sent to preach repentance to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, the proud and powerful Empire which showed its enmity against Israel and Judah at different times, in the days of successive Assyrian kings, Pul, Tiglath-pileser, Shalmaneser, Sargon, and Sennacherib.

                God’s exceeding kindness, even to His bitterest enemies, was thus displayed. He earnestly desired that Nineveh should repent and be saved; and this divine attribute of mercy towards all nations, even heathen Assyrias, is more clearly exhibited, because it stands in striking contrast to that narrow and exclusive spirit of Judaism which showed itself in Jonah himself, grudging and even censuring the extension of God’s compassion to Nineveh, and eager to confine His love within the narrow precincts of Palestine.

                Jonah himself is a prophecy. The calming of the sea, after his act of self-devotion, was a figure of the peace produced in the troubled sea of the World, after a far greater and more willing Sacrifice. Jonah’s three days’ burial in the whale’s belly, and his resurrection from the sea, and his preaching to Nineveh after that resurrection, and the repentance of Nineveh, and its salvation from the impending doom, was a foreshadowing of the death, burial, and resurrection of a far “greater than Jonah,” and of His preaching of repentance after His resurrection from the grave, by the ministry of His Apostles and their successors, with whom He is “present always, even unto the end of the world.”

                The Book of Jonah is like a beautiful rainbow of hope, set by God’s hand in the dark cloud of human sin and suffering. It shows that whatever judgments are executed by Him on His bitterest enemies, are not consequences of any desire on His part to punish, but are due to their sins, evoking and arming the divine justice against themselves.

                The Prophet ‘NAHUM’ is the complement of Jonah. Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, but it relapsed into sin, and its moral condition became worse than before, by apostasy. God warned it of its doom by Nahum. And Nahum has also a message to men and nations in these latter days. If, having received the message of the Gospel from the divine Jonah, which is Christ, they fall away by unbelief, as it was prophesied by Christ and His Apostles  that many would do, then they may see their destiny in the prophecy of Nahum, foretelling the misery and shame, confusion, overthrow, and desolation of the great city of Nineveh, which is the prophetic type of the sin and doom of the Infidel form of Anti-Christianism.

                The prophet ‘HABAKKUK’ completes the series of prophets whose writings consist solely of special prophecies directed against particular countries and cities, opposed to God and His ancient People.

                Obadiah had prophesied against Edom; and Jonah and Nahum had prophesied to Nineveh; Habakkuk prophesies against Babylon. He shows that Babylon’s victories were not due to itself, but that it was used by God for executing His judicial purposes on the Nations of the world, especially on His own people Judah, for their sins against Him; and that though Babylon was employed as an instrument by God and its power was wielded as a weapon in God’s hand, yet that God would visit Babylon also for its presumption and self-confidence; and that though Babylon would prosper and triumph for a time, and though the patience of God’s faithful servants would thus be sorely tried, and though the vision of judgment would tarry long, yet it would come at length”, and the Divine Omnipotence would eventually be shown, by the overthrow of Babylon, the proud mistress of the Eastern World, and then there would be heard a shout of awe-struck and yet joyful adoration from the lips of the faithful:           “The Lord is in His holy Temple, let all the Earth keep silence before Him.”

                These things “were written for our learning.” Habakkuk first casts his eye backward to the victories of the Exodus; and in the language of the sublimest poetry he derives faith and hope for the future, from God’s past miracles of mercy to His chosen people; and he closes his prophecy with a noble profession of trust In God. However dark may be the prospects of the Church of God, the true believer will never despair; no, whatever her outward condition and circumstance may be, “although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet, he will say, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

                Habakkuk’s prophecy casts its shadow forward to our own days. As the Edom of Obadiah has its antitype in our own times in the treacherous friends and false allies of the Christian Church; as the Nineveh of Jonah and of Nahum represents the proud self-confident spirit of bold and open Infidelity, so the Babylon of Habakkuk has its counterpart in another form of hostility to God which has long exercised the faith and patience of Christendom.

                The Babylon of Habakkuk and of other Hebrew Prophets, especially Isaiah and Jeremiah, is not merely an historical city opposed to the literal Jerusalem, but it has also a typical character. Babylon symbolizes a great Spiritual Power, which is now dominant in the world, and which is called “Babylon” in the New Testament. It resembled that Power in its creature-worship, idolatry, and superstition, combined with a vainglorious profession of spiritual wisdom and sagacity, and of supernatural gifts and abilities to penetrate into the inner mysteries of the unseen world; and by its claim to perpetuity and universal supremacy; and by its oppression of God’s faithful people; and by its pride and arrogance and defiance of God, as displayed especially in two critical events, which stand forth in bold relief in the history of Babylon in the pages of Holy writ –namely, first, in the making of the golden image and the setting up of that idol in the plains of Dura, and in the royal decree that it should be worshipped by all nations, on pain of condemnation to death; and secondly, in that great religious festival (for Belshazzar’s feast had this character) when the rulers and nobles of Babylon praised their gods of silver and gold, and outraged the majesty of God by drinking wine in the sacred vessels taken from His Temple in Jerusalem; and were elated with self-confident joy and exultation, and indulged in festal revelry at a time when the enemy was at

their gates, and their own doom was at hand.

                The mystical Babylon, which is even now setting up an idol in the person of the Roman Pontiff, to be adored as divine by all, and which has connected that act with a religious festival of her own institution, in open defiance of the teaching of Holy Scripture and the primitive Church, and in contravention of the unique sinlessness of Christ, may read her own destiny in the prophecy of Habakkuk; and all true citizens of the Christian Zion may derive patience and comfort from it, in the present trials of their faith.

                The Book of the Prophet ‘MICAH’ is inserted between that of Jonah and Nahum, and is set in beautiful relief and bright contrast against the darkness and gloom which characterize the predictions of Obadiah, Nahum, and Habakkuk, denouncing God’s judicial visitations on those who rebel against Him.

                Micah is the prophet of divine love. He is the messenger of consolation to all nations. He is the herald of universal salvation to all, through Christ.

                Jonah had given vent to feelings of resentment and impatience because God spared Nineveh, the great capital of Assyria, the enemy of God’s people, to which Jonah, in the exclusive spirit of Judaism, would have restrained God’s favour. God had taught Jonah a lesson of sympathy and largeness of heart; and Jonah’s history and prophecy had imparted that lesson to others. Micah learnt that lesson, and applies it with affectionate fulness in his prophecy. He declares that though God will visit with judicial retribution all forms of hostility which are symbolized by Edom, Assyria, and Babylon, yet He has mercy in store in Christ for all, even for His bitterest enemies, if they will turn to Him with repentance.

                Micah proclaims aloud with a thrice repeated appeal, “Hear ye,” the solemn truth, that though God is gracious to Zion, if Zion is faithful to God, yet He does not confine His love to her. No, He will chasten Zion, as He punished Nineveh, if she presumes on His grace, and abuses it to an occasion for sin. He will make her desolate, “for the iniquities of her princes, priests, and people;” “Zion shall be a ploughed field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house,” (the Temple itself) “as the high places of the forest.” But God will temper judgment with mercy. His promises to David the King of Zion will never fail. The Redeemer will come to Zion, the promised Messiah, God blessed for evermore. He, “Whose goings forth are from everlasting,” He will come forth” as Man “from Bethlehem of Judah” He will come forth as a mighty Conqueror and will overthrow His enemies, symbolized by Assyria the foe of Israel and Judah, and will raise up shepherds to feed His flock, and rulers to guide them and to defend them from their adversaries. In other words, Christ, Very God and Very Man, begotten of His Father from eternity, and born as Man of the Virgin Mary, of the seed of David, of the house of Judah, at Bethlehem, will overthrow the spiritual enemies of all true Israelites. He will vanquish Sin, Satan, and Death. He is “the breaker up” Who will tear asunder the bars of the grave, and raise Himself, and lead forth the glorious army of His saints from the darkness of the tomb. “Their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.”  The result of that glorious victory will be, that  “out of Zion will go forth the law, and the Word of God from Jerusalem.”  The Gospel of Christ will be preached by His Apostles, sent forth by Him from Jerusalem to teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Jerusalem will be the Mother Church of Christendom.  “The mountain of the Lord’s house” (that house which will have been laid desolate like a ploughed field for its sins) “shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all people shall flow unto it, and many nations shall come and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.”

                The Temple of Jerusalem will be destroyed; but out of its ruins will arise a nobler fabric, the Christian Church. The Law will be fulfilled in the Gospel. The Temple will be spiritualized, and Jerusalem will expand and develope herself with living energy and comprehensive universality, and will enfold all nations in the Catholic Church of Christ; and the Jews, once rebels against God, will at length be brought by the agency of Gentile Christians into the fold of the One Shepherd.

                Therefore well might the Prophet exclaim, with this glorious vision of the future before his eyes, “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity? He retaineth not His anger forever; because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again. He will have compassion, He will subdue our iniquities, and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

                The prophet ‘ZEPHANIAH’ is the ninth (9th) of the Minor Prophets, and is the last of that order who prophesied before the Captivity at Babylon.

                Zephaniah does for the Two Tribes the same prophetic work which had been done for the Ten (10) Tribes of Israel by Hosea, who stands at the head of the Minor Prophets. He utters a warning voice of coming judgments to Jerusalem, as Hosea had done to Israel: he foretells that Jerusalem will fall, and that Judah will be carried away captive for her sins, as Israel had already been.

                He declares also that the God of Israel and Judah is supreme Governor of the World, and that the triumphs of Assyria and Babylon over Israel and Judah were not due to their own power, but that the God of Israel and Judah used those mighty nations as His own instruments for vindicating His own majesty, and for manifesting His own glory, and for executing His judgments on His unthankful people.

                But Zephaniah also assures Judah, as Hosea had assured Israel, that God’s love to His people had never failed, and that it never would fail.

                Both these prophets minister spiritual consolation to all God’s people in every age, and cheer them with the promise, that all who remain faithful to God will be sheltered in all tempests, civil and ecclesiastical, and will be saved in time and eternity.

                They also proclaimed God’s love to the Gentile Nations of the world.

                They foretold that the mighty Empires of the earth will fall, and that their proud Dynasties will be humbled. They declared that God would thus wean the Nations from trusting in their false deities, and prepare them for the reception of a purer faith in the Gospel of Christ; that He would give them “a clean lip,” and He would cleanse them from idolatry; and that with those lips, with which they had once worshipped false gods, they would “call upon the Name of the Lord, and serve Him with one consent.”

                They predicted that the Gentiles, having been converted to Christ by the faithful remnant of Israel (namely by the Apostles and first preachers of the Gospel, going forth from Jerusalem), would in their turn supply Christian Missionaries for the conversion of Israel and Judah, scattered abroad and humbled by captivity and dispersion, and liberated even by that captivity from their besetting sin of idolatry, and healed by that wholesome discipline; and so, in God’s due time, Jerusalem, the mother of Christendom, would be a praise in all the earth. The Lord her God would be in the midst of her; He would dwell with her for ever in the Christian Church, which had her origin in Sion. The world itself would be a spiritual Jerusalem. Jew and Gentile will dwell together as fellow-citizens and fellow-members of Christ; and God’s words by Zephaniah will then be fulfilled, “I will make you a name and a praise among all the people of the earth.”

                More than a century passed between the age of Zephaniah and the next following prophet, ‘HAGGAI’.

                In that interval Jerusalem had been taken, and its king, princes, and people had been carried captive to Babylon.

                But Babylon also in her turn had felt the power of God. Cyrus, His servant, had done His work, and had punished Babylon for her sins; and having executed His judgments on Babylon, Cyrus performed God’s purpose of love towards His chosen people, by issuing a royal decree for their liberation from Babylon, and for their return to Jerusalem, and for rebuilding the Temple at Jerusalem, and for the restoration of the sacred vessels which had been taken from the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, and had been placed in his idol’s temple, and had been sacrilegiously profaned by Belshazzar at that festal anniversary when Babylon was taken.

                These events had been foretold by foregoing Hebrew Prophets, by Isaiah, Micah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, and Daniel. Thus the faith of God’s People in the inspiration of their own prophets had been confirmed; and their reverence and love for Him Who had spoken by the prophets, and had humbled their powerful enemies, Assyria and Babylon, and had raised up Cyrus, the great conqueror of Babylon, to be His instrument for their good, had been quickened and invigorated; and a pledge and earnest had been given them that the other predictions which God had uttered, or might hereafter utter by His servants the prophets, would in due time be fulfilled also.

                This is what imparts a special interest and value to the writings of the three prophets who now follow, ‘Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi‘.

                The prophetic vista had now been cleared. Israel had been dispersed; Nineveh had fallen; Judah had been scattered; Babylon had fallen; Judah had been restored. No great events like these now remained, to arrest the eye and to intercept the view of the faithful in looking at the prospect lying before them, between their own age and the Coming of Christ.

                Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are in a special manner the prophets of Christ’s first Advent, and of its consequences, even till His Second Coming to judge the world.

                The mission of Haggai was to stimulate the flagging energies of the exiles who had returned from Babylon. The ancient men among them, who remembered the magnificence of the first Temple, wept when they saw the foundations of the second Temple. But the Prophet cheered them, not, indeed, with any promise of material splendour (for the latter house was “as nothing in comparison” with the former), but with the joyful assurance that the glory of the second Temple, which they themselves were building, would be far greater than that of the former, because the Lord of the Temple Himself, “the Desire of all Nations” would come to that Temple, and by coming to it would fill that house with glory; and that in that place He would give peace. This prophecy was fulfilled when Christ, “God manifest in the flesh,” came to that latter house. He was presented there; He taught and healed there; He filled it with the Divine Glory by His Coming, and gave peace and salvation, and promise of eternal bliss by His Presence. Therefore, when this prophecy was accomplished, the devout Simeon was enabled to say in the Spirit, as he took up the infant Saviour in his arms, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.”

                The prophet ‘ZECHARIAH’ was a contemporary of Haggai; and his prophecies are a sequel to those of Haggai, and are continued in a series of prophetic visions from his own days to those of Christ’s first Advent, when He came to save, and even to those of His Second Advent, when He will come again to judge.

                Zechariah’s prophecies are obscure to the Jews; and no wonder, because they read them with a veil on their hearts. But “that veil is taken away in Christ“. The darkness of these predictions is dispelled by the light of the Gospel.

                Here is a striking proof of the inspiration of the prophet Zechariah, and of the truth of the Gospel. Each is fitted to the other. His prophecies are fulfilled in the Gospel, and are made clear by it.

                The first (1st) vision of Zechariah reveals the Divine Presence and Power protecting the Hebrew Nation, at that time in a poor estate, like a lowly grove of myrtles in a valley. But God was with them there, as He was at Horeb, in the burning bush, which represented the Hebrew Nation in Egypt, then like a lowly bush, a bush burning with fire, but not consumed.

                The Divine Presence is symbolized by a red horse –an emblem of power and battle; and behind him are red horses. His ministers, showing that the Powers of the world are servants of the God of Israel, Who will use them for the defense of His own people.

                The next (2nd) vision represents four (4) horns, the symbols of aggressive power. These four (4) horns (as the prophecies of Daniel had prepared the readers of Zechariah to understand) are emblems of the four (4) great earthly Monarchies, opposed to the people of God. And as the number ‘four‘ (4) is a scriptural symbol of universality in space, these four (4) horns, in a secondary sense, represent all earthly powers antagonistic to the Church of God.

                The future overthrow of all such worldly Powers is pre-announced in the next (3rd) vision of the four (4) ‘Carpenters‘, or ‘Smiths‘, who are shown to the Prophet by the Lord.

                These four (4) Carpenters, or Smiths, are the spiritual adversaries of the four (4) horns which represent the worldly and irreligious power. As their name intimates, they have not only a destructive commission, but also a constructive office; they not only overthrow what is evil, but they also build up what is good. They “fray and cast out the horns” which had scattered God’s people.

                Their fourfold (4) character displays them as opposed to the four (4) great worldly Monarchies; and also, in a spiritual and secondary sense, as the instruments in God’s hands, in all the four (4) corners of the earth. And thus they symbolize the power of the fourfold (4) Gospel preached to all Nations, even to the four (4) winds of heaven, by the Apostles and their successors in every age; and overthrowing the powers of the world, and building up the Church of God.

                Fitly, therefore, is this vision followed by another which reveals an angel from heaven with a measuring-line in his hand for the building up of Jerusalem. This vision also has both a literal and a spiritual significance. It displays the building up of the literal Jerusalem, notwithstanding the opposition of her enemies; and it foreshadows the building up of the spiritual Jerusalem, the Church of Christ, by divine power in spite of all human antagonism, and the perpetual dwelling of the Lord in the midst of her, and the flowing in of all Nations to find a home there.

                The next (4th) vision reveals another form of conflict between the powers of good and evil.

                Satan himself is displayed as opposing Joshua the High Priest, the spiritual representative of God’s ancient people, the Jews, on their return from the Babylonish Captivity to Jerusalem.

                In former prophecies it had been revealed that the Temple at Jerusalem and the walls of the City would be rebuilt, in spite of all worldly hostility. And now it is declared, that, notwithstanding the antagonism of Satan himself, the Priesthood would be preserved, as a brand plucked from the fire by God’s hand; and that it would be purified from taint of sin, represented by the filthy garments in which Joshua was clothed; and be invested with dignity and glory.

                This vision was partly fulfilled in the restoration of the Ritual of the literal Temple at Jerusalem; but its adequate fulfilment is in Christ.

                Christ is the Divine Joshua, or Saviour; He is the One Great and Everlasting High Priest He is ever ministering in the true Holy of Holies. He has exchanged the garments of humility and the robe of “the likeness of sinful flesh,” in which for our sakes He vouchsafed to be clothed on earth, for the glorious apparel and splendid mitre of an everlasting Priesthood in the heavenly Jerusalem. Therefore Joshua and his companions are described in the vision as “men to be wondered at.” That is, they are types of another and mysterious Priesthood, the Priesthood of Christ, to be contemplated with awe and amazement.

                This interpretation throws light on what follows.

                The vision of Joshua, the type of Christ’s Priesthood, prepares us for the view which is next (5th) presented to us, of Christ Himself in His threefold office, as Prophet, Priest, and King; and of Christ’s Church, which derives all her light from Him in His two Natures, Very God and Very Man, suffering for the sins of the world, and glorified by suffering.

                The beautiful harmonies of Zechariah’s prophecies are awakened by the breath of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel, as by a heavenly breeze stirring and attuning the golden strings of a divine harp. The one is adjusted to the other. The one proves the divine origin of the other.

                The manifold functions of Christ are displayed in the many names by which He is designated by Zechariah. He is Joshua, because He is our High Priest: He is Zerubbabel, because He is our Prince, of the regal race of Judah. He is also called “the Branch;” “Behold, I will bring forth My Servant the Branch”  says the Lord. Christ is the Branch from the root of Jesse and stem of David.

                In His Human Nature He is the Lord’s “Servant,”  coming in the flesh in order to do His will. He is also the Stone  “the elect Corner Stone,” which joins together the two walls of the Jew and Gentile in one; and the “Stone cut out without hands,” which becomes a mountain and fills the earth; and He is the Stone “engraven with seven eyes,” because He is illumined with the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit. And the blessings of redemption and peace which flow from these attributes and offices are described by the Lord Himself: “I will remove the iniquity of the land” (or of the earth) “in one day” (the day of the Messiah). “In that day shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig-tree.”

                This Vision (a) of Christ is succeeded by a Vision (b) of His Universal Church, symbolized by the seven-branched Candlestick, of pure gold, whose pipes are fed with oil flowing into them from two Olive-trees, standing on the right and left side of it.  These two Olive-trees, representing the continuity of that supply by their vitality and verdure, are called “the two anointed ones,” or literally, “the two sons of oil,” which stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

                The Candlestick represents the Church of Christ.  This explains the circumstance that, together with the candlestick, there is conjoined a mention of the Temple, and of its foundation and completion by the Spirit of God. The reason is, that the Temple and the Candlestick are figures of the Church. The Temple typifies its solidity and symmetry, due to the Spirit of God; the seven-branched Candlestick of pure gold prefigures the Universal Church of God in the purity of its doctrine, and as diffusing throughout the whole world the light which it receives from the oil of the Spirit. The two Olive-trees, or “Sons of oil,” which stand before the God of the whole earth, represent the kingly and priestly offices of Christ. These offices He discharges as Very Man, anointed by the Holy Ghost at His Conception and at His Baptism. Therefore He has the Name Messiah, Christ, or Anointed One. “He is anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows“, and all the unction of Christians flows on them from Christ their Head. “Ye have an unction from the Holy One,” says the Apostle. He, the Everlasting King and Priest, “hath made us to become kings and priests to God” by virtue of His Incarnation, Kingdom, and Priesthood, and of our mystical incorporation in Him; and He  “stands before the Lord of the whole earth.” He is ever standing at God’s right hand, as our King, ruling the world and defending His People; and as our Priest, making intercession for us; and “of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

                The next (c) vision represents Christ’s judicial office. He is merciful and loving to all who believe and obey Him; but for those who do not believe and obey, there is a sweeping malediction, represented by the flying roll which goeth forth over the face of the whole earth. None can escape it. This is directed against moral delinquencies; and there is also a special punishment for false doctrine.

                The true Church is represented by a woman; she is the Bride of Christ. The false Church is also represented by a woman, the harlot. Zechariah is explained by St. John in the Apocalypse, (d) This woman, the corrupt Church, is punished by being placed in an ephah; and she is carried for her sins from Jerusalem to the Land of Shinar, that is, to Babylon. Here, also, Zechariah is again illustrated by St. John in the Apocalypse. The woman carried away from Sion to Babylon, is the corrupt Church of the Apocalypse, who is there called “the woman, the harlot,” and “Babylon.” Her doom, pronounced by Zechariah, is more fully described by St. John.

                The following (e) vision displays the Universal Sovereignty of the Lord God, ruling in all kingdoms of the world, and using them as His instruments for the accomplishment of His purposes, and for the execution of His judgments.

                This truth is declared by the four (4) chariots, which represent (f) primarily the four (4) great earthly Empires of ancient history; and secondarily, since the number ‘four‘ (4) is the Scriptural symbol of all space, these four (4) chariots typify all earthly dynasties. The chariots go forth from the brasen mountains of God’s might and power: they are compared to winds issuing forth from the Lord of the whole earth. They go forth from His presence like winds let loose from a cave, to sweep over the earth with irresistible power, and to do the work of Him Whose emissaries and servants they are.

                This universal kingdom is next (g) represented as given to Christ. He is “the Man Whose Name is the Branch.” He is both Priest and King. He was typified by Joshua the Priest, and by Zerubbabel the temporal Ruler and builder of the Temple at Jerusalem. The crowns brought by the people of the Captivity are given to Joshua the Priest, in order to signify that the time would come when the Royalty would be united with the Priesthood. This has been fulfilled in Christ. He is the Builder of the True Temple; He is the Eternal Priest and Universal King of the Spiritual Jerusalem, the Christian Church. What Zechariah foretold is accomplished in Him, “He shall build the Temple of the Lord, and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a Priest upon His throne.”

                These (7) visions, which unfold great truths of the Christian Faith, are followed by precepts concerning godly practice. The utter hollowness of all religious professions, and of all ceremonial observances, without the exercise of the moral virtues of truth, justice, mercy, and charity, is declared in strong language; and thus a prophetic protest is delivered against that hypocritical Pharisaism which corroded the vitals of the religion of the Hebrew Nation in later days, especially in our Lord’s age, and which also has been one of the most pestilent cankers of the Christian Church.

                Almighty God proffers an abundance of blessings to His people; but the fulfilment of these gracious promises, it is distinctly declared, is contingent on their own acts. If they cleave to Him by faith and obedience, then, it is affirmed, they will be a blessing to themselves and others. The Heathen Nations of the world will be brought into communion with God by their means. “Ten men will take hold out of all nations of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” This has been fulfilled by Christ and by the faithful remnant of Israel, especially the Apostles, all of whom were Jews, and by other first preachers of Christianity, who were enabled by their commission from Christ, and by the power of the Holy Ghost given to the Church at Pentecost, to be instruments in God’s hands for bringing the Heathen Nations to Him; and the eagerness with which the Heathen embraced the Gospel preached by them is described in the vivid language of the prophet, “Ten men will take hold out of all nations of the skirt of him that is a Jew.”

                Such is God’s purpose of love to the Heathen if they believe and obey Him. But, as it is in His dealings with the Jews, so it is in His overtures to the Gentiles. There is mercy, on the one hand, to the penitent, but there is retribution to the ungodly. God is ready to be the Saviour of all who believe, both Jew and Gentile; and He is also the righteous Judge of all.

                This truth is declared in what follows. God there reveals His judgments against Heathen Nations relying on their own power, wealth, and wisdom, such as Persia, Syria, Tyre, and Philistia. But even in these chastisements there was compassion. The humiliation of these Nations by the arms of Alexander the Great (who, like Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus before Alexander, and like the Roman Power after him, was an instrument in God’s hands preparing the way for Christianity) broke down their faith in the power of their local and national deities, who, as they found by experience, were not able to help and defend them in their danger; and thus, by a salutary discipline of affliction, predisposed them to receive the Gospel of Christ.  Hence, therefore, the Prophet passes f