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cipal inhabitants to be crucified, and thereby fulfilled the prophecies, of the cruelty which the Medes and Persians should use towards the Babylonians. Isaiah xiii. 17, 18. Jer, I. 42; and he likewise demolished the wall, and took away the gates ; thus remarkably fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah, li. 58; “Thus saith the Lord of Ilosts, the broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burnt with fire."
Xerxes, after his return from his unsuccessful expedition into Greece, seized the sacred treasures, and plundered or destroyed the temples and idols of Babylon, thereby accomplishing the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah. Isaiah xxi. 9 : “ Babylon is fallen, is fallen : and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground,” &c. &c. and Jer. 1. 2: “Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken to pieces; her idols are confounded, her images broken in pieces." Jer. li. 44. 47. 52: “And I · will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring
forth out of his mouth that wbicli he hath swallowed up.” This was literally fulfilled, when the vessels of the house of God which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem, and placed in the temple of Bel, Dan. i. 2. were restored by order of Cyrus, Ezra i. 7. and carried to Jerusalem.
Such was the state of Babylon under the Persians when Alexander came thither; but Quintus Curtius affirms, that only for the space of 90 furlongs was it inhabited. The river Euphrates having been turned out of its course by Cyrus, and never afterwards restored to its former channel, all that side of the country was flooded
Alexander indeed purposed to have made Babylon the seat of his empire, and set men at work to rebuild the temple of Belus, and to repair the banks of the river, and to bring back the waters into the old channel. Had his designs taken effect, how would the prophecies have been fulfilled? What Providence then was it, that his designs did not take effect, and that the breaches were never repaired! He met with some difficulties in the work, and death soon after put an end to this, and all his other projects; and none of his successors ever attempted it; and Seleucia being built a few years afterwards in the neighbourhood, Babylon, in a little time, became wholly desolate.
Salmon, in his modern history, says : “ That is as strange as any thing that is related of Babylon, that we cannot learn either by ancient writers or modern travellers, where this famous city stood ; only in general that it was seated in the province of Chaldea, and upon the river Euphrates, considerably above the place where it is united with the Tigris."
THE PROPHECIES RESPECTING TYRE.
ANOTHER city that was an enemy to the Jews, and another memorable instance of the truth of prophecy, is Tyre; whose fall is pre. dicted by the prophets, and particularly by Isaiah and Ezekiel. In Ezekiel xxvii. 3, it is described as situate at the entrance of the sea, and in verses 4, and 25, as in the midst of the seas. The insular Tyre, as well as the Tyre upon the continent, is include in these prophecies; they are both comprehended under the same name, and both spoken of as one and the same city, part built on the continent, and part on an island adjoining. Vitringa hath proved that new Tyre was the station for ships, and considered as part of old Tyre; and Pliny, speaking of the compass of the city, reckons both the old and the new together.
Whenever the prophets denounce the downfall and desolation of a city or kingdom, they usually describe its present fourishing condition, to show, in a stronger point of view, how Providence shifteth and changeth the scene, and ordereth and disposeth all events. The prophets, Isaiah and Ezekiel, observe the same method with regard to Tyre. Isaiah speaks of it as a place of great antiquity, xxiii. 7: “Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days?" And it is mentioned as a strong place, as early as the days of Joshua, xix. 29.
The Greek geographer, Strabo, saith, that after Sidon, the greatest and most ancient city of the Phænicians, is Tyre; which is a rival to Sidon, in greatness, and lustre, and antiquity. The Roman historian, Quintus Curtius, says, that it is a city remarkable to posterity, both for the antiquity of its origin, and for its frequent change of fortunes. But, ancient as this city was, it was the daughter of Sidon, as it is called by the prophet Isaiah, xxiii, 12, and verse 2. “ The merchants of Sidon who pass over the sea replenished it.” Sidon was the eldest son of Chanaan; Gen. X. 15; and the city of Sidon is mentioned by the patriarch Jacob, Genesis xlix. 13; and in the days of Joshua it is called great Sidon. Joshua xi. 8.
Justin, the epitomiser of Trogus, expressly informs us, that the Sidonians, being besieged by