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3175 -29 53
3 12 12
4 13 13
2 15 15
13 Ten thousand of the children of Seir slain
14 by Amaziah in the Valley of Salt; and
15 ten thousand precipitated from the top of
a rock, and dashed to pieces. Amaziah,
17 proud of his victory over the Edomites,
provokes the Israelitish king to battle.
19 The following year Jehoash overcomes
1 UZZIAH. Reigned 52 years. He is victo-
4 of 307,500 men. In this reign lived the
prophets Amos and Hosea.
(ernment of the Athenians.
15 Amulius Sylvius and Numitor succeed Pro.
cas in the kingdom of Alba, the former
17 of whom reigned 44 years. Numitor
18 reigned alone 2 years, and was their last
11 years and a half is supposed to have 29 of Judab.
37 Thurimas succeeds to the throne of Mace
38 don, and reigns 45 years.
doin of Lacedæmon, and reigns ti years.
46 Uzziah, attempting to burn incense upos
47 the altar of incense in the teinple, is smil.
48 ten with the leprosy.
50 Alyattes succeeds to the Lydian throne.
the senenth Israelitish dynasty, that of 1 JOTHAM. Reigned 16 years. This king
3 pels to pay tribute.
5 Alemæon, the last perpetnal archon, begins
his administration, and rules two years;
7 pointed, Charops being the first.
9 Birth of Hezekiah, who succeeded his father
10 Ahaz in the kingdom of Judah.
13 Nabonassar, king of Babylon.
2 of this reign Æsimedes succeeds Charops
Hoshen, the son of Elah. An anarchy 4 nians. Clidicus succeeds Asimedes, and 10
is supposed to have suoceeded for some 5 years after, Hippomenes succeeds Clidicus.
KINGDOM OF ISRAEL.
KINGDOM OF JUDAH.
years, as Hoshea is said not to have
11 Syracuse built by a Corinthian colony.
the eighth and last dynasty of Israelitish 15 don, and reigns 51 years.
1 HEZEKIAH. Reigned 29 years.
6 In the sixth year of Hezekiab (which was
the ninth year of Hoshea, the son of
tivity, and so put an END TO THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL, 254 years after the
tana was built in this reign, according to Herodotus.
3207 737 X. 4
7 Eryxias, the last perpetual archon of the Athenians, begins his administration.
39 years. He was of the race of the Proclidæ.
siege of 11 years.
of the Messenians finally returned into the Peloponnesus, after a long banishment of
32 Battle of the Horatii and Curiatii. Death of Metius Suffetius, the Alban dictator.
terculus says it was founded by the Milesians; Justin that it was founded by the
is the same with what was afterward called Constantinople.
the same with the Arphaxad mentioned in Judith.
KING DOM OF JUDAH.
Year of the world.
With the contemporary eveats of Heathen nations.
1 AMON. Reigned 2 years.
8 Josiah (only 16 years of age) begins to manifest great zeal toward the pure worship
in his eighteenth year. Cyrene built by Baltus.
(reigns 40 years.
idolatrous priests, breaks down the houses of the sodomites, and the bigh places,
celebrates a great passover.
succeeds to the Lydian throne, and reigns 57 years. This king drove the Cimme.
3361 643 XXXIV. 2
XXXV. 1 114
XLIV. 1 150
reign in the 8th year of Nebuchadnezzar.
stood from the death of Solomon 387 years, and from the captivity of the ten tribes
BOOK OF EZR A.
T the conclusion of 2 Kings, and also of the preceding book, 2 Chronicles, we have seen the state of misery and and their innumerable backslidings and rebellions. These at last issued in their captivity; the inhabitants of the former country being carried away by the Assyrians, and those of the latter by the Chaldeans. The former never recovered their ancient territories; and were so disposed of by their enemies, that they either became amalgamated with the heathen nations, so as to be utterly undistinguishable, or they were transported to some foreign and recluse place of settlement, that the place of their existence, though repeatedly guessed at, has, for more than two thousand years, deen totally unknown.
In mercy to the less polluted inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah, though delivered up into the hands of their enemies, God had promised, by his prophet, that at the expiration of seventy years they should be enlarged, and restored to their own country. This prediction was most literally fulfilled; and the books of Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah, inform us how the divine goodness accomplished this most gracious design, and the movers and agents whom he employed on the occasion. The writer of the following book was undoubtedly the chief agent under God; and his history, as found in the most authentic writings of the Jews, is too nearly connected with this book, and too important in every point of view, to be passed by. No man has written on this subject with such perspicuity as Dein Prideaux; and from his invaluable work, The connected History of the Old and Nero Testaments, I shall freey borrow whatever may be best calculated to throw light upon the ensuing history,
“In the beginning of the year 458 before the Christian era, Ezra obtained of King Artaxerxes, and his seva counsellors, a very ample commission for his return to Jerusalem, with all his nation that were willing to accompany hin thither; giving him full authority there to restore and settle the state, and reform the church of the Jews, and to regulat and govern both according to their own laws. This extraordinary favour, not being likely to have been obtained bu. by some more than ordinary means, appears to have been granted by King Artaxerxes to the solicitations of Esther, who, though not at that time advanced to the dignity of his queen, was yet the best beloved of his concubines.
"Ezra was of the descendants of Seraiah, the high priest, who was slain by Nebuchadnezzar, when he burnt the temple and city of Jerusalem.
"As Ezra was a very holy, so also was he a very learned man, and especially skilled excellently in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures; and, therefore, he is said to have been a very ready scribe in the law of God, for which he was so eminent, that Artaxerxes takes particular notice of it in his commission. He began his journey from Babylon, a the first day of the first month, called Nisan, which might fall about the middle of our March; and, having, halted & the river of Ahava till the rest of his company was come up to him, he there, in a solemn fast
, recommended himsel and all that were with him to the divine protection : and then, on the twelfth day, set forward for Jerusalem, they al. having spent four months in their journey from Babylon thither. On his arrival he delivered up to the temple the offerings which had been made to it by the king and his nobles, and the rest of the people of Israel that stayed behind; which amounted to a hundred talents of gold, with twenty basins of gold of the value of a thousand darics, and siz hundred and fifty talents of silver, with vessels of silver of the weight of a hundred talents more: and then, liaving communicated his commission to the king's lieutenants and governors throughout all Syria and Palestine, he betook himself to the executing of the contents of it, whereby he was fully empowered to settle both the church and the state of the Jews, according to the law of Moses; and to appoint magistrates and judges to punish all such as should be refractory; and that not only by imprisonment, and confiscation of goods, but also with banishment and death, according as their crimes should be found to deserve. And all this power Ezra was invested with, and continued faithfully to execute it for the space of thirteen years, till Nehemiah arrived with a new commission from the Persian court, for the same work. Ezra, having found in the second year of his government (Ezra ix. and x.) that many of the people hac taken strange wives, contrary to the law, and that several of the pricsts and Levites, as well as the chief men of Judah and Benjamin, had transgressed herein, after he had in fasting and prayer deprecated God's wrath for it, he caused proclamation to be made for all the people of Israel that had returned from the captivity to gather themselves together at Jerusalem, under the penalty of excommunication, and forfeiture of all their goods. And when they were met, he made them sensible of their sin; and engaged them in promise and covenant before God, to depart from it by putting away their strange wives, and all such as were born of them, that the seed of Israel might not be polluted with such an undue commixture; and thereon commissioners were appointed to inquire into this matter, and cause every man to do according to the law.
"And they sat down the first day of the tenth month to examine into this matter, and made an end by the first day of the first month; so that in three months' time, that is, in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth months of the Jewish year, a thorough reformation was made of this transgression : which three months answer to January, February, and March, of our year.
"About this time, (Esther ii. 21.) Bigthan and Jeush, two eunuchs of the palace, entered into a conspiracy against the life of King Artaxerxes. Most likely they were of those who had attended Queen Vashti; and, being now out of their offices by the degrading of their mistress, and the advancing of another in her place, took such a disgust at this, as to resolve to revenge themselves on the king for it; of which Mordecai, having got the knowledge, made discovery to Queen Esther, and she in Mordecai's name to the king; whereon inquiry being made into the matter, and the whole treason laid open and discovered, the two traitors were both crucified for it, and the history of the whole matter was entered on the public registers and annals of the kingdom.
"Ezra continued in the government of Judea till the end of the year 446; and, by virtue of the commission he had from the king, and the powers granted him thereby, he reformed the whole state of the Jewish church, according to the law of Moses, in which he was excellently learned, and settled it upon that bottom upon which it afterward stood till the time of our Saviour. The two chief things which he had to do, were to restore the observance of the Jewish law according to the ancient approved usages which had been in practice before the captivity, under the directions of the prophets; and to collect together and set forth a correct edition of the Holy Scriptures; in the performance of both which the Jews inform us, he had the assistance of what they call the Great Synagogue, which they tell us was a convention, consisting of one hundred and twenty men; who lived all at the same time under the presidency of Ezra, and assisted him in both of these two works; and among these they name Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
"But the whole conduct of the work, and the glory of accompliehing it, is, by the Jews, chiefly attributed to him, under whose presidency they tell us it was done; and, therefore, they look upon him as another Moses : for the law, they say, was given by Moses; but it was reviewed and restored by Ezra, after it had in a manner been extinguished and lost in the Babylonish captivity: And, therefore, they reckon him as the second founder of it: and it is a common opinion among them that he was Malachi the prophet; that he was called Ezra as his proper name, and Malarni, (which signifies an angel or messenger,) from his office, because he was sent as the angel and messenger of God to restore again the Jewish religion, and establish it in the same manner as it was before the captivity, on the foundation of the law and the prophets. And, indeed, by virtue of that ample commission which he had from King Artaxerxes, he had an opportunity of doing more herein ihan any other of his nation; and he executed all the powers thereof to the utmost he was able, for the resettling both of the ecclesiastical and political state of the Jews in the best posture they were then capable of: and from hence his name is in so high esteem and veneration among the Jews, that it is a common saying among their writers, "That if the law had not been given by Moses, Ezra was worthy by whom it should have been given.' As to the ancient and approved usages of the Jewish church, which had been in practice before the captivity, they had by Joshua and Zerubbabel, with the chief elders then contemporaries, and by others that after succeeded them, been gathering together from their first return to Jerusalem, as they could be recovered from the memories of the ancients of their nation, who had either seen them practised themselves before the captivity, or who had been informed concerning them by their parents or others, who had lived before them.
“ All these, and whatsoever else was pretended to be of the same nature, Ezra brought under a review; and, after due examination, allowed such of them as were to be allowed, and settled them by his approbation and authority : they gave birth to what the Jews now call their Oral Law: for they own a twofold law-the first, the Written Law, which is recorded in the Holy Scriptures; and the second, the Oral Law, which they have only by the tradition of their elders. And koth these, they say, were given them by Moses from mount Sinai, of which the foriner only was committed to writing, and the other delivered down to them from generation to generation by the tradition of the elders: and, therefore, holding them both to be of the same authority, as having both of them the same divine original, they think themselves to be bound as much by the latter as the former, or rather much more; for the Written Law is, they say, in many places, obscure, scanty, and defective, and could be no perfect rule to them without the Oral Law; which containing, according to them, a full, complete, and perfect interpretation, of all that is written in tbe other, supplies all the detects, and solves all the difficulties of it; and, therefore, they observe the Written Law no otherwise than according as it is explained and expounded by their Oral Law. And hence it is a common saying among them, "That the covenant was made with them not upon the Written Law, but upon the Oral Law;' and, therefore, they do, in a marner, lay aside the former, to make rooin for the latter, and resolve their whole RELIGION into their traditions, in the sene manner as the Romanists do theirs, having no farther regard to the Written Word of God than as it agrees with ther traditionary explications of it, but always preferring them thereto, though in many particulars they are quite cortradictory to it; which is a corruption that had grown to a great height among them, even in our Saviour's time; for he charges them with it, and tells them, That they make the word of God of none effect through their traditions, Merk vii. 13. But they have done it much more since, professing a greater regard to the latter than to the former: and hence it is said that we find it so often said in their writings, That the words of the scribes are lovely above the words of the law; that the words of the law are weighty and light, but the words of the scribes are all mighty: that the words of the elders are weightier than the words of the prophets; (where, by the words of the scribes, and the words of the elders, they mean their traditions, delivered to them by their scribes and elders.') And in ouier places, 'Chat the written text is only as water; but the Mishna and Talmud, in which are contained the traditions, are as vine and hippocras.' And again, "That the written Law is only as salt
, but the Mishna and Talmud as pepper and sveet spices.' And in many other sayings, very common among them, do they express the very high veneration which they bear toward the Oral or Traditionary Law, and the little regard which they have to the Written Word of God in comparison of it, making nothing of the latter but as expounded by the former; as if the Written Word were no more thin the dead letter, and the Traditionary Law alone the soul that gives it the whole life and essence.
"And this being what they hold of their traditions, which they call their Oral Law, the account which they give of it original is as follows: for they tell us that, 'At the same time when God gave unto Moses the law in mount Sinai, he gave unto him also the interpretation of it, commanding him to put the former in writing, but to deliver the odier aly by word of mouth, to be preserved in the memories of men, and to be transmitted down by them from generation o generation by tradition only; and from hence the former is called the Written, and the other, the Oral Law. And o this day all the determinations and dictates of the latter are termed, by the Jews, 'Constitutions of Moses from mount Sinai ;' because they do as firmly believe that he received them all from God in his forty days' converee with him in hat mount, as that he then received the Written Text itself. That on his return from this converse he brought both & these laws with him, and delivered them unto the people of Israel in this manner :--As soon as he was returned to his tent, he called Aaron thither unto him, and first delivered unto him the text, which was to be the Written Law, and after that, the interpretation of it, which was the Oral Law, in the same order as he received both from God in tle mount. Then Aaron arising, and seating himself at the right hand of Moses, Eleazar and Ithamar his sons wens next in; and, being taught both these laws at the feet of the prophet, in the same manner as Aaron had been, they also xose and seated themselves, the one on the left hand of Moses, the other on the right hand of Aaron; and then the serenly aders, who constituted the sanhedrim, or great senate of the nation, went in, and being taught by Moses boih these laws in the same manner, they also seated themselves in the tent; and then entered all such of the people as were desirous of Inowing the law of God, and were taught in the same manner. After this, Moses withdrawng, Aaron repeated the vhole of the law, as he heard it from him, and also withdrew; and then Eleazar and Ithamar repeated the same; and, in their withdrawing, the seventy elders made the same repetition to the people then present; so that each of tben, having heard both these laws repeated to them four times, they all had it thereby fixed in their memories : and that then they dispersed themselves among the whole congregation, and communicated to all the people of Israel what lied thus been delivered to them by the prophet of God. That they did put the text into writing, but ihe interpretation of it they delivered down only by word of mouth to the succeeding generations; that the written text contained the sis hundred and thir!een precepts, into which they divide the law and the unwritten interpretations, all the manners
, ways, and circumstances, that were to be observed in the keeping of them; that after this, toward the end of the forlista year from their coming up out of the land of Egypt, in the beginning of the eleventh month, (which fell about the beginning of our June,) Moses, calling all the people of Israel together, acquainted them of the approaching time of his death, and therefore ordered, that if any of them had forgot aught of what he had delivered to them, they should repair to him, and he would repeat to them what had slipped their memories, and farther explain to them every dirticulty and doubt which might arise in their minds concerning what he had taught them of the law of their God; and that bere og they applying to him, all the remaining time of his life, that is, from the said beginning of the eleventh month till the sixth day of the twelfth month, was employed in instructing them in the text which they call the Written Law, and in the interpretation of it, which they call the Oral Law; and that, on the said sixth day, having delivered unto them thirteen copies of the Written Law, all copied out with his own hand, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Deuteronomy, one to each of the twelve tribes, to be kept by them throughout their generations, and the thirteenth to the Levites, to be laid up by them in the tabernacle before the Lord; and having, moreover, repeated the Oral Law to Joshua his successor, he went, on the serenth day, up into mount Nebo, and there died; that after his death Joshua delivered the same Oral Law to the elders, who after succeeded him, and they delivered it to the prophets, and the prophets transmitted it down to each other, till it came to Jeremiah, who delivered it to Baruch, and Baruch to Ezra, by whom it was delivered to the men of the Great Synagogue, the last of whom was Simon the Just; that by him it was delivered to Antigonus of Socho, and by him to Jose the son of Jochanan, and by him to Jose the son of Joeser, and by him to Nathan the Arbelite, and Joshua the son of Berachiah, and by him to Judah the son of Jabhai, and Simeon the son of Shatah, and by them to Shemaiah and Abitulion, and by them to Hillel, and by Hillel to Simeon his son, who is supposed to have been the same who took our Saviour into his arms when he was