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following immediately after what is now the last line of the Eleventh Book.
24-37. "till one shall rise," etc., i.e. Nimrod. Gen. x. 8-10.
38-62. "He, with a crew," etc. Gen. xi. 1-9. Commentators find no authority in the Bible for connecting Nimrod with the building of the Tower of Babel.
42. "the mouth of Hell": not the Hell of the rest of the poem, but the Hell of the ordinary mythology,--Tartarus under the Earth.
85. "dividual": separate or separable. See notes, IV. 486 and VII. 382.
IOI-104. "witness the irreverent son," etc. Gen. ix. 22-25. Michael assumes that the story of Ham is known to Adam, though, as Thyer noted, there is no mention of it as having been as yet told him.
115. "Bred up in idol-worship." As Abraham's father Terah is mentioned, Josh. xxiv. 2, as having "served other gods," it is assumed that Abraham was bred up in a false religion.
117-120. "While yet the patriarch lived who," etc. In the Biblical chronology Noah survives the flood 350 years, and Terah, Abraham's father, was born 222 years after it.
130-137. "Ur of Chaldæa," etc. Milton here traces Abraham's route from his native Chaldæa (between the Euphrates and the Tigris) into Palestine. First, leaving Ur (now Orfah, once Edessa) in Chaldæa, he sees him crossing the Euphrates at a ford, with all his wealth and retinue (his father Terah among them, as we learn from Gen. xi. 31; where indeed Terah is represented as heading the expedition), and arriving in Haram in Mesopotamia. Thence, hardly allowing time for that stay in Haram during which Terah died (Gen. xi. 32, and Acts vii. 4), he follows Abraham in the continuation of his journey westward, till he reaches Canaan, and settles first about Sichem in the plain of Moreh, near the centre of the land (Gen. xii. 4-6).
139-146. "From Hamath," etc. A poetical survey of the extent of the Holy Land, according to these textsNumb. xxxiv. 3-12, Deut. iii. 8, 9. Hamath is a town in northern Galilee; the Desert is the desert of Zin, bordering Palestine on the south; Hermon is the range of mountains of that name to the east of upper Jordan; the great western
Sea is the Mediterranean; Mount Carmel is on the Mediterranean coast; Jordan is called "the double-founted stream as being formed by the junction of two streams in the extreme north of Palestine; Senir is properly another name for Mount Hermon (Deut. iii. 9), but seems to be used by Milton for some range, also east of Jordan, stretching farther to the south.
152. "faithful Abraham," etc.
Gen. xvii. 5, and Gal.
250. "of cedar." Mr. Keightley notes this as an error, -the sanctuary being of shittim-wood or acacia.
255. "as in a zodiac," etc. That the seven lamps had this astronomical significance is, as Newton noted, an idea of Josephus.
283-306. "So many laws argue," etc. Bishop Newton writes thus :-"Compare the following texts with the poet -Gal. iii. 19; Rom. vii. 7, 8; Heb. ix. 13, 14; Heb. x. 4, 5; Rom. iv. 22-24; Rom. v. 1; Heb. vii. 18, 19; Heb. x. I; Gal. iii. 11, 12, 23; Gal. iv. 7; Rom. viii. 15. Milton has here, in a few verses, admirably summed up the sense and argument of these and more texts of Scripture." Most of the texts had been traced by the first commentator, Patrick Hume. In all parts of the poem the reference to texts of Scripture is frequent; but in the rest of this last book it is incessant.
310. "But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call." Jesus is used as the Greek equivalent to Joshua in the Septuagint, and also in Acts vii. 15, and Heb. iv. 8. Joshua, Jeshua, Jehoshua, Hoshea, Oshea, and Jesus, are, in fact, but various forms of the same word, meaning either "whose help is Jehovah" or "God the Saviour."
322-330. a promise shall receive," etc. 2 Sam. vii. 16; Psalm lxxxix. 34-36; Isaiah xi. 10; Luke i. 32, 33348-350. "Returned from Babylon by leave of kings, etc. B. C. 536. The kings meant are Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes. See Book of Ezra.
353-358. "But first among the priests," etc. The events of later Jewish history so hurriedly skimmed in this passage are as follows:-In consequence of a struggle for the highpriesthood between two rivals, Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, was able to come to Jerusalem, where he plundered and polluted the Temple, and put the Maccabees to death
(B.C. 173); the kingly power and the high-priesthood were united in Aristobulus, eldest son of the high-priest John Hyrcanus (B. C. 107); and the native dynasty was abolished by Pompey (B. C. 61), who appointed Antipater, the Idumæan, to the government. Antipater's son Herod, in whose reign Christ was born, became King of Judæa B.C. 38.
366, 367." They gladly thither haste," etc. Milton, as Dunster observed, has here deviated from the exact Scriptural account; which is that the carol of angels was heard by the shepherds in the fields, and before they set out for Bethlehem (Luke ii. 8-18).
374. "which these"; a very peculiar construction. 394. "his works," etc. 1 John iii. 8. 402-435. "The Law of God," etc. Among the texts recollected in these thirty-four lines are-Rom. xiii. 10; Gal. ii. 16, and iii. 13; Col. ii. 14; Matt. xxviii. 1; Rom. vi. 9. 436-465. "Nor after resurrection," etc. Among the texts recollected or cited in these thirty lines are-Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; Rom. iv. 16; Col. ii. 15; Rev. xx. 2; Luke xxiv. 26; Eph. i. 20, 21, and iv. 8; Luke xxi. 27. Most of them were pointed out by Hume.
442. Baptizing in the profluent stream." It was Milton's opinion, expressed in his Treatise on Christian Doctrine, that baptism ought to be by immersion.
486-497. "Be sure," etc. Texts recollected in these lines are—John xv. 26; Luke xxiv. 49; Gal. v. 6; John xvi. 13; Eph. vi. 11-16; Psalm lvi. II.
508-530. "Wolves shall succeed," etc. There are references in these lines to the following texts :-Acts xx. 29; 1 Pet. v. 2, 3; 1 Cor. ii. 14; Jer. xxxi. 33; 2 Cor. iii. 16, 17. The whole passage is interesting as a summary of those opinions of Milton as to the state of the Church from the Apostolic time downwards which he had expressed more at large in some of his prose-pamphlets.
522-524. "laws which," etc. The meaning is "laws which none shall find either in Scripture or to be such as accord with what the Spirit tells the heart to be true."
Rom. viii. 22;
537-551. "So shall the world," etc. Acts iii. 19; Matt. xxiv. 30, and xvi. 27; 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13.
2 Thess. i. 7;
1 Sam. xv. 22;
561-568. "Henceforth I learn," etc. 1 Peter v. 7; Psalm cxlv. 9; Rom. xii. 21; 1 Cor. i. 27.
581-585. "only add," etc. 2 Peter i. 5-7; 1 Cor. xiii. 2 and 13.
588, 589. "top of speculation": both literally and metaphorically,—literally, as they were on a mountain-top, whence they could watch or look far around; and metaphorically, as they had just attained the highest point of philosophy or speculative wisdom.
608. "found her waked": not quite consistent with the phrase in the Argument prefixed to the Book,-"wakens Eve."
630. "marish": the old form of "marsh," used down to Milton's time, and found, as Keightley notes, in the English Bible (Ezek. xlvii. II).
635. “adust,” scorched, burnt: from the Latin adustus, Ital. adusto. The word is not uncommon in old English writers.
636-639. "whereat in either hand the Angel," etc. Milton recollected here, as Addison pointed out, the behaviour of the Angels to Lot and his family (Gen. xix. 16).
648, 649. Addison thought that the poem would have ended better without these two lines: viz. with the words "and Providence their guide," line 647. Milton thought otherwise, and has left us this last sight of Adam and Eve after they came down from Paradise :
"They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,