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A Deu. 9. 21.
see parallel, 2 KL. 22
| 6 priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. And so did he in
the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their 7 mattocks round about. And when he had broken down the altars and the groves,
and had "beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols
throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. 8 Nowl in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and
the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the
city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his 9 God. And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the
k see 2 Ki. 12. 4, etc. money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant
of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem. ? 10 And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house
of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen that wrocght in the house of the 11 LORD, to repair and amend the house: even to the artificers and builders gave
they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses 3 12 which the kings of Judah had destroyed. And the men did the work faithfully:
and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it,
forward; and other of the Levites, all that could skill of instruments of music. 13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: land of the Levites there were scribes, and
1 1 Chr. 23. 4,5 officers, and porters. 14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the
LORD, Hilkiah the priest " found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. *? KI, 22. 8, ete. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of
the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back 17 again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it. And they
have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and
have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen. 18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me 19 a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the 20 king had heard the words of the law, that he rent* his clothes. And the king
commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and * Abdon the son of os, dehbor, 2 Ki. 22. 21 Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king's, saying, Go,
inquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found : for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of
the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book. 22 And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the
prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of P Hasrah, keeper 351,22 11
of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college (or, second part]:) 23 and they spake to her to that effect. And she answered them, Thus saith the 24 LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the LORD,
Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even
all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king 25 of Judah : because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other
gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands;
therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched. 26 And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall ye
say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which 27 thou hast heard ; Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself
before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the
inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, 28 and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD. Behold, I
will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, į neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and
upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again. 29 . Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and see parallel, 2 Ki. 23 30 Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the
men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the
Levites, and all the people, great and small : and he read in their ears all 1 See note on 2 Kings xxiii. 4.
1 3 Or, .apartments;' probably those belonging to the 2 This clause should be read so as to be rendered, and priests, which had been destroyed. of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.'
4 See note on 2 Kings xxii. 11.
the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD. 1 31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk eh. 6 13: : KL 1L
after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his
statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the 32 covenant which are written in this book. And he caused all that were present
in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did 33 according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
And Josiah took away all the 'abominations out of all the countries that per-'IK ILS tained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from Jer. a 10 following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
Josiah keeps a great passover ; opposes the king of Egypt, and is slain in battle. 35 MOREOVER - Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they * KL 22. 812 killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the
• Ex. 12. 6; Ezra 6. priests in their v charges, and ' encouraged them to the service of the house of the eh.22 18: Fura 3 Lord, and said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto
the LORD, Put the holy ark 1 c in the house which Solomon the son of David
king of Israel did build; dit shall not be a burden upon your shoulders : serve 4 now the LORD your God, and his people Israel, and prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David : Clara
Ir i Chr . ; ; 5 king of Israel, and according to the 8 writing of Solomon his son. And stand in : the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your
APs. IHL 6 brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites. So
kill the passover, and i sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they
may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 7 And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for the ch. 30. 94; 1 &
passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, 8 and three thousand bullocks: these were of the king's substance. And 'hisch. 2. 3-22
princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites : Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for
the passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small cattle, and three 9 hundred oxen. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and
Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for
passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen. 10 So the service was prepared, and the priests mstood in their place, and the - Esra 5 3 11 Levites in their courses, according to the king's commandment. And they killed
the passover, and the priests "sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the ch. 2. 2; Le.14€ 12 Levites flayed them. “And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might see ch. 2. *
give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the
LORD, as it is written Pin the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen. P LA 23 13 And they ? roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the x 12 R9.
other holy offerings "sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided 18.6 ; 1 Sesi 2
them speedily among all the people. 14 And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests: because
the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat
until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests 15 the sons of Aaron. And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place,
according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun
the king's seer ;? and the porters' waited at every gate; they might not depart 1 Chr. 9. 17. &; S 16 from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them. So all the
service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to
offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment 17 of king Josiah. And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of " unleavened bread seven days.
"eh. N. 21; EX 1 18 And there was no passovers like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel
the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah
kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, 19 and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah
was this passover kept. 20 y After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt parallel
came up to fight against Charchemish - by Euphrates: and Josiah went out *2
1 It is conjectured that the ark had been removed by signated at ch. xxix. 30; 1 Chron. xxv. 1, 5. Amon to make room for idols; or by Hilkiah, while the 3 See note on 2 Kings xxiii. 22. temple was undergoing repairs.
4 A large city on the western bank of the Euphrates, 2 Or rather, seers; fur Asaph and Heman are so de- I called by the Greeks Kirkesion.
21 against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with
thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the
house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste : forbear 22 thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. Never
theless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but : disguised himself, that he son 1 Ki. 22. 30.
might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the 23 mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.2 And the archers
shot at king Josiah ; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am 24 sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put | Ki. 22. 34.
him in the second chariot that he had ; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and
he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And call Judah | Zec. 12. 11. 25 and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah d lamented for Josiah : and d Lam. 4. 20.
all the singing men and singing women spake of Josiab in their lamentations to see Mt. 9. 23. this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel : and, behold, they are written
Jer. 12. 20. in the lamentations.3 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which
ess, according to that which see parallel, 2 KL. 23. 27 was written in the law of the Lord, and his deeds, first and last, behold, they
are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
city; transportation of the people to Babylon, and desolation of the land, 36 THEN the people of the land took Jehoabaz the son of Josiah, and made him se parallel, 2 Ki. 23 2 king in his father's stead in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty and three years 3 old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And
the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an 4 hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. And the king of Egypt made
Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to
Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt. 5 Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he see marallel, 2 Ki. 27
reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight 6 of the Lord his God. * Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, 7 and bound him in fetters, to 'carry him to Babylon. m Nebuchadnezzar alsó
carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, 4 and put them in his 12
temple at Babylon. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and * see parallel, 2 KL. 24 • that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah : and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
• or, Jeconiah, I Chr.
2. 16; or, Coniah, 9 P Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three . Jer. 2. 21.
months and ten days in Jerusalem : and he did that which was evil in the sight 89." 10 of the LORD. And when the year was expired, 9 king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and 1097
brought him to Babylon,' with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and
made · Zedekiah his brother 'king over Judah and Jerusalem. 11 * Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned 12 eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the
LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking 1,2 13 from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchad- * Jer, 52. 3; Eze. 17.
nezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he y stiffened his neck, and
hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel. 14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much
after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD 15 which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. 6 2 And the LORD God of their fathers 3, 4; 35. 13, 441
k ree parallel, 9 KI. 24
1; and Dani. I. 1, 2,
foretold Hub. I. 6 I see 2 Kl. 94. 6: Jer.
22. 10, 19:36. 30. m2 K. 21. 13; Dan. L
P see parallel, 2 Ki. 24.
19 see parallel, 2 Ki. 24.
Dan, I. 1, 2; 52
or, Maltaniah, his father's brother, 2
Ki. 24. 17. 1 Jer. 37. I. Mare parallel, 2 Ki. 24.
18, 19; and Jer. 5.
'ch, 24. 19; Jer. 25.
1 It is not improbable that Josiah neglected this warn- | of his ultimate purposes of mercy towards his people. See ing because he regarded Necho's assertion, 'God is with Ezekiel, ch. viii., X., xi. At the same time, the prophet me,' as an impious attempt to take advantage of his Jeremiah, living in the midst of his people, warned them religious character, like that of Sennacherib's emissary against vainly hoping (as the false prophets encouraged Rabshakeh. See 2 Kings xviii. 25.
them to do for the preservation of Jerusalem ; assured 2 See note on 2 Kings xxiii. 29.
them that the king and his court, the city and its wicked 3 Not the canonical book of 'Lamentations, which re | inhabitants, were doomed to total ruin, and that the lates solely to the destruction of Jerusalem, but a work | living germ of Hebrew nationality was with the capnot now extant.
tives in Babylon; cautioned them against indulging the 4 See note on 2 Kings xxiv. 16.
hope of a speedy restoration, by telling them that the 5 This should be eighteen, as in 2 Kings xxiv. 8. captivity should last for seventy years (Jeremiah, ch.
6 We gain much insight into the awful corruption of xix., xxiv., XXV., xxvü., xxix.); predicted their certain the people at this period from the prophecies of Ezekiel, | restoration at the appointed time and the great blesswho had been carried captive to Chaldea, and received ings which God had in reserve for them hereafter (ch. there, for the special benefit of his fellow-exiles, revela xxx.—xxxiii.); and, further, denounced the utter overtions of the impending doom of the holy city and the throw of Babylon, at that time in the plenitude of her reasons of God's displeasure, accompanied with disclosures | power (ch. 1., li.)
e Pro. I. 32
Jer. 23:26: Xt
25 I, etc.; Forum < P 74 20; 70* 2,
sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had a 7 Ki. 11. z: Hur 16 compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place : but they mocked the ch.3L 10; P. K; messengers of God, and despised his words, and d misused his prophets, until the
wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who 8 slew their life ,
young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion
upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all 18 into his hand. "And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and
2 Ki 13 etc. the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his 19 princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, liKL 39: Pilk
and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt at the palaces thereof with 20 fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped K. S 111.
from the sword? carried he away to Babylon; 'where they were servants to him Jer. 27.7. 21 and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfil the word of the
Lord by the mouth of " Jeremiah, until the land " had enjoyed her sabbaths : 2 for 1 r. 29-12: * & as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
Proclamation of Cyrus giving permission to the Jews to return to their oron land. 22 PNOW3 in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD | Ezra'l. 1 spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up der $19-; .
10; 32. 10-12 the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all is 44. * 23 his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, .Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, . Esra 1 2, 3
All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up. 1 There is reason to believe that, during these national | obedience of the people; but which they, in their impiety judgments, the most religious part of the Hebrews were and covetousness, had neglected. The land of Judah ras preserved and carried into exile; while the idolatrous not colonized, as that of Samaria had been, by foreigners; and profane were for the most part destroyed. See Ezek. but only the poor of the land were left in it. ix. 2-6; xiv. 13-21.
S The Book of The Chronicles closes with the pre2 Those arrears of rest which had been accumulating ceding verse; and the two following, which record transby the neglect of the sabbatic year-an institution which actions many years afterwards, seem to have been copied served, perhaps beyond any other, to test the faith and from Ezra (í. 1, 2, etc).
NOTE ON THE EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE CAPTIVITY. THE captivity in Babylon was a very remarkable dispen- | Jewish dispensation : for, through the destruction of the sation of Providence. The people of Israel, in the times of temple, and the removal of the Jews from their own land, the Judges, had often been subjugated by their enemies; it became impracticable to them to observe the laws reand the ark, the symbol of God's presence, had once been specting the offering of sacrifices, and other Divine insticarried away for a short time into the land of the Philis tutions, and this pointed out the necessity of introducing tines. But the captivity was attended with much heavier a new dispensation, which should be adapted not to one calamities: the whole land was now desolated by war; 1 particular land, but to the whole world. the ark destroyed; the temple burned to the ground; These occurrences were also of great importance as and Jerusalem laid in ruins; while the people were de presenting a striking fulfilment of prophecy. Long before livered into the hands of barbarous enemies, and large the overthrow of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, numbers of them were taken into a distant and heathen their relative destinies had been foretold. At the time country. It is not easy to conceive what must have been of their
no human calculation could have dethe feelings of distress and amazement of the faithful termined which of the two would be the more stable or servants of God whose lot was cast in these dark and prosperous. That of Israel seemed rather to have the calamitous times. But in the Lamentations' of the advantage, considering her greater extent and population. prophet Jeremiah, who lived and acted in the midst of But the voice of prophecy soon decided the question. In these scenes, there is a faithful and heart-touching de- the days of Jeroboam, Ähijah declared that God would lineation of this visitation and of its results.
“root up Israel,' and scatter them beyond the river
(1 Kings xiv. 15). Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah, all anYet, painful as these events were, they were wonder- nounce the earlier downfall and the utter desolation of fully overruled for the further development of the pur Israel. Israel was to be broken within threescore and poses of God, and the advancement of true religion. The five years,' and to cease from being a people (Isa, vii. 6 captivity of the Jews in Babylon seems to have cured | -8); and the Assyrian power was foreshown to be the them of the sin of idolatry, to which they had been for instrument of the Divine judgment (Hos, xi. 5, etc.) ages so much addicted ; a result which all previous warn The captivity of Judah was first expressly foretold in ings, corrections, and judgments had failed to produce. the reign of Hezekiah, after his ostentatious display of his It also tended greatly to prepare the way for the coming wealth and magnificence to the Babylonian ambassadors of Christ, and the dispensation of the gospel, by causing (2 Kings xx. 17, 18; 2 Chron. xxxii. 27). And the fulthe dispersion of the Jews throughout a great part of the ness of the predictions on this subject is very remarkable. known world; for the dispersed Jews, carrying with them They not only describe the calamity which was about to the Holy Scriptures which contained the prophecies of overwhelm the Jewish people, but they disclose the reasons the Messiah, became the means of diffusing some know and purposes of God's providence in bringing it to pass ledge of the true religion, and of raising a general ex- | They represent it as a judicial visitation for an amount of pectation of the coming of the Saviour.
sin and corruption not otherwise to be purged away, and These events further conduced to this end by diminish as mercifully designed, not for destruction, but for dising the glory and showing the imperfect nature of the cipline and reformation. They foretell, also, its duration,
which they limit to seventy years; its issue; and shaken, the objects and promises of the second and perthe course of events by which it would be terminated. manent one began to be substituted in its place; the new The restoration of Judah-an event so little to be ex kingdom and new covenant were set forth to view, and Dected in the ordinary course of things—was foretold as the glorious benefits to be bestowed upon men.
efits to be bestowed upon men, through plainly as the exile. See Isa. xiv. 3; xliv. 26–28; xlv. the redemption of Christ, were set in a clearer light than 144, 13; Jer. xxv. 9-13; xxix. 10–14; 1. 4, 5; li.; ever before. See especially Isa. lii.-lv. Ezek. xi. 16, 17; xü. 15; xx. 34, etc.
During the same period, also, it will be seen that the It is further worthy of notice, how greatly the light of prophets bring the idea of religion nearer to the gospel Divine revelation was augmented at this period. While standard, by explaining the inferior value of the ceremothe people of God were sinking into the greatest depres- nial law, and giving notice of its future abrogation (Mic. sion, the disclosures of prophecy respecting all the great vi. 6, 8; Hos. vi. 6): thus preparing the way for the insubjects which it embraced were becoming clearer and troduction of the more spiritual economy, which sets the fuller. At the very time when heathen nations seemed ritual law wholly aside, and establishes the moral law in to triumph the most in trampling upon the chosen people, its fullest extent. This exposition of the principle of the voice of prophecy was making its most copious and religion by the prophets was also a most seasonable inexplicit announcements concerning those very kingdoms: struction at this particular time, when the observance of showing God's overruling power over them; proving the ritual was rendered difficult or impracticable. When them to be the instruments of his providence, and mark their heathen enemies were about to spoil their land, ing the appointed periods of the rise and fall of many when access to the temple would be denied them, and among them. By these means, under the perplexing the temple itself destroyed, the servants of God were circumstances of heathen triumph, when the sufferings taught that the personal religion which was still left to and fears of God's people were at their greatest height, them was that which He most esteemed, and had always their minds were directed and comforted. See Isa. xiii. preferred (Isa. lxvi. 1, 2; Jer. vii. 22, 23); they were -xxi.. xxiii. : xlvi., xlvii.: Jer. xli-li.: Ezek. XXV. - I trained to maintain the knowledge and service of God. xxxii.; Dan. iv., vii.--xii., etc.
without the aid of their political constitution and cereBut, above all, greatly enlarged revelations were made, monial worship; and they were encouraged by the proat this period, concerning the new dispensation, the mise that, in their exiled and scattered state, God himself spiritual kingdom of God, which was to be founded by would be their sanctuary (Ezek. xi. 16). Thus, amidst the Messiah. The fullest and most expressive announce the judgments of the land, when all was confusion and ments of gospel blessings were made just when the anarchy, and the public ordinances of religion were imearthly kingdom was approaching its downfall. Thus, peded, or wholly taken away, its essential principles were when the first and temporary dispensation began to be more completely developed.
THE BOOK OF EZRA.
EZRA was one of the Jewish exiles at Babylon, where he | his people be corrected, they are not abandoned; though was probably born. He was of the race of Aaron, and thrown into the furnace that the dross may be separated, descended from the high priest who was slain at the cap they are not lost there. ture of Jerusalem (2 Kings Xxv. 18-21). His eninent ! Although, in the remainder of the Old Testament annals, learning and piety, and his consequent high considera- | the chosen people appear no more as an independent tion among his countrymen, peculiarly fitted him for the nation, but as a comparatively feeble remnant, living important duties which he was called upon to discharge. under the control and protection of a foreign power; yet
This book is not a regular and continuous history, but their history is still seen to be indissolubly connected consists of two entirely distinct portions, separated from with all the merciful purposes of God towards the human each other by a considerable interval of time. The former race (see the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah); and (ch. i.-vi.) contains an account of the first return of the the restoration of their institutions, temple, and worship Jewish exiles under the leadership of Zerubbabel, and was evidently an event of the highest importance, as of the rebuilding of the temple. This work, which was tending to keep alive the expectation of those great begun under the authority of a decree of Cyrus in the year realities of which these were the types, and to prepare 536 B.C., was afterwards suspended for a long period, the way for the further manifestation of God's grace in owing to the powerful opposition of the Samaritans and the person and work of Christ. the indifference of the Jews, and was not completed till Some portions of this book (chiefly documentary) are twenty years after its commencement, in the sixth year in the Chaldee dialect. of Darius Hystaspis, which was the seventieth year after its destruction by the Chaldeans.
The contents of this book are as follows:-Of the transactions of the succeeding sixty years we I. THE RETURN OF THE FIRST COMPANY OF JEWS have here no record; but the second portion of this book FROM BABYLON, AND THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE: (eh. vi.--..) is a personal narrative, containing the his comprising the proclamation of Cyrus permitting the tory of Ezra's journey to Jerusalem, accompanied by a return of Jews, and the rebuilding of the temple (ch. i.) large body of his countrymen, and invested with an ample A list of those who returned with Zerubbabel ; with their commission from the king of Persia to restore the wor-1 offerings to the temple (ü.) The altar set up, and the ship of God, and to settle the government of the people temple commenced (iii.) Opposition of the Samaritans, according to their own laws. This is followed by an ac and suspension of the building (iv.) The prophesying of count of his zealous and successful exertions for their Haggai and Zechariah; recommencement of the building; reformation.
visit of the governors, and their letter to the Persian
court; decree of Darius; completion and dedication of The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, and their the temple (v., vi.) return to the land of promise, which, though full of joy, II. EZRA'S JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM WITH A LARGE was attended with considerable difficulty and danger, is COMPANY, AND THE REFORMATIONS WHICH HE EFspoken of by the prophets as a wonderful interposition of FECTED : including Ezra's commission from Artaxerxes, Divine providence, in some respects similar to their pre- and his journey to Jerusalem with his companions (vii., vious deliverance from Egypt. And it is an event of viii.) Intermarriages of the Jews with their heathen permanent and universal interest, showing that though neighbours; Ezra's distress, and prayer; the repentance God's church be cast down, it is not cast off ; though I and reformation of the people (ix., x.)