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ny Google 


DEC 9 1897 
















LATE LORD BISHOP OF ^ROL'OftSli. _• ;•- ^ - 







to tHE 

prebendary of lincoln, and archdeacon of st. alban"s. 

Dear Sir, 
The liappiDess I enjoy from that friendebip with which you 
have long honoured me, and the reverence I entertaiu for the 
Tariona excellencies of your character, excite me to profit by 
every occasion of expressing^ towards you my sentiments of 
sincere acknowledgment and lively regard. 

At the first appearance of the following work, I did not 
think myself authorized to indulge my wishes in dedicating it to 
you, because it had not been previously submitted to your ex- 
anuDatioD. Aware of that just veneration for the sacred volume 
which yon derive from an intimate acquaintance with its contents, 
I knew with what concern you would find yonr name employed 
to sanction an account of the inspired writings, if that account 
Bhould prove unworthy of your countenance. Since, however, 
the work has experienced a favourable reception, and yon your- 
self have stamped a value on it by your approbation, I do not 
hesitate, though still without your permission, to inscribe to you 
the first fruits of my application to those studies which you 

106507 ".—Google 


have assidaoaslj encouraged me to pursue. I conld not, I 
trust, offer yon a more welcome tribute, than a proof of 
my admiration of those Holy Scriptures, of which, by your 
judicious and elegant remarks, you have often pointed out the 
perfections, and of which you constantly illustrate the beneficial 
indoence by the distinguished example of your conrersation 
and life. 

I beg at the same time to remain, with nncere and affec- 
tionate respect, 

Dear Sir, 
Your most feithfiil and obedient Servant, 




The useful Key to the New Testament published by Dr. Percy, 
Bishop of Dromore, first suggested the idea of the present work. 
It was apprehended that a similar assistant to the perusal of the . 
Books of the Old Testament would prove equally couTeniept to 
those, who have neither leisure nor opportunities to consult 
larger publications for scattered information. A diderence in 
the character of the books here treated of, has compelled the 
editor to adopt a more diffusive and discursive method of con- 
dacting bis subject, than that which is followed by the learned 
Bishop. The uncertainty of the dates and authors of some 
books, the objections to opinions generally established, and the 
mixed character, and migcellaneoas contents of the works con- 
sidered, have necessarily occasioned complicated and extended 

The^ editor was deurous of exhibiting, in one point of view, 
the probable period of each book, tbe character and design of its 
author, and the proofs of or objectiona to its inspiration. He 
wished to present tbe reader with a general idea of the respective 
importance of each, of its intrinsic pretensions, and external 
sanctions ; and to furnish, in a compendious description, whatever 



might coDtribate to UlnBtrate its history and contents. Thia the 
editor has done in a manner as concise as possible, considering 
it consistent with his plan to prefix general information and 
remarks as introductory, and separately to examine such questions 
as were immediately connected with the scope of the individual 
hook. He judged it improper to deliver opinions, without stating 
the reasons on which they were founded; or to adopt decisions 
on disputed or doubtful points, without producing, at least, the 
most important objecUons that might be urged agunst them, 
lest the reader should be led to decide on partial grounds. 

Since the books often cont^n passages of obscure interpretation 
and doobtfiil import, as likewise dates, names, and other pat^ 
ticulars, upon the explanation of which their character for 
antiquity and authority must in some measure rest, it was im- 
possible sometimes to avoid critical and chrouological questions. 
In consequence of these, the notes have been increased in 
number and extent, beyond what was at first intended. The 
reader will, however, hereby be saved the trouble of referring 
to commentators; or, if unwilling to acquiesce in the decision 
adopted, he may readily 6nd the foundation and authorities on 
which it was established. 

As the inspiration of the canonical books was to be proved, 
it was often requisite to point out the accomplishment of pro- 
phecy; which, therefore, the editor has done, in the most dgnat 
mstances, though commonly by reference only and cursory 
observation. He presumes, however, that he has thereby often 



unfolded an interesting scene, or opened a fruitful source of 
instructive inquiry. The importance, likewise, of some disco- 
veries and remarks wfaicli learned commentaries have furaisbed, 
has sometimes tempted the editor to introduce particulars that 
may be thought too minute for a g^eneral and compendious intro- 
duction ; but he has usually endeavoured to confine himself to 
such comments as contribute to general illustration, or are ex- 
planatory of passages immediately subjected to the reader^a 
sttentioD. He apprehends, that if the reader should occa* 
donally discover observations which refiect only an oblique or 
partial light on the sacred volume, he will not be displeased, 
even though it should appear that a larger space is thereby 
allotted to some books than their comparative importance might 
seem to justify. 

It was thought expedient, also, occasionally to advert to 
those popular mistakes and light objections which float in 
society, and operate on weak minds to the prejudice of the 
sacred hooks ; as the editor was conscious, that fairly to state 
was to refute them, and that they produce more than their due 
effect, because indistinctly viewed. In consequence of this 
design, he may, perhaps, be thought to have introduced remarks 
too obvious and trivial. The sincere and dispassionate inquirer 
after tmth, who has deliberately weighed the evidence on which 
the scriptures rest, cannot readily believe that a passage partially 
couddered, a misconception of a revealed design, or a fancied 
inconsistency with preconceived opinions, should be allowed to 


viii PREFACE. 

affect the character, or diminiBh tlie influence of the sacred 
books ; but experience fully proves, that these are the founda- 
tions on which ignorance and infidelity ground their disrespect 
for the inspired writings. 

The editor has been cautious, in treating of the canonical and 
apocryphal books, to discriminate their respective pretensions 
with accuracy : since, however valuable the latter may be con- 
sidered for their general excellence, it is necessary to keep 
inviolate, and free from all intermixture, that consecrated canoa 
in which the holy oracles were preserved by the Jews, which 
was stamped as infallible by the testimony of Christ and his 
apostles, and which, in the iirst and purest ages of the church, 
was reverenced (together with the inspired books of the New 
Testament) as the only source of revealed wisdom. 

The whole design of the editor has been to assist the reader 
to form a just idea of the Old Testament, and of those unin- 
spired hooks which were written under the first dispensation, 
and to himish him witli such introductory intelligence as may 
enable him to read them with pleasure and advantage. He lays 
claim to no praise, hut that of having brought into a regular 
form such information as he could collect from various works. 
He acknowledges himself, in the most unrestrained terms, to 
have borrowed from all authors of established reputation such 
materials as he could find, after having deliberately considered 
and impartially collated their accounts. He has appropriated 
such obvious information as was to he collected from those 



writers who are Dniversally known to have treated on the 
sacred books;" and he has endeavoured further to enrieh and 
substantiate hia accounts by diligent and extensive research. 
He has not wished to conceal the sources from which he has 
drawn bis iDformation ; nor has bo scrupled, in some minute in- 
staDces, to employ the words of those writers from whom he has 
borrowed. He has often produced numerous authorities; not 
for ostentation, but to confirm interesting particulars, and to 
assist those who may be inclined to investigate facts, or to pursue 
the sabject under consideration. In important and controrerted 
points, he has iDdnstriousIy consulted the authorities on which 
his assertions rest ; but in matters of little moment, and where 
there could be no reason to suspect misrepresentation, he has 
Bometimes taken op with cited references. He has adopted that 
plan which he thought would render his book most generally 
useful ; and presumes, that the uninformed may find it an in- 
structire, and the learned a convenient compilation. 

■ Aa St Jerom, Orotius, Huet, Calmet, Du Pin, Patrick, Lowth, Ice 





Preftce v 

Introduction 1 

Of the Pentateuch 25 

Genesis 43 

EsoduB 63 

Leviticus 50 

Numbers (JI 

Deuteronomy 64 

General Preface to the Historical Books (S8 

Joshua 76 

Judges 8*2 

Ruth 88 

The Firet Book of Samuel 92 

The Second Book of Samuel 96 

The Firet Book of Kings 98 

The Second Book of Kings 101 

The First Book of Chronicles 104 

The Second Book of Chronicles 107 

Ezra 109 

Nehemiah 114 

Esther 119 

Job 122 

Psalms 138 

Proverbs 149 

Ecclesiastes 155 

The Song of Solomon 100 

General Preface to the Prophets 167 

Isaiah 193 

Jeremiah 200 

The Lamentations of Jeremiah 206 

Ezekiel 210 

Daniel 217 

General Preface to the Minor Prophets 224 

Hoeea 228 

Joel 233 

Amos 236 

Ohadiah 239 

Jonah 242 

Micah 247 

Nahnm 250 

Habakknk 253 

Zephaniah 257 

Haegai 259 

ZecKlriah 262 

Malachi 269 

-TV. Google 


Preface to the Apocryphal Books 272 

The First Book of EsdraB 279 

The Second Book of Esdras 282 

Tobit 289 

Judith 295 

The reel of the Chapters of Esther 300 

The Wisdom of Solomon 304 

Ecclesiasticus 310 

Baruch 317 

The Sonjr of the Three Children 322 

The History of Susannah 324 

The History of Bel and ihe Dragon 327 

The Prayer of Manasseh 329 

The First Book of the Maccabees 333 

The Second Book of the Maccabees 335 


Preface 346 

Introduction 349 

Chronology of Christ's Public Ministry 358 

A Key to the New Testament 360 

The Gospel according to St. Matthew 363 

The Gospel according to St. Mark 367 

The Gospel according to St. Luke 370 

The Gospel according to St. Joha 373 

The Acts of the Apostles 376 

Of the Epistles 378 

Epistle to the Romans 380 

First Epistle to the Corinthians 385 

Second Epistle to the Corinthians 387 

Episile to the Galatians 388 

Epistle to the Ephesians 390 

Epistle to the Phiiippians 391 

Epistle to the Colossians 393 

First Epistle to the Thessalonians 393 

Second Epistle to the Thessalonians 394 

First Epistle to Timothy 394 

Second Epistle to Timothy 396 

Epistle to Titus 396 

Epistle to Philemon 398 

Epistle to the Hebrews 399 

Catholic Epistle of St. James 402 

First E|)istte of St. Peter 402 

Second Epistle of St. Peter 403 

First Epistle of St. John 404 

Second and Third Epistles of St. John 40.5 

Catholic Epistle of 8t. Jude 405 

Revelation of St. John 400 

A Key to the Prophecies contained in the Revelation 409 



Thb Bible, which in its original import implies only the book," 
is a word appropriated, by way of eminence, to that collection 
of Scriptures which have at different times been composed by 
persons divinely inspired. It contains the several revelations 
delirered from Qod to mankind for their instruction. Those 
communicated before the birth of Christ, are included under that 
division of the Bible which is distingnished by the title of the 
Old Testament,'' and of that division only it is here meant to 
treat. The Old Testament comprehends all those aacred books 
which Were written by the descendants of Israel, s people 
selected by God for important purposes, to " be a kingdom of 
priests and an holy nation.^ ° Among this people, snccesdve 
prophets and inspired writers were appointed by God to convey 
such prophecies and instnictloos as were instrumental to the 
designs of his providence. As these scriptures were produced, 
they were admitted into the sacred volume, which by gradual 
accumnlation at length increased to its present nze. These 
being delivered to the Hebrews, in their own language,** nith 
every mark that could characterize divine revelations, were re- 
ceived with reverence, and preserved with the most anxious 
care and attention. Such only were accepted, as proceeded 
from persons unquestionably invested with the prophetic cha- 
racter,' or evidently authorized by a divine commission, who 
acted under the sanction of public appointment and miraculous 
support. The books which contained the precepts of the pro- 
phets, contained also the proofe of their inspiration, and the 
testimonies of their character. By recording contemporary 

the Koran meuii the caiding.' The boeka of ttie Old Testaraenl are the 

^ TeilBineiiteigTuGeacaTenaBt,UTeeably only writing! now eitant in pure Hebrew, 

tfl the import of the ilebraw WDid Berilh. ' Joseph. conL Apion. lib. i. 
Hieron. in Mnlach. rap. ii. 



events, the; appealed to well known evidence of their authority, 
their impartiality, and their adherence to tmth ; and every 
sacceeding prophet confirmed the character of his predecessor, 
by relating the accompliehment of prophecy in the history of 
his own period, or bore testimony to his pretensions by re- 
peating and explaining his predictions. 

To the writings of these inspired persons, other prodnctions 
were afterwards annexed, on account of their valuable contents 
and instmctive tendency, though their claims to inspiration 
have been justly rejected. Such only as were undeniably 
dictated hy the Spirit of God, were considered by the Jews as 
canonical,' and such only are received by us as a rule of &ith 
and doctrine. The contents of the first division of the Bible are 
therefore distinguished into two classes. The first containing 
the books of acknowledged inspiration ; the second comprisiug 
those which are entitled Apocryphal, as being of dubious or 
suspected character and authority. The latter will be spoken 
of in a proper place ; as in the present preliminary dissertation it 
is purposed to treat of such only as are canonical, and to trace a 
short sketch of their history in a general way, a particular account 
of each individual book being reserved for a separate chapter. 

Though the hooka of the Old Testament are not always 
chronologically arranged according to the order in which they 
were written, yet the Pentateuch was probably the first of 
those productions which are ooutiuned in the inspired volome. 

These five books, written by the hand of Moses, and coose- 
queutly iree from error, were secured as a sacred deposit in the 
tabernacle, where the ark of the covenant was placed ;■ and were 
kept there, as well during the journey through tbe wilderness, as 
tor some time after at Jerusalem. To the same sanctuary were 
consigned, as they were succesrively produced, all those his- 
torical" and prophetical books which were written &om the time 
of Josbus to that of David, including their own works ; during 
which period a series of prophets flourished in regular succession. 
Solomon, having afterwards erected a temple to the honour of 

' The word Canon ia dsriTed Sitym no- in which they wgre written i thcf wen 
mv, which may be intetpreled, a rule or pcrhapt not amnged at Grtt accuding to 
ealilagne. Athui. toL x. p. 22B. Hieron. dalei, or the; might have been accid«nttlly 
ioLz.p. 41. It here meanii a rula of doc- tranipoaed in the manoteript roUi: in 

di^rent Toruons thej are diffennlly plaixd. 

Dnpin Ditaert PreL lib. i. c 1. wet 7. 



Ood,' appointed that in fbture the sacred books should be de- 
posited in this holy receptade, and enriched the collection by the 
inspired productions of his own pen. After him, a succession of 
illnstrioas prophets continued to denounce vengeance against the 
disobedience of the Hebrew nation, and to predict the calamities 
which that disobedience must inevitably produce. Jonah, Amos, 
Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Micah, Nahom, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, 
Habakkok, and Obadiab, saccessively flouiished before the 
destmctioa of the temple, and contributed, by their unerring 
predictions, to demonstrate the attributes and designs of Provi- 
dence, and to enlatge the volume of inspired wisdom by io- 
vatuable additions. 

Aboat four hundred and twenty years after its foundation,^ 
tiie temple being rifled and burnt by Nebnchadneszar, the 
original maDuscripts of the law and of the prophetical writings 
mnst have been removed, and were possibly carried to Babylon ; 
except indeed we suppose, that the part of the Hebrew nation 
which remained at Jerusalem obtained permisedon, or found 
means to retain them.' Those Hebrews who were dispersed tn 
the captivity, probably used such copies as had been previously 
distributed ; though Daniel, who refers to the law,*" might, by 
his interest with the Babylonish kings, have procured access to 
the original, if we suppose it to have been transferred to Babylon. 
Within the seventy years during which the Jews were detained 
in captivity, were composed the affecting Lamentations of Jere- 
miah, the consolatory prophecies of Ezekiel, and the history and 
prophecies of Daniel. On the accession of Gyms to the throne 
of Persia, the Jews, being released from their captivity, returned 
to Jerusalem about A.M. 3468, having doubtless procured or 
recovered the original books of the Law and of the Prophets, with 
a design to place them in the temple ; which, after much oppo- 
ntioD from the Samaritans, they rebuilt in about twenty years, 
being encouraged to persevere in this pious work by the exhorta- 
tions of Haggai and Zechariah ; they also restored the divine 
worship according to the law. About fifty years afler the 
temple was rebuilt, Ezra, whoj since the return from Babylon, 

' The temple to dedicated ibont A. M. hundred and ejghtf-ui jetai before Cbriit. 
3000; ' Id the account dT the Uung> cairied lo 

* JoMphD* njt, four hundred and ae- BabyloD, no menUon i> made of the taari 
vsntj ; othoi, four hundred and tventj- booka. 2 King* ixt i 2 Chianieln uxri ; 
dgfat. Uihel. four hundred and twenty. Jerem. liii. 
bar yean. It mii deitroyed about five ■ Dan. ii. 11, 13. 

, ,, Google 


had been engaged in restoring the Jewish churcb, is related hy 
traditioD to have made, in conjunction with the great STnagogue, 
a collection of the sacred writtDgB;" and being aa»sted by the 
Holy Spirit, he was enabled to discriminate what was antbentic 
and divine, and to reject sach parts as rested but on false pre- 
tensions: this collection was, therefore, tree from error, and 
rescued from all accidental corruptions. It must be observed, 
however, that as a long residence in Ghaldea, during which the 
Jews were dispersed and separated from each other, had so &r 
precluded the use of the Hebrew letters that thej were almost 
forgotten and superseded hj those of Ghaldea, Ezra, partly in 
compliance with custom, and partly to differ from the Samari- 
tans, which obnoxious sect employed the old Hebrew letters, 
sabstituted the Cbaldeim or square letters, which we now call 
the Hebrew, for those which prevmled previously to the cap- 
tivity," as we changed our old black letter for the Roman cha- 
racters. There have, indeed, been some disputes on this subject, 
but this opinion seems to be best supported.' 

To this genuine collection of Ezra, were afterwards annexed 
his own sacred writings, as well as those of Nehemiab and of 
Malacbi. These were probably inserted into the Canon by 
Simon the Just, who is related to have been the last of the 
great synagogue,*) and by this addition was completed the Canon 
of the Old Testament ; for from Malachi, no prophet arose till 
the time of John the Baptist, who, aa it were, connected the two 

■ Nshem. tiiL 1,S,3. Joseph, lib. L cont. * Thii vcooat ii ftmnded on a Jewiah 
ApiaiL Tract. HegU. in Otraar, aip. 3. tradition g«nrnll; ncattd, aud it related 
Kienm. cant HcIt. cap. 1. Hilar. Prolog, on the te«timanie> of EiiHbiiu and St. Jo- 
in Piolin. Anguat. da Mirab. Sac Scrip, nna ; bnl dio*e who maintain that the 
lib. ii. Indor. Orig. lib. n. cap. t . Geneb. tquaie were the andent Hebrew letlw^ 
ChiDD. p. clmiii. and cdi. et ad A. M, bars attempted to intelidate these ao- 
3640. Jans, ad Cap. 46. Ecdes. Bnitorl thoritJea. Tbe Csnoa, however, waa cer- 
Tiberioi, tap. II. Com. in Maioi. Theo- tainly composed abont the time at Ena, if 
dor. Praf. in Psalm. Piid. Connect, part i. not b; himself. Vid. Eiueb. Chron. ad 
books. Dupin Die*. Pnl. A.M. 4740. Hienm. Prsf. ad 3 Keg.Com. 

' Some aauit alao, that Em introduced in Eiekiel, in FroL Qal. et Sizt. Senena. 
(bo points, or choiwrten which aerre to lib. ii. Biblioth. Sanct. Morin. Cong. Orat. 
BaA the Hebrew Towelt ; others maintain, Also Scaliger, Bochart, Canubon, VossioiB, 
that these an ■• ancient as tbe language ; Orotiui, Walton, and Capellui. 
and a thiid class, tbat the; went iaTented bj 1 The gnat ayoagogne is a term applied 
the doctors of tbe school of Tibeiiai, gene- by the Jews to a nicieBaion of eldert, sop- 
Tall; called the Moiorites, about five posed to bare amounted to one hondred 
handred yean after Christ, or, as some (ay, and Iwoaty, who had the gaveninient of 
later. Tbe Mawriles seem to have been a the Jenisb church after tbe captivity. 
snccesiion of critica, professing e tiadi- They arc said to have superinlended and 
tionary science of reading the scripture, ai dosed the Couon of the Scriptures, Vid. 
the CabaliaU did of iot«ipnting it. PriJ. Cnn. An. 293. 

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coTeiUDts, ftod of whom Malacbi prophesied, that he shoold 
precede the great day of the Lord.' 

This Canon of the Old Testament was by the Jews compated 
to conbUD twenty-two books,* a number analogous to that of the 
letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and corresponding with the cata- 
logue of those which are received by our church as canonical. 
With the Jews, however, Judges and Bnth were reckoned but 
as one book ; as likewise the two books of Samuel, those of 
Kings and of Chronicles, were respectively united into ungle 
books ; Ezra and Nehemiah. were also joined together, as the 
prophecies and Umentation of Jeremiah were taken under one 
head ; so that if we conuder the twelve minor prophets, as they 
were comprehended in the Jewish Oanon, as one book, the 
nnmber of the books will be exactly twenty-two. If the prophets 
wrote any other books, they are now lost; hot as no more were 
admitted into the Canon, we have reason to suppose that no 
more were inspired, though many other books are mentioned 
and referred to in the scriptures, which having no preteuNons to 
inspiration, were never received into the sacred list.' These 
twenty-two books have an anquestionable title to be conndered 
as the genniae and inspired productions of those authors to 
whom they are severally assigned. They contain prophecies,^ 
and every other intrinsic proof of their divine origin ; they were 
received as authentic by the Hebrews, and pronounced to be 
inspired oracles by the evangelical writers, who cite them as 
complete and nncormpted. They were likewise considered as 
exclusively canonical in the Christian church, during the four 
first centuries; after which, some provincial councils attempted 
to increase the number by some apocryphal books, which, how- 
ever, they annexed only as of secondary authority, till the 

r M^h^h Jt, 5. ihall groir fTDm hii root j" or he migfat nfec 

■ Joeeph. eonl. Apion. Mb. i. Hieron. to the prophetic acconnti in general, whicb 

PnL Qaleat Siit ScDani, lib. L e. 2. bad ibreiold that Chriit ibauld bo conH- 

Epi^aiL&i:, crated to Ood,uialL the Nararitea were. The 

' Orig. Horn. i. in Quit Angmt da erangeliita oiuallj dte more according to 

Grit Dei, lib. iniL eaf. SB. qwrat. 42. in the leuie than to the wordi ; and thej 

Nomb. It hat been aajd, Ukewiie, that aometimee perbapa allnde to well known 

acme paia^ea are dted b; the eran^liati, traditioDBl propbedea, to " that whicb ma 

■a from tbe prophetic writingi, which are ipoken by the propheta." See other in- 

■M extant in them, aa in Matt. ii. 23 j bnt atiincea in Ephea. t. 14 ; 2 Tim. iii, 8 ; 

St. Matthew might here aUude to Ja^ Jamci it. S ; Jnde 14, IS ; which refer to 

iiiL G, or to Inuh iL 1, where, according paaugea not now eilant, or to traditional 

to 8L Jeran, " a branch ahall go out of bii relations. Hieion. de Upt OeD. Inteipr. 

root," might be tranalaled, " a Naaaritc vol. i. p. 122. 



comicil of Trent prononnced them to be equally inftlHble ia doc- 
trine and tmth." 

The Jews divided the sacred books into three claeses/ The 
first, which they called tbe Law, contained, as was before observed, 
the five books of Moses. The second originally included thirteen 
books, which they considered as the words of the prophets. 
The third comprised four hooks, called by the Jews, Chetubim, 
and by the Greeks, Hagiographa; these are conceived to have 
been tbe Psalms, and the Uiree hooks of Solomon.' The scrip- 
tares were so divided in the time of Josephua,* probably with- 
ODt any respect to enperiority of inspiration, but for distinction 
and commodious arrangement. From the time of St. Jerom, 
the second class has been deprived of some books,* which have 
been thrown into the third class ; and the Hebrew doctors have 
invented many fanciful refiDements, concerning the nature and 
degrees of inspiration which are to be ascribed to the books of 
each class respectively. They assign an higher authority to 
the hooks of tbe two first divisions, though they attribute also 
the writings included in the third class to the suggestion of the 
sacred Spirit.'' It would be idle to trouble the reader with the 
discussion of these, and auch-iike rabbinical conceits; and it may 
be sufficient here to remark upon this sabject, that though the 
scripture mentions different modes by which £^od communicated 
bis instructions to the prophets, and particularly attributes a 
superior degree of eminence to Moses, yet that these difierences, 
and this distinction, however they may affect the dignity of the 
minister employed, cannot be supposed to increase or to lessen 
the certainty of the things revealed. Whatever God conde- 
scended to communicate to mankind by bis servants, must be 
equally intalhble and true,* whether derived from immediate 
converse with him, from an external voice, or from dreams or 
visions, or lastly from the internal and enlightening influence of 
the Holy Spirit. The mode of communication, where the agency 
of Providence is established, can in no respect exalt or depreciate 
the intrinsic character of the thing revealed. 

■ Pn&ce to the Kpocryphal boalcL ■ Job, Duiid, Em, I 

» Prolog, to Ecclua. Philo de Vita two boohi of Chronklei. 

Contemp. p. 691. ^ Maimou. Mor. Nnnich. ch. 84 ; ■ 

1 SiiU Senen. Bib. Sac cap. 6. p. 313. Smith on Prnphtt:} ; ■!» Mim. Jad, c. 

andVittin. Obier™uS«cUb.Ticap. 6. p. n.6. Baxa Bathta, cap. 1. 

S13. < 2 Tin. iii. Ifl. 

* JoKph. codL Apion. lib. i. 



Other diviaiona, besides tbat slreody mentioned, were After- 
vaids adopted, and the order of the books was Bometimes 
changed, as design or accident might prodnce a transposttionf 
bnt no addition or diminution whatever was permitted to be 
made among the Jews;'' " never any man," says Josephng, *' hath 
dared to add to, or to diminish from, or to alter aught in them;* 
though other books were written which deserved not the same 
credit, because there was no certain euccesaion of prophets from 
the time of Artaxerxes ; and it was a maxim ingrafted into the 
Jews in their youth, to esteem these writings as the oracles of 
God, and remaining constant in their veneration, willingly to 
die for them, if necessary." Thus were they consigned to iht 
reverent acceptance of posterity, and consecrated by the appro- 
bation and testimony of Christ himself who stamped as anthentio 
the liaw of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms;' (the Psalms, 
comprehending nnder that title the Hagiographa ;) * the apostles 
likewise confirmed the same.'' 

Besides the great temple at Jerusalem, many synagognea were 
founded after the return from the captivity, and furnished by 
the industry of the rulers of the church with copies of this 
authentic collection of the scriptures; so that though Antiochus 
Epiphaneg, in the persecution which he carried on against the 
religion of the Jews, tore in pieces, and afterwards burnt the 
sacred original of Ezra, and such copies as he could procure,' still, 
as faithful copies existed in all parts, the malevolence of his in- 
tention was baffled by God's providence ; and Judas Maccabtsoe^ 
when he had recovered the city and purified the temple, procured 
for it a perfect and entire collection of the soriptares, or perhaps 
deposited therein that which had belonged to his &ther Mat- 
tathias,'' and doubtless supplied such synagogues with fresh 
copies, as bad been plnndered during the persecution. Many of 
these, however, must have perished with the synagogues that 
were destroyed by the armies of Titus and Vespasian ; though 

' Hienc. pneE in Lib. Reg. Bara Bathm, 

pinC in Du. Epiphan. Homil. mix. cap. 

sp. 1. MaimoD. in Txi Cban. p. 2. f. 95. 


ud R. Gcdnliu in SclulMh hakkab. £ 67. 

" Acta iU. 18; iriiL 28; niT. 14; 

• DeaL It. 3. and JoKph. conL Anion. 

rrri. 22, 27 ; iiTiii. 2S ; ini. 7 ; Bom. 

Kh.L ED«b.Hi.t.Eccle^Ub.iil cap. 3,10. 

iiL 2 ; XT. 4 ; Heb. i. 1 ; 2 Tim. iii. 16 ; 

Prap. EtangeL lib. viiL 

IPeteriL6i SPeteri.lil; ActaTiii.32; 

'M«tt.».17,lB,39i xiL42i iiii.39; 

Rom. iv, 3 ; iz. 17 ; X. 4. 

rrri. 64 ; Luke iri. 16 i xiir. 37, 44 ; 

' 1 Mace. i. 57. Jo^ph. Antiq. lib. zil 

Jrfm i 45 ; T. 89. 

cap. 7. Snlpit. 8... Hirt. 8m. Ub. ii. 
^ 1M«x.iL4e; iii.4a; oL»i3UMe. 

« PWlo de ViU Contemp. lih. tL Jo«ph. 

cmtn Apon. lib. L Hteron. in Prolog, in 

ii.l4i Tin. 33; IT. 9. 

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the religious veneratioD of the Jews for their Bcriptnres, resened 
every copy that could be saved from the general destruction 
which OTerwhelmed their country, aa .the scriptures furnished 
them considerable consolation ia all their afflictions. Josephus 
himself, we are informed, obtained a copy from Tittis ; ' and the 
authentic volume, which till this final' demolition had been de- 
posited in the temple, was carried in triumph to Rome, and 
placed with the purple veils in the temple of Peace ;'° so that 
henceforth no copy of the Hebrew scriptures was preserved 
from injury by the vigilance of public guardians, except those 
which were kept in the scattered synagogues of foreign and dis- 
persed Jews ;° and it is from this time, probably, that errors and 
corruptions crept into the sacred text. As there was no longer 
any established standard of correctness, by which the fidelity of 
different copies could be tried, faults and mistakes were inseo- 
ribly introduced ; the carelessness of transcribers occasioned ac- 
cidental omissious; marginal annotations" were adopted into 
the text ; and the resemblances between different Hebrew letters, 
of which many are remarkably similar in form, contributed, with 
other circumstances too numerous to be here specified, to produce 
alterations and imperfections in the different copies ; which, from 
the difficulty of collating maouscripts for correction, were Dece»- 
aarily perpetuated. 

Hence originated those various readings and occasional dif- 
ferences which we find in the several manuscripts of the Hebrew 
Bible ; and these differences must have considerably mnltiplied, 
since it was enacted by s constitution of the elders, that every 
man should possess a private copy of the scriptures. Fortunately, 
however, it has happened, that these differences are seldom im- 
portant in their nature or consequences; as appears from a 

' Vide hit own Ufo. tioni tie by vnae ascrilxd to Em; but m 

■■ De BeU. Jnd. cap. 5. the; ue foimd in hii booki, ai well >■ in 

■ The Jewiih iTnagi^iiei inallcaiuilTira tbon which wen inaerted in the Canon 

were niimeroiu : whenrcc the apottlei after his time, ihey teem to be csDJectuial 

preached thej tbimd theni ; they were emendatiani at canupted pasngei by later 

eatabliihed by the direction of the rabUiii wrilen, probably bythegreatiynagogue, m 

in every pltice where thera wan tan penon* the Manriles : theu worai amoont to ahfiDt 

of fdH age and free condition. Vid. M^ill. one Ihoannd ; and oil, except a lery few, 

tap. I. KcL 3. Mumon. in TephiH XJJ^t- bava been found in the leiti of different 

(oofi Harmony, kcL 17. Exercit. in St. manoicripta. Vid. Kennicott Diu. Oenor. 

Matt. iviiL Vitring. ObKrrst. Sac. tdL iL ca^ 19. 

° The Hebiew Biblei hare nuuginal Capellus, MorinDi, Walton, Anan. Panct. 

readings, called keri, wMch lipiifie*, that BeT. lib. i, 041. 5. Boxlorf. Vind. Verit. 

which i* rod, (the text ia called cetib, that Heb. par. il C 4. 

which ia written:) ihoae maiginal Tiria- 



collation of those varioos copies which pious and munificent 
men have iadnHtrionsly collected : and it should indeed seem to 
be as especial effect of some peculiar providence, that those 
passages which relate to faith and doctrine, those which describe 
the attributes and perfections of CK>d, and treat concerning our 
obligations and dut^, afe in general preserved uniform aiid un- 
corrupted. Secure in their integntj from the consistent testi- 
monies of every copy, we may confidently rely on the instruo- 
tions whidh they reveal, and stedfastly adhere to the principles 
which tbey inculcate. 

There could not indeed be any temptation for the Jews de- 
signedly to corrupt the doctrine of their scriptures, before the ap- 
pearance of the Messiah ; during the greater part of which time 
it was watched over by the prophets : and had such a design 
prevailed dnce the birth of Christ, the Jews would not have 
overlooked those passages which so strongly authenticate our 
Savionr's preteodons ; '' indeed, such a design must then have 
been fimtless, since it could not be general, and it must have 
been liable to immediate detection ; for as Christianity was built 
tm the foundation of the Old Testament, and appealed to the 
Hebrew scriptures for its support, wherever the gospel was re- 
ceived, the law and the prophets were called into notice and 
esteem, and preserved vrith as much care and vigilance as pre- 
vuled among the Jews ; and when the Christian converts were 
conmianded, under the Dioclesian persecution, to surrender them, 
they stigmatized such as complied with the requisition, as be- 
trayers.^ Copies then most have multiplied by increasing 
veneration ; and however trivial inaccuracies might proportion- 
ably prevail, contrived alteration must have become more imprac- 
ticable. Thus every circumstance seems to have conspired to pre- 
serve the integrity of the scriptures free from a suspicion of in- 
tended corruption, or of change in any essential point. The jealous 
care with which tbey were preserved in the tabernacle and in the 

P When tho Hebrew text difien &em and m; fest, cm hudlT be conrnved to 

tbe Qnek, it ii •ometiDin mora nn&ionr- bavc been hitentioDallf dtered to nonienH ; 

able to the Jeviih d^iuddb, ai in Pajin ii. nor ia it probabia thai two Tcnca ihonld 

13. The pnusEe in the 16th tene of the liaTe been deiignedlj ooiitted from ch. x*. 

niid Pialm, which haa been prodnced aa a of Joihna, merel; becaiue they deacribe, aa 

oonnned olteTation, ia certainly onlj lor- in the Septnaoint, that Bethldirm wm in 

nipled by acddeDi ; for tiu copiea which, the temioiy af Jndah, a dmmialBnce otber' 

diSwiiig ftoin the Septnsgint, inatead of wiae well known. 
riD cam, " they piereed" my hands and ' Traditorea. 
feet, nad ''^1*3 coari, " ai a lion" my hiuida 

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tample, being not more calcnlated to Becnre th«r iotegritj, than 
Hkot reverence wbicli afterwards displayed itself in the dispersed 
s^iagognes, and in the churches consecrated to the Christian 
&ith ; and hence we find in the scriptures only snch corruptions 
as mi^t have been accidentally produced/ The most ancient 
Hebrew maoascripts that modem inquiry hath ever been able to 
procure, do not nsually seem to be above six or seven hundred 
years old, and none exceed the age of nine hundred; these 
however have been copied from others more ancient. In propor^ 
tion to their antiquity, they are found to be more &ee from 
corruptions,* and for the reason before assigned ; that these cor- 
ruptions are but the natural effects of ireqnent transcription, the 
consequence of careless haste, or casual inadvertency. In im- 
portant points, almost all, though collected at different times, and 
in different places, correspond, or are easily reconcileable with each 
other. But the purity of the sacred volume is established, not 
merely by the general coincidence of the Hebrew copies; it is still 
finrther proved, beyond a posnbtlity of suspicion, by the agreement 
which subsists between the Hebrew aucl the Samaritan Penta- 
teuch,' and by the correspondence preserved in the Septnagint 
version of the Old Testament (as collected by Ezra) with the 
original Hebrew. 

The Samaritan Pentateuch is a copy of the Hebrew original, 
and, according to the most general and best supported opinion, 
written in the old Hebrew or Phoenician characters." Though 

' 3h Horiaiia, Cnpelliu, Orotiaa, and prietthood, thc;r diaregBnled not only tb* 
Kannicotl's Bible. The precapta of Krip- booki which were written inbieqntnUj to 
tore are generallj repeated in the different the revolt of the ten tribci, and which wen 

Embers Trensus, Bezo, &c 

unusT __ — o_ , ., .. 

Aaron, and who oSei up their aacrijke upon 

■ The Samaritana, whether the deicaid- Mount Oerinm to thii da;. The chief 

aat> of the ten tribea who leceded ander port of ihia lect rende at Sichem, wUcb 

the reign of Rchoboain, or of the colony wa> anerwarda called Flaria Neapolia, uid 

■^ to have been bronehl from Cnth, or now Naplouia. They have >;iugognes in 

other parU of Aujria, (2 King* xviL 24.) other porta of Paleatine, and are numerona 

profoMod the Hebrew religion, and had a in Syria and Egypt, and HHne of them an 

temple, a pciett, and a penlateucli. When diapened in the north of Europe. Vid. 

that Pentaleoch waa copied, ii nncartain ; Joieph. Ant. lib. ii. Prid. Con. part i. 

gome ny, at the lima of their fint roToli ; book 6. Beajamin Tad. Itiner. Onuen. in 

otben contand that it waa copied from Vita. Piereidi, and Hotting. Bib. Critic. 

Kin'n colieotion, aa it coBtaini aome intec- Scalig. de Emend. Temp. 

poUtioiu aacribed to him. Ai the Samaii- ■ Scaliger, Voaaiua, CapollDi. UniTCt. 

tana rejected the regnlationa eat^liahed by Hial-book 1. cb. 7. Prid. Coa. put L boak 

Joahoa, ai alio the authority of the Hebrew 6. 

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this Samaritan copy Iios some varistioDS, tranepostlons, and ad- 
ditionB, which render it different in some respects from the Hebrew 
mannseripte, yet these are never of sach a nature as to impeach 
the integrity of the scripture doctrine, or to lesaen our confidence 
in the pnrity of the Hebrew copies; for if we except some 
chronological variations, which are perhaps not utterly irrecon- 
dleable, and a desired alteration discovered io the Samaritan 
Pentatench, that was manifestly inserted to support an opinion 
that Mount Gerizim" was the place which God had chosen for hia 
temple, we shall find that the variations of this copy are not more 
than might reasonably be expected &om frequent transcription 
during a period of two thousand years :^ for so long a time had 
elapsed, from the apostacy of Manasseh ' to the introduction of 
ibis copy into Eoiope. 

This common agreement is therefore a striking proof of the 
general integrity of the difierent copies; and we shall be still 
farther convinced that the sacred volume has preserved ita 
genuine purity in every important point, if we consider how 
little the Septua^t version of the scriptures differs from the 
Hebrew copies, notwithstanding the many ages that have elapsed 
aiuce the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the king of Egypt, who 
was the second monarch of the Macedonian race, about two 
hundred and seventy years before Christ, and under whose reign 
this translation was made into Greek. It has been maintained 
indeed by some learned men, that only the Pentatench was 
translated at first, and that the other books * were rendered into 
Greek successively at different times ; however this may have 
been, they were all translated long before the birth of Christ,'' 

They have put Qe- ipaken Bmong them, Ibeir langnoge being 

; into thii yene. now » mnupied bj tor - 

•oppiiKd to baTF hod to be rer; diiieKnt fron 

■ Onek mniUtioii of the SBnuuiUo Penta- riton. Thia tianilation 

tescb,bnl &om the lixthlo thewTenteentli Pant and London Psljgloti, and ii ta 

cmtarj no mention ii made of the Samaritan literal, that Msrinue and Walton thought 

PeDlalench ; Scaliger Gnl lamented, that no that one Tereion wonld serre fiii both, onlj 

one had pTociued a copy of the original, noting the variationa. Vid. Prid. Con. 

In amiequence of lhi« hint, the learned port ii. book I. 

Ushei obtained two or three copiea of it by ' The aan-in-law of SanbalUt, who wa* 

iiieaiuofSirThomaaDBTii,thenalAleppoi compelled by Nehen' ' ' ' 

It long after, Sanciui Harley, a priert and who carried away a copy of the law to 

B oratory of Parii, bronghl home Samaria. He ii called Manosaeb by Jo«e- 

KDOthei, whicb he depoaited in the Ubisry phiu. Vid. Nehem. liii. 28, Jowph. Antiq. 

<tf hi* oidei at Parii, from which copy ub. xi. cap. 7. 

Uorinni pobliihed it in the Paria PolygloL ■ Enaeb. Demonat ETang. lib. ilL cap. 

Vid. Prid. Con. part i. book 6. The alt. Hody da BibL Text. Origan. Ac. 

B« marilan a haTs likewiM a traoalallon of * The Septn^;int waa probably the 

Ihk Pentaleaeh into the language Tulguty Tsnioa into the Oreek, Aoogh aouM Imtc 

traoalallon of * The Septn^iint waa probably the tint 



This veraioD lias no important Tariations from the Hebrew, 
except in some chronological accoants, occasioned probably by 
the carelessness of the copyists.* It was used in all those conn- 
triea where Alexander had established the Grecian language, 
and seems to have been admitted into the Jewish synagugaes in 
Judfea, and even st Jerusalem, where that language prevailed ; 
and the Septoag^t was certainly most used there in the time c^ 
oar Savionr, for the citations in the New Testament from the 
Old seem to have been made according to that version.'* At 
that period then it was miquestionably an anthentic copy of the 
inspired books, or it wonld not bare received the sanction of 
our Saviour and of his apostles ; and though since Uiat time it 
has been rejected by the Jews, on account of the estimatioD in 
which it was held by the Christians, yet was it for the two first 
centuries exclusively nsed, and has ever smce been held in great 
veneration by the Christian chnrch, as a very faithful, tbongh 
not a literal version. 

eonUnded that Ihue waa a preTJoni tniu- itMlct* which be ha* prodond, ds sot prove 

btion into that language, made befetc that Aey nfened to th« Hsbraw ; and tho 

Aleiaudec'^ eipedltion. Vid. Aiimit. ds erai^luta Mmnliiiw* cita from the Scpluo- 

CiTit. Dei,lib.iTiiLcaii. 11. Hoal. Piop.iT. gint when it difien from tho Hebnv, at id 

cap. 12. KcL 3. The account of tbe Sep- Rom. i. IS, from Pialm xii. i ; Rom. xt. 

towint tnnilaUon, attributed to Ariitteai, 12, from Iviah li. 10. In the time of 

U toaded with h manj &bn]oui dtcom- Cbiiit, the original and the tnuulalioa 

Btancea, that it daerrei but little credit, agreed moie exictl; thoD they now do, aa 

though repeated by Philo, JoKphu*, and many conuptiaDi mait have been lubaa- 

other vrilen. Vid. Ariatsaa Hill. 70. In- quent to that period ; it ii thBrefore in 

terp. Philo in Vit. Mot. lib, iL JoKpb. lome degree nncertaiD, whether tbe ala- 

Antiq. lib. lii. cap. 2. Irenm. ItLlii. cap. tiona are made from the Hebrew or from 

2S. The tTnth KcmB to be, that a Tenioa the Septoagint, though ther appear indeed 

nas bq;un in the reigu of Ptolemy, and to be made chiefly &om the latter, except 

perhapi finlahed at diffitrent tiuiei, for the perhapa by St. Matthew, who probably 

u» of the Alexandrian Jewa, but before the writing in Hebrew, might dte from the 

time that the book of Eccleoaaticua wa> Hebrew. Vid. Hieron. adv. Ruilin. Medo** 

written, and conBequenlly at leait two cen- Worka, p. 785. Di. Brett imagine* that 

turiea before Chriit. Vid. Prolog, to Eo- our Saviour read out of a toigom when he 

doa. Hody de BibL TeiL lib iL ap. B, read tbe leaaon in the ajusgogoe ; vid. 

Comp. 2 Sam. zxiL with Ptalm xviiL Other Lake iv. 18, comp. with Iniah lii. 1 ; and 

tranilatioiu into Oieelc were afterwarda that he cited a paiaphraae on the crou; 

made by Aqoila, Tbeodolian, and Symma- vid. Matt xzviL 46 ; for Sabecthani ia 

cbua. Vid. Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. i. r. found only in tbe ChaUoic tongna, and in 

EnKb.Finp-ETan.c6. Frid. Con. put iL the Hebrew it ii •iruw janbtanl Chriat 

book 1. ud the apoatlea probably cited what waa 

= In the fifth and eleventh ehapten of nioat known to the Jewa, the senie being 

Genciia, every patriarch 11 laid to have hired the tame, whether &om original, verrion, 

one hundred yean longer, according to the o, paiaphraae, Tbe ianguage ipoken by 

Septaagin^ than in the Hebrew, except a,e Jewa in our Savionr'i time waa the 

Jarod and Melbuaalam. Hebrew mixed with tbe Chaldaic and 8y- 

■" Sl Jerom waa of opinion, that the riac, which dialecta compou likewiae the 

evangelical wntem died ft™ the Septna- baaii of the modem Hebrew; Greek how- 

gint when it did not differ from the Hebrew, e^er waa generally undentood. Vid. Brelfa 

but that they had recourae to the original Diwert. on the ancient veraion of the Bible, 

when there waa any difference ; but the in- Blair'* Lecturea, Ac. 

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ThuB does the general coincidenGe between the Hebrew copies, 
the Snniaritan Pentateach, aud the Septoagint Tersion of the 
Old Testament, demonstrate the nnaltered integrity of the 
scriptures in important points, as we now possess them ; and this 
integrity is still farther confirmed by the conformity which sub- 
sists between those Tarioos transUtions of the Bible into different 
languages, which have been performed nnce the time of onr Sa- 
viour.' It appears, therefore, that from the time of their first 
inspiration to the present day, the sacred writings hare been dis- 
persed into so many different hands, that no possible opportunity 
could be furnished for confederate corruption, and every designed 
alteration most immediately have been detected. The first He- 
brew Bibles were published towards the conclusion of the fifteenth 
century, by the Jews of Italy.' Many were afterwards pub- 
lished at Venice, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, as well as in other 
places, which have their respective merits and defects; but per- 
haps the most important edition, that which does honour to our 
country, is the celebrated work of the late Dr. Eennicott, who, a 
few years since, published his Bible, containing the very accn- 
rate text of Yander Hooght, with the variations of near seven 
hundred different mannscripte, collected at a great expense, and 

■ The genera] integrity of the tert u or third port to the edidoD of the Frnpheli, 

likewise confinned by the eiideoce of the printed, according to Le Long, at Soncino, 

Chaldee paraphroMi, vhicb are callsd tai<' id 14(16. See Le LoDg uid Wo1£di, Bib- 

giona, 01 versiona ; theae were tranilationa lioC. Heb. 2. 397. Thia waa followed b; 

of the Old Teatament from the Hebrew maiiy othen. See Kenuicott'i HiaL of the 

into Chaldee, for the benefit of thoie who Hob. Text, uith perind. That of Vander 

had foivot the Hebrew a&er the captivity; Hooght, published at Amatcrdam in 1705, 

•rid. Ndiem, Tiii, S. The two mott ancient and that of Honbigant, pnbliahed in 1763, 

and anllientic. are that of Onkelot on the an the moat dia^guiahed and correct. 

Law, and that nf Jonathan on the Pro- The fint Bible, and it ahould leem tlie fint 

pheta; theae wen probably made aoon afier book that ever wai printed, wai a Latin 

the aptiiity, or at lesat before the time of Bible, pabliahed at Uenli, about A. D. 

Chriat, but they are blended with more 1452. A copy of a aecond or third edition 

Dndern commenla. The other taigmna are of thia, printed at Mentx in 1462, with 

of much later data The taiguma aie metal typea, by John Fauat (whom xHno 

printed in the aecond edition of the He- avppoas lo hare been the Erst printer) and 

brew Bible, pabliahed at Baal, by Bozlorf Peter Schaffer, ii in the king of Fiance'a 

the father, in 1610. Bbraiy ; and a grat Tolnmc of thia edition 

' The Hebrew BiUe, according to Hon- ia in the Bodleian library ; and another 

Ugant, (Pnileg. p. 94. 96,} wai firat first Tolume waa brought to England in the 

printed !^ R. Jacob ben Chaim ; but Ken- Pinelli collection, together wilh a laat 

nicDtt aaya, that thia wa* not publiihed till volume of one which had the appearance of 

l52S,aDd that therefore il wu mbseqnent b«ng atill more ancient; it had no date, 

to that revised by Felii Pratenus, pnb- There certainly were two Biblca published 

luhed at Venice, 1SI7. There is atill ex- before 1462 ; vid. Pinelli CDtalogae. Mi- 

tant in Eton libniry, a lellam copy of the chaet Mailtoire, Ann. Tjpogr. vol. L p. 27Z 

Chetnbim, or Hagiographe, printed, accotd- Catalog. Ilialorico-Critic. tiiblioth. Instruct. 

ing to Dr. Pellet's account, at Naplea, in vol TheoL p. 32. and 14 rol of Acad, des 

1487, and pltbably deaigned as a second Inacrip. p. 236. 



collated vith greid Isbonr and care,' together vitli the Tariatioiig 
of nnmberless Samaritan maDnscripts, compared with the Sbt 
maritan text, as published in the London Polyglot.** 

From the earliest ages of the primitive chnrch, translations 
have been made into varioos languages ;' but it would be foreign 
from the design of this introduction to enter into a particular 
account of the different versioiui that have been made, at dif- 
ferent times, into other languages : we are concerned only with 
our English translation, of which it may be necessary to give 
some account, after w^ shall have taken a short view of the pre- 
ceding verraons whioh have been made into the language of this 

It is possible, that the first inhabitants of Britain who are said 
to have been converted to Christianity, had at least some of the 
scriptures in their own tongue ;** but the earliest translations, of 
which we have any accoant in our history, are those of the 
Saxon writers, who enabled their countrymen to read the scrip- 
tures in their own language. It appears from writers con- 
temporary with Adelm, or Aldhelm, that there was then extant 
a translation of the scriptures, or of a part of them at least, in 
the vulgar tongue ;' and it is known that Adelm, who was the 
first bishop of Sherborne, translated the Psalter into the Saxon 
tongue, about A. D. 706. Ingulphus*" speaks of a Psalter of 
St. Gnthlack, who was a contemporary of Adelm, and the Urst 
Saxon anchorite, and who influenced Ethelbald, king of Mercia, 
to found the monastery of Croyland; and this Psalter, in the 
Latia tongue, Lambert professes to have seen" among the re- 
cords belonging to Croyland." This was soon followed by the 

( The Uuaed M. da Roui has ainoe ° There la alio ia the pnhlic Utmrj at 

pabliihad tha variatioiu of many men, Cambridge, a ttauiUtion of the Palma 

which he colUled. into halia and Engliah ; and anolher old 

* The void Polyglot a derired from I«tiii bBnilatiDn, with aa intcilineu; 

IlaAvi, much, and yXirrra, a tongue ; it Saion Tenion, wai in the Cotton libruy, 

meani a Bible with the leiti of aeveial ia the tame charactei with the charier of 

tanguagei : there are Polyglots pnbliahed la king Ethelbald, which ii dated at A. D. 

Spun, at Antwerp, at Pari*, and Londoa. 736. Vid. Uuer. Hiit. Dogmat. p. IIM. 

' Theodor. ad Ortec. InGd. Semu 5. Uiher informa na, that Mr. Rabert Bowjar 

Eiueb. Dem. Evan. lib. iiL c nlL Uaaer. wn* in poaaesaion of a Saion tranalatjon of 

Hilt Dogm. de Script, et Sac Vemao, the Evongeliita, by Ecbert, (who ia oiled 

' M. Parker, de Antiq. Ecc Brib Taat. alio EkfrU, Eod&id, and Eckfiid, biihim 

Uah. de Primord. Ecclei. Biitan. of Idndiafern.) who died A. D. 721. Vi<L 

' TheSaion hmnilieaeihort the peopleto Uaser. Hiat Dogm. c S. Egbert wrote 

read the acriplorea. Vid. olao Adebn. de Vii- alao a copy of the ErBii^ati in Latin ; to 

ginit. et Bede. lib. iiL c^ S. ah Ann. 634. which Aldred, a prieiC, added a Saioa in- 

■ Ingn]£ Cent. i. c 63. lariinaaiy tian^tion. which was in tha 

■ Lambcn in Respon. ad Art 26. Epla. Cotton library. Vid. WIlHtMl, Angiia Sw 

V, Google 


Latin and Saxon traasUtioiiB of tlie Psalter and Goepel, which 
indeed fireqaently appeared, especially upon any change in the 

The Psalter and the Gospel,!* or, as some say, all the books of 
the Bible,4 were translated into the Anglo-Saxon, towards the 
banning of tbe-eighth ceotary, by Venerable Bede, who is re- 
lated to have finished the last chapter of the Gospel as he ex- 

The whole Bible was translated into the Anglo-Saxon, by 
order of king Alfred. He nndertook the version of the Psalms 
himself, but did not live to complete it. Another Anglo-Saxon 
version appears to have been made soon after.* 

Several books of the Old Testament were translated into the 
Anglo-Saxon by Elfred, or Eliric, abbot of Malmesbory, and 
afterwards, A. D. 996, archbishop of Canterbury. The Penta- 
teaeh, Joshua, and Judges of this translation were preserved io 
the Cotton library, and published at Oxford in 1699, by Ed- 
mand Thwaites.' 

One of the first attempts at a translation into the Eng^h 
language, as spoken after the conquest, appears to have been 
made by Richard Rolle, an hermit of Hampole in Yorkshire, 
who translated and wrote a gloss npon the Psalter, and a me- 
trical paraphrase of the book of Job. He died A. D. 1349. 

A complete translation of the whole Bible, including the apo- 
cryphal boohs, was soon afterwards performed by John Wick- 
liffe." It was a literal version, made from Latin, with the pro- 
logues of St. Jerom to the books of the New Testament, and 
appeared between A. D. 1360 and 1360. The New Testament 
of this translation, which is still extant in many manuscripts, 
was published by Lewis in 17S1. Some writers have conceived 

pan L p. 686. Fin, b; the encoungemeDt Pnlter ia the library at Lambetli, apps^ 

of Ufttthcw Pariter, published, in 1571, nntly of a later period. Spelinan publiSed 

a Suon nnioa of tlie Erangeliiti, made irith hit Puller the Tuioiu rMdioga of fboi 

Ehm the ValgaU, befbra it vai revited b; nuunucripta. 
9t. Jerom, of irliich the author i) uoknown. ' Le Long, Calmet, and Lewii Hiit. of 

f Vid. Bale. Tianilat. 

« Foe, and Coioi de Ant. Cantab, lib^ L • Huh. Replicat eon. T. Stake*, Anmd. 

' Foi Hf I, that he tniuUled the Oo^ Canalit. LjDwoodV OI0BUI7, lu. The 

vt St. John a aecond time ; but Calhbert, New Tealament of Widdiffe'a Yernon lold 

hi* icholai, telli at, that he iinithed at JohD for four niarki and forty pence, aa appeal* 

n, 9. from the Reeiiler of W. Alnewich, hiihop 

■ Thi* wu pnbliihed, with a I^tin in- of Norwich, 1429, m quoted b; Foi. Vid. 

teriioeary tut, by John Spehnui, in 1640. Jamei, ComipL of Fathen, p. 277- Foi'i 

Dr. Brett (nppoaeathii to bare been Alfred'a prafiue to Saion Oo*peb, A. D. 1671. 
Palter. There ii another iuteiiineaij 



that an English translation was made before the time of Wick- 
liffe;' and there are aome copies of an English tranalation at 
Oxford/ wbi<^ Usher asagns to an earlier period ; but it is pro- 
bable that these maj be genuine or corrected copies of Wick- 
liffe's translation. Lewis is of opinion, that John Trevisa, who 
is hy some related to have made an entire Enj^h version of the 
acriptnreB abont 1387i did in fact only pmnt a few sentences on 
the chapel walls of Berkeley castle, and intersperse a few Terses 
ID bis writings,' with some variations from the received transla- 
tion. It is however highly probable that others beside Wick- 
liffe undertook this important work, and translated at least 
some parts of the scriptures. Hitherto translations were made 
only from the Italic version, or from that of St. Jerom. 

G-reat objections were, however, made to these and all trans- 
lations, as promoting a too general and promiscuous use of the 
scriptures, which was conceived to be productive of evil conse- 
quences ; and Wickliffe's Bible particularly, as it was judged to 
be an unfaithful translation, was condemned to be burnt. In 
the time of Richard the Second, a bill was brought into the 
house of lords, A. D. 1390, to prohibit the use of English Bibles. 
The bill, however, being strongly reprobated, and opposed by 
John dnke of Lancaster,* was rejected : but abont A. D. 140S, 
Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, decreed in a convocation of 
the clergy at Oxford, that no unauthorized person should trans- 
late any text of scripture into English, or any other language, by 
way of book ; and that no translation made either in or since 
Wickliffe^s time should be read, till approved by the bishop of 
the diocese, or in a provincial council. This decree was en- 
forced by great persecutions ; and as aboat the same time Pope 
Alexander the Fifth condemned all translations into the vulgar 

■ Dr. Jsmei wsi of thii opinimi ; sec of this tnntlation in the Bodleiui lihrorj, 
Coimpt Fathen, p. 225. Bidiop Bonoer one at Qaeea'i collne, uid one at I^mbtth t 
profestei to hare teen one trantlated above end of the Neir Testameiit, one in tbe 
eight; ;ean before that of WickMe : h lit- Bodleian, and Iwo at Camhridge, in Sjdnej 
tie, boweTer, wen ifae KriplDrei aied in the and Magdalm collegea. 
time of WicUiSe, that aome lecnlai prieeU ' Lenii Hiit. of Tianidatiani. 
of Armagh, who were «ent by arcbbiihop • Uihec, Parker, linwood, and Collier. 
Fitiialph (the tiaiulator of the Bible iDte The Dnke ii reLated to have said, " We 
Itiih) to atad; dinnitf at Oiford, abont will not be the diep of all, leeing other 
A. D. 1 357, were oUiged to letam, becaaas nationi haie the law of Ood, which ia the 
they conld nowhere finda LatiD Bible. The law of oar &ith, written in their own Ion- 
clergy were then aeldom able to read goige." Vid. FoxV pref. to Sbkdd Ooapel, 
Latin. See Foi'a Extracta from Longland'a A. D. 1571. Uaher de Script, el Socr. 
Regiilcr. Vern. 

r- There ia a cf^jr of ihe Old Teatoment 



tongue, thej w«re, as moclt as it was possible, suppressed till 
the BefonnatioB. 

It appears, indeed, from our bishops' registers, that in conse- 
qaence of Arundel's commission, several persons were burnt, on 
refusing to abjure their principles, for having read the New Testa- 
ment and the Tea Commandments in Wickliffe's translation.'* 
In the reign of Henry the Eighth, whose violent passions were 
providentially rendered conducive to the reformation in this 
country, William Tyndale, or, as be was otherwise called, 
Hickina,' having left the kingdom on account of his religious 
principles, translated at Antwerp, by the assistance of John Fry, 
or Frytb, and William Roye, the New Testament from the 
Greek, and printed it in octavo, in ISSd.** The written copies 
of Wicklifie's trant^tion had been long known, but this waa 
the first time that any part of the scriptures was printed in 
English. It appeared at Hamburgh, or Antwerp, and was dis- 
persed at London and Oxford. Wolsey and the bishops pub- 
lished prohibitions and inJanCtions against it, as false and here- 
ticiJ. Tonstal, bishop of London, and Sir Thomas More, bought 
np almost the whole impression, and burnt it at St. Paurs 
Cross ; which, whether or not designed to serve Tyndale,* did 
most certainly assist him in the continuance of his designs.' 
The venders of Tyndale'a work were condemned by the star- 
chamber to ride with their faces to the horses" tails, with papers 
on their heads, and with the books which they had dispersed 
tied about 4hen), to the standard in Obeapside, and they them- 
selves were compelled to throw them into the fire, and were 

* Al that time, &e pmple wsra to litOe 42: adit. 1642. 
■eqmuntcd with die leripturea, and la i^ ° HiaL el Antiq. Oxen. lib. iL p. 375. 

It aTcn of the languwe id which the; tdL ji 

I Acts. Uiber da Script, p. 187. 

B illiterate monki declaimed from the Hiit. toL ii. p. 22. Sir Thonuis More'* 

pnllrila, that " there waa now a new Ian- Engi Worki, foL it j^ 869, The Dnleh 

gnage diacoTered, called Oreek, of which ediUoiu weie loan pnbliihed, aod diapened 

people iboDld beware, since it wai that at a cheap rate, at about thirteen pence 

ivhich pndncad all hereriea: that in thia each. The Engliah booki wen uld (or 

tangnage wai come forth a book called the abonl 3f. Gd. Thne editioni were told 

New Tmtament, which wai now in eTei7 before I £30. Thna wen ejei opened ta 

body '■ handa, and wna fall of thoni* and the abnaea of popery. 
brioa. And there bad alto another Ian- ' Sir Thomaa More objactad tt 



t^rwords amerced by a connderable fine.' The clergy now 
professed an intention of publishing the New Testament them- 
selves, and a proclamation was issued ag^ainst Tyndale's work ; 
hut before the appearance of this proclamation, Tyndale, by the 
help of Miles Ooverdale, had translated the Pentateuch, which 
was printed at Hamburgh in 1630.'' In the same year he pub- 
lished a correoted translation of the New Testament ; and in 
the following year a translation of Jonah. As he had but 
little knowledge of the Hebrew, he probably translated &om 
the Latin ; and his work had great merit, cooeidering the 
disadvantages under which he laboured.' His pre&ces, which 
reflected on the bishops and clergy, were chiefly complained 
of, thoQgh eagerly read by the people ; and provoked Henry, 
at the instigation of hia ministers, to procure that he should be 
seized in Flanders, where he was afterwards strangled, and his 
body was burnt. 

In 1 535, Miles Goverdale published a translaUon of the whole 
Bible, which, as some have supposed, was printed at Zurich. 
It was dedicated to the king, probably by permission, though 
Tyndale was now in prison for his work. Goverdale styled it a 
special translation, and it passed under his namo; but it is 
supposed to have contained much of Tyndale's labotirs, though 
none of his prologues, or notes.^ 

When the papal restrictions were no longer respected in this 
country, it was strenuously urged, that if Tyndale's translation 
were erroneous, a new one should be made ; and Granmer had 
sufficient interest in convocation, in 1535, to obtfdn, that a peti- 
tion should be made to the king for that purpose. Henry, in- 
fluenced partly by argument, and partly by the interest which 
queen Anne' had in hia affections, commanded that it should be 
immediately set about. Granmer began with the New Testament, 
assigning a portion of the translation to be revised by each 
bishop. But the reAisal of Stokesly, bishop of London, to correct 

■ Hall, Henrr VIII., Fuller, See. hi* trock agva. Ha vai itnogUd 4111I 

* Mr Thoratbv tpmlu of b copy printed bnnit Deer FeUbid cutle, about eighteen 

St Maipuis, in Heue. bj Uodb Luft, in miles horn Antwcip, pisfing tliat Ood 

1530. Vid. Dncat. Leod. Lewii aja, would open tha king of En^uid't ejt^ 

that Tjndale trsniUted thit PeDtsteuch Vid. Foi'i Maitjn. He received only 

from the Hebrew. Vid. HiiL TnmiL p. 70. lli. Flemiah for hu worL 

' The trmtlatioD of the PeDtateach wu ** Thii wb* reprinted in large qutito in 

Gniihed in 16SS ; but TTndala beina thip- 1G50, sad again with a new title in IMS. 

wrecked in hi> voyage to Hamburgh, loit ' Ann Biueyn. 
■11 hii papcn, and was obliged to begin 



bis portion, ftppean to bare pat a Btop to the work at present. 
Is 1536, Cromwell directed, in his injunctions to the clergy, 
" that erery pareon or proprietary of a chnrcb, ehoaM provide a 
Bible in Latin and Eoglish, to be laid in the choir, for every one 
to read at hia pleaanre.^ 

In 1537 waa published a folio edition of the Bible, which was 
called Matthews's Bible, of Tyndale's and B>ogerB''s translation : 
it was printed by Gratton and Whitchnrch, at Hamburgh.™ 
Tyndale is said to have translated to the end of Chronicles, or, 
as some state, of Nehemiah, if not all the canonical books both 
of the Old uid New Testament," and Sogers completed the rest, 
partly from Coverdale's translation. He had compared it with 
the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin Bibles, and inserted prefeces and 
notes from Luther. As the name of Tyndale, who had been 
burnt for an heretic, was now become in some degree obnox- 
ions, Sogers published it under the feigned name of Matthews. 
It was dedicated and presented, at Oranmer'^s request, by 
Cromwell, to the king, who gave his assent that it should be 
printed in England, and generally read; and notwithstanding 
the opposition of the clergy, the book was received by the 
public with great joy. 

Another edition was afterwards prepared, collected and 
collated with the original, by Miles Coverdale ; and Grafton 
and Whitchnrch obtained leave to publish it at Paris, on account 
of the cheapness and superiority of the paper. But notwith- 
standing the French king's licence, the inquisition in 1638 
obliged the printers to fly as heretics, and very few of the im- 
presdons could be rescued from the flames." But the presses, 
and other printing appnrtenances, being afterwards procured 
and brought to London, the Bible was pnblished there in 1539'' 
by the king's anthority. This was called the Bible in the great 
or large volume. It was published in folio, and had a frontis- 
piece before it, designed by Holbein ; but neither Coverdale's 
nor Cranmer's preface, nor Tyndale'a notes ; only an account of 
the successiou of the kings of Judah, and directions in what 
- the Old Testament should be read.'' In this edition, 

■ Th« fifteon bimdnd ropiei coat £002. had >old aa wute paper were racoTcred. 

Aen a bige aom. The iuipieaaiDn coDaaled of 2500. 

° H« certsinlj' trantlaled Jinuilu Sea ' Slnrpe'a Life of Cianmcr, p. 444. 
H<iT«^CoDfnt.ofT}iidBla't AnaweT,15S2; « Tliia cdiUon, aa well aa Matllievt'a 

■Bd otbera tnnilatsd diSnent parti. Bibta, a dirided inla fiie tomea. The 

* A few tbat an office of the inqniiitian apocryphal booka, wMcb are nmtulMd In 

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these passages in Latin, which were not to be fotmd in the original, 
were printed in a small letter, as was also the controrerted text 
in St. John^B epistle. It was objected to by the bishops as &n1tj ; 
but as they admitted that it contained no heteaes, the king said, 
" then in God*s name let it go abroad among my people.^ The 
epistles, gospels, and psalms, of this translation, which were in- 
serted into our litnrgy when compiled, and afterwards revised 
in the reign of Edward the Sixth, were retained in it till the re- 
storation of Charles the Second, when the gospels and epistles 
were changed for those of king James's translation. The old 
psalter, however, was retained, and is still read as excellent, and 
&milisr by long use. An order was soon afterwards issued out, 
that every church should be iumished with one of these Bibles. 

In 1639, a second or third edition of this was revised and 
published by Richard TaTemer, which had many mai^nal notes 
of Matthews^s Bible; and this was followed by other edi- 
tions. In 164(0 appeared a very improved edition, corrected by 
archbishop Granmcr. It contained a judicious preface, written 
by him, and was called Granmer's Bible, or the Bible of the 
greater Yolome, It was republished in 1641, and countenanced 
by authority ; and a proclamation was issued, that every pariah 
church which was yet anprovided should procure it, under a 
penalty, if neglected, of forty shillings per month.' The Bomish 
bishops still continued their endeavonre, in opposition to Granmer, 
and attempted to corrupt the subsequent editions by a multi- 
plication of Latin words;' and though Granmer obtained an 
order that the Bible should be examined by both nniversities, it 
appears not to have been put in execution. 

In 1642, an act of Parliament was obtained by the adversaries 
of translations, condemning Tyndale's Bible, and the prefaces 
and notes of all other editions,* and prohibiting their perusal in 
public, under pain of imprisonment. Cranmer procured an in- 
dulgence for the higher ranks to read them in private. The use 
of the scriptures being very much abused, the interdiction was 
continued, and confirmed during Henry's reign. 

■be fbnrtb of ttiou dirinoDi, are improperiy ' It wu pabliihed in folio t the prioa 

entided tbeboaki nf Higiognpiu, u (ome «u fiisd at lOa; nnboimd, «iid 13l bound i 

of them uc etUed in ■ Hcoadar; Kiiie, oi aii were pltced in St Paol'a chnreh bf 

perhapa b; ewnptiiui, hj St Jemm. Vid. Uibop Bonnec. 

Hiovn. jmeL in Job. Beiiibold'i Pnelect. • Matt. Packer. Antiq. Lewii, p. US. 
•od Jame**l Compt. of Falhen, part ii p. ■ See an act for the adnucemml of trot 

7± Religion, An. M. Henrj VIII. 



lo the short nign of Edward the Sixth, «II persoua were 
allowed the nae of tntnslatioDs ; and new editions of Taveroer^ 
and of Mattfaewa's Bibles" were pnblisbed, and the Bible of the 
lar^r volnme was ordered to be procured for chnrches/ Every 
eccleaastical person under the degree of bachelor of dirinity 
was enjoined to provide a New Testament in Latin and English, 
with the paraphrase of Erasmns : and Gardiner, bishop of Win- 
chester, was committed to the fleet for retrising compliance with 
these measnres; and persisting in his opinions, he was at length 
deprived. It was ordered also, that the epistle and gospel shonld 
be read at high mass on Sundays and holidays, and a chapter 
of the New Testament in the morning, and of the Old at evening 

In Mary's reign, different principles prevailed: all boohs 
which were considered as heretical, as those containing the 
Common Prayer, and suspected copies of the Bible, were con- 
demned. The Gospellers, as they were then called, fled abroad, 
and a new translation of the scriptures into English appeared at 
Geneva, of which the New Testament was poblbhed in 1657; 
but the remainder of the work did not come forth till 1560. It 
was distinguished by calvinistical annotations, and held in high 
estimation hy the puritans.' 

■ One of TaTarner'i in 1549, uid one of at leait, not liks ihoM now mcd, Stephen 

Matlheva'a in ISfil, Eleven impmaoiu I«igtOD, acchbiibop of Cuterimrr, in tb* 

of tbe whole Engti>h Bible, and ui of the reigniof king John and of king Heniy III., 

New TestuDcnt, were pubUatied : Mine i* nid to have tint contnTcd the diiiiion 

were also rnirinted from Tyndale'a, Cover- into chapten ; otlien atcribe the invention 

dale'i, and Cranmet'i editioni, ViiL Fntlet lo caidina] Hugo, a Daminican monk of 

•nd Tjht'im, the thirteenth century, who adopted alw 

' Theio were lo be procnred at the iDbdiTiiiona, diatinguiaked by tlie MTeo 

eiptnee of the pariih. Before, the inipro- fint leltera of Ike (Jphabet placed in ike 

priator defrafed half the charge of the margin, a* umtenient for the uh of the 

bookg Died in the church, or lomeliinca the Concordance, which he Gnt planned for 

panoo. In tinw* of popery, mimli, bre- the Vnlgate. About 1445, Rabbi Moi. 

Tiaiiea, and mannali, being written, were decai Nalhan, aliai Babbi Inac Natkan, a 

very eipeosive, and bought by Ike recton, weatem Jew, to &cilitato the' conduct of u 

■a alao when rtctarin were ettablitbed. controveny with the Chriitiant, introduced 

But there were many diapntei upon thia thia dtriaion of chaptera into the Hebrew 

■abject, and the ractora often compelled the Biblei, and returned alao the ancient diriaion 

vican to pay far binding the booka. Vid. into versea numerically dittingniihed hy 

Lewii, Hut Trani. p. 176. marginal lettera at every fifth vene ; and 

r Above thirty editiona of thi* were pnb- from him the Cbriatians received and im- 

liahed by the qneen'a and king'a prinlen proTcd the pUn ; and Robert Stepheni 

between 1660 and 1616, and othera were adopted the diviaion into the New Teata- 

piinled at Edinbtu]^, Geneva, Amaterdom, ment, of which he pnldiihed * Oreek 

Ac The New Teatament of' thi* it aaid edition in 1551. Vid. frefiit. Buxtort ad 

to ban bean the Ant Engliah edition of the Concord. BibL Kebraic. Morin, Eienit. 

■eiiplain <rhid waa divided into venea. Bibl. par. ii. exert liL cap. 3. Pact ad 

The Greek and Latin Biblea were not Concoid. Oinc. Nov. Teat. Fabrid Kbliolh. 

■ndently divided into chapten or vene* ; Omc. lib. iv. c S. Prid. vol. i, book S. 

,;, Google 


Eliubeth waa indirectlj nqaeated, at ber eotonatioD, to 
conntenance a translatioD, the Bible being presented to hei in 
her proceaaoD, which she acccepted with great appearance of 
gratitude and veneration; and the bishops were soon afterwards 
appointed to prepare a translation. New editions of the C^nera 
and of the great Bible were pnbliahed. An act of parliament 
was likewise passed for a translation of the Bible into Welsh, 
which was printed in 1656. 

In 1668, archbishop Parker's very correct and improved 
translation, undertaken bj the royal command, and revised by 
the bishops, under the direction of the archbishop, and called 
the Bishops' Bible, appeared in folio,' with a preface by Parker, 
and the initial letter of every translator subjoined to his portion : 
and towards the conclusion of Elizabeth's reign, Ambrose Usher, 
brother of the primate of Armagh, rendered much of the Old 
Testament into English, from the Hebrew; which was never 

Objections, however, being nueed i^;unst all these translationi^ 
as well as against others made in oppodtion to them, it was 
determined in the reign of king James the First, when the 
principles of the Befbrmation were thoroughly established, to 
have a new version, which should be as much as possible free 
from all the errors and defects of former translations. Ac- 
cordingly, iifty-tbur learned and eminent men were appointed. 
Seven of these, however, either died, or from diffidence declined 
the task. Every possible precaution was taken to prevent ob- 
jection to the execution of the work. The remaning forty- 
seven were ranged into six divisions.'' Every individual translated 
the portion assigned to the division, all of which transhitions 
were collated together ; and when each company had determined 
on the construction of their part, it was proposed to the other 
divisions for general approbation. They had the benefit of con- 
sulting all preceding translations, bnt were directed to follow, aa 
nearly as it might be consistent with fidelity, the ordinary Bible, 
which was distinguished by the appellation of the Bishops' Bible. 

* It wu printed in a iLick quarto, and * Daniel, Eccleiiaate*, Laroentatioiu, ai>d 

afterwardi freqoentl; in lolio and quarto, Job, wen tran*lit*d b^ Hugh Brongbton. 

in 1569. Tbia Bible wai nied in th« The monUKript at thii renion ja ttiil is 

pablic Krvice far near fortj jeen ; but the thnelomei qDarto,iii the Iihai7 of TriniCf 

Oenen Bible being men adapted to tbe collese in Dablin. 

pnniling apiniona, wai meat rod in *> Vid. JohnunV bccoudL Fnller, Set 

pciTate. See Le lioug, p^ 430y Lewii, &c den, and CoUier. 

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The eoDtribotions and seriatanoe of th« learned were solidted 
from all parts, and different opinions were deliberstelj examined 
1>y the translators, without any regard to the complaints against 
their tardiness in the execution of the work. The translators 
met at Oxford, and Cambridge, and Westminster.' They began 
the work in 1607, and finished it in abont three years. The 
death of Mr. Edward Lively, who was well skilled in the ori- 
ginal languages, somewhat retarded the publication. It came 
ont, however, in 1611, with all the improTements that conld be 
derived from united industry and conjoined abilities. It was 
first published in folio, in black letter ; but a quarto edition was 
pnblished in 1612, in the Roman type. It has since been re- 
peatedly published in both. The Bomaniste'' started many 
nnreaeonable objections against this translation ; and the Prea- 
byterians professed themselves dissatisfied. It was however 
allowed, even by Cromwell's committee, to be the best extant ; 
and certEunly it is a most wonderful and incomparable work, 
equally remarkable for the general fidelity of its construction, 
and the magnificent fflmplicity of its language. 

That it is not a perfect work is readily admitted : the great 
advancement made since the period of its translation, in the 
original languages, the improvement that has succeeded in 
critical learning, and the many discoveries that have been 
struck oat in the general pursuits of knowledge, have much 
tended to illustrate the sacred writings, and enabled us to detect 
many errors and defects of translation that might now be cor- 
rected and removed. Preceding versions were, perhaps, in some 
instances, more euccessfiil ; and sabsequent translations of indi- 
Tidual books may, in some parts, have been more faithful ; and. 

* Three eopiei wars »ent to London, and were afterward> fdmiihed tj bishop Llojd. 
two penons from each compaof wen ' The EngUih Romaniiti, finditig il iin- 

■elected to nvlM tho whole work. It wbi pou{ble to preTsnt the introduction of 

aflerwiuili reviewed bj BilHD, biiliop of tranilB^DDi, publiabed (he New Te«tanient 

Wmchexer, and Di, Hjlei Smith. Then at Bbeima in 15S2 tnxa the Latin, in > 

two pereom pieGied Iha aisuments to the mnnner at hrourable to thnr opinion) ai 

•evenl book* ; and Dr. Smith, afterward* poEtible, Hnd afterwardt, in 1 609, they pnb- 

laibopofOloncetter, wrote the pre&ce now tiahed at Doway a tranalation of the Old 

prefixed to the folio editjone. Bishop Bon- TeslBmenl from the Vulgate, with anno- 

croft ii anppoBed to have been the overeeei tntioos. The^ have therefore a tianilatian 

nnder bis majeatj, to wbom it is said, in of the whole Bible, which, however, they 

the prtfue, that the church waa much are forbidden to read without a licence 

bcmnil The marginal reference!, and the from their luperiora. The French Romaniata 

dunntJogieal index anneied, which ant hare no anthonied translatjoa into thur 

pnblided chiefly in the qnarto editiona, laogiu^ 



vhich is a still more importast adranta^, we are nov in poeaes^ 
fflOD of many hnndred mannacripta that the translators nnder 
king James had no opportunities of consulting.* We are like- 
wise emancipated from BOperstitiona prejudices concerning the 
universal purity of the Hebrew text, and from a alavish cre- 
dulity with r^ard to the Maaoretic points. Whenever, ther&- 
fore, it shall he judged expedient by well-advised and consi- 
derate measures to authorize a revisal of this translation, it will 
certainly be found capable of many and great improvements.' 
As such a work, deliberately planned, and judiciously executed, 
would unquestionably contribute much to the advancement of 
true religion, many pious men have expressed their earnest 
wishes for its accomplishment ; and doubtless, in due time, by 
the blesdng of God, the prudent governors of our church will 
provide for its execution. It is a work not lightly to be taken 
in hand, and perhapa no single person is adequate to the tadc. 
It is to he presumed, at least, that when a new traneUtion 
shall he countenanced by public authority, it will be undertaken 
with the same cautions and deliberate meaaarea that were 
observed under king James. It should be the production of 
collective industry and general contribution ; and the prejadices 
and mistakes which must characterize the works of individuals, 
should be corrected by united inquiry, dispassionate examination, 
and fair criticism. They who already coDsecrate their labours 
to the task of translating the whole, or any part of the scrip- 
tures, are entitled to the public gratitude and encouragement;* 
their endeavours must at least contribute to illustrate the sacred 
pages, and tend to facilitate the great work of a national 
translation. Till, however, the execution of this work shall be 
judged expedient, every sincere and well-disposed admirer of 
the holy oracles may be satisfied with the present translation, 
which is, indeed, highly excellent; being in its doctrines un- 
corrupt, and in its general construction faitbtnl to the original. 
The captious chiefly, and such as seek for blemishes, are disposed 
to cavil at its minnte imperfections; which, however in a work 

• Our tniulntiaii wu made &om itunn- ' Kihop Uoyd't editiou of tMi timDd*- 

KiipU of thice and Ibiir hundred y«ui lion ii unproied in Hme MipBCti. Dr. 

old, tince it "greei with tlioH only. But Pwii KkowiM reriied it in 174*. 

more andent nuoiucripU ue more correct, * Dr. Qeddei lua publitbed ■ pn^ectDi 

■nd mnra conaiateiit with the Ssmuilan of a new tnnabtiaii. 
Pentiiteiieli Mid indent rernont. 



of nieh seriouB and interesting T&lne they mny require cor- 
rection, shonld not be ioTidiousIy detitiled. The few passages 
wliich, by being erroDeouslj trandated, have famished occasion 
for unjust apd licentions aspersions against the sacred volume, 
are so clearly and satisfactorily explained, and Tindicated by 
jndicions comments, that no one can be misled in his con- 
ceptions, who is deeiroDs of obtaining instruction. To amend 
the rendering of these passages will be the object of all inture 
translators, who will nndoabtedly be desirons of adhering as 
mDch as possible to the present version, and of adopting, where 
they can, a constmction familiarized by long use, and endeared 
by habitual reverence ; of which the style has long served as a 
standard of oar language, and of which the peculiar harmony 
and excellence could never be improved by any change that 
refinement might substitute. 


Thb Pentateuch, under which title the five books of Moses 
are usually distinguished, is a word of Greek original.* It was 
probably first prefixed to the Septuagint version, and was de- 
signed to include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and 
Deuteronomy ; all of which were written by Moses, in his own 
hand, probably in the order in which they now stand in our 
translation, though not distributed by their author into books, 
but composed in one continued work, as they remain to this day 
among the Jews, with no other division but that of httle and 
great parasches.'' It is uncertain when they were divided into 

• From Utrri, fiye. and Ttvx"> toIddib. synBgogne, the people might fulfil a fended 

It u called bj the Jewi, Chomei, D. void obligBCion to read the faw once publiclf 

•jnanjrmoat with PenUil«ach : alioThorab, ererj jear ; the intenalated jcan txat- 

irilh which word the book begini i it being tainiid lifl<r-fDDr nbbalhi, and id other 

cuUmiuy smon)! Ihe Jswi to denominate years ■ reduction coireapondent to the 

a book fntni it* fint word. number of nbbithi vat eaiily made, by an 

<> Parascbs^ ftom UHD, to difide. The «™»ional junction of two chaple™. -nie., 
diTiiioD of the law into panicbea, or lec- gr™ier portion, weie tubdivided into eeren 
liona, u, 1^ tome, attributed lo Mom j by nnalier parts, called peiukim, or yerwa, 
odun, with more probahility, to Em: which were probably inserted by Esra, fbi 
they amonnled to fif^fonr, that by nnding the use of the Taipunista, or Chaldee in- 
one of thoM portions every nbbalh in the terprotors, who after the o^rity read k 

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books, bat probably the diTision was first adopted in the Septna- 
gint Tersioi), as the titles prefixed are of Greek deriTation ; they 
were, however, distinguished as five books in the time of Jo- 

That the Penlatench was written by Moses, we are aathorized 
to affirm by the concurrent testimony of antiquity, and by the 
uniform report of uninterrapted tradition. He speaks of himself 
in maoy parts, as the appointed author of its contents.' It it 
mentioned as the work of Moses, under the title of the Law, 
by almost all the sacred writers, and cited as indisputably his 
work \^ and it was received as such by the Jews and Samaritans, 
by every sect of the Hebrew and of the Christian chureh. 

These books, indeed, could not have been written subsequently 
to the time of Moses,- for tbey are addressed to the Israelites aa 
contemporaries, and they never afterwards conld have been im- 
posed as B genuine work upon his countrymeD, whose religion 
and government were built upon them. But what is sufficient to 
establish, not only the authenticity of these five books, as the 
work of Moses, but also their claim to a divine original as dic- 
tated by the Spirit of Qod, is, that the words and laws of Mosea 
are cited by the sacred writers as the words and laws of Ood ;* 
and that they were appealed to by our Saviour and his apo- 
stles, on various occasions, aa the genuine work of Moses ; as the 
production of an inspired person, or prophet;' and on a solemn 
occasion, Christ confirmed every jot and tittle of the law, and 
bare testimony to the infallible accomplishment of its designs 
and promises.* 

These books, as has been before observed, were immediately 
after their composition deported m the tabernacle,^ and thence 
transferred to tiie temple, where they were preserved with the 

Childaii; lenioD nf the Bcripturei, willi tba Numb, ixxiii. t ; Dent ttti , 9, 19, 22, 24. 

original, foe tiie beoelil of ihoie wlio hod Abbadie, Vaiti ds U Relig. Chielini. 

fbtgotten the Hebrew tongue, reading Tene Jueph. conL Apian, lib. L 

for Tens nltcmatel;. Tie rame division ' Joahoa i. 7, 8 ; Judg. iiL 1 j 3 Kings 

ira» adopted in ite propbelical booki, when niii. 25 ; iit. S ; 2 Cbron. m. 16 ; iiiiL 

tbe rc-vding of the law wdb forbidden by 16 ; Ezra viiL 3 ; Nehem. I 7, 8 ; ii ; nod 

Antiochui Kpipiiniie!, but in them three the PboIoii and Prophets paanm. 

Tcnei were read togtdier. Theie division > * Nehem. TJii. 14; Jerem. liL S3; 

ue b; DO meant ihe ume ua thou in our Maaiv. 4; OalaLiv. 30; Heb.iiii.5; z. 

Bibles. The Jews read half of ibe section 30 -, James ii. 8. 

on the Monday, the remainder on the ' John i. 45; v. 46, 47. 

Tbarsduf, and on the Sabbath the whole ( Matt. v. 17, IS ; Lnke xvi. 17, 31. 

of the section, both morning and evening. '' Deut zixi. 26. Somewhere on Ibe 

Tid. Prid. anb. An. 444. outndo of the ai^ Vid. 1 Kings liiL 9; 

• Eiod.iTii.l4;xiiT.4— 7;iiiiT.27; 2 Chron. *. 10. 

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most TigQaot care: erety expression was deemed inspired by 
tbe articlea of the Jeirisb creed. The Jevs maintained, that 
God had more care of the letters and syllables of the lav than 
of the stars in heaven ; aod that upon each tittle of it, whole 
motuitains of doctrine hong: hence every indiridua] letter was 
numbered, and notice was taken how often it occurred.' It was 
read every Sabbath day in the aynago^es,* and again solemnly 
every seventh year. The prince was obliged to copy it,' and the 
people were commanded to teach it their children, and to wear 
it as "ngns on their hands, and frontlets between their eyes."™ 
In the corrupt, and idolatroas reigns, indeed, of some of the 
kings of Jndah, the sacred books appear to have been much 
neglected. In the reign of Jehoshaphat, it was judged necessary 
to cany about a book of the Law, for .the instruction of the 
people," and many copies might have perished under Manasseh; 
yet still a sufficient number was always preserved by Qod's pro- 
vidence. It is mentioned, indeed, in the book of Kings," as a 
particntar circumstance, that in the time of Josiah, the book of 
the I^w was found by the high-priest Hilkiah ; but this by no 
means implies, that all other copies bad been destroyed : for 
whether by the book of the Law there mentioned, be understood 
the original autograph of Moses, (which was probably intended ;)' 
or only an authentic public copy, which might have been 
taken by the priests from the aide of the ark of the covenant, to 
preserve it from the sacrilegious violence of Manasseh ; it can 
by no means be supposed to have been the only book of the Law 
then extant, as every king was obliged to copy it on his acces- 
non to the throne, and as it was the very basis of every civil, as 
well as of every religious regulation ; and not to mention private 
copies, Josiah mast certainly have seen the hook of the Law, or 

■ Tba Jewi ndaced the wlntle law to ■upentitioatl]' fblfillcd in s litend hhk, 

■uhandred and Ihirtecu piecepU, uxording with phyUcteries, inacribed bracelet!, Ac 

to tba Dosiber of the lotten of the decs- Vid- ItaJab iliii. 16. Bojtlorf. Sfnagog. 

iogne, intimstiiig that the whole law wu Jnd. c. 9. 
ledoctirelj cODtained therein. ° 2 Chron. lYu. 8, 9. Thii, indeed, 

* Lnke IT. 16; AcU liil 1£,2T; IT.SI ; might haie been in ancient pnutice ODly 

xiTii. 23. Hienm. cap. 6. Ban Bathn, revived b; Jebodiaphst, for the Hebrewi 

Maimon. prst in Chaz. Aben. Eira, in bad probnblj fbw, if on;, establiahed ijna- 

cL rtr. 1 6. H. David. KimchL Dent, gogoea befiiie the captivity ; and thia ae- 

rwwi 10, 21, 26. count only proves, that public copiea were 

' DcdL zvii 18, 19; zivii 3; niL 10, not generally diiperaed through the dttea 

11. ofJudiea. Vid. 3 Chron. iv. 3. 

•• Eiod. liiL 9; UviL x. II; DenL ' 2 King* xiii. 8, II. 
tL 6 — 9. SI; xi. IB, 19. Thia wa* pro- f 2 Chron. zxiiT. U. 
bablj a Ggnntive precept which the Jevi 



be would oot have projected the reformation of his kingdom in 
the maaner recorded in ttie. book of Kings.'* The surprise, 
therefore, that Hilkiah, and the grief that Josiah are related to 
have felt, were owing either to the extraordioaiy circomstance 
of finding the book in the time of cleansiog the temple, and of 
their endeavoors to effect a reformation, or to the multiplicity 
and importance of those precepts, which, as they most have been 
conscions, had been violated and neglected. 

Whether or not Moses wrote out twelve copies, as is related 
by tradition,' it is probable that each tribe was famished with 
a book of the Law, The schools of the propbet« likewise, the 
ten tribes of Israel, and the Levites, who were appointed to read 
the Law in all parts, must have been provided with books ; and 
it is certain that authentic copies were preserved during the 
captivity,* and publicly read after the return ; ' it may be added, 
also, that as scribes of the law were at this time established," 
there is no improbability in the accounts, which state, that Ezra 
and Kebemiah furnished three hundred copies for the congrega- 
tion and synagogues, founded on the re-establishment of the 
Jewish church. The same reverence which henceforward tX' 
casioned a multiplication of the copies of the law, produced also 
more numerous guardians to watch over its purity; and the 
increasing accuracy of the Masora contributed still farther to 
secure its integrity. 

The Jews believed that Moses was enlightened by a mudi 
higher and more excellent inspiration than any subsequent 
prophet;' and his superiority is expressly asserted in an euloginm 
on hie character in the book of Deuteronomy, which may have 
been inserted by Ezra. In the New Testament be is always 
mentioned distinctly, and with peculiar respect.^ He conversed 
with God " face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend,"* 
in that privileged and familiar intercourse that St. Paul 
promises to the heirs of future salvation.* Some, indeed, have 
supposed that Moses did not literally contemplate Ood himself: 
for our Saviour says, that " no man hath seen Ood at any time;*" 

4 HottiDger. Hut. Ecclu. N. T. wet. > Mait fi. i ; Lake xvL 29 ; Acu riL 

18, pu.W.p. 137. aS; 8. 

' HdcL Prop. It. • Eiod. xxiiii. 11. 

• Dan. ix.1 1,13; TabitTi.13: tu. 13. • 1 Cof. xiii. 13. Srailb'i Ditoonr. on 

■ EmiiiS; vi IS; Nebem. i. R, 9. PraphHT-, c 3. ud II. 

• JemiLniLS; Em it. a * JohBi.18; i. i7. 

■ Vid. MumoD. de Fund. Legii. 



tni we an told that "the law vas given hj angels.^ He 
beheld, bovever, as much aa it wa§ possible for man to behold, 
Boine apparent and distinct representation of the divine presence, 
niracnloasly displayed, though veiled perhaps in a glorious 
clond ; it being impossible, as Moses was informed, for man to 
contemplate the actual &ce, or unteinpered majesty of God.** 
It mnst therefore be understood that God spake to him not in 
visions and dark speeches, bat in clear and manifest revelations.* 
Moses was likewise privileged to address God at all times,' 
without the assistance of the high^priest, who consulted by 
means of the Urim and Thummim. From this power of ob- 
taining revelations immediately from God, proceeded those 
striking prophecies which he delivered. And these prophecies, 
as well as many others which he records, as uttered by the 
patriarchs, to whom God disclosed his will, were gradually fill' 
filled in successive events, or finally accomplished in the Mes- 
»ah. Moses was likewise eminently invested with the power of 
miracles, and performed many illustrious wonders in Egypt and 
in the wilderness; for the truth of which he appeals to his 
countrymen, and grounds the authority of his government and 
laws npon them.* The Egyptian magicians, who were interested 
to defeat fais measures, acknowledged that " the finger of God^^ 
was shewn in his miracles ; and the Israelites, who witnessed his 
power, were so satisfied of the truth of his pretensions, (them- 
Belves having witnessed the support which he received from 
Ch>d,) that they adopted his laws, and incorporated them into 
the very frame of their government, no that their civil and re- 
ligious policy was founded on the platform that he had drawn. 
They beheld his extraordinary qualities ; his open and generous 
temper; hta fortitude and meekness so admirably blended;' 
his piety and wisdom ; bis zeal for God^s service and for the 
welfare of his people,^ which led him to prefer " afliiction to the 
treasures of Egypt."' They saw, that in obedience to God's 

' AcU Tu. 38, £3 ; Heb. ii. 3 ; GaL > Ecdu. iIt. 1—5. 

HL 19. * Eiod. xniL 32. By nitnatiiig to ba 

' Eiod. iniiL SO. " blotted out of Ood'a book," Ma«e« meut, 

■ Nunb. ni. J, 8. that bs would tabmit to d«atb, and tlio 

' NmBb. Tli. 8, 9 ; ix. 8 ; Eiod. iiv. Ima of Ood'i pnmiaed bleHinn, if hs 

22. conM oblaio a remiiaDD of th« una of tha 

( Namb. xtl SS— 3Si Kxod. lir. 31 ; IineUt«L Com. wiLh Nninb. xi. IS, 

nM.9. I Heb. li. 24—28; Eiod. xIt. 1—5. 

^ Exod. tHL 19. EaMh. Pnep. Etui, Jo«eph. Aniiq. Ub. it. «ap. 8. 

lib. ii. op. 1 8. 



sentence, he continned to vander with them in a deaert, where 
even euBten&Dce could be obtained only by a miracle ; and that 
he exerted the same strenuous endeavours for the attainment of 
the promised IsDcl, after it had been reyealed to him that he 
should not live to conduct the people to its possession." They 
beheld, likewise, that disinterested liberality with which he dis- 
tributed wealth and honours on other families, while he left his 
own to attend on the tabernacle in a subordinate character,* 
appointing a stranger to succeed bim in the government of the 
people, and directing them to look to the tribe of Judah for 
their future sovereigns. 

If our knowledge of the truth of the existence of these 
qualities be drawn trom the account of Moses himself, it must 
be recollected that he addressed his contemporaries, who could, 
from their own experience, judge of his veracity. His wisdom 
and integrity are displayed likewise in the description of his 
actions, and not by artful encomiums on his own character, of 
which he seldom speaks but to illustrate bis conduct. If, id- 
deed, he be sometimes provoked to assert that claim, to which 
he was justly entitled," he confesses with equal candour his own 
faults and misconduct. ^ With the same ingenuous regard to 
truth, he also records the errors and sins of his own ancestors 
and relations,'' and boldly censures the disobedience of the 
people whom he addresses. He uniformly represents them as 
a " stiff-necked and rebellions people,^ reminds them of their 
base ingratitude to God, and fearlessly threatens them with 
further marks of the divine vengeance.' He delivered his laws 
without respect to persons ; spoke in the peremptory tone of 
one commisaioDed by God ; not as desirous to conciliate favour, 
but as confiding in the assistance of him, whose minister he was. 
If the contemporaries of Moses, who were the spectators of 

- Nnmb. uviL 12. 18. 

Willi the rod. The; liad, perbipt, attend 

•Nnnib.iL29;iiTiLlS— 17; 

mir. some ^id or impatient eipreatioai ; aaS 

17 ; Dent. L 38. 

any waDt of feith in them »aa mon of^ 

- Nomb. lii. 3. 

—12. ceiTediuchaignalunUBiUMofbToar.uid 

P EiwL IT. 10— H ! Numb. u. 

e preciwly were eonipicnom objeiti of eramplo I 

Mated, how Moiea and Aaron had excited people. Vil Pmlm ctI 32, 33 ; Nomb. 

the diTine wintfa, and manj itraiige con- ixviL 14 ; Deut. zziiL Gl. Vid. alw 

ieclurei haye been formed on that subject: Numb. li. 11 — ^16. 

the text infonni ui, ^t Ood occuwd 4 Oen.xxxiT. 13— 30; ilix.G— 7; Eiod. 

Ho4« and Aaron of incredulity; and it t!. 20 ; Numb. xiL 1, 2, 10; TTTJi. 4. 

qipeara, that Moaai, though commanded Capell. ad A. M. 2181. 

mij to ipeak tu the rack, tavM it twice ' Dent. ii. 6~24 ; » 

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the works and qaalitiea which he displayed, had iDOonteatible 
evidenca of the divine appointment of their leg;islator, snoceeding 
geuetationB had also sufficient prooft of the truth and authority 
of those writings which he bequeathed for their instruction. 
They must have been convinced that the deliverance from Egypt, 
and the Bustenance procured for so large a mnltitude during the 
coDtinoance in the wilderness, could have been obtained only by 
divine interposition. They must have been persuaded, that their 
fore&thers could not have accepted the dispensation of Moses, but 
in the assurance of its bebg revealed from God ; and they beheld 
permanent testimonies of his veraity and divine commission, in the 
perpetual observance of those many festivals,* laws, and rites,* 
of which he recorded the institution, as well as in those stand- 
ing vouchers of the troth of his history and pretensions, the ark 
and tabernacle," the Urim and Tbummim, and the attestation of 
the prophets ; and, lastly, in the accomplishment of bis threats 
and promises which they experienced in various vicisdtndes; 
in the covenanted protection afforded during their attendance 
on God^s service at their solemn feasts;' in the super6uona 
abundance that preceded the sabbatical and the jubilee years;' 
in the miraculous effects of the waters of jealousy ; ' in the de- 
scent of the celestial fire, which consumed the sacrifices;' and in 
many other particulars, which need not be enumerated, but 
which fully account for those firm convictions, and for that 
rooted attachment for the memory and writings of their great 
lawgiver, which they have entailed on their posterity. 

Moses was of the tribe of Levi, the son of Amram, and an 
immediate descendant of Abraham. He was born about A. M. 
S432; and distingmshed for the attractive beauty of his form. He 
was miracalously preserved from destruction, and educated *' in 
all the wisdom of the Egyptians.'"'' He displayed early marks 
of superior qualities, and being selected by God for the deliverance 
and instmction of the Israelites, he maturely examined the truth 
of the divine appearance, and difiidently declined the commis- 

' Eiod. zxii*. 23, 24. 

' Levit. xXT. 8—22. 

• Nnmb-T. 11—31. 

■ Am alio ^ rod of Annm, wbich ■ 1 Kiogi xviii. 88 ; 3 ChtOD. Til 1 ; 
Uonvned in the oigfat ; the jaewrred 3 Mace ii. 10. 

muiiu, and ths bnieii lerpcDt, kept till * Acti til 20 — 22. Pbijo. de ViL Mm. 
tbs time of Heiekiali. Vid. 2 KiDg* xniL b1i. L p. 60S. Mwnb. Saturn. HK ii cap. 
4) Eii>d.iTi.33,Mi Nilmb.snl(— B; IS. 



Bion,' being, as be said, " alow of speech,"'' and apprebmnve that 
be was of too little eBtimation to be appointed as tbe deliverer of 
tbe Israelites. But when encouraged by God, he accepted of 
the appointment ; and with a perseverance and fortitude that 
have never been equalled, contended for, and by divine assistance 
effected, tbe deliverance of the Israelites from their severe 
bondage ; and conducted them through difficulties miraculously 
subdued, to the borders of the promised land : be communicated 
to them a code of revealed laws, and modelled their government 
to a form adapted to the conquest and possession of the country, 
and calculated id every respect to answer those high purposes 
which it was intended to fulfiL Having accomplished his 
ministry, and completed the Pentateuch, that work which 
unfolds the wisdom of the first dispensation, and which opened 
a source of sacred instruction to mankind ; he " in the faith" 
relinquished the prospect of Canaan; and in the expectation 
" of the recompense of an higher reward," resigned that life 
which had been devoted to Ood's service, in the one hundred and 
twentieth year of his age, to be succeeded by no equal prophet 
till the arrival of the Messiah, of whom he was a signal type ;* 
having in many various circumstances of his character and 
eventBil life obviously prefigured the spiritual Redeemer of man- 

The sepulchre of Moses, though said to have been " in the 
Talley of Moab,"* seems to have been miraculously concealed, 
in order to prevent any idolatrous veneratiou of it ; bis character, 
however, was remembered by his people, with a reverence that 
approached to superstition. By the Greeks and Romans, also, 
and other heathen nations, he was acknowledged, not only as 

' Eitid. iii. W. 6. St. Jnde. in hii epiille, ipcdu of ■ 

* Eisd. IT. 10. dtipaU between Michul and tbe Deril, 

* Etn, 01 the prophet who aoneied to cDnceniing the body of Mokb, BllDding, 
the Pentatench the ■cconiit of Motea'i probably, to a tradition received among the 
desth, obKirei, that no prophet bad unce Jewa, ai pouibl^ does St. Paul, when he 
aiiaen like imta Moeei; meaning, peibapi, nientioni the name* of Jannei and Jambm, 
that the great prophet, the Meiaub, wbom trbo withalood Mom, and relalei, that 
HOH* protnited, waa not yet uriTed. Dent. Moki uid, he " eiceedingl; feared and 
xriiL IB, 19; xxxiv. 10. qnaked" on Moaat Sinu, since theae parti- 

' Enaeb, Demon. Ereng. Mh. iiL (xp, 3. cnlan are not recorded in the Old Teata- 

Jortin'a HemBrka on Eolea, Hilt. ToL i. p. nent. Jade 9 ; 3 Tim. liL 8 ; Keb. xiL 

1»S— 2S6. Heb. iii. 2. 31. An ainmnt of the diipnte oonaeming 

■ Deut iiiiT. 6, Some Maronite tbe bodj of Moaea inia formedj in an 

■bwherda were aaid to bare binnd hi> tomb ^ocrjpbal book, entitled tltpi tmhe^NR 

in Meant Nebo, A. D. ISBB ; but this ia HitrMU, ride Origen. It^H ipX*'> !">■ ■>■- 

an idto Retion. Vid. Baanage'i Hiat. of cap. 2. 
jeva, lib. It. cap. 7, and Patrick in DpdL 



the moat ancient lawgirer,'' and as an hiBtorian of nnimpeached 
veracity,' but by an apotbeosis, under whicb the venerable cha- 
racters of antiquity were usually reverenced, he was translated 
among the gods, and worshipped under different names ; ^ for it 
is easy to trace the features of the Hebrew legislator, veiled 
under the personage of many a pagan deity, and to discern his 
qualities and actions under the borrowed attributes and conduct 
which idolatry ascribed to the objects of its veneration. So also 
were the customs, laws, and ceremonies of many nations 
evidently derived from the Mosaic institutions.' Every one, 
however slightly conversant with the policy and religion of 
pagan antiquity, will discover in the Pentateuch the sources 
from whence they were oflen drawn. In the heroes and beoe- 
fiictors consecrated by heathen admiration, are described the 
patriarchs and illustrious persons of scripture. In the fictions 
of pagan mythology, we behold the disfigured relations of sacred 
history; and the proud discoveries of philosophy are often but 
the imperfect transcript of revealed wisdom." In short, the 
historians, the poets, and the philosophers of antiquity, have 
enriched their several works with distorted accounts from the 
sacred volume. The pages of successive writers are pregnant 
with its relations, and the names of numberless authors might 
be produced, whose works either confirm the truth of the 
Pentateuch, or bear testimony to the character and pretensions 
of its author." But this has been so often done, that it must 
be unnecessary to dwell on the subject here. 

^ Jnitin MaT^r. Oper. p. 9. Diodor. Sic colloquial inUrcflunc ; Hud Plala indeed 

lib. L p. 84. c4it. Ebodom. Stisbo'i Geogr. profewe) to liB<e bo collected PhceniciBn 

IflkxiLp. 1103. Tadt HitL lib. v. Ju>L and Syrian, Ibst ii, Hebrew ucounta. Vide 

lib. xiiTi. cap. 3. JoHph. Anliq. lib. L Plato in Cnt^L NntioiM appeal to have 

cu. 3. been at first iliatjoguiibed for ciiil and 

■ To thi* cnD Poiphyry bore teilimoDy. religioua knowledge, in proportioa to their 
^ Artapan. in Enieb. Voauui, Bechart, ptoximil; to, and communicadan with 

Jul Hanyi, ApoL c. 37. Hnet. prop. ir. ihoie countries where the light of revelation 

tmp. S, 9. shone. The dispernon of the Jews into 

^ Jmtin. Fanen. cap. 3S. Walerland's foreign countries aflerwards fUmishod cban- 

Charge to the CHeigj of MiddleHi, May nela of infotmalion to the heathen nadons; 

19, 1731. and some of this people were certainly Kal- 

■ Enaeb. Pnep. Etan. lib. Lt. cap. 6, 12, lered into Gieece about the lime tluit the 
14, 13; lihLiiiLcap. IZ Cyril con L JnL Oi«k mythology was compoud. Vid. 
lib. i. p. 8. TatioD. ad Gnec cap. fil. Joel iii. 6. Bochart's Pbaleg. lib. iv. cap. 
Joaeph. conL Apion. lib. i. cap. 23. Clem. 2i. Grotins de Verit. lib. ilL cap lli. 
AIm. Stnnn. lib. L Hnet. prop. iv. cap. 3. Bryant's Mythol. 

■ If there were no tianalation of the Pref. to Shuckford'i Connect. Edwards's 
•criptBre* into Greek before that of the Discour. voL i. Hartley's DiKoane on the 
Septnagini, jet the heathen writers might Tmtli of the Christian Religion, in Watson's 
have dnired ntich sacred intelligence from 1'ractt, tdI. ii. 

,;, Google 


In a general consideration of the character of that dispenBar 
tioD which is unfolded in the tbllowing books, there are some 
remarks which should he stated for its illustration. Id the first 
place it should be observed, that we are authorized by the 
sacred writers to esteem it as in some respects imperfect, as a 
particular and a temporary covenant to endure only for a 
season:" imperfect, in condescension to the ODdisciplioed stub- 
bomness of the Israelites;^ and imperfect, as elementary and 
figurative only of a spiritual covenant.'' As a code of laws de- 
signed for the civil government of the Israelites, it was contrived 
with a view to the regulation of the external conduct. It was 
framed rather with intention to control the lawless and dis- 
obedient, than to effect an inward and perfect purity of heart. 
So farther, as the law could not justify mankind from the 
guilt of original sin, and as an obedience to carnal ordinances 
could not be perfect or satisfactory, the Mosaic dispensation 
did not stipulate &r those rewards which are offered by Ohrist,' 
though it held out intimations of immortality, and prepared 
mankind for the gracious promises which were made by the 
gospel. As a covenant of works, it required undeviating oho* 
dietice under the severest denunciations of wrath,' and made no 
allowance for unintentional offences ; not calculated, like the 
gospel, to proffer gracious terms of reconciliation and &Tour, 
but to point out the condition of man obnoxious to God's wrath,' 
and the insufficiency of bis eudeavonts to propitiate forgiveoess, 
and to atone for Bin.° 

It is likewise obvious to remark, that Moses, though appointed 
to communicate a divine law, must, with respect to the Israelites, 
be contemplated as an human legislator. He addresses them, 
indeed, as a state subjected to a theocracy; but God had 
deigned to be considered in the light of a temporal king to his 

* Jsnm. iiL 16 ; zxxL 31 — S4 ; Heb. practice*. Levit iviii. 3. Circnmduon 

TiL 18, \i ; viil 7 — 13 ; ii. 10. wu certtinlj a diiina appointment firat 

■■ Eiod. niiu. 23) Dent. zziiL 28; obaerred aa a religiau iite*bj Alnahani. 

Euk.ix.26; Matt.iii. 8; AcU it. 10; Oen. xviL 11. 

OaL T. 1 ; 1 Tim. L 9, 10. It i> a gnat <■ Heb. tu. 18, 19 ; OaL iv. 3—9. 

mutake, EioweTcr, to anppoH that anj ' Item. iii. 20; viil 3; OaL u. 16; iii. 

litoal precept! wen ordained bj tha 21; Heb. nil 6; ii. 14, IS. 

Moiuc law, in uccommodatiaii to cuitoma ■ Deut xxTiL 26 ; OaL iiL 10. 

vhieb prevailed, in Egypt, since iU deaign ' I John L 7 ; Rom. it. 15 ; TiiL 2 ; 2 

waa to aegregate the lanelitea &om all Cor. iiL 6—9; Col iL 14. 

othar nationa, and to wean Ihsm from alt " Rom. iii. 19, SO; riL 5 — 11 ; Qal. iiii 

tendencies to idoUtiy, and aince it incul- 2i, 
cated a particular abhoTTcnce of E^plian 



cboaen people:* Moses, therefore, speaking as the legislator of 
a ciril goTemment, luid detiveriog bis lavs to the people, con- 
endered ia their collective national character, enforces them 
chiefly on temporal sanctions;' on motives of present reward 
and present pnnishment; thus annexing civil benefits to the 
observance, and civil penalties to the breach of political laws, as 
respectively their proper and proportioned consequences. To 
the dnll apprehensions, likewise, and sensual minds of the 
Israelites, promises and threats of speedy accomplishment were 
necessary, and well calculated to control them, in subserviency 
to those laws, of which the violation was immediately hostile to 
the declared intention of Ciod, in the constitution of the Hebrew 
polity. Moses, resting also on the miraoolous proofs of its 
divine orgual which accompanied the promulgation of the law, 
and confident of the divine support in its establishment, was 
onder no necessity of recommending its acceptance by a direct 
appeal to those high and important inducements which might 
have been derived from the consideration of a future life and 
Judgment. As the minister, however, of a divine revelation, as 
a teacher of religion, in which light also Moses must be contem- 
plated, he undoubtedly intimated higher encouragements than 
those of temporal reward, and endeavoured to animate his 
people by the display of a more gloriooa prospect. He did not 
absolutely propose an eternal recompense to the righteous, but 
held out the expectation of immortality to those who relied on 
God*8 promises. 

Hence it is that he so particularly describes the attributes 
and designs of G^od,* so strongly insists on the advantage of 
obedience, and occasionally adverts to that final retribution 
which shonld take place after death.* It was, however, not so 
much by the positive declarations, as by the figurative promises 
of the law, that Moses held out the consideration of eternal 

■ Exod xii. 6 ; 1 San. xii. 12, 17, IS ; the belief of umtfaer liEs ; the lavgiTen 

Iniah iziiiL 22 ; Hogg. u. 4, &. War- bwn eieryirhere fannd it. The pemu- 

Imrt. DiT, Legal Kb. *. lect. 3. lion of the inuiwnalitr of the »ul, u ««n 

' FDrtel:*! Diu. p. 260. Moaea had do a* tbat of the eiiiCence of Ood, i* ^a tenet 

oceuioii to rcTcel in pnciie tetm* the im- of all nationa ; the fiuth of nunluiid. 
aortalitr of the aonl, which the Imelitea * £iod. iii. 6, coiip. with Luke zi. 37 ; 

•• well u aU other people beliend, and Oen. i. 27: ij. 7^ iii. U; Numb. xxii. 

which had been impltHi in Ood'a promiaei 17 ; Deat. iziii. 39. 
ta the patiiaichK, 1a Blelerie, in a note * Dent, icrii. 39, (where Acberith.«ni 

to the Cmmzt of Joliao, well obaerret, that ihonld hate been tiaiulatad, their fntnie 

BO nation hai RcdTed from iu Inwgiren itate); Numb. ziiiL 10; Dent mil. SB. 

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lecompflnse to his people ; for it was consistent with the typical 
character of the first dispensation, which wi» figfurative in all 
its parts, to Bhadow out, rather than directly to reveal those 
spiritual rewards, which were to be aanexed, as more exalted 
sanctions to an higher covenant ;" and that the promises of the 
Mosaic law were the fignres and representations of " better 
things to come,'''= as also, that its threats were significant of 
stronger denoDcistioiiB, is evident, not only from their corre- 
spondent and allusive character,'' but also from the interpreta- 
tions of the prophets ; and it is certain that if the sensual and 
duller ranks were unable to discover the full extent of the 
promises, yet the more instructed and more enlightened persons 
mideretood and confided in its spiritual import.' Still, however, 
it must be repeated, Moses does not ground his laws on spiritual 
sanctions, but rather has recourse to the strongest and most 
affecting motives of present consideration, urging God's threat 
" of visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children."' 

It remains to be remarked, with respect to the laws delivered 
to the people of Israel, that some were of a general and perma^ 
nent, others of a confined and temporary nature. They ara 
usually distinguished into moral, ceremonial, and judicial. 

The ceremonial and the judicial laws are in the following 
hooks joined together, as the Hebrew religion and polity were 
built up together in one fabric ; these laws, as adapted to the 
particular state and government of the Israelites," and as oflen 
incapable of general application,'' are collectively represented as 

►Hcb.viii.6. Thongh Ihe UwwM dfr 13; m; Gal. iii. 8. 17; Jnde U, 16; 

•igned mther to convince mankind of ain, AcU uiv. 14, IS, fix. 
bj the wrerity of ila requititions, than to ' Eiod. ix. 5 ; Dent y. 9. Tbu daoim- 

fiiniiBti Ibem uith any distinct aHurancc ciatian againit idolatr; applied to puniih- 

of immottality I <rct, neyenhelcH, BaliatiDn menu onljr in ths preMDt life; lor God 

wat nnquntionjiblj to 1>e obtained in virtue afterwarda declared, tJiBt, u to futnre ntnr 

of Chriit'a atonement, hy IhoK who ful- hation, the ion ahould not bear the iniquitj 

filled the term* of the old coTiDiiit. Luke ofthe&tiier, Kiek. xriii. 20. 
I. 25, 23 ; ur. 42, 43 ; Roto. iii. 19, SO ; ( Circuraciuon, a* a rita of diRinetion, 

Gal. iii. 22. wu oieleu when the lairien between the 

' Peahn cxnilL 3 ; 15 — 19; Jew and Oentile were thrown down; it* 

OHDp. with Luke x. 35 — 28. fignretive intention to promote parity of 

■* Hienn. Epiit Dardan. heait wai prcaerred in the goapel pivcepta ; 

' Heb. iL 8 — 16. The Mouic covenant and ha ocEoal praitice in hot coonUie*, ai 

ineloded thai made to Ahiaham, which wai conducive to cleannew, wa« not tocbidden 

a eounlerpart of the goapel covenant, and or diacouiuged, but aa it implied a aub- 

of which the pnanisea were certainly aerviency to the ritual law. 
ipiritual ; and in the renewal of tbii cove- * The number of the priests and Letitaa 

nant, together with that made at Sinai, waa limited. All nations could not be served 

Mosea lilenda mnpora] and spiritual br the Aaiouical priesthood, neithar conld 

pmniaPi. Vid. Ocn. ivii. 7 ; Dent. iiix. they mort thirw times a year to one pkce. 



not ohWgaioTj on other DBttons. Many of these laws are indeed 
pronounced by Moses to be " laws and ordinances for ever," 
'* through all generations,"' and hence the Jews believe, that 
they never shall be abolished ; ' but it is certain that these expres- 
sions must be understood to mean only, that such laws should not 
be liable to abrogation by any human authority, and that they 
ehonld long continue ; but by no means, that they should never 
be reversed by the same authority on which they were first esta- 

The ceremonial laws were unquestionably transient institu- 
tions, designed to intimate and foreshow evangelical appoint- 
ments. As therefore, in their nature, figurative of future par- 
ticulars, they have passed away on the accomplishment of those 
things of which they were the shadows ;" ritual observances are 
DOW unprofitable as spiritual righteousness is introduced," and 
the Levitical priesthood being changed, its appendant laws are 
changed also.° The end of the ceremonial laws is fulfilled, and 
they remain only as the picture of a well-concerted scheme, the 
prophetic testimonies that support a more spiritual covenant. 

The judicial laws, also, as far as they respected the Israelites 
as a civil society, and were contrived with regard to the peculiar 
and appropriate condition of that people ; as far as they were 
suited to the exigencies of a time, and devised with a view to the 
sccomplighment of certain purposes now effected, are no longer 
binding, as positive laws on us. 

Christ did not indeed formally, and. in express terms, repeal 
any part of the Mosaic law; but whatever was accomplished, 
did necessarily expire. The apostles, it is true, though they 
regarded the ceremonial law as a bondage from which they were 
freed,'' still continued to observe some of its precepts. This, 
however, was by no means as a necessary service, but in com- 
pliance with the jirejudices of the proafely te Jews.'' As the force 

' Eiod-iii. 14—17; lucj. 21 ; il. 15; " Colon, ii. 17. 

LcTiU iH. 17; tI. ]8i rii. 36; i. 9; ■> Rom. iii. 6; Hcb. vii. 18, 19; 1 

niii. 11 — Sl~31— 41 ; uiT. S ; Numb. Peler ii. 5. Banub. Epiat. 

XI. IS ; ril. 10. • Ileb. viL. 12. 

* Vtd. Mainwn. More Nerocb. par. ii. p AcW in. 21 — 27 ; 1 Cor. ix. 30 ; 

ap. 88. Gal. iv; t. 1— 5. 

' Ths cerenoniBl law> were noDietiinei i Act* in. 3. St. Paul cucomriMd Ti- 

diqieiiKd witb, u waa drcamciiion in the mollieiu, " becauie of Ibe Jew> trfaicb wen 

wHdenms »iicte it wm of bnt little u»e. in tbo«e qnartera." In a cooncil previoualj 

So DiTid tat i^ tlM tbew-bread, and our beld. At apoatlea deliberated, indeed, con- 

SiTioDrjunified hi* conduct. Vid. 1 .Sam, ccining the neceuit7 of cinumduon ; bat 

zii. 6 ; UaU. xii. 3 — 4. they certainl; ondeMood, that, vitli reapcet 



of education and long habit conid not be immediatelj coanter- 
acted, the Jews were snffered to continue in the obserrance of 
those ritnal precepts, which, if now obsolete, were at least 
harmless, while they were not set up in opposition to the pre- 
tensions of the gospel covenant. 

The apostles, likewise, living under a government which wa« 
founded on the Mosaic establishment, and which had the judicial 
laws incorporated into the very frame of its consiitntion, could 
not, without violating the duties of good citizens, and without 
offending against the authority of the civil magistrate, refuse to 
be subservient to the regulations of that polity ; they mnst have 
perceived, however, that as far as the civil were interwoven with 
the religions institutions, they should give way to evangelical 
appointments. They mnst have understood, that as the dis- 
tinctions between Jew and Glentile were now to cease, the whola 
of that economy which was contrived to keep the Israelites a 
separate people, was useless and iuconustent with the design of 
Christianity. Yet as they knew that it was only by the gradual 
operation of the Christian spirit, that the Jews could be weaned 
from a long established obedience to the law, and that in fact 
till the constitution of their country should be changed or dis- 
solved, such obedience was in some degree necessary; the 
apostles only then reprobated the advocates for the observance 
of the Mosaic law, when they sought to enforce it as generally 
uecesaary, and as a means of justification : ' they taught that 
salvation was to be obtained without the law,* and expressly 
exempted the Gentile converts from the necessity of respecting 
any precepts but those which were entirely moral, or partook of 
a moral character.* 

As to the moral laws, whether those contained in the deca- 
logue, or those occasionally interspersed throng the judicial and 

to tbe Ocntiln >t leaat, there cnJd be no (lid. AcU xr. 19,) wbo had nntlieT prefu- 

ebligitiod to obserre th« law, a* &i sa it dieei dot ciTil r^ulationa to control thrai ; 

iraa of « temporal; and local natan. Thej bat the goapel Uherty waa to eiteod equally 

appear to have aHemUed ontf to ratiTy, bf to the Jewa, when the; ahould be Telnaed 

an niumimous decision, the tentimenti of from the influence of habit, and the Injono- 

Paul and Bamabnu. Vid. Act* it. 1—29. tionn of ciyil authority. Rom. lii 4 ; TJii. 

'' Angnit cant. Faust, lib. xlx. cap. 17. IS. Indeed, after the deitmction of Jam- 

Ju>t. Mutfr, Dialog, p. 331). edit. Thirl, nlem, most of the Hebrew eodverta to 

Constit. ApMtol. lib. Ti. cap. 11, 13 — 20, Chriitianity renooncod the Hoiaic law 

21, 32 ; Rom, i. 6. without henitatiop : a part only adhered 

• Acta liii. S9 ; Rom. iii. 38; ii. 33 ; to it, as the Nanrenea, EhJonitca, tx. 

Oti. ii. 16. Vide Moeheim. de Rabna Chriit. Aat 

■ AcUiT. 10, 11. This declaration «raa Conilant. Sac.ii. aect 88, note*, 
firal made in fiiTour of the Gentile nuiont, 



ceremoniai code, it ii endent that these, at faaviog in themselres 
an intrinac excellence and nnirersal propriety, and aa foonded on 
thtwe relatioDB which eternally subsist, as well with reference to 
oor dependance on Qod, aa between man and man reciprocally, 
must remain in perpetnal force ; for the Mosaic law was annihi- 
lated only BO £u as it was of a fignrative and temporary char 

The ten commandments which were first given, as containing 
the primary principles of all law, were doubtless introduced with 
such majesty and solemnity, that they might retmn an ever- 
lasting and irrcTernble authority, which no time should alter, no 
change of circumstance annul or invalidate : they were uttered 
by tbe v<Hce of God, before the whole multitude of Israel ; were 
written twice by Ood^s own finger;" and are obviously diutin- 
gm^ed from the other laws, which were given to Moses only, 
which were written by him, and whidi were moulded in con- 
formity to the peculiar condition and circumstances of the Is- 
raeUtes. Moses, likewise, (aa has been observed by Hooker,)' 
evidently discriminates the moral from the ceremonial laws ; for 
in his recapitulation of the law, in the book of Deuteronomy, he 
says, " tbe Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire, ye 
heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitnde, only a 
Toice, and he declared unto you his covenant, which he com- 
manded you to perform, the ten commandments; and wrote them 
on two tables of atone,** (durable monuments, to intimate their 
vaperisbable authority;) "and tbe Lord commanded me at the 
same time to teach you the statutes and judgments, that ye 
might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.'"'' 
These laws, then, given for the advantage of all mankind, 
founded on principles of invariable and universal propriety,' and 
stamped with tbe two great characters of Christian excellence — 
gratitude to Qod, and love to man — are properly inscribed on 
everlasting tablets in tbe Christian church, and must be observed 
u long as any reverence for the Deity shall exist. 

The other moral laws which are intermixed with the cere- 
monial and judicial precepts, and which have entirely a general 

■ Exod. ncd. 18. That it, by Ood"i ' DentW. 10— Hj t. 

isuDadiato power, and not by the act of * Th« monlity of the fourth coninuuid- 

Vid. Mumon. Mora NcToch. pu. i. ment, and itt perntoal force, (though with 
p. 66. a change a* to tha day,) hai been conri- 

' Hoolwr'a EctW PaliL book iii. p. deinl aa mH|iieitioiiatile ai thai of an; 

a change aa to the day,) hai been o 
deiHl aa mH|iieitioiiBtile at '' ' * 
othn part of tha decalDgne. 

V, Google 


character,' may be conndered aa corollaries from, or com- 
mentaries on the decalogoe. These, though blended with othem 
of a local and temporary nature, and scattered throngh a collec- 
tion superseded, and Tirtnally repealed, have, as a revelation of 
the divine will, which is ever uniform in the same circumstancea, 
as well as from their intrindc character, a claim to perpetual 
observance, as much as those of the decslo^e. They were de- 
livered, it is true, with less awful circumstances than were the 
ten commandments, which summed up in a compendious form 
the whole excellence of the monti law : hut the other laws had 
not the less authority, because delivered by the mediation of 
Moses, at the particular request of the people, who trembled at 
the voice of God ;** and no argument against the perpetuity of 
these secondary laws can be drawn from the direction added, 
(chiefly for the sake of those that were of a local and temporary 
nature,) to observe them in the land of Judiea ; unoe those of 
the two tables, though indisputably of universal obligation, were 
delivered with a similar application, as appears from the sanction 
annexed to the fifth commandment.* No part of the law, as tar 
as it is strictly mora), is abrogated by the gospel, any more than 
are the commandments of the decalogue. The old dispensation 
is declared invalid only as a covenant of salvation, and it is su- 
perseded in Christ only b» far as it is accomplished. Christ came 
not to destroy, hut to fulfil the law,*' and its moral design is still 
unaccomplished, and must so continue till the end of time ; for 
" till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no 
wise pass Irom the law, till all be fulfilled."* Out Saviour adds, 

■ Of iheK tbcie SK man; : vid. Gxod. aidpi, the dignity ef tb« UoMic law u tS- 

xxi. 19.30, 22; ixiL 1,4,5, G, 10, 11— fected b^thU conaidention. 

16, 19—22, 26—28; niii. 1—9, I3i " F.xoi. xx. 19. 

LeriLiriL 7; lii. 9, 10, U, 17, 18, 29, ' Thia annexed motiTe of tamponJ n- 

35, M; II. 9, 10, 17; xxtii. ^i hit. ward, u well aa llie exordtDin prefixed to 

IB; Numt xxx. 2; Deut. i. 16, 17; lii- the fint commudmeDt, and Ihs conunema- 

29; x«.7, 6. 11; x<ii.6; xiii. 1—3, U ration added to the fourth, in Deut. t. 16, 

— 21 ; XIV, 14, 15. It ma; be deemed lave ui apprupnalo appticBtiDn vhen ad- 

■npecfluoui to contend for Ibeie, aa the dreaaed to the Jewa, whicb, however, by no 

•Bine principle! are inculcated in tlic deca- meangafTectatbeunivennlityand perpetuity 

Ingue, but eTery injunctian which illiiatntci of the decalogue ; and if the direction wtuch 

the niond dntice, and dilates moral preccpti, accompanied the other lawe be conceived to 

ii important. The law and the nropbets reetrict their olweryance to the land of Ca- 

are not uocleu, though we poueu tbe'two naan, it can apply only to Ihow of a local 

(vmmanilmenlii on which they hang ;" nor and temporary nature, aince tbs othen 

is the decalogue aoperfluoua, since thegoapel might, widi equal reaaon, be abaerred elae- 

hnth fLmiihed a more perfect nile, and de- where, 

clarpd. ihat nil the law la fulfilled in one ' Malt. v. 17. 

word. Mall. ixu. 40 ; Tial. i. M. Be- ■ Matt. t. IS ; Luke ivi. 17. 



still speakinjf of tbe law under one general consideration, " who- 
soever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall 
teach men go, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven ; 
bat whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called 
great in the kingdom of heaven ;" and he elsewhere annexes 
the promise of life to the observance of the moral law.' The 
apostles were so &r &om coDsidering as aboltehed any part of 
the Mosaic hiw which had a moral character, that they expressly 
ratified, and enjoined as necessary, injnnctions not contained in 
the decalogue, but which had only a moral tendency.' It fol- 
lows, then, from these conmderations, that though the law be 
abrogated, as a covenant insufficient and preparatory,** though 
its ceremonies have vanisbed as the veil and covering of spiritual 
things, and its judicial institutions are dissolved with the eco- 
nomy of the Hebrew government, its moral pillars remain un- 
shaken. The law, then, is abolished only so far as fulfilled and 
superseded by a more excellent dispensation. As its precepts 
prefigured this, they have terminated ; as its appointments pre- 
pared for this, they were exclusively confined to the Hebrew 
naUon; as its commandments correspond with the moral de- 
signs of the gospel, tbey are incorporated with, and should be 
observed under, the Christian covenant. 

The Mosaic dispensation, inasmuch as it was restricted to one 
nation, and contrived to effect its purpose, by partial regulations, 

' Matt. T. 19; X. 27, 28. only na Kt tip in oppMition to the gospel, 

■ Act* XT. Tlie npntln, in tlic £t>l to which it ws> "b Kbaol- matter," (or pe- 

coundl held al Jeiuulcm, sfler having pro- dugogue). In compariton of nhich it wai 

nounred the (eromonial law to be bnrthen- "elemenlary and beggarly ;" bnt in re- 

•onw and ODneceuerf, enjoiDed to the ferencc to vbich. and in ita moiBl and >pi- 

Graliles, in the nameof "the Hoi; Ghoat," rilual character, it wai "holy, jnat, and 

an obnnance of the Moiaic law, wherrt it good." Vid. Rom. iii. 20, 24. 28, 31 ; 

had B gnieial character and moral tea- »iii. 4 ; Gal. iii. 24 ; iv. 9 ) 1 Tim. L 8 — 

dene;, slid in the very tem», at well aa in 1 ; v. 1 8 ; 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10; where a 

the t[Hrit of tha Moiaic law, (contidered Moanie precept not in tbedecalogne ia nud 

diatinclly rrom the decalogue,) they pre- to be epoken "altogether for our ukea." 

teribed onto the Oenlilea, "at neceatary Vid. Dent. xxr. 4. In thit, aa in other 

thinga," that they ihould abatun from inatance*, where a motal import ia couched 

meata offered to idola, and from blood, and nnder a figurative precept, we may tay, with 

from thing! atrangled, and from foraicatinc -, St. Anibroie, "Evacimtur in Chrislo, nan 

maoniicb aa thcae were dewriptive of a Vetna Teitamentuin, sed velamen ejni." 

diipontion to idolatry, and adopted in op- Epiel. 76. Dent. nii. 10 ; Rom. vii. 14. 

petition to the aerrice of God. St. Jaroea See, laatlj, iiiii, 56 ; where St. Panl ad- 

dmclndea hit advice by intimating, that mitt the autboril; of a general precept, de- 

thete inilructiont were pennanent precepti lirered in Eiod. iiii. 23. 

of the law of Motet, which wna "read in ^ We tie &ced nlto from the curtet of 

every rity." Vid. Artt iv. I, 7, 10, !!, the law, " the minittration of death." Vid. 

19, 20, 2!, 21, 28, 29. St Paul, in hit Oal. iii. 13 ; 2 Cor. iii. 7 i but not from 

cpiailet, oucrtt (he abrogatioD of the kw, itt dirrclive power. 

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cannot be Bnpposed to h&ve been prodnctive of that liberal and 
diffanTe benevolence which characterizee the gospel; which is 
B covenant designed to embrace all nations, and to promote 
universal love. But though the peculiar privileges, which the 
first covenant conferred on the Israelites, led them to entertain 
an anrc^nt and unreasonable conceit, it is certain that the 
Mosaic law recommended throagbont as much benevolence as 
was consistent with that distinction which it wa£ intended to 
promote. The principles on which it is framed, may be always 
adopted with advantage, since it breathes throoghout a fine 
spirit of moral equity ; of mercifot regard to strangers,' and even 
to the brute creation ; ^ and tends, by its literal and figurative 
precepts,' to awaken benevolence and charitable dispodtions. 

The fire books of Moses fiimish us with a compendious his- 
tory of the world, from the creation to the arrival of the Israel- 
ites at the verge of Canaan, a period of above two thonsand 
two hundred and fifty years. It is a wide description, gradually 
contracted ; an account of one nation, preceded by ageneral sketch 
of the first state of mankind. The books are written in pure 
Hebrew, with an admirable diversity of style, always well adapted 
to the subject, yet characterized with the stamp of the same 
author ; they are all evidently parts of the same work, and mu- 
tually strengthen and illustrate each other. They blend revelation 
and history in one point of view, furnish laws, and describe their 
execution, exhibit prophecies, and relate their accomplishment. 

Besides the Pentateuch, Moses is said to have composed many 
of the Psalms, and some hare, though improperiy, attributed to 
him all those between the ninetieth and the hundredth inclusive. 
He appears, however, to have been the first writer who was 
inspired in the productions of sacred hymns ; and those contained 
in the fifteenth chapter of Exodus, and the thirty-second of 
Deuteronomy, furnish very beautiful models of his enraptured 
poetry. The book of Job baa been with some probability 
aopposed to have been written or translated by Moses, and 
many apocryphal works have been ascribed to him, by writers 
desirous of recommending their works under the sanction of his 
name. Cedrenus transferred into bis history, a book, which 
passed under the name of Moses, styled Little Genesis,'" and 

* Eiod.xiiiL 12 ; Dsnt. y. U ; x: 

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wbich eoDtained many spuriona particatars. It wag extant in 
Hebrew in the time of St. Jerom, and cited b; bim, bnt con- 
deoined aa apocryphal by the council of Trent. Others attri- 
bote to him an apocalypse, from which they pretend that St. Panl 
copied in verae 15 of chapter vi. to the Galatiane ; but these, as 
well as those entitled the Ascension, and the Assumption of 
Moses, and some mysterious books, were probably fabricated by 
the Sethians, or Sethedians, an ancient sect of Gnostic heretics, 
who pretended to be derived from Seth, and to possess several 
boi^ of the patriarchs." 


Thu, which is the first book in order of the Pentateuch, is 
called Bereschith in those Hebrew copies which adopt the divi- 
Kon of the Pentateuch into five books.* This word signifies the 
beginning, and was chosen for the title in conformity to the 
Hebrew custom of denominating the sacred books from their 
initial words respectively. The book, however, is usually en- 
titled Genesis, from a Greek word,** which imports generation. 
It was written by Moses, as the concurrent testimonies of all 
ages declare,' as some suppose, in the land of Midian, where 
Moses fed tbe flocks of his father-in-law in the wilderness, with 
design, it is said, to comfort the Hebrews in their servitude, by 
the example of constancy in their fathers, and by a display of 
the oracles and promises of God ; as particularly in that remark- 
able revelation to Abraham, that " his seed should be a stranger 
in a land not theirs, and should serve them, and be afflicted four 
hundred years, and that God should judge that nation whom they 
diould serve, and afterwards they should come out with great 
substance.'"' EnsebiuB* intimates his respect for this opinion ; 

' AthMi. Synop. being then in tfao land, do« not proTe tia.t 

' Smie priTBte ci>|rie* only on diiided ; tbe pauagct weie written alter the ex- 

flum lued in tba Jewiih ajnagngno »m puluon of thew nationa ; nor doea the ei- 

not. prenioD of " before there reigned any king 

^ r«p«'ii, geneiatiiHi, pradnction. It ia in lanel," DHessarilj' imply, that there 

icmwfcable tiut the New Teatomeut beginii wen kings when the book wu written. 

with the nme word, Bi^t yHirtin The accoant of the kinga of Edom, which 

Ivreu. eorretpondi with tlut in the book of Chro- 

* Da Pin. Diat. FnL Met. 1. HneL The nidea, wu probably siierwuds inaerted by 

Mention whicb it made in chap. xii. 6, tome prophet, or sutlioriied peraon. 
B^aii 7, of theCaoauitesuklPeniiitei ' Oen. xt. 13, 14. From the birth of 

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but Theodoret^aod others eappose that the book was written in 
the wilderness, after the promulgatios of the law; and a third hy- 
pothesis has been offered from the Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman, 
that God dictated to Moses all the contents of the book daring 
the forty days that he was permitted to have a communicatioD 
with the Deity on Moont Sinai, and that at his descent he 
committed the whole to writing. It is, however, as impossible, 
as it is of little coDseqnence, to determine which of these opinions 
is best founded ; and it is sufficient for ns to know, that Moses 
was assisted by the spirit of infallible truth, in the compodtion 
of this sacred work,' which he deemed a proper introduction to 
the laws and judgments delivered in the subsequent books. 

The description which Moses furnishes in this book concem- 
iug the creation, as relating to circumstances previous to the 
eziateuce of mankind, could be derived only from immediate 
revelation.'' It was received by the Jews with full conviction 
of its truth, OD the authority of that inspiration under which 
Moses was known to act. But when the book was first delivered, 
many persons then living must have been competent to decide 
on the fidelity with which he relates those events which were 
subsequent to the creation ; they must have heard of and be- 
lieved the remarkable incidents in the lives of the patriarchs, 
the prophecies which they uttered, and the actions which they 
performed : for the longevity of man, in the earlier ages of the 
world, rendered tradition the criterion of truth ; and in the days 
of Moses, the channels of information must liave been as yet 
uncorrupted ; for though ages had already elapsed, even two 
thousand four hundred and thirty-two years before the birth of 
the sacred historian, yet those relations were easily ascertained, 
which might have been conveyed by seven persons from Adam to 
Moses; and that the traditions were so secure from error, we shall 
immediately be convinced, when we consider that Methusalem 
was three hundred and forty years old when Adam died, and 
that be lived till the year of the flood, when NotUi had attained 
six hundred years.' In like manner Shem conveyed tradition 

Ibu to the daliTeniTice (rnni Egypt wu ' Euaeb. Prap. Erin. lib. ii. cap. 7. 

foot hundred and Rt* jean. The loot ' Theod. QnaetL in Gni. Ven. Bede, Sk. 

Iiuadnd and thirty yean mentioned in < Rom. iv. 3 ; 0^ iii. H ; Janm ii. 

Exodiu xii 40, iDciudet the tirenty-Sve 33. 

yean of Ahnham'a ujonniuig in Canann, ^ Origcn MomiL 3S in Nnmer. 

befon tbe Inrth oflaBiic. Vid. Patrick in * Adiun died, A.M. 930, one bnndnd 

lot. and tventy-nx yean only befen the birth 

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&om Noab to Abraham, for he convened with both a con- 
siderable time. Isaac, also, the son of Abraham, lived to instmct 
Joseph in the history of his predecessors ; and Amram, the father 
of Moses, was coutemporarj vith Joseph.'' The Israelites then 
most have been able, by interesting tradition, to judge how far 
the Mosaic account was consistent with trath.' If the memory 
of man reached beyond the period assigned to the crestioii, they 
must have disbelieved the Mosaic history ; bnt if, through so 
nnalj a number of immediate predecessors, they conld trace up 
the origin of mankind to Adam, we need not wonder at the 
implicit veneration which ratified the records of the sacred 
historian ; which accepted a revelation, confirmed by every re- 
ceived account, and stamped by every sanction of divine au- 
thority. The sacred character of the book is established also 
by the internal evidence of its inspiration; by the revealed 
history of the creation of the world ; by the several predictions 
afterwards fully accomplished ; and lastly, by the suffrage of our 
Saviour and his apostles, who have cited from it at least twenty- 
seven passages verbatim in the New Testament, and thirty-eight 
according to the sense." 

Genesis contains the history of two thousand three hundred 
and sixty-niue years, to the death of Joseph, or thereabouts, if 
we follow the account of the ages of the patriarchs, and suppose 
the flood to have happened about one thousand six hundred and 
fifly-six years after the creation. It is, perhaps, scarce worth 
the trouble to observe, that some very futile objections have been 
made to the period which is assigned by Moses to the creation, 
as though it were too recent to be reconciled with some natural 
appearances ; for it has ever been found, upon accurate in- 
vestigation, that thouj^ the existence of the world, according to 
the Mosaical account, be too short" to be compatible with the 

of Noah, and therafore mutt IwTe been uen Aitm, tbraugh Mellinukm, Noah, Shem, 

trmanj'otNoali'Bconlemporarin. LamMh, AbrsiiBni, Inoc, JoMph, and Amiam, lo 

the &ther of N«fa, hBd cerlaialj mn Mok«: aeren intermediate penWDs. 'Hiia 

Adam and hu children, being bom £f^y<- account of the longetity of mankind^ in tho 

Oi jean befbro Adun> death ; and Noah iint egee of the world, ii confinned by 

bimielf might haTe >een aeveisl raemoriala Manetfao, Berogoa, Hochoi, Heitsna, &£. 
eiitting, to prorc the tnith of thou erenta ' Eatcb. Prnp, Evang. lib. ii. cap. ult. 
■ftemarda tecotded by Mose> ; for Noah " As Rim hai accnralelj calcuhiled. 
died only two yean before the birth of " The creation of the worid began, ac- 

Abrabam ; and Isaac might have leen coiding to Usher, on Sunday, October 

Sbem and Selah, who conrened with Noah '23 ; b«fare the birth of Christ 4004 year*, 

Banyyean. if ve fallow the Hebrew text. The Sep- 

* 'ne ti>ditiDn,then,waacanTnyed from langinl renion places it 5873| and the 



theories of some feucifal men, yet tbat just philosophical reason- 
ing hai always tended to corroborate the assnrance of the received 
date of the creation. The extended accounts of the Chaldroag, 
EgyptiaD, and Chinese chronology, vhich reach far beyond all 
bounds of probability," and the magnified calculations of some 
other nations, are now justly considered as the fictions of 
national vanity, or the exaggerations of erroneous computation. 
They are often in themselves contradictory,'' and ntterly incon- 
sistent with all observations on the appearance of nature, all 
philosophical inquiry, and the advancement of mankind in arts, 
sciences, and refinement. These improbable febrioations are 
delivered by anthors who lived long after Moses, whose veracity 
is impeached in other instances, and whose general aceoonts 
are enveloped in fable and tinctured by credulity. The learned 
Halley has observed, that the oldest astronomical obserrationa 
made by the Egyptians, of which we have any account at thia 
day, were later than three hundred years before Christ.') The 
Chaldtean calculations are unworthy of attention, since they 
contradict the account of the flood, and are quite irreconcileable 
with the general testimony of ancient history; and the chi- 
merical accounts of the Chinese, written in hieroglyphics, and 
rescued imperfectly and with difficulty from destruction, cannot 
properly be produced in support of any theory, repugnant to 
more authentic chronicles,' much less can they be suffered to 

SuiuirilBn 4700 befon tbe Tulgar era. ' HaDelho profnte* to bave tnnicnbed 

The SeptoKgiDt nckoiu 2262 jtan before hu Djnutie* fiom wme pillan of Htrmat 

the flood ; the Sunarittm onlf 1307. Vid. Triimegiitna. Ai SBocboniathD rIm de- 

Jiduon'* Chroa. Tab. Aug. CiviL Dei, rired hi* theolagT frina Hsrmei, different 

Ub. lii. Newton'* Hiat of ^tidel. World, account* muit have been drawn Etdiq the 

p, 98. Stiaachiu Brev. Chron. Usntlated Mune tonrce. Vid. Stilling. Oiig. Sac 

bj Sault, p. 166, 176, Ac. Capel. Chron. lib. L tap. 2. The (bnnlMn or Ibe atreuu 

&c. in Appar. Walton. Some place the mnit hate been coiTOpl. 

ercationnboiitthetimeoftheTenialeqiiinDi, 4 Sanchoniatho, Ue Pbcenirian hiilo- 

•iiue Moie* and the lacied wiiten reckon lian, according to the moit extended ao- 

thnr fint month Abib from that time, eeuntt of Porphjriy, floniiihed long after 

Vid. VirgiL Oearg. ii 336, et leq.; bnt thii Moie*, probablj not lew than two centuriea. 

wu b memory at their deliTennce bvta HaBelbo and fienttni lived not mcoe tban 

^^t. The £nt month in dvil calciilatiani three hnndred 7eart before Chriit. Vid. 

wai the fint aller the auUmmal eqninoi j Bochart. Oeogr. Sac par. ii. lib. ii. cap. 17. 

thii mi called Tiwi, and uuwan to part of Jo*. Sealig. Not. in Eueb. Chion. p. 12. 

onr September. Pmp. Eiang. lib. L cap. 9. lib. z. cap. 9. 

° The Babjloniaa* reckoned up 33,000 Scalig. Can. leag. lib. iii. Stilling. Orig. 

jeuv ; the Chaldeona in the time of Cicero 8ae. book i. c. 2. *ect. 4. Diod. Bib. lib. i. 

talked of 47,000 ; and Hanatho, jealou* LacL de Oris. Error, lib. ii. cap. 13. Voe*. 

for the repuuOon of hii counUy, carried de Idol. lib. i. cap. 26. Woolton** Reflect, 

hack hi> chronological account* to 36,52S on Ant. and Hod. Learning, and Stock- 

ytan. Vid. Cicer. de Dirin. lib. i. hooie'* HiiL of the Bible, book L c 5. 

BfTanl'e MjthoL Tcd. iii PetBT. &c. Han- ' One of the Chinese rmperon, abont 

rice's Hiitorj of Hindoatan. two hundred and Ihineen f lari befbre 


invalidate the chronology of the Bcriptorea. The incredible and 
contradictory accounts which these nations furnish,* appear to 
have been a veiled to so great a magnitade, by varying the 
ntodes of calculation, by separating contemporary events, and 
by snbetitnting lunar for aolar periods. Tbey are the mis- 
representations of pride, or the errors of inattention, and un- 
worthy to be pnt in competition with the accuracy and docu- 
ments of revealed information.' 

Every circumstance, indeed, in the Mosaic account, bears, if 
impartially considered, a striking feature of probability and 
truth, and the whole le &r different from the wild and iacon- 

ChriBt,ordetedalIlbeirlu«toritBl records to emigis^oni have confeHedly been Bade, 

be deattDjed. The Chineee hnie not anj and thow to which thrj hare been di- 

wock, in an intelligible character, shove rected. It ii now detemincd, bj poutir* 

two thonaand tiro hundred jrean old : eianunBtion, that the nonh-ea>t part of 

Father Amiot eonaiden thor nalian u B Ana i> either connected nilh the nortb- 

colony, derJTed from the immediate de- nest part of America, or separated from it 

•cendknti of Neah ; and their tiadilional by a verj inconsiderable dietance: though, 

knowledge, and religioua doctcinei, when indeed, thii diicOTtry wai not neceiaar; 

freed from ignoraoce and luperititioiu ad- lo proTe that the aaTsge nations of the 

ditiaiiat exhibit a cormpondence with the weetora continent must have deiiTed their 

patriaicha! ptinciplea. Vid. Martini, p. ii. origin &om the same common sonrce ai the 

3, 9. Mem. de I'Uist. des Sciences, &c. eastern nations i since, not to insist on tha 

Chinns,Tol. i. Par. 1776. argomentsfor the recency of their establiah- 

■ The Greeks coold prodoce do dales ment, which might be drawn from their 

beyond five hmdred and fif^ years be- nndviliied st>t«, and their rade ignaiance 

fan Christ, and little historical infomu- of the useful arts, they retained the lestigea 

tioa before the Olympiads, which began of opinions and customs which were so 

men hundred and serenty-fiTe years before remarkably similar to those that prerailed 

Christ. Heredotos, who flooiisbed less in the east, a> ciidently to point oat > 

tluD Gio centuries before our Satiour, former connection : a reiereDce for the 

befits with &blB ; Thucydides rejects, aa sabbath, and an acquaintance with many 

uncertain, all that preceded the Pelopoo' appointments of the Mosaic institution, 

nenan war ; and Ptatanh Tentored not were obserred to exist in America by the 

Ipejood the time of Thesena, who lived a first discoverers of that country, too nume- 

little before the ministry of SamneL Vid. tons indeed to be the molt of acddent or 

Ptntarch's Life of Thesena. Stnbo's Qeo- caanalreKmbiance: aU the Americana had 

graph, lib. ivii. some traditionary acquaintance with the 

' Some dilliculties, equally fn^e and particulars of the Mosaic history ; as of the 

Knraasonable, have likewise been started flood ; of otie fomily preserved ; and of the 

■gainst the probability of that account, conRision of tongues. The Mexicans bad a 

which derives the whole lace of mankind custom of tinging the threshold of the door 

frdm one common stock, notwithstanding with blood, possibly in allusion to the dr- 

the diversity of complexioQ, and the se^ara- cnmstanccathatdistinguished the institution 

tion of country ; but actoal observation of the passover ; and the Canadians had 

hath lacertained, that climate and local even some idea of the Messiah. Huet. 

dimmstaDces are sufficient to account for Demon. Evang. cap. 7. sect 3. Laiii Navig. 

every dissimilarity which is discovered in in BranL cap. 16. Joann, de Ijut. Antwerp. 

the appearance of difiereat natioiis. Tha Not ad BisserL Grok de Orig. Oent. Ame- 

anppoeed difficulties of emigiation are like- rican. Acoata's Hiat. lib. v. cap. 28. Peter 

wise Dbiiated by recent diacoveries in Mart decad. iv. cap. 3.- and decad. viiL 

geography: for these demonstraU a much cap. 9. Oeor. Horn, de Orig. Oent Ame- 

gceater proximity in coontries, between rican. Harris's Introd. to Collect Voyage, 

which no communication was supposed to Smith's Essay on the Caases of Variety 

exist in the eariier ages of the world, than of Complexion and Figure in the Human 

obtains between those from which esriy SpeciPa. 



sisteDt theories which have at different times been ima^ned 
and framed by fanciiiil men ;" whose crude and extravagant con- 
jectures concerning the creation, only prove the impossibility of 
treating snch a subject without the aid of inspiration. Moses 
describes the great work of the creation, not in an exact philoso- 
phical det^l, but in a style adapted to popular apprehensions, 
and with a concise magnificence, designed to impress mankind 
with just notions of God, and of his attributes.' The account is 
given without any attempt to establish system, and in a manner 
levelled to all capacities, though universally admired for its 
sublimity. It represents the whole world to be material and 
created, in opposition to the prevailing notion, that the heavenly 
bodies were animated by an internal power.' The divine agency 
is represented under images and descriptions accommodated to 
human conceptions: and though the real mode of God's operation 
and proceedings cannot be apprehended by us at present, tbey 
are in some measure subjected to our understanding, under 
analogous representations which illustrate their character. But 
notwithstanding the nature of God's agency Is adumbrated under 
terms and expressions adapted to human actions, the account of 
the creation is not to be considered as allegorical, or merely 
figurative, auy more than the history of the temptation and 
of the fall from innocence; since the whole description is 
unquestionably delivered as real, and is so considered by all the 
sacred writers.* In the explanation of scripture, indeed, no in- 
terpretation which tends to supersede the literal sense should 
be admitted : and for this reason also It is, that those specula- 
tions which are spun out with a view to render particular rela- 
tione in this book more consistent with our ideas of probability, 
should be received at least with great diffidence and caution. 
To represent the formation of the woman from Adam's rib, as a 
work performed in an imaginary sense, or as pictured to the 

' CudwartbV Intel. Sjatem, ind Cotniog. bodiei only u &r u they mpacted tht 

Pie£ to Unir. Hut. Cltuke'i DomoDat. of mnh. 
Being and Atlnbutaa of God. t Longin. de Sublim. »cl. 9. 

* Some think that the worid waa istlan- * John liii. 41 ; 'J Cor. xi. S ; 1 Tim. ii. 

laneonaly created, thoogh repre«iited by 13; Rei. lii. 9. Allirt Reflect OD Gen. 

HowB SI performed in aacccsuan of time, Waterland'a Gen. Pref. to Script. Vind. 

in acconunodatinii to our conceptioni ; but Wattj'i Eaaoy tomuda Vindio. of Uaviie 

it ia more reawiuible and conMitent with HiaL Nichola'a Confer, with a Theiil, 

the acconnl to beUeTethat it waaonnpleted put i. p. 13fi. Bochart de Scrip. TentaL 

in detaiL Moiea apeoka of Ifae creation of p. 836. 
the uniTeiK, bnt treat* of the heaienly 



mind in vision, seems to be too great a departure &om the plain 
rales which shoold be obserred in the construction of scripture,* 
and inconsistent with the expo^tions of the sacred writers. So, 
likewise, the wrestling of Jacob with an angel,** tbongh some, 
times considered as a scenical representation addressed to the 
&ncy of the patriarch, should rather be contemplated like the 
temptation of Abraham,' as a literal transaction, though 
perhaps of a fignrative character; like that, it was designed 
to convey information by action instead of words, of certain par- 
ticnlars which it imported the patriarch to know;'' and which 
he readily collected irom a mode of revelation, so customary ia 
the earlier ages of the world, however it may seem incongmons 
to those who cannot raise their minds to the contemplation of 
any economy wliich they have not experienced, and who proudly 
question every event not coufflstent with their notions of pro- 

After having related the disobedience of Adam, and its punish- 
ment, softened by the gracious promise of a future seed that 
should bruise the seducer to sin,* Moses describes the mnltipH- 
eatioD of mankind, and the evil consequences of the entailed 
corruption ; the intermixture of the descendants of Seth, " the 
SODS of Cktd," with the family of Gain, " the daughters of men ;*" 
the progress of impiety, and its punishment ; the preservation 
of Noah and of his family, from amidst the general destruction 
by the flood : he proceeds to treat of God's covenant with man ; 

' Qen. L 32, 23. Thii ii related liy tended to coDTcy ta him tn HnUtlDce of 

UoKi (M ■ rod openticn, though perfonned that delirersjice from tha hand of Esau 

wbile Adam wat in a deep deep, and ia so which h» hod pioualj entreated : it is ce- 

conndend by the ncred vriten ; 1 Cor. prcKiitedu im Bctual event by HDHi,uid 

zL 8, 9. ia ao rec^Tad by Homo, ch. xii. 4. St. 

^ Ch. mii 24, 25. Jenini nndentanda It u figmttiTS of epi- 

' Ch. Till. The enjoined laciifim of ritual tonflieta which we are to TnainBiin, 

lasac ia properly conaidend u b typical Hieren. in cap. 6. Eput. ad Ephea. 
vepreaentatiDa, which was nndentood by ■ Oen. iii. 15. It ia remaricable, that 

Abraham to pt«£guie the aacrifice of CliriBt. in thia Snt prophecy of the Meaalah ha ia 

Vid. John TiiL 56. Bnt it cannot be ad- promiaed aa the "aeed of the woman." 

nitted, that the conunaiid mu merely an The JewB were at a Ion to accomit ibr the 

infonnation by action giren at the requeit reitrictian, of which the rea»n ia rerealed 

of Abraham ; aa thia, ootwithatanding the to na in the account of the miracnlona coit- 

■rgumenU of the learned Warbnrtoii, moat ception of Christ by a rirgin. It dracrrea 

be coniidered aa inconustent with the paa- to be noticed, that the bmiaing of the 

•agei in ociiptare where God i* laid to Mewah'a heel was liteiallj accomplished 

hare tempted Abraham. Geo. iiii. 1 ; by the cmcifiiiau. The head Hkewiie of 

UeKii. 17. Vid. DiT. Legst, lib. tI lect. the aeipent iataid tobe the aeat of li&,hia 

S. heart being nnder the throat ; and heoee 

' Ch. mil 2i, 26. The aneceaafol hii chief tare, when attacked, ia to aeenn 

atmggle wUch Jacob maintained, waa in- hiahend. 



of the dieperffion of the descendants of Noah ; of the coofnmon 
of toDgaee; of the corensnt made with Abraham ; of the de- 
strnction of Sodom and Oomorrab ; and of each particolars in 
the lives of the patriarchs as were best calculated to illuatrate 
the proceedings and judgments of God, and the rise and progresa 
of religion; and he concladee with the interesting story of 
Joseph, and of the settlement of the Israelites in Egypt. Thus 
have we a clear, though short, history of the first ages of the 
world, which profane writers had Twnly endeavoured to rescue 
from the shades of antiquity. The whole is related with a 
concise and nohle simplicity of style, suitable to the dignity 
of the subject. The sacred writer, anxious only to furnish im- 
portant Intelligence, describes the earlier periods with rapidity, 
and dilates more copiously on the interesting transactions of 
which the effects and influence were recently experienced. Id 
the hasty sketch, however, even of the first ages, Moses, by the 
selection of individual families for consideration, delineates a 
striking picture of the manners of each period ; and by occa- 
sionally descending to the minateness of biography, affords a 
lively illustration of the smaller features and familiar mannera 
of the patriarchal ages. 

Id the coarse of his history, Moses describes events as they 
occurred, end characters as they appeared. The actions of the 
patriarchs and favourite ancestors of the Jews, however excep- 
tionable, and even the deceitiiil cruelty of Levi, (trom whom the 
historian was descended,) as also the curses denounced against 
him,' are related without disguise. One (urcumstance must, 
however, be remembered by those who would understand the 
scope and design of the sacred writer, in furnishing ns with 
particular relations contained in this book; which is, that he 
always kept in mind the promise of the Messiah; and was de- 
sirous of shewing, that the expectation of this great object of the 
Jewish hopes was predominant in all times, and iaflnenced the 
opinions and manners of every generation. The recollection of 
this win furnish the reason of many particulars, mentioned in 
the book, which might otherwise appear extraordinary and ex- 
ceptionable. It will explain the conduct of Lot's daughters;* 

' Clu niiT, 13 — 15 i ilix. 5, 6. Mimiili ; u Lot'a dansiiten wcra pnri- 

I R. Samuel and R. Tuicbmiuh, on oiul; diitingaiihed for i^Bililj, u it wu a 

Oen. lii- 32. Thii inceit certain]; pro- concerted and delibsnte pnx«eding, asd at 

ceeded from a denre of piodndng the they wiihad to peipetoate the meiDoij of 



the fiolent dedre of Sarah fer a eon ; the solicitude of Isaac to 
Temove the barrenneBS of Bebehah ; and the contention between 
the wives of Jacob. In conformity with this design, also, 
Moses relates the jealousies between Ishmael and Isaac, and 
between Esau and Jacob, and manj^ other minute and singular 
particulars, which an historian of his dignity would not have 
condescended to describe, but with a view to illustrate the 
general persuasion of, and gradual preparation for the coming of 
the Messiah. 

The book contains likewise some signal and direct prophecies 
eonceming Christ,'' and other interspersed predictions, which by 
their accomplishment authenticate the truth of the scripture 
accounts. Moses describes, also, the predictions of other persons, 
who were occasionally enlightened by the Holy Spirit to unfold 
parts of the divine economy, and to keep alive the confidence 
and hopes of mankind, " deliveriDg the prophecies which have 
been uttered ever since the world began."' 

It may be briefly observed, that mauy particulars in pagan 
history, as well as many circumstances in the present appearance 
of the world, both natural and moral, tend to prove the truth of 
those accounts which are Furnished in this book. Innumerable 
traces of the Mosaic history, and of the events and characters 
which it describee, are discoverable in every page of profane 
anthors; The spot on which Sodom and Gomorrah stood, still 
indicates a sulphureous quality,^ and d^ly vestigea of the deluge 
point ont its extensive effects. The various manners, customs, 

tha action by tbe namei which they gave lib. L tap. 9. Plin. Nut, Hiit. lib. t. cap. 

the cfaildrm; for Moab impliet, hom of 16. mi Tadti Hitl lib. t. <«ct 7. The 

my fiither, aod Ben-ammi tat a similar account of the Utter author i> remaiksble. 

import. Vid. AUii'* Reflect, on Ocn. He relate^ that the plains when the citiea 

'OeiLiii, IS; xiL 3 ; zviii. IS; ixi. 12; atsod were laid, "Olim nbem, nugniaqne 

xzii. 18; iiTi,4 ;ziriii. 14 ; ilii. 10,18. orbibiu bBtritatm, fabninnm jactn anuu: 

■ Oen. ri. 3 ; ii. 35 — 27 ; liii. IS, IG ; et manere Tctliaia. teiranque ipnm ipeeia 

XT. 5, 13 — 16 ; cvL 12; irii. 8, 20; rriti. torridam, vim frngiferam perdidiaae. Nam 

14; ixi. 12, 19; xxr. 23 ; ilii 4 ; uni. cnneta ipaiile edita, ant manu aata, rire 

29,39,40; ixiT. II; xL 13,18,19; ili. herbs tenni not flore, kii >DHtam in ape- 

29—31; ilri.4; ilfm. 19 ; riix.3— 27; dem adoIeTere, atta et inania tolnt in 

L 24. cinerem vanewiunt." He addi, " f^ licat 

* The lake Aaphaltitea is a sea of Ytrj inclitas gaondain orbes ione QBlCBli nagrsiae 

hitomiiioiia nature ; it throws up gie^t coDcesscnm, ita halitu lacui mfici terrain, 

qnantitiea of atphaltos, a drng fonnerlj coirumpi BDperFasnm tpirilum, eoque fcetoi 

uKd by the Egj^tiani and other nations Kgetum et outumni pntreecere reor, xilo 

far embalming, &c Vid. Mnnndtvll, ecdoque joxta groti." Vid. also Stmbo*a 

Pocod^ Uniyer. HisL toL ii. book i. ch. 7. Oeogr. lib. ivi. TheTenofs TrsTela and 

p. 418. Keill'iErom. DfBeflett.onTheot. Volney'a Voyege en Sjiie, &c toI. L p. 

p. 148. Waleitand'apieltoVind. Jenkina's 281. 
fffamn ToL ii. p. 526 ; also Joieph. Antiq. 

, ,, Google 


and saperstitions of many ancient nationB, nnchanj^ dnring a 
long enccession of ages, still remain to prove the fidelity and 
exactnesB of the descriptions girea hy Moses ; ' and in the pre- 
dominant genius and disposition of the modem Jews, we witness 
a wonderful correspondence with the picture of their ancient 
character. No length of time, or difierence of condition, hath' 
been able to efface those strong features of national peculiarity 
which are imprinted on this singular people, and which shew 
themselves so remarkably in their prejudices, conduct, and man- 
ners, in different countries, and under different goremments. 
The reason and ground of their observances and ceremonies are 
traced out in this book ; and though in the subsequent parts of 
the Pentateuch the laws are laid down by which their civil and 
religions conduct are influenced, yet here chiefiy are described 
the causes and source from which they are derived, as may be 
.instanced in the cases of the sabbath, and of the circumcidon," 
not to mention other particulars. Genesis was, indeed, very 
properly prefixed to those books in which Moaea communicated 
the divine commands, since herein are displayed the most im- 
pressive proofs of Qod^s existence and attributes, and herein is 
shewn the authority from which Moses derived his commission 
«8 a lawgiver; and it was therefore probably written as pre- 
paratory to the promolgation of the law." It is likewise excel- 
lently serviceable to illustrate the great deagn and tendency of 
revehttion ; which is ever delivered in a manner conformable to 
the fallen and depraved nature of man. It describes the origin 
of a distinct immaterial Spirit, derived immediately from God ; 
and the first institution of the marriage union. It points oat 
the true source of evil, in an account consistent with the divine 
attributes, and confirmed by the character and appearance of 
mankind in every age. Every moral discourse, as every reli- 
gious system, must be built on the foundation and conviction 
that man was created in innocence, but degraded by nn ; and 
hence be is susceptible of good, and prone to evil." On account 
of the dignity and importance of the subject, and of the serious 

' Hii geogi^liiial accOUnU an comUtent liahed in Bp. WntaonV Tbeologica] Tncti. 

*illi the mott anthenlic memoiiBla. Vid. Vid. ch, njii. 32. Euub. Praep. Evan. 

Joaepbiu, Ontini, and Bochart. Haimer'a lib. viL c. 9. 

ObierTstion* on diTcn Fimnpti of Script ■■ EnKb. Pnap. ETan. c 2. lud. Pelnnnt. 

Ac Hnet Demon, piop. It. Aisnariai in *■ WolKlej's Bouon of Cbii«liui Beli- 

nAo Jank. gtoD, p, 152. 

■ Allii'i ReflectSont on Oeneut, repnb- 



attention which it deseired, the Jews were forbidden to read 
the beginning of GeoesiB till they had attained the sacerdotal 
age of thirtj yeare. A work, indeed, which describes the first 
creation and lapse of man, which treats of Qod^s connseU and 
interconrse with his creatures, which opens the prospect of re- 
demption and the grand scheme of prophecy, and exemplifies 
the high obligatioos and interests of man, cannot be considered 
with too matote and deliberate judgment. 


The title of the second book of Moses is likewise descriptire 
of its contents. The word Exodns,* which is of Greek origioal, 
implies emigration ; and the book relates the departure of the 
Israelites ont of Egypt, after a previous description of their state 
of serritnde, of the appointment of Moses, and of the miracles 
by which he effected their delivenince. It presents us also with 
the account of their journey throngh the wilderness, of the solemn 
promulgation of the law at Mount Sinai, of the delivery of the 
decalogue, and of the building of the tabernacle. It is univer- 
sally allowed to have been written by Moses ; and the words of 
Exodus are cited as the words of Moses, by Daniel, David, and 
other sacred writers : to whom it is useless to refer, since our 
Saviour himself always distinguishes the law {by which the 
whole Pentateuch is implied) from the prophets, as the work of 
Moses ; and Rivet has observed, that twenty-five passages are 
quoted by Christ and his apostles ont of this book in express 
words, and nineteen as to the sense, and this will be found not 
to be an exaggerated account. 

Exodus contams an history of about one hundred and forty- 
five years, or perhaps of a somewhat shorter period. Many of 
the circumstances therein recorded are confirmed by the testi- 
mony of heathen writers.'' This, perhaps, it is nnnecessary to 

■ From "E^iitot, a dqnnnre, or going Mont. Tbe Eiodiu ondar Mota ii men- 

ont. It ii called hy the Jew*, V«-elleh tioned bj Polemon, (at cited hj AfHcaiini 

Semot}); tiut ii, *'tlie« am the namn," in Eniebiiu,) b; Manetho, (rid. JoMplt. 

Thkh are tbe initial wotda of tbe book. cant. Apian, lib. L) bf Tiogui Pompeini, 

b Nomeniiu ipeakt of the oppoeition of and bf Tacitua, wilh lame abeunj addi- 

Hk Egjptiui magiriaiu to di« miraclea of tiona ^m perrerlcd inf onoatiDa. VidTadL 



mention, jbr our conTiction of ihe trath of its relationa is bnitt 
on much higher evidence. The intrinsic marks of sincerity in 
the sacred writings ate nsnally too numerous to require any ad- 
ditional support. 

This book containa Bome predictions, of which it relates also 
the accomplishment ; as that of the deliverance of the Jews, 
which Moses foresaw ' and effected. It likewise describes some 
which were not folfilled till after his death ; as that concerning 
the conqtiest of Canaan,'' and the fiiture division and allotment 
of the land ; * and also those which related to the revolutions that 
were to take place in the government of the Jews ; their future 
subjections, captivities, deliverances, and returns. 

It may throw some light upon this book, as well as contribute 
to our general admiration of scripture, if we observe, that the 
events recorded to have happened under the old dispensation 
are often strikingly prefigurative of those which occur under the 
new; and that the temporal circumstances of the Israelites 
seem designedly to shadow out the spiritual condition of the 
Christian church. The connexion is ever obvious, and points 
out the consistency of the divine purpose, and the harmony 
deliberately contrived to subsist between both dispensations. 
Thus, in the servitude of Israel, are described the sufferings of 
the chorcb; in the deliverance from Egypt, is foreshewn its 
redemption ;' and the journey through the wilderness is a lively 
representation of a Christian's pilgrimage through life, to its in- 
heritance in everlasting bliss. So, also, without too minute a 
discussion, it may be observed, that the manna of which the 
Israelites did eat,* and the rock of which they drank,'' as well 
as the brazen serpent by which they were healed, were severally 
typical of correspondent particulars that were to obtain under 
the Christian establishment ; ' as under the sacrifices and cer&- 

Hiit lib. V. i 8. (Met writen, at etpB- xxzIt. 3S, 3i ; the aecompliihnwDt of 

dally Onibcni, in the Teraa ucribed to vbicli pradiedona fimiiahed Ritented 

luiD, ■peek oC the delireiy of the (we tableti evidena of the diYine audoritf of the 

of thelsir bom Ood, and of the iutiiuUan HdhjcIaw. 

of the Hebrav riiea. ■ ' Z»chiiria» appUei the rery irorda of 

■ Exodna viL 4, fi. the lemporal to ibt •piritoal ddiTenmos. 

* Chap. XT. 14—17; ixiiL 22, 23, 31; hake L 6B— T9. 

xniii. 3. * John ri. 33—38 ; Rev. iL 17. 

• Moees alio here predioled the eomlailt * 1 Cor. t. 1— fi ; Qal ir. 23, 34 ; CoL 
miracle of protoction during the time of ii. 17. 

wonhip thjice timea eyer; year — at the ' St Jecon carriea theae ideaa lo a 
feait of the powoTer, at tut of penlecoat, very faDcifol ertceme. Vid. Hisron. d« 
and at that of tabenMclet ; w. Esod. 42. Muuioii, de Vmla Sicecdot &e. 



monial service of the chnrch, of which the inBtitntioQ is here 
recorded, was described the more spiritoal worship of the 

It is necessary farther to remark, that if we would understand 
the reason and intention of many injunctions contained in this 
book, we must recollect, that the great design with which they 
were framed, was to preserve the IsraeliteB a distinct and in- 
dependent people, and to prevent their communications with 
other nations ; lest thej, who were to be eutmsted with the 
sacred deposit of the ioBpired writinge, and from whom, as fivm 
the seed of Abraham, the Mesuah was to arise, should catch the 
infection of idolatry ; or by mbgUng with the Gentiles, render the 
sccomplishment of the promises doubtful. The many cantious 
against idolatry, and the precepts levelled against whatever might 
tend to promote its influence;' the nice discriminations, the 
peculiar and alienating prohibitions, which restrained the Israelites 
jErom associating with other nations, were all devised with a 
view to the accomplishment of this important design. And as 
not only the country, not only the tribe, but the individual 
femily was foretold, from which the Mesaah should spring, it 
was requisite to ascertain exactly the lineage and descent of 
each. Hence are the seeds of jealousy indnstrionely sown 
between the different tribes, and the younger preferred to the 
elder. Under this idea, the laws which were enjoined to ascei^ 
tain the virginity of the maidens will be judged necessary ; and 
the punishment decreed against adultery will not appear dispro- 
portioned or severe. These instances are produced only by way 
of illustration : and by attending to the views of God in the 
establishment of this religions polity, we shall always find much 
cause to admire the wisdom of bis laws ; "" though, indeed, we 
are too little acquainted with the ancient manners of the Hebrew 
nation, and of other nations with whom it was connected, to 
understand the full scope and importance of every particular 

* HA, T. piacticM. Vid. Spencer de Leg. Heb. o 

I lUiman. Hon Nerodi. pui iL c ST. 20. 

■nd Lent, xix 19, 27, SS ; zxi. S ; whidi ■ MaiiaDtb Uon Neroch, gut ii, cap. 

noagM oontaiit Uwi that wefs probaUj 26. 37. 
okectod aguut iddkttnu toA lopentitiinu 




The third book in the order of the Pentatench is called Levi- 
ticDB,' in the Latin and English Bibles, because in it are described 
tbe office and duties of the Leyites ; or rather, agreeably to the 
account of bishop Patrick, because it contains the laws of the 
Jewish rites and religious sacrifices, of which the charge was 
committed to Aaron the Levite, and to his descendants, who 
were consecrated by divine appointment to the priesthood; 
being assisted in the performance of tbeir sacred office by a 
second branch of Levies family, which, by an appropriate title, 
was called the tribe of Levi ; '' and which obtained the pririlege 
of officiating as a second order of the priesthood, in recompense 
of the ready zeal that it displayed against idolatry, and the 
worshippers of the golden calf.* 

The Jews, according to their custom, denominate the book 
firom the first word in the Hebrew ; ^ and imagine, in agreement 
with some &nciful notions of the Jewish Masorites, from the 
particular size of one letter in the word, that it has some 
mysterious signification; but these conceits it would perhaps 
be somewhat difficult to explain, and but of little use to discuss. 

That Moses was tbe author of this book is proved, not only 
by tbe general arguments that demonstrate him to have written 
all the Pentateuch, but by particular passages in other books 
of scripture, wherein it is expressly cited as bis inspired work.* 

' AnrtTuciir, in Ike Onek. jointd with tbe prieita in dedding on twe* 

*■ Oodwjm'i HosH atiA Aaron, lib. L of leproey, and la judging ceremonial 

c. fi. Heb. TiL 1 1. canae* ; thej Iiad no appToprtata portion or 

' Aaron ws* appointed to the priaatliaod inharitancc, but >ubuated b; the allaiv 

befoietbeidoUtioua proceeding heieaUDded Kattered unong the reit of (lie tribea, 

to. What DppDution he made to the pe> sgneehl; to the prediction of Jacob. Vid. 

Tena inclinaliona of the people ia not men- Oen. xliz. 7. Tbe Nethinimi wen de- 

tioned. He appear* to have been compelled ■cendanls of the Qibeonitei, condemned b^ 

to BUbmit; and pnibabljr he deaigned to Joahna for their decwt to menial and aerrila 

diacountenance the idolaten bf chooang, ai attendance on the prieet). Vid. Jo^na ix. 

B ajmbol of the divine preaenee, one of Thej were ealled Nethinima, ftron fHJ, 

thoee very imagei whici they knew to have Nathan, to pre j aa pven to the lerrice of 

pnioVtA God'a anger againat tie Egyp- the umple. 
«.„. T^._ _.„ ,^.™ „J„ ;„ ,1,. ^ ^^^ Vai-jiirah et damarit. 

; were threo onlen in the 

«idO,.».lbmmi Th.Lml«ni.Uu««l ^ ,t a.u.„ h Mut raL 1 ; Km 

tb.jK»pK»«~m,T.,rimnk«,»r..f ^, ^ 1; JCor.n. 16i (M.lii. U; 

the latKinuide, uid .flervBrda of the Umple i p ., j ib. ' ^ n.„,i, h 90 

«.dth.BCt5h«l.ithe,w«.B...i- ll'el-i.lHi-'a""!!"-^'- 



The laws of rites and ceremonieB which it contains, were de- 
lirered from Qod to Moses in the first month of the second 
year after the departare from Egypt ; that is, about A. M. 2514. 
They are mmmunicated in a plaio and perspicuous style ; the 
precepts are Mly and circumstantially ^ven ; and their minute 
particolars are often repeated, and insisted on as important, and 
ezpressire of something beyond the mere letter. That the 
Leyitical law bad a covert and myBterious signification, is, 
indeed, justly allowed by all judicious commentators ; the whole 
service had a spiritual meaning ; and its iostitutions, sacraments, 
and ceremonies were unquestionably prefiguiative of gospel 
appointments.' Thus its sacrifices and oblations, which, if per- 
formed in faith and obedience, were to mnciliate forg^Teness of 
sins,' have been justly conridered as significant of the atonement 
to be made by Christ. The requisite qualities of these sacrifices 
were emblematical of Christ's immaculate character. The mode 
also prescribed as necessary in the form of these offerings, and 
the mystical rites ordained, were allusive institaUons calculated 
to enlighten the apprehen»ons of the Jews, and to prepare them 
for the reception of the gospel.'' Thus, likewise, as might have 
been observed in the account of the preceding book, the ark of 
the covenant, the whole stmctore of the tabernacle, the priest- 
hood and its decorations, were all apposite emblems of cor- 
respondent circumstances, appropriate to a scheme of more 
perfect description.' So also, in a less important sense, were the 
ontwatd rites and purgations enjoined by the Mosaic law 
demgned to intimate the necesrity of inward purity .** Thus the 
whole service, like the veil on the face of Moses, concealed a 
spiritual radiance under an outward covering; and the internal 
import, bearing a precise and indisputable reference to future 
circumstances and events, is stamped with the indelible proofs 
of divine contrivance.' 

' John xix. 3S. ing recondliBtian and pardon in a future 

* Kzek. u. 1 ; Rom. i. 6 ; GaL lii. 12. life. 

Shnckrord'iCoii.voLiii.b. 11. These were ' Heb. liiL 11, 12. Tbe luBclitca 

10 amcilisle forgiTeneM only, in virtuo of mnit haie h*d at lesK Boma indiitiiict idea 

Chiitt*! Hcrifice, and on'the conditioDt of of tlii) apiiilnal reference. Vid. I Coi. z. 

bith in God's promi»>, and of obedience to 1 — 1, 

bit Un. The Jewt undenUwd the con- ' Heb. viiL S ; ii. 8, 9. 

ditioiii, howcTcr they migfat be ignorant of ^ Nomb. lii. 13. 19 ; Deal z. 16 ; 

the nature of Chriil'i meriUiioui al/ine- xxx. 6 ; Heb. i. 22 ; lii. 24 ; 1 Pet. L 2 ; 

ment, and howoTer they might have been Rom. il 2S, 29 ; 1 Cor. TiL 19. 

at tengtb milled to atliibulo to their legal ' Exod. ixxif, 33 ; 2 Cot. U). 13. 
TWTJfiffi a real efficacy, ood power of eETecl- 



These ideas, however, though just, must not be oventraiDed, 
ODce the fancy, if nnreined, is apt to mn into excess ; and the 
ioterpretation of the ritual law has been, periiaps, too nncon- 
trolled, particnlarly byitsearlier expositora, who faave sometimes 
built their explanations more on fanciM allusion, than on real 
analogy, and true connexion."' It may be remarked, also, that 
some of these ceremonial laws seem to have been imposed as a 
punishment on account of the frequent transgressions of a re- 
bellious people ; " or rather as a yoke or curb to restrain them 
&om idolatry," as well as to discriminate them from all other 
nations ; whi<^ pnrpose they effectually served in all their dis- 
pernons and captivities.^ The sanctimoDions observances, like- 
wise, ftod the frequent purifications enjmned by the Levitical 
law, were deagned to keep np a reverential awe of the divine 
majesty, which was supposed personally to reside among this 
ikvoured people ; and to impress them with an idea of the great 
holiness which was requisite to qualify them to approach God's 
presence. So, also, the distinctions between clean and unclean 
beasts, the regulations concerning leprosy and impurities, de- 
liberately or casually contracted, were so mmutely and forcibly 
enacted, in order to iocolcate into the minds of the Israelites their 
peculiar appropriation to <}od's service.'' The multiplied cere- 
monies, however, and complicated rites which were established id 
consequence of these deigns, were certainly eo burdensome, that 
nothing bat a CMiviction of their divine original could have in- 
fluenced any people to receive them ; especially as the-wisdom of 
their spiritual import was not understood at first, but only grada- 
ally unfolded by the interpretations of the prophets. But the 
ceremonial law, though in fiut "a yoke too heavy to be borne," and 
completely obeyed, was nevertheless well'' adapted to the time and 
circumstanoes under which it was delivered, and to the dull and 
perverse nation for which it was designed.' It was likewise perfect 
as to its spiritual intention and final views, as a figurative and 
temporary dispensation. The tranaent' character of its cere- 

■ HMyc^ Com. Hbt. lib. t. g. 5. On*, ds Jar. BdL lib. iL 

■ QoLm. 19; 1 TmuL R— 10. Iram. 15.9. ChiTKwt. Horn, in Oen. xxzii. 
HffiieL lib. IT. c 28. Lutaiit de Ven •> Lent. iz. 25, 26. 

Sapient, lib. ir. c 10. Spenear de Le^. ' Act! i*. 10 ; Gal. T. 1. 

UebiK. lib. i. c, 1. ■ Dsnt. inii. 28 ; Jcnm. ir. 33. 

• Lowman'a Hebrew vonhip, &c. Vid. Bamw^ fifteentl) aenoon on the inipaifM)~ 

«h. ni. 26, 2R. SpcDcer de Leg. lib. ii. tien of tlia Jawiah Belig^. Hatl. lii. B. 

Eiek. It. 2i, 25. < Pnlffl lii. 7—11 ; em. 

K JoTmul, an. ziT. 103, 104. Tmai. 



moiiiflB was not expliuned at first, lest they should be ander- 
valned ; bat as aooa as tbis religions system was established, its 
true natore began to appear to the people. Their inspired 
teachers instmcted them, that sacrificee and oblations for sia 
were fignrative atonements of little value in the eyes of Qod, if 
nnacGompanied by that &ith and by those qualificstioos which 
he required;" as also that the ontward pniifications and ob- 
servances commanded by the Mobeuc law, were deugned to il- 
lustrate the importance of internal righteouoiess.' 

The sacrifices, M well encharistical as expiatory, of which 
the regulations are prescribed in this book, were by no means 
first instituted by the Mosaic law, bnt appear to hare been 
adopted, probably by divine appointment, as the earliest mode 
of worship ; and they were offered up by our first parents,' as 
an acceptable acknowledgment of God's attribates, and in be- 
coming profession of hnman submission and humility. They 
were established, however, under the Mosaic dispensation npoa 
their true principles, and commanded with circumstances that 
gave them additional importance, and which served to illustrate 
their re^ character and intention.' Tbey were ordained as an 
atononent for the breech of the ritual laws ;* and delivered the 
people &om those civil and ecclesiastical punishments to which 
they were exposed from the wrath of God, oonsidered as a 
political governor. They " sanctified to the purifying of the 
flesh,"' washed away legal defilements, bnt were never intended 
to wipe off the stains of moral guilt, or to avert Chad's anger 
against sin, except as figurative of that perfect atonement at the 
commg of which "sacrifice and oblation should cease." ** They 
were commemorative acknowledgments of guilt, and typical 
pledges only of a sufficient sacrifice. 

The history of the Israelites advances about one mouth in 
this book ; which, like the rest, blends instruction and narration 
in one interesting account. It describes the consecration of 

■ Jatm. ri. 20 ; riL 31—33 ; Imuh L ■ Hsb. ii ; x. 1—14. 
11 — 17 ; Iviii. 6, 7 ; liiu. 1 — 3 ; H(mm ' Faltehood, tiaud, and Tiolencc, lliiHi^ 

*i. 6 ; Mkuli ri. 6 — B ; Amw t. 21— -2* ; offaneei sgainit l&e monl law, might be 

Pnlm I. 8— U ; ii. 16, 17. atoned for by a tn»pa»»-o(fering to God w 

■PnlmLS— 16; Ii. 16, 17 i I Sun. a ciril nilsi,but onl; oncondition of oniplB 

IT. 23 ; Pnr. XT. I ) UoMS li. 6 ; luiah repantdan to tbe uijond poit;, which 

L 11 — 17 ; Iriii. 6, 7 ; Zech. Til fi — 10 ; aTiDoed a dnceri^ o{ repentance. LeT. Ti 

Bom. ii. 28, 39. Vid. aW Eowb. Fnep. 1—7. 
Eiang. lib. TJil c 9, 10 ; and Ub. ii. c. 17. '• Pnlm iL 6, 7 1 Dan. ix. 27 ; Ueb. 

)Oen.iT. 3,4; Heb. n. 4. Tii. 19; ii. 9. 



Aaron and hia eons, the daring impiety and instant puirnhment 
of Nadab and Abihn, and the stoning of the blaaphemer ; par- 
ticnlan which illnstrate God^s care for religion, and the jealoiu 
severity by which he kept ap among the Israelites s reverence 
for his name. The relation also is animated with some signal 
predictions that stamp the work with additional marks of inspi- 
ration. Moses reveals to the people their future dispersion 
among the heathen nations; their dbtress, and decline, and de- 
solation ; and yet consoles them with the promise of mercy to 
be mingled with punishment, in their miracQlous preservation.' 
The book contains likewise one most remarkable prophecy,^ the 
accomplishment of which was a standing miracle among the 
Israelites, and which for many ages continued to fttrni^ an 
assurance of the divine authority and inspiration of Moses. He 
here foretold, that every sixth year sboold produce superflnous 
plenty to supply the deficiencies of the seventh or sabbatical 
year, when the land was to remain " nnaown, and the vineyards 
unpruned ;"" and this effectually came too pass : the observance 
of the law being invariably provided for while it continued to 
be reverenced. The same assurance was likewise given of a 
spontaneons supply to remedy the inconveniencies which would 
otherwise have resulted from that neglect of cultivation of the 
land which was enjoined for every forty-math or fiftieth year;' 
and to this was annexed a threat, that the land should be 
brought into desolation, and the people be scattered among the 
heathen, there to remun for as long a time as they should 
have neglected the laws of the sabbath and jubilee :< threats 
remarkably accomplished in the seventy years' captivity at 

' Chap, nvi ; tLfl whole of which ia s thete lam M have baen ii^leot«d fnm ths 

coDectiDn of prophedc Ilinala, lliat wen beginning of the rtiga of Saul, A. lA. 2909, 

■trikingly fulfilled. to the fourth year of J^oiakim, A. M. 

' Chap. XXT. 20 — 22. 3398, which is probably the true period, 

* Chap. nr. 2 — 9. the Mnenty yean' ct^tlty will exactly 

' Chap. TIT. 3— IS. 20—23. The allow time for the completion of the rrat, 

jabike year either coindded with the proportioaate to the space of jbur hnndred 

■BTflnlh nbbatical year, or waa proiided and ninety jvn, during which the lawa 

for by addiUomd abundance b the forty- were violated. It ia nmaricable, that tlis 

eighth year. Vid. Cnneeua, &c Repub. Jewa were carried away csptite lowaida 

Ileb. c 6. JoKph. Antiq. lib. liL c. 10. the conclueion of the nbbatiaU year. Vid. 

J. Scaliger, de Emend. Temp. lib. v. Maimon, Schamitta ve Jobel. cap. 10. MCt 

( Uvit. uvL 3J, 35. If we auppne 3. 




This book is called the Book of Numbers, becanse it cootaiDS an 
scconnt of the nQmbering or mustering of the people ; or rather, 
indeed, of two DDmberiDgs : the first in the beginning of the 
second year after their departnre from Egypt ; the second in the 
plains of Moab, towards the conclusion of their journey in the 
wilderneee.* The Jews entitle the book, Vaie-dabber, which in 
the Hebrew is the initial word ; and which some, conceiving it 
to imply the mercy-seat, have supposed to intimate, that the 
manifestations of the divineiwill, herein described, were given in 
form irom the holy oracle, which the Jews distinguished by the 
name of Dober ; and some passages from the book might be 
produced in support of this opinion.'' However this may have 
been, it is certain that Moses was the inspired author of the 
book, and that be delivers in it nothing but what is consistent 
with truth, and agreeable to the divine will, since it constitutes 
part of the Pentateuch, which in all ages bus been universally 
ascribed to Moses, and it is cited as his inspired work in various 
parts of scripture.' 

The book comprehends a period of about thirty-eight years, 
reckoning from the first day of the second month after the de- 
liverance from Egypt ; during which time the Israelites continued 
to wander in the wilderness.'' Most of the transactions, however, 
described in this book, happened in the first and last of these 
years. The date of those events which are recorded in the middle 
of the book cannot be precisely ascertained. 

The history presents us with an account of the consecration 
of the tabernacle, and of the ofiering of the princes at its dedi- 
cation. It describes the journeys and encampments of Israel 
under the miraculous guidance of the cloud ; the punishment at 
Taberah ; and the signal vengeance with which, on several oc- 
casions, God resented the distrustful murmurs of the people, and 

■ Chap. xitL wandir u long in the irOderaea* for their 

^ Chip. TiL B9. iui)[iBtiifal mDHDiin ud diitrnit in Ood. 

■■ Jochna iT. 13; 2 Chron. Tax. 11; Vid. Nmnb. iiT. 23, 33. But bj this •»- 

xiri. 3; Eiak. n. IS; iUt. 37; Mate gregation many impartant pnrpoiM wan 

nL S; John tLSI; ix. 36. aecompliahed. 

' The Inaalitai wera condemned to 



that rebellions spirit whicli so often broke out in sedition agiunst 
his appointed ministers. The promptitude and severity vith 
whid) God enforced a respect for his laws, even to the ex- 
emplary condemnation of the man who profaned the sabbath, 
vere necessary, when even a sense of the immediate presence of 
the Almighty, and a con^deration of the miracles daily per- 
formed, could not influence to obedience. Amidst the terrors, 
howcTer, of the dinne judgments' which the book nnfblds, we 
perceive likewise the continuance of Ood''s mercies in providing 
assistance for Moses by the appointment of the seventy elders ; 
in drawing water from the rock ; and in the setting np of the 
brazen serpent. The benevolent zeal of Moses to intercede on 
all occasions for the people, even when punished for angratefiil 
insurrections against himself, deserves likewise to be considered. 
The history is animated with much variety of event; and 
besides the particulars above alluded to, it contains the account 
of the resignation and death of Aaron ; of the conqnest of 
Sibon and Og; of the condnct of Balaam' towards Balak;' of 
the merited fate of Balaam ; of the insidious project to seduce 
the Israelites, its success and effects ; and of the appointment of 
Joshua. We perceive in every relation the consistency of the 
divine intentions, and the propriety of the laws which God eBt&- 
Uished. When we contemplate, for instance, the arts and 
contrivance practised by idolatrous nations, we cannot wonder 
at the rigorous commands* delivered for the extirpation of the 
inhabitants of Canaan ; or that the Almighty should desire to 
pu^from pollution a laud to be consecrated to his service. The 
book contains likewise a repetition of many principal laws given 
for the direction of the Israelites, with the addition of several 

■ Balaim ww probabiT a tnis propbet, bl««ed. Maimonidea atnurdlj nprewnta 

who had been teducad hj msnenary the tpeaking of Balaam'* aw as a cinuD- 

motjm into idoUtroui piactii:«a, hsTing itance ezcculed only in viiion, though then 

bad mooiae to beathAU imchantiiieDtft, a no shadair of mion why it ilioiild not 

when he could not procure diTino revela- be coniidend aa the accoont of a naL ctedL 

tiona. Vid. Nnmb. ntL 8 ; ixit. 1 ; 2 Objeclioni (o minclet drawn from Ibeir 

Pet. il IS. Ha Riided at Pethor, a dt; difficallj an prepotteroni, when applied to 

of Meeopotamia, towurdi Ilie bank! of the as omnipotent Being; and that MoK* 

Euphratea Pethoc wai afterwardi called ahDald not atop to describe the inipriie of 

[ec appeui to haTe been 3. Vi 
t Boluun, u well for hii 42. 

* Deut-Jrii. I— «;niL12— 17!ii.l0 

ottmen," hj cuning thoee whom Ood had 



precepts, civil and reli^ons. It describes some reg^tious estar 
blished for the ordering of the tribea, and for the division of the 
land which the Israelites were about to possess. It fttmishes ua 
also with a list of the tribes ; and with that of Levi in parti- 
cular, which is reserved for a distinct roll, becanse in possession 
of an order in the priesthood. 

With respect to ihe nomberiDgs which are made in this book, 
it must be observed, that the tribes are not reckoned in the 
order in which their heads were bom, but in that of their re- 
spective mothers, or aocording^ to their accidental or acquired 
precedence. Secondly, that only those males who were twenty 
years old and upwards are reckoned. And, thirdly, that 
Ephrmm'' and Miuiaseeh axe mentioned as two distinct tribes; 
but for the particular reasons of every arruigement in the order 
and circumstances of this enumeration, we must have recourse to 
the commentators at larg«. From these an ample solution of the 
difficulties which occur in considering the particulars of the 
namberings may be obtained.' 

The most signal prophecies which are contained in this book, 
and bear testimony to its in8[Hration, are those blessings which 
Balaam^ was constrained to utter concerning the future pros- 
perity of the Israelites,' and the destruction of their several 
enemies;" especially in that distinct and extatic description of 
the *' Star which should come out of Jacob, and of the Sceptre 
that should rise out of Israel.'"" The deDunciation likewise 
against Moses and Aaron for their disbelief," as well as those 
against the people for their murmurs,'' was strikingly fulfilled ; 
and it may be added, that the rites of the passover, of which the 
observance is again enjoined in this book,<> were figurative repre- 
seutations of a predictive character. 

^ Id the nmnber of the tribe of Ephraim of (he dirine Spirit. 

GMopaired with that of ManRuch, ws pep- ■ Ch. xxiii 3~10, S3 ; hit. 3. 

CBITC the acGonipliAhmeiit of Juob^i prc^ ' Cli. XCT. 

T^teej. Comp. Niunb. i. 3S — 3S, with Oen. ■ Ch. zzIt. 17, 19. The eipreuion of 

ilniL 19, 30. Camp, also, for limihir "the Stu^mi^t be rhoaen in allatioa to 

iDiutiBtiaii, Nnmb. L 21, with Oen. ilii. thou portentoiu ligliti which were aap- 

3, 4 ; and Nmnb. i. 27, with Ota. ilii. 3. poiad to prectds the ■ppeannce of illoitri- 

I Hieron. Com. Pirkei'i Intcod. to ddi penooiges ; and it i> remaikable, that, 

Numb. Lewi*'! Antiq. Heb. L Tiii. u if in eioct coofbrmitj with BBlsacn^ 

k Though Ood bad probably rejectad prophecy, "a Star in the eoit" iniUcated 

Pnhin" aa an apoitate prophet, he deigned the time md place of our SariouT'i mti- 

to mofSoj him on this ugnal occauon u vity. Vid. Matt. ch. ii, 

du herald of the diiine onelei, to iUaitrate ' Ch. ix. 12; and Patrick in loc. 

th« impolenej of the heathen arti, and to f Cb. xir. 20 — 36. 

demonitrate the power and foreknowledge 4 Ch. ii. 12, comp. with John xix. 38. 




The fifth and last book of the Pentateuch is distinguished 
among the Jews by itH initial word; though sometimes the 
Rabbinical writers call it the Book of Reprehensions, in allusion 
to the frequent reproaches which it contains against the Israelites. 
It is also denominated Tfaora, which implies the Law ; as well 
as Misna, a copy of the Law ; a word which corresponds with 
the title that the seventy have g^Ten it, Deuteronomy* signifying 
a repetition of the Law. It contwus indeed a compendious 
repetition of the Law; enlarged with many explanatory additions, 
and enforced by the strongest and most pathetic exhortations 
to obedience; as well for the more forcible impression on the 
Israelites in general, as in particular for the benefit of those 
who, being born in the wilderness, were not present at the first 
promulgation of the Law.'' It is a kind of manual of divine 
wisdom, a commentary on the decalogue, and contains such 
laws as concerned the people in general, as to their civil, 
military, and religious government, omitting for the most part 
what related to the priests and Levites. It was delivered by 
Moses, a little time previous to his death, to the people whom 
he had long governed and instructed ; and bequeathed, with his 
other writings, to the charge of the Levites,* as the most 
valuable testimony of his regard, in the fortieth year after the 
departure from Egypt, A. M. 2552, 

The book opens with an interesting address to the Israelites, 
in which Moses briefly recapitulates the many circumstances in 
which they had experienced the divine favour since their d&< 
parture from Horeb. He describes the success and victories 

■ From Snrrtpat t«;u)t, "a second law." whicb Ihey neie not to eater. MoKi, 

l> Mvaet, in hia addien to the Israel- lowerer, nuf perhapi mean only, lliat 

ites, ob«erTe«, thnt " the Lord medo not God made not that wkmn covenant -with 

the coTenant witb their bthen. buE with their fbce&then, the pstriucbi, but with 

thoM then alive ;" for though many who the genemtion of hi> contemporariea. Vid. 

were preunt at Sinai werenavdead,maaf Numb. lir. 29; Dent. v. 3 ; and Calmet 

bIh moat hare been itill living ; thou onlj and Eatiiu in loc 

having periahed m comeqaence of Qod'a '^ Chap. nii. 2S. The two table* of 

threala, who were twenty years old and the decalogue were placed in the.ark ; the 

upworda when they oSended him by their reit of the law in the aide of the oA. 

monnnni and even of those condemned to Vid. 1 Kinga viil 9. Palridt m Deut 

die in the wildeme**, many might, liks xud. 3fi. 
Mow*, be BUfTeced to behold the land 



wbich hsd marked their progress; the iocredulonB murmurs 
and ing^titnde by which the people had incensed God ; and 
the effects of the divine wrath, especially in the inexorable 
decree by which be himself had been debarred from that 
land, for the possession of which he had so earnestly toiled- 
He proceeds with the most animated zeal to exhort them to 
fiiture obedience ; and to rehearse in a discourse, renewed at 
intervale, the varions commandments, statutes, and judgments 
vhich had been delivered to them by Gt>d, that they might 
become *' a wise and onderstaDding nation,^ and fulfil the terms 
of that covenant which the Lord had made with them in Horeb. 
Moses, while he intersperses with these laws frequent reproaches 
for their past misconduct, unfolds the glorious attributes of God,'' 
and reiterates every persuasive motive to obedience. He com- 
mands them to distinguish their first entrance to Canaan, by a 
public display of reverence for God's law; by erecting stoaes on 
which all its words and precepts might be inscribed.' He enters 
into a new covenant with the people ; which included not only 
that previously made at Horeb, but which renewed also and 
ratified those assurances of spiritual blessings, long since im- 
parted to Abraham and bis descendants.' He then, in con- 
sistency with the promises and sanctions of both covenants, sets 
forth for their election, "life and good, and death and evil;" 
temporal and etem^ recompense, or present and future punisb- 

In tke preceding books of the Pentateuch, Moses speaks of 
himself in the third person ; but here, in a more animated 
manner, he drops as it were the character of an historian, and is 
introduced as immediately addressing himself to his countrymen.*' 
Hence it is that, in describing what he uttered, be repeats the 
decalogue, with some alight change of expression irom Uiat which 
was used at its first delivery ; a variation which, as it affected 
not the import of the commaDdment, might have served to 

* ChaiLiYU. 17, 18. Vid. BuU'i DIh. FoaL c. 11. 

' Chap. iitU. I — 5. Mow* exprenl; ( Maunoiiidea, coniciaDa thai tke Monk 
eammuida, tbal ** all the vords of the law" pronuiei of tempiml rewaid wen flguntiTe 
■honld be written ; which cannot mean, a* of tntnn Tecompenie, giie* this tiaditianaTy 
•one have euppoeed, merel; the decalogue. eiplanatioD of the luictiOD in Dent. iv. 40. 

' Chiifcuii. 12, 13. Biahop Bull inaa UtbmieiittUii,"in hcuIo quod t«tum eat 
of opinion, that only the Abrohaniio cove- bonum." El pnimgn ditt, " in uecillDm 
nant wn* here renewed ; but it ahould qnod totmn eat longum." 
nthet aeeni, that both thia and the cove. ■' Chap. i. 6 ) il 17 ; it. 8 ; 'a. Ui i. 
nant of Sinai nrre rrnencd and ratified. S. 




indicate, that not the letter, but the spirit of the law eboold be 
regarded : he likewise iotroduces some general alterations in the 
code that he presents, which should be cuDsidered as supple- 
mentary additions requisite by a change of time and circnm' 
stances; and he takes occasion to intimate that spiritual inten- 
tion of the law, by which it was designed for the inward govern- 
ment of man.' It should here be remarked, that the severe 
spirit which pervades the law, as shewn in the nnmerons exac- 
tions and declaratory curses detailed in this book,'' was con- 
uatently contrived to point out the rigorous character of the 
divine justice, which, in a covenant of stipulated observances, 
necessarily required punctilious and universal obedience.' For 
though the divine mercy might compassionate the weakness of 
human nature, and therefore it prescribed atonements not 
difficult to be paid, yet God could not, in confonnity with his 
relation to the Israelites, overlook even involuntary deficiencies 
or casual defilement. A similar spirit of stem equity appeared 
likewise as to the civil regulations of society ; and the law not 
only sufTered, but required an exact retaliation : " Life for life, 
eye for eye, tooth for tooth,"" A requisition which, while it 
strongly enforced God's abhorrence of injuries, could not be 
abused under a government which provided cities of refiige for 
undesigning offenders, and administered Its judgments upon 
principles universally known and accepted. 

The book contains a period of nearly two months : an history 
of the conclusion of the life of Moses, whose last days were 
distinguislied by increasing solicitude, and by the most active 
exertions for the welfare of his people. After a commemorative 
hymn," in which he pathetically exhorts them "to consider 
their latter end," and after having uttered his prophetic bless* 

I Chap. z. le. lib. iii. c. 34. The Uws with reqwct to 

^ Chap, xxrii. paternal authoritj, were rather regalatinm 

' Deat. izvii 26. The hiw rigorou9l]r to mtrict the unbounda] power which 

enforced the obeemnce of whatever it en- parents did poaseu oTer their children, than 

joined, thousb aome preoepta were fianted to inrest ibem with new righU. 

with lomewhat oE lax and indulgent con- ** Vid. chap. lix. £1. 

■ideiBtioD of what the perrene temper of " The fine atteetation Ut the praiie of 

the luaelitea would bear; thui, oi they God, which ia conliuned in the fonrth 

bod been long accaalomed to divorcea, it vene of thii hymn, ia prefixed a« a begin- 

was judged right, rather to reilrict them - ■ ■■ ...... 

bj delibecate regiihLtioni. than entirely to 
aboliah them, which might hate otxauoned 
bad conaequencei. Vid- DeaL ixiv. 1 — 4 ; 
Matt T. SI ; xix. 7. SeldMi Uior. Heb. 



iDga in soleiuD and appropriate promises to the several tribes, 
this great man is represented to have retired, by divine com- 
mand, to the top of Mount Nebo; from whence he had a 
prospect of Canaan, and foresaw the speedy accomplishment of 
Crod'g promises. He then, in the fall possession of his powers 
and faculties, " when his eye was oot dim, nor his natural force 
abated," died, in the one hundred and twentieth year of bis age. 

The mention of Dan" in the first verse of the lasf chapter of 
this book, as well as the account of the death and burial of 
Moaes, and some other seemingly posthumous particulars therein 
described,!' have been produced to prove, that this chapter could 
not be written by Moses i and in all probability these circum- 
stances might have been inserted by Joshua, to complete the 
history of this illustrious prophet ; or were afterwards added by 
Samuel, or some prophet who succeeded him. They were ad- 
mitted by Ezra as authentic, and we have no reason to question 
the fidelity of the account.. 

The book is cited as the Book of Moses in many parts of 
scripture ;'' and numberless passages are produced from it in 
testimony, by Christ and his apostles.^ 

With respect to the prophetic part of Deuteronomy, it should 
be remarked, that the Iklessiah is here more explicitly foretold 
than in the preceding books, and described as the completion of 
the Jewish economy. "I will raise them up a prophet fi-om 
among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in 
his month, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command 
him."' The prophecies of Moses increase in number and clear- 
ness towards the close of hie writings. As he approached the 
end of his life, he appears to have discerned futurity with more 

* It hai b«en wud, that aome naraei i' Theic hai been an abnird cavil on 
Died in the PmlateDcit were not applied to chap. i. I, of thia Ixwli, where Mdm) i> 
the places which ther dncribe till oflcr the aoid to have written it "on tfaia lide 
dealli otMo»e>; if the tralh of tUi» remark Jordan." The word Becber appliet to 
could be protej, we might BOppoM the either ride, in relation to the speaker. Vid. 
Dwdern name* U have been mibalilaled b; 1 Sam. lif. 20. Huet. Demoo. Eiang. Pnip. 
Eira, 01 h; same prophet poiterior to c. 4. Witrins MiKel. Sac. lib. L e. M. 
Moeei, for the information ot later time* j Philo de ViL Moi. lib. iii. JoiepL Antiq, 
but the UMrtion often proceeds from mia- lib. ii. c 6. Vid. alio Patrick in Dent, 
take, and from a want of distinction: for iii. 11. 
fnttuice, theDanipokenofbyMoseSjinight 
be different from the place afterwards so 
named in Jndgei iriii. 39. Josephns con- 
crires it to bkvt been a river, one of the 
■am* «f the Jordan. Vid. Aatiq. lib. iii. 

Joth. i. 5, 7 

J 1 



. 4 ; Dan. ii. 



Matl. It. 4 ; 



; AM. iii. 22, 

.iii. IS. 

Dent. iTiiL 


, coan>. 

with John 1. 

and Act! TiL 


,;, Google 


exactness. HU denunciations concerning the future rewards and 
pQcisbments, the snccess, dispersions, and desolations of his 
people;' hie description of the rapid victories of the Bomane;" 
of the miseries to be sustained by his besieged coantrymen ; ' 
and particularly his prophecies relative to their present condition, 
as accomplished under onr own observation,'' bear a striking 
evidence to the truth and inspiration of bis writings, and fearfully 
illustrate the character of the divine attributes. 

The book of Deuteronomy brings down the sacred history to 
A. M. 2552, and completes the volume of the Pentateuch, of 
which every part is uniformly and consistently perfect. 


Tbb historical books of scripture were written by persona who 
composed them under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Some 
of them are entitled with the names of distinguished prophets; 
and the rest are universally attributed to writers invested with 
the same character. The Hebrew annals were kept only by 
privileged and appointed persons;* and the writers who are 
occasionally mentioned in scripture as the penmen of the sacted 
history, are expressly denominated prophets, or seers." It is 
evident, likewise, that the authors of the historical as well as of 
the prophetical books must have been inspired, since they every- 
where displayed an acquaintance with the counsels and designs 
of God, developed the secret springs and concealed wisdom of 
his government, and often revealed his future mercies and judg- 
ments in the clearest predictions. . They uniformly adhere to 
the most excellent instruction, illustrate the perfection of God's 
attributes, and exemplify the tendency of bis precepts. They 
invariably maintain a strict sincerity of iateation ; and in their 

'Clup.iv. 25 — 30 ; li. 23— 29 ; nriU ; iUuitrioua propheciei i* detivered in one 

acx ; ziii. 2 — 6 ; xixii ; and ixxui. complkttsd denuneiation, and varioiu cak- 

• Chsp. uTiiL 49— as. The Bomaaa mitiei tie Mended into one point of new. 

■leportnyed under the deicriplion of an Vid. Newlonon thaPnipIiecieijTUi Diiuer. 
«agle, in dlniion to the imsg« ivitb which * Vid. Jueph. cont Apion. lib. L 
their atandard was decorated. ^ 1 Sam. xiiL 5 ; 1 Kingi rvL 1, 7 ; I 

' Chap. iiTiiL 62 — £8, comp. with Chron. ixix. 29; 2 Chron. lii 19; zx. 

Joieph. de Bell. Jud. 34 ; ixtL 22 ; zxiii, 32 ; Jer. xxriii. 7. 

> Chnp. iiviii ; in wMoh a chnin at , 



defwription of character and event the^ exhibit an unexanapled 
impartiality. Their writings were received as sacred into the 
Hebrew Canon ; and in Ezra^g collection they were arranged 
under the class of Prophetical Books. The hooks of Joshna, 
of Judges, (including Bntb,) of Samuel, and of Kings, were 
called the Books of the Former Prophets ;° and considered as 
the production not only of enlightened men of unimpeached 
veracity, exalted character, and disinterested views, but of 
persons who were occasionally favoured with divine revelations, 
who unquestionably wrote under a divine influence, and were 
employed to register the judgments and designs of God ; and as 
such, indeed, they are cited by the evangelical writers. 

It is clear, from all these considerations, that the sacred his- 
torians wrote under the influence of the Holy Ghost; which, 
though it did not disclose to them by immediate revelation those 
things that might be collected irom the common sources of in- 
telligence, undoubtedly directed them in the selection of their 
materials, and enlightened them to judge of the truth and im- 
portance of those accounts from which they borrowed their in- 
formation. The historical books appear, indeed, to have been 
generally written by authors contemporary with those periods 
to which they severally relate ; and hence do they oflen describe 
puch particnlars as the prophets themselves had witnessed and 
beheld, and contain such minute and accurate descriptions, as 
none but authors coeval with the events could have tiirnished. 
Some of them, however, were compiled in subsequent times; 
and then they may be supposed to have been in part collected 
from those authentic documents that were known and esteemed 
by their cotintrynien, and to have been enlarged with such addi- 
tional particuhtrs, as must have been derived &om divine com- 
munications imparted to themselves or others. These books 
are to be conmdered, indeed, as the histories of revelations ; as 
commentaries on the prophedes, and as affording a lively sketch 
of the economy of God's government of his selected people. 
They were not designed as national annals, to record every 
minute particular and political event that occurred ; but they are 
lather a compendious selection of such remarkable occurrences 
as were best calculated to illustrate the religion of the Hebrew 



Bation; to Bet before that peirerse and nngrateliil people ao 
abstract of God'g proceediDg^s, and of their iotereets and duties; 
as also to ftirniah posterity with an instructive picture of the 
divine attributes, and vritii a model of that dispensation on which 
a nobler and more spiritual government was to be erected. It 
is, indeed, evident, that some more diffuse and circumstantial 
records'* were sometimes kept by the prieatg, or other publicly- 
appointed persons ;' for to such records the sacred writers occi^ 
stonally allude, as bearing testimony to their accounts ; or refer 
to them for a more minute detiul of those particulars which they 
omit as incoufflstent with their designs. These, however, not 
being composed by inspired writers, were not admitted into the 
sacred canon ; and though Josephus informs ns, that the priests 
were accustomed after every war carefully to correct and to 
reform their registers;' and the author of the second book of 
Maccabees mentions, that Judas Maccabeus gathered together 
inch writings as had been dispersed ;< yet after the abolition 
of the Jewish priesthood, and the many calamities, persecutions, 
and dispersions which this whole nation hath suffered, we need 
not wonder that these voluminous writings have perished : and 
indeed it required the especial protection of Providence, as well 
as that reverential fondnei^ which the Jews entertained for the 
sacred bookf^ to preserve their Canon from destruction or injury. 
We have, however, the less reason to regret the loss of the other 
Jewish writings, since the scriptures turnish ua with the scheme 
of prophecy, and with the account of that peculiar economy by 
which the Jews were distinguished from all other nations. 

The historical books of scripture, if considered distinctly from 
the Pentateuch, and the writings more particularly styled pro- 
phetical, contain a compendium of the Jewish history, Irom the 
death of Moses, A. M. 2552, to the reformation established by 
Nehemiah after the return trom the captivity, A.M. 3695. Afte* 
the death of Moses, Joshua continued to record those miracnlaue 
particnlars which demonstrated the divine interposition in favour 

* At alio genralogiet, chroniclm of the written b; othen, nspectable for tbdi cn^ 
prieitbood, &C. aittcncf. 

• Cont Apion. lib. i. JoBepbni Bpealu ' The keepers of theM genealogiu are 
of geneslogioJ r^Utere, aa dulinct from tomelimes called MuchiiiiDi recorden oc 
the twenty-two canonical beoka ; aad memorifiliste. 2 Sun. Tui. IG; 2 Kiogi 
obeerres, that they contained the namci of iviii. 18; 1 ChroD. iriij. ISj 2 Chron. 
the Hebrew prieaii fbr a aocceuion of two hut. 8 ; 1 Msec. xiui. 24. 

thmuuid yenn. He (peokb hIm othiatoriei I 2 Uaec U. H. 

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of the Israelites, and to commemorate the ereuta that preceded 
and accomplished their settlement in the land of Canaan. The 
eveotfal period which succeeded the death of Joshua, during 
which the Hebrews were subjected to the government of the 
judges, ae ministers of the theocracy, furnished a large scope 
for the industry of the sacred historians ; and Samuel, or some 
other prophet, appears to have selected such particulars as were 
beat calculated to describe the period, and to have digested 
them into the book of Judges ; having, doubtless, procured much 
informatioD from the records of the priests or judges, some of 
whom were inspired, though prophetic revelations were " scarce 
in those days,"" and divine communications were made by means 
of the Urim and Thummim.' From the time of Samuel, the 
Jews seem to have been &voured with a regular aaccessioD of 
prophets, who, in an unintermpted series, bequeathed to each 
other, with themantleof prophecy, the charge of commemomting 
Hich important particulars as were consistent with the plan of 
sacred history ; and who, superior to ostentation of pretixitig 
their names to their several contributions, took up the history 
where the preceding prophet ceased, without distiuguishiiig 
their respective contributions. It is possible, however, that 
the books of Kings and of Chronicles do not contain a 
complete compilation of the entire works of each contemporary 
prophet ; but rather an abridgment of their several labours, 
digested by Ezra, in or after the captivity, with int^tion to 
exhibit the sacred history at one point of view: and hence 
it is that they contain some expressions which evidently result 
from contemporary description ; and others, that as clearly 
argue them to have been composed long after the occurrences 

*• 1 Sam. iii. 1. name of Jehovah. WhatcYcr the onuunpiit 

' Eiod. iiviii. 30; LeFiLviii. 8; Numb, was, it enabled the high-prictt to collect 

xxTii. 31. The Urim and Tbiuiunini, dlTinc iiwtruclicD apon ooauiona of aatioDsl 

which wonJB lignifj light and perfection, importance. Some conceive that the lole]- 

are applied to a mirocnlooa omunent worn Itgence wna (nmished b; on eitraonliiiiirj 

on the bRailpUte of the higb-prie«I, and pnitniiioD or apleadour of Iha different 

erroneouslj supposed by imme to be de- letters. Bui othere, with more reaaon, think 

■criptiTe of the twelie jewela in the breaat- ttutt Ihe Urim luid Thumtnim onlj qudified 

plalc, which were engraven with the muaea the prieit to preient himaelf in the holy 

o( Ihe tribe« of larael, but which in reality pUiee, t» receive answers from the mercj- 

tmnt amnething diatinet from theaa. aeat in the tabernacle, and in tho camp 

Compore Eiod. luii. 10, with Lcrit riii. from aoma oUier conaocrated place whence 

S. Some inuginc that they were oracular the divine Ycice might iuuo. Vid. Prid. 

fignrcg that gave anjcniale anawen I olhera, l^-<^. f"^ 1- hook 3. Jenninga'i Jeiriih 

that they implied only a plulc of gold, en- Antii). lib. iiL c 1. I'hilo Jud. de Monarch. 

|nven with the TetragrammaCon, or wcred lib. ii. Spencai'i Uritn and Thoramim, 

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which the7 relate. Hence also it is, that thongfh particolar 
periods are more diffusely treated of than others, we still find 
thronghout a connected series of events, and in each individnal 
book a f^eoeral nniformity of style. 

The object of the sacred historians was to communicate io- 
stniGtiou to mankind, and to illustrate the nature of God's pro- 
vidence in small, as well as in great occurrences, in particular 
instances, as well ae in general appointments; they therefore 
often descend from the great outline of national concerns to the 
minute detail of private history. The relations, however, of in- 
dividual events, that are occasionally interspersed, are highly 
interesting, and admirably develop the designs of the Almighty, 
and the character of those times to which they are respectively 
assigned. Those seeming digressioas, likewise, in which the in- 
spired writers have recorded sach remarkable events as related 
to particular personages, or such occurrences in foreign countries 
as tended to affect the interests of the Hebrew nation, are not 
only valuable for the religions spirit which they breathe, but are 
to be admired as strictly consistent with the sacred plan. Thus 
the histories of Job, of Ruth, and of Esther, though apparently 
extrinsic appendages, are in reality connected parts of one entire 
&bric, and exhibit, in minute delineation, that wisdom which 
is elsewhere displayed on a larger scale ; as they likewise 
present an engaging picture of that private virtue which in an 
exteoded ioflueDce operated to national prosperity. These hooks 
constitute, then, an important part of the sacred volume; which 
furnishes a complete code of instructive lessons, conveyed under 
every form, divernfied with every style of composition, and 
enlivened with every illustration of circumstance. 

While the twelve tribes were united under one govemmoDt, 
their history is represented under one point of view. When a 
separation took place, the kingdom of Judah, from which tribe 
the Messiah was to descend, was the chief object of attention 
witli the sacred hiatoriaDS ; they however occasionally treat of 
the events that occurred in Samaria, especially when connected 
with the concerns of Judah : they draw instructive accounts of 
the government of Israel, from the separation of the ten tribes 
to their captivity; and place the circumstances which produced 
it in striking colours before the inhabitants of Judah, whose 
unrighteousness was afterwards punished by a similar fate. 



Some account of the circumstances wbicli occurred in Samaria 
was kept, probably, by those prophets who were bom or laboured 
among the people of that country;^ and the same prophets 
fnmiflhed materials for the sacred authors of the historical books, 
who were prophets of Judah. 

The prophets who were mercifully raised up to console the 
Hebrew nation during the Babylonish captivity, have scattered 
among their predictions some few Unes of contemporary history; 
but they have fiirnished no particular account of the circum- 
stances that distinguished the condition of their countrymen ; 
who, however, must have received every possible mitigation of 
the severity of their affliction, from the good offices of such 
among them as conciliated the favour of the Babylonish 
sovereigns, and from the prophetic assurances which opened to 
them the prospect of a return to their country. 

As the succession of the prophets ceased in Malachi, the 
volume of the sacred history was closed with the account of the 
restoration, of the Jews, and of their exertions to rebuild their 
cities, and to re-establisb the order and security of their govern- 
ment. The last description represents them settled and reformed 
by the pious zeal of Nehemiah, and animated to the expecta- 
tion of that " greater glory,'" which should shine in their latter 
temple, when "the desire of all nations should come."' 

In possession of the complete volume of the scriptures, the 
Jews required no farther revelations of the divine will to explain 
and inculcate the terms of their acceptance. Enabled by the 
sacred records to look back on the vicissitudes which their nation 
had experienced, and to contemplate the character of Ood's 
judgments in the instructive scenes, they needed no longer any 
living prophet to warn them of that wrath which sin and idolatry 
would provoke," or to assure them of that recompense which 
obedience would obtain. The design and character also of the 
old covenant, its spiritual import, and its figurative contexture, 
were now unravelled for the instruction of mankind, and no fit 
subject remained for the employment of the inspired penmen till 
the appearance of a new dispensation. Of the period, therefore, 
that intervened between the death of Malachi and the arrival of 
that messenger whom he foretold, no authentic account can be 

'^ 1 Kings lii. 18; n. 39; xiv. 2; > Haggai il. 7, 9. 
XTi 7 ; 2 ChTon. ixviil 0. ■> Luke iri. 29, 31. 

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obtained." An awM interval of expectation preTinled, on nrtdclh 
bnt little light is thrown by the occasional accounts of apocry- 
phal and pro&ne historians. The nation, howcTer, appears to 
hare been successively subjected to the Persian, Egyptian, and 
■ Syrian monarchies, till rescued into liberty by the valour of the 
Maccabees, in whom the successors of David were re-established 
on the throne. These continued to flourish, with diminished 
splendour, and in subserviency to the Boman power, till the 
days of Herod, under whom Christ was bom, and " the sceptre 
departed from Judah,"° 

In a retrospect of the sacred history, it is obvious to remarlc, 
that one design of the inspired writers was to place before us the 
melancholy proofs of that corruption which had been entailed on 
mankind ; and to exhibit in the depravity of a nation highly 
favoured, miraculously governed, and instructed by inspired 
teachers, the necessity of that redemption and renewal of right- 
eousness which was so early and so repeatedly promised by the 
prophets. The universal iniquity overwhelmed by the flood,^ 
the incorrigible pervergeness of tlie Hebrew nation, the lapse of 
the most upright persons, and the hardened and obdurate wick- 
edness of confirmed sinners, are industriously displayed with this 
view ; and in a long succession of dark scenes, no perfect cha- 
racter can be found ; and but few, comparatively, whose virtues 
could be proposed for imitation to mankind. The sacred writers 
described characters and passions as they beheld them, without 
flattery or disguise, often without comment or remark ; leaving 
them to excite those sentiments of esteem or repugnance which 
they were severally calculated to awaken. In some righteoog 
characters, however, they transcribe and exemplify the purity of 
God''slaws; and those precepts which they interweave in their 

■ Eusobius nttvmpta not to go beyond being llie Mosuah; as wetl as to the no- 

ZenblabeL tion afterwnrdi mainlained bjiumc, that 

" Oen. xUi. 10. The Meptre departed Agrippn, the grandion of Herod by Muri- 

from Jndab when Herod, who wan an Idu- amue, (the granddnughter of Hyroinus, the 

nuean pnuelyte, ascended the throne. The AuDDruean prieit,) naa entitled to that dia- 

detcendantB of Zerubbiibol, OB also the A»- tinction; not (o mention (he numberleu 

nmnxana, who till tbia time had poueued falae prophete who called themnelTes " tbe 

the goTemiaenl, (aometiraes, indeed, in Christ." Vid. Cyril. Alex. cont. Julian, 

reitrielod mbjeelisn to foreign powers,) Hieron. in Sophon. cup. 1. Epiph. Hsria. 

wew of riie tribe of -ludah, though ibe 2K. Terlol. de Pnefer. SehoL in Perrii 

Amionaans were by the femsle line. In Sutyr. v. 180. Baion. Apparat, ad AnnaL 

consequence of this predicted change of go- Kcclet. par. i. Joseph. Antiq. lib. xil. §, 

vemment, the eipectalion of " the Shilob" a. I Chron. iii ; Matt, i ; Luke iil 
wta so general, that it gnie rise to a sect ■■ Q«a. vi. 5. 
<jiJled Ilerodiana, who flattend Herod at 



Telations are always excelleot. Id the judgments of Gkid they 
likewise portray his attributes, represent him as watching over 
innocence, as indulgently suspending wrath, but as finally 
avenging himself on unrepeDted sins. They select ^m the 
events of their history those circnmstances which are best calcu- 
lated to furnish instruction, and therefore oflen pass with rapi- 
dity over great natiouat events, and dilate with miauteness on 
whatever may serve to shew the nature of the divine govern- 
ment, or to illustrate the interests and duties of mankind. If they 
sometimes admit particulars, of which the design in these re- 
spects is not obvious, it must be recollected, that such particulars 
might have hat! an importance among the Jews, though we are 
DO longer sensible of their utility. 

The chronological and genealogical accounts, which oow serve 
chiefly to prove the information and accuracy of the sacred his- 
torians, formerly assisted to keep up necessary distinctions, and 
to ascertain tlie exact accomplishment of prophecy. If, with 
regard to these, or any other minute particulars, the sacred 
books now seem to contain any inconsistencies or errors, these 
must be attributed to the negligence of copyists, and to the in- 
sensible corruptions which must arise from frequent transcrip- 
tion, especially in such points. The errors, however, which in- 
dustrious objection affects to discover, are often imaginary ; and 
it is not probable, even if we suppose the autliors of these books 
to have been merely human, unassisted writers, that they should 
be so little conversant with the history of their country, as to be 
guilty of the contradictions which modern commentators have 
pretended to point out ; and which, if they had existed, must, 
as more glaring to their contemporaries whom these writers ad- 
dressed, have necessarily diminished their credit. The truth is, 
that if we are sometimes perplexed with difficulties, it is in con- 
sequence of the want of contemporary accounts, and an effect of 
that obscurity which must be supposed to overshadow periods so 
long elapsed ; and the genealogical and chronological differences 
which are said sometimes to prevail, have arisen not only from 
the corruptions to which numbers are particularly subject, but 
from the different scope which the writers took. 

In the detail of lineage, the sacred writers often inserted only 
illustrious persons, and sometimes added collateral kindred.'' 


They sometimea altered names, where variety admitted pre- 
ference ; and in chronological accounts they calculated frequently 
■a round numbers, where accuracy was of no consequence.' 
They likewise assumed various eras. Thus in Oeneus, Moses 
reckoned only by the ages of the patriarchs. In Exodus, he, as 
succeeding prophets, dated from the departure out of Egypt ; 
and others, who lived in later times, from the building of the 
temple ;' from the commencement of the reigns of their several 
kings;' from their captivities and deliverances," and other im- 
portant national events ;* or, lastly, frxtm the reigns of foreign 
kings i' whom if they described by names different from those 
under which they are mentioned in profane history, it was in 
accommodation to the titles by which they were known to the 
Jews. The difficulties which occur on a superficial perusal of 
the scriptures chiefly originate in want of attention to these con- 
siderations; and they who have not the leisure and iadnstry 
which are necessary to elucidate such particulars, will do welt 
to collect the obvious iostruction which is richly spread through 
evety page of the sacred volume, rather than to embark in spe- 
culations of delicate discussion, or to entangle themselves in ob- 
jections which result frx>m ignorance. The historical, like all 
other parts of scripture, have every mark of genuine and unaf- 
fected truth. Many relations are interwoven with accounts of 
other nations, yet no inconsistencies have been detected. A 
connected and dependent chain of history, an uniform and per- 
vading spirit of piety, a cooperating design, invariably prev^s in 
every page of the sacred books; and the historical unfold the ac- 
oomplishment of the prophetic parts. 


It has been contended by some writers, that the book which 
passes under the name of Joshua in alt the copies, was not 
written by him; but that this title was chosen rather as de- 
scriptive of the chief personage of the book, than with design to 


Oen. IT. 13 ( 1 Kinn n. 

1. Uuer. 

■ Eiek. L 2. 

■on. Sac c 12. 

' Amo. i. 1. 

2 Chnin. vlii. 1. 

» E«k. D. i 

Ai the enriier propheU. 


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intimate its sntbor ; in the same manDer as the books of Esther, 
of Job, or of Ruth are so called, because they treat principally 
eonceming the actions of those persons whose names they re- 
spectively bear. But if we waive all arguments that might be 
drawn from the title, there wil] still remain sufficient grounds to 
conclude, that the book, or at least the greater part of it, was 
written by Joshua himself, agreeably to the general opinion. It 
is, indeed, expressly said, towards the conclusion of the book, 
that Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of Ood ;* 
which seems to imply, that he subjoined this history to the Pen- 

Joshua is represented through the whole work as appointed by 
God to govern and instruct his people. He is likewise described 
in the book of Ecclesiasticus,'* under the title of " Jesus the son 
of Nave," as " the successor of Moses in prophecies i" there is 
therefore ample reason to be convinced, that Joshua was the 
author of the book, except, perhaps, of a few verses towards the 
conclusion ; the account of his death being added by one of his 
successors, in like manner as he might have supplied what was 
necessary to complete the history of Moses. The ancient Tal- 
mudists,and the voice of general tradition, attribute the hook to 
Joshua ; and it is expressly said in Bava Bathra, that Joshua 
wrote the book distinguished by his name,' and the eight last 
verses of the law. It is also added, in the same place, that 
Eteazar wrote the twenty-ninth verse of the twenty-fourth 
chapter of Joshua, as Phineas did the thirty-third ; and pro- 
bably all the five last verses were added by Eleazar the high- 
priest, hia son Phineas, or Samuel. 

The principal objections made against the assignment of this 
book to Joshua are, first, that in the thirteenth verse of the tenth 
chapter, the circumstance of the sun and moon being stayed, is 
said to be written in the book of Jasbir ; by which it is meant 
to insinuate, that the book of Joshua is only a compendious his- 
tory, selected from larger chronicles, in later times. Now to 
whatever hook this reference may be supposed to apply, whether 
to a previous narrative, or to a song composed on the occasion of 
the great event here spoken of, it does not follow that Joshua 

» Chap. HIT. 36. See ■]» 1 King* " Bava Balhra, cap. 1. Spanhaini. Hill. 
xii 34, Mmp. with Joahna ri. 36. GccL Vet Teat. torn. i. p. 339. 

* Eeelnh xjvi. I. 



could not be the author of a work in which the book of Jashir ia 
i^noted, 8B probably containiDg a more minute and circumstaDtial 
account of this remarkable miracle.*' Secondly, those expres- 
sions which have been brought to prove, that the history was 
written long after the events therein recorded, as that the stones 
which Joshua get up " are there unto this day,'" with similar 
passages, which argue that the relation was sometime subsequent 
to the occurrences described, do in reality only serve to shew, 
what other circumstances confirm, that Joshua wrote the book 
towards the conclusion of his days ; and then, as speaking of the 
earlier periods of his government, he might consistently use these 
and similar expressions/ 

It has been asserted, Jarther, that some things are related in 
this book which did not happen till afler the death of Joshua; 
as the expedition of the Danites against Leshem ;^ which appa^ 
rently is related as & snbseqaent event in the book of Judges. 
Hence some have attributed the book to Eleazar, some to 
Samuel, and some to Isaiah, or Ezra : but it is not necessary on 
this account to deprive Joshua of his title to the book ; for if 
the relation in Judges be not the history of a different expedi- 
tion,'' we may suppose the account in this hook to be an inter- 
polation made by Ezra, or some prophet posterior to Joshua i 
and this is the more probable ■■solution of the difficulty, since the 
verse which records the conquest of the Danites appears evi- 
dently to be an extrinsic addition, afterwards inserted to com' 
plete the account of the Danites' possessions. It may be re- 
marked, farther, that whatever is said of Othniel and Achsah) 
in the book of Judges, is only a recapitulation of what happened 
under Joshua.' The land of Cabul, mentioned in Joshua,^ is by 

* Joihna deKribet Ihii miracls according thai the Lnigh mcntioaed in Jndgea vta ■ 

to the received notions of ostronom;. Vid. different ploec from the Leshem spoken of 

Calmet Diswrt. aor Id CommsndmeDt, An. in Jtwhuit. The itccounta, indeed, Taiy in 

■ Chap. IT. 9 ; V. 9. Vid. oIbd chap. x. »>me circumslancet. In Joshua, Leshem 

14 ; MstL xirii. 8. itsclF is said to have been called Don. In 

' The book must hsTe been written by a Judges, L^ish is represented to hare been 

person at least nearly conlemporarj with burnt, and the eily which wot built in ita 

Joshua, since Rahab was living in the au- room was called Dan. 
thor's time. Vid. chap. vi. 25, and t. 1 ; > Chap. it. 13, 19, and Judges i. 11~- 

where llie author speaks of himself as pre- 15; or the pasiage might be a Babse()uent 

■ent at the pnwage over Jordan. Observe insertion into the book of Jo^na. 
also chap.viii. 28; iv. 63; xil 10; and » Chop. xii. 27, and 1 Kings ii. 13. 

the circumstantial dcuiil of pnrticulan The former s city on the borders of Ptole- 

which argues a contemporary writer. maia, the Inttei a district contiuniDg seveisl 

t Chsp. lii. 47. towns. Vid. Joseph. Antiij. lib. vili. c. 2. 

' Judges iviii. 27—29. It is possible Huet. Demon. Evan. prop. iv. The tdefl 


JosepKns diBting^uiahed from that which is spoken of in the book 
of Kin^; and "the house of God'' in this book does not imply 
the temple, which was not built till long after the death of 
Joshua, but means the tabernacle and ark, which did exist in bis 
time. These difficulties being thus removed, we may conclude 
that Joshua was the author of the book that bears bis name. It 
contains an account of the distribution of property, wliich must 
soon have been committed to writing. It was admitted by Ezra 
into the Canon as inspired, and it is cited as scripture by many 
of the sacred writers,' and especially as the work of Joshua la 
Kings, where bis words are said to be the words of God.™ 

Joshna, who was the sod of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, was 
first called Osea, or Hosea," a came which, as it ngnilies Saviour, 
was well adapted to his character, as typical of our spiritual 
Saviour. He is also by St. Luke, and by the author of Ecclesi- 
asticus, styled Jesus ; a Just representative of that Jesus who 
leads us into a Canaan of endless felicity, tbrough tbe water of 
baptism." Joshua was " filled with tbe spirit of wisdom,'' and 
took upon him the government of Israel by command of God,P 
agreeably to tbe prediction of Moses, who bad promised that 
" the Lord should raise up a prophet like unto him, as his suc- 
cessor."'' The piety, courage, and disinterested integrity of 
Joshua are conspicuously displayed through the whole course of 
his conduct. Independently of the inspiration wbicb euligbtened 
his mind and writings, he derived divine inspiration, sometimes 
by immediate revelation from God,' and sometimes from the 

tinii place* are in tbia book somedntes di>- Numb. xiii. 16, 17. August, cont. FaUBt< 

tingniibMl b? namea not adopUiA till later torn. ri. lib. x\i. c. 19. 

timeB, is, peiiiupe, often bnciful, since tho <■ Acta xviL 4 S ; Ecclna. iItL 1; Heb. 

origin nnd dute of lumca are eitrcmely iv. S. Grot. Com. in Matt L 31. 

uncertain; but wberc modeni names a» P Numb. xxTiL IS~20; Dent. nii. 7, 

found, they migbt bare been aJ!iied b; 14 ; uiiv. 9; Joahua i. 5. 

those who read, copied, or revised the 1 Dent iviii. IB. Thia prophecy i« ia a 

book. more capecial aenae applicable to Chriat, 

' I Chron. lL7i lii. 16; Pia. ciix. 3; the nrcbetjpe of tbe propheta. 
laa. iiTiii, 31 ; Acta -rii. 46 1 Hob. iL ' Chap. iii. 7 ; T. lZ—13. It ia gene- 
Si; liii. 5 ; Janieaii. S6.28 ; Ecclua. ilvi. rally Boppoaed, in conformity with the 
i i 1 Mac iL 5, 6. lentimenta of the ancient Hebrew and 
■ 1 Kinga ivi. 34. Chriatian chnrcbes, that the pereon who, 
" imJin, Hoaca Balvator ; ymJ^iV, in t'lo instance laat referred to, ia related 
Joahua domiaua aalialor. The former de- *" ■'»"' "PPMred to Joshua, waa God him- 
Dotes an hope, the Utter an aaaofance of ■«'*< "» no " afterwBrda called the Lord, 
nlntion. Moaen appcara to have made {Jeliovut, in the Hebrew,) ch. ri. 2.; and 
thia aliaht clBingo in the tuuae of Joehua, •'■»•'"" ""'^ ^"^ l"™. °f 8>iffered to 
in order to eommemomte hii upoidtment "orabip, much less required to reiermee. 
" to apy out the land," into which he waa " created being. Vid. Bey. iiiL 8, 9. It 
afterwarda to conduct the people. Vid. ^' therefore probably the dirine A^yoi, 



sanctusty, and by the montli of Eleazar the hig:h-priest, the son 
of Aaron, who having on the breastplate, and presenting himself 
before the veil over'ag^nst the mercy-seat, wbereon rested the 
divine presence,' consulted God by the Urim and Thummim, and 
God answered him by a voice which issued from the mercy-seat. 
During the life of this excellent chief, the Israelites were pre- 
served in some obedience to Ood, and flourished nnder his pro- 
tection; and we contemplate with satisfaction the description 
of a well-governed and euccessiul people. 

Joshua, the leader, as the historian of the Israelites, represents 
in lively colours the progress of a nation, led on to rapid and 
great victories by the guidance of the Lord ; yet occasionally 
checked in their career, that they might be convinced of their 
dependence on God for saccess, and that it was not " their own 
arm" which had procured it. He relates, with all the animation 
of one who was appointed to be an agent in the scenes displayed, 
the niccessive miracles that favoured and effected the conquest 
of the country; and unfolds the accomplishment of the Mosaic 
prophecies concerning the possesion and division of the promised 

In the course of the narrative, Joshua points ont the attention 
paid to the divine precepts in the circumcision of the people," 
in the setting up of the tabernacle, and in the appointment of the 
cities of refuge. The book concludes with the account of the 
renewal of the covenant, and of the affecting exhortation and 
death of Joshua, which terminates an interesting history of about 

the angel of tlu coienant, wlio appeared, neglected the rite in compliance with the 

Euicb. HiiL lib. L c. 3. requiaitiont of &t uncircnmciied Horitas 

* Tbe Shechijiah was a Tiiible iTmbol that orenan Egjrpt, or who, perbipe, might 

of the divine pn»nce, which, after haying not yet hare adopted it. If we underatand 

conducted the luaelitea throng the wil- that the Egjptiani Dphraided the luaelilea 

deracu, nstod in a gloiioua cloud be- for the neglect of circumciiion, it will b; no 

tween the chetubimi in the tabernacle, means fallow, that tbe latter nBtion leant 

and aflerwarda in the temple i and hence it bom the fcraiet ; bat isther, that l3n 

the divine oraclea wen dcliiered. Vid. Eg^ptiani moke it a aubject of reproach to 

Lowman'i Rationale of the Hebrew Ritoal, the lanelilei, tbat they neglectnl in the 

part ii. c 2. wildemeu what they profeucd to coniider 

■ Ocn. uL 7 ; iiii. 8; Eiod. it. U— a> a rite of diilinclion and the leal of the 
17 ; KiiiL 23 ; xuiii. 2 ; Numb. xxar. pniaiaet, Vid. Shuckfoid's Conn. toL iii. 
2 ; DeuL L 7, 8 ; xiiiL 49. U 12 ; and Patrick in Joaboa, cb. t. 6—9. 

■ The eommand given to Joohoa to Spencer conceives, that the reproach of 
eircnmcite again the children of IsrseL, was E^ypt was the alavcry to which they had 
only to renew a rite which bod been been aubjedcd, and from which they wen 
omitted in the wUdemcsa. " The repmnch now rescued and declared &ee, by this 
of Egypt," which was thereby " roUed token of s tree people. Vide Spencer de 
nway," meant pnilably the opprobriom Leg. Heb. lib. L c i. 

incurred by the Egyptians, who might have 



Ihirty years, from A. M. 2553 to A. M. 2583;" the whole of 
which is animated hy the display of God's attributes, and recom- 
mended hy the noblest sentimentB of piety. It is occasionally 
interspersed with prophecies,' and distinguished throughout by 
every mark of fidelity and truth. Joshua, like hie predecessor, 
describes the disobedience and transgressions of the Jews, not 
concealing his own errors. He conspires in the same zealous 
designs with Moses, and earnestly recommends an attention to 
the laws and statutes which that le^slator had delivered. The 
hook must have been a most valuable possession to the Israelites, 
as it contained the earliest and most authentic documents re- 
lative to the property of every tribe, and furnished to each the 
title of its respective inheritance. 

It is necessary to remark, that there is some accidental de- 
rangement in the order of the chapters of this book, occasioned 
probably by the mode of rolling up manuscripts anciently 
observed. If chronologically placed, they should be read thus : 
first chaptor to the tontb verse ; then second chapter ; then from 
the tenth verse to the end of the first chapter; afterwards 
should follow the sixth and consecutive chapters, to the eleventh ; 
then the twenty-second chapter; and, lastly, the twelfth and 
thirteenth chapters, to the twenty-fourth verse of the latter.* 

Joshua succeeded Moses in the government of Israel abont 
A. M. 2553, and died in the one hundred and tenth year of his 
age, A. M, 2578, at Timnah-serah ; where he had retired, con- 
templating from Mount Ephraim the well-ordered and peaceful 
government which he had established;' and exhorting the 
people with his last words to a remembrance of God's mercy, 
and to an observance of his laws. 

The memory of Joshua, and of his victories, was long pre- 
served, and his reputation spread among the heathen nations.'' 

' Indnding tlio Kconnt of Eleauc'i » The Vatiom copj of the Septasgint 

death, who outHied Joihiia aboat fire ar Teruon baa the following addilion annexed 

ni yean. Thit compntalion ia likewiae to the aecouDl of Jothoa'a burial, in the 

grounded on a auppoaitioa that Joahos wu thirtieth veise of the laat chapter : " Then 

•mplojed aeien jrenra in completing the they pat with him into the aepokhre in 

conqueit of the coontry, and that he nu- which the; buried him, the knivea of flint 

riT^ it iboDt eighteen yean. Some do with whkn he dmuncited tlie kingdem of 

Dot admit that he governed the people lo larael in Oilga], when be brought Uem out 

long. Vid. Joeeph. Anliq. lib. t. c. 1. of Egypt, ai the Lord commanded ^em ;" 

' Cbap. iiL 10 — 17 ; tI 26, compared and they are then nnto thia day. Th« 

with 1 Kingt xri. 34 ; joah. ixiiL 16, &c. Alexandrian copy hu it not Vide Har- 

■ Bed&td'a Scrip. Chron. book t. p. mer, roL ir, p. 398. 
MO. <• Some tiacea of the minde of tha nm 

V, Google 


He is generally considered as the original of the Phaenician 
Hercules ; and the scene of his victories, as veil as the conquests 
tberoselves, is still discernible in the disfigured accounts which 
are given concerning that fictitious hero.' It has been collected 
from monumentB still extant, that the Carthaginians were a 
colony of the Tynans who fled from the extermtnating sword of 
Joshua;'' as also, that the inhabitants of Leptis in Africa were 
primarily derived from Zidonians, who had been compelled to 
forsake their country in couEequence of calamitieR brought upon 
it by the conquests of this great commander. 

The Samaritans are by some writera supposed to have re- 
ceived the book of Joshua : there is still extant a Samaritan 
book entitled the Book of Joshua, which difiers considerably 
from the Hebrew copy, containing a chronicle of events badly 
compiled from the death of Moses to the time of the emperor 
Adrian. It consists of forty-seven chapters, swelled with &bii- 
lons acconnts. It is written in Arabic, in the Samaritan cha- 
racter.* After having been long lost, it was recovered by 
Scaliger, and deposited at Leyden, in manuscript, and has never 
been pubUshed. 

The Jews suppose Joshua to have been the author of a prayer 
which they repeat In part on quitting the synagogue. It is la 
celebration of God's goodness for having granted them an inhe- 
ritance superior to that of the rest of mankind.' 


This hook has been generally attributed to Samuel, in agreement 
with the opinion of the talmudicol doctors.' Some writers have 

and moon being ilnytd for a wbolo day by ' Vngen's Tela Sjiiac, p. 223, et teq. 

Jothuu, ue discovered in the Chineac * Barn Bathn, c 1. KimcH Abuti. 

rKord>,n> wellaiin tbediilifpiredaccauDta laid. lib. vi. c 2. The Talmud, from 

ofSWti«.Bnd Ovid. Vid. Martini! Hist "noi-n, doctrine, i.o Jewi.h book,coDtain- 

Sf,'^j!- .*■?;'■ Stat, pebau, lib. IV. ing cipliin.torj remarit. on the Uw. and 

307. Ovid. heuunor dePha«i™. revereneed by the Jew. a. mnch L oi 

< Procop-ViuidttLlib. o.^ ^''■.^■'ij^ more than the Law, a. the great »tiK<i <tf 

Tm-n*. SaUuat. BeUuin Jngnrth. The thei, religimi opinion.. Itio™.Uott«. 

MabomeUn.reIate many %bdou.. tone, p^; 2^ Mi«hna, or te<t; aitd tba 

of JoabuB. Vid. Herbelot Bib. OnentaL OemarB, or complement Tbe fbrmei th* 

"V?^- ^!'?. 7*" r. , ^, J*^ P"*" " •«'* rettixed at an oial 

. ^'^'i^ ^""- 1" ^' "''^^^ ^"J- !»•. deUvered to Man. by God ; bnita 

• Fabnt Apocryph. Vet. Te.t. p. 8,6, r^i,j. n ^^^ ^ mdilion. accnmnklad 

"^ from Ihe tima of Simon, or Em. and eon- 


axagned it to PhioehaB, some to Hezekiah, and someto Ezekiel ; 
sod others hare sapposed that Ezra collected it from such 
memoirs as every judge respectively fitrDished of his own govern- 
ment. It seems, however, most probable, that Samuel was the 
author; who, being a prophet or seer, and described in the book 
of Chronicles as an historian, may reasonably be supposed, 
inasmuch as he was the last of the judges, to have written this 
part of the Jewish history ; since the inspired writers alone were 
permitted to describe those relations, la which were interwoveO 
the instructions and judgments of the Lord.'' 

The book appears to have been written after the establishment 
of the regal government, since the author, in speaking of preced- 
ing events, observes, that " in those days there was no king in 
Israel ;"' which seems to imply, that there were kings when he 
wrote. There is also some reason to think, that it was written 
before the accession of David ; since it is said in the twenty-first 
verse of the first chapter, that "the Jebusites were still in 
Jerusalem,^ who were dispossessed of that city early in the reign 
of David.'' It was likewise written before the books of Samuel ;* 
and therefore if the author be understood, as he is usnallysupposed, 
to speak, in the thirtieth verse of the eighteenth chapter, of that 
captivity' which happened in the time of Eli, when the ark was 
captnred by the Philistines, and the idol of Micah was destroyed,* 
there is no objection to the general opinion, which attributes the 
book to Samuel ;'' who may be conceived to have written it in 
Ramoth-Gilead, after the election of Saul. 

uefbl initnctioiu. The Ge- 

nan U a tommentarj of wild fiuiciea on • Compare 2 Sam. il 21, with Jadgn 

thaMlBcbna. There are two Talmnda, thai ix. 53. 

of JemnleiD, and that of Babylon \ the ' The captirity here ipoken of muat 

laat of which ii meat ealcamed. It ap- have hauiened before the leign of Dand, 
pnred in the siilh or icrenth ceDtnry, . who would not hare luffend the idolatraoa 

■boat two hundred year* after the former, imagei to remain among his people. When 

Maimenidci pnbliabed a good abridgment the ark wBa(sptured,nianjof the laraelilei 

of it. Vide BuitorC Receniio oper. Tal- mint have been taken likewiie ; and the 

and. Porta Mdub, in Pocock'a works, vol. L paalmiet eipreialy calls this taking of the 

Morin. Exercit. Biblit Lciic. Buatort ark, "a captiiity ;" vid. P«aL luTiii, 60 

Rabbin, p. 2610. Prid. Con. part i b. 5. —62; aa the wife of Pbinehai lameDtml 

Haik Tii. T, 8, 13. The popea, where that then "the gloiy was departed from 

they hare bad influence, bnre often pro- luael ;" vid. 1 Sam. it. 22. 

eiRti the deatmction of the Talmnda, aa ■ 1 Sam. iv. 11, and ch. r. Selden d* 

wntaiaing pemicioua opiniona. Huch Syntag. I doDiia. Syrii,cap. 2. and Calnwt 

tenth, bowerer, ii tonceolad onder the chi- on Judg. eh. xyiii. 3D. 

naiai eipoaitiona and aeeonnU therein » The word M"3J, Nabia, which U naed 

Mntained. in tbii book, might well be emi^yed by 

* Joaa^ eont ApLon. lib. L Samuel, who wrote the fint part at Wt of 

<Cliq>.xix.l; iil35. the llrat book of SaaneL Vid. 1 Sun. ii. 

,;, Google 


The book ie properly inserted between those of Joshna and 
Samnel, as the judj^s were governors intermediate between 
Joshua and the kings of Israel. They were illustrions princes 
of the honse of Judah,' raised np by (Jod, not in regular succes- 
sion, but as emergencies required, when the repentance of the 
Israelites inflaeaced him to compassionate their distress, and to 
afford them deliverance from their difficulties. They ireqnently 
acted by a divine suggestion, and were endowed with preter- 
fiatura] strength and fortitude.^ 

After the death of Joshua, the people appear tot a short time 
to have had no regularly appointed governor,' but to have acted 
in separate tnbes. They were for a few years retained in the 
service of God by the elders who survived Joshua, but afterwards 
fell into a state of anarchy, for a period of which we have no 
account, but as to those particulars scattered towards the be/pn- 
ning and conclusion of this book. We find, however, that the 
people proceeded to the conquest of the remaining part of the 
country, but that, gradually forgetting the instntctions of Moses 
and of Joshua, and notwithstanding a rebuke which they received 
irom an angel of God,'" they suffered the inhabitants to remain 
tributary among them ; who became, as had been repeatedly 
predicted, " scourges in their ades, and thorns in their eyes," 
and, as it were, " snares and traps" to seduce them to idolatry." 

9. The bouM of Ood meaDi tbe ttbemacle, nimftu, unic nndentand ■ piopbet, wbkh 

u in Jmhua. it tainetiinea ugnifiea, ai in Haggii L 13. 

' The; wen called Shophetim, in the But there ii no reuon wb; we ^uld not 

Hehiev, which u^iGei judgei. The; had mppou the meuenger to hare been Ui 

the BUpteme power, under tome reetiictioni ; angel ; aa angeli undoobtedl; iqipeued od 

and wilhoat tbe enngnt of royalty, being other occaaioni, the miniiten of Ood*! 

miniiter* of God, anh^errienl to the tboo- miiacoloui goTemnienl of the IumUIo*. 
nacf. Vid. chap. Tiii. 23. Soma reckon ■ Eiod. iiiii. 33; ixiiv. 12; Joalx. 

fifteen and •onw nxteen jodgea. They ixUi. 13; Jndg. iu 2. The liiaelilea wete 

were aometune* electsd by the people on permitted to render tributary thoae DaUou 

tbe perlbrmance of gnat eiploita, and wbo inbrnilted to them, tbougb thej wore 

generally continned for life, to mppreia their idolatrooa woiabip, *^ to 

' Cbap.iL IH; tL 1-4, 34; xL 29; xiT. break down their inugea, and to iettnj 

6, 16. The Jewi itnagine, widiout HtU- their groToa." But thoee nations who in 

d«it reaiOD, that they were endued with defiance of Ood'i declaied faionr oppoaed 

the qiirit of prophecy. Vid. Maimon. them, were to be dealnyed ; and aa to tbe 

More Neioch. par. ii. c. 45. Orot in aevennaCioni ofCiuuuui,DfIboae wborentl- 

Jud. LI. ed, " nothingthat breathed waa to be ujtA 

' In the Somaritan ChroBicle, it i* laid alire," that every trace of idolatry might 

that Jediiui appcrinled hit nephew, Abel, be iwept away. Vid. Dent. ii. 10 — IB; 

to iUcceed bim, apon whom the govemment Tii- 1—^; 1 Sam. iv. A. Tbougb tbia 

fell by lot; but thii it a bbaloni account deatmctioD waa enjnoed only in caae of 

Vid. Saorin. Diiaert. *ut Heghm Roi de« reuatance, yet with bo idolatioiu city 

Meabilea. Hotting. Smtg. OrienlaL c viiL whaterer were tbe Ismelitea allowvd, 1^ 

p, 522. tbe diTiae cmnmand, to make anr leegna 

■ Cb.iLl,bylhowotd1MVo,*n,XM, McoTenant; for in tban, the aDlhority <rf 

, V, Google 


For this Aey were panished, and given up to their enemies, and 
beld eigfht years in aerritude to Gashan, king of Mesopotamia, 
till God raised np judges to deliver them. Othiiiel appears to 
have been the first judge ; though some writers eay that Simeon, 
uid others that Caleb" preceded him in the government of the 
people. During the intervals between the judges, each tribe 
was governed by its respective elders; affairs of importance 
being referred to the great council, or Sanhedrim.'' 

The history of this book may be divided into two parts; th« 
first, containing an account of the judges tit>m Othniel to Samson, 
ending at the sixteenth chapter. The second part, describing 
several remarkable particulars that occurred not long after the 
death of Joshua, which are placed towards the end of the book 
in the seventeenth and following chapters, that they may not 
intermpt the course of the history. What relates to the two 
last judges, Eli and Samuel, is recorded in the following book. 
The chronology of this period is entangled with many difficulties; 
bnt if we include the period of thirty-four years, which may be 
supposed to have intervened between the death of Joshua and the 
judicature of Othniel, the book extends its history from A.M. 
2578, to the death of Samson, A. M. 2887 ; and the government 
of the judges may be conceived to have continued from A. M. 
2612, to the twenty-first year of Samuel^s judicature, when Saul 
was anointed, A. M. 2929, that is, about three hundred and 
seventeen years.** 

thine deiticB, whoM Mnctioa muit faave were ixoallj prieaU ind Lerite*. orer irbich 

'bnn Bdjnred, would hm been admitled, the high-prie«t gensisllj, bnl not nec«- 

■nd lanie toleration given to a vorahip urily, pioaided. ll decided on momentooa 

tliat might ban tended to tfae aednction of aflun, dvil ind teligiona, and snbaialed to 

the luaelile*. Vid, Eitod. ixiiL 32. Thej the time of Chriit, but with aulhoritj 

wore therefore enjoinod, gmdnallf, to dimjniehed in lubjection to the Raman 

extirpate the civil and religiona communitiea power. Vid. Matth. v, 21 ; Mark liii. 9, 

of the land, and to render the people tri- Selden de Synod. Beauubre'i Intndnn. 

bntarr and dependent u individnalt. All to Script There were levera] inferior and 

these inBtracliona, however, the people dependent Sanhedrima. The woni ia do- 

TioUted,and anlTered for their diaobedience. rived ftom ffvnJpBr, a conncil, oi aaaemblj. 
Vid. Sboclifard'a Con. loL tii. b. 13. t St. Paul appeara to RckDn fbnr huD- 

' Bedford'a Script. Chion. lib. t. c 3. died and Sfty jean ham the divisian of 

> The great connril appointed by Moae* the land tiU die time of Samuel, {exdu»i»e 

cantinned probably to exiat at leaat till of Samuel'a govenment, wliich ia reckoned 

the eatabtithment of the monarcbical govem- imder the forty yean aaaigned in the next 

ment, IboDgh there are no proofa that ita verse to Saul ;) but aa tbia computation 

memben retained the gift of inapintioB. would be inconaiatentwith otheratatementa 

Whether the Sanhedrim were the aame in aeripture, and eapeoally with that in I 

council continued, or a aubM<)nent inadtn- Kingi vi, 1, where the fourth of Solomon'a 

tion in the time of the Maccabeea, it un- reign ia made to coincide with the four hnre- 

certun. Like that, however, it conaialed dred and eightieth year after the deliver- 

of aerenty or taventy-lwo allien: tkeae aiiiii frnm T^jjt, TlitiiirafrTplafhlniainiMt 



The period stated in the book, if compated in gnccesdon, woold 
swell to a much greater number of years ; hot they must be 
conceived sometimes to coincide as contemporary, being reckoned 
from different eras which cannot now be exactly attcertained; and, 
perhaps, as Mareham has conjectured, some of the judges were 
coeval, reigning over different districts. 

The book of Judges fiimishes a lively description of a flno- 
tuaiing and unsettled nation ; a striking picture of the disorders 
and dangers which prevailed in a republic without magistracy, 
when " the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked 
through by-ways ;"' when few prophets were appointed to con- 
trol the people,* and "every one did that which was right in his 
own eyes."' It exhibits the contest of true religion with super- 
stition ; displays the beneficial effects that flow from the former, 
and represents the miseries and evil consequences of impiety. 
From the scenes of civil discord and violence which darken this 
history, St. Paul, or the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, 
hath presented us with some illuatrious examples of faith in the 
characters of Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah." 

Amidst the great vicissitude of events described in this book, 
in which the justice and mercies of God are conspicuously 
shewn, we are much struck with the account of the illustrious 
exploits of the judges, of Sisera's defeat and death, of the victory 
of Gideon, of the punishment of Abimelech, of Jephthah*3 in- 
considerate vow," of the actions of Samson, of the flagitious 

mDnKtipU B diSerent noding of Acta jiiL temple, ire ahall h»e exact); tbree bundled 

30; acccodiDg to which, the four hnndnd and fbrtj-mue jtan. Vid. Uuet. Chron. 

— ''■'-- - --( rcferied; not to the S»t c 12. Poli Sjnop. in 1 Kinp vi. 1, 

ige*, but to the period ' Chap. v. 6, 

i between the promise of ■ We read but of two pnipheU in this 

Chubui Dude to Abrahim, end the diviaion book. Vid. chop. iv. 4, and tI 8. The 

of the Und. The pmcnt reading, how- bigh-prieBt, howeTet, had the power of 

ever, ii more agreeable to the tcope of St coniulling Ood bj meana of the Urim and 

pHiil'i diacoune. ai well it beat lupported Thumniin). 

by anthorily ; and therefore Tarioni other ' Chap. rvii. 6. 

aolatioDO of the diScullJee that reinlt from <■ Heb. iL 32. 

thiaBauDiitbavebeenprDpawd.Manychro- ■ It haa been a mibject of endteaa caa- 

Dotogera hare imagined that rirpiucDiriou troTeray, whether Jephthah did reallj oBa 

it a matake of the copyiit of the Act*, for up bin daughter "a bnmtKiffering to the 

TpiamaioH : in which caae, St Paul, apeak- Lord," or onl j derate her to perpetnal vir- 

ing looael;, [iii,) might well reckon three ginitj; which might be conaidered aa a 

hundred and fifty yeara ; tor if wo deduct oacrifice, when every woman looked fonraid 

from four hundred and eighty vean the to iho production of the promiaed aeed. 

fbrty-M»eny™n which intervened between The Jews and primitite church belicTcd, 

Iba Eiodoa and the diviaion of the land, that ho did actually immolate her. In fe- 

t<^ther with the eighty-four yeara which vour of ihii opinion, it haa been obaerTcd, 

moat be aaaigned to Samuel, SanI, David, that it ia aupported by the conalruction if 

and fiolomoa, before the faund&tioD of the the Septn^ml, Syiuc, and Vulgate iw- 

and fifty yean are refer 
duration of the judge*, bi 
which interveDcd betweei 



conduct of the BeDJsmites, of the destraction of Gibeah, with 
the descriptioD of nuuiy other particulftrs that enliven the nar- 
rative; which is likewise much embellished bj the beautiful 
Bong of Deborah and Barak, and the significant parable of Jo- 
tfaam. Many of the sacred writers, as well as St. Paul, allude 
to or quote from the book ;' and several relations contained in it 
point out the origin of numbedess heathen tables.* The whole 
period is distinguished by a display of extraordinary events, and 
by the most glaring and miraculous proofs of divine interpi>- 
sition. The history of <^iod'B government must necessarily be 
diaraoterized hy the marks and demonstrations of his immediate 
agency ; and the selected instruments of his will may well be 
expected'to exhibit a succession of unprecedented exploits. 

It should be observed, indeed, that some of the actions which 
in this book are represented to have been subservient to God's 
designs, were justifiable only on the supposition of divine warrant, 
which superseded all general rules of conduct.* Without this, 
the deeds of Ehud'' and of Jael' might be pronounced censurable 

■ioni,and by theGuldeeporaphnw 1 that * TheiUr^of Niana'almir; of tbegolden 

if tfae TOW eiunded not to the life, Jepb- baiT gireQ by Neptune to bis grandun 

thih night hsTe "gone back ;^ Lovit. Plerela, wtiicb lendered hiin iDTindbla 

javii 2—8. Tbal a devotion to celibacy while uncut ; llmt of Herculei and Ora- 

tnu uncutomary among the Jevi, and phale ; of the pillara of Herculei ; of the 

mutt hn'e been dishononiable ; that it death of Cleomede* Ast;piil»uB ; of Ago- 

coald not hare been rcquiille in a dedica- memmon and Iphigenia ; iuid,taennnienta 

tioa to Ood'i lerTice, nor a lUlhcisnt inbject no more, that of the Sabine npe, appear to 

for that general lamentation which prevailed have been ingenious Qctioni fabricated from 

im the occoaion, and waa continued with the accounta of thia book. 

(npentiEiooa abaervanee till later times ; * Ood may on particutac occaaioni aa- 

snd, laiEly, that if Jepbthah eeleenied him- tboriie what wilhoDlhla Mnctian would be 

•elf bound to give np every conuderatioD, unjnat ; ai where he commiinda the luoel- 

lather than violate a solemn engagement ites "to apoil the Egyptian!,* and to ei- 

with God, he might, for his intention, or tirpate the nations of Canaan. Vid. Eiod. 

general ehamclcr, be commended by St. iii. 32 ; Dent. ix. 10 — IS. 

Paul, however ceniumble and extravagant ■■ We are not to conceive, became God 

his promiie and the perfomiance of it might " raised up (he judges," that be directed 

lave been. See Heb. lii PuL xv. 4. them in all their actions. The relation, 

Joaeph. Antiq. lib. v. c 9. TertuL adv. howecer, teems to inliuiatc, that Ehud on 

Hanion. Chrysoet. Hom. de Jeptha. Epi- thli occasion acted by divine authority. 

phan. adv. Haiies. lib. iiL vol L p. 1056. ' Jael'i conduct, like that of Rahab, as 

and Dodwell. Dr. Randolph piopoaea, by described in the book of Joshoa, appears to 

• new rendering of the test, to maintun have arisen from a desire of assisttng in 

tbat Jephthah vowed lo dedicate whatsoever God's declared desisne in iiivaar of his 

or whomsoever came out of the door of his chosen people. As the exploit is a[qiroTed 

lioose, to meet him ; and aim, to offer a in the hymn of Deborah, on inspired pro- 

bumt-offering. See his Discourse, and on phetesa, we may suppose it to have been 

Levit. nvil 28, 29. Concemiag the Cha- performed in compliance with a divine im- 

iwn, Ko Seldea de Jure. Nat. et OenL cap. pulse, otherwise it could not have been a 

6, 7. subject of praise. Some, however, have 

I 1 Sam. xiL 9—11 ; 2 Sam. iL 21 ; thought that Deborah oiUy f6iet«lli Jael's 

Pi. Ixuviii II; Isuah ii.4i i. 26 ; ood liitnn celebrity, 
perhaps Matt ii 23, comp. with Jod. xiiL t. 



fat their treacheiy, however prompted by coannendable motivei. 
And with respect to some other particulars, it is obvionB that 
the sacred author by no means vindicates all that he relates; 
and that the indiscriminate massacre of the people of Jabesh- 
Oilead, and the rape of the virgins at Sbiloh, were certainly 
stamped with the marks of injastice and cruelty, and moat be 
condemned on those principles which the scriptures have else* 
where fiimished, though in the brevity of the sacred history they 
are here recorded without comment. The characters, likewise, 
of God''e appointed ministers, however spoken of in this book, 
and in other parts of scripture, as commendable for their general 
excellence or particular merits, are presented to us in some 
points of view, as highly defective and blameable. It is easy, 
however, to disctiminate the shades from the light, and to per- 
ceive, that in the description of such mixed characters as that of 
Samson, much is detailed as reprehensible ; and while we are led 
to admire hie heroic patriotism, we are taught also to condemn 
his criminal infatuation and blind confidence in Delilah. 

With respect to those objections which a mistaken levity has 
suggested against the credibility of some transactions recorded in 
the book, they proceed either from a want of attention to those 
constructions which the researches of the learned have enabled 
them to make,** or from a disregard to the cbaracter of the times 
described, when a boundless enthuuasm resulted from a con- 
fidence in the divine favour. 


Thb book of Ruth is a kind of supplement or appendix to the 
book of Judges, and may be considered as an introdnction to 

' Th< nlatian, fbi inituee, of S<uii»n'* indeed, think that initekd of ulinBlipi, 

Httiiig fin to the corn of tha Philiatinei, /iaa, we ibonld rend Bchoalim, jAamm, and 

aiiiiot ntuoDBbl; be qneitjoned by thou Inn Jnte rnnab, lit virtme md, inileid of 

who conuder the character af Sunum ; and &e taiL Vide Bemud Hcpnb. do L«IL p. 

the gnat aboDdiuice of tbiet (oi thoea, or 407. Slsfkhante'a Hiit. of Bib. book £. 

bckali) that pni^ed in Judca, which, in- ToL L The Vulpinaiia, or teaat of tha 

detd, wj» u remarkable, that many ritiei, foiet, obierred amon^ the Bomuii, might 

ud even prorincea, were denominated after have derived ita origin from thii tranno- 

tba word which we tranilate /otti. Vid, tion, >ome of the particolan of which Ovid 

1 Sam. nil 17; J«h.xT.28;iii.42; Jndg. deKrib« in a &biiloiu aocaunt Vid. Put. 

L 8S; alw Caiiti& ii.16. &<him vriten, likiT. 684.«t Mq. Badmrt.Hi6ni.Iib.iit 



the history of David,* related id the books of Samuel. In the 
Hebrew Canon it composed but one book with the former ; and 
though variouB opinions have been entertained respecting its 
chronology,'' it is properly placed in our Bibles between the 
books of Judges and Samuel." The famine which occasioned 
Elimeiecb to leave bis country, is said to have come to pass "in 
the days when the jndgea ruled ;" hence some have assigned the 
beginningof the history to the timeofGideon, who was raised up 
in defence of Israel, abont A. M. 2759," and nnder whom a fa- 
mine is related to hare happened ; * notwithstanding which, some 
Jewish writers suppose the history to have occurred much 
earlier, in the time of Ehud. ' 

The chief difficulty which oceurs in settling the chronology of 
this period, arises from a genealogical account of St. Matthew,* 
in which it is stated that Boaz, who was the husband of Ruth, 
and the great-grandfather of Darid,'' was the son of Salmon by 
Bacbab ; for if by Rachab we suppose to be meant, as is usually 
understood, Bahab,' the harlot, who protected Josbna^s spies, 
about A. M. 2652, it is difficult to conceive that only three 
persons, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse, should have intervened between 
her and David, who was not bom till about 2919. We must, 
however, in this case conclude, either with the learned Usher, 
that the ancestors of David, as eminent for righteousness, or as 
dengned to be conspicuous, because in the lineage of the Messiah, 

cap. 13. The extTsardiliBr; ■trength of onlna the w«ra mat pcnon prcTionily 

Samion U not to lie amiidered u the pbj- ipoksn of in Bcriptora ; bnt nunj muiHu 

ncal effect of hi* hair, though Ood jodgvd may ba aiugned why >he ihonld be intio- 

proper to render the cootumance of the dnced in the lioage, if alie wen the Rahab 

Uxma dependcDt on the preaemlioD of the wlioae conduct it mentioned by Jothna, 

latter, which wm the marie of hi* eonaecn- (anj »ho, thongh styled M311, i6n»h, b 

tioa to Ood a* a Na™nte. tha Hebre», and wopn), by the cTnngeliat*, 

• Eneeb. Hi*t Ub. tl c. 2S. Hienm. ;, eeJebraled a* an emmple of bith ;} (till, 
ProL Gal. Aug. de DocL Cliriil, b"b. a t howeier, il may be diffidently anggeeted, 
8- _ that ihe chnnoli^ial difterencea would ba 

• Hoabigant Bib. pnC to loL iL ie« conriderable, if we coold »nppo*e her 
' The modem Jew* place Canticle., ,„ h8,B been a djtferent peraon ; and that 

Rntb, LamratatioDi, flcdeuuteE, and Ei- the four hnndied yean which intemiKd 

'ther, immediately after the Panlalench, between the birth of Pharei and the tinw 

giving Rulh aometime* the fint and «ome- Shamgar, were fiUed up by 8«i and hia 

timea the iiftli place. _ ^ immediate anceeton. Aa a al^t 

" Patrick, in chap. L 1. inpport to which, it may ba remarked, that 

• Jadgei Ti. 3 — 6. the wife of Salmon ia spelt 'Vax^B by St. 
' Seder 01am. cap. 12. Matthew; whercaa in Hebrew* li. 31,and 

• Matt. I. 5, 6. in Jame* iL 25, the harlot'* name i* written 

• Ruth iT. 31,22; and Matlh. L «, 6. 'paojB, a* in the Septuagint yenion of Joah. 
' We caonot now diacoret any motifo ii, l. There i> no mention in the book of 

which thonld have indooed SL Matthew to Joahna, or in any part of the Old Teataawnt, 
■aention Rachab in the genealogy of Chriat, of Rahab'i mairiaga with Sabmn. 

, V, Google 


were blessed with eztreordinary length of life;^ or else, that 
the sacred writers mentioned in the genealogy only snch naoMS 
as were distingnished and known among the Jews. If, however, 
Boaz be considered as the grandfather of David, the history 
cannot by any computation be assigned to the time of Eli,' under 
whose judicatnre it is placed by Josephus,"" but should be 
understood to have come to pass at some earlier period ; and 
perhaps under Shamgar, agreeably to the calculation of Usher, 
who places it in the 2686th year of the world, about one hundred 
and thirty-three years after the conquest of Canaan." 

The book has been by some considered as the prodnctiiiii of 
Hezekiah ; b; others it has been attributed to Ezra ; but it was, 
in all probability, written by Samuel, agreeably to the opinion 
of many Jews and Christiana;' and the prophet may be sup- 
posed, by this addition to the book of Judges, to have brooght 
down the history to the time of his own birth. It certainly 
was written not only after the judges had ceased to rule, but 
^er the birth, if not after the anointing of David;' whoae 
descent from Judab the sacred writer seems to have designed to 
certify, as, according to the prophecy of Jacob, the Messiah was 
to spring from that tribe;'' and with this view he traces back 
the lineage of Boaz to Pharez, the son of Judah,' and grandson 
of Jacob,' 

The book contains an account of the conversion of Ruth, a 
Moabitess, and, according to Jewish tradition, of the royal race 
of Moab ; which nation was descended from Lot,' and settled 
near the landof Judah, at the end of the salt sea. Huth, having 
married Mahlon, the son of Elimelech, who had sojourned in 
Moab on account of a famine which prevailed in Judcea, 
resolved, on the death of Mahlon, to accompany her motber-in- 

» UiMT. Chron, Sac cap. 12. Poll ofJciK. Vii I Sam. iri, 10, 11. 

STDop. in Ruth. And is MatL L 5. Pa- ■> Joteph. Antiq. lib. t. c 11. 

trick, WUlbj, He. » Chron. Sac par, L c. 12. Dn Pin, 

' The fcininB which occaiioned Naomi Lightfoot, Ac 
to toido ten fears in Moab, conld not ° Tnlmud, SclialKh. Aharb. Brentini, 
haTe come to pau >o late a> in the days of Huet. Drusiui, Patrick, Sec 
£11, trotn the tenth yen of whoM judica- " Chap. i. 1 ; It. 2*2, It ji pnbable, 
tore to the birth of Uaiid vers onlr forty thai Darid was not noinled oat a* an 
yean. Vid. Ruth L 1, *; AcU liii, 21 ; •■ - 

2 Sam. V. 4; for we cannot luppoie «o 
(horl ■ ifiace of time only aa thirty-nine or 
forty yean to hm inlerrened between the 
birth of Obed and that of hi* grandaon 
Darid, who wu ths yonngeat of mgbt loni 

»t of attc 

ntion to 


»cred hiitoiiani 

he wfl. «l 

lectcd for thi 

: throne. 

1 Gen. Tlij 

:. 10. 








law in tlie retarn to her coDDtry. As MaUon wae of the house 
of Jadah, Rath relied probably on the promisoB made to that 
tribe, and had certainly become a proeelyte to the Hebrew 
religion." After their arrival at Bethlehem, the former residence 
of Naomi, Roth vas compelled, by her distress, to claim kindred 
with Boaz, who, as the law of Moses directed,' took her to wife 
and begat a son, from whom David descended. 

It may be here observed, that the Holy Spirit, by recording 
the adoption of a Gentile woman into that family from which 
Christ was to derive his origin, might intend to intimate the 
comprehensive design of the Christian dispensation.^ 

It must be remarked, also, that in the estimation of the Jews 
it was disgraceful to David to have derived his birth from a 
MoabitesB ; and Shimei, in his revilinga against him, is supposed 
by the Jews to have tauntingly reflected on his descent from 
Knth. This book, therefore, contains an intrinsic proof of its 
own verity, inasmuch as it records a circumstance so little flat- 
tering to the sovereign of Israel;' and it is scarce necessary to 
appeal to its admission into the canon of scripture for a testi- 
mony of its authentic character; or to mention that the evan- 
gelists, in describiDf; our Saviour's descent, follow its genealogical 

The story related in this book is extremely interesting : the 
widowed distress of Naomi, her affectionate concern for her 
daughters, the reluctant departure of Orpah, the dutiful attach- 
ment of Ruth, and the sorrowful return to Bethlehem, are very 
beautifully told. The simplicity of manners, likewise, which is 
shewn in the account of Ruth's industry and attention to Naomi, 
of the elegant charity of Boaz,*' and of his acknowledgment of 
his kindred with Ruth, affords us a very pleasing contrast to the 
turbulent scenes which had been described in the precedent 
hook. The respect, likewise, which the Israelites paid to the 

■ Cap. L 16. LcTiL ixy. 24, 25. Vid. Selden. de Suc- 

» The ancient law ratified bj Mane in cew. in bona, t. IS. Uior. Hebr. c 12. 
Deut. XXV. 6, 16 BUppa«ed to huTe applied i Gen. xiii. 1 0. 
only to tbe brother, or, according lo (ha ■ Hieion. in Tradit, Heb. ad 1 Kingi iii. 

rabbins, only to the elder bwlhtr by the Cnlmafi Prefcce to Hnth ; and RuSi iv, 

•wne &thw. Custom, howeter, leemB to 22. 

bsTe extended the obiigHtinn of mairj-ing ' Matt. i. 3 — 6 ; Luke iii. 32, 33. 
tbe widow of tbe deceased lo the neil of >" Chap, ii 16. Honel'a HisL of Bibia, 

kin. Vid. Ruth i. 13. Boaz was only a »oL I book 4; and Thomson'* Palemon 

kiuBmui of Elimelecb, and by hia marriage and Lavinia. Stnuigen wen allowed to 

with Ruth he fdiillBd the hiw in its ex- glean by the charitable precepta of (b* 

tended interpielation, aa well aa that in Mosaic Uw. Vid. Leiit, lix. B, 10. 



MoB^c law,' aad their observaace of ancient customB,' are re- 
preseDted in a very lively and aQimated manner. St. Jerom 
has remarked, that Buth, in her wandering condition, verified 
the prophecy of iBaiah, who predicted that the " daughters of 
Moab should be as a wandering bird cast out of the Best.'"' 


Thk relations cont^ned in the book of Buth were a kind of di- 
gression in the sacred history, with a particular view ; but the 
general thread is now resumed respecting the judges of Isra«l ; 
and we are furnished in this, and in the following book, with an 
account of the events and occurrences which happened in the 
time of the two last judges, Eli and Samael ; and of the two 
first kings, Saul and Darid. It is uncertain whether these 
books are called the books of Samael, because he was the author 
of them, or only because liia history constitutes a principal pari 
of the sacred account. They are in the Vulgate* styled the 
First and Second Book of Kings,^ as two of tliose four books 
which contain the history of the kings of Israel and Judah. 

■ Chap. IT. S, 10. Battocf, ie SponnL it wa* gmdually recrived in the Weittm 

M Diiort wet. 27. ehuKh, m prefareuce to the Vulgate or Italic 

' Chap. ir. 7. The form of redempdon The pkkdI Vulgate, nhicb i> declared bu- 

lieie refernd to vat appanntljr di^rent thentic bj (he council of Trent, ia tlie an- 

from ibfi d^rading ceremonj obierred cient Italic venion Teviacd and improved 

towudi bim who rejected bia brotbei'i by (be correctioDa of St Jerom and othen. 

wife, a* enjcuned in Dent xxt. 9 ; though lliia ii the only tranilatlon allowed by 

Jotephua eoncsivea that it wu the laiiie the church of Rome ; and tt ia uiod by 

eonciaelr deacribed, Antiq. lib. >. e, 11. that church upon alt occasion t ; except 

The Chaldee parsphiaae repreaenti the that, in the Miaul and Paalma, a fev 

kinamau to have drawn off hia right-hand paaaagea of the ancient Vulgate are re- 

glo«e, inilemd of hia aboe. The moric of tuned, aa are the apocryphal booka, many 

tranter among the more modem Jewa of whkh St Jerom did not tranahts. 

WBi an handkenbief^ aa R. Solonion Jarebi There are tvo principal editiona of Ifaa 

infi>rma ua. Vid. Selden de Jore, NaL et pnacal Vulgate : one publiahed by pope 

Oent. Juit Diac Heb, e, G. Vid. also, Sixtlta the Fifth, the other by Clement the 

Ruth It. 1 1 ; el SeU. Uxor. Heb. lib. ii. c E^hth ; wbicli differ much from each other, 
though both are declared aatbenlic from the 


• laa. ztI 2. Hienn. Epiit ad Paolin. papJ chair. Vid. Kcnnicot'a State of the 
■The Vulgate waa a Tery andeat printed HebrewTeit, voLiL p. 19B. Some 
Tsnion of the Bible into Latin, but by of the ancient Italic leniou (of which the 
whom, or at what period it wu made, ii copioa are now loat) has been reccTered 
not known. The Old Teitament of thia fixim citations in the writinga of the ithera, 
Teraion waa tranalated bom the Septuagint and ii publiahed, with aupplementai; ad- 
it waa in general nae till the time of ditiona, in Walton'a Polyglot 
St Jerom, and called alao the Italic Tetsioa. ' These and the two aneceeding b«dca 
St Jerom'a tnuialation waa mode imme- are called in the Orttk AaffiXuM', the 
diately fnnn the Hebrew into I^tin, and booki of" kingdom*." 

,;, Google 


The two books of Samuel xrere id the Hebrew Canon cod- 
sidered but as one. The Talmudists* suppose that Samuel 
wrote the twenty-four first chapters of the first book, and that 
the rest was fbruisbed by the prophets Oad and Nathan. This 
opinion is founded upon these words, in the first book of Chroni- 
cles,'' '* Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold 
they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book 
«f Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer ;" 
and it is approved by many writers of considerable authority/ who 
maintain that the prophets were the historians of contemporary 
events. It will appear evident, at least, that the books of Samuel 
were written before either the books of Kings or of Chronicles, if 
we compare them together ; for in each of these last-mentioned 
books, many circumstances are manifestly taken and repeated 
from the books of Samuel. We may therefore assent to the 
general opinion, that Samuel was the author of at least the 
greater part of the first book ; ' and probably he composed it 
towards the latter end of his life.' Certain, however, it is, from 
its admiHsion to the Canon, as well as from the predictions which 
it contains, that the book was the production of a prophet ; not 
to mention that it is referred to by our Saviour, in vtndicatioo 
of his disciples.'' The first book of Samuel contains a space of 
near eighty years, if we reckon from the birth of Samuel, about 
or soon after A. M. 2868, to the death of Saul, which happened 
A. M. 2948. 

The history opens with an account of the birth of Samuel. 
It describes his consecration to the ministry, and bis appointment 
to the prophetic office ; the capture of the ark ; and the comple- 
tion of God's judgments on the house of Eli ; the curse on those 
who possessed the ark ; its return, and the signal punishment of 

' Bbto Batlm, cap. 1. KimcbL 7. Bat it then only implied * mnn bimmd 

' 1 CliraiL rdx. 29. ot Ood ; wbeteu in the time of Samuel, 

■ Huet, Demeun. Erang. prop. it. lud. it vu appropriated to one wfao foreeaw 

OnL lib. tL cap. 2. R. Kimchi, &e. futon eventi, Vid. 1 Sam. ilL 20 ; z. 

' ProcDpiat Ouffioa infbimi ni, that the fi ; lii. 34. In the latter pan of Samael*! 

Byriana odl the bosk, the Piopbec; of life, the vord leer might have become 

Samael. nearij otwolete, ifaDugh nccaiionaH; med 

( Chan. r. 5; li. 18; ixx. 2£ ; ix. 9. in and after hii time. Bat peih^ thii 

In thii Wit pouage, Samuel incidentally remark might haTebeeDafterwordtiaierted 

obterra, that they vho in hia time and in for the inatmctian of later timee, ai poiiibly 

that of Saul were called pTDpheti, were were lame fev other paiticulan. Vid. vii. 

audeDtly denominated leen. The void 1£ ; liiL 5 ( ixiii. 8. 

inophet, (nabi,) waa in nae, indeed, in tlie ■■ Comp. 1 Snm. ii. IS, with Uatt liL 

time of Moms or Abraham. Vid. Oen. ii. 3, 4. 



such OS daringly profaned its sanctity;' the election of SanI in 
conformity to the unadviBed desire of tlie Israelites for a king;^ 
the wars and evils which arose, as had been foretold,' in conse- 
quence of this change of government ; the sins and rejection of 
Sanl ; the anointing David, and the first dieplay of hia piety 
and heroism;"' the disinterested friendship of Jonathan and 
David ; the enviona and nngenerons anspicious of Sanl ; the 
death of Samuel ; the appearance of hia spirit," denouncing Qod's 
Judgments against the impiety of Saul ; in the accomplishment 
of which the book terminates, with the account of the miserable 
fate of Sanl, and of hig sons. The sacred writer illustrates the 
c^ractere, and describes the events of bis history, in the most 
engaging manner. The weak indulgence of Eli is well contrasted 
with the firm piety of Samnel. The rising virtneg of David, and 
the sad depravity of Saul, are strikiDgly opposed. The aenti- 
menta and inatmctiona acattered through the work are excellent ; 
and the inapired hymn of Hannah, which much resembles that 

' Chap. Ti 19. Tbe tcil, oa it now Sanl, oth«rwue Saot uid Abner mnat haTe 

MUldiiKpreuiiUtiAythonBBnduidteTentj known '^whaao hid Um itripliag wat ;" 

men of Belhshemeih to have been BDUttcn and therefore the Kvenleenth chapur 

DpOD thii odaaion, for the prcaomptaani records particnlan prior in jnint of ehro- 

Tiolation of God'* eipreu coDunnnd. Vid. cology to thoie rckted in the sixteenth. 

Numb. iv. 20. But the original wordi ere Vid. Warbun. Div. Legnt. b. i». Beet 6, 

more properly trantlated bjBochan: "He note e. Such enticipationi are not un. 

■mote ihreeicore and ten men, fifty out of a cuitomoiy in the lacred wrilingi, and 

thoarand men ;" that la, the number being they gire mueh animation to the hiitorj ; 

one thouiand fiinr hundred, God imota and ue namtiou ahould be read in tlia 

■CTenty, a twentieth part. Josephua under- follaving order : eh. i<ra ; zriiL 9 ; xtL 

■tD«d the pauage thua; and it muat be 14 — S3. Some wiitera, hawever, eonaidei 

obaeired, in mpport of ^ii interpntntioii, tlie thirty-nine Teraei which an omitted in 

that Betbahemnh vat but a village. Vid. tbe Vatican copy d( tbe Septuagiat, aa an 

Patrick on 1 Sam. vi. 19. interpolation introduced into the Hebrew 

* The impropriety of tbie leqnest will teit, and the Alexandrian copy of the 

be more obvious, if we recollect that Ood QreelE venion, 

had condeaceDded to be held in the cha- ■■ Chap, uviii. The moat probable and 

jacter of a temporal king to the laraelitea, beat anppoTled opinion concerning Ihia re- 

teaiding^ aa it were, among them, and latioa ii, that Ood tuffered Samuera de- 

iaauing hia decrees &om the tabernacle ; to parted ^irit, or a miracnloui representation 

require a king was therefore to reject hia of hie person, to appear to Saul, and, as a 

theocracy. Vid. chap liti. 7 ; xii. 12. punishment for hia preamnptaoaa impiety, 

Joeeph. cent Apion. lib. ii. to discloae hia impending &te. The teit 

' Chap. TiiL 11 — 18. poMtively calla him Samuel, (" hiraselii'' in 

■• The character of Da^id ia very beau- Che original,) and he pmphcaied truly ; for 

tifuUy delineated by the sacred writer, and " on the momw,*' that is, aoon after, Saul 

hi* actions are placed before na in a manner and his sons were slain, and the host of 

veD calculated to produce efiect. He ii Israel defeated. Tbe woman was hetvelf 

Ant introduced to our notice as " a raliant terrified atarealappeainnce, when probably 

and pmdentman," anointed on the rejection she designed a deception, and was preparing 

of ^ul; and the historian then goes back her incantadons. Vid. Eeeloa. ilvj. 20. 

ta relate an achievemeDt of Darid'a CalmeL Diswirt pi«C to 1 Sam. Note in 

"youth •," for it appears that the combat Sept. 1. 1 Chrau. i. 13. Justin Uartyr, 

to the driTing away of the 



of the Blessed Vir^n," furoishes as with a grand prophecy of 
Christ ; who is here, for the first time in scriptare, described as 
the Messiah,'' or the Anointed of the Lord ; as the exalted 
Sovereign and appointed Judge of the earth. 

Samuel, the reputed author of this book, was obtained by the 
prayers of Hannah," and dedicated from his inikncy to God. 
He appeared as a prophet at a time when the prophetic spirit 
was but rarely known ; he accepted the supreme power in the 
government of his country without ambition,' and executed the 
important duties of his office with irreproachable integrity. 
When required by God, he resigned his power without reluc- 
tance ; and in compliance with tbe divine commands, elected 
two strangers in the government, to the exclnsion of his sons. 
He was much feared and respected by Saul, and the whole 
Bation ; and was allowed by that monarch to judge Israel " all 
the days of his life."' The anther of Ecclesinsticus justly cele- 
brates him as a favourite servant of God, a righteous judge, and 
a faithful prophet.' He was addressed by many revelations from 
Ood ; " and the miraculous circumstances that demonstrated hia 
appointment, as well as the prophetic spirit which inspired him, 
were so conspicnoos, " that all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, 
knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord, 
who let none of his words &II to the ground." His first pre- 
dictions concerning tbe destruction which impended over tbe 
house of Eli were literally completed,' and these were followed 
by others which came to pass with striking exactness.^ 

thi'i lene ma; mean, that Samocl irai u 
diligent in the diKhaige of bis office, that 
he ga'e hinnelf no rest, hat ut to judge 

„.™^™ -c .,.„uj.u-M., , ^.^ t*""* ""^ ^J- , Some eonrider it u a 

1. - I ' . r nnm >■ 11.. lubsequent mlerpolalion. aamoel mar bs 

o«d,,u d«..»n™. n»D, M.«la.b, t. ^^ „ j,^ j.^ ,j_, ,^ >^ 

. befun Saul, inthcninety-eighthjearorhit 

- ''EccluMlvi- 13—20. 

, o J 1. . o 1 J J , " Chap, iii ; Paul. icU. 6, 7 ; AcU iij, 

' Some deny that Samuel jocceeded "04 

the prietthood, « he wu. not of the po^ ; f,, ^..^ ii_ig_ y^^ j„ ^^ ;;_ 

*''^L^""^^^ ' ^i U'^^^ 3*> 35; whieh contain p«pli«i« that 

e«t. Jo™., bb. 1 and in P-d- «n,i ; ^biatbar, but which were more fully ae- 

!5r ?T^ i^ T r^ ?■? f "'"Pli'l'^ i" Chri-t, the great high-pri«l 

both thaiactera. Vrf. Augiut. in Pal. „ fj - yij_ f Kinm i. 39l I 26, 

• Com. 1 Sun. i 

iL 1-10, with Luke i. 

P 1 &Bin. ii 


The Meiwah and the 

.nointed are 

synonymous; TOtD, Ma»- 

«™L He i« not reckoned in the oM- ^j" { QiaoD. 

laa«B of pneMa given by Jowpaua. Vid. ,' ™ -- 

Seldai da Suosm. ad P<mti£ lib. < ' <' y ?r "^ 
• I Sam. Tii. 15. PatrickobKr 

CliBp.Tiiil5— IB; : 

X. 22 ; Heh. v. 




If we assent to the opioion of the Talmudists, that Samael did 
not coBtinue the history beyond the twenty-fbnrth chapter of 
the first book of Satnnel, we may assign this second book, as 
well as the latter part of the former, to the prophets Gad and 
Nathan. Many learned Jews have contended, ironi a fenciftil 
resemblance of style between these and the works of Jeremiah, 
that this prophet compiled them from the memoirs of Samuel, 
Gad, and Nathan.* We may conclude, then, either that they 
were written entirely by Samuel ; or partly by him, and finished 
by some of those inspired persons that issued from the schools of 
the prophets, which he is supposed to have established. These 
were colleges for the instruction of select youths in the knowledge 
of the law, and the exercise of devotions." Upon many of these 
disciples God conferred the spirit of prophecy ; and probably 
most of the subsequent prophets were elected from these 
schools;' not, indeed, necessarily, but because therein fitted 
and prepared lor the sacred influence. They were under the 
direction of a prophet really inspired, who was conffldered as a 
father to the society ; and Samuel was probably the first who 
possessed that dignified character.'' 

This second book of Samuel bears an exact relation to the 
preceding history, and is likewise connected with that which 
succeeds. We see throughout the efiects of that enmity against 
other nations which had been implanted into the minds of the 
Israelites by the Mosaic law, and which gradually tended to the 
extirpation of idolatry. 

The history contains a period of near forty years, from about 
A. M. 2948 to 2988. It describes the establishment and pros- 
perity of David's reign ; which he deserved, as well by bis 
generous respect for the memory of Saul, as by the excellency 

* Ban Bullira, AbartuDel, OroCina. and " For Amot informt «• that he wm dd^ 

Locke. In 3 Mmcc. u. 13. it it taid, that dtip. rii. 14. It wai liliewiM prarerluallj 

Nebemiah gathered together the AcU of Bid, " IiSaul slHamaDg iheprapbeta?*' la 

Daiid, with other writing* ; which peihapa he nieed to b dignity to whicb he wai Dot 

meuii only that he collected them foi the ditdplined h; hii educatioD ? 

Ubnu7 which he ii then uid to bare '* Wbitbj'a School of the Fn^heta; 

{bunded. Smilh'a DiKomae on Prophecr. 

^ lBaakz.& 



of tlioee many other qoalitiee which his maturer piety displayed. 
It relates the extinction of Saur& family, and David's grateful 
and unsuspicious kindness to the eurviviog son of Jonatliao. 
The inspired author then records the fall of David ; and exhibits 
a sad proof of the unconscious depravity to which the noblest 
minds may be seduced by passion. He represents to ua Gk>d's 
anger softened, but not appeased, by David's repentance ; -who 
was soon afler punished by the death of the child, and by many 
domestic calamities. The transgression of Ammon was the first 
consequence of.his bad example; and " evil rbse up against him 
est of his own house,"' in the ambitious intrigues and rebellion of 
Absalom. We soon behold him a degraded and fugitive sovereign, 
reviled by bis meanest subjects ; and severely punished for his 
conduct towards Uriah, by the incestuous outrage of his son.' The 
submissive repentance, however, and restored virtnes of David, 
procured his pardon and re-establishment on his throne ; which 
he dignified by the display of the greatest moderation, justice, 
and piety. If in the exultation of his recovered prosperity, 
God sufiered him* to be betrayed into an ostentatious numbering 
of the people, " his heart smote him" ta immediate repentance ; 
and he piously threw himself on Ood's mercy, and entreated 
that he only might suffer horn the indignation which he had 
provoked. The vicissitude of events which the book describes, 
the fall and restoration of David, the effects of his errors, and 
his return to righteousness, are represented in the most interesting 
manner, and furnish valuable lessons to mankind. The author, 
in the concise style of sacred history, selects only the moat 
striking features of character, and the most important incidents 
of those revolutions of which he treats; and among the con- 
spicuous beauties of the book, we can never sufficiently admire 
the feeling lamentation over Saul and Jonathan,'' the expressive 
parable of Nathan, and the triumphant hymn of David. 

The prophecies contained in the book are, tirst, that which 
blended temporal and spiritual blessings in the promises relative 
to Solomon and the Messiah, the permanency of David's throne, 

■ Nathan's prophetic threat, ch. lii. 11. Mlemniie the oineqiiies of their frienda 

'Chqhxri. 21,32. with diijw sccompanied by mime 2 

( Chap. ziiT. 1 ; and I Chron. uL 1. Chron. xnv. 34 ; MatL ii. 23. Joieph, 

^ Thia aong it tuppoied t» hare been Antiq. liU iii. c !>. Haimon. c 14. Kct 

tang at the funeral of SmI luid Jonathan ; 33. 

it beii^ cnilDniary amonf[ the Jew* to 



and the perpetuity of that kingdom which ie prefigured;' 
secondly, the predictive denunciationa of Nathan ;^ and, lastly, 
the figurative descriptions of David^s psalm,' by whom the 
"spirit of the Lord spake,'" assariog him of an everlasting 
coven ant."" 

This book, likewise, as well as the former, contains other in- 
trinsic proofs of its verity. By describing without disguise the 
misconduct of those characters that were highly reverenced 
among the people, the sacred writer demonstrates his impartial 
sincerity; and by appealing to monuments that attested the 
tmth of his relations when he wrote, he furnished every possible 
evidence of his faithful adherence to truth. The books of 
Samuel connect the chain of sacred history by detailing the cir- 
cumstances of an interesting period. They describe the reforma- 
tion and improvements of the Hebrew church established by 
David : and as they delineate minutely the life of that monarch, 
they point out bis typical relation to Christ ; and likewise illus- 
trate remarkably his inspired productions, which are contained 
in the book of Psalms. Many heathen authors have borrowed 
from the books of Samuel, or have collected from other sources, 
many particulars of those accounts which he gives." This re- 
mark will equally apply to the books of Kings t and, indeed, to 
all the books of sacred history." 


This and the following book' were in the Hebrew Canon 
reckoned but as one. They cannot be positively assigned to any 
particular author, though some have ascribed them to Jeremiah,^ 

' Chap. viL 12, 16; Heb. I S. Dnyid ■" JoBcph. Antiq. lib. TJiL cap. 2. Menand. 

seemt to have oppitliandtsd the greit extent Theophr. lib. iii. ad AutoL Eueeb. Pnep. 

of Ocd'i promiKi ; ud, id comeqoenee, lib. i. Qem. Alex. Strom. 1. 

to have bum out in nptumu acknowledg- • The Jew* call them the Third and 

nient d[ hii goodneu. 2 Sam. vii. 19 — 21; FoDtth Book of Kiaga. Id the time of 

I ChroD. xiiL 17. Origen, Ibej denominated them from the 

' Chap. liL 11— U. £nt worda, " Varomelech Darid," Darid 

Chap, xxii. the king. Orig. ap. Euaeh. Pnep, lib. xi. 

"> Chap, xiiii, 2, 5. til. 

° Enpol, ap. Eiueb. Pnep. lib. ii. Nit <• Ban Bathia, Orotina, laidora, Pro- 

Damaac Ub. iv. Hiit ap. Joieph. Antiq. copiuB, Kimchi, &c. 



and some to Isaiah. There are mauy, likewise, who cooteod that 
they are the prodaction of Ezra : and probably this opmion is 
most just, for they appear to be a collection, or historical abridg- 
ment, selected from the memoirs and books of the prophets; 
which are hereio frequently referred to,*^ as records, doabtlese, 
of contemporary prophets. Thus " the Book of the Acts of 
Solomon," is mentioned in this very book,'' and was probably 
written by Nathan, Abijah the Shilonite, and Iddo the seer." 
And hence those who by the Book of the Acts of Solomon have 
understood the books of Kings, have supposed that they were 
composed by these prophets ; ' but we elsewhere read that 
Shemaiah the prophet was employed with Iddo the seer in 
writing the acts of Rehoboam ;* that the acts of Abijah were 
written in the story of Iddo;* the book of Jehu the prophet 
likewise related the acts of king Jehoshaphat ; ' and Isaiah 
wrote the acts of Uzziah,* of Hezekiah,' and probably of the 
two intermediate kings, Jotham and Ahaz, in whose reigns, 
he flourished; so that we may conclude, that from these 
several records, as well as from other authentic documents, 
were compiled the books of Kings. They appear to have been 
arranged by one person, as the style and manner are uniform ; 
and therefore they may with much probability be assigned to 
Ezra, who possibly compiled them during the captivity.'" 

The first book comprises a period of one hundred and twenty- 
mx years, from the death of David, A. M. 2989, to that of 
Jehoshaphat. After the description of the decay and death of 
David, we are presented with a most striking history of the 
reign of Solomon, of his wisdom and magnificence, of the building 
of the temple, of his extended commerce to Ophir," and of the 

* INodor. in 1 Sam. ii. 9. Theodm. wen not nied bir ths Jewi tlU in or tfUr 
Pnef. in Lib. R«g. Must. Piopot. It. the captivity. 

' Chap. xi. 41. " Variout haTe been the conjectDm con' 

* 3 Cfaron. a. 39. ceming tbe utuadon of Ophir. Jowphiii 
' Caijetan, Sartario*, tu. ■ placei it in the Eait-Indiai, in a country 
( 2 Cbron. lii. 15. which, by tiii dcKription, (honld appear u 
'• 2 Chnn. liii. 2S. be Malacca. Bochnrt cotit«nda ibat it vaa 
' 2 Chnn. xi. 31 ; and 1 Kingi in. 1. Tapbcvbana, or Ceylon. Cotmet plac«a it 
^ 2 Cbron. xevL 22. in Armenia, Montaans in America, and 
' 2 Cbron. xxxiL 33 ; and In. nxri, Hnetina in ihe eeiteni coait of Africa. At 

of Heukioh'i hulory ie incorpomled with respect to ThonhiBh, lome considering it 

loaiah'a propbedn. Tbeodor. PrtBf. in at bavins been near, and atbers oa distant 

Lib. Reg. from Ophir; all tbat the Kiipturea tell ua 

■ The Chaldaic nemea by which tbe ia, that the nary of Tharehiih came in once 

mondia in theae booka ate denominated, in tbi« yean, and funiahed Solomon 



vifiit of the queen of Sbeba." To this succeeds an account o( 
the miserable dotage and apoatacy of Solomon, and of hie death, 
preceded by a prospect of that threatened rending of the 
kingdom which should take place under his bod.)* Afterwards 
are related the accession of Rehoboam ; his taeh and impolitic 
conduct, and the consequent separation of the ten tribes, which 
happened abont A. M. 3029. This is followed I>j a concise 
sketch of the history of the two kingdoms, in which particular 
periods are characterized by very animated relations j as that 
of the disobedient prophet, of the widow of Zarephath, of 
Elijah and the prophets of Baal, of Benhadad^s pride and defeat, 
of Ahab's injustice and punishment. In the course of these 
events, we contemplate the exact accomplishment of Ood's pro- 
mises and threats, the wisdom of his dispensations, *and the 
mingled justice and mercies of his govemmeut. 

The book is stamped with the intrinsic marks of inspiration : 
of the prophecies which it contains, some were speedily com- 
pleted,'' but that which foretold that " Josiah should be bom 
unto the house of David, and slay the high priests," was not 
fulfilled till above three hundred and fifty years' after ifwas 

immeDw wealth, of which we know not 
the omouiil, lince we can make no exact 
eilimate ofdieTnlne ofthetalentaiped&ed; 
they were, bowerei, certtinty of leu Tslne 
than the Moiuc talenU. Vid. Prid. Pret 
to Con. Bocharl. Phaleg. I. iL c. 37. Bnice'a 

° The most learned writers nuunlain, 
that the queen of Sheba came from Yemen, 

in Arabia Felix. She ia called by Chriit, Vid. Le>it. nvi, 40—43 ; 1 ningi in. -js. 
" the queen of the SoDlh," and ia Bid hy 4 Chap. vi. 12; it. 11—13, 30 — 39; 
him to "hare come fhnn the utmost paiU liv. 10, 11, 14; ivi. 1 — (. Jehu, in thii 
of the earth," a> the loathem part of lait prophecy, foretold that Ood would 
Aiahia was conaidend by the ancienti. oialu the home of Baaaha like that of Je- 
Sbe i* ■upponed to hare been a dcKendant roboam ; and it deKrrea to be remarked, 
of Ahrahain by Keturah, whoie giandaon how omclJy the threat was fblGlled ; for a* 
Sheba peopled that coontiy : ahe therefore Nadab the sou of Jeroboam reigned two 
probably leiorled to Solomon for teli- years, so did Elah the son of Baaaha ; and 
Rioua inatmction. Vid. t Kingi i. 1 ; and bulb wen slain by the awoid. Vid. eh. it. 
hence our Saviour'a encomium, MatL liL 25—211; ivi, B— 10. Vid. alio, for other 
42. She ia called Balkis by the AiabiaiiB, pi«diction>, chap. itU. 1 ; (campared with 
The Ethiopiana pretend that she waa of Jamea v. 17.) x " ' '" "' "■ 

of Ih 

ol idols 

try) "Tisidng 

the iniqidliei 
dren," when 

the m 

of guilt waa co 

mpleted ; and 

in the 


wledse that th 

should penii 

in cri\, Ood 

-evealed, aa a 


the diubedie 

nt, those cala< 



Cuniliea. It 

a the power, howeTer, 

of those who 

repented, to- 

BTeit the diTii 

their countrj ; and many fcbulous atoriea 

serve, that in the nineteenth lerac of the 

are told of her by different writers, ander 

twenly-firtt chapter, instead of in (ia plad 

the naniea Nicaule, Candace. Marqui-da, 

u4cnt, we should i«ad, m Hie mamer, as 

At Via. Ludolph'a Hist of Ethiopia. Dr. 

the dogs licked Ahab-a blood in Samaria. 

JohnBon'B Disc, on Queen of Sheba, vol. ic. 

The prophet points only to the cauae of 

Calmet. Diet, under the word Nicaule. 

Abab-s punishmcnl. Vid. Patrick, Ac. 

' Chap.iiii. 1—3, compared with SKing* 

in smptun, a. sometime. (eapeciaUy u. 

xuiL 15.-20. Joseph. An^q. lib, x. e. 9. 



detirered. Some of its prophetic denaiiciatioits were uttered 
uDder fi^Tative descriptioD :' and Mic^h, to illustrate the in- 
fatuation which God had suffered to prevail in the counsels of 
Ahaz, that it might mislead him to destruction, unfolds to the 
misguided monarch the danger of bis projected enterprise, under 
a representation received in vision; in which an imaginary 
council and the supposed agency of a lying spirit are introduced, 
in order to explain the divine conduct in some analogous pro- 
ceedings.' Both the books of Kings are cited as authentic and 
canonical by onr Saviour and his apostles." 


CoMCERMiNo the author of the second book of Kings, it has been 
treated in the preceding preface i and it is here only necessary 
to repeat, that the second was united with the first book of 
Kings in the Hebrew Canon, and considered bnt as one with it ; 
and that it was compiled by Ezra, or some other inspired person, 
from the records of former prophets. 

The history contiuned in this book records the government 
and actions of many successive kings of Judah and Israel, for the 
space of about three hundred years : from the death of Jeho- 
shapbat, A.M. 3115, to the destruction of Jerusalem and the 
temple, A. M. 3416. The connection and occasional quarrels 
which subsisted between the two nations dnrmg part of this 
time, till the conquest of Samaria by Shalmanezer, seem to have 
induced the sacred writer to blend the two histories, as in some 
measure treating of the same people. Both nations appear to 
have departed, with almost equal steps, &om the service of the 
true God ; and in the history of each we are presented with a 
succession of wicked and idolatrous kings, till each had com- 
pleted the measure of its iniquity. Both Israel and Judah, 
though they invariably experienced prosperity and affliction in 
proportion to their obedience or disobedience, were in&tnated by 
their perverse inclinations; and in a long series of their re- 

• Cli>p.xxiL 17. ■ Matih. tii. 43; Lake it. 25— S7; 



Bpectire Bovereigns, we find a few only who were awakened by 
God''s judgments to a sense of their trae interest and duty. The 
whole period seems to have been dark and guilty, the glory of 
the kingdom being eclipsed by the calamities of the diriaoa, and 
by the increasing miseries of idolatry and ambition. Successive 
tyrannies, treasons, seditions, and nanrpations, and the instant 
punishment which they produced, serve at once to illustrate the 
evil character of the times, and the vigilant equity of the divine 
government. The events are described with great simplicity, 
though in themselves highly interesting and important. The 
account of Elijah's assumption into heaven, of Elisha'B succession 
to his ministry and of the series of illustrious miracles performed 
by Elisha, the story of Naaman and of the panic flight of the 
Syrians, the history of Benhadad and Hazaet, of the predicted 
death of Ahab and Jezebel and their children, and of the de- 
struction of 33asrs prophets, are all pregnant with instruction, 
and have famished a theme for frequent dissertation. We per- 
ceive in these impressive histories the characters and qualities of 
men painted with great fidelity, and the attributes of Qod dis- 
played with great eflect. The particulars and circumstances are 
sketched out with a brief and lively description, and the imagi- 
nation lingers with pleasure in filling up those striking outlines 
that are presented to oar view. The sacred author, regardless 
of minute order, and of the succession of events, seems sometimes 
desirous only of furnishing us with a riew of the state of religion 
among the people, and of illustrating the genealogy of Christ. 
In particular we observe, how the revolt of the ten tribes and 
their subsequent captivity contributed to keep up the distinction 
of the tribe of Judah, and to make the prophecies which foretold 
that the Messiah should descend from this branch more conspi- 
cuously accomplished. 

The predictions described as delivered and fulfilled in this 
book are those which foretold the death of Ahaziah,* the birth 
of a son to the Shunammite, ** the recovery of Naaman,' plenty 
in Samaria,^ the crimes and cruelty of Hazael,* the success of 
Joash,' the defeat of Sennacherib,' the prolongation of Heze- 

» CIwp. L 16. ' Chap. xiii. 19. 

* Ctu^ir. 16. ■ Chap. lix. 6, 7, 38,29,33; and Herod. 
" Clup. *. 10. lib. L Thl* deitruction i> said, in tlu B» 

* Cttf. Tii, I. bjkniiili Talmnd, and in aame Tuvunu, to 

* Cbap^ nil 10, 12. hare been occa*ian*d bj li^tmng. It 



kiah's life,'' the Babylonish captivity,' and the peaceful reijfn of 

After the captivity of the ten tribes, the colony brought up 
from Babylon and other places adopted the Hebrew religion, and 
blended it with their own idolatries ; and henceforward, in point 
of time, we hear little of the inhabitants of Samaria. The king- 
dom of Judah still continued lor above a centnry to provoke 
Ood''g anger by its disobedience and idolatry, notwithstanding 
Isaiah and many other prophets conspired during all this period 
to exhort the people to repentance, by every motive of interest 
and fear. The good reign of Hezekiah, though lengthened by 
divine providence, was too soon encceeded by the "evil days of 
Manasseh,"" in whose time the temple, sod even the volume of 
the Law, seem to have been almost entirely neglected. la the 
reign of Joaiah, religion for a short time revived ; the public copy 
of the Law was discovered and read, ' and idolatry for a few 
months suppressed ; but the tide of iniquity having rolled back 
with accumulated force, Jerusalem is besieged and taken, the 
city and temple spoiled, and the noblest of the nation led captive 
to Babylon. The book concludes with the account of the second 
siege by Nebuchadnezzar, which happened about eighteen years 
after the first; then the city and temple were burnt,'" and soon 
after the whole destruction completed by the massacre or flight 
of the remnant which bad been left amidst the ruined cities of 

mighl, perlapi, linTe been effected by the 12— U, iiiii. 27, compared with ch. uiy, 

deitmctiTe hot windi w frequent in thoie 13, and Dan. i. 1 — 6. 
psiu, Vid. TheTenot'a Travels, part il ■ Chap. uii. 20. 
b«ki.ctu20;boakiLch. 16; part i. book ii. ' Chap. ivi. Q; xiiii. 2. 
ch. SO. Jeremiah calla thii a dcitrojing ~ According to Usher'i computiition, the 

wind, where the Arabic rcnden it a hot temple was burnt about ronr hundred nnd 

peititential wind, chap. ir. II ; li. 1. Isaiah twenly-four years dftsr il wa» built. Jo- 

Ihreatens Sennacherib with "n blast," lephua, who conceives it to have been burnt 

which might be called the angel of the four hnndredandQeveiity3'eBn,a]xmontUa, 

lynd. Iiaiah iixfii. 7 ; 2Kingaiii.7. and ten daye, from the time of ita building, 

' Chap. XI. 6. observes with astonishment, that the second 

' Chap. n. 17, in. God appeara to temple was burnt by the Romans in the 

have revealed to Heiehlsh the cahuuities nine month, and on the same day of the 

whith awaiteil bit descendants in the Ha- month, that the first temple was set on fire 

bylanish captivity, aa a punishment for his by the Chaldeans ; and ihs Jewish doclon 

oatentatioos display of his treasures, in add, with as tittle troth, that the Levites 

which he seemed to conHdc ; and for not were singing the same hymn in both de- 

baving rather professed bis conlidonce in (tmctions, repeating, from PsaL xdy, 2S, 

God, whose mercies be had so recently ex- these wonis: "He shall bring upon them 

perienced. These prophecies, however, and their own iniquity, and he ■hall cnl them 

those in the ensuing chapters relative to the off in their own wickedness, yea, the Lord 

•■me captivity, were literally fulfilled above our God shall cut diem off." Vid. Antiq. 

one koodied years after. Vid. chap. iii. lib. x. c. II. 




Tub Jews formerly reckoned the two books of GhroDicleB but as 
one,' which was entitled the Book of Diaries,'' or Jonrnals, in 
allusion to those ancient journals which appear to hare been 
kept among the Jews. The books of Chronicles, indeed, as well 
as those of Kings, were in all probability copied, as to many of 
their historical relations, from these ancient chronicles of the kings 
of Israel and Judah. Such chronicles mast unquestionably hare 
existed, since in the books of Kings there are frequent references 
to books of Chronicles, as containing circumstances which are 
not found in those so entitled in our Canon, not to mention that 
these were written after the books of Kings. The books of Chro- 
nicles which we now possess, were so named by St. Jerom : they 
are distinguished in the Septuagint as the books of " things 
omitted i^' and they are supposed to have been designed as a 
kind of supplement to the preceding books of scripture, to supply 
such important particuUrs as had been omitted, because incon- 
sistent with the plan of former books. They are generally, and 
with much probability, attributed to Ezra;^ who has used a 
similar style of expression, and whose book appears to be a con- 
tinuation of them.* Ezra, if he were the author, might hare 
digested them by the assistance of Haggai and Nehemiah ; as 
well from historical records, as from the accounts of contem- 
porary prophets. 

These books were certainly compiled after the captivity, as 
they mention the restoration by Cyrus, and some circnmatances 

■ They now adopt our diTiaian, u well logyof thedetcendantaof Zeniblnbeluiud 

W in the precediog booki, in confoimit; to to be bnmght down much below Ihs time of 

OUT mode of dlation in concardancea, of Em ; for if the Zenibbebel here mentioned 

which Ihey borrowed the me from the were the tune who conducted the people 

I^n chmch. back from the captivity, the acomnt may 

«> Q'DTI nai, dibrK hajiamim. Verba ''»" *»«" >weUed by collateral kindred, or 

ffienun ; tlat ia, The Worda of Daya i En- powibly inueaaed by a nubKquent addition. 

tncU from Diaiiea. They are called Chro- St Matthew, however, gi.ea, m hu fint 

nidin, fimn the Oiw4 word »»»««. <^V*«r, a genedogy k» ^fferent, that it 

' Hofia^ttwoiumi'. Thua Xenopbon "ppe*" to be thai of ■ diHeient bimndi, if 

wrote Se pwnUpomona of the Pelopon- not of a different fcrnHy. Comp.lCbron.iii. 

neran war, ai a aapplement to the hiatory '9> «* •««■ "^^ Matth. L 13, et Mq. and 

ofTbocydidea. Grot in Matt. L 23. 

" Tbiabook appean to have bean com- ' Comp. the laat Ter»ea of S Chron. widi 

piled before that of Nehemiah, by whom it beginning of Ena. Patnck'a Comm. in 2 

u died, (Net. xii. 23.) though the gsne^ ^Im™- "^ ^^^ 



that occUFred after the return/ The author, however, appears 
sometimeB to speak as one who lived previous to the captivity;* 
but this most have been in consequence of big tranBcribing, with- 
out alteratioo, the accounts of earlier writers. 

The books of Chronicles, though they contain many particulars 
related in preceding; books, and snpply several circumstances 
omitted in preceding accounts, are not to be considered merely 
as an abridgment of former histories, with some supplementary 
additions, but as books written with a particular view ; in con- 
sistency with which, the author sometimes disregards important 
particulars in those accounts from which he might have compiled 
his work, and adheres to the design proposed, which seems to 
have been to furnish a genealogical sketch of the twelve tribes, 
deduced Irom the earliest times ; in order to point out those 
distinctions which were necessary to discriminate the mixed 
multitude that returned from Babylon, to ascertain the lineage 
of Judah, and to re-establish, on their ancient footing, the pre- 
tensioDS and functions of each individual tribe. The author 
appears to have intended to trimish, at the same time, an 
epitome of some parts of the Jewish history ; and in this first 
book, taking up the account at the death of Saul, he presents his 
countrymen with the picture of David's reign, especially dilates 
on his zeal for religion, and on the preparations which he made 
for the building of the temple, probably with design to excite 
the reverence and emulation of those who were about to rebuild 
it. He describes particularly the regulations and arrangements 
adopted by David with relation to the priests and Levites, as 
well as to the appointment of the musicians and other persons 
employed in the service of the temple, which David established 
OD a great and magnificent scale ; improving it with the intro- 
duction of hymns, of which there is a fine specimen in the six- 
teenth chapter of this book. 

The author, in repeating some particulars related in the pre- 
ceding hooks, specified the names of the persons employed, and 
active on great occasions ; and by this means furnished each in- 
dividual tribe with an account of the actions of its respective 

The genealogical tables of this book must have been highly 



iaaportant among the Jews, who were led bj the prophetic 
promises to be extremely observant of these particulars. They 
exhibit the detail of the sacred line through which the promise 
of the Messiah was transmitted.*" The precedency of the sereral 
lamilies, likewise, their marriages, and many advantages, were 
often dependent on the accuracy of these accounts ; and those 
who could not prove their descent, were deprived of many privi- 
leges. A regular and unpolluted lineage was especially necessary 
to those who aspired to the priesthood ; and such as could not 
produce it were deemed incapable of admission to that high 
office.' Ezra, likewise, by pointing out the division of families, 
as recognised before the destruction of Jerusalem, enabled each 
tribe, at the return from the captivity, to be restored to its ap- 
propriate inheritance. The genealogical accounts ate likewise 
still useful in many respects;" and, however they may appear 
sometimes irreconcileable with modem systems of chronology, 
they were certainly considered as accurate by the evangelical 
writers, as they are cited in the New Testament.' 

The authority of the book is likewise established by the accom- 
modation of a prophetic passage selected from it to the character 
of our Saviour by St. Paul,"' and by a positive prophecy of the 
eternity of Cbrisfs kingdom," as well as by other occaeional 
predictions." It may be added, also, as remarkable, that an 
inspired acclamation of David to the praise of God in this book, 
breathes the same sentiments of piety which were afterwards 
uttered in similar expressions by our Saviour, and which by St. 
John, in his enraptured visions, are ascribed to the blessed spirits 
who celebrate the praises of God in heaven.)* 

k The gcnralogim cantaioed in thi> book in Misfanah Biatb. c. G. sect. 1 1. 

ixn carried bock wilhout interrnp^Dn U ' W« collect from tbem, iiinang other 

AduDi through a period of near three thou- (hinga, that Natbnn, from whom, accardinx 

and five hundred jmn. They funush a to Hi. Luke, ouc Saviour wa* dcaccnded, 

(Inking proof of the lolicitudp which pre- wa» [he ion of DaTid by Bathihua, or 

vailed among the Jewa to aicertain the Bathahclia, 1 Cbron. iii. 5. 

completion of the promiMs, na h!»o of the ' Matth. i ; Luke iiL Joseph, cont. 

(igilant care with which ihe Bacretl account) Apion. lib. L Orotiua AnnoL in Lib. 

were preterved. They could not be cor- Carpiov. p. 292, Huet Demonatnt. 

rupted formerly, for raost of the pcopio Kvang. Piop. iv. Walton Oflidn. Bib. p. 

conld repmt tbem nwmonfer. The veners- &55. Ligbtfoot Chron. Vet. TeaL p. 142. 

tion for them was condemned by St. Paul, ■■ 1 Chron. ivii 1 3 ; nil 10 ; Hcb. i. 

a» eicotife and UBeless, after the appeal^ 5. 

ance of the Meui^. 1 Tim. L 4 ; Tit. ° I Chron. xvii. \4. 

iii. 9. • Chap. ixiL 9, 10. 

■ Eirail 61, G2. Selden de Succeaa. ad >> Compare 1 Chron. ndx. 10, II, with 

Pontit lib. iLc^ 2. p. 213 ; and cap. 3. p. Matlb. il 13, and with Ret. v, 12, 13. 
215. JoMph. cent. Aioon. lib. I Mumon. 




This book, as well as the former, with which it was originally 
united, was probably collected by Ezra, from the writings 
of the different prophets who are severally mentioned ia 
scripture as the historiaos of their respective periods;' as well 
as possibly from ancient chronicles which are supposed to have 
existed, and which may be conceived to have been composed by 
the priests, some of whom are called memorialists, or recorders, 
as Jehoshaphat," and Joah the son of Asaph." The hook con- 
tains many things omitted in the historical books which precede. 
It b^ns with a description of the reign of Solomon, and dilates 
with particular exactness on the munificent piety of that monarch, 
in the construction of the temple ; minutely specifying its orna- 
ments as typical of spiritual decorations which were to embellish 
the Christian church : a subject highly interesting and useful to 
the Jews, who at the time when this book was written were pre- 
paring to rebuild the temple. Hence the account of the solemn 
consecration of the first building, of the noble and comprehensive 
prayer of Solomon, and of the covenanted promises which Ood 
graciously imparted at the dedication, must have fiirnished 
much consolation to the Jews, scarce yet reviving from the de- 
spondence of captives. Then is repeated from the book of Kings, 
the representation of the magnificence and prosperity which 
Solomon enjoyed, agreeably to God's promise." 

Afler this, we are- furnished with a recapitulation of the 
history of the kings of Jndah, occasionally intermixed with re- 
lations respecting Israel, when connected with Judob. Great 
part of this history is selected either immediately from the book 
of Kings, or both Kings and Chronicles were copied from some 
larger annals, known under the title of the Books of Kings, since 
frequent references are herein made to some books of Kings, 
and sometimes for circumstances not extant in the canonical 
books.* These accounts, however, in the books of Chronicles, are 

1 Chnin. « 


2 Chron. «. 29 ; 





ISjDii. 82 






11; xii 


. uiiii. 19 1 

niy. 6. 




; uriiL 

2 SmuL. TuL 16. 






enriched with man; additional particolare. They present ua 
with a lively picture of the state of the kingdom of Jndah, and 
of the various vicissitudes and revolutions which it sustained 
under different princes. They serve, as the author seems to' 
have designed, greatly to illustrate the neceeeity of depending 
on Crod for defence, without whose protection kingdoms must 
fall. The advantage derived from obedience to God, and the 
miseries that resulted from wickedness and sin, are strikingly 
shewn. The book abounds with useful examples; and the 
characters are forcibly displayed by a contrasted succession of 
pious and depraved princes. The change and defection eveu of 
individual persons, and their decline from righteousness to evil, 
is shewn with much effect. The rebellion of Israel and the 
contest between the two kingdoms, the preservation of Joash 
from the destruction which overwhelmed the rest of the house 
of Jndah, the straggles between idolatry and true religion, the 
opportune discovery of the copy of the Law, with many other 
interesting particulars, which exhibit the interposition of the 
Almighty, defeating evil, and effecting his concerted purposes, 
deserve to be considered with great attention. 

Several predictions are scattered through the book; as the 
promises made to Solomon,' to Jehoshaphat,* and to others." 
Some sentiments appear to be transcribed from it into the New 

The varieties and apparent differences which exist between 
these books and those of Kings, with' respect to numbers, names, 
and dates, have deterred the Hebrew writers from commenting 
on them. These, however, are to be attributed to those varions 
causes which have been before detailed,* to our ignorance of pe- 
riods so long elapsed, to the different scope of the sacred writers, 
and to those mutilations and corruptions in minute particulars 
which have especially prevailed in the books' of Chronicles; for 
these appear to have been copied with unnsnal carelessness, and 
in none is the punctuation so defective. 

The second book contains a brief sketch of the sacred history, 
from the accession of Solomon to the throne, A. M. S288, to the 
return from the captivity, A.M. 3468: a recapitulation not 

* Chap. i. 12; Tii. 17—22. tS, 49, luid itlL 2* i J» 2 ChroiL lit 7, 

* Clmp. lii. 2; «. 15, 17, 87. with I PeL i 17. 

* Chap, xxiiii. 8. ^ Intioduclicm, and FnHkc to HutoiioU 
> Con^ 2 Chnm. U. 5, 6, with Act* nL Bodii. 



only very osefol to the Jews, but which reflects great light on 
other parts of scripture.' 

The two books jointly considered, tiirDish, in a connected Tiew, 
a compendium of the Jewish history. Id almost all the Hebrew 
manuscripts they are placed as the conclusion of the Bible. In 
most of the versions, as in our translation, they immediately 
succeed the books of Kings, and precede the book of Ezra. 
This appears to be the proper and original order, and is sup- 
ported by the Cambridge manuscript. Dr. KeDnicott supposes, 
that the two last verses of the second book of Chronicles were 
improperly added to it by a transcriber, who carelessly wrote 
down the beginning of Ezra i and on discovering hie mistake, 
broke off abruptly, and beginning Ezra again, repeated the 
verses with proper distinction of place."' 


This book was certainly written by Ezra. That he wrote the 
foar last chapters has never been questioned, since, in several 
parts of these, he evidently professes himself the author, by 
speaking in the first person." Some critics, indeed, have pre- 
tended that the six first chapters must have been written by a 
person more ancient than Ezra, becaose Ezra is said in the 
seventh chapter,'' to have gone up from Babylon after the events 
described in the six first chapters, in the time of Artaxences 
LoDgimanus ; whereas in the fiflh chapter, the author has been 
thought to speak of himself as present at Jerusalem, in the time 
of Darius Hystaspes:° if this be not a mistake, Ezra may 
perhaps be supposed to have accompanied Zerubbabel in the first 
return from the captivity ;'* and might have been again sent up 

' Hieron. Epiit. ii. ad Paalin. et Epiil. lidend no an tmiwer af tha Jtwi. It may 

ad Domnion. St. Jerom jauly remarka, pouiblr, however, be coamdered lu a quea- 

that it wen foIlT to pretend to a knowledge tion of Tatnai and hii GompeiiiODi. See 

of KjiptDie withont an acquaintance with verae 10. Perhaps we should road, oa in 

tho book of Chroniclea. tho Oroek, Sjiiac, and Arabic vendoni, 

■ See Kennicott DiHerL on 1 Chron. xL "Ibeo >aid they." and the objection it n- 

1. p. 491. moved, and the aenae BmeDded. 

* Chop. viL 27, 38; liiL 1, 15, 24; ix. '' Nehem. lii. 1. If the author of ihia 
S. book went not the aame peraon with the 

* Chap. rii. 1. Eini mentioned bj Nehemiah, he might 

* ChapL T. 4. This Tone ia tuualtj con- atiU hare have gone np Irom Babylon to 



to Babylon, to counteract tlie representations of tkose who op- 
posed at the Persian court the rebuilding of the city and temple ; 
and the account of his departure, which is given in the seventh 
chapter, perhaps refers only to his going up with that commis- 
sion and power which he received from Artaxerxes. But whe- 
ther Ezra were or were not at Jerusalem at the time when this 
answer is supposed to have been mode to Tatnai, he may well be 
conceived, either as copying a public record of the transaction, 
or as relating a speech of the Jews, to have used the expression 
of " We said unto them," meaning by " we," bis countrymen, 
which is surely no uncommon mode of speaking. Such objec- 
tions are very futile : and there is no reason to question the au- 
thenticity of any part of the book, which from the highest anti- 
quity has been attributed to Ezra ; who certainly at least di- 
gested it, and probably towards the end of his days." 

This book is written with all the spirit and fidelity that could 
be displayed by a writer of contemporary events. It is a con- 
tinuation of the Jewish history, from the time at which the 
Chronicles conclude ; and the connection of the two accounts is 
evident, since the book of Ezra begins with a repetition of the 
two verses which terminate the books of Chronicles. The sacred 
writers pass over the time of the captivity as a sad period of af- 
fliction and punishment ; dnring which, if the people were in- 
dulged in the exercise of their religion, they had few historical 
events to record ; and therefore we have no general history of 
their circumstances, and must have recourse to the books of 
those illustrious prophets who flourished among them in Assyria, 
for the only particulars that can be obtained concemiDg their 

The present book begins with an account of (rod's having dis- 
posed Cyrus, either by positive injunction, or by discovering to 
him his loog^predicted designs, to promote the rebuilding of the 
city and temple of Jerusalem. It relates the accomplishment of 
some illustrious prophecies in the release of God''s people,' which 
that monarch granted in the first year of his reign over Babylon, 

Jeniialem before the eerenth year of Arta- ' liaUh xlk. 26 — 38. A prophecy u^ 

xenea. Ured concerning Cjrui, deuribed by name 

■ Hum. Demon. Evang. Carpmr. In- near two hundred yean before he appeared : 

tnid. in Lib. Hiat. Vet. Teat. Bnmtii Pnef. jiutly noticed with admiration by heathen 

Calonii BibL lllust. in Lib. Ead. Walter! writer*. 
OSein. Biblic. p. 559. 



and in tLe return of tte Jews to their own country,* after a cap- 
tivity of seventy years,* A, M. 3468, We then are presented 
with n liat of the leaders and numbers of the captives who 
retnmed under Zerabbabel, and perceive how fatally the nation 
had been diminiefaed and brought low by saccessive defeats and 
dispereions.' We contemplate the picture of an harassed people 
restored from captivity, and returning to their country, which 
had long lain desolate.* We behold them erecting a temporary 
altar and service, and laying the foundation of their temple. 
Afterwards are described the lamentations of those who remem- 
bered the magnificence of Solomon's building; the opposition 
excited by the Samaritans and others, whose assistance bad been 
rejected ; the interruption occasioned by their intrigues ; and at 
last, the finisliing and dedication of the temple, about A. M. 
3489,' and the celebration of the passover.'" Ezra then relates 
his return with his companions to Jerusalem ; confesses the dis- 
obedience of the people to God's laws, in intermarrying with the 
Gentile nations of the land; describes his own pious and con- 

( Scaltgei Img. lib. iii. p. 260. et de Iwo ja\n Emm th« death of Gcdnlkh, Fii- 

Emend. Temp. lib. Ti. p. £76. deaui aappOBes that the Jewi had neglected 

^ The name of Jewe seeniB first to tlie law coaceming the Babbatical yeor^ only 

haie been applied to thii people aAer Ibe from the beginning of the reign of Am j 

retain from captiTJIjr. Jeieph. Aatiq. li. that is, thiee hundred and aixtf-four yean. 

C 6. The Jew6 retuniad from Babylon Vid. Picfem to LcTiticni, p. 109, note^. 

fifty yam after the taking of JeruMjcm ; ' The Jewi telJ oup Saviour, that iheir 

but the •eventy yean which Jeremiah pre- temple had been forty-aii yean in building ; 

dieted aa the penod for the dnraUon of the vliich mnst mean tho temple ai icpaiied 

eaptjiily, are reckoned from the third or and enlarged by Herod. Thii work wu 

fourth year ofJehoiakim'irngn, A.M. 3398. begun in the eighteenth year of his i«gn ; 

Vid. Jar. HT. 1, 11; nil. 10; when No- from whenco to the thirtieth year of Chrin 

buchadnenar Gnt invaded Judara, and car. waa a period of forty-iii yean ; and the 

ried dS csptirei. Dan. L I, 3 ; 2 Kingi temple wai not even then entirely finiihed, 

uiT. 1. Patrick in Jeiem. uv. 1 1 ; iiii. nor, according to the account of Joiephiis, 

10; Dan. i. 1; Zech. L 12; TiL 1 — 5; till the time of Agrippa, near ail ly yean 

and Prid. Ant. A. C. 518. after the death of Chrin. Vid. JoIid lL 20. 

' Many of the Jewi remained in the Joseph. Autiq. lib. iv. c. 1 4 ; lib. u. c 8. 

coDDtriea into which they had been carried. ■ It ii neceaaory hen to mention, that 

The Jcwiah wrilen aay, that only tho dreg* Jnatin Martyr, in hia Dialogue with Try- 

of the people retumei It should he re- pho, asierts that the following speech of 

marked, tlmt Em aaya, that "the whole Em was in the ancient Hebrew copiea of 

congiegation together was forty-two thou- the Bible, bnl eipungcd by the Jews ; rii. 

nnd three hundred and aiily ;" though if " Ezra aaid lo the people, this paasoret is 

we ealenlate the eeponte numben, they our Saiiour, and our nfiige ; and if you 

amount but lo twenly-nine thousand eight will be penuaded of it, and lei into your 

hnitdred and eighteen. Km, perhape, hearts, that we are to bumble him in a 

omita the detail of some indiTiduala, coDec- sign, and afterwards shall bsheie in him, 

tively reckoned; as those of the ten tribes, this place ahull not be destroyed for ever, 

or thou who conld not find their register ; soith the God of hoata ; but if you will not 

or poBubly the nomben ore in some in- believe iu him, neither hearken to hia 

itances corrupted. preaching, ye shall be a laughing-stock to 

■ A* the land had hin detohlle only fifty the Gentiles." 



ciliatory prayer ; the repentance of the people, and their separa- 
tion from the wivee and children, who not being; of the holy seed, 
might, if suffered to intermingle with the Jews, have rendered 
uncertain the accomplishment of the promises; and he con- 
cladea with an ennmeration of those who had transgressed, 
stigmatizing, with impartial indignation, the names of even the 
priests and mlers who had offended in this important violation 
of the law. 

The history contains a period of aboat seventy-nine years ; 
from A. M. 3468, when Cyrus became master of Per«a, to 
A. M. 3547, when Ezra effected the reform described in the last 
chapter of fais book : for between the dedication of the temple 
and the departure of Ezra from Babylon, in the seventh year of 
the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus, is a period of fifty-seven 
or fifty-eight years ; which this book passes over in silence, outy 
mentioning that the Jews had during that time intermixed with 
the Oen tiles. 

This book is written in Chaldee," from the eighth verse of 
the fourth chapter to the twenty-seventh verse of the seventh 
chapter ; for as this part of the work contains chiefly letters, 
conversation, and decrees uttered in that language, it was con- 
sistent with the fidelity of the sacred historian to describe the 
very words which were used ; especially as the people, recently 
returned from the captivity, were familiar, and perhaps more 
conversant with the Chaldee, than even with the Hebrew 
tongue : and it was probably about this time that the Chaldee 
paraphrases began to be us6d ; for it appears, by Nehemiah's 
account," that all could not understand the law; which may 
mean, that somq of them had forgotten the Hebrew during their 
dispersion in the captivity.^ Some assign, likewise, to this 
time, the origin of the Jewish synagogues, though it is possible 
that they existed before the captivity.'^ 

Ezra was of the sacerdotal family, a descendant of Seraiah,' 
in a right line from Aaron. He succeeded Zernbbabel in the 
government of Judeea, by a commission which lasted twelve 

° The Chaldee, ai Syriac, wat the Itiii- ton of Seiaiah, which only imphea hii do- 

guRgs then uied over all Aujria, Baby- Mcnduil ; or, at leait, it ii not prabablo 

Ionia, Penia, &c that be wai tho iaunediatfl mm of iha higb- 

' Neh. viii. 2, 8. Canubon. Epiat. S90. priett Seraiah, who vai lUia at the taking 

» Unir. HiiL ToL X. book ^ p. 320. of Jernnlem. 2 Kinn xir. 18. Prid. 

^ PiaL Icrir. 7, 8. Con. pan i. b. 5. 

' Chajk <rii. 1—5. He colli himKlf the 



yean, to A.M. 3658; at the expiration of which term, he either 
retunied to Babylon, to give an account of the state of the 
province of Judaea, or else retired into a private station in hia 
own conntry; cooperating, doubtless, in the pious designs of 
Nehemiah his successor, by whom he is related soon after to 
have produced and read the law of Moses to the people. Ezra, 
indeed, appears to have been particularly well skilled in the law, 
to have given much attention to the study of the ecriptures, and 
to have been well versed in the interpretation of them. He 
styles himself, a ready scribe;* and professes to have prepared 
himself to instruct the people in the statutes of God : the tra- 
dition, therefore, of bis having made a collection of the sacred 
writings, is extremely probable. We know, indeed, from Jo- 
sephas, that the JewiA priests, after every important war, were 
accustomed, on the establidiment of peace, both at home and 
abroad, publicly to ascertain, recognise, and copy out the registers 
of the priesthood;' by which we must either understand the 
scriptures, or believe that the same practice prevailed as to them. 
Ezra, therefore, may well be supposed to have published a 
correct edition, after the re-establishment of the Jews; and 
probably with the assistance of the great synagogue," which 
particularly flourished in the time of Artaxerxes LongimanQS ; 
not that there is any reason to imagine tliat the sacred books 
were lost daring the captivity, as some have absurdly conceived, 
from the fabnlous relation of a pretended burning of the law, 
andof the restoration of the scriptares by divine revelation, which 
account is given only in the apocryphal book of Esdras,* a work 
of little or no authority. The copies of the law were too much 
reverenced to be lost ; and Daniel we know was in possession 

• Em Tii 6. Tie woid, 1B1B, KHipher, t3™J '"> puri<7 "f mannert. Matt. it. S ; 

tapli««, OM ikiHal Id the intBrp«t.tion of t-JSO; Lnks it 46. Of (he in^ired 

Rnptun. The Dtigin of the acribw ii iu>- kAoos, ol irboin Simon ipeaki, (here ii no 

—till i the* wen probahty fint employed «™int in Kriptnre. 

nbKrann to the preidieti, uid ' <>' 'tpO-trnfurM t«» U(mh- nura 
Khook. Jnd -~^-' ■* 

r«-, ntheiricSoot Jndge. TfA^itwVX" .. ., ,.^ . 

T. 1* ; 1 Chnm. urii S2 ; Jecem. mTi. -""j "o "e worde of JoMphni, bb. L eont. 

26. They (eon to hare been eatsbluhed Apion. 

M an order of men after the captivity, and ' Ife"«ti»- «"'. Hnre*. lib. ui. e. 25, 

to ian ri»n into repute after tbe ceamtioii Teitol. de Habit. Mutter, c. S. Cleni. 

of praph«<T. Th*T are mentioned in the Alet Strain, i. Ba«L Epiit. ad Chilon, 4c 

New Tertameol »• doctor, of the Uw, and Chrymt. HomiL in Epi.t. >d Hebrw. 

(eaeheiB of the people. Matt ini. 36, Herbelot Biblwlh. Orient, aub Voce Orair. 

and Mark xii. 2B, *e. TTiey appear in »™- Seaimh el Koran, cap, B-:n. Inlrod. 

1.*.. ri-.^ to hate eompted the law by P- o. 



of one dnrin; the captivity.' He likewise qaotes the prophe^eg 
of Jeremiah:* and probably other persons had copies of the 
scriptnres, many of them being favoured by the conquerors: 
acd if the sacred vessels of the temple were so carelully pre- 
served, we may well conceive that the authentic msnuecripts of 
the Hebrew scriptures were safely deposited at Babylon, and 
perhaps restored to Zerubbabel, or Ezra, on their retnm to 
Jerusalem ; but wherever preserved, Ezra certunly produced 
the law, and read it to the people;' and the other books of 
scripture were collected by him and Nehemiah,^ or by the great 

Ezra was a most usefiil person to the Jews, who reverence 
bis memory with a regard almost equal to that which they en- 
tertain for Moses. He b not particularly styled a prophet in 
scripture ; but our Savioor makes no distinction between the 
authors of the sacred books, except that of " Moses and the 
Prophets.'" Ezra was undoubtedly an appointed minister of God ; 
and he wrote under the influence of the Holy Spirit, or his book 
would not have been admitted into the Hebrew Canon, or re- 
ceived as sacred from the earliest ages of the Christian chm^. 

Ezra is reported by some traditionary accounts to have died 
in the hundred and twentieth year of his age, and to have been 
baried at Jerusalem;" though others say that he died in Persia, 
and was buried on the banks of the river Samura, where his 
tomb is shewn.^ Besides the books which are ascribed to Ezra 
in the apocryphal part of our Bible, there have been spurious 
constitutions, benedictions, and prayers attributed to him; as 
likewise a revelation, a dream, and a prophecy relative to the 
Roman empire, together with a calendar of pretended auspicious 
and unlucky days, none of which require attention. 


The book of Nehemiah being subjoined in the Hebrew Canon 
to that of Ezra, as a continuation of his history, was often con- 

I Ctwp. ii. II, 13. » 2 Msec ii. IS. 

■ Din, it 2, " JoMph. Antiq. lib. xL c S. 

■ Nehem. nil 2 ; uid Ancient Unlr. ' Benjamin Tudela. 
Hitt. tdL iiL p. 418. 



sidered as his work :' and in the LKtin and Greek Bibles it is 
called the second book of Ezra ; but it undoubtedly was written 
b; Xehemtab, for he professes himself the author of it in the 
beginning;, and uniformly speaks in the first person. It was 
probably admitted into the catalogue of the sacred writings by 
some of the great synagogue.'' 

Ezra appears to have coDtinaed near ten years in the govern- 
ment of Judfea, after the reform which he mentions in the last 
chapter of bis book ; persisting, probably, in his endeavours to 
restore religion, and to promote the prosperity of his country, 
(Hrcumstances were, however, so unfavourable and adverse to 
his designs, that in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longi- 
manus,' A. M. 3569, we lind, from Mehemiah, that representa- 
tions were made to bim at Babylon of the affiicted state of the 
Jews, and of the ruinous condition of their city, of which the 
walls were yet unrepaired. 

This book begins with an account of Nehemiab's grief at 
this report ; of his application to Artaxerxes for permission to 
visit and rebuild Jemsalem, " tbe place of bis fkthers'' sepul- 
chres.^ This he obtained, probably by the entreaty of Esther 
the queen,'^ who favoured the Jews. Nebemiah then relates his 
departure, and arrival at Jerusalem with autht^ty; feelingly 
describes the desolate state of Jerusalem, and his exertions to 
repair its dismantled walls. He records the names of those 
patriotic men who assisted him on this occasion ; the conspiracy 
of the Ammonites, and other enemies against tbe work, and 
the defeat of their designs. After the finishing of the walls and 
fortifications, Nebemiah applied himself to other public objects. 
The scarcity of the inhabitants in the large city of Jerusalem 
first excited his attention. He fortunately at this time found a 
register of those persons who returned from the captivity under 
Zerubbabel ; which he repeats in the seventh chapter,' in order 

■ Hienm. PneC ia Reg. Euub. Quon. ad manth ChuUn, mentianed in tlie fint yent 

Aa. 1684. of Nehemioh, BOiwon to a put of our 

* Wben laidore ouerted tliat tlia w- NoTember and December. 

nmd book of Esra wbi not in the He- '' Cbap. ii. 6. 

bfew Cbudd, be nuaut the apocrjphal • Chap. TiL Thii geDCalog; diffen&Din 

book attributed to him ; for be eayg, that Chat gicen 1^ Kzra in the eecond ch^lei of 

£an*> Enc book contained the woi^i of bis book, with TCtpect to nunei and nnnt- 

t^an and Nebemiah. Isidor. Urig. lib. vi. ben ; which dillerenee Prideaux alliibut«» 

e. 2. to alterationa made bj Nebemiah, in com- 

. ' Not Artaienn MneiiiDn, at tome iriiauea vitb change* that hod happened 

bare imamned. Vid. Scallg. Proles, '^P*'- ""'^ *^" departun from Babylon. It ii 

do BsuBoL Temp. lib. ri. et Patrick. The tamaikable, that the two account! agree in 



to complete the reetoratiou of their possesmons to the respective 
tribes, and that none bnt the Eievites and descendants of Aaron 
might officiate in the service of the temple and of the 

Nehemiah then describes the pobltc reading of the law to the 
people, the celebration of the feast of the tabernacles,' and other 
religious appointments, observed with a pathetic commemoration 
and thanksgiving for Qod's former mercies, as described in pre- 
ceding books of scripture. Then follows an account of the 
renewal of the covenant of obedience and respect to God^s law, 
recorded as a memorial, with the names of those who signed it ; 
a catalogue of those wbo were appointed by lot, or consented to 
live at Jerusalem, which was surrounded by hostile neighbours ; 
and the book concludes with a description of the reformation, 
both civil and religious, which Nehemiah eflected ; the last act 
of which, the removal of the strange vrives, was, according to 
the general computation, accomplished about A. M. 3574;' but 
which could not have happened, as Prideauz has on very suf- 
ficient grounds determined, till A. M. 3595 ;'' at which time he 
supposes the first period of Daniel's prophecy, to conclude,' and 
the scripture history to close. 

Nehemiah was the son of Hachaliah, and, according to tradi- 
tion, of the tribe of Judah," though it bad been fancied, from 

the total anioiiiil ; >nd - the raiD of the fonnet ineraie4, it Menu to ha.-n baen it- 

nimben, which *n lepantelj detuled, tended with ■ bleuing. Vid. Zech. xir. 

will colf«q»iid, if ta the 29,R18 qMcified 16, 17. 

b7 Em, w«add tho 1765 peraanareckoned > BIhit'i Cfanmol. 

bj NehHUiih, which Em hu ODUtted; ^ Tha hut act of Nehemtah'a nfiinBaliaa 

and, on the other hand, to the 3I,D39 enn- took phue under the pontificate of Joiada; 

mented bj NefaemiBli, odd the 491 which (for the original of chap. xaL 2S. will not 

U an 0Ter[dn« in Km'i book, not noticed admit a coDttrnction vhtdi should repie- 

by Nehsmiiili: both writen including in sent Eliuhib an the high-prieat ;) and 

the anm total 10,777 of the mixed molci- Joiada nicceeded to the prieMhood, A. H, 

tads, wbkh i* notpanicaianied in the in- 3591. 

dividoal dfltaiL The soconnti nnqneition- ' Prideani datei the period of the nmi 

ably agreed when thej were receired into weeki, bom lbs nrenth year of Artazerua, 

the Canon, unleu where there might be An. A. C. 4.S8 ; when Kim vai commia- 

aome oiute for ■ rariation ; and prohBblr aioned by a docree to rebuild the tanpla, 

the diferencet that do* eiitt haxe origi- and to reatore Jerusalem ; from that tima, 

nated in the carelnmeti of the copyiita. to the refbnnation efiected by Nehemiah, 

Vid. commentaton. were forty-nine yean, when the ebnrdi 

' The Seenopegia, or feail of tabemaelei, and gtate were re-eitabliabed ; or, according 

wa* a grand fntinl in memory of the to the figontiire deecription of Daoi^ 

laiaelila* baring dwelt in tenta in the when " the street and the walli were 

wiUenieai. It began the 15th of Septem- rebuilt in tronbloni timea." Vid. Don. ix. 

ber,aiid wucdebnted for eight daye with 25. Prid. Con. An. Ant. Chr. 409. 

gtMt JCT. The obaarandf of it teem) ^ R. Ahaxb. in CahaJ. Eiueb. Chron. 

to hare been much iniitted on by the pro- Can. A. 1684. Indore, Oeneb, Ac 
pheta ; and aa it argned a lenie of God** 



an apocryphal acconDt of his ofiering eacrificea at the h«ftd of 
the priests, that he was of the tribe of Levi.' He appears to 
hare been a different person from the Nehemiah mentioned by 
Ena,'" and in this book, as one who retnmed from the captivity 
with Zembbabel ; since from the first year of Gyms to the 
twentieth of Artaxerzes Longimanns, no fewer than ninety-one 
years intervene; so that Nehemiah must, on the supposition 
that they were the same persona, have been at this time mnch 
above an hmidred years old : at which age it can hardly be 
thought probable," that he should liave taken a journey from 
Shnshan to Jerusalem, and have been capable, during a govern- 
ment of twelve years, and afterwards of all those active exer- 
tions which in this book he is described to have made. Nehemiah, 
however, the author of this book, appears to have been born at 
Babylon ; and was so dislingubhed for his &mily and qualities, 
as to be selected for the ofSce of cnpbearer to the king ; a situa- 
tion of great honour and emolument iu the Persian court. He 
was likewise distinguished by the title of Tershata, which was 
in genera) appropriated to the king^s deputies and governors." 
By his privilege of daily attendance on the king, he had constant 
opportunities of conciliating his favour ; and was enabled by the 
royal bounty to support his government with great magnificence 
at his own private charge, and generously to relieve his people 
from the burden of that expense which they had necessarily 
sustained under preceding governors.' In every other respect, 
likewise, he displayed the most exemplary and disinterested 
zeal for the prosperity of his country.'' If Nehemiah were not 
absolutely a prophet, he professes himself to have acted under 
the authority and guidance of God/ He seems to have con- 
spired with Ezra in all his pious detdgns ; and probably assisted 
him in the revisal of the Canon.* The Jews report him to have 
been one of the great sjoiagogne. The author of the second 
book of Maccabees attributes to him writings which are now no 
longer extant, if they ever existed.' 

■ SHhci. I S,iiid Moving tenet. i Eoliu. ilii. 13. 

- Em u. 1 ; Nabem. tU. 7. ' Neh. ii. S, 18. 

» Michad. Piaf. in Nehem. • 2 Mkc. ii. 13. 

o Neb. u. GS; i. 1 ; uid Michael, in > 2 Mkx. ii. 13. Vid. Cupi. latMd. ad 

Loc. Lib. Hilt. Vet. ThL p. 313. FriKh- 

* Neh. *. Ii, 18. Hii name lignified muth'i Dim. de nan Spemid. Rettilat. 

cDiuolatian. Arcc. Fwdot. ui. cap. 10. 



After a continaanca of twelve years" in the goTerameDt 
of Jndsea, Nebemiab appears to have retonied to ShoshaD, 
agreeably to his promise." What length of time he contiDned 
in Persia cannot be ascertained. Prideanx, to allov a sufficient 
interval for the' corruptions that took place during his absence, 
supposes at least live years; the text only says "certain days,^' 
which is an ambiguous expression. It is probable that he soon 
obtained permissioD to return to his country, where he appears 
to have ended his days. It is not possible to determine how long 
he survived his return. Many learned writers— conceiving that 
Jaddua and Darius, mentioned in the twenty-second verse of the 
twelflh chapter of this book, must have been the high priest 
Jaddua, and Darius Codomanuns, who wus contemporary with 
the former during his priesthood,* and who did not begin to 
reign till one hundred and ten years after the date of Nehe- 
miah's commission — have remarked, that he must . have lived 
an extraordiuary length of time, to have inserted this account; 
and, indeed, though it is by no means incredible that Nehe- 
miah might have been permitted by Ood to live one hondred 
and thirty or one hnndred and forty years, because bis eminent 
virtues were highly conducive to the restoration of his country, 
yet it is, perhaps, more probable to believe, that the whole, or at 
least the latter part of the register, contained in the twenty-six 
first verses of the twelfth chapter, was a subsequent addition,* 
made bj those who received the book into the Canon ; that is, 
by some members of the great synagogue ; and, indeed, the 
whole detail appears to be an unconnected and foreign inter- 

Nehemiah frequently in this hook calls upon God not to wipe 

• Chap, nil 6. we cannot mppiMS him ta hare been lew 

■ Nehem. iL 6. than one handnd and imntj m one baa- 
T Nehem. liii. 6. Id the Hebrew it ii, died and thirtjr jetn of age. The text 

" Bt the end of davi ;" which mcam, per- would ereo lead ua ta >DppoK that it wu 

hifw, at the end of the ;e«i. written after the death of Jaddoa ; vhidi 

■ Some hare imagined tluit Dmiiu, the would lend still &rther (o conTince ni that 
Penian, might hare been Dorini Nothui ; the paaiage is a lubseqaenl inleipolation, 
bnt the od\j Dniiua who was cotitemporar7 JosephuB mpposes SBnlnllBt (o hsTo liyed 
with the prieithood of Jnddoa was Daiiui to the time of Aleiuider the Oreat ; bat 
CodomsnDus. Besides, the tcct, ename- the historian must hsTe meuit a diSenmt 
laUng the nicccssioD of the hj^h-prieila, person from SanWlat Iho Horonile, who 
CTidentlj spealu of Jsddna as hifh-priesi, opposed Nehemiah ; or he mnst haie beaa 
who did not enter on his office till A. U. mislaken. Vid. Joseph. Antiq. lib. xi. c B. 
3663 ; and therefore the larae matt hara Prid. An. Ant. Cbritl. 459. 

been written abote one hundnd yean after ■ Vosm Chnm. ^m:, e. i. p. U9. Prid. 
Nebemiah went up &oni Bahjlon, when Con. An. Ant. CbriiL 45fl. 



ont the good deeds that he hod done ; rather in pious snppiica- 
tioD to be remembered oa their account,'' than in any arrogance 
of heart. To have concealed the actions of his gorernment, 
would have been inconsistent with the office of a faithful his- 
torian, and have deprived posterity of an excellent example. 
The sacred writers, conscions of their own dignity, are equally 
saperior to disguise or ranity. They record their own virtues 
and their own failings with equal sincerity. 

Nehemiah was probably the last governor delegated by the 
Persian kings ; who, possibly, after his death, left the goveratnent 
of Jadiea to the high priest of the Jews, till the Pereiaa empire 
was destroyed by Alexander the Great." 


This book is in the Hebrew styled " the Volume of Esther :" 
it was received into the Jewish Canon with peculiar veneration ; 
and esteemed abore many of the prophetic books, probably be- 
cause therein are described the origin and ceremonies of the 
feast of Pnrim. It is called the Book of Esther,* because it 
contains the history of this Jewish captive ; who, by her re- 
markable accomplishments, gained the affections of Ahasuerus, 
and by a marriage with him was nused to the throne of Persia. 
The author of the book is not certainly known. Some of 
the Others'' soppose it to have been written by Ezra; others 
nmtend that it was composed by Joachim, high priest of the 
Jews, and grandson of Josedech. The Talmudists attribute 
it to the joint labours of the great synagogne,*^ which succeeded 
Ezra in the superintendence of the Canon of Scripture. The 
twentieth verse of the ninth chapter of the book has led others 
to belieTe that Mordeeai was the author;" but what is there 

* CIuipL T. 19; xiiL U, 32, 31. An*, which wai deemad bBaadM b; the 

* ComcL B«rtram, ds Rep. Jud. p. 168, Jetn, Hilar. (Eeon. 621. Theocrit. Idyl. 
173, 176. X. S6— 29. Eilher nu colled b; her own 

* The votd Bather ie of Peniiin derint- bnul; HadaMoli, which impUei ■ iDTrtle. 
tien, Starith, Aitnn, 'Eimpa .' ita ngniS- Vid. Taijiim. od cap. iL 7. 

Oititin ie DDceitaiu. The rowel i> pn^ed *> Epiphan. dc Ponder, et Meua. cap. 4. 

fi» Boftneaa, according to the He1)rew idiom. Angaat. de CinL Dei, lib. iriii. c 36. 

Vid. CaateL in Leiico Perrico, eoL 329, et laidor. Orig. lib. vL cap. 3. 

Pieifiei in Dab. Vex. p. 4£fl. The origi- ' Batb Bathis, cipL i. 1 15. 

md word «■« deaoiptiTg, and ngnified ■* Aa moat of the latin bilun, and 

n,gti7cd ay Google 


related to have been writteo by him, seema to refer oaly to the 
circular letter which he distribated.' There are, lastly, other 
vrriters who maintab, that the book waa the prodoctioB c^ 
Esther's and Mordecai's united industry ; ' and probably they 
might have commonieated an account of events bo interesting to 
the whole nation, to the ^reat s^agogne at Jerusalem, A>me of 
the members of which may, with great reason, be supposed to 
have digested the information thus received into its presnit 
form.' We have, however, no sufficient evidence to determine, 
nor is it, perhaps, of much importance to ascertain precisely who 
was the author ; but that it was a genuine and faithful desetip- 
tion of what did actually happen, is certab, not only from its 
admission into the Canon, but also from the institution of the 
feast of Purim ; which from its first establishment has been 
regularly observed, as an annual solemnity," on the fourteenth 
and fifteenth of the month Adar, in commemoration of the great 
deliverance which Esther, by her interest, had procured ; and 
which is even now celebrated among the Jews with many 
peculiar ceremonies, and with rejoicings even to intoxication. 
This festival was called Purim, or the feast of lots, (pur, in the 
Persian language, signifying a lot,) from the events mentioned in 
chap. iii. 7 ; ix. 24. 

The Jews ' maintain that this book was unquestionably 
inspired by the Holy Ohost ; and that thou^ all the books of 
the Prophets and of the Hagiographi shall be destroyed at the 
coming of the Messiah, that of Esther shall continue with those 
of Moses ; for Esther had said, that " the days of Purim should 
not fail from among the Jews."^ This is meant, however, only 
of that part of the book which our chnrch considers as canoni- 
cal ; for the six chapters which are only in the Greek and 
Latin copies, were never received by the Jews ; and they are 
rejected as apocryphal by us, in conformity to the sentiments of 
the ancient church, for this and other reasons which will be here- 

Clemeiu AJnandnniu anxnia the Orwti, to hkva oidained onl; ■ lout ; but the 

Strom, lib. i. Vid. aloe, Mu in Mau. Jim obiM^e, ■■ the; profow law to bare 

Aben-Ein, Abnh. Hupu. &c done, > fiul on the thirteenth, wUdi ma 

• Chop. ix. 20, 33, 2C. the da; daatinsd for thdr eitii?atiai. 
' Chap. ix. SB. Jonpfa. Antiq. lib. li. c. 6. Hoet. Prop. JT. 
■ Huet. DemonitmL Eraug. Prop. it. Chiiitinn Magaz. rol. ir. p, 260. Prid. Coa. 

* 2 Uwx. IT. SB, 37. Codex. Theod. Ann. 452. Boxtoil SynBg. Jod. c. 34. 
TiL de Judcia. The feut u called alio CahueL DicL void Pniim. 

the feaat of Hanua and Mocdecai. Tho ■ Maimon. More Nench. par. it c. 4A. 
nnnth Adar correipond* with our Febmary ^ fbap. ix. 28. Pieifler. Themu. Het- 
aod Much. Either and Mordecaj appear meneuL p. 59S. 



after assigned.' It is to be lamented, indeed, that the aparionB 
chapters should ev^r have been annexed to the authentic part, 
BiDce they tended to discredit the sacred book ; and it has been 
supposed, that a disrespect for the apocryphal additions induced 
some ancient writers to leave it out of the catalogue of the 
canonical books," and occasioned Luther to express a wish that 
it mig'ht he expnn^d from the list." These, howerer, bemg 
resdnded, the remainder is entitled to our reverence as canoni- 
cal. It is established hy the suffrage of antiquity, and bears 
every mark of authenticity and truth." 

There has been much difference of opinion concerning the 
period which we should assign to the events recorded in this 
book. It is certain, from many instances, that the Jews dts- 
tinguished foreign persons by names different from those which 
they bear in profane history;'' as, indeed, all nations are ao> 
CDBtomed to corrupt proper names, in conformity to the genius 
and pronunciation of their own language. Scaliger contends, 
from a fancitul resemblance of names, that Ahasnems was the 
same with Xerxes i"* whose queen, Amestris, he conceives might 
have been Esther. Others, upon groonds nearly as conjectural 
and fallacious, have imaged that Ahasuerus was Cyaxares ; 
and others contend that he was Cambyses/ Usher supposes, 
that by Ahasnems we are to understand Darius Hystaspes;' who 
resided at Susa, and whose extent of dominion and actions 
correspond with the accounts of this book. But to each of these 
opinions considerable objections may be drawn from the ac- 
counts of profane hiatoriaQs;* and probably the opinion of 
Prideanx is best supported, who maintains, agreeably to the ac- 

' Pre&ee to the ^HXiTphal cbspten of p. 384. Orotiiu, Michielu, &c CapeQui 

Bitber. places tb< hiitoiy to bio h the time of 

■ Euwb. Hilt Eodeh lib. It. <^ 36. Ochni, whowuUieiiuceiMFaf Artusnw 
Athan. E|HiL S9. OngoT. Nanuis. ds Vet. Mnemim. 

et OcD. lib. S. ScripL Same think tliat ' Tai;;. R. Sdtmon, Seder 01am lUbba, 

Esthei vai included in thns olalagaei, p. 86. 

nndcT the book of Em, u it wu mppiMed ■ Uueri AnnaL Vet Te>L Period. JoL 

to ha-ra been written b; Em. It mu in An. 4193. Da Pin, Muna (Econ. VeL 

the catalogneo of Origen, Cyril, Hilary, Test. p. 1073. The advocate* fbi thii 

Ejriphaniiu, and Jenm, and in that of the opinion nuintaiD, with the Rahbinkal 

coDDcil of loodico. Vid. infm, prebce to writen, that Eathei wai the Aitjntona of 

apaeryph. ch^ten of Either, note t. Dnriiu : bat Artyitona va« the dan^ter 

■■ ConriT. Serrn. f. 494, and Lib. de of Cyras ; and the biatoiy of AtouB by ne 

Serv. Arbib lorn. iii. t 32. m«n> accordi, any mote than doei that of 

■ Enaeb. Hist. Eccle^L TLe.26. Hilar. Painii, with the accoont hero giTen cj 
in Paabn i. Vaihti. Vil Herod, lib. iii. et lib. tiL 

' VilringB, lib, IT. p. 1 10. 
Temp. hb. li. 



count of Josephas," of the Septoag^int, and of the apoctyph&l 
additions to the hook of Esther, that Aha^uenis was Artaxeixes 
Longimantis ;' whose extraordinary farour to the Jews might in 
some measure arise from the suggestions of Esther : the history, 
therefore, may be supposed to have commenced ahout A. M. 
S5J4/ and it contains an account of s period which extends 
from about ten to twenty years. 

The book describes the adraDcement of Esther ; who, by the 
interest which he conciliated with Ahasneras, delivered the Jews 
from a great destruction which had been contrived for them by 
Haman, an insolent favourite of the king. It presents an 
iDteresting description of mortified pride, and of malice baffled 
to the destruction of its contrivers. It likewise exhibits a very 
lirely representation of the Texations and troables, of the 
anxieties, treachery, and dis^mulation of a corrupt court. The 
manners are painted with great force mid fidelity i and the 
vicissitudes and characters are displayed with dramatic effect. 
The author seems to have been so intimately acquainted with 
the Persian customs, that some have conceived a notion that he 
transcribed his work from the Persian cbronicles.* It has been 
remarked, that the name of Ood is not mentioned throughout 
the book ; his superintendent providence is, boweTer, frequently 
illustrated : it is shewn, indeed, in every part of the work ; 
disconcerting evil designs, and producing great events, by means 
seemingly inadequate. 

Calmet asserts, <»i the authority of Paul Lucas, that the tombs 
of Mordecai and Esther are still shewn at Anudam in Persia, 
in the synagogue of the Jews, who are very numerous there. 


CoNCBRNiNa the nature, and author of this book, various opinions 

■ JoKpli. Ant. lib. li c & niah ; or that Hordecai wu a dncmdADt 

■ Prid. Con. Ad. 470. Snipit. Serer. of loDie one of NebachBdne^u's csptivn. 
Hill. Su. lib. a p. 3U7. CilmcL DicL ' PdIbt. iDdoct. Templi liL c 27. 
word VublL Lightfbot, toI. i. p. 137. Aoetor. Ecclet Golh. p. 319. 

Tbe chief objection to the period of Arto- ■ Hottinger Thennr. Philotag. lib. ii. 

xeriei Longimanna ii drawn from Either cap.l.p.48fl. Aben-Em, Com. in Protem. 

iL 5, 6 ; but that puaagc may imply, that Seldan in ThMiliig, lib. tii «ierat. 5. p. 

Kiih wna cvried aw>; cajitiTe with Jeco- 486. 



have been entertained. Some, as well Cbriatian as Rabbinical 
writers, hare ventured to consider it as a fictitious relation of the 
parabolical kind, without any historical foundation ;* and others 
as a dramatic work, grounded on some traditional accounts of a 
real personage; or as an allegory, in which, under real cha- 
racters and circumstances, are shadowed out the Jewish nation, 
and some particulars of the Jewish history'' or after the Baby- 
lonish captivity/ But to indulge in such DOauthorized fancies 
is rery dangerous, and inconsiatent with the respect due to sa- 
cred writ ; and in the present instance there is no Sufficient 
foundation for supposing that the book is any other than a li- 
teral history of the temptation and sufferings of a real character,*' 
since it has every external sanction of authority, and is stamped 
with every intrinsic mark that can characterize a genuine rela- 

Of the real existence of Job no reasonable doubt can be en- 
tertained, if we consider that it is proved, by the concurrent 
testimony of all eastern tradition, that the whole history of this 
illostrious character, with many fabulous additions, was known 
among the Syrians and Chaldeans ; that many of the noblest 
families among the Arabians are distinguished by his name,' and 
boast of being descended from him; and, lastly, that Job is 
mentioned as a real character by Ezekiel' and St. James.* 

' Bbto Bathn, Asafanptiat*, &c Tobioh, and Oeihem ; and b; Job's vife, 

^ Oamelt, taJdag ap Mime iieoM of the idolatrons nrire* which aome of the 

tnibop WBibuiton, hm elchod out on in- Jen had mamod, u wo learn from Nebo- 

BEnlooH allegory, in which tbe condition of miah. A itnuige conceit, of which the im- 

Job it mnaidcrad ai de»criptiTO of the probabilitieB are bj no means gloued over 

Jeviih n^ringfl daring tno captivity, hj the elaboiute rouomDg and extravacBnt 

Bnt though he has Btroined CTCiy circnm- aasertioni of the learned writer. Vid. 

■tance in the history in order to acoommo- Peter's Dinert, on Job. 

date it to thii repteientatim, he has pro- '' Spanheim Hist. Job, Schultens Com. 

duced no contietion. A livetj fiincy ma; in Job, and commentators in genentl. 

nodily diicoTer such resemblances as he • Ai was Zalach Eddin, usually styled 

has pointed out ; but if the judgment be Saladin, saltan of the Mamalukes ; vbo 

allowed te reflect, it will suggest unan- bore the name of Job, as did also his h- 

swerable objection* to the theory, howBTer thai. Vid. Elmecin. Hilt Saracen. Job 

■peciofls it may be. Vid. Oarnett'i Dissert, appears also to be mentioned by Aristotle, 

on Job. The Use azid Intent of Prophecy, jn his Disseitatian de Hsgnitudtne Anl- 

diss. ii. Maimon, More Neyoch, par. iii. malinm. There are even now traditionary 

c, 22. BavB Bathra, c, 1. fob 15. Senli- accounts concerning the place of Job's 

mens de qnelq. Theolog. Holland, p. 101. abode. Vid. TheTenofs Voyage, p. 447. 

Grot. Com. in Job, lib. i. Le Cleic, &c. Le Roque Voyages de Syiie, torn. L p. 259. 

' Bishop Warbnrton imagined, that Job ' Ezek. lii. 1 4. 

was intended to personate the Jewish * James T. 11. Vid. also Taint iL 12, 

peo[Je on their retum from the captiritv; 15. in Vulgate ; Clemen. Ejust. ad Cor. c. 

OM by bis three friends were meant tlie zvii ; and ArasL ap. Eoteb. PiH^ Evang. 

tbnagreat enemies of the Jews — SanbaDat, lib. iz. c 2G. 



The book of Job was likewise certuoly written as a literal 
relation of actnal events : for this is evident from the style of 
the author ; from his mode of introdocing the subject ; and also 
from the circmnstantial detail of habitation, kindred, and con- 
dition, as well SB from the names of the persons therein men- 
tioned ; which correspond with other accoants of that age and 
conntr;, in which Job is generally supposed to have existed.'* 
The book then must be allowed to contain a literal history of 
real events, thoagh, agreeably to the opinion of Chvtins, the 
subject is poetically treated ; for thouj^ the first and last parts 
of the book, being entirely narration, be expressed in a style 
nearly as ample as that of the historical hooks of Samuel or of 
Kings, the rest resembles rather the poetical works of David and 
of Solomon. 

ConsideTing, then, that the work is in a great measure poe- 
tical, and that probably it was written in metre, we shall readily 
account for that want of order and arrsngemmit which, by 
the omission of trivial particulars, and by the neglect of distinc- 
tion of times, sometimes gives an air of improbability to the . 
book : for many circnmetaDces which must have occarred at in- 
tervals, are related in a continued and nninterrupted series by 
tho author; intent only on delivering to posterity memorable 
events, and sublime instruction, mid neglecting every particular 
not immediately conducive to this design.' It must likewlBo-be 
observed, that the verity of the book is not invalidated by the 
allegorical manner in which some things are related. Human 
events are literally described; but the proceedingB of provi- 
dence, of which we are unable to form any apprehension, unless 
from figurative illustration, are perhaps here, as in other parts 
of scripture,* parabolically represented under ^miliar allusions. 

k Itliubceniud,thi( ttieiuineaDf Job 'The caknutiH of Job mceeeded eatJi 

and hii friendi haTS ■ mjitiiBl meanuig ; otbar with ■ minculoiu iminditj. Hia 

bat mint of the Eutem namn han tamo friends migfat hava litcimD; Dbaerred tattn 

defcriptive ngnification. Spanheim derive! dm nlenc« in uhea, fnin mpect to bis 

the lUBM of Job from an Hebrew root, 3M>, affliction. Tho irtifi™] regnlirity which 

Jrmttir, /mm, a worf which impart* ™ leamri MicbBcli* conceived to niiit in 

lore, or beloved. And Ihi. n more pro- the numben mentioned in thii book, don 

b«ble than the derivation «nielin«« giren no* «PP«" "^J *» obtain j «apt that 

fiom a word eipiemre of grief ; which, if "hen Job's potaMiiona an add 10 han 

■ceepted, mnit be luppoeed to have been "»*" doobled, they an enumerated by an 

applied after Job'i mirfoitunet MiohaeUi, interesting periphrauj, Comp. chap. L 3, 

in hiiprabce, derive! the name of Job from and xliL IS. 

a word which lignifiei repentance, which Oen. iiviiL 12; Iia. vii 1 Kingi 

waa perhapa lugoeatMi by Mahomet. Vid. ""■ 13—23 ; Zech. iii. 1 ; Rev. lii. 
Koran, c. sxiviiL 40, 4t. 



ThuB are " the boiib of Ood," or tlie obedient angels, described as 
appearing before the presence of the Lord, as at the tribunal of 
an earthly judge ; so also the discourse and agency of Satan are 
indirectly shadowed out, in a manner agreeable to the mode of 
hnmoD interconrse, in order to accommodate to onr conceptions 
what would otherwise be utterly nnintelligible. The goTemment 
of God, in permitting and in restricting the temptations of the 
faithful, is not immediately refenible to our senses, though his 
justice and mercy may be obliquely intimated by familiar alle- 
gory.' The interlocutory parts of the book should be considered 
also as descriptive of real discourse, at least as to the substance. 
They are conducted with every appearance of probability, and 
the pasraons of the speakers seem to kindle as they proceed. 
There is also no sufficient reason why we should not suppose 
God (whose decision of this important controversy had been 
earnestly desired'") to have actually spoken by himself or his 
angel out of the whirlwind ;" though some writers have chosen 
to consider the introduction of the Deity as a prophetic vision, 
represented to Job and his friends in a trance. This account, 
then, of the suffering and restoration of Job, must be admitted as 
a real and authentic history ; nowhere allegorical, except perhaps 
in those parts which reveal the agency of superior beings. 

The origin of Job is nncertaio. There is an appendix" an- 
nexed to the Greek, Arabic, and Vulgate versions of the book, 
said to he taken from the ancient Syriac, which represents Job 
to have been the son of Zareb, a descendant of Esau ; and 
which relates that he reigned in the land of Ausis, upon the 
borders of Idnmsa and Arabia : and upon this authority many 
ancient writers, and most of the fathers, concur in supposing 
that he was the same with Jobab, the son of Zerah, mentioned 
in Genesis;'' but as this addition is not found in the Hebrew 

' Le CIcTC in Loc Codiuc. Praef. in de Patient. Horn. iL Ari*taa^ Philo, Poly- 
Job. PMfier DabL Vex. Cent lii. Lm. 31. huUn. Enteb. Pnro. liL ix. o^ 25. An- 

■ Chap^ z. 2; xii. 5; liiL 3, 21, 22, gnat, de CiriL Dei, lib. iTiiL cm. 47. 

24. t> Oen. xxitL 33, and 1 CWn. xliii. 

■ Tbe Cbaldee pnraplinut, taking the 44. Spouheim in Job, ch. it. Mercer, 
wnd wUriwind in a melnphDrical kdk, Pineda, &c. There ia bkewiia in the 
iaidenitiinpropariy*'ontof the whirlwind Greek, a diKonne of Job'i wife, which it 
of gTief;''aaif Oodbad anggnledlo Job, generally rejected ni apoeryphaL Vid. 
amUat the conflict of biB Knrowi, the fol- Origen. ad Africao. Hienm. Prsf. in Dan. 
lowing Ibonghti. et in Job. et in Qnaat. Heb. in Oen. 

• Sit Senen. Bib. lib. i. and a tranala- ChryiOfc Polych, Olymp. Pranm. et ad 
tion of thia Appendix in Wali'i Critical Catan. in Job. Some baTe inngined tbat 
NatM. V>d.B]ao, AlhBn.Sysopi.ChtyMaL Job'e wife waa Dinah, tbe du^hler of 



copies, it is considered as spnrions ; aod the learned Spanheim 
has, upon very strong grounds, eudeavonred to prove, that Job, 
vLo is the subject of this history, was a very different person 
from the son of Zerah ; and that he derived his origin from Uz, 
the son of Nabor, brother to Abraham ; "* or fiflm Abraham him- 
self, by Keturah. We may assent, likewise, to the opinion of 
bishop Lovib, that Job dwelt in that part of Arabia Petrsea 
which was called Edom,'' and bordered upon the tribe of Jndab 
to the south, being situated between Egypt and the land of the 
Philistines ; and we may suppose that his friends inhabited the 
country immediately adjacent. 

Job does not appear to have been a sovereign,' thongh styled 
the greatest man of the East, with respect to his possessions. 
He and his fneoda were, however, persons of considerable rank 
and importsiice, as may be collected from various circDmstances 
incddentally mentioned in the course of the history. If they 
were not directly descended from Abraham, they must be classed 
among those, who, out of the family of Israel, worshipped God 
in sincerity and troth. The exact period in which they existed 
cannot be determined. Without descending to minute inquiries 
en the subject,' we may remark, that they appear to have lived 
some time during the servitude of the Israelites in Egypt ; and 
thai the period of their history may properly intervene between 
the death of Joseph and the departure from Egypt," which 
includes a space of about one hundred and forty or one hundred 

Jacob. She i» called RociimBD hj the ■ilDBtion. Vid. Medr, foL p. 467, and 

Aialw ; and U nippoKd bj Item to baie Matt, ii. 1 . If Hoiea wen tha aatlwr of 

been the danghtar of Epbiaim ; or, accord- thU part, bf migbt in Midian, wbicb ia to 
ing to otheia, of Hocfair, the ion of Ha- ' the irea^ properly call Edom the iouth. 

Dsueb. Vid. Salo*i Notei in Konu. She • The ciown mentioned in lii. 9, ia 

u probablj of the coontryand religion of onlj a fisiiiati>e eipmiion foi piMperilj. 

' ' Dgh cenniTed by him upon one OS- Job and hia frienda are in t1 " ' " ' 

s banng apoken fooliahly. Vid. aoreteigni; ^t ii, great tn 

Job, thongh cenniTed by him upon one oo- Job and hia frienda an in the Oreek callsd 

camon u hanng apoken fooliahly. Vid. aorenigni; ^t ii, gnat men. 

Wesle;'* Diiicrt. xrri. ■ Some TalmudiiU haia aaierted, that 

1 HieroD. Qiueat. Hebi. in Oen. Span- Job nai born in tha vety year of Jacob'* 

hnm. Mill. Job, cap. iv. Bochait, Ac. descent into Egypt, and ihat he died in the 

t* ' Ui, was Edam. Vid. lament. It. 21; yeaiof ibeExnlDi: a conceit fboadadon a 

Nnmb. xxxJT. 3; Joih. it. \2 ; Jerem. lappoiidon, that aa the camela and oxati 

Ht. so. Lowth-s Pial. Poet. mii. and wen rcitored twofold to Job, ao the yeata 

notea. Wesley '■ Diia. nil. Hodgei con- of hii life were donbled ; and that ai be 

eetTea Job and hia friendi Co hare lived lived one hundred and forty yeara after hia 

aomewhere between Chaldaa and Jndiea. affliction, lo be lived aeventy yean befbie 

Some place him in Anhia Deierta. AH it. Vid. Bava Balhia. The Rabbins anp- 

the country between Egypt and the En- pose that Moses alludes to the death of 

phratea waa called East, with napect to Job when he sBya of the Qetatiles, that 

Egypt; and the Jews who there adopted their defence ia departed fion them." 

the eipresHon, afterwards oaed it abso- Vid. Numb. liv. 9. 

lutely, without nfetenee to their change of ■ Spanheim Hist Job, cap. ji. p. 106. 



aod forty-five years ; in which case Job mi^bt be six or seren 
generations removed from Malior. And Ednce he survived his 
restoration to prosperity one hundred and forty years, he may 
he supposed to have lived at least during part of the time that 
the Israelites wandered in the wildemeae.* As the age of man 
in that period did not usually exceed two hundred or two 
hundred and twenty years,' Job was probably overwhelmed in 
calamities in the prime and vigour of bis life ; when, if possessed 
of the greatest fortitude to sustain his afflictions, he was also 
endued with the liveliest sensibility to feel them. How long his 
sufferings may have lasted is uncertain : the seven years fot 
which some contend, would have been a longer period than can 
be admitted.- It required not such a continuance of time to 
demonstrate bis faith and unshaken confidence: and Ckid de- 
lights not in unnecessary severity. But from a consideration of 
particulars, it will be evident that less than a year cannot be 
assigned for the duration of his distress ; and this is agreeable 
to the general Hebrew calculations. 

In assigning this period to Job and his friends, we suppose 
them to have flourished before, or about the time of Moses ; and 
the sentiments and religious opinions which are maintained in 
their discourse, are in general such as were consistent with the 
information that obtained before the Mosaic dispensation.' Job 
appears to have worshipped God in the manner of the patriarchs, 
before the priesthood was confined to Aaron ; and in the detul 
of his piety he adbrds a transcript of those primitive principles 
which he might have derived from Abraham and Nahor. He 
and his friends seem to have been acquainted witli the rules of 
traditional religion,' as collected from occasional revelations to 
the patriarchs, together with the deductions of that conscience 
which was "a law to the Gentiles."'' Bui it must also be 
observed, that they sometimes display a greater knowledge of 
important truths than was consistent with the general notions 
that must have prevailed in their time. All of Abraham^a 
descendants, indeed, who were contemporary with Job, may be 
supposed to have been acqiutinted with the attributes of God, 

' OmL PmC Diodat. Argam. in Job. * Wlien Elihn reckons up the modei of 

* Few of Job'i lappoud contemponriM rereUtioD, he takei no aecoimt of the 

liied to lo great B length of yean ; but Manic 

Job vu biwed with a long life. Me it ' Peten's CiiUoU DiMert. on Job, p^ 

by Mma mppoaed lohare died ■bout A. M. 1£1. 

2U9. ^ Bom. a U, and TertnlL np. 2. 



and with tlia use of ascrifice.° The; might, from tradition, hare 
collected Bome knowledge of the fall of sngelB,** of the creation, 
of original idn,* and even of a promised Messiah. Yet still there 
will remain some particalars of which they were infonned, that 
appear to be above the general information which the Gentiles 
possessed ; and therefore we may assent to an opinion which is 
maintuned by many, both Jewish and Christian writers,' that 
Job and his triends were enlightened by a prophetic spirit, as 
eerttunly some few persons among the (Gentiles were ;■ and the 
conTiction that Job was to be coneddered as a patriarchal 
prophet, was probably the inducement which inflaenced the 
Jews to admit his work into the canon of their scriptnre, if we 
suppose it to have been written by himself, and not to have been 
compiled by an inspired author of their own nation. 

Job and his friends were anqnestionably distinguished by ex- 
traordinary marks of God's favour; and we are authorized by 
the book to consider them as sometimes favoared by divine 
revelations. Eliphaz received instrnctioa " irom the visions of 
the night,'^ and heard the voice of a spirit, in secret still 
whispers, like the "atill small voice" which Elijah heard.* 
Elihu also felt a divine power ;" bat Job himself appears to 
have been invested with peculiar dignity, and he enjoyed pre- 
eminent distinctiouB above the Gentile prophets. God spoke to 
him '* out of the whirlwind ;"' and it has been supposed, from 
the fifth verse of the forty-second chapter, that be beheld the 
manifestation of the divine presence ; as, perhaps, in a glorious 
cloud, for so the Seventy understood it. He undoubtedly, in 
many places, speaks by the suggestion of the Holy Spirit ; and 
expresses himself concerning the doctrine of gratuitous jastifica<- 
tioD," and of a fhtare state, with a clearness and information 
that were evidently the result of prophetic apprehension. We 

* Chap. zliL S. The name oT Elihn, vtiicb ligniGe* ' He i> 

* Cliap. if. 18. Dir Ood," uid other cimuiutancn, hare 

* Chap. liL 16; tit. i; n. 14; nr. led ■onu writen to coaaidei bin aa a 
4 ; zxri. IS ; nii , 33. TepieaeutatJTe of the Meiaiah ; bat it mait 

' Patrick^ Appendix to hii Paraphraae. detnct teaai the dignity of hi* cbaracler, to 

St. Aaitin calli Job "Eximini Propbe- find that he eondemni with too mneh 

tanun." iOTerity, and eien ■"'—■«'■" the asDtiiDenta 

f Ai Balaam, whom the Jetra eonceiTed of Joh. 

to have been the mat penon with Eliha. ' So the Spirit deacanded on the apoadei 

k Job IT. 13, IS. Hence R. SoL Jaiehi at the leaat of PenteeoM, " niddenly, with 

wai led to nmi^ that the Shechinah wai a nuhing might; wind." 

upon Eliphaa. » Chap. ix. 2, 3 ; xxt. 4. Hodgea'a 



can, indeed, attribute the precise and emphatic declaration con- 
taiaed in the nineteenth chapter to nothing but immediate rere- 
lation from Gkrd ; and must, agreeably to the opinion of the 
moat judicious writers, ancient and modem, consider it as an 
evident profession of faith in a Redeemer," and of entire con- 
fidence in a resurrection and future judgment." 

Having observed thus much icith respect to the period in 
irhich Job may be supposed to have lived, it may with more 
fecility be considered at what time, and by whom, his history 
should seem likely to have been written. Upon this subject, it 
is not necessary to enter into an examination of the various 
arguments produced by different authors, in support of their 
several opinions ; but it may be observed, that some have con- 
ceived the book to be the production of Jobi* himself, or of Elihu,") 

■ It IB Dot naxBuy from thii cipnuion neu in a future life : and cerlaiiil; it coo- 

ta CDnFlude, that the whole mystery of the taiDBR nunifeil and direct prophecy of the ^ 

ledSDiptiDO vat reTsaled to Job ; hot only fntuie retuirection of the bod;, aod of ths 

that he entertained a mneolalDiy autirance juilgment of the world by Chriil : bb the 

of some future penonnge, who should ap- BDleranity of the introduction, the tenor of 

pear to deliver mankind from the curM of Job'a diKOune woiled up to its higheat 

Adam, and lo judge the world in righleouB- pitch, the [cp1ie> of hiB frieada, and every 

Deei. eipreMion (ai fiuthfnllj tiBniLaled in onr 

■■ Chap. lii, 25—29. Soma commen- Bible) demonitrate. We cannot reitrict 

tatota, it ia true, conaider thia puaiage sa the prophecy to a confidence in a temporal 

eipreaaiTe of Job'*. confidence only in a reetoration, without abrogating the obviouB 

preaent reatoration ; nhicb 1s to realrict aenae of the worda, and without coniider- 

the eipreaeiona, in a moat onauthoiized ing them bb nlterlr eiuaTBgant and nn- 

DHUiner, and to interpret acripture upon meaning. Whemfoie ahonld " they be 

preconceived notions. Patrick aupposca graven with an iron pen, and with lead in 

thit temporal restorBtion to be typical of a uia rock for ever?" How, " af\tc worma 

future reiarrection, proieaaing to follow ihould have dcstrojed hia body," could 

St Jetom'a nalhority ; but in the place Job " Bee Ood in the flesh," except in a 

alluded to, St Jerom (or the author of the future life P ^Vby, lastly, did be men^on 

commentatiea under hia nnine) doea not that hia " Redeemer should atand at the 

coufiuo the worda to a fignmtive prediction, latter day upon the earth,^ and that ** his 

He aaya obaolutely, that Job, in tbia own eyes alionld behold him," unteu to 

paangs, " reiunectionem futnram propbetal decbue hia aasorance of a future reeurreo- 

in ^uritu," prophcaieth in tlie spirit the tion and judgment? To tho unexampled 

futoTB resurrection. And tboagh in other . misery of Jol^ and through him to the reet 

places St Jerom admits, with all writers, of mankind, Ood might vouchsafe the first 

■ donbte sense of scripture, it by no means eiptidt revelation of a future retributiva 

follows that he does so in this place ; judgment, and the lirst distinct view of a 

where, indeed, only a ain^e sraise coidd be spiritual Redeemer. See Peters's Critic 

intended, for Job had uniformly declared Disaert on Job. 

hia despondence as to the preaent Ufe. P Orig. cont Cels. Gregor. Mag. in Job. 

St Jerom likewise, in hia epistle to Pau- lib. i. cap. 1. Suidas in Job. laidor. HiipL 

linos, affinna, that Job here prophesiea the Sixt Senena, Holtinger, Walton, Bochart, 

(iBsorreclion of the body in terms sa dear Huet, la. 

and exact oa ever were used. " Reaurrec- t Lightfbot supptHCs Elihn to have bean 

tjonem mrponim sic propbetat nt nullui de the aolhor, because in the beginning of hia 

ea, Tel mooifestus, vel csotius acripaerit" diaconrse be appears to speak in that ch»- 

on, fbrdi 

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while mauy liave attributed it to Moses,' and others to Uter 
prophets, as to Solomon' and to Isaiah.' The most probable 
opiniou is, that it was composed from such memorials as Job 
himself, or his friends, might have left ia the Syriac or Arabic 
laugnage. The work is written ia n style agreeable to the genius 
of the Arabic language. It is sublime, lofty, compressed, and 
fall of figures and allusive tniagea. It contains, likewise, much 
of that profound pliilosopby, and elevated turn of thought, for 
which tlic Arabiaue were as remarkable," as for the dignity and 
allegorical cast of their language. It may be added, likewise, 
that some of the images and remarks in this book appear to 
have been drawn from circumstances peculiar and appropriate 
to Arabia ; ' and that it has every characteristic of the most 
venerable antiquity, and all the appearance of an original 
patriarchal work.^ 

That the book is drawn up in a poetical form, and adorned 
with poetical embellishments, is no proof that it was not written 
in great part by Job : for though it be ibconsistent with the 
violence of outrageous passion, or the freedom of animated dia- 
logue, to speak in numbers, yet there is no reason why Job may 
not be supposed to have amused himself, when restored to ease 
and prosperity, by recollecting the circumstances of his afHiction, 
and to have described them with metrical arrangement; it 
being customary in tlie earlier ages to compose the most im- 
portant works in some kind of measure;' and consistent with 
our notions of inspiration, to suppose that its suggestions might 

' Ban Bathni, cap. i. f. IB. Kunchi, ' Onj'i Pref. to Job. Origcn. cont. 

Methodiui apnd Fbotium. R. Leri Ben. Cela. Kuaeb. and Selden upon Rom. ii. 14. 

Oenon in Pr»f. Aben-Ezni ad cap. ii. 11. Hottinfter Sraegoa CricDt. Job mentioiu 

Hiut. DimODit. Evaug. Poljchnn. and only tbe moil oncieot ipedei of idolaliy, 

JnJiBn. Halkar. up. NicieL in Catena in the vonhip of tbe Bon and moon. Vid. 

Job. Hieron. Epiat. ad Paul. chap. uii. 'J6, 27, and the most ancient 

* Ongar. Naiianz. Orat, ad Eueqnat. kind of writing, bj Kalpture. ilia ricbei 
Haiduin in Chron. Vet. Teat. an reckoned b; iii> cattle ; and it ia by no 

' PhiloCoderciu. Prnf. in Job. Scaliger. meani clear, that tbe word tenCaA, trana- 

Grolina. Le Clere. Waiburton attrihatea lated ■ piece of money, cb. liiii. 1 1, doea 

It to Eirn, and Oamett to Eiekiel. not mean a lamb. Vid. Spanheim, and 

• lEingaiT. S3; Jecem.xlix,7 4 Ohed. Cabnel in Oen. luiii. 19. Oc if it nMO 
Tet. S 1 Barueh iii. 13. money, there ia no naaon to luppoie that 

' Cbap. li. I£ — 17; xzxvii. 9, 22. it might not b« in dh in the time and 

Vid. alio, chap. ii. S6, when Schnttens country aaaigned to Job. Compare, alio, 

tnailatea the word ni'lW, by "nniei p«- <'*'«P- »'"'■ 8,*ith Numb. niii. 1. Biibi^ 

pyio Tel anmdino leitaa ;" and inppoaea it I-owlh conriden tbe «ly]e ai beuing 

to ligni^ thoie ihipi made of eane, oi the '"denl mark, of the m«t remote antiquity, 

papynia, that were uiqd on the Nile. Vid. Vid. PtoIccI. 82. 

Lncan. Kb. ir. 135, 136. ' I«J«e Ong. lib. i. 27. 



b« eonreyed in the captivating dress of poetry. How far Job 
reduced the work towards its present fomi, cannot be detennined ; 
itfiB contended only, that he left sufficient materials for some 
Hebrew writer to digest it as it now appears. As the Hebrew 
and Arabic language are derived from the same origin, both 
being deduced from Abraham's descendants, among whom the 
Hebrew was preserved and the Arabic originated, they may 
well be supposed to approximate towards their source, and to 
have much resembled each other, as indeed they now do, with 
great affinity.' It is therefore possible, that Job iriight have 
written the book in the language in which it now exists;'' the 
last verses only being added by some prophet who received it 
into the Jewish Canon,' But if we conceive that the Hebrew 
language must have differed so much from the Arabic, in the 
time of Job, that what he wrote must have been translated for 
the use of the Hebrews, we may suppose it to have been com- 
posed by some inspired writer among the Hebrews, who retained 
those Syriac and Arabic expressions which are interspersed 
through the work, as appropriate ornaments of the history, and 
aa tending, perhaps, to facilitete the versification. Some critics, 
indeed, consider these expressions ns foreign corruptions intro- 
duced into the Jewish language after the captivity, and there- 
fore imagine that the work must have been composed after those 
of David and Solomon ; but what they consider as Ghaldaisms, 
are by others, with more probability, represented to be only 
Syriac and Arabic expressions.'' 

The book then was probably either written by Job, or com- 
posed from materials which he left by some writer who lived 

■ Hnnt'i CU*!> Penlateuchi. Vfetkj, dd b coD^ecluce u ilMider, Elineiei 

' AD tli« dMcendant* of Abnham, tlis that it might hare beeo proeund b; ¥li- 

ttnclilea, Idimaaiu, and Anbi, probBbl; melech and Naoini, when in Moab, nhich 

coDtinnsd long to uh the mns language, wai in Idunoa, and near the tpot when 

till Kpaialion and giadnal innovatioD* pro- he conceirea Joh to have lited. The place 

dnced B change. The nnmea of IihmadX which It holda in the bonk aabrda do daa 

KetDiah't, Eaaa'a, and Jub'a tamilie*, are to diKOTer the period of it* admioion. tt 

pnre Hebrew. waa, bowerer, doabtUia leceiied before the 

' It 1* uneertiun when the book waa time oF Eiekiel. Vid. Mercer, in Pni- 

received into the Canon. Some think that it Terbs. 

wna admitled with Sotomon'! writings by ^ Schulteni, Orey'i Job, p. 12. It haa 

the men of Heiekiah ; bot prolwbly it vim been diepoled whether the names of Job** 

Inierted much eoriier. In the Hebrew it danghten ore of Hebrew or Arabic eitrae- 

ia placed immediately after the Proieiba j lion. But a« both langnagee have the nine 

but in the Septuagint, and by St. Jennn, it roots, the ditpnte ie idle. The word Je- 

wai placed aa in our BiUea. Fetera lUg- bovah, which was known onlj to the Jew>, 
geata, that it might ha*e been preaei 
b> SalDmnn by the queen of Sbeba ; 


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soon after the period of the history herein deacrihed. They who 
dispute this antiquity, miuntaiD that, beades the pretended 
Ohaldaisms which have been before represented as Arabic and 
Syriac expressions, they discover some passages in the book 
which are imitations of particulars in the works of David and of 
Solomon : but if the coincidences produced in support of this 
aasertioD be not accidental, they prove nothing ; since there is 
equal reason to suppose, that David and Solomon might have 
borrowed from Job, as other prophets certainly did:'' such 
imitations of expressions for the communication of similar senti- 
ments being customary among the sacred writers. 

If, however, we admit, as some have contended, that the book 
contains allusions to the Mosaic laws, and aUo to circumstances 
and events of the Jewish history, and that these allusions are 
not merely such as refer to particulars with which Job might 
be acquainted,' nor consist in expressions that Moses, if the 
compiler or translator of the book, might have introdaced,' snp- 
porang him to have composed It after the delivery of the Law ; 
though such allustons cannot be allowed to invalidate the an- 
tiquity which is here attributed to Job himself, or to disprove 
that he might have iuroished the chief materials for the work, 
they certainly will prove that it was composed in its present 
form, long after the period in which the history must have 
occurred, and that it was written or translated by an author 
later than Moses. As a matter of opinion, however, it may be 
observed, that no such allusions do appear as should influence us 
to reject the pretensions of Job, or of Moses ;» none certainly 
that should incline us to believe that the book was not written 
long before the captivity;'' since of the pretended allusions to 

' HueU Prop. JT. pouim. Itraclilei in the nilderncM, and of loiDe 

< Tfae KTitiinenti in chap. ivii. S ; ni, other CDntemporary eitnto, at which it U 

19; xiii. G; iiir. 7, 9, 10; mi. 9, 10, imogioed (thoDgli perhapi withoDt loK- 

28, produced bf Warburtan and olbera, cieiit leasoa) to hint. Vid. ebap. lii 2i ; 

u alluiiona to ^e law, which escaped tlie ml 24 ; nii. 25, 

■Dtfaor, might Burelj be general remark). ' The eipreuions in chap, xx, 17 ; zzii. 

All tfae suppoied alluuaiu to the flood, and 32; cdx. M; iv. 17, IS, might be 

other pHiticalars deiicHbed in Geneue, onl; general, oi introduced hj Hoiei. The 

prore that Job vaa acquBinied with thoie nineteenth lene of the fifteenth chapter 

tradition!, which the deicendant< ofAbra- may appl; to Ncah and M> eoni. Vid. 

bam muit haie known withoat the Moaic Feten'e Diuert. on Job, part L lect. ti. 

■ccODnt. Job might have heard, likewiie, ■ HaeL Prop. i>. in Job. 

of the miraclea in E^t, and si the Red '^ The pawiga in chap, rnjii 16 — 2S, 

Sea, if we mppiite him to refer to them in haa been imagined to be deecriptiTs of Ood'a 

chip. xixviiL 15 ; ii, 7, R ; xii 15 ; zxri, pioceedingi with fieaekiah, 2 King* xz ; 

1 2 ; aa likewiw of the vandeiing of the 2 Chron, inii ; n tbat in cb^ zzzt, 8. 

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the regal history of the Jews, none are so evident as to jastif; 
any concladon to the contrary ; and there appears, indeed, to 
he DO sufficient reason, notwithstanding every passage has been 
critically analyzed for that purpose, to suppose that the book 
was not written or traDsIatet^ nearer the period of the history 
which it describes. 

The opinion, indeed, most anciently and generally entertained 
was, that it was composed by Moses, who might have collected 
the information which it contained in the land of Midian ; ' and 
no objection to this opinion can be drawn from the place which 
is assigned to the book in the Bible, as no attention appears to. 
have been paid to chronology in this arrangement. 

The book, however, whether written originally in the Arabic, 
or in the Hebrew language, whether composed or translated by 
Moeee, or any subsequent prophet, is noquestionably to be con- 
sidered as an inspired work, since it was certainly ia the Jewish 
Canon. It is not, indeed, particularly mentioned by Josephus; 
because the history which it contains was totally unconnected 
with the Hebrew affairs, of which be professed exclusively to 
treat.'" It was, however, included in the catalogue of twenty- 
two books, which he assigned ae the number contained in the 
sacred list.' It is cited as scriptural by the apostles ; *" and was 
nniversally received as canonical by all the fathers, councils, and 

IS, hu b«en mppoted to coincide with the Zeeh. ill. 1 — 5. Soa otber reacmblancct, 

account af the paiii>hineitt of Maaasie)i, obfiuiciful DriiccideDUl,iii Warbuiton'iand 

2 ChroD. iiiiiL 11 — 13; ao lEkotriH ths Oarnett's allcgoriea. 

dennociation in chtf. xhIt. 20, hag been ' Origen. cont. Gets. lib. tL and in Joli. 

represented as allusive to the sudden do- Some hate conceived that Moeo prodaired 

MroctioQ of Sennacherib'i aimj, 2 Kingi it to console tbe Israelite! under the hard- 

xit. 35. Bat tfaeie pauages of Job con- ihipa of iheir Egyptian bondage. Vid. 

lain only general deocriptioaa of Ood'a Ongen. Com. Bava Bathra, cap. 1. Julian. 

jodginenlii that might easily be drawn to Halicar. ap. Nicffit. The book contains oonie 

*pfis to bo; initance ; and the last might pauaget that resemble tbe bymn of Moaet. 

nther be mpposed to refer to ihe deitruc- Compare chap. iiii. 2 — 6, with DeuL 

tion of the Gnt-borD in Egjpi, Eiod. lii. miL 7 — 14. Qrey** PmC ad Lib. Job. 

39. The pTetended rescmblaDce between and Answ. to Wniburton. But if Moses 

the writiDg of Heiekiah, Isa. xnriiL 10 — were the author, be probably wrote it in the 

1 7, and the lamenlatian of Job, chap. viL wildemeas. No argument can be drawn 

1—8, is onW a caaual dmilanty in the from the supposed rcMmUonee, or difference 

CDmjJainti of miserv- It muit bave been of style, between the book of Job and the 

As tma spirit of tbeory that could draw wtitingi of Moses, as the enbject affords 

■■jrargnmeni from b comparison between such scope lor fiuicy, and soch opposite 

the description of Job's friends, chap, m opinions have been entertained on tho 

1 — 8, and tbe account of the Cutheans and subject 

Ssmaritans in Nehemiah i>. I — t ; or that ' Protem. Antiq. Jnd. 

oonld &ncj that the representation of ' Joseph. conL Apion. lib. L 

Satan's appearance. Job i. S, &c. was 'do- "1 Cor. iiL 19; James v. II. 

aigned on the model of Zechariah's viaion, ■* tir^or. PiaL in Job. 

,;, Google 


Tliouffh the book of Job is by uo means to b« considered as a 
drniiia written with fictitious contrivance, or as Teeembliug in its 
uonstrQction any of those Grecian compositions which it preceded 
eo long, it may still be represented aa so far dramatic, as the 
parties are iotroduoed speaking with great fidelity of character, 
and as it deviates from strict historical accuracy for the sake of 
effect. It is a complete, though peculiar work : and regular in 
its subject and the distribution of its parts." Mr. Locke .justly 
pronounces it to be a perfect poem : the two first cliapiers con- 
taining a prose argument, which he conceives (though without 
Btifficieat reason) to have been added by the compiler; as also 
the naming of the several speakers, the want of which leaves 
the Canticles in great obscurity. The interlocutory parts of the 
book appear to be written in a loose kind of metre. Many of 
Job's discourses are strict and perfect elegies.'* St. Jerom main- 
tained, that the book is written, from the third verse of the 
third chapter to the wxth verse of the forty-second chapter, in 
hexameter verses, with some occasional variations, according to 
the idiom of the language.'' Of this, however, there are no suf- 
ficient indications. The conclusion, which relates the final pros- 
perity and death of Job, must have been added by the compiler. 

The many excellent qualities of Job have rendered him to all 
ages an illustrious example of righteousness. Eusebius has 
justly remarked, that Ite was so distinguished for wisdom, as to 
have found out, by divine grace, a conduct Dot unsuitable to 
the evangelical doctrine of our Saviour; and it appears from the 
passage, which in the Septnagint is annexed to this book,' that 
the reverence which the Jews entertained for his character had 
given rise to a tradition, by no means incredible, according to the 
opinion of Theophanee, that Job was one of those saints who rose 
out ^m their graves at the resurrection of Christ ; a tradition 
which, if unsupported by any authority, may be still conadered 
08 bearing a merited testimony to his superior righteousness." 

• Lowth'n Pnel. Poet, ixjiiii. Job d*«cribc» bis Buimnce of ■ fulnra re- 

' Chap, iii, vi, lii, i, xij, irji, xix, xiii, mrrection in tbii book, ■« putknlari; in 

III. the contHted pnuagc ; for vheir the in 

1 Lowlli'* PmlHt. ii>. find Shnckfbrd'* the Old Tolaiuent ii it writWu that Job 

Connect. toL u. ch. 9. Hicron. Praef. iu ibaM rite agun? 

Lib. Job. ' The book of Job, it is uid, wu read in 

' Tb« addition in tli<- Septuagint nin> thFancimtchorchan&atdnriMidMEaater. 

ibui: yiyfo-rtai Sc avtav wttMr ira/vm- .Tah being conaiderFd a> R tignre of Chiiit. 

ctatai, litS" tr irurt^irit A nupiai. The Viil. Origcn. in .Fob. 
aulher of n-biih iDUit hme bclitTod Ihal 



To form a perfect notion of the great excellence of Job's cha- 
racter, wa must contemplate liiro in every vicisaitude of bis 
eventful life, anil consider Iiie conduct under everj temptation of 
hazardous prosperity or aggravated distress. We must judge of 
him, not from the unguarded expres«iona tvLich his sufferings 
oGcasonally provoked," but from the deliberate strains of his 
piety, and his patient submission to the diviue will, under every 
possible affliction but the pangs of guilt and the terrors of 
despair. If the mistaken severity of his friends sometimes pro- 
voked him to transgress the decency of an bumble and modest 
doubt of his own innocence, yet reproof and recollection in- 
stantly called bim to a confession of uii worthiness, and to a be- 
coming resignation to the divine decree!<.* It was, indeed, in 
vindication of bis own character, be displiiyed the tiiir de- 
scription of bis life, eminently distinguii^hed iis it was for in- 
tegrity and benevolence; and it has been a want of sufficient 
attention to the scope of the dialogue, mid to the iirm principles 
to which Job, notwithstanding his occasional impatience, ulti- 
mately adheres, that has caused such strange misconceptions as 
have been entertained with respect to his character' and dis- 
course. To obviate, however, all erroneous objections to an ex- 
ample which the sacred writers have considered as excellent,' 
and to preclude false notions concerning sentiments represented 
as consistent with the divine wisdom,' it is necessary to advert 
to the provocations which Job bad received, and to the compli- 
cated distress that disconcerted his mind and irritated bis pas- 
uons. His friends, who appear to have visited bim with cha- 
ritable intentions,*' did in reality only aggravate his misfortunes; 
for having taken up a common, but mistaken notion, that pros- 
perity and afilictions were dealt out in this life according to the 
deserts of meo,^ they accuse him of having merited his extraor- 
dinary misfortunes by some concealed guilt ;" and are led on by 
the heat of contention to " vex his soul by their reproaches, and 
to break him in pieces with words.^ Job, solicitous to refute 
the charge, and to vindicate the ways of Providence, affirms, on 
the contrary, that adversity is no proof of divine wrath, but 

* Cbap. TL S6. * ChiyMiL Horn. v. od Pop. Aatioch. 

> Cbap. nii. 20; iiiiv. 31, 33; xL 4, " Chup. u. 11—13. 
6 ; iHL 3. 4. ' Chap. i». 7, fl. 

> Gmettand WBrbnnon. ' Chap. ir. 7, 0, 9; tiii. 13;' iiiii 21; 
■ Eiek. xiv. 14; Jamw v. 11. Vid. xxiL S. 

abo.Tobit ii 13; nr. IS, VulgtiW. 



often designed as s trial.* That in this life the good and the 
bad indisOTiminBtel; flonriab, and often perish in promiBcaous 
deBtrnetion ;' and that, coDsequeolly, there mtut be some period. 
for judgment and equal retribution, for which the wicked are 
reserved.* With respect to himself, he disclainiB all foar from 
reflecting on his past conduct ; and then describes, with aom»- 
what too much of pride and confidence, the excellency of those 
virtnes with which he had "arrayed^ bis prosperity. With an 
impatience, likewise, that bis aufferiogs, great as they were, 
could not justify, he professes a thorough despondence and dis- 
regard with respect to the present life, earnestly wishes'' for 
death, and appeals to the decisions of a future judgment for jus- 
tification.' For this assumption, and for this impatience, he is 
justly censured by Elihu; whose "wrath was kindled against 
Job, because he justified himself rather than God." Elihn, 
however, reprehends him with rather too much harshness, and 
in some measure misrepresents his sentiments.^ Vet inasmuch 
as Elihn had rested the eqnityof the divine dispensations on the 
acknowledged attributes of God, he had reasoned justly as for as 
he had proceeded; and therefore, perhaps, is only tacitly' cen- 
sured by the Deity, when God pronounces that "Job had 
spoken the thing that was right,'" God even pursues the argn- 
ment of Elihu, and, in a style of inimitable majesty, proclaims 
his own uncontrolled power, and unfotbomable wisdom, to the 
discountenancing of human knowledge. After the most awful 
and impressive representation of his own glorious works and at- 
tributes,"' and after some reprehension of Job for bis arrogant 
profession of innocence, the Almighty condemns the false rea- 
Boning of the three friends, and ratifies the conclusion which Job 
had made with respect to a future judgment." 

• Chsp. viLlS; Dda 10. 19; irii. 16; niiL3— 10; xxri. 6 ; xix. 
' Chap. iz. 22— 21 ; nL 8(.iil7— 15. 23, 24; nii, 14; dl mnuMonUj wilfc 

* Chap, z^ 30 ; xxri. 6 ; zxtU. 8, 9, chap. lix. 25—29. 

IB i nn, 3. ' Cbap. uiiiL 8, 9 ; hiiy. 5, 9, 35, 

^ Chap. iL S— 1 1 ; liL 7 ; ii. 2 1 ; X. ' SonM h&vc conceived that the apening 
1 ; iri. 22; xiU. U— 10. These pauogu of Ood'» speech wai ftddroHed a» a reprorf' 
folt; pruTB, that Job did not look ibrward to Eliha, though the ■□balance of the an- 
te anj temporal reBtoration ; of which he twac wu deogDed ibr Job. 
declareiaUo the improbabilit;,Bnd lament* ■■ Chap. il. 8, 10. 

onlf that he thould not liva to lee hii re- ■ Job had epoken right, bj haTing re- 
putation vindicated. Vid. dup. xit. 7 — coune to the airangeiixintg of a fntnn 
14; TiLS- 10; x.21,22. Feten'i Dii- judgmant. If the divine justice did net 
Mrt. on Job, part il. mcl 4. Scotfi Ver- rest on thii foundation, it mnat have eie- 
uon of Job, Appendix iL cnted iti decroe* in the pceicnt life, n the 
' Chap.xiiLlE — 19; dr. 12— 15; xvL friendi of Job mainlained. Oaddoeaiiat 

, V, Google 


Sndi is the scope of the discourse, which finely unfolds God's 
desig:n8 in dealiiijif out afflictions to mankind;" which, when it 
first appeared, must hare conveyed truths that unassisted reason 
had not learned ; and have been well calculated to refute the 
absurd notions which then began to rise concerning the two 
independent principles of good and evil.'' When the book was 
received into the Jewish Canon, it must likewise have been well 
adapted to counteract any erroneous conceptions that might 
have been formed from a cousideration of the temporal promises 
of the Law : which though they covenanted present reward to 
the Hebrew nation, considered as a community, by no means 
assured to individuals a just and exact remuneration in the pre- 
sent life.** The book likewise admirably serves to prove, that 
the power of temptation, allowed to evil spirits, is restricted in 
merciiul consideration of human weakness. It exhibits, in an 
interesting history, the vicissitudeB of human affairs. It illus- 
trates the danger of contention, the ingratitude and baseness of 
common friendship,' the vigilant care of Providence, and the ne- 
cessity of resignation to the divine will. Through the whole 
work we discover religious instruction shining forth amidst the 
venerable simplicity of ancient manners. It everywhere abounds 
with the noblest sentiments of piety, uttered with the spirit of 
inspired conviction. It is a work unrivalled for the magDiiicence 
of its language, and for the beautiful and sublime images which 
it presents.* In the wonderful speech of the Deity, every line 
delineates his attributes, every sentence opens a picture of some 
grand object in creation' characterized by its most striking fea- 
tures. Add to -this, that its prophetic parts reflect much light 

coDdewend toeiplatn tbe cqnltjr of hiioWD Homer. Jacob du Pork Burke on the 

cooiueU, ui J &nhcr thaa by ipproving the Sublime, p. ii. Mct 4, H, 

coniieliaDi of Job ; thi> woi neier qoe*- ' Vurioae hiiTe been the coojectures 

tioned in the cantroien;, bat defendnl on concerning the behemolh and the leii^ 

both ridn, though on ditfermt principal. than, which nrc to forcibi; dcKribcd tn 

> Job'i character vat fnllj proTod and thia iwoli. The fomier i> bj umc top- 
perfected bj tbii trial, and the pride and poud to hire been the elephsDt, bj olheia, 
mpBtianee of hii temper corrected. the hippopolAmui ; the latter it anially 

P Uh ud Intent of Praphety, p. 207. leprCKnted to hnve been the crocodile. 

4 Tbii i* evident from Uie rehliona of But oi the detcriptiona exceed the chancier 

wcred hiatoiy, from the complaints of the of h11 animola now known, tbey haTc been 

pnlmiit, and from the luSeringi and do- concriTed to contnin aome myilery. It ie 

nnnciktioni of the propheta. one deaign of tcrlpliire to conTinee mankind 

' Job xlil 11. of ignonnce ; imd difficultiea, while the; 

■ The book, in aonie of iti tnantiet of eierciK aagadly, inculcmie the uaefiil leaaon 

iaiweryand deicliption,haibeen compaied of bumilit;. Vid. Bochart llicroioicon. 

with, and justly prcfened to the worki of lib. t. c. S5. 
Homer. Vid. Wedey't Dise. vi. ei Gnom. 



on the economy of Ood's moral government, and every admirer 
of sacred antiquity, every inquirer after religfious instnictioD, 
will seriously rejoice, that the enraptured sentence of Job" is 
realized to a more effectual and nntoreaeen accomplishment; 
that while the memorable records of antiquity have - mouldered 
from the rock, the prophetic assurance and sentiments of Job are 
graven in scriptures, that no time shall alter, no changes shall 


Thk book of Psalms, which in the Hebrew is entitled Sepher 
T ehillem,* that is, the book of Hymns, or Praises of the Lord, 
contains the productions of different writers.'' These productions 
are called, however, the Psalms of David, because a great part 
of tfaem was composed by him, who, for bis peculiarly excellent 
spirit, was distinguished by the title of " the Psalmist."' Some 
of them were perhaps penned before, and some after the time of 
David ; but all of them by persons under the influence of tbe 
HolyObost, nnce all were judged worthy to be inserted into the 
canon of sacred writ, Ezra probably collected them into one 
book, and placed them in the order which they now preserve, 
after they had been previously collected in part." It appears 
that the hundred and fifty psalms therein contained vere 
selected from a much greater number, which, it may be pre- 
sumed, were not suggested by the Holy Spirit. The Lerites 
were, indeed, enjoined to preserve in the temple* all such hymns 
as might be composed in honour of God ; and of these, doubtless, 
there must have been a large number ; but such only could be 

• Chap. xii. -23. B. DsTid KimcliL 

• In tho New Teilonient it ii called by '2 Sam. iiiiL 1. 

Cbritt and his npoMlei, Bi^Aat i)HiXfii«>. * 2 Chron. xax. 25—23. The; wen 

Lake xi. 13 ; AcU L 20. Tbe word » collected in the time of Chmt. Vid. 

PHller i* derived bnm tfvAnywi', pnlleiy, Luko ii. 42. The Kcoad psalm is cited 

■ mnucal inatniment, styled Nabol m by St. PboI in the order in which it now 

Hebrew. It waa (Ining, and inade of alandi, Acli liiL 33. Vid. Athan. ia 

wood in the style of a harp, and in the Synop, toin. il p. 86. Hilar. Prol. in Lib. 

shape of a Oreck delta, A. Vid. 1 Kingi Ein iii. 10, 11; and Proleg. in Pulni. 

I. 1-2. Athsn. lib. i«. cap. 23. ami Enseb. ad Pail. IxixtL 

Calmel'i Disa. snr les Inalmra. * .riapph. .^ntii). lib. iii. c 1. and lib. t. 

• Hienin. ad Cyprian, and Sopliran. c. 1. 
Hilar. Prof, in Psal. Geiiebr. in P«l. i. 



adinittud into thtt CanoD as were evidently iaapired compositioiiB; 
aad we ma; judge of the scnipolous seTeritj- with which they 
were examined, since the numerous hymns of Solomon were re- 
jected ; and even, as it ia said, some of David^s himself were 
thought unentitled to insertion/ The authority of those, how- 
ever, which we now possess, 'is established, not only by their 
rank among the sacred writings," and by the unvaried testimony 
of every age, but likewise by many intrinsic proofs of inspiration. 
Not only do they breathe through every part a divine spirit 
of eloquence, but they contain numberless illustrious prophecies 
that were remarkably accomplished, and that are frequently 
appealed to by the evangelical writers. The sacred character 
of the whole book is established by the testimony of our Saviour 
and his apostles ; who, in various parts of the New Testament, 
appropriate the predictions of the Psalms as obviously apposite 
to the circumstances of their lives, and as iutentionally precon- 
certed to describe them. Yet, as Dr. Allix justly remarks, 
though the sacred writers have fixed the sense of near fifty 
psalms,'' they have by no means cited all that they might have 
cited, but have only furnished a key to their hearers, making 
applications incidentally as opportunities occurred. 

David has, by the later Jews, been reckoned among the 
Hagiographi ;' not being considered by them as a prophet any 
more than Daniel, because he lived differently from the prophets, 
and amidst the magnificeDce of a court. He was supposed, 
however, by them, to have prophesied by the inspiration of the 
Holy Ghost, without any exterior impulse, but from some in- 
ternal influence urging, and enabling him to speak and utter 
instructions, on divine as well as human subjects, with more 
tlian his wonted powers, and in a style superior to that of the 
prodnctiona of human abilities. But the prophetic character of 
David is established on much higher authority, and the im- 
portance and clearness of his predictions demonstrate his title 

' Tbs prophet! were not aln-RjB em- Mailinati Sillim, vol. ii, The Jewiib gra- 

powered to wrile bj the (nggeslion of ifae datioiiB of prophecj an oFten rer; bidmlly 

•pirit; thougfa SL Ambnue thought that dclennined ; but David rauit be pro- 

Uavid did alwaja poaaen the gift of nouDced a prophet by tho Jewiih rale, 

prDphecf. Vid. Prsf. in Paalm i ; 1 Sam. ainoa he ia a Iraa prophet who ia not 

iTi. 13. deceirod in forelelUng future ennta. Vid. 

■ The; are cited ai the Law. John i. Maimon. de Fundam. LegiifOp. 10, f 3. 

31 ; xii. 34. neat, iviii. 32; .lor. imiii. 9. Moinioa. 

^ Nrw TeBlmnpnt. piiMiin. Mon Ncvoch. par. ii. cap. 45. 

I It. AIK UtUB. iii. c 10. Kiinchi 



to the highest rank among the prophets.^ Many attempts 
have been made to ascertain precisely which psidms were 
derived from David's pen, as likewise to discover the authors 
of the others. Some are said to have been composed by 
Moses; and some were written in or after the captivity.' It 
is necessary to refer to the commentators at large for various 
opinions upon this subject ; and without dilating, to canvass the 
date and author of each individual psalm, or to specily the 
circumstances that occasioned its production, it may be briefly 
observed, that the Talmudists™ and Masoretic writers admit, as 
authors of the Psalms, Adam, Melchisedec, Abraham, Moses, the 
sons of Korah, David, Solomon, Asaph, Jeduthun and Ethan ; 
and that Calmet, after a judicious investigation of particulars, 
has adopted nearly the following arrangement, if we consider 
them as distributed in the Hebrew, and in our translation. 

Under the first head are twelve psalms, of which the chro- 
nology is uncertain; viz, i. iv, v, viii, six, Isxxi, zc, xci, xcix, 
ex, cxxxix, cxIt. The first of these was probably composed by 
David, or Ezra ; the eighty-first is attributed to Asaph," the 
ninetieth to Moses,, and the hundred and tenth to David. 
The authors of the others are unknown, though some of them 
are inscribed to David. 

Under, the second head are included the psalms which were 
composed by David during the persecution carried on against 
him by Saul, or other enemies : these are in number twenty ; 
vii. vii, xi, xvi, xvii, xviii, xxii, xxxi, xxxir, xxxv, Hi, liv, Ivi, 
Ivii, Iviii, lix, Ixiv, cix, cxl, cxli, cxHi. 

Under the third head are placed such as David composed on 
different occasions, after his accession to the throne : these, 
which amount to forty-four, are as follows; ii, vi, ix, xii, xx, 
xxi, xxiii, xxiv, xxviii, xxix, xxxii, xxxiii, xxxviii, xxxis, xl, 
xli, li, Ix, Ixi, Ixii, Ixiii, Ixv, Ixviii, ixix, Ixx, Ixxxvi, xcv, xcvi, 
ci, ciii, cir, cv, cvi, cviii, cxviii, cxix, cxx, cxxi, cxxii, cxxiv, 
cxxxi, cxxxiii, cxliii, cxiiv. 

The fourth head contains those which were written by David 

' 3 Sam. ID. I; xxuL 2; 2 Chron. ond Home's Commentaries. 

xxix. 25 i Nobsm. xii. 21 ; Eiek, ixdt. " HaTs Bithm, cop. 1. Kimcbi, &c. 

23 ; Matt. xiii. 35 ; ixiL 43 ; xxrij. 35 ; " Thia wna probably designed to be 

Marie xii. S6i AcU i. 16t ii. 30; iir. 25; aung in the temple upon the feasl at 

Hcb. iii. 7. trumpeU ; as also at liie feast of Uboi> 



during the rebellion of Absalom, amonnting to fflx ; which are 
iii, xlii, xliii, It, Izzi, Ixxxiv. 

The fifth head includes those written from the death of 
Absalom to the captivity ; these, which appear to be ten, are 
XXX, xlv, Izxii, Ixxiv, Izxvi, Ixxviii, Ixxix, Ixxxii, Ixxziii, 
cxzzii. Of these, piy>bably, Darid composed the thirtieth, the 
seven ty-second, and possibly the seventy-eighth. The seventy- 
sixth seems likely to have been produced after the miracnlons 
deliverance from the Assyrian army, in the days of Hezekiah. 

The sixth head comprehends the psalms composed dnring the 
distresses and captivities of the chnrch ; these were written 
chiefly by Asaph and Korah, and their descendants. They 
may be reckoned thirty iu nnmber, and are x, xiii, xir, zv, 
xxY, xxvi, xxvii, xxrvi, xxxvii, xliv, xlix, 1, liii, Ixvii, Ixxiii, 
Ixxv, Ixxvii, Ixxx, Ixxxviii, Ixxxix, xeii, xciii, xciv, cii, cxv, 
cxxiii, cxxv, cxxix, cxxx, cxxxvii. 

To the last head are assigned those bymns of joy and 
tbanksgiving which were written, as welt after other deliver- 
ances as upon the release from the Babylonish captivity, and 
at the building and dedication of the temple. These, which are 
twenty-eight, are xlvi, xlvii, xlviii, Ixvi, Ixxxv, Ixxxvii, xcni, 
xcviii, c, cvii, cxi, cxii, cxiii, cxiv, cxvi, cxvii, cxxvi, cxxvii, 
cxxviii, cxxxii, cxxxiv, czxxv, cxxxvi, czxxviii, cxlvi, cxlvii, 
cxlviii, cxiix, cl. 

According to Oalmet's account, from which this in some 
respects varies, only forty-five psalms are positively assigned to 
David, thongh probably many more should be ascribed to him. 
It is, however, of less consequence to determine precisely by 
whom the Holy Spirit delivered these oracles, since we hare 
indubilable evidence of the sacred character of the whole book, 
for it is collectively cited in scripture,' and is prophetical in- 
almost every part ;■* and several of those persons who are sup- 
posed to have contributed to the composition of the work are 
expressly represented as prophets in scripture.'' 

The name of David is prefixed to about seventy-three ; and 

' Tb« BYiDgalieal vritera dte the Kriplnn (oiled aaen, and Mid to bsTe 

pMbU) in goicral imdei the sune of prophsseil. Vide 2 Chroo. nix. 30 ; 

DsTid. HIT. IS ; 1 Chron. kit. I — S. Vide 

r Ootheii Thac^. Proph. p. 98. Bren- also, 1 Kingi i>. 80, 31, irheie Ethu 

Ijtu «d 2 Jam. zziii. 26. (whom •ome conridei aa the author of 

4 Heman, AaqJi, and Jednthun, inp- Pul. IniTiii. and Ixxxiz.) il qxAen of M 

poied anthon of anme at the p^na, aie in eminent foi wiijoBi. 

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javny perSonu have collected trom the laet verse of the leventy- 
second psalm, which reports that " the prayers of David the son 
of Jesse are ended," that David''s hymns do there conclude ; and 
if we consider that this psalm was probably prodnced on the 
establishment of Solomon on the throne of his lather, it is not 
unlikely that it contains the last efliisions of David's prophetic 
spirit;' but as his compositions are not all placed toother, 
many which followed in the order of the book may have been 
written by htm ; and we may suppose him to have been the 
author of at least all tlioee which are not particularly assigned 
to others, nor consistent with his time.* The Paalms are cer- 
tiunly not arrsn^d with any regard to chronology,* and many 
which follow the seventy-second in the order of the book, are 
inscribed with the name of David. It must be observed, bow- 
ever, that the titles prefixed to the psalms, some of which are 
not in the Hebrew manuscripts, are often of very questionable 
authority ; and sometimes undoubtedly not of equal antiquity 
with the text, being possibly affixed as conjectural. They were 
not always designed to point out the author, but often apply to 
the musicians" appointed to set them to music. They likewise 
sometimes appear to be only terms of instruments,* or directions 
for the choice of tunes/ But it must be confessed, that upon 
this subject the opinions are so varions and conjectural, that 
nothing satisfactory can be offeree), any more than upon the 
word Selah,* which so often occurs. 

Many fanciful divisions of this book have been made. The 
Jews, at some uncertain period, divided it into five sections, 

' In thepnwpectnf tbepioaperity of hu ■ Soma of the name* prefixed to the 

of dinne pcomiHi, brealu out into an IlsTid appoinUd. Vid. 1 Chron. xt. 16 — 

enr^tund dMcriptioD of the dnntiau, 22 ; iri. 7. The word Lamnetieach i) 

extent, ud chancter of tho kingdom of mppoaed to mean, " to the leader of the 

Chriit. Vid. xer. 7, 11, 13,17. band." It ii derived from Mnatieach, 

• St. Poter cite> ike tecond pealni aa which aignifiea Onrteer. 

David'i, though it is not intcribed to him ; ■ Ai, pnhapa, Nehilotb, Sherainith, 

and other* whkh hare no tiUe weie on- Oitith, Michtam, Aijeleth Shehu, Ac. 

donbtedly written b; David. Comp. Pnt. Vid. Qeirot ad Paa. t. Michselii, &c. 

icT. 7, 8, with Heb. i*. 7 ; Padm icri, ' Aa Neginoth. Vid. Bnmej'a Hiat. 

with 1 Chron. iri. 7, &c. ; P«al- cr, with Mm. toL i, p. 235. Harmer'* Oheerra- 

1 Chnnt. iri. 8 ; Paal. cri. 47, 48, vitli tioni on Pauagu in Scriptore, ToL ii. d. 2. 

1 ChroD. iii. Bfi, 36. On tht other hand, obaerr. 3. 

BonM which haie no title were not written * Selah i> tianilaled in the Septnagint 

by DaTid, ai cxxirii, which wu not tu^aV^ a paiua in aiiuiiig, or a chug* 

wiitlOD till the Babyloniah c^titilf. in tono. Vid. Hieron. Epiit. ad Uaieel. 

■ Kienn. in Jemn. xxt. and Calmet Dianrt. nir B^ah, 

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probably in imitation of the clirisioD of the Pentateuch.* The 
four first booke of this division terminate with the word Amen, 
the fifth with Hallelujali. Our present order of the Psalms ia, 
perhaps, that in wliicb they were sung in the temple,'' and this 
may account for the occa»onaI repetitions. 

Moses may be considered as the first composer of sacred 
hymns;* all nations seem afterwards to have adopted this mode 
of expressing their religious sentiments, and to hare employed 
hymns in celebrating the praises of their respective deities,^ on 
an idea derived, perhaps, from revealed truth, that they were 
acceptable to the divine nature. 

The composition of sacred hymns was carried to great excel- 
lence by succeeding prophets, but was improved to its highest 
perfection under David ; who, if he did not first introduce, cer- 
tainly established the custom of singing them in public service,* 
with alternate interchange of verse, as in our cathedral service.' 
David was, indeed, a great patron of sacred mu«c ; ' he intro- 
duced many new instruments and improvements in this spiritual 
part of the Jewish worship, which was superinduced over that 
of sacrifice.'' The practice of psalmody must have received some 
interruption irom the suspension of the temple service during 
the captivity.' It was however restored, with lees splendour, by 
Ezra ;" and continued till it received the sanction of Christ and 
his apostles, who themselves recommended the custom by their 
precept and example.' 

* Madnub SiUim. fol. 3. tol. L Hienm. ' Pulm cuiTii. 

PneC in Pulm. jiut. Keb. Verit Hilar. * Em iiL 11 ; Nehem. lij. 2«, 31, 38, 

ProL in pMlm. Hd«[ OHiigiit thi* diviiion 40. 

to the time oF tbc MMnbees. Vid. Prop. > Matlh. xivl 30 ; 1 Cor. iJT. IS; 

iv, in PuliD. Gr^r, Nfii. in Pialm. lib. L Ephe*. >. 19 ; Col. iji. 16 ; Rot. tit. 3, S. 

c 5; lib. iL c. 11 ; 2 Mbcc iL 13, 14. Vid. CHlniet'i Pnlsw, Bonnet, HnmmoDd, 

■> Enlhym. ProL in Pmlm. Comp. Pialmi AUii, Sic All toco] nnd iuatnunental 

:kit. and liiL peiformen were excluded from the Jewish 

* Eiod. IT ; Deut- xuii. lyiugognn after Ibe deitinction of J«rn- 

* Enieb. HiiL EccL lib. ii. c. 17. Pb>r- ulem. The little tinging noir nwd i> at 
mnt de tJaL Deor. Targ. in Pent. L 1. modem intmliicMini. The Jewi, indeed. 
Clan. Ateji. Stroin. lib. vi. Porphyry de conaider it at unproper to indulge in nich 
Alwtin. Hb. It. J. 8. Alex, ab Alex. Oe- expretiiiaii of joy bofore the advent of their 
niaLDier. lib. ir. e. 17. expected Meutoh. The Gennan Jewa, 

* 1 Chno. il 31 ; ivi. <i, 7 ; EmIbi. however, entertain different notioni, and 
xlvji. 9. hare * tnnscid ntabliihmeoL They ha*e, 

' Euaiii II. likewise, tome melndiei, tnppoied to be 

t 1 Chmn. iIt. 42 ; ixiil 6 ; xxv. t ; Ter? ancient ; bnt it ti tbought that the 

3 Chnn, nL 6 ; iiix. 26 ; and Joaeph. AnL andent diatonic note* are presrrvad more in 

lib. fii the pnlmody of out church than in the 

* Angnat de CiTil. Dei, lib. ixiii. «. 1 4. Jewith tyni^oguet. 
Codutc, Catrn. m Pnlni. Pnpp. p. 10. 

,3y Google 


The hymn which onr Sariour sang with his disciplea at the 
conclosion of the last supper, is generally soppoeed to have con- 
stated of the psalms that are coDtiuned between the hundred 
and thirteenth and the hundred and eighteenth inclusire. °' 
This was called by the Jews the great hallel, or hymn, and was 
nsiially sung by them at the celebration of the passover. Christ 
also exclaimed, in his solemn iuTocation on God from the cross, 
in the complaints of the twenty-second psalm," and breathed ont 
hie last sentiments of expiring piety in the words of David." 
" No tongue of man or angel,** .says Dr. Hammond, " can convey 
an higher idea of any book, and of their felicity who use it 
aright." The Christian church has therefore, by divine ap- 
pointment, adopted the Psalms as a part of its service, and 
chosen from its first institution to celebrate the praises of God 
in the language of scripture ;^ and these sacred hymns are indeed 
admirably calculated for every purpose of devotion. 

These expressions and descriptions of the Psalms may seem 
to some persons to have been appropriate and peculiar to the 
Jewish circumstances ; and David, indeed, employs figures and 
allu^ons applicable to the old dispensation. But as in recording 
tempore deliverances and blessings vouchsafed to the Jews, we 
commemorate spiritual advantages thereby signified, we use 
the Psalms with the greatest propriety in our church. We 
need, as an elegant commentator has observed, but substitute 
the Messiah for David, the Gospel for the Law, and the church 

■ Bnitorf. Ut Tilnmi V?n. CoL ri. 1"^^ *^^'^ "^i »lteni«Kly. Singing 

13. Lightfoot, yol iL p. Ui, «44. ™» ■«"' ^Wwarf. introduced into the 

° Comp. Matt. xxTii. 46, with Fu. nil Weilem church bj St AmbrOM ; uid 

I ^ adopted with imprUTemcnta by Qr^oiy the 

"■> Comp. Luke uiiL «, with P«. nri. 0™^ "''" eitabli.hed tho gimye Gregorian 

^ chant which now prcvailH in the Ranuui 

f I Cor. iiT. Ifi ; Ephei. v, 19 ; Colos, «hurch. Cborai niudc wm brought into 

iiL IS ; Jamei t. 18. Conitit Apoil. lib. England by the componiont of Au»tin the 

ii c. 67. Eusab. Hiit Ecdea. lib. iiL c. 33. """^ A. U. 596, and lint eetabliahod at 

Thood. Hint EmIm. lib. ii. c 24. Anguat CanlCTbury. Objeclioni were often made 

Cod£ Ub. ii. a 6. g. 2. Hb. i. c 33. |. 2. "» ""• ™imtry to chureh muiio, but it w» 

Plin. Epiit lib. I. epi.L 97. TertuL ApoL appmved by thecompilsnofKing Edward". 

c 2. p. 3. c 39. p. 56. Fabric. Bib. Gnec. ^'°'e7< and mod after waa composed the 

ToL T. e. 1. The practice of piahn-iinging, formula that now regulate* (with Uttle n- 

ai (ued in our choir, ia derived probably nation) the choral aerrice, which, though 

from the audent alternate chanting of the "ouionally sn»pended till the leatomtion 

Jewi, (Em iii. 1 1 ; Nehem. lii. 24.) an- '^ Char'" '■^•' Second, ha» .ince been uni- 

thoriieJ by the apoallei, and adopted into 'onnly continued. Vid. Mart. Oerbert. 

the MiUeat Chriitian chuichefc It waa Mniic. S«^ Bedford'* Temple Mnaie. 

certainly in.tituted at Antioch, between Hawkuia'a Hiat of Music, Yol. L and u. 

A. D. 347 and 356, by FUmnm and Die- Bimey-a HitL of Huaie, ToL i p. 154, &c. 
donli 1 who divided the choir into two 



of Christ for the chnrch of Israel. We need but conaidet the 
ceremonies and sacrifices of the Law as the emblems of spiritual 
service, of which every part bath its correspondent figure, and 
we appropriate the Psalms to our own use, as the noblest irea- 
snre of inspired wisdom. i They finely illustrate the connection 
which Bobfflsted between the two covenants, and shed an evan- 
gelical light on tbe Mosaic dispensation by unveiling its inward 
radiance. The veneration for them has in all ages of the church 
been considerable. Tbe fathers assure us, that in tbe earlier 
times the whole book of Psalms was generally learnt by heart,' 
and that the ministers of every gradation were expected to be 
nble to repeat them from memory i that psalmody was every- 
where a constant attendant at meals and in business ; that it 
enlivened the social bonrs, an'' softened the &tigues of life. 
The Psalms have, indeed, as lord Clarendon observes, been ever 
thought to contain something extraordinary for the instmctioa 
and reformation of mankind.' 

Kumberless are the testimonies that might be produced in 
praise of these admirable compositions, which contain, indeed, 
a complete epitome of the history, doctrines, and instructions of 
the Old Testament;' delivered with every variety of style that 
may encourage attention, and framed with an elegance of con- 
struction SQperior far to the finest models in which pagan anti- 
quity hath inclosed its mythology. These invaloable scriptures 
are daily repeated without weariness, though their beauties are 
often overiooked in familiar and habitual perusal. As hymns 
immediately addressed to the Deity, they reduce righteousness 
to practice : and while we acquire the sentiments, we perform 
tbe oflices of piety ; as while we supplicate lor the blessiDgs, we 
celebrate the memorial of former mercies. 

Here, likewise, while in the exercise of devotion, faith is en- 
livened by the display of prophecy. David, in the spirit of in- 
spiration, uttered his oracles with the most lively and exact de- 
scription. He expressed the whole scheme of man^s redemp- 

4 Bp. Hocnc'i Pnfiice to Com. an the initniction of jronlh, but conodred it im- 

PhIoh. pMsible to execute, a* abore tbe power of 

' "Pueri modnliintar dami, nri Com eir- haman sbilitieA. Toirro It Smv, ti Stisu 

(DnArunt," nja tn andent writer. Vid. rivot, u ilii .- " bnt thti work niiut be tha 

Duil, et AmbroH PrsL in Pulm. work of it gixl, or of ume diTine person." 

■ Horne'e Prehce. It ii remarkable, ' Luther colled the Pulmi a KnaH Bible, 

that thie book of PialDKiiexBctl; tbe kind The Panlter woi one of tho fint booki 

of frflHc wbich Plato wiibed to lee for the printed after the diKOTcr; of the art. 



tioD: the incamatioD," the paseion, the resurrection,* and as- 
ceDston of the Son of God, rather as a witness than as a pro- 
phet. As an eminent type of his descendant, be is often led, io 
the retrospect of the circnmstances of his own life, to speak of 
those of Christ : while he is describing bis own enemies and 
sufferings, the spirit eolargetb his sentiments, and swelletb oat 
bis expressions to a proportion adapted to the character of the 
Messiah. Hence even the personal safierings of Christ are de- 
scribed with minute and accurate fidelity ; and in the anticipated 
scene of prophecy we behold bim pictured on the cross, with 
every attendant circumstance of mockery and horror, even to 
the "parting of his garments," and to the "casting lots for bis 

David, apprized that the Messiah sbonld spring from his own 
immediate family,' looked forward with peculiar interest to bis 
character and afflictions. In the foreknowledge of those su^ 
ferings which Christ should experience from his "familiar 
friends," and from the numerous adversaries of bis church, 
David speaks with the highest indignation against those ene- 
mies who prefigured the foes of Christ ; and imprecates, or pre- 
dicts, tbe severest vengeance against them.* So ngiial a repre- 
sentative of Christ, indeed, was David considered by the sacred 
writers, that our Saviour is often exprescOy distinguished in 
scripture by his name ; " and tbe Jews themselves perceived that 
tbe Messiah and his kingdom were shadowed out as capital ob- 
jects in the descriptions of the psalmist. Sensible that what 
David uttered, as often not applicable to his own person and 
history,' must have had reference to some future character, they 
transcribed whole passages from them into their prayers, for the 

■ PmL ii. 8 ; AcU liiL 33. Talmad Sa- agaiiut tbe onrigbteoiu enemiei of tbe 
cab. cap. 6. Aben-Eira. R. KimchL chnich. FomTeiieM and mercy lowud* 

' PuL xn. 9 — 1 1. the penon of M> own encmiei wen dii- 

T Pml. iiil. 16 — 18, compued with tinguished puti of Dayjd'i chaiacter, of 

Matth. uriL SS. Burnel'i 10th and 11th which we ice Ter; beautifhl prooGi in 1 

Sermooi In Dojla'i Lectiuea. Sun. nil. 4, 10 ; mxtL 7—13 ; S San. L 

■ as™.™. 12; P«LciiiiL 11, la 17—27; lii. 16—23. He coned only 
* The KTerilj with which David in- thoH whom Ood inatnicted him to cune; 

Teighi againal the wicked, hai hacn eno- and tho chonb, in ila public Knricc,joiiii 

neoutl]' conaidend aa inconuatenl with the in theia cones, aa a rcligiaus lodet;, and 

■pirit of true religion. The paaaaget, how- conuiteotlj with the apint of charity. 

vnt, whieh an objected to on thia icore, ^ Iia. UiL 3 ; Jeiem. zu. 9 ; Eask. 

ace eitbet prophetic threata, or general do- zxiii, 23 i Hob. iii. &. 

mmdaUoni of Ood'a wrath againat un, aa * P«L ivi. 10 ; Tiii. 16 — IS; luii ; 

it ware, penonified. It ia the apirit, laUier and Juatin Hartyr, DiaL L 
than band, which attera iti iniprecationi 



speedy coming of the great object of their hopes ; though, with 
that hliodness that characterizes their conduct with the marks 
of glaring inconsistencj, they deny that these spiritnal aHosions 
are applicahle to the person of our Saviour, and therefore still 
pray, in the words of the psalmist, for the arrival of the Mes- 

Josephus asserts,* and most of the ancient writers maintain, that 
the psalms were composed in metre. They have undoubtedly a 
peculiar conformation of sentences, and a measured distribution 
of parts. Many of them are elegiac, and most of David's are of 
the lyric kind. There is no sufficient reason, however, to believe, 
as some writers have imagined, that they were written in rhyme, 
or in any of the Grecian measures. Some of them are acrostic ; 
and though the regulations of the Hebrew measure are now lost, 
there can be no doubt, from their harmonious modulation, that 
they were written with some kind of metrical order, and they must 
have been composed in accommodation to the measure to which 
they were set.^ The Masoretic writers have marked them in a 
manner different irom the other sacred writings,' 

The Hebrew copies and the Septua^ot version of this book 
contain the same number of psalms; only the Septuag^nt trans' 
lators have, for some reason which does not appear, thrown 
the ninth and tenth into one," as also the hundred and four- 
teenth and the hondred and fifteenth ; and have divided the 
hundred and sixteenth and the hnndred and forty-seventh 
each into two. In the Syriac' and Arabic versions, indeed, and 
also in most copi^ of the Septnagint, as well as in an Anglo- 
Saxon version, there is aDoezed to the hnodred and fifty ca- 
nonical psalms, an additional hymn, which is entitled "a Psalm 
of thanksgiving of David, when he had vanquished Ooliath." 

* Chandler'i Defeoce, ch. 3. sect 2. the wiceDnution in K&ding, but alio lo 
Comp. PuL xxxiL vith lS(h, IGth, leth, ngnlsle the melody in unpng iho pro- 
and uAti prHjen. Houn Rabba. phedes ; and that ai to hign and low, a> 

* JoKph. Anliq. lib. vii. c. 10. Hieron. wcH aa to long and ihort nates. Vid. 
Epiat. ad Panlin. Bnmej'a Hiat. ^ Mnnc, tdL 1. p. SSI. 

* " 'i probable, that the Psalmi wen >■ So that Uie Ronianiils, vho on 

Dririnally divided intu veneB terminating St. Jeiom'a tianihition, rockon one behind 
with the eoncluuon of the lentc, though i» from the ilh lo the ciiilh, and two 
many of the Jewi maintain, that the fimn thence to the cxviih, and agam one 
MaioritM introdaced the dietinetioii. Vid, from thence to the nlviith, from whenca 
- " ~ ■■ lo agree with in. 

n the Sjrriac, that tame add 
L which howcTe 
ot <^j to maik rejected ai withoot anthoiit;. 

n„,-,-T-A Google 


- TIiJB, tfaongh ftdmitte)) by some as anthentic,^ was probably (aa 
it is not in the Hebrew) a spnrioas work of some Hellenistical 
Jew; who might have compiled it out of the writings of David, 
I«uah, and Ezekie). The vermon of the Psalms in onr Bible, 
which was made by the tianstaton employed under James the 
First, is posterior to that printed in onr Pisyer-books, which was 
execated in 1639.' This last, as very exceUent, and &miliarized 
by custom, was retained in the liturgy ; though, as translated 
chiefly from the Septnagint, with some Tariation in conformity 
to the Hebrew, corrupted by the Masoretic points, it does not 
so exactly correspond with the original as does that in onr 

David was the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, a descend- 
ant of that &mily to which God^s covenant was made. He was 
bom about A. M. 2920, and lived seventy years, during forty of 
which he was in possession of the throne of Israel ;° being raised 
by God from an hamble to a conspicuouB station, that the 
genealogy of the Messiah might be displayed, and ascertained 
with more clearness and distinction." He was eminently dis- 
tinguished for every great and amiable quality. The particulars 
of his interesting life are displayed with peculiar minnteness in 
the sacred history ; and many of bis psalms are so cbarocteristic 
of the circumstances under which they were composed, that there 
cannot be a more enga^ng task, than that of tracing their con- 
nection with the events of his history,'' and of discovering the 
occasions on which they were severally produced, in the feeling 
and descriptive sentiments which they contain. If in the suc- 
cessive scenes of his life, we behold him active in the exercise 

^ AtbuL in Synop. olbai udent lenimu, aa il U with tba 

1 IntrodDctioD, p. 20. Thii wai Tja- tnulatjon idoor Bible. In the uiiIbikm, 

dal'i and CoTeidalc'a tmialBUan, comeled then, where tlie Bathon of Aa vendon in 

by Tonilal and Heath. In thii, the fbni- the Lituin htTe nried, in compliance 

tecnih pulm conlaini alavea Tene* ; with Cha Mauretic Bathority, they hare 

whama in tha Hebrew, and in aor Bible, generally erred. Vid. ^. Bictt, and 

it contain! but Kven, (or ntfier eight) JohnKin, al end of Holy Darid. 

The three Tcnei an, howsTer, nnuine, <■ Ha iragned orer Judah Hien yetn 

tiiongh loal frorn the Hebrew, for they am and ui months, and in Jenualem orer 

ID the Septnagint, and are cited bj St. Paul, all Imel and Jndah thirty-three yean, 

Vid. Rom. iiL 13 — IS. being onobted long belbra he came into 

■ Where the tianilaton of the Tertian poueuian of the throne. Vid. S Sam. 

pnbUahed in onr Prnyei-booka haTe laried iriii. 2; and Cbandlei. 

from the Septuagint, and followed the '^ The word David impliei "beloved.** 

Hebrew MaHretic copiei, the Hebrew Vid. 1 Sam. diL 14; and in. IS. ^ 

text, if read without the point*, would be Porleni'a Sermon on Itarid'a character. 

Ki coniiitent with the Septn^nt, and r Delany** lik of DaTid. 



of those yirtnes vhich his piety produced, we here contemplate 
him in a no less attractive point of view. In this book we find 
bim a nncere seirant of God, divested of all the pride of royalty; 
pourioff out the emotions of bis soul, and nnfolding his pious 
sentimeat in every vicissitude of condition. At one time, we 
have the prayers of distress ; at another, the praises and exulta- 
tion of triumph. Hence are the Psalms admirably adapted to 
all circumstances of life, and serve alike for the indulgence of 
joy, or the sootbing of sorrow ; they chase away despondence 
and affliction, and famish gladness with the strains of boly and 
religions rapture, 


The Proverbs, as we are informed at the be^nning, aud ia 
other parts of the book,* were written by Solomon, the sou of 
David; a man, as the sacred writings assure as, peculiarly 
endued with divine wisdom.** Whatever ideas of his superior 
understanding wc may be led to form by the particulars recorded 
of bis judgment and attiunmcnts, we shall find them amply 
justified on perusing the works which remain in testimony of his 
abilities. This enlightened monarch, being desirons of employing 
the wisdom which be had received to the advantage of mankind, 
produced several works for their instruction. Of these, however, 
three only were admitted into the canon of the sacred writ by 
Ezra; the othera being either not- designed for religions instmr. 
tioD, or so mutilated by time and accident, as to have been 
judged imperfect. The book of Proverbs, that of Eccledastes, 
and that of the Song of Solomon, are all that remain of bim, who 
is related to have spoken *' three thousand proverbs ;"' whose 
** songs were a thousand and five ;" and who " spake of trees, &om 

■ Vid. chap, i 1£ ; UT. 1. miiBt Bdnut that mtny of the noinbvr hara 

> Vid. 1 Kingi iU. 13 ; it. 29 — 31 ; periihed. Some )uTa (uppoeed, that the 

xL d ; 2 Chivn. i. 12. phjiica] boolu of Solomon vers eitanl ia 

' Vid. 1 Kiogi It. 33. Joasphu (Antiq. the daya of Alexander, and wen tnnilated 

lib. *iii c 3.) masniiin the account of bj DHMU vf an inlerfireler into the worki 

•eriploie to three UioDaand booka of pny of Aiiatolle and Theophnutea. Vid. Jn- 

lerfaa ; and St. Jeroni at ecronemuly con- cbasin. EnaeMii* (aa ated bj AnaetauDa) 

ceirea, that theae Ihne thooauid ptorerba aa;a that king Heiekiab luppceued Ihem, 

>n contained in the pieaent book ; bat we becauae ibneed by the people. 



the cedar that is in Lebanon, even to the hyssop that epringeth 
out of the wall ;" who " spake also of beasts, and of fowls, and 
of creeping things, and of fishes." If, however, man; Talnable 
writings of Solomon have perished, we have reason to be grateful 
for what still remains. Of hia proverbs and songs the most ex- 
cellent have been providentially preeerved ; and as we possess 
his doctrinal and moral works, we have no right to murmur at 
the loss of his physical and philosophical productions. 

This book of Proverbs contains the maxims of long experience, 
framed by one who was well calculated, by his rare qualities 
and endowments, to draw just lessons from a comprehensive 
survey of human life. Solomon judiciously sums up his precepts 
in brief sentences, which are well contrived for popular inetruc- 
tion.** The wisdom, indeed, of all ages, from the highest 
antiquity, hath chosen to compress its lessons into compendious 
sentences, which were pecnliarly adapted to the simplicity of 
earlier times; which are readily conceived and easily retained; 
and which circulate in society as useful principles, to be unfolded 
and applied as occasion may require. The inspired son of David 
had the power of giving peculiar poignancy and weight to this 
style of writing, and his works have been as it were the store- 
house from which posterity hath drawn its best maxims.* His 
Proverbs are so justly founded on principles of human nature, 
and so adapted to the permanent interests of mau, that they 
agree with the manners of every age ; and may be affirmed as 
rules for the direction of our conduct in every condition and 
rank of life, however varied in its complexion, or diversified by 
Qjrcnmstances.' Subsequent moralists have, in their discourses 
OQ ecumenical prudence, done little more than dilate on tho 
precepts, and comment on the wisdom of Solomon. Grotius, 
extensive as were his own powers, was unable to conceive that 
the book of Proverbs could be the work of one man, and snp- 

' The PronclM of Solomon are culled ■ MRoy of the ncred writera who 

in the Hebnw "Meihaliin," firan bOTD, foUowwl Solomon borrowed bis tboogfau 

Ui!dM\ dommaha at. The word 111117 bo "tnd eiprCTWon. ; and many heathen writer. 

bantUted in>pa» &>(*., -uteitlw ma«™ "• indebted to him (or their bnghl«t 

rata, authoritaliTO maxima, eleyaled pnt- Kntimenta. Vid. Hoot. Prop, iv; wLew 

mpW. Vid. Job ntra. 1. Maim Vet imitationi are produced from Thaognis, 

TmL p, esa. Bacon de Angm. Sdenl. Sophodea, Euripidei, Anaidlaui. Plato, 

They are to bo coneidered aa irenetal Horace, and Menander. 

maiim>, and not ai univenally and invari- ' Sl iJaail «y8 of Ihi. book, iLal it » 

•bly applicable, or ai aliray. tnio in a **J" B'SoffKnAia fitev, "an nnitersal m- 

■txiet uhm without any excepdon^ Mroction (or tlut goTcnunent of hfe." 



poseg it to faaTe been a collection of the finest proverbs of the 
age, made in the same manner as those published by some of 
the emperors at Cktustantinople, and perfected from rarioua 
collections under Hezekiah.* Bat this opinion, founded on 
some rabbinical accoonts, can deserve but little regard. The 
work might, perhaps, compose part of the three thousand pro- 
verbs which Solomon is described to bare uttered, being pro- 
bably digested as far as the twenty-6fth chapter by that 
monarch himself, and afterwards received into the Canon with 
some additions. 

The book may be considered under five divisions. The first 
part, which is a kind of preface, extends to the tenth chapter. 
This contains general cautions and exhortations from a teacher 
to his pupil, delivered in very various and elegant language; 
duly connected in its parts, illustrated with beautiful descrip- 
tions, decorated with all the ornaments of poetical composition, 
and well contrived, as an engaging introduction, to awaken and 
interest the attention. 

The second part extends from the be^nning of the tenth 
diapter to the seventeenth verse of the twenty-second, and 
contains what may strictly and properly be called proverbs, 
given in unconnected general sentences'' with much neatness 
and simplicity;' adapted to the instruction of youth, and 
probably more immediately designed by Solomon for the im- 
provement of his Bon.^ These are truly, to use his own com- 
parison, " apples of gold in pictures of silver.^' 

In the third part, which contains what is included between 
the sixteenth verse of the twenty-second chapter and the twenty- 
fifth chapter, the tutor is supposed, for a more lively effect, to 
address his pupil as present ; be drops the sententious style of 
proverbs, and communicates exhortations in a more continued 
and connected strain. 

The proverbs which are included between the twenty-fifth 

t Ontin* Pr«f. in Prov. Btjle of compoaitioD prodncM great betmtie* 

^ The general icope of the diuonne, in many otber ports of Kripum, when it 

hawerer, mtut be nmembered, eren in the ii emplD^ed for poetical anuigeiiKiit. Vid. 

Lowtb't Prrelen, lii. 

•nilieatioD of detached _.._._.. 

' The praveib* generally consiil of two ' Rehoboam ; though the phi 

nnlence*, joined in a icind of antitheiii ; son" ia only a tarn of general spplioation. 

the KcandbeingMnDelinnearaduplkatioii, Vid. Hebcevi, clup. xii. 3, Michael. 

■nmntinna an eijdamition, and lODietinKi PneL in Lib, 
anoppoutuBin thaaann to thetint. Thii 



aod thirtieth chapters, and which constitate the fourth part, are 
soppoeed to have been selected from a much greater number by 
the men of Hezekiah ; that ia, by the prophets whom he em- 
ployed to restore the service and the wiitinge of the church, aa 
Eliakim, and Joah, and Shebnah, and prol»bly Hoaea, Micah, 
and eren Isaiah,' who all flonrished in the reign of that monarch, 
and donbtlesa cooperated with his endeavours to re-establish true 
religion among tbe Jews. These proverbs, indeed, appear to 
have been selected by some collectors afler the time of Solo- 
mon, as they repeat some which he had previously introduced 
in the former part of the book.*" . 

The fifth part contains the prudent admMiitioas which Agnr, 
the son of Jakeb, delivered to his pupils, Ithiel and Ucal ; these 
are included in the thirtieth chapter. It contains also the 
precepts which the mother of Lemuel delivered to her eon, a» 
described in the thirty-first chapter. 

Concerning these persons whose works are annexed to those 
of Solomon, commentators have entertained various opinions. 
The ori^nal words which describe Agur as the author of the 
thirtieth chapter, might be differently translated;" but admit- 
ting tbe present construction as most natural and jnst, we may 
observe, that the generality of the fathers and ancnent commen- 
tators have supposed, that under the name of Agar, Solomon 
describes himself, though no satiaiactory reason can be asaigned 
for his assuming this name.° Others, upm very insufficient 
grounds, conjecture that Agur and Lemuel were interlocutors 
with Solomon ; tbe book has no appearance of dialogue, nor is 
there any interchange of perscm : it is more probable, that 
though the hook was designed prindpally to cont^ tbe sayings 
of Solomon, others might be added by the men of Hezekiah ; 
and Agur might have been an inspired writer,' whose moral and 

I Vid. R. Moaa KimchL f Tha lecond and third vcnct, though 

■ Corap. du^ IXT. S4, witb ui. 9 ; ths; land, u wcU a* tbe eighth, to frait 

uTi. 13, *jth idL IS; zxii Ifi, with that tlie chapter waa ihI wHlton bj' Sglo- 

udi. 34 i nn. 23, with zriii. 8, Ac tnon, jet by no meaui iuralidate the 

" They might be traiiilated, the wsrdi anthor'a clum to inipiratioii, who here de- 

ef the collector. In tbe Seploasint, where cribei himiclf u devoid of undentiuidiiig 

thi> chapter i* pkued unmedialelj after tbe before he recuied the inflai at divine wit- 

Iwentj-niurth, wa read initead of the fint dom. In the Septuagint, the third innc 

vene, ra S« Xryti 6 iinip roit mFrttmiai eipteiaei a lente directly contrary, 8(ot 

e<f .- uiTiuni/iaj.' "Thuispeaketb thetnan titiSaxf fu eo^uo' an yrttvir ce/my 

la IhoH who believe in Qed, and I ceaie." iyrtma : " Ood hath taught me wisdoui. 

' Vid. Lewth'i iviiith Pnelect. and and I have leanil the knowledge of the 



proverbial Beotences (for rach is the import of the word maata, 
rendered prophecy)'* were joined with those of the wise man, 
because of the conformity of their matter. So likewise the 
dignity of the book is not affected, if we BOppose the last chapter 
to have been written by a different hand ; and admit the mother 
of Lemnel to have been a Jewish woman, married to some 
neighbonriog prince ; or Abiah, the daughter of the high-priest 
Zecbariah, and mother of king Hezekiah ; since, in any case, it 
must be conradered as the production of an inspired writer, or it 
would not have been received into the canon of scripture. But 
it was perhaps meant, that by Lemuel we should understand 
Solomon ; ' for the word which signifies one belonging to God, 
might have been givea onto him as descriptive of his character, 
BDce to Solomon, Qod had expressly decUred that he would be 
a father.* 

Dr. Delany, who was a etrenuous advocate for this opinion, 
declares that he took great pains to examine the objections that 
have been alleged against it, and assures us that they are such 
as readers of the best understanding would be little obliged to 
him for retailing, or refuting. One of the chief objections, indeed, 
rather confirms what it was intended to destroy. The mother 
of Lemuel thrice calls her son, Bar, a word nowhere else used 
tbrougbont the Old Testament, except in the twelfth verse of 
the second psalm;' but this rather proves that Lemuel must' 
have been designed to imply Solomon, because his father is the 
only person who usee the word.' Dr. Delany then conceives 
that the mother of Lemuel was Bathsheha,' and that the com- 
mendation annexed was deugued for her, and he vindicates her 
character as deserving the eulogium. Should some circumstances 
in the description, however, he judged inapplicable to her, there 
is no reason why we should not conceive a general character to 
have been intended. It appears, then, upon a collective consi- 
deration, that the greatest part of the book was composed, and 
perhaps digested, by Solomon himself; that some additions 

•aSam. viL U. chsp. 21. t . 

.1-1 D - .1. m. Tj ■ c » Vid Bbo Bedford, p. 607, CBlniet Mill 

iJ-7* .B"."'tbeChJd«,..gni6™a«D. Locke, wbc «ie of tlie\^e opuiion. Pmv. 

t hov esrl; foreign eipresaioiu 
(if it b« one) Plight tun been adopted 

hate been endued 


pbeey. Vida cl 



were made, priDcipally from tKe vorks of Solomon, by the loen 
of Hezekiah ; and that the whole was arranged into its present 
form, and admitted into the Canon by Ezra. It is often cited 
by the eTaogelical writers;' and the work, a§ it now gtands, 
contains an invalaabte compendiom of instmctions. It is snp- 
posed to have been the production of Solomon when arrived at 
maturity of life ; when his mind bad multiplied its stores, and 
been enlarged by long observation and experience. It was 
probably written before the book of Ecclesiastes, for it seems to 
be therein mentioned.* 

Solomon was born abont A. M. 2971. He succeeded David 
about eighteen years after, and enjoyed a prosperous reign of 
□ear forty years.* Under his government, the kingdom was 
remarkable for its well regulated economy, and its extensive 
commerce. It was so enlarged by his conquests and prudent ma- 
nagement, that " he reigned over,^ or made tributary, "all the 
kings from the river (Euphrates) even to the land of the Philis- 
tines and the borders of Egypt.^" Illustrions men were attracted 
from all parts by his fame for wisdom and magnificence." The 
son of Sirach said of him, that he was " a flood filled with under- 
standing, that his soul covered the whole earth, and that he 
filled it with dark parables."'' The high reputation, indeed, 
which he enjoyed, occasioned many spurious writings to pass 
under the sanction of his name; aa the Psalter, as it is called, of 
Solomon, which consists of eighteen Greek psalms, and which 
was probably the work of some Hellenistical Jew,* who might 
have compiled it from the writings of David, Isaiah, and Ezekiel.' 
Another book, likewise, entitled the Oure of Diseases, mentioned 
by Kimchi ; the Contradictions of Solomon, condemned by pope 
Gelasias; and his Testament, cited by M. Gaumin; with fire 

» Vid. Matt. IT. i; hake lir. 10; 'The Helleniiticsl Jewi were Jewi 

Rom. liL 16, 17, 20; 1 Tbwi. t. 1G; 1 diiparwd in foreifD eountriea, who spoke 

Pet IT. 8 ; T. 5 ; Jamn ir. 6, &c painio. tlie Greek tannuge. 

• Ecd«e. lii 9. r Tbii Pnitei, which, Vkt moat of tbo 

■ The name of SolomoD ii anelogoiu to Helleniatital works, ii full of Uebnunu^ 
PaciGc, aad ia happily deieriptiTe of the ma copied &om an andenl Oroek mano- 
peaceful proaperitj wueh he ODJoyed. The acript in the Augibnrg library by Andm 
nbbiD* condder it a* appellatiTO. Scolto, and published with a Latin veraion 

* 2 Chmn, ii. 26, by John Lawia de la Cerda. Vid. Calmel. 

■ 1 King* X. 30. PreL Gen. aur lee Pieaamea. Theao 
' Eedui. zlrii. U, 16. The ancient* Pgelma appear, Irom the indei at the end 

prided themielvea moch on the knowledge of the New Teatament, to haTO been fbr- 

of pomble* and proTorba. Vid. ProT. i. 6 ; merl j in the Alexandrian nuumecript, 

Wiad. Tiii. 8 ; Ecclua. i 25 i vi. 35 ; xxii. though they hare beni loat or torn from 

' — S. thence. 



other books, mentioned by Al&ed tbe Great in his Mirror of 
Astrology ; and fonr named hy Trithemeoos, which Bavont of 
magical invention, are probably all sparioue; as well ae the 
letters which be is said to have written to Hiiam, and Hiram^e 
answers, though Josephus conmdera these last as authentic* 
The magical writings that were attributed to Solomon, were 
so assigned in consequence of an idea which previuled in the 
East, that Solomon was conversant with magic: an idea 
derived, periiaps, from the fame of those experiments which 
his phyacal knowledge might have enabled him to display, 
bnt which, however obtained, certainly prevailed; for we learn 
from Josephus,'' that many persons, when charged with the 
practice of magic, endearonred to justify tbemselves, by accnsing 
Solomon of using charms ^^nat diseases, and of forming con- 
jurations to drive away demons. Josephus relates, also, that 
one named Eleazar drove away several demons, in the presence 
of Vespasian, by means of a ring, in which vras enclosed a root, 
marked, as was said, by Solomon ; and by pronouncing the name 
of that monarch : and, amidst the superstitious notions that long 
afterwards continued to delude the Eastern nations, we find 
such imaginary influence over evil spirits ascribed to the name 
of Solomon. 

The Septnajpnt and other versions of this book differ occa- 
sionally from the Hebrew original, and contain indeed more 
proverbs, some of which are to be found also in the book of 
EcclesissticuB. The order likewise of the poetical book is dif- 
ferent in the Septuagint' and in some manuscripts, where the 
metrical books run thus — Psalms, Job, and Proverbs. 


This book was unquestionably the production of Solomon, who, 
for the great excellency of his instructions, was emphatically 
styled *' the Preacher." It is smd by the Jews to have been 

■ jMeph. Antiq. lib. viii. up. 2. Jo- wni nmlemporaiy with hii period, vm 

•cphnj gnnindi the BHthentidty of thew ntnnted oa the coatiDeiit 

letters <hi Jewish and Tjriui recordi ; but ^ Vid, Joseph. Antiq. lib. Tiii cap. 2. 

beaidea other nupicioai oicumstaDcet, ' Codci Aleiind. Vid. Qrabe in ProlDg. 

Hiram is repnnented u ipHOiing of Tyre cap. 1. g. 2. HelilO apud Euseb. Eocles. 

M an island ; wheieaa old Tyn, wUch Ilial. lib. ir. cap. 26, &c 

,;, Google 


wtitt«n hj him, upon his awakening to repentance,* after he had 
been seduced id the decline of life to idolatry and sin ; and if 
this be true, it affords valuable proofs of the sincerity with which 
he regretted his departure from righteousness. Some, however, 
hafe ascribed the work to Isaiah.'' The Talmudists pretend 
that Hezekiah was the author of it;' and Grotius, upon some 
vagOe conjectures, conceives that it was composed by order of 
Zembbabel." But we shall be convinced that it should he as- 
signed to Solomon, if we consider that the author styles himself 
" the son of David, the king in Jerusalem i" and that he de- 
scribee his wisdom) his riches, his writings, and his works, in a 
niann4r applicable only to Solomon;* as also that the book is 
attribdted to him both by Jewish and Christian tradition. The 
foreign expressions, if they really be such, wbtch induced Gro- 
tius to consider the book as a production subsequent to the Ba- 
bylonish captivity, might have been acquired by Solomon in his 
intercourse and connection with foreign women.' But the style 
of the work must have oflen occasioned the introduction of un- 
Dsual words.* The later Jews are said to have been desirons of 
excluding it from the Canon," from some contradiction and im- 
proprieties wliich they fancied to exist, by not considering the 
scope and design of the author : but when they observed the 
excellent conclusion, and its conrastency with the law, they 
allowed its pretensions. There can, indeed, be no doubt of its 
title to an admission : Solomon was eminently distiuguiabed by 
the illumination of the divine spirit, and had even twice wit- 
nessed the divine presence.' The tendency of the book is ex- 
cellent, when rightly understood ; and Solomon q)eak6 in it with 
great clearness of the revealed truths of a tiitnre life, and uni- 
versal judgment. 

* Seder Okm Rabbs, c, 1£.t>.41. Hi- ■ HumoQ. More NeTOch. pw. ii. c 67. 

cron. in EoJai. i. 12. Vid. ofio chap. iL Of the vordi produced u foreign b; Qro- 

10; TiL 16, tioi, all «n now aUomd to ba genuine 

>• R, Moiea KimcbL R. Oedaliiu in Hebrew. eie«pl two: Tlii. 1. 11DB, x. 8, 

- B.™ Bathta, t 1. f. 16. Th. Td- f^' ^^^"^ ^^^'i^'^'^'tf' 

iniidiita auppote Heiekiab to hara pro- 
'---' II compiled, tbe three booki of So- 
il likewiee the book of laoiah. Vid. 

ducsd, or compiled, the three book • of So- ».,-„_« _ i on 

lom™!vi,e'thebookofl«aal,. Vid. M^™h r!^;^ ."Ii IlV^™ p;,W 


• Chao i. 1 12. 16- ii. 1 10' riL 25 '" ^^* Abbolh, t 1. col. 1. Some ab- 

OS ^:s I c' J^ o ' ' BDidlT imHained, that Solomon nuintained 

JB: Till, 16: m. V. ,, f ""' rv ... ... 

I 1 v: 1 lo theetemity of the wond. men. L 4. 

'lKmg.i..l2. 'lKi4«m-5t«.2i^9. 



The book is in the Hebrew denominated " CobeUtb,'' a word 
which aigaifies one who speaks in public;^ and which, indeed, 
18 properly transhited by the G-reek word Ecclesiaetea,' or, the 
Preacher. Solomon, as Mr. Desroenz has remarked, seems 
here to speak in a character similar to that of the sophists 
among the Greeks : not, indeed, of the sophists when degene- 
rated into subtle and quibbling wranglem ; but of the sopbista 
who, in tbe dignity of their primitive character, blended philo- 
sophy and rhetoric ;*" and made pleasure subservient to instruc- 
tion, by conveying wisdom with eloquence. Though Solomon is 
not hereby to be considered as having harangued, like the 
common orators of his time, yet, as there can be no doubt that 
he often publicly inetmcted his own people, and even strangers, 
who were drawn by his reputation for wisdom to his court," it is 
not improbable that this discourse was first delivered in public ; 
and, indeed, some passages have been produced from the book in 
support of this opiDion." 

The main scope and tendency of the book have been va- 
riously represented. Mr. Desvoeux, after an accurate discussion 
of tbe different opinions, has pronounced it to be a philosophical 
discourse,^ written in a rhetorical style, and occasionally inter- 
spersed with verses.'* It may be considered as a kind of inquiry 
into the chief good ; an inquiry conducted on sound principles, 
and terminatiDg in a conclusion which alt, on mature reflection, 
will approve. The great object of Solomon appears to have 
been, from a comprehensive consideration of the circumstances of 
human life, to demonstrate the vanity of all secular pursuits. 
He endeavours to illustrate, by a just estimate, the insufficiency 
of earthly enjoyment; not with design to excite in us a disgust 
at life,' but to influence us to prepare for that state where there 
is no vanity.' With this view, the Preacher affirms, that man's 
labour, as far as it has respect only to present objects, is vain 

^ SomB tnj, that ibe word Cohelctli K DeaTwnx PhiloHphkol Mid Critkal 

laeaii* a calWlor. In the Etbiopic toDgue Eanja on Ecde*. 

it impUei B dnie, or coinpuij of nm. 1 Ths Jew* do not ftdmit that Ecdeai- 

' ' EKKXiiauumit. The Hebrew word aites aboold be omadeled w ■ poetical 

lu«, howerer, a feminine tenninadon in work. 

nipect to wiidom, penonified, u it were, ' The tlanichsani, not eonrid<rJng that 

tu Soloinan. human pnmiits ore onlj lo bi nin ai they 

" PhilMtnL ap. Huret in Defin. il Ci- terminate in a praunt object, maintaiDod 

c«n OnL c. 19. tbe eiirtenco of an stiI principle. 

■ Hereei. Pnef. in Ecdu. ■ Angnit. de Cirit. Dei, lib. xx. e. 3. 

> Cbap. xil 9, 13. Ongfu. M^. Ub. it. Hiectm. Fnl. in Eccle*. 
WaLc 4. 



and unprofitable;* that however prosperous and flatterinjf cir- 
cumstances may appear, jet, as he could from experience assert, 
neither knowledgie, nor pleasure, nor magnificence, nor greatnesa, 
nor uncontrolled indulgence, can satisfy the demrea of man ;" 
that the solicitude with which some men toil and heap np pos- 
sessions for descendants, often unworthy, is especial vexation ; 
that it is hetter far to derive such enjoyment firom the gifts of 
Providence, as they were designed to furnish, by being ren- 
dered subservient to good actions :' Solomon proceeds to observe, 
that in this life, " iniquity usurps the place of righteousness;'" 
that man appears in some respects to have "no pre-eminence 
above the beast'' that perishes ; and that the consideration of 
these circumstances may at first sight lead to wrong conclusions, 
concerning the value of life ; but that God should not be hastily 
arr^gned, for that "be that is higher than the highest, re- 
gardeth." Thatevenhere, those who "pervert judgment^ are not 
satisfied by abundance, " bat that the sleep of the labouring 
man is sweet."'' That though the hearts of men be encouraged 
in evil by the delay of God's sentence, and though the days of 
the sinner may be prolonged on earth, yet that, finally, it shall 
be well only with them who fear God.* Solomon then sums np 
his exhortations to good deeds, and to a remembrance of the 
Creator in the days of youth, " or ever the silver cord of life be 
loosed, or the golden bowl be broken;"' when "the dust shall 
return to the earth, and the spirit unto God who gave it." And 
the inspired teacher bids as " hear the conclueioa of the whole 
matter ;" which is, " to fear God, and to keep his command- 

' Campus Gcelei. i. 2, vith Penim, ' Ch^i. iii — ri. 

Sat.i. 1. ■ Chap. Tiii. 11—13. 

■ Or^or. Nyuen. Ham. i. in Ecdea. torn. ■ Cbap, lii. 5, 6. Bj tha nlrei oofd of 

i. p. 376. Salen. Dul. in Ecclei. Bib. vhich Salomon ipeaka in tliii SgniaUrs 

PaUT. in Ecclei. tarn. i. col. 147. Caatal. deKiiption of old age, some nndemaDd the 

Ptsf. in EcdM. Colljer'i Socnd Intaip. Iiumoun otlha body, which »re,M it were, 

Yol. i. p. 339. Prior's Solomon. Iht thrtad of li/i. But the motl judidou* 

'* Chap. iiL 12. SolamDn lerominenda n writen conudec it u an elegant exprenion 

nodenila enjoyment of the good gifU of for the tpiiul mamm', with the nerm uri*- ' 

Providence, and thinki iui£ enjoyment ing from it, and the tilamenta, fibrei, and 

moie leaaonable than an inordinate punoit tendom that proceed from them. Tbia 

after riehei, dc than thote laboure froDi white cord i* hwHned (or ihrunk up) whoa 

which no adrantage ahoutd reault to onr- it ia no longer Fall of ipirita. The golden 

«elTti. Vid. Ecclea. iL 24; riiL 15; ix. bowl ia lUppoaed to mean the pis mater. 

7 — 9; Acta liT. 17; 1 Tim. if. I^. Thia membmne, which coten the bnin, ia 

Dmaat in Ecclea. i. 1 . Osier. Piol. in of a yellowieh eolonr. For bzOmt oipla- 

Ecclea. Horace Cann. IiL ii. ode iL 1^.4. nation of thia boantifol allegory, coiuult 

And Weill's Help to the Undemanding of eommentatora, and Sniitli*a rqpaiin>fua Bs- 

the Holy Scripturea. criAjio). 



mente, for this ie the whole duty of mao ; for Qod shall bring 
every work into jndgmeDt, with every secret thing, whether it be 
good, or whether it be evil."'' 

In the conrse of his discussion of this subject, Solomon 
deviates into some remarks inddentally euggested, in order to 
preclude objections, and to prevent false conclusions. It is there- 
fore necessary always to keep in mind the purport and design of 
the disconrae, which is carried on, not in a chain of regular de- 
ductions and logical consequences, but in a popular and desultory 
manner ; and the connection of the reasoning is often kept up 
by almost imperceptible links. It is necessary, also, to examine 
what Solomon states as his first doubts and hasty thoughts, cor- 
rected by his cooler judgment; and to distingnish what he says 
for himself, from what be urges in an assumed character ; for 
thongh the book be not, as some have imagined,' a dialogue 
between a pious person and one of Sadducean principles, yet in 
the conrse of the work the Preacher starts and answers objec- 
tions ; takes up the probable opioions, as it were, of an encircling 
crowd ; and sometimes admits, by way of concession, what he 
afterwards proves to be false.'' We must be careftil, therefore, 
not to extend those principles which Solomon grants, beyond 
their due bounds, nor to understand them in a different sense 
from that in which they are admitted by him. From want of 
due Gonfflderation of these circumstances and laws, the seotl- 

^ De Stcj AverUs. idt I'Ecdes. De perithed, and that tfaej bsTs no moce b 
Laimaj, tax I'Bedea. c xii. IC. Uaidnin portion od e&rtb. Hence Salomon proce«di 
Ponph. MIC TBcclc*. Wittii PneC Miscel. to eibort to a diicreet enjojmon^ and to 
Sae. c. I B. g. 36, 37. Th« whole force of eclive exertion, tor thai wisdom would find 
Solomon'! reaaoning reata od the doctrine no enplojinent in the grave : that in thia 
of a fiitnn judgment, aa maintained in life Ihera is no eqna] diBtribation, and that 
chap. xii. IS. 14 ; and before, in chap. iiL the time of departure from it ia nncertnin. 
17; vii. 1, 12; zL 9, Ha had admitted Solomonconcludee the chapter withaliielf 
that, aa to this life, there was but "one iUmtration of the final advsntnge and de- 
event to tbo righteoua and to the wicked," liverance to be prodaced by humUe wisdom, 
ch. ii. 1 — 3. The aeven following versea in however overlooked and deapiied inthepie- 
the ninth chapter are wqietimee inppoeed to sent life. Vid. chap, ii, i — Ifl. 
be ipaken in the ouomed chanctei of an ■ Sentimeni de qaelquca Theolog. lur 
Epicnieon. Compare chap. ii. 4— 10, with I'Hiit. CiiLdn P.R. Simon, AmateL 1682, 
Wiid.ill— n. But Solomon might, con- lett. lii. 372. F. Yeard'i Poiaphiaie on 
aiatenHy with the acope of hii own di»- Eoclei. Loud. 1701. Some wrilera nmiD- 
atnne, mainlmn that the only hope of man tain, that all theie poaugei which are con- 
ii dnnng life, and that, in thii Rspect, the udeicd aa objectionable, will itdmit of a 
moat wretched being, a Ucing dog^ ii better geod lenae in constancy with Solomoa'a 
than the greatest monarch, a dead lion ; for difcomne. 

the living having the prospect of dwth, may ' CaitaL Pnef in Ecclet. Not, PUloL 

prepare for it ; bnt the dead have no more Adv. Script. Loc in Ecclet. iii. DnUudin. 

DppiutDnity of pnrchaiing a reward ; that ReflaL lloral, ani I'Ecclea. Oiegor, M^ 

the gntiGation of their pauiona ia then Dial iv. e. 4. 



mente of Solomon have often been perrerted to conntenance &be 
and pernicious opinions;* and from want of attention to tbe design 
of the hook, 08 here described, some writers have had recourse to 
very extraordinary means of reconciling particular passages with 
the main scope and pious conclusion of the work. Hence, to 
vindicate it from any imputations of bad tendency, Olympiodorus 
maintained, that Solomon speaks only of natural things in the 
book, though be intersperses a few moral sentiments; and St. 
Austin endeavours to explain it by having reconrse to allegory ; 
but SDch solutions are not worthy of much attention ; and what 
has been already said will sufficiently account for all difficulties 
that may occur in considering the work. We need but recollect, 
that the style of the book is particularly obscure and vague, 
though unomamented and prosaic ; that the question itself is 
embarrassed with difficulties; and that the desultory mode of 
argument is liable to be mistaken, where various opinions are 
introduced ; and when tbe author diversifies his character, with- 
out accurately discriminating his serious from his ironical remains, 
or objections from bis answers. It must however be wilfiit 
delusion, or perverse sophistry, which selects partial extracts for 
the encouragement of sin, where the dispassionate and rational 
inquirer after truth will find true wisdom and deliberate piety. 


Tub Talmudists have attributed this book to Hezekiah;* other 
writers have, with as little reason, assigned it to Isaiah ; and 
others to Ezra. There are, however, no grounds that should 
influence us to reject the authority of the Hebrew title,'' which 
ascribes it to Solomon ; and, indeed, it is now almost universally 
allowed to have been the epithalamium, or marriage song, of that 
monarch,' composed on the celebration of his nuptials with a 
very heautitiil woman, called Shulamite, the daughter, as hath 

• Witiiiu MiKsL Sbc toin. i. p. SI3, tbe Pnpliet, th« King of Itrael, altsed in 
226. B. Oerherd. in Eiegea. Loc de the qdiit of Prophecy befere the Lord." 
Scrip, p. 166. KidPraf. inCoiii.tom.iii. 1 ' Chap. L 4; ii. 16; iii. 4, 7, 11. Vid. 
331. Lowtli'i Pislect. Poet 24. alio, chap. viiL B, where Michaelis inatcsd 

' Bara Bathn. R. Mo«a Kimchi. of " th; motlier brogght thee fbrtfa," reads, 

* The Chaldee Pataphme halt thit title, " thy mother betrothed thee." Vid, Not. 
"The Song! and Hymni which Solomon in Lowth*! Pimlect. 30. 



been suppoaed, of Pharaoh, aad the faTourite and dlstioguished 
wife of Solomon.'' 

Solomon was eminently ehilful in the composition of song^s, 
and ho is related to have produced abore a thousand ;* of which 
number, probably, this only was attributed to the snggeetion of 
the Sacred Spirit, for this ooly has escaped the waste of time,' 
by being; preserTed in the consecrated Tolome of the scriptures, 
into which it was received as unquestionably authentic ; and it 
has since been uniformly considered as canonical by the Christian 

The royal author appears, in the typical spirit of his time, to 
have designed to render a ceremonial appointment descriptive of 
a spiritual concern ; and bishop Lowth has judiciously deter- 
mined, that the song is a mystical allegory ; of that sort which 
induces a more sublime sense on historical truths, and which, 
by the description of human events, shadows out divine circum- 
stances." The sacred writers were, by God''s condescension, 
authorized to illustrate his strict and intimate relation to the 
church by the figure of a marriage ; and the emblem must have 
been strikingly becoming, and expressive to the conceptions of the 
Jews, since they annexed ideas of peculiar mystery to this ap- 

■' 1 King! iii I, 7 ; ii. 16 — 24 ; Out. hai elegantly nmaiked, that u the word 

tL 13. Comel. a Lapid. ProL c. 1. Light' tedutra daaMe* that doikiDega which pre- 

fiwt'g Cliroa. &c. p. S. Harmet's Com. p. cedm the monuDg dawn, it maj' Gguntiielj 

?7 — 44. Some imagine the bride to hars repicBant the Oentile dailmeu whicb di»- 

been a Tjrian woman ; others a native of pcned b«for« the risng of the Ooipel light. 

Jenualem. Vid. ch. iii. 4—10 ; viii. S. The word Shnhunite i», psrhapi, dorived 

It it objected to the opinion of her being from that of Solomon. Vid. K. JonathBii 

the daughter of Phiraoh, that the bride'i in Talkut. ad 1. Ruam ilL foL 28. col. 3. 
mother !■ mendoDed at at the coart of ' 1 Kinga iv. 32 ; Ecdc«, ilrii. 1 7. In 

Salomon, ^ iii 4 ; nii. 3, 5 ; and that she the Septnagint, the; are uid hare been 

■peaka it a ijitei anpioTided for, ch. viii. five ihouiand. 

8 i and of the pnueauon of a vinejiird ai ' Except, perhapa, Nme received into 
het pordon, ch. riiu 12; rid. Dr. Peicy'i thobook of P>a!ms,a*pouib1;tbeciiTiith, 
new TranaUt. of Sol. Song. HarmBr, how- eXiviii, and cxxiiu Vid. Patrick. 
ever, anppoici a former wife of Solomon to i Lonth's Prsl Poet. 31. Some have 
■peak in the Srat ioitancsg ; and that the conceived it to be enlirel; apiritnal. Vid. 
nneyaid mentioned was Oeier,' which Calov. p. 12, G3. Angaat, da CiriL Dei, 
Pharaoh ii laid, in 1 Kingi ii. 16, 17. to lib. viL cap. 20. Bemaid Serm. L in CanL 
have "given for a preaent nnlo his daughter, p^ 748. Ohus. Pbitol. Sac lib. v. cap. 20. 
Solomon's wife." The bride calls herself Bat it apparent!; had a reference to an 
black, tboDgh she repiesenta her darkness actual marriage. The book is fbll of elegant 
■a the conaeqnence of eiposnre to the aun ; oIIuhodb to the drcanutances of the mar- 
aud Volne; maintains, from a pauage in riaga cenmon; among the Jews, Then 
Herodotus, and his own obseryadon, that are some partieulors which appl; onlT to 
the andent Egyptians were black. Voyage the literal senae, as there aie others which 
en S^ el Egrot, vol. i. p. 17S. If a correspond only with the figoralivB inler- 
Oentile woman, Jie was more appositely a pretation. 
iigDce of the Gentile chnrch ; and Patrick 



pointifieiit, and imagined that the marriage oniQD vas a coun- 
terpart representation of some original pattern in heaven. Hence 
was it celebrated among them with very peculiar ceremooies 
and solemnity; with every thing that could give dignity and 
importante to its riteB." Solomon, therefore, in celebrating the 
circnmstancee of hie marriage, was naturally led, by a chain of 
correspondent reflections, to con^der that spiritual connection 
which it was often employed to symbolize ; and the idea must 
have been more forcibly suggested to him, as he was at this 
period preparing to build a temple to God, and thereby to 
fiimish a visible representation of the Hebrew church. 

If this account be admitted, there is no reason why we should 
not suppose that the Holy Spirit might have assisted Solomon 
to render thb spiritual allegory prophetic of that future connec- 
tion which was to subsist with more immediate intercourse 
between Christ and the church, which he should personally con- 
secrate as his bride. If the predominant idea which operated 
on the mind of Solomon, were only that affinity which at all 
times was supposed to subsist between God and the Hebrew 
church, yet as that church was itself the type of a more perfect 
establishment, the descriptive representation of Solomon had 
necessarily a prophetic character ; and the Sacred Spirit seems 
to have often suggested allusions and expressions more adapted 
to the second, than to the first establishment. Whether the 
song, however, were typically or directly prophetic, it is unqnes^ 
tionable that this elegant composition had a predictive, as well 
as a figurative character. The whole of it is a thin veil of 
allegory throwo over a spiritual alliance; and we discover every- 
where, through the transparent types of Solomon and his bride, 
the characters of Christ and his personified church, portrayed 
with those graces and embellishments which are most lovely 
and engaging to the human eye. 

This spiritual allegory, thus worked up by Solomon to its 
highest perfection, was very consistent with the prophetic style, 
which was accustomed to predict evangelical blessings by such 
parabolical figures; and Solomon was more immediately fur^ 
nisbed with a pattern for this allusive representation by the 
author of the forty-fiflh psalm, who describes, in a compendious 



allegory, the same future connection between Christ and his 

It was the want of sufficient attention to his character in the 
Song of Solomon, whidi is, perhaps, the most figurative part of 
scripture, that first induced the rabbinical writers to dispute 
its authority, in contradiction to the sentiments of the earlier 
Jews, who never questioned its title to a place in the Ganon.^ 
It must likewise have been a perverse disregard to its spiritual 
import, which has occaBioned even some Christian authors to 
consider it with a very unbecoming and irreverent freedom,' It 
has been weakly objected, by those who would invalidate its 
pretensions, that the name of God is not mentioned throughont 
the work ; but this obserTation must have arisen from want of 
reflection on the design of the anthor, which was to adumbrate 
divine instruction, and not directly to inculcate what other parts 
of scripture so forcibly describe. There is, in fact, no reason to 
qaestion its pretensions to be considered as an inspired book, 
since it was indisputably in the Hebrew Canon ; and is seem* 
ingly referred to, if not absolutely cited by Christ and his 
apostles," who, as well as the sacred writers of the Old Testa- 
ment," take up its ideas, and pursue its allegory." 

But though the work be certainly an allegorical representa- 
tion, it must be confessed that many learned men, in an unre- 
strained eagerness to explain the-song, even in its minutest and 
most obscure particulars, have too far indulged their imagina- 
tions ; and by endeavouring too nicely to reconcile the literal 
with the spiritual sense, have been led beyond the boundaries 
which a reverence for the sacred writings shonld ever prescribe. 
The ideas which the inspired writers famish concerning the 
mystical relation between Christ and his chnrch, though well ac- 

Malm wai pouiblj Michoelii, who iiat 

■a of Solomon'! mu- much scape to buej ii 

riwa with the daughter of Pharaoh. book. Vid. Not. in Ix>wth'B Picelect. 30. 
' Though not eipreisly mentiooed by " Comp. Cant. It. 7, with Ephe*. t. 2?! 

Philo 01 Jnephue, it mtut hare be«n one Cant Tiii. 1 1, with Matt. ixi. S3 ; Cant. 

of the twenty-two booki redtoned as ouio- i. 4, with John ri. ii ; Cant. t. 2, with 

mialb; the latter. It wa* in the cartieit Her. iii. 30; Cant. vii. 1, with laalah lii. 

cstakniiea of the ncied hooki reonTed b; 7. 

the Christian church, id that of Melito, in ■ Isaiah liv. 5; Ld. 10; liii. 4, 6 ; Ezak. 

hit letter written to Ooeaiima abont A. D. xvL and ixiii ; Hoi. ii. 16, 19, and Pro- 

140,BndinOrig«n'scatalogiie. Vid.EnHb. pheta, pasnm. 

Hiirt. lib. iT. cap. 26 ; lib. vi. cap. 2S ; and ' Matt. ii. 15 ; xiii 3, 25 ; John iii. 

■ ■ ~ . teeeJTed by tho eounca of 29; 3Cor.iLaiOaLiv. 22— 31; Ephes. 

,1.69. V.23— 27; Rer. lii. 7; axil. 17. 
) Grotius, and eien the learned 



commodated to onr apprehedeions, by the allnsion of a marriage 
tiDion, are too general to illustrate every particular contained in 
this poem ; which may be supposed to have been intentionally 
decorated with some ornaments appropriate to the literal con- 
struction. When the general analogy is obvious, we are not 
always to expect minute resemblance, and should not be too 
curious in seekiog for obscure and recondite allusions. The 
Jews pmdently forbade their children to read it till their jadg- 
ment was matured .i* lest in the fervour of youth they should 
give too wide a scope to fancy, and interpret to a bad sense the 
spiritual ideas of Solomon. The book, though placed last in 
order of his works, appears to have been written by that monarch 
in his yonth; in the fiili warmth of a luxuriant imagination.** 
Solomon, in the glow of an inspired fancy, and nnsuspicioos of 
misconception, or deliberate perversion, describes God and his 
church, with their respective attributes and graces, under co- 
lourings, familiar and agreeable to mankind ; and exhibits their 
ardent aficctioo under the authorized figures of earthly love. 
No similitude, indeed, could be chosen so elegant and appodte 
for the illustration of this intimate and spiritual alliance, as 
the marriage union, if considered in the chaste simplicity of its 
first iDStitutioQ, or under the interesting circumstances with 
which it was established among the Jews/ 

Those who imagine that Solomon has introduced into this 
hymeneal song some ideas inconustent with the refinement of a 
spiritual allegory, do not sufficiently consider that the strongest 
affections of the mind, if properly directed, are chaste and 
honourable. The reciprocal description of the bridegroom and 
bride, and the impassioned language in which they express their 
mutual attachment, are compatible vrith the strictest purity of 
conception ; and they are employed to represent respectively, 
spiritual perfections, and spiritual pasdons, with the greatest 
propriety. The figures and expressions of Solomon have, indeed, 
lost their original dignity and decorum, because they have ia 
later times been often abused to a falsome and depraved sense. 
The judicious reader will, however, carefully discriminate be- 

>■ And the aum iMtrictioa pieniled in 4 Saloaon married Fharsah'i dau^lar 

the primitive ChriBtun ebnnb. Vid. On- tiiwirdi the b^iiuuag of hi* reign. Vid. 

gen. Prsf. in Cant. IlieroiL id Enk. IKingeiiLll. 

Theodor. Opei. tDm.i.|i. 198. Wol£ Bib. ' Celmet. Dinert nir Ira Muriw» de> 

Hebr. p. i-26. Uebieui. 



tween the genuine import of language, and ite perverted appli- 
cation. The sentiments, likewise, of Solomon, were unquestion- 
ably chastened with that reserve and delicacy which, among 
the Jews, was attached to the consideration of the marriage 
union ; and the book does not appear to contain any allusions 
ofiensiTe to that character of the institution which rendered it 
an apt representation of the sacred connection. 

This book may be conddered, as to its form, as a dramatical 
poem,* of the pastoral kind. There is a succession of time, 
and a change of place, to different parts of the palace and royal 
gardens. The personages introduced as speakers, are the bride- 
groom and bride, with their respective attendants, together, as 
Bome suppose, with the sister of the bride ;' and, if the inge- 
nious theory of Harmer be admitted, the first and degraded wife 
of Solomon," whom he considers as the figure of the Jewish 
chnrch. There is certainly an interchange of dialogue, carried 
on in a wild and digressive manner, and the speeches are 
characteristic, and adapted to the persons with appropriate 
elegance. The companions of the bride compose a kind of 
choms, which aeeme to bear some resemblance to that which af- 
terwards obtained in the Grecian tragedy," Solomon and his 
qoeen sometimes speak in assumed characters, and represent 
themselves in fictitious circumstances, Tbey descend, as it were, 
from the throne ; and adopt, with the pastoral dress, that simpli- 
city of style which is favourable to the communication of their 
sentiments,^ The style, however, is not more simple than 

■ OrwD. >p. Hieron. torn, rii, Sol 63. wfacwe ungen in the templs MTviee com- 
Ong. t^sBni. Orat. cxni. p. SOS. poied h sort of chonu. 

■ If the bride benelf be coniidend u ' Thii book wu certunl; known to 
ibg figure of the ChrUtian church, the lii- TheocritnB, who wu B contemporary with 
t«T DUi}r be anppowd to repre«V any the Septuagint tissilaton ; and who might 
jonngEr church riling under ita protection, haie been made acquainted with it b; Pto- 
The bridegroom, when consulted upon what leni; Pbiladelphus, wboie patronage and 
■honid be done for ihia aiiler, girea a Sga- regaid Cor literalnre the poet celebialea. 
raeiTB account of the ineajuret which ahould It iB erideiit that iiuiny eipreuiona, imagea, 
be taken to preaene her purity acd Btfety. and Bentinimta, in the Idyllin, are copied 
Some Bttribate the tenth vem to the bride ; &i>m the ncted poem. Comp. Cant. L 9, 
and Hnne to the niter, profeadng to hare with Theoc. iviii. 30; Cant. n. 10, with 
derived ttcength from the eounlensiMe of Theoc iviiL 36 ; Cant it. II, with Theoc. 
the bridtsroonu Vid. chap. viii. 8—10. n. 26, 27 i Cant iv. IS, with Theoc. i. 7, 

• Ch. iLSiiiLI. HBrm.Coui.p.4J,Sc. B; Cant. ii. 15, with Theoc. i, 48, 49; 

" The original ehonii of the Gneks, CanL L 7, with Theoc. li. 69 ; Cant t. 2, 

which was the fonndation on which their with Theoc. iL 127 ; Cant viiL 6, 7, with 

drama was built, wa> an inilitution of a ro- Theoc ii. 133, 134, and Theoc Tii 56; 

ligioui chancteri and it might poaaibly CanC, il 8, 9, with Theoc viii. 88, 89; 

ham been derired &om an intimation of Cant viii. 7, with Theoc xiiiL 25, S6, 

lome aamd appoiotmeDt amoDg the Jevri, Vid. Wedey in Job, diii, ir. 

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elegant. The poem, indeed, abounds tlironghotit with beauties, 
and presents everywhere a delightful and romantic display of 
nature,' painted at its most interesting season with all the en- 
thusiasm of poetry, and described with every ornament that an 
inventire fancy could fiimish. The images that embellish it are 
chiefly drawn from that state of pastoral life in which the 
Jews were much occupied ; and to which Solomon, mindful of 
his father's condition, moat hare looked with peculiar fondness. 
It is justly entitled "a song of songs," or most excellent song, 
as superior to any composition that an uninspired writer could 
ever hare produced; a eong which, if properly understood, must 
tend to purify the mind, and to elevate the aGTections from 
earthly to heavenly things. The booh is certainly composed 
with metrical arrangement. The Jews admit its title to be 
considered as a poem, though not, indeed, on account of its 
structure or measure, but because they regard it as a parable, 
which, according to Abarbinel, constitutes one species of the 
canticle or song.* 

There have been many difierent divisions of the book : some 
conceive that it naturally breaks out into seven parts ; and the 
learned Bossuet has observed, that it describes the seven days 
which the nuptial ceremony" (as, indeed, almost all solemnities 
among the Jews) lasted, during which time select virgins at- 
tended the bride, as the bridegroom was accompanied by his 
chosen iriends.*' 
BoBsnet^s distribution of the work is as follows.'' 
The first day, chap. i. — ■ ii. 6. 

second day, chap. ii. 7. 17. 

third day, chap. iii. v. 1. 

fourth day, chap. v. 2. vi. 9. 

fifth day, chap. vi. 10. vii. 11. 

sixth day, chap. vii. 12. viii. 3. 

seventh day, chap, viii 4. 14. 

' Hamier, finm > cootidenitioii of ihe were metrical, and marked them particular. 

aeeneiy here described, >uppo«« lie mar- ly a> luch. Bat other hooki, eqnilly metri- 

riage la hare heeii celehrated in the ipnng, lal, ai ihe Canticle* and the Laioentatiimi, 

wben " Ihe teoder grape" began to qipeai, they noted with ptixaic accentuation ; and 

lomrda the latter raid of A[ral. See Com. tht Jewi coniider theie booka a* pronic 

p. IM, 15S. compoiitioni. Vid. Mantiasa. Diis. ad Idb. 

■ Tba Uaaoretic wrilen, wlia teem to Caaii, p. 4i3. 

haTC been but little acquainted with the na- ' Oen. nix. 37 ; Jndg. vj. 16, 17 ; To- 

tore of the ancient Hebrew mcanire, admit- Ut viiL 19, SO. 

ted that the Paalmi, ProTerbi, and Job ' Cant. I 4; iL 7i t. 1; Jadg. xIt. 11 ; 



BoBBDet BupposeB the seventh day to be the Babbath, because 
the bridegroom is not represented as going out to his usual 
occupations. This division is at least probable, as it throws 
some light on the book. Some have conceived,* that these 
periods are figurative of seven analogous and correspondent 
ages, that may be supposed to extend &om Christ to the end of 
tlie world : which is a very unauthorized conjecture, and justly 
rejected by the most judicious commentators. 


Thb second of those great divisions under which the Jews 
classed the books of the Old Testament was that of the 
Prophets." This, as has been before observed,'' comprehended 
ori^nally thirteen books ; but the Talmudical doctors,' rejecting 
BrUth, Job, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 
the Chronicles, as hagiographical, reckon only eight prophetical 
books ; calling those of Joshua, of Judges, of Samuel, and of 
Kings, the Four Books of the Former Prophets ; and those of 
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve lesser prophets, (com- 
prised in one,) as the Four Books of the Later Prophets : by 
which means they deprive some books of a rank to which they 
are entitled ; and by parting Buth, Nehemiah, and Lamentations 
from the books to which they were severally united, enlarge the 
catalogue of their canonical books. As the rabbinical notions 
concerning the degrees of inspiration cannot be allowed to afiect 
the dignity of any of the sacred writings,** and as the pretensions 
of every book are severally considered in a separate chapter, it 
is unnecessary to examine the propriety of snch an arrangement 
in this preface ; in which it is designed to treat, in a general way, 
of the character of the prophets, and of the nature and evidence 
of that inspiration under the influence of which they wrote.* 

FnL xl>. 11; MatL ix. 15) ixr. 1; Joho ed aatlioc of wMch chancteriiea the uran 

iii. 29. The Eriendi af the bridegnom may dtiya b; a difierent divinon. 

be coniidend u the rapmentattTea of an- ■ A> Cocceius. 

gds, piDpheta, and apeitlea ; and the frieodi * JoaepL coat. Apion. lib. i. 

of the bride are iieiintiTe, perhapi, of the * Introdiict. p. 10. 

fonoven of the c^orch. The; are called ' Bava Bathra, c 1. 

the danghten of Jenualem. ' OUuiiu DiipuL 1. in Pnlm. ex. 

* BoHaBf* PrreL et Con. b Cant, and ■ Introdoction, p. S. 
New Tnma. of Sdomwi'i Song ; the leam- 

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Ihe prophets were those iltastrione personB who were rused 
np by God among the Israelites, as the ministers of his dispensa- 
tions. They flonrished in a continued saccession for above a 
thousand years;' all cooperating in the same desigtis, and con- 
spiring in ODe spirit to deliver the same doctrines, and to pro- 
phesy coDceming the same future blessings. Moses, the first 
and greatest of the prophets, having established GodV first 
covenant, those who followed him were employed in explaining 
its nature, in opening its spiritual meaning, in instructing the 
Jews, and in preparing them for the reception of that second 
dispensation which it prefigured.' Their pretensions to be con- 
radcred as God's appointed servants, were demonstrated by the 
unimpeachable integrity of their characters, by the intriDsic 
excellence and tendency of their instruction,** and by the dis- 
interested zeal and undaunted fortitude' with which they pen 
severed in their great designs. These were still farther confirmed 
by the miraculous proofs which they displayed of divine support,^ 
and by the immediate completion of many less important pre- 
dictions which they uttered.' Such were the credentials of their 
exalted character, which the prophets furnished to their con- 
temporaries ; and we, who, having lived to witness the appear- 
ance of the second dispensation, can look back to the connection 
which subsisted between the two covenants, have received 
additional evidence of the inspiration of the prophets in the 
attestations of oar Saviour and his apostles," and in the retrospect 
of a germinant and gradually maturing scheme of prophecy, 
connected in all its parts, and ratified in the accomplishment of 
its great object, the advent of the Messiah. We have still 
farther incontrovertible proof of their divine appointment, in the 
numerous prophecies which in these later days are fulfilled, 
and still under our own eyes continue to receive their com- 

Though many persons are mentioned in scripture as prophets, 
and the Talmudists reckon up fifly-five" whom they concave to 

' Luke L 70 ; reckoDiiig from Hum to L 10 ; In. ruriii. S, 

UalachL ■ Dent. rriiL 23 ; 1 Sun. ii. 6 ; 1 King* 

■ HatL xL 13; I Muc. it. iS. Coari. xiii. 3 ; Iniab ilii. 9 ; Jerem. xxtiii. 9; 

Uram. iu. g. 39. Muhc Sotah, cap. nit. Enk. ixiiiL 33. 

Uumon. Baitiner. Oem. Sanli. cap. 1. g. 3. " Luke L 70 ; iriii. 31 ; AcU vji. 42 ; 

^ Dent. xiiL I — 3. xiii. 11 ; Ram, iri. 2S; Eph«. ii. 20; 

' OrigeiLconLCeli. lib.Tlu.p.336.edit. 2 Pit L 21. 

Cant. ' iDehMag Hren propbetmo. Vid. 

^ J«li. X. 13 ; 1 San. lii, 18 ; 2 Kinga Oem. Mua. MegU. 

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bare been entitled to this distinction, we are coDcerned only 
with those whose books have been admitted into the Canon ; 
who are eminently styled Prophets," as they were unquestionably 
inspired with the knowledge of iiitore events ; whose writings 
have been preserved for the permanent advantage of the chnrch, 
as descriptive of the economy of the divine government, as 
franght with the lessons of revealed wisdom, and as bearing 
incoDtestible evidence to the truth and pretensions of the 
Christian religion. 

The nature and character of that inspiration by which the 
prophets were enabled to commnnicate divine instructions and 
predictions, has been the subject of much disquisition. With 
respect to the mode by which the Holy Spirit might operate 
on the miderstanding of its agents, when employed in the com- 
position of sacred writ, we can form no precise ideas, as we have 
no acquired experience to assist our conceptions ; we can judge 
of it only by its effects, for of the invisible agency of a divme 
power we can have no adequate apprehension. There is caase, 
however, to suppose that the Spirit operated chiefly on the 
reasoning faculties of the mind, however the imagination might 
be kindled by its influence. It appears rather to have enlightened 
the intellect than to have inflamed the fancy .<* The prophets 
themselves, as men neither vidonary nor enthasiastic in their 
previous character, as not acting under the bias of any gloomy 
or superstitious notions, could not have been liable to be deceived 
by the delusions of a clouded or intemperate imagination.'' 
They mast themselves, by the strong eflects of divine impulse, 
have been sensible of a supernatural control, and they must 
have been capable of deciding on its character by the clear and 
distinct impressions which they received. They must have been 
convinced of their own inspiration by the discoveries of an 
enlightened mind, as well as by that spontaneous and unwonted 
facility with which they delivered their important convictions. 

As to the extent of this inspiration, and whether we are to 

' II(io^VTi|>i pnpitla, from ■po-fOTOi, vpo^irmi ii employed bj St Paul ijnoni- 

> irpo^^** to foreleU." The ucred writers iDDual; with the IaUd ward vala, "a 

■pidied tli« word «'33, Nabis, with gnat nmnirian," or "poeL" Vid. 1 111. i. 12. 

btimde, u wen to blse propheH, aa to Selden. de Diii Syri* Syntag. ii, c. 3. 

tho« idolatraiii prieeta whom they oalled Maimon. More Nevoch, p. iii. c. 29. 

ptopbet* of the grove. Vide 1 Kingi iTiii, ' Mftimon. More Nevoch, p. ii. c 3fi. 

19, 22. It appean, likewiie, to hare been ^ Geom. Schab. Zobu. CoL 408. 
•ome^mei Died in the tame Iook khw u 

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conader it aa general or restricted, it most be remarked, that as 
it wonld be absurd to suppose that the Spirit goided the prophets 
only bj occasioiui] and desultory starts, and partially enlightened 
them by imperfect commaDications, so we cannot but admit 
them to have been uniformly under its influence ; and, in conse* 
quence, to have been invariably preserved from deception and 
error, when engaged in the composition of the sacred books. 
The Spirit did not oertsioly deprive them of the use of their 
{acuities, so as to render them the mere instraments of con- 
veying the voice of God, hut it superintended and guided them 
in the exercise of their own understandings; sometimes in- 
stracting them by immediate revelation, and sometimes directing 
them in the commanication of that knowledge which they had 
derived from the ordinary sources of iDteUigence/ 

We are authorized, it is true, in the scripture, to conclude 
that the Holy Ghost (who, in his appropriate character, was 
more immediately an agent in communicating inspiration)' did, 
indeed, *' speak by the prophets ;" but we are not, therefore, to 
consider the spirit of inspiration as one person of the ever-glorious 
Trinity, dictating to the sacred writers every sentence and 
expression of scripture, but rather as a gift of God, a divine 
iafluence which opened their understandings to a discernment of 
the will of God. This miraculous power may he represented to 
our conceptions, as to its effects, under different points of view ; 
it may he described, first, as analogous to a light shining on the 
minds of the prophets, and disperung those mists which the cor- 
ruption of human nature had engendered ; which enabled them 
to read those natural principles that were originally engraven on 
the mind; which awakened their faculties to a more lively 
perception of truth, and aaristed their reason to act as free from 
prejudice and restraint. It most be considered still &rther, as 
instructing them, by an influx of divine knowledge, in those 
truths which could be obtained only by immediate information 
from God; or, under one collective description, it may be re> 
presented as guiding and conducting the prophets, by various 
means, to the knowledge of all truth, human and divine. When 
they wrote historically, there could be no necessity for a revela~ 
tion of those events of which the knowledge might be obtained 



by their own observation and inquiries.' They recorded what 
they theiUBelvee bad seen, or, on some occasions, what they had 
received from unqaeBtionable documents or credible witnesses, 
the Spirit indeed bearing testimony. The prophets generally 
take care themselves to inform us what they derived immediately 
from Ckid, and to distinguish what tbey speak in their own 
characters as recording historical events, or even as reasoning 
from the doctrines which had been revealed unto them. Still, 
however, it is not inconsistent to maintain, that they wrote 
under the influence of uniform inspiration ; that is, tbey were 
uniformly guided by a divine spirit, which enabled them by 
various means of intelligence to discover truth; and to select 
and record with sincerity what might be consistent with their 
designs. And whenever they communicate divine instruction 
concerning the attributes and designs of God, describing par- 
ticnhirs which could not be the objects of human sagacity or 
memory, tbey most have derived their knowledge by positive 
revelation from above." 

Divine revelations were obtained by various ways : for with- 
out dilating on the internal irradiation above mentioned, and 
without following the Jewish writers' in their distinctions con- 
cerning the different degrees of inspiration which assisted the 
authors in the composition of the prophetical or hagiographical 
books respectively,' we may observe, in agreement with the 
accounts of scripture, that though the divine revelations were all 
equally infallible, yet that a greater degree of illumination was 
imparted to some persons than to others ; ' and that this con- 
ferred a proportionate dignity on the prophet so favoured. The 
more important commtmications were likewise sometimes fur- 
Dished with more conspicuous evidence of revelation, as the 
dispensation imparted to Moses was introduced with a corro* 

> The pnphett wen, howeTcr, lometimei called Prophctj, and wMeh ifu obtaiDsd 

enabled to docribe pB*t eienU by im. by dreomi and Tisiona ; and, 3. That which 

mediate levelation ; and the word propieq/ they call Snach Haikodcab, by which the; 

ia applied to the diacoTeiy of patt diciun- mppOK the Hagiognphi to haie been in- 

atancta obtained bj iDpemaliUBl meuu. ipiied. The Jewuh notiona, howeier, 

Vid. 1 Sun. ii. 20 ; 3 Kingi t. Sfi, 26 ; thoagli wmetimet jjort, ara generaltj very 

Uatt. nri. 6. Huct. Defio. ii. Witaitu fancSiil. Vid. Mumon. Mora Naioch, p. 

de PtofhM. lib. i. e^. 2. iL c 4fi. 

* StKkhonae'a Pre&ee to the HitL of > Absrbin. ia Eniah, c. it. Haimon. 
Kbl^p. 26. de Fond. Leg. o. 7. 

* The moat kaned Jewi admit three ■ Namb. xii. 8; D«nt zziiT. 10( 2 
iKgtem of inapiratiim I 1. The Ondiie King* ii. S ; Heb. i. 1. 

Hotaicua; 2. That vhich 1* pecnliariy 



spondent display, and anperior solemnity. The predictions of 
Moses were not more certainly fulfilled than those uttered by 
Isaiah; yet is the fonner personag^e positively declared in scripture 
to have been bonoared by an higher revelation, in the expression 
of having conversed with God " face to face,"' than was Isaiah, 
or any subsequent prophet, whose illaminatioD was obtained 
from dreams or visions. 

The revelations which are related in scripture to have been com- 
municated to the patriarchs, sometimes without any specification 
of an iotermediate agent, and sometimes by the ministry of angels, 
have been frequently supposed to have been conveyed in dreams 
and visions, without any actual appearance. But certainly some 
of the relations respecttog these cannot but be understood in a 
real and historical sense ; as that, for instance, in which Ch>d is 
described as having addressed Adam in Paradise," and that io 
which the angels are represented to have appeared to, and to 
have conversed with Abraham ;' in both of which, as well as in 
some other cases,'' it must be admitted that the absolute ap- 
pearance of some divine personage, the Deity, or bis angelical 
representative, is intended in a strict and positive sense ; as it 
should seem, likewise, that God sometimes addressed his servants 
by a voice from heaven,' without any visible manifestation of 
himself or bis angel. 

When communications were obtained from aa absolute con- 
verse with the Deity, every particular contained m them must 
have been precisely and distinctly revealed ; and hence the in- 

■ Kiod. uriii. 1 1 . ancient Jewi, likewiae, anppaaed that the 
*> Ota. iii. H. intcaded Mnsiah appcarad oi the repre- 
' GcQ-iTiii; bIk> Geo. irii. 1—3. It Bentati.e of Jehorah. VLd. AUii. Jndff. of 
u probable, that wbereTcr Odd ii uid to Jew. Chureh, c 13, U, 15. Jaitin. Mart. 
have appeared, it is to be undentood that Dialog. 249—266, 408. sdiL Tliirib. 
he appeared by Bome meuenger, the repre- "■ Nnaib. niL 22 — 36. 
aeatative of the divine Majett;, and an- * Gen. "ii . 1 1 ; Eiod. xi. 22 ; DenL 
thorized to ipeak in God'a name ; tbii ma; iv. 12. This mode of leTcJation was called 
be collected from John i. 18, and T. 87. by He JewB^lp fD, Bath Col.Filia Vods, 
Vid. Gen. ivi. 7, 13; ixjL 1, 11; Jndge. the danghter Toieo, or danghler of a Toke, 
Ti. 11—33, and other places, where the because when a roice or thunder came out 
Lotd and the Angel are words interchange- gf hesTen another Taice came ont of it. It 
ablynsed. Vid. August, de Trinit. c. 11. j, i,j [h™ .opposed to have succeeded 
11 was luuTcrsally believed in tbe ancient prophecy, and to haye conveyed instruction 
chureb, that aU those divine appearances gftgr the death of Malachi. It certMnly 
described in the Old Teitament, whether dislirguisbed the dawn of the Oo^l dis- 
actual or in vision, were made by the Logos, pensalion. Vid. Matt. iii. 17; ivii. 5; 
or second person of the Trinity. Comp. John iji. 28, 29. PiAe R. Elleier.c. 44. 
Isaiah VI. 1, with John iii. 41. Vid. Joseph. Areba»L lib. iiii.c, 18: and Light- 
Ball's Defens. Fid. Nic. c. 1. sect. 1. The fiNit in Matt. iii. 17. 

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etractioDS imparted to Moses were bo remarkably perspicnous 
and explicit. No succeeding prophet under the Jewish dispen- 
sation conld, indeed, boast of so intimate and unreserved a cor- 
respondence Tvith the Deity as that illustrious legislator enjoyed ; 
though unquestionably some were favoured with diviue revela- 
tions imparted by the ministry of angels, who seem, from the 
accouDtn of scripture, absolutely to have appeared and conversed 
with them,' notwithstanding the Jewish writers consider all 
these relations as descriptive of visionary represeutations ; main- 
taining that Gxh] comprehended in his address to Aaron aud 
Miriam, every mode of revelation by which he designed to en- 
lighten the prophets that should succeed to Moses.' 

The institution of the Urim and Thummim, which was coeval 
with the time of Moses,'' furnished the means of obtaining 
divine information to his contemporaries, as well as to Joshna 
and others who succeeded him, till the building of the temple, 
or possibly till the captivity.' As we know not in what manner 
this mysterious ornament contributed to procure divine instruc- 
tion — whether, as some have supposed, it furnished intelligence 
by the briliiaacy and configuration of its inscribed characters, or 
whether, as is most probable, it was the consecrated means ap- 
pointed for the attainment of answers by an audible voice" — we 
are still certain, from the nature and verity of that information, 
as given upon important occasions, that, like all other modes of 
divine revelation under the Jewish economy, it was clear and 
perspicnous. As far as it was designed to instruct the people 
in public concerns, it conveyed precise directions ; and its pre- 
dictions of future prosperity or punishment were delivered, not 
like those of the pagan oracles, in ambiguous and equivocal lan- 
guage, but in appropriate and express declarations. It is certain, 
also, that independently of those communications which the 
high-priest obtained by the Urim and Thummim, God did 
furnish instruction to others by atr articnlate voice, which pro- 
ceeded from between the two cherubims above the mercy-seat in 

' Jo«boa». 13 — 15; Judgeiiiii. 3, 13 — think thai it wu appropriato to the theo- 

SO i Jcb ixxTiiL 1. aacj ; wme inugiuD that it itopped aFter 

I NoDib. liL 6. MumoD. Hoce Neroch, the buildiiiK of the tempta. It canliDaed, 

P- iL c 41. pouibly, tiil the destrnetiaii or the temple, 

33 ; Numb. ixriL 21. and it wu expected to reriie after the cap- 

ht, tivity, (Em iL 36; Nehem. ril 65,) though 

whea the conaultatloi] probably it did not. 

by the Urim and Tbummim ceased. Some ^ Judgea i. 1 ; 3 Sam. T. 23, 24. 

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the tabernacle,' in a manner allnnve, posmbly, to the circnmstance 
of God's Bpeakiog by angelB. 

The other modes by which God vouehsafed to reveal his in- 
structions to the prophets, were those of dreams and visiona.'" 
With respect to dreams, they were sometimes imparted as ad- 
monitions from God to persons who had no title to the prophetic 
character." In these cases they were doubtless lees distinct in 
their impression, and rather calculated to strike and amaze, than 
to enlighten the mind. Those who received them either waited 
their esplication in the event, or applied for their interpretation 
to persons who were endued with a portion of the divine spiiSt ; 
and the power of explaining dreams appears to have been an 
eminent characteristic of the prophets.' 

The dreams which revealed tiitnre scenes to the imaginations 
of the prophets were doubtless very forcible, and evidently pre- 
dictive. They are supposed by the Jews to have been introduced 
by the immediate efficiency of an angel, who either addressed 
the prophets by a voice, or pictured narrative circumstances to 
their minds: but however it might vary in its circumstances, 
this mode of commanioation by dreams must have always con- 
veyed very distinct impressions. When no voice was heard, 
and information was to be collected from some parabolical 
scenes, the dreams were probably characterized by a lively and 
regular succession of objects, and by an accurate display of intel- 
ligible particulars. They must have excited respect, as differing 
widely from the wild and indeterminate ftincies, the vague and 
incoherent images that constitute ordinary dreams. 

In visions, which the Jews considered as a mode of instruc- 
tion superior to dreams,'' the prophet was convinced of his sub- 
jection to a divine power by the miracnlous suspension of his 
common Acuities; for though on these occasions the inspired 
person was awake, his senses were entranced,'' and insensible to 
all external objects ; or so &r enraptured, as to be alive only to 
impressions from extatic representations.' He was likewise 

' Eiod. xiT. 22; Levit. L 1; Numb. Fhilo Judse. rtpi rof Bwwttirrinit *tnu 

viL 89 ; ix. 9 ; 1 Sam. iii- 3—31 . rovt iftifMivt. OemariaU in Bancbotb. c 9. 

" It ft remarkable, that Homer enn- Osn. zl ; Dan. St. 

meratea thre« modea of obtaiaing diTine ° Jerem. xiiii. 28. 

communicatiani, whkli coneapond with <■ Maim. More NcToeh, par. ii. cqi. 45; 

thoae appointed for the coDTejsQce of rere- and Bajley 't Euay on Inspiration. 

lationa to Qod'i (elected people. Vid. Iliad. i Numb. xnv. IG. 

lib. i. 63, 63. ' laaiah ri. 1; Eiak. zL 3; Dan. liil. 

■■ Maimon. Nor Neroch, par. ii. r. 41. 17, IR: x. S; Ada x. II. 

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often certifiecl, as in dreams, by distinct admonitions of some 
particulars readily ascertained, and enabled to foresee some cir- 
cumstances which immediately came to pass. 

la all the cases here described, the prophets could not, with- 
out doubtinff the clearest and most palpable evidence, distrust 
the truth of the rerelations which they received ; and with re- 
spect to us, we have ample reason, from a collective considera- 
tion of their writings, to be. convinced that their inspiration was 
accompanied with sufficient characters to distingui^ it from the 
dreams of enthusiasm, or the visions of fancy.' The accomplish- 
ment of their predictions, and the purity of their doctrines, are 
indeed irrefragable proofs of their divine appointment to pro- 
phesy, and to instruct mankind. 

Upon all occasions on which the prophets are related to have 
been iavonred with an intimation of the divine will, we Snd that 
they betrayed no symptoms of a credulous or heated imagination. 
Cautious and deliberate in their examinatiou of miraculous reve< 
latione, they appear to have hesitated at first as doubtful of their 
reality; and often required a sign, or some additional evidence, 
to ratify the commission which they received, and to authorize 
their reliance on the divine support in its execution. This calm 
and rational temper, which rendered the prophets distrustful of 
their own senses if singly addressed, and solicitous to scrutinize 
the reality of every appearance, however miraculous in its cir- 
cumstances, demonstrates clearly that they wore not the dupes 
of their own fancy ; and that they expected no reverence for their 
commission, unless characterized with the saoctians and authority 
of diTJoe appointment ; and very striking marks of this disposi- 
tion were displayed by the prophets, as may he instanced in the 
case of Moses,' in that of Samuel," and in that of Jonah.' 

Under the immediate influence of the impressions which the 
prophets received from these communications, they appear to 
have executed their commission by ottering their instructions 
with a divine enthusiasm. Enraptured by the effects of that 
inspiration which had enlightened their minds, and urged by the 
efficacy of a controlling power,^ they delivered their predictions 
in an auitnated and impresdve manner, and often with some 

I Im. izL S ; Jtren. xx. 9 ; Don. x. 8; 
> Eiod. iii. and It. Aido* iii. 8, 



bodily actions and geetares.* These naturally accompanied an 
earnest delivery of important convictioDB; and, as restricted in 
consistency with the dignity and venerable deportment of the 
prophets, they were very different from those frenzied and ex- 
travagant gesticulation 8 by which impostors have sought to 
recommend and enforce their fantastic rhapsodies.* 

The word prophecy is often used in scriptnre to signify the 
singing of praises to God in hymns doubtless of inspired excel- 
lence, and occasionally animated with predictions of futurity.'' 
The spirit of prophecy, in this sense of the word, appears some- 
times, by God's permission, to have communicated itself to those 
who heard others prophesy, the divine afflatus being conveyed 
by a kind of sympathy and harmonious affection.' The pro- 
phets who were educated in those schools of which the institu- 
tion is attributed to Samuel,** were principally employed in this 
spiritual service ; and thus, by being exercised in habits of piety, 
and duly attuned and sanctified for the reception of the divine 
spirit, they seem to have been often favoured and enlightened 
by its suggestions. The more remarkable prophecies, however, 
which referred to distant periods, which received their accom- 
plishment in afler-ages, and still continae to excite our admira- 
tion, were delivered by persons often indeed selected from these 
schools, but evidently endued with a larger portion of the 
spirit, and more eminently distinguished by the marks of 
divine favour. 

Such were the principal, if not the only modes by which God 
vouchsafed to reveal himself to the prophets; always, we have 
seen, in a manner consistent with the greatness of his attri- 
butes, and with the dignity of the prophetic character : and all 
those commanications which in scripture are said to have been 
derived from God without any particular description* of the 

> NambL zxiv. 4, 16j Euk. iiL U; ° lSaiii.x.5— 10;iii.2a— 24. Smith'i 

HabaLkuk iiL 16. R. Alba, % iu- c 10. Diu. on Ptophccf. And Lomrtli'i Pndect. 

Sduth'iDiM, Poet. 18. p. 325. 

' ChryKMt. Homil. xrii. in I Cor. Hi- ' Puttct to tha MCODd book of Sumd. 

enn. PrsC in Nsbum. and Prolog in Ha- ■ Aa whsD we an told, " Tfaui lailh iha 

bac Locan, lib. v. SeboL in Plntnm. Lord ;" or, " Tbe word of tbe Lord came ;" 

Ariatopb. MneU, lib. Ti. Plato in Timamm, wbich ii MmetiniM applied to penona not 

Jamb, de Mjvt. aecL 3. e. 9. Epiphan. adT. endaed witb the prophedc cbaiacler. Tlieae 

Hter. 1. iL a. 1 . c 3. p. 404. eipreaaioni imparl anly, that tbe initrac- 

* Hammond on Lnke i. 67. Numb. li tiou waa coniejed b; tbe meana then ap- 

25. Tbe Cbaldee Panphraat tranalatea pointed, whether bj aagel, urini, prophet, 

OW3], " piaiaing Ood." 1 Chran. xxr. L oi dream, Vid. Q^ xxiL 1, witA Calmet. 



manner in which they were conveyed, must l>e underatood to 
have been received by one of those channels which have been 
here pointed out. 

The prophets, as might be expected from the distinguished 
marks of divine approbation which they received, seem to have 
been rangularly qualified for the sacred ministry. It is not 
meant to include in this confflderation those persons of con- 
demned or amhiguouB character, who are represented in scripture 
as compelled occasionally to give utterance to the suggestions of 
the Sacred Spirit; but confining ourselves to a contemplation of 
those who are declared to have been appointed servants of God, 
and whose inspired writings still continue to instruct mankind, 
it may be affirmed, that in the long and illustrious succession 
fivm Moses to Malachi, not one appears who was not entitled to 
considerable reverence by the display of great and extraordinary 
virtues.' Employed in the exalted office of teaching and re- 
forming mankind, they appear to have been animated with a 
becoming and correspondent zeal. No unworthy pas^ons nor 
diaingenuons motives were permitted to interfere with their 
great deigns. Not, indeed, that they were always directed by 
the guidance of the spirit to nndeviating propriety of life, since 
it ia manifest that they sometimes acted as unassisted men 
subject to error; but notwithstanding those failing^ which their 
own ingenuous confessions have unveiled, it appears, that in ge- 
neral their passions were controlled in subjection to those per- 
fect laws which they taught, and that the strength of their 
convictiona rendered them insensible to secular attractions. 
When not Immediately employed in the discharge of their- sa- 
cred office, they lived sequestered from the world in religious 
communities,' or wandered "in deserts, in mountains, and in 
caves of the earth," distinguished by their apparel and by the 
general simplicity of their style of life.'' They were the esta- 

Jothui. 1; 1 Kings iiL II; J<r.i.2 — 1; More NaToch, p«r. ii. c 36. Vid. alio, 

Hmw L 1, &C. Mnimon. Hon Neioch, Origen. cont. UeU. lib. tu. p. 336. edit. 

par. H. c 41. Cantab. Oem. Penc c. S. The rale, 

'2 Pet. LSI. The HebceiT docton col- howerer, ii not univemll; tine, Vid. 

lect liiu general rule from a cDniidemion Numb. ixir. 

«r llie cbuBcten of the propheta, that tbe * There were Khooli of the propheti at 

nirit of pmphec; noTer rated upon anj JeraHlem, Dethel. Jericho, Ramah, and 

bat a holf and win man, one whoee fn- QilgaL Vid. 2 King* xxH. U ; 2 Kings 

■ioni were allayed. Vid. R. Albo Maam. ii. J ; 1 9«n. lii. 20 ; 2 Kings ir. 38. 
HL «. 36. Porta Mowa in Pocoek'i Workt. » 2 Kings L 8 ; jr. 10, SB ; yi. ] j In. 

AhuUn. Pnc£ m lii. Prophet. Mainen. xx. 2 ; Matt. iii. 4 ; Mob. xL 3S ; Rer. xi. 3. 



blished oraclea of their country, and cDngulted upon all occauons 
vheQ it wtm necessary to collect the diyine will on any civil or 
religionB question ; and we hear of no schisma or divieoons while 
they floariahed. They even condescended to inform the people 
of common concerns in trivial cases, in order to preclude them 
from all pretence or excnse for resortin^f to idolatrous practices 
and heathen divinations; and they were always fnniisbed with 
some prescribed mode of consulting God, or obtiuned revelations 
by prayer;' for we are not to suppose that they were invariabty 
empowered to prophesy by any permanent or perpetual inspira- 
tion.' These illustrious personages were likewise as well the 
typaa as the harbingers of that greater Prophet whom they 
foretold ; and in the general outline of their character, as well 
as in particular events of their lives, they prefigured to the Jews 
the future Teacher of mankind. Like faim, also, they Uboured, 
by every exertion, to instruct and rechum; reproving and 
threatening the Binful, however exalted in rank, or encircled by 
power, with such fearless confidenoe and sincerity, as ofteo 
excited respect. The most intemperate princes were sometimes 
compelled unwillingly to hear and to obey their directions,' 
though often so incensed by their rebuke, as to resent it by the . 
severeflt persecutions. Then it was that the prophets evinced 
the integrity of their characters, by zealously encountering op- 
pression, hatred, and death, in the cause of religion. Then it 
was that they firmly supported "trial of cruel mockings and 
scourgiugs ; yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They 
were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain 
with the sword : they wandered about, destitute, afflicted, tor- 
mented ; "" evil entreated for those virtues of which the memo- 
rial should flourish to posterity, and martyred for righteousness, 
which, whenever resentment should subside, it would be deemed 
honourable to reverence." 

The manner in which the prophets published their predictions, 
was either by uttering them ^oud in some public place, or by 
affixing them on the gates of the temple," where they might be 

■ Jerem. luiii 3. ' I King* zJL 21—34 ; nii. 2—6 ; n. 

* Mwukhi. Man NeTocb, pltm ii. of^ 42, 43 ; ixi. 27 ; 3 CbntD. UTiii. 9—14. 
36, and 4fi. Mowa ud (n« mme ■>;) ■ HeL ti. 36, at acq .; June* t. 10. 
Darid wen mi^oted to ba eiceptioiu to " Matt, iiiii 27 — 29. 
tkii remaik, and to bm been palpetiiallf ' }a. tu. 2 ; iii. 10. Hawd, lib. tL p. 

ioipind. I GI. 



generally teen and read. UpOD some important occasionB, when 
it was nece88ary to rouee the fears of a diBobedieni people, and 
to recall them to repentance, the prophets, ae objects of uoiversal 
attention, appear to have walked about pabUcly in sackcloth, 
and with every external mark of humiliation and sorrow. They 
then adopted extraordinary modes of expressing their convic- 
tioDs of impending wrath, and endeavoured to itwaken the 
apprehensions of their couDtry by the most striking illastration 
of threatened punishment. Thus Jeremiah made bonds and 
yokes, and put them upon his neck,"* strongly to intimate the 
subjection that Ood wonld bring on the nations whom Nebvchad- 
nezzar should subdue. Isaiah likewise walked naked, that is, 
without the rough garment of the prophet,i and barefoot,' as a 
sign of the distress that awaited the Egyptians. So Jeremiah 
broke the potter's vessel,* and Ezekiel publicly removed his 
household goods from the city,' more forcibly to represent by 
tbese actions some correspondent calsmities ready to fall on na- 
tions oboozions to (rod's wrath ; this mode of expressing im- 
portant circumstances by action being customary and familiar 
among all Eastern nations. 

The conduct of the prophets upon these occeaions must be 
considered with reflection on the importance of their ministry, 
and with great allowance for difference of manners in their 
time ; and then will this mode of prophesying by actions appear 
to have been not only very striking and impressive, but strictly 
agreeable to the design and decorum of the prophetic character. 
It has, however, been atrenuously maintained, that many actions 
attributed to the prophets, and even some of those which have 

p Jhvul xxriL It ia dene, Erom tbo ao- which meani at iDteirala dniiiig tint time. 

connt in the Dcxt cbaptec, uut Jeremiah Some think that we ihould nnd^land tbne 

put the joke on hii own neck. Vid. chap, daya ; a jeai being aometimei placed in pro- 

zxxriiL 10. So also, I Kinga iiii. II; phelie language for a day. Othere nuuntain, 

Acta xiL 1 1. But, at to Mnd bondi and that the Hebrew text, agreeably to the Ha- 

yokei may imply only Eguratjrcly to pre- soretic ponctoatian, oppliw the three jeara 

diet caplhrity, it ii not neceusry In >uppou not to Iiaiab'i walking, but to the calamity 

that Jemniah literally MBtyokeaandbonda thereby foreihewn; and the Seventy, St. 

Id all the kinn enmncnited in the account, Jeroin, and our old Engliah leniani adopt 

le foretold their 6ite ; pcrhnpa tiii» conitrudion. Others, Uatly, <""- 

, or 81 n parable related by laaiah. 
faix i. p. *70. Waterland'i Tract! on ' Jerem, lit 

Jerem. iniL 23. ■ Eaek. liL 7, compared with 2 Kin^ 

* In. n. Noimer^ Obterrat ToL IT. p. xxr. 4. 6, when tho aecompliahment of thia 

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been here represented as real, were not actually performed ; 
and that many of tbese accounts should be considered as parables 
related by tbe prophets; or as descriptive of transactions in 
vision, intended strongly to impress tbe imagination of the 
prophets, and to inform them symbolically of those things in 
which they were to instruct tbe people." So very positive have 
been the sentiments on both ddes, of those who have supported 
these oppomte opinions, that it would be presumptuous to decide 
on the subject. The prophets themselves sometimes inform us 
ooly of certain commands which they received, withoot ex- 
plaining whether they understood them as fi^rative instructions 
to be described to the people, or whether they literally obeyed 
them. This appears in the account given by Ezekiel, in which 
he informs us, that be was directed to make a mimic portraiture 
of a siege, and to continue a great length of time lying on bis 
side ; as also in that in which he declares himself to have been 
commanded to shave and to consume bis hair." Tbe nature of 
these injunctions seems to import only some figurative instmo- 
tions given and obeyed in vision.' At other times, the prophets 
describe not merely the precept, but the transaction, with parti- 
culars 80 minutely and circumstantially detailed, that we might 
be led to admit a positive historical sense, did not the difficulties 
and inadequate advantage of an actual performance tend to 
4emonstrBte that the scene must have been fictitious. Thus, 
however circumstantial be tbe relation of Jeremiah relative to 
bb concealment of the girdle, it is difficult to conceive that Ood 
should command the prophet to take two such long journeys* 

■ When it ii nid, (liat " the hand of be lindicated from all objictiani. E»kid 

tbe Lord vtA upon the prophet," or " the might hare been miincijaml; enabled to 

vord of the Lord tame unto Mm,'* it ii bear the Gitigoe of lying bo long on hie 

genenllj thought that a viijon ii deicrib- aide ; and the objection of Maimonidee to 

' ; and where the initnictioD of the the reality o' ' 

prophet only waa dcrigned, the tranaaction EritDlonB, for thongh i( wni unlawfid for 

waa probably confined to the ecene of the the prieat to ihave, (vid. Leiit. iit. 6 ; 

piopnefa imagination. Vid. Gen. it. 4, Ezelc. liir. 20.) the Uw might certainly be 

S; Jerem. i. 11, 13; inii. 1—4 ; nir. diipenaed with, by God's command ; and, 

1 — i ; Eulc. iii, 22—27 ; Tiii ; xiivii. as uncnatomary, it niuit have been more 

* Eiekiel 'u. and v. lemarkable ai a lign. The portiBitnre of 

r It ii not poaitively awertad that tbeae the aicge, aa repmented by the prophet, 

injnnclioni were not literally execDied, but whether it wen real or viuonary, wai do- 

that probably they nerer were, tince Euluel acriptireof the circnntalancei that Dccorred 

doei not profeu actuall; to have performed at Uie taking of Jenualem, Compare Eadc 

ifaem i and the nature of the thing leema to 1 — 3, with Joaeph, Antiq. lib. x. c 1 1, 

proie, that they were acted only in the "Jerem.iiii. "Abait," iajtMaimonidea, 

imagination of the prophet. But if the ma ipirit of haity and indigi^ant piety, 

hiatoricsl aenae be reoeiied, it certainly may "ut Deua Prcqibelat anoi atullia vel EbiUa 



merely for the purpose of thi» typical Ulustratioo.* Nor was it 
possible, withoat miracles multiplied for a purpose which might 
as well have been effected by a prophetic vision, that Jeremiah 
should make the various nations which he enumerates drink of 
the cup of fdrj, which he professed to have received at (i^od''s 
hand.'' These transactions, if performed in vision, might be 
described by the prophets as signs and intimations to those 
whom they addressed. The people would not indeed be so 
strongly affected thereby, as if they had really witnessed the 
performance of these actions ; and it must be added, that where 
the circumstances do not absolutely authorize us to suppose that 
the prophet speaks of transactions in vi^on, and where the 
action might reasonably and advantageously to the prophet's 
dedgns be literally performed, it is more couBistent with the 
rules that should be observed in the interpretation of scripture, 
to admit a literal and positive construction.' 

It is now necessary to consider more immediately the writings 
of the prophets. It is probable, from the variety of style observ- 
able in these, that the Holy Spirit suggested in general only 
the matter, and not the words, to the prophets;*' and this idea 
is confirmed, when we reflect that our' Saviour and his apostles 
cited in general more according to the sense than to the letter of 
scripture,* and commonly from the Septuagint version, at least 
when it did not differ from the Hebrew original. Moses is by 
some supposed to have been an exception in this particular, and 
to have received the very words and phrases in which the com- 
munications that lie obtained are described/ But this remark 
must at least he confined to the decalogue, of which the laws 

rimilet leddat" Bat thii jndidoiu writer a directioQ to the prophet, initrncting him 

appeoa to jadge too precipitately, ind cod- fignratiTely to predjd Ood*! anger ; iind the 

titij to the DpinioD a! i.a countrymen, prophet may be nippooed to have obayed 

where he delenninei that, whenerei these it in a ligaratiTe MnM. 

■cttoDi on lepieaented h; vay of parahle ' Wituns MitcaL Tol. i. p. 94. Oansor. 

m amilitiide, thej mnit be oudentood bb Intnd. par. iii. p. £0. Pocock on Uoeot, 

TifioDary trannctiDni. Vid. More NeToch, ch. i 3. Smith'! Diic on Propbeey, eh. 6, 

par. ii. c. 46. Hieron. Pnxem. in Owe. Jenkini'i Reaiooab. ToL JL p. SO. l^e- 

Stillingfleet'i Letter to a Deiit, p. 131. niacher OhierT. PhiloL f oL iL p. 70. Waler- 

■ From Jenmlem to the Euphntea wru land's Tnct*. Warbnil Div. Legat. liU 

■boat two hundred leagnea. Bochart con- ir. mcL 4. 

csirei, that ta the initial letter of lumea ' Maimon. Hore Nerogb. par. u. cap, 

and ptacea ia often dropped, the Hebnv 29. Origin. EpUt. ad African, 

word piralli, may atand for Ephnth, or ' Abartiinel in Jer. xtix. 

Eidiratah, which waa Bethlehem, about >ii ' Biahop Hard on Prophecy. Holden'a 

— 1„ t — I 1 — v.i Bochart. Paraphraae on Iiaiah. Lowth on laaiah. 

Oper. Poit. p. 956. WbStby's Prebc« lo Coo. Uem. Saohed. 

» Jerem. nv. 15— 29. Thii might be 



were graTea on the tablets by Qod bimBelf; and eren in the 
recapitalatiou of these in Moab, Moses yariea a little in the ex- 
pressions, to intimate, probably, that the seDse, and not the 
letter, is the important object of attention. Upon all occasions, 
however, when the prophets were addressed by an audible voice, 
doubtless they recollected by divine assiatance every word and 
expression in which the revteled instructions were conveyed. 
Where they collected their ioformatioD from the representation 
of hietoglyphical circniDBtaoces in dreams and visions, they were 
probably left to express in their own language the things which 
they had beheld. And hence is the style of every prophet more 
or less conspicnous, according to the nature and clearness of the 
revelation imparted to him,* and likewise characterized with 
peculiar discriminations resulting from education, and particular 
interconrse and habits of life. It cannot however be denied, 
that sometimes the prophets were instructed in the very expres- 
sions which they should use ; " and when writing under the in- 
fluence of that inspiration which dictated whatever was condu- 
cive to the promotion of Ood's designs, they delivered both senti- 
ments and expressions of which they themselves understood not 
always the full importance and extent.' Sensible of the predo- 
minating power,^ they communicated their divioe intelligence as 
tiie Spirit gave utterance; conveying prophecies of which 
neither they nor their hearers, probably, perceived the fUll scope, 
nor foresaw distinctly the spiritual accomplishment; writing for 
the advantage of those that were to come after, and to furnish 
evidence ia support of a future dispensation. 

The great object of prophecy was, as has been before observed, 
a description of the Messiah and of bis kingdom.' These were 
gradually unfolded by successive prophets, in predictions more 
and more distinct. They were at first held forth in general 
promises; they were afterwards described by figures, and 
shadowed out under types and allouve institutions ; as well as 
clearly foretold in the fiill lustre of descriptive prophecy. A 

( Zuhuy't, Eiclud'i, Hid Itaiiel'i ' Jcnm. xt. 9i Ewk. Hi. 14. 
pnplMOgj m ■ometimc* obKiin. from the ' Hatt. xxti 56 ; Lokc i. 70 ; zriiL 3) ; 

niDldtiids of imagei repremitad to thnr hit. 44 ; John L 4S ; Acts iii. 18, 34 ) 

" ^iniitioin in tiiit "" " '"" '" "■' "" " ■" — ' " 

M Cor. H. 18. 

> Din. Tia. 13, 14, 26, 37; liL S; 

ir. xiii. S~12 ; t Pet. i. 10, 1 1, 12. 



complete explicatioD of the scripture types would require more 
compass than can be here allowed. It may howerer be observed, 
by way of general illustration, that the remarkable personages 
under the old dispensation were sometimes, in the description of 
their characters and in the events of their lives,*" the representa- 
tives of the future dispensers of evangelical blessings, as Moses 
and David were nnqnestionably types of Christ." Persons like- 
wise were sometimes descriptive of things, as Sarah and Hagar 
were allegorical figures of the two coTeDants." And on the other 
hand, things were used to symbolize persons, as the brazen serpent 
and the paschal Iambi* were signs of our healing and spotless 
Redeemer. And so, lastly, ceremonial appointments and legal 
circnmstances were pre-ordained, as significant of gospel institu- 

Hence it was that many of the descriptions of the prophets 
had a twofold character : bearing often an immediate reference 
to present circumstances, and yet being in their nature predictive 
of future occurrences. What they reported of the type was 
often in a more signal manner applicable to the thing typified \' 
what they spoke literally of present, was figuratively descriptive 
of future particulars;' and what was applied in a figurative 
sense to existing persons, was often actually characteristic of 
their distant archetypes.' Many passages, then, in the Old 
Testament, which in their first aspect appear to be historical, 
are in fiwt prophetic, and they are so cited in the New Testa- 
ment, not by way of ordinary accommodation, or casual coinci- 
dence, but as intentionally predictive, as having a double sense, 
a literal and mystical interpretation." 

This mode of wrapping up religious truths in allegory, was 
practised by all nations.' It was familiar to the Jews, and 
agreeable to their ideas of the nature of the scriptures.^ It 

■ HatL ni. 10. compL witli Jolin liii. le ; Dan. iL SB, 37. 

■ Eick. HDT. 23. Vid. alio, Matt. iL ■ Pnln* and Pn>phet>, pouun. 
14; H*b.Ti.20; ril. 1—3. • Pxdiii xiii. 16— 18, to. 

<> OaL iT. 23—31, ani Rom. Iz. 8—13. • Comp. Hows il 1, with Matt. ii. 15. 

' John iu. 14. Camp, abo, Ezod. xii. ' Clem. Alei. Strom, lib. *. 

46, with Jolm xiE. 36. ' Pnlm ndi. 18; Ecdna. xlvitL ID; 

■• 1 Cor. Z.1— ll;HeI>.TiiL6;ii4i; and Hsde'a Diic c 26. Acta <rai. M. 

I Pat. iu, 20, 32. Enieb. Pnep. Knng. Mdman. More Neioch, jart !i. i^ 43. 

Ub. riiL e. 10. Lowtb't Pn&ce ta Comni. R. Daiid Kinchi oa Ho«a i. 4. in fiemid. 

on Pnnheta. Lowth'a Pic&ce to Iwah. tar Rab. in Voirin on Png. fL p. IM. M. 

Vid. Ju the AtKounti of Enodu and B. luaelie, apea laraelia, aect. SS. Philo dc 

Laridcni. Vit. Contem. p. 893. Joiq>b. Antiq. lib. 

' PaJm iiL 4, 5, 6 ; il. l,7~I0;CBn. iii. cap. 9. Origan, c Cela. lib. ii. p. SB. 

(idea; Lament, iii. I— SOj Pa^ Ui. 9, Cbandler'a Def. aect fi. di. 3. 

,;, Google 


gives, likewise, great interest and importance to the ancred 
book ; in the perusal of which the diligent are daily recompensed 
by the discovery of more admirable contrivance and nnexpeeted 
beanties ; the intimate analogy which was concerted between 
the Jewish and the Christian chnrch rendering this figurative 
display strikingly proper and curious. 

Beddes those historical passages of which the covert allusions 
were explained by the interpretation of die gospel writers, wh« 
were enlightened by the Spirit to nnfold the mysteries of scrip- 
ture, the prophets often uttered positive predictions, which, in 
consequence of the correspondence established between the two 
dispensations, were descriptive of a double event, however they 
might be themselves ignorant of the fall extent of those pro- 
phecies which they delivered. For instance, their promises of 
present success and deliverances were often Ngnificttnt of distant 
benefits, and secular consolations conveyed assurances of evan- 
gelical blessings.* Thus their prophecies received completion in 
a first and secondary view. As being, in part, signs to exdte 
confidence, they had an immediate accomplishment, but were 
afterwards fnlfilled in a more illustrious sense;* the prophets 
being inspired by the suggestions of the Spirit, to ose expres- 
raons magnificent enough to include the substance in the descrip- 
tion of the figure. That many of the prophecies in the Old 
Testament were direct, and singly and exclusively applicable to 
and accomplished in our Saviour, is certain ; '' and that some 
passages from the Old Testament are cited only by way of ac- 
commodation to circumstances described in the New, is perhaps 
equally true.'' But that this typical kind of prophecy was 
likewise employed, is evident, as well from tbe int^pretation of 
the passages above, referred to, as from the application of many 
other parts of scripture by the sacred writers, and, indeed, from 
their express declarations." 

' SSam. vii. 13,14, comp. with lleb. L " Gn. ilji. 10; PuLiliiixiT; Ii 

B. Pct»p«dePBiial,Hct. 10, r " "' 

• 1 Kingi xiiL 2, 3 1 laiah rii. 

Matt. i. 22. CompL Dui. ii. 27, ua lu. / , l«i>. jid. i. p. 9V. 

wilb 1 Msec i. 54, ud Hatt. nil. 15. " Comp. Exod. xii. 18, vitb 2 Cor. viii. 

Vitringa Obwr. Sac lib. vi. oip. SO, &c 15. Mm? pnaugm, hoireTer, tuppoted ac- 

Olaadi Pbilo. Sac. lib. ii. Witui Hiacel. ddentally tacormi»Dd, teem lolian be«D 

8sc. torn. i. lib. iii. cap. 9. aod liU ii. dix. dengnedl; piophetic. Comp. luah zxix- 

I, 3. (Scan. Feed. lib. It. c 6— ID. Sixt 13, wicli Matt. xt. 7, B ; luUh tL 9, wiih 

Senen. in Bib. Sancl. Curueut Rep. Hcb. Malt liii. 14 ; PhI. luii. 2, with Matt. 

Jenkini't R«K>n. Pensen dt Paacal. c 1.5. liil 35 ; Jcrem. nii. 15,widi MaU.!!. 17- 

11.13. Jack»D'>Wo[k>,ToLiJ.b.7.Mct.2. <■ Uoa-itLlO; 1 Col. i. lU Ueh. Ui 



It requires much attention to comprehend the full import and 
extent of thia typical dispenaation, and the chief obscurities 
which prevail in the sacred writiDf^ are to be attributed to tbe 
double character of prophecy.* To unravel this, is, however, an 
interesting and instructive study, though on admiration of the 
spiritual meaning should never lead us to disregard or under- 
value the first and evident signification ; for many great men 
have been so dazzled by thoir discoveries in this mode of expli- 
cation, as to be hurried into wild and extravagant excess; as is 
evident from the writings of Origen' and St. Jerom,* as also 
from the commentaries of St. Austin, who acknowledges'' that 
he bad too far indulged in the &ncie8 of an exuberant imagina- 
tion, declaring that the other parts of scripture are the best 
commentaries. Tbe apostles and the evangeUsts are, indeed, 
tbe best expositors ; but where these in&Uible guides have led 
the way, we n?ed not hesitate to foUow their steps by the light 
of clear reason and just analogy. 

It is this double character of prophecy which occasions those 
unexpected transitions and sudden interchange of circumstance 
so observable in the prophetic books. Hence different predic- 
tions are sometimes blended and mixed together ;' temporal and 
spiritual deliverances are foretold in one prophecy, and great 
and smaller events are combined in one point of view. Hence, 
likewise, one chain of connected design runs through the whole 
Bcheme of prophecy ; and a continuation of events successivelj 
fulfilling, and successively brancbiog out into new predictions, 
continued to confirm the faith, and to keep alive the expecta- 
tions of the Jews. Hence was it the character of the prophetic 
spirit to be rapid in its descriptions, and regardless of the order 

X ; 0«L uL 34. CImii. Alaz. Strom, lib. t. bncj, to hiTs apiiitualiied OUdiah, bebn 

p. 140. HilaT. in PnL liiii. n. 2, 3. be undentood it, and prefsn hig biitoiical 

Avguit. ds Doct, ChriiL lib. iiL c S. eiplicatiaos u a troik Matara Sauchitk. 

Waterland't Preface to Scrip. Vindic; nnd Vid. PmEm. in Abdiam. 
LutcatlerV Abridg. of Daubni. *" Angait. Retnct. voL L cap. IS. Ho 

■ Pfeifler HermeneDt Sac p fi33. contended for a (baifald mhw of Kriplore^ 

Ouind. DcC. ucL 1. lAwlh'i Vindic of Vid. Olauli Pbiiol. iL p. 2Si, el Mq. Vi- 

Old and New Teat. Iringa Ob«r.. Sac Bib. vL e. 20. 

' Origen wai a Kholar of Clemeni Alei- ' A> thoH wbich refer to tbe fint and 
andrinlu, who denied bi> tut« for bUsooit lecond reitoratioD of tbe Jewi, and to lb* 
from the worki of Phib the Jew. Vii fint and KCOnd CMBing of Christ; the pro- 
Phot. Cod. 105. Eiueb. Ni*t. Ecclei. lib. pheti taking occatioD &nn tbe deicription of 
ii. <ap 19. Hieron. Emit, ad Mag. near, to launch oat into that of diitant cir- 
SnuUbroake'a Aniwer to Woolaton, toL L camilancei, ai did our Saviour in hit bmoua 
p. 93. pnphecT. Vid. Hatb uir. VJd. Prebcv 

( He profeewi] in the feirour of jroutbful to IwiaK. 



of liiiitory; to pass with quick and anexpected celerity fi*oin 
subject to subject, and from period to period. "Aod we mnst 
allow,'" says Lord Bacon,'' "for tbat latitude that is agreeable 
and familiar to prophecy, which is of the nature of its anthor, 
with whom a thonsand years are hot as one day." The whole 
of the great scheme mnst have been at once present to the di- 
vine mind ; but Qod described its parts in detail to mankind, in 
such measures and in such proportions, that the connection of 
every link was obrions, and its relations apparent in every point 
of view, till the harmony and entire consistency of the plan 
were displayed to those who witnessed its perfection in the ad- 
vent of Christ. 

It may be farther observed of prophecy as it appean in the 
sacred writings, tbat it was "a light shining in a dark place;"' 
that it was not generally designed to be so clear as to excite an 
expectation of particular events, or a desire of connteracting 
foreseen calamities ;" bat that it was intended in the accom- 
plishment of its predictions to demonstrate the wisdom and 
power of God." It was sufficiently exact in its descriptions to 
authenticate its pretensions to a divine authority, and to produce, 
when it came to pass, an acknowledgment of its nnerring cer- 
tainty. Had it been more clear, it mnst have controlled the 
freedom of human actions ; or have appeared to have produced 
its own accomplisliment, fomisbing sinners with a plea of neces- 
sity." Had the period likewise of the Messiah's advent been 
at first distinctly and precisely revealed, the Jews would have 
disregarded so distant an hope. Sometimes, however, when oc- 
casion required, the predictions of the prophets were positive, 
and exactly descriptive,'' and occssioually delivered with an 
accurate and definite designation of names and times.*) And 
though the character and kingdom of Christ were at first held 
•out in general and indeterminate promises, yet so emphatic were 

■■ Hkd the Jem certalnlj known Cbtut of Guut, u thej rdarred bath to bit ha- 
te hftte been the pcedkled Meiiiili, thej man end dJTine cfaanKter, to bit eaRbljr 
weald not ban enieified tbs hoti at life, n^^ngi and fatan exaltstion. 
Vid.Aeuiiii. 27jili. 17. " Uwth". Vinditjit. p. 77. 

■ Sir Imue Newton on Du. p. 261. » Ntunb. uit. 17; In. ii. 6: Zeehnr. 

Hnid on Pn>phflC7, aenn iL JcihnxiiLI9; ii. 9; xi. 12, IS; Dm. ii. SB— IS ; AULL 

xri 1. Lowtb'a Vindication of the DiTine 1; iii. l■ 
AntboritJ of Ibe Old ud New Teit. p. 1' 
The propheciH nlatirr to the MewiiJi m 



the BsenroDces as the time approached, and so peremptory the 
limitation of its period, ao forcible and particular were the 
prophecies concerning the Messiah when collected and concen- 
tred into one point of rietr, thatabont the era of our SaTioor''8 
birth, a rery general persoasion of the instant appearance of 
some great and eztraordioary personage prevMled, not only in 
Jndeea, but also in other coantries; as is evident from the ac- 
counts of varione writers,' sacred and profane.' 

It has been very erroneously imagined, that the prophets and 
inspired writers of the Old Testament took bnt little pains to 
instmct the Israelites in the doctrine of a future state ; and that 
in their exhortations and threats, they confined themselves en- 
tirely to motives of temporal reward and punishment. And it 
has been as strangely asserted, that though the Jews thought, 
with the rest of mankind, that the soul survived the body, yet 
that they simply concluded that it returned to him who gave it, 
without any interesting speculations concerning its state of 
snrviTorsbip.' But though, as it has been before observed," 
Moses annexed only temporal sanctions to his laws, (which by 
no means excluded, but were indeed understood to be figurative 
of greater promises,') yet the prophets in their addresses to the 
hopes and fears of their countrymen, nnqueetionably held out 
the encouragement of eternal happiness, and the terrors of 
eternal misery. It is certain also, that the Jews looked anxiously 
forward to that state of immortality which they expected to 
inherit, not merely from the general conviction of a future state 
of existence, which as an obvious truth they in common withal 
other nations entertained, but from the more positive and parti- 
cular information that they obtained from revealed accounts ; for 
not to mention that the general denuDoiations of God's wrath 

' New TcM. [MMiiD. Vid. alM 1 Mate ■ Le Clen, Wutnutoit, &e. Vid. Nr. 

Iv, 46; xiT. *l ; and Pnfata to the Hwto. Legot book t. Hct, 6. p. 476. 

rksl Books, p. 74, note a. • Prafcm lo PentBteach, p. 3*. 

Cicero de Dituu lib. ii. Tadt HUtor. ' Heb. xi 8— IG, 25, 2ti. Hence it !■ 

lib. T. Sueton. Veipu. e. 4. Vir^I'i Eclog. that UBnnonidei obHrTei, " Quod >d mnr- 

ir. £Ddd.Ti.781,etKq. Jaidn. in Odav. itctionem autvn mertaotBin, eit id tand&- 

e. tt. Vouiiu de Sibyl. One c 4. Cod- mentuin e tDndaiiwntli Jegit Moni, qoBin 

worths iDteU. ^rt. book L t 4. Bojle'a n qnit non credat, nan eri tp« in Jndnonun 

Lett tdL ii. e. S16. Neehiumiiu, a Jewith B^ij^one »r> ant lociu ;" (rid. Pocock'a 

nUri, ia wd to have afflniwd, abont fifty Poita Hova, p. 60.) and jet bia ceon. 

ytan before tbe birth of Cbriit, tliat the trymen oonaidered hla teatinony a* not 

appeannce of tbe Miiilnh could not be de- wtffidently itrong, aa Mumenidea nmftaiea. 

byed above fifty ynn; collecting bia opin- Vid, alao lieriL iiiii S. 
ion, protably, from llie prophedei of Daniel. 



most have been understood to involve declarations of permanent 
retribntion, it is manifest, from numberless passages of scripture, 
that the prophets directlj appealed to those convictions which 
the people cheriahed as to a fntnre state ; and that they rested 
on motives of future consideration, as on the strongest argn- 
ments to excite obedience.' The prophets did not, it is tme, so 
folly insist upon these motives, nor so perfectly reveal the assur- 
ance and character of a future judgment, as did onr Saviour, who 
brought life and immortality distinctly to view,' and whose 
Gospel was entirely grounded on those higher sanctions and 
better promises ; * but they nevertheless did apply to these cogent 
motives, and more forcibly so, as that covenant approached to 
which immortality was annexed as a postive and declared 

The Jews could not have believed the translation of Enoch" 
and Elijah,*' the recompense of the patriarchs,* and of their great 
law^ver who had no known sepulchre, or the accomplishment 
of the promises,' to-their own advantage, without a reliance on 

> Job Dx. 2fi — 29, and Pra&o to Jab ; tliat the doctriiis of the retnmctiaii ms 

PlIS; itIII; iii.\9,'H); l; Iriu. 11; leM eiplicitl7 laid down in th« Law than in 

luiii.3 — 28;liiiTii.6;icTL 13;oitL15; the Qoapel, b«Biue tha foimei wu deli- 

cixiiii. 3 ; ProT. i. 2, 28 ; li. 7, 6 i xir. TCred to the poilerit; of Abnhun, who en- 

32;iT. 2*;iri. 16; iiiiL 18; int. 12, lertuned no doubW on the lubjeet ; whet«* 

j. 6, and Rev. nil 12 ; the Qoapel wu conunnnicated to nationi b> 

, xL d;xiL7, 14; Ih. u. whom the doctiine wa* not preTi<nul; re- 

i( ; T. 10 ; 1X1. o; zzri. 9, 19 ; Vm. 1,3 ; vealed; whence tha remaric of the Athenian 

l*iii 8 ; liiT. 4, eomp. witii 1 Cor. iL 9; philoeophen concerningthe preachingof St. 

JereDLiTii. 11,13; Eiek.inli;iixii. 27: PanL Acta itu. IS. Vid. Note MuceL 

Don. TIL 10, 18; Tii. 2, 3, 13; Hoiea liiL in Porta Hoiia, c 6. 

14 ; Zephan. iJL 8 ; Zech. iii. 7 ; MaLieh. • Heb. -tin. 6. 

iii 16, 18 ; iT. I. <> BnU'a Haimon. Apoat. c 10. g. a 

' Chiiat ii uid, in our tnunlation, to <= Qen. t. 24 ; Heb. iL £. 

bsTe "bnmgbt life and immortality to light ■■ 2 Kinga ii. 11. 

through the goipel,'' 3 Tim, i, 10; which ' The cur»« denoanced ngainil Adani 

bj no meani impoita that the doctrine wa> conM not be removed from the patriarchs, 

before unknown, but agreeably to the KQie oa vat promised bj Ood'i covenant, noleat 

of the original, fvTimm'oi (ito/, uu by a rettoration Co the proipect of eternal 

o^Aipirwi-, that he rendered tifb and im- liie; and the Jtwa moit have known that 

mortality more clear, oc diffiued light on thair Ibrdathen were deed, without having 

that doctrine, ai the word ^irTi(ny dg- nicciTed the accomplishment of the pro- 

nifiei in John i. 9 ; 1 Cor. iv. 5 ; EpheL miaeL Vid. Heb. iL 39, 40. 

iii. S, and ebevheie. Vid. Robertaon** ' The Jewi miut have perceived that 

Cbvi) Peatatenchi, Fiat. p. 1 9. note *. temporal lewaida were not allatted to 

Or perhapa tha text meant, that Chriit, indiriduali in proportion to their daterta; 

having abolighed deatli, opened to ni a thej miut have leen the ri^taoai op- 

pre^)ecl of immortality, uid nnfolded the pietied, and the wicked triomphant; and 

doctrine to the Oentile world, " wMch lat therefore in the conviction of God's truth, 

in darkneu, and in the ihodow of death." thef muit have looked to the completion 

Chriit likewise brought life and immortality of hii piomiiea and thrmta in a future 

to light, hy annexing them hi covenanted life, 
rewards to hie gotpeL Pocock conceives, 



the enjoyment of some fature state in which they should obtain 
the consnmmation of their reward ; and those among them whose 
opinions were gronnded on reTelatioa, nnquestionahly built their 
faith on the expectation of a future life and judgment ; as ia 
evident from many parts of the Old Testament,* as well as from 
express declarations of the evangelical writers in the New;** 
from whatever we can collect concerning their opinions before' 
and after the publication of the Gospel, as well as from that firm 
con6dence in a resurrection and f\itare judgment which they 
now derive from the promises of Moaee and of the prophets,^ 
and which many expect in the time of the Messiah.' 

The language of the prophets is remarkable for its magnifi- 
cence. Each writer is distinguished for peculiar beauties ; bnt 
their style tn general may be characterized as strong, animated, 
and impressive. Its ornaments are derived not from accumula- 
tion of epithet, or laboured harmony, but from the real grandeur 
of its images, and the majestic force of its expressions. It is 
varied with striking propriety, and enlivened with quick but 
easy traueitions. Its sudden bursts of eloquence, its earnest 
warmth, its affecting exhortations and appeals, afford very 
interesting proofs of that lively impresmon and of that inspired 
conviction under which the prophets wrote ; and which enabled 
them, among a people not distinguished for genius, to surpass in 
every variety of composition the most admired productions of 
pagan antiquity. If the imagery employed by the sacred 

■ Gen. i. S7 I iL 7 ; niriL 8fi ; Numb. Hefanw iiatiaiia eoDeernini the Sheol, (the 

xxiiL 10; Dent. iIt. 1, 2; uiiL S9; Hada of the Septnaginl,) which iru the 

1 Sam. U. 6; nt. 29; xiniL 8, 15; mppaied pluw of departed totila, often 

2 Sun. lii. 23 : 2 Kbgi nil 20 ; PnL mentioiied in the Old Teituiwat ; coinuii- 
xxiiL i, Ths psHBg?! which aeem to ing tha lUphaim, (the gianu, or gh«U of 
&vonr a contnij opinian, and to import it dad men, spoken of in Job mi 5, [md 
diitrnit in & fnture itnte, an onlj o[rinioni elsewhere,) and concenuDg ** the gathering 
elated for refdtatiaD, or itrong npnKnto- of the righteoui ; the reqant of Saul to 
tioBa of ths eSect* of death, ai to the the woman of Endor ; and, lastly, the Po- 
pKKnt worid. They imply, that by the ladiK and the Qehenna, mentiDiied in the 
ordinaiy bin of nature, or hy man's proper New Tntament, all lend to proTo, that 
bree, the dead ihould not be nitored. the Jeve, before tbe coming of Chriat, 

k Matt. xxiL S3, 29—32 ; Lake zvi. belisTed the •epnisle eiiitenoe of the aonl, 

31 ; XX. 37, SB ; John t. 3S ; riii. 26 ; li. and a htnre atate of reward and poniah- 

24; Acta niii. 8; iiiT. 11—16; Heb. ment 

xi. 10, 16, 35, 39, 40 ; Lnka liiL U ; and ' Buitor£ Sjnsg. Jud. c 3. Ports 

Uatt. liii. 40 — 43, fit. The Sadduceea Modi, p. £3, et teq.; and Foeoek'i notea, 

vaie diatinguiihed aa a Kcl who denied e. 6. 

the leaniTectian. Acta ziiii. 8. ' Pocodk. Notte Miacel in Porta Moot, 

• Wild. iiL I, 10, 18, 19; it. 7 ; t. 1, c. 6. and Hcde't Placila Doct. Hebne, vol. 

6, 16;*iii. !3; Ecelnj. xlii. 10; 2 Mace ii. book 3. 
TiL 9. 11, 14, 23, S9, 36; xiT. 46. The 



writers appear someUmes to partake of a ooarae and indelicate 
cast, it tnnst be recollected that the Eaateni nuuiners and 
langitages required the most forcible represeDtations, and that 
the masculine and indif^ant spirit of the prophets led them to 
adopt the most energetic and descriptive expressions. No style 
is perhaps so highly RguratiTe as that of the prophets. Every 
object of nature and of art which conld furnish allusions, is ex- 
plored with industry ; every scene of creation, and every page of 
science, seems to bare unfolded its rich varieties to the sacred 
writers, who, in the spirit of Eastern poetry, delight in every 
kind of metaphorical embelliehment. Thus, by way of illnstra^ 
ti&n, it is obvious to remark, that earthly dignities and powers 
are symbolized by the celestial bodies ; the effects of moral evil 
are shewn under the storms and convulsions of nature; the 
pollutions of sin are represented by external impurities ; and the 
beneficial influence of righteousness is depicted by the serenity 
and confidence of peaceful life." This allegorical language being 
founded on ideas universally prevalent, and adhered to with 
invariable ralation and regular analogy, has furnished great 
ornament and elegance to the sacred writings. Sometimes, 
however, the inspired penmen drew their allnaions firom local 
and temporary sources of metaphor, from the peculiar scenery of 
their country, from the idolatries of heathen nations, from their 
own history and circumstances, from the service of their temple 
and tbe ceremonies of their religion, from manners that have 
faded and customs that have elapsed. Hence many appropriate 
beauties have vanished. Many descriptions and many represen- 
tations, that must have had a solemn importance among tbe 
Jews, are now considered, from a change of circumstance, in a 
degraded point of view. Hence, likewise, here and there a 
shade of obscurity." In general, however, the language of 
scripture, though highly sublime and beautijul, is easy and 
intelligible to all capacities. The divine tmtb which it contains 
is described in the most clear and familiar manner ; it assumes, 
as it were, the dress of mankind, and instmcta us with the con- 
descension and familiarity of human converse. Not designed 
merely for the learned and the wise, it adopts a plain and per- 

■■ Nawtim m DaokL Joiwl'l LecCona Hnrd'a 9tb Semon on Prophccf. 
an tbs dgumtiTO LaognagB of Scripture. ■ BnukdjV Introduction to tin Suted 

Vitringa in EKiam iiiiT. 1. LaiKMter'i Boolu. 
Abridgment of Danbni. Mede. Buhop 



spicuous langni^, which has all the graces of simplicity, and all 
the beaoties of unafiected eloquence. In treating of heavenly 
things, it reveals mysteries to which the human imagination 
could never have soared ; and discloses the attributes and 
conduct of God in represeotatioos analogous to our ideas, without 
degradiug them by any unworthy description." It presents the 
divine perfections incarnate, as it were, to our apprehensions, by 
the illustration of familiar images. Thus the bnmaa afiectioDS 
and corporeal properties which are ascribed to the Deity in 
scripture, are level to the notions of the vulgar, and yet are 
readily understood by enlightened minds to be descriptive only 
of some correspondent attributes that cousiBt with the excellency 
of the divine nature ; so that when revelation accommodates its 
language to our restricted intellects, it is with such faithful 
adherence to the real and essential properties of the Deity, and 
to the true character of heavenly things, that it is calculated to 
raise the conceptions, and not to debase the theme. 

It remains to be observed, that the greatest part of the pro- 
phetic boohs, as well as those more especially styled poetical, 
was written in some kind of measure or verse i^ though the 
Jews of very early times appear to have been insensible of the 
existence of any numerical arrangement in them.'' As the 
Hebrew has been a dead language for near two thousand years, 
and as it is destitute of vowels, we can have no power of 
ascertaining the pronunciation, or even the number of its 
syllables. The quantity and rhythm of its verse must therefore 
have entirely perished ; and there can be no mode of discovering 
the rules by which they were governed/ That the Hebrew 
poetry in general, however, was controlled to some kind of 

" " L«i loqiiitnr lingua filiomm homi- mctriol unDgemuit Tha odu which Wfr 

mun," wu a Jawiih mna^ Bat it hx in tha baoki af Inuh, Eukial, and 

been obaerred, tJwt no araun whii^ lamii Habakknk are of a diitinct and juenliu' 

of groea eoipoiiet? are aaeribad to Qad,a* qieciea of poatc;. Vid. Lowtli'i PisJacL 

touching or taiCiiig; il bung agTeed, tay 3S — 2S. 

Maimonidea, " Damn con compiBgi cani * Moat of tbo prophodea in the hiitofiol 

coipotiboi per Gontactum eoiporalciii." Vid. booki ara nnqoeationabl; viitten in amm 

Maimon. iw. i. c. SS, 3S, 47. kind of nwuun, m tlnae of Noah, Jacob, 

P The hialoTiiMl rdationi intei^niBd in and B^aank, and tho dirine hymn of Hoaaa 

thaae booka are of eonne axdnded from in the thirtj^^eoond ebafUt of Deotep- 

thia mmarii. Bo blttwiae the book of onom j ; all m which liuniih vrj beaotifo) 

Daniel, -wbicb i* chiefly namtiTB, ha* apeeineni of inetrieal poatiy. 

nothing poetical ; nor baa that of Jonah, ' The meaton of tha modem Jewi ia 

except the pnijrer, which i> an ode. The nrj diflerent from that of the nerad 

naTe and elerated prapheciei of Eieltiel writinga, and na prabahl; bonowed bam. 

[whiHii Biihop tiowth hu characteriaed ai the Anibkna. 
an ontoi rather than a poet] Mom to reject 



measore is erideDt, not only from the peculiar selection of 
nansnal expressions &nd phrases, but also Irom the artificid 
arrangement, and regular distribution of many sentences, which 
run in parallel divisions, and correspond, as it were, in equal 
periods ; but whether this measure resulted from the observance 
of certain definite numerical feet, or was regulated by the ear, 
and the harmony of lines of similar cadence, is uncertain/ 
The sententious modulation, however, which in consequence 
obtained, was so strong, as to be transfused, and to predominate 
in our translation. It is observable, also, that the measure is 
often varied, and even sometimes in the same poem, but with a 
propriety which appears from the effect to be always well 
adapted to the subject. There is nothing inconsistent with the 
nature of inspiration, to suppose that its suggestions might be 
conveyed in numbers. The prophets, in the ordinary modes of 
prophesying, were accustomed to compose their hymns to the 
sound of some mudcal instrument;' and there could he but 
little difficulty in adapting their efiusions to a measure wliich 
required probably no great restrictions in a language so free and 
uncontrolled as the Hebrew. The Holy Spirit, likewise, while 
it quickened the invention of the prophets and fired their &ncy, 
might enable them to observe the established style of com- 

The prophets nndoubtedly collected their own prophecies 
into their present form ; though the author of the Lives of the 
Prophets, under the name of Dorotheus, affirms, in a very 
groundless assertion, that none but David and Daniel did ; con* 
ceiving that the scribes of the temple received them as they 
were delivered, without order : but they were indisputably 

* Iiowtb'i Pmlcct 3, and 1 9, ct Metrioe reoeption of the prophe^c influence. It i* 

HuiuuB Confiit. The learned deny that probable that ths propheti on thtae oc- 

eonetpODdsnce and aiiniliCade between the aaiom did not nraaUj perform thamaelTea 

Hebrev and the Oieckn nieiuurea which on Ihs udbciiI inalnunenla, but talker ac- 

St. Jerom, on the Buthoritj' of Joiephua and companied the itraina of the miutlrel with 

Origen, maiotained lo eiiiL Vid. PneleirL their Toice. Vid. I Sam. i. 5; 3 Kings 

Ifl. Bedford'! Temple Muuc,c. 6. Calmet, uL 15; 1 Chron. av. 1. La wth'a Prelect, 

&& The Hebrew language hardly ad- Poet. IS, et Kq. It hu been the pncliee 

mitled a traniportation of wordi anffident of all lutiDni to adapt dieir relifioaa 

for tbg ar«;ian meaiurei ; and it ^pean wonbip to muuc, which the fibulona 

erident, thai thongb the langnage abounds account! of aotiquitj derired finun heami. 

in Dmilar termination!, jet that riiyme Ailing, HiiL Acad. Heb. p. 23. And 

waa not couiidared ai necemry or oma- Smidiui de Canto Eccles. Vet. et Not, 

mental in the Hebrew TerwL TeaL Mart Oilh. de Caotu et Hnrica Sac 

■ The Jews concaved thai music calmed R. IMvid Kiindii in I Sum. i. 5. 
tke pauioDi, and prepared the mind for the 



composed and published by those prophets whose names they 
severally bear." As their genuiue productious, they were 
received into the Jewish Canon ; and were read in the Jewisli 
ejna^gues atler the persecution of AntiochuB Epipbanes, when 
the reading; of the Law was interdicted, and coutinued so to be to 
the days of onr Saviour, from whose time they continued to be 
read in the Christian churches.' They are with great propriety 
received into our churches as illustrsting the grand scheme of 
prophecy, and as replete with the most excellent instruction of 
every kind. The predictions which they contain were prin- 
cipally accomplished in the appearance of Christ. Some, how- 
ever, which referred to the dispersion and aubsequent state of 
the Jews, as well as to the condition of other nations, still con- 
tinue under our own eyes to he fiilBUed, and will gradually 
receive their final and consummate ratification in the restora- 
tion of the Jews, in the universal establishment of Christ's 
kingdom,' and in the second advent of our Lord to "judge the 
world in righteousness/' 


Isaiah, who was professedly the author of this book, and has 

been nniversally so considered, informs ns, that he prophesied 

■ 1m. xm. Bj Jeram. ui. 2 ; Habot. i». 3— 13 s vii. 11— 20; Zeph. iiL 8— 20 ; 

iiL3, lie. Jerem. iii. 16—18; xii. 15; iiiii. 3— B; 

» Am xiiL IS, When the reading of ixx.3— 30; xxxLi~U,Si — 10; uiiii. 

the lAwwaimtored after Ihiipennulion, 7— 11; Enk. xx. 40— 44; nviii. 25, 26 j 

the prophetii books fumiihed delached xxiii. 20-29; iutI, iiivii, mviii, 

pomgea fat a Kcond leuon, aelected with and xxiii ; Dan. iii. 26, 27 ; Zechiu. viii. 

reference to the Mction read ftnm the Idw, 7, S ; Rcr. ii, end ui. tic. posainL Vid, 

and rood bj a dilTerent person. The pro- also Malt. ii. 21 ; Acts i. 6 ; iii. 21. 

pheeies vere rend only in the moming Bnmab. Epiat c. 15. Justin Martyr Dialc^. 

■errice, and never oti the Hendu}' ai euoi Tijphon. part ii. p. 315. adit. Tfairib, 

Thtmdtiy, which dajri were apprDprinlol Iren. L. V. c. 32 — 36. TertuL cant. 

to the Law eicliuirely. Manion. I. iii.. Eyie'i Observat on Pro- 

' A final reatamtian of the Jewa, and a phecy. Wotlon Pref. to Clcni. Episl. p. 
■piritual reign of Chriat to prevail after IS. The doctrine of the Millennium may 
that reiloiBlion, are supposed to be fote- have been carried to an abiurd and un- 
told in scripture, and were believed so to woiranted excess; bat some of these pro- 
be from the earliest ages of the Christian phecies, eren if Bgoralirely taken, are 
choreb. Vid. Deut xxi. I — 5; Isaiah ii. wemingly too nuKntncent to be natricted 
1—4; xi; XXX, 18—26; iiiiii. 20— 24 ; to the effects of the first advent of Christ, 
xlix. IS— 36; Ii. 3—23; liv. II— H ; and prooiisc at hmat an effrctunl and unt- 
1x; IxT. 17—25; Ilosea iii. 5: Joel JL ^-ers.-.! establishment of hia spiritual in- 
Bud iii; Amna ix. II — 15; Micah it. I'i; tlueiice. 



during the daja of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiab, kings 
of Judah, who Bucceaaively flourished between A. M. 3194 and 
3305. He styha bimaelf the eon of Amoz ; by whom we are 
not to understand the prophet whose name is spelt Amos,' and 
who was nearly coeval with Isaiah himself. It has been sup- 
posed that Is&iah was of the royal blood ; and some have main- 
tained that hitf father Amoz was the son of king Joash, and 
brother to Uzziah, or Azariah, king of Judah.'* He certainly 
was of that tribe, and of noble hirtb ; and the rabbins pretend 
that his father was a prophet, which they collect from a general 
rule established among them, that the fathers of the prophets 
were themselves prophets when their names are mentioned in 

Isaiah was the first of the four great prophets, and is repre- 
sented to hare entered on the prophetic office in the last year of 
Uzziah's reign, about seven hundred, and fifly-eight years before 
Christ.'' Some have supposed that he did not live beyond the 
fifleenth or sixteenth year of Hezekiab 's reign ; • in which case, 
he prophesied during a space of about forty-five years. But 
others are of opinion, that he survived Hezekiah, and that he 
was put to death in the reign of Manasseh. There is, indeed, a 
Jewish tradition, that he suffered martyrdom by command of 
that tyrant, in the first year of his reign, about six hundred and 
ninety-eight years before Christ, being cruelly sawn asunder with 
a wooden saw. On a supposition of the truth of this relation, 
we must allow that he prophesied during a space of more than 
sixty years,' 

Several of the fathers have, indeed, borne testimony to the 
tradition ;* and St. Paul is generally supposed to have referred 
to it in his epistle to the Hebrews.'' St. Justin the martyr af- 
firmed, that the Jews had erased the disgraceful circumstance 

• The propbef. ntune ia spell DIDB ; Hoiea, Joel. Am™, nod Micah. 
Hieron.«ndPt™:op.mE«i.i 1, Ai^UiH. ""Vl>v=d beyond the fonrtMnth y«« rf 

Sed.r Ohm Zut., et in Gemar. Codic . JV} .^^'v-, T\^^' ^t^ 'l 
U^iL fol. 10. oil. 11. Joseph. Antiq. "" "»"■ « "" ^""- "* J"'- ^^"^- '' 

' Hiecon. in Krai. xixriL 3. Epiplian. 
de Vita et Mort. Prophet, et Clem- Alex. 
Strnm. lib. i, 

' lie nag nearly conlfinporaiy with 

im Tr}7hDn. 

Cbryiost nd Cttuc. Jcrom, lib. T. in 

Eui- Auguit. de CiriL lib. iilii. cap. 24. 

k Heb. li. 37; nnd Fame on ifaii tene. 



from the sacred Looks ; and it is oot improbable, tliat the bold 
Bpirit of JDvective, and the high character by which Isaiah was 
distingnished, might have irritated a jealous and revengeful mo- 
narch to this act of impious barbarity ; though the opprobrium 
of the deed must be much aggravated, if St. Jerom be oot mis- 
taken in relating that Manasseb had received the daughter of 
Isaiah in marriage.' It is added, also, that Manasseh endea- 
voured to justify his craelty, by pretending that he condemned 
the prophet for saying, that " he had seen the Lord sitting upon 
a throne i"" contrary, as the tyrant afBrmed, to what is said in 
Exodas, "there is no man shall see me, and live;"' thus hypo- 
critically attempting to veil his malice under an appearance of 
piety. However this may have been, the story was certainly 
embellished with many fictitious circumstances; as, that the 
prophet was sawed asunder in a cedar which had opened itself 
to receive him in his Dight, and other particulars fabricated in 
credulous reverence for his memory. Epiphanius and Dorotheus, 
who furnish us with this account, add, that he was buried near 
Jerusalem, under the oak Rogel, near the royal sepulchre, on the 
river Siloe, at the side of Mount Sion, and that he remained in 
liis tomb to their time ; contrary to what others report of his 
being carried away to Paneada, towards the sources of the Jor- 
dan, and from thence to Constantinople, in the thirty-fifth year 
of Theodosius the Younger, A. D. 412. 

The name of Isaiah is, as Vitringa has remarked, in some 
measnre descriptive of his character, since it signifies " the sal- 
vation of Jehovah." He has always been considered as a pro- 
phet of the highest eminence,"' and looked up to as the brightest 
luminary of the Jewish church. He speaks of himself as en- 
lightened by vision ; and he has been emphatically styled the 
Evangelical Prophet," so copiously and clearly does he describe 
the Messiah, and characterize his kingdom : favoured, as it were, 
with an intimate view of the gospel state, from the very birth of 
our Saviour, " to be conceived of a virgin,"" to that glorious and 

' HieroD. in E«ai. iii. " Uifrod. Pnef. in Etniom, Epigt. xvii. 

^ Chap. Ti. 1. Aagnit. de Cirit Dei, lib. xiiii. c. 39. 

' Eiod. xTxiii. SO. Theod. Pnef. in EwL Holden'a Ptusphnue 

■ HalL iv. 14; Rom. £. 16i XKTiii. of Iniah. St. Jcrom, in hit Epiitle to 

25; Matt. viiL 17i Lake it. 17t AeU Pope DaniBiDi, tn;g, what vhb ligumtivel; 

iXTiu.2S; aUo VitriimB'iPrDlcg.p.10; 2 true, thailheieraphim who touched luinh'a 

King! xli. 20; IK. ), 3, ct leq.; 3 Chron. lipi with fire, conTOjed to him the New 

niiL 3a SU Paul cim his n-ork at port Testament, lu. li. 6, 7. 

of the Uw, 1 Cm. UT. 21. " Chap. rii. It. 

,;, Google 


triumphaQt period, wheo every Gentile nation eliall bring a dean 
offering to the Lord, and " all flesh shall come to worship'" before 
him.P The author of Ecclesiaeticus, in his fine and discri- 
minating encomium on the prophets, says of Isaiah, that " be 
was great and faithful in his vision ;" and that " in his time the 
Ban went backward, and he lengthened the king^e life. He saw 
by an excellent spirit what should come to pass at the hist.'"'' 
It is certain that Isaiah, in addition to his other prophetic pri- 
vileges, was invested with the power of performing miracles.' 
Besides those that are ascribed to him in scripture, traditioa re- 
lates, thai he m ipplied t he pefld| h^siegeij under Hezekiah with 
wflB^MWWnUBpwHBeTneenemy could not procune it.* It is 
remarkable, that the wife of Isaiah is styled a prophetess;' and 
the rabbins maintain, that she possessed the gift of propheoy. 
He himself apfiears to have been raised up as a striking object 
of veneration among the Jews, and to have regulated his whole 
conduct in snbeervieney to his sacred appointment. His sons, 
likewise, were for types," and fignrative pledges of God''s aseui^ 
ances ; and their ii&mes' aiid actons were intended to awaken 
a religions attention in the persons whom they were commis- 
sioned to address and to instruct. Isaiah was animated with the 
most lively zeal for God's honour and service. He was em- 
ployed chiefly to preach repentance to Judah; though he oc- 
casionally uttered prophecies against the ten tribes, which in his 
time constituted the separate kingdom of Israel. In the prudent 
reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, the kingdom of Judah flourished; 
but in the time of Abaz, Isaiah had ample subject for reproach, 
as idolatry was established, even in the temple, and the kingdom 
nearly ruined by the impiety which the king had introduced and 
countenanced. In the reign of Hezekiah, his endeavours to re- 
form the people were more successful ; and some piety pre- 
vailed, till the seduction of Manasseh completed the triumph of 
idolatry and kin. 

There are many historical relations scattered through this 

P Chnp. Uvi. 20, 2S. chaiacUn ii worth rocDrding. 

1 E«lii.. iliiii. 23, 2S. Vid. alio C.l- ' Chap. riii. 3. 
mtV» PneC and Lowtb't Pnclect. 21. • Isaiah viii. 18. 

' 2 Kings II. 1 1 i 3 Chron. xiiii. 91. ■ Shaar Jaihub atgnjliw, "« nraont 

< Ilcnce, as Bome jiaic mpposed, vai the thall tcnm." MnhenholBl-huh-bu Im- 

origin of the pool of ^kmm. The word plica " run swiflty to th* ipoU." Vid. cti. 

Siloam impUea "toii'X Vid. Johii ix. 7. vii. Sj viii. I. 
Every tni'lition rtlaiiYetto these inlerealing 



book, which illustrate the circumstances and occasions of the 
prophecies. The prophetical parts are sometimes considered 
under five divisions. The lirst part, which extends from the 
beginning to the thirteenth chapter, contains five discourses 
immediately addressed to the Jews and Ephraimites ; whom the 
prophet addresses on various subjects, in various tones of ex- 
hortation and reproof. The second part, which extends to the 
twcnty-liflh chapter, contains eight discourses, in which the fate 
of other nations, as of the Babylonians, Philistines, Moabites, 
Syrians, and Egyptians, is described. The third part, which 
terminates with the thirty-sixth chapter, contains tiod's threats 
denounced against the disobedient Jews and enemies of the 
church, interspersed with consolatory promises to encourage 
those who might deserve God's favonr.' The fourth part, which 
begins at the fortieth chapter, where the prophetic strain is re- 
samed, describes in four disconrses the manifestation of the 
Messiah, with many introductory and attendant circumstances. 
This division ends at the forty-ninth chapter. The fifth part, 
which concludes the prophecies, describes more particularly the 
appearance of our Saviour, and the character of hia kingdom. 
The historical part, which begins with the thirty-sixth and ter- 
minates with the thirty-ninth chapter,' relates the remarkable 
events of those times in which Qod employed the ministry of 

With respect to chronological arrangement, it must be ob- 
served, that the five first chapters appear to relate to the time 
of Uzziah." The vision described in the sixth chapter must 
have happened early in the reign of Jotham. The next fifteen 
chapters contain the prophecies delivered under Ahaz ; and the 
prophecies which follow to the end of the book, were probably 
uttered under Hezekiah. Some writers, however, have conceived, 
that the chapters have been accidentally deranged ; and it is 

pheth Vid. Aborh. Prsf. in Ini. fol 2. col. Script. Divio, p. 3-23 ; bat tho deKripOsn 

I. lib. i. of the reign of an upntate king wooliJ, 

■ Tha abrupt condosloii of the thirty- perhaps, have been still more forcible. Vid. 

eighth cliapter loads us to supposes, that '2 Kings xvL 3, et seq. The dtucriptions 

these historical chaptera relating to Heie- are not too atrong for the timo of Uiiiah, 

kinh were inierted front the socund book of whose tndividuni virtues could not entiiely 

Kings, to illustmlc the prccedinft projibeciea. refonn the kingdom, or nstorc it* prosperity. 

(,'oiiip. lau. iiivi — mix, ni ill "J Kiiiga Vid. Hieron. Cora, in Ksai. vi. 
xviiLISi IX. 20. 



possible that the prophecies were not delivered by the prophet 
exactly in the order in which they now stancl. Others have 
attributed the dislocations, if there he any, to the men of Heze- 
kiah, who are said to have collected these prophecies." 

When Isaiah entered on the prophetic office, a darker scene of 
things began to arise. Aa idolatry predominated, and the cap- 
tivity drew near, plainer declarations of God's future mercies 
were oecessary to keep alive the expectations and confideuce of 
the people. In treating of the captivities and deliverance of the 
Hebrew nation, the prophet is often led to consider those more 
important captivities and deliverances which these temporal 
events foreshewed. Hence, with promises of the first, he blends 
assurances of final restoration. From the bondage of Israel, he 
likewise adverts to the bondage under which the Qentile world 
was held by ignorance and sin ; and hence he exhibits, ic con- 
nected representation, deliverance from particular afSictions, and 
the general deliverance from sin and death. The present con- 
cern is ofieu forgotten in the contemplation of the distant pros- 
pect. The prophet passes with rapidity from the first to the 
second subject, without intimation of the change, or accurate 
discrimination of their respective circnmstauces ; as, for instance, 
in the fifty-second chapter, where the prophet, after speaking of 
the recovery from the Assyrian oppression, suddenly drops the 
idea of the present redemption, and breaks out into a rapturous 
description of the gospel salvation which it prefigured.' 

Among the prophecies of Isaiah which deserve to he particu- 
larly noted for their especial perspicuity and striking accom- 
plishment, are those in which he foretold the captivities of Israel 
and Judah,'' and described the ruin and desolation of Babylon,' 
Tyre, and other nations. He spoke of Cyrus by name, and of 
his conquests, above two hundred years before his birth,'' in pre- 
dictions which are supposed to have influenced that monarch to 
release the Jews from captivity,* being probably shewn to him 

"Jacob. BraudiDgfenu in Annol. T}-p. • Cfaap. xiii. 19— 2-2i xiv. 22—34; 

Lib. Proph. Vet. Te>L ilvii. 7, B ; and Lawth Com. and Uuer. 

' Comp. IwkliL7,wilhIlom. T. Ifi; Ira. Ann. ad A. M. S3i7. c xiiii. 
li 10, withRoiiLxT. 13. Vid. alH, cbap. ' Cbap. iliv. 28; ilr. 1—5. Jowph. 

xnir, uxT, xl, xlix. Lowth on cb. lii. Aniiq. lib. iL n. 1. St. Jcrom baa [emarfccd, 

1 3 ; and Abafbinel, a* quoted by Vitringa, that Xenopbon'e hiator? it a good CDnimcnt 

on ^. ilii. 1. on tlie propbccio of Iiniah. Vid. Ilicron. 

<> Chap, xxxix. I>, 7, conip. witli 3 Kings ad Euiam xliv. 
iiiv. 13, snd Dan, i. 3, I Jo«ph. AnUq. lib. xi. c. 1. Eira L 3. 



by Daniel. But it must be repested, ibat bis prophecies cuu- 
ceruiiig the Messiah seem almost to anticipate the Gospel history, 
BO clearly do they foreshew the divine character of Christ;'' bis 
miracles;' his peculiar quabties and virtnes;" his rejection,' and 
sntTeringB for our sins;'" his death, burial," and victory over 
death;" and, lastly, his final glory/ and the establishment, in- 
crease,** and perfection' of bis kingdom ; each specifically pointed 
out, and portrayed with the most striking and discriminating 
charactere. It is impossible, indeed, to reflect on these, and on 
the whole chain of his illustrious prophecies, and not to be sen- 
Bible that they furnish the most incontestible evidence in support 
of Cliristianity. 

The style of Isaiah baa been universally admired as the most 
perfect model of the sublime ;- it is distinguished for all the 
magnificence, and for all the sweetness of the Hebrew language.* 
The variety of his images, and the animated warmth of bis ex- 
pressions, characteriiie him as unequalled in point of eloquence ; 
and if we were desirous of producing a specimen of the dignity 
and beauties of the scripture language, we should immediately 
think of having recourse to Isaiah.* St. Jerom speaks of him as 

' Cbap. viii. U, comp. with Molt. L cleveiith and Ihirty-lifth chaptera of hU 

18— aS,BndLiikel27— 35. Chap. li ; ii. work, with the fonrlh Eclogue of Viiml; 

(t; xiitv. 4; it. 5, 9, 10; xHi. Q — 8; Ixi. in which tie poet hu introduced tbaugiit*, 

I I comp. with Luke \v. 18, Ixii. 11 ; liiiL imagery, and diction, ■trikingt}' similoi, 

) — 4. iodeed, to IhoH employed by InUh, but 

> Chap. TUT. 5, 6. infinitely inferior ai to Iho elfect prodDced. 

^ Chap. xL 3, 3 ; xL 1 1 ; xliiL 1 — 3. Virgil ia luppoied to have borrowed tuna 

■ Chap, vi 9 — 12, comp. <rith Hark liii. the predictiona of the Comsan Siybl that 
14. Chap. riL 14, 15; liiL 3. detcriplion of the golden age whkh he 

•• Chap. L 6; liiL 4—11. The EthJo- trpreHnta unidj to conunence with the 

pinn eUDiKh appean to have been made a birth of loine illattriaui penonage, (an, 

proaelyte by St. Philip'i eiplication of Ihi> perhaps, the expected otfcpring of Ocla™, 

chapter. Vid. Attt liii. 32, The whole or of Scribonia.) The idoaa, however, were 

of it ii u minutely deKiiptire of Chriat't u> appropriate to the Mesnah and hia king- 

paanop, that a bmoua inbbi, likewue, on dom, that they mual have been derired 

mdiiw it, wai copTert«d &oin Judninn. from a aacrod aonrce, tfaongh it if not nece>- 

Who, indeed, can reriM tta eridence? aary to coniider them as tho nsiJt of itn- 

■ Chap. liiL S, 9. mediate inapiration. The Sibylline <ene* 
" Chap. xir. B i IJU. 10, 12. might bare been inapired prophecie* apiead 
r Chap. ilii. 7, 22, 23; lii. 13—15; abroad in Greek ver» by the HeUeniatlcal 

liii. 4, 5. • Jewa. Virgil might have collected idcoa 

4 Chap.u.2 — 4iiz.7i ilii.4; xIti. 13. with regard to the expected Meaaiah from 

'Chap, ix.2,7; xL 4 — lOj x»i. 6; the Jews in general, and particularly fiom 

nix. 18 — 24 ; iiiii. 1 ; it. 4, 5 ; ilii. lleivd, who wa* about Ihia time at Rome, 

9 — 13; U.3— li; lii. 6-^10; W. 1—3; and whoie mub were aflerwaidi receired 

lix- le— 21; Ix; lii. 1—6; Ixv. 25. by Pollio on an embawy there. Vid. Jo- 

■ See particularly the triumphant ode in aeph. AnUq. lib, ir. c 13. Or, laatty, the 
chap. xir. 4 — 27, which it inimitably bcuu- poet, a> other learned peraona among the 
tifiil. Vid. Lowth'a Pnelrct, 2H. Romnna, might have had nome knowledga 

■ The aoperior eloquence of laaiah np- of the Septuagint version of the scripture*, 
pears remorkflhiy on n cnmpariaou of tho since they were inquiaitite after all kinda 

V, Google 


coDvenwiit with every part of science ;" and, indeed, the marks 
of a cultivated and improved mind are etamped in every page «( 
liiij book, but these are almost eclipsed by the splendour of his 
inspired knowledge. In the delivery of his prophecies and in- 
structions, he utters bis enraptured strains with an elevation and 
majesty that unhallowed lips could never have attained.' From 
tbe grand exordium in the first chapter, to the concluding de- 
gcripticHi of the Gospel, to "be brought forth*" in wonders, and 
to terminate in the dispensations of eternity ; from first to last^ 
there is one continued display of inspired wisdom, revealing its 
oracles and precepts for the instruction of mankind. Tbe pro- 
phecies of Isaiah were modulated to a kind of rhythm, and they 
are evidently divided into certain metrical stanzas or lines/ 

Tbe Greek version of Isaiah appears to have been made long 
after that of the Pentateuch : it is a very lax and inaccurate 
translation, and was probably composed after tbe time of An- 
tiocbus Epiphanes.' 

Isaiah, besides this book of prophecies, wrote an account of tbe 
actions of Uzziah ;* this has perished, with some other writings 
of the prophets, which, as probably not written by inspiration, 
were never admitted into the canon of scripture. Some apocry- 
phal books have likewise been attributed to him ; among others, 
that so often cited by Ori^n and other fathers, entitled, the 
Ascension of Isaiah ; '' not to mention a later book, called tbe 
Vision of Isaiah,^ which is only a compilation from his works. 
These are probably attributed to bim on as insufficient grounds 
as tbo books of Solomon and Job. 


Jehbmiah was the son of Hilkiah — probably not of that Hilkiub 

oT Bteretnre. Vid. Lowth't Pielect. 21. TheadMion, are now loet. 
Ctuindler's Vindlc. ch. 2. t«ct. 3. and pcMt- ■ 2 Cfaron. nvi. 32. Dr. KcDnirolt 
Mript, p. 44 ; Mid Cudwoith's iDlel. SyA TuicieB tlist Iminb campaaed the eighty- 
ninth pulm, on tbe appnxicb of Ketin and 

« Hieron. Praf. in E4»i. 

Pekah to JeruMlem. 

» Chap. Ti. 6, 7. 

» Origen in Matt ixiiL el EpiW. ad 

> Vilringa Prokg. io Ewi. p. 8. Lo*th'. 

•African. Hieron. in E«iiun lii». Epiphui. 

Prefcco, and Scsliger'. Aniniad. in Chrgn. 

H«™^ 40, and 07. 


' Thi. wu publi^ed at Venice. Vid. 

■ ThoK of Aquihi, SymiDachitt, and 

Silt. Sonen^ Bib. Soe. in Iniah. 

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who was high priest in the reign of Josiah," but .certaiDlj of 
sncerdotal extraction— and n native of Anathotb, a village about 
three miles from Jerusaleoi, appointed for the priests, in that 
part of Judcea which was allotted to the tribe of Benjamin.^ 
He was called to the prophetic office nearly at the same time 
with Zephaniah, in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah 
the son of Amon, A. M. 3376. Like St. John the Baptist and 
St. Paul, he was even in bis mother's womb ordained a prophet 
to the Jews and other nations.*^ He was not, however, expressly 
addressed by the word of God till about the fourteenth year of 
his age ; when he diffidently sought to declioe the appointment 
on account of his youth, till influenced by the divine encourage- 
ment, he obeyed, and continued to prophesy upwards of forty 
years, during several successive reigns of the degenerate descend- 
ants of Josiah ; to whom he fearlessly revealed those marks of 
the divine vengeance which their fluctuating and rebellious 
conduct drew oa themselves and their country.'' After the 
destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, ho was suffered by 
Nebuchadnezzar to remain and lament the miseries and desola- 
tion of Judtea, ftvm whence he sent consolatory assnrances to 
his captive countrymen. He was afterwards, as wo are by 
himself informed, carried, with his disciple Bamch, into Egypt,* 
by Johanan the son of Kareah, who, contrary to his advice and 
prophetic admonitions, returned from Judcea. 

Many circumstances relative to Jeremiah are interspersed in 
his writings, and many more, which deserve hut little credit, 
have been recorded by the rabbins and other writers.' He 
appears to have been exposed to cruel and unjust persecutions 
from the Jews, and especially from those of his own village,* 
during his whole life, on account of the zeal and fervour with 
which ho censured their incorrigible sins ; and he is sometimes 
provoked to break out into the most feeling and bitter com- 
plaints of the treatment which he received.'' The author of 

• 2 King! uii. i. Clemeni Alcmnd. 

• Chap. xKl 3-7. Abarbinel amne- 

Stnm. lib. i. p. 390. edit. 0»m. Siit. 

ouxl; Buerti that Jcntninh wu earned 


iDlo captivity with Jeconiiili, or Jehomchin, 

* Hicron. Pmf. in Pnplict Jgdi. ui. 

lonlniry to the prophcfi own MtounL 

13, 18 ; xviii. 2fl. 

Vid. Ab«rb. in E«k. 

' Jereni. i. 6 ; and llitran. in Hitnm. 

' 2 Mace, it 1-7. Eo«b. Prep. EYang. 

' Cluip.iiL4— 11; ixiv.R— 10; uiiu 

lib. ix. c. 39, HiaroD. conl. Jovinian.lib. ii. 

3, 4 i luiy. 3—5, conip. with Euk. lii. 

TertoL AdT. GnotL c B. 

13; itnd JOuoh. Anti<|. Kb. xi. op. ID. 

«Ch.p.xi.21; l.nkeiv.24. 

J«, »«vi.30,:(l. 

H Chap. XX. 7-le. 

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Ecclesiasticus,' alluding to hla sufieriDgs, remarks, " that they 
intreated him evil, who nevertheless was a prophet Bauctified in 
his inother^s womb." According to the account of St. Jeroin, 
lie was stoned to death at Tahpanhes,'' a royal city of Egypt, 
about five hundred and eighty-six years before the birth of 
Christ; either by his. own countrymen, as is generally main- 
tained, or by the Egyptians, to both of which people he had 
rendered himself obnoxious by the terrifying prophecies which 
be had uttered. The chronicle of Alexandria relates, that the 
prophet had incensed the Egyptians, by predicting that their 
idols shoald be overthrown hy an earthquake when the Saviour 
of the earth should be bom and placed in a manger. His pro- 
phecies, however, that are still extant concerning the conquests 
of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, " the servant of God," must have 
been sufBcient to excite the fears and hatred of those against 
whom they were uttered. It was added to this account which 
Ptolemy received, that Alexander the Great, visiting the tomb 
of Jeremiah, and hearing what he had predicted concerning his 
person, ordered that the prophefs um should be removed to 
Alexandria, and built a magnificent monument to his memory.' 
This was soon rendered famous; and as a reverence for the 
prophet's character encircled it with imaginary inBuence, it 
became celebrated as a place of miracles.'" Other accounts, 
however, relate, that the prophet returned unto his own country; 
and travellers are still shewn a place in the neighbourhood of 
Jerusalem, where, as they are told, Jeremiah composed his 
prophecies; and where Gonstantine erected a tomb to his 

Jeremiah, who professes himself the author of these pro- 
phecies," employed Baruch as his amanuensis in committing 
them to writing." He appears to have made at different times 
collections of what he bad delivered. The first seems to have 

I Ecdui. xMx. 17. Raleigh's Hist, of the World, b. ii. p. 555. 

' Jcrem. iliii.7,9i Heb. li, 17.Hiefon, " Croeodilu and icrpenUwere Buppowd 

ill c. Tiiiii. 9. Tah[iaiih« i> contncled to tA bo unable lo lira niai it ; uid the dD» 

llanea by iMiah, c ixi. t. It i> aoppoaed of the place is now deemed a cure for tha 

bj many lo bare been the city whicti w» bite of the nsp. Many otfaer nmiJar Ikc- 

aftcii-arda enlledDspbpiE PelouAcn. Other tiona wore engendered by auperttitiaDB re- 

tiaditions relate, tbal he waa tbiown into a apect for the prophet'a memory, 
pit, and Iranafiied mth dart*. Vid. Ore- " Chap, i. 1, 4, 6, 9 j Jtir. 13; xiii. 

gpnt. Uiaput. cum Herban. Jud. 1 ; isi. 3; li. WO. 

I AbulEir. Hirt. Orionl, Dyniisl. iii. " L'hap. iv. 32; iIt. I. 
Jean Mmquo Prtf. S[iiril>iet, c, Ixxvii. 



been composed in tbe fourth year of Jehoiakim, when the 
prophet was expressly commaoded by God to write upon a roll 
all the propliecies that he liad uttered concemiDg Israel, Judab, 
and other nations;'' this ho did by means of Bamch. But this 
roll being burnt by Jehoiakim,'' another was written auder 
Jeremiah's direction, with many additional particulars.' In the 
eleventh year of Zedekiah, the prophet appears to have collected 
into one book all the prophecies that he bad delivered before the 
taking of Jerusalem.' To this probably he afterwards added 
such farther revelations as he bad occasionally received during 
the government of Gedaliah, and during the residence in Egypt, 
the account of which terminates with the fifty-first chapter. 
The fifty-second chapter, which is compiled from the five last 
chapters of the second book of Kings,' was probably not written 
by Jeremiah, as it contains in part a repetition of what the 
prophet had before related in the thirty-ninth and fortieth 
chapters of his book, and some circumstances which, as it 
has been supposed, did not happen till after the death of Jere- 
miah ; and it is evident, from tbe intimation conveyed in the 
last verse, (" thus far are the words of Jeremiah,") that his book 
there terminates. The fifty-second chapter was therefore pro- 
bably added hy Ezra," as an exordium to the Lamentations. 
It is, however, a very useful appendage, as it illustrates the 
accomplishment of JeremiaVs prophecies relative to the captivity 
and the fate of Zedekiah. 

The prophecies, as they are now placed, appear not to be 
arranged in the chronological order in which they were de- 
livered." Whether they were originally so compiled by Jere- 
miah or Ezra, or whether they have been accidentally trans- 
posed, cannot now be determined. It is generally maintained, 
that if we consult the dates of their publication, they should be 
placed thus: 

In the reign of Josiah, the twelve first chapters. 

In that of Jehoiakim, chapters xiii — xx, xxi. 11 — 14, xxii, 
xxiii, XXV, xxvi, xxxv, xxxvi, xlv — xlix. 1 — 33. 

P Jbboti. HDvi. 2 ; iit. 13. ' Chap. i. 3. 

1 dnp. iiivi. 23. The Jewi instituted • 2 Kingumv. 18— 20; iiv. 

an Bnnaiil &st in commemoration of the " Siitus Senensii, without any juat 

bnniing of (bii roll, which ii atiU obsened ranion, Bllribntei it to Barueh, Bib. lib. i. 

in December, on the 2Sth ilnj of the month » Origen. F.piit. ad African. Micron. 

"' ' . Vid. Prid. part i. Iroofc 1. I'rasf. in Jerem. Blnnej's tnuulul. of Jete- 

' Chap 



In that of Zedekmb, chnp. xxi. 1 — 10, xxiv, xxvii — xxxiv, 
xxxrii — xxxix, xlix. 34—39, 1. and li. 

Under the govemmeDt of Gedaliah, chap, xl — xliv. 

Jeremiah does not seem to have received any revelations from 
God in the short intermediate reigns of Jelioalia?;, the sou of 
Josiah, or of Jeconiah, the son of Jehoialiim. 

The prophecies which related to the Qentiles are contained io 
the forty-sixth and five following chapters, being placed at the 
end, as in some measure unconnected with the others. But ia 
some copies of the Septuagtnt,^ these six chapters follow imme- 
diately alter the thirteenth verse of the twenty-Rfth chapter. 
Though the Israelites had been carried captive before Jeremiah 
began to prophesy, be occasionally addressed the ten tribes, as 
some remains of them were still left in Samaria. 

The prophecies of Jeremiah, of which the circumstantial ac- 
complishment is often specified in the Old and New Testament, 
are of a very distiogwabed and illustrious chcu'acter. He 
foretold the late of Zedekiah,* the Babylonish captivity, the 
precise time of its duration, and the retnrn of the Jews.' He 
described the destruction of Babylon, and the downfall of many 
nations, ** in predictions, of which the gradual and successive 
completion kept up the confidence of the Jews for the accom- 
plishment of those prophecies which he delivered relative to the 
Mes^h and his period.*^ He foreshewed the miraculous concep- 
tion of Christ,'' the virtue of his atonement, the spiritual cha- 
racter of his covenant, aod the inward efficacy of his laws.* 
The reputation of Jeremiah had spread among foreign nations, 
and his prophecies were deservedly celebrated in other countries/ 
Many heathen writers have likewise undesignedly borne testi- 
mony to the truth and accuracy of bis prophetic and historical 
descriptions.^ Jeremiah, cod tern plating those calamities which 

r As ID the Vatican uid Ateiandriiui. xxiiii. 14 — IB ; miii, 9, 26. Huet. 

' Cbep. XTxiv, 2 — R, comp. with 3 DcniDii. Btoii. Prop. vij. g. 1 1!. 

ChiDn. XTTTi. 1» ; 3 Kings iir. 5 ; and « Chnp. ixii 32. 

Jerem. UL 11. * Chnp. xui. 31— 3fi ; xuiJL a 

• Chap. IXT. 11, 12, comp. ' Al". Poljhiat. in Eiweb. Prasp. Erai. 

2; xiit 10; Eira i. 1. Prid. Connect, lib. ii. 

Ann. 518. Newton's eighth and elsTcnth < Vid. Hsivdotae, Xenophon CyropiEd. 

Diisert. an the Prophecies. Josfph. com. Apion. lib. i. Compare pRr- 

■> Chap. IXT. IS. Vid. also, ch. ii. 21! ; ticulorly the accounts of the tnking of 

IXT. 19— 2Si xlii. 10— IS; ilvi, and Babj-lon, sa doKiibed pniphetiudlf hy 

fi'llowing chapters. And Newton'o Dissert Jeremitdi in chap. II. and historically hy 

sii. llcrodolun, lib. i. 



impended over his country, represented in the moat descriptive 
terms, and under the most expressive images, the destruction 
that the iovading ennnj E^ould produce. He bewailed, in 
pathetic expostulation, the shameless adulteries which had 
provoked the Almighty, after long forbearance, to threaten 
Judah with inevitable punishment, at the time that false 
prophets deluded the nation with the promises of "assured 
peace," and when the people, in impious contempt of " the Lord's 
word," defied its accomplishment. Jeremiah intermingles with 
bis prophecies some historical relations relative to his own con- 
duct, and to the completion of those predictions which he had 

The style of Jeremiah, though neither deficient in elegance 
nor sublimity, has been considered as inferior in both respects 
to that of Isaiah. ** St. Jerom' objects a certain rusticity of ex- 
pression to him; but this it would not be easy to point out. 
His images are, perhaps, less lofty, and his expressions less 
dignified than those of gome others of the sacred writers ; but 
the character of his work, which breathes a tenderness of sorrow 
calculated to awaken and interest the milder affections, led 
him to reject the majestic and declamatory tone in which the 
prophetic censures were sometimes conveyed. The holy zeal of 
the prophet is, however, often excited to a very vigorous elo- 
quence in inveighing against the frontless audacity with which 
men gloried in their abominations.' The first part of the book 
is chiefly poetical, and, indeed, near one half of the work is 
written in some kind of measure. The historical part, towards 
the middle of the work, is written with much simplicity of style. 
The six last chapters, which are entirely in verse, contain several 
predictions delivered in a high strain of sublimity. The descrip- 
tions of Jeremiah have all the vivid colourings that might be ex- 
pected from a painter of contemporary scenes. The historical 
part has some characters of antiquity that ascertain the date of 
its composition. The months are reckoned by numbers ; a mode 

J- T- 

in Ilia bith, is written in Choldce, Ihnt they might 

■dmonitiiiUB againtt idolatry, being wiDbig be fdmialieil witli the Tcry wordg that Ihey 

to caution the people sgatnttt (he lempia- ihould anawci to thoK who would Beduco 

tiona which lliey woold ^nuhter in Uio Ihcm. 
optivitr. It is remarliablc, that the 



which did not prevail after the captivity, when they were dJa- 
tinguished by Chaldaic names. There are likewise a few Cbaldaic 
expressions, which about the time of Jeremiah mnst have be^n 
to vitiate the Hebrew lan^age. 

Jeremiah has been sometimes considered as an appointed 
prophet of the Gentiles.' He certainly delivered many prophecies 
relative to foreign nations. His name implies the exaltation of 
the Lord ; and his whole life was spent in endeavouring to 
promote Ood'a glory. His repntation was so considerable, that 
some of the fathers™ fancifully supposed that, as his death is no- 
where mentioned in scripture, he was living in the time of Christ, 
whom, as the gospel informs us, some supposed to have been 
this prophet." They likewise applied to him and Ellas what 
St. John mysteriously speaks of two witnesses that should 
prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty daye:° which 
superstitious fictions serve, at least, to prove the traditional 
reverence that was entertained for the memory of the prophet ; 
who long afterwards continued to be venerated in the Romish 
church as one of the greatest saints that had flourished under 
the old covenant ; as having lived not only with the general 
strictness of a prophet, but, as was believed, in a state of 
celibacy;'' and as having terminated his righteous mioietry by 


Tfik Jews denominate this book Echah,* from the first word 
of the text ; or sometimes they call it Einnoth,'' which implies 
tears, alluding to the moumfiil character of the work ; of which 
one would conceive, says Mr. Lowth, " that every letter was 

' Chap. L fi — 10. and local lulniCi ii Dncertain. The Cluldee 

■■ Viclorin. in Apoc cop. x\. 3. Plareo ParnplinH luppow* the prophet to b»ir 

ipud Hilar, in Matt. oui. ii. hid children. Vid. Com. on Jerem. ixxrii. 

" Matt. rri. U. 12. 

• BeT. li. 3. • ro-M, E<h«h How. 

^Chap. itL2. How ftr the rwtnction ,, -il-»n n,.nnti. a.— .^ i<in.nii.>;«>. 

b»e eiij<riMd wo. rf a typi«l. or twnporary ^ ]^ P' ^"^o*^' l^'-- I-i?«>"«^», 


vritten with a tear, every word the sound of a broken heart."" 
The book waa composed by Jeremiah, as he informs us in the 
title, and as the unvaried tradition of the church declares. The 
style, indeed, itself iudicates the same hand which composed the 
preceding hook. Upon what occasion these Lamentatione were 
produced, cannot be positively determined. In the second book 
of Chronicles,*' it is said that "Jeremiah lamented for Josiah:" 
and Josephus' and other writers' suppose that the work which 
we now possess was written upon the occasion of that monarch's 
death ; maintaining that the calamities which only three months 
after attended the deposition of Jehoahaz, were so considerable 
as to correspond with the description of the prophet, though they 
are not minutely detailed in sacred history. The generality of 
the commentators are however of a different opinion; and indeed 
Jeremiah here bewails the desolation of Jerusalem, the captivity 
of Judah, the miseries of lamine, and the cessation of all religious 
worship, in terms so forcible and pathetic, that they appear 
rather applicable to some period after the destrnctiou of Je- 
msalem,' when, agreeably to his own predictions, every circum- 
stance of complicated distress overshadowed Judaea. ** But upon 
whatever occasion these Lamentations were composed, they are 
evidently descriptive of past events, and cannot be considered as 
prophetic elegies. 

Some Jewish writers imagined, that this was the book which 
Jeremiah dictated to Baruch, and which waa cut and burnt by 
Jehoiakim.' But there is no foundation for this opinion, for the 
book dictated to Baruch contained many prophetic threats'' 
against various nations, of which there are no traces in this 
book. In the Greek, Arabic, and Vulgate versions of this hook 
there is a spurious argument, which is not in the Hebrew, nor 
in the Chaldee paraphrase, any more than in the version of St. 
Jerom, who followed the Hebrew. It may be thus translated : 
"It came to pass, that after Israel had been carried away 
captive, and Jerusalem became desolate, the prophet Jeremiah 

' Gresor. Noiiani. Orat. xiL Joiiah thiui in that of Zcdekiah. 

" 2 ChroD. xxxT. 25. ■ Chap, i, 3, 8, 6, 12, 18 1 ii 2, 5, 6, 7, 

• Jo«[di. Aotiq. Jnd. lib. X. c 6. 16; iv. 6, 10,22; t. 6, 13. 

' Hieroii. in Lament. R. S«Iam. Lament. ^ Cbap. it. 4, maj ^nde ta the ble of 

c. iv. 20. Michaeli* note in Pnclect. 23. Zedekiah. 

Vuet. AnnaL A. M. S394. et Lam. c. t. ' Jerem. ihti. 4—23. 

7 ; wliicb Michaeli* cmiiiden ai a complaint *' Chap, xxxri. 2. 
men jnat and reaionablc in the time of 



sat weeping, and bewailed Jenisalem with ttiiii lamentation, and 
bitterly weeping and mourDiiig, said as follows." This was pro- 
bably added by the Greek translators, in lieu of the fifty-second 
chapter of Jeremiah's prophecies, which they rejected from this 
to the preceding book.' The Lamentations were certainly 
annexed originally to the Prophecies of Jeremiah, and were 
admitted with them together into the Hebrew Canon as one 
book. The modern Jews, however, place this work in their copies 
among other smaller tracts, such as Buth, Canticles, &c. at the 
end of the Peatatench ; having deranged the books of scripture 
from the order which they held in Ezra's collection. 

With respect to the plan of this work, it is composed after 
the manner of funeral odes, though without any very artificial 
disposition of its subject. It appears to contain the genuine 
effusions of real grief; in which the author, occupied by his 
sorrow, attends not to exact connection between the different 
rhapsodies, but pours out whatever presents itself. He dwells 
upon the same ideas, and amplifies the same thoughts, by new 
expressions and figures, as is natural to a mind intent on subjects 
of affliction. There is, however, no wild incoherency in the 
contexture of the book ; the transitions are easy and elegant ; 
but it is in fact a collection of distinct sentences upon the same 
subject, which are properly entitled Lamentations. 

The work is divided into five parts. In the first, second, and 
fourth chapters, the prophet speaks in his own person; or, by a 
very elegant and interesting personification, introdnces Jerusalem 
as speaking.*" In the third chapter, a chorus of the Jews speaks 
as one person, like the corypbEeus of the Greeks. In the liilh, 
which forms a kind of epilogue to the work, the whole nation 
of the captive Jews is introduced in one body, as pouring out 
complaints and supplications to God. Each of these five parts 
is distributed into twenty-two periods, or stanzas, in coi^ 
respondence with the number of the Hebrew letters. In the 
three first chapters, these periods are triplets, or consist of three 
lines." In the four first chapters, the initial letter of each period 

■ Huet Prop. iv. cap. 11. sedentary afflbtiau wai hmiliu to the 

■ IdthefintT«r«c,JenMa1emi.deMrib- Jew*. Vid. Job ij. 13; P«L eixxrii. 1; 
ed fu nitting peniivc BndMlitarf,ai Judsa Eirk. iii. IS. AdditOD '• Due. on MsdaU. 
wi* nftetwardi represenled on the coins of " There is, however, in each of the two 
Vopuisn and Titui. Siltiai wai a no- first chapters, one letncolon, or Mama of 
turol posture ot lorraw ; and the picture of four lines, in cap. i. ]^ in cap, iu p. p, 

n„,-,-T-A Google 


follows the order of the alphabet ; and in the third chapter, each 
line of the same stanza begins with the same letter." In the 
fourth chapter, all the etansae are evidently disticheB,<> as also in 
the fifth, which is not acrostic. The intention of this acrostic, 
or alphabetic arrangement, was to assist the memory in retaining 
sentences not much connected;'' and the same method was 
adopted, and is even still used, by the Syrians, Arabians, and 
Persians.' It is remarkable, also, that though the verses of the 
fifth chapter are short, yet those of the other chapters seem to be 
nearly half as long again as those which nsually occur in Hebrew 
poetry ; and the prophet appears to have chosen this measure as 
more flowing, and accommodated to the effusions of sorrow, and 
perhaps as more agreeable to the nature of Juneral dirges.' 

This poem affords the most elegant variety of affecting images 
that ever probably were collected into so small a compass.' 
The scenes of afiliction, the circnmstances of distress, are painted 
with such beautiful combination, that we contemplate every- 
where the most affecting picture of desolation and misery. The 
prophet reiterates his complaints in the most pathetic style; 
and aggravates his sorrow with the boldness and force of de- 
scription that correspond with the magnitude and religious im- 
portance of the calamities displayed to view. In the instructive 
strain of an inspired writer, he reminds his countrymen of the 
grievous rebellions that had provoked the Lord to " abhor his 
sanctuary ;" confesses that it was of Gtod^s mercies that they 
were not utterly consumed ; and points out the soorces of evil 
in the iniquities of their false prophets and priests. He then, 
with indignant irony, threatens Edom with destruction for 
rejoicing over the miseries of Judsea; opens a consolatory 
prospect of deliverance and future protection to Zion ; and con- 
cludes with an affecting address to God, to " consider the re- 
proach" of his people, and to renew their prosperity. 

• Tha thiid chapter ha» aiilj-ui rereei i Ths Lamentatiom appear to haie been 

in our tnniUtiDii, b«anu ^ch of tha lung in public letTicc. Vid. Lowtb'a Pna- 

twentjr-two periodt it divided into tbice iect. 23 ; and Pre&ce to luiab, p. 31. 
venei, accotding to tbe initial lelten. It ■' AucDuni Bibljothec Oriental. tdL iiL 

is im:^ri[able,that in tbe lecond, Ihiid, and p. 63, 160, 168, 328. 
fourth chaplOT, the initial lettarBiipbced ' The lamentatione vhich occaaonalTj 

.... ... , . . - ocear, appear all la be compoied at Iiim 

hafor. S, c™t™rj U, the oHer ob«r,ed m ^ '^^^^^ ,^^^ ba\!uppo«d to 

the dphabet, and m the fi rat chapter, a. ^» ,^ ^^ the el,^ac »e„un. 

well a. m the acroaUc p^lma. „f ^^ Hebrews ' ^ 

r The itaoza D, a* now read, cannot be i Lowth'* Pnelect. 22. 
divided into two oi thna Tone*. 



It is worthy to be obsenred, that Jeremiah, in endeavourioff 
to promote resignation in his couDtrymen, represents bia own 
deportment under afflictions in terms which have a prophetic 
cast, so strikingly are they descriptive of the patience and 
conduct of our Saviour under his suSenngs." The prophet, 
indeed, in the meek endurance of unmerited persecution, was an 
iUostrions type of Christ. 

Jeremiah is represented in some titles to hare been the author 
of the cxxxviith Psalm;' as likewise to have ctunposed the 
Ixvth,^ in conjunction with Ezekiel; but probably neither of 
them were the production of his pen. The author of the second 
book of Maccabees* speaks of some recorded instructions of the 
prophet, which are no longer extant. In the Vaticim library 
are some compositions in Greek, attributed to the prophet, con- 
taining spurious letters from Bamch and Ebedmelech to the 
prophet, and snpposititious answers from him. 


EzEKiKL, who was the third of the great prophets, was the son 
of Buzi, a descendant of Aaron, of the tribe of Iicvi ; that ia, of 
the sacerdotal race. He is said to have been a native of Sarara,* 
and to have been carried away captive to Babylon with Jehoi- 
achin king of Judah, A. M. 3406. He settled, or was placed, 
with many others of his captive countrymen, on the banks of the 
Chebar,* a river of Mesopotamia, where he was favoured with 
the divine revelations which are described in this book. He 
appears to have been mercifully raised up to animate the de- 
spondence of his contemporaries in their safierings and afflic- 
tions, and to aasntfl them that they were deceived in suf^Mwing, 

■ Chop, iii 1 — 30. prophet iftar tlie ratoin [nm tha captirltj. 

■ Thii ii ucribed lo him in umit lAtin VuL OtlmeL 
copiei, u it bmuetlj wu ia loma Greek • 3 Maoc iL 1 — 7. 
mannunpti ; but it tsem* to hers been * pMndo-Epiphui. in Vit Preset, 
written 1^ loms captiTS >t Babfloo. » Called bj Ptolemy and Stnl>a, Ch>- 

r The titlei in the Greek and UkUa bonu, ar Abonu ; and by Plinj, Cobarii, 

copiei which auign thii paalm to Jeremiah lib. i. cap. 26. It Hon into the eatt tide 

and Giekiel, ars of no anlhocitf. The of tha Enphntei at Cimainm, of Caicba- 

pnlm na probably written b; Darid npon miih, almmt two hoixlrad nilaa to IIm 

tha occauon of •ama snaona lain afler a north of Bmbjlao. 
drought I or paihapa b; Haggai, or aome 



according to tfae repreaentations of false prophets, tliat their 
countrymen who remuned !□ Judeea were io happier circum- 
stances than theoaselrea ; and with this view he desGribes that 
melancholy scene of calamities which was about to arise ia Ju- 
daia, and thence he proceeds to predict the universal apostacy of 
the Jews, and the total destruction of their city and temple ; 
adverting also, occasJonally, to those punishmeDts which awaited 
their enemies ; and interspersing assurances of the final accom- 
plishment of God's purpose, with prophetic declarations of the 
advent of the Messiah, and with promises of the final restoration 
of the Jews. 

The name of Ezekiel' was happily expressive of that inspired 
confidence and fortitude which he displayed, as well in support- 
ing the adverse circumstances of the captivity, as in censuring 
the sins and idolatrous propensitiea of his countrymen. He 
began to deliver his prophecies about eight or ten years after 
Daniel, in the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity, and, as some 
hare supposed, in the thirtieth year of his age.** 

The divine iDStmctions were first revealed to him in a glorious 
vision, in which he beheld a representation, or, as he himself re- 
verently expresses it, " the appearance of the Ukenesa of the 
glory of the Lord," attended by his cliembims symbolically por^ 
trayed. " The word of the Lord came expresBly" nnto him, and 
he received his commissiou by a voice, which was followed by a 
forcible influence of the spirit, and by awful directions for his 
conduct.* He appears to have executed bis high trust with great 
fidelity. The author of Ecclesiasticus' says of him, that "he 
directed them who went right (^ which may be considered as a 
merited encomium en the industry with which he endeavoured 
to instruct and guide his countrymen to righteousness. He is 
reported by some writers to have presided in the government of 
the tribes of tiad and Dan in Assyria ; and, among other mi- 

* Eukial, Wpirp. Fortitudo Dei »el hoi»cliin'« cap^Tiiy. Other dinnolc^u, 

Appnhnuio DbL boweTer, conceiva it to be ibc thirtielli 

■ Emek. L 1. ilieron. in loa &c Uilier, jeai of Ecekiel'i age, or ths thirtieth yeor 

PridonZi ind otlien, nckon the thirty of Nebopoluaer'e reign ; wid othera, tfia 

Ifcan here ipokea of, m »ell u the tortj thirtieth year hota the Jubilee. ViJ. 

d«y«ory«M»mentionBdinihBp.iv. 6,from Uiber ad A. M. S409. Prid. An. A. C, 

"■- ■'-■ ■'■* ■. .«. ^ .- - . ... j;^,j.^j 

the time of the coienuit made by Joeiah 694. Scaliger Can. Ite^ p. 28. 
in the eighteenth year of liie reisn. Vid. lunally datH in pivpheciet from lli 
3 Ktngi uiii, S ; according to vhich com- hi> appointment M the prophetic oA 

,y Google 

pnlatim, tbii thirtieth year correipondi ' Chap. 

with A. H. 3410, and the fifth year of Jo- ' fjxlui. xli'i. 9 ; et AmnliL 



raclee, to have punished them for idolatry by a foarfnl destrnc- 
tioQ produced by serpeatB. Id addition to these popular tradi- 
tions, it is reported that his countrymen were bo incensed by his 
reproaches, as to put him to a cruel death.' In the time of 
Epiphauius, it was generally believed that his remains were de- 
posited in the same sepulchre with those of Shem and Arphaxad, 
which was situated between the river Eophrates and that of 
Chaboras, in the land of Manr; and it was much resorted to,** 
not only by the Jews, but also by the Medea and Persians, who 
reverenced the tomb of the prophet with a superstitious devo- 

g'he authenticity of Ezekiel'a book will admit of no <]ue8tion. 
represents himself as the author in the beginning and other 
.B of it, and justly assumes the character and pretendons of a 
>het:' as such he has been universally considered. A few 
writers, indeed, of very inconsiderable authority, have fancied, 
from the first word of the Hebrew text, which they consider as 
a connexive particle, that what we possess of Ezekiel is bat the 
fragment of a larger work. Bat there is no shadow of fomida^- 
tion for this conjecture, since it was very customary to begin a 
discourse in that language with the particle van,'' which we pro- 
perly translate, " Now it came to pass." It has been asserted, 
likewise, on Talmudical authority, that certain rabbins delibe- 
rated concerning the rejection of this book from the Canon, on 
account of some passages in it which they conceived to be con- 
tradictory to the principles of the Mosaic law.' If they had any 
such intention, they were soon convinced of their mistake, and 
gave up the design. But the Jews, indeed, did not suffer the 
book, or at least the beginning of it, to be read by any who had 

• Ilieron. in Ezcch. liL * ' Comp. E»ek. iTJii. 20, with Eiod. 

» Benjamin Tndela relatei, Itat a mag- miv. 7. The people whom E«eldel wl- 

niGccnt raof wu bnill to it by Jechoniah dreued, pi«iunptiun»1; complaiiied that 

and thirty thoumid Jewa, and decanted they weic poniahed for the lina of tbeir 

with JDUigc* of Jechonish, Ezekiel, and fbreblhen, though, in truth, they had me- 

othen ; liJiewiM, that > lynagi^a and li- rited their captiTJIy by perditiag in (tiI. 

brary were erected there, in which wm Uod, therefore, Tery conuttenlty willi hit 

depoaited ■ manutcript of Kiekiel'a pro- former decUmliona, thieaten* by £xeUel to 

phedes that wu read on Ibe day of eipia- nuke aoch di*linetion between ike ri^Ieoiu 

tion. The pretended tomb of Eiekie! i* and the wicked. Chat each man ihonld be 

atill ahewn, about fifteen league* fhnn aenaible of hsTing deaened hi* anSiariDnt 

Basdad. And be ataurta the people, with eapeetal 

■ Chap. L I ; ii 2, 5. Clem. 1 E|Nat. reference to eternal puniihment, that " the 

ad Cor. c xriL soul that ainned ihonld die ;" and that 

' Jonafa. L 1 , and tbe banning of moit " the aon ihonld not bear the iniquity of 

of the falitorkal booka of acriplure ; alao tbe fiither ;" that eocb abonid be reepon- 

Calmel Prabce aur EiechieL nble only tar hia own condnct 



not attained tbeir thirtietb year ;" and restnctions were imposed 
upon commentators who might be disposed to write upon it." 

St. Jerom hath remarked, certunly with great truth, that the 
visions of Ezekiel are sometimes verj mysterious, and of difficult 
interpretation, and that they may be reckoned among the tbiugs 
Id scripture which are " bard to be understood."'* Ezekiel him- 
self, well aware of the mysterious character of those represents^ 
tions which he beheld in vision, and of the necessary obscurity 
which must attend the description of them to others, humbly 
represented to Qod that the people accused him of speaking 
darkly " in parables.^'' It appears to have been Ood''8 design to 
cheer the drooping spirits of his people, but only by communi- 
cating such encouragement as was consistent with a state of 
punishment, and calculated, by indistinct intimations, to keep 
alive a watchful and submissive confidence. For this reason, 
perhaps, were Ezekiel's prophecies, which were revealed amidst 
the gloom of captivity, designedly obscure in their nature ; but 
though mysterious in themselves, they are related by the 
prophet in a plain and historical manner. He seems to have 
been desirous of conveying the strong impressions which be re- 
ceived, as accurately as they were capable of being described. 

The representations which Ezekiel beheld in vision are capable 
of a very interesting and instructive illustration from other parts 
of scripture, as may be seen in the commentaries of various 
writers who have undertaken to explain their allusive character ; 
and the figurative directions which the prophet rec^ved in them, 
with relation to his own conduct, were very consistent with the 
dignity of his character, and the design of his mission. Some of 
these directions were ^ven, indeed, only by way of metaphorical 
instruction: for when Ezekiel is commanded to "eat the roll 
of prophecy," we readily understand that he is enjoined only to 
receive, and thoroughly to digest its contents;'" and when he 
professes to have complied with the command, we perceive that 
he speaks only of a transaction in vi«on. With respect to some 
other relations of this nature contained in Ezekiers book,' 

" Calmel'a Diet Herbelot. BiblioL EiehUl ia mppoaed to him octnallj re- 

Orieol. p. 943. moieil hi* houuhold atuff, u thu> proplis- 

* Caiuena de Rep. H«b. 17. 'Ting by a aigii ; and this luppou lion aeenia 
" HieroD. Prol. in EcetL et Prol. GrI. to be aolhoriaed by Ihe ncconnt Vid. 
' Exek. II. *9. Euik, liL 7 ; nnd Waterlnnd in Ewlt. So, 

* Vid. Bbt. X. B— 10. alio.whendepriiedof hiawifr,he«Ttainly 
' III theOcocRil Preliicc (otho fn^hela, refrained rrom the ciuMmaryabow of griel^ 

,<,:,Go Ogle 


whether we suppose them to be descriptive of real or intaginaiy 
events, they are very recoDcileable with the divine intention in 
the employment of the prophet. On a supposition that they 
were real, we may reasonably suppose a miraculons assistance to 
have been afforded when nocessary ; and if we consider them as 
imaginary, they might be represented eqvwilly as emblematical 
ibrewamings revealed to the prophet.* 

The book of Ezekiel is sometimes distributed by the following 
analysis, under different heads. After the three first chapters, 
in which the appointment of the prophet is described, the wick- 
edness and punishment of the Jews, especially of those remtuning 
in Judaaa, are represented under different parables and visions. 
From thence to the thirty-second chapter, the prophet turns his 
attention to those nations who had nofeelingly triumphed over 
the Jews in their affliction ; predicting that destruction of Uie 
Ammonites, Moabites, and Philistines, which Nebuchadnezzar 
effected ; and particularly, he foretells the ruin and desolation 
of Tyre' and of Sidon, the fall of Egypt,* and the base de- 
generacy of its future people, in a manner so forcible, in terms 
so accurately and minutely descriptive of their several fates and 
present condition, that nothing can be more interesting than to 
trace the accomplishihent of these prophecies in the accounts 
which are furnished by historians and travellers. 

From the thirty-second to the fortieth chapter, Etekid 
inveighs against the hypocrisy and murmnring spirit of his 
captive couutrj^men ; encouraging them to resignaUon by pro- 
mises of deliverance,' and by intimations of spiritual redemption/ 
In the two last chapters of this division, under the promised 
victories to be obtained over Gog and Magog,* he undoubtedly 

u a dga of tlie unprecedented and inex- coDcemiiiji Hophn, king of %7pt. Vid. 

preuiUe wnroir niider which the Jews Jsrem. ilW. SO; uid Herod, lib. iL Hophn 

■hoold (NDe t,iray on the dettntction of l> called Apriei b; Hoiodotai ; who, my 

their temple. Via. ch^ uiv. 16, et leq. the hiitonaa, uxu dettimed to aitforttma. 

* Chap. it. and t. See alu the THtimaniet of Mcgatthene* 

* Eiak. nvi, iTTii, and xxriii. Joaeph. and Beronu in Newton, 

Antiq. lib. I. cup. II. cant. Apinn. lib. L ■ Chap. mTi. II; Txirii. IS, 14, SI. 
Newton'i eleienth Diiaert. on Pitiph«y. > Chap. miv. i ; niii. el aeq.; xxxm 

Prid. Con. An. £73. Shaw'a Tratels, p. 24, el leq. 

310. Manndrell. p. 4G, 49. Volncf, toI. > Rbt. xi. 7, 8. Some coDceiTo that 

iL c. S9. Bmce'i TistcIi, Intnd, p. 59. these prophecies of Eiekiel related to the 

* Chap. iiii. and in. Nearton's pencculionof Antiochns Epiphanes. Colmet 
Dissert, xii. and every history, and eceiy applies tlieni to Combyses. Oog is, hon-- 
Kccoant of Egypt. Herodotus pnrticulai^y ever, generally supposed to repnaent the 
reUtes the accnmpliihmrnt of those pro- Turks; wlio derire tiicir origin from the 
pbecic* which Ji>reniinh and Eickiel ottered Tartars, a race of the Scjrtbians, who wars 

i)„, ,-,-■,;, Google 


predicts the final return of the Jewa fi-pm their digpernon, in 
the latter days, with an obBcnrit^i however, that can be dispersed 
only by the event. 

The eight last chapters of this book furnish the descriptioa of 
8 very remarkable Tieion of a new temple and city ; of a new 
religion and polity, under the particulars of which is shadowed 
out the establishment of a future universal church.* Josephua 
says, that Ezekiel left two hooka concerning the captivity;'' and 
the author of the Synopsis attributed to Athanaaua, aopposea 
that one book has been lost ; but as the nine last chapters of 
Ezekiel constitute ia some measure a distinct work, probably 
Josephus might consider them as forming a second book. 

It deserves to be remarked that we are informed by Josephns, 
that the prophecy in which Ezekiel" foretold that "Zedekiah 
should not see Babylon, though he should die there," was 
judged by that monarch to be inconnstent with that of Jeremiah, 
who predicted that *' Zedektah eboold behold the king of Ba- 
bylon, and go to Babylon."" But both were exactly fulfilled ; 
for Zedekiab did see the king of Babylon at Riblah, and then 
being deprived of hia eyes, he was carried to Babylon, and died 
there.* From this account it appears, that Ezekiers prophecies 
were transmitted to Jeniealem, aa we know that Jeremiah^a 
were sent to his countrymen in captivity;' an iutflroonrse being 
kept up, eapecially for the conveyance of prophetic instructions ; 

ths dncendBDla ofMBgag.tlieMTiDf Japhet. a temple, coiT<eBponding in ita atrnctnre and 

Vid. Oen. I. 2. Ths void Qog Bppeon (o dimenrioni wllh (hat of Solamon. Tha 

ba BppUed to the people, and Hagog to tlia prophet, b; preMntisg la the captirei thii 

land. We leani fiom Pliay, that Scjiho- delineation of what had been " the detira of 

Kplii and Hieropolie were alvBji railed tteir erei," leminded thorn oF the lou 

>gag, after they were taken h j the Sc;- which the; hod infieted from their onriglite- 

Ihioni. The other propheli apeiih of loine ononeu, and fumiihed them with B model 

future enem; of the Jewi and chunh Dnder upon which the temple might ngain liu 

a dmilai deaefiptioii ; but la whftt manner from ita mini ; ai it did, willi leta magnl- 

thi< magnificent prophecy i> to recaice ita ficence, indeed, in the time of ZwnbbubtL 

oompletkOD, time only can explain- Vid. Under the particalan detailed by Ecekie], 

Lowth in loc Jerem. ixrii. and in ; Joel howeTer, we often diuorei the economj of 

iii ; Uicoh t; Hev. xx. Mede conceiTea a apirituel temple, which ihould again bo 

that the Qog and Mogog mentioned in the filled ** with the glory of the Loid coming 

Rerelation of St. John, preiignify some from the eoat." Vid, chap, ihi' ' 

enemiee different from thow foretold under Villalpandni, Capellua, and 

theae nomea by Ezekiel i and that St. John** at large, 

propheciei apply to aome unconverted hea- ** Joaeph. Antiq. lib. I. c 

theni, to appear in oppoution to the church ° Eiek. lii. IS. 

towaida the concluiion of the millennium. ■■ Jerem. ixxiv. 3. 

Vid. de Oog et Mag. Conject. Mede'i ■ Joseph. Antiq. lib. x. 

Worlta, rol. ii. h. 3. lib. ri. t 10, 

* Tbi> obacore viuon of Ezekiel i> gene- ' Jerem, xiix, 1; and Hi 

rally Mippoied to contun the deacription of xii. 7. 



for imparting what might console misery, or awaken repentance; 
and it was probably on the ground of this commnnication, that 
the Talmudigts supposed that the prophecies of Ezekiel were 
arranged into their present form, and pUced in the Canon by 
the elders of the great synagogue.' 

The style of this prophet is characterized by bishop Lowth as 
bold, vehement, and tragical;'' as often worked up to a kind of 
tremendous dignity. His book is highly parabolical, and 
abounds with figures and metaphorical expressions. Ezekiel 
may be compared to the Grecian j^schylns: he displays a 
roagfa but majestic dignity, an unpolished though noble sim- 
plicity ; inferior, perhaps, in originality and elegance to others 
of the prophets, but unequalled in that force and grandeur for 
which he is particularly celebrated. He sometimes emphatically 
and indignantly repeats his sentiments, fully dilates his pictures, 
and describes the adulterous manners of his countrymen under 
the strongest and most exaggerated representations that the 
license of the Eastern style would admit. The middle part of 
the book ia in some measure poetical, and contains even some 
perfect elej^es;' though his thoughts are in general too irregnlar 
and uncontrolled to be chiuned down to rule, or fettered by 

Some persons have conceived that Pythagoras imbibed bis 
knowledge concerning the Mosaic law from Ezekiel : and that 
the prophet was the same person with Nazaratus,*' under whom 
Pythagoras is relate^ to have studied.' Pythagoras certainly 
did visit Babylon, and, according to many calculations, he was 
contemporary with the prophet. 

I Bara Bnthia, c 1. and in Oemar. ' Chap, htu; ud ixriii. 13 — 19. 

ludot. Orig. Ub. tL cap. 3. * Callad Zabntoa, bj PoipbTiy In Vita 

' Th« Eickiel who ii quoted bj Ctemeni PjthBgor'mi Zantua, b; Platanb. Vid. 

Alciuidriiiiu (nd Eiaebiiii, aa the tragic HneC. Prop. it. 

poet of the Jem, wbi h diflerent penon ' Clem. Alei. Sinm. lib. i. Some con- 

Uwn the prapbet. Some lappOM tbsE be ceive that Pytbagaiai migbt hare bees 

WH one of th* leTeDl; tnnilalon under bom about nine yuan after EKkiel*! de- 

Ptolem;. Hii worii, in which ha describee parture foi the csp^Til;, and might hare 

the Eiodui of the Jevi under the conduct rigited Bahflon yety ;oiin|:, and u have 

of M<i*e>.ia (till eiMnt. Vid. Clem. Alex, eontened with Eiekiel when the prophet 

Strom, lib. i p. 344. Euieb. Prsp. ETang. waa in jeam. 
lib.u.c.2B. Fabric Kb. Onix. lib. U.C 19. 




That Daoiel collected these prophecies into their present form is 
evident, since in variona parts of the book he speaks of himself 
in the character of its author,* and has heen so considered in all 
ages of the church. Some Jewish writers, indeed, upon a mis- 
taken notion that prophecies were never committed to writing 
out of the limits of Judsea, pretend that the book was composed 
by the mea of the great synagogne, as also thoee of Esther and 
Ezekiel.'' It was, however, unquestionablj admitted into the 
Hebrew Canon as the authentic production of Daniel ;- and it is 
cited as his work in the New Testament." 

In the time of Josephns, Daniel was esteemed as one of the 
greatest of the prophets ;'' hut since the period in which the 
historian flourished, the Jews, in order to invalidate the evi- 
dence that results ftom the prophet's writings in snpport of 
Christianity, have, on the authority of a few doctors, agreed to 
class him among the hagiographi;^ which decision, however, 
does not, upon their own rules, affect his pretensions to be con- 
sidered as an inspired writer. The reason which, among others, 
the Jews produce to authorize this degradation, is, that Daniel 
lived in the BabyloniBh court in a style of magnificence incon- 
sistent with the restrictions observed by the prophets;' and 
though the divine will was revealed to him by an angel, yet as 
the prophet himself called this revelation a dream, the Jewish 
writers, by some unintelligible distinction, consider this as a 
mode of revelation inferior to any of those specified in God's 
address to Moses.s Without staying to refute these absurd 

■ Dbo. Tiii. 1,2,27; ix. 2; x. 2; uL 6, tian placed him vDong the pro^^la in their 

Ac Oraek uintlctiont, Rgreeablj to bii rank in 

'' Ban BathiB, tap. in GemUH, and, the SeplaagiDt ; uid HeUto found bia 

RabbiQB. Juaephai iHim* n>, that Daniel reckoned in the nme clou. Vid. Eoteb. 

hnnieir conunitted hi> prophecies to writing. Hiit. EccleL lib. ii, c. 26. Epiphan. 

Vid. Joseph. AnUq. lib. i. cap. 12. Hares. 2». Namr. noI« 7. Do Pond, et 

' Matt niT. 15; Mark liii U. Meni. n. *. 162. Chand. Vindic. cL 1. 

' JoM[Ji,lih. I. cap. 11, 12. aect. 3. 

• Mmnjon. More Nerodi, par. ii. cap. i, 

fit HieroQ. PrtcC in Dnn. Theod. cap. nit. Demon. Enin. Prop, i 

Dan. Yet Daniel i« reckoned among (he Pnef. in Pialm. 
prophele in some Talnudicnl WkL Vid. I Numb. liL 6. Ma 

Megilla, c. 2. .lacchiadc* in Dan. L 17. par. ii. c 45. 
In the necond cciiturj, AijuiUi and Tbcodu- 



fancies it is onlj necessary to obserre, that the exact accom- 
plishment of Daniel''8 many remarkable predictions wouM have 
sufficiently established his rig^ht to the character of a prophet, 
even if he had not been expressly dietiognished as sach by the 
sacred writers," and by Christ himself, who spoke agreeably to 
the opinion of the Jews, his contemporaries, in testimony to the 
prophetic character of Daniel.' 

Daniel woe a descendant of the kings of Jndah, He is re- 
lated to have been bora at upper Bethoron,^ which was in the 
territory of Ephraim. He was carried away captive to Babylon 
in the foortb year of Jehoiakim, A. M. 3398 ; probably in the 
eighteenth or twentieth year of his age ;' mid on account of his 
birth, wisdom, and accomplishments," wae selected to stand in 
the presence of Nebnchaduezzar : so that in him uid bis com- 
panions was fnlfiUed that prophecy in which Isaiah declared to 
Hezekiah, that "his issue should be eunnchs in the palace of the 
kinj of Babylon."" 

By the signal proofe which he gave of an excellent spirit, and 
by the many extraordinary qualities which he possessed, Daniel 
conciliated the tavonr of the Per»an monarcbs ; he was elevated 
to high rank,° and entrusted with great power. In the vicis- 
situdes of his life, as in the virtnes which he displayed, he haa 
been thought to have resembled Joseph. Like him, be lived 
amidst the corruption of a great court ; and preserved an unshaken 
attachment to his religion, in a situation embarrassed with diffi- 
culties, and surrounded by temptations. He publicly professed 
Qod''8 service, in defiance of every danger ; and predicted his 

k lUb. iL 33, 34 ; 2 PeL L 31. duelia, God » 1117 judge. (Vid. Mich. 

' Mate ixiv. ISj Muk lill. 14. Pmf. in Dhs. and Oeiiui in Dan.) Tlie 

^ Joih. iri 5. Sixtna 8«nen>lB offlmu, nams plea to him in the Bnbjloniili contt 

afler Epiphaniui, tluit Daniel vat intra in ni BeltoAaziBt ; a name which, si Ncbo- 

fiatheber, near Jeninlem. Vid. Bib. Sac chadneiiBr remarked in hi* decree, wa* 

lib. i. p. 40. Michieli* cooriden thii as an derived fhnn the name of tiii god, (Bd.) 

impnbable tradiUon. Vid. Michael. Prtef. Vid. Dan. ir. 8. It <nu nioa] aunmg the 

p. 8. BabjlDniHii ao to dnumunate penoiu nAer 

' Abeo-Ein. tba namt* of their deitiea, *■ Nebachad- 

■■ Don. i. 3, 4 ; Enk. xiv. 14 ; xxy. 3 ; nenar from Nebo, and Evil-Merodach bmn 

iiviii. 8. Merodacb. Vid. Iw. xlvi. 1 ; Jerwn, L 2. 

° 2 Kinga ix. 18 ; In. xiiix. S, 7. The It was alto cnitomarj among the Eaitetn 
word enniidi fomierif wu a general title natiann, for the kinga to diaUngoiih thair 
ior the rojal attendanti, Hie aame phnue (aToaritea b; new namea when thej con- 
in the original ia applied to Potiphar Vid. femd on tbem new dignitiea ; aod the 
Gen. iirii. 1. Vid. slao Act* viij. 27. Mogil adll adherea to tli> cnitom. Qen. 

' The name of Daniel implied, "(he xli. 45; Either iL 7. Sodiger de Emend, 

manof onrdrairea." Olhera aayitaignified. Temp. lib. t. and ri. Cellar, ad Curtium, 

the judgment of Ood ; or, according to Mi- lib. *i. c 6. 



fearful judgments to the very face of intemperate and powerful 
tyrants.'' It may be collected, from the peneive cast of his 
writings, that he was of that melancholy disposition which might 
be expected to characterize the serraots of the true Qod amidst 
scenes of idolatry. He experienced through his whole life very 
Hgnal luid miraculous proois of divine faronr; and was looked 
up to by the Persians, as well as by his own countrymen, as an 
oracle of inspired wisdom ;<l be contributed much to spread a 
knowledge of Ood among the Gentile natioas. Many' writers 
hare supposed that Zoroaster, the celelHBted iWnder or refiinner 
of the Magian religion, was a disciple of Daniel, since Zoroaster 
was eridently well acquainted with many revealed truths, and 
borrowed from the sacred writings many particulars for the im- 
provement of his religions institntes/ 

Daniel appears to have attained a great age, as he prophesied 
during the whole period of the captivity. He probaUy, however, 
did not long survive his last vision concerning the succession of 
the kings of Perda, which he beheld in the third year of Cyms,* 
A. M. 8470, when the prophet must have reached his ninetieth 
year. As Daniel dates this vision by a Persian era, it was ap- 
parently revealed to him in Persia ; and though some have as- 
serted that he returned from the captivity with Ezra, and took 
upon him the government of Syria,* it is probable that he was 
too old to avail himself of the decree of Oyraa," however he 
might have been accessary in obtaining it t and that ^reeably 
to the received opinion, he died in Persia. Epiphonius and 
others affirm that he died at Babylon ; and they say that his 
sepulchre was there to be seen many ages after, in the royal 
cave.' But it is more probable, according to the common 
tradition, that be was buried at Snsa, or Shushan, where cer- 
tainly he sometimes resided,' and perhaps as governor of Persia ; 

t Chap. IT, 20—28 ; Y, 19—29. iMntioned' 1^ Diodonu, differed fnmi the 

4 Don. T. 11 ; Ek1e« kit. 14; XTTiii 3. proptwC in hiB period aod duiacl«r. 

Daniel imi Tcry jonng when Euhiel bore < Epipluin. Siit Seneni. Bib. Boc lib. I. 

thi> teitimanf to bii praiie. p. S. It appean, howerer, Iroin olber 

' Wendolin, TH—. d« Pythsgor. Tetr, write™, that the ■epulohre of the Pcrnaa 

* Chap. X. 1 ; xii. 1 3. Hiduol. in Jerem. kingi woa near Penepolit. Vid. Diodoi. Sic 

DiH. PieUm. |. 21. Relsnd. in Polieit. bb. iiL p. 635. Stiabo 

■ Hcibelot. Bibliotb. Oriental, p. 283. reUtei, thai Cpui waa buried at Penepolii, 

■ The Daniel mentioned b; Nehemiab, and that his inanDnwnt vu there Men b; 
di. X. 6, ma a diflermt penoa bmn the Alexander. Vid. Strab. lib. x>. p. 730. 
prophet, bring pr^blj the nme with Hii iiicceMon were perfaapa bnried at Bun. 
Daniel the ton of Ithamnr, ipoken of by I Chap. riii. 3, 27. Shmhan wa* the 
Em, A. *iii. 2. The Rekiii, likewix', catuCaloF Glam, or Penia, properly aiialled. 

,, Google 


and where he was lavoured with some of bia last visions. Ben- 
jamin Tadela, indeed, infomu ns,* that he was shewn the reputed 
tomb of Daniel, at Taster, (the ancient Snsa,) on the Tigris ; 
where likewise, as we are aasnred by Josephns, was a magnificent 
edifice in the form of a tower, which was said to hare been bnilt 
by Daniel,' and which served as a sepulchre for the Pernan and 
Parthian kings. This in the time of the historian retained its 
perfect beauty, and famished a fine specimen of the prophet's 
skill in architecture. 

The book of Daniel contains a very interesting mixture of 
history and prophecies ; the former being introduced as &r as 
was necessary to describe the conduct of the prophet, and to 
shew the design and occasion of his predictions. The six first 
chapters are chiefly historical ; though, indeed, the second chapter 
contmna the prophetic interpretation of DaniePs dream concerning 
the kingdoms which were succes^vely to illustrate the power of 
that God who removeth and setteth up kings, as seemeth good 
to him. 

The four historical chapters which succeed, relate the mi- 
racnlons deliverance of Daniel's oompanions ^m the furnace ; ** 
the remarkable punishment of Nebuchadnezzar's arrogance ; ° the 
impiety and portended fate of Belshazzar;'' and the divine in- 

ItWH Uk«ibiimAi(jigei,kiiigDrMedu, Var, Lect. n. 20. PaaBn. in AicaiL Orid. 

by Nebuehadutiar, accotdLng to the pro- Hetun. lib. i 232, e( Kq. Bat it ifaonld 

pbecy of Jsnmuh. Vid. Jcnm. ilii. 34. aeem finm thi ■ccmmt, that the diiine 

It iftenrardi KTolled to Cjnw. Vid. thnaU wen fulfilled in a aion exact and 

XmopL Cyrapnd. lib. t. literal leiue ; and that Nebuchadnenar was 

> Bcnjam. Itinet. p. 78. el Abnliu. HiaL actnallj driven front aocietj, till hia afieo. 

OrienlaL Djnait. 6. tioni wen bmtaliied, and hia appearance 

* Joaeph. Antiq. lib. i. cap. IS, The changed. Soliger conceirea, that thit me- 

pt«aent copici of Joaephiii, indeed, place tamorphoiia \i alladed to bj AbTdenoii 

tbia edifice in Ecbatana, but probablf the who remark*, on the authotit; of the Chal- 

bittorian eriginall; wrate Soaa; br SL ieean writers, that Nebaebadneuar, aftei 

Jerem, who profewe* to copy hii accannt, having uttered a prophecy relaCiTe to the 

read* Suh, which wai in the -Babyloniah deitruction of the Babjloniah empire bj 

em^nis. Vid. Hienm. Com. in Dan. TJiLS. Cynia, ditapptartd. Vid. Euaeb. Prap. 

'' In thi* mimcls waa lilemllj accom- ETan. lib. ix. c. 4 1 . Scaliger's nelea npon 

pliahed a prophetic aHuiwice trf' Iniah. the ancient fragmenla in tba appeadii to 

Vid. xliii. 2. his work, de Emendatione Temponun. 

< It baa been aanaUy aippoaed, that the ' The death of Belahaiaai is related b; 

inflicted on Nebochadneuar Xenophon nearly is 

vaa that tpeciea of madneu which i> called it deacribcd by Daniel Vid. Iliitor. lib. rii; 

lycanthropy. Thii diaoider opemtea ao and many othei particnkra recorded in tfaia 

strongly on thote afTected byit, at to make book are repreaented in a umilar way by 

them rsncylbemtelvMwolret, and run howl- heathen biatoriant, aa St. Jerom hat shewn 

ling and tearing every thing in eitn- by many raTerenGea. Tfaa Eatlem fcinga 

TugantimitBtionof thoseanimali. Vid. Sen- had, howeTcr, many titlet attamed on va- 

nerti InttituL Medic. 1. par. lii. %. 7. and rioaioccaiiont: they an therefore somettQea 

g. 3. c. 4. AertiuL lib. vi. c. 2. Marcai. spoken of b thit book, at in other parts of 



terpoeitioD for the protection of Daniel in the' Iion''B den.* All 
these accounts are written with a spirit and animation higfhij 
interesting : we seem to be present at the scenes described ; and 
the whole work is enriched with the most exalted sentiments of 
piety, and with the finest attestations to the praise and glory of 

Daniel flourished during the successive reigne of seTeral Baby- 
lonish and Median kings, to the conquest of Babylon by Cyras, 
in the beginning of whose reign he probably died. The events 
recorded in the sixth chapter were coeval with Darius the 
Mede : but in the seventh and eighth chapters, Daniel returns to 
an earlier period, to relate the visioae which he beheld in the 
three first years of BelBhftzzar''s reign ;' and those which follow 
in the four last chapters, were revealed to him in the reign of 

The six last chapters of this book are composed of prophecies 
delivered at different times, all of which are, however, in some 
degree connected as parts of one great scheme. They extend 
through many ages, and furnish the most striking description of 
the fall of successive kingdoms, which were to be introdactory 
to the establishment of the Messiah's reign. They characterize, 
in descriptive terms, the ibur great monarchies of the world to be 
succeeded by " that kingdom which should not be destroyed."' 
They foreshow the power and destruction of Antichrist, in pre- 
dictions repeated and extended by St. John ; ** and conclude with 
a distinct assurance of a general resurrection to a life of ever- 
lasting shame, or everlasting glory.' 

The prophecies of Daniel were in many instances bo exactly 
accomplished, that those persons who would have othervrise been 
unable to resist the evidence which they furnished in support of 

leripture, under tjllei diflerent &om thou flamH, wai long celebrated among the Jew). 

b; wbich tfaej on distinguuhed in piobiw Vid. I Hacc ii. 69, 60, and 3 Mace it. 

hiitiHy; and proUibly tno ncred writera 3 — 5. 

dume to chinctenie wicked princea by ' Micbad. PikC in cb, viu HieraiL 

thna obnaiioiu appeUatJona which the; Cam. in cb. lii. 

uaamed in hononi of their idola, a* in the ( Dan. lii. 13, 14, 27. 

ioataDce of EntMBrodach and Belabauar. ^ Dan. paaaim, and Biahop Andrewi'a 

Bdahuiar wai probably the aon of Evil. Req»n. ad Bdlann. ApoL p. 334. et lU- 

Mendach, by Nitocria, and the giandion of TeL Tbe prophecin concerning tbs Anti- 

Nebududneaai', whoae aon (or deacendanl) chriit are niiully applied U the papal 

he ia called in KTiptore- Via. Biahop Hal- power prefigored by Antiochua £ptphane^ 

li&i'a Second Sermon on Prophecy. Vid. chap. liii 23—25 ; xL 36—46. 

• Daniel'a deiiTeranee fi™o the den of ' Dan. xiL 2, 31, 
UoD^ aa wen as that of hia fiiendi from the 



our reti^on, have not scrupled to affinn, that tbey most 1uit6 
been written anbeeqaently to those occuTrenoes which they so 
faithfully describe.^ But this srroondlesa and uampported as- 
sertion of Porphyry, who in the third century wrote aguast 
Christianity, serres but to establish the character of Daniel as a 
great and enlightened prophet; and Porphyry, by confesuog 
and proving from the beat historians, that all which is included 
in the eleventh chapter of Daniel relative to the kings of the 
north and of the south, of Syria and of Egypt, was truly and in 
every particular acted and done in the order there related, has 
undesignedly contributed to the repntaUon of those prophecies 
of which he attempted to destroy the authority ; for it is con- 
trary to all historical teetimoDy, and contrary to all probability, 
to suppose that the Jews would have admitted into the canon of 
their sacred writ, a book which contained pretended prophecies 
of what had already happened.' And indeed it is impossible 
that these prophecies should have been written after the reign 
of Aotiochus Epiphanes, since they were translated into Greek 
near an hundred years before the period in which he lived ; and 
that translation was in the possession of the Egyptians, who 
entertaiDed no kindness for the Jews, or their religion.'" Those 
prophecies also, which foretold the victories and dominion of 
Alexander,* were shewn to that conqueror himself by Jaddua, 
the high-priest, as we learn from Josephus;" and the Jews 

* Tha Ent chiptei hu bj uma bwa and Chsndler'i Vindk. of D«C chap. I. 

thonglit 10 haTe been writtea aftei the time uct. 2. 

of Daniel, becaiue it apeaki of the prophet ■ St. Jerom hJbmu ni, that tha Septok- 

in the ttuid penon, and aaji that he cod- gint rertioD of Daniel wai rejected by the 

tinued ta tha Ent year of Cyms, (that church for that of Theodotion. Vid. Hi' 

ii, to hii Gnt jtu over tha Medea and Per- eron. on Dan. iv. 6. The S^tufint ww 

aiau, and to the third over Babylon ;) bat admitCad into Oriaea'i Heiapla, and from 

IheiB werdi mighl well proceed from Da- hii time fell into diiciedit. Befiire, it ma 

niel, u he llied beyond that period. The in general uie ; the LaIid Tenion wu 

conelonTa Tene of the dxth diapter might prouibly made &om it, and it wai dted by 

equally hare proceeded from Darnel, the earheat writen. Il was thenfore pro- 

apealcing of hinuelf in tha third penun. bably made with the mt ol the propbetiad 

' Tha namea of the Diiuical inatnunenta booki, which ve know vera all tiBualated 

nentioiied in thi* book, haTC wnne reaem- before the dme of Euergetea II. Vid-ProL 

bianco to thoae of Oredan initmmenCa ; in Ecclu*. Euaeb. Deot. ETan. lib. viiL p. 

bat ai colonie* of lonians, Dorlaat, and 3B1. Clemeni. Roman. EpiiL i. £. M. 

Aoliani ven aettled in Ana long before Joitin Martyr. Dialog, com Tiypho. edit. 

the time of Daniel, technical namea might Oion^. 87,241, Chand. Vind. c. I . aect. 3. 

eoiily be esmmunicated from them to the ■ Chap. viii. G ; li. 3. Uoyd^ Letter 

Babylonian! ; or lalher, aa the Eaat vaa to Sfaeriock. Chandler'! Tindie. chap. 2: 

Oieeka. Vid. Maraham. Chion. Sxc 13; 



tberenpOD obtaiaed an exemption from tribute every sabbatical 
year, and tbe free exercise pf their laws. Many other pro- 
phecies ID the book have likewise been Aillilled aioce the time of 

Daniel not only predicted tiiture events with singular preci- 
sion, bnt likewise accurately defined the time in which they 
should be fulfilled ; as was remarkably exemplified in that il- 
lustrious prophecy of the seventy weeks," in which he prefixed 
the period for "bringing in everlaeting rigbteousneBS by tbe 
Messiah,'" as well as in some other mysterions predictions which 
probably mark out tbe time or duration of the power of Anti- 
. christ/ and, as some suppose, for the commencement of the mil- 
lennium, or universal reign of saints, which they conceive to be 
foretold ; for tbe explanation of which we must wait the event. 
From the fourth verse of the second chapter, to the end of 
the seventh chapter of this book, Daniel wrote his history origi- 
nally in the Ghaldaic or Syriac language;' and, indeed, the 
greatest part of the book bears marks of the Ghaldaic idiom, as 
might well be expected from aD author who had eo long resided 
in Chaldtea. As all the historical particulars which concerned 
the Babylonish nation were probably recorded in the annals of 
that government,' Daniel might possibly have extracted some 
passages, as perhaps the decree of Nebuchadnezzar,'' from those 
chronicles ; and no testimony could be more honourable, or with 
more propriety be prefixed to his prophecies. As the Jews also in 
their dispersion had separately intermixed with the natives of 
Chaldaa, they all understood the language of the country ; and 
must have received so authentic a document of Daniel's fidelity 
with particular respect. The remaining chapters,' which were 

aleTtnth ehapler, m &r u the tweotj-fint &c. 

fane, to till tiiDa af Autiochiu Bpiphaoei. ' Chtp.viL2£; Tiii. 14 1 ilL7. Lowtfa, 

The pnpliet ■Aermnii uaaki at tha Bo- Ac 

nuu and of tAe Antichtut, u he doei of ' Then were originally the nme Ian- 

Uie lattB in the eighth and twelfth chwten. goage. Vid. 3 Kings zniL 36) Ezim it. 

Vid. Biibop Chandler^ Vindic of DeC and 7- The language of Babjlon wai the pare 

S. Chandler'i Viniyaition of the Antiqnity Chaldoe ; the modem Sjiiac i> tha language 

and Anthoritj of Daniel's Prophedefc which was ued bj the Chrietiana of Co- 

1 Ch^ ii. 34 — 27. For compBtationt msgeiui and other piDTincee bordering upon 

eoDcenitf the exact aceompliahmeiit of ihia Syria, when that wai the langnage of the 

amaxing prophecy, vid. Uwcr. AonaL Vst nmatry. 

TeeL ad Ann. Pv. JoL 4260. Prid. Con- ' Either a 2S ; tL 1. 

neet Aniu A. C 458. Lloyd'i Chnm. Ta- ° Chap, ir, 

Uee, nnin. 3, 4. Baioage'a Diia. on Se- ■ The fint chapter of tb* book, ud the 



written id Hebrew, contain prophetic Tigions, which were re- 
vealed only to the prophet, and related principally to the chnrch 
and people of God. 

The style of Daniel is clear, concise, simple, and historical} 
though the visionB which he describea were in themselveB of a 
figurative and emblematical character. They portrayed fatnre 
circumstanceB to hie imagination under representations strikingly 
symbolical of those particulars which they foreshewed ; and they 
who advert to the ensigns and armorial devices of those nations 
of whom Daniel prophecies, will discover a very apposite pro- 
priety in the hieroglyphical images which the prophet selects.'' 

DanieVs name, like that of many others of the sacred writers, 
has been borrowed to countenance spurious books, besides the - 
apocryphal additions in our Bibles. A book entitled the vi- 
sions of Daniel,' was condemned as spurious and impious by 
the decree of Gratian.* In this hook, Daniel is said to have 
foretold how many years each emperor should live, as well as 
the events of his reign, and the future circumstances of the Sa- 
racens. Some supposititious magical writings were likewise at- 
tributed to the prophet.** But Daniel, though well versed in the 
Chaldffian philosophy, as Moses was "learned in all the wisdom 
of Egypt," yet disclaimed all magical arts, and relied on the true 


The writings of the twelve minor prophets were in the Hebrew 
Canon comprised in one book, which was called by St. Stephen, 
the Book of the Prophets.* By whom they were so compiled is 
uncertain ; probably, however, they were collected together in 
tliat form by Ezra, or by some member of the great synagogue," 

thne fini Tena of tha Mcond chapUr, Jowph. Anhaoi. lib. i. cap. 10. (nd New- 

were wiitWn in Hebrew, u they fbm > ton on Dm. ch. it. part L 
kiod of mtrodactiOD to the book. * 'Opastis Sompialw. 

T Chap. TiiL Thug the ram wu the ■ DecceL part iL caou. 27. qniHt I. 

TDjal CDiign at the Fcr«aiu,Mid waa to be c 16. and Athan. Synop. lib. iL 
teeD on tha pillan of Penoolia. Vid. ' Ju. Alb. Fabrid. Codic Pvadepig. 

Ammitm. ManeL Ub. xix. Sir J. Chardin'a Vet. Teat. p. 1 130. 
TraTeU. Tba goat alaa waa the emblem * Acta vii. 42, comp. with Amos t. IS. 
or anna of Macedon. Vid. Jitlin. Hitt. lib. ■■ Abaib. PiaC Id laaiah. BaTa Bathn, 

liii. Heda'a Woriu, book iiL p. 6U, 713. Ac 



but certainly above two hundred years before the birth of 
Christ ; for the author of the book of Ecclesiaeticus, who vrote 
about A. M. 3770, celebrates the memorial of the twelve pro- 
phets under one general encomium ; as of those who had 
comforted God*s people, and confirmed their confidence in Ood^a 
promises of a Redeemer." The order in which the books are 
placed, is not the same in the Septuagint as in tbe Hebrew." 
According to the latter, they stand as in our translation ; but in 
the GrTeek, the series is altered, as to the six 6rst, to the follow- 
ing arrangement — ^Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah. 
This change, however, is of no consequence, since neither in the 
original nor in the Septuagint are they placed with exact 
regard to the time in which their sacred authors respectively 

The order in which they should stand, if chronologically 
arranged, is by Blair and others supposed to be as follows — 
Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Mahum, Joel, Zephaniah, Ha- 
bakkuk, Obadiah, Uaggai, Zechariah, Malachi. And this 
order will be found to be generally consistent with the periods 
to which the prophets will be respectively assigned in the 
following work, except in the instance of Joel, who probably 
flourished rather earlier than he is placed by these chronologers. 
The precise period of this prophet, however, cannot be ascer- 
tained ; Bud some disputes might be maintained concerning the 
priority of others, also, when they were nearly contemporaries, 
as Amos and Hosea ; and when the iirst prophecies of a later 
prophet were delivered at the same time with, or previously to 
some of those of a prophet who was called earlier to the sacred 
office. The following scheme, however, in which also the 
greater prophets will be introduced, may enable the reader more 
accurately to comprehend the actual and relative periods in 
which they severally prophesied. 

" Ecctui. ilii. 10 ; and Anuld on tho Prophets bj Cypritm, epUt. £9. 
fiaee. Chandler'a Defen. cb^. 1. Kct 2. " llieron. Pra£ in Lib. Reg. in 13 
p. 44. It it called (he Book of the Tvelve Pio[Ji. et ia Joel. 



Tht PropAeU in lAnr nppoiaf Order a/ Time, arrmgtd aeeor£iig lo Blair't 
T<Metf wUh hal StUe voTiatunt. 

Af^nOrut. 1 Kingi^JwUA. 



■nd 784. 

Jehu and JdinJuu, ac- 
cording tn Lloyd; bat 
J<»ib and JerabDun (be 
Seeond, »xording to 


BctVMD 810 


Uaaiah, cb. i. 1. 

JettAoam ti» Second, 



■nd 735. 


third year of Heieltiah. 

JarDboam the SKood, 
ciap. L 1. 




Uaoah, JMham, Abai, 
and H«nkiah. ch. L 1. 
and perhapi Hanawlu 


BetwMD elO 

U&dah, orpoMiblyMa- 



kiah, cb. L 1. 

Pekah and Hoki. 


and 698. 

of He«kiab-. reign. 

BMwMn 6i0 
tod 609. 




la the thiiUMidifMUof 



Betwnn 612 
■nd S98. 

PiDhabl; in the nign of 


and £34. 

During aU tba opdntj. 


Between S8S 

Between the taking of Je- 
nitalem by Kebocbnd- 



and £36. 

Daring pwt of tbeopti- 


About £20 

to 618. 

Aftar the return fi«ii Ba- 


From 620 to 


and 397. 

't TcraioB of Minor Prophela, pnftoa, p. 48. 



The twelve minor prophets were so called, not in raspect to any 
supposed inferiority io their writings as to matter or style, but 
in reference to the brevity of their works. The shortness, 
indeed, of these prophecies seems to have been one reason &r 
joining them together;' by which means, the volume of their 
contents was swelled to a greatness in soma degree corre- 
spondent to their importance.* Neitber were they later in point 
of time than the greater prophets ; some having preceded Isaiah, 
and many of them having lived before Jeremiah, Ezebiel, and 
Daniel ; and by the Greeks, indeed, they are placed before them. 
It ia a traditionary account, that of these prophets, snch as do 
not fhmish us with the date of their prophecies most be sup- 
posed to have flourished as contemporaries vrith, or immediately 
after the prophets that precede them in the order of the books ; 
but this is not invariably tme, and is bnilt upon an erroneous 
supposition, that tbe books are chronologically arranged in 
the Hebrew manuscripts. 

Some of the prophets were probably bom in the territory of 
Israel, but most in that of Judah. They appear, however, to 
have been sometimes commissioned to preach reciprocally against 
those tribes among whom they were not bom. 

These twelve prophets furnish us in scattered parts with a 
lively sketch of many particulars relative to the history of 
Jndah and of Israel, as well as of other kingdoms ; they describe 
in prophetic anticipation, but with historintl exactoess, the fate 
of Babylon, of Nineveh, of Tyre, of Sidon, and of Damascus. 
The three last prophets especially illustrate many circumstances 
at a period when the historical pages of scripture are closed, 
and when pro&ne authors are entirely wanting. They describe, 
under the most striking representations, the advent and cha- 
racter of the Messiah and his kingdom ; and endeavoar, by the 
most admirable instrnction, to ez<nte those religions sentiments 
which would facilitate tbe reception of the Gospel. The Jewish 
prophets of the most eminent rank at first flourished but as 
single lights, and followed each other in individual succession; for 
daring the continuance of the theocracy, and perhaps some time 
after, the Jews were in possession of tbe power of consulting 

' Brtfa Imsl TehtM, that Haggu, ihiraldperiib. Vid. BaTB Balhn, c. I. 
Zechactah, tnd Hihcfai added tbair writ- * Hmcod. Prohg, 12 Pro^. TbMdmr. 

ingt Io tli«e at th< minor prqtheti, uid in Proom. Aug. d« CSrit. lib. niti. c. 27. 
coDipoacd tbem into ou volnmc, l«t tfaey 

a 2 .-I 


God by means of the Urim and Tbnminiin. Bat when the 
calamities of the captivity approached ; daring the continuance 
of that affliction, and amidst the melancholy scenes which the 
people contemplated on their retam to desolate cities and to a 
wasted land ; during these dark periods, the prophets were, by 
Qod's mercies, raised up in greater numbers for the consolation of 
his people; who were encouraged to look forward to that joyful 
deliverance by the Messiah which now approached. The light 
of inspiration was collected into one blaze previous to its sus- 
pension ; and it served to keep alive the expectations of the 
Jews during the awful interval which prevailed between the 
expiration of prophecy and its grand completion in the advent 
of Christ, If in the writings of the later minor prophets we 
sometimes are perplexed at seeing the light of revelation but 
laintly glimmering through the obscurity of their style, we must 
recollect that they lived when the language of the Jews began 
to vitiate and decline ; that there are no contemporary records 
to illustrate their prophecies ; that the brevity of their works 
prevents us from collating the author with himself; and that 
we, who read them in English, judge of them through the 
imperfect medium of a translation.'' 


HosBA has been supposed to have been the most ancient of the 
twelve minor prophets ; and, indeed, by some writers he is re- 
presented as having preceded all the prophets,' since he floorished 
about the middle of the reign of Jeroboam the Second, the son 
of Joash, king of Israel, and towards the commencement of that 
of Uzziah,** who began toreignover Jerusalem about A.M. 3194>. 

* " Hebnei bibont Fontaa, Oraici RItob, followi.'' 

Latini Palndfi," at Piciu Mimndula ob- >• Cfaap. L 1. Uuiah, or, u be u niiie- 

Krred. Umn called, Acuiah, and Oiiaa, aaceudcd 

* Uieron. in Osee, BsaiL in lou. I Ra- Ihe throne of Jndah in tbe twenty-KTentb 
fin. tic In Ihe «Mond Terse of the fint jeiir of Jeroboam the Second; that it, «e- 
chapler it ia said, "The bejpnning of the cording to>amechniiiolagiata,in|]ietwentj- 
word uf Ihe Lord by llotea," which some •evcnlh jcar of hsa reign, from the eta of 
have mppoaed to imply, that when Ood bia conjunction with his &ther ; and in the 
.began to nianiieit bimaeif) he addreaaed Liiil«nlh year of hia monaichy, which com- 
IIdkb; but it perfaapt ineana only, that menced A.M. 3179. Aa Jeivboam rdgned 
■'The fint iVTeUition to (3) IloKa waa a> forty-one yenn, Homb wut bare anleied 

,, Google 


AccordiD);: to some accounts, of no great authority ,° he was of 
the tribe of Issachar, and of the city of Beloenor;** others re- 
present him to have been of the tribe of Judah. He wna the 
son of Beeri,* and entered on the prophetic office eometitue 
between the years 3194 and 3219. He continued to prophesy 
above sixty years ; daring the successive reigns of Uzziah, 
Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Jndah, and probably to 
shoot the third year of the reign of the last; or if we reckon 
by the kings of Israel, against which nation he chiefly prophesied, 
he may he described as having flourished during the reign of 
Jeroboam and his successors, to the sixth year of Hosea, which 
corresponds with the third year of Hezekiah. Hosea was 
therefore nearly contemporary with Isaiah, Amos, and Jonah. 
It is probable that he resided chiefly in Samaria ; and that he 
was the first prophet, of those at least whose prophecies we 
possess, that predicted the destruction of that country ; which 
was effected soon after the prophet's death by Salmaneser, king 
of Assyria.* 

Hosea undoubtedly compiled his own prophecies, and he speaks 
of himself in the first person in this book.* Calmet, indeed, on 
account of some supposed chronological difficulties, questions the 
authenticity of the first verse, which he conceives to have been 
a subsequent addition ; but these difficulties may be solved 
without having recourse to such conjectures. The book is cited 
by St. Matthew as unquestionably the inspired production of 
a prophet ;** as likewise by St. Paul,' and, indeed, by Christ 

The prophecies of Hosea being scattered through the book 
without date or connection, cannot now be chronologically ar- 
ranged with any certainty. They are, however, perhaps placed 
in the order in which they were at first uttered ; and Wells, 

on his miDiitry before the twenty-fifth yoBr deriTcd from a word which imporU teach- 

of Uuiah'a mgn, if he prophesied while ing: whence an aisament in aapport of [he 

Uiiiah and Jerobaani were contempoiariet. rabbinical bacj, Uiat Moua wai the un 

Vid. Comm. on 2 Kinga xi. 1. of a doctor, or propheL Howa** luune 

' Feeodo Bpaphan. aod OoroUi. de Vit. ugnifiee "a aaTioDl." 

Prophet. '2King.x7iiL10. Hioron. in Oiee, tapL 

' Or Bethiome, not Beleemotb. ViJ. L and Uuer ad A. H. 3197. 

Dnu.inO«e,ci. 1. » Chap. iJL 1—3. 

• Not Beeiah, who waa taken captive b; '' Matt. iL IG, from Hoaea zL 1, and 

HgUlb-Kleeer; (Tid. I Chron. t. 6.) whote Chand. DeL eh. li. ncI. 1. 

name ii, indeisd, epelt difienntlj, and who ' Rom. ii. 25, 36 ; 1 Cor. iv. 35. 

wuaprinceortheReubenitn. The word " MatL ix. 12, 13; iu.7. 
Beeri impliea a wel! ; or, aa toaui say, il ia 



upon some probable coDJectnres, suppo§e§ them to haye been de- 
livered in the following BticcesEion, reckoning by the kings of 

In the reigo of Jeroboam, The three first chapters. 

In the ioterregDum which suc-^ 

ceeded the death of Jero-[ The fourth chapter. 

boam, ) 

In the reign of Menahem, or 

in that of bis son Pekabiah. 

According to which account, 

none are assigned to the short 

intermediate reigns of Zech- 

ariah and Sballum, 

In the reign of Pekah, 

In Uie reign of Hosea, 

The fifth chapter,- to cbap. vi. 
3. inclusively. 

From chap. vi. 4. to chap. vii. 

10. inclusively. 
.From chap. vii. 11. to the end. 
Gomp. chap. vii. 11. with 2 
Kings xvii. 4. Wells sub- 
divides this portion into two 
parts, suppodng the first, 
which terminates with the 
tenth chapter, to have been 
delivered before the king of 
Assyria took sway the gold- 
en calf that was at Bethel ; 
and the remainder after that 

At whatever periods the prophecies were delivered, the oo- 
casioD and design of them are sufficiently clear. The author, in 
one continued strain of invective, declaims against the sins of 
Israel ; exposes in the strongest terms the spiritnal whoredoms 
of those who worshipped the vain idols erected at Bethel and 
Bethaven, calling on Jndah to ^un pollutions so offensive to 
Jehovah. He denounces Qod''a vengeance agmnst Ephraim, 
(the representative of the ten tribes,) who shonid vainly call on 
other nations for protection. He points out the folly of the 
people in their pursuits ; telling them, that they had "sown the 
wind, and should reap the whirlwind." He threatens them in 



man J prophecies: from amoDg which we may select, as r&- 
mnrkable prooft of that foreknowledge with which the prophet 
was inspired, those in which he foretold the captivities, dispersion, 
and enffcrings of Israel ; ' the delirerance of Jndah from Sen- 
nacherib, allueiTely fignratire of salvation by Christ;" the 
punishment of Jndah, and the demdition of its cities ;" the 
congregation of the Gentile converts;" the present state of the 
Jewe,i> and their fiitare restoration in the general establishment 
of the Messiah's kingdom;'' the calling of onr Saviour ont of 
Egypt;' his resurrection on the third day;* and the terrors of 
the last .fudgmeot, fignrstively to be represented in temporal de- 
struction impending over Samaria.' Thus, amidst the denun- 
ciations of wrath, the people were animated by some dawnings 
of favour; and taught to cultivate righteousness and mercy in 
expectation of the blessings of our Lord ; " and in the assurances . 
of a final ransom from the power of the grave, and of a redemp- 
tion from death, to be ultimately vanquished and destroyed." 

The style of Hoseahas been considered as particularly obscure; 
it is sententious and abrupt, aud characterized by a compressive 
and antiquated cast. The transitions of person are sudden ; the 
connezive and adversative particles frequently omitted. His 
figures and similitudes are rather lively than elegant, and are 
traced with more force than exactness.^ His writings are ani- 
mated with a fine spirit of indignation, descriptive of the zealous 
resentment which he felt against the princes and priests who 
countenanced the iniquities of the people ; and his work may be 
considered as a noble exordium against those general offences 
which the prophets who succeeded him more particularly de- 
tailed, as well as a diffuuve revelation of those judgments which 
were afterwards more minutely described. 

The subject of Hosea's marriage has been much agitated. 

' Cba;p.H,6; y. B— 7; U. 3, 6— I7i August ix Trinit cap. nviii. 'Cyprian. 

z. 5, 6, 16 ; liu. 16. coot. Jud. Jib. ii. cap. 24. Bernard. Serm. 

■ Ciap.i.7,Gonip.wit]i2KiDgsnx. 3£, i. in Keiur. Odg. Homil. 5. in Eiod. 
aud Cbuid. l>et ch. ii. lect. 1. a. 70. TertoL Adren. Jud. c nii. and commeiila- 

■ Clap.T. 10^ viii. 14. tore. 

■> Chap. L 10,11; 1123; comp. with ■ Chap. x. 8, coBip. vith Lake cdii. 30, 

Ron. ix. 34, 26. and Hev. tL 16. Hienm. in 1«. ud Lowth 

pCbap.iii. 4. Vid. Origsn. PfailocaL c. on Iuishit.19. 

1. Hioron. in loc ■ Chap. x. 12. Hieion. in loc. 

4 Chap.!. II) iiLfi; iiv.4, 8. ' Chap. xiii. 14, coisp. with 1 Cor. iv. 

' Chap. li. 1, camp, with Matt. ii. 15, 35, and Pocock in toe 

and Hienm. Orot et in loc f Lowlh'i Pnalect, 21. 

■ Chap. vi. 2, comp, with i Cor. »v. 4. 



Many Jewish and Christian writers conceiye it to have been 
enjoined, and performed in a literal and historical sense ; ' Bome 
supposin^r that " a wife of whoredoms" may imply, a wife who 
should prove false;* or only a wife from amonjf the Israelites, 
who were remarkable for their idolatrons fomicatioDS : as 
likewise by an adulteress, ** whom the prophet is represented 
afterwards to have bought, may be understood, a womaa who 
had apostatized from God in a spiritual sense. Those who 
contend for the historical truth of these relations, maintain that 
all impropriety in each proceedings was done away by God's 
command ; and that the immediate minister of Ood might, 
consistently with the design of his appointment, be employed 
thus to illustrate the scandalous conduct of the Israelites. 
Other writers however contend that these accounts are descriptive 
of transactions in vision, as the expression of "the word of the 
Lord,^ that came to the prophet, might seem to intimate ;<= and 
others consider the relations as fictitious representations fur- 
nished by way of parable.** Without presuming to determine 
on either side on a subject bo difficult, it may be observed, that 
it was not inconsistent with the character of a vision, or of a 
parabolical fiction, to specify minute particulars with narrative 
exactness.* The names, therefore, of the personages introduced' 
in the accounts can furnish no explanation of the nature of the 
transactions; and whether real or fictitious, they might with 
equal consistency be represented as figurative. 

' Hieron. etTbeodorel in loc. Auguit. in Com. and General Pre&ce, p. 180. note ■. 

Orotini, Cttlmet'i Pie&ce. CoipzoT. IntnxL ' NierMi. in loc Aben-Eiri, ItidDr,&& 

ad Lib. Kb. pan iii. p. 277- Aboibio. et The Chaldee panphiaat hat been thought 

Baiil in loc csp. S. p. 933. Orgt.etWeUi to hare considered it as a parable. He in- 

in loc troducea tlie accouni thua: "The Lord nid 

■ Weill, Kodat &c unto Hoiea, Oo, and utter a prophtxy," Ac 

* It i* luKertain, whelbei by the woman Vid. R. Tancb. Rivet, Juniiu TiemeUina, 
■poken of in the third chapter, ii meant Pocock, &c 

Hosea'B wife, whom he ii cnmrnandcd to ' Eaek. ixiii; Luke xn. 20—31. 
take back after ber infidelity, aa predicted, ' By " children of whoredom*," we an 

or a different penon appointed for the pro- prabablj to undentimd, legitimate children 

phet after the death of the first wife. Con- of a woman addicted to fornication ; per- 

■nit Pocock and other coromentatort yene, lewd, or idolatrous children, who 

• Aben-Kira,R. I>aTidKimchi,Maimon. ahould imitate the conduct of their mo- 
More Nevoch, lib. iL c 4G. Hieron. Pnet ther. 




The book of Joel is placed in the Hebrew Bible immediately 
after that of Hosea ; but in the Septna^nt version, the books of 
Amos and Micah are interposed between tbem. It b difficnlt 
to determine whether the Greek tranalatora were authorized by 
chronology to change the order, since there is no positive cri- 
terion by which the age of Joel can be ascertained. St. Jerom, 
however, and many of the ancients,' were of opinion, that as no 
date is preiixed to the book, its author should be snpposed, 
agreeably to the Jewish nile, to have flourished at the same time 
with Hosea, whose writings in the Hebrew manuscripts imme- 
diately precede. This rule is, however, not to 1>e depended on ; 
neither can any proof of the priority of Joel be drawn irom 
the notion supported by Usher;'' who conceived that the famine 
and drought of which Joel speaks as impending in his time, 
were parts of the same affliction which Amos represented as ac- 
tually come to pass:° for Joel prophesied calamities against 
Jndah; and Amos describes afflictions which were seemingly 
sustained, as a peculiar judgment only by the people of Israel. 
Still, however, there is no sufficient reason for departing from 
the Hebrew order;'* nor is it necessary to suppose that Joel 
prophesied after the captivity of the ten tribes, merely because 
he makes no mention of Israel. His commissioD, probably, was 
confined to Jndah, as that of Hosea, his supposed contemporary, 
was chiefly restricted to Samaria ; and bad the divine threats 
been already accomplished against Israel, it is reasonable to 
suppose that the prophet would, like his snccesBors, have in- 
structed the people to take warning by the fate of a dster 
kingdom.* We may therefore safely suppose him to have lived 
in the reigns of Uzziah king of Judah, and of Jeroboam king of 
Israel,' who flourished as contemporary sovereigns between A.M. 

■ Hieion. Pnet in PropL Tbeodor. in nation of the Jc«i ; and ihc propbet apeaki 

Pneloq. PiDph. Clem. Alex. SlniD. lib. L prophetiotlljr of a future diapenion amonf 

AuguiL it Cirit. Dei, lib. iTiii. c. 27. the natioDB frnm vhich God'i people dionld 

' Uwer. UIA.H. 3197. Uojd't Tablei. be ([Othered. 

' Anna iv. 7, S. ' Lloyd's Tnblei. A Fnnch writer (P. 

« Abarb. Pnet in 12 Proph. PeooD, but Ics Prophetea) iiieB the pro- 

• larael, mmdoned in cb. iii, 2, means pbeij of Joel to the tn^ntielh year of 

not merely the ten tribes, but the whole I'ziiah, and the tbirty-tiith of Jeioboiiia 



3194 and 3219; aa<] to have delivered bis prophecies soon after 
Hosea had commenced bis mioistry; tbong^b some Jewish and 
Gbristian writers have chosen to agiaga to him a htter period ; * 
some placiDg bim id the reigo of Jotham,'' others in that of 
JonuD,' and others contending that he prophesied under Ma- 
□asseb,* or Josiah,' the last of which monarcbs began to reign 
about rax hnndred and forty years before the birth of Christ. 

Joel was the son of Pethuel, or Bethuel, and, according to 
some reports, of the tribe of Benben.™ He is related to have 
been bom at Bethoron ; " which was probably the lower or nether 
Betboron, a town in the territory of BeDJamin," between Jeni- 
Balem and Ccesarea. Of the particulars of his life, or of the 
age to which he attained, we have no account.^ Dorotheas 
relates only, that he died in peace at the place of his nativity. 

The book appears to be entirely prophetic, though Joel, nnder 
the impression of foreseen calamities, describes their effects as 
present, and, by an animated representation, anticipates the 
scenes of misery which lowered over Judtea."" Though it cannot 
be positively determined to what period the description contained 
in the first chapter may apply, it is generally supposed that the 
prophet blends two snbjecta of affliction in one general consi- 
deration, or beautifiil allegory ; and that under the devastation 
to be produced by locusts in the vegetable world, he portrays 
some more distant calamities to be produced by the armies of the 
Ghadseans in their invasion of Judtea.' And hence a designed 

iheSecond. Vid.aIioJoflIiL30; which eon- zir. But the last of IhcM chaptera, whsther 

loiiit a pradictiaa that ■eenu, it lent in ita proplielie or dMcriptiTe, wu carapoud pro- 

■econdarjMDK, to relate to the deitnutioD bablf in the reign of Jehoiskim, the auc- 

of Seimacherib^ aimj, which hippened in amoi of Jonah. 

tbs reign of Heiekiah, A. H. 329*. ■■ Einphan. de Vit. Prophet. 

■ PdH Sjnopaii. ° Dorotheiu writes Bethomecon. Huet 

^ Adgnst, de CiTit, Dei, lib. XTiii n. 27. inopiMet la icad Bslhuan, a plan in the 

' The advocates for thia period maintun, territory of Gad, adjacent to the tribe a( 

that Joel foreahewed the impetidiiig bmine, Reuben ; or Bethnanua, io the district of 

which dcMlated Jad«a tevaa jean in the Oad ; or Betbabua ; or Baslmeon, which 

reign of Joram. Vid. 3 King* liii. I — 3. wna beyond Jordan, in the tribo of Reuben. 

' Seder Olain Rabba, ct Zuta, Kimchi, ■ Joah. iTJiL 13, U. 

R. Selomo, R. David Oani, Drusius, and ' Jerom, though ha lappoiei him to hare 

Welli'a Fie&ce to Joel. Welli nuuntatns been contemporan with Mohu, conceives 

that the &mine and dearth of which Micah that he survived (as well ai Hosu, Amos, 

pnipheBied, was to take place (and did Obodiah, and Jonah) the captivity of the 

tui^n) in the time of Mansiseb. Vid. ten tribes. 

Wells-a Preface to Micah, and in Micah vi. « Chap. i. 4—7, 10, 16— 2ft; and 

U, note a. a. Lowth'a Prtalect. 15. 

' Ci^mefa Pcebce sui Joel. He cod- ' Thow who will consult Pliny, Bochart, 
ceiTcsJoel to have been conlemponuy widi and the natuntlists and traTellerein genenl, 
Joiiah, to whose reign ha asaigna the will find much cause to admire Jue1*s de- 
drought Bpokcn of by Jeremiah, ch. zil 4 ; acriptive pictuns of the deatnicti<«i to Iw 



ambiguity in the expreaaions. In the second chapter, the 
prophet proceeds to a more general dennnciation of Gktd's ven- 
geance ; which is delivered with euch force and aggravatioD of 
circametance, as to be in some measure deecriptive of that final 
judgment which every temporal dispensation of the Deity most 
feinCly prefigure. The severe declarations of Joel are inter- 
mingled with exhortations to repentance, and to the auxiliary 
means of promoting its effects, fasting and prayer ; as also with 
promises of deliverance, and of a prosperity predictive of 
evangelical blessings. In treating of these, he takes occasion to 
foretell, in the clearest terms, the general efhsion of the Holy 
Spirit, which was to characterize the Ooepel dispensation ; * con- 
cluding with a striking description of the destruction of Jerusalem 
which followed soon after, and punished the Jews for the ob- 
stinate rejection of the sacred influence ; speaking in terms that, 
as well as those of onr Saviour which resembled them,' had a 
double aspect, and referred to a primary and a final dispen- 

lu the third chapter, Joel proceeds to foretell the future 
assemblage of all nations into the valley of Jehoehaphat," where 
the enemies of Ood will be cut off in some final excision:' and 
the prophet concludes with the assurance of some glorious state 
of prosperity to be enjoyed by the church ; representing its per* 
fectioas and blessings under the poetical emblems of a golden 

In consideration of these important prophecies, we need not 
wonder that the Jews should have looked up to Joel with par- 
ticular reverence,' or that he should be cited as a prophet by 
the evangelical writers.* 

The style of Joel is equally perspicnous and elegant ; obscure 
(miy towards the conclusion, where the beauties of bis expreseioa 
are somewhat shaded by allusions to circumstances yet naac- 

prodnced by locuiti ; and ondentuid with hoTsli, aud Shaphat, " to judge." 
wh*[ force and proprietj the raisget of ■ The preciae application ^ hja prophecy 

tho«««ll-dev»uriDgeBemi«MoinBdafigora- must be ibewn hy Uie eTent It ii nDppoted 

tiTely to reprcKnt the denulalian and to relate to those drcumitances predicted in 

haToc of an invading army. Eiefcjel, eh. Tiiix. & — 1 1 ; Rer. xz. 8, 9. 

■ Joel iL 23—32, comp. with Acls iL ) Joel i> related to hare received the 
1 — 21. and Acta i. 44. Cabala, or traditionary explicaUon of the 

' Joel IL 30, 31, comp. with Uatt. xiiv. law, Irom Micab. 
39. ■ Chap. ii. 32, comp. with Kom. i. 13; 

■ Tbe original eipretakin meana, the Acta ii. 16 — 21. 
tulley of the Lord'a judgment, from Je- 



compIiBhed. Hia descriptions are highly aoiniKted; the con- 
texture of the prophecy id the first and second chapters is 
extremely curious ; and the double destruction to he produced 
hy locnste, and those enemies of which they were the har- 
hiDgere, is painted with the most expressive force, and tinder 
terms that are reciprocally metaphorical, and admirably adapted 
to the twofold character of the description.'' The whole work 
is extremely poetical. Herman Vonder Hardt,' a learned Ger- 
man, conceiving that Joel's prophecies were composed in elegies, 
endeavoured, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, to 
reduce them to iambic verse. They, undoubtedly, like the rest 
of the prophecies, have a metrical arrangement. 


Amos appears to have been coutemporary with Hosea, but it is 
uncertain which was the first honoured by divine revelations. 
They both began to prophesy during the time that Uzziah and 
Jeroboam the Second reigned over their respective kingdoms ; 
and Amos saw his first vision '^two years before the earth- 
quake ;"* which, as we learn from Zechariab,'' happened in the 
days of Uzziah. As there is no sufficient reason to suppose that 
this first verse was added hy any writer subsequent to Amos, 
ance he himself might have annexed the era in which be beheld 
his vision, when be aflerwards collected his prophecies and 
committed them to writing, we must suppose this earthquake 
to have happened while Uzziah and Jeroboam were contempo- 
raries, or at least within two years of that period. But little 
attention therefore is due to the account of Josephus ; who 
represents the shock to have been felt on the occasion of Uzziah^s 
usurpation of the priestly office, when the presumptuous king 
attempted to offer incense to the Lord:' which sacrilegious 
attempt is by some placed in the twenty-fifth year,*' and by some 
still more towards the conclusion of Uzziah's reign;* for, ac- 

I Lavth'«PnEl.21. Ch»ndW, Se. • SChroiLiri, IS— 21. 

■ Wolfii Biblioth. Heb. lom, ii. p. 169. * JoMptu Antiq. lib, ix. cap. 10, 11. 

and Lowth'« Pref. to Isuab. • The daring Mlempt w«» probably nmda 

' AiDoa i. 1. towudi the eonctuBJon of Utnab** reign, 

■> Zechariah xiv. A. ai upon that orcoBian be wu itrkkon wiUi 


cordiDg to the most extended calculatioos, Jeroboam and Uzziah 
did not flouriBh as contemporary sovereigns above twenty-five 
years. AmoH, however, began to prophesy some time between 
A.M. SIM and 3219. Some have confounded him with the 
father of Isaiah. 

The prophet Amos' was a native of Tekoa, a small town in 
the territory of Jadah, abont fonr leagnes southward from 
Jerusalem, and six southward ft'om Bethlehem,* adjacent to a 
vast wilderness, where probably Amos might have exercised his 
profession of ao herdsman. Some, indeed, think that he was 
not born at Tekoa, but that he only resided there when com- 
manded by Amaziah to leave Bethel.^ But Amos does not 
appear to have regarded the arrogant injunction of tfae priest, 
but to have continued boldly to prophesy wherever the service 
of Qod required his presence. 

Amos was by profession an herdsman, and a gatherer of 
sycamore fruit.' In the simplicity of former times, and in the 
happy climates of the East, these occupations were by no means 
considered in that degrading light in which they have been viewed 
since refinement hath introdoced a taste for the elegant arts of life, 
and established fastidious distinctions. He was no prophet, as 
he informed Amaziah,'' neither was he a prophets son ; that is, he 
had no regular education in the schools of the prophets, but was 
called by an express irresistible commission from God,' to pro- 
phesy unto his people Israel. The Holy Spirit did not disdain 
to speak by the voice of the most hnmble man ; and selected its 
ministers as well from the tents of the shepherd, as from the 
paUce of the sovereign ■,'^ respecting only the qualities, and not 

■ kptM7 that luted unto tfae da; of hit EnMb. de lodf Ebialcia. CjtiU. Pnef. 

death ; and bii ion Jotham took upon faim Enar. in Amoa. Hieron. Piwem. in AmtM, 

tlie nfTcniiDeot, who wat not bom till after et de lad* EbnicU. 

Jeroboun'i death. Vid. Uuei. Annal. ad ■■ Chap. vii. 12. 

A.M. 3221. >Chap. lii. 14. The lycamore fruit wai 

' Clemeei Alex. Strom, lib. L Epipban. a ipeciea of wild Gg, Mimeliniea called the 

d. ViL PiopheL Dior, Amo*, or Hamo., Egyptian % whUh i> aid to grow ftom 

ngnifie. B«iTaf«, portoiu, - loaded ;- that ^' "^J. »°^ "" ^'° *''« b™"che. of the 

ii, parhap., with the burden of prophecT, *««■ The Septuagml tian.Uton inteiimt 

chap. TiL 10, If namei were inuntionallv the Hebrew word D7I31 D'Dptt', ■rvi^air 

docripliTa, the; miul bare been proTi- Tanur^uro, "opening the *;tanunefniit','' 

dcDtuJl; impoted, or aaninred after the at it wai thought necamrf to open the 

diiiplaj of charaeter. >)iin of thii fiuit that it migbt ripen. Vid. 

t Amo* L I; 2 Chron. li. 5, 6. Epi- Plinii Bitt. Nator. lib. liii. c 7. Theo- 

C' uiioi placM it in the lot of Zebulan i fhau. DioKorid. et Tbend. in loc 

t EuKlriDi, C3ml, and St. Jerom, who * Chap. tiL 14. 

Hred near Tekoa, placed it to the lonlli of > Amo* iii. S ; vil IS. 

Jenualemt in the tenilor; of Judah. Vid. ' I Cor. L 37 — 29. 

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the conditiona of its agents, as capable of inspiriag knowledge 
and eloquence where they did not exist. 

Antes undoubtedly composed his prophecies in their present 
form. He speaks of himself as the author of them;* and his 
prophetic character is established, not only by the admission of 
his book into the Canon, and by the testimony of other writers," 
but by the exact accomplishment of many prophecies which he 
delivered. His work consists of several distinct discourBes: the 
particular period of their delivery cannot now be ascertained.^ 
They chiefly respect the kingdom of Israel, though he sometimes 
inveighs against Judah, and threatens the kingdoms that bordered 
on Palestine, *< the Syrians,' Philistines,* Tyrians,' Edomites," 
Ammonites,' and Moabites.' He predicts in clear terms the 
captivities and the destruction of Israel, to be preceded by 
fearful signs on earth, and in the heavens;* concluding with 
assurances that Ood would not utterly destroy the house of 
Jacob ; but after ^ing, as it were, and cleansing the hooae of 
Israel among the nations, God should again raise up the 
tabernacle, (that is, the kingdom of David,) to be enlarged to 
more than its first splendour by the accession of Gentile subjects, 
and to be succeeded by the establishment of that government 
which the prophet describes, under poetical images, as a blessed 
dispensation of security, abundance, and peace.* 

The zeal with which the prophet removed the impenitence of 
the people, and the severe threats which be denounced against 

■ Chap. liL 8 ; liiL 1, 3. uid Prid. Con. part iL 4d Ann. A. C, 165. 

• Tobit iL 6 ; AcU Til 42, 13 ; xv. Jowph. Antiq. lib. xiii. e. 9. 

15 — IT. ' Chap. L 13 — 15, comp, Tiih Jereni- 

>> Smne ban lappoted that th« Unl of iiTii. 3, 6. 

his pinpheciei ia coatained in the KTCnth T Chap. li I — 3, tomp. will) Jerem. 

chapter ; and that the contenU of thi xxrii. 3 — 6, 

nlhar chapter* wecB aftia-ward* deliTend at ■ Chap. Tiii. 8 — 19. Uilier nmuti, 

TelcDB. that about eleven jean after the time at 

1 Vid. two fii»t ebapte™. These pro- which Ainoi propbeiiod, there were two 

phaciei weM fnlfillAd bj the victoriei of the ecUpaet of the rm ; oiw upon the fsail 

king! of Aujria and Bahjlon. of tabemaclM, and tlie other at the time of 

' Chap. i. 3 — S, comp. with S Kingi the paMovar. The prophec;, thetribm, in 

iri. 9. ila Gnt aipect, might allude Id the ominoaa 

■ Ch^. i. 6, 7, comp. with 2 King* darfcaen whidi an ihaee oecaBona "tunied 
xriii. B ; Jenm, drii. ]. Qoint. Curt lib. their ieuta into mouniing." Vid. Uiaar. 
IT. 6, Comp. alM>, ch. L 8, with 2 Chnm. AnnaL ad A. H. 3213. Hieroa. Thaod. 
xxri. 8, and Jerem. ilviL B, et Onit. in lac. 

■ Chap. i. 9, lO.comp. with Eaek. iiri. • Amoa ii. 11—15; Acta xr. 16; 
7— U. Joteph. eont. Apion. Ub. i. and Tobit xiii. 10, 11; Joel iii. 18. Chandler'a 
Q. Cnrt lib. it. 13. Def. chap, iL vxL 1. p. 1S8. and Com. in 

■ Chap. i. II, 12, comp. with Jerem. loe. Aognit da Cint. Dei, lib. zriii. e. 28. 
IIT. 9, 21; xxTiL S— 6; 1 Masc. T. 3; 



the oppression, effemlDacy, and Inxurions indolence that pre- 
4liled, exasperated so much the court of Jeroboam, which 
cnltivated its idolatries at Bethel, that the)' drew upon him the 
resentment of the priests and princes of the people ; and tradi- 
tion relates, that he was ill treated and put to death by Uzziah,*' 
the son of Amaziah,' who Vas irritated bj his prophecies and 
censares, but who soon afler experienced the divine vengeance 
in the calamities which Amos had predicted to his family and 

Some writers who have adverted to the condition of Amos, 
have, with a mtnute affectation of critidam, pretended to discover 
a certiun mdenefls and vulgarity in his style ; and even St. Jerom 
is of opinion that he is deficient in magnificence and sublimity ; 
applying to him the words which St. Panl speaks of himself,'' 
" that he was rude in speech, though not in knowledge C and 
his authority, says bishop Lowtfa, has influencedmany commenta- 
tors to represent him as entirely rude, and void of elegance; 
whereas it requires bnt little attention to be convinced that he 
" is not a whit behind the very cbiefest" of the prophets ; equal 
to the greatest in loftiness of sentiment, and scarcely inferior to 
any in the splendour of his diction, and in the elegance of his 
composition. Mr. Locke has observed, that his comparisons 
are chiefly drawn from lions and other animals, because he lived 
among, and was conversant with snch objects. Bat, indeed, the 
finest images and allusions which adorn the poetical parts of 
scripture in general, are drawn from scenes of nature, and from 
the grand objects that range in her walks ; and true genius ever 
delights in considering these as the real sources of beauty and 
magnificence.' Amos had the opportunities, and a mind inclined 
to contemplate the works of the Deity ; and his descriptions of 
the Almighty are particularly sublime. Indeed, his whole work 
is animated with a very fine masculine eloquence. 


This prophet hath fiimished us with no particulars of his own 

■■ CjrilL Pnef. Expo*, in Amos. Sfnop. cap. 2. Chron. Pucd. p. 147. 

■ E[Hphan. de ViL Proph. c xii. Indor. * Hieron. Com. in Atnot. 2 Cot. xi. 9. 
do ViU ct Morte. S. 3. c 4S. Dointh. • UirthVi Pnel. PooL 21. 

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origin or ]ife, any mors than of the period in which he was 
favoured hj the divine revelations. That he received a comn^ 
sion to prophesy ie evident, as well from the admission of his 
work Into the sacred Canon, as from the completion of tboae 
predictions which he delivered. According to some traditionary 
accounts," he was of the tribe of Ephraim, and a native of 
Bethacamar," which Epiphanins describes as in tht neighbour- 
hood of Sicbem, but which, according to Huet, was a town in 
the hilly part of the territory of Judah ; and there probably he 
prophesied, though some suppose that he was carried captive 
to Babylon, and others that he died in Samaria.* 

There is scarce an Obadiah mentioned in sacred history who 
Iiaa not been considered by different writers as the same person 
with the prophet. The prince whom Jehoshaphat employed to 
teach in the cities of Judah;'' the governor of Ahab's house, 
who rescued the hundred prophets from the vengeance of 
Jezebel;' the captain of Ahaziah, who found favour with 
Elijah i' the overseer appointed by Josiah to inspect the repara- 
tion of the temple ; * each has been separately represented as the 
prophet, though not one of them is characterized in scripture 
under that description ; and ail of them, except perhaps the 
last, lived long before the period at which Obadiah the prophet 
must be supposed to have flourished. Equally unfounded are 
those conjectures by which it is imagined that he was the 
husband of the widow of Zarephath,'' and a disciple of Elijah ;' 
as well as that of the ancient Hebrew doctors, ^ho conceived 
that he was an Idumaean, who having become a proselyte to the 
Jewish reli^on, was inspired to prophesy agmnst the country of 
which he had forsaken the superstitions.^ 

• Pieudo Eppb»n. Dorolh. IiMor, &c. Saiota dn Vet. Teit. 14 Jnin, 19 Nov, 

^ Or Be^cora, op Belhaoron. lluel '' 3 Chron. iTii. 7. Sanct. Proleg. iL n. S. 

propoua to read Btthacsd, a town of ' 1 Kingi XTiii. 4. Hieron. in Abdiam, 

Samaiin ; but Obadiah wag probablf of ct in Epitt. Paul. R. Sielom. Jarchi, R. 

the tribe of Jndah, and prophaied Hgainit David Kimchi, and R. Aben-Eira in Abd. 

the iaiulling eDemiiii of bii counlry . 1 . R. Datid Gani, in Cbron. Silt. SsnMii 

* St. Jerom ipeBka of hii tomb at Sebaile, in Abd. et Merai. Com. 

foniKrly Samaria, and laja, that St. PbdI ' 2 Kinga i. 13. Gernena A1«x. Stnim. 

Tinted it, and pedbimed miisclea there: 1. Enaeb. Chrog. 

bat thii could not contiun the remaina of * 2 Chron. xiiit. 12. 

Obadiah ; for in the time of the emperor >■ LTran. in 4 Reg. e. iv. initio. The 

Julian, the Oentilea emptied the aepulchiea, widow of Zarephath hai alto baeii reprs- 

barnt the bonea of tho propheta, and dia- aented aa the mother of the prophet Jonah. 

pcraed the oahea, after mixing them with ' Ctemena Alex. Strom. 1. Euieb. Chron. 



Hnet and otber tniters, in consideration of the place which 
he holds among the prophets in the Hebrew CanoD, suppose him 
to- have been contemporary with Hosea, Amos, and Joel. In 
.conformity to which opinion, Hnet also conceives that the 
prophet delivered his threats against the Edotnites' because they 
took possession of Elah, after it bad been conqnered by Pekah 
and Rezin in the rei^ of Ahaz, and exercised great cruelties 
against the Jews." All those writers who imagine that Obadiah 
foretold the calamities which the Edomites suffered from the 
invaaon of Sennacherib, maintain that he lived in the reign of 
Ahaz or Hezekiab, but it is more probable that he flourished 
abont the same time with Ezekiel and Jeremiah ; and the heat 
opinions concur in supposing him to have prophesied a little 
after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, which 
happened abont A. M. 3416. He predicted, therefore, the 
seme circumstances which those prophets had foretold against 
the Edomites," who had upon many occasions favoured the 
enemies of Jadah;" and who, when strangers, carried their 
forces into captivity ; and when they cast lots npon Jerusalem, 
had rejoiced at the destruction, and insulted the children of 
Judah in their affliction.!* 

The prophet, after describing the pride and emelty of the 
Edomites, declares, that though they dwelt in fancied security 
among the clefts of the rocks,*" yet that the "meu of Teman' 
should be dismayed,** and " every one of the Mount of Esaa 

Kimchi, ID Abd. 1. et R. In. Abarb. Prat Reiln took Elah for the SjTiant, and uta- 

in PnipheL Minoi. Cyrill. PrxL in Abd. bliahed them there. Vid. Jneph. Antiq. 

I The Edomilea were the deecendBtili of lib. ix. eaf, 1 1. Oratiai, Ac 

Eaiu ; thej poueHed Aisbio-PetnE^ ill ■ Camp. Obad. Ter. 3, 4, irilh Jerem. 

the connlr; between the Red Sea and the ilii. 16 ; Obod. ler. G, with Jerem. ilii. 

I^e of Sodom, and MHne adjacent territaiy. 9 ; Obod. tot. B, with Jer. ilix. 7 ; Obad. 

■ Huel. Deroom. Evan, in Abd. CyrilL ver. 16, with Jer. xxj. 16—21, and ilii. 

Pnef. in Abd. Orotiiui, and Lightfoof. 7—12. Vid. Eiek. xxr. 12, H; and ch. 

Hanoon. of the Old Teat. In our tianda- xzir. 

tion of 2 King) irri. S, no mention i> made ' 3 Chion. xirlii. 17 ; Joel iiL IS. 
of the Edomitei, bnt in the Vulgate it ia v Ver. 1 1— U ; Paalm ciiirii. 7. 
rendend " the Edamitea oune to Elah." i The tonth fori of Paleitine, from 
The woide Antm and Edam are written in ElentheropoUe to PeUB(the ancient cairital 
the Hebrew nearl; in the nme maniKT; of Idnnuea) and Elab, wna fall of roclu, 
and Calmet ihinki that it ihould be written inhabited bj the natirei. Vid. Ilieron. in 
Edom, initead of S;ria, throtwh the veriM, loc- 
al the Edomitei had pRTioni]; pouetaion ' Teman, a dty, or, u aome lay, a pro- 
of Elah, hat it doe* not ^peai that the rince of Idonuea, aa called from Teman, 
Sjiiani had, tor whom it could not there- grandaon of Eian. Vid. Jerem. xlii. 7 ; 
fore be recoTered. Still, howerer, the Anwa L 13. Vid. Hieron. et Enaeb. in loc. 
Chaldnan, Hebrew, Sjriac, and Anbie Ebraiciai 
Torrioni, aa well aa Jsaephoi, lappoae that 



dionld be cat off by eUagbter." That Uk men wbo had eon- 
federated with them agamst Jacob,* and been 8app«ted by them 
as their allies, Bbonld inflict the pnoishment of their oialeTaleDce. 
The prophet conclades with consolatory aasnraDccs of Aitoie 
restoration and pro^rity to the Jews, to whom abonld arise 
delirerance from Zion; savionrs who should judge the nations; 
and a spiritual kingdom, appropriated and cMisecnted to the 
Lord. These prophecies began to be completed about five years 
after, when Nebuchadnezzar raT^;«d Idoouea,' and dispossessed 
the Edomites of moch of Arabia-Petnea, which they never 
afterwards recovered. But they were still farther fulfilled in 
the conquests of the Maccabees over the remainder of the 
Edomites;" and they received their final accomplishment in 
the advent of that Redeemer whom precediag saviours had fore- 

Obadiah''s name implies, the servant of the Lord: a title by 
which Moses was distinguished,' and in which St. Paul gloried. 
The prophet's work is short, but composed with much beauty : 
it nnfolds a very interesting scene of prophecy, and an instmo- 
tive lesson against hnioan confidence and malldons exultation. 


Thouoh Jonah be placed fifth in the order of the minor prophets, 
both in the Hebrew and in the Septuagiot copies, he is generally 
considered as the most ancient of all the prophets, not excepting 
Hosea. Jonah was the son of Amittai, of the tribe of Zebninn, 
and was born at Oath-hepher,* which is supposed to have been 
the same place with Jotapeta; a town remarkable for having 
sustained, under the conduct of Josephns, a dege against the 
Roman army. It was situated in the land of Zebulun, near 

■ Oladiah met tha expranon, " thy probabif , with Oitlah-bcpher. Vid. Jmb. 
Imtliu Jacob," in alluion U Ewa** hatred lii. 13. Don>ltieiu erroiMaiuIy iKnu, 
■gsiott jBcob. Vid. OcD. ZTTU. tl; a pri- that he wai born at Cai)athmauB, or Car- 
Diuj ■outce at Ood'i diipleunra againit jithjarim, in tbe tribe of Jndah, and boiied 
tlia EdomileL at Swi, (Tyn in Fhienicia ;) aud St. Jerom 

■ ttuer. ad A. M. 3419. JoMph. Antiq. hu taken Iba trouble to refdla aonM who 
lib. I. c 13. maintained that Jon^ ma bom at aDothar 

■ 1 Mace T. 8, 6S. Qeth, n«i Ljdds. or Dioapolii, coDfemid- 

■ Nomb. xii. 7. ing Oeth with Gnth-hepher, and Oioqwlia 
• Vid. 2 King! iIt. 2. The «uw place, nth Diocanum. 

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Siphorim,'' towards Tiberias, wbere wob the canton of Ophir, or 
Hepher. St. Jerom ioforms us, that the prophet's Bepnlchre 
was shewn there in his time ; and there the natives still believe 
it to exist.* Since this place, as indeed all the land of Zebuinn, 
was in Galilee,'' it may be produced in confutation of the illiben^ 
assertion of the Pharisees, that oat of Galilee ariseth no prophet.* 
The Orientals now shew his tomb at Mosul,' which they Btippose 
to be the site where Nineveh stood ; and the Turks have built 
a mosqne there, in which they pretend to possess his relics; 
while others, who reside at Oath-hepher, now a little bourgade, 
shew a maasoleum of Jonah in a subterraneons chapel, inclosed 
in a mosqne, and compel travellers to enter barefoot. Such aT« 
the contests of saperstitions reverence, or the claims of merce- 
nary rivalship. 

Some Jewish writers report, upon a very groundless fiuicy, 
that Jonah was the son of the widow of Zarephath, whom 
Elijah raised from the dead;* but Jonah represents himself as 
an Hebrew, and Zarephath was a city of Sidon.'' He is gene- 
rally supposed to have flourished in the reigns of Joash and Je- 
roboam the Second, kings of Israel ; the former of whom began 
to reign, A. M. 3163, the latter died A. M. 3220. In the se- 
cond book of Kings,' Jonah is said to have prophesied con- 
cerning Jeroboam, that he should " restore the coast of Israel C 
which prophecy, now not extant, was perhaps delivered in the 
reign of Jehoahaz, the grandfather of Jeroboam, when the 
kingdom of Israel was greatly oppressed by the Syrians ; * and 
therefore it is probable that bishop Lloyd does not place him 
much too high, in sopposiog that he prophesied towards the latter 

* Now called DkcKurea. Vid. Uicnm. ■ Hienm. et Iddor. e( Qiueat ad 

PuNEin. Com. in Jonaai. Antioch. in Append, ad Oper. S. Atluui. 

' Benjam. Ituicr. el Broeardna ArgeDto qo. Ut. JodbIi wu the un of Amittai, 

ratenni DcKrip. Tecra Saiicta:^ irhich word iinplin tnOA in the Hebrew t 

<■ Isaiah ii. 1; Matt. it. 13. aod the widow had uid le Elijah, " The 

' John Tii. 62. Nahum wnt a Oaliloan word o( iho Idrd in thj month ii troth." 

bj birth, though of the tribe of Simeon ; Vid. 1 Kinn iriL 24. Hence the rab- 

aud Halachi, ai lonie lay. binical conceit. Othen make him the un 

' Tberenot'a TiaTck, part ii. book i ch. of the woman of Shanen, a place in the 

11. p. fiO. Moni], aow Che aeal of the tribe of Iraachar. Vid. 2 Kiiwi if. 16. 

patriarch of the Neitoriani, ii on the Some rooinlain, that he waa the prophet 

wntem aide of the Tigria ; and ii by lome who waa MDt to anunt Jehu king oter 

aHtrted to have been s anburb of Nineteh, luscL Vid. 3 King! ii. 1, 2. R. David 

whkh ia aid to hsn been on the eailem Kimchi, &c. 

aide, though Plin j maintaina it to haie been * Comp, Lake ii. 26, with Jonah i. 9. 

eituated on the veetem aide. Vid. Plinii, i S Kinga liv. 26. 

lib. rL cap. 18. Benjara. Todela, Itiner. ' Comp. 2 King* liii. 3—7, with 2 

Manhara Chron. Stec xviii. p. 66S. Kinga lir. 2G; and Joupfa. 

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end of Jebn's reign or in th« beginning of that of Jehoahaz, 
vhen Hazael, by his cruel treatment of Israel, was verifying 
the predictions of Elisha.' So that thoagh Jonab might be 
contemporary with Hoseo, Amos, and Isaiah, he appears to have 
uttered the prophecy alluded to, before any were delivered of 
those now extant in the writings of the prophets; and the pro- 
phecy concerning Nineveh, of which the publication is related in 
this book, must, contrary to the opinion of many writers," have 
been delivered long before the time that Obadiah prophesied. 

This book, which is chiefly narrative, fnmiahes us with an 
account of the mandate that Jonah, who was more especially a 
prophet to the Gentiles, received to preach against Nineveh, the 
metropolis of that mighty kingdom of Assyria, which was em- 
ployed by God as the "rod of his anger against Israel and 
Judah ."'> It relates that Jonah, who was of a timid character," 
aware of the pride and false confidence of a city, equally dis- 
tinguished for its magnificence and corruption, for its careless 
merriment and inconsiderate dissipation,^ and conscious that the 
Lord was " slow to anger," and loath to execute his threats, waa 
a&aid to carry the message of wrath. He knew that the pro- 
phets were exposed to insult from such as confidently main- 
tained that the day of the Lord would not arise, and who chal- 
lenged God to hasten his work.'' He resolved, therefore, "to 
flee from the presence of the Lord ;" that is, possibly, ae some 
have interpreted the expression, to flee &om the council of God 
in the land of Israel ; or perhaps simply to avoid the divine ap- 
pointment : but in this foolish attempt, in bis flight to Tarshish,' 
which he records with a very ingenuous and repentant fidelity, he 
was arrested, and pnoiahed by a miracle ; and when delivered 
from the jaws of destruction, he was compelled to utter the 

■ 2 King! tU. 12 ; liiL 3, 4, 22. lib. xtL p. 65. edit Stepban. 

■ Clem. Altx. Stmn. Eiueb. Pnep. lib. < Amog t. IB ; Im. t. 19 ; Jeram. xm, 
I.C.14. CyrilL Pnef. in Jon. Aognit de IS ; Ecek. xu.22. 

Cirit. Dei, lib. xriii. c S7. Tbeod. PnNEm. ' Tbe Tanhidi bere meatioiied waa 

in 12 Proph. pnbibly the tame place witb Tanie, or 

■ iHiab I. 5. Tarant, the capital of CtlieiB, when St. Paul 
° Jenab, or Jonu, u it ii written in the nceired hii birth ; aod Jonah might ba 

Orrek, tigoiliei a doTc ; a name probably caat on ahore aomevhere on the coaat of 

deicriptiie of bi> gentle diipoiilioD. Cilicia. There weie likowiae places of the 

' By Zephaniah it ia called the rejoicing name of Tarabiah in India and in Spain. 

cit; : Kpanroiai' NiHu <u^|Kuroun)t, (better Vid. S Chroik. m. K. Bochart Pbaleg, 

than pieny Ninereh,} wsi aproTecbial com- lib. iiL c 37. Slaphan. de Urb. IS. and 

pariun. NinciebwiBgnBlarlluuiBabjIon. WaUa'a Omjgiaphy of New Teat pert ii. 
Vid. Stnbo,lib. i.p.T37. Diodor. Sindna, 



doleful mesaage, " Yet forty days, and Nineveh" (if it cODtinue 
impenitent) " shall be overthrown." The king, who, according 
to Usher, was Pul, or possibly a predecessor of that monarch, 
alarmed by the prophetic threat conveyed to him under such 
miraculous circnmstances, proclaimed a solemn fast and suppli- 
cation for pardon ; * and as God's threats are conditional, and hia 
anger ever softened by repentance, he suspended the sentence 
which he had pronounced, till about one hundred and sixty 
years ader, when the wickedness of the people provoked its 
execution. The last chapter represents the unreasonable dis- 
pleasure of Jonah at God's mercy, and his mortification at 
having been employed to deliver a prediction which was not to 
be accomplished ; more solicitous for his own reputation than 
for the glory of God, or for the security of a kingdom. The 
Almighty is described as condescending gently to reprove the 
prophet ; and to justify his own conduct by a miraculous illus- 
tration, and by an appeal to the compassion of the prophet, 
which Jonah records with a tacit confession of the equity and 
goodness of God. 

It ranst be remarked, that the miracle by which God punished 
the unbecoming flight of Jonah was, agreeably to the figurative 
arrangements of the Old Testament, rendered sym))olical of an 
event that was to occur under the New. The prophet, in this 
instance a sign of Christ,' was swallowed up by a great fish," as 
our Saviour was admitted into the jaws of death, and for a 
ramilar continuance of time : both were detained three days 
and three nights' entombed in the grave. The objections that 
have been made to this miracle are certainly unworthy of 
attention,^ since considerations of what may or may not be 

■ Umer. Annml, A. M. 32S3. Lloyd"* Vid. Scaliger. oont Cardan. Bochart. 
Tobla. Newton on the Ptophedm, din. 9. Hicroz. p. iL lib. v. e. 12. Druiiiu in 
<roL L D. 25$. Jonun. CalnwlV DiiKrt. 

' Ai the Hebrow language liaa not an; 
vDid whkh dcfinei a natuinl dny, the 
Jeiri doKiiba what tho Oreeki call 
rvKBtiiupar, by « da; and a nigfat. The 
word uwd by the ipaca of time, therefore, which coniist* i^ 
apMtle, (Malt. xii. 40.) inrrBt, ettut, loeuii one whole niotutioD o( twenty-four hoore, 
any lane fiah, a* doea the Hebrew woi^ in and part of two other daya, ia properly 
Jonah, VlJrt.doowArf. Some anppow it eipr««d in Hebrew by ^ dnyi md 
tohavebeenthecaniachareariiusthelflmin, three mghta; the lenglh of tune during 
or MB-dsg. , The rabbina talk of a fi.h which J on^ and Chnst were reapecUvely 
created on purpoae from the beginning of «puli:hred in the fiah and in the grave. 
the world; and many other abanrdno^oni Vid. Patrick in c. l 1 7. 
bare been entertmned on the .ubject ' iltrntm Von-der Hardt abntHj un- 

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probable, are clearly not applicable to works which exceed the 
measote of human power, and deYiate from the conrae of homan 
events, and which, indeed, in their proper definition, are 
described as unprecedented. The miraculoos preservation and 
delirerance of Jonah was surely not more remarkable or de- 
scriptive of almighty power, than were the multiplied wonders 
in the wilderness,* the protection of Daniel, or the resurrection 
of the widow's son ; all were positive violations of the general 
rules of nature. 

Among other testimonies given to the prophetic character of 
Jonah, may be reckoned tlut of ToUt, who professed a firm 
confidence in the accomplishment of Jonah's prediction against 
Nineveh,* and whose son, indeed, afterwards lived to witness its 
completion. The sacred writers, likewise, and our Lord himself," 
speak of him as a prophet of considerable eminence. 

As the word with which this book begins is frequently used 
as a connezive particle, some writers have conceived that these 
prophecies are but compendious extracts of a larger collection ; 
but the book appears in its present state to be an entire and 
perfect work ; and the particle with which it begins is here 
only a common introductory expression. True it is, that Jonah, 
as probably all the prophets, delivered some prophecies which 
are no longer extant, &b appears from the passage in the second 
book of Kings before alluded to ;' and these, as intended by 
their speedy completion only to excite the confidence of con- 
temporaries, were probably not committed to writing; such 
chiefly being composed for the Canon as were de»gned for the 
permanent instruction of the church. There is, however, no 
sufficient evidence to prove the authenticity of some other pre- 
dictions ascribed to Jonah by Dorotheus and others:'^ aa that 
" when they should see a stone" (i. e, Christ, the comer-stone) 
"bitterly lamenting, and all the nations in Jerusalem, then 
should the city be entirely destroyed;" which pretended prophecy' 

dcrtook U ton) th« wliale book iulo ■ qoffiit. 6. de Jona, a. 30. 

kind otpropbatic KheniBOr parable, though * Tobit, liv. i — fi, IB. 

there ii not s iliadoir of teuoa ta ■iippon ■> 2 Kinga ut. 25; Matt. lii. 39, 41; 

it uiT other than a literal namtioii of ivi. i ; Luke xL 29. Vid. alu, S Eediu 

kctuaf events. Vid. CnrpioT. Intnd. id i. 32, and ClemenL EpUu L sd Hum. c liL 

Lib. Vet. Tett. pai. iiL p. 349. * S Kingi xiv. 25. 

* Qood SQt omnia dirina miraenla ere- ' Epipban. Darolh. et ChraiL. PavaL 

denda Don unt aul hoc cm una credatni ■ Lulta xiz. 41. 
(mua nnUa ait. Vid. AngniL Epiit, eii, id 



alluded to oar Savioar'a weeping over Jenualem, and to the 
assembUge of the Gentiles, which preceded the deetmction of 
the holy city. 

The style of Jonah is narrative and simple; the beantiiitl 
prayer contained in the second chapter has been jnstly admired. 
The book furnishes ns with a fine deacription of the power and 
mercies of God. 

The fhoiK of Jonah's dehTerance appears to have spread 
among the heathen nations; and the Greeks, who were ao- 
castomed to adorn th& memory of their heroes by every re- 
markable event and embellishment which they could appropriate, 
added to the fictitioos adventores of Hercules, that of having 
continued three days without injury in the belly of a dog sent 
against him by Neptune.' The fable of Arion and the Dolphin, 
of which the date is fixed at a time nearly coeval with the 
period of Jonah, is possibly a misrepresentation of particulars 
recorded in this sacred book. 


MioAH was nnqnefltionably the author of this book, and he speaks 
in that character.' In the Hebrew manuscripts he is placed the 
sixth, and in the Septuagint copies the third in order of the 
twelve prophets. He calls himself a Morasthite,'* and is sup- 
posed to have been a native of Morasthi, a village situated near 
the city of Elentheropolis, in the southern part of Judah ; a 
place distingnished by St. Jerom° from Mareshah, mentioned in 
this book' and id Joshna.* 

Micah speaks only of the kings of Judah ; and he prophesied 
in the days of Jotharo, Abac, and Hezekiah, contemporary with 
whom were Pekah and Hosea, the two last kings of Israel. 

' Ljcophnm at Inacuj Tntie*, Cjiill. the suna place with HoTMbelb.gHth, tneit- 
et Tlieop(i;kct. in Jon. S«xt. Emp. ■dv. - lioned in Micah, ch. L 14. 

Onm. lib. L cap. 13. PhaToiinns in '^ Clup-i. IS. 

TfHwvfpu, el Ouniu in Dialog, de ' Joab. it. U. Sl Jerom, hDwerer, 

Itonwrt. AJnin. placffl thii town iikewiis in llis lerritarj of 

* Chap. iii. I, 8. < JndBli, and aa^> that the rnini of it wen 

^ Chap. i. 1 ; Jereni. xui. IB. extant in hu time. Joaephui repreHuli it 

< Hianm. PioL in Hicah. Ejnt, Paul, to haie been in Idunuea. Vid. Joseph.lib. 

c.ii Enacb. de loc Ebraic Dnuinaerro- liiL c 23. at de BelL Jad. lib. i. c 2. An- 

neomlf MD^inn that Honuliti migfat be tiq. lib. iiT. c. 10. 2 Chion, li. 8 ; xit. 10. 



Mioah, then, began to prophesy soon after Isaiali, Hoaea, Joel, 
and Amos ; and he prophesied between A. M. 3246, when 
Jotbam began to reign, and A. M. 3305, when Hezekiab died, 
but probably not during tbe whole of that period. It is re- 
lated by Epiphanius,^ and the Greek writers who copied htm, 
that Micah was thrown from a precipice and killed by Jehoram, 
Bon of Ahab, whom he erroneously calls king of Jndah, but who 
really was king of Israel ; and whose ffrandeon Jehoram lived at 
least one hundred and thirty years before Micah. But these 
wnters* seem to have confounded Micah with Micaiah the sod 
of Imlah, who flourished in Israel, and prophesied eril of Abab ; '' 
and Micah does not appear to hare suffered martyrdom, as may 
be collected from a passage in Jeremiah,' but probably died in 
peace under the reign of the good king Hezekiab. St. Jerom 
says, that bis tomb was at Morasthi, and converted into a church 
in his time.^ And Sozomen' professes to bare heard that his 
body was shewn, in a divine vision, to Zebeunus, bishop of 
Eleutberopolis, in the reign of Theodosius the Great, near a 
place called Berathsatia, which probably might be a corruption 
of Morasthi, since Sozomen describes it to hare been at nearly 
the same distance from Jerusalem that St. Jerom places Mo- 

Micah, who received the dirine revelations by vision," was 
appoioted to preach against both Israel and Judab, and executed 
his commission with great animation and zeal. One of his pre* 
dictions is related" to hare saved the life of Jeremiah ; who, 
under the reign of Jehoiakim, would bare been put to death for 
prophesying the degtmction of the temple, had it not appeared 
that Micah had foretold the same thing under Hezekiab above 
one hnndred years before.!* Micah is mentioned as a prophet in 
the book of Jeremiah,'' and in the New Testament.' He is 
imitated by succeeding prophets,* as he himself had borrowed 

' Epiphaniiw arroneooalr csllt him B Ho- Micab'i tomb on the declivity of Mount 

ludkite o( the tribe ot Ephrnim ; uid ufi Oli<et. 

that he wai buried at ManthL ° ** Tbe word of the Leid " came to him. 

• Athan. ia Synop, Emeb. Chron. Vid. Dr. Wheeler. 

^ 1 King* xiiL 8— 2B, • Jerero. xxn. 13—34. 

' Jerem. xitt. 18, 19. ■■ Jotepb. Antiq. lib. z. e. 7. Hioh 

' Hieron. Ep. rivii kq Epltiph. Pan!. iiL 12. 

c tI. 1 Jerem. ziri. 18, comp. with Micah 

> Souhh. Hilt. Eccles. lib. rii. c 39. et lii. 12. 

Niiephor. lib. liL c. 4H. ' Matt. ii. 5, and John tii. 42. 

■ AboattenKediBiwhicbuuwertnearly ■ Comp. Zephaniab liL 19, with Miiali 

|o the two mile* of St. Jarom. Someplace It. 7; andEidLxiiL37,with MicnhliUlI. 



the ezpreeeioDS of those who preceded, or flonrished at the Bame 
time with him.' Our Sftviour himself^ indeed, condescended to 
opeak in the langaage of the prophet." 

Dr. Welle' supposes Micah's prophecies to have been uttered 
in the order in which they are here written. He maintains that 
the conlents of the first chapter were delivered in the time of 
Jotham and Peksb ; and that it consists of general invective 
against the sins and idolatry of Israel and Judah, to be punished 
by impending judgments. What is comprised between the first 
verse of the second chapter and the eighth verse of the fourth, be 
assigns to the reign of Abaz, and his contemporaries Pekah and 
Hosea; and the twelfth verse of the third chapter, which is at- 
tributed by Jeremiah to the reign of Hezekiah,' Wells conceives 
to have been spoken in the year when Hezekiah was partner in 
the kingdom with Abaz, in the last year of the reign of the 
latter; and the remainder of the book the learned commentator 
asidgns to the reign of Hezekiah. But at whatever period these 
prophecies were debvered, they contain many remarkable par- 
ticulars. The prophet predicted, in clear terms, the invasion of 
Sh^maneser* and Sennacherib,* and their triumph over Israel 
and Judah; the captivities, dispersion,** and deliverance' of 
Israel ; the cessation of prophecy ;" the destruction of Assyria* 
and of Babylon,' the representatives of the enemies of the 
Christian church ; the birth of the Everlasting Ruler at Beth- 
lehem Epbratah;* the establishment and exaltation of Christ's 
kingdom over all nations ; " the influence of the Gospel ; ' and the 
destruction of Jerusalem.^ 

The beauty and elegance of Micah's style have been much ad- 

■ Comp. Mieab it. 1—8, with Immh ii. lappoM him to ipeak of th* KTen Macok- 

2—4; Micah iv. 13, wilt lu. ili. IS. beei, with their eight royal succewori, from 

Mic»h began to propheiy mther later ihon Ariitobnlai to AntigonUi. Il raaj perhaps 

la^h, bear a reference to loms higher triumph. 

• Comp. Micah viL 8, with Matt i. 86, Vid. Emk. ch, ixiriii. and xxxix. 

3e ' Chap. vii. S, 10. Mede'i DiKOunea, p. 

» Preface u, Mioh. 796. 

I J«rem.uvi. 18, 19. • Mif»h v. 2, tomp. with Matt u. 6, and 
> Micah i 6—8 ; 2 Kingt iriL *, «■ John til 42. 

• Micahi.9— 16; 2 Kings iTJil 13. ^ Chap. it. I, 2. 

• Chap, y, 7, 8. ' Chap. it. 1 — 8, comp. with Iniah ii. 
" Clwp. ii. 13 ; iv, 10 1 T. a. 2-4. 

<" Chap. iii. 6, 7. ' Chap, iii, 12. Tbis prophecy wa» fiil- 

' Chap. T. 6, 6. Some imagine that filled by the dostruetion of Jemialeni by 

Micah forelelli in thiipropheiy the Tictoriei Vespaiian, when, according WChriit'i pre- 

to be obtained hy the leaden of the Mede* diction, not one ilono »a» left on anotaer. 

andBabyloniani who look Mineveh. Othen Vid. JoMph. Bell. Jud. lib. tU. c 17. 



mired. Biebop Lowth has characterized it as compressed, short, 
nervone, and iharp. It ia oftea elevated, and very poetical, 
thongh occaaionally obecure from sudden transition of snbject. 

Micah, after ghewing what is good for man, and that the Lord 
requiretb of him "to do justly, and to lore mercy, and to walk 
hnmbly with God,"' concludes his book with a fine prophetic as- 
surance of God's mercies, who should cast away the sins of bis 
people, and perform the promises which he had sworn nnto 


Nahuu describes himself as an Elkoshite: which some hare 
considered as a patronymic expression, conceiving it to imply his 
being a descendant of Elkosha ; but which ia generally supposed 
to intimate that be was born at Elkosh, or Elkosha, a small 
village in Galilee, of which St. Jerom professes to have seen the 
mins.* Nahum is said to have been of the tribe of Simeon ;* 
but amidst a variety of opinions, it is difficult to determine what 
precise time should be assigned for the period of his existence. 
Josephus asserts,* that he lived in the time of Jotham, king of 
Judah ; in which case he may be supposed to have prophesied 
against Nineveh, when Tiglath-Pileser, lung of Assyria, carried 
captive the natives of Galilee, and other parts," about A. M. 
S264. The Jews place him so late as the reign of Manasaeh.* 
The most probable opinion is, that though Nahom might have 
lived in the reigna of both these kings, yet be delivered these 
prophecies in Jndeea, in the reign of Hezekiah ; ' for he appears 

' Ch>p. n. B. in one handnd nnd fifteen jean iftsr ; id 

> Epi|riiwiifu and Dot«tluu pbes it neu- wliich cue, the prophel mut hare deliTered 

Begsbu', 01 Beduban, when St John them in the reign of Ahai, the too of Jo- 

bapUiad bit diKipIe*. Vid. Origeo in Joh. tham, irhen Shalmonewr inreded Swiuuia, 

But SL JeroDi reprcMnCa it a* at a gnat and rendered il Iribntar7. , 

distance from that town. lie nji tlut it '2 Kingi it. 39. 

wu calJed HelkeuL TtiinDtmenlionedin • Seder Olam, OroL Silt. Senena. ie. 

■criptnie, oi bj JoMphoi. Clemeni Aleiandrinna plaoea Nahnni be- 

' He wa* probably in Judah when he tween Daniel uid Kiekiel, and auppowa 

nceind dirine melalioni. Belhaboia was him to hare fionriihed daring the captiTJtj. 

&r ftom the lerritory of Simeon. Vid. gtrom. i. p. 92. 

* JoMph.Anliq.lib.ii.c 11. Mct 3. edit. ' HierDn. Theodor. el Theophjl. PiMtn. 

HndioiL JoMphot Myt, alM, that Nahnm*! id Nahun. 
"""■'""" ■ igNineyeheanietopaw 



to speak of the taking of No-Ammon, & city of Egypt,^ and of 
the ioBoIeat messengers of Sennacheiib,^ as of things past ; and 
he likewise describes the people of Judah as still in their own 
cooutry, and desirous of celebrating their festirals. He cannot 
therefore be supposed to have prophesied before the fourteenth 
year of Hezekiab, since the expedition of Sennacherib against 
this prince was in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign ; and 
therefore he probably prophesied between A. M. 3283, when 
Shalmaneser carried Israel captire into Assyria,' and A. M. 3294, 
when Sennacherib was meditating the destruction of Jerusalem, 
At this period of perplexity and distress, when the fate of 
Samaria was present to the apprehensions of Jndah, when her 
own cities had been taken by Sennacherib, and Hezekiah had 
drained his treasury, and even despoiled the temple in the vain 
hope of averting the fury of Sennacherib,'' Jthen was Kabom 
raised up in consolation' to Judab, and to proclaim destruction 
"to him that ima^^ned evil against the Lord.^*" At this time, 
Sennacherib still continued to send arrogant messages, and blas- 
phemous letters, threatening the destruction of Jerusalem ; in- 
sulting Hezekiah, and deriding the confidence of his people, who 
trusted in the Lord." Already had Isaiah been commissioned to 
send an assurance of protection to Jerusalem;" and Nahnm 
conspired with him to promise deliverance to Hezekiah'' from 
the Assyrian yoke ; and to anticipate, with prophetic exultation, 
the appearance of welcome messengers, that should bring good 
tidings, and publbh peace to Judah ; who should celebrate her 
solemn feasts secure from invasion, as her enemy "was utterly 
cut off."*! 

Nahum afterwards, in his two last chapters, proceeds to foretell 
the future downfall of the Assyrian empire ; renewing those de< 
nunciatioos of wrath which, about ninety years before, Jonah 

■ Chap. iii. 8. This city ii called al»a •■ Chap, i 11. 

Di««poIu, and wu tha aama place that mu " 2 Klnn iTiii. and xii ; 2 Cbrop. nmjj 

called Thabet bjr Homer. It wai probabl; lauah imi ; Nahnm i. 7, conp. with Iia. 

fint takcD bjr SMUiacherib, in hii eipedidon xiiri. 1 6. 

to Egypt, befote hs marched to Jenualem. *' 2 King* lix. 20 — St, 

Vid. Cabnet in Inc. Frid. Cod. An. 713. p Cbap. I 13. 

It waa aftamrdi deatmjed b; Nebocbad- i Nahnm LI£; 2 Kingi lii. 3 J ; In. 

Dpnar. uxviL 36, 37- fiemuu and Herodetos give 

^ Chap. ii. 1 3, camp, with 2 King! inii a ditguiud uccoiut t^ (he minculDoa de- 

17, el aeq. atruclian of Sennacherib'i army. Vid. Be- 

' SKiugiiTii. 6; Nabumii. 2. mui ap. Jcnapb. Antiq. lib. z. c. I, 3. 

* 2KiDgaiviil 16. Herod. likiLc Ul. 

■ Nabiunugnifieaaceiafntw. Vid.Hier. 



bad uttered a^DSt Nineveh, whose repentance was but of short 
duration ; and predicting, in the mo8t descriptive manner, that 
final destruction which was effected probably by Nabopalasser 
and Cyaxares, A. M. 3392/ but certainly by the Medee and 
Babylouinns ; whose confederate forces assaulted the Assyrians 
unespectedly, "while they were folden together as thorns, and 
while they were drunken as drunkards;"' when "the gates of 
the river were opened, the palace dissolved,"' and an "over- 
running flood" assisted the conquerors in their devastation;"" 
who took an endless store of spoil of gold and of silver,* making 
an utter end of the place of Nineveh ;' of that vast and popu- 
lous city, whose walls were an hundred feet high,' and capable 
of admitting three chariots abreast upon them, and fortified with 
fifteen hundred towers, in walls of two hundred feet high/ So 
totally, indeed, was this city destroyed, that in the second century 
after Christ not a vestige of It remained to ascertain the spot on 
which it stood. Its situation has long been a matter of oncer- 
tainty and dispute.'' 

This illustrious prophecy, thus remarkably accomplished in 
little more than a century after it was delivered, affords a signal 
evidence of the inspiration of Nahnm, and a striking lesson of 
humility to human pride. It must have furnished much con- 
solation to the tribes who were carried away captive by the king 
of Assyria, as well as to those of Benjamin and Judah ; and all 
must have rejoiced with the hope of deliverance, to hear that 
their conquerors should in time be conquered, their city levelled 
to the dust, and their empire overturned. The hook in which 

' Diodonu Kcului ipeaki oT iha taking ' Ntthuni iL 9; and Diod. So. lib. ii. 

of Niaereh b; AibuH and Deleiii, whicE p. SI. 

miut hale happeaed at a preceding time. t Clup. i. 8, 9 ; and Newton'a ninth 

Herodotus, howcyer, aiierta, that it wni DiasertaUon on Prophecies V(A. i. 

taken bj Cjaiarei; and since the account ' Diod. Sic. lib, it p. 65. edit. Slepbui. 

of Diodoni* minutely corraspondi with the Strabo, lib, iri. p. 737. ed. Par. 

prophetic deacriplion of Xahum, it ii proba- ■ Locian, iriTK. prop. fin. Lucian waa 

ble that he confoundi the two captorca, aa a native of Senonla, a alj <m (he En- 

lic mittakea the utoalion of Ninereh, ptac- phratet, in a country adjacent to Ninefeh. 

ing it on the Euphnitea. Uaher placeB the '' Bnchart Phaleg, lib. i». cap. 20. col. 

linnl dettmctian of Nineveh foaiteen jeari 24B. Manhanii Chronic. Stec. xriii. p. 559. 

oirlier than Prideani, vho auigna it to The beat supported opinion! concur to place 

A.M. 3393. Vid. Diod. Sic. lib. ii. Herod, the ancient Nineteh (for 

lib. iL Marsham' 

• Chro 



there wore 

two, and some throe ritiea of 

• Chap. i. 10, 

that name) c 

ntheTipii. Thei 


' Chap. iL 6. 

on the eaile[ 


■ C4- i- 8. 

Diodor. Sie. lib, iL i 


thoae or Nineveh. Vid. Tavemie 


edit. Slephan, p. 


AUi. Polyhiat. ap. 

vol ii. book 

ii. ch. 4. Bat prol 

bably they 


are the ruin< 

1 of tho Peruan Nil 



these interestiDg propheciee are contaiDed, is justly considered 
by bishop Lowth as a complete and perfect poem, of which the 
conduct and imagery are truly admirable. 

The iire, spirit, and sublimity of Nahnm are unequalled. 
His scenes are painted with great variety and splendour. The 
exordium of his work, in which he describes the attributes of 
God, is august ; and the preparations for the attack, as well as 
the destruction of Nineveh, are represented with singular effect.' 
The art with which the immediate destruction of the Assyrians 
nnder Sennacherib is intermingled with the future ruin of the 
empire, affords a very elegant specimen of the manner in which 
the prophets delight to introduce preGent and distant events 
under one point of view. The allegorical pictures in this book 
are remarkably beautifiil.'* 

Neither history nor tradition furnish us with any account of 
Nahnm, or of the period of his death. His tomb, or pretended 
tomb, was formerly shewn in a village named Bethogabra, now 
called Qiblin, near Bmmans. 


Some writers, whose reUtions are probably founded on tradi- 
tionary accounts, describe Habakkuk as a native of Bethzakar,* 
and affirm that be was of the tribe of Simeon. Some suppose 
him to have flourished in the reign of Manasseh,'' others in that 
of Josiah,*' and some have placed him so late as Zedekiah ;'' but 
the most approved opinion is, that he prophesied under Jehoiakim, 
who ascended the throne A. M. 3395, and reigned over Judah 
eleven years. 

As the prophet makes no mention of the Assyrians, and speaks 
of the Chaldeean invasions as near at hand,' he probably lived 
after the destruction of the Assyrian empire in the fall of Nineveh, 
A. M. 3392, and not long before the devastation of Judiea by 

' Lowtb'i Pislect. 31. Antlq. Ub. lil c. i. Benth ii spoken of 

' Chap. ii. 7, 1 1, 13. in 1 Mace. vii. 19. 

■ Epipbanitu talla it Bethwicber; Doro- ^ Seder 01am Rablia, and Zata. Abaid. 
Hu, Kticnchu, - ■ ■ ■ ■ 
tioned in 1 Macc^ i 

1 Joeepfani 

file. Via. 


the Tictories of NebuchadneEEar. Habukktik was then nearly 
Gontempontrj with, and predicted the same erente ae Jeremiah ; 
sDd he probably lived to witnesB the completion of that part of 
hig prophecy which related to the afflictions of his country. 

Habakknk is said, aa well as Jeremiah, to have chosen to 
remain amidet the sad scenea of a desolate and deserted land, 
rather than follow his conquered countrymen into captivity, and 
even to have refiised to accompany those who afterwards retired 
into Egypt. There are no proofs, however, that, ae some writers' 
have asserted, he lived till within two years of the return of the 
Jews, under Zerubbabel, which happened A. M. 3468; but he 
appears to have died in his own country, and posfdbly he was 
buried at Gela, in the territory of Jndah, where his tomb was 
shewn in the time ofEusebina.' 

It must be observed, that some Jews have, on very chimerical 
grounds, pretended thatonr prophet was the eon of the Shunamite 
widow, whom Elisha restored to life;'' and the wretched bio- 
graphers of the prophets who write under the names of Epipbanius 
and Dorotheus relate, that on the approach of Nebachadnezzar 
to Jerusalem, the prophet fled to Ostracina, in the land of Ismael, 
and there continued till after the retreat of the Chaldeeans. But 
these writers appear, ss does also St. Jerom, to have confounded 
the prophet with the Habakkuk of the tribe of Levi mentioned 
by Daniel ; who is described in the Qreek title to Bel and the 
Dra^u, as the author of that book ; and who is therein related 
to have been snatched np at Jerosalem by an angel, and conveyed 
to Babylon, to furnish food to Daniel in the lions* den, as also 
to have returned in the same miraculous manner. Habakknk is 
s^d likewise, upon no better anthority, to have delivered many 
prophecies not contained in the book which we now possess ; to 
have predicted the return of the Jews from captivity, the ap- 
pearance of a great light (the Messiah) and 0od'g glory in the 
temple, and the destruction of the temple by a nation from the 
West (the Romans), as likewise to have composed the story of 
Susanna, and that of his own conveyance to Babylon. 

' Kienm. ProiEm. in HabK. tomb vrat ahcvii also at OabatB, Hbont 

( EuKbini caUt it b; iti old nama Ceili, twelie miles from Elautherapolii. 

whidi ii, perhapii, tbe nm« place with ^ 2 Kingi iv. 16. The nuie of Ha- 

Echela and BelMkar, SoiomeD nj* that bakkolt had uma resembkuce with the 

Habakkuk'abodrwaidiMiiTeredtlieteiiiIhe words of Elisha, who proDOUDced to tba 

time of Tbaodotion tbe Elder. Vid. 9oiani. wonmi " tbon aWt embnoi a ton." 
UiBt. Eccles. Kb. viL o. 29. The propheft 



Thij book, which wbs certaioly composed by Habakknk,' 
opeos with a pious exdam&tion, in which the prophet expostulates 
with God in the bold terms that a zeal for his glory might sug- 
gest, on beholding the iniqnities and lawless violence that pre- 
vailed among the Jews. The Almighty is represented as de- 
claring that he wonld " work an incredible work in their days," 
that he would " raise up the GhaldEcans,^ who are described by 
name ; which nation, though then possibly in alliance, if not in 
friendship with Jndah,* shonld " march through the breadth of 
the land," and take possessioD of its dwellings. 

As Nahum had before predicted the fall of the Assyrians, 
who had carried the ten tribes into captivity; so Habakknk, 
blending probably all the invafdons of the Ghaldseans' under one 
consideration, describes, in the most striking manner, their vio- 
tories, fierceness, and rapidity ; and then, by a sudden transition, 
contrasts the scene, and points ont the punishment of the pride 
of the victors, and of their false confidence in their gods;" fore- 
shewing, in express terms, the change and insanity of Nebnchad- 
Dezzar.i> The prophet still continues, with reverence for Ood'g 
attributes, to plead the cause of his countrymen, as more righteons 
than those whom God had " establided for correction,'' and to 
inquire why the Almighty should suffer his people to be drawn 
np " like fishes," by a nation that attributed its success to its 
own prowess. He is then commanded to write on durable - 
tablets, and in legible characters, the vision in which it is revealed 
to him, first, that the general expectation on which the liviog 
ffuth of the just was built, shonld surely come, though it must 
tarry the appointed time ; " and, secondly, the destruction of that 

' Chap. i. 1; ii. 1, 3. /uurpor, "(bra Iragtime:" the VnlgateliaB 

^ 2 Kings zim. 29 ; and Frid. Aa. 610. it, odfau: vbia pracal, " the Tiaion is jat 

JmUb 3lM. &&r off." Biiliop Cbandler i> of oinaiDO, 

' Chap. i. 5—10. The Cbaldssni in- Ihat the third and foorlb renn of the 

T»ded Judsa three tinn* in the reign of iMond chapter ihoold be thua tnubted; 

NeboehadDeuar : liral, in the finuth jKa " And at the end he thall break fbnh, and 

of JehDiikim, A. H. 3397 ; tcmMj, in not deceiTe : though he tarry, eipeot bin), 

the reign of Jechonkh, A. M. S40S ; and hecaiiH he that conieth will ceme ; he will 

thirdly, in the ninth jeai ct Zedekiah, not go beyond (Ood'a appointed time.) 

A. M. 3414. Beheld, if any bhu draw bvik, the boI 

■ Chap. ii. 4 — 12. of him (Qod) iholl hare do pkonm in 

■■ Chap.i. 11. him: bnt the jart iihall liTe bj &ith." 

•Chap. ii. 3, 4; Rom. i. 17iHeb. x.37. And the leaned biafaop jnatifiei ihii tnula- 

38. The evnngelical writer dt«a the pa*- lation b; a reference to the original, and to 

•age according to the Scptoagint, and the htbcaI leraioni. Vid. Chandler'i Defence, 

original will admit of the lame conttmction. ch. ii. sect. 1. p. 163, 163, note a. The 

Vid. Peonon'B Prolegomena to the Sep- a[nritnal deliTeiancs included alw the tsm. 

tnagint. Some Greek coplea i«ad eti nufMV poni mtolation tna the captiritj. The 

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kiogdom of Babylon wbich bad " apoiled many nationB ;" and of 
tbose evil kings who gathered nnto themselves all people with 
insatiable ambition, who should find that graven images could 
not profit, bat " the Lord'" only " in his holy temple.^ The 
prophet having heard the divine promises and threats in fearful 
reverence, concludes his work with an enraptnred prayer, in 
which he supplicates God to hasten the deliverance of bis 
people.!' He commemorates, in majestic language, the mercies 
which their forefathers had experienced from God when he 
delivered them out of Egypt, and conducted them through the 
wilderness ; alluding to particular circumstances, with a desultory 
and irregular descriptton, but with all the eDthnsiasm of inspired 
piety ; entering at once into the midst of the subject ; repre- 
senting GodV descent from Teman,*! and now contemplating 
" the tents of Gu^an' in affliction" and terror at the approach 
of the Israelites, he finishes with a declaration of entire confidence 
in Qod, which no change of circumstance should shake. 

It should seem, from the title' prefixed, and from the intimation 
subjoined to the last verse of this prayer, as well as from the 
word Selah, which occurs three times in the chapter, that the 
prayer was set to music, and perhaps performed in the service of 
the temple ; and it was possibly delivered in a kind of measure. 
The style of the whole book is poetical, but more especially this 
beautiful and perfect ode, which is decorated with every kind of 
imagery and poetical embellishment.' Habakkuk is imitated by 
succeeding prophets, and is cited as an inspired person by the 
evangelical writers." 

T^mudiiU apply the piopbecy to thesdvent in part of Ciuh. The pniphct may allnda 

of the Meitiah. to Ihs ciRonulancet dsicribed in Eiod. it. 

P The ancient &thcn explain thi> hymn Ifi ; NiDnb. ^-"' 3 ; or ziiL 3 — 1 1 ; tx 

aa aUiuiTe to Ihs Mesuah; and the Romiah poiubly to MHne lat«r viclorie*. Vid. Judg; 

church ba> ineerted into ita offieea loms iii. 10 ; rii 1, Ae. Bochart 0«p- Sw. 

partt of it aa applicable to Chiiat. Vid. 213. 

Cyprian, cont. Jad. lib. iL Eiueb. Pispar. ■ The meaning of the woid Sigionolh is 

lib. vi c 15. Auguat- do Trin. lib. iviiL not known: aeme auppoee it to imply an 

Hieron. TbeodoreL CyrilL 9tc OSic« dn inALmmemt, aome a time- Tn the margin 

Vendndi Saint, Antienne da Idndei, a la of onr Diblea it la eiplained, ^ according to 

Meue. the vaiiable aongi or tnnea, called in He- 

* Teman mu a part of Seir, or Edom. brew Shigioaoth." The direc^eni annexed 

Patan, according to Ptolemy, waa a diitrict to the end of the piayei niighl have been 

towards the eitremily of the wildemna ; added by JosiBh, if Ihs prayer waa written 

a port of it waa near Kadeah. Vid. Nnmb. in hla reiffn. The moming of the word 

liiL 26 ; and Patrick on Deot. miii. 2. Neginoth u nncartain. Vid. title to Paalm 

' Cuihan may mean Giua, or Midian, a i>. 

part of Anbia Petcaa, and of Arabia ■ Lowlh*i Pnelect PoeL 21. and 28; 

Felix. The Aiabiana were called Sceoitee, and Orsen on ch. iii. S — 10. 

or dwellera in tenta. The Midianitee dwelt • Heb, i. 37, 38 ; Rom. L 17; OaL iiL 

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Thk prophet Zephantah informs na that he was the boh of 
Coshi ; and that the word of the Lord came to him in the days 
of Joidah king of Judah. He is supposed to have been of the 
tribe of Simeon ; and as he traces back bis pedigree for four 
generatione,' be was doubtless of noble birth ;** though not of 
the royal family, as some have imagined," from the resemblance 
between tbe names of Hezekiah and that of Hiskia, from whom 
the prophet professes himself to have been a descendant ; tbe 
period which intervened between king Hesekiab and the time 
in which Zephaniah fiouriefaed, being scarce sufiScient to admit 
of three intermediate ancestors to the prophet. 

Zephaniab be^ns with denonncing God's wrath against " tbe 
remnant of Baal,'' and the name of the Chemarimsj"' against 
them that worshipped the host of heaven, and swore by 
Malcham ; ' and therefore probably he addressed those idolatrous 
priests who were not yet extirpated by tbe reli^ous zeal of 
Josiah:* he foretold, also, the destmctton of Nineveh, which 
happened A. M. SS9% And npon these considerations he may 

II; Act* liii, 11, comp. witb Hab. i. 6. " idolattoni prietli," S King* ixiiL 5, 

SI. Lake attt this psauge according to Tbey were called Chemacim, becaiue 

the Septnagint ; tai Pocock haa ihewn dolbed in black gaiments. Vid. Kimdii 

thai the original will admit of tlie apoitlc's in loc and in S Kings xxiii. 6. Black waa 

eonitfuctioo. Vid. Pocock in Porta Hoait, tbe cnstomai; dreu at idotatroas prieata in 

c S. He darirea tbe word Bagojun, wbicb many natiDna. Vul. Horace, lib. L tat. Tiii. 

we trannlate, "among tbe battben," from 23, 24. ApolL Rbod. lib. iii. 861. Plu- 

the word Baga, wbicb atill signifies, in tbe tarcb. de laid. Apuleiua, L 10. Mile*. The 

Aiabic, to be " prond or acoi^iil ;" and tbe bbuk ox, that represented Ouris amoog th« 

word Tamah ma; be tcanslatad, " wonder Egyptians, waa covered with a black ailk oi 

•nd perish." Hnen gaimenl. Vid. Patrick in 2 Kinga 

■ Some of the Jewa bnded that theae ziiiL 6. 

ancMlors wen all propheta. Vid. Hieron. ' Malcham was the iBine deity with 

Com. in Sopbon. iniL Moloch, a god of the Amraonilcs. Some 

'' CyiilL anppoae him the lame with Baal, aa both 

' R. Aben-Etra. woras signily dominion ; bnt the name 

' Baal waa andenlly a name qiplted to partieulariy means the tun. He wai 

the tme Ood, and afterwards prostitnted worshipped by heathena with homsn aa- 

to many pagan deitiea. The Btti whoa* raificea; and tbe laTaalites dedicated their 

wonhip Jeiebel introdnced from Zidon, childim to hii aerrice, by making them 

girm la the htavenly bodies when m>4e Patrick in Lerit xriii, 21 ; and Calmefs 

tbe object of idolatroiu worship. Vid. Di». >ar I'ldolat. 

Selden. da Uiii Syria Syntag. it. c. 1. ■ Comp. Zepb. L 4—9, with 2 King* 

Mode, b. L diec 42. iDii. B, 6, 12, Su, 
■ The word Chemsrim is tnualated 



be supposed to hare prophesied before the last reformation made 
by Josiah, A. M. 3381. He may b« coiiceived also to have 
entered on his office towards the commencement of the reign of 
that monarch, who ascended the throne A. M. 3364, «Dce he 
preceded Jeremiah, who began his prophetic ministry in the 
thirteenth year of Josiah's reign. Epiphanius relates that 
Zephaniah was born at Mount Sarabatha, or Baratha." 

Zephaniah and Jeremiah resemble each other go mnch in 
those parts where tliey treat of the idolatries and wickedness 
that prevailed in their time, that St. Isidore asserts, that Ze- 
phaniah was the abbreviator of Jeremiah : but he apparently 
prophesied before Jeremiah ; and the latter seems to speak of 
those abuses as partially removed, which the former describes 
as present in the moat flagitious extent,' 

Zephaniah, in this book, appears to have conspired with 
Josiah in his righteons design of bringing back the people to the 
wonihip and obedience of the true Qod. His first chapter con- 
tains a general deniinciatton of vengeance against Judah, and 
those who superstitiously observed the rites'' of idolaters, or 
violently invaded the property of others; and he declares that 
" the great day of trouble and distress, of desolation and 
darkness,** was at hand. In the second chapter, the prophet 
predicts woe to the Cherethites,' the Moabltes, Ammonites, and 
j^thiopians,™ and describes the desolation of Nineveh, in terms 
wonderfully descriptive." These prophecies were chiefly ac- 
complished by the conqnesta of Nebuchadnezzar." In the third 

^ Doratheui tnlli tbe ^kce Sabarlhanu lib. L eleg. il. 89, 90. Laom. lib. ii. S59. 
gaiBthan ia mentioned m Jothua, aa a ' Tbe Cherelhitei, or Cberethima, woe 
mounuiiioui place in tbe temtarr of the Pbiliitiaes who bordered on the Ma- 
Reuben. Zercdnthn, or Saitbu, ia tpoken ditemiiean, called Cheretbima. Eiek. 
d( in 2 Chron. iv. 17. Tbe place of ixi. 1 6 i and Kprrrit, CreCuia, in the S^ 
Zepbaiiiah'a naliritj might be Santa, near tuagiDt. The; an anppoaed to bsie beui 
Eihthaob, in the tribe of Simeon, witb the a colon; lemoved from Crete to Paleatina. 
addition of Beth, nr BuUia, which ugnjfle* Vid. Lowth and CalmeU 
on honae, or phice ot naidence. ■ Chap. JL 12, comp, with Jerem. ilii. 

■ Comp. Zephon. i. 4, 6, 9, with Jercm. 3, 9 ; Eiek. xxi. 4—10. Jowpb. Ant. 

iL5,30, 32. lib. I.C 11. 

>^ Chap. L 9. Tbe Chaldee paniphnut " Chap. iL 14, 15, Some bare, witboat 

appliea inia Tens to thoae who lived after luffidcnt icaion, anpinaed that thia pro- 

tbe ralet of the Phjliatine*. Vid. Bocbart. phec; ii an interpotation fiun Jonah ; and 

Hieroioic lib. ii. c. 36. If a aupentitione that it ia alluded to in Tobit ii>. 4, 8. 

Sractiee be alluded to, it might bo derived Vid. Whialon'a Antbcntic Rccoida, ToL ii, 

■om the blind prejudice of the PbiliBtioea, append. 4. 
Vid. 1 Sam. t. 1—6. Tracet of a aimilai ° Prid. Con. in 21, 31, and 32 of Neln- 

obaervanee may be found among other i 
nationt. Vid. Juven. SaL ti. 47. Tibid. 



chapter, the prophet returns to Jerusalem, arraigns her poIIntioDS, 
oppressions, and cormptiou, which should be punished in Clod''8 
general vengeance ; and concludes, as is usual with the prophets, 
with promises of a remnant who should trust in the Lord'sname; 
of a return to his favour ^ and of bleBsiogs partly completed by 
the Gospel dispensations, but finally to be accomplished in the 
general restoration of the Jews.'' In the second and third 
chapters, likewise, the prophet magnifies his expressions, in 
speaking of temporal events, to an importance which accords 
only with the effects produced by the preaching of the Gospel, 
in the destruction of idoUtry, and in the calling of the Gentiles 
to God's service.'' The style of Zepbaniah is poetical ; but it is 
not distinguished by any peculiar elegance or beauty, though 
generally animated and impressive. 


Hagqai is generally reputed to have been bom in the captivity, 
and to have returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel/ He is 
reckoned as the tenth in order among the prophets, both in the 
Hebrew and Greek copies ; and may be considered as the first of 
the three prophets who fioarished among the Jews after their 
return to their country. He appears to have been raised up by 
God to exhort Zerubbabel," and Joshua the bigh-priest, the son 
of Josedech, to resume the work of the temple ; which had been 
interrupted near fourteen years, in consequence of the intrigues 
of the Samaritans, and other obstructions excited to defeat the 
edict of Cyrus.* He began to prophesy in the second year of 
Darius Hystaspes, A. M. SiSi, about fifteen years after the 
foundation of the temple had been laid.'' The prophets, after the 

> Chap. iil. 8 — 20. uid Jothna moit have been dead, u wsU 

* Cbap. iL 1 1 ; mi clu iil u nil tboee who remembered the temple 

* Eira iL 2. CyrilL lib. i. Adv. Jnliui. in iU fint glory. Bot a) the second ye«i 
Epipbon. et Doroth. of Dariua RjtUupes correapondi with the 

^ Ezra T. 1. MTenteoDtb year after Ihe return from the 

* Emt iv. 24. captivity, many might hare at that time 

* Eica T. 1. The Darioi of Haggai and been living vho remembered Solomon^ 
Zechariah could not have been Dariue temple, which tu deitroyed only nity- 
Nolbm, who did not begin to reign till eight yean before; and we may allow the 
above one hundred yoan after the decree temple to have been rebuilt in aboot 
of Cyrna, and before wbaB time Zsrnbbabel twenty yem. Vid. Joseph. Antiq. lib. il 




captiritj sometimes reckoned hj the dates of those sovereigns to 
whom their country was aubjected. 

Haggai begins with representing to the people, who delayed 
hj evasive procrastinations the work of the temple, that they 
were more soHcitone to build and to adorn their own houses, than 
to labour in the service of God; and informs them, that the 
scarcity and unfruitful seasons which they experienced were de- 
signed as a punishment for their selfish disregard to the glory of 
the Lord. His earnest remonstrance and exhortations appear to 
have produced tbeir effect ; and the prophet — in order to en- 
courage those who fondly remembering the magnificence of that 
glorious structnre which bad been reared by Solomon, and who, 
perhaps, impressed with the description furnished by Ezekiel,* 
must have lamented the comparative meanness of the present 
building — declares to them, in the name of the Lord, that the 
glory of this latter house, though it might appear as nothing in 
their eyes, yet should be greater than that of the former; "for 
thus saith the Lord of hosts, yet once, it is a little while, and I 
will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry 
land ; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations 
shall come ; and I will fill this house with glory, eaith the Lord 
of hosts,"' with a greater glory, with a glory more apparent and 
manifest than was that clouded and sjnnboHcal representation of 
the divine majesty which overshadowed the mercy-seat in the 
old temple, and which prefigured only thai incarnate presence of 
the Messiah, in whom should "dwell all the fulness of tbs 
Godhead bodily;"' that from this temple, though not decorated 
with silver and with gold, yet there should appear the Prince of 
Peace.'' Haggai, after again recapitulating the offences that 

c t. Clem. A1«T. Stram. lib. i. Wiuiiu pnidon of dignitj, (la (red ill the aaine 
UiKd. Sac lib. i. c. 20. Di. Allii, with word in Dan. u. 23.) It ia not dear, in- 
a, cDUtends for Duiiu Ochus. deed, that tb« woid ia plun] ; lor the tbb. 

• Eiek. t1 — ilriiL which carndtDtea the plural t< 
' Chap. ii. 6, 7, comp. with Heb. xii.26, imi, njjgjn perhapi belong to the neit 
f Coloaa. u. 9. vord, and aga\fj <!«,- and the Chaldee and 

* Chap.ii.6— S.comp.withEphei.u.H. Vujgale render the word in the rinnilar 
and Ueb. ni. 26, 27. Some wnten would number. Certain it it, that neither Zenib- 
reitriel thia magnificent prophec; to an as- habelV nor Ilerod** temple did exer equal 
aorance of the lichca and sptendoor of the that of Solomon in magnificence ; and the 
aecond temple, maintBiDing; that nton, aa aotenuiitj with which taia prophecy ia in- 
tbe nominative cnae lo a pliual Tcrb, ought Iroduced, oa well sa the grandeur of it* 
to be tnnilated dennMe lAagi, But UiMgi deicription, are hyperbolical in the extrane, 
could not, with an; propriety of Bpeech, be unteai applied toUiegtorionepreaenoeoflhe 
■■id "to come;" azid the Hebrew language Metsish. Vid. parallel teit in NaUc iii. I. 
■dmita oF a plural aubatantiic for the ci- Chandler'a De£ aecti. c. 2. Nevcoine,&& 



had excited G^'s anger, and which could not he atoned for till 
the people ehonld have repented of their neglect of Ood'e service ; 
aod after consoling them with a promise of future blessings, 
concludes his splendid prophecies, which he was enabled to 
deliver hy four distinct revelations,' with predicting the im- 
portant revolutions that should precede th&great and final advent 
of our Lord,'' typically described under the name of Zerubbabel, 
when the kingdoms of the world should become the kingdoms 
of the Lord, and bis Christ:' a consummation foreshadowed, 
perhaps, in the temporal commotions which happened before the 
first advent of our Saviour." 

These signal'predictions, which obtained to Haggai the cha- 
racter of a prophet," were supposed by the Jews to refer to the 
time of the Messiah." Some modern objections have, indeed, 
been made to the exact accomplisbinent of that prophecy which 
has been applied to Christ, on a pretence that the temple in 
which our Saviour appeared, was not in reality a second, but a 
third temple, rebuilt by Herod ; but it is certain, that whatever 
alterations and additions were made by Herod to Zernbbabers 
temple, yet it did not constitute an entirely new building;'' and 
as Herod's structure was a gradual work of forty-six years, no 
nominal distinction was ever made between the two,'' both being 
considered, in popular language, as the second temple ; and had 
the prophet adopted such distinction, it mnet have led the Jews 
to expect a demolition of the temple, instead of serving to console 
them. It is likewise undeniable, that the Jews did, in con- 
sequence of this prophecy, expect the Messiah to appear in this 
temple,' till after its destruction by Vespasian ; they then applied 
it to a third, which they expect at some future period. 

The style of Haggai is represented by the learned Lowth sh 
entirely prosaic;* but bishop Newcome has given a translation 
of it, on an idea that a great part of it admits of a metrical 

' The; an pRoidj maikad out. Vid. iiL obMrr. 20. 
ch. L 1 ; JL 1, 10, W. ' JoMpb. Antiq. lib. it. e. 15. 

■ Chap. ii. 22,23. i JoKpb. de Bel. Jgd. lib. riij. c 18. 

■ Dbd. ii. 44; Her. u. 15. Prid. Con. An. A. C. 534. 

■ Ai the Bsbjlonioii commotioni andar ' Talm. Sanb. c 10. aect. SO. Maimon. 
Duint, the Macedonian mn, olid thaw in Sanb. Midr. on Deut. xiiiii. 12. Ber. 
between the HuxcHon of Alexander, or tbe Ketait. on Oen. i. par, ii. Ber. Rab. ou 
diatorbancei in the Roman empire which Oen. xirii 27. Talm. Hier. tr. Beiscot]) 
nicceeded tbe death of CffiiBi. Vid. Onnini, in Li^tC R. Sal. Jarchi. Book Caphtot, 

■ E^ r. 1 ; Ti. U ; Heb. lil 26. 

' Aben-Eua ap Degling. ObMr. Hbk. fat. 



division.' Ha^nai, according to some traditioDary accoaDts, mast 
have been conversant with metrical compositions. In some 
manuscripts of the Septuagint, Vulgate, and other vercnons of 
the Psalter, titles are prefixed to the cxzxviiitb, cxivith, cxlviith, 
and cxiviiith psalms," hj which they are ascribed to Haggai 
and Zechariah, But as these titles are not in the Hebrew 
copies, and as the dates and occasion of these several psalms are 
in some measure uncertain, we can place bat little confidence in 
these inacriptiona. It is, however, very probable, that these 
prophets were concerned in the compontton of some of these 
hymns, which were produced after the return from the captivity. 
Haggai was probably of the sacerdotal race; and Epiphanins 
relates that he was buried among the priests at JernsaJem. He 
and Zechariah are said to have been the first who sung the Hal- 
lelujah in the temple. The rabbins report, that they were both 
of the great synagogue," which they suppose to have had its 
origin in the time of Darius Kystaepes. 


Zbchariah was the son of Barachiah, and the grandson of Iddo;* 
the last of whom is supposed to have been a different person 
from the Iddo mentioned by Nehemiah as one of the priests that 
retarned from Babylon under the conduct of Zembbabel :^ but 
it is very possible that Zechariah might hare been of the s^ 
cerdotal race ; and when released by the decree of Cyrus irom 
the captivity, in which he probably was bom, have been ac- 

■ Newcome'i altempt towinli ui im- ■cripturt. Vid. Dm. t. 2 ; HitL i I. 
ptDTcd <rarnon of the TwelTe Minor Pro- ^ Nehem. lii. 4. St. Jcrom njs, that it 
pbeU. ni not doabted that Iddo wu the lUW 

■ ProL in Bib. Mai. pcnoa with the nun of Qod who wm imt 
' For thii reaion luac Abubinel ex- to Jeroboun, (rid. 1 Kings liiii 1, 2; 

dndn them, u well ai Molaclii, from the 2 Chron. xil. 16;) bat thii wu ptobablj 
nnk of propheta, though their books were mi error. It ii certain, at leut, that Zo- 
admitted into the Canon, and thef were chariah could not be the grendion of a hbq 
considered ai prophet* bj the Jews, and who Ured abore four hundred Tean baiora 
the synagogue was allowed to contain some he b^n to prophesy. Itis doubtful whether 
peruns emitted to the rank of prophets. Iddo, the ancestor of Zechariah, is demibMl 
Vid. Uaimon. More Neroch, par. i, c 69. in this book as a prophet, for that title ia am- 
Vid. AuctoT. Beth Israel, ad Bava Bathn, triguoual; placed in chap. L I. Tbe Scp- 
' ' ■ ■ the title Is 

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companied by bis jj^-ondJuther in the general restoration. No 
certain information cao be collected concerning the time or place 
in whicb Zecbariah was bora. Some writers relate tbat lie was 
of tbe tribe of Levi, and consecrated to the priestly office ; ' and 
we are told that his body was fonad with a sacerdotal white 
robe at Caphar, or Capher," at the extremity of tbe territory of 
Eleatberopolis ; while by others we are informed that he was 
buried at Betharia, in the land of Noeman, abont forty iurlongs 
from Eleatberopolis;* not to mention that according to other 
accounts his remains were deposited near those of Haggai at 
Jerosalem/ and that his pretended tomb is still shewn at the 
foot of Mount Olivet, 

But little reliance can be placed on these and similar repre- 
sentations, some, or indeed all of whicb, have confounded the 
prophet with other persons mentioned in the scriptures. 
Sozomen imagined that the prophet was the same person with 
Zecbariah the son of Jeberechiah, the witness mentioned by 
Isaiah,B and who appears to have lived in the time of Abaz, about 
A. M. 3262. Others, by a great anachronism, make him coeval 
with Joashji' or Uzziah.' 

The author of the present work^ was unquestionably a con- 
temporary with Haggai; and began to prophesy two months 
after htm, in the eighth month of the second year of Darius 
Hystaspes, A. M. 3484 ; being commissioned, as well as Haggai, 
to exhort the Jews to proceed in the building of the temple, after 
the interruption which the work had suffered. We are informed 
by Ezra, that the Jews "prospered through the prophesying,'" 
and obeyed the instructions of Zecbariah, who continued to 
prophesy above two years ; the last revelation of which the date 
is specified in this book, having been delivered in the fourth day 
of the ninth month of the fourth year of Darius Hystaspes;'" 

■ CjrilL Pi«C m Caa. b Zechu. Epipb. a Judf^ent, ordered tbat bia son's bod; 

Dorolb. Sk. thould be buried ■ * ' 

* Soiomen, wTto relate* an idle tale con- ttoiomeD. lib. ii. 

ceming the miraculon* dlacoTer; of Zecba- c 8. 
riah'i body, in a perfect atate, at Caphar, ■ Dorotheiu. 
adde to Uie aecouat, tbat ui inGtnt waa ' Epipbanlui. 
found uader tbe propbct'i feet, baried with * leaiah Till 2. 
the ontamentt of rojalt;: and that about ^ 2 Chron. latT. SI. Epiphan. && 
the ume time an apocrjpbal boolc wa* elu ' Q Chnn. xxtL S. 
found, in nliicb it wni written, that tbe ^ Chap. i. 1 ; Eiro T. 1 ; li. 1 i ; Hagg 

&Taiuile »n ef Jooih died luddenlf on tbe i, I, 
MTenlh day after that monarch bad skin > Eim ri. 14. 
Zacbaiiah ; and tbat Joaah conudering it rb " Chap. vii. 1. The month CMileii eo 

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Zechariah therefore probably lived to witness the completion of 
the temple, which was fioished in about tax years; and hannj; 
contributed, either as a priest, or a member of the ^reat 
Hynagogne, as well bs a prophet, to promote the welfare and 
interests of his country, died in peace, bein^ probably a dif- 
ferent person from the Zacharias mentioned by Gbriet." 

Zechariah, who certainly collected his own prophecies into 
their present form,° is mentioned as a prophet by Ezra,)* and is 
cited as an inspired writer by the sacred penmen of the Nev 
Testament.'! 'fhe minute accomplishmeDt of his own illustrioiB 
prophecies bears a signal testimony to the truth of that infallible 
spirit by which he was inspired. He was so distinguished for 
the peculiar excellency of his predictions, as to be styled the son 
among the lesser prophets. It is, bowerer, the sun sometimes 
clouded by obscurity. The enigmatical cast of his visions, which 
are of difficult interpretation, must, indeed, be supposed neces- 
sarily to produce some shades. The general design of the work, 
however, is sufficiently obvious ; and it ia occasionally itlumiDated 
with the brightest and most striking passages. 

The prophet, in conformity with bis first intention, begins 
with general exhortations to his countrymen : exciting them to 
repent from the evil ways of their fathers, to whom the prophets 
had vainly addressed their cry ; describes, as an interesting re- 
presentation which he bad beheld in vision, angels of the Lord 
ministering to his will, and interceding for mercy on Jerasalem, 
and the desolate cities of Jndsea, which had experienced God'a 
indignatioD seventy years,' while other nations connected with 

TenpoTidt witli part of oni NoTember and Oaracliiah i> not incn^aned in tha panlH 

December. pawa^ of St. Luke. Vid. ck. li. S. And 

" Our SaTionr (rid. Matt xxiii. 35.) St. Jerom asaarH la, that in n manuicnpt 

impntei to the Jevi the blow! of Zacharis* cop; of lbs Qoapel of St. Matthew. lusd 

the Mn of Baracbioa ; accunng them of b; th« Naurene*, irhieh he obtained per- 

haTUig elun him between the temple and miiaion from die inhabitant* of Bents in 

the allai. Bj thii martyr, howover, wai Sjiia to copy, it wta written, the wn tJ 

probably nnant Zsehamh, the ion of Jehoisda. Vid. Hieron. in Matt, xiiii. ct 

Jehoioda, who i> related, in 2 Chroo. uit. de Script Ecclea. Jogephia relatu, that 

SI, to have been ilain b; command of Zechariiih, the Mn of Bu^ch, wai alain ia 

Joa*h in the court of the Lord'a houu, the temple, but he certunlftneniii the coa- 

(which might be between the temple and temporary of Joaih. Vid. de Bell. Jnd. 

the altar ;) for it it not conceivable tliat lib. iv. 

both Zachsriah and Zevharinh were slain in * Chap. i. 9 ; il. 2. 

the Hioe manner. It i> probable, then- ■■ Ezra v. 1 ; vi. 14. 

foic, thnt the copyiita of Sl Matthen in- ■< Matt iii 4, B ; xxn. SI ; mn. 9 1 

•erled BaiBcbiah, (perhapa finl in Ihs Mark liv. 27; John lit. 15; lii. 37; 

margin,) thinking that it must have been Ephei. iv. 25; Rev, i. 7; and tbe marginal 

the prophet whoie wrilingi were extant lubrence* in our Bible. 

And thia ia connimed, if we conuder that ' Chop. L 12. Zechariah reckoni then 



Judafa were in peace. He annonQces God's displeasure against 
the heathens who "had helped forward the affliction" of the 
Jews, hj endeavonrs to impede the building of the temple ; and 
declares that the honse of the Lord should be bnilt in Jentsalem, 
uid Zion be comforted.* The prophet then proceeds fignra- 
tively to represent the increase and prosperity of the Jews;* 
promising that God shonld be unto them " a wail of fire ;" that 
he should dwell in the midst of them, and the nations to be 
converted to his service ; " that the high-priest shonld be restored 
with his fonner splendour in the person of Josbna, who is de- 
clared to be the type' of that spiritual servant of the Lord who 
should be called " the Branch,"' become the chief comer-stone 
of bis church, and remove the iniquity of the land ; and the 
success of whose government is foreshewn under the promised 
completion of Zernbbabers designs.* The prophet then inters 
weaves in his discourse some instructive admonitions: unfolding 
the ample roll of God's judgment against theil and perjury, and 
such other prevailing wickedness* as had provoked Gtod^s 
former vengeance. He then emblematically portrays the four 
successive empires that had been, or shonld be employed as 
ministers of wrath ; ^ and is empowered to foretell the establish- 
ment of the Jewish government, and to crown the representative 
of Christ, who should be both King and Priest, with the 
emblems of civil and religions anthority united.' 

To the captives from Babylon, or other professors of the 

■ennt^ TMn from tba IwnegiDg of Jcra- Chaldse pmphnul ^iplie* thna text* to 

nletn, in Iht nintfa fear of the nign of Chriit, who u eminently lallsd God's 

Zedekiali, and the tenth month, for which (errant. Vid. In. ilL 1 ; ilii. 3 ; liL 13 ; 

a ulemn &it waa kept b; the Jewt. Comp. liiL 1 1 ; Eiek. xxxiv. S3. The SoTent; 

2 King! xiT. 1, with ZecL viii. 19. Thii trantlate the word liemack, hero and eln- 

mdi in the wcond year of Durini. If wa when, 'AraToAq, ** the eoat," or luit-riiing, 

reckon bom the deatruction of Jenualem thence applied to Chriat, (Luke i. 78.) 

in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the and tranalated " the day'Apring.** Hence, 

acrent; jean will be completed in the perhaps, the Jewiih prophecy mentioned by 

fourth year of DMrina. Vtd. Zech. ill 1, Tocitui, (nt Tnleacemt Oriena.) Vid. TaciL 

6. Prid. An. A. C. 61B. Hiit. liU t. c 13. Onu in loc et ad 

• ChapL i. le, 17. Agg. iL 8. 

■ Chap. ii. 4, comp. with Jowph. Bell. * Chap, it, 9, 10. 

Jud. bit T. i. 2. Vitringa, At » Chap, t ; Daut. nrii, iiyiii. 

• Chap. ii. 10—13. >' Chap. t!. The cbaiiota and honea 
' Cba,f, m, 8. The word Mopbet ng- probably repreaent the Babylonian, Penian, 

ni£n a wonder, or a type. Vid. Ita. xx. Macedonian, and Roman empire*. The 

S; Eiek, liL 7; inT. 24. Chand. Def. two braien mountains may ngnify God'* 

ch. 3. *ect 1, 4. immoteable decrees, Vid. Faat iixii. 6. 

f Chap, ill 8, 9. A title of the Mexiah, * Chap. n. 10 — 15, compL with Ja. 

as deaoending from the stock of DsTid. xxiiii. 1 5 ; niii. S, 
Vid. I*a. iT. 2; Jenm. niii. fi. The 



Hebrew religion,** wbo pharisaically obserred aolemn fasts with- 
oat true contrition, ibe propbet recommends jadgment, mercy, 
and compassion : * and then addressing himself to the Jews, he 
promises a return of rigbteoaeness and favour to Jerusalem; 
assuring them that the mournful fasts, with which they lamented 
its destruction, should be converted into cheerthi feasts, and that 
the church of the Lord should be enlarged by the accession of 
many nations cooverted by means of the Jews.' 

The twelfth verse of the eleventh chapter of this book, which 
exhibits a prophetic description of some circumstances afterwards 
fnllilled in our Saviour, appears to be cited by St. Matthew as 
spoken by Jeremy ; ■ and as this and the two preceding chapters, 
which are connected by a kind of oontinnation, have been thought 
to contain some particulars more suitable to the period of 
Jeremiah than to that of Zechariah, or to the design of his ap- 
pointment, ** some learned writers have conceived' that they 
were written by the former prophet ; that they differ in style 
from the eight first chapters," and have been accidentally 
transposed, or joined to those of Zechariah, from ramilarity of 
subject. Other writers are, however, of opinion, that St. 
Matthew, in the place referred to, might allude to some tradi- 
tional prophecy of Jeremiah ; or that the name of Jeremy was 
improperly added or anbatituted by a mistake of the copyist of 
the Oospel for that of Zechariah :' and these writers maintain, 

' Some tiBT« mppowd that the j who were thnatcned, in chap. x. II, thoagk that 
■cut to praj befbn the Lord, (rid. ch. ni. empin waa deatrayed before the dme of 
S.) wen Peruao offian of Darina. Theo- Zechariah. AHjria, howaier, ma; be pat 
donl imagines that they wen Catheana, or for Sjiia, or the enemiea of God in genenL 
Samaiitani ; othen, that thej were dlilant Some, olu, appl; the paaioge in ebqi. li. 
inhabitanU of Judtea ( but prolably the; I — 6, at leaat in the fiiit initance, to the 
re Jewiah c^^Tea Erom Babylon. Vid. deatruction of Jemialem pnduced by the 
Babjloniana ; thoagfa, pnhapa, it maj 
nfer onl; to thou ctdainiloua circumitancea 
which occurred tubaequently to the time of 
Zechariah, aa under Antiochua or Veapanan. 
Vid. I Mace. i. JoHjph. de Bel. Jod. 

' UammoDd in iiaU. zuii. Mode, book 
iT. epiit 31, flt 60. Kidder. Demonit. put 
iL c 3. Bandolph-i TeiU cited in N. T. 


PhJUatine*, and eapecially againat Aikeloo, Sjriae, Perric, and other Teraiona, rmA lu 

baTO been judged mon duicriptiTe of the tbh rpo^tfrov, without any name, aa do 

deeolatian produced b; Nebucbadneatar, aome of the hthen. St. Jerom profeaiei to 

than of the drcumatancei which reaullad haie Ken a book attribntsd to Jeremiah, 

£nnn the Ttctoriea of Alexander. It may in which the prophetic paaaage wvt con' 

be obaarred, Ukewiu, that Aaajria la lained. 

Calmet and other comm 
• Chap. Tii. 9, 10. 



k Uedo la of opinioi 

n, that the dncrip- 

tion of Tjn, in chap. 

ix. S. wai not ap- 

pUcable to her condition after the deatruo- 

Tjre might be riaing in 

to proiperity in the 

time of Zechariah. The prophedea in the 

ninth chapter agiunat 

Damaactu and the 



that the chapters concerned in this inquiry admit of a constrac- 
tioQ perfectly cooeistent with the time of Zechariah; that 
Zechariah in them describes the conquest of Damascus, Tyre, 
and Sidon, and of the cities of the Philistines, as effected by 
Alexander;" the victories of the Maccabees over the troops of 
Antiochus, who was of Grecian descent ; with future successes 
to be obtained by conversion to the true God, and deliverances 
ntnilar to those irom Egypt and Assyria ;° that Zechariah, 
then angry at the little effect produced by his endeavours, 
denounces the future destraction of Jerusalem, its temple," and 
lofty houses; and represents bimitelf aa breaking in vision the 
symbolical badges of hie pastoral office, and as assuming " the 
instruments of a foolish shepherd," to foreshew the cruelties 
which should be exercised by wicked rulers : >' interspersed with, 
and adumbrated by which temporal promises and threats, are 
prophecies of Christ; who is spoken of in the most striking 
manner, as with respect to his lowly entrance to Jerusalem 
" upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass ;"'' aud his 
being valued at thirty pieces of silver, which is typically fore- 
shewn in a vituonary representation.' 

Whatever may be determined as to these three chapters, 
there is no sufficient reason to suppose, with some commentators, 
that the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth chapters also, which 
constitute a distinct prophecy, were written before the time of 
Zechariah, since they contain nothing incompatible with the 
period of that prophet.' But at whatever time they were 

■ Chap. iz. I — 16. John lii. 14, 15 ; irho dtea the unw 

■ Chip. ii. 13; I. 10,11. ratlier Uun Ills words of tha propbeL 

■ Chap. li. 1 — 3. Lgbanon ia luppowd ' Clu^. a. 12, 13. conip. with Matt. 
to mean Uie temple, with Ita adnt buildiiin. zzri. 1 6 ; ixvii. 3 — 1 0. 

The Jewiih wnlen teUto, that httan the * It hai been nippoied that ths prophet, 

dettrucdoa of the temple, the doon, though in chap. xlL 11, alludea to the mourning 

haired with iron, opened of their own made for Jonah, who woe tlun et Megiddo. 

accord ; (vid. Joieph. da Bel. Jud. lib. xii. Vid. 3 King* ixiiL 29 ; 3 Chron. xizr. 

c. 12 ;) when R. Johinan, a diKiple of R. 22—25. But Zechariah mifbt apeak of 

Hillel, directing Us apeech to the temple, thia mourning a* prorerbiaUj' aorrowfbl, 

aid, " I know thy deatmclion is nt huid, tboogh it happened before hia time. Some 

according to the prophecy of Zechariah," alio haTe imagined, that the prediction in 

(open Ihjdoon, O Lebanon.) AndTacitna thap. liiL 3 — 6. waa uttered before the 

girea the same account of die opening of captiTity, thongh the abuaes, of which the 

the doora. Vid. Hist. lib. T. final extirpation ii there foretold, were not 

t Chap.ii.lS — 17. BaoMge's Hist, of ao totally anpprewed aa to be unknown 

the Jews, book rii. Prid. Con. par. L book after the return from Babylon. The pro- 

iii. anno 8. Ptolemy Philomelor. pheta, likewiie, m general, in their dncrip- 

1 Chap. ix. 9, comp. with Matt. iii. 3 tions of the final refonnation (o be pro- 

— 9 ; where tho OTangeliat, perhaps, refera duced in the choith, foretell the utter 

likewise to Isaiah \ai. 11. Vid, also, deatruction of idolatry. Vid. Isa. ii. IS; 



written, they were unqnestionably the prodDction of an in- 
spired writer, since they are cited as snch in the New Testament * 
Tbej contain prophecies which refer entirely to the circnmstances 
of the Christian dispensation. They begin with the assarance 
of some fioal Tictories to be obtained over the enemies of Jemsa^ 
lem ;" they describe the restoration of the Jews, their conversion, 
and bitter compuDCtion for having pierced the Mes«ah;* their 
admission by baptism to the privileges of the Gospel covenant ;' 
and their deliverance from the delusions of lalse prophets. The 
prophet then reverts to foreshew the dispersion of Ghrisfs 
disciples,* and tbe preservation of a small remainder of his 
converts, whose faith should be tried in affliction. In the last 
chapter, he represents the destruction of Jemsalem by the 
Romans,' the sabsequent discomfiture of its enemies,'' and the 
final and triumphant establishment of Ghrist^s righteous kingdom, 
who should be King over tbe whole earth.<= The prophet de- 
scribes these particulars with a clearness which indicated the 
near approach of the events of which he speaks. 

The style of Zechariab is so remarkably similar to that of Jere- 
miah, that the Jews were accustomed to observe that the spirit 
of Jeremiah had passed into him. He is generally prosuc, till 
towards the conclusion of his work, when be becomes more elevated 
and poetical. The whole work is beautifally connected by easy 
transitions, and present and future scenes are blended with the 
most delicate contexture. Epipbanius attributes some predio- 
tions to Zecbariah, which were delivered, according to his 
account, by the prophet at Babylon, and on the journey in his 
return from thence ; but these are not extant in scripture, and 
are of very questionable authority. The Zechariah to whom 
an apocryphal book is attributed hy some writers, is supposed 
to have been a different person from the prophet, and according 
to Fabriciufl, he was the father of John the Baptist.'* 

XIX. 22 ; xxxi. 7 ; Hoaea ii. 17 ; Micah ■ Chap. liu. 7, canp. iritli Matt. xxri. 
T. 13. 31, aod Mark liT, 27. 

' Jahn xix. 37 ; Matt xii. i, S ; izxtL ■ Chap. liv. 1, 2 ; that bj Veapaaiui. 
31. Vid. Eiueb. DemoDtL lib. n. 

■ Cfmp. xii. 1—9, comp. with Euk. ■> Chap. idv. S. 
- xxxTJi, xiii^ and Rar. xi. 9. ° Chap. liv. S, 9. 

" Chap. xiL 10. ' Athan. Sniop. Fabric Pieiidap. Script, 

» Chap. liiL 1. ToL L 




Malachi wag the last of tbose prophets who flourished before 
the Giospel dispeDSation. Some writers strangely imagined that 
Malachi was merely a general name, signifying the angel of the 
Lord; a messenger, a prophet, because the title of Malach- 
Jefaovah, or messenger of the Lord, was often applied to the 
prophets.* The Septnagint version has rendered OhVd, Malachi, 
his angel ; and several of the fathers have quoted Malachi, ander 
the title of the angel of the Lord ; and hence some have con- 
ceited that he was an angel incarnate, and not a man.'' Others 
have supposed, that nnder the appellative name of Malachi, was 
intended Ezra;' and have maintained that Malachi is not 
mentioned among the prophets in the hook of Eccleaiasticus. 
Bnt it is very certain, that Malachi was a different person from 
Ezra. His work had a distinct place in the Hebrew Canon ; 
and, in fact, he is as much noticed by the author of Eccleinasticus, 
as any of the other minor prophets, all of whom are celebrated 
nnder one collective memorial.*' The names of the prophets are 
very often expressive of their office ; and that of Malachi was 
probably assomed as descriptive of his character,* as he was 
eminently distinguished for the virtues of his mind, and for tbe 
graces of his exterior form, it being unqnestionahly the ap- 
propriate name of a human prophet. 

Malachi is represented by some traditionary accounts to have 
been of the tribe of Zebulun, and a native of Sapha ;' to have 
died young, and to have been buried with his ancestora at Sapha, 
after having assisted, as a member of the great synagogue, in 
the re-establishment of order and prosperity in his country. 
Usher conceives him to have flourished about A. M. 3588, which 
is about twenty years later than the period assigned to him by 

■ Iaw.iliT.26; Haggu i, 13. Haimim. Cluld. Panp. in HDlacb. Bnxtoi£ Tibetud. 

More NsTodi, pu. ii. ix 41. " FiophetB c 3. Hieron. PneF. in Malach. Indor. Ac 

■Mm ian> Tocatoi Angelu." ■* Ecclui. ilii. 10. 

* OrigCD. torn. iL in Joan. Biaron. in • Some infentiye wiitere abrardly wy, 

Agg. Prnt in MalacL et EpiiL ad thai an angel Tiiibl; appeared to confinn 

ETtgiiom. TsttoE omt. Jndn. The lame inunediatrl; what thiu prophet ntlered. 

idea preiailed concerning Haggai, the Bap- Vid. Epiph, Dorolh. el Chrou. Alex. 

tilt, &c 'Or Sopha, or Snpha, or Sotluu . Vid, 

' Abtah. Zacnt. in JuchauD, David Oana, Ej^phon. Dorotb. &e. 



Blair.' But as it appears, from the consent of all Jewish 
and Christian antiquity, that the hg;ht of prophecy expired in 
Malachi,'' we may suppose that the termination of bis ministry 
coincided with the accoraplishment of the first seven weeks of 
Daniers prophecy, which was the penod allotted for " seahng 
the vision aod prophecy."' This, according to Prideanx''B ac- 
count, mnst be assigned to A. M. 3595, but according to the 
calcuIatioDS of bishop Lloyd, to A. M. 3607, twelve years later ;^ 
whichever reckoning we may prefer, Malachi must be admitted 
to have completed the Canon of the Old Testament, about four 
hundred years before the birth of Christ ; when the great 
designs of Providence were completed in the termination of the 
prophetic ministry; and when a scheme of prophecy was unfolded, 
which, in its entire contexture, was to be accommodated to, and 
to characterize the Messiah. 

Malachi certainly prophesied some time after Haggai and 
Zechariab, for in his time the temple was rebuilt, and the 
worship re-established : ' Ms ministry coincided with or sao- 
ceeded that of Nehemiah. He censures the same offences that 
had excited the indignation of that governor, and which he bad 
not been able entirely to reform: for Malachi, speaking of God's 
superior kindness to the Israelites above the Edomites, begins 
with declaiming against the priests for their profane and mer^ 
cenary conduct, and the people for their multiplied divorces and 
intermarriages with idolatrous nations:™ he threatens them 
with punishment and rejection ; declaring that God would 
*'make his name great among the Gentiles."" for that he was 

■ St. Jeram makei Mkl>ehi eontcmpo- phecy, cb. 12. 
ruT with Dirina Hjatupes. Vid. Hieran. ' Dan. ii. 24. 

Pne£ in 13 Proph. et Proam. in MaL ' Preftico to Nebfrniali, p. lift, note i 
Euscb. Chron. lib. ii. Tbcodor. ProcBni. ' Chan. L 7, 10, 12 ; iii. 10. 
b 12 Proph. Bnt if we admit Dlaii'a " Mai iL II, comp. with Neh. :aL 

uxount, wliich giiei Malachi the higfaait 23—27 ; and Mai. i. 10 ; iil 8, with Nclu 

nnliqaity, he mait rather hare Wn con- ziii. 10, 11. 

tampoiBry with Artaienea Lon^nunui, or ° Chap. L 11. Tlie latter part el ihii 

Danni Nothoa. Vid. Augnit, de Civil. Tetw relaliTe to the Mincha, or bnad- 

Dei, iib. zriiL c. 26. Clem. Alex. Strom, i. oBeriD); to be generally offered up, waa 

CytdlL Prasf. in Malach, conaidered in the primitive chuich u as 

^.Abraham Zacutni in Juchaain. David oipreia pniphecj of the Chiiatian ■Kiifioa 

Gana in Zemacb David. Seder Olam Zata. in the eucharial, of which the dnamtlSDai 

Maimon. Maaaec Sotsh, c nit. Edict are deuribed nnder the typical ritea of the 

Bartiner. Gem. Sanhed, c. 1. g. 13. Coari Jewiah worship. Hesce the worda of the 

Maam, 3. g. 39. R- Tanchnm. 1 Mam. paaaage were inaerted into an hymn in the 

iv. 46 ; ii. 27. f leraena Alei. Strom, liturgy of the church of Alerandriai, whiah 

lib. i. Jnatia MartjT entertained a blae i> adled the Litqrjy of St Mark. Vii 

notion, that the apjril of prophecy did not John iv. 21, 22. Mede'a Diacooraea on the 

eeaao till the Chriatinn era. Smitli on Fro- Cbiiatian Sacrifice, roL i. b. ii. p. 451. 



wearied with the impiety of lerael ; and thence the prophet 
takes occasion awfully to proclaim, that the Lord whom they 
sought should suddenly come to his temple, preceded by that 
messenger who, like an harbinger, should prepare his way; 
that the Lord, when he should appear, should purify the sons 
of Levi from their nnrighteousuees, and refine them as metal 
from the dross ; " that then " the offering of Judab,^ the spiritual 
sacrifice of the heart, shonld he pleasant to the Lord,^ as was 
that of the patriarchs, or the nncormpted ancestors;'' and that 
the Lord wonld quickly exterminate the corruptions and 
adulteries that pre>-ailed. He proceeds with an earnest exhor- 
tation to repentance ; promising high rewards and remembrance 
to the righteous in that last day, when the Lord shoold select 
unto himself a peculiar treasure, and fiually discern between the 
righteous and the wicked.^ Malachi concludes with another as- 
surance of approaching salvation to those who feared God's name, 
from that " Sun of righteonsness which should arise with healing 
in his wings," and render them triumphant ; enjoining, till that 
day, an observance of the Law of Moses; till the advent of 
Elijah' the prophet, who, before the coming of that "great and 
dreadful day of the Lord, should turn the heart of the fathers 
to the children, and the heart of the children' to their fathers;" 
who should produce an entire amendment in the minds of the 
people. Thus Malachi sealed up the volume of prophecy in the 
description of that personage at whose appearance the evangelists 
begin the Gospel history :* and he who terminated the illustrious 
succession of the prophets, and predicted the coming of the 
Baptist, was in an especial degree entitled to a share of our 
Saviour's testimony ; who declared, in terms which defined the 
period and extent of prophecy, that " all the prophets prophe- 
sied until John."" Malachi is likewise elsewhere frequently 
cited as a prophet by the writers of the New Testament.' 

■ Cbap. ijL 1 — 3 ; luuah i. 25. ' It !■ proposed to tranekte ^V, al ; 

i> Chfip.iii. 4. "Aein thedajiotold." not "lo,"hul "with." Vid. Eiod. luv. 

■t Chap. ill. le — IS. 22. and EimFlii. And then (he 

' Chap. iv. 6. Jobn came in the spirit means, not that "'*' ' ' " 

and power of Eliai. (rid. Luke i. 17.) and religions difTereno 

membkd bim in office and disracter. 

tioni, hut that he should produce a genera] 

Vid. Maik ix. 13 ; Ectlns. ilriii. 10. The 

StTcnly, following the received Jewish tra- 
diUon,add"theTiBhhite." In this sense. 


" MaA L 1, 2. 

John deni« himself to be Elias. John i. 

• Matt. xi. 13 ; Luke xtL IS. JauMn. 

21. He was not Elias himself, but anollier 

in Ecolua. ihiii. 2. 

Eliu, tbe antitype of the Rnt. 

> HatL il 10 ; zrii 10—12 ; Maik i. 



The Btyle of Malachi has been represented as of the miiMIe 
kind : it is not remarkable for beautj, as be lived in the decline 
of the Hebrew poetry, which decayed naach after the Jewish 


The books which are admitted into our Bibles under the de- 
scription of Apocryphal Books, are so denomiDated from a 
Greek word, which is expressive of the uncertainty and con- 
cealed nature of their original." They have no title to be con- 
sidered as inspired writings ; and though in respect of their an- 
tiquity and valuable contents they are annexed to the canonical 
books, it is in a separate division ; and by no means upon an 
idea that they are of equal authority, in point of doctrine, with 
them ; or that they are to he received as oracles of f^th, to 
sanctify opinioos, or to determine religious controversies. 

It is universally allowed, that these hooks were not in the 
Canon of the Jews, to whom alone " were committed the oracles 
of God;"" and, indeed, that they were composed after the 
closing of the sacred catalogue ; though some writers, without a 
shadow of authority, have pretended that some of them, as 
Tobit, Judith, Ecclefflasticus, Banich, and perhaps others, were 
received by the Jews into a second canon,° said to be made by 
a council assembled at Jerusalem in the time of Eleazar the 
high-priest, upon the occasion of sending the seventy-two inter- 
preters to Ptolemy king of Egypt ;'' and that the rest were ca- 

Sl U. 11, 12; Lnkei. 17} tU. 27; Rom. a cb«it of tha templd. In the primitiTe 

il. 13. chnrdi, ume of time bmka, ttpeaaOj 

" ApocTTpliB, from AirDjH>vm>,"tohide.** thoH of Wudom and Ecdeoiuticiu, van 

The woid Hcni* to have been Gnt sppliod imparud to calschumsni, and all of them 

onl; to book* of doubtful authority ; or, si wen alloirod to be read under ceitain 

it ia uied bj Oiigeu, to implr woikt out of ittictiani. Vid. Cbsoo. Apoit. Athan. 

the Canon. It waa aftanreida emplored to Sjnop*. 

chancteriie aporiona and pernicioai booki. * Rom. iiL S. Joaaph. coot. Apiou. lib.i> 

It hai been thought, that boaka of doabtful MiaroD. PioL OaL lutroductiDU, p. S. 

character were fint termed Apocrypha] b; ° Hence thaj an aometimei called Deo- 

the Jewa< because they were removed iro tiro-canonical bf the Romuiiits. 

nil KfuwTTit boat the ark of the coTenaot, ■* Oeuebard. Chron. lib. iL p. 190, col. 2. 

where the omonical booka were placed, and p. 234. coL 1. Maldonala da Saciam. 

Eaaeb. Lib. de Pond, et Menanr. p. 534 ; Pceoit q. de Pufgat, p. Ufi. Sarar, in 

or becauie ahnt up fixun the generality of Mace Praaloq. iiL 

eadare, and concesled, ai aome auert, in 



nonised by a third council, assembled in the time of Sammai and 
Hillel : but of these councils, the Jews, tenacious as they are of 
traditions, have uo account or memorial; and the books in 
question were composed after the cessation of the prophetic 
spirit, by persons who displayed no characters of inspiration, 
and gome of whom seem to have disclaimed its pretensions ; ° and 
therefore they were ranged by the Jews among the writings 
which they termed Hagiographa, in an inferior sense of that 

Tobit and Judith were indeed supposed, by the rabbinical 
conceits, to have been derived trom that lower kind of inspira- 
tion which was called Bath Col, filia vocis.* But this was an 
absurd fancy, and none of the books are cited either as prophetic 
or doctrinal by our Satiour or his apostles : *> and though some 
writers have pretended to discover a coincidence between certain 
passages contained in them, and others in the New Testament, 
it will be found that the evangelical writers on these occasions 
only accidentally concur in sentiment or expression with the 
authors of the apocryphal books; or that the resemblance 
results from an imitation of passages in the sacred writings of 
the Old Testament, which the evangelical and the apocryphal 
writers might equally have had In view. But, indeed, if any 
occasional allusion, or borrowed expresdons, could be proved, 
they would by uo means establish the authority of the apo- 
cryphal books ; which might be referred to, as were other books 
by the sacred writers, without any design to confer on them a 
character of divine authority.' 

It is certain, that long after the time of our Saviour, the 
Hebrew Gaaon conusted but of twenty-two books ; '' and that at 

* I Hmc ix. 27; 3 Mace. ii. 30, SI; diat. ei Vet Tot. in fin. BibL Vaig. 

XT. Sa. edit Silt V. et ClnneiL VIII. Venet 

' The later Jew> ealeemed tome of the 1616. CathoriD. apiuc de Script. Canon. 
praphetical book* to be Uigiogmpba in a 9tipleton de Aator, S. Script lib. ii. c 4. 
higber lenie of the vord ; luppDHng ihem %. 14 ; and Pn&ce to the lecoDd book of 
to be deriTcd from the leeoDd degree in Eadinflf irbich whi written or interpolated 
their Ksle of prophecy. Vid. Maimon. after the pnhlicatioD of the New Testa- 
More NeTDcb. p. iL c. 45. Hnet in Judith, ment. 

The word waa, perhaps, ftnt intended to ' 2 Tim. iii. 8 ; Heh. lii. 21 ; Jude, 

deeeribe the uninapired prodtictions of holy vei, 14, Origen. ProL in Cant 
Bien ; and afterwaida impn^ffirly applied to * Joaepli. cent Apion. Euteb. Hilt 

&iidfal dittinctiona of the aacred booka. Ecclea. lib. iii. c. 9. R. Aaariaa in Heor 

Vid. Intnd. p. 6. Enaini,p. 29, 141, 169, 175. R. Oedaliah 

( PreGue to the Piopheta,p. 172, nateo. Beo-Jecbajah in Shalsheleah Haccab. p. 68, 

*■ Index Tntimoo. a Chnat et Apoat 99, 104. R. Abnih. Zachua b Jnchaiin. 

, ,, Google 


this dsj the Jews adhere to the same liBt, thongh hj Kparating 
books fonDorly united they iacrCBse the Dumber ; and it is not 
probable, or coDsisteot with any autheDtic accouDta, to suppose, 
that at any time before or after Christ, the Canon, which the 
Jews so reli^ondy respected, should have been altered by them. 
It is not probable that they should have admitted any addition 
after the death of Simon the Just, who was the last of the great 
ayoagogue ; or that, if sach addition had been allowed, they 
^onld have expunged these writings, which contain nothing so 
brourable to Christianity as the prophetic hooks which they 
have suffered to continue inviolate. Had the books been erased 
before the time of Christ, the sacrilege must have excited his 
censures; and nnce the establishment of the Gospel, any en- 
deavour to deface the Canon must have been detected and ex- 

These apocryphal books constituted no part of the Septnagint 
version of the scriptures, as set forth by the translators under 
Ptolemy. It is supposed that many of them at least were 
received by the Jewish synagogue established at Jerusalem, 
which possibly might have derived its origin from the period of 
that translation.' From the Hellenistic Jews they were pro- 
bably accepted by the ChritsUau church ; but by whomsoever, 
and at whatever time they were communicated, it is certain 
that they were not received as canonical, or enrolled among the 
productions of the inspired writers, since they were not in any of 
the earlier catalogues,*" and are excluded frmn the sacred list by 
the fathers of the Greek and Latin church, who flourished daring 
the four first centuries;'' though they are often cited by them 

p. 136. R. Darid OanU m Ttonach lib. viiL Boiil in Orig. Philool. c 8. 

DBTid, pal. i). p. 10. R. HenUH Ban Ruffin. Vera. Eiueb. lib. n. TertulL 

Imd dc Cnatioiia, prob. i. p. 45. eont Mucion. C^im. lib. i'. c. 7 ; wba 

' Orabii Septu^int. Prol^ ad Lib. icdtDoing Ratb and UuneotstiaD* aepa- 

MiiL e. 1. prop. 24. ntcly, aiakei the munber twenlj-fiar. 

" Conitib ApMt. lib. ii. c 67. Caiun. Enwb. DenioiL Evuig. lib. tiiL Athan. 

ApiMt. Can. ult The pnaent cone* of Epiat S9. Athan. SjiKHta. Hilar. Pnd. 

the Canou of the ApoitJae, which mcludi Eiplan. io PBalm. Cjnll. Catecb. it, 

the thiee bnoki of Maccabeee, an aindeutlj Epipbao. Hwiet. 6. cent. Epiciu'. et Hnna. 

coituptedi the Canoni haiing farmerl; cor- 76. cent, Aoamaaa, et de Pond, et Meont. 

letpODded with the CoDOn of the Coandl of BaiiL Philoc, c 3. Ongor. Naiian. de 

LaodiceB. Vid. Zonai. in Condi. Laodic nr. at genuin. Lib. St Script. Amphiloe. 

tan. 59. Euaeb. HiiL Ecdet. lib. iv.c. 26; Epiit. ad SeLeoc. Chiyioat. Honii. It. ia 

lib. T. c 24 I lib. ri. c. 19. Coain'i Scho- Gene*, et Honul. viil is Ejm*. ad Hebaa. 

laat. Hilt, c 4. eect 45. Hiecon. in Prelc^. Gilott. io Lib. Sobn. et 

■> DiDnyi.HieTanh.Ecdu.cS. Melito, Pnef in Eidnun, el in Puvlip. Cann^ 

ap. Eueb. lib. It. c 2A. Orig. ap. Enaab. SohoL Hiat camn tL Mct 73. Biffin. 

Hist. Ecdei. lib. tL c 25. Demona. ETang. Sjmbol. Apaat. net. 35, 36. 

,;, Google 


as vaJnable and iDBtnictire works, and sometimes even as divine, 
and as scripture in a loose and popular sense." Id the langoa^ 
of the primitive charcb they were styled eccledastical,f as 
contradistingnished irom those infallible works which were 
canonized as unqnestionably inspired, and also irom those 
erroneous and pernicious writings which were stigmatized and 
proscribed as apocryphal. 

The ecclesiastical books, nnder which division were contained 
other productions besides those now termed apocryphal, aa the 
Shepherd of Hennas,'' the Doctrine of the Apostles,' and the first 
Epistle of Gement,* though considered as human works, and as 
subordinate to the sacred books, were nevertheless approved and 
read by the church, as capable of famishing much instruction. 
The Fathers quote them as pious and venerable books, and as 
deservedly held in great estimation : they speak of them in high 
and hyperbolical terms, as sacred, as bearing some resemblance 
to the inspired writings, bat not as certainly inspired, or as of 
sufficient authority in points of doctrine; for those passages 
which they are represented to cite from them as such, are cited 
in spurious or doubtful books, or from similar places in sacred 
writ. Abundant testimonies have been produced to prove that 
they were not received as canonical daring the four first 
centuries; and they have never been generally admitted into 
the Canon of the Oreek church ; nor were they judged canonical 
in the same degree as the Law and the Propheti, even in the 
Western church, till the couucil of Trent, in contempt of all 
authority and consistency, pronounced them so to be. In the 
first general council held at Nice, A. D. 325, none of these 
hooka appear to have been admitted as canonical,' in any sense 

" Origai dtea Tobil and tbe Moctabce* Mrictlr csixniioiL Epiit. Fatoh. lom. iL 

u (ciiptiin, (lib. riiL is EpiL ad Rom. p. 39, 40. So Enwbiiu qnolea Jotephiu 

de Prineii). lib. iL c 1. HomiL iii. in mid AritUeiu, u well aa lb« Maccabrea. 

Cant.) u be do« likewiu the Shepherd of Vid. Pi»p. Evang. lib. i. c. 6. Demoaat. 

Hennu, and tlie book of Henoch, without Eraag, lib. ix. et x. Thus alao Epiphmiiu 

bdienng tliaii to be canonical in the itiict calta the ApoatoUcal Conatituliaiu diTine. 

•oue of tba word. Oiigen, indeed, beliered Vid. Hotea. B. aod 10. Can. lib. T. & S. 
tbal the Shepherd of Hennu wu inipired. I> Ruffin. in Sytnbdom. 
Vid. Enamt in EpiaL ad Rom. p. 411 ; 4 Euaeb. Hiat Ecclei. lib. iii 
bat thi> waa hie peculiar opinion. Vid. -"..-.. 
PhUoeaL c 1. Tbe btbera in geneisl who 

dta it aa acripture, n«e the terra only in a Vid. Athan. Kpiat. TTfii, 
popnlu aaoaa: aa Iraiueiu, (adv. Harea. * Eoieb. Hiat. EccL lib. 

hb. iv. - " 

Euaeb. HisL Bcdea. lib. it. c 33. 
Atiuinadua de locarnat Vab. tom. ' Coiin'a Schdait. c. S. tecL 54. 

p. G5,) who Bipieaaly aaya that it 



of that word ; and they certaiiily were not received by the 
council of Laodicea, which was held about forty years after- 
wards, of which" the Cauons were accepted iuto the code of the 
universal church," and which acknowledged precisely the same 
books that we receive. 

In the fifth century, St. Austin^ and the council of Carthage* 
appear to have admitted (rather in deference to popular opinion, 
and ia compliance with that reverence which had arisen from 
use*) most of the apocryphal books'' as canonical; meaning, 
however, canonical in a secondary sense, as usefiil to be read ; 
and still with distinction from those sacred and inspired books 
which were established on the sanction of the Jewish Canon, 
and on the testimony of our- Saviour and his apostles. After 
this time, other fathers' and councils'* seem occasionally to have 
considered these books as canonical, and inferior only to the 
sacred writings ; hut always with distinction, and with express 
declarations of their inferiority, when that question was strictly 

■ The Gfcek capiei of thii eonucil reckon which, u the titlei ny, rmninMrnl in 397 ; 
Barnch, th« LameiiUtioni, and the Epistle, for it must hare belonged to a later council, 
aa compound one oinonical book with held daring the time a( Bonibce, to whom 
Jeremiah \ and Athanauai and Cjril have it ii referred ; and it torraaoDdi ncody 
bceQ njppoied to hare irceiTed Banich aa with a cfiDon framed by an Amcan coiuicu, 
mnoDicaL Bat Baruch ia mentioned in the held under the connilcle of Honoiiui XII. 
catalogue! referred to, not probably at the and Theodoaiua Vlll. in 419, except that 
■pociyphol book, but for a more full de- it receiTci Banich aud MsecHbeea, which 
•cription of Jeremiab't work, in which the latter omiti. Vid. Cod. Cauon. Ecdea. 
Baiijch ia often mentiaiicd, and in the African, can. 24 ; et Binii, et JuateUi, not. 
wiiting of which he vaa employed ; and in CondL Carthag. 3. can. 47, 48. 

the Epiatle may mean that contained in ■ Auguit. de Siit. Dei, lih. xriii c. 36. 

the Iwenty-ninlh chapter of Jeremiah's et c 43. epiit 9. et 10. ad Hieron. "Quia 

booh. Vid. Coun'i SdiaL Hiit. c 6. sect, a patribna," aaya the canon, ** iais accepiniu 

61. and Pnt&ce lo Baruch, legends." Vid. Conn's ScholasL Hist, c 7. 

■ CouciL Calced. can, 1. et am. IHS. not 82. 

Concil. Constant. 6. in Tnillo, can. 2. This ^ Neither Austin, nor tho Canon at- 

laatcoUDcilconfinnedalBo thcconndlofCar- tributed to this council, enuaKrate the 

thnge, which admitted the Apocrypha ; but fourth (thai is, the second) book of Eadraa, 

il muit therefore hare confirmed that Canon Baruch, noi the Prayer of Manaaaeh ; and 

only as il admitted them in a secondary the Canon omiti (he books of Maccabees, 

sense, otherwise it could not have confirmed Vid. Jnitellui in Notia a Can. idt. 

that of Laodicea, which rejected them aa < See also the nupected epistle of 

not equal. Vid, Justin. Noicl. 131. Innocent T. nd Eiuper. and the decree 

JnalelluB Prsf. in Cod. Gccles. Unirersal. attributed lo Oelaiins, ad omnes Eidac. in 

I August cent Epiit. Gaud, Donat Can. Vet Ecciea. Rom, edit Par, 1609. 

ca|]L S3, cpist. 61. ad Dulcet de CiTit Isidor. Orig. lib. Ti. c 1. et Procem. Smf. 

Dei, lib. niiL c 36. Propter qnonindam el Ecclus. 

martyrum paHionei vehemenles atque ' Sum. Cannn in Deciet, 7. CouciL 

mirabilei, qui antequam Christus venisaet Florent et CoBin*! Scholast Hist. e. 16. 

in cameni uiqne ad mortem pro lege Dei n. 1S9. The council of Florence was not 

certaTcrunt properly cBCUmeuical ; the canon whick 

* The foTty-serenth eanon, in which tepreaenti the apocryphal booksas inspired, 

those books nra consecrated, i> erroneonily ii probably ■ foijeiy, ai it is only in the 

nttributed to the third council of Carthage, epitomea 



agitated;' till at length the couDcil of Trent, aotwithstandiDg 
the testimony of all Jewish antiquity, and contrary to the sense 
of the primitive chnrch, thonght tit to pronounce them all, 
(except the Prayer of Manasseh, and the third and fourth books 
of Esdras,') together with the nnwritten traditions relative to 
&ith and manners, as strictly and in every respect canonical, 
and of the same authority as those indubitate books which bad 
been copied from the Jewish into the Christian Canon, and 
received the attestation of Christ and his apostles ; of which the 
inspiration was manifested by the character of their composers, 
and proved by the accomplishment of those prophecies which 
they contain." 

This Canon was confirmed by severe aaathemas'' agaiust all 
who should reject it. And irom this time, the Roman Catholics 
have endeavoured to maintain the canonical authority of these 
books, though their most strenuous advocates are obliged to 
allow that they were not received into the Canon of Ezra. 
They are compelled to yield a superiority, as to external sanctions, 
to those uncoDtroverted books which are escluaively canonized 
in the earliest and most authentic catalogues of the Christian 
church;' and labour to defend the decision of the council of 
Trent, as to the apocryphal writings, by appealing to the 
authority of preceding councils, of which the canons were never 
generally received, and which admitted the contested books as 
canonical only in a subordinate and secondary sense. It is there- 
fore upon the most just and tenable grounds that onr church has 
framed her edxth article, where, in agreement with all Protestant 
churches, she adheres in her catalogue to those writings of which 
there never was any doubt ; and agreeably to the doctrine of 
the four patriarchal churches,* as recorded by Cyril, Athanasius, 
Anastasius, and Gregory Nazianzen, rejects those books which 
are styled apocryphal in our Bibles, though she read them, as, 

* CouD'a Canon of Scripture ; wbere *■ " Siquii aateta libr« ipi« inUgm 

thii ia proved bj nomberleu raferencei to cam omnibnt wig putibua, &c pro ucrii 

Ihe nnlbon who flDDiished from the lirat et tanonici* non nuceperit, Anathema nL" 

«M of the church, to the middle of the Vid. Condi. Trid. Sou. 4. et in BnUa P. 

mtcenth centiuy. Vid. ■]» Rajmold't PiL IV. nip. fomu Jnnuii. PiofeM. lid. 
Ceiunn Apocryphorom. ' Sizt Seneu. Bik lib. L ucl. 1. 

' Bib. Sac. Sim. V. et Clement. VIII. BeUono. de Verb. Dei, c 10. SecL jtsque, 

jDMn edila Jut. deccet. CondL Trid. e. \*. mcL 1. 

■ " Omnee Ubroa, &c pari ^latis '' Thoae of Jeranlem, Aleimdrui, An- 

aSecta ac nvenn^ nucipit et Tenentur." tiocfa, and CoaBtantinaple. 
Condi. Trident Sew. 4. 



St. Jerom observes, did the Western church,' *' for example of 
life, and instruction of maaners :"" and it must be confessed in 
general, that, notwithstanding some passages of exceptionalile 
tendency, and some relations of improbable circumstances, they 
are books entitled to great respect, as written hy persons who 
being iotimately conversant with the sacred writings, had, as it 
were, imbibed their spirit, and canght their pioas enthuaasm. 
Whoever reads them with attention, must occasionally be struck 
by the splendid sentiments and sublime descriptions which they 
contain. They sometimes likewise present us with passages 
borrowed from the sacred writings, and with the finest imitations 
of inspired eloquence; they include, perhaps, some scattered 
fragments of divine wisdom, and some traditional precepts 
derived from men enlightened by a prophetic spirit. They 
sometimes illustrate the accomplishment of prophecy ; and throw 
light on the scriptures by explaining the manners, sentiments, 
and history of the Jews. They bear, then, an indirect and 
impartial testimony to the truth of our religion ; they are 
venerable for their antiquity, recommended by long established 
approbation, and in some measure consecrated to our regard by 
the commendations of the church, and by being annexed to the 
inspired writings. Where they are defective, they may have 
been perhaps injured or corrupted by subsequent additions, as 
not being watched over with such religions care as the sacred 
books. It may he added, also, that many of those passages 
which appear to have a bad tendency, are capable of a good 
constmction ; and that, perhaps, some blemishes may be attributed 
to our translators, who in rendering the apocryphal books have 
been accused of much carelessness.'" They who are disposed to 
profit by their perusal will find it not difficult, by the light of 
the inspired books, to discriminate and select what is excellent 
and consistent with truth, and to reject such objectionable 
particulars as prove them to be the production of nnasasted, and 
sometimes mistaken men. 

■ HWoD. Prol. in Lib. Sotom. >d Chcom. Ths buulaton wem M hara UtdbaUd too 

et Heliod. littla eouMqaence lo the ■pociTphal boolu, 

> Ths IwukI Dd Por^ theD Onek thongli Dr. Oedde* affinni, tint the apoaj- 

pnrfaMor at Ctmbridge, wu trnvag the ph*] boolu ue tranalated Utter tbui tfaa 

WTen able pecMDi amplo;ed imdat king mt of the Bible, uid Mtribalea it to tfaa 

Juno ; but though hii woik hu much tmuUtora not baring been cninpod bj the 

merit, it it 'm; o&n bolt; and impofect. falhan of the HaaoM. 




The first book of Eadrao, or Ezra,' is generallj Bupposed to 
hare been the work of some HelleniEtic Jew. It is uncertain 
at what time it waa composed: the particulars contained in 
it are related hj Josephns; it was therefore probably written 
before the time of that historian. The book, thongh in its style 
it has much of the Hebrew idiom, was probably never extant in 
that langnage ; '' at least, it certainly was not admitted into the 
Hebrew Canon. It was annexed, however, to some copies of 
the Septnagint,* and placed in some manuBcripte before the 
book of Ezra,** that of Nehemiah being inserted between the 
two. Standing in that order, it was called the first book of 
Ena; and the authentic work of Ezra, together with that of 
Nehemiah, which seems to have been Joined with it, was called 
the second hook of Ezra.* This arrangement was probably 
adopted in conrideration of the chronological order of the events 
described in the books respectively/ In some Oreek editions, it 
is however placed, with more propriety as to its character, 
between the Song of the Three Ohildren and the Wisdom of 

As this book was inserted in some copies of the Septaagint, it 
was read in the Greek chnrch ; and the council of Carthage, 
which canonized the vnlgar translation made from the Septna^nt,^ 
appears to have admitted this book, together with other spuriona 
additions, as canonical,' in that extended acceptation of the 
word which implied only, worthy to be read. St. Aostio, like- 

* Th« word ii writtan H^tV in the 'It itandi In ths nm* oidei in ths 
HebRw, mnd TQm in tlu OtMk. Alexaudrimn code, and in tlia Sjiikc 

^ Jndor. Ori^- lib. Ti.eZ Tenion. 

• It wM na[ in uT of the Greek ■ Ai in the Fankftort edition of 1697, 
uanDKripti owd by the editon of the vid in that of Buil of 1S18. The t«tm 
Conphilenaiin Bible ( bnt it vm fonnd in roanuimpts Tsiy. Jn wnie it ii pUced 
■oma Gnek copiei, vhen Aldnj wu piintina aftec Nehemiah, and called llie Second 
Ua Septn^int at Venice. It wai pnbliihed Book of Em. Vid. Cabnet Knait. nir 
Endi & mumacTipt in the lihiaiy of St le Troiiieme Lirn d'Eadraa, 

Victor, at Pari^ by Bobert St^eni, m ' Angait. dc C^rit. Del, lib. liiL e. 24. 

■lio in the London Polyglot. There i< a > See (he (bny-Himth canon, impniperiy 

Sjiiac Tendon of thii book. aaaigned to the third coondl of Carthage. 

' Lne. Bmg. in 3 Eadia^ bat belonging to one held in s later petiod. 



wise, considered it as canonical in the same sense ; that is, as an 
ecclesiastical book, attributed to Ezra ; and vhich might even 
be thought to contain a prophetic passage, if by truth,* described 
as conquering all things, should be understood Christ. The 
book is also cited hj others of the fathers as a work entitled the 
First Book of Esdrss ; as ascribed to him, and as a respectable 
work,' but never as of equal authority with the canonical books." 
St. Jeront without scruple pronounced this and the following 
books to be vinonary and spurious;" and it was rejected even 
by the council of Trent, though it was suffered to continue in 
the printed editions as the second or third book of Ezra, till the 
publication of the Bible by Sixtus the Fifth, when it was placed 
apart from the canonical books;" and notwithstanding Genebrardi* 
still maintained its authenticity, the Romanists in general con- 
sider it as apocryphal. . It certainly could not have been written 
by Ezra, whose authentic work it contradicts in many particulars; 
and it has no pretensions to be revered as the production of an 
inspired person, although great part of it be extracted from the 
sacred writings. 

The name of Ezra was at all times particularly reverenced by 
the Jews, who were accustomed, in honour of his memory, to 
remark, that he was worthy that the Law should have been 
given by his bands unto Israel, if Moses had not been before him. 
In consequence of this reputation, numberless spurious works 
were published at different times under his name ; and however 
they might at first, whether produced before or after Christ, 
have borne the palpable marks of forgery, they were yet re- 
ceived by the credulous and unlearned. If the boldness of the 
imposture provoked opposition, this was soon wearied and for- 
gotten; and the books gradually rose into reputation, mider 
the sanction of a great nuue.^ 

' Chap. L 33 i et AuguL ie Cint. Dei, ° In Mme old copin of llie lAlin Bibln, 

lib. iriiL c 36. thia and the succeeding book, as also Ihs 

' Cyprian. Ep. 74- ad Pompnao. Clemens Piajer of Manaueh, were marked with ■ 

Alex. Strom, lib. iL Justin. Maitjr. Dial, noa Ugilur; as an intimatiau that thej 

cum Trjphon. p. 297. Basil EpiiU ad were nol to be pnbliclj read in the chnich. 

Chilon. Athan. Omt. iii. cont. Arim. t OenebiBrd is Chren. od An. 3730, f. 

August de Doct. ChHit. lib. ii. c 8. 95, 96. 

I" Jab, Drieda in CaL Script, lib. i. c 4, t Besides the books ascribed U> Esia in 

ad diitic. 4. our Bibles, and othei writings before men- 

" Hieron. Epist. and Domnion. et Ro- tioned, lid. Probce to Eirn, p. 114. Picai 

fitian. " NecApocrypfaDnimterliietquarti Mirandula professes to have read the Ca- 

Rsdne) Somniii delecIctDr," says Jetom. bala of Esiuas, written in serenlj booki. 



The first book of Esdras includes a period of about ninety 
years. The abort historical sketcb of the time which intervened 
between the celebration of the paesover by Josiah, and the 
captivity of the Jews, as furnished in the first chapter of this 
book, is taken chiefly from the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth 
chapters of the second book of Chronicles. The strange but 
lively story of the three competitors for the favour of Darius, 
which appears to have been iutrodnced to recommend and 
embellish the character of Zembbabel/ might have been founded 
on some popular traditions, as it is related by Joseplins ; but it 
is certainly fabulous in most of its particulars, and could noi 
concern Zembbabel, who at the period assigned was at Je- 
rusalem .* 

The rest of the work, which is chiefly compiled from the books 
of Ezra and Nehemiah, is disfigured by many improbable and 
contradictory additions, and by many circumstances which 
appear to have been designedly introduced in order to disguise 
and vary the relation.' It contains, perhaps, nothing excep- 
tionable with respect to doctrine or precept; bnt its accounts 
are so incorporated with falsehood, that the compilers of our 
litnrgy have not appointed any selections from it to be read 
in the service of the church. Many particulars, indeed, iii- 
ierpersed through the book, and too numeroos here to be pro- 
duced," are utterly inconsistent with probability, chronology, 
and the relatioos of scripture. From fictitious circumstances, 
however, some instruction may be drawn, though we cannot but 
regret that the author of the fine encomium on truth' should 
have so departed from its principles, as to write under the as- 
sumed character of an inspired person. 

and infflraii m tliat the^ conUined manj ■ Comp. etwp. iL 1£, mth Eua ii, 2; 

nifitcRn reUliiig Co CbriitiBiiitj. SixIU cliap. it. 48, with Gna v. 13; chap. n. 43, 

the Fourth ia Bud to hara projected a 46, vith Em n. 1; chap. W. 44, 57, widi 

tnndatian of tham, but onlj thne wen chap. yL 18, 19, and £xra i. 7 — 11; chap. 

Gnlahed at hia death : the Inmed diipnta r. 40, with Nehem. viu. 9 ; chap. v. 47, 48, 

coDcemiDg the charader, and e(«n the ai- with Ens L 1 — 3, &c. 

iltUBa of thoa booka. Vid. Mirand. ApoL • Calmet and Amald. 

p. B2. 2 Ead. liT. 46. Fabricii Codex < Chap. it. 38—40. The leaned 

Faeadepig. Petr. Crioit. de Hcmeat. Diadp. Thomdike, bj truth hem ipolun of, luuiep- 

lib. UT. c. 3. Sixt. Senen*. Bib. lib. iL ataada tbe truth which Ood by hii lav 

Epiphau. da Pond, at Mena. g. 10. had declared to hii people ; and uppoae* 

' Chap, iii, if, T. Zembbabel to hsTc intended to encourage 




Some writers hare conceived that this work was composed by 
the same person that assumed the character of Ezra in the 
preceding book ; but though it be equally uncerbun by whom 
and at what period each book was produced, there !a reason to 
think that they were not both derived from one person, since they 
differ in style, and have no connection or agreement with each 
other. Each anthor, however, has borrowed the same title, and 
each has inserted a genealogy in the character of Ezra; with 
some difference, indeed, in the accounts, and both with variation 
from the lineage InmiBhed by the inquired writer in his authentic 

The second book of Esdras is not now to be fonnd in aoy 
Hebrew or G-reek manuscripts. It is supposed to have been 
originally written in the Glreek language ; but is extant only in 
a few Latin copies,'* and in an Arabic version.* It is generally 
maintained that the work could not have been the genuine pro- 
duction of Ezra, as it seems to bear some intrinsic marks of 
having been composed after his time, and, indeed, after the period 
at which the prophetic spirit is reputed to have ceased ; ' not- 
withstanding also the fine spirit of piety that pervades the work, 
and the author''B confident assumption of the prophetic character, 
his pretensions to inspiration have not been admitted. It is not, 

* Tbe iMCOunU in 1 Ewlm viji, 1, 3, and the iDUimedkle alute of iha uuL 

m 2 Evlni i. 1— S, differ from etch other, ' Cb^ iL 89, 40. Tha uthw, in tiha 

and both dingree with the genealogy in- lait of th«*e tstms, ipeaka tt Eagpi, 

■sited in Eira rii I. The; wen, bowerer, Zechariah, and Malacbi ; though the tiro 

all deeinied for the mine penon, ai if fbnner did not probahljr Sanriah aa pnpbati 

eridant &am tha ganeial agreement of the tiU after the ntim (ran the captiTitf, and 

aizGntiumea; and jnobaUy Iha Taiiaiiaia Mahdu not till aboTe one hnndted yean 

ariae only &«m accidaiitBl coimptiona, oi after the decrat of Cynu. Bita, indeed, if 

bam different mode* of calculation ; indsad, hehadbaentheanthcf ofthebook,Dusht,aa 

the author <^ the aeeond book of Eidiu iiKaking prophelicslly, have mentioiwd, 

ennmentei three namea more in this ge- eren in the cutiTi^, theaa pnphela hj 

neology than do the anthoia of tha preceding name ; but beaide* oUier naanni that lend 

booka. to pn>Te that tha woric vm written after 

* Calmet itatea that it wai fint printed hi* time, it may be lemaAad, that tlM [Ba- 
in tbe I^tin edition of Nunmbeig, pnb- pheta an here enumerated, not aecoiding la 
liahed in 1621. Diaaert. lai le Qnatriame tbe order of the Hebrew Canon, bat ae- 
Line d'Eadtai, note L cording to that of the SeptuginL Vid. alM, 

■ In the AiBbiG ^enion, it ii called the tbaf. it. 46 ; when Aaia ii mentiiiDed, ■ 

Brit booli of Eidiu. Thi* Ttraion differ* name probably not known in the time tt 

mnch &om the I^tin copiei, and bat many Ezra. 
intaipoLitiona; one particolariy, conceniing 



indeed, probable that an inspired writer voold have claimed a 
name to which be was not entitled, or have interspersed in fais 
work those extravagant conceits and apparent inconsistencies 
which occasiooally disfigure and degrade this prodncUon. The 
book, it is true, contains much sublime inatmctiDn, many 
animated exhortations to righteousness, and many sentiments 
not unworthy of the sacred source from whence they are related 
to have flowed. It represents Ezra as commanded to remonstrate 
with the people for their disobedience ; and, on their contempt 
of Gted's words, as addresetpg himself to the heathen, whom be 
enjoins to prepare for that "everlasting light" which should 
shine upon them. It describes the prophet as pleading, with 
BubmissiTe piety, to remove the afflictions of his captive coun- 
trymen ; as anxiously inquiring why the chosen people of the 
Almighty should safier severer pauisbments for their sins than 
the heathen, for whom they were seemingly rejected ; * as 
lamenting the effects of entailed corruption as bewailing the 
evil propensities and condition of men, of whom a few only 
appear to be marked oat and distinguished as objects of divine 
&Tour.< He is said to have been honoured with visions and 
divine communications in answer to those inquiries. The boasted 
revelations are described in a lofly and prophetic style; in a 
manner dmilar to that adopted by Daniel, Ezekiel, and St. John. 
They discountenance, with becoming dignity, the presumptnous 
curiosity and complaints of man,'' contain very elevated de- 
scriptions of God^s attributes,' and rest the equity of hia pro- 
ceedings on the projected decisions of a foture judgment. They 
impart consolatory assurances of returning favour ; and represent, 
in an interesting vision, Jerusalem re-established on its foun- 
dations.^ The angel, likewise, in these pretended visions, reveals 
many striking prophecies relative to the Messiah,' the destruction 
of the Roman empire," and the &te of Egypt, of Babylon," and 

' Chap. iu. 36; It. 28 — 31. " Chap. li, liL Tlu pcapbedu rdstiTS 

' Cliap. iii. 20—33 ; it. SO — 32; riL 48. to the aaglc miglit baTC been wiittea b^ u 

The aatbar qieak*, indeed, of the extent of luuDijund writer aeqiuijited witb Damel'i 

Adam'i [iiiinoiiiiiiii, willi ■ clsmeH tbat book, eitba befiue or after CbriM. The 

ugDU an auinainlanca with tbe eiu^elical prapliec]( concetning the lion, which de- 

KcouDt of its e^cta. nounced deitmction to Ibe eagle, ii uid, hj 

t Ciaf, IT. 12 ; TiL 1 — 54; iz. 15, )6. the AnUc tnnilitDt, to be "a pnphecy of 

kChaF.iT.&— n,c<mp.wilhJohniiL12. the Lord the Meedah." Vid. chap. iL 37. 

> Chi^ Til. 62—70 ; viii. 30—28, 3S ; ° Chap, ir, in. In »me ancient nptea, 

itL 64 — 63, theie two b«t chaplen wem to eonatitnla 

k Chap, ix; i. 37, && a dUtinct hook, called the fifth book at 

I Cbip. iL 34~-48. Etdia^ and dirided into H*nt i^itKa, 

, V, Google 


of other nationB, besides others of very obscure and nncertaia 

So far there appears nothiog incompatible with the character 
of Ezra ; and we should be inclioed to consider the work as his 
production, or at least as a compilation of some fr^ments 
written hy him, were it not for the deficiency of external 
sanctions, and for the intermixture of particulars seeming^ly in- 
consistent with the character and period of that prophet. The 
author's preteasioDH, indeed, to inspiration, as well as to the 
name of Ezra, are destroyed by many false and absurd par- 
ticulars,!* which are so incorporated with the work, that they 
cannot always be conddered as subsequent interpolations. The 
book was never admitted into the Hebrew Canon ; and there is 
no sufEcient authority to prove that it was ever extant in the 
Hebrew language." Its pretended prophecies are not produced 
in evidence by Christian writers, striking as such testimony must 
have been, if genuine; and the book was never publicly or 
generally acknowledged either in the Greek or Latin Church ; ' 
nor was it ever inserted in the sacred catalogue, by either councils 
or fathers ; but is expressly represented as apocryphal by 
St. Jerom, who describes it as rejected by the church.' 

The many wild and preposterous fancies with which the work 
abounds, seem to prove that it was the production of a rabbinical 

Lm thinki that they have ill ths ebanelen thii and other punoei in thii baok. VU. 

of Bsliquity, and membls the prophetic Cypriui. ad Demetnan. 0»rge Hakcwill 

■tfle. They ipeak of the deitnictioa of on PnTideucc, Loadon, 1627. M. Frein- 

natjinu, and of Hine gcnenl tioablea from ihem Oiat. vii. and ix. Sm other idle talei 

which the bithful only ihonld be deliTered. in chap. ST. 21 — 18. 

The twenty-ainlh and tollowing Tenea of 4 Lee auppow) that I^cni BpIiiukdnU 

the fifteenth chiqiter, hare been ihou^I to and Leo Judsui bad Men, and relate* thai 

relate to the lictoriea of the Suaceni; and Petrua OslatiDui had heard of an Hebrew 

Lee, by dngona, niiderstandi thoee who copy ; aa alao, that Scaliger had boaited of 

lired in deal and carenu o( the earth. Vid. having He boot or boola of Eadiaa in the 

Lee, p. iS and 136, with note annexed to Syriae; but the pnaumptioni of iti baring 

fifth book of Eidm. None of the pre- erer exiited in the Hebnw are but alendai. 

tended prophedea, howerer, in thia book, Lee'a Diaa. p. 152. 
are lo clear and original, (except thoie re- ' Bib. Sac, Silt. V. and Clement. VIII. 
lating to the Meaaiah, whidi wen pmbably * Hieron. Epiat. ad Donmion. et RogaL 

written after the time of Chriat,) tbat they et Pnet in Lib. Etd. In anawer to Vi- 

might hare not been framed bj an nnina[rired gilantiaa, who had produced iooM paiMura 

writer convenaat with the prophetic books, com thu book, he aaya, " Tu Tigilana 

■ Chap. T. I — 13 ; ri. 7 — S8. dormis, et dormieni icrlbii: et proponi* 

' Chap. IT. ti—Si; T. 5; lii. 11 ; liii mihi Librnm Apocryphom qui >nh namim 

40 — 17. Bunage Hiitoftbe Jewi,b. Ti. Ewim, a te el limilibua tni legitnr." Vid. 

c 2, Chap. xiy. 10—12, St. Cyprian and b1», Alhan. Synop, de Lib. Ead, WoUu 

othera, who believed that the end of the Bib. Heb. torn. i. n. 1766. p. 911 ; et lorn, 

world WBi neai at hand in theii time, on il p. 194, 19G, 309. 
auppoaed lo have derived the Doljon &oni 



Jew.' The learned Mr. Lee is inclined to think that it was 
written or compiled by an Egyptian Jew, before the time of 
Christ ; and it has been observed, in sapport of this opinion, that 
it is cited or referred to as a Jewish book by very ancient 
writers ; " and that it may be supposed to treat of that traditional 
and mysterious knowledge which was said to have been derived 
as an oral explication of the Law from Moses, aad which was 
taught in the Alexandrian school of the Jews. Mr. Lee observes, 
that in many particulars it resembles other apocryphal books, 
undoubtedly written before the time of our Saviour;* and that 
there is some ground for supposing that the book of Enoch,' 
and that of the Shepherd of Hermas,' might have proceeded 
from the same author as the present work. 

Od a supposition that this work was written before the period 
of Christ, we must admit, that those particulars which appear to 
be prophetic of circumstances relative to the Messiah and his 
kingdom, were collected from an acquaintance with the inspired 
books of the Old Testament ; or that the work has been inter- 
polated by some writer who lived under the Gospel dispensation.* 
But it exhibits, in every part, such a manifest resemblance to 
the doctrines, sentiments, and expressions of the evangelical 

' Cluip. iiL 6, 19j T. 6, 52 — 5S-, li. 42, wrilten abont MTenlr-five yeare after the 

U, 49 — 53, SS. Raynold*! Pnelect 27. vnlgni en. Tbe book of Ileimu wu 

■ Tenoll. Lib. de Habit. MaL c 3. et higUj eit«med in the Greek, and hordlj 
cont. HircioD. Caim. lib. it. c 7. Clemeni known in the Weateni church, though noir 
Alex. Strom, lib. iv. st lib. i et Eonb. lib. extant only in Latin. Vid. Lee'a Disc. 
tL c is. Amhnwi de bono Mortii, c 10. n. p. 13S. 

46, et lib. ii. in Lnesm. St. Ambrose cit« • Mr. Lee leemi to inundate that tho 

cfa. rii. 32. u icripture, and hs prafeaHi to book might hnve been compled by tha 

cite on dii* octaoon from Eira, in order to Cerinthiane, or ereu by Cerinthni himiel^ 

ihcw that the heetheni had dmirn their vho. In hia religious system, combined with 

best maxima from our hooka. the doctrines of Christ the opinions of the 

■ Aa to the two laat chapters of Tobit, Jews, and the errors of the Onostica. Some, 
and likewiae the books of Daiwh and indeed, hare imagined, that thia book is the 
Wisdom. Tbs book bean, likewiae, some Tery apocalypae of thai heretic nfeirsd to 
letenibloDoe to paasof^ in the ancient Tar- by the ancienls, as it aeeniitoeanlain aome 
gnma, aa thoae of Jonathan and Onkeloa. notions tavonrable to the Cerinthion heresy; 
See Kiddcr'a Demonstration of the Mesaiah, and Cerinthat is related to hare written a 
and Allii'a Defence of the Unity and Di>- kind of apocalypae, upon the model of 
tinction of the Dirine Natore. St. John's Revelation. Vid. Lee's Diaa. p. 

' This book ia dtedbySt.Jiide,ver. 14, 87. Di. AUii aapposed that the second 
if Qot by St. Peter; and an interpretation book of Esdras was the prodiictiaii of a 
ia borrowed from it by the torginnist Jo- Jew, who hod adopted Uie opiniona of 
nathan. It is aappoaed to haro been known Montonua ; a rigid and entbnaiaalic sectary 
of Alexander Polyhiator, abore an of the second century, who predicted en- 
rnui before the birth of Chriat, or lomitiea and deatnclion to the Roman ent- 
er, pre. Vid, Allii de Ueu et 
* The Tirioni of Heimai much resemble Num. Moaheim's Ecclea. Hiat. < 
those of Eadros, in many atriking par- ii. £. 33. 
ticulnn. They an thought to hare been 

hundred yi 



writers, and eorresponds so macb with pnawgea of the New 
Testament as to partieokrs interwoven in the contextore of the 
book, that we must soppose it to have heen written after the 
poblicstion of the Gospel, nnless we admit that the eTangelical 
writers have borrowed more &om this apocryphal book than from 
almost any canonical book of the Old Testament, since in none, 
except in the Psalms, can we discover snch frequent coincidence 
of thonjfht and expression;^ and the anthor, indeed, treats so 
clearly of particulars brought to light by the Gospel dispensatioo; 
portrays so expressively and characteristically our Savionr, who 
is imaged out as "the Sou of God, exalted on Mount Sion,*! 
crowning and giving palms to them who, baviug confeseed the 
name of God, had put off the mortal clothing;" describing, 
Bkewise, the character and comprehensive design of Christ^s 
kingdom,'' and the death of our Saviour;* and speaking so 
distinctly of a resurrection and future judgment,' that he must 
have been enlightened hy divine inspiration, if he had lived pre- 
viously to the promulgation of the Gospel doctrines. 

That the book was written after the appearance of Christ, will 
be deemed farther probable, if we consider the particulars of 
that passage in which the author declares, in the name of the 

^ Conp^ clip. i. 30, with Matt. ujii. 97; chap. xtL£3, M,76, iritli Lnke iri. 15; 

chapLl 32, with Malt. uiii. 34, and Lnk* chap. iii. 11, vilh 1 Pet.iii.3a; chap. viL 

iL 49, SO, whue the STangeliit reteci pt<>- 61, with 2 Pet. ill IB; chap. riu. 39, with 

babl; to tonu pnphecjr now loat ; chap. L I PeL L 1 7 ; chap. TiiL 59, with 2 Pet. liL 

33, with Luks liil 35, Ac.; chap. L 37, 9; chap. ix. 15, with I Pet. ir. 18, aui 

with John IK. 29; chap. ii. 8, 9, with Hatt. TiL IS; chop. iL 4], with 2 TheM. 

Hoik tL 11, &c; chap. iL II, with Lake iL 13; ehap. v. 4, with R«r. liiL 10, 12. 

iTi. 9 i chap, ii 12, with Hatt. iL 28; chap. See, aim, the book of R«<nUtion punm, 

ii 13, with Hstt TiL 7, and MatL iiiT. and many other collatsd raferenca in LtB, 

32, and chap. nr. 34, and Mark liiL 37 ; p. 124—127. 

chap. iL IS, with John T. 28, 29 ; i^. iL ■ Ch^ ii. 34 — 36, amp. with John i. 

38, with John iriL 12 ; chap. iT. 21, with 1 1—14, and Matt. n. 29 ; BkL iL 42—48, 

John ill 31, 32 ; chap. ir. 23, with Matt comp. with Matt. i. 32, XTi. 16, Lnke i. 35, 

ziii. SO ; chap. ir. 30, witli Matt. liii. 30, 1 Pet. t. 4, and 1 Cor. xr. S3 ; E*d. TiL 38, 

39; ehap.iT.31,33,wil^MariciT.28,29i camp, with Luk> L 31; Bad. liiL 1— ^ 

chap. T. 1, with Luke XTiiL 8; chap. v. 3, comp. with MatL udr. 30^ and xxt. 31. 

with MatL xiiT. 12 ; chap. T. 2, S, with Vid. alio. Bad. at. 9, and xt. 6. 

John IT. 1 ; chap. vi. S3, with MatL iiiT. ' Chap, a 34 — 41 ; chap. ii. IS, 19, 

SI ; ch^ tL 24, with Lake liL S3 ; chap, when, b; the twelre tren and tweln fbim- 

Ti 25, with Matt. hit. 13; chap. tL 26, taini were deiigned, probabtj, the tmin 

with Matt. liT. 38 ; chop. viL 7, with Malt. Bpoatlw. 

TiL 14 ; chap. viL S5, with Matt. liiL 43 ; • Ch^. Tii. 29. 

cbap. TiiL 3, with Matt xx. 16, and viL ^ Chap, iL 16,23, 31, iT. 43,Ti 20— 2^ 

U; chap. TiiL 33, vith John iriL 17 ; viL SI— 35, comp. widi J<Aa t. 25, 29, 

chap. ix. 3, MatL xxiji. 6, 7, uiL 32, with MatL itL 27, and ii*. SI. Vid. Blia,cbBpk 

Joha TiL 19; ch^ Ix. 37, with Matt. t. TiL 42 — 45, 55; Tiii SI; ix. 10—1); 

18; ch^iT. 4, with John iii, S6,and TiiL liT 35, 
24; chap. in. 18, with Matt. xiir. 8; 



Almi^ty, thai " Jesus,' his Son, should be revealed witb those 
that be with him; and that they that remain sbotild rejoice 
within four hundred years; that after these yeara should his 
Son Christ die, and all men that have life ;" for it is not probable 
that an uoinspired writer, however conTersant with the prophetic 
books, should have been able to etch out a prophecy so clear and 

There appears, then, to be some reason, on a collective con- 
sderation of these circnmstances, to suppose that the book, or at 
least that the greatest part of it, was produced after the pro- 
mulgation of the Gospel. The work is, however, of too mixed and 
mysterious a character to anthonze any positive determination. 
It is a collection of pretended prophecies, cabalisttcal fancies, 
and allasions to evangelical particulars. Amidst spnrions fabri- 
cations, and passages transcribed from the Gospel, it may contain 
fragments of works written before the time of Christ;" and 
many writers have considered it as a compilation of pieces, of 
which some, at least, may have been the genuine production of 

Among the various opinions that have been entertained con- 
cerning this book, some have imagmed that it might have been 
composed, soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, by a Christian 
writer ; who, as was customary among the ancients, might have 
assumed a borrowed title, not with intention to impose on the 
world, but to exhibit, under the name of Ezra, as that of a 
great doctor of the law, a specimen of what might be said on the 
[ninciples of the Jewish synagogue, concerning the more inward 
and spiritual religion that had been concealed from common 
observation under the veil of Moses ; and that the author might 
design to develop the more secret wisdom of GK>d in his govern- 
ment of the world, and of his chnrch, with the more notable 

i Chap.vii. 38,39. TfaenBine of Jeana which wordi ue often lued bj the prophet* 

» waDting in the Arabic Punphmu ; but in predictioaa respectii^ oar ScTiour. Vid. 

it moit bare b«cn in tbs ancient manu- I Sam. iL 35; Faalm ii. 2; Dan. ii. 25. 

Klipt*, ai particniarlj in the lAtin copie* The Seventy, in these places, traualuto 

in the time of St Ambrose, which was AfaiAiaiA, by Xpioroi. 

about aeien hundred years prior to the snp- '' Mr. Lee conccivea the two firat chap- 

pned date of the Laudeaa manuacript. ten to be an aitrinaic woik. He conaiders 

Thia name, though synonymous with the them ai a frngmenl of aome book held 

word Redeemer, ia nowhere applied to the tacred among the Egyptian Jewi, though not 

Heaaiah in the Old Tcatament. Vid. Matt admitted into the Canon. They are not io ' 

i. 21. The WDtd Chriat is aynonymooa with the Arabic Tenuon, noi in Bome of the moat 

that of the Meaaiah, or the Anointed ; ancient Latin co[NeB. Lee's Dia*. f, M. 



events relative to the introduction and oEtablishment of the 
kingdom of the Messiah, in order to facilitate the reception of 
the Gospel and its mysteries. 

It is probable, that the author^s intention was to promote the 
success of Obristianitj ; and Calmet has conjectured, that be 
lived during the time of some persecatiou of the Christians, 
whom he appears desirous of exciting to faith and fortitade.' 
But however pious the design of the author, it wilt not apo* 
logize for the guilt of endeavouring to impose a spurious for an 
inspired work on the world, and for the presumption of speaking 
in the name and with the authority of Qod. The work, how- 
ever, may be admired as a production of the most curious and 
iuteresting character; as valuable for many devout and instruc- 
tive sentiments, and for precepts modelled on the perfection of 
Christian morality." It may be admired, likewise, for tbe 
beauties of its composition, for its lively and elegant illnstrations, 
and for that majestic eloquence which breaks forth through the 
disadvantages of a barbarous Latin translation. Tbe Romish 
church, though it admit not its canonical authority, has adopted 
some passages from it into its offices ; ' and it is properly suffered 
to continue in our Bibles as a profitable book, if discreetly and 
cautiously used, but not as having any authority in point of 
doctrine. It may be observed, however, in vindication of the 
hook, even in that respect, at least in one instance, that the 
Roman Catholics who have endeavoured to countenance the 
notions of purgatory by the authority of this writer, have 
perverted his words; for the passage in which he speaks, 
agreeably to the representation of St. John,™ of the sools of the 
righteous, as set apart in expectation of God's final judgment, 
makes no mention of purification, or of their being placed in a 
state of expiatory punishment. 

Clemens Alexandrinus has quoted," in bis explication of 
DaniePs prophecy, a passage as from the book of Esdras, which 
is no longer to be found in this or tbe preceding book ; if it ever 
existed in this, it most have tended still farther to prove that 
it was written after tbe appearance of Christ. Tbe words of 

< Chap. ii. 44— 47. " Chap. ir. 3G— 41, comp. with Rn. ri. 

^ Chap. iL 20—23 ; b, 7. 9—1 1, 

' 2 EHlnu u. ze, 37, Min in Fer. ■> Clem. Alex Stniin. UU i. p. SSO. 
put PentacHtcm. Miei. Rom. p. 31G. 



CSemens may be thns rendered : " For it is written in Esdras, 
and thus the Messiah, the Prince, the King of the Jews, was in 
Jerusalem, after the accotDplisbment of the seven veeks ; and 
in the sixty-two weeks all Judsea was in peace, and was without 
wars ; and the Lord our Christ, the most Holy, being come, and 
having fulfilled the visioo and prophecy (prophet), was anointed 
in the flesh, by the Spirit of his Father." 


Tbis book was probably written by, or at least compiled Irom 
be memoirs of Tohit and Tobias,* whom Baphael the angel bad 
commanded to record the events of their lives.'' The work 
appears to have been begun by Tobit; who, in the Greek, 
Hebrciv, and Syriac editions, speaks in the Brst person to the 
fourth chapter ; and by whom other parts in the book, as the 
prayer in the thirteenth chapter, are said to have been written : 
what he left unfinished was probably completed by his son ; the 
two last verses of the book being aflerwards added by some 
compiler," who digested the materials into their present form. 

It is ancertain whether this work were originally written in 
the Hebrew or in the Chaldaic language,*^ with both of which 
Tobit and his family must have been well acquainted. The 
Hebrew copies published by Munster and Fagins, appear to be 
translations comparatively modem ;* and as the book was extant 
in the Chaldaic language in the time of St. Jerom, it is possible 

• Tha Oirdc eolb the fiither Tb^jt, atallj adopted, dnriDg and sftec the cap- 

(Tobet,) or T-flo-, (TaMU md th« un tritj, bj- the J.™ Vid. BereMUL Rabb. 

T»fliM, (Tobia* in the Chflideo, both are ^t Talmiid. Hiet. Hnet, Dem. Evan. Prop. 

called TOltD, (Tobija.) ir. 

■> Cbap. Ill 20. • Th« Hebrev obtained by Fa^ui from 

' It ii called ft^oi Tur Xirywr, "The Can«laiitinaple,aiidpnbtuhedb7hiin,<ean» 

BookoftlieWordCoraftlieactiDfTabtt, to have been tranalated from the Oieek; 

ch. L 1. that of Mnnater, which he piofeuea to 

** Origen proToiea to hiTe heard AM have found in Oennanj, wai probably no- 

the Jewa had Tobit nnd Judith in their dered chiefly from the Valgate. They bath, 

language among the apocryphal boots, (fid. however, vary from the copiei Iroin which 

Epiit. ad A&imn.) but he probably meant they are mfipaKd tohsTe been re^ieCliTely 

in (he Chaldaic language, which i> aome- tranilated. HDetwaiinpoaaeaaioDofanUe- 

time* called the Hehiew, The namei of brew mannKript, which di1!eied from both, 

the angali and of the monthi are of Chal- and eapecially from (hat of F^ui. Vid. 

dxan derivation; but the*e might haie Fabric Bib. Onec. Koet. Prop. ir. el 

been equally uied by a Jew, a« the Cbal- Calmet. Pre£ «iir ToUo. 
daao eipreniooi and reckonings were ge- 



that it was originallj written in that laogaage, though no 
Chaldaic copy be now eztant. The most ancient copy that is 
known to exist is a Greek version, which was probably made by 
some Hellenistical Jew/ and before the time of Theodotion, as 
it is quoted by Potycarp:' from this onr English translation, 
and probably the Syriac version, was made ; as also the Latin 
version, which was ia use before the time of St. Jerum. 

All the versions of this book vary so much irom each other, 
that they must have suffered many corruptiooe. St. Jeromes 
Latin version especially, which he professes to have translated 
from the Chaldee, differs so much from the Greek, that it has 
been supposed to have been drawn from a more extended history 
of Tobit." But if we coonder that St. Jerom was at that time, 
by his own account, ignorant of the Chaldee, and that he 
executed the work by the assistance of a Jew in one day,' we 
may attribute many of the adventitious particulars to inaccuracy, 
and to the redundancies that must have resulted &om verbal 
circumlocution. The Greek is probably most entitled to respect, 
and on that account it was preferred by the translators of out 
Bible;' and, indeed, there are some mistakes in the Latin, 
which, if not rejected, wonld entirely destroy all the anthonty 
which the book may claim, and make it utterly incongistent 
with the times to which it is assigned. This, however, is 
canonized by the church of Borne. 

The book, if it ever existed in the Hebrew language, was 
certainly never in the Hebrew Canon, and has no pretensions to 
be considered aa the production of an inspired writer. It was 
probably composed after the closing of the Canon ; bnt perhaps 
before the time of our Saviour ; though, as far as may be argued 
ftom the silence of Philo and Josephus, it does not seem to have 
been known to those historians, and it is not cited in the New 

'HteroD. PmCinTobiuniand Whiitou't verom wbicb conopoiidi much with tlia 

Src. HiiL lol. L Vulgate, and which wai piobaUjr made 

I Poljcup. Epiat. ad Pbitlp. S. 10. Ttiii from IL 

Onek tranJalioD wu coraposed, however, 1" UtiiitaDieilab(iremarripm,e(<|uii:quid 

longaftei the period a»«giied to (he hiatoiy, illo mihi Hebraicii xerbia eipiwut, hoc ^ 

(in the uilh verie of the ^htb chapter ia aecito nolario ieimonibui Latinii eipouii," 

tnuiKribed ahnoal THbatini from the Sep- aaja St. Jemm ; -rid. Piwf. in Tobiam. W« 

toagint 'enion of Oen. ii. 1 9. ue not therefore to looh foi tixancj in a 

^ Fabian Juatiniani mppoaed Ibat there ttaiula^on ao made. 

mnat have bean two originBla, and Seisiiiu ^ Coierdale'a tranalation appears to ban 

conlenda for three ; bat the larietie* arias been made from that of St. Jerom, altated 

from comtptions in tbecopiei. Vid. Juatin. u in the Vulgate. 
PneC in Tob. He mentiona an Arabic 



Testament. It is not to be found in the most ancient catalogues 
of the canonical books, as furnished by Melito, Ong:eD, and the 
conncil of Laodicea ; and it munt be added, that Atfaanasius,' 
Cyril of Jerusalem,'" Gregory Nazianzen," Epiphanins," Hilary,'' 
and St. Jerom,'' exclode it from the sacred code. 

Though Tobit has no caaonical authority, it is a book re- 
spectable for its antiquity and contents. In the Alexandrian 
manuscript, and iu the best editions of the Septuagint, it ia 
placed among the bagiographical books ; and it is cited from the 
Greek with great respect by Polycarp,^ Clemens Alezandrinus,* 
Chrysostom, and other writers' of considerable authority; and 
some conncilfl, indeed, as those of Carthage," Florence, and 
Trent," eeteemed it canonical, upon an erroneons notion of its 
being dictated by inspiration, and upon a supposition that it 
was classed by the Jews among the Hagiographa, as a work of 
secondary rank.^ 

Houbigant imagines, that the only reason why it was not 
admitted into the Canon was, because, being a private history, 
there were probably but few copies ; and that these being kept 
at Ecbatans in Media, where Tobias retired, the work, though 
then written, might not have been known to Ezra : bnt, indeed, 
if it had been then written, and known to the compiler of 
the Canon, it could have had no title to be classed among the 
canonical books as of the same authority with them. The 
author does not pretend to prophesy himself, but collects only 
what had been delivered by the prophets;' describing the fate 
of Nineveh,* the dispersion of his countrymen, the destruction of 

■ Athm. E|ritt fmtiJ. et in Synop. ' ConciL Trid. Scm. t. 

■ CjriL Catech. 4. i Hieron. ProL GaL Pne£ in ProTOrb. 

■ Qng. HaaoM. Cans, da Verii Scrip, et in Tobit. In the pre>ent cojmt ol tbi* 

* Epiphan. de Pond, et Meoa. laat prebce, 5t Jerom is repreaentad ta bare 
' Hil. in Prolog. Pialm. aaid,l!utttheJev>reckoaodTo1)itaniongtbs 

■ Hieron. Pn>l. Oal. Pncf. in Tob. in Hugiegrapha ; bnt the word Hagiognpba 
PiOT. Ac. paidni. is probablj, aa numy of the Romaoiita 

' PolfcBrp, Epiit. ad Philipp. b11o«, a comiptian, and anhstitoted for 

' Clemen. Alei. Slrom. 1. Apocrypba. Thou, howerer, who contend 

< Clem. Conitit Apnt. lib. i. cap. 1; for the authcnticit; of the eipreuion, mnit 

lib. iiL cap. Ifi ; lib. Til cap. 2. IrenwDi at 1«it admit, that Haffiograpba ia nied 

Indnoat. lib. i. cap. SO. CTprian. paanm. out j in an inferior kdh ; torSbJeroniiatfae 

AnpuL de DocL Cbriat. lib. iii. cap. 13. nune place alBims, that the Jewi eidaded 

Anbra*. Ub. de Tobia. Hilar, in Palm it fi«m the catalogue of the divine viitingt, 

exiii. n. 7. BaiO. Homil, de Ararit. and cenmred him for tnmBlatiag abook not 

• CondL Carthag-. iii. An. S97. c. 47. in their Canon. Vid. Codn*i SchoL Hirt. 
■lao Cencil. Hippon. A. 393, can. 3B. Vid. %. 73. p. S3. 

•bo, P. Innocent I. epiat 3. ad Enper. et ■ Chap. xit. 1, 5. 
Coon'i SchoL Hilt. S. 83. ■ Gntini thinka that Jona* I> inierted 




Jernsslem and of the temple, in the same nuuiaer that Jonah 
and other prophets bad foretold them. 

There are no circumstances mentioned in this book which are 
iocoosisteDt with the period in which Tobit is related to have 
lived ;'' nor ia there any internal objection to the snppodtion of 
its being compiled soon atler the erents therein described, or at 
least before the time of Cbmt. In the Vulgate, indeed, the 
temple of Jerusalem is spoken of as already burnt ;° and it baa 
been supposed that part of Tobifs prophetic assarance was 
drawn from the writings of Jeremiah ; but, as in the Greek 
version from which our translation is made, that destruction is 
spoken of prophetically'' as yet to happen; and as all the 
predictions which are here inserted might have been drain) 
from prophets who preceded his time, there is no reason to 
dispute the antiquity ascribed to Tobit, or to hie book.* From 
the same sacred source of the earlier prophets might have been 
derived those predictions which Tobit records relative to the 
calling of the Gentiles,' and the restoration of Jerosalem to a 
magnificence prefigurative of its future spiritual glory in the 
establishment of the Christian church.* 

With respect to the history contained in this book, there is 
no reason to question its truth, at least as to the main par- 
ticulars ; and the Jews do not appear to have entertained any 
doubts on the sobject." It is written with much simplicity, and 
with an air of verity. The characters are described with great 
sincerity and effect ; and the minute detail of genealogy, of time, 

in chap. liv. i, B. by miitake for NHhum. pndeceHoi « confeinporuy of Tobit, wilb 

Bnt Joiuh*! prophecy, in cb. iii. 1. of hia wfaoK hiiton' we are nnacqmmmd. 

book, may he luppoted to include the ' Chap. xiij. 11) which perhaps allndei 

deatmctioD of Nineveh by the Medei nni to the ofieiing of the wise men, described 

Bsbylonicns. Its occampliihinciit wtu in St. Malt. u. II. The predicdon may 

prolnrted, but not frustrated. be drawn from D>Tid*s prophecy in PhIm 

' II should be Rmarked, that Nebu- IxiiL 10, of which the very vords ut 

chodoDOBor, mentioned in tbaf. ill. 1 5, was introduced in the Hebrew copy publitW 

Nabopobsnr. Vid.Je«eph.^Uq.lib.KviiL by Fagini. See, also, chap. ut. 6, 7; 

c. 9. coBip. with lib. L codL Afnon. ct which might be gnondcd on the prophedct 

jDchaain. CoL 13fi. Assuenu via Aatyagei, in Micah r. 12, Uj Isaiah ii 18; mi. 

or hit son, the Cyaxam of Herodotus. 7 ; Zechar. liii. 2, &c 

Ninereh was taken A. M. S392. Vid. * Chap. liii. 16—18 ; iiT.£-~S; which 

Prid. An. 612. Preface to Kahom, p. 253. figuratire pass^ea reiemble Mnne inetapta*- 

'^ Chap. liv. 7. and xiii. II. Vulgate. neal deacnplioiuof St. John. Vid.ReT.iii> 

' Chap. ; 

iL S~e ; but « 

Micah iii, 12. bably borrowed from luiah liT. II — 17. 

< Aman, memjoned in chap. iit. 10, i* Jnchaiin. Hieion. ad Chroa.etUeliod. 

was not Haman tfae proud enemy of Mor- Orot. Pik£ ad Tob. Siil. Senenh Bib. 

decai and the Jews, mentioned in the book lib. Tiii. 
of Either, nor Jodith'i husband, bnt aome 



place, and personal circnmstanceB,' while they heighten the 
interest, tend to demonstrate the truth and realitj of the 
relation. Tobit, then, is to be considered as a real character ; 
he was born probably during the reign of Ahaz ; he was of the 
tribe of Naphtali, in the city of Thisbe,' in Upper Galilee ; h« 
was carried captive to Nineveh after the extinction of the 
kingdom of Israel, by Enemassar, or Salmaoeaser, abont A. M. 

The history of this captive and of his family is here related in 
a very interesting manner ; it is enlivened with much variety of 
incident, and decorated by the display of many virtues. Some 
of the incidents, as the ministry of the angel, the influence and 
defeat of the evil spirit, as well as the blindness and recovery of 
Tobit, have appeared so improbable to many writers, that they 
have chosen to consider the whole book merely as an instructive 
fiction," designed to illustrate the relative and social charities of 
life, and to exhibit a pattern of virtue exercised in trials, and 
recompensed in this world : bat there are no physical objections 
to the causes assigned either for the deprivation" or restora- 
tioD" of sight to Tobit ; or if they are not naturally capable of 

■ Cbap. T. 16. The raentioa of Tobiu'a Vulgate rcpreHnta Tobit to have been bom 

dog ha> been freqosntly repiwented ma at Neptholi. Vid. CalmBt and Arnald on 

lodioroat and unncceuary particular. But tbe place 

there ii often si much want of taeto as of ' The tribe of Nnphtali in general had 

candour in cridciim of this nalnre. The b«n carried into cnptivitf about twentT 

introduction of Bucb incidental poruculan yean before bj Tiglath-Pileser. Vid. 

i> not nntuaallD the most admired worki of SKingiiv. 29. Tbe jear of Tobit't death 

■ntiquitjr. Vid. Odyu. Ub. ii. 1 1. iGneid. it nncertain ; all the copict differ. The 

lib. TJii 463. It deeervea to be lenwrked, Vulgate Bupposei him to have liied one 

that in Ibe elerentb chapter of the Vulgate, bondred and two jean; the Greek, one 

the dog ii laid to hBTo fint appeared lu the bandred and fift;.eighk Both account* are 

hartHnger of the >on^ return ; and the erroneons. 

Syrioc veiwon repreienti Anna to ha>e fint ■ Paul Pagius. It bai been compared 

pereeiTsd the dor ; and, indeed, tbe Greek to the Cjropsdia of Xenopbon, and tbe 

ha* been Ihns^t to inlimala nearly as Telentachua of Fenelon, 
much, for it nyt, not that ahe aaw Tobiaa ' Chap. ii. 10. Tobit appean to bave 

himielf, but xpeainrriatr idnoy ifxufuror, ilept in a court-yard, because pollnied by 

"percciTcd tbaCheiraacoining,'' a> pouibly the dead body which he had buried, and 

by tbe dog. In thii there ia nothing low hit eye* might hare been open babilaally, 

or ridieoloo*, but an incident familiai and or from accidcnL Tbe excrement of 

elmnt Coinp. with Odyaa. lib, irii. 301, apncrowa (swallowa) ia bol and acrimanioni, 

802. _ (vid. Plinii, lib. li. c. 37. Geiner. Hiat 

^ Thiibe waa at the right hand (that ie. Animal lib. iiL) and nay canae blindneu. 
lotbflaonth; ibr the Jevi^ in the deacription ' It ii uncertain of what apede* waa the 

ef placH, anppoae tbe speaker to bee the fiah mentioned in thi* book. The gall of 

nat) of Kadeab. Nepthali, (KvSum, or the fith called Callionimnt ia efGcacioui 

KBpuii, or Kotuts nil Ht^Safu,') the aame in remoring specka and obitructionii of the 

place, perbap*, with Cadea, the capital of nght. Via. Oalcu de Siniplic. Medicam. 

Neptiiali, and poasibl; the Cadylea of He- Facalt. lib. i. c. 12. JEhan. lib. liiL c. 4. 

lodotua. It waa one of the three citie* of Plin. lib. iiviii. c 11. Aldrovand. Omi- 

refugeon ttieirNt aideof tluJordoD. The thol. lib. xTil Vale* de Sac. Philoioph. 



producing sach effects, tliey might still be mintcaloiulj' ren- 
dered instmrnents in the bands of Providence. 

Witb respect to the agency of the angels, there is nothing 
inconsistent with reason, received opinions,'* or scripture, in 
supposing a limited superintendence of superior beings. We 
know, indeed, that under the peculiar circumstanoea of the 
Jewish economy, the ministry of angels was manifestly employed 
in subserviency to Qod's designs ; and that particular peraoni^ 
were occasionally favoured with their familiar intercourse. It 
is likewise unquestionable, that before the power and malevolence 
of evil spirits were checked and restricted by the control of our 
Sariour, their open influence was experienced ;*< and though in 
the accounts of this book, invisible beings be represented as 
endued with corporeal affections, and described, under tradi- 
tionary names of Ghaldeean extraction, and though the whola 
history of their proceedings, as here furnished, be in some 
measure accommodated to vulgar conceptions,' yet it would be 
a violation of all just rules of criticism to consider the agency 
of these beings as a mere allegorical machinery. Indeed, the 
events recorded are so dependent on their supposed interference, 
and the miraculous circumstances are so incorporated with the 
history, that the truth of the whole account rests on the same 
foundation, and the particular parts cannot be separately re- 

Still, however, those who consider the whole book as a moral 
invention, designed for the particular consolation of the Jews in 

But ttiis Gih Hppmn (o b« t» null lo ' Chap. li. 17 ; riii. 2, 8. The HtppoMd 

nrreipond with th« descriptian of that of etTsct of fnmigBlian oo dononi waa *gne- 

Tobit. Bochart conteDda foi the SUanu, abls Is lalgar nalion*. Vid. Jmtfb. da 

the ahest-fish, or atorgeon, ai\eA alao, the Bell. Jnd. lib. Tiii. c S. The perfiun na 

Olania. Thia the naturalist* deacribe aa Urge rendered eSouioiu by Utli, ptajcr, and 

and Toradout, (vid. Raj and Jobnalon ;) contineoca ; rid. Matt ivii. 21; and the 

and ita Utbi wa> Bunoai for remaiing burning uf the eottaila of the fiih wai eii- 

(oSgaioiu and dimneaa. Vid. Moubignnt. joined rather la a aign and intimatim, thia 

But il it objected, that this Gih, w having aa a pfafucal caoie of Ifae defeat of the aril 

no acalei, could not be eaten conaiatently •pint, ai in John ii. 6. We rouon, hov- 

with the realrictiona of the LeTitlcal law. erer, opon preconcciTed conjectural noliona, 

Vid. Lei. IL 1 0. The lirera of many other when we aaaert, that derila cannot be af- 

fiahei maf haie the aune tanatire qiulitica. lected b; the operation of imetta. IIm 

r Heaiod Oper. et Dies, lib, L Plato da Bight of the evil apiht, and hia being 

Lcgibua, lib. ^i. Apulana da Deo Socisti*. bound bj RsphacL, impliei only that he 

Buxtoif, Sjnag. Jud. c 10. Orphd HfiDii waa circumtcribed and reetricted in hti 

ad Mui. Plutarch in BraL Act* liL 15. power by an eipuliion to the anppoaed 

Bamab. Epitt. c IS. sphere i^ demont. Vid. Lake riiL 39; 

4 Lnke nii. 16 ; 1 Pet. T. 8 ; Bar. zz. MaR xii. 43. Hiecon. in UieiVD. e. 38. 



eaptmty, or for their general instraction and enconragement in 
afflictJon, may derive the same profit from that fine spirit of 
piety and beoeTolence which breathes through every part of the 
book;* and which occasionally breaks out into those beautiful 
sentiments that hare been imitated by succeeding writers, and 
copied out into the Liturgy of our church ;' and which some- 
times approach even the refined precepts of Christianity. " 

In the old Roman Missal, and in the Missal of Sarum, there 
is a proper mass of Raphael the archangel ; and in the prefatory 
rubric it is directed, that the office be celebrated for pilgrims or 
travellers, as also for sick persons and demooiacs,' opon notions 
of the archangers character, built on the relations of this book. 
Afterwards follow two abort prayers, one addressed to God, and 
one to Baphael himself. 


Thb author and the period of this history are both uncertain.* 
Some commentatois imagine that it was written by Joacim, or 
Eliakim, whom they conceive to have been Iiigh-priest in the 
reign of Manasseh;'' and that it was translated into Chaldee 
for Uie use of those Jews in the captivity at Babylon, who had 
forgotten their own language. Others attribute the work to 
Joshua, the son of Josedech,'^ the companion of Zerubbabel. 
But by whomsoever, or in whatever language it was produced, 
the original is not now extant. The Hebrew copy, which some 
have professed to hare seen at Constantinople,'' was probably a 
work of modem compodtion; and our English translation, as 
well as the Syriac, is made from a Greek version which existed 
probably long before the time of Theodotion, as it seems to have 
been known to Clemens Romaous.* The most probable opinion 

■ Chap, iii, Tiii, xiii. * laidor. Orig. lib. n. e. 2. Senr. 
> Tobit ir, 7—9. and the Communioa Prolog, in Jud. St. Jenm KCm* to con. 

Sernce. aider it u the prodoctioa of Judith. Vid. 

■ Chap. ir. 7, camp, with Lnke u. il; in An- i- 6. 
chap. IT. IS, wilh Matt. vii. 12,«Dd Lake " Chap. iv. 6. 

Tu 31; chap. it. 16, wilh Luke lif. 13; < Temp. KAuriai, 

chap. IT. 8, 9, comp. vith 1 Tim, vi. 18, Siit. Senena. Jul. Roger, de Lib. Can. c. 

19. 20. 

' Amald^ Diaattt en the Demon A»- ' Lib. Haoaler. Pnef. Id Tob. Hebnera. 



18, that the book was originally written in Chaldee* by Bomo 
Jew of Babylon ; and it might possibly have been designed to 
enliven the confidence of the Jews dnriog the captivity, and to 
invigorate their hopes of a deliverance. 

UpoD a snpposition of the truth of the history, the circnm- 
slaoces described n:tnst have occurred previously to the destrae- 
tion of Jerusalem, since the Persians are represented as stiU 
subject to the Assyrian empire;' and Nineveh, which is here 
mentioned as the capital of Nehuchodonosor^s empire,'' was over- 
thrown before that destruction ; and upon the impending invadon 
of Holopbernea, the Jews are said in this book to have been 
troubled " for the city and temple of their God.'' Usher, there- 
fore, Lloyd, and Prideaux, have agreed on considering the 
history as coeval with the time of Manasseh;' placing it in 
about the forty-fonrtb year of bis reign, A. M. 3348. And 
Prideaux, with other writers, after a judicious investigation of 
the several opinions that have been entertained upon the subject,' 
maintains that the Arpbaxad of this book was Deioces;' and 
Nebuchodonosor, Saosduchinus, who ascended the throne of 
Babylon, A. M. 3336 ; and the learned author places the expe- 
dition of Holopbernea in A. M. 3349, making the twelfth year 
of Saosduchinus to coincide with the forty-fifth of Manasseh." 

Vid. >1m, Polyorp. et Cl«m. Alex. Strom. Other* place the hiitory in the time of 

lib. i. Xeiiea. Vid. Suidai, verbo JuditL RiUr. 

' Hieron. Pnf. in Lib. Jud. in Nahnni ii. Ettiua and otben place it 

< Cbap. L 7 — 10. in ths time of Darina Hy>laap«; and 

'• Chap. i. 1. Sulpicint ScTenu auigni to it h itill later 

' Some place it in the leign of AmoD, ot penod, placing it under the reign of Arta- 

in that of Joiiah, and oth^ contend for lenes Ochui, king of Persia. Vid. Hut. 

the time of Jehoi^m. Some wrilen, who Sac lib. iL Bell^m. de Verb. Dei, lib. i 

place it in the reign of Zedokiah, conceive c 12. 

that Nebuchodonoioi was the tame penon ' Ueiocei fannded Ectnlana ; and the 

with Nebuchadneiiar ; upon which aup- beginning of the twelfth year of Sooidii- 

poiition, Jemsalem muit haia been taken chinua coincidea with the Uit yen <t 

inlhemme jearthatBethuliawaa beiieged, Deiocea., Theac and other concurrent rir- 

if we follow the account! of the Oreek cumatancea acem to prove, that Deiocei and 

copiei of ihii book, which place the eipedi- Arphaiad muat have been the Hunt 

tion uf Halophemea in the eighteenth feat penon ; though aome writen relate that 

of Nebuchodonoaor'a rrign ; far the cigh- Deiocn lived long, and died old, in proa- 

teenth year of NehuchBdneuar coinddoH perily. Calmet auppoiei Arphniad to be 

with the ninth jear of Zedckiah. the Phiurlea of Herodotna ; the circum- 

' The ancient tradition among the Jewa atancea of who» life and d«th, a* be con- 

waa, that the circmnitance* of the hjatocr ceivea, correapond better with the acconnla 

happened under the reign or Cambyaei. VA. of tliia book, and who may be auppoaed to 

Euieb. Cbron. Hiat. ScheUat Dionyt. have finished the fortiiicatiana of Ecbalana. 

Curlhua. Snidaa, verba Holophemea. Au- aa deacribed in chap. L 2 — 4. Vid. Herod. 

gUBt. de Civit. Dei, lib. iviii. cap. 16. ]ih. L 

But the capital of Cambyaea waa Babylon, ■■ Prid, Con. vol. i. part L p. 3ti. Calmefa 

and he reigned bnt teven vaua and thna Frebet, Bellarm. de Verb. Dei, lib. L op. 

montha. Vid. Herod. lib. iiL ci^ 66. 12. 



Bot though the history cannot with consiBtency be assij^ned 
to any other time than that of Manasseh," there are still eo 
msDj objections to this period, that many writers have chosen 
to consider the whole work as a reli^ous romauce. It must be 
confessed, indeed, to be extraordinary, that neither Philo nor 
Josephns should make any mention of this sig^nal deliventnce ; 
for the latter especially, though he professed to confine himself 
to such accouDts as were contained in the Hebrew (that is, the 
authentic canonical) books," yet by no means adheres so strictly 
to his plan, that he might not have been expected to have men- 
tioned 80 remarkable an interposition of God in favour of his 
country ; but as this omissiott caa only furnish a presumptive 
aigumeot against the truth of the history, and as the apparent 
inconnstencies may be accounted for without destroying the 
credibility of the chief particulars, it is more reasonable to 
conuder it as the history of real events ;■" since many of its 
circumstances correspond with the accounts of Herodotus ; '< 
and the Jews, as well as the earlier Christians, believed it to be 
a relation of historical truths. 

Many, also, of the difficulties which occur in considering the 
history, and many of the objections to the period which is 
assigned to it, are to be attributed to corruptions that have 
taken place in the Greek version;^ and which are among the 

■ Usfuueh hiniMlf i> not mcDtioned in li. 7, and Arnald in chap. ii. 10. 

thit ^»Mk, (noi, indeed, an; king,) whence " ProiEm. Antiq. et lib. i. c. 1 1. 

•omehaTctnppnedliiatlhsinegBof Dethnlk ■■ Monntbuwn Verity de rHiiUrire de 

happened during hi> csptiTitj al Babylon ; Judith. Howert Hitt. of Bible, eh. 174. 

or tfa&t he wu withheld &am ui actiTO Houbigant Pnef. el Nolea. Herod, lib. i. 

port Erom cautioai or prudential conridera- e. 2. 

tioni ; or, lutly. that he wai then engaged 1 Nebuehodonoior i> ttfled SBoedocbi- 

in Hqneelered lepenlance. Bot ai Belhulia nna bf Herodotus and PuAemj. Nebucho- 

wu on lhe&t>ntiera.the defence of it might donoior waa, indeed, properlj the name of 

have been entruited to the high priest. The the Babylonian king! ; but the Jewa seem 

predae liluation of Bethnlia is not known ; to Iuvto called oil the princes who reigned 

some place it in the territory of Zebulun, beyond the EapbiBtes by that name, as in 

in which there appears to have been a town Tobit, Nabopolaesar i> ao called. Vid. 

of that name, but Judith, ManaHeh, and Tobit xIt. 15. 

Onioi were of the tribe of Simeon. There ' The third leree of the fourth chapter 

BUsht haTe been a frontier town in the repreients the Java as newly returned from 

hilTj cenntry of Simeon, towards Syria, the cHptifity ; but this is notin St. Jerom'a 

named BeUinlia, though we haia no other veriion. So, Ukewiic, the woHi in the 

men^on of it in history. We cannot, how- eighteenth versa of the fifth chapter, which 

ever, inppose it to have been the same ipoak of the temple as being cost to the 

idace with Bethel, or Bethael, mentioned ground, are rcicinded as a corruption by 

m Joshua xix. 4, and 1 Chron. iv. 3D, St. Jerom ; though the original Oi«ek woidi, 

without allowing that the author has been ' - ' ■• - ■ ■ 
guilty of aoma geo((n[Aical mittake*. Vid. 
chap. iil9, lO.aodiT. 6. Calmet in chqi. 



inconnstencies that St. Jerom professes to hsTe lopped off as 
spnrioDS, when he made bis translation which is now extant in 
the Vulgate.* Some originate in the obscurity that necessarily 
bangs over a period bo distant, and so little illustrated by the 
remains of ancient history ; ' and some most be charged probably 
on the ignorance of the anthor, who compiled the book from sadi 
materials as he could procure ; and who, to give importance to 
his history, and to magnify the characters which he describes, 
has embellished his history, sometimes at the expense of chro- 
nology and tmth." 

If these causes of inconsisteacy be admitted, there will be do 
necessity to question the truth of the principal circnmstanoes tn 
this history, and to have recourse to such imaginations as Grotina* 
and others have entertained ; who have amused tliemseWes by 
conddering it as an instructive fiction, or ingenious allegory: in 
speculations they may serve to prove the fertility of tlieir in- 
vention, hut which conduce but little to illustrate truth, or to 
increase our reverence for works respectable at least for their 
antiquity and sanctions, and valuable for the instruction which 
they afford. It may be observed also, as an intrinsic mark of 
the Ahjtuiu, whan V— ■-**'• wu takoi than tonj jt*n old when the captifBtcd 
priuDcr. The captinlua and diipcnion Holophtme*, (probably doI >a old, eapsci- 
■paken of both in the Qnek and I^tin, may >Uy aa the ii called &ir damael, KoA^ 
be pndentood of the Aufrian captiiitiu inulurini> chap. lii. 13.) and aaifaeliTedlo 
under Manaawh. Vid. S Chnm. miu, the aga of one hundred and five, there mait 
11 — 13. have becDBiiitj ;ean peace at Unit after 

* Chap. i. 13, which differ* Sve yean the deliTennce ; which wu a longer apaca 
liom tha dale given in chap. LI. Tn of time than intervened between Uie fbrtj- 
8t. Jerom'i Tertian there it no apparent in- fifth year of Manaweb, and Che taking of 
coniiitency. In chap, ii. I, the eighteenth Jenualem by Nebochailaeuar, (not tones- 
year ia placed, in coniniaencs of the aame dan thedangertnnder Joaiah,andthedeliM 
ealcniation, inttead of die thirteenth, at it and death of that monarch,) or, indeed, tban 
atandt in Sl Jerom^t vertion- It it, how- any period of aninteirupted peac« in tha 
ever, pouihle, that there it no miatake, and courae of the Jewiih hiilory. We moat 
that fire yenra might hare interrened be- thetefoie auppoae the author lo haie apokeo 
tween the prepentiona for war, and the hyperboUcally of the eSectt of Jiulith^ 
attack on Aipbaxad. heroltm. 

I Joacim, or EUakim, ia lepieaented in ' Orot. FrxL ad Annot. in Lib. Jul 
tbit book aa high-prieat, though no high- Orotiui bncdea that it ia a parabolical or 
prieat of tha.t name ia mentioned before the enigmatic tictjon, written in the time at 
aptiiity by Joaephui, or in the acripluiet, AntiochutEpiphanet,toeac(ianigetheJewa 
onleat we attribute that character lo the under the persecution carried on by bin. 
pUiliim apoken of by Iiainh, ch. nil He imaginea that Judith it Judnai Bo- 
20 — 36. But the catalogue of jotephna ii thulia As houae of Ood ; and that by 
corrupted, and the icriplaitt nowhere pro- Nebuehodonotot and Holopheniea, are meant 
leat to fumiih an exact aucceiiian of the the devil and hia agent; and haa other 
prieata. Vid. Pcid. Coil vol L port i. p. 39. whimtical conceiU to explain thii auppoaed 

■ It ia aaid in chap. x>i. S3, that none oUegoiy. Vid. timilar natjona in Luthe^ 
made laiael afraid in the daya of Judith, Reinecciut, and Capellua. Limbondii, Tbeo- 
nor a long time after her death. Now at log. lib. L cap. 3. p. S, 
we cannot tuppota her to hare been mor« 



the truth of tbia history, that the author appears to speak of 
Achior's family as liyiag at the time when the book was 
writteu;*and that in the last Terse of the Vulgate it is said, that 
the day of Judith's triumph had ever sioce been celebrated as a 
sacred festiral.' 

It appears, from the accounts of Origen' and St. Jerom,'' that 
the Jews reckoned this book among their apocryphal writings. 
It is nowhere cited by our Saviour or his apostles ; ° it is not in 
the catalogues furnished by Melito, Origen, and Athanasius; nor 
was it received by Hilary, Gregory Nazianzeu, Cyril of Jerusalem, 
or the Gonncil of Laodicea; but being cited with respect by 
many ancient writers,'' and considered as canonical in a secondary 
sense hy St. Austin* and the African church,' it was received in- 
discriminately, and as of the same authority with the inspired 
books, by the council of Trent,' which canonized St. Jeromes 
translation ; and since that time it has been generally reverenced 
as an inspired work by the writere of the Romish clinrch ; who 
are, however, much perplexed and distressed for want of ar- 
guments to support its pretensions. 

The book presents an interesting scene of ambition fnistrttted, 

f Chap. liT. 10. do DocL Chriit. lib. ii. e. 6. 

* Chap. xtL 31. VdgBte, Thii reree is • St. Au»tin expresJy remarin, that this 
Dot in the Greek, Sjriac, or ancienl LBtin book was laid not to liave been admittfld 
Teriion<, not u the fcetival mentioaed io into the Hebrew Canon. Vid. de Civit. 
■n; aalhentic Hebrew cslendua. Some Doi, lib. xviiL c. 26. 

wrilen, hoveTer, inppOBe that il wu an- ' Concil. Carthng. 3. cnnon 47. Seenlw 

dentlj obierred. Vid. Selden de Syned. the lUipecled epiiSo of Pope Innocent I. 

Ub. ill. c. 18. Scaliger ds Emend. Temp, wbcre Ihe book* of Tobil, Judith, and 

lib. Tii. p. 633 ; el (^met in loc. MBccsbeee sre rnckoned a> scripture. 

» Epirt. ad African. • Some controTeimJists have asserted, 
■■ Hieron. PneC in Jnd. Some mann- tbatStJeram allowed l}iat the hook of Jo- 
scripts of St. Jerom read inproperlj Ha- dith wss canonized by the council of Nice. 
fiognpha. Vid. PreGwe to Tobit, p. 291. Vid. Bellar. de V. Dei, b1i. I c 10. Baron. 
Dotey. AnnaL torn. ili. Ann. 325. sect 167. But 
" There it a reHmhtnnce between Elisa- in the Acts of this council, the book is not 
beth's aalutation of hfoiy, in Luke i. 43, mentioned ; and in the [Jace referred to, 
and the encomium bestowed on Judith by (rid. Hieron. Prs£ in Judith,) St. Jerom 
Ozias, in chap. xiii. 16. of this hook ; as only says, that the council of Nice was m- 
likewiiabelween^eeEhorlBtiDnof SLPaul, perltd (leptat) to ha*e reckoned this book 
and a passage in chap. viii. 34, 35. of the in the nuinber of the mend tmfu^a; and 
Vulgate copy of Judith. The coincidence he remarks in the same place, that the Ho- 
of eipresaion is probably accidental in both brews (that is, the Hellenists, or the con- 
ponllels. St. Paul, in the last, alludes to icrtedJcwsjcoDBidereditashagtographiad; 
tht drcnmstances montioned in Nnmb. ui. and elsewhere, (vid. PiKf. in Lib. Salom.) 
6. and ay. S7. that the church, tfaoogh it read Judith, did 

* Clem. B^t ad Corinth, c 5fi. Clem, not receive it ns canonical. Vid. alio, in 
Conatit. Apost. Origen. Ilomil. xii. in Prol. Oal. EpisL ad Fnr. et Bellaim. de 
Jeiem. ad lib, iiL in Johan. Clem. Alex. Verba Dei, lib. i c. 10. Eiaam, in Censur. 
Sbom. Bi. iv. TertuU. de Monog. c 17. Pnet Hknin. 

Ambios. de Offic. lib. iii. et de Vid. Anj;asL 



ftod of intempennce poDished. The bistoiy is written with 
great grandeur and animation, and tbe Aasyrian and Hel»ew 
manners are well described. The prayer and the hjmn of 
Jnditb are composed with mnch piety.^ Tbe book contaim 
nothing exceptionable in point of doctrine; for where Jnditli 
celehratea Ood'a joatice in pnnishing the crime of tbe She- 
chemites,' she bj no means attempts to justify Simeon for big 
Tindictire and indiscriminate craelty. If the address with which 
sbe accomplished her designs shonld be thought to partake of 
too mnch of an insidioos character, it may be permitted, at least, 
to admire tbe heroic patriotism and piety which prompted her to 
midertake the exploit ; the urgency and importance of the oc- 
casion, will likewise excose tbe indiscreet exposure of her person 
to intemperate passions ; and in the general description of her 
character, she may he allowed to have presented an exemplary 
display of the virtaea which become the widowed state.' 


Thk chapters entitled the Rest of the fThapters of the Book of 
Esther, are not extant in the Hebrew, nor in the Cfaaldaic 
languBge, bat only in the Greek and Latin copies. Origen was 
of opinion, that they had formerly existed in the Hebrew,* 
though omitted in tbe copies that remained in his time; and 
Hnet, npon a very improbable supposition, conceives tbem to 
bare been the production of the great synagogue, and to hare 
been translated from some more copious manuscripts by tbe 
Septnagint translators ; " but these translators certainly confined 
tbemselvee to the canonical books. 

It is at least very doubtful whether these chapters did erer 

k CauH. Ttid. Seu. t. being snneied to ■ome cupica of ^ Sep- 

^ Cha|k ix. 2. toagint, though, indeed, Jong «fler that nf- 

* AmbroH de Vit Fulgent EpiiL 2. rion wtu made, at Origen moit haTC knomi 

■ Vid. Origen in Jahsn. tom. iL et EpiiL howerer he migfat think it noneceiiuT 

■d Aiiicwi. there to distiiiguish the omonied tmm tlie 

' Origen, indeed, qaating ume pumge ■purioni paita. Vid. EpiM. >d AEnaa. 

ftnm the fborteenth ch^tei of the book of Origen elnwhere reject* tfacH additioiu U 

Either, nyt, " in the book of Either, ac- BpocryphaL Vid. SiiU Sennu. Bib. Suet. 

cocding to the Screntf ;" the qmrioiu part* liL L mcL 3 ; et lib. t. an. 3&0. 



exist in tbe Hebrew language; and it is nnqnestiotutble that 
they never were in tbe Hebrew Canon. If, likewise, we are to 
rely on the accounts of tbis book, there is reason to believe thai 
even tbe authentic book of Esther vas not translated by tbe 
authors of the Septu&gint into Greek ; for in tbe first verse of 
tbe second chapter of this apocryphal part, it is said, that the 
epistle of Phurim, by which was probably meant the book of 
Esther, was interpreted into Greek by Lydmachus,' who was 
possibly an Hellenistical Jew residing at Jerusalem ; and tbe 
apocryphal parts contained id tbis book were, perhaps, added to 
tbe Greek translation by Dositheus and Ptolemeos, or by some 
other Hellenigtfl of Alexandria. Tbey appear to have been sub- 
sequent additions interpolated in various parts of the Greek 
copies by some person desirous of giving embellisbment to tbe 
history, and who inserted' into the body of the work such tra- 
ditionary or fanciful circumstances as his inquiry or invention 
could furnish. From tbe Greek, these additions were translated 
into the old Italic version,'' They were not, however, considered 
as canonical by the ancient church,* thoDgh they might sometimes 
pass uncensured att annexed to the canonical book. St. Jerom, 
who confined himself to what was in the Hebrew, did not admit 
them into his translation,' but represents them as rhetorical 
appendages and embellishments annexed to the Italic version. 
Since that time, tbe most judicioas writers ■ have not scrupled 

■ Aocoiding la thii accannt, it wu tnuii- and Nefaemiah ; the three heing attributed 
lited in the fourth jear of tbe nign of «> the nuna author. The fathen pnfsei I0 
Plolanf I who, if he were Ptolemy Philo- receiie the whole of the Hebrew Canon ex- 
motor, liTBd long after the Sepluagint duiiTely; andin the ijnopiii attribaled to 
tiBnilatton wsa niade. Some eonceire that AlhanBiina, the Bpocryphal port of Either, 
Plolenij Philadelphna wu meant, in the wbicb ii describal ui beginning with the 
■eventh year of whoae rei([n that TcrNDQ ia dream of Mordecai, ie rejected; and the 
■apposed to have been executed; and Huet authenUc part ia there Mid to be reckooed 
imagine*, that the Seventy adopted thit aa one book with another; which other 
work of Lyaimacbua into their tranilatiou mobt have been that of Eiia. Vid. alao, 
of (he icriptDree, on an idea that it »aa Hieren. PrsL in Eiram. et Nebem. The 
executed before the reign of Ptolemy Phila- book iereckonedin the catalogneaofOriger, 
delphna. Hilary, Cyril, and Kpipbanitu ; and in dut 

* This differed both from the Hebrew of the eoaicil of Laodicea. 
and Greek copies. ' Hieren. Pnef. in Esther. In the 

■ Melito ap. Eoseb. Hist. Ecdes. Ub. ir. Greek church ther are itill suffered to eon. 
c 26. Athan. Epist. 39. Or^or. Naiiana. slilnte a put of the book of Esther. 
Carm. de SeripL SiiL Senene, Bib. lib. I ■ Qretiaa Pratt ad AddiL Ealber. Dio- 
aecL 3. Even tbe canonical book of Esther, oyt Carthui. Cajetan. Raynoid Hetd^ 
indeed, is not eipreaslj enomemted in these ger, lib. ii. c. 10. Kenlhii. Proleg. ad Lib. 
catatogDes: eith^ became of these spurious Apoc. Vet. Test'p. 27. Siitns Senenais 
additions ; or, as the generality of writers calla them, "laeeias Appendices et pannosa 
■uppose, because the authentic book was Additamenta." Vid. Bib> Saoct. 
reckoned as one book with those of Eira 



to consider them as extrinsic and spnrions appendagm ; though 
they are canonized, tog^ether with the aathentic chapters, hy the 
council of Trent ; and passages iVotn them are inserted into the 
offices of the Romish chnrah. 

It is manifest, on considering the canonical book, that it is a 
complete and perfect work ; and these apocFyphal parts, which 
are introduced into the Greek copies, will appear to be supei^ 
flnous and cambrons additions, to those who take the pains to 
examine them. Tbey are in a different style from that of the 
authentic chapters, and consist partly of a repetition of pai^ 
ticnlars contained in them. The first chapter, which in the 
Greek copies is annexed to the tenth of tbe canonical chapters, 
consists of an interpretation of a pretended dream of Mordecu, 
which contains some &ncifal conceits, and was tiimished pro- 
bably by the same person that fabricated the dream which 
follows in the next chapter. The intimation contained in the 
6rst rerse of tbe second or elerenth chapter, was possibly written 
by some Jew of Alexandria ; it was not in the ancient Italic 
version. The dream which is related in this eleventh chapter, 
and which in the Greek is placed before the canonical part, is 
evidently the reverie of some inventive writer, and afterwards 
prefixed to the work. It does not form a proper introduction to 
the book ; and in tbe fifth verse of the second canonical chapter, 
Mordecai is introduced as a person not before mentioned ; and 
his genealogy, and other particulars, are described there, and in 
the succeeding verse, with a minnteness which must have been 
quite redundant, if the second verse of the eleventh chapter had 
been authentic. 

The account of the devices, and of the discovery of the two 
eunuchs who conspired against the life of Artaxerxes, is a re- 
petition, with some alterations, of what is related in the second 
chapter of the authentic part;^ and could not properly he 
prefixed (as it is in tbe Greek) to the canonical book, which 
opens the history as if nothing had been previously communicated. 
The sixth or fifteenth chapter contains a description of Esther's 
appearance and reception by tbe king, which is borrowed from 
the fifth chapter of tbe genuine history,' and embellished with 

^ Eilher ii. 21 — 23. Estber'i pnyer, (aa given In tin GnirtMnlh 

< Tbs fifteentb cfanpter » in the Qnwlc ebapCer,) initead of the two Gnt nrmf «f 
and VnlgAle intcrtc^ imnudiatel; oAet Iba fifth efa^ilel. 



some extraneous particutars. So likewise the prayers of Mor- 
decai and Esther, contained in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
chapters, '^ as well as the letter in the thirteenth chapter,' and 
that in the sixteenth, " which concludes the apocryphal booh, are 
all obvionsly fictitious inventions designed by some rhetorical 
writer," to decorate aod complete the bbtory. They are pro- 
bably acconnts fabricated in desired conformity to particulars 
alluded to by the inspired writer in his book, and are interwoven 
with some ingenuity into the body of the work. The forgery is, 
however, occasionally betrayed by the introdnction of cir- 
cnmstances incompatible with the genuine parts," and rather 
inconustent with the period assigned to the history.^ Some 
Qreek and Latin copies contain still more extraneous particulars; 
and the Chaldee Paraphrase is loaded with accumulated additions. 
The copies, indeed, vary so much from each other, that Bel- 
luminei fancied that there must have been two original histories; 
the largest of which he conceived to comprise the Qreek additions. 
Our church jndicionsly adheres to the chapters which are con- 
tained in the Hebrew ; which are indisputably authentic, and 
famish an entire and valuable history. The adventitious parts 
are, however, suffered to continue in our bibles as profitable in a 
anbordinate degree. They deserve not to be incorporated with 
the genuine history, though they illustrate the characters, and 
dilate on the virtues displayed for our instruction by the sacred 

' TheK pokjen are placed in the Greek chap. ii. 1, with vi. 6, 
immedialel; tihei the KTenteeuth rena of ■■ The king ii made, in ehitp. iri. 10, to 

tlie fbarlli chaptn. >tf U Aman a MHCedonian ; and afterinurds 

I Thi» in the Greek i> added after the to talk of hii deiire " to translate the king- 

thirteeDtfa ttnt of the third chapter. It dom of the Perusni to the UacedoniBiii ;" 

might be groonded on tODie authentic nc- particnlan that lead ne to aiupect an ano- 

CODnU, ai the lobstance of it IS rekted b; ehroniam, aa the]' were more adapled to the 

Joiephua. KntimentB and circumstancei of n later pe- 

■ Tbii edict in the Greek ropiea foUova Hod, when the Perbiani and Macedonians 
the twelfth verse of the eighth chapter. II iFere at wai. In the ninth chapter of the 
Wieen, (rom the stjle, to have b«n origi- canonical book, Haman i> in the Greek 
BUij written in Greek ; and both the let- called a Macedonian, bnt the Hebrew word 
ten an mentjoned in the anthenlic book in tjinn, ihonld have been rendered, aa bj 
a mannei that ahewi they were not inaerted gt Jerom and in our translation, the Ag- 
io the biatary. Vid. Eith. iii. Ui nii. 13. agite; that is, of the race of Agag, king of 

• HUroiu ad Pad. et Enstoch. Siit. the Amalekitea. Joseph us describes Human 

Senens. Bib. lib. TJii. „ an Aiaalekita. Vid. Antiq. lib. iL c. 6. 

" Comp.ehBp.TL 3, with xii. i;dii^.T. Esther it 24; iiL 10. 
% with IT. i i chap. iiL 12, with xiiL 6 ; « Bellann. de Verb. Dei, lib. L e. 7. 




Tbb works of Solomon in general were empbaticslly §tyled the 
Books of Wisdom, and were so cited hj the fathers ; * and in the 
ecclesiastical language, the book of Wisdom comprehends not 
only all the authentic books of Solomon, but also Eccledasticos, 
and tbb which is called the Book of Wisdom, or, according to 
the Greek, the Wisdom of Solomon. The author of this book 
assnineB the title, and speaks in the character of that monarch;* 
but though it may, perhaps, contain some sentiments selected 
from bia works, and others ascribed to him by tradition,' it 
cannot be received as an inspired book ; and it was certainly 
composed long after the time of Solomon. It never was in the 
Hebrew Canon,"' and probably never in the Hebrew language.* 
It is not reckoned in the sacred catalogues of the earlier church; 
and the generality of ancient writers confess that it is not to be 
conudered as the work of Solomon. It contuns citations of 
scriptore from the Septuagint, even where that Temon differs 
from the Hebrew text;' and borrows from books written long 
after the time of Solomon.* 

The copy which has the highest pretensions to be considered 
as the original, is in Greek prose. Some learned men have 
fancied that they have discovered in this book, as well as in that 
of Ecclesiasticus, the Hebrew measure, which obtains in the 
authentic works of Solomon." The sentences have, indeed, often 
a poetical turn ; and in the Alexandrian manuscript, they are 
written stitch-wise, like the book of Job, of Psalms, and those 

> MeUW >p. Euub. EccUi. lib. iv. c. 25. lib. W. c. 18. 

Clent Epiat. tA Cot. EiniL 57. Origen. • August de Cjvit. Dd,li1i. iriL c 1& 

Horn. iTii. Cjptwu Tert. lib. iii c 16. HieroD. ProL OaL 

Ambrou da Pamd. Clem. Alei. Stronu ' Chap. t. 10, 11, froni Piut. m. 19; 

lib. TL eh. iL 12, Cram laaiah iiL 10. 

■■ Vid. c vii. 7 — 21, cmnpared with t Comiiare Wild. iii. \i, with IiaiBh 

IKirpiii. 13; liT. 29— !4. VJd. t riii IvL 4, fi; Wild. ii. 13, with I»i«hiL ISj 

14, 15, 19, 2l;ii. 7, S,&:. Wiad. xiii. 11, withlninh iliv. 13; Wild. 

° Barto Cocceiiu BibUalh. Rnbb. loin. L v. 1 B. with luiah lii. 17 ; Wi>d. ii. 6. 7, 

p. 249. with Iiaiah In. 12. 

<■ Melito Epist. ad OnMim. EoKb. Iliit. ^ Vid. Orabe'i Proli^. torn, ult c i. 2. 

EtclcL Kb. IT. c 25. Athan. Synop. Epi- Calmet'a Diet, in WImL Epiptuuu de Pmi- 

e* BD. de PoDd. et Menaur. Hienm. Prol. in der. et Menmr. 
b. SoUm. Joh. Dsmiucen. de Fid. Ortfaod. 



of SotomoD, to which this was Bobjoined in some old Latin 
translations, and by Dr. Grabe in his edition. Hence Bome bave 
conceived that it was translated from the Hebrew into Greek ; 
and some, with less reason, suppose it to have been translated 
fituD the Chaldee, in which langnage R. Moses Ben Nachmaa 
professes to have seen it,' though probably what he saw was a 
translation from the Qreek into that langaage. 

Bnt in whatever langnage it was written, it bas always been 
deservedly esteemed as a treasure of wisdom. It was composed 
in mutation of the style of Solomon, though, perhaps, not 
designed to pass for his work, but to communicate such instruc- 
tions as might be consistent with his assumed character. Many 
ancient writers have cited it as a work attributed to Solomon,' 
and as not unworthy, from its resemblance to his writings, to be 
conffldered as the performance of that enlightened monarch ; and 
some appear to have considered it as his genoine production. 
Lactantius, with other writers, represents, in loose citation, the 
description of the just man persecuted, which is contained in the 
second chapter, to be a prophecy delivered by Solomon con- 
cerning our Saviour^s sufferings.' It is certain, however, that 
the book was not written by Solomon, as St. Austin, who like- 
wise considers this passage as prophetic, allows.™ The antiquity 
and high importance of the book appear to have excited great 
reveronce in the ancient church ;° and some of the fathers seem 
to have tbonght that the book of Wisdom, and that of Eccle- 
SMsticus, contained passages, at least, that were inspired. St. 
Austin a£Srms that the Christian writers who immediately suc- 
ceeded the apostles, adduced its testimony as divine;" but it 

' R. HoMa Den Nachman, ProL Coin, in tbe church ; whenai tfae inapind bsaki 

Peotat. were read b; llie prieiti and tnahopt from 

'' Cleni. Alex. Strom. lib. Ti. p. 6S9. ■ mom ctmipiciioni pbce. I>a Grsda 

EnMb. Hiat. Eccles. lib. tL c 7- TertoL EpiKopomin. Vid. Anguit. de Pnedoat. 

copt. Murion, lib. iiL Origeo. coot. CeU c. U. |. S7. tUL Antwerp, 
lib. iil a HomiL 8. in Exod. Hieron. in ■> St Anatin ma^ be undontood to mean, 

Fwlm IniiL that the; wba dted Wi^. it. II, cited it 

' lA^tank de Ver. Sap. lib. if. %. IS. a* a taithfnl taying, end a> gnonded on 

Wild. ii. 13—21. divine authority. Vid. de Piadeit. SoncL 

■ Angnat. de CiTit. Dei,lib. xnL c 20. c U. £.28. et QTFiwi. L. do Mortal et 

■ SL Anitin aajra, "Non debuit le- I~ Teitim. 3 ad Quiiin. Si. Aostiii laja, 
pndiari aententia Libri sapientiK, qni likewiK, of thi* book, is an hjperbolical 
merait in Ecelctia Chriiti de gndn lee- encomium, that it deservei "ab omnibua 
tonun, tarn longl annoaitsle redtaii" Chmtiania, emn Tenemtione diviiue aDclo- 
Fkhd thia it ahonid Mem, iliat the apo- ritaiii andM." Vid. «1m>, da poet. Chtiat, 



doea not appear that they, or St. Anatio bimself, coDudered the 
book ae really the work of an inspired peaman, since he allowed 
that neither this book, nor that of Ecclenasticas, were produced 
against gainsajers with the eame authoritr as the undoubted 
writings of Solomon. And he elsewhere admits, that after the 
death of Mftlachi, the Jews had no prophet till the appearance 
of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist.'' And the fathers, 
indeed, in general, howerer they might be dazded by particiilar 
passages, or consider them as fragments of inspired writings, 
represent the book of Wisdom as inferior to the canonical books; 
they esteem it as a work of admirable tendency, and as of a 
scriptural cliarac^r, but not as absolutely derived from the 
suggestions of the Holy Spirit.'' 

Some partial councils' admitted it as canouical in a secondary 
interpretation of that word ; but it was always considered as 
inferior to the books contained in the Hebrew catalogue, till by 
the peremptory decision of the council of Trent it was received 
as a work of equal authority with them. Still, howerer, the 
most zealous defenders' of the Romish church acknowledge, 
that it never was in the Hebrew Canon as composed by Ezra;' 
at the closing of which we have every reason to believe that the 
spirit of inspiration ceased. 

The book was probably written by an Hellenietical Jew ; bat 
whether before or after Christ, has been disputed. Orotine is 
of opinion, that it was originally written in Hebrew by a Jew 
who lived at some time intermediate between Ezra and Simon 
the Just ; and that it was translated by a Cbrietian, with some 
freedom and additions of evangelical doctrine. But the style, as 

P Augnit. de Civit. Dei, Ub. iTiii. & 24. time* ifierwHidi forged or altered, and 
1 It II expreralj reprSKnted u inferior which wera not teceiTcd bj leaiiaeTucil 
to the ncied booki by many write™. Vid. coundli. Vid. Cotin't SchoL Hiit Dn Kb, 
Hiennh. de DiTin. Nonin. c. t. Eueb. Hitt. Ecdta. et Bib. Fat. torn. L p,, 1. et 
Hilt. EccIh. lib. Ti, c. 12. Athan. Epiit. Anuld'i note to Calmet'i Piebcc 
39. el Synop. EpipbiD. de Pond, et Meniur. ■ At ladore, Nicephonu, Babaua* 
Philait. de Hsrei. Prodiant. BanL PmC, Msnrni, Hugo, Lyrtui, Cajetan. Vid. 
Com. ID I^T. Aoguat, de CiriL Dei, lib. Nicepb. lib. iv. c S3. LimbOTcL Theolog. 
TTiL c. 20, Hugo de S. Viet, de Script, et ChriiL lib. L c 3. Uekh. Cwraa Loc. 
Scriptot. Sac. e. 6. Them. Aqaimu, in Theolog. lib. t. cap. ult BaioD. Ana. ton. 
DionTi. de Divin. Horn, c 4. lect ii. Du viii. ad Ann. 693. Calmet'i PraGwe. 
Pin, Din. PnL ' Indore in one place relatei, that aonw 
' Ai the third conncil of Carthage, that penont nported that it waa expunged from 
of SardifL, and that of Conitantinople in the Jewiah Canon becauae it contained a 
Trollo; the eieTenth of Toledo, and that dear piophecj-ofChriit: anidlehble,whi(li 
* " ' - . lyQBJ,^ o( corrupt Iiidon muat hare diaeradilad, Vid. Offic 
the lib. i. c. 12. 

rill unduly iaflueoced, of which 
IB relative to the leriptniei were w 



St. Jerom has observed, iadicates ratbet the artificial contexture 
of Grecian eloquence, than the terseness and oompreBsire sim- 
plicity of the Hebrew language. The hook is also replete with 
allusions to Greek mythology, and with imitations of Grecian 
vriters ; with whose works, and especially with those of Plato, 
the author appears to have been intimately acquainted. 

St. Jerom informa as, that many ancient writers affirmed that 
the book of Wisdom was written by Philo Judsus ; by whom 
the generality of commentators" suppose to have been meant 
the Philo senior, who is mentioned by Josephns as having ^r- 
nished some relattona concerning the Jews which were tolerably 
MthAil," and who is generally supposed to hare flourished 
before or about the time of the Maccabees ; and there are many 
reasons which should lead as to suppose that the book' was 
written before the birth of Christ. But as some passages in 
the book seem to indicate an acquaintance with the particulars 
of the Gospel dispensation, and to be imitative of parts of the 
New Testament, many persons have mtuntained that the author 
must have lived after the publication of the evangelical writings ; 
and some have supposed, from a conformity between the 
principles and sentiments contained in ifiis hook and those 
dispersed through the works of Philo' of Alexandria, which we 
now possess, that he was the author of it.* Dr. Rainolds 
imagines that it was composed about A. B. 42, upon the 
occasion of an order from the emperor Caligula, that his statue 
should be set up and adored in the temple of Jerusalem,'' 
when Philo was sent to Some by the Jews to plead against this 
profanation, but without effect. This supposition the learned 

■ Hkren. Pne£ in Prarerfc. Salom. This Pbilo ma a diffumt penan from 

Hnet. Prop. it. Bounet PneC in Lib. Philo Bibliai, who flonriilied onder Adrian 

Sap. Driado de Eteka. Dmn. c 4. and Trajan. 

' Joaeph. oonL Apion. lib. L Joupbni ' Ongtn. cont. Cela. lib. i. Eiueb. 

' nmariii, that Pbilo, and aoino other hia- Demonat. Evan. lib. i c. G. Sdden da 

toiiana of whom be apeaka, were entitled Pentatanch. 

to indo^tnce, aa tbej had it not in their ■ Pint pabliahed at Parii, bv Timebu^ 

pover to become iiCciLTately acqatunted in 15£2 ; aflerwatda at London, b^ Dr. 

with the Hebrew wiilingi; from whicb Hangey, in 1742, 3 Tola. Vid. collated 

we may collect, that be wai ignorant of paiaogei in Catmet't Diaaertation ani 

the Uebnw language, and prob^j he waa I'Antanr du LiTra da la Segewa. 
an Helleniitic Jew, which ia canaiitent * BaaiL Epiat. ad Amphilooh. Job. 

with the account of St. Jerom. Some Beleth. de DiT. Offic c 60. Whitaker'a 

poetital fragmenta of Pbilo relatiTe to the Origin of Arianiam, p. 133 — 136. 
ntiiaicha are citad by Alexander Poly. ■■ Sueton. in Vita Caliguls, e. 22. Joieph. 

hiator. Vid. EoaebL Pnep. Evang. lib. ii. Antiq. lib. xriil c 8. Rain. CeDlor. Apoc 

c. 20. et 24. Gam. Alex. Slron. lib. I Pnelsct 22. 


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writer defends, as consBtent with the argument and drift otfthe 
book of Wisdom ; and to this idea he refers those precepts in 
the first and sixth chapters, which describe the duty of princes, 
as well as the denunciations against tjrants and idolatry, and 
conceives that tbey were designed to convey admonition and re- 
proof to Caligula. 

But notwithstanding the many presumptive arguments that 
have been arged in support of this opinion, there is some reason 
to believe that the work was not written by Philo of Alexandria,' 
but, indeed, previously to the birth of Christ. Some passages in 
it appear to be cited by writers who were nearly contemporary 
with Philo;'' and it is probable that a work professing to be the 
production of Solomon, was published under the Jewish dispen- 
sation ; as, indeed, by the generality of writers it was supposed 
to be. 

The correspondence which has been conceived to exist be- 
tween this book and the works of Philo, might, it is said, be 
occasioned by the imitations of the latter ; and the supposed re- 
semblances between passages in this book and others in the New 
Testament, may be thought, on examination, to be either imitar 
tions of similar passages in the sacred books of the Old Teslar 
ment,* or sach casual coincidences' of sentiments or expressions 
as may be found between all works treating on the same subject 

■ Tbii Philo ura* veiy coDTenaDt with and lii. IS. 
the Bcred miltiigi, and indoteed hiniKK • Thiu Witd. u. 18, and HmU. zxrii. 

too much in the fiuicifol explioitiong of 43, might both be drriied fnHn PnL iiii. 

them. Mil woihi, which blend the piio- 8, 9; la Wud. iil 7, mad Matt xiii. 4S, 

ciplei of Plato with the doctriaet of might be {mm Dan. lii. 3 ; Wiad. iL 7, B, 

icriptnre, on loppoied to hBTe been the ana 1 Cor. XT. 32, from Ib. ixiL lS,»Dd 

lonree at which Origan and the mjitioU ItL 12 ; Wild. t. IS, 19, and Ephei. ri. 

wiitcn imbibed an eitiBTaoant apirit of 14, from In. lii. 7; Wild, vi 7, and Aita 

figuistJTe intetprelatioo. Philo ii repre- i. St, &c. from 2 Chron. zix. 7, or ban 

•anted to hare lived in friendihip with SL Job iiiir. 19; Wild. ix. 9, and John L 

Pelei at Rome in the ie«n of UlBadiuat 1—3, 10, from PrOT. nil 22; Wild. ix. 

to hare been conTerled to Chiutiani^, and 13, and Rom. xL 34, or 1 Coc, ii. I6,Eraii 

to hats afterwaida apottaljied. Vid. In. il. IS; Wied. iv. 7, and Rom. ii. 31,' 

Jowph. lib. liiL c 10. EuKb, Hiat. lib. from laa. xIt. 9, and Jems. irUL 6 ; Wild. 

at3,I7,l8. Phot. Cod. 106, flieron. ixi. 26, and Matt It. 4, from DenfriiL 5 i 

de Script. Eodet c. 1 1. Eiuob. Pnep. Uh. Wild, iiL 8, and t Cor. tL 3, 8, from ftoi. 

Tii. c 12. Some anthon maintain that Tii. 18—22. 

the book of Wi«iom diffeti widetjr from ' Comp. Wild, tl 3, with Rom. liiL I; 

the alyle of Fhilo, and mntaini tome prin- Wild, vil 26, with Heb. L 3 ; Wild. lii. 

dplei T^ oppoiite to thoae laid down in 24, with Rom. i, S3; Wied. xtiL 1, with 

hii worica. Vid. Calmet, Pic&n tur te Rom. i. IS, 20. Then it, howeTet, no 

Livie de la Sageue. reaioB why the evangelical writen ihonid 

<■ Barnab. E|aiL Irom Wild. iL 12. not be rappoeed to have occauonally addled 

Clan. Rom. Kiriit. ad Corinth, c. iii, from the eipieMione, or eron the •r-"' '- "' 

Wild. iL 24; c xirii, from Wild. xL 22, a pion* though unimpind w ' 

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It need Dot, however, be supposed, that the beantifnl passage 
contained in the second chapter, thongrh written before the 
coming of Christ, can confer any character of inspiratioD on th« 
book ; for if we consider the description of the just man per- 
secuted and condemned to a sbamefol death by his conspiring 
enemies, as bearing a prophetic aspect to the enfferings and con- 
demnation of our Saviour by the Jews, it might still have been 
Jramed by a writer conversant with the prophetic books,' with- 
out any inspired knowledge. But it is, perhaps, only applicable 
by casual accommodation and undesigned resemblance to oar 
Savionr, who might be eminently styled " the just man,^ and 
who was, in an appropriate sense, the Son of God. The pic- 
ture seems, indeed, to be copied and applied to others by sub- 
sequent writers." 

The passages in which the author seems to impersonate the 
word of Ood,' and to attribute to it distinct powers and effects, 
need not be considered as intentionally prophetic of the at- 
tributes and operations of the second person in the Trinity; 
but were probably designed as generally descriptive of God^s 
omnipotent proceedings, or were accidentally figurative of 
Christ's chantcter, by being borrowed, as to their exprebsions, 
from parts of the sacred writings.^ So, likewise, those beautiful 
encomiums on wisdom with which the book abounds, though 
written with a piety highly enraptured and sublime, are not to 
be considered as inspired and concerted illustrations of that 
perfect wisdom which dwells in an especial degree in Christ; 
but were designed only to celebrate, that created wisdom, which 
being derived as an emanation from Qod, reflects bis unspotted 
perfections, and irradiates the minds of those to whom it is 
imparted. The author, however, in imitation, perhaps, of So- 
lomon's attractive imagery,' personifies this divine wisdom ; and 

■ Camp. chap. ii. 12, apsciallj' m cited ^ DsuL tiiL 3; uiiL 39; I Swn.iiS; 

b; BanuilBi, witli laaiah iii. 10 ; ctup. iL Paal. eriL 20. 

IB, with PuL iiiL 8, or nL 9, in tha ' Piot. viu. The magnifieeiil deKiiption 

Septnngint See iiiwi Matt, iKiL 43, which Solomon hare give* of the divine 

where Dand'a prophitic eipnuioni an wiadom, waa often applied bj the ancient 

need. The righteoui are often called the Christiana to thai et^nal wiMlom which 

■one of Ood, in a general senK. Vid. waa revealed U ouuikind in Christ, oi 

Eiod. ir. 22 ; PiOT. i. S, 10 ; Wild. iriiL rather to oiu Saviaiu'a peraon, who waa 

13; V. S, binuelf Ihe eternal Word and Wiedam of 

^ Pbto de Repnb. lih. ii Cicero de the Father. Bui it waa, perhapi, only 

Itepnb. lib. iii. Lactant. Inititut. lib. n. generally npplicnble to Onl'i rereoled 

S.17. eiSeneoB Lib. Moral Philoaoph. wiidom. Vid. Jutt. Mart. p. 267. edit, 

'Cb^. ii.l;iyi.l2,13,26; XTm.15. Thirib. 



therefore tfae deBcrtption neceasarily bears a resemUa&ce to the 
obaracter of Chrut, in whom the fulnesa of wiedom peraonally 

Bat thongb the work be not derived from that in&Uible spirit 
of which the stamp and character are to be discovered only in 
the sacred books, it was erideotly the production of a pious and 
enlightened writer; of one who, by appUcaUon to revealed 
wisdom, had acquired some portion of its excellence, and leamt 
to imitate its laugnage. And except in some few passages, 
where we are tempted to suspect a tiunt of false philosophy,' 
or fictitiouB additions to the accounts of sacred history," there 
is nothing id the book inconastent with the accounts, or nn- 
fiiTonrable to the designs of revelation ; it offers much sublime 
admooitioD to the prioceB and leaders of mankind ; it paints, in 
very eloquent description, the folly and consequences of idolatry ; 
overthrows many pernicious errors, and delivers just information 
ooDcemiog a futnre life and judgment. The six first chapters, 
which form, as it were, a preface to the book, are a hind of 
paraphrase of the nine first chapters of the book of Proverbs; 
in the seventh and eighth chapters, the author proposes himself 
as an example, under the name of Solomon ; the ninth chapter 
is a paraphrase of the prayer which Solomon made to the Lord 
at the beginning of his reign ;" and from the tenth chapter to 
the end, is a continuation of the same prayer dilated ; which, 
though extended to a considerable length by the intermixture 
of nice disqaintions and extraneous discourse, is still apparently 
imperfect. The style of this book is various ; it is often tragical, 
and sometimes tur^d, and not seldom elegant and subhme; it 
abounds in epithets and poetical imagery. The author often 
imitates the sententious periods of Solomon, but with less 
success, says bishop Lowth, than the author of the succeeding 


This book, hke the preceding, has sometimes been considered as 
the production of Solomon, from its resemblance to the inspired 



works of that writer.* In the Latiu cbarcb it was esteemed the 
last of the five books attributed to him. It is cited as the work 
of that enlightened king by several of the fathers; was joined 
with his books in most of the copies ; and, like them, is written 
with a kind of metrical arrangement in the Alexandrian maau- 
Bfwipt, being supposed to have been composed originally in 
metre.'' Still, however, it must have been written long after 
the time of Solomon, who with the sncceeding prophets, that 
flourished before and after the captivity, is here mentioned;' 
mnce the high-priest Simon, who lived a little before the 
Maccabees, is spoken of; since the words of Malachi are cited ; ** 
and since the author describes himself in circamstauces that 
could not have occurred to Solomon.* The book can only be 
supposed to contain some scattered sentiments of Solomon, 
industriously collected,' with other materials for the work, by an 
Hebrew writer styled Jesus ; who professes himself the author,* 
and who is represented to have so been by his grandson ;*" but 
who, indeed, imitates the didactic style of Solomon, and, like 
him, assumes the character of a preacher. 

Jesus was, as we learn from the same authority, a man who 
had travelled much in the pnrsuit of knowledge ; who was very 
conversant with the scriptures, and desirous of producing, in 
imitation of the sacred writers, some useful work for the instruc- 
tion of mankind ; and who having collected together many 
valuable sentences from the prophets and other writers, theit 
successors, compiled them into one work, with some original 
additions of his own production. What this Jesus produced in 
the Syriac, or vulgar Hebrew of his time, his grandson trans- 
lated into Greek for the benefit of his countrymen in Egypt, 
who by long disuse had forgotten the Hebrew tongue. To this 
grandson we are indebted for the possession of a valuable work, 
of which the original is now lost, though St. Jerom professes 

* Origaa. HomiL in Lib. Nmnsr. Horn. I Burtolocc Bib. 1Mb. torn. L p. 249. 
in EKkuL ChryiMtcnii. in Pi^ cinoT. * Chip. L 27. 

CfpriBiL Ub. iiL epiat. 9. Tntim. lib. iiL ' See the eecoiid protofue. Thit pro- 

S. B6, 113. et Hikr. in PuL ciUt. logue is in ftll (be o^iea of the Vulgale, 

* Enphan. de Pond, et Menmr. ind in the Rmaui edition of iLe Oreek. 
' CbapL ztiiL 13, &c It ii prebeblj the authentic worii of the 

* Chap. xlviiL 10, bom Malaeh. ir, 6. ffrandeon, tbongb it ia not in the Sjriae or 
< Chap. zrdT. 11, 12; li. 6. Arebk veruoni. Vid. Eueeb. in Cbrgn. 
' Dnu. Obeerrat lib. i. cap. 18. Alha- Ilieion. in Dan. ix. Epipban. Ilieni. 8. 

nauui calli Jeiiu 'OnSat tdu ZaAii/uivDi, In the Roman edition of the (inek, it is 
Salamatu Auida, Vid. Athao. Sjnop. entitled rimpl/ " the Prokigue,'' 



to have seen it.' The copies of which Monster and Paulm 
FaginS speak, were probably Ben Sira's alphabet, or modem 
traDslations from the Greek. 

It has been a subject of some dispute, whether the grand- 
father or grandson be the person who shoald be described as the 
son of Siracb. The book is entitled the Wisdom of Jesas the 
Son of Sirach ; and this title mnst apply to the anthor, as the 
book cannot be SDpposed to bare been denominated by the name 
of the trauBlator. The author likewise describes himself as the 
son of Siracb in the fifty-first chapter, which appears to be the 
work of the same author.* The translator, who is usually called 
Jesus, is likewise styled the Son of Sirach by Epiphanius;' and by 
the author of tbe Anonymous Prologue, which is supposed to 
have been written by Atbanaaiue, as it is extracted from the 
Synopsis attributed to bim, and prefixed to this book,™ in 
some Greek, and in all the Latin editions, as well as in our 
translation; and it is not improbable, that the younger Jesos 
might likewise have been a sou of Siracb, as names were often 
so eotailed in families. 

Uenebrard says," that Jesns, the author of this boob, was a 
priest of the race of Joshua, tbe son of Josedech ;° and Isidore 
represents him as hie grandson, though be must have lived mach 
too long after Joshua to have been so nearly related to him.'' 
Huet and Galmet, in agreement with some rabbinical writers, 
suppose that tbe author was tbe same person with Ben Sira, a 
Jewish writer, of whom an alphabet of Proverbs is extant, both 
in Chaldee and Hebrew,** which corresponds in so many par- 

' HiecoiL Pta£ in Lib. Salom. StJeKWi u of tlie ume unthorit; u that of tbe 

infonni in, tb»t the Hebrew cqij which Sjnoprii, which whi pmhably written by 

he i«w wi» cDtitled Pamblet, (or Provcrbi,) Athanaiiai biihop of Aleiflndna, who lircil 

DuaaODiit, piohably, of tbe proTecbial and between A. D.USand 490, ■boTeacentuiT 

MPtentioiu forvD in which ite pncepti were after the great Athonuiiu. 
conveyed. " Chronot. p. 16. 

' Orotim, withoat any leBBon, attribulei ° Haggai i. 1. 
it, together with tbe thiee UitietBeaaf the ' Some Qreek mnnuKripti make the 

foregoing chapter, to the gnuidion. anthor a gtondaon of ^eaiar. Vtd. ap> 

' EpiphaiL de Pond, et Henaur. ludor. Drua. ad ch. i. 3. Othen make him a 

de Ecclea. Offic m lib. i. c. IQ. Euaeb. de contempoisir with Eleaiar ; and Kane 

Pnep. lib. viii. c 2. Kieron. in Dan. ix. writen pretend that he waa one of the 

AuguiL de Doct. Chriat. lib. 3. Orotini, aeventy interpieten aent by Eleaiar to 

Cruaiui, Sic Ptolemy Phikdctphua, a penoD of the 

■■ Thia Fnloguo ia prefiied to the Greek name ot Jeaua being mentioned in the Hat 

in the Antwerp Polyglot, and to lonM giiien by Aiiatfeua. Huet &ndea dut 

other Greek editiona ; but It la not in the Jenu, the gnuidaan, waa the aaae penon 

Roman edition, nor in the moM ancient wltb Jouphua, the eon of ITziel, and gnnd- 

copie*, nor in the Arabic or Sytiac versiona. ton of Ben Sira. 
Ita accounta can thercfbie he received only * Both were publiahed with > I^tin 



ticulars with the book of EccleBiasticoH, that Huet and other 
writers have considered it as a corrnpted copy of the Hebrew 
work of Jesus. If, however, as others coutend, Ben Sira is to 
be coDNdered as a different person, and, according to traditionary 
accoaots, the oephew of Jeremiah,' it must be admitted that the 
author of Ecclesiasticue has borrowed many things from his 
work, since such a conformity as exists between them conid 
scarcely be accidental.* 

The author of this book is by Calmet and others supposed to 
hare flourished so late asunderthe pontificate of Onias the Third; 
and to have fled iuto Egypt on account of the afflictions brought 
on bis country by Antiochus Epiphanes, about one hundred and 
seventy-one years before Christ, to whose persecution they con- 
ceive that some parts of the book refer.' As, however, the 
passages produced in support of this opinion bear no direct re- 
lation to particular calamities, but contain only general sup- 
plications for prosperity, and for the triumphant restoration of 
their tribes, which the Jews expected to experience in the 
advent of the Messiah; as the euloginm contained in the 
fiftieth chapter was probably designed for Simon the Just, the 
first high-priest of the name of Simon, whom the author appears 
to have remembered, and who died A. M. 3711 ;" and aa the 
younger Jesus went into Egypt in the reign of Euergetes the 
Second, sumamed Physcon, who was admitted to a share in the 
throne A. M. 3835 ;' it is more probable that, agreeably to the 
calculations of other chronologists, the book was written about 
A. M. 3772, when the author was, perhaps, about seventy years 
of age; and that it was translated about sixty or sixty-three^ 

tnudatioQ "bj Fagiui, at laoa, in 1542. JoMpb. Ant. lib. lii. cnp. 2. Enub. in 

Ben Sin'i book is laii] to bate been re- Cbronic. Cenebr. Com«1. a I«pide. Dnium, 

ceiycd by the Jein, among the Hagio- Prid. ad An. 292. The second StiODn ii 

gnipha of lecondaT; rank. Vid. DaTid in mentioned in Anti<). lih. lii. c 4. He op- 

Baba Cama, C. Hachobel. powd Ptolemy Philopater's entrance into 

' Bojrtorf. et Bartolocc. Bib. Rabbin. the laneniarT. See the third book of Mac- 

• Cornel, a Lapid. Com. in Eccloa. cabeea. Prid. Con. Ann. 217. p. 82, 

He reigned 
tion witii P)i 

Vid. also, t 
12 ; lUY ; and li; whidi, however, eon- 
tain no particulsn eicluiivel; applicable to . 
the time of Antiocbua. jean alone, after the death of hii Inotfaer. 

' Two Simona, both sons of 0^ia^ and Vid. Uiher'a Annale, A. C. US. Vaillant 
both bigb-prieale, are mentioned by Jo- in Ptolem. viL ad An. Lagid. 192. Prid. 
•epbui. The fint, loniomed JoitUB, who, CDn.A.aiG<t. 

■a the last of the great lynagogae, ia snp- ' Uaher aoppoaei it to hare been Irani- 
poeed to bare revised and completed the lated thirty-oigbt yean earlier. 
Cuum, ii celebrated in thii book. Vid. 



jeare after, neoriy at the time that it is supposed by Calmet to 
have been written. 

The translator professes to have found the book aft«r be had 
coDtinued some time in Egypt,* where it might ha¥e been 
deported by his grandfather:* it was called Ecclesiastious^ by 
the Latins, which title, though nearly synonymous with the 
Preacher, was designed to distinguiah it from the book of Eo- 
cleaiastes. In G-reek, it is called the Wisdom of Jesus the Son 
of Sirach.' It is much to be admired for the excellency of its 
precepts, and none of the apocryphal books fbmisb such ad- 
mirable instruction as this. Bat it has no title to be oonsiderod 
as an inspired work, though it contains many passages derived 
from the sacred writings, and especially from those of Solomon;'' 
and some which have a slight resemblance to parts of the New 
TestameDt,* by accidental coincidence of thought and expression, 
or by concurrent imitation of the early writers of the Old Testa- 
ment. The book never was in the Hebrew Canon ; nor was it 
received by the primitive chnrch of Christ, since it is not Id the 
moat ancient and aatheotio catalogues, and is expressly repre- 
sented as an nncanonical book by maay ancient writers.' It is 
however cited with great raveronce by the fathers of the Greek 
and Latin church,' many of whom eadeavoored to strengths 
their religious opinions by the sentimcDta contained in a book so 
deservedly and so generally approved. It is cited as scripture, 
in a general sense of the word, by many provincial synods, and 
received as io a lower degree canonical by some councils after 

* It i* oncertuD from wlutt en tha ei^t * In the Romui edition, it it inprtfierif 
and thirtietli jeu meation«d in tha pro- aty led th« Wudom of Sincb. 

logne U reckoned. It might be thAt of the ' Eoclni. pusim, «nd Huet. Prop. it. 

tnuuhtoT'i age. If wa auppoM it to hare ■ Huet. and nuiginal rebreDea* in ani 

been the thulj-eighth ytai of PCnleniy'i Bible. 

imgn, abare one boadred yean moat have ' Prol. at Jemi. Can. ApoaL can. nlL 

iDlarraned betireen the time of miting, Eoaeb. Hiit. Ecclet. lib. tI c 12. Atlian. 

and that of tranalsting the book. Epiat 39. el Sfnop. Epiphan. de Pond. 

■ It ia pmbohle that Jeaai, by iAg/uxor, et Mena. PhUasU Hearaik PiodiaDt Augnal. 

or ipoiuuar, mant ■ cap<r of thia book, de Cirit Dm, liU iTii. c 20. Uienn. 

In the anonfmona Pnlogue it ia laid, that PnL in Lib. Solom. Niceph. lib. ir. e. 

Jeaoi nceiTed the book Eram hii &that; S3. 

whiiji perhapa he might, either in Egjrpl * Banab. Epiat. Coniiit. Apoat. lib. tS. 

or elaewhare ; foe he doea not la; abaolatd<r c 1 1. deni. Alex. Strmn. lib. viL Otigen 

that ha fonnd the book in ^Tpt, bat that in Eiek. Ham. ii. rant. Cela. lib. ti. 

being in Eifpt, and baTing found the book, Cjprian. de Haaret. Bi^tii. §. 27. Hilar, in 

he judged it worthy a troiulation. 7 at. nip. 3. Hatt. Epiphan. Haana. 7G- 

* Some think that it waa callad Ecde- rant. AatiuD. Aogoat. Lib. de OttX. el 
x,aa th( --■■-.- " 

la bT way of eminence, aa the moil Lib. Aibit 
la of tha 



tbe fonrth century.'' It was, however, Tuiiversallj coDsidered as 
inferior to the books derived from the Hebrew Canon, till re- 
ceived as of eqasl aathority by the onadvised and nDdiscrimi- 
nating decree of the cooncil of Trent.' 

All the oopieB of this book now extant vary conndembly from 
each other; and the Ltttin, of which the date and author are 
nncertwn, has many ropetittons and additioqs, interwoven, seem- 
iagly, as paraphrastical ornaments, by the translator, or some 
sobsequent writer. The Oreek version, as made early and imme- 
diately from the original, is most entitled to consideration. This 
translation, however, seems to have been composed with too 
servile adherence to the original, and has often the obscnrity of a 
literal construction. 

The translator was sensible of its defects, and apprehensive, 
as he has be«a since accused, of misinterpreting his author.* 
There has been a derangement of chi^iters between the thirtieth 
and thirty-sixth;' which, as well as many corruptions and 
variations, may be imputed to the carelessness of transcribers.'" 
The old English versions, as those of Coverdale and the Bishops' 
Bible, by a too rigid adherence to the Vulgate, adopted many 
errors. Our last translators, though not servilely attached to 
any copy, seem chiefly to have regarded the Complutensian : 
which, though suspected of conforming its Greek to the Vulgate, 
is by Dr. Orabe" mentioned with praise, as derived &om the 
most ancient manuscripts. Their vermon is, however, in some 
places inaccurate and obscure, and sometimes erroneous. 

The work begins with an eulogiom on wisdom ; and many 
important instructions are delivered to the twenty-fourth chapter, 
when Wisdom herself is introduced, and is supposed to continue 
to speak, to the fifteenth verse of the forty-second chapter. 
Here the collection of wise sayings, which aro obviously written 
in imitation of the Proverbs of Solomon, concludes: and the 
author solemnly enters upon a pions hymn, in which he celebrates 
Ood's wisdom, in a strain highly rapturous and sublime ; and 
finishes his work with a panegyric on the illustrious characters 
of his own nation, and with a prayer or thanksgiving for some de- 
liverance which the author had personally experienced." 

^ CoDcil. Cartb. 3. can. 47. " Htuchtlini. 

■ CondL Trid. Sch. i. ■> OraU'i Prolq. cap. 3. §. 1. 

^ PlolggiM of Jeua and Dnitiiu. ° Prideani, with Ointiui, attributea this 

I Calmat Cumi. in dwp. xxz. 27. pnjer to Ihe gmidiai, becaoM Ptokmj 



Tbia dirisioD, says Valesias,' is a manifest copy of the toetliod 
and order of Solomon's writings, and exhibits an imitation of 
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles; tbongh some maintun 
that the author lefl his work imperfect.'' The book contains a 
line system of moral, political, and theological precepts, arranged 
in a less deanltory manner than the Proverbs of Solomon ; and 
dietribnted under c^mn heads, which seem to have been formeriy 
classed under difierent titles, many of which are still extant in 
some of the Greek copies. Some learned men have pretended 
to discover in the book the more secret and abstruse wisdom 
ascribed to Solomon, and tanght in the schools of the Jevrish 
doctors.' But it is chiefly valuable for the iamiliar lessouB 
which it affords for the direction of manners, in every circam- 
stance and conditioD, and for the general precepts which it com- 
municates towards the daily regulation of life. Its maxims are 
explained by much variety of illustration, and occasionally ex- 
emplified in the description of character. The ancient writers 
entitled it Uavaperoit, considering it as a complete compendium 
of moral virtues; and, perhaps, no nninapired production ever 
displayed a morality more comprehensive, or more captivating 
and consistent with the revealed laws of Qod. The book 
fnrniehes, also, an instructive detail of the sentiments and 
opinions that prevailed in the time of the author ; it shews the 
impatience that then prevailed for the appearance of the ex- 
pected Messiah;* and the firm confidence in the hope of a fu- 
ture life and judgment, which had been built upon the assurances 
of the Law and the Prophets. It serves, likewise, to prove, 

PhyKon wiu a greater tf rant than bit pre- Sec, b1>o, cfaap. 1. 22, 23. Tbete piona (up- 
def«won, ID wboM reigni ths gnmd&tber plicatiooi for Kmie fbture bleniiig* indit- 
might hsTe reaidrd in Egjpt: but tbe tinctif detcribcd, proceeded bom a con- 
author ippaki snlf of £iIk occaeation to fidence in the prvmlKB of the prmdiet*; 
the king, which bj no meaaa impliet that and the Jeva, wbo, ia tbe eipectatiOD of 
the king countenanced tbe peraecuUon ; their Mewah, hadatiintrtgard onl^toone 
and, indeed, if be hod, tbe author vonld adrent, looked to the full accompltahment 
hardly haio etcapcd fhim, or at leaat have of the propheciei in hii orriTal, and there- 
complained of the cnieltj. The grandfather (bm allude in their prajera to die expected 
night likewiK have been accDHd before ■ conieraion of the Genres, the final ton- 
king of tome other counliy. gregation of the liibei, and tbeir triumphant 

P Not. ad Script. Ecile>. lib. it. c. 22. Tictoriee, which remain ^t to be fclfiUai 

IThe Anan;inDuiFn)logiicu;B,''Blmait Tbe prayer ipoken of in chap. E 10, i* 

perfected." »lated by Mr. Wliilakerlo eonbun an 

' Lee'a Dias. on the Second B«k of acknowledgment of the eecond peraon ia 

Eadni, p. SS. tbe Oodhekd, and ii adduced aa a proof of 

• Chap. E^iTTi. 1— ]7, the fint part of the belief of the Jewi in Hiat enentiBl 

which i> cited by St. Auatin, aa a kind of doctrine before the incarnation of our 

prophetic pnyer for the aniTal of Chiiat. Lord. See tbe Origin of Arianiim IKa- 

Vid. Angnit. de Cirit Dei, lib. itil e. 20. cloaed, p. 122. 



that as the Gospel dispensation approached, the Jews were pre- 
pared for its reception, by being more enlightened to noderstand 
the spiritual import and the figurative character of the Law. 


The author of this book professes himself to be Baruch, a 
person of very illustrious birth, and distinguished by hia attach- 
ment to Jeremiah, and who was employed by that prophet as a 
scribe or secretary to write his prophecies," and on some occa- 
sions to read them to those against whom they were directed. 
St. Jerom, Orotius, and others are however of opinion, that 
the book was not written by Baruch, nor in the Hebrew lan- 
guage, but by some Hellenistical Jew, who assumed the character 
of Bamch ; and that the letter, which forms a part of the 
book, was fabricated by bis own invention'' But there is, 
perhaps, no sufficient reason to dispute the authenticity of the 
five first chapters; and the sixth chapter, which is probably 
spurious, did not originally belong to this book. The Greek 
version of these five chapters abounds with Hebraisms; and 
they were probably written in Hebrew, though not now extant 
in that language, nor ever admitted into the Hebrew Canon;' 
because Baruch, however he might have aspired to the prophetic 
character, and have sought great things for himself,'' was not 
endowed with the gift of inspiration, though he was on one oc- 
casion made the subject of a divine revelation, and honoured by 
a consolatory assurance from God. 

The author, in consistency with the character of Baruch, 
whether rightly or falsely assumed, describes himself as the son 
of Nerias, and as the grandson of Maasias, who were men of 
eminence in their country. He affirms, that he wrote the book 
at Babylon, in the fifth year, and in the seventh day of the 
month,* after the Chaldeeans had taken and burnt Jerusalem ; 

• Clu^ i 1. Jerein. pawim. Jo»eph. ' Jerem. iIt. S; whieh tomt conceive 
Antiq. lib. I. c II. and Pnbce to to allude la it rmilleu de*iie of Baiuch that 
JpniDuh. ha might be &*otind vitb the prophetic 

HieiDD. Prom, in Com. et Grot. Com. in ipirit. Vii MaJmoD. More NeTOch. par. 
BuucL ii- cap^ 33. 

• Hieron. PnB£ in Hierem. ' The name of the month i« not ipedfied; 



hy which must be understood the fifth year of Jefaoiachin's 
captivity, which correspoods with the fifth year of the reign of 
Zedekiah, and A. M. 3409 ; when Barnch accompanied his 
brother Seraiaa to Babylon,' who was deputed from Zedekiah to 
solicit the restoration of the eacred vessels of the temple, which 
had been carried away among; the spoil.' It has been objected, 
as inconsistent with this account, that Jerusalem is in this book 
represented as burnt, and in- circumstances of distress, greater 
than should seem to hare occurred st the time that Jehoiakim 
was taken prisoner and slain. But allowing for those aggra- 
vations, which are customary in the description of great af- 
flictions, there is no particular in the detml of circumstances that 
might not have happened during the siege of Jerosalem in the 
reign of Jehoiakim ; when the Jews might have seen part of 
their city burnt, and have suSered from the most cruel ex- 
tremities of famine.'' 

It is probable that Barnch was more immediately commissioned 
by Jeremiah to utter at Babylon those prophecies which were 
entrusted to Seraias ; ' and that he actually did read to Jehoiachin, 
and others whom they concerned, those prophecies contained in 
the 6ftietb and fifty-first chapters of Jeremiah, which promised 
deliverance to the Jews from their captivity, and ftitnre de- 
struction to Babylon ; though when Baruch speaks of having 
read the words of this book to the people by the river Snd,^ be 
seems to allude only to the epistle that forms the chief subject 

it probably mouu the maathCulcii,orNi>- znii. 1G_; ud the raiwt nluble were no* 

Tember, the Kme monlli in which JeroMlem nalored till the e^ntion of the c^itiiit;. 

wiu taken fire jean berora. Vid. Dan. T. 2 ; Em i. 7. (^^iu con- 

' Some would plue Barnch'i joumej to nden the latter put of cliap. i. 8, u id 

Babylon in the eleveatb year of Zedekiah, iDterpoladan. 
when Bomch wat carried into Egypt ', when ^ bhap. i. 3 ; ii. 2 — 5. 
Jenualem and the temple were deatroyed ; ' Jer. IL 69—64. 

when no high-print remtuaed, and no feaaU ' Chap. i. 4. Thii lirer ii not men- 
were celebrated, contrary to the ciicoiD- tioned by geoeraphen. Ai the Hebrew 
ilancei of the period of thia book. The word Sodi, which might hare been tlie 
fiflh year cannot be lefened to Nebnchad- original, nieana pride, soma writen ban 
qeuar, who had obtained hia empire leven coniidered it a* a figurative eipraiHon bi 
jam before Jehoiachin wa» carried into the Enphratei, on which rirer the Jewith 
captirity. eaptiyei were placed, Vid. Jerem. li. 63. 

I The TOHeli which Setaiai obtained, Bochort thinks, that the word ihould be Seii, 

appear to hare been nlTer Teueli, which or Suri, {which in the Hebrew la written 

Zedekiah hod mode to aupply the place of in nesriy the ume manner,) becaaae then 

the golden Tciaela which bad been carried was on the banks of the Enphratea a cilT 

Bwayby Nebuchadneziar, Ihenpadty ofthe called Suia, or Sorat, (a> edao Mshaaia,) 

conqnerort having aoon aflerwarda seiied from which that part of the Knphrate* 

on these ntso: (id. 2 Chrau. luvi. 7—10. might have taken its name. Vid. Bochart. 

Jeremiah had declared that the golden vet- Phalei. lib. i. c 9. Ccllalii Oeegr. lihi 

■elaahontd notbe soon brought again, chap. iii. c 16. p. 460. 

,;, Google 


of this book, wbieh \ras sent to Jehoiachin and his associate 
captives in Babylon, to Joachim, the son of Chilcias,' and the 
people at Jerosalem; for Banich, being probably employed to 
compose the letter, may well be conceived to hare read it to the 
kiog sod the nobles for their approbation. 

The captives, who appear to have been tutored by a£9iction to 
8 sense of their otm on worthiness, and to have felt a pious 
satisfaction at the tacceas of the deputation of Seraias, sent back 
with the sacred ressels a collection of money to purchase burnt- 
offerings and incense for the altar of the Lord ; and accompanied 
it with a letter to their coantr3niten, in which they expressed 
their sentiments of humility and repentance, and their confident 
hopes of that restoration which the prophets had encouraged 
them to expect, and which prefigured the fatute glories of 

The letter, which, after the short historical preface, begins at 
the tenth verse of the first chapter, contains a confession which 
the captives recommended to their brethren, to be used upon 
solemn days. It exhorts them to pray lor the life of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, who had complied with their request, and possibly been 
indulgent to the captives ^ to acknowledge that Ood's judgments 
were righteous, and that by their owa disobedience they had 
provoked the accomplishment of those curses which Ck>d had 
threatened," and they then experienced ; and, lastly, to supplicate 
bis mercies with sorrow and contrition. This prayer was pro- 
bably used, also, by the captives themselves, aud the sentiments 
which it contains were nmilar to those which Daniel and 
Nehemiah continued to inculcate during and after the captivity." 
In the third chapter is contained a passage,'* which G-rotins 
hastily pronounces to be an addition by some Christian, and which 
others consider as an inspired prophecy of the incarnation and 
human intercourse of the Messiah ; but which is, perhaps, only 
an acknowledgment of the divine wisdom, which bad manifested 

I TbU pereon wai proIiBblf tbs ume purim. 

with HJakiin, or Hilkuli, wbo mu bi^ ° Coup, ch^ i. 16, 17, with Dan. ii. S, 

Ct under Msnaueh and Joanh, and per- 7, 9; chap. u. 7 — ll,wIthDsii.ii. 13 — 15; 

under their meeetton, Vid. InJsh chap, ii !£, with Dan. ix. 19; chap. ii. 19, 

ixiiSO; SKineaiiii.* — B; ndii. 4,24; with Dan.ii.8; chap. il 7, S, with Nehem, 

2 Chron. rajr. 8; and CtlmnL Diuert. ir. 32, 34 ; chap. iL U, 12, with Zecb. 

MU In Qiand Prfitre*. ix. 10, 

■ Innteui Adv. Hncea. lib. v. t 3S. P Comp. chap. iii. 35—37, with John 

■ Dnit.jaTiiL15— fi3,andtheProphaU L 14. 



itself to the patriarctiB, and conversed bj revelation vith 
mankind.*! It has, however, so far a prophetic cast, as it ia 
imitative of passages' which, under praises of wisdom, fijfnra- 
tively celebrate that Eternal Wisdom which dwelt among as 
in the person of the Son of God. So likewise Banich speaks 
with an almost prophetic coofidence of those blessings whitji Je- 
remiah and other prophets might have taught him to expect from 
* "the everlasting Saviour" who "should soon appear;* of that J07 
which should come from the East ;' and of the triumphant glory 
with which Jerusalem should he exalted, and her sons assembled 
from all kingdoms in righteousness and peace. These, however, 
were prospects of future eznltatian with which all in the cap> 
tivity must have consoled their affliction ; they were general 
characters of the kingdom of the Messiah which every one* 
conversant with the sacred writings was capable of describing ; 
and by no means confer the stamp of inspiration on the book, 
which was not received as canonical by the Jews or the primitive 
church of Christ," though it he cited with respect, and even as 
divine scripture, by many of the earlier writers." 

Some, indeed, have imagined that St. Athanasius' and St.Cyril 
received it as canonical. In the catalogues, it is true, of the 
sacred books furnished by these fathers, as also in the Greek 
copies of the canons of the council of Laodicea, Baruch and the 
epistle are enumerated with Jeremiah and the Lamentations: 
bat it is probable, and generally supposed, that by this exegetical 
detail were meant only those parts of Jeremiah which we receive 
as inspired ; that the epistle in the twenty-ninth chapter of hia 
prophecies is specified as a distinct part of the work ; and that 
Baruch is mentioned because he was considered as a collector of 
JeremiaVs writings, and by some thought to have added the 
fifty-second chapter to his prophecies. It is certain that Baruch 
and the epistle are not mentioned tn the catalogue of St. Austin, 
nor in that of the council of Carthage.' It is expressly excluded, 

1 Exod. xiiv. d — 13. 'AvotdAii, "the EuL" Vid. ilu, Euk. 

' Comp. chap. liL 27, with Pror. viiL 31. iliil 4, and Mb], it. S. 
The pauBge ii perhaps in thii nipect cited ° Hiaroit. Prat id Hisnm. at Promm. 

oi prophetic b; St Aaatiu, who nyi that it Id Com. Hi«ram. 

wai generally attributed to JsnmiBh. Vid. ' Clem. Alex. P«d. UK JL c S. Enaeb. 

de Civit Dei, lib. iviii. c 33. DemoD. lib. yi. c 19. Ambrow de Fide, 

• Cbaf. iv. 22—30. lib. L c 2. Hikr. PraL Com. in Pialm. 

■ Comp. chap. if. 36, 37, with Jeram. Cyiil. in Jul. 
iiiii. S, and Zech. vi. 12 ; when the word ' Atbaiu Epiit 39. 
" Biaoch " ia in the Septw^nt nndeied * Concil. Cortluig. an, 47. et Cod. Con. 



with t]ie rest of the apocryphal books, from tlie catalo^e re- 
ceired from their ancestors, by the Greek church;* and the 
members of the council of Trent were more perplexed, and de- 
liberated longer about the admission of Baruch, than of any of 
the apocryphal books,** becanse they allowed (as it was not in 
the Latin copies of the catalogue) that it was not received by 
the council of Laodicea, by that of Carthage, or by the Boman 
pontiffs;^ and the Tridentine fathers were withheld firom reject- 
ing it, only by the con^deration that parts of it were read in 
the service of the church. 

Many ancient writers have cited Baruch under the name of 
Jeremiah : '' not that they believed that what we now possess 
under the name of Baruch was actually composed by Jeremiah, 
but that they considered Baruch as a disciple of the prophet ; 
and imagined, perhaps, that the epistle in the last chapter of his 
book was really written by Jeremiah, to whose canonical works 
it was formerly joined. In the Bomish church, the book is read 
nt the feast of pentecost, under the name of Jeremiah;* but 
many of the B^mooists do not scruple to deny its authority.' 

Beddes the Greek copy of this book, there are two Syriac 
versions, one of which corresponds with, and the other differs 
much from the Greek.* 

The letter which constitutes the nixth chapter of this hook is 
in some editions of the Greek, and in the Arabic which is trans- 
lated from the Greek, subjoined to the Lamentations. It is 
omitted by Theodoret in hie commentary, and it is not to be 
found in several Greek manuscripts, and in none of the Hebrew 
copies of Jeremiah's vrritings. It is probably a spurious work, 
and is rejected as such by St. Jerom,'' though cited by Cyprian* 
and others as an epistle of Jeremiah ; and supposed by some to 

EccIm. Affwan. ran 2* ; in nrither of ■' Iremeui Hsm. lib. t. c. S6. Clemeo. 

which i> Barnch mentioDed. It i*, however, Alex. Pmiag. lib. L c. 10. Chiyust. conL 

probable, that the council or conncila to Juda;. Ambrose in Psalm ciTiii. Octon. IB. 

vbich these canons behmged, received Ba- Baail. Advei. Eunom. lib. iv. Epij^an, 

inch as tanonicnl in a secondary scnie ; for Hares. S. Cyprian. Adv. Jads. c i. f. 6. 

though it is not menlioned in the list, it ■ Office du Samedi de la Pentecote, Pro- 

Diight be included under the name of Je- pfaetic iL 

remiah, and receJTed aa the other apocrvphal ' Driedo Script, ot Dogiii. ad Ecclcs. lib. 

bookt. L cap. ult Lynn. Dionys. Carthut. 

■ Metroph. CritopyL Epitom. Confess. > The Latin tmnsktioa also didiBiB much 

Orient. from the Greek. 

*■ History of the Council of Trent lib. ii. '' Hieron. Pnem. Com. in Hieimi. who 

" It is not Bpcci&ed in the lutpeetcd calls it ^fwitTi-ypo^ii. 

Hnstle of Pops Innocent the First. Vid. ' Cyprian, de Oiat. Domin. 
^i*L 3. ad Eloper. 



be alluded to by tbe author of the second book of Maccabees,^ 
who, howerer, only speaks of Jeremiah's general exhortations 
against idolatry. The letter certainly neTer was in the Jewish 
Canon. It was probably fabricated by some writer who had 
studied the character and writings of Jeremiah ; and it contains 
judicious and spirited strictures against idolatry, of which the 
Tanity is forcibly exposed. There is, besides these works in the 
Syriac language, an epistle attributed to Baruch, which is called 
bis first epistle, and feigned to have been written to the nine 
tribes and a half, swd to be carried beyond the Euphrates. It 
appears to be a spurious production of a writer acquainted with 
the Oospel doctrines, and is interspersed with many fictitious 
inventions. It was probably fabricated by some of those monks 
who, during the first ages of the Christian church, flocked in 
numbers to inhabit the deserts of Syria.' 

Barucli, after the execution of his commission, appears to 
have returned to Jerusalem ; where, in conjunction with Jere- 
miah, he encountered much persecution,™ and witnessed tlie 
total destruction of Jerusalem : after which he was drawn by 
Johannan, with Jeremiah, and the remnant of Jndah, into 
Egypt ; " from which country he probably never returned, though 
some pretend that he went a second time to Babylon, and died 
there about A. M. 3428.° In the martyrologies, his death is 
placed on the 28th of September, apparently withont any an- 


In some copies of the Greek version of Tbeodotion, and in the 
vulgSr Latin edition of the Bible, this book is inserted between 
the twenty-third and twenty-fourth verses of the third chapter 
of Daniel, as at the beginning of the book is prefixed the History 
of Susannah, and at the end is added that of the destruction of 
Bel and the Dragon ; but none of these additions are to be 

■ Jenm. dm. S. Joteph. Antiq. lib, i. 
1 1. Hiaron. in Emin. 



foQod in any Hebrew copy, nor do they appear ever to have 
existed in the Hebrev or Chaldaic lan^a^.* The pretended 
Hebiftisms which have been alleged to prove their aatfaenticity, 
are such as an Hellenistical Jew might be expected to have 
need ; or were, perhaps, designedly adopted to facilitate the 
reception of sparions works. These apocryphal parts appear to 
have been first inserted into the Septuagint version ;'' and they 
were certainly in Theodotion's edition, though there distin- 
guished by an Obelus, to intimate that they were not in the 
Hebrew. It is probable that the same author invented, or 
composed firom traditional accounts, all these apocryphal addi- 
tions, which be interwoved with the genuine work of Daniel. 
Annexed to or incorporated with the inspired book, they gra- 
dually rose into reputation ; and being safe from censure under 
the sanction of the prophet's name, and the approbation of the 
church, which suffered them to be read for instruction of 
manners, they were, perhaps, sometimes considered, in a loose 
and popular representation, as a part of the genuine work of 

It ia, however, universally admitted, that they never were in 
the Hebrew Canon,' and they were rejected as spurions by En- 
BebiuB and Apollinarins. St. Jerom, who considers them as 
apocryphal, professes to have retained them with a mark pre- 
fixed, lest he should appear to the unskilful to have rescinded 
a great part of Daniers book ; since, though they were not in 
the Hebrew, they were generally dispersed and known:" and 
St. Jerom, under the character of a Jew, endeavours to expose 
the absurdity of some particulars which they contain. There 
can, indeed, be no doubt that they were written long after the 
time of Daniel, by some writer desirous of imitating and of em- 
bellishing the sacred history, though as they were not expressly 
severed from the canonical part by any positive decree, they 
were received by the preposterous decision of the council of 

■ Origen. EpisL ad AfHoin. p. 14, edit *)(unit RnffiDOi, pnleHM to haie ddiTend 

Par. Dot. a. only the KntimenU of the Jew*, uid not 

^ The Song of the Three Childnm u not hia own, with leapect to these additional 

in the Vatican copy of the SeptDBgiat. porta of Daniel, he doei not retract hia 

° Hieron. PrteC in Dan. ColmefB Pre- wnttmenti, bat eradca the diacueaion of 

face in Dan. Da Pin. Diaa. Prelim, lib. i. their autbori^'. and aa the Scholiaat ob- 

c. 1. aarrea,** Va&e reapondeL" Vid. ApoL Adr. 

' PmC in Daniel, et Procem. in Com. Raff, ct Scholia in Pimf. ad Dui. 
Dan. When St Jerom. in hia Apology 




Trent as geDatne, and in ever; respect canonical.* It is un- 
certain at vhat time tbey were composed. Thej are in the 
Arabic and Syriac version of the scriptures, and are mentioned 
very early by Christian writers. 

The present book, which contains only a song in praise of 
Oroi, said to bare been uttered by the three compatiione of 
Daniel when thrown by Nebuchadnezzar into a burniog furnace, 
is to be admired for its instruction and tendency. These right- 
eous persons, whose reputation was founded on the aatbentic 
accounts of Daniel,' appear by their pious fortitude to have con- 
tributed with the prophet to the fiual suppression of idolatry. 
The vencratioD entertained for their character, of wbicb the 
memory was highly celebrated among the Jews," probably in- 
duced some Hellenistic Jew to &bricate this ornamental addi- 
tion to their history. It must have been inserted at a very 
early period, as it is cited by many ancient writers.'' The work 
is composed with great spirit, and the sentiments attributed to 
the holy children are consistent with the piety for which they 
were diBtingiiished, The hymn resembles the cxlviiitb Psahn of 
David, as to its invocation on all the works of creation to praise 
and exalt the Lord. It was sung in the service of the primitive 
church ; and in the liturgy of Edward the Sixth it was enjoined 
by the rubric, that during Lent, the Song of the Three Children 
should be sung instead of the Te Deum. 


This history, wblch in some Greek copies is entitled the Judg- 
ment of Daniel, is said, in the short intimation prefixed to the 
book by our translators, to have been set apart from the begin- 
ning of Daniel, where it stands in the Roman and other editions 
of the Greek. The Complutensian, however, and some Latin 
editions, place it as the thirteenth chapter of that book, though 

' CoDeiL Trid. Seu. 4. fend martyidoni ; u alw, that tlwir b«die*> 

' Dan. iiL 23. which had been intemd at fiabylaD, wen 

■ Then waa an anejent tiaditioa, thai afterwardi lemaved to Rome. Stune Jcwa 

the Three Children ven dBKcndants of at Rome hoaited of a detccnt fmni them. 

Hsekiah. Vid. Namni. Ofat 47. And * CTpriao. de Lapdi, et da Orat Domiu. 

■onw ictounta rtpon, that at lait thej tnf- 



certaioly with less regard to chronology; for the history, if 
founded on trath, mnst be supposed to have taken place when 
Daniel was very yonng, and prohably, according to some ac- 
counts," not above twelve years of age. 

The book has no sufficient pretensions to be considered aa 
canonical. Some writers, indeed, and even Origen, in a sus- 
pected epistle attributed to him,'' have conceived that it might 
originally have been written in the Hebrew or Cbaldee, and 
drawn from the Canon by the Jews; and that the original 
copies were industriously Buppressed by them, because they 
contained a relation of particulars discreditable to the Jewish 
nation. But there is certainly no foundation for this improbable 
fancy ; for not to mention the impracticibility of such a mea- 
sure," it is evident, that if the Jews could have been tempted, by 
any solicitude for their national character, to mutilate the sacred 
writings, they would rather have expunged those passages in the 
inspired books which reflect on them the disgrace, not of indi- 
vidual profligacy, but of general misconduct, or those which 
record the crimes and occasional oflences of favourite characters. 
But we know with what jealous veneration the Canon was pre- 
served inviolate ; and perceive in the whole history of a perverse 
and disobedient people, with what sincerity they composed, and 
with what fidelity they preserved the records and annals of their 

The present book appears to have been written in Greek, by 
some Jew who invented the history, or collected its particulars 
from traditionary relations, in praise of Daniel. And, indeed, 
the author is supposed to betray himself to be a Greek, by some 
quibbling allusions which do not seem to apply in any other 
language than the Greek," and which are not likely to be the 
conceit of a translator. There are two SyrJac versions, which 
difler in their contents. 

The history might, perhaps, have some foundation in truth, 
though it is not mentioned by Josepbus ; who, indeed, has not 
noticed any of the particulars contained in these apocryphal ad- 

• Igmit, Epirt. id JStgati. Theodor. \a Daniel, playing on the word, d«lare> llut 
Eiek. cap. i Solpit Sever. Sue. Hi»t lib. flie angel iboold rxurai, cat him in two ; 
iLp. SeS. edit. Lngd. BsL 1617. and when the lecoad reproeati the tree 

• Origen Epirt. ad Jul. Aftiean. to ha^e been Tpirart Daniel denounces hii 

• See Introduction, p. 7, At sentence byan eipreHiou from which trfuraii 
•■ When the iir»t elder affirma that he viai derifod, rpmai. 

beheld SuMnoah under a tree called ffxuvv, 



ditions to the book of Daniel. The Jews in general rejected it 
as an improbable fable : and remarked, that it was an tenons 
absurdity to suppose that their coontrymen in the captivity 
were in possesnOD of the power of inflicting pnnishment on their 
judges and prophets." The Jews had, however, some traditional 
accounts of the story, and many fancied that it was alluded to 
by Jeremiah, in the twenty-ninth chapter of his hook' of pro- 
phecies; where they supposed the two elders to be described 
under the names of Zedekiah and Ahab, thoagh these persons 
are there said to have been put to death by the king of Ba- 
bylon. Origen, who defends the truth of the acconut,' main- 
tains that the Jews were suffered to continue in the exercise of 
their own judicial laws during the captivity ; and, indeed, they 
appear to have expenenced, in many respects, considerable in- 
dulgence from theii conquerors. Origen adds likewise, as a 
confirmation of the vera<nty of the account, that be bad heard 
from a Jew, as a popular notion, that the elders attempted to 
seduce Susannah by assoraoces that the Messiah should spring 
from them : to which pro&ne dealing Daniel is supposed to 
allude in the fifty-seventh verse. 

The book seems to have been received by the Christian cbnrcli 
as containing a relation not inconsistent with the sacred history, 
but not as the production of Daniel ; tbongh as forming an ap- 
pendage to his work, and containing an account of circumstances 
in which he was concerned, it was sometimes cited under his 
name;** and being read by the church, was considered with re- 
Terence. Africanus, however, in hia epistle to Origen, represents 
it as confessedly spurious ; and Origen himself allows that it had 
no canonical authority.' Eugebius and Apollinarius, in answer 
to Porphyry, consider it as a part of the prophecy of Habakkuk, 
the eon of Jesus, of the tribe of Levi : for which, however, they 
do not appear to have any authority, except that of the Greek 
title prefixed to Bel and the Dragon ; which probably belonged 
exclusively to that book.^ It is received, together with the 
other spurious additions, as canonical by the Bomish church ; 
but is suffered to continue in our Bibles only as a work from 

■ Hieran. in HieKm. ch. udx. 2Z de Coiod. Hilit c 4 Cjprkn. Epit, iS, 

' Oisp. nil. 32, S3. Ambrote Id c dii. Dan. 

t GpitLid AbicBD. Tract. 31. in Matt. ' Origen Epiit.adJnI. African, ct Onto 

Athan. Sjnopa. Siit. Seaau. lib. t. de Vitiii. ScpU tnteniret. 

k IrcDKiu HwM. lib. IT. c 44. Tertnll. ' Huet. Ptop. it. m Dan. 



which moral improremeDt maj be drawn. It illustrates the 
confidence of truth, and the security of innocence. It exhibits, 
by an instmctive contrast, chastity in its most attractive colours, 
and licentiousness in its most hideous form. 


This book, which in TUeodotion'e version of Daniel and in the 
Vulgate is annexed as a fourteenth chapter to the book of 
Daniel, is properly rejected by our church ; having never been in 
the Hebrew Ganon, or received as authentic by the earlier 
ChriBtians. In the Septuagint version of the Scriptures, into 
which these spurious parts of Daniel appear to have been first 
foisted, there was prefixed to this book a title, in which it was 
called the Prophecy of Habakkuk, the son of Jesus, of the tribe ' 
of Levi;* whence some attributed the book to the prophet whose 
inspired work is now extant in the Canon ; but he lived much 
earlier than the period which must be asdgned to this history, if 
its truth be admitted. There is reason, however, to suspect that 
this title was a subsequent addition by some person who attri- 
buted the book to Habakkuk, on account of the agency which is 
assigned to him in the history; and Theodotion was induced, 
probably, in consequence of such suspicion, to change the title in 
his edition, though he substituted, with as little reason, that of 
Daniel. If, however, the author's name really were Habakkuk, 
he was in all probability some Hellenistical Jew, or, at least, a 
different person from the sacred writer. 

It is most reasonable to suppose, that the book was never 
extant in the Hebrew language, though it might, as Lightfoot" 
has conceived, be a parabolical story, -founded on a passage in 
Jeremiah," who threatens punishment to Bel, the great national 
idol of Babylon,'' in terms that might have suggested the cir- 
cumstances of bis destruction as described in this book. 

' Hicron. Prkeih. Conmi. in Dan. Siil. hia aon Ninna haiing erected a alatoc, and 

Seneni. Bib. lib. L pnacribed wonhip to him ; which wu the 

^ Ligfatfint Stnd. p. t!!. banning of idolatrr- From Bel wu de- 

" Jerem. li. 4*. Seld. Syntag. u. de Belo rived the Hebrew idol Banl. Vid. Hieron. 

et Dragon. in Eiecb. iiiiL et in Omc xi. The nmg- 

' Bel vB* originsllj Belui, the aocccNor nificenttenipleofBel, with other {nrtjcnlsn 

of Nimiud, ntid to be the fint dciiied nun, relntiTC to hi> wonjiip, u qioken «f by 



It ie certain, that io all these apocryphal additioDB, the same 
Daniel was meant as the prophet whose writings we possess id 
the Canon: though annexed to the suspected title before men- 
tioned, which, according to St. Jerom, was in the Septuagiot 
copies,' there is an exordium, or, as it were, a first Terse, which 
describes Daniel improperly as a priest, the son of Obsdiah, a 
guest of the king of Babylon ; and inconsistently with the sacred 
accounts of the prophet, by which Daniel appears to have beea 
of the tribe of Judab. Still, however, as that title and exordinm 
were probably subsequent additions, we may conceive the author 
of this book to epeak of the prophet Daniel ; but not, as some 
have imagined, tliat he gives us only an enlarged account of the 
events related in the sixth chapter of the authentic book of 
Daniel : for the circumstances are totally dififerent, except in the 
particular of bis being thrown into the lions^ den; and the 
history recorded in the sacred account is assigned to the reign of 
• Darius; whereas in the first verse of this book, which un- 
doubtedly is properly placed,' the events appear to be assigned 
to the reign of Cyrus.* 

Many persons object to the improbability of the circumstances 
related in this book ; as particularly to the destruction of the 
dragon,*' and to the conveyance of Habakkuk from Jerusalem 
to Babylon, merely to fornish a dinner to Daniel. The book, 
indeed, though it be cited as historical by the most respectable 
writers in the earliest ages of the church,' is considered as fa- 

Hcrodolua and other hiatoriuii. Vid. Ho- likel; to huTe occnntd onder AHyagtc, 

rod. lib. L lliodor. lib. iii. c 10. Dnriiii, or Cynu, usign the history to tha 

■ St. Jorom calls the book, on account of beginiUDg d( the reign of Evil-Merodach, 

An inKriptioD, i^i>tnriyf>a^«', "Uaelj tlie son of Ncbuchadneuar, placing it aboat 

entitled. " It » rejected u apocrjphnl, A. M. 3442. 

under the title of the Book of Habakkuk, >■ By the dmgon is to be undentood a 

bj the author of the Syno{»iB attributed to Kipenl, of which, to the triumph of oar 

Athanasiu*. , great deceiver, the worship pierailcd amoog 

' As it standi in the Arabic, Syiioc, and many nations in eariy dmes. Vid. Mtiaa. 

Alezaudrian copies. de Animal, lib. li. c. 17. et lib. xiiL c 6. 

« II must be observed, that the author Origen. cont. Cels. lib. vi, Vaier. Mat L B. 

in this verse speaks of Cynu as of the im- Ovid. Metam. lib. xv. Wisd. li. 15. 

mediate sDccessor of Astynges; agreeably to Fiagm. Philo, tom. ii, p. 646. StillingfL 

the account of Herodotus and his rolloircrsi Orig. Sac lib. iiu c 3. Messrs. du Port 

Dnt it is cerlain, from pro&ne and sacred Bojal suppose that the dragon wai bunt, 

history, that there wasanintennedisle king not by any specilii: power of the coni- 

of Media who reigned tvo yesrs, called position, but by the sufFoa^n which it oc- 

Cyajares by Xenophon, and Darius by Jo- cauoned in a narroir throat. Vid. Sdd. 

aephos and Daniel Vid. Xenophon. Cy- Syntag. iL de Del et Drag. c. 17. Bea 

Topced. lib. i. c 19. Joseph. Antiq. lib. i. Oorion gives a very diSerentaecoiuitof the 

c 12. Dan, T. 31. Meuieura Uu Port destruction. Vid. lib. i. c 10. ap. Seld. 

Royal, on an idea that the particulars re- Syntag. ii. c 17. 

corded in this book are such a* were not ' IreiuEus Hare*, lib. iv.c 11. TeitnlL 



bntons by St. Jerom ; and it mast be allowed to contaia some 
extraordinary and incredible relatione. It is, however, canonized 
by the coancil of Trent. Daniel, probably, by detecting the 
mercenary contrivanceB of the idolatrous priests at Babylon, and 
by opening the eyes of the people to the follies of tbat snpei^ 
stitioU into which tbey bad been seduced, might have furnished 
some foundation for the lustory; and the writer of the book 
appears to have introduced some additional circumstances to en- 
liven the narration, and to illustrate the providence of God in 
protecting and providing for those who adhere to his 6< 


Tbib short prayer is inscribed to Manasseh, and is said to have 
been composed by him during the captivity at Babylon ; where, 
agreeably to God's threats by his prophets," he was carried in 
fetters, by Esarhaddon, king of Assyria and Babylon,'' in the' 
twenty-second year of his reign, A, M. 3227;' and where, ac- 
cording to some traditionary accounts, being severely treated by 
the conqueror," and having vainly entreated protection from the 
felse deities whom he worshipped, be remembered the advice 
which he had received from bis father in the words of Moses, 
" When thou art in tribulation, if thou turn to the Lord thy 
God, be will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee.''* It 
appears from the sacred history, that he was awakened by his 
afflictions to a due sense of his crimes, and induced to turn with 
humility and repentance to the God of his iathers ; and that he 
prayed unto the Lord, who was entreated of him, and heard 
his supplication, and brought him again after a short captivity 
to his kingdom, into Jerusalem ; where, as he continued stedfast 
in his adherence to God, and zealously laboured to extirpate 
idolatry, he enjoyed a long reign of prosperity and peace, being 

deJojun. adv. Pijcli(ci», e. 8. Ds IdoUt. '' Some wrilon labalonriy relnle, that ho 

c IS. Cyprian, de ExborL Maitjrii. do vm aliut up in an heated brazcncBlf ; that 

OnL Dmnio. et de Oper. et Elcmoayn. on the prayer of Manaueh the image bunt, 

Anibrow do Jacob, et Vit. beat. c. H. et in and he wu carried by an angcI to Jcnualen. 

EpiiL ad Rom. i. 23. Eutych. Aleiand. Anruil. 

» 2 Kinp xii, 12—16. • Deul. iv. 30, 31. Tndit. Hebr. in 

^ Pcid. Cos. An. 680. Manau. lix. Poralip. et Talcum in 2 Chron. xxilii. ] I. 

'2ChTDn. xiiiil 11. 



permitted to continiie on the throne (ifty-fire years ; which was 
B longer period than was allowed to any preceding or nibsequent 
king, and an indalgence which serves to illnstrate the efficacy 
of that contrilion of which the sacred writers strongly incnlcate 
the necessity, and minately detail the effects. 

The prayer, in our Bibles, though it contain nothing incon- 
sistent with the circumstaaces and period of Manasseh, is not 
supposed to be the authentic prodnction of that tnonarch. The 
prayer which he is related in the book of Chronicles to have ut- 
tered, is there said to hare been written in the book of the kings 
of Israel, and in the sayings of the Seers,* in some larger and 
uninspired records which hare perished. The present work is 
not in any of the Hebrew copies. It is uncertain in what 
language it was originally composed ; but it cannot be traced 
higher than in the Vulgate, into which, probably, or into some 
Greek copies, it was inserted by some writer desirous of aapplying 
the loss of the authentic prayer. It was not receired ae genuine 
by any of the fathers or councils, and was rejected even by the 
cooncit of Trent. 

It is, howerer, written in a style of mnch piety and humility; 
and the Greek church has inserted it into its euchology, or col- 
lection of prayers. The author of it speaks of repentance a* 
requisite to sinners, in a manner similar to the declaration made 
by onr Saviour ; that he came not to call the just, but dnners to 


Thb first book of the Maccabees contains a collection of his- 
torical particulars relating to the Jews, from the beginning of 
the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, A. M. 3829, to the death of 
Simon the high-priest, A. M. 3869. It is snpposed to have 
been originally written in the Hebrew, or rather in the Ghaldaic 

' 2 Chron. jxxiii. 1, 12, 13. Jowpk. be tha luma of ■ piophet, ind tmat ban 
Antiq. Ub. x. c 4. tboagbl that luUh ii niMnL The Spiac 



2 Chnm. xzziii. 19. Or of Homi, aa nsdi Hanon, ths AnbU Saphan. Vid. 

II u nodeted id the marain of our Biblei. Orot. 

Tbe word Hoi^ aigDiflea Seen, a* tha *> Matt ii. 13. 
Sevent; tender it. Soma nndnataod it to 


langna^ of tbe Jerasslem dialect, as used by the Jews after the 
retnm from captivity. The author is by some thought to have 
been John Hyrcanus, the eon of Simon, vho was a prince and 
high-priest of the Jews near thirty years, and who began his 
government at the period at which this history concludes. 
Joeepbus,* indeed, infonns us, that the high-priests wereintrnsted 
with the care of writiog the annals of their coontry; and at the 
period of the Maccabees, great attention seems to have been 
paid to preserve them.** The author of the present book, who 
was probably some person publicly appointed to digest the 
history, appears to have had recourse to the national records, 
and someUmes refers to them.' He reckons from a Greek era, 
but according to the Hebrew mode of computation.'' St. Jerom 
professes to have seen the book in the Hebrew, under the title 
of "Sharbit Sar Bene El,*^ that is, "the sceptre of the Prince 
of the children of Ood;" a title which obviously alludes to 
Judas, the valiant defender of God''s persecuted people. This 
original is, however, now lost. The Greek veraoD, from which 
our English translation was made, is denominated Maccabees, 
irom the persons whose actions are described in the book. It 
was probably executed before the time of Theodotion, for it 
appears to have been tised by anthers who were his contem- 
poraries.' In the Paris and London Polyglots, there are two 
Syriac versions of both the books of the Maccabees, which were 
made ftv>m the Greek, though they differ from it in some respects. 
The two books of the Maccabees were certainly composed 
after the soccession of prophets had ceased among the Jews ;■ 
and were never reckoned by them in the catalogue of the sacred 
writings. They are not cited by our Saviour, or his apostles; 
and were considered as apocryphal by the primitive church, 
since they are not mentioned in the list of the canonical books 
furnished by Melito, the council of Laodicea, Hilary, and Cyril 
of Jerusalem i** they are expressly represented as books of a 

■ Cont Apian, lib. i. "the iceptie at the rebels agninBt the 

"> 1 Mux. iri. lii 2 Mace iL 14. LotA" Vid. Dnu. Pne£ in Ub, Vet. 

' Chap. itL 24. Test. 

'' The anlhor calenlstci from the month ' Ai b; Origca sud Tertnllisn. 

Ninn, (March or April,) the Oreeki reckon ' 1 Mace i>. 46; ii. 27; lii. 41. 

from October. Jowph. conL Apion. lih. L Parlier"> In- 

• Vid, Origen. Com. in Pialm, vol i. tmdnct. nd Bib. VomSiu, Kidder, &c 

p. 47. ap. Eaieb. lib. Ti. c. 2B. Hieron. ** Prefiicc to the Apocryphal Booka, 

ProL OaL Some read iw ^33 Itl? lO'aiU?, P- 274, noiM n. imd ■. 



secondary rank by many very autnent writers,' and vere re- 
ceived as such by St. Austin, and the council of Carthage;^ 
notwithstanding which, they were pronoanced to be in every 
respect canonical by the council of Trent. 

This first book is cited as a respectable history by the fathers.' 
It was probably written by a contemporary author, who had, in 
part, wituessed the scenes which he so minutely and graphically 
describes, and who wrote under a lively impression of the 
revolutions which big country had recently experienced- It is 
composed, at least, with great accuracy and spirit, and perhaps 
approaches nearer to the style of sacred history than any work 
now extant. St. John bas been thought to substantiate the 
truth of a relation herein furnished;™ and Josephos appears 
to have copied most of its accounts into bis Jewish Antiquities; 
and though the author has been represented in a few instances 
as betraying some ignorance in treating of foreign afiairs," yet, 
in other respects, many heathen writers corroborate bis reports. 

The book contains the history of Mattathias and of his tamily, 
and of the wars which they, at the head of their countrymen, main- 
tained against the kings of Syria, in the defence of their religion 
and lives. From the death of Alexander, who had conquered 
Persia, and the countries dependent on that empire," Jndxa 
followed the fate of Syria; and for a space of near one hundred 
uid iifty years was exposed to all the ambitious contests which 
prevailed between the kings of Syria and Egypt. After varioas 
revolutions, and alternate subjection to each of these kingdoms; 
and after having occasionally suffered alt the oppression and 
exactions that tyranny could enforce by means of the bigh- 
priesta, and those princes who were appointed by the interest. 

m>. y\. c 2i. . . 

. Otegai, Mag. MoiaL lutipn i> recorded in this book. Some haTO 

Eipo«.in Job.lib. lix. c 17- Junil. African, thougbt, that ai 

de Put. Div. Leg. lib. L c. 3. tbe tweDt;-Efth of December, it might h»e 

k Aogait. do Cirit Dei, lib. XTitL c. 3S. been pre-ordained wilh a refeRace to our 

CondL Cuthag. 9. can. 17. Id the printed SsTiour'a birtfa. Tbe leva celebrated thu 

ca|nea of tbe pnlended decree of pope Oc- ieait, which the; called the least of the 

lanni, odIj ono book of the Ha«abeoa is lights, for eight days, with illnmiiiatioiii 

mentioned. and great joj. Vii. John i. 22; 1 Haec 

■ Tertull. Adi. Jnd. c. 4. Cjpriui. do iv. 58 — 59. Joseph. Antiq. lib. liL c II. 
Exhort. Martyr. |. 5. Test. lib. iiL g. 4, ■> Chap. i. .\ 6 ; yiii. 6, 7. 
IS, 53. Censur. Apoc Prelect. 9H, 104. 

■ St. John represents Jesus to haTe boon " Joseph. Antiq. lib, iL c. 18 
present at the fcast of the dedication ; b* 



and Biibject to the cootrol of the conquerors, Judiea was, at the 
time that this history begins, s tributary province of Syria, 
under Antiochna Epiphanes, and cruelly harassed and pillaged 
by him. The severe persecntion which he exercised, and his 
avowed designs, which tended to exterminate the reli^on, and 
indeed the whole nation of the Jew8,<* inflamed the zeal of 
Mattatbias to resentment and revolt; and upon his death 
excited Judas, in compliance with the dying iDJunctions of his 
father, to attempt the deliverance of his country. The successive 
victories, and prudent conduct of Judas and his brethren, which 
effected the accomplishment of their designs, constitute the 
chief subject of the present book. The relation affords a lively 
picture of a nation inspired by the patriotic heroism of its 
leaders, and struggling with enthusiasm for civil and religious 
liberty. It represents Judaa and his brethren, — anxious to 
" restore the decayed estate of the people," and to pnrify the 
polluted sanctuary of their Ood, — as endeavouring, by measures 
concerted in piety, and conducted with steady fortitude, to 
conciliate the divine countenance, tt describes, likewise, the 
gradnal recovery of Judiea ^m desolation and miseries to im- 
portance and prosperity,** and, at the same time, the worship of 
the true God re-established on the mins of idolatry. 

The author, like the sacred historians, selects individual 
characters for consideratioD, and describes the misconduct as 
well as the virtues of his heroes. He treats of the affairs of 
other nations only so far as connected with the circumstances of 
the Jewish history ; and exhibits the changes and vicissitudes of 
other governments, as they tended to affect the interests of his 

The particulars recorded in the book oflen afford a key to 
prophecy,' and especially explain the mysterious visions con- 
tained in the eighth and eleventh chapters of Daniel, relating 

T Chap. i. 44 — 61 ; iiL 34 — 36. ■econdaiy muh) of the ilaiighler affected 

1 Cbap. L 2fi—28 ; iiL 43—51, comp. b; Alcimui. Tho Hebren word Cbaudim, 

with chap, i; lii 19—23; xiv. 8—23; indeed, which i> tranilated ntnte in tho 

ZV. 1—9, 24, 32. lecond Terae oT the psalm, hai be«n con- 

■ Camp, 1 Msec i. 88, 89, with Zecb. udered ai desmptire of the AMiJsami, 

ii. 14—18, and JackMn's Worka, torn. ii. who were eminenllj pioni. The paalm 

p. 8*4. Vid. alio, 1 Mace. tiL 17; where might, pcrbnpe, have been hiitorioj of Qte 

the (econd and third renea of Paalm liiii. calamitiei occaBioned b; NobuchadneuaT, 

are cited, mlher by way of accommodatiDn and yet, like many other*, haie borne a 

to the circmnatiiiicca before deKribed, or prophetic aipect to future circunutancea. 
■a intentionally praphotie (perhapa in a 



to the horn, hj which emblem waa presignified Aotiochos,* who 
set up the abomination of desolation on the altar.* 

Mattathiae, the father of Judas, was of the sacerdotal race, of 
the couree of Joarib ; " and, as is generally supposed, a decendant 
of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, to whom God had given the 
covenant of an everlasting priesthood.' He himself does Dot 
appear to have enjoyed that exalted office,^ tbongh it waa con- 
ferred on his sons, and restricted as an exclnsive privilege to his 
descendants, till the typical office was virtually evacuated by 
the institution of a spiritual priesthood in the time of Herod ; 
who, except in the case of Aristobulus, the grandson of Hyrcanns, 
did not respect the pretensions of the Asmontean family, but 
conceded the priesthood to any of the sacerdotal lineage.* 

Judas, whose exploits are celebrated in this history, has been 
thought to have derived bis title of Maccabsus from the initial 
letters of the four words with which his standard is supposed to 
have been decorated,* and which were taken from the eleventh 
verse of the fifteenth chapter of Exodus, Mi Camo-ia Baelim 
Jehovah ; " Who is hke unto thee among the gods, O Jehovahf" 
From this Jadas, bis descendants were called Maccabees. They 
were called, likewise, Asmonicans; either because, as Josephna 
informs us, Mattathias was a descendant of Asmonseus,'' or by 
an honourable and eminent distinction, as the Hebrew word 
signifies princes.' Many writers maintain, that they were de- 

■ Jmepli. Ajitiq. lib. i. c 11. Hieron. ' Joaepb. Aotiq. lib. xi. & 8. 

in DuL c viiL ■ Otben, who think tlut Jadu wu 

■ Chap. I £4, S5. B7 " the ■bomination nuned MaccabiEna before be erected hU 
of dewladon," which, u Daniel had pre- Mandaid, or who eollod from nummnanta 
dieted, wu Ht Dp on the altar, we ma; that 1 lion wu imprinted on tha atandBnl 
underttoiid the idol that wiia placed there of the Maceabaea, deriTe Iho word Mac- 
bj Older of AnHochoa. It i* lappoKd to ahsm from '3 rOD, " per mo ert plaga." 
have been the itatne of Jopitcr Olympioa. yid. Oodwyn de Repnb. Jod. lib. L e. 1. 
Vid. 2 Mace, vi. 2. Idol, in «eripta» are Some derire it from Macehabelh, or Mbi>- 
commonlj called abominattoju. Vid. J Kings chubeth, " hidden," beoiiua Matlsthiaa and 
li. 6, 7. And the idol might be esid M y, c»mpsnion> concealed thcmaelTei in the 
make dewUle, a» it eipelled the wonhip of wildemew. Vid. chap. iL 28— 31. Olhen, 
thetrae Ood,a4id occBnoned the deatniction ia,tiy, derife it &om Makke-Baiah, which 
of hii lerTanla. Comp. Dan. ri. 81, with rfgnfliea "Conqueror in the Urd." Vid, 
1 Jhcc. L 64, and 2 Mace tL 1, 2. prfd. An. 167. ct CalmaL on 1 Mace ii. 4. 

• Chap. iL I. or Jahoiarib. Thii waa fien Oorion, lib. iii. c. 9. 

the firat of the twenty-lbnr connei which b jo„ph. Anliq. Kb. riL c. 8. 

KTTod in the temple. Vid. I Chron. hit. c ChamBmanim. Vid. Psalm IrriiL S2. 

7. It i> rendered TlpiaStit in the S^loapal 

• NnmK ixt. 11—18; 1 Mace. a. Si. of Pmlm livvL p. 31. Vid. Kimchi Dnu. 
JnrieD> Critic. HiiL toL L part iii. c. I, p^t in Maccab. Eu«b. Demonat ETans. 
P- 372- Ub. Tiii 

r Cahnet. Diet, word MathMim. 



scended mateniallj from the race of Jadah.'^ Aristobulos, the 
son of Hyrcanus, was the first who assumed the title of king 
after the captirity. He bequeathed the crown to his son, after 
whose death it was a snbject of contest to his children; and 
OD the capture of Hyrcanus the Elder, by the Parthians, con- 
ferred by the Rotnane on Herod.* 


This hook contains a compilation of historical records extracted 
from different works ; hut especially an abridgment of an history 
of the persecutions of Epiphanes and Eupator' agiunst the Jews, 
which bad been written in Greek in five books, by an Hellenis- 
tical Jew of Cyrene, named Jason ; a descendant probably of those 
Jews who had been placed there by Ptolemy Soter,'' and which 
is no longer extant. The name of the compiler is not known. 
He was doubtless a different person &om the author of the pre- 
ceding book. He dates ftom an era six months later than that 
chosen by him, and not only writes with less accuracy, and in a 
more florid style, but likewise relates some particulars in a 
manner inconsistent with the accounts of the first book;" from 
which, nevertheless, he has in other instances borrowed both 
sentiments and facts. Some writers hare attributed this second 
book to Pbilo of Alexandria,** and others to Josephas, on grounds 
equally conjectural and fallacions. Neither Ensehing nor St. 
Jerom speak of it as among the works of Philo ; and the dis- 
course of the Maccabees, or the Empire of Reason, which 
Eusebius and St. Jerom suppose to have been written by 
Josephus,* is a very different work, though it mentions many 
particulars contained in this book. 

' Hienm. in OtM. cap. ilL in Sopbon. c Greek. Ja*e;A. Antiq. lib. lii. c 13. lib. 

1. Augoit. cont. FatuL lib. L c72, &t^ x>'i. c 10. 

Frefin to Hiat. Booki, p. 74. note o. ' Comp. 1 Mace. tL 13—16, with 2 

•Su1pt.SeTsr.3acr. HiiLlib. iL p. 262. Mace. i. 16, and ix. 28; 1 Mace. ii. 3, IB, 

edit. Lngd. fiat. p. 1647. with 2 Mace. L 10 ; 1 Mace U. 36, with 

' CInp. iL 19—29. CtemsDa Alenn- 2 Maec. i. 2, 3, and Uabar. 

diiuiu calli it the epitome of Haccabaic ■* Honor. Auguatod. de Sciiptor. EccL 

hiHor;. Vid. Strom, lib. t. p. 595. in Philone. ' 

* Prid. Con. par. i book B, An. 320. ■ F,u»eb. Hi«U Ecclei. lib. iii c '" 

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Serarins' maintained that the second book of Maccabees vas 
the prodaction of Judas, the Essenian, who is described by 
Josephns* ae a man of great authority for his wisdom; who, 
likewise, according to the historian^s account, was endowed 
with the infallible spirit of prophecy," and predicted the death of 
Antigonus, the second sod of John Hyrcanns the priest ; and 
whom SerariuB imagines to be mentioned in the fourteenth verae 
of the second chapter of this book. But that passage is ge- 
nerally allowed to relate to Judas Maccabmns, and affords do 
light with respect to the author of this book. It is, with more 
probability, though with equal uncertainty, assigned to Simon, 
or Judas Maccabceus; while some have fancied that the whole 
book is only a letter written by the Hjaagogue of Jerusalem to 
the Jews in Egypt, not distinguishing the historical from the 
epistolary parts.' By whomsoever it was composed, it should 
seem to have been originally written in Greek ; and the compiler, 
as well as the author whose work he abridged, follows the 
Syrian mode of computation, reckoning by the years of the 

The two epistles which are contained in the first and second 
chapters, and which are there said to have been written by the 
Jews at Jerusalem to their brethren at Alexandria, exhorting 
them to observe the feast of the tabernacles and that of the puri- 
fication, are by Prideaux considered as spurious; the second, 
indeed, is said to have been written by Judas, who was not living 
at the time of the date ; ' and it contains many extravagant and 
fabulous particulars. It begins at the tenth verse of the first 
chapter, and terminates with the eighteenth of the second ; from 
thence to the end of the chapter is a short preface of the compiler 

vhcther properly or impropeilj Rtnibuted thia Kcond book ol 

to Josepliui, if entitled, tti MoiKaAuiHii ' Serar. Prol. iL in Mace et Rupert, de 

\oy«t. It ^"P^ auTOKpoTopQs XoyvriAov. Viet. Verb. Dei^ 

The word Bbccabeu buing applied lo all ( JoKph. Antiq, lib. liii. c. 19. 

vho dutinguiahed themulTM in the cauH ' Joieph. do Bel. Jud. lib. i. c. 3. 

^religion and freedom i and Kmettmea, ai > OcnebiBrd. CbroDoL Cot«ler. Not. ad 

in tliie initance, to thou who flonnabed Can. ApoiL p. 338. 

before the time of Judai. Vid. ScaUger in '^ Prideaux concdvei, that the compiler 

Chran. Euaeb. n. I)i53, p. HI). The work must hare bsen an Egyptian Jew, iiDce 

of Josephus IB a rhetorinl decLamalion on he aeemi to hare acknowledged the leaier 

the power of reawD, acting on leligiona temple in Egypt, tot he diitinguiihe* the 

E'nciples; in which the author illaatiBtea temple at Jenualem ai " the great temple." 

■abject by a deacription of the conduct Vid. chap. ii. 19 ; lii. IS. 

and ipecche* of Elenm, and the other ' Comp. 1 Maoc, ii. 3, IS, with 2 Mace, 

martyra whoae fortitude is celebisted in i. 10. 



to the abridj^eDt of Jason's history ; which coianiences with 
the third chapter, aad conclades with the thirty-seventh verse 
of the fifteenth chapter, the two last verses forming a hind of 
concloaion to the work. 

The book contains an history of about fifteen years, from the 
enterprise of Heliodorus ih the temple, A. M. 3828, to the vic' 
tory of Jndas Maccabsos against Nicanor, A. M. 384^. The 
chapters are not, however, arranged exactly in chronological 
order. The book begins at a period somewhat earlier than that 
of the first book of Maccabees. As the author appears at first 
to have intended only an epitome of the history of Judas Mac- 
cabsens and his brethren, with some contemporary eTonts,'" the 
account of the punishment of Heliodorus, which occurred under 
Seleucus, the predecessor of Epiphanes, as well as the circum- 
stances related in the two last chapters, which happened under 
Demetrius Sotor, the successor of Eapator, have been sometimes 
represented as snbsequent additions by some later writer. But 
since these events, as connected with the time of Judas, were 
Dot irrelative to the author's design ; there is no reason, except 
from a pretended difierence of style, to dispute their authenticity 
as a part of Jason's history ; or, at least, as a genuine addition 
affixed to the epitome by the compiler. The author had no title, 
any more than the writer of the preceding book, to be considered 
as an inspired historian : he speaks, indeed, of his own per- 
formance in the diffident style of one conscious of the fallibility 
of his own judgment, and distmattul of his own powers." His 
work was never considered as strictly canonical till received into 
the sacred list by the council of Trent, though examples are 
produced from it by many ancient writers." It must be allowed 
to be a valuable and instructive history, and affords an interesting 
description of a persecuted and afflicted people ; furnishing, in 
the relation of the conduct of Eleazar, and of the woman and lier 
children who suffered for their attachment to their religion, an 
example of constancy that might have animated the martyrs of 
the Christian chnrch. The author indnstrionsly displays the 
confidence in a resurrection and future life which prevailed at 

■ Chop. ii. 19—33. p. SSO. 

■ Cb^ IV. 38, which <• writteo in the ° Ambrote da Jac«b, ctVita Beat, c 10, 
*^lc of an Dnini[Hied wiita, and natroUea II, 12. el Lib. de Offic e. 40, 41. AngntL 
tlt« coDcloaiop of tbe ontloD ot .Machine* da mr. gaiend. ptn Manuil, Ufa. i. §. 3. 
]igun>t Ctciipho. Vid. Preface to 1 M>cc. 



the period of his faistor7,<* and which was the eDCOurag«ineDt 
that enabled those who were eo severely tned, to eueiun th^ 
tortures. He likewise, perhaps, more particularly enforced the 
doctrine of a lesurrectioD, with a dedgn to counteract the 
propagation of the Saddacean principles, which were then rising 
into notice. 

It has been thought to detract from the credibility of the 
particulars recorded in this book, that neither the author of the 
preceding work, nor Josephns in those his acknowledged writings, 
where be treats of the persecution carried on by Antiochua,'' 
should mention the sufierings of the martyrs whose memorial is 
here celebrated. But the silence of these historians can furnish 
no sufficient argument to deny that there was, at least, some 
ground-work for the account of this book, with whatever exag- 
gerations we may suppose it to have been decorated. The de- 
scription, likewise, of the prodigies and meteorological conflicta 
which portended calamities to Jndiea, ought not to invalidate 
our confidence in the veracity of the writer of this book ; since 
it is unquestionable, &om the testimony of respectable histo- 
rians,' and indeed from the evidence of holy writ,' that soch 
ominous appearances have sometimes been witneesed. And 
when, as in this instance, the phenomena are represented by an 
historian, perhaps nearly contemporary, to have continued forty 
days,* it is unreasonable to suspect delusion, or wilful misrepre- 
sentation. So, likewise, however improbable those accounts may 
appear, in which G«d is described to have vindicated the in- 
sulted sanctity of his temple," and to have discountenanced the 
adversaries of his people by apparitions and angelical viedons,' it 
is certain, that many philosophical and judicious writers have 
maintained the reality of rimilar appearances;' and that the 
popular superstitions and belief in such apparitions may, without 
credulity, be supposed to have originated in the miraculous in- 
terpositions which were sometimes displayed in favour of the 
Jewish people.' 

But though the book may, perhaps, be vindicated in general, 

V Chap. Tii. 9, 11, U,23, 29, 36; ind ■ Ctun. t. 1—3. 
liT. 4S. ' Chip. iu. 24—29. 

1 De Bel. Jsd. Ub. L J<iMpIi. Antiq. ■ Cb^- 1. 39, 30 ; n. a 
lib. liL c 5. ' Cicero TokoL QneiL lib. L ct da Nat. 

' Joieph. de BeL Jod. Ub. Til c, 12. Deor. liU u. 

■ Lnk« ixi 26. ■ Jodia* t. IS. 

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with respect to historical truth, it contains some parts of excep- 
tionable character ; and some passages in it have been objected 
to aa of dangerous example.' The Eomanists, indeed, who, in 
deference to the decision of the Tridentine fathers, admit the 
canonical authority of the book, have produced the last verses of 
the twelfth chapter to countenance their notions coDceming 
purgatory and prayers lor the dead.** 

The work, as the prodnction of a fallible and unenlightened 
man, may contain a mixture of error, and certfunly should be 
read with that discretion which, while it seeks instruction, 
guards against the intru^on of fblse and pernicious opinions. If 
St. Paul, in his eulogium on some illostrioos examples of Jaith, 
should be thought to have established the truth, or approved the 
examples of this history, he by no means bears testimony to the 
inspiration of its author,' or establishes its general authority in 
point of doctrine. The apostles consigned for the direction of 
the Christian church, the productions of only those " holy men 
who were moved by the Holy Ghost." St. Austin justly re- 
marked, in answer to the Circumcellion Donatists,'' who had . 
urged the desperate attempt of Bazis,* in defence of suicide, 
that they must have been hard pressed for examples, to have 
recourse to the book of Maccabees ; for that this book was of 
subordinate authority, as not established on the testimoay of 
the Jewish church, or on that of Christ ; and as received by the 
Cbristiim chnrch only to be discreetly read; and that Bazis, 
however distingoisfaed for valour, was not to be proposed as an 

■ Cfakp-L 18 — 36;andRiino1d'iCennii. ° It ia wd, in tha nixeWentll Tsna of 

AponiTpta. torn, ii pidect 133, 134. Vid. the nith clupUr, Hut Elnnr oMuptnu 

■Uo, ebap. liv. 4 1 — 16, where the fnrioiu iwi to rvftraiHir wpeinrym. And St Paul, 

mttcmpt of Bad) to bll on hii own iwdid Bpoddng of martTii irtia had ntfibivd in 

ii ^oken of with aeemiiu (pprabaticm. hope* of a retumelian, nn, iUai >« 

^ Bellarm. de Ftugat. ub. li. c S. Some irvnTariviriirar : from irhidi eipreinoii, 

think that Judaa ii cammendBd for having lome conceive that the apoatle alJndei to 

prayed, not for the dead, bat that the gnilt the death of Eleuai, Buppoiing Tv/iraiior to 

of the dead migiil not be imputed to the lignify tmae specific engine of torture. If 

tiling : but though the Qreek be lee* fiv- the apoitle did refer to the account of thia 

Touiable to the doctrine of the Romieh book, which ii a point much contrororted, 

ehanh than the Vulgate, it miut be con- it wul only prave that the relatian i* true, 
feieed that the pauage will not adroit of ** ThoH were a party ef confedeiatad 

^t conatmction. Jndaa, probably, did not infflani of the fimrth century, who practieBd 

dream of ptugatory ; but he ia certainly and defended nmwiiBitiooi, and who re- 

repieeented to have prayed (or the dead ; oommended nddde wlien it could reacne 

and in the Greek, oi well aa in the Latin, them bom public puniihment Vid. Hoi- 

the rcconciliatian is laid to have been made heim. Ecdei. Hilt. cent, iv, part ii. 
fbr tha puipoH of delivering the dead from ■ Chap. xir. 41. 

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example to justify self-murder.' The fathers in general, indeed, 
cite the book as an ueefnt history,* bat not as of autboritf in 
point of doctrine. 

There are two other books, entitled the third and fourth 
books of Maccabees, which were never received by any charch. 
That which is improperly styled the third, and which in point of 
time shonld be considered as the first, describes the persecntioo 
of Ptolemy Philopator against the Jews in Egypt, about A.M. 
3789; and the miracnlons delivery of those who were exposed 
in the Hippodrome of Alexandria to the fnry of elephants. This 
is a work entitled to much respect : it is in the most ancient 
manuscript copies of the Septnagint,*' and is cited by the Ga- 
thers ; ' bat never having been fomid in the Vulgate, which ver^ 
sion was universally used in the Western church, and from 
which onr translations were made, it never was admitted into 
our Bibles. C^tius supposes it to have been written soon after 
the book of Elccletdasticas. The history is not noticed by Joae- 
phns ; though in the ancient version of his second book against 
Apion by Rufinos, there are some particulars that seem to 
allade to it. 

The book which is usually called the fourth book of the 
Maccabees, and which contains an history of the pontificate of 
John Hyrcanus, was first pnblished in the Paris Polyglot as an 
Arabic history of the Maccabees. It is supposed to have been 
a translation of the work seen by Sixtns Senenns' in a Greek 
manuscript at Lyons, and which was afterwards burnt ;' though, 
according to Calmet's account," it should seem to have been a 
different work from that mentioned by early writers as a fourth 
book of the Ma