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Hours with the Bible 







VOL. V. 






12 AsTOR Place 























































Mamasseh . . . • • 
The Great Pebsecution • • • 
The Lateb Yeabs of Mamasseh • 


The Pbophets Nahum and Zephakuh 

The Eably Pbbachino of Jeremiah 

The Beoinnino of the Reformation under Josiah 


The Finding of the Book of the Law . 
The Passoveb of Josiah . • • • 
The Beoinnino of the End • • • 
FiBST Years of Jehoiakiu . • • 
The Prophet Face to Face with his Aqe 
Gbowino Dabeness, Belioious and Political 
The Pbophet Habaeeuk • • 
Jehoiachim, B.C. 598 . • • 
Zedekiah, B.C. 598-588 . • 
First Prophecies of Ezekiel . 
The First Years of the Exile 
Index •••••• 




Modern Obibntal Gate— Bab bl Nabb; Caibo. — From Lane's 

Arabian Nights 12 

A Detached Eabtebn House, without Fbojeotino Windows . 14 

A Mezuzah, OB Cylindeb containing a portion of the Law, 


The Goddess Istab, ob Astabte, ob Ashtoretb . • • •84 

The Assyrian Eino befbeshino himself after a Hunt • • 77 

A Prisoner Manacled and Fettered ..•••• 89 

Clay Cylinders, bepbbsentino various Gods • • • • 112 

AssYBiAN Standabd. Ehobsabad • • 120 

Jntebiob of an Eastebn Caravanserai 206 

Covering of a Boll of the Law 225 

A ** Watered Garden" . . • • • • • ' • . 304 

HmzYEB.— From Rich • • . 332 

Nebuchadnezzar. — From a Babylonian Cameo .... 339 
The Site of Babylon dubino the Inundation of the Euphrates. — 

From a Drawing by J. B. Fraser, Esq 405 

Plan of the Ruins of Babylon ...•••. 414 

The Assyrian God Adrammelech ....... 436 

Winged Genius, frou the Tomb of Cyrus, at Muroab, the 

Ancient PASARGADis . •••... 440 

A Poor Bedouin on a Journey ••••••• 472 






HEZEKIAH was tho last king of Judah who closed 
his reign amidst undisturbed prosperity. Having 
ascended the throne while Hosea was still king in 
Samaria, he had seen the Northern Kingdom crashed by 
Assyria, and its population led off by the conqueror to 
the banks of the Tigris and other regions of the East. 
Shalmaneser IV., Sargon, and Sennacherib, had in 
succession reigned over the great Ninevite empire, and 
Jerusalem had twice been threatened by its armies ; once 
in the reign of Sargon — Sennacherib, perhaps, acting as 
commander-in-chief — and the second time by that prince 
himself, after he succeeded to tho throne. The sudden 
destruction of his vast host, without human intervention, 
had filled the world with awe, and must have invested 
Hezekiah with a kind of sacredness as one specially pro- 
tected by Heaven. An embassy from Merodach Baladan, 
of Babylon, the heroic opponent of tho Great King, had 
attracted all eyes to Jerusalem and kindled the fury of 
Assyria; but Judah survived all these dangers, and for 

VOL. V. 


.1! 1 



threo or four years before Hezekiah's death had been left 
undisturbed. The Philistines in the maritime plains had 
become independent under Ahaz, but submitted to his 
successor. Under the inspiration of prophets like Isaiah 
and Micahj Hezekiah had reversed the religious policy 
of his father, banishing idolatry, destroying the heathen 
high places, restoring the temple, reorganizing its 
worship, and observing the ancient national religious 
feasts with an enthusiasm unknown since the days of 
Jehoshaphat, two hundred years before. The revival of 
the old faith of Israel, which began under the preach- 
ing of Joel more than a hundred and fifty years before 
Hezekiah's day, had culminated under that of the son 
of Amoz. Formalism had spread with the growing in- 
fluence of the priests and the stress laid on ceremonial 
worship,^ but this had called forth the vigorous protests 

* 2 Chron. xxix. 11. 

Num. iii. 6, 8, 14; xviii. 2, Q, 
Lev. iv. 3, 14. 

viii. 14,15,19,24. ' ' 
iv. 15, 24. 
„ „ 14,20. 
Num. X. 8, 10. . ' ■ ' 

Lev. vii. 12. 
„ iii. 16. 
Num. XV. 5, 7, 10. 

„ ix. 10, 11. . , 

Exod. xii. 6, 18. 
„ xii. 43, etc. --■ • 

„ xii. 15 ; xiii. 6, * 
Deut. XX xiii. 10. * > 

Num. vi. 23. 

I am aware that the revolutionary school of critics depreciate 
the testimony of Chronicles, as compiled at a later date than 
Kings, and lay stress on the fact that the Passover of Hezekiah is 
passed over in silence in the earlier book. But so broad-minded 
a critic as Bertheau reminds us that this is no ground for surprise, 
as Kings notices matters concerning the restoration of public 













"■N Jlii .. 



of the prophets, who, while owning the authority of the 
Mosaic system, insisted that the worth of its services 
depended on the spirit in which they were rendered, and 
demanded a life in accordance with the moral as well as 
external precepts of the Law. But, for the time, their 
words fell in great part unheeded. Deeply corrupted with 
the vices of neighbouring heathenism, the nation resented 
the puritan earnestness of the nobler members of the 
order, and, while ready to worship Jehovah at the com- 
mand of the king, ignored Him in their daily life. The 
prophets were, in fact, in advance of their day. Their 
religious conceptions were too noble for their contem- 
poraries. The world had not as yet seen a faith in which 
rites and ceremonies were not supreme, and could not 
realize the outward forms of worship as merely symbols 
of a lofty spiritual life. To the average Jew, as to the 
heathen, priestly acts and external compliances con- 
stituted the essence of religion. The reformation effected 
by Hezekiah was thus, to a great extent, superficial. 
The mass of the priests and of the people, and most of 
the prophets, were ready to go back to idolatry when it 
was introduced by Manasseh, as here, in England, the 
bulk of the nation and of the clergy returned at once 

worship or its reforms only very slightly. Bat, he adds, since it 
admits of no doubt that Hezekiah uprooted idolatry (2 Kings 
xviii. 22), the great spring feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread 
must have been celebrated in a way more corresponding to the 
law of Moses than hitherto. It is, he continues, probable, that 
even during the reign of idolatry, festivals were held at the 
times appointed by the Law for the great Jewish feasts. He, also, 
calls attention to the fact that the invitation of Hezekiah to the 
Ten Tribes to attend the Passover was sent while King Hosea 
still reigned, and Samaria had not yet fallen. It was a last 
attempt to bring them back to their God. Bertheau, Die B. dar 
Chronik (1873), p. 389. 



to Eonaanism, when restored by Mary, after the death 
of Edward the Sixth. 

It is difficult to realize the state of the petty kingdom 
of Hezekiah, in his last years of peace and prosperity. 
Its very insignificance is apt to be forgotten. The home 
of the one true religion which was to educate the world 
for God, it was yet no larger than the small triangle in 
the north of England defined by the towns of Stockton, 
Whitehaven, and Berwick-upon-Tweed; that is, it was 
rather smaller than Yorkshire. The re-conquest of the 
Philistine country had given it once more the partial 
command of the rich slopes of the Shephelah on the west. 
But, on the south, its narrow bounds soon reached the 
parched uplands of the Negeb, and Judah itself, since 
the destruction of its primitive forests, was only a region 
of bare grey hills, intersected by a labyrinth of narrow 
and mostly stony glens. Still, the climate was favour- 
able, and what soil there was yielded abundantly. Careful 
terracing of the hill sides, and laborious cultivation of the 
valleys and straths, returned a rich harvest of grapes, 
olives, grain, and garden produce; the elements of a 
simple but abundant maintenance for town and country, 
if the ancient land laws had been still universally in force. 
• These laws, dating from the wilderness sojourn, were 
based on the soundest principles. Passing from the 
unsettled life of tents, the community were to be culti- 
vators of the soil, and it was therefore divided inalienably 
among the whole population. Every peasant was made 
a landowner, but rather in trust for his descendants than 
as a freeholder. Jehovah Himself, remained absolute 
owner in cbiof,^ the occupants being only His stewards,^ 
holding possession under stringent conditions. The first 
fruits, the first born of all farm stock, and the tenth 
» Lev. XXV. 23. = Luke xvi. 2, 3. 1 Cor. iv. 2. 1 Pet. iv. 10. 

i i 




* the death 

>urn, were 

of all produce, must be paid, in the name of God, to the 
priests, the Levites, and the poor. Every seventh year 
the land must lie fallow, trusting to His bounty in the 
preceding harvests.^ The soil was heid, in fact, for the 
Crown, subject to certain payments and duties, but the 
Crown was that of heaven. 

These conditions honourably sat* ified, the title of the 
landowner was indefeasible. No tribe could seize land 
belonging to any other.^ A king could not rob his 
meanest subject of his inheritance; for even Ahab 
obtained Naboth*s vineyard only through the judicial 
murder of its owner, under a false charge of blasphemy 
and treason.^ The absolute transfer of land was for- 
bidden. At most, it could only be made over to a lessee 
till the year of jubilee, a period not exceeding forty-nine 
years. Moreover, even when thus for a time alienated, 
the nearest of blood — the goel or redeemer — had at all 
times the right to buy it back, that it might at once 
revert to the family of the original owner.* 

Such were the land laws of Judah, or, rather, such had 
they been. But the noble ideal of a community in which 
all enjoyed practical equality, had long passed away. 
With the development of the monarchy and the gradual 
rise of courtiers and nobility and rich men, fatal abuses 
crept in. Usurers had taken advantage of periods 
of depression or temporary misfortune, to oppress their 
brethren. House had been added to house and field to 
field by these land robbers, till great estates had largely 
supplanted a peasant proprietary.^ Many yeomen had 
even been driven from their holdings by violence ; others 

* Exod. xxiii. 10 fF. Lev. xxv. 3, 4 ; xxvi. 34 ; xxxv. 43. 2 Ghron. 
zxxvi. 21. 

' Num. ix. 3o. ' 1 Kings xxi. 2 Sara. xvi. 4; xix. 29. 

* Ruth iv. 3. Jor. xxxii. 7. , * Isa. v. 8. 





by legal frauds.^ Wholesale evictions were common.* 
The poor were devoured from off the earth.* The rural 
population had to wander to the towns, or become 
labourers on ground that had been their own. Wealth 
accumulated and men decayed. A proletariat had been 
created by the tyranny of the moneyed class, aided by 
bad laws or usage. Discontent prevailed among large 
numbers who still clung to their holdings, and it found 
its utterance through the prophets. Men widely com- 
plained that in bad years they had to mortgage their 
lands, vineyards, and houses, to buy corn or to pay the 
taxes.* Splendour reigned in the mansions of the few, 
but deepening poverty in the cottages and cabins of the 
many. Under such circumstances national decline might 
be arrested for a time by a wise and good ruler, but 
could not permanently be warded off. 

With the increase of population through successive 
centuries, and the consequent clearing of the woodlands, 
there must, as has been noticed, have been a gradual 
diminution of the rainfall, in the time of the later kings, 
increasing the diflSculties of the husbandman and making 
his gains more precarious. Yet careful and assiduous 
industry, as we have seen, made much even of the barren 
chalk hills of Judah; huge underground cisterns filled 
during the winter and spring rains, sufficing usually, with 
the fertilizing Mediterranean night mists of the summer, 
to water the crops duriug the hot and dry months. In 
Egypt their forefathers had had to raise water from the 
sunken level of the Nile, to irrigate their fields and patches, 
but no creaking water wheels, turned by oxen or by the 
painful treading of the human foot, were needed in Pales- 

> Micah ii. 2. ^ Micah ii. 9. Hub. ii. 9, 12. » Prov. xxx. 14. 
■* Nell. V. 2. The taxes in this case were for a foreign ruler, 
but it must have been the same before the captivity. 


tine.' What water there was, was led hither and thither 
over the soil, as in the irrigation of our own meadows.* 
No hedges divided the fields or gardens of neighbours ; 
boundary stones, as on the continent now, showed each 
his limits.^ The richer landowners employed slaves and 
hired labourers, under an overseer,* for field work, but 
were not themselves above taking part in the labours of 
their subordinates.^ The long fallow of the seventh, or 
Sabbath year, gave the soil periodical rest ; the burning 
of the stubble and chaff of each harvest, and perhaps 
systematic manuring, fertilized it.* Wheat and barley 
were the principal crops on the hill slopes and in the 
open bottoms; a fringe of vetches or other inferior 
produce often protecting the edges of the field. The 
eye rested on patches of lentils, beans, millet, cummin. 

* Deut. xi. 10. A ndan sits before a wheel on 'wbicb buckets 
are fixed, and turns it by drawing to him one set of spokes with 
liis hands and pushing another away from him with his feet. 
Niehuhr, Voy.f vol. i. p. 120, pi. 15. BohinsoUf vol. ii. p. 22 ; vol. iii. 
p. 89. Reference is also perhaps made to the rivulets of water 
opened and closed with the foot, which are still common in 
Palestine. Tent Work, p. 328. 

3 Job. xxxviii. 25. Prov. xxi. 1. . ' . ; , 
' Deut. xix. 14 ; xxvii. 17. Prov. xxii. 18. Job. xxiv. 2. Hos. 
V. 10. It is curious to find in an inscription from Babylon, 
dating about 1400 years before Christ, heavy curses against any 
one who removed a landmark. He who injured the land or de- 
stroyed the boundary stone, or removed it, whoever he be, " may 
the gods— the lords of this land— make his name desolate, curse 
him with an unspeakable curse, desolate him with utter desolation, 
gather his posterity together for evil, not for good. Until the day 
of his departure from life may he come to ruin ; may the gods 
rend him asunder, and may his name be trodden down." Comp. 
Ps. cix. 

* Ruth ii. 5. "1 Sara. xi. 5. 1 Kings xix. 19. 

* Exod. XV. 7. Isa. v. 24 2 Kings ix. 37. Jer. ix. 32; xvi. 4, etO; 



i I 


cucamberSj melons, or flax.^ The cotton plant seems 
also to have been cultivated on the warm coast plain, as 
it still is.^ The terraced hills were rich with citron and 
olive trees, intermingled with the apricot, quince, plum , 
mulberry, and fig ; while the date, the pomegranate, the 
lime, the almond, and the prickly pear, flourished in 
appropriate spots. 

The sowing of the winter crops began towards the end 
of October, the early rains having then fallen, mostly 
during the nights, and at intervals. Rude ploughs, 
drawn by oxen, had already opened the soil; an iron- 
shod goad then, as now, urging on the slow-moving 
cattle.* Land was not indeed thought ready for grain till 
it had been ploughed more than once, the custom being, 
perhaps, like that of our own day, to plough it three or 
four times before sowing, during an interval of a whole 
year.* The clods having been broken up by a mattock,^ 
the surface was finally levelled by a harrow.® November 
saw the husbandman sowing his beans peas, lentils, and 
vetches; a fortnight later he sowed his barley, and in 
another month his wheat, sometimes broadcast, some- 
times in rows ; '^ care being taken that the seed should 

* 2 Sam. xxiii. 11. Exod. iv. 9. 2 Sam. xvii. 28. Isa. xxviii. 25; 
u 8. Josh. ii. 6. Hos. ii. 9. Prov. xxxi. 13. 

2 1 Chron. iv. 21. " Fine linen " should be " cotton." Pau- 
sanias (a.d. 160-180) speaks of " Hebrew cotton," v. 6, 2. 

* 1 Sam. xi. 7. Amos vi. 12. Acts ix. 6. 

* Wetstein in Delitzsch's lesaia, pp. 389 AT. Perhaps this is 
what Isaiah refers to when he speaks o£ the Jews as sowing and 
reaping for the first time, in the third year after the withdrawal 
of the Assyrians (Isa. xxxvii. 30). 

* Isa. xxviii. 24. * Isa. xxviii. 24. 

7 Isa. xxviii. 25. The words "principal wheat " shomld, appa- 
rently, be " wheat in rows.'' See Art. Sorah, in Miihlau und 
Volck. Sabo says that sowing in rows was common among the 
Babylonians, as securing larger crops. 




never be mixed, as in this case it fell to the share of the 
temple.^ The seed needed, moreover, to be Levitioally 
clean ; that is, gathered from Jewish soil, by those who 
themselves were ceremonially free from defilement.^ The 
summer crops were sown at the end of January and in 
February, in anticipation of the " latter rains " in March 
and April, on which their yield depended. 

A brief respite from field work followed, but it was 
only brief, for the barley harvest in these warm regions 
began, round Jericho, in the first weeks of April ; that of 
the coast plains, and then of the whole country, falling 
before the sickle by the end of the month. Watchers 
guarded the unfenced crop as it approached ripeness,* 
but the wayfarer was always free to pluck what ears he 
needed, if he were hungry."* The reapers, however, could 
not begin their task ^ till the first ripe sheaf, gathered 
from the valleys near Jerusalem, had been waved before 
God in thanksgiving, at the opening of the Passover 
rejoicings.^ Wheat harvest began round Jericho in the 
second half of May, the higher lands, elsewhere, yellowing 
for the sickle a month later. The close of June saw the 
fields rough with long stubble over all the land, aud 
forthwith the cattle were seen treading out the grain on 
the round open-air threshing floors on the hill tops, or in 
the long sweeps of the glens. Before Pentecost, or the 
Feast of Weeks, fifty days from the Passover, all the 
grain harvest was housed, and the people free to return 
thanks at the second great yearly feast^ at which the 

* Lev. xix. 19. Deut. xxii. 9. 

2 Michael is, Mas. Becht, vol. iv. § 218, p. 329. 
^ Jer. iv. 17. ■* Matt. xii. 1. 

* The men now sit on their haunches to reap, and cut ofi" the 
straw very high up. Tent Work in Palestine, p. 329, 

' Heloiis Pilgrimage, vol. i. p. 28''. . . ' ' 




priest before the altar waved to all points of the com- 
pass loaves of the new corn, and a portion of the new 
flour, to express the gratitude of the nation to Jehovah 
for the new bread of another season.^ 

September and October saw the gathering and tread- 
ing of the ripe grapes, and the plucking of the ruddy 
pomegranates; after which came the stripping of the 
olive trees, and the pressing of their berries for the 
golden oil. Then, at last, followed the third great fes- 
tival of Tabernacles, the national harvest home, amidst 
seven days rejoicings. The old year had closed with 
September ; October began the months of another. 

In such a reign as that of Ahaz, the sacred feasts had 
doubtless been much neglected ; but under a ruler like 
Hezekiah the religious feelings of the better part of the 
nation found joyful expression. The sixty-fifth Psalm, 
which bears the name of David, seeras to have been used 
as a harvest hymn in these later timos, alike in the 
temple courts and at the household altar of many a 
father in Israel. 

Praise is due to Thee, God, in Zion,* 
To Thee shall the vow be performed ! 
O Thou that hearest prayer, to Thoe all flesh come. 
Our iniquities are too great for me to think of; 
But Thou wilt hide our transgressions from Thine eyes. 
Happy is the man whom Thou choosest, . .~' 

And causest to approach unto Thee, 
That he may dwell in Thy courts. 
He shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, 
Even of Thy holy temple. 

O satisfy us with the delights of Thy house, Thy holy temple I 
Vty terrible deeds, in Thy righteousness. Thou hearest us, 
O God of Qur salvation : 

' ffelon*8 P-ilnrimage^ vol. ji. p. 192. 

* Fsalm Ixv. 



Who nrfc the hope of all the ends of the earth, 

And of those afar off, beyond the sea. 

Who by Thy might settest fast the mountains, 

Girding Thyself with power I 

Who stillest the noise of the seas — the noise of their waves, 

And the tumult of the nations ; 

So that the dwellers in the farthest parts 

Fear the signs of Thy presence. 

East and west ; when morning rises, and when the night comes 

Thou makest to rejoice; 

Thou visitcstthe earth, and waterost it abundantly; 
Thou enrichest it greatly from the floods above— the river of 

Which is full of water. 
Thou providest men corn, when Thou hast thus prepared the 

earth for it ; 
Thou soakest the furrows; Thou washest down the clods, 
Softening them by Thy showers, and blessing the springing 

Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness ; 
The paths of Thy wheels in the clouds drop fatness. 
Yea, the pastures of the wilderness trickle with it; 
The joyful hills put on robes of beauty ; 
The meadows are set off with flocks; 
The valleys with waving corn : 
Men shout, and sing for ioy I 

The yield of the soil in good years not only supplied 
the wants of the people, but left a surplus of grain for 
exportation.^ In Solomon's day over eighty thousand 
bushels of wheat were paid yearly by the wise king to 
Hiram of Tyre/ and in Isaiah's time, and later, the 
Phenicians imported the grain they required, not only 
from Egypt, but from other districts of Palestine, espe- 
cially the centre and north, and from east of the Jordan.^ 

* Ocn. xxvi. 12. Matt. xiii. 8. 
' Isa. xxiii. 8. Ezek. xxvii. 17. 

2 1 Kings V. 11. 
Acts xii. 20. Ezra iii. 7. 

•li 1 1 i 

I J 



We have to picture the landscape of Judah in those 
years as dotted with numerous open villages and walled 
towns ;^ some of thorn regularly fortified according to 
the rude ideas of the age. These strongholds, however, 
had mostly been destroyed by the Assyrians, but they 


SIoDBBir Orisntai. Gate— Bab el Xasb ; Caibo. (Fwrn Lane's Arabian Nights.) 

were gradually being rebuilt; though the country must 
still have exhibited many traces of Sennacherib's in- 
vasion. The huge gates of these fortresses, set off by 

- * Deut. iii. 6. Estli. ix. 19. 



a text of the law cut in the wall over thorn ,^ stood 
open by day ; but the massive leaves were closed at 
twilight, and secured by heavy iron or brazen bars.^ To 
strengthen these entrances to the town, they were gene- 
rally surmounted by towers,^ which supplied accommoda- 
tion for the guard, and a look out, from which warders, 
at least in dangerous times, could announce, by voice or 
horn-blowing, the approach of danger.* In many cases 
the archway of the gate was protected by defences on 
the inner side also,^ the room between serving as a place 
of muster for the* guard. An open space stretched away 
before the gates; forming a busy market place in the 
early morning, the lounge of the citizens in the cool of 
the day, the show ground for royal pageants, the forum 
of public business, and the gathering place in public 
movements. Most of the streets within the walls were 
too narrow for loaded camels to pass each other,^ though 
in a few, carts and chariots could move freely.® Only 
those spots, however, where streets crossed each other 
offered vacant spaces for an audience to a prophet* or 
other public teacher, or for vanity or religious pretence to 
parade themselves.^^ Sanitary precautions were unknown. 
The streets were often deep with mire,^^ or cumbered with 

1 This is still, seen in the East. ^ Josh. ii. 5, 7. 

» 2 Sam. xviii. 33. 

* 2 Sam. xviii. 24. 2 Kings ix. 17. Jer. vi. 17. Ezek. xxxiii. 1. 
' 2 Sam. xviij. 24. 

• 2 Kings vii. 10. Neh. xiii. 19. Jer. xxxvii. 13. 

"f Jos., Bell. In Cairo many streets are not above a yard wide. 

8 2 Sam. XV. 1. 1 Kings i. 5. Jer. xvii. 25. 

s Piov. i. 21. Lake xiii. 26. »" Matt. vi. 2, 5. 

" Ps. xviii. 42, etc. the word is Tit. It is applied to tlie deep mud 
in the bottom of sul)terranean cisterns (Jer. xxxviii. 6), or on 
the banks of the Nile after its overflow (Job xli. 30; Ps. cxliv. 
13). The word suchah = sweepings, *' filth," "dung," is used in 



I ! 

still worse impurities. All the refiiso of tho town, indoccl, 
was thrown into thorn, to bo eaten by hungry bands of 
town dogs which roamed through tho streets by night, as 
in Eastern cities now. Arrangements for tho comfort 
of foot passengers seem to have been unknown, for, not- 
withstanding tho statement of Josephus that Solomon 
hiid the great lines of commorco with black basalt, it is 
doubtful whether there were any paved roads or streets 
before the time of Christ. Herod Agrippa II. appears, 

indeed, to have 
paved the narrow 
lanes of Jerusalem 
for tho first time,* 
and the earliest 
system of city 
drainage appears 
to have been in- 
troduced at CaBsa- 
rea, by Herod the 
Great.^ The vari- 
ous crafts had their 
booths or shops, 
which were in their 
respective quarters 
or bazaars,^ called 
by their names. 
Thus, the bakers,* the goldsmiths, the merchants,^ the 
wool dealers, the braziers, the cloth sellers,^ etc., had 
their various streets, each of which, like the others in the 

Tsa. V. 25. Chomer is used in Isa. x. 6, and is generally trans- 
luted ** clav " ; sometimes *' mortar." 

' Jos., Ant, XX. ix. 7. 2 jog^ ^^^^ XV. ix. 6; XVI. v. 3. 

* BiizaAv, Persian = a market. * Jer. xxxvii. 21. 

•Neh. iii. 31. • Jos., ^eii., V. viii. 9. 

A DsTAcnxD Eaotbrk Hovsb, without 
Pbojbcxiwo Wikbows. 




city, Imd its own giito which was almt when necessary.' 
The business part of the towns, moreover, was n distinct 
district, apart from the houses." 'J'hese were generally of 
more than one storey,^ with flat continuous roofs, pro- 
tected at the edges by a purupet,* hittices closing the 
windows facing the street, over which they often projected, 
so as almost to meet from the opposite sides, as in Cairo 
now." When large enough, each dwelling had an inner 
court ; the centre of family life. Words from the Law 
looked down from over the outer door or gateway, and 

portions of it, at least in later 
times, were inserted into the 
right post of the inner doors, 
or nailed against them.* 
There was no such thing as 

• Ecolcs. xii. 4. 
' Zcph. i. 11. Maktcah«-tho 

mortiir, was a locality in Jerusa- 

» 2 Kings i. 3, 4, 10. 

^ 2 Sam. xi. 2. Deut. sxii. 8. 

• Judges V. 28. Lindsay, p. 27. 

• The Rnhbia, in later ages, 
invented what is called the Me- 
zuziili, = *'door post," in fancied 
compliance with the command 

in Dent. vi. 9, to wiito certain words on door posts and gates. 
It is a piece of parchment, prepared by Rabbinical rules, and 
inscribed with the verses Deut. vi. 4-9, and xi. 13-21. The slip 
is enclosed in a cylinder of wood, tin, or lead, a hole cut in which 
shows the word Shaddai, written on the outside of the parch- 
ment. One of these Scripture charms is nailed obliquely to the 
door posts of all the rooms of a house, on the righthand side, 
that every one who enters may remember that the eye of God is 
ever upon him; a thought blessed in the extreme. Unfortu- 
nately, in too many cases, it has sunk to a mere superstition ; 
the Mczuzah being regarded as in itself a charm, to guard the 


ON A DooB Post. 






lighting the streets, and honest citizens were careful to 
be early at home ; or, if necessarily abroad after dark, 
carried lamps with them.^ Without this precaution one 
was exposed to be attacked by the troops of half wild 
street dogs, or arrested by the watchmen.* Hence the 
town seemed deserted by night, except when a marriage 
procession, with lamps and torches, broko the " outer 
darkness,*'^ which, compared with the brightness inside 
the houses, became a proverbial comparison for misfor- 
tune in contrast to happiness.* In the time of Nehemiah, 
if not earlier, the town gates were closed at sunset on 
Friday evenings, and not re-opened till the Sabbath 
ended, at twilight, on Saturday.* 

Where peace was so uncertain, the size and prosperity 
of towns depended on their strength and position, and 
few of them were without walls. The villages, like those 

honse from evil, A person going out or entoving touches it with 
his finger, and kisses the finger that has touched it; believing, 
not seldom, that while it remains undefiled, it protects the house 
from the angel of death, from evil dreams, and from evil spirits. 
The three names of an angel — mere fancies of the Rabbis- -are 
sometimes put below the word Shaddai on the back of the roll, 
prayer being offered to him for help and protection. " Who- 
ever," Bays the Talmud, " has the phylacteries bound to his head 
and arm, the fringes affixed to his Tallith, and the Mczuzah nailed 
on his door post, is safe from sin." " In thy name, Kusu 
Bemochsas Kusu," prays the outgoer, " may I go forth and 
prosper; " or, rising above supplication to an angel: *' The Lord 
guard my going out and coming in, for ever." On the Mezuzah, 
see Buxtorff, Si/nagoga Jiidaica. pp. 381-387. Herzog, Ency., 
vol. iv. p. 682. Barclay's Talmud, p. 362 ff. Sacred texts were 
written over the doors of ancient Egyptian houses. WUkinsoyit 
vol. ii. p. lOi. 

* ^ratt. XXV. 1. ' Ps. xxii. 17, 21. Cant. v. 7. Isa. xxi. 11, 12. 

» Miitt. XXV. 6. ■* Matt. viii. 12. 

' Neh. Xiii. 19. Tsa. Ix. 11. Rev. xxi. 25. 



of Europe in the middle ages, were generally near some 
strong place, and were hence spoken of as its daughters.^ 
Most towns were on the tops of heights, or in the recesses 
of narrow valleys, like Shechem and Hebron, and it was 
to its strong position that Jerusalem owed its compara- 
tive greatness. Yet even it was, at best, a small place, 
according to modern standards; ifi population not ex- 
ceeding, perhaps, 50,000; if we may judge from the fact 
that its fighting men, carried ofif by Nebuchadnezzar, 
with Jehoiachin,^ numbered 10,000. Other towns were 
smaller. Thus, at the time of the conquest, Ai had 12,000 
inhabitants,^ and though Gibeon was larger than this,* the 
population of Gibeah, as late as the days of the Judges, 
was apparently only about 3000.^ 

The busiest time of the day in these ancient com- 
munities was the early morning, when the country people 
thronged the open space before the gates to sell their 
produce,* and the magistrates and judges, or even the 
king, sat in the shadow of the gateway, deciding public 
or private disputes.''' During the day every one who 
could sought shelter from the heat, but in the cool of 
the evening, the sea-wind blew, from about eight or 
nine to ten o'clock,^ bringing a delightful coolness, of 
which the citizens were glad to take advantage, by leav- 
ing their houses and narrow streets for a pleasant saunter 
or gossip outside the gates.® In the deep shadow of the 

* Num. xxi. 25-32. Josh. xv. 45; etc. 

^ 2 Kings xxiv. 14. Eiehm, p. 693. Thenius fancies it had a 
population of only about 17,000. 

' Josh. viii. 25. * Josh. x. 2. • 

* Judges XX. 15 ; there were 700 fighting men. 
« Neh. xiii. 15, 20. 

^ Prov. xxii. 22 ; xxiv. 7. Deut. xvi. 18. Zech. viii. 16. Euth 
iv. 1 fi: * Furrer, Art. Winde, in Schenl'cl. 

* Gen. xix. 1 ; xxxi?. 20. Ps. Ixix. 13. Prov. i. 20, 21 ; xxxi. 23, 31, 
VOL. v. C 



houses the children could play at all hours, but the . .^d 
liien or women who watched them were fain to sit in the 
cool of their doorways, staff in hand, till the sun went 
down.^ r 

The towns, like the villages, were governed by a 
body of elders, the humbler counterpart of the chiefs of 
tribes and clans, who still ruled each generation, as their 
predecessors had done from before the days of the 
Exodus. Jehoshaphat^ had associated trained judges 
with them in the legal business of their locality ; those 
for ecclesiastical matters being Levites ;^ but they were 
still the chief recognized magistrates of each locality. In 
Jerusalem a High Court had been set up by the same 
king, with secular and priestly judges.* For though, in 
earlier times, elders of different ranks had been the sole 
judges,^ this ancient simplicity soon passed away. But 
from the very first, under whatever name, the functions 
of local government had been carried on by local magis- 
trates,® and there were even town halls for their con- 
venience. The bazaar also in each town was under the 
charge of a special inspector.' 

A wib- precaution, unknown till very recently in our 

' Zech. viii. 4, 6. Jer. vi. 11. Matt. xi. 16. 

^ 2 Chron. xix. 5. * Deut. xxi. 6. 1 Chron. xxiii. 4 ; xxvi. 29. 

* Deut. xvii. 9; xix. 17. 

* Josh. XX. 4. In Ku rubers xxxv. 12, 24 ff., the word ** congrega- 
tion'' is used where in the parallel text in Josh, the elders are 
na:ned. These may very naturally have been spoken of a^ the 
congregation, from their being its representatives. It is to bo 
remembered, moreover, that as trials took place in the open air, a 
crowd of bystanders always gathered round, associating them- 
selves in the proceedings, as they still do in the East, as if they 
also were judges. 

* Jos., Vita., 12, 13, 27, St, 61, 68 ; Bell, II. xxi. 3; V. iv. 2. 
' Jos., Ant, XVIII. vi. 2. 







own country, strictly forbade the burial of the dead within 
the limits of any community. The cemeteries, shaded 
by numerous trees, lay outside the walls; the multitude 
resting in ordinary graves ; the rich under costly monu- 
ments or in chambers* hewn out of the rock — where the 
departed were "gathered to their fathers'';^ great stone 
doors or massive stone coverings — the "Gates of Death''* 
— shutting in their dark abodes. Orchards and gardens, 
where the soil permitted, stretched round the towns and 
cities.^ In nearly every landscape clumps of olives, or 
single olive trees, with their grey foliage, met the eye, 
and yielded the rich oil which was a native product of the 
land.* It was used for the preparation of all kinds of 
food, and even for the household lamps, and it was also 
in great demand for anointing the person. The supply, 
however, exceeded the home consumption so greatly that 
a large quantity was exported to Egypt and Phenicia.* 
The king himself had " oil gardens ''' on the fertile 
slopes of the Shephelah,' and " The Mount of Olives," 
Gethsemane,^ and Bezetha,* show its abundance in the 
neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The stony slopes of the 
hills reverberating the heat, and the moist winds of 
night, favoured the growth of the vine. Great vineyards 
are now found only round Hebron, though vines still run 
up the houses and shade the roofs, all over Palestine, 
or twist through the b- \nches of the fig tree, making 
a cool arbour in the cottage gardens.® 

In Hezekiah's day the grapes of Engedi, of Hebron, of 

* Judges ii. 10. 2 Kings xxii. 20. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 28. 

* Ps. ix. 13. * Deut. xx. 19. Jos., Bell., V. ii. 2. 

* Deuf. viii. 8, etc. 

* Hos. xii. 2. Ezek. xxvii. 17. 1 Kings v. 11. Ezra iii. 7. 

* 1 Chron. xxviii. 28. ' "Oil press. 

* Place of Olives. Riehm, p. 699, • Micali iv. 4. 

, I 

;i ^ i-,.£^-siJisp:::=: 




Shechem, of Carmel, and of Jeareel, were famous.^ The 
wine of Lebanon bore a great name, and the luxuriant 
vines of northern Moab were hardly less renowned.^ On 
the shores of Gennesaret grapes might be plucked for 
ten months in the year.^ Bethhaccerem — "The House 
of the Vine"— was not far from Bethlehem. The 
mai'ket of Jerusalem had ripe clusters from Jericho 
and the coast as early as the end of July, though the 
harvest was not ripe over the country till the middle of 
September or the beginning of October. 

The literary glory of the reigns of David> Solomon, 
and Johoshaphat, marking as it did the prosperity of 
their times, naturally showed itself once more under 
Hezekiali. Not only were the famous productions of the 
genius of the past — its Proverbs and Psalms — rescued 
from oblivion and collected into a permanent form ; the 
contemporary prophecies of Isaiah and Micah were 
engrossed and preserved, and the sacred poetry of the 
nation received noble additions from now unknown 
writers. The triumph over Sennacherib had roused the 
soul of the nation and was sung by many bards. Some 
of their lyrics have been given in the last chapter of the 
preceding volume, but such an event was a fruitful 
theme of poetry.* The forty-eighth Psalm celebrate ( 
the humiliation of the Great King no less vividly thatt 
those already given :— 

Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised 
In the City of our God ; His holy mountain ! 



* Cant. i. 14. Num. xiii.24 Judges ix. 27. 2 Ohron. xxvi. 1(X 
1 Kings xxi. 1. 

* Cant. viii. 11. Hos. xiv. 8. Isa. xvi. 8. Jer. xlviii. 32. 
8 Jos., Bell., III. X. 8. 

* Ps. xlviii. . 


Beautiful, in its swelling height, is Mount Zion ; 
The joy o£ the whole earth. 

Far as the utmost north, in the city of the Great King,' 
Elohim has made Himself known in her palaces 
As a sure defence of His people.' 

For, lo, the kings gathered against Zion; . 
They pressed on together ; 
They saw — they marvelled — 
They were troubled — they fled ; 
Trembling seized them ; 
Pain, as of a travailing woman I 

As the great Tarshish ships are scattered by an eastern stornit 
(So were they shattered and destroyed ! ) 

As we have heard (in hymn and song) 
In the city of Jehovah of Hosts — the city of our God- 
So have we (ourselves) seen. 
•' God will preserve her for ever." • 

We have thought on Thy loving kindness, O God, 
In the midst of Thy temple ! 

As Thy name, God, is known to the ends of the earth, 
So, now, in Thy praise (as a God who defends His people) 
Thy right hand is full of righteousness ! 

Let Mount Zion rejoice ; let the daughters of Judah be glad, 
Because of Thy judgments ! 
Walk round Zion — make a circuit of her walls- 
Count her towers — notice her ramparts — ,, 
Number her castle-like palaces — 
That ye may tell to the generat ion to come 
That the God (who has protected them) is our God, 
And will be our champion for ever." * 

* Nineveh. ^ Bredonkamp, Gesetz und Fropheten, pp. 144-5. 

* It is to be noticed that Zion is here, already, in Hezekiah's 
time, the " Holy Mountain " of Jehovah ; that is, the religious 
centre of the nation. It did not, therefore, become so, first, after 
the Exile, as the supporters of Welhausen's theory maintain. 

* Ewald. DoWette. von Lengerhe. Kay. Ritzig. Moll. Hupfeld 



The sixty-sixth Psalm^ has been regarded as another 
relic of these great days, when the remembrance of a 
deliverance hardly less wonderful than that of the Bed 
Sea, filled all hearts and kindled the imagination. 

Make a loud noise unto Elohim, all lands ; * 
Strike the harp in honour of His name ; 
Give Him the glory which is his due praise ! 
Say unto Elohim : " How terrible are Thy works, 
Through the greatness of Thy power must Thine enemies submit 

to Thee. 
All lands will do homage to Thee and praise Thee on the harp ! 
They will strike the harp to Thy name." 

Come and see the great deeds of Elohim, 
Whose might is so irresistible by the sons of men. 

He turned the sea into dry land, . * 

They went through the flood on foot-;- 
There did we glory in being His ! ^ • 

His — who by His might rules for ever-^ 
His eyes keep watch over the nations — 
The rebellious — let them not raise their heads I 

bless our God, ye peoples, 
Raise loud the voice of His praise, 
Who lifted our souls from death to life, 
And did not suffer our feet to give way 1 

For Thou, Elohim, hast proved us; * 

Tried us in the furnace, as silver is tried ; 
Thou broughtest us under the np^., 

Thou laidst a heavy load on our loins; /' 

Thou lettedst the worthless ride over our head : 
We passed through the fire and ihe flood ; 
But Thou hast vouchsafed us a great deliverance ! 

1 will go into Thy house with whole burnt-offerings; 
I will pay Thee my vows ; 

' Ewald thinks it is made up of two Psalms, the first ending 
at the 13ih verse. 
3 Ps. IxvL 

of a 




Vows uttered with open lips ; 

Vows proclaimed by ray mouth when I was in trouble. 

Whole burnt-offerings of fatted sheep will I bring Thee, 

With the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; * 

I will offer to Thee oxen and young goats. 

Come, hear me toll, all ye that fear God, 
What He has done for my soul ! 
I cried aloud to Him with my mouth ; . 

His high praise was on my tongue. 
For if, in my heart, I had looked aside to iniquity, 
The Lord of all would not have heard me. 

But, verily, Elohim has heard ; 
He has attended to the voice of my prayer. 
Blessed be Elohim, 
Who has not turned away my prayer. 
Nor His mercy from me.' 

That the only remaining literature of a people should 
be so wholly and sublimely religious as odes like this, 
is a peculiarity which marks that of the Hebrews alone. 
The existence of one Living God; our dependence on 
Him; His holiness, and the necessity of spiritual 
religion, to please Him ; sacrifices and offerings having 
no worth without it; are assumed as truths respecting 
which there is no question. To obtain His favour, to 
trace His hand in all human affairs, national and indivi- 
dual, to praise His goodness or to implore His forgive- 
ness, is the single thought of the writer. The one sub- 
ject of the only collection of Hebrew books we possess 
is — God. How different with the literature of every 
cher people ! 

* Bams were the burnt-offerings of the high priests, the 
princes, and the people. The use of the plural shows that the 
psalmist speaks for the whole worshippers, not for himself alone. 

' This Psalm appears, from its language, to be the composition 






It is necessary to remember this striking characteristic, 
if we wcjid rightly estimate the reh'gious enthusiasm 
under Hezekiah, or the mortal struggle against heathen- 
ism under his '^on, Manasseh. The national party, zealous 
for the worshii; of Jehovah, the God of their fathers, 
looked back to >i, golden age under David, but, since his 
day, had seen the rise and occasional triumph of foreign 
heathenism, countenanced by a number of their kings, 
and by the court and upper classes. Under Athaliah 
they had maintained a fierce struggle againsfc the intro- 
duction of Phenician idolatry; under Ahaz against the 
heathenism of the Euphrates. Headed by prophets, they 
had crushed the former, in the reign of Jehoash, and the 
latter in that of Hezekiah, disdaining to substitute for 
their national faith that of any other kingdom, however 
great or powerful. The glory of Tyre or of Nineveh 
might be an argument to the foreign party in their midst, 
for the greatness of the gods by whom it was claimed 
to have been secured ; they clung to Him who had opened 
for their fathers a way through the sea ; who had mado 
David victorious from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, 
and who now, in these last years, had smitten, by an 
awful miracle, the armies of the Great King, and made 
them flee apace from under the walls of His chosen Zion. 
But as in all communities, in every age, it was only 
a minority who cherished, with a full and intelligent 
conviction, the great principles which thus for a time were 
triumphant. The mass of the people, now, as always, 
passively yielded themselves to the spirit of the day; 
ready to follow Hezekiah's reforms, in the excitement of 
the hour, but no less so to pass over to the heathen party, 
should it again get the ascendancy. Two forces con- 
tended for supremacy; the national party, or Jehovah 
ivorshippers — under the prophets; and the patrician party, 



who sighed for the glitter of foreign manners and the 
fancied security of foreign alliances, and, to secure both, 
were eager to adopt the heathenism of the neighbouring 






It of 





Kino op Judah. 

MANA8Si;n, B.C. G95-C42.* 

CniEF Kings op Eovrr. 

TiRiiAKA or I'AnABKU.fTho dates of 

PiANCiii Meramun, son jj^j.^^^'y^^J^".^ 

of Tirhaka. Ctain. 

PsAMMETiCHUS I. B.C. 6G4-C12 (unitod 
the native and Ethiopian dynasties 
by bis raarriago). 

Kings op Assyria. 
Sennacher ;, B.C. 705-081. 
ESARHADDON „ 681-668. 
Assurbanipal (Sardanapalus) B.C. 

Kings of Phenicia. 


Ithobal II. (tributary to Sen- 

Abdimijlkuth, King of SicUyrif de- 
posed by Esarhaddon. 

Baal, King of Tyre. \ 

IsKiAKAP, King of 

In the time 


■ of Sardana- 

KuLUBAAL, King of 


Arvad. ^ 

Babylon, an Assyrian province. 
Edom, Phenicia, and all Palestine, 
except Judea, for a time, subject 
to Assyria. Egypt prostrate before 
Assyria, which ruled nil Western 
Asia besides. 

AT the opening of Hezekiah's reign of twenty-nine 
years, Judah had been weak, distracted and sinking. 
An unwise alliance with Assyria, the most dangerous 
of enemies, against Syria and the Northern Kingdom, had 
involved the court of Jerusalem in the political entangle- 
ments of Western Asia. Faith in Jehovah had decayed ; 
Assyrian idolatry, favoured by Ahaz to flatter the Great 
King and secure the favour of gods so powerful as his, 

> B.C. 698-04.3 Biehm ; 696-640 Bosch in Herzog, vol. xviii. p. 
463; 696-641 Winer; 695-641 Grdtz, vol. ii. p. 274. 




had been introdaced with great splendour in Jorusalern 
—and the immorality of heathenism, as a necessary result, 
had poisoned the springs of public, social and private 
life. When the good king lay dead, a generation later, 
amidst the wail of his people, everything was changed 
for the better. Encouraged and guided by Isaiah and 
other prophets, he had maintained the throno amidst 
the most threatening convulsions. He had restored the 
theocratic principle and acted loyally by it ; had banished 
idolatry, at least in its public manifestations; restored 
the services of the temple in their glory ; reorganized its 
priesthood, provided for their support, and re-established 
the Passover feast as the great religious festival of the 
nation. In his early reign he had seen the fall of 
Samaria, and the successive deportations of the Ten 
Tribes to Assyria; but his own kingdom, though far 
weaker, had weathered the storm of those years. The 
Philistines had been driven back in the Maritime Plain 
and their territory re-annexed to Judah ; the tribute paid 
to Assyria by Ahaz had been discontinued without evil 
consequences ; the terrors of the Assyrian invasion under 
Sargon had been surmounted; the vast army of Sen- 
nacherib had melted like snow before the glance of 
Jehovah, and the ambassadors of his bitter enemy, 
Merodach Baladan, of Babylon, had been received at 
Jerusalem. Fidelity to Jehovah — meaning as it did, 
uprightness, valour, and lofty convictions, — had received 
its reward in national honour and prosperity. 

Unhappily, Hezekiah had no grown-up son to follow 
him. His deepest regret in his almost fatal illness, 
fifteen years before his death, had been the want of an 
heir to whom to transmit his crown. A son had however 
been born to him three years later, but he was now only 
a boy of twelve ; left at the most impressible ago, with- 

M •] 

' I' 





out a father's counsels, to the baleful influence of the 
aristocratic heathen party, whom Hezekiah had with 
difRculty repressed during his reign. Of these, some, 
who had lived in the reign of Ahaz, cherished its worst 
traditions, and as a class they eagerly longed to revive 
them. Heathenism was fashionable, in fact, in high 
Jerusalem society, and had only been checked and kept 
under while Huzekiah lived. Like tho Romanists in 
England, under Edward VI., its adherents yielded, even 
at best, only a sullen acquiescence to a religious reforma- 
tion they detested, and thwarted it when they could.^ 
Everything indicated that a terrible reaction, like that 
of the. Restoration after the puritan strictness of the 
Commonwealth, would mark tho opening of a new reign. 

The name Manasseh, borne by Hezckiah's son only, 
may have been given in tho hope that the Northern 
Kingdom, now loft desolate, might be reunited to Judah 
under him. But this hope was vain. Local Assyrian 
governors seem to have taken the place of the kings 
of Israel,^ but tho antipathy of Ephraim to Judah, and 
tho heathenism of what population was left, proved 
stronger than the attraction of Jerusa'^^^n, or the hatred 
of vassalage to a foreign master. 

The queen mother, if we may trust Jewish tradition, 
was a daughter of the great prophet Isaiah, but according 
to the more trustworthy statement of Josephus had a less 
illustrious citizen or noble of Jerusalem as father.^ Her 
name, whether given at her marriage or earlier, wakes 

» Isa. i. 29 ; ii. 20; Ixv. 3. 2 Chron. xxiv. 17, 18. Jer. viii. 1, 2. 

' Tho most reoont Assyrian investigations make it doubtful 
whether a vassal kingdom had been set up at Samaria, under 
kings, as stated in vol. iv. p. 308. Schrader, Ahh. lierl. Ah-^ 1879. 
Dolitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies, p. 286. Noldcko, Z. D. M. G., 1882, 
p. 178. 3 Ant, X. iii. 1. 


a thonjrht of old-world tondornoss and poetry, for to 
lli'zckiali, at loiist, alio was Ilophzibuh — *' my delight 
is ill her.*' Wus it to tho glory of her marriage ceremony 
that Isaiah vofcrs when ho speaks of "tho bridegroom 
puttinj^ oa his priestly crown/ and tho brido adorning 
herself with her jewels/' ^ and was it a fond reminiscenco 
of one he hj\d loved and respected, when he tells ns in 
one of his last chapters, that Jehovah will make Zion, 
after her long desolation, once more His Hephzibah ?^ 

Manasseh was tho thirteenth king in descent from 
David, and, boy as ho was at his father's death, seems 
to have reigned, at least nominally, without a regency, 
from tho first. His mother may have been tho real 
sovereign for a time, as often happens in similar cases 
in the East, but he soon fell under the influence of the 
heathen court circle and palace officials ;* for tho upper 
class in Judah had always favoured foreign alliances and 
the toleration of foreign worship.* Under their tutelage 
the reign of Hezekiah was treated as an odious inter- 
ruption of tho national life, to be utterly ignored. Ma- 
nasseh's rule was to bo a continuation of that of Ahaz, 
both in religion and public polity. The result might 



* So, literally, tho phrase in A. V. " docketh himself with orna* 
ments." Some such custom seems alluded to as still prevails in 
northern Europe where the bride wears a crown on her marriage 
day. The bridegroom in Israel was " crowned on the day of his 
espousals." Cant. iii. 11. The Hebrew phrase is literally "to 
make priestly tho turban, or head-dress." 

2 Tsa. Ixi. 10. 

' Isa. Ixii. 4. An undesigned coincidence like this is very 
strikiDg, for the word Hephzibah occurs only in this passage, 
except where used in 2 Kings xxi. 1 of Manasseh's mother. 
Does this not seem to speak for the later chapters, as well as the 
earlier, being by Isaiah ? 

* Zeph. i. 5-9 ; iii. 3, 4. '2 Chron. xxiv. 17. 




?^ 'i 


have been foreseen. Extending through fifty-four years, 
and thus the longest in the history of Judah, it formed 
so dark a blot on the national annals that it is almost 
passed over in silence by the chroniclers of the time. 
Men regarded it as a period which it was desirable to 
bury as far as possible in oblivion. 

The destruction of the high places by Hezekiah; the 
overthrow of the idolatry so widely spread in the former 
reign ; and, not least, the long continuance of court 
favour to the friends of Jehovah- worship, had infuriated 
the heathen party to the uttermost. Their national 
religion seemed a barbarous eccentricity, degrading them 
in the eyes of the great world, and isolating them from 
the nations around. Idolatry had the prestige of splendid 
success, for had not the gods of Assyria raised the Great 
King to the most dazzling glory. In that splendour they 
tec, like others, would like to bask, by introducing 
Assyrian manners and worship. Nineveh was to Western 
Asia what the Paris of Louis Fourteenth was to Europe. 
Not to imitate it was to be provincial and vulgar. The 
prophets had denounced this apostasy in the past, and 
brought about harsh restrictions on its supporters ; they 
and their followers would now have to suffer in turn. A 
reaction set in, like that of Queen Mary's reign after the 
death of Edward VI. Ahaz had conceded a contemptu- 
ous toleration to Jehovah- worship ; now, it would be sup- 
pressed. The prophets were dangerous to the aristocracy, 
from their hold on the people. 

The priests had been accused, even by Isaiah, of being 
in many cases drunken and profligate.^ What value 
was there in new moons, and Sabbaths, and periodical 
feasts, kept by such men ; or what better were sacrifices 
oflfered by them, than similar rites performed by the 

* Isa. xxviii. 7 ; Ivi. 12. 







. A. 

\r the 






priests of other gods? He had spoken of them con- 
temptuously, as " greedy dogs which could never have 
enough/' and as looking only for their own gains.^ 
Micah had said that they taught for hire, and that tho 
prophets divined for money .^ The old times of Ahaz 
were better ! 

Even under the despotism of an Eastern king, however, 
no course of public action can be vigorously carried out 
unless largely supported by public opinion. Unhappily, 
the earnest supporters of the old national faith were only 
a small minority. The reforms of the past had been 
mainly external. The community at large could still be 
spoken of as a "seed of evil doers, laden with iniquity,*' and 
Jerusalem could be compared to Sodom and Gomorrah.' 
All through Hezekiah's reign, in spite of outward con- 
formity to Jehovah-worship, many had continued their 
heathen practices. Idols of gold and silver glittered under 
trees in gardens sacred to Baal and Ashteroth ; sacrifices 
were offered secretly on the house roofs to the- star-gods 
of Assyria; incense rose to them from illegal altars of 
brick; men haunted graves and tombs by night, for dark 
consultation with the dead, through necromancers ;* swine 
and other unclean beasts were offered in sacrifice, as in 
Egypt, and feasts held on their flesh. Worse than all, 
those who thus followed heathenism affected moral su- 
periority to the worshippers of Jehovah.^ It needed only 
a hint from those in authority to raise the multitude 
against the partizans of the old national faith. 

The flattering embassy of Merodacii Baladan to Heze- 
kiah, years before, may hiive tended to encourage this 
revival of Asiatic heathenism. Babylon had, indeed, for 

* Isa. Ivi. 11. * Mic. iii. 11. * Isa. i. 4, 10. 

* From necros, dead, and manteia, a prophesying. Gr, 
» Isa. i. 29 : ii. 20; Ixv. 3. 4. 


■' 111' 


:: ■■! 




I: ' 

It i 

i 'W 

f/he time been crushed by Sennacherib, but the visit of 
its representatives had shown that Judah was thought, by 
outside nations, an ally worth having. In those ages, 
however, alliance with any state implied, as a rule, more or 
less complete recognition of its gods.^ Nor had the lofty 
conception revealed at Sinai,^ of a Spiritual Being who 
could have no similitude, been as yet brought home to the 
popular mind. Surrounded by nations worshipping idols, 
men were not able, as a rule, to rise above universally pre- 
vailing ideas, and heartily accept a religion without images 
or other symbols of the Divinity. Nor can we wonder at 
this, whijn we find such fancied helps to devotion still so 
largely used in the Church of Kome, and sacred pictures 
reverenced in the Greek communion. The emptiness of 
the Holy of Holies at Jerusalem, which, centuries later, 
excited the wonder of Pompey, was to become the boast 
and glory of the Jew, only after a long and deadly struggle, 
in Jerusalem itself, against the heathen bias of human 

How soon the reaction began is not told, but it was 
terrible when it came. The high places thrown down by 
Hezekiah were rebuilt on the hill tops and elsewhere, for 
the different forms of Baal idolatry, and lewd Asherahs 
were raised beside them. But this was not enough. 
Ahaz had introduced, for the first time in the history of 
Is .ael, the Assyrian worship of " all the host of heaven,''" 
—that is, of the five planets — and it was now restored. 
The sun and moon had hitherto been worshipped as Baal 
and Astarte — the representatives of the male and female 
principles in nature. Now, however, a purely sidereal 
worship was added. The stars received adoration as the 

* This aid nob apply to David's relationR to Tyre. But he was 
an ?xceptional man. 
2 Exod. XX. a 






directing and controlling powers in human affairs, and, 
with the sun and moon, the rulers of the universe. Ages 
before, this worship, then common among the Arabs, 
had been forbidden,^ though as yet comparatively pui*e, 
but the prohibition had hitherto been unneeded. The 
small altars which Ahaz had built for star-worship on 
the roof of his palace, were set up again, and others of a 
larger size, with an eastern aspect,^ raised for Baal and 
Astarte, not only in the men's court in the temple, but 
also in that of the priests, which was specially set apart 
for the worship of Jehovah, Other altars, besides, de- 
filed the sacred building, and, above all, a graven imago 
of Astarte, and a huge Asherah, were set up under the 
shade of the trees in the outer courts. The lewd wor- 
ship associated with these symbols was also established 
in the temple ; the degraded women and mutilated men 
who took part in it being lodged in the chambers that 
lined the outer court. By night the holy enclosures 
resounded with the orgies of the most degraded of all 
forms of religion ; by day the women wove hangings for 
the Asherah and tent covers for the obscene uses of its 
worship.^ To make room for the image of Astarte and 
the heathen altars in the temple, the altar of Jel.ovah 
was cast out of the priests' court, and the Ark from the 
Holy of Holies,* though it was not actually destroyed.* 
Some of the store chambers in the temple enclosure, 
moreover, were appropriated as scabies for sacred white 

* Deut,. iv. 19 ; xvii. 3. These verses have boon wrongly heW 
to show the late origin of Deuteronomy. But see Winer, Stern- 
leunde; Herzog, Zahier,v6\. x\iii. p. 343; Chwolsobn, Die Ssahier, 
c<c., vol. ii., pp. 21, 173, 611. 

2 Ezek. viii. 16. 2 Kings xxi. 4 ; xxiii. 12. Jer. vii. 30. 

* 2 Kings xxi. 3, 7 ; xxiii. 7. * 2 Chron. xxxiii. 16. 

* Jer. iii. 16. 2 Chron. xxxv. 3. Kosenmiiller, A. und N.Mor- 
genland, vol. iii. p. 247. But see, afterwards, under Josiali. 

VOL. V. D 

I '[ 

I! I 



1^ ! 



horses dedicated to the sun, and for chariots drawn by 
them in the great processions at the festivals of the god.^ 
All the superstitions connected with Tyrian or Assyrian 
worship flourished apace. Nor were these enough. 

The craving for "wisdom," 
which had continued since 
Solomon's day, had taken 
the morbid direction of a 
desire to learn the secrets 
of noted foreign religions. 
Envoys were therefore sent 
to distant lands, to bring 
back, if possible, new oracles, 
and open new avenues of 
intercourse with the unseen.^ 
The simplicity of the old 

* Most ancient nations thought 
of the sun as a flaming cbariot 
drawn by thf finest and swifteSt 
horses. The ancient Persians 
spoke of it as drawn by four, and 
hence consecrated and sacrificed 
horses to it. Xenophon saw a 
procession in which were these 
animals, to be thus offered. Oyrop., viii. 3-6. Even the bar- 
barou9 Massagetae had this custom. Herod., i. 216. The Eomana 
had a sun chariot drawn by four horses, of colours chosen to re< 
present the four seasons. Indian mythology has the same idea. 
The Rabbis say that Manasseh's sun chariot was driven out each 
morning, the king himself in it, from the east door of the temple; 
to the top of Mount Olivet, to worship the sun at its rising. See 
Eosenmiiller, A. und N. Morgenland, vol. iii. p. 249. 
3 Ewald, vol. iii. p. 717. Isa. Ivii. 5-10. Jer. ii. 10-13, 23-28. 
' The lion on which she stands symbolizes the wild power of 
nature controlled by her. Over her head is a circle (the moon ?) 
enclosing a star (Venus). Horns rise from the side of the head, 
perhaps to symbolize those of the moon, or, as Merx thinks, a 
relic of the goddess having been originally worshipped as a cow. 

TnB GosDBsn Jstab ob Astabzb 




national faith had little to feed diseased curiosity. Star- 
worship brought with it a wide sweep of pretended science 
and insight into the future. Soothsayers and diviners 
flourished ; wizards and necromancers, affecting to con- 
sult the dead, abounded.^ The hideous imago of Moloch, 
the god of the Ammonites, once more rose in the Valley 
of Hinnom, and Manasseh himself led the way in conse- 
crating his own children, not to Jehovah, but to the grisly 
idol,^ or, as the phrase ran, making him pass through the 
fire to the god ; as if the flames, burning away the im- 
pure earthly body, let the freed soul pass through them, 
cleansed from all taint of earth,^ to unite with the 
godhead.* Ahaz had done the same,^ and the people had 
largely followed the royal example ; * nor can we doubt 
that Manasseh would find many to imitate him also. 
Human sacrifice became common at the '* high places of 
Tophet"^ in the Valley of Hinnom; the stately central 
moundnon which the idol towered aloft, rising " deep and 
large ''^ in the midst. Night seems to have been the 
special time for these awful immolations. The yells of 
the children bound to the altars, or rolling into the fire 
from the brazen arms of the idol ; the shouts and hymns 
of the frantic crowds ; and the wild tumult of drums and 
shrill instruments, by which the cries of the victims were 
sought to be drowned, rose in awful discordance over the 
city;® forming, with the whole scene, visible from the walls 

* 2 Kings xxi. 3-7. 2 Ohron. xxxiii. 3-7. 

2 2 Chron. xxxiii. 6. * Movers, Bel. d. Phon., vol. i. p. 329. 

^ A curious illustration of the vitality of all superstitions is 
given by Maimoiiides (a.d. 1135-1204), who himself saw Egyptian 
nurses passing infants over fire, to preserve them from misfor- 

5 2 Kings xvi. 3. * 2 Kings, xvii. 17. 

7 Jer. vii. 31, 32. Ezek. xxiii. 37, 39. 2 Kings xxiii. 10. 

• Isa. XXX. 33. • See vol. iii. p. 366. 



I i 

by the glow of the furnaces and flames, such an ideal of 
transcendent horror, that the name of the valley became, 
and still continues, in the form of Gehenna, the usual 
word for hell.^ 

It was an organized attempt to win over the people as 
a whole to idolatry, and it succeeded only too well. The 
sacred books were so systematically destroyed that men 
listened to the Law, fifty years later, as to a newly dis- 
covered treasure. The name of God was erased wherever 
it was found.^ The Sabbath was disregarded.^ To swear 
by Moloch became a common oath.* Fresh altars rose 
in the gardens round Jerusalem and on the flat roofs of 
the houses.^ Black-robed priests of Baal took the place 
of the white-robed priests of Jehovah.* Star-worship 
became so popular that, a hundred years later, it was 
still followed. In Jeremiah's time, in the generation 
after Manasseh, the worship of the planet Venus, the 
queen of heaven, was general. The children gathered 
wood, the fathers kindled the fire on the altars, and the 
women kneaded sacred cakes, to offer in her honour.^ 
Clouds of incense to a mob of idols were continually 
rising from public and private altars. Every religion 
was tolerated but that of Jehovah. 

* Gehinnom was the place in which the refuse of the temple 
sacriBces and the offal of the city were burned, and the fire, never 
extinguished, added to the appropriateness of the name as a sym- 
bol of the pit. The Burning Ghaut on the Hooghly, near Calcutta, 
shows a somewhat similar spectacle in our own day. The bodies 
of the dead are often imperfectly burned, and with the constant 
smouldering fire, the black smoke, the foul stench, and the crowd 
of vultures perched around, help us to realize Gehinnom. 

2 1-atrick. * Isa. Ixvi. 2 ; Iviii. 13. ■* Zeph. i. 6. 

* Isa. Ixv. 3, 11. Jer. viii. 2 ; xix. 13; xxxii. 29. Zeph. i. 6. 

* Ezek. xliv. 7 ; ix. 15 ; xlviii. 11. Zeph. i. 4. 
» Jcr. vii. 17, 18. 



It was only to be anticipated that the mass of the people, 
gross and indifferent on religious matters as the multi- 
tude always is, would readily follow any new movement, 
recommended at once by the patronage of the great, and 
by the escape it offered from the severe morals enforced 
by the prophets. But, unfortunately, even those who 
might have been expected to withstand the inroad of 
corruption, very generally gave way before it. Among 
the prophets only a few stood faithful to Je^ ovah ; the 
majority either held their peace, or degraded tlieir office 
for the basest ends. A terrible picture of their moral 
lapse has been left by their brethren who remained truo 
to the old religion. They were " blind watch-dogs, that 
did not bark, but lay idly sleeping ; insatiably greedy ; set 
on gain; given up to strong drink." They were "light 
and treacherous." They affected to believe in idols. 
God had withdrawn His word from them. They had 
sunk in fact to the level of heathen diviners, and were 
mere deceivers of the people.^ Numbers of the priests 
went over to the service of heathen altars.^ The grossest 
immorality was common to many of them and of the 
prophets.^ They polluted the sanctuary and openly 
violated the Law.* Nor were the laity behind their 
spiritual guides. The nobles were " roaring lions "; the 
judges,® " ravening wolves." They " set snares for men 
as fowlers do for birds."^ They " hated the good and 
loved the evil;" they "abhorred justice and perverted 
equity."' They "devoured men more righteous than 
themselves."* Private virtue and truth seemed to have 

* Isa. Ivi. 9-12. Zeph. iii. 4. Jer. ii. 26 ; v. 13 ; xxvii. 9; xxix. 
8, 9 ; xxiii. 16 ; iii. 31. 

2 Jer. vi. 13-15 ; viii. 10-12. » jer. xxiii. 9-11, 14. 

* Zepb. iii. 4. * Zeph. i. 8. « Jer. v. 26. 
7 Mic. iii. 2-9. » Hab.i.13. 




vanished. Men swore indifferently and with equal in- 
sincerity by Jehovah and by Moloch.^ The godly had 
perished from the land; the honest from among men. 
Every one " did evil with both hands/' Even the friend 
could not be trusted ; a wife was ready to betray. The 
son dishonoured the father; the daughter rose against 
her mother ; a man found his worst enemies in his own 
dependents.^ An absorbing passion for gain possessed 
all classes.^ 

Yet there were not wanting some Abdiels, faithful 
among the faithless. Taking their lives in their himds, 
men like Isaiah and Micah boldly denounced the »)oa- 
duct of Manasseh, in re-introducii\g idolatry, with all 
its inherent abominations. Evil, they cried, which wo aid 
make men's ears tingle, was preparing for Jerusalem and 
Judah, for their sin. Jehovah would destroy tho holy 
city as He had destroyed Samaria, and root out its in- 
habitants as He had rooted out the House of Ahab. He 
would wipe Jerusalem clean of them as a man wipes out a 
dish, turning it upside down as he does so. They should 
become a spoil and prey to their enemies.^ The great 
prophetic oration in the twenty-fourth to the twenty- 
seventh of Isaiah accords so well with these denunciations 
that it may best be referred to this period.^ It runs 
thus : — 

* Zeph. i. 5. * Micah vii. 1-6. 

» Zeph. i. 18. *2 Kings xxi. 12, 13. 

' I am aware that chaps, xxiv.-xxvii. are attributed by some to 
a later prophet, but since there are many who, on the other hand, 
ascribe them to Isaiah, the point must be held as at least un- 
settled.* Some, in the same way, translate the diflFerent verbs 
iu the first part as in the present tense ; others, of equal authority, 
as iu the future, which seems to me to suit the text better. 

• Dillmann's KnnleVs lesaiaf^p. 206. 


Behold,* Jehovah will make the land empty and waste, t*nd 
turn it upside down,^ and scatter abroad its inhabitants. All 
will share the same fate. It will be the same with the priest 
as with the people ; with the master as with the servant ; with 
the mistress as with the maid ; with the seller as with the buyer; 
with the borrower as with the lender; with the debtor as with 
the creditor. The land will be utterly emptied and utterly 
plundered. For Jehovah has spoken this word. 

The land — thus laid waste^ — will be sad as a withered plant ; 
its whole sweep ^ will fade away; the great ones of the land will 

For it is become defiled under its inhabitants ; because they 
have transgressed the law s, violated the commandment ; broken 
the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse has devoured the 
land, and the people are punished for their guilt; therefore the 
inhabitants are burnt up by God's judgments, and only a few 
are left. 

The grapes shrivel;* the vine fades; all the merry-hearted 
sigh. The glad sound of timbrels is still ; the noise of them that 
rejoice is hushed ; the joy of the lyre is silent. Men shall no 
longer drink wine amidst singing; strong drink" will be bitter 
to them who take it. The city is a solitude ;^ it is broken down; 
the wrecked houses are closed by mounds of ruin, so that no one 
can enter them I In the fields, men lament aloud for the desolate 
vineyards ; all gladness has darkened to night ; the mirth of the 
land is gone. What remains of the city is desolation ; the town 
gate is broken down into ruins. 

For it shall be in the land,' in the midst of the nations, as at 

» Isa. xxiv. 1-3. 

* See 2 Kings xxi. 12, 13, as quoted above. 
8 Isa. xxiv. 4-6. 

■* Lit. " the world," tabal, a poetical word. It is here the whole 
Jewish world. It i" used of the kingdom of Babylon in Isa. 
xiii. 11. Comp. orbis Romanus. 

6 Isa. xxiv. 7-12. 

• Shakar = strong (intoxicating) drink of any kind. 

^ Same word as in Gen, i. 1 (tohu)*"" without form/' reduced 
to chaosu 
8 Isa. xxiv. 13-20. 





the beating down of the fruit oF the olive, and as at the grape 
gleaning when the vintacfo is over! Hardly any will be left-. 
The few who escape will life up their voice, rejoicing, and cry 
aloud — " Sing praise from the lands of the western sea to the 
Majesty of Jehovah, who has enabled us to reach them: exalt 
Jehovah in the lands of the sun, the east and southern countries : 
the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the isles of the w(3t ! " 
From those fugitives, at the opposite ends of the earth, havo we 
beard these songs of praise to the Kighteous Ono;^ theRO antici* 
pations of victory to His people.' 

The prophet cannot, however, share in tlioir joyful 
expectations ; he sees destruction before his nation. 

But as for me, I can only say, Misery, misery is before me I 
Woe is me! The plunderers plunder; the plunderers plunder 
remorselessly. Terror, and a prison pit, and the snare, are upon 
thee, O inhabitant of the land I And whoso flees from the noise 
of the terrible foe shall fall into the pit, and ho who escapes from 
the pit shall be caught in the snare ; for the windows of heaven 
shall be opened, and the pillars on which the earth rests shall 
shake. The kingdom* heaves, shakes, totters; it is utterly 
broken up; it is utterly shattered; it shakes to its centre; it 
staggers like a drunken man; it sways to and fro like a swinging 
hammock ; for its sin lies heavy upon it ; it falls, and shall rise 
no more. 

The enemies of Israel overthrown, the Messianic future 
of her restoration opens to the eyes of the prophet. He 
sees the destruction of the enemy by whom Judah has 
been crushed, and the return of her sons from captivity. 
This is, therefore, a prediction of the fate of Babylon, 
which had not as yet even risen to be a kingdom, 

^ Knohel, Diesteh * Ewdld. 

* Eichhorn. I have preferred this reading as the only one to 
which the words immediately following could be justly applied. 
Most translators use the word "earth," but the earth cannot 
" fall," etc., except in imaginative application to the terrors of tho 
last judgment. The whole prophecy is, however, highly figura- 
tive. ^ 



In tbat (lay* Jcliovab shall visit in winth tlic host of the powers 
of the air* — the prompters of men to evil — and also the kings of 
the oarlh liore below. Tlicy shall be thrust into the prison-pit, 
like captives after battle, and shut up in the dungeon, and set 
free only after long years. And then shall tiio moon grow pale, 
and the sun's splendour faint; for Jehovah of Hosts shall again 
reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, with overpowering glory; 
surrounded by the heads of the nation — and Him, not the s'm 
or moon, or host of heaven, as now — will the people worshii 

Tho old theocracy thus sot up onco more ; the oppres- 
sor destroyed, aud tho nation brought back to its own 
land triumphantly ; a song of praise to God will rise from 
Mount Zion. 

O Jehovah, Thou art my God!' I will exalt Thee; I will 
praise Thy name ! For Thou hast done wonderful things ; Thou 
hast fulfilled Thine ancient purposes with faithfulness and truth. 
For Thou hast turned Babylon * from a great city into a ruined 
heap ; the strong city into mounds of wreck ; the palace city of 
the barbarians to be no city any longer; — it shall never be 
rebuilt ! For this shall fierce peoples glorify Thee ; tho towns of 
warlike nations shall honour Thee. For Thou hast proved TI)y- 
self a strong defence to the weak ; a strong defence to the needy 
in his distress ; a cover from the storm ; a shade from the heat, 
when the raging of the terrible ones was like that of a tempest 
against a wall. Thou hast abated the stormy triumphing of the 
alien, as Thou dost the heat of the waterless desert when Thou 
veilest it with clouds. As the heat is subdued by the shadow of 
clouds,^ the exulting triumph-shouts of the terrible ones have been 
brou{,ht^^ low. 

And, now,^ in this mountain — the hill of Zion — shall Jehovah 

1 Isa. xxiv. 21-23. » Eph. iii. 10; vi. 12. 

« Isa. XXV. 1-6. 

* This is clearly the reference, though perhaps the prophet did 
not know the particular euemy by whom God would punish his 
people. Yet Babylon did not become independent, or begin its 
.career of empire, till B.C. 625 ; long after Isaiah's death. 

*» Furrer, p. 105. Land and Book, p. 637. 

8 Isa. XXV. 6-8. 





of Hosts mako to all peoples a feasb of fat things ; a covenaTit 
feaHb on peace ofToringp, with wine, loft till novr on the leoH, till ib 
has become strong and bright; a feast of fat pieces, full of mar* 
row; of strong wine, well strained! And Ho will destroy in this 
mountain the veil of mourning which has shrouded the faces of 
all peoples; the covering that has been spread over the heads 
of all nations.' He will destroy death for over, and the Lord 
Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the reproach 
His people have borne will He take away from off the whole 
earth. Jehovah has spoken it. 

And it shall be said in that day ^ " See, tliis is our God ; we 
have hoped in Him that Ho would save us; this is Jehovah, for 
whom we waited ; let us exult and be glad in His salvatioi." 

For the hand of Jehovah shall rest on this mountain, to )rotect 
His people, and Moab — so call we our enemies as a whole- -shall 
bo trampled under foot, even as crushed straw is trodden down 
in Madmenah, in the Moabite land. And Jehovah shall stretch 
forth His hands in the midst of Mount Ziun, as a swimmer 
stretchetli them forth to swim, and ho will humble their pride, 
together with the plots of their hands.' And tho high-towering 
walls of Kir-Moab will He throw down, lay low, and level with 
the dust. 

Another song of triumph, which will be sung in tho 
land of Judah on that day, is now heard. 

We have a strong city;* the saving help of our God is our 
defence, instead of walls and ditches. Open ye tho gates, that a 
righteous nation, the nation that keeps tho truth, now freed from 

* Primarily the Babylonian tyranny; but, also, in the end, the 
spiritual sorrows of mankind. 

3 Isa. XXV. 8-12. 

' Every one in the East uses " hand over hand " swimming, 
raising each hand alternately as high as he can, and bringing 
it down on the water with sounding force. Most translators 
render the phrase " as crushed straw," by "is trodden down in 
the dung pool "; but there are no dung pools in the East. Mad- 
menah was a place in Moab famed for its harvests. Neil's Pales- 
tine, p. 241. < Isa. xxvi. 1-13. 



its opprosRorp, may ontor in.* It lias well been nalH,' "Tlio bearb 
that is coiistnnt Thou kcopoat in porfoct peace, for on Tlico docs 
it trust ! " Trust ye in Jehovah for ever, for in Jehovah Jah yo 
havo an overlaHting Rock. For Ho has brought \on ihem tiint 
dwelt on high ; the lofty city, Flo brought it low, cast it down to 
the earth, hurled it to the dust. The foot trod it down, tho foot 
of the poor, tho feet of the oppressed. Tho path in which tho 
righteous walk is smooth : Thou, Thyself, makcst smooth the 
path of the just ! Yea, in the path of Thy judgments have wo 
waited for Thee, Jehovah; the desire of our aoul is towards 
Thy name, nnd the remembrance of Thee. With my soul have I 
longed for Thee in the night; with my spirit within me I sought 
Thoo earnestly; for when Thy judgments smite the earth, its 
inhabitants learn righteousness. If grace be shown to the wicked 
ho docs not learn righteousness; even in a land where justice and 
right prevail, ho will act unjustly, and has no eye for tho Majesty 
of Jehovah. Jehovah, when Thine arm was lifted up, they would 
not see it; but they shn^^ see, with shame, Thy zeal for Thy 
people; for fire will devour these, Thine adversaries. Jehovah 
will seoure peace for us ; for it is Thou who hast done all the 
work of our deliverance for us ! Jehovah, our God, other lords 
besides Thee — even the fierce Chaldean oppressors — have had 
dominion over us, but, through Thy doings, we are now free, and 
praise Thy namo 1 

The prophet next sees in the distant future the sad 
condition of the exiles when they return. The nation 
seems as if it were dead. But Jehovah will raise it^ and 
fill the land with men. 

The dead live no more ; ' the shades rise not again ; that it 
might be so, Thou hast visited and destroyed them, and made 
their very memory to perish. But Thou hast increased Thy 
people, O Jehovah ; Thou hast increased the nation ; Thou hast 
won for Thyself glory ; Thou hast made wide the boundaries of 
the land. Jehovah, in their affliction they sought Thee ; they 
poured out their prayer when Thy chastisements were upon 

* The Jews returning from exile. 

8 Isa. zxvi. 14-19. 

' Ps. cxii. 7. 




them. As a woman with child, when her delivery is near, is in 
pain and o'ies out, so were we before Thee, O Jehovah. Wo bore 
pains great as those of the travailing woman, in our flight from 
Bahyioii, and in our sufferings there. But while the woman 
rejoices in the birth of a living child, all our anguish has brought 
us nothing as yet, for our condition is wretched; the land lies 
waste; its inhabitants fallen ! ^ O that Thy dead could live again, 
my country! O that Thy dead bodies could arise! Awake and 
sinf ye dwellers in the dust of the grave ! For Thy dew — the 
favour of Jehcvah — gives life, and through its mighty power, the 
earth shall bring to life the shades ! 

Go, my people,* into thy chambers, and shut thy door behind 
iheo. Hide thee for a short moment, till the judgment of wrath 
has passed by. For, behold, Jehovah cometh out of His place 
in heaven, to visit the guilt of the inhabitants of the earth upon 
thorn ; the blood of the slain of our people shall not be hidden 
in the ground ; the earth shall disclose it, that it may cry for 
ravengc : she will not hide the shiin in her bosom, but send them 
forth from their graves, to be accusers before God, demanding 
wrath on the Chaldeans, their murderers! 

In that day * will Jehovah visit Leviathan — the swift gliding 
serpent — Leviathan, the coiled-up stjrpent, and shall slay the 
dragun that is in the sca.^ In that day, when this great world- 

* A paraphrase which seems to me to embody the sense. 
2 Isa. xxvi. 20-21. » Isa. xxvii. 1-5. 

* Knobel, Diestel and others, think the* epithets i" vhis verse 
refer only to Babylon. Delitzsch and others suppose Assyria, 
Babylon and Egypo meant. Cheyne, and still others, fancy that 
ai) the enemies of God's people are intended. Leviathan is a 
Hebrew word, and occurs five times in the Bible; Job iii. 8, ren- 
Jered "their mourning"; xli. 1 (xl. 25) = the crocodile; Ps. Ixxiv. 
15 = the princes of Pharaoh, the great crocodile or "dragon 
that lieth in the midst of the rivers ; " Ezek. xxix. 3 ; Fs. civ. 
26 ; it is' some kind of whale, or sea monster. In the text the 
Chaldee paraphrase refers the two words to Pharaoh and to Senna- 
cherib, respectively. It seems probable that * Leviathan * is equiva- 
lent to our "monster," and may have included gigantic serpents, 
such as the python, which was worshipped by the Egyptians. 
The Eabbis say thai God created leviathan male and female on 



judgment shall have heen accomplished, sing je songs of praise 
respecting Zion, the beloved vineyard, thus : " I, Jehovah, am its 
Keeper; moment by moment do I water it; that nothing hurt 
it, I watch it night and day. My wrath against it has passed 
away ; should I meet foes, thick and close as thor>"«s and thistles, 
invading it, I would march against them in war, and burn them 
up together. But if they sought My protection and made Me 
their God, desiring to be at peace with Me C5nd My people, then 
would I allow them to make stuch peace with Me." Only on 
such condi'<ions will strangers be permitted in the bounds of My 

This caro of Jehovah wi-1 have glorious results. 

In future times shall Jacob take root in the land : * Israel shall 
blossom and bud, and fill the whole face of the land with fruit. 

The chastisement with which God has visited His 
people, compared with that inflicted on their enemies, 
is a proof of His gracious designs. 

Hath Ho smitten him (Judah) as He smote hissmiterP^ Or 
has he been slain as those who slew him are slain P He has been 
visited only with disquiet and exile With just measure of 
penalty Thou didst contend with him, when Thou drovest him 
out of the land, as with a fierce blast in the day of storm.^ 

the fifth day, but presently killed the female, and having salted 
it, laid' it up, to be feasted on at the coming of the Messiah. A 
tabernacle for the righteous is then to be made of its skin, which 
will shine from one end of the earth to the other, etc. (Isa. Ix. 3). 
Buxtorff, Heh. and Ch. Lex., p. 1128. Hershom, Treas. of Tal- 
mud, p. 203. 

The word " dragon ** — tannin— seems to mean any great mon- 
ster, whether of the sea or the land. It is used fourteen times 
in the Bible. See Gen. i. 21 ; Job vii. 12 ; Isa. xxvii. 1, etc. It 
appears to refer to a great sea monster, such as a whale, shark, 
or the like. In Exod. vii. 9; Deut. xxxii. 33; Ps. xci. 13, etc., it 
is a serpent; and in Isa. li. 9; Ezek. xxxii. 3; Ps. Ixxiv. 13, a 
crocodile, as emblem of Egypt. 

* Isa. XXV ix. 6. * Isa. xxvii. 7, 8. 

^ Lit., east wind. The east and south-east winds come from 



l^nfc by Jiis visitation^ shall the gnilb of Jacob be purged ; ' 
for the frnit of the removal of his sin shall be that he shall break 
down his heathen altars, and shatter all their stones into frag- 
ments, small as pieces of crumbled lime, and Asherahs and sun 
obelisks shall no more rise aloft in his midst. 

For Jerusalem,^ i^he strong city, shall be desolate in the days 
of your exile; a habitation lonely and forsaken as the wilderness; 
there shall the calf feed and lie down, browsing on the twigs of 
the wild bushes, with which the undisturbed soil shall be over- 
grown.'* The withered twigs of the winter shall be broken off 
for fuel; women shall come and burn them. For the people 
have no understanding, and therefore He that made them will 
nob have mercy on them, and He that formed them will show 
them no favour. 

But after those days/ when the time of His pity has come, 
Jehovah will have a rich harvest of mercy, and shall gather 
Israel trom the great river Euphrates to the river of Eg^/pb, the 
Wady el Arish, as a man beats down and gathers the olives in 
their season, and ye shall be gathered one by one, ye children 
of Israel! And on that day shall a great trumpet— the sign of 
the return — be blown, and those that were lost in the fend of 
Assyria, and the banished ones in the land of Egypt, shall come 
back, and cast themselves down before Jehovah in the holy 
mountain in Jerusalem. 


waterless hot regions, and wither up vegetation. Wanting ozone, 
they are very enfeebling. The east wind often blows like a glow- 
ing furnace blast, for several days consecutively, over Palestine, 
in May and October. It is the sirocco. When it rises to a storm, 
it veils the sky in a dusky yellow shroud of sand-clouds, through 
which the sun shines, pale and shorn of its beams, like a smoking 
globe of fire. Its whirlwinds raise pillars of sand and dust into 
the air, which seem at a distance like pillars of smoke. Men flco 
before it, and hide wherever they can. Furrer, Bib. Lex., vol. v. 
p. 697. » Isa. xxvii. ». 

2 The verb Kaphar, here used, is translated in the A.V. " to 
make an atonement," **to make reconciliation,'* "to pacify," "to 
forgive," " to purge away." It means, primarily, " to cover." 

» Isa. xxvii. 10, II. * Furrer, p. 105. 

• Isa. xxvii. 12, 13. 




To this wonderful prophetic picture, the thirty-fifth 
chapter adds h further vision of the triumphal circum- 
stances of th J i'eturn from Babylon — the whole couched 
in the noblest language of poetry. 

The wilderness * and the sun-scorched land shall rejoice before 
thd returning exiles: the deseit shall be glad and blossom like 
the rose.' It will blossom abundantly and i-ejoice, breaking out, 
as it were, into joy and singing. The verdant glory of Lebanon 
shall be given it; the leafy splendour of Oarmel and Sharon.* 
Men shall see the glory of Jehovah ; the majesty of our God ! 

The prophet now addresses the exiles directly. 

Strengthen the hands'* that hang down, discouraged and ir- 
rcsolate; straighten up the tottering knees! Say to the faint 
hearted, " Be strong ! fear not. See, your God comes to avenge 
you., to give you a godlike recompense! He Himself comes to 
save you ! " 

In that day,* the eyes of the blind shall be opened; the oars 
of the deaf unstopped. The lame will leap like a deer; the 
tongue of the dumb will sing. For flowing waters shall break 
out, before them, in the wilderness, and brooks in the desert. 
And the deceitful mirage will become a real luke,^ and the thirsty 

1 Isa. XXXV. 1, 2. 

2 Tristram, Nat. Hist, of Bible, p. 476, thinks the sweet-scented 
narcissus is meant. So Houghton. Layard repeatedly speaks 
of the shortlived splendour of colour into which the Mesopo- 
tamian desert bursts after the spring rains. 

' Land and Booh, p. 112. 

* Isa. XXXV. 3, 4. * Isa. xxxv. 5-10. 

* " I once gave chase to a herd of antelopes near Aleppo. Tlie 
day was intensely hot, and the antelopes made direct towards a 
vast mirage, which covered the whole eastern horizon. They 
seemed to bo literally leaping through the water, and I could see 
their figurB below the surface, and reversed, with the utmost 
distinctneaa." Land and Booh p. 523. The Arab word for mirage 
is Serab, and the word in the text is Sarab. Isaiah, there'oro, 
doubtless refers to tliis liecoitful phenomenon. It is a mero 
optical illusion. 



land springs of water; in the couching place of jaclcals shall 
spring up grass, and the reeds and rtishes that mark living 
streams. And a raised and made way will stretch before them : 
ib will be culled "The holy way;** it shall be trodden by no un- 
clean person, but shall be only for the clean. No one who walks 
on it, however simple he be, shall wander from it, and lose himself 
in the wilderness around. No lion shall be there, to molest; no 
ravening beast shall set foot on it, or be found there : the released 
exiles alone shall walk on it. And the freed ones of Jehovah 
shall return, and come to Zion with loud jubilations : everlasting 
joy, like an unfading crown, shall be on their heads. They shall 
have joy and gladness, and the sorrow and sighing of exile shall 
flee 4.way ! 

Words such as these, mingling denunciation of popular 
sins with gloomy predictions of the overthrow of the 
state, and the deportation of the citizens and their fellow- 
countrymen, to a distant land, as slaves and exiles, must 
have created great excitement in the small community 
of Jerusalem. Spoken by one like Isaiah, now old and 
venerable, and by Micah, the living counterpart of the 
great Elijah — rough clad, austere, alarming — the heathen 
party now in power would feel them as dangerous politi- 
cally, as they were hateful on other grounds. It must 
have seemed imperative to silence such voices, if the 
idolatrous reaction were to succeed. It was attempted, 
therefore, as the first step in persecution, to turn 
them to j'idicule. The scoffers "opened wide their 
mouths'* at them, in scorn and mocking, and even 
thrust out their tongues at them as they spoke.^ Ero 
long, harsher measures were used. But, amidst all this 
social proscription, the faithful among the prophets, and 
the small but earnest band wbo followed them, stood 
firm. Despised and insulted daily, they still boldly 
pleaded for Jehovah, and denounced the growing abom- 

* Isa. Ivii. 4. 



inations and immorality of idolatry. In the midst of 
a hostile population^ they stood forth as confessors of 
the faith of their fathers. The disciples of Isaiah,^ who 
in these evil times *' dwelt before Jehovah," ^ delighting 
above all things to behold His beauty and to enquire in 
His temple' — the psalmists who, under Hezekiah, had 
added to the songs of God's people, inspired odes still 
found in the canon ; the true-hearted men who had, every- 
where, through Judah and Israel, collected the ancient 
sacred books ; the " meek of the land,'' who sat at the feet 
of the prophets, and made their instruction the light of 
their feet and the lamp of their path ; above all, those 
whom the glowing eloquence of Isaiah and his brei/hren 
had kindled to a prophetic enthusiasm for Jehovah, akin 
to their own — formed a community, small, perhaps, in 
numbers, but strong in the depth of their convictions 
and the loftiness of their creed — " the congregation of 
the saints " * — the faithful witnesses for truth upon the 

Between these and their fellow-countrymen, the rela- 
tions grew more and more strained, as corruption and 
idolatry spread. Life was daily more bitter for the faith- 
ful ; social intercourse more interrupted. Parties became 
more narrowly defined. Existence seemed a burden to 
the godly. The mockery and roughness of the multitude 
grew more intense. Everything foreboded the breaking 
out of an organized persecution, to sweep the last traces 
of Jehovah-worship from the land. 

* Isa. viii. 16. 

• Ps. xxvii. 4. 

' Isa. xxiii. 18. 
* Fs. Ixxxix. 16* 

VOL. V. 




THE intense mutual hatred of the heathen party and 
the worshippers of Jehovah had twice before — under 
Ahab in Israel, and Athaliah in Judah — culminated in 
open violence, and the friends of the old religion must 
have felt, that under Manasseh, idolatry would, ere long, 
slake its enmity in their blood. It had too many 
grudges to repay, to let them hope for quiet toleration. 
Nor were their gloomy fears unreah'zed. At a very early 
period in the new reign, if tradition be correct, the court 
party, heading the thoughtless and degenerate multitude, 
grew tired of mere insult and mockery, and demanded 
blood, and the darkest page in the annals of the nation 
followed. Theire had been no such day, since the miseries 
of their fathers in Egypt under the ancient Pharaohs, 
Even Atheliah had not dared to close the temple ; but it 
was now defiled by idols and idol altars, so that the godly 
could no longer enter it. The blood of the saints was 
shed on every hand. Braving all danger, true prophets 
like Isaiah, Micah, and Hozai,^ faithfully did their duty ; 
boldly rebuking even the king, in public, for his apo- 
stasy. But their fidelity only roused him to fiercer ex- 
cesses. Raging like a destroying lion, to use the words of 

* 2 Kings xxi. 10. 2 Chron. xxxiii. 18, 19. The word rendered 
" the Hftors " is, in Hv^brew, Hozai, appareutly a proper name. 








Jeremiah,^ he put to death the worshippers of Jehovah, 
till it seamed to contemporaries as if Jerusalem were a 
bowl filled to the brim with their blood.^ If he could 
silence the prophets and their adherents no other way, 
ho would do so by the sword. Some were killed almost 
daily .^ Nobles who took their part were dashed from the 
rocky cliffs of the city hills.* The day» of Alva in Hol- 
land, or of Charles IX. in France, or of the Covenanters 
under Charles II., in Scotland, were anticipt.ted in the 
Jewish capital. The streets were red with blood. Tra- 
dition has assigned Isaiah's death to this period. Ho was 
now about eighty-six years of age, and, apart from the 
sanctity of his life and the splendour of his genius, might 
well have been spared as the honoured friend and coun- 
sellor of Hezekiah. But his very age and dignity were 
against him, making his fiery words still weightier ; for 
he still witnessed openly for Jehovah, fearlessly exposing 
and denouncing the iniquity of both high and low. An 
oration, of which part has come down to us, may have 
been the immediate cause of his final proscription by 
Manasseh. In this grand indictment, as was natural in 
a true prophet, the corrupt members of his order, and 
tho apostate priests who had gone over co the service of 
idols, or wore craveuly silent in those evil days, we: a 
first assailed : 

Gome hither,*— he cries,— al't ye wild beasts of the field, and 
devour the flock of Jehovah; come, all ye wild beasts of the 
woods ! It is left defenceless t.o you ! For its watchmen are 
blind; they keep no look out; they are, all of them, dumb dogs; 
they cannot bark: they are not kozim— true seers — but hozim, 
mere ravers and dreamers ; — lying down, they care only to sleep. 


» Jer. ii. 30. 

* Jos., Ant, X. iii. 1. Jer. ii. 30. 

* Ewuld, quoting Ps. cyli. 6, 7. 

« 2 Kings xxi. 16. 
Neh. ix. 26. 

6 Isa. Ivi. 8-12. 




Yet they are greedy, and can never be satisfied ; they crave 
money and gifts of all kinds, continually.' Shepherds are they 
thac give no heed to their calling; keep no watch over the sheep, 
and know not how to do so. Unworthy of their office, they take no 
care of the flock, but unconcernedly leavo it to its enemies, or let 
it wander whither it pleases; they all turn to their own way, 
each to his own ungodly profit,'' from the highest of them to the 
lowest. " Come," say they, one to the other, " let us fetch wine, 
got from our gains, and let us have a carouse on strong drink ; 
and let us do the same to-morrow, and make the day a special 

Tl.v) thought of what wa3 passing around him at the 
moment now rises in the mind of the prophet; the 
martyrdoms that were daily taking' place. 

(While faithless men thus not only live, but flourish in their 
iniquity), the righteoiis .nan perishes" because he is righteous, 
and no man takes it to heart ; godly men are taken away, and no 
one considers that the righteous are thus let die, to keep them 
from seeing the evil to come, and perhaps from falling by its sore 
trials. He passes away into peace : they rest in their quiet beds 
in the dust ; all who have walked in the ways of God. 

Their sufferings and martyr death recalls their worth, 
and the indignities they have suffered, while the contrast 
rises between them and those by whom they have 
been hunted to death. 

But as for you,* ye sons of the sorcerers, heathen in your 
superstitions and in your morals ; ye brood of the adulterer and 
the harlot, draw near, hither! Of whom do ye thud make spovo t 
At whom do you make mouths, and stick out your tongue ? * It 
is like you. But are ye yourselves not fitter objects of mockery ? 
Are ye not children of sin ; the spawn of the faithless ? Turning 

> Mic. iii. 5-11. Ezfik. xiii. 19; xxii. 25, 

5 By bribes, gifts, etc., to prophecy falsely. 

» Isa. Ivii. 1, 2. -* Isa. Ivii. 3-6. 

» Chap. Ixvi. 6; xxxvii. 23. Ps. xxii. 7; xxxv. 21. 



away from Jehovah, do ye not burn with unholy lu8fc for your 
idols and their impurities, under the terebinths, and under every 
green tree of your idol groves P' Do you not sacrifice children 
to Moloch and Baal in the valley of Hinnom, and in the dark 
caves of the rocks, in torrent valleys, to which ye go for tho 
water needed in your hideous burnt offerings P '■^ Are not your 
sacred fetish stones' in these wadys, smooth with the oil you 
pour over them, your " portion " ■* and delight, instead of Jeho- 
vah P ' These, these are your choice ! To them, even to them, 
do ye pour out drink-offerings, and present meat-offerings. 
Shall I, says Jehovah, look quietly at such an insult to my 
honour? On a great and high hill^ thou, leaving thy Husband,' 
Jehovah, hast set thy bed to commit impurity in idol worship;" 
thither thou goest up to offer sacrifice. Thv> memorial of th], 
God — "Jehovah is our God, Jehovah is one "—written on the posts 
and doors of thy house, 'thou hast removed behind these posts 
and doors, that t!i<^y may not shame thee in thy unfaithfulness ;'** 

» Hos. iv. 15. Isa. i. 29. Ezek. vi. 13. 

2 This awful worship was apparently carried out with secret 
rites, in lonely places, as well as at Hinnom. 

' In the earliest times such stones had been familiar to the He- 
brews (Gen. xxviii. 11, 18), but they had been put to heathen uses 
in lator ages, instead of being dedicated, as at first, to Jehovah. 
Knobel thinks the reference hero is to idols of any kind. 

* Jer. X. 16. Ps. xvi. 5; Ixxiii. 26; cxix. 57; cxliii. 5. 

* Jer. X. 16. Deut. iv. 19. 
« Isa. lvii.7,8. 

7 Isa. i. 21. Hos. i.-iii. Ezek. xvi. 23. 

* The inherent impurity of heathenism is illustrated by the 
following extract from Six Years in India (p. 109), by Mrs. 
(General) Colin Mackenzie. ** We passed to-day a pretty little 
girl, singing at the top of her voice, and C. told me that the 
words of the song were so utterly detestable and vile, that hardly 
any man amon;- the worst in London would sing them, unless ho 
were drunk. Nothing can equal the abomination of the Hindu 
deities and their worship. The verses taught to children at 
school are such as cannot be repeated." 

' Deut. vi. 9; xi. 20. See page 15. 

*® So Knobel, Diestel, Delitzsch, and others. Cheyne thinks 



tbon hast nncovered thvselF a^id gone up, and made broad thy 
bed for thy sin, and chosen a paramour from among them.* Thou 
lovest their bed; thou choosest the side of it thou likest ior 

As a harlot goes forth, anointed with oil ^ and fragrant with 
costly perfumes, to seek new lovers, thou has gone outside thine 
own land, to Baal, the king,* to learn from his foreign temples 
what thou couldst copy in thine own. Thou hast even sent thy 
envoys far off to distant countries, to the shrines of remote gods, 
to bring back their worship. Thou hast, indeed, gone so far as to 
debase thyself to honour the infernal gods — the gods of Sheol 
the abyss beneath the earth.' 

Thou hast wearied thyself ^7ith the length of these journeys ; 
yet thou hast not said, ''I wi^l go no further, I will give up." 
Thy zeal and eagerness have always given thee strength to com- 
plete the long pilgrimage, and have kept thee from breaking 
down or being discouraged. 

Of whom, says Jehovah,* hast thou been afraid or alarmed, that 
thou shouldst have played the traitor to Me, and not remem- 
bered Me, or laid to heart My promise of bein ^ thy protector P 
Is it not because I have been long silent, and have let thy sins 
continue, that thou no longer fearest mo P Thou thinkest I have 

that the view of the Targum and Jerome, by which " memorial " 
means idol, or obscene idolatrous symbol, is intended. 

* That is, thou choosest out a special idol, and surronderest 
thyself to its lewd worship. 

* Delitzsch and Oheyne, following Hitzig, Ewald, Umbreit and 
others, translate this phrase: "Thou lookest at the phallus" — 
the obscene symbol of Baal worship. But Knobel and Diestel 
reject this- 

« Isa. Ivii. e, 10. 

* Baal was called " King Baal," and " the King of Eternity," 
etc. Ges., Monumen. Phoen., pp. 197, 202, 205, 284. Mover's 
Phonizier, vol. i. p. 400 

' So Knobel, Diestel, and others; Delitzsch and Gheyne, on 
the other hand, think the reference is to political embassies to 
the kings of Assyria, Egypt, etc. But this does not seem to me 
to suit the connection. 

« Isa. IvU. 11-18. 




s to 


iorsaken thee, bufc thou doest Me great wrong. But, now, I will 
make known thy fancied righteousness. Yet what will it avail; 
what will thy works profit thee, in which it consists? When 
thou criest, let the herd of thy gods save thee! But the wind 
shall sweep them all off : a breath shall carry them away. Yot, 
be who trusts in Me shall possess this land and inherit My holy 
mountain I 

The prophet now sees the people in exile, and hears 
the voice of Jehovah summoning to preparations for their 

A Voice calls, "Cast ye up, cast ye np ' a highway through tlio 
desert; prepare a way; clear the stones from the track, out of 
the path of My people." 

Jehovah has, thus, not abandoned Israel, but designs 
their restoration hereafter. He now proceeds to tell them 
the grounds on which they may hope for it. - 

For thus saith the High and Lofty One:" the eternal King; 
whose name is the Holy One: I dwell in the heavens — the high 
and holy place,' but with him also, that is of a contrite* and 
humble spirit ; to revive the spirit of the humble and the heart 
of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will 
I be always angry; for the spirit would faint before me, and the 
souls which I have made. For his wandering desires, forsaking 
My ways and seeking his own — I was angry and smote him. I 
hid Myself, and was wroth, because he went on, perversely, in tho 
way of his own heart. I have seen the thorny paths he has 
trodden — he is wrong in saying they were hidden from Jehovah* 
— and will heal him. t will lead him in ways of pleasantness, and 
give him and his m. urnful ones consolation for all their sorrows. 

Thus saith Jehovah® that creates the fruit of the mouth, 
bringing forth songs of joy and thanksgiving : " Peace, peace, I 

1 Isa. Ivii. 14. Heap up the soil to a raised and level road. 
« laa. Ivii. 15-18. » The heavenly temple. Chap. vi. 1. 

* Crushed and penitent. * Chap. xl. 27. 

• Isa. Ivii. 19-21. 



proclaim, to the far ofT and to t))o near : to the distant oxile and 
to him who han romainod in tho land." 

But the wicked are liico the nptost Roa, which nerer rests, but 
casts up mire and mud continually. There is no peace, saith my 
God, to tho wicked.' 

Such an appeal, mingling with its just denunciation 
and keen irony, the tbnderest patriotism and tho sublimest 
faith J condemning the present, but lighting up the future 
with the promise of Messianic glory; might have won 
respect and admiration for tho aged prophet, alike for its 
fearlessness, its loyalty to his people, and its lofty poetry. 
But fanaticism neither reasons nor feels. Such a witness 
against the sins of the day could no longer bo endured. 
If lesser men perished, Isaiah could not be suffered 
to live. A very old mulberry tree, near the Pool of 
Siloam, on the slopes of Ophel, outside the south-east 
wall of Jerusalem, is the traditional spot of his martyr- 
dom. There, it is said by the Rabbis, and in tho 
apocryphal "Ascension of Isaiah," he was sawn asunder^ 
by order of Manasseh, for refusing to bow down to the 
king's idols. "And while the saw cut into his flesh,'' 
says the tradition, " Isaiah uttered no complaints and shed 
no tears, but he ceased not to commune with the Holy 
Spirit till the saw had cloven him to the middle of his 
body." ^ If the prophets " bowed the ungodly " with the 
words of Jehovah :* if some of them, in despair at the 
national defection from Him, went about, like Micah, 

' This section of Isaiah, at least to the 11th verse of the 57th 
chapter, is assigned by no less keen a oritio than Ewald to the 
reign of Manasseh, and treated as undoubtedly written by Isaiah. 
That otliers should refer it to the period of the Exile only shows 
how arbitrary are tho standards of critical judgment. As to the 
origin and date of tho later chapters of Isaiah, I shall speak more 
fully hereafter. 

« Hob. xi. 37. • Asconsio losaiaa v. 11-14. * Hos. vi. 6. 







" stripped and naked," " wailing like the dragons, and 
crying out like the ostriches ; '* ^ the counterpart of the 
dervishes of modern A»ia ; the kiug and people could, at 
least, take the wild revenge of torture and the sword. 
But amidst all their trials of cruel raockings ° and scourg- 
ings ; of bonds and imprisonment ; of stoning ; being 
sawn asunder, and of nameless agonies besides, the 
blood of the martyrs then, as always, proved the seed of 
the Church. A Psalm which Ewald assigns to this 
period, and which in any case suits it, still survives^— 

Jehovah I I cry to Thee : O make haste to me I 
O hear my voice when I call upon thee ! 
Let my prayer rise before Thee as the odour of iriconsOf 
The lifting up of my bands like the evening sacrifice 1 

Sot a watch y Jehovah, to my mouth ; 
Guard the gates of my lips ; 
Let not my heart be inclined to anything evil— 
To do wrong with men set on iniquity ; 
And may I not taste of their dainties ! . 

Let the righteous smite me in love and reprove me t 
It will be like oil of anointing * which my head will not refuse.* 
For I still meet the attacks, even of the wicked, with prayer. 
When their best men ' are hurled down the stony rocks 
They will listen to my words as welcome. 
As the earth is torn up and broken by the plough. 
So are our bones scattered at the gates of the grave ! 

But to Thee, O Jehovah my God, are mine eyes ; 
In Thee is my trust ; let not my life be poured out I 
Keep me from the snares that men spread for me ; 
The traps of the workers of iniquity I 
Let the wicked fall into their own nets ; 
While, withal, I make my escape. 

* Mioah i. 8. ^ Heb. xi. 36. Isa. Ivii. 4. » Ps. cxli- 
Delitzsch calls it an Evening Psalm in the time of Absalom. 

* " Anointing oil," at feasts. * Delitzsch. • Lit. nobles or judges. 



But perhaps the seventy-third Psalm,^ whether dating 
from this period or not^ is the best embodiment of the 
feelings of the godly in those evil days. 

Good, and good only, is Elohim to Israels 
To them—that is— of a pure heart I 
But I — my feet were almost gone. 
My steps had well nigh slipped. 
For I was envious at the boastful haughty onesi 
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 
For they suffer no distress ;' 
Their persons are healthy and well fed. 
They do rot share in the troubles of other men. 
Nor are they plagued like others. 
Hence pride sits on their necks like a chain; . 

Violence hangs round them like a robe. 
Tl.eir sins burst out from their fat insensate hearts,' 
The evil thoughts of their breasts swell over. 

They scoff and talk wickedly of the oppression they design ; 
They speak haughtily, as if above other men. 
They turn their mouth to the heavens, 
Andi their tongue walketh through the earth.* 
By this, the people who follow them, are drawn in their train, 
Aud drink in, greedily, the poison water of their words, as if from 
a full cup. 

Hence, they say, " How does God know P 
And is there knowledge in the Most High P " 
Behold, these are the ungodly — 

All thoir lives heedless of God, they aroyet the most prosperous ; 
It has been of no good that I have cleansed my heart 

» Ps. Ixxiii. 

* Ewald and Delitzsch. 

■ This sense is, in effect, adopted by 'wald from the Sept., 
Yulgate, and m.^^n/ moderns. ^ change in one letter in one of 
the Hebrew words makes the difference. 

* Lather's translation is striking: — * 

What they wish, that must be ordered by Heaven ; 
What they say, that must be done on earth. 








|e oi: 

And washed my hands in innocency ; 

I have been plagued day by day, 

My chastisement comes with each new morning. 

Should I think, " I will say the same as they," 
I should be untrue to myself as one of the race of Thy children. 
Yet, when I pondered the matter, to solve it. 
It was, as I felt, too deep to understand — 
Till I went into the sanctuary ^ of God 

And marked the end of such men. , 

Thou lettest them stand only on slippery ground, 
And, at last. Thou easiest them down to ruin. 

How are they made desolate in a moment ! 
They are swept away, like dust before the storm ; 
They perish with a terrible destruction. 
As a dream passes when one awakes, 
So, O Lord, when Thou rousest Thyself to note them. 
Thou wilt mock at such shadows I 

When my heart has been thus embittered. 
And my very soul, as it seemed, pierced through, 
I was dull, and without sense ; 
Like the stupid Behemoth ' in Thy sight I 

Bat, as for me, I am continually with Theei 
Thou hast held my right hand ; 
Thou wilt guide me by Thy counsel, 
And, hereafter, receive me to glory. 
Whom have I in heaven but Thee P 

But if I have Thee, I care nothing for aught else on earth.* 
Lot my heart and my flesh melt away, 
God is the strength * of my heart, and my Portion for over ! 

For, lo, they that are far from Thee shall perish ; < 
Thou destroyest every one that is faithless to Thee : 

* Lit. sanctuaries (Ps. 1 vviii. 35). It seems here to refer to the 
different parts into which the temple was divided. Miihlau und 

3 Behemoth was the Egyptian name for the^the 
synonym of stupidity. 

• Luther, aL.d virtually Delitz^ah. * Lit., rock. 



But, as for mo, nearness to God is my joy; ' 

I put my trust in the Lord Jehovah 
To set forth and praise all Thy works ! 

A Psalm like this reveals the spiritual trials of the faith- 
ful in days such as those of Manasseh. The old belief, that 
godliness brought worldly prosperity, had been rudely 
shaken, and the life beyond shone out more clearly as 
the earth grew dark. The immortality of the soul was 
realized more fully than hitherto. Death no longer wore 
the gloomy aspect it had borne even to the good Heze- 
kiah. Men were no more to cry out in their sickness 
or troubles, " In death there is no remembrance of Thee ; 
in the grave who shall give Thee thanks ? " ^ " What 
profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit ? 
Shall the dust praise Thee ? Shall it declare Thy truth ? *'^ 
Nobler thoughts, such as we find in some other Psalms, 
took the place of dispiriting doubts. '' Thou wilt not 
leave my soul to Sheol ; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine 
Holy One'^ to see corruption. Thou wilt make me 
know the path of life : in Thy presence is fulness of joy : 
in Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.''* 
" As for me, I shall ' behold Thy face in righteousness : I 
shall be satisfied when I awake, with Thy likeness." * 
" God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol ; for 
He shall receive me." ^ Such great scholars as Dillmann, 
G. Baur, and Ewald assign the Book of Job, with its 
bright anticipations of immortality, to the first half of the 
seventh century before Christ — that is, to the age of 

> Ps. vi. 6. 

' Ps. XXX. 9. See also Ps. xxxix. and Ps. Ixxxviii. 10-12. 

* In Heb. " Holy Ones," but a Masoretic note directs that the 
singular be used. 

* Ps. xvi. 10, 11. » Or, lefc me. 

* Ps. xvii. 15. ' Ps. xlix. 15. 




: I 
n 6 





Manasseh.^ Consoling hopes of the future, under God's 
revelation, were becoming stronger in proportion to the 
trouble and gloom of the age. 

Some other relics of the sacred poetry of Israel seem 
to light up still further these terrible years. The forty- 
ninth, the seventy-seventh, and the hundred and fortieth 
Psalms ^ appear, from internal evidence, to be utterances 
from amidst the fiery trials of Manasseh's reign. 

Hear this, all ye people,' 
Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world. 
Low and high, rich and poor, alike I 
My mouth shall speak of wisdom,* 
The meditation of my hoarb shall be of the insight into things 

which true wisdom gives. 
I will incline mine ear to the heavenly voice which speaks to me 

da; kly, 
I will utter, to the strains of the harp, my dim weighty thoughts. 

* Deiitzsch thinks it was composed in the Solomonic Age. 
Art. Hiob in Herzog. But see Dillmann's Hioh, p. 27 ; G. Baur, 
in Biehm. art Hiob ; Ewald's GescJdchte, vol. iii, p. 705. 

^ The 49th Psalm is of uncertain date, but suits the reign of 
Manasseh closely. The 77th is assigned by Deiitzsch to the 
time of Manasseh or Josiah. The 140th is ascribed to Ma- 
nasseh's reign by Ewald. Nothing is more arbitrary, however, 
than the dates given to most of the Psalms by different critics. 
Thus the 77th is assigned by Olshausen and Hitzig to the time 
of the Maccabees ; to the time of the Babylonian exile, by Ewald 
and many others ; and to the destruction of Samaria, by Moll. 
The 140th, according to Deiitzsch, is a late imitation of David ; 
Hitzig assigns it to the time of Johannes Hyrcanus, b.c. 135-106 ; 
Ewald, to that of Manasseh; Bosenmiiller, to that of the Return 
from Babylon ; while Moll thinks . it may be David's. Can any- 
thing show more forcibly the arrogance of such dogmatism, as 
that of the latest school of Biblical critics as to the date of the 
different Psalms P How much is their confident language worth P 

* Ps. xlix. 

* The great theme since the time of Solomon. 





Why should I fear when wickedness rales ; 
When the evil plots of liers in wait are round me; 
Of men, who trust in their wealth, and boast of their great riches 
Alas ! ' no one of them can redeem his own life, 
Or pay to God a ransom for it, 

That he should live on in the earth and not see the grave. 
For the redemption price of the soul ^ is too high for man. 
And he must leave it unpaid for ever 1 
No ; he, also, will see the -tomb ! 
The wise ;lie ; so, also, the fool and the dullard, 
And leave to others their wealth ! 

Their graves are their homes for ever;* • i. . 

Their abodes from generation to generation ; 
Though, while alive, men everywhere lauded their names.* 

Such a man abides not in honour 
But is like the beasts that perish.^ 

This is the lot of these vain confident fools, 
And of those, alter them, who follow their teaching. 
Like a flock of sheep they are folded in Sheol, the underworld. 
Death is their shepherd, who leads them forth to hie pastures; 
The upright shall have dominion over them; 
Their beauty shall soon fade away, 
Sheol, the underworld, shall be their dwelling I 

But Elohim will redeem my soul from the hand of Sheol, 
For He shall receive me! ' 

^ Heb. Aeh: not brother only, but also an exclamation = Ah! 

3 =Life. 

3 By the change of two letters. So Sept., Targ., Pesh., Ohliausen, 
Ewald, and others. 

* Oeaenius. Ewald. I think they are right. 

' Lit., the cattle that men slaughter so early and suddenly cut 

^ Ewald and Lengerke render this line: When it shall have 
seized me. Miihlau und Volok, and Delitzsch, have the render- 
ing I have adopted. 






Be not thon, then, afraid when one grows rich, 
When the glory of his house increases. 
For when he dies he shail carry nothiDg away ; 
His glory shall not go down to Sheol with him. 
Though in his life-time he boasted of his fortune, 
And men praised him — as they always do him who does well to 

himself — 
Tet he will come to the generation of his fathers, 
Who shall never more behold the light of the sun. 

Such a man abides not in honour. 
But is like the beasts that pciish. 

A similar strain runs throngh the seventy-seventh 

I will cry alond to Elohim ; yes, I will cry to Elohira aloud. 
And He will hear me ! 
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord ; 
My hand was stretched out in prayer all night, without ceasing ; 
My soul co*;ld not find comfort. 
If I thought upon God I could but moan ; 
If I kept thinking — my spirit was overwhelmed. 

Thou didst hold my eyelids from closing; 
I was BO troubled I could not speak. 

I called to remembrance the rlay? of old, 
The years ot times gone by ; 

I thought in the night, of my joyful songs in the past; 
My spirit pondered anxiously why they were gonel 

"Will the Lord cast me off for everP 
Will He be mvourable no more P 
Is His mercy clean gone for ever? 

Will His promise never be fulfilled, from generation to genera- 
tion P 
Has El forgotten to be gracious P 
Has He, in anger, shut up His tender mercies P 





I If 

* Pfc. Ixxvii. 



Theii thought I, my trouble comfs thus ; 
But the right hand of the Most High still reigna; 
Therefore I will think of the works of Jehovah, 
And recall to my mind all Thy wonders, of old. 
I will meditate on all Thy works, 
And let my thoughts dwell on Thy deeds 1 

Elohim, Thy way is in holiness 1 
Vho is so great a God as Elohim P 
Thou ^rt that God who doest wonders, 
Who hast made known Thy might among the nations* 
Thou didst redeem with Thine arm Thy people, 
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. <> 

The waters saw Thee, O Elohim, - " 

The waters saw Thee, and whirled back; * . 

The sea trembled in its depths. 

The clouds poured out water ; ' 

The upper skies sent forth their voice; 

Thine arrows, the lightning, flew around ; ' 

Thy thunder rolled along in the whirlwind ; 

Thy lightnings illuminated the world : 

The earth trembled and shook. 

But, amidst all, Thy way was through the sea» 
Thy path through the great waters ; 
Though Thy footsteps were not seen. 

Thou leddest Thy people, by the band of Moses and Aaron, 
As a shepherd leads his flock I 

Still another of these most ancient of lyrics — the 
hundred and fortieth Psalm — seems to date from the 
same dark year;j. 

Deliver me, Jehovah, from evil men ; 
Preserve me from men full of violence. 
Who think out evil in their hearts 
And stir up strife continually. 

They have tongues sharp pointed as those of serpents, 
Adder's poison is under their lips I 




Keep me, Jehovah, from the hands of the wicked, 
Preserve me from men full of violence, 
Who desif;n to trip up my steps ! 

The haughty ones have hidden snares and cords to take me; 
They have spread a neb for mo in my path : ■ 
They have set traps for me. 

But I say to Jehovah : Thou art my God : 
Hear, Jehovah, my loud supplications ! 
Jehovah, the Lord, is the strength oE my salvat'on: 
Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. 
Grant not, Jehovah, the wishes of tho wicked; 
Let not his devices succeed. 

When those that hem me about raise their head, • 

May the evil they have wished for me cover themselves. 
Let punishments from Thee, like burning coals, bo hurled down 

on them ; 
Let them be thrown into the fire; 

Into deep pits in the earth, from which they can never come out ! 
Let not the slanderer be established on the earth ; 
The violent man — may the wicked hunt him to destrnotion ! 

I know that Jehovah will maintain the cause of the afflicted ; 
The rights of the poor : * 

The righteous will, surely, give thanks to Thy name : 
The upright shall dwell in Thy presence. 

With such enthusiasm for the ancient national faith in 
the bosoms of many, it was impossible that any persecu- 
tion could extirpate the worship of Jehovah. But it was 
the age of the martyrs : the counterpart in the ancient 
history of the Church, of its fiery trials under Antiochus, 
Decius, and Diocletian. The pure gold was being refined 
in the furnace, to come out all the brighter in the happier 
but too brief days of Josiah. The persecution under 
Jezebel, in the Northern Kingdom, had ended in the ruin 
of Ahab's House,, but the tru-h had died ; in Judah the 

* The " afflicted " and " poor " are the persecuted people of God. 
VOL. V. I 






prophets and people had to yield for the time, but the 
truth was tinally triumphant. A purer spiritual light 
than it had ever before enjoyed, broke over the land from 
amidst the darkness of Manasseh's reign. 

The political results of the heathen policy were, as* 
usual, disastrous. Jeremiah expressly traces the ruin of 
the kingdom to ?Ianap> ?h,^ and so also does the Book 
of Kings.^ riiil: ci^-, s. do hj Moab, and Ammon revolted 
during his reigr, ifMvl 3re independent at his death. 
Judah sank into conbompi Moab and Ammon heaped 
contemptuous reproaches and revilings on its people, and 
made insulting forays across the border.' Henceforth, 
except for a short time in the reign of Josiah, they were 
no longer under the Jewish yoke. 

But the heaviest blow came from Assyria, the ancient 
enemy of the Palestine nations. Sennacherib had reigned 
fourteen years after the accession of Manasseh. The 
terrible catastrophe his armies had suffered in Philistia 
and before Jerusalem, under Hezekiah, had effectually 
kept him from again invading Canaan, if indeed the 
disturbed condition of his eastern dominions permitted 
his doing so. Family troubles, moreover, crippled him. 
Polygamy had surrOv: .ded him with the sons of different 
mothers, each hoping to be named successor to tha 
throne, and scheming to secure the great prize. Among 
them, however, one, Esarhaddon, though not the eldest, 
was the favourite, and, though not heir presumptive, had 
been marked by the special honour of having a private 
will made by his father in his favour, leaving him an 
immense treasure, deposited on his behalf with some 

* Jer. XV. 4. * 2 Kings xsi. 11 ; xxiii. 26 ; xxiv. 3, 4. 

* Zeph, ii. 8-10. For "magnified themselves against their 
border," read " showed their pridp by violating." See also Jer. 
xlvii. xlviii. xlix. 





priests, in ^he great temple of Nebo, for safety. " I, Sen- 
nacLerib." runs tlii.i earliest example extant of a will, 
" kin^ of multitudes, king of Assyria, have given chains 
o/gold, stores of ivory, a cap of gold, other crowns and 
chains, oesidca riches in heaps, with crystal and other 
prec^* as stones — over four hundred pounds weight — to 
Esarhaddon, my son, named Assur-ebiUraucin-pal, accord- 
ing to my wish : the treasure laid up in the temple of 
Amuk and Nebo-irik-erba, the harpists of Nebo."^ Such 
a distinct sign of favour in all probability ;^oame known, 
and may have caused the conspiracy btior which Sen- 
nacherib fell. Eighteen or nineteen y ar.s nad passed 
since his flight from Jerusalem, liv^ ampaigns, re- 
corded in his Annals, had occupied hv\ arms in the north, 
the south, and the east, one of them w 'parently as near 
Palestine as Edom, which he must have invaded from 
the desert.^ Most of them, however, had been directed 
against Babylon, where the son of Merodach Baladan II. 
headed the long-continued struggle for independence, till 
he was taken alive by Sennacherib, during a battle. But 
Palestine had no interest in those distant struggles, and 
was left for the time to itself. 

During the last nine years of his reign, Sennacherib 
lived at Nineveh, busied with the erection of a grand 
palace for his son Assur-munik, or Assur-mulik, probably 
the Adrammelech of the Book of Kings,^ who had be- 
come heir to the throne after the death of his elder brother 
Assur-nadin-sum, in the year 094 before Christ.* The 
will in favour of Esarhaddon may have been later, and 

* Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, vol. iii. pi. 16, No. 3. 
Becords of the Past, vol. i. p. 138. 

' Smith's Hist, of Sennacherib, pp. 137 ff. The Assyrian Eponym 
Canon, Extract 34, pp. 136 ff. 

• 2 Kings xix. 37. * S'-nith's Assyria, p. 125. 







have roused the suspicions of his brothers that, after all, 
he was designed for tho throne. Whatever the dark 
liistory of palace iiitrigues, in b.c. 681 Sennacherib lay 
murdered in the temple of Nebo, by his sons Adramtne- 
lech and (Nergal) Sharezer or Sar-usur,^ the god " Nergal 
protect the king." 

Esarhaddon seems to have been absent from Nineveh 
when his father was killed, but he resolved to avenge him. 
Collecting a numerous army, the parricides were defeated 
on the Upper Euphrates, and fled to Armenia, where 
they were allowed by the reigning prince to remain, 
and received a grant of territory, in which they and their 
descendants henceforth permanently settled. 

An inscription of Esarhaddon,^ unfortunately mutilated, 
lights Mp vividly the fierce passions of this long hushed 



. I vowed from tny heart," says Esarhaddon. " My liver ' 
was infla*" "^ with rage. 1 immediately wrote letters saying, that 
I assumed the sovereignty of my Father's House, and lifted up 
my hands to Assur, the Moon, the ^ ..n, Bel, Nebo, Nerga!, Ishtar 
of Nineveh and Ishtar of Arbela, and they accepted my prayer. In 
their gracious favour they sent me an encouraging oracle — ' Go, 
fear not ! we march at thy side; wo aid thy expedition ! ' (Being 
in winter quarters), I could not move for a day or two ; the chariot 
horses remained tethered ; the regiments in their places ; the tents 
unstruck. Meanwhile every preparation was made for the cam- 
paign, with the utmost haste. A great snowstorm (in the raoun- 

* Instead of Nergal, the name of the god may have been Assur. 
See vol. iv. p. 474. 

- Found on clay tablets at Kouyunjik. It is published in 
Layard's Inscri'ption, plates 64-58 ; or Cuneiform Inscrijitions of 
Western Asia, vol. iii. plates 15 and 16 ; and in Records of the Past, 
vol. iii. pp. 103 ff., where it is translated by H. Fox Talbot. 

• Juvenal, " Quanta jecur ardcat ira." The ancients made the 
liver tho seat of rago or anger. 



tains), in the month of January (d.c. 680) darkenod the sky aii«i 
stopped tho advance, but I did not give up. Then, as a bird 
spreads its wings, so I displayed my HtandardH, as a signal to my 
allies, and took tho road to Ninovoh with much toil, by forced 
marches. Getting before my troops in the hill country, their 
powerful warriors attacked my advance and discharged their 
arrows, but the terror of the gods, who are my lords, overwhelmed 
them, and they retreated before the valour of my army. Ishtar, 
queen of war and battle, stood by my side, ana broke their bows, 
and, in her rnge, destroyed their lino of battle — proclaiming 
herself to the enemy as an ' unsparing deity.* 

"By her high favour I planted my standards (at Nineveh) 
where I had intended." ' 




The affairs of Babylonia now doraanded the iraraediate 
attention of the now king. A son of Merodach Baladan^ 
on the coaot lands of the Persian Gulf, at the mouth of tho 
Euphrates, formerly ruled by his father, revolted and pro- 
claimed bis independence. Having taken the city of Ur, 
in the north, he killed Esarhaddon's prefect, and installed 
himself in his place, refusing to do homage at Nineveh or 
" even," as Esarhaddon says, " to enquire after the health 
of my majesty." An army launched against tho " rebel " 
was, however, enough to send him in full flight to the 
king of Elam, in the mountains; tho hereditary foe of 
Assyria. But the Elamite king was anxious at the time 
to keep on good terms with Esarhaddon, and put to death 
the unfortunate suppliant for shelter. On this, another 
son of Merodach Baladan, then also in Elam, feeling no 
longer safe there, recrossed tho frontier, threw himself at 
Esarhaddon's feet, and was not only pardoned, but had 
his brother's territories restored to him. 

Babylon next engaged the attention of the Great King. 
Going thither himself, he commenced the restoration of the 
city, which had remained almost a ruin, since its capture 

* The rest of the column is unfortunately broken off. 






by Sennaolierib in b.o. 091. The walls were restored; 
the temples, including that of Bel, rebuilt ; and the gods 
which his father had carried off to Nineveh, brought back. 
The plunder taken from the different cities of Babylonia 
was, also, as far as possible, returned to their inhabitants, 
to propitiate them. Under such fatherly government 
Babylon soon became once more a great city, the rival 
of Nineveh, and even, hereafter, little as Esarhaddoa 
dreamed it, its conqueror. Petty kings and chiefs on its 
former territory were duly crushed ; one of them being 
burned alive as an example ; and such terror of Esarhad- 
don's arms inspired, that he henceforth reigned in peace 
over Babylon, till his death in B.C. 608.^ 

From the Euphrates, the Great King next marched his 
armies to Palestine, whose princes, headed by Abdimul- 
kuth, king of Sidon, in all probability at the instigation 
of Egypt, had refused to pay tribute. But his resistance 
was short, for the rebellious city was at once invested, 
and soon fell. » 

" Conqueror of the city of Sidon on the sea," says the 
record, " sweeper away of all its villages, I rooted up and 
destroyed its citadel and palace, and threw them into 
the ocean. Having caught its king, who had fled from 
my arms like a fish, into the middle of the sea, I cut off 
his head, and that of another chief, and sent them as a 
trophy to hang up over the great gate of Nineveh. His 
treasure, his goods, his gold, silver, and precious stones, 
with skins and teeth of elephants, costly woods, purple 
and yellow cloths of every description, and his regalia, 
I carried off. Men and women without number ; count- 
less sheep, oxen and asses, I swept off to Assyria.'" 

* Smith's Babylonia, pp. 129 ff. Smitli's Assijruo, pp. 139 ff. 

* Annals of Esarliaddon, Records of the Past, \7ol. iiL p. 111. 
Suiilirs Assyria, p. 129. 




Dcmolisljing Sidon, he crowned his triuniph by bnildinpf 
ft new town on its site, with the name of the ** City of 
EMftrhaddon," tninsforring to it the popuhition of the de- 
stroyed city, whom he placed under an Asiiyrian general. 
He hoped thus to retain the trade of Sidon^ but it passed 
to the great Phenician metropolis, Tyre. 

A grand durbar of all the princes of Palestine and 
Cyprus was now summoned, to do homage to the con- 
queror, and in terror at his victory, twenty-two of them 
attended. Among these came Manasseh, glad once more 
to pay tribute. Baal, king of Tyre; the kings of Edom, 
Moab, Oazn, Askelon, Ekron, Gebal, Arvad, Both-am- 
mon, and Ashdod, also presented themselves, with Abi- 
baal, king of Samaria, the last known bearer of the title.* 
Chiefs from Cyprus, moreover, with Greek names and 
ruling over Greek settlements — Pytlmgoras, king of 
Citium; the kings of Salamis, Paphos, Idalium, and 
Aphrodisium, with others, swelled the glory of the As- 
syrian.* But they had to pay for the honour of waiting 
upon him, and for their past offences. Esarhaddon was 
at the time building a new palace in Nineveh, and con- 
tributions of materials for it were exacted from them.* 
'* Great beams and rafters of cedar, cypress, and other 



* The Assyrian Eponym Canon, Ext. 37, p. 139, line 17. Smith 
adds, that in the year 645, under Assurbanipal, Esarhaddon's 
successor, an Assyrian governor ruled at Sumaria (p. 128, as 
above). This would illustrate Isaiah's words (chap. vii. 8 : see 
vol. iv. p. 308), •• Within sixty-five years Ephraim shall be broken 
as a nation." The governor very probably was appointed much 
earlier than 645, as Assurbanipal was joint king of Nineveh as 
early as 669. 

8 The name of the king of Paphos was Itudagon, "Dagon is 
with him." 

•'' Keilin8chriften,j}. 24i. Itecords of the Past, voL iii, pp. HI fT. 
Menant, AnnaUs, n. 241. 



woods, from the mountains of Lebanon and Sirar;^ sta- 
tues of the gods ; bas reliefs; blocks of stone, of various 
kinds ; slabs of alabaster, they forwarded to Nineveh." 

It was now the year B.C. 67 Q,^ and after attacking and 
taking Arza, on the small stream called the River of 
Egypt, at the southern boundary of Palestine — Esarhad- 
don returned to Nineveh. His last feat had shown his 
feeling towards the Pharaohs, whom he thus insulted, 
without, for the time, being able to injure them more 
seriously. Captives sent from the East replaced the 
populations he had carried off from central Palestine; 
includiug in all probability not a few from Judah, and 
some of the remnant of the Ten Tribes who had hitherto 
been left in their own land. Their fate in Assyria is 
recorded by the Great King himself. 

" I caused crowds of them to work in fetters, making 
bricks. I pulled down the whole of the small palace, 
and caused much earth to be brought away in baskets 
from the fields, and threw it on the site of my new 
palace, and completed the mound on which it was to 
stand, with stones of great size."^ " With captives, young 
and old, male and female, I marched to the gate of 
Nineveh, and left them to stay in front of it for ever, 
with dogs and other beasts." * In the place of these un- 
fortunates came motley crowds brought from the scenes 
of Esarhaddon's eastern campaigns ; ° Babylonians and 
people of Erech. Susiana, Elam, and southern Persia; 
thus adding largely to the heathen element formerly 


' Either the range of Antilebanon or Mount Hermon. 
das Paradies, p. 104. 

isyrian Canon, in Keilinschriften, p. 321. 
.xnnals of Esarhaddon, col. 5. 
* Annals, col. 2 
» Ezra iv. 2, 10. 

Wo lag 





sent by Sargon from almost the same regions/ and 
degrading still further the blood of the future Samari- 

The Annals for the next few years record various 
expeditions. The irruption of wandering tribes from 
beyond the Caucasus — to become so dangerous hereafter 
— had already begun, but Esarhaddon, crossing the 
mountains east of Nineveh, met and <^^' ve back their 
hordes, which then turned to the west and overran part 
of Asia Minor — the first wave of the fierce swarms which, 
from time to time, alarmed the world for the next 
eighteen hundred years. Cilicia and its neighbourhood, 
in Asia Minor, now felt the scourge of the Assyrian 
armies. There, the Great King "trampled on the liearls" 
of the rough mountaineers, who had hitherto been un- 
subdued ; burning twenty-one of their larger and smaller 
towns; slaying multitudes of the inhabitants, and im- 
posing heavy tribute on the survivors.^ The " enemies 
and heretics " of Telassar,* south-east of Assyria, in the 
mountains — were then assailed and crushed, and part of 
the wild hill country of the Modes, till now uninvadcd 
by Assyria, was harried and laid waste. " Chiefs of 
fortresses aiid their men, horses and chariots, oxen and 
sheep, mules and Bactrian camels, and mighty spoil,'' 
were carried ofi" to Nineveh, 

The distant Arabian peninsula was the scene of another 
campaign. Hitherto the distance, the intervening deserts, 
and the parched and burning plains of Arabia itself, had 

I: I 


* See vol. iv. pp. 241 ff. 

2 Lcnormant, Lettres AssyrlologigiiGS, vol. i. p. 64. 
' Annals, col. 2. 

* 2 Kinj^sxix. 12; Isa. xxxvii. 12; Telassur = The Hill of Assur. 
Perhaps in Babylonia. But its position is doubtful. KGiliiL' 
schriften, p. 203. Delitzsch, Fried., Wo lag das Faradies, p. 2d5. 



prevented any serious efforts to subduo it. For nearly 
two hundred years the Assyrian territories dad bordered 
tliose of outlying Arab tribti,, and Tiglath-pileser, Sargon, 
and Sennacherib had ravaged the districts near Edom, 
but they had not attempted to march far into Arabia. 
Hazael, king of Edom, now, however, appeared in Nine- 
veh, imploring that the gods of his nation, taken away 
by Sennacherib, might bo restored, and offering to pay 
a heavy tribute for the favour. In a gracious mood 
Esarhaddon readily granted the request, though not tlil 
he had caused an inscription in his own honour, and 
in that of the god Assur, to be engraved on the idols. 
He gave a maiden of the palace, moreover, to Hazael, to 
be his queen, and sent her and the gods back to Edom. 
He did not forget, however, to impose a tribute of sixty- 
five camels, in addition to that which had been paid to 
Sennacherib. But still heavier imposts having been 
levied on Hazael's son, at his father's death — ten mana 
(over twenty-seven pounds weight troy^) of gold, 1,000 
precious stones, fifty camels, and other items, in addition 
to the previous burdens — the oppressed country refused 
payment, and a great invasion foHowed, to enforce it; tho 
Assyrian troops marching as far as Hazu and Bazu, 
perhaps the Uz and Buz of Scripture, a distance of 700 
or even 900 miles from Nineveh.^ 

" I left behind me," sz^ys the king, '' Bazu, a land 
very remote ; exceedingly arid, the very home of %mine 
— 140 kasbu of ground, rocky, broken, strewn with sharp 
stones, wild, burning with heat, and full of scorpions, 
like the desert. I marched where no king before me had 
ever gone." " Eight soverei^ifns — two of them reigning 

* Sayce, in Records of the Past, vol. i. p. 168. 

* 100 or 140 kasbu. See llecords r^f the Past, vol. iii. p. 116. 
Smith's Assyria, p. 132> A kasbu wus about 7 miles. 

! I ■ 







queens^— -I put to death. The bodies of their soldiers I 
flung away like so much clay. Their gods, their wealth, 
their treasure, and their people, I carried off to Assyria, 
I swept away their followers like a field of corn." * 
Submissions, restorations of gods, additional slaughters, 
and other features of Assyrian warfare, follov/ed, till 
Esarhaddon, tired of Arabian exploits, sought other 
regions in which to play the royal beast of prey. 

Egypt had for two centuries disputed with Assyria Jie 
monarchy of ihe world, and had stirred up constant re- 
volts in Palestine, causing ceaseless trouble. Sennacherib 
had defeated Tirhakah, the supreme king on the Nile, but 
the disaster to his host had afterwards forced him to an 
ignominious retreat. But in B.C. 672, Tirhakah again 
succeeded in persuading Baal, king of Tyre, a b'ghly 
favoured vassal of Esarhaddon, to throw off the Assyrian 
yoke; hoping, no doubt, to draw most of the princes of 
Palestine into the movement. To defeat this combination, 
the Great King set forth at once for the sea coast. Tyre 
was now at the height of its prosperity — in part through 
the recent destruction of Sidon — and having the command 
of the Mediterranean by its fleet, felt that it could not be 
taken while Egypt was its ally. It therefore boldly defied 
the Assyrians, who could only invest it on the land side. 
Furious at being thus balked, Esarhaddon resolved to 
invade and conquer Egypt itself. Marching along the sen 
coast, and across the desert, amidst the greatest privations 
for want of water, he at last met the enemy, near Ascalon, 
in the Philistine country, and overcame him. Pressing 
on, other defeats in Egyptian territory forced Tirhakah to 
flee to his old capital, Nopatu, iu Ethiopia.^ Memphis now 

* Like the Queen of Sheba. 

* Annals, Isb inscription, coi. 2 ; 2nd inscription, col. 3. 

* Smith, The Assyrian Eponym Canon^ Ext. 39, p. 141. 


1 1 






fell into the hands of the conqueror and Tirhakah's empire 
was for a time overthrown. He had crushed the Egyptian 
dynasty of Mempi^is, and the Ethiopian monarch who 
reigned feebly at Thebes, and had raised his mother to 
the diguity of " Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt 
and of all the nations." But^ now, Memphis became 'ihe 
capital of the invader, and Thebes, to which the Assyrian 
sailed, up the river, was taken by him and given over to 
plunder. The statues of the gods and goddesses, the 
golden decorations of the priests and priestesses, and all 
the splendid equipments of the temples, were sen!' i-o 
Nineveh, as a trophy, to the gods of Assyria. The whole 
country was tbt^n broken up into twenty districts, each 
with its own king — Neclio, of Sais, being raised over all, 
as their chief, with Memphis for his capital; an anti- 
cipation of the Mameluke system, at the close of last 
century, when twenty-four beys held the whole kingdom, 
and met from time to time, under a pref^:ident, at Cairo. 
Assyrian garrisons and j^refects completed the now 
scheme of government.^ Egypt had at last been humbled. 
The aifront offered to Nineveh, centuries before, by the 
invasions of Thothmes III. and AmeniH>tep II. had been 
avenged, and the words of Isaiah, spo/on in the reign of 
Hezekiah, hr 1 had their first fulfilment. 

I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians; brother .shall figlifc 
against brother, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.'^ 
And I shall give up Egypt to the hands of a hard mastci-, and a 
fierce king shall reign over it, says the Lord, Jehovah of hosts."* 

^ Maspero, Histoire Ancienne des peitplca do VOriant, 2nd cd. 
pp. ^'27-8. 

^ N:'.iho "o.i.^ht for Apsyria ngainst the Egyptian army of Tir- 
hakah. 'liat k^ag is painted red on the monuments, not I. lack ; 
his CjaP<"* his 'de, pours out water to the ram-headeu god 
i jiif li-.lwH. and puv'b OTi tLi. sistrum. Trans. Bib. Arch., \ol. "vii. 
pp. lliO -;t507. ' 3 Is. xix. 2. 



c. 3 

. Vll. 

Having thus 
crushed the ono 
rival of his power, 
Esarhaddon re- 
turned to Nineveuj 
leaving behind him 
on the rocks of tho 
Dog River of Phe- 
nicia, by the side 
of the triumphal 
tablets of Hameses 
II., an inscription, 
recounting his own 
victories, and pro- 
claiming himself 
king of Egypt 
Thebes and Ethio- 
pia.^ Satiated 

* The royal um- 
brella is held over his 
head by a eunuch. A 
wild bull, just shot 
down, or taken, lien at 
his feet. Theb'^ardloss 
figures are eunuchs. 
The one in front has 
a fly flap, to protect the 
king from annoyance. 

2 Oppert, Memoh'G 
sur les Monuments de 
VEgypt et de VAssyrie, 
pp. '38-43, 80 ff". S. 
dc llouge, E tilde sur 
Ics Monuments de 
Tharaha ; Melanges 
d' Archcologie cgyytienne et assyrlenne, Nov, 1872, p. 16. 







with glory, ho honcoforth devoted himself to the gentler 
ambition of finishing his new palace, which ho made even 
more magnificent than that built by his father Sennache- 
rib ; its vast aggregate of courts and halls covering 
more than 100 acres. The roofs were supported by 
beams of cedar, resting on columns of cypress, inlaid 
and strengthened by bands of sculptured silver and 
iron ; its gates were guarded by huge lions and bulls 
sculptured in stone ; its doors were of ebony and cypress 
encrusted with iron, silver, and ivory. Anxious, more- 
over, to propitiate the gods, now that his life was 
ebbing, he built throughout the country no fewer than 
thirty-six temples " covered with plates of gold and 
silver, and glittering like the sun." ^ But his day was 
well nigh over. In B.C. CG9 his health gave way, and 
after pining for a time amidst the splendour, he retired 
to Babylon,^ where he died in the next year, B.C. 60S. 

» G. Smith, Zeitschrift, etc., 1868, pp. 94, 95. 
* Masjpero, p. 428. 

Note 0" Tirhalcah, from Paper of Dr. Birch, quoted p. 76. — His 
sister, like himself, is not black, but red, on the monuments, as if 
the Ethiopian dynasty had been of Egyptian descent. The great 
rock temple of Bessa seems to have been built by him. It shows 
him offering incense to the god Anher, and truth to the god 
Amen-Eaand to Mut. He wears ram's hornM,like Alexander the 
Great, and like his predecessors Sabaco and Ramses 11. ; a claim 
to be the non of Amen-Ra — the ram-headed god. A small oval of 
terra-cotta, found at Palmyra, has the name of Tirhakah on it. 
Bid his conquests extend so far? On a monument at Thebes he 
is represented as conquering the Assyrians. He grasps the hair 
of ten Asiatic prisoners, who stand bearded and holding daggers, 
while ho is about to strike them with hi»i battle mace. 




AFTER Esarliaddon's return from Ejyypt, lie resolved 
to preclude such troubles rospectinj^ the succession 
as had darkened the opening of his own reign, by asso- 
ciating with himself, in tlio govorrtK t, his oldest son, 
Assurbanipal, the Sardanapalus oi the Greeks, after- 
wards the greatest of the Assyrian kings. An assembly 
of the nation was therefore called at Nineveli, and the 
young heir publicly elevated to a share of the throne, on 
the 12th of the month lyyar, almost our April,^ B.C. G70 
or 669. Like Sapor in after-times, he had been named 
king before his birth, and the ceremony of his installation 
was accompanied with extraordinary pomp. 

Meanwhile bad news arrived from Egypt. Esarhaddon 
had scarcely left it before Tirhakah once more seized 
Thebes and Memphis, which fell after a bloody siege ; * 
the kings and governors so lately appointed, fleeing bo- 
fore him to the desert. The adherents of Assyria, more- 
over, had been banished from the country. The re- 
conquest of tho Nile* was necessary, and Assurbanipal 

* Sayce, llecor<l8 of the Past, vol. i. p. 166. 
p. 137. Bccords of the Past, vol. i. p. 59. 
^ Oppert, Les Sargonides, p. 57. 


Smith's Assyria, 

i 1 



at once undertook it. Twenty-two kings of Piilestino 
and Cyprus, he tolls us, gnthcrod, to pay their tribute to 
him, wlien lio reached the Mediterranean coast ; Mauasseh 
among them.* Under his fatlier. Tyro had been invested 
on the land side by an Assyrian army, but its king now 
submitted to pay tribute, and openitions against him 
ceased. " The towers I had raised, I pulled down,'* says 
the Great King -, •' on sea and laud all his inmvls that I had 
taken I opened, and I received his abundant tribute."^ 
Collecting the contingents of the Syrian and Palestino 
vassals, ho now pressed on, by the coast road, to Egypt, 
and liaving defeated the arn\y sent to check his advance, 
forced Tirhakah to evacuate, first Memphis, and then 
Thebes, where the Assyrians remained for some time. Tho 
petty kings having joined them, and furnisucd a fleet 
of boats, the ascent of the river Mile was accomplished 
in forty days. The old arrangements of Esarhaddon 
wcie forthwith restored ; twenty vassal kings were set 
once more over as many districts, but heavier tribute 
than before was i.nposed, and stronger garrisons placed 
in the diffeir^it cities, to keep Tirhakah from invading 
the land again from the south. 

Hardly had tho Great King returned to Nineveh, 
however, before a revolt broke out on tho Nile. The 
petty rulers, galled by tho Assyrian yoke, sent emissaries, 
inviting Tirhakah to come back, and undertaking to 
re-establish him on the throne of the Pharaohs, if he left 
them undisturbed in their principalities. Of this league, 
Necho, the chief of tho kings appointed by Esarhaddon, 
was the soul. The capture of a messenger sent to 
Tirhakah, however, revealed the conspiracy bcfoie it was 

^ Tlio title *' Kincj of Jiidali," remains ; the king's name is lost, 
but it must have been Manas^oli. 

2 Annals of Assiirhanipal, lircards of the Past, vol. ix. p. 40. 






ripe, and Nocho, with ono of ilio kings, wore sc zed and 
sent in chains to Ninoveli. 

** My generals," says Assurbanipal, " lioard of tlio 
plot, and having caj)tured their messengers tind dis- 
patches, saw their seditious work. These kings thoy 
took and hound their hands and feet in bonds and fetters 
of iron, and sent them to Nineveh." But the revolt 
broke out notwithstanding. I ;:)wer Egypt wns deter- 
mined, if possible, to expel the foreigner. Yet the 
Assyrian generals speedily quelled the rising, throwing 
down the walls of the rebellious cities, and killing great 
numbers of their inhabitants. Meanwhile Tirhakah 
again entered Egypt, defeated the Assyrians in the upper 
province, and retook Thebes. Assurbanipal, however, 
checked the invader by an unexpected step. Instead 
of putting Necho to death, he restored him to favour, '^ as 
the representative of the old royal family of Egypt." 
" Costly garments," he tells us, *' I put on him, and or- 
naments of gold ; his royal image I made for him ; rings 
of gold I fastened on his feet ; a sword of steel in a 
gold sheath I gave him, with more, besides, than I could 
write, for the glory of my name." Thus loaded with 
honours, he was sent back to Egypt, in con)pany with a 
staff of military men and oftici-ils, and under strictei" 
conditions of vassalage than bv^foro. Parab'sed by this 
step, and, it is said, warned in a dream,^ Tirhakah gave 
up the contest and returned to Ethiopia, where ho soon 
after died.^ 

But a new and vigorous leader al once took the place of 
the brave Ethiopian ; Nud-Ammon, a son of Tirhakah's 
sister and of a former Egyptian king, Sabako. Having 

* Herod., ii. 152. The name Sabako has been substituted for 
2 Assurbanipal says, " he went to his place of night." 
VOL. V. G 






rotakon Tliobcs, he puRlicd on to Motnpliis, and took it 
after a long sicgo, in which Necho fell into his liands and 
was put to death; Psammetichus, his son, one of the 
petty kings, only saving his life by flight to Syria.^ 
Egypt was onco more delivered from the Assyrian. 

Assurbanipal was thus forced to undertake a second 
great expedition to the Nile ; but his mere presence 
was enough to scare away Nud-Ammon from Memphis, 
and make it open its gates once more to the invader. 
The kings, prefects, and governors, set up by Assyria, 
dissembling their late treason, returned and renewed 
their submission. The tide of conquest then rolled on 
towards the south. Thebes had too readily yielded to 
the Ethiopian, and now bore the full vengeance of tho 
monarch it had betrayed. Abandoned by Nud-Aramon, 
as Memphis had been, it could offer no resistance, and 
was ruthlessly plundered. 

" My hands," says tho Great King, "took the whole of 
it; silver, gold, precious stones, the furniture of tho 
palace, all there was; garments costly and beautiful, 
noble houses, two lofty obelisks covered with carving, 
2,500 talents^ in weight, I carried off to Nineveh."^ 
The spoil was immense. The city was swept as if by a 
flood.* Nahum, the prophet, who wrote a little later, 
pictures tho completeness of its destruction. Addressing 
Nineveh, he says : ''Art thou better than No-Ammon,^ 
that was enthroned amidst the canals of the Nile, sur- 
rounded by waters, whose walls and bulwarks were 
broad sea-like streams ? Cush and the two Egypts wore 

^ Maspcro, p. 430. ^ About 70 tons. 

* Annals of Assurhanipalf col. ii. 

* Opperb. Mcmoire, etc. 

* Thebes No- Amnion, tlio scat or city belonging to the sun- 
god Animon. Milhlan nnd VolcJc, So also tho Sept. 


lier exlmustlosa strength ; Put and Lybia wcro her allies. 
lUit she has gone away captive into exile; her young 
chilJren wore dashed in pieces at every comer of her 
streets ; thoy cast lots for her nobles, who would havo 
them as menial slaves ; all her great citizens wore carried 
off bound in chains." ^ The destruction of Tiiebes took 
place about the year B.C. GGO;*^ towards the middle of tho 
reign of Manasseh. 

War was now to come oven nearer Judah. Tyro bad 
again been refractory, and was onco more besieged. 
" Baal, king of Tyre," says the record, " had disregarded 
my royal will, and would not hear tho words of my lips. 
I raised towers round him on sea and land, seized hia 
roads, and forced him to submit to my yoke." Tho 
water of the city had been cut off, and this compelled a 
surrender. Its king had trusted to help from Egypt, bub 
that kingdom was now powerless. Yahimelek, the hei? 
apparent, Baal's own daughter, and the daughters of his 
brothers, with large sums of money, were sent out to 
tho camp of Assurbanipal, and put in his hands. The 
prince he restored ; the princesses he sent to his harem. 
Other kings, including, no doubt, Manasseh, now hastened 
to submit to the conqueror, most of them seeking, liko 
the king of Tyre, to propitiate him by giving one of 
their daughters to him as a concubine ; themselves 
humbly kissing his feet. 

The glory of a king thus uniformly victorious spread 
through all lands. The king of Tubal, in Armenia, sent 
him one of his daughters, and voluntarily paid a tribute 
of horses ; the king of Cilicia, in Asia Minor, also sent a 
daughter. Envoys from Gyges, the king of Lydia, in 
the south-west of Asia Minor, tendered their master's 
homage; but, as it proved, this friendliness was short- 
* Nalium iii. 8-10. * See Isaiah. 









\M. 125 

■^ iU |2.2 
^ U£ 12.0 


11:25 mi 1.4 











(716) 872-4S03 



lived. Ere lor-g, Gyges was an ally of Egypt against 

The pacification of the Nile valley was only momentary. 
Psammetichus, the son of Necho, and now head of the 
old Egyptian royal family, impatient of an inferior posi- 
tion, resolved to crush the petty princes around him, 
who were now reduced to twelve in number; and was 
able to secure a contingent of Greeks— chiefly Carians 
and lonians, from .Gyges — to aid his native force. The 
Lydian king had noticed the constant disturbances in 
the Assyrian provinces, and feeling assured that Egypt 
could not be permanently held, at such a distance from 
Nineveh, threw his influence into the scale against it. 
With such assistance, the Assyrian garrisons were soon 
expelled, never again to enter the Nile valley. Psam- 
metichus ascended the throne on the 14th February, B.C. 
664,* while Manasseh had still twenty-four years to reign. 
Henceforth Greek mercenaries played a prominent part 
in the history of Egypt. It had lost its foreign con- 
quests, but Psammetichus energetically strove to put it 
into a secure state of defence on all its frontiers. Pales- 
tine was apparently left undisturbed, except by a tedious 
siege, or rather investment, carried on against Ashdod 
or Azotus, for twenty-nine years. But his long reign 
marks a renewed vigour, which was afterwards to have 
great results. Architecture, literature, and the arts, 
were nobly encouraged, for even Egypt was beginning 
to feel the influence of foreign nations; thanks to the 
fondness of Psammetichus for the Greeks. The intro- 
duction of a new form of handwriting — the demotic or 
popular — instead of the cumbrous hieroglyphics, and 


* Eber's Aeg. Konigstochter, vol. i. p. 211. Brugsch says, B.C. 
66o. History, vol. ii. p. 277. 





of the hieratic, or sacred hand, of the past, was only a 
sien of the new life astir in all directions. 

It would be of little use to follow in detail the story of 
A ssurbanipaPs later campaigns, after his capture of Tyre. 
He might almost have claimed the honour of being the 
chief desolator that had hitherto afflicted the nations. 
His annals breathe only a ferocious ambiti on to be the 
lord of the world, at any cost to mankind. In Minni, a 
region bordering on Armenia, he tells us, " he threw 
down, destroyed, and burnt towns without number ; and 
carried off people, horses, asses, oxen, and sheep, as 
spoil. The country, he laid waste along fifteen days' 
march, and to crown all, its king was killed by his own 
attendants, as the Assyrians approached, and his corpse 
torn in pieces ; his brothers, his relatives, and all his 
connections being also murdered. 

The Scythians of Gog,^ the name given to a part of 
the wild north-eastern steppes of Central Asia, next 
suffered. Kiepert assigns them the tracts north of the 
Hindoo Kusch, now part of Turkestan,^ where they were 
known as the Saka. To reach them, if this localization 
of their haunts be right, was a gigantic task, for they 
lived at a distance of nearly 2,000 miles north-east of 
Nineveh ; far beyond the utmost point on the broad 
prairies of Southern Siberia, which, after decades of 
effort, Russia has succeeded in reaching. From the 
remote north the flames of war rolled to the plains and 
mountains of Elam, east of the Tigris, at its entrance 
into the Persian Gulf. The whole land, we are told, was 
" overwhelmed with the shock of the terrible storm," 
+he king beheaded, fighting men without number slain, 
and the waters of the Ulai^ choked with their corpses. 

* Ezek. xxxviii. 39. ^ Atlas Antiquus, Map ii. 

* Duu. viii. 2. The Eulaus. IL flows past Susa in Persia, and 



Teumann the king, it appears, had resolved to invade 
Assyria. But, says Assurbanipal, — 

** I prayed to the lofty Istar . . and she came to save me. 
I said, • Goddess of Arbela, I am Assurbanipal, king of Assyria, 
the work of thy hands. I delight in thy courts.^ Teumann, king ( f 
Elam, hater of the gods, has gathered his army, and prepared for 
war. He orders his soldiers to go to Assyria. O thou Archer of 
the gods, throw him down, and crush him like a weight in the 
midst of the battle, tear ... * 

*' My acceptable prayer Istar heard. * Fear not,* said she, and 
caused ray heart to rejoice. * At the lifting up of thy hand thine 
eyes shall be satisfied with my judgments on thine enemies. I 
will grant thee favour.' 

** Moreover, in the dead of the very night when I thus invoked 
her, a seer, while asleep, dreamed, and, behold, Istar spoke to him, 
and he repeated it to me. She entered, surrounded with glory, 
holding a bow in her hand ; its mighty arrow on the string, and 
her countenance set. Tlien she spoke. * Carry otf the spoil. I 
will come to the place set before thee. I will go with thee. I will 
guard thee. I will rest in my place in the temple of Nebo, eating 
food, drinking wine, enjoying music, and glorifying my divinity 
till I go with thee. I will cause thee to have the desire of thy 
heart.''' Do not regard thy life. In the midst of battle she, 
of her loving goodness, protects thee, and overthrows all who 

The victory that foUow^ed was, of course, attributed 
to the favour of the goddess. Leaving the desolated 
country, Assurbanipal turned against the king of Gam- 
bulu, one of the allies of the king of Elam, on the 
marshes of the lower Euphrates,' and swept it "like a 
hailstorm.^' Dimann the king, his brothers, his wife, 

falls into the united Tigris and Euphrates. The present Karun. 
A river of ancient Elam. Muldauu. Vulch, and Wo lag daa Paro- 
dies, p. 329. 

* See Ps. Ixxxiv. 10. * Ps. xxxvii. 4. 

' Wo lag das Paradies, p. 21:0. ' 



sons, daughters, concubines, singing men and singing 
women, he took alive, and sacked the palace. The head 
of Teumann was hung round the neck of Dimann, and 
the Assyrian army returned to Nineveh, amidst great 
rejoicings, " with the conquests of Elam and the spoils 
of Gambulu, musicians making music." The great men 
of both countries were then brought before Assurbani- 
pal ; the head of Teumann having meanwhile been fixed 
over the great front gate of Nineveh. One of the 
Elamite nobles, happier than the rest, was able to kill 
himself with his own sword. The tongue of Dimann 
and of other chief captives was torn out, and ihey were 
then skinned, while yet alive, except Dimann, who was 
roasted to death over a furnace. His unfortunate brothers 
were also put to death, and, after being quartered, the 
pieces were sent to different placos. Other prisoners of 
name were crushed to death before the great gate' " in 
the midst of Nineveh,'* by their own attendants, who 
were forced to perform the hideous task. Such were the 
ideas of a triumph then ; but war and victory are very 
little better in any age. They are, at all times, the sum 
of all villanies ! 

During the years in which these ceaseless campaigns 
were drenching wide regions with blood, Manasseh was 
reigning in Judah, and bitter persecution of the worship- 
pers of Jehovah still conti:aued. He was at last, how- 
ever, to feel that the vengeance of God may overtake 
the sinner, even in this life. 

Assurbanipal had appointed his younger brother Saul- 
mugina to be king of Babylon,^ but only as a subordinate, 
required to address his superior at Nineveh as " the king, 
my lord.*' But such a position did not satisfy him, and 

^ He had, in fact, been appointed by his father, Esarhaddon, but 
Assurbanipal confirmed the appointment. ^ 






he aspired to independence. In the wars with Elam 
and Gambulu he had supplied soldiers to the enemy, and 
ho had also sent emissaries to form a league against 
Assiirbanipal among all the nations from the Euphrates 
to the Mediterranean ; as Merodach Baladan had done in 
the reign of Hezekiah. *' The people of Akkad, Chaldea, 
Aram,^ and the sea coast ** on the west, and " from the 
Eed Sea to the Persian G ulf *' on the south, " tributaries 
dependent on me,'* says the Great King, *' he caused to 
revolt against my hand/' " The kings of the Goim, of 
Syria, and of Ethiopia, he caused to rebel, and they set 
their faces with him.'' A great crisis had risen. The 
whole empire was agitated. Egypt had been already 
lost by the triumph of Psammetichus. The sovereignty 
of the world now threatened to pass to Saulmugina, at 
Babylon. . 

But Assurbanipal was equal to the emergency. At the 
head of an army he crushed the revolters in one direc- 
tion, while different hosts, under his generals, defeated 
and humbled them in others. Arabia was invaded, 
and "swept bare as by a desolating flood." "Tents, 
pavilions, dwellings," were given to the flames. Oxen, 
sheep, asses, camels, and men were carried off iu such 
numbers, that a camel was sold in front of the gate 
of Nineveh for half a silver shekel, and slaves were cor- 
respondingly without value. The few who escaped the 
invaders were reduced to such misery that they were 
forced to eat the flesh of their children. Ammuladin, 
king of Kedar, in Northern Arabia, was defeated by the 
king of Moab, a vassal of Nineveh who remained faith- 
ful, and sent to Nineveh with iron chains on his hands 
and feet.^ Sipparu, Babylon, Borsippa and other cities, 

* Syria in the widest sense. 

* Smith's Annals of Assurhanipalt col. viii. lines 43, 44. 





had been fortified by Saulmugina, and were now besieged 
and taken by his royal brotlier. Elam rose to help the 
great revolt, but it, also, was crushed, in a battle which 
the Great King led in person. Akkad was made so 
utter a wilderness that, as in Arabia, the survivors be- 
took themselves to cannibalism to preserve life.^ At last, 
after a tremendous struggle over widely separate regions, 
Saulmugina was taken alive, and the rebellion collapsed. 
The time for vengeance had now come. Saulmugina 
himself was thrown by his brother into a " fierce burning 

fire." The tongues of great numbers 
of men were pulled out, and multitudes 
were thrown alive among the "stone 
lions and bulls " in "a pit," or quarry; 
the fall from a height apparently being 
counted upon to kill them. But, whether 
living or dead, their "limbs were cut 
off," and thrown to " the dogs, bears, 
eagles, vultures, birds of heaven, and 
fishes of the deep ; till they grew fat 
on them." The great men of Babylon, 
Kutha, and Sipparu, who had aided the 
rebellion, were made slaves. 

Among those who had listened to 
the overtures of Saulmugina, Mauasseh 
seems to have compromised himself, as one of the kings 
of the " sea coast.'^ The Assyrian general in Palestine, 
therefore, having got him, by some means, into his power, 
sent him like the other rebel princes, in chains, to Nine- 
veh, for judgment. He seems, indeed, for some special 
reason, to have been treated with exceptional sternness. 
His feet were bound with fetters ; his hands with mana- 
cles, and a ring, to which a cord was attached^ was 
* Smith's Annals of Assurhatiipal, col. iv. linos 100, 101. 

A Pbisonbr Manaclxd 




passed througfh his lips or nostril, to lead him by it, as 
men led a wild beast.^ Isaiah had told Hezekiah that 
Jehovah would put His hook in the nose of Sennacherib, 
and His bridle in his lips, and turn him back by the way 
he had come,^ and Ezekiel, hereafter, was to tell the 
Pharaoh that he would have hooks put in his jaws, as 
was done with the huge crocodile of his own canals ;* 
and to denounce otherprinces in the same terms.* This 
contemptuous torture now fell on one who had been as 
bitter an enemy to Jehovah, as any of the heathen, and in 
this plight he was led off with a multitude of captives to 
the East ; his special place of captivity being Babylon.* 

Manasseh's captivity is not mentioned in Kings, and 
the narrative in Chronicles has been often assailed on 
the assumed ground that Assyria had no such position 
in Western Asia at this time as the narrative implies. 
It has been urged, moreover, that Manasseh could not 
have been led, as stated, to Babylon, but to Nineveh.* 
The inscriptions, however, strikingly vindicate the Bible 
statement, and show the worthlessness, in this instance 
at least, of the " higher criticism." The extract already 
given from the Annals of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal 

* This is the meaning given by Fiirst and by Miihlau and 
Volck, the latest authorities, to the word hoah, translated in our 
version "among the thorns." 2 Chron. xxxiii. 11. The hoah was 
a ring or hook passed through the nose of large fishes when they 
were put into the water ogain, to be kept till needed. Job xli. 2, 
where "thorn" (hoah) = ring or hook. The meaning, "thorns," 
which is correct in some passages, came from their hook-like 
form and sharpness, as our word " thorn " comes from a root, 
meaning " that which pierces." 

2 2 Kings xix. 28. Isa. xxxvii. 29. ' Ezek. xxix. 4. 

* Ezek. xxxviii. 4. '2 Chron. xxxiii. 11. 

* See Graf's article on the subject, in Studien und Kntiken, 
for 1859. That such an ultra-rationalist should in this instance 
defend Scripture, is noteworthy. 



show that all Syria and Egypt were, for a length of 
time, tributary to them — Manasseh, among other kings, 
being expressly named as their vassal.* That the 
Egyptian leanings of the Jewish king, shown so strik- 
ingly in the name of Amon, given to his son, should 
have led him to plot against Assyria, is probable. In 
the figurative language of the prophet, he had gone " in 
the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile." ^ 
The intrigues of Saulmugiua, coming after the loss of 
Egypt to Assyria, by the successful revolt of Psamroeti- 
chus, would find the Jewish king, like other princes of 
Syria and the sea coast, ready to listen to them, as his 
father had listened to those of Merodach Baladan, from 
the same region. Nineveh was undoubtedly the special 
residence of the Great King, but both Esarhaddon and 
Assurbanipal were also kings of Babylon.^ They both, 
therefore, at times resided in that city, and there re- 
ceived ambassadors or judged vassal princes, accused, 
like Manasseh, of disloyalty. There is, therefore, nothing 
unhistorical in naming Babylon as the place to which the 
Jewish king was taken. * ' 

The rebellion of Saulmugina fixes the year B.C. 648 as 
the date of Manasseh's defection ; his deportation to Baby- 
lon following on the year after.* He had now reigned 

* A list of princes of Palestine tribntary to Assurbanipal has 
been discovered, naming the " king of Judab " as one. This 
must have been Manasseh, though the name, unfortunately, is 
broken ofi^. Keilinschrlften, p. 230. 

'' Jer. ii. 18. Sihor (black, muddy) = Nile. 

* KeiUnschriften, p. 233, note. 

* See KeilinschHften, pp. 240 ff. for a vindication of the historical 
character of the passage in Chronicles respecting Manasseh's 
captivity. How weighty the fact that a critic so keen as Schrader 
should defend an incident which had been long relied upon by 
the advanced school, as a striking instance of the unhistorical 



about forty-sovon years and was nearly sixty years old ; 
with no prospect before him, as it seemed, but a violent 
and shameful death. How he was at first treated is un- 
known, but he must have been for a time kept in misery 
and degradation, if we may judge from his subsequent 
history. The gods ho had trusted in Jerusalem had been 
helpless to save him, while Jehovah, whom he had insulted, 
had delivered his father from the hands of Sennacherib. 
Humbled to the dust, he realized, for the first time, the 
greatness of his sins, and *' besought Jehovah, as now his 
own God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of 
his fathers, and prayed unto Him.'' Nor was the peni- 
tence of oven so great a sinner rejected. Assurbanipal 
had, before this, shown favour to Necho of Egypt, brought 
to Nineveh under similar circumstances,^ and was in- 
duced, perhaps from the wish to defend himself, on the 
side of Egypt, by one who might henceforth be a useful 
ally, to restore Manasseh to his kingdom. " God was 
intreated'' of the captive, says the sacred chronicler, 
" and heard his supplication, and brought him again to 
Jerusalem, into his kingdom.'' " Then," it is added, 
" Manasseh knew that Jehovah is God." ^ A prayer, 
said to have been uttered by him in his trouble, is still 
extant in Greek, and is included in the apocryphal books 
of the German and English Churches. It may be that 
this composition, though thus doubtful, is a transcript of 
words understood to have been used by him, for it is 
expressly said in Chronicles ^ that his prayer was both in 
the " Book of the Kings of Israel," and in the collection 

character of passages in that book ! Also, see Dictionary of Bibhy 
art. Manasseh \ and Thenius, Die Biicher der Konige, on the 

* See page 81. ^2 Chron. xxxiii. 12, 13. v 

» 2 Chron. xxxiii. 18, 19. 



of tlio words of Ilozai, a famous propLot of the day.^ 
The oldest trace of its oxistenco, however, is found iu the 
Apostolic Constitutions.^ Fritzsclie, a great authority, 
tliinks it dates at least from before the Christian era, 
when so many apocryphal writings were composed by 
Greek-speaking Egyptian Jews.^ Presenting as it does, 
however, a glimpse of ancient Jewish religious life and 
thought, it helps us to realize in some measure what 
must have been in the mind of the humbled old man iu 
his lonely exile. Slightly amplified, for the sake of clear- 
ness, it runs thus :— 

" Lord Almighty, the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, and of their righteous seed, who hast made heaven 
and earth, and all their wonders;* who hast chained the sea 
within its appointed limits, by the word of Thy command ; who 
hast set confines to the bottomless abyss of the underworld, and 
sealed it up by Thine awful and glorious Name ; before whom all 
things feel a holy fear, trembling before the sight of Thy power ; 
for the greatness of Thy glOry is overwhelming, and the indigna- 
tion of Thy threatening against sinners cannot be endured ; for 
Thon art the Lord Most High, of great compassion, long-suffering, 
very merciful, and repentest Thee of the evils suffered by man. 

"Thou, O Lord, according to the abundance of Thy goodness, 
hast promised repentance and forgiveness to them that have 
sinned against Thee, and in the fulness of Thy mercies, hast 
appointed repentance to sinners, that they may be saved. Tliou, 
therefore, O Lord, the God of the just, hast not repentance for 
the just; for such as Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, who have 


* For " the seers," 2 Chron. xxxiii. 19, read " Hozai." 

2 Bk. ii. 22. The earlier of the eiglit books of the so-called 
Apostolic Constitutions are ascribed, by different authorities, to 
various dates, from the end of the first century to the end of the 
third of our era. Apos. Const, in Herzog, vol. i. pp. 4i9 ff. 

* Exeg. Handbuch zu den ApoJe.f vol. i. p. 158. 

* Lit., " economy," laws, order, etc. 



not sin'iied ap^ainst Thoo'; but Thoa hast appointed repentance 
for mc, the Biniior; for I liavo iuinned above the number of the 
sandu of tlio sea. My tranHgrosutons, O Lord, are multiplied ; 
they are multiplied, and I am nut worthy to gaze upon or behold 
the light of heaven — Thy dwelling-place — for the multitude of my 
iniquities. I am bowed down by many chains of iron so that I 
cannot lifb up my head, and there is no rest for me; for I have 
provoked thine anger, and done evil in Thy sight, in not doing 
Thy will and not keeping Thy commandments; in having set up 
abominations,' and having multiplied objects of Thine abhorrence. 
"Now, therefore, I bow the knee of mine heart, imploring Thy 
grace. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge 
my transgressions. Wherefore, I humbly beseech Thee, forgivo 
mo, O Lord ; forgive me, and destroy me not utterly in my 
iniquities. Store not up evil against me for ever, in anger, and 
condemn me not to go down to the lowest depths of Sheol. For 
Thou art God, the God of the penitent, and in me Thou wilt show 
forth all Thy goodness, for Thou wilt save me, unworthy though 
I be, in the greatness of Thy mercy. And I will praise Thee 
continually, all the days of my life ; for all the Powers of the 
heavens extol Thee, and Thine is the glory, for ever and ever. 

On his return, the change in Munasseh's feelings showed 
itself strikingly. Persecution was at once stayed. The 
foreign idols he had set up in Jerusalem and even in 
the temple, and also their altars, were taken away ; the 
altar of Jehovah was replaced and sacrifices oflfered on it, 
apparently by himself, while Judah was commanded to 
serve Jehovah alone. The high places, through the land, 
however, were suffered to remain, though only permitted 
to be used for sacrifices to Jehovah.* But the evil he had 
done had rooted itself too deeply to be easily counter- 

This change of religious policy was accompanied with 

* The " perfect justness " of Abraham and those like him, is an 
idea of later Judaism, See Luke v. 32 ; xy. 7, etc. 

• Idols. * 2 Chrou. xxxiii. 15-17. 



a healthier feeling in political affairs. The neighbouring 
lands^ which had been more or less dependent since the 
days of Uzziah, had thrown off the yoke of Judah, under 
the weak rule that had latterly prevailed. Philistia, 
Edom, Moab and Ammon were nob only independent, 
but more audacious in their bearing than ever before/ 
and henceforth maintained their freedom, except, as has 
been said, for a short time under Josiah. But if thoy 
could not be subdued, their inroads could at least be 
checked. Garrisons were therefore placed in all the for- 
tified towns, and an outer wall built round the City of 
David,^ the earlier wall of Hezekiah having been perhaps 
broken down ; if, indeed, it had ever been finished. 

Nothing, however, could obliterate the memory of the 
past. The very name of Manassoh continued to be ab- 
horred, and was used instead of that of Moses, when a 
dishonourable one was sought to shield that of the great 
lawgiver.^ He is one of the kings whom the Rabbis hold 
to have no part in the life to come — the others being 
Jeroboam and Ahab. At his death, moreover, he was 
buried in the garden of his own house,* not in the City of 
David, among his ancestors. 

1 Zeph. ii. 4-19. Jer. xlvii. 1 ; xlix. 22 ; xxv. 20. 
' 2 Gbron. xxxiii. 14. 

* In Judges xviii. 30, " Manassoh " is substituted for " Moses." 
See vol. ii. p. 460. 

* Sept. 








Kings of Judah. Kings of Egypt. 

Amon, B.C. 642-640. Psammrtichus I., 
JosiAH, B.C. 640-610.1 B.C. 66G-612.2 

Necho II., B.C. 

Kings of Assyria. 

assurbantpal, b.c. 668-626. 

The remaim'ic; kings of Nineveh 
are liardly known, G. Smith 
names two : — 


AssuREDiLiLi, son > 626-607. 
of Assurbanipal.^ J 
The Saracus of the Greeks. 
Smith's Assyria, pp. 183-8. 

THE long reign of Manasseh, extending over more 
than half a century, had greatly demoralized the 
kingdom. A gross and sensual idolatry had sapped 
ancient morals and corrupted the whole fabric of society. 
The enthusiasm of a vigorous minority had effected an 
outward reform under Hezekiah, but this restraint had 
been gladly thrown off by the bulk of the people, under 
his son. Nations as a whole have in all ages refused 
to sustain for any length of time a high morality, which 
curtails their self-indulgence and imposes strictness of 

* Steiner and Hitzig give the time of Josiah's reign as B.c. 
642-611. Die U. Propheten, ^. 298. 

2 Schradcr. Geo. Smith. 

^ Oppert gives the name as Assuredilili, or Sardanapalus II. 
Schrader supposes he was the only king after Assurbanipal. 





life. Puritanism in its sincerity is always limited to a 
narrow section^ and a reaction against it^ when the oppor- 
tunity offers, is certain. 

Hezekiah seems at his death to have had several sons,^ 
but we know nothing of any of them except Manasseh^ 
whose birth, twelve years before the close of his father's 
reign, seems to have been hailed by him as that of the 
destined heir to the throne, perhaps from the special love 
he bore to his mother, queen Hephzibah. It is quite 
possible, however, that he was not the eldest, and that 
his brothers, born of various mothers, may have been set 
aside by the palace intrigues of the heathen court-party, 
that they might secure a child-king, in whose name the 
abuses they had cherished under Ahaz could be easily 

At Manasseh's death, however, no danger of any change 
of public policy seemed likely. The heathen faction, 
including the chiefs of the kingdom, having held power 
and consolidated their influence for more than fifty year3, 
could control the new king as they pleased. Amon, 
therefore, the late king's son, a young man of twenty-two 
years of age, ascended the throne peaceably. His mother, 
MeshuUemeth, " the friend of God/* was the daughter of 
an unknown father, Haruz, " the diligent,'' of Jotbah, 
" the kindly," a village of Judah.^ Amon himself seems 
to have been popular;' but, from whatever cause, he 
roused the enmity of the court party. It could not be laid 
to his charge that he refused to comply with the estab- 
lished heathenism, for it is expressly said that he walked 
in his father's steps, and served and worshipped the idols 

* 2 Kings XX. 18. Isa. xxxviii. 19. 

3 2 Kings xxi. 19-26. 2 Chiron, xxxiii. 21-25. Jerome says that 
Jofcbali was in Judah. 
^ 2 Kings xxi. 24. 
VOL. V. • 




he had sefc up, " multiplying his trespasses/' and showing 
none of the penitent humility of Manasseh's late years. 
It may be^ however, that signs of a serious thoughtfulness, 
not as yet carried into outward act, alarmed the dominant 
faction, for within two years he was cut off by a palace 
conspiracy, like that by which his ancestor, king Joash, 
perished.^ But the success of his murderers was short- 
lived. The common people ^ rose in arms, and, overpower- 
ing all opposition, seized and slew the actors in the plot. 
Amon was buried with due honours in the tomb built 
in the garden of Uzzah, where Manasseh already rested. 
A great public assembly of the nation ^ was then con- 
vened, at which, in accordance with ancient usage, Josiah, 
the dead king's son, was elected to the throne, though 
only eight years of age. 

Under the child thus raised to the throne of David, 
Judah was destined to enjoy its last brief glimpse of 
prosperity before it finally sank into riiin.* His mother, 
Jedidah, " the beloved of God,'' the daughter of Adaiah, 
" the honoured of God," of the village of Boscath, on 
the rolling slopes of the Shephelah, near Lachish,* may, 
perhaps, have deserved her lofty name, and given her boy 
the priceless benefit of a godly mother's example and 
counsels. But even if, as the Gebirah, or Queen-Mother^ 
she enjoyed the first place in the court, her position and 

; » 2 Kings xii. 20. 

^ Am-ha-aretzin. In Ezek. vii. 27 this phrase is used to clis- 
tinguish the common people frem the higher classes. It latterly 
came to mean strictly the plebeians, the mass of the people, and 
was used as a term of contempt. 

' B.C. 638. Thenius gives the date as B.C. 641. 

* 2 Kings xxii.-icxiv. 2 Cbron. xxxiv.-xxxv. Jer. i.-xii. Jos., 
Antf X. iv. 6. 

* Josh. xv. 39. The queen-mother's family seems to have been 
one of no special distinction. 

•I ,<- 




that of her son must have been very difficult. A strong 
party like that which had so long controlled Church and 
State in Judah, was dangerous to oppose iii an age when^ 
as in the case of Amon^ assassination might speedily 
follow any signs of independence. Although, therefore, 
Josiah, as we are told, showed a religious bias even at his 
accession, it was probably known onl^- to his mother and 
a few faithful adherents of the discredited faith of their 
fathers, who still ventured to gather round her. 

Things, in fact, were rapidly growing even worse than 
hitherto. The " princes of Judah," and the royal family 
in all its wide ramifications, were devoted to heathenism. 
New follies, introduced from different nations, were 
constantly coming into vogue. High places to the goat- 
god of Egypt or to the hairy satyrs thoughu to inhabit 
the deserts, were built at the gates of Jerusalem.^ Tho 
Philistine rite of leaping over the threshold of holy places 
was copied from the temple of Dagon,* and the members 
of the royal family, the nobles, and many others ostenta- 
tiously dressed in foreign style; adopting, doubtless, its 
vain, idolatrous emblems and ornaments. Violence and 
licence prevailed. The powerful oppressed the weak, 
perverted justice, mocked at innocence, and sought by 
craft what they could not attain by force. ''Jerusalem," 
cried Zephaniah,* " is rebellious, polluted, and oppressing. 
Her princes and judges are like roaring lions and even • 
ing wolves, who leave nothing for the morning. Her 
prophets are self-willed and treacherous ; her priests have 
polluted the sanctuary and done violence to the Law." 

However well disposed, therefore, Josiah might be, as a 

, . * 2 Kings xxiii. 8. Geiger and Graetz read ** Seirim," satyrs, 
or goats for " Shiarim," gates ; apparently on good grounds. 

^ Zeph. i. 9. See vol. iii. p. 30. 

■ Zeph. iii. 1, 3. 



.1 1 ■ 





child, he was helpless for a time, alike from his tender 
years and from the hatred around him to any reform. 
How dark and prejudiced, moreover, must the mind of 
a boy of eight — the grandson of Manasseh, and son of 
Amon — have been ? A change, if possible in the end, 
could be effected only by patient waiting. 

Yet, amidst the gloom, there was already a rift in the 
clouds. The fierce persecution of Manasseh's reign had 
ceased, and the scattered and hidden band of the Faithful 
once more gathered together, as the forlorn hope of the 
true religion. They might be few, but they had been 
tried in the fire, and glowed with earnest conviction. 
No disappointments could shake their trust in Jehovah. 
To fear Him was with them the beginning of wisdom. 
Patriots in the grandest sense, they believed that the sal- 
vation of their country depended on its return to Him and 
active obedience to His Law. The spirit of the time still 
shows itself in some contemporary compositions that have 
fortunately come down to us. The tone of a circle which 
embraced men like the prophets Zephaniah, Nahum, 
Jeremiah, and Habakkuk, muE't have been almost ideally 
lofty. Nor were these the only confessors in those evil 
days. The thirty-seventh Psalm, among others, has been 
assigned by various critics to this period.^ Composed in 
a series of proverb-like sentences, the first word of every 
verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew 
Alphabet, it illustrates in its artificial form a peculiarity 
not uncommon in the poetry of Scripture, while its con- 
tents take us back to an age when evil appeared to 
triumph, and only hope in God, guided men, like a star, 
through the darkness. It ran thus :— 

* It is ascribed to David in the title it now bears, but neither 
Pclitzsch nor Moll think this reliable. Hitzig and G. Baur think 
it was written " before Job " — that is, in Manasseh's reign. 




At ovil doers fret not thyself : 
At the prosperity of the wicked be not thoa envious. ^ 

For like the grass they shall soon be cut down, 
Like the herb, now green, they shall wither away. 
Bo trustful in God and do good, 
Enjoy the peaceful quiet home in His own land, 
Which God bestows on thee, and cherish faithfulness to Him. 
Delight thyself also in Jehovah : 
So shall He give thee the desires of thy heart. 
Give to Jehovah the care of thy way ; ' 
Trust also in Him, and He will plan it for thee : 
He will make thy uprightness clear as the light; 
Thy innocence as the noonday beam. < 

Dumb in thy stillness, rest thou in Jehovah ; wait patiently for 

Fret not thyself about those who prosper in their way; 
At those who use their prosperity only to do evil. 
Hold in thine anger and leave off thy wrath; 
Fret not thyself ; for that only leads thee to sin. 
For evil doers shall be cut off ; 
But they who trust in Jehovah shall inherit the land. 
Wait but a little while and the wicked shall be no more ; 
And if you seek for the place where he has been, he is no longer 

But the meek will inherit the land. 
And delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 

Should 2 the wicked plot against the godly, » 

And gnash upon him with his teeth— 

The Lord shall laugh at him, . ^ 

For He sees that his day is coming. 

Have ^ the wicked unsheathed the sword and bent their bow 
To bring down the poor and helpless ; to slay such as walk up- 
rightly ?— 
Home to their own heart shall go their sword ; 
Their bows shall be broken ! 

Trifling though that may be which the righteous man has, 
It is better than the riches of many wicked. 

» Lit., " Roll thy way on Jehovah." » S for Z. « H for Ch. 



For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, 
But the righteous man is upheld by Jehovah. 

Jehovah keeps note of the upright ; 
Their inheritance will be theirs for ever. 
They will not be ashamed in the evil time ; 
In days of famine they shall bo satisfied. 
Complete destruction shall come on the wicked ; 
The enemies of Jehovah are as the fat sheep of the pastares; 
They shall vanish in smoke — ay, vanish away! 
Let the wicked borrow, he cannot repay,* 
But the upright, though gentle to debtors, can give away. 
For the blessed of God shall inherit the land. 
And whom He curses will be rooted out ! 
Meted out by Jehovah are the sure steps, of such a man. 
And He 4elighteth in his way. 

If ho stumble, he shall not fall utterly down, . < ;^ ' 

For Jehovah holds him up by the hand. ; 
Now old, I have once been young, - ' . 

But I have never seen the godly forsaken, 
Or His children begging bread ; 
Ever merciful. He gives and lends each day, . , 
And his posterity is blessed. . . ' 

See that thou turn from evil and do good > ., 

So shalt thou dwell in the land for ever ; ^ , , 
For Jehovah loves the right. 

And never forsakes His saints; ' 

Evermore are they guarded by Him. 
But the generation of the wicked shall be rooted out* 
The upright will inherit the land, 
And dwell in it for ever. 

Pious lips speak ever the true Wisdom ; 
The tongue of the godly talketh of the Eight. 
The law of their God is in their heart ; their steps are sure. 
To 2 slay the righteous is the bad man's work ; 
For this he lies in wait and watches. 

* He is sinking from depth to depth. 

' It should bo " Ts," instead of T, but wo have no such letter. 




But Jehovah gives him not into his hand, 

And even if he be condemned by man, He does not pronounce 

him guilty. 
' Cleave with strong hope to Jehovah : keep His way; 
So will He exalt thee to inherit the land, 
And see with gladness the destruction of the wicked. 

Rough, wicked men ^ have I seen, great and terrible, 
Spreading themselves like a tree full of sap, in its native soil. 
Yet they passed away, and, lo, they were no more, 
And though I sought them, they could not be found. 

Set' thine eyes on the just man; mark the upright; 

This man of peace has a posterity after him.* 

But evil doers shall be destroyed together : 

The posterity of the wicked shall be cut off I 

To Jehovah do the righteous owe their salvation from evil. 

To Jehovah, their stronghold in the day of trouble ! 

Jehovah stands by them, and delivers them ; 

Delivers them from the wicked and helps them. 

Because they trust in Him. 

The spiritual chaos in Judah, amidst whicli light was 
slowly beginning to assert itself, was in keeping with the 
tumult and confusion in the great political world of Asia 
and Egypt. A.ssurbanipal still reigned at Nineveh, but 
his vast military eflforts, succeeding those of so many of 
his predecessors, had gone far to exhaust his empire, and 
bring about its ultimate fall. His conquest of Egypt in 
the beginning of his reign, as we have seen, had scarcely 
survived his departure from the banks of the Nile. Psam- 
metichus I., son of Nebo I., had founded a new and vic- 
torious dynasty in the knd of the Pharaohs. After his 

» Should bo "K," to suit the Hebrew alphabet. 
3 It should be in tho singular. The plural is used to obtain 
the letter R. 
8 Should be " Sh." / 

* His house is not cut off like that of the wicked. 

. i; ; 

i :ii 



father's violent death,* Psammetichus, who had been 
Assyrian viceroy of Athribis — one of the twenty districts 
into which Egypt was at that time divided — ^had fled to 
Syria, but Assurbanipal had, meanwhile, succeeded Esar- 
haddon, and having restored Assyrian authority on the 
Nile,' appointed Psammetichus to the dignity his father 
had held, though with less independent power. 

But the new viceroy was not a man to remain willingly 
subordinate. His triumph, by the help of Greek merce- 
naries, over the mob of petty vassal kings around him, 
has already been told. He now took a step which secured 
not only his supremacy, but the stability of his House. 
Marrying the heiress of the dethroned Ethiopian dynasty, 
he united its rival claims and those of the native Egyp- 
tian House, as our Henry VI. closed the strife between 
the Red and White Eoses by his marriage with Elizabeth 
of York. Henceforth he was the legitimate king of 
Upper and Lower Egypt, and soon felt himself strong 
enough to rise against the Assyrian garrisons, which he 
ere long expelled,* remaining master of the whole country, 
from the First Cataract to the Mediterranean, and found- 
ing the Saite line of kings — the last of the great national 
dynasties of Egypt.* 

Busied with his eastern wars, Assurbanipal had no 
leisure to disturb Psammetichus in his hard won inde- 
pendence. Each year saw the Great King engaged in 
fresh campaigns against nations which resented his 
odious tyranny. Over these he was able to record a 
succession of doubtful triumphs, but they were gained 
with the very lifeblood of his empire. The crushing of 

* See page 82. * B.C. 666-665. Maspero, p. 430. 

* B.C. 656. Maspero, p. 488. 

* Maspero, p. 489. E. de Eouge, Notice de quelques iextes hiero^ 
glyphiques recemment puhlies par M. Greene, pp. 36-52. 





Elam opened the way for the rise of another power, before 
which Nineveh itself was one day to fall. 

The vast range of the Taurus and Anti-Taurus moun- 
tains, after skirting the south of Asia Minor, trend south- 
east, as the mountains of Kurdistan, and north-east, as 
those of Armenia. There, the broad valley of the Kur 
divides them from the lofty Caucasus chain, which runs 
south-east, from the Black Sea to the Caspian ; its 
highest summit, xVIount Elbrus, rising to the height of 
nearly 18,000 feet above the sea. Another gigantic range, 
running nearly north and south, and now forming the 
boundary between Kurdistan and Persia, connects, in a 
rude triangle, the bifurcation of the Armenian and Kurdish 
mountains, and after thus enclosing the wild upland region 
of the great salt Lake Van, which lies 5,000 feet above 
the sea, continues in a south-east direction to the 
shores of the Indian Ocean. Opposite this rampart of 
hills, at a distance of about 300 geographical miles, the 
great range of Elburz — the " watch-towers '' — stretches 
along the south of the Caspian Sea, trending east and 
south-east till it mingles with the peaks of the Hindoo 
Kusch; Demavend, its loftiest summit, attaining the 
awful height of nearly 20,000 feet. 

From the western side of this vast bed of mountains, 
in the long stretch of country once forming Assyria and 
Elam, flow a succession of streams, cleaving through pro- 
found gorges and opening into fertile valleys, to form 
the tributaries of the Tigris. The regions to the east, 
on the other hand, enjoy the shelter as of a huge wall, 
separating them from the disputes and affairs of West- 
ern Asia. Lying under the shadow of the highlands, 
at their northern extremity, the great Lake Urumiyah 
is formod by streams which pour down from a network 
of lofty hills on all sides, filling a basin 85 miles in 




r ■ 






length, and 25 in breadth. More than 4,000 feet above 
the sea,^ and without any outlet, the waters of this vast 
mountain lake are so salt that no fish can live in 
them, while the shores sparkle with salt crystals. The 
rest of the country, however, to the south-east, is a 
vast rolling table-land, watered by a number of streams, 
the borders of which are capable of sustaining a large 
population, though at a distance from them the soil 
turns to a desert. The mountains produce copper, iron, 
lead, rich marbles, and many varieties of precious stones. 
Here and there naked, they are more frequently clothed 
with thick forests, in which the pine, the oak, and the 
poplar, the oriental plane, the hazel, and the willow, 
mark the descending zones of growth. The pear, the 
apple, the quince, the cherry, the olive, the peach, and 
the melon, seem indigenous, and flourish luxuriantly 
in some of the richer valleys ; but trees of any kind, 
though abundant on the mountain slopes, are scarce 
on the upper table-land, except near streams or lakes. 
Wheat and vegetables of excellent quali y, with many 
subtropical plants, can, however, be rased wherever 
irrigation is possible. Thus, as a wholo, the country 
is marked by the charms and defects of a mountainous 
region. Fertile in some places, it is seamed in others 
with ridges of bare hills incapable of cultivation, and 
fertility everywhere depends on the presence of water.* 
This vast territory, even the valleys of which lie from 

* Maspero says (p. 452) that Lake Urumiyah is beluw the sea 
level, like the Dead Sea, but he is under a mistake. BrockhauH* 
Lexicon (vol. xiv. p. 942) says it is 1,300 metres above the Medi> 
terranean. Maspero has been misled, apparently, by its saltness, 
which has coupled it with the Dead Sea, in his mind, in more 
ways than one. 

' Bawlinson's Great Monarchies, vol. iii. pp. 44-72. Maspero, 
pp. 452ff. 





4,000 to 5,000 feet above the sea level — a region of 
almost Arctic cold in winter^ but delightful in spring, 
and not oppressively warm, in the uplands, oven in 
summer, had been originally inhabited, in common with 
the whole region of modern Persia, by a Scythian race, 
related^ distantly, in language, to the modem Finns and 
Turks. These^ however, had been subjugated and driven 
out in a remote age by successive immigrations of 
Aryans or Indo-Europeans, from the lands east and 
south-east of the Caspian : a race brave and warlike^ 
but for ages weakened by division into independent 
tribes. The vast wall of mountains separating them 
from the valley of the Tigris had not prevented Assyrian 
ambition from coveting their territory. Their early tra- 
ditions spoke of one of their kings as having been 
deposed and crucified by an invader from Nineveh, and 
from the time of Tiglath-pileser I., in the 12th century 
before Christ, their land had been repeatedly desolated, 
its towns sacked and burnt, numbers of its population 
slain, or carried off as slaves, and its fields swept 
of their flocks and herds, by the armies of successive 
Assyrian invaders. 

A leader was, however, at last found, able to weld 
the medley of wild tribes into a nation, and from that 
moment Media took its place as a formidable power. 
In some clans the subordinate chiefs had formed an 
oligarchy controlling the nominal head; in others, the 
sub-clans had been leagued into rude confederate re- 
publics ; in still others, a government very similar to 
that of the ancient Hebrews had obtained, the house- 
holder being responsible for his family ; the whitebeard 
or sheik for ten householders ; the head of a subclan for 
every ten or twelve sheiks ; a malik for a certain num- 
ber of these under-chiefs ; a prince elected by these mar 



liks ruling over all. If w6 may credit Herodotus,^ these 
various systems were superseded by monarchy, through 
the influence of one Deioces, towards the close of the 
8th century before Christ, and his throne, it is said, 
passed quietly to his son Phraortes, who forthwith be- 
gan, like the kings around, to make war on his neigh- 
bours. Having first subdued Persia, ho ucxt turned to 
Armenia, which the kings of Assyria had often beforo 
invaded, and now claimed as their own. Brought thus 
into collision with the rulers of Nineveh, Phraortes was 
beaten and killed in a great battle, about the year B.C. 

His authority, however, descended to Cyaxares, his son, 
a man of commanding military genius, firod with hatred 
of the Assyrian, and ambitious to found a vast empire. 
The great rebellion of the brother of Assurbanipal, at 
Babylon, had shaken the power of the Great King to its 
foundations. His dominions were, henceforth, in danger 
on every side. Psammetichus had torn Egypt from him 
and was now besieging Ashdod. Babylon, under Nabo- 
polassar, a general appointed over the province, as a 
reward for having reconquered it after the great rebel- 
lion, had again risen in revolt, and the Modes, under the 
dangerous leadership of Cyaxares, were descending the 
western slopes of the mountains to invade their hereditary 
enemy from the east. They were sweeping on to besiege 
Nineveh itself, when their progress was suddenly arrested 
by a strange and terrible phenomenon.* 


» Serod,,i.l02ff. 

' Justi, Qesch. des alien Persiens, p. 11. Serod., i. 162. • 
9 Ewald thinks that Nahuni, supposed to havo been a Jewish 
exile living at Elkosh on the Tigris, saw this invasion, and alludes 
to it. Oeacliichte, vol. iii. p. 743. The exact chronology of theue 
events is very uucertaiu. 





Tho vast regions of Central Asia were shut off from 
the ancient civilization of India, Mesopotamia, Syria and 
Asia Minor, by tho great mountain chains of tho Hiraa- 
layah, the Hindoo- Kusch, Caucasus, and Taurus, which 
Lad hitherto seemed almost tho limits of tho habitable 
world. Tho wildest fables prevailed respecting the 
regions beyond this gigantic barrier. Suddenly, how- 
over, tho mystery was at once, in part, intensified, in part, 
unveiled. A generation before, the Cimmerians had 
attempted to break through, but had been driven back 
by the Great King; but now, again, the southern passes 
of these awful heights swarmed with the hordes of a 
strange race, mounted on wiry steppe horses ; foul and 
sordid in their personal habits ; living mainly on mare's 
milk and the cheese made from it, with the occasional 
addition of horseflesh or other animal food, *'"om vast 
herds which they brought with them. Their houses — \ 
huge tents of felt ^ — were carried with them on wagons, 
drawn by long files of oxen ; and their wives and children 
accompanied the host. A vase found in a tomb ^ repre- 
sents the men as wearing long hair and beards, with 
round or conical bonnets, generally reaching down tho 
neck, close fitting tunics with a belt round the waist, 
trowsers tied round the ankles, and boots j their weapons, 
the bow, the spear, the short sword, and the battle axe ; 
with only the shield for protection. From some of their 
words preserved in Herodotus,^ they seemed to have 
belonged to the Indo-European family of nations rather 
than, as formerly thought, to the Mongolian, and, if so, 
they formed one of the earliest waves of Aryan migration 
from the uplands of Asia, in search of a new homo. 

* JferotZ., iv. 46, 73. . ,'. 

' Given in Rawlinson's And. MonarcMoa, vol. ii. p. 511. 
" J/erod., iv. 58. So Grimm thinks. 



Since then the world has often been alarmed by similar 
inroads from the same regions — hordes of Gauls, Goths, 
Vandals, Parthians, Huns, Turks and Tartars,^ spreading 
dismay and ruin over the fairest regions of Asia or Europe.' 
But their first sudden irruption on the civilization of the 
ancient world must have had all the intensity of an un- 
precedented calamity. It was believed that they drank 
the blood of their enemies slain in battle ; used their 
skulls for drinking cups,^ made their skin into a cover 
for their quivers, and worshipped no god but a naked 
sword.^ Nothing is said of them in the meagre record of 
Kings and Chronicles, but the imagery of the prophets 
enables us to form some conception of the intense dread 
with which they were regarded over all Western Asia. 
The seething cauldron of the North was to spread smoko 
and flame over Palestine.* Its wild hosts, riding on 
horses, and armed with the bow and javelin, would be 
cruel and have no mercy. Their battle-shout would be 
like the roar of the sea.* Long after they had disappeared, 
the impression they had made on the general imagina- 
tion is seen in the language in which Ezekiel anticipates 
future invasions from the same regions. Their coming 
was to be like that of a storm which swept the land 
assailed ; like a cloud, from which were to burst innumer- 
able horses and horsemen, with bucklers and helmets, 
swords and bows, clubs and spears ; horde following horde, 
spreading dismay and ruin, which seemed to fill the world, 
in all its kingdoms, with terror. The very fish of the sea, 

* The word Tartar was originally Tatar. It was changed to its 
present form through the horror of the populations invaded, to 
whom such a race seemed the offspring of Tartarus — fiends from 
the underworld. Trench's English Past and Present y p. 184. 

- Jlerod.f iv. 64, 65. • * Herod., '.v. 62. - * * 

* Jer. i. 13. » Jor. vi. 23. 



the birds of the air, the creeping things of the earth, and 
all men upon it, would tremble at their presence; the 
mountains sink before them; the cliffs topple down. 
Their overthrow seemed to demand the forces not only of 
man, but nature ; pestilence and blood, rain floods, hail- 
stones, fire and brimstone, conspiring to destroy them ; 
till the deep gorges east of the Dead Sea were filled with 
their unclean dead, carried thithar from the sacred limits 
of Israel, to sate the vultures and wild beasts of the hills, 
with the flesh of the mighty, and the blood of princes, and 
the carcases of chiefs and warriors.^ In such language 
men spoke, in the days of Christ, of the similar hosts of 
the Parthians. St. John, in the Apocalypse, saw four 
destroying angels, hitherto bound in the river Euphrates, 
let loose to slay the third part of men. Two hundred 
thousand horsemen, in mail of fiery blue and brimstone, 
rode forth through the dried up river bed, an army 
of hell, to' destroy mankind.^ Nor did the Roman 
historians use language less striking of these later coun- 
terparts of the " Scythians " of Josiah's day. Their 
accounts of the endless rushing swarms of wild cavalry ; 
their terrible shouts, like the bellowing of beasts, and 
the hideous clamour of their countless drums, like the 
noise of thunder; their breastplates and helmets of steely 
glittering like lightning; their horses covered with brass 
and steel trappings ; the painted faces of the warriors, 
and their shaggy hair, gathered in a mass on their fore- 
heads, in the Scythian fashion,^ seem almost repetitions 
of the language of the prophets, and enable us to 
imagine the alarm of the populations on whom such 
a visitation first descended. 

* Ezek. xxxviii. and xxxix. 

' Kov. ix. 14 ff. The dread of a Parthian invasion was then a 
tradition of a century before. * Plut., Viton {Crassus), iii. 33, 






Media^ comparatively safe in its wild uplands, escap i 
with a promise of tribute to the invaders. The cities of 
Nineveh and Babylon were too strong for a foe which 
had not learned to besiege walled towns. But the open 
country, far and near, was laid waste. Horde after 
horde, passing over it, turned even the richest districts 
to deserts. Neither sex nor age was spared. Those 
who did not escape to the mountains or to some strong- 
hold, were either slain or carried off as slaves. The 
crops were consumed ; the herds killed or swept away ; 


Tho second on the left represents the fish i^oddess Derceto, a local form of Ash- 
tor 3tb, or Venus ; the fish form being a symbol of productiveness. 

the villages burnt, and even some towns taken by 
sudden assault. The course of devastation passed on 
from Mesopotamia to Northern Syria and Phenicia, in- 
cluding Damascus and Palestine. At last it reached 
the borders of Egypt, but its force was already spent, 
and Psammetichus was able to bribe the leaders, by rich 
gifts, to turn back. Retracing their steps, they pillaged 
the temple of Derceto, at Askelon.^ But their power 

• * Herod., i. 106. 


i I 



for evil was now weakened. The losses in so many 
battles could not be repaired ; success drew after it dis- 
putes and divisions ; perhaps relaxed their energy. The 
city of Bethshean in Central Palestine^ known in after 
ages as Scythopolis^^ on the commercial and military 
route from Egypt to Nineveh, was soon the only spot 
where any number of them lingered. Once back again 
beyond the Tigris, Cyaxares is said to have invited their 
leading chiefs to a banquet, and murdered them while 
feasting, and to have ultimately succeeded in driving 
back the whole host to Upper Asia, after a fierce and 
prolonged war. Their domination had lasted, at most, 
seven or eight years, from b.c. 634 to 627.^ 

Such a terrible visitation made a deep impression on 
the popular mind in Judah. Nineveh, though saved for 
the time, had shown its growing weakness. All Western 
Asia had bowed the head before the scourge of God. 
The gods of the nations had not been able to save them. 
On their way across Palestine the barbarians had, per- 
haps, attempted to take Jerusalem, for this is hinted, in 
Ewald's opinion, in the fifty-ninth Psalm.* The country 
population must, at least, have flocked to the fancied 
security of the capital, from the walls of which pale 
crowds may have watched the flames and smoke of 
burning villages and towns. Amidst such universal 
alarm the faithful among the prophets were true to their 
lofty mission. The^ saw in this awful visitation the hand 

* Euseb., Praep. Ev., ix. 39. 

2 De Saulcy, Chronologie des empires de Ninivij de Bahylone et 
d'Echatdnet p. 69. Hawlinson's Great Monarcliiest vol. iii. pp. 
178, 187. Lenormant, Lettrea asayriologiques, lere sorie, vol. i. pp. 
74-83. Herod., i. 104, says that the Scythian rule lasted twenty- 
eight years, but this is certaialy a mistake. 

' Geschichte, vol. iii. p. 748. 

VOL. v. I 



of the Almighty, stretched out to punish the idolatry and 
iniquity around, and earnestly called on their fellow- 
countrymen to repent. Nor can we doubt that their 
words fell, at such a time, with unusual weight on the 
ears of their hearers. The so-called Scythian invasion 
roused the nation from its long spiritual sleep, and, 
with the harangues of the prophets, kindled that zeal 
in king and people, for the restoration of the worship 
of Jehovah, which culminated soon after in a great 
religious Reformation. 



' m 

«\^- , 



OF the various prophets in the earlier years of Josiah^ 
the names of only a few have survived. Among 
these Nahum,^ ''consolation/* chose for his theme, in 
the brief writing which bears his name, the doom of 
Nineveh, the great oppressor of the nations, which was 
so clearly tottering to its fall. His home, Elkosh, has 
been placed by some in the Christian village of Alkusch, 
two days journey from the site of Ancient Nineveh, on 
the east bank of the Tigris, whither, it is supposed, 
he had been carried off, perhaps at the same time as 
Manasseh, and where a spot is still shown as his grave. 
A Jewish tradition, recorded by Jerome,^ claims, on the 
other hand, that he was a Galilean, of the village of 
Elkese, which had been long in ruins when the Father 

* Keil assigns Nahum to the second half of the reign of 
Hezekiah, say about .b.c. 709. Die hi. PropJi., p. 373. Hitzig and 
Steiner give his date as about B.C. 627 ; Schrader, as about B.C. 
660. 'Keilinschriften, p. 290. Ewald as about B.C. 630. Gesch., 
vol. iii. p. 847. W, A. Wright, in Smith's Diet of the Bible, as 
about B.C. 645 ; Kleinert, in Biehm, as about B.C. 650 ; Eichhorn, 
as B.C. 626. 

^ So Tuch, Ewald, Kleinert and others. 

* Niebuhr, Beisen, vol. ii. p. 352. 




visited it.^ Capernaum^ indeed, which may have been 
Elkese, means the village of Nahum. But though it is 
not impossible that we may thus have a local memorial 
of the prophet, it is apparently only a pleasing con- 
jecture. Assyrian words occurring, as Ewald maintains, 
in the prophecy, seem to show, in contradictioH to 
Jerome's tradition, that we have in " Nahum " the voice 
of an exile of the Ten Tribes, himself a spectator of the 
march of the Modes under Cyaxares, against the great 

In the imminent danger which thus threatened Assyria, 
Nahum, with the feelings of an ancient Jew, rightly saw 
the judgment of God on the fierce enemy of mankind, 
and the centre of heathen wickedness. His words glow 
with the hatred of a patriot, at the foe which had carried 
off his fellow-countrymen into distant banishment, and 
desolated his native land. His abhorrence at the wicked- 
ness of the great city is only equalled by his exultation 
at its fall, as the enemy of Jehovah, of Israel, and of 
the human race. The lion's den is at last to be invaded. 
All the world claps its hands for joy, when the storm of 
Divine wrath has finally swept away the great destroyer 
of nations. 

This magnificent song of triumph over the fall of the 
Assyrian capital is strangely interesting, as the last 
echo of prophecy heard from any survivor of the Ten 
Tribes. Nor is it without a grand moral fit ^^s that a 
lonely exile, one of the innumerable victims of ix r tyran- 
ny, should be the solitary voice that made known to future 
ages her irrevocable doom. 

Filled with a sense of the greatness of God in crushing 
the once mighty empire, the prophet, as becomes a Jew, 

* Prologue to Gomm. on Nahum. Noldekc, Keil and Steiner, 
think Nahum a Galilean, living in Galileo. 



opens with a recognition of His supreme majesty and 
power, as the ruler of the world. 

Jehovah ^ is a jealous and revenging God ; Jehovah revenges, 
and pours out His wrath: He forgets nothing that His enemies 
have done ! ' Jehovah, though slow to anger, is of great power, 
and will by no moans leave wickedness in the end unpunished. 
Jehovah has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the 
clouds are the dust of His feet. 

He rebukes the sea,^ and makes it dry with the glow of His 
wrath, and drieth up all the rivers ; Bashan and Carmel wither, 
and the verdure of Lebanon fades. The mountains tremble^ 
before Him ; the hills melt for terror, and the earth springs back 
from His presence ; the earth with all that is on it. Who can 
stand before His indignation ? Who can abide His fiercely burn- 
ing anger P His wrath pours down like a rain of fire, and the 
rocks are rent asunder before Him ! 

But the Divine anger passes over those who are faithful 
to Him, and burns only against His adversaries. This 
introduces the announcement of His determination to 
take vengeance on Nineveh. 

Jehovah is good ; ' a stronghold in the day of trouble, and Ho 
knoweth them that trust in Him. But Ho will utterly sweep 
away the very place of Nineveh as with an overwhelming flood ; 
He will chase His enemies into the darkness of Sbeol. 

He now addresses Nineveh directly. 

What do you propose, by which to withstand Jehovah ?• It 
will be idle. He will make an utter end of Nineveh. Judah 
need fear no further trouble from her ! ' 

» la'ahum i. 1-3. 

2 "He keeps alive His wrath against His foes." 

3 Nahum i. 4-6. * Ewald and Kleinert have *' groan." 
5 Nahum i. 7-8. « Nahum i. 0-13. 

' Ewald renders these words, '* There will be no need to repeat 
the blow on Nineveh a second time." So, also, in ver. 12 ff. 
Stoiner and Hitzig agree with this. 



Strong in numbers and in allies, ye men of Nineveb, je may be 
joined closu t\nd terrible as matted thorns; ye may boast in your 
drink that no power can harm you — like the drunkards you are ' — 
yet, like thorny, the fiery wrath of Jehovah will devour you; like 
stubble fully dry.' From thee went out him * that imagined evil 
against Jehovah, tv counsellor of Belial,^ purposing the destruction 
of my people! But thus says Jehovah: **Be the armies of 
Assyria and her allies ever so strong and so many, they will be 
swept away,' and he, My enemy, shall perish." Though I have 
chastised thee, O Israel, through the Assyrians, in the past, thou 
wilt suffer from them no more." For now the day long pre- 
announced has come, when I will break his yoke from off thee, 
and will tear asunder thy bonds.' 

But respecting thee, Nineveh,* Jehovah has commanded 
that " no more shall there be a posterity bearing thy name ! I 
will destroy the graven image of stone and the molten image of 
metal from the house of thy god ; and I will defile the site of thy 
ruined temples with dead men's bones,' muking these temples 
thy grave; for thou art weighed in the balances and found 
wanting." '" 

* This passage is thought by Gesenius to mean that they would 
be cut down while marching in close phalanx, and intoxicated to 
reeling. Lex.^ p. 708. 

' On this passage see Oes. Lex., p. 708, under the word Saba. 

* The various kings of Assyria typified as Nimrod. Mic. v. 6. 
Noldeke thinks Sennacherib is referred to. So, Ewald. 

* Belial is the word here used in the Hebrew Bible, but it was 
not used as a proper uame till much later, though I have intro* 
duced it as such. 

* Lit., " mowed down.** 

* Thus De Wette, Kleinert, Noyes, KeiL The Sept. version 
of ver. 12 is strange, " Thus saith Jehovah, who rules over many 
waters, Even thus shall they be sent away, and the report of theo 
shall not be heard anywhere." 

7 Isa. X. 24-27. « Nahum i. 14. 

* Lev. xxvi. 30. 2 Kings xxiii. 13. Jer. vii. 32 ; xix. 11. Ezek. 
vi. 6. 

^^ See Dan. v. 27. On this passage consult Bottcher's Aehreu" 
lose, vol. ii. p. 207. Ges. renders it, " Thou art become small ; thy 



The vision of the siege of the great city now rises 
before the prophet^ and messengers are speeding to the 
West^ to announce to Judah the glad news that her 
oppressor has fallen. 

Seo ! ^ yonder, on thy mountains Judah, are the feet of the 
messenger bringing thee the good tidings, proclaiming " Peace, 
for the oppressor has fallen!" "Keep thy feasts of thanks- 
giving ; pay thy vows I for never more shall the Man of Wicked- 
ness invade thee ; he is utterly destroyed I " 

The army of the enemy now approaches Nineveh, and 
the prophet calls out in irony : — 

The Hammer of War' — the Median king— comes up against 
thee!* Man thy defences! Let ihy warders watch every 
approach I gird the sword on thy loins ; muster all thy strength ! 
For Jehovah is about to restore the land of its old glory to 
Jacob, and to His own chosen Israel,^ for the plunderers have 
spoiled it, tearing off its boughs, the tribes — and destroying its 
clusters, their fair communities. 

A. description of the Median army prepared for battle, 
and a picture of the final catastrophe of Nineveh, follows. 

The shields of the Median heroes ' are painted with the war 
colour— red.' Their valiant warriors are in scarlet;' the 8teel 

power is broken." But this is clearly a misconception of the 
force of the words. > - 

1 Nahum i. 15. 

* Mace, maul ; comp. the word, " Maccahee " or Charles Martel. 
> Nahum ii. 1, 2. 

* Be Wette. Kleinert, Keil, Ewald thinks Jacob, Judah. So 
Eichhorn. 'v 

* ISi ahum ii. 3-5. > * 

•* f erhaps the copper on the shields — red .vith reflection — is 
meant. Jos., Ant, XIII. xii. 5. 

' Red was the favourite colour of the Medes. So also of the 
Babylonians. Ezek. xxiii. 14. Layard's Nineveh, p. 347. The 

! I 



bosses nnd fittings of thoir chariots, set in battle array, flash like 
fire,* and their spear-shafts of cypress quiver. Within Nineveh 

itself the chariots rush madly through the 
streets; they rattle wildly, hither and 
thither, through the open spaces; they 
gleam from their steel bosses ; they flash 
swiftly to this point and that, like the 
lightning. The king, in the city, shall 
bethink him of his noted warriors, trust- 
ing to them, but their steps totter as they 
rush on, thus suddenly summoned to the 
defence, unprepared, as if waked from 
sleep. They hasten to the walls, but the 
testudo ^ has already been set up against 

But, now, the city is taken. 

The city gates,* defended by broad 
canals from the Tigris, are burst open, 
and the palace is broken down, and sinks 
into ruin.* The queenly city is taken;* 
her veil torn off; and her maids moan for her with the sad voice 
of doves, 0" they beat their breasts. As for Nineveh, her abundant 

AssTBiAir Stavdabd. 

Assyrian colour was blue. Ezek. xxiii. 6 ; xxvii. 23. Blood red 
was, indeed, the favourite colour for robes of battle, in antiquity. 
Val. Max.f ii 6. Ael. Var.Hist.,v\. 6. 

* ocyibr chariots were first introduced by Cyrus. 

' A strong cover, under protection of which the besiegers 
advanced to force a passage through the gates or to make a 
breach in the walls. It was either a tower from which the 
assailants could reach the defenders of the wall, or a strong roof 
under which a battering ram was plied against the ramparts. 
Layard, p. 377. 

' Nahum 11. 6-8. * Qesenius, Kleinert. 

• The word here used— Hutzab — occurs only in this place. 
Ewald, Hitzig, Steiner, and Bichhorn think it the name of the 
chief queen. Others translate it as from a verb Natzab, " It is 
determined " by God. Thus Kleinert, and Keil. 





Btreams, hitherto flowing in their channels — symhols of her pros- 
perity — now spread over her like a wide sea. Her warriors flee. 
" Make a stand, make a stand," cries their leader, but no ono 
looks round or turns back ! 

" Take,* ye bravo Medes, the spoil of silver, take the spoil of 
gold ; ' there is no end of the treasures, or of the costly booty of 
every kind. There is nothing now but desolation, emptiness, 
ruin I The heart melts for terror; the knees smite together; 
the loins tremble, and the faces of all grow pallid. 

Where is now the den of lions '— the feeding place of the young 
lions; where the lion, the lioness, and their whelps had tlieir 
quarters, afraid of none P Wliere is the lion that tore in pieces 
for his whelps, and killed for his lionesses, and filled his dens 
with prey, his lairs with ravin P 

Behold, I am against thee, saitli Jehovah of Hosts, and I shall 
burn up thy chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour thy 
young lions, and I shall free the earth, henceforth, from thy 
violence, and the threats of thy messengers shall be heard no 

The theme of the prophet has now virtually been 
exhausted^ but his emotion will not let^ him close. In 
the third chapter he begins it once more; as if again 
a spectator of the great catastrophe. 

ke a 



[t is 

» Nahum ii. 9-10. 

2 Gold mines seem formerly to have been worked in the Assyrian 
territoiy. Sardanapalus is said to have had 150 golden beds, 
and as many golden tables on his funeral pile, as well as vast 
numbers of gold and silver vases, and purple and many-coloured 
garments. The image of gold raised on the plain of Dura by 
Nebuchadnezzar was 60 cubits high and 6 broad (Dan. iii. 1). 
Xerxes carried off a golden image of Bel, at Babylon, 12 cubits 
in height. According to Diodorus the value of the gold taken 
from the temple of this god alone was equal to £21,000,000 
of our money. Layard's Nineveh^ vol. ii. pp. 416-17. When 
Ahasuerus feasted all the people in Shuslmn, the palace, wine was 
given them in vessels of gold, each different from the other. 

» Nahum ii. 11-13. 



Woo to the city of blood I ' it is full of troacbory and violence; 
it norcp ceases from harrying the nations! 

Hark ! the cracking oC whips ! hark ! the rattling of wheelH ! 
tbo gallop of horses,' ihe bounding of chariots ! cavalry rushing 
on with the flash of swords! footmen with glittering spears! 
heaps of slain ! countless dead I they stumble over mounds of 

The cause of this appalling judgment is once more 
rehearsed. The deceitful friendship and crafty politics 
by which the rulers of Nineveh had inveigled nations 
to their ruin, as if by witchcraft, are compared to the 
arts of a harlot.^ Perhaps, also, its seducing idolatry, 
which had spread far and near, by trade and otherwise, 
and had corrupted states so as to make them an easy 
prey to the Assyrian king, may bo included.* 

This, all, has come,' because of the many whoredoms of tbo 
well-favoured harlot, skilled in the witchcraft of secret intrigues 
and of baleful idolatry; who has sold free nations into slavery 
through her whoredoms, and kingdoms through her wicked arts. 

Behold! I am against thee, nays Jehovah of Hosts; I will 
throw thy skirts over thy bead, and show the nations thy naked- 
ness and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will throw abominable 
filth at thee, and dishonour thee, and make thee a gazing-stock 
And whoso sees thee will flee from tht nd say — "Nineveh is 
destroyed!" But who will bewail hor! Where shall I find 
sympathizers with her in her sorrow ? For her doom has bean 
deserved ! 

» Nahum ill. 1-3. 

^ Gesenius, " causing his horse to rear." The Assyrian cavalry 
were- armed with swords and bows or with swords and long 
spears. They wore short tunics, their legs and feet were bare, 
and they had originally no saddles, but sat with their knees 
almost on a level with the horse's back. An archer on horseback 
was attended by a comrade who rode at his side, and held his 
reins while he discharged his arrows. Layard's Nineveh, vol. ii. 
p. 357. 

* Hitzig. Keil. * Klemert. » Nahum iii. 4-7. 




Id his 
rol. ii. 


Nineveh may tbink itsolf strong and ablo to resist all 
attack; but what had been tho fate of Thobes^ at its 
hands, when Assurbanipal assailed it.^ 

Art' thou better than No* — tho city of Amon — the solar God- 
enthroned on both sides of the stream of tho Kile amldut its 
broud canals — girdled by waters — whose rampart round it was 
sf>a'lik€ streams, forming its strong wall of defence I The valiant 
Cush/ Egypt with its countless hosts, Put* and the Lybians were 

' Esarhaddon also plundered Thebes about B.C. C80. In Assur- 
banipal's Annals we are told that, when that king was purHuing 
Budaraon, the successor of Tirhakah, "In trust on Assur, Sur, 
and the great gods, my lords, my troops defeated him in a great 
battle, on a wide plain, and overcame his army. Kudamon then 
fled alone and betook himself to No, his royal city. My troops 
followed him in a march of a month and ten days, over dreadful 
roads, and took that city in its whole circuit, and drove tho 
enemy away like chaff. Gold and silver as the dust of their land ; 
vessels, etc., of molten metal ; precious stones, the plunder of the 
palace, garments of Berom . . . great horses, men and 
women, in countless numbers I led away to captivity to Nineveh, 
my capital, bringing them safely thither, and they kissed my 
feet. This happened about B.C. 660. Keilinschrifteyi, p. 290. 

Thebes, or,in Old Egyptian,Tepe — this being its public, as "No" 
was its sacred, name, — lay on both sides of the Nile, which is 1,500 
feet broad at the spot. The Lybian and Arabian hills on the two 
sides of tho river retire from it at this place, leaving a plain on 
which there are now nine larger and smaller villages, with their 
groves of date-palms and fields of sugar«cane, grain, etc. All 
this space was occupied by Thebes, the ruins of which still excite 
the wonder of visitors, as they did that of the old Greeks and 

a Nahum lU. 8-10. 

« No = " the great city," Brugsch, vol. i. p. 247. No- Ammon — 
" Seat of A.mmon." His " inheritance," " possession," Miihlau 
und Volch. " Dwelling of Ammon," Keil. 

^ Gush, or Ethiopia, lay to the south of Thebes, and had been 
closely connected with it, under Tirhakah and other kings. 

* Put. Vassal tribes of Arabs. Ebers, A race living west of 





thy strength, O Thebes I Yet, in spite of all this, she was carried 
off into exile and slavery; her little children were dashed in 
pieces against the walls of each street ; they cast lots for all her 
nobles, who should have them for slaves ; and her great men were 
bound in chains ! 

Thou, also,* Nineveh, wilt drink the cup of the wrath of the 
Almighty, and be drunken with it I Darkness will come o^ev 
thine eyes ; " thou too wilt seek a refuge from the enemy ! All 
thy fortresses are like fig-trees with early figs : shake them and 
the figs fall into the mouth of the eater ! Behold ! thy men are 
like women, for terror ; they will open the gates of the land to 
the foe; fire will devour thy gate bars. 

Draw water' and store it up in preparation for the siege; 
repair thy fortresses; work the clay, and tread the mortar to 
make bricks for them ; make ready the brick kilns, and strengthen 
thy walls and towers ! Yet fire will devour thee ; the sword 
will destroy thee ; it will eat thee up as the locust eats the leaves 
of the field, were ye innumerable as locusts, and countless as 
grasshoppers ! Thy traders — the hosts that bring gains of peace 
and of war to thee— who spread themselves out like locusts to 
spoil, will flee away.^ Thy chosen warriors® are like locusts; 
thy vassals * like grasshoppers, which light on the hedges when it 
is cold, but, when the sun rises, flee away, and there is no sign 
where they have been. 

the Libyans, themselves the next people to the west of the 
Egyptian Delta. Biehm. » Wahum iii. 11-13. 

^ Gesenius, Keil, Kleinert, " be covered with darkness, and for- 
gotten." Ewald, as in the text. 

■ Nahum iii. 14-19. Access to the Tigris might be cut off". 

* Ewald understands this passage to mean, that they will bo 
like the locusts, which spread themselves out while yet without 
wings, but suddenly unfold them and fly away. 

* An Assyrian word rendered " Princes " by some ; as in the 
text by others. Bottcher's Aehrenlese understands the word as 
meaning " Thy levies of foot-soldiers (vol. ii. pp. 208-9). 

* An Accadian word, lit., Scribes; Fried. Delitzsch. Lenor- 
mant says it is an Assyrian oflicial title : Steiner leaves it un- 
explained. I have given the rendering of Bottcher and Miihlau, 
Aehrcnlese, vol. ii. p. 210. 

i in 
. her 

E the 
I and 
in are 
nd to 

bar to 
less as 
f peace 
ists to 
)custs ; 
hen it 
LO sign 

of the 
lind for- 


I will be 

in the 
rord as 

Lenor- \ 
it un- \ 




Thy princes, the shepherds of thy empire, sleep, O king of 
Assyria; thy nobles slumber: thy people are scattered over the 
mountains, and no one gathers them. Incurable is thy wound ! 
mortal thy stroke ! All who hear of thee clap their hands at thy 
fall ! For on whom has not thy wickedness gone forth con- • 
tinually ? * 

While Nahura, far from Jerusalem, was thus chanting 
his grand death-song of Nineveh, another prophet— 
Zephaniah — was seeking to rouse the Jewish capital 
from spiritual sleep, and bring it back to its ancient 
faith. The awful lessons of the Scythian invasion, and 
the warnings of the prophets, had already produced some 
effect ; for a beginning, at least, had been made of the 
reforms which Josiah, during the next few years, was to 
carry out so thoroughly. The young king himself feared 
Jehovah, but his nearest relations and courtiers were the 
strengtli of the heathen party. The Law, though known, 
was systematically neglected or violated.^ The worship v 
of Jehovah was now restored ; but Baal, and Moloch, and 
the Host of Heaven, were more esteemed.^ The idols 
still boasted their priests and services ; * the prophets 
were largely apostate.* The people had almost lost the 
idea of religion, and indifference largely prevailed even 
where there was not active idolatry. The great thought 
of the community was gain ; it was no advantage, men 
urged, to serve Jehovah, and they therefore thought 
nothing of Him. 

Zephaniah seems to have been the great-grandson 
of king Hezekiah,® and as such must have spoken with 
special weight.''' Threatening mingles with appeal, ex- 

* The historical notices of che destruction of Nineveh will bo 
given in theii proper place. ' Zeph. iii. 3. 

3 Zeph. i. 4. Jer. vi. 20 ; vii. 17. ■• Zeph. i. 7. 

• Zeph. iii. 4 Jer. v. 13. • Zeph. i. 1. 

' Zephaniah is stated to Lave prophebied in the days of Josiah. 



hortation, and promise^ but tlie evil of the times makes 
the threats most prominent. The great day of judgment 
from Jehovah for the sins of Jerusalem is coming upon 
her^ but the nation to be used as His instrument is not 
named, though, as in all the other prophets since Joel/ 
it is announced as coming on the city from the north, 
its weakest side. Wo must imagine a crowd listening 
while the prophet thus addresses them. 

I will utterly ^ svreep away everything from the face of the 
land, says Jehovah. I will sweep away maa and cattle : ^ I will 
sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and 
the idols* — those offences to Me — with their worshippers, the 
wickec. And I will destroy man from off the land, says Jehovah ! 
And I will stretch oat my hand against Judah, and against 
all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will destroy from this 
place — Jerusalem— what yet remains of Baal worship* and 
other idolatry, and utterly root out the black-robed Chemarim 
appoin'^sd by the kings of Judah for the service of the high places, 
and for the corrupted worship of Jehovah,' and the special idol- 
priests — I will root them out so that their very name will perish. 
And I will root out them that bow down to the host of heaven 
upon the housetops ; them also that bow down to Jehovah and 
Bwear by Him, while also swearing by Molech, their king of 
heaven : the ungodly also who have drawn back from Jehovah, 
and do not seek Him in prayer, or trouble themselves to ask 
respecting Him. 

Schrador thinks he did so in the period between B.C. 630-617. 
The Diet, of the Bible says B.C. 630. Josiah had reigned twelve 
years before the cleansing of the land from idolatry commenced, 
and it lasted till his 18th year. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3, 8. Zephaniah 
was thus strictly a contemporary of Jeremiah, who began to 
prophesy in the 13th year of Josiah . Jer. i. 2. 

» Joel ii. 20. « Zeph. i. 2-6. > Hos. iv. 3. 

* Maohshailoth — " what cause a state or a soul to fall " — hence 
in A.V. " stumbling blocks; " margin, ** idols." 

^ The reforms of Josiah had begun. 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 5. Hos. x. 5. 



The day of God's visitation approaches. 

Hush ye ! * before the Lord Jehovah ! for the day of Jehovali 
is near: for Jehovah has prepared a sacrifice — the people of 
Judah ; He has set apart those called to the feast — the nations 
appointed to consume Jacob ! 

And it shall be in the day of Jehovah's sacrifice, that I, Jehovah, 
will punish the princes and the kings' sons,^ and all others who 
wear costly foreign dress.* In that day, also, I will punish every 
one who leaps over the threshold : "• and those who fill their 
master's house with the fruits of violence and treachery ! ' 


ran to 


» Zeph. i. 7-9. 

* The sons of Manasseh or Amon — uncles or brothers of Josiah 
— their whole circle is included. 

' Some probably affected Egyptian fashions ; others Assyrian ; 
always costly, often idolatrous in its ornaments"; an index, more- 
over, of hearts alienated from the national manners, and of the 
loss of national spirit, political or religious. Egyptian dress, 
besides, was expressly forbidden by the Law. Lev. xix. 19. 

* The words of this clause are understood by some (Kleinert) 
to refer to the Philistine custom of leaping over the threshold of 
the temple of Dagon (1 Sam. v. 5) ; by Hiti^Ig, to superstitious 
leaping over the threshold of the palace, as sacred — a Persian 
usage to this day. Others, as Ewald, Eosenmiiller, Keil, and 
Calvin, suppose it refers to a violent, sudden entrance into houses, 
for purposes of robbery. See the next clause. On the narrow 
basis of this very doubtful phrase, " scientific cr'ticism " (Bible 
in Jewish Church, p. 250) actually builds up the theory that the 
temple was guarded by a foreign watch during the time of the 
kings, and that tt us the " principles of Levitical sanctity were 
never recognised or enforced vnider the first temple.'* It really 
creates, out of the few words of the text, a military corps bearing 
the *' familiar characters of Oriental Janissaries ! " The whole 
passage, given above, is ample refutation of all this. 

' The rich in the East — that is the gentlemen and courtiers — 
are largely traders, and their position, under lawless despotisms, 
has in all ages tempted them, too often, to exactions and in- 
justice. The other traders in the community were largely 
foreigners (ver. 11). 




In that day,* there shall rise, says Jehovah, a cry from the 
Fish gate, on the north-east of the city, and a loud wail from the 
lower town, and an echoing crash from the hills around, as the 
enemy forces his way into and through the city. Howl I ye 
inhabitants of Makdesh — " the hollow " ^ — the foreign trader's 
quarter of Jerusalem in the Tyropoean valley — wesfcof the temple 
—for all the Canaanite ^ dealers — the traffickers of the town — are 
silenced in death ; all that are laden with silver for buying or 
selling. And at that time I will search through Jerusalem with 
lamps, and punish them who sit with their feeb drawn up under 
them, still and untroubled, like wine left on its lees ; who say in 
their heart, *' There is no use heeding the prophets. Jehovah has 
nothing to do with either the good or the evil one meets; it all 
happens by chance ! " Their goods will be plundered ; their 
houses made a desolation ; they build houses, but shall not live 
in them; they plant vineyards, but shall not drink of the wine! 

The great day of Jehovah is near:* near, and coming very 
swiftly, in the thunder of the day of Jehovah ! Bitterly will even 
thd mighty man of war cry out then ! That day will be a day of 
wrath ! a day of sore trouble and distress! a day of ruin and desola- 
tion ! a day of gloom and darkness! a day of clouds, and black night! 
a day of trumpet peals and shrill blasts, against the walled towns 
and their high towers ! And I will bring distress on men so that 
they shall walk as if blind, finding no wa^ out of the danger, 
because they have sinned against Jehovah : and their blood shall 
be poured out as no more worth than the dust of the street ; and 
their corpses trodden under foot like mire. Neither their silver 
nor their gold will be able to save them in the day of Jehovah's 
wrath ; the whole land will be consumed by the fire of God's in- 
dignation ; for death, ay, a terrible death, will He mete out to 
all the dwellers in the land ! 

' Having thus delivered his awful " burden/' the pro- 
phet breaks off into an earnest exhortation to all, to 
turn to Jehovah and sr«ve themselves. He enforces his 
counsels by painting the judgments impending over the 
heathen kingdoms around, naming one in each quarter of 

1 Zeph. 1. 10-13. 
» Zech. xiv. 21. 

2 Or " mortar." 
* Zoph. i. 14.-18. 

|l, to 
jr of 





the heavens, west, east, north, and south, to show how 
far-reaching and overwhelming will be the doom of God's 
enemies, r 

Bow yourselves in pemu<5nce,* bow yourselves,' O people, 
hitherto stout-hearted and undismayed ab the threatenings of 
Jehovah '—before the Divine decree is carried out; the brief 
delay passes like chaff before the wind ! Before the burning 
anger of Jehovah comes upon you, before the day of the wrath of 
Jehovah breaks over you, seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the 
land, who have obeyed His law ; seek righteousness, seek meek- 
ness, that ye may he hidden from the storm in the day of the 
wrath of Jehovah ! 

For Gaza* shall be forsaken, and Ascalon will be blotted out; 
the people of Ashdod will be driven oiib of it in the broad day, 
when men rest and danger is least feared; and Ekkon shall be 
razed to the ground. Woe to the inhabitants of the sea coast, 
the nation of the Cretan^.* This is the word of Jehovah concern- 
ing you, O Canaan,® the land of the Philistines. I will destroy 
thee till I empty thee of inhabitants, and the sea coast, now so 
populous, shall be pasture-homes for shepherds, and folds ^ for 
flocks. Then will the coast become the portion of the remnant 

1 Zeph.ii. 1-3. 

* Kleinert, Lit., *' collect yourselves, your thoughts ; consider, 
examine yourselves." The idea is taken from gathering stubble. 
Bottcher paraphrases it : *' put your thoughts together to repent, 
and thus save yourselves from the fire of God's wrath, which 
threatens to consume you like stubble." 

' Lit., " people whose faces have not grown pale." 

* Philistia was west of Judah. Zeph. ii. 4-7. 

* Lit., •• Cherethites:" See vol. iii. pp. 95, 223, 394. They were 
a branch of the Philistines. 

* Philistia is here called Canaan, from its being devoted, like 
Phenicia, to commerce, and from its being only a continuation 
of the Phenician or Canaanite sea plain. See Num. ziii. 29. 
Wilton, The Negeb, pp. 21, 245. 

' The word is the plural of "gedairah," the same word as 
"jedar," which is still the name in Palestine for the dry-stone 
VOL. V. E 





of the House of Jiidah, and they will pasture their flocks and 
herds on it, camping in the deserted ruins of Ascalon by night. 
For Jehovah their God will visit His people, and bring them back 
from captivity.' 

I have heard ^ the scornful taunting of Moab,' and the revilinga 
of the B'nai Ammon, who have spoken contemptuously of My 
people, and have haughtily invaded its borders.* Therefore, as I 
live, says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Tsra*?l, Moab shall as- 
suredly be like Sodom, and the B'nai Ammon like Gomorrah — a 
possession of nettles, and a place of salt pits,^ and a perpetual 
desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them and 
hold them as slaves.' This will be their lot for their pride, be- 
cause they insulted the people of Jehovah of Hosts, and acted 
haughtily against them. 

Fearful is Jehovah' in His judgments upon them! For He 
annihilates all the gods of the earth, bringing to ruin the lands 
over which they have reigned,* and bringing low their people, so 

enclosures used for walls of orchards, sheepfolds, etc. They are 
built of stones of all sizes, laid as compactly as possible together, 
to the height of from four to six feet, though at times higher, the 
bottom broad, to support the superstructure. Neil's Palestine 
Explored, p. 63. 

* To avoid an acknowledgment of a strictly prophetical ele- 
ment in Scripture, Kuenen translates this, "restore them to pros- 

' Zeph. ii. 8-10. " Moab lay east of Judah. 

* Since the deportation of Israel, Moab and Ammon had 
virtually taken possession of the territories east of Jordan. 
Jer. xlviii., xlix. They were always striving moreover to encroach 
on the Hebrews — Amos i. 13 ; Isa. xv. 4— and for a length of time 
invaded them each year, 2 Kings xiii. 20. In fact, since the reign 
of David, there had been the fiercest hatred between the two 
peoples, though they were related by blood. 

* The district at the south of the Dead Sea is a wide bed of 
rock salt, which rises in huge masses, and is quarried out as an 
'■'vject of trade. 

* This seems the meaning of the phrase, " shall possess them," 
or *' have them for an inheritance." 

' Zeph. ii. 11-15. ® Isa. xlvl 1. 








that they shall worship Him, their conqueror, every one from bis 
place, even from the far off coasts and islands of the heathen ! 

Even you, ye Cushites, in the far south, the slain of !iy sword 
are ye I 

And, as in the South, so Jehovah will stretch out His hand 
against the North, and destroy Assyria, and make Nineveh a deso- 
lation— a parched wilderness ! troops of wild beasts of all kinds 
sliall lie down in the midst of her; the pelican and the bittern * 
shall lodge on the tops^ of her pillars; their cry shall sound 
through the window or broken wall ; ' the threshold, trodden now 
by so many, will be desolate; for Jehovah has laid bare and torn 
down the carvings of cedar !^ 

This is the joyful city that dwelt in careless security, that said 
in her heart, *' I stand by myself, and have no rival ;" how has 
she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in ! Every 
one that passes by her shall hiss, and wave his hand for joy ! ' 

The prophet now turns from recounting God's judg- 
ments on the heathen nations, to renew his exhortation 
to Jerusalem to repent, and escape similar judgments. 

* Kleinert, Ewald, Eichhorn, Keil, Noyes, and De Wette, 
translate this word as "hedgehog." Dr. Sachs renders it 
*• frogs." Hitzig suggests " the owl " or " bittern." Tristram 
says, " the hedgehog or porcupine never resorts to marshy places, 
nor are they characteristic of ruins. The bittern is far more 
probably the creature intended by the prophet. It is very 
abundant in the reedy marshes of the Tigris close by Nineveh." 
Natural History of Bible, p. 244!. 

' Their capitals, or chapiters. 

* Hallon is a window or opening for light, but it may well 
mean here a rent in the wall. 

* See Miihlau und Volck. See also Hitzig. Bottcher translates 
this : " Lord Jehovah will utterly destroy it, or lay it bare," 
referring the words to ' the threshold." Layard thinks that the 
Assyrian palaces were only panelled or wainscoted with cedar, 
which was very costly. 

^ On the fulfilment of prophecy in the case of Nineveh, see 
Layard's Nineveh, vol. i. p. 71. 




Woe to tlice, atiffnecked,^ polluted; O city of violence ! which 
listens to no warning voice of its prophets, which receives not 
admonition; does not trust in Jehovah; does nob draw near to 
God. Her head men within her are roaring lions, devouring the 
weak and poor; her judges are insatiable as evening wolves, 
eager and fierce after prey in the darkness, and leaving nothing 
of ifc till morning. Her prophets are vain talkers and de- 
ceivers; her priests profane the temple and violate the Law. 
Jehovnh is just, in the midst of her. He does no unrighteous- 
ness; morning by morning, continually, He makes known His 
impending judgments, but the unrighteous city k 'ows no shame. 
Ho tells them, *' I have destroyed nations who Dinned against 
Me ; laid their strongholds desolate ; made their streets silent, 
none passing over them ; desolatec. their cities till they aro 
without a raai., without an inhabitunt! I said in my heart, 
* Surely thou, Jerusalem, wilt now fear Me and receive admonition, 
that thy dwelling. Mount Zion, should not be destroyed, as I had 
determined against thee P * But they have only the more eagerly 
increased tbeir shameful deeds." 

Counsel and warning being thus in vain, Jehovah will 
surely execute His threatenings, not on Jerusalem only, 
but on other nations also. He will not, however, forget 
His faithful ones. His truth will one day triumph over 
the world, and those who trust in Him may rejoice in 
this anticipation I 

Therefore,^ wait ye on Me, ye meek, whose are the promises, 
saith Jehovah, till the day when I rise up to judgment. For it is 
My will ' to gather together the nations, and assemble the king- 
doms, and pour on them My indignation — all My fierce anger ! 
For all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy ! 

This over, I shall give to the peoples a pure lip,* removing the 
uncleanness of lips hitherto polluted by the names of false gods, 
that they may all call on the name of Jehovah, and serve Him 

» Zeph. ill. 1-7. Zeph. ill. 8-13. 

* •' Till My Lime lias come." BoUchur, vol. ii. p. 212. 

* See Isa. vi. 5-7. Jer. i. 9. Dau. x. 16. 




with one consent.* From beyond the rivers of Cash, in the 
farthest south, will they bring as an offering to Mo, My worship- 
pers, the sons of My dispersed.^ In that day thou shulb no longer 
need to be ashamed for doings like those in which thou hast sinned 
against me in the past; for I will remove from thy midst all thy 
proud boasters, and thou wilt no longer carry thyself haughtily 
towards Me on My holy hill. For I will leave in thy midst only 
a people humble and meek,^ who trust in the name of Jehovah. 
This remnant of Israel will nob do wrong or speak lies, and a 
deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouth, bub, as the flock 
of Jehovah,'' they will feed and rest, and no one will make them 

Eejoice, O daughter of Zion;* shout for joy, O Israel; be 
glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O dau!»hter of Jerusalem ! 
Jehovah has taken away the judgments under which thou hast 
suffered : He has removed thy enemy far from thee ; Jehovah, the 
king of Israel, is in the midst of thee ; thou shalt see evil no 
more ! In that day it will be said to Jerusalem, " Fear not ; " and to 
Zion, "Let nob thy hands fall down in alarm." Jehovah, thy God, 
is in thy midst, a Mighty One who will save thee ; He will rejoice 
over thee with joy ; He will give Himself up to the silent fulness 
of His love;* He will joy over thee with singing. 'J'hose who sigh 
in exile, afar off, for the joyful assemblage at the sacred feasts,' 
I will gather from their dispersion; for they also are of Israel, and 
the shame of slavery still rests upon them.® Behold, I will deal 

* Lit., " shoulder. 

* Lit., " the daughter of." Ewald translates the verse : " From 
the banks of the rivers of Gush will they bring My incense ; the 
daughter of Put will bring me My gifo." The word rendered 
" suppliant " oi " worshipper " means also " incense." The word 
"dispersed'* is " putzai," for which Ewald reads "Put," the 
country west ol (Lybia). 

* = Godly. *Micahiv. 4; vii. 14. Luke xii. 32. 
6 Zeph. ill. 14-20. 

* " Will renew the joy of His early love." Ewald, in efTect. 
The meaning in the text seems more correct, though the Hebrew 
is amplified to make the sense clearer. 

' Especially that of the Tabernacles, the most gladsome of all. 
Hos. xii. 10. 
8 De Wetto translates : " Far from thee shall bo the shame 

.!■ H 

:a i 




with all tliino oppressors at that time, and I will deliver even tho 
helpless lame, so complete will bo My help, and will gather those 
that were driven out from this land, and will make them be 
honoured, nnd give them a name in all the lands where they have 
been put to Rhatnc. At that time I will bring you back ngain 
hither, and gather you, for I will give you a name and honour 
among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring back your ran- 
somed captives before your eyes, says Jehovah. 

A plienomenon, surely, pi'Gacliing liko thin, unexampled 
in the liistory of any people or age ! Imagine an orator 
at St. Paul's, not in our own happy days, but in the 
Sodom and Gomorrah times of the last Stuarts or of 
the Regency, denouncing the royal family as roaring and 
devouring lions ; the judges as insatiable wolves ; the 
clergy as mere talkers and deceivers, and as polluting the 
temple and violating the law of God ! ^ Imagine a preacher, 
even now, who feared only God, and spoke accordingly ! 
Fancy him declaring that the Divine judgments for the 
wickedness of all classes, high and low, would sweep over 
the land liko a destroying flood, unless all alike repented ! 
Dean Colet before the Reformation, and Latimer and 
John Knox in its hours of struggle, are perhaps the only 
parallels in our history. Enthusiasm is not in favour in 
our day. To speak boldly for God is vulgar. Satan has 
his own place amongst us, and as an established institu- 
tion should be treated handsomely. 

But this fearless courage, standing up for God in the face 
of power, officialism, and vested interests, was not the only 
striking characteristic of the preaching of the prophets. 

which is thy burden." Eichhorn : " Aad woe to those who would 
load thee with shame." Ewald: "Thou land on which they cast 
reproach." Sachs : " From them who mourn for the place of 
festal gathering will I take away the reproach borne by thee on 
their account, at their being thus far from thee (in exile)." 
* See Zeph. iii. 3, 4. 



The national outlook was of tho blackest j deportation of 
the people at largo to a foreign country, after tho horrors 
of invasion, was accepted as certain. Yet faith in the pro- 
mises of God to His clioson race never wavered. It was 
held certain, on the strength of His word, that He would 
bring them back from exile, and restore the throne of 
David, and introduce the glorious times of " lessianio 
reign. Such faith in the imperishableness of the people 
of God, notwithstanding the ruin which was to overwhelm 
the then living generation ; such faith in the future 
triumph of true religion, with all its spiritual blessings, 
speaks of convictions based on far higher and nobler 
grounds than mere political shrewdness or human saga- 
city.^ Nor is it less wonderful that the preacher should 
speak with an absolute confidence in a restoration from 
captivity, itself a generation distant — a restoration which 
was not effected till fully a hundred years after the 
speaker's death. What less than Divine inspiration, in 
its strictest sense, can account for predictions so circum- 
Btantial, and so exactly verified ? 

* Vilmar, E., Ber Beweis dea Glaubens, p. 38. 1869. 


je of 

le on 








ABOUT tbo same time as Zephaniah appealed, another 
prophofc, destined to take a foremost \ lace in the 
illustrious roll-call of his order, was coming i ito notice, 
though still young. It was Jeremiah.^ Like Ezekiel, 
the son of a priest, he was born at Anathoth,^ a small 
village oil the main road,^ about three miles north of 
Jerusalem, in the tribe of Benjamin.* It lay on a gentlo 
height overlooking the upland plains, amidst a land- 
scape which must have kindled the eye and roused the 
heart of the future prophet. The famous hills of Ben- 
jamin — Nob, Gibea of Saul — Mizpeh — Gibeon, Ramah, 
and Geba, rose in a half circle, to the west and north- 
west, at different points, nearer or farther off. To the 
east he could see, from the flat roof of his father's house, 
the chasm and plains of the Jordan, with the moun- 
tains of Gilead, high beyond. On the south-east, at the 
feet of the purple hills of Moab, lay the blue waters of 
the sea of Lot,' while towards the north, close to the 

* Jeremiah = Jehovah rejects. Klein. Jehovah establishes. 
Dietrich. See for a full notice of the name, Herzog, B. E., vol. 
vi. p. 478. 2 jer. i. 29, 27. ^ j^a. x. 30. 

» Josh. xxi. 18. 1 Kin«?s ii. 26. 1 Chron. vi. 45. Neh. xi. 32. 

'^ The name for the Dead Sea among the Bedouins of the 
present day. 





village, a green valley roachod away to the lofty northern 
side of the present Wady Sulom.^ 

The testimony of Jeremiah corroborates, the dark 
picture given by Zophaniah, of the moral and religious 
condition of Judah, when he began his ministrations. 
For more than seventy-five years, Assyria had given 
but little trouble, for the campaigns of Esarhaddon and 
Assurbanipal, against Phenicia and Egypt, were only 
brief episodes in the long peace, and Manasseh, though 
for a time treated harshly, had been restored to his 
throne. Egypt under Psammetichus I. did not molest 
the Hebrews, the siege of Ashdod occupying her, as we 
have seen, for twenty-nine years. Judah was now rich 
and prosperous, but heathenism and moral corruption 
flourished in p'oportion. Josiah had been twelve years 
on the throne when Jeremiah, in B.C. 627, received his 
Divine commission as prophet, but the gods of Judah 
were still as numerous as her cities,^ and impiety was 
so rampant that it seemed vain to look for an upright 
or honest man ; * small and great were bent only on 
making money; prophet and priest used deceit.* 

Gentle, sensitive, and yielding, Jeremiah seemed ill- 
fitted for the office of a true prophet in such times. It 
offered only the most uninviting and dangerous prospect. 
He might count on bitter mockery and insult.* Though 
urged to even the harshest parts of his duty, by tho 
sincerest patriotism and love for his fellow-countrymen, 
he was certain to meet with such misapprehension and 
contradiction, that the loneliest wilderness would seem a 
relief, in its quiet and security.* Yearning for peace and 
love; averse by nature from strife and controversy; fidelity 

* Furrer's Paldstina, pp. 76, 77. Kiepert's Map. 

« Jer. ii. 28; xi. 13. » Jer. v. 1-6. * Jer. vL 13. 

• Jer. ix. 7. • Jer. ix. 1. 






to his mission would evidently force him to stand up as 
the accuser of his neighbours as a whole, and make him 
a second Ishmael — himself against every one, and every 
one against him. Nor could he fail to see that, like 
his predecessors, he would appear a public enemy and 
traitor to many, by having to denounce political measures 
on which they had set their hearts ; such aa the alliance 
with Egypt, in opposition to Assyria.^ But, with the full 
consciousness that acceptance of the prophetic office im- 
plied all this and more — the clouding his life by abiding 
troubles, the loss of all that most men count gain, the 
imminent risk of martyrdom crowning a career of humili- 
ation and bitterness — his sense of duty impelled him to 
brave whatever it might bring, when the voice of his 
Hoavenly Master summoned him to His service. 

Like Isaiah,^ he has left us an account of his consecra- 
tion to his high dignity. It took place, we know not under 
what circumstances, or where, in the thirteenth year of 
Josiah, while the prophet was still a very young man ;' 
its every detail stamping itself on his memory with a 
vividness, fresh as ever, even in long subsequent years, 
when his authority to speak for Jehovah had been vin- 
dicated by the fulfilment of his gloomiest predictions of 
the fate of Jerusalem, and of the deportatiou of his race.* 
The word of Jehovah, he tells us, came to him — doubtless 
in a vision, the result of high mental excitement and 
preoccupation with the spiritual interests of his people — 
and seemed to say to him, in the silence of his bosom, as 
if with articulate words : — 

" Before I formed thee in the womb * I knew thee, and 
before thou earnest into the world I consecrated thee, and 

* Hcngstenbcrg's Ohristology, vol. ii. p. 370. 
^ Isa. vi. ■ Jer. i. 6. 

< Jcr. i. 3. * Jer. i, 4-10. 





le — 


destined thee for a prophet to the nations." There must 
have been a spiritual fitness in the young man to make 
such an intimation to him possible ; an intense sympathy 
with the old religion, aud an all-raas..ering enthusiasm for 
its revival. It must, indeed, have become the engrossing 
thought of his heart to rouse his country to loyalty to 
Jehovah, and to wa.ri\ them of the terrible danger and 
w iCkedness of their idolatry, and disobedience to the 
mcral law given them from heaven. But he was still 
young, and shrank from the open assumption of an office 
so weighty as that of a prophet, though already one 
in his heart. "Alas, O Lord Jehovah," said he, "I 
know not how to speak ; I am too young." But strength 
was to be made perfect in weakness. '* Say not, * I am 
too young,^ " repliod the Voice : " for thou shalt go to all 
to whom I shall send thee, and thou shalt say all that I 
command thee. Be not afraid of them ; for I am wi<;h 
thee, to deliver thee, says Jehovah." 

Then it appeared in the vision as if Jehovah put forth 
His hand, and touched his lips,^ saying as He did so : 
" See, I have put My words in thy mouth. Behold, I 
this day appoint thee over the nations and over the king- 
doms, to root out, and to tear down ; to destroy and to 
overthrow; to build up, and plant." ^ He might still, 
however, have hesitated, in his humility; assurances, 
therefore, were added that he would not be left unsup- 
ported by God. A shoot of an almond tree — knovyn by 
the Hebrews as '*the waker," from being the earliest 
of all trees to wahe from the sleep of winter — as if it 
had watched, for spring — rose before him. " So," said 
Jehovah, " shall I be wakeful and watchful over my word, 

* Isa. vi. 7. 

3 The evil was to be destroyed ; the good, taking its place, to 
bo planted and built up. 

ll «i 



to car7y it out." A boiling pot, its steam and smoke 
blowing southwards from the north, then appeared, and 
forthwith the Divine Voice continued : — 

"Out of the NoT-th the evil I have predicted by others, and 
will predict by you, wil! flame forth * upon all the inhabitants of 
this land. For I am about to call hither all the races of the 
northern kingdoms ; and they shall come, and raise, each, his 
throne, at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all 
her walls, round about, and against all the towns of Judah. And 
then will I deliver my sentence upon them for all their wicked- 
ness, because they have forsaken Me, and burnt incense to foreign 
gods, and paid homage to the works of their own hands." 

" New, therefore,' gird thy loins, as a man does when he 
braces himself to action,' and stand up, and speak to them all 
that I command thee: be not dismayed before them, lest I make 
thee so indeed, by withdrawing from thee My protection. But I, 
even I, make thee, to-day, strong as a fortress-town, or as an iron 
pillar, or as walls of brass, against the whole land, its kings, 
its princes, its priests, and its people. They shall indeed flght 
against you, but they will not overcome youj for I am with you, 
says Jehovah, to deliver you." 

From this time, through forty years, most of them 
years of national misfortune, gradually darkening into 
utter ruin and exile, the recollection of this solemn 
" call '" dwelt with the prophet as a constint summons 
to fidelity in his high ofiice, and an encouragement and 
support amidst all its trials. During that long ministry, 
carried on chiefly in Jerusalem, no personal danger, no 
consideration of personal interest, comfort, or ease, no 
shrinking from ridicule, contumely, or hatred, could 
turn him from the task imposed on him with such awful 
sanctions, by the lips of the Eternal Himself. His tender 
and sensitive nature might for the moment shrink from 
the mortifications and perils of his commission, but the 


« Jer. i. 17-19. 

' Fs. xix. 5. 



Divino command, as ho tells us, glowed like a burning 
fire in his heart, and ho could not be silent.^ Wherever 
he coula meet his fellows, his voice was lifted up for his 
Master — ^in the courts of the temple,^ at tho gates of 
the city,* in the king's palace,* in prison,* in private 
houses,® in the open country around Jerusalem ; ^ any- 
where, indeed, as circumstances demanded, or oppor- 
tunity offered. 

The earliest of his utterances which has come down to 
us, dates, apparently, from the first year of his commis- 
sion, B.C. 627; the thirteenth year of Josiah. It is an 
earnest denunciation of his fellow-countrymen for their 
refusal to keep aloof from Egypt and Assyria, and follow 
the prophets alone, as mouthpieces of Jehovah, their 
rightful king. Political factions in Jerusalem demanded 
alliance with one or other of tho great powers of the 
day; one party seeking a league with Egypt against 
Assyria; another, close relations with Assyria against 
Egypt. Jeremiah, on the contrary, urged that both were 
wrong; that Judah ought to have no such foreign relations; 
tha^, as the people of God, it should keep itself isolated 
from heatheuism. Eeligion and politics were only differ- 
ent names for the same thing in the eyes of Jeremiab, 
as indeed they ought to be to us all. To his fellow- 
citizens he was the head of a third party in public life, 
urging his own political views. But to him, alliance 
vith a heathen nation was felt to bo equivalent to adopt- 
ing their idolatry, as, indeed, had been already proved 
only too fully. 

Eecalliug the happy time when their ancestors were 

• Jer. XX. 9. 

• Jor. xvii. 9. 

• Jer. 3i xxii, 1, 
' Jer. xix. 1. 

* Jer. vii. 2 ; xxvi. 1. 

* Jer. xxii. 1 ; xxvii. 17. 

* Jer. xviii. 2. 


i K 




still faithful to Jehovah, in the youth of the nation, while 
it was still in the wilderness, he begins : 

The word of Jehovah,* has come to me, with the command : Go 
and call out loud in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus says 
Jehovah, I remember favourably the kindness of thy youth ; the 
love of thy time of betrothal, when thou foUowedst me in the wil- 
derness ; in a land unsown. Israel, as the bride of Jehovah, was 
consecrated, and sacred to Him ; — His first fruits ; — in contrast 
to the nations at large, what the holy sheaf of first fruits, waved 
before Him at the solemn feast, and forbidden to be touched by 
profane lips — is to the common growth of the field.' All who eat 
these sacred fruits commit sacrilege, and so did all who touched; 
xsrael, Jehovah's firstfruits of the nations. Evil befel them ! say9 

But though thus betrothed to God, and loved by Him 
as His bride, Israel had been unfaithful to Him. 

Hear the word of Jehovah,^ House of Jacob, and all the clans 
of the House of Israel ! * Thus, says Jehovah, What wrongdoing 
did your fathers find in Me, that they went far from Me, and 


* Jar. ii. 1-3. Knobel thinks this discourse was delivered in the 
beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. Prophetiamus, vol. ii. p. 
272. Graf that it was spoken in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, 
or, at least, written, down then. But it clearly suits the date 
assigned it in the text, which is adopted by Hitzig, Ewald, 
Naegelsbach and Keil, and J. D. Michaelis, among others. 

' The rite of the first fruits thus alluded to is laid down 
Exod. x\iii. 16, 19; xxxiv. 22, 26; in Lev. xxiii. 10-14; Num. 
xviii. 12; xxviii. 26; Deut. xxvi. 1. The books of Exodus, 
Leviticus, and Numbers must, therefore, have been known to 
Jeremiah, for Deuteronomy, even in the opinion of the newer 
criticism, was not yet discovered when this prophecy was de- 
livered. These books could not then be a literary forgery of the 
time after the Exile, as some venture to assert. 

* Or, devoured. 

* Jer. iL 4-6. 

* The whole nation is meant. 



walked after vanity' — that is, idolatry — and became foolish? 
Saying no longer, " Where is Jehovah, who brought ua up from 
the land of Egypt, and led us in the wilderness; in a land of 
barren desert und pit-like rifts and clefts ; a land of waterless 
plains, and of gorges dark as the shadow of death; a laud 
through which no one passes, and where no man dwells ? " 

Yet, in spite of this,^ I brought you to a Carmel-land, a land of 
gardens, and gave you its fruit, and its richness, to eat. But 
when ye entered it ye defiled the land, and made My inheritance — 
the land that belongs to Me — an abomination. The priests said 
not " Where is Jehovah ? " and those who handled the Law • 


* Vanity, Heb. Hebel= a breath, a thing empty and worthless— 
hence, an idol. 

2 Jer. ii. 7-11. 

• That is, occupied themselves with it, as a reaper T^ith his 
sickle; a boatman with his oar; a player with his pipe; etc. 
See the verb Taphas, in the Hebrew Lexicons. 

This passage shows that Jeremiah believed that the Law was 
as old as the early forefathers of his race. Some critics try to 
evade this demonstration by saying that by the Law or Torah, 
is meant, "not a book, but an oral decision," though how the 
priests could " handle an oral, or spoken decision," is not easy to 
imagine. It is granted, indeed, that the office of the priest is here 
said to be "to handle the Law." BlbU in Jewish Church, p. 295. 
That the word Torah should be gravely said to mean "oral 
decisions," except in the same way, and with the same limitations, 
as in the case of a barrister, or a judge, giving in some special 
case his idea of the meaning of the law — is a phenomenon of 
perverted criticism, for even where such decisions are given they 
assume the existence of the formal written law of which they 
are the supposed expression. It is alleged in support of this 
theory, that Micah (iii. 11) " complains that the priests give 
Torahs, or legal decisions, for hire." But the word Torah is not 
in the verse ! It is the hiphil imperf. of yara(h) to throw, to throw 
out — hence, to teach, to instruct. The word Torah comes from 
it as much as our " law " comes from " to lay " — " to lay down,'* 
with a possible ultimate reference to the Greek " lego " " to 
arrange," ** to say," " to utter " (as an oracle may). But was the 
Greek " Law " only an utterance of oracles or decisions, on chance 



knew me not ; these, the shepherds of My people, fell away from 
Me, and the prophets prophesied in the name of Baal, and went 
alter worthless idols. 

Therefore I will still further plead the matter with you, eaith 
Jehovah, and with your sons' sons will I plead it. Pass over to 
the island of Cyprus,' and to the other coasts of the Greeks, on the 
west, and see ; send to Kedar, in Arabia, on the east, and mark 
well, and notice, if the like has happened with them as with you P 
Has any people changed gods, though their gods be no gods 
reall}'.^' But my people have changed Me, their glory, for worth- 
less idols ! 

Bo dumb with astonishment, O heavens ' at this ! shudder with 
terror; be ye utterly auip.zed! says Jehovah. For My people 
have committed a double sin ; they have forsaken Me, the Foun- 
tain of Living Water, and have dug out for themselves poor 
underground cisterns, full of rents ; that can hold no water 1 * 

Was Israel, the Northern kingdom, a servant of thine, 
Jehovah, worshipping thee — Thy slave — or, still closer, was he nob 
a son of Thy house?* Why, then, was he left to be spoiled by 

questions of the moment P The Hebrew priest could explain the 
law on a point, but he could nob make it. It would be as reason- 
able to say that because the lawyers give decisions " for hire," 
such decisions are all that is meant when we speak of the Law of 

* Its capital was Citium = Chittim. Herzog^ vol. iii. p. 215. 

* A prominent critic quotes this text *o prove that Jehovah 
gave Himself out only as a local god, like the idols themselves. 
Bible m Jewish Churchy p. 27. But the matter may be left 
to any unprejudiced reader. There is noc a hint of any such 
thought in the words. 

8 Jer. ii. 12-16. 

* Land atid Book, p. 287. The ground in and round the cities 
of Palestine is honeycombed with hug<^ subterranean water 
pits, or cisterns. The mouth is narrow ; the sides smooth with 
cement ; the shape like a huge demi-jobn. 

* This is substantially the rendering of this very difficult 
passage, given by Eichhorn and then by Hitzig. It seems to 
me the best. The sense adopted by Naegclsbach and Keil— " Is 
Israel a slave and not free," etc. — " It would seem as if ho were 


the Assyrians P Tho young lions ' roared againsb him ; they lifled 

regarded by God as such, else he v/ould not be left to such misery" 
— seems artificial. Rosenmiiller's rendering (Scholia in Vet. Test, 
Jerem. Vatic.y vol. i. p. 83) is as follo«?^s, bor.-owed from Ben 
Jarclii : " Who has caused that ho whom God formerly called a son, 
and whom no one dared touch with impunity, is now a slave — he 
who, if treated badly by others was not thus used by his Lord, who 
pitied him as a father pities his children," I don't understand 
this. "A slave of Jehovah" is a very common phrase in tho 
Bible for His servant or worshipper, e.g. 1 Kings viii. 66, " David 
His slave." So xi. 13-32 ; xxxiv. 36-38 ; xiv. 8. In fact, to call 
oneself the slave of another was, and still is, in the East, a very 
usual form of speech from a lower to a higher. Barzillai calls 
himself David's slave, 2 Sam. xix. 37. Zirari is the slave of Elah, 
king of Israel, 1 King's xvi. 9. Obadiah is tho slave of Elijah, 
1 Kings xviii. 9, and so on. Moses is constantly called the slave 
of God, 1 Kings viii. 53-56, etc. The ordinary idea of service, in 
fact, was that of a slave ; the Hebrews knowing nothing else 
in common life. Slaves were of two kinds : those bought from 
without or taken in war ; and children born in the household, who 
were nearer to their master than the others, f.nd more jealously 
protected. I should, by the way, have said that Graf translates 
the words above — " Israel is given up to plunder, as H he were 
a slave or one born in the house." Calvin's rendering is in effect 
that of Jarchi, adopted by Kosenmiiller. Eeuss translates it, " Is 
he a slave who may be sold to his enemies P Is he not rather an 
adopted son; or, stil! more, a loved spouse? " 

* The lion must have been very common in Palestine, aa tV jio 
are no fewer than seven words used for it in the O. T. (1) An or 
Aryeh, denoting the beast in general, without reference to age or 
sex. (2) Kepheer, the word m the text — the lion or, specially, the 
young lion, Jud. xiv. 5; Job iv. 10 ; Ezek. xix. 2. (3) Labi, a grown 
lion, or (labiya) lioness, Gen.zlix. 9 ; Num. xxiii. 24; xxiv. 9 ; Jer. 
xix. 2; Nab. ii. 11. Used to imply the dignity and strength of 
the animal at its best. (4) Laish, with the same meaning, Prov. 
XXX. 30; the capital of Northern Dan got its name from, the 
word. (5) Shahatz, meaning much the same, Job xxviii. 8. (6) 
Gar, or Gor, a cub. (7) Shahal, a vigorous lion, Job. iv. 10 ; Ps, 
xci. 13. See vol. iii. pp. 7, 129. 

VOL. V. Ii 





up their voice; thoy laid his land waste; his cities were destroyed ' 
and left without an inhabitant. In t!io same way, as Assyria did 
to Israel, the E^j^yptians, the sons of Memphis and Tahnpant'S.a 
have broken thy head, Jndah ! ' Hast thou not brou«»ht this 
on thyself"' by thy having vorsaken Jehovah, thy God, when he 
was leading thee in the right way,* urging thee by His prophets 
to have no relations with thfi heathen nations round P What, 
therefore, hast thou to do, now, with the way of Egypt, to drink 
the waters of the Nile ? ' Or what hast thou to do with the way 
of Assyria, to drink the waters of the Great liiver,^ instead of 
keeping to Jehovah, the Fountain of Living Water ? ^ Tliine own 
wickednesa will punish thee, and thy defections from Me shall 

1 So Ewald, Hitzig, Graf, •* burned.'' Muhlau and Volck, Koil, 
"brok?n down." Sept. 

2 The Daphnaj cf the Greeks. A frontier town in Egypt, 16 
miles south of Pohisium ; Bru'^ sch'a Map. Psammetichus had a 
strong garrison in it. Indi^^nJint at his employing Greek mer- 
cenaries, they ^t one time revolted, and marched off with the rest 
of the native Egyptian army, to Syene in the far south. Lid. of 

' Psammetichus being so long engaged in the siege of Ashdod, 
it is quite likely that raiding attacks from his army thus em- 
ployed, are referred to. Yet this verse seems to point to a date 
after the fall of Joslah. So uncertain is the order of the various 
prophecies. * Jer. ii. 17-19. « Jer. ii. 17. 

^ Heb., Shihor; Sept. Gcon. Shihor=black, referring to tho 
troubled waters of tho Nile, discoloured by the alluvial mud it 
brings with it from the far south. Tho word Geon, or Gihon, is 
used by the Sept. from tho belief that the Nile was the same as 
Gihon, one of the four rivers of Paradise. See vol. i. p. 111. 

? The Euphrates. This verse refers to political action, taken 
in Josiah's minority, to form leagues with Egypt and As. yria, no 
doubt with the idea of keeping the secret from each countiy af 
any intrigues with tho other. The same course hud been fol- 
lowed in the Northern Kingdom before its fall. See voL iv. p, 
265. Hos. xii. 1. 

* Tho water of the Euphrates needs to stand tiU i(i clears, before 
it can be uscu, and it is then stminod through a cloth, to keep 
back its huitful sediment, liosenmullcr, vol. iv. p. 267. 



chastise thee. Know, therefore, and see how evil and bitter it is 
to forsake Jehovah, thy Go3, and that My fear is not in thee, 
Baith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts. 

Israel has from of old been unfaithful, and has persisted 
in going after idols. 

For from long past times * thou hast broken thy yoke and burst 
thy bonds''— the bonds of Thy covenant with mo, made at Sinai — 
and hast said ** I will not serve Jehovah," ^ and on every high hill 
and under every green tree thou hast laid thyself down to play 
the harlot. Yet I planted thee as a noble vine ^ of a pure stock ; 
how hast thou turned into degenerate shoots of a foreign worth- 
less vine, to me P Yea, though thou wash thee with natron,* and 
take much soap," thine iniquity remains black ^ before me, says 
the Lord Jehovah, 

~»^ Jer. ii. 20-24. 

2 The Sept., Vulg., Ilitzig, Oraf, and Keil, read " Thou " for " I." 

' " Transgress," in the A.V. is undoubtedly a later reading, 
from the very flight change of a Heb. " d " for an " r," the two 
letters being aln^ost identical in appearance. "The Masoretio 
note reads the word as I have rendered it. • 

* Soraik, a specially prized vine, supposed to be the same as 
that which in Morocco is now called Serki, and in Persia Kish- 
mish, with small round dark berries and soft stones. Niebuhr, 
Descript. dc VArahie, p. 147. 

' Nether. A mineral alkali gathered from the famous natron 
lakv^s ia Egypt, 60 nuies W.N.W. of Cairo. Natron is an impure 
form of soda. About 300 persons are still employed in collecting 
it from the edges of the pools or lakes. It is used in the East, 
with oil, as a substitute for soap. 

" Borith. A vegetable alkali obtained from the ashes of alkaline 
plants which flourish in the salt marshes of the coasts of Pales- 
tine and also on the shores of the Dead Sea. The various 
species of Salicornia and Salsola are mostly used, and an active 
trade in the potash made by burning them is still carried on. 
The manufacture is very like that of alkali from the burning of 
kelp on the coasts of Ireland and Scotland. A soft soap, made by 
boiling olive oil with potash, is now used; oil being clicapcr than 
tallow. Tristram's Nat. Hist, of Bible, p. 481; Land and Book, p. 532. 

' Lit., "is written." Sept., "still thou urt stainod by ihino 
iniquities," etc. 



> ^^ 



How dnr.sfc thou say, " I am not polluted ; I Imvo not gone 
after tho BiuilaP"' See thy dointjs in tho valloy of Hinnom, 
where thou buriiest thy children to Moloch'; take knowledge of 
what thou haiib done ; thou light- footed camel-filly, running madly 
hither and thither in thy heat ; thou art like a sho wildiss, used 
to tho wildekx^ess, which in tho fierceness of her desire suifTa 
up tho wind, and can be turned back by none in her season. 
They that seek tho sho-camel need not weary themselves by 
running after her. In her month they will find her with the he- 
camels of tho herd; Judah is mad after idols— you will find her 
beside them. 

"0 Judah," says Jehovah,* "run not thus insanely after falso 
gods, till thy feet are bare and thy throat parched with thirst 1 " ■* 
But thou answcrest: "It is useless speaking. No! I love 
strange peoples and strange gods, and I will go after them." 

As a thief is ashaiMcd when he is caught,' so is the House of 
Israel^ ashamed — they, their kings, their princes, their priests 
and their prophets — at being found saying to a block of wood, 
"Thou art ray father," and to a block of stone, "Thou hast 
brought me forth." For they have turned their backs and nob 
their faces to Mo. But in the time of their trouble they will 
say to Me, " Up , and save us I " 

Jehovah will then, however, refuse to help them. 

Where^ then, ' are thy gods that thou hast made for thyself P 
Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble ! 

* It seems almost too horrible to believe, but it is the fact, that 
the newer criticism classes Jehovah among the Baals followed 
by Israel. " The Baalim," that is ** the Baals," for Baalim is 
the Heb. word in the text — "the Baalim were local symbols of 
Jehovah," says a recent critic ! I Prophets of Israel, p. 175. 

^ 2 Kings xxiii. 10. Jer. vii. 31, 32, 35. Moloch = Baal. Jer. 
vii. 35 ; xix. 5. Hos. ii. 10. 
8 Jer. ii. 25-27. 

* Hitzig understands the bare feet to have reference to the 
leaping barefoot in the sacred dan jes round the altars of Baal, 
and the parched throat of the etfect of tho continuous calling on 
the god. 1 Kings xviii. 26. -^ 

* Lit., " found." « -Judah. ^ Jer. ii. 26. 



For as many as are thy toirns, so many are ^hy gods, O 
Judah,' and as many as the streets of Jerusalem, are the altars 
to Baal.' 

Since tho wholo people have apostatized, aad no chaa- 
tisement or warning from the propheta lias had any effect, 
they cannot justly complain if God give them up to tho 
sorest judgments. The apostasy has had no excuse ; ifc 
has been a sin without parallel ps without cause. 

Why^ do yo murmur at My threateninga, and talk against 
Mo for them P You have all played foul with Me, says Jehovah. 
I have smitten your sons in vain; they have nob accepted tho 
correction ; your sword, liko a destroying lion, has devoured 
your prophets.'* O evil generation that yo are, mark for your- 
selves tho word of Jehovah ! Have I been unfruitful, like a 
wilderness, to Israel : a land of thick darkness, ' as they say of 
tho pathless desert, in which men wander without guidance, 
hopelessly, as if in deep night P Why, then, say My people, 
*' Wo shall go where wo like ; we shall come no more to Thee P " Can 
a maid forgot her ornaments, or a bride her showy sashes?^ 
But My peopla — My bride, have forgotten Me for days without 
number I 

Yet what had this license and unfaithfulness gained for 
them ? They had only learned heathen wickedness, as 
seen in the persecution and martyrdom of tho prophets 
and the followers of Jehovah. 

Why speedest thou thy way,' to seek lovo P * Thou hast thus 

* The god of one town had no respect from the people of 
another, and was regarded as powerless outside his own narrow 
sphere. It in sr''. so in Ceylon. Knox's Ceylon, p. 161. 

2 Sept. 

» Jer. ii. 29-32. 

* In the martyrdoms of Manasseh's time, 

• Lit., " of the darkness of Jehovah." 

• Girdles or belts, as ornaments. 

' " Makest comely thy ways." « Jer. ii. 33-37. 






ftcciiatomod thyself* to evil deeds.' The heart's blood of guilt- 
less sufTorers — tiie prophets ' and the godly— is found on the 
skirt of thy robe. Thou didst not catch them breaking in, as 
thieves, to thy house, else killing them would have been in- 
nocent.* But through the iniquity learned by all thy idolatrous 
ways, has' blood been shed. Yet thou sayest, " Indeed I am 
innocent ; His anger is turned away from me ; no evil has fallen 
upon mo since Manassoh's day." 

Jehovah, however, protests against this— 

Behold, I will try the matter with thee, because thou sayost 
" I have not sinned." Wl»y art thou so eager to change thy 
policy,' O JudahP Thou shalt bo brought to shame by thy new 
alliance with Egypt, as thou wast, in the past, by thy old alliance 
with Assyria." Yea, thou shalt come back from this coquetting 
with Pharaoh,' thine hand clasped over thy head in token of 
trouble and sorrow,' for Jehovah despises those in whom thou 
trnstest, and thou shalt not prosper in thy relations with them. 
For He 8ayK«,""If a man divorce his wife, and she go from him and 
become the wife of another man, can the first husband take her 
back to be his wife again P *° Is not that wife hopelessly polluted P 
And when the land of Judah, the bride of Jehovah, loaves Him 
and makes alliance with Ei^ypt and Assyria, is not that land 
utterly polluted P But thou, Judah, committost sin with many 
lovers, and yet thinkest thou, thus liviug in impurity, to return 

» Lit., " thy ways." 

" Copying the vices and violence of the heathen. Ewald. 
mtzig. Grof. Keil. « Verso 30. 

* So, by the Law. Exod. xxii. 2. Jeremiah must have thus 
known Exodus. ' Lit., " way." 

* See 2 Chron. xxviii. 21 ; Isa. vii. 8. 

' Nothing is known of overtures to Egypt on the part of Josiah, 
but it is quite possible that the heathen party, after Manasseh 
had been carried off to Babylon, may have inclined to Egypt for 
the time, since under FsammetichuB it was rising fast into a 
great power, once more. ^ 2 Sam. xiii. 19. 

9 Jer. iii. 1. . w Deut. xxiv. 1-4. 

" So, in effect Ewald, Keil, Streane, Sachs, De Wette, Noyes. 



God has good reason to speak thus, and to refuse to 
acknowledge Judah as His bride any h)nger. 

Lift up thino oyos * to tho treeless hills, and see where thou 
liast not been dishonoured. Thou Imsfc sat by tho waysido, liko 
a harlot, to cntch passers by, as tho Anib lurks iu tho desert, to 
plunder wayfarers,' and thou hast polluted tho land by thy 
lewdness and thy wickedness.' For this reason showers have 
been withheld from you, and there has been no latter rain.^ 
But thoujj;h I thus sent drouglit on thee, to inako tlieo consider 
and turn from tliy evil ways, thou hast had a harlot's forehead, 
and hast refused to be ashamed. Nay, dost thou not oven now 
cry to Mo, • " My Father I Thou art tho spouso of my youth 1 
Will Ho keep His anger for over P Will Ho boar ill will againwt 
mo, tinio without endP" Thou speakost thus, indeed, but still 
doest evil, ay, and art set on doing it I 

Such a discourse throws striking light on the position 
claimed by the Jewish prophets. As tho representative 
of Jehovah, the theocratic king, Jeremiah assumes tho 
right to demand that the state shall follow his counsols, 
and not that of any political party, or oven of tho king, 
if he opposed them. And as he interferes peremptorily 
in the foreign politics of the nation, we shall find him 
not less actively interfering in all internal questK iis— 

» Jor. iii. 2-5. 

2 Judah has been eager after idolatry. The allusion hero is 
apparently, to the setting up heathen altars at the corners of tho 
streets and at the city gates, 2 Kings xxiii. 8; Ezek. xvi. 25. 
The desert Arabs have in all ages been tho same. See Diod. 8ic.t 
ii. 48. Plin., Hist. Nat., vi. 28. 

' In shedding the blood of the prophets and martyrs. Chap, 
ii. 30, 34 

* See vol. iv. p. 203. 

* Lit., " From now on." Chr. B. Michaelis points with acutoness 
to this expression, as showing the words to have been spoken at 
tho beginning of Josiali's reformation, which commenced in the 
twelfth year of that prince's reigu. 

■t ii 

y 1 

7 . i'J 



! :■ 



the size of estates, the low wages of the l&bourer, the 
rate of interest taken; the morals of priests and prophets, 
the violence of the lawless amonsr the nobles, and what- 
ever else, for the time, was a prominent evil in the 
community. He never speaks, moreover, as a mere 
adviser, but always commands obedience to his words 
as really those of Jehovah. He thus claims supreme, 
undisputed, authority in the state; over its politics, 
morals, and public and private life. Except under a 
theocracy, such a state of things would be unendurable. 
Were any man to claim it nowadays, he would speedily 
find himself ridiculous. But the prophet, speaking for 
God, and armed with His incontrovertible authority, was 
an essential characteristic of a state of things when God 
was the true king, and the reigning monarch only His 
deputy. The duly authorized prophet, in that case, must 
be paramount in the state, as the messenger from the 
supreme authority, delivering its commands. It is to bo 
noticed, moreover, that Jeremiah, and his order at large, 
care nothing for politics simply as such ; seek no position 
for themselves, among the officials of the state, but treat 
all qtiestions only in their religious bearing. They aim 
at no more than to keep Israel from idolatry, as treason 
against Jehovah ; to root it out, so far as it has been 
introduced; and to bring about a moral reform in the 
nation, by restoring hearty obedience to the Divine Law, 
in its relations between man and God, and man and his 
neighbour. Their voice, in fact, was that of ideal loyalty 
to heaven and to their brethren, and as such was the only 
true wisdom ; the wisdom which no state can venture 
to forget save at its certain peril. 



ROUSED by the earnest preaching of Zephaniah and 
Jeremiah, and, it may be, by secret friends of the 
ancient faith in the palace, Josiah had openly shown a 
religious bias, from the eighth year of his reign, when ho 
was sixteen, the age at whicii Hebrew kings attained 
their majority. Some members of noble families, liko 
Baruch, and his brother Seraiah,^ who held office at court 
at a later date, were early won to the cause of Jehovah ; 
if, indeed, they had not always been true to him. Sub- 
sequent notices of them show that, like Jeremiah, they 
must have been in their early manhood when they allied 
themselves with the prophet, but their sincerity was 
proved by a lifelong fidelity to him, when to show it was 
full of danger. Maaseiah, also, the governor of Jeru- 
salem,^ joined the party of the old religion ; with Hilkiah, 
the high priest,* Hanameel, the cousin of the prophet,* 
Shallum^ the keeper of the priestly vestments, and his 
wife,^ Huldah, who, as late as the eighteenth year of 

' Jos., Ant, X. vi. 2. Baruch i. 1. Jcr. xxxvi. 4, 10, 32. 

2 2 Cliron. xxxiv. 8. 

' 2 Kings xxii. 4. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 9. 1 Esdr. i. 8. 

■* Jei% xxxii. 7, 44. 

^ The Sept. saya sho was his mother. 2 Kings xxii. 14. 







Josiali, held the foremost place in Jerusalem, for her 
prophetic gifts, though Jeremiah had then been preach- 
ing for five years. Such a group formed the centre of a 
religious party, powerful in influence, if not in numbers, 
and strengthening the hands of the king in his projects 
of reform. 

These could only, however, be slowly carried out, in 
the face of a depraved public opinion, slow to acquiesce 
in such changes. Idolatry had been the state-religion 
for nearly seventy years, so that the existing generation 
know nothing, or next to nothing, of the faith of their 
fathers. Even the existence of the sacred '^ Book of the 
Law "seems to have been well nigh forgotten, though it 
had been taught throughout Judah in the reign of Jeho- 
shaphat, nearly throe hundred years before,^ and Jehoiada 
had laid it on the head of Jehoash at his coronatiou,^ in 
accordance with the command in Deuteronomy,^ two 
hundred and fifty years previously.* Nor was this won- 
derful, for all copies of it had doubtless been destroyed, 
as far as possible, during Manasseh's reign. The cor- 
ruption of the priesthood, and of the great body of the 
prophets, had deepened the spiritual ignorance thus en- 
tailed, and confirmed the nation in its apostasy. A 
return to the religious ideas of the reign of David, which 
was the ideal of the godly Hebrew, was hence necessarily 
slow. Steps were taken to repair the temple, and its 
connected buildings, the first being to collect the neces- 
sary funds. Nearly two hundred and fifty years before, 
the whole fabric had been restored under Jehoash^ but 
since then it had become sorely dilapidated by time and 

Johoshaphafc, B.C. 917. 

2 2 Kings xi. 12. 

' Dcut. xvii. 18. 
ano of that book. 

This is to be noted as a hint respecting the 

Jehoash, b.c. 877. 


violence. Some of the kings had deliberately pulled 
down portions, to build their idolatrous high places and 
altars ; rents showed themselves in the walls and roofs ; 
the timber work was decayed ; the gold or bronze decor- 
ations had been in part stripped off, and the courts 
despoiled of their sacred equipments.^ But it was no 
longer possible to obtain funds by the contributions 
of worshippers alone, as had been done in the days of 
Jehoiada.^ The high officials who had charge of the 
temple gates were, therefore, sent through the wholo 
land to collect contributions, not only in Judah, but over 
the old territory of the Ten Tribes, in whicb some Hebrew 
communities still lingered.^ The prejudice that had kept 
these from joining heartily with Hezekiah in a similar 
movement,* two generations before, had disappeared in 
the century which had nearly elapsed since his messen- 
gers had been sent out with a general invitation to them, 
to come to Jerusalem, to the passover. The calves of 
B^uhel and Dan had been long ago carried off by tho 
Assyrians,^ but though replaced by images of Baal, and 
by Aslierahs, the sympathy of common blood, now, at last, 
disposed the survivors of the Northern Kingdom to seek 
religious reunion Wi*:h Judah, as the Samaritans did, from 
other motives, at a later day. Josiah, moreover, bore 
himself as king of the undivided nation, including all its 
twelve tribes, having apparently taken advantage of the 
decline of Assyria, to occupy the northern territory as 
far as he could. It seems probable, indeed, that in his 
zeal to restore the ancient glory of David, he had even 
attacked the small nations round — Edom, Moab, and 
Ammon — who had been tributary to the Jews. Thus 

* 2 Cliron. xxxiv. 11. 2 Kings xxii. 5, 6. 

2 2 Kinj^s xii. 4, 0. ^ 2 Cbron. xxxiv. 9. 

* 2 Clirun. xx\. 10. » Hos. x. 5. 




only, perhaps, can their subsequent inveterate bitterness, 
when Judah was in trouble, be explained. 

While, however, the king, a young man of twenty-one, 
was feeling his way to a restoration of Jehovah- worship, 
Jeremiah, who was apparently about the same age, «,nd 
had just been " called,'' ^ was far from sharing any great 
expectations from the changes that might be made. They 
seemed to him only outward. The moral condition of 
the people he regarded as terribly depraved, and he 
felt that oven if outward conformity to the Law wero 
restored, the heart of the multitude was LiiA wedded to 

Such convictions, as was natural, reacted on tho 
character of his utterances. Having to address audiences 
whose religious instincts had become perverted; mere 
rites and outward acts taking the place of the inner 
spiritual life demanded by Jehovah; conscience, more- 
over, being asleep, if not dead, — refinements of language 
were laid aside, and clear and direct address took their 
place. Neglecting the beauties of rhetoric, or tbo 
measured rhythm common in the discourses of his or ler- 
he spoke mostly in earnest but simple prose, with onl^ 
occasionally a higher flight. Some prophets might feel 
it most suitable to veil the future in vivid metaphor, or 
might speak in general terms of the approach of an awful 
day of Jehovah ; tho herald of a brighter Messianic era 
to follow ; but Jeremiah, like Isaiah, and oven moro 
completely than he, preferred to use tho simplest lan- 
guage ; announcing his predictions, from month to month 
and year to year, with wondrous preciseness, and leaving 
no room for question respecting their future fulfilment. 
He wished to give no excuse for any ono saying, that 

* In the tbirtccntb year of Josiah. 

Ills orier- 


"the days would pass, and the visions romain unfulfilled/* 
or to mock at his words as dealing only with distant and 
far-off times.^ He spoke, therefore, of the future as one 
who saw its events with perfect distinctness, not like 
the scenery of drea.os. Living in communion with the 
world around him, he used no riddles or parables, but 
painted the times to come as if they were present. 
Simplicity and directness were his supreme aims ; if by 
any means he might win the popular heart for Jehovah. 

From the moment of his receiving the Divine com- 
mission, all natural shyness and timidity had left him. 
His first oration, already given, shows the word of Jeho- 
vah, to use his own language, glowing in him like fire, 
and beating in his breast like an iron hammer.^ Like 
a mirror, or a clear pool; his spirit reflected every detail 
of the ligh's and shadows falling on it from above. 
He might be naturally gentle and desponding, but as 
a prophet he knew no fear. Godly from his youth, he 
detested the falsehood, hypocrisy, and corruption around 
him, and denounced them with a noble sincerity, which 
no thought of self disturbed or weakened. His priestly 
relations must have won him social respect, for not only 
his father, but his connections wrere sacerdotal. But he 
suffered, as all true-hearted men must ever sufi'er, when 
truth and godliness assail hollow formality, and vested 
interest in wrong. The pries t«< at Anathoth, his native 
village, ere long hated him intensely. He was too 
much in earnest for them. Like many in our own day, 
who should know better, they wished to keep things 
smooth ; jO let abuses remain undisturbed, and thus 
avoid trouble ; and to content themselves with an out- 
ward propriety, unruflled by any breath of zeal or en- 

» Ezek. xii. 22-25, 27, 28. 

^ Jcr. xxiii, 29. 

f y 















thusiasm. In their snug benefices, they, with most of 
their brethren over the land, resented change or reform 
in Church or State, and wanted no Methodism snch as 
he preached. He drew his inspiration, therefore, under 
God, not from his brethren, but from a nobler source. 
Deeply read in the Law, and in the old prophets, he 
had stored his mind with their thoughts, their style, 
and bven their words, till he often unconsciously re- 
peated them. Drinking at such pure fountains, his 
soul was filled with lofty thoughts of God, of morality, 
of the past of Israel, and of its future destiny, and he 
had learned to abhor the lies of all kinds flourishing 
around him, alike in sacred and secular life, and to 
denounce them with an energy that infuriated those who 
throve on them, but gained for him a posthumous homage 
from all succeeding generations of his race. 

The second of his discourses preserved to us, must 
have been delivered very soon after the first. He had 
told Judah the terrible fate in store for them if they did 
not amend their ways, but they would not believe it 
possible that Jehovah would really cast them off. He 
reminds them, however, that their brethren of the Ten 
Tribes, part of the chosen people Hke themselves, had 
now for over ninety years been in exile. If they had 
been punished thus, why not Judah? But his heart 
sighed to think of any portion of his race being per- 
maneuUy separated from the rest. The troublet of 
Assyria, the rise of the Modes, and the breaking down 
of Asiatic kingdoms by the Scythians, may have kindled 
a fond hope that the Ten Tribes would ere long be 
brought back ; knowing, as he did from Divine intima- 
tions, that penitence would restore to them the favour o,'^ 
Jehovah. All this expressed itself in his next utter* 





Have * you seen, ho asked (speaking for God), what Israel, the 
kingdom of the Ten Tribes, the Rebellious One did ? She would 
go up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there 
play the harlot. And I, Jehovah, thoui^ht, " After she has done 
all this, she will return to Me." But she did not return. And the 
Faithless One, her sister Judah, saw it — saw that for that special 
reason, because Israel, the Eiebollious One, had committed adul< 
tery — that is, had given herself up to idols — I had put her away, 
and given her a bill of divorce ; ^ and yet Judah, her sister, the 
Faithless One, was not afraid, but went and played the harlot 
also. And the result was that, though by the report of her 
lewdness, Israel had defiled the land, committ'ng sin with idols 
of stone and of wood ; yet, for all this, Judah, her sister, the 
Faithless One, though she has turned to Me outwardly in the 
reforms now begun by the king, has not turned to me with her 
whole heart, but with hollow insincerity,^ says Jehovah. 

Moreover, Jehovah has said to me* -Israel, the Rebellious, has 
shown herself to be more righteous than Judah the Faithless. 
Go, cry these words towards the northern countries to which 
Israel has been carried off, and say. Turn back, O Israel, the 
Rebellious, says Jehovah. I will not cause My face to fall * in 
dark looks on you ; for I am merciful, says Jehovah. I will not 
keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge your iniquity ; for you 
have fallen away from Jehovah, your God, and loamod about 
after strange gods, under every green tree, and have not listened 
to my voice, says Jehovah. TuiiN back, ye rebellious sons, says 
Jehovah, for though I put you away, I am still your husband, 
and I will take you again if you acknowledge your iniquity — take 
you even if there be only one of a city, or two of a clan, thus 
penitent, and bring these back to Zioti.^ And I will give you, 
as many as thus return, shepherds a'ter My own heart, like 
David of old; ^^ princes who will reign in My fear, find feed or rule 

I Jer. iii. 6, 10-17. ^ Deut. xxiv. 1-4. » Lit., with a lie. 

♦ Jer. iii. 11-17. * Gen. iv. 5. 

" The presence of members of various tribes of the Northern 
Kingdom in Palestine so late as Christ's day, shows the fulfilment 
of this promise. 

"^ 1 Sam. xiii. 14. Kings may have been called shepherds nob 
only as " feeding " but as " defei'ding " their people, for even now 




'ii \ 

you, their flock, wisely and with understanding. And whon you 
have multiplied and grown fruitful In the land, ?n those days, 
says Jehovah, men will no longer spoak of the Ark of the 
Coven:\nt of Jehovah, nor will it even come into their thoughts ; 
they will neither talk of it nor miss it, nor will another be made 
in its place; for I will establish a new covenant with you, in 
which the Ark will bo superseded by a far grander manifestation 
of My glory than it could boast, though I was throned between the 
cherubim over it For all Jerusalem will then bo called tbo 
Throne of God. I wi'1 no more sit, unseen, iu the iioly of 
Holies, bnt ' th ... th n natio 13 will stream like a flood to the 
holy c^i//,' to \or»liip the name of Jehovah, then reigning glori- 
ously and coealy iu ii-, and they will no longer follow the stub- 
bornness of their wickc oart.' 

The bitter rivalry between the Northern Kingdom and 
Juduh had burned fiercely while they divided the land 
between them. But the misfortunes of the Ten Tribes 
had long ago extinguished ancient grudges and rivalries, 
and had roused intense sympathy, and brotherly longing 
for the restoration of the exiles, that the whole race 
might be once more united. Hosea had yearned for 
such a consummation,' though Samaria was still in 
its glory in his day. Isaiah had pictured a time when 
Ephraim would not vex Judah, nor Judah Ephraim, but 
both would live together as one people.* Ezekiel, also, 

all shepherds in x'alestine are armed to protect their charge from 
■wild beasts or marauders. Bovet's Egypt, etc., p. 248. See St. 
John X. 1-16. " The good shepherd lays down his life for tho 
sheep." ^ Jer. xvi. 19. 

^ In the restored kingdom of David, God will give Israel good 
kings, and being Himself present, there will be no further need 
of the Ark with its mere symbol of His presence, over the mercy 
seat, as hitherto. That venerable relic, however, was still in exis- 
tence when Jeremiah spoke. See 2 Chron. xxxv. 3. But its loss 
in the approaching calamities of the city was prophetically un- 
seen. There was no Ark iu the Second Temple. 2 Mace. ii. 4 ff, 

* Hos. i. 11. * Isa. xi. 13, 14. 



in a later day, was to brighten the vision of the future 
by simihir anticipations,^ for patriotism, next to loyalty 
to Jehovuh, was a passion with the prophets in each 
generation. This golden time now rises before the eyes 
of Jjremiah. 

In thoL.e dayp ^ Uie banished onea of the House of Judah will 
go hand in hand with the exiles of the Houso of Israel ; they 
tiUah come, together, out of the Land of the North, to the land 
that I gavo to your Fathers for an inheritance. As for Me, says 
Jehovah, I thought, of old, leading you from Egypt, how I would 
make you My sons, and give you a glorious land, a heritage, 
the noblest amongst the nations,^ saying th' ,: myself, I will 
do so, if thou call Me, " My Father," and luiV- wander from 
My steps. But, surely, as a wii'e is unfait'j nl i her husband, 
you have been faithless to Mo, House of ' , "at ', says Johovah. 

Such tenderness on the part of ( d, it seems to tho 
prophet, must rouse the guilty ones to repentance. Filled 
with this thought, ho hears already, in the far distance, 
the wail of penitence from Israel. 

A voice * sounds from the treeless hills : • the weeping and 
supplications of the sons of Israel, because they have turned 
aside from the right way, and have forgotten Jehovah, their 

But now, in the midst of this weeping, is heard tho 
voice of God, Himself, moved to pity. 

» "Gzek. xxxvii. 16-22. ^ jer. iii. 18-20. 

' GcseniuS' Eicald. Ilihig. Graf. Keil. Eichhorn. Naegchhach, 
Eichhorn translates the former part of tho verse : " I thought, on 
what condition could I give you the rights of sons, etc." •' And 
determined thus — I will do it if they say to mo ' My Father,* etc." 

^ Jer. iii. 21-26. 

* The hills were the special places of prayer. Hos. iv. 13. Jer. 
iii.2,23; vii. 29. 2 Sam. xv. 32. Num. xxiii. 2. Zech. xii. 10, etc, 

VOL. v. M 




"Turn back, ye rebellious children I I will heal your back- 

Then rises tho eager outcry of those thus tenderly 
addressed, hastening to profit by tho gracious invitation. 

Behold ! we come to Thee I Thou art, indeed, Jehovah, our 
God ! Assuredly only mocking disappointment comes from tho 
high places on the hills, or from tho multitude of idols on tho 
mountains ! ' Assuredly, in Jehovah our God, alone, is the salva- 
tion of Israel I Baal, and the Asherah — The Shame — have con- 
sumed tho substance of our fathers, from the youth of the nation, 
till now ; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their 
daughters, have been lost to us, by the judgments wo have 
sufl'ered for our sin," and by tho human sacrifices we have 
oH'ored. Let us lie down in our shame ; let our confusion cover 
us ! For wo have sinned af^ainst Jehovah, our God ; wo, and 
our fathers, from tho earliest times ^ until now, and have not 
hearkened to tho voice of Jehovah, our God. 

This confession God graciously accepts, and promises 
His restored favour, if tho penitence expressed bo sincere 
and permanent. 

If thou dost really turn back to Me,* O Israel, saith Jehovah, 
then thou wilt return to thy land;* and if thou really put away 
thy idol abominations" from My sight,' and runncst not after 

* This rendering, which is that of Hitzig, seems the best. Do 
Wette translates it, " The idolatrous noise of the mountains," in 
allusion to the vociferous cries, etc. of tho worshippers of Baal. 

8 Isa. Ixv. 21, 22. 

* Lit., " From our youth," i.e. as a nation. 

* Jer. iv. 1, 2. 
» Dc Wette. 

* 1 Kings xi. 5-7. 2 Kings xxiii. 13. 

^ Tlie Sept. has "out of thy mouth," an allusion to their eating 
meats offered to idols. See Zech. ix. 7. The Luvitical laws were 
thus in force, according to this reading, which is that of Ewald, 
and Hitzig. 


tliom, and if thou wilt swear truly, uprii^litly, ond with thy wholo 
hourt, "By tho life of Jehovah,"' to do all this, then uhall iho 
nations bloss themselves in Mo, and in Mo Hhiill thoy glory.^ 

Judah, in its solf-righteousncsa, was little prepared tc 
anticipate a fate like that of tlio Ten Tribes. Had not 
reformation begun under Josiah ? liut the prophet warns 
them, that only sincere repentance 'in save them from 
the same ruin as had overtaken their brethren. 

Think not,' O Judah, that hollow outward aniciidmont will 
avert a like doom. For thua says Jehovah: Ploiij^h up your 
fallow ground,* and sow not among thorns; good rcsttliitions aro 
not enough, if you still cherish sin in your heart. Conscdrato 
yourselves to Jehovah, by a circumcision of the heart, and ho 
not content with being consecrated to Ilim only by that of tho 
body. Circumcise jour hearts — bo truly, not merely outwardly, 
My people — ye men of Judah and inhubitants of Jerusalem, 
lest My indignation burst forth on you liko fire, and biu'n, so 
that no one can quench it, because of tho evil of your doings. 

No warnings could have been more solemn or awful 
than these; but they were of no avail. Josiah's Re- 
formation proved largely superficial; no corresponding 
change showed itself in the public and private life of the 
community. Nor was any to be anticipated under exist- 

' "As God liveth," or "as tho Lord liveth," is tho common 
form of oath iu I'alestino at this day, in confirming any master 
Neil's Palestine Explored, p. 18. It is commanded in Deut. x. 20, 
21, that the people " Swear by His, Jehovah's, name." 

2 Gen. xii. 3; xviii. 18; xxii. 18; x:cvi. 4; xlviii. 20. Tho 
Hebrew has "Him" for Me, which ia used to prevent a change 
of person not permitted by our idioms. 

8 Jer. iv. 3, 4. 

* The words are " plough up your ploughed land.'* The 
ground was ploughed several times between each sowing. The 
stubble ploughed in was succeeded by a crop of thorns, and 
these had to bo again turned under. See p. 8. Also Land and 
J3ook, p. 348. 






ing circumstances. To use ono of their own metaphors, 
tho nation must bo puriHod in tho furnace of affliction, 
and Jorciniah was now commissi(med to announce this. 

** Tho North ** waa tho quarter from which the past 
disasters of both Israel and Judah had come, and tho 
calamities of tho near future were to burst over the land 
from the same regions. The nation to be employed as 
tho instrument of Divine justice was not, however, dis- 
tinctly named in Jeremiah's first utterances, and opinion 
has been divided respecting it. Eichhorn first suggested 
that the great " Scythian '' invasion was intended, and 
in this ho has been followed by Ewald, Ilitzig, Bertheau, 
Movers, and Duncker.^ But it seems a fatal objection 
to this theory that chariots — which tho Scythians cer- 
tainly did not use — aro mentioned as a special charac- 
teristic of tho hostile forces. These savage hordes 
brought with them vast numbers of wagons, each 
drawn by over twenty oxen, and bearing a wicker frame 
covered with black or white felt, thirty feet in diameter 
— a great tent in fact — lifted bodily off the carriage when 
they encamped for the night.^ But these, assuredly, could 
not move " like a whirlwind."^ It seems safer, therefore, 
to conclude that the Chaldeans from Babylon are in- 
tended, though nothing is said of the deportation of 
the population of Judah, but only of their being ruth- 
lessly slaughtered.* Nor is it strange, though the first 
invasion by Nebuchadnezzar was still about thirty years 
distant, that Babylon should already have been dreaded. 
Nineveh was fast sinking, and had, indeed, been saved 
for a time, only by the inroad of the Northern Bar- 
barians. It was destined to fall within the next fifteen 

* Gesch. des Alterth.f vol. ;*. p. 751 ff. 

* Blakesloy's Uerod.f iv. C9. 

» Jer. iv. 13. * Jer. iv. 7, 20. 


or Hixtcon years, before the victorious Medos and Biiby- 
louiaiiH, who Imd sliown wonderful vigour since the death 
of Assurbanipal. Nabopolassar, formerly Assyrian vice- 
roy of IJabylon, had not only won »nd maintained his 
independence, but was threatening the very existence of 
the Assyrian capital. Such a state of all'airs, especially 
seen in the light of Divine disclosure^ would leave uo 
room for hesitation. 

Under these circumstances, Jeremiah, somewhere about 
the year B.C. 623, when the reformation had been 
some years in progress/ startled Jerusalem by a new 
and awful announcement, that the long suffering for- 
bearance of Jehovah being at lust exhausted. He had 
determined to lot loose a terrible e.iemy on Judah, and 
bring on its capital the long predicted Day of His 

Make it known aloud in Judah, cried he ; proclaim it in Joru- 
Balom," saying : Blow the trumpet of alarm in the land ; cry with 
a mighty voice'—*' (lather yourselves together, ye people of the 
open villages, and let us go into the foiaified towusj."* Raise a 
fliig to point out the way to Zion :'• flee thither for refuge; make 
no delay. For I, Jehovah, am about to bring evil out of the 
North, and a great destruction. The Lion has come up from his 
thicket i" the destroyer of the nations has struck his tentH,^ a^id 

* It began apparently in B.C. 626. 

2 Jor. iv. 5, 9. 3 Lit., " with full throat." 

* So the inhabitants of Attica crowdo(i into Athuns on occasion 
of a Spartan invasion. Thuc.f ii. 52. So, also, at Jerusali.n be- 
lore he last siege. ' Isa. xi. 10, 12. 

° 'ii thickets, or "swelling," or "excellency" of the bed of 
the Jonlan were the great haunt of lions in Jeronjiuh's day. 
Hence " come up." It refers to the animal's ascent. Ivom its 
lair in the sunken jungle, which stretches at iniervals alornjj 
tlio whole course of the Jordan, far below the loval of Anathoth 
and Jerusalem. See Jer. xxv. 38 ; xlix. 19 ; 1. 4!. Also Wilt>u'i 
Ncgeh, p. 43. ' Lit., "has pulled up hit, Lent stakea.** 





i t 







set out on his inarch, to make thy land desolate ; O Judah, thy 
cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant ! * Because of 
this, gird yourselves with sackcloth, in token of national mourn- 
ing ; beat on your breasts,^ and raise the loud wail ; for the 
burning anger ^ ol Jehovah is not turned back from us!^ At 
that day, says Jehovah, the heart of the king and the heart of 
the princes will faint :' the unfaithful priests be petrified with 
terror; the false prophets be in consternation ! 



These prophets had built great hopes on the res- 
toration of the temple and the destruction of idols and 
heathen altars now going on, and had confidently pre- 
dicted peace and prosperity. 

Then said I," alas, Lord, Jehovah,' Thou hast surely let this 
people, Judah, and the citizens of Jerusalem, be greatly deceived 
by the false prophets, who, thinking the return to Thy worship 
would bring prosperity, have told them, "Ye shall have peace." 
But the sword is about to pierce to the very soul I When the 
enemy is advancing, it shall be said to th'p people and to Jeru- 
salem — "A scorching east wind blows from the burnt up^ hills of 
the wilderness, towards the daughter of My people; a wind not 

* See Jcr. chap, xliii. 5-7. 
a Lit. 

' See iv. 4. 

* Their reformation had as yet been only superficial. The 
sins of the past had not been heortily forsaken. 

* Keil and Hitzig understand this passage : the intellect will 
be paralysed — they will " lose their head." 

* By a slight change in a vowel, Bwald would read, " Hence it 
is said," putting the verse into the mouth of the false prophets, 
who claim that their announcement of "peace " was from Jehovah. 
It would read thus : ** Hence it is said. Verily, Thou hast deceived 
this people and Jerusalem, Lord Jehovah, saying, 'You shall 
have peace,' whereas, the sword reaches to the soul." 

7 Jer. iv. 10-13. 

8 Lit, "bare." 




uo wiuTiow or to cleanse, for jts gnsts will carry away chafT and 
grain together:* a storm-wind' comes from Mo upon them." 

Now, therefore, says Jehovah, shall I give forth My sentence 
against them.* Behold the enemy comes up in dense, huge 
masses, like clouds ; * his chariots rush on like a whirlwind ; his 
horses are swifter than eagles in their flight. Woe to us, we are 

Salvation from utter ruin is still possible ! But, for 
this, real, not merely nominal, refof tion, is before all 
things needed. 

Jernsalem,' wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou 
ma3''est be saved ! How long shall thy sinful thoughts ^ lodge 
within thee? It is surely high time to amend, for, hark, a 
voice cries from Dan, in the north, announcing the approach of 
the foe, and the evil nov7s is echoed back from the mountains 
of Epbraim ! " Make it known among the nations," shouts the 
messenger,' ** proclaim ib In Jerusalem — Besiegers come from a 
far country and lift up their voice against the towns of Judah." 
Like watchers of a field are they round about Zion," because she 

' Wetstein, in BelitzscVs Ilioh, p. 320. " In the harvest time 
the threshed grain lying on the open-air threshing-floors cannot 
be winnowed. A moderate .ind steady breeze, wliich comes only 
from the west and south, is needed. The north wind is too strong, 
and the east wind comes in continual gusts, which blow away 
grain and chaff together." Winnowing is done, as a rule, be- 
tween 4 p.m. and a half-hour before sunrise, i.e. in the evening 
and during the night, while the west wind from the sea is blow- 
ing. Riehm, HWB., p. 23. 

2 Hitzig. 3 x)e Wette. * Ezek. xxxviii. 16. 

8 Jer. iv. 14-18. • Eiclihorn, false hopes. 

' This is the sense given by most, implying a summons to them 
to see the judgments of God, even on His chosen people. Hitzig 
translates the phrase, " make it known respecting the barbarians, 
thiit," etc. It would thus be a proclamation of the approach of 
tlie enemy. 

8 The keepers or watchers of a field or vineyard cry out loudly 
at intervals through the night, to let it be known that a strict 






■! Jl 


lit t ' 

I ■ 



has been rebellious against Me, ^ys Jehovah. Thy way and 
thy doingd have brought this upon thee ! This is the fruit of 
thy wickedness, and, indeed, it is bitter, and pierces even to thy 
heart I 

The agony of grief at such a calamity is universal, and 
is expressed in touching words, for himself and others, 
by the prophet. 

My breast!* O, my breast! I tremble for son-ow!* The 
walls of my heart will break ! My heart groans wit aiu me ; I can- 
not keep it still.' For thou, my soul, hearesb the crumpet peals ; 
hearcst the cries of war ! Calamity after calamity is proclaimed, 
for the whole land is laid wasie : the dwellings * of My people are 
suddenly spoiled; their tents ^ in a moment! How long shall I 
see the banner* and hear the loud trumpet? 

■ * 

Jehovah now speaks— ^ 

Could it, indeed, be otherwise P For truly My people is 
foolish ; ' they have not known Me : stupid children, without 
sense ; wise to do evil, but without sense to do good. 

watch IS being kept. There are no enclosed fields in Palestine. 
Neil, Palestme, p. 219. The watchers, therefore, in reality are in 
the open country, and jUe tents of the besiegers round Jerusalem 
are compared to their huts. Spealcei'^s Comm. See Lev. xiv. 7 ; 
xvii. 5. Luke ii. 18. Job xxvii. 18. 

» Jer. iv. 19-21. « I writhe in pain. 

* Or, hold my peace. * Tents. 

' ** Teiit-coveriijgs." The use of these words for the dwellings 
of a settled people show how long the tracition of their former 
nomadic life remained amongst them, as, indeed, it does, in the 
feast of Tabernacles, to this day. See for similar expressions, 
2 Sam. xviii. 17 ; xx. 1. 1 Kings viii. 66 ; xii. 16. 

* Tiio Assyrians had standards fixed on their chariots, generally 
emblems enclosed ii- a circle, with streamers waving from the long 
pole which they surmounted. Layard's Nineveh^ vol. ii. p. 347. 

' Jer. iv. 22. 


The prophet, therefore, passes on to describe the awful- 
ness of the impending judgments :— 

I looked on the earth,* and, behold, it is waste and empty ; on 
the heavens, and their light is gone, I looked on the mountains, 
and, lo, they trembled; on the hills, and they swayod to and fro; 
I looked, and, lo, there were no men, and all the birds of the 
heavens were gone. I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was be- 
come a desolate wilderness,^ and all its towns were thrown down 
before Jehovah; before His glowing anger! For thus saith 
Jehovah — The whole land shall be desolate; though I ■'ill not 
make an utter end of it. For this shall the earth mourn, an? the 
heavens above be darkened, because I, Jehovah, have spoken and 
purposed, and will not repent, nor draw back from it. Every 
city ^ shall flee at the noise of the horsemen and archers ; * the 
population crowd into the dark thickets^ of the woods, and climb 
up into the hollow rocks.' Every city is forsaken ; no man dwells 
in any of them ! 

And thou,' daughter of Zion, given up to the spoil,^ what art 
thou doing ? Dost thou hope by thy arts to win over the victors 
to mercy, as a woman by her charms prevails on her lovers to 
show her favour P It will be useless. Though thou clothest thy- 
self in purple, aud deckest thyself with golden ornaments, and 
makest thine eyes appear larger, by painting thine eyelids with 
antimony ,° in vain dost thou make thyself fair! The foe thou 
wouldst win to love thee, will despise thee and seek thy life ! For 
I hear a cry as of a woman in labour, the cry as of one that is 
bearing her first child ; it is the voice of the daughter of Zion, 
sighing deeply, as she spreads out her hands in her sorrow, and 

1 Jar. iv. 23-29. ^ Hitzig, 

3 This is clearly the proper reading. See Keil. Sachs. i\oyes. 
The last word of the v jrse shows this. Instead of " ^.herein " it 
should be " in them." 

< Lit., " treaders of the bow." They bend it with the help of 

the foot. 
* The word means a thicket /rom its darkness. 
' The etym. shows that caves or hollows are meanU 
7 Jer. iv. 30, 31. * Gescnius. 

' Lane's Modern Egyptians, vol. i. pp. 45, 46. 


wniling : " Woe is me, my soul lies helpless before the mur- 
derers ! " 

Bui the fate of Jerusalem, though thu3 terrible, was 
not undeserved. Its corruption and wickedness were 
beyoud conception. 

Run ye to and fro,* through the streets of Jerusalem, saith 
Jehovah, and see and learn; seek in its open places, if ye can 
find a single man; seek if there be one who acts uprightly, who 
practises good faith, and I will pardon her. For even when 
they make oath "by the lifd of Jehovah," they nevertheless 
swoar falsely.' Even an oath by the Sacred Name, which a true 
Jew would hold an inviolable pledge of faithtulneds and honour 
is used by them to cover perjury 1 

The prophet now speaks. 

O Jehovah, do not Tliine eyes look for good faith P Thou 
smitest them, but they l^ it not; Thou destrcyest them, but 
they refuse to recei vc the lesson : they make their face harder 
than rock : they will ivA turn back. I thought in myself, " It 
must be only the poor who act thus ; they act foolishly, l>ecause 
they do not know the way of Jehovah— the law of their God. I 
will go to the great people, and speak with them, for they know 
the way of Jehovah — the law of their God." But these, also, one 
and all, have broken in pi^KJes the y^ke of God's law, and torn 
away from its chains.* 

For this ci*u8e * a lion from the forest* shall slay them ; a wolf 
of the evenings • shall destroy t'^em; a leopard shall keep an eye 

» Jar. V. 1-5. a Lev. xix. 12. Matt. v. 34, 35. 

• The figure is from oxen chained to the plough. 

• Jer. V. 6-8. * The word is yhhr. See vol. iv. p. 358. 

• Keil, Hitzig, Ewald, Sachs, De Witte, Naegelsbach, Driver, 
Cheyne, and Fiirst, translate this word, "of the steppes." But 
Miihlau and Volck, and Gosenius, tiannlate it as the plural of 
li}reb=»** evening." Canon Tristram, in his Nat. Hint, of the Bible, 
p. 154, gives the following incident, which vividly illustrates many 
texrs. " Thir boldness is very remarkable. When camping ab 
c^ebolato Moladah, on the southern frontier of Simeon, I had one 



on ' their towns ; every one who goes out from thorn will be torn 
in pieces; because their transgrcdsions are multiplied, their sins 

How, then, can I pardon you P Thy sons have forsaken me, 
and have sworn by the " No-gods ! " ' I bound them by a marriage 

evening wandered alone three or four miles from the tents. In 
returning before sunset, I suddenly noticed that I was followed 
at an easy distance by a large tawny wolf. The creature kept 
about 200 yards behind me, neither increasing nor diminishing 
his distance. I turned upon him, and he also turned. In vain I 
endeavoured to close with him, for he always exactly accommo- 
dated his pace to mine. We continued respectively to advance 
and retreat without coming to olose quarters. The wolf's evident 
intention was to keep me in sight until evening, when he hoped 
to steal on me in the darkness, unperceived. Ho never uttered 
a sound of any kind, and walked as if unconscious of my presence. 
When it was nearly dark I found him rapidly closing upon mo, 
and, thinking bin within shot, I halted, when he, too, stood 
looking at me. ] drew my charge, slipped down a ball, and took 
deliberate aim, w.thout his moving. The bullet struck a rock 
between his legs, ; nd then he turned and trotted very quietly 
away." N. H. B., a. Ibi. 

The word for " e ironings " is identical with the plural of Arabah 
= "a desert," etc.- -though the singular is Ereb. This plural is 
used only in this text, Jer. v. 6. 

* The leopard was formerly common in Pa 
tains of the leopards " are mentioned in Car 
i« still a pest to the herdsmen in the moui' 
sheik of one village showed Canon Tristram ' 
recently killed. Their tracks are freqnentl 
Sea, and they are also found on Mount T 
Another animal of the leopard kind is al ■ found occasionally on 
the hills of Palestine — the cheetah, or hunting leopard of India. 
It is much less formidable, however, than th^ leopard. Tristram, 
N. H. B , p. 113. Both are much dreaded, a^ they lurk about en- 
campments, to pounce on any stray anim;*,!, or even men, who 
may come out after dark. The allusion in the text is to this 
habit. See Hos. xiii. 7. 

' A contemptuous name for idols. 

line. " The moun- 

V. 8. The creature 

• ins of Gilead. The 

ar skins of leopards 

seen about the Dead 

r and Mount Carmel. 



; ■ ! M 



oath to me,* but they broke it and committed adultery, arivl 
trooped into the house of the harlot. Like over- fed stallions, they 
roam around:' they neigh each after the other's wife. Shall I 
not visit you for such things P says Jehovah. Shall not My soul 
be avenged on such a nation as this P 

In spito, therefore, of the idea of security fostered by 
lying prophets, Jehovah will carry out His threats, and 
lay the land and its capital waste, by a cruel and terrible 
enemy, now formally commissioned to assail them. 

Go up* -amongst the planted rows of My vineyard,* and lay it 
waste, but do not utterly destroy it. Cut down its bearing 
shoots, for they are not Jehovah's ! For both the House of 
Israel and the House of Judah have been utterly faithless to Me, 
saith Jehovah. They have denied Jehovah, and said, "He is not, 
and trouble will not come on us, and we will not see either sword 
or famine. The words of the prophets, who say we shall suffer 
this, will prove empty talk ; for he who spenks through them is 
no god"* — they speak of themselves, or by an evil spirit; may 
their prophecies come on their own head ! " 

Wherefore," thus says Jehovah of Hosts, Because ye speak 
thus, behold, I shall make My words in thy mouth, fire, Jere- 
miah, and this people wood, which the fire will burn up ! Lo ! I 
bring on you a nation from afar, O House of lamel,' says Jehovah ; 

* Keil. Dg Wctte, Hitzig. Naegelehach. Gesenius. The only 
change needed in the Hebrew is the substitution of " Sh," for 
** S," which is found in the Maaoretic notes. Shabah is *' to swear, 
or, cause to swear; " Saba is " to feed to the full." See Bottcher, 
vol. ii. p. 154. 

2 Gcsenius. Keil. • Jer. v. 10-13. 

* Canaan is the vineyard of Jehovah. Isa. iii. 14; v. 1 ff. Jer. ii. 
21- The Jews were the vine. That this figure is intended is 
shown by the second half of the verso, where branches must be 
read instead of " battlements." Eichhorn — whose translations are 
always vigorous — reads the passaga: " Pull down the trellis work 
of her vines." 

* Lit., "no one." " Jer. v. 14-18. t Judah. 


a nation countless in numbers ; * a nation of hoary antiquity ; ' a 
nation whose Ian gnago you do not know; whose words you do 
not understand ; " their quiver* is like an open grave ; they are 
all mighty warriors. They shall eat up your harvest and your 
bread ; they shall eat up your sons and your daughters ; ' they 
shall eat up your flocks and your herds ; they shall eat up your 
vines and your fig trees ; they will lay in ruins, at the point of 
the aword,' your fortified towns, in which you trusted. Yet, 
even in those days, says Jehovah, I will not make an utter end 
of you. 

And when ye say,'' ** Why has Jehovah, our God, done all this 
to us," you shall answer them : As ye forsook Mo and served 
foreign gods in your own land, ye shall servo foreigners in a land 
that is not yours.' Tell this to the House of Jacob, and publish 
it in Judah, saying : Hear this, ye foolish race— without under- 
standing; who have eyes, and do not see; ears, and do not hear!' 
Will ye not fear Me P says Jehovah ; will ye not tremble before 
Me, who have placed the sand as a limit to the sea — a perpetual 
barrier, which it cannot pass? Thou'rh it lift itself up it is 
powerless; though its wavoa roar, th ^inot cross the bounds 
I have set for it. But this people, Icsb obedient than inanimate 
nature, has a revolting and rebellious heart : they turn away 
from Me, and go their own way, transgressing the laws I have 

* Lit., enduring ; exhaustloss in its numbers ; not to be got rid 
of by the destruction of a part. 

^ The Chaldees were very ancient. Berosns represents the 
Chaldean kingdom as established at least twenty-three centuries 
before Christ. Eawlinson's A71H. Mon., vol. i. p. 189. 

* Their appeals for mercy would, thus, be idle. See Deut. xxviii. 
49. See also Wilkius, Fhenicia and Israel, p. 7. 

* See Jer, iv. 29. 

* It seems to have been the belief of the Jews, that the foes 
from the north devoured children. 

* Or with weapons of war generally, Jer. xxxiii. 4-. Ezek. xxvi. 
9, "axes." 

7 Jer. V. 19-31. 

® This would not apply if the enemy threatened were roving 
hordes, liktt those of the Scythians. 
' Jer. iv. 22. Ho&. vii. 11. 


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given them. Nor do they ever say in their hearts, " Let us now 
fear Jehovah, our God, who gives rain, both the early and the 
latter, in its season ; who secures for us the return of tlie weeks 
appointed for tlie harvest."' Your iniquities have driven away 
those from you : your sins have deprived you of this good. For 
among My people are found wicked men ; they lie in wait as a 
birdcatcher hides himself from the birds; they set murderous 
snares, and catch men. Their houses are full of riches gained by 
deceit; through this they have become grtNikt and rich. They 
have grown fat and shine with sleokuosa ; they go beyond 
bounds in wickedness ; as judges they do not uphold the right; 
they betray the cause of the fathorless — to make money out of 
them ; 2 they do not uphold tho right of the helpless. Shall I 
not visit them for snoli things, says Jehovah— shall not Mj soul 
be avenged on such a people ? 

An appalling and horrible thing is committed in the land; the 
prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule according to their 
woi*d,' and My people like it to be thus.* Bub what will ye do 
when tho end of all this comes — the awful judgment of God on 
the nation P 

That judgment is no longer doubtful. A hostile army 
will, ere long, march against Jerusalem and beaiege it. 

* The seven weeks between the feast of the Passover and that 
of Weeks. On the day after the Sabbath in the former, the 
priest waved a sheaf of barley, the first-fruits of the early har- 
vest, before Jehovah. Lev. xxiii. 10. At tho latter, wheat-bread, 
the first-fruits of the second harvest, Lev. x. 17> was waved, tho 
one crop ripening so much later than the other. 

^ 1 Kings xxii. 15. Jer. ii. 37; x. 2L 

^ The deepening corruption of the prophets made the position 
of Judah increasingly hopeless. The priesthood was against 
Jeremiah; yet, if the prophets had supported him, he might have 
felt that all was not lost. But that lying prophets should oppose 
and contradict revelation, and that they should authoritatively 
interpret the Law to suit their own aims, and gain the priesthood 
to carry out this organized perversion of tho Divine will, was 
indeed appalling and horrible. 

* Amos iv. 5. 



Flee, ye sons of ISenjivmin* out of the midflt of Jeniaalem ;• 
lot the trumpets sound iu 'lekoA: display a blazing ■ '6 beacon* 
at Bethhaucei em/ for overwhelming calamity is imminent from 
the north. Comely ami delicate as she is, I will destroy the 
daughter of Zion ! ' The shepherds with their flocks — that is, 
kings with their hosts — are coming towards her ; tliey will pitch 
their tents round about her; they will cut down, every one, his 
share of her. They will say, let us offer the v;ar sacrifices and 
lose no time; let u« go up and storm her at noon, in the heat of 
tlie day,* when men rest, and attack will be least expected ! Even 
this dehv)', indeed, will scrm too long for them. '* Alas, the day 
is sinking," will be the cry ; " the evening shades are stretching 
out. Up ! let us storm her in the night, and destroy her palaces, 
without waiting for noon ! " ' 

For thus" has Jehovah of Hosts spoken— Hew down her trees,' 
and raise a mound against Jerusalem,'<> which is the city to bo 

» Jer. vi. 1-5. 

' Many Benjamites lived in Jerusalem, 1 Chron. ix. 3, 7. 
Jeremiah perhaps thinks of them, first, as his fellow- tribesmen. 
Jerusalem stood in the territory of Benjamin. 

' The word Masaith refers to the ascending of smok o ,'n burn- 
ing. A word formed from it is used in the Talmud icr the fire 
beacons at the time of bhe new moon. They were often kindled 
on the top of a tower, which the word also means. See Jud. 
XX. 38. 

* Tekoa is a hamlet in the hill country, twelve miles to the 
south of Jerusalem, and visible from the city. Bethhaccerem 
lies in the hills nearer Jerusalem. Hieron. in loc. Tekoa •« 
"pitching of tents," or perhaps "tr *iiipet clang." T^ethhacccrem «=» 
"the house of the vineyard." Iu seems to have stood on the 
prominent conical hill known now as the Frank Mountain, and 
would thus be eminently suited for a fire signal. Bovet, p. 283. 

' Jerusalem. 

* Isa. xiii. 3. Jer. li. 27, 28. Deut. xx. 2. Ezek. xxi. 21-23. 

' The scientific warfare implied in besieging a fortress was 
unknown to the " Scythians." 

* Jer. vi. 6-8. » Deut. xx. 20. 

" A vast mound of earth, sloping on the outer side, was raised 
close to the walls of besieged town ; its top as high as that of 

.a • ti 

' il 


'i i 




V I 

puniahecl; hIio is filled to tho full with oppression of the poor 
and needy, by fraud, extortion, and pilla^o.* As a foiintuin 
Bondn forth it8 ilowing waters, ho she pours out tho Htrcam of her 
wicikodnosa ' : violence and plundoritij;, even in My Hii^ht, arc 
hoard within her; Hunurin^and death, from wounds, are continual.' 

Bo warned, O Jerusalem, lost My soul bo alienated from thee,* 
lest I nmko thee desolate; a land not inhabited. 

Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, tho remnant of Israel* shall bo 
gleaned thorou«»hly, as men gh^an* tho viiitai^o, turning back tho 
hand ngjiin and again, like tho gleaner, to the oluBtor-bcaring 


tho walls themselves. Wooden towers (for which the felling of 
trees was necessary) wcio then dragged up the inclined plane 
of tho mound, to drive tho defenders from tho ramparts. This 
course was usual with the Assyrians and Babylonians, 2 Kings 
Tcix. 02. From them tho art probably passed to the Modes and 
Persians. Herodotus mentions it in his narrative of tho cam- 
paign of Cyrus in Asia Minor. The mound in this caso was 
nmdo after tho arrival of Harpo.gus, the Mode. Herod., i. 1G2. 
See note. Blakesley'a Il&i'od., i. 119. Kawlinson's Herod., i. 1G2. 

* Ezek. xxii. 7, 12. Ps. Ixxiii. 8. Jer. xxii. 17. Nah. iii. 1. 

^ Hitzig and Graf render these words, "as a cistern keeps its 
water cool and fresh; so she, her wickedness!" They supposo 
tho word used, to be derived from a verb meaning " to bo cool," 
or " fresh " (Karar), but it is generally assumed to be from tho 
verb Kur, "to dig out" (so that the waters rise in the excavation). 

* This seems the most exact sense of tho two words used, 
"Choli" and "Maccah," as seen in their renderings elsewhere 
in tho A. V. 

* The word used is applied to the violent tearing away, or dis- 
location of a member. It is most touching to think of Jehovah 
employing such a word, to show the sorrow with which He would 
at last withdraw from His people, if they forced Him to do so. 

6 Cliap. iv. 27 ; v. 10, 18. 

* The word to glean is from a root = to drikik again and again 
till one can drink no more, and implies completeness — the leaving 

' So Fiirst and Hitzig. It is hard to decide where doctors differ. 
Hitzig asserts that the word Salsilloth — translated " baskets " in 


Tho prophet is at a loss to whom to announco this 
awful message. Those who should especially hear it, 
refuse to do so. He will, therefore, proclaim it aloud 
in tho streets. 

But to whom shall I Bpoak, and give warning, that thoy may 
hear itP* Boholdl thoir ear is uncirctimcisod, and thus closed 
up, so ilmt thoy cannot hoar.'-' Behold ! tho word of Jehovah is 
a derision to them ; they have no pleasure in it. But I am full 
of tho fierce anger of Jehovah ; I can no longer keep it shut up 
in my breast. I will pour it forth' to the children playing in the 
street ; to the company of young men met together for amuse- 
ment or talk; for both husband and w^fe will be overtaken by 
my judgments; the old man also, and even he whose days are 
nearly over.^ And their houses will pass to others ; and so will 
their fields and their wives together— for I will stretch out My 
band over the inhabitants of the land, says Jehovah. For, small 
and great, they ai e all bent on selfish and base gaiu ; from the 
prophet to the priest, every one cheats. And both prophet and 
priest pretend to heal the wound of my people, as if it were 
slight — making nothing of it* — saying, " All is well, all is well," 
when it is the very reverse 1 They will have to bo ashamed 
for the abomination they have committed ; yet they are not at 
present ashamed in tho least, they do not know how to blush. 
Therefore will they fall amongst the falling when the city is 
taken ; at the time when I visit them, they will stumble, says 
Jehovah 1 

the A. V. never means baskets— but always " tendrils " and the 
like. Fiirst agrees with him. But Gesenius, Mulilau and Volck, 
De Wctte, and Sachs think it does mean baskets. Yet, as Eich- 
horn, Kcil, and Ewald, agree with Hitzig and Fiirst, and the 
sense appears better, I have adopted their rendering. Salsilloth 
is, indeed, not unlike Zalzallim (Isa. xviii. 5), which certainly 
means vine shoots. 

» Jer. vi. 10, 15. « Isai. vi. 10. Jer. iv. 4. 

' The imperative is used, but the future suits the English 
sense better. The prophet is speaking to himself. 

* 1 Chron. xxix. 28. » Sept. 

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(716) •72-4503 

1^ <^. 







Without true repentance and a change of heart, judg- 
ment cannot be averted, whatever sacrifices they may 
offer. Jeremiah is saying nothing new. The course he 
urges was that in which the godly among their fathers 


Thus says Jehovah,^ "Take your stand in the ways; look 
round you and ask, if you have any doubt, for the old paths ; ^ 
the paths which, alone, lead to true good ; and walk in them, and 
you will find rest for your souls." But they said, " We will not 
walk in them." I also set watchers — the prophets'— for you, 
saying, " Hark, the sound of the trumpet ! " But they said, we 
will not hearken. 

Hear, therefore, ye foreign nations;* learn, O assembly of the 
peoples,* that which is coming upon them 1 Hear, earth ! 
behold, I will bring evil upon this race as the fruit of their 
devices, because they have not hearkened to My words, and as 
to my law,* they have despised it. This being so, what is the 
incense worth to Me, that comes from Sheba, and the costly 
spice-reed from a far country P ' Your whole-burnt-offerings are 
not acceptable to Me, and your sacrifices do not smell sweet to 

» Jer. vi. le, 17. « Deut. xxxii. 7. Jer. xviii. 15 ; xxxii. 39, 40. 

' Ezek. iii. 1 7 ; xxxiii. 7. * Jer. vi. 18-20. 

• Ewald renders these words, "0 congregation of Israel." 
Graf thinks the text corrupt. The Sept. has, "and they that 
feed their flocks." • Torah. 

7 Incense. Gomp. Aen.f i. 416«17. "And a hundred altars 
glow with Sabaean incense." Frankincense, or incense, was a 
gum obtained from the large timber trees known as Boswellia. 
They grow in India, but the genuine incense was obtained from 
a species found only in South Arabia and Somali Land. The 
"sweet cane" should be "the fine-scented cane," brought either 
from Arabia or India, perhaps through Egypt, and burnt with 
the incense for the sake of its rich perfume. The Sept., for 
" sweet cane," has " cinnamon." Weihrauch, Schenkel'a Bib. Lex. 
Tristram's JV .^. Hist, of Bible, pp. 355, 485. 

^ Brodenkaiip, Gesetz und Propheten, p. 103, calls attention to 


Therefore, thus saith Jehovah,* Behold, I will lay stumbling 
blocks before this people,' and the fathers and sons shall together 
fall over them ; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. Thus 
saith Jehovah, Behold, a people comes from the land of the 
North ; and a great nation will rise up from the farthest parts 
of the earth. They lay hold of bow and javelin ; they are cruel 
and have no mercy ; their voice roars like the sea ; they ride on 
horses. Their army is arrayed for battle, against thee, daughter 
of Zion! 





I altars 
ras a 
I either 
It with 
It., for 

Lion to 

The people of Judah and Jerusalem will be alarmed 
even at the report of the approach of such a foe ; but the 
prophet can give them no comfort. In that day they 
will say : — 

" We have heard the report of his approach.' Our arms hang 
powerless; anguish has seized us; trembling, like that of a 
woman in travail ! Go not forth to the open country, and do not 
walk on the common road; for the enemy have keen swords; 
fear of them reigns on every side." O daughter of my people, 
tie a robe of sackcloth round thee ; roll thyself in ashes ; make 
thee lamentation as for an only son — the bitterest wailing ! For 
the spoiler will come on us suddenly ! 

this verse, as showing that in Josiah's day the Jews zealously 
observed the ceremonial law of sacrifice and offering. They 
offered sacrifices, in the thought that these would atone for 
wickedness in which they still persisted. To explain away this, 
the new critics venture an arbitrary conjecture that the Law 
mentioned in the 19th verse, did not include the ceremonial 
laws ; that these, in fact, were not known till much later 1 
The uselessness of ceremonial, apart from morality, is often 
urged by the prophets. 1 Sam. xv. 22. Isa. i. 11. Hos. vi. 6. 
Amos V. 21. Micah vi. 6. Fs. 1. 8, etc. But its condemnaticMi 
implies its being practised. How then could it be only an inven- 
tion of the time after the exile, as the new criticism maintains P 

» Jer. vi. 21-23. V 

* The invasion of the enemy. 

' Jer. vi. 24-26. 


Jehovah now speaks, reassuring Jeremiah that He will 
support him in his Divine commission. 

I have set thee * as an assajer, or tester, among My people, that 
thou mayest know and try their way, and whilst thou doest so* 
I will keep thee, as a strong fortress, from harm.^ They are, all, 
the worst of revolters; going hither and thither to slander;' 
copper and iron are they, not gold ; they are all evil doers. No 
judgments sent for their good have reformed them. I have 
laboured with them as a purifier labours at the furnace, with 
metal that proves worthless.^ The bellows have been blown till 
they are scorched ; the lead, added as a flux, to bring away the 
slack, is burned into fumes ; the refiner has tried to smelt the 
metal in vain ; the dross — that is, the wicked — cannot be separated 
from what little silver there is ! * Call the whole people, there- 
fore, " reprobate silver," for Jehovah has rejected them. 

The brevity of Eastern popular addresses of any kind 
forbids the thought that lengthy compositions, such as 
the above, were delivered at one time, as a connected 
whole. Jeremiah, himself, indeed, tells us, that his 
prophecies, spoken in the reign of Josiah and sub- 
sequently, were inscribed on a roll in the fourth year 
of Jehoiakim,** that is, in the year B.C. 606,'' when the 
good king had been dead three or four years. Nor did 
the prophet himself write them out. His friend Baruch, 
of the noble house of Neriah, a man skilled in caligraphy 

» Jer. vi. 27-30. a See chap. i. 18. » Chap. ix. 4. 

* " A kuli came and formed a little furnace close to the verandah, 
by lighting a very small fire of charcoal, making a hole about 
two feet distant, for the nose of his bellows, which were of tho 
skin of a goat, with a slit at the back which he alternately opened 
and closed, and connecting the bellows and fire by a little under- 
ground passage." Six Years in India, p. 93. 

' This is a paraphrase of a difficult passage. 

• Jer. XXX vi. 1, 2. 

' B.C. 603. Did. of Bible, art. Baruch, 





I till 
i the 

ph as 


kf the 


and famoas for general culture,^ " wrote from his mouth, 
on a roll of a book, all the words of Jehovah which He 
had spoken to him/' ^ and, when this copy had been 
destroyed by Jehoiakim, made a second, at the prophet's 
dictation, " adding, besides, to them, many like words." * 
It is impossible, therefore, to say what portion of any 
long discourse in the Book, as it now stands, was spoken 
at a particular time. We can only reproduce them as 
they are given, with the general knowledge that they 
were uttered on various occasions during Josiah's reign. 

* Jos., iln^., X. vi. 2. * Jer. xxxvi. 4-18. 

* Jer. xxxvi. 32. 






I'l «W^/ 







THE first steps towards the abolition of idolatry, and 
the formal re-establishuient of Jehovah -worship, 
had preceded the *' call " of Jeremiah ^ by about a year. 
Zephaniah, and perhaps other prophets whose names 
have perished, had quickened the tender conscience of 
Josiah, and strengthened the hands of the survivors of 
the great persecution, who now zealously strove to restore 
the ancient faith, amidst almost overwhelming diflficulties. 
In the East, however, the personal action of the monarch 
is decisive in all public action; the community, as a 
rule, passively submitting to the royal will. All change, 
in fact, must be initiated by the ruler ; his word is the 
only law ; obedience alone is the part of subjects. 

In the year B.C. 628, then — three years before Nabopo- 
lassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar, founded the indepen- 
dent monarchy of Babylon,* so soon to be the destroyer 
of Judah — the work of reformation had been begun 
by Josiah, now a young man of twenty. Jerusalem and 
Judah wore, naturally, the first field of activity.' No 

> B.C. 627. 

' Smith's Assyria, p. 149. Assurbanipal had died in B.C. 626. 

• 2 Chrou. xxxiv. 3. i 

183 ^ 





sentimental tenderness for art or old associations miti- 
gated the earnestness of the religious revolution.' The 
stately high places were levelled with the ground ; the 

* I would here enter my earnest protest against the worship 
of Art which now reigns in the ecclesiastical world. Beauty and 
taste are becoming, in tho House and Service of God ; but the 
passion for colour and form, in every detail of the Church and its 
services, has become a national calamity by its excess. The dress 
of the minister, not the truth he proclaims; the rendering of the 
service, not its solemn words ; the mcditevalism of the sacred 
building in every particular, not the holy use for which it is 
designed, are most on the tongues of men. 

St. Bernard was right in saying, that "the immense height 
of the churches, their immoderate length, superfluous breadth, 
costly polishing and strange designs, while they attmct the eyes 
of the worshipper, hinder the devotion of the soul, and somehow 
remind me of the old Jewish ritual ! " Life, by Morrison, p. 147. 

"The more I have examined the subject," says John Euskin, 
" the more dangerous have I found it to dogmatize respecting the 
character of the Art which is likely, at a given period, to be most 
useful to the cause of religion. One great fact first meets me. 
I never met with a Christian whose heart was thoroughly set 
upon the world to come, and, so far as human judgment could 
pronounce, was perfect and right before God, who cared about 
AH at all." Stones of Venice, vol. ii. p. 103. 

" * May the Devil fly away with the Fine Arts,* exclaimed, con- 
fidentially, once, in my hearing, one of our most distinguished 
public men ; a sentiment that often recurs to me. A public man, 
intent on any real business, does, I suppose, find the Fine Arts 
rather imaginary, feels them to be a pretentious nothingness ; a 
confused superfluity and nuisance, purchased with cost; what he, 
in brief language, denominates a bore." Carlyle, Latter Lay 
Pamphlets, Jesuitism, p. 34. 

•'Early Christians, English Puritans, Cistercian mediaeval 
monks, and modern Reformers of an earnest type, agree on one 
point, however much they may difier on others, namely, that 
people who are filled with practical sincerity, are apt to pass by 
Art with indifference, or reject it with anger." Morrison's St. 
Bernard, p. 149. . ,. 

ill ! 



S I 'i 




Asherahs^ the marble and molten images of the gods, 
utterly destroyed ; the altars of the various Baals, with 
the obelisks, or sun images, beside them, broken down 
in the presence of the king.^ There are no fewer than 
twenty words in Hebrew for idols; a proof of the 
number and variety of these abominations, then wor- 
shipped over the land. Utterly and permanently to defile 
the idolatrous holy places, Josiah caused the bones of 
the dead idol-priests to be taken from their graves, and 
burnt on the altars at which they had ministered; a viola- 
tion of the sanctity of the grave unprecedented in Jewish 
history, and bitterly condemned by the prophet Amos 
when committed by the heathen king of Moab.^ Nor 
was this vigorous action confined to Judah or Jerusalem. 
Assyria, now torn and weakened almost to its fall by 
rebellions and wars in the East, had left the territory of 
the Ten Tribes unoccupied, and Josiah had virtually 
resumed possession of it. Bands of official iconoclasts 
were therefore sent through the ancient bounds of 
Manasseh and Ephraim, the central tribes, and even as 
far as Naphtali on the extreme north, and Simeon on 
the far south, below Judah. Idolatry had everywhere 
taken root. The mixed population still lingering among 
the ruined towns ^ of the old Northern Kingdom; a 
heathen medley brought from distant countries by the 
Assyrian king, with a remnant of the Jewish tribes ; knew 
no religion, apparently, but the worship of a multitude 
of foreign gods. Nor were even the shepherds of the 
Negeb, the territory of the Simeonites, less corrupted. 

> 2 Chron. xxxiv. 4. * Amos ii. 1. 

» 2 Chrou. xxxiv. 6. The words " with their mattocks round 
about," should be read, in their ruins round about. The land 
had been laid waste by Shalmanescr, and its towns had, for the 
most part, remained in ruins over since. 








The old religion of the nation had well nigh vanished 
from the land. Every idolatrous symbol was now, how- 
ever, destroyed, and in appearance, at least, the country 
returned to the national faith. 

Some particulars of this great revolution are fortunately 
preserved. In Jerusalem, the purification of the temple 
was entrusted to Hilkiah, the high priest, and his 
deputy,^ with a body of ordinary priests, and the great 
Levite officials who had charge of the sacred gates. The 
sanctuary had been turned, by Manasseh and Amon, 
into the head quarters of Baal worship — the most famous 
image, known as " the Baal," being set up in it, with an 
Asherah, and symbols of " all the host of heaven," close 
by.^ Everything connected with these supreme abomina- 
tions was removed from the temple precincts — their 
altars, statues, vestments, and holy vessels. All that 
was destructible was carried down to the Kedron Valley, 
outside the walls, and burned ; the ashes being collected 
for the special purpose of defiling the high places, A 
special order of priests, the Chemarim,^ clad in black, 
in contrast to the white robe of the priests of Jehovah, 
had burned incense under Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon, 
on the idolatrous Bamoth, or high places, in the towns of 
Judah and round Jerusalem. Others had performed the 
same office on the altars of Baal, the sun, the moon, the 
planets, or perhaps the signs of the zodiac,* and of all 
the hosts of heaven. These Josiah simply suppressed.^ 

> 2 Kings xxiii. 5. 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 4. For " the priests of the second order," read 
as in the text. 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 4. * Zeph. i. 4. Hos. x. 5. 

* Heb. Mazzaloth a Arabic, Menazil — the houses of the twelve 
signs of the heavens, in which, successively, the sun was supposed 
to dwell. Oes. Thes., p. 869 ; Delitzsch, Hioh, on xxxviii. 32. 






ir •* 


5 It 




Tho Asherah sot up again hy Amon in the temple, after 
having been removed by Manasseh, was dragged outside 
the walls, as the object of peculiar detestation, to the 
deep ravine of the Kedron, and burned; any fragments 
left being stamped to powder and strewn over the graves 
in the public cemetery, to desecrate them by contact with 
the dead.^ It was a repetition of the intense abhorrence 
of idolatry shown in David's burning the gods of tho 
Philistines,^ and in the treatment of the golden calf by 
Moses : ^ the command enjoining it occurring in Deutero- 

Associated with the Asherah in tho temple, were 
numbers of wretched beings of both sexes,' consecrated 
to immorality in connection with the Asherah; their gains 
passing to its priests, whose slaves they were. The men, 
it would seem, wandered at times over the land, in the 
service of vice ; the women busied themselves by day in 
weaving hangings for the Asherah and tents for its 
nightly orgies. Both they and the Galli* associated with 
them, had lived in the temple, and its precincts; but 
the places they had occupied were now pulled down, and 
the spot purified from every trace of their presence. 

Numbers of Israelitish priests, during the long reign of 
idolatry, had so far apostatized as to burn incense on the 
high places, from Geba,' the northern boundary of Judah, 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 6. See Wilkins' Israel and Phenicia, p. 162. 
Jer. xxvi. 23. 

2 1 Ohron. xiv. 12. • Exod. xxxii. 20. 

* Dent. vii. 25. As the " Book of the Law " was not yet dis- 
covered in the temple, the course taken by Josiah must have been, 
like that of David, determined from other sources ; that is, both 
David and Josiah must have known this part of the Law. 

* They were the " sacred slaves *' of the Asherah, the Kedaishim 
(mas.), and the Kedaishoth (fem). See vol. iii. p. 364. 

* See p. 33, and vol. iii. p. 364. ^ Three hours north of Jerusalem. 



m of 









to Boersheba, in the far south of the Nogob. Those were 
brought to Jerusalem, but not allowed to officiate at the 
altar of Jehovah. They were also kept distinct from the 
members of their order who had remained true to the old 
faith, but were permitted to receive their priestly main- 
tenance from the " holy bread ; " eating it, however, at 
home with their families, as defiled priests,^ not in the 
temple with their "clean" brethren.' Perhaps, how- 
ever, they were allowed to discharge subordinate duties 
in the temple.* 

High places with altars had been built at different 
gates of Jerusalem, consecrated, perhaps, to the supposed 
hairy demons of the wilderness.* These, like all others, 
were broken down. Tophet, '* the spitting," * or ab- 

* Lev. xxi. 17-22. How was this law, as to defiled priests, 
known </ten, if Leviticus dates only from tlie Exile P 

* A recent critic says: "The high places were tolerated 
because they were not known to be any breach of the religious 
constitution of Israel. Even the temple priests knew of no such 
constitution." Bible in Jewish Churchy p. 2'1'7. But if so, why 
were their priests now degraded P Why were the priests who had 
remained true to the old religion kept apart from them as from 
a degraded class P As to the argument from the earlier kings 
not having suppressed the high places, one has only to remember 
that it was a step so dangerous, as interfering with popular 
superstition and prejudice, that Eabshakeh actually hoped to stir 
up a revolt against Hezekiah, by reminding the citizens of Jerusa- 
lem that he had ventured to touch them. No one before Josiah 
had been able to suppress them entirely. We have a parallel case 
in our own national history. What a storm of popular feeling, 
shown in fierce revolts, was excited by even a strong-willed 
king like Henry VIII. interfering with the traditional holy places 
of England I 

* Thenius, on 2 KingB xxiii. 9. - . < v; ' 

* Qeiger, GraetZf vol. ii. p. 287. See p. 99. 

* Qes. The8.t p. 1497. Other etymologies are given, but this 
seems the best. ,, . . .v . 


■', -if 


t ■ 
'i ' 



horronce, in tho Valloy * of Hinnom, under the walls o£ 
Jcrusalom, was carefully defiled, to prevent its over again 
being used for human sacrifices. Tho sacred whito 
horses of the sun,^ given to the sun-god by Ahaz, Ma- 
nassehj and Amon, and stalled in the cells ' on tho west 
of the temple forecourt, where the street ran up to it 
from the town,* — cells, named after Nethanmelech, a well- 
known official,* perhaps their founder or builder, wore 
taken away, and tho chariots they drew in the festal pro- 
cessions of the sun-god, were burned.' Altars in honour 
of the host of heaven^ had been raised by the lato 
idolatrous kings on the top of the Aliyeh, or roof- 
chamber, built by Ahaz, perhaps on the flat roof of the 

> Valley — G&, Gai or Ge«-a ravine or gorge-like glen. 

' Horses wore sacred to tho snn among tho Armenians, 
Persians, Ethiopians, Greeks, and Assyrians, and were saori&ced 
to the sun-god. 

' Very likely storehouses for material used in the temple wor- 
ship. Chron. ix. 26 ; Neh. z. 38. 

* The word translated suburbs in A.V., is Parvarira, sing. 
Parvar, identical with Porbar, 1 Chron. xxvi. 18. I have followed 
Keil's rendering of its meaning. Gesenius (T/ies., p. 1123) thinks 
it was a portico to a summer-house or open kiosk. Bat Bottcher 
fancies it was an open space, like a suburb. The Talmud trans- 
lates a related word by " suburbs — places near a city." In their 
Aehrenleae, vol. ii. p. 113, Bottcher and Miihlau render the 
words before thib : " he took away the horses, so that they should 
not enter into the House of Jehovah." Altogether, the passage is 
far from easy. Robertson Smith, translates the solitary word 
parvarim, as "the portico, with its brazen altar and lofty 
columns (Jacbin and Boaz) ; '* and tells us that the brazen altar, 
etc., are described or figured on Phenician inscriptions and coins. 
So much can be made out of nothing I Prcypheta of Israel, p. 57. 

* A.y. the chamberlain, lit. "eunuch," thenoe "a court official." 
though not a eunuch. 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 11. 

' Ewald, Qesch., vol. iii. pp. 664, 667. -^ 




templo,^ and the altars built by Manasseh in both its 
forecourts shared the fate of all others, being broken 
down and thrown on the water of Kedron, after being 
reduced to dust.' 

But now came a still more decisive blow at the tradi- 
tions and corruptions of the past. Solomon had built 
various high places round Jerusalem, nearly four hundred 
years before — partly to please the many heathen prin- 
cesses of his harem, but still more, perhaps, as a conces- 
sion, intended to propitiate the heathen nations under 
his rule; intercourse with them being doubtless, large, for 
trade and other purposes. Respect for the great name 
of the wise king had hitherto kept them intact; even 
Hezckiah, as we have seen, not feeling strong enough 
to brave the prejudices of his people, by destroying them. 
All, however, now went down before the wave of religious 
enthusiasm. The citizens of Jerusalem no longer saw, on 
the south crest of Mount Olivet, or the other heights near 
at hand, the memorials of Ashtoreth the goddess of 
Sidon, or Chemosh, or Milcom, the national gods of Moab 
and Ammon. The Matzaiboth, or sacred stone pillars 
round them and their Asherahs, shared the general des- 
truction : the very sites of each high place being polluted 
with human bones from the neighbouring graves.^ The 

* Theniua. Keil. Zeph. i. 5. Jer. xix. 13; xxxii. 29. There 
were buildings ovei some of the gates of the temple, Jer. xxxv.4. 

^ In 2 Kings xvi. 18 the words *' covert for the Sabbath " should, 
in Geigef's opinion, be read '* molten images of the Shame " — 
i.6. of Baal. They, too, were the fruit of the reign of Ahaz. 

^ A recent critic thinks that the toleration of Solomon's high 
places by all the reforming kings till Josiah, proves that the 
Levitical laws were not known till Josiah's time. He assumes, 
they were then learned from the newly discovered Deuteronomy 
— " written shortly before." Prophets of Israel, vol. iii. pp. 112, 132, 
164). But why is the action of Solomon condemned in " Kings," 

•I ' 

' If- 




i I 

destraction and desecration of the great sanctuary of the 
Northern Kingdom^ at Bethel^ was apparently the last act 
in this crusade against idolatry. All the buildings con- 
nected with it were utterly destroyed;^ their very stones 
broken in small pieces^ and the Asherah burnt/ under the 

if he transgressed no known lawP It is useless to say that 
"Kings" was composed after the fall of the Kingdom. Its last 
chapters may have been so, but it is to trifle with the sacred docu- 
ments to hint that they do not represent the feelings of the godly 
in Solomon's age, when they condemn some of his acts as abhor- 
rent to his contemporaries, and entailing grievous resalts. As to 
Solomon or any other king acting contrary to the letter of tho 
Law ; do our kings act up to the letter or even the spirit of the 
Bible, though they certainly have it P Ip the recklessness of a 
monarch— and he a despot — any proof that he knows no better? 
What, moreover, kept David from acting like Solomon P Simply 
that he honoured what Solomon ignored. One would think that 
to have a sacred law in a kingdom is to secure loyalty to its every 
detail I Such negative proof of the non-existence of the Law at 
an early date is a weak support for so great a conclusion. Tct it 
is gravely brought forward I See Bible in Jewish Church, p. 248. 

It is further advanced, in the same connection, that Elijah 
sanctioned the worship of the golden calves of Bethel and Dan, 
and even of the Asherah, at Samaria (P) because we are not told of 
his denouncing them, and because they survived him. {Prophets 
of Israel, p. 96.) But to hint at the great prophet, austere and 
high-toned as he wa», sanctioning the Asherah, is a very bold 
flight! As to the golden calves, his indiSerenco can only be 
arguod from the fact that in the very brief notice of his life, in 
/ i ich his great conflict with Baal- worship is the engrossing sub- 
ject, nothing is said of them. But can he, who betook himself to 
drveb, where the prohibition of all image worship was given; can 
ho, to whom the spirituality of God was proclaimed with awful 
sublimiby, in the vision vouchsafed him, have looked with favour 
on the image of the ox that eats grass, as a likeness or symbol of 
Jehovah ? If even Moses was outraged by the introduction of a 
symbol of God, can we suppose Elijah less soP See Qesetz und 
Propheten, p. 53. 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 19. ^ Wilkins' Phenicia and Israel, p. 153. 



eyes of Josiah himself. Three hundred and fifty years 
bad passed since Jeroboam had permanently shattered the 
religious unity of Israel^ by building the rival temple, 
now laid in ruins ; but the golden calf he had set up in it, 
as a symbol of Jehovah, had been carried off, a hundred 
years before, by the Assyrians, under Shalmaneser, as 
that at Dan had been by Tiglath-pileser II. Since then, 
worship had been maintained by priests selected without 
reference to their race, with a ritual taught at first by 
one sent for the purpose from Assyria ; * the worship of 
Jehovah, as the local God, being associated with that of 
the idols of Assyria and of the various foreign heathen 
communities settled in the country by the conquerors.* 
As the fountain-head of the apostasy of , their Northern 
brethren, and the long detested rival of the Temple of 
Jerusalem, this great sanctuary was the object of special 
abhorrence to the reformers. The skeletons of its priests, 
in ancient rock tombs at the foot of the hill, were 
dragged from their resting-places, and forthwith burnt 
on the altar, to pollute it for ever; an incident, it was 
noticed, wonderfully fulfilling the curse pronounced by 
the prophet who had appeared at Bethel, three hundred 
and fifty years befove, when the sanctuary was in- 
augurated by Jeroboam. The denunciation had not been 
forgotten; and the tombstone^ marking the common 
grave of the prophet and that of his brother seer who 
came to him from Samaria, were still pointed out in the 
valley.* Their bones alone were left undisturbed. 

It would have been well if violence had been limited 
to the buildings and altars connected with idolatry. But 
the recollection of the persecution by Jezebel in the 

» 2 Kings xvii. 28. » 2 Kings xvii. 33. 

» For •' title," 2 Kings xxiii. 17, read " tombatone." 
* 1 Kings xiii. 31. 2 Kings xxiii. 17, 18. 







north^ and by Manasseh in the souths was still fresh^ and 
had kindled a natural^ but unhappy, thirst for revenge. 
A counter persecution was the result. While ^he priests 
of the high places in Judah, in deference to their descent 
from Aaron, had been only degraded; those of the 
Northern high places, men of all races, devoted to 
heathenism, with a hateful admixture of respect for 
Jehovah as a local deity, were everywhere ruthlessly slain 
on the very altars at which they had officiated ; ^ a step as 
impolitic as it was cruel, since it infuriated the heathen 
party in Judah, and tended to provoke the reaction which 
set in after Josiah's death. 

It is striking to find no notice of Jeremiah's name 
during the years in which this religious revolution waa 
being carried out. Yet he was busily preaching all the 
while; a lengthy section of his prophecies, extending 
from the seventh to the tenth chapter of his Book, con- 
taining a condensed epitome of his addresses at this time.* 
The first of these seems to have been delivered at a 
temple service, to which multitudes had been attracted 
from all parts of Judah ; the prophet seizing an oppor- 
tunity so favourable of pressing home his earnest words, 
once more, on his fellow-countrymen. The energy of 

» 2 Kings xxiii. 20. 

^ So Hitzig and Keil. Others think these chapters should be 
referred to the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim; but, as 
Knobel well says, the chronological sequence of Jeremiah's dis- 
courses is, confessedly, very uncertain. ProphetiamuSf vol. ii. p. 275. 
There is nothing in these chapters, hovrever, that is inconsistent 
with their having been spoken during the progress of Josiah's 
reformation, before idolatry was, for the time, outwardly, quite 
put down. Chap. xzvi. is in some points a repetition of part of 
this discourse; but it is more natural to suppose the prophet 
repeating a statement, than that the same utterance should be 
given in two different chapters. 




at a 


rv of 

kid be 
it, as 



larb of 


Josiahj the zeal of the reforming priests, and the exhor- 
tations of the prophetS; had produced a great outward 
change. The temple, which had been allowed to fall int( 
partial ruin under Manasseh, was again the centre of the 
ancient faith, and became more than ever the boast 
and superstitious trust of the nation. Having no moral 
basis for their heathen worship, which virtually regarded 
ore god as good as another, or, at least as worth a trial, 
nothing was more natural than that the multitude should 
pass readily from the idol altars to that of Jehovah. In- 
deed, temporary adoptions of one god rather than another 
had necessarily been familiar, where such a multitude of 
deities — as numerous, in the case of Judah, as its towns 
—offered such rival claims to devotion. Many forms of 
worship, ceremonial, and sacrifice, had been crowded into 
Jerusalem under Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon ; the priests 
of each divinity having special books of their own rites, - 
as was the case at Rome.^ As in all other idolatrous 
countries, moreover, and in accordance with the very 
genius of heathenism, ritual constituted the soul and 
essence of religion. Formula and ceremony were omnipo- 
tent, and were held to compel the gods to accede to the 
desires of their votaries, if neither priest nor worshipper 
had vitiated them by error or omission.^ While, therefore, 
even in the darkest times, the worship of Jehovah, as one 
of many gods, had never ceased, it would be a miscon- 
ception of the fundamental ideas of the times, to suppose 
that the prominence assigned to Him in the public ser- 
vices under Josiah, implied an intelligent or spiritual ap- 
preciation of His infinite superiority to the gods He had 
for the time displaced. Nor is it possible to imagine even 
a passing enthusiasm for Jehovah, in that day, without 

* Dollinger's Gentile and Jew, vol. ii. p. 15. 

* Ibid,, vol. ii. p. 16. 

VOL. V. H 



I i 

i ! 


i t 

1 ' 

minute and exact forms in His worship ; for, to repeat 
what has just been said, the Jew, like all other peoples in 
antiquity, considered rites, in themselves, the beginning 
and end of religion ; as every page of the prophets shows. 
To argue, therefore, that the Levitical ritual is of a very 
late origin, because Jehovah was always worshipped, 
more or less, by the Hebrews — while little is said of that 
ritual till the revulsion of national feeling against all 
idolatry, during the Captivity, brought it prominently to 
the front — is in violent contradiction to the ideas of those 
ages. It may have been corrupted by foreign admix- 
tures, but that it existed and was more or less minutely 
observed, is implied in the very fact of Jehovah being 
worshipped at a,ll,^ for each god had his own ritual, 
without which, according to the notions of the times, no 
worship, whatever, could be rendered to Him. 

Himself intensely religious in the truest sense, such a 
hollow and nominal recognition of the national faith was 
intensely abhorrent to Jeremiah. To him, the only proof 
of fidelity to God was a life governed by His fear, while 


* Contrary to the theory in Bible in Jewish Church, pp. 117, 223, 
225, 257, 273, 304, 371. " The conclusion is inevitable," says Dr. 
S., " that the ritaal element," that is, the Books of Exodus and 
Leviticus, " which the Law adds to the prophetic doctrine of for- 
giveness, became part of the system of God's grace only afber the 
prophets had spoken," that is, after Malachi ! Another point on ' 
which Dr. Smith advances special views in connection with the 
discourse of Jeremiah, in chaps, vii. to x., is the forgiveness of 
sins. According to him, it was only offered to the nation, not to 
the individual, till the introduction of the Levitical ritual after 
the Exile. In the face of the language of the Psalms, this seems 
a bold assertion. But could the nation be treated as a personality 
under any moral system P Is it not made up of individuals, and 
must not forgiveness of a multitude, on certain moral conditions, 
imply that of the individuals of that multitude? Bible in the 
Jewish Chtirch, p. 430. 

to tL "^*" "^^ ■"^""• 

was onTtS'^'J ^ "^^r ^^^on people, «r • '^ 

■ ^^'^""^ -^ loving obeSe to ^*"«^ " ^^<^'^ i'e.t 
"emg important only as Z ? ^'* "'<"»' law: ritual 

- «l;pous affections. C" "v"*'"'''^ «^re3«on ortli 
of the gates of the tempt fn' '''""^' ""erefore^aV ot 
'''ere thronged h^ ,. ° "" occasion when ,■/„ 

foUows.denSeinJ;rrt,r™' ''^ '"'^-^^^^^ 
dependence on l^in^g^tpts""^'^ '°'-«^ 
Hoar the word nf t«u , 

you continue tTdLt,'"-''l7°" "Vo and doitt"""!, °* «<>»'«. 

l^atened byG^^ ""n"' ^' "'" "ot kZl'Z^ f f««"»rd that 
your doi„g,?if f l,?"''5 ^« '•'"o-gWy^meC" """ '""^ «»"8 

^ ' """-then I „iu let 


• Kepeated for emphasi, . „ .■"«""• "i I2-IS. 
ment which marks v,T P*'"'"'P« »l8o in th. f .■ 

*e cries of tho^^tl^'^ ^"^'"'•'- I* "»y bet"^"" r''"' 
with the frenzy i„tr„v ?**.' "" ^armel « Kin„ P'™'' "'""i 
««'vee, by the reBot^-.^'"<'V'"' ''"""hes ofTsL* *^'"- 2«). or 
^*»«'«*, rol. ii. p"i^'"°° of "AUah! AllahY" slrf^ '"o""- 


J 4 





i I 


you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers^ 
for ever and ever. 

Behold, * you put your trust in lying words, which are worse 
than worthless. What I will ye steal, murder, commit adultery, 
perjure yourselves ; burn incense to Baal, and walk after other 
gods whom ye do not know,^ and then come and enter into 
My presence, in this house, which is called by My name, and 
say, "we are safe from all danger; we may without risk practise 
all these abominations I " Is this house, which is called by My 
name, a den of robbers in your eyes P * I, even I, have seen this, 
says Jehovah. 

But go ye to My place * at Shiloh, • where I set My name at 
the first, and see what I did to it, for the wickedness of My 
people, Israel. And now, because ye have done all these things, 
says Jehovah— and I spoke to you, rising up early * to do so, but 
ye did not listen; calling you, but you did not answer — therefore 
I will do to tibia house, which is called by My name, and in which 
you trust, and to this place— the land which I gave to you and 
to your fathers — as I did to Shiloh, and cast you out of My sight 
as I cast out all your brethren, Ephraim, the people of the 
Korthem Kingdom ! 

^ But thou,^ Jeremiah, do not pray for this people, neither lift 
np cry nor supplication for them, and do not entreat Me for them, 
for I will not hear thee ! Seest thou not what they do in the 

: > Jer. vii. 811. .> ; i. 

; 2 Exod. XX. 2-17, a reference to the Ten Commandments. 

. ' Matt. xxi. 13, Mark xi. 17. Luke xix. 46. 

. * Jer. vii. 12-15. 

* See vol. ii. pp. 432 ff. An incidental reply occurs there to the 
strange remarks in Bible in Jewish Churchy p. 257, on the alleged 
absence of the Levitical Law at Shiloh. The town was burnt by 
the Philistines. 

^ An allusion to the Eastern habit of rising early, while it 
is yet cool. The early morning is the most active time in the 
East. The people of India rise before daybreak. Bishop Heber 
copied them, rising and going out with Mrs. Heber for a ride, 
at 4 a.m.. By 6 a.m. the sun was oppressively hot. Jowmali 
vol. i. pp. 26, 101. 

7 Jer. vii. 16-20* ,"^1 ^lz':i .J...ifja d^- iiiti: ..if^^s^si.:.^ ; 

»r9» . 


r My 


ottO at 
of My 
bings, . 
30, but 
, wbicb 
rou vdA 
:y sigbfc 
of tbe 

l,ber lift 
If tbein, 
in tbe 


re to tbe 
)urnt by 

labile it 
le in tbe 
^p Heber 
jr a ride, 



towns of Jndab and in tbe streets of Jerusalem? Tbe Bona 
gather pieces of wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and tbe 
women knead dough, to make cakes to tbe moon, the queen of 
heaven^ and pour out drink offerings to other gods, to cause 
Me grief. But will they really cause Me grief P says Jehovah ; 
will ibey not rather bring shame on their own faces P Therefore, 
thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold! My anger and My fury 
shall be poured out on this place — Jerusalem ; on man and beast, 
on the trees of the field, and tbe fruit of tbe ground ; and it shall 
bum and not be quenched. 

The moral law bad always taken precedence of the 
ceremonial, in tbe sigbt of God, but tbis bad never been 
realized by Israel. He now, once more, proclaims tbe 
fact in tbe strongest language. 

Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,^ the God of Israel, Take your 
whole-burnt-ofierings —sacred to Me, and therefore to be tasted by 
none — and eat them like your ordinary sacrifices, which, except 
the small share for the altar and the priest, you yourselves eat. 
Use them like common flesh ! You need not burn them on the 
altar. As long as your life is so unworthy, you may eat them all ! 
They give me no pleasure when offered by such as you.* For 
I did not speak to your fathers, and I did not give them com- 
mands, in the day when I brought them out of the land of 
Egypt, simply that they might offer burnt offerings^ and sacrifices, 

^ These cakes were probably like those offered at Athens, at 
tbe full moon of the month Munychion, to the goddess Artemis. 

J They were round, and had lights stuck in them. Graf. They 
were apparently of flour mixed with oil — perhaps spiced. Our 

^ hot cross buns have been traced, by some, to them. 

^ 2 Jer. vii. 21-28. » Chap. vi. 20. 

* In Deut. iv. 21, tbe same words translated ** concerning.** in 
Jer. vii. 22, are rendered, with the pronoun, "for your sakes." 
So in Gen. xx. 11, "for the sake of," and repeatedly "because 
of;" see Gen. xii. 17; xx. 18; xliii. 18; Exod. viii. 12; etc. 
Smend, a leader among the new critics, explains tbe passage 
thus : " Jeremiah says that Jehovah had spoken to the Israelites, 
and given them counsels, less with tbe view to their offering 


I I 






bufc, before I gave any laws respooting these, I oommanded them 

sacrifices to Him than that they should obey Him. " Mosea apud 
Prophetas, p. 34. A correct paraphrase of the verse would be : 
" I did not give them commands to the end that they should 
offer sacrifices to Me (though this also was to be done); My 
supreme object was that they should obey Me." See Bredenkamp, 
pp. 108 ff. This Terse has been represented by the new school of 
critics, as proving that sacrifice was unknown in the Mosaic age, 
and that the Levitical books of the Old Testament could not 
have existed in Jeremiah's day. But (1) Jeremiah expressly 
notices regularly instituted sacrifices, chaps, vi. 20 ; vii. 21 ; xiv. 
12 ; xviL 26 ; xxxiii. 18 ; so does Amos, v. 22 ; so, also Hosea iv. 8, 
where " to eat the sin of My people,*' is understood by Delitzsch, 
and others, as meaning, to eat their sin offerings ; so, Micah yi. 
6, 7. See besides, Ps. xl. 6; 1. 8; li. 19; Isa. i. 11. 

(2) The constant condemnation of merely formal sacrifice 
unaccompanied by a fitting moral condition on the part of the 
offerer, implies a long established practice. Even Isaiah and the 
prophets before him, recognise it thus. Joel, whom so extreme a 
critic as Beuss (Lea Prophetes. — Introd.) accepts as the earliest 
of the prophets, speaks of sacrifices and of priests, etc., chap. 1. 
13. See also Peuss, Qesch. d. Heil. 8chrift d. A. T., 1881, p. 243. 

(3) The fact that Jeremiah constantly appeals to Deuteronomy 
— supposed by the new critics to have been written very shortly 
before its discovery in the eighteenth year of Josiah — proves that 
he had no idea of saying that sacrifices did not exist in the early 
days of the nation, for they are alluded to in Deut. xii. 6; xi. 13 ; 
xiv. 27 ; and are there enforced or noticed by Moses himself, with 
his own lips, as one of his institutions. 

(4) The words of Jer. vii. 22, are, in fact, in great measure a 
quotation from Deut. xxix. 12 ; £xod. vi. 7. 

The number of passages already quoted which speak of sacrifices 
might be largely increased, see e.g. Isa. Ixvi. 3 ; 1 Sam. xv. 22 ; 
Prov. xxi. 27. All these, and the others given before, have 
the same idea as the text, Jer. vii. 22, that the whole Levitical 
economy, as such, is of no value apart from morality on the part 
of the worshipper. The prophet, and the whole Old Testament, 
in fact, are at one in denying any sacramental efficacy to a mere 
rite. They deny that it has any spirituktl worth whatever, simply 


uro a 

7. 22 ; 





saying, '* Obey My voice, * and I will be your God, and ye shall 
be My people, and walk in all the way which I have commandod 
you, that it may be well with yoa.*' ' Bat they hearkened not, 

in itself. To them the act of the priest conferred no benefit 
on the oSerer, except when it was the outward sign of inward 
spiritual grace. But that is very different from saying that 
sacrifice had not been instituted. 

Keil's remarks are good : " Obey (hear) My voice, etc.," reminds 
us at once of Exod. xix. 5, and Exod. vi. 7 ; Lev. xxvi. 12 ; Deut 
zxvi. 18. The phrase "iu all the v. ay, etc.," occurs only onco 
again in Scripture, and that in Deut. v. 30. Jeremiah had clearly 
in his mind the promulgation of the Decalogue from Sinai, and 
in this, written by the finger of God, there is no reference to 
whole burnt offerings or sacrifices. The sense must be, ** God 
did not, in making the covenant with Israel, speak respecting 
matters of whoiT burnt ofiering and sacrifice — but." Commentar 
uher Jeremia, p. 121 ; Oehler, in Herzog, vol. xii. p. 228. Dr. E. G. 
A. Biehm, one of the greatest living Biblical critics, says in re- 
ference to Jer. vii. 22; "The basis on which Jehovah had made 
a covenant with their fathers, when He led them from Egypt, 
was not the demand for offerings, but for their obedience.- If 
they rendered that, He would be their God, and they His people. 
This agrees with Deuteronomy and with the representations of 
the other books of the Pentateuch. They make the covenant be 
concluded before the laws of sacrifice were delivered. It is im- 
possible that Jeremiah did not know of a sacrificial legislation 
given by God at Sinai, or that no book about it should have 
existed, for Deuteronomy, which Jeremiah almost exclusively 
used, presupposes the existence of the Levitical Law. As Isaiah, 
in writing iv. 5, had undoubtedly before his mind Exod. xl. 38, 
BO Jeremiah shows his acquaintance with the Levitical Laws. 
See Jer. ii. 3, compared with Lev. xxii. 10 ; xii. 16. Jer. xxxii. 7, 
compared with Lev. xxv. 25. Jer. xxxiv. 8, compared with Lev. 
XXV. 10, 40. His contemporary, Ezekiel, also, often shows the 
same acquaintance with the Levitical legislation. Ezek. iv. 14 ; 
xxii. 26, etc." Studien und Kritiken, 1868, pp. 369 ff. . 

' Exod. xix. 6. Lev. xxvi. 12. 

^ That is, the moral law preceded the ceremonial, as the more 
important, and the covenant relations between God and Israel 




and did nofc inoline their ear, but walked ia the counsels and 
Btubbomnoss of their wicked heart, and turned their back to Me, 
not their face. From the day that your fathers came forth out of 
the land of Egypt, to this day, I have sent you all My servants, 
the prophets; sending thbm day by day eagerly.' Yet they 
hearkened not to Me, nor inclined their ear, but stiffened their 
neck, refusing to bow to Mo, and behaved worse than their 
fathers. And even now, when thou, Jeremiah, speakost all these 
words to thein, they will not listen to thee; when thou callest to 
them they will not answer thee. Say, therefore, to them : "This 
is the people that does not obey the voice of Jehovah their God, 
nor accept correction ; fidelity to Him is gone ; ' it has died on 
their lips." * 

For such incurable apostasy and wickedness, Jehovali 
has finally cast off His rebellions people, and left them to 
perish in shame. 

Out off thy hair, which is thy diadem,^ O daughter of Zion, 
and throw it away, and raise lamentations on the bare hills, for 
Jehovah has rejected and cast off the generation against which 
He is wroth. For the children of Judah have done evil in My 
sight, says Jehovah ; ' they have set up their abominations in the 

wore based on their obedience to it, and not on their exact obse, - 
vance of ceremonies and forms. 

* Lit., " From the early morning, etc." ' Jer. v. 1. 

* They still pretended fidelity, and gave lip homage — but it 
was hollow and worthless. 

* Jer. vii. 29-31. This was a sign of mourning. Job i. 20. 
Mio. i. 16. 

" The idol worship in ver. 18 was private; that in this verse is 
public and official, Bat as Josiah had put down state idolatry in 
his twelfth year, B.C. 628, the state of things under Manasseh, 
which had never been repented of, must be referred to. In fact, 
heathenism appears to have broken out wherever possible, even 
after Josiah's Eeformation, as seems hinted in verses 17, 18. In 
ver. 18 they bum incense to the queen of heaven. The idols 
of Manasseh had been put back, after his death, into the temple, 
2 Kings 3Lxi. 7; 2 Ghron zxxiii. 7; and the high places, which 

)se. - 

it it 





Honso whioh is called by My name, to pollute it. And tbey bave 
built the bigb altars of the Tophet, in the valley of Benhinnoni;^ 
to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire ; which I com- 
manded them not. neither came it into My heart. 

Therefore behold the days come,' say^ Jehovah, when men 
will no more say " The Tophet," • or the " Valley of Benhinnom,"* 
but " the Valley of Slaughter ; " for the scene of their crime will 
become that of their punishment, and the dead will be so many 
that they will have to bury them even in Tophet, polluted 
though it be, for want of room elsewhere.* Ay, more than this i 
Many will have to be lefl unburied, the last and deepest of 
calamities to a Jew. The corpses of this people will be meat for 
the birds of heaven, and for the wild boasts of the earth, and no 
one will scare them away ! And I will cause the voice of mirth 
and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the 
voice of the bride," to cease from the towns of Judah, and from 
the streets of Jerusalem, for they shall be made a desolation. 
When the enemy invades you, moreover, saith Jehovah,'^ they 
will desecrate the graves, in search of the costly ornaments and 
relics buried with the dead," and will take the bones of the kings 
of Judah, and the bones of her princes, and the bones of the 

had been levelled with the ground (2 King xxiii.), had been 
rebuilt (vii. 30, 31) to propitiate the wrath of Moloch, by offer- 
ings of children, as often happened in times of great public 
danger (2 Kings iii. 27 ; Micah vi. 6, 7) ; a worship which repeated 
all the sins of the past (xxxii. 35). The whole passage seems to 
hint at popular tumults and reactions, under Josiah, to reinstate 
' Land and Booh, pp. 641-2. *' 

2 Jer. vii. 32, to viii. 3. » Isa. xxx. 33. 

* Hinnom is derived by Jarchi from Naham " to groan," bat 
it occurs as early as Josh. xv. 8. 

* The Valley of Benhinnom is narrow, with steep and rugged 
rocks on both sides. It bounded Jerusalem on the west and 
south, running finally into the valley of the Kedron, whioh ex- 
tended north and south on the east of the city. 

* See page 300. ' Jer. viii. 1 ff. 

" It was the habit to bury costly things with the dead, in Egypt. 
Balv. de Sacyt quoted by Hitzig, Jeremia, p. 66. So, elsewhere. 




priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the 
citizens of Jerusalem, from their graves, and they will scatter 
them on the earth, before the sun, and the moon, nnd all the host 
of heaven, whom they loved and served, and after whom they 
walked, and whom they sought and worshipped ; they will not 
oven be collected for burial, but will be for manure on the face of 
the earth. And death will be chosen rather than life, by all the 
remnant of this evil race, who survive in all the parts to which I 
have driven them away, says Jehovah of Hosts.^ 


The prophet now breaks out afresh in his lament over 
the inveterate wickedness of bis people, and the terrible- 
ness of the judgments impending over them. 

Thus says Jehovah : ' If one fall, will he nob rise again P If ho 
tnrn aside^ will he never come back P Why, then, does this people 
of Jerusalem turn away from Me in abiding apostasy, holding 
fast to delusion, refusing ' to return P I listened and heard, they 
epeak what is not right— to no one is his wickedness a trouble, 
80 that he should say, " What have I done? " Every one presses 
on in the course he is running,' like the horse rushing to the 
battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times 
to return from migration; the turtle dove, and the swift, and tho 
crane, keep to the time of their reappearing;* but my people 
know not the law * of Jehovah. How can ye then say, " We are 
the wise, we have tho law ' of Jehovah '* P Assuredly the false pen 

» See Lev. xxvi. 36-39. Deut. xxviii. 65-67. 
» Jer. viil. 4^18. 

• Lit., "loathing, scorning." 
' Lit., "into his running." 

• All these are migratory birds. On the migratory birds of 
Palestine, see Land and Book, pp. 324-6. The stork is not seen in 
winter, but abounds from the end of March to the beginning of 
May. It then passes on still further to the north. The turtle 
dove is seen only from spring to autumn. Tlie appearance of the 
swallow marks the return of spring as in England. The crane 
comes in the end of March or the beginning of April. Tristram, 

• Ordinance. ' The Torah. 

IB o£ 
m in 

)g of 

If the 




of the soribes' has aoted docoiifully; for thoir written rcTclations 

* The new school of critics hold that this verso is ** the oldvHt 
witness to the uiihiNtorical cliuractor of tho Pontatcuoh." Vatko, 
Theoliujie, p. 220. Graf maintains that, tho law which **Tho 
Wise " boautod of poHsesHiiif^ was tho oral, not the written law, 
and that the lying pon was that of false pruphcts, perhaps also 
of priests; buHy with the pen as well as the tongue, to rock the 
people into false security. If, however, it were tho wrilten law, 
the explanation of Ewuld is amply satisfactory, that tho prophet 
only complains of its misstatement and ral.«ilication; not of the 
writing of new books, of pretended Mosaic Huthornhip. For who 
can say that tho Pentateuch, in whole or part, i^ a composition 
which could have served the ends of these " lying prophets *' ? 
iSeo Bnilviikampt p. 108. Keil, quoting Hitzig, thinks it was 
undoubtedly the written law. But if they tried to falsify the law, 
no further proof is needed that it was already in existence, and 
that it is not of late date. Uitzig*H words are : " The second half 
of the vorse Hhowsthat the written law is meant, and that by tho 
possession of this they think themselves wise; that is, think they 
know how to propitiate God and avert all danger. It is, however, 
the ceremonial law, by which they regulate public worship, see 
vii. 21, while the living word of Jehovah demands something 
else from them, vii. 3." Naegelsboch asks pertinently, if tho 
lying prophets Of)po8ed Jeremiah's words with other words, why 
should they not have opposed his written prophecies with other 
prophecies of their own, palming them off falsely as the utteronces 
of Jehovah P See Isa. x. i. See also Rosenraiiller's Sc/to^ia in 
Jerem.f vol. i. p. 276. Jeremiah's constant reference to Deutero- 
nomy, which, as will be shown hereafter, is, throughout, based on 
the other legislative books of the Pentateuch, shows clearly that 
he, at least, did not believe that these were, any of them, fictions. 
The " scribes," as afterwards known, did not rise till after tho 
return from Babylon. Graetz says : " The prophet reproaches 
the people, or rather the kings, princes, priests, and false prophets, 
with having set up an abomination in the Temple, etc. (vii. 30), 
and thus acting entirely contrary to the law, while they yet main- 
tained that they were wise, and had God's teaching. The con- 
clusion of ver. 9 is, 'they reject God's word and what wisdom have 
they ' P Therefore the prophet docs not accuse them of falsifying 





I :i 



in opposition to those of true prophets are lies. Bat " the wise " 
will be ashamed, confounded, and caught! Lo, they have de« 
spised the word of Jehovah, and whose wisdom have they if they 
have not His P I will, therefore, give their wives to others, their 
fields to new heirs ; for, from the least to the greatest, they all 
seek after gain; from the prophet to the priest, they all deal 
falsely. And the false prophets treat the wound of the daughter 
of My people as if it were slight, saying, ** All is well, All is well," 
when all is wrong. The men of Judah should be ashamed for 
having done abomination, yet they are not at all ashamed, neither 
do tbey blush ; therefore they will lie amongst t he slain ; they 
will fall id the time of their visitation, saith Jehovah.* I will 
gather them and sweep them away, saith Jehovah, for there are 
no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf is 
faded ; My people yield no fruit to Me, and I will give them to 
them who shall invade them.^ 

The terror created by the judgment soon to break over 
Judah, is now depicted. 

" Why do we sit still P "* will they say. " Assemble yourselves, 
and let us enter the fortified towns and there die in the end,^ rather 
than fall by the sword at once. For Jehovah our God has willed 

the law, but attacks the boasting of those who pretend to know 
the law, and act contrary to it. In this sense must ver. 8 be ex- 
plained thus, ' The law has become vain,' or * God has made it 
in vain/ ' a useless pen is the pen of the scribes ' (who copy the 
law). The prophet therefore speaks ironically, not of the falsi- 
fication of the law, but of its being made vain, since it is not 
practised. The law was in existence, scribes copied it and spread 
it, but it was not followed." Qeschichte, vol. ii. p. 474. 
» De Wette. 

* Lit., " pass over." Ewald renders this clause, " and I gave 
them what they have transgressed, (the law)." Sachs, "and what 
1 gave them passes away from them." 

3 Jer. viii. 14-17. 

* Hitzig renders it " perish " (through hunger and pestilence) 
rather than by the sword of the enemy." So Ewald, De Wette, 
Keil, Naegelsbach, Eoiienmiiller, Streane. Eichhorn, ** lament 
in silence." Sachs, " be silent." So Noyes. 



»: I 






that we perisb, and has given ns poison-water > to drink, because 
we have sinned against Jehovah. We hope for good, but evil has 
come ; for a time of healing, and, behold, terror ! The snorting 
of the enemy's horse is heard from Dan, in the far north ; the 
whole land trembles at the neighing of his cavalry.' They come 
and consume the land, and all that is in it ; the city, and those 
that dwell in it. For, behold, I send among you an army terrible 
as serpents— great yellow vipers,' which cannot be charmed,* and 
they will bite you, saith Jehovah. 

O what can cheer'' me in my sorrow ! * My heart in me is sick ! 
Lo, the cry of the daughter of my people sounds aloud from a far 
country. ** Is Jehovah not in Zion P Is her King not in her P " 
But Jehovah will answer, " Why have they provoked Me to anger 
with their graven images, and with foreign idols P " Then the 
people will say, " The harvest is past, the fruit-gathering is ended, 
and we arc not saved." 

The deepest sorrow oppresses the prophet at the 
thought of the ruin of his people. 

By 5^ the destruction* of the daughter of my people, I myself 

* Mai rosh, " poppy juice," Gesenius. Jeremiah uses the same 
words in ix. 14, and xxiii. 15. Biosh is the name of a poisonous 
plant. Deufc. xxix. 18, marg., " a poisonf ul herb ; " xxxii. 33, 
"venom." Job xx. 16, "poison." Hos. x. 4, "hemlock." In 
Deut. xxxii. 32, we learn that it had " grapes ; " from Hos. x. 4, 
that it was a quick-growing weed of the corn-fields. It was 
evidently a bitter plant, from being often joined with wormwood 
(Deut. xxix. 18 ; Jer. ix. 16, etc.). It was most probably the 
poppy. Tristram, N. H. of Bible, p. 447. It is rendered " poison* 
water" by Ewald, Sachs, Naegelsbach; "water of hemlock," 
Noyes; "bitter water," Eichhorn ; "poison," Hitzig. Streano 
thinks it was the deadly nightshade. The margin reads " poison." 

2 " Stallions " in the Hebrew. ' Tristram. 

* For a notice of serpent charmers in Palestine, see Land and 
Booh, pp. 154, 155. A very full account of those in Barbary is 
given in Drummond Hay's Western Barbary, chap. ix. 

» Lit. "brighten." Qraf. Ewald. • Jer. viii. 18-20. 

7 Jer. viii. 21-iz. 1. • Lit., " shattering, breaking in pieces." 

'i ■ 


1 B 








am destroyed ! I am in sadness : * horror has seized me I Is 
there no balm in Gilead ? ^ No physician there P Why then is 
no bandage applied to the wound of the daughter of my people? 

that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that 

1 might weep day and night, for the slain of the daughter of my 





I am black,*' i,e, I go about in the black unwashed 

» Lit, 
robes of a mourner. 

See Laud and Booht pp. 466-7. The balm of Gilead was 
probably the produce of the opobalsamum, now cultivated at 
Mecca. Its native country seems to be the east coast of Africa. 
It was formerly grown with great care round Jericho, where 
Cleopatra had an imperial guard set over the garden in which 
her balsam trees grew. Tristram, p. 338. Kticucker says it is 
indigenous to South Arabia, and that it is a plant of three or four 
feet high, evergreen, with fleshy white flowers the size of those 
of a pea. The balm flows, from punctures in the twigs, in thick 
drops, strongly aromatic, reminding one of the smell of tarpontine, 




• • •« 



lb is 



But the ruin of the kingdom is only the inevitable 
result of the wickedness of the people : that^ above all^ 
calls forth the deepest laments. 

O that I had * in the wilderness some poor shelter of wanderers ;^ 
I «7cmld leave my people and go from them, for they are all 
adulterers,^ a band of treacheroas men. They bend their tongue 
as if it were their bow, to shoot out lies, and they do not rule 
honestly in the land ; for they go on from wickedness to wicked- 
ness, and know nob Me, says Jehovah. Be on your guard, every 
one, against his neighbour, and trust nob in any brother ; for every 
brother is crafby as Jacob ,^ and every neighbour goes about to 
slander. Every man deceives his neighbour, and, as to truth, 
they never speak it; they use their tongues to speak lies; they 
weary themselves in committing iniquity. "Thou dwellest, O 
Jeremiah," says Jehovah, " in the midst of faithlessness. Through 
faithlessness they refuse to know Me." 

and of a bitter, astringent taste. At first colourless, ib turns a 
pale yellow and even red. Bib. Lex., art. Balsam. 

^ Jer. ix. 2 -6. In the Heb. the 9 th chapter begins with the 
2nd verse of the A. V. 

' Ps. Iv. 6, 7. Small " shelters " of only bare walls and a roof, 
are found — where indeed they are most needed — in the dreariest 
desert. Furrer, Paldstina, p. 228. Large "khans" enclose a 
square court, and are commonly only one storey high, and of 
stone. Though not always clean or comfortable, their shelter is 
precious. The court, on the four sides of which the khan is built, 
is for cattle. There is always a well in the centre. Travellers can 
put their baggage or goods in the chambers of the building, which 
are, however, unfurnished, only the key and a sleeping mat being 
provided. But the green shade round .he central well, or foun- 
tain, gives a soothing repose after the toils of the way through 
the desert. Grundt, Bibel Lex., vol. iii. p. 14. The word used 
here is rendered " inn" in Gen. xlii. 27 ; xliii. 21 ; Exod. iv. 24. 

• In many cases literally so ; in all, guilty of idolatry, i.e. breach 
of the covenant between Israel and God, which is compared to 
that of marriage. 

* "Is a thorough Jacob." 8pedker*8 Comment. The Hebrew 
words are " Akob Yakob." 


I' m 








Therefore,! thus says Jehovah of Hosts, Behold, I will melt 
them in the furnace, and try them as metal is tried ; for how else 
can I do with the daughter of My people? Their slanderous 
tongue is a deadly arrow ^ — it speaks treacherously; with his 
mouth a man speaks peaceably to his neighbour, but in his heart 
he is plotting against him. Shall I not visit them for such 
things P says Jehovah. Shall not My soul be avenged on such 
a nation as this P 

For the mountains > will I raise a weeping and wailing: for the 
wilderness pasture grounds a lamentation, because they are 
burned up with drought, so that no one passes over them, and 
the voice of the flocks is no longer heard ; the birds of the air and 
the wild beasts are fled and gone ! And Jehovah has said, I will 
turn Jerusalem into heaps of ruins — a dwelling of jackals, and I 
will make the towns of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant. 
Who is the truly " wise man P "* he will understand this. Who 
is he to whom the mouth of Jehovah has spoken? he will make it 
known. Why is the country doomed to ruin — to be made desolate 
like the wilderness, so that none will pass through it P Jehovah 
has made it known : because they have forsaken My Law,' which 
I laid before them," and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked in 
the Law,^ but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart, 
and after the Baals ^ whose worship their fathers taught them; 
therefore, Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, has said. Behold, 
I will feed them — even this people— on wormwood, and give them 
poison-water to drink. I will scatter them among the nations 
whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and send the 
Bword after them, till I have destroyed them. 

Consider,' says Jehovah of Hosts, and call for the public mourn- 
ing women, that they come; send for the best trained of them,'* 
and make haste to raise a wailing for us, that our eyes may run 

» Jer. ix. 7-9. « Gesenius, 

» Jer. ix. 10-16. . . 

* " Not one of those who call themselves so." Chap. viiL 8. 
» Torah. » Deut. xxx. 11-14. 

' A. V. *' Therein." The gender of the Heb. shows that law not 
voice is the antecedent. 

* Used as a general name for their idols. 

* Jor. ix. 17-22. »o Lit., « the wise." 

I melt 
w else 
Lth bis 
s hearb 
r such 
n Bach 

for the 
tiey are 
em, and 
I air and 
a, I will 
Is, and I 
8. Who 
L make it 
,» which 
alked in 
tir heart, 
[ht them ; 
i, Behold, 
;ive them 
[send the 

10 mourn- 
If them,^* 
may run 

« ■ • O 

rill. o. 
Lt law not 



down with tears, and our eyelashes drip with weeping.* For a 
lend wailing sounds out of Zion ! " Oh, how are we laid waste and 
put to great shame! We must leave our native land! They 
have thrown down our dwelling-places ! " Hear, ye women, the 
word of Jehovah ; let your ear receive the word of His mouth, 
and teach your daughters a song of wailing, and every one her 
neighbours a dirge of lamentation, for the hired mourning women 
will not suffice; for death is come in through our lattice windows :' 
he comes into our loftiest houses ; ^ he has already cut off the 
children in the lanes, and the young men in the streets.^ And 
the dead bodies of men shall fall on the open field, and lie there 
like manure, or like the handful dropped by the reaper, which no 
one picks up. 

. , But now^ once morej the prophet repeats his counsels 
as to the true course to be followed. 

Thus says Jehovah.* Let nob "the wise man** glory in his 

* The custom of hiring mournerd is very ancient. Jeremiah 
alludes to it in chap. ix. 17, 18. Every particular in these verses 
is still observed at funerals. There are in every city and com- 
munity, women exceedingly " cunning *' in this business. These 
are always sent for, and stay in the house, ready, when a fresli 
company of sympathizers come in, to "make haste" and take 
up a wailing, that the newly come may the more easily unite 
their tears with those of the mourners. They know the domestic 
history of every one, and immediately strike up an impromptu 
lamentation, in which they introduce the names of those relatives 
who have recently died, touching some tender chord in every 
heart, and thus each one weeps for his own dead, and the ]»er- 
formance, which would otherwise be difficult or impossible 
becomes easy and natural. Land and Booh, p. 103. 

^ The doors are kept shut fast in times of mortal sickness, 
and therefore death, like a thief, has clambered up and entered 
through the window. 

■ Lit. " palaces." 

* The words " Speak, Thus saith the Lord," ver. 22, are omitted 
by Sept., Ewald, and Graf. If retained, they may be translated, 
*• Declare it, saith Jehovah.** 

»Jer.ix. 23-26. 

VOL. V. P 


4 >A 



wisdom, or the strong in his strength, or the rich in his riches. 
But rather let him that glories glory in this — that he understands 
and knows Me, that I am Jehovah, who exercise loving kindness, 
justice, and righteousness on the earth ; for in these I delight, 
says Jehovah. Behold, days come, says Jehovah, that I will 
punish all the circumcised who are only outwardly so,^ and 
not in the heart. Egypt and Judah and Edom, and the B'nai 
Ammon, and Moab, and all that have their hair shaved off at the 
corners, and from their ears and temples,' — who live in the wilder- 
ness ; for all the heathen are uncircumcised, and so, also, is the 
whole House of Israel.' 

* Ewald rightly renders the words " the uncircumcised circum- 
cised." Keil also gives the true meaning, as in the text. 

* Keil, •' with hair cut at the corners." The rendering in the 
text is that of Gesenius, followed by most. In Lev. xix. 27, it is said, 
" Ye shall not round off (cut in a circle) the extremity of your beard 
and hair ; nor shalt thou shave the extremity (corner) of thy beard." 
Lev. xxi. 5, says, '*Kor shall they shave off the extreme corner of 
their beard." The Mahometans in the East trim the corners of the 
beard ; the Jews do not. The words in the text are lit. ** clipped 
as to the locks." This is said, apparently in contempt, of the 
Arabs of the desert, whom Herodotus describes (iii. 8.) as wearing 
their hair cut in this way. The tribe referred to, it would seem, 
from chap. xlix. 32, compared with ver. 28, belonged to the Kedar- 
enes, who were descendants of Ishmael. Gen. xxv. 13. In Homer, 
lit ii. 542, theAbantes are said to comb back their hair and let 
it hang behind. It was the custom of these people to shave the 
fore part of their head, that their enemies might not be able to 
seize them by the hair; the hinder part they left long, as a 
valiant race who would never turn their back. Trollope^a Iliads 
vol. i. p. 114. The words of Herodotus in the passage already re- 
ferred to are, " they wear their hair clipped round about, shaving 
it all round the temples." The Sept. render the phrase " that 
shaves his face round about." Niebuhr says that some Arab tribes 
still shave the temples and over the ears. Dcsci-ip. de VArah.^ p. 69. 

' Circumcision was practised by the priests at least, in Egypt, 
from very early times. But the people were not circumcised. The 
Ishmaelites let the rite fall into disuse, and were forced to submit 
to it at a later time, by the Jews. We know nothing of the 



I will 
i,> and 
9 B'nai 
r at the 
». is the 


V in the 
t is said, 
ur beard 
f beard." 
corner of 
irs of the 
I* clipped 
of the 
d seem, 
and let 
lave the 
able to 
ig, as a 
Js's lliadt 
leady rc- 
1 shaving 
le "that 
lb tribes 
^&., p. 59. 
bd. The 
of the 

~ Josiah was doing his utmost} td cleanse the land from 
every trace of idolatry, but the hearts of the people re- 
sponded faintly to his efforts. Their fathers and them- 
selves had yielded to every form of superstition, and it 
was impossible to eradicate these at once. Jeremiah, 
therefore, again tries to show them the folly of the heathen 
practices they cherished. 

Hear the word that Jehovah speaks to you, O House of Israel.* 
Thus says Jehovah I Do not conform tc the way of the heathen, 
and be not terrified at the signs of the heavens, beclfiuse the 
heathen, falling on their faces, are terrified at them.^ For the ways 
of the heathen nations are folly. For an idol is only a block of 
wood cut from a tree in the yaar;^ the work of the hands of the 
woodcarver, shaping it with his axe. It is covered with plates of 
silver and gold, to adorn it, and then fastened with nails and ham- 
mers, to keep it steady. It stands stiff and immoveable as a scare- 
crow in a garden of cucumbers.^ Idols do not speak ; they must 

Moabites or Ammonites being circumcised. The idea seems to 
be : The heathen will be punished as heathen, that is, as failing 
to recognise even so much of God as natural religion teaches. 
The Jews, though circumcised outwardly, will be punished, 
because they are not circumcised in heart — that is, because their 
religion is only external and formal. 

' Jer. z. 1-5. Judah is called "Israel," now that the Ten Tribes 
are gone. 

^ The whole system of astrology and divination by indications 
and phenomena in the heavens, is alluded to — such as unusual 
appearances of the sun, moon or stars, the appearance of comets, 
and the position of stars, the look of the clouds, etc. See Lenor- 
mant's Divination, pp. 66, 66. 

' See vol. iv. p. 358. Lit., " for it is wood one cuts from the yaar." 

* In the Epistle of Jeremy, v. 70, the phrase in the Hebrew text 
is evidently alluded to, and the rendering given as above. The 
Hebrew words are only two in number. Tomer, a palm tree, or 
the trunk of one, or, a post — and Mikshah, which means either 
"turned work," or, as a distinct word (Isa. i. 8), a garden of cu- 
cumbers. Movers, and Gfraf, and Haogelsbaoh, render it as in the 



be carried, for they can not walk. Be not afraid of them, for they 
can do you no hurt, neithv-ir is it in them to do you any good ! * 

There is no one at all Hie Thee, O Jehovah ; ^ great art Thou, 
and Thy name is great in m.t^ht I Who shall not fear Thee, Thou 
King of the nations, for such i^ar is but Thy due.' For among all 
the wise of the nations, in all their kingdoms, there is no one at 
all like Thee ! But all the wise together are brutish, like cattle, 
and but fools. The religion of idols is folly ;* it is but wood, like 
themselves ! Silver plates, to lay on the wooden shapes, are brought 
from Tarshish in Spain, by the Tyrians, and gold from Uphaz,'' 

fext. Keil, Ewald, Eichhom, Streane, Sachs, ll^oyos and Hitzig 
translate it, " like a pillar of turned wood." Hitzig, however, is 
rather in favour of the other rendering. 

* This passage closely resembles expressions of Isaiah in chap- 
ters xlvi. 7 ; xlv. 20 ; xli. 23 ; xliv. 10. That the writer of these 
chapters could have borrowed from Jeremiah is impossible, from 
thd differenciBS of style. Jeremiah must, therefore, have been the 
borrower, and in that case these chapters must have been written 
before his day; and the whole theory of their later origin i? 
refuted. The idea of the passage having been inserted in Jere- 
miah by a late author is also contradicted by its appearing in the 
Septuagint. That version is indeed even fuller than the Hebrew. 
It runs thus — It is a tree cut out of the forest; the work of 
the carpenters, or a molten image. They are beautified with 
silver and gold ; they fix them with hammers and nails ; they will 
set them up that they may not move. It is wrought silver, they 
will not walk; forged silver. From Tarshish is brought gold of 
Mophaz, and the work of goldsmiths. They are all the work of 
craftsmen ; .they will be clothed with blue and purple. They must 
be carried, for ^hey cannot ride. Fear them not, for they cannot 
do any evil, and there is no good in them. Jer. x. 3-5. Yerse 9 
of the Hebrew is thus transposed in the Greek. 

« Jer. X. 6-10. 

8 « For Thine is all power." Eichhom. Well 

^ The folly and shamefulness of idolatry is often urged in 
Scripture. Pa. Ixxiii. 20. Jer. xxii. 28. Hos. ix. 10. Jer. xi. 13. 
1 Sam. xii. 21. See Wilton's Negeb, p. 182. 

'' Kneucker thinks Uphaz was an Indian colony in Yemen, 
South Arabia. Bibel Lex., vol. v. p. 581. Gesenius fancies it is 



r they 
, Thoa 
ong all 
one at 

re^er, is 

in ohap- 
of these 
)le, from 
been the 
1 written 
origin i9 
in Jere- 
ig in the 
work of 
ied with 
they will 
^er, they 
gold of 
work of 
ley must 
y cannot 
Yerse 9 

irged in 
it. xi. 13. 

3ies it is 

which the artist prepares, and the hands of the goldsmith. Their 
robes are of blue and red*purple : they are all, only the work of 
skilled artists. But Jehovah is God in truth ; He is the Living 
God and the Eternal King : before His wrath the earth trembles, 
and the nations cannot abide His indignation. 

Thus shall ye say to them,* May the gods who have not made 
heaven and earth vanish from the earth, and from under these 
heavens ! Jehovah made the earth by His power ; He has estab- 
lished the habitable world by His wisdom, and by His omniscience 
He has spread out the heavens. At His thunder-voice, the waters 
in the heavens are in tumult; He causes the clouds to ascend 
from the end of the earth ; He makes the lightnings which lead on 
the rain,^ and brings forth the wind from its store chambers.' 
Every man, whatever his wisdom, stands confounded before this 
spectacle; every goldsmith is ashamed of the graven image he 
has made, for his molten image is a lie ; it has no breath in it. 
The idols are vain ; the work of folly ; in the time of their visita- 
tion they perish. But Jehovah, the Portion of Jacob,* is not like 
these ; He is the Former of all things and He has chosen Israel as 

the same as Ophir. The SpeaJeer'a Comm.t supposes it was on or 
near the river Hyphasis (now the Gbarra) ; the south-east bound- 
ary of the Punjaub. Miihlau and Yolck say that the locality is 

» Jer. X. 11-16. Verse 11 is written in Ghaldee. Bleek, Hitzig 
and Keil accept it as genuine. It was perhaps written in the 
dialect of the common people as a proverbial saying, or as the 
very words they would use, in exile, respecting the gods of 

« Zech. X. 1. For "bright clouds" read "lightning." Ps. xxix. 10. 

• 1 Kings xviii. 45. Job xxxviii. 22. 

* Modern criticism quotes this title of Jehovah {Bible in Jewish 
Church, p. 272) to show that He was regarded by tlie Hebrews as 
only their tribal God, as Ghemosh was that of the Moabites. Yet 
the very next words prorlnim Him the Creator of all things, which 
no tribal god pretended to be. No idol, moreover, is more than a 
piece of wood— a lie ; but Jehovah reigps over heaven and earth. 
Is this a description of a " tribal God " ? It is sad to have to 
notice such an attempt to bring the religion of the Bible to the 
level of ancient local idolatries. 

■■■ i'- 







the tribe of His inheritance ; Hia own peculiar people ! Jehoyah 
of Hosts is His name. 

Now, once more, however, the vision of judgment, 
even on this favoured race, looms before the eyes of 
the prophet. 

Gather together out of the land thy goods, pocked up in 
bundles, for flight,^ O thou that sittest in Zion, the besieged 
city.' For thus says Jehovah, Behold, I will, this time, cast 
forth the inhabitants of the land like a stone from a sling, and 
will hem then*, into the city, so that their enemy will find them 
out. "Woe is me ! I am sore hurt I " will you cry, in that day. 
*' My wound ' is incurable ! This, this is my trouble,*' said I, the 
daughter of Zion, " and I must bear it. My tent is spoiled ; its 
cords that held it up are broken ; my children go forth from me, 
and are not; there is no one left to set up my tent again, or 
stretch out its coverings." 

The cause of such a fate is now repeated by the prophet. 

All this has happened, because the leaders of the people,^ its 
shepherds, have grown dull of heart, and have not sought Jeho- 
vah. Therefore they have not acted wisely, and all their flock is 
scattered. Hark ! a rumour i behold, it spreads ! Hark ! a great 
sound of an army '^ advancing from the north country, to make 
the cities of Judah desolate — a dwelling of jackals I 

In that day Zion will cry • 

" I know, Jeho'':."u," ti>pt the way of man is not in his own 
hands; it is not given to him as he walks, to make his steps 
sure.^ O Jehovah! chasten me, but only in measure;" not in 

* Lit., " thy package " ; the folded-up bundle of what had been 
saved, to carry with them to their captivity. ' Jer. x. 17-20. 

* Lit., "for my breach "= breaking up. It is rendered •* de- 
struction," chap. iv. 6. 

4 Jer. X. 21, 22. » Isa. ix. 5. « Jer. x. 23-25. 

7 The same word occurs in Psalm xzzvii. 23. " The steps of a 
good man are ordered by the Lord." 

" In chap. xlix. 2, the same word as is used here is translated, 
'*I will correct thee in meaeure." So Eichhoru renders it. 




of a 

Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing. Fonr ont Thy f nry 
on the nations that know Thee not; that call not npon Thy 
name ! For they have devoured Jacob ; they have devoured and 
consumed him, and have made his dvrelling desolate.* 

' This verse occurs almost exactly in Ps. Ixxiz. 6, 7, which was 
probably written after the Captivity. The words would apply 
equally well to the days of ^Nebuchadnezzar, or to those of Auto- 
chus Epiphanes. Dean Perowne, Inirod. to the Psalms. 

Delitzsch, Die Psalmen. These final clauses must therefore 
have been quoted by the writer of the psalm. That they are a 
later addition to the prophet is scarcely conceivable when we 
remember the saperstjitious care taken of the Sacred Text by the 
later Jews. 

)t in 








WHILE Jeremiah was striving, by every form of 
earnest persuasion, to bring about such a moral 
reformation as, alone, would make the official changes 
in religion, effected by Josiah, of any real worth, an 
event occurred in the year B.C. 624, which permanently 
affected the spiritual history of Israel. 

Eighteen years had passed since the king's accession, 
though he was still only a young man of twenty-six. 
The whole country had been cleared of its high places 
and other heathen or superstitious dis6gurements, and 
the temple was rapidly being repaired and restored to its 
ancient uses, under a commission, consisting of Hii'r'ih, 
the high priest; Shaphan, the king's secretary^ or 
minister of finance ; ^ Maaseiah, the Sar,'' or governor of 
Jerusalem, and Joah, the king's Mazkir, or keeper of 
the state archives.* While engaged in their duties, 

* Keil, * Ewald, Gesch., vol. iii. p. 697. 

* Sar is translated elsewhere in the A.V. " prince," " chief cap- 
tain," " chief ruler," "captain." 

* Keil, Einleitung, p. 700. The word means, lit. " the remem- 
brancer," and the office entailed the duty of bringing before the 
king the public business to be done, and to counsel him respect- 
ing it. Theniust on 1 Kings iv. 3. 

216 V 



Hilkiab came apon a manuscript ro11| which proved to be 
a copy of " the Book of the Torah, or Law, of Jehovah, 
by the hand of Moses."^ In what part of the tomplo it 
was found is not stated, but the discovery took place when 
the commissionerj were removing the money gathered 
to repair the t'^mple,'* from the chests in whicli it had 
been stored; which may mark either when the Book 
waa found, or the place where it was discovered. In 
the days of Christ, it was believed that the king had sent 
Hilkiah to get what money remained, after the restora- 
tion of the temple, to melt into cups, dishes, etc., for the 
sacred ministrations, and that while ho was bringing it 
out he lighted upon " the Holy Books of Moses." * The 
Rabbinical tradition is, that " the Book " was found 
beneath u heap of stones, under which it had been hidden 
when Ahaz burnt the other copies of the Law. It may 
be, however, that it had lain hid in the Ark itself, which 
Manasseh had thrown aside into some of the many cells, 
or chambers, round the temple, where it might easily 
have remained, unnoticed, till the searching eagerness of 
the commission discovered it.* 

Hitherto the king had acted only from the traditional 
knowledge of tho old religion, preserved by the godly 
through the dark times of Manasseh and Amon; but 
the written Law was now in his hands. That its earlier 
existence was well known, is shown by its instant recog- 

> (Heb.) 2 Chron. xxxiv. 14. In 2 Kings (xxii. 8) ib is called 
"the Book of tho Torah, or Law." 

' Tho money was taken from the chest, and duly weighed, then 
put into bags, which were forthwith sealed. 2 Kings xii. 10; 
xxiv. 4. Sept. 

' Jos., Ant.t X. iv. 2. 

* This is the idea of Thenius (Cowim., on 2 Kings, p. 43o). Tho 
opinion of so calm and impartial a scholar must, in any cose, 
command respect. 



f 5 






nition as " The Book of the Law." Nor is it possible 
that Josiah himselF^ and those round him, should have 
received it as the ancient sacred Book of the nation, had 
no such Book formerly existed. 

Not a moment was lost in communicating the great 
event to the king. Handing the maiii^script to Shaphan, 
the royal scribe or secretary, as the proper person to 
bring it before Josiah, Hilkiah awaited the result. 
Skilled in reading such manuscripts, as became his office, 
the secretary, after examining it himself, at once sought 
an opportunity to read "out of it"^ to his master. The 
effect on the king was like that produced on Luther 
by his finding an old Latin Bible in the library of the 
Augustine convent at Erfurt. The Reformer had never 
<» jen the Scriptures, though he was not only a Christian, 
but a monk.2 There had been religion enough, of a kind, 
round him all his life ; religion professing to be based on 
the written word ; but the difference between the con- 
ventional and the true flashed on his soul with lightning 
brightness, when the Sacred Book itself was consulted. 
It taught him another lesson than that' of fasts and vigils, 
and led him to trust to the infinite grace of God rather 
than to singing masses. Intensely in earnest, like the 
German monk, Josiah was overwhelmed on hearing, for 
the first time, the very words of the Divine Law. Much 
had been handed down by the godly through the dark 
times of his father and grandfather, but much had been 
neglected. Kending his clothes, in token of profound 
grief, at the thought that all the calamities of his people 
hQ,d come on them, because their " fathers had not kept 
the word of Jehovah, to do after all that was written 

^ So in the Heb. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 18. In 2 Kings xxii. 8, 10, 
it is said " ho road it." 
* Carlylc's Uoro Worship, p. 120. 



ble • 





i to 




: the 
ed on 




in this book/' he sent to the prophetess Hnldah, the 
recognised head of the order of prophets in Jerusalem — 
for Jeremiah still lived at Anathoth, though often in the 
city — to inquire respecting this great discovery. Would 
the nation really have to suffer all the curses pronounced 
on apostasy from Jehovah, in the newly-found Book, or 
was there still hope ? The answer was in keeping with 
the words of the prophets as a whole. Judah had fallen 
by its determined idolatry, and the Divine wrath would 
certainly be poured out on it. But Josiah had listened 
to the preaching of Jeremiah and his brethren, and had 
humbled himself before God, and rent his clothes and 
wept. He therefore would be gathered to his fathers 
before the final catastrophe of his people. So far as that 
was concerned, he should die in peace.^ 

The teaching of the prophets, the example of earlier 
kings, and the words of the Law itself, indicated the next 
step to be taken. The prophets, in all their utterances, 
had addressed their fellow-countrymen as standing in 
special relations to Jehovah, as His chosen people ; the 
vineyard He had planted; the bride He had espoused. 
David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah, as the heads 
of the state, had publicly conducted solemn acts of 
national consecration to Him. The words of the newly- 
discovered Law, moreover, carried back the history of 
the race to tho covenant of Jehovah with Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, and to that made under the shadow of Sinai, 
with the tribes sprung from these patriarchs. It was 
hence natural, that Josiah should seek formally to 
renew for himself and his people, so august a relation 
with tho God of their fathers. Summoning the elders >f 
Judah and Jerusalem, therefore, as representatives of the 
whole community, and all the population, as spectators 
» 2 Kings xxii. 8-20. 2 Ohron. xxxiv. 14-28. 




I lid 










of the soleran act done in their name, he held a great 
assembly at the temple in Jerusalem, to bring the newly- 
found Lft'f before them. On the day appointed, the wide 
space of the temple enclosure was crowded with a vast 
multitude, headed by the prophets, priests, Levites, and 
great meii of the tribes. A platform had been raised for 
the young king, in tho court of the temple ; the elders of 
the people standing around. Opening the precious roll, 
he himself, to deepen the impression, read it aloud to 
them throughout, with all its details of the ancient 
covenant made with the nation by Jehovah ; the promises 
if it were kept, and the curses if it were broken. Then 
followed a strikiug scene. Lifting his voice, Josiah 
solemnly declared his resolution to live in obedience to 
all the requirements of the Divine word. " Standing on 
his platform," says the Book of Kings,^ "he made the 
covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah, and to 
keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His 
statutes, with all his heart; and with all his soul to 
perform the words of the covenant which are written 
in this book." * Kindled to enthusiasm by his example, 
the elders, in the name of the people, hastened to give 
their eager concurrence in the act of the king ; ^ the 
whole body of the people, apparently, adopting their act, 
by a loud Amen. Judah was once more, at least in out- 
ward form, the covenant people of God.* 

What portion of the Bible was thus brought to light 
after long oolivion, has been the subject of warm con- 

» 2 Kings xxiii. 3. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 31. *'i * > - 

' See Deut. xxvi. 16. 

' Graetz thinks that an ox was slain, and that the king and all 
the people passed between the parts of it. Gesch.t vol. ii. p. 318. 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 1-3. 2 Ohron. xxxiv. 29-32. Deut. xxvii. 15. 
1 Chron. xvi. 36. . :iy-- k^ /_- ^: 

I, and - 
id for 
ers of 
J roll, 
ud to 
mce to 
ng on 
,de the 
md to 
id His 
oul to 
o give 
;3 the 
nr act, 
n out- 


and all 
). 318. 
evil. 15. 




troversy. Many scholars believe it was the Book known 
as Deuteronomy ; ^ others, that while including that sec- 
tion of the Torah, it also embraced a greater or less 
portion of the other divisions of the Pentateuch,* while 
Thenius supposes it to have been a great collection of 
Mosaic commands and laws, from which our Pentateuch 
was afterwards arranged and compiled.^ As, however, it 
is certain that a Book of the Law, containing more or less 
of the present Pentateuch, was in circulation long before 
Josiah, ^ it seems most reasonable to believe that Hilkiah 
recovered not only Deuteronomy, but the various sacred 
writings even then comprised in the Torah, or Law, as a 
whole, Thac portion read by Shaphan and Josiah may, 
indeed, have been only our present Deuteronomy, before 
its final revision ; nor is it strange that it should be 
spoken o£ as in itself the Book of the Law, since it 
presents, in a style, the glowing warmth and poetry of 
which are specially attractive and impressive, the last 
utterances of the Founder of the Israelite nation, sum- 
ming up and enforcing his whole previous legislption. 
Deuteronomy, moreover, was *' the Book of the Law " 
required to be written out by each king on his accession,® 
and only this portion, as embodying the spirit of the 
whole, was read before the people, every seven years/ 

^ So Gesenius, De Wette, Gmetz, Beuss, Schrader, Bleek, 
Bertheau, Ewaid, Dillmann and ot'iers. 

* Hengstenber/y5, Kennicott, Kell, Dean Perovme, Schaltz, Lord 
Arthur Hervey, von Lengerke. 

* Thenius, A iZ. Zonigre, p. 434. 

* Ewald, Geschichte, vol. iii. p. 759. • •• 

* Deut. xvii. 18. The words mean, lib., "a repetition of this 
law," which is only another name for Deuteronomy. Hence the 
Sept. renders the words " of this Deuteronomy." 

* It was received as an unquestionable tradition in the time of 
the second temple, that this had always been the practice. The 

r * ;i 

[ i 











at the Feast of Tabernacles.* The " Book of the Law" 
was therefore, clearly, a general expression, sometimes 
embracing all the sections * of the Torah, but, at others, 
confined to Deuteronomy — the last. Nor is it to be over- 
looked that Deuteronomy alone presents " the Law " in 
a form brief enough to be read through in public, at 
one time, or that the words in which Josiah and the 
people renewed their covenant with Jehovah — pledging 
themselves to keep His commandments. His testimonies 
and statutes, with all their heart and with all their soul, 
are peculiar to that Book.* But this in no way precludes 
the existence, along with it, of the other portions of the 
Law. Even the most advanced critics admit that parts 
at least of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, already 
existed, and these could hardly have been left to perish 
by the faithful hands which had preserved the copy of 

The age of the book thus found has given rise to 
vigorous controversy. Was it a portion of the Law 
handed down from the time of Moses, or, if not, what 
was its age? At the end of Deuteronomy it is ex- 
pressly said * that Moses wrote " the words of this law 
in a book until they were finished," and its existence in 
a written form is again and again mentioned in other 

words are, *' from the beginning of Deuteronomy." Dean Perowne, 
Diet, of Bible, vol. ii. p. 773. Delitzsch, On Genesis, p. 63, 

- Deut. xxxi. 9-12. 

' Deut. iv. 29 ; vi. 5; x. 12; xi. 13 ; xiii. 3; xxvi. 19 ; xxx. 2. 

■ While I speak of parts of the other books of the Pentat-: jch 
as, admittedly, in yrritten existence before Josiah's day, I can* 
not but believe that their material, as a whole, had been for ages 
in the hands of the priests, though they may have been arranged 
in their present form, with necessary elucidations, and, perhaps, 
amplifications, by inspired men of various times. 

* Deut. xxxi. 24. 





f ach 



passages.^ The future king, as we have seen, was to 
transcribe it. Joshua is commanded to write "all the 
words of it " on great stones nmoothed with plaster, as 
was the custom in Egypt, and to set them up on Mount 
Ebal, after he had crossed the Jordan.^ Finally, the 
complete copy is said to have been handed over to the 
priests by Moses, after he had himself written it out ; to 
be put " in the side of the Ark of the Covenant," for 
permanent preservation. 

Nothing, it might set^m, could be clearer than this. 
Yet the most extraordinary theories have been advanced 
in support of the view that Deuteronomy was a produc- 
tion of the reign of Hezekiah, or even a conscious fraud 
of well meaning persons in the time of Josiah himself. 
Von Bohlen maintains that it was composed by the 
high priest Hilkiah, the prophet Jeremiah, the prophetess 
Huldah, the scribe Shaphan, and his son Ahikam.* 
Ewald fancied it was written in Egypt by a prophet who 
had fled thither, during the persecution of Manasseh ; for 
the benefit, primarily, of Jews sold by that king as slaves 
to Pharaoh. Thence, it was accidentally brought to 
Palestine, and at last found its way to the place in which 
Hilkiah discovered it.* Gesenius ascribed it to Jeremiah.' 
The De Wette Schrader "Introduction" assumes that 
it was written by some one closely connected with that 
prophet.' Robertson Smith, following Wellhausen, Dill- 

* Deut. xvii. 18 fE. ; xzvii. 2, 3, 8 ; xxviii. 58, 61 ; xxix. 19 S. ; 
XXX. 10 ; xxxi. 9. 

^ A summary of the Law^ must have been intended in this case, 
or perhaps simply its bare enactments, in brief, without the 
interspersed comments. In our own day, the essence of an Act 
of FarliamenD is constantly published in a condensed form. 

• Von Bohlen, Die Genesis historisch-'kritisch erldutert, p, 164. 

* Ewald, Geschichte^ vol. iii. p. 735. * Gesch. d. Eebr. /Spr., p. 32. 

• De Wette- Schrader, Einleitungt p. 323. 


'). I 




maniij^ Riehm and others, sets it down as the creation 
of prophets, not priests, in the seventh century ^ before 
Christ. Biehm, like Ewald, ascribes it to tho reign 
of Manasseh. Knobel and von Lengerke, like Graf, 
and some others, think it was written under Josiah. 
Vaihinger takes for granted it was composed under 

That so many should have assumed its late origiu 
seems to result from the fact that new theories rise, 
prevail, and pass away, in biblical criticism, as in all 
other branches of study. A few years ago Sir Charles 
Lyell was the supreme authority in geological science ; 
now, his principle of the uniform action of existing 
causes in all ages of the past, is discredited by a rising 
school of great eminence. Not long since invalids were 
sent by the faculty to the warmth of Madeira ; now, the 
same class of patients are recommended to seek the 
arctic cold of an alpine winter. In both cases, science 
gave apparently ample grounds for its counsels. The 
fact is, a theory started by some vigorous thinker, and 
supported by him with an imposing array of sound or 
unsound evidence, is certain to gain the support of the 
mass of average minds, till some other original brain 
starts another, and then the first is quietly dropped. It 
has been thus, repeatedly, in biblical criticism, and it is 
so at present. 

The new school, however, is far from embracing the 
whole scholarship of the day. Lord Arthur Hervey holds 
that Deuteronomy was read by Joshua at Mount Gerizim, 
Kleinert thinks it was composed in the time of the 

* 5i6eZ ieaj., vol. ii. p. 444. . " . 

^ Bible in Jewish Church, p. S62. 

' Herzog, Real Encyk., vol. ii. pp. 329 ff. Studien und Kntileenf 
1873, pp. 165 fE. 

f s 







Jadges. Kail believes it was written, at least to the 
thirty-first chapter, by Moses,^ and Delitzsch agrees with 
him.* Dean Perowne has no doubt of tliis.^ Most of 
these critics, indeed, admit evidence of revision and final 
completion ; they speak only of the substance of the book. 
It is certain, as already said, that sacred books were in 
existence among the Hebrews long before Josiah. In 
Exodus we read * of " the Book of the Covenant," which 
contained the " words and the 
judgments" of God, so far as 
they had till then been given. 
The defeat of Amalek was 
written in '*the book";^ ap- 
parently one already known; 
and in Numbers we learn that 
Moses wrote the journeyings of 
the children of Israel, and their 
various stations.^ The language 
of Deuteronomy has already 
been quoted. Joshua repeatedly 
mentions " the Book of the Law 
of God," and names Moses as 
having written it. '^ David Covbbiko o» a roll ov thb law. 

speaks of a written law of The roll is wound round the two 

^ . rods, which appear below. The 

MoseS.^ At the coronation of covering is put over it for its pr©- 

Til • servation. 

King Joash, the testimony was 

put in his hands, or laid on his head, as required by 

Deuteronomy.® In Chronicles ^^ David is said to have 

> Einleitung, pp. 93 ff. 
9 LuthardL's Zeitschn'ft, 1880, pp. 503-009. 
" Diet, of Bible, art. Pentateuch and Deut. 
* Exod. xxiv. 7. ^ Exod. xvii. 14. 

' Josh. i. 7, 8; viii. 31,34; xxiii. 6; xxiv. 26. 

* 2 Kings xi. 12. 2 Ghron. xxiii. 11. 
VOL. V. 

• Num. xxxiii. 2. 

* 1 Kings ii. 3. 

" 1 Ghron. xvi. 40. 



': 'f *'l 







jf i 







.' '"Wml 

1 <K 




' aa 

' . in ■: 

1- " ■ 

t < i 

■f ' 

1 - ' 



1 " i^ 



' 8 


' 1 

i u 

;: I 

.1 ■ 


it il - 






directed his preparations for public worship "according 
to the law of Jehovah ; " and in his charge to Solomon he 
speaks of the " law of Jehovah thy God, the statutes, and 
the judgments which Jehovah charged Moses with, con- 
cerning Israel."^ Rehoboam is said to have " forsaken 
the law of Jehovah."* Asa commanded Judah to obey 
the " Law and the Commandment."'* Azariah the prophet 
reminds that king, that Israel had long been " without 
the true God, and without a teaching priest and with- 
out law*' ^ Jehoshaphat appointed princes, priests and 
Levites to instruct the people, and, it is added, "they 
taught in Judah and had the Book of the Law ol Jeho- 
vah with them." ^ Amaziah, we are told, spaied the 
children of his father's murderers in obedience to the 
directions of " the law of the book of Moses." * Heze- 
kiah's regulations in connection with the restoration of 
the national worship, are said to have been carried out 
" as it is written in the law of Jehovah ; " ^ and Jehovah 
is introduced by the author of Chronicles as speaking 
to David of " the whole Law, and the statutes and the 
ordinances by the hand of Moses." ^ 

But not only are written documents thus constantly 
mentioned ; quotations or references to the books of the 
Pentateuch are numerous through the prophets. Amos 
shows his intimate acquaintance with .Deuteronomy.'^ 
Hosea not only proves in many passages that he knew 
it welV^ but speaks of the whole law^^ in these remark- 

1 Ohron. xvii. 12, 13. * 2 Chron. xii. ' 2 Chron. xiv. 4. 

2 Chron. xvii. 9. « 2 Chron. xv. 3. 
2 Ciiroii. .XXV. 4. 2 Kings xiv. 6. Deut. xxiv. 16. 
2 Chron. xxxi. 3, 4, 21. " 2 Chron. xxxiii. 8. 
See Amos i. 11, 14; ii. 9, 11; iii. 2; iv. 4, 5, 9 ; x. 13; v. 

11, 25 ; vii. 3, 8, 14 ; ix. 4, 7 ; in refeicuce. Bibles. See aliso iv. 
11. Comp. with Deut. xxix. 23. »» Hos. viii. 12. 

* See in a re^'erenco Bible, Hos. i. 2; iii. 3; iv. 4; v. 10; vi. 1; 





» . 


able words : " I (Jehovah) have written to him (Israel) 
the ten thousand things of my Law." A few of the 
many allusions to Deuteronomy in Isaiah are given in 
the fourth volume of these Hours,^ and a reference Bible 
will show the same feature in Micah. Thus, not only 
Jeremiah and the later prophets, but the whole brother- 
hood, from its earliest member, silently witness, not 
merely to the existence of Deuteronomy as a recognised 
part of the Law, but to that of the fuller revelations of 
the Pentateuch. 

Among the various tests of the antiquity of any docu- 
ment, no one is more reliable than the peculiarities of the 
words it employs. It would, for example, be impossible 
that any writing in which the pronoun " its " occurred 
could be older than about a.d. 1600, because " its " was 
not in use before that date. It does not once occur in 
our Authorized Version.^ The use of old English forms, 
such as " maken," and " slepeu," for " to make," and 
"to sleep," ^ marks a composition as of a certain date in 
the history of our language. But Deuteronomy is char- 
acterised, to a striking degree, by verbal forms which 
had grown obsolete long before the time of Josiah. Thj9 
masculine form of the pronoun, Iwd, for the feminine^ 
hee^ occurs, in all, 195 times in the Pentateuch, and of 
these, 36 instances are in Deuteronomy — a usage like 

vii. 12; viii. 12; ix. 4, 12; x. 4, 8. 10; xi. 3, »; ^iii. 6, 10, 12; 
xiy. 3. Compare also Hos. iv. 13, with Dent. xii. 2 ; Hos. viii. 
13, with Deut. xxviii. 68 ; Hos. xi. 3, with Deut. i 31 ; Hos. xiii. 
6, with Deut. viii. 11-14. 

» Vol. iv. pp. 284r-6. 

3 Trench's English, Past and Present, p. 89. Marsh's English 
Language, p. 122. 

» Thus— 

" And smale fowles maken melodie. 
That slepen al the night with open yhe." — Ohaucer, 






that of old English as seen in our Bibles.^ Indeed^ the 
feminine, hee, is not found nt all in Deuteronomy^ though 
it is met with 11 times in the other books of the 
Pentateuch. " Naar" a youth, is of common gender in 
the Pentateuch, standing for a maiden as well as a boy ; 
and, in accordance with this primitive usage, the feminine, 
•• Naarah/' occurs only once in Deuteronomy. Konig, 
in his unanswerable analysis of the Book,^ gives long 
lists of instances in which ancient forms of words are 
used, and shows that others are frequent in it which 
were obsolete at a later period.^ One striking fact is 
specially curious. The termination Hn, in the future, is 
unknown in the prose writings of the period after the 
return from Babylon. It never occurs in Esther, Ezra, 
or Nehemiah, the 1st Book of Chronicles, the Hebrew of 
Daniel, Haggai, Eccleslastes, Lamentations, Canticles, 
Jonah, or Obadiah. It is met with only 5 times in 
Jeremiah, and 3 times in Ezekiel. But in the Penta- 
teuch it is found 105 times, and of these 58 are in 
Deuteronomy.^ The curious fact that in some instances 
Aramaic forms, which are habitual in the oldest books 
of Scripture, occur also in the latest, is susceptible of a 
natural and easy explanation. Abraham, at his arrival 
in Canaan, spoke Aramaic, and, though he adopted the 
closely allied language of the Canaanites, some of the 
forms of his own mother-tongue were still retained ; as 
forms of old English still survive in our local dialects.* 

* Thus Exod. xzxvii. 17. '* Of beaten work made he the candle- 
stick ; hia shaft, and his branch, hie bowls, his knops, and hia 
flowers, were of the same. 

2 Konig's Alt. Teat. Studien, Heft. ii. Berlin, 1839. 

• Some of these will be found in Dean Perowne's Art. on the 
Pentateuch. Diet, of the Bible, vol. ii. p. 782. 

♦ Konig, pp. 165-6. 

* Lancashire, " singen *' for sing. So, generally, in Provincial 





Gradually, however, those traces of their Mesopotamian 
origin died out from the language of the Hebrews. But 
the captivity carried them back again to Aratnuic-apoak- 
ing lands, and there they learned, once more, to uso 
the tongue laid aside by their forefathers, more than 
1500 years before.^ Intercourse with Damascus, Assyria, 
and Babylon, from the time of David to the fall of the 
State must also have tended to reintroduce Aramaic 
peculiarities.' . 

Nor can objection be raised to the remote antiquity ot 
any portion of the Pentateuch from its voluminousnesa 
as a whole. The long annals of Egyptian and Assyrian 
kings, and the abundant literary remains of various kinds, 
recovered from the mounds of the Tigris and Euphrates, 
and from the tombs of Egypt, prove that written docu- 
ments were common in remote ages. In the Louvre 
Museum there is, indeed, an exquisite statue of an 
Egyptian scribe busy with his pen, dating from a period 
long anterior to Abraham. 

Other grounds on which a late dpte is assigned to 
Deuteronomy and the various books of the Pentateuch 
can hardly be regarded as very weighty.* 

Thus it is made a difficulty, for example, that in the 
last chapter of Deuteronomy,* which no one supposes of 
the same age as the earlier part of the book, the town 




'■ \ 1 






English, "af'«Td" for "afraid," "ria" for "rose," "axo" for 
" ask ; " all, simply old English forms. 
*■ * Konig, Heft. ii. passim, 

^ On the whole subject of Deateronomy, the introduction to 
Schultz, Das Bouteronomium erkldrt, Berlin, 1859, is very 

* See vol. i. p. 245. 

* I confine myself mainly to those which are advanced in the 
Bible in the Jewish Churcht the latest expression of the ultra- 
rationalistic schooL * Dout. xxxiv. 1. 






of Dan is thus named, thoiififh it was known as Laish till 
the days of tho Judges.^ That such additions have been 
made here and there to the historical notices of the earlier 
books, by revisers of ditferont periods, is assumed to 
prove that the historical portions of the first Books of 
the Bible were written in the land of Canaan, and that, 
not before the period of the kings ! ' The words " on 
this side Jordan/' in Deut. i. 1, it is said, ought to 
be translated " across the Jordan," in which case they 
would show that the writer lived in West Palestine. 
Etymologically, "a/fter," the word used, means ** across" 
but unfortunately for the new critics, it was employed 
arbitrarily, for both east and west, when Deuteronomy 
was written, without reference to the relative position of 
the Jordan, or other natural boundary ; leaving its mean- 
ing to be gathered from an additional word of explana- 
tion. Thus, in Num. xxxii. 19, we read, " For we will 
not inherit with them on yonder side (mai-aiber) the 
Jordan, and forward," or ** thence, on"; "because our 
inheritance is fallen to us on this side (mai-aiber) Jordan, 
eastward ; " so that in this verse aiher stands for both east 
and west of the Jordan. ' The word, ultimately, after the 
conquest of Canaan, was applied to the east side of Jordan ; 
as Perea, which means the same, was at a still later period; 
but, when the Pentateuch was written, it was used in- 
differently of the east and west, in reference to the 
temporary position of the Hebrews, who were still on the 
eastern side. Its meaning in the first verse of Deutero- 
nomy is, moreover, at once conclusively proved from the 
fact that the various places mentioned as marking the 
region intended, are all on the east of the Jordan. 

' Judges xviii. 27, 29. 

' Smith, p. 322. The instance quoted is the list of Edomite 
kings " before there reigned a king of the children of Israel " — an 






We are further told that the Pentateuch could not have 
boon written bj Moses, from the use of the word j/ama/i— 
" towards the sea " — for Westward ; and of ** Nej^eb," the 
name employed for the southern uplands of Judah, for 
the South. "At mount Sinai, it is suid, the sea did not 
lie to the West, and the Negeb was to the North." "If 
the writer lived in Palestine, however, the expressions 
would be correct."^ But it is forgotten that the He- 
brews had spoken the language of Palestine for centuries 
before the birth of Moses, and must have adopted and 
used its ordinary geographical expressions, in the popular 
and not the etymological sense. Our word " South " 
means " towards the sun," but surely an Australian is not 
wrong in calling Melbourne south of Sydney, though, to 
him, it is not really south, that is, towards the sun, but 
north. Does he say that he goes south to India, because 
that country is etymologically south from Australia ? 
t An objection is also raised on the ground that the 
patriarchal sites mentioned in the Pentateuch can still be 
identified, while we cannot put our finger so readily 
on those mentioned in connection with the wilderness 
wanderings. As if it could be as easy to follow the 
halting places over a pathless wilderness, as the sojourn 
of au . encampment near the still existing towns and 
villages of a settled country I 

A great deal has been made of the use of the two names, 
Elohim and Jehovah, for God, in various passages and 
parts of the early books of Scripture. But while it is 
readily admitted that writings still older than those of 
Moses may have been incorporated by him in his own 
narratives, or added, in some cases, by inspired men of 

expression which must havo been added by a reviser of Saul 
or David's iimo, at the earliest. 
» fifmiWt, p. 323. 




if \\ 


■X I 





after times; the extent to which the theory of "inde- 
pendent sources " is pressed, in connection with the use 
of these two sacred words, is arbitrary and fanciful in the 
extreme. Ewald, ir. the face of his own passion for 
subdividing, has shown that the employment of different 
names of God is to be explained from their different 
significations, and the other grounds advanced for dis- 
secting each Book— the superscriptions, repetitions, and 
variations in accounts of the same event, as well as 
their abrupt introduction — are, according to him, pecu- 
liarities of Semitic historical composition, but no proof 
of variety of sources or compilers, in the separate sections 
of a narraoive.^ Since his day however, critics have 
gone to greater lengths. Among them the Pentateuch is 
torn into countless shreds ; even single verses in many 
cases being cut in two, as the composition of different 
authors. Tho theory of various documents has, indeed, 
taken every shape, as the cloud of Polonius seemed by 
turns a weasel, a camel, and a whale. Two documents, 
or authors, by no means suffice. Every critic has his own 
fancy, and assigns the sacred text to what number of 
authors, editors, and compositions he thinks fit, each with 
an arbitrary name and age. Dillmann supposes a first 
Book of Laws, a second, and then a third, fallowed by 
the Deuterouomist.^ Ewald recognises nine documents, 
by nine different authors. Hupfeld sees the work of four 
authors in Genesis alone. Bleek acknowledges only a 
" Jehovist,'* who filled out an original " Elohist " docu- 
ment embra'-^ing the whole Pentateuch, except Deutero- 
nomy ; which itself is a production of the interval between 
Hezekiah and Josiah. Knobfjl detects six documents, 

^ Die Composition d. Genesis hritisch untersucht, Braunschweig, 
* I?i6. jLca?., vol. ii. p. 444. 



by six compilers, in the Five Books. These critics, and 
many others, range^ fancy free, over centuries, in their 
estimate of the age of their material, and cut it, each, to 
his own pattern. But a new school has risen. The 
theory of Graf, that Deuteronomy was older than Exodus, 
Leviticus, and Numbers, had the charm of noveity, and 
has attracted Kuenen, Wellhausen, Colenso, Robertson 
Smith, and others. In fact, it is the fashionable hypo- 
thesis of the day, and we now hear of Levitical, that is, 
priestly laws, and of the Deuteronomic code, breathing the 
spirit of the Prophets more than of Jehovist or Elohist 
documents. But the brand new hypothesis of " Levitical 
and non-Levitical, or Deuteronomic portions" has only 
introduced fresh complications in the dissection of the 
different Books of the Pentateuch, with the same delight- 
ful independence on the part of each critic^ in cutting the 
sacred text to shreds. ; . i 

One illustration may suflBoe. A recent " Introduc- 
tion," ^ of high standing, recognises three authors only 
in the Pentateuch — an annalist; a writer who favoured 
theocratic or priestly views ; and a third, pervaded by the 
spirit of the Prophets, though he has made free use of 
ancient documents. Among these compilers the Book 
of Genesis is distributed, a passage here, and another 
there, in a table extending ovei a large page and a half, 
in three parallel columns, single verses being cut in two 
in fifteen cases, as written by different hands. The 
mudlated fragments of Exodus cover a similar page ; 
nine verses being bisectod. Leviticus is assigned almost 
as a whole to the " Elohim " documents. Numbers has 
three-quarters of a page devoted to a hypothetical table 
of the contributions of the three compilers, tbe two halves 
of six different verses being referred to two independent 
* De Wette-8chrader\ pp. 274, 276, 280, 281, 289, 294. 




authors. In Deuteronomy "the Annalist" is credited 
with four and u. half "erses in one chapter,^ and six in 
another, including two separate halves;^ the "Theocratic 
compiler ''' is detected as the author of two verses in one 
chapter and three in another;* while the ''Prophetic 
contributor" is assumed to h&vo added one chapter and 
part of three others; all the rest falling to the share 
of the " Deuteronomist." Confusion this, rather than 
simplification; darkness rather than light! No wonder 
Graetz, himself a wild theorist, ingenuously admits that 
no two critics agree either in the division of their material, 
or in the age they assign to the compositions they thus 
arbitrarily define.* Let the unsophisticated reader glance 
at the different Books of the Pentateuch, and notice how 
closely the Divine names "Lord," and "God," answering 
to Jehovah and Elohim, are associated, in countless in- 
stances; often, indeed, in the same verse; and he will 
be able to judge how hopeless it is to build any general 
theory of authorship on their use. Nor is the attempt 
less arbitrary to apportion the sacred text to distinct 
authors and ages, from a fancied detection of a different 
style in the various sections. 

The claim expressly made in Deuteronomy of its being 
written by Moses,^ is strengthened, if we may so speak, 
by the whole tone and contents of the Book. The magni- 
ficent addresses of the Prophet, and the laws he enforces, 
correspond, throughout, to the situation described in the 
opening verses, which represent Israel as encamped, at 
lohe end of their wilderness life, on the steppes of Moab, 
ready to cross the Jordan. He speaks not only with tho 
vividness of an eye-witness, but with the enthusiasm and 
tenderness of a Leader, who could look back to the timo 


* Dout. 'iixxii. ' Deut. xxxiv. 

* GeachicJUe, vol. ii. Note p. 455. 

» Deut. iv. 10. 
* Deut. xzxi. 24. 



when his people were in the " slave house *' of Egypt. 
Allusions to Egyptian customs and usages, natural in the 
mouth of one familiar with that country, are constant. 
We have references to Egyptian regulations in time of 
war ; ^ to the Egyptian bastinado,^ and to the Egyptian 
mode of irritjation.* Amonsf the curses threatened are 
" the sicknesses of Egypt." * To be sold again to that 
country is the ideal of direst calamity.* As in Leviticus,* 
the remembrance that they were once slaves in Egypt 
is urged, repeatedly, to lead thom to obey the laws,' and 
references to the abode of Israel there are frequent® even 
in the laws themselves, and, above all, in that respecting 
the king ; a peculiarity very hard to explain if the Book 
was written In the reign of Josiah or Manasseh. 

Nor is it easy to imagine, why a writer in the time of 
these kings, should have represented Moses as giving 
directions respecting their putting down nations which 
had then, for centuries, ceased to be objects of public 
concern. The Amalekites and Canaanites are to be rooted 
out ; but the former had virtually been so since the time 
of David, four hundred years back, and the remnant of 
the Canaanites in the bounds of Judah had, for ages, been 
humble slaves and dependants. The prohibition of the 
worship of the host of heaven ® has been hastily fancied 
to refer to the idolatry introduced hj Ahaz and Manasseh 
from Assyria, but may as justly be held to forbid the 
ancient Arab idolatry of the same kind.^° A pure spiritual 




■J if. 



% J.H 

■ 1 

• Dent. XX. 6. * Deut. xxv. 2. ■ Deufc. xi. 10. 

• Deut. vii. 15; xxviii. 60. ' Dent, xxviii. 68. 

• Lev, xix. 34 ; xvi\. ; — xx. ; and througho.ut very like Deut. 
? Deut. V. 15; xxiv. 18,22. 

• Deut. vi. 21-23 ; vii. 8, 18; xi. 3; xvii. 16. 

• Dout. iv. 19 ; xvii. 3. 

*® See Be Wette-Schrader, § 200. e.g., on the cue sideband Klei- 





religion such as Deuteronomy presents, allowing no simili- 
tude of Jehovah of any kind, checks every approach to 
idolatry, while the demand that worship and obedience 
should rest on the affections, guards against formalism. 
All the laws given anticipate the possession of Western 
Palestine, and are fitted for the altered state of things 
this would introduce. In no case is the passage across 
Jordan an accompliEhed event ; it is always, at most, iu 
the near future. That modifications of the statutes given 
at Sinai occur in some instances, is only what was 
inevitable, in view of the transition of the community from 
tent life, to thrt of a settled population. Even these 
variations, however, are based on the Sinaitic legislation. 
In the earlier Books, Moses, as the great prophet, had 
spoken in the name of Jehovah ; in Deuteronomy he 
reminds his nation, now that he is about to leave them 
for ever, that he was the intermediary through whom 
these Divine communications had been given. Much 
stress has been laid on the emphasis with which Deutero- 
nomy; urges the recognition of a central sanctuary by the 
tribes. The use of high places by the patriarchs and 
prophets, to a late period, is thought to imply that this 
marks the date of the Book as not earlier than Manasseh 
or Josiah. It is suggested, indeed, that the idea of a single 
t&mple was an invention of the priests at Jerusalem, to 
secure a monopoly of their office.^ But the Tabernacle 
had alreidy, from the fi.'st, embodied the same principle.^ 

nert, Untersuchung&iif pp. 105 ff.; Keil, Die B. der Konige, p. 388; 
Delitzsch, Zu Hioh, p. 387, on the other. - - 

* So Beuss and others. 

2 Wellhausen boldly meets this, by declaring that there never 
was a Tabernacle ; that the account of it was only an invention of 
the priests after the exile— that is, 1,000 years afccr Moses, I am 
afraid that those other critics also hold this view, who think 
the Middle Books of the Pentateuch in which the Tabernacle is 




Deuteronomy only assumes that it will continue to be re- 
cognised in the future as in the past^ naming no favoured 
spot J leaving that to the circumstances of after ages. Nor 
does it even preclude a change from one locality to another, 
as occasion may demand.^ Hence, Shiloh was the first 
great religious centre; Jerusalem only rising to take 
its place under David and Solomon. Nor is it strange 
that in the dissolution of society after the death of Joshua, 
when national unity perished for centuries, local sanctu- 
aries should have everywhere sprung up, in accordance 
with ancient custom ; or that when the tribes had been 
raised once more to a nation, under the kings, the pre- 
judices of generations made it impossible, till the days of 
Josiah, to carry out, to its fullest extent, the law appoint- 
ing only one central sanctuary. Even so late as the reign 
of Hezekiah, as we know, his attempt to centralize wor- 
ship was urged on the populace by the Assyrian officials 
of Sennacherib, in thb expectation than it would rouse 
them to revolt.* 

described, were composed, almost entirely, after the return from 
Babylon. It would seem that the destructive school will believe 
anything, if it promise to lay the Bible in ruins. 

* Deut. xii. 14-26; xiv. 25, flf ; xvi. 2, 6, 11, etc. 

* See vol. iv. p. 447. Stress is laid by "V aihinger {Herzog, vol. ii. 
p. 325) on the use of the words " house of Jehovah," Deut. xxiii. 
18, as proving the late origin of Deuteronomy. But it occurs in the 
original legislation, which all grant to be Mot^aio (Exod. xxiii. 19), 
and it is also used of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. 1 Sam. i. 7-24; 
iii. 15. 

It is maintained by those who in this, also, have adopted the 
extreme views of the Wellhausen school, that the distinction be- 
tween priests and Levites is not recognised in Deuteronomy, and 
was only introduced, after the Exile, by the priestly invention of the 
Middle Books of the Pentateuch. But in Deut. xviii. 1, we read 
of " the priests, the Levites, the whole tribe of Levi," that is — 
nob only the priests, but also the Leviics, who, between them, 

i t 

■ir • 










The brief cautions,^ that if kings were introduced, they 
should avoid relying on horses and chariots, and should 
neither indulge in polygamy nor strive to amass vast 

made up the whole tribe of Levi. Both priests and Levites be- 
longed to the one tribe, and thus both could justly be called Levites. 
But in Deut. xviii. 3, we re%d of the priest ; in verse 6 of the 
Levite. When in Deut. xvii. 9-18, we read of " the priests, the 
Levites," or, in Deut. xxi. 5; xxxi. 9, of *' the priests, the sons of 
Levi *' — there is no identification of priest with Levites, but only 
a recognition of the fact that the priests were descendants of the 
patriarch Levi — as of course the Levites were also.* Priests and 
Levites are, in fact, considered in Deuteronomy as essentially one 
great whole, and priests are spoken of as Levites or sons of Levi, 
to bring into prominence their belonging to the sacred tribe, and 
thus show their priesthood to be rightful and authoritative, t 
The assertion that Deuteronomy speaks of a homeless and wretched 
priest caste, and of the Levites as no longer settled in the towns 
assigned them in Numbers xxxv. but as scattered sojourners and 
strangers in the towns at large, is based on various errors. The 
Levites were necesi^arily " within the gates " of the general com- 
munity, from the fact that the towns granted them had a general 
lay population as well. The Levites were not by any means their 
only inhabitants. ;|! Moreover, it could readily be foreseen that the 
possession of the 48 Lfjvitical towns would be a work of time; it 
was never, in fact, whoi'ly accomplished, and hence many Levites 
had to seek their home where they could. As to the modifications 
in Deuteronomy, of the law for the support of the Levites, they are 
at once explained as provi&'.ions against the foreseen neglect of 
former laws for their maintenance. To build up a theory tbat 
Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, were forgeries of the time after 
the Exile, as correctives of Deuteronomy, from the distinction made 
in them between priest acid Levite, in 8;:pposed contrast to the 
Fifth Book, or from fancied alterations in the law for their support, 
is at best an extraordinary illustratioa of perverted ingenuity. 
* Deut. xvii. 14. 

•^ * See 2 Chron. zxiii. 18 ; xxxv. 27 ; xxx. 17* Jer. xxxiii. 18-21* 
t Oehler, in Herzo;, vol. viii. p. 350. 
t Ewald's (7esc^V'/i<ti, vol. ii. p. 40S. 




I the 

treasures/ like the despots around, speak of wise fore- 
sight, which provides for every contingency. Strange 
to say, even in this section, so foreign to the ancient 
polity of the natiouj, the reason assigned for not " multi- 
plying horses " is such as would be natural to a law- 
giver who had been in Egypt, and knew what his people 
had suffered there. They are not to do it because it 
would " cause the people to return to Egypt," the great 
hi^eeding place of horses for Palestine.* They had en- 
dured enough at its hands in the past, and its moral 
corruptions ^v^^re too dangerous for the chosen people of 
God. It was statesmanlike to look forward to the intro- 
duction of kings as possible ; but what fitness could thero 
have been in such counsels, if given for the first time in 
the reign of Josiah, more than four hundred years after 
monarchy had been established ? 

The spirit of Deuteronomy breathes out in the intima- 
tion that Jehovah would raise up to the nation an ordor 
of prophets,' as His divinely- commissioned spokesmen; 
the counterparts, in fact, in this respect, of Mosos him- 
self. It is in keeping with the spirit of the relations of 
Jehovah to them from the time of their leaving Egypt. 
Eldad and Medad, and the seventy elders, had prophesied 
at Sinai, and Moses had shown his noble breadth of »oul 
in the wish that not only they, but all the people of 

* The emperor of Morocco is reported to have a subterranean 
treasury full of untold wealth in coin, jewels, and precious stones. 
It is, they say, guarded by soldiers, who nev3r come up to day 
again, after being set over it. 

Speaking of the treasury of Sumjah Dowlah, Olive said: "I 
walked through vaults thrown open to me alone, and piled on 
both sides with gold and jewels." Gleig's Life of Clive, p. 297. 

* 1 Kings X. 26. • Deut. xiii. 2-6 ; xviii. 15 flf. where, " an order 
of prophets/' may be read instead of " a prophet." This latter 
senses howeveri is included — see Acts iiL 22. ? 







Jehovah were prophets.^ It was, therefore^ natural that 
he should anticipate the rise of men m after times, moved 
by the same Divine impulse ; for if the ritual service was 
left to the priest, the moral training of the nation was 
the task of the prophetical order. 

The Book of Leviticus had commanded' that the 
Hebrew should love his fellow-Hebrew as himself;^ but 
it was reserved to Deuteronomy to lift the thoughts 
of ihft nation to a still nobler ideal. It, first, expressly 
commends the Eternal to human love, and thus formally 
exalts religion 'nto the homage of the soul to God. It 
discloses Jehovah as condescending to reveal His love to 
xiis people, and demanding their love in return.* He 
proclaims Himself as tho faithful Clod, who keeps cove- 
nant with them that love Him. Mt?re outward service is 
treated as only the husk and f/aell of religion, good for 
subordinate ends ; the fervour of the heart as its essence. 
Such a principle, at such an age^ is a unique phenomenon 
in the history of the world ; for everywhere else, till 
Christianity appeared, religion and morality were distinct 
ideas. To perform prescribed rites constituted a man 
religious, apart from the practice of virtue. But in 
Deuteronomy the germs of the highest conception pos- 
sible to humanity were embodied, — germs which slowly 
spread their influence, age after age, and rightly claim as 
their fruit, all that was good and holy in the prophets and 
righteous men of the ancient people of God. 

As became a religion thus based on love towards 
Jehovah, a spirit of tenderness largely pervades the Fifih 

» Num. xi. 26, 27, 29. * Lev. xix. 18. 

* This is what is meant by " neighbour" in its old restriction, 
as shown in the earlier clause of the verse. 

* Deut vi. 6 ; x. 12 ; xi. 1 j xiii. 22 ; xix. 9 ; xxx. 6 ; vii. 9, 13; 
at. 16 ; xiii. 3 ; xxx. 16, 20 ; iv. 37 ; vii. 7, 8 j x. 18. 




J the 
,d. It 
love to 
L* He 
s cove- 


rvice is 
rood for 

else, till 

a man 

But va. 
tion po8- 
,h slovvly 

claim as 

(bets and . 

to^ ards 
tbe ^^'^ 

I restriction, 

Book. In the earlier Law, Moses had said, " Ye shall not 
afflict any widow or fatherless child," ^ and had cared for 
the foreigner that "he should not be vexed.'' ^ He had 
denounced usury; had required that raiment taken in 
pledge be returned before night;'* and in many other 
details had vindicated the Divine pity and compassion. 
In Deuteronomy widows and orphans are protected with 
equal care,* and so is the foreigner.^ The poor come 
under its guardian shadow.^ Usury, and goods given in 
pledge are the subject of special laws.'' As in Exodus, 
even a beast is commended to the kindness of all.^ The 
lot of the slave is ameliorated.* Woman is protected by 
r!ItFerent enactments.^^ The power of fathers over their 
children is restrained within gentler bounds than before .^^ 
The property of foreigners is secured, and provision made 
for the preservation to familits of their inheritance.^^ 

That a book breathing a spirit of such lofty morality, 
and embodying such conceptions of the nature of true 
religion, should be the work of forgers of a late age, is 
inconceivable. Its claims, in every page, to have been 
spoken or written by Moses would, in that case, be the 
frequent repetition of a conscious untruth by writers 
who, in all other respects, were ideal moralists. But the 
Book speaks for itself. It expressly states its Mosaic 
authorship,^^ and the internal evidence of its contents 
bears out this testimony. Its grand addresses to the 
tribes have a living power which witness to their genuine- 
ness. Every sentence carries us back to the wilderness 

» Exod. xxii. 22. » Exod. xxii. 21. » Exod. xxii. 25, 26. 

* Deut. xiv. 29 ; xvi. 11 ; xxvii. 17 ; xxvi. 12. * Deut. xxiv. 14;. 

* Deub. XV. '^ Deut. xxiii. 19 ; xxiv. 6, 10, etc. 

" Deut. xxii. 1, 6, 9 j xxv. 4. * Deut. xv. 12 ; xxj. 10 ; xxiii. 16. 
^^ Deut. xxi. 10 ; xxii. 13 ; xxiv. 1 ff. " Deut. xxi. 18. 

*2 Deub. xxiii. 24 ; xxv. 5 IT. " Deut. xxxi. 24. 

VOL. V. ' » 





I ! 

life, or tho scenes of the Holy Mount, or the days of 
Egyptian slavery. The word«» glcv7 in each line with 
the emotions of a great leader, recounting to his coatem- 
poraries the marvellous story o" their common experience. 
The enthusiasm they kindle, even to-day, though obscured 
by translation, reveals their matchless adaptation to the 
circumstances under which they were first spoken. Con- 
fidence for the future is evoked by remembrance of the 
past. The same God who had done mighty works for 
the tribes, since the Exodus, would cover their head in 
the day of battle with the nations of Palestine, soon 
to be invaded, l^heir great Lawgiver stands before us, 
vigorous in his hoary age, stern in his abhorrence of evil, 
earnest in his zeal for God, but mellowed in all relations 
to earth by his nearness to heaven. The commanding 
wisdom of his enactments, tho dignity of his position as 
the founder of the nation and the first of prophets, enforce 
his utterances. But he touches our daepest emotiois by 
the human tenderness that breathes in all his words. 
Standing on the verge of life, he speaks as a father, 
giving his parting counsels to those he loves ; willing to 
depart and be with the God he has served so well, but 
fondly lengthening out his last farewell to the dear ones 
of earth. No book can compare with Deuteronomy in its 
mingled sublimity and tenderness. " It is,'' says Eich- 
horn, "the final survey of his laws by the Lawgiver him- 
self, in which he explains what needs explanation, and 
improves w^aat needs improvement. We have in it the 
last utterance of the father and leader of his people. The 
heat and fervour of every line show that countless 
emotions oppressed the soul of the great man as he 
wrote, and stamp the book, in every part, as composed 
at the mouth of the grave." ^ "Deuteronomy/' says 
* Eichhoin, Eiul., vol. iii. p. 224. 



ys of 

5 with 
to the 
of the 
rks for 
lead in 
e, soon 
fore us, 
I of evil, 
jition a3 
, eaforce by 

[illiug to 
ell, but 

^ear ones 
ly in its 
s Eich- 
ev him- 
on, and 
it the 
»le. The 
as he 



Moses Stiia-t, " appears to my mind, as it did to that of 
Eichhorn and Herder, as the earnest outpourings and 
admonitions of a heart which felt the deepest interest iu 
the welfare of the Jewish nation, and realized that it must 
soon bid them farewell."^ To defend the theory of its 
being a forgery, by urging that Ecclesiastes is attributed 
to Solomon, though not his composition, is to cite a caso 
in no way parallel. Reflections on the vanity of life and 
its mysteries, put into the mouth of the wise kiug, do 
no wrong to any one, and befit the character of the sup- 
posed author. But to impose a code of laws on a nation, 
as given by Jehovah ; to take heaven and earth to wit- 
ness that Moses is the speaker and writer ; to claim, in 
his name, to control tho whole public and private life of 
the community, for all time, by counterfeit statutes and 
mock blessings and curses, would bo inconceivable auda- 
city on the part of an author of easy conscience, and an 
impossible crime to any mind capable, by its lofty morality 
and nearness in spirit to God, of writing such a book. 
Nor is it the least difficulty iu the theory of its being a 
forgery, that the nation accepted it, at once, as a book 
known to their fathers for eight hundred year?, which 
any one could in a moment have disproved. 

An old Jewish apologue, quoted by Herder, may help us 
to realize the feelings with which the Law was received at 
first, and the joy at its re-discovery under Josiah. " Tho 
enemy of all good," it tells us. " learned that God had 
given earth a law in which all .-he wisdom of heaven lay 
hidden, and destined in the end to destroy the kingdom 
of darkness among men. He therefore hastened swiftly 
to this world, and asked it : ' Earth, where is that law 
wiiich God has given thee ? ' But the earth answered, 
* The Lord knows the ways of His wisdom ; I know 

» Stuart's Hist of the 0. T. Canon, § 3. 


* 1 






thorn not.' Then he went to the sea, and to the depths 
beneath it, but the sea and the nether abyss said : ' It 
is not in me.' Next, he went to the kingdom of the 
dead, but the shades answered^ 'We have heard the 
report of it from afar.* 

" After he had wandered through the world, and 
through all the heathen nations who served him, he came 
to the desert of Arabia and saw a man whose countenance 
slione — Moses. Going to him in the guise of an angel 
of light, he sought to flatter him, and offered to be his 
disciple. ' Man of God,' said he, ' who possossest tho 
wisdom of Jcliovah, and hast all understanding of Elohim, 
and hast hidden all the secrets of the universe in thy 
law '— 

"'Silence,' cried Moses, with a look that changed 
Satan at once into his own form — ' Silence I The law is 
Jehovah's, not mine; with Him is wisdom and under- 
standing, counsel and might ; ^ as for man, the fear of 
Jehovah, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is 
understanding.' * 

"Ashamed, Satan fell back and went away, and the 
angels of God appeared to minister to the lowly Great 
One. They taught him and he taught them. The 
Prince of the Law became his guardian spirit, and God 
Himself answered from the cloud — ' Keep ye the law of 
Moses, My servant. Because he was humble, and gave 
me the glory, I have crowned him with glory for ever.' " * 

* Prov. viii. 14. * Job xxviii. 28. 

■ Herder, Oeiat vom Ebrdisclien Poesie, vol. ii. p. 65. The 
preservation of the Law from the oarliest times ^as doubtless 
much facilitated by the custom, still prevalent in the East, of 
committing sacred books to memory. Even at this day persons 
can bo found in Egypt, \vho, though illiterate, can repeat the 
whole Koran by heart ; und it was the boast of the Babbis of the 



To believe that a Book or Books, round which a vener- 
ation so touching had gathered centuries boforo Christ, 
and the rediscovery of which, in Josiah's day, revolu- 
tionized the history of Israel for all future ages, were 
mere forgeries of well nigh a thousand years after the 
date they claim, seems to require much greater credulity 
than is shown in frankly accepting them as what they 
assert themselves to be. 

Middle Ages, that if every copy of the Talmud were destroyed, 
their disciples could reproduce it, without omission or error, from 
memory. Dr. Grove mentions also, that in the service of the Day 
of Atonement in the Samaritan Synagogue, the recitation of the 
Pentateuch was continued through the night, without even the 
feeble lamp which, on every other night of the year but this, burns 
in front of the holy books. The two priests and a few of the 
people knew the whole Pentateuch by heart. Vacation Touriata, 
1861, p. 346. 




ft *\ 

k ' 




A i 




r I THE recovery of the ancient Book of the Law by 
-■- Hilkiah had an immediate influence on the great 
religious movement which had ah'eady been some years 
in progress. How far the purification of the laud from 
idolatry had ^ jne before the finding of the Law is not 
told, but it is expressly said that its result was, that 
Josiah "put away,''^ as far as possible, "the necro- 
mancers,'* who pretended to raise the dead and learn 
the future from them ; ^ those professiug to be possessed 
by an evil spirit, and to work spells and predict by its 
means ;^ the teraphim or household gods,* cherished as 
the protectors^ of a house or authors of its good fortune ; 
and the idols, called in contempt, " blocks of wood,'' and 
"abominations," that were discovered in Judah and 

* 2 Kings xxiii. 24. The verb means, to destroy, to burn, as 
well as to remove. 

2 1 Sam. xxviii. 7 ff. Deub. xviii. 11. Lev. xix. 31 ; xx. 6, 27. 
The punishment of these sororers was death by stoning. 

3 Fiirst and Miihlau und Volck. Lev. xix. 31 ; xx. 27. Deut. 
xviii. 11. 

* See vol. i. pp. 433, 441 ; iii. p. 147. 

^ 2 Kings xxiii. 24; see Leat. iv. 25; Exod. xx. 4, 22 ; Dent. 
V. 8; vii. 25 (idols to be burned). Exod. xxxii. 20; Lev. xxvii. 28; 




But all this was only a preparation for the formal 
restoration of the national religion. Many of its rites 
had fallen into disuse, or were not carried out with strict 
adherence to prescribed form. Hezekiah had kept the 
Passover with great solemnity nearly a century before, 
but it had probaf>Iy been neglected during the long reign 
of Manasseh. It was now possible, however, to celebrate 
the feast with hitherto unknown exactness. Full details 
respecting its proper observance were to be found in 
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy,^ and 
these were ordered to be studied by all the priests and 
Levites.^ A great passover was then appointed to bo held 
on the 14tli day of Nisan, nearly our April, the first 
or "flower month;'' known also as Abib, "the month 
of earing : " ^ in accordance with the terms of the original 
commands on the subject.* Hezekiah had varied from 
the law where he thought it right to do so,** keeping 
the feast on the second month — lyar, nearly our May — 
and permitting the strangers from the remnant of the 
Northern tribes, who had the excuse of ignorance, to 
join in it, though not legally " clean." No variation 
was now required. The enthusiasm of tho people was 
for the time roused to the utmost by the finding of tho 
Law, and they were eager to comply with it on every 

Deut. xiii. 10; xvii. 6 (Hebrew idolaters to bo stoned). Exod. xxiii. 
13, 24 ; Lev. xxvi. 1 ; Deut. xxvii. 15. That Saul (1 Sam. xxvii. 3) 
should have tried to banish necromancers from the land, shows 
that he knew the requirements of the Law. It must, then, have 
been at least as old as bis day. 

' Exod. xii. 3, 43 ; xiii. 5. Lev. xxiii. 4 ; xxviii. 16. Num. ix. 1. 
Deut. xvi. 1. 1 

2 2 Chron. xxxv. 2. • "Coming into ear." 

* Geikio's Lifo of Christ, vol. ii. p. 278. Graetz says the 
Passover was held in tho spring of u.c. 621, 

* 2 Chron. xxx. 2, 17-20. 

: I 


^i :! 

I I 



point.* Josiah was the soul of the revival in this, as 
in other directions. He, not the high priest or dig- 
nitaries, secured the enrolling of the ordinary priests in 
their respective divisions or "courses,"^ or successive 
turns of service, and it was he especially who quickened 
their zeal by animating words, and saw to their being 
carefully instructed in the details of their duties, ac- 
cording to the letter of the law.' 

Priests and Levites, the sacred caste,^ and as such the 
offi<*'al teachers of the Law, were, further, sent through 
the country, to instruct the whole people in the prepara- 
tions it demanded for the Passover, and in the general 
knowledge of its precepts.* Levites, strictly so called, 
were directed to restore the Ark, from the spot where it 
had been hidden during the reigns of Manasseh and 
Amon, to its old place in the temple, it being their pre- 

' 2 Chron. xxxir. 32, 33. Deut. vi. 5. Jer. xxii. 15. 

* Lit., " their watches." Gesenias translates the words " jon- 
■firmed in their duties, or oflBces." 

' Compare the exhortation of Hezekiah to the priests in 
eimilar circumstances, 2 Chron. xxix. 5-11. It is very note- 
worthy that both priests and Levites (ver. 4) are called Levites in 
vOr. 5. How utterly this language, in a book so late as 2 Chron., 
dating from the Persian age, explodes the theory of the late origin 
of the Middle Books of the Pentateuch, on the ground that they 
sharply discriminate between priests and Levites, contrary to tiie 
usage in Deuteronomy ! 

* Exod. xxviii. 41 ; xl. 15. Num. xviii. 6; iii. 10, 12, 45. 

* In the Hebrew text the teachers " of all Israel," that is of 
Judah, Jerusalem, and the remnant of the Ten Tribes, are called 
" Levites," which in this case also, contrary to the new critics, 
must include priests, if they, alone, are not meant. Many manu- 
scripts read for Levites, the Miblnim, or •* instructed," "well- 
skilled," and this is the word used for the teachers of the Law, the 
precursors of "the Scribes," in Neh. viii. 7-9, 10, 29; Ezra viii. 16. 
See Leyrer and Naegelsbach in Herzog, vols. iv. p. 170; xiii. p. 
733. Seo also Deut. xxiii. 10 ; 2 Chron. xxx. 22 ; Mai. ii. 7. 



7ords " zon- 

rogative to carry it on their shoulders when it had to be 
moved.^ Levites were now to bear it to the Holy Place,^ 
which they alone could enter ; priests lifting it, thence, into 
the Holy of Holies.^ It was the last time they were to 
have this great honour, which their forefathers had en- 
joyed a thousand years before. Henceforth, the sacred 
chest was to remain permanently in the Holy of Holies, 
and the Levites were to attend exclusively to the 
ritual of the temple and its minor duties, taking care, 
above all, that every detail of the legal prescriptions was 
exactly observed by the cpowds who came up to the 
temple, or to the feasts. The Levitical purity of the 
worshippers; the provision of wood, salt, etc., for tho 
altar ; the inspection of victims for sacrifice, and their 
being properly slaughtered; the superintendence of the 
Passover, and of the other feasts, constituted from this 
time their distinctive office.* 

The task before the Commission deputed to instruct 
the people for the approaching Passover would have been 
easy, even witl only the details of ritual in the Books 
of the Law. Besides these, however, they had sub- 

* Num. iv. 15 ; vii. 9 ; x. 21. 

* Thenius, Die B. d. Konige, p. 434. 

' Keil, B. d. Chronik, p. 377. The Kabbis say that Josiah con- 
cealed the Ark, to prevent its being carried oS. to Babylon. 
Barclay's Talmud, p. 345. There was no Ark in the second 
temple, and 2 Mace. ii. 4, perhaps on the strength of Jcr. iii. 
16, attributes this to its concealment by Jeremiah, for which 
there is no ground. Hitzig thinks that it had fallen to pieces 
from old age and decay, while hidden, in the time of Manassch. 
But articles of wood in the dry climate of the East, last for immcnso 
periods, as may be seen in any Egyptian collections. Neither 
in Jer. iii. 16, nor elsewhere, is it said that it was destroyed, or 
that it perished during the reign of Manassch. See Graf, Der 
P. Jeremia, on iii. 16. 

* liahhi Saloman, quoted by Koil, B. d. 01iron,t p. 376. 

■ in 

uil , 




ordinate helps of the greatest value, in ancient manu- 
scripts ^ of the forms used by David and Solomon, which 
tinis supplied precedents and explanations of the highest 
authority. That such written documents should have 
existed in the seventh century before Christ, and that they 
should have survived the stormy years of the persecution, 
is a striking proof that other documents, such as the 
Book? of the Law, may also have existed from early 
times, though till »Tosiah*s reign we have no intimation 
respecting them ; for these Service Books of the earliest 
days of the monarchy are noticed only in this casual 
allusion, centuries after their composition.^ 

Minut'3 instructions were further given to the Levites 
themselves. They were to minister in the temple, as in 
the days of David and his great son ; a section of each 
Levitical " House "^ being set apart for the service of 
each *' House " of the people.* Instructions were also 
given them how to kill the Passover lamb properly, 

* 2 Chron. xxxv. 3. 

' The new critics try to escape this difficulty by saying that we 
should underr.iand ** precepts," or " ordinances," rather than writ- 
ings. But as Bertheau well says, we should then, as in 2 Chron. 
xxix. 25, have had, "according to the commandment of David, 
etc." Two words are used. The first K'tab, occurs in the Old 
Testament twelve times, and each time is translated ** writing." 
The second, Michtab, occurs eight times, and is, also, always 
translated " writing. ' K'tab is, in fact, a word of the later Hebrew, 
for the earlier, Saiphor, a book. See Ezra ii. 62; Neh. vii. 64; 
Dan. X. 21. It is found in Syriac (Kotob), in Arabic (Ketibe), and 
in Ethiopic, with the same meaning, of a writing or book. Both 
words arc from the verb Katah, " to write." In 2 Chron. xxxiv. 
13, we read of " Levite Scribes." Their life, given to copying 
sacred or other writings, secured the preservation of those of the 
prophets, and was doubtless also, in largo measure, given to 
transcribing parts or the whole of the Law. 

8 Lit., " House of the Fathers." * See verse 12. 




when the feast came, and to " sanctify " ^ themselves by 
washing, before they handed the blood to the priest; 
how, also, to prepare the lambs for the people, in strict 
accordance with the Divine injunctions " by the hand of 
Moses/' in the written Law jast recovered.^ 

The approach of the great day found multitudes as- 
sembled in Jerusalem, including many survivors of the 
Ten Tribes, from distant parts of the North.^ Vast num- 
bers, however, from poverty or ignorance, or from the 
difficulty of obtaining a paschal lamb or kid, had not 
provided themselves with them; for, as yet, no flocks 
were collected beforehand at Jerusaleiii for sale at tho 
feast, as in later times. Thirty thousand lambs and kids, 
therefore, were distributed by the king among tho poor, 
and those who from other causes were unsupplied. 
Three thousand bullocks from the crown pastures were 
added to this royal bounty, to provide materials for 
the seven days feast that followed the Passover.* The 
nobility were no less liberal, giving great numbers of 
cattle and lambs and goats to the priests and Levites," 
* ad to \;he people, for free offerings. Nor were the 
aiguit'\ries of the temple * behind hand. The high 

It i:\ 

* 2 Chron. xxix. 6, 15 ; xxx. 3, 15. Ezra vi. 20. 

* 2 Chron. xxxv. 6. The Levites had charge of killing the 
Passover lamb for every oiie who was nob "clean." 2 Chron. 
xxx. 17. To the latest tim'^s ib was the custom of each Israelite 
to slaughter his own Iamb or kid, the place being the temple 
court, after the sanctuary wa,? built. Pesachim, v. 6-8. But on 
special occasions, such as the Passovers of Hezekiah, Josiah, and 
Ezra, the slaughter of the loinbs was committed to the Levites. 
2 Chron. xxx. xxxv. Ezra vi. 

» 2 Chron. xxxv. 18. " Eeil, p. 378. 

* In Hezekiah's time the nobles gave away 1,000 oxen, and 
10,000 sheep. 

* The lay "princes" are called Sarim; those of the toraplo 

i f 1 

1 1 



i i 

priest, Hilkiah, of the line of Elenzar ; Zechariah, appa- 
rently his deputy; and Jehiel, probably tb3 head of the 
line of Ithamar,^ gave 2,600 lambs and kids, and 300 
oxen, to the priests, their subordinates, while six of the 
principal Levites,* officials, apparently, at the head of 
the working departments of the temple, its stores, pro- 
tection, and oversight, gave their brethren 5,000 lambs 
and kids, and 500 oxen. 

Thus, on the ove of the Passover, everything was 
ready. The priests, in their white robes, with bare feet 
and covered head, stood at their posts at the altar ; ^ the 
Levites in their successive courses, at their side, accord- 
ing to the king's command.* As the sun was setting, 
and before the stars appeared,' the lambs and kids were 
slaughtered and flayed by hundreds of Levites, the blood 
being handed by them in bowls to the priests, to sprinkle 
on the altar ; each Levite having first washed himself in 
the temple laver. The part of the victims required for 
a burnt offering,® was then given back to each house- 
holder, who forthwith bore it to the priest, to lay on the 
altar flames.' The same was done with the oven during 

"Negidim." The words are lit., "princes or rulers of the 
House of God." 
' This line still survived after the Exile. See Ezra viii. 2. 

* Levites of 'ihe same name as the first three here (verse 9), 
occar in the record of Hezekiah's feast. 2 Ghron. xxxi. 12-15. 
But the names of priests were largely hereditary, or perhaps, as 
Bertheau suggests, these were the names of "families" or 

* 2 Chron. xxx. 16. * 2 Chron. xxxv. 4. 

* Deut, xvi. 6. Exod. xii. 6. Lev. xxiii. 6. Num. ix. 3-6. 
Josephus says thab the lambs were slain from the ninth to the 
eleventh hour, from three to five o'clock. Bell. Jud., VI. ix. 8. 
Aee Pesacldm, v. 3. 

* Lev. iii. 6-17. ' Keil thus explains 2 Chron. xxxv. 12. 




the next week, parts of them being sacred to the altar, 
while the rest remained the property of the ofEerer, to 
whom it was returned.^ The cooking of the flosh for 
the people, however, was reserved, on this occasion, to 
the Levites, perhaps to guard against ritual errors when 
everything was virtually new. The lambs and young 
goats were duly roasted, according to the Law,^ but the 
'* holy flesh," ^ as the slaughtered oxen were called, was 
baked or boiled in pots, kettles, and other vessels.* The 
strain put on the priests and Levites was almost beyond 
human endurance, for they could take neither rest nor 
refreshment till their labours were over. Each course of 
both Levites and priests had only snatches of ^ciaure. 
Not only that night, but each day of the following week, 
the whole time from morning till evening, during the 
seven days of unleavened bread, was occupied in pre- 
paring and burning the vast multitude of offerings from 
so many victims. During all these days the services of 
the temple choir were brought into requisition at inter- 
vals — the singers of the famous clan of Asaph, chanting, 
in relays, the psalms for the season, appointed centuries 
before, by David, Asaph, and Jeduthun. Neither they, 
indeed, nor the watchers of the gates, could leave the 
temple, but had their food brought to them by the 
liovites.* Such a Passover had never been held since 

^ The fat of the oxen belonged to the altar as a thankoffering. 
Lev. iii. 3. 

2 Exod. xii. 7-9. 

» 2 Chron. xxxv. 13, the "holy." 

* 1 Sam. ii. 13, 14 The word is the same foir cooking both the 
kmb and the oxen, bub the addition of "by fire" marks that 
tie lamb was roasted. The boiling or baking is prescribed in 
Lov. viii. 31; Exod. xxix. 31; Lev. vi. 28. 

' 2 Chron. xxxv. 15. It is striking and instructiv to read in 
Torso 16, that all the arrangements for this great feast were made 






the days of Samuel; for the requirements of the Law 
had never before been so minutely observed.^ Nor was 
the rejoicing of the following week less remarkable. 

The influence of such a celebration of the great na- 
tional feast was felt in all directions. It proclaimed the 
full restoration of the worship of Jehovah, and kindled 
an enthusiasm for His service in many. Hebrews from 
all parts of \e land had been :res' , a.»d carried bi ck 
to Shechem, Shiloh, Saiaaria, :iui chewhere, a loyalty 
to the temple at Jerusalem, w)* li to^^tinued till the 
destruction of the city by Nebuchaduoz mr, and even 
after the Return.^ So great an event, indeed, was it 
thought, that Ezekiel dates the opening of his prophecies 
from it.^ 

It seems probable that we have in the eighty-first 
Psalm a relic of this great solemnity.* If so, we may 
picture to ourselves all the Levites " that could skill 
of instruments of music,'' ^ and " the singers, the sons of 
Asaph,"* chanting and playing in mingled harmony, 
words still familiar to ourselves ; the multitudes in the 
courts beneath kneeling in worship as the music rolled 
out its sounds. 

according to the commandment of King Josiah, a young man of 
26 ; not according to that of the high priest. By " burnt offer- 
ings " (verse 16) are to be understood the usual offerings at the 
Passover and feast of unleavened bread ; not *' burnt offerings " 
in the strict sense. None of these were burnt at the Passover 
season except the daily sacrifice. Num. xxviii. 4. 

^ So, rightly, Keil. Clericus. 

2 Jer. xli. 5. Bzra iv. 2. 

* In Ezekiel i. 1, the date used is the thirtieth year from 
Josiah's Reformation and Passover; that is, in the fifth year 
of King Jehoiakim's captivity. Ch'aetz, vol. ii. p. 321. 

4 Delitzsch. Moll. Graeta. 

* 2 Chron. xxxiv. 12. '2 Chron. X':xv. lb. 




Sing alond^ nnto God, our Strength; 
Make a joyful noise unto the Gol of Jacob ; 
Lift up t\ '' psalm} souu'l tae tn ibrol (yo nhoirs of Lovitea); 
The pleat it lyro and the harp ! 
61ov7 the ^rumpec on the new moon {of uhe month Nisan, yo 

pries ) i) ! 
On the fn -rooon; the day of our passover feast! 
^'or the least is a la"' * Israel; an ordinance of the God of 

Ho ordr'ned it in Joseph,' when He went forth to iudge' the land 

of Egypt." 

In that day I heard the voi9e of One, whom as yet I know not, 

saying: — 
*' I have lifted the slave burden from Israel's shoulders, 
I have set his hands free from the basket (in which ho carriv;d 

the earth). 
Thou c^Uedst (on Mo) in trouble, and I delivered thee from it; 
I answerc d thee through the veil of the thunder cloud, 
I put thee to the test at the waters of Meribah I ' 
Hear, O My people, and I will give thee counsel; 
Israel, would thou didst but hearken to Me 1" 

(This is what I said to thee 1) " There shall be no god of a 
foreign people in thee; " 

Thou shalt not worship any god of a foreign land. 
I, I am Jehovah, thy God, who led thee up out of Egypt; 
Open wide thy mouth and I will fill it ! " 

But My people would not hearken to My voice; 
Israel was not willing to obey Me, 

So I gave them over io the hardness of their own hearts ; 
They walked in their own counsels ! 

1 Ps. Ixxxi. 

2 A pathetic name for tho Hebrews collectively. 
' Lit., " against." 

* Exod. xi. 4 ; xii. 27. 

^ Exod. xvii. 7. The word " Selah," here, means that at this 
point tho crowd bent the head, while tlio music played an inter- 
lude, giving time for solemn thought. Hitzlg, and Vclitzsch, 





O that My people would hearken to Mo ; 

that Israel would walk in My ways t 
How soon * would I humble their foes, 

And turn My hand against their oppressors 1 ' 

The haters of Jehovah would submit themselves to Him^ 

And the prosperity of Israel would endure for ever I 

1 would feed them' with the fat of wheat ; * 

With honey from the combs, in the clefts of the rook, would I 
satisfy thee (0 Israel) ! 

Yet, amidst all the enthusiasm, which found expression 
in a festival so strictly observed and so numerously 
attended, there were many who remained indifferent and 
secretly hostile. The reformation had been imposed ou 
the nation by the will of the king, and had not the depth 
of a spontaneous r^jveraent. The tone of the Psalm just 
given is sad, amidst its call to rejoicing ; it bewails the 
stubborn ungodliness of the community as a whole, and 
pleads for a better frame of mind. The same character- 
istics show themsfcives in the language of Jeremiah in an 
address delivered about thi^j time. He hints at deadly 
opposition to himself for his plain speaking, and even at 
conspiracy against Josiah for his religious innovations. 
First addressing his brethren the prophets, he urges them 
to diligonce; impressing on the people of Judah and 
Jerusalem, the nature, obligations, and penal sanctions, 
of the covenant into which they had entered with Jehovah, 
through their representatives, the elders. The Book of 
the Law in which it was embodied had been unknown 
for generations, and it was therefore imperative that the 
population, as a whole, should be made familiar with it, as 

* Lit., " as in a moment." 

2 From the verb, " to distress, harass, vex." 

* Dolitzsch continues the first person here. This Psalm was 
sung in the second temple on the fifih day of the week. Barclay's 
Talmud, p 254. * Deut. xxxii. 14. 




the only hope of such an intelligent obedience as would 
secure its promises and avert its curses, ilence the 
prophet began :— 

Hear ye,' O my brother prophets, the words of this Covcnanf,'' 
speak thus to the men of Judali and the inhabitauts of Jerusalem ; 
Thus Baith Jehovah, the God of Israel ; Cursed is the man who 
obeys not the words of this covenant,' which I commanded youx' 
fathers in the day when I led them from the land of Egypt/ 
a fiery furnace to them — terrible as tlie furnace in which iron is 
smelted * — and said, " Obey My voice, and do My will, according 
to all that I command you ; so shall ye bo My people, and I 
will be your God."* That I may fulfil the oath' which I svvoro 

* Jar. xi. 1-5. 

2 The word "covenant," as the name for the "Book of the 
Law," found by Hilkiah, or for its most distinguishing feature, 
is of constant recurrence in the different Books of the rontateuch, 
e.g. Exod. ii. 24; vi. 4, 5; xix. 5; xxiv. 7, etc. Lev. ii. 13; xxvi. 
{>; XV. 25; xlii. 44, 45. Num. x. 33; xiv. 44; xxv. 13. Deut. iv. 
13, 23, 31 ; V. 2, 3 ; vii. 2, 9, 12; viii. 18; ix. 9, 11, 15 ; xxix. 1, 9, 
etc. See, also, 2 Kings xxii. 8; xxiii. 2. 2 Chrou. xxxiv. 30; 
xxxi. 16. There can be no doubt that the prophet refers to the 
covenant made for. the nation, by Josiah and the elders, and 
based on the " Book of the Law " recently discovered, 

' Deiit. xxvii. 26. 

* It is clear from these words that Jeremiah either honestly 
believed that the " Book of the Law," just found, was the genuine 
ancient record of God's words to Israel at Sinai, or that he pre- 
tended to believe it was, and palmed it oflf on his fellow-prophets 
and the people as such. The new critics may think it a light 
matter to charge the prophet with wilful fraud, but most people 
will hold their doing so as a very grave immorality. 

* Deut. V. 6. Job vi. 12. Isa. xlviii. 10. 1 Kings viii. 51. 
Jor. iv. 20. 

* This is a reference to Lev. xxvi. 3, 12, and Exod. vi. 7 ; xxix. 
45. Deut. xxvii. 15-26. How could they then have been com- 
posed after the Captivity. 

' Gen. iv. 18 ; xxii. IC ; xxiv. 7 ; xxvi. 3 ; 1. 24. Exod. xiii. 5, 
11 ; xxxiii. 1. Num. xiv. 16, 30; xxxii. 11. Deut. i. G, 35; vi, 
10, and eleven times more^ 

VOL. V. B 



i , 





to your fathors ; to givo thorn a land flowing with milk and 
huDoy,' as \h tho caso this day. 

Then aiiswornd I, Joromiah, whon God spoke thus to roo, 
Aincn,^ O Jehovah I 

A Divine commission to make known all the words 
of tho new found Law, throughout tho kingdom, was at 
the same time given to the prophet. 

Then Jehovah said to mo,' Read aloud all those words in the 
ciuoM of Jndah, and in tho 8 treats of Jerusalem, saying: *' Hear 
ye tho words of this covenant, and do them I For I have 
earnestly exhorted your fatliers ever since tho day when I 
brought them up out of the land of Egypt, to this present tiujo, 
from early morning on, urging them, continually, saying, *Oboy 
My voice ! ' But they did not listen, or incline their ear, but 
walked, each, in tho stubbornness of his evil heart, and, therefore, 
have I brought upon them all the words of this covcnunb which 
I commanded them to do, but which they havo not done." 

How long Joromiah was occupied in this mission 
through the land, making known the details of the newly 
discovered Law, is not said. But, however successful 
with individuals, he had to lament the persistent obduracy 
of vast numbers. It would even seem, as already said, 
that the heathen party plotted secretly against Josiah, 
for his reforms ; accompanied, as they had been, by tho 
slaughter of the idol priests, in accordance with the 
injunctions of the Law.* For, with all the gentleness 
and love of the Pentateuch, in many utterances, a spirit 
of fierce sternness towards idolatry marked it as only a 
temporary code, to bo one day superseded by the sacred 

* Exod. iii. 8-17} xiii. 5; xxxiii. 3. Lev. xx. 24. Num. xiii. 
27; xiv. 8; xvi. 13,14. Deut. vi. 3; xi. 9; xxvi. 15; xxvii. 3; 
xxxi. 20. 

2 Deut. vii. 12. Gen. xxii. 16 ; xv. 18; xxiv. 7. 
» Jer. xi. e-8. 

* Lev. xxvii. 18. Num. xxxiii. 52. Deut. vii. 2 ; xx. IG, 17. 



charity of Jesus Christ. Blood had, indeed, boon shed 
by Mauassoh, but Josiuh also hud shod it, and that on 
the very altars. Tho ouo pL'raecution had brought a 
reaction in favour of tho worship of Jehovah ; tho other 
was now preparing a revulsion in favour of heathenism. 

And Johovah fiirthor said to mo,* Thero is a conspiracy among 
tho men of Ju.dali and the inhahitants of Jorusalom. Thoy have 
returned to tho iniquitiOH oE their early ^ forefuthors, who refuHcd 
to hoar My words; and tlioy, in this day, Imvo gone after otlier 
gods, to servo them. Tho House of Israel and the House of 
Judah have broken My Covenant, whicii I made witli their 
fatlierp. Therefore, thus says Joliovah : Behold I bring evil on 
them, which thoy shall not bo able to escape; when thoy cvy to 
Me, I will not listen to them. The towns of Judah and tho ii • 
habitants of Jeiusalem will go and cry to tho gods to whom they 
burn incenso, but thoy will give them no help in tho time of 
trouble. For thy gods, O Judah, are becorao as many as thy 
cities, and ye have set up in Jerusalem as many altars to Tho 
Shame as there are streets ; altars to burn incenso to Baal 1 ^ 

But, as for thoe,* do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry 
or supplication for them, for I will not listen when thoy cry to 
Mo in tho time of trouble ! 

What has Judah, once My beloved,' to do in My House P They 
who only practise deceit P ^ Can vows and the hallowed ilosh of 
offerings ward from thee the calamity that threatens V ^^ Then 

> Jar. xi. 9-13. 

' Lit., " first." Jeremiah thus knew tho history of tho nation 
from tho first — that is, ho know the Pentateuch. 

3 This and the previous verse are almost tho same as chap. ii. 
27, 28. Streets = open places. See chap. vii. 17. 

* Jer. xi. 14-17. . * See Jcr. xii. 7. 

' To act as she does — to do vickedness P Brcdenlcamp, p. Ill, 
and others. 

' Tho received text is untranslatable. Tho version given ia 
that of the Sept., Keil, Hitzig, Eichhorn, Ewald, Do Wette (who 
has "iniquity" for "calamity"), Graf, Bredenkamp, Gcsdz u. 
Propheten, p. 111. 


! UlH 






i! • 

mayest thon indeed rejoice ! Jehovah called thee a green olive 
tree, fair with goodly Truit,* but amidst the uproar of a mighty 
storm He has laid fire to it, and its branches are broken off by 
the tempest.^ For Jehovah of Hosts, who planted thee, has 
decreed evil against thee, for the wickedness of the House of 
Israel and of the House of Judah, which they have chosen to do 
— to provoke Me to anger by offering incense to Baal. 

A still more bitter proof of the malignity of public 
feeling towards the friends of the old religion was now, 
howfver, to horrify the prophet. Living amongst his 
neignbours at Anathoth, with no suspicion of danger, a 
plot against his life was suddenly revealed to him. He 
was to realize the abiding truth, that* a prophet has no 
honour in his native place.* His plain speaking had 
infuriated the worldly-minded priests of his village, till 
now, apparently, his head- quarters, though his mission 
often took him to Jerusalem, and had even of late 
required him to make preaching circuits over the whole 
country, in connection with the new religious Covenant. 

Jehovah* made it known to me, and then only I knew it, when 
Thou showedst me their doings. I was like a house lamb " that 
is led, without dreaming of it, to the slaughter ; I did not know 
that they had plotted evil against me, saying, " Let us destroy 
the tree with its fruit, * and cut him off fiom the laud of the 

* The individuals are so called. 

3 The figure seems to be that of a mighty wind, which has at 
once fanned and spread the fire and also broken off the branches. 
It refers to the ruin caused by Assyria and to be caused by 
Babylon, and includes the fall of the Ten Tribes. The storm is 
the wild confusion of war. 

3 Luke iv. 28. * Jer. xi. 18-23. 

* A pet lamb brought up in a household *' is still common in 
the tents of Ar<ibs, and was no less so among the Jotvb. 

* Lit., " bi ' In this case his hateful prophecies. 

• 2 Sam. xii. 3. 





3ommon m 

living, that his name may be no longer remembered." But, O 
Jehovah of hosts, that judgest righteously, and triest the reins 
and the heart,^ let me see Thy vengeance on them ; for to Thee 
have I committed my cause.' Therefore, Jehovah speaks thus 
against the men of Anathoth, who sought my life, saying to me, 
" Prophecy not' thus, in the name of Jehovah, or you will die at 
our hands." For this cause Jehovah of hosts has said, " Behold, 
I will punish them. The young men, fit for arms, shall die by 
the sword; their young sons and their daughters shall die by 
the famine of a siege, and no remnant of them will be left; for I 
will bring evil on the men of Anathoth in the year of their 

The old belief in temporal rewards and punishments 
had long been shaken. Asaph, in the seventy- third 
psalm, had expressed the perplexity of thoughtful minds 
on the subject, and now Jeremiah was no less troubled 
at the prosperity of the men of Anathoth, who sought 
to murder him for speaking the words put into his lips 
by God. 

Thou art too righteous,* O Jehovah, for me to contend with 
Thee : yet, let mo stati my case to Thee, to learn Thy will. Why 
is the way of the wicked prosperous ? Why does it go well with 
all who act so treacherously ? Thou hast planted them and they 
have struck root : they grow vigorously and bear fruit : yet they 
are hypocrites ; for though Thou art near their months. Thou 
art far from their hearts.* But Thou, Jehovah, knowesc me, that 
1 am Thy true servant; Thou seest me, and triest my heart, how 
it stands towards Thee. Drag them away like sheep to the 
shambles, and give them up® to a day of slaughter ! How long 
shall the land mourn, as it now does, in a sore drought, and the 
green ol the whole country wither P Through the wickedness of 

* To Thee the most secret thoughts are known. 

* Lit, "on Thee do I roil ray cause." 

» Amos ii. 12. * Jer. xii. 1-4 

* They honour Thee with their lips, but their heart is far from 

* Lit., " consecrate, devote them." 


.-'.i- ';i 


' t 




its inhabitants its cattle and birds are gone; and yet my enemies 
say, " God does not trouble Himself about our future : we shall 
go on to the end unpunished 1 " * 

God, however, answers that all the past is light com- 
pared vv'ith what awaits the prophet. His fellow- vilUigers 
have conspired to murder him ; but, hereafter, even his 
own blood relations will turn against him. Jehovah 
now speaks : , 

"If when thou thus runnest* with the footmen,' they weary 
thee, liow canst thou hope to contend with horses ? If, up to this 
time, tViou hast felt, in a measure, secure, as in a land of peace, 
what wii^ thou do when thou art, as it were, in the tangled thickets 
of Jordan, full of lions and beasts of prey ?* For even thy brethren 
and thy father's house;* even they have been faithless to thee: 
even they call after thee with loud voice, to seize thee, or strike 
thee down ! " 

Yet his question does not remain unanswered. Ana- 
thoth and Judali will not always escape. The Livine 
judgment h approaching. 

1 have forsaken My Houiso," says Jehovah: I have cast off 
My Heritage! I have given thj dearly beloved of My soul into 

* This seems the sense of the text. 

2 Jar. xii. 5, 6. 

* Footmen = running couriers. See vol. i. p. 451. "Passing 
through the bazaar, one of the Pacha's beys rode past us, mounted 
on an Arab horse. A man in white cotton ran belore him at full 
speed, clearing the way with voicf; and arras." Narr. of a Mission 
of Inquiry, p. 49. 

* The " swelling of Jordan " should be " the pride "; in allusion 
to the luxuriant thickets of tamarisks, poplars, reeds, etc., the 
special lair of all beasts of prey, especially of the lion. Schubert's 
Hciso, vol. iii. pp. 82, 84, 2 Kings vi. 1-7. Jer. xlix. 10. Zech. 
xi. 3. Wilto7i's Negeh, pp. 42, 196. 8ee p. lt'5. Vol. iii. p. 388. 

' They were priests ; the family were priestly. 

« Jer. xii. 7-13. By " House " the nation is mcanr. 



the hand of her enemies ! My Heritage has been fierce ognitisb 
me, as a lion in the yaar . ' it roared against Me ; therefore I 
have withdrawn My love from \t; and given it up to its enemies, 
as if I liated it. Is My Heritage a speckled vulture to Me, that 
vultures are gathered round about her,' to fall on her ? Up, cause 
all the beasts of the field to assemble, bring them hither to devour! 
Many shepherds'— the leaders of invading hosts — have destroyed 
My vineyard ; trodden My enclosure under foot ; and turned it, 
onco so beautiful, into a desolate wilderness. It has been made a 
waste ; it mourns aloud round Me, in its desolation ; the whole 
land is made a desert, because no man has laid My warnings to 
heart. The plunderers have come up to all the bare heights of 
the wilderness pastures; for the sword of Jehovah devours from 
one end of the land to the other : no flesh has any peace. They 
have sown wheat and reaped thorns : * they have tired them- 
selves out and profited nothing. They will reap only shame at 
their harvest, because of the fierce anger of Jehovah ! 

Yet the enemies of Israel will not escape unpunished. 

Thus saith Jehovah,* against all my evil neighbours that to\ich 
the land I have given as an inheritance to My people Isiael , — 
Behold I will pluck them up^ from their own land, and I will 

* See vol. iv. p. 358. 

' The zoological references are not clear in this passage. Ait, 
the first word, is rendered by Miihlau und Volck, and by Fiirst, a 
vulture = the screamer. Gesenius makes it mean also, "a beast 
of prey." Tsabua, the second word, is the participle of a verb, 
and means to be coloured or- striped. Hence Miihiau und Volck 
render it both thus, and also as the word for a hyaBua. Tristnira 
thinks the hyaena meant, N. H. B., p. 108. Arnold (Herzog, vol. 
ii. p. 29) translates it hyaena. But nearly all the critics prefer 

* Jer. V3. 3. The idea which suggested this usb of the word 
" shepherd " is probably the terror felt by the settled fellahin 
of Judah at the wandering Arab "shepherds," whose life was 
plunder. Gen. x'lvi. 34. 

* Kot-'am, a word which includes all prickly or thorny plants. 
Tristram, p. 428. 

« Jer. xii. 14-17. " As a plant. 

' -?:! 

<; ^! 

!■ '..: 


% ■ • 




pluck out the House of Judah from among them. And after 
I have thus plucked them out, I will again have compassion on 
them, and bring them back, each to his own heritage, and to his 
own land. And if they then learn the ways of My people — to 
swear by My name " aa truly an Jehovah lives," as they taught 
My people to swear by Baal, they shall bo received * into the 
midst of My people. But if they will not hear, I will root out 
and utterly destroy such a nation, says Jehovah. 

It may be that in the fiftieth Psalm we have another 
relic of these days, when Judah, under Josiah, had 
pledged itself anew in covenant with Jehovah.^ In any 
case it is at least as old a« Josiah's reign ; possibly much 
older, and it is of special interest since it presents with 
unique clearness the prophetic teaching with respect to 
sacrifice, echoing the words of Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and 
Micah. Its one great them 3 is, that the gross material 
idea of an offering or sacrifice, in itself securing peace 
with God, is worse than misleading; aiwJl that the 
thought of its being a service to the Alini^^hty to make 
such gifts to Him, is baseless folly. Sacri'fice is repre- 
sented as the divinely appointed and sanctioned ratifica- 
tion of Jehovah's covenant with His people, but only 
whm followed by a godly life, and presented by a sincere 
and humble penitent. Tha relation of the riti*al law to 
the moral — a lesson of infinite value for all time — is pro- 
claimed. " It is well * says th > Psalmist in effect, ''that 
the smoke of offerings should rise from the altar, but 
unless the inconse of the heart rise wxch it^ it profits 

* Lit., " built." The return of the Moabites is mentioned in 
chap, xlviii. 47. Thao of the Ammonites in chap. xlix. 6. 

2 Sec Ps. i. D E^^^lcl assigns it to this time. Delitzsch and 
Moll merely give >r >!s a 1 salm of Asaph. Bredenkamp shows 
forcibly that it i^annor ♦'•e a T>aalra of tl e Exile or after it, but 
comes to us uvm f.ii earlio/ tvjc. Geiti-^ und Propheten, p. 63. 

IKlJ ■ 



Jehovah, the God of gods, opeaks, 
Calling the earth, from the rising of the sun to its going down. 
Elohim s'.iines forth oufc of Zion — the perfection of beauty 1 
Our God cemos, and wil! not keep silence ; 
Fire devours before Him, and a great tempest is round about 

He calls to the heavens above, and to tiie earth, 
That He is about to judge His people ! 
" Gather my saints * together to Me : 
Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice,** 
\nd let the heavens proclaim His righteousness. 
For God Himself is judge 1 Sclah. 

" Hear, My people, and I will speak ; 

Israel, and I will bear witness against theo I 

1 am Elohim, thy God ! » 

I do not reprove ' Thee for failure in offering thy ordinary sacri- 

And as to thy whole-burnt-offeringg, they are continually before 

* Lit., "Hasidim;" rendered elsewherr, ii A.V., the "merciful," 
"godlv," "holy." After the Return, this vas the name assumed 
by the Hebrew Puritans, or given to their* They were known 
as the Aniyim, or humble, or afflicted; the Ebionim, or poor; and 
the Hasidim or godly — names taken from the prophetical writings, 
or Fsalms. Men like Mattathias, the father of the Maccabees, 
were chiefs of the Hasidim. See Herzog's Encyh., vols. i. p. 386 ; 
ii. pp. 637 ff. ; v. p. 578; xi. p. 501 ; xiii. pp. 735 ff. ; xvii. p. 284. 

^ Quoted from Exod. xx. 2. It is curious to notice in this Pt^alm 
the use of both Jehovah and Elohim as names for God. Jehovah 
occurs in verse 1, and yet through the rest of the Pssalm He is 
called Elohim. The idea of deciding as to the age, etc., of docu- 
ments, from the use of one sacred name or the other, is pressei 
altogether too far. Amongst ourselves one suppliant might 
oddress the Deity as *' O Lord"; another as "O God"; but 
surely that says nothing. The "Elohim theory" has, in fact, 
been reduced by its advocates to the ridiculous. Learned and 
clever men, as we all know, are apt to get astride hobbies, and to 
ride them very wildly. 

' The word also means ** to punish." 

• «i 

■ <h" -l^ 


il " lit ; ' il 

1 '-?: 

S ■■ ! 



But what value are they to Me, or what pleasure P 

I need not take * any bullock out of thy house, 

Or hc-goats out of thy fohla ; 

For every beast of the forest' is Mine, 

And { 'le cattle upon a thousand hills.* 

I know all the fowls of the mountains, 

And whatever moves on the field is before Me. 

Jf I were hungry I would not toll thee; 

For the world is Mine, and the fulness thereof I 

" Do I eat the flesh of oxen P 
Do I drink the blood of he-goats P 

Offer as sacrifice to Elohim the prayer of thanksgiving, 
And pay thy vows to the Most High, 
And then call upon Me in the Jay of trouble 
So, shall I deliver thee, and thou shult glorify Me I " 

But to tlio wicked, Elohim says : 

**How darest thoii recount My statutes, 
Or take My covenant into thy lips. 
Whilst thou yet hatest instiuction. 
And castest My words behind thy bnck P 
When tihou seest a thief thou runnest with him, 
And thou art a partaker with adulterers. 
Thou lettest thy mouth loose to evil, 
And thy tongue plots deceit. 

As thou sittest, thoi speakest against thy brother; 
Thou layest a stumbiuig block for thine own mother's son. 
Such things hast thou done, and, because I kept silence, 
Thinkest thou I am altogether such an one as thyself P 
But I will punish thee, and set the truth before thy eyesl 

O mark ye this, ye that forget God, 
Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver I 
He who offers as his sacrifice the prayer of thanksgiving, 


^ De Wette. BredenJeamp. Delitzsch. 
2 The yaar. 

' A thousand beasts are on my hills. BredenJeamp. 
Baja "great beasts,'' For cuttle. 




Honours mo arichfc • fo u: 

wi" I «.ve to oS'et tz:t ToJ^r' ^ '■" -"'. 


years of revived hope IndZZ °^ rff"'"'' '" ^''^^^ 
ceremonies were being aJpSll ./'""^"'■'^ '"<»•'»« and 
clearer insight gained a^^ 1^^ "'^"' *'"''« ""rtb, and 

i»a,, a,«3,idid;?„er;it 'crtt^v' '^"«- 

exerciao profitoth little " hnf • *"'' "'»' " bodily 

^ynjbols, when men were contented to I?*^' of rites and 
performed for them by a nmfc • ,"'"' "«"''• '"oligion 
3«premo moment that Llms ,f T^""' .""'"'' '' ^-^ of 
fte keynote of a hiX ' nd^ ' " ' '' ''"'"''^ *"-'''° 
realizations nere close at hand Ty''^'"- «"" -"er 
the prophet Habakkuk would fJ ^"'"'^ ""*'"' »"d 
truth of Christianity tZtr "'P'"" "'° ""'-d"'--!! 

faith, not by works afnnn ^^ •''"' «'"»" '<>« ' " .•3 

Epistles toihe EoLt ,L"G:,"r°'=« -P-">d i- the 
- tl-e e.aet e.pression^f'^^h^Srrlnf^ '^^''-'^- 

^.{{8:r!:i:^r«----sothor,.Hoseaw;e, Mieah ■ 

^o^-i-ir. GaUii.„. Heb.x.38. 


fl -.T 





JKHOAHAZ, 610 (tliree Kino of Egypt: 

Jeuoiakim, 610-589. 

NEcno II. 612-596. 
Kings of Babylon -. 
Nabopolassar, died 



Fail of Nineveh, 609- 

Baitlr of Carchemish, 

King of Media: 


THE gr -^ Passover had been celebiated in the year 
B.C. 62^, when Josiah was twenty-six years of age, 
and twelve years of his reign were yet to come. Respect- 
ing the events of those, however, we know virtually 
nothing, though they ^^ ^re, doubtless, stirring and mo- 
mentous enough j exhibi^ting a steady growth of the in- 
ternal strength of the nation, and the development of its 
resources. The thorough organization of the army, and 
the eager military spirit, which made possible the final 
catastrophe at Megiddo, imply a vast activity in every 
department of public life. Josiah had, in fact, shown a 
precocious maturity in many directions. Marrying at 
the age of thirteen,^ he had openly entered upon his 
great religious revolution when he was twenty, and 
before his famous Passover, had extended his sway, as 

> Schrader^ Riehm. ^ Schroder. , 

' 2 Kings x:sii. 1, compared with xxiii. 26. 




already noticed, over the la ids of the Ten Tribes, now 
inviting occupation through the decline of Assyria. Tho 
irruption of the so-called Scythian hordes in the earlier 
part of his reign must have necessitated thorough mili- 
tary organization, and this, perhaps, gave a colour, in 
one respect, to his general policy. It is not known how 
far his conquests extended, but they apparei tly em- 
braced some of the neighbouring territories besides that 
of Israel. It is possible mdeed that he may have dreamed, 
as Ewald fancies, of restoring tho ancient glory of tho 
kingdom of David,^ but, if so, the result was in the 
end disastrous. 

Earnest, able and upright in his home government, 
and brilliant in his external relations, tho life of the 
young king must, nevertheless, have been far from happy. 
Himself sincerely godly, he had fallen on evil times. 
His vigorous measures of religious reform, though 
supported by the fickle populace, were, as has been said, 
only outwardly successful. They had the fatal defect 
of being compulsory; mere acts of the ruling power 
unsupported by the good-will of the people; and hence 
they resulted in a revival of only the forms of religion 
without an accompaniment of its spirit. Not tliaf this 
lessens the admiration due to the fervent and noVle zeal 
that inspired them. In the sacred record of illustrious 
Jewish kings, Josiah is worthily ranked with Hei^ekiah, 
who " wrought good and right and truth before Jehovah, 
his God." 2 He stands first, moreover, in the inspired 
page, among all the kings of the line of David, for his 
unswerving loyalty to the commands of Jehovah through 
life.* " Like him," says the Book of Kings, " there was 
no king before him, that turned to Jehovah with all hia 

> Gesch., vol. V. p. 707- '2 Chron. xxxi. 20. 

* 2 Chron. 

xxxiv. 2. 



:. :» 

i ill 

I I 




i i 

heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, 
riccordinj^ to all the Law of Moses ; neither after him 
arose there any like him." ^ Hezokiuh may, in some 
points,'' have shown a more perfect apprehension of tlie 
will of God; but Josiah was the supremo hero of absolute 
obedience to the letter of the Law ; the most perfect typo 
of a theocratic king, carrying out the requirements of tho 
ancient Sacred Jiooks to absolute fulfilment, alike in tho 
outward extirpation of idolatry and superstition, and the 
legal execution of their votaries. " Tho remembrance of 
Josias," says the Sou of Sirach, "is like the fragrant 
pertume of mingled incense, that is made by the art of 
the apothecary. It is sweet as honey in all mouths, and 
as music at a banquet of wine. He laboured with the 
hapi)iest results in the conversion of his people, and 
rooted out the abominations of idolatry. He directed 
his heart unto the Lord, and held fast to godliness in 
the days of impiety." ^ As of Nerva, it might be said 
of him : " In evil times he dared to be good.'' * But his 
life must have been embittered by the dull inertness of 
tho multitude, and tho unscrupulous opp©sition of their 
leaders, who stooped to every art to raise popular feeling 
i,gainst his reforms.^ The " remnant of Baal," more- 
over, standing aloof from him throughout, and powerful 
enough to overturn his whole work after his death," 
were able, during his life, to prevent him carrying out 
his wishes even in his own house.' To the world he may 

I ii 

i t: 


1 2 Kings xxiii. 25. 

' 2 Kings xviii. 6. 

' Ecclus. xlix. 1-3. Lib. Apoe.,¥i \tzsche. Jesus Sirach, Augnsti. 
Excg. H. Buch. zu d. Apoc. des A. T,, Fritzsche. 

* " Tomporibusque malis ausua est esse bonus." This fine 
Bentence is based on the words of Dion Cassias, Bk. 68, Vit. 
Nci-voB. * Jer. viii. 8. 

« Jer. vii. ff. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 8. ^ Zeph. i. 8. 



have appeared alike prosperous and happy, but ho must, 
in private, have been consumed with care and annoyance. 
Ilia reign mij^ht bo a triumph to the world : to himself 
it was a tragedy. 

The years alter Josiah's Passover were momentous in 
their events in the great world. While Assyria was 
hopelessly sinking, and its utter extinction was evidently 
near, Media and Babylon were fast rising to take its pluco 
as he rulers of Western Asia. Cyaxares and Nabopolas- 
Bar, their respective kings, were leagued together, to 
wrest as much as possible from the feeble raonarcL who 
sat on the throne of Nineveh. The Modes even pene- 
trated to Asia Minor, and attacked the Lydians, as sub- 
jects of Assyria ; but an eclipse of the sun, during a battlo 
fought on the 30th September, B.C. 610, inclined both 
sides to peace. The gods seemed against a longer 
struggle. The combatants also were perhaps exhausted, 
for the war had lasted live years,' A marriage confirmed 
the cessation of strife. Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, 
obtained as wife the daughter of Alyattes, the Lydian 
king. The Medes and Babylonians, moreover, rejoiced 
in a union of their two dynasties by the marriage of a 
daughter of Cyaxares to Nabopolassar's son — soon to 
become famous as the Nebuchadnezzar of the Bible. 

Meanwhile, Psammetichus I. of Egypt, the founder of 
the great twenty-sixth dynasty — the tSaite — had died, after 
a long reign of fifty-four years,^ and was succeeded by 
his son, Necho II., the grandson, on the father's side, of 
Necho I., who had been a vassal of the Assyrians at tho 
close of the twenty-fifth dynasty. The new king was at 
once enterprising, warlike, and able. To promote trade 
ond increase his power in war, ho caused a fleet of tri- 
remes to be built, on the Grecian model, in thi harbours 
» Herod., i. 74. » b.c. 666-612. 


. Ii( 

I ' 

















■^ 1^ 12.2 


■ 4.0 


IL25 i 1.4 










WEBSTER, N.Y. 145S0 













on tlia south of the isthmus of Suez, where his dock- 
yards were still to be seen in the time of Herodotus.^ 
Another fleets on the Mediterranean coast, defended the 
north ; but the two were hopelessly kept apart by the 
isthmus. Seti I., however, the father of Barneses II., had 
cut a canal across it eight hundred years before,' ard 
Necho determined to imitate him. Forced labour was 
put in requisition to an immense extent to carry out the 
scheme ; though, as has been always the rule in Egypt, 
the army of toilers was so badly cared for, that 120,000 
of them are said to have died of hunger * or fatigue. It 
was an anticipation on a vast scale of one of the awful 
crimes of our own century, when no fewer than 10,000 
men perished under Mehemet Ali, while digging the 
Mahmoudieh canal.^ But Necho's undertaking was not 
destined to be finished; an oracle having told him he 
was working for the Barbarians. The priests .no doubt 
had in their minds the Phenicians, for whose Indian trade 
a Suez canal would have been as great an advantage as^ 
in our own day, it is for that of England — the Phenicia 
of the nineteenth century. It was to have been broad 
enough to let two triremes row abreast, but the honour 
of finishing it was left to Darius, the Persian,' in a future 

Yet, if Necho's canal was a failure, the crews of Pheni- 
cians, whom he bad attracted to his fleets, enabled him to 

* Herod., ii. 159. * Ebers, in Biehm, p. 1370. 

* Herod., i\. 158. 

* To some rulers, whom the world calls "great," the lives of 
men have been of little moment. More than 100,000 men perished 
in laying the foundations of St. Petersburg in 1714 and the follow- 
ing years, and the first Napoleon asked Metternich, " What were 
the lives of a million of men compared with the carrying out the 
schemes of a man like him 1 ** Metternich's Menioira, vol. i. ch. 8. 

* Herod., ii. 168. 



plan a great naval expedition which speaks for his brighb 
intelligence. Herodotus informs us,^ that he ordered 
Bome of his vessels^ manned by Phenicians, to sail from 
the Red Sea round Africa, returning by the Straits of 
Gibraltar; thinking they had only to circumnavigate 
Libya. But they were equal to the great task. Coasting 
the continent to the south, they ultimately reached and 
doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and got back to Egypt 
in safety, after a voyage of three years. Like his father 
Psammetichus, Necho had no foolish Egyptian prejudice 
against foreigners, and eagerly enlisted regiments of 
Greek mercenaries in his army ; a fact which may in 
great part account for the ruinous defeat he inflicted on 

In the general breaking np of the Assyrian empire, 
Necho fancied he had a fair opportunity of extending his 
empire, and of regaining part at least of the wide limits 
it had reached in ancieut times, under Thothmes III. and 
Rameses IL Egypt was now strong, for Psammetichus 
had married the heiress of the Ethiopian royal House, and 
thus closed the rivalry between the native and foreign 
dynasties that had long torn the country in pieces, as 
Henry VII. ended the civil wars of England by uniting 
the Houses of Lancaster and York.^ 

Nineveh had not yet fallen, but it was within two 
or three years of its doom.^ Nabopolassar and Cyaxares 
were busy in the East; and, while they were thus 
occupied, a bold dash might win Syria, perhaps as far as 

' Hei'od., iv. 42. * Brugsch, Histoire d*Egypte, vol. i. p. 252. 

•Ifeidvol.ii. p. 278. 

* It was not known till within the last few years that Assyria 
had not fallen in 610-9 B.C. But the Bible, with minute accuracy, 
had written ages ago that " Necho went up against the king of 
Aasyria.** 2 Kings xxiii. 29. 

VOL. V. T 

■'< 4 

f I! I 

!'■ ;i! 

If Ml 

i M 

I : 

}\ '■ 



the Euphrates J for Egypt. Necho, in the year B.C. 610, 
resolved on the attempt; strong in his Tyrian sailors and 
Greek soldiers. Unfortunately for himself and for his 
country, Josiah, whose territories were not in the line of 
the Egyptian march, thought himself forced to oppose it. 
Necho's army seems to have landed, in part, from his 
triremes, at Acre ; the rest marching by the coast route, 
and perhaps storming Gaza on the way.^ His course lay 
across the Plain of Esdraelon, but some time necessarily 
elapsed before the troops could advance. Meanwhile^ 
all was bustle and preparation in Judah. Josiah was at 
present independent ; but if Egypt conquered Syria, his 
position was lost. Tradition says that he adhered to his 
resolution to fight, in spite of the earnest entreaties of 
Jeremiah. Even Necho himself, indeed, tried to restrain 
him, but he rushed on his fate. Hearing of his advance, 
the Pharaoh sent envoys to assure him that the war was 
directed solely against his own hereditary enemy, Nine- 
veh. '' It was the will of heaven,^' he added, " that he 
should hasten on to Assyria,^ and that Josiah should not 
interfere with him, lest he should be destroyed.'' ' No- 
thing, however, could dissuade the Jewish king, now a 
man of thirty-nine. "He encouraged himself to fight 
against him,'' * in the belief that he could conquer, and 

* Jer. zlvii. The date of this storming of Gaza is uncertain. 

' This is the meaning of " the house wherewith I have war.'* 
2 Ghron. xxxv. 21. 

* Keil's e^iplanation of 2 Ghron. xxzv. 21. Pharaoh uses the 
general word for God, without the article to rerer it to the God 
of Judah, and expresses only his conviction that his enterprise is 
favoured by heaven, which is on his side— a belief any heathen 
might entertain. 

* Sept. Instead of "disguised himself*' (2 Ghron. xxx v. 22). 
Keil thinks *^ disguised himself" means, did contrary to his usual 
course, — that of acting only according to the ascerlainod will of 



marched his forces to Esdraelon. There, where Thothmes 
III. and Rameses II. had triumphed over the Hittites 
many centuries before, the issue was soon decided. The 
battle was fought near Megiddo — appareiitly a town or 
village at the base of a spur of Carmel, halfway down the 
southern edge of the plain, and near the future Roman 
town of Legio, the present Ledjun.^ Mortally wounded by 
the Egyptian archers, so well known from the monuments, 
Josiah was removed from his war chariot, the splendour 
of which had drawn on him the notice of the enemy, and 
having been laid on another kept in reserve, was driven 
off, dying, towards Jerusalem. But he got no farther than 
Rummane — then Hadadrimmon — an ancient sanctuary of 
two Syrian gods, a few miles south of Megiddo, on the 
southern road. There he died, amidst such a wailing 
from the fugitives of his escort as was never forgotten in 
all future time. Similar outbursts of grief attended the 
sad procession which bore the slain hero to the capital, 
where the sight of his corpse threw the citizens into 
despair. Their hopes as a nation had perished with him. 
Never before had there been such a deep or universal 
lamentation. He was buried in a tomb he had prepared 
for himself, beside those of his fathers, with every mani- 
festation of grief. Far and near the population joined in 
the loud demonstrations of sorrow usually restricted to 
professional mourners, piteous cries rising alike in town^ 
and country of "0 my Lord ! " "0 the glory of Israel ! " 
Hi8 elegy was composed by Jeremiah, the sweetest 
singer of the Jewish Church after David, and was hence- 
forth sung by the nation on the anniversary of the battle. 
Its tenor may perhaps be judged by the strain in which 

* Kiepert's Ma'p. Oonder's proposed identification of Megiddo 
with a site near Beisan is evidently untenable. 
' See an allusion to this in Jer. xxii. 18. 


A I 






\u 'r 

the calamities of Zedekiah are sung in the Book of 
Lamentations : " The anointed of Jehovah was taken in 
their pits : Of whom wo said, ' Under his shadow we shall 
live among the heathen.' "^ At a later time the pi'ophet 
Zechariah could find no image for the unutterable lament 
over the death of the Messiah, but that for Josiah — " The 
mourning at Hadadrimmon, in the valley of Megiddon;"' 
and the "battle of the great day of God Almighty " in 
the Apocalypse, so transcendent in its issues, has its 
scene at Armageddon, or the hill of Megiddo.' Nor did 
the mass of the people forget the hero. Long after the 
return from Captivity, we are told that " all the singing 
men and singing women spake of Josiah in their lamen- 
tations to this day, and made them an abiding institution 
in Israel ; and behold they are written in the Lamenta- 
tions." * As in Persia a yearly time of lamentation for 
Hossain, the grandson of Mohammed — dead now for a 
thousand years — is still held, all amusements being laid 
aside, mourning assumed, the grave visited, and orations 
or poems on his virtues and death, delivered to nume- 
rous assemblages ; ^ so, it would appear, was it for ages 
among the Hebrews in the case of Josiah. 

Such popular veneration, growing with years, deepened 
the influence of the good king's life. He was remem- 
bered above all for his zeal for the law; "his deeds, 
becoming one of the Hasidim," • or zealots for the exact 
observance of the ancient sacred books of Moses. In 

* Lam. iv.20. * Zecb.xii. 11. • Bev.xvi. 16. 

* 2 Ghron. xxxv. 25. The " Lamentations " in the Canon can- 
not be meant, as the death of Josiah is not spoken of in them. 

* Eosenmuller*s A. und N. Morgenland, vol. iii. p. 273. 

* The word translated "goodness" in 2 Chron. xxxv. 26, was 
very early restricted to zealous devotion to the law. See art. 
Chasaidvnif in Herzog, R. Ency, 



this respect, as we have seen, he had no rival either 
before or after him among the kings of Judah. Nor was 
the immense service he rendered to the theocracy con- 
fined to his lifetime. No sooner had the kingdom and 
the temple perished than its profound results appeared. 
The downtrodden Jew, now made intensely earnest by 
his misfortunes, cherished the recollection of such an 
ideal theocratic king as Josiah had been ; carrying out 
literally, with all his authority, every minute require- 
ment of the Law. His zeal dwelt in the heart of the 
nation as the pattern they should seek to realize, as soon 
as opportunity offered. Hope to rebuild the state on the 
model set by him, cheered and animated them during 
the Exile. His glorification of the Law gave a colour 
to the whole future history of the race. The unbending 
and intense devotion of Judaism to the rites and forms of 
the Pentateuch, after the Return, and the legalism which 
became supreme under Ezra and the Scribes, are to be 
traced to the influence of Josiah's example ; not as the 
new critics would have it, to any contrivance of priests, 
either in Babylon or at a later date. Ezekiel caught 
his devotion to the Levitical system, from the tradi- 
tions round him, on every hand, of the king whom all 
men so deeply lamented.^ Judaism was, in the strictest 
sense, the tribute of the. nation to his memory; shown 
in the highest form, the imitation of his example. 

Josiah had reigned only thirteen years after the triumph 
of his great reformation ; a period too short to root out 
the deep-seated evils of the time, or to turn the life of a 
whole people into a better course. His death was the 
ruin of the kingdom. Had the nation continued to carry 
out his work in his spirit, it might have revived, and, 
in any case, its fall would have been delayed. But the 
1 See on this subject, Noldeke, Bib. Less.t vol. iii. p. 338. 



M i 

violence which had marked the religious revolution, was 
fatal to its permanence. The heathen party, maddened 
by suffering for a time the persecution they had so 
eagerly inflicted, under Munasseh, on the adherents of 
the old faith, summoned all their energy to bring about 
a reaction in their own favour, when Josiah, the defender 
of the new state of things, was gone. Violence had, 
indeed, been characteristic of religious changes in Israel 
in all its past history, and it had at last rent the nation 
into embittered factions, filled with inextinguishable 
hatred towards each other. Reconciliation was no 
longer possible, even in the immediate prospect of com- 
mon ruin. The blood shed on both sides raised a wild 
frenzy of feud and division. The Hasidim, or orthodox 
party, demanded the violent suppression of their op- 
ponents, as proscribed by the Law. The heathen faction, 
on the other hand, while retaining the worship of 
Jehovah, joined with it that of a host of foreign gods. 
The one sought to carry out literally the commands of 
Deuteronomy,^ to put to death all idolators, or at least 
to have no relations whatever with them ; the others 
sanctioned a depraved morality, which the Law and 
even healthy natural instincts condemned. 

The issue was, that the heathen party triumphed, and 
controlled each of the four kings yet to reign, different 
though they were in age, spirit, and temper. The re- 
ligious settlement of Josiah was not overthrown, because 
things were too equally balanced to make this possible, 
without an uncertain struggle; but a moral chaos was 
introduced, which corrupted public life in every direc- 
tion. Religion, in the true sense, appeared to be lost. 
Jeremiah's life was spent in bewailing the almost 

^ Deut. xiii. 9 ; xvii. 5 : xx. 16. Seo also Exod. xxiii. 31; xzxiv. 
12. Kum. xxi. 2 ; xxxiii. 52. 



universal faithlessness to Jehovah. With Ezekiel, the 
community is no longer " the House of Israel " but 
"the House of Disobedience."* But neither appeal 
nor reproaches could now reform them. A virtual 
anarchy reigned in the land,^ like that which had pre- 
ceded the fall of Samaria.^ The kings were powerless 
to restrain the carnival of violence.* 

In the past crisis of the nation the order of prophets 
played a foremost party as its faithful and wise guides 
and counsellors. But even this source of strength had 
disappeared. Its members, still, indeed, formed a class 
high in respect and position,^ but to a large extent it re- 
tained its standing only from the traditions of the past. 
Most of the order had become keen men of the world, 
degrading their office into a means of support. No longer 
preachers of righteousness, they used their privilege of 
addressing the people to " speak smooth things and 
prophecy deceits." • The favour and patronage of the 
rich and powerful was sought, by excusing their sins, 
and by fawning servility; and to gain power over the 
multitude they even stooped to adopt the frauds of 
heathen magic and superstition.' In the, sinking king- 
dom they were compared, by Ezekiel, to foxes in a halt- 
ruined wall ; undermining it still more and hastening its 
utter destruction.^ 

A few prophets, however, still fought valiantly for the 
truth. No taint of violence weakened their appeals. 

> Ezek. iii. 7; Comp. Isa. xxx. 9. 
» Ezek. xxii. 25-29; xli. 2. 

• Hosea vi. 9 ; vii. 4, * Jer. xxxviii. 5, 14-27. 

' 2 Kings xxiii. 2. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 22. 

' Isa. XXX. 10.' Jer. viii. 11; xiv. 13; xxiii. 17. Ezek. xiii, 
? Ezek. xiii. 17-23. • Ezck. xiii. 6. .,. 

'! * 




They had learned to trast only to spiritaal influenoeSj 
and lost no opportunity of proclaiming anew the eternal 
laws of righteousness, and exhorting their fellow-citizens 
to return to Jehovah. But their words fell on deaf ears 
and dull hearts. They were not now the great power 
in the state they had been. In the past, they had guided 
its policy in the most critical times, and had often saved 
it.^ Now, however, their most earnest words were re- 
ceived with indiffei'ence. Israel was no longer such a 
kingdom as Moses had intended, listening reverently to 
its prophets as his ordained successors.' The few who 
still merited that name were disregarded. The loss to 
the nation was greater than the fall of the monarchy 
it'elf. It meant the fall of the state, for it was the 
repudiation of moral guidance or control. The priest- 
hood could not supply the want; it was too corrupt. 
Literary culture was firmly rooted in the community, and 
concerned itself mainly with the sacred writings ; but 
it was subdued to the colour of the times, and spent itself 
on rites and ceremonies, rather than on the great truths 
underlying them. At best, it was zealous for the letter, 
not the spirit of the law, and, as in every system where 
external observance is dignified with the name of religion^ 
it fostered a hypocritical insincerity, fatal to spiritual life. 
No better mirror of the times could be had than the 
story of Jeremiah — their greatest prophet. Pure and 
noble in every utterance, he spoke and counselled, 
warned and threatened, in vain. Never weary in the 
work of Jehovah, and braving all contradictions and 
trials to advance it, he at times sinks into despair at 
the wickedness around him, and the gloomy foreboding 
it gave of the near ruin of his country. Faithful to his 

^ E.g. in the case of Isaiah during the A ssyrian invasion. 
• Deut. xviii. 15. For " prophet " read " order of prophets.** 




great commission for half a century, and not only main- 
taining in his person the dignity of his order, but even 
increasing it, he had to foel that his influence declined 
as the years rolled on, while the indignities offered him 
deepened continually.^ 

The rout of Josiah's army had been so complete that 
Necho did not turn from his onward march to follow 
it up. His great aim was to strike a blow at the Syrian 
provinces of Assyria, while Cyaxares and Nabopolassar, 
with whom he had an understanding, attacked Nineveh 
itself. Striking northward, therefore, by way of Da- 
mascus, which he at once overpowered, he pressed up 
the broad valley between the two chains of Lebanon, 
and made himself master of the Assyrian province of 
North Syria; fixing his camp, for a time, within three 
months of the death of Josiali,^ at Riblah,^ on the direct 
road to the Euphrates, not far from Hamath on the 

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Jerusalem had taken the 
first step towards self-protection, by electing a king. 
Josiah had left three sons, the children of two wives — 
Eliakim, the eldest, whose mother's name was Zebudah, 
of Bumah;^ and Shallum and Mattauiah, the sons of 

» See Ewald, Geach., vol. iii. p. 763-772. 
« 2 Kings xxiii, 31, 33. 

* Biblah, the present Bible, lay 10 to 12 hours S.S.W. of 
Hams (Bmessa), on the river Orontes, in a great fruitful plain 
of the northern part of the Bekaa. It was the camping place 
of Nebuchadnezzar as well as of Necho (2 Kings xxv. 6, 20, 21 ; 
Jer. xxxix. 5; lit. 10), the fertility of the dintrict supplying ample 
food and fodder for an army. The great caravan road from 
Palestine to Thapsacus and Carchemish, on the Euphrates, ran 
through it. Bobinson, New Bih. Besearchea, pp. 708, 710, 831. 

* Conder thinks this may have been the present Bameh, a 
village north of Nazareth. If so, it was a strange place to find 
a queen, when the Ten Tribes had so long been carried off. 





Hamutalj the daughter of one Jeremiah, of Libnah.^ 
He may have loft the succession to the sons of the 
second, and best beloved wife,' or, it may be, the choice 
of one of these held out the best hopes for the country j 
in any case, Eliakim was passed by in favour of Shallum, 
who was two years younger. Honoured by popular 
election, he assumed the crown under the name of 
Jehoahaz ^ — " He whom Jehovah sustains ; " having first 
been anointed, to give greater authority to his title.^ 
Nothing is known of his character or policy beyond the 
hint that he did not imitate his father in reference to 
religion,' and the glance at his high spirit, if not rather 
at his lawlessness and violence — in the comparison of 
him by Ezekiel to "a young lion that had learned to 
catch his prey, to devour men." • But, as the prophet 
adds, '' the heathen heard of him, and he was snared in 
their pit, and they led him off with a ring in his lips, to 
the land of Egypt.'" A report of the action of the capital 
having reached Necho, at Riblah, in the North, such a 
show of independent action sealed the fate of the new 
king. A sufficient force was sent to Jerusalem,^ which at 

* Unknown. 

' Graetz. If he had, he would have acted contrary to Deut. 
xxi. 15, which provides that the elder son be not supplanted by 
the son of a wife more loved. 

3 Called Shallum in Jer. xxii. 11 ; in reference, Bortheau thinks, 
to his brief reign, like that of Shallum of Samaria. 

* After David's time, anointing was only practised in ex* 
ceptional cases, to prevent a contest for the throne. Oehler, 
Theol. d. J. T., vol. ii. p. 26. 

» 2 Kings xxiii. 32. • Ezek. xix. 3. 

' The word " chains " in Ezek. xix. 3, is the same as in Isa. 
xxxvii. 29, and means the ring in the nose by which wild boasts 
were led. 

■ Herodotus (ii. 159, iii. 5), speaks of Necho having taken 
Kadytis, the greatest city of Palestine, and the identification of 



once yielded j and Jelioahaz was carried off to the Egyptian 
camp ; Eliakim, his elder brother^ being appointed king 
in his stead. It was, in some respects, a repetition of 
the fate of Hosea, the hist king of Samaria.^ Passing 
on in the conqueror's train towards the Euphrates, or 
ignominiously sent to the Nile at once, Egypt was hence- 
forth his place of permanent exile. How long he lived 
is not known, but he was a captive till his death. Such 
a fate was regarded as worse than that of his fi;ther 
at Megiddo. He was tho first king of Judah that died 
in exile. "Weep not for the dead," said Jeremiah, 
"neither bewail him ; but weep sore for him that goeth 
away; for he shall return no more, nor see his native 
country."* The new king ascended the throne under the 
name of Jehoiakim — "He whom Jehovah has sot up;" 
having gladly consented to pay tribute to Necho, and 
become his pliant vassal. Marching on to the East, 
the Pharaoh successfully overran Syria, to the banks of 
the Euphrates, and Nineveh was thus stripped of all its 
territory between that river and Egypt. Nabopolassar, 
of Babylon, and Cyaxares, the Mede, were meanwhile 
pressing it to the uttermost, and left jbhe Egyptian 
conqueror, for the time, in quiet possession of his new 
dominions. The siege of the great city was already at 
hand. Little more than two years remained till its fall. 
The prophecies of its doom were hastening to their ful- 

this place with Jerusalem, by Bottchor, Aehrenleset vol. ii. p. 113, 
seems complete. 
» Vol. iv. p. 238. » Jer. xxii. 10. 






JEHOIAKIM, a young man of twenty-five when his 
reign commenced, showed himself an unworthy son 
of his great father. Necho had laid a heavy yearly 
tribute on the little kingdom — 100 talents of silver, and 
one talent of gold^ — equal, nominally, to from £80,000 
to £90,000,2 |3ufc Qf vastly greater value in those early 
times than that sum would be now. Harsh and unfeel- 
ing, the new king took care to secure his throne by 
extorting this from his subjects ; his military force 
being apparently used to wring payment of the taxes 
imposed to raise it, and a huge revenue besides.'' No 
pity touched his heart ; absorbing self indulgence, pride, 
and despotic violence were his characteristics. Aspiring 
to be a great king, he lavished expense not only on royal 
state, but on costly buildings ; adorning Jerusalem, as it 
afterwards seemed, before its impending ruin, as sacri- 
fices were garlanded when about to be led to the altar. 
A great palace was built by forced labour,* with spacious 

* The Sept. has 100 talents of gold, but this is evidently BXk 

3 Thenius says £77,000 ; Keil, £90,000. 

* So Thenius and Qraetz, 

* Jer. xxii. 12. 






) wlien lii3 
vorthy son 
javy yearly 
silver, and 
»m £80,000 
those early 
,ad unfeel- 
throne by 
itary force 
the taxes 
iides.8 No 
nee, pride. 
ily on royal 
lalem, as ifc 
t, as sacri- 
the altar. 
Ith spacious 

levidently an 

halls roofed with cedar from Lebanon, lighted by many 
windows, and set off with vermilion.^ Other notable 
buildings, also, rose in the city; nor is it without 
ground that he is thought to have finished the strong- 
hold on Ophel, begun by Manasseh,^ and known as " his 
house, in the garden of Uzzah,'* adjoining the fortress.* 
He affected, in truth, to imitate the greatest of his fore- 
fathers. But, unlike them, he used not only the forced 
toil of Canaanites ; free citizens and peasants were en- 
slaved, and worked to the death to carry out his will. 
** He built bis city with blood, and his citadel with ini- 
quity." Defiant in his ungodliness, to the length of 
contemptuously burning a sacred prophetic roll,* he 
shrank from no crime to silence the prophets. Had he 
not been controlled, he would have put Jeremiah to death, 
and one prophet at least, Urijah, of the ancient town of 
Kirjathjearim, " the town in the woods," he actually 
slew. The martyr had fled to Egypt, but the king's 
father-in-law was sent off with an armed band, to bring 
him back, and having succeeded, he was forthwith be- 
headed, and his body refused burial in the tombs of the 
prophets; being "cast into the graves of the common 
people " as a last indignity.^ 

Things were every way dark for Judah. The reign 
of Josiah had raised hopes of a prosperous future, and 
the Book of the Law, so strangely recovered, had seemed 
to the multitude a charm to secure Divine favour. But 
Josiah had fallen in battle. The flower of the army had 
perished with him. His, youngest son pined in chains in 
a foreign dungeon. The covenant they had made with 
Jehovah had brought no such magic blessing as had been 

* Jer. xxii. 13, 14 ; perhaps also Hab. ii. 9-14. 

* 2 Kings xxi. 18. * Thenias. 

* Jer. xxxvi. 23. * Jer. xxvi. 21. 

) ! 



supers titiou sly dreamed. It was easy for the powerful 
heathen party to represent that the nation would have 
fared better had it not cast away the gods of Manasseh's 
time.* " We shall burn xncense/' said the people, " and 
pour out driuk offerings to the queen of heaven,^ as we 
have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our 
princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jera- 
salem; for then we had plenty of victuals, and were 
well, and saw no evil.'' * 

A reaction in favour of heathenism began, therefore, 
at once. Altars were built once more on every hill, and 
under every green tree. There were, again, as many 
gods in Judah as there were towns.* An Asherah was 
raised at the north gate of the temple enclosure — "the 
gate of the altar." In the dark chambers of the sub- 
structures of the temple area the sacred animals of 
Egypt were worshipped, amidst clouds of incense, and 
at the north gate of the temple there was a wailing 
place, where women sat crying aloud for the loss of the 
Phenician god Tarn muz, or Adonis.* Nor was even this 
the worst. In the most sacred spot of the temple itself,* 
in the inner courts between the porch of the Holy Place 
and the great altar standing before it, the spot where in 
Joel's day the priests in black robes, during the great 
fast, had implored with loud cries that Jehovah would 
spare His people, Ezekiel saw a group of men who must, 

» Jer. xliv. 17, 18. 

3 Graetz thinks that Neith, the Egyptian goddess, is meant by 
the Qiieeu of heaven. She was doubtless called so — Brngsch, 
Geog. Inschrift. Altdgyp. DenkmaleVf vol. i. p. 245; but it was 
certainly the Assyrian queen of heaven that was worshipped in 

* Jer. xliv. 17. * Jer. xi. VS. 

» Ezek. viii. 3, 10, 11, 14. • Joel ii. 17. 



from the place, have been priests/ standing with their 
backs to the temple,' and their faces to the East, wor- 
shipping the rising sun.^ Idols of gold and silver, wood 
and stone, were again set up in private houses; even 
the obscene symbols of Phenician idolatry among others.* 
The Valley of Hinnom again resounded with the wails, 
and savage drumbeating, and dissonant trumpet blasts, 
of Moloch worship, and parents once more sought to 
propitiate the grisly idol by offering to it their eldest, 
often their only son.^ 

The dissolution of morals kept pace with the religious 
declension. Impurity; adultery; oppression of foreigners, 
of widows, and of orphans ; venality in the judges ; false- 
hood, dishonesty, usury ; remorselessness towards help- 
less debtors; robbery, and murder, in all classes alike, 
hastened the ruin of the country.* Even the ties of 
relationship were disregarded. " Every man had to take 

' Smend, whose theory of growing zeal among the priests 
during the Exile will not allow liim to admit that they belonged 
to the order, tries to shov\^ that laymen, before the Exile, had 
admission to the space between the door of the Holy Place and 
the altar. But his examples are only those of kings — Solomon, 
Hezekiah, and Josiah — or of the force brought in for a special 
occasion, the overthrow of Athaliah, by Jehoiada. Such in- 
stances are simply delusive. The kings always claimed a priestly 
right, and enjoyed it till Uzziah's day. Indeed, Hezekiah and 
Josiah, still later, exercised it without challenge. 

2 2 Chron. xxix. 6. 

• Ezek. viii. 16. Sunrise was sacred to the sun worshippers. 
Herod.t iii. 85. The Essenes in later times would not speak a 
word about ordinary matters before sunrise, but recited prayers. 
Jos., Bell. Jud., II. viii. 5. 

* Ezek. xvi. 17, " images of men " — ^lit., " of a male." 

* Jer. vii. 31 ; xiz. 5. See Isa. Ivii. 5. 

• Jer. V. 7, 8; vi. 9; ix. 1-7. Ezek. xvi. 8 ff.; xxii. 25. 





U «g UtU-ll.W M^»-J 




heed of his neighbour, and saspect his brother.'' ^ The 
priesthood were largely tainted bj the spirit of the time. 
There was no longer need to bring in foreign priests to 
serve the idols, and the prophets were, as a class, equally 

But while moral as well as political night were thus 
settling over the community at large, the sacred light of 
religion still lingered in a small circle — the forlorn hope 
of the old faith of Israel. Some of those who had done 
good service in the reign of Josiah had passed away, but 
their children had taken their places. In this band Jere- 
miah, who was related to its principal members, was the 
central figure. The nephew of Shallum — husband of the 
prophetess Huldah — and cousin of Hanameel, Shallum's 
son, he found in both the truest friendship. Baruch, his 
inseparable companion, was the grandson of Maaseiah; 
and Ahikam and Gedaliah — whose protection alone saved 
his life — were the son and grandson of Shaphan, the 
secretary of king Josiah. 

Other prophets, such as Habakkuk and Urijah, with 
Ezekiel, a few years later, nobly vindicated their office 
amidst the hatred and persecution it brought in such 
times. But no one, so far as we know, bore so dauntless 
and persistent a testimony against the sins of his country- 
men as Jeremiah. The relapse into heathenism under 
Jehoiakim roused him to the utmost. Timid, shrinking, 
and sensitive by nature ; love of his country, and enthu- 
siasm for Jehovah, gave him a courage and constancy which 
no dangers appalled. He might in his bosom feel the 
humility of a child, and think himself unable to speak in 
public ; ^ he might wish that his head were waters, and 
his eyes a fountain of tears, that he might weep day and 

> Ezek. xxii. 7. Jcr. is. 4 ; xii. 6. 

■ Jer. i. 6. 



night for the Daughter of his People.^ He might sigh 
for a " lodge in the wilderness," to escape from the sin 
around him; ^ but all this passed away when he appeared 
before his fellow- citizens. In the presence of king, or 
prince, or priest, or populace, he was, as God had pre- 
dicted,^ 'defiant as a fortified town, and immovable as a 
pillar of iron, or walls of brass. Fearless and undismayed, 
he '*girt up his loins, ♦^.-id arose and spoke''* to all 
classes and ranks, from day to day, whenever oppor- 
tunity offered,^ warning and rebuking with noble direct- 
ness and plainness. Such fidelity, amidst a generation so 
fallen, bore its natural fruit in the hatred of those whose 
sins were assailed. The nobles were furious at his ex- 
posure of their lawless violence, and cold self-indulgence. 
The people at large resented indignantly his warnings 
that their superstitious trust in the temple as an inviolable 
safeguard from public danger, was mere self-deception ; * 
that their sacrifices were not accepted by God ; that their 
glory as the chosen people would not save them ; that 
they, the circumcised, would share the same fate for their 
sins, as the uncircumcised heathen ; that the temple 
itself would be destroyed, as that of Shiloh had been; 
and that Jerusalem would be reduced to ruins, and they 
themselves led away as slaves to a foreign land. But he 

* Jer. ix. 1. Jerusalem is meant. ' Jer. ix. 2. ' Jer. i. 18. 

* Jer. i. 17, 18 ; xiii. 13. * Jer. xxv. 3; xxxv. 16. 

^ At Chunar, near Benares, in India, a stone is shown on which 
it is believed "the Almighty is seated, personally, though in- 
visibly, for nine hours every day. On this account the sepoys 
think that Ohunar can never be taken by an enemy, during 
these hours." Heber's Journal^ vol. i. p. 409. This seems the 
exact counterpart of the notion cherished by the ancient Jews, 
from Jehovah dwelling in their midst, between the cherubim. 
The temple could nut, thoy supposed, be taken, with such a 

VOL. v. U 






was hated, most of all^ by the priests and prophets, as 
one who, while belonging to both orders, spoke ill of the 
members of each. Class feeling, than which nothing is 
so bitter, was roused, in both, to the deadliest intensity 
against him.^ Absolute loneliness amidst his fellows; 
misappreciation of his motives ; fierce accusation of senti- 
ments which he abhorred ; the consciousness that, while 
his heart was breaking for love of his country, he was 
denounced as ^ traitor by those who were themselves be- 
traying the nation, darkened his life. Sad at soul, he had 
no desire for any of the pleasures of other men. Unlike 
priests or prophets as a rule, he remained unmarried,^ 
and withheld himself from meetings of his fellows, whether 
for mourning or feasting.^ The hand of God seemed 
against him all the day. He felt as if he were a mark 
for His arrows. He had been led into darkness, and was 
like one that lived in the gloomy tombs of the long dead.* 
At times it appeared as if God had deceived him,^ and in 
his desolation of soul, he lamented that he had ever been 
born.* His life seemed an utter failuiO. His words came 
back to- him like an empty sound. No man regarded 

But though for the time, and indeed to the close of 
his life, " he was in derision all the day long and mocked 
by every one,*' he had his reward in the veneration of 
later generations, and the profound influence of his word 
through all ages. To his contemporaries he seemed only 
to denounce and condemn all they most cherished, but he 
was, in reality, under Divine guidance, leading the way to 
a higher spirituality and a nobler development of religion. 
If he predicted that the day would come when the loss 
of the Ark would no longer be regretted ; if he treated 

» Jcr. xi. 19-21. 
< Lam. iii. 2, 6, 12. 

* Jer. xvi. 2. 

• Jcr. XX. 7. 

• Jcr. xvi. 8. 

• Jcr. XX. 14-18. 



even the temple as a temporary glory soon to perish ; * if 
he trusted so little to the official Reformation of Josiah, 
as to pass it over in silence ; it was because he realized 
that the heart alone is the seat of true religion, and that 
the most sacred objects are only sources of evil, if they 
arrest the devotion that should centre on God. He was 
emphatically a preacher of righteousness. The newly 
discovered Law, in its moral precepts, was urged in all his 
discourses, as the Divine standard. Even before his day, 
lofty and spiritual conceptions of God and of human duty 
had been proclaimed by prophets and psalmists. It had 
been impressed on the nation that rites and offerings were 
subordinate in the eyes of God to a holy life and the in- 
cense of the heart. Joel had told his contemporaries to 
rend their hearts, and not their garments.' Hosea had 
declared that " God desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and 
the knowledge of Himself more than burnt offerings.'' ' 
Micah had loudly insisted that what Jehovah required of 
man, was not thousands of rams, or ten thousands of 
rivers of oil, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk 
humbly with his God.* " Circumcise your heart " cried 
Jeremiah;* "amend your ways and your doings, and 
obey the voice of the Lord your God." * In all this, there 
was only the echo of the teaching of Deuteronomy and 
of the Law at large — for there also " circumcision of the 
heart" was demanded, and its supreme love claimed for 
Jehovah.^ But it was reserved for Jeremiah to foresee a 
day in which the Ceremonial Law would finally pass away, 
and a new spiritual covenant take the place of that of 
Moses. Under the Messiah, "Jehovah our Righteous- 

' Jer. iii. 16 ; -vii. 4. * Joel ii. 13. 

• Hosea vi. 6. * Micah yL 6, 

• Jer. iv. 4, see the significance in vii. 4> ; ix. 24. 

• Jer. xxvi. 13. ^^ Deut. x. 12-16; xxx. 6; iv. 15; x. 12. 


'1 '< 


■'^ ) 


■ f 




1 k 


•] . 






" 1 

ness," * "The Righteous Branch/' "the King** who 
should " reign and prosper, and execute judgment and 
justice on the earth,'' another covenant than that of Sinai 
would be introduced. "God would put His law in 
their inward parts, and write it, not on stone, but in their 
hearts, and would be their God and they should be His 
people." ^ With such a vision of the ultimate triumph of 
righteousness, Jeremiah, amidst all his sorrows, had the 
abiding consolation, that, little as men thought it, he 
was the divinely appointed herald of the true Kingdom 
of God among men. 

The incidents recorded of Jehoiakim's reign are few, 
but the increased prophetic activity of Jeremiah during its 
course brings the people and the time very closely before 
us. The first of his discourses after the death of Josiah 
seems to be that which opens with the fourteenth chapter, 
and though in its present form it may comprise addresses 
originally independent, the prophet himself having put 
them together at a later period,^ nothing could more 
vividly illustrate the state of things in these darkening 

Misfortunes, it is said, never come singly. Josiah's 
death had been followed by a succession of dry seasons,* 
till the land was parched, and the sufferings of the popu- 
lation had become intense. The failure of the entreaties 
of the prophet for them^ was the occasion of the present 

^ Jer. xxiii. 6 ; xzziii. 15, 16. 
' Jer. xxxi. 33. 

• Jer. XXX. 

* In Jer. xiv. 1, " dearth " should be " dearths." Drought was 
one of the punishments threatened by the Law, for national sin. 
Lev. xxvi. 19. Deut. xi. 17 ; xxviii. 23. It had often been threat- 
ened by the prophets. Jer. iii. 3; xii. 4; xxiii. 10. Hag. i. 10 ff. 



" Judah mourns," says ho ; * " the people of her towns * are sore 
troubled ; they lie in block on the earth, in their grief; the wail- 
ing ory oi Jerusalem rises to heaven P Her chief men send their 
little ones for water ; they come to the cisterns and find none. They 
return ashamed and confounded, with their vessels empty ; their 
heads covered, in deepest sorrow.' The tillers of the ground are 
dismayed, because there has been no rain on the earth ; the field 
workers are ashamed ; they cover their heads. For the very hind, 
80 tender in her care for her offspring,* calves in the field, and 
forsakes her fawn, because there is no grass, and the wild asses 
stand on the tops of the bare hills; gasping for air with distended 
nostrils, like drag 'ia,^ for even on the height there is no breath of 
air, so fierce is the heat ! their keen eyesight fails them through 
want of any green thing for food 1 " 

Moved by such wide suffering, the prophet entreats God 
on behalf of the nation, but his prayers are not heard. 

Though our iniquities witness against us,' O Jehovah, yet help 
us for Thy name's sake, for thou art "Jehovah, merciful and 
gracious ; " ^ and for thine honour before the heathen — for we are 
thy people, and our transgressions are many; we have sinned 
against Thee. Thy name is our only plea : we have no claims of 
our own to urge. Thou Hope of Israel; his Saviour in the time 

* Jev. xiv. 1-6. 

^ Lit., ** gates ; " the place of public assembly is put for those 
who gather in it. 

' 2 Sam. XV. 30 ; xix. 5. The head covered as if there was no 
longer a desire to see or to be seen. 

^ The care of hinds for their young is oden noticed by ancient 
writers. Aristotle tells how they bring them to a safe retreat 
which has only one approach; Pliny, how they teach them to 
fiee at the appearance of danger; and Solinus, how they carefully 
hide them. Bochart, Fart I. bk. iii., chap. 17. 

^ Hitzig thinks crocodiles, whales, or dolphins are intended by 
"dragons"; Ewald, any hard breathing, panting animals, with 
widely opened mouths. Keil and Nacgelsbach, jackals — open- 

• Jer. xiv. 6-9. 

5^ Josh. vii. 7-9; Ps. Ixxix. 9; cvi. 8. 

II il 

Isa. xlviii. 9. 



of tronblo, why shouldsb Thon be like a stranger in the land, pass- 
ing through it, as a land not his own, and like a ^a^ Farer who 
pitches ' his tent to tarry for the night, and has no interest in it P 
Why shouldst Thou be like a man confounded and at a loss what 
to do; like a mighty man who can do nothing to help; and yet 
Thou art in our midst, and we are called by Thy uamo} leave 
us not 1 

But God answers : 

Thus says Johovah to this people.^ They have indeed loved to 
wander; they have not kept back their feet ; and so Jehovah ac- 
cepts them not:' He will remember their iniquity and visit their 
sins. And Jehovah said to me, Fray nut for this people for their 
good. Though they fast, I will not hear their cry ; though they 
offer up burnt sacrifices and the Minohah,^ I have no pleasure in 
them, but will consume them by the sword, by I'amiue, and by 

Jeremiah tben makes a fresh appeal, and receives a 
second reply. 

Then said I,° Alas, Lord Jehovah, behold the false prophets say 
to my people in Thy name — " Ye shall not see the sword, ye will 
have no famine, but I (Jehovah) shall surely give you peace in 
this place." 

Then Jehovi;h said to me,' " The fa. 3e prophets prophesy lies in 
My name ; I have neither sent them, uor commissioned them, nor 
spoken to them at all. They prophesy to you a pretended vision 
and lying divination, and the false responses and deceit of their 
own heart ! " Therefore thus say I, Jehovah, respecting the 

» Lit., " stretches." 
» Jar. xiv. 10-12. 

' A quotation, to end of the verse, from Hosea viii. 13. "Accepts 
them not," lib., " has no pleasure in them." 

* An offering consisting of flour, meal or cakes, with oil and 
frankincense. It was burned on the altar, cither alone, or with the 
bloody sacrifice. Lev. ii. 1-4; v. 6. 

* See Lev. xxvi. 25, 26. '^ 

* Jer. xiv. 13. ' Jer. xiv. 14-ia 

r who 
in it? 
) what 
id yet 
) leave 

oved to 
»vah ao- 
,it their 
:or their 
gh they 
iasure in 
, and by 

[jeives a 

)bets say 
\^ yo will 
peace in 

isy lies in 
ihem, nor 
ed vision 
of their 
iting the 


oil and 
with the 



prophets that prophesy in My name, though I have not sent them, 
and say to you " Sword and Famine will not be in this laud " — 
thcHo very prophets shall die by the sword and famine. And the 
corpses of the people to whom they prophesy will bo thrown out 
on the streets of Jerusalem, through famine and the sword, and 
no one will bury either them, their wives, their sons, or their 
daughters, for I will pour out the puniMhment of their wickedness 
upon them. Say all this unto them 1 

Such a reply from God fills the soul of Joreiniah with 
the profoundest sorrow. 

Mine eyes * flow down with tears, night and day, without 
ceasing I For the virgin daughter' of my people has received 
a terrible blow ; she is grievously hurt. If I go out to the open 
country, there lie men slain with the sword; if I come into the 
city, bbhold there is the pestilence that comes after famine P And 
even the prophet and the priest wander round, begging, and know 
not whither to go ! Hast Thou, then, utterly rejected Judah P Is 
Thy soul tired of Zion P Why hast Thou smitten us, so that there 
is no healing for us P We look for good and no good comes to 
us ; for a time of healing, and behold there is only terror ! We 
acknowledge, Jehovah, our wickedness — the iniquity of our 
fathers ; for we have sinned against Thee; Yet, cast us not off, 
for Thy name's sake ; do not dishonour this city Jerusalem, the 
Throne of Thy glory .^ Call to remembrance, break not Thy cove- 
nant with us 1 Is there among the idols * of the nations any one 
that can bring the rain we so much need P Or can the skies of 
themselves give showers P Is it not Thou, our God, O Jehovah, 
who alone canst do this, and on whom only, therefore, we should 
wait ; for Thou hast ordered all these things. 

But, once again, Jehovah utterly rejects all intreaty on 
behalf of Judah. 

» Jer. xiv. 17-22. 

' Jerusalem. 

■ Through having the temple. 

* Lit., " vanities," primarily " breaths," then " emptinesses,** 
" things of no worth." 


; ' 



But Johovah annworod and Maid ; * If both Moses and Samtiol,' 
the greatest men of the Thooorooy, stood pleading, beloro Me, 
My soul could not be toward this people. Send them away from 
before My fuoe, with their oflerings and prayers, and let them 
leave My temple, whore they have gathered to supplicate My 
favour.* And when they soy to you, " Where shall wo goP " Say 
to them — Thus has Jehovah told me to say to you. Let him who 
is to die, go forth to his death I him who is to full by the sword, 
to the sword ! him who is to full by famine, to famine ! and him 
who is to die in captivity, to captivity I I appoint four destroyers,^ 
says Jehovah : The sword to slay, the dogs to tear and fight over 
the corpse ; ' the birds of the air, and the beasts of the earth, to 
devour and destroy. And I give them up to be ill treated ' among 
all the kingdoms of tho oartli, because of Manasseh, the son of 
Hozckiah, king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem. For who 
who will have pity on thee, O Jerusalem ; who will show sympathy 
for thee ; who will move a foot to ask how it fares with thee P 
Thou hast rejected Mo, says Jehovah, turning thy back to Mo ; 
and therefore I will stretch out My hand against thee, and destroy 
thee : I am weary of relenting. I will scatter them in the gates of 
all the towns of the land as with a broad winnowing shovel, as 
men scatter the chaff on the open-air hill threshing floors; I will 
bereave thee of thy children ; I will destroy' My people ; they have 
not turned back from their evil ways I Their widows will be more 
in number before Me, when I destroy their husbands, than the 
Eiands of the seas ; I will bring on them, against the mothers ^ of 
the young warriors,* a spoiler, at noon, when they least expect 

» Jer. XV. 1-9. 

a See Exod. xvii. 11; xxxii. 11-14. Num. xiv. 13-20. 1 Sam. 
vii. 9 ; xii. 23. Fs. xcix. 6. 
» Jer. xiv. 12. * Lit., '* kinds." 

• Lit., " to drag around." 

• "I will make them a horror or shuddering," Hitzig, Graf, 
Sachs, Naegelsbach, Fiirat, Eichhorn ; " a sport of the wind," 
Ewald ; "an object of derision," De Wette. As in the text, Keil, 
Gcsenius, Knobel, Miihlau and Volck. See Deut. xxviii. 25, where 
this threat is made in the same words. 

7 The verbs are all in the perfect, expressing God's purpose. 
■ Lit., *' mother." • Lit., •* the joung man." 







irs » of 





him ; I will cause anguish and mortal terror to fall on them sud- 
denly. She that has borne seven sons will droop, and breathe 
out her soul, for her sons have fallen and she has no one to pro- 
tect her; her sun will go down while it is yet day; she will he put 
to shame nnd confusion. As to the remnant of the people left, I 
will give them to the sword before their enemies, saith Jehovah. 

Such nn nwful answer from God overpowers the pro- 
phet. To announce it will make all men his enemies. 
He wishes his mother had never borne him I 

Woo is me,* my mother, that thou hast borne me, to be a man 
of strife and contention with all the land, by having to deliver 
such a terrible message 1 I havo neither lent money nor bor- 
rowed it,' yet all curse me. 

But now comes the comforting reply of Johovah. 

Verily,* thy trouble will tarn to thy good; * verily I will causo 
thy enemies' to come as suppliants to thee in the time of evil 
and of need.* Can one break northern iron and brotize P As 
little canst thou hope that the power of the Chaldean kingdom, 
the northern conqueror, will be broken. Thy substance and thy 
treasures will I freely' give to it for booty, in all thy borders, on 
account of thy sins. And I will make thee serve thine enemy in 
a land which thou knowest not ; for a fire is kindled in My anger,* 
which shall burn against thee ! » 

» Jer. XV. 10. 

* Deut. xxiii. 10. Ps. xv. 5. 

* Jer. XV. 11-14. 

* This is Hitzig's rendering. Gesenius has, " I will afHict thee 
for thy good." So Nuegelsbach. Others, •' I have strengthened 
thee for good." Still others, " Thy losing is for good," — a slightly 
different reading in the Hebrew causing these variations. The 
sense evidently is, " In the troublous times to como thou shalt 
surely be delivered." 

» Lit., " the enemy." 

* Fulfilled, chap. xxi. 1,.2; xxxvii. 3; xlii. 2. 
' " Without price." 

* Quoted from Deut. xxxii. 22. 






The prophet, however, is oppressed by the thought of 
the persecution he suffers, and turns on his enemies^ 
appealing to God for their punishment. 

O Jehovah, Thou knowest ! * Bemember me and look npon 
me,' and revenge me on my persecutors. In Thy longsuilering 
towards them take me not away ; let them not destroy me. Con- 
sider that it is for Thy sake I suffer reproach. Thy words came to 
rae,' and I, as it were, devoured them. Thy words were the joy and 
rejoicing of my heart, for I bear Thy name, Jehovah of Hosts. 
I did not sit in the assembly of the rejoicing, nor make glad with 
them: I sat alone, far frcm all pleasure, because Thy hand was 
upon me. For Thou hast filled me with Thy wrath. Why is my 
suffering continual P why is my wound incurable P why will it 
not heal P Wilt Thou be indeed like a deceitful brook to me, a 
stream that dries up and is not abiding P 

Jehovah answers, rebuking the prophet's impatience. 

Then answered Jehovah thus : * If thou returnest to Me and 
givest up these doubts and reproaches, I will take ^ thee back 
as My servant, to stand before Me, and if thou bringost forth in 
thy heai*t good, instead of unworthy, thoughts of Me, thou shalt 
be My mouth,' and thy enemies will turn to thee, asking thy 
prayers ; not thou go to them, seek' 'i* help in thy need. And I 
will make thee a strong brazen wall to this people, so that though 
they fight against theo they shall not prevail. For I shall bo 
with thee, to save thee and to deliver thee, says Jehovah. And 
I will save thee from the hand of the wicked and deliver thee 
from the fist of the violent. 

Similar communications were made by God to the 
prophet at different times. One opens by directing 
him how to act in his personal relations, in view of the 
approaching ruin of his country. He is not to marry, 
for the children and parents of Jerusalem are doomed 

» Jer. XV. 15-18. 

■ Lit., " were found." 
• Lit., " bring." 

« Lir., " visit me." 

♦ Jer. XV. 19-21. 

• Exod. iv. 16. 



to a wretched death ; he is not to mourn, for God will 
presently punish without showing mercy ; and he is not 
to rejoice with his friends, for all joy will soon be taken 
away from the land. 

The word of Jehovah * came to me, another time, saying. Thou 
shalt not take a wife, or have either sons or daughters in this 
place.^ For thus says Jehovah respecting the sons and the 
daughters who shall be born here, and respecting their mothers 
who bear them, and respecting their fathers that begat them in 
this land. They shall die grievous deaths;' there will be no 
smiting of the breast or wailing for them,^ nor shall they even bo 
buried, but they shall become manure on the face of the land. 
They shall be consumed by the sword and by hunger, and tbcir 
corpses shall be food to the birds of the air, and the beasts of 
the earth. 

Jehovah says, further: Enter not a house where they are 
lifting up the wail, or holding a funeral feast;* join not in the 
lament, nor show sympathy; for I hajre taken away My blessing 
from this people, says Jehovah, My grace and My pity. Both 

» Jey. xvi. 1-9. ' 

2 He must have been living in Jerusalem at this time. 

• Lif., " deaths of diseases." 

* " Fifteen to twenty women, clad in black, "yeith a dark coloured 
cloth over their heads, assemble before the door of the dead per* 
sun. A hand*drum is beaten by one of them, and the others move 
round in a circle to the time of the beating, singing aloud the 
praises of the dead man or woman, and striking their hands 
together twenty or thirty times a minute, before their face, 
letting their arms forthwith fall to their full length. One or 
other, moreover, each moment shrieks aloud with a shrill piercing 
cry. The lamentations last seven days, during which the nearest 
female relatives of the dead visit the grave, attended by some 
of the mourning women, who utter these piercing shrieks from 
time to time, as they go through the streets to the place of 
burial." — Eosenmiiller's A. tmd N. Morgenland, vol. iv. p. 274. 

' The word for " mourning " is translated " banquet," in Amos 
vi. 7. 





1 1] 

! a 

II i 


f;rcat and small ^ shall die in this land, and remain unburied, and 
no one will raise the wail for them,' or cut themselves for them, 
or shave their heads foi* them,' nor will they break bread to any 
one while he mourns, lo comfort him in his sorrow for t >3 dead, 
nor reach him the cup of consolation, even for his own father or 
mother.^ And do not go into the house of feasting, to sit with 
the company, eating and drinking. For thus has Jehovah, the 
Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, spoken: Behold, I will silence, 
in thU place, before your eyes, and in your lifetime, the voice of 
mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and 
the voice of the bride.* 

The cause of this terrible judgment is repeated. 

And when thou tellest people all these words,' and they say 
to thee : Why has Jehovah spoken all this great evil against us P 
and what is our sin, or our iniquity that we have committed 
against our God P Say to them, Because your fathers have for- 
saken Me, and gone after other gods, and served and worshipped 

* Old and young. 

* No one dared to lament those who died under the wrath of 
an earthly king ; so, now, with those who die through the wrath 
of the King above. 

^ Two signs of mourning common among ancient nations, but 
prohibited to Israel. Lev. xix. 28. Deut. xiv. 1. 

* Breaking bread and drinking the cup of consolation, refers 
to the practice of sending bread and wine to the relations of a 
dead nerson, to comfort them in their sorrow. 

* •' Un the occasion of a marriage the women go in a procession 
from the house of the bridegroom to fetch the bride, who is 
brought amidst the cries of the women, and in the company of 
her mother and other female relations. The procession is always 
by day, and generally about three in the afternoon. Verses 
suited to the occasion are sung as an epithalamium, by women 
hired for the purpose, oy by female slaves ; all the women raising 
a piercing cry of joy at the end of each verse, as a chorus. A 
liired band also plays before the procession, and such of the 
women in it as have good voices join loudly in the songs." — 
^tiUssoU's Aleppo, vol. i, p. 406. 

« jQr. xvi. lQ-13, 




i i 

lof a 



them, and have forsaken Me, and have not kept My law,* and 
you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk, 
every one after the stubbornness of your evil heart, and will not 
give heed to Me : For this, I will hurl you out of this land, unto 
the land which you do not know, and your fathers knew not; 
there, yo may servo other gods, day and night, for I will show 
you no favour ! 

But if the punisliment is to be terrible, the Divine 
mercy, still unexhausted, will ultimately vouchsafe a 
wondrous deliverance. 

Yet, behold, a time will come,^ says Jehovah, when they will no 
longer swear ** By the life of Jehovah who brought up the sons 
of Israel from tho land of Egypt," but " By the life of Jehovah 
who brought tho sons of Israel from the land of the North, and 
from all the lands to which He had driven them." For I will 
bring them back to the laud which I gave to their fathers. 

But though the Divine grace will be shown in the end, 
the nation must, meanwhile, be carried away in successive 
deportations, to foreign lands. 

Behold,' I will send for many fishers, says Jehovah, and they 
will fish * them out, and, afterwards, I will send for many hunters, 
and they will hunt them from every mountain, and from every 
hill, and from the clefts of the rocks.' For My eyes are upon all 
their ways: they arc not hid from Mo, and their , iniquity is not 
hid from My eyes. And I will thus requite their twofold siii ' 
with a twofold punishment, the horrors of war and the pains of 
captivity, before I restore them to their land. Because ihey 
defiled My land with their mock gods, foul as dead carcases,' 
and filled My inheritance with their loathsome idols. 

ranted that their fathers had the Law. 
» Jer. zvi. 16-18. 

* Jeremiah takes for 
s Jer. xvi. 14-16. 

* See Amos iv. 2. 

* Isaiah vii. 19. • See Jer. ii. 13. 

' " Carcases " may mean the sacrifices, clean or unclean, offered 
to idols, or the idols themselves, which, alike, polluted any one who 
touched them, as a dead body did. But it seems better to think 
of the idols as mere dead forms, in opposition to the living God. 



The prophet breaks out into an expression of his con- 
viction that the justice of God^ thus shown^ will increase 
the Divine glory. 

O Johovab, my strength, and my fortress,^ and my refngo in the 
day of adversity, to Thee will the nations come from the ends of 
the earth, and say, " Our fathers inherited only false and worthless 
gods, in whom no help is to be found. Shall man make to him- 
self gods, which are yet no gods P" 

Jehovah answers : 

Because of this, behold,' I will this time, by My awful judg- 
ments, cause men to acknowledge Me ; to acknowledge My hand 
and My might, and to acknowledge that My name is Jehovah. 
Tbe sin of Judah ^ is graved with an iron tool,^ and cut with a 
diamond point,'* which alone are hard enough, on the flinty tablet 
of your heart, and on the horns of your altars. Their children 
will remember with horror the altars of their fathers, and their 
Asherahs, under the green trees, on the high hills.* O Tliou 

1 Jer. xvi. 19, 20. ^ jer. xvi. 21. » Jer. xviL 1-4. 

* Job xix. 24. 

* The ancients were well acquainted with the cutting powers 
of the diamond, and set it in iron, as is now done for the use 
of glaziers. 8p. Oomm., quoting Pliny, Hint. Nat^ xxxvii. 15. 
The Hebrew word for diamond means primarily, a thorn, or a 
finger-nail. See art. Edehteine^ Bib.- Lex. It seems, however, as 
if Assyria threw light on this passage. The word for " tablet " is 
that which is used for the clay tablets of Nineveh, and the pen, of 
course, would thus be the metal style employed for impressing 
characters on them. "The point of a diamond" is very fre- 
quently an expression suggested by the fact that tbe poor made 
marks with their nails on these tablets, in place of signing them : 
the word meaning, as stated above, both nail and diamond. 

* This difficult passage may be variously rendered. Perhaps it 
means, that their altars remind men of child sacrifices ; the trees 
on the hills, of A.sherahs ; or, that they love their altars and their 
groves as pasHionateiy as they love their children. 



Jerusalem, My mountain on the richly bedewed field,* thy sub- 
stance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil, thy heights 
around thee in all thy borders, because of thy sin.^ And thou, 
even thou, by thine own fault, wilt be torn away from thine 
heritage that I gave thee, and I will cause thee to serve thine 
enemies in the land which thou knowest not. For ye have 
kindled the fire of My wrath and it will burn for ever. 

The verses that follow seem to have been a separate 
discourse, occasioned by the public and private wicked- 
ness around him ; the harsh treatment he himself re- 
ceived weighing heavily on his mind. 

Thus says Jehovah,* Oarsed is the man who trusts in man and 
makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from Jehovah. 
He shall be like a poor man lost ^ in the barren desert. He docs 
not see good when it comes, but inhabits the parched places in 
the wilderness ; a .^alt and uninhabited land. But blessed is the 
man who trusts in Jehovah, and whose confidence Jehovah is. 
He shall be as a tree planted by the waters i^ it stretches out its 
roots to the stream, t»nd will not fear when the heat comes ; its 
leaves will be green, and in the year of drought it will not be 
troubled, or cease to bear fruit.^ 

The heart is deceitful above all things. It is fatally diseased.' 
Who can know it ? 

I, Jehovah, search the heart and try the reins, to give every 
man according to his way; according to the fruit of his deeds. 

* EicMiom. See Jer. xviii. 14 ; xxi. 13. 

* Hitzig thinks the hill district round Jerusalem is to be given 
up as a 8in-offering, to be utterly destroyed by the enemy. 

3 Jer. xvii. 5-11. 

* Not " heath," as in A.V. There is no true heath in Palestine 
south of the lower Lebanon. The mistake has risen from the 
Arabic word 'Azar, the dwarf juniper, being similar in sound to 
that used in our text. Chap, xlviii. 6, where "heath" again 
occurs, is to be translated as above. The word means "stripped," 
"naked," hence " homeless," " lost," " destitute." 

* The rivulets of irrigation in Eastern gardens. ' 

* The same image as in Paalm i. 

' The word is translated in chap. xv. 18 ; xxx. 12, " incurable." 









II 'if 

■ 'r 



As*the partridge is said to sit * on eggs which she has not laid, 
and to hatch them, only to see the young ere long leave her,' so 
in he who gets riches and not by right. He will leave them iu 
tho midst of his days," and at his end will be a fool. 

These reflections sustain the prophet iu his personal 

A "Waibbbd Gabdbit.* 

troubles, and turning his thoughts to Jehovah, his 
strength and refuge, he addresses the temple as His 

* Or, heaps up (under it). 

* This popular fancy of Jeremiah's day is illustrated by Eich- 
horn from a hen hatching duck's eggs. The ducklings follow 
their own nature and very soon leave the foster mother. 

* Eichhorn reads, " They will leave him," etc. So the Sept. 



Thou Throne of Glory,* exalted from of old ; thou place of Oar 
Sanctuary ! Jehovah, Thou hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee 
shall be put to shame ! They that turn from Thee shall bo written 
in the dust,' not in the rock; because they have forsaken Jehovah, 
the fountain of living waters.^ 

Heal me ! Jehovah, and I shall bo healed ; help me, aind I shall 
be helped, for Thou art the object of my praise I Behold, they 
say to mo, " Where is the word of Jehovah P Is it still to be 
fulfilled?" I have never drawn back from being a leader,* 
following Thee, nor have I wished for the coming of the woful 
day I had to predict ; Thou knowest. That which came out of my 
lips lay always open before Thee. Bo not a terror to mo ; Thou 
art my refuge in the day of evil. Let my persecutors be put to 
shame, but let not me be put to shame. Let them bo mtvdc 
afraid, but let not me be made afraid. Bring upon thorn the day 
of evil, and smite them with an utter destruction.'^ 

Sach were some of the utterances of Jeremiah in the 
dark months after Josiah's death. God was invisible 
then as now ; secondary causes as numerous and active. 
The mass of men had as little faith in the unseen as they 
have to-day ; accounting for all things as glibly^ with- 
out reference to a higher power, as any modern natural 
philosopher. Yet here stands a man to whom God is the 
one great reality, in Whom all things literally live and 
have their being, the true King of the world and of each 
man in it. His law is the one rule of life, transgression of 
which must be denounced, and obedience to which, by a 
nation or individual, is imperative, under the most ter- 
rible penalties! How comes it that such ancient faith has 

> Jer. xvii. 12-18. 

^ In India, children at school are often made to write on a 
smooth surface of sand strewn on the ground for tho purpose, 
the writing being afterwards effaced to rcnow tho smoothness. 

* Jer. ii. 13 ; ix. 1. 

* Lit., " shepherd.". > 

* Lit., " double." Sco Jer. xvi. 16. 

VOL. V. X 



80 wholly faded from among Christian mankind ? Where 
shall we to-day look for a preacher, fearless, plain-spoken, 
earnest, sincere, like Jeremiah ? If he were among ug, 
would he fare much better than the prophet P 



EXCEPTING the few verses in the historical books 
of Scripture, the prophecies of Jeremiah are the 
only source of our knowledge of the reign of Jehoiakim. 
Fortunately, however, the discourses of the prophet 
throw light incidentally on many characteristics of the 
times, while episodes of personal and public history are 
introduced, which bring the great preacher and his con- 
temporaries for the moment vividly before us. 

One of the first marks of growing religious laxity, 
after the death of Josiah, had been seen in the neglect 
of the Sabbath, contrary to the express command of the 
Law, which the nation had so recently pledged itself to 
observe. Alike in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy,^ 
the honouring of that day by a total cessation from work, 
is commanded as a fundamental duty ; to mark the wide 
difference between Israel and other nations, to foster 
religious reverence, and to give a religious tone to public 
and private life. Such a positive requirement supplied 
a simple and ready test of the spiritual condition of 
the community; for the bias towards obedience or dis- 

* Exod. sx. 8-11 J xxxi. 13, 14, Lev. xix. 3, 30; xxvi. 2. 

Deut. V. 12-15. 




obedience to the Divine will was decisively marked by 
its observance or neglect. In his earlier discourses the 
prophet had exposed the sins of classes and individuals 
unsparingly, and announced the threatenings of the 
Divine indignation. Could this mode of address be to 
blame for the miscarriage of his ministry ? Had he 
repelled rather than encouraged ? He would at least 
try what effect it would have, simply to exhort to a right 
course ; to remind his fellow-citizens of the eternal dis- 
tinction between right and wrong; withholding, mean- 
while, all threatenings. But the experiment met with no 
success. Instead of winning over his hearers, he had 
to bear a fresh series of persecutions^ so bitter, that en- 
durance once more gave way, and his human weakness 
broke out in imprecations against his enemies;^ foes 
alike of God and of His prophet. 

Yet, however imperilled, he could not be silent. Per- 
haps another variation in his mode of address might 
arrest attention and do good. He would show by a 
simple emblematic act how the fate of the nation was in 
the bonds of God,^ and leave the lesson to quiet reflec- 
tion. But this course also, as we shall see, was a failure. 
His fellow-citizens "hardened their necks, that they 
might not hear his voice/'* and nothing, therefore, was 
left but CO utter once more the terrible judgments im- 
peni"''iig over such inveterate stubbornness. 

The short discourse respecting the Sabbath, though 
repeated at the town gates,* was first delivered, ap- 
parently, at the great central entrance to the outer court 
of the temple, used by all classes except the priests and 
Levites, who appear to have had doors at the sides for 
themselves. The Sabbath in its strict legal conception 

» Jer. xviii. 18, 20. « jer. xviii. 21, 22. 

• Jer. xviii. * Jer. xviii. 15. * Jer. xvii. 19. 




had already ceased to bo kept. Instead of a day of rest, 
it was one of tho busiest days of tlio week. Ordinary 
work being suspended, the poi)ulation occupied itself 
with marketing, and disturbed the sacred house by the 
clamour and bustlo of a fair. If we may judge from 
the state of things at a later time, under Nehemiah, 
Jerusalem had almost less quiet on the seventh day than 
on any other. The country people brought " wares and 
victuals,"^ "wine, grapes, figs," and all kinds of pro- 
duce,^ into the city, for sale. A local colony of Phenician 
traders, having as heathens, no scruple about tho day, 
added to the disorder and unseemliness, by exposing for 
sale dried fish from the sea, and from the Lake of Galilee, 
while tho townsmen, generally, spread out all kinds of 
wares' in their booths, for the peasantry and the citizens. 
Nor was this desecration of the Sabbath limited to 
Jerusalem. It prevailed over the country at large. The 
wine presses were trodden on the sacred day, the sheaves 
of the harvest carried on asses to the threshing floors, 
and, doubtless, all other rural occupations pursued as 
through the week. Against such a clamant violation of 
the Law which the nation had so recently pledged itself 
before God to honour, Jeremiah remonstrated earnestly. 

Thus says Jehovah,* cried he, Take heed in your hearts/ and 
neither bear any burden on the sabbath day, nor bring one ia 
through the gates of Jerusalem, nor carry one out of your houses 
on the sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the sabbath 
day, as I commanded your fathers.^ Bat they did not obey, but 
stifiened their neck in haughty defiance and would not hearken 

» Neh. X. 31. . 2 Lit., "burdens." Neh. xiii. 15, 16. 

» Jer. xvii. 22. * Jer. xvii. 21-27. ^ Lit., " souls." 

• If, as the new critics 5«ay, Jeremiah learned the Sabhath Law 

from Deuteronomy, he believed it to be an ancient book, known 

to their fathers. 









or receive instruotion. Yet, if ye honestly liaten to Me, sAys 
Jehovah, to bring no burden through the gates of the city on tlio 
sabbath day, but hallow it, by doing no work on it, kings and 
princes, sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots or on 
horses, with their great men, the men of Judah, and the citizens 
of Jerusalem, shall enter through the gates of this city, and it 
will remain for ever. And people will come from the cities of 
Judah and the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and from the land 
of Benjamin, and from the slopes of the Shephclah^ on the west, 
and from tho mountains to the east, and from the Ncgeb* on the 
south, bringing whole burnt offerings, and ordinary sacrifices, 
and flour and oil ofTeringSi and incense and thanksgivings* to tho 
House of Jehovah. 

But if yo will not hearken to Me, to hallow tho sabbath day, 
and not to bear a burden as ye enter through tho gates of 
Jerusalem on tho sabbath day, I will kindle a fire in its gatos,^ 
and it shall consume the palaces of Jerusalem, and shall not 
be quenched. 

Thia kindly warning, however, was as fruitless as the 
other appeals of the prophet. Another form of address 
still remained. He would try what effect a striking 
symbolical act on his part would have ; one specially 
fitted to disarm hostility, by its showing tho possibility of 
the judgment of God being even yet averted by a timely 

* Vol. iii. p. 3. 

* Vol. ii. p. 327. This passage shows the country still held 
by Judah : " the land of Benjamin " to the north ; the Shepholah 
— or slopes of the western hills — the mountains reaching from 
the Shephelah to the Dead Sea; and the Negeb, or uplands of 
the south. 

■ Todah. This is the word rendered "sacrifice of praise" in 
our version. It is frequently translated simply as " giving 
thanks," Neh. xii. 27, 31, 38, 40. "Thanksgiving," Ps. xxvi. 7; 
1. 14 ; Ixix. 31. " Praise," xlii. 4; 1. 23 ; Ivi. 13. 

* I will let loose an enemy on it, who shall do so. 




The word of Jehovah, he began,* cume to mo, Having : Riso, and 
go down to the pottery in tho valloj tinclor the town, and I will 
there malce a communication to you. And I went down to tho 
pottery, and behold, the potter was at work on his two wheels.' 
But when the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in his 
hand, ho made another vessel of it, such as ho thought fit. And 
as I was looking, the word of Jehovah came to me, saying : Can- 
not I do with you, House of Isriiol, as this potter does with 
tho ohjky P says Jehovah. Behold, as tho clay is in the hand of 
the potter, to do what he pleases with it, so you are in My hand, 

House of Israel I At one time I speak respecting a nation or 
kingdom, to pluck it up, to pull it down and to destroy it. But if 
that nation against which I havo spoken, turn from its wickedneRs, 

1 repent of the evil I had purposed to do to it. At another time 
I speak respecting a nation or kingdom, to build it up and to 
plant it. But if it do evil in My sight, not listening to My voice, 
then I repent of the good I had promised to show it. 

Speak, now,' to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusa* 
lem, and say: Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I am framing evil 
against you, and meditating a design against you. Return ye, 
every one, from his evil course, and reform your ways and your 

The prophet, however, hesitates to speak to the people 

» Jar. xviii. 1-10. 

• On the potter's wheel, etc., see Kritiken u. Stiulien, 1834, pp. 
81 AT., 626 ff., 641 ff. At a village on tho Dardanelles J saw a potter 
at wovk- He sat on a raised bench behind his frame, and turned 
his " wheels " with his foot, by a footboard. A pan of water and 
a heap of prepared clay were on the frame before him. Taking 
a lump of the clay and laying it on the wheel, which revolved 
horizontally, ho rounded it into a low cone, dipping his hand in 
the water as he did so, to moisten its outside. Then thrusting 
his thumb into the top of the cone, the wheel all the time going 
round, he made a hole which increased with every revolution. 
Meanwhile his wet hands, pressed against the exterior, shaped the 
vessel as he thought fit. Of the " two wheels " in tho text, one 
was simply to communicate motion, from the treadle, to the other 
placed above it. i 

* Jer. xviii. 11-17. 

•■u r 

'A f t 



any more ; they will only turn a deaf ear to him once 

But, Lord,* they keep on saying, " It is all useless your speak- 
ing; we will follow our own thoughts, and will each carry out the 
fltubbornness of his evil heart." 

God therefore replies— 

Thus says Jehovah : ^ Ask even the heathen ! Who has heard 
such things ? The Virgin of Israel has done a deed that makes 
one shudder I Does the snow of Lebanon ' leave the rocks of the 
mountains P * Or do the cold flowing waters, that come from 
distant and unknown sources, dry up P Nature is constant, yet 
My people have forgotten Me.. They burn incense to their no- 
gods, but they have made them stumble in their ways — the firm 
and smooth paths of old times, — and have led them into rough 
tracks ; ways not cast up or made. Thus My people make their 
land an astonishment, a perpetual scofiing, every one that passes 
through it will be astonished, and will shake his head in amaze- 
ment ! I will scatter them for this before their enemy, as with a 
fierce storm from the east.* I will turn My back to them, not 
My face, in the day of their calamity. 

But this address only increased the fury of the 
prophet's enemies. 

" Come," * said they to the crowd, " let us lay a plot against 
Jeremiah ; for knowledge of the Law'^ shall not be lost from the 

» Jer. xvili. 12. « Jer. xviii. 13. 

* Lebanon = " the white," from the limestone rock, or from the 

* Lit., ** of the field " =open country. 

' Jer. xiii. 24. The burning sirocco, or east wind, is meant. 

* Jer. xviii. 18. 

^ The word Torah here used, is translated " teaching " by the 
new critics, but this is contrary to the constant usage of speech 
in the Old Testament. The Torah or Law is, itself, the embodi- 
ment of all teaching, as regards the relations of man to God, and 
it is the basis of all prophetic utterances. The multitude, in the 
texb, claim for the priests the knowledge of the Law, strictly so 
called, which was committed to their keeping and study. 



priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor revelation of God's word 
from the prophet, although Jeremiah perish. Come, let us smite 
him with the tongue, by reporting bis words to the king, and 
bearing false witness against him, and let us pay no attention to 
any of his words." 

Such determined malignity roused the indignation of 
the prophet, and for the moment overpowered his gentler 
nature. A son of the Old Testament, not of the New, 
he met their hatred with the fierce imprecations familiar 
to Orientals in all ages, and yet to be read in some of 
the Psalms. 

Give heed to me, Jehovah,^ and hearken to the voice of my 
adversaries ! Shall evil be repaid me for the good I have sought} 
them," that they dig a pit for my life? Think how I stood before 
Thee to seek good for them ; to turn away Thy wrath from them.* 
Therefore, give Thou their sons to hunger; ^ deliver them to the 
Bword ! Let their wives be made childless and widows ! Let 
their strong men be given over to death, their young men be 
smitten in battle by the sword ! Let a cry sound from their houses, 
when Thou bringest on them a band of fighting men suddenly; 
for they have dug a pit to take me, and have laid snares for my 

» Jar. xviii. 19-23. 2 jgr. xiv. 7, 21. 

* Orientals have in all ages been given to imprecation. The 
following is part of the curses pronounced against 'Eussian Jews 
who venture in the smallest particular to disobey the commands 
of their Eabbis. It is quoted from a recent number of the Century 
Miigazine; — "May the Lord's calamity hasten to overtake him; 
God the Creator break him, bend him ! May fiiends encounter 
him ! May he be accursed wherever he stands I May the Lord 
visit him with consumption, brain fever, inflammation, insanity, 
ulcers, and jaundice I May he be as chaff which the wind drives 
before it, and may the Angel of God pursue him ! May he en- 
counter direst despair, and may he fall into the net spread for 
his feet by God ! He shall be clothed with curses as with a 
garment. And God shall give no forgiveness to this man, but 
pour His wrath nnd His vengeance upon hiraj and all ihe curses 
shall enter into him that are written in the Law.*' 

- V 




i ! 




feet. But Thou, Jehovah, knowest all their deadly plot ag>iinst 
me ! Do not forgive their iniquity, or blot out their sin from 
Thy sight ! Let them be overthrown before Thee 1 In the time 
of Thine anger deal Thou with them ! 

The obduracy and malignity of Judah had been borne 
with till now, but the cup of its sin was at last full. The 
irrevocable sentence of doom could no longer be delayed. 
A Divine intimation, conveyed to Jeremiah we know not 
how, directed him,^ therefore, to buy one of the ordinary 
small narrow-mouthed bottles, of common coarse red 
earthenware, still used by the peasants to hold their 
drinking water.' He was then to summon the elders 
of the people and of the priests, as leading men of the 
community, and go with them to the Potsherd Gate, 
at the south-west corner of the city, over the Valley of 
Hinnom; a spot still marked by a vast accumulation 
of fragments of ancient earthenware. There he was 
to repeat a message God had charged him to deliver to 
them, and, as he did so, he was to throw down the bottle 
at their feet, and shiver it to pieces, as a significant 
enforcement of his words. Jerusalem was finally given 
over to destruction. It would be destroyed as utterly as 
the jar, shattered to fragments in their sight. Nor was 
this the only lesson. To break a bottle or jar beside any 
one, is still the familiar expression, in Palestine, of strong 
detestation of the person thus marked, and, as it were, 
an imprecation on him and his of utter and final destruc- 
tion.^ The burden which the prophet was commissioned 
to utter was as follows : 

Hear the words of Jehovah,^ ye kings of Judah and inhabitantg 
of Jerusalem ! Thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel : 

^ Jer. xix. 1, 2. 

* Land and Boohf p. 641. 

* Neil's Paleetinet p. 120. 

* Jer. xix. 3-8. 





r nofc 


) red 



)f the 


.ley of 


e was 

ver to 



srly as 

jr was 
e any 

I Israel : 




Behold, I tvill bring evil on this place, which will make the eara 
of every one who hears of it tingle! Because they have forsaken 
Me, and treated this place as if it were profane ground,^ and have 
burned incense in it to other gods, which neither they, nor their 
fathers, nor the kings of Judnh have known: because of this, 
and also because they have filled this place with the blood o£ 
innocent children, and built the high places of Baal, to bum their 
sons in the fire as offerings to Baal ; which I neither commanded, 
nor have spoken of, and which never even came into My mind : 
therefore, beliold the days come, says Jehovah, that this place 
shall no longer be called the Tophet, or the Valley of Ben Hin- 
nom, but the Valley of Slaughter.* And I will empty out on the 
dust the counsels of J udah and Jerusalem in this place, as this 
water is now poured from this vessel." 

Here, the prophet probably enforced his words, by 
emptying the water-bottle on the ground as he uttered 

** And I will cause them to fall by the sword before their ene- 
mies, and by the hands of those that seek their lives, and I will 
give their corpses for meat to the birds of ^-he heavens, and the 
beasts of the earth ; and I will make thi^ city an astonishment 
and a scoffing; every one that parses through it will be aston- 
ished and hiss at its misfortunes.^ And I will make them eat 
the flesh of their sons and of their daughters ; * every one, indeed, 
will eat the flesh of the other, in the distress and misery with 
which their enemies, and those that seek thei'. lives, will crush 

At this point the prophet, as directed, suddenly dashed 
to the grou'id the water bottle in his hand,'^ and, as it 
flew into a thousand pieces, went on- 
Even so, says Jehovah of hosts, will I shatter thia people and 

* Lit., *' foreign, or strange." 

■ These verses are a repetition of chap. vii. 31, 32. 
» Lit., " its blows.*' 

* Deut. xxxviii. 53-57. Lev. sxvi. 29. Lam. iv. 10. 

* Jer.xix.iai3. 

* Ir' 





this city, as this bottle, which cannot be made whole again, has 
been shattered. And they will bury their dead even in a polluted 
spot like Tophet, because no room is left elsewhere. Thus will I 
do to this place, says Jehovah, and to its inhabitants, and make 
this place like the foul Tophet close to us here in this valley. And 
the houses of Jerusalem and of the kings of Judah will be like the 
place of the unclean Tophet — the abhorrence — yea, all the houses 
will be polluted on whose roofs they have burnt incense to the 
Host of Heaven, and poured out drink offerings to other gods. 

If a dervish were to tell a crowd at Mecca that^ as a 
punishment for the wickedness of the inhabitants^ the 
city would be taken by the in6del, and the Great Mosque, 
the centre of the Mahommedan world — too holy for any 
Jew or Christian even to approach — the El Haram, the 
Inviolable, the Sacred — be turned into a slaughter-ho'^se 
for pigs, the execration of the Mussulman faith — it would 
be something similar to Jeremiah's declaration that Jeru- 
salem and its Temple, the object of a superstitious 
reverence, would bo trampled under foot by the Chal- 
dean, and turned into a Tophet, the scene of human 
sacrifice — a spot fit only to be spat upon and abhorred, 
the very name of which was used as an equivalent for 
all that was vilest and most despised.^ Popular indig- 
nation would inevitably be roused in the bigoted popu- 
lation of the centre of Islam in the one case, and was set 
ablaze in that of the Holy City in the other. 

Truths so unpalatable would have been hard to bear 
under any circumstances; but Jeremiah was not con- 
tented with uttering them only ^^^o his first small audience. 
Moving from the Potsherd Gate and the neighbourhood of 

* In Job xvii. 6 the second clause should be read — " And I am 
become as one in whose face men spit " — lit., "a Tophet." Our 
translators have used the word ''Tophet" as equivalent to a 
drum, the Hebrew for which is very like it. 



as a 
, the 

I am 
to a 

Tophet, he made his way to the forecourt of the temple,^ 
in which the people at the moment were gathered; 
perhaps especially to invoke the protection and favour 
of Jehovah. Taking his stand among them^ it may be 
on the steps leading up to the inner court, he startled 
the worshippers by proclaiming in the name of Jehovah 
of Hosts, the God of Israel, amidst a storm of loud 
taunts and mockeries,^ that He was about to bring on 
Jerusalem, and every town of the kingdom,* all the 
evil He had spoken against it, because they had hardened 
their necks,* that they might not hear the Divine words. 
In his address at the Potsherd Gute he had denounced 
only Jerusalem. Now, the whole country was included in 
the approaching doom. Only a sentence of this second 
address is given, but it was evidently even fuller and 
more explicit than that just delivered at the city gate. 
To invade the very temple itself, thus, with a proclama- 
tion of its speedy ruin and profanation, seemed o. defiance 
of its authorities, and an intolerable outrage on public 
feeling. Such a daring speaker, so regardless of all pro- 
priety, so unabashed in his bearing towards constituted 
dignities, so free in his charges against every one, could 
no longer be endured. He had only spoken the words 
put in his mouth by God ; but then, as now, it was im- 
perative that the pulpit speak with careful moderation 
as the price of public favour. For sermons immeasurably 
less severe than the addresses of Jeremiah, Latimer, the 
prophet-preauiier of the Reformation, is still denounced 
by the parasites of Rome, three centuries after his mar- 
tyrdom, as vulgar and personal. Human nature has been 

A mm so coarse, and offensive as to 



» Jer. xix. 14; xx. 1. ^ g^e ver. 7, 8. 

• Lit., " her towns; " that is, towns subject to Jerusalem. 

* " Shown their stubboruuess and obstinacy. 





speak the plain truth, without mincing his words, must 
be taught manners. Instead of muffling the drum ec- 
clesiastic to spare polite ears, he had beaten it as if he 
meant that all should hear. Instead of confining himself 
to generalities, he had brought the truth home. He had 
used his office seriously, not as a shrewd man of the 
world.^ Among his audience had been Pashur, the 
commandant ^ of the temple— a priest by birth,' and also 
a nominal member of the order of prophets — a position 
he used to "prophesy lies.''* He, at least, would no 
loi.ger tolerate this hitherto privileged railer at priests, 
teuiple; prophets, king, nobles, and people. Ordering 
the temple police to seize Jeremiah, he was ignomin- 
iously thrown down and bastinadoed,^ and then hurried, 
bruised and bleeding, to the stocks, which stood in the 
temple market at the Benjamin Gate, between the upper 
and lower courts, on the north side.* Into tliese his 
head, hands, and feet were thrust, and he was left 

' In an Amerioan paper I find an admirable satire on the con- 
ventional sermon of our day. A negro prenclier tells his tem- 
porary substitute, that he must " see that the people get religion, 
lay hold on salvation, an' all dat sort of ting ; bur, mind, don't 
you tell dem not to steal de turkeys ! My congregation won't 
stand dat kind o' talk ! " 

* In the A. V. " chief governor." " Commandant., or chief over- 
seer, or inspector," Miiblau and Yolck, Hitzig, Ewald, Keil, De 
Wette, Sachs, Eichhorn. 

' Immer, his father — probably the same as Amaziah (Neh. x. 3; 
xii. 2) — was the head of the 16th course of priests, 1 Ghron. xxiv. 
14. He was, in fact, a dignitary of the Church ; something like 
an English dean, for position. 

* Jer. XX. 6. 

s Jer. zx. 2. The Egyptian paintings show that the victim 
was thrown on his face and held by the head and feet, while being 

* Keil 





thus bent together^ to spend the night as best he could, 
exposed to the jeers of the crowd, till the temple closed, 
and to the cold dews of later hours. 

But Pashur soon had cause to regret hiS violence. 
Earnest conviction is not to be silenced by force. Jere- 
miah had urged what every man's conscience, on reflec- 
tion, felt was right. He had only denounced what must 
bring the ruin he predicted. He had truth on his side, and 
he was faithful to it;^ aud therefore invincible. If he had 
spoken out, the times needed his doing so. To proclaim 
truth, however unpleasant, was Ms sacred duty as a 
prophet. A night's sleep brought Pashur to a calmer 
mood, and Jeremiah was set free in the morning; his 
enemies perhaps thinking h3 had learned a lesson to 
keep his tongue in order. v 

Never were men more in error. Making his way 
straight to the high official himself,^ his victim terrified 
him by announcing that Jehovah had changed his name 
from Pashur to " Terror on every side.' 


For thus saith Jehovah [continued the prophet], I, Jehovah, 
will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. And 
they will fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes will 
see it. And I will give all JudaU into the hands of the king of 
Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon, and slay 
them with the sword. Still more, I will deliver all the riches' of 
this city, and all its property, and all its glory, and all tho trea- 

* The word for stocks, Mahpecheth, from Haphacht to bend. 
There was a " house of the stocks *' (2 Cliron. xvi. 10), "prison- 
house" in A.y., in jails. Peihaps there was a prison in tho 
temple, with a room in it for the stocks, like the torture-room of 
old dungeons. The word used here occurs in 2 Chron. xvi. 10; 
Jer. XX. 2, 3; xxix. L J. Another word, ** Sad," means stocks into 
which the legs aloue were inserted. It occurs in Job xiii. 27; 
zxxiii. 11. 

« Jer. XX. 3-6. » Lit., " stores." 




sures of the kings of Judah, into the hand of their enemies, 
who shall plunder thom, and seize them, and carry them off to 

Then, addressing Pashur directly, before his astonished 
attendants and the people rounds he added^ 

And yon, Fashnr,* and all that dv^ell in your house will be 
dragged off into captivity, and you will come to Babylon, and you 
will die and be buried there, you f|ind all your partisans,'' to whom 
you have prophesied lies.* 

The second offence was worse tha . the first ; but 
Pashur dared not arrest h^'rn again, and allowed him 
quietly to withdraw. The exc'tement was no sooner past, 

* Jer. XX. 6. ' IJit., " friends." 

' From tho fact that this mock prophet was a priest, and an 
officer of the temple, the new critic^: {Bible in the Jemah Church, 
pp. 285-6) actually create the theo**y that " tho official pro* 
phets of Judah appear to have been consented v'.ith the priest- 
hood and the sanctuary until the close of the kingdom." " They 
were in fact" (it is affirmed) ''part of the establishment of the 
temple, subject to priestly discipline ! " To prove this, the fact of 
Jeremiah being put in the stocks is quoted. As if he would not 
have been amenable to*' discipline " had he been a common man ! 
How many of the prophets were priests P One in a hundred P 
Yet this is a sample of the wild assertions current in our day. 
It is actually maintained that, because a number of the so called 
prophets were corrupt — the order, as such," played into the priests' 
hands ! " What of Jeremiah, and the others in the Canon P Were 
they the true representatives of the order of prophets, or were 
the false prophets its representatives P 

Pashur was to be carried to Babylon and to die there, but not 
by violence. In fact his house was one of the most numerous 
at the close of the Captivity. Ezra ii. 37, 38. Yet he must have 
Buffered an agony of remorse, at the ruin his policy had brought 
on his country. He had urged an alliance with Egypt, in 
opposition to the advice of Jeremiah, and had even gone the 
length of pretending to prophetic powers to support his counsels. 



however, than there came a reactiou on the sufferer. 
The sensitive nature that had been so roused, now for 
a time yielded to the deepest dejection, and in this frame 
he gave way to an uncontrollable outburst of passionate 

"Cursed be the day,"* cries he, when he had reached the pri- 
vacy of his lonely chamber, " Cursed be the day on which I was 
born ! Let not the day when my mother bore me be blessed I 
Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, 
'A man child is born to thee,* making him very glad I ^ Let that 
man be like the ciiies which Jehovah overthrew without pity I 
Let him hear theory of the attacked and the shouting of attackers 
at noontide, because he did not kill me when I was born, so that 
my mother might have been my grave, and I had never seen life. 
Why did I come forth from the womb that my days might be 
spent in shame P " 

But this gloom presently passes away, and he betakes 
himself, as was his wont, to Jehovah, his stronghold in 
the time of trouble.'* 

Jehovah * [he breaks forth], Thou didst lead me to speak, 
and I have spoken by the inner voice sent from Thee to my soul, 
and I yielded to it. Thou hast taken hold o£ me, and hist' 
overpowered me, and made me speak. But because I do so, I am 


1 1 









» Jer. XX. 14-18. 

* The servant who announces the birth of a son to his master 
is richly rewarded, but every one hesitates to tell the birth of 
a daughter. 

' I have, Ewald, transferred verses 14-18, as they appear 
to come in most appropriately at this place. 

* Jer. XX. 7-10. 

' This verse shows that the prophetic impulse was irrenistible ; 
that the prophet could not keep back from speaking, whatever 
might be the result to himself. See Amos iii. 8. *' The Lord God 
has spoken, who can but prophesy." See also Jer. zx. 9. 

VOL. V. Y 



daily a derision ; every one mocks me.* For every time I speak 
I have to utter loud complaints,^ and cry out against violence and 
robbery. The word of Jehovah has only brought down on mo 
reproach and derision the whole day long. So deeply have I felt 
this, that I said to myself, " I will no longer make mention of 
Him, or speak in His name.*' But I felt as if there were a 
burning fire in me, shut up in my bones, and I was worn out 
with holding back, and could refrain no longer. For I heard the 
slanderous talk of many : *' Terror,*' said they, *' presses him on 
every side.* Bepoirt him to the authorities.*' •* We will report 
him." My very acquaintances,^ my familiar companions,* say, 
" Perhaps we can draw him out and turn his words against him, 
BO that we may get tho better of him, and take our revenge on 

But Jehovah ' stands by me as a mighty champion, and there- 
fore my persecutors still stumble and cannot overcome mo ; they 
will be put to utter shame and everlasting reproach which shall 
not be forgott«ui, because they have not acted uprightly. But, O 
Jehovah of hosts, who triest the righteous, and lookest into 
the reins and heart, let me see Thy vengeance on them, for I 
have committed my cause to Thee. Sing to Jehovah, praise ye 

* Compare the worc's of that great prophet and preacher of the 
15th century, Savonarola. " Thy sins, Florence, are the cause 
of these stripes (the public misfortunes of the state). And now, 
repent, give alms, offer prayers, become united. O people, I have 
been a father to thee. I have wearied myself all the days of my 
life, to make known to thee the truths of the faith and of holy 
living, and I have had nothing hut tHbulationSf dei'ision, and re- 
proach.^* Clark's Savonarola, p. 169. So fares it with the true 
prophet in all ages. A bad sign for us clergy of to*day 1 

' The loud cry of one in pain is primarily meant. 

* These words are those given as a name to Fashiir, " Magor 
Missabib," as if they had told the prophet that " terror was round 
himself, not round Pashur." 

* Lit., " men of my peace," who greet me with the ordinary 
salutation, " Peace be with you ! *' 

* Lit. " the keepers of my side," who do not leave my side. 

* Jer. XX. 11-18. 



Johovah, for He delivers the soul of the helpless * from the hand 
of evildoers. 

' The word in the Hebrew is Ebioii, which comes from a root 
moaning to want, to desire. Hence it primarily means the poor 
or needy ; then, distressed, wretched, afllicied. It refers specially 
to one who, while he suflers wrong, has a true religious humility, 
and in this sense is used along with the " Hghteoue," Amos ii. 6. 
The Ebionites used it as the name of their se"^ 'miug to be 
the "poor in spirit, of whom is the kingdor ^. ^ .uven," Matt. 
V. 3. It is twenty-throe timed translated poor in the Old Testa- 
ment, thirty-three times needy, and once, 1 Sam. ii. 8, beggar. 
In the great majority of cases there is the accessory idea of 
godliness. So truly have the poor, in all ages, had the honour 
of giving a name to the people of God. 







THE opcninnf years of Jehoiakim's rei^'n were the most 
active of Jeremiah's public life. A.Tected intensely 
by the collapse of Josiah's religious jolicy, and the 
headlong rashness with which the heatlen party were 
dragging the king and the nation to their ruin^ he took 
every opportunity of seeking to bring his fellow-country- 
men to reason, and, if possible, of persuading them to 
a worthier course. 

Hitherto all his efforts had been in vain ; but he could 
not quietly let his nation perish, whatever might be their 
hostility to his message. It was growing constantly 
clearer, however, that nothing could save them. The 
commandant of the temple had already put him in the 
stocks, after having bastinadoed him, but no personal 
indignity or suffering could keep him back from still 
another attempt to arrest public attention. Moved by 
the inner voice, which he recognised as that of Jehovah, 
he took his place once more in the spacious eastern fore- 
court br precinct ^ of the temple, before a vast multitude 
of worshippers, from Jerusalem and all the cities of 
Judah, ^ gathered, perhaps, at the time of one of the 



3 Jer. xxvi. 2, 8. 




great feasts, and in the presence of a body of priests 
and prophets/ who had, it may be, assembled specially to 
hear him. He had received a command from God not 
to keep back a single word of His Divine message, in 
case they might possibly listen and turn from their evil 
ways, so that Joliovah might " repent of the evil lie had 
purposed to do them." A brief summary of his appeal 
is given in the twenty-sixth chapter ; but, if wo may 
judge from the full record of a very similar address 
delivered at another time, ^ his present one embodied 
the essence of all his teaching, delivered in alternate 
strains of fierce accusation, biting irony, overpowering 
grief and passionate lamentation.^ Nothing would save 
them but sincere moral reform. Their continuance in 
the land depended on their amending their ways and 
their doinp^s. It was no use for them to trust to any 
fancied relations to Jehovah, as His people, or to the 
sacred rites and institutions of their rehgion. If they 
would not perish, they must live pure and godly lives, 
banishing wrong and violence from their midau, and 
illustrating sincere devotion to Jehovah by habitual 
obedience to His holy law. Otherwise, neither the 
Mosaic ritual, nor their being the chosen people, nor even 
the presence of the temple of Solomon in their midst, 
would prevent their ruin. Round this sacred fabric their 
fondest and proudest superstitions gathered. They took 
for granted that no evil could befall them while it stood, 
and that it would stand for ever. To hint at its possible 
destruction was to wound them in their tenderest sensi- 
bilities. As in the days of Christ and the Apostles, * to 
say a word against it was akin to blasphemy ; for was 

*Jer. XX. 8. ' * Jer. chap. vii.-x. 

■ Stanley's Jewish Chtirch, vol. ii. p. 449. 
♦ Matt. XX vi. 61. Acts vi. 14. 


< i: 

! ' f! 



I ' m 





it not the house of Jehovah, and would He not defend 
His own dwelling place ? To speak of its fall was a 
sin that demanded death. Nothing daunted, however, 
Jeremiah went on to repeat what he had said already, 
at an earlier time. 

Thus saith the Lord,* — cried he, winding up his address, — If ye 
will nofc hearken to Me to walk in my Law which I have set 
before you, and to listen to the words of My servants, the 
prophets, whom I send to you, earnestly and unceasingly, though 
you have not listened to them in the past, then, I will make 
this house like Shiloh, and this city a curse,' among all the 
nations of the earth! 

Shiloh lay about thirty miles straight north of Jeru- 
salem ; and though once the national sanctuary, famous 
from the memorii^s of Eli and of the great prophet Samuel, 
had been in ruins for five hundred years.' To predict 
a similar fate for the magnificent building in whose 
courts they stood, was more than the priests and prophets, 
or the crowd, could endure. Closing, with a great up- 
roar, round the preacher, as their descendants did round 
Paul, on nearly the same spot, six hundred years later,* 
they seized him, amidst loud cries that he should die, for 
having predicted, in the name of Jehovah, the destruction 
of their temple and city. 

Fortunately for Jeremiah, news of the tumult was 
carried at once^ to the palace ; if, indeed, the sound did 
not itself spread the alarm. In an^^ case, it reached the 
ears of some *' princes '* or " nobles ** who were, at the 
moment, assembled in the royal building, or perhaps 
in these oligarchical times, had their residence thera 

> 4-9. 

' It would be pointed out as the object of a Divine curse 
Deut. xxviii. 37. * Vol. iii. p. 35. 

* Acts xxi. 30. • Jer. xxvi. 10-15. 




As deputies of the king, they were the high judges ^ on 
all causes and, as such, instantly hurried over to the 
temple, and took their seats as a court, in the inner 
division of the temple space — the portion set apart for 
the men — before a new gate builb by king Jotham, 
the son of Uzziah, a hundred i*ad fifty years before, and 
known as *' the higher gate," or the " gate of Jehovah/' 
Their arrival was providental, for, as has often happened 
since, the calm impartiality of the civil power was to 
check thci fury of religious violence^ and deliver its 
intended victim. 

The priests and prophets having formally made their 
accusation, demanded a sentence of death; appealing 
to the crowd to support their chnrge. But Jewish law 
permitted a prisoner to defend himself, and Jeremiah 
at once took advantage of the privilege. Addressiiug, 
alike, the judges and the crowd, he boldly told them that 
it was Jehovah, not he, who had spoken. 

"Jehovah," said he, "sent me to prophesy against tWi house 
and against this city all the words ye have heard. It is not 
therefore against me, bn<i against God, you are contending ! 
Amend jour ways, then, and your doings, since what I have 
said is from Jehovah; and He will not execute the judgments 
He has uttered against you. But as for me, the mere instrument 
in God's hands, do with me as seems to you good and just. Be 
assured, however, that, if you kill me, you bring innocent blood 
on yourselves, on your city, and on its citizens, for it is the very 
truth, that I have been sent by Jehovah, to speak in ycur ears 
every word I have uttered.'* 

Th'? defence was triumphant, and it was, es it ought 
to have been, successful. "This man "said the jtfdges. 


;!fs- ; \ 

\ 11 

* The judges were chosen from the highest ranks. 
Archaol., p. 704. 
' Stanley, vol. ii. p. 450. 




" is not worthy to die, for he has only spoken to us in the 
nr. me of Jehovah, our God/' Amidst all their worldliness 
and venality, they for once recognised what was just. 
The fearless words of the prophet, moreover, may have 
awed them for the moment, as those of Paul did tlie 
corrupt Fr a/ us.* Nor had he been without friends, for 
Ahikam', one of the court, stood by him throughout.' 
He found support, also, where he might not have ex- 
pected it. A. number of the elders of the towns and 
villages of Judah came out from the crowds and ad- 
dressed the bench in his favour;' 

** The prophet Micah of Moresheth," said they, " who prophesied 
in the days of Hezekiah, said to all the people of Judah — Thus 
saith Jehovah, ' Zion shall be ploughed like a field, and Jerusalem 
shall become heaps, and the mountain of the Lord's house be 
turned into a wooded height/ ^ Did Hezekiah the king, and all 
Judah, put him to death P Did he not, rather, fear Jehovah, and 
pray to Him, so that He repented of the evil He had spoken 
against themP If we kill Jeremiah, we are committing what 
will bring great evil against our souls ! " 

After such a defence, nothing remained but to dismiss 
the prophet at once, as innocent of all blame. But 
the danger he escaped had been real,^ for TJrijah, his 
contemporary, a prophet, had already^ as we have seen, 
been brought back, by Jehoiakim, from Egypt, and be- 
headed, for words exactly similar. 

Meanwhile, great events were transpiring on the Tigris. 
The United armies of Babylon and Media, after a long 
siege, had taken Nineveh. Its last king, variously known 
as Assuredilili, Saracus, Esarhaddon II., or Sardana- 

• Acts xxiv. 5. 

• Jer. xxvi. 18-10. 

• Jer. xxvii. 20-24. 

* Jer. XX, 24. 
« Vol. iv. p. 358. Micah iii. 12. 

. \ 



palus VII., ^ has left few traces of his reign, beyond 
an inscription on some bricks in a small palace which 
he hid built. He still, however, called himself "king 
of nations and of the earth." ^ But the end of his glory 
was at hand. A host of enemies had gathered round 
his capital in the very year of Jehoiakim's accession, 
B.C. 610. The Mf3des and Babylonians were the chief 
assailants, but they had numerous contingents from 
widely separate regions; for the whole earth seemed 
to have risen up at last against its destroyer. With 
the Modes, uudv^r Oyaxares, marched bands of wild 
Cimmerians, from beyond the Caucasus; the warriors 
of Van, from the mountains of Armenia ; the tribe of 
Sepharad from the shores of the Black Sea ; ^ and a forco 
of Persians.* Nabopolassar, the king of Babylon, once 
the trusted general of Assyria, had with him troops of 
Arabs from the distant south, and doubtless many other 
auxiliaries. Assyria, however, died hard. If we may 
trust the Greek authorities, for there are no others, 
the assailants were three times defeated ; but a fresh 
force having joined them from the east, a battle was 
fought outside the gates, in which a brother of the king 
of Nineveh was killed, and the Assyrian army routed. 
Assuredilib', driven at last to make a final stand in 
his capital, closed its gates, before which the enemy 
presently sat dov^n, determined to capture the great 

* Sayce, Becords of the Past, vol. xi. p. 79. Vigouroux, vol. iv. 
p. 284. ITothing certain is known of the last kings of Nineveh. 
G. Smith thinks there were two after Assurbanipal ; Oppert 
recognises two, Assuredilili and Sardanapalus YII. Schrader 
fancies Assuredilili was the last king. Saracus ^eems a cor* 
ruption of this name, as Sardanapalus is of AssurbanipaL 

2 Western Asiatic InscriptionSt vol. i. pi. 8. n. 3. 

* Records of the Past^ vol. xi. p. 79. 

* Smith's !^««2/.ia, p. 190. * 

1 1 


stronghold. The siege is said to have lasted over two 
years, for the walls were 100 feet high and 60 feet 
tliick. Some fragments of tablets, the bad writing cf 
which seems to show that they were only the first rough 
text, survive from these days of mortal struggle. The 
king had proclaimed a solemn assembly, to invoke the 
gods, and gain their help to raise the blockade and 
avert the attack. But it is a question if it was ever 
held, for the capture of Nineveh and the destruction 
of the empire, seem to have prevented a fair copy of 
the proclamation having been made. Some lines of the 
second fragment are complete. They run thus. 

" Sun-god,^ great Lord, I have prayed to thee. O 
god of fixed destiny, remove our sin. Let the general 
proclaim among the ranks sacred rites and festivals for 
100 days and 100 nights, from the third of this month 
lyar,* to the fifteenth of Ab.* We learn that the soldiers 
of Cyaxares, and those of the Cimmerians, the men of 
Van, and other enemies, are multitudinous, and inundate 
the country round." 

A great assault had been delivered by " the rebels ** 
on the seventh day of the feast, and they had then 
marched ofif, with a train of battering engines and other 
machines of war, against various Assyrian towns and 
cities, a number of which fell into their hands. A 
momentary glimpse into the long dead ages, and then 
the darkness of three thousand years falls, once more, 
on besieged and besieger ! A great rise of the Tigris, 
in the third spring, is said to have brought about the 
fall of the city, the flood having undermined part of the 
wall. Ruin was inevitable after such a catastrophe, 
but the king determined not to fall alive into the 

* Becorda of the Fast, vol. xi. p. 82. 

• April. ■ July. 


hand of his enemies. Gathering his wives and treasures 
into one part of the palace^ he set the building on 
fire, and perished in the flames, with those round him. 
It was, apparently, the year B.C. 607,^ the third after the 
death of Josiah. Entering the city by the breach made 
by the river, the besiegers laid waste its palaces and 
temples, and carried off its inhabitants into captivity. 
Bnilt only of dried mud, the houses soon crumbled into 
dust. Nor did Nineveh ever rise again. There is no 
mention of it in the records of the great Persian dynasty 
of Darius, and Herodotus, who passed very near its site, 
if not actually over it, in the middle of the fifth cent »iry 
B.C., speaks of the Tigris as '* the river on which Nineveh 
formerly stood." ' Fifty years later,* its very name had 
been forgotten, for Xenophon, who encamped on its site, 
or very near it, speaks only of a "great deserted city 
there, called Larissa, inhabited in old times by the 
Medos, and of another, 24 miles off,* called Mespila, 
the wall of which alone remained."^ So utterly had 
the " Bloody City '* perished. " The gates of her rivers 
had been opened ; her palaces dissolved." • The words 
of Nahum and Zephaniah had been , literally fulfilled. 
After having ruled for more than 600 years, with hideous 
tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian 
to the Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to 
Asia Minor and Egypt, it had vanished like a dream ; 



I ' 

* B.C. 606 in Clinton's FasH Hellen., vol. i. p. 269. Schrader 
gives the date of the siege as from 609-606. 

* Herod., i. 193. Herodobus returned from his travels before 
B.C. 454. Supposing he passed the site of Nineveh in B.C. 456, 
there would have been an interval of only 150 years from the 
taking of the city. Tet its site was all that remained of it. 

■ B.C. 401. * Six parasangs. 

* Xen., Anah.^ iii. 4, 7, 10. ' Nahum ii. 6-11. 

<i i 




\ 1 

its very site donbtful fop nearly twenty-four centuries ! 
The cup of its iniquity full, at last, to the brim, had been 
held to its lips ! Such a catastrophe was well nigh with- 
out parallel in the history of empires To the farthest 
verge of civilization it filled, for the time, the minds of 
all men. 

NiNBYXH. From Rich, 

Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar of Lebanon, wrote Ezekiel,^ 

» Ezek. xxxi. 8-9. Ewald translates the word Asshur as mean- 
ing the highest cedar, but Hitzig shows that this is a mistake, 
and that the prophet speaks of Assyria. Smend applies the 
passage to Egypt, but the grounds he advances for doing so are 
of little weight. 




Is the 
so are 


fair in its leafage ; a thicket for shadow ; mighty for height ; its 
top rose into the clouds. The waters had made him great ; the 
flood had nourished him ; its streams flowing round the place 
where he grew, and sending out its catfals to all the trees of the 
field. Through this, his height was exalted aboTO all the trees of 
the field ; his branches grew great ; his boughs stretched them- 
selves out through the many waters the flood supplied. All the 
fowls of the heavens made their nest in them, and all the wild 
beasts of the field brought forth their young under his branches, 
and all the heathen nations sat under hia shadow. Thus fair was 
he in his size and in the length of hin branches ; for his root was 
by many waters. The cedars in the garden )E God were not tall 
enough to hide him ; the cypresses could not equal his branches, 
nor the plane trees his boughs ; no tree in the garden of God 
was like him for beauty. I had made hin fair, says Jehovah, 
through the multitude of his branches, and all the trees of Eden, 
in the garden of God, envied him ! 

Therefore, thus says the Lord Jehovah ; ' Because he was great 
in height, and shot up his boughs among the clouds, and his 
heart was lifted up by this greatness — I have delivered him into 
the hands of a mighty leader of the nations ; he will surely deal 
with him ; for his wickedness I have drii^en him out.' Strange 
and terrible heathen peoples cut him down, and left him lying on 
the mountains ; his branches fell into all the vallejs; his boughs 
lay broken in pieces in all the hollows of the earth, and all the 
nations went from under his shadow, and left him. On bis fallen 
trunk all the birds of the heaven alight, and all the wild beasts 
of the field trample on his branches. (All this is done) that no 
trees by the waters boast themselves of their height> nor lift 
up their crown among the clouds ; that none of all the t' oeo that 
drink up the waters vaunt themselves in their tallneas ;^ for they 
are all delivered over to death, to the underworld, with the sons 
of men who have sunk into the grave. 

» Ezek. xxxi. 10-17. 

* The pronouns vary in person in the Hebrew. I have used 
the sccord throughout for clearness, English not permitting the 
same usage. 

* Ewald, *' that no waterdriukor contend in its pride with its 






I ; : 



Thus says tho Lord Jehovah, In the day when he went down 
to Sheol I caused a lamentation to be made ; I covered up the 
flood in the earth, on his account, that it should no more stream 
forth, and held buck its streams, and its many waters were stayed; 
I robed Lebanon in black for him, and all the trees of the field 
drooped because of him. I made the nations tremble at the 
crash of his fall, when I cast hi'm down to Sheol, to those that 
are sunk in the Pit ; and all the trees of Eden in the underworld* 
— the best and fairest of Lebanon, all waterdrinkers ' — comforted 
themselves, for they, too, went down with him to Sheol, to them 
that have fallen by the sword — they, who were his strength, who 
sat under his shadow in the midst of the nations. 

While the si>?ge of Ninevtli was in progress, Necho 
had piessed on to the Euphrates, immediately after 
having installed Jehoiakim king at Jerusalem, and had 
taken the great city of Cf chemish,^ the ancient capital 
of the Kittite empire, and still, in his day, a place of the 
highest commorcial importance. The Medes and Babylo- 
nians, with their allies — too much occupied in besieging 
the capital on the Tigris, and subduing the territories 
east of the Euphrates — were in no condition to trouble 
biid, for the time, in his new acquisitions. Egypt could 
now boast of having restored the ancient glories of 
Rameses II. or Thothmes III.* From Carchemish, south- 
wards, all Syria, Phenicia and Palestine, with Idumea^ 
and the nations east of the Jordan, were under his sway.* 
The Assyrian dominions east of the Euphrates were 
divided between them, after the fall of Nineveh, by the 
two chief powers j Media getting the lion's share ; Baby- 
lon obtaining in the meantime, only Babylonia^ and the 

* The great rulers of men. 

* Planted by the waters, and therefore vigorous. 

* Jer. xlvi. 2. 

* Vol. ii. pp. 47-50. * Babylonia, Smith and Sayoe, p. 153. 

* E^'od., 1 106. 




regions south of it, v/iti the expectation however, of 
wresting Necho's conquests from him, and only waiting 
an opportunity to do so. 

Jerabhis, the ancient Carchemish, lay on the right or 
western bank of the Upper Euphrates, half way between 
the villages of Sadjur and Biredjik, about 320 miles 
almost exactly north of Jerusalem by the compass ; about 
80 miles due east of the uppermost corner of the Levant ; 
and about 40 miles south-west of Urfa. To the late 
George Smith belongs the honour of identifying its site, 
during his last fatal journey. His note books, now in the 
British Museum, inform us ^ that two days after leaving 
Aleppo, he reached Meskeneh, in "the vast bed T the 
Euphrates," and found " large mounds, brick buildings, 
(the ruins of) a considerable place." Five hours from 
this, the river valley opened out on a plain, on which 
were ** traces of a great city." Next day other " im- 
mense ruins " were met, but they were mostly Saracenic. 
The following morning he rode along the banks of the 
Euphrates to Jerablus,* and found there " a grand site, 
vast walls and palace mounds, 8,000 feet round ; many 
monoliths wit!i inscriptions." It w&,s "the site of 
Carchemish. *'' The heaps of earth which mark the 
former walls of this great capital, measure hardly two 
miles in circumference, but a vast population seems, 
from many indications, to have lived along the banks of 
the Euphrates, outside the fortifications. Situated in the 
midst of a rich country, at a safe distance from the 
barbarians of the north, and the wild tribes of the south, 
Carchemish became at a very early period the centre of 
the grep.t caravan trade to and from Western Asia,* and 

* Quoted by Fried. Delitzscb, in Wo lag daa Parodies ? p. 266. 

* Written by Smith, Yaraboloos. 

* Sayce had identified Cai chemish with Ciroesium, JRoeor(2« of 



rose to still greftter irnportonce as a mercantile city after 
its conquest by AsHyriu.^ Its " maneli," a coin weigh- 
ing the sixtieth part of a talent, was one of the chief 
standards of commerce, far and near.* Its sculptures, 
bas-reliefs, and inscriptions in the Hittito language, 
attest a very advanced civilization, and, indeed, it was 
probably through its agency that the culture of Asia 
passed to Greece, by way of the Hittite kingdoms of 
Asia Minor. 

Necho and the Egyptians had been in Carchemish for 
nearly three years, when the fall of Nineveh left Nabopo- 
lassar free to turn his forces against them. So lot\g as 
they held that cify, his advance was barred to the west 
and south ; the only regions left open to him by the treaty 
with Cjaxares. Far from the buso of their operations 
in Egypt, however, and composed largely of mercenaries, 
the army of Necho, though certain to olTer a brave resis- 
tance, was hardly equal to a conflict with the veteran 
troops of Nabopulassar. Great efforts were made to 
bring strong reinforcements from the Nile, their murcli 
remaining vividly painted by Jeremiah, who may have 
seen these, or the troops of a later campaign, hurry- 
ing forward. It wa3 a time of intense excitement 

the Pastf vol. iii. p. 88. Mai^pero fancied he had found its site 
at Bambyco or Mubog, a few miles from the Euphrates, east of 
Aleppo, Uistoire Ancienne, etc., p. 186. l)e Carchemis 0}>jpidi situ. 

* By Sargon, B.C. 717. 

* Sayce, Records of the Past, vol. iii. p. 88. The " Maneh," or 
Mina, was equal to 50 sacred shekels. See Sopl.^ Ezek. xlv. 12. 
In 1 Kings x. 17, another shekel is mentioned of half the value 
(weight); 100 going to the Mina. It was the common shekel, 
worth about ]«. 4<2. ; the sacred shekel being worth about 2«. 8d. 
Mtihlau uud Volcky art. Mumeh, Madden, Money and Weight§ qf 
tlio Bible, art. SJiekel. 


<1 <t 


in Judah. Johoiakim was a vassal of Necho, and would 
only exchange his yoko for that of Babylon, if Carche- 
mish fell. But tho prophet foresaw tho result. "The 
word of tho Lord " left no doubt of it. Tho Chal- 
dean was to be victorious. It was in B.C. tiOC, the fourth 
year of Jehoiakim — shortly after the fall of Nineveh — 
that matters camo to a crisis. Speaking, as it were, to 
the Egyptian king and h's army, Jeremiah begins : 

Prepare ye tho round target* for the light armed troops, and 
tho shield that covers the whole body, for your heavy infantry, 
and press forward to the battle ! llurneKH tho chariot horses, yo 
chariot fighters; mount tho chargers, ye cavalry;'' array your- 
selves in helmets, yo footmen; brighten your spours; put ou 
your coats of ma:l I ' 

But the prophet sees tho well appointed host defeated. 

Why do I see them dismayed P They turn back ; thoir chief 
warriors are struck down ; they flee at their swiftest, and do not 
look back. Terror is on every side, says Jehovah I The quickest 
runner will not get off, nor tho warrior save himself. They shall 
stumble and fall in tho north, by tho river Euphrates. 

"Who is this that comos up liko the Nile in flood, when it 
is overflowed P Whoso wafers toss thomselvcs liko tho waves of 
the Nile branches in tho Delta P " It is Egypt. It rises up liko 
tho Nile; its waters move in waves liko tho Nile arms. "I will 
rise and cover the earth," says he : " I will destroy cities, and 
those that dwell in them." Bear up yo horse, rush on yo 
chariots ; go forth ye mighty men of Cush and of Lybia,* who 
carry the shield ; ye Lydians,* who hold and bend tho bow ! 

But that day is not theirs but the 'Lord's — Jehovah of hosts ; 
a day of vengeance; to avenge Himself on His adversaries. Tho 
Bword will -^ovour till it glut itself with slaughter; it will drink 

1 Jer. xlvi. 1-12. 
• Or, corslets. 

* Ro8enmuller. 
* They were the heavy armed soldiers?. 
' Men of Lud, not of Lydia in Asia Minor. The Ludira were 
an African people, Gen. x. 22; they were the light armed troops. 

' 1 



f ' I '■ I 




up tlieir blood. For the Lord Jehovah of hosts will offer up n 
sacrifico to His righteous indignation, in the north, by the rivor 

Go up from thy land to Gilead, and fetch balm, O virgin 
daughter of Egypt ! But in vain hoapest thuu up cures ; ' there 
is no healing ' for thuo 1 The natious have heard of thy shatno, 
and the cry of mocking against thee ban filled the earth. Fur 
warrior ran against warrior in their eager flight, and both foil 
together ! 

The defeat of Nccho, in spite of his trusted Greek 
mercenaries,'^ took place in the year B.C. 006, and seems 
to have resulted in his hasty retreat to Egypt. Nabo- 
polassar was now old, and success had transformed him 
from a rebel, whom all men were expected to denounce, 
to a great king, whom all should honour. Fortunately 
for his new empire, his eldest sou, Nebuchadnezzar, 
"Nebo protect the crown,''* was admirably fitted to 
maintain and extend it. Hereafter he was to be pre- 
eminently the king of Babylon, for the reign of his father 
from B.C. 025 to B.C. 604 only laid the foundation of 
the Chaldean supremacy, and it fell under the attack of 
Cyrus within twenty-four years, at the most, after Nebu- 
chadnezzar's death in B.C. 562,' when he had reigned 
forty-two or forty-four years. The able son of an able 
father, he threw himself into the struggle with Egypt 
with all the vigour of early manhood, and soon gained so 
great a renown that, in after ages, even the Greeks had 

» Lit., " medicines." * Lit, " plasters.** 

■ Lenormant, Hist. Anctenne, vol. ii. p. 393. 

* The name is variously spelt, but it seems better to retain the 
orthography of the A. V. 

* Schrader. In the art. Nehucadnezar, in Biehm, Schrader 
makes the reign of that prince forty-two years. In his article 
Chaldcea, in the same Encyc. he makes it forty-four years, putting 
his death-year in the one case as B.C. 562, in the other as B.C. 560. 


ied so 






Ic. 560. 


heard of him as almost liko their own Hercules, in his 
valour and great doeds.^ To Joromiah ho scorned liko a 
lion coming up from the thickets of Jordan," breaking 
the bones of his prey,'* or liko an eagle swooping down on 
it.^ Ezekiel compares him to a great eagle, with vast 
wings of mighty sweep, full of feathers of many colours — 
the various nations under his banners, and the splendour 
of his great captains — tearing the branches from the 
cedars of Lebanon, and breaking 
off their twigs.** Such terror of his 
fierce warriors filled all lands, that 
oven a few of their wounded men 
were said to bo more feared than 
an army of other soldiers.* Sweep- 
ing on resistlessly, they made 
Babylon " the hammer of the whole 
earth; "^ a dragon swallowing up 
the nations.^ 

To reach Carchemish, Nebuchad- i;or^crS4^"h;v;Si.'r 
nezzar had to march 500 miles to £?« '^S; N;S:.ht7nt'it: 
the north-west, along the valley of S?v^at»hTs' we (bVS 
tho Euphrates. There the forces ^"^ll^/^'^^heTSeo'i'ihiUt- 
of Necho, composed of Egyptians, S^ SSr^eLTt*^ tht"i$S£ffi 
Libyans,Greeks,andauxiliariesfrom "^o^ar of the uibie. 
tributary provinces, were ignominiously swept away ; only 
the wreck of the army reaching Egypt, closely pursued 
as they fled along tho coast of Palestine, to the Nile. All 
Syria and Palestine was, thus, lost,® and passed into the 

* Strabo, XV. i. 6. Jos., Ant., X. xi. 1 quotes Megasthenes as 
using this comparison. 

2 Jer. xlix. 19 ; XXV. 38. » Jer. 1. 17. 

* .Ter. xlviii. 40; xlix. 22. » Ezek. xvii. 3, 4, 7. 

* Jer. xxxviL 10. » Jer. 1. 23. 

^ Jer. li. 34 » Jos., Ant, X. vi. 1. 

black Caraoo prcaorvoc^ in tho 
Berlin Museum. The likonoHR 


!. ! 


hands of Babylon, now the heir of Assyria. Among 
others, Jehoiakim had furnished a contingent to Necho^ 
and from this, and the fighting men supplied by other 
petty kings^ numerous prisoners were made. But Jehoia- 
kim and the rest o£ Necho's vassals were themselves 
to escape for the time. The death of Nabopolassar, at 
Babylon, abruptly checked the triumphant course of the 
Chaldeans, so that they had to content themselves with 
retiring , for the moment, with their prisoners and booty ; 
the captives led away from Judah forming the earliest of 
their countrymen taken to Babylon — the advanced guard, 
as it proved, of the whole of their nation, hereafter io 
settle with them as exiles on the banks of the Euphrates. 

An invasion of Egypt itself had been intended, but 
news of his father's death having reached Nebuchad- 
nezzar before he had crossed its frontier, he hurried back 
to Babylon to secure the crown, taking the short route 
across the desert, attended by only a light escort, to 
save time, and thus reaching his capital with unexpected 
speed.^ The generals, meanwhile, brought back more 
leisurely the train of Jewish, Phenician, Syrian and 
Egyptian prisoners, and the vast accumulation of spoil, 
by the longer northern route.^ 

On arriving at Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar found every- 
thing quiet. The priests had kept the throne safely for 
him, as the legitimate heir. He had only to appear, and 
assume the crown. His reign of over forty years from 
this dat6 ^ comprised more than half the duration, and all 
the glory, of the Babylonian empire ; but, unfortunately, 
no iuidcriptions remain to describe his conquests to us^ 

.1 ' ■■■■'".', 

* Berosus, see Tos., Ant, a!, xi. 1. >^ 

* Berosus, quoted by Ensebius In his O^romcle*. \ 
» B.C. 605-562 (43 years). Keil 



though from other sources we know how widely he spread 
the terror of his arms. 

The hereditary ambition of the Assyrian kings to be- 
come masters of Egypt, passed to Nebuchadnezzar and 
made him a constant terror to the Pharaohs. They had, 
in former times, tried to shelter themselves behind the 
Syrian states ; but after the fall of Damascus and Samaria, 
their greatest hope had been to play the part of con- 
querors in Asia, during the weakness of Nineveh, and thus 
protect themselves at home by advancing the frontier of 
their empire. The defeat at Carchemish, however, had 
overthrown this dream. But, fortunately for Necho, this 
disaster had happened on the Euphrates, and thus left him 
time to recover. Ho belonged to a bravo race, who had 
fought for a hundred years to gain the crown of Egypt, 
and he would not resign it without a hard struggle. 
Refitting his fleet and reorganizing his army, he waited 
an opportunity to try his fortune once more, counting 
on his skill in stirring up the Jews and Pheuicians to 
support him. 

Since the miseries they had endured from Assyria, the 
Phenicians had cherished a profound hatred of rulers 
from the East, and this was largely shared by the various 
neighbouring states — Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Judah. 
Jehoiakim had reigned three years, and was beginning 
his fourth year at the time of the Egyptian defeat,^ and 
near its end at the accession of Nebuchadnezzar.^ The 
war, suspended by Nabopolassar's death, was renewed 
with the opening of the next military season ; for only part 




• The date of the defeat at Carchemish is one of the points on 

which all seem 1 > agree. 

Bertheaii, Kcil, 


and Schrader 

alike, give the close of B.C. 

606 or boginniiig 

of B.C. 


* Jor. XXV. 1 ; xlvi. 2. 

• ' 







of the year was then thought available for campaigns.^ 
Having secured the throne, Nebuchadnezzar again set 
out for Palestine, at the close of the fourth year of Jehoia- 
kim; his approach throwing Judah and all the neighbour- 
ing countries into the utmost consternation, for Necho 
had skilfully played upon their hatred of the ibreigner, 
and kept them from doing him homage. Jeremiah, how- 
ever, still foresaw that the Chaldean power was irresistible, 
and strove to bring his countrymen to a willing sub- 
mission, as the only means of preserving the State. Even 
human sagacity might have taught them, indeed, that 
resistance would lead to deportation ; but it was further 
revealed to Jeremiah, that the captivity to follow would 
last seventy years, or two generations of men. Knowing 
this, his efforts to influence his fellow-countrymen for 
their own good were unceasing. One appeal to them 
followed another. In the first of these, he thus speaks. 

From the thirteenth year of Josiah,* the son of Amon, king of 
Judah, to this day, these three and twenty years, the word of 
Jehovah has come to me, and I have spoken it to you — all ye 
people of Judah and inhabitunts of Jerusalem — early and late, but 
ye have not hearkened. Jehovah has also sent to you all his 
servants, the prophets, earnestly and continually. But ye have 
not hearkened or bent your ear, to hear their message, which was 
this : " Turn ye, every one from his evil way and from the wicked- 
ness of your doings, and then ye shall dwell for ever and ever in 
the land which Jehovah gave to you and to your fathers. And 
go not after other gods, to serve and worship them, so that ye may 
not provoke Me to anger through the works of your hands, and 
cause Me to do you harm." But ye have not hearkened to Me, 
Bays Jehovah; as if ye wished to provoke Me to anger with the 
works of your hands, to your own hiirf. 

Therefore,' thus says Jehovah of hosts : Because ye have not 
heard My words, behold ! I will send for and fetch all the races 

* 2 Sam. xi. 1. 

a Jer. XXV. 1-7. 

" Jer. XXV. 7-11-14. 


rer in 
I the 



of the north, sajs Jehovah, and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar 
the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them all against 
this land and its inhabitants, and against all the nations that are 
round about it, and give them up to utter destruction,* and 
make them an astonishment and a hissing, and a perpetual 
desert. And I will destroy from them the voice of mirth and 
gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; 
the sound of the mill, and the light of the lamp.^ And the whole 
land will become a desolation and an astonishment. And these 
nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.* 

Babylon, itself, the instrument of God's wrath, will not, 

however, escape. 

But when seventy years are full I will punish the king of 
Babylon and that nation, saith Jehovah, for their inquity, and the 
land of the Chaldeans, and will make it a perpetual desert. And 
I will bring on that land all My words that I have pronounced 
against it; all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has 
prophesied against all the nations.'* For many nations and great 

* Lit., will " bann them," i.e. devote them to destruction. 

* See vol. iv. p. 124. Burton's Inner Life of Syria, vol. i. p. 261. 

* From the fourth year of Johoiakim, B.C. 606, to the first year 
of the separate reign of Cyrus, B.C. 536, was 70 years. It is 
computed thus: Nebuchadnezzar reigned 43 years, his son Evil 
Merodach 2 years, Neriglissar 4 years, Labrosoarchad 9 months, 
Nabonad 17 years = QQ years and 9 months. Add to this a year 
'rom Nebuchadnezzar's first invasion of Palestine to the death 
of his father and his own accession, and the two years reign of 
Darius the MeLe (Cyaxares) over Babylon, and we have 69| years. 

* Hitzig, Graf, Naegelsbach, Evvald, and Dr. Payne Smith omit 
the words, verse 12, " the king of Babylon," and " the land of 
the Chaldeans," to the end of 15th verse. They think it incon- 
ceivable that Jeremiah should at this period have openly named 
Babylon as doomed, since it would at once have infuriated Nebu- 
chadnezzar and weakened the force of the prophet's appeals to his 
own people. But Keil, De Wette, Sachs, and Eichhorn, amongst 
others, retain them. The edition of the Sept. published by tho 
Christian Knowledge Society omits the passage, but Stier and 
Theilo's edition retains it both in the Greek and in tho Yulgato. 

': V 





kings will make them thoir servants, and I will punish them, 
according to their doings and the work ot their hands.* 

The solemnity of the judgment impending on Judah 
is intensified by the recital of those about to fall on ot ler 

For thus says the Lord Jehovah of Israel to me,^ Take this 
oup of the wine of My wrath out cf My hand, and give it to all 
the nations to whom I send thee, to drink. That they may 
drink it, and reel, and become demented, before the sword I am 
about to send on them. 

And I took the cup from Jehovah's hand <«.nd let all the 
nations drink it to whom Jehovah sent me, ^ Jerusalem and the 
cities of Judah, and her kings and princes — to loake them a 
desolation and an astonishment, and a hissing and a curse, forth- 
with.* Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, his servants, his princes, 
and all his people, and all the nations tributary to Iiim,^ and all 
the kings of the land of Uz,* and of the land of the Philistines, 
Askelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant left in Ashdod;' Edom, 

* The Vatican text puts the closing words of the thirteenth 
verse in uncial letters, as a title to what follows : thus, " The 
(words) which Jeremiah puophesied against the Nations — 
Elam." The Vatican text, the Codex C. (of less value) and 'le 
Alexandrine Codex (not the Alexandrine text) omit ve" 1* 
Elam comes first, in the Sept., among the nations denouncea. 

« Jer. XXV. 15-26. 

' The prophet must, necessarily, be recounting the details of a 

* EwaJd. The Alexandrine Codex. The Vatican text and the 
Codex 0. omit " as it is this day." 

* A. V. "mingled people," here, and in ver. 24. It seems to 
mean the tribes of different race from the Egyptian, bnt under 
its sway. Cheyue and Driver translate it " mercenaries." Ewald 
renders it substantially as in the text. He is supported by Keil. 

« Vol. i. p. 262. 

^ Ashdod had been besieged for twenty-nine years by Psam- 
metichus, fiUher of Necho— there would, therefore, be only a 
remnant of its people left. Gath is omitted from the list of 
Philistiuo cities, perhaps as no longer independent. 






Moab, and the B'nai Ammon ; and all the kings of Tyre, and of 
Sidon, and of the lands ^ beyond the Seu; Dedan* and Tema' 
and Buz,* and all with the corners of their hair shorn away.* 
And all the kings of (Northern) Arabia and of the tribes of 
various races that dwell in the desert. And all the kings of 
Zimri," all the k'ngs of Elam/ and all the kings of the Modes, 
and all the kings of the North, far and near, one and all, and all 
the kingdoms of the world, on the face of the earth.* Last of 
all, the king of Sheshach will drink the cup of God's wrath.* 

Say therefore to them,^° thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God 
of Israel; Drink and be drunken, and vomit, and fall, and rise 
no more, before the sword which I will send among you. And 

* Or, coasts, or islands. * Vol. i. p. 243. 

* An Arab tribe ia North Arabia. Job vi. 19. Isa. xxi. 14. 
Taima, in Arabic, means " Desert." KneucJcer. 

* An Arab tribe, in the desert, east of Edom. Kneucker. 
» Jer. ix. 26; xlix. 28, 32. See page 210. 

* Seemingly an Arab people between Arabia and Elam. 
'f Elam was now becoming Persia. 

' This is only a general expression, and not to be taken literally. 
See Dan. ii. 38 ; iv. 22. It means a vast empire, not an absolutely 
universal one. 

* In Jer. li. 41, Sheshach is used for Babylon. Jerome notices 
this, perhaps through a hint from his Jewish teacher, as to the 
oid tradition. According to this, the word is a cipher formed 
after the rule called by the Jews Athbasch, by which the letters 
of the alphabet are used backward?, the last standing for ^be 
first, and so, throughout. See Buxtorff, Lex., art. Athbasch. A 
similar example is found in Jer. li. 1, where Casdim is expressed 
by the words Laib Kamai. Keil repudiates the idea that it is used 
to prevent the name of Babel appearing, and thinks its object is a striking meaning. This, ho makes, "a sinking" — to 
indicate that Babylon will fall and not rise again. For various 
rendijrings see Ges. Thea., p. 1486. The consonants Sh Sh Ch on 
the principle of Athbasch stand for B B L, the consonants of 
Babel. On the same principle L B K M Y stand for C(a) 
S D I M = Chaldeans. The origin of this secret system is of 
unknown antiquity among the Jewu. See Leyrer, in Horzog's 
Ency., vol. xiv. pp. 1-20. w jer. xxv. 27-28. 

,! ai 

? ; 



if tlioy reruse to take the cnp from yonr hand, say to them, Thns 
says Jehovah of hosts, Drink it you shall I For, lo, I will begin 
with the city called by My name, in this outpouring of evil, 
and will you be left unpunished? Ye shall not! for I shall 
summon the sword to dc its work on all the inhabitautu of the 
earth, says Jehovah of hoRts I 

Therefore, speak all these words to them, * and say : Jehovah 
will roar (like a lion) from (heaven) on high, and utter His voice' 
from His holy habitation. He will roar with a mighty voice 
ag.^inst His own land:^ He shall shout ^ like him that treads 
the wine press, against all the inhabitants of the earth. The 
mighty sound will roll like a storm, even to the ends of the earth; 
for Jehovah has a controversy with the nations ; He will reckon 
as a judge with all flesh; the godless will He give to the sword! 
So says Jehovah ! 

Thus says Jehovah of hosts, Behold trouble will pass on from 
nation to nation ; a mighty storm of wrath will pour down from 
the farthest ends of the earth. And those slain by Jehovah 
will lie, on that day, from one end of the earth to the other; 
they will not be lamented, nor gathered up, nor buried; they 
will be left like manure on the face of the earth ! Howl yo 
shepherds ! * Cry aloud ! Ye lordliest of the flock strew your- 
selves with ashes! For your days for being slaughtered are 
fulfilled; I will dash you to pieces like a costly vessel. And 
there shall be no flight for the shepherds; no escape for the 
lordliest of the flocks ! Hark! the cry of the shepherds, the wail 
of the lordliest of the flock ; for Jehovah has laid waste their 
pasture, and the peaceful meadows are destroyed before the 
burning wrath of Jehovah ! Like a lion. He has forsaken his 
covert ; yea, their land has become a desert, before the fierceness 
of the Destroyers before the fierceness of His wrath ! 

The advance of Nebuchadnezzar, with a great army of 

» Jer. XXV. 80-38. 

2 "Thunder." Eivald. 

* From the verb for "to sit," '*to rest,** = peace, babitition, 
dwelling. Here, Judah. 

* The cry of one rushing on to war. i 
» Kings. ^ 

1 yo 








Chaldeans and Syrians,^ spread terror, as has been said, 
on all sides. The population of the villages and country 
towns flocked to Jerusalem ; ^ even friendly shepherd 
tribes from the wilderness pastures hurrying to the 
protection of its walls. Among others, came the B'uai 
Rechab, a half Arab sect of Jewish Puritans, who had risen 
in the days of Elijah, as an indirect result of his life 
and influence.^ Descended from a branch of the tribe of 
Kenites,* who came into Palestine with the Israelites, and 
had zealously adopted the Hebrew faith, they had retained 
their nomadic habits, wandering over the open spaces in 
the land, especially those of the northern districts.^ One 
of their chiefs, Jonadab, the colleague of Jehu in his 
violent suppression of idolatry, under the dynasty of 
Ahab, had modelled his clan after the Nazarite ideal,^ 
to insure its more thorough separation from the wicked- 
ness of the times ; taking the idea, apparently, from the 
example of Elijah and that of the prophets. Following 
his recommendations, they henceforth abjured wine, and 
made a vow neither to build houses, nor till the ground, 
nor plant vineyards ; repudiating all that v; as associated 
with a settled life, and withdrawing permanently to their 
tents on the lonely pastures, far from- the haunts of men. 
The social corruption of the Northern Kingdom had grown 
terrible under the House of Ahab. Phenician idolatry, 
luxury, and vice, had spread through the land. Jonadab 

> Jer. XXXV. 11. ' Jcr. xxxvi. 9. 

• See vol. ii. p. 108; vol. iv. pp. 60, 144. * 1 Chron. ii. 55. 

' The " shearing-house," 2 Kings x. 14, was probably a spot 
connected with the jflocks of the wandering Kcnites. One branch 
of the tribe roamed over the uplands of the Negeb in the south. 
1 Sam. XV. 6; xxvii. 10; xxx. 29. Another branch had their 
tents near Kidesh in Naphtali, in the north. Jud. iv. 11, 17 * 
V. 24 • Amos ii. 11. 

■ • I' . 




1^ 'I 



i ! 
i il 






II < 

resoUed at once to save his people from contamination, 
and make their collective life a piotest against the special 
sins of the day. 

Streaming down from the North on the threatened 
advance of Nebuchadnezzar, an encampment of these 
zealous Puritans of Judaism now sought shelter in 
Jerusalem ; pitching their tents in some open space in 
the city, and living apart from the general population,^ 
under their sheik Jnazaniah — "he whom Jehovah V? ra.*'^ 

The fidiOity ' si ch rough sons of the desert to the 
anc n^u j!a» is vt iarael, marked them out amidst the 
common crc \\<\, i.?id must have made them objects of 
general interest. Ti^v must especially have excited the 
sympathy of those, like themselves, still true to the old 
religion; cheering them by a living proof that amidst 
the wide decay of morals, some remained faithful to the 
God of their fathers. Fidelity so striking was, indeed, 
fitted to read a lesson to the community at large, and 
it was used for this purpose by Jeremiah. Acting on 
a prophetic impulse, he brought their sheik and all the 
encampment, to a chamber within the temple precincts — 
that of the sons or disciples of Hanan, an unknown 
prophet — over the quarters of Maaseiah, the overseer of 
the guards of the temple gates, and next the room in 
which the chief mon were wont to assemble for public 
business, HeiC, he caused large bowls of wine to be set 
before them, such as were placed before guests at a 
feast, and invited them to fill their cups from them, and 
drink. The proposal, made in mock earnest, must have 
been seen in that light, for otherwise nothing could 

^ Jer. XXXV. 2. 

* Tlie other names given of members of the tribe, are Jeremiah, 
<* he whom Joliovah establishes " ; and Habaziuiab, perhaps, " the 
lamp of Jehovah." 






liavo been in worse taste. Of course all, at once, and 
without hesitation, declined. They had vowed, tl.ey said, 
to obey the commands of their forefather Jonadab, and 
would be true to their pledge.^ They could not hink 
ot touching wine. 

Jeremiah had known that this would be their a -^wer, 
and forthwith took advantage of it to point an address 
to thv3 citizens. Turning to the crowd around, in the 
temple courts, he announced ^ that he had been sent by 
Jehovah to them and to the men of Judah, to say,^ 

Will ye receive no instruction to hear My words, says JohovahP 
The words of Jonadab, the son of P ^hab, which he commanded 
Ilia sons, "that they should drink \o ine," are obeyed; thoy 
dtink none to this diy, but still )be, ho command of their 
fiitlier, given two hundred and 6'> v eais ago. But I, Jehovah, 
yonr God, have spoken to you conti 'ally, with earnest zeal, till 
now, but you have not listened tc Me i 1 have sent to you all My 
servants the prophei/S, unceasii; / t^aying by them, "Turn yo 
now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and 
walk no longer after ojiher gods, to serve them, and ye shall dwell 
in the land which I have given to you at d to your fathers." But 
ye have not inclined your ear or obeyed Me. The sons of Jonadab, 
the son of Eecbab, have obeyed the command of their father, but 
this people have not obeyed Me ! 

Therefore, thus says Jehovah, the God of hosts, the God of 
Israel. Behold, I bring on Judah and on the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem, all the evil I have spoken against them, because I 
have spoken to them but they have not heard ; I have called to 
them, but they have not answered ! 

Then turning to the Rechabites, standing by, the pro- 
phet continued,— 

Thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel : Because yo 
havo obeyed the command of your father Jonadab, and have kept 

1 Jer. XXXV. 1-11. 

« Jer. XXV. 12 10. 




: 1 

i iS 

-■ . 




all his procepts, and done all that he enjoined on you— therefore, 
thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab, the sou 
of Rccbab, shall not, for ever, want a man to utund before Mo. 

Counterparts of this singular community, thus honoured 
by God, have occurred at different times, illustrating the 
tendency to similar asceticism in the East. The ancient 
Nabatheans neither sowed seed, nor planted fruit-trees, 
nor built houses,^ and enforced these usages by death 
for their transgression. The Wahaboes, who rose in the 
second half of last century, in Arabia, used neither wine, 
opium nor tobacco, and proscribed luxury and self-in- 
dulgence of every kind. The zealots of Islamism, their 
success was amazing. They soon formed an army of 
100,000 men, ready to spread their opinions by the 
sword, and were only subdued, in the first quarter of 
thip century,^ after desperate efforts, by Mahomed Ali 
and his son Ibrahim Pasba. 

The assurance that the Rechabites would never want a 
man " to stand before God," has been strangely fulfilled. 
T' ' phrase seemingly points to the adoption of members 
of the tribe into the pripf^tly office, to " stand before 
God," like the sons of Levi.^ Their strictness as Naza- 
rites, facilitated this advancement, for even so late as St. 
James the Just, Nazarites, by a singular exception, were 
permitted to enter the most sacred parts of the temple.* 
In keeping with this, the heading of the seventy-first 
Psalm, in the Septuagint, speaks of the sons of Jonadab 
as the first who were carried off to Babylon, and intimates 
that this Psalm had been commonly sung by them in the 

* Diod. Sic, xix. 94. 

2 Brockhaus, Lexicon, vol. xv. pp. 270 ff. 

* Deut. X. 8 ; xviii. 5, 7. Gen. xviii. 22. 
cxxxiv. 1. Jer. xv. 19. 

* Eunsobius, Uist. Ecc, Bk. ii. ch, 23, 

Jud. XX. 28. Fs. 



temple service.^ A " son of Rochab *' is named among 
the restorers of Jerusalem, after the Retuiui,^ and in the 
genealogies of the Chronicles/ which were drawn up at 
a very late period, a community of Rechabitos, living at 
Jabez^ are spoken of as scribes^ that is, as occupied with 
the writing and study of the Law — «n occupation in 
earlier times almost wholly engrossed by Lovites.* Cen- 
turies later, Eusebius "brings t^'eir name before us in a 
striking connection. While the mob were stoning James 
the Just, he tells us, " one of the priests, of the sons of 
Rechab, a son of the Rechabites spoken of by Jeremiah 
the prophet, cried out, ' Stop — what are you doing ? He 
IB praying for you,* " ^ bo that, even in that day, a priestly 
order of Rechabites still survived. 

But still l"ter, notices of this people remain, to startle 
us by the echo their history gives of the words of Jere- 
miah. Benjamin of Tudela, who travelled in the East in 
the twelfth century, speaks of a community of Jews whom 
he met, who called themselves Rechabites. They tilled 
the ground, and kept flocks and herds, but abstained 
from wine and flesh, and gave tithes to Rabbis, who 
studied the Law and led the public wailings for Jeru- 
salem. They numbered 100,000, and lived under a 

> This is implied. The words are : " By David ; a Paalm sung 
by the sonj of Jonadab: even the first that wore taken captive." 

2 Neh. ii". 14. » 1 Chron. ii. o5. 

. •• The other classes named in 1 Chron. ii. 55, have been trans- 
lated by the Vulgate as "singers," "trumpet blowers," and 
" dwellers in tents." But later lexicographers do not support this 
rendering. Wellhausen translates Tirathites as " trumpeters," 
"blowers of the sacred trumpets;" Sbimeathites, as "men of the 
tradition ;" and 8uchathites, as ** dwellers in tents." 

* Eusebius, Hist. Ecc, Bk. ii. ch. 23. He is quoting from 
Hcgesippus, who was alivo in the early part of the second century 
of our era. 



. . I j .* 






princo of tlieir own, who traced liis descent from David.^ 
Even in our own day, moreover. Dr. Wolff', the mis- 
sionary traveller, met a tribe near Senaa, in Arabia, who 
claim to be the Rechabites. In answer to a question as to 
their origin, one of them replied by reading from an Arabic 
13iblo the words of Jeremiah, describing the Rechabites 
of his day,' and added that they numbered 60,000/'* 
Still more recently, Signer Pierotti, near the south-cast 
end of the Dead Sea, met a tribe who called themselves 
Rechabites, had a Hebrew Bible, prayed at the tomb 
of a Jewish Rabbi, and spoke of themselves exactly as 
the Rechabites in Arabia had spoken to Wolff a gone- 
ration before.^ 


* Benjamin of Tudela. Asher's edit., pp. 112-114. 

» Jer. XXXV. 5-11. ' Wolff's Journal^ 1829, vol. ii. p. 334. 

* I'ranaadiona of the British Association, 18G2. 





WHILE Jeremiah was contending with tho evil 
around him, other prophets were not silent. If 
Judah were to fall, its ruin wonld come in spite of efforts 
to save it, unique in the history of the world. We look 
in vain in the history of Greece or Rome, or any peopL? 
of the ancient or modern world, for such a phenomenon 
as the preachers who, under tho name of prophets, rose 
during the decay of the two Hebrew kingdoms. Amidst 
the growing darkness their voices are heard unceasingly 
calling men back to the light ; rebuking sin with a fear- 
less courage ; presenting the mighty truths of righteous- 
ness and judgment to their countrymen with a force and 
variety of language which makes their words for ever 
weighty ; realizing the existence and living interest of 
God in all the concerns of nations and individuals as it 
never has been done by any other religious order, and 
anticipating with sublime trust the final victory of truth, 
and the ultimate emergence of a deathless kingdom of 
rinfhteousness and peace. 

Among these the prophet Habakkuk took a foremost 
place, though only a brief illustraticu of his teaching 
survives. His name, as Luther we!' puts it, sx aks of 

VOL V. ** A A 

' .III 

I ^ ill 

1> : 



I - 





one " who took liis nation to his heart,^ comforted it and 
held it up, as one embraces and presses to his bosom a 
poor weeping child, calming and consoling it with good 
hope — if God so will." He seems to have been a Levite, 
and to have taken part, at the temple service, in tho 
chanting of psalms written by himself.^ Like Jeremiah 
and Ezekiel, he thus united the priestly and prophetic 
offices, at least in a measure. The prophecies bearing 
his name seem to have been uttered about the year B.C. 
604,^^ whf^n Necho had been defeated at Carchemish, and 
the advance of Nebuchaduezzar on Palestine, to drive the 
Egyptians finally out of Asia, was imminent. He dwells 
with profound alarm, on the terrors of his approach, 
realizing the miseries he would inflict on the land, but is 
too absorbed by higher thoughts to do more than allude 
in general terms to the historical facts of the hour. His 
soul is engrossed with the weighty reflections suggested 
by things around, more than with outward affairs. The 
deepening wickedness of the age, its contrast of pros- 
peious guilt and suffering worth, had raised doubts and 
perplexities in his soul, as in the minds of others, as to 
the ways of God with man. To solve the problem for his 
fellow-countrymen still faithful to Jehovah, is the great 
aim of his book. The old doctrine of rewards and 
punishments in this life he finds untenable, and, first of 
all the sacred writers, realizes the great truth of New 
Testament doctrine, that the just shall live by his faith, 
not by his works alone.* In style and genius he ranks 
among the highest of the Hebrew poets, though his 
strains are no longer those of the sacred lyrics of earlier 

* lb means "embracing," or '* the embracer." 

' Hab. iii. 1-19. Inscription to Bel and the Diagon. 

* Schrader, Bib. Lex. 

* Hab. ii. 4, quoted in Kom. i. 1? ; Gal. iii. 11 ; Hcb. x. 38. 




days, but swell, as it were, to a trumpet blast, under 
the mightier impulse of stormy times. 

The book opens with a troubled but confiding cry to 
Jehovah for light, as to His ways with men. How is it 
that violence and wickedness prosper, while the innocent 
poor and the godly were wronged and oppressed ? 

How long, Jehovah,^ shall I cy and Thou wilt not hear? 
How long sliall T cry to Thee for the violence of men, and TIjou 
wilt not help ? Why Icttoat Thou me see iniquity ? Why dont 
Thou Thyself l-^ok upon undeserved sorrow ? Violence and 
wrong are hefore me; strife is around ; contention lifts itself np. 
Through all this the Law^ has lost its power,' and justice never 
prevails.* For the wicked hem round the upright and keep them 
back from their due, and only perverted justice is decreed.® 

The answer, solving the prophet's difficulties, is given 
by Jehovah. The wicked may have flourished for a time, 
but their day is coming I The Chaldeans will execute 
the Divine judgments on them. 

Look among the nations,^ and take notice, and wonder with 
great astonishment ! For a work is being wrought in your duyti, 
which ye would not credic if it were told you ! 

F(»r lo, 1 raise up the Chaldeans, the fierce and impetuous 
nation, who push to far countries of the earth, to seize lands that 
are not theirs ! They are dreadful and terrible ; their ruler acts 
as it pleases himself ; he follows his own counsel alone.' Their 

» Hab. i. 2-4. 2 'y\^Q r^^.^,,. 

3 Lit., is " benumbed," " grown cold." It .should be the life 
of the individual and the nation, but it is puialysed. 

* Lit., *' comes forward " (to the front). 

* Lit., " goes forth" — is promulgated by the judges. 
6 Hab. i. 5-11. 

' Slightly paraphrased to give the sense. 








W I 

• .■i\ 






I I 


horses arc swifter than leopards,* fiercer than evening wolves ; • 
their cavalry ^ bound onwards, coming from afar; they fly like 
the eagle,"* hastening to devour. Thoy come, all of 'them, otily as 
fierce oppressors; the striving of their faces is forwards ;'' they 
gather captives like the sand for nuribor; they scofi'at kings and 
hold princes in scorn ; they langh at all strongholds, and cast up 
mounds of earth against them and take them ! Their king rushes 
by them like a storm, and passes on resistless, and becomes 
guilty ; for this, his great might, is made his god.* 

The thought that even the Chaldeans are powerless 
before Jehovah, calms the mind of the pror/iiet, as the 
miseries tney will inflict on his people riso before him. 
They, too, will be judged. God cannot permit their vio- 
lence to go un visited. They are only the instruments 
of Providence, unconsciously fulfilling its purpose. That 
accomplished, they will feel the hand of the Almighty. 
Judali will not utterly perish. 

Art Thou not from everlasting,' O Jehovah, my God, my Holy 

* The Hebrew word is namair ; the Assyrian word for leopard 
is niimru, and the local name in Mesopotamia is nimer, Hough- 
ton, Trans. Bib. Arch, fifoc, vol. v. p. 326. 

8 See page 170. 

■ In contrast to their chariot horses. For a description of the 
vrnr horses of the Assyrian sculptures, see Layard's Nineveh and 
Babylon, vol. ii. p. 360. 

* In liiehm, p. 27, it is suggested that an cagle-liko vulturo is 

* The word translated " east wind," is lit., "towards the east," 
but "the east" meant, originally, "the side before one," and 
seems to have that sense here. 

* Ewald : " His mind is lifted up and passes due bounds, and 
he becomes guilty." The reading in the text is that of Stcinor, 
Kcil, Klein, Delitzsch, and Fusey. 

7 Hab. i. 12-17. 



One! Wo Rhnll not die!* O Jehovah, Thou hast appointed 
tliem — the Chaldeans — to execute Thy judgments. O Rock 'of 
Israel, Thou hast ordained them to chastise Thy people ! 

Thou ait of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look 
on wrong. Why, then, lookest Thou calmly on theso robber* 
Chaldeans P Why art Thou silent when the Wicked One swallows 
up men more righteous than be ? Why makest Thou men as the 
helpless fish of the sea, or as the creeping things that have no 
rulorP These plunderers pull out all men with the hook, draw 
them in with their casting-net, and gather thera with their draw- 
net,* and rejoice and are glad of it. Therefore they make offerings 
to their casting-net, and burn incense to their draw-net, for 
through them their catch is rich and their food «^ainty.' Shall 
he, then, empty out his net, and for ever slaughter the nations 
without pity ? 

This, assuredly, cannot be, since Jehovah reigns ! 
The prophet feels that he must rise above such doubts 
and half-despairings, and trust to receive a suflBcient 
answer to his perplexities. Lonely heighcs seemed then, 
as now, fitter than the haunts of men for communion 
with God j the heavens, the dwelling of the Eternal, 
opening from their lonely tops, and the ear catching the 
voice of God, without distraction, amidst their silence. 
Habakkuk, therefore, in thought, ascends some such 
watch tower of the soul, and waits there amidst the still- 
ness, till God deigned to reveal Himself and shed light 
on his darkness. 

* Steiner. Keil. Eichhorn. Ewald and some other, « adopt the 
reading, " Thou shalt not die," from the Masoret'V notes, wiiioh 
speak of " Wo shall not die," as " a correction of the Scribes." 
There are eighteen of these, but they are only suggested in the 
Hebrew notes, not introduced into the text, and represent only so 
many Jewish traditions. 

2 Deut. xxxii. 15, 18; xxxvii. 4. Keil. Steiner. Ew'ild. Hch. 
\ext. ' ' Steiner. 

* Drake, art. Fish, Diet, oftlie Bible. • Lit., " fat." 




"f 1 

■ 1 : 

1 i'l 













I will take my stand upon my place of thatch,* and set myself 
on the tower, and fix my thoughts to hear what Jehovah will say 
to me ; what answer I shall receive to my appeal ! ' 

Then Jehovah answered me by a vision, and said, " Write out 
the vision, and make it plain on the tablets, that man may read 
it quickly.3 For it has respect to a set time, still future, and 
hastens towards the end, and will not dei-eive. Ttiough it tarry, 
wait for it, for come it will, and will not misa its time." 

The oracle itself uov^r begins. 

Behold ! * the soul of the Chaldean king is lifted up ; it is nob 
humble* in him. But the righteous sliall live by his faith." 
Still more ; the proud man, the Chaldean king, drunk with 
ambition, is fierce, like one drank with wine, and rests rot in his 
own Jand, but opens his jaws like hell, and is like djath, and is 
not satisfied, but gathers to himself all the nations, and draws to 
him all the peoples. 

Will rot all these nations and peoples take up the 
song against him, the song of reproach and derision, 
and say : 

Woe to him that heaps np what if not his ! How long will h^ 
go unpunished ? Woe to him that loads liimsolf, like a usurer, 
with the goods of many lands — goods taken in pledge — thick clay, 
call them — that must be restored. Shall /*ot thy creditors sud- 

» Hab. ii. 1-3. ^ Sfeiner. 

» Lit., "that he that readeth it ft»ay run over it quickly." 

* Hab. ii. 4^? * Does not flow evenly. Stehicr. 

^ The worci here translated " faith," is rendered elsewhere 
"truth," "faithfulness." See Deut. xxxii. 4<, a God of truth; so 
Ps. xxxiii. 4; Jer. v. 1,3; 1 Sam, xxvi. 23. His faithfulness ; so 
Ps. xxxvi. 5; xl. 10; Lam. iii. 23. For the full meaning of the 
word see Rom. i. 17 ; Gal. iii. 11 ; Hob. x. 38, 

' The figure is taken from a heartless extortioner, who carries 
off the gcods of his debtors in pledge. The word for pledges is 
Ai^'t. and this, divided in two, means thick clay, or mabbcs, clods 
of clay. No doubt a verbal play was intended. 




I myself 
will say 

'rite out 
lay read 
Lite, nud 
it tarry, 

it is not 
3 faith.' 
ik with 
:)t in his 
I, and is 
draws to 

up the 


will be 


|ok clay, 

'd sud- 

lew here 

th; so 
[3ss; so 

of the 

Igas is 
L clods 

denly rise to sting thee ; ' thy tormentors ronghly wake thee up, 
and make thee their prey P Because thou hast plundered many 
nations, all the remnants of them will plunder thee, for the blood 
of men thou hast shed, and fci ihy violence to land and city and 
all their inhabitants ! 

Woe to him^ — the Chaldean — who gathers unjust gain for his 
house, to set his nest on high, to save himsolE from the stroke of 
fate.* Th.'i hast devised only shame to thy House; thou hasb 
destroyed many nations, and sinned away thine own life ! * For 
the stone shall cry against thee, out of the wall, and the cross- 
beam out of the timber-work will answer it ! * 

"Woe to him' that builds up his city with the blood of men, 
his slaves and captives from many lands, and founds his strong- 
hold on iniquity 1 Behold ! Jehovah of hosts has decreed that 
these nations of forced workers shall labour only for what is to 
perish with fire, through His judgments, and weary themselves 
for what will come to nothuig V For widely as the waters cover 
the Viisin of the sea, shall the earth be filled with the knowledge 
of the majesty of Jehovah, in His destruction of Babylon ! 

Woe to him* — the Chaldean — who causes his neighbour to 
drink, pouring out his glowing cup to him,' and makes liim drunk 
— to look Oil ns shame! Thou, thyself, wilt be filled with shame, 
in place of +^^1(7 present glory. " Drink thou, also," it will be said 
to thee, " anu show thy nakedness ! " For the cup in the right 
hand of Jeho^.'^h will turn itself to tVoe, and foul vomit shall 

* The figure is from the bite or sting ^ a serpent. 

2 Hab. ii. 9-11. ^ ^ .. g^.^sp of evil." 

'* Brought on thine own future destr on. 

' This paragraph is applied by Stein aid Ewald to Jehoiakim, 
but their reasons are unsatisfactory, ainl the interruption to the 
prophecy against Chaldeais improbal 

fi Hab. ii. 12-14. 7 Eichhorn. j Wette. Noyes. Eivald. 

8 Hab. ii. 15-17. 

^ Lit., "thy wrath, or heat." It may mean the glow of the 
wine, as heating or intoxicating, or the secret enmity with which 
tlie Chaldean, under fair pretences, br .ught nation:' to drunken 
slavery, by ruinous alliance, etc. ; or it may refer simply to the 
notorious drunkenness and revelling of Babylon. 

V ti 

I 'Mi 

.1 1 



■■t ' 

I f 



cover thy glory P For violence like that done to Lebanon, in 
ruthlessly hewing down its woods, shall cover thine o\va land,' 
and the slaughter of its beasts, like that which thou wroughtest 
in Israel, shall make thee afraid.' Thy land shall be desolate, 
for the blood of men thou hast shed, and for the violence thou 
hast shown to town and country, and all their inhabitants.^ 

The trust of the Chaldeans in their idols is vain. 

What profit is the graven image,' when its maker has carved 
itP Or the molten image, which teacheH but lies — that the maker 
of such dumb idols should trust in them P 

Woe to him that says to the piece of wood, "Wake no ! " arid 
to the dead^ stone, " House thyself! " Can it teach P Behold it 
is )lated over with gold and silver, and there is no breath in its 

Bub Jehovah dwells in His holy temple^ in the heavens : let all 
the earth be silent before Him ! 

The prophet has now ended his predictions, and closes 
by a Siiblirae prayer to God to preserve Judah, during 
the trials before her at the hands of the Chaldeans, and 
restore her when the term of her captivity is ended. 
He throws his supplication into the form of a psalm, to 
bo sung in the temple to dithyratnbic music ; that is, to 
strains of the highest emotion.® Since God will assuredly 
visit His people in wrath, let Him still remember' His 
mercy. He delivered them of old from Egypt ; He can 
now deliver them from Babylon, when the seventy years 
of their captivity are ended. 

* Or, " shame and disgrace will take the place of thy glory." 
Eivald. ' Lit., '* cover thee." 

* Sept. Ewald, virtually. Oooh, Targ. Pesh. Jerome. 

* Eichhorn. ' Hab. ii. 18-20. 
' • Lit., " dumb." "^ Lit., " palace." 

® Shigionoth. pi. of Shiggion, comes (rom the verb Shagah, "to 
reel ubout through drink." It occurs only one other time, in Ps. 
vii., title. 



Jehovah, I have heard Thy words against Judah and Baby- 
lon, and tremble 1 O Jehovali, revive^ Thy work of mercy to Thy 
people, as the years roll their course; as the years pass make it 
known to us ; in Thy just wrath remember mercy 1 

That He will do so is sure, from the remerabrance of 
His former deeds to His people. Hereafter He will 
come from Sinai, His ancient resting-place, as He did of 

7 b 



>) i' 

Eloah comes from Teman,' and the Holy One from the moun- 
tains of Faran.' His brightness, as of the sun, covers the heavens, 
and the earth is filled with His glory.* Splendour, like the sun, 
appears; beams of light stream forth around Him,* the veil of 
His almighty power ! Before Him goes the Pestilence ; the 
burning Plague follows in His steps,^ for He comes to judge His 
enemies. Ho stands, and the earth shakes beneath Him ; Ho 
looks around, and the nations tremble. The everlasting moun- 
tains burst asunder; the world-old hills sink down.' He comes 
along His ancient paths ^—th-' pa; hs in which He marched from 
Sinai of old ! 

* Lit., "let it come to life." 

* In ,;«outlie.'n Idumea. It stands for Edom as a whole. 

^ Paran, the hills forming the eastern half of the upland wilder- 
ness of Et Tib. They are divided from Tcman only by the low 
plain of the Arabah. The word " Selah " is thought by Hitzig 
to mean that the peoole bowed down at this point. Keil supposes 
it is equivalent to Forte, and introduced an outburst of trumpets, 
etc. Teman and Paran lay between Judah and Sinai, from which 
God is supposed to come, as of old. See Jud. v. 4, and Deut. 
xxxiii. 2, from which the verse is in effect borrowed. Sinai, to 
the Jew, was the ancient seat of the earthly majesty of God, as 
Been at the giving of the Law. 

Lit., "praise. 

* At His side. 

* This seems a more strict parallel than " lightnings fly forth 
at His feet." De Wetfe. Ewald renders the words "burning 
Plague " by " flames of death." 

Jud. y. 6. '^ Ho camo of old from Sinai } so now. 




I 1 







The prophet sees Jehovah coming at the head of His 
people, from Egypt; His anger roused against the rivers 
and tho sea which hinder their escape. Ho advances 
like a warrior, with His chariots and bow, against them, 
and they yield and open, to make a pathway for Israel. 

I see tho tents of Cushan • troubled; tho tent coverings of 
the land of Midian tremble ! Docs Tliy wrath burn against tho 
streams, Jehovah ? or against tho swelling wAves of the sea — 
that Thou ridest on with Thy horses, Thy chariots of victory P * 
Thy bow is made bare and levelled ;' Thine arrows are satiated 
— victory is won ! '• Tho streams of water, fleeing back befoi-o 
Thee, tear open the earth; tho mountains see Theo and tremble; 
the storm of waters pouvs on; tho deep utters its voice in 
supplication to Theo, and lifts up its hands, to implore Thy 
grace! The auu and moon draw back into their habitation, at 
the light of Thy flashing arrows ; at tho shining of Thy glittering 
spear ! 

The prophet now describes the judgment oi God on 
tho nations, to bring about the deliverance of His people. 

Thou niaichest throu,2;h the earth in wrath; Thou tramplest 
the nations under foot, like grain on the threshing floor,* in 
thine anger. Thou goost forth for the deliverance of Thy people; 
the deliverance of Thine anointed! Thou, dashest in pieces 
Plmraoh, the head of the house of the wicked, lajing bare the 
r'ouudations of the deep, ^ to destroy him. Tliou hast pierced 
through with their own spears the head of their princes, ' who 

* Ethiopia, which extended over Arabia. 

^ Lit., " deliverance." The streams and the sea lay between 
Israel and liberty. 
» De Wette. 

* There are more than a hundred explanations of this very 
corrupt clause. I adopt tho conjcctute of De Wette. 

* The verb refers to the threshing of grain by trampling it 
under tho feet of cattle. 

^ A. V, " unto the neck"— a periphrasis, to mark the depth of 
the waters. 
7 Ewald. Lf^adcrs Be Wetio. Hordes, Keil. Warriors, Steincr. 



rushed on like a wbjilwiud to scaltcr us, and rejoiced at. tho 
thought of dovoiirinj^ the liolploss, as robljors bursting on their 
proy from their lurking place. Thou hast i arched through tho 
sea with Thino horses — through tho heaped up walls of great 

This appearance of God, of old, to load forth His 
people and judge their euemies, wa3 the earnest of His 
return to deliver them from the impending captivity. 
Fear and trembling seized the prophet at the thought 
of tho misery before his countrymen, but this passes 
into a peaceful joy in the sure anticipation of their ulti- 
mate deliverance. 

When I heard that God would appear to punish tho sins of my 
nation, ' my body shuddered ; my lips quivered at the sound 
of the Divine voice; terror ^ struck throui^li ray bones, my limbs 
trembled beneath me, lest I should noo have strength to await 
the day of trouble, when the foe comes up against my poopie. 
For the fig-tree will not blossom, and there will be no fruit iu 
the vines ; the harvest of the olive will fail, and tho fields yield 
no food; the flock will be gone from the fold, and there will bo 
no beast in the stalls.' YeL, as for nie, I will rejoice in Jehovah ; 
I will be glad in the God of my salvation ! For Jehovah, the 
Lord, is my strength, and makes my feet like the feet of the 
bounding hinds, and He makes me walk on my high places ; * Ho 
litts me up above fear and fills me with joyful confidence ! * 

Jeremiah had enjoyed liberty of speech during the 

} 1 

{ ., 

*>( :i 


» Hab. iii. 16. 2 j^[^^^ '♦rottenness." 

' The verbs are in the present, throughout, but this, in the 
sense of a prophetic vision of what will be in the time of the 

* 2 Sam. ii. 18; xxii. 34. Ps. xviii. 33. 

' The book closes with the note *' To the chief singer ; to be 
sung to the accompaniment of my stringed instrumei\ts." The 
prophet was not only a Levite, but also one of the temple 


i ' 





!• ! 


first years of Johoiakim, though amidst much scorn and 
opposition. Ho was now, h(nvcver, to find hiinsolf not 
only precluded, for a lengthened period, from appearing 
in public, but forced to seek personal safety in conceal- 
ment. Ho had exercised his prophetical oflice for nearly 
quarter of a century, and must thus have been about 
forty-five years of ago, having entered on his coniinission 
when a very young man. Difficulties had accumulated in 
his way in the last months. Ho still bore tho marks of 
the bastinado, and he had been cramped in the five-holed 
stocks through an entire night. Tho people t 1 even 
clamoured for his death. A change in his relations to 
them was necessary. Ho had to prepare for the worst. 

The defeat of Egypt, at Carchemish, left Jehoiakim, 
for tho moment, virtually free. Babylon was far off, 
Pharaoh was crippled, and tho smaller states might bo 
successfully resisted. It seemed as if Judah might onco 
more aspire to independence. But this dream was short- 
lived. The army of Nebuchadnezzar was advancing. 
The neighing of its war horses might almost be heard 
from Dan, at tho foot of Hermon ; the noise of its 
camp seemed already to make the land tremble.^ The 
summons of the conqueror to deliver up Jerusalem, on 
pain of its destruction, might be expected daily. Egypt, 
indeed, was profuse in its exhortations to resist, but 
was it able to help ? In the approaching struggle 
between it and Nebuchadnezzar, Palestine was certain 
to be tho battle-ground, as it had been under Hezekiah. 
Jehoiakim and his people were alike irresolute what 
course to take. 

Jeremiah, and those around him, alone were clear and 
firm in their views. The doom pronounced on the land 
by God would inevitably visit it, unless warded off by 

* Jer. viii. 16. 



earnest and p^eneral repentance. Nothing else would 
prevent the deportation of Judali to Babylon ; and, in nny 
case, subjection to Nebuchadnezzar was at hand. All 
this had been urged again and again, but the people had 
turned a deaf ear to it. The prophet felt that, at any 
moment, they might turn against him and put him to 
death, or ho might be slain, like the prophet Urijah, 
by royal order, ^ and, if so, his words would perish. 
He therefore determined to write out such of his 
addresses, from the opening of his ministry, as seemed 
specially to demand preservation.' In this purpose ho 
could count on the help of Baruch— *' the Blessed," a 
faithful friend, who cluiig to him in all his troubles, liko 
Elisha to Elijah, or Timothy to St, Paul. He was a 
man of noble family — brother of Seraiah, who afterwards 
held hi;;h office under king Zedekiah ^ — and was specially 
skilled in the laborious art of manuscript writing, then, 
undoubtedly, a comparatively rare accomplishment. A 
roll, in all probability of prepared skin,* having there- 
fore been procured, the prophet dictated to this trusty 
friend " all the words of Jehov.'ih, which He had spoken 
to him," and ho took them down, column by column^ as 
uttered, till the whole had been written out. 
Tlie difficulty now was to have them read aloud, if, 

» Jer. xxvi. 23. ' Jer. xxxvi. 1 ff. 

' Jer. li. 59. Bar. i. 1. Jos., Ant, X. ix. 1. 

^ The manuscripts, of the Hebrews seem to have been written 
on the skins of sheep or goats. Writing; could be washed out 
from the material (Num. v. 23), and it could not bo torn as 
papyrus, from Egypt, might have been, but had to bo cut. Jer. 
xxxvi. 23. Parchment in the strict sense was of later invention 
than Jeremiah's time. The ancient lonians used the :^kins of 
goats and sheep for their writirjgs, and these were still the com- 
mon material in many countries in the time of Herodotus (Bk. v. 
§ 58). Herodotus lived B.C. 484-c. 400. 

I It 












■^ lii 12.2 
L£ IIIII2.0 


L25 i 1.4 














perchance, at last, his countrymen might prove more 
teachable than in the past. Jeremiah himself could not 
venture to go into the temple/ but there was no such 
animosity felt towards Baruch. The excitement and 
danger of the last few months, however, had unnerved 
even one so faithful. When asked to take the roll to the 
temple court, and read it before the crowd, he shrank 
from the peril. "Woe is me now,^' cried he, "for 
Jehovah has added fresh grief to the sorrow I have 
already. I am weary with sighing and find no rest ! " ^ 
To take so prominent a part would ruin his worldly 
prospects, and might endanger his life. But Jeremiah 
would not hear of a refusal. Jehovah, he said, had 
spoken thus to him : 

Behold, what I built up I destroy, and what I planted I pluck 
up, and that is, the whole land! Thou seekest what is great 
for thyself; seek it not. For, lo, I bring evil on all flesh, saith 
Jehovah, but I give thee thy life for thy share, in all the places 
whither thou mayest go. 

Consoled with this assurance, he at last consented to 
undertake the perilous duty. 

An opportunity ere long offered itself for this last 
attempt to save the people in their own despite. The 
agony of fear pervading the land had led to a special 
fast being called ^ in the month of December, B.C. 604.* 
All the people were summoned to appear in Jerusalem, 
and implore God to avert the threatened calamity. 
Popular superstition still trusted in the temple as a 

* Jer. xxxvi. 6. The words rendered '* shut up " cannot here 
mean imprisoned. See ver. 19. 

a Jer. xlv. 1-5- 

" The only fast day prescribed in the Law was that of the Day 
of Atonement, in the 7th month (October). 

* In the yth month. Kislew= December. Jer. xxxvi. 9. 



) here 


Divine protection against any foe.^ But this was not 
enough for their alarm. Priest and people, alike veiled 
in black haircloth mantles, their heads covered with 
ashes, threw themselves prostrate on the earth ;^ and 
hoped, by tears and loud cries of sorrow, and numerous 
sacrifices, to propitiate their offended God.^ Multitudes 
crowded to the temple, in wild excitement, and terror 
for the future. Taking his place where the throng 
was greatest, in the open hall of Gemariah, the son 
of Shaphan, the scribe, in the east forecourt, Baruch 
bravely read aloud the whole ominous contents of the 
prophetic roll. Its long alternation of threats and 
promises had probably been heard before, by some 
present, but they had then paid no attention to them. 
Now, however, when Nebuchadnezzar's army was hurrying 
on to the city, they made a deep impression. Jeremiah 
had foretold, years before, that the Chaldean would come, 
and he was now actually approaching ; might not the rest 
of his prophecies also be fulfilled in due time ? He had 
predicted that the king of Babylon would surely destroy 
them as a nation, if they did not repent. The whole 
assembly was startled and alarmed. A young man, 
Micaiah, the son of Baruch's host, Gemariah, awed by 
what he had heard, hastened to the chief secretary's hall 
in the palace, on Mount Zion, where the princes were at 
the time gathered, and told them, with eager excitement, 
what had been read from the roll of the prophet. The 
recital now, at last, alarmed them also. Men's minds 
were in such a tension that indifference to the warnings 
of the prophet was no longer possible. Among those 

. * vil 4. * See tho parallel case in Joel ii. 17. 

* In Jer. xxxvi. 7, the word translated " present," includes the 
attitude as that of prostration before God. It is part of the verb 
"to fall down," "to prostrate oneself." 




V: P ' 







present were Elishama, the chief secretary,^ in whose hall 
the princes were assembled ; Gemariah, the father of 
Micaiah; and Elnathan, the son of Achbor, who, by 
Jehoiakim's orders, had brought back the prophet Urijah 
from Egypt to Jerusalem, to be put to death. Fear, 
however, had, for the time, induced moderate counsels, 
and an order was therefore sent by an attendant, Jehudi, 
"the Jew," 2 to Baruch, to come forthwith, bringing 
with him the prophet's roll. Instantly obeying, he 
was invited to sit down, for Eastern teachers sit as they 
speak, and read it once more, aloud. But the words 
only confirmed MicaiaVs report, and intensified the pre- 
vious excitement, till a visible shudder ran through the 
hearers.^ For the moment even the most stubborn 
among them were awed into alarm. The roll must 
clearly be brought before the king, and read to him also. 
Possibly he, too, might at last be aroused, and induced to 
follow the advice of Jeremiah, by peaceably yielding 
to Nebuchadnezzar. He might, even, turn penitently to 
God, and institute religious reforms, as Josiah had done 
when he heard the Book of the Law. But they knew 
his cruel despotic nature, and warned Baruch to go, 
forthwith, to Jeremiah, and with him flee into safe hiding 
for the time. This done, they went to the king's private 
apartments in the warmly built winter chambers, in the 
inner court of the palace, leaving the roll behind them 
in the chief secretary's rooms. The weather was chilly, 

* Graetz calls him the adjutanb general of the army, that is, 
the officer in charge of the rolls of the forces. Geschichte, vol. ii. 
p. 351. 

*^ In Jer. xxxvi. 14, Jehudi's great-grandfathe/s name is given 
as "Gushi," = the Ethiopian. Hence, probably, the distinctive 
name '* Jehudi," the Jew, to mark desire of full identification with 

' So in the Heb. Jer. xxxvL 16. 



1 1 

and a brazier, sunk in a hole in the centre of the floor, 
as is still the custom of the East, sent up a welcome glow, 
in the pleasant warmth of which the king was reclining. 

A verbal statement of the contents of the roll sufficed 
to banish any hope of its affecting Jehoiakim favourably. 
It must be brought and read to him. He would hear 
the very words Jeremiah had dared to say against him 
and his rule. Jehudi therefore brought it, and pro- 
ceeded forthwith to read it, for a third time, aloud. But 
a few columns were enough to rouse the lawless and 
stormy temper of the king. Snatching the book from 
the hands of the reader, and demanding from Elishama ^ 
his scribe's knife, he deliberately proceeded to cut tho 
huge roll into slips, which he threw, successively, on the 
burning charcoal, till the whole was consumed. In vain 
Delaiah and Gemariah, and even Elnathan, the accom- 
plice in tho king's murder of Urijah, implored him not to 
burn it. Instead of penitence, there was only defiance. 
In contrast to Josiah, he showed no sign and uttered no 
word of sorrow. The few who had heard the roll in 
Elishama'a rooms might be overwhelmed by its contents, 
but neither the king nor the circle of attendants ^ round 
him showed any alarm, or rent their garments, in token 
of grief at the awful threatenings. Instead of this, orders 
were instantly given to arrest both Baruch and Jeremiah, 
but "Jehovah hid them/' and the search was unsuc- 

1 The knife was a scribe's knife. I have assumed it was that 
of the chief scribe or secretary, who was present. Sciibes used 
knives for erasures. 

2 Heb., servants. 

* The persons ordered to arrest the prophet and Barucb, were 
Jerahmeel, " a son of the king," that is, a royal prince, Soraiah 
(certainly not Seraiah the brother of Baruch), and Sheleraiah — 
not he of that name mentioned in chap, xxxvii. 13. 


-, -i 




Little did Jehoiakim think what he had done. He had 
rejected the last opportunity of saving hia dynasty and 
his country. The final offer of mercy had been treated 
with scorn. But his impotent ungodliness had itself 
foreshadowed the result. The fragments of the roll, as 
they crackled in the flames, were a forecast of the de- 
struction of his House, his city, and his country. Jere- 
miah received the news of the sacrilege, in his hiding 
place, only to reiterate with greater fulness the contents 
of his prophecies. Taking another roll, he once more 
dictated to Baruch, not only all the contents of the 
former one, but also large additions. The fire had con- 
sumed the written letter, but it had risen from the ashes 
in more awful completeness. Nor did Jehoiakim escape 
a personal message from the secret retreat of the prophet. 
In the recesses of his palace he learned, we know not 
how, that Jehovah had instructed Jeremiah to say to 
him : 

Thus says Jehovah/ Thou hast, indeed, burned this roll, say< 
ing, " Why have you written in it, that the king of Babylon will 
certainly come and destroy this land, and destroy man and beast 
from it I " Therefore, thus says Jehovah, of thee Jehoiakim, king 
of Judah : He shall have no son to sit on the throne of David, 
and his dead body will be cast out to lie, unburied, in the heat 
by day, and the frost by night. And I will punish him, his seed, 
and his servants for their iniquity, and bring on them, and on 
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah, all the 
evil I have spoken against them ; to which they would not give 

Nor did he confine himself to this general denunciation. 
The character and life of the king were held up to popu- 
lar condemnation. The tyranny and harshness shown in 
the building of his great palace, were fiercely attacked. 

1 Jer. xxzvi. 28-3L 



Woe (cried the prophet), to him— that is Jehoinkim— who builds 
his house with unrighleonsnesa,* and his hulls with wrong; 
who makes his neighbour work for nothing, giving him no wages 
for his labour; who says " I will build mo a great house with 
wide halls," and cuts out many windows in them, and wainscots 
it with cedar, and paints it with vermilion ! Do you think you 
will reign long because you vie with Ahaz ' as to your cedar 
work P Did not your father enjoy his life,' and yet he practised 
justice and uprightness? Then, it went well with him. He 
gave justice to the poor and needy, and he prospered. Is that 
not what I mean, by " knowing Me," says Jehovah P But your 
eyes and heart are turned to nothing but your covetousness, and 
to shed innocent blood, and to oppression and violence. There- 
fore, says Jehovah, of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah : 
No one will raise the lament for him when he dies, " Ah, my 
brother ! " or " Ah, sister." There will be no lamentation for him, 
" Ah, my Lord I " or^ " Ah, his glory ! " He shall be buried with 
the burial of an ass ; drawn out from Jerusalem, and cast down 
far from its gates 1 

With such feelings to the king, and after such utter- 
ances respecting him, it is little wonder that we hear 
no more of Jeremiah till the next reign begins. 

The incidents of the great fast day had excited intense 
feeling, which the audacious impiety of Jehoiakim must 
have deepened. A division of opinion had been created 
even in the royal council ; some, henceforth, urging sub- 
mission to Nebuchadnezzar, in obedience to Jeremiah's 
warnings. The king could not, in such a state of affairs, 
carry out his mad purpose of defying Babylon, and was 
forced to make submission, and become its vassal, pledg- 
ing himself, we may take for granted, to furnish a con- 
tingent to the Babylonian army, and discharge all other 
duties of a dependent. On these conditions he retained 
his throne. The prophet could once more appear in 

» Jer. xxii. 13-19. ' ^ ^^^^ 

* Lit., "cat and drink." 


• i 




■•; i 

■V, I 





i ■'< i 


1 }■ 



i I 






pul lie ; but henceforth, till after Jehoiakim's death 
he seems to have refrained from addressing the people. 
His written prophecies might be left to do their work. 
Judah had rejected him, and its day of mercy was now 
past. The princes, whom his words had impressed, stood 
between him and tho fury of the crown, and it is quite 
possible that even at this time the Babylonians had 
learned how zealously he had counselled submission to 
them, and had taken him under their protection. 

But Jehoiakim was not a -man to make the best of the 
inevitable. The Chaldean vassalage pressed so heavily 
on him, that that of Egypt seemed lighter in comparison. 
Incitements to rebel were, moreover, constantly urged 
by the agents of Necho. At last, after three years of 
forced humiliation,^ he ventured to raise the standard of 
revolt, but only to bring down swift ruin on himself and 
his country. The struggle of Babylon with Egypt was 
still raging, so that Chaldean armies were within easy 
distance, to crush the rebellion at once. Jerusalem was 
forced to open its gates to Nebuchadnezzar, and Jehoia- 
kim, after he had been put in chains, saved himself from 
being carried off to Babylon by renewed abject sub- 
mission.^ Heavier terms than before were exacted, and 
Judah had to bear the supreme indignity of seeing tho 
richest of the sacred vessels carried off from the temple, 
to adorn the house of the conqueror's god, at Babylon.^ 
The Seventy Years of Judah*s bondage had begun. 

The remainder of Jehoiakim's reign was increasingly 
calamitous. Restless and stubborn, he struggled against 
a positi6n which he could not hope to change for the 
better, and in his turbulence, brought disaster on the 
land. Too much engaged to crush him at once, Nebu- 

* 2 Kin^s xxiv. 1. ^ 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6. ~ 

* Dau. i. 2; V. 2. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 7. 



chadnezzar employed the nations round, who, for tho 
most part, had submitted to the Chaldeans, to assist their 
detachments on the spot, in harassinj^ Judah, till he him- 
self could come against it. Raids of Syrians, Moabites, 
and of the B'nai Ammon, therefore, swept up every glen.^ 
Hereditary feuds, thus easily gratified, left the country 
no peace. It seemed like a speckled bird, assailed by all 
the birds around.^ Desolation and ruin marked many 
a hitherto smiling valley. 

At last, in B.C. 598, the Great King was once more free 
to undertake the conquest of Egypt,* and marched to it 
through Palestine, with strong contingents from Moab, 
Ammon, and Edom — the bitter enemies of Judah. Jeru- 
salem was ere long besieged,* but, meanwhile, Jehoiakim 
died, and thus escaped the rage of his master. A 
mystery hangs over his death, befitting the gloom and 
confusion of tho times ; one account speaking of him as 
having fallen in a skirmish with a band of raiders, or in 
a battle with Nebuchadnezzar, and being left unburied ; 
another as having been murdered in Jerusalem, and cast 
out on the streets ; a third, as having been enticed to 
Nebuchadnezzai'^s camp, and ther^e put to death, and left 
without burial. But, whatever the mode of his death, 
so bitterly was he hated that no funeral dirge was raised 
for him,^ though he was the son of Josiah, and his corpse 
was left thrown out, like that of a dead ass, on the waste 
land outside the gates of Jerusalem, in the sun by day, 
and the frost by night. Ultimately, indeed, if we may 
trust the Septuagint, his dishonoured body was rescued 
from this last shame, and interred alongside Josiah 

* 2 Kings xxiv. 2. * Jer. xii. 7-17. 
■• Lenormant says 697. 

* Lenormant, vol. ii. p. 396. Maspero, p. 499. 
■ Jer. xxii. 18, 19 ; xxxvi. 30. 





and Manasseh^ in their tomb in tho garden of Uzzahi 
which was connected^ apparently^ with the royal strong- 
hold on Ophel.^ But men whispered that on the dried 
skin of the corpse, as it lay naked before all, the name 
of the demon, Codonazer, to whom he had sold himself, 
appeared stamped in clear Hebrew letters.' 

> Bottcher, Aehrenleae, 

^ TlieniuB, on 2 Kings zxiv. 6. He traces it to the words in 
2 Ghron. xxxvi. 8» " that which was found in him/' and to Hab. 
ii 9, whore the words " power," or *' grasp of evili" occur. 


: t 




ON the death of Johoiakim, his son Jehoiachin in- 
herited the shadowy dignity of the throne of David. 
A lad of eighteen, he had learned only too well to imitate 
his father, and followed the lead of the heathen party 
implicitly. He was a grandson, moreover, of Elnathan 
of Jerusalem, who had been base enough to bring the 
prophet Urijah back from Egypt, to be put to death. 
With such antecedents little could be expected from the 
new reign. The queen mother, Nohushta — "brass,"* 
daughter of Elnathan, is specially mentioned ; as if 
she had taken a more than usually prominent, part in 
affairs ; though such a relation to the throne always im- 
plies a foremost place under Oriental monarchies. But if 
she did, it mattered little, for her son's power lasted, at 
most, only a hundred days,* and during a large part even 
of these, Jerusalem was beleaguered by a Chaldean army. 
The intrigues of Egypt and the strain of the Baby- 
lonian domination, had kindled a fresh revolt against 
Nebuchadnezzar, throughout Palestine, Perea, and Phe- 

^ Lenormant gives the date at B.C. 
Schrader and others say b.c. 698. 
* Perhaps from her radiant brightnoss, 

■ 2 Chron. xxxvi. 0. 


597. So also Eiehm. 



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nicia, and it was imperative that it should be checkodi 
for Pharaoh struggled hard to retain his hold on Asia, 
and could not be driven out of it while the kings and 
states of the sea coast were on his side. But the 
power of Babylon was overwhelming. All resistance was 
swept away before it, and Necho had now, at last, to 
retire behind the torrent El Arish,^ the ancient boundary 
of Egypt, at the south of the Nogob. Meanwhile, 
Nebuchadnezzar, engaged elsewhere, could not himself 
attack Jerusalem, but sent a strong force to invest it. 
That it did not at once open its gates, rose, in all prob- 
ability, from its consciousness of having offended too 
deeply to hope for pardon. South and north it was cut 
off from help. The towns of the Nogeb were blockaded,' 
and the enemy held the land on the north. The fall of 
the capital was only a question of time. 

The throe months of Jehoiachin's reign are memorable 
for the reappearance of Jeremiah, now freed from tho 
persecutions of Jehoiakim. Fearless as ever, he pro- 
claimed afresh, at every opportunity, that the decay of 
morality and religion was tho true cause of the calamities 
gathering so darkly over the nation; making no secret of 
the hopelessness of deliverance from them, but holding 
out a prospect of forgiveness and restoration to his people 
in the future, if they heartily repented and sought the 
God of their fathers. He had been forced, by the vio- 
lence of Jehoiakim, to keep at a distance from Jerusalem 
as long as that monarch lived, but the interval had ap- 
parently been utilized by two journeys to Babylon, to seo 
for himself the country and people with which the destiny 
of his nation was soon to be so closely associated. Yet, 
while thus wandering far from his beloved Judah, his 
heart was still with her, and her impending futo engrossed 
* 2 Kings xxiv. 7. ^ Jer. xiii. 19. 



1 1 

hifl thoughts. Even when constrained to silence, he re- 
mained ft prophet. A Divine impulse, ho tells us, htul 
led him, while yet in Jerusalem, to buy and put on a 
white linen girdle, the typo, in its purity, of all moral 
worth. He was commanded, however, to wear it con- 
tinuously, without washing it, even when soiled,^ a thing 
abhorrent to Orientals, and doubtless attracting wido 
attention, especially in one whoso acts were so often 
symbolical. Ho did so, therefore, till his townsmen 
universally noticed it ; but when it had thus become a 
subject of general remark, he was ordered to make a 
journey to the far distant river Euphrates,' and hide it 
there in a cleft of the rocks, bordering the stream in parts 
of its course. Anxious, perhaps, to see Chaldca, ho had 
fulfilled the Divine injunction at once, strange as it 
may have seemed to him, and after staying a time in 
the country, returned to Palestine. Ere long, however, 
a second monition came, requiring him to retrace his 
steps to the Euphrates and dig out the girdle he had thus 
secreted, and this also he did ; only, however, to find it, 
as might have been expected, rotten and useless. 

There could not have been a pioro vivid emblem of 

t Jer. xlii. 1-7. 

^ Graetz and Hitzig think that instead of Ph'rath, the Eu- 
phrates, we should road EphrathaBethloliem. ^oremiah might 
have gone twice to the Euphrates during the long period of his 
forced retirement from public activity under Jehoiakim, but 
Graetz urges that the force of the symbol would bo greater if the 
whole act was carried out under the eyes of the people. Yet the 
Euphrates was to be the place of banishment, and the lessons 
might well be specially connected with the fact. The central 
parts of the great river were about 600 miles from Judah. From 
the mention of a long lapse of time between the burial of the 
girdle and its exhumation, it is moreover likely that the Euphrates 
is really intended. Travelling seems to have been perfectly safe. 



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the fate in store for his nation, and bringing it back with 
him as such, he now reappeared in Jerusalem. As the 
girdle is bound round a man, Jehovah had bound Israel 
to Him by special covenant and adoption, but its long 
unfaithfulness had made it foul and offensive. Burial 
for seventy years, in captivity, on the far distant Euphrates 
was decreed ; it was to be carried off and hidden from the 
world, and destroyed as a Eiate. As such it would perish, 
like the linen girdle. 

After this manner, — said he,' holding up the once white but 
now worthless sash, before his fellow-citizens, and speaking in the 
name of God, — will I, Jehovah, destroy the pride of Judah, and 
the great pride of Jernsalem ! This evil people, who refuse to 
hear My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their own heart, 
and follow other gods, to serve and worship them, shall become 
like this girdle ! For as, when in use, it cleaves to a man's loins, 
80 I, as it were, bound to Mo the whole House of Israel and the 
whole House of Judah, and made them like a girdle to Me, says 
Jehovah, that they might be a people, and a name, and a praise, 
and a glory to Me. But they would not hear! 

Speak, therefore, this word to them : * Thus says Jehovah the 
God of Israel, " Every wine-skin is wont to be filled with wine. 
And when they say to thee, * Do we nob know that every wine- 
skin is wont to be filled with wine, what do you mean ? ' Then 
thou shalt answer them : Thus says Jehovah, I will fill all the in- 
habitants of thiS land — the kings that sit on the throne of David, 
the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
with the drunkenness of despair ! And I will dash them one 
against the other, even the very father and sons, says Jehovah ; 
I will not pity, or spare, or have mercy, but will destroy them ! " 

Having delivered this message from God, he speaks 
in his own name. 

Hear, and mark ' ye ! Be not haughty, for Jehovah has 
spoken I Give glory to Jehovah, your God, by confessing your 

» Jer. xiii. 8-lL 

2 Jer. xiii. 12-14, 

3 Jer. xiii. 15-17. 



Bins,* before He cause darkness; before your feet stumble on 
the dark mountains;^ before He deepens the gloom into the 
blackness of death ; yea, makes the darkness utter while you in 
vain wait for light ! But if ye will not hear this, my soul shall 
weep in secret at your pride, and my eye run down with a flood 
of tears, because Jehovah's flock is carried away captive. 

But the voice of God again intervenes, * bidding him 
deliver another message. 

Say to the king, Jehoiachin, and to the queen mother, " Sit 
down in the dust,* in lamentation; for the crown of your glory 
sinks from your heads." The cities of the Negeb— the south 
country — are shut up, and no one can relieve* them. All Judah 
will be carried off captive ; it will be carried oS* wholly ! Lift 
up your eyes, O Zion, and see the enemy that comes from the 
North I Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful 
flock of towns and villages ! Lost to the foe ! But what wilt 
thou say when Jehovah shall set those over thee as captains and 
as rulers, to gain whose favour thou hast turned aside from Me? * 
Shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail ? ^ 

And if thou, Zion, say in thine heart ^ "Why has this lot 
befallen me P " It is because thy guilt is so great that thy 
skirts are to be cut short * like a slave's, and thy feet made sore * 
with the roughness of the way, as thou art led off" captive ! Can 

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* Josh. vii. 19. Mai. ii. 2. John ix. 24. "Give God the praise*' 
— " admit that you are deceiving us." 

* Lit., " the mountains of twilight." ^ Jer. xiii. 18-2L 

* Lit., " make low, sit down*** sit down in the lowest place. 
» Lit., " open." 

* Lit., " those to whom thou hast used thyself as thy trusted 
ones." The allusion is to the kings of Egypt and Babylon. 
There is a covert reference to the spiritual adultery of Juduli 
with heathen rulers. 

7 Jer. xiii. 22, 23. 

* Lit., " uncovered." A slave was bare<legged ; free men wore 
flowing robes. 

* Lit., " treated with violence." 



an Efchiopian change his skin, or a leopai'd his spots P Only then 
couldst thou do right; accustomed as thou art to do wrong ! 

I will, therefore, shatter them,' like the broken straw ' of tho 
threshing floor, that flies before thr wind of the desert. This 
is thy lot; the portion thrown into thy lap' from Me, says 
Jehovah ! Because thou hast forgotten Me and hast trusted in 
lies! For this cause I will give thee to slavery; baring thy 
skirts before thy face — that thy shame may be seen. I have 
seen thy adulteries ; thy lewd stallion-like neighings; the hate- 
fulness of thy impurity ; thine idol abominations on the hills, * 
in the country round. Woe to thee, O Jerusalem I How long 
will it yet be before thou become pure 1 

The prophet had lamented Josiah in strains repeated 
through the land on each anniversary of the battle in 
which that hero fell. He had sighed over Jehoahaz, a 
captive in Egypt; doomed never to return to Judah, but 
to die, a prisoner, among strangers.^ He had denounced 
the crimes and tyranny of Jehoiakim, and predicted his 
shameful end. He now announced the calamity impend- 
ing over still another ill-fated king. A fragment of a 
longer address remains, in which he once more warns his 
countrymen of the doom awaiting them, and then passes 
to that pronounced by God on Jehoiachin. 

Ascend the heights of Lebanon,* O daughter of Zion, and 
shriek aloud in thy sorrow ! Liffc up thy voice from the peaks 
of Bashan ! Shriek aloud from the mountains of Abarim ! '' For 

» Jar. xiii. 24r-27. 

* Heb. Kash. It includes also the chaflF. 

" Lit., " into thy mad " or outer gatment. The loose fulness of 
the Eastern blouse, or tunic, as we may call it, above the girdle, 
makes a capacious pocket in which men carry grain (Luke vi. 38 ; 
Matt. vii. 2 ; Mark iv. 24) ; and women their children ; and which 
both sexes use in many other ways, as the apron is used among 
Western nations. * Lit., " hills in the field." 

« Jer. xxii. 11, 12. « Jer. xxii. 20-23. 

' Abarim was a chain of hills in Moab. Nebo was among them. 

Only then 

w ^ of tho 
art. This 

Me, says 
brusted in 
laring thy 
I. I have 

the hate- 
the hills,* 
How long 

battle in 
lioahaz^ a 
idah, but 
icted his 
ent of a 
7arns his 
m passes 

Zion, and 

he peaks 

In ! ? For 

Illness of 
be girdle, 
ce vi. 38 ; 
nd which 

ng them. 



all thy lovers, the peoples who united with thee against the 
Chaldeans, are destroyed I I spoke to thee in thy prosperity, * 
but thou sait'jt, "I will nob hear." This has, indeed, been thy 
course from thy youth; that thou hast not listened to My voice! 
Bub now, the east wind that scorches bare the pastures,^ shall 
sweep away thy shepherds— that is, thy leaders, and thy lovers 
and the peoples allied with thee against Ghaldea, shall go into 
captivity. Then shalb thou, assuredly, be ashamed and con- 
founded, for all thy wickedness ! O inhabitant of Lebanon, who 
niakest thy nest among the cedars, how wilt thou sigh when 
pangs come upon thee, as of a woman in travail ! 

Passing on to the coming fate of Jehoiachin^ tho 
prophet continues. 

As I live,* saith Jehovah, though thou, Coniah, * the son of 
Jehoiakira king of Judah, were the royal signet ring on my right 
hand, even thence will I pluck thee, and give thee into the 
hand of thy mortal enemy, and into the hand of those whoso 
face thou dreadest — the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, 
and the hand of the Chaldeans. And I will hurl thee, and thy 
mother that bare thee, as a slinger hurls a stone, into another 
country, where ye were nob born, and there will ye die ! Bub to 

» Plural in Heb. 

* The east wind, in the hot months, becomes the sirocco when it 
blows from the south-east. When at its worst it dries the mucous 
membrane of the air passages, producing catarrh and sore throat ; 
induces great lassitude in those who walk or work in it; head> 
ache, as if a cord were bound round the temples; oppression of 
the chest; burning of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, 
quickened pulse, thirst, and even fever. It dries and cracks fur- 
niture, loosening the joints of tables and chairs, curling the covers 
of books and of framed pictures, and parches vegetation, sometimes 
withering whole fields of young corn. Pal. Fund Bep. 1883, p. 16. 
The enemy is here compared to a sirocco. 

* Keil notices that Jeremiah omits the ** Je " before Coniah, 
changing the sense from " Jehovah will strengthen," to "Jehovah 
strengthens," as if denying him hope for the future. 

* Jer. xxii. 24-27. 




the land to which they will lift up their soul to return, they 
never shall come buck ! 

" Is, then, this man Coniah,"' sighs the prophet at a later time, 
in deep sympathy with the unfortunate youth, "a despised earthen 
vessel, to be shattered and cast out ? Is he a precious vase, 
in which, nevertheless, one takes no pleasure P Why then were 
they hurled away, he and his seed, and cast into a land which 
they did not know ? " O land ! land ! land ! hear the word of 
Jehovah. Thus says Jehovah, Write this man desolate and 
furlorn ; a father who has no prosperity in his days. For no 
man of his race will prosper! no one of them will sit on the 
throne of David, or rule, hereafter, in Jadah. ^ 

It seems wonderful that a preacher who spoke thus 
of the ruling king, in a small community like Jerusalem, 
should have been left at liberty ; wonderful, indeed, that 
an almost absolute ruler should not have put him at once 

1 Jer. xxii. 28-80. 

* That " his seed " should be carried into captivity with him 
shows that Jchoiachin was not childless. The word used refers 
only to the having no one who would perpetuate his honours 
after him. He was childless so far as his royalty was concerned. 
In 1 Chron. iii. 17, sons of his are mentioned. See also Matt. 
i. 12. He was succeeded by his uncle Mattaniah— that is Zedekiah. 
The word rendered "childless" in the A.V. means strictly, desolate 
— forlorn — as one bereaved — hence, it at times means ** childless," 
Gen. XV. 2. Bertheau thinks that seven sons of Jchoiakim are 
mentioned in 1 Chron. iii. 17, 18. We have no further notice of 
six of these (if they were his sons), but the seventh, Shealtiel, was 
the grandfather of Zerubbabel, the prince of the first Jews who 
returned from exile about B.C. 638. Die B. der Chronik., p. 29. 
Keil says,' Jehoiakim had only two sons — Zedekiah and Assir — 
of whom the first died childless, and the second had only a 
daughter. Assir, it may be said, is constantly taken to mean 
*• the captive," as referring to Jehoiachin. I quote this to show 
the opposite views held by scholars on this as on many other 
minute points of biblical criticism. Jehoiachin was eighteen when 
carried off, but marriages are made very early in the East, and 
polygamy prevailed in the royal fiimily. 



to death. It may be, that the friends of the prophet 
were powerful enough to screen him ; but if Jehoiachin 
had not had some good qualities, it would assuredly have 
fared ill with so bold a spirit. What would have been 
the fate of a preacher who had denounced the worst of 
our own king" in even very much milder terms ? 

The fierce energy of the Chaldeans in the siege, 
speedily showed that the only hope for the citizens 
lay in the king's unconditional surrender of his person 
to the enemy, and on this Jehoiachin nobly resolved. 
Going out in sad procession, through a gate which 
henceforth bore his name, ^ but was afterwards built up 
that no one might pass through the arch that had seen so 
great a humilation ; he and the queen mother, with their 
attendants, and the nobles and court officials, presented 
themselves before the enemy, sitting down, ^ like 
mourners, on the ground, clad no doubt in black, their 
faces covered with their mantles,^ to await their doom. 
The incident was never forgotten. Writing after the last 
fall of Jerusalem, Josephus tells us that as long as the 
city stood, the anniversary of an event so touching was 
commemorated in the services of the temple, as a signal 
instance of self-sacrifice for the public good. Jehoiachin 
had gone, with his family, men said, into voluntary 
captivity, to save the temple from being destroyed, * and 
we may, also, readily believe, to save the city and its 

But his hope of clemency was doomed to disappoint- 
ment. With all his genius, Nebuchadnezzar was a truo 

' Ewald, Ge«cfe., vol. iii. p. 791. • 

* Jer. xiii. 18. 2 Kings xxv. 12. 

* This follows from their assuming the character of mourners 
by sitting uu the earth. 

* Jos., Bell. Jud.f VI. ii. 1. 












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Eastern sultan, hard and stern to conquered rebels. No 
pity was shown the suppliants. Led at once into the 
presence of the Great King, who had now arrived before 
Jerusalem, they were sent as captives to Babylon. But 
even the banishment of the king and court, with the 
flower of the nobility, did not seem guarantee enough 
for the future obedience of a petty state so turbulent as 
Judah. The royal harem, all the leading men found in 
Jerusalem, including many priests and prophets,^ all the 
princes, 7,000 fighting men, with a crowd of workers in 
metal, wood and stone, and of armourers,^ were swept 
away, at once to weaken and humble the city, and to 
transfer skilled labour to the royal service at Babylon.^ 
Ton thousand men, in all, were carried off from Jeru- 
salem,* and over 3,000 from the country round.^ The 
prompt capitulation had saved the city from utter destruc- 
tion, and the population from being, in great part, put 
to the sword. But the conqueror did not content himself 
with the mere deportation of captives. The treasures 
in the palace were seized, and the temple rih^d of most 
of its precious contents ; even the gold still left on the 
walls and gates being rudely hacked off and carried to 

The shock of such a calamity was terrible. Nearly 
a hundred and fifty years had passed since the glades 
beyond the Jordan had resounded with the lamentations 

* Jer. xxix. 1. 

* The word means " one who closes," and is usually applied to 
locksmiths and the like. But the closing the joints of armour, of 
whatever kind, seems in this case more natural. 

^ Layard thinks that some of the objects of art found in the 
ruins of Babylon may have been the work of Fhenician or other 
Syrian captives. Nineveh, p. 119. Babylon, p. 192. 

* 2 Kings XXV. 14. * Jer. lii. 28. 

* Thcnius, and Heb. 



of the captives of Gilead, dragged away to Assyria by 
Tiglath Pileser, and it was over a hundred and twenty 
years since Sargon had marched back to Nineveh, 
leading the people of the western half of the kingdom 
of the Ten Tribes into exile. Assyria had fallen within 
the last few years, and now, itself, lay in ruins as deso- 
late as those of the Hebrew cities it had turned into 
solitudes. But another power had risen, as fierce and 
ruthless, and Judah, the last hope of the chosen people, 
saw its king and its leading citizens swept off in chains 
to the Euphrates. We live again amidst the agony of 
the moment, in the outburst of Jeremiah's grief, already 
quoted. Could it be that the young king was to be cast 
away like a worthless potsherd ; ^ he who seemed to his 
people under the special care of Jehovah, their covenant 
God, as if he had been the royal signet-ring on the 
finger of the Almighty ! ^ The wild cry of agony seemed 
to Bzekiel to rise from the top of Lebanon, the hills of 
Bashan, and the mountains of Moab, as the pale spirit 
of the land looked down, like a mother robbed of her 
children, on the long train of her noblest sons — among 
whom were Ezekiel, and Kish, the great-grandfather of 
Mordecai* — wending away into distant captivity.* It 
may be that in the forty-second and forty-third Psalms 
we have the lament of one of the exiles, as he took a last 
look from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermons, and 
the hill Mizar, on the scenes he was leaving for ever.^ 

* Jer. xxii. 28. * Jer. xxii. 24. 

■ Ezek. i. 1 ; iii. 16. Esther ii. 6. * Jer. xxii. 20. 

' It is a striking proof of the need for modest diffidence in 
fixing the dates of the Psalms, to see those which have been as- 
signed by difiereut scholars to the 42nd Psalm. Delitzschthinks 
it of the time of David. Yaihinger ascribes it to a Levite driven 
away by Athaliah. Hitzig, to a priest carried off to Syria in the 
Sjrian wars. Olshausen, to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. 

VOL. V. 

1. gi 

■ f, 
















As the hart pants under the sultry sky for brooks of water,* 
So pants my soul after Thee, O God I 
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God — 
When shall I come back and appear before GodP 
My tears have been my meat day and night. 
While they continually say to me " Where is thy God P " 
My soul overflows with sorrow when I remember it. 

How I used to go up with the multitude to Jerusalem 1 
How I went with bands, in procession, to the House of God I 
With the multitude that kept the joyful feast,' 
Amidst the voice of praise and loud rejoicing ! 

Tet, why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou 
disquieted' within me P 
Hope * thou in God, for I will still praise Him ! 
He is the health of my countenance, and my God. 

O my God, my soul is cast down with me I 
Therefore will I remember Thee from the land of Jordan, and 

from the Hermons,* from the hill Mizar." 
The deep above calls to the deep beneath,' at the voice of Thy 

water-floods ; 

Ewald, to Jehoiachin while he rested by night at Hermon, on the 
way to Babylon. The 42nd and 43rd Psalms are regarded, by 
nearly all critics, as having originally been parts of one wholo 
now accidentally divided. 

1 Ps. xlii. 1-11. The word translated "brooks" (Aphikim) 
means any strong body of water, such as the torrents which rush 
down the wadys after heavy rains. Passing away in a few hours, 
the only traces of them left are pools here and there. The hart is 
represented as standing over the dry bed of the torrent, panting 
for some shady spot where water may still be found. 

^ Among the multitude adorned (for the feast). Sept. Breden- 
hamp, p. 143. 

' Or, moanest thou. * Or, wait on. 

* The hills from the foot of which the Jordan bursts out. 

• Lit., " smallness." Position unknown. 

' Perhaps the ocean overhead and the ocean around, or, possibly, 
the sounding waterfalls of the hills have their tumult answered 




All Thy waves and Thy billows have gone over me I 

But some day Jehovah will send forth ^ his loving-kindness to mo 

And by night the song to Him will bo with me, and prayer to 

the God of my life I 
I will say to God, my Bock, " Why hast thou forgotten me P 
Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" 
As with a crushing of my bones, my enemies reproach me ; 
Daily saying to me, " Where is thy God P " 

Why art thou cast down, O my soul, why art thou disquieted 
within meP 
Hope Thon in God, for I shall still praise Him, 
He is the health of my countenance, and my God I 

Judge me, O God,° and plead my cause against an ungodly 
nation ; 
deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man ! 
For 'i.^hou art God, my fortress ; why hast Thou cast me off P 
Why go I mourning, because of the oppression of the enemy P 

Send forth Thy light and Thy truth I let them lead me, •» 
Let them bring me to Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles,* 
That so I may come to the altar of God, 
To God my exceeding joy 1 
And praise Thee on the harp, O God, my God I 

Why art thou cast down, my soul ; Why art thou disquieted 
within me P 
Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him, 
The health of my countenance, and my God ! 

Babylonia, however, was not altogether a strange land 
to the captives. Numbers of their fellow-countrymen 

back from their channels beneath. The word translated " deep," 
means the sea, the abyss from which rivers flow up, or any mass 
of raging waters. It may be the poet refers to the bursting of 
a heavy rain-cloud. A tropical rain is amazing in its vehemence. 
The word for " waterfloods " means a rush of waters. In 2 Sam, v. 8, 
the only other text in which it occnrs, it seems to mean a conduit. 
» Lit., *' comm -nd." * Ps. xliii. 1-5. » Or, dwelling-places. 

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had already been carried thithor after the battle of 
Carchomish, and on the Hccond invasion of Palestine by 
Nebuchadnezzar^ and had been settled at Tel Abibj 
which may be translated " Cornhill," on the banks of a 
great canal, the Chobar/ connected with the Euphrates 
somewhere in Lower Mesopotamia. That men like 
Daniel and his three companions were among these first 
bands of exiles, must have softened the regrets of banish- 
ment ; the fresh prisoners being settled in a great oolouy 
among their brethren carried off before them. Jehoiachin 
himself was bitterly humbled. Clad in coarse prison gar- 
ments, ho had to bear the miseries and degradation of an 
Eastern jnil— tempered, however, by the company of his 
wife*— -till the death of Nebuchadnezzar, thirty-six years 
later. Not till then was pity shown him. The new king, 
Evil Merodach, having no such personal feeling against 
him as had swayed his father, strove to atone for the long 
sufferings of the unfortunate exile, by setting him free, 
and entertaining him thenceforward at the royal table, in 
suitable splendour.* Legend has brightened the story of 
his last days ; describing him as living on the Euphrates, 
in a sumptuous house, surrounded by % spacious paradise, 
and married to the fairest woman of his day, the chaste 
Susannah ; * the companion of the king of Babylon, and 

* Ezek. i. 1 ; iii. 15. See Fried. Delitzscb, Wo lag das Paradies? 
p. 47. Schrader, art. EzcJciel^ in liib. Lex. There were at least 
thirty-five broad canals, each wiih a distinctive name. DelitzHch^ 
p. 193. The Did. of the Bible names a special canal, " The Royal," 
as probably the Chebar. 

> This follows from his children having been bom in Babylon. 
» Jer. Hi. 31-34. 

* Susannah i. 4. The Joiakim of this passage was identlRed 
in the enrly Church with" Jehoiachin. Africanus (Ep. od Oriij,, 
Bouth's Bel Sac, vol. ii., p. 113), quoted by Lord Aitlmr Hcrvoy, 
Did. of the Bible, vol. i. p. 943. 



the chief personago, and high judge among the captivon. 
It is added, moreover, that amidst all, ho wns still 
mindful of his native land, listening, with his brethren, 
to 15aruch, as ho read tho prophecies before them, and 
amidst weeping, fasting and prayer, sending off help 
to the remnant of his people in Jerusalem.^ But this 
touching picture is only a creation of national pride, to 
adorn with a fictitious prosperity the closing years of 
tho last direct heir to the Jewish crown. 

After the deportation of so many of its leading men 
and its best mechanics, Judah was feeblo in tho extreme. 
Yet population enough remained to form the begiiming 
of a state that might ultimately be prosperous, if, only, 
it remained peacefully dependent on Babylon. Nebu- 
chadnezzar evidently intended this, for he left the walls 
of Jerusalem, and strong places like Lachish and Azekah, 
untouched. Tho troublesome Egyptian party in tho 
aristocracy had been carried off, or was thought to have 
been so, but enough members of the upper classes, 
favourable to Babylon, had been left, to supply the king 
with officials and to support tho dignity of the throne. 
It rested with Judah itself whether it should continue a 
nation, by submitting to Nebuchadnezzar, or perish by 
vain resistance. 

Small as it was, the land had a wonderful power of 
recovering itself after the heaviest blows. The temple, 
the palaces, and the mansions of tho great, still made 
Jerusalem proud of its beauty, and it was the centre of 
a trade that brought rich gain to its citizens. The soil 
of the country round, though scanty, was exceedingly 
fertile. Diligent labour was repaid with ample harvests. 
The Phenicians, as has been noticed, year by year 
exported from Judali great quantities of wheat, date 

» Baruch i. 3 ff. 



.1 ?i I 




syrup, oil, and balsam,^ in exchango for their own manu- 
factures, and their imports from every part of the world. 
Jerusalem supplied the demands of the various peoples 
east and south ; ^ I'hcniciun exchangers, settled in it, 
facilitating commercial trunsactions. 

Various trades and arts, moreover, flourished. There 
was a guild of masons,^ to whom the plummet, tho 
measuring lino, the compasses, and the square, wore as 
familiar as to us.^ Sculpture had taken root in Judah, 
since its contact with Assyria, and metal workers showed 
at once their skill and moral laxity by casting idols of 
all sizes, while gold and silver workers found only too 
much trade in moulding costly vessels for the luxurious 
aristocracy, and covering tho wooden figures of idols 
with plates of the precious metals,* brought through 
Tyre, from the mines of Spain and India.^ The mansions 
of the rich were wainscoted with cedar; their floors 
adorned with mosaics,'' and the roofs and walls sot off 
with bright colours.^ 

Nor was high culture wanting. The writings of tho 
prophets and psalmists imply an equal activity in various 
directions. Like other Orientals, the Hebrews delighted 
in proverbs and riddles, and they had a literature of 
songs and elegies.' 

Nor was their social declension without some mitiga- 
tions. The praise of the virtuous wife, in the Book of 
Proverbs, shows that, if the king and a few of his nobles 

' An export called Pannag is also mentioned, E/.ek. xxvii. 17, 
which is rendered "comfits" by Ewald, and "millet" in tho 

' GraetZf vol. ii. p. 362. • Masger. 

• 2 Kings xxiv. 14. Amos vi. 7. Isa. xliv. 13. 

• Hos. xiii. 2. Ps. Ixxviii. 72. Jer. xliv. 19 ; x. 4. 

• Jer. X, 9. ' Mtiskhit. Graefz, vol. ii. p. 362. 

• Jer. xxii. 14. • 2 Chron. xxxv. 25. 



1 various 

practised polygamy, the community, fts a rule, wore free 
from it. No picture of a happy homo cojld bo moro 
perfect than tho ideal painted as that of these long 
past times. A house- mother in whom the heart of her 
husband can safely trust, so that he never wants ; who 
does him good and not harm all tho days of her life ; 
whose life is ceaselessly busy with every womanly work 
and art ; whose household are clothed in scarlet ; whose 
husband is honoured among his neighbours ; whoso 
children arise and call her blessed,^ speaks of domestic 
life of tho noblest typo as still familiar in some of the 
homes of Judah. 

A people among whom such a conception of woman 
existed, must, indeed, have had much good in it even in 
the worst times, for mothers form the characters of their 
Home is the cradle of the spirit as well as of the 


body. It is natural, therefore, to read that tho stony 
hills and valleys of Judah were often merry with tho 
song and dance. At marriages^, and the vintage, and 
the yearly feasts, flutes, tambourines, and harps made 
music to the chorus of happy voices. Games were keenly 
followed by the youth, one especially being noticed by 
Zechariah ^ — a trial of strength by lifting great weights. 
Contests of wit were a familiar amusement, as in the days 
of Samson ; the members of a company striving to puzzlo 
each other by riddles, or to show their smartness in joke 
or repartee. 


» Prov. xxxi. 10-31. 

* Zech. xii. 3. Jerome, on the verse, says, of his own day, " The 
old custom is still preserved iu the towns of Palestine and 
through Judea, to have in the villages, towns, and towers, round 
stones of great weight, with which the young men are wont to 
try their strength, some lifting them to their knees, some to 
their breasts, some to their shoulders and heads." 




Then^ however, as now, there was a sharp contrast 
between the town and the country. The qaiet life of the 
field or garden gave little opportunity for sharpening 
the faculties, compared with the capital ; and the same 
half contemptuous sense of this, which has, in our own 
language, changed the old English name for peasant^ into 
the modern "boor,'' pictured the Jewish Am-ha-aretz, 
or countryman, as the equivalent of a rude clown.' In 
Jerusalem, moreover, public speaking seems to have been 
as carefully studied by the upper classes as it was among 
the Greeks ; the popular liberty always cherished among 
the Hebrews making the arts of persuasion necessary 
to those who would gain power or public influence.* 
Agitators and schemers could flatter with their tongues, 
and only too often realized that they could gain their end 
by dexterous speech more easily than by force.* 

Since the death of Josiah, the government of Judah 
had been virtually an oligarchy. The kings could do 
little, and in their fear of a conflict with a powerful 
aristocracy, gave themselves up to tiie effeminacy of a 
life in their harem or co busy idling. Only the nearest 
relatives, and a few favourites, had the right of entry to 
the presence.^ Surrounded by black eunuchs, the suc- 
cessors of David were only nominal kings.*' Even the 
kingly prerogative of supreme judge seems to have 
passed, before the fall of the city, into the hands of the 

* *• Bauer," still the German word. 

^ The word " clown ** itself is " colonus," a cultivator of the soil, 
a ploughman. 
» Ps.xii;4«. * 21. 

* 2 Kings XXV. 19. Jer. Hi. 25. In the one passage the number 
of these favourites is five, in the other seven. 

^ 2 Kings xxiv. 15. Jer. xxxviii. 22. 2 Kings xxiii. 11. Jer. 
xxxiv. 19 ; xli. 16 ; xxxviii. 7, etc. 



court and the princes;^ men, who, in not a few cases, had 
sunk so low as to devote their principal care to the pre- 
servation of their personal beauty.^ It would have needed 
a strong and vigorous ruler to save the nation from 
utter ruin, and unfortunately such a man did not fill 
the throne after Jehoiachin's fall. 


* Jer. zxi. 12 ; zxii. 3 ; xxvi. 10. 

' Lara. iv. 7. Where " Nazaritcs " refers, from the parallel in 
the next verse, to the princes. 

; 'f. 






ZEDEKIAH, B.C. 598-588.^ 

Kino of Babylon. 
Nebuchadnezzar, b.c. 604-562. 

Kings op Egypt. 

Pharaoh Necho, b.c. 612-596. 
psammetichus ii., 596-591.^ 
Pharaoh Hophra, 591-672' 

IT might have been thought that, after the bitter results 
of the revolt against Babylon, under Jeiioiachin, the 
ruler who succeeded him would have learnt a lesson 
of quiet submission. But the Chaldeans themselves had 
done much to stir up future trouble. The flower of the 
various influential classes had been carried ofl", though 
some who escaped the enemy, or were thought friendly 
to Babylonian vassalage, still remained. The land, how- 
ever, must have been greatly weakened, since only 
4,600 men were thought worth banishing, after the final 
insurrection.* Many of the boldest and most restless 
spirits had fled to Egypt,* in their detestation of Baby- 
lon; the ancient and familiar civilization of the Nile 
valley seeming preferable to the harsh and barbarous 
rule of the newly risen Chaldean kingdom. The leaning 
of the people, generally, was towards dependence on 
Pharaoh rather than on Nebuchadnezzar, and this boded 
no good for the future. 

* 699, 8chrader. 598, Biehni. 697, Lenormant and Maspero, 

* 689, Maspero. » Jer. lii. 28-30. •• Jer. xxiv. 8. 




Still, the necessities of the position appeared to guaran- 
tee peace. The land was exhausted, its towns stripped 
of their fighting population, its resources wasted, its 
affairs thrown into confusion. Society had to be largely 
reconstructed, for the poorer classes were now a large 
majority, and most of the capitalists, statesmen, and 
substantial citizens were exiles. The framework of the 
whole community, however, had been left. There were 
materials for a court ; the city and country towns were 
intact ; the soil remained free, and there was population 
enough to make the kingdom ere long prosperous and 
happy, if it were contented to be dependent. Nebuchad- 
nezzar's aim in sparing Jerusalem had evidently been 
to maintain a weak tributary state between himself and 
Egypt, as an outpost of his empire, and a check on in- 
vasion of Asia from the Nile. 

After the banishment of Jehoiachin the choice of a suc- 
cessor, by the conqueror, fell on his uncle Mattaniah, " the 
gift of Jehovah,'' the third son of Josiah. He was a boy 
of ten years old when his father fell at Megiddo, and was 
now in his twenty-first year.^ His half-brother, Jehoiakim, 
had been the son of a second wife of his father ; but he 
and Jehoahaz, now an exile in Egypt, were full brothers, 
the sons of Hamutal, of Libnah, in the mountain low- 
lands.2 Unfortunately, for more than a generation all 
the kings had been vvy young at their accession : Josiah, 
a child of 8 ; Jehoahaz, 23 ; Jehoiakim, 25 ; Jehoiachin, 
the nephew of Mattaniah, 18. Instead of such inexpe- 
rienced rulers, at so perilous a crisis, the helm of state 
demanded a strong hand and a firm will. Mattaniah^ 

* 2 Kings xxiv. 18. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 11. 

2 2 Kings xxiii. 31 ; xxiv. 18. The affection of full brothcra 
was proverbial. They fancied they were closer rolationa to each 
other than a sou is to a father or mother. 








i ^ 

,1 , 

unfortunately, had neither. Rather weak than bad ; want- 
ing in foresight; irresolute, without force of will to take 
and keep his right position as head of the country ; anxious 
to follow the counsels of the prophets, but without the 
courage to do so ; he became the mere sport of factions, 
and at last was brought by them into ruinous conflict 
with Babylon, against his own better judgment and con- 
victions. A Charles I. or Louis XVI., when the country 
needed a Longshanks or Cromwell ; he might have ruled 
well in quieter times, but was unfit for those on which 
he fell. But the succession was quite regular, for Jehoia- 
chin was as yet childless; his sons being born after he 
was carried to Babylon.* 

Counting perhaps on his gentleness of disposition and 
aversion from war, Nebuchadnezzar, instead of setting 
up a Chaldean governor or resident in Jerusalem, ap- 
pointed Mattaniah to the throne. He took care, how- 
ever, to require from him a solemn oath by Elohim,^ 
that he would be a faithful vassal to Babylon, making 
no innovations, and forming no league or alliance with 
Egypt. He was thus bound by every consideration of 
interest, honour, religion and gratitude, to be true to 
the Chaldean ruler. His two predecessors had been in a 
very different position. For him, disloyalty must bring 

On taking the throne, Mattaniah changed his name to 
^edekiah, " the righteousness of Jehovah,'' as if his first 
ipipulsie had been to rule in the fear of God, like his 

* 1 Ghron. iii. 17. Assir=the captive. 

- 2 Chron. xxxvi. 13. Ezek. xvii. 13. Jos., Ant., X. vii. 1. 
1 Esdras i. 48. Elohim was a general expression for the Divine 
Being. Nebuchadnezzar did nob recognise the power of Jehovah, 
pince he seemed to have prevailed against Him by subduing His 

'^"'-iii tn'iHlir" 



illustrious father. The hopes of the prophets seem to 
have been for the moment revived, for the great name, 
Jehovah Tsidkenu— " the Lord our Righteousness " ^ — by 
which Jeremiah in after years looked forward to the 
Messiah, appears as if it had been at least suggested by 
that of a king whose adopted name was so nearly iden- 
tical.^ But the gleam of sunshine soon passed away. 

To a race like the Jews, proud beyond all others in 
the belief that Jehovah, the God of the whole earth, 
had chosen them as His peculiar people,' subjection to a 
foreign ruler was intolerable. Was not the temple, the 
" House " of the mighty God, in their midst ? Could He 
allow it to fall into the hands of the worshippers of other 
gods, and thus let those gods be thought superior to 
Himself? Would He not, assuredly, make bare His 
holy arm in their defence, as of old, if they were attacked, 
and give them the victory over their enemies? Fana- 
ticism had largely taken the place of genuine religion, 
and the disasters of the past had not destroyed a belief in 
the invincibility of Judah, which had its roots in national 
pride. At the opening of Zedpkiah's reign, moreover, 
there seemed hope for Judea and the nations around. 
All sighed for their old independence. Nebuchadnezzar 
was not as yet, in the public imagination, the irresistible 
conqueror he became in the thirty-six years of his reign 
which still remained. Common miserv had for the time 
obliterated old feuds in Jerusalem. The iron of slavery 
had entered into the soul of the people ; there was but 
one thought among thera — to regain their freedom. 
Desperation overpowered prudence. 

Nor was this agitation contined to Judah. Far away 

* Jer. xxiii. 5-7. Leyrer^ in Herzog, vol. xxi. p. 542. 

* Zedokiah, in Hebrew, is Tsidklyyahu, or Tsidkiipjah. 

* Dout. xiv. 2 ; xxvi. 18. Ps. cxxxv. 4. Exoil. xix. 5. 



on tho Euphrates the banished magnates of Jerusalem 
dreamed, as all exiles dream, of a speedy return to their 
own country, and plotted incessantly to bring it about. 
Even in Jerusalem it was fondly believed that Jehoiachin 
would soon come back to his own again.^ False prophets 
zealously favoured this delusion, to please the people, 
and men like Jeremiah were powerless to convince their 
fellow-citizens, against their will, of the folly of these 
expectations. Pharaoh Necho, however, had died in the 
second year of Zedekiah's reign,^ and his son Psammeti- 
chus II. was too busy with schemes of conquest in 
Ethiopia to interfere in the affairs of Palestine. Religious 
troubles in the countries south of Egypt supplied a pre- 
text for war with them, while he, further, claimed their 
sovereignty through his aunt, an Ethiopian princess, 
whom he had married. A new sect in these territories, 
led by some priests, asserted the right to eat the flesh of 
sacrifices raw, dispensing with the hitherto indispens- 
able cooking; an outrage on all Egyptian ideas, 
suppressed by the sword. An expedition was therefore 
undertaken to crush the heretics; Oarians and Phenicians, 
among others, forming mercenary corps in the Egyptian 
force ; as inscriptions, left by some of them on the limbs 
of one of the colossal statues before the rock temple of 
Ipsamboul, still curiously show.^ But Psammetichus re- 
turned to Egypt only to die. During his reign, Palestine, 
quiet outwardly, had seethed with political i itement. 
Moab, Ammon, Edom, Tyre and Sidon, most of whom 

* Jer. xxviii. 4. * B.C. 696. 

* Some of these are as follows : — " When king Psammetichus 
came to Elephantina, this was written by the companions of 
Psammetichus, the son of Theocles." " I have been written by 
Acohon,'' etc. *'Telaphosof Talyson (in the island of Rhodes) 
wrote me," etc. 





hua re- 

had shortly before fought agaiTT-. Judah as allies of 
Nebuchadnezzar, were anxious to induce Zedekiah to join 
in a general revolt. The weak Hebrew community was 
in danger of drifting into a war with the greatest power 
of the day. 

Anxious to quiet the mind of Nebuchadnezzar, and 
show his own loyalty, Zedekiah, under these circum- 
stances, determined to make a journey to Babylon, to 
pay his homage for investiture in his kingdom, and to 
present the gifts customary in the East on such occasions.^ 
He had delayed discharging this duty till the fourth year 
of his reign,^ and it was now imperative that he should try 
to clear himself from suspicion of collusion with the rest- 
lessness of his subjects, or of the communities round him. 

This incident is memorable from the light it throws 
on the supernatural prevision of the Hebrew prophets. 
Jeremiah, ever loyal to his countrymen, resolved to take 
advantage of it, by sending a communication to the exiles, 
cheering them by revealing the doom in store for Baby- 
lon, notwithstanding its pride and strength. The op- 
pressor would, in God's time, be humbled as deeply as 
the captives now banished from Zion. Having written 
the prediction on a roll, he committed it to the care of 
Seraiah, the officer in charge of the royal gifts,^ with 
the command that on his reaching Babylon in the train 
of Zedekiah, he should read it to the exiles, no doubt 
in secret, and afterwards tie a stone to the roll, and sink 

* Gifts are, still, always prosontod in the East by an inferior 
in approaching a superior for the first time. Bishop Heber relates, 
that his servants, even to the poorest, brought presents to hira 
on their entering his employment, when he first went to India. 
Heber's Journal, vol. i. p. 25. 
^ Jer. li. 59. • ^ 

' The words, "a quiet prince" (Jor. IL 69) should bo thus 




it in tiie EupTirates, repeating an he did so a short form 
of pra} er and concluding comment ; thus — " Jeho- 
vah, ThoJi hast spokon against this place, to cut it off, so 
that none :'iiall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but 
that it shall be desolate for ever ; " adding, as the book 
sank out of sight in the waters : " Thus shall Babylon 
sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I, Jehovah, 
bring upon her; for the Babylonians will, in their turn, 
wax faint and perish."^ 

The prophecy thus strangely published in the very 
territory whose doom it proclaimed, has been preserved, 
from the original left by Jeremiah, of which the roll 
sent to Babylon must have boon a copy. That it was 
written nearly seventy years before the close of the 
Chaldean empire, when no sign of its fall could possibly 
have been visible — when, indeed, it was at the height 
of its glory as the greatest monarchy of the world — is a 
startling indication of its Divine source. Inspiration, in 
its strictest sense, could alone have dreamed of it. 

Declare ye,' among the nations —begun the roll — publish it, 
and lift up a Hignal;*'* conceal it nob : say, Babylon is taken. Bel * is 
brought to shame ; Merodach^ is in dismay ; the idols of Babylon 

* Lifc., " be exhausted, or wearied out." Jer. li. 69-64. 

* Jer. 1. 1-3. * Heb., banner, ensign. 

* Bel, or Baal, was the chief god of Babylon. His name stands 
first in two lists of the Babylonian gods, deciphered by Schrader. 
Studien u. Kritiken, 1874, pp. 335 ff. 

' Merodach, or Mardak, was one of the chief Babylonian gods, 
and corresponded to the Jupiter of the Eomans {Biehm, p. 108). 
It was, in fact, the planet Jupiter. Biehm, p. 982. Bel and 
Merodach were often used as a combined name, and as such it 
was applied to the tutelar god of Babylon. " The whole Babylo- 
nian dynasty," says Oppert, " put Merodach at the head of the 
gods, and the inscription of Borsippa calls him a king of heaven 
and earth." Exped. en Meaopot, vol. ii. p. 272. 




m. Bel ^ is 

are put to shamo ; her dun^ godn are in diHtnay I For a nation 
comes up againHt hor out of the north ; * it mukcM her land deHO- 
late, so that uo one dwells in it; both man and beast are fled 
from it ! 

In those days,' and at that time, nays Jehovah, the sons of 
Israel and the sons of Judah will return to Palestine together, 
weeping all the way as they go, and will seek Jehovuh, their Qod. 
They will ask tbe way to Ziou, with their faces hithorward.' And 
those in Judah will suy, " Come, join yourselves to Jehovah, in a 
perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten." My people have 
been like lost sheep. Their shepherds led them to mountains on 
which they went astray ;^ they went from mountain to hill; they 
forgot- their true resting place/ All who met them devoured 
them, and their oppressors said, " We are guilty of nothing, for 
they have sinned against Jehovah, the Habitation of Righteous- 
ness; against Jehovah, the Hope of their fathers." Flee out of 
Babylon ; go forth from tbe land of the Chaldeans, and be as the 
be goats before the flock.' 

The fall of Babylon is agaia foretold. ■-. 

For, lo,' I will raise and lead against Babylon an assembly of 
great nations from the north. They will array themselves 
against her. From the north will she be taken. Their arrows 
will be like those of a skilled warrior, who does not return 
empty." And Chaldea shall be a sp6il ; all who plunder it will 
be satisfied with booty, saith Jehovuh. For though ye are ghui 
now; though ye rejoice, O ye plunderers of My heritage; though 

* In verse 9 the enemy of Babylon is spoken of as an alliance 
of nations. Their names are given in chap. li. 27, 28. 

= Jer. 1. 4-8. 

^ Jeremiah writes from Jerusalem. Mark this undesigned 
evidence of the genuineness of the prophecy. 

* The idol high places in the hills. 

* Un ler the shadow of Jehovah. 

* " The soldiers were obliged to buy a large he-goat, to walk at 
the head of the flock ; for, until they did so, the sheep ran hither 
and thither, and could not be driven comfortably." Six Years in 
India, p. 114. 

7 Jer. li. 9-18. » 2 Sam. i. 22. 

VOL. V. D D 

; :^' 

* •' ■ 

I' I 






yo leap like a heifor on the tliroshing floor; though ye neigh like 
stallions, jot, Babylon, your mother, shall soon bo put to shame ; 
she that boro you will blush red. For men will say: •' Babylon is 
become the least of the nations, a waste desert, a barren steppe ! 
Every one who pusses by it will be astonished, and hiss at all the 
punishments she has received. 

The enemy is now directly addressed. 

Array yourselves against Babylon,* round about, all ye that 
bend the bow ; shoot at her ; spare no arrow ; for she has sinned 
against Jehovali! Raise the battle shout round her; she has 
surrendered;^ her bastions are fallen ; her walls are overthrown;* 
for it is the rengeance of Jehovah I Take ye vengeance on her I 
As she has done, do ye to her! Cut off the sower from Babylon, 
and him who Imndles the sickle in the time of harvest ! Before 
the fierce destroying swoi'd every one of the enslaved captives in 
Babylon will turn to his own people, and flee to his own land. 
Israel is a sheep driven away from its pasture; the lions have 
driven it away. First, the king of Assyria devoured it, and now, 
at the last, this Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has craunchcd 
np its bones. Therefore, Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, 
s()eak8 thp : Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his 
land, as I punished the king of Assyria. 

Israel, however, has a glorious future before it. 

And I will lead Israel back again ^ to his pasture, and he shall 
fee<^ sjii Da^mel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied on 
Mount Ephraim and in Gilead. In those days and at that time, 
'saith Jehovah, the iniquity of Israel will be sought, but it will be 
gone ; and the sins of Judah, but they will nou be found ; for I 
will pardon those that I leave remaining. 

» Jer. li. 14-18. a Lit,^ « gi^en her hand." 

* Cyrus only made breaches in the walls, but Darius, in his 
later siege, destroyed part of them, and threw down all the gates. 
Blakesley thinks that Cyrus stormed the palace fortress on the 
bank of the river, by cutting the dam which retained the water 
in its moats, and then digging through the walls ; a scheme never 
anticipated. Herod., i. 142. 

* Jer. 1. 19, 20. 

I " 

in his 
Du tho 



Babylon, the defiant enemy of Jehovah, will be brought 
low as a punishment for her offence against His temple 
at Jerusalem. 

Go up' against Babylon, the land of Double Rebellion— re- 
hellion by pride and its idolatry, and by its enmity to Jehovah ; 
against it— the City of Punishment' — worthy of wrath, and soon 
to feel it. Let them that attack it, slay and utterly destroy 
behind them, and do all that I have commanded thee, saith 
Jehovah I 

A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction ! 
How is the Hammer* of the whole earth cut asunder and broken. 
How is Babylon become a desolation among the nations I I laid 
nets for thee, and thou wast taken, O Babylon, when tliou didst 
not expect it.^ Thou wast found and caught, like a wild beast, 
because thou hast striven against Jehovah. Jehovali has opened 
His armoury, and brought out the weapons of His wrath ; for 
Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, has a work to do in the land of the 
Chaldeans. Come ye up against her, ye nations, from the first 
of you to the last; open her gninaries ; throw up her treasures 
in heaps, and burn them utterly ;* let nothing be spared! Slay 
all her people, like bullocks; let them sink to the slaughter! 
Woe to them, for their day has come; the time of their visitation. 

Hark ! the exiled of Israel are fleeing and escaping out of the 


» Jar. 1. 21-28. 

* " Pekod," in A.V., was the name of a place in Babylon, so that 
" Merathaira " (A. V. ver. 21) may also have been some place, now 

* This name, here given to Babylon, was borne by Judas 
Maccaba9U8, if the derivation of the latter word be from Makk^bh. 
Charles Martel is equivalent to Charles the Hammer. He was 
the grandfather of Charlemagne, and won a great victory over 
the Saracens at Tours in a.d. 732. On the tomb of Edward L 
moreover, are the words Scotorum Malleus, the Hammer of the 
Scots. The tomb is in Westminster Abbey. 

* Herodotus speaks of the astonishment of the inhabitants of 
Babylon at its capture, 1. 191 ; iii. 158. 

* Lit., *' put them under the ban, or destroy them." See Josh. 
xi. 12, 13. All the wealth of Babylon is in reality meant. What 
could not be carried off was to be burnt with the city. 









land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the venp;eanco of Jehovah 
our Giod ttgainst the guilty city ; Ilis vciif^uuuou uguinst it for 
destroying His temple! 

Cull togt.'ther the archers * against Babylon ; all ye that bend 
the bow, invest it round about. Let none escape from her; 
recompense her according to her work ; do to her as she has 
done; for she has been hangiity against Jehovah, the Holy One 
of Israel! Therefore will her young men fall in the streets, and 
all her fighting men bo destroyed in that day, saith Jehovah. 
Behold ! I come against you, O thou who art Pride incarnate, 
saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts ; for thy day has como ; tho 
time when I will punish thee! And the Haughty one' will 
stumble and fall, and no one will raise him up; and I will kindle 
fire in his cities that will devour all round about him. 

Thus saith Jehovah of hosts ; ' The sons of Israel, and the sons 
of Judah are oppressed together, and all their tyrants have held 
them fast, and have refused to hit them go. But their Redeemer 
is strong; Jehovah of hosts is His name; He will carry through 
their cause; to give rest to the earth, and to make the inhabitants 
of Babylon tremble. 

A sword is against the Chaldeans, saith Jehovah, and against 
the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her princes, and against 
her "Wise men!" A sword is against her boasters, and they 
will become fools! A sword is ngainst her braves, and they will 
be dismayed ! A sword is against their horses, and against their 
chariots, and against all the mercenary sold-'^rs in the midst of 
her, and they shall become like women I A ^sword is against her 
treasures, and they shall be plundered! A drought^ is against 
her streams, and they shall dry up ! For it is a land of idols« 
and they let themselves be befooled by these frightful gods ! 

Tliererore,^ tho wild beasts of the desert shall dwell there with 
jackals; ostriches will dwell in it, and it will be inhabited no 
more for ever, nor be peopled from generation to generation! 
As God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns near 
them, saith Jehovah, no one will abide in Babylon, nor any one 
dwell in it. 

Behold ! a people comes from the north, and a great nation and 

1 Jer. 1. 29-32. s Lit.^ u Pi-jde." « Jer. 1. 33-88. 

* Sword. Ewald. » Jer. 1. 38-43. 




>f Johovah 
iiist it for 

many kinffs rise up from tho fnrtlicHt parts of tho earth. Thoy 
bold tho hovr and the lanco; they are crnol and wiiliout pity; 
their voice roars like tho Hca, and they rido on horROH, c(|uipped 
like r, warrior for tho fxfj^ht, agoinHl thee, O Babylon! Tho lung 
of Babylon has heard tlio rumour of them and hiH hands are 
povf orless; auguifih has seizod bini -, I'ear like that of a woman iu 
t ravail. 

"^ ..:v 




,;;,>'A3fc*^ ^'■''-' T.r. 

L ■""' 



— <..<> 






A ^>^ 


TnB SiTB OF Babtioit Dtrmwo thb iNrirDATiow o» thb Ecfhratsb. 
From o draaiiig by J. B. Frasiir, Esq. 

Bohold ! • the enemy comes np against Babylon as a lion ascends 
from the thickets ^ of Jordan to the hill pastures,' and I, .Jehovah, 
will make tho flock rnn, forth wiih, in terror from Babylon their 

' Jer. 1.44-46. 

*Lit., "pride." The thickets on the edges of tho bed of tho 
Jordan are meant. See pp. 165, 262. This passage (44-46) is 
nearly the same as ch. xlix. 19-21. 

» Wilton's Negri), p. 43. 

, 1 

1 i| 

1 1 1l 

-: 1 

! j;-! 

1 -i 

' ' 1 




pasture, and will appoint over it him who is chosen * by Me. For 
who is My equal, and who may challenge what I do? And who 
is the shepherd of a people that can stand before Me, if I be 
against him ? Therefore, hear the counsel of Jehovah that He 
has taken against Babylon, and His purposes that He has de- 
termined against the land of the Chaldeans. Surely the enemy 
shall drag the people of Babylon along into captivity, as lions 
drag away the weak ones of the flock. Surely Babylon, their 
pasture, will be confounded at their fate ! At the shout, " Baby- 
lon is taken," the earth will tremble, and a cry of joy will ring 
through the nations! 

Thus saith Jehovah : ' Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, 
and in Laib Kamai,— the heart of My enemy, the Chaldean,^ — a de- 
stroying wind,^ and T will send against Babylon winnowers,* who 
shall throw her up against the wind with their shovels,* and 
empty her land (for she is but chaff which the wind carries away). 
For they shall gather round her in the day of her trouble. Let 
the archer bend his bow against him that bends his from the 
walls, and against him that stands up in his armour for battle,^ 

- Ewald. Graf. « Jar. 11. 1-4. 

' The words Laib Kamai are equivalent to the word Oasdim, 
the Chaldeans, in the cipher or secret writing known by the name 
of Atbasch. See chap. xxv. 26, and p. 345. This secret cipher writ- 
ing may have been adopted to enforce the fact of Chaldea being 
the stronghold of the idolatry that corrupted Israel and the world. 
It could serve no purpose of mere concealment, as the name of 
Babylon itself had already been repeatedly used openly. 

* This may be read, " the spirit of a destroyer; " or, "the spirit 
of destruction," but the second reading suits best what follows. 

' In the Hebrew text, as it stands, the word is "strangers," 
" barbarians," and is thus translated by Keil and others; but a 
very slight change makes it as rendered above, and this is more in 
harmony "with the figure of the prophet. 

^ In the A.V. the words fanner and fun are used. They come 
from the Latin vannus, a broad basket into which the corn and 
chaff were put after threshing, to be thrown up against the wind, 
and thus separated. The Jews used a shovel instead of the 
vannus, which is related to ventrts, the wind. 

' The word in the A.V. is brigandine, a kind of scale armour of 



and spare not her young men ; destroy her whole host, so that 
the slain fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and those thrust 
through, in her streets. 

For Israelis not left widowed, nor Judah, by her God, by 
Jehovah of hosts ; but their land, the land of the Chaldeans, is 
widowed, which is full of sin against the Holy One of Israel. Flee 
out of Babylon, and save, every one, his life; perish not through 
her iniquity ! For it is a time of the vengeance of Jehovah. Ho 
will repay her according to her works ! Babylon was a golden 
cup in the hand of Jehovah, making drunk the whole earth. The 
nations drank of her wine, and grew madly besotted. Babylon 
has fallen suddenly and is shattered to pieces. Baise the loud 
shriek of mourning for her (ye captives of all nations in her 
midst) ; take balm for her hurt, if so she may be healed ! But 
they answer : '* We would have healed Babylon, but she is not 
healed. Let us leave her, and let us, every one, go to his own 
land, for her punishment reaches to heaven and rises even to the 
clouds. Jehovah has brought to light the justice of our cause.' 
Come, let us tell in Zion the great deed of Jehovah our God ! " 

The attack on Babylon is once more described. 

Pol ish the arrows ; ^ put on the shields;* Jehovah has roused 
the hearts* of the kings of the Modes ^ for His purpope stands 

many jointed plates, very pliant and easy for the body. It got 
its name from being used by the light-armed foot soldieri known 
as brigands, and came to us from the French. The mercenaries 
of the Middle Ages, when disbanded, often took to robbery, and 
hence the modern sense of brigands. Thus also a pirate's ship 
became a brrgantinef of which brig is only an abbreviation. 
Venables, in Bib. Educator. 
1 Jer li. 5-10. ^ Li^., " righteousness." » Jer. 11. 11-14. 

* Lit., " fill," i.e. with the arm. The Sept. and Vulgate read 
" quivers," and are followed by Ewald. 

» Lit., '• spirits " 

• The chiefs of the different tribes or districts, under whom the 
Medes lived till they revolted from Assyria in B.C. 714 and put 
themselves under one head. The Medes, moreover, are used for 
all the Aryan races who joined against Babylon, they being the 

■ i i 

i ; i 

■I I 

! , r 


} r i!' 


; ! 


t I 



firm against Babylon to destroy it ; yea, its utter destruction 
is the vengeance on it of Jehovah; the vengeance for the 
destruction of His temple. Set up a standard towards the walls 
of Babylon ; ^ strengthen the picquets ; post the sentinels ; get 
ready the spies,' for Jehovah has both purposed and carried out 
what) He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon. O thou that 
dwellest by many waters,* rich in treasures, thine end is come; 
the mf sasure of thy gains is past. Jehovah of hosts has sworn by 
His life — " Though I have filled thee with men like grasshoppers 
for number, yet shall the shout of the treading of the vintage 
be raised against thee !"* 

The omnipotence of Jehovah the Creator will triumph 
over the idols of Babylon, and break in pieces its mighty 
power. -j- 

He who created the earth by His might,' and founded the world 
by His wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by His understand- 
ing; when He thunders there is a noise of waters in the skies, 
and He causeth clouds to rise from the end of the earth : He 
makes the lightnings bring rain, and brings forth the wind from 
its storehouses. The knowledge of this makes every man seem 
without understanding; it makes every idol-founder ashamed of 
his graven image, for his molten work is a lie ; there is no breath 
in it. They are nothing; they are worthy only, of mockery; * in 
the time of their visitation they shall perish. 

chief Aryan nation. S. Spiegel, Erdn, 1863, pp. 308 ff". In Isa. xxi. 
2, Elam is named along with Media, as the assailant of Babylon, 
which finally fell before Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian; 
Elam being called Persia from the beginning of his reign. 
Persians are first expressly named by Ezekiel and Daniel. See 
pp. lOo ff. 

1 =" To encamp before." 

* This seems better than " ambushes," which could only be of 
use in a siege if a sally were enticed. It is used by Ewald. 

s The many canals of Babylonia, led off from the Euphrates. 

* The cry of the stormers will be like the song of the treaders 
of the vintage, red with the blood of the grapes. 

* Jer. li. 15-19. Those verses are almost identical with chap. 
X. 12-16. • Jerome. 



ce for the 
is the walls 
itincls; get 
carried out 
O thou that 
id is come; 
as sworn by 
the vintage 

11 triumpli 
its mighty 

ed the world 
in the skies, 
) earth: He 
) wind from 
y man seem 
ashamed of 
ia no breath 
)ckery ; " in 

In Isa. xxi. 

)f Babylon, 

le Persian; 

his reign. 

laniel. See 

only be of 
le treaders 

Iwith chap. 

Jehovah, the Portion of Jacob, is not like these. He is the 
Former of the Universe, and of Israel, His own tribe.* Jehovah 
of hosts is His name. 

The awful power of Babylon, the Hammer of the earth, 
used by God to carry out His judgments on the nations, 
is described. 

Thou art' My Hammer;* My weapons of war; with thee I 
smite in pieces the nations, and destroy kingdoms. With thee 
I smite down the horse and his rider; with thee I smUe in pieces 
the chariot, and smite down the charioteer. With thee I smite 
dowa men and women ; with thee I smite down old and young ; 
wi<.h thee I smite down the youth and the maiden. With thee I 
smite down the shepherd and his flock ; with thee I smite down 
the husbandman and his span of oxen ; with thee I smite down 
rulers of provinces and governors^ of countries. 

But Babylon is itself to be destroyed, for its cruelty 
to the nations, especially to Israel. 

* The word is Shaibet, which means a rod grorang from the 
root of a tree; then, the staff of office of the sboife of a tribe; then, 
a tribe. The Hebrew text reads, lit., '* the tribe of his inheritance, 
or possession," that is, His own peculiar people. For the full 
significance of Shaibet, see Keil's Josua, p. 18. 

* Jer. U. 20-23. 

' A mace, club, or maul. The Middle Age " morning star," a 
club filled, at its head, with sharp points stuck on a round ball, 
is pevhaps nearest the idea.. There is one in the trophy on the 
silver tomb of St. Ale:^. Newsky at Su. Petersburg. 

* The two words are Pekhah and Sagan. They both occur 
again in ver. 28 ; the second also in ver. 57. The first is applied 
to Tatnai, satrap of the province west of the Euphrates (jdlzra 
V. 6), to Neheraiah (Neh. v. 14), and to Zerubbabel (Hag. i. 1), thg 
governors of the small province of Judah, after the Eeturn. The 
Assyrians used the word Pahat of the rulers of provinces. 
(Schrader, Keilinschr.t p. 89). Sagan means strictly, deputy of 
the prince, or viceroy. Its Assyrian equivalent is Saknu»a 
king's deputy, a ruler. {Schrader^ p. 270.) 



•■ ; 





■ I 



But I will requite * Babylon and all the inhabitants of Ghaldea, 
for all the wickedness they have wrought on Zion, before your 
eyes, saith Jehovah ! Behold, I come against thee, O mountain 
of destruction, saith Jehovah; who hast destroyed the whole 
earth. I stretch My hand oat against thee, and roll thee down 
from the rocks, and make thee a burnt mountain,^ so that they 
will not take from thee even a stone for the corner of a house* 
nor for a foundation stone, but thou shalt be a perpetual desola- 
tion, says Jehovah. ' 

The assailants of Babylon are now summoned to attack 

"Set ye up a standard* on the earth, ye peoples; blow the 
trumpet among the nations; consecrate the nations for war 
against her by war sacrifices;^ summon against her the king- 
doms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz.^ Appoint a scribe to 
enrol the hosts.^ Let horses rush on countless as the rough 
locusts' — the terror of mankind. Consecrate against her by 
sacrifices, the nations, the kings of the Medes, the rulers oE their 
provinces and all the governors of their countries, and all the 
lands of her empire ! The earth trembles and is convulsed with 
fear, for the purposes of Jehovah against Babylon are being ac- 

» Jor. li. 24-26. 

^ The figure of a mighty fortress oq a mountain is here used 
of Babylon, though it was on a plain. 

» Jer. U. 27-82. 

* Lit., " consecrate the nations against her." 

' These three kingdoms were different regions of Armenia. 
See vol. i. pp. 209, 231. The Minni li'»ed round Lake Van. 

•The Hebrew word is Tephar = Assyr. dttjp«ar = writer on 
tablets. Fried. Delitzsch, Wo lag das Pc.adiea ? p. 142. 

' Locusts in their third stage, when their wings are still 
enveloped in rough horny cases, which stick up upon their backs. 
It is in this stage that ,they are so destructive (SpeaTeer^s CotH' 
mentary). I have added the words, however, '♦ the terror of man- 
kind'* because the word " rough " = terrible, causing shuddering, 
may refer only to the alarm they excited and the destruction 
they wrought. 



ore yonr 
le whole 
lee down 
that they 
a housct 
L desola- 

o attack 

blow the 
I for war 
the king- 
scribe to 
the rough 
It her by 
srs of their 
id all the 
iilsed with 
beiiis ac- 

here used 

complisbed, to make the kind of Babylon a desert, without an 
inhabitant ! The braves of Babylon have ceased to fight ; they 
sit in their strongholds; their strength is worn out; they are 
become like women; the enemy has burned the houses of Baby- 
lon ; the bars of her city gates are broken through ! One foot- 
runner meets another, rushing in from elsewhere, and messenger 
meets messenger, come to bring the king of Babylon, in his palace, 
tidings that "his city is taken from end to end," the ferries 
occupied;* the buildings over the water reservoirs burnt' with 
fire, and the fighting men panic stricken ! 

For thus saith Jehovah of hosts,' the God of Israel; tho 
daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when 
tho grain is trampled out by the oxen; a little while, and the 
time of her harvest comes to her ! The inhabitants of Zion will 
say, "Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured us; 
He has craunched us in pieces ; He has pushed us aside as an 
empty vessel ; He has swallowed us up as might a dragon ; He 
has filled himself with our dainties ; He has driven us out of our 
land." "My wrong and sufiering* come on Babylon!" will the 
inhabitress of Zion say, and Jerusalem will add, " my blood come 
on the inhabitants of Gbaldea!" 

Therefore, thus saith Jehovah; Behold, I will take up thy 
cause, and take vengeance for thee. I will dry up her sea — the 
great lake in her midst,^ and I will dry up her network of canals.^ 
And Babylon shall become heaps oi ruin, a dwelling of jackalsi 
an astonishment, and a mockery, without an inhabitant. 

The citizens will perish^ and also their city and its gods. 

writer on 

are still 
^eir backs. 
per*« Gouk- 
3r of man- 

> There was only one bridge in Babylon. The word meaning 
lit. ** crossings." 

* Any one who has seen the huge underground reservoirs at 
Constantinople, their tops broken in, their bottom filled with 
rubbish, since 1453, when the barbarian Turk took the city, will 
understand this passage. 

» Jer. li. 33-87. , 

* Lit., "flesh." 

* This lake or reservoir was made by Queen Nitocris, and was 
420 furlongs » 52^ miles in circumference. Herod., i. 185. 

* Lit. " her spring " — the source of her canal supply. 




m \ 

The inhabitants of Babylon* may roar liko lions; they may 
growl liko young lions, while thoy glow with triumph at their 
greatness. I will prepare their drinking fe:^sts, and will make 
them drunk,' that they may rejoice, and then sink into a per- 
petual sleep, never awaking, saith Jehovah I I will drive them 
down like lambs to the slaughter-house ; like rams and he goats ! 
How is Sheshach* — that is, Babylon — taken! How is the city 
that was the Wonder of the whole Earth made a prize!* How 
is Babylon become an astonishment among tue nations ! 

The sea-like army of her foes has come up against Babylon; 
she is covered with the noise of its waves ! Her cities are a 
desolr.tion, a land of drought, a barren steppe ; a land in which 
no man GT^nlls, and through which no man passes. For I will 
punish Bel, in Babylon, and bring forth out of his mouth what 
he has swallowed down ; and the nations will no longer stream 
to him ; the very wall of Babylon shall fall ! 

Tho Jewish captives in Babylon are now addressed. 

' .III 

Go out of her,* My people ! Save, every man, his life from the 
fierce anger of Jehovah. And beware lest your heart faint, and 
be not dismayed at the rumour you hear in the land, when one 
report comes this year and still another the next, and there is 
violence in the land. Let this tell you that, behold, the days 
come, says Jehovah, when I will execute judgment on the graven 
images of Babylon, and when her whole land will be made 
desolate, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.' Then 
will heaven and earth, and all that is therein, rejoice over the fall 
of Babylon ; for they that will lay it waste come from the north, 
says Jehovah. Babylon must fall, ye slain of Israel, for through 
her have fallen the slain of the whole earth ! 

Yo exiles of Judah that have escaped the sword, begone from 
the midst of her ; tarry not ! Bemember Jehovah when far from 
Zion, and let Jerusalem come to your mind ! (In that day ye 
will say), " We were put to shame when we heard the reproach 

1 Jer. 11. 38-44. 

* This was wonderfully fulfilled at the taking of Babylon. 
» Jer. XXV. 26. See pp. 346, 406. * Lit., " seized." 

• Jer. li. 46-53. • Seo ver. 43. 

hey may 
ab their 
irill make 
io a per- 
rive them 
he goats I 
the city 

3 1* How 


ties are a 
in which 
For I will 
luth what 
er stream 


B from the 

faint, and 

when one 

I there is 

the days 

ihe graven 

be made 

.« Then 

er the fall 

the north, 

r through 

tone from 
far from 
it day ye 




that had befallen onr people ; shame covered our faces ; for aliens 
had entered the holy places of the House of Jehovah." 

Wherefore, behold, days come, saith Jehovah, that I vr'.W bring 
punishment on the graven images of Babylon, and wounded men 
shall groan throughout all her land. Were Babylon to build its 
walls up to heaven, and to make its lofty defences seemingly 
impregnable, from Me shall come those that shall lay her waste, 
says Jehovah. 

Hark I a cry from Babylon, * and great destruction from the 
land of the Chaldeans. For Jehovah lays Babylon waste, and 
hushes' the loud sound of her multitudes. For the waves of 
the conquering hosts assailing her, roar lik^ the voice of many 
waters ; the clamour of their awful tumult sounds abroad. For 
the destroyer is come up against her, against Babylon, and her 
braves are taken prisoners, and their bows broken by the foe; 
for the Lord Jehovah is an avenging God; He will repay her 
wickedness upon her. I will make drunk her princes, her Wise 
Men, her satraps, and governors, and fighting men ; and they 
shall sleep a perpetual sleep, from which they shall not wake, 
saith The King, whose name is Jehovah of hosts. Thus saith 
Jehovah of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon* shall be levelled 

» Jer. li. 64-58. 2 Lit., " destroys." 

■ The walls of Babylon according to Herodotus (i. 178) were 
50 cubits broad and 200 cubits high. Ctesias says they were 
300 feet high; Strabo, that they were 50 cubits high and 32 
feet broad. Duncker holds that the height and thickness of the 
walls in the estimate of Herodotus is doubtless exaggerated. 
Since the Median wall, the first line of defence of the land, was 
100 feet high and 20 feet broad ; and Xenophon saw walls 150 
feet high in Nineveh, we may with some confidence accept Pliny's 
statement, that the walls of Babylon were 200 feet high from the 
fosses round them, and had a proportionate thickness of from 30 
to 40 feet. The breadth was sufficient to allow four-horse chariots 
to pass each other on the top of the wall, inside the battlements, 
as Herodotus and Strabj relate. Three chariots could pass 
each other on the top of the walls of Nineveh. Gesch. des Alt. 
vol. i. pp. 856 fi". It must not, however, be thought that chariots 
actually ran, hither and thither, on the top of the walls. They, 
would have been of no use there. But there was room for them 





■ I il 


' it 


: . 








— T * ^ ' " l! 

Plut ov ths RiTivs OT Babtlow. 

to have run, had the top of the walls been an ordinary street. 
Oppert has found that Babylon was surrounded with two walls, 
an outer and inner, and that the outer or great wall enclosed a 
space as great as the Department of the Seine (183 sq. m.), and 
the inner wall a space much larger than the whol6 size of London 
(117 sq. m.). Oppert, Ex]p6dit en Mesop., vol. i pp. 220, ff. 



•y street. 
wo walls, 
iclosed a 

m.), and 
f London 


to the ground, and her lofty gates * burnt with fire, so that the 
captive peoples who have built them shall have laboured for 
nothing, and the nations shall have only worn themselves out in 
creating what will be food for fire.' 

Thus wonderfully was the fate of Babylon foretold, two 
generations before its fall ; when, indeed, it was at the 
flood- tide of its glory ! * 

The visit of Zedekiah to the Great City was paid not 
a moment too soon, for the agitation among the exiles 
on the Chebar was known to the Chaldean authorities, 
who had determined to suppress it by the sternest 
measures. It was found that the Jewish colony firmly 
believed that Nebuchadnezzar would soon be overthrown, 
and that Jehoiachin, thus set free, would return to 
Palestine at the head of his victorious people. Plots, to 

* In the circuit of the wall were a hundred gates, all of brass 
with brazen lintels and 8i<ie posts. Herod.^ i. 179. 

* A quotation from Habakkuk ii. 13. 

* Chapters 1. and li., containing so amazing a prediction, have, 
of course, been set down, by some ultra-rationalist critics, as the 
work of a later writer than Jeiemiah. But they are expressly 
assigned to him in chap. li. 59. One'objection made to their being 
his is the hostility he shows to the Chaldeaiis, but in chap. xxv. 12, 
26, the same hostility is already expressed. Nor does it contradict 
this, that he speaks of the Chaldeans elsewhere as the instruments 
of Divine vengeance, to whom the Jews must yield. As to the 
style, no composition could more exactly resemble Jeremiah's. 
Nor would a write! • during the Evil*> have written as in chap. 1. 5, 
"With their faces iitherward," that is towards Jerusalem. Any 
one writing in Babylon would have said thitherward. An unde- 
signed touch like this is most significant. It is said that the 
knowledge of Babylon shown by these chapters implies their 
composition by one familiar with that country. But in chi^-p. 
xiii." it is expressly said that Jeremiah paid two visits to it — 
perhaps of long duration. Words are quoted as occurring which 
are of later date than Zedekiah's time ; but this can be shown 
demonstrably to be an error in each instance. 



1 fa 


- I* ■ 






which the magnates of Jerusalem were privy, were dis- 
covered. False prophets, both there and in Babylon, were 
stirring up the people, by raising false hopes of a speedy 
deliverance from Chaldean bondage or vassalage. Some 
of these on the Chebar were, therefore, seized as ring- 
leaders of the popular disaffection, and two of them, at 
least, to spread terror among the exiles, seom to have 
suffered the fearful death of being roasted alive, ^ while 
it is probable that it was to this restlessness among his 
brethren that Jehoiacbin owed the exceptional severity of 
his treatment. Not long after the return of Zedekiah 
from Babylon, an incident happened, ominous for hia 
future relations to Nebuchadnezzar, The seething rest- 
lessness of the neighbouring states, under the Chaldean 
yoke, had at last led to their sending a joint embassy 
from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, and the kings of Tyre 
and Sidon, ^ to Jerusalem, in the hope of inducing 
Zedekiah to enter into a league with them against the 
common enemy. Whp.t success they had is not recorded, 
though it is unlikely that the Jewish king committed 
himself, so early in his reign, by an act of open hostility 
to his master, especially in alliance with states which had 
for ages been the bitter foes of his race. The Egyptian 
party, no doubt, wished him to join them; but the 
voice of Jeremiah rose, to warn him from a step so fatal. 
Enforcing his words by a striking symbolical act, he pro- 
cured a number of common ox yokes, and having put 
one on his own neck, to wear henceforth, apparently, 
while the embassy was in the city, he sent another to each 
of the envoys, desiring them to take them back with 
them to their respective countries, with the following 
message to their masters, from Jehovah. 

» Jer. xxix. 22. « Jer. xxvii. 1-3. 

' In verse 1, Jehoiakim is an error of some ancient copyist for 




were dis- 
'lou, were 

a speedy 
e. Some 

as ring- 
' them, at 
L to have 
e, ^ while 
moDg his 
everity of 
3 for his 
ing resfc- 

^s of Tyre 
ainst the 

hich had 

3ut the 

so fatal, 
he pro- 

sring put 

to each 

ck with 


jyist for 

Thus says Jehovah of hosts, » the God of Israel : Thus shall 
ye speak to your masters— I have made the earth, and man, and 
the beasts on the face of the earth, by My groat power aud My 
outstretched arm, and I give it to whom I see fit. And, now, 
I have given all these lands into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, 
the king of Babylon, my servant, and the beasts of the field, also, 
have I given him, to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, 
his son, and his son's son, till the time of his own ] - ^ ^ comes, 
and, then, many nations and great kings shall r . .:m their 
servant. And the nation and people that will not serve him, 
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and that does not give its 
neck to his yoke, that nation I will punish with sword, famine, 
and pestilence, till 1 have consumed them by his hand. Do 
not listen, therefore, to your (false) prophets,' or diviners, or 
explainers of dreams, or dabblers in the black arts, or sorcerers, 
■who say to you — "Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon I " They 
prophesy a lie to you, to make Mo remove you far from your 
land, and drive you out, so that ye perish. But the people that 
gives its neck to the yoke of the king of Babylon and serves him, 
I will leave in their own land, says Jehovah, and they shall till 
it, and dwell in it. 

About the same time the prophet addressed Zedekiah 
and the court in the same strain. 

Bring your necks,' said he, into the yoke of the king of 
Babylon, and serve him and his people, and you shall live. Why 
should you and your people die by the sword, famine, and 
pestilence, as Jehovah has said of the people that will not serve 
the king of Babylon. Do not listen to the words of the prophets 
who say to you — ** Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon." 
''^hey prophesy a lie to you ! For I have not sent them, says 
Jehovah, but they prophesy falsely in My name, to make Me 
drive you out, and that yon should perish, you, and the prophets 
who prophesy such words to you, 

» Jer. xxvii. 4-11. 

*' The heathen nations around had, thus, their own prophets ; 
the order was not confined to the Jews. Balaam« of Felhor, on 
the Euphrates, is an instance of this. 
» Jer. xxvii. 12-15. 

VOL. V. B E 



. ■: *c 

' . 





41 d 


Tho priosts and all tho people were no less faithfully 

Thus says Jehovah : ' Listen not to tho words of the prophets 
who prophesy to you, saying, — "Behold, the vessels of the house 
of Jehovah will now be soon brought back from Babylon." ' For 
they prophesy a lie to yon. Listen not to them. Serve the 
king of Babylon and live. Why should this city be laid waste P 
If they be true prophets, and if the word of Jehovah be really 
in them, let them plead with Jehovah of hosts, that the vessels 
Btill left in the house of Jehovah, and in the palace of tho king 
of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not also go to Babylon ! For 
thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, respecting tho 
pillars, and the brazen sea, and the brazen stan Is for the ton 
lavors of the temple, * that remain in the city, whi ih Nebuchad- 
nezzar did not take when ho carried off Jeconidh, the son of 
Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon, and all thenooles of Judah 
and Jerusalem ; yea, thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of 
Israel, respecting the vessels that remain in the house of Jehovah, 
and in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem : They 
shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they remain till the 
day that I look after them, says Jehovah, and fetch them out to 
bring them back to this place.* 

> Jer. xxvii. 18-22. 

' Those vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had carried off. 2 
Kings xxiv. 13. 

* The brazen frames on which were placed the lavers used for 
washing the sacrifices. 1 Kings vii. 27-37. 2 Chron. iv. 6. 

* They were not carried to Babylon intact, but were broken 
np, for easier transport, Jer. lii. 17. But the brass or copper of 
which they were mode, stored away in the treasure house of 
the king of Babylon, might well be among the vast gifts of the 
old sacred vessels, etc., taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and restored to 
the returning captives by Cyrus, Ezsa i. 11. As to transport 
across the desert, and their removal to Babylon being impossible, 
as a recent critic maintains {The Bible in the Jewish Church, 
p. 116), it is enough to say, that Assurbanipal records that he 
carried two lofty obelisks from Thebes in Upper Egypt, to 


le house 
."« For 
)rve the 
1 waste P 
be really 
D vessels 
bho king 
>n ! For 
sting the 
the ton 
e son of 
of Jndah 
I God of 
n : They 
1 till the 
m. out to 

off. 2 

ised for 

pper o£ 
ouse of 

of the 
ored to 
)hat he 
ypt, to 



Tho false prophets thus vijjforously exposed, were natu- 
rally roused to violent opposition to Jeremiah.^ One of 
their number indeed, Ilnnaniah of Gibeon, a priest town, 
a little way north of Jerusalem, ventured wome time 
in August, n.c. 59 1<, ^ to contradict him iu public before 
the priests and all the people. Such pretenders to 
revelation were atnong the hardest trials of their still 
faithful brethren, ^ and, in this case, when the fate of 
the nation trembled in the balance, tho pain caused 
by their treacherous course was specially distressing. 
Using the very stylo of Jeremiah, his rival began : 

Jehovah of hosts,* the God of Israel, has spoken thus — " I have 
broken tho yoke of the king of Babylon 1 Within two years' 
time I will bring back to this placo all the vessels of the house 
of Jehovah, that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away 
from tbis place and carried to Babylon. And I will bring back 
to this place, Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, tho king of Judah, 
and all the captives of Judah that went to Babylon; for I wiU 
break the yoke of the king of Babylon." 

Jeremiah himself was among the crowd, and stepping 
out as soon as Hananiah had ended speaking,^ addressed 
him aloud. 

Amen ! Jehovah do so ! ' Jehovah establish your words which 
you prophesy about the bringing back again tho vessels of the 
House of Jehovah, and all the captives, from Babylon to this 
place I Only— hear this word that I speak in your ears, and in 
the ears of all the people! Not I alone, but the prophets who 
have been before me, and before you, have prophesied, long ago, 
war, calamity,' pestilence against many countries and great king- 
Nineveh. What an obelisk weighs is easily imagined 1 See 
Records of the PasU voL i. p. 67. 

» . Jer. xxviii. L > 5th month of 4th year, Jer. xxviii. L 

* Jer. xxiii. 9; xxix. 8, 9 ; xxxi. 32. Ezek. xiiL 

* Jer. xzviii. 2-4. • Jer. xxviiL 5. 

* Jer. xxviiL 6-9. » « Famine," Ewald., 




I ■■■ 




doms. Yon, who prophesy peace, shall he known to be a prophet 
traly sent by Jehovah, when your word comes to pass. 

Bat Hananiah was not to be silenced.^ Snatching 
from the neck of Jeremiah the ox yoke he had put on 
when the embassy from Moab and other neighbouring 
kingdoms first came to Jerusalem^ and still wore, he 
broke it across, ii.nd cried out as he held up the pieces : 

Thus says Jehovah : Even so will I break the yoke of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, king of Babylon, from the neck of all nations, within 
two years' time. 

Disdaining further dispute before the crowd, Jeremiah 
now walked away. But he had no intention of letting 
Hanoniah escape. Going to him privately, he told him, 
in the name of Jehovah, that he had broken a wooden 
yoke, only to prepare an iron one for the people, in its 
place. For Jeiiovah had said : 

I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that 
they serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. And they aliall 
serve him, and I have given him even the beasts of the field. 

Then, addressing the pretended seer more directly, he 
added : 

Hear now, Hananiah, Jehovah hr^s not sent y^ >\ but you make 
this people trust in a lie ! Therefore Jehovah ^peaks thus : Be- 
hold, I will send you forth from off the face of the earth, that is 
My prophecy in your case ! This year you shall die, because you 
have spoken rebellion against Jehovah! 

Two months later the impostor was dead.' 
The prediction of Hananiah is a plain indication that 
secret negotiations, perhaps unknown to Zedekiah, or 
beyond his control, were already afoot between the 

» Jer. xxviii. 10, IL 
• * Jer xxviii. 1, comp. xxviii. 17. 

e a prophet 

id put on 
wore, he 
) pieces : 

:e of Neba- 
ions, within 

, Jeremiah 

of letting 

told him, 

a wooden 

pie, in its 

ations, that 
they shall 
Q field. 

reotly, he 

you make 

thus : Be- 

[■th, that is 

3caase you 

bion that 
[kiah, or 
reen the 



Egyptian party in Jadah and the court of Psammetichus. 
It is also clear that a strong feeling in favour of a league 
with the surrounding nations, against Chaldea, prevailed. 
The flattering assurance of the false prophet had been 
based on his sanguine confidence in the success of all 
this diplomacy. He had spoken simply from unreliable 
political calculations, f)ut his words none the less para- 
lysed the wise and patriotic efforts of Jeremiah. His 
sudden death, however, so soon after the prophet's de- 
nunciation, was not without effect. It appears to have 
decided Zedekiah, for the time, to resist the Egyptian 
party, and remain true to Nebuchadnez7iar, to whom he 
had so recently done homage at Babylon. Terrified lest 
the report of the embassy from the neighbouring states 
to Jerusalem should prejudice his master against him, 
he resolved to send an embassy to his capital,^ to explain 
the matter, and vindicate himself from any suspicion of 
disloyalty or treason. Awed by the judgment on Hana > 
niah, he seems, moreover, to have sought to win the favour 
of Jehovah by a special gift to the temple of a set of 
silver vessels, to replace the golfden ones that had been 
carried off by the Chaldeans.^ 

Ever eager to serve the true interests of his nation, 
Jeremiah gladly seized the opportunity of the embassy to 
Babylon, to warn the exiles of the folly and hopelessness 
of their schemes. This ho did in a letter addressed to the 
elders, priests, and prophets among them, which ran thus : 

Thus says Jehovah of hosts,' tlie God of Israel, to all the 
captives whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem 
to Babylon. (Live no longer in tents) but build houses for your- 
selves, and live in them, n^nd plant gardens and eat their produce, 
(Act as permanent inhabitaucs of the land, not as if soon to leave 

^ Jer. xuz. 3. 

8 Bar. i. 8. 

> Jer. xxiz. 1-7. 

If J 

[IS i!" 




:? I 




it.^ Take wives and beget sons and daughters, and take wives 
for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they 
n^ay bear sons and daughters ; that ye may increase there and not 
grow fewer. And seek the prosperity of the town to which I 
have caused you to be carried off, * for in its prosperity you will 
find your cvsn 

For thus says Jehovah of hosts,' the God of Israel: Let not the 
prophets who are among you, and your diviners,' deceive you, and 
do not listen to your dreams, for which you so earnestly strive.* 
For they prophesy falsely to you in My name. I have not sent 
them, says Jehovah. For thus says Jehovah : I will visit you, first, 
only after seventy years for Babylon are ended, and will only 
then perform My good word toward you, to bring you back to 
this place. For I know the thoughts that I think respecting you, 
says Jehovah ; thoughts of good and not of evil ; to give you a fu- 
ture and a hope. Then (when the sufferings of your exile have 
taught you the knowledge of your sins) you will t. 11 upon Me, and 
go (to your house of prayer) and pray to Me, and I will hearken 
to you. And ye will seek and find Me, when ye seek Me with all 
your heart. And I will let Myself be found of you, says Jehovah, 
and I will bring the captives back again, and I will gather you 
from all the nations, and from all the places to which I have 
driven you, says Jehovah ; and I will bring you back again to the 
place from which I caused you to be carried away captive. 

As to your saying, " Jehovah has raised up prophets to us in 
Babylon "* — (I know that they build great hopes on the present 

> Most of the exiles were settled in the or en country, appar- 
ently ; not in a town. But the chief men may have lived in some 

s Jer. xxiK. 8-14. 

• The word is used in 1 Sam. xxviii. 8, of necromancer, but it 
means men who foretell in any heathen mode, by arrows, entrails, 
teraphim, or lots. 

The most intense efforts were made, by sleeping in holy places, 
fasting, and keeping the mind fixed on special wishes, to induce 
dreams of the kind desired. See the case of King Assurbanipal. 
Lenormant*s Magie, p. 135. Impostors also preteLded to dream 
Buch dreams as their clients wished. This is perhaps alluded to 
in Ihe text. * J«r. xsdz. 15. 





d take wives 
ids, that they 
there and not 
n to which I 
irity you will 

: Let not the 
3eive you, and 
nestly strive.* 
jave not sent 
^isit you, first, 
and will only 
', you back to 
sspecting you, 
give you a fu- 
our exile have 
upon Me, and 
'. will hearken 
ik Me with all 
says Jehovah, 
ill gather you 
which I have 
ngain to the 


Sets to us in 
n the present 

iintry, appar- 
ived in some 

ancer, but it 
◦ws, entrails, 

a holy places, 
es, to induce 
ed to dream 
s alluded to 

oontinnance of the kingdom under Zedekiah), but, verily, thus 
says Jehovji-h of that king, who now sits on the throne of David, 
and of al' ihe people that dwell in this city (Jerusalem), your 
brethren, who have not gone with you into captivity, — thus says 
Jehovah of hosts : Behold, I will send among them the sword, the 
famine, and the pestiletif^e, and make them like vile figs, that 
cannot be eaten, they are so bad. And I will pursue those who 
flee with the sword, the faTnine, and the pestilence, and give them 
over to ilUtreatment * in ail the kingdoms of the earth ; and to be 
a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a scoru^ among 
all the nations whither I have driven them. Because they 
hearkened not to My words, says Jehovah, which I sent to them 
by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending. Bub 
they would not hear, says Jehovah. 

Nevertheless, hear now, the word of Jehovah, all ye of the 
captivity, whom I have banished from Jerusalem to Babylon. 
Thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, respecting Ahab 
the son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who 
prophesy lies to you in My name; Behold, I will give them into 
the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he will slay 
them before your eyes. And all the exiles of Judah who are 
in Babylon will adopt a new form of curse from their fate, saying, 
"Jehovah make thee like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of 
Babylon roasted in the fire" — Because they have committed 
lewdness in Israel, and have preached adultery with their neigh- 
bour's wives,* and have spoken lies in My name, which I did not 
command them to speak. But X know it, and am a witness, says 
Jehovah 1 

This letter created the greatest excitement among the 
mock prophets in Babylon.^ It was an attack on the 
sacred order ! It discredited its members in the public 
estimation^ and threatened to be fatal to the plot from 

* " Hake them a plaything of the wind," Ewald. " Make them 
a shuddering." The word comes from a verb, " shake," *' to agi- 
tate,*' " to tremble." Gheyne^ " to disquiet, to maltreat." 

* This may refer to going after their neighbour's gods. Per- 
haps, however, they miNy have been secrotly immoraL 

s' Jer. zxix. 24-32. 


I ! 





i ill 















which a speedy return of the exiles to their native land 
was hoped. Shemaiah,^ one of these prophets, wls 
especially indignant at Jeremiah's advice to build houses 
and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their produce; 
waiting patiently till the seventy years of their banish- 
ment had passed away. Unable to reach him otherwise, 
he vented his indignation in a fierce letter to Zephaniah, 
now the priestly commandant or chief ofiicer of the 
temple,* copies of it being at the same time forwarded to 
the people of Jerusalem and to some of the ordinary 

"Jehovah," said this missive, "has made yon priest instead of 
the priest Jehoiada, to be overseers in the House of Jehovah, 
charged, with respect to every madman who gives himself out as 
a prophet, to punish him by putting him in the five-holed stocks,* 
or by making him wear the heavy wooden collar.^ Why, then 
have you not in this way rebuked the presumption of Jeremiah of 
Anathoth, who makes himself out to you to be a prophet ? " 

* The Nehelamite = son of Nehelam, or inhabitant of Nehelam. 
But the name itself is otherwise unknown. 

* Jer. xxi. 1. Pashur had held the oflBce some time previously, 
Jehoiada had succeeded him, and now this Zephaniah held the 
pos^ which may have been tenable for only a year. 

■ Jer. XX. 1. 

* The word is Tsinok, and seems to have been a hravy wooden 
colh\r which the sufierer had to carry about with him, as among 
the Arabs still. It makes escape impossible, from its weight and 
size. Burckhardt, The Bedouins, p. 420. Kiietschi thinks the 
Mahpecheth, which is by some supposed to have been a five-holed 
" stocks " in which the body was bent nearly double, was a con- 
trivance in which the arms and legs were inserted crosswise, the 
name meaning " twisting." The Sad, Job xiii. 27, he believes 
to have been a pair of stocks in which both hands and feet, or 
even the neck also were inserted. Herzog, vol. iv. p. 703. See 
note, p. 319. 


: native land 
ophets, WLS 
build houses 
eir produce; 
iheir banish- 
n otherwise, 
) Zephaniah, 
Beer of the 
orwarded to 
he ordinary 

est instead of 
B of Jehovah, 
liraself out as 
•holed stocks,* 
* Why, then 
>f Jeremiah of 

) of Nehelam. 

le previously, 
liah held the 

f-avy wooden 

m, as among 

3 weight and 

i thinks the 

a five-holed 

, was a con- 

osswise, the 

he believes 

and feet, or 

I. 703. See 



His special offence to the writer, that he had counselled 
the exiles to settle down contentedly in Babylon, was 
then detailed, and with this the letter closed. 

Shemaiah had good reason to believe that this attack 
on the prophet would be successful, for Zephaniah, like 
himself, belonged to the anti-Chaldean party; his dis- 
loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar costing him his life, at Riblah, 
a few years later.^ But in this case he acted honourably. 
Summoning Jeremiah before him, he reed the letter to 
him, but took no action on it. Such an attempt to injure 
a true prophet was not, however, to be overlooked by the 
seer himself, and Shemaiah, to his horror, found, before 
long, that a counter letter, in reply to his fierce denuncia- 
tion, had been sent back to the exiles, which marked him 
out as the object of Divine displeasure, and pronounced, 
in the name of Jehovah, a terrible punishment for his 
audacity. ." 

"Thus says Jehovah," wrote Jeremiah, respecting him, "Be- 
cause Shemaiah has prophesied to you, exiles, and I did not send 
him, and he caused you to trust in lies; therefore, thus says 
Jehovah : Behold I will punish him and his posterity. He shall 
have no man to dwell among this people, nor will he see the good 
that I shall prepare for My people, says Jehovah, because he has 
spoken treacherously respecting Jehovah ! " 

Equally vigorous resistance to the Egyptian, or war 
party, showed itself in the far distant settlement of the 
exiles on the Chebar. Jeremiah had sent his letter to 
them in the middle of the fourth year of Zedekiah.^ A 
year later, about July, B.C. 593,' a new prophet — Ezekiel, 
" whom God strengthens "—was divinely commissioned 
at Tel Abib, on the Euphrates, to urge on his country- 

» Jer. liL 24, 27. 2 Kings xxv. 18, 21. « Jer. xxviii. 1. 

s Ezek. i. 1, 2. Schroder says 594. 


f i 

.: i. 

.; ;. 

! 1; ' 



1 ' 

; ■ 






men there, tbe same counsels. Like Jeremiah, the new 
seer was the son of a priest. He had been carried oflf, 
as we have seen, at the deposition of Jehoiachin, and 
was now living with his wife, among the exile commu- 
nity, in a house of his own.* Of his life or work we 
know little. The few details left us show, however, that 
he found the career of a faithful prophet as painful on 
the Chebar as it had always been at Jerusalem, for the 
bitter hostility he had to endure from his fellow-country- 
men is significantly compared to walking through briers 
and thorns, or living among scorpions.* To add to all 
this, his wife, to whom he was devotedly attached, died 
early,^ under peculiarly distressing circumstances. 

It may have been from this relentless opposition, and 
perhaps, also, from the circumspection needed under a 
government like that of Babylonia, that Ezekiel intro- 
duced a new practice — of collecting an audience round 
him in his own house, to hear his communications, 
instead of going to places of public concourse to 
harangue the multitude. The "elders," or chief men, 
gathered round him, from time to time, in his dwelling 
at Tel Abib, to hear his prophetic counsels, but the mass 
of the people seem to have paid little attention to him. 
"When they did come to his staall assemblies, he tells 
us, they appeared too often to have no motive but idle 
curiosity ; * listening to his w ords for the sweetness of 
his voice, as one might listen to music, but paying no 
further heed to them.* With the changed times, the 
prophet was laying aside his public character, and pass- 
ing gradually into the sacred writer, speaking to the 
world only indirectly. 

* Ezek. iii. 24 ; viii. 1 ; xxiv. 18. 
» Ezek. xxiv. 16-18. 

* Ezek. xxxiiL 32. 

« Ezek. ii. 6. 

* Ezek. xxxiii. 30. 

xhf the new 
carried off, 
iachin, and 
lie commu- 
)r work we 
)wever, that 
painful on 
iem, for the 
ough briers 
> add to all 
}ached, died 

osition, and 

led under a 

ekiel intro- 

ience round 


ncourse to 

chief men, 

is dwelling 

Lit the mass 

ion to him. 

, he tells 

re but idle 

reetness of 

paying no 

times, the 

and pass- 

ng to the 

xiii. 30. 



Trained as a priest, Ezekiel shows his early associations 
at once in the character of his visions, and in the culture 
of his fitylo. Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Jeremiah had 
taken a lively interest in the everyday affairs and pass- 
ing moods of their fellow-countrymen. Their prophecies, 
or discourses, had been intensely practical; touching, 
each moment, every relation of public, social; and private 
life. Ezekiel, on the other hand, speaks and writes in a 
way of his own, which is in striking contrast to that of 
his predecessors. Retiring, and indisposed to the part 
of an orator, he was more at home as the venerable 
spokesman of a private group, than in the market place 
or the town gate. Fond of study, he shrank from noise 
and excitement. No other prophet shows so full an 
acquaintance with the older Hebiew literature, especially 
the Pentateuch; references to which his whole 
Book. The language of Genesis respecting the crea,tion 
of man are in effect repeated by him ; * the garden of 
Eden is often mentioned ; ^ the list of nations described 
in his account of Tyre is borrowed from the Table of 
Nations in the first book of the Bible ; ^ the names of 
precious stones, which occur so often, are taken from the 
Pentateuch. The bounds of the Holy Land, which >.;> 
gives in his great prophetic vision, are almost identical 
with those of the Book of Numbers.* A whole series of 
legal prescriptions, noticed in his prophecies, are quoted 
directly from the Pentate\3ch, as may be seen in any 
reference Bible. He shows his acquaintance with the 
prophecies of Hosea and Isaiah, but especially with those 

* Gen. i. 28. Ezek. xxxvi. 11. 

* Ezck. zxviii. 13; xxxi. 8; xxxvi. 34. 
■ Gen. X. Ezok. xxvii. 

* Ezek. xlvii. 13 ff. Num. xzxiv. 


lit ' 


V ! 


■> ■ dk 

; ! 






of his elder contemporary Jeremiah,^ freely using their 
terms of thought and phrases, as he does those of the 
Books of Moses. While, therefore, his genius shows 
itself in frequent passages of lofty sublimity or v:*jorous 
strength of expression, there is, on the whole, less 
originality and freedom of thought, than in the more 
illustrious of his prophetic brethren. Thus, even his 
great inaugural vision, grand as it is, recalls details of 
the temple with which as a priest he was familiar, and 
ftlso of the virion of Isaiah,^ while his picture of the 
future temple reminds us of the description of the build- 
ing of the tabei-nacle, in Exodus.' The influences of his 
priestly training are, indfied, everywhere apparent, in 
contrast to the characteriscics of Jeremiah, who, though 
also a priest, has no BwSh professional colouring in his 

The explanation seems to lie in the different position 
of the two, in relation to the sacred institutions of their 
common religion. Far from the temple and its stated 
ofiforings; banished from the theocratic atmosphere of 
Jerusalem; Ezekiel 3oald not, like Jeremiah, move and 
speak freely, with the consciousness that the symbols of 
the visible kingdom of God witnessed for themselves 
amidst the community. He could only betake himself 
to the regions of fancy and memory, and call up a vision 
of the temple, and its services he loved so well ; now lost 
to him for ever. Nor did a genera- picture bnture his 
imagination content hiiu. With a passionate devotion 

^ Ezek.xxxvii.22. Hos. ii. 2. 

„ xxix. 6. Isa. xxxvi. 6. 

„ viii. 12. „ xxix. 15. 

w vii. 18. Jer. xlviii. 37. 

E ,ek. V. 16. Jer. xxiv. 9. 
„ vi. ll.^.* 
„ xxix. i7ff. f „ xxiv. 7. 
„ xi. 19ff.) 

* Isa. vi. 

^.nd LiJ en. 

» Exod. XXV. ffi 

using their 
bose of the 
inius shows 
or vigorous 
whole, less 
1 the more 
s, even his 
s details of 
amiliar, and 
btire of the 
f the build- 
ences of his 
apparent, in 
rho, though 
iring in his 

pnt position 

ons of their 

I its stated 

losphere of 

move and 

symbols of 


ike himself 

up a vision 

1 ; now lost 

bnture his 

)e devotion 

Jer. xxiv. 9. 
H xxiv. 7* 



to exactness in ritual that marks the character of his 
mind, he almost anticipates Ezra in the importance he 
attaches to the minutest ecclesiastical details. 

How long Ezekiel continued his labours is not clear, 
nor is it known when he died. Twenty-seven years after 
leaving Jerusalem, he was still busily engaged in his mis- 
sion as prophet,^ but though this is the latest date in his 
Book, he may have lived and worked much longer. 
Tradition speaks of him as having been murdered by a 
Jewish noble whom he had offended, and a tomb said to 
be his, noted for a lamp kept continually burning, and 
for a copy of the prophecies said to be in his autograph, 
was seen by Benjamin of Tudela in the 1*^5 th century.* 

* Ezek. xxix. 17. 

' Layard visitei this tomb, and found it only a plain building, 
without the ornaments or manugcripts it once contained. He 
quotes at length the description given by Benjamin of Tudela. 
Nineveh <md Babylorh vol. v. p. 501. 



',u ,: 


; ' 



.! • 


f t. 

■ i V, 




EZEKIEL had lived five years amongst his brethren 
at Tel Abib, his mind full, no doubt, of the con- 
cerns of Judah and Jerusalem, whose utter ruin seemed 
close at hand, through their restless plotting against 
Nebuchadnezzar. Around him the same violent political 
excitement was everywhere visible. Prophets, claiming 
to speak for God, openly predicted that Babylon would 
fall within the next two years, leaving the exiled Jews 
free to return in triumph to their own land.^ The authori- 
ties had, indeed, executed some of these agitators, with 
fearful tortures, but their flattering promises were not 
the less eagerly cherished by the Hebrew community. 
Jeremiah's letter from Jerusalem, counselling content- 
ment in Babylonia, as their home for the next seventy 
years, had failed to quiet the ferment of the general 
mind. Meanwhile the priest Ezekiel, far from the 
temple and its priestly employments, was engrossed by 
the religious interests of his people, recognising to the 
full, that their past calamities were due to their guilty 
faithlessness towards Jehovah. To lead them back 
to Him, and thus restore their glory as a nation by 
regaining His favour, was the thought of his life. His 

' Jer. xxviii. 3. 

is brethren 

af the con- 

uin seemed 

ug against 

nt political 

s, claiming 

ylon would 

xiled Jews 

he authori- 

ators, with 

} were not 

mm unity. 


xt seventy 

e general 

from the 

grossed by 

ng to the 

leir guilty 

lem back 

nation by 

life. His 



heart cried out for God. The sanctuary on Zion being 
lost to them, ho would fain bring back Jehovah to 
their midst by making their hearts His living temple. 
Communion with Him in His ancient oracles roumled 
the days and nights of His servant. The awful revela- 
tions of Sinai ; the wonders wrought for Israel in Egypt, 
the wilderness, and the chosen lan'l ; His self disclosures 
in the temple on Mount Moriah, and His gracious com- 
munications through a long succession of prophets, 
were his absorbing meditation. Others mi«^ht busy 
themselves with wild dreams of political changes, and a 
speedy return to Palestine; he lived in a higher sphere — 
in the spiritual presence of Jehovah and amidst the 
realities of eternity. Religious enthusiasm filled his 
soul as the flame fills the shining crystal of the lamp. 
To be near God himself, and to bring his people near 
Him, was his one overmastering passion. 

Thus unconsciously prepared for Divine communica- 
tions, he was quietly resting, perhaps in his house, pos- 
sibly under his vine and fig-tree, ^ on some day in July,* 
a fiercely hot month in Babylonia — his mind filled 
to intensity with the high matters always engaging it 
— when suddenly the heavens seomed to open towards 
the dark aad mysterious north, the region of tempests ; 
ominous, to a few especially, as the region from which 
the judgments of God^ on Israel had for centuries come. 

» Ezek. i. 1-18- The year is spoken of as the 30th. But from 
what? Soma sav from the last jubilee; others, from the 18th 
year of Josiah's reign, when the Law was found and the Pass- 
over held. Others think it means the 30th year of the prophet's 

' In the "4th month," Tammuz. 

' The north was the land of darkness and mystery to the 
ancients, and as such, fittingly the region from which this 
mysterious vision appeared. 

• ) 




s \ 



I .1, 


) , 



Tho sky grow black with clouds ^ driven before a mighty 
wind' and, in the midst of tho darkness, lightnings 
quivered hither and thither, illuminating the storm with 
awful splendours, and casting a far spreading brightness 
around. Amidst the central glory, moreover, shone out 
an overpowering radiance as of mingled silver and gold,' 
and in this, as the tempest cloud came near, borne on 
the wings of tho storm, four living creatures appeared, 
upright, and in outline like a man, but each with four 
faces — of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle ; having four 
wings, with human hands beneath them, and feet like 
those of an ox, and like the feet of that creature, mov- 
ing only straight forward, but shining like polished brass. 
Two wings of these mysterious forms were outstretched 
above ; the two others covered their bodies beneath. 
Each Form, never turning aside, advanced in a straight 
line, with a swiftness like that of the lightnings round 
them. All, moreover, moved together, as by a common 
will; their appearance in keeping with the surround- 
ing splendour, for they shone like glowing coals, or 
blazing torches, bright fire flashing between them, and 
lightnings darting from it. 

Forthwith a new sight revealed itself. Four vast 
wheels, of awful height, appeared by the side of the 
four living creatures, bright, throughout, as the then 
famous precious stone of Tarshish — the topaz or chryso- 
lite — their rims full, everywhere, of eyes. They, too, 
went straight forward, simultaneously, repeating each 

' Tho word translated oloud in A. V. is from a verb " to cover " 
— and is collective in the sense of clonds covering the sky. 

^ The word comes from a verb ** to rash " or " be tossed/' as a 

^ Electron; a mixture of gold and silver, £unoas among the 



re a mighty 
storm with 
^ brightness 
f shone out 
r and gold,' 
r, borne on 
IS appeared, 
h with four 
having four 
id feet like 
)ature, mov- 
lished brass, 
3S beneath. 
1 a straight 
r.ngs round 
a common 
9 surround- 
g coals, or 
them, and 

Four vast 
side of the 
the then 

or chryso- 
They, too, 
ating each 

) " to cover " 

iOBsed," as a 

among the 


movement of the four living forms, as if by the same 
impulse. At times on the earth, at others they rose 
into the air; now thoy stood, and then, again, thoy 
flashed on, like light. 

But now a third wonder showed itself. A firmament 
of awful, glittering brightness, bent itself over the heads 
of the living creatures and over the wheels ; the wings 
of the cherubim, underneath, sounding like the noise of 
many waters, or the voice of the Almighty itself, or 
the loud murmur of an army of men, as the vision swept 
on. Then, as in a moment, the whole stood still, and 
the wings of the cherubim were folded, at the command 
of a Voice from the firmament above them. 

Presently, as if resting on these upper depths, a throne 
of sapphire stone was seen — the throne of the Eternal 
— and on it a form of a man, clothed to His loins 
with dazzling brightness, and thence, to His feet, with 
flaming fire; a mighty rainbow encircling the throne, 
above. It was " the appearance of the glory of Jehovah." 
Overwhelmed by a spectacle so transcendent in all its 
parts, Ezekiel seemed, in the vision, to fall on his lace, 
but while thus prostrate, was roused by a command from 
the Eternal : ^ " Son of man, stand on thy feet, and 
I will speak to thee." With the words came power to 
obey them ; his soul and body, which had well-nigh, 
fainted, receiving strength to stand before the Almighty 
and listen to His communications, so that he found him* 
self set once more upon his feet. Other words, mean- 
while, fell on his ears, from Him who sat on the throne. 

Son of man, I send thee to the sons of Israel ; to the rebellions 
heathen (Israel), who have revolted from Me; who, like their 
fathers, have sinned against Me to this very day! They are 





1 Ezek. ii. 1-10. 

VOL. v. 

F ff 

— • . r 



sons hard of forehead and hard of heart. I send you to them, 
and you shr*!! say to them, "Thus says the Lord Jehovah!** 
and thus, whether they hear or refuse to do so — for they are no 
longer t,lie House of Isiael, but the House of Disobedieuce — ^they 
shall kno^ that a prophet has been among them ! 

But. &s to yourself, O son of man ! have no fear of them or 
of their words ; though they bo thorns and briers round jou, 
and though, living amongst them, you live among scorpions 1 
Have no fenr of their words, and be not dismayed at their looks ; 
for they are a House of Disobedience I But thou, son of man. 
Hear what I say to thee, and be not thou rebellious like that 
House of Disobedieuce I Open thy mouth and eat what I give 
you I 

A hand now appeared, in the vision, stretched out to 
the prophet, holding the roll of a book, which, on being 
spread before him, seemed covered, on both sides, with 
lamentation, and mourning, and woe. Required to eat 
this, ^ he found it like honey in his mouth, for sweetness. 
The act was tho symbol of his consecration as prophet. 
But, now, the Voice spoke once more. 

Son of man ! ^ go, get you to the House of Israel, and speak 
My words to them. You are not sent to a people of dark speech 
and hard language, but to the House of Israel; nor to many 
peoples of dark speech and hard language, whose words you 
could not understand. I have sent you, on the contrary, to these, 
thy countrymen, who can understand you. But the House of 
Israel will not listen to you, because tiny will not listen to Me. 
For the whole House of Israel are hard of forehead and hard of 
heart ! 

* "To "at " is a common Eastern phrase for receiving, accept- 
ing, and the like. The Hindoos still speak of "eating blows, 
grief, wounds, and so on." Six Years in India, pp. 107, 120, 131, 
193. Nothing is more common, sa^ j Lightfoot, in the schools 
of the Jews, than the phrase of eating and drinking, in a rnettv* 
phorical sense. Horm Heb., vol. iii. p. b87. See Kev. x. 9. 
Jeremiah (xv. 16) speaks of eating the Divine words. 

* Essek. U?.. 1-U. 


u to fhom, 
Jehovah ! ** 
,hey are no 
ieuce — thoy 

of them or 
round you, 
; scorpions I 
their looks ; 
son of man, 
as like that 
what I give 

bed out to 
1, on being 
sides, with 
ired to eat 
' sweetness, 
as prophet. 

d1, and speak 
dark speech 
lor to many 
words you 
ary, to these, 
he House of 
isten to Me. 
and hard of 

ring, accept- 

ating blows, 

07. 120. 131, 

the schools 
in a meta- 

Rev. X. 9. 



(6nt I will make you able to meet their defiance with defiance !) 
Behold I make your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead 
as hard as their foreheads. I muke your forehead like adamant, 
which is harder than fiint stones. Have no fear of them, and be 
not dismayed at their looks, for they are a House of Disobedience. 

A pause followed, and then the Voice resumed. 

Son of man ! take into your heart, and hear with your ear?, all 
the words that I say to you, and go, get you to the Captivity, 
the children of your people, and say to them *' Thus says the 
Lord Jehovah" — whether they hear or refuse to listen. 

The wondrous vision was now about to close. Ezekiel 
had received his Divine commission. But its close was 
sublime. The Spirit, he tells us,^ seemed to come on 
him again, and bear him from the imaginary scene, to 
the midst of his fellow-captivos at Tel Abib, the voices 
of the living creatures breaking forth like the sound of 
rolling thunder, in high worship of God, as the vision 
faded in the distance, his ear catching from their hymn 
of adoration the words, " Exalted be the majesty of Jeho- 
vah ! ** The sound of their wings, as they disappeared, 
and of the living wheels at their side, like the noise 
of many waters, presently died away, and the prophet 
woke to find himself once more in his home at Tel Abib. 
But the strain on his whole nature had its effect. A 
reaction followed. The words in which the wickedness 
of his people had been rebuked, filled him with mingled 
grief and indignation ; while the awful splendours of the 
Divine manifestation left him so weak and prostrate that 
a week elapsed before Le iL a measure came to himself. 

This vision stands alone for mysterious sublimity. 
Clear in its great lesson > of the omniscience, omnipotence, 
and majesty of Jehovab, it is confessedly beyond any 

I Bzek. iii. 12-14. Keil has " wind " for " spirit,"— the word 
means both. 

; ill 


1 :'1l 


! .1 I' 





satisfactory explanation in its details. The difficulty of 
adequately comprehending it— a feature marking other 
portions of Ezekiel — ^has always been felt, and early led 
the Jews to place the book among those "trefijures"^ 
not to be read by any below the age of thirty.* Much, 
however, may be learned, even from a vision so mysterious, 
as to the relations between the natural and divine in 
inspiration. The source of many of its most striking 

TsB A8STBI4V God AvsAUUBtscv, from one of the Palace Gates, Nineveh. 
Knovra also as Annamelech, or Kewan, the planet Saturn. It is called in the 
insoriptions, "the Posses-sor of Power," the Warrior," "the God of Battles," "the 
Bearer of the Bow," " the Lord of Fire." The people of Sepharvaim offered their 
cliildren to it, burning them alive. 

features can be ea£.i^y traced. Jehovah had descended 
on Sinai amidst thunders, and lightnings, and tempest, 
as He now approached from the North. The fiery cloud 

Genazim. They iuoludod also the first chapters of Genesis, 
and the Cauticles. ' Jer., Ep. ad Eustochium. 




' fi! 

liffioulty of 
king other 
id early led 
bref iiures"^ 
iy.3 Much, 
i divine in 
)st striking 

Gates, Ninoveh. 

is called in the 
)f Battles," "the 
iim offered their 

id tempest, 
fiery cloud 

•s of Genesis, 

had its prototype in that which hung oyer the tabernacle ; 
winged creatures overshadowed the shrine in somo 
Egyptian temples,^ and in Solomon's temple two cheru- 
bim bent over the mercy seat, while two others, of gigantic 
size, stood at the sides of the Holy of Holies. In Baby- 
lonia, moreover, the notice of the prophet miist have 
been arrested by the constant recurrence of huge forma 
of winged beings, uniting the most opposite features. 
Winged bulls, lions, and eagles, on every side, guarded 
the entrances to the palaces and temples of Babylon. 
Seen for the first time by the exiles, on their arrival at 
Babylonia, they must have struck with special awe men 
coming from a land where all sculpture was prohibited, 
and where even the idols introduced in violation of their 
sacred law, were human in shape, with the exception, 
perhaps, of the ox-headed Moloch. Forms in all respects 
similar to the cherubim of Ezekiel's vision would not 
meet the eye of the prophet, but he would have before 
h^ji gigantic creations, with the face of a man, the wings 
of an eagle, and the body of a lion or a bull. That these 
should Jiave associated themselves in his mind with a 
vision of the majesty of Jehovah, was only in keeping 
with a law of reveiation and of our intellectual nature. 
We can only conceive of the unknown from the known. 
We may enlarge or combine the elements we have, but 
we have no power of creating imaginations out of nothing. 
Hence the inspired writers in all ages availed themselves 
of facts and imagery with which they were familiar. The 
usages and symbols of Egypt mark the earlier books of 
the Pentateuch. In Palestine, the figures and metaphors 
of the sacred writers are derived from things round them ; 
ondj in the same way, in Babylonia, they used their 

* See illastratioD in Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians. 


• I kj 

< '! 






Chaldean experiences. Indeed, the very word cherub is 
only the Assyrian Kirub, 

The symbolism of Ezekiel, as contrasted with that of tht 
earlier Scriptures, is nevertheless significant. At Sinai, 
his forefathers *' saw no simil;,tudo " of God. But living, 
as he did^ amidst gigantic human figures of gods, shining 
in golden splendour, we have, for the first time^ in his 
vision, a form assigned to Jehovah, as if, by gathering 
round Him a splendour compared with which that of the 
idols grew pale, he would lift the thoughts Oi l^is country- 
men to His infinitely transcendent glory, and y^t utilize 
the impressions made on their minds by the religion of 
the locality. It will be remembered that in this ho was 
followed by Daniel,^ writing amidst the same influences. 
He also uses imaginary beings, as symbols, in his visions.* 

It need hardly be said, that the scenery of a vision or 
waking dream can be only a picture of the brain. No 
one has ever fancied that any class of the blessed spirits 
before God have really such forms as Ezekiel describes. 
Ho simply adopted the Materials which he found en- 
ployed around him by degrading superstition, and through 
them, transferred the same ideas of guardianship to the 
throne of heaven, purifying these, as he did so, from 
the taint of all lower associations. That they are only 
symbols, is shown, indeed, very stniiingly by the fact 
that whereas, in one passage, the face of one of the four 
living creatures is said to have been that of an ox, in 
another it is described as that of a cherub.* It is singular 
and noteworthy, moreover, that a picture on an Assyrian 
cylinder, now in the British Museum,* presents a strange 
analogy to the details of the cherubic vision of Ezekiel. 

» Dan. X. 9. ' Dan. vii. 3 fi". » Ezek. i. 10; x. 14. 

* Figured in Tomkins's Life and Times of Ahraham, Plate III. 
figure K. 




ohernb is 

that of the 

At Sinai, 

Jut living, 

is, shining 

me, in his 


hat of the 

3 country- 

nt utilize 

eligion of 

is ho was 


s visions.' 

vision or 

pain. No 

led spirits 


)und en- 

i through 

lip to the 

so, from 

are only 

the fact 

the four 

•n ox, in 

I singular 


\ strange 


); X. 14 
Plate UI. 

A mysterious vessel floats on waves expressed by undu- 
lating lines. It ends, at its prow and poop, in a human 
form, extending downwards to the waist. On the vessel 
itself two Kerubim, or winged bulls, stand back to back, 
and turn human faces to the spectator, their position in- 
volving the presence of two others behind them, to bear 
up the four corners of a flat surface which rests on 
their shoulders, and possibly corresponds to Ezekiel's 
firmament. From this rises a throne on which is seated 
a bearded god, clothed with a long and gorgeous robe, 
his head surmounted by a Babylonian tiara, and his 
extended hand holding a sceptre and a large circle or 
ring, which is without ornament. A smaller human 
figure, clothed with a long robe, stands before the god, 
to receive his commands — his angel, or malach, to use 
the Hebrew word; h.\s schickhil, in the phrase of Assyria. 
He is the intermediary through whom mortals must 
approach the divinity,^ Overhead, at the sides, are two 
crescents, as if indications of heavenly bodies, and above 
these there still remain portions of an arch, which may 
have been the counterpart of Ezekiel's rainbow. 

The human- headed bulls of Assyria and Babylon wero 
set up, as has been said, at the gates of palaces and 
temples, as guardian genii, to watch over the buildings 
within, and keep back all forbidden persons. They were 
regarded as alive; a spirit being supposed to dwell in 
the hugo stone forms. Similar existences, in living 
bodies, not prisoned in stone, were believed to guard the 
gates of the heavenly palaces of the gods, and those of 
the lower regions ; these latter subterrestial beings bear- 
ing up the earth oh their backs, and guarding the entrance 

* Fried. Delitzsch compares this figure to the man clothed with 
linen, with a writer's inkhoi'n at his hide, rf bo carried out Jeho- 
Tah's commaads. Ezek. ix. 3. Wo lag dat Paradies ? p. 151. 






to the kingdom of the dead ; as keepers of which they 
were the objects of prayer.^ 

For seven days after the vision, Ezekiel tells us, he 
could *do nothing, but sat among his people at Tel Abib, 
in lonely and desolate grief, like one mourning ; his mind 
overwhelmed, for the time, alike by the awful vision he 

had seen and the greatness 
of the responsibility laid on 
him by his Divine commis- 
sion as a prophet. Only at 
the end of a full week — the 
usual duration of excessive 
mourning* — was his silence 
disturbed, and then by the 
voice of God speaking in the 
fitillness of his spirit. Ho 
had been set apart as the 
public servant of Jehovah, 
but he might not have fully 
realized what his office im- 
plied. Before he went forth 
to his brethren, Jehovah 
would have him feel its aw- 

wivGEi, GBKirs. »oif TH. ToKB M sacrednoss. Appointed 
or cybus, at MuBoiB, xhb anciemt to the ministry of His word 

Pasaboada. It has the head-dress x'l. • i. i. jJ 

and the ram's horns of the Egyptian amOUg men, the mtereS^S 01 

god, Kneph, or Amon. Over it ia the ^\^q goujg ^f Jjig hoarorS ^'Cre 
inscription, "I am Cyrus, the king, 

the Acheemcnian." It is a portrait of entrusted tO him. Let Lim 

Cyras,deifled. The inscription is in the ^^^J«„ «,l,«4. ;*• ^^•^i;^.! I 

three forms of cuneiform writing.- POndor what it implied ! 

Justi,Ge8chicht6d68AltenPersims,p.47. Would that all who haVO tlo 

* On the whole snbjecb of the chernbim, see Lenormant, Xet 
Onginea de VHiatoire, pp. 113-127. Dillmann, arfc. Cherub, in 
Bib. Lex. Fried. Delitzsoh, Wo lag daa Paradiea ? pp. 160-165. 
Kurtz, art. Cherubimf in Herzog, ^ Job ii. 13. 






^s of 



ilied ! 

e tie 


cure of souls in our own day took to tliemsolves the 
warnings, uttered more than 2,000 years ago on the 
banks of the Chebar ! 

Son of man !* [spoke the Voice], I have appointed thee a watch- 
roan to the House of Israel : hear, then, the word from My mouth, 
and warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, " Thou 
shalb surely die ! " and you do not warn him (that I have done so), 
or speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, so that he 
may save his life, that wicked man shall die for his sin ; but I 
will demand his blood from you.^ But if you have warned a 
wicked man, and he does not turn from his wickedness and his 
evil way, he will surely die for his sin ; but you have saved your 
Boul. And, if a righteous man fall from his righteousness, and 
commits iniquity, and I cast a stumbling block before him, and 
he die; if you have not warned him, he, indeed, will die for his 
sin, and his righteous deeds will be forgotten ; but I will demand 
his blood from you I But if you have warned a righteous man 
to keep from sin, as becomes a righteous man, and he does keep 
from it, he shall assuredly live because he has been warned, and 
you will have saved your own soul 1 

Thus cautioned, Ezekiel seems to have gone forth 
among the Hebrew community, as his order had always 
done, to urge on them the necessity of repentance and 
better life, and to disenchant them of the idle dream that 
they would soon return to Judah, and find Jerusalem as 
they had left it. That they would remain in Babylonia 
seventy years, and that the Holy City would assuredly be 
destroyed for its sins, was, we may be assured, the burden 
of his addresses. But he spoke to men who bitterly 
resented predictions opposed to their cherished desires. 
The bitterness and glowing indignation of his soul'^ at 
their ungodliness, which doubtless showed itself in his 
words and tone, instead of subduing them, only raised 

1 Eaek. iU. 15-21. 

^ Lit., •* from, or at your hand." 
' EzbK. ill 14. 





fierce opposition, before which he was powerless. It 
was impossible for him to get a hearing. So far as pub- 
lic appearances were concerned, he could do nothing. 
Utterly discouraged, and at a loss how to fulfil his duty 
hereafter, he could only wait directions from God. Nor 
were those long withheld. While his soul still glowed 
with overpowering excitement at all the incidents r^f tho 
recent pa . a r an and came from Jehovah^ — how re- 
cogi s^d t.H hiwh 18 not said — that he should go out from 
among tl.i ivveli.rgs of men, to a valley at hand, and 
await Divine instruv; jus. In this lonely spot the glory 
of Jehovah once more suddenly shone before him, re- 
, splendent as it had been on the banks of the Chebar, 
and, as then, he fell on his face to worship. Presently, 
however, he was raised and set on his feet by the same 
Divine power as in the former vision, and received orders 
to desist, henceforth, from any attempt to speak in public, 
except when specially directed to do so. From this time 
he was to stay quietly in his house. His brethren would 
not hear him, but by their resolute opposition would, as 
it were, lay chains on him, and bmd him to the seclusion 
of his home. He was therefore to be silent, and cease 
from reproving them, because they were a House of Dis- 
obedience I X et, when Jehovah opened his mouth, ho 
was to go boldly among them, and tell them, " Thus says 
the Lord Jehovah," and he that heard might hear, and 
he that refused might refuse. From this time, therefore, 
till nearly the close of his prophecies,^ we hear of no 
public activity on the part of the prophet, though he is 
often spoken of as announcing the word of God to thoso 
who came to him to hear it.* 

The symbolical acts, parables, proverbs, poems, allo- 

» Ezek. iii. 22-27. ' Ezek. xxxiii. 22; comp. xxiv. 27. 

• Ezek. viii.-xi. 12} xiv 17; xviii. 20; xxi. 6, 12; xxiv. 18 flf. 

less. It 
r as pub- 
his duty 
od. Nor 
II glowed 
its rty tho 
—how re- 
out from 
hand, and 
the glory 
him, ro- 
3 Chebar, 
the same 
'ed orders 
in public, 
this time 
ren would 
would, as 
and cease 
56 of Dis- 
nouth, ho 
Thus says 
lear, and 
!ar of no 
gh he is 
to those 





iv. 18 flf. 

gories, and direct prophecies, which constitute the re- 
mainder of his Book, must hence be conceived, for the 
most p.i^'t, as communicated at first, only to the small 
groups who, from time to time, gatliered in the housi 
of the projAet. xiis life, in fact, was spent in private. 
Abroad, among men, he was but a citizen ; only in the 
privacy of his dwelling was he a preacher. 

The earliest instance left us of this quiet but effective 
activity shows that Ezekiel was in intense sympathy with 
Jeremiah, and offered unbending opposition to the ideas 
of his brethren in Babylon, as to the' Rpeedy return to 
Palestine. Symbolical actions, as v/^ h e seen, were 
not uncommon among the prophets : '^t vith none were 
they so frequent as with Kzekiel T\ impress on his 
neighbours the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in the 
face of all the predictioas of the ^^^^ prophets, he was 
directed^ to represent the siege of Jerusalem, and all its 
miseries, by a series of emblematic uctions. He was to 
take one of the common sun-dried bricks, of which nearly 
all the buildings around him were made, and draw on it 
the picture of Jerusalem, with all the circumstances of 
a siege ; to raise works around the walls ; to picture the 
usual wooden towers overlooking them ; the huge mounds 
of earth enclosing the ramparts, from which the besiegers 
could assail the defenders ; the encampments and attack- 
ing hosts ; and the battering rams, to make breaches in 
thf* fortifications. This done, he was to set before the 
b: ick, the iron baking-plate of the household, to repre- 
sent a wall of iron encircling the city and making escape 
hopeless, while he, himself, as the prophet and represen- 
tative of Jehovah, was to press the siege. Seen by those 
who came to his house, it would, through them, be a sign 
to the Hebrew community at large. 

» Ezek. iv. 1-3. 


■I R 





To this strange illustration of acted prophecy another 
was soon added.* To represent the wretched condition 
of the city, thus shut up, and the sufferings which Israel 
as a whole, in its twelve tribes, must bear, for their sins, 
he was directed to lie on his bed, like one chained to it 
by sickness or force ; keeping himself for 390 days on his 
left side, to indicate, by a day for a year, the duration 
of the punishment of the Ten Tribes ; and then 40 days 
on his right side, to symbolize as many years of visitation 
on the House of Judah ; " setting his face," meanwhile, 
towards the pictured siege of Jerusalem, and baring hia 
arm to indicate unimpeded action. In each case the 
iniquity of his brethren was to be assumed as metaphori- 
cally laid upon him. Such directions must not, however, 
be understood as required to be literally carried out by 
the prophet, for he could not have been called upon to 
endure the torture of never turning from one side for 
*^ '"teen months together ; an infliction inevitably fatal to 
any one, though God, of course, could have strengthened 
him to bear it. The whoic must rather be taken as a 
parable, enacted from time to time, before the companies 
met at his house, and explained as the Divine intimation 
had directed.^ To attempt to solve the full meaning of 
the symbolism is, however, a task, in which scholars 
have never agreed. The numbers given may have been 
clear to contemporaries, but to later ages they have only 
enforced Jerome's comparison of the prophet's writings 

» Ezek. Iv. 4-8. 

* Cornelius a Lapide says : " The prophet cannot bo understood 
to have lain in bed for 390 days, but lay down awake, as if besieg- 
injr, or rather looking at the siege of, the city." Fairbairn says : 
"Few will be disposed to doubt that the successive actiions took 
place only in vision." Ezekiel, moreover, is represented as sitting 
in his house before the days of his lying in bed could have been 
completed. Cha,p. viii. 1. 




cy another 
bich Israel 
their sins, 
ained to it 
lays on his 
B duration 
en 40 daya 
f visitation 
baring his 
1 case the 
:, however, 
ed out by 
)d upon to 
e side for 
Ay fatal to 
aken as a 
leaning of 
have been 
have only 

.8 if besieg- 
bairn says : 
ctions took 
id as sitting 
have been 

to a " hopeless maze," " a labyrinth of the mysteries of 
God," or to the inextricable windings of the catncombs 
under Rome. Even the Jews, indeed, early despaired so 
utterly of solving such dark questions, that they were in- 
clined to exclude Ezekiel from the canon, had not Rabbi 
Ohananiah, as the legend says, finally reconciled all 
discrepancies, and illuminated all diL.culties, though at 
the cost of studies so protracted as to have required for 
his midnight lamp no fewer than 300 skin-bottles of oil.^ 
One refer'^nce, however, of the 390 and 40 days — about 
14 months * — seems clear, for they are expressly named 

* Shahhatht fol. 13, col. 2. The skin-bottle was the entire skin 
of a sheep or goat sewed together and made into a bottle or 
hanging jar. 

* As it may interest readers to have some of the countless 
explanations given of the 390 and 40 years, I append the follow- 

1. TnEODOKET follows the reading of the Sept., which gives 150 
days instead of 390, but retains the 40, making altogether 190. 
The 40 years he takes to be 40, yet wanting, of the 70 of the cap- 
tivity of Judah ; 30 years of it, in hi? opinion, having already 
passed. He reckons the period from the first prophesying of 
Ezokiel to the reign of Cyrus as 40 years ! The 150 are obtained 
by running on to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, in which 
Theodoret tells us Jerusalem was fully rebuilt. 

2. Taking the numbers in the Hebrew Text— 390 and 40-430 
— the following sclutions among others have been offered. Some, 
says Jerome, thought the 430 years mean the period from the bap- 
tism of Christ to the end of the world. Others, especially Jews, 
he tells us, reckoned from the second year of Vespasian, when the 
temple was destroyed, supposing that 430 years of misery and 
captivity must be fulfilled by Israel, from that date, and thought 
that then the chosen people would be restored, as they of old were 
430 years in Egypt (Exod. xii. 40). 

3. Ephraem Syrus reckons the 430 years from the first year of 
Solomon to the eleventh of Zodekiah, when the temple was burnt; 
a period, he says, of 433 years and 6 months. 

4. Jerome reckons from the twentieth year of Fekah, in which 







"the days of the siege'' of Jerasalein, which, in fact, 
lasted iioarlj 18 muuths, including the time during 

ho tells us Tii^lath Piloner curried oil' the flt'ht cuptive^ fmiii the 
Kortlicrn Kin^^dom. From iliis to the burning of the temple 
under Zedekiah he counts 161 yearn. Add 70 years for ihe Gup* 
tivity, and we have 234 years, l^'rom this to the last year of 
Ahasuerua he counts 155 years and 4 months, and these added 
to the 234 years, make 339 years and 4 months. The 40 years 
he obtains " easily." From the reign oE Jehoiachin to that of 
Gyrus is, as he calculates, just that period 1 

5. The later Rabbis reckon the 390 years from the entry of the 
Israelites into Ganaan, giving 151 years to the Judges and 211 to 
the King4 of Israel, from Jeroboam to Hosco. 151+241*392. 
But they deduct the last year of Ho.sea, because he had been 
carried off from Samaria. The 391 left are reproduced by the 
round number 390. Ttie 40 years are obtained by counting the 
first 16 years of Manasseh, during which idolatry was rampant, 
and then adding 24 as embracing the period from king Amon 
to the burning of the temple, the good reign of Josiah being 
passed over. 

6. Others calculate the period from Jeroboam to the destruc- 
tion of the temple as 390 years, and the 40 years from the 
thirteenth year of Josiah, in which Jeremiah began to preach, to 
the burning of the temple. 

7. Our ordinary chronology gives a period of 390 years from 
Eehoboam to the burning of the temple, b c. 977-587. 

The 40 years in the wilderness are thought by not a few to 
have been in the mind of Ezekiel in mpeaking of Judah, but I do 
not myself see the connection. 390 added to 40 make 430, the 
length of the sojourn in Egypt. Exod. xii. 40, 41. Gal. iii. 17. 

Bosenmiiller (Scholia in Ezeh.^ pp. 107>117), gives extracts from 
the Fathers from which I have condensed these memoranda. 
His own explanation is ingenious. He finds the 390 yeara in the 
period from Hchoboam to the burning of the temple under 
Zedekiah; the 390 days, as follows. From the 4th of the 9th 
month, in which the siege began (2 Kings xxv. 1 ; Jer. xxxix. 1; 
Iii. 4) to the 4th of the 9ih month o£ the eleventh year ot 
Zedekiah, on which it ended (2 Kings xxv. 3 ; Jer. xxxix. 2 ; Iii. 
6), are 530 days of a lunar year. From this be deducts 100 days. 

nnsT PROPnEciEs of ezekiel. 


h, in fact, 
10 during 

9A from the 
the temple 
'or the Cup. 
lost year of 
these added 
tie 40 years 
to that of 

mtry of the 
I and 211 to 
e had been 
need by the 
)iinting the 
18 rampant, 
kiii^ Amon 
)8iuh being 

le destruo- 
I from the 
) preach, to 

years from 

•t a iew to 
but I do 
ce 430, the 
1. iii. 17. 
racts from 
ears in the 
pie under 
3f the 9th 
'. xxxix. 1; 
year of 
xix. 2 i Hi. 
100 days, 

which the Chaldeans interrupted it, to march against the 
Egyptian army.^ 

A third symbolical act of the prophet set forth the 
extremities to which Jerusalem would bu reduced in the 
siege,' and the bitterness of the years of exile. He was 
to take grain and leguminous food of all kinds, from the 
best to the poorest — wheat, barley, beans, lentiles, millet, 
and vetches, and mixing them all, make bread of them 
for the 390 days of the typical siege. Such food was 
in itself unclean, by the mixture of which it was made ; 
a very serious matter to a' strict priest like Ezekiel.^ Of 
this he was to eat only the weight of twenty shekels, or 
12 oz. troy, a day, while the water he was to drink daily 
was to be only the sixth of a hin, )r a pint and a half/ 
terribly little in so warm a climate. The utter want of 
all firing in Jerusalem during the siege, was to bo indi- 
cated by the most revolting materials being used to bake 
the bread of each day. In treeless regions like the 
deserts of Africa or Arabia, or the steppes of Asia, the 
dried dqng of sheep, goats, camels, or oxen, is the 
ordinary fuel,* supplemented, as far as possible, by any 
stalks or weeds obtainable. Cowdung made into cakes 
and dried in the sun is, indeed, still used by the very 
poor in Palestine. But a fire even of such squalid 
materials was to be represented as beyond the means of 
the besieged, and Ezekiel was to prepare his pittance, 

as he time daring which the Chaldeans intermitted the siege, 
whei. marching against the Egyptian army, and thus gets 430, 
which includes the 390 of Israel, and the 40 of Judah. This 430, 
be notices, was the time assigned to the stay of the Ilobrews in 

» Jos., Ant, X: viii. 1. * Bzek. iv. 17. 

■ Lev. xix. 19. * Conder's Uardbooh, p. 81. 

* Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, p. 288. 



>.i .. 


' .;*> 



by laying ifc in the ashes of a much more offensive fire, 
as "barley cakes" were usually baked.^ Thus would the 
Hebrews, he was divinely told, " eat defiled and abomin- 
able bread, among the heathen nations to whom they 
would be driven," as had been foretold already by Amos 
and Hosea.^ But the very thought of Levitically pollut- 
ing himself, even by a symbolical act, was intolerable to 
the priestly feelings of the prophet. It would not defile 
him to eat bread baked with the dried dung of oxen or 
other animals, for the ashes of such fuel in no way afiect 
what is baked in them by it, but bread made as proposed 
would be "unclean." "Ah Lord Jehovah," cried he, 
therefore, in distress, " behold, my soul has not hitherto 
been defiled by my eating anything ceremonially un- 
clean; for from my youth up, I have never eaten the 
flesh of that which died of itself, or had been torn in 
pieces by wild beasts; nor has any unclean flosh come in- 
to my mouth." ^ Fuel of cowdung, such as was common, 
was, in consequence, substituted, and the solemn words 
added, that Jehovah would break the staff of bread in 
Jerusalem ; bread, like the staff in a man's hand, being 
that on which the ciuy leaned for support. Their bread 
would be eaten by weight, and their water measured out 
to them, and drunk in terror, to let them pine away for 
their iniquity. 

Still another sign, however, was to be given,* that by 

* 1 Kings xvii. 12. Isa. xliv. 15. Jer. vii. 18. 

* Amos vii. 17. Hosea ix. 3. 

* To speak thus, Ezekiel must have been well acquainted wit.h 
the Levitical legislation, contrary to the new criticism, whic«i 
supposes it was not invented till after his day. See Lov. xvii. 15. 
Exod. xxii. 30. Deut. xiv. 21. Lev. v. 2; vii. 24; xxii. 8; xi. 39 ff; 
vii. 18 ; xix. 7 ; xxvi. 26, 39. These laws must, moreover, have 
been ligidiy observed by strict Jews. So much for the lato 
origin of the Peutateuoh. * Ezek. v. 1-4. 

lensive fire, 
s would tho 
,nd abomin- 
whom they 
iy by Amos 
jally pollut- 
tolerable to 
d not defilo 
of oxen or 
o way affect 
as proposed 
" cried he, 
not hitherto 
lonially un- 
r eaten the 
een torn in 
3sh come in- 
as common, 
lemn words 
of bread in 
hand, being 
Their bread 
easured out 
Qe away for 

m,* that by 

uainted with 
icism, which 
Lov^. xvii. 15. 
i. 8;xi.39 ffj 
reover, havo 
for the late 



one or other, the dark prospect before both the exiles 
and Jndah, might bo realized. Ezekiel was to take a 
barber's knife, and shave off his hair and his beard. 
Himself representing the city, his hair was to stand for 
its inhabitants, and its being cut off, the shame and 
ruin before Jerusalem.^ The hair, moreover, was to be 
destroyed in various ways, to show the different modes 
in which the Divine judgments were to strike the guilty 
people. A third part was to be burnt with fire, in the 
midst of his picture of the city, when the days marking 
the duration of the siege were over ; a third was to be 
cut to pieces ; and the last third to be scattered in the 
wind. A few hairs only, and these counted, so few their 
number, were to be bound up in his skirts, but even of 
them, ho was afterwards to burn some. Then came tho 
solemn words :— 

Thus saith the Lord Jehovah ; ^ This is the fate of Jorusalem. 
I havo set) her ia the centre of the nations, and of their lands 
round about it.' But she has wickedly rebelled against My laws 
more than the heathen,^ and against My statutes mure than the 
lands round about her ; for her people have despi.ied My laws, 
and as to My statutes, they have not walked in them ! 

» 2 Sam. X. 4. Isa. vii. 20. ' Ezek. v. 5, 6. 

• The Jews believed from this verse that Jerusalem was the 
centre of the world (BuxtorfE, Lex. Glial., p. 854), us the Greeks 
supposed of Delphi, the seat of Apollo. Cio., Do Dlvlnat., ii. 56. 
Ovid., Metam., x. 167. Theodoret dwells on this imaginary fact in 
his commentary on the text. See also, Keland'a Pulestine, Bk. I. 
chap. X., and Jarchi on this place. A spot fancied to be the 
centre of the world is still shown in the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre at Jerusalem. The Arabs think Mecca the centre of 
the world, and the Parsi fancies the sacred mount Albirsch has 
the honour of being so. See Gesenius, Jesaia, vol. i. p. 179. 

* She has wickedly exchanged My laws for those of tho 
nations. Ewald. 

VOL. V. Q a 

i' !; 



_ .r. 



Therefore thus says the Lord Jehovah : * Because yon have 
been mnch worse in your rebelliousness than the heathen nations 
round about you; ' because you have net walked in My stanutes, 
nor kept My laws, but have do:iti according to the laws of the 
heathen nations round you — therefore, thus says the Lord 
Jehovah: Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute 
judgments in the midst of thee, before the eyes of the nations. 
I will do in thee what I have never done, and ths like of which 
I will never again do, because of all thy abominations ! Fathers 
will eat their children in the midst of thee, and children will out 
their father;:!, and I will execute judgments on th<)e, and scatter ' 
all that remain of thy people to the four winds ! * 

As I live, saith the Lord Jehorah ' — because thou, Jerusalem^ 
hast polluted my san(?tuary with all thy detestable idols, and 
all thy abominations of heathenism, I will, assuredly, shear thee 
away, as My prophet's hair has been shorn off; • My eye will not 
spare, nor will I have any pity ! A third part of thee will die 
of the plague, and be consumed by famine, in the midst of theo ; 
a third part will fall by the sword that shall be round about 
thee; and the last third will I scatter to all the winds, and 
unsheathe a sword behind them. Tuus will I exhaust my in- 
dignation upon her, and then, first, when My fury has fallen 
on them, 7 will I feel satisfied,* for they will then know that I, 
Jehovah, spoke in earnest • when I have spent My fury on them ! 

Thus, O Jerusalem,'" will I make thee a waste, and a mockery 
among the nations round aboui thee, before the eyes of all that 
pass by. And thou shr/lt be a contempt and a reviling, an 
example, and an astonishment, to the nations round about thee, 
when I execute judgments on thee, in anger and in wrath, aud 
iu the chastisements of My fury. I, Jehovah, say it ! Yes ! I 

» Ezek. V . 7-10. 

^ Because ye have reckoned yourselves as among the nations. 
Ewald, from Peshito. 

* As men tlu'ow abroad the chaff with a winnowing shovel, on 
the threshing floor on the top of windy hills. 

* Lit., " to all the winds." « Ezek. v. 11-13. 

• The verb means primarily, " to scrape off," "to shave off." 
<f Or, cooled itself on them. ■ Lit., " be oomfoited.'* 

• Lit., •* in zeal." »<» Ezek. v. 14-17. 

ise yon have 
athon nations 
i My statutes, 
e laws of tho 
ys the Lord 
I will execate 
)f the nations, 
like of which 
3n8 ! Fathers 
ildr on will eat 
I, and scatter' 

in, Jerusalem^ 

ble idols, and 

lly, shear thee 

[y eye will not 

thee will die 

midst of theo ; 

3 round ahout 

10 winds, and 

[haust my in- 

iry has fallen 

know that I, 

ury on them ! 

lid a mockery 

(>s of all that 

reviling, an 

d about thee, 

n wrath, and 

it! Yes! I 

the nations. 



will send the deadly arrows of famine among them, which will 
destroy them, for I send them for that purpose ; famine on 
famine will I bring on you, and break your staff of bread! 
Famine and wild beasts will I send atnoiig you, to make you 
childless ! pestilence and blood will assail you, and I will bring 
the sword on yon 1 I, Jehovah, have said it I 

f !■ 



ng shovel, on 

I :i 


have off." 




THFJ -first twenty-four chapters of Ezekiel i,'nro?7 mucli 
light on the state of things among the exiles in 
Babylonia, in the years preceding the siege of Jerusalem. 
A close connection was kept up between them, and 
the capitpvl. Constant communications passed and re- 
passed,* and the tonderest mutual sympathy bound to- 
gether the widely separated communities. On the banks 
of the Chebar, the baninhM Hebrews seemed to think, 
or speak, only of the hills and valleys of Judah, the final 
and utter desolation of which they could not bring them- 
selves to believe. Jehovah would surely appear to save 
Israel, His firstborn,* from tlie o^ppre^.sor I 

It was given to Ezekiel, as ike mouthpiece of God, to 
dispr' this illusion, lime after time, by earnest assurances 
that they were deceiving themselves with false hopes, 
and that, instead of triumph, the most terrible doom hung 

' Travelling seems to have been quite safe under the Chaldeans. 
See p. 377. It had been the same under the Assyrians. Thrs, 
in the reign of Assurbanipal, a man appeared in Ninoveh in 
strange dr^ss, speaking a language no one uui]erHio(H\, and it vas 
f ii^> ''onnd out after some days that he was an ambaRsador from 
t.ho disvuiUt kingdom of Lydia, in Asia Minor. Smith '■ Aisyria, 

« fixed, iv. 22. 




over the community in Palestine. That of Jerusalem 
he had already proclaimed in :• succession of prophetic 
acts, which brought it before their own eyes, as it were, 
by the most vivid symbols ; but Judah, as a whole, had 
hitherto escaped. Soon, however, it also had to be 
bewailed, as destined to a fate equally sad. To Ezekiel 
it must have been distressing ia the extreme to have to 
utter such dismal predictions of ruin ; but, like Jeremiah, 
he had no choice, when the commission to do so camo 
from above. The following is the first prophecy in which 
the Jewish state as a whole was set before the exiles of 
Chebar, as under sentence of final destruction. 

Son of man, * set thy face against the mountain of Israel and 
preach fegainst them, ' and say — Ye mountains o£ Israel, hear 
the word of the Lord Jehovali ! Thus says the Lord Jehovah 
to the mountaips and to the hills, to the torrent beds and the 
valleys, — Behold I will bring war against you, and will destroy 
your idolatrous high places.' And your altars slmll be laid 
desolate; your si n-pillars shall be broken; and I will cast down 
your slain men '<eforo your disgusting gods,^ lay the carcases 
of the sons of Isrucl before them,' and sea- ter their bones round 
your altars ! Wh irever you live, your towns shall be laid waste, 
and the high places made desolate, that your altars may be left 
without drink oire.'ings " and forlorn, and vour disgusting idols 
be broken and cease, and your sun-pillai cut down, and the 
images, the work of your hands, destroyed And the slain will 
fall in your midst, and ye shall know it I, Jehovah, have 
spoken.' When those of you who have escaped the sword shall 

» Ezek. vi. 1-10. 

2 ♦• Thou hast appointed prophets to ch of thee, etc." Neh. 

▼i. 7. 

' They had raised them again since they had been destroyed 
by Josiah. See Deut. xii. 2. Lev. xxvi. 3' >. 

\ Lit., " dung gods.'* Milhlau und Vulck. For " disgusting 
gods," the reader may substitute "duug gods," throughout. 

* Smend. Henderson. • L't., "dry." 

7 Eichhoru, Ewald, and Smeud, join i,:>e firsst word of vcr. 8 



bo among tho nationH ; when yo are Rcattercd through the 
cuiintricH, and your lugitivoH think of Mo among tho heathen, 
whither they havo heen curried captivo; when their unfaithlul 
heart B, which havo departed from Me, uhall feel broken, and their 
eyes which histed after their diHgiiHting gods; when they shall 
h)arho themselves in their own Hi^ht * for tho wickedness which 
they havo committed before all their abominable idols — then they 
will know that I, Jehovah, have not spoken vainly, when I 
threatened to do evil to them 1 

Thus says tho Lord Jehovah : * Smite your thigh with your 
hand, and t>tump with your foot, to show your indignation I ■ 
and say : " Alas for all tho abominations of the Hottso of Israel 1" 
For they shall fall by the sword, tho famine, and the pcslilonce. 
Ho that .3 far of)' will die by the poHtilence; he that is near, by 
tho swot d ; and ho that is left, and ho that is besieged, shall die 
by the fannne; and I will exhaust My fury on them, that they 
may know that I am Jehovah I When your slain lio among 
your disgusting godj, round about your altars, on every high 
hill, on tho top of the mountains, and under every green tree 
and every thick leaved oak — where they offered fragrant incense 
to all these disgusting gods — when I stretch out My hand 
upon ^hem and nuiko tho land waste and desolate, frotn the 
. wihiernesH in the south, to Kibluh on the north ^ — then shall they 
know that I am Jehovah I 

That preaching like this, though only heard at first 
by tho small audiences in tho prophet's own dwelling, 
should have remained without result, when spread by 
report through the community, shows how completely 
the sanctions of the ancient national faith had lost their 

to the end of ver, 7, and make it read "have spoken." It seems 
a judicious emendation, involving only a very slight change of 
the letters. * Lit., " their own faces." 

3 Ezek. vi. 11-14. ' Jerome, in loc. 

* It is Diblah in the Heb. text. But no place called Diblah 
is known, and Diblathaim in Moab does not suit the connection. 
Biblah is in 4 M8S., and was adopted by Jerome among ancients, 
as well as by Geseuius, Miihlau, Hitzig, Ewald and Smend 
among moderns. 



h rough tho 
ho lirathci), 
r unfaithlul 
III, and thoir 
II they shall 
Iiicss which 
I — then they 
kly, when I 

with yonr 
digimtioii 1 * 

of Israel 1 '* 
) postilonce. 

ia near, by 
cd, ttliull die 
n, thut they 

lie among 
every high 

green tree 
ant iiiceiiso 
^ My hand 
from tho 
u Bhall they 

d at first 
pread by 
osb thoir 

It seems 
Iriiiingo of 


led Diblah 
Id Smeud 

hold on the pooplo at largo. 'ITio prophet of God wa^A 
utterly discredited. Faith in Jehovah was practically 
extinct. To rekindle it wonld bo posaiblo only by tho 
bitter experience of a lonj*' captivity, liut, if without 
influence at the moment, the time would come when tho 
return of better feeling would make such warnings and 
reproaches of supreme value, in recalling the deep sin- 
fulness of tho past. Although, therefore, ho spoke, for 
the time, as if to tho idle air, tho prophet constantly 
returns to tho subject, that his own conscience, at least, 
might bo clear, when tho catastrophe arrived. lie knew, 
perhaps, that his words were carried back to Palestine, 
and that he thus spoke to those iintnediateiy in danger, 
as well as to his brethren in Babylonia. One of I huso 
additional warnings ran thus. The word of Jehovah, ho 
told his hearers, had come to hiir. '--tying •} 

Tlion son of man, thus saith tho Lord Johovah to tho father- 
land of Israel: Tho end cotne.s ; it, cornoH Ufion the fonr corners 
of tho land! It is now npon thco! 1 will .s(!iid out My an^er 
against thee, and wdl judge thco according to thy ways, and 
lay upon thee tho piinishinoiit of all thy ahorninarions. My 
eye shall have no compassion on il\,p.e, noitlior shall I pity thoe, 
but I will hiy tho piinislimont of thy ways upon thoo, and tliat 
of thy abominations shall come into thy midst — that ye may 
know that I am Jehovah ! 

Thus says the Lord Jehovah :' A calamity, a great calamity, 
sec, it comes! An end, tho predicted end, coincsl It lias 
slumbered long, but now it awakes a<^aiMHt thee ! See, it comes I 
Thy fate* steals upon thoe, O thou dweller in tin; land of Jiidah ! 
The time is at hand ! 'i'he day of tnmulb on tho mountains, not 
of rejoicings, is near! Now will I presently pour out My fury 


» E^ek. vii. 1-4. = Szek. vii. 5 9. 

* So TheodoYft, I)e Weite, WineVy Ewald, Kali, Geaeniue, HUzig, 
Hsngaienlerg. The word is Tsephirah, which means a circle or 
cycle. It is thus *> thy turn or time has come. 




upon thee, and let loose m)' angor on thee, to judge theo according 
to thy wnys, and lay on thee the punishment of all thy abomina- 
tions! And My eye shall ha^e no compassion on thee, neither 
will I have pity. I will render to thee according to thy ways, 
and the punishment of thy abominations shall come into the 
midst of thee — that ye may know that I, Jehovah, smite! 

Behold the day 1 Soo, it comes ! ' Fate quickens into life liko 
the bud of spring; the rod of vengeance buds; the haughtiness 
of Chaldca blossoms ; their fierceness haH shot up into a rod 
to punish the wickedness of the peopK^ of Judah ! Nothing shall 
remain of them, nor of their multitude, nor of their substance, 
neither shall there bo any funoral wailing for them ! The time 
it come ! The day draws near ! The buyer need not rojoic©, 
nor the seller grieve, tor fury descends on the whole people ! ^ 
For he who has boon forced by his exile to sell all ho had, will 
not return to buy back what ho sold, though he still live ; for 
the vision of calamity includes the whole population of Judah ; ' 
no one of the exiles will return, and no one in Jerusalem, with 
all his unrighteous gain from the forced sales of the property 
of his banished brethreu, \v'i[\ be able to keep to himself* even 
his life. 

They blow the trumpet* in Jerusalem, and make all ready for 
war; but their courage fails: no one marches out to the battle ; 
for my wrath is on all the multitude in the city. The sword is 
•vtaide, pestilence and famine within! He that is in the field 
w r die by the sword ; he that is in the city, him will famine and 
pesoilence devour. And any fugitives that escape will be on the 
mountains like the moaning doves of the cliffii, sighing every one 
for his sin! All hands will hang down powerless, all knees bo 
like water that flows trembling away. They will gird themselves 
with the sackcloth of mourning ; tremlung will seize their whole 

» Ezek. vii. 10-13. 

* Lit., " her crowd or multitude," i.e., the multitude in the 

' Snifiud. The exiles had been forced to sell their property 
in Jerusalem for next to nothing. But they will never return to 
claim the Jewish right of redemption of family land. 

* Lit., " strengthen.'' 

* Ezek. vii. 14-21. 

theo according 
il thy abomina- 
I thoe, neither 
5 to thy ways, 
come iuto tho 

la into life liko 
le haughtiness 
up into a rod 

Nothing shall 
tieir substance, 
em ! Tho time 
ed not rejoice* 
whole people ! ^ 
ill he had, will 
) still live ; for 
on of Judab ; ' 
Fcrusalom, with 
>f the property 

himscli'* even 

e all ready for 
to the battle ; 
The sword is 
is in the field 
11 famine and 
will be on tho 
ling every one 
, all knees bo 
ird themselves 
ZG their whole 

titude in the 

heir property 
ver return to 




frame; ^ despair will be on all faces, and baldness 'mall heads.' 
They will throw thoir silver into tho streets, and t.ioir gold will 
become an ahhorrcnce, for neither silver nor gold will be able to 
save them in the day of tho wrath of Jehovah, for it will neither 
satisfy thoir souls, nor fill thoir hungry bodies ; they will hate 
their wealth for deceiving tho trust put in it : through it they 
fell into sin.' Tho costly ornaments used for pomp, and tho 
images of thoir ahotninablo and hateful idols, made from their 
wealth, I will turn to bo their abhorrence, and I will give tho 
city to tho barbarians for booty, and to tho wicked of tho earth 
for Hpv)il, and they shall desecrate it. 

1 will also turn away my face from them,* and tho heathen will 
pollute even the temple — My unapproachable seat;* robbers will 
press into it, and defile it. Forj^o the chains, to load off My 
people captive ! For the land is full of deeds of blood, and tho 
city is full of cruel violence. For this I will bring tho worst of 
the heathen, that they may take their houses in possession; and 
I will cause their insol Mib pride to cease, and their holy places 
shall be defiled ! Destruction • comes ! They seek safety, but in 
vain ! Calamity will follow calamity, and evil tidings press after 
evil tidings. Then, at last, will they seek heavenly guidance' 
from the prophet, for counsel will no longer bo obtainable from 
the priest, or sound advice from tho experienced oiu." Tho king 
will show himself in sackcloth, and the chief men be clothed with 
speechless terror, and the hands of the common people sink down 
powerless. For I will deal with them according to their ways, 

* Lit., " covers them." 

* To shave the head was a sign of the deepest mourning, and 
had become a long-established custom, in spite of the prohibitions 
in Lev. xix. 28 ; Deut. xiv. 1, etc. See Micah i. 16. 

^ Paraphrased slightly. 

< Ezek. vii. 22-27. 

' t'rimarily, "concealed; " then, "not to be approached." 

* From the verb " to roll together,'' like a weaver's vrob. 
' Lit., " a vision," or " revelation." 

* The priests will have no " Torab. " for such circumstances ; 
and even the old, " the bearers of wisdom," will be at their wits* 
end. Tho " To rah " will perish from the one, and counsel from tho 



and jiidgo Uiom according to their deserta,* that they may ktiov? 
that I am Jehovah ! 

Tho eighth chapter of Ezekiel throws interesting light 
on the mental phenomena of Hebrew prophecy. In the 
sixth year of his exile from Jerusalem — that is, in u.c. 592 
— somewhere about September — tho iifth day of tho sixth 
month, Elul — tho prophet was sitting in his house speak- 
ing with tho exiled elders of Judah, who sat before him. 
The relations between him and the community had im- 
proved so far that, if he could not venture to spe. .; in 
public, he was, now, at least sought out in private by 
their chief men. The crushing of open conspiracy among 
the captives by tho vigorous action of the Babylonian 
government, had resulted in their being slighted by their 
brethren still left in Judali, who affected to sneer at what 
they chose to think their cowardice in quietly submitting 
to tho Chaldean, after all their boasting. Proud in tho 
possession of their city and temple, tho men of Jerusalem 
despised the exiles,^ who, in their turn, had envied the lot 
of their brethren at home as apparently happier than 
their own. But tho predictions of the fall of tho capital 
seemed less intolerable since its bearing to them was 
changed. The prospects of return were growing fainter. 
Personal interest in the welfare of a place which might 
never be seen again was insensibly weakened. Such a 
mood was favourable to the prophet, with whom tho Cap- 
tivity was tho divinely-appointed means for the religious 
revival of his people, and he therefore eagerly hailed any 
advances on their side. 

Things were passing from bad. to worse in Jerusalem. 
Idolatry was growing more grosa and varied. The sins of 
the inhabitants were rapidly wearing out the Divine long- 

' Lit., " judgments." 

* Ezek. xi. 15. 



ly may know 

jsting lij^ht 
;y. lu tho 
, in u.c. 592 
)f the sixth 
)uae spoak- 
bcforo hi in. 
ity had im- 
,0 spe. .». in 
private by 
racy ainon<^ 
ted by their 
leer at wliat 
'oud in the 
f Jerusalem 
vied the lot 
ppier than 
tho capital 
them was 
ing fainter, 
liich might 
Such a 
n the Cap- 
|e religious 
I hailed any 

[Phe sins of 
jivino long- 

15. . 

Buffering. If anything could shock tho exiles, and lead 
them to bettor tliouglits, it would bo to have the moral 
decay of the mother city brought vividly before them. 
Tlieir national prido would surely revolt at tho thought 
of Israel casting off tho mighty Jehovah, and sinking to 
tho level of tho heathen whom they formerly despised. 

It is almost impossible to realize what may, perhaps, 
without offence bo called the mental and spiritual exalt- 
ation which made visions like those scon by Ezekiel 
possible. They remind us of Balaam's "hearing tho 
words of God, and seeing the vision of tho Almighty," 
"falling down, but having h'.s eyes open" ;^ or of St. 
Paul's ecstasy, iu which — " whether in tho body or out of 
the body," he could not tell — ho saw " visions and reve- 
lations," 2 in vfhich he appeared to bo caught up to tho 
tiiird heaven, to Paradise, and heard unspeakable words ; 
or of the wondrous vision of St. Peter, when, being 
" very hungry," he " fell into a trance," or *' ecstasy,^ — 
the state of being out of one's usual mind, or the stretcliing 
out of the ordinary faculties — a utandhuj out of one's self 
— and saw tho heavens opened. But whatever physical 
or mental conditions were involved, tho whole nature of 
the prophet must have been kindled to a spiritual fervour 
and concentration, such as wo read of only in the history 
of a few great saints, while they were under intense 
religious excitement.* 

* Num. xxiv. 4. '2 Cor. xii. 1,2. 

* This is the Greek word. 

* For example, the trance of Mr. Grimshaw, Perpetual Curate of 
Haworth, 1742-1763. "On Sunday, September 2, 1741, his maid- 
servant was called up at five o'clock in tho morning, but found 
that her master had risen before her, and was retired into a private 
room for prayer. After remaining there some time, he went to 
a house in Haworth, where he was engage*! a while in religious 
exercises with some of his people. Ho then returned homo, and 

.! = :*' 


■ f I ! 

:f I 

4^ ^ 








■ 2.2 


U il.6 









WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 





Suddenly, then, while conversing with the elders, " the 
hand of the Lord Jehovah fell,'' or descended, " on him,"^ 
and forthwith the vision of the Almighty appeared, seated 
above the cherubim,* as he had seen it before. There 
was the same likeness of a man^ clothed with fiery bright- 
ness from his waist downward, and shining from thence 
upward, with the yellow radiance of gold and silver.* A 

retired for prayer again, and from thence went to church. She 
believes he had not eaten anything that morning. While reading 
the second lesson, he fell down, but was soon helped and led out 
of church. He continued to talk to the people as he went, atid 
desired them not to disperse, as he hoped he should return to 
them soon, and he had something extraordinary to say to them. 
They led him to the clerk's house, where he lay seemingly in« 
sensible. She, with others, were employed in rubbing his limbs 
(which were exceedingly cold) with warm cloths. After some 
time, he came to himself, and seemed to be in great rapture. The 
first words he spoke were — * I have had a glorious vision from 
the Third Heaven.' But she does not remember that he made 
any mention of what he had seen. In the afternoon he performed 
service at the church, which began at two o'clock, and spoke so 
long to the people that it was seven o'clock in the evening before 
he returned home." Newton's ii*/*e of Gh'imshaw, p. 36. Similar 
cases are recorded of Gol. Gardner, and of Mr. Tennant of 
Georgia, among others, in recent times. Handel used to say that 
he did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body 
during the composition of the Hallelujah Chorus in the Messiah, 
and Michael Angelo held that John of Fiesola could never have 
given the super- earthly look to the Virgin in his picture of the 
Annunciation, had he not been raised above the sphere of the 
seen and earthly, at the moment of its conception. The heavens 
are nearer us than we think, and may open to pious souls in mo- 
ments of transcendent spiritual exaltation, more frequently than 
we imagine. * Ezek. viii. 1-4. s Ezek. ix. 3. 

» For fire (ver. 2) read " man." Sept The word " fire " is ash ; 
the word for " man " diah. Same long sound of " a " in both as 

2.U "ate. 


* See p. 432. The Abbd Vigoroux thinks the Hebrew word 

ders, " the 
on him/'^ 
[•ed, seated 
:g. There 
jry bright- 
om thence 
diver.* A 

lurch. She 
hile reading 
and led out 
B went, and 
d return to 
say to them, 
jemingly in- 
Qg his limbs 
After some 
apture. The 
vision from 
lat he made 
e performed 
nd spoke so 
sning before 
36. Similar 

Tennanb of 
i to say that 
of the body 
he Messiah, 

never have 
cture of the 
>here of the 
?he heavens 
souls in mo- 
juently than 

ix. 3. 

fire " is ash ; 
' in both as 

ebrew word 



hand now seemed to be put forth and take hold of a 
lock of the prophet's hair, by which the spirit appeared 
to lift him up, and bear him between earth and heaven ; 
carrying him to Jerusalem, *'iu the visions of God," 
that is, as happens in a dream. There he was set down 
at the southern side of the gate of the priest's court of 
the temple, — within the inner sacred court, close to the 
spot where, on the other side of the gate, in the outer 
court, facing the north, Manasseh had raised a *' hewn 
image of an Asherah," ^ known since among the priests 
as "the image of jealousy;" its position beside the great 
altar, directly in front of the Holy Place, seeming a wilful 
defiance of Jehovah, "the jealous God."^ The same 
awful glory of the God of Israel, with the attendant 
cherubim and wheels, which the prophet had seen in the 
valley at Chebar, seemed to have passed before LIm to 
Jerusalem, and shone around him once more in the 
temple. Directed to look to the north,* he did so, and 
saw the " image of jealousy " standing close to the gate, 
on its outer or north side, the chief object before all the 
people, for it had been erected again since the death of 
Josiah. "Do you see," said the, Vision, "what My people 
do — the gross abominations committed here by the House 
of Israel, in worshipping this Asherah in My very House, 
as if to drive Me far off from My sanctuary ? But turn 
once more, and you will see still greater abominations. 


{Hasmal) refers to the coloured enamel on the bricks of Babylon 
and Nineveh, which would flash resplendently in the light. La 
Bible et lea Decouvertes Modenies, vol. iv. p. 361. 

* 2 Kings xxi. 7. The words " graven image " in our version 
(pfisel) means an image cut in wood, oi'of meiai, or of stone. In 
this case it was of wood. 

^ Exod. XX. 5; xxxiv. 14. Deut. iv. 24, 25; vi. 15. Isa. xlii. 8. 

s Ezek. viii. 6-12. 



The prophet was then brought to the north side of the 
archway of the gate at which he had been standing. A 
large chamber lay next this passage on the east side, 
the archway forming its western wall, which, as he came 
near, showed an opening in it, at one spot. "Dig 
through this,'' said the Voice, and Ezekiel did so. It 
proved to be an ancient doorway that had been closed 
up, perhaps, in the time of Josiah's Reformation, and led 
into a chamber large enough to let at least seventy men 
move in it freely. Here the sight was still more distress- 
ing than that of the Asherah. The chamber was dark/ 
but artificial light showed that its walls were covered, like 
those of the similarly dark chambers of Egyptian temples, 
with paintings of beast-gods of every form, from creeping 
things upwards. "These pictures, round about," said 
the Voice, "are all the idols of the House of Israel."' 
The strong Egyptian faction in Jerusalem, in their de- 
grading imitation of foreign manners, had introduced the 
animal worship of the Nile Valley, and had even turned 

» Bzek. viii. 12. 

^ One would have thought there could have been no question 
of the meaning of the words of this phrase as given in the A. V. 
(Ezek. viii. 12) — "all the idols of the House of Israel." Even 
Smend understands them as in the text. Bub Dr. Eobertson 
Smith actually finds in them " a form which indicates the exist- 
ence of family totems in Israel." Bible in Jewish Church, p. 366. 
A totem is the god of rude tribes in America, Australia, the 
islands of the South Pacific, and in Central Asia. It may be an 
animal, vegetable, or dead object ; but whatever it is, the tribe is 
called after it, as one tribe among the North American Indians 
is called " the Wolf," another " the Bear," and so on. Will any 
human being tell what possible support such an astounding as- 
sertion has from the simple words of E/ickiel P Of the theories 
of the new criticism it may surely too often be said, " We are 
such stuff as dreams are made of." The word for idols in tho 
text means " shapeless blocks of wood," " logs." 

i 1 



ide of the 
iding. A 
east side, 
s he came 
b. " Dig 
id so. It 
ien closed 
n^ and led 
/enty men 
e distress- 
v^as dark,* 
a temples, 
ri creeping 
3ut,'' said 
: Israel."* 
their de- 
duced the 
en turned 

10 question 

ti the A. V. 

el." Even 


the exist- 
rch, p. 366. 
tralia, the 
may be an 
he tribe is 
tn Indians 

Will any 
iinding as> 
»e theories 

" We are 
ols in tho 

a large room in the temple into a chapel for itS services.* 
But still worse, he saw in vision, in this chamber, seventy 
of the elders of Judah, the leaders of the people, the very 
men who should have discountenanced idolatry, standing 
before the hideous brute gods on the walls, each man 
with a censer in his hand, offering incense to them. Lay- 
men as they were, they had taken possession of a chamber 
in the court of the priests, and had appropriated the 
priestly censers for this vile use. Nor was this the only 
spot in the temple thus desecrated ; each of these wor- 
shippers had a chamber of imagery for himself, among 
the now otherwise unused halls and cells of the sanctuary.^ 
To add to his pain, Ezekiel saw among these apostates 
a son of Sbaphan — to whom Hilkiah had brought the 
Book of the Law, in the eighteenth year of Josiah — and a 
brother of Ahikam, the friend and protector of Jeremiah, 
and father of the godly but unfortunate Gedaliah.' So 
deeply had the canker of idolatry penetrated society. 
Here, in the dark of their idol chapel, the apostates 
fancied themselves unseen by Jehovah. " He had for- 
saken the land/' they said, '' and did not see them.'' 

But not only were the foul Asherah of the Phenicians, 
and the beast-gods of Egypt, worshipped in the temple 
— even the sun worship of the East had also found a 
footing iu its courts. Guided by the Vision,* the pro- 
phet proceeded to the outer north gate of the peoples' 
court, and there saw women, sitting in the black weeds 
of mourning, making loud laments for the death of the 
Syrian sun-god Tammuz or Adonis, whose festival they 

* Egyptian worship was held in many cases in dark chambers, 
tho walls of which were covered with hieroglyphics and paintings 
of- animal gods of all forms. See Diod. Sic, voh i. p. 59, ed. 
Wess. Amni. Marcell, B. xxii. See vol. ii. p. 22. ^ Ezck. viii. 12. 

» Jer. xxxix. 14; xxvi. 24 * Ezek. viii. 13-16. 

:4'f I 



were thus keeping j^ the wailing for his death being only 
a prelade to the obscene rejoicings which greeted his 
return as the Sun of Spring. But great as was this 
abomination, a still greater remained. From the outer 
court, Ezekiel was brought into the inmost, beside the 
great brazen altar. There, at the very door of the 
temple building, between the projecting porch of the 
Holy Place and the altar which stood immediately in 
front of it, the crowning desecration presented itself. 
In this, the very holiest spot of the sanctuary,' about 
twenty.five men, presumably representatives of the high 
priest and of the heads of the twenty-four courses,^ — for 
already in Uzziah's time laymen could not enter this 
sacred space* — stood with their backs to the temple — 
the open sign of apostasy^— «-and worshipped the rising 
sun, their faces turned to the east. 

" Son of man,'' said the Voice,* " hast thou seen this ? 
Is it too small a thing to the House of Judah to commit 
the abominations they do here ? Must they also fill the 
land with violence, as they have done, and constantly 
provoke Me to anger ; and see, now, like the Eastern 
heathen, they hold the twig to their nose as they worship 
the sun.^ I will, therefore, deal with them in fury; My 
eye shall not pity, ncr will I spare them, and even if 
they cry in My ears with a loud voice, imploring mercy, 
I will not hear them ! '' 

> See vol. iii. p. 360. « Joel ii. 17. 

3 2 Ohron. xxxvi. 14 * 2 Ohron. xxvi. 18. 

» 2 Ohron. xxix. 6. Isa. i. 4. Jer. vii. 24. « Ezek. viii. 17, 18. 

' The Persians, while they prayed to the sun held twigs of 
date, granate, and tamarisk, in their le|t hand, and the priests 
wore a veil, that their breath might not pollute the Holy One. 
Spiegel, Erdn. Alter., vol. iii. p. 671. The Ssabeans did the same, 
Chwolson, Die Seahier, vol. ii. pp. 384, 393, 199 ff. Lenormaut's La 
Divinatiorif p. 24. 



being only 
:reeted his 
3 was this 
1 the outer 
beside the 
)or of the 
rch of the 
sdiately in 
ited itself, 
try,* about 
f the high 
irses/ — for 
enter this 
) temple — 
the rising 

seen this ? 
to commit 
.Iso fill the 
e Eastern 
)y worship 
fury; My 
id even if 
ig mercy. 

(Tiii. 17, 18. 
d twigs of 
the priests 
Holy One. 
1 the same, 

Having disclosed the profound corruption of the people 
of Judah and Jerusalem, the Vision now, by a vivid 
image, foreshadowed the terrible penalty to be exacted. 
The Divine Voice was heard commanding aloud/ " Draw 
near, ye that are to punish^ the city; every man with 
the weapon of death in his hand \" Forthwith, six men 
appeared to come through the gate of the upper, or priests* 
court, which faced the north, every one with a weapon 
of death in his hand, a seventh^ following, clothed in 
white linen, like a priest * or an angel,® with a scribe's 
inkhorn at his side ; the whole passing into the priests' 
court, and standing beside the brazen altar. The glory 
of the God of Israel seemed then to rise from off the 
cherubim on which it had rested, and hang over the 
threshold of the temple, which it once more, for a mo- 
ment, revisited. From its midst the Divine Voice now 
cried to the man clothed in white linen, with the inkhorn 
at his side : " Go through the midst of the city — the midst 
of Jerusalem — and sign a cross* on the foreheads of the 
people who are moaning and sobbing for sorrow, on 
account of all the abominations done in its midst ! " Turn- 
ing next to the six others, the Voice commanded them to 
follow their companion through the city, and slay ! *' Let 
not your eye spare," it said, " nor have any pity ; old and 
young, maidens and little children and women — slay them 
all, to the last ! but come near no one on whom is the 


» Ezek. ix. 1-7. * Lit. " ye punishments of.* 

■ Six to destroy; one, to save! * Lev. vi. 3; xvi. 4. 

* Dan. X. 5 ; xii. 6, 7. The Jewish belief in seven archangels 
seems to have sprung from this verse. 

• Gesenius. Ewald. The word is Tav, and means a sign or 
mark, especially in the form of a cross. In Arabic *' Tiv," means 
a cross burned in on the necks or thighs of horses and camels. 
Hence the letter Tau has the form of a cross in the Phenician 
alphabet, and on the coins of the Maccabees. 

VOL. V, H H 





cross, and begin from My sanctuary ! " The elders 
before the temple, so lately busy with idol worship, were 
the first to fall ; ^ the Voice calling aloud to the six 
slayers to "Defile the temple and fill its courts with the 
slain." This dOne, swift as lightning — another command 
followed : " Go ye forth, now, into the city.'* And they 
went forth to slay the city population. 

Moved by such fierce destruction, which carried with 
it the utter ruin of Israel, the prophet seemed, in the 
vision, to fall on his face,^ and cry out, "Ah, Lord 
Jehovah I "Wilt Thou destroy all the remnant of Israel, 
in this outpouring of Thy fury on Jerusalem ! '* But 
the hour of mercy was past. " The iniquity of the House 
of Israel and Judah," replied the Voice, " is very very 
great; the land is full of blood and the city with the 
perversion of right, for they say, 'Jehovah has forsaken 
the land,' and 'Jehovah does not see.' Therefore My 
eye shall not spare, nor will I have pity ; I will let the 
punishment of their way rest on their heads ! " But now 
the man clothed in white reappeared, to announce that 
the Divine command, to slay the multitude of the citizens, 
sparing only the godly, had been carried out. 

A new phase of the Vision then opened. Jehovah once 
more' sat on His sapphire throne, above the firmament 
borne by the four cherubim, and commanded the man 
or angel, in white, to go between the wheels, under the 
cherubim, and fill his hand with burning coals from 
the midst of these awful forms, and scatter them over the 
city!* As he hastened to obey, the cherubim stood on 
the right or south side of the temple, and the cloud of the 
Divine glory filled the inner court. Bat now, again, the 
glory rose from over them, and rested above the threshold 

» Ezek. viii. 16. =» Ezek. ix. 8-11. 3 Ezek. x. 1-22. 

* It was to perish like Sodom. "Coals "-brands. 



he elders 
ship, were 
the six 
3 with the 
And they 

pried with 
d, in the 
A.h, Lord 
of Israel, 
i\" But 
he House 
very very 
with the 

efore My 
11 let the 

But now 
mce that 


vah once 
the man 
nder the 
lis from 
over the 
jtood on 
id of the 
jain, the 



of the sanctuary, filling it with a blinding splendour 
which shone over all the court ; the wings of the cherubim 
sounding amidst the brightness, " like the voice of El 
Shaddai when He thunders." Putting forth his hand, 
one of the cherubim took fire from between the wheels, 
and gave it to the man clothed iu white, who took it 
and went out. The glory of Jehovah then rose from 
over the temple threshold, and rested again above the 
cherubim, who forthwith spread their wings and mounted 
np from tlio earth ; the mysterious wheels, quickened to 
hurricane speed ^ by a command from the Vision, accom- 
panying their every motion. God was about finally to 
forsake His fallen city, now filled with slain, but He 
paused for a moment at the east gate of the temple, 
whither the spirit also transported the prophet. 

At this spot, the east gate of the outer court, twenty- 
five men seemed to be assembled, two of whom, at least, 
the prophet recognised — Jaazaniah, the son of Azur, and 
Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, both members of the aris- 
tocratic party, and heads of the people, as indeed were 
all the others.* '* Son of man," said the Divine Voice, 
as they appeared, " these are the men who guide the 
city; planning wickedness and giving evil counsel. 
Mocking the words of Jeremiah, they say, ' The time is 
not near to build houses for the returning exiles. So far 
from that, the prophet has told us that the city is the 
pot and we the flesh, to be stewed in flames of war !' • 

* Ezek. X. 13. The words " O wheel," are in Hebrew only one 
— Gal gal — which means a whirlwind as well as a wheel, the idea 
of rolling being common to both. 

2 Ezek. xi. 1-4. 

*« Jerome, in Zoc, renders this passage: " 'Although lately,* say 
they, ' after the first captivity, houses which had been destroyed 
were rebuilt, yet it is not the time now to build. For this city is the 
pot, and we are the flesh to be cooked in it.' " Smend has virtuiJly 






Tlierefore prophesy, prophesy against them^ son of 
man 1 " 

On this the Spirit of Jehovah appeared in the vision, 
to descend again, on the seer, and to command him to 

Thas says Jehovah :' Ye have indeed spoken in this way, 
House of Israel, and I know well, besides, what rises in your mind, 
however ye may seek to hide it from me! The number of 
victims you have slain in this city by violence and perverted 
justice is very great ; ye have filled her streets with them ! 
Therefore, thus says the Lord Jehovah ; your victims, whom ye 
have heaped up in the midst of her, are the flesh, and she is the 
pot! They alone lie safe in your midst! But I will lead forth 
yon yourselves, their murderers, into captivity. Ye have feared 
the sword, and the sword will I bring on you, says the Lord 
Jehovah. I will lead you out of the city as captives, and give 
you into the hand of aliens, and execute judgment on you. Yo 
shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at a place on the borders 
of Israel,' that ye may know that I am Jehovah ! Jerusalem 
shall not be your pot, nor shall ye be the flesh in it. I will 
judge you on the borders of Israel, and ye shall know that I am 
Jehovah, in whose communds ye did not walk, and whose laws 
ye did not obey; for ye acted according to the practices^ of the 
heathen round about you ! 

At this moment, while Ezekiel was apparently deliver- 
ing this terrible doom, an awful incident occurred in the 
vision. His words had fallen with fatal effect on the 

adopted Jerome's explanation, and so has Eosenmilller. Smend 
says, " It is not the time to build houses (rough times are before 
us); — the town is the pot and we the flesh (and we will be cooked 
by the fire of war)." Conscious of thsir false position and the 
danger ahead, they try to put on a light air and laugh the mat- 
ter off^, living recklessly while they can. 

> HavemicJc. Eitzig. Keil. ^ Ezek. xi. 5-12. 

» At Eiblah. How literally fulfilled ! 2 Kings xxv. 6. Jer. Hi. 
9,10. < Lit., "laws." 




)m, son of 

L the vision, 
and him to 

I this way, 
in your mind, 
> number of 
ad perverted 

with them! 
ms, whom ye 
nd she is the 
ill lead forth 
e have feared 
-ys the Lord 
vos, and give 
on you. Yo 
a the borders 
n it. I will 
)w that I am 

whose laws 
tices^of the 

ly deliver- 
?ed in the 
>ct on the 

er. Smend 
are before 
1 be cooked 
ion and the 
;h the mat- 


6. Jer. Hi. 

ears of Pelatiah, one of the men now addressed. The 
terrors before him, as one of the guiltiest amongst those 
accused, had brought on a sudden fit, in which he forth- 
with died. At the sight, the prophet was overpowered. 
It seemed as if all Israel were to perish, and, falling on 
his face, he once more cried with a loud voice, " Ah, 
Lord Jehovah I Wilt Thou make an utter end of the 
remnant of Israel?" But the Divine Voice replied with 
words of comfort. The people of Jerusalem had turned 
against their brethren of the Captivity, and had boasted 
that the Holy City was for ever the inheritance of those 
that were left. The exiles, however, would supply a 
remnant to Israel, and would one day come back and 
possess the land of their fathers. 

Son of man ! ^ Thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of 
thy captivity,^ and the whole House of Israel together, are they 
to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem said — " Get you gone, far 
from Jehovah 1 The land is given to us for an inheritance!" 
Therefore say. Thus says the Lord Jehovah ; Because I have ca»t 
them far off among the heathen, and scattered them through the 
lands, and hvae been but little of a sanctuary, or defence to them, 
in the countries whither they have come ; therefore say, Thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah, I will gather you from among the heathen, 
and bring you back from the lands where ye have been scattered, 
and I will give you the land of Israel! And the exiles, when 
they thus return and come hither, will put away from the soil of 
Israel all its detestable idols, and all its heathen abominations. 
And I will give them one heart, and will put a new spirit within 
them ; and I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, 
and give them a heart of flesh ; that they may walk in My statutes 
and keep My laws and do them, and they shall be My people, 

1 Ezek. xi. 13-21. 
. * As the word stands in the Hebrew text. Lit., " those who have 
the right of redemption for thee." But Ewald and Smeud amend 
the word slightly, and make it— of thy " exile," or " captivity." 
This I have adopted, as it gives a much better sense. 




and I will be their Qod. Bub os to those hero, in Judah and 
JoruHalem, whose heart walks after their dotostabio idols and 
their heathen abominations, I will bring down the punishment 
of their way on their own heads, saith the Lord Jehovah I 

The vision now ended. The cherubim spread their 
wings,^ and the wheels moved at their side, the glory 
of the God of Israel resting over them, as the prophet 
followed the awful sight till it passed over the Mount of 
Olives, towards the east, and was hidden from him. But 
at that moment he awoke, and found himself in his own 
chamber — the ecstasy gone — and his faculties loosened 
so that he could repeat to the elders, who were still 
around him, the amazing sights and words he had seen 
and heard. It had all been, in efifect, a dream, though 
a dream from God, and we know that in dreams a few 
moments suffice to bring before the mind the details and 
communications of apparently lengthened events. 

It might have been hoped that the blending of terror 
and gentle pity, which had marked this striking message, 
would have moved the exiles to better thoughts towards 
the God of their fathers. But, in the prophet's words, 
" though they had eyes, they saw not ; and though they 
had ears, they would not hear." It was impossible, how- 
ever, for an earnest soul like that of Ezekiel to be silent, 
even if his efforts to benefit his brethren were vain. The 
true state of things in Jerusalem, and the best interests 
of his fellow-captives, demanded his speaking often and 
earnestly. The fact that, as yet, all was outwardly calm, 
and that no thought of a campaign against Jerusalem 
had been mooted in Babylon, made it hard to induce 
belief in the ruin predicted as so near. 

Very different accounts of the state of feeling in the 
mother city were evidently abroad. On the one hand, as 

1 Ezek. xi. 22-25. 



WO seo from Jeremiah, the agitation against the Chaldean 
vassalage was increasing, and threatened to lead to the 
most perilous results ; the majority of influential public 
men in Jerusalem supporting it, and urging king 
Zedekiah to form a league with Egypt, which would, it- 
self, be a declaration of war against Babylon. They were, 
unhappily, able, indeed, ere long, to force him into it.^ 
A league with Pharaoh secured, the city, they fancied, 
would enjoy a long future of victory and peace. 

There were others, however, who had no such illusory 
anticipations, though they failed, in the heightening 
confnsion, to realize the true solution and hope. Hence, 
in the deepening gloom they were overwhelmed with 
despondency ; even the truths of their ancient faith, and 
the words of the prophets, giving birth, in their despair- 
ing hearts, only to mocking jests which spread far and 

The exiles around Ezekiel echoed these opposite feel- 
ings. Many showed plainly the incredulity with which 
they received his words,^ but vain hope and distracting 
excitement were the prevalent mood. False prophets 
among them sought still, at least in secret, to promote 
the views of the anti-Chaldean party in Jerusalem, and 
even the elders who came to Ezekiel, let it be seen only 
too plainly, that, while willing to hear his counsels and 
consolations, they would fain win from him some utter- 
ance favourable to their cherished hope of a speedy 
return to Palestine. They still, moreover, as the prophet 
discovered,* hankered after idolatry, and thus precluded 
his repeating even the comfort he had hitherto given 

* Ezek. xvii. 7 ; xix. 1, 
» Ezek. xii. 27. 
« Ezek. 3d. 17-20. 

* Ezuk. xii. 22 ; xviii. 2. 

* Ezek. xiv. 3 ; xx. 30. 




Under such circumstances, Ezekiel threw himself into 
the duties of his office with intense zeal, for a few years 
only remained in which even to mitigate the calamities 
he so clearly foresaw. His next attempt, therefore, was 
to combat, once more, the idle hope of the deliverance 
of Jerusalem from vassalage to the Chaldeans. For this 
end words were not enough. Above all other prophets 
he taught by vivid "signs," or acted presentations of 
the truths he sought to enforce ; Jehovah, in this, as in 

other cases, adapting 
the mode of His re- 
velations to the mental 
characteristics of His 

That Jerusalem would 
very soon be besieged 
so fiercely that its 
princes would seek es- 
cape by a hasty flight 
was, hence, set before 
the minds of the exiles 
afresh, in dramatic ac- 
tion, peculiar to the 
prophetic order. In 
obedience to a Divine 
impulse, Ezekiel packed 
up^ a bundle of personal necessaries, such as one would 
carry with him on a hasty journey, and prepared, by day, 
to set off";* laying the bundle before his door, that it 
might be seen by all. He himself, however, was to set 
out by night, like a captive, digging a hole through the 
soft sundried bricks of his house, which he could easily 

1 Ezek. xii. 1-8. 

' The actual setting out was to be by night. 

A PooB BxDOuiir oir i. Jocbitby. 



do,^ and ^oing out, before all the people, by the gap. 
His bundle, which had previously been carried back, inside 
the house, was then, in the darkness, taken out through 
the opening ; the prophet lifting it on his shoulder, and 
acting as if he were setting off with it ; his face covered 
with his mantle, so that he could not see the ground over 
which he was passing. The whole was to be a " sign " 
of what awaited king Zedekiah, and vividly foreshadowed 
his last disastrous attempt to escape.* 

In anticipation of the notice such an act on the part 
of a recognised prophet would attract, words were put 
into the mouth of Ezekiel, to reply to any question.' 
Ezekiel was to tell the "House of Disobedience," for 
thus Jehovah would call His people till they repented — 

Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : This bnrden-beanng refers to 
the Prince Zedekiah, in Jerusalem, and to all the House of Ib.acl 
in that city. Say, to your brethren, the exiles, O Ezekiel — I am 
your '* Sign." As I have done, this last night, so will it be done 
to the people of Jerusalem. They will go into exile and into 
captivity. And the prince that is among them^ will bear a 
burden on his shoulder, in the darkness, and shall go forth ; they 
will, as it were, dig through the wall to get out — for the Chaldeans 
will watch at the gates— and the prince will cover his face, to 
conceal it, so that he will not see the ground as he goes. But I 
will spread My net over him, and he will be taken in my snare, 
caught like a wild creature by the hunter, and I will bring him 
to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans ; yet he will not see it,*^ 
and he will die there ! And I will scatter to all the winds his 
guard that is round him, and all his forces, and unsheathe the 

> Land and Boole, p. 644. 

' Jer. -rxxix. 4 ; lii. 7. 2 Kings xxv. 4. 

3 Ezek. xii. 9-16. 

* Jehoiachin was the legitimate king. Ezekiel, therefore, 
speaks of Zedekiah not as the Melek, but as the Nasr — "the 
exalted one." 

^ His eyes were put out at Riblah. 



sword behind then). And they shall know that I am Jehovah, 
when I scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them 
among the hmds I But I will leave a few of their number, to 
escape from the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, that they 
may make known all their abominable deeds among the nations 
whither they come. And they shall know that I am Jehovah. 

Ad other acted sermon followed soon after.^ The 
prophet was directed to show the terror and despair that 
would come on Judah when it was invaded, by eating 
his bread and drinking his water before his neighbours, 
trembling, and shaking, and overborne with sorrow, and 
to tell them that the meaning of his doing so was, that 
Jehovah had said, respecting the inhabitants of Jerusalem 
and the land of Israel, that they would eat their bread 
in sorrow, and drink their water in despairing terror, 
because the land would be laid desolate, emptied of its 
fulness of life and activity, through the wickedness of 
its people as a whole. The inhabited towns would be 
laid waste and the land made a desert, and they would 
know that He was Jehovah ! 

Things were hurrying on to the inevitable, but the 
story of the great catastrophe must be reserved for 
another volume. 

» Ezek. xii. 17-20. 


Abdiol, 88. 

Adaitth, 93. 

Adrammeleob, 67i 436. 

Africa, circumnavigation of, 273. 

Ahab, 95. 

Ahaz, religions struggle under, 24. 

Ai, population of, 17. 


Almond tree, 139. 

Altars, street, 151. 

Amalek, 225, 235. 

Amenhotep II., 76. 

Am-ba-aretzin, 98. 

Ammon, 66, 165. 

Ammonites, 264. 

Ammuladin, 88. 

Amon, king, 96, 97-8. 

Anatbotb, priests of, 157 ; Jeremiab 

at, 260. 
Aniyini, 265. 
Anointing, royal, 282. 
Aphikim,, 386. 
Apocryphal writings, 93. 
Apostolic constitutions, 93. 
Arabab, 171. 

Arabia, invasion of, 73-5, 88. 
Arabs, desert, 151. 
Aramaic words in Hebrew language, 

Archers, 169. 

Ark, the, 33, 160, 217, 248-9. 
Armageddon, 276. 
Asaph, clan of, 253, 254. 
Ascalon, 129. 

Asbdod, 84, 108, 129, 137, 146. 
Asherab, slaves of, 186 ; in temple, 

Assurbanipal, 79-85 ff. j date of, 96 ; 

death of, 182. 
Assyria, 26, 30, 67, 274 ; kings of, 

date of, 96 ; last kings of, 328-9. 
Assyrian colonies in Palestine, 71-3 ; 

annals, 229 ; power, Ezekiel's de- 
scription of, 333. 


Astarto, worship of, 33, 84. 
Astrology, 211. 
Astyagos, 271. 

Athaliah, idolatry under, 24. 
Axes, battle, 173. 

Baal, 54 ; priests of, 185 ; cries of 
worshippers of, 148, 162, 195 ; 
king of Tyre, 83. 

Baalim, the Baals, 148, 208. 

Babylon, fall of, foretold, 40, 343, 
400 ; rebuilding of, 69-70 ; besieged 
by Assurbanipal, 89; revolt of, 
under Nabopolassar, 108; subse- 
quent rise of, 164-5; and Media, 
league between, 271; fall of, 402; 
one bridge only at, 411 ; great lake 
in, 411 ; walls of, 413 ; size of, 414 ; 
letter of Jeremiah to, 421 ; Baby- 
lonian empire, rise and fall of, 338. 

Baking, Eastern, 448. 

Balm, 200. 

Batnoth, 185. 

Bafley harvest, date of, 9. 

Baruch, 153, 180-1, 3(57. 

Bastinado, the, 318 ; Egyptian, 235. 

Bazaar, a Persian word, 14; in- 
spectors of, 18. 

Beacons, fire, 175. 

Beards, Eastern, 210. 

Behemoth, 59. 

Bel, or Baal, 400 j Belial, 118. 

Belial, 118. 

Bellows, 180. 

Benhinnom, valley of, 201. 

Benjamites, 175. 

Betael and Dan, calves of, 155. 

Bethel, sanctuary at, destroyed, 

Bethhaccerem, meaning of, 20, 175. 

Bezetba, meaning of, 19. 

Birds, migratory, 202. 

Bittern, 131. 

Blue, war colour, 120. 

f ;■ 



Bones, dead men's, 118. 

Bookb, heathen sacred, 193; Hebrew, 

365 , sacred Jewish, 225. 
Boreippa, siege of, 88. 
"Bosom" the, of the oriental tonic, 

used as a pocket, 380. 
Breaking of a bottle, symbolical in 

the East, 314. 
Bride, attire of a, 149. 
" Bride, The voice of the" — meaning 

of allusion, 300. 
Bridegrooms, crowning of, 29. 
Brides, jewels of Eastern, 29. 
" Brigandine," derivation of, 407. 
Brothers, affection between full, 395. 
Buns, hot cross, 197. 
Burning alive, a punishment, 70 ; of 

false prophets, 423. 
Burnt offerings, 254. 
Buz, 74. 

Cakes, sacred, 197. 
Canaan and Fhilistia, 1 29. 
Canaanites, remnant of, 235. 
Canal, ancient, at Suez, 2/2. 
Canals, Egyptian, 272. 
Cannibalism, from war, 88-9. 
Capernaum, meaning of, 116. 
Captives taken to Babylon from 

Jerusalem, 384. 
Captivity, return from, foretold, 40 ; 

sadness of returned exiles, 43; 

first, from Judah, 340- 
Carchemish, taken by Necho, 334; 

site of, identified by Smith, 335 ; 

battle of, 268, 338, 339, 341, 354. 
Cavalry, Assyrian, 122. 
Cave refugees, 169. 
Cedar panels, 131. 
Cemeteries, 19. 
Centre of the world, Jerusalem 

supposed to be, 449; fancies of 

other nations respecting, 449. 
Ceremonial worship, Jewish estimate 

of, 2-3. 
Chaldea, antiquity of, 173. 
Chaldean, descent on Judea, 173; 

army, Habakkuk's description of, 

Chaldeans, not Scythians, to attack 

Jerusalem, 164, 173, 175; drunk> 

enness of, 359. _ 
Chananiah, Babbi, 445. 
Chariots, scyt^.e, 120. 
Chebar, the, 388. 
Chemarim, 185. 
Chemosh, 189. 

Cheretbites, 129. 

Cherubim, counterparts of, in hea- 
thenism, 437. 
Children, dashing to pieces of, 124. 
Choir, the temple, 253. 
Chronicles, date of book of, 2, 248 ; 

proofs of accuracy of, 90-2. 
Chunar, stone at, on which God is 

said to sit daily, 289. 
Cilicia, Assyrians in, 73. 
Cimmerians, irruption of the, 108. 
Circumcision, 210. 
Cisterns, underground, 6. 
Cisterns, 144, 176. 
Commandments, Jeremiah refers to 

the ten, 196. 
"Contrite, the "55. 
Com, ears of, might be plucked by 

wayfarers, 9 ; exportation of, 11. 
Cotton plant, cultivation of, 8. 
Covenant, book of the, 225, 257* 
Crane, 202. 
Cretans, 129. 
Crocodile, emblem of ligypt, 45; 

hooks for, 90. 
Crops, date of sowing winter, 8. 
Cross, used as a mark in Ezekiel'a 

vision, 465. 
Crown, priestly, 29. 
Crucifying, in Nineveh, 107. 
Cush, 123, 131, 133. 
Cyaxares, 108, 113. 
Cyprus, 144. 

Dagon, 71, 91, 127. 

Dan, calf at, carried off, 191. 

Dances, sacred, 148. 

Darius, canal of, in Egypt, 272. 

Darkness, outer, 16. 

Daughters, king's, 83. 

Dead, consultations with the, 31, 35 ; 
defilement by contact with, 184, 
186, 189 ; gifts buried with, 201. 

Dead Sea, 136. 

"Death, gates of," literal meaning 
of, 19. 

Death, customs at, 300. 

Deioces, 108, 

Demavend, 105. 

Demons, altars to, 187. 

Derceto, temple of, 112. 

Deserts, blossoming, 47. 

Despotism, Eastern, 182. 

Deuteronomy, date of, 33, 154, 189, 
198-9, 224-5, 232-3, 236-7; public 
reading, 221 ; called the law, 222 ; 
theories respecting date of, 223^} 



eral meaning 

known to Amos, 226 ; Hosea knew, 
226-7; Isaiah's frequent allusions 
to, 227 ; Micah refers to, 227 ; dates 
of words used in, 226 ; date of last 
chapter of, 229 ; tone and contents 
prove authorship, 234-5; high 
teachiug of, 240-1; sublimity of, 

''Diamond point," meaning of the 
expression, 802. 

Dimann of Ghimbula, 86-7. 

Diviners, 422, u. 

Dockyards, ancient Egyptian, 272. 

Dog Iliver, inscriptions at, 77» 

Dogs in Eastern cities, 14, 16. 

Door-post charms, 15. 

Doors, texts written over Egyptian, 

Dragon, 45. 

Drainage, earliest, in Palestine, 14. 

Dreams, 81, 86, 442. 

Dress, Egyptian, 127. 

Drink offerings, 197. 

Drought threatened for sin, 292 ; de- 
scribed, 293. 

Drunkenness, 52. 

Dung pools, 42. 

East wind, or sirocco, 45-6, 381. 

" Eating a book," metaphor of, 434. 

Ebionites, the, 323. 

" Ebiontm," 265. 

Ecclesiastes, 243. 

Edom, revolt of, 66; Sennacherib 
invades, 67; attacked by Josiah, 

Effeminacy in Jadah, 395. 

Egypt, invasion of, 75 ; Assyrian rule 
in, 76; revolt of, from Assyrian 
rule, 79, 80; Greek influence in, 
84 ; ehakes off Assyrian yoke, 84 ; 
Josiah makes overtures to, 150 ; 
circumcision in, 210; fleets of, 

Egyptian written annals, 229 ; pre- 
judice against foreigners, 278; 
troops described by Jeremiah, 337 ; 
temples, darkened chambers of, 
463 ; idols in Jewish temple, 463 ; 
party under Zedekiah, 471. 

Ekron, 129. 

Elara, king of, 69. 

Eljbrus, Mount, 105. 

Elburz, range of, 105. 

Elijah and the golden calf, 190. 

Elohim and Jehovah, 231-2, 205. 

Embassies, religioas, 34, 54. 

Ephraim, destruction of, 71< 

Esarhaddon, 66, 69, 71, 78. 

Essenes, the, 287. 

Eulaus, the, 85. 

Eunuch, court official, 188. 

Eunuchs, negro, employed by kings 
of Judah, 392. 

Euphrates, water of the, 146. 

Evictions in Judah by usurers, 6. 

Exile, return from foretold, 134-5 ; of 
Jehoiachin — national grief at, 385. 

Exiles, restoration of, 55 ; agitation 
among, at Zedekiah's accession, 
398 ; religious condition of, 471. 

Exodus, date of book of, 194. 

Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, not for- 
geries, 238. 

Eyelids, painting the, 169. 

Ezekiel, call of, 426, 431 ; mode of 
addressing the exiles, 426 ; charac- 
teristics of prophecies of, 427 ; re- 
puted tomb of, 429 ; religious en- 
thusiasm of, 430 ; Divine charge to, 
441 ; obscurity of, 445. 

" Fanner " (in husbandry), derivation 

of, 406. 
Fashions, foreign, in Judah, 127- 
Fast, great, under Jehoiakini, 356. 
" Fathers, gathered to their," mean- 

inj^ of, 19. 
'•' Fathers, house of the," 250. 
Feet, kissing royal, 83. _ 
Festivals, the yearly religious, 3. 
Fields in Palestine, 168. 
Fighting-men, number of, in Jeru- 

^lem, 17. 
First fruits, sheaf of, 142, 174. 
Flocks at Jerusalem , for (sacrifice, 251. 
Flocks led by a goat, 401. 
Flower month, the, 247. 
Footmen, couriers, 262. 
Foreign alliances and idolatry in 

Judea, 25, 29. 
Foreigners, Egyptian prejudice 

against, 273. 
Fortresses, gates of, 12, 13. 
Fruits, most common, 8. 
Fuel, Eastern, 447. 
Furnaces, 180. 

Galli, 186. 

Gates, street, 15. 

Gateways, texts out over, 13, 15. 

Gaza, 129. 

Geba, 186. 

Gehenna, 36. 



Oenazitn, 436. 

Genesis, compilers of, 232, 233. 

Genius, winged, 440. 

Gethsemane, meaning uf, 19. 

Ghaut, the burning, 36. 

Gibeali, population of, 17. 

Gifts offered to superiors, 399. 

Gihon, 146. 

Gilead, balm of, 206. 

Gleaning, 176. 

Goab worship, 99. 

God, not a local god, 144. 

Gods, local sway of, 149. 

•• Goel," rights of the, 6. 

Gold, spoils of, 121 ; Assyrian, 121. 

Grapes, abundance of, in Palestine, 

19, 20. 
Graves, violation of, 184. 
Greek soldiers, names of, at Elephan- 

tina, 398. 
Greeks in Egypt, 84. 
Grimshaw, Rev., of Haworth, vision 

of, 459. 
Gyges, of Lydia, 83-4. 

Habakkuk,288 ; prophecy of, 353-303. 
Hair, different modes of cutting, 210. 
Hallelujah Chorus, Handel on, 460. 
" Hallon," ISl. 
"Hammer, the," use of as a name, 

Hanameel, 153. 

Hananiah, the false prophet, 419. 
Handwriting, demotic, 84. 
Harvest, barley and wheat, 174. 
Hasidim, 265, 2/6, 278. 
Hasmal, 461. 

Hazael, king of Arabia, 74. 
Heat in Palestine, 17-18. 
Heath, the, plant, 303. 
Heathenism, impurity of, 53 ; under 

Jehoiakim, 286. 
Heating, Hebrew plan of, houses, 369. 
Heaven, host of, worship of, 235. 
Hebrew symbolism, origin of, 437. 
Hedges, none in Judah, 7. 
Hephzibah, meaning of, 28, 29. 
Hermons, the, 386. 
Hezekiah, Judah under, 1 ; religious 

condition of Judah under, 1 ff. ; 

reformation under, superficial, 3-4 ; 

idolatry uprooted by, 327 ; poverty 

in reign of, 6 ; condiition of Judah 

under, 26 ; length of reign of, 26 ; 

discontinues Assyrian tribute, 27 ; 

illness of, 27 ; wall of, 95. 
Hieroglyphics, 84. 

High places, 185-6, 187, 189. 
Highway, this desert, 55. 
Hilkiah, 153, 252. 
Hills, places of prayer, 161. 
Hind, care of, for its young, 293. 
Hindu worship, impurity of, 53. 
Hinnom, valley of, 188 ; meaning of 

name, 201. 
Hoah. 90. 

" Holy One," see corruption, 60. 
Hook through nose, 90. 
Horses, breeding of, in Egypt, 239 j 

sacrificed, 34. 
Hossaiu, lamentations for, 276. 
'* Host of heaven," worship of, 32-3. 
"House," nation, 262. 
Houses in Palestine, 15. 
Hozai, " the seer," 50, 51, 93. 
Huldah the prophetess, 153-4, 219. 
Human sacrifices at Jerusalem, 315. 
Human-headed bulls, office of, 439. 
Hunting, Assyrian king, 77- 
Hymn, Harvest, 10. 

Idols, meat offered to, 162 ; des< 
traction of under Josiah, 184; 
Hebrew words for, 184. 

Images, molten, 189. 

Imprecations, Oriental, 313. 

Incense, 178. 

Inns, Eastern, 207. 

Irrigation, 7. 

Isaiah, and Micah, prophecies pre- 
served, 20; authenticity of later 
chapters of, 29; chapters 24 and 
27, writer of, 38 ; proscribed, 4d ; 
death of, 51, 56; "Ascension of," 

. 56; date of 57th chapter, 56; 
prophecy of^ fulfilled, 76. 

Israel, Assyrian governors of, 28; 
and Judah, under Mauasseh, 28; 
survivors of kingdom of, seek re- 
union with Judah, 155. 

Istar, the goddess, 86. 

Ithamar, line of, 252. 

"Its," the pronoun, date of, 227. 

lyar, the mouth, 247. 

Janissaries at temple, 127* 

Jedidah, 98. 

Jehoahaz, 268, 282-3. 

Jehoash, 154, 

Jehoiakim, 181, 268, 283-5, 369-70 
condition of Judah under, 284 
policy of, after Carchemish, 361 
death of, 373; legend respecting, 



7, 189. 


roung, 293. 

ity of, 53. 

B; meaning of 

aptioD, 60. 

B Egypt, 239 ; 

I for, 276. 
Qrship of, 32-3. 


I, 51, 93. 
is, 163-4, 219. 
erasalem, 315. 
office of, 439. 
ng, 77. 

to, 162; des- 
p Josiah, 184; 

al, 313. 

)rophecie8 pre- 
iticity of later 
lapters 24 and 
jroscribed, 48; 
Ascension of,'* 

chapter, 56 ; 
d, 76. 
ernors of, 28; 

Vlauasseb, 28; 
om of, seek re- 


late of, 227. 

283-5, 369-70; 
h under, 2S4; 
rchemish, 361; 
snd respecting, 

Jehoiachin, 375 ; cLildren of, 382 ; 
fate of, predicted, 382 ; submission 
of, to Chaldeans, 383 ; carried oflF 
to Babylon, 384, 588, 473. 
Jehovah, not a tribal God, 213; 
house of, 237; Tsidkenu, 31)7; 
similarity of this name to Zedekiah, 
in Hebrew, 397. 

Jeremiah, early home of, 136; con- 
secration of, 138 ; character of, 137, 
. 140 ; " call " of, 140, 156, 182 ; first 
discourse of, 141 ; the preaching 
of, 151-2, 156-7, 324-5, 365; pro- 
claims doom of Jerusalem, 158 ff.; 
prophecies of, written by Baruch, 
181 ; order of prophecies of, un- 
certain, 192 ; date of book of, 212 ; 
deadly opposition to, 256 ; mission 
of, through land, 258 ; position of, 
288-290; put in the stocks, 318; 
arrested, 326; speech of, in his 
own defence, 327; his acquittal, 
328 ; plot against, 260 ; family of, 
262 ; relations of, to his age, 280 ; 
unmarried, 299; faith of, in God, 
305 ; his fearlessness, 316-317 ; 
depression of, 321 ; in hiding, 368 ; 
temporary retirement from public 
life, 372 ; visits Babylon, 370 ; uses 
fate of his girdle as toxt of dis- 
course against Jerusalem, 378 ; 
sends a prophecy to Babylon, 399 ; 
writes to exiles, 421. 

Jeroboam, 95. 

Jerusalem, secure site of, 17 _; size 
and population of, 17 ; as a religious 
centre, 21; overthrow of , foretold 
by Isaiah, 39; Scythian attempt 
to take, 113 ; the traders' quarter, 
128; taken by Necho, 282; in- 
vested, 376; vision of judgments 
on, 466, 474. 

Jezebel, persecutions under, 65. 

Joash, ceremony at coronation of, 225. 

Job, date of book, 60-1. 

Joel, religious revival under, 2. 

'■Jordan, across the," explained, 230 ; 
thickets of, 262, 405. 

« Joseph "=" Israel," 255. 

Joshua, copy of " law " made by, 223. 

Josiah, 96, 98; condition of Judab 
at accession of, 99 ; uncles of, 127 ; 
reformation under, 151 ; difficulties 
of reformation of, 154; reforma- 
tion imder, superficial, 163, 193-4, 
256; ceremonial worship in days 
of, 179; persecution in reign of, 

192; state idolatry suppressed, 
200 ; tumults and plots to reinstate 
idolatry under, 201, 259; officials 
at court of, 216 ; effect of reading 
of law on, 219-220 ; acts as head 
of the Church, 24S-254 ; desire of, 
to fulfil law, 248; conspiracy 
against, 236, 238 ; marringo of, 
268 ; military organization under, 
209 ; and Hezekiah, 269 ; godliness 
of, 269; attacks Necho, 274; death 
of, 275; character of, 276; chil- 
dren of, 281. 

Jotbah, 97. 

Judah, size of kingdom of, 4; in 
Hezekiah's day, 13; life in, 17; 
kings of, 26, 80, 81 ; leaKues with 
Egypt and Assyria, 146, 150; 
sympathy between it and Northern 
Kingdom, 160-1 ; called Israel, 
211; after death of Josiah, 277; 
bounds of, under Jehoiakim, 310 ; 
invasions of, under Jehoiakim, 273 ; 
resources of, 389 ; trades and arts 
in, 390 ; literature of, 390 ; woman 
in, .391; games in, 391; after 
Jehoiachin's banishment, 389, 394 ; 
oligarchy in, 392 ; agitation in, at 
Zedekiah's accession, 397 ; ruin of, 
foretold, 455. 

Judaism, traceable to Josiah's in- 
fluence, 277. 

Judea, agricultural industry in, 4, 6 j 
the crops of, 7. 

Judges, ecclesiastical, 18; in Judah, 
392 ; unjust, 37., 

Judgment given in the town gate- 
ways, 17, 18. 

" Justness, perfect," 94. 

Kadytes, 282. 

" Kaphar," 46. 

Kasbu, 74. 

Kedar, 144. 

Kedron, valley of, 201. 

Khans, Eastern, 207. 

Kings, book of, date of, 189-90; 
"The law" respecting, 238 ; later, 
of Judab, young at accession, 395. 

Kotzim, 263. 

Kozim, 51. 

K'tah and Michtabf 250. 

Kush, 82. 

Laib Kamai, 346, 406. 
Lambs, Passover, 251 ; slaying of, 
252 ; pet, 260. 



Lampa, oil for, 19. 

Land laws in Judra, 4 ff., 

Landmaiks, Babylonian cnrse on re- 
moving, 7. 

Lanterns in Palestine, 16. 

Laymen, priestly privileges of, 287. 

Law, date of the, 143, 150, 178-9, 
203, 218, 224, 225 ; copies of, de- 
stroyed, 154; the book of the, 
154 ; known to Josiah, 18G ; moral 
and ceremonial, 199 ; finding of 
the book of the, 217, 222; his- 
torical notices of, in Scripture, 
226; books of revised, 230; date 
of, 233, 247, 250, 257, 265 ; dis- 
covery of, 243, 246-7; beautiful 
Jewish apologue respecting finding 
of the, 243-4. 

Leopard, the, 356. 

Leopards in Palestine, 171* 

Leviathan, 44-5. 

Levite scribes, 250. 

Levites, distinctive office of, 249. 

Levitical ritual, date of, 194 ; towns, 
238 ; houses, 250. 

Leviticus, date of, 187, 189, 198; 
reference to Egypt in, 235. 

Linen, fine, really cotton, 8. 

Lion, haunts of the, 145, 165, 262. 

Literature under David, Solomon and 
Hezekiah; Jewish sublimity of, 

Liver, the seat of rage, 68. 

Locusts, 12i, 410. 

Luther at Erfurt, 218. 

Lybia, 82. 

Maaseiah, 163. 

Maccabee, 119. 

Mace, battle, 409. 

Madmenah, harvests in, 42. 

Majority, a king's, 153. 

Makdesh, 128. 

Mamelukes, the, 76. 

Mamoudieh canal, 272. 

Manasseh, struggle against heathen- 
ism under, 24; age at accession, 
27-8; court of, 28; the mother of, 
28; and Ahaz, 29; length of reign 
of, 30 ; idolatry under, 23-7, 36 ; 
sacrifices to Moloch, 35 ; persecu- 
tions under, 49 ff. ; psalms of reign 
of, 61 ; spiritual growth under, 
65-6 ; persecutes like Diocletian, 
65, 87 ; ruin of kingdoms under, 66 ; 
pays tribute to Assyria, 80; sub- 
mits to Assurbanipal, 83 ; taken 

captive, 89-91 j at Babylon, 91-2 1 

conversion of, 92 ; return of, to 

Jerusalem, 92; prayer of, 92-8; 

burial of, 95 ; forts built by, 95 ; 

martyrdoms of, 149. 
Manurinpf in Judea, 7> 
Manuscripts, sacred ancient, 250. 
Market places, 13. 
Martyrs under Manasseh, 51. 
Mattaniah, or Zedekiah, 395. 
Mattathias, 265. 
Mattock, 8. 
Modes, the, 407. 
Media, 73, 105-7, 112, 271. 
" Memorial," meaning of, 54. 
Memory, sacred books committed tO| 

Memphis, 70, 80, 82. 
Merodach Baladan, embassy from, 1, 

27, 31; sons of, 67-69; the god, 

Meshullemeth, 97* 
Mezuzah, the, 15. 
Mihinim, the, 248. 
Micah, appearance of, 48, 57* 
Mikshah, 211. 
Milcom, 189. 
Mirages, 47. 

Mire, Hebrew worda translated, 18. 
Mists, heavy Mediterranean, 6. 
Minchah, the, 294. 
Minni, 85. 
Moab, independence of, 66; and 

Ammon, invasions by, 130; at- 
tacked by Josiah, 155. 
Moabites, return of, 264. 
Moloch worship, 35, 30, 38, 53, 14S, 

Monarchy, abuses under the, 5. 
Morals under Jehoiakim, 287. 
Morocco, treasure of emperor of, 

Moses, books of, no forgery, 241-3 ; 

writings of, 225. 
Mounds of besiegers, 175-6. 
Mourners, robes of, 206 ; hired, 209 } 

Eastern, 299. 
Mourning, signs of, 200. 

Nabopolassar, rise of Babylon under, 

165, 182, 268. 
Nahum, 82, 108, 115, 116, 117-118. 
Nations, various, prophecies againsti 

Nebo, temple of, 67, 86. 
Nebuchadnezzar, 182, 268, 271, 338, 

339, 340, 341, 376, 394. 



forgery, 241-3 j 

Neoho, of Sais, 76, 80-82. 

Necho II., IKi, 208, 271 ; great naval 
expedition of, 2/3; oncarapment 
of, at Biblah, 281 ; conquers Syria, 

Necromancers, 31, 24(0-7. 

"N^gidim," 252. 

" Neighbour," meaning of, 240. 

Neith, the goddess, 286. 

Nergal, the god, 68. 

Nerva, saying respecting, 270. 

New cities, 320. 

"New Covenant" announced by 
Jeremiah, 291. 

Nile, the Gihon, 146. 

Nimrod, 118. 

Nineveh, the city of "the Great 
Kin^," 21 ; like Paris in reign of 
Louis XIV., 30 ; palace at, 67, 78 ; 
gradual weakening of, 104 ; de- 
struction of, foretold, 116, 131 ; 
siege of, 119 tf. ; fall of, 117, 161-5, 
268, 373; fulfilment of prophecy 
about, 131; final attuck on, 329; 
inscriptions written during seige 
of, 330 ; ruins of, 331. 

Nisan, the month, 247. 

Nitre, or natron, 147. 

No-Ammon, Thebes, 82. 

Nobles, character of, 38. 

"No-gods," idols, 171. 

Nopatu, 75. 

North, the, a mysterious region to 
the ancients, 431. 

Nose-ring for prisoners, 282. 

Nud-Ammon, 81. 

Numbers, Ezekiel's, explanations of, 

Oath, common, in Palestine, 163, 

170, 264. 
Obelisks carried from Egypt to 

Assyria, 418. 
Oil gardens, 19. 
Olive harvest, 10. 
Olive oil, in Palestine, 19, 46. 
Oracles, Egyptian, 272. 

Palestine, invasion of, by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, 376 ; states of, envoys from, 
meet at Jerusalem, 416. 

Pap^os, king of, 71. 

Paran, 361. 

Parchment, 365. 

Parthians, description by St. John, 

VOL. V. 

Partridge, popular fancy respecting 
the, 304. 

Parvarim, 188. 

Pashur, curse on, 310, 820. 

Passover, ten tribes invited to attend, 
3; keeping of, 174, 274; Josiah's 
date of, 268. 

Paved roads before Christ, 14. 

Peasantry of Judah, decay of, 392. 

Pekhah, 409. 

Pekod, 403. 

Pelatiah, death of, 467, 469. 

Pentateuch, date of, 199, 227, 229, 
231, 259; references to prophets, 
226, 227 ; various authors assigned 
to the, 232-3 ; whole committed to 
memory, 244-5. 

Pentecost, date of, 9. 

Persia, subjugation of, by Medes, 

Persian customs, 127. 

Pharaoh Hophra, date of reign of, 

Pharaoh Necho, date of reign of, 394. 

Phcnicia, kings of, 26. 

Philistia, revolt of, 06. 

Philistines, country of, reconquered, 

Phraortes, king of Media, 108. 

Pillars, sacred, 189. 

Ploughs and ploughing, 8. 

Ploughing in Palestine, 163. 

Poetry, Jewish, 20. 

Poison-water, 205, 208. 

Poropey at Jerusalem, 32. 

" P9or" and " afflicted," 65. 

" Poor," the, in Scripture, 323. 

Potsherd gate, the, 314. 

Potter's wheel, 311. 

Preaching, brevity of Eastern, 180; 
honest, always unpopular, 818. 

Priesthood, corruption of the, 154. 

Priests, character of, 30-1, 37, 51; 
wicked, 137 ; indifference of, 157-8 ; 
corruption of the, 174; apostate, 
186-7 ; and Levites, 237-8 ; called 
Levites, 248; "courses" of, 248; 
names of hereditary, 252; idol, 
slaughter of, 258. 

Prophecies, false, 52. 

Prophecy, striking fulfilment of, 468. 

Prophetic impulse irresistible, 321. 

Prophets, in advance of their day, 
2-3; influence of, 30; character 
of, 87; faithful, 38, 50, 113: 
wicked, 137, 166, 172, 174, 195, 
203-4 ; position claimed by, 151 ; 

I I 






an order of, foretold, 239-40 ; 
degenoratiy of, 279 ; decay of in- 
flaenoe of, 280 ; Jewish, a unique 
phenomenon, 863 { in heathen 
nations, 417. 

Fsalmr cxli., date of, 67} Izziii., 
Luther's translation, 68; xzxvii., 
date of, 100; alphabetical, 102-3; 
Ixvi., composition of, 23; Psalms 
and Proverbs collected and ar- 
ranged, 20; various, dates of, 61. 

Psammeticbus, 82, 84, 88, Vd, 104, 
108, 160, 271, 273. 

Psammetichus II., date of reign of, 
804, 398. 

Put, 82, 123, 133. 

Queen Mother, Egyptian, 76. 
Queen Mother, 98. 

Rainfall in Judah, 4, 6. 

Rains, latter, 9. 

Reaping, 9. 

Riblah, 281. 

Reohabites, the, 847 ; fidelity of, to 
their vows, 348 ; used as a lesson 
by Jeremiah, 349; promises to, 
for, 849 i later history of the clan, 

Red, ancient war colour, 119. 

Religion and morality distinct, 193-5, 

Religion under Jehoiakim, 288. 

Religious parties, 24-5, 31. 

" R^rove, to," meanings of, 265. 

Return, the, triumr a song of, 47. 

Rising early, Eastern, 196. 

Rites, heathen idea respecting per- 
formance of, 198-5. 

Ritual; Assyrian, used in Judah, 191. 

Rituahsm, effects of, 193, 195. 

•* River of God," 11. 

Roll of Jeremiah, read at public 
fast, 368. 

Rose, the, 47* 

Bosh, 205. 

Rumah, 281. 

Sabbath, year, the, 7; town gates 
closed during, 16 ; desecration of, 
after Josiah, 307-8 j discourse ox 
Jeremiah on, 309. 

Saorifioe, unclean, 81; prophetic 
teaching respecting, 264-267 ; " of 
praise,'^ 810. 

Sacrifices, humim, 138; prophet's 
notices of, 198. 

Sagan, 409. 

Saite dvnasty, 104, 271. 

Saka, tne, 85. 

Salt pits, 130. 

Samaria, Assyrians at, 71 ; last king 
. of, 71. 

•' Sanctuaries," 69, 237. 

Sanctuary, one central, 237. 

Sanitary precautious unknown, 18. 

Sapor, 79. 

" ^arah," 47. 

Saracus, 96. 

Sardanapalus, 79. 

Sar^on, 885. 

Sa/nm — princes, 251. 

Satyrs, altars to, 99. 

Saulmugina, revolt of, 87, 91* 

Savonarola, 322. 

Schools in the East, 305. 

Scribes, rise of the, 203; the pre- 
cursors of the, 248. 

Scripture, extreme accuracy of, 90-1. 

Scythian rule, 113 ; invasion, 164. 

Scythians, etc., first irruption of, 78; 
of Gog, 85; irruption of, 109 ff.; 
Ezekiel on, 110; Roman opinion 
of, 111 ; wagons of the, 164. 

Scythopolis, 118. 

Seed,Levitically clean, 9; "mingled," 
not sown, 9. 

Seers, 50-1 ; 93. 

Secret writing, use of, by Jeremiah, 
345, 406. 

"SfllpV.," 255; the word, 361. 

Sennach>rib, 66 ff. ; defeat of, ode 
on the, 20; murder of, 68; in- 
vasion, traces of, 12. 

Seraiah, 153. 

Serpent charme«», 205. 

Serpents, worship of, 44. 

Seti I., canal of, 272. 

" Seventy years," the, 843, 872. 

Shabah and Saba, 172. 

" Shakar," 89. 

Shallum, 158. 

" Shearing house," the, 347. 

Sheba, queen of, 75. 

Sheepfolds, 129. 

Shemaiah, of Babylon, 424. 


Shepherds, Eastern, 59-60; Arab, 

" Shesbach," meaning of word, 345. 

Shiarim, 99. 

Shihor, 146. 

ShUoh, burning of, 196, 237, 326. 

Sidon, destruction of, 70. 




71 { last king 

287. ,_ 
nknown, lo* 


105. , 
208} tbe pte- 

icuracy of, 90-l» 
nvaeion, 1^* 
[rrttption of, 78 ; 
ion of, 109 ff.; 
Boman opinion 
[ the, 164. 


jf , by Jeremiab, 

ord, 861. 

defeat of, ode 
ier of, 08 i in- 


7e, 348, 872. 


[the, 347. 

^on, 424. 
I, 59-60; Arab, 
ig of word, 345. 

|l96, 237, 326. 
pf , 70. 

Siege of Jenisalem, symbolical re- 

proseiitatiou of, 443. 
Sinai, 301. 

Sipparu, siege of, 88. 
Sirar, 72. 
Sirocco, 40. 
Skin boftles, 446. 
" Slave," equivalent to " servant," 

Slaves, field, 7{ nobles made, 83, 

89 1 domestic, 145 ; sacred, 186. 
Soan, " Boritb," 147. 
Soal, immortality of, 60. 
Sowing in rows, and broadcast, 8. 
Standards, Assyrian, 168. 
Star gods. 31-2, 35, 36. 
Star worsuippers, 126. 
Stocks, tbo, 319, 424. 
Stone, writing on, 223. 
Stones, sacred, 53. 
Stork, the, 202. 
Streets of Jewish towns, the, 13, 

narrowness of, 13; not lighted, 

15,16; altars in, 259. 
" Strength of my heart," 59. 
Stnmbling blocks, 126. 
Sun, eclipse of the, 271. 
Sun-god, horses of the, 188. 
Sun-worship, 33-4, 185, 287, 464. 
Suroijah Dowlah, treasure of, 239. 
** Sweet cane," perfume, 178. 
Swimming, Eastern, 42. 
Syria, extent of, 88. 
" Tabal," 39. 

Tabernacle, Mosaic, modem theory 
of, 236-7. 

Tabernacles, feast of, 10, 168, 222. 

Tahapanes, 146. 

Tammuz, worship of, in Jewish 
temple, 463. 

Tarsbish, 212. 

Tartar, name, derivation of, 110. 

Taxation, pressure of, 6. 

Tekoa, meaning of, 175. 

Tel Abib=Comhill, 388. 

Telassar, 73. 

Teman, 361. 

Temple, Josiah's restoration of, 154 ; 
coUections for repair of, 155 ; dila- 
pidation of , 155; idolatry in, 185; 
purification of, 185 ; Asherah in, 
186; storehouses, 188; rooms on 
roof of, 189 ; buildings over gates 
of, 189; superstitious veneration 
of, by Jews, 325 ; plunder of the, 

Ton tribes, fate of, 72 ; fall of, pre- 
dicted, 260. 

Tont coverings, 138. 

Tents. Scythian, 109. 

Toraphim, 246. 

Touraann of Elam, 86, 87. 

Thebes, 76, 79, 80, 81, 82, 123. 

Theocracy, reinstating of, foretold, 41. 

Thothmes III., 76. 

" Thorns, among the," 90. 

Threshing floors, 0. 

Tiglath.Pilesor I., 107. 

Tiglath.Pilcsor, 386. 

Tirhakah, 75,79,80-1; or Sabako, 
81 ; death of, 81. 

Tohu, 39. 

Tophet, 35, 201, 816; defiling of, 

"Torah," the, 143, 190, 812. 

Totems, worship of, 462. 

Town, a, of Judah described, 18. 

Town halls in Jewish towns, 18. 

Towns, Jewishj position of, 17 ; sizo 
of principal, in Judea, 17 ; govern- 
ment of Jewish, 18. 

Trade, separate streets for each, 15. 

Traders, Eastern, 127. 

Travelling, safety of, in Assyria and 
Babylonia, 452. 

Trees, destruction of, in Judah, 4, 6. 

Trial, Jewish, mode of, 18. 

Tribute in kind, to Assyria, 71-2. 

Tubal of Armenia, 83. 

Turtle, 202. 

"Twig held to the nose," meaning 
of custom, 464. 

Tyranny, Eastern, 272. 

Tyre, David's alliance with, 32; siego 
of, 75, 80, 83. 

Tyropcean valley, 128. 

Uphaz, 212. 

Ur, 69. 

Urjjah the prophet, 288. 

Urumiyah Lake, 105-6. 

Usurers, oppression by, 6. 

Uz, 74. , 

Vanity, 143. 

" Vassals," 124. 

Venus, worship of, 86. 

Villages in Judah, 17. 

" Vine," a frequent figure, 172. 

" Vine and fig tree," meaning of, 19. 

" Vine, noble," 147. 

Vine-shoots, 176-7. 

Vines, Palestine, 19, 20. 



Vintage, 10, 20. 

Vision of Ezckiol. 4S2| Babylonian 

counterpart of, 438. 
Vision of idolatry at Jerusalem, seen 

by Ezekiel, 4/00. 
Vision, prophetic, phenomena of, 469. 
Visions, 138. 
Vulture, 20a. 

Called towns, 12-18, 16. 
Wor, barbarities of, 87-80. 
Watchers in fields, etc., 9, 107-8. 
Water reservoirs at Constantinople, 

Water wheels, 6, 7« 
Weeks, feast of, 9, 174. 
Wheat and barley crops, 7* 
Wheat harvest, 9. 
Wheat sent to Hiram of Tyre, 11. 
Willi earliest extant, 67-8. 

Wine on the lees, 42. 

V/inos, famous, of PaloHtino, SO. 

Winnowing in Palestine, 107. 

Wisdom^ 84, 01. 

Wolves in Pulustine, 170-1. 

Woman in Judah, 391. 

•• Wonders," 98. 

Wooden collar, .424. 

" Yamah," 281. 
Yahimelek, 88. 

Zedekiah, date of reign of, 894 
character of, 896; appointed king 
by Nobuohadnozzar, 890 1 journey 
to Babylon, 897 ; flight of, foretola 
bv Ezekiol, 472. 

Zepnaniah, on Jerusalem, 99, 126 1 
prophecies against heathen nations, 
128 ff. I manly preaching of ,134,163. 


Tho Tozts printed in blacker typo are Tranalationa, 

Genesis. rAoii 

i. 21 45 

.,28,39 427 

IV. 6 169 

I* 22 ••• ••• ttt o87 

xii« 3 163 

|> ^/ ••• ••• ••• *v/ 

zv. 2 382 

I, 18 ... ■•• ... «57 

,, II >•• ••• .«• AJo 

xviii. 22 350 

•I 18 lui) 

ZIX. X ... ««« ... 1/ 

XX. 11 197 

f, lo • 1«'/ 

xxii. 16 267,258 

„ 18 1G3 

xxiv. 7 267, 258 

XXV. 13 210 

xxvi. 3 257 

If V ••• ••• ••• xuo 

„ 12 11 

xxviii. 11-18 ... 53 

xxxiv. 20 17 

xlii. 27 207 

xliii.l8 197 

it 21 •«« 207 

vi. 84 2G3 

xlviii. 20 163 

xlix. 9 145 


ii. 24 257 

iii.8-17 258 

IV. V ... ... *^. o 

„ 16 ... «•• ... 298 

,. 24 207 

VI. 7 198, 257 

„^ 4, 5 257 

,« f ... ... ... Xvv 

Vll. 5f ... ... ... tO 

viii. 12 197 

xL 4 255 



xii. 8, 43 

,, o ... 

„ 7-9 ... 

„ 15 ... 

„ 27 ... 

„40 ... 

{J 43, oto. 
xui. 5 ... 
5 ... 

,, o ... 
XV. 7 ... 
xvii. 7 ... 

„ n ... 

,, 14 ... 
xix. 6 ... 
XX. 2-17 

I* 3 

» 4,22 ... 
„ 8-11 ... 
xxii. 21 

>} 22 

„ 25, 26 ... 
xxiii. 10 
„ 13,24... 
„ 16, 19 ... 

19 Iv ••• 

fy 81 ••• 

Xxlv* / •«• »•• 
XX v« ••• t«« 

xxviii. 41 ... 
xxix. 31 

» 45 

xxxi. 13, 14 ... 
xxxii. 11-14... 

„ 20 

XXXUl. 1 

>l ^ ••• 
XXXIV. 12 

„ 22, 26 
xxxvii. 17 ... 

xl. 15 

II oo ... ... 



. ... 247 

2, 18, 252 

. ... 263 

I ... 2 

. ... 265 

. 445,416 

■ ... 2 

. ... 247 




^ 7 




199, 257, 397 

... ... Om 



... 195,211 

... 211 

... 5 

... 247 

... 142 

... 235 

... 278 

225, 257 

... 428 

... 248 

... 253 

... 257 

... 307 

... 296 

... 257 

... 258 

... 278 

... 142 

... 228 

... 248 

... 199 

Leviticus. vAoa 

ii. 1-4 ... 

• •• 



„ 13 ... 
ui. 0-17 

• •ff 

• »• 


• •• 

• •• 


„ 16 ... 

• if 



iv. 3, 14... 

• •§ 

• •• 


„ 14,20 


• #• 


„ 16,21 


• •• 


V. 6 


• •• 


vi. 3 

• •• 

• flt 


,,.28 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


vii. 5 ... 

• •• 



„ 12 ... 

■ •■ 



viii. 14, 15 




,, 81 ... 

• •• 


X. 17 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


xii. 16 ... 

• •# 

• •• 


xiv. 7 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


XV. 25 ... 

• •t 

• •• 


xvi. 4 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


xix. 3, 80 

• •• 

• •« 


„ 12 ... 

• •• 



II 18 ... 

• •t 

• •• 


„ 19 ... 


127, 447 

,1 27 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


„ 28 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


„ 29 ... 

• •• 

• •a 


II 31 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


,, o% ... 

„ 6, 27 

» 24 ... 

i> 27 ... 
xxi. 6 ... 

„ 17-22 
xxii. 10 ... 
xxiii. 4 ... 
5 ... 

». 10-14 
xxiv. 34 
XXV. 10 ... 

,1 2o ... 

i> 25 ... 


... 235 
... 246 
... 258 
... 246 
... 210 
... 187 
... 199 
... 247 
... 252 
... 174 
... 142 


... 199 










XXTl. 1 ... 




xxxiii. 52 

• •• 


xi. 13, 21 


15, 222 

„ 2 ... 

• •• 



„ 52 

• •• 


„ 1/ ... 


... 292 

„ 8,12 




xxxiv. ... 

• •• 


„ 20 ... 


... 53 

» 9 ... 

• ■• 

• •• 


XXXV. ... 

• •• 


xii. 2 ... 



» 12... 

• «t 

• •• 


„ 12,24... 


„ 14-26 


... 237 

„ 19... 

• •• 

• •• 


xiii. 2-6... 


... 239 

„ 25,26 

• •• 

• •■ 


„ 3 ... 



» 29... 






„ 9 ... 


... 278 

„ 80... 

• •• 



„ 10 ... 


... 246 

„ 34... 

• • • 



i. 8, 35 ... 

• •t 


„ 22... 


... 240 

„ 36-39 

• •• 

• •• 


., 31 ... 
lii. 5 

• •• 


xiv. 1 ... 



zxvii. 18 

• •• 

• •• 


• •• 


„ 2 ... 


... 397 

» 28 

• •« 

• •• 


iv.lO ... 

• •• 


„ 25ir. 


... 235 

XXTIU. 16 

• •• 

• •• 


„ 13, 23, 31 


„ 29 ... 


... 241 

XXXV. 43 

• •• 



„ 15 ... 

• •• 




... 241 

zlii. 44, 45 

• •1 

• •• 


„ 19 ... 



„ 12 ... 


... 241 

„21 ... 




xvi. 2 ... 


... 247 


„ 24, 25 
„ 25 ... 

• •• 

• •• 



., 2,6,11 
„ 6 ... 

,etc.... 235 

iii. 6, 8, 14 

• •• 

• •• 


„ 29 ... 




„ 11 ... 


... 241 

„ 10-12, 45 



„ 37 ... 




,, 18 ... 

• •• 

... 17 

iv. 15 ... 

• •• 


V. 2, 3 ... 




xvii. 3 ... 

• •• 


V. 23 ... 

• •• 


„ o ... 

• •• 



„ 5 ... 

• •• 


vi. 23 ... 

• •t 


„ 8 

• •• 



», 9 ... 

• •• 

... 18 

vii. 9 ... 

• •• 


„ 12-15 




„ 9-18 

• •t 

... 238 

is. 1 



„ 15 

• •• 



„ 14 

• •• 

... 238 

„ 3—5 ... 

• • * 


vi. 3 

• • 



„ 16 

• •• 

... 235 

„ 10, 11 

• •• 


„ 4-9 ... 

• ■■ 



,; 18 

• •• 

221, 223 

„ 36 

• «• 


„ 5 ... 




xviii. 1 ... 

• •• 

... 237 

X. 8, 10 ... 

• •• 


„ 9 ... 

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„ 3 ... 

• •• 

... 238 

„ 21 . 

• •• 


„ 10 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


„ 5,7 

• •• 

... 850 

, , oo • . . 

• •• 


„ lo ... 

• •• 



„ 11 


... 246 

xi. 26, 27, 29 

• •• 


„ 21-23 

• •• 

• •• 


.„ 15 

• •• 


xiii. 24 ... 

• •• 

• ■• 


vii. 2 ... 

• •• 

• •• 


xix. 9 ... 


... 240 

„ 27 ... 

• •• 



„ 2, 9, 12 

• •• 

• •• 


„ 14 ... 


... 7 

„ 29=.. 

• •• 

• •• 



• •• 

• •• 


,, 1/ ... 

• •• 

... 18 

xiv. 8 ... 

• •• 

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„ 7, 8 ... 

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XX. 2 ... 


... 175 

„ 13-20 

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„ 9, 13 


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„ 5 ... 

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... 235 

„ 16,30 

• •• 

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„ 12 ... 

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„ 21 

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„ 12-15 

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„16 ... 

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... 278 

XV. 5, 7, 10 

• ■• 

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„ 15 ... 

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„ 16, 17 

• •• 

... 258 

xvi. 13, 14 

• •• 

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„ 25 ... 

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„ i\t ... 

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... 19 

xviii. 2, 6 

• •• 



viu. 8 ... 

■ •« 

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,,,20 ... 

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... 175 

„ 6 ... 


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„ 11-14 

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xxi. 5 ... 

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V 12 
XXI. 2 ... 

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„ 18 ... 

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„ 10 ... 


... 241 

• •• 

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ix. 9, 11, 16 


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„ 15 ... 

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... 282 


• •• 

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„ 18 ... 

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... 241 

xxiii. 2 ... 

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„ 12 ... 

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xxii. 1, 6, 9 


... 241 

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xxiv. 4 ... 

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„ 11... 

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„ 13... 

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... 241 

XXV. 13 ... 

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„ 20, 21 

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xxiu. 10... 



xxviii. 4 

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xi. 1 

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„ 16... 

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„ 26 

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„ 18... 

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xxxii. 11 

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„ 19... 


... 241 

xxxiii. 2 

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19 24... 

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11, etc... 


If ff ••• 

15, 222 
... 292 
... 53 
... 237 
... 239 
... 278 
... 246 
... 240 
... 397 
... 235 
... 241 
... 241 
... 241 
... 241 
... 17 
... 18 
... 238 
... 238 
... 235 
221, 223 
... 237 
... 238 
... 850 
... 246 
... 240 
... 7 
... 18 
... 175 
... 235 
... 10 
... 278 
... 258 
... 19 
... 175 
18, 238 
... 241 
... 282 
... 241 
... 241 
... 15 
... 241 
... 241 
... 235 
... 241 
... 241 

zxiv. 1 ... ... 

II 1-4 

,1 6, 10, etc. 

II 14 

II 16 

» 17 ... 

I, 18, 22... 
XXV. 2 

II 4 ... ... 

,^ 5 if. ... 
xzvi. 1 

ff xO.«« ••• 

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xzvii. 2, 3,8 ... 

II O ■•• ■•! 

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II x/... ... 

,, 26 

xzviii. 23 
II 25 
» 37 




49 ... 

5S, 61... 

60 ... 

I, 65-67... 

I y OO a»« 

zxix. 12 

II xo*«» ••• 

II x«/*«« ••• 

II 2o..« ••• 

XXX. 2 

II O ■•! ••• 

II XU ••• ••• 

„ 11-14 ... 

„ 16, 20 ... 
zxxi. 9 

I, 9-12 ... 

II 20 

„ 24... 222, 

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II 15 18 ••• 

II M^*«a ••• 

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xxxiii. 2 

„ 10 ... 

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xxxviii. 53-67 

... 241 
160, 159 
... 241 
... 241 
... 229 
... 195 
... 235 
... 2?5 
... 241 
... 241 
... 142 
... 241 
... 258 
... 220 
199, 397 
... 222 
... 223 
... 258 
220, 2 i7 
... 257 
... 257 
... 292 
... 296 
... 326 
... 173 
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... 202 
327- 235 
... ' 198 
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223, 257 
... 226 
... 222 
240, 291 
... 223 
... 208 
... 240 
223, 238 
... 222 
... 253 
234, 241 
... 234 
... 358 
... 178 
... 256 
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... 297 
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... 234 
... 229 
... 315 



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viii. 25 , 

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XX. fll ... ... 

xxi. 18 ... ... 

xxiii. 6 

xxiv. 26 


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IX. 27 

xi. 10 

xiv. 5 

xviii. 27-29 ... 

,, 30 ... 

XX. 15 

II ^o ••• ••• 

it 38 


11. 5 

IV. X u. ... ... 


••• ••• 

••• ••• 
























••• ••• 

1 Samurl. 

i. 7-24 

ii. 8 .., 

;,. 13, 14 
lii. 15 ... 
V. 5 
xi. 5 
xii. 21 

v.. 23 
xiii. 14 
XV. 6 

„ 22 

„ 22 ... 
xxvi. 23... 
xxvii. 10 
XX viii. 7 ff. 
XXX. 29 ... 

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2 Samuel. 

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ii. 18 ... 
X. 4 
xi. 1 

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xii. 3 

xiii. 19 ... 

XV. 1 ... 

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,, 30 ... 
xvi. 4 ... 
xvii. 28 ... 
xviii. 17... 

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xix. 5 ... 

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91 37 ••• 

XX* X •«• 

xxiii. 11 

























1 Kings. 


i. 5 ... 
ii. 3 

„ 26 ... 
iv. 3 ... 
v.ll ... 
vii. 27-37 
viii. 51 ... 

„ 66 ... 
X. 17 ... 
„ 26 ... 
xi. 5-7 ... 

,1 13 ... 
xii. 16 ... 
xiii. 31 ... 

xiv. 8 

XVI. ftf ... ... 

,, x^ ... ... 

xviii. 9 


i| *A0 ••• ••• 

XIX* X«l f ■• ••• 

XXI* ••• ••• 

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xxii. 15 

xxxiv. 36-38... 



... 13 

... 25 

... 136 

... 216 

... 418 

... 257 

... 145 

146, 168 

... 336 

... 239 

... 162 

... 168 

... 191 

... 145 

... 145 

... 448 

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148, 195 

... 213 

... 7 

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... 174 

... 145 

2 Kings. 

ui. 27 
vi. 1-7 
vii. 10 



. 201 
. 262 
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ix. 87 ... 



XXIU. 11 

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xi. 12 ... 

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17, 18 ... 

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3. 4, 21 

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xxiii. 11 

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xiii. 20 ... 

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. 17, 18 

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xiv. 6 ... 

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26, 66 ... 

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xvi. 3 ... 

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xvii. 17 ... 

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31, 33 ... 

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xxviii. 21 

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»'... ^3 ... 

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xviii. 5 ... 

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1 ... 


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J, 22... 

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xiz. 12 ... 

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„ 32 ... 

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XX. 18 ... 


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xxi. 1 ... 

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XXV. 4 ... 

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6 ... 

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2, 17-20 

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„ 11... 

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12 ... 


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» X2,13 

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„ 12,13 

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„ 15-32 

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„ 16... 

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„ 18... 

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1 Chuonicles. 



• •• 


„ 19-26 
»> ^ ... 
x- '. 

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• •• 

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• •• 

• •• 

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ii. 55 ... 
lu. 17 ... 

347, 351 
... 396 





• •• 

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>» ■•■ ••• 

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• •• 



1/ , xo 
21 ... 
46 ... 
26 ... 
37 ... 

12 ... 

36 ... 

40 ... 
. 12, 13 
















. 12-15 

• •• 


»> 4 ... 

• •• 

• •• 





• •• 


„ 5,6 
>» 8 ... 

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„ 20 
xxxiu. 3-7 

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»» 8 ... 
« 8,10 

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„ 8-20 

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»> 14 ... 
„ 20 ... 

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11 ... 

• •• 



XXIU. ... 

„ 1-3 

• •• 

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• •• 

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xxiii. 4 ... 
xxiv. 14 .. 
xxvi. 18... 
„ 29.