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Jonah, however, still seemed to think that something might happen to the city ; so he went out of it, and made a booth on a spot where he could see Nineveh. A booth differed from a tent, being made, not of cloth, but only of branches of trees, something like our arbours in our gardens. In this situation, God was still kind to him, and he caused a gourd to spring up and cover Jonah's booth ; so that he was well protected in the day from the burning sun, and at night from the cold. Jonah was pleased at this comfort; but in the morning God caused a worm to destroy his gourd, and a strong warm wind drove the heat of the scorching sun full in Jonah's face, so that he became quite faint ; and he said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” Then God blamed Jonah for feeling so much at the loss of his gourd, and yet he could not feel pained at the thoughts of Nineveh perishing, where there were not merely immense numbers of grown-up persons, but a hundred and twenty thousand little infants, who could not possibly tell their right hand from their left, and who must have perished with their wicked parents.
Micah was a prophet of Judah. He confirmed the predictions of Isaiah against the people of Israel and Judah.
Nahum denounced the judgments of God against Nineveh, which returned to its wickedness after the preaching of Jonah. Here I shall tell you a little more about Nineveh. This city, the capital of Assyria, stogd on the banks of the river Tigris. It was very large, and contained at least six hundred thousand inhabitants. Ancient writers tell us, that its walls were a hundred feet high, sixty miles round, nearly three times the size of London --and that it was defended by no less than fifteen hundred towers, from which the Assyrian warriors could command and drive off any enemies who should attempt to mount their walls. This famous city, notwithstanding its strength, was taken at several different times, and was entirely ruined in the time of Adrian, a Roman Emperor. It was afterwards rebuilt by the Persians; but the new city was destroyed by the Saracens twelve or thirteen hundred years ago. Not one atom of the ancient city now remains. So Nahum prophesied ; and the word of the Lord has strictly been fulfilled. This prophet said, “ The Lord will make an utter end of the place thereof—she is empty,
void, and waste.” The fate of Nineveh, at last, should teach sinners not to trifle with God. He is merciful, but he is also just. The sinner who truly repents shall without doubt be saved, but he who returns to his wickedness and hardens himself shall perish.
Habakkuk was one of the prophets employed to foretel the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans.
Zephaniah prophesied, not only against the wicked Jews, but also against the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, and Ethiopians.
Haggai, by his prophecies, encouraged the rebuilding of the temple after the Jews had been restored by Cyrus, and the decree in their favour was renewed by Darius, as you read in Ezra, and Nehemiah.
Zechariah's prophecies also encouraged the Jews in the rebuilding of the the temple. He has some remarkable prophecies respecting some minute particulars in the life of Jesus Christ, as his riding on a colt, the foal of an ass, and the price paid to Judas to betray him.
Malachi was the last of the prophets of the Old Testament. known as a prophet about a hundred and twenty years after the Jews returned from Babylon, and four hundred and twenty years before Christ. He prophesied of Christ, and of his herald John the Baptist, who should have the spirit and courage of Elijah ; representing Christ as a glorious sun, who shonld arise and shine upon the nations darkened by ignorance, with health upon his beams.
With Malachi, the gift of prophecy under the old dispensation ceased, for John the Baptist was rather the immediate forerunner, than the prophetic preacher of Jesus. Four hundred years of history, from the time of Malachi to the coming of the Saviour into the world, must therefore be filled up from what is called ancient or profane history-called profane, not because it is wicked, but because it has no pretensions to be sacred like the Bible.
Thus, by the good providence of God, I have brought my Commentary on the Old Testament to a close. I shall be happy if my labours have been the means of affording you amusement and instruction ; but much more so, if they have led you to love the holy word of God, and to trust in that blessed and divine Saviour to whom I have often referred as shadowed forth in the sacrifices of the ceremonial law, and foretold by the prophets; and on whose most interesting life, death, and sufferings, we hope more particularly to dwell in some future thoughts on the New TESTAMENT.