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camp of the Ajfyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand, 2 Kings xix. 19? 35- which was the fulfilling of the Prophecy of Isaiah, delivered to Hez.ekiah, in a Message to Him from God, in Answer to his Prayer: And Sennacherib returned to Nineveh, and there fell by the Sword, as the fame Prophet had foretold, and never came before Jerusalem, ver. 7,33,37. And afterwards Embassadors came from the King of Babylon, to enquire of the Wonder, or Miracle , that was wrought in his Recovery from his Sickness, 2 Chron. xxxij. 31. And at last, the Captivity of the Jews, for Seventy Years, in Babylon, made their Religion al-> most as well known there, as in Jerusalem it self. Jeremiah had foretold the Captivity of the Jews, and the Conquest of all the adjacent Countries, so long and so plainly, before-hand, that all the neighbour Nations must be sensible of it, as Nebuchadnezzar himself also was •, for which reason, he gave a strict charge concerning Jeremiah, to Nebuz,aradan the Captain of the Guard, who declares the reason of their Captivity to be, their sins against the Lord, or Jehovah, Jer. xl .3. and, as the Jews fay, he became a Proselyte. Their Enemies were sensible of the cause of their Destruction: Their Adversaries said, ive offend not, because they have finned against the Lord, the habitation os Justice, even the Lord the hope of their Fathers, Jer. 1. 7. God professes, that he had a regard to the Honour of his Name among the Heathen, in his Mercies vouchsafed to the Children of Israel, or else he had utterly consumed them, Eaek. xx. 9. xxxvi. 22, 23,-36. and the Judgments upon the several Nations prophesied against, were to this end, that they might know him to be the Lord, Ezek. xxv. 7, 17. xxvi. 6. xxviii. 2a, 23,24. xxix. 6. xxxv. 9. xxxvi. 23. xxxvii. 28. / am a great King, faith the Lord ofhofis, and my name is dreadful among the heathen, Mai. i. 14. The Jews, in their Captivity, are commanded to make an open Declaration against the Heathen Gods j and because they
understood not the Chaldee Tongue, the Prophet Jeremiah supplies them with so much of the Language as might serve them for that purpose •, T%ns (lull ye fay unto them-, Jer. x. 11. that is, z Ye shall speak to them in their own Language, and in the words which I now set down to you, to bid Defiance to their False Gods. Thus did he fulfil his Commission and Character, who was fanilified and ordained a Prophet'unto the nations, Jer. i. 5. And Jeremiah was put to death in zÆgypt,and Enekiel in Babylon, for appearing against the Idolatry of those Places.
During the Captivity, Jehoiachin was reconciled to the King of Babylon, and in great favour with him: His throne was Jet above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon, l Kings xxv. 28. The Jews were commanded to take Wives for Them, and for their Sons, that they might be encreased there, and not diminished, (Jer. xxix. 6.) and they were not only considerable for their Number, but were in great Esteem, and in Places of great Honour and Trust; and their Religion was extolled and recommended by Publick Edicts to all under that vast Empire. The Almighty, Power of God was manifested by Miracles, and by the Interpretation of Dreams and Prophecies; aud his Majesty and Honour was acknowledged and proclaimed in the most publick and solemn manner, throughout, all the Babylonian Empire, at the Command of Princes who were Idolaters, and were forced to it by the meer convictions of their own Consciences, wrought, in them by the irresistible Power of God, Dan. ii, iii, iv, v, vi.
Daniel had acquainted Cyrus (as JosephTM fays) with the Prophecy of Isaiah, in which he was so long be-, fore mention'd by Name: However, the Lord stir
1 Lingua. Atam&a. dkmt Interpret es Prophet am ickirco locutitm effe, quid Jud&os cum ChaldœU drfputantes Jeremiat inflniebat, quomodo, iis' reffondendum effet Lingua Chaldaka. Abravanelde cap. Fidei. c. 20.
G red red up the Spirit of Cyrus, by this or some other means, to accomplish the Prophecy which he had made both by Isaiah and Jeremiah, concerning the Restoration of the Jews, after a Captivity of Seventy Years; and Cyrus sent forth his Proclamation , declaring that he had received his Kingdom from God, with a charge to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 23. And this Decree of Cyrus was reinforced by Darius and Artaxerxes, Ezra vi, vii. Now so many several Decrees, put forth in favour of the Religion of the Jews, and the miraculous Power and Wisdom which gave occasion to them, and the Advancement of Daniel and others, and the long life and continuance of Daniel in that Power and Esteem, must leave all the Eastern part of the World without any excuse, who were not converted to the Knowledge and Worship of the True God. The Advancement of Esther and Mordecai under Ahafuerm, and of Nehemiah under Artaxerxes, gave the Jews great Authority, and great opportunities of propagating their Religion from India even unto tÆthiopia, over an hundred, and seven and twenty'provinces; for this was the extent of the Dominions of Ahafuerus, Esth.i. 1. and the Jews were dispersed in all the Provinces of the Kingdom of Babylon, chap. iii. 8. And they wanted no Care nor Diligence to improve every Opportunity; as we leani from the Books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther; and the very Names of such Persons are enough to convince us, that that part of the World could want no means of Conversion: Confess him before the Gentiles, ye children of Israel; for he hath scattered us among them: there declare his greatKefs, and extol him before all the living: for he is our Lord, and he is the God, our Father for ever. In the land of my captivity do I praise him, and declare his might and majesty to a sinful nation, Tob. xiii- 3, 4,6. Thi? was the Practice of Pious Men among the Ten
And as the Ten Tribes were first carried away Captive; so, upon the Restoration of the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, all but a few, in comparison, of the other Tribes, remained in the places of their Captivity? and many " of those Two Tribes also chose rather to continue in Babylon, than forsake the Possessions which they enjoyed there: It is supposed, that not much more than half of them returned ■, and there were afterwards three celebrated Universities b of the Jews in Babylon, Nehardea, Fombeditha, and Saria, besides several other Places famous for Learning. The Jews relate, c that the Ten Tribes were carried away not only into Media "and Persia, but into the Northern Countries beyond theBofphorm \ and Ortelim finds them in Tartary. The Odomantes, a People of Thrace, were Circumcised , and the d Scholiast of Aristophanes says, that they were reported to bs Jews. In process of time they went as far as China.
The Restoration of the Jews by Cyrus, who had 'been so long before appointed and named by God himself for that Work, was ordained for this end, that they might know, from the rising of the fun^ and from the west, that there is no God besides him, Isa. xlv.5. The Conquests of Cyrus opened a great correspondence between the Nations of the World, and his particular Favour to the Jews made them much taken notice of by other Nations. And it is observable, that after the Captivity, the Jews were never given to Idolatry; and tho' they w~ere before too much addicted to it, yet this gave occalion to Prophecies and Miracles to withdraw them trom it j and these, with the judg
:ments of God which befel them for their Inquiries, gave continual Manifestations to the World of the Truth of tljeir Religion.
When the Ten Tribes were carried from Samaria, and strange Nations were transplanted thither in their room,- God would not suffer his Name and Worship to be quite neglected and forgotten amongst them, butsthey were forced to fend for a Priest back again, to, teach them the fear of the Lord, 2 King. xvii.
And after the taking of Jerusalem *by Nebuchadnezzar, and the Death of Gedaliah, who was set over them that were left behind in the Land of Judah, all the People that were not before carried to Babylon, fled into tAr-gypt, Jeremiah being forced along with them, who there prophesied against tÆgypt, and foretold its Destruction by the Babylonians-, Jer. xliii. and at last snffer'd Martyrdom. Their going into zÆgypt, was indeed contrary to the Word of the Lord by Jetremiah, but the Providence of God. so order'd things, that Jererniah should be carry'd thither with the rest, to testifie against their Wickedness and Obstinacy, and to denounce God's Judgments upon them, and upon the t/Egyptians, in whom they placed their confidence, rather than in the Living God, and then to die in testimony of the Truth of what he had delivered.
Cyrus and Darius desired the Prayers and Sacrifices of the Jews, in behalf of themselves and their Kingdoms. Alexander the Great, Ptolemxus Philadelphus, Augustus, Tiberius, and Vitelliiu, sent Viftims to be sacrificed at the Temple of Jerusalem, (as we learn from Philo and Jofephus.) The Jews constantly offer'd Sacrifices and Prayers for the Kings and Emperors under whom they lived, and for their Allies and Confederates, 1 Maccab. vii. 33. and xii. 11. and it was expected of them: for the omission of this, contrary to -their known and approved Custom in all former Times, was the thing which hastened their final Destruction by the Romans. .... » t.\ . The