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from Avah, and Havath, and Sepharvaim, to dwell in the cities of Samaria in their stead.
Thus accurately is the period fixed when ten out of the twelve tribes were carried captive, and made outcasts from their own land; and thus accurately are we furnihsed with a datum from whence to calculate the chronological prophecies connected with their restoration! In this prophecy there is no ambiguity or obscurity, as is invariably to be found in others: the date of its commencement, and consequent termination, could be known at the time with certainty; and it possesses no remarkable peculiarity in its structure. The date was to be reckoned from the time it was given to the prophet Isaiah; which was on the occasion of the king of Israel conspiring with the king of Syria to dethrone the royal house of David, and set up a stranger as king of Judah, in the room of Ahaz; they not knowing, or forgetting, that from his family “a virgin should conceive and bear a son, and should call his name Immanuel;" which was the sign the prophet gave him to calm his fears, and raise his drooping spirits. And this was one of those extraordinary interferences on behalf of Judah which was above alluded to, and which are so often found in the history of its kings; in which God stepped out of the common order of his providences for their preservation, even though Ahaz himself was a man that did evil in the sight
of the Lord, and walked not after the way of David his father.
The close of the period was to be marked by the ruin of one of those enemies that had thus plotted his destruction: the event happened according to the prediction, and Israel ceased to be a nation.
But the prophecy has a reference not to the captivity of Israel only. For "the near connection of the captivity of Manasseh happening at the same time with the predicted final ruin of Ephraim as a people, makes the prediction of the one naturally to cohere with the prediction of the other." (Lowth.) And as both kingdoms are predicted to be restored at the same time, if their united ruin is to be dated from any one period, it must be, in consequence, from the year when one common ruin fell upon them. I would therefore again repeat, that if, in any part of the word of God, there is an assigned period given for the whole length of Israel's and Judah's captivity, as one united people, it ought to be reckoned from this era of their history; and it will be found, in a subsequent part of this work, that such use is made of it, from which to calculate the time of their happy restoration.
FROM THE CAPTIVITY OF JUDAH IN BABYLON BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR, TO THE DECREE OF CYRUS:
FROM 606 TO 536 BEFORE CHRIST.
FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM BY NEBU. CHADNEZZAR, TO THE DECREE OF DARIUS HYSTASPES:
FROM 588 TO 518 BEFORE CHRIST.
Honours of the tribe of Judah -Judgments on Judah-Its prolonged existence as a nation- Duration of the Babylonish Captivity-Double commencement and double termination of-Cyrus, edict of Taking of BabylonTaking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar-Edict of Darius Hystaspes-Quotation from Dr. Prideaux-Deliverance from the present symbolical Babylon noticed -Judgments on Babylon-Their remarkable fulfilment -Kindness of the Persian Monarchs to the Jews, and the consequent preservation of Persia as a kingdom.
"THEREFORE thus saith the Lord of hosts, Because ye have not heard my words, behold, I will send and take all the Families of the North, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover, I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the mill-stones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon SEVENTY YEARS. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and I will make it perpetual desolations.”
JER. XXV. 8-12.
"After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word towards you, in causing you to return to this place."-JER. xxix. 10.
As the period which has just been considered referred more particularly to Israel, or the kingdom of the Ten Tribes, so the present period refers exclusively to Judah, and to Benjamin, which was attached to it, and ever remained connected with its fortunes. The tribe of Judah, being the one from which the Messiah was to spring, had an especial blessing resting upon it-especial honours surrounded its throne, and especial deliverances were repeatedly wrought for its preservation. Within its boundaries was Jerusalem-the city of Zion, the mountain which the Lord loved! "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the Great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David!'