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INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
The character of Ezekiel, as a writer and a poet, is thus admirably drawn tonishing visions, and of those admirable poetical representations, which he by the masterly hand of Bp. Louth: "Ezekiel is much interior to Jeremiah in committed to writing; but as an instrument in the hands of God, who vouch elegance ; in sublinity, he is not even excelled by Isaial; but his sublimity satöd to reveal himself, through a long succession of ages, not only in divers is of a totally different kind. He is deep, vehement, trugical; the only sen-parts constituting a magniticent and uniform whole, but also in diferent man salion he affects to excite is the terrible ; bis sentiments are elevated, ners, axby voice, by dreams, by inspiration, and by plain or enigmatical vision. animated, full of fire and indignation ; his imagery 13 crowded, magni: "Ezekiel is a great poet, full of originality; and, in my opinion, whoever cen ficent, terrific, and sometimes bordering on indelicacy; bis language Issures him as if he were only an imitator of the old prophets, can never have grand, solemn, austere, rough, and at times unpolished; he abounds in repeti felt his power. He must not in general, be compared with Isaiah, and the rest tions not for the sake of grace or elegance, but from vehemence and indigna of the old prophets. These are great, Ezekiel is also real; thuse in their man tion. Whatever subject he treats of, that he sedulously annes; from that he ner of poetry. Ezekiel in his; wuch he had invented for limeelt, if we may torin rarely departs, but cleaves, as it were, to it; whence the connexion is in general our judement from the Hebrew monuments will extant." To justify thus cha. evident and well preserved. In other respects, be may perhaps be exceeded racter, the learned prelate descends to particulars, and gives aprite example, by the other prophets ; but, for that species of composition to which he seems not only of the clear, flowing, and nervous, but also of the sublime ; and con. adapted by nature, the forcible, inpetuous, gruve, and grand, not one of the cludes his observations on this style, by stating it to be his deliberate timon sacred writers is superior to him. His diction is sufficiently perspicuous; all that if his "style is the old age of the Hebrew language and conjuntion, it is 3 his obscurity arises from the nature of his subjects. Visions (as for instance, firm and vigorous one, and should induce us to trace its youth and manhood among others, those of Hosea, Amos, and Zechariah.) are necessanly dark and with the inort assiduous attention." As a prophet. Ezekiel must ever be al confused. The greater part of Ezekiel, particularly towards the middle of the lowed to nccupy a very high rank ; and few of the prophets have left a more valu book, is poetical, whether we regard the matter or the language. But some able treasure to the church of Ciod than he has. It is true, he is in several places passages are so rude and unpolished, that we are frequently at a loss to what obscure ; but this resulted either from the nature of his subjects, or tine n ts species of writing we ought to refer them." Michaelis, however, so far from e's predicted being still unfulfilled: and, when time has rolled a way the mist of futeeming him as equal to Isaiah in sublimity. is inclined to think, that he displays turity, successive generations will then perceive with what besvenly wixdom more art and luxuriance in amplifying and derorating his subject than are con this much neglected prophet has spoken. There is, however, a great proportion sistent with the poetical fervour. or indeed with true sublimity; and pronounces of his work which is free from every obscurity, and highly editving. He has so him to be in general an imitator, who has the art of giving an air of novelty accurately and minutely foretold the fate and condition of various nations and and ingenuity, but not of grandeur and sublimity, to all his compositions; and | cities, that nothing can be more interesting than to trace the exact accomplishthat, as he lived at a period when the Hebrew language was visibly on the de ment of these prophecies in the accounts furnished by historians and travellers ! cline, so if we compare him with the Latin pouts who succeeded the Augustan while, under the clerunt type of a new temple to be erected, a new w hip to age, we may find some resemblance in the style, something that indicates the be introduced, and a new Jerusalem to be built, with new land to be allotted to old age of poetry. But, as Abp. Nato come judiciously observer, the prophet is the twelve tribes, may be discovered the vast extent and glory of the New Tes not to be considered merely as a poct, or as a framer of those august and as. Itament Church.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET DANIEL.
led the finur greater Property to manier om ee
liegen dem Erasmus call themes Children in this is
DANIEL is the last of those usually called the four greater Prophets, not for 'Theodosius's Greek version, which are admitted into the Catholic Canon of the their superior excellence or authority, but for their contents: the book of Daniel Old Testament by the Council of Trent. These are, "The History of Susan is, however, much shorter than either of the other thrce. Indeed, some of the na," wluch, in its title, is said to be " set apart from the beginning of Daniel.' minor Prophets, as Hosea and Zechariah, contain more chapters than Daniel, and the History for rather table as Erasmus calls it of Pel and the Dragon." though not more matter.
cut off from the end of it; also "the Song of the Three Children" in the fiery Daniel was of noble descent, and probably, as the Jews assert, related to the fumace, all which are rejected from the Canon by the leamed and judicious royal family of Judah. He was carried captive to Ballou at an early age, in Lardner, and by all consistent Protestants, as never having existed in the He. the fourth year of Jchoiakim, king of Judah, A. M 3398, and in the 606th year brew or Chaldee languages. before the Christinn era. Having been initiated into the mysterious learning of We should not omit to add, that the beginning and latter parts of this book the Chaldeans, he was found qualified for the bighest oflices in the courts of in the original are Hebrew: but the middle part, from chap. I. 4. to the end of Babylon and Persia; he did not dcfile himself with their idolatries, but be-chap. vil, is in Chaldaic, the language of the country in which the prophet came eminent for his piety as well as his wisdom. In consequence of lived. Cominentatoninerally divide the whole book into two parts; the his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, he was established governor former, comprising the first six chapter, contaming the history of Daniel and of the province of Babylon, and chief of the wise men ; and he seems the three worthics cast into the fiery furnace; also of the kings Xeburhaitez to have continued in an exalted station, and in offices of great trust and power,zar, Belshazzar, and Darius. The second part, including the last six chapters, through all the subsequent period of the Chaldean monarchy, and afterwards uu. contains a series of important prophetic visions, which we shall endeavour, der Darius the Mede, and Cyrils the Persian. He was contemporary with Eze with the assistance above mentioned, to explain Sir Is. Nereion considered kiel, who mentions his extraordinary plety and wisdom, (ch. xiv. 14, 20.) the latter these prophecies of such im ortance, that he says, to rejcct them, is to reject of which, even at that time, seenis to have become proverbial, (ch. xxvi. 3.) the Christian Religion. For this religion is founded on his (Daniel's) prophecy Ho lived throughout the seventy years' captivity, but it does not appear that he concerning the Messiah. returned to his own country; and as the last of his visions, of which we have Though we cannot pretend to settle the difficult chronology of this book. We any account, took place in the third year of Cyrus, about B. C. 534, when he may remark. that it enubraces the whole seventy years of the Babylonish capti was about ninety-four years of age, and resided at Susa, or Shouster, it N not vity, and indeed, commenced considerably before ; for Daniel, being carried inprobable that he died and was buried there, ILS some Asiatic authors affirm, away with the first Jewish captives, is thought to have interpreted Nebuchadwhere his tomb is still shown!
nezzar's first dream of the mysterious image of gold, &c. several years morto Though Daniel's name is not prefired to this book, he speaks so often in the that calamity. The other historical events here contained, are supposed to SI. first person as to leave no reason to doubt the fact; it has been almost univer- ceed in the following order :--His idolatrous inage set up, and the three Hebra w sally admitted both by Jews and Christians. The evidence arising from his pre children cast into the fiery furnace, for refusing to worship it, B. C. 381. His det dictions in favour of Christianity, have led sonne Jews to speak degradingly of rangement, which lasted seven yean, began about 569 B. C. Balshazzar's his authority: Josephus, however, speaks of him as one of the cutest of the alarm at the hand-writing on the wall: his death, and the context of Balylon. Prophets; but to us Christians "the testimony of Jesus," who calls him "the 538. Daniel cast into the lion's den, and wonderful deliverance 537 : after which Prophet Daniel," (Matt. xxv. 15.) is paramount to all other. Neither this he was promoted by Darius to the higbest honours of his realm, and lived to the book, nor that of Juuah, is considered as petical, though some passages are third year of Cyrus, King of Persia, (chapter XI.) when he is calculated to remarkably sublime.
have been 94 years of age; the true reason probably that he returned not to Some additions to this book are, indeed, found in the Vulgate Latin, and in | Judea.
idolatrous und worship it, bic
DANIEL, as a writer, is simple, yet pure and correct, whether he writes He that, as Bp. Version remarks," there is not so complete and regular a series brew or Chaldee; and in so conscientious, that he relates the very words of the of their kings, there is not so concise and comprchensive an account of their persons whom he introduces as onking. Though his style is not so lofty and aftnirs, to be found in any author of these times. The prophecy is really more figurative as that of the other prophets, it is more suitable to his subject, being perfect than any history. No one historian hath related so many circumstances, clear and concise ; his narratives and descriptions are simple and natural; and, and in such exact orier of time, as the prophet hath foretold them: so that it in short, be writes more like a hi-torian than a prophet. Hie predictions are the wa Deressary to have recourse to several authors, Greek and Roman Jewish most extraordinary and comprehensive of all that are found in the prophetical and Christian, to collect here romething from one, and to collect there some wriongs, for they include the generallistory of the world, as well as that of the thing from another, for the better explaining the cat variety of particulars church of God under the Jewish and Christian dispensations, from the period contained in this prophecy. It was the circumstantial fullment of these prein which he lived to the final consumination of all things, and he alone, of dictions which induced Porphyry to maintain that they were written in the time all the prophets, foretold the exact time when the Messiah should appear and of Antiochus Epiphanes, after the events to which they refer had occurred; finish the great work of human redemption. At the suine time his prophecies though the book of Daniel had been translated into Greek one hundred years are so minute and circumstantial, especially concerning the kingdoms of Egypt before Antiochus; was particularly commended by Joseph18; and is frequently and Syria, from the death of Alexander to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, cited and appealed to in the Targums and Talmuds, and other Jewish writings.
THE BOOK OF HOSEA.
OF Hosea the prophet, we have no certain information, prcept what he subjects of 60 years' prophery are condensed into a few pagng? But it ik, in himself furnishes us with that he was the son of Beer, and prophed in many places, moving and pathetic, and, not selalom, beautiful and sul lime. the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judab, an of Hosea is a bold reprover, not only of the vices of the people, but also of their Jeroboam II. king of Israel, probably from about A M 3219. B. C. 755. to kings, princes, and priests. Like most other of the Hebrew prophets, howA. M. 3979, P. C. 725. being a period of 60 years. It is probable that he was ever, he tempers his denunciations of vengeance with promisny of mercy : an Israelite, and lived in the kingdom of Samaria or the ten tribes. Epiphat and the transitions from the one to the other, are often sudden and uncsntnius says, that he was a native of Belemioth in the tribe of Issachar; und the ed."- Dr. John Smith. This book is poetically rendered by all the nortern Rubbins say that Bura, who is mentioned in the Chronicles, was his father. I trunslators, and the poetry is of the most ancient cast: "pointed eneretic and was prince of the tribe of Reuben when Tiglath.pileser carried some of and concise," says Bishop Loth. We may here briefly consider a question the tribes of Israel captive: if so, Hosea must have been of the tribe of Reu- which will necessarily meet us in the very entrance of the book : "Was Ho. ben; and probably a native of Baalmeon, cast of Jordan. Jerome and others sea directed to and did he really marry a wife of whoredom? or is this only believe him to be the oldest prophet whose writing are in our possession, and to be considered as a vision, as some think, or a parable, as others ?" Archthat he witnessed not only the first captivity by Tiglath pileser, but also the bishop Worcume seems to consider it as a fact, and Bishop Horsley is most extinction of the kingdom of Israel by Shalmanestr. "His propheries are decidedly of that opinion. We confess that we are not fond of resolving all chiefly (but by no means exclusively) directed to the ten triles, before their the prophetic actions into mere visionary transactions, nor do we see any necaptivity, reproving them for their sins, exhorting them to repentance, and cessity for so doing in the present instance. The Prophet is not ordered to threatening them with destruction, in case of impenitence; but comforting commit either adultery or fornication, but to marry, nor does it appear that the pious with the promise of the vessiah, and of the hairy state of the the woman perkevered in her criminality. The fact seems to us, that she had church in the latter days. His style is so abrupt, sententious, and concise, been previously married, during which connexion she had been criminal with that it borders sometimes on obscurity. And how should it not, when the | another man; and actually had, at this time, children living with her, who
OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
had been bom in adultery. This woman, who had been an adulteross, and Prophet's conduct would, of course, know the reason of it, and the authority these Juren of artultery, he is commanded to receive into his family; but on which he acted. Bishop Horsley is, indeed, of opinion, that she was also there no intimation of her being false to him, and a change of character unfaithful to the Prophet afterwards, which inade her the more correct type of Day we think, fairly be presumed. It may be said to have been an unseeroly the Jewish Church. Of this, however, we see no necessity, since the object Cunha vion ; but the divine command justifies it; and all who knew of the was to teach them, not to practice, but to abhor idolatry.
The propbecies of Horea which were soon fulfilled are very numerous : but | dicts, indeed, in the strongest and clearest terms, the ingrafting of the Genthese relatine to the state of Israel and Judah for many ages, the conversion tiles into the church of God. But he mentions it only generally; he enters of the Gentiles, and the future restoration of Israel, are peculiarly distinct and not, like Isaiah, into a minute detail of the progress of the business. Nor does striking: they coinciile with those of the other prophets; and the extraordi be describe, in any detail, the previous contest with the apostate faction in the nary fulfiloient of several of them, in past and present tines, both proves the latter ages. He makes no explicit mention of the share which the converted Divide inspiration of the writer, and gives assurance that the rest will in due Gentiles are to have in the re-establishinent of the natural Israel in their anto be accomplished. His principal subject, as Bishop Horsley observes, is cient seats ; subjects wbich make so striking a part of the prophecies of Isaiah, that which forms the principal subject of all the prophets-" the guilt of the Daniel, Zechariah, Hagrui, and occasionally of the other prophets. He alJewish nation in general, their disobedient refractory spirit, the henvy judg. ludes to the calling of our Lord from Egypt; to the resurrection on the third ments that awaited tbem, their final conversion to God, and to a condition of day; he touches, but only in general terms, upon the final overthrow of the the steatest naipal prosperity, and of high pre eminence among the nations Antichristiau army in Palestine, by the immediate interposition of Jehovah; of the earth, nder the immediate protection of the Messiah, in the latter ages and he celebrates, in the loftest strains of triumph and exultation, the Saof the world. He contioes himself more closely to this single subject than viour's final victory over death and hell. But yet, of all the prophets, he cer. any other opbet lle seems, indeed, of all the prophets, if I may so express tainly enters the least into the detail of the mysteries of redemption. We my conception of his peculiar character, to have been the most of a Jew have nothing in him descriptive of the events between the two advents of our Cataratively be scens to care little about other people. He wanders not, Lord. Nothing ditiuse and circumstantial upon the great and interesting mys. hikt Larah Jeremiah, and Ezekici, into the collateral history of the surround- teries of the incarnation and the atonement. His country, and his kindred, is
:heathen pation He meddles not, like Daniel, with the revolutions of the subject next his heart. Their crimey excite his indignation; their suffer. the text empire of the world. His own country seems to engroes his whole linge interest his pity, their future exaltation is the object on which bis ima. attention; her privileges, her crimes, her punishment, her pardon. He pre: ' gination fixes with delight.
hand mains une di
THE BOOK OF JOEL.
JOEL the prophet, according to the Pseudo-Epiphanius, was of the tribe of we have accordingly adopted it. The book of Joel consists of three chapters ; it ween, and a native of Betloron, or rather Bechharan, in that tribe ; but no- in which the prophet, in consequence of a dreadful famine caused by locusts
? crtain is known respecting him, except that he way the son of Pethuel, and other noxious insects, calls upon both priests and people to ropent with 24 home in ua in the title of his predictions. It is even very uncertain prayer and fasting, cries unto God for them, and represents the very beasts as during what perind the prophesied; through it is evident he exercised the pro joining in his supplications, he predicts still greater judgments by an army of
mitte otice in the kina dom of Judah. Jerome, Vitringa, Rosenmuller, locusts, earnestly exhorts them to public fasting, prayer, and repentance, prohone, ani tinn, think that he lived in the reign of tziah, and consequent. mist's the removal of these calainities on their rejsentance, with various other Jy was cuntemporary with loata and Amos: Calmet, Eckermann, and blessings, makes an elegant transition to the thirsion of the Holy Spirit under Ol a ce lum in the fuiya of Josiah; Kimchi and others Tefer him to the the Gospel, and foretels the consequent destruction of Jerusalein and the M. of Jorata; while the Jewish Chronicles called Sedar Olam. Jarchi, and Jewish nation, interspersed with promises of safety to the faithrill and peni
Tiral Jewish writer, followed by Drusius, Archbishop Neucome, Dr. A. tent; he then firedicts the divine judgments to be executed on the enemies ( wd otlar, maintain that he propilested under Manasseb; and, as of God's people, and the subsequent peace, prosperity, and purity of oullaleral circumstances seem to preponderate in favour of this hypothesis, Israel.
Thesisle of Joel is allowed by the most competent judges to be inimitably to be produced by locusts in the vegetable world, he portrays the more disa brafil: containing such an asseinblage of vegance, pathos, and sublimity, tant calamities to be inflicted by the armies of the Chaldeans in their invau ranfond in dy remains of ancient poetry. ** The style of Joel," says sion of Judea. Hence, probably, the studied ambiguity of some of the exBiel op Lori, dillere much from that of Husca ; but, though of a different pressions ; while the double destruction to be effected by these fearful insects nl. Berally portical. It is elegant, punpicnous, clear, diffusivo, and and those enemies of which they were the harbingery, is painted with the y ; and, at the same time, very sublime, Dervous, and animated. He most expressive force, in terms reciprocally metaphorical. and adiniral.lv
the whole wwer of poetic description in the first and second chap-adapted to the twofoll character of the descriptions. These predictions are *; and at the same time his fondnu for metaphore, comparisons, and alle followed by a miore general denunciation of God's vengeance, delivered with Bin is thu connetion of lis subjects less remarkable than the graces such force and aggravation of circunstances, as to be in some measure de. of drtion. It is not to be denind that in some places he is very obscure ; ecriptive of that tinul judgment, which some temporal dispensations of Provi. shoh ttfry attentive reader will perceive, especially in the end of his pro- dence may be suid to pretigure. These several declarations are intenningles pbs.** This orcurity, however, does not proceed from the language, which with earnest exhortations to solenin fasting, repentance, and prayer, and with
Tommarly in picionbut wholly from the nature of the subjects; the I promises of deliverance and retuming prosperity productive of Gospel bleybizol of his Calon being somewhat shnded by allusions to circumnings; in treating of which he foretels, in the clearest termis, the general cihii. stannus yrturn ed. His descriptions are bighly animated ; and his lansion of the Holy Spirit, which was to characterize the Gospel dispensation,
172, in force, and often in sound, well adapter to his subject. The contex: predictins, in the fullest and plainest manner, the awfiil consequences of obLufth pruter in the first and second chapters is extremely curions, and stinately rejecung the sacred influence, especially to the Jews, the event of Baht up with a unirable force and beauty ; in which by an animated repre- which, to this day, frily attests his Divine inspiration. In conclusion, he fore
a n be anticipates the scenes of misty which lowered over Judea, it is tels the righteous judgments of God in the final excision of his enemies, and Buurilly supped, that the ruitet blends two subjects of affliction in one the glorious state of prosperity to be yet enjoyed by the church; representing futural consideration, or beautiful allegory; and that, under the devastation lits perfections and blessings under the poetic emblems of a golden age,
tice of God in
THE BOOK OF AMOS.
INTRODUCTION. AYOS 9% contemporary with Hosna, though he did not, probably, live so to renounce their idols and to seek the Lord; declares the judgments of God
He wax at educated in the Schools of the Prophets, founded by Sa on the scorful, presumptuous, and hyperiticul Israelites, whom God senDr. tut we called to the prophetic office from being a shepherd and herds- tences to captivity; denounce the mint terrible calamities on the selt indul112 in Than in the territory of Judah, and sent to exhort the people of Is. gent and sell confident Jews and Israelites; averts by prayer the judgments of rar, tot Tentance-He than to prophesy two years before the carthquake the grasshoppers and tire, and shows, by a wall und pulline, the strict ju8
tha t in the reisn of ITzziah king of Judah; which Josephus, (Ant. tice of God in Israel's punishment. Beinr accused to Jeroboam by Amaziali 11 . 9) with most nepnt and modern commentators, refers to that the priest, and forbidden lo pro; cry in Bethel, he shows how God called him Imp
n of the pressi's office, when he attempted to offer incense to to prophecy, and predict the min of Amuziah and his family ; under a vision » Lupil Tbook of Amos consists of nine chapters, of which Calmet of a basket of sutomer fruit, he shows the speedy ruin of Israel; reproves Cin t unk that the seventh is the first in order of time; in which the their oppression and injustice; shows the complete ruin of Israel, and threat
J noin the judgments of God on Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, and ens a famine of the word of God; he then declares the certainty of the judg. AIA for their culty and oppression of Israel; upon Moub, for his impo ments to be indlicted on Lirael, thouzh a remnant shall be preserved, and re
01 03 the deadly of the king of Edoin ; on Judah, for his con dicts the blessings of Messiah's kingdom, and the conversion and restoration O p of ( law; and on lural, for idolatry, iniquity, and ingratitude; he of Israel.-Several of this Prophet's images are borrowed froin these rural expulated with Israel and Judah, warning them of approaching judg- ohjects with which he was familiar. Hin sentiments are frequently lofty, and
is the Philistines and Egyratinns to hold the punishment of Sa his style bonuritil, as well as plain. "The game celestial Spirit, (sve Bishop mana an the ten tribe for their sins ; reproves the Israelites for luxury and Loioth.) actuated Isaiah and Daniel in the court, and Amos in the sliceP HD, warning them to prepare to meet God, who is about to execute fold; .... occasionally employing the natural eloquence of some, and occa*** dace upon them ; laments over the destruction of Israel, exhorting them sionally making others eloquent."
Beziali and his family mel; repro
AW) was los profession a beriman and a dresser of the sycamore fruit; the very chief of the prophets.' (2 Cor. xi. 5.) He will agree, that, as in subau 3e, as Archishup Veiccome observes. he "borrow many imases limity and magnificence he is alınost equal to the greatest, so in splendour of un the m wbuch he will engaged: but he introduces them with skill, diction, and elegance of expression, he is scarcely interior to any." It should. *#778 * Unue and dignity by the eloquence and grandeur of his inan: however, be observed, that rustic employments were very general and honour17 Wehl find in him any affecting and pathetic, many elefant and able among the Hebrews; and that comparisons drawn from rural arenes, #
sa . Vo prophet has more magnificently described the Deity; and the pastoral life, are by no means peculiar to Amos; the principal images, IR Wue era lv retukid the luxurious, or reprove injustice and oppression and those of the treatest beauty and elegance, both in the factical and
amater warnith, and a more generous indignation." Jerome is of oni propbetical parts of Scripture, being derived from the same natural objects. *), 102: 1) in Inything great or sublime in the ktyle of Amos; and calle "But any of these images must falsely appear mean and obscure to us. laro" nude in ch tut not in knowledge," anlying to him what St. Paul who difter so materially from the Hebrews in our manners and customs; but fently oli ot himself (2 Cor. XI. 6.) Came and many others have in such cases it is our duty neither too rushly to blame, nor too suddenly to od the thority of Jerume, in speaking of this prophet, as if he were despair. The mind should rather exert itself to lincover, if posible, the con
r ude, vold of clomuence, and destitute of all the embellishments | nexion between the literal and figurative menninos, which, m abstruse subof mamilion. The matter, however, as Bishop Looth has remarked, 19 jects, frequently depending on some delicato and pice relation, eludes our
is therwise. "Lot any person, who has candour and perspicacity enough penetration. An obsolete custom, for instance, or some forgotten circuiti 8 not from the man, but from his writings, open the volume of his prestance, opportunely adverted to, will sometimes restore its true perspicuity wewas, ao be will. I tbipk. Bree that our shepherd is not a whit bobind I and credit to a very intricato paesage."
inu hitoral and
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
THE BOOK OF OBADIAH.
Of the prophet OBADIAN nothing certain is known; but it is bighly pro- deans, and finally by the Jews, whom they had used most cruelly, when bable, as Abp. Ncrocome and others suppose, that he flourished between the brought low by other enemies; and he concludee, as almost all the other pro taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, B, C. 588, and the destruction of Idu phets do, with consolatory promises of restoration and prosperity to the Jews. mea by the same inonarch, wluch took place a few years afterwards. Conse The prophecy, according to Usher, began to be fulled about five years after quently he was contemporary with Jeremind, one of whose prophecies, respect the destruction of Jerusalem ; that is, about 592 years before Christ. Toin. ing the destruction of Edom, bears 1 striking similarity to that of Obadiah, In end, bowever, places the prophecy much earlier, viz. B. C. 740. See 2 Chron. thuis book he foretels the subjugation and ruin of the Idumeans by the Chal | xxviii. 17.
The communion de tous les tenally, masters of 1 century afier Christian was abolished and dian Arabs, and partly
THE book of OBADIAH is composed with much force and beauty, and un- nation. (Josephus, Ant.) Thus they were actually masters of Edom, ana folds a noble and very interesting scene of prophecy. These predictions began judged and governed the mount of Esau. We know, indeed, as Bp. Newton to be fulfilled about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the remarks, little inore of tre history of the Edomites than as it is connected Chaldeans, with whom they had formerly been in alliance, under Nebuchadnez: with that of the Jews: and where is the name or the nation now? They were zar, ruvuged Idumea, and dispossessed the Edomites of a great part of Arabia | swallowed up and lost, partly among the Nabathian Arabs, and partly among the Petra, of which they never after recovered possession. The Jews having re-Jews; and the very name was abolished and disused about the end of the first turned to their own land, by the decree of Cyrus, at the termination of the se century after CHRIST. Thus were they rewarded for insulting and oppressing Venty years of the Babylonian captivity, their temple was rebuilt, and the wor their brethren the Jews; and, while at this day we see the Jews subsisting as ship of God restored ; and Jerusalem was re-established in prosperity, and the a distinct people, Edoni is no more. Agreeably to the words of this prophet land replenished with inhabitants. They also extended themselves in every I he has been cut off for ever," for his violence against his brother Jacob direction :-tu Edom on the south, to the Philistinen on the west--to Ephraim (ver. 10.;) and there is now "not any remaining of the house of Esau, far the and Phanicia on the north,--and to Gilead on the east. Alexander the Great LORD had spoken it,'' Thus the prophecy appears to have had a very litera gave Samaria to the Jews; and John Hyrcanus subdued the same country and exact fulsiment; but it is probable it also refers to the future conter: after his wars with the Syrians. (Josephus.) God at various times raised up Nion and restoration of the Jews, the destruction of all antichristian op. certain persons ay sarimirs or deliverers of his people, such as Zerubbabel, posers, and that prosperous state of the church to which all the propheta Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Maccabees, The Asinonean princes having united bear witness, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms the priesthood with the state, the kingdom, or doininion, was actually pos. of our LORD and bis CHRIST; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Rev senand and exercised by the LORD-that is, the high priest had both the civil xi. 15. and ccclesiastical power in his own hands. The house of Jacob and the This prophet, after describing the pride and cruelty of the Edomites, de. house of Joseph did also break out as a flame upon the Idumeans; for under clares that though they dwelt in fancied security among the clefs of the rocks, Judas Maccabæus they attacked and defeated them several times, killed no yet, that the men of Teman should be dismayed, and every one of the mount less than twenty thousand at one tine, and more than twenty thousand at of Esau should be cut off by slaughter. The south part of Palestine, from another, and took their chief city Hebron, “with the towns thereof, and pulled Eleutheropolis to l'etra, (the ancient capital of Idumea,) and Elah, was full of down the fortress of it, and bumed the towns thereof round about ;" (1 Mac. rocks, among which the Edomites dwelt. Obadiah's name implies, the sur V. 2 Mac. X. :) and at last bis nephew, Hyrcanus son of Simon, took other of vant of Jehovah, a title equivalent to that by which Moses was distinguished, their cities, and reduced them to the necessity of either embracing the Jewish (.Num. xii, 7.) and to that in wbich Paul gloried. The prophet's work is short, religion, or of leaviug their country, and seeking other habitations; in conNE. but composed with much beauty: it unfolds a very interesting scene of proquence of which they subunitted to be circumcised, became proselytes to the phecy, and an instructive lesson against human confidence and malicious er Jewish religion, and ever after were incorporated into the Jewish church and I ultation.
THE BOOK OF JONAH.
JONAII, the son of Amittai, was a native of Gath-bepher, in Galilee, and a prophetical office as early as the latter part of John's reign, or the beginning type of vur Saviour in his resurrection, is the most ancient of those Prophets of that of Jehoabaz. (See the Table of the Prophets.) Hin prophecy is a simwhose writings are preserved in the sucre canon.--He predicted the successes ple narrative, containing nothing poetical, excepting his thanksgiving ude ich, of Jerebrum, II. the son of Joush, in whose reign he is supposed by Blair and li.) which is most beautiful and sublime. The first mention we have of Jonah others to have flourished; but Bishop Lloyd and others think he exercised tho is in 2 Ki. xiv. 25.
escriptive for and deli sway in the sustainer and how
CONCLUDING REMARKS, We are here presenter with a fine description of the power and tender mer prepared the worn which caused it to wither in a night. And how easy way cios of God, and the impartiality of the prophet in detailing his own weak. all this to the almighty power of the Author and Sustainer of life, who has a ness and folly. (a conduct almost wholly rostricted to the sacred writers,) is sovereign, omnipresent, and energetic way in the heavens and in the earth! worthy of particular notice. Some writers, from the supposed ditticulties of The Iniraculous preservation and deliverance of Jonah vec surcly not more this Book, have considered it as a parabolic history, or alle vory ; others have remarkable or descriptive of almighty power, than the multiplies! wonders in thought that the account of his being swallowed by a grrat fish, praying in its the wilderness, the protection of shairach, Meshach, and Ald.nego, in the belly, and being cast on dry land, was a dream which he had when fast asleep | fiery furnace, of Daniel in the lion's den), or the resurrection of the widow's in the ship, and others, with equal propriety, have contended that by dag, we son: all were deviations from the general laws of nature, and the onlinary whould understand, not a fish, but a fishing.cove, or fishing boat! Such ab- course of human events, and evident demonstrations of supernatural and misurd opinions are scarcely worthy of notice; they are plainly contrary to the raculous interference. But foolish man will affect to be wise, though bom as letter of the text, and the obvious meaning of language: and are completely a wild ass's colt; and some, because they cannot work a miracle themselves, overthrown by the appeal of our LORD to the main facts of this history, and can hardly be persuaded that God can do it! The fame of the prophet's deli especially by the use which he makes of it. (Mat. xii. 40. Lu Xi. 39.) This verance appears to have been widely propaguted anong the heathen nations ; testimony puts an end to all mythological, allegorical, and hypothetical inter and the Greeks, ever fond of adorning the memory of their heroes hy every re pretations of these great facts; and the whole must be admitted to be a mim markable event and embellishment which they could appropriate, added to the cle from beginning to end, ellected by the almighty power of GOD. GOD, who fictitious adventures of Hercules, that of having continued three days and commissioned Jonah, raised the storm ; He prepared the great fish to swal nights in the belly of a sea monster, or shork, cutting and hacking his 70low the disoberlient prophet; He maintained his life for three days and three trails, and afterwards coming out of the monster without any injury, except Dights in the bowels of this marine monster; He led it to the shore, and the loss of his hair. 'The fable of Arion and the Dolphin, of which the date is caused it to cject the prophet on dry land at the appointed time. He miracu-fixed at a period nearly coeval with that of Jonah, is probably also a misreprelously produced the sheltering gourd, that came to perfection in a night; Hesentation of the particulars recorded in this sacred Book.
THE BOOK OF MICAH.
The prophet MICAl was a native of Moresheth, a town in the kingdom of warmth and indignation : foretels their several captivities; and, for the comfort of Judah, which JEROME places about ten furlongs from Eleutheropolis ; and, as the pious, delivers many things concerning the Messiah, his incarnation and we learn from the commencement of his prelictions, prophesied in the reigns offices and the happiness and glory of his church in the latter days. “The style of Jotham, Alaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. He was therefore, con of Micah is for the most part ciose, forcible, pointed, and concise ; sometimes temporary with Isaiah and Hosea ; though it is probable that he began to approaching the obscurity of Hosea ; in many parts animated and sublime, prophesy later than they. He reproves the Jews for their sing with great and in general truly poetical."
CONCLUDING REMARKS. The prophecy contained in chap. v. 1--5, says Dr. Hales. "Is perhaps the cient Jews understood this prophecy of the Messiah is cvident, not only from most important single prophecy in the Old Testament, and the most compre- the decision of the chict priests and scribes, (Mat. ii. 6.) but also from many bensive respecting the personal character of the Messinly, and his siICCON IVE of the Jewish writers which are now extant. JONATHAN in huis Targum exmanitiations to the world. It crowns the whole chain of predictiong do. preraly applies it to the Messiah; rendering it, "And thou Bethlehem Ephratab, scriptive of the several liinitations of the blessini Serd of the woman to the art thou too little to be punbered among the thousands of the house of Jurlah? lin: of shem, to the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the tribe of Judah, From thee before me shall come forth the Messiah to exercise dominion in Isand to the royal bouse of David, here terminating in his birth at Bethlehem,
the city of David.' It carefully distinguishes his huinan nativity from his eter on the Pentateuch ascribed to the same author, on Ge. xxxv. 21. the tower o Hal sencrittion ; foretels the rejection of the Israelites and Jews for a season ; Edar, rendered in Micah," the tower of the flock," and which JEROME says their final rostoration : and the universal peace destined to prevail throughout was near Bethlehem, and the place where the birtn of Jesus Christ was de. the earth in the Rerneration. It forms, therefore, the basis of the New Tesclared to the shepherols, is expressly ufirmed to be “the place from which the tament, which begins with his human birth at Bethlehem, the miraculous cir. | kina Messiah shall be manifcsted in the end of the days." In Pirke Eliezer cumstances of which are recorded in the introductions ! Matthew's and Luke's also, the plane in Micah is referred to the Messiah ; and "his goings forth Gospe his cternal generation as the ORACLE, or WISDOM, in the sublime from the beginning, is interpreted by " when the world was not yet created." introduction of John's Gospel : his proplictic character, and second coming, See also Tamud Hieros. Berachoth. In fact, nothing can be clearer or more unillustrated in the four Gospels and Epistles, ending with a prediction of the doubted than the application of this remarkable prophecy: which was fully ver. pocdy approach of the latter in the Apocalypse. (Re. xxü. 20.)" That the an Ified in the birth of our Saviour, by a peculiar acl of Providence, at Bethlehein
Is the rejection of the Israelitarumm Javity from his eter: un the provenane is declared of old, from the dark of concise domin
OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
THE BOOK OF NAHUM.
phus canthod that all the inteen years after hiah, king of Jus
NAH , the prophet, was a native of Elkosh, a town of Galilee, the ruins, chapters, forming one entire poem, the conduct and imagery of which are truly of which were still in being, and well known, in the time of JEROME. Jose adinirable. in the exordiurn, the pruphet sets forth with grandeur the justice PRUS (Ant lix c. 11. $3.) says, that he flourished in the time of Jotham, and power of God, tempered with lenity and goodness; foretels the ruin ot king of Judah, and that all the events which he foretold concerning Nineveb the Assyrian king and luis army, and the deliverance of the people of Gud, came to pass one hundred and tifteen years afterwards." But JEROME, with with their rejoicing on the occasion ; predicts the siege and taking of Ninevoh oro probability, places him in the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and by the Medes and Babylonians, the ruin of the Assyrian empire, the plundering
ye, that "bus name by interpretation is a comforter: for the ten tribes being and destriction of the city, and the extinction of the royal family, for their camied awas by the king of A yna, this vision was to confort them in their oppression and cruelty; denounces already wo against Nineveh for her perfidy aurity: AGE was it less consolation to the other two triles of Judah and and violence, and idolatries ; shows that the desolution of No-Amnon, in Aktyanin, why temanned in the land, and were besieged by the same enenues, Egypt, may lead her to expect similar destruction; and predicts her utter and to hear that these conquerors would in time be conquered themselves, their Sinal ruin, and the inefficacy of all methods to prevent it." cats takin, and their empire overtlırown." This prophecy consists of three
TEE prophecy of NAHUM forms a resular and perfect poem. The exordium been, as I may say, long ago ruined and destroyed, Such an 'utter end' hath
Tand and truly majestic; the preparations for the destruction of Nineveh. been made of it; and such is the thith of the Divine predictions! This perin the descnption of its downfall, are punted in the most vived colours, and haps may strike us tbe inore strongly, by supposing only a parallel instance, are adniably clear. The destruction of Nineveh took place a little more than Let us then suppose, that a person should come in the name of a prophet, a niury afterwards; and its utter desolation is unanimously attested both by preaching repentance to the people of this nation, or otherwise denouncing the Qyent and modern writers. "But," as Bp. Veroton justly observes, "what destruction of the largest city within a few years.....I presume we should look nosihty was there, that the capital of a great kingdom, a city which was uron such a prophet as a madman, and show no farther attention to his mes. miy miles in compass, a city which contained so many thousand inhabitants, sage than to deride and despise it ; and yet such an event would not be more ...should be totally destroyed? And yet so Dially was it destroyed, that strange and incredible than the destruction and devastation of Nineveh. For the place is hardly known where it was situated. We have seen that it was Nineveh was much the larger, and much the stronger, and older city of the taken and destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians, and what we may sup two: and the Assyrian empire had subsisted and flourished more ages than por helsed!o complete its nun and devastation was Nebuchadnezzar's soon any form of government in this country ; so that you cannot object the insta. alt warrts t-argins and beautifying Babylon. From that time no mention is bility of the eastern monarchies in this case. Let us ther.... Suppose aruin, made or even by any of the sacred writers; and the most ancient of the that things should succeed according to the prediction; the floods should arise, hatto authors, who have occasion to say any thing about it, speak of it as a and the enemy should come, the city should be overflown and broken down, be City that was once eat and flourishing, but now destroyed and desolate. taken and pillaged, and destroyed so totally, that even the leamed could not Groot as it was formerly, so little of it was remaining, that authors are not agree about where it was situated What would be said or thought in such a 2011 Even about its situation .... There is at this time a city called Mosul, case? Whoover of posterily should read and compare the prop biecy and event & latrd on the western side of the river Tigris, and on the opiosite eastern together, must they not by such an illustrious instance be thoroughly convinced Stare ruins of a seat extent, which are said to be the ruuns of Nineveh of the providence of God, and of the truth of his prophet, and be ready to ac. .:. But it is more than probable, that these ruins are the remains of the Per knowledge. Verily this is the word that the LORD hath spoken, verily there war Nineveh, and not of the Assyrian. Even the ruins of old Nineveh have is a GOD who judgetl the earth ?'”
THE BOOK OF HABAKKUK.
(the prophet HABAKKUK we have no certain information ; but it is pro 1 God for punishing them by the instrumentality of the Chaldeaps ; in answer babb, as EPIPHANIUS and DOROTHEUs assert, that lie was of the tribe of Si- to which complaint, God shows the certainty of the vision, and donounces the
and a native of Bethzacar. 1 is evident that he prophesied in Judea destruction of the Babylonian empire, with the judgmerts to be inflicted upon re the carity, and probably, aš Abr. USHER Supposes, in the reign of the Chaldeans for their ambition, cruelty, treachery, and idolatry: the prophet Jenilm. He contemporary with Jerumiah. His venuine writings are then implorea God to hasten the deliverance of his people, recounting the wonCotu 72. in the tluce chapters of which this book consists; in which the pro. derful deliveriences which God hail vouchsetid to his people, in conducting thein
a rtiy complaining of the growth of iniquity among the Jews, GOD through the wilderness, and viving them possession of the promised land; and, tilraudu denouncin, hi, vengeance to be indlicted upon them by the deeply affected with the approaching judgments, he yet resolves to rejoice in the
talians; then, making a sudden transition, he humbly expostulates with mercy and goodness of GOD when all other comforts 1ailed.
CONCLUDING REMARKS. HABAKETK, as a met, holds a high rank among the Hebrew prophets. The equal magnificence, selecting from such an assemblage of miraculous incidents Saluti cunetion between the parts of his prophecy, its diction, imagery, the most noble and important, displaying them in the most splendid colours,
l, and ullimity, are particularly striking, and cannot be too much ad. and embellishing them with the sublimest imagery, figures, and diction; the Det The part of Habakkuk, in particular, is allowed by the best judges dignity of which is so heightened and recommended by the superior elegance to be a masterpiece of its kind; and it is adduced by Bishop Lowth as one of of the conclusion, that were it not for a few shades, which the hand of time
e must rectecimens of the Hebrew ode. The prophet illustrates the has apparently cast over it in two or three passages, no composition of the kind del of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery throughout " with would, I believe, appear more elegant, or more perfect, than this poem."
THE BOOK OF ZEPHANIAH.
ZEPSANIAH, according to Epiphanius, was of the tribe of Simeon, and of siah, we must therefore place his prophecy about the beginning of the reign of #wat arabatha, or Baratha ; but, though he mentions his ancestors for no less Josiah, or from B. C. 610 to 609. The book of Zephaniah consists of three
toarf rations, yet nothing certain can be inferred as to what family he chapters ; in which the prophet denounces the wrath of God against Judah She way. Welcar, however, from the commencement of his prophecy, that and Jerusalem for idolatry and apostacy; predicts terrible judgments coming w e rd as predictions in the reign of Josial king of Judah, and from upon sinners of different descripting ; exhorts them to repentance, as the
tription he res of the disorders which then prevailed, it is evident only mean to avert the Divine vengoance ; prophesies against the Philistines, test t est have been before the reformation made by Josiah, in the cigh | Moubites and Ammoniter, Ethiopians and Assyrians; sharply rebuke, Jerutooth rear of his reign; and as he predicle the destruction of Nineveb, which, salem for various aggravated sing; and predicts their future restoration, and (aime reiparks, could not have taken place before the sixteenth of Jo- the ultimate prosperous state of the church in the days of the Messiah.
CONCLUDING REMARKS. * SEPRANIAN and Jeremiah resemble each other so much in those parts the most flagitious extent. Compare Zeph. i. 4, 5, 9, with Jer. ii. 5, 20, 32. where they treat of the idolatries and wickedness that prevailed in their time, Zephaniah conspired with Josiah in his righteous design of bringing back the that Adore 24 verts, that Zephaniah was the abbreviator of Jeremiah; but he people to the worship and obedience of the true God. The style is poetical; af<emale count that Zephaniah was the abbreviatpresailed in their time, Zephaniah capitious extant. Compare Zeph. i. 4, 5, at dently prophesied before Jeremiah ; and the latter seems to speak of but it is not distinguished by any peculiar elegance or beauty, though generally those abuse as partially removed, which the former describes as present in l animated and impressed."
THE BOOK OF HAGGAI.
INTRODUCTION. or the parentage of the prophet Haggai we know nothing ; but the general the Jews in building the temple, and exhorts them to proceed ; they obey the Open founded on the assertion of Epiphanius, is, that he was born at Ba- prophet's message and receive encouragement from God; the prophet conforts Oyton, Opritlir captivity, and was one of the Jews who returned with Zerub the old inen, who wept at the diminished magnificance of the seconil temple, Thor consence of the clict of Cyrus. The building of the temple having by assuring them that ils xlory ghould be greater than that of the first by the
intomited for thout fourteen years, in consequence of the ill officeg of presence of the Messiah: he shows that their sins had deprived them on Croc 8 & Di n ne satrat, who prejudiced the mind of the Persian Monarch blessing and promise them muillil burvests from that day forward, And pre82 313 the Jew; Dari Hystasis, in the second year of his reign, reneweddicts the prosperity of the Messiah's kingrlom, under that ol Zerubabel, his We w7ER100 formerly granted by Cyrus; and Hazrui was sent to encourage Ancestor and type. The style of the Prophet is, generally, plain anii prosauc ; E costrymen to proceed with the work. The prophet reproves the delay of interspersed, however, with some passages of a hably poctic character.
In order to encourage and cheer those who fondly remembered the glorious tive meanness of the present building, the prophet Haggai declares to them Er which had been raised by Solomon, and who, perhaps, impressed in the name of the Lord that the glory of this latler louse, though it might u be description furnished by Ezekiel, must have lamented the compara. I appear as nothing in their eyes, should be greater than lbat of the former.
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
A glory more apparent and manifest than was that clouded and symbolical application to Jesus of Nazareth, applied it to a third, which they expect at representation of the Divine Majesty, which overshadowed the mercy.scat in some future period. For the same purpose, other Jewish writers, who are foolthe uld temple : and which pretizure only that incarnate presence of the lowed by some modern cominentaton, contend, that chimdath, "desire." Messiah in whom "dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Col. ii. 6.;) which is in construction with a plural verb, 001100, "and they shall come." and from this temple, which though not decorated with old and silver should should be read chemdoth, "desires."-"the desirable things of all nativos thus surpass the former in glory, should appear the "Prince of peace," (ch. ii. shall come :" which they understand of the valuable and rich presents which 9. compared with Ep. ii. 14.) This illustrious prophecy the ancient Jews cor-various nations abould bring into the temple. But thus alteration, though rectly applied to the Messiah, though some modern writers have made objec. apparently sanctioned by some of the ancient versions, is not acknowledged by tons to its exact fulfament by the advent of Christ. It has been pretended, any MS. yet collated ; and it was evidently reut in the singular by both the that the temple in which our Saviour appeared was in reality not a second, Targum and Vulgate, which have, "and the Desire of all nations shall come." but a third temple, rebuilt by Herod; but it is certain, that whatever altera "and the Desired Person shall come to all nations." It has also been justly Lions and additions were made by Herod, it did not constitute an entirely new objected to this interpretation, that it is inconsistent with the great solemnity buiding. There was a temple for the worship of Jehovah according to the of the introduction, and that the language itself," the desirable things of all law, during all the forty-six years which were spent in repairing or rebuilding nations shall come," is highly improper, as it should rather have been," the it, and consequently, one part must have been taken down at once, as far desirable things of all nations shall be brought," a sense wluch ba never his as was needful for the purpose, and no more : but the old foundations, and in hal, but only in Hophal. In fact, no alteration is needed to clear the the most essential parts of the structure, no doubt remained. In fact, no no grammatical construction ; for it is a well known Hebraisin for a verb or par minal distinction between Zerubbabel's and Herod's teniple was ever made by ticiple to agree with the latter of iwo connected substantives, though in sense the Jewy; but, in popular language, both these structures were smoken of as it strictly relates to the fonner, and thus ooroo, "they shall come." axter, the second temple. On one occasion, Josephus himsell mentions only two not with chemdath,"desire," its proper nominative, but with soyim, nabuildings of the temple; a former in the time of Solomon, and a latter in that uons," with which it is in construction. For similar instances the reader is of Cyrus; and in the Chronicon Hebrum, &c. Vespasian 19 said to have referred to Gen. iv. 10. Lev. xiu 9. 1 Sæ. li. 4. 2 Sa. X. 9. IK. xvii. 16. Neb. ix. destroyed the temple four hundred and forty years after it was built. The 6. Job xv. 20. xxix. 10. XXXU. 7. Prov. XXIX. 25. Eccles. xi. 1. Isa. XXV. 3. Jer. 11. Propliet, indeed, could not have used greater precision of lunguare, consistent. 34. in the H brow. To nothing else indeed than the advent of the Messiah can jy with his design of consoling the Jews: for had be adopied such a distinc | this prophecy refr; and nothing on the presence of the incarnate son of God tion, it would have led them to expect the demolition of the temple then build could fultil the prediction, and render " the glory of this latter house greater ing, and the erection of another in its stead. It is also undeniable, that the than of the former." This great event, and this alone, agrees with the whole Jews did. in consequence of this prophecy, expect the MSiah to appear in this of the context; with the political convulsions by which it was preceded and teinple, till atter its destruction by Vespasian; they then, in order to evade its i followed, and with the great and final religious revolution which it introduced.
THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH.
ZECHARIAH was, as he himself informs us, the son of Berechiah, and event of their obcdience, the continuance of the favour of God, (ch. viii. 1-8. ;) grandson of Iddo ; but the tribe and family from which he was descended, as encouraging theni to go on with the building, (ver. 9-17. ;) and permitting well as the time and place of his birth, are equally unknown. It is, however, them to discontinue the observance of those facts, (ver. 18--23. :) the projet certain that he was one of the captives who returned from Babylon with me then predicts the intermedinte events which should happen to the surrounding rubbabel; and from an expression in ch. ii. 4. there is reason to believe that he nations and to the Jews, from the completion of the temple till the coming of was called to the prophetic ottice when a young man. He began to prophesy Christ, with figurative intimations of the prevalence of the Gospel by the in the second year ol' Darius Hy las pes, A. M. 3494. B.C. 5:20., in the eighthtriminphs of his apostles and servants, (ch. ix. x. :) foretels the destruction of month of the sacred year, and consequently two months after Haggai Zethe temple and the rejection of the Jews for their rejection of Christ, and chariah, after general warmings, and exhortations to repentance, foretels the other sins, (ch. xi. :) and predicts the preservation of Jerusalem against an incompletion of the temple, (ch. i. ;) the rebuilding and prosperity of Jerusalem, vasion in the latter ages of the world, and the destruction of her enebiles, and the cities of Judah, (ch. ii. 1-5;) the judgments of God upon Babylon, 1 (ch. xii. 1-9.:) the consersion of ihe Jews to their crucified Messiah, (ver. from which he admonishes the Jews to depart previous to its destruction, 10-14; ch. xii :) the destruction of Jerusitlem, and the judgments inflicted on (ver. 6-9.) promising them the Divine presence, (ver. 10-13;.) under a vision the unbelieving Jews ; the preservation of a reninant, and their conversion ; of Joshua the high-priest arrayed in new sacerdotal attire, he predicts the re- the ruin of the nations that fought against her; the final conversion of al. storation of the temple and its service, (ch. ill. 1-7.;) whence, by an easy nations, and the peace and prosperity of the churchi, (ch. xiv.) ;-- Bagster. transition, he sets forth the glory of Christ, as the chief corner stone of his | The design of the first part of this prophecy, like that of his contemporary church, (ver. 3-10.:) under the vision of the golden candlestick and two olive Haggai, was to encourage the Jung to go on with rebuilding the temple, by trees, he represents the success of Zerubbalel and Joshua in rebuilding the giving them assurance of Gud's aid and protection. From Dus he proceeds to temple, and restoring its service, (ch. iv. ;) by the vision of a tlyin; roll and foretel the glory of the Christian church (the true temple of God) under its great an epliah, he shows the judgments whiclo would come on the wicked Jews, High Priest and Governor Jesus Christ, of whom Zerubbabcl and Juhua were and the abject and oppressed state of the nation, after they had tilled up the figures. The first six chapters consist chiefly of propbet visjons, in the manner measure of their sins, (ch. v. ;) by the vision of four chanots drawn by several of Ezekiel Daniel, and the Revelation of St. John. The following chapters treat sorts of horses, and by two crowns placed on Joshua's bend, he sets fort of the death, sutleongs, and kingdom of Messiah, in many particulars not mejaprimarily the re-establishment of the civil and religious polity of the Jewstioned by any of the Prophets before him ; every thing relating to those great under Zerubabel and Joshua, and secondarily and principally, the bigb priest events becoming more explicit in proportion as their accomplishment drew Jood and kingdom of Christ, called emphatically the Branch, (ch. vii ;) some nearer. Zerhanal's style like that of Haggai, ig for the most part prosaic, Jewe have been sent to Jerusalem from the cxiles at Babylon, to inquire only more obscure towards the beginning. On account of his various types and whether they were still bound to observe the fasts instituted on account of the emblems. Towards the end he is more plain, as well as more elevatoil and destruction of that city, (ch. vit 1-3. ;) the prophet is commanded to enforce poetical. The difference in the style, among other reasons, has led many to upon them the weighter matters of the law, lest the same calanities befall conclude, that the last six chapters might be written by Jeremiah, or some them which were inflicted on their fathers, (ver. 4-11..) promising them, in the other Prophet, thorghi annexed to this prophecy of Zechariah.
"The style of Zechariah is so remarkably similar to that of Jeremiah, that cording to his account by the prophet at Babylon, and on the journey in his the Jews were accustomed to observe, that the spirit of Jeremiah had passed return from the oce, but these are not extant in Scripture, and are of very ques into hin. The whole book is beautifully connected by easy transitions, and tionable authority. The Zechariah to whom an apocryphal book is attributed present and future scenes are biended with the most delicate contexture. Epi by some writers, is supposed to have been a different person from the prophet phanius attributes some predictions to Zechariah, which were delivered ac- and according to Fabricius, be was the father of John the Baptist."
THE BOOK OF MALACHI.
OF Malachi, the last of the prophets, so little is known, that it has been date is adopted by Dr. Hales, as sufficiently agreeing with the description of doubted whether his name be a proper pame, or only a generic name, signity. Josephus, and the varying dates of chronologers. The look of Malachi conin2 My angel or messenger. Origen entertained the extravagant notion, wists of four chapters, in which the prophet reminds the Jews of the special that he was an angel incarnate Kent from GOD; and Calmet, after Jerome tavours which God had bestowed upon them; reproves them for not showing and other ancient writers, is of opinion that he was the same as Ezra. Epidue reverence to God threatening their rejection, and announcing the calling phanius, Dorotheus, and the Chronicon Alexandrinum, say that Malachi of the Gentiles ; denounces the Divine judgments both upon people and priests Wis of the tribe of Zebulun, and a native of the town of Sapha ; and that for their disrespect to God in their sacrificis; and for their unlawful intermarthe name Malachi was given him because of his angelic muldness, and be- riages with idolatresses, and for divorcing their legitimate wives ; forelels cause an angel used to appear visibly to the people to contirm what he had the coming of Christ and his barbinger John the Baptist, to purify the sons of said. It is, however, certain, that he prophesied some time after Haggai and Levi, and to smite the land with a curve, unless they all repented; reproving Zechariah, for in bis time the teruple was rebuilt, und the worship re esta them for withholding their tithes and other oblations, and also for blasphenir: blished, (chap. i. 7, 10, 12. iii. 10:) and consequently his ministry must have predicting the reward of the good, and the punishment of the wicked, and coincided with, or succeeded, that of Neheninh Dr. Blair and Archbishop enjoining the strict observance of the law, ull the forerunner already pro Nircome gurose him to have flourished about B. C. 436; and Archbishop i mised should appear, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to introduce the MesUsher about B. C. 416 ; but Dr. Kennicolt places him about B. C. 420; which I siah, and commence a new and everlasting dispeneation.
used to when him
THE Book of Malachi, says Bishop Louth, is written in a kind of middle 1 is recognized by the Evangelists, and is admitted by our Lord himself. (Mat. style, which seems to indicate that the Hebrew Poetry, from the time of the xi. 10.; xvi. 10-12. Mar. 1. 2.; ix. 11. 12. Luke i. 16, 17.; vil. 27. Ron. ix. 13.) Babylonish captivity, was in a declining state, and having passed its prine He terminated the illustrious succession of the prophets, and sealed up the
ni viguur, was then fast verging towards the debility of age. The writings volume of prophecy, by proclaiming the sudden appearance of the Lord. of this prophet, however, are by no means devoid of force and elegance; and whom they sought, in his temple, preceded by that messenger, who, like a he reproves the wickedness of his countrymen with vehemence, and exhorts harbinger, should prepare his way before him; the fulfilment of which pridic them to repentance and reformation with the utmost earnestless. It is notion, by the preaching of John the Baptist, and the advent of Jesus of Naza man rrommendation of Valachi, o well as a marction of his prophetic reth, the true Messiah and the Lord of life and glory, during the existence of mision, tha: his Book, though short, is ofter referred to in the inspired writ. the second ternple, fully attests the divinity of his mission, and the Divine ings of the New Testament, and that his claim to the cbaracter of a prophet inspiration of bis prophecy.