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therefore, if there be any truth in this prophecy, if there be a certainty in any thing in this world, it is certain that sceptre and law-giver are long since departed from Judah.
$9. We shall now proceed to other sacred testimonies in proof of our position. The first we shall fix upon is, that of Haggai ii, 3_9; to which we shall add Mal. iii, 1. The occasion of the former words must be sought from the story of those times in Ezra, and the whole discourse of the prophet in that place. The people returning from their captivity with Zerubabel, in the days of Cyrus, had laid the foundation of the temple; but having begun their work, great opposition was made against it, and great discouragements they met with. The kings of Persia, who first encouraged them to this work, and countenanced them in it, Ezra i, 7-9; being possessed with false reports and slanders, began to withdraw their assistance, as should seem in the days of Cyrus himself, Ezra iv, 5; and at length expressly forbade their proceedings, causing the whole work to cease by force, ver. 23. Besides this outward opposition, they were, moreover, greatly discouraged by their own poverty, and disability for the carrying on their designed work in any measure, so as to answer the beauty and glory of their former house, built by Solomon. Hence the elders of the people, who had seen the former house in its glory, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundations of this laid, Ezra iii, 12, 13; as foreseeing how much the splendor and beauty of their worship would be eclipsed and impaired; for, as the measures of the fabric itself, assigned to it by Cyrus, Ezra vi, 3; did no way answer Solomon's structure; -so they had no ability or means.to make provision for the ornaments of it, wherein its magnificence principally consisted. Being, therefore, thus hindered and discouraged, the work ceased wholly, from the end of Cyrus's reign, to the second year of Darius Hystaspes. For there is no reason to suppose, that this intermission of the work continued to the reign of Darius Nothus. However, it is evident, that the old discouragement was still pressing upon them. The former house was glorious and magnificent, famous and renowned in the world, and full of comfort to them, from the visible pledges it contained of the Divine presence. To remove this discouragement, or to support them under it, the Lord, by his prophet, makes them a promise; “The glory of the “latter house shall be great above that of the former, "? Hag. ii, 9.
To clear our argument intended from these words, we must consider, what was this latter house? and, wherein the glory of it did consist?
$10. We are to inquire, first, what house it is whereof the prophet speaks; now, this is most evident in the context, (i7 4720) “this house,” saith he, pointing to it, as it were with his finger; that which your eyes look upon, and which you so much despise in comparison of the former, this house shall be filled with glory. It is true, this temple was three hundred years after rebuilt by Herod, in the eighteenth year of his reign; which yet hindered not but that it was still the same temple. For the structure was never destroyed, nor the materials of it at once taken down; it, therefore, still continued one and the same house, though much enlarged and beautified. And, therefore, the Jews, in the days of our Savior, overlooked, as it were, the re-edification of the temple by Herod, and affirm, that that house, which was then standing, “was forty-six years in building,” John ü, 20; as they supposed it to have been upon the first res
turn from captivity; for the whole work and building of Herod was finished within the space of eight years.
$11. The glory promised to this house is, in the next place, to be considered. This is expressed both absolutely and comparatively; absolutely, Hag. ii, 7; “I will fill this house with glory; comparatively, with reference to the temple of Solomon, which some of them had seen, ver. 9; “The glory of this latter house “shall be greater than that of the former.” To understand aright this promise, we must reflect a little upon the glory of the first house, which the glory of this second was to excel.
1. It was very glorious, from its principal architect, which was God himself. He contrived the whole fabric, and disposed of all the parts of it. For when David delivered to Solomon the pattern of the house, and the whole worship of it, he tells him, “All these “things the Lord made me understand in writing, by “his hand upon me, even all the work of this pattern,” 1 Chron. xxviii, 19. God gave him the whole in writing; that is, divinely and immediately inspired him, by his Holy Spirit, to set down the frame of the house, and all the concernments of it, according to his own appointment and disposal. This rendered the house glorious, as answering the wisdom of him by whom it was contrived. And herein it had the advantage above all the fabrics that ever were on earth; and in particular above the second temple, whose builders had no such idea of their work given them by inspiration.
2. It was glorious in the greatness, state, and magnificence of the fabric itself. Such a building it was, as was never paralleled in the world, which sundry considerations will make evident to us; as,
*Targ. Jonath. Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and others, interpreť the words, as belonging to that house, which was built by Zerubabel and Joshua; nor do any of the ancient Jews dissent.
(1.) The grand and magnificent design of Solomon, the wisest and richest king that ever was, in the building of it. When he undertook the work, and sent to Hiram, king of Tyre, for his assistance, he tells him, that the house he was to build was to be great, because “their God was great above all Gods, 2 Chron. ii, 5. Nay, saith he, “the house which I am about to build, “shall be wonderful and great.? No doubt, he designed the structure to be magnificent to the utmost that his wisdom and wealth would extend to. And what shall he do that comes after the king? What shall any of the sons of men think to contrive and erect, so that it may surpass in glory, that in which Solomon laid out his utmost? There can, doubtless, be no greater fondness, than to imagine, that it could, in any measure, be equalled by what was done afterwards by Zerubabel, or Herod.
(2.) The vast and unspeakable sums of treasure which were expended in the building and adorning of it. I know there is some difference among learned men, about reducing the Hebrew signatures of money to our present account. But let the estimate be as low, as by any can reasonably be imagined (and setting aside what Solomon expended of his own) the provision left by David towards the work, an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; besides brass and iron without weight, with timber and stone, 1 Chron. xxii, 14; on the ordinary computation and balance of coins, amounted to no less than the gold, to 450,000,0001. and the silver to 3,750,000,0001. besides what was dedicated by his princes, and out of his peculiar treasure. He that would be satisfied, what immense sums Solomon added of his own to this, may consult Villapandus on
this subject. And what might be the product of this expense, wisely managed, is not easy to be conceived. It seems to me, that the whole revenue of Herod was scarce able to find bread for Solomon's workmen; so unlikely is it, that his fabric should be equal to that other. It was surely a glorious house, that all this charge was expended about.
(3.) It appears farther from the number of workmen employed in the structure. We need not augment the number by conjectures, seeing there is evident mention in scripture 'an hundred and four-score, "and three thousand six hundred;' besides the Tyrians that were hired, who, by their wages, seem also to be a great number, 2 Chron. ii, 10. There was an 'hundred and fifty-three thousand and six hundred strangers of the posterity of the Canaanites, 2 Chron. ii, 17, 18; and thirty thousand Israelites, 1 Kings v, 13. Neither was all this multitude engaged in the work only for a few days or months, but for full seven years, 1 Kings vi, 38. And herein, as Josephus observes, the speed of the work was almost as admirable as its magnificence. And what a glorious structure might be raised by such numbers of men, in such a space of time, when nothing was wanting to them, which, by the immense treasure before-mentioned, could be cured, may easily be conceived. It doth not appear, that the whole number of the people, rich and poor, who were gathered together under Zerubabel, after the return from the captivity, did equal the numbers of Solomon's builders; nor can it be imagined, that Herod employed so many in the whole work, as Solomon had to overlook his laborers:
3. The glory of the worship of this temple consummated its beauty. Now, this was principally founded on the glorious entrance of the Divine presence into VOL. I.