« PreviousContinue »
Prophecy of )
[his forerrane. 3 And ye shall tread down the 5 Behold, I will send you Eljah wicked; for they shall be ashes under the prophet before the coming of the the soles of your feet in the day that great and dreadful day of the Lord: I shall do this, saith the Lord of 6 And he shall turn the heart of hosts.
the fathers to the children, and the 4 Remember ye the law of Moses heart of the children to their fathers, my servant, which I commanded unto lest I come and smite the earth with a him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
this circumstance, when he says, the su CHAP. IV.
of Rigliteousness shall arise with learn (D) God's judgments on the wicked. in his wings.” (Orient. Cust. No. 36. Predictions of Messiah and his forerunner. The chapter, and indeed the Old Te. -Those judgments which are in the pre- tament, closes with a farther predica ceding chapter compared to a refiner's Gre, respecting John the Baptist under tbe base ių their operation upon true Israelites, are Elijah, because, as an angelic interpretat here compared to a consuming oven, in explains it, he was to go before Messiab a their effects on hypocrites and unbelievers. the spirit and power of Elijab (Lukei. 1. The incarnation of Messiah is then pro. His mission was to prepare the way nised under the beautiful image of the Messiah, as we read in the precediugdar rising sun—“the Sun of righteousness"- ter; to put an end to their dissensions when he arises “with healing under his sectarian quarrels, which John enden wings," dissipating the shades and damps voured to do, by showing the people of night, and spreading light and joy and that they were all sinners before bat, health around. But the late Mr. Robinson and stood equally in need of the pract of Cambridge, has thrown a farther beauty of repentance (Luke iii. 7-14.: and on the metaphor from the following cir- instrumentally, to convert both old and cumstance : Every morning, he was told, young, fathers and children, to the cor about sun-rise, in the Levant (particu- dience of the just. Many individuals were larly at Smyrna) a fresh gale of wind blows converted, and were remarkably pepe from the sea across the land, which, from its tected from the threatened curse ; bartt utility in clearing the infected air is called nation—the great mass of the people of sl the Doctor. “Now (says Mr. R.) it strikes classes - remained obdurate and in me that the prophet Malachi, who lived in nitent. The curse came and swept these that quarter of the world, might allude to
NOTES—Chap. IV. Con. Ver. 5. Elijah the prophet-that is, a prophet in So the author of Ecclesiasticus seems to here the spirit and power ot' Elijah. (See Expos.) So derstood it, Ecclus. xlviii. 10,11. Bat Newcord Messiah himseli was often promised under the pame Chandler render it, “ The heart of the fathers) of David.
the children, and the he of children Ver. 6. The heart of the fathers to the children, fathers." See Loke i. 17.-Smile the ratiLV &c.-that is, to reconcile the people to each other. come,“ The land." So Chandler, Boothrer han
END OF THE PROPHETS,
IN the Introduction to our first Volume, when speaking of the Evidences of Revealed Religion (p.iv.), we merely named the important topics of Miracles and Prophecy, promising to revert thereto. We did so, as to the former, in our Introduction to the Book of Exodus (p. 171), and having now gone through the Prophets, this seems the proper place to consider the arguments arising from the fulfilment of their predictions.
In examining writings of two or three thousand years old, we may naturally expect to meet with difficulties from their age ouly, and these are necessarily increased by the symbolical language in which those predictions are generally conveyerl : but the prin
cipal difficulty arises froin the uncertainty attending ancient chronology. See Note on Daniel ix. 25.
Of the prophecies in the Old Testament, those relating to God's chosen people, and to Messiah, are by far the most interesting; and of them, those which confine their accomplishment within a certain period, are the most striking. Such was that to Abraham, that his seed should sojourn in the land of Canaan 400 years, and should be enslaved and evil entreated, and that afterwards they should be avenged of their enemies, and possess the land wherein they were strangers, as they did above 1000 years. These are circumstances that cannot reasonably be referred to any cause short of the divine prescience. (Compare Gen. xv. 13, with Acts vii. 6.) Again, toward the close of that period, it was predicted that they should go into captivity in Babylon for 70 years, and afterwards return, and rebuild their temple and city, and dwell long therein; Jer. (xv. 11, 21. These were circumstances as punctually fulfilled as they were unlikely to occur, and lead us to look confidently to a farther accomplishment of all that may yet remain unfulfilled.
The Prophecy of Daniel's “ Seventy weeks," or 490 years (chap. ix. 24—27), whether t be reckoned from the first decree of Artaxerxes, 467 years before Christ, or from the econd decree, as we have done, about 12 years later, falls within the period of Christ's leath: and if it be not accomplished, the Jews are hereby cut off from all future hopes of a Messiab.*
The prophecies of this illustrious personage are far too numerous to be here recapituated. They respect the divinity of his character; his birth, life, death, resurrection, ind future triumph. + We shall only remind our readers of two or three that have yeen already considered in our Exposition and Notes ; namely, Psalm xxii, and Isaiah, hap. lii. and liii., which speak most explicitly of our Saviour's humiliation and sufferags; as Psalm ii. aud cx. no less clearly describe his future kingdom and glory. - Now, though it is in some of these cases difficult to fix dates, and adjust minute cirumstances, yet the broad features of these predictions, and the great facts referred ), so strikingly correspond, that it is difficult to deny their divine authority. Thus je know Messiah suffered and died, and we have the most credible testimonies of his esurrection. We see the Jews (bis murderers) now scattered upon the face of the hole earth; and we find those nations and cities whose destruction was explicitly foreold in the height of their prosperity, either reduced to insignificance, or completely lotted out from our maps.
Upon a farther consideration of this important assage, it has occurred to us, that the latter part of er, 26, after the words “ not for bimself,” should robably be read in a parenthesis, though the He. rews had no marks, as we have, to indicate it ; & rcumstance which has occasioned much obscu. ty, particularly in the Prophets. On this suppotion, the covenant mentioned in ver. 27, may be xplained of the covenant of redemption (which is tore in barmony with the prophetic style); this as confirmed by the death of Christ, which, at the ime time, virtually put an end to all other sacri. ces; and the last week will not only include Mes. ah's resurrection, but also the day of Pentecost. his would, however, occasion some alteration in le pointing, which we may probably remark on
Matt. xxiv. 15. In addition to the authors before referred to, see Nine Sermons on this Propbecy, by the late Rev. Rd. Winter.
+ See a Synopsis of the Prophecies classified; particularly those respecting the Messiah, in the New Edition of Mr. Horne's * Deism refuted," chap.ir. sec. 3. and Note (L), p. 229.
We referred to Mr. Horne's Orst Edition of this work in the Introduction to our first volume ; and are gratified to see this tract so amplified" and enlarged as to make it a complete manual for young persons, on the evidences of Christianity; and we the more earnestly recommend it, as we are convinced that much of ihe infidelity of the present age originated in the neglect of this subject in the education of young people in the last age.
THE APOCRYPH A.
THUS have we arrived at the conclusion of the Old Testament Canon, indula Moses and the Prophets, with the Hagiographa; all which have passed before sa the order of the English Bible. These are still existing in the Hebrew language; an a very general tradition prevails among both Jews and Christians, that they were exlected and arranged by Ezra and his contemporaries into twenty-two books, est sponding with the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. They are enumerate by Josephus, the Jewish historian (who survived the destruction of Jerusalem), and court into the ecclesiastical history of Eusebius (who wrote about the end of the third de tury), arranged as follows : -The fwe books of Moses, commonly called the Pentateuch, thirteen hooks of the Prophets (viz. 1, Joshua ; 2, Judges (including
Ruth); 3, Sasa 4, Kings; 5, Isaiah ; 6, Jeremiah (with his Laineptations); 7, Ezekiel; 3, The we (mivor) Prophets; 9, Daniel ; 10, Job ; 11, Ezra and Nehemiah ; 12, Esther; 13, (CE nicles) ; and four other books, containing hymns to God, and precepts for the crec of human life * [namely, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Solomon's sunt These were all written, aud still remain, in the Hebrew (or Chaldee) language. there are various other Apocryphalt books, or fragments, in Greek or Latin, which Council of Trent, in the 16th century, admitted into the canon of the Chureb of Rose though with little or no authority from the Christian Fathers. The Church of Engas doth indeed allow these to be read “ for the example of life, and instruction of macro but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine," I as pot considering the canonical, or of divine authority. Lessons from some of them are indeed aces into the week-day service of the Church, but no Sunday lessons are taken from thes.
As a painful controversy has been lately raised, as to the lawsulness of Protestants i any way countenancing the circulation of these Apocryphal books, $ it may be accepta to many of our readers to see a characteristic list of them, chiefly extracted from Hartwell Horne's Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scriptures (New Ed. vol. I.
These Apocryphal books, when admitted into our English Bibles, are always play together between the Old and New Testament; but in Roman Catholic editions at t Scriptures they are commonly interspersed among the sacred books, without any 53) of distinction. The books referred to are as follows:
Esdras I. is in Greek, and in the Alexandrian Manuscript is placed before the case nical book of Ezra, because the events occurred prior to the captivity. But in Latin Vulgate, this and the following book are called the third and fourth books Esdras; those of Ezra and Nehemial being reckoned the first and second. The ... is unkown; it is a compilation from the Canonical books, which, in some places, but ever, it contradicts, and is of no authority.
Esdras II. is still worse. The original is supposed to have been written in Greta but is lost, and a Latio version supplies its place. The author personates Ezra, ber relates some strange visions, and ridiculous Rabbinical fables. allusions, supposed to have been written after the New Testament.
Josephus cont. A pion, lib. i. & P. Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. lib.iii. c. 9, 10. It should be observed, that the two books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, were formerly reckoned each as one book only, as above enumerated. All the books, beside Moses and the prophets, are commonly comprehended under the general term Hagiographa, or Holy Writings.
+ The term Apocryphal, means dsadit, scure authority. : Thirty-nine Articles, Art. ri.
These books are not named in 38 sacred canon, during the first four eru Cosins's History of He Canon, chap. ii
ON THE APOCRYPHA.
The Book of Tobit * contains " so many Rabbinical fables and allusions to the BabyIonian demonology, that many learned men consider it as (only) an ingenious and amusing fiction.” It is supposed to have been written about 200 years before Christ.
Judith* was originally written in Chaldee, which is lost, but there are translations in Greek, and Latin, and Syriac. Grotius considers it as a parabolic fiction, relating to Antiochus Epiphanes, under the name of Holofernes. Prideaux thinks it may have had some fouodation in history, but the facts are no where else mentioned, oor is the book alluded to by either Philo or Josephus.
The Rest of Esther is of no authority, but was probably written to supply an apparent defect, which we have mentioned above, vol. i. p. 908. The additional facts are supposed to be borrowed from the History of Josephus.
The Wisdom of Solomon* appears to be an attempt of some Hellenistic Jew, to palm on the king of Israel maxims of wisdom (many of them confessedly very good); but they could not all be written before the establishment of the Greek games, to which in chap. iv. and x.) there are several allusions. It has been generally attributed to Philo.
Ecclesiasticus,* or, “ The Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach,” has been also attributed to Solomon; and it appears to us not improbable that both in this book and the preceding, there may be many of Solomon's remarks, which were carried away by the learned strangers whö“ came to hear bis wisdom." This book betrays its date, by speaking of Jeroboam and the captivity; chap. xlvii.23—25. The work is said to have been written in the vulgar Hebrew of the captivity, and translated into the Greek language, for the use of the Alexandrian Jews, about two centuries before Christ; but has no pretensions to higher antiquity, or canonical authority.
Baruch * is not extant in Hebrew, and perhaps never was. Grotius considers it as a Sorgery, under the name of Baruch. It was never considered as canonical, either by the Jews or early Christians.
The Song of the Three Children in the fiery furnace, is placed between the 23d and 24th verses of the third chapter of Daniel, where we have noticed it. It has, however, Du pretension to inspiration; nor is it altogether true. See ver. 15.
The Story of Susanna * is prefixed to the Book of Daniel in the Septuagint, and ap. pended to it in the Vulgate. Julius Africanus and Origen consider it both spurious and fabulous. So Father Lamy, and the modern critics.
Bel and the Dragon :* Jerom calls this a fable, and it was never admitted as canonical, either by the Jewish Church, or by the Christian, before the Council of Trent. Yet this also is foisted into both the Greek and Vulgate versions.
The Prayer of Manasses, king of Judah, when in captivity, though excellent and pious, has no claim to divine authority, but is rejected as spurious, even by the Church of Rome. See 2 Chron. xxxiii. 12, 13. It is not mentioned by any writer before the fourth century.
The First Book of Maccabees is considered as “a most valuable historical document,” and preferred, for accuracy, even to Josephus, who is supposed to have borrowed from it. It was probably written by John Hyrcanus, or under bis direction, in the SyroChaldaic language; and is preserved in Greek and Latin translations.
The Second book of Maccabees is much inferior to the first, and should be read with caution. It contains the history of the Jews for 15 years, from 3828 to 3843. But the two Epistles at the beginning are considered as spurious. The book is preserved in Syriac, Latin, and Greek; from the last of which was made the translation in our Bibles.
There are two other books, called the Third and Fourth of Maccabees ; but of so ittle credit or authority, that tbey could not gain admission even into the Roman Canon.
The books thus marked, (*) are admitted, in whole or in part, into the week-day service of the Church ( England.
0 2 Ditto of Gold
1 16 A Drachm (silver)
0 0 10 A Bekah, Didrachma, or Half-shekel
0 1 A Gerah (1-20th of ditto) about
0 0 A Maneh, or Mina (50 shekels)
5 14 7 A Talent of Silver
9 Ditto of Gold
5475 0 0 Silver is here reckoned at 58., and Gold at 41., per Oz. WEIGHTS.TROY.
Ib. oz. dwts. grs. A Gerah
12 A Shekel (20 gerahs)
0 0 10 0 A Maneh (60 shekels)
2 6 0 0 A Talent (50 manebs)
0 0 0 MEASURES.-Liquid. REDUCED TO ENGLISH WINE MEASURE.
galls. qts. pts. A Log (1-72d of an ephah) about
0 0 A Cab (1-18th ditto)
0 An Omer (1-10tb ditto)
3 A Hin (1-6th ditto)
0 A Seah (1-3d ditto)
2 2 0 An Ephah, or Bath..
7 2 An Homer (Chomah), or Cor
75 21 Carefully distinguish between an Omer and a Homer, which contains 100 Omers.
DRY, OR CORN MEASURE.
MEASURES OF LENGTH.
paces. ሲ n. in.
0 0 0 0 (11 0
6 0 92 0 7 3
0 5 0 145